Pets have been around for such a long time the dictionary lists the origin of the word as unknown.

History tells us a working relationship was formed with early man and the wolves that lived around man’s camps. Gradually the animals evolved until certain ones became tame and were then regarded as settlement dependents and helped in hunting and guarding duties.

Selective breeding followed domestication and we find in ancient carvings and painting that giant mastiffs were used in lion hunting in Mesopotamia. Egyptian tomb paintings depict greyhound-like dogs and short-legged terriers like those of today.

Even the Bible has two references of keeping pets. In Samuel, Nathan speaks of a ewe lamb brought up in a poor farmers family. In Mark, chapter 7, verse 28, he speaks of a foreign women telling of her little pet dogs that sat under the table.

For years now many people have been trying to convince the medical community that writing a prescription for a companion animal has value.

Many studies have been conducted concluding that pets are beneficial. One researcher determined that pets can help lower a person’s blood pressure and improve the chances of survival of heart disease patients. Another report indicated that pets helped significantly with disoriented or withdrawn people in nursing homes or retirement communities.

The goal of those who believe in the pet therapy for some human aliments is to convince doctors to prescribe pets where they can and to get the government to allow pets into nursing homes.

Auto Train

This post is a little late today. I’m traveling to attend a seminar at the Coudert Institute in Florida. It is a nice southern journey in the middle of north’s winter. I’ve traveled Amtrak’s auto train before and it is an experience of cross generation observation. You start in Lorton, Virginia in the afternoon and end up in Sanford, Florida the next morning.

The little poetic ditty below gives you some idea of what it is like to ride the auto train.

“Quilted coats, shuffled steps and canes
Are what you find on South bound trains.
The halt, the lame, the elderly,
The ill, the weak, and crotchety
Are Florida bound in cubby holes
With all their flaws and hairy moles.
Snowbirds they’re called without respect.
They flock to Florida’s warmth prospect.
If you are younger and can watch
Count the wrinkles, connect the blotch,
And you will see where you may be
Before they read your eulogy.”


International trade, loans, monopolies. All the markings of a story in the Wall Street Journal. Except that the story begins in ancient Babylon.

As early as two thousand BC, the priests who oversaw the temples decided to branch out. They became the world’s first bankers, accepting deposits, granting credit and allowing no competition. It was a monopoly the priests held for generations.

Banking was carried to the rest of the world, sometimes by the traveling priests, but often by invading armies, but when civilization tumbled into the dark ages, banking fell with it.

History took some time in repeating itself and when it did, again the priests were the first to re-establish a banking system. Ecclesiastical orders found it placed them at the center of political power.

Some 14-hundred years passed before private bankers became the dominant force in finance.

For many of these years, not just anyone could be a bank customer. There were no elaborate credit checks. No Dun and Bradstreet ratings of your worth. Anyone worthy of being a customer was known personally to the people who ran the bank. It was a tight knit, elite, circle. There was no standing in line for the teller. Transactions were by appointment, often conducted in secret with most medieval banks cutting their deals with royalty or with the most powerful land owners.

Controls were tight, circulation restricted and caution was the watchword, for only a select few could be trusted to handle what was becoming one of the great innovations of the time. Paper money.

Today we need prayer and priests.


Through the ages, from the atavistic beginnings of conflicts between tribes, beliefs, cultures, city states, philosophies, and religions there has been the tenure of torture to elicit information or just to aggrandize the base desires of mindless sadists.

Modern societies, cultured administrations, democratic ideologies and spiritual philosophies do not do that for it is a barbaric and criminative action that is no longer tolerated in sophisticated society. Plain and simple: it is wrong.

I applaud the Obama edict that the United States of America will no long tolerate, endorse, encourage or condone torture as a means to glean information.

I repudiate the Bush administration and especially Vice President Cheney for even suggesting that torture is a viable means of maintaining national security. Shame on you Mr. Chaney, you have misused and debased your temporal and temporary power and abrogated your spiritual knowing in your fabrication of the righteousness of torture.

I have hopes that with your departure into oblivion, despite the fact that my tax dollars continue to support your livelihood, that never again will this great country succumb to the dictatorial whims of usurped power.

Live long Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. Think hard. Meditate often. Be surprised.