Wednesday, August 31, 2005

1434 Women for Roberts

This is about all I know. I hope they develop a website or a blog aggregator of bloggers for Roberts. I'd join. The left is really pulling out the heavy guns. Seems he believes in equality.

"Roberts’s other offenses? In 1983, reviewing a report on state-by-state initiatives to combat sex discrimination, he singled out several ideas as ’’highly objectionable’ -- among them, special tuition breaks for women at state colleges to compensate for their lower earnings (a scheme so harebrained and so blatantly discriminatory that it’s amazing it was seriously considered) and preferential treatment for women and minorities during layoffs. Looks like Roberts believed that equality actually means -- well, equality. Oh, the beast...." Cathy Young, Boston Globe

Noticed at Independent Women's Forum

1433 How does this help?

Apparently, a President cannot go to his own home, where he has phone, fax, computers, security and all his staff. Nope. It's a "summer idyll." And this guy Dubya is so incredible, and so astute, he should've known that the levees would break and just didn't respond. WaPo editorializing the news here. Amy's my source.

1432 Looney Left and Paleo-Right, together again

Why is Cindy Sheehan playing footsie with David Duke? Victor Davis Hanson has an excellent article on the extreme left and extreme right falling into bed together, breathing heavy in their hatred of George Bush and the United States.

"This odd symbiosis began right after 9/11. Then the lunatic Left mused about the "pure chaos" of the falling "two huge buck teeth" twin towers, lamented that they were more full of Democrats than Republicans, and saw the strike as righteous payback from third-world victims.

The mirror-imaging fundamentalists and censors in turn saw the attack as an angry God's retribution either for an array of our mortal sins or America's tilting toward Israel."

Besides David Duke, on the right he lists racists and fascists (admittedly, obscure and not as well known as the big time left). On the left he has Harold Meyerson, George Soros, and the grieving, self-serving Mrs. Sheehan.

1431 Hundreds of pounds of journals

Our public library sells used books and magazines donated by the public. Magazines are usually 25 cents, hard cover books $2, and paperback $1. It's clean out time at our house. A huge load of magazines will soon be leaving the garage:

Fine homebuilding
This Old House
Metropolitan home
Architectural Record
Environmental Design and Construction
Renovation Style
Elle Decor
Architectural Digest

But the house doesn't look any different. Magazines are like rabbits. Or spiders. Or spam.

1430 Moonbats and Wingnuts

I wonder if the President could appoint a team of Robert Kennedy Jr. and Pat Robertson to head up the relief effort. Before the dead are even found and buried, Kennedy is blaming Bush (who is personally responsible for global warming, assuming it exists). Robertson years ago in the 90s said hurricanes were God's wrath for sinning Americans. And he claims to have prayed them away from certain areas in the 80s. So the worst natural disaster in our history buries a city known the world over for its partying. Yes, the Bobby and Pat dog and pony show. What a team. And they are both Christians so there's something for everyone to hate.

1429 Casual, low pressure atmosphere

Desperate for a meaningless job complete with all the right words scripted for you? Christ-haunted saw this one first.

1428 Constitution Day is coming

Educational institutions receiving Federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year. The notice.

Alexander Hamilton and the U.S. Constitution

U.S. Constitution

Documents and debates on the Constitution

The framers

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

1427 The best and worst after the hurricane

The scenes on the cable networks are compelling. The Coast Guard rescues have been dramatic [shared video, but I thought Fox's commentary was the best and the least intrusive]. Most discouraging is the footage of the looters. There's no one to stop them so they are just grinning into the camera lens and waving. Most heartwarming was the shot of someone pouring water on a stranded sea lion who was dying in the heat. Shepard Smith on Fox was probably the best I've ever heard of him--he was not just another pretty face. Stranded in Louisiana when he really wanted to be in Mississippi, his home state, his voice wavered as he motioned toward the devastation. He sounded completely distraught and not at all the controlled professional he usually is.

1426 Do you buy organic and avoid Wal-Mart?

Tomeboy has an interesting collection of contrasts for you Wal-Mart avoiders.

"800,000 organic farm workers are hired each year in California by 35,000 employers. Wal-Mart has 44,000 employees in California.

The average California organic farm worker annually earns $7000-$8000 or $6.75/hour (California minimum wage). His counterpart at Wal-Mart makes $9.70/hour.

Only 19% of organic farm workers have some type of health insurance compared to 90% of employees at Wal-Mart." Read the whole story here.

I was chatting the other day with a woman who works in a small franchise operation where I was shopping--very up-scale, very posh-posh, full of bling-bling. She was breathless with excitement that she might get in at the local Wal-Mart.

1425 There's good news from Iraq

Chrenkoff posts his 34th entry of Good News. I thought of printing it out because of its length, but print preview shows it runs to 38 printed pages. Examples:

"USAID has been helping to bring the constitutional debate to the people (link in PDF): "The Constitutional Dialogue program has organized over 3,000 dialogues throughout Iraq, reaching almost 80,000 Iraqis who also shared their opinions through 64,000 questionnaires. To date, 210 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have participated, including 151 NGOs contracted by USAID and 59 NGOs working as volunteers. Feedback indicates that the dialogues are achieving their dual purpose; to educate and consult the public."

Say what you will about this process, but it is going better than ours did back in the 1700s, with a lot more input from the people.
"Iraq's economic links with other countries keep expanding. "International Finance Corporation (IFC) considered the possibility of investing $210.3 million in the construction project of cement works in Iraq with a productive capacity of 2.9 million tons per annum. Also according to Russian analysis agency AK&M, IFC intends to participate in the capital of new company by investing $8.3 million. The first investment project in Iraq with participation of IFC was realized in finance sector in November 2004 when IFC invested $35 million in the capital of Credit Bank of Iraq."

And to think they don't even have an Alexander Hamilton!

"The first international airline flight to land in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in 15 years arrived here yesterday [22 August] receiving a warm welcome from local officials. A Sharjah-based Phoenix Air Boeing 747 arrived from Dubai with 22 passengers on board."

Tomato farmers are harvesting higher yields thanks to improved technologies learned under the Open Field Tomato Demonstration initiative of USAID's Agriculture Reconstruction and Development for Iraq (ARDI) program. For the demonstrations, ARDI established plots in Baghdad, Diyala and Babylon governorates on which they introduced drip irrigation, black plastic mulch, and fertilization. With the Ministry of Agriculture, USAID representatives monitored the plots and helped participating farmers control tomato pests...

Read the whole thing--and the previous entries too. Check the links bottom right. Also includes "Good News from Afghanistan."

1424 The caption of the photo was

"President Bush has recently been criticized for the amount of time he spends exercising." [WSJ photo and caption, August 30, 2005]

What hasn't he been criticized for? That would be a short list. It wouldn't include his ears; his non-working librarian wife; his non-military daughters; his English; his home state; his vice-president; his judicial nominees; his medicare drug plan; his busting-the-bank education plan; his illegal immigrant plan; his meeting with parents of deceased soldiers only once; his cowboy boots; his grades at Yale; his sense of humor; his smirk; his smile; his frown; his reading list; his church membership; his faith; his tax cuts; his resolve; his values; his believing the intelligence reports of the Clinton administration; his cabinet; his funding of museums and libraries; his pro-life stance; his Yalta remarks; oh yes, and his freeing Afghanistan; his freeing Iraq; and particularly his belief that the USA isn't the only country that deserves a democratic form of government.

But criticism for being just about the most fit 59 year old American male--well, that's pretty silly, even for the left wing Bush bashers.

Norma Blogs Hurricane Katrina

Sunday, September 11, 2005

1505 The Fear Factor

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

1512 Women can stop poverty

Thursday, September 15, 2005

1511 They may never

Monday, September 26, 2005

1537 Why weren't they prepared for this?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

1542 Does USAToday Hate Black People?

1543 My Biggest Mistake

1546 Red Cross Money Pit

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

1549 What is Bush's Responsibility?

Saturday, October 1, 2005

1569 Good Samaritans and Katrina

Monday, August 29, 2005

1423 Behind Cindy Sheehan

According to Byron York, Lisa Fithian, an anti-war radical, is the organizer and planner behind Cindy Sheehan who was just a grieving mother before Lisa applied her expertise.

She said in an interview with NRO, "I guess my biggest thing is that as people who are trying to create a new world, I do believe we have to dismantle or transform the old order to do that," Fithian continued. "I just fundamentally don't believe it will ever serve our interests as it's currently constructed."

These days, Fithian's tactic for dismantling the old order — at least her tactic for the moment — is Cindy Sheehan. On Wednesday, Sheehan will begin her cross-country tour, winding her way toward Washington. And Lisa Fithian will be with her."

But even Comrade Fithian probably can't keep Cindy from making those gaffs on TV, so it may be her plan that gets dismantled. Today I saw a clip where Cindy said to a crowd, something to the effect, "You can tell your children you met the mother of Casey Sheehan," or something like that. How self-serving and self-aggrandizing is that?

1422 Rachel Carson's Silent Millions

Following a link to Scientist Cards which I saw on a librarian's site, I was disappointed to find that Rachel Carson was one of only two women represented.

Rachel Carson is sometimes described as the mother of the environmental movement. "The idea for her most famous book, Silent Spring, emerged, and she began writing it in 1957. It was published in 1962, and influenced President Kennedy, who had read it, to call for testing of the chemicals mentioned in the book. Carson has been called the mother of the modern environmental movement." Source

JunkScience reports on her faulty reporting of another scientist's work. "Rachel Carson sounded the initial alarm against DDT, but represented the science of DDT erroneously in her 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson wrote "Dr. [James] DeWitt's now classic experiments [on quail and pheasants] have now established the fact that exposure to DDT, even when doing no observable harm to the birds, may seriously affect reproduction. Quail into whose diet DDT was introduced throughout the breeding season survived and even produced normal numbers of fertile eggs. But few of the eggs hatched." DeWitt's 1956 article (in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) actually yielded a very different conclusion. Quail were fed 200 parts per million of DDT in all of their food throughout the breeding season. DeWitt reports that 80% of their eggs hatched, compared with the "control" birds which hatched 83.9% of their eggs. Carson also omitted mention of DeWitt's report that "control" pheasants hatched only 57 percent of their eggs, while those that were fed high levels of DDT in all of their food for an entire year hatched more than 80% of their eggs.

In 1972 the EPA banned the use of DDT. No one has ever died from the use of DDT, but millions of Africans die of malaria because of this woman and her legacy. She has brought about the death of more Africans than the infamous Arab and European slave trade and the middle passage. "A pandemic is slaughtering millions, mostly children and pregnant women -- one child every 15 seconds; 3 million people annually; and over 100 million people since 1972 --but there are no protestors clogging the streets or media stories about this tragedy. These deaths can be laid at the doorstep of author Rachel's Carson. Her 1962 bestselling book Silent Spring detailed the alleged "dangers" of the pesticide DDT, which had practically eliminated malaria. Within ten years, the environmentalist movement had convinced the powers that be to outlaw DDT. Denied the use of this cheap, safe and effective pesticide, millions of people -- mostly poor Africans -- have died due to the environmentalist dogma propounded by Carson's book. Her coterie of admirers at the U.N. and environmental groups such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund have managed to bring malaria and typhus back to sub-Saharan Africa with a vengeance." Lisa Makson

Surely, there is at least one more female scientist out there worthy of the honor of being on this silly website.

1421 Frequent flyer miles for fat kids with bad teeth

Disclaimer: I have no use for loyalty plans. Coupons were always the size and shape of dollars; loyalty plans use credit card sized plastic.

I hate them on a can,
I hate them in a box,
I hate them at the airport,
no matter what the plan.

I hate them more than green stamps,
I hate them more than coupons
I hate them more than barcodes
with scissor clipping cramps.

They add to the cost and the time of purchasing anything. Corporations--Keep your games out of my wallet. Don't make me show a card at the drug store or supermarket or shoe outlet. This is a useless whine because you cannot convince the American consumer that no one makes money giving away their product. We so want a pot of freebies at the end of the rainbow.

But the absolute worst must be the "Upromise" plan. Let's take Nestle for example. Three percent of every participating Nestle fun size candy bag purchase goes into little Jonny's Upromise Savings Account! Great. Fatten him up, rot his teeth, and then send him to college. "You can save 1% on Coca-Cola Classic®, Vanilla Coke® (non diet), Cherry Coke® (non diet), Coca-Cola® with Lime (non-diet), or Coca-Cola C2® (non diet) products when you purchase three or more in a single shopping trip." Such a deal I can hardly believe. Are parents this dumb? Unfortunately, yes.

1420 The good news and the bad news

The good news is "the economic well being of the American family has never been better," [today's WSJ] and the bad news is I don't think the Bush administration has a clue on how to say this or what to do with it [my personal opinion based on years as a Democrat]. As I've commented many times here at Collecting My Thoughts the toughest thing to get used to about being a Republican is how they keep hiding their light under a bushel and dash out and start tipping windmills that don't matter.

Stephen Moore, on the Wall St. Journal board of editors, writes today that "when taking into account all forms of benefits that workers now receive, compensation to workers is about 27% higher in real terms than 25 years ago. The average hourly wage is $18.00+, counting benefits it's almost $26.00 an hour. The left will cry out stagnant wages even though the median family income is now $52,600. Total compensation is up 7.5% but wages only 4% since 2000. Frankly, I was the kind of worker who would have preferred a higher wage so I could purchase my own perks in the open market, but I think those days are over since the trend started right after WWII, and we won't reverse something that's 60 years old. Workers now get all sorts of tuition reimbursement, long term care insurance, telecommuting options, and even adoption assistance. Hardly fringe by anyone's definition. It's the whole window dressing plus the view.

Nowadays, Mr. Moore points out, the workers also own the store, with 52% of Americans owning stock thanks to 401(k)s and IRAs. And guess what? The Bush tax cuts increased the take home pay of the poorer workers. We can expect virulent attacks from the left because this good economic news--much of it since 2000--means their little base is shrinking. If poverty shrinks, so does their power. And now if NCLB would actually show long term results with more children making it through a school system deeply flawed, their public employee unions might go the route of labor unions.

Immediately after the November elections, news about the bad economy disappeared from the main stream media. You occasionally still hear people saying things like, "well, in this economy," even though Americans have never had it better.

How can the economy get better? "William Galston, once an assistant to President Clinton, put the matter simply. To avoid poverty, do three things: finish high school, marry before having a child, and produce the child after you are 20 years old. Only 8% of people who do all three will be poor; of those who fail to do them, 79% will be poor." OpinionJournal Thus I think you will see the left continue to encourage single parenthood, larger welfare stipends and disparage marriage. A good economy weakens their base.

1419 The power of one

Friday night we enjoyed a lovely dinner at Abigail's (restaurant in Lakeside) with two other couples. There is a rumor that building is held together by the grape vines, but I don't put much stock in that--I think it is the wall paper. We'd all been looking forward to the Abigail's great perch dinners. One of the men, an expert on China who teaches in the foreign service and recently returned from two weeks in Japan, provided us interesting details on China's economy (it's the size of Italy's) and its growth (growing at a phenomenal rate, and in a few years the average income may hit $800 a year). Someone asked him what would replace the current government if that could happen, and sadly he replied, another totalitarian government because that's what China has always had.

On our walk home, my husband mused, "That was certainly a reasonable meal," and then he stopped and thought about it. He knew we couldn't both eat for $14.00, perch dinners plus dessert. So he headed back to the restaurant, flagged down the swamped hostess and had her refigure the bill. The waitress had dropped a one someplace, and the bill was off by $10.00.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

1418 Photo album at an antique sale

Yesterday's antique sale at Lakeside was well attended and appeared to have about the maximum number of dealers the place could hold. Many are set up outside, and during showers, they just spread plastic over everything. I didn't pay much attention to antique sales until the early 1970s, then I noticed things I remembered from Grandma's house in Franklin Grove, IL. Then in the 80s, I began to notice things I remembered in my parents' home, and now I'm seeing items that I received as wedding gifts.

At this sale held the last week-end of August I usually can pick up a few pieces of my silverplate, and keep an eye open for my mother's, just as a memento. Occasionally, I see old photographs from the 19th century and pause to wonder if the little children grew up or if the young couple made it. But yesterday I saw a dealer of the mid-20th century with several photo albums. I leafed through one that looked just like the one I started when I was a little girl. It was dated 1950 and most of the black and white photos were of stock car races in Michigan--proud drivers standing beside their cars. Parts of it were the picnics and swim parties that the young people had who followed these racers. Just small and perfectly placed black and white brownie Kodak snaps--beautiful 20-something girls in swim suits and guys posing like "Charles Atlas." The dealer said the albums had come from a Toledo estate sale.

At dinner I told my husband about the album--mystified that families let these little treasures go. Although I still remember rescuing the box of photographs from his grandmother's apartment after she died. No one else seemed to see the family connection but me--and she wasn't even my grandmother. We talked a bit about digital images, wondering if family memories will be lost long before the 55-years- after-estate sale. Many people don't go to the trouble to print them, and just view them on the computer or TV screen, sort of an update of watching slides of the family get-togethers. You do it once, put them away, and rarely pull them out again. We have boxes of his parents' slides--the color is fading, and we have no idea who or what is on them, and when enough time has passed I'm sure we will dispose of them--acres of trips and scores of parties with friends, viewable only if we find a projector that will take them. Will the next generation of computers even be able to bring up today's digital photos? Or will you always have the wrong port or USB cord?

But there they were at the antique show. Black and white photos snapped by an amateur, dropped off for developing at the corner drug store, and then carefully pasted with little corners into an album 55 years ago, just as clear and crisp as they were when those young people were out having a good time at the stock car races.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

1417 Parents and Science vs. Religion

It's really not that simple, is it? Many parents are angry at all the "social science" baggage that accompanies evolution, which at its core is anti-God, which throws it into teaching religion in the schools. That said, it's not like these same parents don't have other alternatives. There are books, videos, classes at church, sermons from the pulpit (I've never heard such a sermon, but I think they are out there), and intelligent conversations at the dinner table. Yes, it means you'll have to tell the kids not everything they learn at school is true. Yes, it means you will all have to be in the same room together for 10 or 15 minutes. But you can do it. Teach them to ask questions. Teach them to think if the school isn't doing it.

"Nearly 30 years of teaching evolution in Kansas has taught Brad Williamson to expect resistance, but even this veteran of the trenches now has his work cut out for him when students raise their hands. That's because critics of Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection are equipping families with books, DVDs, and a list of "10 questions to ask your biology teacher." " Christian Science Monitor

I grew up being taught nothing but evolution. I just can't figure out when there was a golden age of Christian values in education, because I'm 65 and we didn't have it. We may have had more consensus on behavior expectations, but one town I lived in had 1,000 residents, the other 2,800. Most Americans don't live in small towns. I learned it; I passed the tests. We are not going to turn back the clock. I passed all the required college-prep science courses, was in all those honor societies even in grad school. And I never believed a word of it. Even when I was a liberal humanist I could open my eyes and see there was a creator. I maybe didn't believe much of the standard protestant theology, but I certainly knew that much.

I think the parents going after Intelligent Design and Creationism in the schools should turn their efforts to hiring better teachers, offering broader range of courses, reinstating standards for some basics in speaking and writing, and then take care of religion at home and church. Just as you don't think the school should be passing out condoms, many parents don't want your religion passed around either. Let them give their kids birth control if they think it is important, and you take care of the other type of creation.

1416 Where have you been?

And then she told me.

1415 Maybe there is no Cindy Sheehan

Her family doesn't seem to recognize her or her cause. They remember a brave soldier, Casey Sheehan, who volunteered, supported his president and the cause of Iraqi freedom. Her Casey seems almost unrecognizable, and I doubt he'd approve of his mother's camp followers prostituting his death. But maybe it's just her. Maybe she's been dreamed up by

Kodee Kennings didn't exist and for two years people followed her story, too. (Although I think they were pro-war.) Two students thought her up and published her sad tale in The Daily Egyptian, school paper of Southern Illinois University. She'd lost her mom; now the 8-year old's sad letters to her dad in Iraq were published in the paper. But it was all phony--Jaime Reynolds pretended to be the girl's guardian and another little girl, Caitlin Hadley, posed for the photos thinking she was part of a documentary. Things were going along pretty good until they decided to "kill off" Kodee's dad. Then someone finally did some fact checking.

Daily Egyptian's acknowledgment of the hoax, but I didn't notice an apology.

1414 Tickling the ivories

Last night was the final performance of the Lakeside Symphony and the guest artist was a pianist who performed Chopin. It was OK, but my mind drifted. She was a small, pleasant looking woman, 60-ish near as I could tell from where we were seated. Something about her reminded me of the pretty graduate student we jointly hired to teach us piano back in 1966 or 1967. I had purchased a piano with my grad student stipend shortly after we bought our second house. A home didn't seem right without a piano since I'd grown up listening to my talented sister fill our home with music. It was a Baldwin acrosonic in a lovely warm walnut. It stayed with us for 30 years until I finally gave it to my daughter when she bought a home in 1996.

<----It sort of looked like this. The problem was, I played poorly and almost never, and my husband didn't play at all. But it turned out, he'd always wanted to learn, always admired people who could sit down and dash off something terrific. Because I was working at the university and one of my co-workers was an opera student, I think I asked him for a suggestion and he gave us her name.

Sometimes we went to her studio and sometimes she came to our house. But regardless, we were hopeless. I could play the piano, but not in front of anyone, including the teacher. It was worse than math test nerves. My husband who had grown up with no music in the home, none in school, no band, no chorus, no church choir, just couldn't grasp even the most basic concepts and couldn't hear any of the chord changes. She had begun with such enthusiasm, such a positive attitude, and I think we must have totally demoralized her. After a few months, we all agreed to stop the pain.

But my husband does have pleasant memories of that botched attempt--it makes a good story to tell our more musically talented friends. And he remembers a lovely, glowing, vibrant young woman with red hair whose career goal was to be a concert pianist. So when I whispered in his ear last night in the dark that "she reminds me of our piano teacher," I think I ruined his evening.

Friday, August 26, 2005

1413 In the local fish wrapper

After purchasing a few items to get us through the week-end at the local walk-to market, I spotted a photo on the front page of The Beacon. The caption read, "Last weekend, the son of actor Richard Thomas (John-Boy on "The Waltons"--far left) married Besty Burkett of Fremont. The rehearsal dinner was held at Mon Ami and the reception was held at Catawba Island Club." I'm guessing the extra woman in the photo was Alma, the groom's mother, although John-Boy is the only one identified for certain.

So I googled and found it here. Turns out his name is Richard Francisco Thomas*, and her name is Betsy, not Besty. When you are the "son of" people forget to mention your name, even if you are the groom. Sounds like Fremont was all atwitter expecting celebrities from the Fonz to Bette Midler.

*Seen at a fan site: "Although Richard Thomas is the fifth generation of men to have the name "Richard Thomas" in his family, he's not Richard Thomas V. Rather, each son named Richard has a different middle name based on the first name of his maternal grandfather. So Richard Thomas is "Richard Earl Thomas" after his mother's father, and Richard's son is "Richard Francisco Thomas" after his ex-wife's father."

1412 Picking up the Press Thread

Jay Rosen has reopened the thread on Austin Bay's post at his site. I know, I know. It's very confusing. But as near as I can tell from Neo-Neocon and Neuro-Conservative, Rosen invited Bay to provide some advice on how the Bush administration could be more open to the press. He wanted to start a dialog (in left-speak that means he wanted to change minds). Rosen got mad at the commentors, even though most of the 35,000 words were really pretty reasonable and well thought out. In academe (which is where I come from) we believe strongly that information or discussion will CHANGE minds. My entire career was built on that! Now when have you EVER changed someone's mind by anything you wrote or said? It's possible you added a missing piece, but you didn't change it. It's usually cummulative based on many life experiences AND bits of outside information. And it isn't just on politics, it could be anything--health, relationships, parenting, religion, etc. My story, for instance.

So here's some comments on the new thread. Not much heat or light here. I have no idea who Mr. Anderson is, his age or profession. Mark Anderson writes at and disregards copyright the way he posts the whole shooting match on his site. These are a few of his "ho-hum why have you bothered and wasted my time" comments. If I were Mr. Rosen, I'd be more distressed by this attitude:

“But at the end of the day, he [Austin Bay] is a man who makes his living as a professional right-wing media operative. “

“every word Bay has to say on your blog is toward the end of advancing the same agenda Hughes and Hewitt “

“What makes Bay more than a super neo-con troll on steroids presenting his design for full-spectrum neo-con media dominance aside from his having better manners? “

“Why do you see Bay's PR strategy as a serious discussion about the future of the press and your commenters [sic] affirmation of the bias Bay self-consciously advances in his post--in precisely the manner he intended to elicit by what he wrote--as dumb bias discourse? “

“Wasting my time reading a respectful and articulate neo-con plan for full-spectrum neo-con media dominance that is not as immediately self-destructive and reality-challenged as Karl Rove's totalitarian approach bores me. . .”

“Austin Bay's bias rant makes me feel dumber. Why do you post it? Why aren't you bored by it? Being annoyed with the commenters' [sic] bias-oriented responses to your posting Austin Bay's bias rant is like being annoyed that Yankees fans show up for Yankees games.” [I think I need to diagram this sentence.]

Jay Rosen conceived a nice religion page called The Revealer, a daily review. . . which I used to read. Now written by Jeff Sharlett. But the little asides from the writers were just too much. Too much editorializing to be "news." Sort of Maureen Dowd with hat and gloves and sensible shoes, but you got the message. Like this pithy entry to Shalett's comments on the Pat Robertson flap:

"Olsen [Christianity Today] adds to the drumbeat of evangelical leaders denouncing Robertson's assassination fascination, with links to denunciations (read: distancing) from evangelical bigs such as Os Guiness, Al Mohler, and Marvin Olasky, coiner of "compassionate conservatism," who, in so many words, suggests that Robertson is a doddering old fool. . ." Jeff Sharlett [Warning: this is a tricky site to navigate; watch your clicks--I'm not even positive Sharlett is the author] Almost drips with scorn doesn't it, as "drumbeat of denounciations" gets downgraded in an aside, like a hurricane, to "distancing" and a compassionate conservative almost says "doddering old fool [he didn't]."

1411 LexisNexis vs. AlterNet

Ever wonder where the left comes up with its skewed views of reality? Is there even a candle flickering down in their data mine? Check out TomeBoy's lastest essay. To be fair, Mr. Nellis (the discussion is about someone discussing him) isn't exactly your namby-pamby left-winger; he's an anarchist near as I can tell, and I think he described himself that way. I try really hard to avoid his repetitive tirades at Perhaps I misjudge. There is no evidence he is a librarian, so why should I care? Here's his "welcome" at his website:

"In fact, should any of the material on my site offend you, you are probably a religious extremist. In that case, I invite you to invoke the biblical injunction and pluck your eyes out. Frankly, I'd pay good money to see that."

Is that junior high or what?

1410 The Kitty Trifecta

She'd meowed and threw herself against the living room door from 4-5 a.m. Always hungry. But 5 minutes after downing her breakfast, she urped it up on the kitchen floor. Well, at least it's not carpet, I thought. But when I saw it was only undigested cat food, I knew there would be more. NO HAIR BALL. While cleaning that up, I heard her in the living room, so I rushed in there and cleaned up the rest of the breakfast. NO HAIR BALL. While I was cleaning that up, she made a bee line for the guest room, where I snatched her in mid-barf, so the hair ball came up in the hall. Then she headed for the kitty-litter where after doing her business she started to throw up again. But she doesn't like to do that in the litter box, so she jumped out and threw up on the little rug by the back door. By this time, I'd cleaned up in 5 places, counting the saliva puddles. Then to add to the barfing and pooping, she decided to add newsprint. She noticed yesterday's Wall Street under the kitchen table lamp and four times had to be removed from it. Actually, I just finally hid the newspaper since she didn't seem to catch on.
I've posted this before, but it's a favorite

Here's a really great site with another kitty trifecta story and great photos. I can't imagine what their vet, cat food, and broadband bills must add up to. Music, videos, professional design, etc. Don't miss the Scrungy story.

1409 When you let Blogger correct your typos you'll meet your Waterloo

One good reason to write in wp and paste into the posting window is the spell check. It is hilarious. Some times I use it just for a morning laugh. It doesn't recognize the word "blog," for instance. Here's some gems from my Vioxx article:

"The Voice case involved a man who had undiagnosed erratum and died. "The pathologist who performed Ernst's autopsy testified during the trial that a blood clot likely caused the erratum and a subsequent fatal heart attack. . .

Well, let me weigh-in with something that IS 100% certain. I've had erratum all my life and it was NEVER found until 1996 when feeling light-headed, I walked a mile to the clinic from my office at OSI and was immediately put in a wheelchair and pushed through a construction zone to the emergency room and admitted. . .

After several days of testing at the OSI Hospital the diagnosis was "adiabatic waterloo fibrillation." . . .

It was zapped in 2002, and I went on new and different meads including comedian, because although the circuit was gone, the pulmonary veins around my heart didn't know the ship had left the dock and continued to flutter and cause problems. They needed to be retrained, and the meads were for that. About 18 months ago those meads (developed by a pharmaceutical company), were discontinued."

You're better off not to look--adiabatic waterloo indeed!

1408 The heart breaks

“The heart breaks for everyone who lost relatives and friends on September 11, as it does for the relatives of the war dead and wounded, as it does for the sons of Paul Wellstone. It does not break for, Maureen Dowd, and Gail Sheehy, who have not been heartbroken, except by a string of election reverses, and are using the anguish of other people in an effort to turn them around.”

"AFTER THE JERSEY GIRLS, there was nowhere to go but to "Mother Sheehan,"* who, like the Wellstone Memorial, may be about to implode. In her case, her cover as Everymom is more easily broken, as her connection to the Loony Left is far more explicit, and her tongue is a lot less controlled. You might not know it from her televised interviews (where she seems well coached by the expensive media mavens retained by, but the Internet is alive with her unscripted sayings, and they make quite a collection. To anyone's knowledge, none of the Jersey Girls or members of Peaceful Tomorrows has appeared on a program with Lynne Stewart, the convicted lawyer and friend to Islamic terrorists, and proclaimed her a personal heroine. None has ever said anything like this to a public gathering: "We have no constitution. We're the only country with no checks and balances. We want our country back if we have to impeach George Bush down to the person who picks up the dog s--in Washington. Let George Bush send his two little party animals to die in Iraq." "
Read the whole article by Noemi Emery

Seen at Bookworm

Thursday, August 25, 2005

1407 How anti-war people kill

In the early 1980s I worked for a young Jewish woman on a JTPA (Job Training Partnership Act) Grant. She was a Republican and I was a Democrat, but that didn't bother either one of us because we had certain things in common--she was my aerobics instructor and I was accustomed to following her orders. I can't remember exactly what my job title was--something about program--but basically I wrote government documents. I even wrote speeches for her boss (later killed in an airplane crash). It was one of the best jobs I ever had, and she was an outstanding boss.

Her family comes to mind when I hear and see the anti-war protestors, all those dear folk who want to "bring the troops home" because "Bush lied." The naive do-gooders who light candles and string origami birds to take down to the lakefront on hot summer nights. The information that led us into this war was disseminated in the 1990s--I've seen John Kerry and John Edwards and Bill Clinton's names attached to WMD memos. But, that's not as important to me (if it was misinformation in 2002, it was misinformation in 1999) as the number of lives President Bush has saved and the number he as liberated from tyranny.

The protests bring to my mind those of the 1930s--before my time, of course. But I love old journals, and our public library had old bound volumes of Life, Look and Time, and the university too had acres of old musty journals, some unabashedly socialist and communist. It's possible they are gone now--replaced by unbrowsable digital formats where the agonized faces of those fleeing Hitler long before the US entered the war aren't so moving.

"Student organizing was one of the American Left's most successful areas of political activity during the Great Depression. Under the leadership of Communist and Socialist undergraduates, the campus activists of the 1930s built the first mass student protest movement in American history. During its peak years, from spring 1936 to spring 1939, the movement mobilized at least 500,000 collegians (about half of the American student body) in annual one-hour strikes against war. The movement also organized students on behalf of an extensive reform agenda, which included federal aid to education, government job programs for youth, abolition of the compulsory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), academic freedom, racial equality, and collective bargaining rights." Encyc. of American Left

Yes, "we" Americans knew what was going on--our press was covering it, but our anti-war forces were very powerful. Just like today. Our politicians were timid and concerned about their legacies. Just like today. We all know what is behind their protests, don't we? Sort of a self-hatred, isn't it? Hitler was marching into poor little Poland the month I was born. I'm sure my 27 year old mom read about it in the newspapers as she wondered what was going to happen to her little brood (then three), because you see, everyone knew. It was no secret.

Fast forward to my 1983 job and my great boss. She told me one time that her in-laws had each lost four children and a spouse in Nazi death camps. They met (widowed and childless) after the war in a camp awaiting relocation to the United States. They married, resettled here, started a new life and had two more children. They have a lot to be thankful for, no thanks to the anti-war protesters of the 1930s.

And so I think about those two brave people (I met them once at their grandson's bris) when you light your protest candle.

1406 What I haven't seen this summer

Yesterday I made a few notes on what I hadn't seen this summer:

  • a sunset
  • a sunrise
  • a live skunk in our yard
  • a dead skunk on the highway
  • a deer in my head lights
  • a teen-age couple under the street light
  • the left side of 140 lbs.
  • a restaurant outside the gates
  • a new litter of feral kittens
  • Wall Street Journal

But I'm happy to say that last night we walked down to the dock and with about 30 other people watched a gorgeous sunset. We took along the binoculars and passed them around. Because it is week 9, I think we may have been the youngest folks watching.

Then on my way home from the grocery story I noticed a slight whif of skunk, but nothing like most years. I recognize the little feral kittens from last year's batch--probably someone has captured them and had them neutered. And today I bought a Wall Street Journal.

What I have seen this summer:

  • the new director becoming more comfortable and relaxed in his job
  • plein air painters
  • a huge interest in landscaping and home floral beds (new director's influence)
  • large crowds at the lakefront worship service on Sunday
  • soaring real estate prices--$800,000 on the lakefront, and $300-600,000 in our neighborhood
  • growing interest in community theater
  • enormous increase and interest in the arts and crafts offerings
  • a new and thriving coffee shop

Way to go, Lakesiders.

1405 Fibonacci creator

Two years ago during the great blackout I was attending a class taught by Lakeside's musician in residence, Calvin Taylor. He'd spent a lot of time talking about Fibonacci. Actually, I remember nothing except the name, but it was very interesting at the time and I have my notes someplace. But I recall it was one more reason to believe in a Creator, although I doubt that it came up. Anyway, while visiting and admiring the wallpaper at Gates of Vienna, I saw a little icon for Custom Fibonacci Spirals. Cool.

"The Fibonacci series appears in the foundation of aspects of art, beauty and life. Even music has a foundation in the series, as:
There are 13 notes in the span of any note through its octave.
A scale is comprised of 8 notes, of which the
5th and 3rd notes create the basic foundation of all chords, and are based on whole tone which is
2 steps from the root tone, that is the
1st note of the scale. The Golden Number

"On many plants, the number of petals is a Fibonacci number:
buttercups have 5 petals; lilies and iris have 3 petals; some delphiniums have 8; corn marigolds have 13 petals; some asters have 21 whereas daisies can be found with 34, 55 or even 89 petals." Rabbits, bees, flowers, etc.

Fibonacci series in flowers

God is so good!

1404 New Conservative Librarian

So far, 4/5 of Paul's posts have been right of center (only has 5 I think) which could just push me off the podium to receive Walt's award as the only "right-wing" librarian blogger (there are no left-wing, according to Walt, which Paul's first post certainly proves untrue). He has a very high "conversation" rate with his readers. Stay tuned for more good things from Corrigenda. And I'm hoping he is writing under a pseudonym because he's in shark territory, professionally speaking.

He has an interesting post on second graders reading the latest Harry Potter book, which he thinks is too dark and too teen for a 7 year old. Obviously Mom bought the kid the book, but I don't think Paul approves.

I can't remember exactly what I was reading in second grade--Little House on the prairie series I think. And all the horse and dog stories I could find. Our town library was pretty small and the hours were limited--the librarian didn't want the farmers to get the books dirty. Now there's a switch!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

1403 Reminder about the offset

Welcome Jay Rosen readers About eleven have stopped over here to see what an old lady could possibly say. But while I have your attention, here's a public service announcement.

Let me add something that has nothing to do with freedom of the press or a "conversation" between the old media and the new media. I noticed Prof. Rosen is writing at an .edu site, so I'm thinking some of his readers may be from academe, from which I'm retired. He and his readers may have teacher or public employee pension plans. Here's a reminder to start up the "conversation" about private retirement accounts again:

I am faculty emeritus (Ohio State University). We already have President Bush's retirement plan at our house (at least as I understand it): we have a mix of Social Security, private 401k, SEP IRA, a teacher's annuity (403b), a teacher's pension and miscellaneous IRA accounts and savings our executor will have to figure out someday. Because a teacher's pension is considered a government plan, I am not eligible for Social Security--not mine from when I worked in the private sector and not the wife's portion of my husband's. This is called a government offset.

So, just in case you thought you'd "double dip," you won't. OK, as you were.

1402 Amen! shouted the lawyers

Of course. They get 1/3 of the Vioxx settlement. Although I know it will be appealed.

And let's hope those lawyers will personally never need a life changing, disease fighting drug or technology developed by the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. It is a very risky area to invest in--as a retiree, I'll probably look for something safer, something less identified with miracles that can never backfire.

The Vioxx case involved a man who had undiagnosed arrhythmia and died. "The pathologist who performed Ernst's autopsy testified during the trial that a blood clot likely caused the arrhythmia and a subsequent fatal heart attack. The pathologist could not offer 100% certainty that there was a blood clot (not found during the autopsy) or heart attack. The jury demonstrated by its verdict that it believed the theory that a blood clot caused the arrhythmia and that Merck and Vioxx were liable."

Well, let me weigh-in with something that IS 100% certain. I've had arrhythmia all my life and it was NEVER found until 1996 when feeling light-headed, I walked a mile to the clinic from my office at OSU and was immediately put in a wheelchair and pushed through a construction zone to the emergency room and admitted. In order to be diagnosed, you have to be having an episode during a doctor's visit. That was my third or fourth incident that day and I guess I was just tired of grabbing a wall every time I stood up. I'd never reported it because I've only been me, and I assumed everyone's heart raced after eating peanut butter, or remembering an auto accident, or chatting in a nice restaurant, or walking into the stacks to reshelve an armload of journals. I thought the room went black for everyone when changing positions suddenly. It was never picked up in check-ups, in pregnancy and labor, or in my only surgery.

After several days of testing at the OSU Hospital the diagnosis was "idiopathic atrial fibrillation." That means, "we don't know why you have a heart rate that some times is 50 and sometimes is 300." But they didn't even tell me the worst part. A nurse friend visited me in the hospital and told me I could have died any number of times, or had a serious stroke. The blood pools, then builds up and splashes on through--sometimes in a clot.

After 5 years of medications to control my heart rate, and a generation of heart research and new technology (paid for by investors and inventors in our health care companies), it was determined I had an extra circuit in my heart, fluttering there trying to join the party redirecting the electrical impulses to nowhere land. It was zapped in 2002, and I went on new and different meds including coumadin, because although the circuit was gone, the pulmonary veins around my heart didn't know the ship had left the dock and continued to flutter and cause problems. They needed to be retrained, and the meds were for that. About 18 months ago those meds (developed by a pharmaceutical company), were discontinued.

Jane Galt and Dr. Sanity comment.

1401 The view of Kelley's Island

We can see Kelley's Island from Lakeside. We think being able to see several islands is what makes our view here so lovely. I've been there maybe three or four times in the last 35 years--by ferry, by speed boat, and encircling it on cruises. Our friends Matt and Megan got married on a chartered cruise, and because they own a cottage on Kelley's we cruised by their place.

There was a feature story in the Plain Dealer supplement a few weeks ago that pointed out the following:

1. It is quieter than South Bass Island. Well, isn't every place?
2. It is on the National Historic Register of Historic Places.
3. It is 12 miles from Sandusky, Ohio.
4. It is the largest American Island in Lake Erie.
5. It has 370 year around residents, and 1,500 in the summer.
6. It's a big rock with dirt on it--you may have to import more dirt before you build there.
7. There are no building codes on Kelley's.
8. 600-700 acres of its 2,400 are state-owned park.
9. It has both glacial grooves and ancient pictographs.
10. It's prettiest viewed from the bottom of our street on a clear day with binoculars. (Just kidding; this wasn't in the article.)

This is not me arriving at Kelley's, but I have sun glasses, a bra and a purse just like hers

1400 Catholic Blogs

Excuse me if I'm repeating myself, I've got about 1500 posts counting my other blogs here, here, here, here and here (library land, where there are no left-wing bloggers), and sometimes I lose my train of thought. Oh yes, St. Blog's Parish is an interesting stop. I'm not sure why I didn't see Vox Lauri there. She attends Our Lady of Liturgical Abuses, you know. Recently she wrote movingly about how those who serve often receive more than they give:

"I used to be a Minister of Care (someone who brings Holy Communion to Catholic patients) and when I was I got to meet many people who touched my heart. But one in particular was sent, I believe, from God. This particular patient was dying from cancer- though I did not know he was end stage- and obviously anxious. Our encounter was not memorable other than I recall a nurse phoning around the hospital because this patient missed me when I visited and wanted the Eucharist. I maybe visited him twice, fumbling through a little service I had to read haltingly from a book. The last time I went to visit him, I learned he had died that day. A few days later I looked up his obituary and found in the last few lines a thank you to all who had ministered to him at the hospital. A thank you he had to have placed specifically in his obit as I never met any of his family. He was blessing me, he was concluding his service to me."

Found her in the Parish Hall--Dressing with Dignity. Wow. I'll need to take another look. Looks a bit more my speed than the Anabaptist fashion pages I've found. The Islamic beach wear have even more coverage than the Amish. Good color and good protection from skin cancer. And she has a second blog.

There are also some helpful links in the parish hall for assists with blogging.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

1399 Now, How Did I Know?

While we were doing up the dishes tonight, I told my husband that Pat Robertson would be the lead story on the national news which was due to come on in 20 minutes. We're watching ABC, and I was right.

I've only come across him occasionally on TV, but I know that when he has called for distributing food to the hungry or rebuilding damaged homes after storms or encouraging couples to stay married, the media have not rushed out to cover his words.

1398 Some one should write this book

She said it for 30 years, and finally wrote it herself, Seeing through paintings, (Yale University Press, 2000). And I had the opportunity to sit in her class this morning at the Rhein Center here at Lakeside. Rustin (Rusty) Levenson lives down the street from me in the summer, but this was my first chance to talk to her--had no idea she was in the art conservation business or that she was a classmate of Hilary Clinton (she didn't tell us, but I saw it on the Internet). Her photo has appeared in Vogue magazine--she was restoring Jackson Pollack's floor. She also wrote two chapters in Expert versus the object edited by attorney Ronald D. Spencer (Oxford, 2004). Here's her recommendation for Floridians with both art to protect and hurricanes on the way.

She provided many interesting anecdotes about her work restoring paintings, and how misinformed many art historians and critics have been in psychologizing the motives and attitudes of the artist based on colors, which have long since changed or faded since the artist's day. (Yellow disappears from green leaving blue trees; pink disappeared from the background of Iris.) She gave us a brief outline of the history of paints, including information on fillers, mediums, permanency, and toxicity of chemicals and compounds.

Tips: she uses brown madder and Prussian green to create black. She says she might use a commercial black once a year. (I like ultramarine blue with burnt sienna).
Has never used: cyan or magenta, the colors you see in your print cartridge.
Loves: Indian yellow--very hot.
Purchase: She likes Pearl Paint supplies in NY, for Golden acrylics.

I asked her if her field was dominated by women, and she thought that might be correct. The field requires art history and chemistry, then an apprenticeship, graduate school and an internship. There is more than enough work for all the professionals in the field. "The museum landscape is littered with paintings needing restoration."

, ,

Monday, August 22, 2005

1397 What a hypocrite

This post has been updated.

Jay Rosen shuts down a thread on Bush's communication and press freedom because it doesn't go the way he wants. Huh?

"I'm embarrassed that this thread appeared at my weblog. I'm embarrassed that something I wrote and edited was the occasion for it. I embarrassed that the letters "edu" appear in the Web address at the top of this page, since most of this is the opposite of education. I'm embarrassed for having entertained, even for a second, the notion that Austin Bay, a Bush supporter and war veteran, might get a hearing for some of his warnings from those who agree with him on most things. . . Thread closed."

Noticed at Neo-Neocon. And as she points out, the comments weren't even unreasonable--just not his cup of tea.

Update: Now Neuro-Conservative pours over the entire post, reads and re-reads the comments, in which he finds very little hyperbole and well reasoned thought, and discovers Rosen restates the comments--inaccurately--in his own replies. Neuro: "In a comments thread of more than 35,000 words, Rosen could not find a single critical comment worthy of his standards?"

Update 2: To his credit, he has reopened this thread, but with much finger wagging, fault-finding and suggestions on what to post. Suggests that people who disgree reasonably with him are biased and getting dumber by not changing/reexamining their views of the media. Reminds me of a pastor we used to have when he'd tell us from the pulpit how and why we should be joyful. At least the finger part.

1396 What's good for the Bill is good for the Bush?

Peggy Noonan attempts to explain how the friendship between Presidents Clinton and Bush 41 is good for both of them.

"What does Democrat Bill Clinton get out of cultivating the Republican Bushes? He gets public approval from a man most of the country sees as personally upstanding. When Mr. Bush puts his arm around Mr. Clinton, he confers his rectitude. Democrats won't mind it, and independent voters will like it. In receiving the embrace of the patriarch of such a famously Republican family, Mr. Clinton looks like someone who is, by definition, nonradical, mainstream, not too unacceptably odd and grifter-ish. Big bonus: Mr. Clinton knows that when he receives Mr. Bush's affectionate approval, his wife, who will soon be running for president, also seems by extension to be receiving it. This is good for her. Both Clintons pick up some positive attention from on-the-ground Republicans. This is good too.

What does the elder Mr. Bush get out of it? He burnishes his reputation for personal generosity and a certain above-it-all nonpartisanship. He shows he's not narrow like a conservative, but national like a great leader. This has a spillover effect on his son, the incumbent president. The more his father embraces the foe, the more embracing the current President Bush looks. By publicly declaring his closeness with Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush senior demonstrates a high minded interest in political comity and a rejection of mere party politics, unlike the low little people who are inspired by animus and always getting het up about their little issues. Would a former president Pat Buchanan hug a former president Clinton? Huh, go dream."

Noonan's Aug. 18 article still doesn't quite buy it.

1395 Stem cell research can use skin cells

Amy points to an interesting development reported in WaPo and other places.

"Scientists for the first time have turned ordinary skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells -- without having to use human eggs or make new human embryos in the process, as has always been required in the past, a Harvard research team announced yesterday.

The technique uses laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells -- such as the ones that President Bush has already approved for use by federally funded researchers -- to "reprogram" the genes in a person's skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself."

Reuse, recycle, renew.

1394 Walt and Meredith survey the blogosphere

Walt Crawford at the September 2005 Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large and Meredith Farkas at Information wants to be free have both completed and put forward their surveys of the librarian blogosphere. Combined, they remind me of the photographs my husband and I take on vacation--his are all buildings, mine are mostly people. Meredith is doing a part II, so stay tuned. Together Walt and Meredith give us a good album of blogging.

One statistic in her survey that I found interesting is that 77.4% of the librarian bloggers who responded to her questionnaire are in the 24-40 age range. This reflects what I’ve found in blogs in general. Finding older, more experienced workers in any field who understand what blogging is or are interested in promoting their own ideas to a public they can’t see, is difficult. I’m gradually adding to my “over 50” links (now that I’ve found more ladies to link to).

But strangest of all was Walt’s conclusion that I may be the only politically opinionated (“right-wing” he called me) librarian in blogger land. I didn't see any corresponding “left-wing” librarians in his 19 page, single space newsletter (this was on a quick read through--the “find“ feature didn‘t work in this document). This is amusing, considering the entire library profession lumped together would create another blue state--well, at least a county. Call me just a good information sleuth, but even I can determine what lever Library Dust pulls and I would have never gone into public mourning if I were still employed.

Because I remember those days when I was a liberal humanist, I know why and how this designation happened. When you are a liberal or a Democrat, you see yourself as just “us.” When you are a liberal, the antonym of “liberal” isn’t “conservative,” but right-wing. Everyone to the right of you is wrong headed, a threat to your personal space and freedoms, and “them.”

When you are a liberal you can’t see the bias of the major news media outlets because they reflect your own views and opinions; you don’t notice there are no Republican voices on the faculty of your institution or among the speakers invited to the campus; you don’t even notice when 70% of the campus never says anything out of fear for their jobs; you don’t see that there are almost no conservative books on the new book shelves of your public library and just assume they must all be awful because surely librarians wouldn’t tolerate bias in book selection; you believe that money will solve all social problems; and arriving at a goal or target is never enough--you must gird the loins of your cause with more tax money.

I’m far more liberal, in the true sense of the word, than many of the Democrats I know. I believe the “least of these” have value, therefore I’m against killing babies in the womb because they have physical anomalies or it's not a good time in mommy's career. I believe poor and minority children need a good education to succeed in a complex society and shouldn’t be left behind just because their parents can’t provide it. I believe there should be art and music in the schools--libraries are less critical.

I believe that Jesus Christ suffered and died so that every single person can be welcomed into the kingdom of God, but also believe those for whom he died have the right to say "no thanks" if they so desire. I believe that men and women are equal but not the same--in some areas women are superior. I believe in ordaining women and letting their skills and abilities and your needs determine if they should be in your pulpit.

I believe in meritocracy in the work place and don’t support quotas and affirmative action--they are demeaning to all we fought for. I do not support the death penalty. I was a strong pacifist through the end of the Vietnam war when our “anti-war movement” condemned millions of Vietnamese to death by pressuring our government to run out on them. The most shameful page in our history. I think the United Nations is a waste of time and money since it wasn’t able to save Rwandans or the Sudanese and it stole and scammed food from the Iraqis. It would still be investigating the cause of the tsunami and forming study groups if the US hadn't taken the lead. These lives mattered too.

I believe Israel is the only democracy in the Middle-East, the government/country with which we have the most in common. Anti-Israel fervor is veiled anti-semitism, in my opinion, and just a new version of "let's blame the Jews for all our problems." I believe we should stop propping up third world monarchies and feudal kingdoms. I think the war in Iraq will look like child’s play compared to the one coming--with China.

I support strong environmental laws that benefit everyone, not just a few disappearing rat and bird species. In fact, I believe our earth is God-created, organized and run. Therefore we should take care of it. I am a 6 day creationist and think it’s a waste of time to try to squeeze “intelligent design” into our theology or public school classrooms. ID doesn’t say much of anything. But evolution often looks Unintelligent too, and children need to be exposed to more than one view as the liberals used to believe.

Many of the librarian blogs I link to are “liberal”--but only if they are well-written, logical and informative. Walt has actually supplied the names of some I’ve never seen. But I’ve never seen mine linked on liberal blogs (some of that is ageism, not politics). A liberal today has severe torticollis and can turn only one direction--left.

All of this has been said in any one of my 1400+ blog entries (counting my other blogs). But mostly, I don’t talk about politics, but my life now, and even my former life as a librarian. I post my paintings, poetry, family photos, and opinions on health, sports, friendships, parenting, crime, education, and anything that catches my attention. I'm a typical information junkie. But because I am a neo-con (former Democrat who now supports Bush), Walt has selected me as "right-wing" poster-librarian.

But I’ll continue reading Cites and Insights even though I know Walt is a liberal and not a librarian. He’s passive aggressive and uses more parenthetical phrases to obfuscate than any preacher I’ve ever heard (although, maybe, perhaps, it seems to me, could be, interesting that). He’s not just a mild mannered, interested by-stander, but Walt is the best there is at presenting the technology stuff in a way I can understand. So even if he can’t spot a left-wing blogger, he’s still an excellent read and I appreciate all the time and effort he puts into his publications.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

1393 Baby In the Hotel Dining Room

After church on the lakefront this morning, we walked over to the hotel for breakfast. Although my husband prefers Abigail's on 3rd St., I like being able to see the lake, and today it was glorious with a cool front having moved in last night. There were so many boats on the horizon that it looked like white caps.

A couple with a baby were at the next table. She appeared to be about 11 months old--just adorable and angelic. This brought back many memories. No matter how they might have behaved at home where they could reduce me to a screaming meltdown in minutes, my children were the model of good manners and upbringing in public places like restaurants and church services. Even during the teen years, I can't recall that they objected to being seen with their parents, and sometimes after church other parents would ask me how we pulled that off. (Please note: this means nothing in terms of what they'll do about church when on their own.)

Never in a restaurant did I need to threaten to take them out or clean up thrown or spilled food. We had a few tricks, but not many. We would call the restaurant before leaving the house and place our order so that our little guy with a 30 second attention span didn't have to wait too long. Also, we never went to fast food restaurants but always sit-down places with order-from-the-menu, not buffets. They learned early that eating out was "an event." Also, it didn't happen often because of our budget restrictions and I was a sahm.

One Sunday morning at Friendly's (chain owned by Hershey's) an immigrant who worked at another restaurant as a manager picked up our tab for us. He said in broken English that it was because we had such lovely, well-behaved children.

Here at Lakeside for years I would order one meal for the two children and two plates and then divide it. Even then they didn't always finish it (they were perhaps 7 and 8 years old). But on to my topic--the baby at the next table.

I like to order the $4.00 breakfast--2 eggs any style, hash browns, biscuit or toast, and sausage or bacon. It's a hearty breakfast and usually I don't finish it. Much to my shock, the baby's mother had ordered this meal for the little one. Not only was it way too much food (I knew who would finish it), but she couldn't use utensils and dug in with both fists. Oh yes, and a large glass of milk. Obviously, the news about obesity in children isn't getting out, or else, people think it only happens if you eat at fast food restaurants.

1392 The Pressure to Conform

Even in writing class! Modesty Zone featured Amanda in the August issue. She writes about a college class:

"Last spring I took a fiction writing class in college in which I wrote stories that portrayed romance and faithfulness as a positive thing. This evoked brutal hostility from the other students who said my work was sentimental and unrealistic and that my character's feelings qualified them as insane. While hurtful, I could deal with such criticism from my peers but thought it was completely inappropriate when the instructor decided to join them. At one point he told me to "find something to write about besides policing men's sexual desires," and he was constantly insisting that I "revise" my stories in ways that would alter their message. When I refused to alter that aspect of my work, since I felt no teacher has a right to dictate a student's moral beliefs, he docked my grade in response. It continues to baffle me as to why our beliefs invoke such extreme hatred."

Well, because our beliefs are very threatening. They show you have a moral center, and if you have that, it probably means he didn't and then he felt naked--a more embarrassing position than the one he wanted you to take.

She gets an award for bravery from the site admin.

1391 There's gotta be a pony in here somewhere!

Dig and dig. Keep working despite the odor. Isn't it just amazing that the whole world goes to hell in a handbasket when oafish, ill-mannered, poorly-spoken and illiterate war monger with a librarian-wife who never worked a day in her life gets into office with 51% of the popular vote? But now he can be credited for bringing back an obscure Shakespearean play.

"John Hurley had hoped to direct Shakespeare’s "Measure for Measure" for some time. But until recently he didn’t think the audience would be able to relate to it. "One of the biggest problems in producing it is that its morality is so archaic," Hurley said.

But, he added, because of the Bush administration and the country’s cultural changes over the last four years, the play is now timely and relevant.

"We have an administration that is not going to stop until the laws of Moses are the laws of the land," Hurley said. "We can now relate to this play. The morality in this play is our morality."

For Hurley, the play echoes fundamental changes that have occurred in the country since George W. Bush became president, like erosions of basic human rights and privacy." Swallow here.

The author didn't think to date the piece, but it appears to be Fall 2004 sometime or about 400 years after it was first performed--a better reason to dust it off than what Hurley gives.

Here's a summary, which makes it sound perfect for a confused anti-Bush producer/director:
Measure for Measure has fascinated and perplexed audiences and critics alike for centuries. Critical assessments have ranged from profound disappointment in the play's lack of consistency to assertions that Measure for Measure ranks as one of Shakespeare's greatest achievements. Scholars have in fact disagreed on virtually every aspect of the play, including its central themes and artistic unity as well as its style, genre, and characterization. Principal topics of debate have included the characterizations of the Duke, Isabella, and Angelo. Scholars have for example been divided over whether the Duke is manipulative or wise; whether Isabella is rigidly moralistic or saintly and compassionate; and whether Angelo is incomprehensibly split into two separate personalities—one respectable and the other villainous.

Now that we have NCLB, it is possible children might again study Shakespeare, although it's possible not even the President can reform our failing education system despite the millions of tax dollars he has thrown at it.

1390 I'm not saying they were bad parents. . ."

OK, then I will. They were bad parents who didn't know what to do with an evil kid. Someone on the jury that awarded the injured child's parents $10 million said that about Lane and Diane White of Indian Hills, a Cincinnati suburb. Whites had an out of control 17 year old, just weeks from becoming an adult, before he attacked a young teen-age girl. So even though White's son got a 10 year jail sentence for attacking and stabbing Casey Hilmer, the girl's parents also sued the Whites, worth in the neighborhood of 10-20 million.

"Lance and Diane White should have known their then-17-year-old son would turn violent when they drove off to dinner, leaving him alone in their Indian Hill neighborhood after he got into a violent fight with his brother two summers ago, according to psychologist's testimony in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Thursday.

Moments later, Benjamin White spotted 13-year-old Casey Hilmer jogging nearby, snatched her off the street, carried her into nearby woods and stabbed her four times, nearly killing her. Casey's account.

All the warning signs were there, said Charles Ewing, who was hired by Hilmer's family to evaluate White as part of their lawsuit against the Whites." Cincy Inquirer

The Whites own a sanitation service and have endowed a scholarship at Kenyon College, according to the Winter 2001 newsletter.

Update: Supreme Court of Ohio decision on the insurance payout on this case.

Update 2: From 2013, Casey is a survivor.

1389 Gotcha

Jack Stephens points out the usual Blue Stater Bush Whine of an ALA-ien who complains of Bush's poor grammar and vocabulary--in a sentence that lacks a subject and verb. Good eye, Jack.

1388 Sailing with women

Tom Purcell has a funny story about sailing with women. Now, before my husband took a week's sailing lessons (I won them with my prize winning sugar free apple pie), I wouldn't have been able to appreciate this post. But now I know all about the jib and tack, and turtle. Yes, we know all about turtling. Our neighbor (a woman) invited him to go sailing yesterday, but the water was a bit rough, so he declined (with my help). He'd floundered at sea the day before in water like that and the teen-age rescue crew had to go out and get him.

"No matter where you sit on a sailboat piloted by women, you are in the way. Your head is perpetually getting struck by ropes, pulleys and sail rods. If you attempt to do nothing, the women yell at you to pull the damn jib. If you pull the damn jib, they demand you release it. If you release it, they demand you pull it tighter."

Enjoy the story here.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

1387 Why didn't you write about that?

Michael Yon replies: "The answer is simple. Often I am asked to withhold information due to the immediate sensitivty. And so, I never release the slightest hint. But then somebody in Baghdad--three steps removed from the action here in Mosul-- releases it to CNN and the rest of the world. What is seen on television and in the papers is practically always inaccurate, or is at least poorly framed. But I rarely waste a breath trying to correct the information. It's too late. Life is busy here."

He continues: “For example [a do not publish incident], our soldiers capture or kill top terror figures in Mosul routinely. Sometimes in stunning operations that display split-second timing. The "higher ups" often say, almost reflexively, that they don't want the enemy to know about these kills or captures.

Sounds reasonable. But whether soldiers sleek through dark allies with silenced weapons, slipping over walls with padded ladders, snatching sleeping terrorists from their beds before they can fully waken; or, whether they engage in a gunfight at a busy intersection and drag terrorists from behind the wheels of their cars--these are not anonymous men. Families notice when daddy's gone missing.

If we aren't keeping it secret from the enemy--and we can't keep it secret from them--who do we protect by keeping quiet? These are not illegal operations. These are examples of the effectiveness of our forces. In Mosul alone there are daily events where the Coalition gets things right, that I never write about.”

If you're not reading Michael Yon, you should be.

Happy Birthday Bro!

This is my brother's birthday (I think--all those details are residing on my home computer). He's got the most adorable, active, inquisitive grandson and has been telling me about some of his antics around animals, after reading my blog about how little girls who love horses have guardian angels. Here's some photos of the little fearless guy. His four guardian angels are just a little to the left, two are resting. Notice his little leather chaps my niece made for him.

1385 Moose tracks

Although there are women who claim they don't know why they are gaining weight, I am not them (her?). I've gained 15 lbs since visiting Florida in February, and I know every biteful. Blogging also causes weight gain, because for each minute you're in the chair, you are not moving your bones.

Compared to this.

1384 Should I cancel my trip?

"Kelly Monaco and John O'Hurley will return to the Dancing with the Stars ballroom for a so-called "dance-off" on Sept. 20, ABC announced Thursday. The results, based solely on viewer voting, will be announced in a Sept. 22 telecast."

Darn! In September I'll be touring European ancient cities and will probably not pause to locate this program. I'm guessing this rematch was planned ahead of time. We loved the show, but the voting system was really screwy.

If you've been watching the hip-hop and break dancers try to learn the swing and waltz and Latin dances at Fox's "So you think you can dance," you'll see really outstanding dancers. When Ryan Conferido lost that ridiculous hair-do and became a Latin lover, he even knocked my socks off. When those hip hop and break dancers stop that popping, jerking and crotch grabbing, they are really something else. Beautiful!

1383 The wet newspaper

A man at the coffee shop this morning took the Plain Dealer outside to the patio and laid it first on a wet table (section A) and then dropped B-E on the wet bricks. Result, one really soggy house paper by the time I saw it.

But even wet, the front page showed a photo of Kathy Wright's son Jeffrey Boskovitch with his dog Beans. Jeffrey was killed by sniper fire on August 1, but before that he had taken in a scruffy stray and sent his mom a photo, which she cherishes.

Now she's trying to bring the dog, Beans, home to Ohio. She has raised enough money, but needs a civilian to travel with the dog. Military Mascots, a group of animal lovers, is trying to help. isn't interested in Kathy. I'm not expecting a candle light march.

1382 Women Athletes

According to USAToday snapshot chart, in 1990 only 150 women participated in the Danskin women's triathlon, and now in its 16th year, 5,200 have entered. I'm thinking that a woman good enough to enter a triathlon (even one sponsored by a clothing concern) is strong and confident--and probably had her babies before she got into all that. Maybe she needed a hobby as an excuse to get away from the kids and needlepoint just doesn't get you out of the house. The huge increase does reflect the fact that there are just more really outstanding female athletes coming up through our school sport programs. Even my little couch potato kicked the soccer ball around for a season or two.

I googled a bit but haven't been able to come up with (I'll keep looking) research about the fertility and pregnancy rate of professional female athletes (those who really pursue a sport during their 20s and 30s). Dancers, golfers, basketball players, runners, skaters, body builders, skiers etc. Yes, there are many articles about health problems (hormones, broken bones, etc), but I'm looking for something that takes a group of 45 year old women who were (are) professional athletes and compares their family size to a comparable control group of non-competing athletic types. Why? Why not? They measure everything else about women in the marketplace. Send the reference if you know of something.

There is apparently the "female athlete triad"--not a triathlon--which is eating disorders, amenorrhea (absense of menstruation), and osteoporosis. Any of these conditions can make it difficult, if not impossible to become or remain pregnant. And let's assume a woman can find a man (let's say she wants a marriage and not just a "relationship") who is not threatened by her power, strength, size and schedule of events. Even if she has enough fat to be able to have normal periods, and can find some snuggle time with hubbie to start a new life, does she have the gumption to cut back on her training for 9+ months and to sit out the competitions that are her livelihood? She's got to be pretty darn competitive to have even become a world class ballet dancer, or an Olympian, or top seed in professional soccer. Babies, even in the womb, can be extremely demanding and unimpressed with mom's talents. They are the most selfish creatures on the earth.

Call me crazy, but morning sickness, fatigue and walking around with a 15 lb weight on your abdomen does not add to your agility. There are rumors that it may even sap a few brain cells. While you're sitting out that bundle of joy, some younger woman is eyeing your fought for position, even if you are in better shape than 99.9% of the rest of the pregnant women in America. It's got to make a woman think a bit about the value or importance of motherhood.

So, if these wonderful genes are to be passed along, who's going to do the job?

Friday, August 19, 2005

1381 Friday Feast No. 60

Do you get excited when the season begins to change? Which season do you most look forward to?
I love fall, but it is sort of bittersweet, knowing cold weather is coming. As child, I loved the start of school. In those days, that was September.

What day of the week is usually your busiest?
I try not to be busy. I’m usually successful.

Would you consider yourself to be strict when it comes to grammar and spelling? What's an example of the worst error you've seen?
Leaving out the word NOT can often completely change the meaning and intent. It seems to knot up quite a few things I’ve written.

Main Course
Who has a birthday coming up, and what will you give them as a gift?
I’m thinking tomorrow is my brother’s birthday, but I always get it mixed up with my parents’ anniversary. If it is, Happy Birthday, Bro. My sibs and I usually do not exchange gifts.

If you could have any new piece of clothing for free, what would you pick?
Any pair of shoes that look good and feel good, and are not clunky athletic style.

1380 Moss covered Stones sell Monday Night Football

And anti-Bush propaganda.

"For now, they've formed a united front to make sure everyone hears about the new album and tour. That means new sponsorships to subsidize the tour and maximize exposure, including a partnership with ABC and the NFL for season-long promos on Monday Night Football, starting with footage from a Detroit show for a pregame special Sept. 8. Immune to criticism of their corporate tie-ins, a fixture since 1978, the Stones make no apologies to the purists who call the band a sell-out." USAToday

"It is not really aimed at anyone," Jagger said on the entertainment-news show's Wednesday edition. "It's not aimed, personally aimed, at President Bush. It wouldn't be called 'Sweet Neo Con' if it was." CNN Oh, Mick, you are so vain.

Football fanatic that I am, who will occasionally pass through the living room on an errand during a game, I will complain to ABC Sports.