Monthly Archives: March 2009

A Poll: What I’d like this blog to be…

This is an open ended question – “what would I like this blog to be?” …

I’ll answer first: (in no particular order)

  • I’d like for this be a place where I am not around people who’ve never met me,  but claim to hate my guts and the guts of people here I like.
  • I’d like this to be a place where I can write about things I think about.
  • I’d like this to be a place where I can read the thoughts (as conveyed in their writing) of others whom I like and respect.
  • I’d like for this to be a place where I can learn things.

That should be enough for me.  Please join me and sharing what you’d like this place to be and how it could be of interest to you.


Filed under This humble little blog...

Sarah Palin in 2012! Yes!

Palin biting the hand that recently fed her:

She is such a nice religious consertative, too.


Filed under Republicans

Ramblings of a SoCal mind

I was born in Venice, CA, during the year of THE BOMB. Venice, back then, consisted of four distinct sections: black, brown, white and poor. The poor section was the area consisting of the canals, which were built by Abbot Kinney in 1904~1905. Back then it was called the Venice of America, because Abbot thought the west coast needed refinement. Anyway, because of costs, and some political infighting, the canals were almost filled in and lost for good. The main canal, the Grand Canal, was filled in, leading to the stagnant, disease ridden system of polluted canals that I knew during my youth.

My best friend, Buddy, lived by one of the canals, and, in fact, contracted polio by virtue of the pollution. He made a complete recovery, and spent some time in the Army, and served in Viet Nam. We still keep in touch. I do remember a couple of incidents that happened on the canals. We were walking along one when we saw the police working at something in the canal. Closer inspection noted a dead body being pulled from the water. A too close inspection revealed a smell that sent us rapidly in the opposite direction. Another time, we saw the naked body of a black child floating in the canal. We knocked on the closest door, and when we asked the guy who answered to call the police, he informed us that if we didn’t want to join the dwad kid, we should get the hell off his porch. The police were arriving as we left, and being all of eleven years old, we didn’t stick around: remembering the smell of one body was enough to last us a life time.The canals have since been brought back to their glory days, and if one can find a house there, it will cost them in the neighborhood of one mil.

Hoppyland (named after Hoppalong Cassidy) was open on land now part of Marina Del Rey Harbour. It was pretty well a dump when I was a kid, having outlived its usefulness, but it was still fun to go there, and only a couple of blocks from our house.

Venice beach, on the other hand, was thriving, and has done so from its inception to the present. Most have heard of muscle beach, ocean beach pier and the characters inhabiting both. The pier is now gone, but was the place during my times there. I was a junior lifeguard at the beach, because I pulled a girl out of the water, when it got too deep for her. I was twelve at the time. That was the same year my friend, Buddy, and I made a pact to hit the water at the beach everyday of the year. We kept that pact; how, I really don’t know, but we did. The history of Venice can be found here:

I may ramble on in future posts about SoCal. An interesting place to grow up in.


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03/27/09 Public Square

Tell us what you’re thinking about.


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Mississippi John Hurt


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3/26/09 Public Square

Say what you want.


Filed under The Public Square

Is Religiosity genetic? It appears so…

Obviously a person’s religious affiliation will be influenced by cultural factors as well as family history. However, based upon studies in twins who were raised apart, there have been findings that religiosity – a person’s depth of religious feeling and adherence to a religion’s rules – does have a genetic component (Wade & Tavris, 2008). These authors contend that the heritability of religiosity is mediated by the heritability of personality traits. In a study of liberal and fundamentalist Protestant Christians, the fundamentalists scored much lower than the liberals on the dimension of “openness to experience” (Streyffeler & McNally, 1998). When religiosity combines with conservatism and authoritarianism (an unquestioning trust in authority), the result is a deeply ingrained acceptance of tradition and dislike of those who question it (Olson, et al., 2001; Saucier, 2000).


Olson, J.M., Vernon, P.A., Harris, J.A., & Jang, K.L. (2001). The heritability of attitudes: A study of twins. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 845-850.

Saucier, G. (2000). Isms and the structure of social attitudes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 366-385.

Streyffeler, L.L., & McNally, R. J. (1998). Fundamentalists and liberals: personality characteristics of Protestant Christians. Personality and Individual Differences, 24, 579 – 580.

Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2008). Invitation to Psychology (4th Edition). Pearson; Upper Saddle River, NJ.

So, it is true, those people are fundamentally different (no pun, intended).


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03/25/09 Public Square

Birger Sandzen Birger Sandzen

Good morning,  all.  Today I have to go pay people money and shepherd lost college students.  Will be back later…


Filed under The Public Square


I recently visited the admissions sites of the colleges attended by my children, and was reminded once again of the stress and anxiety associated with late March – early April. This is the time when applicants to those selective institutions of higher learning are anxiously awaiting the mail daily, hoping for the “fat envelope” to arrive from the school of their choice.

In our case, the “fat envelopes” came from all schools to which each applied, which resulted in the next decision about which invitation to accept. I’ve always been grateful that we never had to face the situation where either admission was denied; or the student was placed on the wait list.

Parents of high school seniors, and the students themselves: I feel your pain. I hope all of you get the “fat envelope” from the school(s) of choice, and the financial aid offers are generous. While this seems like the most important thing in the student’s life right now, even if the envelope isn’t fat, worry not; college will be what you make of it, and you will be able to achieve a good education at many a fine institution of higher learning. I say that with full cognizance of the value of the networking opportunities available at certain places, but after graduation and a job or two, all that won’t matter nearly as much as it might now seem it will.


Filed under The Public Square

Did I miss something with the Loon?

I guess I missed what you were referring to, sekanblogger.  If I offended him/her, I’d be glad to apologize and ask for forgiveness.


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The Public Square 03/24/09

Hour of Splendor, Bryce Canyon, Utah, 1928 oil on canvas


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Sorry, check out this link:

for our follower…  I think he might be a real cool dude…


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We are not alone…

Because of our various discussions, this humble little blog has been linked  by an author who writes for one of my favorite magazines Mother Jones.  I hope this link was not done due to my late subscription response, but if it was, I was very impressed… and dudes, the check is in the mail…

Here are the links:


Brad, I sent you an email.  Pay attention, please…


Filed under This humble little blog...

Rules for blogging here…

These are some decency, common courtesy,  standards for bloggin’ that I am borrowing from Arianna Huffington.  I’m relatively sure, she wouldn’t mind.

I will delete comments that:

  • are abusive, off-topic, or use excessive (I know how much that is, when I see it) foul language
  • use ad homonym attacks, including comments that celebrate the death or illness of any person, public figure or otherwise
  • contain racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other slurs
  • are solicitations and/or advertising for personal blogs or websites
  • are posted with the explicit or implicit ( we can tell when it is implicit, even if you can’t) intention of provoking other commenters or staff at Prairie Populists and
  • Plus, because as my anti-hero, Ronald Reagan said, “I paid for this microphone”; I can do whatever I think is required.
  • Disagree with any of the above?  Pay for your own microphone, asshole…

[The last two bullet points were mine, not my bff,  Arianna’s.]

If I have to delete you, more than one time, you will be considered for banning from this site.  I will run this by my tender hearted friend, fnord.

She, trolls, is your advocate.   I, on the other hand, am not…  Think defense versus prosecuting attorneys…


Filed under The Public Square

The Public Square 3/23/09

Where people can cuss and discuss what they wish. Everything is “on topic.”


Filed under The Public Square