May 31, 2007

There’s this big Old Fashioned Steam Locomotive…

Mr. Bush’s news conference last Thursday served to demonstrate once again that this supposedly unintelligent president gets everything he wants. This time the Democrats in Congress and Senate retreated from their demand that actual benchmarks be put in place for troop withdrawal, and Mr. Bush has 120 billion dollars more in funds for the Iraq war, funds that could be better put to use here at home. There are so many things that are broken in this country; New Orleans, education, health care, and our pathetic oil based infra structure.

Carl Rove must have told George to be grammatically hokey during the press conference in the White House Rose Garden. For instance, while speaking about the United States’ trade relationship with China, Bush said, "This is a complex relationship. There's areas where there's friction, and we just got to work through the friction,"*

This tired old circus would be funny if so many people weren’t being killed in Iraq, both Iraqi and American. Did Iraq invade the United States? Of course not! Iraq had nothing to do with the 9-11-01 attacks - Osama Bin Ladin and Al Qaeda did. Have we captured and or killed him? Why are we in Iraq? Why didn’t we devote a massive effort to fighting and reconstruction in Afghanistan instead of Iraq?

Could it be that OIL is more important than Al Qaeda and Bin Ladin?

Once again, I feel deserted by our government and the democratic process in the United States. It feels as though we are all traveling on a train running at full throttle, and the engineer has just died of a heart attack. Nobody knows it yet, but the train’s breaks don’t work, and the computer that helps govern traffic on the rail system just crashed.

* Hunt, Terence, AP White House Correspondent, “Bush Wants Tougher Sanctions on Iran” on, Thursday, May 24, 2007, viewed Thursday, May 24, 2007, 3:15 PM EDT.

May 27, 2007

Mitt Romney: Will the Real Flip-flopping Worm Please Stand Up?

Mr. Romney changes with the wind direction! When he had to worry about politics and getting elected in Massachusetts he was all for women’s rights, gay marriage, and gun control. Now that he wants the Republican nomination for president in 2009 he is against women, gays, and wants guns. He represents the most evil aspect of the new evangelical dominated Republican Party. He will do anything to accommodate the party’s prejudiced base.*

Unfortunately, should he obtain the Republican Party nomination for president, he may be elected by our sad electorate in 2009.

“How is that possible, Isaac?” Yes, I’m talking to myself again. Let me explain.

Our nation, and the world are in the midst of an anachronistic conservative fundamentalist reaction to change. We want the confusion of the relativistic world ushered in by Freud and Einstein to vanish. We want the Nineteenth Century back. And, we of the United States of North America have the worst of this new type of religious anachronistic breed of people. And most of the rest of us aren't much better. We want the world to be as it was before Walt Whitman became the great American poet, before the word “homosexual” was invented, before the world wars, women’s rights, and emancipation. We want the world as it was before we confronted the Twentieth Century Garden of Eden.

If the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as the 2009 Democrat Party candidate for president, we will loose the election.

“Why Isaac?”

Because, we will play into the prejudices of the culture in which we live. Most of us may not be able to admit our prejudices out loud, and we have all sorts of rationalizations for those prejudices, including being for life but against women, afraid of and hate same sex behavior, but love gay people. Espouse racial equality, but do nothing to save millions of black children from the ghetto. I am stirring the proverbial bucket of worms, I know. Never the less, these statements are true, however hurtful they are. Unfortunately Mitt Romney is the worm on top of the pile of dirt inside that bucket, and under current conditions, he is the worm that wins the next election.

*For an explanation of labeling evangelical Christians “prejudiced,” read my journal entries from May 18 and 21, 2007.

May 24, 2007

Proposed Trip North

My grandson,Adam, has been reading my blog, and of course I talk to him on the telephone every week, so he knows how miserable I’ve been since Peter and I agreed not to see or talk to one another for at least one month. He said that he and Stephen, his partner, will drive down to South Florida as soon as school is out. They will stay for a week so they can enjoy the beach and clear Caribbean like ocean here, then we will drive back to New Jersey. I’ll stay with them for a week, and we’ll make a couple of day trips to Philadelphia to visit museums and the Imax Theater. After that we will drive to Lancaster County to visit Ruth and Samuel at Orchard Hill Farm. Then we will all drive in two cars to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware for a week at the beach. I still love the small town atmosphere of Rehoboth Beach, even though it gets so crowded in-season. After our week at the Delaware shore I will spend another few days in New Jersey with Adam and Stephen before they drive me back to Florida. Adam said that he and Stephen would like to drop me off and then drive to the Keys. After a week, they will return to stay with me in North Palm Beach a few days, then travel north to Orlando and visit the parks there before returning to New Jersey.

I have a-two week wait before Adam and Stephen get here. I’m so happy! I have so much to look forward to. Hopefully I will have recovered from my love sickness by the time I return to Florida, and Peter and I will be able to break silence to resume a more natural friendship in July. Who knows – perhaps he will have found a companion.

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May 21, 2007

Making a Difference

Some of us don’t understanding that we are here to fulfill God’s purpose. What is God’s purpose? God created the universe and all things in it or, as some would have it, the universe is God. God would not have us destroy or knowingly let any part of that universe perish. However, mankind chooses to ignore God and pursue selfish ends. We are damaging our planet’s ecology, and putting entire species at risk. At the same time, some of us claim to choose God but revile entire nations, nationalities, races, ethnic groups, practitioners of specific faiths, and/or human sexualities in God’s name.

I wonder if God cries.

Excuse me; this threatens to descend into another religious diatribe. Rather, I would like to plug an organization that fights for justice when individuals and groups of people are treated as less than God’s own creation. That group is The Southern Poverty Law Center begun by Morris Dees and Joe Levin in 1971 – The organization under these men has fought ceaselessly against hate crimes, for racial justice, and has educated for tolerance – most recently achieving a reward of nine-million dollars for Billy Ray Johnson, the black handicapped Texan beaten and brain damaged by four white men at a late night field party in 2003.

The organization’s name suggests that the organization works only in the South. Not so - their programs such as “Teaching Tolerance” reach out to the entire nation. The Southern Poverty Law Center acts where others write proclamations. The organization is responsible for ending the involuntary sterilization of women in our welfare program (Yes, here in the USA!), dethroning the KKK, and where possible exposing and interrupting the Neo-Nazi/skinhead threat in the United States.

There are few organizations that achieve tangible goals and successful change toward eliminating hate and prejudice . Giving to The Southern Poverty Law Center is one way we can make a difference in this tortured world. I give on a yearly basis, and I believe that any person who claims to be Christian and/or moral must support The Southern Poverty Law Center in any way possible.

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May 18, 2007

Senator Fred Thompson, the Most Recent Republican Candidate for President

One More Super Conservative Candidate for President of the United Prejudiced States of America

Senator Fred Thompson
will be another super social conservative Republican Party candidate for President? Notice I said “social conservative.” He is being touted as a traditional Republican. He is not. The traditional Republican was financially conservative. He/she believed in balancing the budget, and states’ rights. Traditional Republicans were not necessarily socially prejudiced, which this new Republican Party and new candidate are. Let me explain. I left the Republican Party when it was obvious to me that the new Republican base of evangelical Christians became dominant. These false Christians including our current President wish to impose their beliefs on the entire country. First, they would do away with separation of church and state, and they have already made giant steps toward that goal. Example: the Federal Government now funds private church charities. Second, they would make lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people second-class citizens by law, and have made tremendous progress towards that goal, 28 states having written anti-LGBT amendments to their constitutions. Third, the new Republicans are more concerned with making women second class citizens through limiting abortion rights, and are working toward repealing Roe versus Wade. Our Supreme Court has been made over by the Bush Presidency into a socially conservative force that will help our nation retreat to a Nineteenth Century stance on most social issues and stay there well into the mid Twenty-first Century.

It is my opinion that this new kind of Republican might be more correctly referred to as an evangelical Christian fascist. I realize that I am being hurtful in so saying. So be it. The new evangelical Christian Republican needs to reexamine his/her relationship with God, because God does not reject people on the basis of their color, religion, sex, or sexuality. God created all of us, and God does not make mistakes. Therefore he loves us all; black, white, Muslim, Jew, Christian,lesbian, gay, male, female. God does not reject the evangelical Christian either. He/she accepts each and every one of us.

Okay, once again, I’ve gone completely off course with a religious diatribe instead of pursuing my original purpose, which was to discuss politics. So, I’ll segue abruptly back to politics. The only Republican candidate that remotely resembles a traditional Republican is former New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani. Do I think he has a chance of getting the nomination? No. However, if it were possible for him to achieve the Republican Party nomination, he might win the Presidency because most moderate Republicans and Democrats would vote for him. However, I doubt such a nomination is in the cards because Rudi Giuliani does not represent the prejudiced values of the new Republicans. Senator Thompson is more likely to get the nomination since he is an anti-gay, anti-abortion; “pater familias” type modern Republican. Check his voting record.

Unfortunately, I also think we will have another Republican president in 2009, even after the failed Bush Gang of Oil Oligarchy cut throats. We Americans are anachronistic throwbacks, mired in the Nineteenth Century, and unable to participate logically in the Twenty-first. Senator Fred Thompson is the type of guy who is likely to make it to the presidency at the end of the first decade in the new century, not Rudi Giuliani. Such is the political and social condition of our prejudiced nation.

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May 15, 2007

Missing Peter

I know we agreed. I know we both said we needed to stay apart. I know I believed it was necessary. I still do - but, oh my.

It’s been an entire two weeks – feels like forever.

I’m like a love sick juvenile. Pathetic.

All I need is sophomoric high school guitar players and a very repetitive melody and I’ll have a teenage love song. How sad is that?

I pick up the telephone every day with the intent to call. I hesitate with my hand above the keypad - frozen ambivalent, like an ice sculpture, the embodiment of algid indecision.

I tell myself that I will get better, but…

“Let’s do a chorus, Isaac.” Yes, I’m talking to myself again.

Talking to myself again. Oh, oh, oh.

“So, go play with your new camera Isaac. Take your mind off of the boy, now!”

Here’s another Blurry Canon photograph.

Actually this is one of the few that I’ve managed to take that is in focus with the Canon. It’s the first really rough day of surf caused by Andrea last week.

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May 11, 2007

Fire! Fire! Fire!

According to The Weather Station there are/have been 220 brush fires burning in the state of Florida. It hasn’t rained but a drop or two here in North Palm Beach in 4 months. There is also a named storm spinning off the Georgia and North Florida coasts! However, there’s no such thing as global warming!

It seems to me we should be investing massively in alternative energy for two reasons. First, because we must wean ourselves off of expensive foreign oil, and second, because we must stop polluting the atmosphere with more heat absorbing carbon dioxide.

I’ve been looking into alternative energy sources, and I’ve decided to buy some General Electric stock since they are heavily into wind power. I live near Florida Power and Light, and they are also heavily invested in wind power. However, I refuse to invest in FPL since they fly their executives into and out of their headquarters every day by helicopter from all over the state. The damn thing must run six times a day. What a waste of money and energy! I am also going to buy some solar stock, specifically Evergreen Solar Incorporated currently trading at $9.44 with a range of $6.97 -$14.44. They are a small company, but they are about to build a new 150 million dollar plant in Massachusetts.

Sub-tropical Storm Andrea

Back to the Old Camera

As I said, sub-tropical storm Andrea has been spinning out there in the Atlantic without giving us any rain. However, it has generated huge surf here in South Florida. I drove up to blowing rocks on Jupiter Island yesterday and took photographs. Gorgeous! I’ve included one here.

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May 08, 2007

I’ve completed my camera tests.

I've shot three of several scenes at the beach using the various settings as outlined my May 5th entry, downloaded the images, and compared them. I'm now more confused than ever. Sometimes the preset "Landscape" camera setting takes the best picture of the same scene. Other times the "A-DEP" setting works best, while in still other situations, the "Av" setting takes the photo with the best depth of field. I can't take three pictures of every location/object/portrait I like in the attempt to get the best image - the scene will often change before I can complete such a procedure. For instance if I’m trying to capture a crashing wave, it will not stop itself and wait for me to take three separate pictures in the attempt to get one that has the depth of field I need to capture foreground, middle ground, and background.



I’ve discovered a Sony 10.2 mega pixel camera. I think I’m going to return the Cannon and buy the Sony.

I have included an image taken with the camera (above). It is the best of the three taken of several breaking waves created by the nor’easter off the coast of Georgia, yesterday. That storm is still creating flooding and beach erosion all the way down the coast to Miami today.

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May 05, 2007

My New Toy

Last week I bought a Canon Rebel Eos XTI, 10.1-mega pixel camera. The Canon Website says that the camera is easy to use. However, I’ve been trying to figure out how to use it for a week now. It is not user friendly. My old Sony 5 mega pixel camera was. So far I’ve shot over 500 pictures trying to understand how to use the darn thing, and I have several seemingly unsolvable problems. First, I cannot decrease the opening of the lens (the f stop) in order to increase depth of field while the camera is in “Landscape” mode. There is another setting that will allow me to go to f 22 and higher, but not with the “Landscape” setting. I know there must be ways to do this, it just doesn’t work the way an old-fashioned 35 mm SLR camera use to. Second, when I shoot a landscape or seascape, the foreground is always slightly out of focus. That is why I wish to have more control over depth of field in this setting. Third, there are so many controls that I cannot hope to remember all of them until I have played with the camera under various conditions and in various situations during the next few months, which means that I will not be able to return the camera if I decide I do not
like it.

So, I’ve decided to create some study sheets with various shooting problems outlined with possible solutions. I’ll pour over the instruction manual, which is about 200 pages, and use the sheets which will include a blank grid to write in data concerning camera settings, ISO, shutter speed, f-stop that I am able to control, as well as other settings using the camera’s presets. I will take the camera to the beach this afternoon and set it up with my tripod so all the pictures will be of the exact same scene. I’ll shoot and number each image, and note the settings. I can then download the images to my computer and make comparisons to see if I am able to gain control over the blurred image problem, while keeping the depth and breadth of color the camera’s preset “landscape” setting allows. Unfortunately, this solution to my dilemma will take at least several days to accomplish, and meanwhile I must wait to get serious with the camera.

Additionally, I use the camera as an aid to drawing - that is I shoot objects and scenes that I can edit/montage in order to draw/paint them. So I shall have to postpone that function of the camera until after I have solved these basic camera-setting problems.

Ah well, such is life , or as a dear friend use to say, "Asi es la vida."

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May 02, 2007

Let’s Argue

I marvel at the confrontation between Mr. Bush and Congress over funding and troop withdrawal in Iraq for it seems to me that the war never should have happened in the first place. And, I can’t help myself – I wonder what the world would look like today if the actual winner of the 2000 presidential election had been allowed to take office by our nation’s supreme court. In fact, I believe our system of government failed in 2000. Leaving out any accusations against (at the time) Jeb Bush’s Florida, but considering the possibility that the count in Florida was actually a few votes in George Washington Bush’s favor, the Electoral College was proven untrustworthy in the Twenty-first Century United States of America, since Al Gore actually won the popular vote. Additionally, based on past reading - specifically “None Dare Call it Stolen,” by Mark Crispin Miller, in the August 2005 issue of Harpers - the accuracy of the 2004 presidential election may also be questionable. If that should actually be the case, this disastrous chapter in our history is/was totally unnecessary, and Congress would not have to be battling the American President over funding to support our troops’ attempts to end a foreign civil war that we ourselves caused.

Ah, poop!

I’m tired of it. I want this idiot and his rich oil oligarchy cronies gone, and it just isn’t “gon-na” happen. I hope our country is able to survive them and live happily ever after, but I have my doubts.

I must find something else, happy to think on. This idiocy totally depresses me.

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