Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The GIVE Act. Does it violate the 13th amendment?

The bill, HR 1388: The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act otherwise known as the "GIVE Act," has already passed. Here’s the roll who voted for it.

Did Congress read this bill? What was missing in VISTA, AmeriCorps, Peace Corp, Foster Grandparents, and the bazillion of local opportunities, funded by government, non-profits and churches? Is there an area not already covered by Sertoma, or American Legion, or the Lung Association, or Rotary or AARP? I never had the feeling that Points of Light was mandatory, did you? And didn't Democrats ridicule Bush I or is that why--because he didn't make it mandatory?

Did we really need another massive stack of federal dollars bundled in acres of paper co-opting volunteerism? Surely, they can't call this a "stimulus." Something like $22,000 per volunteer--but then, it takes a bunch of bureaucrats to run a program like this. And what in the world is a "social entrepreneur?" More people to join the unions that get out the Obama vote. More people to look to Obama has their savior in the White House. It makes them that much more dependent on the government.

The bill, promoted by the Obama administration as a means of “encouraging America's youth to participate in voluntary community service,” (if you read it, you’ll see it goes far beyond “encouraging,” that it opens the door to conscription) has received little scrutiny from Congress or the public. It provides funding for Obama’s favorite leftist organizations, especially ACORN, but starves out the churches that have traditionally been vehicles for volunteerism--in fact, the almost 50 year old Peace Corps was modeled after what the Mennonites, Brethren and Quakers did after WWII.

Did the RINOs read this bill before they voted for it? Time to call them home. Next time the Republican Party head guy sends out that envelope pleading for money, ask about the voting records of the RINOs. Senator Voinovich voted Yay, as usual; when anything wasteful or socialist comes along, he's all for it.

So the Senate will allow funding to ACORN, but they won't allow any religious expression in the "youth brigades?" Gateway Pundit And to think we spent American lives and money to free the women of Afghanistan from the fundamentalist Taliban, only to conscript our own.

Oh yes, “Requires states to develop comprehensive plans for volunteer and paid service by Baby Boomers and older adults.” (from summary of text)

And now, tax us to death

I have no patience with smokers or any addictions (except blogging, of course), but expecting nicotine addicted people to pay the tax increases so children (up to age 28) of middle class parents can drop their insurance and let the government pick up the tab is pretty silly. Take over the auto industry, create cars no one wants, stop producing and refining oil so prices soar, make current cars illegal to drive. Hit 'em again, harder, harder. Welcome to your 95% tax cuts and $5/gallon gasoline.

Before he finishes with us, Obama will have taxed us to death. “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Benjamin Franklin wrote 1789. An earlier version comes from Daniel Defoe in, The Political History of the Devil, ” Things as certain as death and taxes can be more firmly believed.” Hmm. Maybe we need to take a look at the Defoe title.

A heads up for Christians

I recently watched a few minutes of an anti-Wall Street, anti-Federal Reserve, anti-U.S. government film called, "The Obama Deception." If you believe this film, you're in trouble.
    “The Obama Deception is a hard-hitting film that completely destroys the myth that Barack Obama is working for the best interests of the American people.”
O.K. I agree. Yes, about 50% of the electorate realized he is a socialist and/or marxist. (And about 40% of those who voted for him did so for the novelty and guilt factor, never even looking at his politics, only his ethnicity.) But that’s a long way from believing this. . .
    “The Obama phenomenon is a hoax carefully crafted by the captains of the New World Order.

    “The Obama Deception is not about Left or Right: it's about a One World Government. The international banks plan to loot the people of the United States and turn them into slaves on a Global Plantation.”

    Covered in this film: who Obama works for, what lies he has told, and his real agenda, and how his initial appointments and actions prove he serves the corporate oligarchs, not the American people. If you want to know the facts and cut through all the hype, this is the film for you."
The films claims Obama works for the same interests that George Bush I & II worked for. The film claims to be non-partisan. However, “new world order” has always been code for “the Jews did it.” Or, in the 19th century, "watch out for the pope." Tarpley can say it’s the “Anglo-American” world order, but we’ve certainly been hearing this conspiracy theme since--well, during my entire lifetime. “Military-industrial complex” (warned by Eisenhower) in the 50s; and we were railing against this in the 1970s. “Oligarchs,” “Wall Street fat cats,” “international bankers,” call it what you will, but remember, we've heard it all before--and not all that long ago, either.

Update: Ted Anthony, AP: "Here's an incomplete list from the history books: Indians, Quakers, witches, Englishmen, the federal government, Southerners and Northerners, Chinese "Celestials," Tammany Hall Democrats, Germans, Jews, Japanese, North Koreans, communists, socialists, Vietnamese, liberals, conservatives, gays, lesbians and Muslims. The Evil Empire and the Axis of Evil.

Now, a fresh group has been dropped into the cultural dunk tank. Bin Laden? Back-burnered, at least for now. Saddam? Gone and forgotten. Instead, in these jumbled days of economic uncertainty, fairly or unfairly, America's newest Snidely Whiplashes bear faces like those of Bernie Madoff, AIG executives and the private jet-flying heads of the Big Three automakers.

October 2008 seems years in the past

But here's what I wrote to someone supporting the candidacy of President Obama, who just couldn't fathom my fear and loathing.
    "At the top for me is abortion, and Your Man as you call him, would advise his own daughters to abort his grandchild; McCain, whom I don't even like all that much, adopted a child, darker than Obama who would have died from starvation and neglect. Your Man is in bed with so many far left organizations I'm surprised there is room for Michelle--who hates our country. (You should have heard her in Ohio talking to blue collar moms) Your Man, as you call him, listens to racist hatred for 20 years in his church. Your Man promises to raise your taxes. He promises to sit down with terrorist regimes with no preconditions. I think McCain, who definitely isn't my first choice, understands the enemy but respects them and their power. He has experienced it personally. Morally, Obama's such a light weight I fear for our future just so white folks can stop feeling guilty over a past they had nothing to do with. David Axelrod, his handler, seems a bright man, he's in media, but I don't know how much he knows about international issues.

    Yesterday we were visiting friends in another city. They are about our age and would like to sell their home which is in a lovely neighborhood. They said it wasn't as nice as their old one. So they drove us through that neighborhood--it was gorgeous--kind of like our "south of Lane" area in Upper Arlington. We saw nothing wrong with it--every home was in pristine condition, yards beautiful and palatial, but they kept saying they had been afraid because it was changing (years before) and the house had been broken into. Then we started noticing the neighborhood people washing cars, raking leaves, etc. African-Americans--middle and upper class, probably college professors, lawyers and doctors. But oh yes, these friends are for Obama--they had a sign in their yard.

    I regret the election is a done deal, and I think both parties have behaved
    miserably during the past month [mid-September melt-down], mostly the Democrats, but they are the best liars the U.S. Congress has ever produced, and this can and will be blamed on Bush, not their social engineering.

    8 years coming of a perfect, non-racist society, with a Katrina-like plan for
    our health care, education, and security. In 8 years, I'll be too old to care, but I'm not sure he'll allow any opposition by then anyway, so it may be longer."

And now a few words from Murray, guest blogger

Instead of sending updates on the old neighborhood's health and obits, today I received this. Something to think about.
    I would like to see a show of hands from those people who have mailed their congressman or Obama a tea bag. If you haven't I'll be thinking that you still plan to or you are going to march on Washington instead or you agree with Obama's mass destruction of this country or you don't believe this country is being put down or you are such a staunch Democrat you have confidence that they will pull these miracles off with your money or you just don't give a damn!

    I have often said that the main objective of our elected is to keep the masses confused. For years they have used diversions like immigration, the tax code, social security, medicare, abortion, war, the AMT, budget, PORK, bipartisanship, etc., etc., to keep us confused to the point that we, their constituents, couldn't come together and focus on any one cause. This my friends was by design and it is bipartisan. Our elected do not solve problems, they create them.

    Now, at the risk of being labeled a Republican, I'm gonna tell you that the Democrats miscalculated when they sabotaged this country's financial structure trying desperately to make the Bush administration look as bad as possible... all in the interest of securing political power for themselves. If you don't want to believe this all I ask is that you look back on the events leading up to the mortgage mess and the pursuit of the "America Dream". I'm somewhat sure they didn't mean for it to tank this far but when you consider that they and the Republicans are unable to focus on any problem for any length of time or resolve them it became inevitable this country's financial structure was in an unstoppable downward spiral.

    So what's the Obama game plan? Well, he's using the old tried and true method that has never failed either party. He's swamping us with everything at once in order to keep the masses confused. Plus he pretends he and his cohorts knew nothing was amiss and blamed everybody else. Feeling the need for a little insurance however, he has emptied the Treasury along with destroying individual wealth to create fear thus establishing a feeling of reliance on the federal government to "save" us. Just think about it for a minute. What can you do? Are the people going to march? I don't think so. Not at this time anyway. Impeachment will more than likely be out of the question [and you know why.] But, there are elections coming and that usually strikes fear in the hearts of the some incumbents. So sending in the little tea bag to your elected officials at this time is a way to be heard and just might get their attention. It could be the best 42 cents you ever spent. Besides, you'll feel much better for it! Murray
I have sent an empty tea bag to Obama, and a full one to Mary Jo Kilroy. Yesterday I received in the mail a seed package of "Forget-me-nots." Now if you like the stimulus package, you want to the government to AMTRAK the auto industry and FEMATIZE health care, and you're feeling like the government owes you for taking up space, send Congress a package of those. Takes about a year to really get going and then they will spread like crazy to your neighbors.

Visitor from Troy Ohio

If your site meter shows a visitor/commenter/reader from Troy Ohio, it's just me. I'm at the library. That's how I'm showing up on mine. Aren't libaries weird since they've turned into computer terminals? At least I'm in the main reference area where I can see books. Lots of books. Like Who's who in Amerian politics," and "Contemporary Authors," and "Feminist companion to literature in English." I'm in the 900s of Dewey--I'd tell you more, except I have on my older glasses--the ones I can read with but not see distance.

On the library terminal, I've lost at least 20 lbs--the screen is all squished. And the type font on my blog is different. So I apologize to all my regulars. I looked much better at home. My home, not yours. I probably look squishy on your too.

Cable connection down

Going to the library. Some days I hate technology.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Star Parker, back on the plantation

She thought she'd left. She wrote a book about it.
    "I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.

    A vast sea of perhaps well intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960's, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.

    A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"

    Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems. The kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.

    The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.

    Through God's grace, I found my way out. It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is."
But now she sees rich Americans running to climb the fence to get on the plantation she tried to leave.
    "Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism, rich America on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.

    Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, "Thank you, Suh.""
Read the whole article here; and weep for the country.

Monday Memories--MLA San Antonio 1994

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to join an exercise class, so here I am in my 1994 San Antonio "Walk with Majors" shirt getting ready to go to class today. Majors was (or is, don't know for sure) a book distributor, a nice family operation. Even if your library didn't use their services, they always bought breakfast for and gave a t-shirt to anyone who "walked with Majors."

One of the great things about being the veterinary medicine librarian at Ohio State was the terrific cities I visited and the conferences I attended. Several times my husband took a few vacation days and joined me. The Veterinary Medicine Section of the Medical Library Association is the best professional group ever. The OSU Libraries was poorly funded for professional meetings, but the college dean would usually find the money to pay for my registration, hotel and travel.

The next photo is Jerry and I; she was a hospital librarian from Detroit and we met at our first MLA in Boston in 1988. Although she started library school about 20 years after I did, we had both joined this organization at the same time, and are both now retired but I still hear from her at Christmas. I had a scrunchy perm in those days, and it looks like I didn't scrunch that day--I think these Majors Walks were very early and we probably hadn't yet hit the showers.

Here's an excerpt from a letter to my parents about that trip:
    My friend Jerry from Detroit sent me a packet of photos this week which she took of San Antonio and us when we were there for the Medical Library Association in mid-May. It is a lovely city, and they really cater to tourists--must be one of their biggest industries. They had a river that was forever flooding and during the Depression the WPA corralled it in stone walls, into a lovely river walk, and it has been extended to other areas. The city business sort of goes on above it, and you never see the traffic or hear it when walking along the river. We did a lot of walking and picture taking; I attended meetings, and an architect (friend of a friend) took us on a city tour and we got to see some of the more unusual things the ordinary tourist doesn't see. We also visited an artist's colony and bought a nice watercolor of the Alamo. One morning the Majors company took us on a long hike through the King William restored residential section where we saw all these fabulous homes, and they gave us breakfast. Jerry had a photo of the two of us standing side by side in our Majors t-shirts and we look like librarian-Siamese twins because the shirts blend together.

    Another treat was going to the air force base and seeing how they train the dogs. We vet librarians always do something with an animal interest. That base is incredible, and even though I'd heard a lot about it, you almost have to see it to believe it.

Obama fired the wrong guy

I opened one eye and half an ear to see what I hoped was the ghost of Tim Geithner on Meet the Press. TOTUS says it was a hired actor, but I don't think so. It was the real, flesh and blood lie-baby. The more he lied, the faster he talked, the more my jaw dropped. I don't know who was doing the interviewing, and I can't find the YouTube, nor would it be worth it to look at it again. Here's a guy who was working for FED which helped create the housing bubble and approved the AIG bonuses and when the TARP came down, now working for a former Senator who approved the d-d thing and got the wet snowball of financial disaster rolling down hill. Tim sounded like he was using Obama's teleprompter--not the machine, but the keyboardist/writer. Then they interviewed John McCain, who was very careful not to be disrespectful (which he didn't mind being when Bush was President), but he was truthful. Sarah Palin was his best feature, but oh my, he sounded so good after Tim the Two-Faced.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hope and Change in Health Care

• Within three weeks of his inauguration, President Obama has succeeded in a dramatic government take-over of Americans’ health care, although he is unable to nominate a tolerable candidate for Secretary of Health and Human Services. [He tried to sneak in another tax cheat like Geithner.]

• More than half of kids roped into Mr. Obama’s kids’ health program will drop their families’ health coverage, and the SCHIP explosion has an unhealthy addiction to tobacco funding. [Remember, the President himself is a smoker, but the low-income are more likely to smoke, so the new tax increase hits them hardest. So many people have stopped smoking, that they may soon need to recruit them in order to pay for SCHIP!]

• By bailing out state Medicaid programs that have spent beyond our means, Mr. Obama punishes fiscally responsible states, and Medicaid’s failure to pay its bills will result in a “cost-shift” causing private premiums to rise by about $18 billion.

• Subsidies to COBRA, the already flawed program that allows departed workers to continue coverage with their previous employer, dramatically favor unemployment or part-time work, instead of full-time work with benefits

For the details, see "Obama’s Unhealthy Start: SCHIP Explosion, Medicaid Bailout, COBRA’s Bite" By Adam Frey, Public Policy Fellow, and John R. Graham, Director, Health Care Studies, at Health Policy Prescriptions, Feb. 2009.

"President Obama plans to build on the way
he mobilized millions of volunteers and small
donors in his successful election campaign,
and his administration will use similar
strategies to sell its health care proposal. A
patchwork of progressive organizations is
poised to unleash its activists to rally grassroots
support for any health care legislation.
And, perhaps most importantly, business
groups will be much less hostile – if not
openly supportive – of the effort to radically
transform health care."

". . . One such group that hopes to play a key role
in the effort is Health Care for America Now
(HCAN), a coalition formed last July with
the stated intention of spending $40 million
on grassroots organizing and multi-media
campaigns. The founding steering committee
for the organization is comprised
of 13 groups: Association of Community
Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN),
the American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees (AFSCME),
Americans United for Change, Campaign
for America’s Future, Center for American
Progress Action Fund, Center for Community
Change, MoveOn.org, National Education
Association, National Women’s Law Center,
Planned Parenthood Federation of America,
Service Employees International Union,
United Food and Commercial Workers, and
USAction. Later additions include the Children’s
Defense Fund, Leadership Conference
on Civil Rights, and the National Council
of La Raza. Remember these names: All
are likely to be in the vanguard mobilizing
support for left-wing activism during the
next four years
." CRC Trends, March 2009

Massachusetts Health Care--coming soon to your state?
"In Massachusetts's latest crisis, Governor Deval Patrick and his Democratic colleagues are starting to move down the path that government health plans always follow when spending collides with reality -- i.e., price controls. As costs continue to rise, the inevitable results are coverage restrictions and waiting periods. It was only a matter of time." WSJ story, March 27 here.

Hollywood lefties will change their tune

when Obama tries to cap and trade their salaries and spread their wealth. Although, he probably won't do that. The suit may be empty, but the wallet knows where the money came from.
    “You know, the last eight years I was the loyal opposition and now there’s another loyal opposition,” Carter told CNSNews.com at the Green Door gala. “The only problem I really have is the spreading of hate by right wing, you know, super right – the spreading of hate, I don’t get it. I don’t understand it.”
Interesting, isn't it. When she disagreed with Bush, it wasn't hate. But when we disagree with her guy, it's hate. The Bush haters were just bizarre and deranged, but now when we've got a really dangerous guy in the White House, they see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing. I doubt that anyone younger than 40 remembers her, but she played Wonder Woman and looked just like my daughter, who was actually prettier. LinkOh yes, and she thinks it's kinder to let mentally ill homeless wander the streets with their prescription drugs than to provide supervised shelter. Now there's a big heart.

What media bias?

". . . none in the media are complaining about Big Guy not doing any live TV interviews, where he could get hit with "gotcha" questions about the budget deficit, veteran health-care cutbacks, or how much Michelle spends on shoes." Barack Obama’s Teleprompter . One of the best written, well researched blogs out there. Don't miss it.

I've forgotten most of my Russian

but not Russian and east European history. E. J. Dionne Jr. is just plain wrong, if he doesn't see the danger in this leftward drift.
    Still, that doesn't make us socialist. There is, as yet, no broad demand for a government takeover of big companies or a widespread desire to replace capitalism with a cooperative system.
We've got the petty regulators, the bureaucratic bullies, the power hungry, pedantic feminists, the ridiculers and deniers of religion (except global warming) and a full blown marxist with clay feet and a closed mind with a sycophant following. Neither Rudd nor Obama have had a "fresh idea" or "hope for change" that wasn't tried in the mid-20th century, failing miserably and causing millions of deaths by democide. Maybe this isn't the "old socialism"--it just might be the new communism. Wake up, folks.

If you love the West

or even if you don't, you will after viewing Zack Thurmond's paintings. I love his shades of purple. Just makes me want to take a trip to Idaho with a camera and bag of paints and stretched paper. He's posting his work--daily--on his blog. Now that's a challenge. Here are some other artists doing a daily challenge. Zack writes:
    So if you see that I haven't posted a painting in several days, leave me a comment deriding me for my laziness and lack of artistic conviction. I have no excuse not to put brush to canvas, regardless of the subject matter around me."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cowpox Virus Transmission from Pet Rats to Humans in France

Oh yuk.
    "In early 2009, four human cases of cowpox virus cutaneous infection in northern France, resulting from direct contact with infected pet rats (Rattus norvegicus), were studied. Pet rats, originating from the same pet store, were shown to be infected by a unique virus strain. Infection was then transmitted to humans who purchased or had contact with pet rats.

To Live Forever

is the exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art with more than 100 objects including a mummy, statuary, coffins, jewelry, and vessels from the Brooklyn Museum's extensive collection. Having just returned from Cairo where we saw an amazing museum and the incredible pyramids and Sphinx, we thought it would be fun to see this exhibit. It runs from February 13-June 7, and it's a bit more leisurely than our race in Cairo to see so much in a brief time. We were not allowed to take photos of King Tut in Cairo, but here we are in Columbus.

And here we are at the real pyramids in Giza.

There were several places along the way at the CMA where one could fill out a card to respond to a question concerning the exhibit. For the one on "If you could live forever what would you take to the after life?" it appears Columbus is just about as tied to ordinary life as were the ancients; here are a few items I saw:
  • Starbucks

  • nail clippers

  • beer

  • Chipolte

  • cherry coke
  • Obama's goal

    Maggie Thurber at Thurber’s Thoughts has some scary, but sobering thoughts on the possibility of an Obama second term. His approval rating is plummeting. After listening to Dems gripe for seven years about Bush's deficit of billions, we've seen him plunge us into trillions in two months. The people will catch on--eventually--but it will be too late. He doesn’t care; that’s not his goal.
      The goal is not the presidency - that's merely a tool with which to achieve the agenda: the European-style socialism of America and the total consolidation of power within the hands of radical leftists. Sacrificing his re-election would be a small price to pay for the accomplishing this nefarious feat.

    Friday, March 27, 2009

    And sometimes it's the cat

    "Roughly 240 Americans wind up in emergency rooms every day for sprains, fractures or other injuries from a fall caused by a dog or cat, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

    Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said dogs and cats account for 88 percent of all fall-related injuries in emergency departments."

    No one was seriously hurt, but I sat on the cat's tail today--she was standing next to the toilet and I didn't notice her. Boy, did she hiss.

    "Women are 2.1 times more likely to have a pet-related fall than men, they said.

    Tripping seems to be the biggest risk. About 31 percent of dog-related and 66 percent of cat-related injuries were caused by tripping. Another 21 percent of dog-related injuries occurred when people fell after being pushed or pulled by dogs.

    The CDC said pet owners need to be aware that their furry friends can cause accidents. They recommended pet obedience training to reduce fall-related injuries."

    Against global warming hysteria?

    Here's what James Taranto suggests:
      Reader, if you are against global-warming hysteria, high taxes, socialized medicine and a weak foreign policy, Sunday is your day. Show how you feel about the issues by turning on your lights in the evening and leaving them on until you go to bed. If you go out for a drive after dark, make sure you turn your headlights on too.

      Granted, the EarthHour people have a head start on us. They started planning this months ago, whereas we're giving you all of 48 hours notice. Yet we think the outlook is bright for this effort. Tell your friends, tell them to tell their friends, and so on, and we'll bet millions of people across the country will turn their lights on Sunday night.

      If no one will listen to the silent majority, let's at least make sure they see us.
    We don't waste electricity willy nilly, and I go to bed early, but I could leave the TV on.

    Friday Family Photo

    This has probably been on the blog before--need to scan some new photos. However, we just didn't take as many pictures 40 years ago. I think my husband took more photos (digital) on our Israel trip 2 weeks ago than we owned in our first 40 years of marriage (started traveling in 2001). This seems to be May 2007 and my husband is tending the back 40.

    I just can't tell you how much we love this place. We feel like we are in paradise--and when things don't grow (I have a brown thumb) I just poke a few silk flowers in the ground from Garden Ridge and no one seems to notice. One year we won a prize for nicest patio. This view is the patio and deck in the back which overlook a creek and woodsy area where we see deer, heron, Mallards and Canada geese, and more recently, huge patches of replaced grass because something from the golf course near by transplanted itself over here where it wasn't wanted. The green growing leggy thing behind my husband isn't ours, but she never trims, one of the disadvantages of condo living.

    I've heard a storm is coming this week-end, so we'll need to wait a bit before things look this green. All the trees are budding, so it must be time for our biggest snow or wind storm of the year. After all, we do live in central Ohio.

    Tea with the President and Congress

    “It is precisely those members of Congress who have had the most to do with creating the risks that led to the current economic crisis who are making the most noise against others, and summoning people before their committee to be browbeaten and humiliated on nationwide television.” Thomas Sowell.

    And you, Mr. President, were a member of the very Congress that helped bring the economy to its knees. So for you, a used tea bag and yellow gold print symbolizing cowardly and costly.

    Obama's stem cell ban and the barn door

    While we were in Israel, home of another human life miracle which took place over 2000 years ago, President Obama was reported to have lifted "the ban" on embryonic stem cell research. First of all, there was never a ban on the research, only on expanding the use of human embryos in research funded by the U.S. taxpayer, an ethical dilemma with the potential to make abortion and euthanasia look like kindergarten stuff (and to turn young women into fertilized egg machines for pay). The announcement was really for show--one of the few campaign promises he could keep (other than the one where he promised to drive us over the socialist cliff to financial ruin--which he seems hell-bent on keeping). Second, he's too late; the research has moved so quickly we no longer need that death trap. Third, despite its availability (was never illegal or banned) embryonic stem cell research has never produced that first cure or break through.

    Here's what President Bush said in 2001. And thank you God for a President with guts and a good heart.
      "My administration must decide whether to allow federal funds, your tax dollars, to be used for scientific research on stem cells derived from human embryos. . .

      My position on these issues is shaped by deeply held beliefs. I'm a strong supporter of science and technology, and believe they have the potential for incredible good -- to improve lives, to save life, to conquer disease. Research offers hope that millions of our loved ones may be cured of a disease and rid of their suffering. I have friends whose children suffer from juvenile diabetes. Nancy Reagan has written me about President Reagan's struggle with Alzheimer's. My own family has confronted the tragedy of childhood leukemia. And like all Americans, I have great hope for cures.

      I also believe human life is a sacred gift from our creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life, and believe as your president I have an important obligation to foster and encourage respect for life in America and throughout the world.

      And while we're all hopeful about the potential of this research, no one can be certain that the science will live up to the hope it has generated. . . " Speech 9 August 2001
    Then in November 2007 came an announcement in respected journals that research groups in Wisconsin and Japan generated “induced pluripotent stem” (iPS) cells with the properties of human embryonic stem cells by direct reprogramming of adult cells. No human life needed to be destroyed in this breakthrough.
      "Unlike embryonic stem cells, which are obtained by destroying live embryos, iPSCs are made directly from adult cells by adding a small number of factors to these cells in the laboratory. These factors remodel the mature cells and convert them into stem cells that are functionally identical to stem cells obtained from embryos. No human eggs are required and no human embryos are generated. Adult cells are obtained from a simple skin biopsy, 1/10th inch in diameter and about as painful as a blood draw. One study was able to produce an average of 10 pluripotent stem cell lines from a single skin biopsy. This approach can be used to generate stem cell lines from patients with specific genetic diseases to better study these conditions, and to provide patient-specific stem cells for possible stem cell therapies."
    And then shortly before Obama's announcement came this one (which I supposed caused his handlers to hurry with his announcement before he got left in the dust)
      "Led by scientists Kathrin Plath and William Lowry, UCLA researchers used genetic alteration to turn back the clock on human skin cells and create cells that are nearly identical to human embryonic stem cells, which have the ability to become every cell type found in the human body. Four regulator genes were used to create the cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells. Science Daily
    While the servile media drooled at the thought of embryos being destroyed in the name of science, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, observed:
      “Advancements in science and research have moved faster than the debates among politicians in Washington, D.C., and breakthroughs announced in recent years confirm that the full potential of stem cell research can be realized without the destruction of living human embryos. This issue is not about whether federal dollars should fund stem cell research. There is little debate about that, and Republicans enthusiastically support adult, cord blood, and pluripotent stem cell research that have shown so much promise in recent years. The question is whether taxpayer dollars should be used to subsidize the destruction of precious human life. Millions of Americans strongly oppose that, and rightfully so. Taxpayer dollars should not aid the destruction of innocent human life.” ABC News Blog (probably never got on national news)

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    Thursday Thirteen--the little things will make us healthier, wealthier and wise

    1. Pick up $10 worth of food at the supermarket this week to donate to the local food pantry. $10 won't be noticed in your pantry--doesn't buy a lot--but if everyone did it, many could be helped, and your local economy will benefit too. This week $10 at Marc's bought two large boxes of corn flakes, 2 large cans of spaghetti sauce, and 6 medium size cans of chunk pineapple in natural juice.

    2. Reduce your own calories by 100-200 a day. Again, you won't miss them--it's a bite while waiting at Panera's snack table or cleaning up that bit of gravy with a piece of bread; you won't go hungry, but if you're consistent, you'll lose 10 lbs or so in the next 6 months. You'll feel better, the clothes will not need to be replaced, and you might even save on some medical bills. Your knees will thank me.

    3. Your city government is probably making cuts "for show" so it can apply for some stimulus money. That's YOUR money--just say NO. Organize a few friends, grab a trash bag, put on an orange hunter's vest, and pick up some roadside trash. Make your mayor look foolish.

    4. Go out to eat this week. Yes, waitresses and busboys and stock owners have bills too. If you aren't doing your favorite spot, try McDonald's or Wendy's. There are lots of healthy things on the menu. Can't swing the whole meal? Just go for dessert.

    5. If you choose a sit-down restaurant, leave a generous tip. Everyone has to live, and you need to keep some of this in your own community and not send it all to Washington for the Obamacons to spend.

    6. Plan a modest outing or vacation. Yes, Florida and Las Vegas are fun, but check out some local festivals--keep the souvenir budget in the hands of local crafts people.

    7. Don't neglect your church tithe. You don't tithe? Well, no wonder your budget is a mess. That should come off the top. But if you're the $5 a week Christian, consider doubling that. If everyone in the pew did just that, most churches could pay off their mortgages and feed the African children.

    8. Learn or relearn some basic cooking and sewing skills like grandma and mother had (well, not my grandmothers--they weren't known for their cooking although they could garden and can). This week I cooked up a mess of pinto beans--about $1.00. Tasted quite good. Somewhere I have a recipe for pinto bean cake from a good-ol-boy from Kentucky. Don't let the government tell you that food stamps are the only way--you can do a lot with 10 lbs of potatoes, a package of macaroni, a gallon of milk, and a few pounds of real cheese. The rice pudding I made--well, that needs a little work.

    9. Death and taxes. Be prepared. Update your will--or at least locate it, and update your health directives. You just never know, and you don't want this to be a burden to your children or spouse. Martin Luther made this #1 in preparing for the next life: said you should get all your worldly affairs in order so that in the event of your death, "there won't be occasion for squabbles, quarrels or other misunderstanding" among the survivors.

    10. Clean out your garage. You'll feel light and some worthy organization can resell your donations--this puts money into your local economy while adjusting your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Plus, sweeping the garage out will burn a few calories to help with #2.

    11. Help the post office (threatening lay-offs of employees) by sending a get-well or birthday card this week. It's still one of the best bargins out there.

    12. If you're so inclined or need to, buy something BIG. Our friends Wes and Sue of Worthington just gave central Ohio a big boost. They put their lovely ranch with the huge lot, right price and a great school district on the market and it sold in 3 days. Then they needed a home, so they bought a half double (Bob Webb home) in a community of about 80, and are happily picking out appliances, wall colors and floor coverings. 30 year mortgages are at an historic low--4.85%, and there are great deals on new and used cars at Jack Maxton.

    13. Every time you see a daffodil or forsythia blooming this Spring, pause and give thanks. Then take a deep breath and thank God for all the neat, colorful people blooming in your life. The oxygen and positive thoughts will do wonders for your wrinkles and attitude.

    Can we hire this woman?

    Marcia Picou, Baton Rouge, LA comments at Morning Bell about members of both parties:
      I believe that any Congress person who voted for authorizing the stimulus plan without reading it, which will very likely waste billions upon billions of dollars, if not trillions (by the time interest is added in during payback time), should be held more accountable than the employess at AIG who received bonuses .

      I believe we could turn our country back towards being a democratic Republic by three things:
      Beginning term limits for congressional people,
      limiting any raises and perks for Congress - only the American people should be allowed to vote for this, and
      institution of the FairTax.

      I also wish that Obama and the current administration would stop whining about what they “inherited” - they HELPED to create the inheritance.
    Well said, Marcia. Now run for office.

    Is the Federal Reserve Banking system part of the federal government?

    I would say no, but a school teacher I was chatting with at the coffee shop said, "Of course it's part of the government." If it is, that is never said on any of the web sites of the twelve banks that comprise "the system." Now granted, the Board of Governors of the Fed is a federal government agency, but that's a board, not the Fed itself. The members of the Board are appointed by the President and approved by Congress for 14 year terms.

    But the Fed itself is a central bank, private shareholder owned, and no matter where you look for answers you'll find either right wing, anti-semites who will swear it's a plot by Jews to own the world, or extremely non-commital bank owned sites and publications which are pretty mum about who and what they are.

    I know this. There's a lot out there about what the Fed does, but not about who is in charge or who owns it.
      Today, the Federal Reserve’s duties fall into four general areas:

      conducting the nation’s monetary policy by influencing the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates

      supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation’s banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers

      maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets

      providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation’s payments system.
    It doesn't report to you and me, the taxpayers. The URL is not dot gov. And Ben Bernanke, not Barack Obama, is the most powerful man in the world.

    I wish he were that harmless!

    Washington Post graphic comparing Bush and Obama via The Foundry.

    When the word "HOPE" means something

    Yesterday I came across the web page for Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, Colorado, an evangelical, confessional, liturgical, Bible-believing Lutheran church and member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. It also has a web master who knows how to design an easy-to-navigate web page and a pastor with a heart for communicating the Gospel from the pulpit, from Sunday school, and with decently current technology. So many churches (and libraries, businesses and schools) seem to have cartoonists and quasi-lunatics on contract for web design with a cacophony of colors, hidden links, and wiggling widgets. I was looking through their key to the events of Holy Week, and now the names and places really jump out at me after so recently visiting Jerusalem, the Upper Room, Caiaphas' home, the Mount of Olives, and Gethsemane. There are many Christians who want to focus exclusively on a "social justice" message for Jesus, but 1) one-third of the Gospels are devoted to one week of his life, and 2) all the moral and ethical values Jesus taught had already been given to the Jews long before his birth. He wasn't needed for that message; he was needed for our salvation.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    What they're planning in Norway

    Could this be in our future?
      "Finance Minister and Socialist Left Party leader Kristin Halvorsen says her party wants a ban on the sale of gasoline driven cars by 2015. She says that new technology will be available by then.

      - The Socialist Left will adopt this as a goal, but it must of course be effectuated in cooperation with other countries, she says.

      In an interview with Aftenposten, Halvorsens says she believes that by 2015 the development of new technology will have advanced to the point where it is quite possible to demand that all new cars be emission free. Norway Post, March 26, 2009"
    If they can ban the sale of new cars, I suppose they can ban the driving of the old. That's what you get with the socialist left, Obamamas and Obamans. You voted socialist, I didn't. Although this Norway story isn't all just gas--isn't all tree-hugging greengoes. Follow the money. Petroleum and natural gas are huge industries in Norway which has been pumping North Sea oil for nearly 40 years. Right now the price of oil is down, so the lack of major new discoveries in recent years has accelerated its decline and shift towards natual gas. According to one source I read, last year oil and gas companies spent a record of nearly $19 billion to seek and tap new petroleum resources off Norway. Now if they find it's profitable (i.e. the per barrel price goes up and your price at the pump), I assume they'll continue to sell their stash.

    Have you read your STRS newsletter this month?

    How about that part about bonuses for the fund managers even though all that money was lost. Really, was it their fault? Want some ACORNish outrage showing up at their door step Mr. Frank and Mr. Obama? Our pensions are not looking so great. This piece is not from that, but it could be
      . . . we are just starting to see the unraveling of public pension systems that could well shake some of society’s basic foundations. Policemen, policewomen, firefighters, teachers and other public employees form the backbone of society. Many of these people happily take jobs offering lower wages in return for the psychic income of public service and, of equal importance, the financial income of a generous pension when they retire.
    My pension is far from generous, certainly not like the public school teacher who has taught 30 years then retired because it didn't pay to continue. I only have 23 years, and some of that I had to buy back from Illinois. But many retired public servants do quite well, and then create other careers. I talked to a man the other day at the Senior Center--he and his wife had 5 pensions between them.

    Card Check is NOT free choice

    Every worker should be free to decide whether to join a union.
    "Suppose to vote in state and national elections you weren't allowed a secret ballot behind a curtain. Suppose to vote you had to go downtown and vote in the baseball stadium, where your choices would be flashed on the scoreboard, before a howling mob. Your boss, and your co-workers, and your neighbors would all know who you voted for.

    That is how the unions and liberal Democrats want to change the law in regard to employees choosing whether they want a union." American Spectator

    "Union organizers waited for us in the break room, sat with us at lunch whether we wanted them to or not, and walked us to our cars at the end of the day. The entire time they were constantly badgering us to sign the cards. …I refused to sign the card every time they asked, and I know many others shared my sentiment. But none of that mattered to the UAW, because the pressure did not let up. In fact, one day, an official approached me again claiming fifty percent of the plant had signed — so now I was going to have to sign the card to ‘get my information in the system.’

    I signed the card then because I thought I had to. I didn’t learn until later that even then, I should not have been forced to sign the card. I hope you’ll vote to defeat the misnamed Employee Free Choice Act." Testimony of worker Larry Getts before the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions

    Obama then, Obama now

    Will the real Obama please stand up? Is it the guy on the campaign trail without the teleprompter, or the one who spoke to us last night looking at the words on a giant TV screen (who is the guy at the keyboard behind the screen telling him what to say)? On the campaign trail, he promised to spike our energy costs, promised to destroy Ohio's coal industry by making "retrofitting" so expensive no one would stay in the business. Then last night, he says the "new energy prices" can't be a shock to the consumer. It's called a tax, whether you think it's that or not. Oh yeah!
      “These undisputed, audio-taped remarks, which include comments from Senator Obama like ‘I haven’t been some coal booster’ and ‘if they want to build [coal plants], they can, but it will bankrupt them’ are extraordinarily misguided.

      “It’s evident that this campaign has been pandering in states like Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana and Pennsylvania to attempt to generate votes from coal supporters, while keeping his true agenda hidden from the state’s voters.

      “Senator Obama has revealed himself to be nothing more than a short-sighted, inexperienced politician willing to say anything to get a vote. But today, the nation’s coal industry and those who support it have a better understanding of his true mission, to ‘bankrupt’ our industry, put tens of thousands out of work and cause unprecedented increases in electricity prices.

      “In addition to providing an affordable, reliable source of low-cost electricity, domestic coal holds the key to our nation’s long-term energy security - a goal that cannot be overlooked during this time of international instability and economic uncertainty.

      “Few policy areas are more important to our economic future than energy issues. As voters head to the polls tomorrow, it is essential they remember that access to reliable, affordable, domestic energy supplies is essential to economic growth and stability.” Mike Carey
    Is the real Obama the guy who claimed to be a Christian on the campaign trail, and is now going to punish those who make the majority of charitable contributions in this country? Liberals outnumber Conservatives, but they are pikers at the collection plate. Look at Biden's record. Look at Obama's before he decided to run for President and one of his savvy aides noticed he was a cheapskate.

    Biden's charitable donations by % of income. Of course, they didn't mind accepting money from AIG for their campaigns.

    Updating my trip log

    I'm still writing about our Holy Land Cruise in early March, but it's dated March 18 so I can keep it all together, consequently it doesn't appear at the top of the blog. Here's our first day in Israel.

    That's me by the fence.

    The Obamacons

    No, Barack Obama is not to blame for the years and years of marxists and socialists with which we have peopled our Congress [beginning in the 1920s], but he has given them permission to act like fools. First, he appointed a tax cheat as Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, who skipped ethics class and church, to lead us out of a mess created by years and years of government tampering with the economy to the tune of trillions and trillions in bad paper. Second, by having zip-nada-zilch business experience and being the titlular head of ACORN, President Obama helped create the mob mentality in Congress and in front of the AIG execs' homes, the very people the Obamacons hired to get us out of the mess. Creating and inciting mobs to violence (someone had to pay for the bus, the meals, the driver, the "community organizer" to gather them up from street corners and bars) is resorting to the old USSR and Chi-Com tactics of decades past. Worked then, why not today?

    In today's WSJ, Hernando de Soto says something very important about contracts--something so key to this trumped up AIG bonus frenzy, he probably didn't even realize it, since I don't think he's that sympathetic to capitalists, and writes about the disparity between the poor and wealthy.
      "Ever since humans started trading, lending and investing beyond the confines of the family and the tribe, we have depended on legally authenticated written statements to get the facts about things of value. Over the past 200 years, that legal authority has matured into a global consensus on the procedures, standards and principles required to document facts in a way that everyone can easily understand and trust.

      The result is a formidable property system with rules and recording mechanisms that fix on paper the facts that allow us to hold, transfer, transform and use everything we own, from stocks to screenplays." WSJ article
    What he left out is that Congress has violated this long tradition of honoring a contract. Everyone (at least on their staff) from Obama on down through the newest elected Representative, like Mary Jo Kilroy from Ohio, knew that the people getting the "bonus" (i.e. a salary due at the end of a service) were not the people who ran AIG into the ground. They were the people hired to fix the mess. Now, given how they were treated, how mobs were hired and their families threatened by the likes of Barney Frankenstein in trumped up phony televised hearings, would you want to sign on for government service to help your country?

    If the contracts with AIG are worthless, so are your mortgage, your college transcript, your bank CD certificate, your credit card interest agreement, your auto lease, your pension plan payout and the menu at your favorite restaurant.

    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Catch the Green Scum Scam before it devours you

    The Global Warming steam roller will demolish that part of the economy Obama hasn't. (I hope those of you buried in the most recent blizzard in the west are listening.) Even GWB couldn't protect us from the EPA, the endangered polar bear crowd, and Algorism. The greenies plan to kill us just like they did the African children by removing DDT, their only hope of survival. They thrived during the Bush years while he looked away and ignored Toto-Kyoto. Go here to read Dispelling the Global Warming Myth. The architects and building trades are so covered up with this nonsense I can hardly open my husband's e-mail.

    "Due to the efforts of Heartland and others, the public is beginning to catch on to the cosmic scam that Al Gore, James Hansen ("an embarrassment to mankind") and others--mostly not scientists--have been perpetrating. Meanwhile, the Obama administration, seemingly determined to inflict the maximum possible damage on the economy in the shortest time, is trying to ram a cap-and-trade carbon tax through Congress before opposition can be mobilized. It's easier to do that, of course, when you know that Congressmen won't read the statute before they vote on it. So our only hope is an informed citizenry."

    2009 International Conference on Climate Change Don't miss John Theon!
      “I have publicly said I thought Jim Hansen should be fired,” Theon said. “But, my opinion doesn’t count much, particularly when he is empowered by people like the current president of the United States. I’m not sure what we can do to have him get off of the public payroll and continue with the campaign or crusade. I think the man is sincere, but he is suffering from a bad case of megalomania.”

    Sometimes Christians have to hold their noses

    Thousands of Roman Catholics are protesting Notre Dame's honoring of the President. Story here. It does seem odd that the only pro-abortion President (public) in our history will be honored by one of the most famous Catholic institutions, but then as an ELCA Lutheran (the group that for six years has been trying to write its own mushy, obfuscating response to God's plan for marriage), I'll have to sit this one out. Any man who is the offspring of a 17 year old, unmarried at his conception, impregnated by a married man must have some self-hate and loathing either for himself or his parents to be such an advocate of murdering the unborn.

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    Protest in Fairfield, Conn.

    "The identities of most current and former AIG employees remain private, for now, but for those executives whose names are known, life now includes security guards at their homes, reporters in their driveways, and vehicles invading their neighborhoods. Nobody was hurt and the protest went off without incident, but the event should serve as a dire warning for anyone even thinking about participating in Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s new Public-Private Investment Program. Morning Bell, March 23, 2009"

    Thanks, Barney Frank. One more notch in your belt. You just didn't get it when accused of "McCarthyism." It's the techniques--smear, innuendo, fear, blame by association, and you have them all. But you're the one, with your Congressional colleagues who signed the AIG bonsus contracts.
      Through its power to subpoena witness and hold people in contempt of Congress, HUAC [formed in 1938] often pressured witnesses to surrender names and other information that could lead to the apprehension of Communists and Communist sympathizers. Committee members often branded witnesses as "red" if they refused to comply or hesitated in answering committee questions. In perhaps its most famous investigation, HUAC-member Richard Nixon, after weeks of dramatic hearings, was, at the final hour, able to reveal that Alger Hiss, a former State Department official, had lied to them about having "ever been a Communist." More importantly, however, the questioning style and examination techniques employed by HUAC served as the model upon which Senator Joseph McCarthy would conduct his investigative hearings in the early 1950s. Following Senator McCarthy's censure, however, and his subsequent departure from the Senate, the American public grew increasingly wary of the "redbaiting" techniques employed by HUAC and others. The work of the committee continued to decline in importance throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s until the committee itself was renamed the House Internal Security Committee in 1969, prefiguring its eventual abolition in 1975. GWU site

    Protest with tea bags

    "You're sending Mary Jo Kilroy a letter?"

    "It's a tea bag."

    Strange look.

    "You know, like the Boston Tea party in 1773."

    "Is it used or unused?"

    I also sent her an e-mail.
      "The behavior last week of Congress, particularly your Democratic colleagues, was outrageous. I was never so embarrassed to be a voting American. That Congress would propose a special tax to punish people with whom they signed a contract is beyond belief and beyond the Constitution. I suggest you all start reading all documents that affect our future and our economy. There is going to be a voter revolt."

    UA athlete loses legs

    I first heard this yesterday in church, in prayers for this young man, the captain of the rowing team, who has had both legs amputated to save his life from "flesh eating bacteria." Story from Dispatch. In this day of modern miracles in health care, this hardly seems possible.

    Necrotizing Fasciitis

    Is it a joke, an insult, or a snub

    I'm inclined to think the whole story is a scam--the one that President Obama wrote to the former President of France, Chirac, and not the current president, Sarkozy. I realize he was running for President and was out of the office when Sarkozy was elected, but surely he picked up a newspaper from time to time. Everyone seems to be relying on the same story (in French) and you know how many of us took a foreign language in our government schools. True, he's none of the things the liberals thought he was, but he's not that stupid or poorly informed. Still, if this had been a Bush mistake. . .

    Juvenile Offenders and Victims Report

    The 2006 report seems to be the latest on line and in print. The print copy check-in date for OSUL gov docs is April 19, 2006, so I don't know if there is a more recent one. If you've never seen the report before, it looks alarming, however, it says that juvenile crime has been decreasing since 1994, and is the lowest since the 1970s. That's good. The crime for females is increasing, especially assault. That's not good. The report confirms the importance of in tact families--fathers in the home and mothers of the children married to the children's father.
      A recent study by McCurley and Snyder explored the relationship between family structure and self-reported problem behaviors. The central finding was that youth ages 12–17 who lived in families with both biological parents were, in general, less likely than youth in other families to report a variety of problem behaviors, such as running away from home, sexual activity, major theft, assault, and arrest. The family structure effect was seen within groups defined by age, gender, or race/ethnicity. In fact, this study found that family structure was a better predictor of these problem behaviors than race or ethnicity. Chapter one
    Perhaps the entertainment industry, which glamorizes single parenthood, promiscuity, disfunctional families, and irresponsibile behavior, needs to foot the bill for this? If Congress wants to levy special taxes on groups that cost the taxpayer money, how about the entertainment industry?

    The annual birth rate for females ages 15-19 declined substantially between 1950 and 2000, while the proportion of these births that were to unmarried women increased. In 1950, 13% of all births to females ages 15-19 were to unmarried women. By 2000, this proportion had increased to 79%. Even knowing all the problems this brings, from poverty to low birth weight to crime to poor health to less education, women both educated and unschooled, both poor and well off, continue to pursue motherhood without marriage. Here's a mystified reporter on ABC, clueless:
      The birth rate rose slightly for women of all ages, and births to unwed mothers reached an all-time high of about 40 percent, continuing a trend that started years ago. More than three-quarters of these women were 20 or older. For a variety of reasons, it's become more acceptable for women to have babies without a husband, said Duke University's S. Philip Morgan, a leading fertility researcher.
    I wonder if he's turned on the TV recently? And to think they ridiculed Dan Quayle. Wouldn't Murphy be a grandmother by now, based on statistics?

    The great American tea party

    I agree with most of this except compulsory 2 years of service. A volunteer military has served us well; I don't want conscripts in control of the government or the military.

    HT Murray.

    Information for the Ohio Tea Party, April 15, tax day.

    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Ashley Judd, myob

    Ashley Judd

    HT Patrick Joubert Conlon

    A book I don't intend to read

    The front page editorial of our church newsletter this week was on the Christian's image problem, based on the book unChristian by Gabe Lyons and David Kinnaman, published in 2007.

    First of all, Christians don't get their marching orders from outsiders who hate them, they get them from Jesus. Second, any book about Christians that comes highly recommended by PW is suspect in my opinion. Librarians are 223 to 1 liberal to conservative, and based on my own PL's collection, they are quite hostile to Christianity and particularly conservative Christians unless the book was written by Rick Warren or Billy Graham and has appeared on the best seller list for at least half a year. It's the #1 way to ban a book--just don't buy it! If it's hostile to Christians, buy 10 copies.
      "This is a wonderful, thoughtful book that conveys difficult truths in a spirit of humility. Every Christian should read this, and it will likely influence the church for years to come."--Publisher's Weekly -- Publisher's Weekly, starred review"
    Third, non-Christians get their image of Christians about 90% from the media, Hollywood, TV, college professors (who take delight in shredding the freshman's faith) and gossip. They are completely uninformed. Who is it that has told them we are knuckle dragging dopes lynching homosexuals? Katie Couric and Dan Rather? Most gays are killed by other gays. How homophobic is that? We watch a lot of "Law and Order" reruns. I know if a priest or pastor appears in the script, he'll be the slimeball abuser or murderer. How could non-Christians possibly have any other view than that "Christians are judgemental, homophobic, hypocritical, too political, too sheltered and too insensitive?"

    Imagine if Christians came out with a survey that smeared the character and patriotism of millions of their fellow Americans of a different faith? Now that would be one way for Christians to make the prime-time news, wouldn't it? The Kinnaman/Lyons survey uses a pretty broad brush for Episcopalians, Lutherans, Catholics, Orthodox, Pentecostals, Coptic, Amish, Mennonite, Baptists, Nazarenes, UCC'ns, Disciples, Salvation Army and all their various subdivisions that run hospitals, hospices, food pantries, after school programs, recreation centers, nursing homes, private schools, prison ministries, housing programs, AIDS ministries, clothing resale shops, day camps for kids, domestic violence shelters, adoption programs, foster homes for neglected children, medical clinics in poor neighborhoods, athletic camps, afterschool supervised care, and hundreds of others, in addition to the primary work of the Christian, the marching orders from Jesus, which is evangelizing the uninformed, uneducated and unbelievers who responded to the Kinnaman and Lyons polls.

    The author of the article suggests we read the book and then pray and ask God for a changed heart. So, if this is what he's seen at UALC, then why is he still on the staff taking their money for his salary? If Jesus hasn't changed the hearts of our members, why should a book based on interviews with unbelievers do it?

    "I'm tired," by Old Jarhead

    This post by Robert A. Hall , a Vietnam vet is flying around the internet via e-mail, which is how I first saw it. It's well worth reading in its entirety. Here's the opening paragraphs
      "I’ll be 63 soon. Except for one semester in college when jobs were scarce, and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but job-hunting every day, I’ve worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven’t called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, there’s no retirement in sight, and I’m tired. Very tired.

      I’m tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth around" to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the governme nt will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it.

      I’m tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I’m willing to help. But if they bought McMansions at three times the price of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let the leftwing Congresscritters who passed Fannie and Freddie and the Community investment Act that created the bubble help them—with their own money.

      I’m tired of being told how bad America is by leftwing millionaires like Michael Moore, George Soros and Hollywood entertainers who live in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty years, if they get their way, the United States will have the religious freedom and women’s rights of Saudi Arabia, the economy of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China, the crime and violence of Mexico, the tolerance for gay people of Iran, and the freedom of speech of Venezuela. Won’t multiculturalism be beautiful?"

    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Obama sends a message of weakness to Iran

    Sixth Grade teacher’s lesson in socialism

    The following appeared in the Casper Star Tribune, March 20, letters to editor.
      "I am conducting an experiment in my classroom for the benefit of my pupils. The results so far have been not only telling but also very entertaining.

      The children liked the idea behind the story of Robinhood. They seemed to think that President Obama was a modern day Robinhood.

      So I proposed that we also share, taking from the haves and giving to the have nots. The children thought that this was wonderful!

      I told them that what we will do is average grades in the classroom. Those scoring an A can surely afford to accept a B or a C in order to transfer some of the value of their scores to students that were not doing so well to help them out.

      On the first test the average score was a B-. Some students that has studied hard we a bit unhappy, but others that had not studied as hard were very happy.

      The average score from the second test was a D. Without the motivation of a reward for their hard study, few of the students bothered to study at all. Those few that did study (and carried the class to the D) were very upset, as were most of the other students whom thought that they would "ride on the coattails" of the harder working students.

      I cannot wait for the results of the next test and to see the reaction of the students. This little experiment in socialism is turning out just as expected. However, for my pupils a life lesson is being delivered which they had not anticipated, and that is the real value of this exercise."
    Actually, I always felt this way about group or team projects where you received a grade or bonus based not on your own effort, but the group. There usually were at least one or two deadbeats who let others do the work while they complained, showed up late, or slept in.

    Is this English?

    ". . . health disparities for disenfranchised individuals who are the victims of violence through ecologically-based interventions."

    Yes, this is in Amy Bonomi's CV and she's an OSU professor on Facebook.

    I think the problem grew when "wife beating" became "domestic violence" became "spousal abuse" became "intimate partner violence." The language is completely out of control.

    Does she mean liberals?

    Liberals have been in charge of the education of our young people, especially on the college campuses, for the last 40 years at least. So is it them she's writing about?
      "[Susan] Jacoby argues [in her book The Age of American Unreason] that a mutant strain of public ignorance, anti-rationalism, and anti-intellectualism has developed over the past four decades and threatens the future of American democracy."
    If she were a conservative, she wouldn't be speaking on the college campuses, right? Maybe she should have a heart to heart chat with the various feminists, area studies administrators, and feel-good, non-intellectual professors and see what they can contribute to her theories? Could they be squelching honest inquiry? Surely not! I still remember the young man who worked for me who was taking a women's studies course as an elective, and was terrified to use the word "human" (because it contained the word "man") in his paper. And then there was the OSU student I worked with during the McCain campaign:
      "He told me that he has seen every one of Michael Moore's movies in his college classes! It was required. One was a biology course, one was a political science course, and I've forgotten the other two. For one class final in a Latin American history course the only question was to write an essay on the seven best things Fidel Castro had done for Cuba. In another course where the students needed to write a persuasive paper, he chose "Why the U.S. needs to drill in ANWR." His instructor, an honest but not particularly ethical woman, told him at the outset he'd need to choose another topic. She'd have to flunk him because he'd never be able to persuade her, no matter how good his argument or bibliography, she said. He says the ridiculing and trashing of the Bush administration has been relentless in all his classes."
    Oh yeah. That really encourages intellectual honesty and debate. I looked through some reviews and found the usual collection of villains--fundamentalists, conservatives, Bushies--really odd since they haven't been in charge of Hollywood, the media, TV late night, gaming industry, cable entertainment, and have a tough time getting their books on to the shelves of the public libraries. Straw man up; knock him down. Yawn. Maybe she needs to check under the covers elsewhere?

    There are 3 copies in our public library, which is going for another bond issue. Yes, right on top of all the stimulus applications our city government plans. Maybe we could get a 2-fer? Just got one about 2 years ago--maybe 3--I voted against it. Now that they don't have to buy 16 copies of anti-Bush titles, they should have enough money to run the place without putting their hand in our pockets again.

    What did Peggy expect?

    Peggy Noonan didn't like George W. Bush--I think because he didn't use her writing skills to promote his administration. As the years rolled on and the phone didn't ring, she went from wistfully subtle to wonkishly snark. Then during the 3 year long 2008 campaign she snuggled up with the Obama loving journalist crowd, lusting for his smooth talk and sexy ways. Party's over:
      "These are the two great issues, the economic crisis and our safety. In the face of them, what strikes one is the weightlessness of the Obama administration, the jumping from issue to issue and venue to venue from day to day."
    Sorry, Ms. Noonan, you lost me some years back. Maybe it just struck you, but most conservatives knew he was a wimp on security and profligate spender, way back. Don't come looking for safety and sound economics now. That's not what he signed on for.

    Updating my trip log

    It's a bit tedious, but I am continuing the trip log of the cruise, "Steps of Paul," but I have redated all of them for March 18 so they will be consecutive. So you won't see them at the top of the blog page. Yesterday I did a print preview, and although I'm not yet to Israel, it was over 30 pages. Yes, I'm old fashioned. I don't trust technology and I print anything I want to really save. Here's my Holy Land tour. The photo album is already put together, thanks to my husband who feels better than I do and is a tad more organized. He took over 700 photos, winnowed that to about 500, then bought an album that holds 402, so still had to make some painful decisions. He had it ready to show his breakfast group on Thursday.

    What is a googlebot?

    Occasionally this site is visited by "googlebot" located somewhere in California I think. For a 24 hour period it visits often and long. What is this? A person? A bot? Anyone know? Does your site get this? One visit last night was for 150 minutes or something like that. Is it updating my secret files?

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    Poverty study features tiny demographic

    There's a new poverty report out on gay and lesbian couples who are poor (saw it in USA Today). Someone was running out of things to study, because in cities the poverty rate for male couples is 3.3% and for married couples 5.1%. Gay men are the wealthiest and best educated democraphic in the country--and yes, I'm sure some might be poor and uneducated. It's a tiny demographic to begin with. And children of same sex couples are less likely to be poor than children of single women simply because there are two incomes and 4 eyes. Apparently the study authors want to prove that lack of marriage benefits hurts children. Sorry, won't wash. For years no one but us paid our insurance, we had no retirement plan until we were in our 50s and I'm not eligible for my husband's Social Security because of my teacher's pension. Neither the government nor marriage can fix some things.

    Traditional marriage between a man and woman, with the woman married to the father of her children, is statistically best in every study done for children in every category. That doesn't mean there aren't individual exceptions or that you didn't have a wonderful step-father, or a fabulous single mom. Think big here. Very few children grow up in poverty when it's done the way God planned it.

    Friday Family Photo--Victory Garden

    I see the First Lady is planting a Victory Garden on the White House grounds ala Mrs. Roosevelt, I guess because of her husband's deficit--certainly it's not because of the war. Those may be the most expensive beans and tomatoes she'll ever eat by the time you add in the cost of civil service employees to tend it, chase the rabbits away, and tote the water.

    My father, who was in his 30s, enlisted in the Marines in March--and we appear to be in summer clothes, so this must be a few months later as we posed for our "victory garden" photo for Mother to send to him. Later we would all drive across the USA (I thought it was a great adventure) in that Ford to be near Daddy, and that's why I attended school in Alameda that fall.

    Where's the teleprompter when you need him?

    James Taranto's Great Orators of the Democratic Party
      • "One man with courage makes a majority."--attributed to Andrew Jackson

      • "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."--Franklin D. Roosevelt

      • "The buck stops here."--Harry S. Truman

      • "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."--John F. Kennedy

      • "So for everybody in Washington who's busy scrambling, trying to figure out how to blame somebody else, just go ahead and talk to me, because it's my job to make sure that we fix these messes, even if I don't make them."--Barack Obama

    Call in the reserve team

    Why can't you find a single government official who will claim responsibility for those bonuses? Now it's Holbrooke, in addition to Dodd, Frank, Pelosi, Bernanke and Geithner who didn't know. Tweet! Is there anyone left on the bench to call to the floor?
      WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama administration special envoy Richard Holbooke was on the American International Group Inc. board of directors in early 2008 when the insurance company locked in the bonuses now stoking national outrage.

      Holbrooke, a veteran diplomat who is now the administration's point man on Pakistan and Afghanistan, served on the board between 2001 and mid-2008. During that period, AIG undertook the aggressive investment strategies that led to a near-collapse and forced a multibillion-dollar federal bailout.

      President Barack Obama has insisted his administration was not responsible for AIG's financial woes, and a White House spokesman said Thursday that Holbrooke was unaware of AIG's decision to award retention bonuses to key employees.

      "Mr. Holbrooke had nothing to do with and knew nothing about the bonuses," spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

    The press would have crucified Bush for this one

    Jay Leno slip. I'm not a very good athlete, but it would have never occurred to me to compare myself to the people who challenge themselves to compete in Special Olympics. They are true athletes in very sense of the word--heart, courage and ability. Is this something people joke about? If so, I've never once heard it. Poor TOTUS.

    Here's what Special Olympics does for families with children who want to participate.

    Airline with no heart

    Our flight between Athens and JFK was on Olympic. I don't do a lot of flying, but it wasn't as nice as Lufthansa. Grumpy staff. Choice between a movie, cartoons and Frazier TV show. With tourism struggling, I think they could do more to be accomodating, pleasant (like smile), and we'll never know what made many of us sick--the water, the food or just a stomach bug we passed around, but some people have been extremely ill. Me? The works. There's a bathroom 5 ft. from my desk.

    One woman in our group (but not on our flight) fell in the Cairo hotel and fractured bones in both legs. In other words, was totally disabled for a 31 hour trip and in horrible pain. Unfortunately, they apparently didn't get the medical flight insurance that one of our members had recommended (it's quite cheap). Anyway, although (I heard this 3rd hand) there were 6 empty seats in first class, they wouldn't let her and her husband sit there to have more room for her legs. So one in our group, who did have first class (and her husband was ill), moved to coach and let the injured woman have her seat. But the injured woman's husband and another man had to come from the coach section and carry her to the rest room. This happened on Delta.

    Bad. Bad for business. We had a number of Greek Americans on our flight, but I don't think there were any on hers. On the other hand, other than complaining in Greek, I don't know what help they would have been. I don't know if there are any other airlines to take you to Athens.

    P.S. The barf bags on Olympic are much more durable than Delta's. If you get sick, be sure to take a number with you as you exit the plane. We had about 10 between us and used them all.

    The cost for hope and change--women and minorities hit hardest

    “President Bush ran budget deficits averaging $300 billion annually. After harshly criticizing Bush's budget deficits, President Obama pro­posed a budget that would run deficits averaging $600 billion even after the economy recovers and the troops return home from Iraq. [Where, oh where, are all the weepers and moaners who decried the cost of the war for 6 years? nb]

    The President's tax policy is the only sharp break in economic policy. President Bush reduced taxes by approximately $2 trillion; President Obama has proposed raising taxes by $1.4 trillion. In doing so, President Obama has rejected the most successful Bush fiscal policy. In the 18 months following the 2003 tax rate cuts, economic growth rates doubled, the stock market surged 32 percent, and the economy created 1.8 million jobs, followed by 5.2 million more jobs in the next 27 months. Not until the housing bubble burst several years later did the economy finally lose steam. Pro-growth lawmakers should embrace tax relief policies that have proven successful, while rejecting the runaway spending that has been business as usual in Washington. . . President Obama's pledge to halve the budget deficit by 2013 is hardly ambitious. The budget deficit will quadruple in 2009 to $1.75 trillion, and cutting that level in half would still leave deficits twice as high as under President Bush.” The Obama Budget

    Will Congress stop the mob mentality and accept the blame?

    Little in our congressional history can match the ridiculous behavior of this past week's hearings and mob scene over these bailout bonuses, written into a contract Congress hastily made in the final months of the Bush administration and early weeks of Obama's. They have embarrassed the entire country and the new President acting like gangs of thugs looking for blood. The bonuses are "retention contracts" to save AIG--or does Congress want to destroy a company it just bought? And $165 million is pennies next to the trillions they are sprinkling around, including to the willing hands of my own wealthy suburban government here in Ohio, and the combined losses to our retirement funds and other investments. The phony outrage is cover for the fact that neither Geithner or Paulson nor Congress or Bernacke have a clue about how to "bailout" the economy--they should have just let it recover on its own with the laws and regulations already in place and stop trying to "save" bad investments and failed government programs. A decade of failed programs in the 1930s and 40s taught them nothing except how to throw good money after bad.
      “WASHINGTON - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner confirmed yesterday that his department urged Sen. Chris Dodd to water down the executive-bonus limits included in last month's stimulus bill, a move that allowed the payment of $165 million in bonuses to American International Group employees.

      As the House readied legislation to crack down on the outrage-inspiring bonuses, Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who chairs the Banking Committee, and Geithner appeared at odds over who was really responsible for Congress' failure to prevent them in the first place.

      Dodd, on the defensive over a loophole that enabled the bonuses to go forward, claimed the Obama administration insisted he modify his proposal to rein in bonuses at companies getting billions of dollars in financial bailouts so that it would only apply to payments agreed to in the future - thus clearing the way for the AIG payouts.” From Combined News Services report.
    I hope the President enjoyed looking silly on Jay Leno's program; I awoke for a moment and heard him stammering at one soft ball questions, and pushed "click" for the 1970s reruns. Apparently the teleprompter (i.e. TOTUS) wasn't allowed on stage. See his blog for more on Obama's ad libs and the embarrassment it causes TOTUS.