Good reads

Good reads, we think:

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives

This is a Dallas Willard work. Dallas is a pretty good writer.


The Things They Carried

"Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing."

I dunno about that "taught everywhere" thing ... it seems to be a Great Mystery in the Smile Hi and Holy Land and JUCO educational systems. In any case, it's their loss, for Tim O'Brien is surely one of America's great contemporary authors.


Dien Cai Dau (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

having read some of  Komunyakaa's other stuff, I'm really looking forward to this one, which has actually been around awhile now.

Happy New Year, one and all!


How the Vietnam war ended

We went in the front door of The Holy Land Quickee's, intent on scarfing up on a couple of convenience store crappacinos. We weren't on our bikes; there was too much ice on the roads. It was a brisk minus 8, but the sky was a nice blue, and it was clear.

DinkyDau Billy was sitting at his favorite table. He was wearing his new McKinley AFDB. There was an extra-large diet Dr. Pepper at his elbow, and a well-gnawed Juan Diego breakfast burrito beside the Dr. Pepper.

There was also a pair of Hanes briefs on the table in front of Billy. Dark blue ones.

"Billy! Why do you have underwear on the table where you're eating!?" Leece both exclaimed and questioned at the same time.

"Huh? Huh?" Billy seemed somewhat dazed.

"What's with the underwear, dude?" I asked, "Who puts underwear on the breakfast table?"

"Oh. Oh. Ummmm ... they's clean. Akshully, they's brand new," he told us.

"So what's the deal?" We both asked, in unison.

"I wuz thinkin' a the last time I visited The Wall," DinkyDau Billy mused, "an I was thinkin' a that first Chrismus I spent in The Smile Hi, and I was thinkin' a absent companions."

Billy was clearly in a funk, and it was over the war, which he sometimes does. The War. Yep. That one. The one they really don't even mention other than in passing, in the history classes over at The Princeton of the Plains, and certainly not in very many other schools, these days.

"So what's the deal?" We both asked, in unison, again.

"Lookit the label on them shorts," he urged us.

We did.

"Hecho in Vietnam?" Leece was somewhat incredulous.

"Yeah. Yeah. An the label's in Spanitch, like you sees there, and in Englitch, right under it."

And it was. Yep. "Hecho in Vietnam" on one line, and "Made in Vietnam" on the other.

"Huh. Huh." That was me, pulling a Billy. I was wondering if our Peace-loving Socialist Peoples of the Republic of Vietnam were making these undies in the same underground factories they used to use for making weapons and uniforms. Nothing like a bit of capitalistic entrepreneurialism to beat swords into plowshares. Or clothing factories.

"So are you OK?" Leece enquired, solicitously.

"Huh? Huh?" There was a lot of that going around this morning.

"Are you OK, Billy?" Billy could get into some serious depressive states when he got to thinking about the war.

"Oh. Yeah. Yeah. I done adapted to the fack that the war's over, and this here proof a that."

"How have you done that?" Leece asked. She was quite concerned. So was I.

"Check this," he said, while he discreetly pulled up his shirt, and lowered his trousers' beltline enough to expose a bit of his dainty underthings.

He was wearing bright red "Hecho in Vietnam" Hanes briefs. "I gots the red ones to show there ain't no hard feelins," he confided.

So I guess the war is officially over, and peace reigneth over the land.

We snuffled the rest of Billy's breakfast burrito, while contemplating The Whichness of What, and The Thisness of That.

Update 16 July 2013:

McDonalds to open in Vietnam

Woohoo! And who said the war was a waste? My only question is ... will they be dipping their fries in nuoc mam?


Keynesian economics in The Smile Hi City

We were sitting on the rail of the bridge over the Arkansas, north of The Holy Land. We were admiring the sun, sparkling off the snow and ice, and watching the ice floes drifting downstream. We were freezing our buns off.

"Hey! Hey!" exclaimed DinkyDau Billy, adjusting his new AFDB, "have ya heard about the new ekernomic inishatives?"

"Initiatives? Here?" asked TootSweet, in wondering wonderment.

"Yeah. Yeah. They's gonna bolster the tourism industry and give a local business a shot in the arm at the same time, usin' them tourist tax bux. Kinda like The Smile Hi City's own Recovery and Reinvestment Act!" Billy was quite excited. "It's a practical application of Keynesian thought to our own macroeconomic sitchyashun right here in our own backyards!"

"Before you tell us about that, why don't you tell us about your new AFDB?" Leece asked our stalwart, "I'm very impressed with the new design."

"Yeah. Yeah. Ain't it somethin'?" Billy was effusive in his enthusiasm. His new AFDB was in the shape of a finely crafted Stetson 1000x Diamante, and about as smoothly molded.

"It's the new McKinley model,"  he shared with us.

"Very nice," I said. We all nodded in agreement.

"Well, they's gonna use them lodgin' tax bux to fund newspaper subscriptions for all the hotels in town," Billy went on, "so's motel visitors kin check out all the stuff ta do here."

"They're using tax revenues to take out subscriptions to the local paper, for the local motels? Are you serious?"

"Well ... yeah. Beverly Babb done brung it up at the tourism board meetin', and they took it to council, and council voted fer it," Billy revealed, "since only one a them motels takes the paper now, they's thinkin' all them motel patrons is missin' the good stuff."

"Do you mean they are going to deliver a copy of the paper to everyone staying in the hotel, like they do with USA Today?" Leece seemed a bit baffled by it all.

"Naw. Naw. The paper's gots a special offerin', where you gits six months for 12 bux. They's gittin' each motel one a them six month specials," Billy clarified.

"Oh. So there is just one paper per day per motel? So what do they do? Check it out to patrons, like a library book?" Tookie was curious.

"Well, I dunno, maybe they's gonna pass it around at breakfast or somethin?" Billy was essentially clueless.

"When did they decide to do this?"

"At the last council meetin'. It's in the minnits," Billy explained.

"Well, at 12 bux for six months, it's about a dime a copy. Why not just invest a dime a day for every motel patron?"

"I think it's a great idea," Toots said, gushing enthusiasm, "but that's just an example of how they didn't go far enough outside the box. They should add a subscription for the Burlington Northern terminal, the one the Amtraks use, for the passengers there. You never know when a person might be moved to cash in all the chips and move here to the Smile Hi!!! Or maybe they could just put a stack of papers at the entrance way to the new pedestrian bridge?"

"Good thinking!" I agreed, "and they should also give subscriptions to all the restaurants, and the rest of the businesses downtown, because all of them have something to do with, like, you know, new customers and such like. They entice passers-through from the highway. And let's not forget the sale barns on this one."

"Or the golf course," added Leece, "because as we know, golfers driving through town like to stop at every little burg that has a golf course, and play it."

"You been reedin' the paper?" axed Billy, "cuz that's exactly what's goin' on, what with the golf association wantin' a new sign to be paid for out of tax revenues. Because they bring in a lot of tourism bidness, you see."

"I agree," agreed Tookie, who was in a very agreeable state of mind," and I agree that we should have a sign downtown for the Copper Kitchen, and the other restaurants, who bring in customers off the highway, who might otherwise drive through! This is a great way to spend those tax dollars!" She was excited.

"Yeah! Yeah! We can't fergit about the Copper Kitchen, which is world famous becuz a Alton Brown!" Billy joined in, "an people come to the Smile Hi City lookin' for the Alton Brown experience! They gotta have a sign for the Copper Kitchen!"

We all agreed that it was good to see that these tax revenues being put to imaginative use. There is nothing worse than tax money just sitting there, not being spent.


More educational junketry

CASB at the Broadmoor is another article about CASB's bash at the Broadmoor. I'm not sure if it's supporting the shindig, or giving it a mild backhand:

CASB staffers expect lower attendance this year, due to the economy and cuts in state school funding. Association spokesman Brad Stauffer estimates about 800 participants, down from last year’s 1,000. It’s a lovely setting but other education groups like pretty places too – the Colorado Association of School Executives favors Breckenridge and the Colorado Education Association scheduled its fall bargaining retreat at Copper Mountain.

Our school boards and our school administrators shore do like their resorts, don't they? Well ... some of them. Note that attendance is down an estimated 20%. Due to 'the economy and state school funding.'

Too bad Stauffer and the rest of 'em haven't gotten the message.

The only 'conference' that's a bigger waste of taxpayer money, while providing 'public servants' a free vacation at a hotshot resort, is the annual Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police bash. You have to have a password to get into that section of their website. However, they Facebooked it. It was held last June up in Estes Park.

I think we need a mill levy override for junkets, don't you? Perhaps CASB can add that to next years list of 'seminars.'


CASB's party at the Broadmoor

The Colorado Association of School Boards - CASB - has been taking some heat for a few years now over the fact that it holds its annual bash up at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.

If you aren't familiar with the Broadmoor, it's one of the swankiest outfits in the state, if not the southwestern United States.

Back on December 3, 2009, the Aspen Times published this article:

Colorado school boards to meet at luxury hotel

from which we draw this excerpt:

Colorado school boards plan to hold their annual convention at the luxury Broadmoor hotel this weekend.

The three-day meeting comes as districts across the state are planning to cut millions of dollars from their budgets because of the recession.

But here's the best part:

The Colorado Association of School Boards said its conference will feature sessions and speakers that are designed to help boards deal with the times, including a session on budget cutting intended to reduce the impact on students.

Then in 2010, the now-defunct Face the State published a couple of articles about how school boards were dumping a pretty good chunk of change to hobnob with vendors and book salesmen and lobbyists and other such types, up there at the Broadmoor ... all while We the People were being told that school district budgets were in dire straits. Remember how programs were being cut? Teachers and other staff were being laid off? Fees We the People were paying for labs and athletics and other 'activities' were going up? Yep. All while the school boards were snuffling at the Broadmoor trough, being wined and dined by lobbyists, vendors, and other profit-seekers.

Here are our previous posts on this:

School Daze

High times at the Broadmoor

No right to speak which doesn't really have much to do with the CASB shindig, other than to illustrate the arrogance of school boards and CASB, as well as demonstrate why you aren't likely to get much out of your local board.

Total price for CASB's bash at the Broadmoor which included a link to a Face the State post, from which this excerpt is drawn:

The Colorado Association of School Boards turned a nice little profit on its annual convention at the Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs in December.

The four day bash cost the lobbying organization $307,247. Income from registration fees paid by school districts and commercial sponsorships netted $379,243, leaving CASB to pocket more than $71,000.

Of course, the school districts the organization represents — and which provide 60 percent of CASB’s operating budget through annual membership dues — earned nothing on the event. In fact, as Face the State reported in December, they paid twice for it: once with their dues and again through registration fees charged to school board members to attend it.

This year, the partying at the Broadmoor continues, despite concerns expressed by parents and even an admission by CASB that it looks bad for them to be hanging out at the Broadmoor. Ya think? While every time you turn on the telly you hear about how bad the economy is, and how school district budgets are even tighter.

Here is an article from the Greeley Gazette about this year's confabulation:

School district pays over $21,000 for dues, cost of attending convention

Yep. That's right. District 6 up in Greeley dropped over $21,000 for this CASB bash. Meanwhile, student organizations and parents are holding bake sales to raise money for their kids' educational 'incidentals'. You know ... lab fees, 'activity' fees, and so on.

And what are school board members doing up there at the Broadmoor? Attending some rather interesting little seminars:

"The four day convention uses a majority of the facilities and includes work sessions such as 'The Game has Changed: What will it take to pass a bond and mill levy override in 2012?' 'Changing the Constitution and other trivial matters' and 'Unstuck and Maximizing Diversity.'"

How to override the mill levy? Should that be titled "How to do an end run around the tax structure"? And that "How to change the Constitution"? In what way? Doing away with article 2 section 24 of the state constitution? And 'Unstuck and Maximizing Diversity". What does that mean? That we need more gay and lesbian and transgender studies in class? Perhaps "Muslim studies"? A course or two in Sharia law?

But wait! There's more!

Denver school board opens its therapy session to the public

An excerpt:

Attending the CASB convention at the deluxe Broadmoor is its own source of tension for the board.

Although members are offered reduced rates for rooms at the hotel, some have questioned whether it makes sense to attend conventions at a time when K-12 budgets are being cut statewide.

Denver, for example, will likely have to cut $25 million from its budget this year. Jefferson County is cutting $18 million to $20 million a year over the next three years.

The weekend conference features informational sessions, developmental workshops and speakers who are designed to help boards — including a session about cutting budgets, CASB spokesman Brad Stauffer said.

"We think there are some things they can learn here that can help them deal with the difficult times and help them govern their school districts in the way they can manage through these budget cuts so that is less impactful on students," Stauffer said.

Registration for the entire three-day convention is $330, which includes breakfasts and lunches. Lodging at the hotel for board members ranges from $150 to $238 per room. Board members staying the entire session can expect to pay up to $1,000 for registration, meals and lodging.

Yeah. Hey, next year, let's do that bake sale in the lobby of the Broadmoor. We can sell chocolate chip cookies to all those board members and vendors and lobbyists. Maybe even Hick will buy a few brownies!

Meanwhile ... we suggest a new motto for CASB: Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!

Say ... I wonder how much our local school districts dropped on this little junket?


Signs and wonders; Pentecostals and science; Catholics and transubstantiation

Ummmm ... interesting statement from a colleague this past week:  

"In my view it would be easier to convince a Catholic that the elements of the Mass are not truly the body and blood of Jesus than to convince a Pentecostal of scientific issues contrary to their teaching."

Which statement brings this thought to mind:

First, it's elements of the Eucharist, not the Mass. Second, you mean they aren't? But seriously ... if Pentecostals are not even willing to accept that Catholics are really Christians, how can we expect Pentecostals to accept transubstantiation as one of those Signs and Wonders. You know, like faith healing. Words of Knowledge. Predictive prophecy. That sort of thing.

Just sayin'.


Meadows sold for $1.8 mill

 From this morning's Colorado Business Briefs:

Marcus &Millichap Real Estate Investment Services announced the sale of the 100-space Meadows Mobile Home Park in La Junta for $1.8 million. Neither the buyer or seller were identified.


Turkey hunting - California stye

Here's how they hunt wild turkeys in California:

County OK's youth turkey hunt - again

Some interesting excerpts:

Both proposals drew the ire of environmentalists and animal-rights activists. They took issue with children firing weapons on an open-space preserve as well as the impression it might give them that slaughter was preferable to nonviolent solutions.

"Children firing weapons." Can't have that on a turkey hunt for youth. Nope.

But here's the best one: "... that slaughter was preferable to non-violent solutions."

How can you have a non-violent 'solution' to a turkey dinner? No matter how you cut it, the turkey is going to find it violent. Unless ... maybe they want to give the turkeys lethal injections? Would that be considered a 'peaceful' end to the turkey? How would that sit with NCADP?

Pearl Harbor, and "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables"

Here is a great story about Pearl Harbor:

An old salt recalls wounds of Pearl Harbor

There is one statement in the story that requires correction, though. The author wrote:

All eight of the Navy's mighty battleships were sunk or badly damaged.

That isn't true.

While all eight of the battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or damaged, the US Navy had other battleships. The Colorado was in overhaul up in Puget Sound. North Carolina was either on her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean or had recently completed it, and was diverted from Pearl Harbor early in '42 to participate in the hunt for Tirpitz. Washington had been launched but had not yet been commissioned. Indiana had been launched a couple of weeks before Pearl Harbor and was undergoing pre-commissioning trials. And then, of course, there were the battleships assigned to the Atlantic Fleet: New Mexico, Mississippi, and Idaho in Battleship Division 3, and New York, Texas, and Arkansas as training ships in Battleship Division 5.

Most of these ships would play significant roles in defeating the Japanese and the Germans. Most of them came to inglorious ends in the breaking yards and as target ships. Texas and North Carolina survive today as museum ships.

Channeling Teddy Roosevelt

Galen has an interesting op-ed piece here:


which might be just another op-ed piece, other than the comment about Obama's campaign speech in Osawatomie, lifted from WaPo. It's about two-thirds of the way down the column. But here's the whole thing:

Obama's Kanasas Speech: Some suspect 'facts'

WaPo is part of the mainstream media. The MSM.It's amazing that they would actually do some fact-checking. OTOH, the far right doesn't bother much with that either ... witness the nonsense that is re-circulating over Bo Obama's private jet flight to Maine.


Sam Frankmore Wrestling Tournament

We have a gallery up for the Saturday, 12.03.2011 matches, over on WritingPlaces.com's galleries page.


"And then ... there were the strawberries ..."

Some things never change:

Navy report finds preferential treatment on Ponce

On numerous occasions, the report says, Jones directed sailors to engage in unsafe ship-handling procedures that clearly went against standards. Other times, she distracted officers at critical times.
The report offers an example: "While navigating the Suez Canal at night with heavy shipping traffic, the C.O. came to the bridge and ordered the [officer of the deck] to explain why her laptop computer had been closed."
The report states that when officers tried to explain that Jones' directions weren't safe, she "would ignore the advice and direct that her orders be carried out."

Shades of Captain Queeg!


America's New Revolutionaries

Here they are:

Portraits of the New Revolutionaries

Somehow, they seem a bit out of synch with our original revolutionaries:


Another Facebook idiot

 For all those simpletons who still think Facebook is 'private' or has any privacy at all:

Facebook photo leads to arrest in stolen laptop case

Of course, they all think the cops are 'cheating' and should stick to 'real' investigative tools. Like, you know, on CSI or Criminal Minds, or NCIS, where they routinely hack into corporate and private computers without bothering with little things like warrants.

An LAPD view of the Occupiers

Here is an LA police officer's point-of-view of the LA and other 'occupiers':

Occupy LA: A cop's perspective


Throwing a snit fit

Or a temper tantrum. Not much difference.

Check this:

Law professor quits job after colleague calls care packages for US troops 'shameful'

A law professor who is serving overseas in Afghanistan has quit his job at a Massachusetts university after a colleague sent out a controversial e-mail declaring it "shameful" to send care packages to U.S. troops.

This guy that up and quit is an Army reserve major. The dustup is over the law prof who said this:

"I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings" and went on to add that sympathy for American troops in harm's way is "not particularly rational in today's world."

This apparently got the major's knickers in a twist. I think most of us can see why, and can probably agree with the knicker-twisting.

But the major, having resigned, said this in an interview:

"It’s basically like a 5-year-old throwing a temper tantrum ... That is not how we teach our students to rationally look at the issues…We want rational adult discourse and that is not something I would tolerate in my class and it is not something the school should tolerate from one of its professors."

So the major is doing ... what? Taking his ball and going home? Who is throwing the more childish tantrum here? The offending law prof said something the major didn't like. I don't see that it is particularly childish, however.

What is childish is the major's little tantrum, and the fact that he is willing to squelch someone with whom he disagrees - "... I would not tolerate in my class ..." indicates to me that he really doesn't understand what it is he has sworn to protect and defend in the service of these United States.

Perhaps Major Bob Roughsedge should consider becoming Pete King's chief of staff. Both Bob and Pete seem to have the same views regarding the Constitution ... which is that we can all freely speak our minds only so long as we agree with them.


Vital issues: Fiddling while Rome burns

The European Union has once again demonstrated a remarkable level of incompetence in leadership.

"While the euro burns ..." - that is, while European economies are on the edge of collapse; while prime ministers flee office, while Unionistas rampage in the streets of European cities ... we have this:

Business leaders will reportedly face jail time for claiming that water prevents dehydration

MEP Paul Nuttall said the ruling made the “bendy banana law” look “positively sane”.

He said: “I had to read this four or five times before I believed it. It is a perfect example of what Brussels does best. Spend three years, with 20 separate pieces of correspondence before summoning 21 professors to Parma where they decide with great solemnity that drinking water cannot be sold as a way to combat dehydration.

Wait one ... what was that about 'bendy bananas'?

It seems that awhile back, the European Union passed laws preventing the sale of bananas - and cucumbers for that matter - that had bends. Were like, you know ... curved.

It actually went to court, where a great deal of judicial time was expended:

Yes, we can have curved bananas ...

Obama's administration must be experiencing all kinds of tingles over the mere thought of that kind of regulation of our daily lives.


"West of Pecos"

We have a gallery for the Swink High School drama class production of "West of Pecos" up on WritingPlaces.com's Galleries page, under Other Events 2011



The growth of publically funded health care

Here is an interesting article from the highly-vaunted-finger-on-the-pulse-of-our-society Pueblo Chieftain:

Uninsured grow: 16 percent statewide without insurance

The article goes on about Pueblo County residents in particular.

An excerpt:

“When I looked at the initial ratings, that was a surprise to me,” said Ned Calonge, president and CEO of The Colorado Trust. “The reason behind it is that so many people in the county are on Medicare and Medicaid. It has to do with an increased amount of publicly funded care.”

Just yesterday, I heard a fellow express some rather cogent viewpoints on this. First, someone has to pay for the 'free' services. And, if the services are not entirely 'free', then someone has to pay for the subsidizing of those services.

The funding for all these government-provided Good Deals comes out of someone's pockets. Right? Does that not seem painfully obvious? Apparently it is not, to some of us.

In any case, the more money is taken from the pockets of those who actually work and pay taxes, so as to pay for those increased 'free' services, the more people 'qualify' for those increased 'free' services, and the drain on those whose pockets the government picks becomes greater. Soon, those people who are funding those 'free' services can no longer afford to do so, and they too qualify for those 'free' services. This reduces the pool of those from whom the government can suck blood, in the figurative sense. And so the government borrows money from the Chinaman to pay for all this, at least for the moment. ObamaCare, which as we all know is designed to take care of the 16 percenters throughout the state, is not going to make it any better. So far, our beloved rulers have not done too well with zeroing out the deficit with cuts here and there to pay for it, so that means that those of us who, for the moment, still can, will. Along with the Chinaman, who ain't doin' it out of the goodness of his collective heart.

It's a bit more complex than that, of course; you have to have the Nancy Pelosis and Wes McKinleys playing their political cards, and you have to have the rest of our beloved Congresscritters playing their political cards, posturing and pandering and telling us how hard they are 'fighting' for us.

Speaking of Ol' Cowboy Wes ... anyone seen him and/or his teepee since the cops started moving the squatters out? Has he been up there 'listening to the citizens'?

Here's an interesting tidbit, from the last La Junta Utility Board meeting. It doesn't have anything to do with 'free' healthcare, but it does have to do with the idea that someone has to pay for the stuff and services we use:

Minutes of the meeting of November 8

Is there anyone around here who isn't on 'fixed income'?


A Right Wing Smear

Remember how Nancy Pelosi was standing four-square behind the Occupiers? Remember how she was getting all the press as to how she was 'with them' in their 'fight' against the oppressive and opportunistic capitalists of Wall Street, and the Evil Banks?

So ...

Washington -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office accused the news program "60 Minutes" of omitting key information from its report Sunday on how members of Congress use privileged information to profit from stock trades.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill also called the report "a right-wing smear" based on a new book by conservative author Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institution, a think tank based at Stanford University. The book is titled: "Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Jail."

The entire article is here:

Pelosi denies insider trading allegations

Pelosi is the twelfth wealthiest member of Congress. Her riches come jointly with her husband, Paul, from football (Penn State? No ...) and real estate in San Francisco and Sacramento. Oddly, there were no Occupiers camped out on the Pelosi properties.

It's all part of that vast Right Wing Conspiracy.



 Here's another good essay, this one by Michael Goodwin, about the moral embarrassment that is Penn State football:

Penn State's Cowardly Lions

and it can be argued that it applies more often than not to football in other places and at other levels.

An excerpt:

All of which gives rise to these questions: Those men and women who remained silent in the face of this evil -- are they truly good? Or are they cowards who were simply not willing to take a modest personal risk for the preservation of the one thing they supposedly valued most?

I believe they are cowards. Their goodness was found wanting when it was needed most, and so was shallow if it existed at all. They are sunshine patriots who could not be counted on when the stakes were highest.

In life, even more than in football, courage is required.


Campus Cops = Campus Follies

In too many cases, that's exactly what it is. Campus Follies.

You get too many crimes showing up in a university's stats, and parents decide to send their kids elseplace. A university gets a bad rep, the reputation of being a 'dirty' campus crime-wise, and the enrollments start drying up. And more importantly, so does recruiting for ... The Great God Football and other sports.

And if that happens, alumni donations start drying up.

So it isn't about doing what's right on America's college campuses. It's about what brings in the money. The bottom line is the bottom line.

Here ya go:

Campus law enforcement largely autonomous

Some excerpts:

The Penn State police did investigate a complaint in 1998 about Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach who was charged last week with sexually abusing eight boys, and turned it over to the district attorney, who declined to prosecute.

But many serious offenses reach neither campus police officers nor their off-campus counterparts because they are directly funneled to administrators. That is what happened at Penn State in 2002, according to a grand jury report, when a graduate assistant to Paterno reported that he saw Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in the locker-room showers. 

Can you just imagine those administrators getting that report? The vapor-locking would have sounded like  figurative corks popping all over Happy Valley.

Alison Kiss, the executive director of Security on Campus, a national watchdog group in Wayne, Pa., praised campus police forces for strides made since the law was enacted. But when a university culture demands silence, she added, the campus police come under great pressure to follow suit.
“Most want to do the right thing, but it’s very difficult when you’re not supported,” she said.
Kiss has dealt for years with complaints of sexual assault against football players at big sports schools.


Football. The great reservoir of all-American values. Win at any cost, and if it involves covering up a Great Coach's complicity in a pedophile anally raping a ten year old in the showers ... why, that's just part of the cost of doing business.


A test for 'the Christian Nation'

Here's an interesting essay:

Reactions to Cain, Paterno point to a not-so-Christian nation

Some excerpts:

When I turn on the television and see “family values” conservatives jumping to Cain’s defense within hours of the first charges surfacing, or Penn State students rioting over the decision of their university’s Board of Trustees to fire Paterno, I have to ask myself, “What has happened to this supposedly Christian nation"?

Well ... first, I'm not so sure Cain is guilty; so far all we have is some questionable accusations by some questionable and perhaps very self-seeking 'victims'. Gloria Allred's involvement doesn't say much for the victims; I think Allred is one of the most opportunistic moral clones of Jerry Springer that you'll find anywhere. The damage has been done, however, and no matter what is eventually discovered, Cain has been disAbeled. The 'Christian nation' thing is still valid, however, for if Cain is a victim and not a 'doer', then his political opponents, by aiding and abetting the character assassination, have once again demonstrated just how miserably sleazy American politics can be.

When we turn our gaze to Penn State, do our hearts go out to the boys, some as young as 10, who were allegedly sodomized or otherwise sexually assaulted by a former assistant coach under Paterno? Or do we empathize with Paterno, the closest State College, Pennsylvania, gets to a graven image?

But there is quite a bit more substance to the Penn State dustup. A grand jury investigation and ensuing indictments, while not a finding of guilty, are pretty substantial, and a university cannot afford to keep people such as Paterno and whatsisname the university president in their positions. Or maybe they can, given the 'outrage' by so many over Paterno's firing. The university president doesn't matter; he is not a football coach. And in any case, Paterno, by his comments, admits that he should have done more to make sure the rot was exposed and properly handled.

Though what 'properly handled' means within the context of the moral standards of the Nittany Lions is also questionable; at the moment, it seems to mean they should have done a better job of hiding it all.

Penn State's alumni and students and fans seem quite content to accept homosexual pedophiliac attacks on ten-year-olds, putting themselves into a worshipful state before the modern day Golden Calf ... the Great God Football.

It wasn't consensual homosexual sex between consenting adults ... which while it may get the Christian Right into a foaming frenzy is really none of their business ... it was a Great Man bending over a ten-year kid in the showers at Penn State and ramming home, so to speak, "The Rod". It wasn't Aaron's rod, or even Moses' rods, either, if you get our drift.

Peter, with his betrayal of Christ through his denials, would understand Paterno very well. They are kindred spirits.

Shame on those Penn Staters. Where is Pat Robertson when you need him? Brother Pat could be praying, in fine Christian fashion, that God smites all of the footballs in Happy Valley, causing them to go flat for forty years or somesuch. After all, if God could smite those Haitians, why not a bunch of Penn Staters who don't mind a bit of pedophiliac sodomy?


CSU-Pueblo's Southeast Asia War Memorial

We went to the re-dedication of the CSU-Pueblo Southeast Asia War Memorial today.

We have a gallery of photos of some of the people and some of the activities there, up on the Galleries page of WritingPlaces.com.

It's right at the top of the page.

We can only hope this doesn't distract from the really important stuff. You know, Joe Paterno and Penn State football.

Penn State's high standards

Multiple threats sideline Penn State Coach

Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary will miss Saturday's game against Nebraska after the school said he received "multiple threats."

McQueary is the coach who testified in the grand jury investigation about seeing Sandusky sodomizing a boy in the Penn State athletic facility showers. That's what led to the God-like Penn State coach, Joe Paterno. being fired, and as a sidenote, the firing of the university president.

So. To Penn State's football fans, sodomizing kids is OK, so long as they win their football games?

The press has been going on about how Paterno met his 'legal obligations' by reporting the matter to his so-called 'superiors' at Penn State.

However, Pennsylvania law says otherwise.

Standards for Making a ReportCons. Stat. Tit. 23, § 6311

A report is required when a person, who in the course of employment, occupation, or practice of a profession, comes into contact with children, has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of medical, professional, or other training and experience, that a child is a victim of child abuse.

The 'report' is by statutory definition a police report, not a report to school/university officials. Paterno, by his job position, is one of those mandated to make a police report, and so was the president of the university. They did not. And the behavior of Penn State alumni, students, and fans shows why - they don't care who their coaches sodomize ... so long as they win those football games.

It's all a matter of prioritizing what's important, you see.



It's November 10, marking the 236th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps.

On November 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved to raise two battalions of "American Marines." Congress commissioned 31-year-old Samuel Nicholas, a well-known Philadelphian, as captain of the fledgling force of Continental Marines. Nicholas raised two battalions of Marines and began the long, illustrious history of the United States Marine Corps.

On November 1, 1921, General John A. Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921. The order provided a summary of the history, mission, and traditions of the Corps. General Lejeune directed that the order be read to every command each subsequent year on November 10th in honor of the founding of the Marine Corps. This tradition has continued every year since 1921 throughout the Corps.

The first official "Birthday Ball" was probably held in 1925 in Philadelphia. No official records of the event were held prior to that date. Guests at the ball in 1925 included the Secretary of the Navy, General Lejeune, well-known national leaders, and representatives from all the military services.

On October 28, 1952, Commandant General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. directed the celebration of the Marine Corps Birthday be formalized throughout the Corps. The details were included in the Marine Corps Drill Manual approved in 1956. General Shepherd's order helped bring together the inclusion of a cake ceremony and other traditions still held every year at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

This year's Commandant's Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

Selling God up by Florissant

Earlier this summer we took a couple of trips over to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

Little did we know that we were near Christian Greatness, and so ... we missed an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of The Woodland Park Sanctuary. We could have written a check, had we but known!

Andrew Wommack's Pathway to Prominence

Perhaps Wommack should be handling Rick Perry's campaign finances, and acting as his media spokesperson?

A pile of political manure

Rick Perry 'steps in it'

Indeed he has. A pair of chest waders won't get him out of this pile of political manure.

We can only wonder if the Gov has been taking lessons from the Otero County and State of Colorado Republican party machines.

Meanwhile ...

November 10, 2011

Three Things from Rick Perry

About Last Night

Dear American:

Okay, lookit, there are three things I forgot to mention last night.

Firstly, you should never drink before a debate. Right after that danged
thing was over I had to stick my head in the porcelain throne and that lawn
gnome Ron Paul had to hold my hair. This morning my head hurts like it was
hit with a hammer in one of those movies with Larry, Curly, and… Larry,
Curly, and what’s the other one? Ah, shit.

Now here’s B: the American people have to decide what’s worse, forgetting
which agencies you plan to get rid of or forgetting which ladies you tried
to nail when you were running the National Restaurant Association. I can
tell you this, if somebody asked me if I remembered who I’d sexually
harassed I could sure as shit tell you their names. But please don’t ask me

And finally, number 3: what the hell was number 3 again? I’ve got it on the
tip of my tongue. Nope, I’ve lost it. Oops.

Vote for me,

Rick Perry

"... a squeaky clean state school ..."

Here’s a good editorial, posted yesterday by a Penn State alumnus:

“… squeaky clean state school …”?


The behavior of the 2,000 or so morons up in Happy Valley, as well as the cover-up, rather emphasizes Clark Kerr’s comment all those years ago:

"The three purposes of the University?--To provide sex for the students, sports for the alumni, and parking for the faculty."

We have been re-watching the “Friday Night Lights” series from the beginning. It’s a great series but it sure doesn’t paint a very good picture of high school football, all the worse because it's so believable. The behaviors up in Happy Valley really demonstrate that the TV series might have been more of a reality show than anything else. And it seems to get worse the higher up the football food chain you go. 

So much for all those “American values” the game is supposed to represent.


The Republican Agenda

"... encouraging healthy relationship dynamics ..."

That's excerpted from a statement by the Occupy Wall Street non-leaders.

Occupy protests plagued by reports of sex attacks, violent crime

And then we have this, from the same article:

At the site of the Occupy San Diego camp, street cart vendors were forced to close up shop Monday when protesters, angry that they stopped receiving free food, ransacked and vandalized the carts.

The angry mob not only scrawled graffiti on the carts, they reportedly splattered them with blood and urine as well.

In addition, the vendors received death threats, according to local radio station KNX 1070.

Meanwhile, the talking heads on MSNBC are going nuts over the Cain dustup, with one of those worthies insisting that Cain should have to register as a sex offender.

If that's the case, we should expect to see him in the registration line behind Bill Clinton.

But speaking of Cain ... it's good to see that the Republican party, the party of high moral values, continues to live up to the high standards it has set.

OTOH ... we have this, just coming to light:

Accuser filed complaint in next job


The Republican Agenda

The Republicans continue to come to grips with the vital issues of the day:

Charles Eurey learns to fly the B-25

Charles Eurey is a guest columnist for the Lincoln County Times-News. He has written about taking B-25 flight training at La Junta Army Airfield just after New Year's Day 1944:

Moving on down the line in 1943

Some of Mr. Eurey's previous articles:

On the wings of the wind in World War II

Winging along in my flying machine

No ... it isn't Lincoln County, Colorado. It's Lincoln County, North Carolina. Mr. Eurey is a member of the Lincoln County Historical Association, which has a really nice museum.


Swink goes to State

The Swink Lady Lions, after a spectacular series of victories at the Regionals yesterday, in Pueblo, are going on to the state championships next weekend.


We have a gallery of 336 images from the Swink Lady Lions Regionals 11.04.2011, up on WritingPlaces.com's Galleries page.

Please go to WritingPlaces.com and click on the Galleries tab.

The gallery is under Swink Volleyball 2011.


"I don't wanna work ..."

I just wanna bang on a drum all day ...:

The "Occupation Anthem":

Since Nancy Pelosi, Wes McKinley, and the Democratic National Committee have all endorsed the Occupiers ... can we presume that this is also the official song of the Democratic Party?


Free speech

Patience tested over waste, crime at protest sites

Free speech is a wonderful thing, isn't it? It lets us see exactly what the Democrats support. And where are the Democratic National Committee, Nancy Pelosi, and Cowboy Wes?Are they now 'distancing' themselves from this? If so, it's too late.

And here is a link with some good video clips of the Oakland dustup:

Rioting in downtown Oakland

I would have thunked Nancy and ol' Cowboy Wes would have been on the scene to offer moral support and demonstrate solidarity with the protestors.

This one is particularly fascinating:


Swink Blood Drive

While the politicians are busy stabbing each other in the back and jockeying for a better position from which to get their hands on our wallets, here is something far more worthwhile, that can distract you from that foolishness:

Reserve your spot to save a life at our Swink High School Blood Drive

Monday, November 14th

From 9:00 to 10:30 am and from 12:00 to 2:30 pm in the Conference Room

Please sign up for an appointment by contacting Swink High School’s Counseling Office at 719/384-8103

For general information about blood donor eligibility or to contact Bonfils’ Donor Relations department with questions about blood donation, please call 800/365-0006, ext. 2.


Biden Evokes Sexual, Violent Imagery Again in Push for $447 Jobs Bill

Biden Evokes Sexual, Violent Imagery Again in Push for $447 Jobs Bill

“Let me tell you, it’s not temporary when that 9-1-1 call comes in and a woman’s being raped. If a cop shows up in time to prevent the rape, it’s not temporary to that woman,” Biden said with his voice rising. “It’s not temporary to the guy whose store is being held up and has a gun being pointed to his head if a cop shows up and he’s not killed. That’s not temporary to that store owner. Give me a break -- temporary.

“I wish these guys who thought it was temporary, I wish they had some notion what it’s like be on the other side of a gun or a 200-pound man standing over you telling you to submit,” he added. “Folks, it matters. It matters.”

Last Wednesday, Biden suggested during a speech in Flint, Mich., that rapes and murders could rise if the jobs bill failed to pass Congress.

Wow. Talk about fear-mongering. Joltin' Joe insists that instances of rape have risen in numbers. He did. In his own words, "I said 'rape is up', three times ... there are the numbers .... go look at the numbers ... " OK. Let's do just that. Here are the numbers. Take a look:

Those figures are from the Department of Justice's Bureau of  Justice Statistics. We also have this from the BJS:

The violent crime rate declined from 19.3 to 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons during 2009, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today. This decline continued a longer-run decline from 51.2 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 1994 and brought violent crime rates to their lowest levels since 1973, the first year that BJS collected data from crime victims through its National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS).

Statistical compilations generally run two years behind the current year. There is no indication from currently available data that the trend identified through 2009 has turned upward. A BJS estimate for 2010:

  • The rate of total violent crime victimizations declined by 13% in 2010, which was about three times the average annual decrease observed from 2001 through 2009 (4%).
  • The decline in the rate of simple assault accounted for about 82% of the total decrease in the rate of violent victimization in 2010.
  • In 2010 the property victimization rate declined by 6%, compared to the average annual decrease of 3% observed from 2001 through 2009.

Typically of our vice president, he is blowing it out his bunghole. In a manner of speaking. As usual, he is using bluster and bombast to bully so-called 'journalists', who these days don't do much in the way of fact-checking, and to pretty much inundate We the People with verbal bovine excrement. Yep, that's our political leadership for you.

That aside,  Joltin' Joe is using a really bad example. Does he really think that this so-called 'jobs bill' is going to have an effect on 911 and response times? Does he have even the slightest  clue as to 911 response times?

I wonder what he would think of this:

"When seconds count ... the police are only minutes away."

For example:

Clerk kills would-be robber who grabbed daughter

You'll note that the sheriff's department showed up in time to conduct the investigation. That isn't the fault of the sheriff's department; it's the reality of life. All the Obama-money (which is really your money, and mine, that the Obamanians want to either borrow from the Chinaman so we can pay it back later, or shake out of our pockets in the here and now) in the world wouldn't have made that any different.

If the line between civilized America and the savage criminal elements is so thin that only Obama's 'jobs bill' can save us ... I think we'd be a lot better off if the 'jobs bill' funded trainers and courses for the use of firearms in self-defense. Also range construction and development. And stimulus money to firearms manufacturers. And subscriptions to Guns and Ammo magazine.



Alternate fuel

DinkyDau Billy was slurping a diet Dr. Pepper as we walked into The Holy Land Quickee's. We placed our order with Juan Diego, and sat across from Billy. He had several piles of papers scattered around in front of his laptop.

"Hi Billy!" Leece greeted him enthusiastically.

"Hi yerself, CourtWench," he replied.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Well, you've seen that sign up at 10th and Colorado in The Smile Hi City? The one about laser liposuction?"

We both nodded that we had.

"I been researchin'. I think I unnerstand The Plan," he shared.

"The Plan?" we both chorused.

"Yeah.  Yeah.  You know how Michelle Obama is down on fat people?"

We allowed as how we knew that.

"An you know hows the Obamessiah is pushin' his Obamacare thing?"

We allowed as how we knew that.

"An you know how he's really pushin' those alternative fuels?"

"Oh yes. You mean like Solyndra," Leece said, "The outfit that trashed, what, over $500 million in our tax money, through the stupidity of Obama's 'energy team'?"

"Well ... yeah, though I think they gots somethin else in mind," Billy revealed.

"Like what?"

"Well ... the bidness about getting fat people to lose weight by dieting and eatin healthy grits ain't workin', you know," Billy shared, "so they's had to come up with an alternative plan."

"Like what?"

"Well ... Obamacare will pay for that laser liposuction. So you can eat whatever you want in spite of what he said back during the campaign, and still get fat, and the government will save you through the technological marvel of laser liposuction. And that helps the energy deficit, too, you see."

We didn't, not actually.

"Well ... they's backin' off that eatin' healthy thing. That was killin' the alternative fuels effort. Now they wants Americans to stuff themselves with fat foods. Uh ... make that 'fast' foods ...", Billy revealed. He was in one of his Revelation moods.

"But what's the purpose?" asked Leece.

"Well ... they takes all the blubber and tallow they sucks out of people, and ship it off in tanker trucks to a refining plant, and render it down to lubricants and fuels," Billy advised, "so the fatter Americans are, the more blubber and tallow can be sucked out of them, and the more alternative fuels can hit the market. Kind of like suckin' more money out of our wallets in the form of taxes, you see."

We sat there staring at him. As whacked out as it sounded, it didn't sound any more whacked out that some other things the government was doing. Solyndra, for example.

"But there's even more," Billy advised.

"What's that?" we chorused. We were ready to do some serious choir work.

"It creates jobs, too. We all eat more, so that's good for the farmers and ranchers. And as you know, we owe it to them to keep the market up for them. And think of all those liposuction technicians the nation will need. And the skilled refinery workers to process all that blubber and tallow. Union workers, too, so you know they'll vote for Obama in 2012."

We sat there, marveling at the intricities of the interlocking insurance, fuels, and jobs program devised by our benefactors in Washington.

"Shoot," I said, "with that kind of courageous avant garde thinking, we owe it to him to re-elect him."

We sat there, contemplating the greatness of America.

"It's better than the ethanol subsidy," Billy observed.

Coming soon ... a look at the relationship between elephant dung paper, the US Treasury, our national interests in Africa, and Obama's latest military adventure on the Dark Continent.

The Occupiers

As we have previously noted, the Democratic National Committee stands with the occupiers. So does Nancy Pelosi. So does our own elected rep, Wes McKinley.

So who are these occupiers?

Here are the ones over in LA:

The occupation of LA: Part IV

The Los Angeles city council - all Democrats - has passed a resolution of support for the 'occupiers' who are trashing the park that surrounds LA city hall.

About a third of the way down, you will find a series of photos showing US flags lying on the ground, being used as tarps and tents, and being walked on by occupiers.

American flags can be seen throughout the encampment used as tarps and blankets, or simply crumpled on the ground.

Here ya go (all photos courtesy of Ringo):

But wait! There's more!

They're communists and Jew-haters as well:

There ya go. It's wonderful that they have the opportunity to freely express themselves, don't you agree?

These are the views  the Democrats are supporting. Thanks to the exercise of free speech, we have a much better idea of what the Democratic Party stands for.

Pete King doesn't understand that free speech is essential to a free republic, a free democracy. If Pete King had his way, these people would have been gagged, and we would never have known their 'values'.


Doxology, Rocky Mountain Mennonite Relief Sale 10.15.2011

The Doxology being sung just before the main auction, Rocky Mountain Mennonite Relief Sale, Rocky Ford, CO. We missed the first few seconds, unfortunately:

Hi res MP4 file:

Some background:

When, why, and how do Mennonites use the anthem?


Who are the Mennonites?

There is an image gallery on WritingPlaces.com, under Flash Galleries | Events. You have to scroll down quite a ways to get to it.


Brian Cowdrey

Back in February 2010 we posted about Staff Sergeant Robert B.'Brian' Cowdrey, an Army medic serving in Afghanistan:

Robert 'Brian' Cowdrey in Afghan battle

Staff Sergeant Cowdrey,  La Junta High School class of 1990, was killed in Afghanistan on 13 October 2011:

Flight Medic SSGT Robert "Brian" Cowdrey Killed In Afghanistan

Brian Cowdrey with Task Force Pegasus last year

Blogpost from Soldiers' Angels Germany:

Godspeed, SSG Robert "Brian" Cowdrey

More in this Soldiers' Angels Germany blogpost:

The Gypsies


"No one dies in my aircraft"


"Soldier remembered as 'servant leader'"

Thought processes

So Brookfield Properties, who own Zucotti Park, where the so-called 'Occupy Wall Street protestors' are squatting, finally got fed up with the mess those people were making of their property.

The cops were supposed to start clearing 'em out so Brookfield could clean the place up. The 'protestors' had turned it into a real pig sty. The 'protestors' have violated all of Brookfield's rules about park use:

Brookfield Properties, the owner of the park, gave the protesters notice on Thursday that it will begin enforcing park regulations, which prohibit everything from lying down on benches to leaving personal property on the ground.

Park regulations on the notice includes no tents, tarps or sleeping bags on the ground, no lying on benches and no personal property stored on the ground. All these practices have been common at the park, where protesters have lived, slept and eaten for nearly a month

Remember ... Zucotti Park is private property. Though it is a park in the middle of New York City's financial district, it is still private property. In that sense, it is the same as ... oh .... Cowboy Wes McKinley's ranch. When the 'protestors' violate the rules that the owners have set up, it's just like visitors to Cowboy Wes' ranch violating whatever rules he has set up. Like, you know, leaving gates open, peeing and crapping in the stock tanks (we're presuming Cowboy Wes wouldn't allow that), leaving trash to blow across the prairie ... that sort of thing. These are akin to the sorts of things the 'protestors' have been doing. It kind of makes you wonder how Ol' Cowboy Wes can join in such doings, doesn't it? He has, you know, with the Denver brethren of the Occupy Wall Streeters. By expressing solidarity with them, is it not logical to conclude that he approves of all this?

Then we have this:

"They're going to use the cleanup to get us out of here!" said Justin Wedes, 25, a part-time public high school science teacher from Brooklyn. "It's a de facto eviction notice."

So they've turned to and are scrubbing down the park themselves, which they should have been doing since the beginning. That, and observing the property owner's rules in the first place. But it's still Mayor Bloomberg's fault:

"If Bloomberg truly cares about sanitation here he should support the installation of portopans and dumpsters. #OWS allies have been working to secure these things to support our efforts."

They think the taxpayers of New York should pay for them to trespass in sanitary fashion. They really have to be Democrats ...

Interesting viewpoint, is it not? It's all the evil property owner's fault. It's all the government's fault. The nerve of them, trying to get those squatters off the property so it can be cleaned up. The nerve of them, insisting that the rules for use of their property be observed.

I really gotta wonder what would happen if a bunch of PETA members started camping out on Wes' ranch, making a mess of it, and making incoherent demands that he stop murdering cows. Would he just ... dialog with them?

The thought processes here are astounding.



So I was doing a bit of research on some of the wrecks between Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout, part of the area known as 'The Graveyard of the Atlantic' and 'Torpedo Junction.' I was looking up info on the tanker Papoose and the tanker W.E. Hutton, both sunk by U-124 19 March 1942. There's some confusion as to which wreck is which, though these days it's generally accepted that what we used to think is the Papoose is in fact W.E. Hutton.

There is a wonderful website for those who may be interested in submarine warfare in the Atlantic during World War II, and World War I. I've used it many times in the past but I don't think I've ever posted about it.

Check this:


It's been around for awhile, but it just keeps getting better.

Another view of Occupy Denver

Here is a somewhat different take on Occupy Denver:

As politicians edge away from Occupy Denver, one state rep. joins the Occupation

Ol' Cowboy Wes figures prominently in this one, too. An excerpt:

“I’m a state representative,” McKinley said. “It’s my job to represent people. How do you do that? You listen to them, and try to understand them.

“I think it is interesting to see citizens getting more involved in their government and that is what we see here. This is a group of people that we in government don’t normally hear from but they deserve to be represented.”

Well, that's true, don't you think? Pete King could take a lesson from Cowboy Wes on that.

But then we have this:

McKinley said some people have made a big deal out of his presence at the Occupation, as if his sleeping in a park is a sacrifice. “I like to sleep outside in God’s atmosphere,” he said. “I’m not a politician. I’m a cowboy. This is part of our society, part of our country, and I’m just down here to support them. They seem to feel that the government doesn’t listen, and that is true. The government doesn’t listen. I want to find out what these people care about. Anytime the people get involved, we get that much closer to being a government for the people and by the people.”

Admirable sentiments, for a fellow who is about to be term limited out of office, and who has just recently established residence in Las Animas County so as to run for county commissioner. You'll notice Wes is listed as "D-Cokeville" these days.  Not sure how that fits with being just a cowpoke, but it does pay $58,500 per  year, according to the April 5, 2010 Salaries of state and county elected officials and district attorneys.

Purty good draw there, for a non-politician, don't you think? It's quite a bit better than the $30,000 state reps get, according to the same document. Pretty good retirement plan, too.

I just love altruism, don't you?

Zucotti Park and Cowboy Wes McKinley

Zucotti Park is a privately owned park on Wall Street.

It's private property, owned by Brookfield Properties. The 'Occupy Wallstreet' bunch has been trashing it since Day 1:

The company told police that it had received “hundreds of phone calls and emails” from locals complaining about "lewdness, groping, drinking and drug use, the lack of safe access to and usage of the Park, ongoing noise at all hours, unsanitary conditions and offensive odors,” NBC New York reports.

The so-called 'protestors' have taken on the mantle of squatters:

"Basic rules intended to keep the park safe, open, clean, and welcoming to all visitors are clearly posted," the statement from Brookfield reads. "These rules includes bans on the erection of tents or other structures, as well as the placement of tarps, sleeping bags, or other coverings on the property.

"Unfortunately, many of the individuals currently occupying the grounds are ignoring these basic yet necessary requirements, which interferes with the use of the park by others."

The Democrats are on board with this behavior, the Democratic National Committee and the Speaker of the House of the US House of Representatives, our beloved Nancy Pelosi,  having gone on record as supporting these so-called 'protestors.' Joe Biden has compared these characters to the Tea Party, an opinion addressed by Karl Rove, the fellow the far left sees as the evil mastermind of the Bush II regime.

And our own state rep, Wes McKinley, has joined the Denver branch of this 'movement,' going so far as to have set up his tepee and living with the 'protestors' in what we presume is a gesture of 'solidarity.' (Here is where we all rise, raise our right fists into the air, and shout 'Power to the people!'.)

Cowboy Wes is the darling of the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition. Does PCEOC support the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement? How do the demands of the 'occupiers' fit in with PCEOC's view on private property rights?

My question to Cowboy Wes is this: I though you were a big proponent of private property rights, Wes. How is it, then, that you can support a group that has so little regard for the property of others? Can I come down to your ranch and set up a tent on your property, and protest the price of beef? How would that work for you, Wes?


Pete King: All-American Congresscritter

Pete King, all-American congresscritter from New York, was on Laura Ingraham's show the other day. He really went off on the "Occupy (pick your place)" mobs who are running around trashing city parks everywhere, while making demands that would drive an economics student at the University of Leningrad to paroxysms of giggles.

"The fact is these people are anarchists. They have no idea what they're doing out there," King said. "They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It's a ragtag mob basically."

Well, I rather tend to agree with Pete on that one. There aren't a lot of rocket scientists, much less competent economists, in those crowds. Here is a commentary on their list of demands:

Unfocused "Occupy Wall Street" Protestors Make List of Demands

Check those babies out.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment. See? They just want more handouts. But wait ... there's more!

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the “Books.” World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the “Books.” And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Um hmmm ... hey, I like that one. I'm not sure how they expect all those who have worked to produce a product - like, you know, a house - that someone has bought through a mortgage - or, like, you know, a car - that someone has bought through a loan down at the bank - I'm not sure how they expect those who worked to produce those things to actually live if all the loans are flushed. I mean, like ... they wouldn't be paid for their work. But wait! I'm wrong! Yes, I am! There's that guaranteed 'living wage income', even if you don't have a job. I'm not sure how you get a 'wage' if you don't do anything to earn it, but then, I'm apparently not in tune with The Movement.

And I thought the Tea Party was nuts. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi has jumped on board with these characters, as has the Democratic National Committee, and our own Wes McKinley. Hey, Cowboy Wes! If I buy one of your cows, do I have to, like, you know, actually pay you for it? I do? You capitalist oppressor of the masses,  you!

So the Republicans have a chance to cash in, if you will pardon a rather capitalistic expression, on just how far out there the Democrats have drifted. But they aren't. There's just more mindless rhetoric from the likes of Pete King:

"[W]e have to be careful not to allow this to get any legitimacy," he warned. "I'm taking this seriously in that I'm old enough to remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy," he said. "We can't allow that to happen."

Oh, Petey ... what are you going to do? Federalize the Guard and start shooting protestors? I'm old enough to remember the 60's, too, when the left-wing took to the streets to protest the nation's involvement in an insane war, and our government's insane policies associated with that war. Like today's protests, those too were filled with bad logic, poorly expressed reasoning, and a lot of distractions ... but they were an American expression of resistance to the moral corruption of our government, and underneath the nonsense was a good dollop of truth. I think if we looked deep enough into these Occupy Wherever demonstrations, we would find that to be the case as well.

In that, I do agree with Cowboy Wes, that democracy is messy, often painful, and sometimes enough to drive one right up the wall.

I would rather have that, than Pete King stomping his jackboots all over the Constitution. The thing to do is realize that most Americans are not stupid, and will figure this out, one way or another. We did in the sixties and seventies, and we will this time around as well. We don't need the likes of Pete King mandating who gets to say what, or how, or where, or when.

Meanwhile, we continue to come to grips with the vital issues of the day, as the Religious Right vaporlocks over Mormonism. I wonder ... are Hagee and Jeffress Glen Beck fans?

I can feel the love from not only the Democrats, and from Pete King, but also the Religious Right.


Swink Classic Volleyball Tournament 10.08.2011

We have a gallery up on WritingPlaces.com's galleries page:


Under the Flash Galleries for School Sports section.We have pictures of Swink, Cheraw, Holly, La Veta, and Hugo-Genoa.

JV LJ Tigers v. JV Florence Huskies 10.08.2011

We have a gallery up on WritingPlaces.com's galleries page:


Under the Flash Galleries for School Sports section.


Outraged Christians

Once again, Christians are outraged!

Yes! Outraged! Incensed! Worked up into a state of intense anger!

And here is why:

BBC drops BC/AD dating method

It's good to see that the world is doing so well that Christians can focus their 'outrage' on such vital issues of the day as is.

Perhaps next they should focus their outrage on ... oh ... the inoperative ovens of Walmart 1384? Clearly there is a Walmartian Plot to undermine communion services throughout the Valley, by denying Christians a biblically necessary staff of life?

Never mind this:

Iranian pastor stands firm in faith, faces execution

or this:

Muslim extremists in Nigeria kill two Christians

What next? Another boycott of Godless commercial enterprises whose clerks don't wish everyone "Merry Xmas?"

Contaminated melons

So yesterday FoxNews had The Contaminated Melons story on the front page of their website:

Death toll rises to 13

In the story, we find that the listeria is linked to a farm over in Holly, and that the melons were packed and shipped from the farm's processing point in Granada.

Further, we find that the melons themselves were not contaminated internally - in other words, the melons were and are good. According to the news report, the melons were contaminated externally by the handling, processing, and shipping mechanisms:

Matching strains of the disease were found on equipment and cantaloupe samples at Jensen Farms' packing facility in Granada, Colo.

You'll note that matching strains of the listeria were found on the equipment, and ON the cantaloupe samples. That is not the same thing at all as finding them INSIDE the cantaloupe samples.

So what does this tell us? Simply this: all that needed to be done for people not to get sick, was to wash the melons. Preferably with warm soapy water and a good rinse.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand this. You have a bit of produce, the melons in this case, that are grown outdoors, in fields frequented by all kinds of critters, from insects to various types of rodents, to higher order predators like coyotes and foxes, all which poop and pee in those fields. This doesn't even consider the birds of the air, which also tend to poop and pee in the outdoors. The fields may well have been fertilized with manure-based compost.

Then, the melons were shipped to a store, where they are further exposed to the vagaries of nature in the form of our now-famous urchin sneezing all over the produce, and wiping his snotty nose with his fingers, before reaching in and scarfing a few grapes or handling the melons or otherwise spreading his little microbial nasties to the rest of us.

Washing all produce in warm soapy water, or even with a mild bleach solution if you are serving to someone with a badly comprised immune system, such as someone undergoing chemotherapy, is simple common sense, and even more to the point, a personal responsibility. Or is the government supposed to oversee that, too?

Debbie Frederick said her mother knew something was wrong when her father, 87-year-old William Thomas Beach, collapsed at his home in Mustang, Okla. and couldn't get up. He died a few days later, on Sept. 1. The family later learned his death was linked to eating the cantaloupe and sued Jensen Farms.

The Frederick family has my sympathies, for all the good that will do them. They really do. Losing dad like that is a terrible thing.

But is it really the fault of Jensen Farms?

Of course, the Fredericks may have simply been following the exhortation that we saw in the survey run by the Tribune-Democrat.

In which case the Fredericks might be better off suing those who think we should 'buy local' even when the source of an unpleasant and potentially fatal disease is strongly and with justification suspected to be linked to a local product.

It's kind of like the mayor of Amity Island encouraging the local population to just go swimming anyway, so the tourists will come spend their money.

And there is more ... here is an article from the Pueblo Chieftain:

Cantaloupe illnesses and deaths expected to rise

 Sherri McGarry, a senior adviser in the FDA’s Office of Foods, said the agency is looking at the farm’s water supply and possible animal intrusions among other things in trying to figure out how the cantaloupes became contaminated. Listeria bacteria grow in moist, muddy conditions and are often carried by animals.

Yep. Wash yer stuff before you eat it.