Monthly Archives: September 2009

When is a “right” a right?

Iwish someone would explain to me just what a “right” is in America.

If it is in the Bill of Rights, does that make it a “right”?

If it is in the Constitution, does that make it a “right”? Or is it the other way around? Whatever is not specified is a “right”? Wait, that makes no sense. Let’s see, is owning a SUV a “right”? Or flying to Florida? Or refusing to drink milk? I really don’t know.

And I suspect few others know the answer to this question. Maybe 1 in a 1,000 have a clue. I really don’t care if healthcare for all is a RIGHT or not. It is just the right thing to do. At this point I say that the Public Option must stay in the Bill or nothing, like Nancy Pelosi proposes. Why? because whatever is done right now is done forever, at least for our lifetimes. In other words, if we pass a half assed bill to trust the insurance companies, then the change to improve it in the future is gone. Zap.

By the way, as I understand it, if an insurance company does not have the power to enforce the rule of not accepting people who have certain pre-existing conditions then they will go broke. I do know for a fact that the insurance companies, especially the smaller ones, are slimy bastards who will do anything to deny coverage. This is not true of the biggies like BCBS and Aetna.


Camping checklist: then and now

These days your list of things to pack for a camping trip are somewhat different than those of 100 years ago.

A checklist today would usually include:

Bedding – Tent, sleeping bag, tarp, sheets and blankets, pillows, air mattress or sleeping pad

Tools:  Axe, hammer, air pump, repair kit for air mattress, dust pan and brush, utility bags for storage

Cooking – stove with propane fuel, large water jug, dish soap, utensils (spatula, knives, forks, spoons), matches or lighter, charcoal, firewood or propane stove, can opener, heavy duty aluminum foil, dish pan, cooking oil, seasonings, sugar and condiments, paper towels

Personal items – washcloth, shampoo, razor for shaving, toilet paper, tooth brush/tooth paste, rain gear, medications

Miscellaneous – flashlight, batteries, lantern with fuel and mantles, pocket knife, compass, bug repellant, candles, electrical tape, cell phone and charger, small shovel, radio, camp chairs, travel alarm clock, first aid kit, hand wipes.  

By contrast, here is a list of things from “How To Camp Out”, a book written in 1877 by John M. Gould.

Flour (prepared), Axle-grease, Bacon, Barometer (pocket), Half-barrel, Pickles, Bean-pot, Halter, Pins, Beans (in bag), Beef (dried), Hard-bread, Postage stamps, Beeswax, Harness (examine !), Postal cards, Bible, Hatchet, Rope, Blacking and brush Haversack, Rubber blanket, Ink (portable bottle), Boxes, boots, Bread for lunch, Sail-needle, Brogans (oiled), Lemons, Broom Liniment, Butter-dish and cover, Lunch for day or two, pork, Canned goods, Maps, Salve, Chalk, Matches and safe, Saw, Cheese  Marline, Shingles (for plates), Clothes-brush, Meal (in bag), Shirts, Cod-line, Shoes and strings, Coffee and pot, Medicines, Slippers, Comb, Milk-can, Compass, Molasses, Song-book, Condensed milk, Money (** change”). Spade, Monkey-wrench, Currycomb, Mosquito-bar, Dates, Mustard and pot, Dippers, Nails, Neat’s-foot oil, Night-shirt, Drawers, Oatmeal, Dried fruits,

Oil-can, Dutch oven, Opera-glass, Figs, Padlock and key, Vinegar, Firkin, Pails, Watch and key.

I wonder what they did with the “padlock and key” the “Sail-needle” and the “Oil-can.” I don’t even know what these things are: halter, Brogans, Shingles, Cod-line (must be a fishing line?), Drawers (underwear?), Firkin. Finally, he listed “lunch for a day or two.” Understanding that fast food joints were not invented, I wonder what other food he packed and how much space did he need for everything all together.

How did they get to the camping area? Horseback? So many historical questions.

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Healthcare for all – That’s a crazy liberal idea.


That’s a crazy liberal idea!

We’ve got wars to wage and taxes to cut!

Promote affordable healthcare for all Americans!