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Off-the-cuff linkage with occasional commentary when it seems appropriate. Language warning: I swear occasionally. If that puts you off, read something else.

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Jun
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My Day In Socialist America

I woke early this morning, roused from sleep by an alarm clock, powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly, which is regulated by the US Department of Energy. I opened the window and breathed in a deep draught of clean morning air (kept that way by the US Environmental Protection Agency).

I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. I took my daily medications and vitamins, both certified safe by the US Food and Drug Administration.

I made my way to the kitchen, and turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see the forecast, provided by the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture-inspected food.

At the appropriate time (as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurately by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory), I got into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation. On the way out of my neighborhood, I waved to a passing member of the local police force, out keeping the roads safe for morning traffic. 

On the way to work, I stopped to purchase fuel of a quality level determined by the EPA, and paid using money issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. Next was a stop at the US Postal Service office to send my mail, then on to the local public school, where I dropped the kids off.

Arriving at my employer’s site, I found a safe, clean workplace for me and my fellow employees, thanks in part to regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Thanks to non-discrimination laws, I spent the morning working with people of every race, color and creed. Then as part of my work I drove to the airport, where I picked up my boss from her business trip on an FAA-regulated flight and the municipal airport.

At lunch, I went to my parents’ house for a meal, then took them to the bank to cash their Social Security checks and Dad’s disability check. Afterward, I dropped them off at the VA hospital, where Dad, who defended the country as a member of the US Air Force, receives medical care. They used the city bus service to get home afterward.

At work, I stayed a couple of hours late, putting in overtime that — thanks to state labor laws — I will be paid extra for. I headed back home, arriving to find that, thanks to state and local building codes and a fire marshal’s inspection, my house was still standing. Thanks to the local sheriff and police department, I was not been robbed of my valuables. My wife and children were down the block playing at the public park, which is there partly thanks to zoning laws that prevented the building of a strip club in our residential neighborhood.

After a dinner of safe and healthy food (thank again to the USDA), I put the kids to bed, and watched a movie streamed over the Internet, which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration. While watching the movie, I logged into the local public library’s Website and reserved a few books to pick up on Saturday, and checked the county’s GIS site to verify the most recent sale price and tax value of a house we’re thinking of buying. I signed the kids up for spring baseball at the local Parks and Recreation Department, and made cabin reservations for our annual summer vacation to a national park located in the state.

Along the way, I remembered that I need to register for continuing education classes at the community college, and so I spent a few minutes distracted from the movie signing up for a couple of courses that will earn me an advanced certification at work.

Then when the movie ended, just before heading to bed, I headed off to Facebook, Free Republic and the FOX News forums to post a few long rants about how government is bad because it can’t do anything right.

Oct
29th
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Soyen Shaku, the first Zen teacher to come to America, said: ‘My heart burns like fire but my eyes are as cold as dead ashes.’ He made the following rules, which he practiced every day of his life.
In the morning before dressing, light incense and meditate.
Retire at a regular hour. Partake of food at regular intervals. Eat with moderation and never to the point of satisfaction.
Receive a guest with the same attitude you have when alone. When alone, maintain the same attitude you have in receiving guests.
Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it.
When an opportunity comes do not let it pass by, yet always think twice before acting.
Do not regret the past. Look to the future.
Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child.
Upon retiring sleep as if you had entered your last sleep. Upon awakening, leave your bed behind you instantly as if you had cast away a pair of old shoes.
— My Heart Burns Like Fire (Excerpt From Zen Flesh Zen Bones: 101 Zen Stories)
Aug
3rd
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Check out this Postcard I just wrote.

Check out this Postcard I just wrote.

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Check out this Postcard I just wrote.

Check out this Postcard I just wrote.

Oct
17th
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Oct
9th
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Oct
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Sep
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Sep
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