Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More on week 2

Yesterday I attended a very interesting seminar on "Identifying and Managing Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome" by Laura Schmitt and Kathy Parker of North Coast Cancer Care, Inc. I learned a lot, but then when you start from zero you can only improve your score. Only a small percentage of breast and ovarian cancer are hereditary, but the red flags are
  1. breast cancer before age 50
  2. Ovarian cancer at any age
  3. Male breast cancer at any age
  4. Multiple primary cancers
  5. Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  6. Relatives of a BRCA mutation carrier
Kathy is a patient advocate, and talks to groups about her personal story which includes three in her sibling group of 8 who have the syndrome, and many of her nieces and cousins. She had prophylactic surgery to improve her chances of survival.

This morning our herb study group painted canvas bags with herb leaves. It was challenging for this non-crafty person, to say the least. I used the "less is more" concept and chose only 3 herbs, using each 3 times. Now I have a pretty bag to take to the Farmers' Market.

My friend Nancy and I (met in 1973 I think) went to the Hotel Lakeside for lunch today to celebrate her birthday. She first told us about Lakeside in 1974 and found a cottage for us to rent.

The program this afternoon is on the Rise of Partisan Politics. I can't recall anyone worrying about this other than Democrats, can you? When they filabuster, it's just because they care and want to stop something unholy and awful the Republicans want; when Republicans do the same thing, they are being partisan and hyper-critical and uncivil. We have two parties, and most of the time they are twiddle dum and twiddle dee. Together they have made Congress almost irrelevant, turning over and playing dead for the President's Czars or the Judiciary's interpretation. The last bi-partisan support for anything that I can remember was in 2003 when Bush got a lot of support from Democrats for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, using the intelligence on WMD gathered during the Clinton years. But then the Dems tried to run from that and called it Bush's fault. So that's what bipartisanship will get you!

Thanks, Mr. Sunil Ahuja, author of "Congress behaving badly;" I think I'll take a nap.

Ohio politics

You've got to feel a bit sorry for Governor Strickland--indeed, all governors--he's out beating the bushes for new jobs, industry and investment in his state. But what good is talking up the possibilities, lauding small business and pressing the flesh, while Obama is doing everything he can to bad mouth capitalism, demonize investors, suck up to foreign governments and shut down our economy through ineptitude or deliberately thwarting the clean up efforts in the Gulf? How many small businessmen say "I hope I never add staff or products," or "I hope I have to take a bailout from the feds, or survive on a state grant"? Business = capitalism = growth = jobs. After Obama kills the oil industry and the Gulf coast economy, coal will be next, and that's very bad for Ohioans. Fifty-four percent of Ohioans disapprove of both Obama's and Strickland's performance. Those numbers will go higher--I don't think either one can buy more popularity by throwing money our way before the election. The people are on to this scam. John Kasich has inched ahead of Strickland in the polls and 45% of Ohioans favor an Arizona type law compared to 35% who don't--and Strickland says he wouldn't sign it if the legislature passed it.

Ohio politics

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fannie-Freddie Fix at $160 Billion With $1 Trillion Worst Case

When will Congress call Fannie and Fred in for the hot seat tongue lashing?. Never. Both parties are to blame. Better to go after "big oil" or bankers or evil capitalists. Their mistakes were no accident, they are 100% the fault of the Congress which created the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, in 1938 to expand home ownership by buying mortgages from banks and other lenders and bundling them into bonds for investors. It set up the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., Freddie Mac, in 1970 to compete with Fannie.

Fannie Mae and Fred Mac will cost the American taxpayer more than the BP spill and clean up. Estimated at $160 billion and rising, possibly to $1 trillion.

Fannie-Freddie Fix at $160 Billion With $1 Trillion Worst Case « Finance Blog

Tea Party Candidate Opposes Abortion Even In Cases Of Rape, Incest

I have no idea who this candidate is or why this is pulled out of all her employment, education, social background and positions as the most critical. Will this candidate continue the degrading programs that prey on women and keep them 2nd class citizens?  Will she work for smaller government?  Does she believe in the free market? Has she lied about her positions or pretended what she said in the past doesn't matter today?  Is this inconsistent with her other views?

If you believe a fetus is a viable human being, is she less viable if the impregnation were violent or despicable? The headline is about pushing the "oh no" button rather than thinking something through logically. Why would any sane person want to compound a terrible crime with one even more violent, one that leads to death when the helpless victim has done nothing wrong?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pasta with walnuts and Ricotta

Tonight I watched three cooking shows--Italian, Mexican (I think), and Thai. But they were all using Italian cheeses. Anyway, I just love walnuts and eat them everyday. I decided to look up Lydia's show (it was a 2009 rerun) and found a blog which described what I saw, and explained about roasting the walnuts, since Lydia's were purchased that way. I don't think the pasta I saw on the show was Fettucini, but I'm not sure she said. Check out Plated, Jessica and James, a musician and painter who live in NY and love to cook.

Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir, The Declaration of Independence Updated

We got a framed print of the Declaration of Independence for Christmas from our son. It's an amazing document. The Chris Muir cartoon of yesterday substitutes a few words and phrases (Obama for King George), adds in the Stimulus Bill, Health Care, immigration, czars and Cap and Trade, and the result is a very spooky caligraphic version for 2010.
    "He has combined with Democrats, RINOs, Progressives, Communists, Dictators and Tyrants to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws. . . "
Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir :: June 27, 2010 Archives

Many legislators aim to copy Arizona immigration law

Arizona's SB1070 is set to take effect July 29, 2010. "It requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they think is in the country illegally. Violators face up to six months in jail and $2,500 in fines, in addition to federal deportation.

Lawmakers or candidates in as many as 18 states say they want to push similar measures when their legislative sessions start up again in 2011. Arizona-style legislation may have the best chance of passing in Oklahoma, which in 2007 gave police more power to check the immigration status of people they arrest.

Bills similar to the law Arizona's legislature approved in April have already been introduced in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Minnesota, South Carolina and Michigan, but none will advance this year."

I'm looking at "Reporting requirements for private boat operaators in the Great Lakes Region (Jan. 2008) and I can't see how this is different. The Border Patrol can come aboard your boat and check the documents of the master and all passengers. Immediately upon arrival in U.S. waters all alien boaters must report (around here that is Put in Bay, Cedar Point, Port Clinton, Cleveland,Mentor, Eastlake, Fairport, and Ashtabula) or face a possible $5,000 fine for the first violation, $10,000 and confiscation of the boat for the next, and/or imprisonment for one year.

Where do you people from California, Wisconsin, Chicago, and even local school districts etc. get your information on the treatment of illegals at our northern borders or Arizona? Why shouldn't police, sheriffs, state patrol have the authority to apprehend people in the country illegally especially in the course of committing another crime? If you're willing to trust the government with your health care records, your banks, your auto dealerships, why are you so touchy and protective about illegals who are bringing in drugs, trafficking in humans, and taking jobs from Americans?

The Associated Press: Many legislators aim to copy Ariz. immigration law

Naughty kitty

Doesn't she look so sweet and dainty? So obedient and purrful? She's becoming a very naughty kitty--after 11 years. She has learned that if she puts her foot in her water dish, she can lick it off her dainty foot. But if she tips it over with her foot, it goes all over the floor, and woot! that's even more fun. She started this in Columbus, and it's really dangerous because of the dark marble tile we can't see the water. So we put her water in a very heavy RRP pottery "dog" bowl we found in the basement when we bought the cottage. Here at the lake we've put her water dish inside a larger bowl, but she still finds a way to see the water spread on the floor.

An even more wonderful, tasty pie

We love rhubarb pie.  But it's a bit tart, especially if the rhubarb isn't young and tender.  So you throw in some strawberries, and that helps sweeten it.  But strawberries turn to mush when baked in a pie and the texture of a strawberry-rhubarb pie isn't pleasant to the tongue even if the taste is (in my opinion).

Friday I decided to use up the rest of Tuesday's Farmers Market rhubarb which I had cleaned and frozen with sugar and flour and was ready to go. But it was not enough for a 9" pie, and I had blueberries, but not enough for a pie, so I mixed them, blueberries on top.  What a fabulous pie.  The blueberries hold their shape and burst when you take a bite.  They sweeten the rhubarb, but do not cover the flavor (they are rather bland). I think it is a much better fruit pie combination than strawberry-rhubarb.

Photo is from another summer, another pie time.

More stuff I like--Monday Memories--Merle Norman Cosmetics

Around age 40 I thought it might be nice to learn how to wear make-up.  Must have been a mid-life crisis--you know, you look in the mirror one day and say, Whodat? I had lipstick, mostly red or pink, but foundation, eye shadow, mascara, blush, moisturizer, etc. were whatever I'd picked up along the way. So, I walked into a Merle Norman shop in the Lane Avenue Mall in Upper Arlington, and made an appointment for a "make-over."  Earthtones were all the rage then, but I liked the look and the older saleswoman (about 50) was gorgeous and very low key--just my type.  So I bought the powder base, moisturizer, cleansing cream, that red goop in a bottle, blush, eye shadow, mascara, and a rust colored lipstick.  I know all about bacteria warnings in make-up, but some of those products I must have had for 20 years because I didn't use them often.

I found out from the saleswoman (consultant?) that reds and rose weren't good for my extremely fair, peachy coloring, and I learned to apply foundation sparingly in a connect the dots method and not mask-like in the jaw area. This was a good tip particularly because as women age, we should wear less, not more, to cover facial wrinkles.  The last thing you want is an orangy or rose hue build up in those crevices and valleys. I never did much with eye lid color or mascara.  Makes my eyes itch, and again, as women age, lots of eye liner gives that startled racoon in the garbage can look. And God forbid if you shed a tear--big smears!

Then I discovered that these little stores come and go!  Rents are high in the malls, and women are fickle, it seems. After Lane closed, I went to Kingsdale, and it closed and I drove to Worthington; then to Westland.  Fortunately, in her teens, my daughter became a Merle Norman user, and she started giving it to me for birthdays and Christmas. There used to be a nice Merle Norman shop in a dress store in Port Clinton, but the owner died and it closed.  The last one I found near me was north of Bethel in Columbus, and she closed up after Christmas 2008--I rushed in and stocked up.  But while checking on-line today I found one in Polaris--it's a bit far for me to drive, but maybe there's something else in that area that I'll need, or I'll stock up for another closing.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The sound of pain

The yelp of a dog in pain--you don't forget that. I rushed to the window. A golf cart had gone over the foot of a large, hound-type dog. Now, the dog hadn't run after it or got in the way. No, the two overweight dog owners were riding in the cart while "walking" the dog, on a relatively short leash. They ran over his foot. The weight of the cart plus the weight of two obese adults must have hurt. They both looked like they needed to be outside the cart, walking. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they are disabled, but it's still a dumb way to exercise a dog. And that goes for the more svelte, buff people who think riding a bike with the dog on a leash is a smart way to exercise a dog. Especially when they get tangled up and I have to slam on my brakes.

Week 2 plans at Lakeside

Last night we enjoyed the wonderful Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats. Nothing like their show to make me feel like a slug.

Today we attended church on the Lakefront with pastor Irwin Jennings and then enjoyed breakfast at the Patio Restaurant. One of my husband's paintings has sold, so he swapped it with another one he had brought along. This afternoon I went to the Heritage Society Lecture on the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol--we have a huge border with Canada, and here on Lake Erie it is patrolled by boats but also on the highways. There was a big bust in May involving many levels of law enforcement. There is a new border patrol office in Sandusky (or reopened--it closed in 1957).

My husband plans to take children sailing today. Then this evening we're hoping to see the movie, "Letters to Juliet." I think $6 is too much to pay for a ticket to anything in Lakeside, but this one has scenes of Tuscany in Italy where we travelled in 2008 about this time of year.

I stopped at the art center to see if I wanted to sign up for drawing class, but it was a pastels class, and I really don't enjoy that. I was really looking for basic drawing skills.

This week's seminars are on Challenges in Mexican-U.S. Relationships, most of which I'll pass, but Joanna Swanger, daughter of our friends Gene and Carolyn is doing a 2-parter, so I may look into that. Another theme is "Provocative Social Movements," and that doesn't interest me. On Friday there will be a focus on Haiti, so we hope to go to that.

Tuesday Wellness at 3:30 is Genetic testing, which sounds interesting, and Wednesday in Herb class we're going to paint a canvas bag. I might do the historical walking tour on Wednesday after herb class, and the tree walk on Friday at 10:30. Friday evening is the Artie Shaw orchestra and Saturday is Capitol Steps which is usually political satire--fair and balanced we hope.

Thunder storms and tornado warnings, so I'll turn off the computer and unplug!

Patronizing and infantilizing members of other cultures

We just love PBS Antiques Road Show, and today are enjoying a rerun from 2005. The guest had a marvelous Native American (aka Indian) painting. The appraiser explained
    It's painted by a Native American artist, and he was a Navajo artist by the name of Narciso Abeyta. His Indian name was Ha-So-De. He was born in 1918. And in 1939, he was one of the first classes at the Santa Fe Indian School, to be taught by Dorothy Dunn. When they were sent to Indian schools to Anglicize them a bit, Dorothy Dunn encouraged all the children there, who were taken from their tribal lands, to remember their native ways. And there were many famous American Indian painters from that class. But the interesting twist in Abeyta's life was in the early '40s. He was pressed into service with about 52 other Navajos to be a code talker in the Pacific theater. They were code talkers that helped the Marines, and these people were sent home, sworn to secrecy, all the Navajos, and they were not allowed to talk until it was declassified in 1968. And if you can imagine to be taken from the tranquil grounds that he grew up on and be thrown into the Pacific theater, with all the danger and the change of climate, the jungles. . .Unfortunately, he was shell-shocked, and his paintings suffered for it. So you acquired a painting that was done in his prime. And it's really quite wonderful. He and the other code talkers weren't recognized till 1981 for their service to this country. And Abeyta died in the late '90s. He actually has a son, Tony Abeyta, who follows his father's tradition and works in the contemporary vein, too. Have you ever had any thoughts about this painting and its value? Because it's a little nontraditional.
He was an Indian, an excellent artist, a patriotic American, a code talker in WWII, but the appraiser tries to make his service and experience somehow different than millions of other men and women who sacrificed, interrupted their lives and learned new or unusual skills never to be touched again. Why do that because of his ethnicity? Yes, many Indian children were sent to boarding schools and removed from their culture. Millions of children have that happen every day as they get on a bus and are driven out of their neighborhood and are told in a classroom that their religion, their habits, their values and their behavior are not acceptable. We call it "education" if we believe what they will have is better than what they are leaving. Would Narciso Abeyta and his classmates learned how to preserve their culture in paintings by remaining in the culture? Or did school give them new ways to appreciate and explain their culture?

Small town, rural and urban youth were also pressed into service, "thrown into the Pacific Theater with all the dangers and change of climate" and they too were sworn to secrecy if they had sensitive jobs. My uncles weren't accustomed to jumping out of airplanes; my dad had never lived out of the county and didn't know how to swim--the Pacific Ocean must have been quite intimidating. These Navajo men provided an invaluable service that others could not do--and so it was for many. Let's not make it something it wasn't because of their race.

When academics and experts do this, they not only infantilize minorities, but they are speaking from the perspective that their own lofty view in 2010 is somehow superior to that of the 1930s and 1940s. How biased and narrow (you only have to look through the newspaper headlines or entertainment pages to see how absurd that is!). Dorothy Dunn herself later came under criticism for limiting the self expression of her art students by insisting they do art the "indian" way. Sigh. You just can't please these people.

Stuff I like--Sensodyne pronamel toothpaste

One day at the dentist's for a check up and cleaning, I told the hygenist (Dr. Walton's wife) that my teeth were becoming increasingly sensitive. She recommended Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste, and gave me a sample. I love this stuff--and I use the gentle whitener variety. I drink a lot of coffee and tea, and that really messes up your tooth color--just look at the inside of a ceramic cup after you've reheated your coffee in the microwave. My teeth aren't sensitive anymore (and now that I've seen a few commercials I understand it better) and I think I'm making a little progress in the whitening department. It costs a little more than Crest, but it's worth it.

When I talk to people my age, I really notice their teeth more than their wrinkles or sun damage. Although regular dental care was coming in when we were children, there was no floridation of water, and my generation (including me) was careless about flossing, and it really wasn't emphasized. I had a very early case of periodontal disease (1977) that was caught by Dr. Heinzerling who sent me to a surgeon to have it removed. I am 70 years old and have all my teeth, even my wisdom teeth. Most people lose their teeth from poor care--especially gum disease. After a frenulectomy (removal of the muscle between my front teeth) at the same time as the gum surgery--I don't recommend having this double whammy--my teeth naturally shifted and there was room for all of them.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

McChrystal remarks sad but not surprising

J.D. Gordon, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and a retired Navy Commander, says McChrystal, although a talented military officer, was completely out of touch with how to handle the media and didn't rely on his public affairs staff for advice.

"The swagger and salty talk displayed by Gen. McChrystal and his inner circle are not uncommon for military staffs in war zones. What was remarkable however, was the level of contempt combined with profound lack of judgment in allowing a virtually unknown reporter with whom they had no sustained relationship to such unfettered access."

Center For Security Policy

Attention Boomers! Where is your doctor?

USAToday reports, "The number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high, just six months before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in the government health care program." Can you believe there's not a word in this article about why or who caused this, only that Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low. Where did that come from? Is this more Cloward and Piven--try as hard as he can to make everything break at once?

The CMM will tell you 3% don't accept Medicare, but in Illinois it's 18%. 19% of DOs won't accept new patients.

Doctors limit new Medicare patients -

HT Murray

Four Christians arrested at Arab Festival--in the United States

Police in Dearborn, Mich., say they arrested four Christian evangelists at a large Arab cultural festival Friday for conduct they allege was disorderly.

The Christians weren't being disorderly, the hecklers were, but the police arrested the victims using their first amendment rights. The four evangelists, however, say they only spoke with people who wanted to speak with them. They have since been released on bail. It was not billed as a Muslim festival, but an Arab festival. Many Arabs are Christians, as was one of the evangelists.

If this were reverse, Arabs harrassed at a Christian event, President Obama would have stepped in and accused the police of acting stupidly. The police chief who had them arrested, Ronald Haddad, has been appointed to serve on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, which provides advice and recommendations to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on matters related to homeland security. Don't you feel safer now?

More information from the arrested.

4 Christian Evangelists Arrested at Arab Festival |

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where is it safer to have a blow out--on land or 5,000 ft under water

Who pushed BP off shore into deep water (5,000 ft depth) and gave them the permit to drill after reviewing their plan? Who benefits from their taxes? Who are their employees? Who uses their oil? What pension funds (outside Britain) are paying dividends to investors and retirees? And couldn't they do the same, much safer and cheaper on land? Yes.

"Whether more exploration on federal lands would make the U.S. energy independent is debatable, but more onshore development would certainly be safer. In early June there was a blowout in western Pennsylvania. Did you see it on the nightly news? No, because it was capped in 16 hours. The Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates oil and gas production there, recorded 102 blowouts of oil and gas wells since the start of 2006, resulting in 10 fires, 12 injuries, and two deaths. None of those made the nightly news either. The largest oil spill on Alaska's North Slope in 2006 was from a pipeline leak. It dumped only 6,357 barrels and had no disastrous impacts."

Terry Anderson: Why it's safer to drill in the backyard

And by the way, just how do you feel about windmills off your coast or on your prairie vista in your line of vision, or a nuclear plant next to your river? How long before "alternative" energy sources will be able to handle this summer's heat?

Home ownership is not a path to wealth

It might be the American dream (soured a bit recently), but it's not a path to wealth, unless you buy it with the intention of selling at a profit, or build it for others to buy, or finance the mortgage for others to pay you back, or own stock in Fannie or Fred, or rent it with someone else paying the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance and repairs plus a percentage for your risk. Poor people aren't poor because they don't own homes, and they won't become wealthy by signing up for a government deal with no money down (you can still do that with many government programs despite what we learned in 2007-2008). In fact, you can be rich and lose it all, and will have nothing to do with your house, but everything to do with your values (lazy, rude, promiscuous), your bad habits (alcohol, drugs), your health (something you may or may not control) or your marriage (many women become instantly poor after a divorce--it's much more common than "she took me to the cleaners" story--and if she's smart, she won't accept the house in the settlement of assets).

What is a path to wealth is the life style you choose, or should choose, when you become a home owner. You're choosing neighbors, schools, playmates for the kids, distance from employment, public transportation, access to highways, parks and leisure opportunities. Don't renters do that? Not so much--their values are different. Will they be voting in the school or library bond issues, will they complain to the city or the landlord if the trash isn't picked up or the streets not cleared of snow? Like the new employee, the renter isn't "vested." He can move on--he's got his eye on a different ball.

Drive through any high-end suburban neighborhood of any city (I live in Columbus). Look at the people north of Dublin or east of Easton. Do you really think the 30 year old out there trimming the rose bushes got to a $750,000-$1,000,000 house by buying a "starter" in the city and then moving up? Really? With college loans? Car payments? If he's 30, he probably had family help, either for the house down payment or for the college tuition that got him that $150,000 job managing a business. If he's 50, he's probably moved around taking advantage of more responsibility at higher pay with each move. The house is just a symbol of values--hard work, discipline, and genes--it's not wealth building like investing, starting a business, inheritance, or honing your athletic skills and being first pick in the draft (become a millionaire at 19).

We have owned four homes as primary residences (2 in Champaign, IL and 2 in Columbus), and one as a "second home." We haven't had a mortgage in many years. But we are here, not wealthy but comfortable, because the first home we bought was a duplex, and we rented half, invested sweat equity in remodeling, were willing to live in a less than desirable neighborhood, didn't go into marriage with debts, saved when we could, lived on one income even when we had two, didn't take vacations other than visiting relatives until we'd been married 14 years, and got help from our parents.

However much your primary home appreciates, your next place will probably eat that up. You have to live somewhere. Just don't use your equity by thinking your home is a bank that won't come after you.

Isn't that dill?

"Dill" was slang in my home town for something really fabulous. Anything could be dill or dilly, but I don't think dillest was on the list. Also, just about everyone had a nickname, so "Squeaky's outfit was really dill," or "Wasn't Kitzy's party just booku (i.e., beaucoup) dill." This year the International Herb Association chose Dill as the Herb of the Year (2010).

Our first class of the third year of Lakeside's Herb Study was on fennel and was led by Jan Hilty, Master Gardener, OSU Extension, Delaware County. She owned an herbal decor and products business; she lectures on herbs and has written many articles about the uses of herbs.

Here's our Herb Study 2010 schedule--meet at the train station at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, drop in or regulars. After the meeting we go to the herb garden which is near the pavilion, for hands on and watering.
    June 30: Painting a tote with fresh herbs ($3.00 for the canvas tote)

    July 7: Making Herbal soaps

    July 14: Making dried herb blends

    July 21: Winter and summer savory

    July 28: Field trip to Schedel Arboretum and Gardens in Elmore ($23 for admission, tour and box lunch)

    August 4: Herbal gifts from the kitchen

    August 11: Herbal brunch potluck

    August 18: Borage

    August 25: Folklore and magic of herbs

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Tweaksters at Lakeside

Last night we invited Wes and Sue over for rhubarb pie (purchased at the Lakeside Farmers' Market on Tuesday) and then we all walked down the street to Hoover Auditorium and enjoyed The Tweaksters. I figured it was a kids' show ("family entertainment") and it was, but thoroughly enjoyable for adults too for the athleticism of gymnastics and ballet and a media show. I stayed awake (not always a recommendation since I sometimes can doze off during a very great performance) and we were home before 10. I think one of the performers may have just walked past our cottage. Incredible bodies!

Also yesterday I attended a seminar on Willa Cather--a PBS DVD from its American Masters series. Because I studied Russian and Spanish in college, I wasn't required to study American and British literature--and it was a great loss for me. Cather died in 1947, so we didn't even notice her works in high school where American literature was a required subject. Anyway, now I'm interested and may take a peek.

Today's 10:30 seminar is on Frank Baum, the author of the Oz books. One of my fondest memories of third grade is Miss DeWall (Forreston) reading to the class after recess, "The Wizard of Oz." Later I saw the reissue of the movie, but never liked it as much as her version. Gretchen Curtiss, who manages our seminars, is going to be the presenter. Then this afternoon at 1:30 there is a seminar on Thoreau and Emerson, two of my mother's favorites. I'll probably go to that--taught by Larry Smith. He'll have a busy day, because he's also doing a lecture on the publishing process at 3:30. His novel, The Long River Home, came out in 2009.

Jake and Vienna

It's a good thing we have non-news and non-stories for non-reporters to talk about. Jake and Vienna. The break-up of a reality show shack-up? Oh please! Living together is never a good preparation for marriage, and I haven't seen a single "reporter" mention that, even when Vienna complains that she wasn't getting enough sex. Well, doh! And he says she had no ambition and complained a lot. Well, double-doh! The milk cow and the sugar daddy--all the two of them have are good looks, and even that is questionable without makeup, agents and handlers. Or, this is another way to laugh all the way to the bank as they get paid for interviews.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Those dangerous, racist tea partiers

Tim Scott, an African American and Nikki Haley, an Indian American, won in the SC primaries for Congress and Governor and are both favorites of the tea-party movement, despite the Democrats' insistence that the movement is racist. Liberals get so angry when a minority politician escapes their clutches.

Certificate templates

My husband teaches "Perspectice Drawing" at the Rhein Center at Lakeside using drawing principles (mainly one point and two point) and watercolor. At the end of the week he gives each student a certificate, but I'm the one who has to create it. Because my laptop periodically fails and wipes out everything I've saved, I sometimes lose my creations. Today I found a really neat certificate--it lets you fill in what you want to say, print it, but you can't save it. Well, there is only one person in the class (not many people here this week), so I created a "best in the class" award for her. This one had a hand holding a paint brush which was just perfect. I stopped by the class one day, and I think even with 5 or 6 in the class, she would have been "best in the class." Of course, if I must say so, he's a good teacher.

Looking through the templates, I found all sorts of interesting templates. Gardener. Writer. Most improved (wouldn't you hate to get that one?). Maybe Plays well with others, but I'm not sure.

Obepa vs. Jindal and the people of the Gulf states

We have a White House out of control that ignores the Constitution--both the original one and the "living" one filled with modifications, case law and regulations. Therefore, Bobby Jindal and other Gulf state governors should just ignore the feds (EPA, HHS, DoE, MMS, Coast Guard, etc.) and do what they can to save their people and the economy. Obama is the one who put this oil spill in military terms, brought on by government regulations and sloppy oversite. It's on his watch, and it's his guys who approved BPs plans. Jindal's going to have to have the balls of a McCrystal, and go against Obama's plan to destroy us in this energy war also. What's the worst that could happen? Fines? That would have to be cheaper than closing down his economy for years as the oil industry moves to Brazil on our tax dollar. ObEPA and ObFEMA will be no help with payouts that will be years too late to save those businesses in the leisure, construction and fishery industries.

Between Fences Museum on Main Street

The Between Fences exhibition is in the Hoover Auditorium Lobby of Lakeside, Ohio from June 20 - July 10. A friend and I spent about 30 minutes viewing it yesterday afternoon. We concluded it is quite political--leftward leaning if you get my drift. By that I don't mean the current administration. Based on the copyright, this one had a Republican Congress for funding, although the guide for discussion may be locally prepared and a more recent date.

From Teacher's Guide (c2005): "Between Fences is a Museum on Main Street project organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and brought to you by your state humanities council. Funded by the U.S. Congress Museum on Main Street is a partnership of the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide that serves small-town museums and citizens.

This innovative project brings rural America one-of-a-kind access to prestigious Smithsonian exhibitions and first-rate educational humanities programs. Most importantly, Museum on Main Street enables rural museums to demonstrate their enormous talents and their meaningful contributions to smalltown life."

The Guide we received was not this one--ours had much more politically charged questions like "Why are the U.S. boundaries with Canada and Mexico treated so differently? Well, doh! How many Canadians are sneaking into the U.S.? That may come; we may have to step up the patrol of that border too as many terrorists infiltrate the Canadian population and start crossing. It's been beefed up on Lake Erie since 9/11. Americans now need to show a passport to enter Canada.

But the real irony is this display is inside a gated community, completely fenced with "patroled" gates open only certain hours. It has rules about smoking and drinking (definitely an offensive fence to some); you can't dock your boat here if you're coming from a marina on Lake Erie, let alone Canada; there are rules about noise and parking (these are fences for some teen-agers); there need to be a certain number of Methodists on the board that controls the association; and so on.

As the 2010 Guide for this exhibit says: "Some fences are not physical, but cultural. Think about racial divisions and separations by income, gender, religious culture and ethnic differences. Separations can be created without actually having a 'real' fence." Yes, indeed. Think about those cultural boundaries in a simple name for a political organization like "La Raza," (The People, or The Race in Latin American Spanish; or Spanish for someone of European Christian heritage in Spain).

The good thing is that most people won't pay any attention to the questions--they'll just look at the photos and remember the Frost poem.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More bad mortgages if these guys have their way

These guys want to strengthen the Carter era legislation of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) which helped create our current recession and explosion of defaults by lowering credit standards and recruiting marginally qualified buyers to be "home owners." I suspect they just want to keep their cushy jobs. Lots of money in workshops to recruit and train, and then more money on how to budget, then more on how to avoid foreclosure. Oh sure, it's House Dems who are pushing it, but whodathunkit without these guys?

"Another 'Bachelor' Falls Short of Alter"

That was a headline in my RoadRunner news page.  Altar is where people get married; alter is what you do in castration.
    The hit ABC series continues its long-running tradition of bringing couples together only to see them break up shortly after 'the final rose.' Pilot Jake Pavelka's choice was a surprising one on this spring's season finale, and his relationship with tabloid regular Vienna Girardi has ended after just a few months.

The longest day

Yesterday was the first day of summer and the longest day of the year--now they'll start going the other way, and I'll be watching the sunrise move slowly to the south, until by August I'll see it over Marblehead instead of Kelley's Island.  About 9:30 there was still some daylight, and we were in our pajamas remarking that we really should have gone down to watch the sunset.  We heard a tap on the porch door and there was a good friend, in town only briefly.  If we'd been on the dock we would have missed her.  Although, maybe not.  She's a night person and I'm a morning persons--the tap could have come much later.

I took my book down to the hotel porch about 2:30 p.m. while Jim and my husband were sailing.  This is Mayfly season (good for the birds but really messy for people) and the slowest, young man I've seen in awhile was sucking them up in a vacuum cleaning louder than a leaf blower.  Or maybe he was blowing them. I don't think his mom ever taught him how to clean.  Fortunately, he wasn't very motivated and didn't continue too far down the wrap around porch with dozens of chairs.

I'm reading "Stepping heavenward; one woman's journal to Godliness" by Mrs. Elizabeth Prentiss, published in 1869 which apparently is considered a "classic" and is still in print.  I found it in the church "freebie" box, in perfect, unmarked condition (2008 reprint) about a year ago. It's really quite charming, sound theologically, and since it starts in the early teen years, one is reminded that nothing much changes in 200 years. It's fiction in diary form, a genre I usually don't appreciate, but it is well paced with a lot of introspection and spiritual temperature taking.  This was not on my TBR list, but I'm enjoying it. Need to get back to Keller's "Reason for God" which is what my Columbus group is reading.

Today is Tuesday and should be the first Farmer's Market.  There are two major seminar themes this week, "Race in America" and "American writers."  This morning's offering is "I am a promise" a film made in 1994. I'm sure it will not be noted that all our biggest poverty/education problems in this country are in urban areas controlled for generations by the Democratic machine which continues to create a sense of powerlessness, anger and hopelessness in people while buying their votes.  I don't want to hear how little has changed in 16 years and how if we just threw more money at it, everything would be OK.

The afternoon wellness program is an update on radiation therapy for treatment of cancer. That sounds interesting since I'm a bit of a medical research junkie. At 1:30 someone is giving a "living simply" lecture--yawn.  Been there done that.  Tomorrow morning the Herb class will meet at the train station.  I loved where we met last year--close to the lake and the herb garden, but we must have gotten too large for that open air space. Tonight's program at Hoover is "The Singers' Club at Cleveland," featuring love songs and music from the movies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

BP plans reads like fiction? Who approved the plan? The government.

Wrong addresses, phone numbers, species names, officials' names. I encounter that it seems with every report I read on-line whether government, private or non-profit. Who was suppose to check the figures? We must have thousands of employees making big bucks at the EPA, FEMA and MMS. Are there no fact checkers?
    “BP PLC's 582-page regional spill plan for the Gulf, and its 52-page, site-specific plan for the Deepwater Horizon rig, are riddled with omissions and glaring errors, according to an Associated Press analysis that details how BP officials have pretty much been making it up as they go along. The lengthy plans approved by the federal government last year before BP drilled its ill-fated well vastly understate the dangers posed by an uncontrolled leak and vastly overstate the company's preparedness to deal with one.”
The federal government's clutch of regulatory agencies are the sister agencies of those which manage education, epidemics, national parks, homeless shelters, food purity, etc. The bigger the agency like EPA or HHS the more likely the failure. And yet, we're moving to bigger and bigger, more and more government. Why do we think that people who can't handle a huge job, could do better if we just gave them a humongous job?

Columbus Dispatch story

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A magical experience?

You know how addresses stick in that little window at the top of your computer screen? The golf tournament is incredibly boring, so I turned on the computer and was flipping through that list--must be from last summer. Looked at Fat Triplets--gosh they were good. They were going great guns in October and November 2008--probably Obama fans--then trickled down to nothingness in December 2009. Total disallusionment, I'm guessing.

Then I clicked on something called steppingstonesmentalhealth and found unbelievable eastern mysticism--right here in Lakeside!
    This week’s Intentional Living activity was extraordinary. I hosted a wellness retreat last weekend at Lakeside, Ohio, a chautauqua near Marblehead in western Ohio. Saturday evening we were guided in a Shamanic Drumming Journey to reclaim our magical child.
I assume this was done for Ohio Methodists based on the date. Have they somehow found the gospel of Jesus Christ lacking in spirituality and meaning so they listen to drums? Oh well, looking through her blog, she has found other interesting things to do in Ohio that don't require putting your mind in neutral or worshiping other gods.

Merkel signals G20 clash with Obama on finance

Odd, isn't it, that a German is the one who has to caution Obama. Perhaps she studied economic history and learned how long FDR dragged us down with his alphabet soup spending and the New Deal. Managed to make our Depression hang on for years, when countries that didn't throw money at it rode it out in far less time. But then, never waste a crisis, as Rahm would say. It did buy him 4 terms.
    "German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday spending cutbacks are needed following the spate of throwing money at the global economic crisis, in a direct counter to US President Barack Obama."

Merkel signals G20 clash with Obama on finance

Happy Father's Day!

To everyone who had a great dad who was always there for you, great. And if you got a crummy one in life's father lottery, well, honor him anyway. The Bible promises you a blessing if you do. It's the only one of the Ten Commandments that comes with a promise.

Men who marry the mother of their children reverse the devastation of childhood poverty. It's worth more than a college education in family economics compared to the single mom household. On the other hand, married dads who walk out on the family, usually for another, younger version of the wife of their youth, hurt everyone involved, including his kids, friends and community.

Our children aren't with us today at our lake home, but I have a package for their dad. Two shirts and a book. Woot! One of the shirts is a style he loves; the other, not so much--but I liked it. I also got him Glenn Beck's new book, The Overton Window, of the "thriller" genre. I never read that genre, but I suppose I could grit my teeth and try it. Couldn't be worse than reading the newspaper headlines. The lefty blogs (as Glenn says, writing in their mom's basement) keep trying to harass Glenn about this book (#1 on Amazon). First they ridiculed the poem used in the promo, not realizing it was Kipling's not his; then they accused him of plagiarism, not reading his credits to the author they accused him of plagiarizing. Sigh. It would help if his critics either watched or read him, instead of making up things.

The newly relocated art store, Artists N Kahoots looks very nice in the old Cokesbury bookstore location. My husband has his own section for prints of his watercolors. It's the crafty stuff that really sells, however. He doesn't do jewelry or pottery or cheese knives or decorated mirrors, batik scarves, wind chimes, etc.

I watched the sunrise at 5:55 this morning on my walk. It wasn't spectacular like many I've seen over Lake Erie, but it's always amazing to see the pink horizon, and then POP! there it is. If sunrises don't make you feel small and sunsets make you feel peaceful, then you need a tune up with the Creator. Don't worship "mother nature" or "mother earth," talk to the real Father of us all. He's anxious to hear from you on Father's Day, or any day.

We ate at the hotel again last night.  I had my 3rd rueben of the season, but this one wasn't as good as the first two--sort of soggy and the corned beef tasted odd.  So next time I'll go for the grilled chicken salad.  But the view of the lakefront and the classic car show on the lawn was spectacular.  Saw lots of cars from the 1950s, and a few from the early 60s that I would gladly ride around in with the top down.  We're really glad the hotel dining room as reopened.  When my husband went to pay the bill he discovered I had taken a twenty from his wallet when I went out to check on the new art store.  Plus, I hadn't spent it, but it was in my slacks and I had changed clothes!  So I dug around in my purse and we came up with enough for the bill and tip. Always check your wallet before leaving the house!

Worship at the pavilion at 8:30 with Bud Cox, the former Lakeside director.  I assume Rev. Jennings had another commitment--we always enjoy his services. Then after communion looking over the lake horizon we go to the Patio Restaurant for breakfast. It's a tradition, but the frig is pretty empty so today it will be a necessity too.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Freedom and liberty and myths

Most of my years were lived out in the 20th century. I grew up in a household with a liberal mother (liberal in the classical sense of the word, not the pejorative it has become), and a conservative father who owned a small business (first he worked for Standard Oil to learn the business, then became a partner with an older man in coal which was losing out to fuel oil to have the financial backing he needed, then bought out his partner and became a sole owner). Both of my parents attended Mt. Morris College (merged with Manchester in 1932), as did my mother's parents, my father using a Polo, IL charity and his athletic skills, my mother using her parents' dwindling resources. The town Mt. Morris in which my parents lived, went to college, and supported my father's little business had a thriving printing industry at one time begun by two young brothers in the early 20th century, the Kables. It then was unionized (don't know the dates), then was bought by a larger corporation, then was struck down by a union strike in the late 1970s, from which it has never recovered. The smaller publishing and fulfillment companies which grew up around the printing industry, eventually left too, as the town voters turned down bond issues and highly qualified and educated people left for greener, freer pastures, all of which will live out that same cycle. 1) Entrepreneurial start up based on a good idea at the right time, 2) thriving growth, 3) unionism, 4) increased government regulations, 5) stagnation and strikes, 6) outsourcing to less regulated area to avoid the unions, either in the U.S. or abroad, and finally, get-out-of-town-shut-it-down.

I never heard my parents argue about politics--he voted Republican, she voted Democrat, so for 65 years they crossed out each others votes. The fact that I didn't hear it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. After all, I left home when I was 17 (went to California after graduation to work in a church program, and then in the fall went away to college). From then on I was a visitor and we talked about other things--town issues, grandchildren, grandparents, health, etc. I followed Mother's path and voted pretty much a straight Democratic ticket until the 2000 presidential election, although for local and state elections I voted for what ever name recognition the candidate had.

During my parents' lifetime and my own, however, there were vast changes in our political, economic and religious life. They lived through two world wars, the Great Depression, Korea, Vietnam and various smaller conflicts. We had just celebrated our 40th anniversary in my father's home on Sunday when 9/11 happened on Tuesday. And during their lifetime and mine, the definitions of freedom and liberty were gradually changing. It used to mean, and this was before my time, freedom from the coercion of the state, but has evolved to mean freedom from need, from want, from lack, and especially from competition to be better or the best.

My chosen career, library science, is pretty much a profession owned and controlled by the state. Yes, there are a few private companies that employ librarians, but for the most part it is top to bottom state run and regulated. Librarians like to talk about "freedom to read" and that public libraries are "the university of the people" but that's another freedom myth, one that has been subject to the redefinition of that word. Librarians, whether public or academic, vote overwhelmingly Democratic--223 to 1--in the 2004 election. That fact alone makes the profession more liberal than Hollywood, more liberal than the ACLU. This is the result of a mindset of "we know what's best for you" and it's in all levels of government from your local zoning board, to the school board, to the state department of transportation all the way up to the Oval Office. This is why I say book banning begins in the back room of the library where "acquisition" takes place, not at the point where an irate parents comes in and complains about a sex scene in a child's book. It also explains why librarians did not invent the world wide web, Google, or any of the "tools" that are now putting them in unemployment lines. Even with all that information at their finger tips, all library innovation is dependent on government grants and regulations, not competition for ideas or investors or entrepreneurship.

The redefinition of freedom is taught throughout the public school curricula and the Sunday Schools and pulpits of mainline Protestantism. As poor as Haiti is, the private school where my husband volunteers has a classical, liberal (in the true sense) curriculum that would put ours to shame. It exists even in the "required" volunteerism component now included in most schools' college-bound tracks. In many churches, the message from the pulpit is not about freedom in Christ, but that redefined freedom that the government offers us, freedom from the need to work or be sexually chaste, freedom from saving enough for a 20% down payment on a mortgage, freedom from hunger or poor housing, freedom from having to wait for a new car until you can afford it, freedom from renting, freedom from having borders or fences that keep other people out, etc.

Planned economies promise such freedoms, usually by taking from someone who has and giving it to someone who has not. That's what President Obama offers us (following a long line of 20th century presidents), offered us this past week in his martial "words of war" against not just British Petroleum, but our whole way of life based on fossil fuels. Make no mistake, planned economies, including the newer "green" cap and trade plans, the top down, dictator/czar/president knows best, always end badly. The leftists among us advising the President are urging Obama to become a dictator, a communist--even using those words (they don't even hide it with squishy "progressive" language).

With all their faults and up and down business cycles, capitalism and corporate monopolies have never put in place plans that resulted in the deaths and imprisonment of millions and millions of their "customers" in the way that the planned economies of Germany, the Soviet Union, Communist China, and North Korea have murdered upwards to 100,000,000 of their own citizens.

It's a really high price to pay for "freedom," don't you think?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lie of the Day by guess who?

There are some great ones on the list. . . just a sampling.

Lie: Part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean [is] because we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.
--President Obama promotes his cap and trade plan in his speech from the Oval Office.

Lie: We're not satisfied with everything we've done [in Congress]. The way to cure that is to give us more authority and more ability.
--Barney Frank tells young Democrats that giving Congress more power is the cure.

Lie: [W]e have rescued this economy.
--President Obama, saying the stimulus worked so well that we need to pass another

Lie: [Iraq] could be one of the great achievements of this administration.
--Vice President Joe Biden forgetting to blame Bush for success in Iraq

Lie: There has never been a more open process for any legislation.
--House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Congress' work on the health care bill

Laura Ingraham: Lie of the Day Archives

Murray tries to be counted

Guest blogger Murray who lives in Mt. Morris, Illinois, and The Villages, Florida, has been playing tag with the U.S. Census. He writes here about his experiences with the 2010 census.
    Have you been officially counted yet? Or if you're like me maybe you just don't count. I was in Florida when I received a Census form to fill out but since I don't claim Florida as my legal residence, I didn't fill it out for that address. We have our mail forwarded from Mt. Morris so we were just silly enough to think our Illinois census would be forwarded like our other mail. That did not happen, so I called the U.S. Census Bureau and told a person there of my dilemma and she took my address and said they would mail a census form to my Illinois address. That didn't happen, so I called them again and was told that they were no longer mailing out forms so I would have to wait for someone to show up. That didn't happen, but I did find a weather beaten notice in my bushes that a Stephanie Wolfe from the census had been in the neighborhood, so I called her number. Stephanie told me she didn't think she went to our street but couldn't explain how I had a "notice of visit" with her name and number on it. Implying that maybe "that didn't happen," she said that she had already turned in her information to her supervisor so there wasn't anything she could do. She said she would give her supervisor my phone number and he would probably call me. If I didn't hear from him then I must already be counted. Hmmmm, kinda makes me wonder how that happened! Now. . . we're supposed to trust the Federal government to run Obamacare? Plus all the other programs and policies the Obama administration have doled out against the wishes of the majority of the taxpaying citizens? Why not? I mean he's doing a hellava job with the oil spill, bringing the two political parties together, balancing the budget, our southern border disaster, ridding Washington D.C. of lobbyists, controlling spending, immigration control, our foreign policy, the two wars, kicking ass and stepping on necks of CEOs, etc., etc. And to think there's more to come! Murray

TBR list for summer

Not sure I'll get that much read. I like to take a book down to the hotel porch, but I end up people watching and writing in my blog notebook. But here's what I've got so far. There would be more but Barnes and Noble doesn't assign anyone to watch Glenn Beck's Fox program and his book recommendations often go to number one over night. For instance, I asked for George Washington Sacred Fire, and it apparently is temporarily out of stock (or print, don't remember); then I asked for F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom, and they didn't have any but had 11 on order (the UAPL has a waiting list of 10). But I was able to find The Overton Window, and Samuel Adams; a life. I like non-fiction, but rarely read a "thriller."

Also on my list to finish is Timothy Keller's The Reason for God, Larry Schweikart's A Patriot's History of the United States, and The Lutherans in North America.  Then I take along some recent JAMAs, which I'm starting to call Ojama due to the editorial slant and butt kissing of the editors, and the Spring and Summer issues of Watercolor and Watercolor Artist.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day Fifty seven--Obama's been there since day one

It's day 57. "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House, as well as the Coast Guard, have been putting out confusing and contradictory statements since the disaster began." Morning Bell. This White House didn't create the 2010 mess, but our Federal government laid the ground work many years ago by pushing the drilling into unsafe, deep waters and into untested technology. This was not the first choice of the oil companies, nor the Gulf states. The government set a $75 million limit on liability years ago after the Exxon Alaska spill, so with that kind of permission, the drilling way off shore began. We could have had help immediately with the effects of the spill and saved thousands of livelihoods, but Obama wouldn't set aside the Jones Act because of union pressures. Now almost 3 months later at the urging of other governors of Gulf states, he's considering a waiver. Perhaps Obama is trying to beat his record of last summer where he dawdled and fumbled for 90 days over troop requests for Afghanistan? After all, didn't he call this a war? He can win this war to destroy more of the economy if he just drags it out long enough. If he can cause BP to go bankrupt, he can ruin many pension plans along with all the businesses along the coast.

Jewish blogger has her PayPal account pulled

Judith Geller who writes a blog called Atlas Shrugged which is anti-Obama, and pro-Israel, is having her PayPal account pulled.
    "However, after a recent review of your account, it has been determined that you are currently in violation of PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy. Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime."
I only occasionally read her site, but it's only "hate" if you are a pro-Obama, tingle up the leg supporter or racially intolerant if you think Israel has a right to exist, or believe that there are Islamic Jihadists in the U.S. and Britain.

It's getting dicey. We now live in a country where the President can demonize private foreign companies, steal our money (40% of BP investors are Americans), reinstate McCarthy era interrogation teams to brutalize CEOs, and give our tax money to unions (which is probably where the 20 billion will go), hire tax cheats like Ginthner, and Communists like Van Jones and Anita Dunn as advisers, expand his bevy of Czars, a President who thinks all white people think a certain way and have prejudice "bred" into them, and that police and governors of border states act foolishly even before he gets the facts. And remember, he didn't meet with BP officials, in fact initially he said he wouldn't because he knew what they thought, until after he went on national TV and castigated them. This is not a steel trap mind; it's a locked dungeon.

Can PayPal revoke the President's account? Like the one that takes our tax money?

I don't use PayPal ever for anything. But if I did, I'd protest by not using it. It's a private company and it can set its own rules. But you have to wonder who's behind this, since usually private companies care about making money.

Update: PayPal reverses its decision. Geller is now using a different service. PayPal is owned by E-bay.

The murdering crook strikes again

Now he's old and sick and wants the prison system to pick up the tab. Edward Edwards has confessed to . . . "In 1977 in Ohio, 18-year-old Judith Straub of Sterling and 21-year-old Bill Lavaco were shot at point-blank range and killed.

In 1980, 19-year-old high school sweethearts Kelly Drew and Tim Hack vanished after a wedding reception in Wisconsin. Weeks later, their bodies were found in the woods. According to investigators, Drew was strangled and Hack was stabbed.

In 2007, Wisconsin investigators extracted DNA taken from semen on Drew's pants to state analysts. In June 2009, the DNA results confirmed a match to Edwards. Police arrested Edwards last July for the murders of Drew and Hack. In April, Edwards confessed to the Ohio murders."

Edward Edwards Guilty of Four Murders from 70's and 80s - Crimesider - CBS News

In the early 1970s we used to visit men in the Old Ohio Penitentiary through a church program (we were incredibly naive). We met aging career criminals like the Ohio Purple Gang and Thomas Licavoli who were being paroled due to old age, and I suspect, because the Governor didn't want to continue paying their medical bills. They probably all still had their money. Edwards, on the other hand, is apparently a pauper. I think it would be appropriate to have the families of the victims in charge of his health care.

Update: June 17 Also killed his foster son, he now confesses.
    "I'm responsible for it," Edwards said. "It didn't work on my conscience. I spent the money. I was having a good time. You do it, forget it was done and go about your business until next time."

24 hour food recall

I see the USDA is coming out with a "new" food pyramid. Who knew you should eat more vegetables, less meat, and cut out the salt? My grandmother Mary was a health food nut. If there was meat on the table, it was chicken, and most of their food came from the garden. But that was the 1920s, what did they know?

New food guidelines to recommend more veggies -

Quickly, can you recall what you ate yesterday? That's how a lot of food studies are done. Here's what I had. Breakfast: Apple, large, sliced with skin on; 1/2 cup walnuts; one large carrot. And I salted it because I like salt.

Lunch was 5 chopped vegetables, grilled in olive oil: celery, mushrooms, onions, corn, and peas, sprinkled with a very tasty new product called "Perfect Pinch," Parmesan Herb. You don't need very much, and it really jazzes up the veggies. Mushrooms and celery are pretty worthless when it comes to nutritional value, so they are there basically for filler. Then I had about 1/2 cup sliced strawberries on a sugar free Klondike Bar (ice cream).

Supper was 6 little beef meatballs cooked with rice, a little gravy, mushrooms and onions (I was trying to use up the mushrooms) with a side of broccoli sprinkled with shredded cheddar. For dessert I had Graeter's Ice Cream, about 1/2 cup, Black raspberry chocolate chip. I'm not even particularly crazy about ice cream, but for some reason, if it's in the frig I'll eat it.

So that totals up to six vegetables and two fruits (although mixed I supposed that's more like three servings of vegetables), two dairy, one meat, one grain.

Then there are the extras: cup of coffee with Half n Half; 4 Ritz crackers with crunchy natural peanut butter; multi-vitamin (which the gov't says we don't need); vitamin D tablet (doctor says I need that--Ohio you know); 4 oz. Merlot.

Before you eat your vegetables, you can paint them.

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there

I think that's a good paraphrase of Obama's speech on the oil spill. Even the left stream media is totally confused trying to parse this mess. Has he changed speech writers? Puppet masters? String makers? Teleprompter companies?
    "It’s safe to say Chris Matthews has lost that tingly feeling down his thigh. It took only seconds after President Obama concluded his Oval Office address for Matthews and co-host Keith Olbermann to rip into the President for what they perceived as a lack of leadership and direction, and, especially in Matthews’ case, and over-reliance on meritocracy."
Obama is clearly a CPA--Cloward, Priven, Alinksy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Exercise class has ended for the summer

Maybe we can try this exercise video.

F.A. Hayek and The road to Serfdom

What a stunning book! Can hardly believe I never read it before--well, wait, yes I can. I went to school when FDR was idolized and I was a Democrat for 40 years. Figures.

It's not like you have to go deep into a bunch of anecdotes to figure it out. He gives the plot away, and I don't use the term lightly, on page 5. This book is now number one on Amazon because Glenn Beck recommended it, but it was published in 1944 in the midst of World War II.

In 1944 Hayek warned the United States and England, that although they were in the midst of fighting a war against the German Nazis, they were committing all the same mistakes that led up to the National Socialists taking over and the rise of Hitler.
    It is necessary now to state the unpalatable truth that it is Germany whose fate we are in some danger of repeating. . . the trend of thought in Germany during and after the last war and the present current of ideas in the democracies. . . There is the same contempt for 19th century liberalism, the same spurious "realism" and even cynicism, the same fatalistic acceptance of "inevitable trends." And at least 9 out of every 10 of the lessons which our most vociferous reformers are so anxious we should learn from this war are precisely the lessons which the Germans did learn from the last war and which have done much to produce the Nazi system. . . it is not so many years since the socialist policy of that country was generally held up by progressives as an example to be imitated.
In short, Hayek points out that the rise of naziism and facism was NOT a reaction against the socialist trends of the preceding period but a necessary outcome of those tendencies.

READ THIS BOOK. Believe it or not (and I hardly can) there are two copies in the Upper Arlington Public Library with 10 holds. I guess because of it's 1944 publication date, it managed to slip through the banning of conservative titles. I'll return my copy at the end of the week, and it's not a long read.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Good-bye to my Mama--Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin

Last night we watched The Prairie Home Companion (2006) on the Sundance Channel about a fictionalized radio show by that name, doing its final show with peeks at back stage of the theater. There are some very touching parts, particularly this one. Streep and Tomlin play Yolanda and Rhonda Johnson, a singing group.

We don't watch many movies, especially at home, but this one is always good.

A Ph.D. is no guarantee except possibly for frustration and unemployment

Haven't we been hearing this for years? The job of a teacher with a PhD at a college is to turn out more PhDs who scramble for fewer and fewer jobs in academe? Stop the madness!

"Doctoral recipients in all disciplines are having a tough time finding teaching gigs, said William Pannapacker (writes as Thomas H. Benton), a columnist for the Chronicle of Higher Education and an associate professor of English at Hope College in Holland, Mich. For example, university job openings that required a math doctorate declined 40 percent in the 2009-10 academic year from the year before, said the American Mathematical Society.

At the same time, schools keep producing doctoral recipients. The number of doctorates awarded by U.S. colleges and universities reached an all-time high in 2008 at 48,802, nearly double the number awarded in 1970."

Ph.D. is no guarantee of a high-paying job | The Columbus Dispatch

"I can see November from my house."

After Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC) found out that the video of him assaulting a student on a public sidewalk who politely asked him a question had gone viral, he decided to issue an "apology" that included the words, "I regret," which never sounds like an apology to me. Then he lauded his past service, while calling the students' behavior intrusive. Nice apology. And it wasn't even a dicey question! The Democratic leadership has become so pathetic since the radicals consumed their party, belched and spit it out in little pieces. You'd almost feel badly for them, except they had months of warning with all that hopey changey blowing in the wind, and like those drowning buses in New Orleans, they just didn't get on board and get out of town while there was still time.

And WaPo is right on this--demanding to know who the students were and whether the Republicans sent them. Great investigative work by the obamedia.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

UALC first vote to leave ELCA

At the special congregational meeting on Sunday, June 13, the resolution to leave the ELCA was passed with a 91.8% majority, 538 to 48.

This begins a 90 day consultation period, ending in a second vote in the fall. For more background on the ELCA decision, visit the ELCA Decision page by clicking here (numerous documents, both from UALC and ELCA).

There were many well considered and thoughtful comments during the time of public discussion of the motion. After discussion we moved to the sanctuary for prayer, singing and the vote.

Update: If you stumbled in here and are confused by the acronyms, this is a discussion about Lutherans. UALC is Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, founded in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington, Ohio about 55 years ago. It has 3 campuses and 9 Sunday services. Although it started in Upper Arlington, it now also has a campus in Hilliard, Ohio, and Columbus, Ohio. The church was planted, I think, by members of Holy Trinity Lutheran in Upper Arlington, and why they couldn't think of a pretty name like theirs, I don't know. ELCA is the name of the synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America created in 1988 by the merger of The American Lutheran Church (ALC of which UALC was a member), The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and The Lutheran Church in America (LCA). There are even more acronyms ahead, as we move toward new relationships with other Lutheran groups, like CORE and NALC.

Update: I had the history of the congregation wrong. Here's the story. "As I understand the story there was a group from St. John's [Grove City] who settled in the newly-developing area of Upper Arlington. The ALC thought it would be a good mission, (I guess Trinity was LCA) so they called a pastor, started meeting in a basement, moved to Hastings Jr. High auditorium, bought land at the corner of Lane & McCoy - I think - somewhere around there. There was a moratorium on churches in UA, but when that was lifted, a bigger plot of land became available where the pastor's house was, a farm house on Middlesex. We sold the smaller plot on the main street and bought Lytham, then in 1956 built the first building."

BP to pay for its mistakes, and also Obama's. Why?

Do you get the feeling that Obama has no desire to have this problem fixed because it works unbelieveably well in his plan?

Gloria Estefan

Another really terrific CD--this one for $2.00 from the library Friends' sale--Gloria Estefan's "Hold me, thrill me, kiss me," a collection of cover tunes, and all very nice. The title song was a 1952 big hit. If I can just find a boom box that plays cds, I'm getting a nice collection of love songs for our anniversary background music.

Gloria's family fled Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba in 1959. Her father was imprisoned while taking part in the Bay of Pigs invasion and was not released until President John F. Kennedy arranged a prisoner exchange. She on the other hand, displeased many Cuban Americans by throwing a $30,000 a head fund raiser for President Obama in April, although she claims to be non-partisan. Well, the marxists, socialists and progressives who people his staff are not, so she has chosen a political philosophy that has torn Cuba apart for 50 years. I think many celebrities and entertainers have a huge guilt complex about their wealth, and believe if they swing left they can shake some of it.


There are people who think American process cheese (it was actually invented in Switzerland) isn't "real" cheese, but that's what I grew up with--great grilled cheese sandwiches, great for melting over anything. A bit too soft for crackers, but. . it will work. But what is that gunk called "cheese product" or "cheese food?" Or low fat cheese product, or fat free cheese food? Why not just get a little yellow paint and spread it on the bread? If you need low fat cheese, just eat less of real cheese! Low fat (label) anything just means they added water or more whey to increase the volume.

Here's the story. Sometimes it can take a long time of standing in front of the open cooler looking for decent American process cheese:
    Pasteurized process cheese - contains 100% cheese. Pasteurized process cheese food - contains at least 51% cheese. Pasteurized process cheese product – contains less than 51% cheese.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Visual Arts Ministry meets, greets and eats at the Bucket

The final meeting of the season was held at the Rusty Bucket. The hanging system has been put away for the summer (VBS starts next week) and the schedule is shaping up for Spring 2011, with the fall shows already in place. A great group of workers and friends. Wedding photos, summer plans, news about other missions, and family stories were shared making it a delightful evening.

Rescue teams reach stranded teen sailor

I've been known to over react where the health and safety of minor children are concerned, but I believe Abby Sunderland's parents/guardians are guilty of neglect and child abuse. Her father compares her adventure and desire to set a world record for "youngest" to teens driving on the interstate. So would he send her cross-country alone driving a semi-truck loaded with explosives? Not a good example, daddy. If as a nation we had the collective balls to raise the legal driving age to 18, we could save 5,000 lives a year. Hard telling how many permanent brain injuries and damaged limbs that would involve. A 16 year old doesn't have a mature brain, and a teen girl, regardless of her athletic ability and sailing experience probably doesn't have the physical strength or body mass to ward off pirates and typhoons.

Rescue teams reach stranded teen sailor -

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm dress shopping

On line. Suggest some brand names, please, or store. It's been awhile. Dressy. Sleeves. Not short. Not straight. Not white or black.  Size 8-10. $50 or under.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Thirteen--13 buttons, pushed, sewn, pressed and unused

1. Buttons on my jeans and slacks don't seem to stay where they should. The thread weakens and they fall off. Do you suppose it's the 10 lbs?

2. Other buttons don't want to meet up with the assigned button hole.

3. I just discovered that if I press the "unlock button" twice on my car key, that the lights stay on instead of just blinking to say "hello, here I am."

4. We have a new garage door and opener. It's super quiet and a perfect match for the paint, although it is metal. The opener is about the size of a fat ballpoint pen and I have difficulty finding and pressing the button.

5. After my mother died 10 years ago, I brought home her button tin. That's a carry over from 19th century and Depression day thrift. They rarely match anything, but I can identify some buttons from items of family clothing 60 years ago. Some could be from my great-grandfather's work shirts.

6. We have a lot of TV sets. Most have buttons for functions I don't understand.

7. The remotes for each TV are different--even more buttons I don't use. Like Zoom and Angle. Input and Sleep.

8. Rosie O'Donnel, that brilliant, wealthy, political strategist, has pushed my buttons with her ignorance. She is demanding that Obama seize the assets of BP and Great Britain. She says she doesn't care if it's communism. Well, no Rosie, that's called National Socialism. Remember Hitler? That was his system. The state steals private wealth. You're next in that system. It's not just for corporations.

9. AP has a story today that the BP reports read like fiction, with deceased experts and environmental plans for animals and plants that aren't in the Gulf of Mexico. Welcome to the research/report world, AP! That's another button for me. I constantly write to government agencies, non-profits, academic and media websites reporting mistakes, bad citations, bad links, non-existent experts and plans designed to only bring in more grant money, never to solve a problem. I rarely get a response. But if I do, I'm usually told it's not their responsibility or that I'm the one who is mistaken.

10. I wore a really bright printed jacket to coffee today. It must have pushed a button for another customer because she complimented me and said my husband should take me out for brunch. She wears more colorful clothes than I do--I don't much care for this garment.

11. I don't know when Mother Nature pushes the button for Mother Duck under the bush at our front door, but she must really be getting tired of sitting on those 9 eggs.

12. My new dryer, bought to replace the Maytag piece of junk that died after 4 years, doesn't have an alarm buttom to tell me "time to walk downstairs and unload."

13. We're having our furnace maintenance done today. We always use this company. There's a $25 off coupon on the web where you'd never see it which expired June 6. That's another button, constantly being pushed. Coupons. I hate them--on-line, in the newspaper, in the door-hanger bag, attached to the product, or in conjunction with another product like breakfast at Denny's combined with an oil change. Makes no difference. Coupons add costs to everyone's purchase just like all marketing and advertising, but they are grossly unfair and expensive to those of us who don't use them.

Come join other bloggers at Thursday Thirteen.

The Trailer For Glenn Beck's New Book Is Just As Nuts As You'd Expect (VIDEO)

Huffington Post writer must have had a red face after learning he/she ridiculed Rudyard Kipling and not Glenn Beck. Had to append an update. These people are so transparent. If it's Beck, it's got to be bad, right? Or have they always thought Kipling was a bad poet? Beck, Stu and Pat were chortling over some of the ignorant comments at the post--probably removed now.

The Trailer For Glenn Beck's New Book Is Just As Nuts As You'd Expect (VIDEO)

Sandals--a poem inspired by looking at feet

Summer time
Break out the sandals
The thongs and the glam.

Show bunions, corns
and calluses--
Summer’s grand slam. 

Elton John CDs

Today at the Discovery Shop (benefits Cancer research) I found two Elton John CDs. "Love Songs," (1996) and "Duets" (1993). If he can sing at Rush Limbaugh's 4th wedding, he can sing in my kitchen (that's where the cd player is).  $1.00 each.  Good buy.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

25,000 pieces of hate mail

Mark Levin interviewed the rabbi David Nesanoff (not sure of the spelling) who interviewed Helen Thomas when she proudly demonstrated her hatred for Jews and Israel. (He was interviewing a number of people at the White House Jewish Heritage celebration that day.) She knew she was being interviewed--it was not a secret recording. He is now getting hate mail, and he says the people have no shame in their anti-semitism--they supply their names, e-mail and even addresses. Hatred of Jews and smearing a man who simply asked a question and didn't editorialize while she gave her appaling answers. Keep in mind, that those people who weep for Palestinian Arabs, like Helen Thomas, never decry the way they are treated in Syria, Jordan or Lebanon, where millions lived for generations and will never be allowed citizenship, a home or a job. Palestinian Arabs are better treated in Israel where they are citizens and have rights than they are in Arab countries where they are hated and reviled.

Governor Chris Christie--I hope this guy runs for President some day

"My argument is not with teachers in New Jersey. My argument is with a union who collects $730 a year from every teacher and school employee in the union in mandatory dues. And if you don't want to join the union here's your option: you can be out. You pay 85% of $730 ... to be out. It's like the Hotel California. You can check in anytime you like but you can never leave. That raises for the teachers union, get ready, $130 million a year. What do they spend that money on? ... $6 million in negative advertising against me since March 16th. Think about that. That's a little over two months they have spent $6 million on New York TV and Radio, Philadelphia TV and radio to attack me. That's dues money that is coming from their teachers, mandatory no choice, and from all of you because those salaries come from your property taxes and your state income taxes."


The new threat to America. Home grown Islamic terrorists. The most recent foiled plot in New York City included a man whose parents are Palestinian, and "Carlos Eduardo Almonte, a naturalized American who came from the Dominican Republic and converted to Islam, highlights another trend among terrorist conspirators that analysts are beginning to study: the disproportionate number, not only of converts to Islam, but converts of Hispanic origin."

New York may be a target, but it's also a breeding ground.

NewYorkistan? by Judith Miller, City Journal 9 June 2010

Gay men thinner than heterosexuals

Some stereotypes are true. Actually, most are based on fact, like the one about librarians not being fashionable and wearing funny shoes.* Seems gay men are skinny and lesbians fat.

"In a study published in American Journal of Public Health, researchers determined that while 21 percent of straight men were classed as obese, only 14 percent of gay men were. The opposite was true of gay women. 26 percent of lesbians were found to be obese, as compared with 17 percent of the straight women."

Study: Gay men thinner than heterosexuals, lesbian heavier (

Kerith J. Conron, Matthew J. Mimiaga, and Stewart J. Landers, "A Population-Based Study of Sexual Orientation Identity and Gender Differences in Adult Health," June 1, 2010

*When I worked for the State of Ohio in the 80s, I had to dress much nicer than when I worked in a library, and I always wore high heels. But, being me, they were sort of chunky and sensible heels--not over 2". One of my co-workers observed, "So, it's true that librarians wear sensible shoes."

Traveling? Watch out for "tourista"

In 2008 and 2009 I travelled internationally and developed severe diarrhea and vomiting on the return trips to the United States. As a result of the 2008 trip, I spent a few days in the hospital. So, if you're doing any travel this summer (I'm definitely not), here are a few precautions (all of which I followed) from Harvard Men’s Health Watch, April 2010.

Traveler’s diarrhea, or “tourista,” is a well-known hazard for visitors to developing countries where sanitation is flawed. Here are some tips to prevent intestinal infections:

•Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel before you eat.
•Avoid salads, uncooked vegetables, and unpasteurized milk and cheese.
•Only eat fruit that you’ve washed in clean water and peeled yourself.
•Do not eat undercooked or rare food. Eat cooked foods while they
are still piping hot. Be especially wary of food from street vendors.
•Avoid the water unless you have boiled it yourself; chemical disinfectants
and water filters are available for use in special circumstances. Don’t use ice made from untreated water. Don’t use untreated water to brush your teeth. In general, unopened bottled or canned beverages are safe, as is coffee or tea made from boiled water.
•Ask your doctor about taking along antibiotics in case prevention fails.
•Above all, suspect everything.