Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My retirement advice, redux

Are you in your 50s or 60s and thinking about retirement? Here's my advice written some years ago, but still true.

Hands up, don’t shoot meme

“What actually happened in Ferguson: Within 10 minutes of committing robbery and assault at the QwikTrip store, Brown, together with his accomplice, Dorian Johnson, encountered a police officer. An altercation took place, and Brown was shot and killed under circumstances that are currently under investigation.

The accomplice, Johnson, claimed later that Brown had been shot from behind while h held up his hands in surrender.  Two other witnesses later backed Johnson’s account, although at least one of the two changed her story when it was reported that an autopsy showed Brown was hit in the front.  Johnson, it should be noted, has served jail time for lying to the police. Other witnesses said that the 6’4”, almost-300-pound Brown hit the officer in the face, possibly breaking his eye socket, and tried to take his gun away (which would have put the officer in mortal danger).  At this point, no one seriously claims that Brown was running away with his hands up when he was shot.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Homicides of children

Not a pleasant topic, but I keep misplacing the link.

Homicides of juveniles in the United
States are unevenly distributed, both
geographically and demographically.
Rates are substantially higher for
African American juveniles and for
juveniles in certain jurisdictions. Yet,
85 percent of all U.S. counties had no
homicides of juveniles in 1997. . .

Most homicides of young children are
committed by family members through
beatings or suffocation. Although victims
include approximately equal numbers
of boys and girls, offenders include
a disproportionate number of
women. Homicides of young children
may be seriously undercounted . . .

Women are responsible for 43 percent of
the deaths of children under age 12 who
are killed by identifiable persons, a percentage
that has been relatively stable
since the 1980s (Federal Bureau of Investigation,
1997). Women overwhelmingly kill
very young children (75 percent of their
juvenile victims are under age 6) and members
of their family (79 percent).
. . .

Colder-than-normal and wetter-than-usual

That’s the Farmer’s Almanac prediction for the winter of 2014-15.  It was correct last winter.

Photo: The Old Farmers Almanac predicting a nasty winter!  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Uniters have a dream, dividers have a scheme

Monday Memories—summer of 1956

During yesterday’s sermon Pastor Jennings was preaching about Joseph and his brothers and said something about kids of 16 or 17, and from there on, all I could think of was, “what was I doing the summer I was 16.”  I have a clear memory of summer 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960 but am drawing a blank on 1956.  I figure I worked at Zickhur’s Drug Store; I think I’d dropped out of the high school band where I played trombone, so I wasn’t doing the summer practice.  I found one mention at my MMHS blog—a going away party for our exchange student Klaus at our house, before he returned to Germany.  My boyfriend had graduated with the class of 1956 and was getting ready for college in Iowa, but can’t remember if we did anything special or went shopping. My family still lived in the big white house on South Hannah. I was the art editor for the Mounders yearbook for 1957, so the junior editor and I did get together to do some drawings that summer. I knew I would have to do a 25 page report for history, so I collected articles all summer about the election in hopes it would be my topic.  Julie Clark was born in July, so I probably spent some time there (they lived in our back yard in a trailer). So, what happened in 1956?


Item image

If I needed another t-shirt. . .


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Suicide attempts among transgendered

The prevalence of suicide attempts among respondents
to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey
(NTDS), conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian
Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality,
is 41 percent, which vastly exceeds the 4.6 percent of
the overall U.S. population who report a lifetime suicide
attempt, and is also higher than the 10-20 percent
of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults who report ever
attempting suicide.

The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.  A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.

The Williams Institute has done a state by state economic analysis of how gay marriage can boost state economies.  Ohio has about 20,000 same sex couples, and if 50% wanted to marry that would bring in about $70.8 million in spending on weddings and "tourism" (aka people traveling to attend the wedding). Well, if that's all it takes to boost Ohio's economy, why not insist that all couples living together without benefit of marriage just get married? Elsewhere I've seen estimates of the number of same sex couples that want to marry, and it really isn't all that high. The reasons are about the same as men everywhere give. 

Prominent Conservative Think Tanks

The term “think tank” seems to have arisen in the 1950s, but there were organizations of that type even back in the 19th century.  Many were established to address the problems of war (not successfully I’ve noticed), and others social, environmental and education policy.

The three most-cited conservative think tanks are

the Heritage Foundation, fifth most influential think tank in America.

the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the seventh most influential think tank in America.

the American Enterprise Institute, the eighth most influential think tank in America.

One can only conclude from 5th, 8th and 7th being conservative, that 1-4, 6, 9 and 10 are liberal think tanks and reporters would be quoting them more often. But this list is for my own convenience so when I read quotes, I’ll know whose bias is what.

Other conservative think tanks include the following:

Cato Institute
Hoover Institution
Manhattan Institute
Lexington Institute
Project for the New American Century (according to Wikipedia, is extinct, 2006)
Center for Security Policy
Foreign Policy Research Institute
Center for Immigration Studies
Claremont Institute
Hudson Institute

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Where are the war protesters?

Peggy Noonan and James Taranto (Wall St. Journal) have noticed the lack of war protesters over Obama's recent war action. In 2001 Bush had near 100% support and in 2003 he had 70% and he had made the rounds for international allies. Still, he had protesters marching at the White House. I remember a corner in Columbus where they gathered to call him names and chant War is not the Answer. So where are they when Obama didn't ask Congress and didn't line up allies? Did they all go to Ferguson to divert our attention?

Corbat the Norman

I was reading an explanation of English surnames, but mine wasn't included because it came with the Norman invasion in 1066, and of course, the Normans were descendants of those terrible Scandinavians, so who really knows. Here's to you, Corbat the Norman.

Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler

After the Women's Club book sale at Lakeside Chautauqua a few weeks ago, I tucked the bag of books under the wicker on the porch. Yesterday while waiting for our guests, I poked around in the bag and found Anne Tyler's Noah's Compass. I didn't remember buying it, but there it was. Although I'm in the middle of two other novels, this one has been holding my interest.

“At 61, Liam has lost his job “teaching fifth grade in a second-rate private boys’ school,” an embarrassment he accepts with the informed stoicism of someone who completed all but his dissertation for a doctorate in philosophy. Now he can settle into retirement in a smaller, cheaper apartment on the outskirts of Baltimore, the city Tyler owns as a novelist, so faithfully does she return to its setting. But before Liam has spent even one night in what he expects will be his “final dwelling place,” a would-be burglar comes through the back door Liam failed to lock.

The next thing Liam knows, he’s in a hospital bed, his head bandaged, with no idea of how he came to be there. The burglar may not have made off with any of Liam’s material possessions, but he hit him hard enough to obliterate a few hours’ worth of his memory, and it is this loss — rather than that of a teaching position he didn’t much like — that serves as a catalyst for all that follows. Neither his ex-wife nor his three daughters, who consider Liam so obtuse they call him Mr. Magoo, understand his growing fixation on retrieving what he can’t remember, especially as it was, presumably, traumatic. But as Liam understands it, “his true self had gone away from him and had a crucial experience without him and failed to come back afterward.”” NYT review

Joann gives it 5 stars: “I love the way Tyler takes everyday happenings and makes the reader realize that nothing is really insignificant, that everything has meaning or value.While reading the book, you hardly realize the layers of character development that she has woven into the story. Her observations of the human condition are always so on-target, but she never makes judgments about what she sees.”

Who is this WWII soldier?

Photo: My mom found this behind a picture she bought at a garage sale. The artist is K.B. Ransley - Chicago circa 1943. Please help to share this through Facebook and any other social media in hopes of finding his family. I'm sure they would love to have it!

Thank you.

This is going around Facebook with the following explanation: 

“My mom found this behind a picture she bought at a garage sale. The artist is K.B. Ransley - Chicago circa 1943. Please help to share this through Facebook and any other social media in hopes of finding his family. I'm sure they would love to have it!” (

The artist, K.B. Ransley made over 1400 of these portraits of military passing through Chicago during WWII, according to this website:

“Kenneth Brown Ransley (March 21, 1893-June 12, 1989) was a female portrait artist who painted thousands of paintings in her lifetime.

A native of Dawson, Ga., she studied art at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and met her husband, artist Frank T. Ransley, while in school. The couple settled in Park Ridge, Ill., where Kenneth painted portrait commissions and held open studio sessions with live models.

Park Ridge attracted many artists. "Other artists who also lived and worked in Park Ridge include Albert Krehbiel and his wife, Dulah Evans Krehbiel, Alfonso Iannelli, Grant Wood, Eugene Romeo, Kenneth Brown Ransley."
During World War II, she donated her talents to the war effort, visiting the Service Men's Center in Chicago twice a week to sketch portraits of enlisted men. She executed 1,400 or these portraits and gave them to either the sitter or his family.

He looks a lot like Kirk Douglas who was in the Navy in WWII.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Is the president giving signals?

From Roland Lane’s Facebook page:

“ Most every thing a President does is seen as a signal. If you announce further reductions in our military budget the same week the Chinese increase theirs, that is a signal. If you withdraw Poland's missile defense system on the 70th anniversary-on the exact day no less-of the invasion of Poland by Russia, that is a signal. If you give money to Hamas while Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. are trying to put a lid on it, that is a signal. If your neighbor's house burns down and you decide to roast hot dogs, that is a signal. If you go golfing seven minutes after one of our own gets his head chopped off, that is a signal. Signals make policy. How do you think moderate Arab nations interpreted this? The Prime Minister of Great Britain cancelled his activity and flew home. That was a signal. We cannot excuse the President's behavior as something that only a social moron would do. At the very best the President's behavior suggests the characteristics of an individual detached from his leadership position and that scares our friends and allies to death. At its worst we see the possibility that President is not on our team, and perhaps never was.”