Friday, February 12, 2010

A Man of Integrity? President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad

I try hard to make up title's for this blog that will grate on your nerves and invite you to read its content...sometimes.

What is a man of integrity?  Once again remembering my speech class in Middle School a speakers rough outline is to 1. Tell your audience what you are going to say.  2.  Tell them.  3. Tell your audience what you told them.  This forms the basis for speeches and essays and even blogging which is nothing more than a really informal essay.  Expanding this outline to action steps we have a person of integrity as a person of kept promises who makes plans known and then follows through with them.  I am going to tell you that in that sense the President of Iran is a man of integrity.

Obviously the whole concept of integrity is a framework made of a system of values and of course values rooted in God or a god.  The word 'integrity' is like the word 'temperature' in which it has no meaning unless you attach values.  Good/bad morals for integrity and hot/cold for temperatures.  Jesus spoke of this when he said to his audience to be hot or cold for him for if they are lukewarm he spit them out of his mouth.

Announcing that Iran would begin enriching uranium the President of Iran said on April 9, 2006 "I am officially announcing that Iran has joind the group of countries which have nuclear technology."  He refers to the operating of centrifuges for the purpose of weapons grade uranium.  He began preparations for this speech by breaking UN seals over the labs January of that same year.  A man of integrity follows through on his plans.  Of course he's insane I'm not praising him lest you think I'm insane as well!  Here's the proof as his speech continued: "...At this historic moment, with the blessings of God almighty and the efforts made by our scientists...produced enriched uranium needed to the degree for nuclear power plants Sunday."  (a lovely Sunday sermonette eh?)  Insanity is doing something like this in the name of a god. 

Let me just add this about these lovely scientists of his:  Some of his scientists and engineers were trained at universities in America.  Notably at my university the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.  This university, buried in the heart of America, surrounded by modest mountains and hillbilly forests, had its own nuclear reactor.  The only university that did, at this time.  Buried in the heart of America were Islamic students even at my local Garland county Community College.  Many enrolled in engineering , to my knowledge, without exception.  I had friends, I was a member of the Foreign club.  I attended the wedding of my friend Mahmood after my girlfriend became enchanted by him.  I also dated a Jordanian girl briefly.  A beautiful girl that played guitar.  I asked myself where does one get the money to project onself to the other side of the planet to attend a college in the heart of flyover country and why?  Just one example comes from the day I was sick and missed a class.  I don't remember whether it was Dynamics, an engineering course with obvious applications to understanding centrifuges, or my Calculus 2 class but the math and notes were critical.  I stopped by a future Islamic terrorist organization member and fellow classmate to copy his notes from class that day.  There on his bookshelf was a bag, I kid you not, the size of a 1 gallon Ziploc, filled with marijuana.  I pretended not to notice and retrieved his notes and finished my business.  Look, I barely knew enough evil existed to know that I needed Jesus.  These were all just people to me and that in truth is the way it should be.  My friend, that was a girl, that Mahmood married was an American white girl.  I asked her what her father did, I had earned her trust, she nonchalantly told me that her father flew a small plane to Louisiana and back carrying freight and sometimes carrying drugs.  These are the types of alliances Persians often look for to achieve their ends.  I don't know what ever happened to what's-her-face but I hope she's happy.

What the President of Iran did in 2006 was bold and defiant and beligerant but the world took him seriously.  Jacques Chirac, president of France, said on January 19, 2006 "Leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, just like anyone who would invisage using, in one way or another, arms of mass destruction, must understand that they would expose themselves to a firm and fitting response from us.... This response could be conventional.  It could also be of another nature."  The Associated Press stated: "Chirac even hinted that France had already retargeted its nuclear arsenal." AP source  Remember this is coming from the land of pastries, impressionism, and Peugeot!  You can imagine what we've done.

Finally, four years later our man of integrity is telling us what he told us he was going to do.  He announced his nation has joined the other nuclear armed nations.  If only we had such a strong and determined leader, under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all, of course.  I am not worried because the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is in control of the master plan and Iran is only an event on a much more complete timeline.

Nutrition Absurdities

 "Just 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses will sweetly provide you with 13.3% of the daily recommended value for iron. " - World's Healthiest Foods website (click title to go there)
I wonder if there are any nutritionists out there who can explain to me this whole concept of "recommended values" of this and that?  I think the earliest I can recall being taught about the food pyramid and the United States Department of Agriculture recommended daily allowances of this and that was in 7th grade science class, about 1972.  I could easily confirm this with Google but 1972 may have been when all this was beginning to be taught in our schools.

By the way as an aside the building I attended junior-high, what they now call middle-school, was the same building that President Bill Clinton attended in high school before the new high school was constructed.  If you are a Bill Clinton supporter reading this then I'll let you kiss my book.  Central was another broken promise.  He was going to convert that building to a shining institution on the hill supporting and sponsoring artists and the art community.  Instead it stands abandoned.  Sarasota has done far more with its old high school and the buildings are even about the same age.  In all fairness Sarasota's old high school is half the size in a community with intellect.  The old ways are worth preserving for future generations and so Central Junior High School stands as a monument to Bill Clinton's intentions.

On to the business at hand:  2tsp * (100/13.3) = 15.03 teaspoons of molasses would have to be consumed per day to achieve the USDA's recommended daily allowance of Iron.  Remember this is a food high in this nutrient.  Just think how much you would have to eat of other foods.  Mixed nuts: 6%Iron, per serving of 20 nuts is just one other example of a great source of iron.  20 * (100/6) = 333.333 nuts.  How absurd!  This means to be healthy and eat a variety of foods I would, for example, have to consume 7 teaspoons of molasses and 151 mixed nuts per day.  

These standards feed guilt trips and foster a sense of failure just reading the nutrition labels.  Where does that leave the rest of the world?  Why are we even still alive if we can't even meet the minimum daily requirements?   I have no trouble meeting recommended daily allowance of chocolate; especially during holidays and St. Valentine's Day. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

That's Life!

Good morning and happy birthday to me.
Since the beginning of the year the world has been focused on very weighty matters while a quiet revolution has taken place in the breakfast cereal world.  Since I was 12 years old, which if you do the subtraction, was 39 years ago I have been a frequent eater of Quaker Life Cereal.  My father chose Chex Rice cereal as his constant favorite but I liked the sweet nuttiness of Life.  I didn't care who paid for it I just would ask for it and it magically appeared in the cupboard above the stove.  Quaker can thank me for my faitfulness up until now.

To my recollection Life never included a toy in the box so its not like I was lured as a customer by a toy like a dullard.  But one early year I do recall an offer on the side of the box for a Revell plastic model airplane kit.  It was a DC-9 American Airlines airliner and it was probably 4 or 5 dollars but I could be off; minor detail.  Life was just a quality cereal, non-candy, that tried to be good for kids before it was fashionable and trendy to eat puffed cardboard pieces.

When I grew up and began a family of my own you naturally look for ways of cutting costs.  Life was going for $5 a box for a while and I just had to cut back somewhere.  I started buying all sorts of cereals which I won't go in to but after the black-white generic experiment bit the dust there became more and more store brand knock-offs of mainline brands.  This was smart because the mainline brands paid for the advertising, rolled the cost into their cereal then the consumer, if he was wise, would buy the store brand.  I waited and watched and waited for years for a store brand knock-off of Life cereal.  Walmart had the lowest cost for Life.

Just two weeks ago my wife went grocery shopping and came home with a cereal called Simple Living oat cereal.  Finally the patent or whatever was holding things back timed out and Hannaford of Sweetbay grocery stores had produced a competitor to Quaker Life.  What follows are the results of the taste test by an experienced

Appearence is remarkably the same down to the waffle hole counts.  Compared to Life the texture of Simple Living in your mouth with milk was ever so slightly coarser but that's not a problem.  Both tastes are almost identical with Life coming out ever so slightly sweeter.  I suspect Hannaford was  able to save money here by not putting as much sugar in the mix.  Life cereal's nutty flaver is brighter and maybe fresher tasting but Simple Living is just as nutty flavored but a little darker or stronger and this may be due to differences in roasting the cereal.  I tried to take a fair picture of the two cereals side by side with equal lighting.  I have spotlights in my stove hood so the lighting is not equal but fair enough.  Try Simple Living I think you will enjoy the right-on taste and the cost savings.  Ironically Walmart had Life with a reduced price last time I visited the cereal aisle and this may have reflected the new competition.

If anyone out there can shed any light on how pricing is determined and know of any other competitor to Life let me know with your comments.  Anybody an expert on cereal production chime in too.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Young Man River

Young Man River
by Wade Meyer

One time on an outing my family and I went .
To western Oregon's waters framed by cathedral trees.
There ran a swift small stream close to the road it seems.

Our father pulled over to a spot where we could go explore.
But I stood with hands on hips looking down across the shore.
My attention drawn to round stones where water trickled over.

The sound it made was garbled. Voices mournful and hollow.
I picked up boulders, moved stones by rolling and found;
Voices changing low, and high brightly in sound.

My family wandered and explored.
But I stayed working not in the least bit bored.
With shoes and arms wet I toiled on, absorbed.

Everyone began returning back;
Into the car they clamber.
Hurried, I worked quicker with my work in that river.

Finally, my mother grew impatient, down to that river she went.
"Wade we wait and need to hurry on; what is that you're doing?"
"Ma, its the river, the sound, it needed tuning."