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Everything posted by Abaco

  1. I'm sorry I don't have time to properly flesh this out at this time. I will return soon to do just that. But, yesterday I was speaking with an intelligent, well-read lady friend of mine about this. It seems that we are running into people who are not capable of sufficient thought to do basic things or hold conversations of any depth. It's as though there's an epidemic of some sort. Before I list examples later I welcome you to respond if you've noticed something similar in your region. From grocery store staff who cannot explain the "rewards system" they are trying to sign me up to, to a Kinko's manager who didn't know that 16,000K was 16M, to many other examples. At work, I find that I'm often a week or two ahead of others when it comes to solving problems that I don't think are complex. I have to state where the organization is going wrong, then silently let my words marinate for a couple weeks before my boss or other staff come by to state what I pointed out much earlier. At times, it feels like something out of the Body Snatchers movie. And, it seems to be getting worse.
  2. I'm just in it for the money.

    I thought of my fellow 4aynrandfans members recently, and wondered how you would react. I recently proposed to do a presentation regarding a financial topic to a group of people. The "gatekeeper" denied me by saying, "Well, I'm afraid you might make money from it." Frankly, I'm stumped by that kind of attitude. We all have seen it in our society with comments like, "Oh, he's just in it for the money." I am starting to view people who say things like that as mentally disturbed (LOL). And, the context in my example was not one of a sales presentation. I remember back to the days of my youth - late 60s and early 70s especially - when I would hear my aunts say things like "You can't eat money. You can't wear money." And, I assume that some sort of commie, Keynesian ideals gripped the public school system back in those times and really blinded a generation, and possibly the generation they raised. Do you, in your work or personal lives, run into this attitude? And, how do you react? For me, the reaction is almost physical; stomach-turning.
  3. I recently returned from a trip of seven days at sea. The past few years I really got hooked (pun intended) on long range sport fishing out of San Diego. It's a challenging sport, both financially and physically. These fish pull very, very hard and we fight them standing on our feet at the rail (no chair). Some guys use a back harness. I just use a fighting belt. It is really fun to be out at sea for that long, hunting these tuna, yellow tail, and dorado. I really love it. And, I have a huge freezer that I keep loaded with lots of sashimi (unless I grille it). This photo is of my biggest fish of the trip. We had trouble finding the 100-pounders but had one stop were we landed a few 50-pounders. The fish in the photo is a yellowfin tuna. Fighting it was humbling and I was very pleased to get it on the boat. I hope to get a 200-pounder someday. I started fishing very young for bullheads, trout, salmon, etc. For me, the hobby naturally evolved into this more extreme version. Are there any other fishermen (or women) here? If so, tell me about it.
  4. On occassion I'll ride my bike to work. I ride a big mountain bike and the treck is 16 miles each way, most of it along a local river away from cars and roads. I love the ride. It's really beautiful. But, the other day in the office I made the comment that the Chinese, over the past 20 years have gone from bicycles to BMWs - and next time I ride my bike in to work I'm going to wear a Chinaman's hat. A few people understood and laughed pretty good at that. That is where we are heading in America. When I look at how many worthless American dollars I spend each month to feed my truck I wince.
  5. Edward Snowden

    I am curious what others here think about NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden. Is he a hero? Is he a traitor? I ask because I was a little surprised to hear Boehner call him a traitor yesterday. Perhaps I don't know the details but didn't this guy blow the whistle on government largess? Weren't the activities he exponsed unconstitutional? What am I missing here, honestly? I ask with an open mind.
  6. We recently had a murder solved in our region. Over a year ago a 13-year old girl was murdered at a local school, at night. In an effort to look for the killer, the police immediately took DNA swabs of the children who attend the school without notifying the parents. This is a junior high - 12, 13-year olds. The parents didn't find out about it until they picked up their kids from school that day. A debate raged in the local newspaper about that and now that it appears they found the killer, it rages again. I'm seeing something that, like many other arguments I see recently, lead me to believe that people who call themselves conservative may be missing the point. Perhaps I'm wrong, I admit. But, many who make comments on the newspaper website make claims like, "liberals keep fighting DNA testing...". These people go on to argue that warrantless DNA testing of children without parental consent is ok. It just so happens that they may have found the killer, 23 years old, via a DNA test taken when he was arrested in the past for another crime. Per our law, if you are arrested you can have your DNA tested. I don't have much of a problem with that. None of the DNA testing of the kids turned up anything. I hear many people say things like, "Go ahead and take my DNA. I'm not a criminal." But, I have to think back about how I've seen government clerks completely mess up information on me for simpler items. I'm not comfortable with having my government take kids' DNA samples without parental consent during an investigation. I'm not in favor of the government taking anybody's DNA samples without consent unless that person has at least been arrested. I realize that DNA testing may be necessary to bring charges. But, this attitude I see from people who say that the government should be able to do this and that "liberals" don't like it: I don't quite get that. It smacks of intrusion to me. Am I missing the boat? Is it conservative to be in favor of what I see as a degradation of choice? What about the sanctity of one's own body? Does a conservative gladly surrender that if there's a crime committed in our community? We recently passed a law in California that (if I remember the age correctly) allows schools to administer medical treatment to children at and after the age of 12 without parental consent. As a parent, and as somebody who values personal choice, this kind of thing really sounds off alarm bells for me. While some conservatives may say, "Go ahead and take my DNA because I'm innocent." I think, "You don't need my DNA, I'm innocent." What are others' thoughts on this? Thanks...
  7. Just got back from another trip. We were chasing bluefin on this trip, with an emphasis on "chasing". They are hard to fish for because they are boat shy. I caught a couple: one on the 40-pound range and one near 70-pounds. I also brought home a few yellowtail. The bluefin is the finest meat I've ever eaten. The bluefin really pulls hard when hooked. They are an amazing animial. I may get a mount of my larger one for the "fish wall" at home.
  8. Life and Values

    I probably have the strangest response. If the stranger were a child, I would save them. If the pet was the dog I had to put down a couple years ago I would save the dog unless the stranger were a child. If it was some other pet, I would save the stranger. My last pet, a beautiful, intelligent Aussie cattle dog, was a very special animial. I've had many pets but he was the only one who was like a child to me. We were very close. I miss him every day, still.
  9. Thanks ewv. I really appreciate your input on this. I hadn't thought of the pragmatist facet here. But, I can see that now that you mention it. It is a kind of "do what is collectively best, no matter what liberty might be trampled". I see that so often it makes my head spin. It is a meme that has really taken hold across the political spectrum and been effective at smearing the line in the middle.
  10. You guys give me hope. There are times, more so recently, when I hear people who call themselves conservatives come out with amazing statist, totalitarian, leftist garbage. I'm sure my jaw drops...I just don't feel it. This post-constitutional era you menion, ewv, seems to be quickening. And, most troubling, is that a vast majority of the population just doesn't see it, or couldn't care less. They could have the mayor show up and say, "Give me your wife and daughter for the safety of the town." and they'd do it. Has anybody seen Mark Dice's clips on youtube? They are really amazing. Hey'll go out with a clipboard and petition for things like, "Let's take gun owners and put them in camps, for Obama." And most people sign it. He'll have people sign a petition for euthanasia. Some people are so disconnected that he'll call them a "zombie" to their face and they don't seem to notice. LOL. I shouldn't laugh because this kind of thing never ends well.
  11. Well said, Arnold. On a slightly related note: I remember seeing an interview with a marriage counselor many years ago and he said something that really stuck with me. He said that, in his experience, couples who expressed contempt for each other were doomed to break apart. Examples could be saying, "Oh, you don't know what you're talking about...", "Whatever!", etc. I've since remained forever guarded against ever talking to my spouse in a manner like that. Oh...there are times when I've been ticked, but I always work to stay focused and explain, in clear terms, what a problem might be and how we can solve it. I enjoy a good marriage to a beautiful woman.
  12. This is America?

    Thanks ewv and PhilO. I have certainly thought of other countries in the past few years. It's funny because when I was speaking to my friend who lost her kids the topic of New Zealand came up. She won't leave without her children, however. It has prompted me to "travel lightly" in a way. I sold my rental property. I have been in touch with the largest commercial bank in New Zealand about parking money there - learning that process. A friend of mine who's Iranian and travels home regularly has told me stories about being searched by the FBI often on his way out, just to make sure he's not leaving the U.S. with more than $10K on his person. Oh yeah...that's freedom. Once you have children in America the subject of White Blackmail starts to rear it's ugly head. I was warned by an attorney when my son was 2 that if I angered our school district I could expect to find CPS waiting for us at our front door after the meeting. This is sick stuff, folks. Look at that video clip. These are very dangerous people. I can't help but feel that the only reason they did this to a black mother (who's probably single) is because it was a sort of test case - a shot over the bow. They wanted to get a reaction they could gage with hopes of not stirring the mainstream media or getting the ire of the majority. We have to learn of it here on forums like this and youtube. But, this stuff happens all the time. Here in my town about 2 months ago a nice, young couple didn't agree with a doctor's diagnosis and prescribed treatment for their child. So, they left the hospital with the child and went directly to another hospital for a second opinion. The staff at the first hospital called CPS and the child was taken. The child wasn't in danger, according to the news coverage. I heard the couple in an interview and it just sounded like an abduction by CPS. The parents are white and educated. The baby was eventually returned with no charges. This kind of thing happens all the time and there's little to no outrage. I don't get it. It's troubling.
  13. This is America?

    OK, I checked - and, yes, it's that story. I personally know a lady who had her three children taken away from her and her husband. One of her children had special needs. The school district made an offer of FAPE for the next school year to provide services for the child. She disagreed with the district's recommendations and, completely within the law, opted to not sign the district's offer. There is a stipulation in the law called "Stay Put" that allows a parent to just continue the services the district offered the previous year. No big deal. Well, the district decided to get my friend in front a judge who didn't know the law and the judge agreed with the district's claim that our friend is "not a fit parent" due to her refusal to sign the offer of FAPE. The judge agreed and her three children were taken away and placed in the foster system. Last I had heard, well over a year later, she had not gotten her children back. She was allowed to visit with them. it destroyed her life. Her weight plummeted from the strain and I was shocked when I last saw her. It was horrible. This episode had a large impact on how I view our government and our society. Our district was involved and I pulled my child from our district. I want nothing to do with them - he has autism. There are people in government who hate children, hate families. And, ironically, many of these types work in public education. Last time I served jury duty a fellow juror had been charged and tried for child molestation. Where did he work? Our school district. These are dangerous people. I am sure that we will have vaccination of children at gunpoint in my lifetime. Recently in my town, we had school officials, accompanied by police, going door-to-door to give vaccinations. I think it's surreal. What if a parent says, "That's ok. I opt to skip the chicken pox vaccine this year." Do they get swat-teamed? Sounds nuts, I admit. it is nuts.
  14. This is America?

    Is this the story about the mother who's child was taken because she refused to give her psych meds? I can't use the link here but will check it out tonight. I am starting to get involved in a small political party that is working to bolster parental rights. We have had a few laws passed here in California that actually remove parental rights when it comes to medical treatments. This, by the way, is pretty silent at this time but will certainly grow into a war and will surely divide the country. There will be a large percentage of citizens who oppose parental rights.
  15. Elevated estradiol

    Look into a supplement called tribulus. I take it in phases. I don't know about the availability of such supplements is in Sweden.
  16. "The Planet Will Boil" (yes, that's a quote)

    I heard that clip this morning. I am stunned at how stupid it sounds. How have we fallen this far?...
  17. "Thanks You, IRS"

    Mark Dice has made many similar clips. Since I have a sick sense of humor I find them pretty funny. In similar clips you'll see the man on the street agreeing that conservatives should be put in prison camps, admitting that Memorial Day is to memorialize dead surfers...it just goes on and on. This country is finished. These people mate and vote. We are so finished...
  18. Edward Snowden

    ewv - I'm thinking along the lines of your commentary. And, this leads me to something that has troubled me quite a bit lately. As you mention, there is a period of "disintegration and mixed characteristics", and this is what I think I've been observing among my fellow conservatives over the past decade. It's like watching a ping pong match where the players actually switch sides. I've seen some of my friends who are conservatives argue emotionally for government largess. I've seen them argue against the sanctity of life, against free distribution of information that had nothing to do with national security. These positions, coming from people I've known to be conservatives, confuses me. I only wonder if I'm seeing the same thing when Boehner calls Snowden a "traitor". My first question is, "based on what?" It's not that I disagree. I just want to hear why he's a traitor. Once again - I believe that Snowden's bone to pick was that our government was spying on any of us. I've heard him say so. Will he be executed now? It's quite possible. I once knew a beautiful woman from Columbia. She fled and came to Seattle when I lived there. In Columbia the government police might come to your door and say, "We need a computer. We'll be back in three days to get it." If you don't have it when they come back the man of the house has an accident. I seriously think some people I know personally and who call themselves "conservative" would argue that such a thing is justified because it's to help the police and the police fight crime, and fighting crime is conservative. I'm not exaggerating. One conservative friend recently said we need to go into Syria and start killing people. I asked him why he had this position and he had no answer. None. How long until I hear some of my conservative friends arguing for gun control? I've heard them argue for forced abortion. See how the waters are being muddied? Maybe I'm seeing something that was always there and I was just being naive.
  19. Edward Snowden

    I've not gotten a chance to dig deeply into what he was saying. But, wasn't his issue along the lines of domestic warrantless tapping of American citizens? Maybe it wasn't, but that's what I thought got him to blow the whistle. I think we're talking about two different things, John. But sure - If he's blowing the whistle on government surveilance of suspected terrorists in foreign communications there's really no issue. And, Boehner would be correct.
  20. Who in their right mind could write something like that? Did this person even read Atlas Shrugged? I doubt it.
  21. Over two decades ago I suffered a very bad knee injury. I'll not go into my interraction with marginal doctors over the past couple decades, as entertaining as that may be. But, I've lived wihout an ACL, and with a damaged LCL since. My knee, with all of my activities, started to unravel more when, in December, I tore my cartilage doing a routine warmup before a workout. Well, through my primary care physician I managed to connect with a fantastic surgeon. Dr. Stephen Howell. Two months ago he performed an ACL replacement in my knee and cartilage repair. I have a cadaver tendon for an ACL now, attached with two pieces of titanium hardware. The procedure is extensive but I remain amazed at the results and progress. Just before surgery my nurse told me that this procedure takes longer in surgery and recovery than knee replacement. My doc does a lot of knee replacements. What has impressed me is this doctor's professionalism and skill. This guy really knows his stuff and has surrounded himself with very good staff. The handful of doctors who assessed my knee before him just seemed lost. My point, for my fellow Objectivists, is that when you discover somebody who really has mastered their trade and it impacts your life in a positive way like this it is so nice - so refreshing. I really respect and admire this doc. And I made it a point to thank him for his work. I went for my first jog just last Friday and did really well. I was walking without crutches 6 days after surgery. I have two more months to get to full recovery. So far, all is well.
  22. Best television channels?

    Lately, due to my work and other reasons, I've tuned into CNBC regularly. I enjoy it. And, I enjoy beautiful women who are intelligent so that part is nice too.
  23. I'm reading a book right now called, "In Defense of Food". I find it to be very informative and somewhat related to what you're saying here. The author gets into the fallacy of nutritionalism. We claim to know so much but the more we claim to know, the less healthy we become as a society (my editorial). I have seen some research that supports the theory that how much we eat is a key factor in lifespan, also. The credo in "In Defense of Food": Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
  24. My Knee Surgery Adventure

    Carlos - I am familiar with your procedure. I understand that those operations where they harvest either part of the patient's hamstring or a tendon from the front of the ankle take longer to heal. The work done in the knee is probably similar. The doctor drilled through the bones of both my upper and lower leg. He threaded the cadaver tendon through the hole in my femur with a long needle. The cadaver tendon is pretty stout in terms of stretch. The flexibility in the knee right after surgery is amazing. But, there certainly was a period where I was pretty easy on my leg. I'm finding the recovery with this operation to be very good but drawn-out with gradual, steady improvement. The starting point, walking within a week, is very good. My repaired knee has ended up a tad more loose than my other knee. I'm working on building up the strength in both legs now. I am finding that I am suffering from general leg joint pain now anyway. I played a lot of football and ran many years of track. It is taking its toll, and I'm still in my 40s. I am concerned about it but think that dropping some weight while strengthing my legs should help, along with staying flexible. This surgery surely helps with that. I rode my mountain bike to work Friday (17 miles each way) and that was great! But, it was about 104 degrees on the ride home. That was an adventure. We have a beautiful river parkway with bike trail that I use on that trip.
  25. The Sign Of The Dollar

    Wow Brad. I like it. I was born in 1967. I have seen the steady, gradual economic decline of the middle-class in my lifetime and your comment about there being more producers in '67 really fits well with a premise behind my financial work. Very interesting...