Thursday, May 06, 2021

Welcome to the Government Attic--where librarians can browse

". . . governmentattic.org provides electronic copies of thousands of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities and fun stuff and government bloopers, they're all here. Think of browsing this site as rummaging through the Government's Attic -- hence our name."

Image on each document: "The governmentattic.org web site (“the site”) is noncommercial and free to the public. The site and materials made available on the site, such as this file, are for reference only. The governmentattic.org web site and its principals have made every effort to make this information as complete and as accurate as possible, however, there may be mistakes and omissions, both typographical and in content. The governmentattic.org web site and its principals shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the information provided on the governmentattic.org web site or in this file. The public records published on the site were obtained from government agencies using proper legal channels. Each document is identified as to the source. Any concerns about the contents of the site should be directed to the agency originating the document in question. GovernmentAttic.org is not responsible for the contents of documents published on the website."

Can't decide if it's like an attic in a haunted house or a trash dump in DC. One document I read was from 1980 reporting on an incident from the Census of 1950 whereby two people from the White House tried to get a census tract when the White House was being remodeled and they needed to move President Truman. Seemed to be based on personal recollections. One neighborhood was rejected because it had too many foreigners living there and the President was moved to Blair House. However, remember this was only 5 years after WWII and the beginning of the Korean War, and this was the president who ordered the A bombs.

Some documents I attempted to look at were hundreds of "blank pages," and others so redacted, they were impossible to read. I browsed scattered issues of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) employee newsletter, FERC Insider, 2016-2018 which had health tips on lowering blood pressure, where to travel on vacation, where the FERC choral group was performing, favorite restaurants in DC, the agency's Weight Watchers program, energy saving tips in winter 2016, computer tips on changing passwords and creating file folders, a security story about intercepting a group that had planned a protest against FERC (see something say something), FERC had a football club and a child care center so there were announcements for that, retirement announcements, and obituaries with all the names redacted. This agency was very intersectional with special interest groups for LGBTQ, Middle Eastern, Asian, Women, African American each promoting special lectures and events. Photography contests which included pet and flowers. And it was voted the best place to work. Who knew?

Because the FOIA request was apparently for specific issues, the last of the Obama years was Nov. 2016, no. 10 and the first of Trump years, June 2017, no.6 and it changed to a better resolution and color instead of B & W. Although the heads and managers changed with the party, the civil service and middle managers stayed.  One woman I recognized in all most all the issues, both administrations.  She usually wore the same outfit for photos.

Today is National Day of Prayer



National Day of Prayer, May 6

I sing as I arise today!
I call on my Creator’s might:
The will of God to be my guide,
The eye of God to be my sight,

The word of God to be my speech,
The hand of God to be my stay,
The shield of God to be my strength,
The path of God to be my way.

Attributed to St. Patrick

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Watching the hawks from the living room window

Sometimes it's tough to watch Mother Nature in action. I just saw the hawk swoop down, and then what appeared to be a mama rabbit take off chasing it. She won't win of course, even if the hawk drops the baby, it will be too late, but she's putting up a massive fight. Yesterday I saw the hawk chasing a heron that was 10x its size--probably protecting her babies or eggs. A mother robin has chased away our nesting doves near the front door, and stolen their nest.

Meanwhile, I'm listening to a Zuby podcast. (British) He's interviewing a woman who's had to go to court to get her job back. And she'll probably lose the case. She used the wrong pronoun and was accused of being an absolutist for using male and female words. She was required to use the terms, "men who were assigned male at birth," torturing the English language instead of a baby rabbit.
 
Birds seem to be smarter than people these days.



HGTV reruns with exercycle

I'm always finding something new playing around with Roku, a streaming service which allows viewing TV without a cable box. Trying to find something to watch from my exercycle that isn't politics is hard, but the other day I found on "free channels" some reruns of HGTV, and one of our favorites--House Hunters International. Yes, I know it's all scripted and the homes they choose have already been selected, and the others were never actually in the running or even on the market. Still, they are fun to watch and we always learn about the city/country and the life styles.

So there was a family from Kansas who had been living in Amsterdam for her university job for two years who wanted to move to Scotland so he could start a "Scottish Games' business. In the process of their selecting the house in Stirling, I got to review our wonderful trip and gorgeous scenery there in 2017 where we met our friends Robin and Karen, and Gene and Barbara who live in California. 

The second one I watched was an African couple, both doctors, moving from Houston back to Ghana, Africa, so their children could be nearer family members. Their Houston home was nothing short of a mansion so I wondered what they'd find in Accra, Ghana. Not to worry, every home they saw was even more spectacular than the last, plus the city is on the ocean. I think the market scenes were for the tourists, because the 1% lives the same no matter what the country.

Humanized mice using fetal tissue

Some Christians want to judge the salvation and eternity of other Christians. Not me. But I will say, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are really bad Catholics.
 
When President Bush placed a limit on fetal cell research, the research using adult stem cell research boomed, and it looked like we would not need millions of aborted babies to feed the ravenous research labs of industry and academe. But hey, the Democrats got back in power. It's just so lucrative and there's always a supply.

Bioethicists will somehow try to convince you that using aborted baby parts to create "humanized mice," is really OK. I mean, all these hospitals and universities have boards and committees to look at the proposals, yet they can't see further down the road than their mega-million dollar grants and the next promotion. It's science, so it must be OK, right?

"Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein comes to mind, though that would be kind. At least Dr. Victor Frankenstein stuck to grafting dead human flesh upon dead human flesh. These 21st-century scientists intermix human with rodent. Perhaps more fitting for these new pioneers would be another novel: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World." . . .
 
“In September, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh published their work on the development of humanized mice and rats with ‘full-thickness human skin.’ ” This so-called “full-thickness human skin” from fetuses was grafted onto rodents “while simultaneously co-engrafting the same fetus’s lymphoid tissues and hematopoietic stem cells from the liver, so that the rodent models were humanized with organs and skin from the same child.” This coveted “full-thickness fetal skin” was taken from fetuses aborted at Magee-Women’s Hospital at 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. Human hair was evident on the mice by 12 weeks: “In the scalp grafts, fine human hair can be seen growing long and dark surrounded by the short white hairs of the mouse.”

Aliens or angels?

I haven't paid a lot of attention, but there's been some buzz on the news lately about space aliens/extraterrestrial beings visiting earth--that the government is investigating? A quick search shows a January release, but I've heard something more recent, or maybe reporters and producers are catching up on the TBR pile now that they don't have Trump to kick around and consume their every thought.

"Based on the CIA’s recent release, on January 14, 2021, of nearly 3,000 pages of documents that detail a wealth of fascinating data about UFO behavior and capabilities , it seems they know a lot and have known a lot about this topic for quite some time. These freshly declassified US government UFO info documents (published in their entirety on The Black Vault ) reveal the truth about harrowing and awe-inspiring encounters between reliable witnesses and “unidentified aerial phenomena” of unknown origin that have been occurring since the 1950s."

The Bible is full of references to beings which God created that are higher, wiser, more intelligent and flexible in appearance than human beings. Depending on the interpretation of certain words, there are at least 7 levels higher than us. And they are not chubby little cuties and we don't become angels when we die, because "they aren't us." Just two mentions, then you can search.

Ps 34:7 "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them." 
Good to know!

Heb. 1:14 "Are not all angels spirits in the divine service sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?"

Based on what's going on in the swamp with the CIA and FBI, and the self appointed, unelected rulers in Big Tech, perhaps we're just having more appearances of angels looking out for us than usual.

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Worshiping at St. Agatha, May 2

This morning I "attended" via YouTube the May 2 service at St. Agatha, in our former neighborhood, but I've never been inside. I saw something really strange to a Lutheran--holy water being sprinkled on the congregation instead of in a font for fingers. Perhaps it's the pandemic, or maybe they always do it that way. The priest and the deacon walked up and down the aisles and sprinkled everyone (aspergillium), making a special stop for the young children, who seemed to love it. Water is everywhere in the Bible, and has many special meanings. I looked it up, and discovered this is a sacramental, not a sacrament. I had guessed it was a reminder of baptism, but apparently it's much more.
Repentance of sin. The ritual washing background of holy water comes into play here, says, Father William, who quotes Psalm 50, which reads in part, “Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.” St. John the Baptist underscored this sentiment in calling people of his time to conversion. This is occasionally recalled during the course of the Mass, he adds, when the priest sprinkles the congregation with holy water.
 
Protection from evil. Catholic tradition has long held that holy water is a substantial force for keeping evil at bay. A proponent who wrote specifically about this in 1562 is Saint Teresa of Avila: “From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue.”

Baptism. “In making the Sign of the Cross with the holy water, we are mindful that we are called to renew those baptismal promises of rejecting Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises, and to profess our creedal faith,” writes Father William. “Once again, we repent of sin, so that we can offer our prayers and worship to God with pure and contrite hearts.”

https://occatholic.com/its-the-water/?

 

Book Club selection for 2021-2022

  

Book Club Schedule for 2021-22  
All Book Club meetings will be on first Monday at 2 PM at Bethel Presbyterian unless noted otherwise.

September 13--The Paris Dressmaker by Kristy Cambron led by Mary Lou 

October 4--The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore led by Peggy at Peggy's home

November 1--A Burning in My Bones by Winn Collier led by Carolyn C.

December 6--Pearl Harbor Christmas by Stanley Weintraub led by Carolyn A. at Carolyn's home

January 3--This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear led by Carolyn A.

February 7--A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd led by Cindy 

March 7--Gilead by Marilynne Robinson led by Marti 

April 4--The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott led by Margie 

May 2--Outwitting History by Aaron Lansky led by Peggy 

Runner-ups include--The Gown by Jennifer Robson,  Good and Angry by David Powlison, 
No Surrender by Chris Edmonds



Sunday, May 02, 2021

Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch and today's problems of race

Our sermon today focused on the apostle Philip (feast day May 1) and the Ethiopian eunuch who was an important government official, who was baptized after Philip explained to him the meaning of the Prophet Isaiah's words. Our pastor mentioned that the Lutheran Church of South Sudan which our church supports was no longer in South Sudan, but in refugee camps in Ethiopia, the oldest country to officially be Christian, and home of the largest Lutheran church in the world. That wasn't the topic of the sermon, but my mind went to the trouble makers in the U.S. who would have you believe that color (white) is the problem. That's just to raise money from guilt-ridden, virtue signaling whites and woke corporate CEOs who see an opportunity for a profit. Not so, if you follow the civil wars and unrest in Africa. If race were the problem, then the Irish and English would never have had a war, the Germans and French would have never had a conflict, nor the Ukrainians and Russians and the Japanese and Chinese.

In Sudan, there was a long civil war (about 50 years, 2 million dead) which included black Muslims (backed by Arab Muslims), indigenous peoples and black Christians tribes. After the South Sudan was created in 2011 and that civil war ended, then the politicians in South Sudan (which is 60% Christian) began to fight each other based in tribalism and the churches as peacekeepers were overwhelmed.
https://www.meforum.org/22/sudan-civil-war-and-genocide

I looked through the centuries of history for this area and it's terribly complex involving languages, cultures, tribes and religions, but skin color is the least of their worries. Anyone who believes the BLM and Democrats' lies about race (which is a Marxist ploy) just needs to look at the on going wars and power strubbles in Africa.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Cato Institute refuses the PPP loan

We probably receive 4-5 funding appeals a day. Today it was Cato Institute--haven't heard from them before, and not sure when we were ever a donor, although I use their research from time to time on my blog.
 
GUESS WHAT CHURCHES! Cato Institute said NO to the CARES Act loan (in April 2020), Paycheck Protection Plan.
 
Why? CATO as a libertarian think tank qualified, but is wholly funded by private donations, the "overwhelming majority of which come from individuals who will suffer material losses from the pandemic." To take the loan would undermine its mission and belief that the scope and power of government should be limited.
 
Wow. I wish pastors and church boards thought that way. That by taking money from the government (us) they would be undermining their mission to spread the gospel of Jesus. By taking the PPP loans they would be supporting the lockdown and denying responsibility to be self-reliant and fiscally responsible. The Cato letter (by Peter Goettler and Robert A. Levy) continues, even when government interventions are well-intentioned, "they often carry consequence worse than the problems they're intended to address, including disincentives to innovate, favors to special interests, anticompetitive barriers to entry, overlapping and confusing laws, and abuses of public power." True. True. And true.
My church is member supported. It didn't need the PPP loan. And neither did yours. Most of my FBF are members of Christian churches. Have you asked your pastor or church treasurer about the PPP loan and were you so unfaithful in your giving that they didn't trust you to do the right thing?

  https://www.federalpay.org/paycheck-protection-program Limit your search by your ZIP code and "religious organization." You'll be shocked. I was.

Check your investments for DIE

I've suggested that if you have a pension or private investments, you take a look at the Annual Reports to see what the DIE (diversity inclusion equity) statements are. Comcast makes this extremely difficult to find. The annual report was a filing statement, so I went back to the proxy and found it in the 2021 summary. Comcast has way overcompensated for diversity, with 44% people of color among employees. (Can't tell if those are management or line.) 30% are women on the board, 30% POC. I don't mind if they load up with women as long as they are qualified and didn't get degrees in dance and library science. By 2021 women should be able to tell if they are token or a relative. And does it really make a difference if super rich people who control huge swaths of stock are female or black? Is that really diversity? I abstained on almost all votes, except I voted against the "independent" Me Too investigation, just because in today's climate, no man or woman, gay or straight, in management can get a fair investigation, especially if the investigators comb through their social media posts of 8 years ago or find out about consensual affairs.
 
Comcast's language is a bit more trendy, using BIPOC instead of just POC. That's even more virtue signaling. Like I'm sure the board is loaded with "indigenous people." Donating $100 million for social justice, including "Lift Zones" and BIPOC small businesses affected by COVID. Comcast is another company that's made out like gang busters with the Covid pandemic. $100 million is probably small potatoes. And that revolving door with government? In 2020 124 out of 144 Comcast Corp lobbyists in 2020 have previously held government jobs. Way up from 2019. Yes, it was a very good year for Telecommunication companies.

Make your voice heard in your investments

What can you do about the "DIE" (diversity inclusion equity) mania infecting the corporations in which you or your pension are invested? And start calling it DIE, because that's the intention. It's certainly not "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

DIE has nothing to do with good values or Biblical morality or basic fairness. And no, the poor benefit the least. And the middle class foots the bill. The purpose of a business or corporation is to make money for the investors and to allow the CEOs to make ridiculous salaries while benefitting all the employees, but if they can punish the little guy start up competition by schmoozing with the latest fad and Democrat bosses, they will. It's the capitalist way. Without government interference and over regulation (to benefit their buddies), capitalism still frees the most people and in the last 30 years has lifted millions out of poverty. Back in 1990, The World Bank reports that 1.85 billion people lived in extreme poverty, but by 2013, the figure had dropped to 767 million. Socialism didn't do that. Socialism holds people back. It killed 100,000,000 in the 20th century. Capitalism works from the bottom up. The poor who risk their lives to cross our borders know that; our politicians don't. Nevertheless, smart capitalists fight the competition by joining what appears to be the enemy (socialism).

First, you'll need to start reading the documents that come with your investments. Second, you'll have to start voting. Yes, it's a pain. And I rarely read that stuff. Third, you may just have to write a letter or join/support a conservative political organization (not the GOP!).

Here's what I got from TJX today--that's formerly Zayre, and includes TJ Maxx and Marshalls. It has 4,557 stores in 9 countries, and based on the lie and line from the Left about Asians, I suspect many stores or suppliers are based in Asian countries. The DoJ tracks hate crimes (a stupid idea, I think), and this figure is so low that most cities report zero, and that which is reported is primarily black on Asian. It ignores the liberal crime of discrimination at Harvard, Yale and Stanford.

TJX annual report for 2020: "The increasing violence against the Asian and Pacific Islander communities is another stark reminder that injustice exists and that we must continue to work toward a better future for all. We are committed to listening to, and learning from, our Associates and taking actions to do better. We also broadened our charitable giving strategy to provide more direct support to Black communities, and increased our global giving to provide an incremental $10 million in grant funding over 2020 and 2021 to organizations that are actively working to support racial justice and equity. Hate has no place at TJX. In terms of environmental sustainability, we were pleased to exceed our goal to reduce our greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions per million dollars of revenue by 30% by the end of fiscal 2020, against a fiscal 2010 baseline, by achieving a 47% reduction. We also announced a new GHG goal, which is a 55% reduction in emissions from our direct operations by fiscal 2030 against a baseline year of fiscal 2017, a science-based target aligned with the United Nations’ Paris Agreement guidelines."

"Global giving" to organizations supporting racial justice is just blackmail. No black child will benefit. It's probably BLM, Inc. which has recently been in the news for the billions it's taken in from gullible white led corporations and white liberals so its Marxist founders can buy mansions and protest. It does not promote jobs or education, it exists to stir up trouble and make its founders rich (an old trick for non-profits which they probably learned from clever white people).

We all know that the Paris Agreement guidelines hold back American companies and allow Chinese factories to belch coal fired smoke and send us wind power blades that can't be recycled when they've ended their "service." When you see them filling up our prairies they are ugly as sin.
And no one even knows if reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) is a good thing--you've been told that. Science certainly doesn't agree. It's throwing billions at a future problem you can't measure and can't define, instead of improving life on the planet right now in real time.

So, you'll need to vote or write. Make your voice heard. Stop letting the Left drown you out!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Child abuse--transgenderism

John Money created gender. It was originally only a grammar term. He experimented on babies/children. You heard little about in the 20th century, and now the theory and the fake "facts" have exploded. It's being pushed by the Left--on children as young as 4 and 5. Why is that? A boy can't become a girl, but saying so could get you fired, or cancelled.


"John Money was, among other things, a fraud and an abuser. Along with more conventionally degenerate views — his advocacy of open marriages and group sex, for example — Money was also, as a not very critical article in Salon puts it, “ambivalently supportive” of pedophilia. Drawing a distinction between what he called sadistic pedophilia and affectional pedophilia, Money held that a relationship between a grown man and a child who really love each other should not be considered disordered.

Speaking to a Dutch pro-pedophilia publication, Money explained, “If I were to see the case of a boy aged 10 or 12 who’s intensely attracted toward a man in his 20s or 30s, if the relationship is totally mutual, and the bonding is genuinely totally mutual, then I would not call it pathological in any way.” His tolerance for child rape may help explain some of the events that transpire later in the story."

Advice from an investment firm about Woke corporation

"As I have pointed out several times, the whole university left wing indoctrination has now permeated all of life, including large corporations who are being led to stick their nose in where it does not belong by Jeff Sonnenfeld of Yale. The best way corporations can help the poor and minorities, is to maximize profits, which leads to more hiring, which leads to wage increases, which leads to higher family incomes, and wealth creation for those willing to work hard and stay out of trouble. We saw it in 2019 when the economy was doing very well, and there were millions more job openings than people to fill them, and no government handouts to deter people from working. CEOs need to focus on building their companies to be the best profit and job producers they can, and leave the social crap to politicians, and those who make it their job. Well run companies that create jobs should hire the best people they can find, and build their talent base through apprenticeships where they can train the unskilled to be able to attain higher wages through effort, not skin color. The entire basis of “diversity and inclusion” is racist in that by hiring by skin color you are discriminating against the guy who had the wrong color, thereby undoing all that we all worked hard to overcome over the past 50 years."

Critical Race Theory, definitions and dangers

 From American Spectator, comparing it to the four states of cancer in which the signs aren't noticed until the victim is almost gone:  "In brief: critical race theory (CRT) is a modified form of Marxism that divides people based on race and culture rather than class. The worldviews are similar in every other important way, the most significant being that they are promoted and perpetrated by people seeking their own power and aggrandizement regardless of the cost to society or to humanity. In the first iteration of this mindset, this meant the death of about 100 million human beings.

Just as Karl Marx didn’t necessarily intend his philosophy to lead to the murderous pogroms of Stalin or Pol Pot or to Mao Zedong’s starving tens of millions of his own countrymen to death in “the biggest episode of mass murder ever recorded,” CRT founder Derrick Bell might not have intended his new “theory” to become the national cancer that it is. Indeed, CRT was initially little more than a debate in academia about the proper way to structure a college curriculum. No need for the “working man” or the “soccer mom” to care about that, right? The founding of CRT was Stage One of its cancerous spread; it was there, but nobody recognized its terrible, inevitable path." . . . and to stage four

"Purveyors of this evil mindset, such as Ibram X. Kendi and KimberlĂ© Crenshaw, race-hustlers like Al Sharpton and Robin DiAngelo (yes, race-hustlers can be white, too), and the mendacious yet still fĂȘted-at-all-the-right-cocktail-parties Nikole Hannah-Jones, are making careers out of poisoning the minds of Americans and turning us against each other based on the immoral concept that a few hundred million individual Americans are responsible for misdeeds of mostly long-dead others, very often others who died before today’s Americans’ progenitors even reached these shores."

The Cancer of Critical Race Theory | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Biden's American rescue plan isn't

A hike in the minimum wage for federal workers to $15/hour is in Biden's American rescue plan. Don't fall for it. Only a tiny percentage of Americans work for minimum--it will make no difference, except for reluctance to hire inexperienced, slow workers. First minimum wage law was passed under FDR during the Great Depression. Threw many black families out of work; before that, blacks had lower unemployment than whites. They used their labor to outsmart the white workers and could bid low for jobs when everyone was desperate to work. Before government "help" blacks also had a higher marriage rate than whites. Now it's low for both. Black men had a higher marriage rate than white men until 1950, and black women had a higher marriage rate than white women until 1970. This affects education, health and wealth of children. And look at the government programs that ran amuck with the "War on Poverty." Liberals will blame the war on drugs and prison rates, or advocate for more education, but I blame the government's "help."

"The flagship of the New Deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act, passed in June 1933. It authorized the president to issue executive orders establishing some 700 industrial cartels, which restricted output and forced wages and prices above market levels. The minimum wage regulations made it illegal for employers to hire people who weren’t worth the minimum because they lacked skills. As a result, some 500,000 blacks, particularly in the South, were estimated to have lost their jobs." Cato Institute, Dec. 3, 2003