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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Oswego County, New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Lake Ontario Snow Belt
Member since: Fri Apr 23, 2004, 10:56 PM
Number of posts: 36,286

About Me

I've been a female working a "man's job" (mechanical engineer), stay at home Mom (6 kids), working Mom (6 kids to put through college), unemployed, underemployed, temporarily employed and now working from home! We live on an old, small farm with 2 dogs and 2 cats in the house, variable number of chickens out in the yard.

Journal Archives

Another reason why I love to live where I live;

Last July, we had a thunderstorm with high winds sweep through the area. It totally trashed the screen and concession stand at our beloved drive-in.

The old screen was insured, but it was mounted on wooden towers. New building codes require steel towers. After the insurance came in, the owner was about $100,000 short of putting up a new screen. This isn't a wealthy community, but people in two counties got together to raise the money.

The Midway is back, Baby!

(I think that's a shot of the old screen, but you get the idea! )

Co-pays - what a dumb idea! I have an autoimmune disease

which is progressive and has involved multiple problems over the years. Looking back, I realize that each time a new symptom arose, I really put off going to a doctor, telling myself it was from this or that. Even now, I take a ton of pills to keep everything in balance including several supplements. From time to time, I'll notice a symptom returning that I thought I had under control, and I'll realize that I quit taking this or that several week before.It's a pain in the butt following my regimen, but it works for me.

So, where did the idea come from that people need to be restrained from seeing a doctor and/or taking pills?

GMO foods - is the problem the technique or the applications and sales methods?

It's been pointed out many times that GMO foods have never been shown to be harmful to consume, and that humans have tinkered with the genetics of plants and animals for eons using unnatural selection.

So - let us suppose for argument's sake that there is nothing wrong with modifying plant and animal genetics via the insertion of genes.

Here are some objections I have

1. Inserting genes to produce Bt toxins: Organic farmers do use Bt bacteria as needed, aware that overuse of Bt will select for an insect population resistant to Bt. In other words, for organic farmers, Bt is a last ditch effort to handle an overwhelming insect population. By limiting the use of Bt, organic farmers are making an effort to preserve its usefulness. Inserting a gene to produce Bt is the equivalent to dosing every kid with penicillin daily. Sooner or later, the penicillin becomes useless.

2. there is a risk that genetically modified organism will escape into the wild and out produce existing natural species;


3. There is a general focus on modifying food crops to withstand herbicides and pesticides. The assumption behind this is that we have no alternative methods to produce sufficient food. There is actual research that using so-called organic methods will over the long haul produce as much food as conventional methods, while also using less energy and building up a thicker soil base able to tolerate both droughts and deluges better than fields farmed with conventional methods.

Here is something I find very interesting about GMO crops:

Golden rice: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/03/07/173611461/in-a-grain-of-golden-rice-a-world-of-controversy-over-gmo-foods

If you read the article, the controversy seems to be focused on serving this rice to experimental populations without proper information and consent. The actual product, the Golden Rice, appears to be a life saver.

So, back to my original question: Is there a fundamental problem with GM foods, or is the problem with the way this technique has been applied and/or the products sold to consumers? Up to now, producers have been very reluctant to label GMO products, leading consumers world wide to suspect that something is being hidden from them. What if, say, a cereal box was labelled to note that it was made with GMO oats, modified to produce Omega-3 oils?

Christians in the Middle East -

I have seen articles and chain e-mails describing the danger to Christians in Syria and Iraq, and asking for prayers, pressure on the US government to save them, money , etc.

Here are my problems:

1. Many of these articles treat these people as an endangered species, valuable because they are the last of their kind. The sub-clause of this concern is that we Christians must maintain a foothold in the Middle East.

2. Why are these people, who happen to be Christian, of more concern than any of the other people caught up in this on-going war? I'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned about them, but should we be focused on them?

White privilege - it's even more subtle than you know -

I have two mixed race nieces - one who could pass for white if she chose, one who clearly has African-American ancestors. *

Guess which one the school district left alone, and which one was dinged for every possible infraction.

*My apologies in advance if I have described them improperly.

History repeating itself? For years, many Americans (including top policy makers)

saw us facing a Communist monolith - all Communist nations were working together to destroy us. Many held that the North Vietnamese were following orders from Moscow.

Now, I think the North Vietnamese were perfectly happy to accept any material help and military advice they could get, but that they had their own agenda. But, our mis-perception of the situation is the major reason we went to war. In addition, the perception that somehow the Soviets had "won" is one reason the CIA gave so much support to the Afghans following the Soviet invasion.

So - my question is how many Americans are making the same mistake about the Middle East? How closely tied is Hamas to the Palestinian Authority to the Taliban to Isis to the Syrian rebels to the Saudis? Put the question that way, and it becomes obvious that there is a tangle of groups and governments willing to work together when their interests match, and willing to stab each other in the back when their interests don't. For example, I would think that Isis and the Palestinian Authority would both be very glad to see Jerusalem under Arab control, but that they have very different ideas of what that would mean.

A second mistake is to think that every problem can be solved with a hammer, and that hammer is our military establishment. That turned out so well for us in Vietnam.

I think we need to step back, untangle these groups, figure out if they are an actual threat, figure out why they are a threat, and develop alternative methods for dealing with them. For example, we need to stop knee-jerk support of a right-wing Israeli government busy stirring the pot and ask ourselves how best to ensure a peaceful solution for everyone on both sides. Again, we need to look at alternatives such as identifying who is financing these groups, who is arming them, and see what we can do with that information.

Some misinformation that needs to be deliberately spread:

1. We know that Ebola outbreaks begin with close contact with wild animals (bush meat.)

2. We know that rhinoceroses and elephants are endangered by the appetite for rhino horn and ivory.

3. So, what if, I'm just saying ya know, but what if rhino horn and elephant ivory carried Ebola?

We have two dogs - a larger, older hound mix and a smaller, younger spitz type.

Both dogs are neutered males. We've had the hound since he was a puppy, and got the spitz from a rescue shelter several years ago.

The Problem: even though both dogs have full access at all times to an out door run, the spitz will mark inside the house if no one is around. He sleeps in our room, but will go downstairs at night to make his rounds. If we are away overnight, he marks more places. If anything is left on the floor - grocery bag, back pack, suitcase, etc, he'll mark that. Otherwise, it's table legs, chair legs and (unfortunately) the occasional book shelf.

Since he only does it when no one is looking, can anyone suggest a good way to make him stop?

Tell me why I need a smart phone

Right now I carry a Jitterbug type phone so I can call AAA if my car breaks down. My kids complain because I generally only turn the phone on when I need to make a call.

Stranger and stranger - KSDK is reporting that Dorian Johnson has admitted through

his attorney that he and Michael Brown did rob the store, but apparently no other news service has picked up this story.

BTW - Even if he did rob the store, summary execution in the street is not the penalty.

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