Music Break: The Statler Brothers

Flowers On The Wall...

Live on the Porter Wagoner Show 1969


Word of the Day: politainer

A politician as entertainer...

politainer (pawl-i-TAYN-ur) n. A politician who is or was an entertainer; a politician who makes extensive use of entertainment media, particularly during a campaing. - adj.

Word Spy
Paul McFedries

What We Saw at the Glenn Beck Rally in DC

Fundamentally not a political event...

Nick Gillespie, of Reason.TV, an economist of the Austrian school, notes that the event was more religious than political and attended by people who identified as "Independent" rather than affiliated with either major party.



Music Break: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Who'll stop the rain?...

Quote of the Day: George Carlin

Earth orbits the sun; moon orbits the earth...

Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.

George Carlin

Sun and Rain

In desert August, the Sun beats through heavy lightning and rain storm cells...


Music Break: Mason Williams

Classical Gas (Original)...

Quote of The Day: The Washington Post

Fed's capacity to stimulate economy limited...

The answers lie not in kick-starting old engines of growth such as housing and consumer spending. Instead the challenge is to identify and invest in new opportunities and equip the American people -- through education, tax reform and entitlement reform -- to take advantage of them. This is a much harder job, one that will require the concerted attention of public and private sector leaders, at federal and state levels, over many years. Mr. Bernanke can help by keeping the economy functioning in the meantime. But Fed policy is no substitute for a reshaping of the economy.

The Washington Post
"Fed's capacity to stimulate economy limited"

21st Century Enlightment

We need to live differently in the 21st century...

Involves thinking differently with a new perspective.



Music Break: Paul Simon

Graceland/Call Me Al (African Concert)...


Quote of the Day: Jon Talton

In a country where high self-esteem is unearned...

They say the old end up in another country even if they stay where they are. Such a realization is coming younger now, at least to those who are paying attention.

The popular story concerns the opposite direction: The supposed postponed adulthood of Americans with twenty-and even thirtysomethings living at home with their parents, etc. The New York Times Magazine devoted a long thumbsucker asking, "Why are so many  people taking so long to grow up." Talk about a foreign country: My generation couldn't wait to get out on their own. I can't even imagine.

[T]his current "won't grow up" phenomenon is rooted in privilege. It also includes many middle-class young adults who are living off the wealth that their parents inherited from a generation of Americans that actually made things and fully participated in the fruits of the dying middle class. The latter will not last.

[S]till, it makes you wonder about the future of a society where infantilization and sloth are becoming not just acceptable, but a norm to be celebrated and studied and explained by professors and shrinks.

Jon Talton
"The slipstream of time"
Rogue Columnist

Urban Landscape Photography XI

Dog Days: it's hot, it's humid, the sun has no mercy...

We're all just waiting for it to be over


Music Break: John Mellencamp

R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A....

(A Salute To 60's Rock)


Quote of the Day: Mark Twain

On people's beliefs in religion and politics...

In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at but have taken them second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.

Samuel Clemens
Autobiography of Mark Twain

Mark Twain at Stormfield, 1909. Edison Film


Barack Obama Is The Worst President In American History

What will a little scandalous gossip, name recognition and high dollar, quippy commercial get you?

In Arizona's Congressional District District 3, a Primary win...

Arizona's most recent carpetbagger wannabe politician (in the mold of McCain), Ben Quayle, himself was surprised at his primary win in a crowded and contentious race. He'd been publicly beaten up so much that everyone, including himself, thought he was toast. Maybe it was this commercial that pushed him over the edge.



Music Break: Steve Earle

This Land Is Your Land,...


Quote of the Day: Henry David Thoreau

Take a chance...

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong.

Henry David Thoreau

Voting PSA

Today in Arizona it's Midterm Primary Election Day...

It's a lot of work for a small amount of pay but I'm working as a Precinct Inspector (Supervisor) today. Every election I work in some capacity and always say "I'm not sure I want to do this again" when it's over. But I always do the next time because it allows me to be involved in government and the political process in a nonpartisan way and I truly like interacting with the voters who turn out. It's important to me that I can, in one small central big city precinct, keep the integrity of the process of that one little piece under my purview.

In 1974 I turned 18, the first year 18 year olds were allowed to vote and since then have rarely missed an election, even small ones, like the school board. Early Ballot voting made that easier and will help bring the process into the age where going to a designated precinct polling place will not be necessary.  I've heard all the excuses over the years on why not to vote, why people aren't registered and why they couldn't get around to voting.

- Register to vote

- Arizona party choices:
  Green Party
  No Party Preference (In primary can choose to vote on one of any parties ballot)

- Vote by Early Ballot (mail or drop off)

- Get involved in either a nonpartisan or partisan way

A Bosnian man, Mahmet, encourages you to vote.


Voting PSA from Norse Film Society on Vimeo.


Music Break: The Tremeloes

LIVE 1967: Here Comes My Baby...

Arizona Midterm Primary Election Tomorrow

Slow Early Ballot Returns, Rise of No Party Preference Voters...

In this local news video the media people are missing an opportunity to educate the voter population and are misusing the term "Independent Voters." Arizona does not recognize the Independent Party and our system is designed to choose among four parties (Green, Democrat, Libertarian, Republican) or select No Party Preference. The No Party Preference designation allows the voter to select one party ballot (except Libertarian) of the four parties and vote in that partied primary. The term "Independent" is misleading and confusing to voters but unfortunately mainstream media tv people think it's simpler.


Quote of the Day: John Mauldin

Embrace the challenge...

On how to get through this mess

This is a far different environment than we've had the last 70 years. Using past performance to predict future results when the future environment is significantly different than the period in which the data was collected is misleading at best and worthless at worst, leading to bad decisions. Much better to deal with reality.

[T]he 70s were a real bitch. I woke up many times in the middle of the night with real pains in my stomach wondering whether to pay the rent or make payroll. So did a lot of people. But look at all the new companies that came out of that era and changed everything: Microsoft, Apple, Intel,etc. Cell phones. The Internet. The list is long.

Yes, we have to make our way in this Muddle Through World. It will be challenging, but I can almost guarantee you that when we do there will be other challenges. If it was easy everybody could do it and there would be no money in it. Embrace the challenge!

from "How We Get Through This Mess"
John Mauldin
The Big Picture

We Have Met The Enemy

And He Is Us...


Walt Kelly 1971


Music Break: Bryan Adams & Luciano Pavarotti

'O Sole Mio...

Live Modena, Italy 1994

Quote of the Day: Peggy Noonan

The Romans had too much information...

And there was the way people consumed information. The Empire was awash in texts. "Elite, literate Romans were discovering the great paradox of information: the more of it that's available, the harder it is to be truly knowledgeable. It was impossible to process it all in a thoughtful way." [William Powers] People, Seneca observed, grazed and skimmed, absorbing information "in the mere passing." But it is better to know one great thinker deeply than dozens superficially.

"Information Overload Is Nothing New"
Peggy Noonan
WSJ Opinion 08/20/10

Jettison and Salvage

Flotsam, jetsam, lagan and derelict...

These days I have no idea what to think about how the deepening economic crisis will proceed. We're certainly deluged with information about it. Does it really matter what graph we look at? Which blog we read? What channel we watch? Realistically we all know one thing, we're in for one heck of a Day of Reckoning and the bottom line of it is debt.

A lot of debt is owed by a lot or people, businesses and governments, borrowed from a lot of people, businesses and governments, that can't pay it back. There's even a question if the money was ever real. It's all in such a big knot too large to unwind so it will unravel. Rapido. At the core, it is that basic.

The news seems grim, America is holding it's breath and pulling it's gut in. The stock market will crash, houses will sell for 10 percent of what is owed on them, banks will fail, unemployment will skyrocket. Prognostications range from doom saying to revolution to enlightenment with some distinct popular trends developing among the variations.

There are a lot of graphs, charts, visuals and words out there to elevate what is already Drama on the High Seas. I'm not oblivious that there is going to be a lot of flotsam, jetsam, lagan and derelict floating around all of us after havoc is wrecked. It's still not clear to me though what purpose all of this information serves to prepare us for dealing with a long-road-back future.

Think I'll  just decide what to jettison, what to tie down and mark ligan, what to let go derelict. Salvage is ongoing and I can't really do much about what goes flotsam

Just in case you did want to look at yet another graph

Today's House Prices Are Still Higher Than The Previous Bubble High
from Business Insider
David Michael White

Michael David White is a mortgage originator in 50 states


Music Break: Aretha Franklin

Chain chain chain of fools...


Quote of the Day: Ben Quayle

Son of a...

"I am not Brock Landers." 
Arizona 3rd Congressional District Ben Quayle, on allegations that he co-founded a risque, sex-themed website under a pseudonym.

Arizona Capitol Times

Ben Quayle, Drifter

My Dad taught me everything I need to know...

including that website thedirty.com you deny all knowledge of?



Music Break: The Beach Boys

Live 03/14/64 Little Deuce Coup...


Quote of the Day: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Civilizational model of international relations...

"The greatest advantage of Huntington's civilizational model of international relations is that it reflects the world as it is - not as we wish it to be. It allows us to distinguish friends from enemies. And it helps us to identify the internal conflicts within civilizations, particularly the historic rivalries between Arabs, Turks and Persians for leadership in the Islamic world."

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
"How to Win the Clash of Civilizations"
In reference to Samual Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations"
Wall Street Journal 08/18/10

A Network Is A Network Is A Network



TELEPHONEME | MK12 from MK12 on Vimeo.
TELEPHONEME.TV for additional information and downloads


Music Break: Cowboy Junkies

Miles From Our Home...

Quote of the Day: Bat Masterson

You knew if you were OK in the corral...

"No man can have a more loyal friend than Wyatt Earp, nor a more dangerous enemy."

Bat Masterson
(variation) of line used by Masterson regarding Earp

In The Heat of Dead Summer

The diurnal Bishop's Cap cactus flowers...

Bishop's Cap (Astrophytum myriostigma) are often overlooked cactus in the natural landscape since they have a unique color and texture quality because part of their survival disguise is as a rock. They're small and usually potted and mine flowers in winter and summer. Like most cacti, there slow going in development, it can take weeks for buds to bloom. The flowers are diurnal, opening at the peak of sunlight and heat during the day, then closing in late afternoon and reopening when the sun is full in the morning.

Flower in mid-August at 15:00 (03:00 PM) in peak afternoon sun and heat

Early evening bud closed before sunset


Music Break: Blue Rodeo

Arizona Dust...

Word of the Day: Word Spy

nature-deficit disorder...

n. A yearning for nature, or an ignorance of the natural world, caused by a lack of time spent outdoors, particularly in rural settings.

Source and Example Citations: http://www.wordspy.com/words/nature-deficitdisorder.asp

Paul McFedries
Word Spy

The American West

Western states' uneasy relationship with the federal government...

United States map showing average annual precipitationThe West is known for it's wide open spaces, big skies and "live and let live" attitudes. Well...less so in attitudes now that it has become saturated with people from Back East after the Sunbelt Migration of the Seventies, changing the nature of western cities.

(For reference, to a true westerner, Back East is anything east of the 100th Meridian. When Back East., anything west of the meridian, is referred to as Out West.)

The West has always had a relationship with the Federal government, whether they chose to admit to it or not. It's an affair based on one element: H2O. Without the support of the federal government, dams and water projects wouldn't have happened and subsequently railroad, electric and telephone networks could not have been completed. Western states also have always had, as a price for statehood, a disproportionate area of land owned and controlled by the federal government. Prior to the late 20th Century Westward Movement, Washington DC was far away enough to be kept at bay and states Out West could operate pretty much as their own entities. 

The Sunbelt migration combined with the advancement of communications created a cultural shift that is pervasive in large western cities. The role of the federal government with state and local governments is a tense one. The Federal Government owning the majority of the land is a factor that should not be overlooked or underestimated. Within the relationship is a conflict in values.


Music Break: Joe South (1969)

Games People Play...

Quote of the Day: Shakespeare

Don't deceive yourself and you won't deceive others...

Presentation of Self in Every Day Life

"This above all: to thine own self be true,"
(be yourself)
"and it must follow, as the night the day,
"thou cans't be false to any man."
(Since your presenting your true self, you won't present false intentions)

Act I, Scene 3

[apologies to Erving Goffman]

Canyonland of the Mind

There is no middle ground...

At the bottom of a deep canyon, which is cleaved by river erosion, you are between two walls of high cliffs that cannot be easily climbed. At the bottom you have two options and the one you take depends on the variables of the canyon floor and the cliff walls. For all practical purposes there is no middle ground, even if climbing the cliffs is an option, it is an arduous one with no place to stay. You're either at the bottom of the canyon or on top of the cliff.

If at the bottom, depending if the living conditions are right, it may the best choice to stay there or you can choose to get out. If you choose to get out then there are two more options, you may trek out by river since eventually it will end on open ground or you may be able to hike the canyon wall.

When in conditions that are either one or the other, with no in-between, the method of evaluation is no different than one with multiple choices.

  • Start with available objective facts to gain clarity of mind
  • Use your instincts and subjective thoughts as a guide
  • Look at the options for those with the superior elements
  • Decide which option has the best qualities

You may have to write the facts and thoughts down or diagram them. Possibly you'll reach a momentary mental block, recognize it as momentary, step away from the issue for a bit, return with clearer head. It is key to trust your own judgment.

We are living in an unusual time period and there is no middle ground for most people. You may be at the bottom of a canyon or at the top of the cliff. Either way, depending on the canyon and your circumstances, where you are may not be right and you need to make a decision to change. Despondency and despair will not get you anywhere if you need to get going. It is easier said than done, but making a well thought out plan can take you places. At times it may feel as if you're wearing lead boots but the other choice is fatally flawed.

Trip through canyons of Arizona and Utah: Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon.


Journey through Canyons from Metron on Vimeo.


Music Break: Gin Blossoms

Until I Fall Away...


Quote of the Day: John McCain

McCain says he doesn't back 14th Amendment change...

McCain said the Founding Fathers deliberately made the Constitution extremely hard to change and that he is fundamentally in favor of leaving it as it is.

When asked directly if he'd support such an amendment, McCain said: "No. I mean first of all we'd have to have hearings, we'd have to find out what the argument would be, but I certainly don't at this time."

Arizona Senator John McCain
"McCain says he doesn't back 14th Amendment change"
The Associated Press 08/13/10

A Sonoran Desert of the Mind

Arid economics...

It occurs to me that in this era rules of the desert apply:

  • Carry your own water, lot's of it. Keep your eyes peeled for water sources.
  • Careful where you tread. Watch for black widows, scorpions and rattlers.
  • Respect cactus. They're survivors and have thorns and spines.
  • Know where you are. Have a map and GPS, the desert can be disorienting.
  • Avoid the spotlight of the sun. Stay in the shade, wear a hat.

How to Build a BioSand Filter



Music Break: Vince Gill

Go Rest High On That Mountain...

Quote of the Day: Mish

On the lost momentum of the economy...

The key question, as always is "What Now?"

Geithner, Obama, Krugman all want more stimulus to keep the recovery going. However, as [Caroline] Baum explains, you can't keep something going, that was never going in the first place.

Michael "Mish" Shedlock
"Economist Cut Growth Estimates"
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

POTS: Tip and Ring, Grounded

The Summer of my Disconnect...

In analog copper telephony ("Plain Old Telephone Service") two wires run together, one is the positive ground side (ring) and the other side is the negative battery side (tip), with a switching machine acting as the brain. Basically two wires connect and people talk.

Throughout this economic crisis, signaled to me in 2007, I've been able to stay grounded, keeping battery going and charged and maintaining a positive connection in my brain. There have been difficult times, periods when I wondered how I was going to continue to personally financially keep my head above water, treading water if necessary. My main focus was at a minimum break even, increase income if possible, reduce and not fall behind in expenses and continue to avoid all debt. So far, so good.

I'm not sure exactly when a different way of thinking started evolving within me but it was sometime around the Fourth of July. Then suddenly I felt the heaviness of the trouble our country was in economically. It was no longer a matter of my knowledge of economics, southward Leading Economic Indicators, Stock Market bubble and other factors that in my brain were things that did not add up to a sustainable recovery. Up until then a lot of intellectual discourse in my head was on how to best move forward personally with that knowledge and stay relatively financially intact with a positive outlook.

No...this was deep in heart and soul. I suddenly felt what my grandparents had felt, during the Great Depression, at approximately the same age as I am now. It explained them perfectly to me. With clarity I now understood why my parents, aunts and uncles, who grew up as kids and adolescents in that era, held the values they did about debt, savings, managing money and resources.

It was a very hefty oppressive feeling that I'm still reconciling. Somehow, simultaneously I had disconnected, tip and ring and had no battery, but my brain wasn't switching anything off. Neuron synapses weren't signalling and if they were, weakly and the distance between axon and dendrite was so great it grounded them out, without connection. There was hum on the line but at the same time, the network was still operating on another level that was different.

This has caused me to reevaluate how to proceed in what looks like a 5, 10 and 15 year economic recovery cycle. Experienced, educated professional economists, as well as people directly involved in some way in the economy that I know, all privately tell me the same thing. We're in for a long haul of piecing things back together, no matter the tack taken to repair the damage, this will still take time. Fortunately the financial piece for me personally is somewhat settled in my mind, primarily I'm as prepared as I can be, considering the situation.

Now the work for me on all levels, is realizing the effects on people and society, accepting that there will be many difficulties, while doing what I can and preserving my own state of mind. When I was young I lived for an extended period in third world places with a small middle class and large disparity between wealthy and poor people. I'm not suggesting America is going to become third world but the conditions will be present in some areas. Due to my experience, I know there is an entire psychology that comes with that, one that I think the majority of Americans are ill-prepared for.

Keeping myself physically healthy and my mind sharp is paramount to maintain to me for future shock. I am of no use to others if I am not in shape, physically and mentally. It is for that reason I disconnected from the social web for the most part, limit my quota of media and news, avoid most comment sections on the internet (they've become largely peanut galleries). Now I tend reduce my time on the web to use it as a resource and for carefully chosen entertainment. I determined that the axiom "the internet has ruined my attention span" is certainly true for me and am making a point to read books. Paper ones, not e-books, long ones. 

It's been engaging. Reading for extended periods is tougher than it used to be for me. I'm also re-discovering and meeting people who also understand current events and enjoy conversation. I'm relearning when to listen, really hear and speak in full sentences articulately. I'm more active and having more fun. At the same time I'm learning I need to disengage from some activities and people that aren't moving forward because that isn't much fun, it's counter-productive.

Above all else, for me it is about raising the bar to keep yourself level-headed and staying positive in an extremely challenging, yet at the same time exciting, era.


Music Break: Bruce Springsteen

Glory Days (Live in Hyde Park)...

Quote of the Day

The sky is crying, tears roll down the street...

Rain water harvesting captures them for good use.

And in Arizona, cities like Tucson are pioneering the practices of big-city rain capture. "All you need for a water harvesting system is rain, and a place to put it" Tucson Water says on it's Web site.

from "It's Now Legal to Catch a Raindrop in Colorado"
New York Times 06/28/2009

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Desert plants and ecosystems, rain water harvesting...

An Introduction to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior, Arizona
Narrated by Paul Wolterbeek, Staff Member at Boyce Thompson Arboretum


Rain Water Harvesting
narrated by Kim Stone, horticulturist at Boyce Thompson Arboretum 



Music Break: The Hollies

He ain't heavy, he's my brother...


Quote of the Day

Quality and care...

A person who sees Quality and feels it as he works is a person who cares. A person who cares about what he sees and does is a person who's bound to have some characteristics of Quality.

from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
Part III, Chapter 24
copyright 1974, 1999

Urban Landscape Photography IX

Long Hot Summer Daze...

photo by Gregory A Z Nelson


Music Break: 3Js

Star of the county down (Akoesteren)...


Quote of the Day

How to Lose an Election Without Really Trying...

Frank Rich

Could George W. Bush be a kind of Gipper-in-reverse and win yet one more for the Democrats? Clearly this White House sees him as the gift that keeps on giving. The 2010 campaign against the Bush Administration is in full cry, with President Obama leading the charge. The Republicans are "betting on amnesia" he confidently told the claque at a recent fund-raiser, "they don't have a single idea that's different from George Bush's ideas." It's now the incessant party line.

Sounds plausible, but it's Obama who's on the wrong side of that bet, to his own political peril. Betting on amnesia is almost always a winning, not a losing, wager in America.

Eventually you must have your own ideas, your own agenda and own your own administration and campaign on your own record.

Prepare To Go Japanese

Big Government intervention: Deflation, Inflation Stagflation...

Big Government is probably here to stay for awhile, due to the economic crisis and entitlement psychology of a large segment of the American people, at the very least until the 2016 election. It is due to the major political parties having a stranglehold on the "two-party system" and despite protestations to the contrary, Republicans are as much Big Government (think defense, corporate influence, Social Security and Medicare) as the Democrats. Expect lots of government intervention to unnaturally fix a natural correction.

Prepare to go Japanese and be in economic, political and social stagnation for the rest of the decade. Deflation, Inflation, Stagflation.

Unless government intervention breaks and forces have built up to recognize that the Supremacy Clause, Federal Reserve, the 16th and 17th Amendments, among other things, aren't reformed or repealed, we will by the end of the decade really be like Japan, which is now into 20 years of stagnating decline. The US will be in the long slow decline of a once great country, following other great civilizations that throughout history, have fallen in stature. The United Kingdom is starkly well into it now.

Know the Geography of Your Mind

The key on a personal level to survive what is coming is by remaining psychologically intact, avoiding depression, alcohol and drugs and dangerous escapist behaviors like the population of another great power, Russia. This will be very hard work and require some good old American True Grit and courage. Individually we must also be responsible for ourselves and those close to us and vigilantly rebuild or maintain our personal economic situations to scale. Most importantly we need to make important choices about maintaining our values and ethics, guarding our minds, spiritual selves, personal associations, while navigating a toxic culture.

Although I think this era is much worse, I learned a lot from the economic, social and political era of 1968 through 1983. Technically during that time there were four recessions, but for most people I knew, it was just one long haul. I was neither rich nor poor but I became very wealthy in resourcefulness and for that reason, life was not so bad. It wasn't always easy, I had moments when I pondered if the future would ever bring an improvement and what it would look like if it happened.

Imitation of Life

Regretfully most of my generation, those of us statistically born at the height of the baby boom, when the early eighties recession ended and an economic revival began, suddenly lost their senses. They became consumers with rapidity, imitating the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." One week they were driving a nice, decent car and the next week a Mercedes, jeans were out and fancy pants were in and their hair was expensively styled. I don't feel sorry for them now, they've spent decades complacent in their overpaid careers, under performing while gorging on consumer goods and ill-prepared for what is happening to them now.

Self-reliance and being resourceful is key

Meanwhile I know people of all ages who didn't buy into consumerism or who for the past few years, self-aware, have been in consumerist recovery and getting back on the best track possible in these times. They all genuinely understand fully what is going on and although in the minority, there are millions of us and we'll make it somehow. I suspect that resourcefulness I never forgot from the early part of my life will come in handy for quite some time.

How To Make A Fountain Under $100



Martina McBride and Pat Benatar

 "Independence Day" Live...

music break


Be Prepared For Political Bashing

What is troublesome about the Boy Scouts booing Obama video...

Several things bother me about this video of the Boy Scouts booing President Obama's prerecorded speech to the National Jamboree in Virginia. It's occurred to me for awhile now that it serves no useful purpose to bash a President, whether it's Bush or Obama, rather it's simply being a poor sport and a sore loser. Legitimate criticism is one thing but the endless Bush and Obama bashing are just bad form and old news.

The Boy Scouts are not the organization I grew up with but I've known that a long time. I do expect certain things out of the leaders of a group of young people that are supposedly being trained in moral qualities of better character. If the President chose to go on The View instead of attending the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts, that is a reflection on him. That he chose to appear at their National Jamboree in a prerecorded videotaped session falls in the same category. Regardless if the Boy Scouts in attendance were booing Obama for not appearing in person or whether they "like" him or not is being a bad sport, lacks character and is disrespectful. That reflects on their leaders more than it does on them. It indicates they are not being trained in higher moral standards and good character. If they were they would know, whether you like any President or not, you respect the Office of the Presidency and booing a video monitor doesn't qualify as having good character, it is just unsupervised juvenile behavior.

On the other hand, it also reflects poorly on President Obama. Common political horse sense should have told him to not appear at all, in person or videotaped, at the National Jamboree. Let the criticism fly that he didn't, that would have been the better option of two bad options. It is another indication that our current President is not very good at knowing his audience, the limits of who his constituents are and having savvy political advisors. He made his choice to appear on The View and in the nuances of politics, negated anything he could have said at an appearance in front of the Boy Scouts. Sadly, his poll ratings indicate how poorly he is perceived by a lot of Americans and he should consider his every move knowing that. Remarking that he doesn't seem to be very politically astute, is not bashing him, merely an observation of his political skills.

I'm left wondering if anyone really believes in striving for Duty to Self, Boy Scout or not, the Promise of the Boy Scout Oath. "Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and keep your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions. Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character."



George Thorogood

Move It On Over...

music break

One of the most underrated American Rock and Roll musicians, in 2005, on his 30th Anniversary Tour.


Ben Quayle's Rented Kids

The Family Man...

Just as disturbing is the way one of his opponents, Vernon Parker, is getting mileage from this and tying it in with a social conservative anti-gay marriage message in the mix. Arizona's Congressional District Three has a very crowded field and the candidates are stooping to new lows to garner attention and pull ahead.



Wanda Jackson

The Queen of Rock...

music break

Long before Grace Slick, Linda Ronstadt, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, et al...there was Wanda Jackson. Female singers of the fifties and sixties sang pop, soul or country but not the mix of rock and roll and country that was the style of Wanda Jackson. It was highly unusual for a woman to appear playing her own guitar and swinging her hips as she did. She still tours and performed at the 2010 SXSW in Austin.

"Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad"
on Ranch Party ca 1956


Urban Landscape Photography VII

Go ask Alice...

Ok, why does a U-Haul moving van from Michigan have giant mushrooms?

photo by Gregory A. Z. Nelson


Willie Nelson and Ray Charles

"Seven Spanish Angels"...

music break


Jante Law

Groupthink squashing Individualism...

from A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks
Aksel Sandemose 

Sandemose in his 1933 novel formalized a set of laws that had been a sociological form of behavior in the Scandinavian world for centuries. They are important in the United States, especially in the upper midwest states, because they still heavily operate in that region where many Scandinavian immigrants settled. As these immigrants migrated across the country in the 20th century, they brought these traits with them, permeating local culture, integrating the concepts of collectivism and socialism and enforcing these social behaviors and political beliefs into American society.

They are antithetical to Individualism, Freedom of the Individual, Entrepreneurial Enterprise, Creative Expression and defeat positive thinking ego in the worst possible way. To me they are essentially anti-American because they are based on conformity and discourage originality, open discussion, creative thinking or anything "outside the box." Regardless, they are widely accepted as the norm in many communities, influencing our social, economic and political culture, destroying the potential of creative minds and new ideas.

The chief principle to all of them is: 

Don't think you are anyone special or that you are better than anyone else.

The rules are:

1.   Don't think that you are special.
2.   Don't think you are of the same standing as others.
3.   Don't think you are smarter than others.
4.   Don't fancy yourself as being any better than others.
5.   Don't think that you know more than others.
6.   Don't think that you are more important than others.
7.   Don't think that you are good at anything.
8.   Don't laugh at others.
9.   Don't think that any one of us cares about you.
10. Don't think that you can teach others anything.
11. Don't think there isn't anything that we don't know about you.



Buck Owens and Don Rich

"Above and Beyond"...

music break


Zen and the Art of Writing

Quality cannot be defined but you know what it is...

"Another thing that depressed him was prescriptive rhetoric, which supposedly had been done away with but was still around. This was the old slap-on-the-fingers-if your-modifiers-were-caught-dangling stuff. Correct spelling, correct punctuation, correct grammar. Hundreds of itsy-bitsy rules for itsy-bitsy people. No one could remember all that stuff and concentrate on what he was trying to write about. It was all table manners, not derived from any sense of kindness or decency or humanity, but originally from an egotistic desire to look like gentlemen and ladies. Gentlemen and ladies had good table manners and spoke and wrote grammatically. It was what identified on with the upper classes.

In Montana, however, it didn't have this effect at all. It identified one, instead, as a stuck-up Eastern ass."

from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
Part II, Chapter 15 
copyright 1974, 1999