Which American Political Party Wing do You Fly On?

To be clear, I find posts like this one very distasteful. However I wanted to share what I have learned.

As a Boy, there was a, “known fact” about American Korean War POW’s that every boy my age seemed to share. Whether the story was true or not I have no idea. The key point was many American Korean War POW’s came back with ideas that were somewhat radical dislike to outright hostility towards the United States Government.

We boys knew was the reason so many American Korean War POW’s had such radical ideas was grounded in the, “knowledge” American Korean War POW’s gained. We believed American Korean War POW’s were taught the American Constitution and it’s parts. Of course most, as in almost all, American Korean War POW’s (like today) had no real idea what the US Constitution said or didn’t say, so they did not believe what they were being taught and took the opposite stance to what they were being taught.

I don’t know if this is true, what American Korean War POW’s underwent or not, and whether there is any truth in this story. As kids we believed it. Every boy I knew, knew this story; we all knew it was true. Whether the story carried on with Kids to the Viet Nam war, I have no idea.

In the present day, I am bombarded daily with negative and very ugly campaign ads. Both sides, Democrats and Republicans claim their version is the ‘true’ version of the story. Their candidate is upstanding and squeaky clean, while the opponent is practically a member of some underground criminal network, and push(ed) agendas that make their families hundreds of thousands of dollars. I won’t go into what other party members were doing while these high dollar bills and contracts were being meted out over the previous four years, but it appears they were not too concerned.

These political ads motivated me to look into if what I think about American Politics is correct, or has my thinking been jaded and warped over the years. I went to my favorite source, Wikipedia for more information. Of course there are complaints that Wikipedia is controlled by liberals, but I really doubt that to be true. I put those comments in the same boat as the current President’s comments that kids in school are getting brainwashed by the Liberal Agenda version of United States History. This reminded me when there was crying and gnashing of teeth when it came to our World’s History being rewritten. Thankfully we have computers and enormous amounts of mostly balanced references available to peruse.

At 30,000 feet, there is not a lot to separate one American political parties thinking from the other party. On the surface, they seem to want the same things, having differing ideas of how their vision should be accomplished. Wording appears to be homogenized, leaving both parties joining with Tiny Tim singing, “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”.

If you wish to punish yourself by watching Tiny Tim:

“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcSlcNfThUA”

Which made me look deeper into American Political Party differences. It wasn’t until I looked at far Left Wing and Right Wing groups, again on Wikipedia, the differences became obvious. Was I more comfortable on the Left Wing, with the Green Party, Communist party or Anarchy, or on the Right Wing with the Aryan Nation, White Nationalism and the manosphere (which believe Women and girls are essentially chattel on the same or lower level as farm animals)?

I pulled out as equally as I could the mainstream philosophy of American mainline political party’s philosophy and extreme politics and groups which align under each party. For sanity’s sake, I left out groups like Antifa and the Proud Boys who appear from a high level view to enjoy fighting with each other more than joining with their respective parties.

American Politics

Surface View of American Politics

 

Democratic Party United States

“The Democratic Party’s philosophy of modern liberalism blends notions of civil liberty and social equality with support for a mixed economy. In Congress, the party has influential centrist, progressive, and conservative wings. Corporate governance reform, environmental protection, support for organized labor, maintenance and expansion of social programs, affordable college tuition, universal health care, equal opportunity, and consumer protection form the core of the party’s economic agenda. On social issues, it advocates campaign finance reform, LGBT rights, criminal justice and immigration reform, stricter gun laws, abortion rights, and the legalization of marijuana.”

“The 21st century Democratic Party is predominantly a coalition of centrists, liberals, and progressives, with significant overlap between the three groups.”

~ 28% are thought to be Social Liberals

Far Left Wing Political Currents:

Anarchism

De Leonism

Democratic Socialists of America

Green Party of the United States

American Party of Labor

Communist Party USA – Almost non-existent

Freedom Socialist Party

 

Republican Party (United States)

“The 21st-century Republican Party ideology is American conservatism, which incorporates both economic policies and social values. The GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, restrictions on immigration, increased military spending, gun rights, restrictions on abortion, deregulation and restrictions on labor unions. After the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party opposed abortion in its party platform and grew its support among evangelicals. The GOP was strongly committed to protectionism and tariffs at its founding but grew more supportive of free trade in the 20th century.”

“61% are socially conservative, 28% socially moderate, 10% socially liberal; 65% economically conservative, 26% economically moderate, 7% economically liberal.”

Far-right Political Currents

Paranoid style politics

3 Percenters

Oath Keepers

Posse Comitatus

Aryan Nations

Stop Islamization of America

alt-right

paleoconservatism

paleolibertarianism

white nationalism

the manosphere

Identitarianism

the neoreactionary movement

 

I found this exercise to be an exercise in political introspection. When taking a serious look at ourselves, ugly past actions float into our conscious mind. We can’t ignore these parts of us, and for our own well being, we come to terms with them. We do this by either by changing our thinking and behaviors, or accepting what and who we are. Thankfully, in American Politics, the Left and Right Wing extreme groups will polarize our political thinking.

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Eating in the Time of Covid-19

In this time of mostly shut-in and limited mobility, there is a need for a new way of eating as too many people are gaining weight sitting around the house. Some people are sitting around eating too many snacks. Other people are eating the same amount of food they used to eat, but are not burning off those calories by doing what they used to do.

I have read the average weight gain over the last months is around ten to twelve pounds. While ten pounds sounds like a lot of weight, for some people, that is extra bites of food every meal. That is not enough extra eating to be noticeable, only enough to sneak on the pounds. Extra calories.

For other people, the problem is bored eating. There is little to do sitting around the house, and snacking becomes a way to stave off boredom. Someone is bored, so they make themselves a snack or grab a bag of chips. They don’t intend to eat much of their snack of choice, but they eat more than they should, and the pounds sneak on. Carbs and fat.

Some people help to manage their boredom by increasing the time spent in food preparation. Whereas this time last year, a quick sandwich may have been a meal, the meal has evolved into a Sunday dinner type event. Someone spending three or more hours making a meal uses up a lot of, “bored” time, but they also are creating a meal that all too often is a calorie and fat dense replacement meal. And the pounds keep coming. Carbs, fat and excess eating.

There is an easy enough fix for this bored eating pattern. It is easy to plan and follow, and the results are surprising. You do not need to spend a lot of time thinking about what you can and can not eat, as we all know that does not work. There is no need to count calories or fat, which as we know, is another path to frustration and failure.

Eat better, snack less

What you do instead is split your meals in half. Splitting your meal in half may not sound like fun, but it is easy and it works. You also get to eat six or more meals a day instead of two or three, so eating snacks or other empty high calorie snack food goes away. You find yourself eating enough and often enough, you find you really do not care to snack because you are not hungry or that bored.

There are two more little additions I find make a huge difference. When the sun sets, eating time is over. Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and the word breakfast was originally two separate words. The two words were, “break” and “fast”. In other words not eating overnight is a form of fasting, and breakfast is essentially, break fast as the first meal of the day.

Not eating after the sun goes down should be followed by not eating until the sun comes up. Unless you are a very early riser and are up before the sun anyway, most of us are sleeping until sometime after sunrise anyway, so this is not an issue.

Splitting your meals in two is fairly easy. Let’s start with breakfast (break fast). This should be a heartier meal of the day, as it provides energy for your body to start and carry you through the day. If you are an egg eater in the morning eat your eggs first by themselves. Wait and hour to two hours and then eat whatever foods you used to eat with your morning egg(s). Toast, potatoes, bacon or sausage, sliced tomatoes, whatever you normally eat in a normal portion. If after eating your egg(s), you find you do not want to cook anything else, have a bowl of cereal or instant oatmeal after that hour has passed.

Repeat for lunch. Whatever your normal lunch is, decide on a way to split your lunch into two smaller lunches. Instead of a sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes, perhaps a small salad, and a plain sandwich an hour or so later. Repeat for dinner. Have soup or a salad first, and perhaps an hour later have the main course. Or, eat the main course with a vegetable and have a slice of bread with jelly later.

This isn’t a diet, as the only diet I am aware of is denying yourself food one way or another, this is a way of eating which balances out your meals. You do not feel as full as if eating a whole meal at once (this may take a few weeks to get used to this feeling) , but like all meals about twenty minutes after the first bite, you start to feel like you have eaten, and you become satisfied. You are eating frequently enough, you do not really want to eat in between (snacks), so your weight is balanced, eating only the food you need.

This is a great way to control bored eating. This is a great way to control your intake. This is a great way to eat and not feel bloated or heavy afterward. Your body loves it. Your blood sugar becomes more stable, and you feel better not being bogged down by high calorie junk food. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you or how to make it better.

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Linux Your Zen Self with a Spin on Budgie

I went through some frustrating gyrations with my computer and Linux this week. It all started when I thought one of my hard drives was behaving oddly. I was at an electronics store looking for something else, and I spotted a 500 gig SSD for $50.00! The last time I looked at an SSD they were $200.00+. The clerk told me prices on SSD’s had been dropping like a rock these past few months. I left the store with the SSD in my hand.

Of course any change to the computer is a good time to look at different Linux Distributions. One that is of real interest to me is Solus with the Budgie desktop. On the second day of incredible frustration, I found Arch Linux document(s) on how a SSD drive should be formatted. Up until this moment, every Linux Distribution I installed failed at the boot loader install with the new SSD. Debian Linux, my standby Linux, offered, after several installation attempts to “force Grub” to install. Debian succeeded in forcing Grub to install, but no other Linux Distribution followed.

Part of the problem is this computer. There is an on the motherboard 250g drive with Windows on it, that is set up as a Raid drive. Part of it was the installers of the Distribution itself. More on that later. The bios was set to RAID and needed to be set to AHCI; the things we learn as we are having fun. Thankfully the awesome experts at Arch Linux have shared on the web, superb documentation which painlessly led me through the process.

Thanks to Arch Linux documentation, I finally had Debian installed and running like a champ, so fast on boot up it is almost unreal. Gotta love fast hard drives. As I wrote in an earlier post, I also had had Peppermint OS installed and I was using it. This go around, however, Peppermint’s color scheme was just too loud, and my attempts to calm it down, made it just plain ugly. I had been reading on and off about Solus Linux, and thought I would give it a spin.

Solus Linux live is a pleasant experience. I am not a fan of black on black on black desktops. I (easily) found some of the colors could be changed, better differentiating the shades on black. Solus had the applications I would pick if I had created Solus. I thought Solus and I were a perfect match.

Then I ran into one little problem. Solus, no matter what I did, would/could not find the empty hard drive space I made for it. On my third attempt (slow learner here), I realized Solus installer wanted an installed operating system and a full partition to shrink and then install on. I extended the Debian home partition to the end of the drive. After several more attempts, Solus finally found Debain, and Solus claimed it would install itself along with Debian on the SSD. I suppose that claim is partially true.

But wait, there’s more. The few times Solus Linux found Debian’s full hard drive space it could use, and agreed to install Grub to the Debian SSD, it died while trying to write Grub to the protected windows SSD. I also found the Solus forums to run a little on the sharp side with the questions posed by people new to Linux which is a shame. Solus is a great beginners Linux, and stands well on its own. I think this is because the Solus team are Developers and not all social butterflies. At any rate, Solus wasted a lot of my time. I hope to install Solus in the future, as the Developers are doing a great job with it. Solus and Budgie is some of  the best of Zen like desktop computing without the hassle of managing your install and updates.

One of the most painfree Linux you may use

Screenshot one of the easiest and simple and complete Linux Os’s

Looking for other Linux builds that favored the Budgie desktop, I found Ubuntu Budgie. I appreciate the work the design team has put into UB Budgie. It loads, installs, and runs seamlessly. My only fault with UB Budgie is Snap Packages, and Ubuntu Budgie can only work with what Ubuntu provides, which is a lot of Snap Packages.

The first Snap I discovered was when I installed Thunderbird. In the Software App, there were two choices, Thunderbird Snap Package and what may be the first ever public Thunderbird release. Now any application can be installed locally, and I may do that with Thunderbird, but Snap packages are a problem for me. You may love them. As we know, no Linux is perfect, and UB Budgie is worth using on its own.

Back to more frustrations, this one self imposed. This is the third writing of this post. When I wrote the first two versions of this post, I forgot I was running on a live USB, and stored the file and screenshot in the ether of memory, when I shut down the computer, poof, away went my thoughts and files, twice. You really shouldn’t do anything too serious when tired.

I did install a package of Core Microsoft Fonts. There is an issue transferring text documents from one application to another, and from Linux to Windows 10 and back again. Each application uses it’s own font choice. When you open your text or document in another app, there goes the formatting due to font differences. Reformatting a document every application switch is a pain I can live without. Better I write everything in Ariel, than reformat the document every time I open the document somewhere else.

If you want the most distraction free, simple to use Linux, whether you are a new user or simply tired of fiddling around, give Solus a try. If Solus has issues, try Ubuntu Budgie. The bigger distributions all have a Budgie DE option, but what you get is less than flattering. I think you will find you really enjoy either of the two Budgies. I am typing this on Ubuntu Budgie. Both Budgie’s are very simple and calming to use, and (mostly) simple to install. Even updating is hidden away in Ubuntu Budgie at least. Other than agreeing to the install, the user is pretty well removed from the actual process. Don’t worry, be happy, on Budgie, lol.

 

 

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Peppermint 10 Respin Initial Experience and Overview

This is my third time with Peppermint OS this year, and I have to say, I did not like Peppermint OS the first two times. For starters, I prefer XFCE and a  ‘traditional’, Desk Top seems like a waste of motion to run and application. Secondly, I was not sure what to do with the web-centric focus of Peppermint OS. Finally, compared to the heavyweight Linux distributions out there, Peppermint OS is sparsely populated.

This is my third time in as many months with Peppermint OS, and I now love it for what it does, and what it is made for. Interestingly enough, Covid-19 is the major reason for my change of how I perceive Peppermint OS. I am an instructor for English as a second language, or ESL. With Covid, ESL has moved to Zoom and Google Classroom.

Thanks to Covid-19, all meetings and training are done online, and not face to face in a room, sitting across the table from each other. It was this change that lets Peppermint OS show off its well thought out platform starting with the desktop and finishing with the choices of installed programs.

Peppermint OS is meant to use to the web applications whenever possible. As such it has a light footprint and it is very quick and nimble. Its menu is not bloated with every conceivable application one may wish to use. It is easily configurable within the programs and parameters for which it is meant to be used.

Here is where I deviated from why Peppermint OS was created. I wanted to use a dock, not a panel. I wanted an XFCE right click menu option. I wanted all my KDE programs ready in the menu system. I wanted the task bar on top of the desktop, not the bottom.

With all these wants, I was spending a lot of time and experiencing a lot of frustration trying to change Peppermint OS into something it is not to be, a mid-weight desktop environment. It was not a fun process, and I did not like the result of my effort.

Now, as my ESL instruction is web-concentric, everything Peppermint OS does and has to offer makes Peppermint OS the obvious choice. What is the reason for creating a document, uploading to the web, having to tweak and reformat to make it look how I want, when all I have to do is use the tools Peppermint OS already offers. I’m a little slow on the uptake sometime.

Once I made a real comparison of my nitpicking of Peppermint OS with my desk-centric Debian, it was easy to see they are different distributions for different purposes. Debian Linux will accept almost any change or any program. Peppermint OS will too, but it is happier if you keep the programs in the confines of the desktop environment built into it.

Hugs and kisses were not descriptive of the first day. When I would suspend Peppermint. Because I have a Nvidia video card, suspension was permanent. Waking up, meant shutting down. This is due to a flaw in the open source video drivers. The simplest fix is to download and install Nvidia drivers. Now coming back from suspend is a matter of pushing the Windows key, and not pushing the power button as I need to do with Debian.

I didn’t understand why Firefox was the browser launched when half the online office is Google-centric. It seemed Chrome would be a better choice. On the third install, I decided there was a reason Firefox is the installed browser and have stayed with Firefox.

I installed Conky with a modified script. Mostly for an easy view of time and date. I spent a minute each, placing launchers and adding the application I wanted on the panel. I added a second workspace as one is never enough. I changed the folder appearance, and the wallpaper.

I also removed the language language flag. Using the tools Peppermint OS provides, change is simple, maybe too simple for someone like me. Thankfully, there is a very handy desktop reset tool, if like me you have gone past the point of no return with your desktop modifications

Peppermint OS screenshot

If you use online office suites, this is a great choice for any computer

Peppermint OS has made the online part of my world easier. Having a separate distribution just for ESL makes document management simple. I no longer use separate ‘Document’ folders in my home directory, one for ESL material and one for everything else. I guess that is streamlining in action?

As with any Linux distribution, Peppermint OS is not for everyone. However, if you find yourself taking advantage of the awesome online office suites and storage, you may wish to give Peppermint OS serious consideration. It really makes document creation, storage and Google Classroom much simpler and more pleasant.

Peppermint OS Reviews:

Distrowatch

Techmint

Peppermint OS home page:

Find out what graphics card you have:

Nvidia Driver download page:

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Red Meat Gone From the Kitchen Table

Thanks to a doctors video visit, not mine, a rather startling and ominous diet change came about around forty-five days ago. I thought everything was fine with my diet, and it was. The newly shared problem was red meat. No more beef or pork to be passing through the lips of those in this household.

As I have been eating red meat almost all of my life, this seemed like a very oppressive, if not impossible task. How does on go through life, suddenly not eating red meat? It was becoming obvious I would find out.

I remember as a kid, having the standard beef roast on Saturday, leftover beef something on Sunday, Monday and maybe Tuesday, beef or pork something on Wednesday and Thursday, and Fish on Friday. The fish was generally great with one exception. The every other week Friday fish meal would be canned Sockeye Salmon, mashed potatoes, and white gravy with a can of peas mixed in.

I found this meal disgusting. I like the Salmon, the potatoes were good, but white gravy with peas was the most gag worthy food I knew. My Father meant well, but in his house, you cleaned your plate, or you sat at the table until bedtime.

I spent many a Friday night seated at the kitchen table until almost bedtime staring at yucky white mush with green peas in it. My Dad was a stubborn man, and I was his son. This battle of wills usually occurred twice a month. The other Friday fish meals did not include white gravy with peas, so it was like any other meal. On a side note, my Dad was the same way with bananas. To my Fathers standard, bananas had to be black before they were edible. I never ate bananas at home growing up.

With the exception of Fridays, we ate a lot of red meat. Not to be forgotten was the occasional, but not every day breakfast addition of bacon or pork sausage. And lets not forget the roast beef sandwiches and soup at lunch time. That was a long time ago, and people thought eating well, meant eating a lot of red meats. How times have changed.

The doctor’s proclamation of no red meat, at first was no big deal. It wasn’t me who was told to modify their diet. By the second day however, it became clear, it was easier to cut out meat than juggle two meals, sometimes twice or three times a day. Good by red meats, I will sneak you in as I can.

On the dinner plate, they are not so cutesy

The pandemic has definitely made it easier to not eat red meat. As we eat at home with few exceptions, there are no cheeseburgers, beef tacos, hot beef sandwiches with fries, or other fast foods to think about eating. Good by red meat.

The first few days were okay. I didn’t feel different; though I never really felt full, even though I knew I ate enough, and I was in fact full. Sometimes I would find myself eating snacks, even though I did not feel hungry, because I did not feel my normal full.

Not feeling full went on for about two weeks, when a change fell over me. I realized, I wasn’t hungry, my stomach simply felt different. Lighter, for lack of a better description. This was my new future of no red meat. No satiated heavy feeling from eating red meat. I could live with that, I thought.

The third week, I gave away all the red meat, and red meat items in the freezer. It is kind of hard to eat red meat anything if it is not in the house. The person who took away about fifteen pounds of red meats, probably thought I was a little crazy, but they didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Off in another person’s care went all my precious red meat, with the exception of a can of beef broth. Or so I thought.

Last week, I was home alone at dinner time. I found one little package of two sweet Italian sausages in the freezer. I was elated, I was excited. I thawed those bad boys out, put ’em in a pan and cooked them. I heated up some vegetables, and got ready for a feast.

Two were too many, so one went in the refrigerator for the next day. It tasted so good! The perfect amount of pork flavor mixed in with the wonderful herbs and spice mixture that makes Italian sausage so good.

I could feel myself actually full. An hour later the full feeling turned to a heavy feeling. The heavy feeling turned to discomfort. The discomfort went on all night and halfway through the next day. Because I didn’t want it to go to waste, the second day, I ate half the remaining Italian sausage with an egg, and the last half with lunch. My poor stomach was in rinse an repeat mode. Heavy feeling with a side of pain.

That was about ten days ago. I no longer have the urge to eat any red meat, and I find I am happy with this new lighter version of feeling full. There is life after red meat is taken off the menu. Just like any other habit, the ‘need’ to eat red meat went away.

I must admit, I couldn’t get overly enthusiastic eating chicken something every day, but having different types of chicken alternated with different types of fish is okay with me. I choose not to go back to having an upset stomach because I ‘have’ to eat red meat.

Upset stomach from red meat happened once before, several years ago, when I was overseas for two weeks. The only meats were fish and chicken, and they were scarce. When I came home, I ate red meat, and promptly became ill in the stomach. I lived on fruits and vegetables for almost a month before I could eat a ‘normal’ American meal. I suppose I am a slow learner in some areas of life.

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