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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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September 24, 2005
Zion National Park: The Escarpment
Filed in: Current Affairs, Photography


The road that leads up to that portion of Zion that I call 'East' is a road that I call the 'Escarpment'. It's a fairly significant elevation change - at least a couple thousand feet. Lots of switchbacks and a continual changing view of the south and western portions of the canyon.


One of my favorite sights in this part of the canyon is the West Temple - it can be seen from many places in the park - and outside of the park as well. This shot is with the long zoom lens...

...Continue reading "Zion National Park: The Escarpment"

Pulled by Emcee on September 24, 2005 at 12:24 AM
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September 23, 2005
It only looks like it's going to be a direct hit...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Science

Tropical Cyclone (typhoon) Saola only appears to be heading for a direct hit on Japan.


Over the last 24 hours or so as the storm has progressed West/NW toward Japan the projected angle of 'deflection' has increased to almost 90 degrees.

The storm is currently gusting to 125 mph and has a 24 foot storm surge.

Wonder when the angle gets to be greater than 90 degrees if they'll perhaps begin to re-evaluate.


Rita has no such sensibility.

Maybe we just need the Japanese forecasters in the US - they'd get that thing turned around.

Pulled by Emcee on September 23, 2005 at 09:16 PM
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Pete Best: Best of the Beatles...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Music

Petebest It was one of those - "Am I on the right planet?" moments for me...

Early this morning in Japan, I caught most of a documentary about Pete Best - the original drummer for the Beatles. I didn't know there was a Pete Best, didn't know that it was he that paid the gruelling price with rest of the Fab Four in the very early Hamburg, Germany days when they honed their skills.

I didn't know that Best was drummed out of the group in favor of Ringo Starr in 1962, nor that he has had no contact ever since with the original members of the group. Somehow, I missed a very significant part of my pop education. Perhaps public attention will finally bring the truth to a very mysterious part of music history.

Now that only half of the Fab Four survive and Pete has a successful DVD and continues to tour with increasing popularity - perhaps he will get some belated recognition.

PBS will air this documentary in the states on September 28th. It's a fascinating look back. I'd say it's a don't miss if you are a music fan.

Pulled by Emcee on September 23, 2005 at 03:10 AM
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POSC is one year old today...
Filed in: Current Affairs

Today we celebrate our first blogiversary. Instead of recounting stories and statistics, I'll just say: We've only just begun.

Thanks for stopping by to read our posts.


Pulled by Emcee on September 23, 2005 at 12:01 AM
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September 22, 2005
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Science

Here comes hurricane Rita:


Did you know that tropical cyclone (typhoon) Saola is bearing down on Japan?




I live in Seattle, I'm watching hurricane Rita coverage on TV in Japan and hoping that Tokyo doesn't get evacuated in front of Saola.

We live in interesting times.

Pulled by Emcee on September 22, 2005 at 11:04 AM
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The Garden and Lunch at Happo-En
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Japan, Photography

Well, my first day in Japan this trip brought an unexpected surprise.

As I've continued to work with my venture partner over here, it seems that they attempt to outdo themselves each time they take me out to lunch. Today was no exception.

Today, we went from Ginza to the garden (and restaurant) at Happo-En.

As recently as 1951 (after having been known as a garden area since the Edo period), this garden measured 44 square miles! It's now just only a few acres - but it is spectacular. Most people go there these days for the exquisite food.


Many people know that there is a certain Japanese aesthetic focused on order and beauty. This place embodies that - and I could sense it from the moment that the cab drove through the entrance...

(Warning: I think it's 17 more pictures will load if you expand the post...)

...Continue reading "The Garden and Lunch at Happo-En"

Pulled by Emcee on September 22, 2005 at 09:54 AM
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September 21, 2005
Zion National Park: The East
Filed in: Current Affairs, Photography


As I said in my last post, the eastern portion of Zion evidences some very unusual rock formations.


Yes, that's a natural white sandstone rock formation.

...Continue reading "Zion National Park: The East"

Pulled by Emcee on September 21, 2005 at 11:59 PM
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September 20, 2005
Back to the Land of the Rising Sun...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

I leave for Japan a little later today - will be there for a couple of weeks.

As usual, I will be blogging from across the large pond.

I plan to be able to spend perhaps a day or two over the next two weeks taking new photographs in that beautiful country - hopefully, I will make it to Kyoto this trip.


It's not cherry blossom season, but maybe there are some colors like these to capture.

...Continue reading "Back to the Land of the Rising Sun..."

Pulled by Emcee on September 20, 2005 at 12:50 AM
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September 18, 2005
There ain't no shrimp in this grilled gumbo!
Filed in: Current Affairs, Good eats, Photography

But, there's almost everything else!

My assignment for 'interpreted dish' at the current Pragmatic Chef contest is Scott's own "Gumbo with chicken, sausage, and shrimp". Wait! I'm supposed to interpret the master? Shudder the thought!

Oh well, might as well give it a try. Scott's such a great guy that he probably won't make too much fun of me. Let's get started shall we?


I made one significant substitution to the recipe at The Pragmatic Chef (TPC). I can't eat shrimp so instead I'll use one pound of cooked crawfish (Did you know that we have fresh wild crawfish as a staple fisheries crop in the Northwest? Well, now you do.), and a half-pound of fresh cooked Dungeness Crab (our indigenous crab species in the Northwest)...

...Continue reading "There ain't no shrimp in this grilled gumbo!"

Pulled by Emcee on September 18, 2005 at 11:31 PM
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September 15, 2005
Remember Gaza?
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, War on Terror

Was it just Robert Spencer and me who decried the Gaza withdrawal?

From today's Washington Post:

ONLY DAYS after the final withdrawal of Israeli forces, the Gaza Strip is on the verge of anarchy. Despite promises to impose law and order, the Palestinian Authority has allowed mobs of looters and armed extremists to rampage through former Jewish settlements, where they have burned or bulldozed synagogues left standing by Israel. Many of the valuable greenhouses that, with the generous help of international donors, were saved for use by the Palestinians have been stripped of equipment as police stood by and watched. Despite a formal agreement with Israel to maintain security, Egypt has allowed thousands of Palestinians to illegally cross its border, including rifle-brandishing militants. If it is not quickly checked, the disorder will destroy Palestinian hopes that the Gaza transfer will become a step toward statehood.

So, is this played out enough yet?

Or is this the point where "We knew those shifty-eyed Jews knew this was going to happen." is trotted out?

With Abbas' ineptitude on display to the world and the surprizing failure by Egypt to stem the tide, it is apparent that the only winners in this debacle are the terrorists.

This is appeasement at work my friends. Hard teacher - history is.

Pulled by Emcee on September 15, 2005 at 08:18 AM
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