CLICK HERE FOR THOUSANDS OF FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATES »

You'll have to turn the music on this blog off to enjoy this great performance!

Tina - as electric as Elvis. My friend (Stephanie) & I like this one - I love them all!!!!

From the King of Rock & Roll to the King of Pop...genius!

Tina fires you up - Elvis keeps it going, and Ahmed takes you to 'mellow'...

REMEMBER ME....LOVELY SONG. REMEMBER THEM? NOT SO LOVELY!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

ABOUT A YEAR AGO I CREATED A BLOG ABOUT DEALING WITH THE RECESSION.....

Many of the blogs I've created, or pretty much 'one-time' blogs as it pertains to entries. Those blogs give ideas on ways to have family fun without much cost (http://allhappytalk.blogspot.com ). Some blogs were for my family; my mother, for people who wanted to eat a proper diet and lose excess weight, etc. Of course you can click my profile and see the blog names and links. I did one for charity; links to articles and organizations involved with charity. I did one focused on the homeless. The one that I created on handling the rising costs of living and how to reduce and manage those costs is called:
Now, a year later, I'm reading the good news that people have adopted ways of cutting their expenses, and some of those are cutting out the expensive coffee; cutting back on meals eaten out - vacationing 'at home' and finding local points of interest that are either 'free' or low-cost.
Cutting out magazine subscriptions; instead of buying books - reading books on line or at the library.
Cutting out the special added features on cable television such as Home Box Office and Show Time.
Reducing your insurance coverage for only the very necessary coverage and features.
Cutting back on water usage; buying bottled water - putting in cost-effective light bulbs and water-control devices. Keeping your thermostat 'set back' during the winter and reducing air conditioning costs in the summer, but 'tolerating' a little more heat and setting the thermostat a bit higher.
Keeping the blinds lowered in the summer to cut out the heat; opening them in the winter to take advantage of the sunshine.
Buying generic brands in prescriptions; in foods - taking advantage of sales and when shopping for produce, go with what's seasonal.
Shopping only once a week (or less if you've got storage for frozen goods and shelves to hold your dry and canned foods). Not only does cutting down on shopping save you money on gasoline and wear and tear on your car, but you aren't as tempted to pick up items that you don't really need.
Shopping all year for gifts; gifts that will be appreciated, but all too often the prices rise just before the Christmas season. Try to buy after Christmas for the next Christmas - we have storage for those gifts; we can keep them 'free of dust', and ready to give them when that holiday arrives.
Instead of using gift wrap; ribbons - gift bags, buy those reusable bags that are sold at many stores now - most cost $1.00 (the price of a cheap gift bag), and give all the gifts in those bags so nothing is thrown away or wasted.
We removed our land-line telephone; we use just the cellular phone, and we don't waste money on fancy phones - we use our phone 'just to talk on'.
You can share your I-net services and computer with others who don't have access. They can pay you a nominal sum of money to 'go on line', and it reduces your bottom-line cost. Obviously, using the computers at the library is also an option but you often have to wait in line to get access.
Take only the Sunday edition of the newspaper; it usually has a summary of the important news and offers coupons that can be clipped to help with your expenses when you shop.
When you eat out, make it a lunch rather than a dinner - less costly. Order appetizers and 'share' - don't order alcholic beverages; water with lemon will do just fine. Buy your wine and alcohol; enjoy it at home at far less a cost and put in a DVD you haven't looked at in some time - let that be your night out.
Save money on CD's by joining the http://www.playlist.com web-site and get thousands of songs for FREE - listen to them while you're on the computer.
We paid $59.95 for a wireless speaker so we could also hear our chosen music selections in the rest of the house - a lot cheaper than buying CD's that cost $15 for about 12 songs, and right now I have 91 play-lists with over 100 songs on each list, so that's saved us thousands in buying musical CD's.
We also have our money in a Credit Union; safer - less expensive as it pertains to fees that are charged, and we make certain we use our ATM card only where there is not charge for that use.
We keep our long-term savings in CD's that are paying 5.5% interest; we pay twice the amount on our mortgage obligation to pay down the debt sooner.
We buy a whole chicken; make 3 meals for 2 out of it. We don't buy anything pre-made or frozen; we use a convection oven because it takes less energy. We use the microwave efficiently - I can cut up potatoes and 'bake them' in 4 minutes; a lot faster than in the oven!
There are many other ways we live on our fixed income without difficulty - if you want to ask me more about what we do, or have any questions, then write me at kcir114112@cmaaccess.com, and I'll do my best to respond promptly and helpfully.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

HEY, I CAN USE MY BLOG AS A 'REMINDER' TOO!

Today I had an influx of e-mails that 'froze' up my computer. I was right in the middle of looking at a place I'd visited several years ago; one of the prettiest places - Glacier National Park.

I was trying to create a link to share with friends via e-mail, when 'boom' - frozen (like the ice and snow I tracked through at the park). So, since I want to find that link again - here it is; my reminder on how to find it.

If you love to travel as we do, you might like to consider this as a destination one day - it's lovely! In fact all of Montana; Wyoming, Idaho - the Dakotas, are simply beautiful; open - natural, and devoid of the glitz some of the bigger cities have. If you check the link (below), you might find yourself planning a nice vacation away from the heat (during the summer months), and the noise (forget Disney; Epcot - it's a lot less expensive and much more beautiful when you see the animals in the wild; the glory of what nature has given to all of us in this wonderful country - the USA).

NOTE TOO: If your e-mails gets fouled up, and you've got a blog you can always post your reminders; e-mails that you plan to send, etc., and once you've rebooted and got your e-mail program working again, then you just go to the blog - copy/paste, and send.
......handy, huh!!!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stop chasing the garbage some bloggers are promoting on Iran....

There are some opportunistic 'bloggers', who're gaining readership by posting ugly videos; ugly stories about Iran and its election issues.
If you want to read something that is real - true, and from an Iranian who has first-hand knowledge of this dilemma, then go to:
http://www.sidewalklyrics.com and get a real Iranian's viewpoint of her country and its plight! Please visit this 26-year old woman's web-site, and read each and every post; her passion - her truth - her wisdom, has excited and informed me like no other blog or web-site (including MSM) has done.
The http://theragblog.blogspot.com also has garnered intelligent and unbiased reporting from a variety of reliable sources - check their site, and read not only about the issues of Iran, but other significant injusticies that are wide-spread and often fly under the radar of MSM simply because it's not something the general public wants to see on Fox, CNN, NBC, ABC, or CBS.
"Fish" for the truth; we all have to be 'fishers of men' if we want to know the truth!

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/06/30/michael.jackson.drugs/index.html

If you click this link, read it and realize that not only a famous person like Michael Jackson has been given prescription drugs that could cause death. In my own experience, I nearly died from a 'toxic cocktail' contrived by a pain management doctor. I was given Xanax; Paxil, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Demerol, and Morphine as part of my treatment following a car accident.
I was given 3 years of steroids that should have been limited to no more than 2 weeks. My body 'blew up' like a balloon; my hair dried - my teeth became brittle - they had to be removed because of the damage of the extensive steroids given to me to help me fight this 'trauma' to my system when I had a brain injury; back injury - pelvic injury; bladder injury, and several deep wounds to my body.
I was a zombie; I had heart difficulties - breathing difficulties, and went through a year of serious withdrawal misery when I found a doctor who told me all of this was not right for me.
I'm not a celebrity, but we know that people like Marilyn Monroe; Elvis Presley, Anna Nichole Smith, Judy Garland and many others have died because of the horrors of being over-medicated by doctors anxious only to make huge sums of money catering to their imediate medical difficulties, rather than seeking a long-term and proper course of treatment.
When a celebrity is worth more dead than they are alive, beware of how their physicians; managers, and greedy family members can be as they ponder the insurance and estate benefits.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yes we can and yes we do..................

We missed Johnny Carson; then Ed McMahon died in June of 2009. We loved Farrah, and she died the same day Michael Jackson did. MSM covered MJ, but little was given to Farrah; does one have to sing or make music in order to be 'remembered?

I miss MJ. I miss EMcM. I miss Johnny Carson. I miss all of those who gave us years of joy on the television.

Now I watch few channels; nothing is happy or jovial - nothing appeals to me. We have too much of Fox News with its hateful remarks; CNN who 'rides the rails' - CBS and NBC fail to give the viewing pubilc anything but ordinary programming.

I love C-Span; enjoy the food network, and that's pretty much 'it'....................

We send our best wishes to Michael Jackson as a man with extraordinary talent; persecuted until they drove him to a weakness that required medication.

We love Farrah for her joy; destroyed by cancer as was Ed McMahon.

We realize that pressures and stress are not limited to the down-trodden or poor; they strike all of us as we try to pass through this zone called 'life'.

Logic; courage, and ignoring the MSM as it 'programs us', is key! Stay strong; stay solid in your beliefs and your goals. Don't let the news media drag you down as they focus all too often on death; agony, conflict, and excess drama.
Now watch MSM as it will play out Michael Jackson's tragedies along with endless commentary; while we enjoy seeing him sing and dance, we don't need to hear all about his orphaned children.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could consolidate a tribute to all three as a television special - let that be enough, and move on to happier topics? As is so typical, the 'bad news bears' just keep it going...........they never let up!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lots of opinions about the Iran elections going around........

When you realize that in 1953 Iran was a democracy, and the U.S. helped it to be over-thrown; aided and endorsed the new shah, one wonders what's going on in this latest Iran issue of 2009.

Looking at their 'revolution' in 1979; protests and problems again in the 1980's, and more trouble in 1999, it's clear that not all of their problems are coming from 'within'. Outside interference and financial aid to continue to put Iran's government in a state of fragile and vulnerable circumstances, makes us realize that much of this has been because of Iran's oil resources and how it fits into the 'scheme' of all countries in the mid-east.

Of all the blogs; web-sites, and MSM news reports I've seen and listened to, I think this is what strikes me most - Israel's interference and financial support to militants and demonstrators who have a real interest in seeing Iran continue with its struggles.

Iran has a right to nuclear energy just as our country utilizes; how can the USA who have 'weapons of mass destruction' continue to challenge other countries and put sanctions on those countries for seeking to build appropriate ways to protect their own land and govern in the way they choose?

Name the hypocrites in all of this, and if you do it alphabetically start with "A" for America, and even as you get through the alphabet, you'll have to add the United States under "U".

I suggest we stay away from focusing on unrest and hot spots that disrupt our personal lives; cause fear and worry, and focus only on those issues that we can help control within our own country where we live.

When Darryl Hannah (sp??) is arrested for her recent protest in this country (along with others), then the only difference is in some countries it's okay to 'kill' the one protesting.

When 4 died in Kent State, it was the American National Guard forces that pulled the triggers.

When others died in the riots in Watts; when Detroit and Cincinnati were 'burned' - people injured and killed, this was no more right than what happened in Iran during the month of June, 2009.

When Dr. Tiller is murdered; when a 9 year old child is killed in a recent raid in Arizona by self-appointed 'militia', let's not fool ourselves in thinking that we don't have just as much unjustice in this country as in many other countries where MSM derides and condems.

Pointing a biased finger sickens me................

Comment Moderation; Profiles Restricted, etc.

I got an e-mail from a friend in Canada. She was puzzled as to why some people put comment moderation on their blogs. Some use word verification. Some restrict their profiles. All of this puzzled my friend.

For comments: Yes, spammers and computers can complicate things, but of course you can always hit the delete button. Some are comments made that the author of the blog doesn't like, so they 'censor it'. Some restrict because they are either bashful or secretive.

The tougher a blog makes it for me to comment on, the quicker I eliminate it from my rss feed.

Some bloggers see themselves as 'beacons' - they somehow think they're the only ones in the blogosphere that are posting something that no one else is posting. Ah.....what egos they have.

So I wrote Johanna 'not to worry', forget these people most are self-centered, fearful, and egotistical.

In this cyber-world, few will have an 'exclusive', and none of us are saviors or sages - we just blab away; doing our 'blah blah', and very few even give a darn what we've got to say or what our opinions are.

We are but a tiny grain of sand...................
Recently, Johanna broached this same subject again; she got quite a few comments with a multitude of opinions. While she may have added some new posts since that particular discussion, you can read Johanna's posts (and all of them are worth reading I think) at:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Now that we're on vacation, you'd think I'd be outside, right?

Well I was awake until 5:10 this morning; we left for the Grand Canyon at 6:30 a.m., so very little sleep. I'd expected to have a great 'beginning' to the vacation, but we hit some rain and are now 'inside' instead of outside enjoying the weather that we thought would be beautiful (beautiful as to people; not to ducks who love the rain).
Part of the reason I was up all night was I tuned into the C-Span televised hearings about the health-care industry; the mafia-like insurance CEO's as they tried to explain why everyone has to get into the 'mandated insurance pool', or they simply aren't going to be able to give we Americans decent health coverage at a price we can afford.
As they were questioned, one of the panel members asked the CEO about the meanings of certain questions on their own company's application form, and the CEO could NOT even answer those questions himself. Listening to him fumble; mutter, and look as if a death sentence had been handed to him, I nearly jumped out of bed as I realized just how many 'crooks' there really are in this country.
When I say 'crooks', do I mean vultures??? I don't know, but our nation simply has been submerged in 'fees, taxes, and fines'. Do we stop to think about the sales tax when we buy something? Do we think about the various fees added to our utility or phone bill? Do we realize the number of taxes added to cigarette purchases or gasoline purchases - heck, even when we buy a bottle of wine or a decanter of vodka?
We insure against theft from our home; the destruction and damage of our home - our car; we have to carry liability against other parties suing us should they fall in our home, or we bang into their car. We have been paying 'protection money' just as businesses and individuals paid the mafia 'protection money'.
Remember the signs that had to be placed on each house showing that they were paying insurance to cover their home should it catch fire? If the fire brigade showed up and the sign wasn't on the door, the house burned! Remember how long ago that was? Did we realize that this type of thing was only the tip of the iceberg as it tipped our nation toward becoming a nation of fearful citizens living under the governing hand of insurance companies; loan companies, manipulative huge corporations with rules and regulations as well as our own government who has become nothing but a band of war-mongers and terrorists under the name of liberty.
We have a 2-party system that winds up wiping each other's backs and hands as they 'pretend' to carry out democracy in some type of 'free choice' election. It's not an election when it's only a 'this or that' one can choose from. We've got 56 kinds of cereals to choose from on the store's shelves and only 2 parties who can drum up the huge sums of money it takes to campaign for office, and win.
Television is sickening; it's programming our people with its programs. It's a landscape of commercials and images that are not realistic - not even those miserable reality shows come close.
The news always opens with the most horrible and terrifying stories - it might slip in one or two bits of 'good news', but you'll have to wait until they put you through the horrors of the day, so you're sick to your stomach, as they've decided to keep us under 'control', with continued 'fear and worry'.
I could really make this much longer, but it sickens me to write this - it makes me ill as I read through a myriad of blogger posts, that underscore in much more detail, what I'm saying. If these many people can see and know the truth, I'm only encouraged that if the time comes for open revolt and initiating 'real change' (and change for the better), they will leave their computers, and hit the streets in protest and take the action that is so sorely needed.
I see this beautiful country; the trees and mountains around me, and as it rains with the cool water we all cherish so much and tend to take for granted. While we might be able to rely upon Mother Nature a good deal of the time, even she might be throwing the towel as the planet tries to bear the burden of our carelessness and abuse.
I remember reading, 'ye shall know the truth and truth shall set you free' - not true, knowing it doesn't set you free, doing something about adhering to the truth and bringing harmony and equality to every person on the earth, is what sets us all free.
As an addendum: I read through rss feed, http://therudepundit.blogspot.com every day. He doesn't allow for comments on his blog, but I just can't say how much I enjoy the way he tackles the political issues with such candor; humor, and sometimes rather 'crude and rude' expressions. Nevertheless, if you can get past some of his foul language, do yourself a favor, and visit his blog. He addresses the issue of health-care today, just as I did..........

Sunday, May 31, 2009

GO WINGS!!!!

The Wings won the Western Conference again this year; now we're into the play-offs with a 2 out of 7 game win against the Penquins!!!!
Another 'back-to-back' Stanley Cup for us again???? I hope so!!! We'll know by the end of the first week in June! I'm anxious to order my new shirts and hat that says 'back to back' just like we did 10 years ago!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I confess...........

I'm an Adam Lambert fan; I think Susan Boyle belongs singing in her favorite church choir and for special events. Adam is the equivalent of Ted Neeley.....when I like it loud, I want it loud - when I want it soft, I go to:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good morning to Pempe!

I have to say good morning to my dearest friend in the Philippines - Carlos! He said he couldn't figure out what blog to follow because I have so many.
I told him the reasons why - I simply don't clutter my blogs with all kinds of different topics - I prefer to separate them so anyone who visits a particular blog will get only what they want to read - nothing 'mixed in'.
Like I separate my food on my plate, I separate my subject-matter and thoughts when I post.
On this blog, you'll get 'scrambled eggs' - a mixture of remarks, but most of all this will just be what one could call 'chit-chat'.
Today, it's a wonderful welcome to Carlos and what a marvelous young man I think he is.
Carlos enjoys many things in life; he's great at his job, and he loves to take photographs. He does kick-boxing; is learning to shoot a gun, and loves his family so very much!
He is a joyous individual and I'm glad we share the same birthdays on November 26 of each year.
Today is Carlos' Day - with my love to you, I'll sign it with the nick-name you gave me! Lady Di.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES..........

Cliff Robertson is hitch-hiking to Mesquite. Has a great 1949 Hudson like my dad's - pulled over for a bad exhaust............

Ida Lupino plays a harried woman who won't dance with her son or husband.

Movies like this were made in the 1970's; get a clue from the distress and stress of life before automobiles.

Crazy west - shooting; fighting - gunning people down and we think things are goofy in 2009!

Matt Dillion had his problems; 'To Catch a Thief' was a popular program, and Hogan's Heroes made fun of the Nazi camps!

Today, most of those stars are dead; what were they trying to tell us??? I think they were reminding us that things we just as rugged back in the 1800's as they are in the 21st centurey!
My how I loved the show "I Love Lucy". Lucille Ball was a wonderful lady committed to comedy and joy. She allowed women to see the funny side of their mistakes, and I'm sure many men nodded in agreement that 'that's my wife', as they also learned to see the hilarity in the errors of women's ways, rather than getting angry.
My hat is off to Red Skelton - The Nelson family tried to show us family values and today 'Oppie' (or Oppy) makes block-busting movies to take your money; over-charge you for pop-corn and sweet corn still is sweet to those of us who grow it; cook it, and love it with sweet butter....

We should count the blessings of living in the USA instead of cursing everything and thinking someone is conspiring to do us simple folk in. We should also remember that life in any country is never without trauma, violence and dispute - that is the nature of the human when they gather in large masses and try to maintain a society where each wants a piece of the pie and some just want a bigger and better piece!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm not a gabber, and rarely post on my blogs lately............

A friend of mine said he didn't know why I didn't write my daily journal like he does on his blog. I guess we all have a purpose for blogging; mine is for sharing ideas and once in a while a thought or two.

Today I read a cute couple of jokes. One was about how you could tell an extroverted engineer from an introverted one. When he talks to you he looks at YOUR SHOES, not his! Another was about an engineer who sees a good looking girl on a bike; she stops - takes all her clothes off, and tells the engineer he can have anything he wants. He decides on the bike because he knows her clothes won't fit him!!!

On a personal front, I get my teeth extracted May 21 so I'm anxious to have a new set of chompers and a brighter smile. That will seems good!

In June of 2009 we will make our regular 3 month trip to the Grand Canyon to escape the heat. When we get home, the pool will be nice and warm to swim in and then we can plan for the holidays!!!!

In the spring of 2010, we'll take a long trip 'cross country to visit my mother; spend a few months with her and pick up a new car from my son's dealership. My grandson (Justin) will graduate in June of 2010, and we'll give him our older car; lots of good miles on it, and then his dad can afford the insurance because it won't be so expensive.

A lot of people are talking about the recession; economy, issues that still bother them that were bound to become a problem when a country gets as old and as big as ours. I trust ultimately things will work themselves out - we're not self-destructive, and I think the human being is still 'humane' enough to care about his fellow-citizen.

I'm going to continue to be optimistic, and hope others will shut off the bad news and start focusing on the good things in their lives - it's the best way to keep the din and noise from those who would try to turn us against our country and instill fear.

Nuf said for today............

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gad, Google keeps trying to sell me on 'creating a blog'....


This is a picture of my great, great, great uncle - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I keep having so much trouble posting on my Google blogs. Strange, I get this invitation to create one; then it asks for my e-mail and pass-word. Ironically, then the little box reads: 'remember me' (the title of the song you're hearing). I keep telling Google to remember me, but it doesn't seem to listen.


I spent this year re-reading Walden; Walden Two, The Prophet, The Essential Ghandi, and other books that I cherish.


I also enjoyed the books by B.F. Skinner - didn't always agree with him, but he certainly was fascinating.


I figured I'd use the profile I found on Wikipedia to make this post regarding Skinner; some of his ideas will probably be more appealing in the future as it seems society has taken a major 'jump' toward indifference and shed many of its traditions and concepts that have been regarded for hundreds of years.


Is it a time of change that would have taken place regardless of what our past president did? Was that change taking place ever so slowly; sort of like coming home from school as mom's cookies are in the last 2 minutes of baking before they're done? Mom had to start those cookies earlier in the day - how long did she wait until she put them in to bake; did she time it so we could smell them finishing up as we got home from school? We don't know the intentions of nature; we really don't grasp just how much is really being controlled by something we know little or nothing about, and how much is within our control but we simply don't see it.


Not believing in the traditional concepts of any religion, I can only trust my nose that could smell those cookies; with that, how about this summary of B. F. Skinner - seems he took control of many things not all of us think about.


Happy New Year again! Diane


A Technology of Behavior
In this chapter Skinner argues that a technology of behavior is possible and that it can be used to help solve currently pressing human issues such as over-population and warfare.
"Almost all major problems involve human behavior, and they cannot be solved by physical and biological technology alone. What is needed is a technology of human behavior."[2]

[edit] Freedom
In this chapter Skinner argues for a more precise definition of freedom, one that allows for his conception of determinism (action that is free from certain kinds of control), and speaks to the conventional notion of freedom. Skinner argues against "autonomous man".[3]
Skinner notes that the forces of Freedom and Dignity have led to many positive advances in the human condition, but may now be hindering the advance of a technology of human behavior. "[the literature of freedom and dignity] has been successful in reducing the aversive stimuli used in intentional control, but it has made the mistake of defining freedom in terms of states of mind or feelings..."[4]

[edit] Dignity
Dignity is the process by which people are given credit for their actions[5], or alternatively punished for them under the notion of responsibility. Skinner's analysis rejects both as "dignity" - a false notion of inner causality which removes both credit for action and blame for misdeeds. "...the achievements for which a person himself is to be given credit seem to approach zero..."[6]
Skinner notes that credit is typically a function of the conspicuousness of control. We give less or no credit, or blame, to those who are overtly coached, compelled, prompted or otherwise not appearing to be producing actions spontaneously.

[edit] Punishment
Skinner saw punishment as the logical consequence of an unscientific analysis of behavior as well as the tradition of "freedom and dignity". Since individuals are seen to be making choices they are then able to be punished for those choices. Since Skinner argued against free will he therefore argued against punishment which he saw to be ineffective in controlling behavior.

[edit] Alternatives to Punishment
Skinner notes that the previous solutions to punishment are often not very useful and may create additional problems. Permissiveness, the metaphor of mid-wifery (or maieutics), "guidance", a dependence on things, "changing minds", all contain either problems or faulty assumptions about what is going on.[7]
Skinner argues that this mis-understanding of control championed by the defenders of freedom and dignity "encourage[s] the misuse of controlling practices and block progress towards a more effective technology of behavior."[8]

[edit] Values
Skinner notes a 'prescientific' view of man allows for personal achievement. The 'scientific view' moves human action to be explained by species evolution and environmental history [9]
Skinner speaks to feelings about what is right, as well as popular notions of "good". Skinner translates popular words and phrases around value issues into his view of contingencies of reinforcement. Skinner notes that even if the technology of behavior produces "goods" to improve human life, they expose environmental control which is offensive to the "freedom and dignity" perspective.[10]

[edit] The Evolution of a Culture
Skinner suggests that cultural evolution is a way to describe the aggregate of (operant) behavior. A culture is a collection of behavior, or practices [11]
Skinner addresses "Social Darwinism" and argues that as a justification of the subordination of other nations or of war competition with others is a small part of natural selection. A much more important part is competition with the physical environment itself [12]. Skinner relates the idea of cultural evolution back to the question of values: whose values are to survive?

[edit] The Design of a Culture
Skinner notes that cultural design is not new, but is already existing and on-going.[13]. Skinner notes that most discussions of current problems are dominated by metaphors, concerns for feelings and states of mind which do not illuminate possible solutions.[14]. Skinner notes that 'behavior modification' is ethically neutral [15]
Skinner notes that Utopian speculations, like his novel Walden Two is a kind of cultural engineering.[16]. He then devotes much of the rest of this chapter to addressing the criticisms and complaints against cultural engineering.

[edit] What is Man?
Skinner again addresses the notion of the individual, and discusses how aspects of a person's character could be assigned to environmental factors. [17]. He also covers cognition, problem solving, self-control and counters some arguments or possible misconceptions. Skinner notes that his analysis does not "leave an empty organism"[18]. Skinner addresses the issue of mechanical models of human action, which are better addressed elsewhere [19]. Skinner notes that, "The evolution of a culture is a gigantic effort in self-control." and ends with, "A scientific view of man offers exciting possibilities. We have not yet seen what man can make of man."

[edit] Walden Two
Beyond Freedom and Dignity is consistent with Walden Two, an earlier novel in which Skinner depicted a utopian community based on his ideas regarding behavior modification. In Beyond Freedom and Dignity Skinner extends his argument for explicit cultural engineering of which Walden Two may be seen as an example.

[edit] Criticisms
Linguist Noam Chomsky wrote influential works attacking Skinner's methods and conclusions[20]. Chomsky devoted much of the essay "The Case Against B.F. Skinner" to attacking 'Beyond Freedom and Dignity' as well as more general attacks on behaviorism and empiricism [21]

[edit] Quotations

[edit] People are not free
"In the traditional view, a person is free. He is autonomous in the sense that his behavior is uncaused. He can therefore be held responsible for what he does and justly punished if he offends. That view, together with its associated practices, must be re-examined when a scientific analysis reveals unsuspected controlling relations between behavior and environment."[22]

[edit] People are bodies displaying repertoires of behavior
"The picture which emerges from a scientific analysis is not of a body with a person inside, but of a body which is a person in the sense that it displays a complex repertoire of behavior. . . . What is being abolished is autonomous man — the inner man, the homunculus, the possessing demon, the man defended by the literatures of freedom and dignity. His abolition has long been overdue. . . . Science does not dehumanize man, it de-homunculizes him."[23]

Monday, December 29, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR...ALMOST!

This year I'll be writing more e-mails; spending more time away from the computer, and traveling about the state grabbing some great photographs!

It's been a great year - loved making up my 'blogs', and have put enough on all of them to feel they can roam around in cyber-space without my having to update them all that often.

My family is healthy; happy, and working with the tough economic times in a way that makes me proud! We've all pulled together in those difficult years of the past - we'll continue to do the same in the years to come.

Thanks to all of you who e-mail me and have made my 2008 such a joy.

Diane

Friday, November 28, 2008

Boy, today it was 'up and down' - sad news; some happy, and thought I'd leave this idea before we leave for the holidays.

This is a picture of my great grand-daughter on June 23, 2008. She lost her grandmother Jean (who died of lung cancer); this picture was taken as she was handing a rose up to 'Nanna Jean' because the family had told her "...Nanna has gone up to the sky to be with the angels..."

So, Isabella - like all children who ask no questions; who believe everything we tell them, tried to hand the flower up to her grandmother who she figured would just reach down and take it from her.

Don't we all wish we could have not only the child-like belief, but be as healthy and safe as little 'Bella' is?

Surely we think of those who didn't celebrate Thanksgiving with a full plate of delicious food; a loving family, and a home and soft bed to snuggle down in yesterday.

For me, it brought many thoughts about the needs of billions around the world; the real chance each of us can take to help out, and the sad reality that many of us are just too selfish and self-centered to really do what we can to help someone in real need - who is really suffering!

The greed and hurry of a mass of Wal-Mart shoppers caused the death of an employee; another woman to miscarry her unborn child - no 'new babe' for her, just pain and grief.

One of my son's lives where two men were shot and killed in a Toys-R-Us today; many mothers, dads, and youngsters were put 'at risk'.

Over the years, one of my traditions was to 'eliminate' Santa from the dialog when my children were very tiny. I figured if I had to tell my children that while I loved them so much but couldn't afford a Christmas gift', I'd rather they never thought Santa didn't love them enough (or abandoned them). So, my children came to believe in ME; in that belief, Christmas also was expanded to not just celebrate the birth of a marvelous young baby boy, but to know how to provide gifts not to 'our family', but to those who were poor; homeless, disabled or ill.

I'm grateful I decided to take this course of action with my own children because there has never been a 'sad Christmas' because mom or dad couldn't come up with enough money to put piles of 'gifts' under the tree for them to share. My children learned that Christmas is a 'spirit'; a feeling inside, and a GIVING NATURE that is year-round and ever-constant.

Now that I have grown grand-children; a few grand-kids still under the age of 18, and 2 great grand-children who are tiny and adorable, I'm glad there has been a similar effort made by my children to 'teach' the real meaning of Christmas; Thanksgiving - GIVING OF LOVE, TIME, ASSISTANCE, and it's all about 'giving of one's self' - gifts have become secondary or non-existent.

When I do shop for gifts, the first thing I do is buy ONLY AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS. Part of that 'buying' process is going to bazaars; to the Indian reservation and to local businesses where the talent and efforts of 'our neighbor' manifest themselves into gifts for our family and friends.

The next thing I've suggested is to do what we now call: BYOG. Bring Your Own Gift. We all share the cost of the meal; we all help make the holiday dinner, and then to make sure that EACH CAN AFFORD THE GIFT UNDER THE TREE, we BUY IT WITH THE MONEY WE HAVE - it is for OUR SELF; we WRAP IT, and everyone gets to open a present and share 'the moment'. Nice thing too - no one has to stand in line to return the gift; no shirt is too big or too small, and EVERYONE LOVES WHAT THEY GOT!

I also suggest NOT BUYING GIFT CARDS. This restricts the recipient to 'shopping at a certain place'. If you can shell out the money for a gift card, you can 'shell out the money for a personal check'. If you have to put a gift card ON YOUR CREDIT CARD, then you did NOT save throughout the year, for the holiday. When I say SAVE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, I mean just that.

Since 1960, I've set up first a 'tea-pot' fund; then as it grew, a savings account that is ONLY FOR GIFTS. The account earns a small amount of interest; I would put in a weekly deposit (or monthly depending upon how/when I was paid). By early November I had 90% of the money I needed 'on hand', to start buying gifts. I keep a 'gift closet' - throughout the year when I find items that I know will be loved and appreciated, I buy them right then and there (on sale or NOT on sale). I never experience a 'huge and sudden expense'; I use any credit card for SALE ITEMS ONLY. The items on sale (if for a gift) have to be American made; I want the revenue and sales tax to STAY IN MY COUNTRY that I love so much.

If you don't want to 'set limits' to giving gifts, then do the BYOG idea - you automatically 'set the limit on your own gift and purchase'; it's a perfect way to handle this issue.

If you want to do a 'stocking stuffer' gift, then define what 'stocking stuffer' means (most assume it means a low-cost gift). To me, it means memories of those times when some of my sisters couldn't even afford a 'low-cost' gift. One creative sister of mine set a big brown bag under the tree; each of us got one, and we opened it up to find a 4-pack of TOILET TISSUE! She laughed; told us since we were all 'full of poop', it was a gift she knew we could certainly use. The HUMOR was worth the moment; back then the price for a 4-pack of toilet tissue was 19 cents!!! How's that for 'clever'!!!

Making your own cards; inside those cards, offering to GIVE OF YOUR TIME AND RESOURCE has a constant and loving VALUE - get creative that way.

I took an old photograph of my mother's farm-home; had that photograph turned into first class STAMPS, and it helped my mother with the cost of mailing/postage, and she also 'stuck them' in her scrapbook; a photo' album, and put a couple on tiny magnets to keep on her refrigerator.

If you're really short of cash, take the time to CLIP COUPONS not only for yourself, BUT CREATE A COUPON COLLECTION to some of those on your list. Put those coupons inside GREETING CARDS (you make them or buy one for $1.00 at the Dollar Tree), and you've saved that person the time of trying to find those coupons. From the I-net, you can often PRINT COUPONS - again, do this and use them in place of 'gift cards'.....

Go through your collection of 'cherished things' (and I have so many); pick out that collector book you have had for years - make it a gift to a 'reader' who will now love it. Make a clever card that reads: 'USED, NOT ABUSED'....and inside write a small note about why you now want to part with it.

This year all gifts were packed inside the SIMPLY GREEN tote bags from J. C. Penny's. They are beige and green, so I only had to add RED tags to make them bright and cheerful. I wrote a little poem about NOT WASTING PAPER; or KILLING TREES to make up expensive 'gift bags', and the fact we should reuse the gift tote for shopping items or storing things in our closet (there are other uses for them, but these two come to mind immediately).

Remember, it's not about the huge amounts of food and drink that are the reason we celebrate. It's not about the number of gifts and how much was spent on each one. Consider the food and gifts as 'tokens' that can be used if it doesn't create hardship on the part of those you invite to your home, or to those who are part of your family and friends' network.

Then if you really want to channel the $$$ in a way that can't be 'topped', get down to the nearest charity; 'adopt' a few families where you can buy for (as I do), and pick a date and time to deliver the gifts and food YOURSELF - that's when you realize THERE REALLY IS A SANTA CLAUS!

Okay, that's it for today - I probably won't post until after 2009 (unless something comes up that I think might be helpful to share before we leave to visit our family and friends who live many miles from where we live). So, have a wonderful 'finish' to 2008; a great 2009, and let's avoid being critical of our new president-elect who (right now) has no 'say' in anything that's happening in our country, and let's give him a COUPLE YEARS to repair and start the CHANGE that we need - what was done to our country was done over a series of YEARS by political leaders who were selfish; militant, and certainly not putting the interest and well-being of the average American (and I mean ALL AMERICANS) at the top of their list of things to address and resolve those issues and the plight of those who have little or no voice, because of the 'din' in the White House - the 'noise of corruption and the result of money doing the talking'......

As my grandmother said: "Beauty is as beauty does", and of course 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', so figure out what is beautiful to you; become that, and appreciate it in others.

Happy 2009. Diane

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

READ THIS TRUE STORY - BE GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL..........

Elegance? Majesty? Not all of her skin color have enjoyed such comfort...

Forget the word 'opulence' and think of the word 'oppressed'; even more, think of the word abused when you read this post. Diane

I remember when this story hit our local news channel - use GOOGLE to locate more on this, and give anything you can to help this young child who will turn 4 on December 16, 2008.
If you think your troubles are difficult, this is the story I've been following since it happened in October at our local Wal-Mart store:

'BEATEN BOY HUNG BY PANTS ON DOOR INSIDE CLOSET"
Dave Hawkins, THE STANDARD, Bullhead City, AZ

After 3 open-heart surgeries and horrific abuse that has made child-hood difficult for Jonathon Hadsall, this Bullhead City boy turns FOUR YEARS OLD on December 16 and will spend neither his birthday or Christmas with his mother.

The badly battered boy was placed in the care of the Children Protective Service agency following the October 1 arrest of his mother and her room-mates. Each of the 3 are charged with child abuse in a criminal case that was developed from a shopping outing at Wal-Mart in Bullhead City, Arizona (which is about 18 miles from where we live).

Robin Hall called police after spotting the near lifeless Jonathon in a shopping cart inside the store. The child was pale; blood-shot eyes - eyes sunk into his head; his cheeks also sunken in with blood dried upon his lips.


Johnathon had bruises all over his face, neck, head, arms, and legs. He had marks around his wrists from being tied up and hung from a door inside a closet in his home.

I'd like to finish the article but I'm sick to my stomach right now; crying so hard, and I don't think anyone needs to read further about this young boy's suffering.


To conclude this, the young child was worth $637/month because he was on disability and had had THREE OPEN-HEART surgeries to save his life in his short life. The only reason they were keeping the boy was the monthly income check that helped pay for their 'dope'; their addiction was being satisfied (in part) by the disability check little Jonathon was entitled to receive because of his heart issues and the fact he is considered to be a 'near-terminal' tiny boy.

If we can't think of one thing to be thankful for in our own lives, we can be thankful little Jon is now in the care of child services; locally both our town and other towns have given donations to his care and we wish him a long and happy life; all of us are committed to seeing this tiny babe grow strong and hopefully never remember the horrors of his first 4 years on this earth

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CINCY AND BRITTANY IN 1994 WHEN CINCY WAS JUST A BABE - BEFORE SHE LEARNED HOW TO 'DANCE ON THE PIANO KEYS'........


I was 5 years old when my mom said she loved the song KITTEN ON THE KEYS. Within a few weeks, my black cat started 'dancing' on the piano keys - I was almost 6. I loved it! I was 8 years old when my mother said I could have piano lessons.

My teacher (Ethel Roe) was a concert pianist; she was brilliant, but her husband contracted tuberculosis within a few years of her career, so she stopped playing/touring, and became a teacher!

We lived in a small town of less than 550 people. Ethel came to your home; she taught - she charged $1.00 for a half an hour, and she took care of her beloved husband (Floyd) who was ill with T.B. She told me I was a 'prodigy', and I had no idea what that meant.

Ethel came to my home from 1950 until late in 1951; I learned SO MUCH FROM HER, I won state competitions, and was a piano teacher by age 14!!! This is the legacy; the power, and the love of Ethel Roe; a student - a graduate of the Juliard School of Music in New York who loved her husband more than any career she could have had.

I loved this woman; I tried to adopt her beliefs, and over the years I taught many many students who to this day, write to me of their love for me; my dedication to them and praise me for what I taught them! Me??? No - it was Ethel's spirit; a woman of incredible strength and belief.

In 1967 I was living in New York; I heard Ethel was ill - I bought a beautiful Bible beccause Ethel has such a belief in God, and I made sure she got it and a recorded tape of my most recent music. I told Ethel I was singing in the North Country Music Society (which I was). I told her about my playing 'lead piano' in the society. I told her how much she'd given me; how her power and belief in me gave me the confidence I needed.

Ethel died before I returned to Michigan in late 1968; late - with sorrow about our loss of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. I was a little late to get involved with politics. I was pregnant with my 3rd child, but ever encouraged by Ethel's spirit! I started teaching piano; using everything Ethel had taught me! By 1974 I was given a number of awards; some for charity - some for service to my community - some for my contribution to various local clubs and organizations, and MOST OF ALL, a gift from MY PIANO STUDENTS who said they'd never learned as much in such a short time as they did with me. I had to remind them it was ETHEL who had guided me.

I love the kitten on the keys that I chose for the blog. The wonderful cat that ran up and down mine as a young person. The one who jumped on my piano - my son's cat (named Cincy -short for Cincinnati where we'd lived) who 'danced' - Cincy who was born in 1994 and died in 2007 - 13 x (7) = 91 years in 'human life' - Cincy LOVED THE PIANO/MUSIC/KEVIN, and thought she was a 'dog' the way should did tricks only a 'dog' normally does.

My mother made me learn to play KITTEN ON THE KEYS - I knew it was a tough song, but after all my little cat (Blackie) had played them in 1946...so I learned that song.

Tonight I spent almost 2 hours trying to POST ON MY BLOG; so frustrated, I sent an e-mail to a former marine and a man I trust 100%. This is the e-mail; when in trouble, TRUST OTHERS - don't listen to the main-stream media who make you feel afraid; lost, and as if you do NOT matter. Yes, you do matter, and I've learned that all my life.

In memory of Cincy who died about this time one year ago, TRUST - IGNORE FEAR - LISTEN NOT TO THOSE WHO WOULD BRING DOUBT TO YOU, BUT TO THOSE WHO GIVE YOU ENCOURAGEMENT!

This is the copy of my e-mail I sent to Alan when it seemed I would NEVER GET MY BLOGS TO LOAD UP, and that I would be almost 'banned' from posting.

Thank you Alan if you add to this post and commentary! Thank you Cincy, for making so MANY MANY PEOPLE LOVE YOU - we miss you and your adorable ways.........

MY COPY OF MY E-MAIL:

Dear Alan:


I can NOT access ANY OF MY BLOGS, AND HAVE NO REASON (or ability to understand) WHY????!!!
Please go to http://blahblahsquared.blogspot.com/ and POST THIS FOR ME AS A COMMENT! If you have time, go to http://billytiptonc.blogspot.com/, and COPY/PASTE THE SAME THING that I'm writing you in this e-mail.
I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO ACCESS MY BLOGS FOR DAYS WITHOUT EXTREME DIFFICULTY. I'VE WANTED TO THANK SO MANY WHO'VE WRITTEN ME. I CAN'T UPLOAD PHOTOS. I CAN'T MAKE A 'NEW POST'. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS GOING ON, BUT I'VE ASKED MY FRIEND ALAN, TO POST THIS ON MY BEHALF.
I have several friends/posters/bloggers, and e-mail friends from around the world who've told me they can't POST A COMMENT. Again, I don't know why.
THIS WOULD BE A CURRENT POST, BUT I CAN'T GET ONE DARNED BLOG TO OPEN SO I CAN POST! So, I've asked Alan who I trust, to COPY AND PAST THIS E-MAIL AND HOPEFULLY HE CAN POST IT AS A 'COMMENT' onto some of my blogs such as
And the ones I've listed in my e-mail to Alan that are listed below (the links).
I no longer trust the reliability and efficiency of theI-net; I wonder what in the hell is going on, and I'm concerned that those of us who've taken a rather public and controversial stance on a few of the issues surrounding our country; our lack of leadership, and the need for change that might have to be even more productive than our new president's viewpoints, might have led to my inability to POST ON MY VERY OWN BLOGS.
Thank you for reading and caring. Diane Stirling-Stevens. E-mail is: kcir114112@cmaaccess.com
Okay, Alan, please copy and PASTE THIS onto my blogs and see if you have the access I no longer have. Many thanks. Diane (note: on the blogs listed in this permanent signature, please add that same 'comment' to those blogs since NONE OF THEM ARE WORKING FOR ME. Diane

Thursday, November 13, 2008

LET'S BRIEFLY MENTION ISRAEL, PALESTINE, THE GAZA STRIP, ETC.

I don't have a real desire to have a blog that focuses on the 'ills of the world' except as it gives guidance and appropriate links to assist in certain projects and issues that I find particularly important from my point of view.

As you know I read the Rag Blog as my primary source for issues that 'matter' (to me and to others as the authors of that particular blog also deem necessary).

Tonight I did read another blog; the atrocities being committed by Israel are rarely mentioned in the United States' main stream media - we have to use web-sites and blogs to get critical information.

I'd like to suggest you read the following blog to keep abreast of the issues surrounding the blatant 'crimes against humanity' being committed by Israel - it is well-written and documented.

This is the link: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/ - I'll also make a link on the side-bar as well.

I'm glad for the election of Obama; glad for the chance that will be his when he takes office on the 20th of January, 2009, to see what he and his administration can do during the next four years to demonstrate the fair play and consideration for every American citizen - not just those with celebrated names and huge bank accounts with all too often have had privilege and recognition (as well as power) completely unjustified. Now go to the side-bar and find where I've also put the link mentioned in this post.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008 - my dad's 85th birthday.

I didn't realize today was the anniversary of the stock market crash back in 1929 - 79 years ago when my dad was celebrating his 6th birthday the same day.

IN MEMORY OF MY FATHER - IN THE HOPE OBAMA WILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT BY THIS TIME NEXT WEEK, I'm making a very quick entry since I rarely blog any more. Like I said, I have difficulty uploading photographs; the web-site is slow - Google has changed the format and I find it irritating and a waste of time to deal with it.

Most bloggers are so busy blogging on their own sites, they rarely visit their 'mutual buddies'. I've found it better to share e-mails; share links in those e-mails and keep current with those who actually take the time to write something worth reading. Comments on blogs are often rude; not worth 'repeaping', and certainly don't build any kind of bond in the long 'haul'.

It's rare to find a good blog now; it's even harder to find a reliable web-site. Television is geared to the mind-set of a 4th-grade play-ground recess.....

The I-net is great for resourcing and building musical play-lists to enjoy; that's about it for me - after 9 months of giving 'blogging a try', I've just decided to let my blogs 'orbit in cyberspace' - peacefully of course.

In closing:

Happy Birthday, Dad - I miss you and wish so much you could see this year's 'change' in how our country is finally seeing opportunity and accepting the many and new concepts that I think will one day, make us a better country. Love, Diane

Monday, September 29, 2008

VOTER INFORMATION - EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT!

Voter Registration To be eligible to register to vote, Americans must meet three basic requirements: (1) be at least 18 years of age at the time of the next election, (2) be a U.S. Citizen and (3) be a resident of the jurisdiction where the voter is registering. Under federal law, every state must allow voters to register at least 30 days before Election Day. However, some states go beyond the federal mandate and allow potential voters to register one or two weeks prior to the election and some states allow same-day voter registration. There is a growing same-day voter registration movement that permits eligible citizens to both register and vote on Election Day.

Early & Absentee Voting Most states permit registered voters to cast a ballot-in-person prior to Election Day. This is called “early voting” and thirty-four states and the District of Columbia permit their residents to vote early in-person. Some of these states require their residents to cast their early vote at a single, centralized location (e.g., the board of elections office), while other states establish multiple early voting sites. Additionally, these thirty-four states and the District of Columbia differ with respect to the situations where residents may vote early in-person. In most states, voters may cast an early, in-person vote for any reason or no reason at all (“no-excuse voting”). In four of these states, residents must state a reason for requesting to cast an early vote and that reason must be on the state’s list of permissible reasons. Permissible reasons include an early, in-person vote include absence from the state on Election Day, illness, incapacity or military deployment outside of the jurisdiction.

Proof of Citizenship & Voting Identification All states require an individual to be a U.S. Citizen in order to vote in state or federal elections. Each state requires its residents to provide some form of identification (“ID”) and Arizona even requires its residents to present proof of citizenship to be eligible to register to vote. Each state selects the form of ID it deems acceptable. In the least restrictive states, residents only need to have their signature verified. Other states permit residents to provide either picture ID or non-picture ID, including utility bills. In other states, residents are required to present picture ID. If the resident is unable to provide the required pictured ID, the individual may still vote if they sign an affidavit attesting to their ID. Finally, in the most restrictive states, individuals must present a government-issued photo ID and individuals unable to produce the required ID are not allowed to use an affidavit to attest to their ID and subsequently cannot vote.

Residency In order to be eligible to vote within a particular jurisdiction, an individual must be a resident of that jurisdiction. Each state is empowered to create its own definition of “resident.” Generally, the test of residency is two-fold: (1) presence within the jurisdiction and (2) the intention to be a resident of the jurisdiction. For certain categories of voters, the test for residency is fluid. Such is the case for college students, members of the military stationed both domestically and abroad, individuals assigned to long-term out-of-jurisdiction work projects and retirees who spend significant portions of the year in different jurisdictions.

Voting for People with Felony Convictions Felony disenfranchisement is the practice of denying people with felony convictions the right to vote. No other nation disenfranchises as many of its citizens as the U.S. Over five million Americans are denied the right to vote because of felony convictions. The U.S. Is the only democracy in the world that takes the right to vote away from citizens who have completed their sentences. This causes over two million U.S. Citizens to be “permanently” disenfranchised from the voting process.

Poll Workers Poll workers are the people who organize a polling place, set up voting equipment, greet voters, verify registrations and provide voters with ballots. At the end of the day, poll workers close the polling place and prepare election materials for delivery or actually deliver the material to the elections office. Typically poll workers are required to be a registered voter in the precinct or county where that they are serving. Many states call these people different titles, such as poll judges.

Provisional Balloting A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there is some question about a voter’s eligibility. Provisional ballots may be utilized when the voter’s name is not on the voter list, the voter’s eligibility is challenged pursuant to state law, the voter is in the wrong polling place, or the voter cannot provide the ID required by federal or state law.

Voter Challenges, Deceptive Practices & Voter Intimidation Every state provides some method to challenge the eligibility of a voter. However, bad-faith challenges may cross the line and can constitute voter intimidation, particularly when mass challenges are based only upon a voter’s race or status and the challenger lacks personal knowledge of the voter’s eligibility. For example, in past elections, there have been allegations of challenges based solely on voters’ Latino or Asian sounding surnames. State laws differ regarding who can make challenges, when challenges can be made, what are the proper grounds for a challenge, which party has the burden of proof, what evidence is relevant, and who decides challenges.

Overseas Voters Under the 1986 Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (“UOCAVA”), members of the seven uniformed services, members of the U.S. Merchant Marines, eligible family members of the above, U.S. citizens employed by the federal government residing outside the U.S. and all other private U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. all have the right to cast an absentee ballot in federal elections. Overseas civilian and military voters can register and vote absentee using their last legal address in the U.S. While there are state-specific regulations, the general practice is that most states require the ballot to be either signed or postmarked by date of the election and received within ten-to-fourteen days after the election.

Auditing With the shift from punch cards and lever machines to optical scan devices or direct recording-electronic voting machines, there is a need to ensure accuracy through auditing. The most commonly used auditing system is the voter-verifiable paper record (“VPR”) which is designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, to create a paper record in the event of a recount and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Now I must vote OBAMA - a man not unlike Nader; just wiser to have chosen a major PARTY with STRENGTH!

To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours — Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors — found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

What is that promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans — Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and and God Bless the United States of America.