Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just give me three steps..... Katie Couric and her Tapdance for the Great Unwashed

We here in flyover country are used to being denigrated by the effete snobs from either coast (effete:  from dictionary.com :  –adjective  1.lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent: an effete, overrefined society. 2. exhausted of vigor or energy, worn out: an effete political force. 3.unable to produce; sterile) but Katie Couric, that poster child for the eliterati everywhere, really takes the cake. 

She was so excited to get her boots on the ground in such exotic and off-the-beaten-track places like Philadelphia, Boston, New Brunswick, and (gasp) even Chicago that she blathered on (along with Rick Kaplan her executive producer) about making contact with the "Unwashed Masses" and really getting to know what we, the little people, think.  The only problem being that we unwashed masses take umbrage at being called derogatory terms by elitist pseudo-intellectuals.

Maybe I'm being unfair, middle class society is indeed middle for a reason.  In France we were the bourgeoisie (please see how that turned out here when the ruling class went too far).  So perhaps the parallels are not so far-reaching for the new Gentry/Political class and their hangers-on and lapdogs.

What makes the whole thing funny is how she tries to backstep (in our household we call it 'doing the dance') to try to mitigate the damage caused by her unguarded and ill-thought out words.  So after confusing Boston, New Brunswick, and Philadelphia with the 'heart of the country' (to be fair, Chicago is, geographically, but not politically), and touring them in order to 'divine the the mood of the midterms' via conversations with the 'unwashed' (One wonders if she was obliged to bring a translator in order to communicate with the lower orders?), she then tweets the following when called on her 'unwashed' reference  (via Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller--the snark is great in his article, you should read it):


It's interesting that a 'reporter' such as herself, would go with the most pared down definition of the term and would not be familiar with the connotations associated with it.  It's no wonder that with people like her as the former gatekeepers of information that more of us ordinary folks now head to the internet for our news and that the MSM is going the way of the dodo (or of Louis XVI if they stay this course).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Teachers Gone Wild"

James O'Keefe does it again.  He got folks to tape a leadership conference for New Jersey's teachers unions.  While I do know some good teachers--people who really and truly want to help kids learn, these 'leaders' do not show any of those qualities.  What they really are is a reason to get rid of the tenure system altogether since a lot of the video is about how unless you are f***ing a student in the hallway, you can't get fired once you're tenured and how great tenure is because you can get away with almost anything, including using racial slurs to a student's face (anywhere else, that would be a firing offense, apparently in New Jersey, the most that would happen is that the teacher gets demoted).  Also, it seems that union leadership conferences in New Jersey include chants and songs about committing assault on the person of the governor of the state.  Read the article here and watch Chris Christie's response as well as the O'Keefe video.  Christie, as usual, is spot on.  The teachers in the video are frightening.

Something that occurred to me while I was watching the video is that this attitude seems to be, in my experience, pervasive through the United States educational system, from K-12 to higher education.  I believe that the attitudes shown by the NJ teachers was actually indoctrinated into them during their higher ed experience (since there are so many roadblocks to becoming a teacher if you haven't gone through the entire programming process).  As an aside, I find it interesting that a synonym for indoctrination is teaching

There are two sides of the problem with the educational system in the United States.  The first is the fact that the teacher's unions in the US have grown beyond their function into parasitic entities.  Instead of working for the good of their constituency, they are working to maintain their own power.  One way of doing that is preventing accountability by any teacher to the administration, parents, and the students themselves. 

The second side to this coin is government involvement in the educational process and the co-option of that process by the unions.  When teachers are having to teach to standardized tests, rather than passing on actual information, when teachers are not required to take more than a few courses in subjects they teach (and pass a standardized test...  hmmmm) but instead are taught 'teaching methods' and 'self-esteem building' but don't even have the skills or knowledge to tell if the books that they are using have correct information, then that is a breakdown of the system that is exacerbated by tenure and the unions.  Spending has gone through the roof, mainly due to union demands and the increased number of teachers, without any real results.

Himself passed me the below information a few days ago (source: Cato @ Liberty).  I think these graphs illustrate my points without my having to elaborate further.....



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Free speech does not equal subsidized free speech....

Having several friends who are of the left-ward leaning bent, I often run into a cognitive dissonance when reading their statuses on Facebook or the like.  I had been, as my cousin so aptly puts it, 'biting my tongue until it bleeds' out of respect for them and their right to have an opinion that differs from mine, but when they aren't thinking anymore or are just passing on the party meme, I've started commenting with facts.  Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't.  Maybe I'll lose some friends, but I just can't stand by and watch them mirror the meme of the day.  I have noticed however, that I'm not alone in this since others are also correcting them.

The two that immediately come to mind are the O'Donnell/First Amendment kerfuffle that the press was all over like white on rice.  They tried to paint her as an idiot, when what she was doing was correcting her opponent (the words 'separation of church and state' are not part of the First Amendment (Establishment clause) and don't appear until much later in writings by Adams and Jefferson (and then they were talking about specific churches, not religion in general).

The second one is one I find to be a little more interesting because of the dichotomy inherent in it.  There have been calls to de-fund NPR due to its firing of Juan Williams for saying on another network that he gets nervous when there's muslim folks on a plane with him.  Something that we've all thought.  But NPR seizes a chance to both fire him and insult him later (his feelings should be between him and his psychiatrist according to Vivian Shiller, the CEO of NPR).  So Demint and some other folks feel that since NPR is clearly into stifling free speech, that maybe public dollars ($430 million of them, as a matter of fact) could be better used elsewhere.  But the lefties are saying that de-funding NPR is 'stripping our freedoms', completely ignoring the fact that Williams was fired for not toeing the progressive opinion line, thus seriously crossing the First Amendment line.

The ironic part (there are so many ironic parts to this)....

Another ironic part is that if anyone would have listened to the WHOLE thing, he actually was toeing the line and made a statement about making sure everyone understands the difference between muslim and muslim extremists... yadda, yadda, yadda.

My thought is that with so many other avenues of news available to the populace today, most of them privately funded, that NPR and PBS have both really run their respective courses.  If folks want to privately cough up the $430 million to NPR to keep it up and running, more power to them.  It would be a good litmus as to their true dedication to NPR.  Hell, maybe George Soros could just pay for the whole thing and dispense with any pretense that he's not calling the shots there.  For myself, I think that could be something safely carved out of the federal budget without impacting my life at all.

On the brighter side, as long as I've still got friends on that side of the ideological fence, I'll have a heads-up as to the meme of the day.

ETA:  My friend thanked me for the correction on his O'Donnell meme.  Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit and they are actually thinking--just aren't exposed to other thoughts very often.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Taking the sublime to the absurd.....

Borepatch, Brigid, and Tam all have insightful, profound, and thought-provoking posts regarding the naming of objects and the power inherent in names (check out their postings at their links).  I have my own small contribution to make to the litany of great weapons....  The Billy Barou.  If you don't recognize the reference, I'm not going to enlighten you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Gun Show and Blogmeet-Part II, the Blogmeet

When we last left our heroic (and hungry) foursome, they were headed to Claddagh's on 96th Street for food and conversation.  Arriving well before everyone and having carefully perused the menu (and firmly vetoing ANYTHING containing cabbage as a consumable for the mighty Og since there are not enough windows on the Prius to make the trip north possible if cabbage actually hit his digestive tract), the intrepid four conversed, ate onion rings and chicken tenders (it was decided by consensus that KFC's DoubleDown sandwich would be much better if they used these tenders rather than the chewy and gristly pieces used by KFC) and waited for the others to arrive. 

Brigid was the first, only to be greeted by the sight of Og's bare buttocks (I am personally surprised that she didn't accidentally floor her truck and careen right through the fence, thus decimating the nascent blogmeet before it got properly started).  After ordering a Guinness, she then repaired to the washroom whereupon the waitress left her drink on a very light plastic menu in a central Indiana wind, thereby launching the glass into the air.  I tried to interpose my body between the Guinness and the ground (it is a sin to not try to save it) but alas, except for the half that soaked into my jeans, the rest did meet pavement, much to our sorrow.

Soon thereafter, Joanna arrived, followed closely by Tam, Shootin' Buddy, Roberta, and Old Grouch.  The conversation varied from French toast recipes to the joys of E-ink and electronic reading devices.  We got to hear a story about real snakes on a plane (or was that skanks?) and also were amused by the local insect populace trying to commit suicide in Partner's food.  Tam discovered that physical threats can make hornets fly off in horror and she also brought copies of Concealed Carry Magazine (the latest copy had a great review of the Sig P238 that I just purchased).  It was a good review, which made me happy.  The most frustrating part about these blogmeets is that you can't be at all parts of the table to catch all the conversations.  The invention of the day was bib underwear, which are caused by the stretching and tying of Fruit of the Loom elastic until it can be hooked over the shoulders.  As Og said later, he can market them and get some chiseled metrosexual men to model and create the next fashion faux pas fad.

All too soon, we had to depart and head back north.  On the way back, the lack of sleep finally caught up with me and I crashed until Himself woke me to see if I wanted another Chick-Fil-A.  (As an aside, I really am addicted to Chick-Fil-A's breaded goodness but was so tired I couldn't bear to stop to get one but the fact that he asked was very thoughtful on his part.).

New firearms, great people, great conversation... what else could you want in a day??

Gun Show and Blogmeet--Part 1, the Gun Show

Himself and I had a pretty busy weekend.  Out with friends on Friday and then up before the crack of dawn after a couple of hours of sleep and off to the Indy gun show with the mighty and indomitable Og and the quiet yet witty and knowledgeable Partner.  We got Og into the Prius (which he commented was like the TARDIS--bigger on the inside than on the outside so only entrance and exits were problematic) riding (appropriately enough, shotgun), myself and Partner safely ensconced in the back seat (along with a box of Munchkins kindly provided by Og) and Himself behind the wheel, and off we went.   Only one quick stop for Chick-Fil-A in West Lafayette (love their breakfast but we usually go by on Sundays when they are closed) and we were at the show.

Og and Partner went in search of collectibles and esoteric firearm accouterments and Himself and I wandered off with our list in hand.  I had in mind trying to find a Sig P238--an alloy frame .380 that would be more easily carried than my Kel-Tec PF9, but is heavy enough that it won't be as uncomfortable to shoot as a plastic frame .380.  After a conversation with a young man who did his best to dissuade me from my thoroughly-researched goal (he gets -10 for salesmanship since he really thought I needed a Kahr, no matter what I thought), I found what I was looking for, complete with a laser sight, night sights, and aluminum grips at Z-Guns for a fantastic price (I was looking at the basic one and Chad pointed out this one with all of the extra goodies).  After that purchase, it was over to Stoner Holsters--they didn't have a holster that would fit the Sig with the laser sight, but will make one and get it to me within a couple of weeks (maybe sooner).  (As an aside to the FTC, I just buy stuff from these guys and like them and get nothing for free so bite me).  Himself found some magazines, a belt, and  Stoner Holsters for both he and a friend.

After those purchases, it was off to the blogmeet for some good conversation, good food, and much laughter.

To be continued........

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to the woman who gave birth to me through countless hours of labor, who gritted her teeth so much through my college years that she had to get a mouth brace, and who imparted upon me a rather unique sense of humor as well as an inquiring mind and an appreciation for the world around me.  I don't say it nearly enough, but I appreciate you and I love you.  I hope you have a fantastic day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So they couldn't even look Juan Williams in the eye....

Ellen Weiss, the head of news at NPR couldn't even be bothered (or didn't have the guts) to look a long term employee in the eye while she's canning him.  Interesting point is that she said that the word came from 'above' and there was nothing she could do.  Either that was a cop-out or it really did come from Soros who's paying the piper and calling the tune at NPR now.

I was reminded of Robin Williams in The Survivors, who was fired by the boss' parrot at the beginning of the movie, the only thing different being the parrot in this case didn't have feathers, but otherwise it seems to be a pretty close analogy.  Sorry, couldn't find a clip from the movie but watch Juan and his complete disbelief at his treatment at the link above (apparently he didn't know that liberals eat their own when someone steps out from groupthink ideologies).

So NPR shows its true colors....

Juan Williams, a longtime NPR news guy, was fired by NPR last night due to comments that he made in a country that presumably still supports free speech (as long as that free speech agrees with NPR and George Soros). 
While discussing the muslim dilemma with Bill O'Reilly, Williams had the audacity to say what most of us have said "...But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."  
It is ironic that the conversation had also turned to the idea of political correctness and how it stifles conversation, debate, and could "lead to some kind of paralysis, where you don't address reality." (said Williams)

So, NPR was trying to show its non-partisanship by not allowing its people to attend the Jon Stewart idiocy, but fires someone because his words (which were not spoken on NPR)  "were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR".  One wonders if this action was actually precipitated by the $1.8 million that Soros put forward to hire political reporters at NPR affiliates across the US  (please note that the money did not go to NPR, but was directly earmarked for the reporters), or if saying that muslims in muslims garb on planes make you nervous or discoursing about muslim actions is actually a firing offense outside of academia.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So Germany finally is catching a clue....

Himself had a link to an article wherein German Chancellor Angela Merkel who says that multi-culturalism is a failure.  What are her problems with the immigrants into Germany? (they sound oddly familiar):  they don't speak the language of the country to which they emigrated; they don't adopt the social norms of the country to which they emigrated (ie, continuing practices such as forced marriage); they don't integrate into the social structure of their 'adopted' country, choosing instead to maintain their own enclaves (colonies) while taking advantage of the social system without adding anything to the economy of the country.

It's amazing that a German think tank also found out that these are not just a far-right attitudes but is also prevalent in the center of their society as well (they say to a 'worrying degree').  I think that it's interesting that the same immigration debate that has been going on for years, with many of the same issues, is finally being recognized in Europe (France has already taken action, Germany, it seems, is not far behind).  The main issue is what they are terming immigration without integration--the maintenance of parallel societies, like the muslim communities in France (where the French police dare not enter). 

I still call it colonization. 

If they re-contextualize their original paradigm, I think they will see that the term colonization is actually more accurate, especially in regards to muslim communities since a vast majority of muslims in various countries still would like to see Sharia law and possibly a worldwide caliphate (ht Andrew Bostom at Pajamas Media).  But muslim or not, any situation wherein a group refuses to assimilate will cause the same problems that the US, France, Germany (and like Britain is starting to experience) are having.  When you have colonies of outsiders setting up shop within your borders, sucking at the public teat, but giving nothing in return, there can be nothing but trouble, as other countries are starting to learn.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Passing on some good advice about absentee voting

Bookworm suggests dropping by your absentee ballot (if that's the way you vote) directly to the polling place rather than mailing it in.  With all of the shenanigans going on as far as military ballots and such--best to not have those bad boys 'lost in the mail'.

Is it government by the people, for the people, if the lawmakers are exempt??

So in Above the Law, Seagal says something along the lines of the problems that are caused when there are people who can manipulate the media, cause wars, and generally place themselves above the law.  And it struck me that it's exactly what the federal government has been doing.  They exempted leadership staffers from Obamacare, they exempted themselves from laws, rules, and regulations regarding insider trading, they are exempt from OSHA, and, ironically enough considering SEIU involvement in the political process, the National Labor Relations Act.

The way that Congress acts, we're just there to provide them with money from our labor--in former times, this relationship was referred to as the feudal system--complete with lords and serfs.  Only problem with this system, is that, outside of Renaissance Faires, we don't live in a feudal system complete with a monarchy, we live in a Republic--the finest in the world and that has been under attack, from the outside and inside for decades.  The Tea Parties and calls for smaller government, reductions in regulations, and less spending are our only chance to reclaim our system lest it go the way of Rome.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Minor personal rant...

Is there a particular reason why folks have to try to rename things so they SOUND different but are exactly the same as what you are saying in order to try to avoid being (in their own minds) complete douchebags??  

Doesn't work.

Chilean Miners being rescued

I'm really glad they've gotten to the miners and are bringing them up into the fresh air MONTHS ahead of schedule.  But is anyone else waiting for the one miner with the wife and the girlfriend (who apparently met at a vigil for the first time) to hit the surface and see what happens??

Yes, I know I'm going to hell.

ETA:  But the real story is the American driller and his team who cut off more than two months from the original estimates of reaching the trapped miners.  Pulled from Afghanistan where he was drilling for water, he managed to get to these guys in 33 days.  He said that 'you have to feel the drill under your feet' to know what you are doing.   Something else that spoke of his expertise was the fact that he pulled the drill after it broke through by two feet so he wouldn't endanger the miners or risk equipment breaking off in the hole.

When the world is in trouble, they look to us.  Anyone who intimates that we're not the greatest country in the world can move elsewhere and see how that what seems like greener grass is only astroturf on the other side.

Monday, October 11, 2010

See You in November.....

Via Big Hollywood:  Warning, the lyrics and tune will stay with you.  Read the article too!

10-10-10--the Day After.... We survived!

Well, we made it through the dreaded 10-10 and as far as I know, no-one blew up for not going along with the 10-10 Eco-Nazis.  Of course, Himself and I spent a few hours in the morning transporting split wood from point A to point B with the diesel Kobota tractor in order to fill the final crucial rick of wood for winter.  We also got into a discussion about a new light fixture for the kitchen (the one with the fake stag horns is still a front-runner-NOT) but don't want to use CFLs because you can't use them on a dimmer (or some of them you can but it's a big pain and they are much more expensive than the already expensive compact fluorescents.  Maybe when LEDs make the next step forward....

Himself was ahead of the curve in the use of wood for heating and CFLs around the house, not because of the environmental issues (since CFLs with their mercury vapor and manufacturing processes PLUS transportation costs from China actually make them on the whole much worse than Edison's creation) but because he's watching the bottom line on household expenses.  If we can spend a few hours a week and cut our natural gas usage from $300-$400+/month in the dead of winter to just over $100/month and CFLs can save us $15/month on the electric side, then we're there.  

And this is what the government doesn't seem to understand.  Market forces can and will drive behavior far better and with further reaching consequences than mandates and driving American companies out of business.  When gas prices skyrocketed, we started buying more fuel efficient cars (not as fuel efficient as those in Europe, thanks to the NTSA and safety regs).  When electric prices jump, people start turning off lights.  Fuel oil in New England at an all-time high?  Sweaters and Snuggies 24-7 since you've turned the heat down ten degrees.  No government mandates necessary.  People will make the choice about how they want to spend their money and if they abhor Snuggies, then they'll juggle their budget to pay for fuel oil. We choose to get our cardio workouts during the summer and stay warmer in the winter and remain Snuggie-less.

It's really that simple. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Fifth Grade all over again.....

Have you all noticed that when the liberals have no logical argument, reasoning, or methodology, they almost immediately devolve into fifth graders, complete with name-calling and violence?  Others have also commented on the number of negative ads and comments being put out and said by the libs/democrats since they are (finally) aware that the American public is truly angry with their actions and so none of them can really run on their record of 'achievement' in Congress, especially with their blatant shenanigans and backrooms deals to pass things clearly not wanted by We the People.  And then the eco-Nazis, not content with shaping policy in Europe, and to an extent, here in the United States, decide to put out what is being referred to as a snuff-film (conform or die, kiddies).

It's interesting that the libs are so scared of conservatives and our guns and our patriotism and our beliefs, but it seems that they are the ones who are the first to attack and are the first to use violence to their ends all the while projecting their violent tendencies on those who don't agree with them......  Can it be, despite their vaunted higher education and elite schools, the liberals really have no idea about how to frame and successfully argue a point and have to fall back to childish bullying and ad hominem??

Thursday, October 7, 2010

E Plebnista....

From Star Trek (the original, thank-you-very-much), the Preamble to the Constitution, as read by William Shatner as Captain Kirk.  His commentary as he reads were just spot-on considering our time in history.  How the meaning of the words got blurred through the centuries.....  Gene Roddenberry was genius (and prescient)!!  We still say the words We the People instead of E Plebnista, but those who are sworn to uphold them have lost the meaning and do not understand or wish to abide by them.  Shatner may have been (and still is) an overactor extraordinaire, but this was inspired.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Funny how the story now changes.... Tennessee fire

It's odd how a story can change.....  On October 3,  Mr. Cranick said that he figured that the fire department would put out his fire regardless if he'd paid his fee or not.  Yesterday, he said he just forgot to pay his fee, like that excuse should be a magic panacea and erase the fact that he still DIDN'T PAY.

I am sorry that his stupidity cost the lives of their pets.

Of course, stepping up for personal responsibility is bad/horrendous/inhuman/indecent and this guy's house burning down is the Tea Party's fault.  No I don't know how, but the MSM is trying its level best to put the blame where it DOESN'T belong.

But c'mon people, if you don't pay your mortage or for your car, your house and your car will be taken away from you.  If you don't pay your insurance, even if you paid the year before, you are no longer covered and they will not pay for any damages when you get sideswiped by some bint who's in a hurry to get around that corner.  It's the same thing, just a different degree. Sasha Brown-Worsham over at The Stir says it better than I can.....

Could it be a SIGN??

So the Presidential seal falls off the podium while Obama is giving a speech.  A sign of things to come??  One can but hope.....  (ht:  Real Clear Politics via Insty).

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2010/10/05/obama_loses_presidential_seal_all_of_you_know_who_i_am.html

The sheer volume of snark gives me hope for the world...

Via Borepatch, the Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable.  On Amazon for the low, low price of $2499.99 (or $999.99 for the refurbished model).  The comments in the review section of this thing are truly awesome.   The latest review suggests that the cable has the capability to turn water into wine, enabling the commentor to start a winery using the creek behind his house.

The attributes listed are giggle-snort worthy--according to some, the cable is: dishwasher safe, has dimensional rift preventability powers, has a four-star towing capacity, can grant wolf-powers, can channel demons from hell, and has the ability to become self-aware, among other worthy powers.

There are 398 comments/reviews in all--if you're wanting a good laugh, take some time and scroll through.  There are a LOT of clever people out there!  Warms the cockles of my cynical heart, it does.

Thanks to Borepatch and  #1 Son for the morning humor.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Well this, I think, could be a good thing--Kagan recusing herself from a BOATLOAD of cases

Of the 51 or so cases that the Supreme Court is supposed to hear, Kagan has recused herself from about half of them (25) due to her involvement in them as Solicitor General.  One of the items from which she is recusing herself is the Chamber of Commerce vs. Whiting where Arizona businesses are challenging the state of Arizona's law that allows the state to pull the business licenses of those proven to have knowingly hired illegals.  Kagan argued that the state law is 'intruding on federal authority regarding immigration'.

(ht:  http://biggovernment.com/)

It's called "Personal Responsibility"

Himself and I discussed this in-house a few days ago but I saw it again on Advice Goddess and thought I'd comment on it.  Apparently down in Tennessee, if you live in a rural area, you can 'opt-in' to fire protection--that is, you pay a fee to the county or the fire department and if your house catches on fire, they will come and do their level best to put it out.  It's like insurance--you hope you don't need it but it's probably worth the $75 a year to have it. 

Here's the kicker--they really mean it--if you don't pay your fee and your house catches on fire, they will not put it out.  They will come out and save your neighbor's house when the fire jumps from your burning edifice to theirs, because they did plan ahead.  The moron/slacker in question said:  "I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong." 

So he thought that he'd get a service that he didn't pay for.  His statement shows that he was aware of the fee, but that he thought he could slide by and they'd take care of him anyway.  And in many places, he'd be right.  And I think that those other places would be wrong to take care of him if he didn't pay a negligible fee to have the fire department put him on their list. 

People are starting to get used to not paying for things, to being carried, to abrogating responsibility because there are no consequences for actions.  This guy learned differently--there are actually consequences for actions, as there should be.  Was this an extreme consequence??  Yes.  But all of those people who overextended their finances on houses and are fighting foreclosure should also be learning this lesson.  If you don't pay, then you don't get to keep your house.  It's just that simple. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

It was a GREAT weekend!

My definition of a great weekend is a time period in which we get to forget about work and the house for a while BUT also get to be wicked productive around the house.  So it was with this weekend.  On Saturday we went to the Renaissance Faire in Fishers, Indiana (at my request).  Yes it rained and it was cold, but we got to watch the Society for Creative Anachronism knock each other silly with medieval weapons, got a fairly interesting, if long-winded lecture on herbcraft (it turns out that, per popular lore, lavender oil prevents flea eggs from hatching--something to be investigated further for veracity), and got to see a plethora of women with 'boobs on a plate'--i.e., corsets and tight bodices and men in tights.  I got my piece of 'Faire Swag', also known as a carnelian ring oddly enough made out of welding bronze and we also got a wooden utensil for the kitchen (Himself spent part of the day yesterday sanding and oiling our other wooden kitchen items--a badly needed process).

So yesterday was spent around the house moving and splitting wood.  Another rick moved, another one stacked, and probably one and a half split and ready to be stacked.    We also figured out one reason why we probably get more satisfaction out of certain types of work around the house--tangible results.  You've got a bunch of wood stacked and can stand back and look--'Hey, I did that' and you can admire it for months.  Doing laundry or vacuuming doesn't have that same semi-permanence to it--unless everyone is naked when you're doing that last load, come the evening, there will be clothes and towels in the basket, waiting to be washed.  One dog or cat across the carpet, and you're ready to vacuum again. So not as satisfying, on the whole.  However, we got all but one item off of the list of things to do yesterday and we got half of the last one done, so the weekend was a nice balance of relaxation and work.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs" speaks Truth

He went to Washington DC to try to tell members of Congress that those "dirty jobs" like those in manufacturing and farming and plumbing and electrical work should get more respect.  And he, IMO, is speaking truth although it's going to fall on the deaf and over-educated Ivy League ears of those in Congress. 

With pushes for higher education by the federal government and organizations such as the Lumina Foundation, the real jobs that keep this country moving, lighted, plumbed, and fed are denigrated in favor of entry level, cubicle jobs in some public service office somewhere.  I believe it's a subtle type of class warfare--trying to create an elitist class with worker drones (non-Ivy League and community colleges).

My dad (happy birthday yesterday... I hope your cards got there) is an electrician.  My brother is painter.  Both have done extremely well and give their families a comfortable life.   My sister was told, when interviewing for a job one time that her "blue-collar" background would serve her in good stead and would enable her to 'connect' with her patients.  Elitist indeed.

Mike Rowe is spot on when he says: 
I don't think the country is going to fall back in love with manufacturing and I don't think these policies are going to change, until or unless we reignite a fundamental relationship with dirt, work, and the business of making things, as opposed to the business of buying them.
And as long as folks in our government continue to tout the value one type of education (book learning) over vocational education (hands-on learning) and as long as the people believe them, we are going to have kids going into all kinds of debt trying to find their place in a cubicle when their skills might lie elsewhere.  And in time we'll have a populace that's completely helpless to do even the smallest "dirty jobs" themselves.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Quote of the day and related thoughts....

The Quote of the Day goes to Bookworm over at Bookworm Room.  She writes in her blogpost about "Trusting Our Sources", the following:
"Taking tainted information from trusted sources is also nothing new.  It’s a convenient short hand.  The more you trust the source, the less burden there is on you to investigate the facts yourself. "
This sentence led to two separate trains of thought since who amongst the blogging community has not passed on what later turned out to be erroneous information?

The first train to leave the station is how conservative bloggers tend to work (some liberal bloggers do this too, to be fair).  In a given blogpost there are generally links to news articles or other posts that were the impetus for a posting.  That way someone can follow the links back and will know from whence your data came.  Part of this practice is attribution, part of this practice is so that people can follow your links and see if they come to the same conclusion.  If they don't, you'll generally hear about it, which is the best thing about the blogosphere--questioning ideas, fact-checking--quality assurance, if you will.  Not accepting something at face value.

The second train has an unusual passenger.  A friend of mine (comfortably liberal-leaning and living happily on the unemployment dole after being downsized) said once in a discussion "I'm as informed as I want to be."  As Bookworm also says "This works for the lazy." (which is the case here).  But here's the deal.  "Progressives" seem to take whatever pablum is spoon-fed to them by the mainstream media at face value.  Global warming, electric cars, bailouts, Keynsian economics, calls of racism, bigotry, etc. are all accepted without question, without proof (and sometimes in the face of proof that does not meet the meme of the day).

So are liberals just that lazy or do they trust the MSM that much?

Happy Birthday to my Dad!!

Happy Birthday to the man who raised me, who taught me right from wrong, who taught me patience (still working on that one), who taught me the PROPER way to wash and dry a car (and to always wear my seatbelt), and who taught me loyalty and honor.

He's that patient voice on the other end of the phone who listens and waits until I've run down to give me advice or to just let me know that he trusts me to make the best decisions I can and that he has my back and will be there, regardless.

We may not share genetics, but we are related through the blood and tears and laughter that bind father and daughter together.

Thanks for always being there and I hope you have a Happy Birthday!  Love you!!