Cow Frieze

cow frieze


Click to enlarge. Colour as desired.  Match with other barn animal friezes here on teh blog.




Posted in crafts | 2 Responses

The Elephant In The Room Might Need To Leave

vote-1190034_1280Permit me to go all historian nerd here for a brief bit. Many conservative voters act as if the Republican Party has been around since, well, God. Or at least George Washington. The fact is that the GOP was founded in 1854… and not with some fancy hoopla and roll-out. Nope. Thirty men were angry with the Whigs (a party that had itself only formed in the 1830’s) and gathered to discuss starting something different.

Why were they angry? Because the Whigs were going soft on slavery. Because the Whigs were compromising where the anti-slavery (ie, pro-liberty) members held inviolate principles of freedom and justice toward humankind.

They ran a presidential candidate in 1856, two years after forming. He lost. A democrat, Buchanan, won… and he was rather a sorry president for a sorry time in American history.
Four years later, Lincoln won the presidency as the first Republican president. I do not want to sidetrack this discussion into the merits of his approach to slavery, to the South, to the Civil War, or to Reconstruction. That is a very long bunny-trail that has no place here and now.

What does have a place? The reminder that it only took a few men to begin something that so fundamentally changed the country. Knowing that these men were angry enough about what the government was doing that they worked on a different track, despite being in the minority.

Throughout time, the Republican party has worked hard to be on the side of civil rights. That is worth celebrating. But at no point in time does any member of a political party owe the party anything. A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. The party exists for the citizen, not the citizen for the party (yes, I stole that from a reference to a kingdom much more important).

Is the Republican party representing its base? Really? Or is their sales tactic simply, “Keep Hillary out of office?” If it is, they’re failing us. Hillary is scary. I know this… but so is sacrificing more liberty as a stopgap measure. How many sacrifices must we make before we’re no different than the her? Why can’t we cry “Freedom!” and fight for something else? Those 30 men in 1854 did… and I somehow think we’d be honoring their labors more by refusing to just accept the party’s call than by letting the party drag on as it is now.

I think Austin Petersen is doing a great job crying “Freedom!,” btw… but he’s not the only candidate out there making that call, and I think we owe it to ourselves, to those early Republicans, and to our children to find them.

Links for Further Reading:
The Birth of the Republican Party

YouTube Video, 1856 Election

Republican Party Founded

The Whig Party

Posted in government | 2 Responses

Keep your books, records, DVDs and CDs.

“For about ten years, I’ve been warning people, “hang onto your media. One day, you won’t buy a movie. You’ll buy the right to watch a movie, and that movie will be served to you. If the companies serving the movie don’t want you to see it, or they want to change something, they will have the power to do so. They can alter history, and they can make you keep paying for things that you formerly could have bought. Information will be a utility rather than a possession. Even information that you yourself have created will require unending, recurring payments just to access.” ”

Read more.

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Let’s Revolt

Here is a great example of one of the things wrong with our legal and political climate.
Government controls the purse strings, so entities who really only wish to protect their financial bailiwick and act as gatekeepers get government to agree to tax, register, licence and fine anybody who enters ‘their’ field without their permission- in this case, forcing entrepreneurs who merely wash and then braid hair to spend money going to a specialized school to study areas which have nothing to do with washing or braiding hair, in order to get a licence (which must then be kept up to date) to do something totally unrelated to washing and braiding hair.

In this case, a woman is suing the state of Tennessee, and I hope she wins. Her sister, who’s writing her testimony is linked above, had a salon exclusively for washing and braiding hair, and she chose to close shop and move across the state line to avoid the onerous and totally unreasonable regulatory burden the state placed on her.

Our forefathers threw tea in the harbor over less.

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human breeding

eugenics hickory family

Click to enlarge

“…It is certain, for example, that an imbecile which has arisen from homozygous defective germplasm carries only the determiner for imbecility in his own germ plasm and when two such recessives mate nothing but imbecile offspring can result, for recessives breed true. Nothing plus nothing equals nothing. (emphasis added)
For practical purposes, it is unimportant to know whether or not feeble mindedness or any similar defect is Mendelian in behavior. The fact that it is hereditary is enough.

Source, Genetics: an Introduction to the Study of Heredity
By Herbert Eugene WalterGenetics an introduction to the study of heredity ill.


As a matter of fact,  defectives usually mate with defectives for the simple reason that normals ordinarily avoid them,  so it comes about that streams of poor germplasm naturally flowing together tend to the inbreeding of like defects. Davenport  lays down the following general eugenic rules for the guidance of those who would produce offspring wisely:

If the negative character is, as in polydactylism and night blindness, the normal character, then normals should marry normals and they may be even cousins. If the negative character is abnormal, as imbecility and liability to respiratory diseases, then the marriage of two abnormals means probably all children abnormal- the marriage of two normals from defective strains means about one quarter of the children abnormal, but the marriage of a normal of the defective strain with one of a normal strain will probably lead to strong children.

The worst possible marriage in this class of cases is that of cousins from the defective strain, especially if one or both have the defect. In a word, the consanguineous marriage of persons one or both of whom have the same undesirable defect is highly unfit and the marriage of even unrelated persons who both belong to strains containing the same undesirable defect is unfit. Weakness in any characteristic must be mated with strength in that characteristic and strength may be mated with weakness. In short the eugenical Cupid does not tell one so often whom to select for a partner as whom to avoid .

(1 Davenport Rep of Amer Breeders Assoc Vol VI p 431 1910)

HUMAN CONSERVATION 1. How Mankind may be Improved.

There are two fundamental ways to bring about human betterment, namely by improving the individual and by improving the race. The first method consists in making the best of whatever heritage has been received by placing the individual in the most favorable environment and developing his capacities to the utmost through education. Such enterprises may be included under this head as improving sanitation, controlling disease, insuring health, safe guarding human life, banishing child labor, lessening drudgery of all kinds, substituting something better for the slums, championing the weak, reforming penal institutions, maintaining charitable organizations, cultivating true temperance, dispelling ignorance, and lengthening life. [note: Observe lack of any mention of teaching personal responsibility, working with individual children on improving personal character- even ‘true temperance’ doesn’t mean what you think it means, it’s mainly about tee-totalling].

The second method consists in seeking a better heritage with which to begin the life of the individual. The first method is immediate and urgent for the present generation. The second method is concerned with ideals for the future, and consequently does not usually present so strong an appeal to the individual.  314
The first is the method of euthenics, or the science of learning to live well. The second is eugenics,  which Galton defines as the science of being well born. Every gain in eugenics, it need hardly be said, will make euthenics more effective,  but the reverse cannot be affirmed. These two aspects of human betterment,  however,  are inseparable.  Any hereditary characteristic must be regarded,  not as an independent entity,  but as a reaction between the germplasm and its environment.  The biologist who disregards the fields of educational endeavor and environmental influence is equally at fault with the sociologist who fails sufficiently to realize the fundamental importance of the germplasm. Without euthenic opportunity the best of heritages would never fully come to its own. Without the eugenic foundation the best opportunity fails of accomplishment.  The euthenic point of view,  however,  must not distract the attention now,  for the present chapter is particularly concerned with the program of eugenics.

2) Human Assets and Liabilities: In an attempt to take account of human stock,  Dr HH Laughlin of the Eugenics Record Office has made the following eugenical classification based on the manner in which families assemble in their offspring heritable traits which determine for their possessors a. social adjustment and b. special talent or defect
I Persons of genius

II Persons of special skill,  intelligence, courage,  unselfishness,  enterprise,  or strength

III Persons constituting the great normal middle class,  the people

IV Socially inadequate persons

The first three groups constitute those eugenically fit from sterling inheritance who produce the socially valuable nine tenths of humanity among civilized people and in the last group are the eugenically unfit from defective inheritance who produce the socially inadequate or the submerged tenth of humanity.  Among persons of genius Dr Laughlin would include the 5000 persons most splendidly equipped by nature throughout historic times,  as,  for example,  Aristotle in philosophy,  Newton in science,  Pasteur in medicine,  Dante in poetry,  Shakespeare in drama,  and Cecil Rhodes in business.   Reckoning that since civilization began,  there have been born and reared in civilized countries approximately thirty billion persons,  the expectation of a genius is about 1 /6,000,000.

In the second group are included the natural and acknowledged leaders in all lines of human endeavor,  the Who’s Who people. The incidence of these in the total population is possibly 1 /6,000.

The third group the people constitute nine tenths of all, since the first two classes, although their influence is very great,  are numerically negligible,  while the fourth group is made up of the residue or the socially inadequate namely:

1 feeble minded

2. pauper

3 inebriate

4 criminalistic

5 epileptic

6 insane

7 asthenic or weak

8 diathetic or predisposed to disease

9 deformed

10 [illegible] that is with defective sense organs


Laughlin concludes: ” The task of eugenics is 1 to encourage fit and fertile matings among those persons most richly endowed by nature and 2 to devise practicable means for cutting off the inheritance lines of persons of naturally meagre or defective inheritance….

All the above, and more, was once Consensus Science….  Search google books for ‘heredity’ and limit your search to published from around 1900 to 1930 and you’ll be astonished- and sickened.  And while we moderns are appalled, this was what all the ‘best and brightest’ in America believed and taught in schools, in lecture halls, even in churches, published in influential magazines and textbooks.  Certain words faded away in the wake of Nazi Germany, but these beliefs of the progressives (because it was entirely a progressive dominated field) didn’t disappear, but rather, camoflauged themselves.


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