Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Age and the Presidency

I would never belittle someone for her age, some people my age do amazing things.  But I have personally experienced how the body and mind just don't do as instructed despite years of accumulated wisdom and education. I remember 60 with great fondness--sort of a surprise for someone who not too long ago thought 30 was really over the hill. I've watched a lot of presidents age quickly in office--Bush and Obama seem to really have aged right before our eyes--looking tired, wan, wrinkled and gray.  Perhaps it's the constant TV and internet exposure.  But the age of the Democrat bench for 2016 really worries me.

Warren is the youngest, and she would be almost 70 if she won the election and took office in 2017, in addition to being a millionaire flake who lied about her ethnicity to get special perks and speaks with forked tongue about the rich. Joe Biden, well, even Democrats call him their crazy Uncle Joe. It turns out he’s the best thing that ever happened to Obama, because he makes him look good.  Bernie?  Advocating openly a philosophy that has killed millions in the 20th century. And this folks, isn't dementia.  It's just wrong headed, pie in the sky socialism, the foundation of both Communism and National Socialism the major killers of their own citizens of the last century

old bench

Monday, August 31, 2015

Salted Caramel Sauce


Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce
Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes, plus cooling

Follow these easy instructions to create sweet salted caramel sauce at home. Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, cheesecake, sweet breads and more!

•1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
•6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces*
•1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream*
•1 teaspoon salt

1.Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
2.Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
3.Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
4.Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
5.Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
6.Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
7.Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
8.Cover the caramel tightly and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe.

Additional Notes:

*Unsalted butter may be used instead, though I prefer salted. No other changes need to be made to the recipe if using unsalted.

*Heavy cream (approximately 36% milk fat) may also be sold as whipping cream. Light whipping cream (30% milk fat), or double cream (48% milk fat) may be substituted.

Black Lives matter marchers call for killing police

The president is silent. Violent crime is down dramatically the last two decades and mostly in black neighborhoods through better policing and tougher sentences pushed by the Clinton administration. This is a George Soros funded organization; the man is up to no good and promotes socialism, although he himself is mega-rich.

When Sarah Palin used the word "target" in her political ads, the Democrats yelled she was to blame for the Gabby Gifford event shootings. But it's crickets from liberals about "black lives matter" and "hands up don't shoot" hate lies and their connection to the deaths of three policemen in one week.


President Obama’s attacks on police began the first month of his presidency when he blamed the Boston police for responding to the call of a break-in at Louis Gate’s home.  He said they acted stupidly because they questioned Professor Gates and didn’t know it was his home.  Eric Holder continued the drum beat and they both have sent administration representatives to funerals without considering whites, Hispanics or blacks killed by blacks.

The crime rate for blacks is 8x that of whites, which means black families are the victims and suffering.  Even so, crime has dropped drastically in the last two decades after the Clinton administration released money for more police.  Now the Obama administration (along with Baltimore and New York mayors) wants to reverse that amazing life saving trend.

According to the US Department of Justice, blacks accounted for 52.5% of homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008, with whites 45.3% and "Other" 2.2%. The offending rate for blacks was almost 8 times higher than whites, and the victim rate 6 times higher. Most homicides were intraracial, with 84% of white victims killed by whites, and 93% of black victims killed by blacks. (which means far more whites are victims of black offenders than the other way around)

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/htus8008.pdf  Rate of crimes, racial

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p13.pdf  Prison populations in 2013

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/bvvc.pdf  Black victims of violent crimes

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ndv0312.pdf  Domestic violence



1973 Oldsmobile Delta—RIP

Our son's gorgeous 1973 Olds convertible. Great for parades and drives in the country in the fall. It caught on fire on his way to work this morning.  RIP. He got out without getting hurt, and that's what is important.

Phil's car Aug 31 2015

Phil's car


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Income inequality has decreased in the U.S. in the last decade

If one looks at after-tax income, the increase in income inequality over time is greatly reduced. If one goes further and factors in the government’s attempts to redistribute income, income inequality is not increasing in the U.S. at all. This after-tax, after-transfer income essentially is a measure of how much stuff you can consume (either by buying it or because somebody gave you free stuff). And, as demonstrated by Gary Burtless of The Brookings Institution (a center-left think tank), income inequality measured this way has actually decreased in the U.S. over the decade from 2000-2010.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

White males aren’t the primary culprits

Most mass shooting offenders are not white males, most have legal weapons, and most have mental problems.


The myth of the growing gap

Can it be both ways?  Liberals claim that federal transfer programs have decreased inequality, yet moan about growing inequality even with 123 transfer programs in education, nutrition, fuel, housing, health, child care and tax rebates. If there is growing inequality (and it's a myth the media perpetuate--spendable income inequality is not increasing, increased capital is not bad for labor, wealth is not a zero sum game, and high income taxes do not necessarily lead to a more equal outcome--Forbes.), I'd look at how the government has fed this, just as it's fed the growing college debt by floating so many loans.

By age 60,

70% of the population will have experienced at least one year within the top 20th percentile of income;
53% of the population will have experienced at least one year within the top 10th percentile of income; and
11.1% of the population will have found themselves in the much-maligned 1% of earners for at least one year of their lives.
At the same time, it’s much more rare for a person to reach the top 1% and stay there. According to PSID data, only 0.6% of the population will experience 10 consecutive years in the top 1% of earners.



Oreos move from Chicago to Mexico, taking good jobs

“Irene Rosenfeld, the head of Mondolez (the food conglomerate based in Illinois that has Nabisco in its portfolio), a woman touted for breaking the glass ceiling upon becoming the head of Kraft Foods and then its spin off, announced that rather than invest $130 million in modernizing the plant in Chicago, where Oreos have been lovingly produced for the past 100 years, she will instead move the jobs to a new factory in Mexico. The result: a loss of 600 well-paying and community-sustaining jobs on Chicago’s Southwest Side.”


Farmers Almanac prediction for 2015-2016 snowfall


Carson comeback to an atheist


Who are the good guys?

Yesterday I caught a few minutes of Rush while out on errands; same impression I had when I heard him last week. Why is he supporting Donald Trump? He says he isn't, but I know what he sounds like when he's taking sides. Just because conservatives are irritated by the spineless frauds they elected who lie and vote like Democrats, doesn't mean you support someone worse. Get out there and support the good ones.

Well, how do we know who the good ones are?  It’s a large and deep bench.  All with talents and weaknesses.

Obviously, handling the opposing forces in DC is different than Madison, Columbus, Austin, or Baton Rouge. It's a different culture and the colleagues and enemies are different. You need alliances and experienced staff. But I don't want a socialist, I don't want someone who's fuzzy on life issues, I don’t want a dynasty, I don't want a flip flopper who calls his flips "progressive" when they looked like flops to me. And I don't want someone who divides us into victim groups.

I want a strong economy, and strong security, although increasingly that depends on global forces. That said, a weak, bowing president and sycophant Congress doesn’t help our case with our global partners.  I know from history and the economic and social failures of the 60s War on Poverty that mandatory health insurance that fines or makes criminals out of citizens who don't obey is a very dangerous road to go down--good jobs, not forced insurance, is what helps the poor.

So start with what matters most to you, and hold your nose for the rest. For instance, Jindal has had more opportunity to offend my friend Diane who lives in Louisiana than me, and Kasich has been able to offend me, but probably not her. So support and vote with what you know.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Bernie the Socialist bombs on 20th century history

I don't know why Bernie Sanders was talking about Hitler winning an election, but he was wrong, and his followers were retweeting his misinformation. I suspect as a socialist he was trying to avoid any connection with the Nazis (National Socialism) and wanted to pin that label on conservatives.

Nazis were all for government control; they were statists. They killed and imprisoned their own citizens, as did the Communists in the USSR. No Republican administration or Tea Party or libertarian group in the U.S. have done that, but Democrats have. Hillary Clinton has made up new lies about women, based on nothing but her desire to crawl out from under her email server which has collapsed on her. Why can't these candidates tell the truth?



Madrid; including side trip to El Escorial, on YouTube


El Escorial is more than an impressive palace for a divine monarch. It's packed with art and history — offering an evocative trip back to Spain's most fascinating age.  Rick Steves 

We’ll be seeing this during our trip to Spain in September for our 55 anniversary.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OUIKm8e7Y0 (short)

Quick look at the majesty of Madrid; I plan to skip the pigs’ ears.  Happy pigs eat acorns.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hifYpfW4NjI (extended)


Valley of the Fallen, memorial for the Civil War

Granada and Cordoba. “Andalucía's Moorish heritage sparkles in the historic capitals of Granada and Córdoba. And the pride of the Reconquista and the power of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand enliven the region's great sights.” Rick Steves

Only God is victorious is repeated 9,000 times in the palace, The Alhambra. Spain was a Muslim country for 700 years.

Cordoba: http://www.spainthenandnow.com/spanish-history/cordoba-historical-overview/default_41.aspx


Applesauce snacking cake

I like Splenda, I think it is pretty accurate in flavor and measurements for substituting for sugar, however, I suspect always using low fat or low sugar or egg substitutes in bakery goods is counter productive.  For example, here’s Domino’s Sugar recipe compared to Splenda’s for Applesauce snack cake.  I can’t find a nutrition break down for the sugar version (usually Splenda is listed at about 170 calories, and regular about 400), but I suspect if you just ate a smaller piece of the sugar/butter version you’d be better off than eating two of the Splenda version (which is what I would do because the substitutes don’t satisfy). The Splenda version seems to be more highly spiced—that’s a whole lot of cinnamon! It also contains less applesauce.

Cake ingredients using sugar:
1 cup - Domino® Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup - quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup - all-purpose flour
1/4 cup - butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup - water, chilled
1 - egg
3/4 cup - applesauce
1/2 cup - raisins
3/4 teaspoon - baking soda
3/4 teaspoon - cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon - nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon - salt
1/4 teaspoon - baking powder
1/4 teaspoon – cloves

Cake ingredients using Splenda, low calorie shortening and egg substitute
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup reduced-calorie margarine
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy 95th anniversary, women

95 years ago women got the right to vote. Big whoop. Women had already made great strides in every area before they got the right to vote--they had a higher graduation rate than men, they had employment, they owned businesses, they'd accomplished public health miracles through women's clubs and agricultural extension, they established the first public libraries, they were speakers at lyceums and actresses in theater and fledging film, they were inventors, designers and musicians and artists. They were pastors of churches. Many states and localities already had voting women, as did churches. Most important, they were wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, taking care of business in the home and on the farm, where butter and egg money kept many families afloat. Getting the vote, although morally right, made almost no difference in women's lives. Their efforts in temperance and abolition were far greater and more important. And until Obama was elected, I'm not sure they even made a difference in who was in the White House, and that's not benefitted the poor, minorities or women.


Lakeside family sells their cottage—a poignant story

Those of you who own homes in Lakeside or rent there, or went there as children or who have followed my blogs about Lakeside will enjoy the article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about a couple selling their cottage at 4th and Maple, "Last Summer in Lakeside,"  by Clare Ansberry which had been in the family since 1873. It's very well written and mentions Robert Putnam (who lived there as a child) who was one of our speakers this summer speaking from his research "Our kids; the American dream in crisis."

From the article:  " . . .milestones--the first tree climbed, the first fish caught, the first crush--or when part of a meaningful family tradition." We've got a photo of our son and his first fish.



Cousins’ Corner, owned by the Gregg family

We’ve owned our cottage since 1988 and are still considered the new people living in the Thompson place.

When the Democrats got something right—tough on crime and drugs

The Democrat party platform for Bill Clinton's second term was tough on crime, drugs and illegal immigrants. You almost can't tell it from Trump's 2016 campaign. And you actually can see the drop in violent crime rates from 1993 through today--so funding more police, stiff prison sentences and stopping crime at the base actually did work. Mandatory sentencing, zero tolerance, etc.  That Democrat policy particularly benefitted black neighborhoods which were the primary victims. But that also put more black criminals in jail (rate is 8x that of white violent crime), which now Democrats are calling racism (without looking at their own party's policies). The Democrats' campaign to stop illegal immigrants with tougher border policing and monitoring employers (it was the law) didn't seem to be as successful as decreasing violent crime and putting drug sellers in jail.

Liberals (of today) blame the tough on crime movement on Republicans, but they in fact, were not strong enough to implement it because with Democrats and President Clinton behind it, Republicans went along.

Were serious signs overlooked?

I was watching news coverage of the mental state of the former TV news colleague in Virginia who killed two reporters of WDBJ-TV live on camera yesterday then uploaded his murders to Facebook like an ISIS terrorist. Other colleagues said he interpreted everything as racial. It's unfortunate that someone didn't spot his problem--or maybe they did and were afraid to say it out loud for fear of being called racist.

About 45 years ago, and I still haven't forgotten her, a pleasant, plump, middle aged woman joined our adult education committee at First Community Church. She mentioned she was a faculty wife and her husband taught at Ohio State. There was the usual chit chat and joking as we all introduced ourselves, and suddenly her face clouded, and she said (paraphrase), "I know you are all in on it; you know about my husband's affair; you're covering for him; I won't stand for it."

We were all just stunned. Apologies were made for anything offensive we'd said, the meeting proceeded, but after the meeting we all got away from her as quickly as possible. Of course, we were not at fault—she was obsessed with her marital problems and decided we all knew.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The true cost of minimum wage

So who gains from raising the minimum wage? Politicians and labor unions. Minimum wage increases tip the balance in favor of higher-skilled—and higher-wage—unionized workers by raising the floor from which they negotiate compensation. Politicians, on the other hand, can act like they did something for the little guy while receiving union support—which is no small matter. In 2012 alone, government union SEIU Local 668 spent more than $200,000 of its members’ dues on political activity and lobbying. . .


Last October, the Wall Street Journal editorialized  about  the “minimum wage” campaign:
Amid a historically slow economic recovery, 1970s labor-participation rates and stagnant middle-class incomes, we understand that people are frustrated. Harder to understand is how so many of our media brethren have been persuaded that suddenly it’s the job of America’s burger joints to provide everyone with good pay and benefits. The result of their agitation will be more jobs for machines and fewer for the least skilled workers.