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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Jared's LiveJournal:

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Friday, March 13th, 2009
7:26 pm
Semi-annual update
So nursing school this semester consists of pediatrics and OB/labor & deliver. I spend Saturdays from 6:15am until 4pm at Valley Medical Center taking care of sick kids, and Wednesdays from 6:30am till 4pm taking care of very distended women and their new kids. A couple weeks ago I witnessed two C-sections, and last Wednesday I witnessed a regular vaginal delivery.


Ladies, whatever you do, if at all possible, avoid a C-section.

There certainly are benefits, like not feeling a damn thing, but I assure you, it's not a pretty sight. Especially when they take your uterus out of your abdomen, poke around and make sure everything is there and good, wipe it off, and put it back in. Oops, better put those intestines back in too. >_< It's extremely impersonal. Vaginal deliveries take longer and are more uncomfortable at the time, but I promise, both mom and baby are better off long term. If nothing else, the family can be involved (only 1 visitor in the OR, and they have to sit in a wheelchair because of too many faintings)

And practice your Kegel exercises; they help quite a lot with the delivery and recovery. I won't explain how here.

I'm still having fun in nursing school, except for our BS Process class ("Be nice to and understanding of people from different cultures, Semester 4"). At the end of last semester, I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel; before that there was only the blackness of endless school work. So, now it's 14 months and 7 or so days until graduation, woot!
Wednesday, October 1st, 2008
2:25 pm
Perhaps the U.S. should pull out of Chicago
[Some spin from non-Democrats in Chicago]

Body count: In the last six months:
292 killed (murdered) in Chicago
221 killed in Iraq

Sens. Barack Obama & Dick Durbin,

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.,

Gov. Rod Blogojevich,

House leader Mike Madigan,

Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike),

Mayor Richard M. Daley (son of Mayor Richard J. Daley)

.....our leadership in Illinois .....all Democrats.

Thank you for the combat zone in Chicago
Of course, they're all blaming each other.

Can't blame Republicans; there aren't any with real power. (Not that they are much better)
State pension fund $44 Billion in debt, worst in country.

Cook County (Chicago) sales tax 10.25% is the highest in country, and business is moving out because of it.

The Chicago school system is rated one of the worst in the country.

This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois . And he's gonna 'fix' Washington politics for us!

Jared (suggests we all vote third party)
Friday, September 26th, 2008
12:20 pm
Pierre Lemieux: A Crisis of Global Statism
The current financial turmoil is a "crisis of capitalism," said a spokesman for Britain's Socialist Workers Party, as good Marxists have been repeating for more than a century. "[A]n unregulated financial system is a disaster," echoed Sheila Rowbotham, professor of gender and labor history at Manchester University. Added a leftist London mayoral candidate, "Capitalism has had its chance and failed; now it's socialism's turn."

I wonder what they have been smoking.

Remember that the financial crisis opened last year with the meltdown of the American subprime mortgage market. At that time, half of the residential mortgages in the United States were already held or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two so-called "government sponsored enterprises" (GSE). Over the past year, the two GSEs have financed four out of five mortgages. Fannie Mae was created in the wake of the Great Depression by Franklin D. Roosevelt; Freddie Mac by Congress in 1970. Private investors happily bought securities issued by the two GSEs because they knew the federal government would never let these companies fail — which proved true last week when they were entirely taken over by Washington. Before the crisis started, the American mortgage market was a paragon of socialism, unparalleled in any other Western country.

The 1997 Community Reinvestment Act, which prevents mortgage lenders from "discriminating" against minority applicants, did not help sound financial decisions. At every turn of a financial decision, some regulator is lurking.

The American financial system is tightly regulated. Created in 1934, the powerful Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforces regulations on all kinds of financial transactions, from registration of securities to disclosure of corporate information. The 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act further extended the intervention domain of the SEC. The US Department of Justice prosecutes CEOs and entrepreneurs, and the convicted targets are often given long jail sentences. On Thursday, the New York attorney general — a would-be Eliot Spitzer or Patrick Fitzgerald — announced that he has started a "wide-ranging investigation into short selling in the financial market."

When Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson says, "I don't believe in raw capitalism without regulation," he is not revealing a scoop. He is reiterating what has been official American policy for the last century. Whether the result is financial socialism with a human capitalist face, or state capitalism with a strong socialist flavor, it is a matter of choosing between a half-empty and a half-full glass.

The partial exportation of American regulation to other countries has led to a sort of global financial statism.

Another source of financial turmoil has been the brisk increase in the money supply by the American central bank, the Federal Reserve System, as indicated in higher inflation and low interest rates. For many years, economists of the so-called "Austrian" school of economics (in the wake of late Nobel prizewinner Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises) have warned us of an impending disaster if money is pumped into the economy to prevent necessary adjustments. This, they claimed, will ultimately bring a worse crisis.

There is no inherent reason to trust the state to regulate efficiently. The state is made of men (politicians and bureaucrats) who respond to their own incentives and interests. If there is a political gain to be made from expanding mortgages and postponing a crisis for future politicians to deal with, it will be pursued.

Despite this, a false confidence in the power of the state to guarantee stability has developed. Some investors have come to believe that, whatever mistake they make, they have a right to their profits, and the authorities will enforce it. The rescue of Bear Stearns, the two GSEs and AIG will only fuel this belief. But if some people have made bad investments and are relieved from their responsibility for their own mistakes, it only means that the cost will be transferred to others, probably through a worse crisis.

Moreover, as many commentators have remarked, guaranteeing large financial firms from failure will bring calls for regulating them still more tightly. This is an old story: past political interventions create the reasons for new ones.

The present financial turmoil is really a failure of global statism. Socialism has failed once again. Let's try capitalism.
Monday, September 22nd, 2008
3:03 pm
Pete's current Presidential Election Analysis: a very close election
I've been a member of a couple different discussion forums for six or seven years now, and one of the memebers created his own forum. One member who 'migrated" one board to this new one is Pete, who frequently writes very astute analysis of whatever the discussion is about. For both this and the 2004 election seasons, he created a thread and followed news stories, and analyzed polling data, and commented on them. His current Presidential Election Thread can be found here:


Here's the quote:

I am going to make a bit of a prediction here. Some of you will deride it as McCain favortism. Others of you will cheer it because you want McCain to win. But this is how I see things shaking down...

I see McCain doing far better in this election than most people expect.

Here's why:

First, the pollsters:

There are approximately a half dozen pollsters in this year's election cycle who routinely post pro-Obama polling. They are: PPP, Opinion Research, Research 2000, Quinnepiac University, Insider Advantage, and Field Polling.

There are a few pollsters that are brazenly pro-Republican. They are: Strategic Vision, Hotline, Luntz polling, Wall Street Journal, and others.

There are two pollsters whose findings are just erratic and absurd, Zogby and SurveyUSA. Many university polls fall in this group too.

Finally, there's the gold standard...the few you can trust: Rasmussen, ARG, Mason-Dixon, and Gallup/USA today. Rasmussen tends to poll slightly pro-Republican, the other three historically slightly pro-Democrat, but they're all reliably accurate.

Here's the rub: you almost NEVER see one of the blatantly pro-Republican pollsters in the news while the outlandishly pro-Democrat and the erratic pollsters are in the news constantly.

I've been keeping my election watch here and I see a neck-and-neck race. See the map above. But when I log onto the TV news, I see Obama with 300 electoral votes on most pundits' maps. I see them list Florida and Ohio as Obama states when they're clearly not, unless you look at the polls of that first group. I even see Obama winning Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina on some of their maps.

This is how the typical TV election board looks:


If you eliminate the leaners (lighter colored) that means Obama has a 201-169 lead going into the swing states. It's almost a sure win for Obama.

Here is my map:


Note that the battlegrounds are the midwest and the southwest, not the traditional Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania. I suspect that Ohio is not really in play, but I leave it as a tossup because the polls do support that conclusion. Also note that I'm not playing favorites...I've darkened a lot of states for Obama that I don't think are in play based on the polling, such as Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota.

Omitting the close states, you're looking at only a 242 to 240 advantage for Obama, and it's a tossup race, especially since Michigan is leaning hard for Obama and Ohio is leaning hard for McCain (which would result in a 260-259 lead for McCain with 3 small states to go).

Because of this, I fully expect a great deal of public outcry when the election happens. I think that McCain is about 50% likely to win even if racism isn't a factor, and that it's going to be a lot closer than anyone thinks. But if he does win, and people saw pre-election polls "heavily favoring Obama" and exit polls "heavily favoring Obama," there will be mass outcry. It might happen even if Obama wins a narrow victory.

I have no idea why the press is willing to promote SurveyUSA and Zogby polling. Both of them were COMPLETELY off (in both directions in almost every state) in the last election, and should be dismissed summarily. Further, I have no idea why anybody would consider Quinnepiac University polling...but they do. This has led to an expectation of a huge Obama win. It's not likely to go that way.

This is going to be a close election with the swing states being Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio. Traditional swing states Iowa, Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Missouri really aren't this year. But the media (both TV and radio) are focusing on them.

That's why I expect a lot of people to act really surprised when the election happened, even though the data was there. Even without the data, they should be able to predict that this election is not going to be decided along the same lines that the last few were, because the candidates are very different.

Pete (could be very wrong, and things do change, but sees it this way at this point)
Thursday, September 18th, 2008
7:46 pm
Voting machine problems still not addressed
A new Government Accountability Office report on voting system testing finds that the Election Assistance Commission has not notified election officials across the country about electronic voting machine failures.

And a new study by Common Cause and the Century Foundation finds that 10 very vital swing states have significant voting problems that have not been addressed since the last election.

Those 10 states, according to Common Cause, are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In Colorado, 20,000 left polling places without voting in 2006 because of crashed computer registration machines and long lines. And this election day, Colorado will have another new registration system.

"You know, Colorado is two years behind many states in implementing a statewide voter database. ... This is a new system, and there's just a lot of unknowns as to whether or not voters will be successful," said Jenny Flanagan of Common Cause.

The problems listed in the report range from not enough voting machines to glitches with electronic registration poll books.

"We're seeing a lot of problems where people are being kicked off the data base rolls if their name is on as Alex as opposed to Alexander or they've put a middle initial in there name and it's not there," said Susan Greenhalgh of Voter Action. "These are problems that are being created by software restrictions that are stringent or glitches in some cases where the program is incorrectly bouncing people off the rolls."

For voters with problems in registration, provisional ballots are provided.

But Tova Wang of Common Cause said there is a "very good chance, with all of the new voters that we are going to see this year, that there will be a big demand for the use of provisional ballots."

"And yet I see nothing, except in one of the 10 states, that the states are doing to ensure that there will be enough provisional ballots on hand so that they don't run out of them. Ideally, provisional ballots should be on hand for 10 percent of the voting population," she added.

Common Cause said it's not too late to fix many of these problems. Although many states don't have the laws on the books to require some safeguards, they can act now to make sure that there are enough back up ballots at the polls, workers are properly trained and there are enough poll workers on election day.

Denver, Colorado, for example, is going back to a paper poll book registration for this election.

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
8:46 am
September 17, Constitution Day
It's also my brother's birthday.


Constitutional Ignorance Forfeits Our Rights

September 16, 2008 12:27 PM by Gary Galles

September 17 is Constitution Day, marking the anniversary of its 1787 signing. Schools will teach about the Constitution, but not for the obvious reason. Their reason will be that it is now required of every educational institution receiving federal aid. However, they won't teach about the irony of that requirement, which came from the man described as the Senate's leading Constitutional scholar, yet clearly conflicts with the Constitution.

In 2004, Senator Robert Byrd (D.-W.Va.) inserted the requirement into a pork-filled spending bill that was blatantly inconsistent with Americans' general welfare, which is the Constitution's rationale. It also clearly overstepped the 10th Amendment's restriction of the federal government to only its enumerated powers.

His "solution" aside, however, Senator Byrd is correct about our insufficient Constitutional knowledge. In one National Constitution Center poll, while two-thirds of adults said detailed knowledge of it was "absolutely essential," only one in six claimed such knowledge.

Unfortunately, Americans know too little about our Constitution to maintain the freedoms it was designed to protect. Instead, our ignorance leads us to sacrifice rights out of undue deference to majority rule.

America's Constitution is a far cry from establishing majority rule. Our founders did believe in voting to select who should be entrusted with the power of government, but the more important question they asked was what powers will "We, the people" delegate to the federal government to exercise on our behalf? That is why so much of the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, is devoted to what the government is not allowed to do, regardless of majority sentiment. As Jefferson said, our founders fought not for democracy, but for government "tied down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

The Constitution contains multiple non-majority rules to protect Americans against federal abuses, such as presidential veto power and the supermajorities required to change the Constitution. Its defense is the rationale for the Supreme Court's power to strike down unconstitutional laws, regardless of how many congressional votes they received. That reflected our founders' antipathy toward pure majority rule.

James Madison said "democracies…have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths." Thomas Jefferson warned that "[an] elective despotism was not the government we fought for," and that "The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest, breaks up the foundations of society." Alexander Hamilton asserted that "Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy."

However, many today feel that our founders' opposition to unlimited democracy can be squared with political determination of everything by saying, "also protecting the rights of the minority." But our lack of Constitutional knowledge means that believing in protecting the rights of minorities does not actually protect them when they are outvoted.

Since Americans don't clearly understand their Constitutional rights against government abuse, the habit of deference to political majorities results in those rights being steamrollered whenever more than 50% vote to do so. Examples are plentiful because, despite the Constitution's imposition of strictly limited, enumerated federal powers, there is no area it does not now reach, if not dominate. And with our protections eroding, majority voting controls more and more of what our founders thought they had put off limits to political determination.

Americans' inattention to the highest law of the land puts our essential rights and liberties at risk, as we can't effectively defend what we only vaguely know. Unless we begin taking them as seriously as our founders and vigorously defend the Constitutional safeguards that maintain them, our system of self-government will continue eroding. But when we don't even recognize the irony of a federal mandate to promote understanding the Constitution, when that mandate is inconsistent with the Constitution, we are far from that point.
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
10:34 am
DC v. Heller
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released it's decision regarding the case of DC vs. Heller today.

In short, the District of Columbia has had an effective blanket ban on all handguns in the district, as well as conditions of the lawful storage of long arms (rifles and shotguns), in which they must be kept either locked in a safe or disassembled.

A number of citizens sued, and Mr. Heller, a security guard who carries a handgun on the job was the one deemed to have standing. His basic claim is that the district allows him to wear a gun while at work, but he is not allowed to have a functional gun at home. Given that the DC handgun ban has been an absolute disaster (DC has one of the highest per-capita gun murder rates of any city in the US), he felt that he should have the right to be able to defend himself.

The court was basically deciding, for the first time ever, the question of whether or not the right to bear arms is an individual right accorded to the people of the US, or a collective right accorded to the states of the US.

The SCOTUS decided in his favor with this decision:


It was decided 5/4, with two dissenting opinions.

While the exact meaning and legal ramifications have yet to be determined, this guarantees that we won't be turned into a police state quite yet. :D
Monday, May 5th, 2008
12:43 pm
wedding attire
I'm considering getting a kilt for myself to wear to Scott's wedding on Memorial Day. Due to my lack of planning ahead, and my financial constraints, it would have to be an 'in-stock' item and relatively cheap.

I found this yesterday:

I figure I'd get the 16oz kilt in Scottish National.

If I really go bonkers, I'd get one of the less expensive sporrans, some hose, and a belt buckle, which on that site would add up to about

That's a price I can afford. However, there's also the assorted accessories that go along with a kilt, like sporrans, belts, hose, the cost goes up pretty quickly.

Do any of you have thoughts on what accessories are or aren't necessary, or what suppliers you recommend?

Eventually I'd like to get one in my clan colors, which I really quite like:

But the only online price I can find is $75 a yard, so that'll have to wait.
Tuesday, December 18th, 2007
5:42 pm
I'm alive!! Bwahahahahaha

[insert lightning strike and mad scientist outfit here]

I made a B+ in pharmacology, a B in skills, and an A in Process. Pathophysiology is the big scary class that I just finished today, and the exam wasn't that bad. Kinda like only having one tooth pulled without anesthetic instead of three.

So who's doing what for new year's? I need to make some plans.

Current Mood: energetic
Friday, November 2nd, 2007
11:40 pm
I think I'll survive the semester
As I'm sure you all know, I've been holed up at home, chronically reading and studying. This nursing program thing is a lot of work. Who'd'a thunk it? I'm 3/4 of the way through midterms (which is something of a misnomer, because we've had exams more or less evenly spaced out through the whole program), and it looks like I'm holding a solid B average; with my lowest grade hovering around a high C+ /low B-, with which I'm quite satisfied. If I do well, I may be able to hold the A in Pharmacology I have.

That said, I don't really expect to poke my head out of my den before school ends on December 18th, except possibly over Thanksgiving weekend.
11:36 pm
Watch electricity work!
This guy is a riot; he's coming up with all sorts of useful ways to use electricity.

Extra large washer-flinger:

Crush those pesky soda cans:

Saturday, May 12th, 2007
1:33 am
I made it!!!!!
I got into the nursing program at San Jose State! I have literally spent the last three years taking classes with this specific program in mind, and I've been biting my nails over this application for the last six weeks. The only problem is I stayed out late, and only read the letter when I got in tonight, so I can't yell and run around. I am so thrilled right now.

Current Mood: thrilled
Monday, April 2nd, 2007
6:28 pm
Super Hotties of the Food Network do Macaroni and Cheese "Round Two: Fight!"
This goes along with Super Ninja Brownie Recipe Face Off! Round 1, Fight! Martha Stewart vs. Alton Brown, in which Aargnzarf and I chose similar recipes by famous TV chefs and cooked them head-to-head.

That's right, folks. For our second cook-off, we did that traditional American iconic food-in-a-box, "Just add water and oil" noodly-cheesy goodness called Mac and Cheese. Except we did it the hard way. The expensive way. The way that makes cheese connoisseurs cry and penny-pinchers die from shock. We went to Whole Foods to buy cheese. More on this later.

The rest may be found here:


Monday, March 5th, 2007
7:59 pm
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007
10:47 pm
A return to childhood
In the spirit of my return, once again, to school, I post this reminder of childhood joy.


If you don't laugh, or at least smile, while watching this, I hearby order you to take all your GI Joes, Legos, Barbies, or whatever and go sit in a sandbox with them for at least 30 minutes. I'll send you something that stains your clothes to go along with it.

Current Mood: cheerful
Friday, December 22nd, 2006
2:37 am
Is it messy or normal?
This is stolen from das_jojoba for those who could use a little encouragement when it comes to cleaning up (or not cleaning up) your place.


Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, November 29th, 2006
8:51 pm
Automotive Geekage
My brother and I started on Datsun swap #2 by clearing a space in our Dad's backyard (way out back, behind the garage and a transport container), putting two yards of sand down, and putting up a semi-permanent tent over it. He bought a mostly-stripped 510 a couple of months ago, and we have continued on that trend.

We decided that it really needs a better heater, as the original heater never did much more than make noise. So, we stripped out the heater, and in the process took out the dashboard too. There's a lot more room in a car that doesn't have an interior. Next step, build a housing that fits the existing mounting bolts, dashboard, and still holds a bigger heater radiator and a high-flow computer fan or two. After that, a new wiring harness.
Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006
7:22 pm
Happy Thanksgiving Day's Eve!
I like Thanksgiving; it's my favorite holiday. You get family and sometimes friends together, and you eat food. It's almost like being Jewish, but without the little hats. Christmas is fun, too, but before you can have Christmas you have to do all that Silly Knees-Bent Running About trying to buy the perfect gift for everybody you might happen to know, and I hate malls and shopping.

So, to all I wish upon you many hours of satisfying personal interactions and delightful food intake.
Thursday, September 14th, 2006
11:50 pm
I just made a great recipe
...If I do say so myself. Since today is Thursday and therefore vegetable day, I went and picked up the vegetables. Lauren pointed out that the green onions were particularly good smelling, which made me think of garlic, onions and olive oil. So I had to figure out what else to eat with those ingredients. Anyway, this is what I came up with:

Jared's Self-Proclaimed Excellent Alfredo:
1/2 pound fettuccine
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1.5 Tsb coarsly minced ginger
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large tomato, cubed
1 green onion, sliced
1 apple, diced
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
olive/peanut oil
1 Tsb. sesame oil
pepper to taste

cook the fettuccine with olive oil and salt until firm
in a wok or large skillet, add ~ 3 oz. olive/peanut oil (I used peanut oil; it cooks at a higher temperature, but olive oil will probably work fine), 1 tsp. sesame seeds, 1 Tsb sesame oil, the ginger, half the garlic and all the onions. Cook until the onions are just getting soft. Add the fettuccine, tomato chunks, cook for a minute or two, then add the whipping cream, apple peices, stir, take off heat, keep stirring. Add however much pepper you like.

The sesame ingredients are optional, but they add a good flavor to it. I may have used more cream, but I'm sure it would be quite edible without any cream at all.

This made four moderate portions; two each for my brother and I. Next time I may add some chili oil to heat it up a bit.

I hope you enjoy! If anybody makes this, let me know how it comes out.
Wednesday, September 13th, 2006
12:27 am
Yep, it's September
and it really doesn't feel like it. Oh, well. I've given up on trying to add more classes; I sat in on the lecture section of a class, and realized that I'm 2 and a half weeks behind already. I think I'm going to go take a Physics class at De Anza and get my Asociates of Science. And I'm NOT going to send the transcript to SJSU unless I absolutely have to.

I hate beaurocracies.

What else? I like being at SJSU; there's lots of young people there, many of whom are very attractive. I'm taking a "social dance" class, which is pretty fun. I'm not that coordinated, so I make lots of mistakes, but I seem to be at least average. So I'm content. I have discovered that the "limp fish" handshake also applies to dance partners; some of them have absolutely no... will of their own, I guess.

I met a girl a couple of weeks ago, and she hasn't called me since then. Which puzzles me, since she asked Marcus for my number the day after we met. Well, we shall see.

Other than that, I'm just living life.

Justin Greenwood's dad had a (second) heart attack maybe a week ago, and is now back at home, but there's nothing much they can do for him beyond medication. He's really young, too; something like 55, and he's lived an extremely healthy life. He completed a triathalon a few months ago, and had a pretty competitive time. Some things you just can't change, I guess.
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