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Liberty Statue
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Civilian Conservation Corps


We saw a sign for a CCC memorial just off I-75, so we stopped to see. As an out-of-state car, it cost us $8 for the short visit, but it was worth going to see. My father was in the CCC and they planted trees so I feel a special connection in two ways. The monument is in a quiet place with lots of trees. The day was beautiful, cool and sunny. I feel comfortable but a little sad in such places. Bittersweet is the word. They remind me of good things past and gone.

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High-Tech Countryside


Brazil is becoming an agricultural superpower and it is growing bigger all the time. I look forward to seeing the changes, but until I get there, I am studying through the Brazilian media. I have been reading a lot about mechanization of Brazilian agriculture and the expansion of the agricultural frontier.

Brazilian public schools are not good. Denise Aguiar, director of the Bradesco Foundation, said that Brazil is essentially decades behind the United States, and who is happy with American schools?  Finding qualified worker is one of the biggest challenges facing the country that has one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The most successful 20% of the population behaves differently from the bottom. They are more likely to be married, less likely to have children out of wedlock, more likely to work long hours, more likely to attend church regularly and less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.  In 1960, there was little difference between the top and the bottom on the indicators measuring those things above. Today the differences are stark.

What does science say about God? Absolutely nothing. Some people take that to mean that science disproves the existence of God, but that is just one extrapolation from lack of evidence. Logic could as easily take you to the opposite conclusions.  In either case, you have left the realm of rationality and entered the kingdom of faith. Most of the things we believe are taken on faith, although we sometimes like to cloak them in rationality or science.

Sustainable Environments

Humans have affected the environment for many years.  Europe's beech forests grow mostly on areas that were once cleared by Neolithic farmers.  Native Americans' fires created the beautiful and productive "natural" ecosystems that greeted the Jamestown settlers.  Pockets of extremely fertile soils in the Amazon, called terra preta  (black soil), were created by humans.  The surrounding soils are often very poor and do not retain much carbon in the soils of retain water.

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Divided we fall

- 1 Comment

On Tuesday, September 11th 2001, after America suffered such a tragic day, where everyone equally felt empty and dizzy but oddly united. On that tragic day, there were no Republicans, Democrats, Christians, Jews, blacks or whites; there were only Americans. No one cared about whether you made seven figures or you were on welfare; we were Americans and we all, equally, felt the emptiness and sorrow for our nation's loss.

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Debt stuff


America has been built on debt. We cannot function nor grow without it.

In 1930s and 1940s, people in the lower socioeconomic strata purchased their homes with cash; they saved and saved and bought things only when they had enough money. To those in the lower socioeconomic strata, it was frowned upon to have a mortgage. During the same time period, those in the upper socioeconomic strata used debt to increase their wealth by purchasing more and more properties, etc... The rich knew to use other people's money to fund their growth; they felt that the lower strata just didn't understand that fact.

So the geniuses in the leadership of the Republican Party announced their grand plan for the debt ceiling problem.... pass the buck.  The grand plan is to vote so that the President has the power to raise the debt ceiling. This new plan would allow these spineless wimps not to go on record voting for something that they have no control over and would have to vote to increase anyway: the debt ceiling.

The Democrats however, in this ridiculously insincere attempt to take the moral high ground, failed. They proved, once again, that the Conservative blabbermouth media rule the day and the Democrats are merely a servant to the master.

Shrinking the Government

Republicans want to shrink the government. The 2 biggest issues for them are deregulation and tax cuts. Deregulation will cut out government activities and enable the "free market" to do its magic. Tax cuts will deprive the government of funds so it will not be involved in anything - except military activities to support laissez faire business. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times describes a country that lives up to this Republican ideal:

Rand Paul, the Slave

With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It's not an abstraction. I'm a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you're going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses-- Rand Paul.
Joe McCarthy - Ted Cruz

Joe McCarthy - Ted Cruz (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

I have lived in Texas for 41 years. I have supported Democrat, Republican, and Independent candidates in my life time. I was born in America. Ted Cruz was born in Canada. I served in the U.S. Army for 3.5 years, from 1972 to 1975. Ted Cruz has never served in the armed forces. I preach peace, consensus, and the democratic process. Ted Cruz does not. Ted Cruz talks up fighting, defying consensus, and rejecting the products of the democratic process.

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Is it really going to matter who is the President if, 41 Senators from either Party can filibuster any, and every, proposal coming from the White House? Replace incumbents in Congress. Then, who is president may actually make a difference. As long as Congress' partisans are committed to defeating the sitting president, instead of solving national challenges, America's problems will pile up and bury us all.

America: Troubling Times

America was founded on the idea that we are all in this together, hence the name, United States. Not United Independent States, or United Individuals. This country was founded on the principle that federal government should be implemented to perform needed functions and services which individuals, and individual states, could not perform themselves. Our Constitution and founders also anticipated that changes in the Constitution and government would be required in order to sustain the Union, which is why the amendment process was included in the Constitution.

First Steps: Courage and Hope


No journey is ever begun until hope fills the first steps for reaching the destination.

The American people want a capable government, able to bring back a robust economy, and healthy future for all American's benefit. Poll after poll reflects an approval rating of Congress in the teens or low 20 percent range. It is a gross distraction under any president's administration to accuse the president of being responsible for the incompetence and ineptitude of Congress. Our Constitution stipulates that Congress legislates and our President executes what Congress legislates.

Extremist Party


Conservatives like Sen. John Warner and Ronald Reagan influenced many to
become more conservative. That kind of conservative, however, no longer
exists at the core of the Grand Old Party, which has become dangerously
extremist. The Warner - Reagan conservative was about governing for the
future of America, first and foremost. The current GOP is not about
governing, but winning elections at any cost to the nation and people.
Let's take a look at these differences and what, if any hope lies with
the Democratic Party.

Deeper Meaning of Penn State Rapes

The alleged sexual crimes committed against children at Penn State have been called sexual abuse and scandal. They are in fact, alleged crimes and torture of children. They are heinous, if the allegations are true. Outside an institution with a reputation and integrity to protect, almost any witness to such crime would call the police. Inside institutions of repute, however, too many such crimes against women, men, and children, go unreported, and covered up. Are our institutions more important than the innocent people harassed, abused, or even tortured, within them? So far, the answer seems to be, yes.