Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Whose problem is the homeless problem? Not the president’s

I hope the president and the federal agencies stay out of California's homeless problem. It's a state and local problem exacerbated by the green/environment/climate regulations, building codes and their tax laws which keep some costs artificially low for a few. If California were a country, it would be one of the richest in the world--the 5th largest economy--and wouldn't need our "foreign" aid if it were managed correctly and didn't have Democrat law makers.

Just as Obama took affordable older cars off the road and destroyed them with “cash for clunkers,” so state officials in collusion with builders, architects and real estate firms are destroying affordable housing calling it necessary because of climate change or healthier housing. And it's not just California. My husband's architecture magazines are cringe worthy. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-homeless-how-we-got-here-20180201-story.html

Mark Steyn and the First Amendment

Some of you, the informed ones, know who Mark Steyn is. He's an immigrant, a humorist, a wit, occasionally fills in for Rush Limbaugh, and I've seen him on Fox as a talking head. He's also being sued by an academic for not worshiping the climate gods, even after hacked documents showed him to be right.

Someone else made a joke about Michael E. Mann, a professor of meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and a climate activist, and Mann sued him and Steyn for calling his hockey stick graph "fraudulent." It was an opinion that should have been covered by the first amendment and should have been resolved with facts and data, but Mann won. So now it's going to full trial, costing the National Review millions of dollars. The Supreme Court has refused to hear it.

You need to pay attention because this is a case that will come after you. Academe, media, professional organizations, non-profits and leftist politicians are all colluding to force us to accept their religion of climate change. We all know climate changes, or Ohio would be uninhabitable. But in order to squeeze more taxes out of us, we have to bow to accepting the blame for it. More important is freedom of speech--that's priceless, not just an increase in taxes.

https://www.city-journal.org/national-review-first-amendment?

Only Congress could make up such unfair rules

I was on a jury a few years back on an auto accident insurance case--it was based on the Ohio "golden turkey" law. Too complicated and absurd to explain, but it has since been repealed. However, it was shocking to me what could get a person tossed from jury selection. If your brother in law was in an auto accident 10 years ago and won his case, you could be considered prejudiced and get bumped. But when a man who was elected by 63,000,000 people is on trial for 2 non-crimes, the jury is made up of people who have been demanding his removal since before he was inaugurated in hopes of getting his job! Only Congress could make up rules like this. The rest of us live in the United States of America which has laws to protect us against these medieval methods.

Middle aged increases in binge drinking in U.S.

"The total annual number of binge drinks consumed per U.S. adult who reported binge drinking increased significantly by 12% from 2011 to 2017, including among non-Hispanic white adults and those aged ≥35 years." https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/pdfs/mm6902a2-H.pdf

One is tempted to ask who was in the White House and Congress during the years of study?  I'm not making light of binge drinking, but it was during the Obama years that the hate and division really escalated--but then, so did the nastiness on social media. That said, when we see this, the federal government is quick to see $$$ in grant money for more study of socioeconomic causes, when maybe it needs to look in the mirror.

This was reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC and you should read carefully rather than accepting the headline version you'll see on internet news (like my source did using Yahoo instead of CDC). Just saying though, Ohio was one of the 9 states reporting a significant increase. And Wyoming? What's going on? The CDC backed up its claims with data on increase in alcohol sales.

I mention my source because it is a pet peeve that I receive “Healthbeat” in my e-mail from Ohio State University Medical Center Communications Center, and it is citing Yahoo!  Do they have no experts of their own who can read a CDC MMWR report?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Impeachment smoke screen, Todd L. Thornton, guest blogger

The Democrat's Articles of Impeachment are a smoke screen of legal jargon covering up why they really want Trump impeached.

Why Trump is being Impeached:

1. Border crossings are down 73% and the Democratic Party is well aware of how preventing illegal aliens from socialist nations to enter the United States is affecting their “Illegal Voter Registration” policies, especially in sanctuary states, like California and New York where an impoverished and dependent class of citizen is crucial to their political power.

2. Despite outright corruption orchestrated by Organizing For America using the American media (NBC, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others), fake race riots, phony Russian collaboration, and pretend stories about Ukrainian influence were peddled as fact and bolstered by a corrupt leadership team at the FBI and CIA. These efforts failed to topple the President as there was no basis of fact in the allegations and Millions of dollars were wasted. In the midst of an active impeachment trial, The President has begun investigating the Democrats and where their money comes from. Americans are just beginning to learn of global money laundering schemes, pay-to-play diplomacy, and complicity in the actual crimes the President stands accused of. Billions of dollars have been traded for Democrat's families to have jobs, pedophiles and communists to take safe haven, provide for anti-American terrorist regimes, and line the pockets of phony charities like the Clinton Foundation and the myriad of Soros funded groups actively working to destroy the American political system of democracy and freedom. The Democrats must stop Trump or they risk losing the mechanisms to fund their imperial power and socialist agenda.

3. President Trump is not a politician and campaigned as such, promising to accomplish in his first term what politicians holding office for upwards of thirty years have been unable to accomplish during their tenure. His success exacerbates their failure to act. His donated paycheck contrasts with their propensity to become millionaires on a Congressmen's salary.

Below is a list off the Trump Administration's Accomplishments. These accomplishments are pro-American, pro-democracy, and citizen focused. These successes are not derived via deception, corruption, or racism despite media claims to the contrary.

• Almost 4 million jobs created since President Trump was elected.
• More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
• The Trump Administration has created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since his election.
• Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than thirty years.
• Economic growth last quarter hit 4.2 percent.
• New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low.
• Median household income has reached the highest level ever recorded.
• African-American unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Hispanic-American unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Asian-American unemployment recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Women’s unemployment recently reached the lowest rate in 65 years.
• More women are now employed than men.
• Youth unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
• American now has the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Americans without a high school diploma.
• Under the Trump Administration, veterans’ unemployment recently reached its lowest rate in nearly twenty years.
• Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since the election.
• The Pledge to America’s Workers has resulted in employers committing to train more than 4 million Americans through vocational education.
• 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future—the highest ever.
• Retail sales surged last month, up another 6 percent over last year.
• President Trump signed the biggest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history. After tax cuts, over $300 billion was poured back in to the U.S. in the first quarter alone.
• As a result of Trump's tax policies, small businesses will have the lowest top marginal tax rate in more than 80 years.
• The Trump Administration helped win the U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
• The Trump Administration helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.
• Trump's energy policies opened ANWR and approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines to secure American oil independence and make the United States a net exporter.
• Under President Trump the United States is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
• The President's policies increased US coal exports by 60 percent while U.S. oil production recently reached an all-time high.
• President Trump cut wasteful government red-tape by eliminating a record number of regulations.
• The Trump Administration enacted regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions.
• The Obamacare individual mandate penalty was ended.
• The Trump Administration is providing more affordable healthcare options for Americans through association health plans and short-term duration plans.
• Last month, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history. And thanks to the President's efforts, many drug companies are freezing or reversing planned price increases.
• The President reformed the Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
• Signed Right-To-Try experimental medical procedure legislation.
• Secured $6 billion in NEW funding to fight the opioid epidemic and reduced high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent during his first year in office.
• Signed VA Choice Act and VA Accountability Act, expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care for American Veterans.
• The President withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord.
• The President cancelled the illegal, anti-coal, so-called Clean Power Plan.
• Secured record $700 billion in military funding; $716 billion next year.
• The President is working to ensure American taxpayers no longer pay for the defense of national that can afford to defend themselves. As a result, NATO allies are spending $530 billion more on defense since 2016.
• To counter the militarization of space by Russia and China, The President has begun to make the Space Force the 6th branch of the Armed Forces.
• Nominated and confirmed more conservative circuit court judges than any other new administration.
• Nominated and confirmed Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
• Withdrew from United States from the one-sided Iran Deal.
• Moved U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
• Protecting Americans from terrorists with the Travel Ban, upheld by Supreme Court.
• Issued an Executive Order to keep open Guantanamo Bay.
• Passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that will bring relief and business to the American farmer concluding a historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal to replace NAFTA.
• Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
• Imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum to protect our national security.
• Imposed tariffs on China to level the playing field in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices.
• Net exports are on track to increase by $59 billion this year.
• Improved vetting and screening for refugees, and switched focus to overseas resettlement.
• Requiring Hospitals to publicly disclose the costs charged and paid by ALL insurance companies to ensure transparency and fair competition.
• Making animal cruelty a Federal felony, praised by the American Humane Society.
• Expanding federal civil rights protections against anti-Semitism, which was duly praised by the President of the Anti-Defamation League.

Now ask yourself, "Who would be against such things, what would motivate them, and why would they want President Trump removed for office?"

Amity Schlaes, Great Society; A New History

"Despite the Trump administration’s thriving economy, or perhaps because of it, Democratic Party progressives are calling for new welfare programs even more radical than those advocated in the 1960s by the socialist architect of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, Michael Harrington." (Edward Short, https://www.city-journal.org/history-of-1960s-welfare-programs

Remember him? I read Harrington's book when I was 25--was absolutely sucked in. I was sitting in my living room at 911 W. Charles in Champaign-Urbana, a grad student. I'm not surprised that today's snowflakes are no smarter than I was. They've actually grown up on this drivel--I didn't. I was too naive to know that the best future for a poor person was a good job, not a government program. In the renamed 2020 schemes for wealth redistribution, Democrats are recycling the failed programs of debt relief, socialized medicine, green everything, and universal guaranteed income. If trillions didn't do it, let's throw more at the problems. Please sir, I want some more (Oliver Twist) But at least in the 60s, I think we really did care--even the politicians. Today it's all about power. Government power.

Before the Great Society, black unemployment and white unemployment were the same says Schlaes.  Not wages, and not jobs, but unemployment rates.  Now when unemployment, whether 3% or 15% is given, the black rate is also shown, just so you know things aren’t fair.  One more disparity.  Looking through the graphs and charts on the internet (may need to go to a real library), I can’t see that black unemployment was even tracked until about 1965.  Schlaes perhaps had other sources:

“Black unemployment, which had been the same as that of whites in the 1950s, from the early 1960s rose above white unemployment. The gap between black and white unemployment widened. Welfare programs funded by presidents Johnson and Nixon expanded rolls to an appalling extent—appalling because welfare fostered a new sense of hopelessness and disenfranchisement among those who received it. “Boy, were we wrong about a guaranteed income!” wrote that most honest of policy makers, Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1978, looking back on a pilot program that had prolonged unemployment rather than met its goal, curtailing joblessness. The “worker versus employer” culture promoted by the unions and tolerated by the automakers suppressed creativity on the plant floor and in executive officers. Detroit built shoddy autos—the whistleblower Ralph Nader was correct when he charged that American cars were not safe. Detroit failed to come up with an automobile to compete with those made by other foreign automakers. Whereas in the 1930s American automakers’ productivity amounted to triple that of their German competitors, by the late 1960s and 1970s, German and Japanese automakers were catching up to it or pulling ahead. In the end the worker benefits that union leaders in their social democratic aspirations extracted from companies rendered the same companies so uncompetitive that employers in our industrial centers lost not merely benefits but jobs themselves. Vibrant centers of industry became “the rust belt,” something to abandon. . . . What the 1960s experiment and its 1970s results suggest is that social democratic compromise comes close enough to socialism to cause economic tragedy.”

Is patriotism right wing extremism?

"When I mentioned to my liberal wife that my next book would be dedicated to the defense of patriotism, as an antidote to growing divisiveness, she warned me that my colleagues would consider it a defense of right-wing extremism." (Amitai Etzioni) He went on to write the whole essay on how he gets that from publishers (change the title) or reviewers like NPR--that patriotism is considered right wing and he asks when did that happen and why.

My question first would be how do these two live together? And second I'd give an answer to his question. This didn't happen over night. It was long before the 1619 garbage NYT is promoting.  Since 1980 when Howard Zinn's poisoned history began to creep into the classrooms of America, first as extra reading then required textbooks, American students have been taught that our founding and our history have been racist, sexist, evil and everything that promotes the USA is racist and white supremacist. That's 40 years--a lot of heads of mush. A lot of teachers have graduated who then taught teachers who are teaching your kids and grandchildren. That's why Democrats get so enraged by MAGA. In their minds, America was never great, and by putting that on a hat, you want to bring back slavery. There are other propagandists in the classroom besides Zinn, of course--I used to run into them at OSU, but he's the one I'm the most familiar with.

I love Paul Johnson's "A history of the American people," and if I need to look something up that doesn't insult me or my ancestors (some of whom arrived in the 1600s), that's my go-to title. I also like "A history of the 20th century," 3 vol. by Martin Gilbert, because it treats Communism and Socialism with the respect those evils deserve. Both Johnson and Gilbert are British and are prolific writers.

The Federalist offers an alternative. https://thefederalist.com/…/replace-howard-zinns-communist…/ The original essay I quoted is https://www.city-journal.org/in-defense-of-patriotism. You're up against much more than the silliness and memes you see on the Internet.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Intercalate, new word

I haven’t found many new words lately, but here’s one—I knew the concept but didn’t have a word for it.

“Intercalate was formed from the Latin prefix inter-, meaning "between" or "among," and the Latin verb calāre, meaning "to proclaim" or "to announce." It was originally associated with proclaiming the addition of a day or month in a calendar. An instance of intercalation occurred in the earliest versions of the Roman calendar, which originally consisted of 304 days and 10 months and was determined by the lunar cycle (the remaining 61.25 days of winter were apparently ignored). According to some Roman legends, it was Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, who intercalated the months January and February. Eventually, the word's use broadened to include other instances of introducing new elements or layers into a preexisting system.”

Examples of INTERCALATE from Merriam-Webster web site

"The fossiliferous deposits … consist of pale pinkish-orange brown clays, brownish grey siltstones and shale, and greenish grey fine to medium grained sandstones intercalated with dark grey conglomerates…." — M. A. Khan, et al., The Journal of Animal and Plant Sciences, 31 Dec. 2011

"In order for a lunar calendar to keep up with the solar year and the seasons, it is necessary to intercalate a 13th lunar month every two or three years." — Sacha Stern, Calendars in Antiquity: Empires, States, and Societies, 2012

| How Not To Teach American History by David Davenport and Gordon Lloyd (Hoover Institution)

“Given the myriad crises our country now confronts, who would have guessed that among them would be how we teach American history?  Nevertheless, as a new school year begins, the content, presentation and teaching of US history are in the news almost daily.  Should statues honoring civil war figures—at least those from the losing side—or former slaveholders be retained?  Do we need to change the names of streets or buildings if they bear the names of historical figures that do not satisfy present moral or political sensibilities?  Should history texts be rewritten to diminish their emphasis on our flawed heroes while increasing the teaching of racial, ethnic and gender minorities?  In short, should we be about the business of erasing, rewriting, apologizing for, protecting against, knocking down or covering up our history as many have proposed?

The recent controversy over historic murals at George Washington High School in San Francisco presents a microcosm of the problems.  A 1936 painting depicting the life of George Washington shows two features that some found troublesome:  White settlers standing over the body of a Native American and slaves working at Washington’s estate.  Some students, faculty and parents said the mural was racist and offensive.  Others said no, it tells the truth about that era and should be seen.  Still others said, regardless of the historical questions, it is a work of art and should remain.  Washington High graduate, actor Danny Glover, said, “Art has to make us feel uncomfortable.  That’s what art does.”

Initially the school board decided to do away with the mural but after a hue and cry from many—including minority groups and artists—it reversed course and, by a one-vote margin, concluded it would cover them up at a cost of over $600,000.  The sense was that showing the art would traumatize students and others in the community, but that destroying it permanently went too far.    At the root of the debate is whether such depictions are appropriate for learning from our history or, alternatively, whether history must be presented in a way that does not offend.

What happens in the schools constitutes the ground war in the battle over American history, but elites are busily engaged in an air war.  The New York Times joined the battle this month by introducing The 1619 Project, “a major initiative…to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding.”  The beginning of slavery in 1619 explains everything, including the brutality of American capitalism, says the Times, and it will “publish essays demonstrating that nearly everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery.”

Meanwhile, across the country in California, the state school board has proposed a draft ethnic studies curriculum that seeks not just to celebrate the historic contributions of minorities, but to “critique empire and its relationship to white supremacy, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism and other forms of power and oppression at the intersection of our society.”  That is hardly the way to open a conversation about the historic contribution of ethnic groups.

The bombs are dropping and the guns are firing in the war over America’s history.

Can We Make Sense of This Moment

Why should the teaching of American history have become so controversial at this moment?  Surely one factor is a shift in how we think about students themselves.  For many years, now, the term “helicopter parents” has described a heightened involvement by adults to keep careful watch over their kids, fearful that in this complex age, their child will be left behind. 

A new term, “lawnmower parents,” seems to characterize the current age even better, since these adults now seek to mow down any and every obstacle that might stand in a child’s path. Children are thought of as “snowflakes” who might melt if exposed to too much heat, including the fires of controversy or even criticism.  Taking down murals and rewriting stories of an uncomfortable history becomes part of the strategy of coddling and protecting sensitive kids rather than letting them confront the difficulties of history and make sense of them for themselves, developing judgment and resilience for life.

Another important factor is the movement, begun several decades ago, to demythologize American history.  Howard Zinn led this charge with his People’s History of the United States (1980), a textbook that reveals the selfish motives and cruel actions of America’s traditional heroes, while retelling America’s narrative from the perspective of their victims.  By Zinn’s account, Columbus came to murder natives and steal gold, while the Founders developed a constitutional republic that would protect their slaves and property. 
The counter-narratives continues into modern times, when World War II was about “advancing the imperial interests of the United States,” and the last fifty years were “a capitalistic encouragement of enormous fortunes alongside desperate poverty, a nationalistic acceptance of war and preparations for war.”

In the early going, The People’s History, was assigned by teachers as a supplement or counterpoint to traditional history textbooks.  However, today it has sold over two million copies and has become, as Professor Sam Wineburg of Stanford University has said, “mainstream” and, in many circles, “the dominant narrative.”  One way to read the battle over American history, then, is a conflict between the traditional heroic view and Zinn’s account of resistance.  But it is no longer enough for Zinn’s story to be presented as a counterpoint to the traditional view, allowing students to make their own choices, but Zinn’s disciples now feel the need to eliminate the heroic view and favorable understanding of American history altogether.  We live in a moment when many feel a need to throw out the baby of America’s accomplishments with the bathwater of colonialism.  Zinn’s work presents not merely a counterpoint but a new orthodoxy.

In seeking to understand the current history wars, we might go so far as to say that they have become politics by other means.  American history has been afflicted by presentism, examining our past with 21st century sensibilities and standards.  If colonials owned slaves, for example, our present standards must cause us to reject them, even erase their names from our history.  If a leader was on the wrong side of the Civil War, we may no longer honor them, despite any other accomplishments.  Professor Wineburg calls this “reading the present into the past.”  Since we now find politics in every part of the curriculum—even in biology and art—we should not be surprised to find it in history class.  Indeed, publishers sell very different history textbooks in conservative Texas than they do in liberal California.

Toward Better Teaching of History and Civics

As a starting point, all sides should be able to agree that we have been teaching history and civics poorly.  In the most recent report of the National Educational Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, or “America’s report card”), only 18% of 8th graders tested as “proficient” or better in American history while a mere 23% were “proficient” or better in government and civics.  Only 1-2% tested as “advanced” in these subjects.   The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation reported last year that only 36% of Americans could pass the US Citizenship Test, including questions about the ratification and provisions of the US Constitution, the participants in World War II and other history basics.  An Annenberg Public Policy Center Study in 2017 reported that 75% of students did not know the three branches of government and 37% could not name one right in the First Amendment.

A number of curriculum experts advocate the more promising approach of teaching students using primary documents, not just textbooks.  The Ashbrook Center in Ohio has trained and retrained thousands of teachers to use primary documents—not just the Constitution and Declaration, but speeches, letters, and other documents of the time—to recreate events and debates in our history.  This engages students more actively than the passive reading of a textbook and invites them to understand history from the perspective of the participants, not just through the political lens of the 21st century.  Teachers report both greater excitement and understanding from the use of primary documents as well as the prospect that students can draw their own conclusions.  Several other curriculum efforts such as the DBQ Project and programs at Berkeley, Stanford and Brown University similarly put primary documents at the center of history teaching.

There is even a new and improved textbook, finally, in American history:  Wilfred M. McClay’s Land of Hope:  An Invitation to the Great American Story (Encounter Books, 2019).  McClay succeeds in delivering an inspiring narrative of American history, without rewriting, whitewashing, avoiding or politicizing.  Author Gordon S. Wood understood the value of such a narrative during, as he put it, “a time of severe partisanship that has infected many accounts of our nation’s past.”  History, in McClay’s hands, is a compelling and hopeful narrative, not a collection of disputed facts and intrusive opinions.

Dare we further propose that another important objective in teaching American history should be to help students not only understand but also love their country and be prepared to serve as well-informed citizens?  The Founders understood that a free republic would only work if an informed citizenry supported it and education was high on their agenda. More recently, President Ronald Reagan, in his farewell message, warned of the need to return the teaching of civics and history to develop “an informed patriotism.”  Sociologist James Loewe, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, reminds us that, “We aren’t just learning about the past to satisfy our curiosity—we are  learning about the past to do our jobs as Americans.”  Professor Sam Wineburg agrees:  “It is not popular to talk about in an era of identity politics, but history teaching in school has a civic purpose, not only a disciplinary purpose.”

Conclusion

We live in a time when we seem to engage in every possible approach to history except to learn from it.  We seek to erase it, cover it over, topple it down, rewrite it, apologize for it, skip it—but not to put it out there to learn from it.  The evidence suggests students are doing very little learning of history as it is but, with all the bad ways we are presenting history, we should not be surprised.  It is time we return to an understanding that history and civics are essential underpinnings for good citizenship, and that teaching them includes, most assuredly, the basics but also an appreciation of one’s country and a willingness to be prepared to serve it.”

Davenport is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.  Lloyd is a senior fellow at the Ashbrook Center and Dockson Professor Emeritus at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy

MLK and guns on January 20

Despite the violent threats he received every single day, Martin Luther King, Jr. was denied a gun permit. Government didn't agree he needed one, and local law enforcement told him to rely on THEIR provisions for safety, instead. (Glenn Beck) How appropriate that Virginians gathered peacefully and without incident with the collegiality of a Trump rally to protest Governor Northam's illegal grab for their guns and right to protect themselves on the day we celebrate MLK.

We’re the mop up crew

In adult Sunday school class at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church yesterday Dave told us a vivid story of how we are to defeat Satan. He said his father was in the Battle of the Bulge, the greatest and longest battle of WWII in the dead of winter with terrible losses on both sides. His father told him that although the allies won, those who survived the battle still had to contend with the dangerous mop up in each village they passed through. And that's what we have to do. Christ has won the battle, but we have to do the mop up. That's a paraphrase of course, and don't ask about the sermon because I can only handle one good story a day.

Well, actually I remember one other. Our pastor, Steve Turnbull, told us during the 9:00 traditional service his 20th wedding anniversary is this week. I looked around the sanctuary at all the gray heads--at least for one couple I think it's 75, and some celebrating in the 50s and 60s. Many have grandchildren older than our pastor. We were probably all thinking--"you babies."

Is my hair gray or grey?

Merriam-Webster opines: "Gray and grey are both common spellings of the color between black and white. Gray is more frequent in American English, whereas grey is more common in British English. The varying usage of both grey and gray extends to specialized terms such as animal species (gray/grey whale) and scientific terms (gray/grey matter). Greyhound is an exception, which has a different derivation than the color. It derives from the Old English grǣg." I think I was told once that gray hair is actually white mixed with whatever it used to be.

Today we celebrate a great Republican, Martin Luther King, Jr.

He would be embarrassed at how Democrats have maligned his martyrdom with their Marxism.

“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.”

Today he would be condemned for using the word, "men" since it isn't diverse and implies biology isn't pliable.

Today he would be condemned for even hinting that we have a nation, because nations have borders.

Today he would be condemned for bringing up installment plan because that implies rich and poor and capitalism.

Today the Leftists would need to tear down his statues and rename those streets and hi-ways based on his words.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The GAO report

Those who are leftist/progressive/Democrat or all 3 really got their panties in a wad over the recent GAO finding, yet never said a peep when GAO found Obama administration violated a law. They were using his race to absolve themselves of any guilt they had over something that ended years ago, so had to be silent over his faults. That way they wouldn't need to make any changes in how unborn black babies are treated by Democrats.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Secret Service (USSS) were found to have violated section 503 of the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, and the Antideficiency Act, in 2009.

The Department of the Treasury was found to have violated the Antideficiency Act in 2014 when it used the voluntary services of four individuals.

The Department of Defense was found to have violated the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2014 and the Antideficiency Act in the infamous Bowe Bergdahl swap.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development was found to have violated the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, and the Antideficiency Act in 2014.

The Environmental Protection Agency was found to have violated “publicity or propaganda and anti-lobbying provisions” in the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act and the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act in 2015.

Two officials in the Department of Housing and Urban Development were found in 2016 to have violated Section 713 of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act by attempting to prevent a regional director within the agency from being interviewed by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The Federal Maritime Commission was found to have violated Section 711 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, as well as the Antideficiency Act, in 2016.

And even President Obama told us time after time that what became DACA was against the law. And what about Rice running around to the Sunday shows after Benghazi with all those lies, or at least the left now claim lying to the media is against the law.

And in DC, you probably can't get lawyers from opposing parties to agree on anything.

Hope it’s a false alarm

About 1:30 we were talking in my office—he needed to leave to set up for a quilt show at the church, and I planned to come over about 2:30 and take some photos.  Then I sneezed.  And then sneezed again, and again, and again, and again. Then I got a chill.  This is not the usual start of a cold for me, but I thought, between sneezes, maybe I should not go.  So I took and antihistamine and nap. Now listening to Vivaldi, sneezing and blowing my nose, drinking fluids.

Fortunately, I had everything ready for supper, and it will go in the oven for an hour. Sweet sour chicken from my new cookbook.

Last night I watched the Hallmark movie Love on Iceland.   Great scenery.  Main character Chloe gets her old college travel group together for a spectacular trip. Of course, her old boyfriend joins the group. Good acting, and fabulous setting.  I fell asleep at the end, but I know how these end. Happy ever after. https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/home-and-family/videos/kaitlin-doubleday-love-on-iceland-interview-home-and-family

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The evidence is building—fat matters

If your New Year's Resolution was to walk more and eat less, you could be smarter at this time next year.

Auriel Willette and Brandon Klinedinst of Iowa State University discovered people mostly in their 40s and 50s who had higher amounts of fat in their mid-section had worse fluid intelligence as they got older. Greater muscle mass, by contrast, appeared to be a protective factor. These relationships stayed the same even after taking into account chronological age, level of education, and socioeconomic status.

Highlights https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159119306531

• Adiposity exacerbated cognitive aging.
• Greater muscle mass was protective against cognitive aging.
• The effect of muscle on cognition was more than adiposity.
• Lymphocytes, eosinophils, and basophils may link adiposity to cognitive outcomes.
• Sex-specific mechanisms of action were noted among eosinophils and basophils.

Also, Intermittent fasting could be added to medical school curricula alongside standard advice about healthy diets and exercise.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/intermittent-fasting-live-fast-live-longer

Interview with Roger Scruton, 2017

Sir Roger Scruton was an English writer and philosopher who passed away this last week on January 12. He was 75, born in 1944.  He has published more than fifty books in philosophy, aesthetics, and politics. His book discussed in this episode was How to Be a Conservative; it was published in 2014. He was a fellow of the British Academy and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He taught in both England and America and is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington. DC. He taught an MA in philosophy course for the University of Buckingham. Sir Scruton was knighted in 2016 by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to philosophy, teaching and public education.”

https://www.hoover.org/research/how-be-conservative?  Watch the video interview.

https://www.rogerscruton.com/

Little Women the movies

My friend Bev and I took a break from our busy lives and took in a movie yesterday, Little Women (2019). We both enjoyed it, but wondered about the actor cast as Laurie, Timothée Hal Chalamet. He's 24 and looks 12. Saoirse Una Ronan who plays Jo is 25 and looks a little older. Both are not household names, I suppose because no one can pronounce them.  I had a problem seeing what's-his-name as a dissolute, worldly man and global traveler. Using Jo's messy hair to show her wokeness as a contrast to her more authentically correct sisters also struck me as tiresome, but overall it was a good movie.

Bev is a bit more techy than I and had managed to reserve seats for us on her smart phone.  We got to the theater right at 11, and by the time we got our tickets there were probably 50+ people in line—mostly retirees.  $5.00.

I found the 1949 version to compare. Elizabeth Taylor was Amy and Peter Lawford was Laurie, and June Allyson's hair was closer to the 1868 fashion (as Jo) than the 2019 version.  I wonder if the public library has it.  I saw it with my mother in Ocean Grove, NJ in 1949 when my brother and I travelled with her and my grandparents to the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. I thought Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh were the most beautiful women I’d ever seen.

https://youtu.be/kiI2hI1N9fQ

Then there’s also an interesting critique of the four movie versions, showing the development of the major characters and also changing their ages, nationalities, career challenges. I do wonder why today's (and the 90s) feminist critics think it's so wonderful for Jo to pursue money and career, but criticize men's empowerment to do the same thing. Always chasing men, I suppose.

https://youtu.be/nJGZoecSmrA

Also some interesting trivia.  During the 1949 making of Little Women, June Allyson was pregnant with her son, and then also her adoptive daughter Pamela arrived and she had to leave the set.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Michael Smith, guest blogger on who’s the liar?

"You'll forgive me for not getting a case of the vapors taking to my fainting couch over a person who
1) faked being a Native American to advance her career,
2) claimed to be a defender of the little people after lawyering for big corporations chasing big dollar settlements and
3) lied about getting fired for being pregnant, claiming that she was called a liar on national TV by an old guy who yells at clouds."

And let's not forget the one about her son attending public school when in fact he attended private schools while she's trying to close down charter schools.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Just 2 minutes to warm up

There’s something in my personality that’s very skeptical when I’m told something is easy or quick.  Like, buy blessings bags to end poverty (school packs) or it’s easy to lose 15 pounds for that new Easter outfit.  However, 2 minutes does sound doable, so I copied this from the Silver Sneaker newsletter and I don’t want to lose it, so I’m putting it in my blog. When I replace my ink cartridge, I may even print it.   Filing e-mail articles IS NOT easy, no matter what they tell you about Windows 10!  And why do they always give a handsome, muscular young man or woman to imitate.  I want someone about 75 to limp out to the limited space in a condo to do this!

https://youtu.be/2ECTHcjjL7M

Exercise # 1: March

Do the move for 15 seconds

How to do it: Stand tall, and engage your core by imagining you’re about to receive a punch in the gut. March in place, raising your knees as high as you comfortably can. Bend your arms, and let them swing naturally as you march.

Exercise #2: Step Over

Do the move for 15 seconds

How to do it: Stand tall, and engage your core. Visualize an imaginary line in front of your toes. Step over the line one foot at a time, and then step behind the line one foot at a time. Continue stepping forward and back, moving as smoothly as you can.

Exercise #3: Side Step

Do the move for 15 seconds

How to do it: Stand tall, and engage your core. Step out to the side with one foot, and follow it with your other foot, tapping the floor. Repeat in the opposite direction. Continue alternating, moving as smoothly as you can.

Exercise #4: Uppercut Reach

Do the move for 15 seconds

How to do it: Stand with your feet comfortably apart, toes forward, and knees and hips bent slightly in a shallow squat. Engage your core, and hold your arms at your sides with elbows bent.

Pulse up and down slightly, and push through your feet to stand up. At the same time, reach your right hand up and across your body to your left side in an uppercut motion. Allow your right foot to pivot.

Pause, return to starting position, and reset your balance. Repeat the pulse and uppercut reach with your left arm to your right side. Continue alternating, moving as smoothly as you can.

Exercise #5: Step Back

Do the move for 20 seconds

How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, and engage your core.

Step your left foot back and slightly out to the side. Return to starting position, and repeat the movement for 10 seconds. As you step, move your arms naturally, but continue to keep your core strong.

Return to starting position, and repeat with your right leg for 10 seconds.

Exercise #6: Step In and Out

Do the move for 15 seconds

How to do it: Stand with your feet comfortably apart and knees slightly bent, and engage your core. Visualize an imaginary line between your feet. Step your feet in toward toward the line one foot at a time, and then step out from the line one foot at a time. Continue stepping in and out, moving as smoothly as you can.

Exercise #7: Squat to Curl

Do the move for 15 seconds

How to do it: Stand with your feet comfortably apart and toes forward. Engage your core, and hold your arms at your sides with elbows slightly bent.

Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower yourself into a shallow squat. Push through your feet to return to standing, and curl your hands to your shoulders, making sure to bend from your elbows and not your wrists.

Pulse back down into a shallow squat, lowering your arms. Continue alternating, moving as smoothly as you can.

Exercise #8: March

Do the move for 15 seconds

How to do it: Stand tall, and engage your core. March in place, raising your knees as high as you comfortably can. Bend your arms, and let them swing naturally as you march.