Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I love you, but . . .

Elizabeth Bernstein has a fashion article in today's WSJ that has a lot of wisdom about relationships. She writes: "Woe to the man who tries to makeover his woman." She's talking fashion here ("Do you like this outfit?" can be a relationship killer if a woman asks it; a man probably won't ask.) She says women are more insecure and harbor perceived insults like an elephant--they NEVER forget.

If you're the laundress/laundryman in your home, you can sometimes sneak out the old, frayed, worn and way too comfortable clothing. If your guy is outside raking leaves, he may see more people in a glance than several hours at church. If I never see that never faded, gold colored t-shirt with a button neck that formerly belonged to one of our daughter's boyfriends in the 80s, I won't miss it. I think it was worn for yard work about 20 years.

I love the program on TLC cable "What not to wear," but I sometimes wonder if the makeovers are like diets, and if you checked back in 2 years, would their closets be just the same.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Christmas bomber and the Portland mayor's epiphany

James Taranto reports:

"Although the Joint Terrorism Task Force is a partnership between the FBI and local law enforcement, the Oregonian reports that Portland's Mayor Sam Adams, a Democrat, found out about the plot at the same time the public did: when the FBI announced Mohamud's arrest on Friday.

That's because in 2005, Portland became the only city in the country to withdraw from the JTTF. The reason, York explains, is that then-Mayor Tom Potter "said the FBI refused to give him a top-secret security clearance so he could make sure the officers weren't violating state anti-discrimination laws that bar law enforcement from targeting suspects on the basis of their religious or political beliefs."

Adams, then a city councilman, was part of the 4-1 majority that voted to withdraw from the JTTF. Now he's having second thoughts, reports the Oregonian: "Adams . . . emphasized that he has much more faith in the White House and the leadership of the U.S. attorney's office now than he did in 2005."

The paper reports that the American Civil Liberties Union still opposes participation in the JTTF. Agree or disagree, the ACLU deserves credit for consistency. But Adams's position is blatantly partisan. One can't even attribute it to an epiphany brought on by the Mohamud arrest. According to the Oregonian, Adams and his police chief, Mike Reese, "have discussed for months" whether to rejoin the JTTF. What made the difference, it seems quite clear, is having a Democrat in the White House."

Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Police Chief Mike Reese discuss return to Joint Terrorism Task Force | OregonLive.com

Instead of Clueless in Seattle, I guess it's Clueless in Portland.

Why I'll never shop on Black Friday



Greedy people are also obese and blood thirsty if this video is any indication.

Media Matters can't refute Beck on WikiLeaks ties George Soros

They (it) can be as sarcastic and scornful as they want, but nothing in this blog entry does anything other than spread Beck's theories that Soros' money through OSI is backing the treason of PFC Bradley Manning. I guess they get it once in awhile.

Beck struggles to tie WikiLeaks to George Soros | Media Matters for America

Obama to freeze federal pay for 2 years

It's not going to make a lot of difference. A drop in an ocean of debt, really. The number of federal workers earning more than $150,000 rose more than tenfold between 2005 and 2010, and has doubled in the two years since Mr. Obama took office. Federal workers make much more than the private sector, so freezing their wages is simply a PR move.

Obama to freeze federal pay for 2 years - Washington Times

But at least the NYT is no long saying the November election results stemmed from a failure of Obama and Pelosi to communicate! We heard them just fine. "At the top of the agenda are the economy and federal spending, both prime targets of voter anger during the just-concluded campaign."

Obama Proposes a Pay Freeze for Federal Workers - NYTimes.com

WikiLeak On An Already Sinking Ship | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

"Any U.S. person who cooperated with WikiLeaks has committed a crime and should be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law." Works for me. Why can they find a guy who wants to blow a hole in Oregon, but not one under their own nose? Maybe because they want the leaks out there?

Morning Bell: Just Another WikiLeak On An Already Sinking Ship | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

"These leaks are as dangerous to the U.S. as a terrorist attack," said Arthur Hulnick, an international relations associate professor at Boston University and author of Keeping Us Safe: Secret Intelligence and Homeland Security and Fixing the Spy Machine: Preparing American Intelligence for the 21st Century.

"Other countries will be reluctant to share intelligence with us, and diplomats will wonder why the U.S. can't keep secrets," Hulnick -- who served for 28 years in the Central Intelligence Agency -- told TechNewsWorld.

Technology News: Collaboration: Wikileaks Spill: Catalyst for New, More Open Style of Governing?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving leftovers--returning the containers

As I contemplate a counter full of odd shaped and homeless containers with lids sitting on my kitchen counter, I think about two things. 1) How long before I get them back to their own homes, and 2) What did women do about leftovers in the 1940s and 1950s, before the ubiquitous plastic container with a matching lid and plastic-wrap were invented? (I'm old--the first time I saw Saran Wrap was about 1953. I thought it was amazing because it would stick to the dish.) And I'm sure my mother didn't use Reynoldswrap when I was a child.

I think the reason I don't know the answer to #2 is when I was young, we ate holiday dinners at home and because there were six of us, people came to our house. Then later we would sometimes go to grandparents or aunts' homes of the other side of the family and eat some more. No one brought food back to my parents' home that I can remember because we already had a turkey carcass. And no one would dare compete with my mother's pies.

Also, when I started my family, we always went to Indianapolis or Illinois when the children were young, and by the time they were grown and returned occasionally to eat at our house (not very often, I guess they don't like my cooking), the plastic container for purchased food and plastic wrap had been invented. I think the so-called disposable containers came a little later.

Don't send me scare stories about storing or reheating food in plastic. There are all sorts of advice columns on that on the internet, and if I've made it this far by ingesting a few chemicals, I probably can go a few more years. But if you remember taking home leftovers in the "good old days" tell me how our mothers and grandmothers did it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why do liberals love Islam?

We probably don't want to know what's at the root of the liberal's problem, but I suspect it's "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

"Liberals deride Christianity and Catholicism in particular for its strict approach towards sexuality, claiming that prohibitions against abortion, contraception, homosexual sex, and premarital sex are simply oppressive forms of prudish patriarchy. But Islam is every bit as traditional on these matters; indeed, Muslim nations are the best allies the Vatican has at the U.N. in fighting against funding for third world family planning initiatives. You can’t reasonably deride one while accepting the other.

Furthermore, Islam goes way beyond Christianity by embracing doctrines that actually are oppressive, demeaning to women, and tyrannical. Throughout the Middle East, there is widespread acceptance of polygamy, of giving adolescent girls in marriage, of female genital mutilation, of harsh criminal sanctions against fornication and homosexuality (a capital offense in some countries), all of which is done in accordance with interpretations of Sharia law that are accepted by significant percentages of the Muslim world. While liberals rightly revile American polygamists, they fail to acknowledge that every major Muslim country (with the exception of Turkey and a few smaller countries) legally provides for this disgusting practice.

(I always find it odd that liberals get outraged at polygamists — it’s the only sexual sin they still acknowledge between of-age, consenting individuals. Homosexual unions can be “marriage,” but not polygamous ones? Since when do liberals care about a strict limitation on the definition of “marriage?” Ultimately, I think it’s because homosexuals vote Democrat and drive Priuses, and polygamists don’t.)

Further, let’s look at how Islam treats religious and other minorities. In Darfur, Sudan, black Africans are being killed in a race- and religion-fueled vendetta of violence by Muslim militias, who have slaughtered more than 200,000 people. In Armenia, tens of thousands of Armenian Christians were slaughtered by the Turkish government at the turn of the 20th century; the Turkish government still won’t even acknowledge that the genocide happened. Sharia makes all sorts of provisions that non-Muslims in Muslim lands have to pay higher taxes and be subject to oppressive policies.
Read more: Liberal love affair with Islam

Reading Burma Shave signs cross country


“THIRTY DAYS - HATH SEPTEMBER – APRIL JUNE – AND THE SPEED OFFENDER” – BURMA SHAVE.

My mother drove her family of four children and her sister west on the Lincoln Highway in 1944 in a 4-door 1939 Ford. For some reason I have no memory of my aunt being in the car, and was quite surprised years later when I was told she too was with us. Then in 1945 Mom drove us back home to Illinois a different route, I think on Rt. 66. So we saw a lot of the country. But I do remember the Burma Shave signs. Can't imagine that I knew how to read at age 4, but maybe I did by age 5 having attended Kindergarten in Alameda, because I remember chiming in as we all read them aloud.

The Power of Choice

Really? Would you feel good about your own freedom as a parent to make choices if you got this letter from the government, sent home with your kids from school? Would you even read it?

And dig that song! What if the kids decide to use their "power of choice" in an unapproved way? I can really see teens getting into this pyramid stuff.

Something's not right in Fairfax County Virginia--is it the government bubble


According to 2009 county data, the median family income in Fairfax County is $122,651. Unemployment is way below the national level--Gosh--Franklin County would kill for their rate (5.4%). Nearly 60% of Fairfax Country residents over 25 have better than a bachelor's degree. A single family home median value is about $550,000. So with all this affluence and education--42% of the students in Fairfax County schools are eligible for free and reduced price meals. What's going on? If this rich county with its abundance of college degrees and government workers can't spring for their kids' lunches, who can? Something is really screwed up in the D.C. suburbs.

Airport 'Security'?

Thomas Sowell growls: "Those who made excuses for all of candidate Barack Obama's long years of alliances with people who expressed their contempt for this country, and when as president he appointed people with a record of antipathy to American interests and values, may finally get it when they feel some stranger's hand in their crotch."

Airport 'Security'? :: The Atlasphere

If the President had a Special Assistant for Reality

Great "what if" story by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal, wishful thinking about getting the President out of the Washington bubble with just one more staff member.

If Mr. Obama had a special assistant for reality this week, this is how their dialogue might have gone over the anti-TSA uprising.

President: This thing is all ginned up, isn't it? Right-wing websites fanned it. Then the mainstream media jumped in to display their phony populist street cred. Right?

Special Assistant for Reality: No, Mr. President, it was more spontaneous. Websites can't fan fires that aren't there. This is like the town hall uprisings of summer 2009. In the past month, citizens took videos at airports the same way town hall protesters made videos there, and put them on YouTube. The more pictures of pat-downs people saw, the more they opposed them.

President: What's the essence of the opposition?

SAR: Sir, Americans don't like it when strangers touch their private parts. Especially when the strangers are in government uniforms and say they're here to help.

President: Is it that we didn't roll it out right? We made a mistake in not telling people in advance we were changing the procedure.

SAR: Um, no, Mr. President. If you'd told them in advance, they would have rebelled sooner.

President: We should have pointed out not everyone goes through the new machines, and only a minority get patted down.

SAR: Mr. President, if you'd told people, "Hello, there's only 1 chance in 3 you'll be molested at the airport today" most people wouldn't think, "Oh good, I like those odds."

President: But the polls are with me. People support the screenings.

SAR: At the moment, according to some. But most Americans don't fly frequently, and the protocols are new. As time passes, support will go steadily down.

President: I've noted with sensitivity that I'm aware all this is a real inconvenience.

SAR: It's not an inconvenience, it's a humiliation. In the new machine, and in the pat-downs, citizens are told to spread their feet and put their hands in the air. It's an attitude of submission—the same one the cops make the perps assume on "America's Most Wanted." Then, while you stand there in public in the attitude of submission, strangers touch intimate areas of your body. It's a violation of privacy. It leaves people feeling reduced. It's like society has decided you're a meat sack and not a soul. Humans have a natural, untaught understanding of the apartness of their bodies, and they don't like it when their space is violated. They recoil, and protest.

President: But you can have the pat-downs done in private.

SAR: Mr. President, you don't know this, but when you ask for that, a lot of TSA people get pretty passive-aggressive. They get Bureaucratic Dead Face and start barking, "I need a supervisor! Private pat-down!" And everyone looks, and the line slows down, and you start to feel like you're putting everyone out. You wait and wait, and finally they get another TSA person, and they take you into the little room and it's embarrassing, and you start to realize you're going to miss your plane. It's then that you realize: all this is how they discourage private pat-downs.

President: I've wondered if this general feeling of discomfort might be related to a certain Puritan strain within American thinking—a kind of horror at the body that, melded with, say, old Catholic teaching, not to be pejorative, might make for a pretty combustible cultural cocktail. This heightened consciousness of the body might suggest an element of physical shame we hadn't taken into account.

SAR: Mr. President, the rebellion isn't shame-based, it's John Wayne-based.

President: I don't follow.

Follow the rest of the story, obviously a fantasy, but telling, none the less, with a great ending.

Ms. Noonan you may remember was one of George H.W. Bush's speech writers, but fell from grace during the G.W. Bush era, and lost her credibility with me when she when all gushy over candidate Obama's phony speech pattern and good looks. The lefties didn't like her for what they saw as her lame excuses for Bush (really weak, no matter which side you took), so I guess she just can't win. She's slowly, slowly been crawling her way back from her Obama-gusher mistakes of the campaign.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Decision Points--Enhanced interrogation

On page 168, George W. Bush in Decision Points gets around to "enhanced interrogation," aka torture for information. You will call it what you want depending on whether you hate or like George Bush, on whether you thought he was the original Satan/Hitler for taking us into Iraq and Afghanistan or whether he was keeping us safe after 9/11.

He writes, "The FBI began questioning Zubaydah [associate of bin Laden who had run a camp which trained the 9/11 hijackers], who had clearly been trained on how to resist interrogation. . . [He] was our best lead to avoid another catastrophic attack. . . [Looking at a list of options Bush was presented] George [Tenet] assured me all interrogations would be performed by experienced intelligence professionals who had undergone extensive training. . . There were two that I felt went too far, even if they were legal. I directed the CIA not to use them."

This is something that puzzles me every time a government official, from Eric Holder who seems like a shriveled wimp to Arnold Schwarzenegger with his massive body and Austrian accent, discusses a tricky decision. No government official can know everything about everything and they depend on lawyers to tell them what is legal. Lawyers don't agree, and apparently neither does case law, massive regulations or 2000 page laws passed by Congressmen who don't even read them.

So if a President is told plan A is legal, it is used, and "Zubaydah revealed large amounts of information on al Qaeda's structure and operations," and that information is in turn available to the next President who as a candidate thought and spoke ill of his predecessor, but continues to use and act on that information, which guy is Satan/Hitler, the guy who had to make the decision and did keep the country safe, or the one who tries to float above it all and not get his hands soiled?

Doctors say Medicare cuts forcing them to shift away from elderly

For all you boomers who joyfully and expectantly voted for Obama. Here's your thanks.
    Doctors say Medicare cuts forcing them to shift away from elderly
But, it's not all his fault, you know. Congress has been adding mandates and expanded coverage for years--at some point, the piper had to be paid. This is the way socialized medicine works. It sounds fabulous until you have to pay for it. Or make cuts.

Volga Germans--The Mennonites

One of the languages of the German Mennonites of Russia is Plattdeutsch, also called Low-German . I first came across this story reading the Wycliffe Bible translators page about translating scripture for Germans from Kazakhstan resettled in Germany, who didn't know German. Most of us scattered around the world who have German roots trace back to pre-Germany days--i.e. there was no country known as Germany when my ancestors arrived in the United States. In fact, there was no United States in the 1720s, and they'd all pledged loyalty to the King of England. My Mennonite roots go back to Hannah, the brave widow of Hans Wenger, a weaver of Bern, Switzerland, who with the help of friends and family, emigrated to American for religious freedom in 1749.

Here is an account of the wanderings of the Mennonites who ended up in Russia. "The Mennonites occupy a special place among the Germans [of Siberia]. When the Mennonites left the Netherlands in the sixteenth century and resettled in Prussia, they did not see themselves as sharing a common origin. Among them were people of Flemish, Dutch, Frisian, and Lower Saxon ancestry. Two basic types of speech had been maintained by the Mennonites— molochnenskii and khortintskii. However, they took as a common language a Low German dialect (Plattdeutsch). As a result of their religious isolation, the Mennonites did not mix with the local peoples and thus maintained their traditional customs. At times they joined their different confessional groups into one ethno confessional unit. During and since the resettlement the Mennonites have been officially registered as Germans; most scholars think of the Mennonites as Germans. The Siberian Mennonites themselves trace their ancestry to Germans, although they also emphasize their Dutch origins."

Siberian Mennonites extend welcome to visiting Americans


Freedom has done what the Soviet Communists couldn't: "In the Germanic language family, Plautdiitsch claims a special place. Its long isolation from other German dialects and its close contacts have given it a specific character, which to some extent can be compared to that of Yiddish. The Plautdiitsch language, the sole descendant from the many West Prussian Low German dialects once spoken in the Weichsel delta area, is now spoken by Mennonites in many countries and has partly taken over the religious factor as the main identity marker. It is a pity that a language, that managed to survive centuries of isolation and many years of prohibiti­on, should now disappear where it has long had its most speakers - in Siberia. The increasing emigration to Germa­ny has left many Mennonite villages russified more than decades of Soviet Russification policy could accomplish. The Plautdiitsch speakers who choose to stay find it more and more difficult to provide their children with a Plautdi­itsch speaking environment, and in the long run it must be feared the language will lose much ground to Russian. In Germany, the children of Russian Mennonite immigrants will almost certainly only have passive knowledge of Plautdi­itsch.

One can only hope the language will survive in North America and in the isolated colonies in South America, where a revival can be observed." From the article "Plautdietsch, a Germanic language related to Dutch and Frisian, spoken in Siberia"

Canada has a Plattdeutsch radio station. You can listen here--pod cast. I listened to a poem in Plattdeutsch from Russia, and the rhythm was definitely Russian/Slavic; this sounds English.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Volga Germans--still on the road after all these years

Immigration is always in the news. Borders open and then close--mostly for economic and political reasons, only occasionally for humanitarian. Ethnic minorities clash with nationals whose families arrived maybe 300-400 years ago. Somalis in Finland have to learn Swedish, the 2nd language of Finland due to the Swedish control of centuries, and returning Finns from Russia don't speak either Finnish or Swedish. It happens in all countries in all ages. In our typically self-centered way, Americans believe we are either the best or the worst at assimilating and resettling new peoples within our borders.

Several centuries ago, Catherine the Great of Russia (a German) invited Germans to resettle in Russia with their skills and thrift. Much like the European who immigrated to the United States around the same time, these Germans took their language, religion, customs and culture to Russia for a fresh start. They became known as the Volga Germans. They flourished economically and culturally, maintaining their German ways, until Stalin became worried about their loyalties to Germany (where they had never lived), and gave them 24 hours to relocate in Kazakhstan, USSR. In less than month one million were deported like animals and dumped in a strange country. They lost their possessions, and many lost their lives in forced labor camps. Most were Protestants, many were Lutherans, but a large number were Mennonites.

After the reunification of Germany in the 1990s, ethnic Germans were given the right to return to Germany, and so many Kazakhtan Volga Germans resettled in Germany. The older people who returned in the 70s still spoke high German, but recent arrivals speak "low German," or the younger Germans only know Russian. Some have now reversed this decision and returned to their "homeland" in Kazakhstan (where they are the second largest minority) rather than be outsiders in Germany who speak the language with difficulty, or don't want to learn it. The Wycliffe Bible Translators has a ministry to the ethnic Volga Germans in their own low German dialect, keeping with their mission of creating the Good News in the "heart language" of the people.

Meanwhile, in the 19th century, many Volga Germans moved to middle west and western United States to work in farming, particularly the sugar beet industry. In the 1970s before the memories and traditions of these scattered Germans whose ancestors had wandered all over Europe and Russia were lost, oral histories were recorded and are available at the Colorado State University archives in Ft. Collins. I've been reading through a few of the accounts by older members of this group (born in the late 1800s), and after you establish the rhythm of the stories, you come away with fresh appreciation for immigrant groups in the United States, who gave up everything (often very little) to start a new life (also with very little).

MAR data as of 2006 on Kazakh Volga Germans

FEEFHS stories Family Histories of Survivors of Stalin's Labor Camps

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Subsidies to Fossil Fuel Consumption

Since 1981 the federal government has received $1.1 trillion in excise and sales taxes on petroleum products. It is currently subsidizing "green energy" 4 times more than fossil fuel energy. So when our tax policies and environmental regulations have managed to shut down all economic growth fueled by fossil fuels, and the return on green energy just isn't there because like ethanol, the inputs are just too high, what or who will take up that slack in tax revenue? Well, any business that has been coerced and cajoled into being green, that's who. And that really is you the consumer, because the price for being green will make you see red.

The Tax Foundation - IEA Study Ranks Nations’ Subsidies to Fossil Fuel Consumption

Podesta's advice to Obama on dealing with a divided Congress

Filtered through Eugene Robinson (WaPo) John Podesta the Cinton era lefty think tanker recommends, "Presidents can issue executive orders, the report notes. They can use their rulemaking powers, working through federal agencies that already have broad mandates under law. They can forge public-private partnerships. They can shape world events through diplomacy and command of the armed forces."

Robinson claims this is how Bush did it, but overlooks Bush's record for bi-partisan support for the War on Terror, the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Patriot Act. He ignores that the WMD was a drum beat constantly by Kerry, Edwards and Clinton before the 2000 election. Support by Democrats in congress for Bush's policies to keep us safe was huge--and they even took time to read the bills and acts! It was only later as their left sides began to belly ache that they back peddled, crying and weeping that they were misled. Give it up, Robinson. This article is totally phony and confirms that Obama and supporters don't have "decision points," only "finger points."

Light At Night Causes Changes In Brain Linked To Depression

This doesn't look good--assuming it's accurate. I like to fall asleep with the TV on. This study says even that amount of light in a dark room can interfer with your sleep.
    “Even dim light at night is sufficient to provoke depressive-like behaviors in hamsters . . ." said Tracy Bedrosian, co-author of the study and doctoral student in neuroscience at Ohio State University.

    The results are significant because the night-time light used in the study was not bright: 5 lux, or the equivalent of having a television on in a darkened room, said Randy Nelson, co-author of the study and professor of neuroscience and psychology at Ohio State.

Who wants to be like a depressed hamster? Besides, didn't our mothers tell us this when we were kids?

Light At Night Causes Changes In Brain Linked To Depression

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bobby Jindal for President

Interview on 700 Club recently. He has a new book, too.


Gov. Bobby Jindal: Leading through Crisis - CBN.com
Uploaded by cbnonline. - Up-to-the minute news videos.

Again with the message? Now Pelosi

James Taranto notes: "The New York Times editorial board is displeased: "If Ms. Pelosi had been a more persuasive communicator, she could have batted away the ludicrous caricature of her painted by Republicans across the country as some kind of fur-hatted commissar jamming her diktats down the public's throat." So is the Times's Nate Silver, who notes understatedly that "Ms. Pelosi is not very popular with the American public.""

What the left doesn't get is that Pelosi, Reid and Obama communicated just fine. We didn't like what they were telling us!

P.S. to NYT: Nobody likes her. Not even the Democrats.

What else did Gore lie about? Everything.

I worked in the Agriculture Library in the 70s and 80s. I knew you just couldn't make the ethanol bio-fuel figures come out right. It was very hot research then, too. Too many inputs; especially water. And even 2-3 years ago, we were creating food shortages that caused riots in other countries.

Now Big Al has come clean. Sort of.

Gore: On second thought, I was just pandering to the farm vote on ethanol « Hot Air
    Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was "not a good policy", weeks before tax credits are up for renewal.

    U.S. blending tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. The credits are up for renewal on Dec. 31.

    Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7 billion last year according to the International Energy Industry, which said biofuels worldwide received more subsidies than any other form of renewable energy.

    "It is not a good policy to have these massive subsidies for (U.S.) first generation ethanol," said Gore, speaking at a green energy business conference in Athens sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank.

U.S. corn ethanol was not a good policy-Gore | Energy & Oil | Reuters
Of course, the worst thing is that all the investments and venture capital that has gone up in global warming smoke and mirrors is not available to do something really good and worthwhile to restore the economy.

The Korean War back in the headlines

So North Korea shelled an island controlled by South Korea and they woke the President up to tell him. The Korean War started in 1950--60 years ago--before Obama was born. There was an Armistice (July 27, 1953), which got us out of it, but there was never a victory or a Peace Treaty, so the War goes on for Koreans to this day. But it has really taken a toll on North Koreans. A decade ago it was estimated that 3.5 million North Koreans had been deliberately starved to death by their own government. It's hard to say what that number would be now--but it's all a result of the Amistice we signed in 1953--leaving before the job was done. And many want us to do that in Afghanistan and Iraq. Winning a war is nasty stuff. Negotiating the ending and walking away is even nastier.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How many decibels at a rock concert?

Or in the ear buds of your i-pod? Rock music 150dB.

New research from Swiss scientists suggests that people living near airports exposed to high levels of noise from air crafts are at increased risk of dying of myocardial infarction. That's an average daily noise level of 60 decibels--and I suspect that's less than what the i-pod user is pumping into his/her ears 24/7. Constant noise. It's not just for deafness.

JAMA November 17, 2010, p. 2116

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Recipe for Cranberry Stuffing for Thanksgiving

Recipe for Cranberry Stuffing for Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving Day Recipe Ideas | eHow.com

I've got all the ingredients for this one! Looks really simple

Update: Made it according to her directions. You'd better find a way to sweeten the cranberries, or it is unedible. I served ours with syrup, then threw the rest out!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Will Jon Stewart show up in Wilmington to ridicule?

HuffPo last spring reported that Stewart was getting 50% of his material from Beck--not plagerism, but mocking him. Then in Beck's newsletter today it was noted that Stewart's program was 66% ridiculing Beck! Beck is keeping this man alive--he has no material without him.

Now Glenn Beck has announced he will travel to Wilmington, Ohio to do a show and to support a Christian ministry/food pantry there because in 2008 Wilmington lost its major employer (9,000 jobs) DHL. On his show tonight he interviewed Sugartree Ministries Director Allen Willoughby. Originally for the homeless and street people, Sugartree has a food pantry and accepts no government money, which must be a real challenge. Everyday the staff prays for the shelves to be filled. Every food pantry I know gets government grants to keep their doors open, same with after school snack programs and summer lunch programs that are run by churches. This prevents the ministry from being able to tell the story of Jesus and his saving work.

Beck isn't the only celebrity to show up to help Rachel Ray remodeled their kitchen. They are now serving 150-200 people 6 days a week.

Everyone knows that unemployment checks and food pantries aren't the answers to our economic problem--the government needs to get out of the way and allow businesses to thrive. In past recessions, new businesses sprung up; not so much this time. Regulations, energy requirements, insurance rates, and inability to get bank credit are stifling the small business man.

Maybe Jon could do something funny about that?

There's a college in Wilmington. My uncle J. Edwin Jay was the president from 1915-1927.

The cries for civility from Democrats

Where were these guys two years ago when Obama began blaming President Bush for all the ills of the world, when he was demeaning over half of the American people a few weeks ago during the campaign, when he traveled abroad bowing and scraping to foreign despots? How civil was he and his supporters in the press and Congress? Isn't he the one who said "I won" when asked about cooperation with Republicans?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jay Rockefeller wants to shut down your news sources

"I hunger for quality news. I’m tired of the right and the left. There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC, “Out. Off. End. Goodbye.” It’d be a big favor to political discourse, our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and, more importantly, in their future."

Yes, I just bet that would really help political discourse a lot and getting work done in Congress. So what does he consider "quality?" Katie Couric's opinions and water carrying passing as news? WETA, D.C.’s public television and radio stations where his wife is CEO?

Obama signs order to reform faith-based office

"President Obama signed an executive order Wednesday (Nov. 17) that reforms the White House's faith-based office in a bid to improve transparency and clarify rules for religious groups that receive federal grants.

The nine-page order reflects numerous recommendations made more than six months ago by a blue-ribbon advisory council charged with streamlining and reforming the office created under former President George W. Bush."

This certainly bears watching. During the 2008 campaign, Obama alluded to "fair hiring" in faith based programs, taking some religious freedoms by strangling churches ability to preach the gospel through what was once a popular Bush I and Bush II program--the 1000 points of light and the office of faith based initiatives. In 2008 I wrote a number of blogs about the dangers churches were facing with the Faustian agreement to take government support and grant money for everything from food pantries to housing rehab in distressed neighborhoods to after prison work programs to immigrant resettlement. I thought he had launched it when in 2009 he had Georgetown University remove all religious symbols when he gave a speech, but he became so embroiled in the healthcare debacle and the financial industry problems, that he wasn't able to turn his attention to it until . . . after the Democrats lost the House in 2010.

Once churches take government money, the administrators of that program by law, law suit, regulation or political pressure can tell them
  1. who to hire
  2. pull their tax exempt status
  3. which in turn can destroy other funding
  4. can hold up building plans that need to pass code
  5. can deny the retirement plan set in place for employees
  6. can affect the Medicare and Medicaid funding for the nursing home the church might run
  7. can restrict the adoption agency supported by the church plan to only place children with married couples
  8. and most importantly, can dictate what is said from the pulpit on any topic deemed politically sensitive, like marriage, abortion, environment, health, stem-cell research, euthanasia, war, etc.
RNS: Obama signs order to reform faith-based office - Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Ten years ago City Journal (Winter 2000) reported that Catholic Charities had lost its soul by promoting government programs rather than traditional church teaching, and the author tosses in Jews and Lutherans for good measure because their charitable acts had also been compromised. "Catholic Charities—and the same could be said about the Association of Jewish Family and Children's Agencies or the Lutheran Services in America—has become over the last three decades an arm of the welfare state, with 65 percent of its $2.3 billion annual budget now flowing from government sources and little that is explicitly religious, or even values-laden, about most of the services its 1,400 member agencies and 46,000 paid employees provide."

I believe if we are to fulfill the Great Commission, we'll have to disentangle ourselves from the federal and state government.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Saving the world, one cat at a time

Bandit

I often quote my mother who said, "I can't save the whole world, but I can save four acres." And she did, and she shared those acres with others by turning her family home into a peaceful, attractive retreat center. There are people in Powell, Ohio (northwest Columbus) who are saving the world one cat at a time at the Cozy Cat Cottage. What can you do to help. Of course, there's always money, but if you'd like a more fuzzy, hands on position, there are also volunteer jobs. I spend a lot of time on the internet so I might look into that good search click thing which provides CCC with benefits.

Mission Statement: Cozy Cat Cottage Adoption Center is a non-profit organization that provides refuge; aid and care for abandoned, injured, abused or lost cats and kittens. We refuse to euthanize cats or kittens simply because they are unwanted.

We are committed to the keep and care for these unwanted animals of all ages while attempting to find permanent, responsible, loving homes for each and every one of them.

We are dedicated to promoting respect and compassion for all animals through humane education and vigorously promoting spay and neutering to reduce, and eventually to eliminate the animal over population.


Right now this no kill facility can't accept any new residents, but if you are looking for a nice pet, perhaps one that's had a rough start in life, why not stop in at 62 Village Pointe Drive, Powell, Ohio 43065.

California's Destructive Green Jobs Lobby

"All the so-called "renewables" programs waste and desecrate the precious resource of arable land that feeds the world. Every dollar of new wages for green workers will result in several dollars of reduced pay and employment for the state's and the nation's other workers—and reduced revenues for the government."

George Gilder is just about the smartest guy I know. Read it. The Greenie's intent is to kill the economy. Their agenda long term has nothing to do with saving Planet Earth. Everyone should be environmentally responsible, including the lefists.

George Gilder: California's Destructive Green Jobs Lobby - WSJ.com

Human rights and the UN

"Saudi Arabia now has a seat on the women's board at the United Nations. That's right, a regime where it's illegal for women to drive or leave the house without being accompanied by a male guardian, where girls were pushed into a burning building because they were trying to flee without covering their 'obscene' female faces... will be a key player in the international effort to empower women.

. . . Chilean leftist Michelle Bachelet, who heads up UN Women, praised Sudan for its commitment to gender equality in her opening statement. Yes, Sudan, a genocidal state which uses mass rapes as part of its ethnic cleansing campaign. And it's already clear that the focus of UN Women isn't to promote gender equality, but to intervene in conflict areas. Which means the odds are excellent that UN Woman will be used to crank out an endless stream of condemnations of countries that fight Muslim terrorists, while cloaking those condemnations in the name of the rights of women in the affected areas. And the Saudis are perfectly positioned to guide UN Women down that road."

George W. Bush freed more women (from the Taliban) than Lincoln did slaves, but that's not enough for the left. Will American Communists point out the inconsistency of Saudis on the women's board? American leftists don't actually approve of Islamic law and codes anymore than they do Christian, however, they are useful comrades in bringing down the common capitalist enemy--The United States.

Sultan Knish a blog by Daniel Greenfield

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eid al-Adha--no English class today

Today is an important holiday (3 days beginning last night) for Muslims. Just like our Easter gets overshadowed by Christmas, but is the more significant of the Christian holy days, so this one gets overshadowed by another Eid which follows Ramadan. Eid al-Adha commemorates Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son Ishmael. That's a very different story than the one Jews and Christians see as the establishment of God's people Israel, the Jews, and in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Good works and service with the poor are part of this holiday, so there will be no English conversation class today.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

ALA Banned Books Week Hoax

I just browsed through a very attractive on-line display of banned books at a college library website--NCSU--based on the ALA hoax. Yes, BBW, Banned books week is a hoax. You can get these books anywhere. What the ALA banned lie really means is someone complained about a book--it wasn't banned or burned. No American author in the USA was threatened--that's for Europe and the Middle East. We have the right to complain, too. We pay for our public libraries--should we be thrilled with every selection? Can we say, "Why so many Martha Stewart?" What about poor quality binding or illustrations? Is that OK to complain about? Or price? Or disrespect toward a race, gender or religion? Or new books on the occult outnumbering new titles for a religion a bit more common in the neighborhood, for instance, Christianity?

I complained about "Little Black Sambo" being read aloud to children (1970s) during story hour. Was told it was harmless. What about the not-selected, not-purchased books? After looking over the shelves, and finding more on the Amish than on Lutherans, I left a note that our Public Library's newest book on Lutherans was 40 years old. Then I sent a suggestion with author, title and ISBN. They bought it. Woot! One. And we may have the largest Lutheran church in Ohio in our community. If you complain or suggest, it's often "no demand" or "no money." Especially for conservative titles. So then it's off to the book store. Fewer requests are made; fewer people vote to pass tax increases to support libraries.

ALA | Banned Books Week

Don't Be Such a Wimp and don't try to be fair

Readers give the expert on finances advice on his parenting skills. And it's good--especially from the kids. I'd say throw out the word "fair" when parenting. It only creates jealousy. Plus it's a kid's weapon. What's fair for a social butterfly doesn't fit the geek, and what's fair for an A student without cracking a book won't work with one who hates school. My mother was a saint, but she put great stock in being "fair." What that meant was, if one of the four of us was really great at doing something, praise was soft pedaled because it wouldn't be fair to the others who didn't have that talent. We were all talented in different ways, and believe me, life isn't fair. If it were, everyone would have had my terrific mother!

The Readers' Advice: Don't Be Such a Wimp - WSJ.com

Her ears aren't pierced--big deal!

At her blog she wrote a very long entry about her non-pierced ears--longer than any of my stories about the government, about housing, about health, about family memories, about retirement, etc. And she got 46 comments. FORTY-SIX!!!

Well, I never had my ears pierced either, and probably couldn't write two sentences about it. So there. And yes, people have noticed. Comments anyone?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Left Greeting Bookstore Release of Bush’s ‘Decision Points’

It may be awhile before your local library has more than one copy of Decision Points by President Bush, and at the bookstore you might find Bush shelved in unusual places. The solution, of course, is to complain both to the library, and the store manager. They are there to serve you.

Michelle Malkin » Left Greeting Bookstore Release of Bush’s ‘Decision Points’ With Level of Maturity You Might Expect

No dog in this fight

"To hear librarians tell it, video games are high-church, intellectual endeavors. Today, nearly 2,000 libraries across America will host National Gaming Day, a massive video game tournament and celebration." Daniel J. Flynn

The library as amusement park

"Only those who haven’t checked out a book in the new millennium would be surprised that the public library is now making video games available. The image of the urban public library as a citadel of culture and quietude shielding patrons from the noisy, dumbed-down, digital world outside has taken a hit in recent years. Anyone who has logged significant time at the library has noticed an environment at odds with what Andrew Carnegie had in mind when he bankrolled the construction of 2,811 libraries—roughly 1,000 more institutions than will be participating in National Gaming Day on Saturday. It’s not uncommon to see Internet porn on library computer consoles, and for those not satiated by simply looking, library bathrooms have become popular rendezvous points. Most conspicuously, the library has been transformed into an unofficial homeless shelter during those daytime hours when the official homeless shelter shuts its doors. Libraries have become comfortable hosting many activities unrelated to the life of the mind."

Governor-elect Scott Walker, Wisconsin

"Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker urged the federal government Tuesday to give up on high-speed rail and instead use the money to repair roads and bridges he said were "literally crumbling." "

I thought Obama promised ARRA funding would repair our crumbling infrastructure--it was supposed to be shovel ready funds, right? What happened? I saw a lot of torn up roads and streets in Ohio with those bright orange ARRA signs. In fact, it looked as though ARRA street repair was going to ruin every business in downtown Bucyrus!

I didn't know Wisconsin had elected a Republican--but he's strongly pro-life and small government, he's against rail boondoggles and embryonic stem cell research, so I guess that's what they've done.

Friday, November 12, 2010

And justice for all

Last night I recited the Pledge of Allegiance at a political meeting in my community. Can't remember when I last did that. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Now in an unrelated, but related story . . .

"The USDA Special Milk Program started in 1955 [when I was in school I think we paid two cents for a carton of milk] with the purpose of providing milk to children in schools, child care institutions, and summer camps that do not participate in other Federal child nutrition programs. The program reimburses sponsors for the milk they serve."

Believe it or not, this program is still going, but buried in the updated rules is the requirement that where the milk is distributed there MUST be a poster that states, "and justice for all".

The original pledge was much shorter and didn't specify the United States and didn't include God. "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." And I have no idea what the original milk program was for!

Buried on p. 12--Muslim killing Muslim in Karachi

The Pakistan Taliban strikes again--blew up a very secure area in Karachi, Pakistan, of top government officials and 5-star hotels, according to the Wall Street Journal today on p. 12. So I dug a little further and found Al-Jazeera's account:
    Around 3,800 people have been killed in suicide attacks and bombings, blamed on homegrown Taliban and other armed groups across Pakistan, since government troops stormed the Red Mosque in Islamabad three years ago.

    The Karachi bombing came less than a week after a suicide bombing on a mosque packed with worshippers killed 68 people in northwest Pakistan.

    Karachi has already suffered its most serious bout of political violence in years, with 85 people killed after a politician was shot dead in August.

    The city is Pakistan's economic capital, home to its stock exchange and a strategic port where Nato docks its supplies ready to be transported overland to support the war in Afghanistan.

Although I don't believe George W. Bush's nation building ideas worked in 7th century Islamic countries, I think the American leftists, and that would include our President, are blind and deaf about who is killing whom in the Middle East and the Asian continent which is home for millions of Muslims, adherents of the religion of peace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Labeled an extremist for common sense

Minnesota State Representative-elect Glenn Gruenhagen offered this at a statewide school board association meeting and the blog writer Hal thinks he's an extremist. The school board reps didn't like it (doesn't surprise me), but apparently voters saw something in him they liked.

Resolutions:
Stop labeling and drugging students - 2 for; 103 against.
Emphasize rote learning - 2 for; 130 against.
Implement phonics reading - 8 for; 94 against.
Teach principles of patriotism - 13 for; 88 against.
Implement abstinence - 7 for; 95 against.
Separate classes by gender - 16 for; 86 against.
Teach fallacies of macro evolution - 7 for; 100 against.
All children are gifted - 12 for; 89 against.


Hal's Blog

Christians and George Soros

Many Christians refuse to watch Glenn Beck. They think he's an alarmist, a kook libertarian, or don't like his Mormon faith.  In recent weeks, there are two very good reasons to be watching and listening--his story about inflation (read articles on today's WSJ on inflationary prices on A5 and C7*), and his story about George Soros infiltrating many Christian organizations and the media, essentially buying them up. 

The Christian Left, and even many evangelicals who have become really sloppy in aligning themselves as "emerging" or "emergent" are involved in promoting pro-choice, illegal immigration, gay marriage and anti-Israel movements. Last night, using his typical high-tech, high touch methods to illustrate a point, Beck rolled out an enormous sheet of brown butcher paper on which were written the names of all the "charities" George Soros, an atheist, supports, most of which are the antithesis of the Gospel and the basic concepts on which the United States was founded.  Soros is working hard behind the scenes to get Beck off the air.  However, there are many Christians now wise to his tricks and are providing some balance and research to fight him. Even a little blog like mine gets the hit and run socialists posting in my comments or sending me e-mails(removed if they get nasty) if I speak out about Soros.

Jim Wallis is probably the best known of the Evangelical Left (although the evangelical part of him has certainly been starved  as the left of him swells and gets ever more pompous) who has taken Soros funding to support his left wing agenda.  Two years ago our Vineyard Church here in Columbus invited him as a major speaker at its rally for peace and justice (I'm paraphrasing here), and I suspect this would not happen today as Wallis' links to radical movements and marxism become more clear to even the most obtuse, warm and squishy Christian.  Also, the Christian left has been quite alarmed by the Tea Party strength, as it eats away at its own power base, so it is fighting back.

How far left have the Evangelicals swung?  Richard Cizik, the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, now works for George Soros funding organization called the Open Society Institute.  This is beyond teetering on a cliff--he's completely fallen off the mountain top.

It's time to not only carefully read the "we believe" statement, but the mission statements, and the board of directors or trustees of any Christian organization you've been supporting or plan to support. We are at war.

*A5--11/11/10 article on new method to figure inflation--19.7% since last October; C7--article on commodities volatility, cotton, silver and soybeans.

Bush book, Decision Points, flying off the shelves

At least in book stores. It will take much longer in public libraries, whose librarians vote 223:1 for Democrats. Random House says it's the highest first day sales in 6 years, and that doesn't count independent book stores or grocery stores like Meiers or Krogers. (It's $21 at Meier's.) I live in a heavily Republican suburb, but our UAPL has carefully taught us that if we really want to read something with a right of center viewpoint, we'd just better go out and buy it. Then with fewer requests in hand, it can justify not purchasing in a timely fashion the books we'd like to read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Important Players – Doctrine-unfriendly

I've been trying to work my way through the tangle of terms like "emergent church" "emerging church" and "Emergent Village" and although I'm usually pretty good at detecting clues for movements and understanding divisions within Christianity, this is a MESS.

I just hate it when people change the language, especially Christians. I'm thinking they are soft and squishy on important fundamentals and theology, and warm and fuzzy on social issues. If salvation were about a nice home and full tummy, why would there need to be churches in suburbia?

Important Players – Doctrine-unfriendly « The Berean Watch

No, No Newt

Just watched him being interviewed on Fox--about his rather messy, unfaithful-to-wives personal life, and being a hypocrite about it besides. Let him stay on the side lines as a king/queen maker, but don't, please don't, put us through another Clintonesque presidency.

FDA: Obamacare’s Calorie-Count Mandate Now In Effect—But Not Enforceable

The individual items in a vending machine have a nutritionlabel--except the fresh items like an apple or orange--now Obama wants it also on the outside of the machine. One more way to destroy small businesses. One more reason someone would with an ounce of sense and a month of business experience should have read the bill. Look at all the cigarette packages that are labeled with a warning, and has he stopped smoking?

FDA: Obamacare’s Calorie-Count Mandate Now In Effect—But Not Enforceable | CNSnews.com

Fried Librarian Giblets Awakens ALA Council to Take On Yet Another Non-Library Issue

I got a chuckle out of the title of this blog--Fried librarian giblets. I wonder if ALA will look into the San Francisco Happy Meal melt down? The ALA spends so much time on non-library issues. I suppose that's a sign that everything is super duper OK in library land. Salaries are up; bond issues aren't failing; and the political balance is improving.

SafeLibraries: Fried Librarian Giblets Awakens ALA Council to Take On Yet Another Non-Library Issue

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

On repealing Obamacare--expand the target

"The case for abolishing Obamacare has three parts, based on its awful effects (a) on health care, (b) on our political system, and (c) on our character as a people. The first of these, Obamacare's deleterious effects on health care quality, cost, innovation, and accessibility, has been well made already by conservative policy analysts and, less well but still effectively, by conservative politicians. On their merits, these arguments should have been enough to defeat Obamacare, and almost were. Floating in the debate's background so far have been anxieties about the legislation's effects on our constitutional system's balance of power and on the American character. These concerns will need to be more thought—through and clearly articulated in the days to come, because to clinch the argument conservatives need to show that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not merely bad or mistaken policy but somehow dangerous to our way of life. Legislative mistakes can be corrected, after all. Their pollsters are already warning Democratic congressmen to keep claims about the law "small and credible," to stick to "personal stories" of people who will benefit from it, and above all to promise to "improve" it. They're trying to shrink the target. Conservatives need to expand the target, and to emphasize that the stakes of Obamacare include nothing less than the future of self-government in America."

Article at Claremont Institute

Eat all the colors, but

be careful. I've been making wonderful chili soups the past few weeks. I grill lightly in olive oil about 4-5 vegetables chopped up, add Progresso Hearty Tomato, and then maybe black bean with bacon flavoring for some protein. Well, today I decided to use up the fresh cooked spinach I had in the frig. Nope. Not a good idea. Red and green make a sort of yucky brown. It didn't exactly change the basic color of the soup, but the green floating in the red is not pleasing to the artist's eye.

Anyone laughing with Bill Maher now?

This is Bill Maher's trashing of the Nine Twelve movement around the time the reports of ACORN assisting a sex trafficking ring came out, which didn't give him concern. Oh, you are such a riot Bill, and so with egg on your face after last Tuesday.
    Glenn Beck’s army of zombie retirees are marching on Washington in protest of, well, everything. It’s the Million Moron March, although they won’t get a million of course, because many will be confused and drive to Washington state. But they will make news, because people who take to the streets always do. They’re at the town hall screaming at the congressmen, we’re on the couch screaming at the TV.
I was going to look for a photo, but you all know the face, all 10 of you who watch his show.

Conan is back — all is right with the world - TODAYshow.com

Now that's an amazing headline--ripped right off the internet. Conan is back--all's right with the world. So that's all it took. Obama doesn't need another term, and Jesus didn't need to return. What a relief.

Conan is back — all is right with the world - Entertainment - Television - TODAYshow.com

Monday, November 08, 2010

5 myths about George W. Bush

The only ones who believed the dumb cowboy stuff were the media and their Democratic supporters who just kept passing it along because it made them feel superior. I didn't. I saw his reading list. But over all, a good assessment. Don't know if I'll read the book.

5 myths about George W. Bush

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Who's crazy now?

It's OK in a movie to take the Lord's name in vain, which is offensive to probably over half of all movie goers, but a fake, made up conversation by two teenagers can't use the word "gay" as a pejorative ("The social network")? Come on, guys, even gay kids use the term gay that way! Ten years ago they were using "retard" the same way. Look at any slang and it's either incomprehensible so adults won't catch on, or comes via the prisons, or has a sexual connotation. The word JAZZ, after all, originally meant sexual intercourse, as did rock 'n roll, so is that what you're saying each time you use those terms?

Stop treating gay teens like they are a fragile piece of glass. You are sending mixed messages for a political agenda, and it's the kids who will suffer. First of all, you're talking them into being a victim, and you just might be designating someone as gay when he isn't. There are lots of reasons for a teen to have problems, and a few teen-agers do commit suicide for a wide variety of reasons. But not as many as the macho soliders we're sending to Afghanistan and Iraq, and not as many as white men over 60.

When I was a teenager, I'd never heard of homosexuality--was probably a sophomore in college before I was even aware of it. That doesn't mean there weren't just as many gay teens in the 50s as there are today. Somehow, they managed to get college degrees, find partners, and succeed in their careers, because I've met them, worked with them, and am now retiring with them. One dear lesbian friend died in a house fire trying to save her pets; her partner was devastated, and she later died in an auto accident. None of this had anything to do with their sexuality; Pauline and Dora were outstanding advocates for young people of any make and model.

Today gay teens have support groups, "young adult" gay themed books in the library, gay movie stars and athletic figures to idolize, web sites to go to, special counselors in their schools, and politicans who are equal opportunity idiots like Barney Frank for a model. If none of this is working, why are we funding these programs?

Please, stop with the urban legends!

All Saints Day--first Sunday in November

Today is All Saints Sunday, the day Christians remember those called to sainthood (all believers) and espcially particular individuals. My husband and I were communion servers, always a wonderful experience. However, it's also the day the pastor reads from the pulpit the names of the congregation's members who have died since October 31, last year, and the names of loved ones we submit. It's very moving. And Oh! the singing! We get to sing all the verses of "For all the Saints."

Unless I'm morphing some memories (easy to do at my age) I can remember the first time I heard and sang "For all the Saints," and it was interestingly enough, not in church, but at Camp Emmaus near Mt. Morris, Illinois. I wasn't even a camper--I was the cook's assistant, and had come upstairs after clearing tables and washing pots to sit in the back of the lodge main room to observe the campers (older teens). They were learning a "new" hymn, "For all the Saints," being led I believe by a gorgeous young woman from Chicago with a fabulous voice named Carol Hiller. (It's possible that I've morphed her into the hymn, but this is how I recall it.)

The lyrics seem to be much older than the music, having been written by Bishop William W. How in 1864, but the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams died in 1958, so it's possible that in the mid-1950s, we were learning it as a "new" hymn. However it came to my attention, it has always been a favorite, and the older I get, the more departed saints I have to remember and look forward to seeing again at the resurrection.

The greatest of human adventures

If you want to read a history of America that isn't biased, isn't academic and yet is tremendously optimistic while revealing all our warts, please read Paul Johnson's "A history of the American people." Here's his opener:
"The creation of the United States of America is the greatest of all human adventures. No other national story holds such tremendous lessons, for the American people themselves and for the rest of mankind." p.3

Johnson doesn't have to answer to a tenure review committee in the hopelessly left sided university community, and he's not a part of the notoriously liberal American media.  He's a British journalist who has been visiting and researching the U.S. since his first visit in 1955.  Despite its 3.5 lbs and 1000+ pages and  about that many footnotes, this book is for the ordinary reader, not a scholar.  You can tell, however, that he is a conservative in that as a former Socialist familiar with socialism's failures, he is solidly in favor of a free market economy as the system that brings the most people up out of poverty and enslavement; but also he is incredibly optimistic, which liberals almost never are.  He's not snarky or dark in his evaluations even when explaining (and footnoting) John Kennedy's or Lyndon Johnson's numerous affairs and sexcapades, or finding the one really good thing about Jimmy Carter's presidency. He outlines rather carefully the media making the presidency for us in 1960, and although in 1997 he'd never heard of Barack Obama, the same template was used again in 2008.

I found this wonderful Booknotes interview with Johnson in 1998.  Loved that show.

Johnson notes that left wing liberals and academicians will hate this book--they won't actually read it, but will find factual errors (he encourages that you report these so he can correct them in the next edition but also notes that even sources he cites disagree on details).

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Hitler learns the Republicans have taken both the House and Obama’s Senate seat

This film clip has been used so many times in parodies, but this one is incredible. "Bush got C's but Obama failed lunch."



Hitler learns the Republicans have taken both the House and Obama’s Senate seat

Upper Arlington 9/12 project November 11 meeting

Join the UA912 Group on November 11 at 6:30 p.m. as they welcome Pastor Eric Waters from the Upper Arlington Lutheran Church who will present his stirring July 4, 2010 Sermon Entitled: Freedom - A Gift From God. Pastor Waters brought the congregation to their feet. Here is a link to the sermon: http://tech.ualc.org/mp3/audio/100704EWMRC.mp3
Location, Hastings Middle School Auditorium, 1850 Hastings Lane, Upper Arlington, OH 43220, hostess Catherine Hackett.



..

Possible holes? You think? Flight school arrests

"Federal officials have arrested dozens of alleged illegal immigrants connected to a flight school in Stow, including the school’s owner and students who received US government clearance to train as pilots despite strict security controls put into place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The arrests of 34 Brazilian nationals that began in July and concluded quietly last month raise troubling new questions about possible holes in the government’s antiterrorism security net, which bans illegal immigrants from taking flight lessons and requires background checks on any foreigner training to fly in the United States.
Flight school arrests raise terrorism fears - The Boston Globe

TSA seems to be pretty good at making little old ladies take off their shoes and men their belts, but do a background check on a foreigner wanting to learn to fly a small plane? Wouldn't that be profiling? Even the owner of the flight school wasn't here legally.

Comprehensive--a word we need to strike from Washington's vocabulary

We've heard it all. But one word we hear/see too often. COMPREHENSIVE. "Comprehensive immigration reform" and "comprehensive health care;" "Comprehensive environmental response" legislation, and "comprehensive gender strategies;" "Comprehensive Financial Regulatory Reform" and "comprehensive knowledge based yada yada yada." Most of these comprehensive efforts, especially immigration, could be achieved by enforcing laws already on the books, laws that were never fully understood or enforced or funded. But that wouldn't tie up millions of tax dollars in more hearings, writing new laws and creating more agencies to suck up the billions the new laws and regulations will demand.

John Boehner remembers why he got into politics

"I grew up in a small house on a hill in Cincinnati, Ohio, with 11 brothers and sisters. My dad ran a bar, Andy’s CafĂ©, that my grandfather Andrew Boehner opened in 1938. We didn’t have much but were thankful for what we had. And we didn’t think much about Washington.

That changed when I got involved with a small business, which I eventually built into a successful enterprise. I saw firsthand how government throws obstacles in the way of job-creation and stifles our prosperity. It prompted me to get involved in my government, and eventually took me to Congress."

It's a good lead in for a speech, but power and the beltway have a funny way of changing people. We'll have to see if a traditional Republican has gotten the conservative message from the voters who are a thousand times better informed than they were in 2000 or 2004. I'm quite sure we've heard this "no more business as usual" from other pols--specifically Barack Obama, the biggest fraud of them all. We were promised that his enhanced use of technology would have us all reading the bills, when in fact these gully washers weren't even read by Congress, let alone us!

Again, Boehner: "I have maintained a no-earmarks policy throughout my time of service in Congress. I believe the House must adopt a moratorium on all earmarks as a signal of our commitment to ending business as usual in the spending process.

• Let Americans read bills before they are brought to a vote. The speaker of the House should not allow any bill to come to a vote that has not been posted publicly online for at least three days. Members of Congress and the American people must have the opportunity to read it.

Similarly, the speaker should insist that every bill include a clause citing where in the Constitution Congress is given the power to pass it. Bills that can’t pass this test shouldn’t get a vote. House Republicans’ new governing agenda, “A Pledge to America,” calls for the speaker to implement such reforms immediately.

• No more “comprehensive” bills. The next speaker should put an end to so-called comprehensive bills with thousands of pages of legislative text that make it easy to hide spending projects and job-killing policies. President Obama’s massive “stimulus” and health-care bills, written behind closed doors with minimal public scrutiny, were the last straw for many Americans. The American people are not well-served by “comprehensive,” and they are rightly suspicious of the adjective.

• No more bills written behind closed doors in the speaker’s office. Bills should be written by legislators in committee in plain public view. Issues should be advanced one at a time, and the speaker should place an emphasis on smaller, more focused legislation that is properly scrutinized, constitutionally sound, and consistent with Americans’ demand for a less-costly, less-intrusive government."

As long as presidents are allowed to appoint people who can regulate the Congress into powerlessness and the people into slavery, what legislators do and how much pork they send home to their cronies really won't make much difference, now will it?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Obama thinks he just didn't get his message out . . .

. . . but I think he communicated loud and clear.
    "Republicans picked up at least a record 680 state legislative seats nationwide. That's more than even the 472 seat gain in 1994, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, and more than the previous record of 628 seats by Democrats in the Watergate election of 1974. Not since 1928 have Republicans held so many state legislative seats. . . Voters clearly said on Tuesday that they want state leaders to control spending, reform pension and health-care benefits for state employees, and attract new job-creating businesses.
From today's Review and Outlook, Wall St. Journal

Stem cell face lifts--we're not there yet

Sherrell Aston, MD, answers some questions about face lifts, including the so called stem-cell face lift, which is apparently a new term for fat transfer. I'd like a little of that, but by the time it is perfected, I either won't care, or won't remember that I cared.

"Right now, there is no such thing as a stem cell face-lift, although the hope is that stem cells can help rejuvenate tissues and fill in volume. Stem cells are obtained with liposuction. We frequently inject fat into different areas of the face to return fat that is atrophied, or to improve the contour of the jawline, or over the cheekbones to improve contour. Stem cells show promise for the future, and I anticipate that we'll do more with stem cells as part of facial rejuvenation in the years to come."

The Modern Face-lift: An Expert Interview With Sherrell J. Aston, MD

I've been using the Medscape/WebMD site for years and have found it to be reliable. Usually go there when all I can find are the heavily advertising supported sites.

A return to the norm--I disagree

Sorry, Charlie, I love you, but you missed it on this one. The huge win on Tuesday was not a default, it was not a return to the norm. It resulted from the American slumbering giant, many the retired electorate, rising up, getting informed, going to the library and book store, going to rallies, talking to their friends, organizing small groups without any headship, and supporting candidates for smaller, more responsive government. Conservatives, not all true Republicans, have won big both at the state level and the national. I sent no money to the National Republican party, but did support candidates in about 5 or 6 other states. I've learned the hard way that how they vote, and the bills they don't read, directly affect me.

Charles Krauthammer - A return to the norm

At last, some honesty at MSNBC

Lawrence O'Donnell admits he's a socialist and chides other liberals for playing with terms.

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Glenn [Greenwald], unlike you, I am not a progressive. I am not a liberal who is so afraid of the word that I had to change my name to progressive. Liberals amuse me. I am a socialist. I live to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals, okay? However, I know this about my country. Liberals are 20 percent of the electorate. Conservatives are 41 percent of the electorate, okay? So I don't pretend that my views, which would ban all guns in America, make Medicare available to all in America, have any chance of happening in the federal government, okay? You can sit there and pretend that liberals should run more liberal in conservative districts. You love the loss of the Blue Dogs. The only way, the only way you have a chairman Barney Frank, there's only one way, that's by electing Blue Dogs. It's the only way. That's the only way you have a Speaker Pelosi.

Now if he could just admit that socialists are Marxists, the air would be a lot cleaner in the studio. He's also an actor, pulls down big money by selling his image and his knowledge, which is sort of like being a private company not controlled by the government, so in my opinion, he's also a hypocrite in wanting to impoverish other people.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/11/05/lawrence-odonnell-i-am-socialist-i-live-extreme-left-mere-liberals#ixzz14RY2LrhI

The jobs report

I'm sure Obama is taking credit for the uptick in the October jobs report, however, I remember how the econmy literally fell off a cliff when it looked like Obama would be the president after he was selected as the candidate. Business knew he would not be for them, and they were already struggling. Then in the fall of this year, the predicting of the Republican take overs not only of Congress but in the states also was gaining steam. So people took hope that the Bush tax cuts would stay in place and we could finally stop the Pelosi, Obama and Reid steamroller which was flattening the will and wallets of the American people.

A serious subject treated humorously, golf and terrorism

Second-generation Indian Americans 'Return' to India

"In 2004, The New York Times reported there were 35,000 "returned nonresident" Indians in the Indian city of Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore). In 2009, The Economist noted that between 2003 and 2005, approximately 5,000 tech-savvy Indians with more than five years' experience in America returned to India.

A 2010 report by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group found that in 2006, 32,000 second-generation Indians born in the United States or Europe returned to India. Although the report does not define return in temporal terms, it observed that the availability of challenging job positions, strong demand for experienced workers, and the promise of economic growth were crucial in creating such reverse talent flows."
Migration Information Source - For Love and Money: Second-generation Indian Americans 'Return' to India

I don't think this is too unusual. It happened after the break up of the Soviet Union with many 2nd generation Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, etc. returning to the country of their parents. Also, after China loosened up, a number of Americans of Chinese ancestry saw new opportunity. When Ireland had its boom economy in the late 90s, many Irish diaspora returned home. It will be interesting to see if they are welcomed with open arms, since they had so many advantages the people who stayed behind didn't.

Our most famous granny terrorist speaks again

Still spewing after all these years--Bernadine Dohrn, Bill Ayer's wife, the Obamas' Chicago neighbor and friend, unrepentent terrorist still thinks conservatives, and not her ilk, are the ones to fear.
See the video, feel the chill wind blowing.

CNN debunks the cost figures from India

. . . but doesn't have any numbers to replace them.

Story here.

Rob Portman's US Senate victory speech

One last campaign appeal--Joe Miller

It's not over until it's over.

Statement from Joe Miller “The campaign remains optimistic that Joe Miller will be the next U.S. Senator from the state of Alaska. Previous write-in campaigns in Alaska have demonstrated that as much as 5 to 6% of returned ballots have not met the standard to be counted as a valid vote. As with any write-in campaign, the burden of execution rests with the candidate whose name is not on the ballot. Candidates who mount a write-in campaign opt for an uphill battle. At this point, without a single write-in ballot counted, Lisa Murkowski has no claim on a victory. To complicate the matter, the Division of Elections has yet to adequately explain how a ballot will be marked in favor of a candidate. The current standards are extraordinarily ambiguous. We trust that officials will conduct the hand count with propriety and consistency. In short, this campaign is not over! “

Joe Miller for US Senate
PO Box 72838
Fairbanks, AK 99707-2838
(907) 452-8559

http://joemiller.us/

CAIR wants OSU Christians to be more tolerant

From OSUToday: "Join us to discuss recent hostility and intolerance facing the Islamic community in America and the appropriate Christian response to the attack of other faith traditions. Indianola Presbyterian Church welcomes representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations."

109 verses in the Koran command Muslims to make war against the unbeliever. The Hadith says that even the rocks behind which a Jew hides will call out for his death.

Islam teaches that the Christian Bible, the Torah and the Psalms are all corrupted, even though those manuscripts and extant copies are much, much older than Islam's holy books, and no scholar is allowed to do critical research on the Koran.

Muhammad's followers are commanded to believe in Allah and to wage war against their neighbors.

Jesus' followers are commanded to love God and to love neighbor as themselves.

Perhaps the Christians who attend this meeting could have a few words for the CAIR representative about centuries of hostility and ignorance on their side?

Bullying on social networking sites

Today's Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on the history of shaming--from the scarlet letter, to names of tax delinquents in newspapers to publicly charging for plastic bags at the grocery store to "encourage" responsible behavior. But the story lead is one of the most interesting. It involves rich, socially advantaged, well-educated young adults--the senior class at Dartmouth attempting to shame their classmates into donating for the class gift, using blogs, social networking sites, names, photos, and personal slurs. Techno-rats without a moral clue.

Oh yes, the names came from the school administration. Link.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The cost of the Civil War

From Measuring Worth, which provides seven indicators for making comparisons in US dollars between any two years from 1774 to the present (2009):

"The Civil War was one of the most devastating events in the history of the United States. It lasted from 1861 to 1865 and has been estimated to have direct cost about $6.7 billion valued in 1860 dollars. If this number were evaluated in dollars of today using the GDP deflator it would be $139 billion, less that one-fourth of the current Department of Defense budget. This would be inappropriate, as would be using the wage or income indexes. The only measure that makes sense for an expenditure of this size is to use the share of GDP, as the war impacted the output of the entire country. Thus the relative value of $6.7 billion of 1860 would be $22 trillion today, or over 150% of our current GDP.

The $6.7 billion does not take into account that the war disrupted the economy and had an impact of lower production into the future. Some economic historians have estimated this additional, or indirect cost, to be another $7.3 billion measured on 1860 dollars. This means the cost of the war (as a share of the output of the economy) was nearly $46 trillion as measured in current dollars."

Michelle Bachman's Plan for Republicans to restore America

As told to tingly leg Chris Matthews:

"BACHMANN: Well, the plan that I've been talking about all through this election is really four things. And I would encourage the new Republican leadership to take this on as the agenda in 2011. And it's very simple.

It's keep the current tax policy so no one has increased taxes.

Number two, we need to put a full scale repeal of Obamacare passed through the House, hopefully it can get through the Senate, and then

number three, we need to make sure that we secure the United States borders.

And number four, we need to make sure that we don't have a huge increase in national energy tax.

Those are the four issues that the American people want the Congress to deal with because they want to get certainty back into the economy."

Works for me.

No, Mitch. He needs to fail.

It seems that, like Obama, Mitch McConnell doesn't get it either. What is it? Is the air too thin in Washington? Why is it people don't get the Tuesday message?
    "Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Thursday he wants President Obama to “change,” not fail, and said Republicans will force him from office in 2012 if he does not. “I don’t want the president to fail, I want him to change,” McConnell said in remarks at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington."
What good is a "changed" failure who doesn't know he failed? I do not want Obamacare, I do not want Cap and Tax which will further destroy the economy, I do not want a bazillion sneaky regulations brought to us by his appointed czars, I do not want more leftist, squishy judges on the Supreme Court. No, Obama needs to fail at trying to destroy our country. If it isn't too late.

After Bernanke's move this week--the additional $600 billion--I'm not sure any of it matters at this date. Hasn't anyone read what the Fed did in the 1920s which brought on the Great Depression? John Maynard Keynes who advocated "managed currency" and constant government interference neither foresaw that the Depression was coming, nor how long it would last.
    "A country that doesn’t understand its own history is not well equipped to deal with its future. The Great Depression was not a failure of the old order. It was the failure of the new order that had just begun. The Federal Reserve is the most powerful institution of a new order that believed in the efficacy of government and its ability to do good. The same Federal Reserve caused the Great Depression when its wise men made a series of cumulative mistakes that contracted the money supply by one-third and wiped out purchasing power in an unprecedented fashion." The Fed's Depression and the New Deal

Humbled? Hardly!

What a silly concept. A humbled Obama? That's unimaginable for a narcissist.

"A conservative wave roared across the American political landscape last night, humbling President Barack Obama and instantly redrawing the landscape in Washington with a new place on the high perches of power for the flag-bearers of the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement." The Independent

Here's what Armstrong Williams wrote: "Judging by his words yesterday, Americans should settle in for more gridlock during these next two years. Yes, at times the president seemed conciliatory. His "shellacking" comment was as accurate as it was self-deprecating. But that's where the humility ended.

Phrases such as "I didn't communicate my message better" and "We should have started earlier in convincing the American people" are not admissions of mistakes or even acknowledgements that, if he'd had a chance to do it all over again, things would be done differently. No, those are remarks from a person who to this day believes in his heart he was right all along. A supermajority of the voters didn't see it that way, but doggone it, Obama sure did, and that's all that matters.

Folks, that thought process achieves new levels of arrogance, and leaves me with little hope for the next two years. "Communicating our message better" is what losers say when they're too proud to admit they lost. That's not presidential, that's pathetic. As smart as the president is, he knew exactly what he was doing when he chose those words, and that alone makes his sincerity yesterday all the more suspect."

Please! It's o-p-h-t-h-a-l-m-o-l-o-g-i-s-t

"Moisturizers are important for the skin around the eyes, which contains no oil glands. Ms. Cryer uses two eye creams, a day cream that offers sun protection and a night cream without the "extra chemicals" of sunscreen. In the winter, Ms. Cryer even applies a little extra eye cream in midafternoon to "refresh" the skin. She sticks to "opthalmologist-tested" moisturizers that won't irritate the eyes themselves."

Today's Wall Street Journal, article by Cheryl Lu-Lien

Now that ophthalmologist Rand Paul is heading for the Senate, maybe reporters will start getting this one right.

"Dr. Paul completed a general surgery internship at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta and completed his residency in ophthalmology at Duke University Medical Center. Upon completion of his training in 1993, Dr. Paul moved to Bowling Green, Ken., and began his ophthalmology practice.

In 1995, Dr. Paul founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, an organization that provides eye exams and surgery to needy families and individuals. He has also provided free eye surgery to children from around the world through the Children of the Americas Program." Becker's ASC Review.

Alice Dancing Under the Gallows

She never hated. Will be 107 this November.