Sunday, January 31, 2010

1967 Cool



The side-burns the mascara, the eye shadow, the hair. Awesome!!!!

And the song! Wow.

OK, some of you think I'm freaking out. Fine. Let me have my own little place.
Anyway, here's the Cinderella Rockafella video. Esther & Abi Ofarim sing wonderfuly

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pro Life March in SF

The mainstream media totally suppressed reporting the significance and numbers of people at the Sept. 12 march on Washington. They ignored the overwhelming numbers at the Pro-life rally on Washington this past week, and now, take a look at something encouraging in San Francisco.

Reader, beware, while pajamas media and the pro-lifers keep it clean, the abortionists have no problem with vulgarity.

Zombie » Pro-lifers outnumber pro-choicers 500-to-1 at massive S.F. abortion rally
Walk for Life staged a march in San Francisco last Saturday, January 23, they turned out an overwhelming and jaw-dropping 40,000 pro-life activists, who were met by a well-advertised counter-protest which managed to draw no more than 80 (that’s eighty, eight-zero) pro-choice advocates. 40,000 vs. 80 is a 500-to-1 pro-life advantage, something that seems inconceivable in the sex-positive liberal stronghold of San Francisco. How did this happen?


Thought you'd like to see it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beaux Arts Ballroom, BSU Campus


Mary and I went to Bemidji last night to hear the GOP candidates for MN Gov speak. So I gotta write this down or it was a wasted evening-because I'll forget. The photo above is spliced together. sorry it looks bad. The Beaux Arts Ballroom was moderately full. All seats were occupied, but they could have set up more seats.  I think there were 12 rows of 9 chairs, so, I guess seating for just over a hundred, and then about 20 or so people standing.

The event started at 6:30 and was hosted by the Bemidji State University College Republicans.

Candidates present were Leslie Davis, Rep. Tom Emmer, Bill Haas, Sen. David Hann, Phil Herwig, and Rep. Marty Seifert.

We were in the back row, so taking pictures without a flash was a bit of a challenge. 


In general the main Q&A from the moderators showed a lot of similarity between most of the candidates: pro-life, less government involvement in private lives and business, smaller role for government in education (with a couple of puzzling answers), rejection of the proposed Fed health care laws, rejection of Cap and Trade (with a puzzling exception), enforcement of immigration laws, persuing American energy resources (with one notable exception), Second Ammendment rights-to the extent that MN should not need a "license" to carry but should allow all citizens to carry simply because the 2nd Ammendment states that right.


During the Q&A from the audience there were three issues that caught my attention.


Higher Ed-there is some difference among the candidates on how much, and in which ways Higher Ed (that is the state colleges and universities) should be funded and how costs should be controlled.


Immigration vs. National Health Care: the apparent contradiction is that all the candidates stated under the topic of Immigration that the country is bound by law and should enforce those laws. Yet, under National Health Care almost all of them said that as Governor they would refuse to abide by such a law. The difference between these issues is pretty easy to explain, but they didn't explain it in their presentations. For me the difference is that Immigration Law is the Constitutional Duty of the Fed Gov. Nat. Health is unconstitutional in several ways. And the Constitution is the highest law of our land.


The third issue was Affirmative Action. While the candidates did well to argue and show that Affirmative Action has not answered the problems of racial bigotry but rather exacerbated them, they failed to answer the main questions put to them about redress of wrongs caused by racism. They did however start to get the point later in the Q&A after the question had been put to them three different times. Then they spoke about the need to change the way that the gov addresses these problems as a law enforcement issue.


Mary and I went to the candidates' tables to get more detailed literature, but only Leslie Davis and Phil Herwig had more substantive information at their tables. The rest just had the campaign fliers that they send out to every mailbox. Mary picked up Leslie Davis' book agains Jessie Ventura (She's more curious about what Mr. Davis has to say,and how he says it, than whether or not Gov. Ventura is a compulsive cheater) and Mr. Davis' "Money Plan." I grabbed Mr. Herwig's pamphlet.


Then we went to talk with the candidates. We got to three: Rep. Tom Emmer, Phil Herwig, and Rep. Marty Seifert.



So, now, what did I take away from this, what are questions and differences? I'll try to summarise. I put links to each candidate's web page.



Mr. Herwig advocates Reaganesqe reduction of both taxation, beuracrocy, and regulation. One place he emphasizes is the abuse of funds in state sponsored colleges and universities where adminstrators command very high salaries. (I'd add, what about the football coach?) I'm puzzled by his notion that reducing the number of school districts would lead to savings. He said that he didn't want to reduce the number of schools, just reduce the number of administrators and the administrative costs associated with public schools. I wasn't satisfied with his answer when I told him I thought that his idea might lead to less local control and responsibility.






Sen. David Haan

On the issue of education, Haan stood out as advocating a stronger local responsibility and authority over the schools. While all the candidates echoed similar sentiments, Haan was the most clearly spoken on this issue.






Bill Haas

Haas emphasized his qualifications based on his experience. If I remember right, he has the longest experience at the level of State government. In some eyes this would make him the biggest insider. I didn't really disagree with him on any issues, I wish his web crew would get his website working again. Maybe it's just me, but Haas kept saying he "passed legislation" when all he could do was vote on it so it could be submitted to the standing governor for signing or veto. I think he meant he "introduced" legislation. But then, I don't know. And the claim that he "passed" the legislation seems like taking all the credit for himself. There were two or three other men sitting up at the table who had to give their votes in order for such legislation to "pass". They were polite and didn't call Haas out on this. But I am, because I don't want my governer to have delusions of grandure, nomatter how small.

On Higher Ed., Haas seemed to dismiss the notion of LIberal Arts education, the notion of post-secondary education as self-improvement, in favor of a strictly utilitarian vocational view. I summarize what I think he meant: If the student can't get a job with what he or she has learned, then the school system is not serving the student.

For me, taking classes at a college is an agrement between me and the school, the government has nothing to do with it unless I am taking money from the Gov for a specific career path. That's what is so scary to me about Obama's proposal to take over financial aid.


Rep. Tom Emmer

While all the candidates were strong on 2nd Ammendment issues, Emmer stood out. It also says something to me that he has 7 children.

On post secondary education, if I remember right, Emmer advocated the notion that when a student begins his college degree track, the costs do not change as long as the student is on track for the degree. The idea is that the student can then make better plans on how to pay for school.
In person Mr. Emmer was able to speak very clearly about his ideas on a variety of issues not covered in the debate. He was able to make a good distinction between the issues of Immigration and National Health Care and why the first should be enforced, but the second (and Cap and Trade)--if it passes--should be rejected by the governers of states.

Leslie Davis, and Rep Marty Seifert


Marty is from my home area and knows some of my relatives. He also has the most "Minnesotan" accent of all the candidates. I think Mr. Seifert has the most clearly laid out aggenda for his campaign. But I also think he depends too much on slogans and not enough on explanations when he speaks. I'd like to know how he thinks about these things; not just hear the slogan "Reduce, Rightsize, and Economize!"


Phil Herwig and Leslie Davis

Mr. Davis is a puzzle to me. He said some things that I would stand up and shout, "Yes!" But then he'd open his mouth and out would come some environmental talk that boarderd on statism. Having read through his "Money Plan" I am not sure that Mr. Davis understands where money comes from, how jobs are made, nor why businesses hire employees. I don't know what he thinks on this, but he presented himself in a way that made it seem that as Governor he could declare things by fiat.

The first three points in his "Money Plan" are:
  • 1. Support and sign House File 888 (companion is Senate File 705).
  • 2. This will allow state-regulated-banks to create money to pay for construction, repairs, and maintenance, of all state, county, city, and township, roads and bridges.
  • 3. The new money is not a loan. It is final ‘debt-free’ payment for transportation construction and maintenance. This new does not have to be paid back.
The claim is that HF888 will get rid of gas taxes, transportation taxes, etc. However, what it does is impose fees upon banks chartered in Minnesota. That really means that anyone who invests their money an any of the hundreds of state banks chartered in Minnesota will be footing the bill for the transportation system. I would think that this would discourage bank formation in Minnesota, and possibly encourage banks that were chartered here to move elsewhere. 

Points 2 and 3 in Mr. Davis' "Plan" lead me to think that he does not understand that banks make their money by taking risks on people and their ideas. Banks loan for homes, businesses, purchases thousands and thousands of times over. I think that it is pretty easy to understand that to confiscate the profit the bank makes from these venture risks will drive the cost of those loans up, reduce the number of loans, and discourage such entrepreneurial behaviour that generates income and jobs. 

Some banker, correct me if I misunderstand.


Afterwards, Mary and I went to Applebees and had a nice dinner. Since DineEquity (Applebees parent corporation) may soon disappear due to the economy, if you like the place and want one last meal there, get there soon.


Update: Politics in Minnesota has this article

Gubernatorial debate to be streamed online

"A debate among Minnesota’s gubernatorial candidates during the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s 2010 convention at the Bloomington Sheraton will be streamed live online on Wednesday evening.
The debate is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and can be accessed on the Minnesota News Council’s website."



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Matthew goes to School

Today is Matthew's first bus ride to Government School
Louisa and Matt Going to School
His loving sister will keep watch over him.
Louisa and Matt going to school
Sunrise, sunset, swiftly flow the years.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mary's Awesome Fritatta

Fritata 1

Fritatta in a 15" Cast Iron Pan, 1 lb browned breakfast sausage, add diced onions and bell peppers, diced up four skinned baked potatoes, stir together, add some butter, beat 18 eggs with 2c milk, pour over other stuff in the pan, cook a little while on the stove, then put in hot oven for 15 minutes or so till it sets, top with grated cheese and broil till golden brown.

Fritatta 2


My IWB Holster

I have an IWB (Inside the Waist Band) Holster from Crossbreed Holsters.
It is wonderful. I can carry my full sized 4" Springfield XD-9 with just a T-shirt tucked over and it is barely noticeable. They call it the SuperTuck.

I've used mine for about a year now. It's very comfortable. And two weeks ago the front belt clip broke.

holster 0

I emailed the above photo to the company asking if I need to buy a new belt clip.

Holster 2

The owner of the company emailed me back saying that he'd cover it under warranty. I received the package a few days later.

Holster 2

The old clips were plastic. They sent me steel clips as replacements.

Holster 3

Back to happy working order.

Some Photos from Christmas at my Parent's Place

Mary and Donna




Jeremy's presents




Christmas couch



Grandma



Grandpa and Donna



Christmas chess at Grandpas

Clara and Inge's birthday Dec. 27th 2009

Yes, this is a late post, but then I've been a bit busy.


Clara and Inge share the same birth day, 12/27.

Clara and Inge's birthday


They each had a birthday cheesecake. Clara's looks like a forest fire compared to Inge's
This was at my folk's place

Inge's birthday Dessert

Inge eating birthday dessert at our place.


Clara's Presents



Clara opening presents


Inge's Birthday Presents


Inge opening presents.

We are so glad that God has given us our children and has allowed us to be together these years.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Testing Google Chrome

Google Chrome LogoImage by Randy Zhang via Flickr

I just installed Google's web browser (called "Chrome") on Suse Linux 11.1.

The download and installation went fairly quickly. Chrome imported bookmarks, cookies, history, etc. from Firefox.

I fired it up and went to my Yahoo mail.
No good. Yahoo mail directed my to Yahoo mail classic and said that Yahoo doesn't support this browser.

I went to Chrome's extensions to see if there were anything like Scribefire for Firefox to help in blogging.

The extensions website is poorly organized. But at least you can search.

I installed Zemanta (intended to aid in blogging).

Now I'm here writing this, Zemanta is offering all kinds of images and contextually relevant links for the text. I'll have to decide how much I'm going to do with Zemanta.

Chrome seems quick. Youtube works well.

marklevinshow.com live audio doesn't work, though the mp3s work

Hebrew renders fine except the last word in a line of Hebrew is rendered sans serif and a bit smaller than the preceding text.

Shoutcast.com streaming doesn't seem to work.

Last.fm works, it is based in the Flash Player just like Youtube.


More later on this

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Donna Sings


She doesn't know the words. But she tries.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The American Community Survey (U.S. Census)

We were selected to fill out the ACS.

From the ask.census.gov website:
Question

Do I have to respond to the American Community Survey / Puerto Rico Community Survey?


Answer

Yes. Respondents are required to answer all questions on the American Community Survey (ACS) to the best of their ability. Response to this and other Census surveys is required by law (Section 221 of Title 13, Chapter 7, United States Code). This chapter also contains information regarding offenses and possible penalties. According to Section 221, persons who do not respond shall be fined not more than $100. Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3571 and Section 3559, in effect amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221 by changing the fine for anyone over 18 years old who refuses or willfully neglects to complete the questionnaire or answer questions posed by census takers from a fine of not more than $100 to not more than $5,000. More information.

Your answers are very important because they represent the answers of many other similar households in your community. The data that you and others provide in response to this survey are required to manage or evaluate federal and state government programs. If you submit an incomplete form or provide data that are unclear, we may contact you by phone or in person to obtain or clarify the missing information.

The ACS is part of the Decennial Census Program. It is a survey that is sent to a small percentage of our population on a rotating basis. These data previously were collected only in census years in conjunction with the decennial census. Since the ACS is conducted every year, rather than once every ten years, it will provide more current data throughout the decade. The Census Bureau may use the information it collects only for statistical purposes. Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you, and all other respondents, strictly confidential. Any Census Bureau employee who violates these provisions is subject to a fine up to $250,000, a prison sentence up to five years, or both.


Let's start with this claim: "The Census Bureau may use the information it collects only for statistical purposes."

Only one proven example is necessary. I'll supply three.

While the U.S. Census Bureau claims it "may use the information it collects only for statistical purposes" the truth is that the data are used for racial and other types of profiling in times when the Government is afraid of certain groups. The data from the US Census has been used by the Government to detain, imprison, and harass citizens of the US.

When the new appointee to head the TSA, Erroll Southers, in a large, wandering answer can say that "Christian Identity groups" are a terrorist threat to the U.S. I can find reason to not want the government to be able to do profiling.

Now to the second claim: "Title 13 requires the Census Bureau to keep all information about you, and all other respondents, strictly confidential. "

This claim means that they will: 1st, never intentionally give the information about you to anyone else. 2nd, the claim means that they will safeguard the information from data theft.

Both claims are bogus:

The first part of the claim depends upon whom they trust. The above examples show that they have no problem "trusting" DHS and the Secret Service using the data against U.S. citizens when asked.

The US Census Bureau has no problem trusting Lockheed Martin Corp. with all the personal data. This article also points out that they will be gathering GPS data on the location of houses.

The Census Bureau has grown to depend upon private industry to carry out the complex survey type census. Personnel from companies like Lockheed Martin, Kodak, and SI International have direct access to personal data because they manage the computers, the networks, the scanning equipment, the databases, and the stored digital images of the census responses. Those are just a few of the "approved" corporations with access to the data.

According to the article on Lockheed some more companies with access to the data "include Cardinal Technologies Inc. of Bethesda; Computer Sciences Corp. of El Segundo, Calif.; Evolver Inc. of Reston; International Business Machines Corp. of Armonk, N.Y.; Metier Ltd. of Washington; Nortel PEC Solutions of Fairfax; and Pearson Government Solutions Inc. of Arlington."

The second part of the claim is that they can protect the data.

Well, they can't, and they haven't.
Now it's one kind of incompetence when someone steals lots of computer equipment and data from them.
So, even though they claim that we are required by law to fill out and return the survey, their actions show that the US Census Bureau is not bound by any clear interpretation of the law to "use the information it collects only for statistical purposes" or to "keep all information about you, and all other respondents, strictly confidential."

It is ironic that the cover letter sent out by the Census demonstrates that they have no intention of using the data "only for statistical purposes." The cover letter also proves they have no intention of keeping our information "strictly confidential."

The cover letter states:
This survey collects critical up-to-date information used to meet the needs of commuities across the United States. For example, results from this survey are used to decide where new schools, hospitals, and fire stations are needed. This information also helps communities plan for the kinds of emergency situations that might affect you and your neighbors, such as floods and other natural disasters.
So the "use" is not merely for "statistical purposes." The actual use is for social programs and guiding spending of Federal money and choosing which communities are more deserving of funds. The data are then, in fact, not confidential, but must be made known for such social engineering to be accomplished.

So now, what do I do. I conscientiously object to the US Census' previous misuse and planned misuse of this data. And I have a very reasonable fear that not only will my personal information be sold/compromised, but also stolen.

What am I afraid of? You need to read the American Community Survey to appreciate how intimate it is.

All the public record stuff I can understand. But the Government has that already. They already know how many people there are, when we were born, where we live, what our income is, if we have mortgages or rent, whether we collect food stamps, etc.
  • What kind of physical or mental debilities does your family have [Q 18a b c, 19]
  • Is your wife deaf or blind[ Q. 17a, 17b]?
  • Are your minor children at home during the day [Q10, 11]?
  • What kind of transportation do you use to get to work [Q. 31]?
  • Did you take anyone else with you[Q32]?
  • Exactly what time to you leave home for work each week[Q. 33]?
  • Precisely how long is your commute to and from work[Q 34]?
  • How many weeks of the year do you work [Q 38]?
  • How much time do you regularly spend at work during the week [Q 40]?
This is exactly the kind of information a thief, a child molester, and a statist want to know: Who's weak, who's young, who's vulnerable, and when you are not home.

I feel really uncomfortable telling these people this stuff so that it's all in one nice big database, ripe for the picking.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Winner

Brian W wins the prize. Now I have to decide which prize to give him. I think he'd like an owl pellet, or a Remo Williams novel, a book on physics experiments, or even an old Mack Bolan "The Executioner" adventure. Which would you like, Brian?

Now try this Dvorak, Largo from Symphony 9 "The New World":

I never get tired of this piece.

Howard F. passed away on Wednesday the 30th of December. This past weekend it was too cold for church on Saturday at Mt. Olive. And St. Petri canceled church for Sunday morning because the temp was colder than -20F.

Naz and OP had services. I baptized Maddie Nelson at Oak Park. Kyle and Kim were able to finalize their adoption of Maddie on Dec. 31st. We are very happy for them.

We had visitation for Howard at Oklee on Sunday afternoon. Monday we had Howard's funeral. I put his obituary on the wordpress blog. You can get to it from the links on the left side of the page. Please keep Howard's family in your prayers.

Tuesday Esther R. needed CPR and was revived. She seemed to be doing pretty well on Wed. Please keep her in your prayers.

Wed. evening Blanche B. had a stroke. She's recovering TRF hospital today. She seems to be doing fairly well, but please keep her in your prayers.

Mary's taking some of the kids to piano lessons and the library today. I'm taking Stella, John, and Donna to see Blanche and Esther.

We'll stop by Kevin's place on the way home from Fosston.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Game


Name the movie and you get a prize. I'll mail it to you. Anywhere on Earth. Good luck.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Oklee morning temps for Sunday

Yes, that's -29F for us. A lot warmer than yesterday morning. But still too cold. No church at St. Petri this morning.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Catching up on this past week or so

Owl pellets from a snowy owl living in the pasture grass just east of our house.

Cathy G made this for me. I'll be using it at Nazareth rather than hauling it around. I don't want to damage it.
Cathy did all the bead work. The beads are sewn to buckskin that one of her relatives tanned.

Here's the splash photo from the December 19th post.

This photo is from OP just before the Christmas Catechization on Dec 19th.

I am overwhelmed by the support that my congregation members shower upon me and my family through out the years and especially during Christmas.

Thank you. And may God bless you for your generosity.

In each of your own ways you have made me and my family part of your own families.

Kevin, Howard, Cathy, Kory, and all of you, the members of our congregations, thank you. And may the faith in Christ Incarnate keep you through the resurrection.

Sunday (12/20) afternoon we had Catechization at Oak Park. The kids did wonderfully. I am very grateful to God for all of the children at each of our congregations for their dedication to learning God's Word and presenting it to the congregations on the opportunity of Christ's Birth.

Monday (12/21) I went out on visits. I only got to 2 of the three I had hoped. Kevin is doing well, considering his prognosis and situation. Howard was doing very well, also considering his situation. I couldn't get to Esther today because of some other complications, including spending extra time with Kevin and Howard.

Monday evening was our circuit Christmas dinner in Fertile, MN. We met at the Sandhill Crane restaurant in Fertile. I stopped at a home visit on the Red Lake Nation this evening before going to the Circuit supper.

Tuesday, Sophie and I went to Fosston for Esther and Helen, then to Crookston for Wayne O. We stopped at Ordean S's so Sophie could see his skunk furs.

Wed 12/23 a run to Alexandria to get Jeremy from Grandpa and Grandma.

It was pretty snowy by the time we got home. Mom and dad got stuck in their driveway.

This evening one of our neighbor's barn burned down. Clara saw the fire. Mary called me at the office. I went over to their farm. I took their kids home that evening. Nobody was hurt, no cattle, cats, dogs, or hay were hurt--just the barn, a new tractor and an ATV among other things were lost. The fire was likely due to a block heater on the tractor that malfunctioned. Going over to their farm a lot of priorities were kind of shocked into me. They are the same priorities that my parents taught me, but when you stand next to a building that is being rabidly consumed by flames you realize how close each of us and our children come to tragedy every day.

Well, I got their kids home for the evening.

Then the blizzard hit.

The neighbors got their kids early on Christmas Eve.

But we were pretty much locked in the house from Christmas Eve to Sunday the 27th.

No church Christmas Eve, No church Christmas Day, No church Sat. at Mt. Olive.

We had church at Oak Park on the 27th, St. Petri had services and read my sermon. I left for St. Petri at 6:45am. At 7:10am I was still only about 5 miles from home. There was a mist coming down and freezing on the road and the car. The car would slide if I looked at the accelerator or the brake pedals. I turned around, got home at 7:30am and called Wayne W at St. Petri to let him know I couldn't get there.

Nazareth was plowed out, services there at 9:45am, then to OP for 11am services, baby Fred S was baptized. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. No photos yet, sorry. I'll get them when I can.

Sunday afternoon we celebrated Clara and Inge's birthdays, and we got ready to go to Grandpa and Grandmas.

Monday (12/28) just before we left for my parent's place, mom called to let me know that my great aunt, Bernice, had passed away.

The roads between here and Fosston were awful. From Fosston to Wadena they were pretty good. From Wadena to Alex they were clear. Alex to Glenwood was a bit tricky. Glenwood to Swift Falls was totally awful. Long, painful, slow.
Swift Falls to Maynard was ok but patchy. Maynard to Mom and Dads was also awful.

But we got there safely, if late (and with a whopping neck-ache).

Tuesday (12/29) we celebrated Christmas with my folks. Wednesday (12/30) Mom, Dad and I went to Mankato for my aunt's funeral. We picked up my uncle, Randy, and Grandma K. We didn't get back until late afternoon. That's when I found out that Howard F had passed away.

Please keep Howard's family in your prayers at this time of their loss.

Thursday we spent visiting Grandpa K and Grandma K in Redwood Falls and Morton.

We celebrated New Years eve with my folks.

Friday (1/1) we started out for home at 10am. We took 71 most of the way to keep away from ice. We got home about 6:30pm.

It was -25 F when we got home.

It was -37F when we got up this morning (Sat, 1/2) No church at Mt. Olive. Too cold.

Our furnace didn't work, the LP didn't feel like getting up to do its job. It needed some hot water poured on the tank to persuade it. Heater works now. And the sun hit the tank at about 10:30am.

It's warmed up quite a bit to -6F. I'm going out on visits in a littl e bit, to see Howard's family, and maybe to see Kevin V.

No Church This Morning


-37F without wind this morning. No church at Mt. Olive. It's too dangerous.

Oh, and the furnace decided to stop working last night. It's 54 F inside this morning. All of us have extra layers, and John L is coming over to check out the furnace in a little bit.

Update at 10am, John L came over. The furnace, lines, and regulators were all ok. The problem was that it was so cold the LP didn't want to get up to do its work. It wouldn't vaporize. So a 5 gal bucket of hot water on the tank encouraged it to vaporize. Now the sun is finally on the tank and should warm it up enough.

The house is up to 59 deg F now.

We're having hot breakfast.