Watering Hole: Monday, October 31, 2011 – Happy Halloween

Two years ago, the most popular Halloween costume for adult women that I witnessed was the Sarah Palin look.  This year, I’m thinking that Guy Fawkes will be popular.  We were going to attend a few parties on Saturday dressed in our Guy Fawkes costumes, but the heavy, wet snowfall kept us home instead.

I don’t have much more to say at this moment so I will leave you with a song and vintage clips from the 1921 film, “Haxan Witchcraft Through the Ages”.


This is our Open Thread for today.  Speak Up on any topic.

Sunday Boil October 30th, 2011

An exceptionally nice day on the bay brought these Dungeness crabs to the pot. Very strict regulations determine which can be kept, out of the 20 or so I caught, only one was legal, but it’s a good brunch!

This is our Sunday Open Thread, feel free to offer up your own day of rest delights, culinary or otherwise. Or if you need to crab about something, that’s OK too.

The Watering Hole: October 29 – Old Vs. New

The TRF receiver was patented in 1916 by Ernst Alexanderson. His concept was that each stage would amplify the desired signal while reducing the interfering ones.

In the preceding circuit diagram, each of those circular things is a vacuum tube, each about the size of a reddi-whip can and each needs the equivalent of 16 watts of power. Add to that the power supplies and amplifiers, the total comes to about 160 watts. The total size was about that of a dorm fridge.

Now with integrated circuits, the total draw of a TRF system comes to about .46 watts in a package that contains but one 14 (7 in-line) terminal IC, one four terminal IC power amp and six passive components. The total size was about that of a deck of cards. The circuit is not that much different from the old:

The first diagram illustrates the world when I was born and the second, the state of the art 40 years ago. I was 30 in 1971- do you believe there have been changes since then?

This is our Open Thread. How do you think technology has changed since you were born? Remember that the Apple II, the first genuine home computer, was introduced on April 16, 1977.

Music Night, October 28, 2011

I was more than a little shocked to learn that Tower of Power was celebrating 43 years performing (continuously), mostly because the first time I saw them they’d been together about a year. (And on a personal note, one of the finest women I ever loved, who never should have gotten away, had previously been lovers with one of the horn players — right up until she learned he was married. Cad.) There are likely hundreds of taped performances worth presenting, but I thought this one was particularly timely. And keep in mind, the song was originally released in 1975.

Watering Hole: Friday, October 28, 2011 – Occupied and Stolen

When will the US Government’s abuse of Native Americans end?  When they are all dead?  Or is it when they all forget their great heritage?

This week, NPR did a mini series on “Indian Child Welfare”.  Even though the law states that Native American children are to live with a family member within the tribe, South Dakota places Native American children in foster care outside of the reservation.  Fifty percent of the children living in foster care in South Dakota are Native Americans.  In case you missed this story, you can learn more about it here, from Native American Netroots.

From PR-USA:

According to NPR Laura Sullivan is known for her investigative reporting on the plight of the country’s most disadvantaged people. NPR also lists Ms. Sullivan’s 2007 revelation of the widespread rape of Native American women on their reservations, committed largely by non-Native men. This tragic story took place, and continues to take place, on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas.

The Lakota Peoples Law Project (LPLP) has documented the theft and destruction of Indian children. Native children are being taken at an alarming rate. LPLP investigators and attorneys have found that the South Dakota Department of Social Services in a misguided attempt to help the children removes them from their families and places them in non-Indian households, foster-care settings, and state institutions for years. These children often experience sexual and emotional abuse, medical over-drugging, and inadequate education. According to LPLP lead attorneyDaniel P. Sheehan, the current system is a failure. Mr. Sheehan’s research shows that South Dakota, is one of the worst offenders nationwide. Nearly two-thirds of children in state foster care in South Dakota are Native American. By age twenty, over 60% of these children are dead, homeless, or in prison.

The greedy are not content with all the land that they stole over the past 150 + years. They are now going after more land.  So the Dakota Oyate have occupied the Crow Creek Reservation.

The Lakota have struggled for 158 years.  Here is their story which will not be found in any school board approved history book.

The genocide continues and the MSM is quiet.

I remember reading “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” and crying for hours.  It was an awakening.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

“May you have faith in your worth and act with wisdom”… Yogi tea tag.

sea view

Venturing out to sea for the first time in over a week due to a great white shark having attacked a surfer just last Thursday, I approached Three Rocks at the mouth of the Salmon River, and decided I didn’t want to soaked so early in the day.

Back in the estuary, a harbor seal snoozes, likely to have eaten more crab and salmon than I will…

This fisher-critter, a young osprey, seemed to be working at it the hardest.


The Watering Hole, Thursday, October 27th: …and in other news…

After mulling over topics for today’s post, I decided to just present a mixed bag of ‘things that caught my eye on the internets during the past few days.’ The articles range from serious to tongue-in-cheek to outright ridiculous. The following are from Foreign Policy Magazine online and from Newsmax.

From FP: The title of Ryan Caldwell’s article, “An Islamist, a Liberal, and a Former Regime Loyalist Walk into a Cafe”, snagged my attention. The article gave an interesting presentation of the post-Gaddafi views of three Libyans of different stripes working together. Also, for some reason I found it just wondrous that the interview was done via Skype, from Caldwell’s home in California to a cafe in Benghazi. Plus I learned that ‘celebratory gunfire’ is called rasaas al-farah, which means, literally, “bullets of joy.”

From FP: In “Dumb Power: Republicans Introduce the “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?” Foreign Policy”, David Rothkopf gives his reaction to the Republican debate on foreign policy.

From Newsmax: In the Newsmax “Breaking News” email, this article was billed as “Thomas Sowell: Herman Cain Is Real Black, Obama Not Typical“. The article includes such tidbits as:

“His prescription for fixing the economy: “I would love to have a constitutional amendment that says politicians are not allowed to intervene in the economy under any circumstances. I think there would be a boom following that.””

From Newsmax: The title of “Hensarling: Supercommittee Need Not Cut Entitlements” sounds hopeful, doesn’t it? Sure…read the whole article: Hensarling, the Republican co-chair of this “Supercommittee”, has some strange ideas. Here’s one:

“I would like to pick up the Internal Revenue Code by its roots and throw it into the nearest trash can. Having said that, realistically, that’s probably a bridge too far for this committee,”

From Newsmax
: And finally, Frank Gaffney being Frank Gaffney:

“Frank Gaffney warned in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview: “I’m afraid there’s a war coming, a very serious, perhaps cataclysmic regional war,” he said. “It will be presumably over, at least in part, the future existence of the state of Israel. It may involve all of its neighbors, as they have in the past, attacking Israel to try, as they say, to drive the Jews into the sea.””


This is our Open Thread. I’m sure you can find something to say about any one of the above, so Speak Up!

The Watering Hole: Tuesday October 25th – Switzerland Voted

Two small centre parties – the Conservative Democrats and the Liberal Greens – are the winners of Sunday’s parliamentary polls ending years of increasing polarisation.

The rightwing Swiss People’s Party and the centre-left Greens suffered the biggest losses in the House of Representatives compared with the 2007 vote. The two main centre-right parties also saw their support slip, while the centre-left Social Democrats registered a slight gain. (read more)

Obviously the Swiss were fed up with the fear mongering and the hate politics. I feel very sorry for the Greens. They are the ones who should have profited from the increased interest in environmental issues in Switzerland, but the Green Liberal Party, which is basically promising to build a greener capitalism, so everybody can keep their Porsche Cayennes, outstaged them. The SVP (Swiss People’s (Tea-) Party) just got their due. Good riddance to some of their MP’s.

Here’s Swissinfo’s comments page, so you can get a glimpse into the Swiss Psyche. See any similarities?

This is our open thread, so open up!

Watering Hole: Monday, October 24, 2011 – Pick One or Two or Three…

This picture speaks for itself.

This is our Open Thread. I’m sure you can find something to say about any one of the issues presented on this picture, so Speak Up!

Sunday Roast, October 23rd, 2011: Do Moderates Really Exist?

Eisenhower and Kennedy

Published in the Pawling Press, Pawling, NY, Friday, October 14th, 2011, under the title “If Moderates Ruled…” by Jane Schneider

Note: I wrote the following in response to an opinion piece by the Pawling Press‘s conservative columnist, Mr. Paul Keyishian. Mr. Keyishian’s piece was entitled “When Moderates Ruled the Country”; it should be available in full at http://www.pawlingpress.com next week.

“I agree wholeheartedly with Paul Keyishian’s piece in the October 7th edition of the Pawling Press, wherein Mr. Keyishian discusses the presidencies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and the positive effects that these administrations’ moderate and forward-thinking policies had on our country. It was an era when science and technology leapt forward, an era when national goals and ambitious aims were lauded, encouraged, and became part of our national identity.

As Mr. Keyishian said, President Eisenhower “had the foresight to anticipate the need for the interstate highway system…”, “And to help stimulate the national economy, while simultaneously assisting those in need, Eisenhower wisely continued the most necessary and efficient New Deal policies of FDR.” About President John F. Kennedy, Mr. Keyishian said, “President Kennedy generally supported policies that were sensible, pragmatic, and humane. His dedication to social justice was exemplified by his support of the civil rights movement, creation of the Peace Corps, and promotion of various programs to assist the underprivileged and oppressed.”

Again, the point of Mr. Keyishian’s piece was that America, under these two moderate, more-or-less centrist, presidencies prospered and became an example to the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, in today’s political terms, these types of programs and policies are now considered to be left-wing, liberal ideals, and are now vilified by politicians and pundits as ‘socialist.’ It appears that the extreme right-wing minority of the conservatives in power has exerted such a gravitational pull that all political ideologies have shifted rightward, out of their natural orbit around the center. For instance, as a liberal, I know that President Obama is centrist, or perhaps marginally left-of-center, yet he is labeled as a liberal (or much, much worse) by pundits. What is terribly sad and foreboding is that such a centrist cannot even propose a national aim or goal, such as investing in the country’s future by becoming a world leader in green technology, without being shouted down – inaccurately – as a socialist. Do the shouters and pundits not remember what, in retrospect, felt like the glory days of America as a world leader and pioneer in technology, particularly space technology? Do they not realize that, if this country is to continue to be a world leader and aspire to such glory again, we must have national goals and dreams that transcend party politics and petty, mundane squabbles?

And do they also not realize that, in those exciting, inspiring years under two moderate Presidents, tax rates for the wealthy soared as high as 90%? Eisenhower and Kennedy did not borrow money to achieve their lofty goals, they used tax revenues to do so. So why is anyone balking today about increasing taxes on the wealthy by a mere 4% or 5% (letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, bringing their rates back to the 39.6%, I believe, under Clinton), when so much needs achieving in today’s United States, and should not be achieved by borrowing more money? A nation so beset by petty and divisive politics desperately needs a national goal, one that will not only inspire Americans, but that will provide jobs, a cleaner environment, less dependency on fossil fuels (thereby reducing certain national security issues), and will instill the American feeling of pride in being part of something that will benefit ourselves and future generations. As the poet Robert Browning put it, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp — or what’s a heaven for?”

Where are the moderate, far-seeing, pragmatic public servants in today’s political arena? I fear that they are all but extinct.”

Jane E. Schneider

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.

The Watering Hole: October 22 – Mad Scientist?

Nikola Tesla Reading a Book

Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison were in a lifetime feud over the the relative advantages of AC versus DC power distribution systems. In the long run it seems that Tesla won. That was even after Edison electrocuted an elephant in order to demonstrate the dangers of AC systems.

Today the Republican Party is trying to demonstrate its advantages over the Democratic Party by destroying the United States economy. This is our Open Thread. Your turn to vent!

Music Night, Oct 21, 2011 TerrytheTurtle Guest Blogging

And here it is, your Friday tour of the musical raging rapids, quiet pools, and swirling eddies of YouTube’s music collection. Gummitch, probably against his better judgement, has handed the MC’s mouse to me, TerrytheTurtle.

So enough bunny from me, let’s get going.

Each week I try to find music to tie to what the GOP thinks should be voted into one of the most powerful positions that the Koch brothers have in their subsidiary, which some of us remember as the United States of America. Anyhow getting new material each week is a challenge, but I’ve been working hard and here we go:

Herman Cain hit the Big Time this week and shot to front of several polls with his $9.99 pizza offer, catching eyes and turning heads. You have to hand it to him, he simplified the complex tax code to a question of Apples and Oranges or Bananas.

Ron Paul was there again, the ‘old man on the back porch’ of the field. He even dug up Ronnie’s corpse, and told the assembly some painful hometruths – the stunned silence was epic.

Batshit’s campaign is fading fast. Of course Ozzy Osbourne knows a thing or two about bats (and how they taste), and also about ‘going off the rails on a crazy train.’

Mitt Romney – OK the cult thing is easy.  How about ‘more cowbell’ with it though? 

So Cult Boy and Gov Jeff Davis got into it about immigration.  Here’s the Viking Kittens and the Immigrant Song for Rick ‘Purdy-mouth’.

And can anyone tell me why Newt Gingrich is still there? Wonder when his next divorce is due. His penchant for serving his ex-wives as they lie in hospital beds wins him this one. Barenaked Ladies from their widely acclaimed ‘Bathroom Session’ – ‘The King of Bedside Manor.’

Last, but by no means least, well ok, he is the least of the clowns in the GOP clown car, Rick Sanitarium. I thought I would have trouble with him, I mean finding a song to piss him off, maybe where a band named as slang for a transvestite, with a gay guy for a singer, belting out a song hinting about bondage with an Oedipus flavour…you’d think would be impossible. ‘Au contraire, mon capitain!’ as Q would say.

But you know I think I’ve figured out what the vaguely uncomfortable look that comes over Rick’s face is when he’s thinking. He’s thinking that someone, somewhere, right now is having sex – and he isn’t – ‘lust keeps on lurking.’

Enough of these fools! Big news of the week, the Mad Dog of the Middle East is dead. I had to go back to the drawing board after ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ was posted yesterday, but I redoubled my efforts and came across a detail in the story, where the young Libyan who found him in the culvert, relieved him of something.

Colonel Gaddafi – among his many delusions, apparently thought he was ’The Man with the Golden Gun.’

But finally, for the Libyans themselves, we all know which casbahs are rocking tonight! Hit it Joe!

Watering Hole, Friday, October 21st: O-C-C-U-P-Y W-A-L-L S-T-R-E-E-T

As I believe I’ve mentioned before, the one redeeming feature in “The New York Post” is the puzzle page, particularly the word game in which you’re given a particular word and have to make as many five-letter words as possible out of that word.  The rules are simple:  no proper nouns, no plurals ending in ‘s’, no foreign words.  For my own amusement, I often play this game with a word or phrase of my own choosing.

The other day I sat down and started playing around with the phrase “OCCUPY WALL STREET.”  As I started jotting down five-letter words, I noticed that many of the words were pertinent to the actual OCCUPY WALL STREET movement.  Obviously, many were not, but there seemed to be a striking number which were applicable to the protests.  I’ve listed all of the words that I came up with, in vaguely alphabetical order, below the fold.  If anyone comes up with a word that I missed, please let me know and I’ll add it. Continue reading