Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Fourth Storm: Snow Upon Snow


Yes, I skipped Nearly Wordless Wednesday, because I was waiting for today, and the Fourth Pacific Storm to post what I knew would some new snow pictures. So without further ado . . .

After the third storm, we had some clear weather, but cold. Gold and Blue joined the gray and white colors outside Ragamuffin House . . .

Snow lingered on the trees,
and like deep frosting on the
stump--the roads were cleared
courtesy of graders and tractors,
----not by melting!

Yesterday afternoon, meteorologists on all media
said that the fourth storm had intensified--
that it would be slower, with more precipitation,
and colder than earlier predictions indicated.
This morning--here it is.
Schools in the East Mountains closed.
The Engineering Geek stayed home from work.
They say it will get worse this afternoon and evening.

Falling steadily this morning,
snow upon snow,
making for a slow, slippery,
unpredictable morning walk.

So far about four inches on top
of the remaining five inches or so
on the ground from last Friday's

Looking forward to Candlemas,
Groundhog's Cross Quarter.
I hope Mr. Punxutawney Phil sees
his shadow and is scared back into
his den!

Will spring ever arrive? And whatever happened to Global Warming?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Atlas Chronicles: Feds Loot Charter Bank

Until recently, our small state-regulated banks and small local banks under federal regulation have been left alone by the Feds. But last week the looting of the wealth of New Mexico for the sake of political expediency began. This is happening in communities and states across the United States. The looting of our communities has begun.

On Friday, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) closed Charter Bank, a closely-held conservative local bank that was in the business of lending money to New Mexicans and their businesses for the purchase of homes and commercial real estate. They then forced the sale of the remaining assets to a vulture "capitalist" from Texas, a company that has no interest in making conservative loans to New Mexicans interested in owning their own homes. The looting began because the OTS, a bureaucratic agency in fear of its own survival, is imposing standards based on conditions at the big banks--the ones on the government dole--to small banks who couldn't get government "help" if they tried. They are imposing standards required by the disaster that, through the Community Reinvestment Act, and the looting of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal government itself created.

Charter Bank was not "too big to fail," and the owners knew it. They also understood that by doing their business honorable and conservatively, they kept the trust of their customers and brought wealth and stability to New Mexico. At the time Charter was forced to close, their commercial loans not being paid on time amounted to about 0.33% of their total loans. (Note: this is late payments, not foreclosures). These are numbers that speak to the careful underwriting that Charter clearly did to make sure the loans they made were good ones. These are numbers that many of the bail-out banks could only dream of having.

How then did OTS close Charter Bank? Through an assault by devaluing Charter's holdings on paper. Like it has for many small and conservative banks, OTS decided based on national trends that have little relevance to the situation on the ground in New Mexico, that some of Charter's commercial customers might not be able to continue paying down their loans. They therefore forced Charter to reduce on paper the value of those loans. (This is like Pre-Crime in The Minority Report, a short story by Phillip K. Dick. The Pre-Crime Division would arrest and imprison innocent citizens because they might commit a crime in the future). This creative bookkeeping reduced Chater's capital holdings on paper, bringing it below the federally mandated amount, and presto-chango, Charter went from being on solid footing to being a "failing bank" by sleight of hand.

The OTS did this for political reasons. It has been fashionable in DC for a long time to blame all of the financial problems of this country on businessmen and capitalism. Like the medieval rulers of Europe, and the ruling families of corrupt middle-eastern kingdoms, American politicians have found it expedient to divert the attention of the population away from their own tyrannical machinations and corrupt policy by blaming the bankers. The OTS failed to stop the melt-down of the big national lenders because other government agencies had forced on them policies (like the Community Reinvestment Act) that could only end in failure. And the big lenders and investors played along, sucking at the government teat, in order acquire unreal profits at the expense of future stability. And when reality finally came crashing in on them, they all screamed that they were too big to fail, and received bailouts that will impoverish the next generation of productive Americans. And bookkeeping sleight-of hand continues at that level, as AIG payed back their bail-out with money printed by the Office of Treasury and sold to the Fed. So now, with their future existance in doubt, the OTS is trying to look busy by rushing to close the barn doors on small, local banks that never were in danger to begin with. The horses, already long gone, did not come from those barns.

Charter Bank did not engage in the illusory lending practices that created the real-estate bubble and the painful burst that the people in this country are now enduring. Charter Bank did not participate in subprime lending. And Albuquerque's housing market remains relatively stable, as the housing prices were not much over-inflated, and the slow-down in housing sales, a reaction to changes in conditions elsewhere, has already begun to recover. OTS made this decision by the fiat of a bureaucrat far away, based on conditions in places like Las Vegas and the State of Florida.

But OTS doesn't care that they have destroyed the personal wealth of a strong, responsible banking family in New Mexico by the stroke of a pen. They certainly don't care that they have replaced a strong conservative engine of wealth for New Mexico with a vulture "capitalist" from Texas, who also will not care about local needs. His business is to feed off of what remains from failed banks and his business model will not likely benefit New Mexico, where the wealth he and the OTS looted at the stroke of the pen originated.

It is time for our local sheriffs to make sure there are actual court-produced leans on homes and businesses, before allowing any federal agencies to invade homes and close businesses in our counties. It is time for the States to assert the 10th amendment, and nullify any action by the federal government that would move wealth away from the local economy and to the bureaucrats in Washington, that "Great City". We must stop these unelected people from looting us by regulatory strokes of the pen before we find ourselves paupers and slaves in the land our fathers and mothers built.

Prior to our marriage, the Engineering Geek and I both had financed our first homes through Charter. Both of us knew the Charter Bank owners, the Wertheims, members of the Jewish community here, and benefactors of the larger community in many ways beyond their business.
After our marriage, we also financed the loan portion of our first home together there. And when we paid off that loan and the home we now own outtright, Charter Bank has succeeded in producing another satisfied customer, and had contributed to more wealth in our economy. They did with good sense, and provided excellent and courteous customer service.

Like many in the community, we were shocked at the destruction that the Feds had wrought right here in little "Cow-town" USA. One letter written to the editor of the Albuquerque Journal today stated:

"When armed men enter a bank and take everything away from the owners, it is bank robbery. What do we do when the bank robber is the federal government? . . . I refuse to do business with thieves!" (Vickie Averhoff, Letters to the Editor: Breaking the Bank. The Albuquerque Journal, Wednesday January 29, 2010, p. A9).

Likewise, the Engineering Geek and I will not entrust one more dime of our money to the vultures who looted Charter Bank, and are sucking the wealth out of our community.

And this begs the question. This type of thievery by government regulation is going on in every area where the federal government has usurped its Constitutionally limited powers. All of us who choose not to do business with thieves must begin to look carefully at how to stop supporting a federal government gone rogue, that lies, cheats and steals for the momentary benefit of a small number of politicians cum-potentates. This will not be an easy task. It will require courage and it will exact a price upon all of us, because the piper for this dance of destruction will have to be paid. If not by us, than it will be paid by the toil and loss of freedom of our children and grandchildren.

If you are a patriot; if you a just a person who gives a damn about the people being destroyed in your community; if you want to preserve your birthright to Life, Liberty and Property: Read the Articles of Freedom. Sign this Pledge:

"In full view of the Creator as my Witness, I hereby pledge my signature, and vow to join a goodly number of millions of Americans to hold our elected and appointed officials accountable for all of their violations, with the firm reminder that each one of them has sworn an Oath (or Affirmation) to Preserve, Protect and Defend the Constitution for the United States of America. In seeking to hold them accountable, I shall hold myself accountable to do the same.

"We, undersigned renounce and condemn the INITIATION of Force, and will pursue all lawful and Constitutional means to fulfill our duty." (Articles of Freedom, Christmas Eve "Miracle" Edition).

Together, we can stop doing business with thieves.
Before they rob us blind.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

R3volution: Our Weapon is Our Refusal

Last week I spent some time writing an essay that did not appear first here. Ragamuffin readers had to wait until the essay came out in a new version of The Patriot Times, which is now published by the New Mexico Patriot Alliance. Now I can publish the essay here as well, and I hope to whet your appetite to read several other excellent essays, as well as the information and humor offered in this new publication.

With no further ado, then, here is the essay.

Our Weapon is Our Refusal: The Articles of Freedom
by Elisheva Levin
New Mexico Delegate to Continental Congress 2009

Our weapon is our refusal: our refusal to bow to any order but our own

--any institution but our own.'' - Michael Collins

"What does a free people do?" What does a free people do when repeated Petitions for Redress of Grievances is met with repeated injury? In November 2009, three delegates from each of 48 states met in Continental Congress to discuss, deliberate and debate and return with an answer to this question. For over 100 years the federal government of the United States has been engaged in the violation of the Constitutional limits to it's power.

For most of the past two decades, Bob Schulz of the We the People Foundation and We the People Congress, with the help of many dedicated patriots, has engaged in formulating and serving each of the branches of the federal government with petitions for Redress of Grievances. This capstone First Amendment Right to Petition is well established in the English Common Law, appears in the Magna Carta, and is discussed in the writings of the Founders, as well as in various state constitutions. The Magna Carta declares that any petition by a citizen to his government requires a response. The petitioner does not have the right to a specific answer, but the petition must be answered. The Magna Carta states that an answer to a Petition for Redress must be made within forty days or the petitioners may take any action necessary, up to and including war against the king, in order to force a response. The right to Petition is that important.

Each of the We the People Petitions for Redress addressed a specific violation to the Constitution of the United States by at least one branch of the federal government. Among the many petitions served on the federal government are those related to the Federal Income Tax, the Federal Reserve, and the USA Patriot Act. The federal government has refused to respond to any of the many Petitions for Redress served by We the People. Through this process of formal Petitions for Redress, We the People has therefore established a substantial record of this refusal, and it has become clear that our petitions will not be heard and that all of our petitions are only met with further injury to the Constitution and to our liberty. Therefore, through the We the People Congress, a Continental Congress was called to consider the next step in the restoration of Constitutional governance to the United States.

The stated purpose of Continental Congress 2009 was to gather a body of delegates, elected by supporters of the Constitution in their respective states, in order to consider the actions of the federal government with respect to several of the formal Petitions for Redress. The Congress had these specific tasks: 1) to document the violations of the Constitution related to the Petitions; 2) to compose remedial instructions for the federal government as well as to the governments of the respective states; and 3) to develop suggested civic actions that a mass movement of at least 5% of the people can take in order to return the federal government to its Constitutionally mandated limits of power. The written results were to be gathered into a document, now called the Articles of Freedom, which would, together with a plan of action, be used to gather that mass movement. All of this was accomplished at St. Charles, IL, last November, and most of the delegates signed the Articles on the evening of November 21, 2009.

The Articles of Freedom represent that Next Step for a Free People. They represent the intention of a goodly number of the people to be done with petitions and proceed to the step of giving our servant government instructions on how to place itself back under the rule of the Constitution, the highest Law of the Land. Although the delegates do not expect compliance from our servant government, this is a necessary step in documenting the abuses of power that these Constitutional violations represent. We have petitioned for redress of our grievances, and the violations to the Constitution and our rights and have been ignored. Now we will tell the federal government how we want those violations to cease, and our rights to be restored.

The Articles of Freedom also are intended to inspire a mass movement of the People who respect the Constitution and wish to see it restored. To that end, the closing sections include a Call to Nationwide Civic Action by the People, stating in part:

When a goodly number of millions of American people agree, we will withdraw our financial support from the federal government, in a lawful and constitutional manner, and implement other responsible civic actions, until all violations of the Constitution for the United States of America CEASE.

(Articles of Freedom, Christmas Eve “Miracle version, p. 61)

This is followed by a pledge that the delegates signed, and that is available for your signature online here. You may also read and download the entire document in pdf at the same location.

In signing the pledge, you are agreeing to becoming more than a “sunshine patriot and a summer soldier”; you are agreeing to take actions that signify your withdrawal of support to a government that has overstepped its mandate and has violated your rights. These actions will begin at such time as “a goodly number of millions of people” have signed the document, so that no one will stand alone in these actions and the consequences thereof. For make no mistake, history shows that every act of civil disobedience has first been met with further force.

The time for petitions is past. The time to restore the Republic is upon us. Your Continental Congress has deliberated and returned to you these remedial instructions to the government and these recommendations for civic action. The recommendations can be summed up as a refusal to continue to support tyranny. Our Constitution is the statement of our lawful order and our institutions. We must proceed to protect and defend it. It is our refusal to bow down to tyranny; our refusal to support a government out of control. Our refusal is our weapon.

Are you a patriot? Prove it. Sign the Articles of Freedom and join in Nationwide Civic Action. In April we will serve representatives of our servant government with the Articles of Freedom. Crisis Patriots and Winter Soldiers will be there to give their refusal to tyranny.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lazy Blogging and the Third Storm

I admit that I have been a lazy blogger the past few weeks.

I have an excuse. I have had a cold that turned to pleurisy--an inflammation of the layers around the lungs. Pleurisy is often a complication that comes with RA.
Dry Pleurisy is not in and of itself dangerous, but it causes breathing to become painful, and coughing even more so--which causes me to be breathless and grumpy. And not terribly interested in blogable events.

Rest is the Rx that is most difficult for me, far more difficult than getting an antibiotic from the pharmacy. I am a wife and a mom. I own my own corporation. I am mother of the R3volution and the legislature is in session! I don't have time to be sick.

But enforced rest is exactly what the doctor ordered. Especially because I also slipped on black ice while I was walking the dogs this week.

It must have looked comical--A bold, careless step on what looked like pavement in the pre-dawn. Then the arms waving wildly, the trying to regain balance. Then my feet sliding forward and the small of the back, the upper back and shoulders, and the back of the head hitting ice. Somehow, the right middle finger and the left wrist got involved.

It happened very fast--down before I could do anything. Then two adult dog faces looking down at me with puzzled expressions. And a biggish black lab puppy on my chest, licking my chin frantically. "Get up, get up!" they seemed to say. "Lying in the snow is okay, but not on your back!"

I did get up, leashes tangled in my hands. I walked home. Slowly and carefully.

That was Wednesday.
Of course it was the next morning that I really regretted that one careless step.
But I had to go out to the store. the Third Pacific storm--the one with the most snow--was on its way. But it was up late Thursday night, too, to finish and edit a statement with the New Mexico delegation of CC2009 via Skype.

So now, enforced rest. Stay in, they tell me.
And the foot of snow that has fallen in the past 36 hours makes that easy to do.
I'm not risking more black ice!
Yesterday I spent my morning in bed, sending out a statement to each of the CC2009 state delegations, one at a time, while snow fell outside the window. I sent the Engineering Geek to walk the dogs. I did get up to bake some Challah in the afternoon--there was no way I was going to fight the truck down the hill and into town. And it was very good, thanks to my high altitude recipe and the stand mixer the Engineering Geek got me for my birthday. The Challah was still warm for our Shabbat dinner last night.

Today, more rest. Almost all day. I did cheat a little and went with the Engineering Geek to walk the dogs in the incredibly deep winter wonderland. Snow was still falling.
Today the snow came in bands. Ocassionally the clouds would teasingly part and the sun would shine momentarily. Then the room would darken as the snow outside began to fall again.

Tomorrow on the agenda-- storm over. And still more rest. My home confinement sentence will be complete sometime at the beginning of next week. In the meantime, praise the lord and pass the anti-inflammatories.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winter in Sedillo


Winter pictures to make the fireside feel warm . . .

The just past full blue moon of December sets above the Sandia Mountain Front to the west. The sky is rimmed with the pink of approaching dawn.

A freezing fog has set on the leaves of a Rocky
Mountain Juniper. The air was damp and cold,
signalling an approaching snowstorm.

More freezing fog on the Juniper at the top of South Sedillo Ridge. All around, the air is full of the very cold fog.

Restless clouds in a turning sky,
telling of the heavy weather.
The snow fell from the first storm
of three coming through this week.

Snow from the second storm fell this morning, adding layers to the snow from previous storms.

The third storm is coming Friday. We have had snowcover up here on Sedillo since December 7. It looks like we may have it until the cross-quarter day.

By then, I believe I will be ready for spring!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Boychick On the Hill


I have been very busy with my business this past week, and I have also gotten a cold that turned into pleurisy. I have not posted at all!

But while I was busy last weekend, the Boychick had a trip to Washington, DC with other members of his Confirmation Class, our rabbi, and our religious educator. The nature of this trip was to learn the process of lobbying on issues provided by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Although the RAC tends to view its own progressive political vision as the "Jewish" political viewpoint--remember there is no monolithic Judaism, two Jews three opinions--we decided to send the Boychick because of what he would learn, even though he was--as we told him--going into the Belly of the Beast.

In order to arm him against progressive indoctrination, we made him watch Michael Badnarik's Constitution Course at You Tube, and we asked him to watch The Philosophy of Liberty. We talked to him about possible issues for which the RAC dogma would likely align with a more libertarian and Constitutional political philosophy. As it turned out, on the issue he chose--immigration policy--the libertarian perspective is more radical than the progressive one the RAC promotes.

The Boychick, we are told, did very well and wrote an impressive speech to give to our senators from New Mexico. He loved the trip, and felt it was not only educational, but also that being with Jewish high school students from all over the United States (from 20 different Reform congregations) was very affirming to his Jewish identity, and awakened him to the wide variety of ideas that Jews hold. Sometimes simultaneously!

The trip was money well spent. The pictures below were taken by several different people, and posted at the Facebook site for the RAC. The Boychick does not--he informs me--take pictures.

Congregation Albert Group pose on the Capitol Steps. The Boychick is in the fedora, on the far right front, holding the sign.

Havdalah--the ritual to end Shabbat--at the Jefferson Memorial on Saturday night, after dinner in Georgetown. The Boychick says it was cold, cold, cold!

The Boychick, being cool in his new Oakley's purchased in Georgetown, pauses in his work on his speech for the New Mexico Delegation.

Getting ready to Lobby in the lobby. The students are dressed in suits and skirts, looking very grown up.

At the Airport on the way home. How do I know it was on the way home? The Oakleys. I never asked what it cost. It was his money.
And he looks cool.
I just hope he doesn't lose them!

And I hope he doesn't lose his perspective.

Jews come with a variety of political viewpoints. No matter how much the Reform Movement tends towards social progressivism. The Libertarian philosopher, Murray Rothbard was a Jew. As is Aaron Zeller, the founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership. Statism is not a religious doctrine.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Clarifying The Non-Initiation Principle

We, the undersigned, renounce and condemn any and all
INITIATION of force and will pursue all lawful and
Constitutional means to fulfill our duty."
--The Articles of Freedom:
the Work of Continental Congress 2009

Twice this week I have heard conservatives object to the Non-initiation of Force Principle (NIP) based on what appears to be a misunderstanding or mishearing of the word INITIATION. This is something that I have begun to notice as my political work takes me among conservatives; that they are generally unaware of the meaning or the basis of the Non-initiation principle that stems from the concept of the Rights of Man.

The non-initiation of force principle is a product of the classical liberal thought of the enlightenment and its modern statement is a product of libertarian philosophy and ethics. Its basis is that each individual has "certain unalienable rights." These rights are not granted by any god or government, rather they have their source in the nature of human beings as moral agents. Because they are unalienable, rights cannot be removed from individuals, nor may a person voluntarily surrender them. They are proper to the nature of the human individual. These rights are defined as the right to Life, Liberty and Property. It is these rights that the Declaration of Independence asserts and that the Constitution* was written to protect.

*The Constitution guarantees US citizens that these rights will be protected by the government it forms, but the Constitution does not "grant" them. If it did so, these would be privileges, not rights. Therefore, the concept "constitutional rights" is a misnomer. Rather, these are rights that are protected by the Constitution.

The first explanation I ever saw of how the initiation of force is a violation of individual rights comes from Ayn Rand's Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal. Rand writes:

"To violate a man's rights means to compel him to act against his own judgement or to expropriate his values. Basically, there is only one way to do it: by the use of physical force. There are two potential violators of man's rights: the criminals and the government. The great achievement of the United States was to draw a distinction between these two--by forbidding to the second the legalized version of the activities of the first." (p. 371)

In sum, it is a violation of an individual's natural rights to initiate force against him. Force can violent, as it is when someone is compelled against her will at the point of a gun or by the threat of torture. But there are also non-violent methods of force, such as fraud, deception and neglect.

Adherence to the Non-Initiation Principle means that one agrees not to use force against an innocent individual who has not first violated or threatened one's own right to Life, Liberty or Property. However, it does not mean that one cannot DEFEND against the violation of one's own rights by the meeting force with force. This is so, because by violating the rights of another, the one who initiates force has forfeited his own rights, and has become a criminal. This is true regardless of whether the initiator is acting alone, or in a group. And the person whose rights have been abrogated is morally obligated to use whatever means possible to defend them and restore them, and he may properly ask others to help him in this defense.

Through our Constitution, we have invested our governments (state and federal) with the power to protect our rights by protecting us from the initiation of force. We have authorized government to use force against those who initiate it against us in order to stop the violation of the rights of innocent citizens. For example, we have given* the government the power try and incarcerate a thief in order to protect us from a violation of our property rights.

*Rights belong to the people, and are individual; whereas the government is granted privileges and duty by the people whose individual rights the government exists to secure.

However, a government that violates the rights of its owners, the citizens, by initiating force against them has become a tyranny. And the citizens has the right to defend their rights against it, and more, they have the duty "to throw off such a government, and provide new guards for their future security." (The Declaration of Independence).

Both of the conservatives I spoke with objected to the Non-initiation Principle because they did not hear and/or understand the difference between initiating force against an innocent person, thus violating his rights, and the use of force to meet and repel the force used in those violations. That is, they did not understand the meaning of the word INITIATION in the context of the principle.

So I will state it plainly: the Non-initiation principle does not preclude the use of force as a RESPONSE to the initiation of force against oneself by criminals, whether they be individuals or groups or even associated with government. That is, it does not preclude the use of fraud, deception, neglect or violence to DEFEND one's Life, Liberty or Property. A free individual has no moral obligation to accept the initiation of force against him; rather he has the moral obligation to defend his rights, and he may morally join with others to defend the rights of another free individual.

If we have been subjected by our own government to " a long train of abuses and usurpations" of our rights--as we have been, and if "our most humble petitions for redress of grievances have been met only with repeated injury", then we have the moral obligation, that is the duty, to defend our rights by any means necessary.

However, we have no moral obligation to act imprudently. Rather, as we go about the defense of our rights, prudence dictates that we consider the consequences of our responses to ourselves and to those around us, using violence only when we have exhausted all other means of meeting force with force. Although there is no guarantee that we will be able to stop those abuses and usurpations of our rights by our servant government short of armed resistance, still it is better to try other means, for if we succeed in them, we save our own blood and treasure from destruction.

For a very brief and shining moment in history, the United States, through the Bill of Rights that forbade the government from initiation of force against innocent citizens, achieved a society in which the use of force in relationships among individuals was forbidden and punished, thus allowing for all relationships to be predicated on the freedom of individuals to associate with one another, and to have the unrestricted freedom of contract. But that moment has been superceded by a government that through the corruption of the values of liberty and individual rights, has usurped the sovereignty of the individual, replacing it with the collectivist concept of "the social good."

Our individual rights are almost gone from want of our strong and consistent defense of them. Rights only exist where free individuals have the will to exercise them, and upon their violation, to defend themselves against the usurpers of rights, whether those usurpers be criminals or government.

Is it time to consider meeting force with force?
I believe it is. And prudence dictates that we begin by demanding of the government their compliance with the limitations placed on them by the Constitution, and by meeting their initiation of force against us with strongly asserted, principled civil disobedience.

If you agree that we have the duty to defend our rights, join with us by signing the Articles of Freedom, and making the commitment to engage with millions of other Americans in the civic actions required to withdraw our support from those who have violated our rights.

Long live the Constitution of the United States!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

To One Hundred and Twenty

Yesterday, was my birthday, and it was a significant birthday at that.
When I was young, the age I am now seemed impossibly far away--after marriage, after children (yeah, I didn't realize that there is no 'after children')--and certainly after the 8th grade for heaven's sake!

But somehow, the earth kept orbiting the sun, and the years kept passing--faster and faster, it seems--and now I have reached that age that I had once defined as "old." Others, it seems, define it so as well. AARP recently sent me an offer of membership. But of course, it is unlikely my generation will ever see those social security benefits we've been paying for since we started working. So if I were to get an AARP membership, it would only be to emulate the boomers when they were young, and burn it in a protest march.

So here I am, having reached my childhood goal of being "old", only to think that I am not so old at all! I don't wear purple (at least not often), my trousers are only rolled when I have to wade through the snow (creeks being somewhat scarce here), and I certainly don't drive like an old lady (except on a very blizzardy day in the canyon).

Fortunately, when my beloved Engineering Geek toasted me over the cake, which was presented at a New Mexico Patriot Alliance meeting, he said, "May you live to 120!" This comes from the age at which Moses died, at which time "his eye had not dimmed, nor had his moisture fled." So the blessing implies living to a righteous old age enjoying life of the mind and a little loving now and then.

My fellow patriots presented me with a plaque that honored me as the "mother of the R3volution". And I quipped that I am happy that they didn't say "grandmother of the R3volution". But the EG's toast did give me a wonderful new goal, now that I realize that my current age is not "old." Old is 12o! And now I have a new goal: to live to be 120! Which would take me well into the second half of the current century. A worthy goal.
What miracles and wonders would I see, should I live so long?

And so, given my venerable age and gender, I wish to change my mind. I'll tell my patriot friends that I do want to be "the grandmother of the R3volution." When I am old. When I am closing in on 120!

May we all live "to 120!"

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year . . . A Little Late!

A snowstorm, a party,
a friend's frozen pipes . . .
a busy weekend at Ragamuffin House.
And yet Ragamuffin House wishes you all
a very Happy New Year!
And may all the sunrises of 2010 be beautiful.

Picture: Sunrise over Via Sedillo on the last day of the year 2009.