Thursday, June 29, 2006

Attitudes on Breast Feeding

This post intentionally moved back in time so that it could be archived off the main page

Many Outraged by Breast-Feeding Magazine Cover

AP NEW YORK (July 27) - "I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine," one person wrote. "I immediately turned the magazine face down," wrote another. "Gross," said a third.

These readers weren't complaining about a sexually explicit cover, but rather one of a baby nursing, on a wholesome parenting magazine - yet another sign that Americans are squeamish over the sight of a nursing breast, even as breast-feeding itself gains more support from the government and medical community.

Babytalk is a free magazine whose readership is overwhelmingly mothers of babies. Yet in a poll of more than 4,000 readers, a quarter of responses to the cover were negative, calling the photo - a baby and part of a woman's breast, in profile - inappropriate.

One mother who didn't like the cover explains she was concerned about her 13-year-old son seeing it.

"I shredded it," said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas, in a telephone interview. "A breast is a breast - it's a sexual thing. He didn't need to see that."

It's the same reason that Ash, 41, who nursed all three of her children, is cautious about breast-feeding in public - a subject of enormous debate among women, which has even spawned a new term: "lactivists," meaning those who advocate for a woman's right to nurse wherever she needs to.

"I'm totally supportive of it - I just don't like the flashing," she says. "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

Another mother, Kelly Wheatley, wrote Babytalk to applaud the cover, precisely because, she says, it helps educate people that breasts are more than sex objects. And yet Wheatley, 40, who's still nursing her 3-year-old daughter, rarely breast-feeds in public, partly because it's more comfortable in the car, and partly because her husband is uncomfortable with other men seeing her breast.

"Men are very visual," says Wheatley, 40, of Amarillo, Texas. "When they see a woman's breast, they see a breast - regardless of what it's being used for."

Babytalk editor Susan Kane says the mixed response to the cover clearly echoes the larger debate over breast-feeding in public. "There's a huge Puritanical streak in Americans," she says, "and there's a squeamishness about seeing a body part - even part of a body part."

"It's not like women are whipping them out with tassels on them!" she adds. "Mostly, they are trying to be discreet."

Kane says that since the August issue came out last week, the magazine has received more than 700 letters - more than for any article in years.

"Gross, I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob," wrote Lauren, a mother of a 4-month-old.

The evidence of public discomfort isn't just anecdotal. In a survey published in 2004 by the American Dietetic Association, less than half - 43 percent - of 3,719 respondents said women should have the right to breast-feed in public places.

The debate rages at a time when the celebrity-mom phenomenon has made breast-feeding perhaps more public than ever. Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Kate Hudson and Kate Beckinsale are only a few of the stars who've talked openly about their nursing experiences.

The celeb factor has even brought a measure of chic to that unsexiest of garments: the nursing bra. Gwen Stefani can be seen on - a site with a self-explanatory name - sporting a leopard-print version from lingerie line Agent Provocateur. And fellow moms recognized a white one under Angelina Jolie's tank top on the cover of People. (Katie Holmes, meanwhile, suffered a maternity wardrobe malfunction when cameras caught her, nursing bra open and peeking out of her shirt, while on the town with fiance Tom Cruise.)

More seriously, the social and medical debate has intensified. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently concluded a two-year breast-feeding awareness campaign including a TV ad - criticized as over-the-top even by some breast-feeding advocates - in which NOT breast-feeding was equated with the recklessness of a pregnant woman riding a mechanical bull.

There have been other measures to promote breast-feeding: in December, for example, Massachusetts banned hospitals from giving new mothers gift bags with free infant formula, a practice opponents said swayed some women away from nursing.

Most states now have laws guaranteeing the right to breast-feed where one chooses, and when a store or restaurant employee denies a woman that right, it has often resulted in public protests known as "nurse-ins": at a Starbucks in Miami, at Victoria's Secret stores in Racine, Wis., and Boston, and, last year, outside ABC headquarters in New York, when Barbara Walters made comments on "The View" seen by some women to denigrate breast-feeding in public.

"It's a new age," says Melinda Johnson, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for ADA. "With the government really getting behind breast-feeding, it's been a jumping-off point for mothers to be politically active. Mommies are organizing. It's a new trend to be a mommy activist."

Ultimately, it seems to be a highly personal matter. Caly Wood says she's "all for breast-feeding in public." She recalls with a shudder the time she sat nursing in a restaurant booth, and another woman walked by, glanced over and said, "Ugh, gross."

"My kid needed to eat," says the 29-year-old from South Abingdon, Mass. And she wasn't going to go hide in a not-so-clean restroom: "I don't send people to the bathroom when THEY want to eat," she says.

But Rebekah Kreutz thinks differently. One of six women who author SisterhoodSix, a blog on mothering issues, Kreutz didn't nurse her two daughters in public, and doesn't really feel comfortable seeing others do it.

"I respect it and think women have the right," says Kreutz, 34, of Bozeman, Mont. "But personally, it makes me really uncomfortable."

"I just think it's one of those moments that should stay between a mother and her child."

07/27/06 18:23 EDT


"Whoever said Money Can't Buy Happiness was probably right, but I'll bet he never had to cash in pop cans for gas money..."

I need it and am looking for a better way of getting it. At this point, just another job in addition to what I have would be great. In fact, needed. How to go about it is the question. It has to be close as I no longer have a car and cant do too many more miles a day on my bike than I already do. It also has to pay enough to cover a babysitter and still be worth it...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Twinkie Cookbook

CHICAGO (AP) - Twinkies, they're not just for dessert anymore. The new "Twinkies Cookbook" has recipes for everything from a Twinkie Burrito to Twinkie Lasagna.

Theresa Cogswell compiled about 50 recipes for the book.

Many were submitted to Hostess, as part of Twinkies' 75th anniversary celebration last year.

Cogswell tells Illinois' Daily Southtown newspaper that one of her favorites is a berry-laden Patriotic Twinkie Pie.

It's red, white and blue.

Cogswell says it makes a great centerpiece for a Fourth of July picnic, which you can also eat for dessert.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Email Scams & Money Laundering

I finally got one of those emails that try to get your account info by giving some story about some person dying and leaving lots of money. The one where the banker is desperate to give away the money, some $25 Million in this one.

I am replying to him and going to see if I can mess with him. I'll give an update if there is anything to add.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Econ and Speedcams

Sifting thru I came across a novel was of teaching Econ to younger students. In this case it was fifth graders.

The author, Arthur E. Foulkes, used novel approaches to teach these kids that Econ is all about human behaviors and actions. He demonstrates concepts such as trading, money, and savings in a memorable and easy to understand way.

Found a link to this website showing vandalised speedtraps in the comments over at Difsters blog. Apparently speeding cameras in the UK and Australia are meeting early and regular demises. Quite obviously the gov is making a killing off of them as they continue to repair or replace them.

I suppose these two subjects are connected altho I had no intention of connecting the two when I first posted this. Simply put, cameras such as these are a stealth revenue stream. Nothing more nothing less. It is no more about public safety than are cigarette taxes. Governments or businesses grow and reach a plateau and are unable to expand further unless another source of revenue is found. This often requires branching off into new enterprises. Governments seem to enjoy employing so-called "sin" taxes as they garner little to no sympathy from those whose "sin" isnt being taxed or the rate of that tax isnt being increased.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Is Something Missing?

Does anyone else notice what logically should be in there but isn't? Am I simply missing it? Is it elsewhere? If so, I cant seem to find it.
Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.
Lev 20:14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it [is] wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
Lev 20:15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
Lev 20:16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.
Lev 20:17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it [is] a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.
Lev 18:23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it [is] confusion.
Lev 18:24 Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:

On The Nature Of Eve

I am reading through John Eldgrige's Wild At Heart. There are many things/questions/issues that it is bringing up in me and I may post on that in the future, but in the meantime I came across some interesting quotes in there.

From C.S. Lewis
"The beauty of the female is the root of joy to the female as well as to the male... to desire the enjoying of her own beauty is the obedience of Eve, and to both it is in the lover that the beloved tastes of her own delightfulness."
From Jan Meyers in her book The Allure Of Hope: (italics are Meyers, regular is Eldridge)
"When Eve was [decieved], the artistry of being a woman took a fateful dive into the barren places of control and loneliness." Now every daughter of Eve wants to "control her surrounding, her relationships, her G-d." No longer is she vulnerable; now she will be grasping. No longer does she want simply to share in the adventure; now, she wants to control it. And as for her beauty, she either hides it in fear and anger, or she uses it to secure her place in the world. "In our fear that no one will speak on our behalf or protect us or fight for us, we start to recreate both ourselves and our roles in the story. We manipulate our surroundings so we dont feel so defensless." Fallen eve either becomes rigid or clingy. Put simply, Eve is no longer simply inviting. She is either hiding in busyness or demanding that Adam come through for her; usually an odd combination of both.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Energy Savings

About this time every year it gets really really hot (I know, imagine that!) With the increased temps come greater cooling costs. With current political/eco policies it could be very advantageous to a company in a large building (think box stores and malls etc.) to install solar paneling across the entire roof. This could easily be accomplished in an aesthetic way as it is difficult to make a Walmart or you average mall uglier than it already is.

Advantages would be... Good P.R., Energy rebates, a "free" source of energy, and a shaded building would heat up less and would not need to be cooled as much.

Other energy saving devices are things such as skylights. New Wal-Marts already have them to reduce the daytime energy load. Dimming the lights, or perhaps removing one row of lights in those overhead flourescents can reduce costs. This was mandatory for businesses while I was in the Portland area in 2001 due to a drought. I never heard anyone complain about it and the measures did make a difference in overall usage.

Air conditioners and swamp coolers should be shaded if at all possible. Plants/trees work great for this. The cooler the unit is, the less it has to work. Trees can also be used to shade the house, but it takes a long time to grow them or lots of money for a large one to be moved to your house.

Keep curtains closed on the side of the house that the sun is shining on. This keeps the heat of the sun outside of the house. And of course, all the usual things apply. Clean your AC/furnace, seal doors and windows, replace lights and appliances with energy efficient ones.


In the Colorado Springs Gazette there is an article on inflation in the Business section. It lists some rather scary numbers.

From the article... "All energy prices were up 2.4 percent in May and have risen at an annual rate of 30.8 percent through May, nearly the 17.1 percent rise for all of last year." It also lists an increase of .4% for May. That is an anual rate of 4.8%, but looking at it more realistically and using the more accurate (but no longer used) old CPI it would be approximately double that at 9.6%

That racket you are hearing is the Mogambo hauling his guns up the hillside. See you up there!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


In my last post I said that blogging felt empty and hollow. It isnt blogging so much as me. I feel empty and hollow. Devoid of purpose. Devoid of a war to wage, battles to fight, frontiers to explore, pioneering to be done.

I admit that I still feel that boyish call to adventure, but all I seem to be able to feel or do is duty. It makes me unsatisfied with my life, with my job. Being yoked to the plow, and having to do it at a specific time every day kills me. There is no room for individuality or adventure in the modern world, the modern economy. There are no trades. No creating with ones hands. No danger beyond getting called into the bosses office. What is there to pit oneself against? To test oneself with?

When I was young I saw myself flying an F-15 of an A-10, today I'd still love to fly that A-10 or become a bush pilot. Bombers and (oddly) cargo planes appeal to me. I live directly underneath the airspace for a large airport and air force base. I am reminded of my desire every day. But the realities of life dont permit me to join them in the sky. I'm grounded, and there is no end in sight for that.

Who didnt want to be a cowboy? On one's own, wrestling against seasons and weather, living off the land. Or an astronaut. I just knew I would be the perfect astronaut. But not just for near-earth orbit. I'd be the one to explore the stars. See things no one had ever seen. Beauty untold and unimagined, except in my own head.

Last I was in Washington I lived off the mighty Columbia River. It is massive and moving. Jetskis, sailboards, sailboats, barges and even Navy vessels. Where I lived, PDX was right across the river and Patterson (IIRC) airfield was on my side. There was even a train right along the river on my side. Even something as silly as the houseboats (where the houses are on pontoons and the garage houses the family boat. And it is also the home of one of the oldest forts, an old trading outpost. And the Lewis and Clark trail, undoubtedly a boyhood dream, the adventure of seeing new lands far away from civilization. Talk about a little boy's dream! And yet all these things were always just out of reach for me.

Being wild. That is what it comes down to. I am duty bound. Sure it is largely self imposed as I have no doubt bought into the lie that a man must be tame and civilized to be a man. Even the church foists this lie upon us. But I am feeling trapped in duty now. Not to say that I want to shirk that duty because I most certainly don't. I love my wife and child in ways that I cant put into words and I want and need to provide for them however I can. But can duty live next to adventure? There must be a way to have both.

There must be a way to throw off the yokes of civilization (mine and societies) while doing those things I need to do. A way to find my heart again...


Lately I havent had much time/interest/inspiration for blogging. This, despite the fact I sit in front of a computer for about 8 hours straight five days in a row. I'm bored with it. It feels like just another hollow, empty activity.

If you have withdrawals (and I am sure sooo many of my two readers will) there is always the archives. There is also the poetry (Manly poetry I, II, III, IV and the Heroic Female poem.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Spanish-American War Tax To End

Just how expensive was that war? Have we seriously been in debt for 108 years from that action? Or is it much more likely that the Gov is simply greedy and doesnt give up a stream of revenue no matter how little they have to stand on?

From the Denver Post.
Washington - The Treasury Department, conceding that it has no right to continue collecting a 108-year-old tax on long- distance telephone calls, announced Thursday that it will drop its legal battle for the tax and instead refund $13 billion to callers who have paid the tax in the past three years.

The 3 percent tax, enacted in 1898 to help pay for the Spanish-American War and revised in 1965, has been declared illegal by five federal courts of appeal during the past year as the result of challenges brought by companies forced to pay it.
Props to the Colorado Libertarian Party Blog for this.