Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nothing worse than kiss and tell

Governor Sanford needs to apply some duct tape to his mouth and stop embarrassing his wife and children.
    "This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story," Sanford said. "A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day."
Oh. Gag.

Bird Walk at Lakeside

Can you believe it? I left my binoculars at the cottage! Oh well, it was still a great event. Our leader: "Bill Thompson III is the editor of Bird Watcher's Digest by day. He's also a keen birder, the author of many books, a dad, a field trip leader, an ecotourism consultant, a guitar player, the host of the "This Birding Life" podcast, a regular speaker/performer on the birding festival circuit, a gentleman farmer, and a fungi to be around. His North American life list is somewhere between 667 and 669. His favorite bird is the red-headed woodpecker. His "spark bird" was a snowy owl. He has watched birds in 25 countries and 44 states. But his favorite place to watch birds is on the 80-acre farm he shares with his wife, artist/writer Julie Zickefoose. Some kind person once called Bill "The Pied Piper of Birding" and he has been trying to live up to that moniker ever since."

What I knew about birds could be written on my little fingernail, so I'm a whole lot smarter than I was at 7:30 a.m. We saw sea gulls, of course, which Bill told us are misnamed--they live mainly on lakes, and he told us the many names; a Caspian Tern, which lives all over the world but is named for the Caspian Sea; a male House Finch, a descendant of the 40 some that were illegally let loose in NYC and are now everywhere in the US and southern Canada; a Cormorant; Great Blue Heron; a Grackle and Starling; some Bank Swallows lined up on a wire; and finally, we gathered around our 5 Purple Martin houses, one of which had been invaded by a sparrow family. Bill told us funny stories about Purple Martin "landlords" which are a special class of bird watchers.

Now this is the way to see a bird!

She's been on lots of bird events

The Midwest Birding Symposium will be at Lakeside, September 17-20 with wonderful programs and performances by leading bird watchers, vendors, a boat cruise and other fun stuff. There will even be events for beginners like me, like a "bird sit." Based on the vast knowledge I picked up today, I think that's a Caspian Tern on the poster.

Lakeside Lovers

Along the lakefront, lovers have walked for over 130 years. Some stop to record it. A century ago they might have carved on trees; then on the flat rocks now covered up. More recently, chalk on asphalt. We hope David and Michelle will do as well as Shirley and Frank.

Week two at Lakeside

This morning we're supposed to have a bird walk, but it's very cloudy and cool. This is one of five purple martin houses on the lakefront. Usually I see many flying around. I only saw the sun briefly during my 6 a.m. walk along the lake. If you're unfamiliar with the area, that's Kelley's Island in the distance. Lakeside has a private dock that extends into Lake Erie, but no beach except that created by the association for children.

Today is also the farmers market. Last week's raspberries looked fabulous--I might look for those today. I sat next to a woman in a lecture who was eating hers out of the box. Although the sweet cherries looked great, too.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Twenty eight billboards saving lives in Columbus, Ohio

Pregnancy Decision Health Centers are using bright pink billboards to save babies. They have already documented stories of calls to their hotline from this message being on billboards, business cards, yard signs and bumper magnets that will result in babies being saved at PDHC. The billboards originally put up in April and May are staying up for much longer than anticipated because the space has not been taken by another organization.

Part of my stimulus check went to PDHC for the unborn children, and part to the food pantry for the children already here. I am most saddened by Christians who support pro-abortion laws and causes--usually because they sincerely think the child will grow up in poverty or an abusive situation and therefore will be better off dead. That's a really odd death sentence, don't you think? Not even Bernie Madoff got the death penalty, and think of the lives he destroyed.

Bush and the Axis of Evil

With North Korea threatening to wipe the U.S. off the globe, do you still think Bush was hasty in lumping together Iran, Iraq and North Korea both for what they do to their own citizens and how they threaten other nations? "I wonder what the 2002 critics of President Bush’s phrase think when they watch the YouTube footage of bloodied women in the streets of Tehran or when they read about China and Russia taking the lead in sanctioning North Korea? Read more of Anthony Bradley’s “Yes, friends, axis of evil

We're safe, of course; President Obama plans to use strong words against the missiles and bombs--or will just continue to call them silly threats to make them go away.

"North Korea has been busy, busy, busy since the election of our weak President. This week, they have sharply increased their war rhetoric. On Wednesday they issued this threat: "If the U.S. imperialists start another war, the army and people of Korea will ... wipe out the aggressors on the globe once and for all." And on Thursday they promised a "fire shower of nuclear retaliation" if the U.S. attacked them. The media is pretending that it isn't happening, whistling in the dark, but how can anyone avoid noticing that since Obama's failed policies have been introduced, the evil forces of the world have been unleashed?" Pamela Geller North Korea’s March to War

The Gangster Government

We're used to cronyism in government and the workplace. But this is much worse. Now we've got 20 czars who report only to Obama running the government instead of elected officials. Czar is the Russian word for Caesar, and the former General Motors, The Government Motors, is now Gangster Motors. Folks, Obama is a marxist; until recently I thought he was too smart to go the Russian route, but this all looks awfully familiar if you've ever studied the Soviet Union.

HT Murray.

New trees for the campus

My high school friend and favorite Democrat, Lynne, tells me that four new trees have been planted on the former campus of Mt. Morris College (where my parents and grandparents attended and which closed in 1932 after a fire in 1931). There was a terrible storm in August 2008, and a large number of magnificent trees were lost--many were diseased and frail, but still beautiful and providing wonderful shade and respite. However, trees are not “natural” to this little mound in northern Illinois. According to the Mt. Morris Past and Present of 1900
    "The present site of Mount Morris, as stated before, was an open prairie, with not a tree or a shrub to be found. What is now the college campus was then the crest of a hill of considerable size, the country sloping from it in all directions. The early settlers say that before the view was obstructed by buildings and trees, the altitude of the hill was very perceptible. The prairie grass was very rank. In fact, in some places it grew so luxuriantly that it was almost impassable. Most of the ravines and hollows were in a wet, boggy state; and the streams and ponds retained the water from rains much longer than now, because of the absence of tiling in the lowlands. There abounded hundreds of springs, which have long since ceased to flow, owing to the rapid drainage now effected by the work of tiling and the development of the soil."
So, I don't know what the soil in mid-town Mt. Morris is like now, but I'm guessing it's well drained. (The local cemetery where most of my family--parents, great grandparents, sister, cousins, aunts and uncles, etc.--awaits the resurrection used to be called "burial at sea" just to give you an idea of how boggy it was.) However, last week I attended a program on the trees here at Lakeside, a totally different type of soil--very rocky, as this is called the Marblehead Penninsula on Lake Erie (a body of water that has changed shape and size many times since the glaciers passed through here). Our speaker said that for every inch of trunk, the newly planted tree needs 5 gallons of water a week, plus 5 gallons. So if the tree is 2 inches, it needs 15 gallons of water a week to get a good start. There is no way those new trees can get that much naturally. But he told about a wonderful contraption called a tree gator--looks like an ugly green bag attached to the trunk. It holds 5 gallons, and you move it from tree to tree each day, and start over the next week. It's drip irrigation and won't drown the tree the way an impatient employee or volunteer might.
    Newly planted trees are under severe water stress right after transplanting. And they will remain under water stress for the first several years after planting. Maintaining soil moisture is especially important during the first three years following transplanting. So how do you prevent transplant shock and avoid water stress on new trees? The answer is simple, Treegator® slow release watering system for trees. Treegator delivers a high volume of water directly to the root system of a newly planted tree.

Maybe this could be a project for the reunion committee.

TV pitch man Billy Mays dies

Every time he came on I’d turn to my husband and say, “Why does he always shout?” But he was the best known TV pitch man, and after a head bump on a rough landing, he later died. He was 50. We don’t know yet what happened, but those type of head injuries can be dangerous.

Ohio HB 176--protection for pedophiles?

Yesterday I received an email alerting me to Ohio HB 176, which makes a number of changes in the Ohio Revised Code specific to sexual orientation or gender identity. One definition that caught his attention was that pedophilia was listed with homosexuality, or bisexuality, transvestism, etc. If you take into account that pedophilia is listed with gender orientation, which is added to the sections in the revised code, it seems like the Democrats have opened the door to public schools for the pedophiles.

What’s your take on the wording? In the current Code, the wording is "physical or mental impairment” includes any of the following" . . . and homosexuality, etc. is listed. In the new wording the specific phrase included under definitions in 16(a) on what doesn't constitute an impairment:
    (b) "Physical or mental impairment" does not include any of the following:
    (i) Homosexuality and bisexuality;
    (ii) Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders;
    (iii) Compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania;
    (iv) Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from the current illegal use of a controlled substance or the current use of alcoholic beverages.
The wording is nothing if not strange and confusing since this part of the code involves housing and employment. If you support GLBT rights, then read it: "Physical or mental impairment does not include pyromania." Or. "Physical or mental impairment does not include illegal use of a controlled substance."

This HB 176 is presented to the people by its sponsors and advocates as necessary protection for the GLBT group, a group that conservatives say don’t meet the Supreme Court criteria for a protected class (economically disadvantaged, immutable characteristics, politically powerless). There are church officials, companies covering all their bases (or remove the b and add an a--the advocates are anything but politically powerless), state offices and community organizations supporting this bill who are probably out of touch with the people in the pew and on the street where you live and work: Cardinal Health, the Cleveland Clinic, Bishop Ough of the West Ohio Methodist Conference, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the Mayor of the city of Springfield. My church and mayor never say boo about this sort of thing on either side, so without people who actually read the bills (which wouldn’t be the legislators) and pay attention to loopholes large enough through which to drive a Hummer-dinger, I wouldn’t usually know about these laws.
    “On Tuesday, May 12, 2009, House Bill 176, also known as the Equal Housing and Employment Act was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives. When passed and enacted, the legislation will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of reasons for which a person may not be discriminated against in Ohio in employment, housing and public accommodations. Governor Ted Strickland has pledged his support to the bill and has promised to sign it into law when it reaches his desk. When enacted, this will be the first statewide law protecting or recognizing Ohioans based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” from Do what‘s right Ohio

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ice cream, you scream. . .

"In honor of the 44th President of the United States, Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream has introduced a new flavor: “Barocky Road.”

Barocky Road is a blend of half vanilla, half chocolate, and surrounded by nuts and flakes. The vanilla portion of the mix is not openly advertised and usually denied as an ingredient. The nuts and flakes are all very bitter and hard to swallow.

The cost is $100.00 per scoop. When purchased it will be presented to you in a large beautiful cone, but then the ice cream is taken away and given to the person in line behind you. You are left with an empty wallet and no change, holding an empty cone with no hope of getting any ice cream.

Are you stimulated?"
Seen at Common Folk

The Honeymoon of 2009

Although I don't agree that Obama is Bush-redux, I do think the honeymoon is over.
    "Mark it on your calendars. It was in June 2009 that Barack Obama's honeymoon officially ended. And to be more specific, it was this past week. Through some mysterious alchemy, this was the week that Bush's economy became Obama's, Bush's wars became Obama's, and the ups and downs of a real workaday relationship with the press also introduced Obama to a more accurate sense of what life was like for Bush and for all his other modern predecessors." A run through of the links
Obama is NOT politics as usual, and the press hasn't even come close to putting his feet to the fire.

What's going on in New Jersey?

With Obama attempting to bring down the government with so much poorly thought out legislation that neither Congress nor the voters can read them [can and trade bill was 1200 pages] or keep up, it's hard to follow the money trail. Here's a poster of the 8 RINOs that voted for the Crap and Trade-it bill.

HT Stop the Liberals Now

Newsmax: "Friday's vote was 219-212. The legislation was supported by 211 Democrats and eight aisle-crossing GOP members: Reps. Mary Bono (Calif.), Michael Castle (Del.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), John McHugh (N.Y.), David Reichert (Wash.) and Christopher Smith (N.J.). Forty-four Democrats voted against the bill, making the eight GOP votes all the more crucial.

“This is the biggest job-killing bill that’s ever been on the floor of the House of Representatives. Right here, this bill,” House Minority Leader John Boehner said after the vote. “And I don’t think that’s what the American people want.”

Also, we have a creek (Turkey Run) in our back yard; on Abington we had one too (called Evans Ditch by the old timers, but don't know if that's official). We also have a pot hole near one of the condo drains. Now all the water, standing or flowing, will belong to the Federal government if S. 787 passes, I guess because it takes such good care of everything.

HT Some Have Hats

Week two at Lakeside has some great seminars

Week One was terrific; and week two promises a lot. Monday through Wednesday mornings at 10:30 is Kerry Dumbaugh, a specialist in Asian Affairs with the Congressional Research Service since 1984, speaking on "China's Future," and at 1:30 on Monday there is a documentary, "China Rises; getting rich--the economic boom." Then in the afternoons Tuesday through Friday there is an astronomy series in recognition of Galileo's 400th anniversary of the development of the telescope. It begins with a film "Galileo's Battle for the Heavens" at 1:30 on Tuesday and is based on Dava Sobel's book Galileo's Daughter, which my book club read a few years ago. The Wed-Fri astronomy lectures at 1:30 are by Dr. Thomas Statler, Prof. of Physics and Astronomy at OU and who writes for the Columbus Dispatch, and Dr. Mangala Sharma, adjunct professor of Physics and Astronomy at OU. There will also be presentations at 10:30 on Thurs. and Fri. but I'll be in the China class.

If my brain is still able to function, at 3:30 I could attend Managing your Nest Egg Monday on "The Psychology of Money," with Carol Craigie, Wellness Tuesday for optimal food choices for seniors with Wendy Stuhldreher; Meet the Author Wednesday with Jason Barger Step back from the baggage claim, and Environmental Thursday on Lake Erie algae. And of course, I'll want to try Jan Hilty's gerb garden class on herbal teas at 8:30 Wednesday. She's going to distributerecipes for herbal teas.

On Monday evening, instead of a movie, we'll have Karen Vuranch, a storyteller from Fayetteville, VA presenting a program on Pearl Buck in Orchestra Hall (the movie theater). This is a tie in to the morning China series. Buck, you may recall, was raised in China and wrote many novels about it. The Good Earth won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932. Thirty plus years after she was denied a Visa to return to China and was vilified by that government, she is now honored as portraying Chinese life and customs accurately and with compassion. Link.

New shoes for walking

I bought a pair of Danskin athletic shoes at Wal-Mart yesterday called Lindsey (also the name of the granddaughter we lost in the divorce). I doubt that having the closers (shoe laces?) of elastic and Velcro is a good idea. Too much stretch and not enough support. But we'll see. I broke them in yesterday with a two mile walk along the lake front. Because I have a narrow foot, buying any shoe these days is tricky. The obesity problem seems to have spread to the foot, so the manufacturers design and sell for the consumer with a wider foot. Occasionally I can find a New Balance in a narrow, but not often. These are $22 at Wal-Mart and $17 on e-Bay with a shipping charge. I would never buy shoes I couldn' try on first because every manufacturer seems to use a different template for toes, arch and heel. I love the Nikes I bought right before our Middle East cruise in March, but I can't wear them every day, or even for every walk. Now that we're at Lakeside, I'm getting 5-6 miles a day in, 4 planned, and 1-2 just walking to lectures and programs. At home I like to do bare foot walking on the condo grounds, but here, there are just too many dogs and too few careful dog walkers with baggies.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yes and Yes

Why do they need to waste more money on an investigation? His salary comes from the taxes of the people of South Carolina, so he used taxpayer money because it was on their time. If the lieutenant governor knew where he was, then he lied, and he should go too. Any money Sanford uses to "pay it back" also belongs to his wife, who helped get him where he is today--the governor's mansion. If I were her I'd clamp that bank account, safe deposit box, automobile, real estate, stock ownership and house shut like yesterday. She and the children should not have to pay for his catting around and it's expensive to raise children through college when you've just lost your job. She should learn from Mrs. Edwards' example.
    "Democratic leaders want an investigation into Sanford's use of state money to help pay for an earlier South America trip. Others are questioning whether the governor broke laws by leaving without giving the lieutenant governor control." AP report

More on media bias

At least "Media Bias" was the title of the following piece. Actually, we knew Obama would do this, because he promised during his campaign, so I don't think the media can take all the credit/blame--unless of course, you see them as a doormat under his feet, which I do.
    The Public Broadcasting Service recently announced it will not allow new religious programming on their taxpayer-subsidized airwaves. The handful of stations that have shown a Catholic Mass or Mormon devotions will be allowed to continue, but the other 300-plus stations have been instructed to avoid any kind of evangelism. Welcome to Barack Obama’s new world order. News reports explained that the PBS station services committee insisted on applying a 1985 rule that all PBS shows must be "noncommercial, nonpartisan and nonsectarian." To everyone who’s watched a pledge drive or contemplated a toy store stuffed with "Sesame Street" toys, the idea that PBS is following any "noncommercial" policy is absurd. To everyone who’s watched two minutes of "Bill Moyers Journal," with its panels unanimously screaming for Bush’s impeachment, or more recently, for a single-payer socialist health-care system, the idea of PBS being devoted to a "nonpartisan" stance is several miles removed from ridiculous. But the atheists and secularists who want all traces of sectarian "proselytizing" for Jesus banned from PBS do have something to say about PBS public-affairs programming. Read the rest of the story.
Since you can't keep PBS out of the tax coffers, at least don't make a donation. I've always thought Bill Moyers, the left's biggest shill, was the best reason to turn off those fund drives (notice they play the doo-wop and Irish dancing lasses shows for the drives, not Bill Moyers) and drop an extra $10 or $20 in the collection plate next Sunday.

The Jackson Cover-up

While people lit candles and brought flowers, the Democrats in Congress were rubbing their hands with glee--wow, who could have planned it better? Pelosi vowed to have it passed by July 4--anyone checking out her whereabouts Thursday? Everyone was looking the other way, not paying attention. The ever non-vigilant obamedia were self absorbed and weepy, scurrying around for any story thread or film clip whether it was twitter or Perez. With some Democrats voting against it and a smattering of RINOs for it, the Climate Change bill passed.
    “I’m in a tough spot. I really am,” Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.), one of the Democrats who opposed the bill, said before the vote, citing his fears the legislation could raise energy costs and hurt the coal industry in his low-income, rural district. “Either way I’m going to get creamed.” Politico.com
We know just how you feel, Mr. Salazar. We're all screwed. This country runs on energy. It's not about putting Ohio, Indiana, W. Va., Illinois, Kentucky and Pennsylvania coal miners out of work--although they will be. But if you use electricity in any form, or any product made from petroleum, from house paint to wind shield wipers to carpeting, or eat anything that's been prepared or grown in this country, you are about to see your job and life style disappear and your taxes go to the moon. If you've ever been transported from point A to B by plane, train, truck, car, bicycle or boat, you're now a very permanent resident where you are. The cap and trade boys, including Al Gore, will get very rich at your expense. And they'll be as successful at stopping weather change as the SEC was at stopping Bernie Madoff's scam with all their rules, boards and regulations.

We Americans bought the myth that we are "dependent" on foreign energy sources--we are because the government made us that way. It made our own coal, gas and oil so expensive through regulation and taxes, the investors and producers went elsewhere and just shipped it here for business as usual. Well, now that you bought into that big lie, it's a short stretch to part 2, alternative energy sources. Meanwhile, all those American businesses can just go elsewhere, like China and India and Southeast Asia, or Africa or the Phillipines--anywhere but here. If it's one thing we know about a good capitalist, he goes where the money can be made, and it sure won't be here.

The picture of modern American, energy dependent society and economy is not the smoke stack that the LA Times prints with its article. The picture is your house, car, clothing, church, yard, leisure, hobby, your clean water. It's a picture of your freedom. I'm cooking collard greens with onions and bacon this morning, but all of it was grown somewhere else and trucked to Ohio--I don't have a garden and there is no livestock roaming the back 40. It's cooking on an electric stove standing on a linoleum floor in an enameled pan with a plastic trash bin next to the stove while I write on the internet.

Actually, I suppose it is fitting that Jackson's death covered up the final vote--he was about 400,000,000 in debt, broke, and has a bunch of kids from different women that don't look like him. His business life was far more complex than his personal life, and that's pretty bad.

Obama has no intention of either saving the earth or the economy. He is well on his way to destroying the United States, and if you voted for him, you helped.

Anal cancer

Before Michael Jackson's death wiped the topic clean, the media were preparing for another slow news day of not being honest about Obamacare with wall to wall coverage of Farrah Fawcett's death, a woman who had both insurance and personal wealth. From Michael's death we'll hear all about drugs (all speculation since the toxicology reports take a long time); from her death we might find out something we don't hear much about--anal cancer.

So I looked it up. This is a topic even the medical sites treat pretty delicately. I'm not sure, but they seem to be afraid of offending someone or some group. But what I gathered was, don't have anal sex. Gay guys don't have much choice. But women can say NO--there is an alternative.
    Anal cancer is one of those cancers no one likes to talk about because it's, well, anal cancer. But we really should discuss it as much as, say, cervical cancer. Both are predominately caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus. In fact, a 2004 study of 6,000 anal cancer patients (the majority of whom were women) found that 73 percent of the patients tested positive for the strain HPV-16, one of the strains that the Gardasil vaccine protects against.

    What's worrisome is that unlike cervical cancer, which has dropped dramatically since the advent of the Pap smear, anal cancer is on the rise. Incidence rates over the past 30 years have jumped by 78 percent in women and 160 percent in men, probably because more people now have more sexual partners and more people have anal sex (both among heterosexuals and gay men), says Lisa Johnson, a cancer epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle who led the 2004 study. "What Farrah Fawcett can teach us about anal cancer"
It's not just a convenient way to avoid a pregnancy or some new experience to be talked into; it's just a way to have sex with a guy who'd probably prefer to be with another guy and you're the convenient cover and the repository for a sexually transmitted disease. That's just my opinion, of course. The anus is for waste removal, not sex. It's also rather delicate and tears easily.

The good news is this is treatable.
    Treatment for most cases of anal cancer is very effective. There are 3 basic types of treatment used for anal cancer:
    surgery – an operation to remove the cancer
    radiation therapy – high-dose x-rays to kill cancer cells, and
    chemotherapy – giving drugs to kill cancer cells. Link.
James Line at OSU on anal cancer.

Now here's a romantic slide to think on the next time.

Should Governor Sanford resign?

Yes. This is a no brainer. He was willing to throw his career and trust away for a sex fling, so why not throw it away for a principle? If he's willing to cheat on his wife, throw his four sons overboard, lie to his staff, and make fools of his closest friends and advisors, why in the world should the people of South Carolina, who are complete strangers and know him only from TV and personal appearances trust him? This is not a matter of forgiveness. Yes, they should forgive him, but they deserve better. The man has a proven record of deception and also misusing his office and the tax payers' money. Show him the door!

To say nothing about his naivete of putting his smarmy love life in e-mail. So add stupidity and technologically challenged to the list.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jackson coverage way overdone

It makes you wonder what's going on in Congress and the White House that isn't getting coverage since the press is doing nothing but the Jackson death. The President is throwing the kitchen sink at us, just as in the plan book to bring the country to its knees, so when we don't hear of any major take-over--major industry, energy, media, health, military, etc.--for 24 hours, I start to wonder. I made the mistake of googling "media overdoes Jackson death," and it tried to change it to "overdose." Even the overload of Twitter became a story. No! I mean hasn't anything else happened on the globe? For once I found myself agreeing with Gibbs:
    "White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that Obama sent his condolences to the Jackson family and fans. When asked why a formal statement would not be released, Gibbs said, "Because I just said it." "
And how many days before Obama sent condolences to the family of the recruiter, William Long, one of his soldiers, murdered by Muslim terrorist? Three. Will he need to note every entertainer who dies? What about Farrah?

Also, let's not forget how the media reported on Jackson in the past for all the cosmetic surgery, child abuse charges, etc. when he was no longer a cute, youthful performer. Since they blamed the rest of us for the deaths of everyone from George Tiller to John F. Kennedy, will they now take the blame?

When they come up for air, they report on Gov. Sanford.

Remembering the taste of an egg

It goes way back. We had chickens when we lived on Hannah Ave. in Mt. Morris. Mom use to say, without a smile, the eggs cost about $1 a piece, which in the early 50s was a chunk of change. She bought special feed, and shell hardener, and equipment to keep them safe from predators. They would drop their feathers, look peaked with half closed eyes, and fall over and die. It never paid off the way the garden did. Nor do I remember what a fresh egg tastes like. Until today. I learned.

I stopped at the Farmers Market today and picked from a basket a dozen eggs retrieved from the nest yesterday. The lady sitting next to me in the Greek Civilization class said she had lived in the Dominican Republic for 22 months, and there fresh eggs would last about 30 days, longer than refrigerated eggs.

I fixed my husband and me fried egg sandwiches for lunch (his had ham salad too, which affected the taste) and then took my treasure to the basement just in case they need to be cool. However, these will never last 30 days, because this was just about the most heavenly sandwich I'd ever tasted. No wonder Mom was willing to put up with that mess in the back yard and why my Dad kept fixing himself a fried egg sandwich the last years of his life. Looking for the good old days, I think.

It's not poverty, it's income gap

That's about all we hear today. What about the gap between Michelle's salary and that of most working women? Not bad for a part time job that doesn't need to be filled when you move on. I don't have the source for this, it was passed along by Bill L. in an e-mail.
    Replacing Michelle in Chicago (UNCLASSIFIED)

    At the top right hand corner of Page 17 of the New York Post of January 24th, 2009, was a short column entitled "Replacing Michelle" in the National Review "The Week" column. Here it is, word for word, as it appeared: Some employees are simply irreplaceable. Take Michelle Obama: The University of Chicago Medical center hired her in 2002 to run "programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity and minority contracting".

    In 2005, the hospital raised her salary from $120,000 to $317, 000 nearly twice what her husband made as a Senator.

    Oh, did we mention that her husband had just become a US Senator? He sure had. And that he immediately requested a $1 million earmark for the UC Medical Center, in fact?... You betcha by golly... He surely did... Way to network Michelle!

    But now that Mrs. Obama has resigned, the hospital says her position will remain unfilled. How can that possibly be??? Especially if the work she did was vital enough to be worth $317,000?

    Oh, by the way, let me add that Michelle's position was a part time, 20 hour week job at $317,000.00 per year !! And to think they were critical of Blagojevich's wife for taking $100,000 in fuzzy real estate commission.

    Question is.. How did this bit of quid pro quo corruption escape the sharp reporters that dug through Sarah Palin's garbage and kindergarten files?
And to think how she whined in her way through those Ohio campaign appearances before unionist and pink collar workers--oh! the pain of paying off college loans and paying for private school and piano lessons for the girls. Fer sure, fer shame.

And the liberal Annenberg Fact Check really takes this one apart--the salary was lower, she worked part time only after 2007, etc. etc. Her husband's position wasn't a factor, yada yada yad. Oh yeah. I'm guessing nepotism is alive and well even at Annenberg--it certainly was at OSU where I worked.

Perspective class at the Rhein Center

These are the projects my husband's class has been working on this week. The first week population is low, but he says teaching a smaller class is easier. These are his demos (does them in class) of one point, two point, and using shadow and shade for perspective. The painting over the mantel is not his; it was done by Ned Moore of us on the beach in 1974.

This class will be offered again during the 3rd week of the season.

For Democrats, hypocrisy is the biggest sin of all

The mess the S.C. governor has made of his family life, marriage, and career is for the liberal media a mud puddle to play in. Why? It's not that their team doesn't commit adultery, fornication, steal from the office kitty, have dangerous sex with leather and various objects in a variety of body openings or bring gay lovers into prominent government positions. No. When Democrats are caught, it's "Oh well," boys will be boys. Or almost-a-boy will be a boy. If Chastity becomes Charles, she's just finding her true self. Never you mind that you watched her grow up in frilly dresses on TV in the 1970s. What I found very interesting listening to Harry Smith yesterday was to hear him call Sanford "a rising star," as though he would have had laudatory comments like that before the star crashed and burned. Today's ABC website shows mostly photos of Republicans, flanking one Democrat, the former presidential candidate, John Edwards. Now that, dear readers, is the picture of hypocrisy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Skipping the wind energy program at Lakeside

Today's afternoon seminar was "Building advanced energy economy with off-shore wind power; Great Lakes wind energy" by the exec dir. of the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force. Lakeside is a Chautauqua community with wonderful educational programs, but they do list to the left like a water logged boat. About 1 p.m. my husband went down to sail, came back in 10 minutes. No wind. I went down to the lakefront about 2 p.m., sought out every piece of shade I could, but the lake was like glass. So I came back to the air conditioned cottage, powered by coal.

This is the picture of wind energy--now you see it now you don't; you can't store it; you can't depend on it. God created the forces, such as temperature change that create wind, but he also created all the stored energy in coal from rotting vegetation. God had the original recycling program, but the pantheist greenies don't want it. What God hasn't provided is more tax money to throw money at these projects labeled "task force" or "feasibility study" or "potential proposal" or Obamanomics. The American people have heavily invested through government perks and tax breaks in the system we already have; now many of the same energy investors want even more gov't money to start from scratch. These guys didn't get rich by not spotting a good deal. However, down the road, President Obama may have a surprise for them--his intentions are to destroy, not to build.

Wind generates about 1% of our energy needs. Coal does the heavy lifting. Coal is at the heart of Ohio's economy (like farming), a state where the governor is closing libraries and parks while crying in his beer. As American politicians, regulators and CEOs dabble and tinkle on the energy problem, repeating every lie they can think of several hundred times a day about economy of scale, China and India will continue to use coal. Whatever the pollution they create, I'm sure the friendly wind will bring it our way.

What do you want to bet that Michelle and Barry, Barney and Nancy, Ted and Harry won't want this view from their back yard or yacht? Just like they won't want the health care coverage they expect you to take?

Don't follow me home

I told the friendly guy at the grocery check-out yesterday. I was kidding, of course, but he was certainly interested, not in me, but in the rhubarb pie I had discussed with the owner when I came in to buy oil and flour. The young man had heard about it several aisles away. But then, he was also buying vodka and it was only noonish.

How many circles can you count--I got at least 28, assuming you don't count the spaces between the burner coils. It was still in the 90s last evening so I frozen the filling in the shape of the pie pan, and made the pie this morning when it was cooler. Even then a kitchen at 450 for 30 minutes makes the AC work harder.

Jim and Marion are coming over tonight to help us eat this rhubarb pie with Cool Whip. It's all sugar free, but certainly not calorie free. I might have to add another round to my daily walks which are now up to about 6 miles. She is also a retired librarian and he and my husband sail together in the "Society of Old Salts."

The Obamacare Infomercial

ABC really looked foolish. What was apparent during the 2008 campaign is now chiseled in stone--we have no free broadcast press in this country anymore than they do in Muslim countries. And the other sources like cable and talk are under great pressure through regulatory agencies run by Obamaclones to preach and teach the Obamadminews. Wonder what the ratings were? Saying "others disagree," is hardly giving 2 or 3 sides to the debate. So, what are our TV choices here: sitcoms with snarky, skimpily clad, jiggly women with few lines, law and crime investigative shows where plots involve cops or priests who are crooked, PBS green-go-only shows, or "news" media falling at the feet of the President. I may have to start watching football.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It finally feels like summer

It might hit the low 90s today. The weather has held--no rain, and cooler than northern Illinois or central Ohio, but the lake is very still today which means more heat. I've been able to add a street each day to my west end to east end walk--all the way east along the lakefront, then Monday I returned on 3rd, Tuesday on 4th, and today, Wednesday on 5th. Fifth is a bit of challenge in that there is a hill between 4th and 5th. But it's interesting to see the changes from year to year--although there are more houses for sale than I realized. Yesterday I saw a huron sillouetted against the sunrise but didn't have my camera. Today I took the camera, but he/she saw me first and flew off. The only wildlife I caught was this very shy calico (she's feral but gets food from all the neighbors).

Usually, I can get 2-6 more short walks in to equal 1-2 additional miles. Today it was to the coffee shop, then the herb class, then to the sports class then to the grocery story to buy oil for the rhubarb pie crust.

Sports and Faith and Herbs and Pastels

Week One of the Lakeside 2009 season has been a bunch of Firsts for me. I've been attending Greg Linville's class on Sports and Faith in the morning. It has been outstanding. If you ever get a chance to take one of his classes at Malone University in Canton (Evangelical Friends related church school) or hear him at a conference, be sure to do it. I'm a complete non-athlete--have never even played golf, which Murray says has deprived me of one of the two best pleasures in life--the other being beer, which I've never tasted. Linville has opened up scripture in many areas, particularly in his lecture about Eric Liddell, the missionary to China, who ran in the Olympics (Chariots of Fire movie).

Then Monday and Tuesday I took a pastel class at the Rhein Center, and both efforts were total failures, but you never know you have no talent for a particular medium unless you try! My record is at my new blog, called Norma's Art.

This morning was the big--huge--stretch. The herb class led by Jan Hilty. It was so interesting I even signed up for the trip to Mulberry Creek Herb Farm in 2 weeks. I learned that this is the year of the bay, according to the Herb Society of America. It seems everyone but me knows you can keep bugs away with bay leaves. In your cupboard, just lay it on the shelves, or inside a pastry cloth, to keep those pesky visitors away. Our instructor said it is great for slow cooking, fresh or dry, although she prefers dry. It has a pleasant balsamic aroma and is good with heavy, fatty meats. It can also be added to sweet dessert dishes. We received some recipes, then walked over to Lakeside's herb garden where Jan went over the details of what was growing there. I'm sure for the old thymers it was well worn material, but it was all new to me and I came home with some freshly cut chives.

Jan cut various herbs and we all smelled them; some people took home various kinds that were ready to be harvested, but I only took the chives. I loved the lemon geraniums.

The road to nowhere, now here

The law suit about Obama's valid birth certificate will go nowhere, even if the Supreme Court were to decide to take it (it won't). The alternative media and internet discussion will be shut down, you can betcha that! You don't really think his handlers wouldn't be prepared for this, do you? The big talkers aren't touching it.
    From Top News: The campaign challenging the legitimacy of Obama's 1961 birth certificate or the legality of his taking office is chronicled by WorldNetDaily, a popular, politically right-leaning site. Moreover, it appears that Peter Boyles - KHOW's morning drive time talk host - has taken up the mantle this issue; as have strong Obama opponents, like Jerome Corsi. In addition, lawyers in at least six states have argued Obama is not a natural-born citizen and cannot be president.

    In an article on World Net Daily, Corsi contends that, in response to his requests for the Obama birth certificate, Linda Lingle, the Governor of Hawaii ordered the Obama birth certificate under seal, and ordered the state Health Department to refuse all press requests for the original documents.

    The birth certificate on both the Obama and 'Fight the Smears' website does not reveal the name of the hospital at which Obama was born. In fact, to many it looks much more like a simple registration of birth, which Obama's mother could have applied for according to Hawaiian law, regardless of where Obama was actually born.

Joe the Lip promised us a disaster after Obama was elected

And he was right! He said we'd question his plans and results. And he was right! Biden's all over the Ohio northwestern TV stations, spreading it deep and thick. Not only has his administration taken over and destroyed what was left of the auto industry of northern Ohio by giving it to the unions with our tax money, but it is planning to destroy our energy based economy with the phony baloney cap n trade, which will benefit the same rich corporate execs (plus Al Gore) but will destroy local jobs. We've got counties up here with a 17% unemployment rate, compared to about 6% during the 2006 campaign in which Strickland and other Democrats constantly griped about "this economy." Now they want to make it even worse with green pie in the sky and kill the southern half of the state.

Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky and southern Illinois are all coal states. You know, the "dirty" stuff that has supplied about 90% of your electricity and powers the industries where you work. Now they want to clutter the prairies and lakes with windmills, a very unreliable source of energy, but 3 guesses who will own the stock and who will be trading those credits!

A graphic at Powerline today is worth looking at. It shows the state-by-state annual taxes incurred due to cap-and-trade based on EIA and CBO data. Ohio's new tax bill? $642.5 million annually, following Texas, Indiana, and West Virginia.


Ohio turns out to be the 4th biggest loser, which is fine if you're on reality TV competing with 49 other obese contestants, but this reality is lost jobs, incomes, schools, libraries, parks, highways, and it's big votes for Democrats who always promise a thousand times more than they can deliver, and people fall for it. Just like the FDR era, where they preferred WPA jobs to real jobs. Remember, the P in WPA was changed from Progress to Projects after several years of failure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Farmer's Market Returns

Nothing tastes quite as good--fresh from the garden. This cost me $16.00. The beets are a 2-fer--I cooked and had the greens for lunch and we had the beets and half the asparagus for supper. I didn't make a pie out of the rhubarb because I was out of oil. Maybe tomorrow. That's homemade blueberry jam in the jar--a little pricey--$4.50, but it is supposed to be good on ice cream or pan cakes. Ohio strawberries are smaller and firmer than California's, but have twice the flavor.

Farmer's market produce, if local, is very good and probably more nutritious since it hasn't sat in warehouses or refrigerated cars for days. That said, the hype from the wellness folk and environmentalists that this is the way everyone should eat is completely ridiculous. Our diet in Ohio would be extremely limited and women would again be tied to the kitchen stove, to say nothing of the various industries they are trying to destroy. Everything has trade-offs and consequences. I walked 2 blocks, brought my own bags, then walked home. That isn't realistic for 99.9% of the population. Most people will need to continue to drive to supermarkets to purchase trucked in, or shipped in produced, frozen foods, or prepared packaged foods. And it's still a good buy, and if you choose carefully, it's all nutritious.

Abigail's Teas & Treasure

Last summer I wrote about the closing of the landmark restaurant, The Abigail, in Lakeside, and the reopening of it under the name Evelyn's. Well, that didn't work out and the buildings (two cottages joined) are owned by the bank, which has leased it to a local woman. She told me her name, but I've forgotten it already. I stopped in this morning to check out "Abigail's Teas & Treasure." If you've been coming here a long time (our first year was 1974), you'll be happy to see that it pretty much looks the same, with seating on the porch and in the main room. However, it is now self-serve and primarily a bakery, deli, sandwich place. Dessert menu looks terrific and it will be open from 6 a.m. until Hoover closes, so you can stop in after the program instead of lining up down the street for ice cream.

Oh yes, free wi-fi and a computer is available if you need to check your e-mail.

Conservative bloggers losing it over Iran

"Here we get a hard dose of Hopenchange," said Allapundit at Hot Air. Some bloggers seem gob smacked that Obama was outraged over the death of baby killer George Tiller, that he called health care a ticking time bomb, but he's oh-w-t-f over Iran's election and the deaths of protestors.

Look folks, if we couldn't rally interest among the liberals in winning the war in Iraq when we had a patriot for a commander in chief, someone who understood the basic principles of freedom and democracy, who actually believed women and the unborn were worth something, why in the world would you expect the U.S. to intervene in Iran's election, when we have a marxist running the show? Check your history books. This is WAY above his pay grade and value system!

Son of Elmo

There used to be in our basement a spider so large that we named him--Elmo. He wasn't a pet, but we didn't kill him. I've heard tales of my son-in-law and his brother Pete setting Lakeside hurdles time getting out of the basement and refusing to go down there to do laundry for years. Yesterday we had the exterior treated for spiders, but we don't do anything on the inside. Maybe we should. From tippy toe to toe I'm guessing Son of Elmo is about 3 inches.

Ohio's Democratic Governor wants to cut library funding

It's hard to even imagine what Ohio's librarians would be doing if Strickland were a Republican (librarians vote 223 to one for Democrats). I'm sure they'd have a lynch mob ready, maybe they'd organized something like a tea party. But as it is, library patrons are getting e-mails (UAPL sent one to me) since there was only about a week's notice that his was going to happen. Oh, and also some day care funding for poor kids will be cut.
    Ohio Governor Ted Strickland has proposed cutting Ohio Public Library Fund by a jaw dropping $227,000,000 in his biennium budget. This could possibly cause the closure of many libraries relying solely on state support. Ohio is home to many of the nations highest ranked and rated public libraries. LISNews.
Remember, all you liberals, Obama's economic plan was only going to hurt the evil rich. He had to poke his long, sticky government fingers into our economic dyke that had a leak, but all he did was enlarge the holes and create a flood. Just because Obama's plan is destroying investment in business which brings in taxes which pays your salaries, or directly employs you, it's all going to be sooooo fair. This man never intended to save anything--only to destroy. Wake up! FDR managed to drag out the Great Depression for a decade; Obama could even beat his record.

One of the prettiest homes in Ogle County

Here's a lovely home in Oregon, Illinois. Check out the beautiful lawn, landscaping and new garden room, as well as a delightful home office, 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, fabulous views and oodles of storage with first floor laundry room. When your friends fill up the huge kitchen, just shoo them out to the lovely deck! Link.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Geithner wants YOU to play by the rules!

The biggest tax evader/cheat in Obama’s administration, our very own Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, wants to make sure you’re not doing anything funny over there in Switzerland--or Gibraltar and Luxembourg. Sweet!
    From Weekly Digest, U.S. Treasury:

    WASHINGTON--As part of the Obama Administration's aggressive efforts to enforce U.S. tax laws and reduce offshore tax evasion, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the conclusion of negotiations with Switzerland to amend the U.S.-Switzerland income tax treaty to provide for increased tax information exchange. Official signing of the protocol is expected in the next few months.

    "This Administration is committed to reducing off shore tax evasion to help ensure that all U.S. taxpayers are playing by the same rules," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "This treaty will increase our ability to enforce our tax laws and will help bring an end to an era of offshore accounts and investments being used for tax evasion."

    The protocol would revise the existing U.S.-Switzerland income tax treaty to allow for the exchange of information for income tax purposes to the full extent permitted by Article 26 of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Income Tax Convention.

    In recent months, the Administration has demonstrated its commitment to closing the tax gap. At the G-20 Leaders' Summit, the U.S. strongly supported efforts to ensure that all countries adhere to international standards for exchange of tax information. In the FY 2010 Budget, the Administration delivered a detailed reform agenda to reduce the amount of taxes lost through unintended loopholes and the illegal use of hidden accounts by well-off individuals. The Treasury Department recently concluded Gibraltar's first-ever tax information exchange agreement and also signed an agreement with Luxembourg to provide for greater exchange of tax information.
I'm sure glad they're cracking down on these rich guys. You're next.

Oops! She's done it again!

Started a new blog to keep me on my art toes this summer. I don't have a scanner connected, so I'll have to use the digital camera.

Monday Memories--Mother's mixing bowl

Do you ever freeze any leftovers and then aren't quite sure what they are? That happened to me yesterday. I thought we were going to have spaghetti for supper, and when I thawed the package (unlabeled) it was chili. So I made chili-mac by adding some cooked macaroni and added two lonely slices of cheese. Quite tasty with the fresh blueberries topped with plain yogurt, and key lime pie later. Anyway, while we were eating my husband mentioned that tonight the artists are having their potluck at the home of the Rhein Center director. I'm in class until 5:30, pot luck is at 6. So what to bring that can be reheated? The chili-mac tasted so good, I decided to go to the little grocery up the street and buy the beans and a little hamburger. This morning I began looking through the cupboard for the right dish, and found this, which I'd forgotten I have since I'm not sure I ever used it--a covered vegetable dish in the apple pear design by Harker.

I bought it a few years ago from a local "antique" store because it reminded me of a bowl that my mother had for many years. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, and it was no longer in the kitchen after my dad died, or I would have asked for it. Maybe someone else in the family also has happy memories of pies and cookies from this mixing bowl?

I heard this morning that there is an e. coli outbreak from raw retail cookie dough. When I was cleaning the bowl and spoon from Mom's bowl, there was no danger because Mom carefully checked to make sure no cracked or damaged eggs went into her food. She was also careful about washing her hands and cleaning the counter top after handling eggs or raw meat. But these days, the salmonellosis passes directly from the chicken to the eggs, and no crack is necessary. So I don't think it is safe to eat anything with eggs uncooked.
    Most types of Salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of animals and birds and are transmitted to humans by contaminated foods of animal origin. Stringent procedures for cleaning and inspecting eggs were implemented in the 1970s and have made salmonellosis caused by external fecal contamination of egg shells extremely rare. However, unlike eggborne salmonellosis of past decades, the current epidemic is due to intact and disinfected grade A eggs. The reason for this is that Salmonella enteritidis silently infects the ovaries of healthy appearing hens and contaminates the eggs before the shells are formed. USDA
So, things change. Not everything in the "good old days" was safer or better, but some things, like memories of Mom in the kitchen and safe eggs were.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Mayflies (Hexagenia) are thick

The good news is, it means the Lake is healthier--I think. Although they aren't really sure why they have returned, since farming and industrialization of this area originally also contributed to their growth. See this article. The Mayfly virtually disappeared in the 1950s, and since the early 90s have made such a come back that they pile up under street lights and can cause slippery streets and power outages! Their life on land is quite brief, exhausting themselves at any available light source, have sex, then die, but they have a rather complex life before coming ashore.

You have to avoid walking near the street lights--couple of inches thick.

Happy Father's Day at Lakeside

We're here--looks like a great season!

Packing and unloading and putting away is a pain, but we're pretty much settled in. Yesterday it looked like we were leaving home for good. And we hadn't even brought the suitcases downstairs yet when I took this photo. My husband teaches an art class this week, so he had to bring along all the supplies for the students (included in the fee). The cat was getting worried.

But she's happy to be here now, and is settled into her second, no third, favorite spot. She really likes the porch best, sitting on her "kitty condo" watching the bugs, squirrels, and neighborhood cats.

Week One seminars look good--several on "environmental challenges" which I'll skip--although there's one on Thursday afternoon on Lakeside trees which should be fairly non-political. There's several on sports and faith in the U.S.--I'm not much into sports, but it's a topic I know nothing about--could be fun. This afternoon there's "Boats that visited Lakeside," at 2. Eugene Swanger is going "Ancient Greek Insights on Thursday and Friday. He's fabulous--usually does China or Japan, so I'll for sure check this out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Frank Lloyd Wright on What's my Line

Our local architectural tour group is planning a trip to Buffalo August 14-16, but we have a conflict and won’t be going this year. It’s a fun group and great prices, if you're interested. Buffalo is a fabulous city for architecture. Contact Patsy Frost at Schooley Caldwell, pfrost@sca-ae.com if you’d like to be included. The bus holds 36. Our main interest as a group is visiting Frank Lloyd Wright sites/designs, but we see other things too. In Buffalo the group will visit the Martin House Estate, the new Greatbatch Pavilion there, the Mausoleum in Forest Lawn Cemetery, the Heath House and the Davidson House, with stops at the newly restored Erie Canal Harbor area and the Butler mansion; they'll stop at Oberlin to tour the Weltzheimer House on the way back to Columbus.

Anyway, FLW was on What’s my Line, and at the end after they’d guessed who he was the host asked him if he’d done anything recently, and he mentioned the Price Tower in Oklahoma. We stayed there when we toured in 2006.

Beautiful chickens

Artistically speaking, poultry are beautiful animals--vibrant colors, distinct breeds, and dumb as a rock for the most part. A number of times I have passed up some great chicken art--I'm mean, unless you have a themed kitchen, what do you do with them? I remember one time I saw a huge collection of magazine or calendar art from Watt Publishing's Poultry Tribune, inside a post binder at a used book store, and unfortunately, passed it up. Another time I saw a very reasonably priced watercolor in a local gallery, but again, passed. Today I was at a tag sale at Advent Lutheran Church. Art is always overpriced at these events, but there it was. . . an original 8 x 10 oil for $1.00. The price seemed right, although I'm sure the artist is a hobbyist. It's on good quality linen canvas, not stretched and poorly framed. It's sort of folk art, with a great deal of attention to the feathers. I just love it. The artist, P. Julian, either had a good grasp of the beauty of chickens or copied a 19th century print. Isn't it beautiful?

Friday Family Photo--June 17, 1961

By authority of the Board of Trustees of the
University of Illinois
and upon recommendation of the University senate
Norma . . .
has been admitted to the Degree of
Bachelor of Arts in the Teaching of Russian
and is entitled to all rights and honors thereto appertaining
Witness the Seal of the University . . .

And today I can't speak or read Russian, but it was useful in getting into grad school to become a librarian.

Lobbyists doing very well under Obama

Here's a job growth sector Obama has really helped. Lobbying. Lobbyists began pouring money into his campaign and Democratic coffers when it became apparent Obama was the front runner, and it hasn't stopped. People who still believe the Republicans are the party of big business haven't noticed how the huge companies and sectors support increased government regulation and interference in business. Why? Well, it knocks down (but not out) the competition, and totally demolishes the little guy who might have gotten big. Only the biggest can afford to wade through that snarl of paperwork, hire the lawyers, and grease the palms of the local, state and federal officials in the pork game.

Although Obama vowed to reduce the influence of lobbyists, so far, he has succeeded in slowing the economy to a crawl and raising lobbying by 80% (from 2008) from a $1.8 billion in 2002 to $3.3 billion. (WSJ, June 15, State of Capitalism article) The $787 billion "fiscal stimulus" that we just absolutely, positively had to have or go under has turned out to be just one more slush fund for Congress, and the nose of the camel in the marxism tent.

NYT article

Tom Daschle, health care lobbyist

Total spending

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Are we hearing the same guy?

Over at the Velveteen Rabbit, Rachel Barenblat is concerned that so many Jewish bloggers seemed to be hearing completely different Obama speeches (the Cairo speech, for instance): the conservatives heard one thing, the progressives another. But I had to stop reading when I got to this:
    The novelty of having a president who is well-spoken may never wear off for me. :-) Beyond that, I am still gobsmacked at hearing ideas and opinions which resonate for me coming out of the mouth of the White House -- it's just amazing how much more a part of this country I feel, these last few months. May it continue!
I hear something very different. I see a head swivel as he mindlessly reads in a very monotonous tone; even if I'm not watching, only hearing, I can see it. When he's off teleprompter he can't say anything succinctly or coherently and he has a bad stammer. The only explanation is that our political beliefs influence our hearing and seeing. Lots of liberals hate Sarah Palin because she has a twangy, "You betcha," and says, "Hey," instead of hello. They thought Bush's Texas drawl was a sign of ignorance, but didn't seem to hear Clinton's or Gore's. Doesn't bother me a bit--we twang a bit in Ah-Hi-YAH too. I listen to the words. Obama electrified the Democrats in 2004--although what I heard was a novice on the race stage doing a good imitation of a black preacher, someone who grew up white and learned how to speak like a black man in adulthood and wasn't quite comfortable so he mimicked. I heard a string of platitudes, and people who knew him, pointed out he'd given variations of that speech many times, some to very small, bored audiences. He's petty and whiny, and it comes through in his voice. He's repetitious, narcissistic, snooty, and full of himself, and it all shows in his voice and mannerisms. So, Miss Rachel, are we hearing the same guy? Are you listening as he explains why he needs to take over control of more and more and more of the economy? Just what about higher taxes and trillions in deficits resonates with you? And managed care with long waits, does that put a smiley face on you? Why in the world would you want that?

LA Times still reluctant to use the T-word

Seems as though the T-word is still a No-No for journalists.
    "The Yemeni Interior Ministry reported over the weekend that nine foreigners were abducted Friday while picnicking near the northern town of Sadah. They were described as seven Germans, including a doctor, his wife and three children, a British engineer and a South Korean teacher. The six adults were based at a hospital in Sadah, where foreign doctors and nurses have worked for more than 30 years.

    There were conflicting reports Monday about whether children were among the dead. Some accounts, citing unnamed government security officials and local tribesmen, said police had recovered seven to nine bodies. Three, with gunshot wounds and signs of mutilation, were found by shepherds and others, according to varying accounts. According to some accounts, two children were found alive.

    The British and German embassies could not immediately confirm the deaths. South Korea identified its missing citizen as a 34-year-old woman.

    "We are aware of these reports. We are looking into them," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel."
And it's not that they didn't have opportunities as they poured over their thesarus.
    ". . . there were suggestions that Al Qaeda militants might have been involved. Kidnappings are common in Yemen, but the killing of hostages has been rare."

    "Sunni extremists backed by Al Qaeda; a secessionist movement in the south. . ."

    "Islamic extremists have carried out a number of attacks on foreigners. . ."

    "The discovery of the bodies came a day after authorities announced the arrest of Hassan Hussein bin Alwan, a Saudi national accused of financing Al Qaeda activities in Yemen and Saudi Arabi."
If he only had a brain T.

Suspected al-Qaeda financier arrested by Yemenis

Hassan Hussein bin Alwan provided money for attacks in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, according to recent reports. His arrest "will be instrumental in understanding the system for global terrorism financing" the Yemeni Embassy annouced, boldly using the T-word American journalists have black listed.

Let's hope Obama, Pelosi and Reid don't get to decide the interrogation techniques. This guy would probably love to be on Gitmo about now.

Geithner's profile

Was it photoshopped? That photo of Geithner in yesterday's WSJ (p. A8 in our edition) was odd, did you notice? Is his nose really as long as it appeared (a sign of lying in fairy tales, and so far the BOADMIN seems one long fairy tale, mystery or true crime story). Geithner's ears looked slightly pointy, too. In fact, the eye brows. . .

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Therefore and However

A very important word in the New Testament is THEREFORE. It's a sign you need to go back and reread the paragraphs that come before. That is usually (if you're reading Paul who wrote most of the NT) the death and resurrection of Jesus. Lots of peace and justice Christians miss the whole point by not checking. An important word in medical studies is HOWEVER. What often follows that word in medical studies are phrases such as "such optimism has been tempered," "there are questions about safety and utility," "more refinements are needed," "some have questioned," "seem to be unrealistic expectations," and "further studies are required to clarify the underlying mechanism." That's the part they don't mention when they breathlessly report something in 30 seconds on the evening news.

However, that being noted, there's a very interesting article in the April 15 JAMA (Vol. 301, no. 15, p. 1565-1572), "Hypoglycemic episodes and risk of dementia in older patients with type 2 Diabetes Mellitus."

Now I didn't know that people with diabetes were at increased risk of dementia, or that insulin can cause hypoglycemia or that there was no research evaluating hypoglycemic episodes in older patients who have diabetes. I found the results and conclusions very interesting. They certainly had a wealth of evidence to work with--27 years of records of 16,667 patients with a mean age of 65 years who are members of Kaiser Permanente in California.

Who decided we have a health care crisis?

Follow the money. I'd place my bet on the pharmaceutical companies, with the Democratic party not far behind. No one in the United States is denied ACCESS to medical care, even if they don't have insurance. About 13-15% of the population (included in the census are all the people who aren't supposed to be here, and that's millions) don't have private, employer or government health insurance. There are two substantial groups within that figure--young adults who are eligible for insurance through their employer but choose to spend the money (payroll deduction and co-pay) on something else and people who are eligible for government programs that cover health, but just don't bother to do it, or are not mentally capable of figuring out a rather complex, bureaucratic system bound in red tape. Both my children when they were young adults and first living on their own were employed, but did not opt for health insurance; both were in auto accidents which were not their fault, and fortunately the other driver had the basic coverage (required in Ohio). But in the ER, no one told them they wouldn't be treated when they couldn't produce a card. For several years we bought temporary health insurance for them because we believed we would be financially wiped out if they had a life threatening accident or illness.

If we have a crisis, which we don't, it is one brought on by behavior--smoking, drinking, drugs, over-eating, not exercising and not honoring the marriage bed. If Americans cleaned up those problems on their own volition, not only would poverty drop to unprecedented lows (very few children who have married parents are poor), but we could drastically reduce all kinds of diseases, especially diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The AIDS/HIV "epidemic" was brought on by the promiscuous behavior of our wealthiest and best educated demographic--so we know more information and more nanny state lectures aren't going to help until people take personal responsibility.

But it's much easier for the Obama Administration (Republicans do it only slightly less aggressively) to take over yet another segment of the economy by playing the crisis card.

Let me tell you about a crisis we will have--rationed care. Yesterday my husband had his regular dental check up--goes twice a year. His dentist noticed something in his throat and suggested he see his internist. No rush--next check up (in the fall) would be fine he said. Then he called today and said, No, maybe you should get that checked sooner. After checking his calendar my husband had free time the week of July 20th--about a month from now. So he called his doctor and made an appointment for the time he was free. Done deal. Not a year from now. Not two years, when whatever it is has a chance to grow into something serious or disappear on its own.

Now THAT is the coming health care crisis. Time is money. And it is also good health.

Too good to publish, too slow to sing

That's the title of my poetry collection that I've never uploaded to one of those nifty do-it-yourself publishing sites like lulu.com. It's been on my to-do list for years, but I never get that magic coin, "a round tuit," and just blog instead. When I was employed, publications were part of my job; as was being a peer-reviewer and a committee member who kept other librarian writers' noses to the publication wheel. Looking through the notebook (for me it doesn't really exist if it's not printed on paper) I found this one from 13 months ago, and am really stunned at how accurate I was in verse about the man who wasn't yet even selected by his party at its national convention. The one slip I made was assuming Michelle would continue to have a power base, but Emmanuel and Axelrod have learned from the unpopularity of Hillary during Bill's terms, and have pretty much put her in the vegetable garden, or placed her as an accessory for photo-ops. As a city girl, she's probably more comfortable jetting to fancy restaurants in expensive clothes than digging weeds like a sharecropper.

Listening to Obama, variation on a theme

Oil prices continue to rise
it should be no great surprise
next they'll raise our taxes
If we elect Presidents Obam-es.

Don't you dare question them
you're only being dense and dim
he's been made messianic
by his handlers in a panic.

Move On's the group who's in control
George Soros too is on a roll
with flubs, flips and gaps
gaffes, waffles and flaps.

No wisdom makes it past his lips
he's made more than his share of slips
how'd he ever get through college
with such a lack of basic knowledge.

Preachers who scream and shout
from his pulpit in a pout,
Roman Catholic or UCC
is this what passes as loyalty?

They took to task poor Dan Quayle
over potatoe they did wail
but mix-ups over world war two
we're not supposed to notice and rue.

Prevarication or just lies
no matter which the flag he flies
no matter what today's faux pas
We've got his Highness Obama.

Just git-er done

At my church blog I’ve written about my frustration with Philip Yancey’s book on prayer. I’m reading my less-than- favorite author because I really enjoy the group that has chosen it. However, I’m now in chapter 12 and have really appreciated this part of his message, because he seems much more sure of himself and less full of angst, remorse, and questions. (You may have noticed I easily become frustrated with people who are constantly taking their emotional temperature or licking a finger to see which way the wind is blowing.) Also, he really speaks to my own lack of both athleticism and persistence in prayer.

Although the Old Testament doesn’t say anything about athletic games, Paul in the New Testament, being a Roman citizen in a Hellenized world, is quite familiar with the discipline of mastering a sport. And so Yancey writes about how he became a runner 30 years ago, and likens it to prayer discipline. He had met Peter Jenkins, the writer of A Walk Across America and agreed to walk with him. He was not athletic at all and realized he had only a short time to prepare to walk across Texas in July.
    “As our agreed-upon time approached, I realized that if I planned to walk through Texas in July with a sixty-pound pack on my back, I had better get into shape. I bought some cheap running shoes, stepped out the door, and sprinted down the driveway, expecting to run a few miles. At the end of the block I pulled up, gasping and wheezing, with an abrupt lesson in physical fitness. Lay off exercise for a decade or more, and the body no longer responds.

    I ran as far as I could that day--one block--then walked a block, ran another block, and limped home humiliated. The next day I ran two blocks, kept walking, and ran some more. Within six weeks, just in time for my Texas assignment, I was running seven miles without stopping. That began a routine of aerobic exercise that continues to this day. My body has become so accustomed to the regimen that if I have to skip a few days because of injury or illness I feel edgy and restless.

    I learned early on never to ask myself, “Do you feel like running today?” I just do it. Why? I can think of many reasons. Regular exercise allows me to eat what I want without worrying about weight gain. It does long-term good for my heart and lungs. It allows me to do other activities, such as skiing and mountain climbing. All these benefits represent the kind of “deferred gratification” [that regular prayer brings].

    As with physical exercise, much of the benefit of prayer comes as a result of consistency, the simple act of showing up.”

Whether gay or straight

Republicans can't catch a break. Democrats can frolic and wallow in a pit of slime, and everyone says, Oh well, it's no one's business, but not Republicans. Whether it is Newt and his third wife, a gay Congressman texting young pages, or a cabinet member with a gambling problem, the press just salivates--but only for Republican meat and potatoes.
    John Ensign, a rising GOP star and possible presidential candidate, says he won't resign. Sen. John Ensign, an emerging Republican leader who has been mentioned as a possible 2012 presidential ...Link
Here's a news flash: Republicans, conservatives, Christians, whatever your label, have exactly the same personal and social problems as everyone else. Faith, like a condom in the wallet, provides no protection if you don't use it. The only difference seems to be Republicans know it's wrong when they are doing it. Democrats discover it is wrong later when the wife, kids, office, peers, press, etc. find out, abort it literarly or figuratively, or pay child support for 18 years, apologize on national TV and play kissy face, or rent an apartment outside the beltway and get the guy on the staff, and no one cares and they all move on.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NFL player gets 30 days--killed a pedestrian while drunk

Maybe if you are Donte Stallworth, this seems like justice--1000 hours of community service, loss of driver's license (for awhile), 10 years of probation, paying the family an undisclosed amount of money (to bring closure), a lifetime to regret his actions, a promise to help with alcohol and drug education, and oh yes, 30 days in jail.
    After a night drinking at a bar in Miami Beach's Fountainebleau hotel, police said Stallworth hit Reyes, a construction crane operator who was rushing to catch a bus after finishing his shift around 7:15 a.m. Stallworth told police he flashed his lights in an attempt to warn Reyes, who was not in a crosswalk when he was struck. Stallworth had a blood-alcohol level of .126 after the crash, well above Florida's .08 limit. Stallworth stopped after the crash and immediately told officers he had hit Reyes. Police estimated Stallworth was driving about 50 mph in a 40 mph zone.
But to those of us who aren't paid millions of dollars to run around a football field or who don't even watch those who do, who don't drive Bentleys, and don't drive drunk it smacks a bit of favoritism, wealthy owners and pulled strings. There must be a lot of people doing jail time for a whole lot less who are really wondering about the system.

Oh yes, and he gets to have his career back.