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To Go East or West

When you are born into the unimaginative middling Midlands of the United States, the question you must put to yourself as an artist upon reaching the age of consent is: “Which way do I get out of here?”  Many are never brave enough to ask that question while a tender few take the path of safety and satiety and move South to Kansas City or North to Minneapolis or Chicago.  The rest of us head out headlong into the left or right and that is the keystone question of the day:  “Do I go East or West?”

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Monks in Science!

How do Tibetan monks learn science?  They invite the best Bay Area scientists to join them in Sarna on the northern tip of India in order to learn how the scientific method works.

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From Fresco to Rescue: The No Good Samaritan

Gospel of Luke, chapter 7, verses 25-37:

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Dumpsters for Dummies

Dumpsters are for garbage, not for babies — and the California cities of Hemet, Fontana and Yucaipa added this decal to remind their citizenry that unwanted babies belong in the arms of firefighters and nurses and not inside the steel walls of a garbage can.

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What the Proposition 8 Protest Taught Us

Proposition 8 passed in California overturning the Gay marriage law by 5% margin. In the two weeks since the election, activists have been going on TV and torturing the Mormon Church for their $20 million campaign to Pass the Prop and they have been educating people about the fairness of love in any marriage:

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The Human Shame of Proposition Two

Do farm animals have rights?  Do they deserve legal protection during their lives before they meet their deaths on your dinner table?  In California, Proposition 2 is November 4 ballot initiative — better known as the “Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act” — and I wonder why we even need to provide that protection and why we don’t naturally have it in us to humanely tend those that feed so many as part of our basic human nature.

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California Born and Oranges Bred

[Editorial Note: Blogging is a textual medium and you cannot easily read facial expression, vocal tone or body language and that can mean a lot of fun and frolicking intent can be lost. We want to make it clear how much we love all California people — especially those who move to that great state — and we mostly like those who were born into her soil and not transplanted. With that disclaimer out of the way, let the flaying begin!]

California born folks have to put up with a lot of kidding from the rest of the world that may try to label their “California style” of living flakey or “not there” as Gertrude Stein wrote in 1937 when she visited her hometown of Oakland and wrote in Everybody’s Autobiography:

What was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.

Is there a there there in California now?

I have been exposed to lots of native Californians and nearly every one of them loves to talk about California at every opportunity and at every inopportune time! They talk about the water and the weather and the orange groves of their childhood that are no longer there and they rightfully brag about their home state’s daring educational initiatives.

When the “California Style” of teaching reaches the East Coat and Midwestern classroom, however, madness ensues! I was stuck in one graduate course taught by a self-identifying native Californian and we spent 57 minutes of the first class deciding who would bring what to eat on which days. It was complete insanity!

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