Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our Italy Itinerary--Buon Viaggio!

Unlike the librarian in a previous entry, I will not be donating any money to a library (since I know from personal experience how it will be used), but I will be enjoying my fine University of Illinois education in Russian, Spanish, secondary education and library science, and 20 years of saving and investing 15% of my magnificient salary at Ohio State University by visiting Italy with other U of I alumni. Here's a site of photos at the AHI webpage. Here's what we'll be doing.
    Day One: Leave Chicago for Naples
    Day Two: Arrive in Naples, get on a bus for Sorrento, and if my legs are working and I'm not asleep, stroll around town.
    Day Three: Motorcoach along the Amalfi Coast. Visit Positano. Back in Sorrento attend lecture and discussion.
    Day Four: Pompeii. Meet the folks of Sorrento to hear about their lives.
    Day Five: Isle of Capri.
    Day Six: Discussion--I hope this doesn't last all day, but that's all I see on the program.
    Day Seven: Motorcoach to Orvieto. Wine tasting event
    Day Eight: History of Orvieto and Umbria and Italy. Focus: Etruscans, who were there first. Walking tour. Cathedrals. Cobblestone streets. Tired feet. Discussion of Renaissance Art.
    Day Nine: Walking tour of Florence. Architectural highlights.
    Day Ten: Perugia and Assisi.
    Day Eleven: Free day for sightseeing, shopping, etc.
    Day Twelve: Motorcoach to Rome (which we won't see except the airport). Fly home. Based on previous tours, the only place we won't hear understandable English is the O'Hare Airport.
I surely do hope the trip is better than my condensed description; I answered a lot of obscure questions about animal innards (what is the fat content of gorilla milk?) and conditions (are cats color blind) to earn this trip.

At my church blog, I have a list of the top 10 Christian sites to see in Italy. We will see some of them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If Iowans were NOLAns

the flooding would be the President's fault, especially since he was attending a funeral today and not flying over the flooded cities. But being Iowans, even with 83 of their 99 counties declared a disaster area from flooding and 12 tornadoes, they are not accustomed to being made helpless and hopeless by government or Mother Nature. They've pulled together, sandbagged, rescued valuable art, library and museum collections, buried their dead, shared resources, comforted their neighbors, put disaster plans in place and they will rebuild. And yes, insurance and government aid will help--Iowa's our breadbasket (and increasingly our gas tank). But look out down below--New Orleans. That water will soon be in the Mississippi, and I doubt that your Mayor Nagin has done much to prepare, but at least this time you've got Bobby Jindal in the governor's office instead of Kathlyn Blanco.

A new blog to visit

There's a new blog for you to visit--God's One Way written by Dave, a friend of mine from school days. He loves to study the Bible, and has a circulating e-mail study that goes out to friends, and has been thinking for some time he'd like to blog. I can't remember if we ever exchanged more than two words when we were in school--I think we were in the same 6th grade class. He was a friend to all, and as I recall he was a wonderful athlete. He still plays golf and likes to do outdoor stuff. I saw him at the class reunion last summer and somehow we got to talking about our faith, and I was added to his list. Anyway, drop by and visit, and make a new blogger feel welcome.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Big Chill

Liberals rampaging already and Obama isn't even in the White House yet. "The Associated Press went on blog patrol recently and threatened some bloggers with lawsuits unless they removed quotes from its stories from their sites. . . There is already a body of copyright law that covers this territory, of course, and many irate bloggers contend that AP is overstepping its bounds by attempting to thwart its fair use provisions. AP and the Media Bloggers Association will meet this week to discuss the issues." see story at Keith Regan, e-Commerce Times

I suppose one could paraphrase AP and NOT link to their stories at all--just get the general drift, or twist it to the right (i.e., untwist it), but give them the nod. But that wastes a lot of time on the part of readers who then have to go search for it. No one should copy someone else's entire story or material, but excerpts are allowed by law. The bloggers may be well within their rights, but law suits are expensive, so the purpose of this is to chill freedom of information and speech, and we'll see more of this during the Obomb era.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My new computer

Yes, today I hate computers, speaking of hate. I hated them yesterday, too. I hired a college student to connect my new computer--the one I bought in December. I need the guest room, so I had no choice. It just had to get out of the box, off the bed and on to my desk. But I hate it. I hate Vista. I hate Microsoft, I even hate Bill Gates today. It started to transfer, then would quit, so we'd start over. When I opened My Pictures, I had 4 of everything. His face went white when he saw how many people, mostly dead (nearly 4,000), were in my Family Tree Maker. Vista tries to make data pretty; give me smart any day and save the space. We were just about finished when I logged in to get my McAfee from Ohio State. Seems I've downloaded it too often, and I was given a phone number to call. Of course, I've used it too often. My @#$%^&*( laptop fails about every 2 months, and I have to reload everything. I hate computers. They have turned us all into slaves. Then I got a recording that this had happened to the OSU Communications network. I swear, it wasn't me. Wish I'd thought of it, though.

Why isn't it a hate crime

when a man kills a woman; when a husband kills his wife, mother of his children, or his girlfriend, or a prostitute? Remember the Akron policeman who killed his pregnant girlfriend, mother of his toddler son? When a woman kills her husband I'd say hate had something to do with it, but I've never seen it called a hate crime. Why does someone have to be gay or black or some other ethnicity for it to be hate? Probably 99% of blacks are killed by other blacks. Same with gay men--it's usually a lover's quarrel. Call it whatever, but love, respect or camaraderie wasn't the motivation. Not even more freedom or money, because those things are pretty easy to come by these days. The word games we play! I'm thinking about Carol Evans, a white retired school teacher/principal whose white husband hired three white people to kill her. The paper called it "a crime of greed," because the little weasels took money, but he's the one who did the planning and paying. They'll get time; he'll probably get the death penalty. You can play scrabble with the words, but I'm betting he hated her. I'm guessing he didn't get any Father's Day card today.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

First week on the job

How would you like to face this? An historic flood.
    NEW YORK In just his first four days on the job, Editor Steve Buttry of The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is overseeing what may be the most demanding story he will ever encounter at the paper.
. Story at Editor and Publisher

Since abstinence doesn't seem to work

maybe two weeks of applying a cream will.
    June 11, 2008, The Alchemist newsletter: "An application of topical estrogen to the penis over a two-week period could inhibit the spread of HIV by thickening the natural keratin layer on the skin. The epithelium of the human penis is richly supplied with estrogen receptors, explains Andrew Pask of the University of Melbourne, suggesting it could respond to topical estrogen, but unlike the vagina has only a very thin protective keratin layer. Pask suggests that in countries and cultures where circumcision is uncommon thickening this keratin layer could reduce the ability of HIV to penetrate the epidermis of the foreskin. HIV is one of the greatest health crises the world has ever seen, and affects over 40 million people worldwide. "We now have found a new avenue to possibly prevent HIV infection of the penis," says Pask."
If a guy doesn't have the patience or foresight to use a condom, or the morals and good sense to be celibate, I sort of doubt he'll think 2 weeks of cream is a good idea.

A cold drink on a hot day

This is so easy, nutritious and cheap, you'll wonder why you never fixed it before.
    Use a 15 oz glass
    fill about 1/3 with ice cubes
    then about 1/2 with orange juice from the carton (I like lots of pulp and calcium)
    then fill the rest with water
    sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of Splenda
    Stir and drink
I don't care for carbonation, and don't particularly like "juice drinks" but this is really refreshing.

Our weather yesterday was in the 90s, and huge storms rolled through in the evening. We hustled out of our Friday night date* at Rusty Bucket last night with an eye on the sky, and big drops began to fall. By the time we were in the car, it was a downpour, with massive lightening. We've had nothing like Iowa and Illinois and Wisconsin, but some areas of Columbus were under water. My husband called from Lakeside (where he's mowing the lawn) and said it is gorgeous up there.

*We've been married 48 years and rarely miss our date night.

South Side Farmers Market, Columbus

If it weren't for the involvement of Children's Hunger Alliance, I'd be all in favor of supporting a farmer's market selling locally produced fruits and vegetables. See my list of red flag words. The big push right now, and the two topics increasingly are merging, are obesity and some version of sustainable (this means environment, which means more government control). There's apparently a lot of obesity in the ZIP code because they don't get enough fruits and vegetables--locally grown and accessible. Hmmm. That's really strange. I see an awful lot of obesity in Upper Arlington, Dublin, Grandview, Worthington, Bexley and north Columbus ZIP codes.

Right now in Ohio you can buy locally grown strawberries, radishes and leaf lettuce. Not to worry poor, fat, and dumb South Siders. That's certainly a diet that will take the pounds off! There will be home made pastries for sale too. No word on whether local wheat flour, shortening, apples, pumpkins, dairy products, etc. went into those products.

I don't understand why these people can drive to a farmers market to buy real food if they can't get to Kroger's or Giant Eagle or Marc's, all of which have organic and natural foods and some great food brands that have Ohio addresses. OSU economists have issued a press release that shoppers are willing to pay MORE for locally grown produce.

Librarian leaves a million to Columbus libraries

Carol Sue Snowden, 57, a Whitehall librarian, died of ovarian cancer. Friends, co-workers and family were stunned to find out she left over half a million dollars to the Whitehall branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library, and $70,000 each to seven local school libraries. How did a woman who is in one of the historically lowest paid professions that requires a college education ever accumulate that amount? Thrift. Investments. Works every time. On her salary, she must have been invested in health care and energy funds. But imagine being that smart about money in a profession that is 223:1 liberal to conservative?

With a master's degree and 3 or 4 years experience, a librarian MIGHT be able to land a job for $30,000 a year, and have to work a few nights and week-ends. But if she's really smart, she'll consistently save and invest, and leave her liberal buddies in the dust to complain that they are unappreciated.

Neil Cavuto, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and other radio talkers will tell you that there is still great opportunity in a capitalist system, but there is someone coming down the the political pike who will try to stop that message. Get them off the air because they don't buy the line that you are helpless and hopeless without some new piece of pork fat riddled government program. Barry, Harry and Nancy will work hard to get that "fairness" doctrine out there to shut them up.

Incidentally, this is called a "windfall," because the Columbus library system did absolutely nothing to acquire this. Unlike the oil companies, who do the heavy lifting so you can fill up your SUV this week-end and therefore don't have "windfalls." Because I was twice the recipient of a "windfall" from two retired veterinarians when I was at Ohio State (Dr. Segall, Dr. Hodeson), I want to assure the people of Whitehall and those seven schools that they will most likely never see any change in their collection or services, despite the windfall of a million dollars. No, it just wouldn't be fair, and besides the administrative costs will eat up a huge portion of it. Her donation is designated 90% for print, which means some other library will get what would have gone to Whitehall anyway. Also, without money designated for staff in purchasing, processing, preserving and shelving (all of whom must be paid a living wage plus benefits), the major cost of putting a book out there, plus building maintenance and utilities, book funds don't go far. And with scanned e-books, I'm sure there's a clever way to get around that wording.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Obama's new smear site

Why would he need this? He's already got all the main stream media, plus Media Matters and MoveOn in his pocket. He's looking less like a pouty little boy and more like a dictator, and he hasn't even been elected yet! Does George Soros have nothing else to spend his fortune on other than ensconcing Obama in the White House? Will someone please find a shipload of condoms and a steamer full of pesticide soaked bed nets for Mr. Soros? Why create another media source to keep track of his enemies? This reminds me of Nixon's enemies list--or was that Friends of Bill? Actually, the rumors about the tape produced by his church originated with the Clinton camp, not the talk shows or Fox. I saw it first on a Hillary site. If his wife hadn't said such outrageous things on the campaign trail about our country, no one would have even considered such a tape could exist. If the Clintons hadn't had such a reputation for playing dirty, no one would have suspected they had the tape.
    “The Obama campaign isn’t going to let dishonest smears spread across the Internet unanswered,” Mr. Vietor said in a statement. “Whenever challenged with these lies, we will aggressively push back with the truth and help our supporters debunk the false rumors floating around the Internet.”
Good. Maybe the truth about him will leak out in the process--this hostile web site being a prime example. If not, it will be talk radio first, then bloggers, then YouTube and its derivatives, then social networking sites. All must bow to the mighty one, and the sooner the better. Lots of people are already under the bus and they were his friends! Remember--rich hip hopsters can say "Baby Daddy," "nappy headed," "Ho" and use the N-word while making fortunes, but no one else. Michelle O used "Baby Daddy," but Michelle M gets in trouble for a crawl she had no control over because some hyper-vigilant leftist doesn't know it's in the main stream language?

Imagine if George Bush went after all the elitists, progressives, Marxists and Democrats who called him names, (insisting someone else was in charge because he was too dumb) and insulted Laura (librarians were boycotting her speech at the ALA). It would have kept him too busy to free the women of Afghanistan and Iraq and save all those unborn Americans.

My contribution

Like the heterosexual AIDS epidemic that didn't happen, the pediatric obesity epidemic has recently been proven to be a full blown media scare (I know, looking around you'd not think so). Recent studies reported in JAMA found no trends in BMI for children, plus the statistics they did have meant little since the BMI of children isn't stable due to age and growth spurts. The only thing that doesn't vary is media hype, causing you parents to rush to modify children's diets, sometimes eliminating important nutrients, or making the kids phobic about food. They probably need to push back from the computer, not the table, and go outside to play.

So based on my blog of June 11, I've created a poster which I'm offering to CDC, NIH, USDA, FDA, etc. etc., and all the churches, foundations, think tanks and social agencies eating large from this trough of government money for a disease that never came to dinner. See Junk Food Science for a much better analysis of what's going on in childhood obesity.


"Recent polls have shown Obama with a small lead over McCain. But numerous polls have shown that one in five Clinton supporters plan to cross over and vote for McCain in November." Now if he could just line up some Republican conservatives, he just might win. Story here. Yesterday's Supreme Court usurpation of power of the Executive Branch is a good reason to vote for McCain, but even then you'd have to assume he'd become a conservative once in office, and that's a big stretch.

Obama on Abortion

"Following a July 17, 2007 speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Obama was asked what he would do at the federal level, not only to ensure access to abortion but to make sure that the judicial nominees he might pick "are true to the core tenets of Roe v. Wade?"

"Well, the first thing I'd do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," Obama said. "That's the first thing I'd do." Story here.

I wonder if he wants abortion for his grandchildren, or just yours?
    Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Changing behavior

I was running (driving) a few errands this morning and noticed a few things: 1) absolutely everyone was driving the speed limit--that meant traffic moved more smoothly; 2) I didn't see a single Hummer either in the parking lots or on the roads, and they used to be every where; 3) I saw relatively few light trucks and large SUVs--used to be many; 4) I saw a middle age, bald man in a white shirt and tie on a rather smallish motorcycle--he looked a bit tense like he was just learning the ropes--heading for OSU; and one more thing that had nothing to do with the gas crisis, but I saw a young man at the shopping center delivering flyers wearing a coat and knit hat--it's about 90 degrees today.

Red Flag Words in your Grocery Bag

These words will not help your grocery bill or your health. They are liberally sprinkled by both the USDA and various anti-corporate agriculture groups (these days it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins). Keep your eyes open for
    Food Security
    Environment (-alism, -al)
Here's an example so loaded with misinformation and propaganda, I hardly know where to start.
    "In many communities it is difficult to exercise healthy food choices due to the lack of affordable, available, and accessible healthy food sources, which may result in higher than average rates of overweight."
No it's not--difficult. We have a huge number of choices available, even if the only place you have to shop is the local 7-Eleven type gasoline store, because I've gone in and looked. I could buy milk, bread, eggs, apples, oranges, bananas, and a limited number of canned vegetables and fruit. Affordable, available, and accessible. Yes m'am, I would have to by-pass many more choices of chips, snacks, cookies, pop, gum, and beer. But that's the choice a consumer makes in a land where people choose to put their time in playing computer games, going to bars, hanging out with friends, watching TV or sleeping rather than going to the store, purchasing real food, and bringing it home to cook it. Even if they wanted to buy prepared food they could still have a very healthy and adequate diet. Today's paper reported that only 47% of homecooked meals contain a fresh item such as a vegetable. Do you really think that's because vegetables are not accessible or affordable? Have you priced a 5 lb bag of onions or potatoes? They are dirt cheap. Considering the level of income and education of most American households, this 47% figure is outrageous, but it has nothing to do with "justice," or "accountability," and it certainly isn't the government's fault, or Hollywood's fault, or the food corporations' problem.

Today I've had an apple, a carrot, a handful of grapes, a 1/2 cup of walnuts, (breakfast) and grilled broccoli with onion in olive oil for lunch, and because I've got a hankering for something crunchy, two chocolate graham crackers. I'm guessing not a single item was local (probably 70% was from California), or sustainable, or community grown, or environmentally friendly. I'm betting all was grown with fertilizers and pesticides at some point. And no one has ever died or been made sick from modern agricultural methods. I live in Ohio, and about 9 months out of the year, all our produce has to be brought here by truck, train or plane. And for the moment, our tomatoes have not been pulled from the market.

Watch out for nannyism and alarmism by the government and the growing power of environmental organizations in the form of "healthier eating." There are only two things that cause obesity, 1) the genes you inherited from your parents, 2) eating more calories than your body needs. You have control over one of these two things. Get busy on it.

Thursday Thirteen--13 recipes to consider or not

Last Saturday morning we were at Lakeside (our second home community on Lake Erie--see link on the left) and my husband had a Design Review Board meeting. While waiting for him to return I pulled a recipe collection, Taste of Home Annual (2002), off the shelf and looked through it. Here are 13 recipes that looked interesting, 7 I'd never fix on a bet, and 6 that I'm betting I'll try this summer.

The probably never, no way seven
    Venison stromboli (Bambi?)
    Dandy corn dogs (husband hates corn)
    Sunday gumbo (too much like left overs)
    Black bean tart (rhymes with. . .) actually the ingredients sound similar to home made taco salad--pictured in TT banner
    Lamb with apricots (couldn't eat a lamb)
    Cheesy veal pie (same with baby bulls)
    Pumpkin pancakes with hot cider syrup (too yummy)
The very likely to be served six
    Salmon fettuccine
    Baked halibut
    Cheddar cabbage casserole (high fat content--best to take this to a pitch-in dinner)
    Sweet and tangy freezer pickles
    Creamy garden spaghetti
    Rhubarb muffins
    Pineapple chicken
I'm guessing most of these can be googled if you see one that interests you--put the recipe in quotes, then add the magazine name.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Visiting the lower forty eight

Tundra Medicine has some interesting observations on visiting the lower 48 and returning home to the wide open spaces of Alaska.
    "Trips to the lower 48 are a huge culture shock to me. I wrote about it last year after my trip to Alabama. This year felt much the same. There is such an incredible density of people everywhere; parking lots are crowded, freeways are packed with (mostly new) cars, restaurants are full, and everyone seems to be in such a hurry. Billboards are everywhere, yelling consume! Consume! Consume! And people are rushing to do it at a breathtaking rate.

    There is so little wilderness anywhere. Even driving through the countryside, the land is fenced, tilled, cultivated. Roads are paved, lawns are manicured, everything is just so. The evidence of human occupation is practically inescapable, and that is what feels so different from Alaska.

    Here we have pockets of civilization amid a gazillion miles of untouched wilderness. Here I don’t feel constantly squeezed by the joint pressures of population and consumer culture. Life down there feels to me like living in a pressure cooker. If you’ve never known anything else, then it seems normal, but the longer you’re away from it, the harder it is to go back into it."
I've felt that similar "consume" message whenever we've visited California, and then in a year or two, we have it all here. I remember walking through shopping centers in California in 1976 staring like I was a visitor from another country, but we soon had all the same stuff in the midwest. Alaska is different and I'm sure a resident would miss the wide open spaces (you feel like a gnat in the ocean), but when we were in Fairbanks, we didn't think it was that different, except for the flowers everywhere and it was quite warm.

Gas pump ambush interview

Don't you love it when the local news folk interview people at the gas pumps? Oh, the stories you hear. Two days ago, the story was about "stacations," or staying close to home, but with a twist. The father of four being interviewed said that because of the gas prices, he couldn't take his children to King's Island this summer. What? The admission price for a family of 6 must be about $160, parking $10, then the food and drinks could easily rack up another $60-75. King's Island is about 200 miles round trip from here, and gas is about $1 more per gallon than last summer. He had a full-size van at the pump. Do the math, Dad. The price of gas over and above what you paid for last year's trip is the cheap part. You're building memories.

Today in Columbus, gas is $3.86 (Speedway, Mill Run).

Pandering to the voters--The Windfall Profits Tax

Don't be fooled by Obama's threats. And I can't say McCain's doing much better on this issue (how does a gallon of beer compare in cost to a gallon of gas?). Or those Republicans who fell in place with their Democrat buddies in Congress. We the people own the oil companies.
    Here's what Robert J. Shapiro (Clinton Secretary of Commerce) had to say about the ownership of 98.5% of oil company shares: "The data show that ownership of industry shares is broadly middle class, with the majority of industry shares held by institutional investors, often on behalf of millions of Americans through mutual funds, pension funds and individual retirement accounts."

    "Almost 43 percent of oil and natural gas company shares are owned by mutual funds and asset management companies that have mutual funds. Mutual funds manage accounts for 55 million U.S. households with a median income of $68,700.

    Twenty seven percent of shares are owned by other institutional investors like pension funds. In 2004, more than 2,600 pension funds run by federal, state and local governments held almost $64 billion in shares of U.S. oil and natural gas companies. These funds represent the major retirement security for the nation's current and retired soldiers, teachers, and police and fire personnel at every level of government.

    Fourteen percent of shares are held in IRA and other personal retirement accounts. Forty five million U.S. households have IRA and other personal retirement accounts, with an average account value of just over $22,000." From Neal Boortz column, June 11

Health care scams and scares

What happens when medical science conquers a serious, deadly disease--like eliminating small pox or polio through vaccination, or TB through sanitation, or malaria through DDT (although it's now back again due to environmentalists)? People live longer. And they develop chronic diseases that don't kill them quickly, but just linger and require constant treatment.

But you would think all the treatment and drugs for chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and hypertension were bad.
    "The prevalence of chronic illnesses in the United States is projected to increase, from 133 million persons in 2005 to 171 million in 2030. Health care spending accounts for 16% of GDP and may rise to 25% by 2025." (JAMA May 28, 2008 p. 2437).
This is followed by a lengthy, gloomy list of how chronic illness is eroding corporate profits, threatening Medicare, state budgets, pensions, health insurance, etc. So did they think when they saved a child from a fatal illness through screening at birth that he wouldn't grow up to use more health care than if he died? The man who loses a lung to cancer, may just live to die of heart disease. Duh? What were they thinking?

Do you know what they propose? Well, currently chronic diseases consume 75% of health care expenditures, so we'll go after the risk factors--the big four being smoking, diet, exercise and alcohol--and then up the screening, and, and. . .I guess no one ever dies of old age or kidney or heart failure or AIDS or Alzheimer's or cancer (which most people get eventually even if they don't smoke and run marathons til they're 90). With only one or two workers per retiree paying into social security, and Obama running corporations out of the country with higher taxes, it ought to be fun at the other end.

There are good-to-great reasons to behave responsibly and live healthy--you'll enjoy life much more and be of greater service to your fellow man. But having the government and "independent" regulatory agencies invading every cavity and organ of my body and life, sticking nutrition statistics in my face at McDonald's, obsessing over BMIs of toddlers, running wellness campaigns that no one pays attention to? No thanks.
    Buy real food; fix it at home; then go for a walk and breathe some fresh air. Toss the cigarettes; limit your alcohol and listen to the friends who are concerned. Take that money and open a savings account. Honor the marriage bed. Laugh at yourself. Listen to some good music that isn't too loud. Take in an art show once a month. Go to church. Tithe your income. Own a pet.
There. We can probably get that all on one 8 x 10 poster. If the government would just listen to me, I could save our country billions.

Read what Junk Food Science has to say on childhood obesity private and public dollars and programs.

Post election blues in 2004

Looking back at the mourning on November 4, 2004, I wrote:
    "This morning CNN is covering at great length the absurd coverage of far left newspapers in Britain, like the Guardian which tried to influence the vote in Clark County, Ohio and called (jokingly, they said) for Bush's assassination. One paper pondered how 60,000,000 people (51% of the voters) could be so dumb. I think I can see through CNN's little game here. And they practically have a catch in their collective throats when they rerun Kerry's concession speech. Now the news babe (looks like a model) is whining that the media get blamed, when all she wants to do is give us information--this after she expressed her own disbelief at the number who said they thought Bush could unite the country (a CNN poll)."
Thank goodness Kerry didn't turn into a Gore, although we've still got Kucinich, perhaps the biggest and sorest loser of all time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

4950 Debt Soaked Economic Slump

is the phrase used in the WSJ article today about debt management groups, from 12 step programs to websites, to church classes. The problem I have with that phrase is all the people in the article were in deep trouble with debt long before the current slump. In fact, their problem with debt--spiritual and psychological--fed on the boom times we've just been through. It's the bubbles and booms that often lead people to debt, not the low times. Like Shawanda Green, 26. Her income is $82,000 a year, but she liked to buy $400 boots and she had a parasitic boyfriend who ate up all her food. He like quality and quantity. Richard Rice, 37, with an income of $70,000 has a credit card debt of $20,000. Michael Wagner at 34 had a silver BMW and $25,000 in credit card debt. He started to do better, then got a new girlfriend who was a spender, and went right back in the hole. They didn't get into this mess because of high gas prices and a mortgage crisis. Listen carefully to how financial sob stories are presented. Do they really have anything to do with the state of the economy?

So the solutions presented were: eat at home; dump the spend thrift boyfriend/girlfriend; don't file for bankruptcy--pay your debts; establish a savings account; cut up your credit cards. I'm guessing their mom or dad told them the same thing, but sometimes you need group support or a web site to do the right thing.

The Bride's Bible

Maybe it didn't last. Why would anyone not keep this? I found this (17 x 12.9 cm), 96 pg, Tyndale House book in the freebie box. The intention of the publisher was someone, maybe the mother-in-law or a bridesmaid, was to present it as gift for a bride. It's not really a Bible, but a selection of verses from a variety of translations with a lovely reproduction of a painting. Brides used to carry a small white Bible under their bouquet, but I don't know if that is still the custom. I don't have a white Bible, so I don't think I did this; it sticks in my mind I carried my mother's Bible. Anyway, I sat down and read it this morning during my devotions, and it's a lovely selection to be read any time. Paintings are wonderful too.
    Each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. The husband should not deprive his wife of sexual intimacy, which is her right as a married woman, nor should the wife deprive her husband.

    The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband also gives authority over his body to his wife.

    So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so that they can give themselves more completely to prayer. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 (NLT)
Seems pretty clear in Corinthians, doesn't it? Same sex, there is no marriage. No marriage, there is no sex. No marriage, there is no reason to feel deprived. Sex is important, but only if you're married.

Ladies, as Dr. Laura used to say, you're not engaged if you don't have a ring and a date. Don't settle for being a live-in cook, laundress, companion and go-fer. Women who aren't married to their children's father are a major cause of poverty in the United States. Virtually all—-92%--of children whose families make over $75,000 are living with both parents. On the other end of the income scale, the situation is reversed: only about 20% of kids in families earning under $15,000 live with both parents.

Beyond tacky

"Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones are offering Internet viewers the lurid details of encounters they claim they had with former President Clinton _ for $1.99 a pop." My news page.

Obama's plan for the economy

We'll be hearing a lot about the economy from Obama. Being a Democrat, he'll of course propose new taxes while rescinding the Bush tax cuts. Being a Marxist, he'll aim high (or is that low?). Marxists as you'll recall if you were schooled before 1990 (when they disappeared from every country outside the Americas and from our school books), believe there are only exploiters (capitalists) and the exploited (workers). You can view a tape of Obama's pastor if you're fuzzy on the details--Black Liberation Theology is Marxism in black face. So in a country where most people aspire to be either rich capitalists after their college daze, or taken care of after their drug haze, and there is virtually no poverty, just a gap between the bottom quintile and the top quintile, the Marxists may be entering the golden age. An age when the government will finally succeed in destroying private property, marriage, unborn babies, religion, and national borders. (We've actually got a good head start on this, so it shouldn't take much.) It didn't work in poor, uneducated countries across the pond, so maybe it will in one of the most successful and richest. It could even be Obama's secret weapon to fight illegal immigration! Who would want to come here if it's more of what they left?

It's really going to help a lot to tax the oil companies' profits and take away their tax incentives instead of deregulating, which would allow for drilling or refineries. Money in alternatives? I'm sure of it, and so are they! They're smarter than our Congress so I'm guessing they're just waiting until Congress sweetens the deal after show and tell. I'm looking forward to that wind driven car going 5 mph between battery plug-ins. And all those products we use made of petroleum--I guess we'll cut down all the trees, or make them out of cotton, or wool or dirt. Those of you sweltering on the east coast right now, get used to it. AC will definitely be out. . . except for government officials, former veeps from TN and NC senators in giant houses.

The Taxman Rap

More new taxes
to buy axes
for our backses
and our neckses

for our gases
and our classes
(just the riches'
and the niches.)

Yo! Obama
Go! Oh mama
You our Papa
You Messiah.

Obama can
He is the man
He do the plan
He be the taxman.

Beyond my tech skills

I took on one of those handy-dandy, newer blogger templates awhile back, and recently decided to update my photo. I have searched that template high and low, and can only find a command "remove photo." There's no preview on that page, so if I remove it, is there a way to add a new one? A neighbor took a photo of me at a party Saturday night and e-mailed it. I cropped it, and dropped it into an "oil paint" thingy (great for removing wrinkles, eye bags, etc. for a paint by number look). I could write to but I usually get an automated reply. Oh wait! I just had an idea. If I go to one of my other blogs, one that hasn't been gussied up with new fangled widgets and gidgets, maybe I can add it there. They all use the same photo central. If this photo magically appears in the upper left hand corner, you know there's a reason to hang on to the oldies but goodies.

Update: Didn't work that way, but when you click on Remove Photo, it then supplies the option to browse your photo cache or the internet for the appropriate photo. I don't think these instructions as intuitive, but then, not as bad as Microsoft's START command to turn off your computer.

Monday, June 09, 2008

What next? Private health care?

The Senate is going to privatize its dining service because it's losing so much money AND the food isn't too good.
    "Year after year, decade upon decade, the U.S. Senate's network of restaurants has lost staggering amounts of money -- more than $18 million since 1993, according to one report, and an estimated $2 million this year alone, according to another." Washington Post

OST--Obama sans telepromter

We've listened to George Bush give a few great speeches in eight years, and probably a hundred really awful ones. But he also can laugh at himself. I don't think Obama, who stammers, stutters and halts without a speech writer, will allow it. You'll be a racist if you even think he can't string a few words together. We may never know what he wanted to say about asthma.

All bases are covered

by GW--global warmists. I was looking at a methane graph I have in one of my older blogs that links back to a global warming alarmist site (you wouldn't believe the amount of methane that termites produce!) Indiana has had some flooding--so has Ohio and Wisconsin. They've got it covered. Too much rain, not enough rain; too hot, too cold; long Spring; short Spring; mild winter, blizzard conditions; tornadoes, hurricanes, cyclones; new bugs, disappearance of old bugs. Yes, it's all caused by global warming. Nothing ever changed in the earth's climate before the industrial revolution. Ice didn't melt; swamps didn't dry up; species didn't disappear. Don't you feel so . . . so, powerful? Important? I can save Mother Earth by changing my shopping habits and buying a car that burns corn. My heart pits another patter.

Save the Seneca County Courthouse!

AIA Columbus invites you on June 22nd to come to Tiffin, Ohio. [from the newsletter]

The Seneca County Courthouse was designed by Elijah E. Myers in 1884. He designed the Michigan, Texas, and Colorado State capitols as well as the Utah territorial capitol. Seneca county’s courthouse is particularly distinctive in that it had such a well known architect do this in rural Ohio.

None of the studies have indicated it would be more expensive to rehab, and with the rising costs the past two years, it’s a safe bet “new” will cost more. Particularly since the commissioners turned down $2 million from Governor Strickland to go towards restoration.

The battle to save the courthouse is in its last days and weeks, and AIA Columbus is encouraging people who care about architecture to meet in Tiffin on Sunday June 22, to take a stand and say NO--Speakers at 2:30, "This Place Matters," Photo at 3:00,
On the Seneca Courthouse Lawn. It’s a good building and they oppose it being put into any landfill. See Heritage Ohio for more information and photos.

They might want to change that caption

When my server's homepage comes up with the news of the day, there are rotating photos with links, one on the left, one on the right, and usually it is clear that one links to the photo story, one to the next story. Sometimes I click on the story I want to read, but nothing happens. Just now when I logged on, the photo was a horse with his tongue extended being warmly hugged by a man in a tuxedo. The link on the right read: "Gay bishop gets married."

The problem with economic squeeze stories

There was another "economic squeeze" story in USAToday today. I think every reporter must be required to write at least one of these per year. I've been reading newspapers regularly for at least 40 years, and I don't ever remember NOT reading that the "American dream is out of reach," or that "the current generation will not be able to do as well as their parents." Even the USAToday story was unable to make its own statistics match up with its doom and gloom story. 65% of those interviewed expected much better, somewhat better or the same in 2008 compared to 62% expecting better in five years. Huh? But you can't get in print or testify before Congress by claiming everything is fine.

My parents were 40 in 1953; we were 40 in 1979; my kids in 2008. What's different in these three generations is the degree of "stuff," age of marriage and age of retirement. By stuff, I mean things my parents considered unnecessary or luxuries--air conditioning, a second car, a second or third bathroom, vacations, a larger home, hobbies like music or golf, and pass times like eating out. Even TV was considered unnecessary by my parents, well after most families had at least one. And cable came really late. I have six TVs. Even as a bride in 1960 I could see the difference between my in-laws and parents caused by their lifestyle, which for my in-laws included cigarettes and alcohol, an expense my parents didn't have. That was money that could go for something else. On the other hand, we spend about $2000 a year just eating out with friends, something my parents never did, and my in-laws only rarely. And most Americans eat out more than we do.

I married younger and accumulated more stuff than my parents; my children have more stuff and married later than me. Comparing generations is looking at apples and oranges, particularly retirement age. By choice, Dad worked well into his 80s. By choice, I retired at 60. Think if I'd had 25 more years to save, spend or invest. By choice, my parents went to college, unusual for their generation; we went to college, common for my generation; my children didn't, very unusual for their generation.

The biggest problem, as I see it, is use of the term "average family" and "working family" in statistics. How many unmarried women with children were in the workplace 35 years ago? How many today? And yet, a single mom without a college degree with 3 children is a family of four, as is a married man and woman, both college educated, with 2 children. Today we have a marriage gap. Government programs, college professors of women's studies and social work, church staff, political lobbyists and foundation think tanks depend on that gap for their livelihood.

Then let's track those children of the two parent families of the 1980s, not only do they have two college educated parents with an economic advantage, but they have the advantage of a father in the home, and as the women-to-work movement increased, many children even had dad as a primary care-giver, if not a 50% care-giver. (All promoted by the feminists, by the way.) Then as those children become adults, they are more likely to have support for education, assistance for home buying, a network with other families of similar values, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist or a PhD in Social Work to see what happens to home life and income in subsequent generations. Wake up Congress and Poverty Pimps. You are part of the problem as seen in this recent testimony! Notice the fuzzy use of the word "family" not once but seven times.
    "As America has grown richer, inequality has increased. In 1979, the average income of the richest 5 percent of families was 11 times that of families in the bottom 20 percent. Today, the richest 5 percent of families enjoys an average income nearly 22 times that of families in the lowest quintile. Together, the top 5 percent of families receives more income than all of the families in the bottom 40 percent combined – 21 percent of total family income compared with 14 percent." Eileen Appelbaum, testimony before the Committee on Education and Labor

Europeans much prefer Obama

was the WSJ headline. What's not to like? The USA has been steadily tracking downward since we elected (well, not me, but you) a Democratic Congress in 2006. Everyone, especially investors, knows that with Obama in office the Bush tax cuts will be rescinded and taxes will be raised; more liberals will be elected to the courts; nothing will be done about the AMT; the borders will become more porous flooding our social service agencies; less hope for anything that resembles the strong, resilient America of the past; more built-in helplessness for workers which is sure to open avenues for workers in other countries. This scares off venture capital which will probably go to Asia or Europe. We haven't been well liked in Europe for many years, long before Bush--everyone wants the Big Guy to fail--it's sort of human nature. And without the threat of the USSR, the USA was the only one left to hate. I think Europeans are rubbing their hands with glee and hope we fail big time. Obama's just the man to help that along. But I hope Europeans remember that as retired and middle class Americans get poorer under Obama, they will be traveling less and purchasing less also.

I remember when

we stopped at farm markets because it was cheaper to buy local, as well as fresher. Maybe the corn or tomatoes had been picked that day and was someone's 4-H project. The food wasn't covered with wax to preserve it; it wasn't a variety bred to be hard and tough to withstand thousands of miles of shipping; it hadn't been covered with pesticides; it wasn't tasteless from being over fertilized. Before Kenny Road became so developed, there was a wonderful outdoor market called "Kern's" That has apparently changed.
    "New research suggests that the average supermarket shopper is willing to pay a premium price for locally produced foods, providing some farmers an attractive option to enter a niche market that could boost their revenues. The OSU study also showed that shoppers at farm markets are willing to pay almost twice as much extra as retail grocery shoppers for the same locally produced foods. Co-authors of the study are Marvin Batte, the Fred N. VanBuren professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at Ohio State; graduate student Kim Darby; outreach program leader Stan Ernst; and Brian Roe, OSU professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics." OSU News
If "local" is just another marketing scheme, I think I'll save on gas and just head for Marc's or Meijer's. At least if you're preparing food for only two, frozen will probably be "fresher" in terms of nutrient value than buying fresh. A few days in the frig will destroy much of what you went to that little market for, to say nothing of what riding around in your hot car did while you did the rest of your shopping.

Speaking of corn. I saw an article about summer jobs for kids in Friday's USAToday. CEOs told about their earliest paid jobs. Diane Irvine 49, CEO of online fine jewelry retailer Blue Nile detasseled corn at age 14. That was my first "real" (non-babysitting, non-paper route) job too. I even wrote a poem about detasseling corn. Maybe I just haven't had enough crummy jobs in my life, but I'd put detasseling right at the top of truly awful.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Modified photo

More on the baby boomers' dilemmas

Victor Davis Hanson has a list.
    "The current debate about energy in the United States has devolved into doing the same old thing — consume, don't produce and complain — while somehow expecting different results. Congress talks endlessly about the bright future of wind, solar and new fuels, while it stops us from getting through the messy present by utilizing abundant coal, shale and tar sands; nuclear power; and oil still untapped in Alaska and off our coasts."
And then there's the housing market, the war (which was overwhelmingly supported in the beginning), and Social Security.
    "There are never bad and worse choices, but only a Never Never Land of good and even-better alternatives. Housing not only has to stay affordable for buyers, but also must appreciate in value to give instant equity to those who have just become owners.

    When things don't go well, we always blame someone else. Why drill off Santa Barbara or Alaska when we can sue those terrible Saudis for not putting more oil platforms in their Persian Gulf?"
VDH Private Papers

Energy bandits and energy boosters

When I first glanced through Laura Stack's "The Exhaustion Cure" on the new book shelf at UAPL, I thought it was just another exercise book, then I read a few items, and thought it was just common sense writ large, but now that I've taken a closer look (it sat on a chair for a few days), I see she's a gal after my own heart--she's just fascinated with how we all use our time. She's made it her career; I never wanted to be that busy.

Now, I never allow myself to get as busy as some of the folks she writes to and about, but I've often observed here and in my real life, that all the verbs we use with time we use with money--we spend it, save it, invest it, squander it and cherish it. And because I'm retired and have virtually complete control over my time, I'm a millionaire--or because of inflation, a billionaire. That's not to say I haven't made some poor investments in the past 8 years. Next to religion, politics, or sports, almost nothing will start an argument quicker than a reference to how I use my time. If I mention that I'm not busy, either people look at me like I arrived from another planet, or that I've just said something against the American flag.

I really like the "energy bandits" concept--a pithy description of the time waster, routine or person who's sapping the life out of you. It's fairly easy for me to avoid those people who just drain all the joy from life, but I remember, I remember. However, she has some excellent things to say about computer use that can benefit how I use my time. She also has a blog that I think I'll add to my links.

If you've ever participated in a 12-step program for alcoholism, co-dependency, weight loss, etc. you'll recognize most of the points in Chapten Ten on Attitude--specifically "Stinking thinking." Stop negative thoughts in their tracks; stop worrying; the damage done by anger; dealing with emotions. Good stuff. Good reminders.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Obama's brand of Marxism

Kinder and gentler, or just as venal? Gerald Horne, in a maudlin, almost breathless self-congratulatory speech (you can almost hear the champagne corks a popping) about how wonderful it was that the Communist Party of the USA archives were now married to New York University, a speech in which he refers to the Soviet Union (which stole the property of and then killed or imprisoned millions and millions of Ukrainians, East Europeans, Russians and Asians) as "a supposed 'Evil Empire'," that the U.S. has had an infestation of anti-Sovietism, and William Safire was a hack journalist (must have been anti-CPUSA), concluding with all sorts of future predictions which will prove what wonderful folks the defeated communists were, includes a fond recollection of our future president and his communist mentor, known as "Frank" in his memoir.
    When these sources are explored, I think scholars of the future will be struck by, for example, the response in Honolulu when tens of thousands of workers went on strike when labor and CP leaders were convicted of Smith Act violations in 1953 – a response totally unlike the response on the mainland. Of course 98% of these workers were of Asian-Pacific ancestry, which suggests that scholars have also been derelict in analyzing why these workers were less anti-communist than their Euro-American counterparts. In any case, deploring these convictions in Hawaii was an African-American poet and journalist by the name of Frank Marshall Davis, who was certainly in the orbit of the CP – if not a member – and who was born in Kansas and spent a good deal of his adult life in Chicago, before decamping to Honolulu in 1948 at the suggestion of his good friend Paul Robeson. Eventually, he befriended another family – a Euro-American family – that had migrated to Honolulu from Kansas and a young woman from this family eventually had a child with a young student from Kenya East Africa who goes by the name of Barack Obama, who retracing the steps of Davis eventually decamped to Chicago. In his best selling memoir ‘Dreams of my Father’, the author speaks warmly of an older black poet, he identifies simply as "Frank" as being a decisive influence in helping him to find his present identity as an African-American, a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation – though you would never know it from reading so-called left journals of opinion. At some point in the future, a teacher will add to her syllabus Barack’s memoir and instruct her students to read it alongside Frank Marshall Davis’ equally affecting memoir, "Living the Blues" and when that day comes, I’m sure a future student will not only examine critically the Frankenstein monsters that US imperialism created in order to subdue Communist parties but will also be moved to come to this historic and wonderful archive in order to gain insight on what has befallen this complex and intriguing planet on which we reside.
One mentor does not a Marxist make. But add all the others filling the empty Obama suit--a brief review on how they've all worked together to get him where he is, Cornel West, William Ayers, Charles Ogletree, Frank Davis, Saul Alinsky, Laurence Tribe, Tony Rezko, Cass Sunstein, Rashid Khalidi, and others. Didn't your mother tell you that you'd be known by the company you kept, to pick your friends carefully?
    "When I visited Obama's church, still under the directorship of Jeremiah Wright, I came away with far more questions than answers, and one thing leading to another, have spent the last several months trying to fathom how Marxist political philosophy wound up emblazoned with a cross and a pulpit, and pretending to rely on the Bible for its authority.

    It is somewhat difficult to imagine a more contorted blasphemy, with the single possible exception of Hitler himself claiming to be acting by divine decree in the interests of Christianity. Which is precisely what Hitler did do, while hoodwinking the German people into electing him Chancellor."

    . . . "Understanding that black liberation theology is Marxism dressed up to look like Christianity helps explain why there is no conflict between Cone's "Christianity" and Farrakhan's "Nation of Islam." They are two prophets in the same philosophical (Marxist) pod, merely using different religions as backdrops for their black-power aims."Obama, Black Liberation Theology, and Karl Marx
And just old fashion Chicago corruption: "Mr. Obama has yet to answer a lot of questions about his relationship with Mr. Rezko or his business partner, Iraqi-British billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. He claims the Rezko case simply highlights the need for more campaign finance reform laws. Yesterday, he issued a statement adding that the man convicted in a Chicago courtroom "isn't the Tony Rezko I knew." Hmmm... But Mr. Obama knew him as a close friend and ally for over 20 years as Mr. Rezko rose to become Illinois's top political fixer. Exactly which Tony Rezko did Mr. Obama know?" John Fund.

More campaign reform? You mean like McCain's? What about personal responsibility? 20 years, and he didn't know Rev. Wright. 20 years, and he didn't know Father Foolagain. 20 years and he didn't know Tony Rezko. His friends and supporters better be wearing ID badges so he can recognize them.

It was you and me who put America's first Marxist in the White House

As I caught Obama's reference to his second term, even before he's been elected, and heard the cheers from his fans, I wondered what the USA would be like after 8 years of Obama and his leftist backers. First, he'll run for a 3rd and then 4th term, either through his wife, or by undoing the Constitutional amendment by packing the court with revisionist judges; he'll kill talk radio for sure--Oh they hate it that people can get a view other than the government sponsored media; I think home schooling will be outlawed (regulated out of existence)--can't have anyone doing better than government's children--it's not fair to children who have parents who aren't committed to education (government officials' children will still be allowed to attend snooty private schools); although the blogosphere is already controlled by the leftists, I think he'll institute a special license and requirement for people to use the internet, and anyone without his administration's approval will find their applications not meeting the standard; I don't own a gun, but in 8 years, neither will anyone else except criminals and government officials; we'll not only have abortion legal, as we do now, but encouraged by edict and peer pressure; churches won't be allowed to speak about sexual morality or the sanctity of marriage--it will be a hate crime like in Canada and Europe; our military will be so weak as to be non-existent--not just underfunded, but who from America's solid, middle class families want a Marxist as their commander in chief; rich greenies like John Edwards and Al Gore will be allowed to keep their huge homes and SUVs and private planes, but the rest of us will all need to sacrifice, probably freezing in the longer winters we'll be experiencing; to keep the weakened Americans happy, Obama will work with Hollywood to be sure we get at least 8 hours a day of "reality celebrity TV," sort of American Idol on speed--the other 16 hours will be sports; the constitution will be so shredded and our lower courts so packed with raving loonies, it probably won't make much difference if something gets to the highest court in the land; and the founding fathers and mothers of this country--even our own parents and grandparents--will be rolling over in their graves, hoping the resurrection comes soon, because we sure made a mess of things.

Now, I'm saying WE, because you supported him and I did nothing to stop him. Same difference.

A hot job

Returning from the coffee shop this morning, I found this couple scraping paint at the Maxwell Bed and Breakfast on Walnut. I think this house is about 125 years old, and it's always fun to see the folks chatting on the porch enjoying their morning coffee and new friends. It's across the street from the auditorium, so they can sit on the porch and enjoy the music if they don't want to walk across the street.

The ladder didn't quite reach the overhang, so he was scraping with his arms above his head and his head down while she held the ladder. Hope they make it!

The most precious new house in Lakeside

Not quite finished, but it is a winner. Across the street from a woods, this house is 23'4" wide. Our lots are narrow, and they have set-back and coverage requirements. The overhangs take 16" and that has to be included in the coverage as well as deck and patio and driveway. Each lot has to have space for 2 cars. Quite a challenge! But my husband was up for it--and this brought him out of retirement. He fell in love with Lakeside in 1974, and wants it to keep its beauty and nostalgic feel. Every house he's done here has been a different style, and the ones he's remodeled have been made more handsome than they ever had been in their ugly, pimply youth, having been through a variety of makeovers in the 1930s-1960s from jalousie windows to aluminum siding to picture windows overwhelming the size.

I've been through it, and the floor plan is fabulous with a first floor master + bath, laundry room and pantry storage, living and dining room oriented to the woodsy view, fireplace, front porch for chatting with the neighbors, full basement, 3 bedrooms, bath and loft up stairs. Lots of light in every room. I want it!

Friday, June 06, 2008

The list grows

of what you can't ask Obama. Not his friends. Not his father. Not his faith. Not his drug use. Not his inexperience. Not his non-votes. Not his non-bills. Not his ties with 60s terrorists. Not his knowledge of history or geography. Now you can't ask about rumors of a tape of his wife getting down and dirty about what she really thinks of whites. Actually, I read about this tape (or DVD) at a Hillary supporter page. It may be a rumor, or a hope, put out by the Hillary people, or it may be what she is using to nail him to get the VP spot. If the tape exists, someone else probably has a copy. It was quite complete, and not particularly outlandish, given what she has said on the campaign trail, and what she's been hearing at the church she's been attending (and she apparently listened). It was only up a few notches in tone, hostility and shrillness. If it's out there, the Clintons have it, and know how to use it.
    "Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday batted down rumors circulating on the Internet and mentioned on some cable news shows of the existence of a video of his wife using a derogatory term for white people, and criticized a reporter for asking him about the rumor, which has not a shred of evidence to support it."
Can we ask him about plagiarism? Today Rush played one of his famous "montages" of Cuomo giving a 1984 speech with inserts from Obama's speech (I assume it's the most recent one). Cadence, words, rhythm, theme--it was amazing. But Cuomo said it better.

New Kids on the Block at Lakeside

We've got some new homes in our Lakeside neighborhood. Right outside the gates we've been watching this one go up on Erie Beach Road. The taxes are lower and the code less strict. It's a big one! I'm not sure what the percent of coverage rule is on that street, but this is a house that couldn't have been built inside the gates.

This one is on our street. It's sort of a similar style, but is much smaller. I think it was built on the back end of a lot of a house on the next street. I'm not sure but I think it was a spec house and has already been sold. Our lots have funny shapes, and are quite small. It's sort of a retro-camp style cottage from the early 20th century. But that's not a porch on the lower level--it's a great room. Generally, people around here want porches, but I guess they went for living space. Many of the cottages my husband has redesigned involved restoring the porch that had been filled in. This one appears to have been designed new to look like it has a filled in porch.

The Methodists are Coming to Lakeside!

As they have for over 100 years. Two different Ohio groups will be meeting at Lakeside during the next two weeks--thousands of Methodists. Just imagine! I hope they have a wonderful session. Praising the Lord, greeting old friends, and not getting too frisky with the Gospel.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Regrowth, redevelopment, renewal and rezoning

Yes, even wealthy suburbs like Upper Arlington have a problem with their tax base. We can't grow; our founding families made some bad decisions about tax base 80 years ago, and we're paying now. So, a developer comes along, the council sees an opportunity "for the common good" (more real estate taxes, more business, more residents, etc.) and poof, there goes our right to private property. It won't impact my property, but why should the abutting property owners of this newly rezoned commercial property have to take the fall for the rest of us? In 20 years, will there be another 5 homeowners as the Kingsdale Shopping area creeps northward? And what has the Council done that's so terrific with Kingsdale in "redevelopment"? It's already zoned commercial and it's half empty. Plus that horrid "mixed use" condo is (slowly, slowly) being built across the street which knocked down 1950s era 4-family apartments that were at least in scale for the neighborhood.

I've been seeing these little homemade signs in the yards of Tremont Road residents for months, but didn't really know what was going on. Unfortunately, all I did was stop by the city building and read a few documents. I didn't really inform myself; didn't blog about it; didn't contact any UA City Council members.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Well, the Council passed it. They would have passed it anyway, even with my objection (hundreds were at the meeting), but it's the local level where democracy really starts. By the time these guys get to the statehouse in Columbus or Washington, they've got dollar sign stars in their eyes and plugs in their ears.

There's one more chance to change this. According to City Insight (city publication) affected neighbors have begun the process for seeking a referendum on this issue. If successful, we'll be asked to vote on the rezoning in November, along with another group who are anxious to take a number of our basic rights.

Democrats for Life of America

has its heart, morals and mouth in the right place--on the side of the weakest and most vulnerable Americans--the unborn babies. I wouldn't call their web page packed with information, but there are a lot more stories there, and congresspeople at the federal and state level, than you might expect. Go check it out.
    The Virginia Senate voted to end state funding of abortion largely due to a courageous pro-life democrat who stood by his commitment to protect the unborn. The House previously passed a similar Amendment. Senator Charles Colgan cast the key vote on the Cuccinelli Amendment that would end funding to Planned Parenthood of Virginia which performs abortions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the Democratic controlled Senate, Colgan’s vote led to a 20 to 20 tie. The Lieutenant Governor ultimately cast the tie-breaking vote that led to the Amendment's passage.
If you're a Democrat casting your hard earned pearls before swine like ACORN, Planned Parenthood or Moveon, these guys can make your money go a lot further, plus they may actually save a few Democrats!

Buy real food

It's still a good deal. Today I had to stop at the grocery store, and you know how it goes--you buy a bit more than you thought. I just panic if I'm out of apples. I eat an apple every day. I spent $10.93. Large green bell pepper; 1 quart of milk; 6 Braeburn apples; 3 medium size bananas; 8 oz. cheese; large head of broccoli. Is it higher than last year? Oh, yes! But it's cheaper than a large bag of potato chips, a 6 pack of soft drinks, and a sack of cookies or do-nuts.

Baby Boomer Blinders

A favorite campaign phrase: "The stakes have never been higher!"
    I am running because I still believe I can win on the merits. Because, with our economy in crisis, our nation at war, the stakes have never been higher - and the need for real leadership has never been greater - and I believe I can provide that leadership." Hillary Clinton [although she's not the only pundit with this line]
Did these people not finish high school? Don't they remember the Carter years? We had interest rates hovering at 20%--or was that the unemployment rate? Don't they remember the 1970s, how we ran out on our Vietnamese allies? Or what about the Great Depression--surely they learned something about that in school--that FDR* managed to stretch it out for a decade? What about 1944--when our country was completely demoralized and we thought we were losing the war? What about in the late 1930s and early 1940s when our major news media ignored what was happening to the European Jews, hardly our finest hour, or the 1990s when our government ignored averted its eyes to what was happening in Rwanda? What about when the American inner cities were burning in the 1960s? What about 2004 when all we heard from John Kerry was the economy is tanking, and then within a week of losing the election, all of a sudden there was only good economic news? Have they ever heard of the Civil War? Was nothing at stake during the Lincoln Douglas debates? How about 1776 when George Washington and his rag tag troops were virtually defeated by a superior army? Baby boomer blinders.

Here's the news I've been hearing this past week--stock market was up, we're winning the war, unemployment claims are down, and housing purchases are up. Yes, you do have to read the 11th paragraph instead of the first two in the newspaper articles, and switch off cute perky newsbabes. Yes, it's bad news that Ford is moving some plants to Mexico--but that's a result of a business decision--the CEOs are responsible to the shareholders, not the people of Ohio. When people assume the Democrats will be in power, they know the next move will be to raise taxes, and they have to act quickly. Unions are already killing us in Ohio and Michigan--the Democrats' new taxes will just be the final blow to our economy.

As far as I know, the U.S. border news is still yucky, but I doubt that either Obama or McCain will even mention that one or debate it, since both support amnesty for illegal workers and their extended families.

*"So it's worth remembering that, 75 years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt destroyed an inflation hedge that was literally as good as gold: the so-called "gold clause." This helped prolong the Depression and has been causing damage ever since." Amy Shlaes

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Two views on Lieberman-Warner Act

Same magazine, two viewpoints, both from conservatives:
    "There's nothing good to be said about the disingenuously named Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008. A better name would be the Let's Destroy the Economy by Turning it Over to Left-Geek Bureaucrats in 2008 Act." Larry Thornberry

    First, a carbon tax brings out nuclear's strength -- no carbon content. . . Second, putting a cost on emissions offers the opportunity to call environmentalists' bluff on nuclear. William Tucker

Taking the Fifth

William Nordhaus, an economics professor at Yale has written "The Challenge of Global Warming: Economic Models and Environmental Policy." Before you get too excited about it, keep in mind he'll keep revising it until he gets it right. This is the 5th model.
    "It represents the fifth major version of modeling efforts, with earlier versions developed in the periods 1974-1979, 1980-82, 1990-1994, and 1997-2000. Many of the equations and details have changed over the different generations, but the basic modeling philosophy remains unchanged: to incorporate the latest economic and scientific knowledge and to capture the major elements of the economics of climate change in as simple and transparent a fashion as is possible." p. 6
This current model needs at least half of the countries of the world to participate in the carbon tax program for an abatement cost penalty of 250 percent--so those of us who are going to tax carbon will be paying for those who aren't. Has a familiar ring to it doesn't it? To achieve a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 (the Al Gore goal), the tax bill for the U.S. economy would be $1,200 billion.

If I've ever seen a license to steal while polluting the carbon exchange tax is it. And I've never been able to figure out just who gets this tax--I mean after the wealthy Scandinavians who control it take their profit. Or do they get to keep all of it? I think it will be like Ohio's tobacco settlement, which recently went up in smoke. Wasn't it suppose to go for health care or something related to the damage cigarettes have caused. I remember when some of the librarians at OSU were given this stuff like play money! The legislators are just too sticky fingered to be safe around large puddles of uncommitted money.
    "Trading emissions permits is one of the great innovations in environmental policy. The advantage of allowing trade is that some firms can reduce emissions more economically than others. If a firm has extremely high costs of reducing emissions, it is more efficient for that firm to purchase permits from firms whose emissions reductions can be made more inexpensively. This system has been widely used for environmental permits, and is currently in use for CO2 in the European Union (EU). As of summer 2007, permits in the EU were selling for about €20 per ton of CO2, the equivalent of about $100 per ton of carbon." p. 21
And for Ohioans? He's really, really negative about coal. Good-bye Ohio jobs. I think you can be quite sure none of this carbon tax money will go toward developing technology for clean-burning coal. Oh no. Send those jobs to China let them be done in their dirty coal fired plants so we can buy the stuff back (like "energy lite" bulbs). Although all Ohio's economic grief is good news for Democrats, because whenever they take away jobs through strikes or regulating the little guy out of business, or raising taxes, for some reason those poor dopes just beg for more and fall right in line and vote for more Democrats. Look at Cleveland--true Democrats all the way. It really is baffling.

So who pays the most? Well, the poor of course. That's who always pays with the schemes of the liberals to "improve" the world. They lose their homes in the name of urban renewal; they have to scramble for scarce housing so they can live in homes with no lead paint or asbestos; their children get to sit for hours on a bus so the children of legislators and government workers can go to private school (that's the rich's version of school choice) and spend their free time playing; they get to eat cheap processed food high in salt, fat and sugar so Obama Mamas can drive to the organic farm market in hybrid cars. Rich legislators don't put wind farms in their view; or nuclear plants in their back yard! And if the poor or retired live in rural areas--it's a dear price to pay to drive to Wal-Mart (if the liberals allowed one to be built) at over $4 a gallon, especially if they believed the Democrats pipe dream in 2006 that they would take care of them; and they are driving past fields of corn growing for the rich man's hybrid. Didn't you hear Obama's speech last night? NOW that you've finally selected a wealthy, biracial, inexperienced community organizer to be your president, we'll have health care for the poor! Well, golly miss molly, what in the world is this break-the-bank, Medicaid, SCHIP and Medicare we've been paying for?

I guess he's too young to remember the War on Poverty. Aren't we still paying the bill for that one?

Those who flunk

Flunk isn't a word used in education circles these days. Now it is "persistence," or "retention" or "challenges to academic success." Whatever. A high school teacher told me that she had failed two seniors and six juniors in her science course this year, a record. She might fail 2 or 3 a year, but never 8. I asked her to what she attributed the difference. She first explained that in addition to the usual classroom work, the students have 1) her home phone number and they are asked to use it if they need help, 2) a work packet of additional assignments everyone is expected to complete, and 3) special small group study sessions anyone can attend, but it's not required. The two seniors did nothing of the work packet, and if they'd even made an effort they would have had a passing grade, and they attended none of the small group study sessions which would have helped if they were struggling, and they never called her. They skipped a few classes, but mainly they were skipping English--just coasting their senior year, having a good time.

"So, they won't graduate?" I asked.
"Oh no, they had enough credits--didn't even need another science. It was encouraged so that the school curriculum would look more rigorous. But it does lower their GPA."

Ah, youth, maybe it really is wasted on the young.

A true Democrat to the bitter end

Amy Chozick is a WSJ reporter who was assigned to the Clinton campaign--from the time when the press traveled in luxury accomodations and ate from beautifully prepared party trays, down to the end when they took over the men's restroom as the media room and ate plastic wrapped sandwiches. But I thought her final paragraph on the fate of Hillary's staffers was quite telling.
    "Shortly before the Oregon and Kentucky primaries on May 20, one (Clinton staffer) told me he hoped he would get fired so he could collect unemployment."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

This is a no brainer

    "Chris Korleski, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will kick off the summer Stone Laboratory Guest Lecture Series on Thursday (6/12) with “Global Warming: Science or Religion." All lectures are from 7:45-9 p.m. at Stone Lab, located at Gibraltar Island in Lake Erie. Members of the public are welcome and can take the Put-in-Bay water taxi from the Boardwalk Restaurant dock at 7:15 p.m. before each lecture. A short tour of Gibraltar Island will be provided."
It's a religion. Pantheism. The modern feminist movement oozed out of the mists of the past along with Earth Day almost 40 years ago. It was a happy marriage of every crazy and off beat pagan religion from Europe's past, including the ones that contributed their rituals to the church observances. Western Europe was already bored with Christianity, and Americans followed suite. Feminists have so infected Christian seminaries, the few males left are so weak and brainwashed, you can hardly find a male pronoun in the liturgy, and God forbid anyone should say God the Father and God the Son.

However, there is so much money invested in this new-but-old religion, with Al Gore at the top of the inconvenient truth heap, and the folks in Europe who control the carbon exchanges, for even those who know it's a scam to ever back down. Every weather blip up or down, dry or wet, windy or calm, is being blamed on global warming. Christians who've entertained themselves with The DaVinci Code and Harry Potter, who think nothing of relaxing hour after hour with mindless or violent TV (it isn't called American idol for nothing), who were taught in school that the Bible is full of contradictions, that all religions are pretty much alike and "it's just your interpretation," well, they're in no condition to even recognize a religion when one marches into the living room, changes the light bulbs and demands obedience and obeisance.

New Notebook Time

When we were having coffee yesterday, AZ asked me about my new pink notebook. I wasn't finished with the brown Cafe Latte one--it had maybe 4-5 blank pages and usually I go right to the end and around the corner and onto the back cover, but the more I thought about it, the better it sounded to start a new month with a new notebook. I got this cheerful, happy notebook at Barnes and Noble for $4.95--the paper is pink and narrow lined, very unusual for a notebook this size. Here's what I didn't blog about in May.
    1. Girls' disadvantage in career choices because they skip physics in high school.
    2. How to improve the Columbus schools (based on a Columbus school teacher's opinion).
    3. Virginia's response to 6 tornadoes.
    4. Five hot business books authored by big idea people. None by women.
    5. Boston Legal on Save our Shows list. Only conservative character on the show has dementia. Maybe they should write to a larger audience?
    6. Where the 2001 rebates went: 64.1% went to the movies!
    7. It costs $9 a pack to smoke legally in NYC.
    8. Experienced crew manager at McDonald's list of benefits includes a car and paid education. Can add $100,000 to annual sales if good.
    9. Only 10% of America's multi-millionaires inherited their wealth.
    10. The model in the Aetna full page ad looks like she could die next week of an eating disorder.
    11. Turkey chickpea chili--on the menu at Panera's. Yuk.
    12. The problems of biking to work.
    13. Gov't subsidized housing in Columbus.
    14. Everything I learned I got in Vacation Bible School.
    15. L. Gordon Cravitz on web 2.0
    16. Those who identifiy themselves as conservative are more likely to be happy, to attend worship, to marry and have children.
    17. "Kids are using their technological advantage to immerse themselves in a trivial, solipsistic distracting on line world at the expense of more enriching activities--like opening a book or writing a complete sentence." David Robinson.
    18. Prescription drug use (not misuse) grows and the media sees this as a cause to worry.
    19. Car pooling and bus ridership up in Columbus.
    20. Bad advice from Dear Abby on who should learn to cook.
    21. "Keep the immigrants; deport the multiculturalists."
    22. Al-John McGore. It's really tough to support McCain.
    23. Testosterone in the news (list of all the brief newsstories, usually in the Metro section) about men stabbing, shooting, looting, drinking, snorting and driving into or over each other. Includes occasional pedophile teacher.
    24. Why conservatives don't like McCain. He's not conservative.
    25. Picture a little boy in a row boat going out to sea to charge a naval fleet with a Soro's logo on his briefs.
    26. Brian McLaren and the emergent church.
    27. Signs of human life on Mars; they can't find it in the womb so they go into space.
    28. Seen at the coffee shop. Men in expensive suits; women in anything they pull on in the morning. Could there be a glass ceiling in the closet? It's pathetic that a retired librarian is dressed better than 50% of the women going off to work.
    29. WSJ, which has always had mostly liberal news stories, is now cluttering the opinion page with liberal columnists.
    30. 45% of women 25-34 have college degrees compared to 36% of the men.

The oil shortage

I filled up this morning for $3.89 a gallon, and locally, that's about the best you can do (Speedway Mill Run). Then I opened my e-mail, and Murray, a friend from high school, explained it to me. There are actually three people from my high school (the town no longer has a high school) who have huge e-mail routes--they probably have more readers than I do!
    A lot of folks can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in our country. Well, there's a very simple answer.

    Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn't know we were getting low. The reason for that is purely geographical.
    Our OIL is located in

    Coastal Florida
    Coastal Louisiana
    and Texas
    Our DIPSTICKS are located in Washington, DC!

It's not brain surgery

why Ted Kennedy didn't go to Canada or Cuba to have his tumor removed--or even to a Boston hospital or a European hospital. No, he went to Dr. Allan Friedman at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. In 2000 and 2004 NC was solidly behind Bush; the Democrats are working hard to get her into the caretaker mindset right now. I don't know why Dr. Friedman is at Duke and not at some famous northeastern hospital in a Democratic state, or even Chicago where he was born and went to medical school, but let me guess; lower real estate taxes, lower state income taxes, lower luxury housing costs, lower crime rates, stronger ethical and moral values among the populace and the ability to lure the best talent there to assist him, despite the liberal administration and faculty at Duke. And who knows, there might even be some evil capitalist money (tobacco?) funding that tumor center. The 3.5 hour surgery has been declared a success and it will be followed up by chemo and radiation, which will probably be done closer to home.

The irony is that under socialized medicine only a wealthy government official, son and grandson of inherited, ill-gotten wealth would be able to afford such care. Even at the height of the power of Stalin and Mao, the party officials always had the best.* But more importantly, with socialized medicine, a doctor of Friedman's skill and talent, wouldn't even have been trained in the United States.

Democrats want their families to benefit from our health system (and "system" is not a good word for it), but they don't want you and me to have those benefits. They want us to wait in line for our turn, to have our health needs decided by a committee, and then be assigned to whatever hospital needs the work whether they've done 10 surgeries or 1000. It would make no difference if you elect Binky Obama or Hillary Rottie Clinton, all competition and excellence must be eradicated; everything must be dumbed down to be fair to the newest, non-citizen who doesn't speak English and the homeless guy who couldn't give up the bottle, and the exotic dancer who cried rape. Rev. Wright and Father Pfleger have already explained to you that if you're white you're a piece of trash. And let's hope that the equipment that will save your life doesn't have a petroleum base because then. . . well, sorry, that's been capped along with your life span by Lieberman-Warner.

*One of the ways I put food on the table as a grad student was translating a Russian medical newspaper, Medisinskii Rabotnik. The ordinary folks got a fel'dsher, usually female and poorly trained, not a doctor.

4916 The Hope and Change theme

Barack Obama certainly isn't the first politician to take a biblical theme and run on/with it, and he won't be the last. The Bible is full of great truths, ideas, stories, parables, miracles and romances which have been used by capitalists and kings, socialists and school teachers, writers, artists, poets, and musicians, slaves and slavers, and even Marxists and fascists over the centuries. But there is one basic truth from Genesis to the Revelation, and it's all about the HOPE.

Christianity is an Easter religion. Easter celebrates HOPE, and in order to participate in this HOPE, the individual needs to change. In the New Testament, the word HOPE refers to the future, not only the HOPE of everlasting life, but the HOPE of resurrection from the dead, the HOPE of a new body like the body of Jesus, the HOPE of being in heaven forever with the Lord. Lots of religions have references to an afterlife, but in the Christian faith, the human body is so important to God because of his intentions at the Creation, He continues to use it even after death on this planet and realm. After all political boundaries and even the earth itself have passed away, we still have this HOPE. This HOPE written about in the New Testament doesn't depend on a nebulous, vague speech of a Chicago pol scrolling across a teleprompter, but a real solid foundation of fact. Our HOPE of a heaven where we dwell with God in a physical body rests upon what happened here on earth in the person of the Lord Jesus. His resurrection is the assurance of our resurrection. Obama can't take that away from us and refashion it into a social justice, namby-pamby temporary band-aid, the hope of a different job, or a housing project that will be torn down in 25 years. It's not the change in a McCain or Gore carbon cap or exchange running after green votes which is going to diminish your life style. No, this is real change--the change that the Holy Spirit will make in the believer, grounded in the HOPE.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Comparing Hospitals

Here's a handy website you might want to browse.

"The Hospital Compare website was created through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), along with the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA). The HQA is a public-private collaboration established to promote reporting on hospital quality of care. The HQA consists of organizations that represent consumers, hospitals, doctors and nurses, employers, accrediting organizations, and Federal agencies. The information on this website can be used by any adult needing hospital care."

You can search by your city or zip code--I used zip and then indicated the number of miles. Seven hospitals are within 10 miles, so I compared Riverside and Ohio State. In almost every category Riverside was rated higher than OSU, and also had more patients. Where it wasn't higher they were the same. I haven't figured out all the features yet. OSU had no information for patient ratings of care, so those couldn't be compared, but they weren't particularly ecstatic for Riverside. Maybe patients are just grumpy when they don't feel good? Also, I seemed to lose my place when I'd click on an explanation and had to start all over which was frustrating.

Since we spend so much time at Lake Erie, maybe I'd better take a look at Port Clinton and Sandusky.