A Saturday in Winter – Update

Baking bread is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells…there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.
–M. F. K. Fisher


A Saturday in Winter

We are far enough south that we don’t get a lot of snow. When it is cold, it’s usually dry, and when it is damp, it is usually warm enough that precipitation falls as rain. Today was unusual. It snowed overnight, then sleeted and iced on top of that. The road in front of the house looks like iced sugar. Having decided that any plans that involved driving were foolish, we settled in to enjoy the day. It is below freezing, but still raining, so going for a walk has been postponed.

I have homework to do this afternoon, for some college classes I am taking. PHP scripting, anyone? Right now, writing this post is a break from some study and reading on Aikido vocabulary and history for an upcoming test. Aikido is more interesting than PHP, if just as difficult to retain.

Every hour or so I feed the stove. Gracie lies as close as possible to the warmth, and will stay there until her fur is hot and she pants like it is July.

Out in the kitchen, the bread came out of the oven a few minutes ago. The dough rose nicely in the living room on a table by the stove. 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, and my efforts are rewarded. In a few minutes I’m going to make a pot of coffee and slice one of those loaves. Filled with light and warmth, with someone to share it with me, today is a gift.
There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.
–Robert Southey

Testing the Perimeter

Ojore Nuru Lutalo was arrested in Colorado last Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010, for making terror threats to blow up an Amtrak train over a cell phone. Sitting covered with a blanket, he made a series of threatening remarks loud enough to be overheard.

Least we think that the other passengers were overreacting, here’s a video Ojore Nuru Lutalo made while he was served 27 years in a New Jersey prison for things like bank robbery, weapons violations, shooting at police, and violating his parole. I don’t expect anyone to watch more than a couple of minutes of this rambling tirade, but that should be enough to give you an idea.
This man sees himself as an anarchist, a Black Liberation Army follower, and at war with “Amerika”. Not your typical Jihadist, but not the guy you want to ignore when he’s talking about blowing up the train.

We don’t have the luxury of focusing our efforts on one group; we must protect the country from terrorism whether foreign or homegrown, and regardless of the ideology that motivates its violence.
–Janet Napolitano

The State of the Union

Mr. Obama said, in his State of the Union speech last night,

…and if the Republican leadership is going to insist that sixty votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town, then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it’s not leadership.

I disagree. If you are being offered very bad things, over and over, just saying no is the only option that demonstrates leadership. Think of it like your daughter gone away to college for the first time. “No” is probably the thing you hope she says the most.

Want to get drunk?
Want to get high?
Want to get drunk and have unprotected sex?
Want to go the party at the frat house?(I know, it’s the same question rephrased)

Just because she keeps saying no doesn’t mean she’s being negative. Quite the opposite, sometimes saying no is the positive thing. If the Democrats keep making the same bad offers, I want leaders to say no every time.

Now, if the Democrats want to ask, “Should we back up and rethink taking over and destroying the current health care system?”, I would be okay with answering “Yes.”
Going back to the questions your daughter is being asked, consider this.

Want to go to the mixer at the Methodist student center?
My parents are coming this weekend, would you like to go to dinner with us?
A group of us are forming a study group for that math class, are you interested?

It is not necessarily right or wrong to answer yes or no, everything depends on the questions. There you have it, Pr. Obama, a blueprint for working with the conservatives in America, some of which are still Republicans. Just stop being so negative about America, and appreciate how great a place it is right now, without all that hopeychangey.

A moment’s reflection shows that Liberalism is entirely negative. It is not a formative force, but always and only a disintegrating force.
–Francis Parker Yockey

Hadrian’s Wall

Hadrian’s Wall more or less marks the high water mark of the Roman Empire in Britain. It was built to defend the frontier of the Roman controlled portion of the island. Another, lesser known wall was later built further north. That one, the Antonine Wall, was built, but proved indefensible. The Romans, unable to hold the northern territory, fell back to Hadrian’s Wall and it became the border until Rome finally retreated from Britain. The wall today is a reminder of the limit of the reach of power. Rome was in some ways already in decline when the decision was made to push no further, to stop and literally build a wall.

I thought of that history today, when I read of Pr. Obama’s decision to kill the Constellation program. We aren’t going back to the moon. We aren’t going to build a next-gen heavy lift rocket or a new lunar lander. We’re pulling back. We left our high water mark behind in 1972 with the last Apollo mission. Perhaps someone will one day return to the moon, but it will not be us, and it will not happen in my lifetime.

Sic transit gloria mundi (Thus passes the glory of the world)
–From the old Papal Coronation Ceremony