Friday, August 24, 2007

classic poem

I gave myself to him,
And took himself for pay.
The solemn contract of a life
Was ratified this way.

The wealth might disappoint,
Myself a poorer prove
Than this great purchaser suspect:
The daily own of Love

Depreciates the vision;
But, till the merchant buy,
Still able, in the isles of spice,
The subtle cargoes lie.

At least, 't is mutual rush,
Some found it mutual gain;
Sweet debt of Life, each night to owe,
Insolvent, every noon.
-emily dickinson

I think my favorite line by her is "some take the Sabbath going to church/I keep it staying at home/with a bobolink for a chorister/and an orchard for a dome."

"night by night, I stare straight through his gorgeous roof."
"By God! I will accept nothing which any and all cannot have as a counterpart on their own terms."

Somehow it is annoying to hear people talk that are so left wing they are completely delusional. Some guy talking about how this country is "Orwellian." Okay. Has he read the book? Human rights and the rule of law is going downhill in this country, but we are not exactly seeing journalists getting murdered in the street like is happening all the time in Russia. China also has a press that is vastly less free than ours. Yeah, our country is going in the wrong direction. Acknowledged.

When Paul Krugman is gunned down on the streets of New York and there is no investigation, then we are getting to "Orwellian." Until then, come up with some facts and specific policies on how to improve this country. Comparing the US, to, say, Liechtenstein, isn't going to work, because the US is the only superpower in the world, and with that comes a lot more responsibility than the small countries have.

If you don't have any ideas on how to improve the country, you can always go to the default rant and rage mode, like twenty millions bloggers and coffee shop talkers. When it comes to real things that can be changed, that's when you actually have to have some grasp of how this government works and some grasp of how the good people in the government (Congress) can make some decent changes. Maybe when Bush the destroyer gets out of there, things might improve.

For example, Congress is pushing to get health care for all children. That's a good thing. They passed an ethics reform bill that was better than nothing.

I'm reading about the Phillipines in the 1980's, where all you have is graft, corruption, indiscriminate murder of civilians, extreme poverty, no medical care. In other words, hell. We are not there yet.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The moon is full and the rain is starting in a little bit maybe, but at least it seems to be starting to seem like fall a little bit. September is neat because there is a lot of mist in the air. It is one of my favorite months. I would say that September is my second favorite month right after May. August is probably only fourth or fifth, probably because I am more of a slightly cold and rainy kind of person, but the darkness of midwinter does get to me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Robert St. James at the Beanery

This guy was really cool. Very talented. He was playing what sounded like original songs with complicated chords and interesting lyrics, although I couldn't hear them too well. He had a steel string guitar hooked up to an amp and set so it sounded kind of fuzzy, which is a sound I like. Obviously quite talented. Plus, he looked just like that guy in Reservoir Dogs who cuts the other guy's ear off. Maybe that was just because of the dark glasses.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I went down to Coos Bay to get some instruction from a high ranking instructor, George Clark 4th dan, and he was a keen eye for detail. The difference between Shotokan karate and other forms is that the structure of its movements has really been turned into a science of how to generate maximum power and how to eliminate extraneous motions and get to maximum directness and effectiveness in the application of technique. These principles are widely agreed on among the highest level black belts, although Nishiyama is the leader of this particular organization. Anyway, the fact that there are these principles, and the fact that a Shotokan practitioner can continue to improve over the course of his life is what sets it apart from, say, kickboxing, tae kwon do, or many other watered down karate styles.
Anyway, it decided I had to make use of my time teaching the basics in my class and make sure that people were doing things correctly, and more than that, understood why it matters to do the motions correctly. A good instructor can always demonstrate his points, and has an understanding of how things are applied. I need to work on all of that stuff, having a lot of bad habits myself.
I have been focusing on maximum power to the detriment of other principles that are just as important, so I have a lot to work on, but I knew that, considered that I have failed 2nd degree three times so far.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Democrats fail miserably

The Democrats have refused to raise tax rates on capital gains, mainly because they are being paid off by the hedge funds. What a bunch of chokers. So now we get more and more ultrarich while the poor can't afford basic medical treatment. Is that the kind of country we want? Still, the next president may make that change, but the current congressional Democrats are proving what a bunch of spineless bought-and-paid-for bribe-takers they have turned into. They also passed that FISA bill that gives MORE POWER to the Attorney General. That's Alberto Gonzalez.

I'm still more of a Democrat than anything, but I really don't like to see the rich getting richer and Congress doing nothing about it while everybody else, especially the poor, are getting worse off. The farther this country slides into a land of the very rich and the very poor, the more it will come to resemble Brazil, i.e., total hell.

But things can still change for the positive. Especially if something is done on health care. And there will be always more opportunities to change the tax code for the better.