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MineralMan

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Saint Paul, MN
Home country: USA
Current location: Saint Paul
Member since: Sun Nov 2, 2008, 02:18 PM
Number of posts: 69,361

About Me

I\'m 68 years old (2013), married, have no children (by choice), and am very active in Democratic politics and have been since 1965. I\'m an atheist, and currently make my living writing the contents of websites for small businesses. I\'ve been self-employed, since 1974, as a writer, software designer and programmer, and a seller of mineral specimens to collectors. You can learn more about me from my posts on DU.

Journal Archives

The American People are...

not uniform. Everyone uses the phrase, though. "The American People want...," or "The American People believe...," or "The American People will..."

It's a meaningless phrase, because there's almost nothing that can be said about "The American People" that is true. Some of "The American People" agree with you, and some don't, whatever your position might be. Whoever says, "The American People," followed by some verb and some statement, is blowing smoke up your leg.

"The American People" is a propaganda phrase, and every sector uses it constantly. All are incorrect.

"The American People" do not exist. They never have. There are multiple blocks of people who tend to think one way or another about everything. There are blocks of people, perhaps the largest blocks of all, who don't much give a shit about much of anything beyond their immediate needs.

Whenever you see the phrase, "The American People," ask, "Really?" Which American People? What are their names? Where do they live? What do they do for a living? Which American People are being discussed?

We are all "The American People," but that's about the only thing we have in common. We're all different, think differently, believe differently, and act differently from the rest of "The American People."

Nobody speaks for "The American People." Such a thing doesn't really exist in the way the phrase is used.

"The American People," though, can be counted on to make pretty much anything you say about them a lie.

Warning: Take Batteries Out of All Cell Phones RFN!

I hear that the government is tracking everyone using the built-in GPS in your phone 24/7! THEY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE!

After you do that, shut off the electricity in your home, unplug all computers and other electronic devices, and tape aluminum foil on all windows. Then, go into your guest bedroom and pull the covers over your head.

Let those with ears hear, and those with eyes read.

I'll say no more...you have been informed!

A Minnesotan's Thoughts about Michele Bachmann

There's lots of speculation today about Bachmann's unexpected announcement that she won't run again. It came as no surprise to me, and I've been following her antics for some time.

First, it's very likely that she would have lost in 2014, if she ran. Her opponent, Jim Graves, who she beat only by 1% in 2012, would be very likely to be the winner in 2014. Polling, although very early, shows a trend toward Graves. Add to that the current campaign finance investigation, and the news that's likely to come from that would have made her defeat even more certain.

A while back, I posted that she would probably not run in 2014, since she'd be facing a loss that would interfere with her future plans. So now what happens?

She could, but will not, run against Al Franken in 2014 for the Senate. She would lose badly in that race, and she knows it. Her congressional wins were based on the demographics in her district. That district's boundaries were changed after the 2010 census. While it's still a conservative district, she lost some areas in her former district. Bottom line: She is not liked statewide, and would have no chance of winning the Senate race.

She could run for Governor of Minnesota, but that's another statewide race, and I don't see a win for her there.

She could, and may, launch a public speaking career. I doubt it will be a long-lived one, since she really isn't that articulate, and makes serious gaffes in almost all of her public appearances. If she speaks regularly, she will embarrass herself and her followers.

She could, and may, take up some sort of role at Fox News. Fox News, however, is overloaded with failed Republican politicians, and may not be in the mood for such a character as Bachmann. She does poorly on camera and has the potential to be a loose, embarrassing cannon, even for Fox.

My Prediction: Michelle Bachmann will resign from her House seat within three months, and move on in some other direction. I expect that she will attempt to do the public speaking thing, attempting to become a firebrand for the Tea Party wackos. I further predict that she will disappear from view fairly quickly, going the way of Sarah Palin.

An Almost Baby Boomer 50th HS Reunion

I liked high school, pretty much. As a member of the Class of 1963, I was born in 1945, a year before the official start of the Baby Boomer generation. Last night, I pulled out my senior year HS yearbook to begin trying to connect names and faces again. In June, we're having the 50th reunion for our Southern California small-town class of just 106.

As I look at the faces of my classmates, all 17 or 18 years old, I remember those hair styles and those clothes, and a little bit of information about most of the people I was looking at. Most of us went through all 12 years of school together. It's been 50 years since we left high school and went on to do whatever we went on to do. A lot has happened in those 50 years. Some of the faces are of people who have died. How many, I'm not sure, but I imagine there will be a list at the reunion and we'll all have a moment of silence for those who have gone where we're all bound to go.

1963. How much things have changed since then. How much water has passed under the bridge between my home town and the town next to it.

The Vietnam War - I remember clearly the day that there was a school assembly held for all of the guys in my class. It was near the beginning of the school year. A man in an Army uniform explained the Selective Service System and told us that we all had to register when we turned 18. Forms were passed out. Vietnam was heating up, little by little, and we'd all be facing that over the next few years. Six of my classmates died there, that I know of.

Technology - Our typing classes used old Underwood manual typewriters. IBM Selectrics were around, but not in high school typing class. Our television sets were still in black and white. I bought my first transistor radio in 1962, and had it taken away by my Junior year history teacher for listening to it in class. In 1964, I was taking FORTRAN programming classes and creating programs on IBM punch cards at college. The PC was far in the future, and wasn't even on our minds. Telephones in my little town didn't even have dials on them yet. We were the last city in California to hear a dial tone.

Politics - JFK was President during my senior year. In my junior year, I participated in a 50-mile walk at his behest. We all pretty much loved him. He was assassinated in my Freshman year at a nearby state college. We were devastated. In the meantime, the Civil Rights movement was creeping into our newspapers, little by little, and we were all worried about this Vietnam thing. We remembered the Korean War, and some of the parents of kids in my class had served there. I had listened to my father talk a little about being a B-17 pilot during WWII. We were concerned about Vietnam in 1963, but not that concerned. We were soon to become very concerned. In California, the John Birch Society was the Tea Party of the day, and Democrats seemed far better to most of us high schoolers.

Sex - We were adolescents, so this was a big deal. In 1963, there was no available birth control pill, and condoms had to be purchased at the pharmacist's counter. It didn't matter, because it was illegal for the pharmacist to sell them to anyone under the age of 21, anyhow, and each package had a label that said, "For the prevention of disease only." Abortion was highly illegal, although there was one doctor in town who was rumored to provide them in some cases. But, we were adolescents, so we were having sex anyhow. Some of us were. More than you'd think. Way more than our parents thought.

Cars - No seatbelts for us. Lousy gas mileage, but we didn't care. Gas was about a quarter a gallon, and a group of kids could always pull enough change out of their pockets to cruise around. Air pollution? That was called smog, and it was in Los Angeles. Skies were clear where I lived. Some lucky kids actually had their own cars. My parents felt that a car would interfere with my studies, so for a graduation present, I got a 1958 Harley-Davidson 165, an under-powered small motorcycle that served nicely to interfere with my studies. My parents were a little naive in that decision.

Jobs - Everyone had jobs in 1963. I delivered milk between 5 AM and 8 AM every day while in High School $1.25/hour. I was rich. I figured that if I could ever earn as much as $10,000 per year, I'd be set for life. Hah!

Dreams - We had those, but they were mostly mundane dreams. Family, education, a career. We were still modeling ourselves after our parents in 1963, and knew no other options yet.

Change - It was coming, but hadn't quite arrived yet. I had started listening to this singer named Bob Dylan in 1963, along with a female singer I had a major crush on - Joan Baez (I met her the next year, very briefly. We didn't hit it off.). They were singing about stuff that wasn't so much a part of my real life at the time, but I was hearing more and more about some of the things in their songs, and it was stuff that I thought needed thinking about. So, I thought about it and listened to more. The next year, I'd travel up to San Francisco on many weekends and hang around North Beach and meet some other people with really interesting ideas.

So, 50 years has gone by. Lots of stuff has happened, and lots of change has arrived. Some of my classmates still live in that small town, and never left. Others took off right after graduation and never came back, except for brief visits. I'm one of the latter group. My sister, a year behind me, stayed, as did my brother, who is five years younger. My parents are still alive, at 88 years of age, but are fading far more quickly than I'd like. I live in Minnesota now, and will fly back there with my wife to go to that 50th reunion. It will be interesting to see who stayed locked into a 1963 state of mind and who embraced the changes that were beginning to emerge. I don't stay in touch, so I'll be looking at my old classmates without knowing much about their past 50 years. It will be interesting.

So, I'm looking at those youthful faces, studying names, and thinking about all of the changes that have occurred. I wonder what I'll find in my old hometown when we all get together after 50 years. Like everything that has happened since then, it will be interesting, I'm certain.

Just to help you visualize: Here are side-by-side photos of me, then and now:


To which my answer would be no.

No, about Mormons.
No, about LGBT people.
No, about Catholic priests.
No, about Boy Scout leaders.
No, about teachers.
No, about coaches.
No, about any group you'd name, except for members of NAMBLA.

I do not assume that members of any of those groups, or any other group of people, are pedophiles. That's an individual characteristic that is not dependent on any such thing. It's possible for a member of any of those groups to be a pedophile, but there is no assumption that any member is a pedophile.

Research shows that the incidence of pedophilia is pretty much uniform among all groups. I didn't used to know that. Now, I do. When I learn, my opinion changes, based on that knowledge of factual information. I didn't used to know lots of things. Everything I know, I've learned at some point in my life. I wasn't born with much knowledge at all, except how to get food from a nipple. I'm still learning new things. I expect to learn new things until the day I die.

I understood the question in that thread, but it was not topical to the thread. I understand your question, and that's my answer to it.

I apologize abjectly.

I did write that, although not in those exact words. I was very wrong to do so, and it is not true. What I wrote was based on incorrect information. I no longer believe that in any way. After writing that, a number of years ago, I learned the actual facts of the matter. I learned that there is no connection between orientation and the likelihood that someone is likely to desire sex with underaged people.

Knowing that, I'm ashamed that I once thought otherwise, and wrote what I wrote. Since the time I wrote that, I've gotten a thorough education on the subject, thanks to some very kind LGBT people I've met. I was wrong. I am very sorry that I ever said such a thing. Since I learned the truth, I have come a long way in my understanding of LGBT issues. I'm in full support of erasing any prejudices against LGBT people. I'm actively working for marriage equality in Minnesota, where a constitutional amendment is going to come up for a vote in November. I've posted a call to other DFLers to work against this amendment on the web site of the DFL precinct where I am the chair. A link to that call is in my signature line.

I cannot delete the post on Free Republic. I was banned there in 2006 as an anti-freeper. If I could delete it, I would. I kept the same screen name I used there, knowing that people would find the things I wrote there. I'm not anonymous, and my real identity can be found at the links in my signature line.

I won't ask for forgiveness for what I wrote. I will say that I would never say anything of that nature again. I was misinformed. I am not misinformed any longer. I am sorry that I wrote that and know that it was hurtful and damaging.

I normally do not post in this group. I still won't, because I know that many here don't want to see my face, and I understand that. I'd probably feel the same way. I will never say anything of the sort again, because I don't believe anything of the sort.

I apologize. I deeply regret my ignorance and my words that were based on that ignorance. I was woefully mistaken, and regret that very much.

You can count on my wholehearted support for LGBT rights issues, for marriage equality, and you can count on me not to say such things now or in the future.

I ask for your understanding, if not your forgiveness. I can't ask for that forgiveness. I can only try to demonstrate my good faith now and in the future.

Accented Characters & Symbols in DU3

Here are some accented characters and symbols that render correctly in DU3. You can copy and paste these into a notepad or other document, and have them available if you need to use them in DU3 or anywhere else. I'll also put this in my journal for future reference:





&

Link to My Old DU Journal

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/MineralMan

You can read all my old journal entries there.
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