Of Dimocrats, Religion, Cows and Feds

What is it about the Most Dim of the Democrats (whom I’ve taken to calling Dimocrats) and religion?

They just could not stand the idea of the Branch Davidians, so they had to slaughter them all in order to save them.

Now they are attacking the Amish. Guns drawn, raiding those horrid Criminal Cow Milkers….

It seems that the Looney Side Of Left can sort of barely tolerate Catholics, Jews, and Muslims (one supposes because there are so many of them, and with enough money to matter), but when it comes to Protestants, they seem to have, er, “selective listening skills” about that “make no law respecting an establishment of religion” thing…. and the “free practice thereof”…

But: They seem to want to pick on the smaller sects first, one presumes so as to establish precedent that can be used later for others.

So the Davidians were not exactly the most clueful folks on the planet. They had started as a normal enough splinter off of the Seventh Day Adventists and were profoundly anti-violence. Somewhere along the way, Koresh managed to take over and saw a way to make money selling guns. They got a Federal Firearms Licence and did all the paperwork. But somewhere in the The Feds under the Clintons, the idea of “religious nuts with guns” just stuck in someone’s craw. And despite the fact that Koresh regularly just drove into town in a truck and could have been picked up by the town cops with No Trouble At ALL; The Feds wanted a “show”; so went in guns drawn in full SWAT regalia. Well, we all know how that ended. The Feds effectively murdered them in order to save them. (Yes, partially ‘by their own hand”, but anyone with 1/2 a brain would not have sent an army toward a semi-paranoid group of isolationists with a religious zeal… No, there were much easier and much better ways to have done that… but Janet Reno wanted her “macho chops”… so in went The Armed Raid.)

Why bring this up? Well, if you take a look at some history here:

http://www.branch-davidianhistory.net/history.aspx?c=13

you find that much of what set the Branch Davidians apart from “us” is related more to issues of food and medical technology:

We are historically fundamentalist Seventh-Day Adventist, and we embrace the whole of the written counsels of Ellen White, 1844 through 1915, constituting the first sealing message of Revelation 3:12(a), plus the new light given by Ellet J. Waggoner and Alonzo T. Jones of the 1888 General Conference meeting in Minneapolis, the 1888 Message of the Righteousness of Messiah-Christ, wholly endorsed by Ellen White.

We further embrace the Spirit of Prophecy – new light advent revelations – of the Shepherd’s Rod Messenger, Victor Houteff, founder of the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Movement in 1930, preserving the Protestant Reformation (see prophecy chart at the end, below) according to the 430 year time prophecy of Ezekiel 4, constituting the second sealing message of Revelation 3:12(b).
[…]
The mother church would not permit the Davidian-SDA men, subject to the draft, to utilize their church membership benefit of conscientious objector status in time of war, long established by the SDA church. Seventh-day Adventist and Davidian Seventh-day Adventist young men were typically inducted into wartime service as combat medics and other non-combatant troop support.

Not exactly your ultra-violent type of ideation here…

We further embrace the Spirit of Prophecy
[…]
Representing the third phase of the Advent Movement, The Branch Message fully restored the Leviticus 23 Festivals of Israel, within a providential “core gathering” of the Tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) in the latter days. “The Branch” publications, under Ben Roden, also restored the Torah New Covenant observance of “the Daily” (ha Tamid), known as “the hour(s) of prayer” (and the Emblems of Messiah, the sacraments of His Body and Blood) twice daily (Acts 3:1 ; Num. 28:2-10 ; Dan. 8-11 “the daily” ; Mark 15:34-38 ; Acts 2:15 ; Rom. 12:1 ; summarized in the book Patriarchs and Prophets p.352 by E. G. White).

Historically, we further maintain the vegetarian and Scriptural kosher dietary standards according to the book Counsels on Diet and Foods by Ellen White, further upheld in the various written counsels of Victor Houteff (in The Shepherd’s Rod Message) and Benjamin Roden (Seven Letters to SDA), also in the counsels of Lois Roden, further restricting from our diet the use of animal based additives or derivatives common in many commercial foods today. This, we understand as the Genesis 1 diet, the pre-flood diet of Noah and his family, and of the prophets, such as Daniel. Also, the use of tobacco products is not permitted, plus the avoidance of caffeine products such as coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks, and the abstinence of alcoholic beverages is a historical requirement in the SDA, DSDA and BDSDA organizations. It should be noted however, that the continued consumption of (kosher) meat products by the membership of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, particularly of those new in the faith, has never been a test a fellowship. […]

New members in the faith were carefully taught the principles of Scriptural kosher lifestyle, based upon the Torah, the Law of Moses, for the use of animal products, very much upheld in the early New Covenant faith under the Apostles, including the strict avoidance of any animal products with blood still present, the strict abstinence from any pork/swine products, strict abstinence from unclean seafood, such as shellfish, crab, lobster, fish without fins and scales etc., and, as Brother Roden taught, that even a vegetarian sandwich that is made, cut with the same knife that is used to cut a sandwich made with unclean meat, is also rendered treif, unclean, not kosher, and should be carefully avoided.

You learn a lot about folks in a small town restaurant. There was a Seventh Day Adventist group living just a ways outside of town. We had to know how to cook food for them. There was a Jewish family or two in town as well. While we weren’t a kosher restaurant, we could assure that no horrible sin was done… (pan fry his steak instead of using the grill that had bacon cooked on it in the morning, for example). And we had a strong awareness of what had caffeine and what did not. There was also a Christian Scientist group in town. Nice folks. Didn’t go to the Jewish Doctor much ;-)

At any rate, between the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Jews, Christian Scientists, Jehovah Witness, Southern Baptist (no alcohol), Catholics (no meat on Fridays back then), etc. etc. you got a pretty good introduction to how much different folks can read different things in the same books.

(BTW, you will find The Feds from time to time persecuting Christian Scientists for not having medical procedures done to their kids, on the thesis that you can’t apply a Religion to a child just because they were born into it and must have The Feds be “en loco parentis” as any religious parent is already too “loco” to be “parentis”… )

So there is a well established pattern of The Feds (especially under Dimocrats, who can’t STAND anyone thinking something other than what they think) forcing itself down the throats of various religious groups against their will. (One presumes that Religious Rape is ok, when practiced by the Federal Government…)

But I digress…

We strive to keep informed with the latest corroborated health information and healthy lifestyle trends today, such as herbal medicine, food enzymes, water purification technology, along with many alternative diagnostic modalities now available. By following these counsels and Torah kosher practices we are able to avoid the diseases common today in production livestock (cancer, BSE-Creutzfelt-Jakob Disease/Mad Cow Syndrome, tuberculosis etc.) carried in the blood, plus avoiding the synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics used in commercial livestock universally. With this dietary practice, as a group, we typically enjoy life extension averages of ten years with overall quality of life, typically free from all degenerative disease, exceeding other mainstream religious groups and the American mainstream lifespan in general.

Oh, so those “Religious Nuts” live a longer and more healthy life? Well… Can’t have that, might set a bad example…

So here’s the point of bringing up the Branch Davidians: As a part of the Seventh Day Adventists, they are a “divergent” religious group that mostly “clings to their Bibles” and, horror of horrors, thinks you ought to do what it says. Rather like the Jews. (As noted above where they have ‘restored’ many of the Jewish practices into Christianity).

Is there another group that thinks maybe you ought to do what The Book says, without a whole lot of embellishment and re-interpretation?

Why yes, several, but in this case in particular, The Amish. I’m rather partial to The Amish, as my Grandmother was one. While I am not (being more of the computers, cars, and coffee with whiskey American Irish tradition… AKA Granddad) I can still honor the right of that part of my family to practice their religion without The Feds making laws that interfere with it.

So, what have they done now?

The Cow, The Horrible Evil Cow

The Amish have a tradition of keeping cows. They then milk the cows. They then drink the milk (and make cheese out of it). All without the application of “modern machines” not found in The Bible. One of their beliefs is that if it’s not in The Bible, you ought not to do it / use it. No guns. No electricity. No TV. No tractors. No borrowed money.

So the Old Order Amish live a simple life, close to the land, as God made it. As God told them to live it. Not dependent on banks. Not dependent on Monsanto for seeds. Not dependent on OPEC for gasoline. Not buying any GM cars. And not running their milk through computer controlled electrically driven milk pasteurizers…

Yes, those horrid Amish drink Raw Milk.

At this point, I must confess, that I, too, am a Hardened Criminal (by that definition). At about 6 years of age, while visiting my Uncle in Oregon, we ran out of milk just before dinner. My sister was sent out to the barn with a pail. I followed to watch, so can attest to the exact source of the milk. We took milk directly from the cow, into the milking pail. It was brought into the house, cooled just a bit, and then, horror of horrors! We drank it!

I still have very fond memories of that milk. Vaguely warm. Foamy top with cream still in it. Unlike any other.

So now you know my bias. Just as on the farm where my Dad grew up, drinking only Raw Milk his entire life until he left the farm, I, too, have consumed milk ‘right from the cow”. (As, I might add, does every calf…) In the farm town where I grew up there were many families with “a cow for the kids”. The Irish Dexter cow was bread to be of small size so as to make just about the amount of milk a family would need each day. (A regular dairy cow makes so much milk that it is impossible to use it all, even with cheese making).

The Event

The Feds have raided an Amish Milk Operation. Per news reports, they entered with guns drawn (in case the Amish might attack them with milk pails, one presumes). The Crime of selling milk that had not been cooked in modern devices not in The Bible being unacceptable…

I found this rather interesting video clip. It is not of the latest raid, but it does do a nice job of giving a flavor for the events:

It looks like they have been at this for a while, given the date on this article:

http://www.naturalnews.com/029322_raw_milk_Amish.html

Feds raid Amish dairy and threaten action over raw milk sales

Friday, July 30, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) The U.S. government gestapo is at it again in its crusade against raw milk. Recently, the jackboots swarmed a Pennsylvania Amish man’s private dairy farm for the second time, falsely accusing him of violating the ridiculous prohibition on selling raw milk across state lines.

Farmer Dan Allgyer’s farm was raided by the same agents who paid him a visit back in February, telling him both times that they were there for an “inspection”. Just like last time, the agents drove flagrantly past “No Trespassing” and “Private Property”, this time arriving around 4:30 a.m. when Allgyer’s family was still asleep and as he was preparing to milk his cows.

The group began to interrogate Allgyer, and served him a warrant claiming they had “credible evidence” that he was involved in interstate commerce involving raw milk. According to Allgyer’s personal account, upon being questioned as to why the agents were at the farm so early when the warrant clearly stated that it was valid only at “reasonable times during ordinary business hours”, one of them retorted that “ordinary business hours for agriculture start at 5 a.m.”

After scouring farm equipment and taking a bunch of pictures, the agents eventually left. But the next morning, Allgyer received an overnight, urgent letter from officials about “regulatory action” that would be taken if he failed to take “corrective action”.

That link also does a good job of describing how “not selling anything” got translated into “interstate commerce” by that Great Progressive FDR:

Some people might not know this, but according to the precedent set by the Wickard v. Filburn case, practically everything can now be considered to affect “interstate commerce” and thus fall under federal jurisdiction. In the little-known case, then President Franklin Roosevelt coerced the Supreme Court into supporting certain New Deal proposals that revolutionized the definition of “interstate commerce”.

Wickard v. Filburn had to do with a farmer who was growing too much wheat during a time when there were wheat quotas. To make a long story short, the courts established that even growing your own wheat and feeding it to your cattle falls under the banner of “interstate commerce” because there is the potential to affect interstate commerce.

It is under this faulty premise that federal and state agents are challenging Farmer Allgyer and others who may be selling raw milk products directly to consumers. Though Allgyer is running a private farm, federal agents are operating on illegitimate precedent by accusing him of being involved in interstate commerce.

But there is a lot of coverage of the latest raid too:

http://libertypenblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/federal-sting-catches-amish-selling-raw.html

War Against Terror. War Against Drugs. War Against Raw Milk?
By Gilion Dumas
Published on Mon, 05/09/2011

On the heels of the spectacular attack on Bin Laden’s Pakistan compound, Feds closer to home sprung the trap on another major threat to our personal safety – Amish farmers selling raw milk to their neighbors.

In a year-long sting operation that culminated in a pre-dawn raid last week, the FDA captured an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania selling unpasteurized milk to willing purchasers in the Washington, D.C. area. It was a rare headline-grabbing event in the ongoing battle between natural food fans and the nanny state.

Raw milk advocates tout the health and flavor benefits of milk that hasn’t had the good stuff cooked out of it with high-heat pasteurization. Personally, I think raw milk tastes great – it has a lot more flavor than regular milk. It is also wonderful for baking. Raw cream sets up in seconds, making the richest, best whipped cream ever. And don’t even get me started on raw-milk cheese.

The FDA, on the other hand, wants to eliminate the option of unpasteurized dairy entirely. It is not enough to alert consumers to possible risks of unpasteurized products and let the consumers chose for themselves. “It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA.

State regulations governing the sale of raw dairy products vary widely, from allowing unrestricted sales to prohibiting them entirely. According to consumer advocates, ten states, including Washington, Idaho, and California, allow retail sales of raw milk.

Oregon allows limited sales of raw milk. By state statute, customers can go to a farm to buy raw milk, but only if the farmer has no more than three cows. Farmers are not allowed to deliver, nor can they advertise their product. A list of Oregon suppliers is here.

So what brought Rainbow Acres Farms into the FDA’s crosshairs? Pennsylvania allows the retail sale of raw milk. But Washington, D.C., Maryland, and other neighboring states prohibit all raw milk sales. Once Rainbow Acres sold its milk across state lines, it violated the FDA’s prohibition against interstate commerce in unpasteurized milk. The lesson? If you want raw milk, buy local – really local – don’t cross any state lines. And if you are in Maryland, you are out of luck.

This article says that the most recent event did, in fact, involve the actual transport across state lines of product. (Though, in fact, it isn’t needed for something to be defined as ‘interstate commerce’… as that farmer growing wheat fed to his own cows demonstrated.)

Even the more general press has it:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/apr/28/feds-sting-amish-farmer-selling-raw-milk-locally/

A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.

The product in question: unpasteurized milk.

It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.

“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA, whose investigators have been looking into Rainbow Acres for months, and who finally last week filed a 10-page complaint in federal court in Pennsylvania seeking an order to stop the farm from shipping across state lines any more raw milk or dairy products made from it.

The farm’s owner, Dan Allgyer, didn’t respond to a message seeking comment, but his customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland were furious at what they said was government overreach.

“I look at this as the FDA is in cahoots with the large milk producers,” said Karin Edgett, a D.C. resident who buys directly from Rainbow Acres. “I don’t want the FDA and my tax dollars to go to shut down a farm that hasn’t had any complaints against it. They’re producing good food, and the consumers are extremely happy with it.”

The FDA’s actions stand in contrast to other areas where the Obama administration has said it will take a hands-off approach to violations of the law, including the use of medical marijuana in states that have approved it, and illegal-immigrant students and youths, whom the administration said recently will not be targets of their enforcement efforts.

In Conclusion

What can I say?

I think it’s a bit crazy to just swill any old animal product without killing the bugs in it first, if you can. I think most religious practices of the world verge on lunacy. I also respect the rights of other folks to think differently and I fully respect the rights of those folks who ARE of a religious bent to believe and practice what they believe. Heck, some marginal religions even cut off the end of “Mr. Happy” on their boy babies… talk about “child abuse”… /sarcoff>

Many Amish have had to move off of the farm. That is an essential consequence of having as many children “as God provides” while not having unlimited money with which to buy each young couple a large enough plot of farmable land to be productive and sustainable. They generally try to take jobs where they are reasonably close to their Amish beliefs. ( It is allowed, for example, to work in a cheese making factory that uses electric machinery and lighting as long as you are not the one owning it. So: many Amish work in “farm related” industries off of the farm. That, too, is how you can have video of an “Amish Dairy”, as the person who owns the place will not be Old Order Amish. Even if the workers are.)

So if I’ve been forced by economic circumstance to “live among the English”; am I also to be forced by legal circumstance to consume their foods, to forgo my beliefs in my non-work time, to drink only “cooked milk” as I don’t own my own cows?

At what point does a food regulation get to trump Freedom Of Religion? Was this country not founded by folks looking for a place to just be left alone to practice whatever religion they liked? Didn’t we put it in the First Amendment and as the very first thing as it was That Important?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

And notice that it says “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. It does NOT say “unless the FDA doesn’t like it”.

The Bible contains very specific do’s and dont’s about food and diet. It is VERY clear that food and diet are clearly religious issues (just ask any Jew or Muslim). So if someone has a religious belief that they ought to do only what is stated in The Bible, is that to be “prohibited” if it is in conflict with the FDA? Janet Reno? Obama?

If the FDA finds that GMO plants and animals are just fine, does that mean that Pig Genes can be put in cows and you must be forced to eat them as your religious belief takes second place? What if you think GMO corn is an “abomination” due to it being the product of Man Playing God? Ought not you be able to choose what to eat?

FWIW, I have my reservations about GMO products. Mostly because we have no clue what we’re doing with them. You splatter the genetics all over the place then assume you didn’t screw anything up? Just wrong. Each gene codes for many things, it’s not ‘one gene one protein’ as the theory goes. So cram a gene in and “lock in the on position” that gene and anything else where it got crammed and what happens? Oh, we don’t know… but the plant didn’t die, so go ahead and feed it to everyone… Oh, and it was delivered with an antibiotic resistance gene as a ‘marker’ and done via some infective virus parts, but what could go wrong?…. Despite that, I eat GMO stuff if I don’t have a lot of choice…

But that is what this is all about CHOICE.

How can you have freedom without choice?

If someone else is choosing for you, you are a farmed animal, not a free person. By definition, freedom is the right to choose, even if you choose things with bad consequences. Saving folks from “bad decisions” is another phrase for Tyranny. It simply lets someone else make the bad choices for them. (Oh, do you really think some bureaucrat in DC or a paid party hack is going to make better decisions than you can make? Really? How about those military contracts? How about the way the banks have been ‘managed’? How about the great job they are doing on the border? How about our “energy strategy”? Oh, sorry, we don’t have one…)

So I don’t know why it is, but I can clearly see that it is: The Feds hate actual freedom, and the Dimocrats in particular can’t stand actual freedom of religion. There is an attack on any freedom that challenges their power to meddle in your life. Even if it takes guns drawn raids on minority religions to do it.

Why do I care about Amish Raw Milk? Because it is the more “fringy” folks who get smacked around first. They are the canary in this particular coal mine. What is being done to them, today, will be done to all, tomorrow. We need to defend the freedoms of those we find most “odd” if we are to have any freedoms of our own.

So be it Italian prosciutto ham (made the traditional way is banned in the USA, despite a few hundred years of experience in Italy that it is just fine…) or raw milk, or even “raw milk cheeses” ( many cheeses are made with raw milk, btw, but a recent Fed action has threatened to ban them, so the flavor of most of your cheeses would change…) or any of a hundred other foods, The Feds want to control what you have to choose, and are making noises about controlling how much of it too.

You can fully expect that once the Feds have your medical records, anyone with a “Body Mass Index” that is “out of line” will be having orders given to “get treatment or else”. There have already been folks threatened with having their kids stolen by the government for them being too fat. (Again, never mind that BMI just divides weight by height and makes no allowance for genetic variation where blacks have very long light legs while Germanic and Slavic whites have short legs and heavy bodies adapted to cold climates. Wrong numbers? No kids for you…)

We are not all blessed with the body of a “10” Model. I can eat like a pig, and get about 10 lbs added, then it just won’t budge. I can starve and drop about 5 lbs. Then the “thermostat” kicks in and the metabolism shuts down fuel burn and it just won’t budge. My BMI is usually on the “high side” even if I’m starved. Why? Big farmer hands, feet, bones. Very long body (with all that mass / length) and very short legs. BMI is just a broken number for me. Not enough legs… So since I can’t change my “body to leg ratio” and since my metabolic set point holds my weight about at a constant +/- 4% no matter what I eat or how much / little; I’m going to be deemed “unacceptable”. I already am under California guidelines for children in school… Think this is nutty? How about this Massachusetts paper on BMI screening for schools:

http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dph/mass_in_motion/community_school_screening.pdf

Never mind that if you work out a lot you may not “fit” the profile either:

http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/BMI.html

The BMI may not apply to some individuals with more than normal muscle mass and acceptable levels of body fat. In some ethnic groups, such as Pacific Islanders, BMI overestimates fatness and risk. For children and the elderly, BMI may be misleading since the muscle and bone to height relationship is changing.

No, just because it’s a broken Procrustean Bed, that does not mean a Government Official can not be tasked to assure you are cut to fit it.

So I don’t know why, and I don’t know what pathology causes it; but I can clearly see that the Dimocrats in particular, but Government in general has a “Food Fetish”. It’s also clear that the fight begins with the most marginal among us. It starts with the genetically Fat Kid, and it starts with the Amish milk farm.

It’s time for a good pruning of The Federal Government (and most State Government too). Looks to me like we can start with eliminating the Federal Department of Education and giving the FDA a much more narrow mandate… (Or maybe just eliminate it and say “see the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture” for guidelines…)

It is precisely the attacks on minority religions that make clear the threats to us all, and make clear exactly what to “cut” from the Federal Budget.
======== Cut Here =============
Department of Education (States can do it)
Department of Agriculture (States can do it)
Department of Health and Human Services (States)
War on Drugs
Department of Housing and Urban Development (States)
Department of Commerce (Doesn’t need a department)
Department of Labor (States can do it)
Department of Energy (do they actually DO anything? That works, I mean…)
Department of Transportations (give the highways to the states)
Department of Homeland Security (the “cop a feel” department..)
======== Pune Strongly ==========
Department of State (zero the “foreign aid” bribery budget)
Department of Treasury
Department of Defense (i.e. end the foreign wars)
Department of Interior (Give the Indians their freedom)
Department of Justice (end the war on drugs)
======== Assess ==============
Department of Veterans Affairs

I figure I could get the Federal Government down to about 25% of the present level, and with the major impact being that folks would have more freedom and better more local control. Oh, and you could eat what you wanted too. Even cream cheese and bagels… with or without prosciutto. Pasteurized or not… even two of them if you like it…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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35 Responses to Of Dimocrats, Religion, Cows and Feds

  1. PhilJourdan says:

    sort of barely tolerate Catholics, Jews, and Muslims

    Correction – they only tolerate “GoodLife” (a cookie if you know where that comes from). They hate Catholics because of their opposition to Abortion and Homosexual Marriage. They only like Jews that Hate Israel (Rahm), and they love the muslims who hate life (want to kill all infidels).

  2. boballab says:

    The farm where this occurred is not that far from where I grew up in Cochranville Pa. Matter of fact for about 6 years my family was one of the customers of a local farmer who sold raw milk right outside of the town.

    /SARC ON

    But look on the brightside, none of this is going to matter since tomorrow is judgement day:

    Judgment Day! May 21, 2011

    and the world ends on the 21’st of Oct:

    The End of the World October 21, 2011

    http://www.ebiblefellowship.com/outreach/tracts/may21/

    /SARC OFF

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @Philjourdan:

    Oh dear, you are right. My mistake… I forgot about that whole “Abortion and homosexuals” thing… How could I?…

    Guess I was thinking of the JFK legacy… but I guess that’s all gone now…

    By “cookie” I presume you mean what Urban Dictionary called it:

    1. Fortune Cookie Religion

    Fortune Cookie Religion describes religious beliefs that are not based on reading religious texts in their entirety but by reading one disjointed verse at a time, as though getting small doses of wisdom akin to a fortune cookie.

    The reader then forces that one short verse to apply to their lives and those around them without reading the chapters before or after. This style of religion creates a tendancy for the words to be misinterpretted or taken out of context. Also the reader usually does very little to understand the culture at the time, or other inferences surrounding the time and place that the scripture was written.

    In essence it is a shallow religious base comprised of little effort or research on the part of the person. Someone who is Fortune Cookie Religious likes little sayings, quotes, and things with bits of scripture on them, to outwardly show to others that they are religious, but rarely do they read their religious texts themselves. They wait for someone else to tell them what to believe.

    Jane’s Fortune Cookie Religion involves her reading her Zen Calendar every day.

    Tom’s made a Fortune Cookie Religion out of reading his horoscope.

    Sally’s turned reading the Bible into a Fortune Cookie Religion with the way she opens it and points to a random verse, hoping that it will show her the way.

    @Boballab:

    Oh, thanks for the reminder, I’ll be sure to leave the Bible open to “Revelations” tonight. I’ll have to read it some day, but I’m sure that for now it will be enough to have it on the bedstand… ;-)

    Beside, it looks like I have until October to get serious about it ;-)

    So you, too, have commited the Crime Of Milk? Well, what a band of criminals we’re all turning out to be… ;-)

    Wonder when they will get around to defning breast feeding as child abuse if the mother smokes or doesn’t eat the approved diet? (Maybe I ought not to give them ideas…)

  4. bulaman says:

    How government and regulation improves our lives!

    ** Pythagorean theorem: ………………………………………24 words.

    ** Lord’s prayer:……………………………………………………66 words.

    ** Archimedes’ Principle: ………………………………………67 words.

    ** 10 Commandments: ………………………………………..179 words.

    ** Gettysburg address: ………………………………………..286 words.

    ** Declaration of Independence : ………………………..1,300 words.

    ** US Constitution with 27 Amendments : ……………. 7,818 words.

    ** US Government regulations on sale of cabbage: 26,911 words.

  5. R. Shearer says:

    The world must be saved for the children. So, please don’t have any or at least abort them.

  6. Ruhroh says:

    Can I get an order of assorted nigiri sushi, and a large raw milk, to go?

    RR

  7. boballab says:

    This brings a whole new meaning to that commercial catch phrase: “Got Milk?”

    Buyer: “Psst!

    Pusher: “What You Need?”

    Buyer “Got Milk?”

    Pusher: “Sure do, fresh from the Amish Cartel in Lancaster County.”

  8. Jerry Franke says:

    Ahh, the memories of a ten year old! Milking the cow – give her some ground oats to keep her mind off the human kid stealing her calf’s milk. Get set up quickly with the 10 quart pail and three legged stool. Work fast and steady otherwise she will shut off the milk. Hands start to ache – now you realize why Dad’s hands are so powerful. The cats – a horde of them patiently sitting on their haunches waiting for their share of the booty. Give them a few sample squirts – they stand up on two legs to reach the stream. When no more milk comes, you’re finished and disappointed – you got one third of what Dad usually gets. Give the cats their share in a couple of bowls – they have their heads in the bowl before you start pouring so get their heads soaked. They don’t mind getting their heads wet – cleaning up is what they are good at. Let the calf out of his pen. You know he’s going to be pleased that you left so much for him.

  9. kuhnkat says:

    Ever see the web site NOTMILK.com?? Maybe junk, maybe some truth to it!!!

    I’ll take my milk raw please, but, not nearly as much as when I was under 40!!

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @Kuhnkat:

    Nope, never seen it before:

    http://notmilk.com/

    has a lot of hot links. Not much time to look into it right now.

    I can say that the allowable levels of things like puss and blood in commercial milk is just crazy. It’s part of the whole “solution to polution is dilution” mind set.

    I’d rather have an Amish farmer, hand on tit, saying “This is no good, cow. We must healthy make you first… how did you get such a sore tit?” and moving the milking stool to the next cow… (My Dad taught me how to wash the udder and inpect the cow; and how to do the milking in such a way that the most milk was made. Some folks seem to think that you are just draining milk. It isn’t that way. The first bit, yeah, but after that it’s Made To Order. The cow has to like you to give the most and best…)

    In commercial operations, the person stuffing tits into electric suckers may not even see what they are doing and certainly doesn’t take the time to hand inspect each cow prior to starting to milk.

    There are times I’m glad I don’t drink cows milk any more. (Goat milk is still done on a much smaller scale and with closer observation of each animal).

    One sidebar:

    When trying to decide if something sound so outragious that it just can possibly be that way, I suggest keeping this standard in mind: It was discovered that adding cement powder to cattle feed caused increased weight gain. As a result, some farmers have begun feeding added cement to their cows…

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4126703.html

    1. A dry feed ration for ruminant animals comprising a mixture of about 52% by weight of fibrous forage plants, about 36% by weight of grain concentrate and up to about 3.6% by weight of dry precipitate dust from the manufacture of portland cement, said ration having a crude protein content of as low as about 8% by weight.

    Yeah, not much of a hurdle…

  11. David says:

    Dude, sorry to be California casual, just in a odd mood at the “end of the world” If I ate cement I have the thought that I may gain weight, but swim poorly.

    Some other thoughts on your illustrative post.
    “It seems that the Looney Side Of Left can sort of barely tolerate Catholics, Jews, and Muslims (one supposes because there are so many of them, and with enough money to matter), but when it comes to Protestants, they seem to have, er, “selective listening skills” about that “make no law respecting an establishment of religion” thing…. and the “free practice thereof”… ”

    Indeed there is some particular disdain here. I entered a facebook conversation once when a Young PHD socialogist canadaite made this rather starling observation. Nik Hay;
    “…the U.S. was founded by a group of religious fanatics who were too prudish for Britain. that should say more than enough. i don’t deny that China is screwed up too, perhaps more so than the U.S., but that doesn’t mean that I’m wrong about U.S. history or culture.”

    Nik appeared to be saying that it was the narrow minded absolutist judgemental moral teaching of the protestant religious culture that were the essence of what America became, and to this day is.

    I tried to explain that the foundation of the United States was, and quite obviously is, the antisepsis of Puritan extremism.
    The fact is that many in the US came to escape all forms of tyranny, and this is the philosophy that won. Not only did I disagree with Nik “educated” view, I also think he confused Max Weber’s interpretation of the Protestant influence on the US, (i don’t think it’s an unprecedented thing to say that Puritanism has had a huge impact on american society. you could look at the work of Max Weber for a canonical example,) with what Weber’s writings morphed into via the agency of the secular humanist view so prevalent in academia today. Weber taught that the protestant work ethic (a term he coined) when exposed to capitalism, (in this case the striving for personal gain) morphed into evil selfishness, as the religious ideals of an all inclusive brotherhood, and Protestant ideals of simplicity and working hard, but not for self gain, were lost due to the evil influence of capitalism. Reiterated in a different way, it was Weber’s view that it was the loss of this selfless religious restraint, due to the spirit of capitalism, (the idea of a rational pursuit for personal prosperity) that was an inevitable result of the combining of the protestant work ethic with capitalism.

    With Obama’s recent call for a two state solution with 1967 borders I am beginning to suspect that Obama may have a greater dislike of Israel, then he does of white Protestant Americans. “clinging to their raw milk and religion”. (-;

    It really should not be forgotten that Obama’s “Church” of over twenty years, where he was married and his children were Baptized; awarded Louis Farrakhan a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his work with the ‘Nation of Islam’.
    The hate of “whitey” in General and Jews in particular is split fairly evenly, so it is not easy to tell which is greater.

    “The white man is our mortal enemy, and we cannot accept him. I will fight to see that vicious beast go down into the lake of fire prepared for him from the beginning, that he never rise again to give any innocent black man, woman or child the hell that he has delighted in pouring on us for 400 years.”
    Louis Farrakhan
    Nation of Islam

    “It is an act of mercy to white people that we end your world. … We must end your world and bring in a new world.”
    Louis Farrakhan
    Nation of Islam

    “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”
    Louis Farrakhan
    Nation of Islam

    “God will destroy America by the hands of the Muslims….God will not give Japan or Europe the honor of bringing down the United States; this is an honor God will bestow upon Muslims.”
    Louis Farrakhan
    Nation of Islam

    Re “So the Old Order Amish live a simple life, close to the land, as God made it. As God told them to live it. Not dependent on banks. Not dependent on Monsanto for seeds. Not dependent on OPEC for gasoline.”
    I would add one more “not dependent”, not dependent on the goverment for their needs, other then their need to be live and let live.

    And a finale thought on this, “How about our “energy strategy”? Oh, sorry, we don’t have one…) On the contrary dear Sir, we do, or at least he does, http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/?q=under+my+plan%2c+electricity+rates+will+necessarily+skyrocket&vid=3A7AAEC9EF86C6CCD3393A7AAEC9EF86C6CCD339&docid=959980962724&FROM=LKVR5&GT1=LKVR5&FORM=LKVR7

    Cheers, and thanks for your blog as always, you are a true gentleman and a scholar.

  12. Keith Hill says:

    One of the joys of my youth before heading off to school on a cold frosty morning – my head buried into the warm flank of a cow while extracting our daily supply!

    I too am a raw milk criminal and can still remember the taste of the creamy nutritious brew one can only dream of now.

    With a mother whose home-made bread and scones were legendary, hot samples fresh out of the wood-fired oven liberally smothered with our own home-churned butter, were something to die for! It was a different world and I consider myself blessed to have experienced those simple pleasures.

    Later in life, my little twin girls had the fun of rather messily trying to drink some of the well-aimed squirts of cow’s milk direct from the source. Their peals of laughter when poorly aimed shots missed their mouths and gave them a milk facewash brightened many a morning for me!

    I sometimes wonder whether what would now be considered unhygienic products and practices gave us a far better immunity from many illnesses than people seem to have now.

    Thank you chiefio, for triggering some wonderful memories!

  13. GregO says:

    E.M. Smith for president!

  14. Pascvaks says:

    There’s something somewhere in the Constitution that says something about something about not having a State Religion. I know it’s there somewhere. I think I saw it once. Ahhhhhhhh…

    “ Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” (1st Amend.)

    So, when did the Feds get it in their heads that it was OK for them to establish the US Federal Church of Atheism and Constitutional Legal Compliance? Guess it’s sort’a like monetary inflation (devaluation), rust, wood rot, termites, carpenter ants, water erosion; it just kind’a happens.

  15. Judy F. says:

    There is an interesting man, Weston A. Price, who was an early advocate of raw milk. He was a dentist who saw in his practice, evidence of jaw problems in people who drank pasteurized vs raw milk. It is an interesting read. ( I am not sure how to do the links thing, so I hope this works)
    http://www.westonaprice.org

    There is also a cookbook that advocates traditional, nutrient dense foods. ” Nourishing Traditions: the Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and The Diet Dictrocrats” by Sally Fallon. It is available through Amazon.

    For years our family sold meat, eggs and veggies in the local farmers market. The hoops we had to jump through were crazy. In our area, the question of how to handle the meat and eggs had not come up before, so Local official A said one thing, Local Official B said something else and State Official said something still different. And they said they were all reading out of the same rulebook. We also had a milk cow, and got around the “selling” of raw milk, by having the customers buy shares in the cow and help pay for her upkeep. You can drink your own raw milk, you just can’t sell it to others.

    Kind of off topic, but I find it interesting to think about vegetarians who live in the northern parts of the world. They are only alive and can eat a variety of foodstuffs because vast amounts of fresh fruits and veggies are trucked in from various parts of the world. If they were dependent on eating locally grown produce, say in Montana in the winter, it would be pretty slim pickin’s. By the end of winter you’d be down to some wheat, dried beans, maybe some cornmeal and a few dried peas. Filling perhaps, but rather bland.

    Again off topic, but a Naturopathic Doctor I see, takes your blood type into consideration during treatment. His thinking is that O blood is the oldest blood type( in evolutionary time frame) and therefore those patients tolerate a lot more meat in the diet. He told me ” meat is your friend”. The other blood types are the newer blood types in human history, and in descending order ( A, then B then AB) they are more tolerant of plant based diets. Unfortunately, I don’t have a reference at hand to back up his claims. It is interesting to think about food in an evolutionary concept.

  16. Jerry says:

    Raw milk – those filthy, evil, DeGeneres !

    They probably exhale non-EPA approved C02 (thy worst kind) and who knows what other vile emissions comes out of those cows. But at least they have not sunk to the level of this guy.

    http://biggovernment.com/bmccarty/2011/05/20/family-facing-4-million-in-fines-for-selling-bunnies/

    /big Sarc off :)

    if the USDA shows up at your door say you ain’t home! or just start shooting – take some with you.
    If I were Amish I would have to start reconsidering/rationalizing that no Guns thing.

    Which reminds me – under Cut Here, I would suggest total elimination of the BAFTE — The Constitution takes care of that. No thugs needed.

  17. boballab says:

    @Pascvaks

    We started down that slippery slope when the Supreme Court told the Mormons HOW they could practice their religion in 1878.

    Remember the Mormons practiced Polygamy as part of their religious belief. By 1851 they ran what was basically their own country called Deseret and at that time their version of a “constitution” (what the Supreme Court deemed a Contract in an 1890 case) enshired the practice of polygamy in it. However right after that Congress passed a comprise bill that brought about the territory of Utah.

    They left the Mormons basically in charge since they were the largest group in the territory, however they kept pushing at the Mormons and that sparked the Utah War in 1857 that lasted for about a year. Then in 1862 the Congress passed a law that forbade polygamy, again this was directed as a poke at the Mormons.

    Finally one man was arrested and charged with Bigamy under that act and the case went to the Supreme Court. In the ruling the Court overlooked one of the important parts of the first amendment even though they cite it:

    Mr. Jefferson afterwards, in reply to an address to him by a committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, took occasion to say: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, — I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.

    The court ignored the part italicized because if they didn’t they couldn’t jump on the part where Jefferson stated

    ” that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions”

    They ruled that the Government can restrict the actions you take in the exercise of your religion. Thus if they want to, according to this ruling, the Congress can outlaw Baptisms, Communion or any other act of faith.

  18. gnomish says:

    There is a documentary called Waco, Rules of Engagement that you might be interested in seeing. It was clearly a testosterone moment for the ATF and they massacred the residents of the compoung. FLIR footage shows them machine gunning people as they flee the building the ATF set on fire after ventilating it according to proper house.burning procedures used by fire departments for practice house.fires.
    No members died by their own hand. I believe this.

    The dairy lobby is very influential – enuff to get it put in school books that one must drink so much milk to be healthy. For some people milk causes problems from lactose intolerance. For every other person except Scandinavians, the enzyme that curdles milk so it remains in the stomach to be digested, is no longer produced after infancy. So the protein rinses right through unless it’s absorbed in something more solid like cereal.
    Fat is absorbed immediately in the duodenum, but protein has to be done in the stomach. So a glass of milk gets the protein straight to the intestines. You feed your flora – and the ones that like milk are flatulogenic.
    Dairy industry has been virtually a federal operation for eons.
    It was politically correct to prescribe it for ulcers, if you recall. It was next to the worst possible thing one could take for an ulcer because it signals protein and stimulates acid production – but then it isn’t there for the acid to eat, so it eats what it can.

    Did you ever wonder how sugar sells at 70 cents a pound? It’s similarly regulated (virtually monopolized).

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @Boballab:

    Ah, yes, the Morman issue. Where their leaders got a sudden ‘revelation from God’ that polygamy was a no-no right after a large Federal Army surrounded them…

    The other thing folks forget is that there were a large number of “novel” marriage arrangements in The Old West as there were, basically, no rules; and folks could do whatever they wanted. You see a bit of that in the movie “Paint Your Wagon”. The “Line Marriage” being a particularly interesting one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_marriage

    An exceptionally long-lived example was the Oneida Community founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848. Noyes taught that he and his followers, which reached 200 in number, had undergone sanctification; that is, it was impossible for them to sin, and that for the sanctified, marriage (along with private property) was abolished as an expression of jealousy and exclusiveness. The Oneida commune lived together as a single large group and shared parental responsibilities. Any given male-female combination in the group was free to have sex, usually upon the man’s asking the woman, and this was the common practice for many years. In effect it functioned as a large group marriage until about 1879-1881. Nor did the Oneida Community self-destruct as happens with many communes. Noyes heard a New York warrant was out for his arrest, perhaps for adultery, though apparently not for anyone else in the group, and he fled to Canada, not many miles away. He lived there the rest of his life. After some period without his leadership and acting at Noyes’ suggestion, the group disbanded. Several dozen pairs of them quickly married in traditional fashion after disbanding. They and others nearby then created the Oneida Silver company that for many decades was a famous US company name in flatware and related items.

    Gives a whole new perspective to that silverware…

    There is so much that makes America what it is that we owe to such “odd groups” and their freedom to just be…

    @Jerry:

    Now that’s facinating. So there is a USDA rule that nobody can sell more than $500 of rabbits? Why on earth? Makes me wonder how any grocer or pet store manages to get any stock at all…

    I suppose it was the chicken lobby making sure the competition was kept out of business…

    Wonder what happens if you have a “show bunny” worth more than $500. Does that mean you can never sell them? Not even one?

    @Pascvaks:

    Interesting point… what would it take to get “secular humanism” declared a religion? …

    @GregO:

    We thank you for your support, but does the phrase “no chance in hell” hold any meaning for you? Anyone who speaks the truth clearly is vilified and slandered to death before the primaries even happen.

    Basically, I can’t lie enough to be elected to anything.

    @Keith Hill:

    Glad I could offer some diversion. BTW, I suspect the law under which you would be persecuted is “Child Abuse” or “Child Endangerment” for exposing a minor to “infective agents”…

    BATF is under “Justice” and is in the “prune” group. I’d just dump all of “justice” were it not for the fact that you do need a couple of Federal Courts. But if we junk 1/2 the stupid laws we can likely junk 3/4 of the courts…

    @David:

    I, too, have my worries about what “church” Obama endorses… and the friends he keeps.

    The good news is that a lot of other folks have noticed too.

    He can’t do anything too outrageous in the lead up to the 2012 elections, and I’m pretty sure that given how he’s fried the economy and fuel prices, he isn’t going to be re-elected. (IFF the Republicans can find someone to run who isn’t just laughable…)

    Per Weber: A lot of folks like answers that are simple, self-consistent, logical, and wrong… He needs to explain why the Morman and Catholics and Jews did so well in America too… You know, Kennedy Catholics for example…

    It’s called “freedom” and it doesn’t care what religion you have…

    On Energy:

    Oh yeah… I fogot… The “not a strategy” strategy. Let it die and drive prices to ruinous levels by doing nothing good “strategy”…

    @Judy F.:

    I’ve saved yours for last… as it’s kind of complicated…

    I’ve read some of the stuff from Weston A. Price. Ive still not settled on it.

    Some of it seems like it’s pretty straight and clear observational science. Then some other bits look a bit, er, “stretched”. Sorting it out in detail is a big time consumer, so I’ve only done a cursory look.

    There are a lot of chances for “corrolation is not causality” problems. So you eat “free range eggs”. Does that mean the chickens are healthier? Or does it mean that there are substances in bugs that get into the eggs and it would work just as well feeding shrimp meal to chickens in cages? You drink raw milk. Is it that the milk is not pasturized, or that the folks drinking it were being raised on a farm in the sun? Just a lot of loose ends to tie up…

    But in general I do lean toward the broad conclusion that the foods “as made on a traditional farm” have more “good stuff” in them. Based only on observation of the broad results. (And a couple of specifics… like grass fed beef).

    Sidebar on Grass Fed Beef:

    “You are what you eat” applies to cows, too. So cows raised on “modern feed” get a lot of seeds. (Corn, soy). Seed oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Cows raised on grass get a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids. You eat the cows (or chickens or milk or eggs…) and get the same differential in Omega ratios. High Omega-6 gives a lot of ‘high auto-immune response” while high Omega-3 gives lower levels of inflamation and “issues”.

    So the simple fact is that if you have any of: Allergies, arthritis, lupis, vitelligo, etc etc. auto-immune mediated illness, you will improve on a high Omega-3 low Omega-6 diet as was common on traditional grass based farmes with cows and chickens in the field and do worse on a modern grain-fed factory farmed diet.

    That’s just a fact…

    So with that specific case shown / proven; there is reason to suggest that some of the other things Weston A. Price observed might also have some factual foundation. Yet he was a bit sloppy on some things. (but the early stages of any science are sloppy as you find out what really matters…)

    Another potential example is the Cis-Vit-A vs Provitamin A butter / margarin “issue”. Does it contribute to more than just a potential for a worse response to some vaccinations?

    Another is the demonstrated horrid effect of Trans-fats (i.e. most margarine over most of history) vs the good effects of short chain fatty acids (i.e. butter, coconut oil, palm oil – all villified by the margarine industry… with the cooperation of medical doctors…)

    I could go on to list more, but the pattern is clear. The natural food as found in a land based farm has better metabolic effects than the industrial foods based on a grain processing industry and synthetic analogs.

    FWIW, I’m not a “natural foods nut”. Today, for lunch, was a Macdonalds Angus Burger, fries, and a Coke. In about 20 minutes I’m having a cup of coffee. I’ll likely have a processed balogna sandwich on white bread as an afternoon snack… So I’m not coming at this with an “agenda”.

    “The facts just are. -E.M.Smith”. So I found those “food facts” about Vit-A, trans-fats, Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio, and more and they speak to one simple and clear pattern. And that tends to support the “whole and natural foods” side.

    OK, one more example. Brown rice. It has high levels of “indigestable” inositol phosphate in the bran.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inositol_phosphate

    So we mill off the bran and toss it, eating white rice instead. No problem… it isn’t digested anyway… execpt eating brown rice has reduced levels of colon cancer and the active agent has been shown to REVERSE cancer cells back to normal…

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/11/3778S.full

    Inositol is also a natural constituent possessing moderate anticancer activity. The most consistent and best anticancer results were obtained from the combination of IP6 plus inositol. In addition to reducing cell proliferation, IP6 increases differentiation of malignant cells, often resulting in a reversion to normal phenotype. Exogenously administered IP6 is rapidly taken into the cells and dephosphorylated to lower-phosphate inositol phosphates, which further interfere with signal transduction pathways and cell cycle arrest. Enhanced immunity and antioxidant properties can also contribute to tumor cell destruction. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this anticancer action are not fully understood. Because it is abundantly present in regular diet, efficiently absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and safe, IP6 holds great promise in our strategies for the prevention and treatment of cancer. IP6 plus inositol enhances the anticancer effect of conventional chemotherapy, controls cancer metastases, and improves the quality of life, as shown in a pilot clinical trial. The data strongly argue for the use of IP6 plus inositol in our strategies for cancer prevention and treatment. However, the effectiveness and safety of IP6 plus inositol at therapeutic doses needs to be determined in phase I and phase II clinical trials in humans.

    So we have ANOTHER case where the “whole natural foods” folks get it right and the “white processed rice is fine” folks have it wrong…

    Yet I still eat about 3:1 white:brown rice…

    http://www.amazon.com/Nourishing-Traditions-Challenges-Politically-Dictocrats/dp/0967089735

    ought to be link to the cookbook on Amazon. For links, just copy the URL from your browser and paste it here. WordPress fills in the meta-tag stuff…

    So we’re slowly converting to a more “natural and whole / raw foods” lifestyle and recognizing that the “science guys” have a lot to do to catch up with what is clearly seen in the results… They’ve already blown it on trans-fat vs saturated and missed the ‘chain length’ issue. They’ve already blown it on grass fed / grain fed. They’ve already blown it on IP-6 (though are now catching up). What else have they missed?…

    Perhaps something in those milk proteins that get denatured in the “cooking”?

    Per “regulators”… don’t even get me started… A friend was renovating a house. One building inspector told him to rip out all the (newly installed) sockets and switches as they lacked “pigtails” – a short jumper wire between the house wiring and the stocket / switch. Two weeks and several hundred dollars later, the second inspector told him to rip out all the sockets and switches as they HAD pigtails and those were not acceptable…. (Instead he just asked for another reinspection and got the first guy again…)

    Per vegetarian and non and north vs south:

    There is a non-blood way to know. Colon length. Herbivores have very long intestines. Carnivores have very short. If you have a long colon, you will do better with plants. (when you have the cancer screen done the doctor can tell you how much tube he used…). Alternatively, if you eat hard to digest things like corn and get “texture” in the (overly soft) “product”, you are a meat eater… If you eat meat and have a tendency to hard packed stool and constipation, you are designed for harder to digest plant fibre…

    Basically, in a short colon the meat is digested fast and the products dumped while still soft. In the vegetarian length colon it will over dry (the large bowl desicates the waste and it has to do more work to dry leaves and fibre… but meat is quicly dried) and plug up. While in the short colon a load of vegetable stuff will move through so fast some may not be effectively digested and it can reach “the end” a bit on the soft and wet side.

    Does that map to blood type? I don’t know… but B is more comnon in Asia while A is more common in Europe. The chart here:

    http://www.bloodbook.com/world-abo.html

    is interesting as hit has a lot of detail. There are very high levels of O type in some “ancestral” populations from remote areas. Yet also some old tribes with lots of A or B types.

    Just based on the ‘density’ of each, I’d guess that type O was primordial and then A and B show up as mutations. (But I could make a case for A being primoridial and B being a mutation while O was a ‘deletion mutation’).

    AB is just a result of one parent giving you an A and the other parent a B, so it has no “age” to it.

    At any rate, we evolved form plant eaters to eat more meat, not from meat eaters to vegetarians, so I’d be more inclined to just figure we had a mix of types in the population. The “O” as meat eater may just be a random correlation between O as more common in Icelandic, Nordic, and Eskimo types. (And that Eskimo link could explain the high levels in American Indians… as the O type made the trek over the land bridge).

    Basically, I’d not put a whole lot of faith in that as a metric and I’d look more at what happens when I, as an individual, eat excess of each food type. (For me, I’m a ‘vegetarian gut type’ but need some amount of meat to have my metabolism stay right… I’ve not worked out exactly what it is, but I need a chunk of meat now and then for something that I’m not getting in the vegetarian pattern diet… my guess would be a B vitamin or an essential fatty acid. Still working on that… But that I need a large dose of plant stuff is also clear.)

    At any rate, if you can make any pattern out fo the chart in that link, feel free to make a comment about it. To me it looks a lot like “random selection of kinship groups” as a small group moved to an area and the inevitable small group selection for individual gene uniformity set it. So “Kurok and Nina head over the hill” in 10 BC and found, oh, the Peru Indians. They both happen to be O type, so the Peruvians end up 100% type O…

    At any rate, it is fun to ponder…

    And eat your brown rice ;-)

  20. Jeff Alberts says:

    Re “So the Old Order Amish live a simple life, close to the land, as God made it. As God told them to live it. Not dependent on banks. Not dependent on Monsanto for seeds. Not dependent on OPEC for gasoline.”
    I would add one more “not dependent”, not dependent on the goverment for their needs, other then their need to be live and let live.

    Except they don’t, really. They use plastics. Who mines and refines the iron and steel they use? Where is the mandate by “god”?

  21. xyzlatin says:

    On the question of Obama’s religion, I believe that as his father was a Muslim, he is also considered a muslim (by the muslims). His stepfather was a muslim (Indonesia), one of their high up military, and Obama was in close contact with this religion up until a young man, frequently visiting his mother. Part of the tenet of this religion is that a muslim can lie in order to deceive non muslims to gain advantage. So although he did attend a Christian church as an adult, actually no one could say with any certainty whether he is Christian or Muslim acting as one.
    His actions on gaining power, of sucking up to and supporting muslim regimes, leads one to suspect he is in fact a muslim. His latest push to have Israel move its borders to accommodate muslims is an illustration of how dangerous this man is.
    On the question of freedom of religion as written into the US constitution, there will always be some conflict as far out religions practise their ideas which come in conflict with others. As the muslim population grows and there is a push for Sharia law (which is already happening in Dearborn), it will be interesting to see what becomes of the US constitution in actual operation.

  22. boballab says:

    @Jeff Alberts

    Back in the old days, if the Amish lived near a mine that produced Iron Ore they refined it themselves in their Blacksmith shops. Yes Amish are not just farmers but also Blacksmiths and Carpenters. The rule of thumb for the Amish is that the tools they use must be human or animal powered. What someone else uses is their look out with God.

    They are allowed to buy things such as processed goods (think of things like shovels) because the Amish do not attach “Sin” to an object but to the person that makes the object and the “Sin” of the person does not transfer with the object.

    You learn many things about the Amish when you grow up next to them and spend some time with the youth when they are on their Rumspringa like I did in western Chester County Pa.

    Also the ones that many think are Amish but use modern things such as plastics and own phones are usually not Amish, they are Mennonite. The Amish split off from the Mennonites back in the 1600’s and are way more conservative (In the traditional meaning of the word) then them. Hell one sect of Mennonites even allows owning cars:

    Old Order Mennonites cover many distinct groups. Some groups use horse and buggies for transportation and speak German while others drive cars and speak English. What most Old Orders share in common is conservative doctrine, dress, and traditions, common roots in 19th century and early 20th century schisms, and a refusal to participate in politics and other so-called ‘sins of the world’. Most Old Order groups also school their children in Mennonite-operated schools.

    Horse and Buggy Old Order Mennonites came from the main series of Old Order schisms that began in 1872 and ended in 1901 in Ontario, Canada, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the US Midwest, as conservative Mennonites fought the radical changes that the influence of 19th century American revivalism had on Mennonite worship. Most Horse and Buggy Old Order Mennonites allow the use of tractors for farming, although some groups insist on steel-wheeled tractors to prevent tractors from being used for road transportation. Like the Stauffer or Pike Mennonites (origin 1845 in Lancaster Pennsylvania), the Groffdale Conference, and the Old Order Mennonite Conference of Ontario, they stress separation from the world, excommunicate and wear plain clothes. Some Old Order Mennonite groups are unlike the Stauffer or Pike Mennonites; in that their form of the Ban is less severe because the ex-communicant is not shunned, and is therefore is not excluded from the family table, shunned by a spouse or cutoff from business dealings.

    Automobile Old Order Mennonites, also known as Weaverland Conference Mennonites (having their origins in the Weaverland District of the Lancaster Conference — also calling “Horning”), or Wisler Mennonites in the US Midwest, or the Markham/Waterloo Conference having its origins from the Old Order Mennonites of Ontario, Canada, also evolved from the main series of Old Order schisms from 1872-1901. They often share the same meeting houses with, and adhere to almost identical forms of Old Order worship as their Horse and Buggy Old Order brethren with whom they parted ways in the early 20th century. Although this group began using cars in 1927, the cars were required to be plain and painted black. The largest group of Automobile Old Orders are still known today as “Black Bumper” Mennonites because some members still paint their chrome bumpers black.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mennonite

    One of my elementary school teachers was one of the Automobile Old Order Mennonites.

  23. xyzlatin says:

    For the most comprehensive coverage of Islam, the site http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ is the best I have found.
    It updates (and counts) daily the atrocities muslims are committing all over the world against others. Since 9/11, there have been 17220 deadly attacks against others. By others I mean Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews, and other muslim sects as well women, children, gays and athiests.

  24. paulID says:

    OK E.M. just to set the record straight the Mormons stopped practicing polygamy because it was suddenly against the law there was no revelation Mormons believe in following the law of the land so when it became illegal they stopped the practice.

  25. Jeff Alberts says:

    @boballab

    Seems rather silly to me. These beliefs seem made up out of whole cloth.

    Are these folks Amish or Mennonite? The caption says Amish.

  26. paulID says:

    @Jeff Alberts they would appear to my eye to be Mennonite.

  27. boballab says:

    @Jeff Alberts:

    To learn about the Amish and the Mennonites were they split from you got to go all the way back to the late 1400’s to the early 1500’s and the Anabaptists.

    The early history of the Mennonites starts with the Anabaptists in the German and Dutch-speaking parts of central Europe. The German term is “Täufer” or “Wiedertäufer” (that is, Again-Baptists, or Anabaptists via the Greek ana [=”again.”]). These forerunners of modern Mennonites were part of the broad reaction against the practices and theology of the Roman Catholic Church known as the Protestant Reformation. Its most distinguishing feature is the rejection of infant baptism, an act that had both religious and political meaning since almost every infant born in western Europe was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church. Other significant theological views of the Mennonites developed in opposition to Roman Catholic views or to the views of other Protestant reformers like Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mennonite

    So the Mennonites and later the Amish date back to the Reformation and is just as old as the Lutherans and the Calvinists. Matter of fact Mennonites predate such well known Protestant groups as the Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists. See the time line here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_Reformation#Other_movements

    As to your picture, they are Mennonites. You can tell that from the mans vest it has buttons, the womans dress has pleats and the infant is in a stroller. They also both have machined stitched clothing. The Old Order Amish do not allow buttons and no decorations on womans clothing such as those pleats. They also never use strollers such as those. Also you don’t find the clothes the Amish wear at a department store, they are home made and since they don’t own powered tools they typically will not have machine stitched clothing. The exception to that rule of thumb is if the family owns one of the really old style pedal powered sewing machines, some Amish sects allow those since it is human powered. Who ever titled that picture thought they were Amish and is not aware of those subtle differences. As I said before a lot of the time people mistake Mennonites for Amish, since the Amish are the “famous” ones and anyone that dresses that plainly *must* be Amish.

  28. John F. Hultquist says:

    Friends live in north-central Washington State an hour or so from the raw-milk cheese facility (now closed) mentioned in the link below.

    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/12/whole-foods-recalls-sally-jackson-cheese/

    It is a problem for small operators, mostly family run, to keep up with all the regulations and as the folks themselves age, with the work involved. The county in which I live once had about 65 dairies. Only one is left and the current family owners will likely not be in the business for long. They hope to have wind turbines installed on the land and to keep the cows as long as they (the people, not the cows) can cope with the issues.

  29. Jeff Alberts says:

    @J Hultquist

    Another local creamery in southwestern Washington is suffering a similar fate, though they have not had any incidents of people getting sick for over 30 years. My wife and I would stop in and get a bunch of cheese every couple of years when we drove down to the Grayland area.

    http://estrellafamilycreamery.com/update.aspx

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jeff Alberts:

    The mandate is simple. If a thing is in the Bible it is acceptable. If it is not in the Bible, and is a new creation of man, it is at least suspect and generally to be avoided.

    That some things can NOT be avoided makes them allowable as unavoidable.

    As near as I can tell, the prohibitions do not extend to materials themselves, but to objects and processes.

    So, for example, canning is allowed (even though pressure cooking is new and the lids use a polymer seal) since food preservation via cooking was done in the past. This is a minor variation. (glass in stead of ceramic, 240 F pressure cooker instead of 212 boiling water bath or sun drying).

    The color triangle on the coach is “allowed” as the law mandates it (for safety, therefor the use of color is not “pridefull”… so not a sin.)

    Some even allow turn signals with reflectors (safety, not pridefull).

    Steel and iron are allowed as iron objects were around in biblical time. As to “who makes it”… well… traditionally it was The Smith (thus, my name… Grandad and Great Grand Dad were working smiths). I know how to make iron ‘the hard way’ (then you beat the iron sponge into something usable with hammer and anvil… ) but it is not required to do that. That it can be done (and was done) means that other sources of Iron are usable (as long as you avoid that pridefullness bit…)

    So if you pick up some scrap iron from an auto junk yard and use it to make horseshoes and hinges, that’s OK.

    FWIW, they are still not dependent on The English, as it would still be possible to “roll your own”, or even do without Iron all together if desired.

    Similarly the use of kerosene lamps is allowed, even though the lamp is made in a factory and the kerosene is refined from OPEC oil, as it would be equally possible to make tallow candles and your own candle holder (and both oil lamps and candles are in the Bible).

    None of that changes the statement that:

    “So the Old Order Amish live a simple life, close to the land, as God made it. As God told them to live it. Not dependent on banks. Not dependent on Monsanto for seeds. Not dependent on OPEC for gasoline.”

    Notice that it specifically says “gasoline” not kerosene and it specifically says nothing about where iron or cloth might come from. You do not see most Amish weaving cloth…

    So it IS a “simple life” and it IS “close to the land” and it does not use Monsanto GMO seeds, nor gasoline, nor bank loans.

    So you claimed that this was not true, when it IS clearly true, but then chose to extend it to things that were not claimed. (No plastics and no use of factory produced iron or other goods). Poor form…

    They are as close to “not-dependent” as they can get and limit to “as in the Bible” as much as can reasonably be achieved. FWIW, as a kid I first learned how to make square nails. As my Father explained to me “Store bought nails are prideful. You can make a perfectly good nail yourself.” But we then went to the store and bought a bunch of round nails once the lesson was learned… as Dad was only 1/2 Amish and wanted the garage rebuilt in less than a decade ;-) (I was not the fastest at making nails…)

    But that pattern holds at a more micro scale for the Amish. As long as you CAN make it yourself, it is generally OK to buy the equivalent in a store. So you can buy mayo in a plastic jar, but if you need some and have no money can make your own. (And don’t get off into the weeds of Mayo not being in the Bible… it’s just a food made of things that ARE simple. Oil, eggs, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt.) (But store bought clothing has the buttons removed as they are prideful to Old Order Amish…)

    FWIW, the Amish always thought of the Mennonites as rather too modern and too liberal … some of them even had telephones (!).

    From the clothing it would be hard to tell if those folks were Mennonites or Amish. (Note the lack of “Old Order” in front of the word “Amish”…) See here for the list of others in the same group:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plain_people

    Plain people are Christian groups characterized by separation from the world and simple living, including plain dress. These group include Amish; Old Order, Conservative and Old Colony Mennonites; Old German Baptist Brethren; the Hutterites; and Old Order River Brethren; and at one time Quakers, the Brethren in Christ (BIC), Shakers, Dunkards and Moravians. A small number of Quakers still practice plain dress.

    Customs of plain people include:
    Plain clothes, usually in solid, normally dark colors.

    Plain church buildings, or no church buildings whatsoever.

    A utilitarian view of technology, similar to the precautionary principle of technology in that unknowns should be avoided, but the emphasis was on the results in the eyes of God. If they were unsure of how God would look upon a technology, the leaders of the church would determine whether it was to be avoided or not.
    The degree to which this principle was supported varied among the congregations, but in general, the Amish people believed that the Mennonites had not done enough to separate themselves from the rest of the world.

    Now it gets really messy. The folks in the picture. As Boballab noted, they have machine made clothes and with (GASP!) buttons on them!

    Does that make them Mennonites or Amish?

    Well, it all depends… Old Order Amish, they are not. SOME Mennonites, they could be. New Order Amish possibly, but pushing the bounds… My guess would be “Beachy Amish Mennoites”…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Order_Amish#Beachy_Amish_Mennonite

    (Yes, there is some overlap in some cases…)

    Practices that distinguish the Beachy church from the Old Order Amish include:
    Filtered Internet is permitted by some congregations
    Men wear ready made clothing

    Ownership of personal automobiles.

    Typically when talking about Amish, I’m talking about Old Order Amish. (Partly because New Order Amish formed during my lifetime and I’m not that “up” on them…)

    So in that picture they have the kid in a stroller and a plastic shopping bag. As the stroller is made of metal and cloth with fasteners and the plastic bits are not particularly different from metal or even wooden parts, and as a stroller is ‘well understood’ and not particularly prideful (though the color is a bit bright…but it is generally in keeping with a bland white / blue theme) it ought to be OK for New Order Amish and Beachy. Not acceptable for Old Order Amish. Though it would likely raise “questions” if they had many other things in that ‘edge case’ category… The shopping bag is simply what they were given with their purchase. They are not dependent on it, didn’t chose it, and it is functionally the same as a cloth bag. (Though some folks would suggest they ought to use a nice sturdy plain shopping bag…) Probably not OK for Old Order Amish.

    Yes, a lot of things seem arbitrary about it. It’s that way in most all religions as near as I can tell.

    @PaulID:

    Um, straight from the LDS church web site:

    http://mormon.org/faq/practice-of-polygamy/

    President Gordon B. Hinckley, prior president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made the following statement in 1998 about the Church’s position on plural marriage:

    “This Church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this Church…. If any of our members are found to be practicing plural marriage, they are excommunicated, the most serious penalty the Church can impose. Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church.”

    At various times, the Lord has commanded His people to practice plural marriage. For example, He gave this command to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and Solomon (Doctrine and Covenants 132:1). At other times the Lord has given other instructions. In the Book of Mormon, the Lord told the prophet Jacob “for there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife: and concubines he shall have none… for if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things (Jacob 2:27-30).

    In this dispensation, the Lord commanded some of the early Saints to practice plural marriage. The Prophet Joseph Smith and those closest to him, including Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were challenged by this command, but they obeyed it. Church leaders regulated the practice. Those entering into it had to be authorized to do so, and the marriages had to be performed through the sealing power of the priesthood. In 1890, President Wilford Woodruff received a revelation that the leaders of the Church should cease teaching the practice of plural marriage (Official Declaration 1).

    The Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy unless he commands otherwise to help establish the House of Israel (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism Vol. 3, pp. 1091-1095).

    Yes, there is a certain amount of “wink wink nudge nudge” from some Mormons over the “devine revelation” and the sudden change of church doctrine, and some even split off to make their own “Mormon church” and continue the practice. But when one talks about Mormons it’s the 90%+ church that matters, not the little “4 corners chapple”…

    From the wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_polygamy

    President Woodruff hastened to add that he had acted only as the Lord directed:

    “I should have let all the temples go out of our hands; I should have gone to prison myself, and let every other man go there, had not the God of heaven commanded me to do what I do; and when the hour came that I was commanded to do that, it was all clear to me.”

    That’s what I call “devine revelation” and “commanded by God”… doesn’t look much like a “doctrine says it’s OK we’re just complying with local law” ….

    OK, that said:

    What happens when some Sultan or orther visits Washington with his bribe money corporate delegation and happens to have 2 wives? (or more).

    He’s in the USA. He’s practicing polygamy.

    Does this imply that a Mormon (or anyone else for that matter) could go to Nigeria for a quick wedding and be in compliance with US law as he’s only a polygamist in Nigeria?

    Seems like a bit of an issue to me…

    And If I can be a polygamist tourist in the USA, why can’t I be a dope smoking tourist (if my home country allows it)?

    Seems like the guys in Spain who can marry 14 year olds might have a problem too…

    There’s gotta be an explanation, but it’s too late and I’m too far behind to look it up…

  31. boballab says:

    EM:

    Here is another strange co-incidence with that leader of the LDS having that “vision” in 1890: The Mormons lost this Supreme Court case in that same year in which he was a named party.

    U.S. Supreme Court
    Mormon Church v. United States, 136 U.S. 1 (1890)
    The Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ
    of Latter-Day Saints v. United States
    Nos. 1031, 1054
    Argued January 16-18, 1889
    Decided May 19, 1890
    136 U.S. 1

    SNIP

    “SEC. 3. And be it further ordained that, as said church holds the constitutional and original right, in common with all civil and religious communities, ‘to worship God according to the dictates of conscience,’ to reverence communion agreeably to the principles of truth, and to solemnize marriage compatible with the revelations of Jesus Christ for the security and full enjoyment of all blessings and privileges embodied in the religion of Jesus Christ free to all, it is also declared that such church does and shall possess and enjoy continually the power and authority, in and of itself, to originate, make, pass and establish rules, regulations, ordinances, laws, customs and criterions for the good order, safety, government, conveniences, comfort and control of said church and for the punishment or forgiveness of all offenses relative to fellowship according to church covenants; that the pursuit of bliss and the enjoyment of life in every capacity of public association, domestic happiness, temporal expansion, or spiritual increase upon the earth may not legally be questioned, provided, however, that each and every act or practice so established or adopted for law or custom shall relate to solemnities, sacraments, ceremonies, consecrations, endowments, tithings, marriages, fellowship, or the religious duties of man to his Maker, inasmuch as the doctrines, principles, practices or performances support virtue and increase morality, and are not inconsistent with or repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or of this state and are founded in the revelations of the Lord.”

    Comp.Laws of Utah, 1876, p. 232.

    Congress had passed an organic act for establishing a government in the Territory of Utah on the 9th of September, 1850, 9 Stat. 453, but the territorial government was not organized until after the passage of the church charter as above stated. After its organization, the territorial legislature, on two different occasions, passed confirmatory acts which had the effect of validating said charter. One was a joint resolution, passed October 4, 1851, declaring

    “That the laws heretofore passed by the provisional government of the State of Deseret, and which do not conflict with the organic act of said territory, be, and the same are hereby declared to be, legal and in full force and virtue, and shall so remain until suspended by the action of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah.”

    The other was an act approved January 19, 1855, entitled “An act in relation to the compilation and revision of the laws and resolutions in force in Utah Territory, their publication and distribution,” which reenacted the said charter.

    On the 1st of July, 1862, the following act of Congress was approved, to-wit:

    “An act to punish and prevent the Practice of Polygamy in the Territories of the United States, and other Places, and disapproving and annulling Certain Acts of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah.”

    “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled that every person having a husband or wife living who shall marry any other person, whether married or single, in a territory of the United States or other place over which the United States have exclusive jurisdiction shall, except in the cases specified in the proviso to this section, be adjudged guilty of bigamy, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars and by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, provided, nevertheless, that this section shall not extend to any person by reason of any former marriage whose husband or wife by such marriage shall have been absent for five successive years without being known to such person within that time to be living, nor to any person by reason of any former marriage which shall have been dissolved by the decree of a competent court, nor to any person by reason of any former marriage which shall have been annulled or pronounced void by the sentence or decree of a competent court on the ground of the nullity of the marriage contract.”

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/136/1/case.html

    The section just below that one is basically telling the Mormons that they can practice their religion however they like as long as the rest of us approve of it:

    “SEC. 2. And be it further enacted that the following ordinance of the provisional government of the State of Deseret, so-called, namely ‘An ordinance incorporating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,’ passed February eight in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-one, and adopted, reenacted and made valid by the Governor and Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah by an act passed January nineteen, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-five entitled ‘An act in relation to the compilation and revision of the laws and resolutions in force in Utah Territory, their publication and distribution,’ and all other acts and parts of acts heretofore passed by the said Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Utah, which establish, support, maintain, shield or countenance polygamy be, and the same hereby are, disapproved and annulled, provided that this act shall be so limited and construed as not to affect or interfere with the right of property legally acquired under the ordinance heretofore mentioned, nor with the right ‘to worship God according to the dictates of conscience,’ but only to annul all acts and laws which establish, maintain, protect, or countenance the practice of polygamy, evasively called spiritual marriage, however disguised by legal or ecclesiastical solemnities, sacraments, ceremonies, consecrations or other contrivances.”

  32. Jeff Alberts says:

    @EM Smith

    I haven’t got time to go point by point.

    “So you claimed that this was not true, when it IS clearly true, but then chose to extend it to things that were not claimed. (No plastics and no use of factory produced iron or other goods). Poor form… ”

    I said nothing about truthfulness, I said they don’t adhere as strictly to these nebulous “rules” as is claimed. Perhaps there are a handful of purists in the Amish communities who eschew all things “modern” (though they’ve drawn an arbitrary line as to what they believe modern is. There were no horse-drawn 17th century+ style carriages in the bible, no stirrups, the list goes on). If buying manufactured nails is “prideful” (others would say practical), then gathering iron from a junkyard would be just as prideful, no? But then you say that these are things which can be made by hand, therefore ok. You could make a computer by hand, scrounging parts from a junkyard (which is apparently ok). So there doesn’t really seem to be a practical limit to their anti-technology outlook, just some arbitrary line which seems pretty wavy.

    I see societies such as this as isolationist, and, frankly, selfish. Much as most countries felt the US was selfish for not jumping into WWII immediately after Germany’s antics in 1939. Did they know there was a earthquake/tsunami in Japan? Did any of them attempt to contribute? I don’t know, maybe they did. But without modern technology, they may just now be finding out about major events which happened months or even years ago.

    One can be “close to the land” without arbitrarily ignoring the advances of the last 200 years.

    “Yes, a lot of things seem arbitrary about it. It’s that way in most all religions as near as I can tell.”

    And as with most religions, things are done because they’ve always been done that way, even though they may no longer serve any practical purpose.

  33. PhilJourdan says:

    @EM – Oh dear! No the cookie I was referring to was slang I picked up on other blogs where you could give a “like” or “karma” to an individual if you agreed with their post. It was actually not a religious reference.

    “GoodLife” comes from the Fred Saberhagen Berserker series. Basically machines from a long dead civilization have found man when man ventured out into the galaxy, and was trying to erradicate it. “GoodLife” were people who were helping the machines in their mission (termed as goodlife by the machines). All the rest was “BadLife”.

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @PhilJourdan:

    Well, no “cookie” for me as I had the wrong “cookie” and didn’t catch the “goodlife” referent at all… Sounds like a story worth the read, though…

    @Jeff Alberts:

    Sorry, I thought you were speaking directly to my statement, didn’t realize it was just a jumping off point for a larger assertion.

    How to have this make sense:

    It isn’t at all about what is “modern”. Let go of that or you will always be mislead.

    It is all about what is “sinfull”. Sloth. Vanity. Pride. etc.

    So you see a mix of modern and non-modern and see it as “confused” or “arbitrary”. That is because you are using the wrong ruler.

    An example:

    So it is a “sin” to be prideful and feed vanity. Buttons (in the 1800s) were expensive and often used for “showing off” in decorations. So feeds those sins. So were banned.

    New Order Amish now recognize that cheap factory made buttons are not “prideful” at all as nobody gives a damn about a 1/100 th cent Chinese factory made button. So they allow them (or, at least, the Beachy folks do).

    Old Order Amish are “not so sure”… especially since some of the New Order folks indulge in other “sin” like driving cars and using the internet. They worry it is a ‘slippery slope”.

    For things like nails, it is about sins like “sloth”. NOT just a question of modernity. Are you ready willing and able to make your own nails? Then you are not “slothful”. (Nails have actually been a point of contention at some times, per my Dad). Is it more “slothful” to buy your nails from a blacksmith or from Ace Hardware? Neither is more sinful to YOU… (thus the statement above about the “sin” attaching to the person who made the product). So now a lot of Amish buy factory made nails and shovels. (And that is why my Granddad moved from being a Blacksmith to being a farmer with a small Smithy mostly doing horse shoeing and making specialized things / hardware with a lot of Amish customers / relatives.)

    In some cases the existence of “sin” is obvious (at least to an Amish or Mennonite). Things like drugs, booze, etc. In some cases the bible clearly says it is a sin. (graven images… rather like the Muslims in that. Only recently have some Amish thought it OK to have pictures taken). In cases of uncertainty, it goes to the church elders for a ruling.

    Again, the ruling is not about modernity it is about the attachment of “sin” to an activity. Will “fast food” lead to gluttony? Will movies and TV lead to immoral acts like dancing, music, and being promiscuous? Will buying instead of making result in “sloth”? So barns are made with hard wood dowls as they are less “slothful” than bolts and spikes, but the wood may be bought from a commercial lumber yard if you don’t have your own trees as you will be buying wood in either case…

    Yes, it will drive you crazy trying to find “logic” in this; especially so if you are not familiar with the list of sins and / or are looking for a modernity key when it isn’t about modernity… (at least, not directly. A lot of modernity is ‘sinful’ so there is a general distrust of it until ‘vetted’.)

    So back at iron and computers:

    IF you have a Smith and iron ore, it would be “sloth” to not make the iron sponge and beat it into iron that gets beaten into tools and shoes and… But if there is no Smithy that can make the sponge, the local Smith can use any source of iron that is available: because there is no SIN of SLOTH in it, it is a necessary act. If there is no Smith to make nails and shovels, you can buy them from Ace Hardware pre-made as you, not being a Smith, are not able to make one in any case and WILL be buying one for the very non-sinful process of physical work in the garden…

    (So an Amish Smith would be sinful to re-sell factory nails, as he is being slothful… while his customer would not be sinful in buying nails, from whatever source, as the sin does not attach to him. Thus the decline of Granddads Smithy as more and more things were bought ‘factory made’ and less was needed from the Smithy… and he’d just piss off his Amish customers if he started selling the same factory made stuff himself as it would be clear he was being a lazy smith… Some times you just lose… )

    To the computer:

    If you make a computer from junk parts, it is still a computer. To what ends will it be put? Are they sinful? Will you be coveting the things you see in web pictures? Will you be exposed to women dressed immodestly? Will you be tempted into sloth? Substantially, yes. So for most sects, a computer from any source is sinful as the RESULTS of its use are sin. (Though the New Order Amish allow highly filtered internet use. That’s a ‘dangerous experiment’ in the eyes of others… Can they just have “plain text” email about church activities and land for sale? Can they tame this tool? It’s an open issue… but seen as “no” by the Old Order Amish and so “sinful” and so banned.)

    Notice that NONE of this is about “what is new”. Only about “what will feed sin or starve it”. It is NOT about preserving the “old way” (other than that the presumption is that the old ways were already vetted as non-sinful by prior generations of adherents, so you start from that base.)

    And just WHY is it important for them to know about the quake in Japan? Do you “expect at them” that they must have certain behaviours? Do you insist that they “contribute” to your view of what is appropriate? Ought they “contrubute” money to one of the richest nations on the planet? One rife with “sin”? Is Japan not able to “care for its own”? Were they sinful and that is why God has punished them? (Not my view, btw, just an example…)

    And why is it wrong to be “isolationist”? If you are embeded in a society largely of sin and evil deeds, isolation from it is the first line of defense of purity. Yes, selfish, and justly so. Yet they will “care for each other” in times of need. They don’t pay, nor collect, Social Security. They are not dependent on you, so why ought they “contribute” to you?

    I am, sadly, a great example of why they are right.

    I drink alcohol. I’m slothful on a daily basis. I’m not filled with God’s Will. I have pridefulness. I have bawdy thoughts. I like music and video. The list goes on.

    So it is pretty clear to me that “joining the English” resulted in the demise of the religious rectitude of my Grandmother in her heirs.

    To understand them, you must be able to see through their eyes with their religion driven view of the world…

    “It’s all about the sin”…

  35. Jeff Alberts says:

    “To understand them, you must be able to see through their eyes with their religion driven view of the world…

    “It’s all about the sin”…”

    Fortunately, I will never be able to do that.

    If it’s all about the sin, then technology is irrelevant. Imagination is plenty powerful to conjure up any sin one cares to.

    “I am, sadly, a great example of why they are right.

    I drink alcohol. I’m slothful on a daily basis. I’m not filled with God’s Will. I have pridefulness. I have bawdy thoughts. I like music and video. The list goes on.”

    I disagree. Without your unique skills, we would know a lot less than we do. Had you been isolationist as the Amish, it would be a “sin”, in my eyes, to spend your considerable talents making horseshoes from which only a handful of individuals would benefit, just so they can bide their time until “god” takes them.

    I am not trying to say they are right or wrong. Such things are entirely subjective. I’m just trying to show that their actions really don’t serve the purpose they think they do.

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