Sunday, September 28, 2014

Start at the Beginning

If you want to understand anyone, you must start at the beginning to understand what formed them and what made them who they are today. This is your Sunday Sermonette. 

Make of it what you will. But it explains a great deal.

Friday, September 26, 2014

National Park Filming Fee

Permit Cost: $1,500 to film in a National Park. No, it's not a hoax. The nation pays taxes to maintain the parks. National parks belong to the people, not to those wealthy enough to pay $1,500 to film in them. What are these people thinking?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Family Album

I don't normally post this sort of stuff, but a fellow blogger wanted to see a photo of me with my mother.  I'm not sure why they wanted to see that, except I harbor a suspicion that they think that I didn't have a mother -- maybe thinking that I'm an alien.

I don't have many photos with my mother, but my sister took this photo several years ago. I think that this is the time that I'd just returned from Iraq and flew to Redding to visit her. You'll note that we have the same hair - but mine is shorter.

Double Standard

When it comes to counting other people's caloric intake, Michelle Obama sets the standards for dietary excellence for everyone else. She's progressive, that's how it works in the world that she inhabits. Her dump truck body that she sets out as the standard for the nation's dietary practices could be improved if only she could take the fork out of her mouth.

As Michelle Obama purges school vending machines of sugary snacks, The White House snack machine is selling 590 calorie honey buns. No, honey buns is not a metaphor for the ladies walking up the stairs next to Michelle. We're talking real honey buns in the vending machine.

Michelle Obama’s fight against childhood obesity in America’s schools has reached past the lunchroom into bake sales and even the vending machines. The First Lady’s new standards remove any sugary snacks over 200 calories from the school's machines while leaving the one in the White House stocked with delicious, fattening food. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Monday - Again

The gif speaks volumes... back to the grind.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The City of God

Yes, this is a new feature. I'm posting Sunday Sermonettes on both of my blogs. Both Lone Star Parson and Pretty Jenny suggested that I become more holy and a bit less worldly. That sent me to St. Augustine, who wrote "give me chastity and continence, but do not give it yet." 

To quote Billy Joel, 'I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints. The Sinners are much more fun.' Which is why I hang out with the people on the blogs... While I do spend my share of time studying the cannon of works, there are few traditional saints who appeal to me. St. Augustine is one of the stand-outs who I find far more interesting (see quote above).  Thus, it's the grist of a Sunday Sermonette, which few will read, but I don't care.

Augustine taught that "peacefulness in the face of a grave wrong that could only be stopped by violence would be a sin." Defense of one's self or others is a necessity, especially when authorized by a legitimate authority. In his work The City of God, he suggests that the pursuit of peace must include the option of fighting to preserve it in the long-term.

That's it. Those are the only words of wisdom I offer today besides the advice on how best to conduct 'walk about' on Virtual Mirage.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Is the US in a Recession?

There is a more than 1:1 ratio of people who work for some government agency (or receive full government benefits) to those in the private sector. And it's killing the country.

46% of US consumers say that the US is in a recession. (The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures consumer confidence on a daily basis, lost another point to 94.5 on Friday. Consumer confidence is down three points from a week ago, 10 points from a month ago and eight points from three months ago.) That's interesting as the US heads into the traditional holiday buying season, because it indicates a tepid economy moving into 2015, or more of the same. People don't spend money during a recession because they're waiting for the other shoe to drop. If money doesn't change hands, the economy can't gain any sort of momentum.

Since the Federal Reserve lowered the interest rate that it extends to banks to ZERO, there is really nowhere for it to go. Zero is zero, and it's printing money as fast as it can...even though there is nobody to buy the debt except the Federal Government (as the snake eats its tail). 

While I'm positive that Summer 2015 will be declared to be yet another "Summer of Recovery", I'm not confident that anyone outside the Beltway, where the recession never reached, will see it that way too.

We're ramping up for yet another war (that you're forbidden to call a war) in the endless war cycle of the past three decades. Twenty percent of all American receive food stamps. And ratio of government workers to private workers is only increasing.

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