Friday, September 01, 2006

Spiritual















Photo APOD Thanks Richard

Musings on the meaning of life and how we go about it, the connections to the worlds around us.

194 comments:

Anonymous said...

Friends at crusts...
This new blog is breathtaking, awesome!

In the beginning...

Judy B. said...

I agree, JG...

Christopher, these pictures really show your connection to the earth.. to nature... to your own spirit... this is completely different from organized religion...

It is now and always shall be....

deb said...

Ahhh, the perfect plce to post my links.

The Genographic Project

"The National Geographic Society, IBM, geneticist Spencer Wells, and the Waitt Family Foundation have launched the Genographic Project, a five-year effort to understand the human journey—where we came from and how we got to where we live today. This unprecedented effort will map humanity's genetic journey through the ages."

I plan to participate, it sounds interesting. I also plan to see if my brother will participate as only males can have paternal lineage traced.

Paleoamerican Origins

Theory: I am continuing to lean toward civilizations, much more advanced than we would give them credit for, existing prior to the last mini ice age. The cave that you posted a link to, Richard, would have, perhaps, been descendents of these people who traveled the oceans. The ice age set humans back to living in caves.

Judy B. said...

Deb.."Theory: I am continuing to lean toward civilizations, much more advanced than we would give them credit for, existing prior to the last mini ice age. "

There is so much we do not know...
Atlantis has been "suspect" for many years by scientists who could not find proof... and yet that proof is slowly coming in...

According to myth/legend, handed down orally over the centuries there was another ancient civilization... Lemuria... there are many blurbs of the web that talk about it... maybe time to further stretch the imagination..

Judy B. said...

"Lemuria was an ancient civilization which existed prior to and during the time of Atlantis. Physically, it is believed that Lemuria existed largely in the Southern Pacific, between North America and Asia/Australia. Lemuria is also sometimes referred to as Mu, or the Motherland (of Mu). At its peak of civilization, the Lemurian people were both highly evolved and very spiritual. While concrete physical evidence of this ancient continent may be difficult to find, many people "know" that they have a strong connection to Lemuria."
from http://www.lemuria.net/

Judy B. said...

John G... while searching for Lemuria, i came across this
http://lemuriahealth.org/

"Lemuria Health Institute offers
integrative and interventional
medical care to those who suffer
from acute and chronic pain."

The name of this health center.."was in reference to a continent that is said once existed in antiquity—a place where all beings lived in harmony and tranquility."

Richard Yarnell said...

I just moved this over from one of the closed threads where it doesn't seem so arbitrary. Thought you might enjoy it.
---
For a time, I was engaged to a schoolmate who eventually became a Catholic. Long before that, she had friends in a couple of the orders that have facilities in Los Angeles. As a non-Catholic somewhat in awe of the stern stereotype that both Monks and Nuns present, and in thrall of my fiance, you'll understand my discomfiture when I encountered these two situations.

1) There used to be a restuarant on the beach in the northern LA basin. Even if you never saw it in person, you will be familiar with it. It had a private bridge that crossed old Highway One. During Prohibition, it was notorious for its fine cellar. When it came on the market in the early sixties, the Paulists bought it, not for the building or the bridge, but for its still well stocked cellar. Pat was friends with a priest in the order and so I was invited to go with her to a party. Well! The wine flowed, and the grass was fragrant. The conversation was wonderful, but then so was the non-conversation. It was the first time I encountered nuns and priests with their hair down. I had a wonderful time once I figured out that it wasn't a test.

2) Pat also had a dear friend who was a nun and who taught in the art department of her order's college. Pat, enthusiastic about my meeting her friend the artist (I was a pretty good sculptor and potter), dragged me up the hill. I blundered into a life drawing class and had to shake hands with the sister litteraly over the reclining, naked, body of the largest woman I'd ever seen. As a guy just barely at 20, I had no idea how to react. Whether I disgraced any of us, I have no memory.

Judy B. said...

Richard, you brought that over from the "changing the Guard" thread, which IS still active....

Richard Yarnell said...

It was very late. I'm sorry.

Anonymous said...

http://www.planetary.org/news/2004/0514_The_Great_Dying_Does_a_Submerged.html
0514_The_Great_Dying_Does_a_Submerged.html

Judy,
here is a great article about a controversial new discovery in southwest australia...
Why could advanced civilization not existed 250 plus million years ago?

These were taken from that article

"252 million years are a long time for evidence of a massive impact to erode and dissolve into the Earth. In fact, the oceanic tectonic plates, which make up 70% of the Earth’s surface, are themselves younger than 252 million years. Any evidence that they may have once held, is long gone"

see also yellow thread...
SETI built an optical light beam telescope in mass. it came online in april 2006...
It may not find ET, What it does find will nonetheless be revolutionary...get ready:-)
THE AGE OF LBT is almost here.



Your friend John G.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

John,
Is this that telescope you're referring to?

SETI Optical Telescope

Anonymous said...

Yes.
Pretty simplistic device...Yet for it's cost and simplicity it does so much more than the expensive developed stuff. They put it together pretty quick and on limited funding. It has already surprised it's developers with some of it's findings and helped secure more funding...
I wish you folks could see the grin on my face right now...They built it:-)
stay tuned...

Your friend John G.

Judy said...

Interesting read, John G.

How are you feeling??? Have you checked any of the web sites concerning back pain that I posted???

Anonymous said...

feeling better than usual, good day...
yes,
That is what led me to these other sites, that and richards links...
Thank you Richard,
this site you posted leads me to this theory, let me know if this is possible. Based on another thread where you suggested there was matter after the big bang which traveled faster than light, something Einstein said possible,

Black holes and Dark energy
"What is the possibility these two phenomenon are the result of different stages of an event horizon of matter being propelled faster than the speed of light after the Big Bang?
There is a photo of an f-14 breaking the sound barrier; it has a halo of mist surrounding the plane, would breaking the light barrier not produce similar results?

If matter were sent faster than the speed of light it violated the laws of physics and could at this time be in another place and time in the universe, yet it’s “picture” or evidence is left as dark energy or a black hole. Could we use the optical SETI telescope to test this? Could we find unique galaxies or solar systems, which could fit, into the space we know of as dark energy or a black hole? Galaxies and solar systems, which based on what we know, do not belong where they are in the universe and at their present states of development based on the big bang theory?"

John G.

Judy B. said...

Continued from "Changing of the Guard" thread, in response to Christin's question...
..."From questioning Gods existnce, I became a doubter, and eventually wore the mantle of an atheist..."""

While not many will openly admit to being an atheist, it was the only thing that worked for me at the time.
I still believe(d) the basic tenents that I had learned at home, in church, and in community.. 'do unto others', "thou shall not...', etc, but they made more sense as a philosophy and not as rules handed down from a god with a long beard up in the sky... (I think it was probably that picture that screwed up religion for me...)

I found more comfort as an Atheist than i had while in the questioning stage...... As an Atheist I didn't believe in a here-after, (nor past lives), I fully faced that this is all we get.. and began "living in the now"... a wonderful place that is still a very big part of my spirituality...

Richard Yarnell said...

Whenever morality is based on theology, whenever right is made dependent on
divine authority, the most immoral, unjust, infamous things can be
justified and established. -Ludwig Feuerbach, philosopher (1804-1872)

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Although I'm very interested in the religious backgrounds of people I meet, I don't have strong feelings about religion itself. I guess I'm mostly interested in that aspect of a person's being, because it tells me something about their culture and their psychology -- it helps bring them into clearer focus for me.

I myself am an agnostic. The way I look at it is -- I have no way to know whether there is or is not a Supreme Being, therefore I'm open. I do believe in reincarnation, though. I don't know why I do, but it seems like I've believed in it forever. Even when I was a kid growing up Catholic, I thought I should at least try to leave the world better than the way I found it, since I'm going to keep coming back here every time I die. Who knows? Maybe we don't all come back to this planet -- maybe some of us travel to other planets in the universe.

Even in my lifetime, there seems to have been tremendous improvement in humans. For example, lynchings are now extremely rare -- they still occurred on a regular basis around forty or so years ago. Also, whenever homeless people are attacked by low-lives, people become angered and saddened. Years ago, a lot of people seemed not even to think of homeless people as souls. Humans as a group are becoming kinder and more thoughtful. I hope that's not just because more sociopaths are locked up in prisons now. Maybe it's just that a lot of people know they're coming back again after they die.

Richard Yarnell said...

Fewer lynchings in the US perhaps, but then there's Darfur, Iraq, a whole bundle of African countries,...

And what about the corporate masters who relegate their line workers to poverty wages while giving their executives more than they possibly can spend.

Judy B. said...

Great quote Richard...

Christin.."I myself am an agnostic. The way I look at it is -- I have no way to know whether there is or is not a Supreme Being, therefore I'm open."

I think that is a great place to be..

And now the rest of my story...
Being an Atheist is probably as unpopular as it used to be, to be Gay... Coming out of the closet can be dangerous... but some of my best days were spent as a non-believer..

But Life Happens and Change Happens... and ususally around a life crisis... and so it was for me... I will spare you the details... enough to know that I was in crisis and a Psychologist friend suggested that I take some Yoga classes to de-stress... and that was the beginning of a very spiritually aware life...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

"And what about the corporate masters who relegate their line workers to poverty wages while giving their executives more than they possibly can spend."

Don't I know it -- I'm one of those line workers in a Fortune 500 company.

Yes, those corporate masters comprise the other subgroup of sociopaths that need to be locked up in prisons. Speaking of which, when is that pile of dog crap called Jeffrey Skilling set to begin serving its sentence?

The problem we have with ridding ourselves of their ilk, is that most of the people who make the laws fall into that category of sociopath themselves.

Judy B. said...

God was missing for six days. Eventually, Michael, the archangel, found him, resting on the seventh day. He inquired of God, "Where have you been?"
God sighed a deep sigh of satisfaction, and proudly pointed downwards through the clouds, "Look, Michael. Look what I've made."
Archangel Michael looked puzzled, and said, "What is it?"
"It's a planet," replied God, "and I've put Life on it. I'm going to call it Earth and it's going to be a great place of balance."
"Balance?" inquired Michael, still confused.
God explained, pointing to different parts of earth. "For example, northern Europe will be a place of great opportunity and wealth, while southern Europe is going to be poor. Over there I've placed a continent of white people, and over there is a continent of black people - balance in all things." God continued pointing to different countries. "This one will be extremely hot, while this one will be cold and covered in ice."
The Archangel, impressed by God's work, then pointed to a land area and said, "What's that one?"
"Ah," said God "That's Washington State, the most glorious place on earth. There are beautiful mountains, rivers and streams, lakes, forests, hills, plains, and coulees. The people from Washington State are going to be handsome, modest, intelligent, and humorous, and they are going to be found traveling the world. They will be extremely sociable, hardworking, high achieving, and they will be known throughout the world
as diplomats, and carriers of peace."
Michael gasped in wonder and admiration, but then proclaimed, "What>about balance, God? You said there would be balance?
God smiled, "There is another Washington...wait until you see the idiots I put there

dan said...

Judy, that bible story sounds absolutely true and I'm sure its very popular in your home state.

deb said...

This thread went dead, so I starting looking for something to post here. I used key words from Christophers title and found this at Wiki. It's rare that I come up empty on anything at that site. But, I did have a chuckle at some of it and learned a a couple of things I had not thought of...

Meaning of life

Kind of makes me wonder who writes all of that stuff, and why;)

Richard Yarnell said...

People like you write them.

Other's come along and edit them, add to them, criticize them.

Wiki put in some additional quality standards and now, I think, is paying some people to review the articles.

Mostly however, people familiar with a topic, rewrite or correct bad information.

Bottom line is that it's a collaboration, a world wide collaboration.

I've found some very high quality articles and a few clinkers. But like Ebay where peer pressure keeps people reasonably honest, not many people want to look like fools.

To me, one of the stunning facts about Wikipedia is how fast it's grown.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

My two cents on "the meaning of life":

Only nirvana could have meaning. Life just plain exists.

When I use the term nirvana in this context, the definition I'm following is: (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary) 2 a : a place or state of oblivion to care, pain, or external reality; also : BLISS, HEAVEN

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

The purpose of life is to live it. The pursuit of happiness gives it meaning. The difficulty is that happiness is not well defined and not very many people enjoy the pursuit.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yeah, since happiness means different things to different people, it's probably impossible to come up with a definition that would be agreed upon by everyone.

Like, for me, happiness means having enough good-quality sleep, having clean, orderly, and peaceful surroundings, and being in the company of interesting, conscientious, and warm people. Happiness for me also means that every living creature in the universe would be able to have these things too. I think that's about it.

And then there are those people for whom happiness would mean being a billionaire with a personal servant for everything.

Maybe, then, happiness could be defined as "the absence of want" or "the feeling of having everything one needs".

dan said...

Christopher, you always come up with such great little nuggets of wisdom...what wonderful advice, "enjoy the persuit".

deb said...

Sorry to mostly post links tonight and not join the conversations...I've been a bit pressed for time the last 2 days. Hope to catch up this weekend:)

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Well Thank You Dan.

I try myself to enjoy the pursuit, not always very successfully.

If being persnickety counts as wisdom, then I think it is safe to say that I am full of it.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Christopher, I looked up "persnickety" and there were a few different definitions. You don't seem like a snob, so I eliminated that one. But which definition is the one that applies to you?

Anonymous said...

Here is one from an old PARADE...

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop at late or early hour.

To lose one's wealth is sad indeed, to lose one's health is more.

To lose one's soul is such a loss that no one can restore."

Christopher,
Publish a book of quotes from a little voice in the middle of the pacific...It would be a best seller. I love your tropical embellishments blog, very creative. Do you own a nursery out there? My mom loves your photos. She has been taking close-ups of flowers and plants for years, most folks thought she was nuts. You give her credibility.

Your friend John G.

Cheryl said...

My Grandma used to have this plaque.

Why worry?
There are only two things to worry about, you are sick, or you are well.
If you are well there is nothing to worry about.
If you are sick, there are only two things to worry about, you will get better, or you will die.
If you get better, there is nothing to worry about.
If you die, there are only two things to worry about, you will go to heaven or you will go to hell.
If you go to heaven, there is nothing to worry about.
If you go to hell, you will be so busy shaking hands with old friends that you won't have time to worry.

dan said...

Cheryl, Do you think you inherited a little of your wit from Granny? And maybe a little mischief?

deb said...

Cheryl, I would have liked your Grandma
;-)

JG, I ran into this actually by accident this evening. Thought you would be interested. Archaeologist Backs Dig at Bosnia Hills

Anonymous said...

Awesome! thanx Deb. I have been wondering what ever came of this place and could not find any more about it. Was Ed leedlskin... from this area?
I believe what is found here will throw what we know out on it's ear...may even increase credibility for your pre egyptian civilization...
I am starting to wander without any facts...I/ll leave it to the experts, thanx again.

JG

deb said...

The world's smallest rose. This link opens directly to a video. I found it interesting that a pyramid was used to grow the plant.

An enthusiast in India's central city of Indore grows what's being touted as the world's smallest rose.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Bread Crusts Blog Share Value

What will they think of next.

deb said...

Christopher, Who did that? I don't get it.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I wandered around the site and it seems to be a "VIRTUAL World" game of some sort like the Simms. If you follow some of the links towards the bottom of the page it has the same analysis for my blog and most others including very famous and popular ones.

My BIL had mentioned something like this that he played based on stocks and an online poker group he was involved in.

Now if I was evil I would learn more about it and then manipulate the value of the two blogs I can control and make a windfall virtual profit.

deb said...

Now if I was evil I would learn more about it and then manipulate the value of the two blogs I can control and make a windfall virtual profit.

Or just had time to kill and wanted to outplay the players
;-)

OK, I found this interesting...please don't jump to any conclusions about my beliefs in the "unknown". I am committed to the things that I post about turning our country around. In my searches for current events I often run into metaphysical articles that catch my attention...as this one did...

13 crystal Maya skulls will save the world

deb said...

OK...wiki pretty well shoots down the crystal skull article.

Cryatal Skull

Judy B. said...

Crystal Skulls may not have the scientific seal of approval, but don't allow wiki to be your only source...
There is much more to the Crystal Skull "legend" than can be "proven".

I think someone should combine LBT with the skulls and se what happens....

christin m p in massachusetts said...

When I went to the blog from the woman who was the first Iranian-American "space tourist", I clicked on the name of one of the commenters -- Karin, who it turns out is from Germany. Then I clicked on the name of one of the commenters at her blog named Oussama. He's from Tunisia, and his most recent post is on his thoughts about Ramadan. I just thought how cool it is that now we are able to connect in only a few seconds with people from so many different cultures around the world, and that we're able to see inside their heads by way of reading the thoughts they write for us -- one of the few improvements brought about by a large corporation. Here is a link to Oussama from Tunisia's blog, which is called Undergraduate's Thoughts.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Something I think you guys might find even more interesting is today's post (September 30th) by Karin from Germany -- the commenter I first mentioned in the above post. In it, she gives insight through the writings of one of her friends, into what it's like to be Palestinian in today's world:

MUNICH - AND A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING

deb said...

Thanks for the links Christin...you always find interesting and out of the mainstream articles. I'm out of battery, but will check out those links when I have power.

deb said...

10seeeeeriously cool workplaces

deb said...

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”

“Fascism is capitalism plus murder.”

“The private control of credit is the modern form of slavery”

~Upton Sinclair

dan said...

Debbie, I was influenced by many books growing up but especially "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. Have you read it? It had a huge impact on public opinion in the 1920's and with the assult on labor rights happening now, it's still relevant.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Dan, I plan to read "The Jungle" now too. I'm thinking I can probably get that one at the public library. Ever since 2002, economic survival for me as a warehouse worker has meant going from a Spring/Summer seasonal job to a Fall to Christmastime seasonal job. Work from January to March has consistently been scarce since then, so during those three months of the year, I've had to supplement part-time hours with unemployment compensation.

What I've noticed is that the higher the profit the company makes, the worse they abuse workers. For example, my summer seasonal job was with a little Fortune 500 company -- the scheduled breaks there were pretty reasonable -- and they provided high quality fatigue mats for us to stand on to do our work. Last week, I just started my Fall seasonal job with a huge well-known (non-union) Fortune Fifty company. Since the job requires being on your feet on concrete floors for the entire shift and it entails constant lifting up to fifty pounds, you'd think there would be at least two scheduled work breaks. No, instead we get only one unpaid half hour dinner break three hours into the shift, then no more breaks at all for five hours after dinner. That wouldn't be bad if it were a desk job, but it's physically very taxing, so I have to take aspirin for the muscle aches every day before bedtime and then again after I wake up. They don't even provide the work gloves we need to handle the packages, the pallets, and the industrial-duty plastic rolls that will "ropeburn" through bare hands while wrapping the skids. Get this -- work gloves are provided in one of the vending machines for 75 cents a pair!

Given what I've just told you, I'm sure it's no surprise that out of the hundreds of workers in that one plant, there are only a handful of us there who are not undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Ecuador. Being an afternoon/evening shift worker, my options are limited. So I can honestly say I know what life is like from the perspective of undocumented immigrants. That's why I sympathize with them so much.

The most extreme abuses of workers -- both blue and white collar -- since 2002, were occurring from 2002 to around the end of 2003, when there were very few options available to any workers.

If you know of anyone in power who is still fighting for workers' rights, please let me know, okay? Right now, it seems like no one's looking out for us.

deb said...

Christin, Your post is a part of the reason that I am fighting to make our government by and for the people instead of by and for corporations who can't see past the next qtrly earnings sheet. One election isn't going to do it. What I do know is that real people with no interest other than to have a true democracy have to stand up, speak out, run for office, campaign for the ones running that they approve of (or even for the least of 2 evils if tht is the only choice), and stay involved. The country fell asleep at the wheel and are just starting to awaken a bit, hopefully we can clean it up and get on a sustainable path, it will take diligence.

deb said...

Proverbs 6:16-19:

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

dan said...

The LORD might like this story.

"He proved the impossible: that the poor were bankable."
JONATHAN J. MORDUCH, an economics professor at New York University, on Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering work in giving tiny loans to millions of poor people.
Small loans and a big heart

Judy B. said...

Spiritual Connections...
Hey Dan.....
How about those Tigers!!!
Go Detroit

dan said...

Thanks Judy. The Tigers have been down and out for so long the city is a little shell-shocked at their new success. Michigan has had some hard economic times in recent years so a World Series will be a much needed respite.

Are you a fan? Did you send them a little energy?

Judy B. said...

I have been a fan for three years... ever since they were so bad that they stunk up the league....

and then they basically reinvented themselves with young talent and then added a few great veterans...

A great metaphor for what we can in this great country...
Invest in the youth and provide the kind of leadership that inspires and works hard

dan said...

Judy, and then there's the Detroit Lions who've been "stinking up the league" since the 1950's. Maybe they're just waiting for you to become their fan also. Their fan base here has slipped a little...at last report it was down to single digits.

dan said...

Judy, here's a "Tiger fever" story. Patty's school has a new Principal this year...one with a reputation for keeping a close eye on what his staff is doing. There was a short window of opportunity to purchase World Series tickets that happened to fall during the school day. Out of character, a really fine teacher gave her students a *word search* to keep them busy while she went on line to buy tickets. While she was absorbed in the quest, Murphy's law kicked in and the Principal was walking around a few feet from her observing her class (and the teacher?) She was unable to secure tickets and figures she's in the doghouse to boot.
A similar scene was probably played out in most offices around the state.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Dear Mr. President

dan said...

Strong lyrics delivered with feelings...good job Pink!!!

deb said...

During the Viet Nam war music was what inspired youth to stand up and say "no" to a war that shouldn't have been started. But, then again, 60's and 70's protest music got airtime. IPods and the internet will supply some of what msm radio won't play, so maybe songs like Pink's will be heard.

Richard Yarnell said...

Bye the bye, U-tube just removed 30,000 copyright infringing files from its site. But don't dispair: they already have arrangements with some big hitters, allowing copyrighted material to appear in exchange for a piece of the advertising revenue. More of that is likely when Google takes over.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Bread Crusts HTML as a graph. Some new toy on the internet.
Computer toys

Judy B. said...

Well, Dan the Spirit didn't hold for Detroit, but they came a long way in a short time...If they had to lose, at least t was to St. Louis, another fine team that I have followed since childhood...

deb said...

Yep, Judy, I was hoping for MI to take that title...because of our good friend from MI.

Christopher, that link doesn't do anything. Am I doing it wrong?

dan said...

Judy/Deb, thanks for your support. Folks here seem to be handling their dissapointment pretty well. The Tigers brought plenty of excitment to a city that needed a little diversion. All in all, it was fun.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Debbie the link still works. I checked it. It may just take a bit longer to load and start for you or the site may have been busy or?

All you have to do is click the link, sit back and watch.

deb said...

Since this thread is at a standstill I thought I would post this promising medical article here:

Cell transplants 'restore sight'

"Cell transplants have successfully restored vision to mice which had lost their sight, leading to hopes people could benefit in the same way."

Judy B. said...

I had a delightfull visit, (before the storms started....) with my very spiritual, psychic international friend...
He has a very unique world view... born and raised in Germany, left Germany at 21 to travel the world... spent much time in India, Tibet, Hong Kong, Japan and finally settled in Australia... where he eventually bought a "farm" which backs up on a national forest... he is very isolated, 120 miles to the nearest town and hardly any neighbors...his place is very rustic, he has put in solar for his only electricity source... has put in 3 50,000 gallon water tanks so he can have water during the dry season... he is doing his best to reestablish some long lost flora to this part of the world...
He also has had an apartment in San Francisco for as long as I have known him, (close to 20 years) and spends 3 to 4 months each year in the states >>(he used to spend 6-8 months in the states, but finds that this is not a place to "live" anymore... just a place to make money)... He also travels and spends time in Japan each year. Before he came to visit me he had spent time in Chili and Argentina...
I will fill you in on his unique world view later, as I need to move on to other business..
so until later...
to be continued..

Judy B. said...

My friend Manfred is a psychic ... so his world view is not only gathered from his global travels and interactions with a very diverse population, but also by what he taps into from the "global brain"...
For those of you who have difficulty believing inthis sort of thing, I will confess I did too, but that was before Manfred...

The reasons he travels so far and wide is because he has clients in all of those places... Most of his c;lients in Japan are English speaking diplomats and business people who are assigned there by various governments and businesses...

In America he seems to cater to the show business community, but has had many oil executives (Houston) and financial clients (Wall Street) as well as the Gay community...

From what I have seen of his abilities... he will knock your socks off with his ability to "know" you, your issues and what is in your future...

Anyway.. I digress... His recent visit was more about world conditions than personal.. He is very concerned about the potential economic collaspe, much more so than about terriorists...

He cannot understand why Americans are so blind to the world financial situation... and he only comes here now for short visits...

His visit to Argentina mad him think of Europe 30-40 years ago and he is heading back down there next week in the hopes of buying an apartment...
He said it "feels" like one of the safest places he has been, and since they have already had their chaos/collapse he thinks it is a grreat place to spend part of the year....
He didn't like Chili much... said it was to much like America with the same items for sale there as at Walmart or Pier 1...

deb said...

Cool friend Judy. I agree with him that there are many problems that are more pressing than terrorism, even though it is a problem. Almost nothing we are doing is sustainable and instead of the US leading the world in the direction of "doing it right" we are being run by the corporations that are sucking the life's blood out of the world from every direction. OK...I guess I shouldn't be posting tonight.

Judy B. said...

Just reread my post... Didn't mean to imply that Manfred might not like a good steaming bowl of my famous chili, but he didn't care for Chile...

Manfred usually does not give financial predictions, but his own ability to "tap the market" for what is hot seems to work for him...

He believes that China and Japan are on the verge of stopping propping the American dollar and when that happens, economic disaster worldwide...

He did tell me to buy gold, and ever since then the price of gold and gold related stocks have gone up considerably....

Deb, i think your granny would be impressed with Manfred's abilities..

Richard Yarnell said...

I'm not feeling too kindly toward the world; most of you know I'm neither religious nor a man of faith. Religious fervor and stupidity has killed between 3800 (Iraqi estimate) and 38000 (UN estimate) this month, so far! I have a less than sentimental attachment to the legend of Thanksgiving giving the nod to the Indians who deserved to be thankful they hadn't caught some nasty disease from the invading fanatics.

Be all that is it may, a heartfelt wish that everyone returns home safely, well fed, and happy to have been with friends and family.

I'm going to get the canoe down now because we do, in fact, have to cross the river to get to dinner tomorrow.

ry

deb said...

"Be all that is it may, a heartfelt wish that everyone returns home safely, well fed, and happy to have been with friends and family."

Thanks,yep...home safe...gained a few pounds...and loved spending the time with my kids and family...but Jeff had to work :-(

I had a terrific and relaxing week, except for the 12 hour round trip drive...but thank goodness for NPR.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I want to try this gluten-free/casein-free diet I've been seeing so much coverage about. I just saw video footage the other day of the complete transformation through that diet, of a little girl -- a toddler -- who was diagnosed with autism. If I had only read or heard about it, it probably wouldn't have inspired me to look into it. But seeing that home video of the child's metamorphosis convinced me that the typical American diet of mostly wheat and dairy products is bad for the brain. The hypersensitivity of those autistic children to gluten and casein brings to mind the "canary in a coal mine". Their reactions to those foods should be a warning to the rest of us that we may be harmed by those foods in other ways. So far, I've read that ADHD, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus may also be linked to the inability of some people to completely break down the proteins in wheat and dairy products.

At first, I thought -- Oh no, if I can't eat anything from wheat or dairy, I'll starve. But thankfully, I found out that Whole Foods Market has a good selection of gluten-free/casein-free foods -- including breads, pastas, substitute flours, and baked desserts. I also found out potatoes are (thankfully) free of the offending proteins, but wondered what I could substitute for butter and sour cream. Then I found this excellent menu of gluten-free/casein-free foods.

Well, now I'm probably going to have to cook -- at least sometimes. At least I won't need to dust the stove any more...

Judy B. said...

Christin...
Have you weaned yourself from fast food???
Sounds like you have started healthy eating habits....

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Judy,
So far, the reasons I haven't been motivated to stop eating convenience foods, is because I haven't had any health problems yet (knock on wood), and because my weight has always been well within the normal range for my height. But after I saw that "before and after" home video showing the miraculous recovery of that little girl who was at first having constant seizures along with blatant symptoms of autism (later found to have Celiac disease), I was convinced that food allergies can have a huge negative effect on the human brain.

Even if I follow a strict GF/CF diet, it looks like I won't have to stop eating all fast food -- I've found lists of some of the fast foods and other convenience foods that are gluten-free and casein-free. Like, I can have the burger -- but no cheese and no bun; Burger King's fries are GF/CF, but McDonald's fries are not permitted (the frying oil contains wheat and dairy products); Heinz ketchup is good, but some brands of ketchup contain gluten and/or casein; certain kosher hot dogs without "fillers" are good (Hebrew National brand -- for one), but I can't have the bun; I can have any and all vegetables and fruits; I can have V-8 juice and most other juices that I like; I can have a Wendy's baked potato with chives, but I can't have the sour cream with it, plus I'll have to get it "to go", so I can take it home and put Fleishmann's margarine on it (Fleishmann's is GF/CF); I can have Chinese take-out white rice with steamed vegetables (fried rice would be okay in theory, but it might be contaminated by either gluten/casein-laced cooking oil or by residue of other non-conforming foods previously cooked in the same wok); I can microwave cook my own brown or white rice at home; I can have eggs, as long as I don't fry them with butter or with the wrong margarines or cooking oils, and I can't scramble them with milk or cheese; certain cold-cuts/lunch meats are good (Boar's Head brand), but I can't have them in a sandwich; for quick snacks, I can have plain almonds, walnuts, pecans, or rice cakes... I'm betting there are a zillion other convenient foods I'll be able to have -- I just have to find out what they are.

Now that I know I can have some things I like, I can live without pizza, bread, cereal, milk, cheese, yogurt, pasta, and all those other things with the wheat, malt, oats, rye, milk, whey, gluten and casein (sometimes hidden in them under other names on the ingredients lists).

If anyone can find a way to follow even a restricted diet without having to cook (at least not much anyway) -- it's me.

Judy B. said...

This article from Solon.com about science and spirituqlity fits here I think...
Richard, you might find it interesting even tho yu state that you are not religous nor a man of faith.... I find what you write to be full of faith in science.... and I cannot separate the two...

Here is a question for you...
"How do you reconcile an all-powerful God with the mechanistic slog of evolution?"

http://www.salon.com/books/int/2006/11/27/wallace/

Richard Yarnell said...

In a word, I don't.

I don't believe there is a god in the sense that there's a being, independent of man's collective imagination.

As for evolution, it's anything but mechanistic. It's a very large number of random deviations from normal of which the rare occurance gives an organism an advantage over its competition.

Take a giraffe. A random mistake in the genetic code causes the giraffe to have a slightly longer neck than its predecessors. During a drought, the long neck allows the animal to browse trees that no other animal can reach.

Our mutated giraffe can reach forage others can't. It survives while others starve. It's longer neck becomes the norm until another random mutation causes its neck to grow even s longer, allowing it alone to forage higher and thus become happy and fat and ready to party. Over hundreds of thousands of years, the collective result of all the mistakes that helped the animal survive while other, lesser giraffes, starve and can't breed. On the other hand, let's say that a giraffe passes on yet another neck lengthening mistake. If such a really long neck breaks easily, causes the giraffe to fall down or hit its head on overhanging limbs, causing it to become forgetful about breeding, that geneic mistake is unlikely to be passed on and will die out.

Albinos of any species are rare: in prey, they are conspicuous and rarely survive to breed; in predators, they are conspicuous and easy to avoid; in hairless creatures like us, they are susceptible to cancer and sunburn, etc and, until recently, die without breeding.

Not machanical at all.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Richard,
When you mentioned random deviations, that made me wonder about the future evolution of human genetic traits.

I'm thinking that it would be next to impossible to envision the way humans would evolve, because there are far more factors involved in whether or how certain of our traits will live on.

Like, during the first half of the Twentieth Century, it was considered more attractive for people to carry extra weight. Since then, as a rule, thin to moderate "girth" has generally been found more appealing.

Then there's birth control, along with the social acceptability of "singlehood" -- leaving it up to us whether or not we wish to "breed". Also, medicine has made it possible for some humans who at one time might not have survived past childhood, to live well into old age.

As for personality traits, some people prefer "go-getters", while others seek more gentle-mannered, easy-going life partners. Some people are attracted by high intelligence, while others are drawn more by physical attractiveness...

Do you think, because of such factors allowing exponential increases in genetic "permutations" in humans, that this will give us a better chance at outliving other species? That is, if we stop polluting and usurping our natural resources, find ways to stop wars from occurring (for example, by not voting for certain people -- ever), and begin to carefully control our population growth...

Judy B. said...

Ridhard... I agree with your take on evolution... so the question I posed was probably not the best one to get you to read the article I posted...
Did you read it?? I found it quite interesting...

Here is the paragraph in full that I took the question from:
"The debate between science and religion typically gets stuck on the thorny question of God's existence. How do you reconcile an all-powerful God with the mechanistic slog of evolution? Can a rationalist do anything but sneer at the Bible's miracles? But what if another religion -- a nontheistic one -- offered a way out of this impasse? That's the promise that some people hold out for in Buddhism. The Dalai Lama himself is deeply invested in reconciling science and spirituality. He meets regularly with Western scientists, looking for links between Buddhism and the latest research in physics and neuroscience. In his book "The Universe in a Single Atom," he wrote, "If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims."

Christin... good questions...

I see our evolution being more mental than physical... expanding consciousness....

What does you mom think about all this?/

Richard Yarnell said...

Susan and I have debated the matter of human evolution: she's the expert by virtue of her education. She holds that over the short term that we're considering, selective breeding won't have much of an effect.

I, on the other hand, suggest that we're setting the stage for a long term failure on the grounds that we don't allow natural selection to occur.

We go to great lengths to "save" (0ne might also say, "salvage") defective infants. We try to incorporate mentally defective individuals into society, even acknowledging their right to breed, whereas, in the distant past, they would have been shunned, if not killed, and not allowed to breed. We surgically correct all kinds of defects that may or may not be genetially based. The defective genes remain and may be passed on to future generations if the individual, who otherwise would have died, begins to breed.

There's another factor: whether it's properly part of "natural" selection or not, I don't know.

In the idustrialized part of the world, we no longer depend on natural strength of body or mind. We've devised machines that either multiply our own capacity or substitute for it. As fewer people remain physically fit; fewer people know how things actually work; as people rely more on, for example, a calculator to do square roots and trig functions, fewer of us know how to do them. If there's a cataclysm that eliminates the production of batteries, what do we do when they're all dead?

And why, if we prefer slender to rotund, are we tolerating the obesity epidemic? Even before the 20th Century, a corpulant person bespoke success: wealth meant plenty of food, servants, and life of leisure. Those that worked for a living, at less, and generally exposed themselves to greater danger, tended to be poor. Ergo, fat was good.

Through education failures, specialized education where it succeeds, and reliance on extremely complex systems, I think we're probably riding for a fall when these systems break down. At the very least, a lot of people will be ill prepared to cope and the population will collapse. Pessimistic, I know, but probably the future.

Meanwhile, trying to keep the survival skills honed here in Oregon,...

Judy B. said...

I agree with both you and Susan richard... short term and long term are indeed different...

I was watching one of those mind numbing tv shows the other day... I think it was the view... Their theme for the day was the number of foster children in the system (500,000) and the number that were available for adoption (100,000)... and the difficulty in getting children placed in good homes... one gay couple had adopted two sisters, and the parents had gone on to another stqte and promptly had more children that had gone into the system....

Why do we allow people to continue having babies when they have demonstrated that they are not capable of taking care of them????

I do not think it is survival of the fittest.... it is pure numbers... as the more educated reduce the size of their families, the unfit continue to overpopulate the world...

Let's pay the mothers to have their tubes tied....

Judy B. said...

I love the syncronicities of life...
as we are discussing? evolution here I received a most interesting email comparing evolution of the species with the stock market... I would forward it to you richard, but your email keeps getting bounced back to me... so here is an excerpt...

"Soon after the theory of evolution took hold in the scientific community, a significant rift appeared.
Darwin was a firm believer in the doctrine of “natura non facit saltum,” which translates from the Latin as “nature makes no leap.” The process of evolution, according to Darwin, is wholly a gradual, progressive one. Evolution is the cumulative result of small, incremental changes over time.

The problem with this notion is that the fossil record never truly supported it. Evidence of gradual, continuous change turns out to be in painfully short supply. The gradualists worked around this by chalking it up to “gaps in the tape”…as if the fossil record were a book with chapters torn out, forever lost to the sands of time.

Which brings us round to punctuated equilibrium. After a hundred years or so of post-Origin bickering, a powerful new challenge was presented in the early 1970s by paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould.

Unlike previous theories, Eldredge and Gould’s efforts were backed up with a body of painstakingly accumulated evidence. Their “theory of punctuated equilibria” -- more commonly known as punctuated equilibrium -- asserted that evolutionary change is not actually gradual or continuous. Rather, it is compressed into relatively tight bursts of geologic time.

But while people tend to associate punctuated equilibrium with the idea of rapid or accelerated change, that isn’t the most interesting thing the theory has to say. The deeper assertions of P.E. are more far-reaching and profound. Here are three examples.

One: The status quo is far stronger than we think. The idea that things are always improving, that the forces of change never rest, is simply not true.

Two: Evolution does not occur in uniform fashion, and change tends not to apply to the species as a whole. Instead, change occurs in small pockets at the periphery. (At “the edge of the network,” as Andy Kessler might say.)

Three: Over time, those small pockets of change at the periphery create critical advantages…and eventually, the advantaged periphery invades the stagnant center. Thus, in a very real sense, the status quo does not actually evolve. It goes extinct! As the edge of the network expands, a new center is created…crowding out the previous one."

Richard Yarnell said...

I don't think our society will support enforced sterility. Population control is always good for the other guy, not me. China has tried to enforce population control and I don't doubt the motivation behind their attempt. However, I would prefer to see the policy adopted by consensus that's subject to intense community pressure. Face it, sex is fun. Poverty and the resulting kids don't mix. But don't be fooled: not all large families are produced by destitute couples.

I read a months' old editorial in the Guardian in which the writer, well informed as he is and in the middle of policy debates, admitted that until he saw Gore's lecture, hadn't really been impressed. Now he's a fanatic and was warning the British to not make the same mistake we did by electing an afable non-thinker.

Unfortunately, we'll learn that the practice of having only one kid will have been, by far, the painless way to bring elqualibrium to the system.

ryarnell@iwon.com should work.

Persistence of the status quo is powerful. The status quo is, after all, the result of all the evolution that's come before, so it takes a lot of pressure and a little luck to overcome it.

However, that does not mean it doesn't happen, sometimes in a hurry. If you look at some of the birds that have evolved where there was no status quo (islands in the pacific, for example) some truly amazing adaptations (longer beaks to forage in plants not encountered in the species' original range) have taken place.

I do agree, and meant to imply, that evolution is not orderly, that it takes place in fits and starts, randomly, and sometimes in response to occasional, sometimes intense, pressure. But that does not exclude the notion that the fossil record is incomplete.

In fact, if you go back far enough, the fossil record doesn't exist at all due to geologic activity. And of course, the nature of the organisms themselves determines whether the fossil record exists or is easy to find or identify.

Judy B. said...

"I don't think our society will support enforced sterility."
Of course I agree with that... I was just venting....
But some of my "real" self was probably there... being frustrated at a system thet seems to encourage the "weakest" of us to survive....
Why not encoourage population control by paying a fee to "welfare moms and dads" to become sterile...

Judy B. said...

I wonder what the population of China would be if they hadn't had their own brand of population control...

What I propose at least gives people choices....
Offer them $20,000 after the birth of the first child, $10,000 after the birth of their seconcd, $5,000 after the birth of the third and then nothing at all....
I think this would decrease our welfare/foister care problems quicker than any thing else...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I think the best solution would be to wean our society away from any and all subsidies, so that the entire market will find a reasonable balance and that at least some people will stop equating childbirth with "making a living."

Even in those large families where the parents are well-to-do, nobody's gonna convince me that those women aren't just having all those kids as an excuse to get out of having to face the outside world. During the month of December, we see an influx of stay-at-home moms (many with college degrees) entering the workplace only for the Christmas season, because they want the presents they give to be bought with their "own money" instead of their husbands' money. They usually find the work to be physically tiring, while for the rest of us, it's just the usual routine.

They're generally very pleasant, congenial women who had professional careers up until they had their children. But many of them have "admitted" to us that since they find it much less stressful to be stay-at-home moms than to be out in the workplace -- professional or industrial, they don't intend to return to the work world year-round if they don't have to. Mind you, these are not women who are well-off enough to employ nannies to watch their children, but many of them do have paid cleaning help on a regular basis. One of the women, whose husband is a civil engineer, told us that on most days she and her other stay-at-home friends just get the kids all bathed, dressed, and fed, get them all into their car seats, go through the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru to get their "Big One" coffees (exactly her words), and meet at the park to sit around and chat while their kids play. Then they go for lunch and take the kids for whatever activities they all have decided on for that day.

Granted these women are taking good care of their kids, but whether rich or poor, there always have been and always will be women who will keep trying to get pregnant every time their youngest child is about to enter school, just so they can "get out of" having to get jobs outside the home. For this reason, the world will probably overpopulate to a point of crisis, no matter what financial incentives or disincentives are offered.

deb said...

Climate and newly introduced microbial organisms play a huge part in evolution. I read where corn from the same ear (especially in old and ancient varieties) will produce kernels that sprout early, sprout late, grow best in wetter weather, grow best in drier weather, etc., so that no matter the conditions the plant will reproduce. Decades or even centuries of drought will produce corn very different from the original as only the "dry" kernels continually reproduced.

I feel certain that this goes for every living thing. If the "mother" species can survive and thrive then the genetic variants aren't going to (hence a large fossil record), but if the environment changes then those variations might be just what is needed to survive under the new conditions. It will take time for the "new" variation to build up the population to the point where the fossil record is abundant, which leaves gaps in the fossil record. (If there were millions of dinosaurs we undoubtedly find them, if there are only a few in small pockets we miss them entirely or like Richard said geological forces destroy the evidence)

I'm still thinking that humans prior to the last mini ice age developed civilization to the point where ocean travel was common. DNA evidence is showing it. So how is it that 10 or 12 K years ago the only people seem to be stone age? I'm thinking that the "cavemen" were on that periphery all along, but because they were hunters some survived during the ice age, whereas the farmers could not. Farming would precede ocean going travel.

A prime example of fossil record is the American Chestnut tree. A fungus from Asia destroyed them all, but not quite as a cluster has been found in south Ga. recently. The fossil record would show abundance until 1930 and then none, but they still exist and those that exist are fungus resistant, thereby "evolved" from the original. When the "new" species expands there will be a gap in the fossil record here in NC from the old to the new.

BTW, the only real purpose of every living thing is to survive and procreate and after a billion years of doing so life on this planet has gotten very good at it. Some higher animals survive best by having a few offspring that are well educated (bears for example) whereas some survive by sheer numbers (rabbits). People can encompass either strategy and some families do both at the same time. The history lesson is that when a species uses up it's environment it perishes. We have a choice to either not reproduce past the environemntal limits or else.

deb said...

Christin, The "park" Mom's are going to produce well educated kids who will more than likely succeed in life, by their families standards. The European concept of chivalry is what has allowed women to have the same (or close to the same) freedoms in N. Am. and EU as men. This same concept allows women to stay home and have kids and their kids will benefit. Working Mom's can raise great kids, too, but I can attest that it becomes much harder.

Nature insists that we "adore" babies and are driven to want one (until we have a few that is, and some of us wise up and realize the responsibility that comes with kids). Guys aren't quite made the same as us women in the adoration department. I remember when I had Lisa and met my family at the beach for a few weeks. My brother, who would have been 19 at the time, kept taking Lisa, 7 mos., out to the beach. She could only stay out for short times so as not to sunburn, so he was in and out with her. I though "How wonderful that my little brother loves his niece so much", but after commenting on their relationship the truth became known...babies are chick magnets and after introducing her as his "niece" he found plently of girls to hang out with.

If people had the foresight to really realize the ramifications of child rearing before they had sex and let their intellect override their hormones we would have never survived as a species in the first place.

I've worked with more than a few very poor families. Having a baby is something that makes a woman "somebody" in her family and culture. But, even poor Mom's aren't having the numbers of kids that they did during the baby boom years.

And then there is the whole religious mandate to be "fruitful and multiply". How do we make a case for population control against a religious mandate?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb,
For my first "real" job (not counting summer jobs and weekend jobs in high school), I worked in the operations center of a commercial bank as an encoding operator (in most banks, the title for that job was proof operator). It was a pretty good sized department with all women. Since there were no men present during our breaks, we often talked about "women's" issues.

I was pretty young and impressionable -- and I remembered the women describing their pregnancies and labors and childbirths. Every single one of the descriptions sounded horrifyingly painful. One woman even described childbirth as "...the most pain you can go through and still live." Very shortly after that conversation, one of the hospitals in that city was under investigation because two women died during childbirth there within a few weeks of each other.

Ever since then, I was absolutely phobic about ever letting it happen to me.

I also dread ever being in a position to have to tell someone else what to do constantly -- and mothers have no choice but to do that, since kids aren't born knowing what's good for them.

Just the same, I feel that mushy, cuddling, mothering instinct that all women feel when they see babies. Even when I was little, my sister and I used to always want to "help" my Mom with my younger brothers. I remember how cute they were and how fun it was talking to them and singing to them and making them smile, and wanting to feed them their baby food.

But by the time I was old enough to have my own children, most mothers with small children had jobs outside the home. I noticed that they were almost always overworked, overtired, and were expected to do all the chores and all the child care at home by themselves. Back in those days (the early 1980's), a lot of husbands wouldn't share those responsibilities even though the women had full-time jobs too. It appeared to me that marriage and children meant a life of drudgery for women of my generation. (I wanted to be more like the character Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.) Then when I heard the ladies at the bank comparing horror stories about their pregnancies, labors, and childbirths -- and the subsequent news of those two women's deaths at the hospital -- that sealed my decision never to have children of my own.

I think some of us are just meant to be "Aunties" -- or to coddle and raise pets as our family instead.

I spent nearly eighteen years with my pal Jack who also didn't ever want to get married or have kids of his own, so it was kind of a non-issue anyway. Those years just flew by, but we eventually grew apart. We parted ways amicably -- it was very easy because there was no marriage to dissolve, no child(ren) to make decisions about, no commonly owned property.

I never was able to understand why the decision to have a child or, for that matter, to marry a particular person -- was always so easy for most people. For me, those decisions were always so heavily weighted that I decided it made the most sense to err on the side of caution and do neither. Some people have told me those fears have made me miss out on life, but I prefer my so-called "empty" life over a bad one -- so I still don't regret dragging my feet on committing to anything.

As for marriage -- once I reached my late thirties, I became somewhat more open to that prospect. I did meet someone that I wanted to marry and we did become engaged, but I must still have felt some apprehension, because I dragged my feet for more than two years about setting a definite wedding date. It probably was for the best, because he did want to have his own children. (He since has had twin boys and is very happy with them. He only decided to get married after he knew the children were coming. So many people will only get married on the condition that they get something out of it other than the relationship itself -- I've never been able to understand that.)

At least I did come to see that marriage was not about drudgery after all. For me, the reason for getting married would be simply because someone makes me happy and vice versa. I think that married couples ideally should have everything in common and give each other more to look forward to every day -- otherwise, what would be the point in it? I'm not saying that anyone should bail out on a relationship if the other person gets sick or something -- I just think the initial reason for entering the relationship should never ever be for social status or financial security or pure lust without spiritual compatibility -- or for any reason other than liking and loving the other person.

I guess it's a good thing most people don't overthink their life decisions the way I do, because the human race would no longer have existed by now.

deb said...

LOL Christin, you are right if everybody gave it that much thought we wouldn't be here.

I've noticed amongst my daughter's friends that babies are "catching"...once one of the young women friends that she grew up with had a baby then the others quickly fell in line. But, they did that with marriage, too. My duaghter thinks that she wants a big family, but is waiting a few years until they are financially comfortable. I will love having grandkids, all of the fun without "terminal tiredness". Oh, I'm sort of thinking that by the time my daughter has 2 in daycare and is very tired she may rethink the big family plan.

Judy B. said...

But my point is that the great majority of the people do NOT give that much thought to bringing babies into the world...

Maybe with a few restrictions people would think about their choices a little more...

I have one bias against Democrats... While they want business to be regulated for the common good, they will fight against regulating people for that same reason...
Let us be fair...

deb said...

Neither Party in our system promotes limiting the number of offspring. Dems do promote free and easy access to birth control methods and sex ed, which does limit the number of children.

From what I have gathered talking to people about the one child rule in China, most Americans think that the policy is horrible. Then again, most Americans cannot fathom that there are 50 Chinese for every one of us.

An American politician who promotes population control is doomed as far as re election goes. Not sure what it would take to convince people of the whole "over populating our environment" thing, but I don't see it as feasible in the current climate.

On another note, the US population is small compared to almost everywhere else. It isn't so much that there are too many people here as that the people here aren't living sustainably and are leaving a HUGE footprint. I think that educating people to conserve and go as green as possible still needs to be the main focus.

Richard Yarnell said...

What we lack in numbers, we make up, for now, with our prodigious rate of consumption. So our foot print in numbers doesn't fairly represent the toll we take on the environment and our supply of natural resources.

My understanding of birth control's effect is that it serves mostly to schedule reproduction. I've known women who used birth control to get through grad school, find a job, marry, and the proceeded to have 7 or 8 kids.

High rates of reproduction in poorer countries is largely a function of the need for labor within the family, terrible infant death stats, and as a form of social security.

Al Gore and I had a public debate about the need to reduce population (my stance) vs the need to reduce the rate of population growth (his). We agreed to disagree. In a letter, he relied heavily on the argument that population reduction was not politically possible. How he reacted, if he did, to my description of the rat population experiments that were popular among grad students working on sociology degrees, was not recorded.

We can be sure that nature will thin the herd if we don't. And the natural means of thinning the herd is pretty ugly.

deb said...

I reread your post a couple of times Richard...My first thought is "You debated Al Gore?" My second is (cringe) just what would be the plan for population reduction? Draw straws and take cyanide or something? I must be missing something or am I misunderstanding?

I found an article about our "carbon footprint"...actually it is about Britains' but it compares Brits to us:

Your carbon footprint revealed

Richard Yarnell said...

That was during Gore's pre-election book tour when he was pushing Earth in the Balance. I scored my first autographed book. He did a very gracious Q&A and did allow follow-ups.

I certainly didn't mean to say that we were debating the means, but rather whether growth rate reduction was sufficient. At the time, I had stats to spare and I'd already read his book.

In the earlier discussion, several means were mentioned ranging from China's 1 infant law to doing nothing. Neither extreme is workable. I fear that the doing nothing will prevail and that sometime in the future a scenarion similar to the Soylent Green tale will end up prevailing.

The smart thing would be to spend some time determining just what the carrying capacity of various regions around the world is. Once that's done, then the politicians have to lead a discussion about what's important to us, quality of life or quantity. It will be easier to have national than international discussions. I don't hold out much hope even though the long term implications are profound.

It's curious to me that we can manage agriculture with just such questions guiding the process. A pasture can only support so many head of livestock. We routinely thin fruit from deciduous trees to promote size and fruit quality: ditto our rows of radishes and corn.

But voluntarily limiting our families to 2 kids or less - you ain't tellin' me how to run my life!

One of the reasons an international concensus will be so hard is that poorer, largely agrarian economies, rely on home-bred family members to operate small family holdings. When economies mature, which usually means a shift to industrial and now intellectual product based commerce, family size moderates. Large families become a liability. (Great simplification, but generally true.)

That was a fun afternoon. One of the reasons I respect and support Gore was his treatment of another questionner at that appearance.

We were packed into a room next to Powell's Books Travel store at Pioneer Square in Portland. There were a lot of standees, including one man who had about a 6 foot ring of free space around him. He was a street person, wearing most of his worldly's and pretty ripe. When he raised his hand to ask a question, it would have been convenient and not unusual for him to be ignored. Gore called on him, listened to his reasonably articulate question, and then gave his answer just as much thought as he'd given to all the others. It was a gesture I'll never forget and one that set Gore apart from most politicians I've run into.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Hmmm...

As Europe Grows Grayer, France Devises a Baby Boom

deb said...

Good article Christin. No government is "utopia", yet, I am seriously impressed with the way that it is done in France. They have the highest quality food standards in the world. Healthcare for everyone, no waits. They have capitalism but their rich aren't as rich as ours and anyone who has a job makes a living wage. When I was there my friends complained that there were 1 in 65 living in poverty, but you should see their public housing...just a house in average neighborhoods that the gov't bought for housing assistance...a poor kid has everything that the rest of the middle class has.

As far as them working to replenish their population, it seems like a wise move. The baby boomers will start dying en masse in about 25 years and these new kids will have available housing and keep their culture going. Provided, of course, the world gets off of the fossil fuel addiction. Middle and upper class people in industrialized countries have been on a negative replacement as far as pop goes since the advent of the pill, and they are the ones who become scientists, doctors, engineers, etc.

China has had more than a few problems with the one child rule. There are 51% male and 49% female (exactly the opposite of other populations) in schools and who are young adults, due to parents having amnio tests and aborting girl babies. (I know of the myth that many girls are left out to die, but they actually are retrieved and taken to orphanages and there are a large number of all girl orphanages in the country).

India has been back and forth on the overpopulation rollercoaster and is continuing to gain in population. Many poor countries have such horrible healthcare that women don't live much past 30, but often produce a large number of children before then, but the infant/child mortality rates are high in those areas too.

I greatly admire that Catholic Social Services provide so much in the way of healthcare around the world, but wish the Pope would come out in favor of birth control so that the third world clinics would be educating the mothers in birth control. Just my opinion, but I believe that if women had the means to prevent kids that most of them would limit the numbers of kids that they have, even those whose lives depend upon the labor of their children. The women's lives can be extended by having less kids and after a difficult labor and delivery the woman has to know that there is a good chance that she wouldn't survive the next time.

I don't have an answer to overpopulation, but free and easy access to birth control would be the best start.

The religious mandate to have kids from so many of the world's religions is an issue that I don't believe will be overcome.

Judy B. said...

While I agree with what you have said Richard, I wish there was one politician who would stand up and say the unpopular things that need to be said....

Yea, we have a relatively small population compared to the rest of the worlds land mass... but we are not much different than the third world countries when it comes to WHERE our population grpwth (babies) are coming from.... those least able to support chilkdren are the ones having them... and these same children are having even more.. all at taxpayers expense....
I AM quite frankly, quite tired of it, and believe there are ways (in our country, at least) that would encourage women to quite producing...
If you will go back to my Dec 1 posts, you will get my jist... Not forced sterility, but pay them to tie their tubes after having one or two children... that would lower our welfare system costs, put fewer children at risk, provide the mothers with some money to get a start in life and help our environment at the same time....
I do not think that that would be too politally untenable...

Cheryl said...

After all this discussion on limiting population, I have to mention a theory that's been floating around for a while. I'm not entirely sure that I agree with it, but it is food for thought.

Limiting your number of children is the intelligent, responsible thing to do.
People that don't limit their children are mostly not intelligent or responsible.
The population will gradually become less intelligent and responsible.

Richard Yarnell said...

I'm told the odds of that are very small - way small.

But even if true, which is better, a smaller, possibly duller population or no population at all?

Judy B. said...

I do not think there is anything gradual about it.. The population is becomming dumber and duller as we speak...
As this continues, class distinctions will become more and more obvious... the middle class, which is shrinking now, will become a thinking minority... The rich will live behind walls and security systems, and the poor will become a mob of unruly drug users, welfare recipients, gangs of unemployable cannon fodder and illegals.
Sometimes there has to be harsh regulations put in place in order to preserve life that is capable of evolving...

Richard Yarnell said...

I responded to the notion that there is the risk of genetic decline in inate ability - a kind of "de-evolution."

I agree with you that we are not training kids well; we're lazy; we've become consumers instead producers and innovators. Whatever is driving the phoenomenon, we have lost control of our gadgets - almost no one knows how they work.

But lack of training or lack of motivation is not related to genetics or to inherent capability.

Judy B. said...

I think that there is more to it than just lack of training...
I will look at my family as an example...
As I look back at my granbd-parents and great grand parents, I see people who had to make it with their intelligence and their physical ability. They are the people who homesteaded this great nation, the ones who built it up, the ones who could figure out how to live in a hostile world and make it grow and produce...
These ancestors had large families to populate the country... but without the miracles of moderen medicine, the weak, the physically and mentally challenged didn't survive in great numbers, and the population grew smarter with innovaton and education...and evolution....
But sometime in the past 50 years, de-evolution started making inroads...people who couldn't figure life out on their own became dependent on a welfare system to take care of them... government and religion became the means, turning part of a very productive society into a "deserving" society, dependent on hand-outs to survive.
They have reached the state where they see pregnancy as a means of support (from the government) and have no critical thinking skills to figure out what they are doing to the country nor to their children...
And as I look at them and try to have an intelligent conversation with them, I fully realize that they are dumbing down America, and should not be allowed to have any more kids...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I think the particular strain of "dumbing down" we are seeing, is not happening as a result of genetic inferiority, but is entirely influenced by both popular culture, which is fed to U.S. children by vulgar advertisers who value money over decency (notice, for example, the waves of heroin-addicted children of middle class families from hometowns all over the U.S. who still flock to Portland, OR to live on the streets), and also by decades of government subsidies to ALL economic classes. I'm getting so fed up with it all, I'm actually starting to lean Libertarian -- something I had previously thought of as too "fringe".

I still say that the only way the people of this country are ever going to get their priorities straight, is if we experience a second full-blown economic Great Depression. Most of the people who were adults during those years -- and so would have been old enough to have taken away a good lesson from it -- are now deceased.

We need to have another Great Depression, and then the government must let the economy balance itself out (true supply and demand). As long as a government continues to subsidize everyone -- rich, poor, and middle class, the majority of that society has an incentive not to work. The rich and upper middle class, for example, live off of the backs of the working class through UNEARNED income such as rents and royalties which, by the way, the rich and upper middle class conveniently forget are originally created by products which are made, shipped, sold by, and therefore actually EARNED BY THE WORKING CLASS. And then we have the excess taxes that are enforced upon the working class to enable BOTH the lazy "welfare poor" AND the lazy "welfare rich" to live off our backs.

I would also love to see us divided into two separate countries. One can be inhabited by the "welfare rich", the "welfare upper middle class", and the "welfare poor". And the superior country can be exclusively inhabited by the working class -- blue collar, pink collar, white collar and artists. With the weight of all the lazy, gluttonous rich and upper middle class -- along with the weight of the just plain lazy "welfare poor" OFF of us, we could finally make some progress!

Judy B. said...

I know you have it in for slum-lords... but please do NOT make the mistake of thinking that owning rental property equates to UNearned income.
When I choose the life of a stay at home Mom, my husbands income was strecthed to the limit... but with some trepidation, I found one of those slum houses that the bank was goint to take back... We got into it with nothing down, and with hard work, some bleach, paint andripped out carpet we were able to make th house livable and rentable... the return was enough to fix it up some more and finally sell it at a profit...
The point is... it was hard work to turn this slum property into something that another buyer wanted to live in...
I really think I earned the return that we got...

Judy B. said...

"I think the particular strain of "dumbing down" we are seeing, is not happening as a result of genetic inferiority, but is entirely influenced by both popular culture,..."

Have to disagree, in part....
Yes culture and socialization play a big part in what is happening in our world, but as i look at the choices my (grand)nieces and (grand) nephews are making,
I do believe that they are making some of those choiices out of pure stupidity... and how did they get so stupid??? Well to begin with, my sister (who is very bright) made a bad choice for her first husband. He was a hard worker, but dumber than a door-nail.. Unfortunately, two of their three kids got his dumb genes. The girl also got his hard working genes so is able to work at minimum wage jobs and get by, but she married an even dumber man and they had a darling daughter who really struggles intellectually... she in turn is now 18, working at Mcdonalds and pregnant. her boyfriend is not working... Time will tell whether he is genetically dumbed down
or culturally ill equipped to make it in todays society.
My sisters son, who also got his dad's work ethic, also got his alcoholic gene, and in a dumbed down state got a girl pregnant....
Then he ran off and left the baby in a terrible situation... My sister finally got the baby and mostly raised him. He is intellectually about average, but does suffer from many cultural/societial traumas..
Alcoholic father, drug using mother who committed suicide. He is now 20 and works at Walmart and still lives with his grandma (my sister)
Her third child is her brightest, getting the benefit of our families genes... But she too has her problems... When she finished high school she got a good job, made good money and worked her way up corporate ladder rather quickly, married a bright man and they had a bright daughter... Then divorce (cultural),, transfer by company to Califpornia, married up and comming executive, had a son and all seemed ok on the surface. the big problem here was that he was also an alcoholic and an abuser... so her second divorce left her battered and struggling...
She raised her two kids on her own (cleaning houses) but they suffered from the presures she put on them to succeed... Her daughter, now 25, is very bright, has a good job, is buying her own home... and is in therapy... Her son, now 21 is an alcolohic, like his father, getting into lots of trouble and feels the world owes him...
So... just looking at my own family, i see a definite dumbing down... as well as permisive socialization that is resulting in an America that can't or doesn't think... except for.. "What's in it for me"

Judy B. said...

Just reread my last missive and decided it sounded rqther harsh...
Want you all to know that i love my sisters kids and grandkids... We helped raise them...I am sorry to see the least prepared and the least able of them reproducing without any thought as to how to support the babies nor having any idea of the long term consequences of single parenting....

The only ones in the family who are taking any responsible actions about child bearing are the ones who can most afford to have them. The three college educated adult children (our two and grand=niece) have decided not to have children. Our two each have a step-child, and may adopt more but think that the world has enough bodies without adding to it.

That is why I believe the population is de-evolving...
Those who should --aren't, those who shouldn't --are.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

There are so many perfectly good children out there waiting to be adopted, I wonder why more people who have the means aren't choosing adoption?

I mean, I can understand how it would be a lot to expect for people to take on the responsibility of a child with a difficult disposition -- but there are a lot of older children available for adoption who are very even-tempered.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I guess I shouldn't judge, since I don't know what it's like to take care of a handicapped child. But it would seem to me that it would be easier to take care of a special needs child, than to deal with the typical rebellious teenager, wouldn't it?

At least you wouldn't have to lay awake at night worrying that you're going to get that phone call that your teenager was in a bad car wreck.

Judy B. said...

Do any of you watch Oprah? Or The View?
recent shows have discussed the "plight" of foster children that are available for adoption..
One of the pluses of gay partnerships is their desire to have children and their willingness to adopt.
Singles willing to be parents is also helping give unwanted children good homes.
One of my cousins has a single daughter who has adopted three minority children...

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Relax, Breathe, and Enjoy

Inner Christmas

Judy B. said...

Thank you Christopher..
That is beautiful

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yeah, that was beautiful.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Michael J. Arnum, public relations coordinator for the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, said staff members at the facility have noticed plants growing in recent days that they usually don’t see at this time of year.

For example, he said the Christmas rose at Tower Hill is usually covered by snow on Jan. 3.

"This year we’ve noticed it’s blooming, and we can see it and enjoy it," he said.

Bulbs from grape hyacinths and snowdrops also have sprouted about 2 inches above the ground, very unusual for early January, Mr. Arnum reported.

More robins than usual have been seen recently, and blue jays and cedar waxwings are among the birds that have been far more active than usual.


Springlike winter breaking records

I know this global warming is supposed to be bad, but it feels so good...

Judy B. said...

Climate change is certainly on everyone's mind...
Record breaking rainfall around here in November, followed by unususual cold and wind,... now we seem to be back on track with our mild, wet winter...
Denver and the plains have been getting record snow... which can be a God send for the winter wheat, or if followed by to warm of temps can melt off and cause big floods...
And back east... Looks almost too warm to me... wonder what that will bring?/

Richard Yarnell said...

I'm sure everyone knows that one season, or even several, that isn't "normal," does not indicate climate change. It's the pesky trend, the long term average.

A rise of a degree C over 25 or even 100 years, becomes significant.

There is one thing that can happen in the short term that may have long term impact. Snow and ice are reflective. What's under ice cover is absorbtive. As ice melts to the point that soil or water is exposed then the process of warming speeds up. We may already have reached that tipping point. If so, species like the polar bear probably won't have time to adapt to seasonal changes.

John G. said...

Recently HISTORY ran a special on the formation of our moon and how some now believe it is the result of another planet slamming the Earth a long time ago. The moon helps regulate weather on earth.
What is the likelhood the planet which hit earth billions of years ago was actually frozen ice? A mixture of impact heat and the enormous heat still going on here at home melted it very quickly filling the basins and creating the oceans, rather than a longer earth made seasonal scenario as is the generally accepted evolutionary process?

Richard Yarnell said...

jg:

please explain how the moon helps regulate earth's weather. It does affect tides, and it's intricate dance with earth influences our orbit around the sun.

As to the nature of the body (probably not a "planet" in the sense that we know them since one of the elements of planethood, is a stable orbit) that some believe might have collided with a young earth, throwing up enough debtris, far enough from what then remained of the two bodies, to allow time for the coagulation of a thrid body, the moon, we'll likely never know.

It needen't have been water ice to explain the accumulation of water from smaller icy collisions. I thing it's pretty well accepted that a great deal of the earth's water supply has come from such collisions.

Even if that collision had involved nothing but ice, there would have been very little liquid left on the surface - it would have boiled away. How long it would have taken for it to condense and be drawn, by gravity back to the surface and how much of it would have remained close enough to the earth/moon system is for much wiser heads to figure out. Part of the answer will lie in the comparison of deep rock on the moon and rocks on earth and the determination of the age of such deep tock formations. I'd guess that it happened so long ago, most earth bound evidence would have disappeared into the mantle by way of tectonic flow. How long it took for the moon to coalesce from the debris ejected by the hypothet8ical collision is also a problem for the theorists.

gledwood said...

Wow is that moon pic for real? I've never seen the moon crescent upward facing before... and I've witnessed an eclipse of the moon. It's a well beautiful photo.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

The picture is not real. I am not sure how it was put together. It came from the APOD site.
Hideaway has more explanation of this picture and tons of incredible celestial photos can be found there.

John G. said...

Very down to earth assessment Richard...Thanx.

"Please explain how the moon helps regulate earth's weather."

Think of the clouds and jet stream as water and the oceanographic conveyor belt...same difference.

If it can trigger the wave action of the oceans as well as be linked to some tectonic activity, it would stand to reason the moisture in the clouds and weather patterns would be affected as well.
Recently while reading about an ice shelf, which broke loose in the artic, it was reported part of the cause was a storm surge in Alaska 8000 miles away. I do believe we will discover in the next few years through emerging technologies what a pivotal role our moon plays in every facet of our lives from weather to personal health...
Put it this way; take away our moon and what would life be like on our planet then? Much, much, different.
Perhaps non-existent...
Also ancient cultures had a unique knowledge of the universe, absent any hard evidence of advanced tools or alien visitors in which to study the universe, it would stand to reason much of their cultural knowledge of the universe and construction methods came from studying our closest neighbors, the sun and moon. When we start to uncover their relationship and understanding of the sun and moon, we will start to understand their view of the earth and universe and many mysteries within their lost societies will be answered.
Recently scientists were able to demonstrate a bulge along our equator as a result of gravitational forces of the moon. Look at the data and you will see our atmosphere was 'bulging" as well.

Judy B. said...

Richard and John...
I love how your sometimes "polar opposite" understanding of how the universe works makes sense to me...
Questioning and posing different scenerios from different points of view, brings about an expanded consciousness on a subject that could be so static...
Thanks for making your discussion intellectually interesting, challenging and creative...

John G. said...

"Even if that collision had involved nothing but ice, there would have been very little liquid left on the surface - it would have boiled away."

I would agree, but to where?
I believe the same NOVA program you recommended had a researcher, which accidentally discovered with salt and a Ziploc baggie how planets formed.
Did they do the same thing with water?
There is a lot of speculation lately about water on the moon and mars. Why would it go underground on these celestial bodies and the majority occupies the surface of earth?

Your welcome Judy...never realized...
Thank you Richard. I feel confident with enough time we will either figure it out or enable NASA (Deb) too...

Richard Yarnell said...

Underground water vs Surface water

Water becomes ice at a relatively high 32F and boils at a relatively low 212F. It evaporates slowly, depending on temperature, between these two temperatures.

Earth's gravitational field is strong enough to hold on to most of its water for a relatively long time. The moon and Mars, with much weaker fields don't. Neither one has much protection from direct solar radiation. So any water or ice that exists on the surface will be lost to evaporation fairly quickly. However, water that's sequestered under the surface, protected from solar radiation, and allowed to exist in its solid state, will last much longer.

Underground ice on Mars is thought to be liquid in areas that are still warm by virtue of volcanic (still warm in areas of earlier volcanic activity) which explains why new water apparently has been observed emerging onto the surface. It could also be relatively shallow ice fields melting when the sun is strongest.

On the moon, ice has been detected in places that are in perpetual shadow. Whether there is ice buried below the surface is still in question. It could be that surface ice has been buried by material excavated by collisions with comets and astroids.

It stands to reason that if Earth receives water from comets, so does the moon. My best bet for finding water there: on the "far side" near the poles, in the quarter in the direction the moon orbits the Earth. Why? Because there's a higher liklihood that comets will hit the side away from Earth (which intercepts comets before they can hit the visible side of the moon).

Just an educated guess.

John G. said...

Good stuff.

"Earth's gravitational field is strong enough to hold on to most of its water for a relatively long time."

Our gravitational field is unique and key to life on planet earth, correct? It is a result of our molten iron core, correct?
Should this unique gravitational field not make it easier to detect similar life sustaining planets throughout the universe? Today's technology employs telescopes which look for light variations (gravity bends light) around distant stars to detect planets, could this not be refined to look for a certain gravitational signatures unique to our water covered planet in other solar systems, possibly leading to the discovery of planets capable of sustaining life?
Recently I read of a super conducting research facility in New York trying to replicate a black hole (there was some initial concern that it may consume earth if tested, which never happened) Is it possible for them to gain accurate readings and tests considering it was built and tested on earth? Does the gravitational pull of the earth not introduce a factor, which is not present in space? How would researchers compensate for that?
If the moon does affect weather as it does tidal action, ancient cultures could have studied weather and the moon simply by observing the oceans (Atlantis) if this is correct much about ancient cultures tools and their abilities to interpret the universe can probably still be found in the oceans (Greek clock) where no one has thought to look…yet.

Richard Yarnell said...

I don't think you can say that our gravitational field is unique.

OTOH, Earth is in a fortuitous position with respect to its size, its distance from the sun, etc. etc.

One need only look at Venus and Mars to appreciate the effects of placement. All three planets are _roughly_ the same size. Venus is exceedingly warm and would be even if it weren't for it's shroud of "greenhouse" gasses. Mars is cold, and being smaller than either Venus or Earth, has a weaker gravitational field. Both its smaller volume and distance from the sun contribut(ed) to the apparent reduction in volcanic activity.

There's a danger in looking at only one factor at a time. You could watch the sea all you wanted to; unless you also observe the heavens at the same time, you might miss the connection.

Judy B. said...

"There's a danger in looking at only one factor at a time. You could watch the sea all you wanted to; unless you also observe the heavens at the same time, you might miss the connection."

That statement just about sums up EVERYTHING...

That, IMO, is why our world gets so screwed up... too many specialists that only look at one factor in a problem instead of looking at the whole... Medicine is a prime example... and yet we seem to reward the surgeon more than the general practitioner...
the nuclear physisist more than the science teacher... the political consultant more than the preacher... When will we learn..We are all connected... We are ONE...

John G. said...

"There's a danger in looking at only one factor at a time. You could watch the sea all you wanted to; unless you also observe the heavens at the same time, you might miss the connection."

I agree. Yet I doubt I or the ancients missed the connection. That is the topic of my interest. I am trying to connect the dots and understand in realistic terms how ancient cultures developed such a unique understanding of their environment earthly and universal, without introducing aliens or atlantians into the mix. Considering the shape of the pyramids it is easy to speculate they triangulated the earth, sun and moon which would have required observations of the three simaltaneously.

Can limestone be mfg. by man? Like bricks?

Recently I went to a friends house to pick up a lawn tractor, we had to pick it up and put it on the back of a pickup, it weighs in excess of 500lbs. My situation dictates all I could do was observe and as murphy would have it, the hired help did not show on time. As we stood there scratching our heads I thought of Richard and Susan before heading to the shed. I returned a short time later with a short metal bar which looked as if it went to some sort of tractor attachment with a unique point on the end of it, also in hand was a 12 foot 4 by 4. We stuck one end of the 4 by under the front chassis and lifted gently just enough to get the short pipe under the frame before sticking the pipe, point end into the hole already in the frame. When we let the 4 by back down the pipe kept the front elevated just enough so it would not touch the ground. We then walked to the back of the tractor and stuck the 4 by under the right rear frame pointed to the left of the frame, gently lifted and whoa, sucker came right up with little effort and pivoted around about a quarter turn before we had to stop and reposition the 4 by. This continued until we had it lined up with the back of the truck and the front of the tractor chassis was resting on the tailgate. Back to the shed we went and returned with another 8 foot 4 by 4. I stuck the 12 footer under the rear of the tractor and gently lifted just enough for my daughter to position the 8 footer under the rear to support the tractor while I pulled out the 12 footer and repositioned it a little farther under the rear before gently lifting, third time up the tractor slid into the bed of the truck like a glove, we never broke a sweat nor strained our muscles...piece of cake!
As we were leaving our help arrived (all 4 of em) and with jaws dropped asked how in the heck we got it into the truck? our reply...Ancient Egyptian Secret...
Thanx again Richard.

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE MORE

By Jean Houston



You are more than you pretend to be

You are more than what most eyes can see

You are more than all your history

Look inside and you will find

There’s glory in your mind

Come be the kind of person you would be….



You are more than what your leaders say

You are more than how you earn your pay

You are more than what you seem today

So drop that loser’s mask

You’re equal to the task

The question you should ask is who you are…



You are more than what the preachers shout

You are more, come let your spirit out

You are more, your soul shall have no doubt

Arise, become awake

With every breath you take

The God within will ache to be…



You are more than cell and blood and bone

You are more than just your name alone

You are more than all you may own

Look around you everywhere

There’s something that we share

The magic in the air is you!



You are more than some status chart

You are more than the sum of all your parts

You are more inside your heart of hearts

You know it is true

This being that is you

Has miracles to do

Believe…

Jean Houston



Believe that you are more, that you contain an inner self, a true self, that can emerge only if you give it attention.

deb said...

Thanks anon...are you a local or a new person?

deb said...

JG, I used to read a children's book to my kindergarten class. I turned the book into a weeks worth of lessons, reading a portion at a time and filling the day with activities about that section of the book. The theme of the book is that any of us can learn something from anyone else (and anything else, really), and valuable lessons can come when least expected.

The final words went something like this:

"Surely wisdom is given to all living things for the tiniest of creatures are the teachers of kings"

I'm seriously impressed that you learned new engineering skills from a friend on the other side of the country via this blog. I know that I have learned amazing things from each and every person here.

deb said...

This is Ray Bethell, 8-time-Multiple Kite World Champion. He is 79 years old, and this is an absolutely stunning film. Spectacular !!

Kite Championship video"

Anonymous said...

Just came to check this site out.
The Spiritual thread is most interesting. I do not get too involved in political venting as I do not believe it solves anything.

Here is a website that you can go to and watch an "Interview With God".
This tells you more about me than my resume.
http://www.theinterviewwithgod.com/home.html

deb said...

Hi anon...we're way beyond venting around here as many of us worked have worked many hours to change the direction of our gov't. We air our thoughts and ideas here and get/give thought provoking feedback to take to the field. We're one little group of internet thinkers that is working to change the wrong direction of the country (and world).

Judy sent me the link to that site sometime within the past year. It is a beautiful video. I tried to copy the text, but the site wouldn't let me and then I tried to find a "print only" version to post here and couldn't find one.

At my church we pray for God to forgive us for the things that we have done that were wrong and we pray for inspiration to do the things that we have left undone that need doing. I am all about doing the things that need doing, for if not us then who?

dan said...

THE INTERVIEW WITH GOD

I dreamed I had an interview with God.

“So you would like to interview me?” God asked.

“If you have the time” I said.

God smiled. “My time is eternity.”
“What questions do you have in mind for me?”

“What surprises you most about humankind?”

God answered...
“That they get bored with childhood,
they rush to grow up, and then
long to be children again.”

“That they lose their health to make money...
and then lose their money to restore their health.”

“That by thinking anxiously about the future,
they forget the present,
such that they live in neither
the present nor the future.”

"That they live as if they will never die,
and die as though they had never lived.”

God’s hand took mine
and we were silent for a while.

And then I asked...
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons
you want your children to learn?”

“To learn they cannot make anyone
love them. All they can do
is let themselves be loved.”

“To learn that it is not good
to compare themselves to others.”

“To learn to forgive
by practicing forgiveness.”

“To learn that it only takes a few seconds
to open profound wounds in those they love,
and it can take many years to heal them.”

“To learn that a rich person
is not one who has the most,
but is one who needs the least.”

“To learn that there are people
who love them dearly,
but simply have not yet learned
how to express or show their feelings.”

“To learn that two people can
look at the same thing
and see it differently.”

“To learn that it is not enough that they
forgive one another, but they must also forgive themselves.”

"Thank you for your time," I said humbly.

"Is there anything else
you would like your children to know?"

God smiled and said,
“Just know that I am here... always.”

-author unknown

deb said...

Thanks Dan

deb said...

For my lady friends here:

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
enough money within her control to move out and rent a
place of her own even if she never wants to or needs
to...


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
something perfect to wear if the employer or date of
her dreams wants to see her in an hour...


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
a youth she's content to leave behind....


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age....


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE....
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black
lace bra...


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
one friend who always makes her laugh.... and one who
lets her cry...


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by
anyone else in her family...


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a
recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel
honored...


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
a feeling of control over her destiny...


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to fall in love without losing herself..


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
HOW TO QUIT A JOB, BREAK UP WITH A LOVER,AND CONFRONT
A FRIEND WITHOUT RUINING THE FRIENDSHIP...


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
that she can't change the length of her calves, the
width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
that her childhood may not have been perfect...
but its over...


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it....


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
whom she can trust,whom she can't,and why she
shouldn't take it personally...


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
where to go...be it to her best friend's kitchen
table...or a charming inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...


EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year....

MAYA ANGELOU

deb said...

Creating Our Own Happiness

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yeah, ordinarily it's easy to find moments of happiness throughout every day. After spending those recent weeks obsessed with finding a fool-proof economic system (one that the corporatists can't "fool with"), I realized I haven't allowed myself many of those happy moments.

I think it was easier to be content in the old days -- although I think a lot of the reason for that is because most people were unaware that they were being exploited. Still, I think I'd be happier if I could live more simply -- grow a vegetable garden; figure out how to get better apples and cherries out of our fruit trees and learn how to make fruit preserves; take up crafts that I haven't done since I was a kid (knitting, needlepoint, using a weaving loom); learn how to make my own candles...

In the meantime, I'm letting myself have more happy moments again. I hope my gruffness didn't make Richard go away. I was just so obsessed with finding an alternative to our system of fractional reserve lending -- an incredibly dishonest and inflationary system that was set up by corporatists in order to exploit the masses. It seems like whenever a country or empire has found a truly democratic economic system (as our citizens had worked out during the earliest days of the formation of this country), it has been overthrown by the rich and powerful from outside that country.

Anyway, back to the subject of creating our own happiness -- I'm going to make it a point to take at least a few minutes each day to do something that takes me back to a simpler time.

deb said...

Out of time again...seems to be the rule rather than the exception these days. Thanks for the links and information on the ice, fire and wind threads. I'll join in when I can.

deb said...

Oh, Christin did you get an e from me? Not sure if I had the right address. My address is debnjeff at peoplepc dot com

deb said...

Oh, thought you might be interested Christin:

Gates, Buffett Top Billionaires Ranking

List of the World's Billionaires-1

List of the World's Billionaires-2

deb said...

Just an FYI I ran across while reading the news;

Organic diet 'healtier'

deb said...

And for JG: 'Plutoed' named word of year

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb, I did get your e-mail. Thanks for forwarding me that newsletter. One of the types of activity that concerns me is contained in one of the links within the newsletter:

Wolfowitz Takes Actions to Gear Up World Bank for Iraq

Judy B. said...

Hope we can get this thread back on the Spiritual quest...
Finding happiness in the simplest of things is so simple... and yet not easy for the most of us...

As we grow in our Spirituality, we discover some Universal Truths... truths that are found in scientific reasoning as well as in (almost) all the teachings of the world...

One Truth that I hold most dear is that whatever I focus on expands (for me)... So I choose to be aware of what is happening in my life as a reference point for what and where my focus is (or has been)...

A good peresonal example is that I have been "trying" for the past year to remodel one of my bathrooms, but other things (like this blog) kept my "focus" off of the goal. At the beginning of 2007, I made a Visopn Bpard, with a number of things that I want to accomplish this year... right in the middle of that board is my way to completing my bathroom... Now, "In Focus", I AM almost thru with the task, and have also finished up several other small jobs that I didn't seem to be able to accomplish...

Simply being aware of the Universal Laws does not get me into the flow of Universal Energy... I have also had to take the steps of MOVING towards my goal...

Judy B. said...

As I re-read my last comment, I realized how the Universal Law of Attraction and what we focus on really is a part of this blog...

Take Christiab's pre-occupation with the monitary system... the more she researched it, the more evidence that she came up with to support her thinking... This is usually what happens... unless one is VERY AWARE of the law and chooses to RE-THINK what has been thought, the thoughts will continue...

Christian, I am NOT pointing fingers... only using you as an example... We all do it... In fact we cannot escape the Law of Attraction... Yet we can manage it..

Looking for happiness in the simpler things in life sounds like a good plan to me..

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I'm quite aware of the concept of the "universal law of attraction". It just happens that -- for whatever reason -- I'm blessed enough to desire very little in terms of material wealth, compared to most people. At the same time, I won't allow anyone to make a quick buck off of me. People who are always on the lookout to make "easy money" are just plain sleazy.

So what I DO strongly desire and envision (as in the "universal law of attraction") is a wonderfully straightforward, fair, and logical world where everyone EARNS everything he/she owns -- with the ONLY exceptions being very young children and people who are either very, very old and frail or who are seriously ill or completely paralyzed.

In the fashion of that "universal law", I happily envision a world where workers are no longer carrying those excess-baggage get-rich-quick scammers (such as the no-bid contractors in Iraq, Fidelity Investments, all the credit card company sleazeballs -- the list could go on for miles), because that ilk will no longer exist.

I have to say though, that concept of a universal law of attraction reminds me of "cargo cults".

From the wikipedia entry:

"Discussions of cargo cults usually begin with a series of movements that occurred in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The earliest recorded cargo cult was the Tuka Movement that began in Fiji in 1885. Cargo cults occurred periodically in many parts of the island of New Guinea, including the Taro Cult in Northern Papua New Guinea, and the Vailala Madness that arose in 1919 and was documented by F.E. Williams, one of the first anthropologists to conduct fieldwork in Papua New Guinea. Less dramatic cargo cults have appeared in western New Guinea as well, including the Asmat and Dani areas.

The classic period of cargo cult activity, however, was in the years during and after World War II. The vast amounts of war matériel that were airdropped into these islands during the Pacific campaign against the Empire of Japan necessarily meant drastic changes to the lifestyle of the islanders, many of whom had never seen Westerners or Japanese before. Manufactured clothing, medicine, canned food, tents, weapons and other useful goods arrived in vast quantities to equip soldiers — and also the islanders who were their guides and hosts. With the end of the war the airbases were abandoned, and "cargo" was no longer being dropped.

In attempts to get cargo to fall by parachute or land in planes or ships again, islanders imitated the same practices they had seen the soldiers, sailors and airmen use. They carved headphones from wood, and wore them while sitting in fabricated control towers. They waved the landing signals while standing on the runways. They lit signal fires and torches to light up runways and lighthouses. The cultists thought that the foreigners had some special connection to their own ancestors, who were the only beings powerful enough to produce such riches.

In a form of sympathetic magic, many built life-size mockups of airplanes out of straw, and created new military style landing strips, hoping to attract more airplanes. Ultimately, though these practices did not bring about the return of the god-like airplanes that brought such marvelous cargo during the war, they did have the effect of eradicating the religious practices that had existed prior to the war.
"

Richard Yarnell said...

Just because I have a Warren Buffet story to tell:

(Disclaimer - I do own a modest amount of Berkshire-Hathaway, the company he runs.)

A long time ago, Susan, my partner, managed Mariel Lodge on the Rogue River. It was an overnight stop for fishermen who were, usually, being guided in groups down the Rogue River. The Rogue, being what it is - drop dead spectacular and a prime fishing river - there were plenty of celebrities who ate her meals and stayed in the lodge she supervised way back in the middle of a BLM forest.

One such fisher was Warren Buffet. He's a modest guy. Very smart, but lives pretty much the way he did before he became rich. Not only are his tastes pedestrian, he's raised his kids the way he lives. Like Gates, he's not leaving much of his fortune to his kids (although any one of us would feel wealthy if we received $10 Million as a bequest).

Anyway, Warren's party showed up and had dinner. Then Warren made a point (Susan realized this after the fact) of talking casually with everyone on her staff. He seemed genuinely interested in who they were, where they'd come from, how they got to this wonderful, isolated, place and where they expected to go next. Three or four weeks later, a huge package arrived at the lodge. It contained 3# boxes of See's chocolate candy, each addressed to members of the staff. Every one of them was different and filled with the candies they like best. (Buffet owns See's because he likes their candy and thinks others do too. They are known for their filled chocolates.) The curious think is, Susan doesn't remember his having asked what kind of candy she liked best - he figured it out.

A note about his kids: each of them work and always have. While I'm sure he's taken good care of them and probably has given them some money, rather than give them fortunes, he endowed a foundation for each of them. They run those foundations themselves and do good work. You know, by now, that he's given almost all of his personal fortune to the Gates Foundation because he believes the Gates' are managing theirs very well (they demand performance and results - they don't drop the money and walk away) and because Gates and Buffet see eye to eye about what charity is most successful and will have the best long term results

These two men are exceptional in their approach to philanthropy. No matter what you think of Gates and how he became wealthy - he earned his money as a hands on entrepreneur - his attitude toward his money and what it can do is, IMO exemplary. Yes, he has a big and showy house, but its a laboratory in which to test the uses to which his company's products can be tested.

As you can tell, I'm a fan of both men. Combined, their foundations are doing tremendous good here and abroad, providing health care, education, medical research, and other programs here, and abroad in the "third world" where poverty persists.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yeah, both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet do seem to be down-to-earth types. All I have to go on is what is shown in the media.

I do remember having read some news years back about a competing software company being deliberately squelched to maintain what was then monopoly status (for all intents and purposes anyway) for Microsoft. Supposedly there was a memo that implicated Bill Gates, but I'd have to go back to look at the case again, in order to get a clearer picture. However, if a settlement was paid, it may not be possible to know with complete certainty what actually took place.

Something else to consider: "First world" poverty is rapidly coming to resemble third world poverty.

The reason that is happening is because much of what people would like to believe is "philanthropy", REALLY AMOUNTS TO ROBBING THE POOR (THROUGH LOW WAGES AND HIGH PRICES) TO "GIVE" TO A DIFFERENT GROUP OF POOR -- WHILE GETTING A TAX BREAK FOR DOING IT.

So, who's really doing the giving there?

I guess that makes us ("first world" workers) the real philanthropists then, doesn't it...

If the motivation for "philanthropy" were to alleviate poverty, why do the "philanthropists" fight so hard against usury laws, wage increases, and lowering prices on consumer goods and services? What they are really "donating" is OTHER PEOPLE'S EARNED WAGES.

Once again, the only true philanthropist I can think of is Jim Sinegal. He doesn't rob his employees or customers to get that "philanthropy" tax-break-and-ego-stroke combo, by prentending he's "donating" his own money.

Even if everyone from this point forward where to act completely within the law -- that still would leave our financial system, at best resembling a gypsy carnival swindle. Many of the laws themselves were created by immoral types, and are therefore extremely warped.

For just one example, look at Fidelity Investments. They are operating entirely within the law. But they refuse to cut ties with China Petroleum, even though their investments in that corporation are directly funding the genocide in Darfur. Clearly, Abigail Johnson is an inferior human specimen without a conscience.

In order to transform our society from this one of "smoke and mirrors" into a logical and sensible one -- what must be changed is the way the finance system is structured. WAY too much of companies' profits are apportioned to investors who are not out there every day being robbed of hours and hours and hours of their own personal time the way workers are made to do in order to survive. (That's why investment income is called PASSIVE income, while wages are called EARNED income). Way too little of companies' profits are apportioned to the hands-on workers who are losing endless hours of our time creating those companies profits. Products don't package and ship themselves...

When you were describing Warren Buffet's down-to-earth personality, that reminded me of James David Power -- you know, founder of J.D. Power & Associates. He grew up right here in Worcester, MA. (Stanley Kunitz and Abbie Hoffman also grew up in Worcester -- I think Abbie Hoffman was nothing but a phony. Although I never met Stanley Kunitz, I read a lot of interviews that local newspaper columnists did with him, and he came across as being a really nice man. I'm still a fan of his poetry.)

J.D. Power still has his home here in Worcester for the more temperate seasons, and one in California for the wintertime. This past Fall, a columnist from one of our little local news magazines did an interview with him. He definitely doesn't live a lavish, wasteful lifestyle. He prefers to keep his two old non-descript cars. I can't remember right at this moment the car models they named, but I do remember that neither was a classic. So he isn't keeping them as investments -- he just likes their functionality.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I still can't find Larry Silverstein on the billionaires list. I figured he must be listed there somewhere, since he was able to collect at least 2 BILLION dollars of insurance money from the World Trade Center disaster.

I know he had originally demanded more than 7 BILLION for it, because he argued that the insurance company should pay for each tower's destruction separately. But the insurer would only cover the World Trade Center destruction as one disaster, and so he only was able to collect the two billion.

Imagine that -- The guy takes out a ninety-nine year lease on the World Trade Center in July of 2001, then just six-and-a-half weeks later the buildings are destroyed.

What do you guys think the odds would be for something like that to happen within the first seven weeks of a ninety-nine year lease?

Anyway, maybe Silverstein is there on the billionaires list somewhere, and my eyes just aren't picking up his name. Or maybe he opted not to be listed. I've read before that some billionaires who don't want to be listed do have that option.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Oops -- it turns out the insurance payout he received for the disaster was actually higher than I had originally thought. He was able to get 3.5 BILLION from the insurance companies for it.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Wrong again -- The latest news I could find is that he fought the insurers until he finally got the entire 7 BILLION dollar payout. Where is his name on that billionaire's list?

Richard Yarnell said...

1) Just because he got an insurance settlement doesn't mean that a) it was his personally, or b) that it added to his NET worth.

I happen to agree with him that there was a case to be made that the towers went down in two related by still different attacks. There were, after all, two planes. He was demanding what he'd paid for: insurance on property he controlled. It's curious that you don't have sympathy for him when he's faced with a company trying to avoid covering an insured loss, but have a great deal of sympathy for a homeowner in LA making the same fight.

2) Gates' fortune is based on his decision to do the operating system. It's pretty well established that he adapted others' work and that IBM made a terrible decision to allow an outside company to do the software part of their business. Don't doubt that it's a cutthroat business: things happen in 6 month-18 month cycles.

3) Gates treated his early employees pretty well. They all got a cut of the action. I know at least 6 nerdly millionaires, mostly young when they cashed in their stock, who have no regrets. They report that if you could do the job and work the hours, you were very well rewarded.

4) Both Gates and Buffet used their personal wealth to establish their foundations. Their fortunes came from the appreciation of their share of ownership in the companies they founded and managed. Both of their companies are now public. While Microsoft as a corporation also contributes to charities, it is no different than most other corporations who can afford to do it. I have first hand knowledge as a fund-raiser for not-for-profit arts organizations: did it for almost 20 years. I've asked several what they get out of donating money. I believe the responses - good will.
Some gave to theatres and other arts institutions to assure that their employees had access to "culture." They supported hospitals and social services to help improved the quality of life to which their employees had access. They looked like good corporate citizens in their communities. Do you begrudge McDonald's the good press they get for Ronald McDonald houses? Wendy's supports orphanages, training for displaced teens, etc. That was a passion of the founder who grew up in an orphanage. Credit where it's due.

And while we might wish the pressure is not so great that it discourages or prevents payment of higher wages, most companies compete in a world where they are not the only supplier. Intel and AMD are locked in a dance to have the fastest and biggest computer processors. It requires several billions of dollars to bring each successive design to market and all the money has to be spent before the first sale is made. The fastest chip today will be in second place six months from now. No mistakes allowed.

The margin on a hamburger is measured in pennies and the success is based on volume. If you have two competing sandwiches of roughly equal quality, which one will you buy? The one for $2 or the one for $3? If you choose the lowest cost sandwich, one could apply your own logic and say you are complicit in the minimum wage paid to the folks who shuffle them over the counter.

I'm going to reiterate my complaint that you paint with a very broad brush. It's a fatal flaw IMO.

Not all philanthropy is directed at poverty. Not all philanthropists have had anything to do with lending money although most of them probably, at one time, had something to do with borrowing it.

I absolutely agree with you that executive pay is out of hand. I'm not talking about the compensation to the entrepreneur who took the risks involved in starting a company, but rather the hired guns who run those companies. (Both Gates and Buffet, I believe, are paid a token for their continuing service as employees.)

There is no one in the world whose time is worth a million dollars a day. The rationale is that they are directing companies doing billions in business and that, proportionately, they should be paid more the bigger the company. I could apply the same logic to the crane operator who directs a multi-million dollar machine that does the lion's share of the work putting, for example, a major ship together. He probably does get paid more than the laborer who has either less responsibility or less training, but it's not on the order of 10's of thousands of times more.

Speaking of work, I've gotta go to work. I pay myself about $10 per hour with no benefits.

deb said...

I'm thinking that I shared with the blog my intentions/attempt to quit giving my money to those that I morally disagree with. It's not easy to make all of the changes, but I sleep better at night knowing that I am (almost) not funding those whose methods I do not like.

I changed my auto insurance to Geico because of Buffett and the way he does business.

I said "almost" in the statement above because with some services there are no green, populist, progressive or at least centrist alternatives.

A bit on wealthy people or actually any people: When we are told "Oh, that is just good business", or "If we didn't hire them for that low amount they wouldn't have a job" and hear things of the sort enough times we (the collective "we" of our citizenry) just accept it. And the truth is we are all guilty, usually unknowingly, of contributing to all of the problems we have been discussing this past year. We're all still driving our cars, we're still buying stuff made in sweat shops, eating stuff grown using farming methods that are destroying the land or drinking coffee that a 6 year old worked 14 hour days to pick, (yes, I do buy free trade coffee...but in a restaurant or at a friends I'll drink what they serve). I guess what I'm saying is that every single person posting here is in the top 5% of the richest people on the planet, and while 40K a year doesn't compare to 40 billion a year it is still the top 5% and every American is living in a way unfair to those who are making our stuff, on top of that we're all using oil, a lot of oil.

Also, human nature is what it is...give someone a chance to "get away with it" and they are going to. Maybe not everyone, but my guess is most would. What differentiates our country from the other industrialized countries is our lack of business regulation. We had those regulations in place with the New Deal, but they have been chipped away during every repub House, Senate and Presidency. Unions are the way to have a strong middle class, but they need regulated too (human nature again).

Many EU countries are doing it marvelously, they still have rich people...but not AS rich as ours, and some poor people...but only a fraction of the poor that we do, their kids are better educated, anyone can get anywhere without a car, and the thing is that they make ends meet easier and better than the average person here. And their companies are seriously regulated...pretty much if you own a business there and hire an employee then you have to pay them a living wage. Taxes fall heavier at the top there, and they don't have the tons of deductions that we do.

Taxes fall the heaviest on anyone who gets a W2 form here, with a mtg payment being the only real deduction, unless you are seriously ill and paying your own doctor bills.

Hopefully, we can get a dem trifecta in 08 and I believe that what made the country strong after WWII will happen again, but this time the strength is going to come from green/alternative energy.

deb said...

Sorry...I meant to type "fair-trade" for the coffee.

John G. said...

Richard and Deb,
I wish I could write as well as ya'll and with the gift for one liner's like Christopher...
You folks alway's seem to get to the "meat of the matter"

I "think" I met Bill Gates in 76 or 77 on a flight from honolulu international to an Airport near Travis.
If it was him, he was traveling with a friend, Big Guy, and his parents.
The conversation was actually carried out between the big guy and my Brother and goes something like this. Bill (William at the time) was rocking in a bus seat while he sparred with his mom. I do not know what the debate was about but it was obviously entertaining to his father and "Big guy"
The "Big Guy" told my brother that Bill had designed and sold traffic counters to government transportation dept's and done quite well, The government found out he was not old enough to sign contracts with the government and made him stop. At the time of this chance meeting the "Big Guy" stated Bill was writing code for computer's to put in everyone's home and was determined to be the richest man in the world...
It was 1976, the word computer was greek and the lil guy fussin with his mom was a geek so I personally was not impressed...I should have paid more attention.

Imagine what good this one man has done and will do for the economy and so many people in the last 30 years. I wonder how many people have a job just maintaining his home...

http://www.forbes.com/2007/03/06/estate-rich-home-forbeslife_07billionaires_cz_mw_0308homes.html&partner=rss

Judy B. said...

O.K... We are talking about billionaires, the have's-and the have-not's, who has the most, fair-share, etc... here on the Spiritual Thread...

Does anyone else see the connection to Spirituality and the other comments??/

I do believe that the Law of Attrction applies here.. whether we believe it or not...

It is amazing to me how seldom we look at our own part in what is "right" or "wrong" with the world... and how when we deam something is "wrong" and decide to "right" it, we only give the "problem" more energy.... ie George W....

I continually thank God for all the blessings that i have been given, and guess I believe that I have been blessed with so much because I AM basically a good person... doing good works, serving my family and community as best as I can, and knowing the only way to make the world a better place is to practice, practice, practice on making myself a better person....

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I do embrace that aspect of the Universal Law. That particular principle might be why I can effortlessly maintain an ideal body mass index and have never had an illness. That might also be why I don't think about the subject of health insurance as much as most people do -- I pretty much expect to always be healthy. Whenever I have a routine physical -- including blood tests -- my doctor tells me my health is excellent. If there really is a universal law of attraction -- I definitely like that feature about it.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

John,

I checked that link you gave us. Sixty-six thousand square feet of living space... I can't even picture that. But I do know how it could be divided up... That would be enough square footage to house 60 small families.

At least the weather in that area keeps energy needs for heating and cooling to a minimum. Still, even 66 hundred feet would be enormous for two people.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb, I agree with every single thing you said there.

The only thing I would add is that we need to eradicate the inflationary and dishonest practice of fractional reserve lending, so that we are not paying interest to private central bankers any more. And, in fact, we need to take our money-issuing power back away from those private bankers and either return it to our Treasury Department, or de-centralize it by allowing each separate state government to issue its own currency. That's the only way we can ensure that the funds will be used to benefit the masses instead of benefiting private financiers.

Like I said before -- a government doesn't charge itself interest.

John G. said...

"That might also be why I don't think about the subject of health insurance as much as most people do -- I pretty much expect to always be healthy."

Christine,
I do not want to meddle or preach, but that is exactly how I used to think and precisly what my doctor used to tell me... Recent experience tells me now to expect the unexpected. My overactive healthy lifestyle is what caused my injury...
Live healthy but expect the unexpected, do not wait to think about health insurance until you have too, you will have too much other stuff on your plate by then...Look on the bright side, the way you pursue and present the facts, you will more than likely help many others along the way regardless of whether or not you ever have to apply what you learn for your personal circumstances.

deb said...

Judy, Being a "good" person is what I am all about, too. The more I learn of how we live our lives in the US, the more I realize the ramifications.

I guess what I was trying to say is that we get into a pattern of doing things and whether we are middle class or unconscionably wealthy we tend just accept our system of life without studying the consequences.

It still all comes back to knowledge. I believe that if we give people the true facts most are going to do the right thing.

An example: When it was exposed that Kathy Lee Giffords' Wal-Mart line of clothes were being made in sweat shops the clothing line took a nosedive. And the thing is that Kathy Lee didn't even know that the clothes were being made in sweatshops. So in that case exposing the situation benefitted everyone. Kathy Lee made sure that the people making her clothes had humane working conditions and her business continued to profit after correcting the problem.

Christin, I am posting a reply to your post on the "wind" thread as it seems to fit there.

Judy B. said...

Deb...
"I guess what I was trying to say is that we get into a pattern of doing things and whether we are middle class or unconscionably wealthy we tend just accept our system of life without studying the consequences."

EXACTLY...

That is why I choose to live my life deliberately... Carefully choosing the path that I am taking...

For too many years I tried to change the world without making the personal changes that I needed to do...

As I become more aware about "the Game of Life" and "How things work", I realize that we are all basically good people; only circumstances makes us see the world thru differently colored glasses. Even the neo cons have reasons for believing as they do. Rather than "fight" them, I believe that it is better to love them...
The more energy we give to fignting the more fighting there is...
The more energy that we give to loving, the more love there is...

That may sound simplistic,... it is... and it works...
The Way I change the world is by changing myself.... from the once "know-it-all" to the now more reasoned, accepting and caring person....

That does not mean that I stop working for a better world... It means that the methods that I choose are different. I now listen more, and really hear what the speaker is saying; I am now more compassionate with people, particularly those who (in the past) I disagreed with; I walk in love and NOT fear... knowing that those that I used to "fight/argue with about the "right" way, are only a hug away from working with me to solve what some might see as a problem...

dan said...

Judy, I respect that fact that your reaction to evil is different than some of us on this blog. I think you're suggesting that political discourse won't change people's views, only love can do that (is that about your view?). You're more patient than I am.

My view is that the U.S. is spending more on armaments than all other nations combined and we're using them to impose our will on the nations of the world. The death and destruction we're causing is cruel and immoral and since we're a democracy, the bloodshed is on our hands. In view of that, I think we must be vocal in our opposition to this administration. We don't have to hate GWB to hate what he's done.

I'm reminded of the lyrics of a Kenny Rogers song, "The Gambler".

"...You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when youre sittin at the table.
Therell be time enough for countin when the dealins done...."

I figure they'll be time enough for hugging when the shooting's done.

deb said...

JG's oldest daughter (21) was diagnosed with lymphoma on Fri. and will be having surgery today.

dan said...

Thanks for informing us Deb. My heart goes out to JG and his daughter. Please let us know if you get further information.

Judy B. said...

Prayery of healing and love are being sent to JG and family. Thanks for keeping us informed Deb... you are the hub of info..

Judy B. said...

Dan... I didn't mean to soound like Pollyanna...
I believe that extending love to everyone is indeed a healing force. And at the same time I also believe that with that love comes loving actions... Without action, we remain stuck in time and place... So yes, there is lots of room for constructive action. Peaceful demonstrations of resistance, well thought out and written letters to the editor, finding like souls (like on this blog) and coming together to take positive steps for solutions is indeed, not only useful, but essential.
One of the problems, as I see it, is that too often people get toget together to rant about what is wrong without any positive actions towards a so;lution....
...
My computer is acting up so will come back to this later and hope that I ccan post this...

dan said...

Judy, I don't think we're that far apart on our views and I don't think of you as a Pollyanna....just an intelligent, caring human being who's more spiritual than I am.

Good luck with the computer.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

There is a blog that may interest John G and his daughter by a woman who has just gone through treatment for lymphoma and is an excellant writer. The surgery his daughter must be having is to install a chemo port or to do a biopsy. This is one of the most survivable cancers, but it ain't no walk in the park. It could also mean financial destruction if she is not insured.

As The Tumor Turns

Judy B. said...

Dan... continuing...
I believe for the vast majority of us, the old axiom.. Think globally, act locally, is still true..

It is easier to love our global neighbor than the one next door who has a dog barking all night...And yet, when we act. And how we respond to the barking dog, tells more about me than it does about my neighbor...

Some react with angry confrontations that eventually spill over into the whole neighborhood,... others seeth in silence, building up animosity that the neighbor is unaware of...
Someone else might call the cops and demand action... and another neighbor might shoot the dog... and the list of possibilities goes on and on...

If we will look at how we treat our neighborhood problem, sometimes it is easier to see how global problems expand... and trying to solve the barking dog problem has much in common with solving global problems...

Find and work on my own part of the problem... trying to fix others is always a simpler way than looking at myself....

And then, ask the neighbor if there is a problem (with the dog) or with him/her) that you could assist with....

It is surprising how often "problems" escalate, when a little love and compassion can change a problem into a "friend"..
next door or around the globe..

dan said...

Judy, I believe in dealing with my "neighbors" whether they reside around the block or around the world, with diplomacy (love if you will). The neocons disdain diplomacy. I believe their reaction to the barking dog would be "shock and awe" invading the neighborhood where the annoying sound was coming from, breaking down doors and removing the dogs, then torturing them so they could determine which one to execute.

Being I live in a democracy and the neocons are my elected officials, I feel shame and moral outrage over their behavior. They may have reasons why they see the world the way they do, but until they quit spreading hate, I'll have trouble showing them very much love.

Judy B. said...

And so it is...
And always will be...

deb said...

My feelings about the current admin. are the same as I feel about any criminal, they should be stopped and held accountable. I do not feel hate, I often feel repulsion at the things they have done or are doing. I just think that they need stopped and therefore seriously have worked to educate fellow citizens and worked to get dems elected (every repub Congressperson has consistantly voted in line with the whitehouse, including McCain voting for torture even though he himself was tortured; also, he initially fought against the bill...talk about hypocrisy).

I believe that it is my duty to work to stop those who would make this country a fascist one.

I spent most of my life working and raising kids and pretty much doing my part, but more locally (I helped set aside land on Mobile Bay for a park, served on School Boards, etc.) and didn't seriously get involved even when I felt that I should (especially when the media repeatedly raked the Clintons over the coals). But killing people to steal their oil was the limit.

Every part of my being says that I must speak out against those who profit from murder, and destruction of our only planet. I can do no less.

I am doing it out of love. I must work for peace. American citizens who "get it" are the only people who can fix this mess.

Richard Yarnell said...

I think Kucinich has introduced an impeachment motion. Check his website.

I don't think it will happen while we're on the ground in Iraq, even though it should. But it wouldn't hurt the country to have the House and Senate do what's right for a change.

Judy B. said...

I too believe in personal action and responsibility...

I have served on many citizens advisory committees, in local government and education..., Was instrumental in starting 2 501-c-3 charitable organizations ( and served as the president of both of them for many years) served one term on the local city council and was then drafted (by the Drmocratic party) to run for the state legislature against a Right wing Conservative Republican the year that Reagan won the Presicential election by a landside.... While my opponent won the election, I gave him the scare of his life.
I was instrumental in getting the funding for our Emergeny Support Shelter (for battered Women), Fought for equity in sports for Girls and again was instrumental in raising several million dollars in contributions, grants, in-kind services and public funding in order for the girls in our community to have equal access to softball and soccer fields; I led "insurgency" groups that fought against improper zone changes to our Comprehensive plan; serven on our local housing authority, where I was instrumental in getting rid of inept administration and pushing for reform, volunteered for over 10 years at our local YMCA, and worked with Vietnam refugees; I have walked picket lins supporting our local unions, and as a member of FOR (Fellowship of Reconciliation) I helped organize a Peace March before Desert Storm...
The list could be continued, but I think you get the idea... Think globally, act locally...

What I get concerned about in the discussion of political activism is the point that there is a "wrong" side to every agenda, and that we "go to war" against our neighbor in order to prevail on the "right " side.

It has been my experience that I needed to be neutral sometines in order to get the job done. Showing love and compassion to those who think and believe differently than I do has allowed me to accomplish much in this lifetime....

deb said...

Wow, Judy...thanks. You have accomplished so much!

I use this blog to vent. I am not nearly as one-sided in person.

First of all, we (our little blog) are all so much more educated than the people I see on a daily basis and this blog has been a wonderful place to educate myself with similar minded people. A large portion of the people I know consider themselves "conservative" and I actually get on well with most everybody and consider many to be my friends.

I have found that typically those who fall into the repub voter catagory are one or two issue voters: anti legalized abortion, anti gay, pro gun and/or firmly believe that the liberal agenda is to be fiscally promiscuous. If particular topics arise, I try and add my opinion in a nonchalant way, usually just giving one piece of info that the person I am with might not have thought about. It's the whole "catching more flies with honey" method.

Writing, in general, is a much better way to spread the information that our media is circumventing. If someone disagrees then it is up to them to document their opinion, which is hard to do when that opinion has no real basis in fact.

Anyway, just wanted to share.

Judy B. said...

As I re-read my last post, I realize that it could sound like I was bragging... In fact my list of "worldly accomplishments" is much longer than what was posted.

Those accomplishments, however, fail in comparison to the evolutionary leaps that I have made in my spiritual quest.

The person that I AM is a combination of the life I lived as child, sister, wife, parent, and citizen activist where EGO (Easing God Out) was paramount

That person has mostly been phased out,or in the very least been added to, the the energetically charged, multi-dimensional person that I have become.

i still slip back and forth between forms, as this blog has seen. I believe that the authentic self speaks best on this thread.

deb said...

I have noticed that the people who work to leave this world a better place are the ones who have achieved a personal level of satisfaction with who and what they personally are. Perhaps it is a spiritual contentment or a rational/intellectual/realistic contentment, but it is a feeling in which a person believes "I'm OK, and have all that I need, therefore I shall go to the next level and give energy to causes I believe in." Altruistic, if you will.

Judy B. said...

Wery well said, Deb...

deb said...

Sasquatch is on YouTube:

Strange Humanoid Encounter

Note: The views expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect my own.

Judy B. said...

Concerning Sasquatch....
The Pacific Northwest has had many sightings.. They are so numerous that they have become legends...
Approximately 50 miles from where I live the sightings were fairly frequent in the early 1900's. In fqct there is an area called the "Ape Caves" where stories are told...

About 30 years ago when my oldest daughter was in the 5th grade, they had a field trip to explore these caves... and I went along with them...
After the class had been in the caves for a while , the students started coming back our slowly...

After about 10 kids and one adult came out, a couple of the boys started pointing at something in the nearby clear-cut...

The girls and women looked at what they were pointing at... and the woman let out a loud scream...

The rest of the class came hurridly out of the cave and they all saw something that looked like an ape sauntering away....

At that point 5th grade boys do what 5th grade boys will do, and they started chasing the "ape" and throwing rocks...

About that time I decided to surrender, and took off my ape costume...

If the boys had not chased me this could have become the best sighting ever... with many witnesses...

Richard Yarnell said...

A plug for my kind of spiritual:

This is my first month on Social Security and I just hung up with the Actors' Equity Pension administrator who will be sending me my first check in a day or two. I've committed this "found money" to KIVA as a way of investing in communities around the world. (I've just asked KIVA whether they will consider making loans in the US: on tribal lands, to migrant workers, legal or otherwise, in some of the poorer places where established industry is on the ropes.)

This site http://www.kiva.org/app.php was featured in a NYT article (Kristof this morning) about micro-finance. I have two new partners, one in Samoa and another in Kenya. I've decided to put a month's worth of my new pensions on the table. That isn't much, considering my checkered
employment history, but in some of the places where the money will be
going, it's a lot.

"Lenders" don't get interest, although you'll see that rather
substantial interest is charged to cover disproportionately high costs
of making small loans; loans are not secured, although the repayment
rate is around 97%; there's no charitable deduction because you expect to be repaid; you can take a capital loss if a loan defaults.

My hesitation disappeared when I read the account of what the loans
had meant to men in a certain area: husbands of the women who had
obtained loans, effectively went to work with their wives in family
businesses. That took a significant amount of labor off the market.
Day laborers who were not associated with anyone obtaining a loan,
found that their wages went up because there was competition for their services.

I did not loan money to anyone who was selling firewood: now, someone
who finds a substitute for firewood that's felled for the purpose cooking or heating, thereby stripping cover from the land, will have my help in a heartbeat.

The minimum loan amount is only $25, well within the reach of almost everyone. Loan funds are commingled in order to fully fund approved loans. When they're repaid, the financier has the choice of reclaiming the funds or of making a new loan.

You can give a man a fish or you can teach how to fish. I prefer the latter.

deb said...

Wow, that is wonderful Richard. I'll check them out myself...I don't have retirement checks, but I could do the $25. for sure.

dan said...

Richard, I just read all about KIVA. The organization sounds wonderful and I also plan to participate.

I share your conviction that a well written letter can be a powerful instrument in bringing about change.

Richard Yarnell said...

For those interested in lending domestically, there is http://www.prosper.com/

I got the name from KIVA when I asked them if they had plans for providing the same service on tribal lands, migrant labor settlements, and rural places where primary industries had disappeared. In a word, the have no such plans.

The nature of the two sites is quite different in that the lender has to find out why the money is needed. Prosper does, however, assure the identity of the borrower, provide a credit score, and does pass on, in some cases, handsome interest to the lender. Late fees and penalties also are paid to the lender.

The risk is higher, you'll have to judge what kind of returns you want.

Richard Yarnell said...

I tried the KIVA referral utility out on an individual address. I've copied it here. Don't feel obliged, but there's additional information from me at the bottom.
---

I just made a loan to someone in the developing world using a revolutionary new website called Kiva.

You can go to Kiva's website and lend to someone in the developing world who needs a loan for their business - like raising goats, selling vegetables at market or making bricks. Each loan has a picture of the entrepreneur, a description of their business and how they plan to use the loan so you know exactly how your money is being spent - and you get updates letting you know how the business is going. The best part is, when the entrepreneur pays back their loan you get your money back - and Kiva's loans are managed by microfinance institutions on the ground who have a lot of experience doing this, so you can trust that your money is being handled responsibly.

I just made a loan to an entrepreneur named Elbrus Huseynov in Azerbaijan. They still need another $925.00 to complete their loan request of $1,200.00 (you can loan as little as $25.00!). Help me get this business off the ground by clicking on the link below to make a loan to Elbrus Huseynov too:

http://kiva.org/app.php?page=businesses&action=about&id=7152&referralId=15029

It's finally easy to actually do something about poverty - using Kiva I know exactly who my money is loaned to and what they're using it for. And most of all, I know that I'm helping them build a sustainable business that will provide income to feed, clothe, house and educate their family long after my loan is paid back.

Join me in changing the world - one loan at a time.

Thanks!
Richard Yarnell

---------------------------------------------------------

What others are saying about www.Kiva.org:

'Revolutionising how donors and lenders in the US are connecting with small entrepreneurs in developing countries.'

-- BBC

'If you've got 25 bucks, a PC and a PayPal account, you've now got the wherewithal to be an international financier.'

-- CNN Money

'Smaller investors can make loans of as little as $25 to specific individual entrepreneurs through a service launched last fall by Kiva.org.'

-- The Wall Street Journal

'An inexpensive feel-good investment opportunity...All loaned funds go directly to the applicants, and most loans are repaid in full.'

-- Entrepreneur Magazine
-----------------------------------

Me again: I have a PayPal account and keep some money in its money market - it pays competitive rates.

I chose this guy because he's had a loan before and repaid it, and has equipment which needs repair.

John G. said...

I'm in!
Thanx Richard!

deb said...

FYI:

Sonoluminescence

deb said...

Arab-Israeli Peace: Against All Obstacles

deb said...

What made us "human" and when?

Discovery of the oldest adornments in the world

OK...I'm off to work on the new house. I know that our little blog has dwindled, but I have so much enjoyed getting to know all of you and have learned so much from this eclectic group. I hope that everyone will post a note from time to time to touch base:-)