Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Olympic Slaves

Well, it seems I am not the only one who had Olympic misgivings. It all started with the baby Chinese gymnasts-they snag these kids when they are 3 years old. It became clear very quickly that the Chinese athletes were enslaved people working for the state. I did not watch much as I felt it was so wrong to "celebrate" what clearly could only be accomplished with total and complete dedication to the exclusion of all other things and when we are talking about children that is abuse in my book as they have no choice.

Here is a link to cut and paste that speaks to just what my concerns were:,0,2347697.story

Friday, August 22, 2008

Open Letter to the Grandchildren of Duncan and Betty MacEachern:

You, the next MacEachern generation, like the average American kid of your generation, are blessed in unprecedented ways. You are living in a time during which economic prosperity has reached more people than any point in history. To be sure, there are many people suffering in poverty today, but the point is that never before have so many people lived so well.

You are certainly materially better off than your parents and your parents were better off than your grandparents. It was not easy to raise 8 boys, especially for two people who came to this country looking for opportunity that did not exist in the home of their parents. Your grandparents often worked two and three jobs each. Your fathers did not have the luxury of college funds awaiting them after high school.

These are all people who worked hard and played hard. But at bottom, these are people who live and love from a foundation of high moral standards tempered by an accepting compassion for others. Having come from fiercely religious peoples who lived a relatively isolated existence as the result of historic oppression, they naturally harbor tribal tendencies and an innate sense of culture. These are basic, good people. And you should know how this foundation sets your family apart from the average Americans of your generation.

Although your grandparents divorced after decades of marriage, they still respect one another and are forever connected by their children. Your grandfather takes every opportunity to express the love and pride he has for his children. Your grandmother’s umbilical cord to each one of her sons was never spiritually severed even as the physical distance from most of her boys has increased. Unfortunately, as we all know, as individuals the two of them grew to have less and less in common with each other in terms of daily living and activity. The split has been as amicable as anyone could ever expect over the years. Your fathers have never failed to support each of their parents in their decisions.

I have often said how amazing it is that in a family of 8 boys, all of them could turn out to be such wonderful human beings. They never fail to uphold this standard. And recent events have not proven otherwise, even as the tough decisions were being pondered about your grandmother’s living situation. Throughout the process there was nary a hint of resentment on the issue.

As our parents age new challenges present. The way we choose to deal with our parents, each other and the situation speaks volumes about who we are. In many families divorces and parent-care challenges would generate animosity, ill will, resentment and drive unbearable wedges between family members. How many times have we heard stories of fighting and bickering over dividing up the silverware and the care and financial burdens amongst family units resulting in brothers and sisters never speaking to one another again? We were warned of this nasty complication during a recent tour of an assisted living facility. The facility manager was offering this caveat from her own experience and from what she has witnessed in other families. But, that was not so for us.

Your fathers are providing you children with the greatest gift they could ever bestow on you in the way they willingly respond each step of the way down this path called life. Each one accepts without question his role in caring for their mother. Although they may be slow to pull the trigger sometimes and some have borne more of the burden than others, they have not failed to timely, and amicably resolve the challenges both in terms of money and time, notwithstanding their own personal concerns. This is because they are who they are because of who their parents are.

I wanted you to know that your Dads and uncles are not regular guys.[1] They are principled, devoted, loving men who implicitly trust one another to always do the right thing when it comes to their mother. You will never be more blessed than you are to have them as your role models. I wanted you to know this because when you are on the inside looking out it is easy to overlook the reality.

Don’t take this gift for granted. Repay it in spades by emulating it in everything you do.

[1] The unparalled, exceptional character qualities exhibited by your fathers are, of course, exemplified by their uncanny selection of mates. Behind every great man there is an even greater woman and your aunts/mothers are not to be discounted in this. In fact, your uncles/dads will no doubt attribute as much of their success to their spouses as they do to their parents. On this point I would agree, but I would not be objective and therefore this essay is confined to my observations of only your dads..

Monday, August 11, 2008

CSA: Community Supported Agriculture is Back

What is a CSA?
It’s a community of health and environmentally conscious people coming together to share the bounties and risks of their local, independent farmer. Each CSA member purchases a share in Maya’s Farm’s future harvests. As crops mature, you receive a weekly allotment of naturally grown produce. Changing growing conditions throughout the year determine which varieties will be in your share each week. Integrated cropping benefits the soil . . . and eating locally reduces high transportation and storage costs. Part of what the farmer saves goes back into quality production; the rest
is passed on to you.

Memberships for the Fall Season, beginning Sept. 20, are going fast. Don’t miss a single basketful of farm-fresh produce! E-mail Maya to request a membership application and detailed information.


Fall Season 2008: Sept. 29 – Dec. 16

Note: This Agreement must be received one week before a member’s first pick-up date.





What is the best way to contact you? o E-mail o Phone o Other

please choose a share option

o Full Share:
$315 for the season. You will receive a weekly basket of food for three months from the date of your first pick-up. Shares include a selection of vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs.

o Economy Share:
$265 for the season. Your weekly basket will include the same selection as a Full Share, only less of
each item.

Food baskets vary according to which crops are ready for harvest during a given week.

when and where
All members have a choice of two pick-up times and locations:

Saturdays from 8:00 am – 10:00 am Wednesdays from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Maya’s Farm/The Farm at South Mountain Downtown Phoenix Public Market
6106 S. 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042 Third Street & McKinley
(32nd Street and Southern)
Date of first pick-up: Sat., Sept. 20 Date of first pick-up: Wed., Sept. 24
Date of last pick-up: Sat., Dec. 13 Date of last pick-up: Wed., Dec. 17

CSA Agreement

I agree to pay the amount of (check one) $315 for a Full Share; $265 for an Economy Share to Maya’s Farm, one (1) week prior to my first pick-up date. Maya’s Farm retains the right to withhold my food basket if payment is not received. I will be responsible for picking up my weekly food allot-ment at the locations specified above. If for any reason a pick-up is missed, that allotment will be donated to charity. I further understand that refunds are not available, although I may cancel my membership at any time.


Printed Name: Date:

Please fill out this form and return by postal mail along with a check or money order payable to Maya’s Farm.

Mailing address: Maya’s Farm CSA 2713 North 8th StreetPhoenix, AZ 85006

Delicious State Fair Ad Preview

Notes from the Sidelines

It is now clear that John Edwards is a liar. That, on top of committing the sin of penile dysfunction. Most men, when caught simply come clean. After all this is a symptom of ego maniacal -ism gone wild that is not uncommon in such circles. I do believe if it is not currently in the DSM it should be categorized as a mental illness described by the symptom of believing you are so special that the rules don't apply to you. Apparently for Edwards, unlike most men who get caught, he didn't blame it on an overdose of watermelon and move on. He is continuing to lie. This boys and girls, is proof that being rich is not a happy place to be.

Which brings me to the topic of how the general public views the media bias as more of a concern than the large sums of money that pass through politician's hands. The media was accused of passing on the Edwards story, proving once again that there is a place for the National Enquirer in our society. The real story is exposing just how big a liar he is. Maybe this was subconsciously known to the voters who rejected him. So now Edwards has another kid to be crappy role model for. Here is the link to the polling story:

Speaking of kids, It pains me to watch the Olympics segments on gymnastics, particularly the Chinese, but all are guilty of the same problem, including the US. These are little girls and they have been completely deprived of a normal life and a normal body. What is being done to get these children to these games is tantamount to child abuse. What is the difference between being held in a concentration camp and subject to hard labor and being held in a gymnastics camp and being worked 12 hours a day? I seen none except one would assume that the hard labor results in something of value being the result of the labor. Is this what we really evolved from the apes to reach? International exploitation of our children in the name of patriotism? Or is this part of intelligent design?

Which brings me to my latest pondering. Just what is intelligent or designed about this: If a calorie is a measure of heat and you have to burn calories to lose weight, how is it that during the period of your life when you have hot flashes you end up gaining weight?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Soaring Entitlement Mentality

The entitlement mentality plagues our nation as we slowly bury ourselves in budget deficits that thrive on pork. This attitude has soared to new heights. On the NPR show Morning Edition news piece on the impact of fuel costs on flights to miniscule markets, the esteemed head of the House Transportation Committee had this to say:

'"The airspace is the common heritage of all Americans," says Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN), chairman of the House Transportation Committee. "It doesn't belong to the CEOs of the airlines. It doesn't belong to the shareholders of the airlines. It belongs to all Americans."
Unless something's done, Oberstar says, more and more Americans are going to be left out. But he doesn't want to re-regulate the airlines, exactly. Instead, he's pushing to expand the Essential Air Service program. The House has already approved legislation that would boost the subsidies. Lawmakers are also considering changing the rules so that more airports qualify.
Some question whether it makes sense to keep planes flying where the market says they shouldn't. Thomas Firey of the Cato Institute says that in most places, Essential Air Service isn't essential and is a waste of money.
Oberstar calls that attitude "elitist" and says it shows contempt for small-town America.'

What? I can tell you as someone who has read the Constitution that nowhere does it mention airspace. Furthermore, while we are gifted with certain inalienable rights, I really don't think Thomas Jefferson had his head in clouds when he wrote that line. Where do these people get these ideas? Apparently from the 12 voters in their districts who have made a lifestyle choice to live in a small town. Most people that I know who live in small towns do so to escape big town things like airports. Like the Cato guy said, they simply drive (or take the shuttle) to the big city aeroplex.
But is it really that nasty tension between rural living and making a living that is at the bottom of this? Maybe, for so the argument goes that companies will not locate in such places without air access. So that means the government is really subsizing these companies and not the little old voter who, if asked, would probably say that s/he would pass on the airline.

I don't think people want to pay for other people to be able fly to little airports with their taxes any more than they want to pay to bail out bozo's who failed to read their mortgage contracts and are now surprised to learn that they never really could afford that McMansion in the first place-something I suspect they knew all along.

My question is this: how did a guy with such a poor grasp of logic get to be the head of anything, much less a congressional committee? And when will the voters realize that it is these obscure congress people who are doing us in and quit the celebritization of the presidency? This expenditure stuff will go a much farther distance to hurting this country than the war in Iraq. Just wait and see. In the meanwhile, I am booking my flight to Bozeman.