Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Thirteen—13 magazines in need of reading

TT my magazines

I have an odd hobby—since the 1960s I’ve been collecting first issues of magazines (aka journals, periodicals, serials).  I have given it up because of storage problems, and I rarely ever subscribed to one I bought for my hobby.  The fun was in the hunt.  But we do have a lot of magazines around the house, which I periodically (joke) take to the library book sale.  Here are a few in the house as of November 2012, but by no means all.

1.  Edible Columbus.

edible Columbus

I found out about this magazine  (and I do have the first issue) by accidentally meeting the editor—she lives in our former home of 34 years in Upper Arlington.  This magazine is available for a number of cities and focuses on healthy, locally grown foods.

2. Lake Erie Living.

We own a summer home in Lakeside, Ohio, a Chautauqua community, so we’re very interested in what is happening on our lake, and the other Great Lakes.  And you should be, too.  There are eleven states and provinces that touch at least one of the Great Lakes, and they are the largest source of fresh water in the world.

Lake Erie Living (2)

I also have the first issue of Lake Erie Living.

3.  Bird Watcher’s Digest

I remember when my mother subscribed to this when she had a retreat center.  I don’t know much about birds, but several years ago I met Bill Thompson III at Lakeside when he was there to give a program, and I went on several bird walks. The next Midwest Birding Symposium (Sept. 2013) will be at Lakeside.


4.  JAMA; The Journal of the American Medical Association

When I was Head of the Veterinary Medicine Library at Ohio State University, I got hooked on medical journals, and about 1/3 of our journals were human medical.  A mammal is a mammal, after all.  I don’t subscribe to JAMA because I have a source that gives me her copies, but I rarely miss an issue.  Some of the research articles are too difficult for me, but it also has essays, editorials, poetry, politics (left of center), patient information, and brief summaries. Until recently, all the covers were paintings, both ancient and modern, which I loved, but recently the editors have added medical art intended to instruct, like the Nov. 7 issue on cardiovascular disease showing some of the innovations available today.


5. Architectural Digest.

Off and on, we’ve subscribed for years—you see how the 1% lives.  It’s very heavy on celebrities and the homes of decorators. We allowed the subscription to lapse for several years, and picked it up again in 2012 after a really good offer.  My favorite issue is always the Hollywood issue, where the editors dig through the archives and old b & w photos for the famous movie stars, Gable, Astaire, Monroe, Crosby, etc., directors and producers you now only see on TNT film series.


6.  Watercolor Artist


Both my husband and I paint.  This cover has a huge surprise. When you unfold it there is a naked woman with the couple observing the scenery.

7.  American Artist.


Sadly, American Artist and Watercolor magazine ceased publication after November, 2012. But we still have shelves full so we won’t lack for resource material or advice.

8.  Timeline, a publication of the Ohio Historical Society.

We are members of Conestoga, a Friends group that takes trips together to historical sites and raises money for the Ohio Historical Society.  It has an excellent magazine that comes with our membership, as well as a nice newsletter called Echoes.


On this cover is the Lustron, a prefab home made in Columbus after WWII.  My grandparents owned one in Mt. Morris, Illinois.

9. Biblio

I’m a few issues shy of a complete set, and it died a number of years ago, but every issue is a treasure. I have complete volumes (12 issues) of Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, plus 4 issues of Vol. 4 (discontinued at vol.4 no.4) of Biblio magazine, probably the sweetest magazine about books, manuscripts, ephemera, collectors and publishers that ever was published (issn 1087-5581). Top quality paper and printing, too. 10.

10. Preservation


This is a wonderful magazine for learning about our culture, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  When we were in California in 2006 we visited some Greene & Greene homes featured in this issue.

11. Fine Homebuilding


Home magazines became more popular in our home when my husband left a larger firm where he was a partner doing primarily commercial buildings and became a sole practitioner designing and remodeling homes. They are fun to look at, although I’m no longer interested in doing most of the things suggested.

12.  Tri-Village Magazine


This magazine carries news and business opportunities specifically for Grandview Heights, Marble Cliff and Upper Arlington, northwest suburbs of Columbus, Ohio.

13.  Architectural Record


This is my husband’s magazine, but I also read it. “Green” and “sustainable” are big topics for architects, and they can’t survive without government work, so they tend to chase political trends. Poor people can’t afford architects, and rich people have been demonized, so that only leaves the government and non-profits.

Join the fun at Thursday Thirteen!

It is said, these are actual court statements, recorded in a book.


Disorder in the Courts

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.


ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?


ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.

The Balkanization of America

From today’s Wall Street Journal

It may be over four decades since the passage of the Voting Rights Act, but whenever America votes today, the exit polls can't move fast enough to divide voters by the color of their skin. Mere moments after the 2012 exit polls were released, a conventional wisdom congealed across the media that the Republican Party was "too white." . . .  No one can beat the Democrats at the politics of social division. Instead, the GOP should tell prospective voters that no matter what their country of origin or happenstance of birth, their success in the U.S. will depend less on celebrating their assigned category than on supporting political policies that expand economic opportunity. A Republican Party that fails to tell that story in a way anyone can grasp is a party that will never escape the box the other side dropped it into on Nov. 7.

I have nothing against the rich, but our President does

Susan Rice, a leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, was worth an average $33.5 million in 2009. Hillary was worth about $31 million.  Rice’s portfolio would have sent Democrats into a media rage if she’d been a Bush appointee. I wonder how she got so rich? John Kerry who is next in line if Rice doesn’t make it is worth about $232 million.

“Some of the American and Canadian energy companies and banks that Rice holds stock in have had poor environmental track records as of late. As of 2009, Rice had between $50,000 and $100,000 in BP stock; the company was responsible for the largest marine oil spill in history in 2010 and recently was sanctioned by the EPA for its conduct. She also has as much as $1.5 million invested in Enbridge, which spilled more than a million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan not long after the Gulf spill.

Rice has millions tied up in banks, including up to $6 million in TD Bank Financial, about $6.2 million in Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and up to $2 million in Royal Bank of Canada, which was named the nation's most environmentally irresponsible company. According to the Rainforest Action Network, Royal Bank of Canada is the top financier for companies drilling in tar sands, one of the dirtiest forms of oil, in Alberta, Canada, and has earned more than $80 million from those loans.”

As Obama pushes granny over the fiscal cliff. . .

“Costco, the giant wholesale-club operator, announced Wednesday that it will pay a special dividend of $7 a share before the end of the year. That's about $3 billion the company will return to shareholders that the feds will only tax at 15% rather than the 39.6% rate scheduled to kick in when the Bush-era tax rates expire next year. For households earning more than $250,000 in 2013, you can add another 3.8 percentage points in tax thanks to the ObamaCare surcharge. Costco's shareholders approved, sending its stock up about 6%. . . . Other are moving up their regular quarterly dividend to be payable in December rather than in January. . .  When the capital gains rate last rose, to 28% from 20% as part of the 1986 tax reform, investors also cashed in before the higher rate took effect. ”

It's the oldest lesson in tax policy: Tax something and you get less of it and that’s why we know this isn’t about revenue, but about ruining the economy. The “transformation” he promised us in 2008.

Review and Outlook

Guest blogger Michael Levin on Zig Ziglar

The next-to-last time I saw Zig Ziglar, I was one of 17,000 in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, where he was speaking as part of a program of superstars, including Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Joe Montana. He was onstage accompanied by his daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman, because Zig had suffered a fall a couple of years before that and nobody wanted him to fall again, especially onstage, and especially in front of 17,000 people.

On April 15, 2011, I saw Zig again, this time for lunch, with his daughter Julie and his son Tom. From 17,000 down to four. If you love Zig Ziglar as I do, you can readily understand it was one of the greatest thrills of my life.

Zig Ziglar is one of the greatest motivators, authors, sales trainers, and inspiring figures the world has known. Millions have read his books and listened to his recordings, and they became, as a result, better salespeople, better spouses, better parents, better people. His mellifluous baritone echoes through the mind of anyone who has listened to him speak. His values harken back to a better world, where integrity was the watchword, where faith mattered, and where sales was a profession in search of a champion.

Zig was their champion. He grew up one of twelve children during the Depression, on a farm in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and his father passed away when he was five years old. By age six, Zig was earning his own money, and selling, mowing lawns. He used that money to buy his first suit, which he wore to church. By the time I met Zig face to face, he had been selling—lawn mowing services, pots and pans, sales training, personal development, and the ideas of his Holy Bible, for 79 years. “You must be married,” Zig said, as we were introduced. “I can tell by how nicely you’re dressed. Only a married man could dress that nicely.”

At lunch, Zig leaned over to me and said, quite seriously, “Never say anything negative about yourself.” It sounds so obvious, but we all do it all the time. If we don’t see ourselves as wondrously made, as Zig likes to quote from the Bible, who will?

I asked Zig what caused him to make the transition from sales training to motivational speaking. His son Tom explained that Zig studied the success of his students, and he realized that only 20 percent of it was due to technique. The other 80 percent was due to reputation and character. So that’s when Zig began to focus on those issues and not just talk about selling.

But don’t estimate old Zig on sales. He’s forgotten more about sales than most of us will ever know. One of his most enduring stories involves his son Tom, who at the time was contemplating a career as a professional golfer. Zig and Tom were playing a competitive round of golf and Tom needed a long putt to drop in order to win the hole. He made the putt, and then he asked his father, “Dad, were you rooting for me?”

As only Zig can say, in that honeyed Southern drawl, “Son, I’m always rooting for you.”

As massive as Zig’s audience was, the publishing industry didn’t think him worth a shot when he wrote the book I found many years later in that furniture store, See You At The Top. By then, Zig had been providing sales training to the Mary Kay Company. Mary Kay Ash was such a devotee of his, Tom told me at lunch, that she told Zig that if he were to self-publish the book, she would buy the first 10,000 copies. Those initial 10,000 sales mushroomed into millions upon millions of books, since Zig has now authored 26 books in all.

I had the extraordinary privilege of editing Zig’s last book Born To Win. I’ve edited or coached hundreds of writers, and it was an uncanny, almost out-of-body experience instead of quoting Zig to people, talking directly to Zig, and making suggestions—how dare I?—to improve his manuscript.

It means the world to me that I was able to meet him face to face at lunch with just him, his two grown children who work with him, and me, and tell him that he made me a better salesperson, a better husband, a better father, a better believer, and a better man.

As I headed out to drive to the airport, Zig took me by the hand and cautioned me to drive carefully.

“After all, most people are caused by accidents,” he warned, with mock solemnity.

New York Times best selling author and Shark Tank survivor Michael Levin runs, and is a nationally acknowledged thought leader on the future of book publishing.

In 70 years will there be anyone left to admire Fluke?


The Hero and the Fluke.

Only Fox News gives all sides

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a bias.  Bias is first  created by the stories that are selected, just as librarians first ban books by what they buy.  For instance, the misbehavior of a Democrat might be featured, but would never appear on broadcast or CNN, therefore leading Democrats to assume the worst about Fox.

"A Public Policy Polling nationwide survey of 1,151 registered voters Jan. 18-19, 2010, found that 49 percent of Americans trusted Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network. Thirty-seven percent said they didn’t trust Fox, also the lowest level of distrust that any of the networks recorded.”

Last night on Glenn Beck (who now owns his own media company and is no longer on Fox) the artist who has caused quite a stir by depicting Obama hanging on a cross with a halo, crown and torn veil tried to explain his reasons—he thinks the media isn’t fair to Obama.  Surely he isn’t thinking of the main stream media which never report anything negative unless it is a HUGE story.

But he also showed some of his other pieces—like the angry face of his brother-in-law.  He said this man had been quite reasonable until he started watching Fox News, now he can’t have a political conversation with him.  That may mean the BIL doesn’t agree with the artist all the time and now has more information.  Glenn asked a few perceptive, probing questions, and they shook hands and agreed to disagree.

The artist (forgotten his name) said he never thought Beck would be so reasonable, or that they would have so many ideas in common (Beck is a libertarian who strongly believes in freedom of speech).  When asked if he’d ever watched Beck’s show, (when it was on Fox) he admitted he’d only seen snippets filtered through leftist sites. Although he doesn’t sell his originals, he does sell products made from his images, so Beck gave him a lot of free publicity.

And after January 9, then what Mr. President?


Obama’s tax hikes on the wealthy will cover about 8 days of his spending.

Why didn’t Obama nationalize restaurants?


The percentage of our income that goes for food at restaurants and alcohol is 6.6.  The percentage for health care is 6.4.  But he nationalized health care? And my goodness just look at the housing expenses, rent mortgage, 31.5, utilities 5.4, furniture and household items 4.1.  HUGE.  But he nationalized health care.  That’s because it’s about a 6th of the economy, and restaurants aren’t. . . but look out, they could be on the horizon for Mr. Transformational

And you think divorces get messy?

“She [Halle Berry] told him early on she wanted a child and that was her focus for a good deal of their early relationship,” said a friend of [Gabriel] Aubry’s. “He didn’t see the problems that would lead to if they ever split.”

Happy days for the couple would end shortly after Nahla’s birth and soon a custody battle began, with court filings filled with accusations of abuse and the use of the “N” word directed toward Berry. She fought for primary custody but was denied, and earlier this year she was ordered to pay Aubry $20,000 a month in child-care payments. Berry and Aubry now share 50/50 custody of Nahla.”

Berry was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio—daughter of a white mother and black father who are divorced.  Her name comes from the department store Halle’s, which is big, or was, in Ohio.  I don’t often ride the bus, but last year I went down town to a pro-life event and rode the bus home.  I got an earful listening to two people discuss her with the bus driver.  Apparently one of them had gone to high school with her and thought she was stuck up even before she became Miss Ohio USA (1986).

Black infant death rate in Ohio—Columbus Dispatch

It’s high.  Infant mortality applies to age up to one year.  If they counted pre-born black infants who are killed in abortion, the figure would be much, much higher.

I hope someone at the Dispatch digs a little deeper and looks at something beside race in today's story about high infant mortality among blacks in Ohio. For instance, adjust for marriage, education, employment, age, entitlement programs, etc. Instead, someone will ask for more government money.

And much of the solution, they said, will come from officials who don’t work in the fields of maternal and child health, but rather in local, state and federal government; housing; education and early-childhood education; and those focused on family well-being who haven’t traditionally focused on birth outcomes.

For example, Mario Drummonds, executive director and CEO of the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership in New York, cited new housing as making a positive difference in infant mortality by providing a better environment in which to raise infants who suffer from asthma.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Which taxes are involved? All of them.

“. . . let's be clear about exactly what the threat is, though we have explained it here before. Going into effect on January 1 are increases in the tax rates for virtually every major federal tax. That is primarily because the tax increases of Obamacare go into effect, and the Bush tax cuts expire, which President Obama refuses to renew for the nation's job creators, investors, and successful small businesses (the English translation of "the rich").

As a result, the top two federal income tax rates will jump by nearly 20%, the capital gains tax rate will soar by nearly 60%, the income tax rate on dividends will nearly triple, the Medicare payroll tax rate will explode by 62% for these disfavored taxpayers, and the death tax will rise from the grave with a 50% rate increase.

That is all on top of the corporate income tax, now featuring a top marginal rate of nearly 40% on average, counting state income taxes. That is now the highest in the world under President Obama, except for the socialist one party state of Cameroon. Even Communist China and Vladimir Putin's Russia have lower marginal corporate income tax rates, as do the social welfare states of the European Union, mostly at 25% or less.”

And there’s more. . .

Elections have consequences, and so does postponing tough decisions while leading from behind.

Tax cuts for the rich?

“. . . under both Republican President Calvin Coolidge and Democratic President John F. Kennedy, high-income people paid more tax revenues into the federal treasury after tax rates went down than they did before.

There is nothing mysterious about this. At high tax rates, vast sums of money disappear into tax shelters at home or is shipped overseas. At lower tax rates, that money comes out of hiding and goes into the American economy, creating jobs, rising output and rising incomes. Under these conditions, higher tax revenues can be collected by the government, even though tax rates are lower. Indeed, high income people not only end up paying more taxes, but a higher share of all taxes, under these conditions.

This is not just a theory. It is what hard evidence shows happened under both Democratic and Republican administrations, from the days of Calvin Coolidge to John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.”

So, it’s not about revenue, but about Obama’s idea of “fairness,” i.e., that rich people should have their money taken away from them and given to the government, not the low income.

It’s a whole lot more than $16 trillion

“The full extent of the problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come?

As Washington wrestles with the roughly $600 billion "fiscal cliff" and the 2013 budget, the far greater fiscal challenge of the U.S. government's unfunded pension and health-care liabilities remains offstage. The truly important figures would appear on the federal balance sheet—if the government prepared an accurate one. . .

The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees' future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. ”

Cox and Archer

A terrific Christmas tree


Why not take 100% of households over $250,000

They probably stole it. Taxing them will only get about a week, so why not just take all of it?

A: Number of US households: 116,000,000
B: Average US household income: $68,000 (median = $52,000)
C: Total US household income (A * B): $7.89 trillion
D: Percent of households above $250k income: 1.93%
E: Number of households above $250k income (A*D): 2,238,800
F: Percent of national income earned by households making $250k or more = 25%
G: Total income of households making $250k or more (C*F): $1.97 trillion
H: Total income of households in excess of $250k (G - E*$250,000) = $1.412 trillion

Alright! Take that, fat cats! Our $1.412 trillion windfall has us covered for the next 141 days. . .


Note: if you give him money for a few more days he’ll just ask for more

Obama is leading from behind again, because it's been so successful. He wants his people to pressure Congress to raise taxes so we can go further in debt and run the government for another week.

Obama is to travel to Hatfield, Pa., Friday to visit toymaker K'nex Brands, "a business that depends on middle-class consumers during the holiday season, and could be impacted if taxes go up on 98 percent of Americans at the end of the year," the White House said.

The tax increase refers to George W. Bush-era tax cuts set to expire Jan. 1. Obama wants to preserve the Bush-era tax rates for incomes up to $250,000 but increase the marginal rate on taxable income above that threshold.

Obama was to play host Wednesday to middle-class Americans the White House said would be affected by the tax increases if Congress does not act to avoid the fiscal cliff's more than $500 billion in annual automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in after New Year's Day.

Obama also was to meet with 14 chief executives from big businesses, the White House said.

The president's campaign-like push comes as top Democratic and Republican leaders were at a standoff on the issue.

Not mentioned during the campaign . . .

"On December 23, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This new federal law states that the amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her LIFETIME will be reduced to the duration of a student's eligibility from 18 semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 semesters (or its equivalent). This new law applies to ALL Federal Pell Grant eligible students effective with the 2012-2013 award year beginning July 1, 2012. (DCL-GEN-12-01)"

The cut in grant eligibility has serious ramifications for non-traditional students. Part-time students who do not receive a full semester grant may lose out on funds if they do not earn an undergraduate degree within 12 semesters. Adults who go back to school, including retraining for a new career, will also have limited access to grants.

The amount of the grant varies based on family income (with a current yearly maximum grant of $5,550). If a student gets a grant less than a maximum, and a year later finds their income level has been reduced, they will not be able to recoup the difference in the lower amounts earned in a previous year. The cut in eligible semesters makes it difficult for students to make up that gap in later years.

The money for the Dream Act (DACA) has to come from some place, so why not from native born students?

Too many Republicans and Christians don’t vote

No free stuff, no bus rides to the polls, no deceptive ads.  How do they expect to win?

Susan Rice, the little lady


Do Presidents not learn from history?

Actually, President Obama has learned the lessons from the 1930s Great Depression well.  The Great Depression was extended by FDR who raised taxes each time there appeared to be a fragile recovery.  FDR also campaigned against the high government spending of Hoover (like Obama and Bush), and to this day Hoover is blamed.

By the spring of 1937, production, profits, and wages had regained their 1929 levels. Unemployment remained high, but it was slightly lower than the 25% rate seen in 1933. The American economy took a sharp downturn in mid-1937, lasting for 13 months through most of 1938. Industrial production declined almost 30 percent and production of durable goods fell even faster. Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.0% in 1938.

The top tax rate in 1938 was 78% and on capital gains it was 30%. They were 24% and 12.5% in 1929.  Who knows how quickly the country could have recovered if Hoover and FDR had none thrown the federal government into the mix?   Even some of the programs put in place by FDR were declared illegal or ran out, but he launched a “progressive” socialist plan that we have to this day.

Blame the job creators

If you’ve raised a family or taught in a classroom you know that trying to make things “fair” is the first step in creating jealousy and unhappiness.  When you start that you have everyone checking the size of her slice of the pie or the award for being the best speller or the fastest runner, especially if Johnny came in 2nd or 3rd.  Then to really hype the hate, start comparing the two or three or groups, and complain and gripe about the achievers.  Oh yes, that really works.

“The US unemployment rate has been pretty lousy for a while. Luckily, no one blames President Obama for this, as the recent election showed. And why should they? The government has done everything right: It enacted a huge stimulus, built infrastructure, passed ObamaCare to make sure employees are healthy and it supplied businesses with millions and millions of people just standing around waiting for work.

So if the government has done its part, and there still aren’t enough jobs, then who should we blame? Obviously, it’s the fault of those lazy, good-for-nothing businesses and job creators.”

Read more here.

The Fiscal Cliff


Let Obama take us over the Fiscal Cliff (he's out campaigning for tax increases right now) so people know what he's about. Of course, he will blame the Republicans who want cuts in spending to reduce the debt, but his proposed tax increase which he thinks you voted for will only pay for the government about a week. That’s useless and he knows it.  The purpose was to create class resentment, not revenue.  Then he'll have to come after YOUR paycheck.

One of the easiest and most sensible cuts is to raise the age of receiving Social Security and Medicare. It can be gradual so people have plenty of time to prepare.  And which party has shot down that idea consistently—the Democrats.  They want nothing to do with a program that will take power away from the government and put it in the hands of the citizen.

In 1930 the life expectancy for whites was 61.4 and blacks 49.2. Sixty-five for retirement (in an era when many worked their entire life) seemed extremely optimistic. But in 2010 for whites it is 79 and for blacks 75.1. A male retiree, born in 1940, will spend anywhere from 19 percent to 25 percent of his life collecting Social Security benefits (depending on whether he retired at the normal retirement age of 65 or chose early retirement), and a female born in the same year will spend 21 percent to 27 percent of her life collecting benefits.

The biggest old age problem we have is not Social Security, but a less than replacement birth rate, and many people will have no cousins and no nieces or nephews as well as no grandchildren to help them. Families are the original safety net, but the Democrats by pushing contraception and abortion are also weakening this safety net. Maybe YOU have grandchildren, but will they have grandchildren?

Obama has no intention of saving the United States from its plunge into being Greece or a failed European state.  So don’t look for solutions—just look for higher taxes.

ANGELS in the Roman Catholic Catechism


The existence of angels — a truth of faith

328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.

Who are they?

329 St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'" With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word".

330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The pre-born have a life with God



concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry

No one in the Democratic party is against statism. 

Free speech in America


Obamacare layoffs widen to other fields

“It has been hailed for increasing coverage, streamlining the delivery of care, and lowering costs. But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the federal health insurance law that has generated controversy since its 2010 passage, has also led to the layoffs of dozens of architects at two firms, HDR and Jain Malkin.”

It has been hailed for increasing coverage, streamlining the delivery of care, and lowering costs.

None of this has been proven.  It was a pipe dream, with dollars up in smoke as the economy stalled.  “Never waste a crisis” and he used the recession to ram through a complicated, hated law.  Just as Obamacare’s uncertainty screwed up the economic recovery, so too hospitals have had to postpone expansions, and architectural firms with heavy portfolios in that specialty, are laying off workers.

The rich pay far more. Is that fair?

"Taxpayers earning at least $200,000 represented 2.8 percent of all people filing tax returns in 2009, according to Internal Revenue Service data. However, they donated 37 percent of the $158-billion in itemized charitable gifts made that year."  The president not only wants to raise their taxes, but he wants to take away “charitable” loopholes. .

"There are 133,000 male heads of households and 143,000 female heads of households who make more than $200,000 a year." Obama calls them rich and wants to increase their taxes. Oh my goodness, a gender difference in income--but the female high earners (who need free stuff like birth control from the government) exceed the men.

I was looking at the table by the CBO of “Share of Federal Tax Liabilities for all Households, 1979-2009” and noticed a lot that wasn’t “fair.”  The top quintile (20%) in 2009 had a tax liability of 67.9% (55.3% in 1979) and the lowest quintile had .3% (2.1% in 1979).   The top 5% had a tax liability of 39.6% (28.1 in 1979) and there is no comparable figure for the bottom 5% because I think it is a negative number.

Charles Murray points out the top earners in the United States also tend to be college educated, industrious, married, and participate in a faith family.  And what does Obama reward?  High college debt, sloth, single women and spits in the face of the religious.

Elections have consequences


The Kitchen Cabinetreports:

The U.S. Treasury borrowed over $24 billion the day after Thanksgiving. That's $211 for every household in ONE DAY. So $211 goes on my bill on Black Friday and I didn't even go shopping? Obama could take every dime of every person earning over $200,000 (about 5 million people) and he wouldn't have enough to run the government for one year, plus then those people would have no money to fund the state and local governments where YOU live.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Hostess strike

All Hostess Bakery plants were shut down Friday due to a workers' strike.
The Company was split up.
The State Department hired all the Twinkies,
The Secret Service hired all the Ho Hos,
The generals are sleeping with the Cupcakes,
And the voters sent all the Ding Dongs to Congress.

His tax return

“I just received a letter from the IRS. It puzzles me!!! They are questioning how many dependents I claimed. I guess it was  because of my response to the question: "List all dependents?"
I replied 12 million illegal immigrants; 3 million crack heads; 42 million unemployed people on food stamps, 2 million people in over 243 prisons; half of Mexico; and 535 persons in the U.S. House and Senate." Evidently, this was NOT an acceptable answer.

Received via e-mail

“Two and a half men” young star says don’t watch it

I don’t get it.  Is someone holding a gun to his head to perform in this sleaze show? I think it’s a form of child abuse to have an under age actor even on the set.  Or maybe this is really from The Onion.  These days you can’t tell sarcasm from satire from sleaze.

“Angus T. Jones, who has played the role of Jake Harper on the hit CBS show since 2003 and reportedly earns $350,000 an episode, is featured in a new video for the Forerunner Christian Church, in which he calls the sitcom “filth” that contradicts his devout Christian values.

That’s not all. The 19-year-old actor even urges fans to stop watching.

"I'm on 'Two and a Half Men' and I don't want to be on it,” he said. "If you watch 'Two and a Half Men,' please stop watching it and filling your head with filth. People say it’s just entertainment. Do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make when it comes to television, especially with what you watch."

Jones goes on to express guilt that his profession may be inflicting serious damage on its audience.”

Read more:

Why fear the Muslims?

Some of my conservative friends are fearful of Muslims, their influence on the government, society, and their terrorist methods. Really? Jamie Foxx, who recently called Obama his Lord and Savior, wasn't raised by Muslims--he's a home boy talking trash. The Muslims didn't give us the nonsense we see on TV, even the reruns of 15 years ago are vapid and licentious. Muslims in Ohio didn't vote to saddle us with the casinos that hurt the poor the most. Muslims aren't keeping men from marrying the mothers of their children and increase the poverty rate among children. Muslims aren't nickel and diming the church collection plate. Muslims didn't create "The View," with a panel of airhead women like Whoopi and Joy. Muslims aren't the ones calling themselves Christians and attending church once or twice a year. Muslims aren't voting in union leadership for public service jobs. The last time I looked the head of HHS is the daughter of a former Ohio governor and not a Muslim. But we are making ourselves sitting ducks for anyone who wants to take over. . .

Today’s new word—jealousy

Not so new, but a new thought about it.

"The word "jealousy" has its root in "zealous," denoting extreme enthusiasm and devotion, and God's jealousy retains the word's more positive aspects. (First commandment Exod. 20:5) It helps us to trust. Who, after all, would trust a God, a parent, spouse, or lover, who said to us, "I really love you, but I don't care at all what you do or who you become?" Kathleen Norris, Amazing grace; a vocabulary of faith. p. 87.

The amazing OSU Marching Band half time show

The Ohio State – Michigan game is always HUGE around here, and the 26-21 win on Saturday was exciting, as well as the 12-0 season.  There will be no bowl game for OSU because of the players’ tattoo scandal a few years ago.  However, there’s nothing that will keep this wonderful band down.  I don’t believe people at home get to see this.  It’s about 9 minutes. I can’t find the link, but I think there’s a female student in the band who is in her 50s.  I can remember when they first allowed women to be in the band.

A note to Romney and Ryan

Here’s a note from Susan which closely reflects my own thinking:

"Dear Governor Romney, I just wanted to thank you for running for President for this God-blessed USA. Please forgive the pundits who have 'after the fact' wisdom about what went wrong. What went wrong only time will tell, but God isn't done with America. You fought like a Patrick Henry, and God keeps the books, both you and your running mate. Bless you both, and know many, many people are still praying for you, and praying for a healing miracle for dear Ann. Psalm 107:20, Isaiah 44:3. Bless you, 'it isn't over until it's over, and God has only just begun'. Believe."

Seen an “Christians for Mitt” on Facebook

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Winner of Nobel prize, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka

No need to harvest human embryos in the name of advancing medical breakthroughs.  England's Sir John Gurdon and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka from Japan share the 2012 Nobel Prize in medicine for work on stem cells, revealing that mature cells can be reverted into primitive cells. There are both medical and ethical implications.

“The Nobel committee, however, made no mention of Yamanaka’s moral achievement. Not in its presentation, not in its press release, not in its interview with the laureate. It credited him only with developing “new tools” to study disease and develop therapies. Many reporters took the same approach. In its 600-word story, CNN ignored the ethics of Yamanaka’s work. The Los Angeles Times called restrictions on embryo destruction mere “headaches” for scientists. The New York Times said Yamanaka’s work, like other stem-cell technologies, had “generated objections from people who fear, on ethical or religious grounds, that scientists are pressing too far into nature’s mysteries and the ability to create life artificially.”

That’s completely wrong. Even before Yamanaka’s landmark paper, pro-lifers were all over his work. They loved it. The Vatican had followed his research with interest for years. When Cell published his paper, a pro-life coalition immediately declared his method “superior to cloning as a means of obtaining patient-specific pluripotent stem cells.” In a homily distributed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Rigali declared that Yamanaka’s story about looking into a fertility-clinic microscope showed how “God can use a helpless embryo to change a human heart.” People at the National Right to Life Committee were openly rooting for Yamanaka to win a Nobel.”

"When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realized there was such a small difference between it and my daughters. I thought, we can't keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way," this was Dr Shinya Yamanaka, a father of two, in an interview in The New York Times in 2007.

Wal-Mart had its best ever Black Friday

I guess I’m not surprised.  The so-called union strikers gave it so much publicity.  It would have cost a bundle to get that much TV coverage.  Article from LA Times.  Next year probably Target and Macy’s will ask employees to strike so they’ll get some free coverage.

After opening earlier than in previous Thanksgiving weekends, Wal-Mart reported its “best ever Black Friday” sales, including bigger crowds than last year, the company said Friday.

The retailer rolled out deals starting at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. From 8 p.m. to midnight, Wal-Mart processed nearly 10 million register transactions, handling 5,000 items a second, the company said. Mmore than 22 million shopped in Wal-Mart's stores during the four-hour period.

Last year, the chain opened at 10 p.m.

More than 1.3 million employees are staffing the holiday weekend, Wal-Mart U.S. chief executive Bill Simon said in a statement.

The company split its sales into three time periods, each with a different type of merchandise available. At 8 p.m., toys, games and home apparel went on sale. At 10 p.m., electronics. At 5 a.m., jewelry, tools and other items.

Since 8 p.m. Thursday, Wal-Mart had sold 1.8 million towels, 1.3 million televisions, 1.3 million dolls and 250,000 bicycles, the company said in a statement released at about 6:30 a.m. PST.

“We had very safe and successful Black Friday events at our stores across the country and heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers,” Simon said

50 billion trillion

I don’t even know how to write that number, but it is the estimated number of stars in the observable universe, according to Hugh Ross, an astrophysicist and founder of the think tank Reasons to Believe.  And just think what’s out there that isn’t observable!

“One reason the universe must be so massive is that life requires it. The density of protons and neutrons determines how much of the universe's hydrogen fuses into heavier elements. With a slightly lower density (producing fewer than about 50 billion trillion observable stars), nuclear fusion would be less productive and at no time in cosmic history (either in the big bang or in stars) would elements heavier than helium be produced. Or, if the density were slightly higher (producing more than about 50 billion trillion observable stars), nuclear fusion would be so productive that only heavier-than-iron elements would exist. Either way, life-essential elements such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorous would be too scarce or nonexistent.

Another life-related reason the universe must be so massive is that the cosmic mass critically influences the universe's expansion rate. If the mass density were smaller, the influence of gravity would be too weak for stars like the Sun and planets like Earth to form. On the other hand, if the mass density were greater, only stars much larger than the Sun would form. Either way, the universe would contain no stars like the Sun or planets like Earth, and life would have no possible home. The required fine-tuning is so extreme (one part in a quadrillion quadrillion quadrillion quadrillion) that if one were to remove or add a single dime's worth of mass to this vast cosmos, the balance of the observable universe would be thrown off and physical life would not be possible. Such amazing fine-tuning suggests the involvement of a supernatural, superintelligent Creator.”

God went to a lot of trouble to make our home, the Earth, just right, a place we can live and thrive and worship Him.

And so it is with all Christian institutions and businesses and non-profits

The presidency of Barack Obama has energized this debate.  And that’s a good thing.  Too many so-called Christian institutions and even churches have traded their mission on earth for a few government dollars—or more than a few—in order to carry out the commands of Matthew 25. A Faustian bargain.

“The debate about the Catholic identity of Catholic institutions of higher education has been underway for decades, and may well take some interesting turns in the years ahead. At the moment, however, the hottest of hot buttons on this front involve health-care institutions that call themselves “Catholic” but which have acquiesced to practices approved by an increasingly aggressive secular culture—and to the lure of government dollars.”

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Little risk of death

unless you are the baby, according to this Orlando, Florida, abortion clinic, which encourages its customers to combine the trip to their clinic with a nice vacation so they can enjoy the city.

“The risk of death associated with abortion increases with the length of pregnancy, from one death for every one million abortions at or before eight weeks to one per 29,000 at 16-20 weeks, and one per 11,000 at 21 or more weeks. The latter numbers have decreased significantly over the past 10 years due to advancement in abortion surgical procedure techniques and the new medications used to terminate pregnancy.”

This abortion website also notes:

Over 50% of the women who have abortions had been using a contraceptive during the month they become pregnant. 

Fifty percent of U.S. women obtaining abortion are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 17%.

37% of abortions occur with black women, 34% with non-Hispanic white women, 22% to Hispanic women and 8% to women of other races.

Despite the killing rate of the Democrat party approved abortion programs,  50.4% of children younger than 1 were minorities as of July 1, 2011, up from 49.5% from the 2010 Census taken in April 2010.  But they are working as hard as they can at reducing the poor and minority population.

So dear reader, is it racist to point out the number of black babies being killed, or the number of clinics in their neighborhoods?  Is it hateful to point out that over 54 million babies have been killed in the 40 years of Roe v. Wade? 

America doesn't need 2 leftist parties

The United States of America does not need two left-wing parties, and in my opinion those who believe that they can make the Republican Party more palatable to left-wing voters are fooling themselves. No Republican will ever be able to move as far left as the Leftists - the Democrats simply won't let you.

Want to talk about a path to citizenship? They'll talk about blanket amnesty. Want to shift all the way over to amnesty? They'll talk about open borders. Want to talk about taxing the rich? They'll re-define rich. Want to extend unemployment benefits to two years? Three? How about forever?

You get the picture. We will never out-left the Left. Trying to do so is not reasonableness - it is capitulation. If you are a Republican, you will always be positioned to the right of what has become the Democratic Party, and hence you will forever be painted a racist, homophobic, xenophobic cretin who, shockingly, probably still believes in God.

Read more:

Tonight’s meal will be. . . . leftovers!

Thanksgiving 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012


If Susan Rice is planning to go into countries and negotiate with 7th century men who think women should wear dark bags over their bodies lest they create lust in their hearts, she'd better toughen up and not be so defensive of perfectly understandable questions about her misleading the American public about Benghazi. And if the President is planning to appoint her, does he really want someone who never questions a response that looked phony to everyone else?


Worshipping the same gods of old


New Meaning for Black Friday

Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast offered the special, saying, “Visit our West Palm Beach or Kendall Health Center for special after Thanksgiving savings on Friday, November 23rd.”

Still no budget—Democrats fail again

Epic fail

Friday Family Photo—Bruces and Stringers

Lost in the fifties.  I don’t know the date.

Stringer Bruce

George is holding Julie; Rick; Rosalie in the sun glasses, Jean, Deb and Susie. Looks like it might be Easter, and Bob Sr. probably took the photo since he isn’t in it.



I have friends and family who participate in this madness, but unless I run out of milk, I ‘ve never shopped on Black Friday.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving


Thursday Thirteen—My Prayer Job Jar

Thirteen Things about NORMA'S Prayer Job Jar—a rerun from a TT seven years ago

1.  The jar is real, physical, clear glass and has a lid.

2.  Originally the jar held bubble bath, had a pink ribbon around the lid, and was most likely a birthday gift when I was a teen.

3.  When my children were small, this jar was our cookie jar.

4.  It sits on the kitchen table, catching the sun’s rays (or the Son’s).

5.  We pray one or two items from the jar each evening before dinner. I need to add the President’s name—that he will be guided by God’s spirit.

6.  Most often the prayer request is actually someone looking for a job, i.e., employment or career, so it really is a “prayer job jar.” Sometimes the prayer is about God’s job--to bring someone to saving faith.

8.  Sometimes the prayer is general, sometimes specific--it’s every Christian’s job to pray even if we don’t understand how or why. In fact, I think it is a command.

9.  Although I haven’t kept a record, most job (career) prayers have been answered to the satisfaction of the job seeker.

10. Marriage solutions are another kettle of fish and loaves. A personality transplant?  A memory freeze? Get that other woman a job transfer to Alaska?  Maybe we should just cut to the chase and ask God for a miracle instead of a reconciliation or resolution?

11. Because of our age and the ages of our friends and family, health issues are frequently in the prayer job jar.  This usually has to be a partnership between God and the unhealthy--it’s asking a lot of God to heal if a cancer or COPD patient won’t give up smoking or an arthritic or diabetic won’t lose weight.  I mean, God does allow some free will here, and bad habits he may leave up to the person while he attends to someone a bit more willing to change.

12.  The prayer job jar has made our prayer time much more interesting and meaningful for us, and probably for God, who I imagine gets a little bored with the rote stuff. . . "We thank you Lord for Jesus Christ/ and for the blood he shed/ we thank you for his risen life/ and for our daily bread."

13.  Here’s a photo of the jar, cropped from another picture.  Looks like just one or two pieces of paper, but I think it is a list. 

                                        prayer job jar

Join Thursday Thirteen meme

Thanksgiving blessing. . .

turkey sugar cookies



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The expensive War on Poverty

When the War on Poverty was launched in the early 60s, the goal was to make people self-sufficient, not government dependent. Now we've spent $19 trillion and what do we have to show for it? A very well paid bureaucracy with fat pensions and excellent health benefits that keep people poor and dependent.

"The federal government runs over 80 means-tested programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care and social services to around 100 million Americans.  That’s a third of the U.S. population.  Combined federal and state expenditures on these programs come to roughly $9,000 per recipient per year."

Anna Gristina, Scottish pimptress

Ms. Gristina says they are picking on her because she wouldn’t give up the names of her well connected clients.

“A spokeswoman for the district attorney said Gristina had no one to blame but herself for the criminal prosecution.

“There is nothing glamorous about prostitution,” Erin Duggan said. “Anna Gristina rented women’s bodies for profit, which makes her a pimp. That also makes her a felon, and the court has now issued that judgment. She has no one to blame but herself for her decisions.””

USDA is now a social service agency

Only 11% of funding in the farm bill goes to farm policies.  More than 84% of farm bill-related spending goes to food and nutrition programs like food stamps, not to farmers. Current bill ended Sept. 30, and we're into the lame duck session of Congress to work out the next 5 year bill. Agriculture employs 14% of the U.S. workforce, or about 21 million people.

Campus censorship

Since the 1960s, academic freedom has been decreasing and censorship increasing on our college campuses. 

Read this account of what happened to a tenured Twain scholar almost 25 years ago when he questioned the politicization of an upper level English course at the University of Texas at Austin.

Heterodoxy article on Alan Gribben

How bad is too bad to not get your paycheck?

                           Details of Luckie investigation coming, sources say photo

Clayton Luckie, Democrat, Montgomery County, Dist. 39, Ohio,  “was indicted last month on 49 criminal counts accusing him of raiding $130,000 from his campaign account and spending it at places such as casinos, and furniture, jewelry and clothing stores.

Luckie, who declined to comment for this story when reached by phone, has been a no-show at state functions since July 9, when he last attended a bi-monthly meeting of the state controlling board. Since then, Luckie has been paid just over $21,000. He is slated to receive another $11,000 in salary before he leaves office at the end of the year, when his term will expire.

Luckie agreed after July 9 to stop attending controlling board meetings while his attorney negotiated with FBI agents and prosecutors, who unsucessfully sought Luckie’s resignation.”

Luckie’s trial is December 20.  So who is representing the people who elected him?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What’s for Thanksgiving and how much will it cost?

Sunlight Foundation reports

Food stamps. Hit hard by the 2008 financial collapse, more Americans are using food stamps to help buy the basics this Thanksgiving than ever before. Average participation has increased 70 percent since 2007, with costs reaching $72 billion, according the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and is a major stalling point in the farm bill legislation. The Senate version, which passed last summer, cuts the program by $4 billion over 10 years, while the House version, which has not yet seen a floor vote, cuts $16 billion over the same time period, with some GOP members complaining that amount is still too low. With powerful lobbies like the defense industry rallying against the automatic budget cuts that will take effect if Congress doesn't agree on other spending reductions, food stamps are a juicy target.

Turkey. The National Turkey Federation, as a member of the newly formed Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports, urged Congressional leaders earlier this month to pass the farm bill with strong export programs. "With the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill on September 30, FAS [Foreign Agricultural Service] currently has no authority to run market promotion and development programs..." reads the letter, which was signed by dozens of powerful agriculture trade groups. The Federation also is part of another coalition pushing Congress to quickly normalize trade relations with Russia, pointing to $300 million in annual poultry exports to that country.

Stuffing. Whether you put bread or cornmeal in your stuffing, you can bet there's a faction of farmers behind that ingredient lobbying hard, and that the federal crop insurance program is a big issue. Both the House and the Senate reform but also expand this program. Its cost is expected to rise to $15 billion this year for taxpayers in the face of this year's drought. "Federal crop insurance provides an effective risk management tool to farmers and ranchers when they are facing losses beyond their control," wrote a group of growers trade associations last spring, including the American Farm Bureau, the American Soybean Association, and the National Corn Growers Association. Meanwhile, the Environmental Working Group, along with conservative group such as the Heritage Foundation and the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense criticize the program a subsidy that benefits wealthy growers at taxpayer expense. Also decried is the secrecy built into the program: Congress in 2000 prohibited the release of information of who benefits from crop insurance, writes the Heritage Foundation. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., has introduced legislation to require release of crop insurance beneficiaries.

Cranberry sauce. Like many an agricultural group, cranberries have their own caucus. This one, however, is new, formed in June by Massachussetts Sens. John Kerry, a Democrat, and Scott Brown, Kerry's soon-to-be former Republican colleague. "Senator Kerry has been a long-time supporter of the Massachusetts cranberry industry," notes the press release from Kerry's office. "Over the last 12 years, he has worked to secure millions of dollars in funding for important cranberry projects and research in an effort to keep Massachusetts on top as an industry leader." Cranberry growers such as Ocean Spray are on the defensive as the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers standards for sugary drinks in public schools; executives say adding sugar to the juice is necessary because of the fruit is naturally tart. The company also lobbies on issues ranging from sugar taxes to pesticides.

Pumpkin pie. Dairy price support programs expired along with the farm bill in September, leaving dairy farmers in a bind. The Dairy Famers of America has called on Congress to pass the Farm bill quickly and bring "some relief to farmers suffering through weather-related disasters and unfavorable market conditions." Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., spoke for his state's dairy industry on the Senate floor on November 14, calling for passage of the bill. Meanwhile, a coalition of sugar users--the candy and beverage industries among them--pushes yet again for reform of the sugar industry, which has beat back such attacks on sugar support programs for years. Most recently, the Senate voted during the farm bill debate to table an amendment by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to eliminate the program.

Fat Cat Hypocrisy


Support your local food pantry

Today I shopped at Marc’s especially for groceries to take to church for the Thanksgiving service.  I’ve volunteered there so I know what is useful (at our pantry the clients get to choose from a variety of foods, and most know what they can and should eat, like low sugar, low salt, etc.)  I didn’t buy Thanksgiving type food because the holiday will be over by the time these items get to the shelves, also many of the clients are different nationalities, and what we like might not be enjoyed by them.  Also, I avoided glass jars, because bags break and sometimes the clients are on foot or using the bus. Here’s what I selected.  I bought about 20 items and spent about $30.00.


Spaghetti sauce, traditional

Canned fruit

Canned vegetables

Large container of applesauce

Single serving meals which include meat and vegetables  (not everyone has a family)

High quality soup, low sodium (if you don’t like watery tasteless soup, they won’t either)

3 different types of cold cereal, unsweetened (we don’t eat this, but many families with children do)

Boxed mashed potato mix (a bag of potatoes is much more economical, but you don’t know the cooking situation)

For the life of me, I don’t understand the “pantries overwhelmed” message, since record numbers are signed up for food stamps, the unemployment rate supposedly is under 8%.  Food pantries are run by volunteers—mostly by churches--with some paid staff, and most of the food IS NOT DONATED, it is purchased, and farmers and producers and food processors are paid by the government—it is a huge business.  Our local food bank gets a lot of support from foundations and non-profits.

Elections have consequences

A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Revised bill highlights

✭ Grants warrantless access to Americans' electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.

✭ Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans' correspondence stored on systems not offered "to the public," including university networks.

✭ Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant -- or subsequent court review -- if they claim "emergency" situations exist.

✭ Says providers "shall notify" law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they've been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.

✭ Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to "10 business days." This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days