Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Off to New Mexico

I am off to the First Womens Wilderness Adventure sponsored by the NRA. Should be a blast, but will not have any internet access until I get back. I plan to write about it, and maybe even get a few pictures, and post all when I get back.

DC gun ban, version 2.0

They are passing emergency legislation to make sure that handgun permits are as difficult and time-consuming as possible to get, and restricting gun use to self defense in the home. Additionally, it appears that they plan to retain a ban on semi-autos.

Can you believe that this is the capitol city of the home of the free and the land of the brave?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

And we wonder why we're running a huge defict?

The Daily Advertiser, the local paper in Lafayette, Louisiana, is running a story entitled Supplies to Reach Storm's Victims. Basically, FEMA "lost" $85 million in supplies, then gave them away as surplus. It appears that out local senator was outraged that these supplies were diverted away from those that they were intended for, and got the recipients to return the supplies, which are now going to be distributed to storm victims. (And were trucked back to Louisiana, wasting more gas and money).

The supplies in question are described as including "baby bottles, cookware and hygiene kits." These are supplies that you need the week after a storm. Katrina was in August 2005 and Rita was September of the same year. I think we're a little beyond hygiene kits now.

What I really can't understand, if you assume that the government had to get involved in the first place, is why they are handing them out now. Hurricane season is here; there will be another one somewhere in this country or another where people can actually use this stuff. But, knowing the feds, there is no way that they can simply divert supplies from where they are surplus to where they are needed.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fun Quiz - Rate Your Risk

Rate your risk of being a victim. My friends who sent it to me got negative numbers - I need to hit the range and the dojo more often!

Not so sure about WALL-E anymore

OK, so they reviews of WALL-E have been wonderful, and I usually like Pixar movies anyway, so my husband and I were planning to go, once the crowds have cleared out.

Today, however, I get this movie review from Mises.org: WALL-E: Economic Ignorance and the War on Modernity For anyone who doesn't know Mises.org, they are an Austrian economics think tank. I found out about them last year while campaigning for Ron Paul, and I subscribed to their newsletter, which generally has articles with titles like The Non-Issue that Should be an Issue (federal deficit spending) and Commodity Prices and Inflation: What's the Connection? Basically, their articles give me long words that I can use with other people to describe my core beliefs. And they are not usually reviewing movies.

Apparently, according to this review (and not in any of the previews I saw), there are people in WALL-E. Corpulent, complacent people run by the man, who, in this case, is represented by a large corporation. The Mises reviewer takes issue with the idea that humans could exist for seven hundred years without any innovation whatsoever. He also takes issue with the idea that the salvation of the human race is a return to subsistence farming. But his big problem is the use of the movie as a vehicle to feed children "environmentalist, anticapitalist, and antitechnological propaganda."

If he's right, and it's that blatant, I probably am not going to enjoy it much. The farm I work on is a grass finished beef and grass fed goat operation; we're concerned about the ethical and ecological implications of our current mainstream meat operations. But I'm a Libertarian-leaning Republican who used to have a day job in the legal field, so I am pretty tired of brainless "capitalism is bad, the State must save us from ourselves before global warming destroys us all!" ideology. I don't think I want to pay my hard-earned dollars just to get angry at the screen. Maybe this is one to get from the Library after all.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Farm Visit

Today we had three kids come to visit the farm. Their grandmother is a friend of my mother's, and their mother went to school with me, so there's no way to say no. But, in fact, my mother loves taking kids on tours of her farm, so she'd totally have said yes even if she didn't know them from Adam.

The children in question are 6, 4, and 3. Their mother was two grades younger than me, which makes me feel a bit odd. My husband and I haven't even decided if we're having any, and she's already got three. They have been living in a large southern city, in a condo. They are not country kids. The four year old is afraid of bugs, for instance.

So we ride out on the Kubota to the barn to see the cats. We are very excited by the cats, which we refer to as "she" regardless of genitalia. I fail to point out the difference, too busy trying to make sure that the three year old does not try to jump out of the hayloft.

Mom asks me to get some of the goats. I manage to get just my most feed-addicted goats to come to the barn. They are pretty calm, and one of them has our newest kid, so I figure it will be a match made in heaven. I fail to anticipate three simultaneous, shrill, squeals of delight, which make my goats suddenly realise that they are *gasp* away from the heard. They run back to the heard, bleating as they go. So much for that.

It's back on the Kubota, out to the cows. We are out of range cubes, which means we are "treating" them with goat feed. Cows are slobbery animals to being with, and the tiny goat pellets mean that prodigious amounts of slobber are generated. We have our two most docile cows on one side, eating out of our hands. The two older boys cower on the back of the Kubota. As their mother and grandmother attempt to coax them to come feed the cows, or at least to pet them, the three year old charges off the seat smack in the direction of our craziest cow. Fortunately, Mom diverts her to a cow that is not insane and probably won't kick her from pure spite. Eventually, the cows have been sufficiently gawked at, and we head for the goats.

In the heard, the goats are anything but shy. In fact, my second billy, Jim, is so feed-greedy that I am a bit worried that he will bowl the kids over, so I don't let any of them hold the bucket. The four year old is interested in feeding the goats from his hands, while his mother and grandmother take copious pictures. He continues to refer to them as deer, despite multiple corrections. I finally figure out that it is because my nannies' horns look a bit like those of does. If you have never actually seen a deer, that is. Of course, as soon as we turn our backs, the farm dog bites the three year old. Happily, no skin is broken, and her mother is way less upset than expected. She stops crying before Mom and I stop scolding the dog. You can tell that she is going to be a firecracker when she gets a bit older.

Later, I will once again try to convince my mother that the farm dog is dangerous and should be locked up when people are around. He's bitten ME for goodness sake (and gotten his butt whooped for it good), and I am generally acknowledged by all the sane dogs I know to be dominant. I am not sure how many people that dog will bite before she gets the message, but she persists in believing that he is not dangerous. In vain I plead that one serious bite will require that he be put down, and thus we ought not tempt him. She loves this dog the way Pairs Hilton loves her little rat dog, and he can do no wrong in her eyes.

For now, though, it is off to the porch to eat watermelon. Copious amounts of watermelon are eaten, and copious amounts of juice are dribbled on the front porch. The adults watch the melee with glasses of the 2004 Pesquera in hand. The farm dog is locked up for the duration. The three year old plays alternately in the dirt and in the dog's water bowl, no doubt seriously fortifying her immune system over the long term.

Eventually, it is time for dinner, and they load themselves into the van and drive away, hot and grubby but waving happily. I am not sure how their mother does it - I only had them around for three hours, and I am already ready for my nap.