Monday, July 29, 2013

Raise The Minimum Wage

President Obama:
“[L]et’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty,”
The food service industry grosses over 200 billion a year while the average salary of a fast food worker is 11,000 dollars a year.  An 8 hour day yields 56 dollars, who could live on that? 

Pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which raises the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and provides the first increase to tipped employees in more than 20 years. It also indexes the minimum wage to the cost of living.
 Sign the petition to raise the minimum wage to 10.10 an hour. (MoveOn)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Friday

Credit: ESO
The Horsehead Nebulae is located in the constellation Orion only 1300 light years from Earth.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Republicans Vote 39 Times To Restore Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions For Insurance Companies

House Republicans have voted 39 times to repeal ObamaCare.  Repealing ObamaCare means health insurance companies can once again deny medical coverage to individuals for "pre-existing" conditions.  After a repeal insurance companies could also spend unlimited amounts on executive and CEO pay, marketing,  etc. instead of the 15% or 20% (depending on the size of the company) they are limited to now.  Under ObamaCare insurance companies need to spend at least 80% of revenue on actual healthcare. Republicans, at the beck and call of Corporations, not interested in the needs of the middle class or the poor.

 President Barack Obama
"if you think you have a better plan for making sure that every American has the security of quality, affordable health care, then stop taking meaningless repeal votes and share your concrete ideas with the country."
Full text of President Obama's speech on the economy at Knox College

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Excirolana Kincaidi

When our oldest son was about 11 years old we visited the Oregon coast.  We were exploring a lovely beach on a warm summer day when our son ran up and claimed that he'd been attacked by a bunch of bugs, "that bit him really hard".  He showed us a shallow tide pool less than a foot deep.   We didn't see anything in the pool, but he assured us "they" were there.  I waded into the pool, and instantly dozens of small crustaceans came out of hiding and proceeded to merrily chomp on my exposed feet.  They were completely unconcerned with our size differential and did bite "really hard".  We never were able to identify those voracious crustaceans, but delighted to see that warning signs are now displayed on the beach.
Note:  Very few crustaceans will actually bite you but this nasty little creature is definitely one of them.  Barefoot waders in an area with Excirolana will find that the animals quickly swim toward and swarm over bare feet, biting them so hard that blood will be flowing within moments.  Since the animals are so small the bites are tiny but painful like a pin prick, and animals are often present in swarms of thousands.  Rapidly shuffling the feet reduces but does not eliminate the number of bites.

Excirolana Kincaidi

Flush Rush

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy Friday

Credit: ESO
This active star forming region in the constellation Puppis is 13,000 light years away and located within our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Immigration Reform

This 3 minute video clearly explains the benefits of Immigration Reform for all of us.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Credit: Stephen Sarbiewski
Castle Crag State Park in Northern California.  My wife and I are on vacation and posts will be a little difficult.   I'll try and post some more vacation photos. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Friday

Credit: ESO
NGC 4438 and NGC 4435, nicknamed The Eyes are located 50 million light years away in the constellation Virgo.

 Wallpaper: 1024x768

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Salad Season

Quinoa salad with rice and black beans
We were out of black beans but kidney beans substitute very well.  Both the rice and the quinoa cook very well in our rice steamer.  Using the rice steamer instead of the gas range helps to keep our kitchen cool on warm summer days.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Daily Bread

Recipe here
Now that summer has arrived with warmer temperatures and occasionally HOT days, baking tends to lose its appeal.  Turning the oven on for over an hour when your kitchen is already hot, is just not my idea of fun.

Monday, July 8, 2013



 Just How Low Can the Republican Party Go by Michael Cohen, The Guardian
What is the single most consequential political development of the past five years? Some might say the election (and re-election) of Barack Obama; others might point to the passage of the most important piece of social policy (Obamacare) since the 1960s; some might even say the drawing down of US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in reality, it is the rapid descent of the Republican party into madness.
Never before in American history have we seen a political party so completely dominated and controlled by its extremist wing; and never before have we seen a political party that brings together the attributes of nihilism, heartlessness, radicalism and naked partisanship quite like the modern GOP. In a two-party system like America's, the result is unprecedented dysfunction.
Whether it was the promiscuous use of the filibuster and other blocking techniques in the Senate to stop President Obama's agenda; the manufactured fiscal crises highlighted by the disastrous debt limit showdown of 2011; or the unceasing efforts to undermine the economic recovery by blocking any and all measures to stimulate the economy, President Obama's first term was dominated by the Republican's unbridled obstructionism and disinterest in actually governing the country. That anything was accomplished is nothing short of a miracle.
But after the results of the 2012 election one might have expected the Republican fever to break and some level of sanity and good sense restored to the party of Lincoln.
Rest of the article here