Saturday, April 25, 2009

Robinson Crusoe

Whether you have read or intend to read Robinson Crusoe or not you can have a lot of fun with the following site and its links

Seems So

Carbohydrate-rich foods seem to calm me.
Protein-rich foods seem to wake me up.

Friday, April 24, 2009


A hundred years after the Spanish and Portuguese had begun to colonize the Americas, Captain John Smith landed in Virginia and founded the first English colony at Jamestown where Indians and colonists used toloache.
Virginia was home to Patrick Henry of "Give me liberty or give me death." fame.
We know that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison of Independence and Constitution fame were Virginians.
Four of the first five American presidents were Virginians.

Why was New England so backward? Why was Boston a backwater while Richmond flowered? The people of Salem may have gotten some toloache. We know they used opiates early on.

Robert E. Lee and the Lee family were Virginians too. Lee's politics were Whig and anti-secessionist. I forget the major Whig positions, but expect to review them.
We know Lee as the Saladin of the South, a gentleman, handsome, educated, dashing. The great general of the South.He was related to the best families of the South. He was a Virginian by heart.
I'm not ready to review his biography here. However I will say that he traveled widely and that he graduated first in his class at the US Military Academy at West Point. He saw action in the Mexican War and chased Comanches (who knew toloache) for more that 1500 miles across Texas. Was he resistant to the guerrilla type tactics found useful in the Revolution.

"Light Horse Harry" Lee of Revolutionary war fame and a Virginian Cavalier was Robert E. Lee's father. Lee's mother, Ann Hill Carter, left Light Horse and Robert was raised by his mother. A mother's boy?

He married well. Mary Anna Randolph Curtis became his wife. Her home is now Arlington National Cemetery. Doesn't pay to lose.

Lee was a handsome young man. He loved the ladies and knew the social protocol of the south well. He was more than a handsome face and a fine figure of man with the accomplishment of a gentleman. He was one of the worlds great military strategist, a hero, a Virginia.

When you say that again pradner, smile.

After the Civil War he devoted himself to higher education. Did he die before Traveler?

Pythagoras Continued

Pythagoras and Pythagoreans were interested in the many aspects of music, including the practical effects of music on psycho-physical health.

They attended to harmonic principles.

Pythagoras himself attended to early natural philosophers such as Thales and Anaximenes.

Since the end of the Roman Empire Pythagoreans have periodically found shelter in the esoteric schools of Christianity and Islam.

Some have seen a genealogy of Pythagorean-like thought like this: Hermes-Trismegistus, Orpheus, Aglaophamus, Pytagoras, Philolaus, Plato. Some follow a Pythagorean line of thought the astronomers and mathematical philosophers to the present. The Theosophical Society has carried Pythagorian thought from the late 19th century until recently.

What have we so far? Pythagoras was a music therapist. He taught orally which seems appropriate for one who considered philosophy a ver active process. We have said that he was born around 570 BC. We can add that his father was a gem engraver by the name of Mnesarchus and that his mother was called Pythias. Iamblichus said that Pythagoras spent 22 years studying with the 'priests' of Egypt. He probably also studied with the Chaldeans. Number is prime.

I think that the following is from Plato, but am not at all sure of the source.
".......and the ancient, who were superior to us and dwelt nearer to the gods, have handed down a tradition that all things that are said to exist, consist of one and many and contain in themselves the connate principles of limit and unlimitedness."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

He Was A Teacher

Pythagoras had a school.
He was a good teacher who had valuable teachings.
Not all of his students loved him.
He not only made all of his newer students sit down, shut up, and pay attention, but he made them do it even if they were rich, famous, and powerful. The rule was to be silent and attend no matter who you were.
He didn't promote any one until they had actually learned.
He had almost as many female students as he had male students.
He may be the all time most influential western lovers of wisdom of all time.

He lived and taught between the years 580 BC and 490 BC. He was born on the Greek island of Samos. His father was a Phoenician merchant from Tyre.

Pythagoras accepted advice and was wise enough to accept it from Thales. He was a life long student as are all worthy teachers. I think that some of his early studies were in Memphis, Egypt and in Tyre and Byblos.

Lovers of wisdom active during the lifetime of Pythagoras who were probably familiar with his teachings included Heraclitus and Democritus as well as Thales.


Recently I received an Official Voter Information Guide for a Special Statewide Election to be held in California next month. Yesterday I received an absentee voter packet.

The above mentioned events disturbed some still tender and probably self-inflicted psychic wounds. Wounds inflicted over half a century.

I had been a voter in local, state, and federal elections and sometimes a worker on campaigns or issues during those decades. I felt an increasing ignorance and lack of awareness among my fellows and a carelessness of these changes among what I considered any kind of leadership. After the second election of our previous president I had quit voting and quit registering to to vote. So receiving these voting materials is a bit of a surprise.

When I quit voting I felt a great loss and a great sadness. It was as though I had lost my father, mother, and spouse all at once. I felt like a man without a country. I have read the novel of that name, but haven't been able to recall it.

I guess I could say that politics and governance in the land had not been meeting my expectations. I had been a little 'd' democrat and had expected us as a people to move in that direction, but what I was seeing was the erosion of our republic. I did not understand the economics of of why after WWII government at all levels kept issuing bonds. What was wrong with cash? I did not understand our foreign policy. I had had hopes that our foreign policy would be well in the hands of the Senate well overseen by an informed public by the 1970s. My hopes were irrational because i could not see how interfering in a foreign civil war served our democratic values. Why we took sides in a civil war in the sovereign nation of Korea I did not understand. Why we started 'a police action' in Korea with such disrespect for our constitutional covenant seemed incomprehensible. From there my disillusionment grew and deepened.

At the same time I felt a growing shame that the ongoing despoiling of our constitution was in my name and paid for with my work. Probably too much of my shame was for the ignorance and laziness of my fellow citizens and not enough of it was for my ignorance, fear, and lack of action.

I have this Voter Information Guide before me now. I do not understand it. I'm not sure why not. And am not sure how to thing about not understanding it. I am sure that I am not ashamed of not understanding it. I am beginning to feel a bit of shame and maybe a it of irritation at not knowing why I don't understand it. I am old and my powers are declining but perhaps I can make some effort to discover why I do not understand.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lies, Stupidity, Cowardice, Ignorance, Lazyniess, Carelesness

I sometime think of journalist as falsifiers when they say that they can't get the information. But, mostly they are probably just cowardly and stupid. Stupid is worse. It gets you killed first and gets you the news last. Fear is not cowardice. Acting immorally in the face of fear is.

I don't know what to think when I find that they cannot pronounce the words with which they report. For example there is some hell going on in Sri Lanka. There is an 'h' in hell and it is sounded. However there is no "h" in Sri Lanka. Why do very many news readers and announcers pronounce Sri with an 'h?'
The matter of that 'h' should surprise me less. Why? Because many of the people whose profession is the news have forgotten how to say that word. Rather than say 'news,' they say 'noose.' What they are saying for 'noose' I don't yet know. For very many of the recent decades the 's' in news has been pronounced like the 'Z' in Zenobia. While the 's' in noose has been pronounced like the 's' in hiss as in the sound a snake is said to make.

I know that values change, language changes, pronunciation changes, meaning changes. All is change, but not all change has ignorance as its principle motivation

Cactus Flowers

I enjoy my cactus flowers as much as I enjoy certain violin music.

Most of my cactus blossoms are in beautiful yellows.
This "beaver tail" native of this desert shows its own colors.

Moving in Human Minds

Thoughts of sustainability are moving in human minds today. Moving in their minds are thoughts such as:
~ All over the earth resources are best used at rates which are sustainable.
~ Resources can be used in ways that cause great scarcity.
~ It is worthwhile to consider a morality of resource use.
~ Humans disturbe a natural replenishment system.
~ It is good and right to provide future generations with an environment no worse that the one we inherited.
~ It seems morally right and possible to avoid placing unfairly high costs on vulnerable populations.
~ Politics can be good for the environment
~ Povety plays a roll in the state of our environment, our earth.
~ Our environment plays a roll in the state of poverty.
~ We need to depend upon political cooperation inorder to reuse and recycle really well.
~ We are all participating.

To get a better idea of how other humans are thinking about earth and their relationships today you might check out some interested and interesting groups such as:
World Health Organization
Give Well
Oxfram International

There are better and brighter groups to check out, but one starts somewhere.


To find out a bit more about how the following may relate to your pedigree check out
phylogenetic tree
non-recombining DNA
a specific spot in the genome
'matching markers'


We shall cooperate for beautiful sustainability.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Personalizing Thoughts About Indians.

I started thinking about American Indians and A Greek Sociology professor and came up with the following curious thoughts.

Many claim to find greater freedom, more personal fulfillment, more survivability and contentment within a community which can distinguish itself from the greater society. I see no reason to resist that claim.

This is my land. I have no other. I am related to this land by birth.

Supporting law and order by supporting the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union seems good.

Action attempted without discussion leads to dissension. Discussion that leads to action may be better than discussion which does not. Ongoing dialogue leads to harmony and understanding.

In this situation whether it is best to fight, coax, or run is probably a question of which is safest.

If he is not a friend and has power to effect my life, knowing that I can grip his Adams apple with one hand and his balls with the other comforts me.

I purposely show my feelings to good friends, still I may show them to a great enemy.

Love is great. However, love may be felt or shown for an 'inferior.' A leprous and particularly untidy pig may be loved. Where justice and equality are valued, respect may be better. Reverence seems best. I want to feel and demonstrate reverence for myself, my friends, my family, life and all. What is your view on the nature of reverence?


Try a seed contemplation with justice as your object.

Is there a god in your Psyche? Imagine him (her, it) gladdened by by a just deed of yours. See that god in you dance for joy at the realization of that deed.

Remember, your way is beautiful, pleasant, joyful, and familiar.

The all of reality is one, Look and see.

See that you can trust the way of things and your own experience.

You are awake and alive, Smile.

See that there is a real 'law' and see that it is just.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Colombia: Hazy Thoughts

Overdoses of laudanum were used for suicide. A bit on the finger to sooth baby's new tooth.

Other than death, what are other irremediable defects of old age?

What about the lovely women?

Between the Santa Fe railroad of Colombia and the Santa Fe railroad of the US is there no connection?

The bolero can't be a kind of waltz, can it?

The Mexican dancing the cumbia does not think of black women dancing slowly by moon lit surf. He does not see her white, her candle, her torch. That was before "Marta La Reina."

I wonder if the taruya still blooms purple/blue in the river backwaters?

How sick is the Great Magdalena River?

Are tangos still danced in the barrios of Medellin? Who dances the bambuco?

Drug wars are a deadly fantasy.

A Question of Nutrition

How can I tell the quality of my nutrition? I guess if I feel, look, and act healthy, I am probably eating pretty well. What if I don't feel healthy?

What are other tests of good nutrition? Are tests like hair analysis, cytotoxicty, iridology, nutrient-deficiency questionnaires all specious? I've found iridolgy intriguing.

How can I get reliable information? How can I get reliable alternative treatments? If 'alternative' is alternative to that which is know to work, where do I stand?

There is so much to learn that it seems easy to get confused. For example, I am pretty sure that there is good evidence that brain damage and brittle bones is often accompanied by an "unusually" large amount of aluminum in the system. Is that the aluminum in our cooking utensils. Is that the aluminum in underarm deodorant?
I am also pretty sure of the evidence that citrus increases aluminum adsorption by the system.
I guess I shouldn't cook marmalade in an aluminum pot if I value my brain and bones. Of course it seems unwise to eat aluminum, but how about citrus? One can get confused. What are the sources of reliable information?

The view in my mirror and the fit of my clothes tell me that I am not suffering from fat deficiency. Through ongoing advice and personal experience I have found that I benefit by increasing the fiber (we used to call it roughage) in my diet. So I am pleased to hear that dates contain 'no' fat and are one of the highest fiber fruits. And I like them; especially in a malted milk with ice cream. Now when I go to the Indio Date Festival, I can accept the free samples with fewer health concerns.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mary J.

Martin Carroll was born in Ireland in about 1810 and had a daughter by the name of Mary J. Carroll. Mary J. was born in that country in 1840.
Mago William Sheehan, my most distant know paternal ancestor, married Mary J. Carroll in Des Moines county Iowa of the US in 1860. They liked round numbers in those days.

What was going on in the world in that half century between 1810 and 1860? 'Everything' you might say. Let's look at some samples:

On a day in 1840 Britain, Russia, Prussia, and Austria agreed to limit Egyptian expansion.

In 1846 the "Potato Famine" was reaching its height. About a million Irish men, women, and children would die in that famine by 1851. A million was a lot in those days.
In 1848 'Insurrection" in Tipperary, Ireland was put down. Can you sing "Its a long way to Tipperary?" In that same year the US gained much of California and New Mexico in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

During this same period Ralph Waldo Emerson, the America philosopher, wrote; Abraham Lincoln was getting his pre-civil War experience; Charles Darwin was getting his education: Henry David Thoreau also wrote; the fine great human being William James lived; and Robert Louis Stevenson began his education.

1811 & 1812 was the time of the tremendous New Madrid earthquakes in Missouri, Tennessee, and beyond. In 1812 earthquakes and after shocks were felt in California that were strong enough for the priests at Buenaventura and Capistrano to call it dreadful. The earth was hotter than usual during this Period. In 1815 and enormous hurricane crossed New England.

In 1824 Missoin Rancho San Gorgonio was established as an extension of Mission San Gabriel Archangle. Romo K. was a decedent of "Mission Indians" of that extension.

In 1825-26 Kit Carson traveled California and Arizona. Someone usually suffer around kits travels, others benefited.

In 1827 organized carpenters in Philadelphia won a ten hour work day. In 1826 Ebenezer Frod, a NY carpenter was the first trade unionist elected to public office. On February 5th of 1830 the first daily labor paper in the US was published.

In 1831 desert Indians attack San Bernardina, California and do so again in1843.
Also in 1831, stars fell in Alabama and on the Great Plains where "night became like day."
Do you remember the song "Stars Fell on Alabama?"

In 1837 Michigan became a state. In 1847 Lancing became Capital of Michigan, succeeding Detroit.

January 27th 1850 Samuel Gompers was born.

!853 the Gadsden Purchase treaty between USA and Mexico.

In November of 1855 Eugene Debs was born.
1857 large earthquake in the Fort Tejon area of California.

1858 Irish emigrants in the US found the Fenian society.

Family Genealogy

My sister, Gerry, has done a lot of good work on our family genealogy. I suspect that she has wanted to demonstrate that our family tree is awesome. She is in fact putting together an awesome family tree.
She has taken our 'Norwegian line' back many generations. She gives thanks to the record keeping abilities of the tax collectors of foreign ruling powers. Relying on the accuracy of their documentation Gerry has traced out paternal grandmother's line back to the early 1600's in Norway.

Gerry has enjoyed her investigations into our family history as a 'wonderful adventure.'

It seems my interests in her activities have lagged. Now that my traveling days seem to be behind me, I see that I may have easily visited a cousin Gerry found in Nessoden which is just a ferry ride from Oslo. that cousin is the local historian and used to captain the ferry! I don't even know his name or whether he speaks English.

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