Thursday, March 31, 2005

Chasing Lewis and Clark Across America

I discovered a great book this week. I have been very interested in Lewis and Clark for several years. After all, the most important part of their journey was in Washington - reaching the Columbia River and their first sight of the Pacific Ocean. OK, some people might have different opinions on this!! Ron Lowery built a twin-engine ultra-light airplane that carries two people. Writer Mary Walker joined him and together they took excellent photographs from St. Louis to Cape Disappointment, Washington. But they started in the wrong place. If you asked Meriwether Lewis where the expedition started he would tell you Pittsburg where the keel boat was loaded and the he departed with part of the team. Going down the Ohio River they came to Clarksville, Indiana where William Clark and more men joined in. St. Louis, though not the beginning, was where they spent the first winter, since they got a disppointingly late start. And it was the last "city" before they left civilization. Another interpretation: In Chalottesville, Virginia there is a monument to Lewis and President Jefferson. Of course the Lewis and Clark Expedition was born in the mind of Jefferson. When looking for a man he could trust with his pet project, he turned to a neighbor in Albemarle County, young Meriwether Lewis. Lowery took the photographs. Walker was also qualified to pilot the plane. But Lowery was well practiced in coordinating his photo taking with piloting the plane to get the right setting. So he did the flying during the photo sessions. They had a ground crew with an RV and a truck pulling a camping trailer. The ulta-light is of course open air and it is bright green. They usually flew low, so they got a lot of attention. For a book of color photographs in large format and 168 pages of heavy paper it is a good value for $45. Though, for some reason Third Place Books charged my less. See it at their web site:
Wind Sock Media

Monday, March 28, 2005

Let Terri Schiavo Live!

Terri Schiavo's death is cruel and unnecessary. Her wishes are not known; she never wrote anything. Her husband seven years after she was disabled suddenly remembered her saying she didn't want to live unless fully capable. Funny it took him 7 years to "remember." Actually, I think he had hope for her for those seven years, then gave up. Tragic. But he didn't have to commit his life to ending her life. And why do we call him her husband? He abandoned her at least 5 years ago for another woman. They have children together. His only interest in Terri has been to deny her rehabilitation and now to deny her life. The courts should have removed him from the husband role. The parents are willing to take care of Terri. Let her live. Let Michael keep the money; it must be very important to him. The courts have been very arrogant in this. Congress and the President asked the courts to look at the case "de novo," which means from the beginning. The US district court should have gotten Terri on the feeding tube, then taken a couple of days to review her situtation. Instead he said "I don't listen to Congress." The courts have decided that we no longer have government of 3 balanced branches. We have government of one branch - judges who have life appointments. They have decided that they are now the legislative branch - they write whatever laws they want. This violates the US Constitution's separation of powers and cannot last. Hugh Hewitt has been the loudest voice on the judges blatant violation of the Constitution. He exlplains the provisions for the Congress to instruct the courts.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Hebron, Labrador

I had the dim recollection from the 1950s that Hebron was the farthest north town in Labrador on Canada's Atlantic shore; confirmed. I discovered that it was a Moravian mission of Inuit (Eskimo) natives. The government, cocerned about crowding, poor health and lack of fuel, closed the store and ordered the village be abandoned in 1959.
Photos - Story
Sadly the government focused on getting the people out of a bad situation with little concern for how they would adapt elsewhere. Most lived their lives as outsiders unable to support themselves.

Castro is among the Richest in the World

Fidel Castro has a big complaint with Forbes Magazine, according to Economic times of India. " “Once again, they have committed the infamy of speaking about Castro’s fortune, placing me almost above the queen of England,” Castro said in a speech to top officials of Cuba’s ruling Communist Party, military and police." Forbes lists Castro as being worth $560 million, up from only $150 million last year. Forbes has the reputation of being very cautious in estimating wealth. After all, the billionaires always complain about being outed! They all complain, not just Fidel. How did he get his wealth? By stealing from his people, of course; the per capita income is about $2,000, less than 1/10 of the US. (No link.)

Social Security Reform - the Facts

Social Security is a blog by several stars. Pointing out the problem, possible solutions, and errors by others. 3/19

Senator Cantwell loses to Bush on ANWR

Our junior senator thinks President Bush is dumb. It was her turn to take him on and lose. Maybe she should have turned down the opportunity. Read my take at Sound 3/17

Felons to Vote - We will Force You

The Hillary Clinton school of politics. If there is a problem because felons voted when it was illegal for them to vote, then make it legal. And don't just do it in your state - force all states to allow felons to vote. George Will covers the situation. And it's hard to validate people who register to vote just before the election. Well, Senator Clinton wants to make things worse, not better. Her bill forces states to allow registering on election day. This is the philosophy that having more votes cast is good, even if people vote more than once. In Wisconsin they allow election-day registering and it is a mess. I read the account of an attorney who went to Wisconsin to observe on election day. His polling place was a zoo from the time polls opened until they closed. Election workers were handing out ballots left and right. Even people who were not election workers were grabbing ballots and handing them out. People removed ballots from the election place and returned to submit them - in violation of the law.

Freedom is Spreading in the Middle East - blame Bush

Election and succession of power in Afghanistan. Election and new government in Iraq. Syria's puppet government resigns in Lebanon. Hosni Mubarak after 4 unopposed quote elections says he would like to have an opponent. Assad in Syria discovered Saddam's brother and handed him over to the government of Iraq. Women will vote in the next election in Saudi Arabia. All this freedom arriving in the Middle East. Why didn't it happen under Bill Clinton? Blame George Bush. It's not a coincidence that freedom broke out after Bush took on the big bully and beat him up decisively. And the elections in Afghanistan and Iraq caused people under other tyrannies to say "why do we have to be pushed around by President For Life for 20 years? Can't we have real elections?" Maybe the Berlin Wall has been broken down! I sure hope so. Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun-Times does a great job in a few words. Election validates Bush's vision for Iraq

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Hello from me

I am a math software and discrete-event simulation guy in Puget Sound, Washington (State), USA. My interests are economic freedom and growth, policy and politics. Along with enjoying being outdoors walking, hiking, cycling and sailing. And playing bass - guitar. Welcome.