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Happy 100th Birthday, Stanley Kunitz

One of my favorite poets, Stanley Kunitz, turned 100 today the 29th of July. Never will I forget the sting of that slap or the pain he still feels years after the event:

The Portrait

My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
that spring
when I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
in her deepest cabinet
and would not let him out,
though I could hear him thumping.
When I came down from the attic
with the pastel portrait in my hand
of a long-lipped stranger
with a brave moustache
and deep brown level eyes,
she ripped it into shreds
without a single word
and slapped me hard.
In my sixty-fourth year
I can feel my cheek
still burning.

Stanley Kunitz

Happy 100th birthday, Mr. Kunitz. You prove that poetry doesn’t have to be obscure to be good. And just because the ordinary guy or girl can understand it, doesn’t make it bad.

Around the Homespun Blogosphere

Interesting posts at Homespun Bloggers:

Mr. MinorityMSM vs Christians

Those Secular Humanist and Moral Relativists hate the thought that Christians believe in absolute truths and absolute Right and Wrong, Good and Evil which lead to moral values that they cannot nor will not accept.

PawigoviewPolitical Correctness

We do not want any racial profiling, in fact, we would be so politically correct and afraid of offending a group that we almost avoid them when doing random searches.

The Pink Flamingo Bar and Grill – Hugh Hewitt takes the Norquist definition of Islam hook line and sinker…

Without a valid opposition party this country is in extreme danger due to the lack of debate regarding exactly who we are fighting.

Release the HoundsProfiling: It’s Time Has Come

If the KKK was going through a resurgence in the deep South and began setting off bombs carried in backpacks onto buses and trains in Montgomery, Alabama, who should the law enforcement authorities “randomly” search? Black males? Asian females? Old Jewish grandmothers?

Eric Grumbles Before the Grave – Can You Imagine?

Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say, What should be the reward of such sacrifices? Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship, and plow, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen! — Samuel Adams

THOUGHTS BY SEAWITCHTrouble on the Horizon

Iran now has solid-fuel capability for its missiles.

Ace of TrumpWhere did all the moderate Muslims go?

The truth is there does not exist an identifiable body of Muslims, substantive in number or an outright majority, who could be described as “moderate” by their repudiation of Muslim extremists.

Nickie GoombaBiggest American Disappointment: John McCain

In the upcoming presidential contest, McCain will end up wearing the fool’s cap while blaming everybody but himself. In his attempt to take the “middle ground”, John McCain is destined to slide into the big cosmic butt crack.

hubs and spokes – Jaw. Dropping.

Just as Senate approaches the final vote on the gay ‘marriage’ bill, C-38, Canada’s national public radio CBC Radio has aired a commentary by a retired professor from the Royal Military College calling for state control over religion, specifically Catholicism.

the bad hair blog – What do terrorists want? asks Daniel Pipes

In nearly all cases, the jihadi terrorists have a patently self-evident ambition: to establish a world dominated by Muslims, Islam, and Islamic law, the Shari’a. Or, again to cite the Daily Telegraph, their “real project is the extension of the Islamic territory across the globe, and the establishment of a worldwide ‘caliphate’ founded on Shari’a law.”

Dr. SanityAnticipation

An alternative method of coping with with a threatening event is Denial. As a psychological defense mechanism, Denial is one of the most primitive (sometimes called “psychotic”) and immature mechanisms available to the psyche. Its goal is identical to Anticipation, which is to attenuate anxiety and depression about a future event

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of Homespun Bloggers. I have enjoyed reading each of the most recently updated blogs.


Who was Salmon Portland Chase?

Sen. Salmon Portland Chase, born in 1808, ran for President against Sen. Rep. Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) and lost. After his defeat, the Ohio legislature decided to return Chase to the U. S. Senate in 1861, where he served but two days before resigning to become Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury.

During the Civil War, he faced the daunting task of financing the Union war effort and maintaining the nation’s solvency.

Chase brought to the office his fear of monopolies, distrust of bankers, a preference for revenue tariffs and a belief in hard money. His principles would be tested by an empty treasury coffer and a long civil war that would cost the nation more than twenty billion dollars….Lincoln placed the entire problem of financing the Civil War to Salmon Chase. Against his beliefs, and believing that issuing greenbacks to be unconstitutional, but with the debts from the war mounting and not being paid, Chase lobbied the congress to pass the Legal Tender Acts of 1862 and 1863. This enabled the printing of paper money as a legal substitute for gold and silver for pre-existing debts including taxes, internal duties, personal debts, and excise taxes. debts.

‘In God We Trust’ was printed on every piece of U.S. currency for the first time in 1864 by order of the Secretary of the Treasury. The face of the Treasury Secretary graced the one dollar dominations. The most common of the bills, it was the one the public was most like to possess. Thereby keeping Mr. Chase’s image in the mind of the potential voters in the next presidential elections. He was nick named ‘Old Mr. Greenbacks.’
Chase was a constant critic of Lincoln’s policies, inundating the President with unsolicited advice and proffering his resignation four times in fits of pique. In October 1864, Lincoln finally accepted the Secretary’s resignation, but in December appointed him as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a position he held until his death in 1873.

Five days after the Legal Tender Act was passed Susan P. Hepburn tried to settle a debt she owed to Henry Griswold of over $11,000 with governmental notes, notes which had depreciated more than fifty percent against gold and silver. She was sued by Griswold for payment in Gold and the suit made its way to the Supreme court. In 1870, Hepburn v. Griswold was decided in a 5-3 decision. Now Chief Justice Chase would disown his own offspring and declare the Legal Tender Acts unconstitutional. The Court until this time had rarely found an act of Congress unconstitutional. Chase wrote:

that such laws were inconsistent with the spirit of the Constitution, which prohibited the states from passing “any … law impairing the obligation of contracts.” Further, an act compelling holders of contracts that called for payment in gold or silver to accept as legal tender “mere promises to pay dollars” was unconstitutional because it deprived “such persons of property without due process of law” under the Fifth Amendment

In 1871, the Court, with two new justices on the bench, reversed itself with the legal tender cases, Knox v. Lee and Parker v. Davis, and declared the Legal Tender Acts constitutional. It said Congress had the power “to coin money and regulate its value” with the objects of self-preservation and the achievement of a more perfect union. As to the argument that the acts indirectly impaired the obligation of contracts, the Court said that “no obligation of a contract can extend to the defeat of legitimate government authority.” Since the acts were within the spirit of the Constitution, Congress had not exceeded its authority.

The two cases decided by the Supreme Court in 1871 upheld the constitutionality of paper money issued by the U.S. Treasury. The Legal Tender Acts of 1862 and 1863 made paper money a legal substitute for gold and silver, including for the payment of preexisting debts.

Stephen J. Field, was the most eloquent of the new dissenters:

… The power to commit violence, perpetrate injustice, take private property by force without compensation to the owner, and compel the receipt of promises to pay in place of money, may be exercised, as it often has been, by irresponsible authority, but it cannot be considered as belonging to a government founded upon law…. From the decision of the Court I see only evil likely to follow.”

It is amazing to me that Salmon P Chase would go against his principles and urge passing of the Legal Tender Act by Congress. The ends justify the means! Then have the courage to find the same law unconstitutional. It is amazing to me that the Fifth Amendment has been eroded even further in Kelo V New London.

I don’t blame Susan P. Hepburn for taking advantage of the depreciating currency, we all do it today. We go into debt and pay the lender off in cheaper dollars. Since 1973, when Nixon severed the last Gold connection, our currency has depreciated 95%! I don’t blame the Chinese for floating the Yuan. The dollar has fallen from 122 to 80 before this last small rally. In 1913, Congress passed a law establishing the Federal Resrve System, essentially our money system is now run by a cartel of banks. By passing the Federal Reserve Act, Congress gave up its power “to coin money and regulate its value”!



It’s Our “War” to Lose!

Maxedoutmama with her post, Short But Definite, really brought me up short when she links to Dr. Sanity

We, the nations of the world, are in a strange war. It is strange because its outcome hinges primarily on whether the side being attacked will admit that war has been declared against it and decides to fight back.

In A Crescent Over Europe? by Peter Grier

Europe today is about five percent Muslim (excluding Turkey), but the Islamic population is growing rapidly. Moreover, Europe’s 23 million Muslims are concentrated in a handful of nations and in a few urban areas within those nations. The number of European Muslims might double by 2015. (Map by Zaur Eylanbekov)

Maxedoutmama goes on to post about “the trend of mass rapes committed by immigrant Muslims in several Western countries.” In Norway, where it seems politicians have tried to keep many rapes quiet

Put simply: it is OK to rape a Scandinavian girl, but not a Muslim girl. The Scandinavian girl does not have full value as a human being, because she is not a Muslim.

Pytheas Online says

Recent polls in Britain indicate that at least six percent of British Muslims feel that the recent London bombings were “fully justified” and at least twenty four percent feel some level of sympathy with the bombers. If these results reflect the actual views of British Muslims, then more than 100,000 Muslims living in Britain support terrorist attacks on the nation in which they live and roughly 400,000 sympathize with the terrorists. Given that it only takes a handful of fanatics to kill hundreds of people, these results should truly frighten non-Muslim Britons.

Neal Boortz says

We have a new name for the war on terror. It seems that the Bush Administration wants to call it “a global struggle against violent extremism.”

Let’s call it what it is: A war on Islam, the Crusades never ended. Until we do call it by its rightful name, our civilization will be extremely vulnerable. We may lose this war because, as TF Stern pointed out,

In our pride and our abandoning of Christian values, once an integral part of the fabric of our everyday lives, we have abandoned the sure footing that was intended to guide our society through all times, good and bad.

What’s in the Bag?

You know that the Chinese floated the Yuan, and from now on, the Yuan will float against a basket of currencies. The odd thing is that our major financial institutions think they know what’s in the bag, but judging by their answers, they don’t!

In Why is “BASKET” of currency for Chinese a mystery? at CONTRARIAN ADVISOR MARKET COMMENTARY, here are some of the possible answers courtesy of Reuters:

DRESDNER KLEINWORT WASSERSTEIN – 70 percent dollar share and 15 percent each for euro and Japanese yen

UBS – 70 percent share, the Japanese yen a 20 percent share and the euro a 10 percent share

BANK OF NEW YORK – the euro, yen and the dollar would be given an equal weighting of 20 percent each and the Korean won and Taiwan dollar would have 10 percent each.

There are many more estimates, but you get the drift.

The question again is why the mystery?

Ron Insana and Julian Robertson, Again

Once again I’m seeing a lot of interest in the interview of Julian Robertson and Ron Insana. I posted about the lies that were told about the interview in Ron Insana/Julian Robertson vs Al Martin/Julian Robertson.

Let me repeat. The things attributed to Julian Robertson and utter collapse are not true.

Robertson said he was more disturbed than at any time in his life. He said the American consumer is out of gas and involved in the housing bubble that puts his dwelling at risk. He doesn’t see any way out, when dollar weakens. He expects the Fed to inflate way out of the problem. It’s possible we could have a soft landing like in Japan, where their market went from 40,000 to 7,000. There was no hard landing in Japan. That is about all he said. Any other comments about the economy were not in the interview!

PS: Kenlet has a great post about what happens when a housing bubble bursts and he correctly capsules the Robertson interview!


John Roberts’ Sure Footing?

I am reading Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity by Nancy R. Pearcey.

I am not finished, but Pearcy argues that many of us may be Christian on Sunday, but are not taught how to apply our Christianity to our everyday life for the other six days.

TF Stern posts Saturday in A line drawn in the sand

In our pride and our abandoning of Christian values, once an integral part of the fabric of our everyday lives, we have abandoned the sure footing that was intended to guide our society through all times, good and bad.

Which leads me to Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) questioning Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.:

Roberts was asked what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral. Roberts is a devout Catholic and is married to an ardent pro-life activist.

Roberts didn’t have a prepared answer and said something about recusing himself.
– Jonathan Turley in the Los Angeles Times, 7/25/05

Last year, Scalia chastised Catholic judges who balk at imposing the death penalty – another immoral act according to the church: ‘The choice for a judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation, rather than simply ignoring duly enacted constitutional laws and sabotaging the death penalty.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn says Roberts wasn’t comfortable talking about how his Catholic faith influences his life and work.

Seems TF Stern has pretty well nailed it!


Carnival of the Capitalists 7-25-05

The Carnival of the Capitalists is up hosted by Political Calculations. Both Mover Mike and Landfair Furniture are represented.

Carnival of Liberty for 7/25/05

Carnival of Liberty IV is up hosted by Eric Grumbles Before the Grave

The Cowboy Dining Tree

Bev and I took some time off from work and blogging to visit friends in Tumalo and together visit Crater Lake, about a two hour car ride to the south from Bend, now 65,000 people. We had lunch at the newly remodeled lodge and then a drive around the rim stopping where tickets are sold for the boat rides. Unfortunately, tickets were sold out for the day. It has been at least 20 years since I visited this scenic wonder. The water in the crater, six miles across, is still the most intense blue. We all marveled at how tall the mountain must have been before it blew its top some 7000 years ago.

At about 3:30 we made out way out of the park and east through some of the most beautiful country to the little town of Silver Lake for dinner. Silver Lake sits about 100 miles from Crater Lake and 115 miles from Bend. The town is out in the desert and the restaurant, Cowboy Dining Tree, is about four miles outside of town. When we arrived, we saw a full parking lot, a prominent Tepee, and a collection of one story buildings looking like they had been pushed together to house the cowboy dining. It’s rustic! Electricity is supplied by generator and all cooking is done outside on some large barbeques. Paul and Shelly Strong bought the restaurant about two years ago and are now expanding on the restaurant’s attractiveness by adding accomodations and camping and soon a sheepherders wagon ride.

Why do people come from far-off to Silver Lake? The Cowboy Dining Tree provides some of the largest meals I have witnessed. We started out with lemonade or ice tea served in mason jars and a big bowl of chilled tossed salad for the four of us. You can have your salad with their ranch dressing or honey mustard. Next comes homemade rolls and a big bowl of cowboy beans. The bowl is the size of the salad bowl and you are expected to ladle it out to your party. These Cowboy Beans have a bit of fire to them and are cooked with pieces of steak meat that melts in your mouth. Then your waitress serves you a baked potato and a tenderloin that weighs somewhere between 25 and 35 ounces. The steak was done perfectly with the just faintest pinkish hue. It had been well aged and a slightly hot rub had been applied to the meat. Your wait staff keeps your mason jars full as you attempt to wrestle this steer on your plate (if you are not a steak eater, you can call ahead and Paul will put a whole chicken on the fire for you.

Rachel Wilson was our waitress, bubbling over with a joy for life, inspired by the likes of Hank Williams and Patsy Kline, she regaled us with songs from that era, when I was a kid, when my mother listened to the Grand Ole Opry. This young lady has been noticed. Soon there will be a recording party at the Cowboy Dining Tree introducing her first CD.

When you have the remaining steak tucked away for the trip home, (and I do mean tucked away. Most diners leave carrying leftovers, enough for two more dinners) out comes the Marionberry shortcake; heavy cream is available. What’s the bill for this fantastic meal and the reason there were people from New Zealand there that evening? About $20 per person!

While we were waiting for dinner, a number of guests would practice calf roping on a wooden calf. After it quieted down, my friend Bill, who is a cowboy and a noted horseman, practised some on his own. You could see he had been around a lasso. He finished and we were standing there watching, when a young lady, confidently walked up to him, stuck out her chest, batted her eyes and said, “Mister, I’ve been watching you. Can you show me how to rope?” It’s nice to know my “old” friend still has it!

For Reservation at the Cowboy Dining Tree in Silver Lake call 541-576-2426.


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