Featured Quote

In 1913, Henry Ford wrote the following as the directors had been reaping the rewards of profits - "The wages we pay are too small in comparison with our profits. I think we should raise our minimum pay rate".

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Ever seen a Briar Root?

You can call them stickers, thorn vine, briars or other things that shouldn't be said in mixed company, but they are those annoying, hard to get rid of, thorny, tall briars.  They can grow straight up into trees even.

Ever wondered why they are so hard to get rid of?  You cut them down and they just come back, over and over and over again.

Here is why :
A PIECE of the root system with the single shoot of briar poking up.

A larger PIECE of the root system.

Most of the root system of a single briar.

I dug that root up on 4/27, which, by the way, is the only way to get rid of them.  Below is what our garden area looks like now :

And, while I'm doing pictures - here are a couple of my first attempts at HDR photography.  I took these in RAW format and used Fotoxx to edit the RAW into different exposures and pieced 5 together to get these :
Yard Thistle - yeah, if you visit, leave the Thistle alone!! :)

Our Water Lily in bloom!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A couple more things....

From my last post, I had a couple more things to say...

"I believe the money I make belongs to me and not some liberal governmental functionary, Democratic or Republican, that wants to share it with others who don't work"
You know who doesn't work?  Mostly it is the elderly, children and the severely disabled. You may can add in stay-at-home Mothers of small children.  I admit there are some lazy, no good yet perfectly healthy individuals that are mooching off the system, but they are very few.  I am not willing to turn my back, our collective backs, on the needy just because of a few.

That is why we have Government - to do things as a whole that we can not do or do not want to do as individuals, to protect those of us who are most vulnerable from the predations of those who are most powerful and villainous and to protect the minority from the majority.

"I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac or any other item, you should do it in English.
I believe there should be no other language option."
And that is why we are falling further and further behind other nations.  I believe everyone should speak at least two languages.  That being said, speaking English is important for citizens of the United States. But how can you ask others to speak two languages if you are not willing to do so yourself?

"My great, great, great, great grandfather watched and bled as his friends died in the Revolution & the War of 1812. "
My great, great, great, great, great, great grandfathers fought and bled as their friends and family were slaughtered for their land, declared 'savages' and inhuman animals without souls by illegal aliens (also known as 'settlers') coming to his land from across the great ocean in the late 1700's.  My other great, great, great, great, great, great grandfathers may have been involved as settlers, but I think most came to these shores much later - being expelled from Scotland, running from famine in Ireland, escaping early Nazism in Germany.

They came here escaping governments with deep corruption, who had established official state religions and allowed monied corporations favors and privileges and tax cuts not available to their citizens... oh... wait!  That is almost where we are now!!  And exactly where the Republicans want to take us!!!

"My heroes are Malcolm Forbes, Bill Gates, John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and Willie G. Davidson, who makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles. "
Hmm... My Heroes?  Bill Gates works.  The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and him taking a $1 salary...
Warren Buffett maybe.   Henry Ford of course.
"What right have you, save service to the world, to think that other men's labor should contribute to your gains?"
"No one loses anything by raising wages as soon as he is able. It has always paid us. Low wages are the most costly any employer can pay."
(here is a good article about Ford and our situation today)
Bernie Sanders - the longest serving independent in congress.  Elizabeth Warren.
Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks.  Matt Damon.  George Carlin!! Willie Nelson.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Liberal Motorcycle Rider - a Conservative's Worst Nightmare

I found this post in a biker forum about him being a Liberal-Progressive's Worst Nightmare - which is apparently a well circulated hoax?

Well, I thought I'd respond here - since the post is a couple years old and I don't want to raise a zombie.

I am the Republican Conservative Regressive's worst nightmare.

I am a Multi-Racial, Happily Tax-Paying, Liberal, Libertarian, Progressive Motorcyclist.

I am a Computer Technician, a Programmer.  I work long hours with my hands and mind to earn a living.  I get paid to think for myself, use logic and reason to solve problems.

I was born on an Army Base and grew up in the country, feeding hogs, raising chickens, working fields, hunting, fishing and roaming the woods.  I build my own furniture and sheds and till and plant a garden to have fresh veggies and fruit.

I believe in Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Religion and Separation of Church and State, you know, like in the constitution.

I buy American Made products when they are of good quality and within my price range, but realize that doing so is not always possible because the pay of hard working Citizens has not kept pace with inflation or the pay rates of executives.  Everything keeps getting more expensive, but I'm not paid any more.  I also realize that Harley Davidson, Ford, Chevy and others have as many foreign-made parts, if not more, than 'foreign' brands and are not necessarily any more quality nor long-lasting.  Kawasaki - who makes my Vulcan 1700 Classic - has been making products in the United States for over 40 years.

I believe the money I earn belongs to me, but I realize that I owe my share of paying for our military, public roads, law enforcement, utilities and the running of our government - even if I don't always agree with it.  I also don't mind chipping in to help those who are less fortunate, even if some low-life individuals abuse the system.  I also realize that a good bit too much of the money I earn is not given to me, but is given to executives who have little to nothing to do with my contributions to keeping my employer successful.

I think owning a gun is perfectly fine if you hunt for your food (not for sport), but you don't need an assault rifle unless you are in the military or law enforcement - and you should leave that one at work.  I think universal background checks are just a good idea and realize that its not the same as 'taking away our guns.'  I realize that there is a difference between protecting your home and over-compensating for being scared and feelings of inferiority.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.  I do not, however, believe they have a right to force or coerce others to join them or even listen to them.  I do not believe that our public schools should be used to indoctrinate children into a specific religion - and it is not fair to ask kids to set themselves up for bullying by opting out of school-enforced prayer.  I believe everyone also has the right to not have nor believe in any god and to not pray at all.
I don't hate the rich - I object to rampant greed. I realize that the ones taking more than they need while short-changing hard working people are hurting our economy, not the other way around.  I don't hate the poor who have the system's boot on their necks, keeping them down.  I don't blame the victim.  I realize that being rich or poor doesn't mean you earned it nor deserve it and that either fiscal position is often a conspiracy of circumstances.

I know wrestling is mostly scripted entertainment, not 'fake', but those are some amazing athletes and I'll watch it occasionally.

I've never owned a slave, nor was a slave - but I don't deny it happened and I don't deny that there are some people who would like to go back to that.  I have seen racial, sexual and religious discrimination, persecution and hatred.  I realize that "Freedom" doesn't include the freedom to harm others for your own gain or amusement.  I know that passing laws to try to force everyone to conform to your religion's set of rules and regulations is the opposite of Freedom and Liberty.

This is the United States! One country in America, which has thirty six countries in it if you consider North, Central and South America.  I don't like it the way it is right now - effectively paralyzed by a small group of loud obstructionists - and neither do a lot of our citizens. 
I Love the Promise of the United States, which we have yet to realize.  I want to keep moving (making Progress) toward the promise of all men (and women) being equal, with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and that means people of every race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle and ability.

I support term limits for all elected officials and absolute bans on going from elected official to paid lobbyist.
I believe every citizen has the right and responsibility to vote in our elections - even those stupid enough to believe Fox News tells the truth or is 'fair and balanced.'  Although I'm on the fence about those who can't tell the difference between "There" and "Their" or "Then" and "Than", etc.
If you were born here and don't like it, you are free to move to any fascist country that will have you.  Stop trying to re-write history and 'get back' to that fictional version of our country that you created.

I think the cops have a right - and responsibility - to give you a ticket or arrest you if you are breaking the law, no matter how rich or well connected you are, but not just because you are riding a motorcycle or because of how you look or dress or the bumper stickers on your vehicle.

I also think it is good to have a photo id.  Its also good to register your vehicle and your gun(s) and any other potential weapons of mass destruction.  I think that is just being Responsible for your Actions.

I realize that "God" wasn't on our dollars until the 1950's.  I know that "In God We Trust" wasn't our motto until 1956 - replacing "E pluribus unum."  I realize that there has been a slow and steady erosion of the separation of church and state our founders created, weakening our country and our constitution.

I realize that not every child is lucky enough to have two parents to raise them and that just because they have only one parent or no parent or are rich or poor, that they still deserve every opportunity to learn, achieve and excel.  I prefer to base policy on reality rather than an idealized, mythical version of a 1950's household.

I believe Illegal is Illegal, no matter how much money you have or how well-connected you or your parents are and that being poor and unable to afford a lawyer (or congressman) is not a crime.

I believe "too big to fail" is a myth and that corporations are NOT the same as people.
I don't feel the need to belittle or deprive others just to make myself seem more powerful or privileged.  I realize that the better off my neighbors are, the better off that I am.  I realize the only rights you are entitled to are the ones you afford everyone else.

I don't need weapons to feel safe, I'm not afraid of people who don't look, talk or believe like me and I don't need a specific version of God, or any God, to be and do good.

I believe in The United States of America, in Freedom, Liberty and Justice for All.

If you think that makes me a Communist or Socialist, then you don't understand either term.  If you think that makes me a Bad American, then you don't understand our country.
Feel free to share and spread this if you like it.  Also feel free to comment, expound on it, etc.