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   A happy birthday goes out to Tyson.
   Pictured is the cloud front on the drive back home.  While driving east, I had such a tail wind that the hydrophobic silicone polymer (you'll know it has Rain-X) I use on my windshield wasn't causing the rain to blow off as it usually does.  Wondering why, I open up the window and stuck my hand out.  I found the air was almost standing still--despite the fact I was driving 55 MPH.  That's one heck of a tailwind!

1 comment has been made.

From Steve

The Garage, WI

June 29, 2010 at 1:04 PM

GREAT picture! Definitely captures the storm front in all its menacing glory.

June 16, 2010

We are the law

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=da5_1276643737
   I'm so tried of stuff like this--there are dozens of examples of similar things.  If you are a typical American, you will likely watch the video and conclude the officer acted in accordance with the rules--less the punch to the women's face.  But I want you to step back and remove all notion of the rule of law.  We now have a women being manhandled.  She is objecting to the physical contact and struggling to get away, but the man persists.  And while this is taking place, no one even thinks of lifting a hand to interfere. 
   Any person not an "officer of the law," and the situation would probably have been different.  If this man had been an ex-boyfriend, or any other guy who just wouldn't take "no" for an answer, chances are the crowd would have forcefully prevented the man from making continued undesired physical contact.
   However, the man is an "officer of the law".  So despite our instinct to act in solidarity and assist, we painfully watch from the sidelines.  We know the women wishes the man to leave her alone--she states it.  And we can be almost certain the onlookers have an inner desire to assist.  Yet they are holding back.  Why?  Fear of retaliation.
   Let me quote Wikipedia's definition of brainwashing.  "Brainwashing, the application of coercive techniques to change the values and beliefs, perceptions and judgments, and subsequent mindsets and behaviors of one or more people, usually for political, financial, personal, or religious purposes."
   I have been listening to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book "Infidel" in segments since it is on my portable media device, and I've probably heard the entire book at least 4 times.  In it, Hirsi talks about how men several countries she lived would beat their wives and suffer no consequences.  This was because in the society they live the culture and religion allowed for this kind of treatment of women.  She also notes her own father disagreed strongly with the manner in which these men acted, but never mentions him doing anything other then voicing his dislike.  In a society that does not have these cultural and religious views, it is easy to listen to her story and feel contempt for the men committing these acts, and contempt for the system which justifies such acts.
   Most (many?) educated parents in America today understand that hitting their children is not the most effective means for teaching or punishing them.  Yet not 20 years ago this wasn't the case.  We learned something along the way, and implemented a more effective solutions.  And from what I understand, such solutions are all around better for the mental development of the child.  It makes sense: violence results in anger, scorn and fear.

1 comment has been made.

From Steve

The Garage, WI

June 16, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Wow....that's just....wow. Stupid fucking cops. They blatantly abuse their authority like that and they wonder why the majority of people hate the police. There were plenty of people around with camera phones and whatnot (besides the dude shooting the video) gathering plenty of evidence, so they had better be bringing up charges against that piece of shit. He had absolutely no right to punch that other girl, who was merely trying to help her friend. In the words of NWA: "Fuck Tha Police."
   Que and Aislinn all wet after paddle-boating around the pond at Riverside Park.  Picture by Elizabeth M.

1 comment has been made.

From Steve

The Garage, WI

June 14, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Our paddleboat adventure was pretty fun. Felt pretty good to get wet, considering how hot and muggy it was.