Saturday, November 30, 2013

Smoking cessation campaigns

Last year the government spent $54 million on Tips from Former Smokers. These are very moving stories. Sad, too. Lives ruined, or dead. The CDC says 1.6 million were persuaded to quit and after 3 months 220,000 were still abstinent. I don't know how they track that, but I've never known anyone who quit smoking with the federal government's help.
http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/resources/ads/tips-2-ad-ellie-full.pdf

My dad quit when he began coughing blood in his 30’s; my father-in-law quit when he reached for the 3rd pack of the day; my son-in-law quit in his early 40s; my brother-in-law quit in his 50s with some back sliding; my niece quit because her son had asthma; my girlfriend quit after lung cancer treatment.  Most of the other family members I recall who were heavy smokers died of different types of cancer—lung, liver, throat, or heart disease.  We lost them much too soon.

Quitting is tough. But not nearly as bad as chemo or COPD or asthma and being sick for the rest of your life.

Hollywood hypocrisy

Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center surveyed gun violence in top-grossing movies, finding that the frequency of gun violence had more than tripled in PG-13 films since 1985. The PG-13 rating was introduced in 1984.

Gun violence in PG-13 movies has rivaled the frequency of gun violence in R-rated movies since 2009, and actually surpassed it in 2012, according to the study. (CS Monitor, Nov. 12).

Not only does this mean the rating system is meaningless, but that Hollywood celebrities and entertainment investors are total hypocrites about gun control and the 2nd amendment because they are trafficking in guns and directing it to children and teaching them how to use guns and resolve conflicts. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/moviegunviolence.htm

Loaded words in this article about shopping

Doesn’t seem to be much love for retail in this article.  I wonder if the author understands that it is the advertising for products (which must be sold to make a profit) that pay his bills?  This article guarantees a negative impression of American retailers. http://www.menshealth.com/best-life/retail-tricks

America's malls and department stores would like to see you shell out even more.

subtle psychological tricks

latest scientific research on the shopper's brain

stores are squeezing more pennies from your pocket

something more insidious

subconsciously plants that second idea

free from other manipulations

subconsciously influenced the shoppers

Fight back against these hidden retail tricks

Know when to act FAST—Stroke

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A lawless government

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The “fat cats” will love Obama’s choice

The wealthiest should love Obama's choice of Janet Yellen to head the fed. She will continue the easy money policy. And predictably, Obama will continue to demonize the "fat cats" because it plays well among his supporters. http://www.mrt.com/business/article_60e80d86-57b4-11e3-8100-0019bb2963f4.html

To the extent they pay any attention to the Fed, most Americans think the Federal Reserve system is part of our government.  It isn't.  Although the president appoints the Chair and members of the board, it is a private institution owned by private member banks (a non-profit!). Yes, indeed, it  controls our lives, but it's not part of our three branches of government, it is not part of the civil service system, you'll never see a budget or an audit (although it has been called for) and no one in government monitors it. Confusing?  Yes.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday family photo—down on the farm

Cousin Gayle and me summer of 1984

Gayle and Norma 1984

Not what I wanted to read the day after Thanksgiving

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My daughter’s Thanksgiving Day pies—cherry, apple and pumpkin. She always decorates with little cut outs from the pastry.

I've had A-fib (atrial fibrillation) as long as I can remember, but wasn't diagnosed until 1996. I was on medication for awhile, then had an ablation (the cause turned out to be an extra circuit), then for a decade didn't use meds, then it began kicking in more frequently, and recently I returned to medications to control the rhythm and slow down my heart and a blood thinner in case a clot develops (the biggest risk for A-fib is a stroke). The Nov. 30 JAMA reports that losing weight is important in reducing A-fib, which would account for the increase in symptoms and the 30 lbs I've added in the last 4 years. This is not what I wanted to know the day after Thanksgiving with the frig loaded with left overs, including 3 kinds of pie.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1779533

Lara Logan’s dismissal and sin

Do you think there's more to Lara Logan's "extended leave" from CBS? On good faith, she and her producer presented a story on Benghazi which shocked us all be showing up on 60 minutes. One of their sources turned out to be less than honest. As if this has never happened in the "caused by a video" mess. The administration probably came down very hard on CBS and she had to be sacrificed as did all the leftist media who have chosen to be blind to this administration’s sins.

ttp://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2013/11/11/watch-lara-logan-shares-thoughts-on-benghazi-prior-to-60-minutes-apology/

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/10/10/cbs_lara_logan_slams_obama_admin_for_pushing_major_lie_that_taliban_is_weakened.html

http://www.eonline.com/news/485398/60-minutes-lara-logan-ordered-to-take-leave-of-absence-from-cbs-after-botched-benghazi-report

http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2013/11/13/Salon-Writer-Calls-for-Lara-Logan-s-Firing-Over-Benghazi-He-s-Wrong-Here-s-Why

Obama’s lies, laws and fixes

The president has a record for lying to get a law passed, then lying after it is passed, then offering a fix for the law he lied about.

"The flagship Catholic university [Notre Dame], named after the most prolife Woman in history, rewarded the most pro-abortion President in history by giving him an honorary degree. On this occasion the President publicly promised to respect Catholic conscience rights by keeping a conscience clause exception in his comprehensive healthcare program. He lied. He reneged on his promise." Peter Kreeft.

Obama's fix when even liberal Catholics were outraged by his lie was to give a one year reprieve. Sound familiar? Lies. Laws. Fixes.

My comments in 2009 on his event at Notre Dame, here, and here.

Bill Gates and Common Core

"After making tens of billions in the personal computer revolution, Gates has become a full-time cheerleader for leftist causes on a global scale—whether it’s reducing carbon emissions to zero by mid-century or reducing the world population by spending billions to pay for contraceptives in poor countries. Now Gates is hoping to transform education (through Common Core)."

I like his products--use them all the time. However, he's not qualified to decide who lives and dies (more Africans will die from Western "family planning", than were lost in the transatlantic slave trade of the 18th century), how to destroy other competing businesses through stiffer air quality regulations, or how to make "world citizens" out of American citizens.

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/the-ambitions-of-bill-and-melinda-gates-controlling-population-and-public-education

Abortion—the real war against women

A new study again confirms the link between abortions and breast cancer, and also the link to delaying first pregnancy. “Any birth was protective (adjusted OR = 0.36, 95% CI 0.20–0.66). Each year delay in first pregnancy increased risk (adjusted OR = 1.13, 95% CI 1.01–1.27) as did induced abortions (adjusted OR = 2.86, 95% CI 1.02–8.04).” “Fifty-four of 67 epidemiological studies since 1957 report an abortion-breast cancer link (not counting biological and experimental evidence).” http://www.lifenews.com/2011/11/28/abortion-nearly-triples-breast-cancer-risk-new-study-finds/

Add to that the toxic nature of birth control pills, and Plan B being made available without prescription for young teens and you can see where the war against women really comes from.

Three important terms in today’s political climate

Don’t confuse these terms:  same sex attraction, homosexual acts, and gay.  They are not the same.  The first is a feeling or emotion that does not involve choice; the second is sodomy an act or behavior not compatible with Scripture or church teaching; and the third is a political movement.  The culture teaches that our sexuality is just biological.  But God says otherwise.  This is not about civil rights, but God’s truth and creation.

“God created us as male and female. Host Gloria Purvis along with Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Damon Owens discuss complementarity between men and women, and why homosexual acts and redefining marriage are not compatible with authentic freedom. They also explain the difference between accepting homosexual behavior and a person with same sex attraction.”

Episode 5, http://www.ewtn.com/series/shows/authentically-free-at-last/episodes.asp

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The New Economy vs. the Old Economy

Sergei Brin is a Russian immigrant.  He’s the founder of Google.  He’s a billionaire and the 14th wealthiest person in the U.S. He’s at the top, but hasn’t created all that many jobs. Other tech jobs go to China.

“The big names in tech might be awash in capital and might have made their founders billionaires (New Economy founders typically retain large blocks of their own stock), but they employ surprisingly small numbers of U.S. workers. Google, the valley’s largest employer, has 46,000 people on its payroll. Facebook employs only 4,600, and Twitter, in San Francisco, fewer than 2,000. Apple claims 400,000 people putting together components and creating apps and other extras for its iPhones, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, and desktop computers. Yet only 16,000 of those are on the payroll in Cupertino. Another 31,000 work at Apple operations in Texas and other states, but the vast bulk of manufacturing is outsourced abroad via contractors to China and other cheap-labor purgatories. Yet those 16,000 in Cupertino make Apple the second-largest employer in the valley. Kotkin compares those numbers to the 212,000 employed by GM, the 170,000 employed by Ford, and the more than 100,000 employed by Exxon Mobil, all three presumably Old Economy dinosaurs. The New Economy generates prosperity all right, prosperity that mostly flows to those in the upper echelons.”

Link to Silicon Chasm

The president noticed immigrants and commented

OBAMA: “ As I was getting a tour of DreamWorks, I didn't ask, but just looking at faces, I could tell there were some folks who are here not because they were born here, but because they want to be here and they bring extraordinary talents to the United States. And that's part of what makes America special. And that's part of what, by the way, makes California special, because it's always been this magnet of dreamers and strivers. And people coming from every direction saying to themselves, you know, if I work hard there I can have my piece of the American Dream.”

Of course, the immigrant workers of DreamWorks are not those who are sneaking across the borders.  Our 1996 immigration law would forbid DreamWorks from hiring them. Not even a janitor or grounds person would be hired without a green card or suitable documentation.

A few years ago I was at a birthday party, standing beside a stranger with dark skin and black hair who had a slight accent.  Not wanting to be rude, I didn't pounce and say "I see you are an immigrant here to bring us special talents," but eventually I found out he was Iranian born with a successful business that hired Mexican illegals because they were such hard workers, and wouldn't report him for fear of deportation.

Give Thanks

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It’s not even funny

That's about the size of it.  
(By Glenn Foden - November 27, 2013)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The President’s pardon record

Yesterday the President pardoned a turkey. But for humans, not so much. He has the worst record for pardons of any president other than George Washington and those who died after a short time in office. It's something like 1 in 6,000+ requests, compared to Clinton’s which was 1 in 190 something. Not to turn this into a race issue, but aren't blacks disproportionately represented in the prison population? http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865591370/Obamas-pardon-record-is-for-the-birds-critics-say.html

What will you be discussing at dinner tomorrow?

"Organizing for Action" is the group promoting talking points and advocacy for Obamacare at the dining room table on Thanksgiving. It also mysteriously was fast tracked for IRS approval and has a 501c4 classification as a "social welfare non-profit."

 http://www.jammiewf.com/2013/so-how-did-obamas-organizing-for-action-get-irs501c4-approval-so-quickly/

I'd forgotten that Obama talking points for Thanksgiving isn't new. In 2009 I wrote at my blog, "I looked at the cheat sheet the Democrats printed up (pdf) of Obama's accomplishments to discuss over turkey. But it really was the turkey. Stuffed and expanded with lies, some created, some saved."

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How to fix a turkey

The National Turkey Federation recommends turkey be roasted by the Open Pan method in a preheated 325 degree F oven until the internal temperature, as registered on a meat thermometer, reaches 180 degrees F in the thigh or 170 degrees F in ...the breast. The open pan dry heat cooking method is the easiest and most reliable of all cooking methods and results in a juicy, tender, flavorful golden brown turkey. My turkey is 22 lbs. and the chart says 6 to 7 hours.

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http://www.cooks.com/rec/story/66/

Black Friday savings available to all

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Food stamps buying Thanksgiving dinner

What's wrong with this picture? The recession was over in June 2009 before a single Obama economic program went into effect. This is his failure, but he always points to someone, something else.

"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." Sunlight Foundation, Nov. 27, 2013.

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/09/20/nber-recession-ended-in-june-2009/

Thanksgiving at the Bruce household 2013

I'm doing Thanksgiving dinner for our family--first in a lot of years.  We’ll attend church at 10 a.m. at UALC.  Everything is done except the turkey.  Mashed potatoes, cubed roasted sweet potatoes, green beans with onions and mushrooms, home made cranberry sauce (sugar free), 2 kinds of dressing, gravy, mixed greens salad with fruit, and my daughter is bringing the pies. I only have 3 serving dishes that match my china, so some things will have to go from oven to the table.  This years for birthdays we went out to eat separately with each instead of mushing the birthdays and Thanksgiving together.

2012

2012 Black Friday

2011

2005

2005  (menus)

2005 (post dinner)

2004

2004

2003

2002

1991 (birthdays)

Searching the blog

The search widget on my blog is not working.  I looked at the discussion forum and many are having this problems.  Someone provided a code for a work around until it is fixed, but I couldn’t figure that out either.

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What can you buy with SNAP? A lot.

I saw a discussion of food stamps (aka SNAP) at NPR where the liberals were arguing that cheap processed food was cheaper than healthier items like meat and fruits and vegetables, so the poor were not being well fed and needed more allocations.  No so fast, declared an alert woman. And she laid out the numbers.

Breakfast - banana, eggs, and grits
Lunch - bread, peanut butter or cheese, carrots and apple sauce
Dinner – 1 lb. meat ($3), starch (i.e. pasta or rice) and canned vegetables
Snack - homemade popcorn on the stove $1 (actually I make mine for about 15 cents, njb).
Every item ~$1 or $13 a day and many items would last 3 meals
Times 7 days is $91. And most families of 4 on food stamps get ~$525. 

I bought a box of sugar cereal for my kids yesterday that was ON SALE for $2. I was excited because a box of cereal can be $3-$5. So I thought it would be a cheap option (which it is), but it is only 11 oz. That's now $3/pound or the price of chicken. So it may SEEM CHEAP when really it is not a good deal.

Same with a frozen cheap pizza. I got one on sale for $5 (on sale from $8). Thought it is cheap and cheaper than Pizza Hut - yes, but it is 20 oz or $4/pound (regularly $6/pound - the price of a good steak).

Most fruits and vegetables are less than $2/pound. So you can't tell me that frozen pizzas are cheaper than apples and bananas and chicken. THEY JUST SEEM that way.

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Proclamation
Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Iran’s deal of the century

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If nuclear energy is so great for Iran, why isn’t  the U.S. faster about developing it?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-todd-whitman/plant-vogtle-nuclear-reactors_b_1269422.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2013/07/08/whats-wrong-with-obamas-energy-policy/

“On Feb. 9, 2012, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a license for two new nuclear reactors in Georgia. The electricity giant Southern Co. intends to build them at its Vogtle site south of Augusta. (The White House pointed us to news coverage of the approval when we asked for evidence of Obama’s statement.)

Prior to this year, the last time the commission granted a license to build a new reactor was in 1978, which was 34 years ago, according to a commission spokesperson. The permit was for the Shearon Harris plant operated by Carolina Power & Light near Raleigh, N.C. But it takes a long time to build nuclear reactors, so the plant didn’t get operational approval until 1986.

And the North Carolina plant isn’t the most recent to go operational. That distinction goes to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar site in Tennessee. It received a construction license in 1973 and an operating license in 1996, or 16 years ago.”

http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2012/mar/02/barack-obama/obama-says-he-supported-first-nuclear-power-plant-/

Obama and Kerry and Iran

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Obamacare burger

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Nobody knows what’s in it, and it costs in the trillions. Mr. Bartley’s is a burger joint near the Harvard University campus, Barack Obama’s alma mater.

“The light of faith” by Pope Francis

I was sent Pope Francis' "The light of faith" (Lumen Fidei) Ignatius Press, 2013, this summer to review. I pick it up occasionally and think, I really need to get into this. But I've found it not terribly readable--but then it's the first encyclical I've ever read. Beginning Oct. 2012, it was the year of faith for Roman Catholics. Pope Benedict had already written on charity and hope (Deus Caritas Est (2005) and Spe Salvi (2007) , and this was outlined as part of that trilogy, when he resigned in February. Francis calls it a work of 4 hands, and that it is, with Benedict's scholarly references to giants of the past, and Francis' sweetness in reaching out to the ordinary person in faith. I'll continue to dip in--and it's a small book about 5 x 7 with 110 pages. It still feels a little like an outline, but both of these great men know far more on the subject than I do, so it won't be wasted effort. I’ll keep working at it.

Pope Benedict “had almost completed a first draft of an encyclical on faith” before his retirement in February 2013, Pope Francis writes, adding that “I have taken up his fine work and added a few contributions of my own.”

Commentators are likely to differ in attributing specific passages, but the document clearly recalls the writings of Benedict XVI in its extensive treatment of the dialogue between faith and reason and its many citations of St Augustine, not to mention references to Friedrich Nietzsche and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

On other hand, warnings of the dangers of idolatry, Gnosticism and Pharisaism, a closing prayer to Mary as the “perfect icon of faith”, and an entire section on the relevance of faith to earthly justice and peace echo themes that Pope Francis has already made signatures of his young pontificate.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/07/05/lumen-fidei-an-overview-of-pope-franciss-first-encyclical/

Yet another new law you need to know about

turkey sugar cookies

The U.S. government has just passed a new law called: "The Affordable Turkey Act..." declaring that every citizen MUST purchase a Turkey this Thanksgiving, no later than Thanksgiving itself, Thursday, November 28th, 2013. These "affordable" turkeys will cost an average of $430 -$545 each. This does not include stuffing, cooking pots, meat thermometers, hunting fees, feather plucking fees, a stove or other device used to cook it in, meat cutters, “removal of innards” fees, labor costs resulting from losses caused by passing out after eating yourself sick of turkey [i.e. 1lb dark meat = appx. 2 lbs white meat in estimated labor losses felt by your employer].

This law has been passed, because until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase turkeys during Thanksgiving. This new law ensures that every American can now have an "affordable" turkey of his or her own, because everyone is "entitled" to a turkey during Thanksgiving. If you purchase your turkey before Thanksgiving, you will receive 4 "free" pilgrim vests; not including frequent dry-cleaning fees.

In order to make sure everyone purchases an affordable turkey, the costs of buying a Thanksgiving turkey will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people don't want, still can’t afford, or haven’t enough space in their stomachs or people in their home to eat it all. But to be fair, people who can't afford to buy a turkey for Thanksgiving will be regularly fined and children (under the age of 26) can just eat their parent’s turkey until they turn 27; then they must purchase their own turkey for Thanksgiving. If you already have a turkey, you can keep yours (just kidding; no you can't). If you don't want or don't need turkey this Thanksgiving, you are required to buy one anyhow. If you refuse to buy one or can't afford one, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase one, or face imprisonment. Failure to eat the turkey this Thanksgiving will also result in fines. People living on the beachfronts; ghettos; inner cities or areas with no access to grocery stores or hunting grounds are not exempt. Meat allergies, veganism/vegetarianism, PETA advocates, lack of knowledge nor desire to cook your turkey are unacceptable excuses for not eating your turkey this Thanksgiving.

A government review board (that doesn't know the difference between the turkey, duck, and bacon in a turducken will decide everything, including; when, where, how often and for what purposes you can eat your turkey, to include how many people you can share your Thanksgiving turkey with and determine if one is too old or healthy enough to be able to eat turkey. They will also decide if your turkey is acceptable to FDA or USDA standards or if you must purchase specific seasonings, condiments, recipes or other additions, (like a government issue can of cranberry sauce estimated at $25.00) or a newer and more fresh turkey. Those who can afford turduckens will be required to do so...it's only fair.

The government will also change the name of the “wishbone” to the “hopebone” as they will be determining the full extent of your fortune in the event that you snap off the larger half of said bone. Failure to comply with these rules – such as continuing to call it a “wishbone” – will also result in fines and possible imprisonment.

Government officials are exempt from this new law. If they want a Thanksgiving turkey, they and their families can obtain turkeys for free, at the expense of taxpayers. Unions, bankers and mega companies with large political affiliations ($$$) are also exempt. If the government can force you to buy health insurance, they can force you to buy a Thanksgiving turkey....or ANYTHING else.. It really is that simple.

By: Constitutional Watchmen

The Thanksgiving Day Store Opening flap

Oh the outrage that some major retailers will be open on Thanksgiving Day!  Many single and foreign born employees like the extra hours, and the people I know who work retail "bid" for their hours. Also, why are we concerned only about retail when restaurants, churches, hospitals are open and people are working, as are police, fire and utility workers, transportation (air, rail, ship) gas stations, movies and quick stop places? I don't plan to shop on Thursday, and certainly not on Friday. But it's a choice.

Retail stores are in a tight spot--for some retailers the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is 20-40% of sales, and the dollar spent at Walmart isn't spent at Sears or Kohls, so most try to compete. Our gifts are so modest, it will make no difference if they are open around the clock. Retail stores are also competing with internet shopping, open 24/7. Stores with fewer sales have to charge more for each item--it's called profit margin, and for department stores it's about 3%, and less for specialty stores.

If you want to shop that store or see those movies the rest of the year, please allow them to do what they need to do to make a profit at Christmas and don't call them greedy. Retailers are not government agencies paid for with tax dollars or non-profits with tax breaks.  Profit is why they are there.

Many early settlers and conservative Christian groups did not celebrate Christmas at all because of its pagan origins and the drunken revelry that accompanied the holiday. My mother was born in 1912, and her family didn't exchange presents or celebrate. You have the choice—don’t’ shop on Thanksgiving if you want to spend the day with family and do limit your purchases so you can have a non-materialistic and spiritual holiday.


It’s still fun . . .

Get your Giggle on at: @[174252539326320:274:Giggle Palooza]

God didn’t answer Joe Biden’s prayer in 2005

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Another way Obamacare will hurt your local economy

It isn’t just that employers won’t invest in expansion in order to avoid adding new employees, or that investors are waiting to see what happens, but the extra money needed to pay insurance premiums won’t be going to the restaurant, the hair dresser, the clothing store, the manicurist, the cable company, etc.  Kate Joy of Sonoma, California has to come up with about $790 more a month to cover the increase in her health insurance, which had been $499 (it had been less until California began requiring birth control for all) and has increased 150%.  Here’s her list of cuts. That’s mostly money that won’t be supporting businesses, workers, and taxes in Sonoma.

  • Stop paying the extra payment on my mortgage: $100/month
  • Stop eating out: $150/month
  • Don’t go to the movies: $36/month
  • Switch to getting a haircut every other month: $15/month
  • Stop getting manicures: $40/month
  • Stop monthly charitable donations to Wounded Warrior and Habitat for Humanity: $70/month
  • Stop saving for an annual anniversary getaway: $60/month
  • No Christmas gifts to extended family: $40/month
  • Quit buying beef at the grocery store: $100/month
  • Teeth cleaning only once per year: $30/month
  • Cancel all magazine/newspaper subscriptions: at least $30/month
  • Cut DISH service to cheaper plan: $50/month
  • Cancel land line phone service: $70/month

Complete article here.

The article was about financial advice found in famous fiction

This was one of the comments on the article.

The greatest book of fiction has yet to be written.  That's only because its voluminous pages are still being made every single day, and appears will continue to do so daily for at least the next several years. 

In years forth, those historians whom are laboriously working to author the greatest book of fiction ever compiled from one man's public statements, will simply title the book:

"Campaign Promises and Other Guarantees Made By Barack Obama"

Denise Cantu

Today he would probably be considered a Tea Party President

Abort a disabled baby?

Love love love this talented man.

One of my proudest moments—guest blogger Milton

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One of the proudest moments of my life was walking into the voting booth, twice, and not voting for Barack Obama. You see, unlike so many other blacks, I take my faith and the welfare of my family and country seriously.. Unlike most blacks... who put race above all else, I try to live by the words of Dr. King. I choose to judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. With these established priorities in my life I proudly and willingly voted for a person who reflected my values.

Today we are witnessing perhaps the most blatant and concerted destruction of our Republic by people who lack virtue, decency and certainly a love of country. As Democrats led by Reid, Pelosi and Obama rape and pillage our country bringing it to a third world status, while I pray and work hard to prevent this from happening, if America does go in this direction I take some solace in the fact that I will be able to look my grandchildren in the eyes and tell them that for them and the nation, grandpa stood on the correct side of history and remained true to my faith, values and that I fought the good fight.

Used with permission, from BQI Facebook (Black Quill and Ink).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

What is offensive at the White House?

“In the Obama Administration, you can completely botch the Obamacare launch, run guns to Mexican drug gangs, let four people die in Benghazi on your watch, commit egregious transgressions against freedom of the press, and break the law by targeting political opposition with IRS, call for a race war against white people and still keep your job. But insult Valerie Jarrett in an anonymous tweet? Clean out your desk.”

Gay Patriot Blog

When Barack Obama did tell the truth--2001

“Politicians are said to speak the truth only by mistake. As his political career took off unexpectedly, Obama subsequently hid his views on redistribution, except in unguarded moments, such as “you didn’t build that” or “spreading the wealth around is good.” But on that day in 2001 in a Chicago public radio station, Obama candidly expounded his political and social philosophy as shaped by his critical-legal studies professors at Harvard and his experience as a community organizer in Chicago.

The 2001 “Obama Raw” interview remains the one definitive Obama soliloquy on the Constitution, redistribution, and economic justice.”

Radio audio here.

Forbes article here.

Lack of insurance doesn’t make people sick

There may be an insurance gap, gender gap or access gap for the mentally ill, but that isn't what made them ill. There may be some people who need cholesterol or high blood pressure medicine and don't get it because they bought groceries instead, but that's not what caused their high cholesterol. There may be men going to bath houses who don't know there is a drug out there for the disease they are about to plant inside the anus or mouth of another man, but it isn't ignorance or poverty that is causing their behavior.

Only capitalism can lift the masses out of poverty in developing countries

“Outside of the financial sectors in the United States and Europe, capitalism is more prominent than ever. Country after country is reducing the scale of its public enterprises and expanding the scope of the private sector. For the first time in almost 70 years, Mexico has opened it oil and other energy sectors to greater participation by private firms. The new leaders of China have expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of public enterprises, and have called for greater participation by private firms in many sectors, including financial markets.

The formerly mainly socialist government of the very poor nation Rwanda has been encouraging private companies to increase its role in the limited landlocked Rwanda economy. India is trying to reduce its many labor market and other regulations so that direct foreign investments will increase in India, and its own private firms will expand their activities. On the other side of the ledger, nations like Venezuela that has conducted a war on the private sector has seen poverty grow and its economy stagnate.

The reason behind these pro-capitalist activities is that more and more countries have realized that despite is many flaws, capitalism is the only system yet devised that brings hope of lifting the masses out of poverty and creating a robust middle class. Most people realize this, and have prevented political leaders from using the reaction against capitalism brought on by the financial crisis to try to radically transform a system that has brought so much wealth and health to the peoples of the world.”

Becker-Posner blog

The cost of college today compared to “my-day”

2013-14 Tuition, Fees, and Housing Costs for Manchester University (college) where I attended in 1957-58 for about $1,000.  

Tuition: $27,000; Fees: $920; Room: $5,500; Board: $3,750 (Full meal plan);  Total Direct Costs: $37,170 (about $39,000 if a different dorm and food plan is selected); add books, travel, personal items.

So why is college over 4x (adjusted for inflation) more than when I went?

  • there were no government loans and few scholarships in 1957
  • there were minimal amenities in 1957--no natatorium, no rec center, no plush dormitories--our entire dorm shared one phone
  • there are many more regulations and mandates from the government in 2013 to add to costs
  •   there are more costly scientific and technology equipment affecting everything from library to ordering food to tracking admissions in 2013
  • there were stiffer entrance requirements in 1957 and many students in 2013 shouldn’t be in college.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324549004579068992834736138

http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2013/10/why-does-college-cost-so-much-posner.html

“The curved glass wall of Haist Commons, a dining room and gathering space, is the most prominent addition to the building. Large open areas, balcony overlooks, and extensive use of exterior and interior glass walls help create bright, inviting spaces, connecting activity areas visually and providing views of the campus. The renovation brought the campus bookstore back into the union, allowing for combined staffing with the mailroom. The bookstore also shares a double sided fireplace with The Oaks Lounge.”

This student union was built in 1963; there wasn’t one in 1957. Even small church schools have to be competitive with amenities.

Always. It’s always about him.

image

Obama is twice as large as JFK in this official photograph.

Link to the links

Statistics run wild

Socialized or single payer health insurance will not change some health problems that are unique to the United States, says N. Gregory Mankiw in the New York Times.

For some clarity about life expectancy and health care let's look at research before Obamacare became the lightning rod. The murder rate, particularly among young black men, the obesity rate and lifestyle choices, traffic accidents, and our high immigration rates that include people with poor health, might indicate social patterns that need addressing, but they are not functions of the health care system.

Unfortunately, this bit of advice on health insurance was ignored. “Any reform should carefully focus on this group to avoid disrupting the vast majority for whom the system is working. We do not nationalize an industry simply because a small percentage of the work force is unemployed. Similarly, we should be wary of sweeping reforms of our health system if they are motivated by the fact that a small percentage of the population is uninsured.”


http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2009/06/health-care-becker.html

"A study published in Lancet Oncology in 2007 calculates cancer survival rates for both men and women in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union as a whole. The study claims that the most important determinants of cancer survival are early diagnosis, early treatment, and access to the best drugs, and that the United States does very well on all three criteria. Early diagnosis helps survival, but it may also distort the comparisons of five or even ten-year survival rates. In any case, the calculated five-year survival rates are much better in the US: they are about 65% for both men and women, while they are much lower in the other countries, especially for men. These apparent advantages in cancer survival rates are large enough to be worth a lot to persons having access to the American health system. Several measures of the quality of life also favor the US. For example, hip and knee replacements, and cataract surgery, are far more readily available in the US than in Europe. The cancer survival and quality of life advantages enjoyed by US residents indicates that Americans get something for the large amount they spend on health care, but they do not indicate that the bang for the health buck is greater in the US, or even that the US health delivery system is reasonably efficient."


Obama’s insurance fix

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Who is the bigot?

If you have the progressive view of marriage (it is an emotional attachment approved and defined by many in the 21st century), and I have the traditional view (it is approved by God and all of history and cultures), are you then a bigot if you think the 21st century marriage should be limited to two adults, but not three or four, or one adult and a minor, or a brother and sister, or three sisters, or five cousins, or a grandfather and granddaughter? If it is an emotional attachment and the people are committed and need the tax benefits, who are you to judge, if I can’t judge?  If my belief in traditional marriage doesn’t matter, why does yours?  Is it unfair for those with a different view to call you be a bigot because you deny them their loving relationship with societal approval?

You can Google “polyamory” and find many websites of people looking for your participation and approval.  They are using the same argument about civil and government rights and societal approval you are.  Many African and Muslim cultures approve and encourage child brides, as well as the genital mutilation of young girls as the threshold for marriage. (The men think they’ll be less likely to be infected by disease if they marry a young virgin.

Tightwad tips I don’t use

I don’t know if anyone remembers the book byAmy Dacyczyn (sounds like decision), “The tightwad Gazette” (1993).  I was looking through it this morning while I rode on my exercycle watching TV (I was multi-tasking, but had to stop to write this.) Here are two I won’t do. 

1) Turn the return envelopes you don’t need inside out and use the plain side.  At the cost of a box of envelopes (and the fact that few people even mail things these days), this sounded like a huge waste of time, and time is money too. What I have done is buy a box of Christmas cards at 36 for a dollar, and just use the envelopes (since we make our own, we don’t need commercial cards).

2) Empty the vacuum cleaner bag by opening the bottom and reuse it by carefully stapling the bottom glued fold. Whoa!  I remember emptying the cloth bag on a newspaper of the old Hoover an aunt passed along to us in 1960.  The amount of dust that is reintroduced to the air (or your lungs) just isn’t worth it.  Besides, the cat hair in the bag would make this difficult.  Amy really doesn’t describe how to get the dust out of the used bag.

I never took a photo of the Hoover Aunt Marg gave us, but it sort of looked like this one I found on the Internet.  Until you actually do a search on the images, you have no idea how many models there are. I think we might have given the old Hoover to our son for his first apartment. I’m sure it was over 50 years old by that time.

Human hair is a natural deer repellant—just thought I’d throw that in just in case you’re saving money by giving the family home hair cuts.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Big oops!

An openly homosexual teenager, who was given a position as an “adviser” to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and honored by President Barack Obama at a White House “gay pride” dinner, has been indicted on more than a dozen counts of sexual misconduct with a minor under the age of 15.

Caleb Laieski, 18, has been nationally recognized for his advocacy, after overcoming anti-gay bullying that led him to drop out of high school. He was prominently featured in an anti-bullying documentary, earned a gig acting as a youth and diversity advocate for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton's office, and even met with President Obama and Vice President Biden to talk about LGBT youth issues.
Recently, however, Laieski was indicted by a grand jury on the sex-crime charges, in a case in which Laieski's alleged to also be a victim.

http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20131118anti-bullying-activist-indicted-sex-abuse.html

November 22, 1963

“Will we ever know the truth about Nov. 22, 1963,”  they ask? Why yes. Lee Harvey Oswald, a Communist American recently of the USSR, shot and killed John F. Kennedy in a motorcade in Dallas. The media jumped on the idea immediately that it was right wing nuts and that much hasn't changed in 50 years of public tragedies. That Sunday when I was watching TV, I saw Jack Ruby kill Oswald, the only person who could explain why. And the conspiracy theories have been hatching regularly since. This gives the perps their 10 minutes of fame and a book deal. It's a cottage industry.

Got insurance?

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Friday Family photo—a rerun

http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com/2006/07/2673-friday-family-photo-thirty-years.html

The Bruces and the Bruces, 1976, Huntington Beach, California

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Naked hypocrisy in the Senate

Today Harry Reid wants to squash Republican's right to filibuster, but he had a different tune in 2005.

"The filibuster is far from a “procedural gimmick.” It is part of the fabric of this institution. It was well known in colonial legislatures, and it is an integral part of our country’s 217 years of history.

The first filibuster in the U.S. Congress happened in 1790. It was used by lawmakers from Virginia and South Carolina who were trying to prevent Philadelphia from hosting the first Congress.

Since 1790, the filibuster has been employed hundreds and hundreds of times.

Senators have used it to stand up to popular presidents. To block legislation. And yes – even to stall executive nominees.

The roots of the filibuster can be found in the Constitution and in the Senate rules. . . “

Obama and Biden too supported the filibuster in 2005 when it benefitted them.  Biden,

“…I say to my friends on the Republican side, you may own the field right now, but you won’t own it forever. And I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”

Senator Obama in 2005:

"Everyone in this chamber knows that if the majority chooses to end the filibuster—if they choose to change the rules and put an end to democratic debate—then the fighting and the bitterness and the gridlock will only get worse."

Put Beth Moore’s new book on your Christmas list

Do you have some Beth Moore fans on your Christmas list? "Whispers of hope; 10 weeks of devotional prayer" (B&H Publishing Group, 2013, $14.99) might be a good choice. I just received my copy, and I really like the plan. You remember how Beth loves assignments and workbooks? With each of the 70 days, there are assigned scripture, Beth's personal and anecdotal musings, and then pages with 4 line...s each for your own thoughts on Praise, Repentance, Acknowledgment, Intercession, Supplication for Self, and Equipping. Whether you write something down isn't as important in my view as the nudge to include these areas in your prayer life.

"I'm certain of two things: prayerless lives are powerless lives, and prayerful lives are powerful lives." Beth Moore

                         Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer  -     By: Beth Moore

Presidents’ famous words

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Breakfast casserole in a crock pot

I’m not sure why this would be any easier than baking it in the oven, but maybe some people want to sleep in.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag 26 oz. frozen hash browns
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 16 oz. roll sausage maple, sage or regular sausage.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 16 oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  • 1. Spray crock pot and evenly spread hash browns at the bottom.
  • 2. Crack 12 eggs in a large bowl.
  • 3. Mix well (and slowly) using a whisk.
  • 4. Add the milk.
  • 5. Go ahead and sprinkle in the ground mustard.
  • 6. Add salt and lots of fresh pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  • 7. Cook the sausage on high heat, drain and set aside.
  • 8. Add sausage on top of hash browns.
  • 9. Add cheese.
  • 10. Mix it up well.
  • 11. Pour the egg mixture over everything in the crock pot. Using a wood spoon, even everything out so it's spread evenly.
  • 12. Turn the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Some fun variations of this recipe. Before cooking (during prep) you can add: chunks of sourdough bread, diced chiles, salsa, diced green onions

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Is this a great country? Praise for our immigrants

In November 2005 I wrote a blog about trying to find a place to have my morning coffee on Thanksgiving Day, but everything except White Castle was closed, and their employees were all immigrants. Someone commented that it was ironic that immigrants were working so Americans could enjoy the holiday. To which I answered:

"Yes, that would indeed be the liberal view. The conservative view is that this is the land where immigrants are still welcome, where even when their English is barely passable, they can work if they want to, that they were given the choice, and were probably paid double time for a holiday, even though to them it was just another day. And the happiest guy in the store was probably the developmentally disabled employee, because he really wants to make a contribution to society and White Castle is giving him that opportunity.

And the Asian lady probably has a daughter in college, and the Hispanic who now rides a bicycle to work in the dark is saving for a car, something he'd never be able to afford in the old country.

Is this a great country or what?"

The OSU Marching Band

Some Incredible Numbers about the OSU Marching Band aka TBDBITL.

Their quality is so high that, according to OSU information, in the weeks following the "Tribute to Michael Jackson" show, stories about OSUMB have been carried by over 1,000 media outlets around the world, and the University's Facebook page saw an 11,000% increase in traffic. Perhaps the most staggering statistic is that the University estimates that the total number of people who heard about OSUMB in the past few weeks exceeds 6 Billion (yes, that's a "B"). That's over 80% of the world's population.

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20748064,00.html

http://deadspin.com/the-ohio-state-marching-bands-michael-jackson-tribute-1449315662

http://thelantern.com/2013/10/ohio-state-marching-band-attracts-attention-today-michael-jacksons-mom/

“If this show convinces an extra fan to stay and watch their show at halftime, or even an extra child to pick up an instrument in elementary school, it’s worth it,” Kosta Nicolozakes said (plays baritone in the band).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Message from a gay Catholic

“When I first came out in the 1980s, it was common for gay rights apologists to blame the promiscuity among gay men on "internalized homophobia." Gay men, like African Americans, internalized and acted out the lies about themselves learned from mainstream American culture. Furthermore, homosexuals were forced to look for love in dimly lit bars, bathhouses, and public parks for fear of harassment at the hands of a homophobic mainstream. The solution to this problem, we were told, was permitting homosexuals to come out into the open, without fear of retribution. A variant of this argument is still put forward by activists such as Andrew Sullivan, in order to legitimate same-sex marriage. And it seemed reasonable enough twenty years ago. But thirty-five years have passed since the infamous Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York, the Lexington and Concord of the gay liberation movement. During that time, homosexuals have carved out for themselves public spaces in every major American city, and many of the minor ones as well. They have had the chance to create whatever they wanted in those spaces, and what have they created? New spaces for locating sexual partners. . .

“But at this point, how is it possible to blame the promiscuity among homosexual men on homophobia, internalized or otherwise? On the basis of evidence no stronger than wishful thinking, Andrew Sullivan wants us to believe that legalizing same-sex "marriage" will domesticate gay men, that all that energy now devoted to building bars and bathhouses will be dedicated to erecting picket fences and two-car garages. What Sullivan refuses to face is that male homosexuals are not promiscuous because of "internalized homophobia," or laws banning same-sex "marriage." Homosexuals are promiscuous because when given the choice, homosexuals overwhelmingly choose to be promiscuous. And wrecking the fundamental social building block of our civilization, the family, is not going to change that. . .

Over the years, I have attended various gay and gay-friendly church services. All of them shared one characteristic in common: a tacit agreement never to say a word from the pulpit -- or from any other location for that matter -- suggesting that there ought to be any restrictions on human sexual behavior. If anyone reading this is familiar with Dignity or Integrity or the Metropolitan Community churches or, for that matter, mainline Protestantism and most of post-Vatican II Catholicism, let me ask you one question: When was the last time you heard a sermon on sexual ethics? Have you ever heard a sermon on sexual ethics? I take it for granted that the answer is negative. Do our priests and pastors honestly believe that Christians in America are not in need of sermons on sexual ethics?”

Ronald G. Lee (the original article was written in 2006)

Billary and BO

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“For now, Clinton is popular, a Democratic icon, and Obama is relying on him for a life raft in the current storm. Clinton knows something about comebacks, and if Obama can recover, Hillary is the beneficiary. Clinton can’t say it, not yet, but he thinks Hillary will be a better president than Obama, heck, maybe better than he was.”  Eleanor Clift, Nov. 20

It was a short week because of the holiday

  • Last week, 66 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 78 new final rules the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 33 minutes.
  • All in all, 3,186 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
  • If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,604 new final rules.
  • Last week, 1,689 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 68,313 pages.
  • At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 77,278 pages, which would be good for fifth all time. The current record is 81,405 pages, set in 2010.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. No such rules were published last week, keeping the total at 35 so far in 2013.
  • The total estimated compliance costs of this year’s economically significant regulations ranges from $6.42 billion to $11.82 billion.
  • So far, 289 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
  • So far this year, 629 final rules affect small business; 86 of them are significant rules.

http://www.openmarket.org/2013/11/18/ceis-battered-business-bureau-the-week-in-regulation-90/

http://cei.org/10kc

Total costs for Americans to comply with federal regulations reached $1.806 trillion in 2012. For the first time, this amounts to more than half of total federal spending. It is more than the GDPs of Canada or Mexico.

2013 is on track to be the 5th largest in regulations, with 2010 being the winner.

How abortions after 18 weeks are performed

Written by Abby Johnson, who formerly worked for Planned Parenthood, and also had an abortion. From her FaceBook page, November 20, 2013

The mother goes in for her initial ultrasound to date the pregnancy. Also at this visit, Laminaria (seaweed sticks) are inserted into the cervix. These sticks will begin the dilation process.

The next step begins with the doctor inserting a large (amniocentesis like) needle through the mother's belly into the amniotic sac. The doctor will inject a lethal dose of Digoxin into the fluid. The baby will gulp the fluid which is laced with the Digoxin. (Abortionists will say that the Digoxin is inserted directly into the baby's heart, but this is very rarely the case.) The overdose will begin. It could take up to 48 hours for the baby to die. During this time, the mother may feel her baby thrashing around in her womb.

On day two, the mother will go back to the facility for a follow up ultrasound and for insertion of more Laminaria. The doctor will need the woman's cervix dilated to at least 8cm. During the ultrasound, if the baby is still alive, they will inject additional Digoxin into the amniotic sac.

Day three. Delivery of the stillborn baby begins. They will hook the mother up to medication (Pitocin) to begin labor. After labor begins, the mother will be sedated. Nurses and other staff with physically push on the mother's abdomen in order to deliver the child. After delivery, the child will be weighed, measured, and incinerated.

After no more than 2 hours in recovery, the mother is sent home with two different antibiotics (Cephalexin and Doxycycline), pain killers (Ibuprofen and Hydrocodone), anti nausea medication (Phenergan), and a blood coagulant (Methergen) to help stop the bleeding.

Font Fail

I'm not the smartest guy around.. but, I'm thinking -- maybe use a different font?  But, that's just me.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

D.E.A.R.

Watched a really excellent program on Alzheimer's on EWTN. The segment I saw was using DEAR as an acronym and the R was for rest and relaxation and the importance of forgiveness in controlling stress, which increases the body's level of cortisol. The other letters were D for diet, E for exercise, A for something like brain aerobics. Dr. Fortanasce and Dr. Landry hosted. I did find some YouTube presentations by Fortanasce, but the entire 13 week program is on EWTN.

The D.E.A.R program goal is to prevent Alzheimer's disease is those with no genetic pre-disposition and to delay it 10 to 15 years in those with a genetic pre-disposition. The four month clinic program is based on a 4-step medically-proven plan from The Anti-Alzheimer's Prescription, by Dr. Vincent Fortanasce.

While the primary focus of the D.E.A.R program is Alzheimer's prevention; following these simple lifestyle and dietary modifications can also prevent or lesson the symptoms of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint and spine disease and many other health issues. Our program is not just about living longer, it is about living better.

http://www.healthybrainmd.com/the-dear-program.html

The Anti-Alsheimer's Prescrition

Bashir and MSNBC and Palin

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I'm not going to sign the petition to fire Bashir, the creep on MSNBC who thought Sarah Palin should be tortured because she used the word slavery in talking about our debt. No, let MSNBC go down with him. Just don't watch them. Vote with your remote!  He's entitled to be stupid and MSNBC should pay the price for not setting better journalism guidelines.

And more

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PEPFAR and sex workers with U.S. money

In 2003, when signing the legislation passed to create the program "President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief" President Bush called PEPFAR "a medical version of the Marshall Plan." And it was. From 100,000 victims receiving anti-retroviral drugs, about 2 million were receiving them 5 years later, half of whom were babies. 21 billion was spent in over 80 countries from 2004-2011. It was so successful in saving lives, that it had bi-partisan support in 2008 for expansion.

As of September 2012, PEPFAR reports that it has supported antiretroviral treatment for more than 5.1 million, care for 15 million, including 4.5 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), and in FY 2012, by providing antiretroviral prophylaxis to 750,000 HIV positive pregnant women, enabled 230,000 babies to be born HIV-free. Numbers sound great, so does success rate, right? Other than the small pox and polio campaigns to vaccinate millions of children back in the 40s and 50s, I can't think of too many health efforts this successful.

Hold on to your hats. The Supreme Court has ruled that the anti-prostitution pledge (required of partners in PEPFAR to get the grant money) violates the First Amendment by requiring recipients to adopt and espouse, as their own, our government's view of moral disapproval of commercial sex work. So grant recipients can promote and condone prostitution. The idea is that sex workers need services, too. Yes, I'm sure they do. But I think this is outrageous, especially considering what is happening to OUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS, and our tax money is used to assure that African sex workers have free speech. JAMA, Sept. 18, 2013 pp. 1127-28

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1733774

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2012/jul/24/prostitution-us-aids-funding-sex

http://www.amfar.org/pepfar-receives-glowing-report-but-funding-at-risk/

"Nearly 60% of HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa occur among women."  How to fog up the issue.  These women are getting HIV from men who have sex with men and men who have sex with prostitutes who get it from men who have sex with men. FGM contributes to the transmission of HIV, but I don’t see any discussion of that. http://www.pepfar.gov/press/strategy_briefs/138405.htm

http://womensenews.org/story/genital-mutilation/070810/health-activists-link-spread-hiv-aids-fgm

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2003/africa1203/6.htm

http://www.ednahospital.org/hospital-mission/female-genital-mutilation/

Typo, but you get the idea

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Rhymes with hemorrhoid.

November 19, 1863, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

President Obama is just not doing well with this Gettysburg Address thing. First he bails on attending the 150th event in Pennsylvania, offending even some of his strongest supporters (he had a meeting with some Wall St. CEOs scheduled for today, although he'd been invited over a year ago), then it comes out when he recorded the speech for Ken Burns to "mash" with other Presidents and celebs (a really odd collection including some of my least favorite TV reporters), he does so without the "under God" phrase, so Jimmy Carter got that part. Really, what is wrong with this man, who literally spoke from Lincoln's grave to get elected in 2008? It's like he carries a stick to poke us in the eye regularly.

Amen to that!

Do you need a reasonably priced small gift for Christmas, a book maybe?  For someone who is a word nerd, and just a little bit religious?  I’m suggesting “Amen to that! The amazing way the Bible influences our everyday language,” by Ferdie Addis, Reader’s Digest, 2014. 165 pp. (5 x 7 inches, hard cover) $14.99.

I just received it today for review, and am having such fun browsing. Each familiar saying (that perhaps you didn't know came from the King James Bible) includes the appropriate verse reference and several paragraphs of explanation, history and how it is used today. There is also a nice bibliography and index, which are the heart's desire for most librarians (Romans 10:1), even those who are 3 score and 10 (Psalm 90:10).

So for that special someone who is “the apple of your eye,” or “the salt of the earth” for whom there’s “nothing new under the sun,” try this one.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Before and after the tornado

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Washington, Illinois.  Between 250 and 500 buildings were damaged or destroyed and about 120 people were injured in Washington, where winds reached an estimated 170 to 190 miles per hour on Sunday, November 17.

Ten things I miss about being a kid—Monday Memories

I’m not one of those people who looks back in nostalgia about childhood—I always wanted to be an adult, as long as I can remember.  Obviously, children are na├»ve about adulthood—believe they’ll have more freedom and control.  And that’s the truth—it’s just not as they imagine.  Here’s a few things I do miss as I age.

Norma 1950 on horse

1.  I miss being able to run up and down stairs, taking them two at a time. As a child, I don’t think I ever walked when I used stairs, and I’ve always lived in a house that had stairs. I could also put my leg over my head and around my neck—not a particularly useful talent, but no one else could do it.

2.  I miss horses—the smell, touch and feel.  As a child that was my obsession.  I would hang out at the Ranz barn sitting on them and grooming them, I would ride friends’ horses, I would draw pictures of horses, I collected little horse statues, and I pretended my bicycle was a horse named “Red.” The bicycle was blue.

3.  I miss being the best artist in my age group and among my friends. My mother made sure I had plenty of paper, and 65 years later I still have some of the art supplies she gave me (dried up, but I don’t throw them away).

4.  I miss being able to eat all I wanted.  My mother really didn’t keep a lot of extra food in the house, and snacking was so sensible it would make a 21st century child weep—sliced raw potatoes, raw cabbage, or a slice of bread sprinkled with sugar.  But I never worried about putting on weight, which after age 18 was always on my mind. 

5.  I miss the sound of my mother’s voice as she read to my brother and me—Little House series (some published in the 1930s),  My Book House, or other quality books—even the Little Engine that Could, and Chicken Little.  Mother was great with accents and dialog, and always made the stories vivid. I already knew how to read, but it was more fun when she did it.

6.  I miss Christmas excitement—lying on the floor shaking packages to see if I could guess what was in them.  Hoping for new doll clothes made by my mother from left over fabric of my clothes.  Knowing some things would be practical clothing items didn’t dull the thrill. Traveling to relatives for a big dinner and seeing cousins was part of it, and I’ve forgotten all the squabbles about who would sit where and how long we had to wait. Looking forward to Grandma’s check each year (all year) and planning how to spend it came after she stopped buying us individual gifts like art supplies and magazine subscriptions.

7.  I miss winning the races.  Although I was never athletic and didn’t like to sweat, there was a time, around age 8 when I could outrun everyone in my class, even the boys.  Then I learned it’s not a good idea to outrun the boys, but OK to be ahead of the girls.

8.  To this day, I’m not competitive and don’t care much for games, because someone always loses, but I miss playing cards, jacks, racing around outside at night with the neighborhood kids playing King of the Hill, Mother may I, and Hide and Seek. We had a big yard, and other the kids came to our house—I don’t think I ever went elsewhere at night.

9.  I miss riding my bicycle to the next town in the summer for a five cent ice cream cone because they were ten cents in our town, and riding into the country to collect tadpoles in the creek with my brother.  Not sure what we did with them or how long they lived.

10.  I miss bringing dogs home or finding puppies and bringing them home, “Can I keep him, Mom?” There was Lassie 1 and 2, Jerry, Pretty, Curly, and Lady.