Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012 Presidential Race......2

So, the Alaska Republican Party has shown itself to be a down and dirty, partisan group-which, of course, it always was. Of that, they have a leading example on the national level, if reports from the RNC in Tampa are to be believed. More mistreatment of Ron Paul supporters, and TEA party members, and really, the GOP should also be ashamed. What a way to sow discontent and fracture an already tense scene. I have read a lot of incendiary commentary about this, attributing it to Mitt Romney, which of course is not the case. If there is malfeasance in the party, then it rests with the party movers and shakers, not the presumptive nominee.  Too bad they are so lofty in their righteousness that they cannot understand the peril they place the party itself in: There are many many people just like me, who are disgusted. If there was a viable alternate party, I'd be in it, at this point. I'm sick of principles being bartered away for "bipartisanship" on bills, motions, and other Congressional acts. If they had the nerve to adhere to a set of simple platform points we could all agree on, instead of a umpteen page "position paper", they'd garner a lot of new energy....and support.  At this point, all I can hope for is that no implosion takes place, and Mitt Romney delivers a speech that hits it out of the ballpark-like Paul Ryan did.

Now, let's take a look at the Obama campaign. And really, did he ever quit campaigning? (Rhetorical snicker from yours truly, I hope you enjoy ;))  Since he cannot run on his dismal record, he is allowing his campaign to take division, racism, hate speech, outright lies, and negative spin where none exists, to a new low. I am saddened to see this occurring, because for as much as I dislike the man, these actions demean the Presidency-and the process. So shame on the Democratic national party too. No need to trot out the lengthy list of smear and attack ads, I'm sure you have all seen them ad nauseum.

But if there is one single culprit that can be positively identified, for the misinformation, the hyping of talking points, and the outright reek of pander, it is the "media".

Why have we come to the point where the media, answering to no one but their stockholders and editors, steers the course of the country? Why have we let this happen? Why do we allow the debate to be shaped by sycophants behind a microphone? This is a very valid point and has been addressed much more eloquently by the likes of Judge Andrew Napolitano, Mark Levin, and so on. 

If you are clueless as to what I am talking about, please check into the many YouTube videos posted about:  Soledad O'Brien, Chris Matthews, Bill Kristol, virtually anyone at CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, and ABC.  I could list many others, but really, you should do your own homework on this one. They are all nothing but yapping lapdogs, desperate to appease the Anointed One in the Oval Office. Really, did you all think we are too stupid to notice?  Do you think we are all sheep who will swallow your pablum without a thought as to it's supposed veracity? And just when did talking heads become "reporters" or "journalists" anyway? When I was in school, you were taught to report based on facts, not opinions. Not spin, not hype. Not self serving aggrandizement, not to curry favor, not to please the subject. When was the last time you read or heard an actual factual story in the main stream media?  I'll wait while you think about it...and do get back to me on it, because you'll need to do some digging............

...and yep, more to come ;)

The 2012 Presidential Race

Might as well jump back into the commentary fray by addressing one of, if not *the* biggest topic of the year.....right?  Progressives and liberals, feel free to click on out, you won't like the contents. For the voluntarianist, the Constitutionalist, the libertarian, and the Republican-read at your own risk ;)

First let me preface this by saying that my political views are a process of evolution. That said, I have voted (in my younger years) strictly the party ticket.....Republican all the way, baby, with not much thought given as to why I was voting the way I did. 

Around 30 years ago, roughly, I began paying attention to local politics, and became aware of how decisions made in Washington effected the company I worked for in a big way. That's not to say I had some sort of epiphany, or a moment of enlightenment, or anything of that nature. It was more an accretion of new ideas that were discussed and they, well, basically stuck. I have not missed a primary nor a regular election since I was old enough to vote, and I'm proud of that. I feel strongly that it is your duty as a citizen, to express your opinion via the ballot box, every single time. 

Being in a small area, and working where I do, I have met a number of local politicians over the years. Some good, some bad, some incompetent, and some just outright nuts. But even a newb like me could see, that what happened down south, made its way onto the Anchorage and state books, with the Valley not far behind in every case. Eventually I figured out that in order to know what was coming, I had to look to Washington. During the Bush campaign, I began following the "media" and national politics more closely. And after 9-11, and the succeeding events, I found myself firmly hooked on the swamp on the Potomac, period.

I watched in outraged dismay as the current Imperialist in Chief was swept into office, without vetting. And I listened with deep unrest as our freedoms were stripped away, one act at a time. I mean, who could even imagine we'd have Czars and a ruler who decreed by executive fiat, at night on a weekend?  I surely didn't. This is most assuredly not the American way I learned about in school....which, by the way, is not even taught any longer.

I'm a fairly logical person, and often describe myself as a "practical realist". I read, and listened, and learned about how the state GOP treated the changing of the guard, and how they treated Ron Paul supporters locally. For shame, Alaska Republican Party, for shame. Instead of welcoming these activists into your fold, you have served to alienate them. For this, you might even hand over the Presidency to our Imposter in Chief. How foolish can you get, and what, exactly, did you fear? Well, whatever the motivating factor, Randy Reudrich should be ashamed of his actions, and so should everyone who supports him. Where will the next generation of Republicans come from, if not the passionate activist?  

.......more to come ;)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Odds and ends galore

One the "little of this, a little of that" side of living, here's a partial recap-in no particular order:

The vegetable starting thing went pretty well, over all. I produced 247 flats. Yes, even I am astounded I managed to do that on my own. The original plan was to attend a local market on a weekend, and to that end I started quite a lot of tomatoes and peppers. As it turned out, no market was held and I was left with a bajillion (okay, not really a bajillion, but it sure seemed like it!) extra peppers and tomatoes to find homes for. I eventually placed them all, with the last being stuffed into my nieces' car on the sly ;)  

Weather was not especially cooperative and I got into my greenhouse pretty late, according to my schedule. Everything I start has to be timed correctly to be of a certain size by a certain date....and it was very cold for several weeks longer than normal this spring. But, despite the setbacks, I was able to provide what was needed.  Like normal, I had a few busts, and a few "oh my gosh, would you look at that!" items, and on the whole, I am satisfied with the results. We also invested in a new ballast and bulb for the main light, and having the newer bulb made a huge difference in growth. I also invested into a different type of organic fertilizer, and was pleased with the results there too. 

This spring, the chicken yard was blessed with six new chicks-replacement layers for the older hens. The rooster went to "freezer camp", and now it's pretty quiet up there. Also early this summer, I lost both my turkey hens. One, I am positive, went to go set on a clutch, and the other...all we found were feathers at her nest out in the woods. The two boys remain, and they still stay within a couple feet of each other. I did find three replacement poults, and luckily one of those is a hen too. So, I am in a quandary-I know I should butcher the two boys, but my heart just isn't in it. Just a few weeks ago, I ordered in a quantity of meat birds and they're up at the barn, proving every day why they are known as "super poopers"  Egads, they are awful. I am thinking that in about week or so, I will be able to remove their feed 12 hours a day and maybe that will cut down on the volume a little bit. We've rigged up a pen for them, which we will be expanding this week, to make sure they get to walking as much as possible. 

The two dogs enjoyed spending the summer home with my son, and I have enjoyed having peace and quiet here at work, lol  We have a family member staying with us right now, so the dogs are being entertained and spoiled, and soon enough it will be back to bringing them to work every day. The two house cats are thrilled it's summer, and we've even seen Belle out on the grass!  You have to know that this cat does not do "outside", she bolts across the ground like her feet are on fire if you carry her out, lol  She's a great hunter when she wants to be, but grass, and dirt, and stuff is just not her thing. Which is to sleep in the laundry basket between meals, near as I can tell. 

The old man is doing pretty well.  We've been turning him loose to graze when we're able to keep an eye on him, and he is slowly working his way through the abundant grasses around the property. Last week he figured out he could just walk in the barn and was caught red handed (er, muzzle down) in a grain can. Needless to say, the barn entrance is now paneled off so he can't wander in and make a mess, checking all the cans for goodies. He was just like a little child caught with a hand in the cookie jar too, horse owners know exactly the expression I mean, lol  Sometime the end of the coming month I'll be getting my winter supply of alfie hay in, and I need to stock up on straw too, before the snow flies.

Speaking of stocking up, I have been doing what I can to get poultry feed in, before the major price hikes arrive here in Alaska. I've been reading online, what's been happening with the price of that, and have taken the warnings about the drought to heart. It's not a very convenient time of year to be doing this, but every extra bag I put away will help get us through the price increases, I hope. Yet another reason to butcher the two adult turkeys, right?

And in the same theme, this spring I ordered in mangel wurzel seeds. Yeah, I know, you're thinking-um, wut?  The mangel wurzel (or Mangel beet) is a common crop in some European countries, and is still grown in some areas of the US as well. They are not a sugar beet, nor a "red beet you eat" but are known as a "fodder beet". The variety I chose is suitable for humans, and most small livestock-not just the roots, but the top greens are edible too. Naturally, the reasons I looked into alternate fodder was, of course, our food security here. With that in mind, I shared seeds, with the hopes that others would try growing them also. For myself, I started them maybe two weeks too late, and got them planted sometime the first week of June-again, too late but who knew? I didn't. As it is, they are doing best in the best soils of course. I pulled one up  on the weekend and measured it. Fully ten inches long, the bulbous root (pictured with this entry today) weighs in at just over three pounds. Mangels are reputed to grow as large as 20 pounds, in optimum growing conditions. And they are also supposed to store well in the "pile" method, not needing specific humidity or temperature like seed potatoes. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm back.............!

I've been thinking about taking up blogging again, the first time after reading the "watch words list" published on line. You know, the one that lists all the words that trigger automatic data collection by various US agencies?  I read the list and realized I had typed out just about every single word on that list, over the past five years on line. Ayep, I am a marked blogger already. But you knew that, right?

I thought about it a lot, as the current administration accomplished one destructive act after another. Pretty lengthy list over the past year, isn't it?

I thought about it as I watched our state officials fumble through resource development, and crashing fisheries, and as the feds tied up even more lands forever.

I thought about it as discussions ensued on Facebook, where discourse is disjointed, easily misconstrued, and fleeting indeed.

I thought about it as I worked my way through a very challenging growing season, and other events that touched myself, and my family. 

So.......back into the fray I go, one entry at a time. I hope that this time around, people will feel free to comment here. I do not censor any comment, do not block anyone from posting their opinions, and I do welcome all discussions-even opposing views.