Archive for May, 2012

Flier Surfaces Showing “Barack Obama” Headlined a “Democratic Socialists of America” Event in 1996 – Photo

25 May

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Posted in Politics


Bumper Sticker: coexist with the media

14 May


This Ron-Paul-mobile has a coexist bumper sticker on the back and an anti media message on the side. Shouldn’t the car owner be coexisting better with the media? Or with reality?


Nature video: ant vs wasp larva

13 May

My first cellphone nature video, captured outside our house. Something (some bird?) dropped part of a wasp nest on our recycling can, and we saw a squirming wasp larva near it. I stepped outside a few minutes later and captured this scene.


A Reagan Forum with Dennis Prager – 5/1/12

11 May

Here’s a very worthwhile video of Dennis Prager speaking at the Reagan Forum on May 1 this year:

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Turning “Follow the Money” into Heroic Leadership. Obama on Gay Marriage.

10 May

How is Time considered credible to anyone with garbage like this?

They say the arc of history bends toward justice.

Who says it? Who are you quoting, or rather, misquoting? It was the Republican Baptist Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. who made this quote by Theodore Parker famous. Parker, it seems, was referring to the end of slavery, a world wide immorality that characterized the entire world until movements of Christians in England and Republicans in the US changed everything. King would respond to the question of how long it would be until equal rights with “Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

So “Toure” starts by framing the argument on MLK’s belief that denial of people’s Declaration rights (life, liberty, pursuit of happiness) would end, but misquotes King to remove the absolute morality (inserted “history” and removed “moral universe”), which was the basis of King’s statement.

If that’s true then as a nation we’re having a hard time bending on the issue of gay rights.

Ok… If the arc of history bends toward justice, we’re having a hard time bending on one issue. So if the arc of history doesn’t bend toward justice, then we’re not having a hard time bending on this issue? We’re only at sentence 2 and the writer’s ability to construct sentences is already in question.

“gay rights.”

This is a curious phrase to apply to a discussion of marriage. My marriage is a marriage and would be regardless of whether the state recognized it. People were married before the government granted marriage licenses, thus it doesn’t seem that the government’s distribution of certificates actually affects marriage.

What are rights, anyway? Looking back to the founding documents, we see rights to life and liberty, to speech, gun ownership, the press, etc.

  • The Right fights for the right to life, even for unborn humans and people in comas. The Left seeks death in both cases.
  • The Right fights for the right to liberty (to do what one wishes with one’s self and the product of one’s labor without infringing on these same rights of others) by pushing for less regulation and lower taxation. The Left believes the government can decide what to do with you (Obamacare) and your stuff (taxation and redistribution of wealth) better than you.
  • The Right fights for the right to the pursuit of happiness through pushing for private property ownership and less regulation. The left fights against this, believing you are too dumb to pursue happiness and can’t be trusted with tough choices such as what food to eat and what snacks your kids can buy.
  • The Right fights for the right to free speech and press by pushing back against Leftist policies like the fairness doctrine.
  • The Right fights for the right to bear arms. The Left consistently seeks to limit this right.
  • The Right fights for the free exercise of religion by working to preserve people’s ability to live out their religious beliefs. The Left has made it illegal to do so in many situations and with Obamacare are working to force religious hospitals and other businesses to either cease exercising their religion or cease providing health care.

Rights are consistently defended by conservatives, and consistently assaulted by progressives. Apparently they’re just seeking progress in taking away your rights.

But this week will be remembered as an historic turning point because President Obama threw political caution to the wind and came out as the man who can put principle over politics in announcing his support for marriage equality. “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told Robin Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.

After Joe Biden came out of the closet as a gay marriage supporter, news broke that several big dollar donors would stop supporting Obama unless he changed his position to support the same. That’s what the article’s author means when he “threw political caution to the wind and came out as the man who can put principle over politics” : He did what would get him more money. Wow. Caution to the wind, principle over politics. Reversing positions to get more money. That’s inspiring! It’s heroic!

With Obama’s declaration that he “personally” thinks one thing, and publicly thinks the opposite, believing the federal government should stay out of it, we have clarity: instead of still trying to hold both sides on the issue, he’s… trying to hold both sides on the issue. So, with his public policy as the president remaining exactly the same, what’s changed?

  • Obama’s earliest record on the issue was in 1996, when he answered questions, in writing declaring “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages” as he ran for Illinois Senate.
  • In 2008 he spoke on stage with Rick Warren, saying “For me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union… God’s in the mix”

The only change here is that Obama’s temporary pro-traditional-marriage position was picked up when it would benefit his running for office to claim Christian values, and dropped when politically expedient as a fundraising effort for re-election.

The “Toure” article goes on to get facts wrong, contradict itself, and commit most logical fallacies you could name. If you enjoy pain, you can read the entire article. It’s disappointing that this type of poorly written inflammation of an article is considered reputable and worthwhile, but I’m not a leftist, so I’m not calling on people to destroy him and his employment as he has done with Rush Limbaugh.


Coffee Shop Review: Nutty Bean Coffee Cafe

09 May

Having Dumped Starbucks because of our responsibility as stewards of our resources, I’ve begun to search out other places with free WiFi to work remotely and have a cup of tea.

This week I visited the Nutty Bean Coffee Cafe, located inside the Scrubs Carwash building next to Costco at Wadsworth and Quincy in Littleton, Colorado. I’ve driven by many times, never seeing where the entrance was, and wondering how to get into the supposed coffee shop; the entrance is on the west side of the car wash.

First Impression:

The bar wraps around, I’m not sure where to order. (I think you order where you can see the menu best for drinks, or at the side counter if you want lotto tickets or gum.)

I’m also not sure where to sit. There’s 3 bar-height tables with bar stools around them, and 2 cushy chairs.


Nutty Bean feels like half like a coffee shop and half like the waiting room at a mechanic’s or a car wash… because it is. As I type this I’m sitting next to the windown= of the car wash looking at cars go through, but the wall next to the window has nicely framed black-and-white nature photography.

The television in the corner was blaring The View fairly loudly.

For WiFi:

Independent coffee shops don’t always like people hanging around using their computers for hours. I called first, and they encouraged me to do so. As I needed to use my laptop, I had to sit on a bar stool, and they just aren’t as comfortable as regular chairs.

The location was very computer-user friendly, with power outlets by 2 of the 3 tables and easily accessible WiFi, without the annoying login & TOS agreement as Starbucks and most other places have.

It felt a bit like I was working at a friend’s car business, not really an environment conducive to concentration and work.

Products and Ordering:

Their tea selection is much better than Starbucks or Panera, with multiple brands of tea and 18 or so different tea blends. The gentleman at the counter brought the teas over, let me know which ones were the most commonly ordered.  I had an Earl Grey, hot. It was good. I’m not trying to be adventurous on my first visit. He offered me honey. The largest tea is $2.05, they charge by the amount of water rather than the tea bag, serving one tea bag regardless of size.

My wife stopped by because they brew locally roasted Daz Bog coffee. You can even order on their website, letting them know when you’ll be by to pick up your drink and pay – they’ll have it waiting for you.

They have a ton of syrups, perhaps more than I’ve seen anywhere else.

They also sell Lamar’s Donuts (under $1.00), Santiago’s Burritos ($3.00, Westword’s best breakfast burrito in 2009), lottery tickets, gum, and more. (At lotto tickets, the product list begins to cross the line to feeling like a gas station convenience store.)





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Posted in Culture


CNBC’s Rick Santelli Advises Young Voters to “Wake Up” and Stop Voting for People who are Ruining their Economic Future – Video 5/8/12

08 May

Advice worth heeding:


Dumping Starbucks

08 May

As a frequent customer and shareholder, I emailed Starbucks last week questioning information I had seen at , which claims that Starbucks is using their profits to lobby government to re-define marriage. Here’s the correspondence.

My wife and I frequent this Starbucks and several others. We are also shareholders. I’m at one location now and just saw a link to the “Dump Starbucks” website which reads in part:

On January 24th, 2012, Starbucks issued a memorandum declaring that same-sex marriage 'is core to who we are and what we value as a company.Starbucks also used its resources to participate in a legal case seeking to overturn a federal law declaring marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

We are very conscious of where our money goes and we do not support the overturning of laws in the pursuit of redefining millennia-old religious terminology. Is this information accurate? Is every purchase and every stock buy we make a contribution toward efforts to work against some of our core beliefs?

Thank you,


I received a response from Victor at Starbucks Customer Service:

Hello,Thank you for contacting Starbucks.

At Starbucks, we deeply respect the views of our customers and partners (employees) and recognize that there is genuine passion surrounding this topic. Starbucks has many constituents, and from time to time we will make decisions that are consistent with our values and heritage but may be inconsistent with the views of a particular group.

From our very earliest days, Starbucks has strived to create a company culture that puts our people first and treats everyone equitably. Our company has a lengthy history of leading on and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion, and we are proud to be one of several leading Northwest employers that support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality. We made this decision through the lens of humanity and our commitment to embracing diversity.

We have 200,000 people that work for Starbucks around the world and the equity of our brand has been defined by the relationship we have with our partners and the relationship they have with our customers. Put simply, the success we’ve enjoyed and the resulting shareholder value created are directly linked to the pride our partners have for the company they work for and their connection with the communities we serve.

If you have any further questions or concerns that I was unable to address, please feel free to let me know.



customer service

2 points:

Victor wrote that “…the success we’ve enjoyed and the resulting shareholder value created” are because of things like lobbying to redefine marriage. If that were the case, why isn’t there a big sign by the register of every Starbucks declaring they’re opposed to the traditional definition of marriage, that “money from every purchase is used to lobby government to redefine marriage?” Because it’s a lie. They benefit only because they hide their activities and hide behind ambiguity.

“Recognizing marriage equality” sounds nice, but also very ambiguous. As G. K. Chesterton wrote in Eugenics and Other Evils (a book I recommend, available online free), “evil always takes advantage of ambiguity,” so I followed up with an email seeking clarity:

Hello Victor,

Thanks for your response. As a frequent purchaser of products and a shareholder, I’m writing back for clarification, recognizing the power of the money I have invested in Starbucks.

What do you mean by “marriage equality”? My understanding is that currently any man and any woman can get married. The restrictions aren’t based on anything except 1) only 2 people and 2) a man and a woman.

There have historically been efforts to redefine marriage to change the legal marrying age, allow polygamy, or even change from gender restriction to discrimination based on sexual orientation, something like “2 same-sex people can be married, but only if they have sex with each other,” seemingly replacing the gender restriction with a sexual orientation or sexual activity restriction.

I’m guessing you aren’t the one who came up with the policy or the one who decided the rational of Starbucks’ using of my investment money to support the policy, but can you give some clarity of what the policy is that is being supported?


Customer and Shareholder

This is the crux of the issue in my mind. Currently, marriage is not defined as “a contract a man and a woman who love each other,” nor as “A man and a woman who have sex.” Both of those situations are plentiful outside of marriage. Legally, marriage is a contract between a man and a woman, recognized and encouraged through some limited benefits, such as additional tax filing options, because since Aristotle philosophers and politicians have seen the importance of strong family units. Certainly our perspective of what makes a family is changing.

Perhaps in reaction to their own parents not living out their marriage commitment, increasing numbers of couples are living together, having and raising children together without ever sealing the relationship with the commitment of a marriage certificate; others have a slightly more sophisticated gang mentality, where they see their group of friends as their family. Obama’s re-election campaign, with their Life of Julia, family is defined as one’s self and the government. As Debra J. Saunders, in the San Fransisco Chronicle, pointed out:

Until her son goes to kindergarten, Julia’s cartoon world does not depict any males, except one, as shown in this quote: “Under President Obama: Julia decides to have a child.”

What’s the goal of re-defining the family away from the natural father-mother-children unit? That’s a long and depressing story. For today, my point is just that it’s happening.

Anyway, Starbucks replied:


Thank you for contacting Starbucks.

From the current perspective we are using, we are classifying marriage equality as involving 2 consenting adults.

Thanks again for writing us.  If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.



customer service

2 consenting adults? Starbucks is lobbying for incest? That’s weird.

Of course they aren’t lobbying for incest. They’re just continuing to be ambiguous.

People cry out “discrimination!” when traditional marriage is upheld, because marriage is defined as:

A commitment of certain things between a man and a women.

What’s the discrimination? There’s nothing in the definition of marriage that explores or restricts based on sexual orientation; there’s nothing in the definition of marriage that restricts based on anything other than gender. One man, one woman. They may not love each other, they may not ever sleep together. The only discrimination is the declaration:

men and women are different.

Why does this drive the Left crazy?

Efforts to re-define marriage are seeking a sort of definition like:

Marriage is a commitment between any two “consenting adults” as long as they have government-approved sexual behavior.

It’s strange. 2 siblings who want the financial benefits of marriage can’t get married if they’re heterosexual. But they could have the financial benefits if they’re homosexual.

Efforts to redefine marriage in favor of gay marriage introduce never before seen discrimination into the definition of marriage.

Efforts to redefine marriage in favor of gay marriage also seek to declare by fiat that these relationships are as beneficial to society as traditional marriage, without any historical reference.

There are so many things we like about Starbucks: the atmosphere; the employees; the employee benefits; double blended java chip frappuccinos with an added pump of white mocha. Unfortunately, they’re using the money we give as customers and shareholders to add to the effort to weaken marriage, the foundation of society as Aristotle pointed out. They say we should be okay with it because our shares have increased in value.

I’m sure many people can be bought that easily. But not us. We’ve stopped spending at Starbucks unless we need to meet with someone there, and we’re selling our shares.