Thursday, February 27, 2014

And now for another tax reform that will fail

I like the proposed income tax plan--removes deductions (aka loopholes). It won't fly though, because by simplifying taxes it takes away the government's power to intimidate. Democrats will vote nay on this one because there is no way to stroke favored classes and groups to get votes.

In 1893 the Congress passed an income tax and the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1895. But Congress then passed the 16th amendment which was ratified by the states in 1913. Except it wasn't. This came to light when someone actually searched all state records involving ratification of the 16th amendment. In 1913 Americans were told it would only affect 1% of most of the population. It would only soak the rich. Class warfare even then. The Constitution forbids an income tax (Art. 1, Sec. 9).

“House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp released his long-awaited and highly anticipated proposal for tax reform. The proposal [1,000 pages] promised to present the most thorough, sweeping changes to the law since the 1986 Act, and it didn’t disappoint.”

Winter isn’t over yet—Chris Bradley’s report

Significant winter storm will hit Ohio this weekend. Heavy snow is expected Sunday into Monday morning. Snowfall amounts will likely exceed six inches across most of Ohio. A band of heavier snow with totals approaching 10 inches is possible...but it is still too early to determine where that will fall.


Wind chill is minus one at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27.  Snow would be better than ice.

The media made a mess of Arizona

Instead of whipping up hatred and distrust over a non-existent anti-gay law in AZ, the media should be covering how all of us, including gays, minorities, religious nuts and transgendered females are losing rights every day to an invasive, snooping federal government. The newest Supreme Court decision, based on a Los Angeles case, says officers may search a residence without a warrant as long as one occupant consents.,0,3720623.story

Here’s the text of the Arizona law, which if our first amendment rights weren’t being shredded every day, shouldn’t have been necessary.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kasparov on Obama


Chess champion and outspoken human rights advocate Garry Kasparov was born in the USSR.

Not affected yet—but just wait for all the tax increases to satisfy Obama’s desire for power

“Some TurboTax customers are mad at Intuit, maker of the popular tax-prep software, because they've finished their returns but are unable to file. Their anger is misplaced. They should blame the Internal Revenue Service, along with the 111th Congress and President Obama for enacting and signing the tax increase with which TurboTax can't yet comply. (They could also blame George W. Bush if they're in a jocose frame of mind.)

At issue is ObamaCare's new 3.8% "net investment income tax." It took effect Jan. 1, 2013, so that taxpayers are encountering it just now as they prepare their returns for last year. In effect, it applies the Medicare payroll tax to interest, dividends and capital gains.

But it doesn't apply to all such income. If your modified adjusted gross income is under $200,000 (or $250,000 for a married couple), you don't pay the tax at all. Further, if your modified AGI is above the threshold but your noninvestment income is below it, the tax is applied on the difference between your total income and the threshold.”  James Taranto, WSJ

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mott’s Medleys Peach Apple fruit & veggie snack

Notice anything? No peaches on the ingredient list. So I checked the cherry berry fruit and veggie snack. . . no cherries or berries on the ingredient list.


“Kids will love the delicious taste of these fruit blends but won't taste the hidden veggies. Mott's Medleys fruit snacks are fat free. In fact, they're only made with real fruits and veggies and even have plenty of Vitamin C to boot. Plus, they contain no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives. What a treat.” Mott’s web site.

They won’t taste the vegetables, and they won’t taste the berries or peaches, either.

Dogs and coyotes

I was reading the advice of our city government (UA Insight Upper Arlington, OH) on roaming coyotes, and danger to pets left outside (small dogs, cats). The conclusion was that while people are at risk from dog attacks, there is virtually no information that they are attacked by coyotes. So I checked that and found an interesting article in Wikipedia on fatalities involving dogs. I looked at the 2013 and 2014 stats, and it appears most fatalities are female and most aggressors are pit bulls or pit bull mix. A number of these fatalities involved the owner or family or relative of the owner. In a number of cases, the owners of the dogs had been cited or warned, or the dog had bitten or killed another dog.

Owners of Pit Bulls, Rotties, and German Shepherds are extremely loyal to the breeds and their own dogs.  But all dogs will bite, and some breeds are more aggressive than others, and some owners less responsible about training than others.

Photos of the 4 dogs who mauled and killed an 80 year old amputee in a wheel chair. 

 Toddler killed by her family’s 7 pit bulls. in Georgia last year. There was also a setter and a beagle in the home which didn’t join in on the attack. There were 4 generations in the house at the time and all the dogs were familiar with the baby.  The mother (18) has been charged.

2-year-old Je’vaeh Mayes died  after a pit bull attacked her in the backyard of her family’s home in Feb. 2014.

This happened to a woman in Dayton this month; owners have been arrested. Mastiff pit bull mix.

All dogs will bite; maul; or kill.  Especially in a pack.

It is not human interference. . .

Thus, over the past half-million years and within
the context of the most recent five full interglacials, it
is clear the average near-surface air temperature of
Earth during the 1990s was not unusually warm, but
unusually cool, despite the 1990s’ much greater
atmospheric CO2 content.
These observations suggest Earth’s current
temperature is not indicative of dangerous human
interference with the planet’s thermoregulatory
system. The IPCC’s claim of a human influence on
today’s climate is based solely on its contention that
Earth’s current temperature is uncommonly high
(Crowley, 2000), when it clearly is not. Earth was
significantly warmer than it is today in all of the
preceding interglacials for which we have good
temperature data,


Fruits and Vegetables—five servings a day

“Dietary guidelines of 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables (FV) offer a reasonable amount of vitamins to control organic processes, which may contribute to a favorable cardiometabolic profile.”

It seems I’ve heard that recommendation most of my life—that and “eat all the colors.”  So I tested myself this morning on yesterday’s meals—because that’s about as far back as I can remember.

Breakfast:  one orange, a handful of raw carrots and almonds (2)

Lunch: a sandwich on whole wheat bread with sliced ham and cheese, included a few slices of onion, and some dark leaf lettuce (it’s stretching the definition to call this two servings—more like 2 tastes)

I had a few pieces of dark chocolate left from Valentine’s Day, but chocolate is not a vegetable. Slice of raw cabbage. (1)

Supper: 2 helpings of butternut squash, “unstuffed cabbage” casserole containing tomatoes, cabbage and ground beef, cream pie with crushed pineapple  (5)

So, it’s not difficult, even with eliminating the poor showing at lunch, I had eight servings of fruits and vegetables combined, but for each 5  vegetable, and 3 for fruit. With just a little more effort at lunch, I could have had 5 FV each.

“Pro-vitamin A carotenoids and vitamins C and E, present in FV, are essential for proper physiological functioning. The importance of vitamin E for maintaining oxidative-antioxidant balance is widely recognized [8,9], but this must be accompanied by vitamin C in order to enhance antioxidant protection [8-10]. Pro-vitamin A carotenoids are present in brightly colored FV; such micronutrients modulate immune system and exert a protective action by reducing LDL-cholesterol oxidation via induction of antioxidant enzymes [10,11]. “  “Association of fruits and vegetables consumption and related-vitamins with inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in prediabetic individuals,” Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2014; 6: 22.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen on Glenn Beck


Maybe it was my imagination but Glenn Beck seemed a little off his game tonight in his interview with Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen.  He trimmed the scruff and put on a dark suit for the occasion. Those guys were so slick. Even so, Glenn is the best interviewer on TV--he actually lets his guests finish a thought. Schmidt is worth $8.3 Billion. Cohen was an advisor to Condi Rice and later Hillary Clinton before moving to Google and one of the earliest in government to recognize the importance of social media. The discussion was a bit over my head, but the intent of the Google team seemed to be to calm any fears that technology was in control of the human mind. Not so sure about that.

Of their book, The New Digital Age, the New York Times reviewer writes,

The collaboration between Mr. Schmidt, the executive chairman (and former chief executive) of Google, and Mr. Cohen, a foreign-relations expert and director of Google Ideas, is meant to explore the ways in which technology and diplomacy will intersect. “There is a canyon dividing people who understand technology and people charged with addressing the world’s toughest geopolitical issues, and no one has built a bridge,” they write.

Adoption falling on hard times

“Adoption referrals, sent to outside agencies, are an infrequent occurrence at Planned Parenthood clinics.  Abortions still outnumbered adoption referrals [in the latest annual report] at Planned Parenthood by a nearly 149 to one ratio!”  Link.

I've seen the statistics about adoption vs. abortion from Planned Parenthood’s annual reports. Not good, but it’s probably not all their fault.  Adoption isn’t a popular option at the church supported agency where I volunteer which exists only to save the lives of babies and help the mom with social services.

Imagine a world in which the culture (TV, movies, magazines, literature, social media and peers) tells a young girl from an early age that a career is her life’s goal, that motherhood is second rate, that pregnancy will destroy her sex appeal, that commitment for a life time is optional for sexual relations, that hanging with friends and posting on Face Book is what life is about, that large families will bankrupt her, where their schools install vending machines with condoms and morning after pills and/or she will be abused or abandoned if she choses life for her child.  Actually, you don’t need to imagine it—that’s the recipe for abortion in 2014.

But it’s not a whole lot different for those women considering single parenting—marriage is denigrated in our culture except for gays, the young men are ass-holes, immature, or totally irresponsible and if she marries him she loses government benefits, and there are 79 programs waiting to make Uncle Sam her baby’s step-father if she can keep her income low enough. There are simply no pluses for adoption these days. Potential adoptive parents write profiles at special websites and for adoption magazines--I almost weep when I read though the websites of couples longing to adopt when I know young women careless about the future of their babies (either choosing death or being raised in an inadequately prepared home).

This is not the 1950s when the rich had abortions, the poor kept their babies or put them in grandma’s care and the middle class went away to visit an aunt or grandmother and someone adopted their babies and they signed away their parental rights. Many young women of today think adoption much more tragic or unthinkable than abortion.

The minimum wage

Vegetables high in Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a broad group of related nutrients. Each of these nutrients provides us with health benefits, but these benefits may be quite different and they may be provided in different ways.


I love all of these vegetables. Help with all this. . .

  • Vision
  • Immune system
  • Inflammatory system
  • Growth
  • Reproduction

Read more here.

"Vitamin A in Reproduction and Development," Nutrients. 2011 April; 3(4): 385–428. This article although difficult, provides amazing information and references.

Ohio and coal

“In Ohio, coal provides heat and light for more than 4.5 million homes and jobs for nearly 28,000 Ohioans. It may come as little surprise that Ohio ranks 10th in the nation in coal production and 4th in the nation in coal use.

But that's not a concern for the regulators in Washington, D.C. For them, coal is just another opportunity to test unproven environmental policies. For example, see the Environmental Protection Agency's new CCS regulations, which were unveiled last month. CCS stands for "Carbon Capture and Storage" — a pleasant-sounding policy that hits Ohioans twice, first on their tax bills and then again on their utility bills.

CCS is the fulfillment of President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign pledge that, "If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can — it's just it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum." “

Read more here.

Monday Memories—lunch with an old friend

We met in 1958 when we lived in McKinley Hall on Wright St. at the University of Illinois. Saturday we had lunch together at Panera’s and it was like no time had passed. Marie and her husband were passing through Columbus on their way to Florida.  But there's always something new to learn, like her parents were Swedish immigrants and she can speak Swedish. She also told me our old friend Anita, an art teacher in the Chicago suburban area, had died. Praise God for long time friends.

Marie and Anita

Deanna, Marie and Anita ready for the I.F. Ball, 1959 standing in McKinley Hall.

Balls at the University of Illinois were usually sponsored by a campus wide or large organization and held in more public places like the Armory or the Athletic building; dances were for the individual fraternity, sorority or independent residence. Balls always had a nice dance band or small orchestra; dances usually a combo. But it was always live music.  Balls during that era were St. Pat’s Ball, Sno-Ball, Beaux-Arts Ball, Military Ball, Interfraternity Ball and Panhellenic Ball.

I love the cello

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Election reform in Ohio

“Two election bills passed the Ohio House and are expected to be signed into law by Governor Kasich next week.

"Golden Week," the week where voters could register and vote on the same day, will be eliminated under the new law. Early voting is now mandated to begin the day after voter registration ends so that no overlap of the two activities can occur.

New law will also make the mailing of absentee ballots requests to voters more consistent from county to county by permitting the Secretary of State to only mail unsolicited absentee ballot requests on even number years and only if Ohio's General Assembly appropriates funds for the mailing.

Previously it was up to the County Boards of Elections (BOE) to decide if they would mail absentee ballot requests to all voters in their county, which historically benefited voters from larger counties because they could afford the mailings.”

From Ohio Voter Integrity Project

Kevin Kookogey target of the IRS

Linchpins of Liberty is an American leadership-development enterprise designed to challenge the imagination of the rising generation. With an emphasis on the study of books about the human condition and about civil social order, Linchpins of Liberty aims to engage tomorrow’s leaders to think critically today about the inter-relation between individual liberty and morality, free-markets, limited government, strong national defense, and the traditional principles of our moral and constitutional order which have been passed down through Western Civilization.

Happy Birthday, George Washington

The Jurga Report: three mules by Jo Naylor

who introduced the mule to the Americas.

John Kerry—listen up


John Kerry thinks climate change is the most serious threat to the globe.  He needs to go where it is really hot. Let him be a tree hugger on his own time, not mine.

Home made peanut butter cups


16 oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate, chopped (or use chips)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

In a small glass bowl, heat half of the chocolate in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. Remove from the microwave once the chips begin to slightly melt. Use a fork to stir until smooth, using the heat of the chocolate to melt the remaining chips entirely. If needed, re-heat in 10 second intervals until smooth. DO NOT over heat the chocolate, as it will burn and seize.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers. Spoon a small amount (about 2 teaspoons) of chocolate into the bottom of each paper. Tap the pan on your counter top to help smooth and spread the chocolate. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden the chocolate. Meanwhile, prepare the peanut butter.

In a small bowl, beat together peanut butter, butter and confectioners sugar until smooth and fluffy. Remove the pan from the freezer, and spoon a small amount of peanut butter on to the chocolate layer. Again, tap on counter top to level and spread the peanut butter. Return the pan to the freezer and allow to harden for about 15 minutes.

Repeat the first step and melt the remaining chocolate in the same manner. Spoon the top chocolate layer over the peanut butter and return to freezer.

Serve very cold, and enjoy!


Poached Eggs over Spinach & Mushrooms


Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 4 large free-range chicken eggs
  • 1 tsp light vinegar, (rice, white wine, or apple cider)
  • 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 medium tomato, seeds and excess pulp removed, chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and excess water removed [I think I would use fresh]
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Chop onions and garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting properties.
  2. Add 1 tsp vinegar to water in a 10-inch skillet.
  3. While water is coming to a high simmer, in a separate skillet heat 1 TBS broth. Healthy Sauté onion and mushrooms in broth for 3 minutes over medium heat stirring frequently.
  4. Add tomato, garlic, spinach, salt and pepper and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. When water comes to a high simmer poach eggs for about 5 minutes, or until whites are firm. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place over spinach mixture.
Serves 4

How far can they count?


Friday, February 21, 2014

The Book Thief

Yesterday my neighbor and I went to see the early bird show of The Book Thief for the bargain price of $1.25.  The reviews had been lukewarm, but a friend had recommended it and Joan hadn’t seen a movie in a long time—about 10 years.

As we walked down the dark hall to the theater (something like 12  theaters) we saw a man on the floor by the door, and my first thought was he was fixing something, then we both realized he had fallen and couldn’t get up—he was quite heavy. So Joan took one arm  and I took the other, and by using the wall we got him up.  He insisted he was ok, so we went in. Before the movie started I could see him in his seat, because if I didn’t see him I was going to go back out. As we left the theater when the film was over we stopped by his seat and asked if he was OK.  He and his wife both thanked us.

It is not a happy story, but has tender moments and some humor to break the tension. Based on a best seller by the same title, it takes place between 1938 and 1945 in Nazi Germany.  Liesel, played by the beautiful and talented Sophie Nelisse, is taken from her mother, a Communist, and given to a German couple as a foster/adopted child.  Her brother died on the trip to the children’s new family and she keeps his photograph and the memory of her mother. Her new parents, Hans and Rosa,  are played very effectively by Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.  The boy next door, Rudy (Nico Liersch) becomes her friend and protector.  Liesel does not know how to read although she is an adolescent, but has one book which she and her Poppa work through until she understands the words. He begins a huge dictionary for her on the walls of the basement. Hans has an accordion with which he entertains the little family which belonged to a friend who saved his life in WWI, and that man’s son, Max, comes to the house to find safety.  He is a Jew.  Hans, Rosa and Liesel hide him in the basement and nurse him to health.  Max and Liesel become friends and he makes a book for her. . . a diary.  Meanwhile Liesel is befriended by the wife of the wealthy Buergmeister who has a huge library whose son died in WWI.

And that’s all I’ll say about this movie, except it is about love, hope, courage,  family, forgiveness, redemption, friendship, and of course, the love of books.  Many moral and spiritual values, but not in an overtly religious sense. We liked it a lot.

Good news about tea

I’ve never been particularly fond of tea, but I do get a little hankering for something hot and liquid in the afternoon, and a tea bag passed through some hot water with a little orange juice really hits the spot.  Nice to know it’s good for you. The 8 glasses of water a day thing has pretty much been debunked, and since I get most of my water in decaf coffee, tea or food, I’m pleased they’ve found some value in tea (the coffee blessings came out a few years ago).  The big push for drinking more water was from the companies that sell bottled water.

In a survey of existing research published in the European">European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the authors report that not only does tea rehydrate and quench your thirst as well as water does, it comes with additional health benefits too.

“Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water,” Dr. Carrie Ruxton, a nutritionist and the lead author of the study told the BBC. “Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it.”

More on orange peel from World’s Healthiest Foods

I’ve written about orange peel before. And here’s some more information that appears in a long article about the health benefits of oranges for cholesterol at World’s Healthiest Foods.
Compounds in Orange Peel May Lower Cholesterol as Effectively as Statin Drugs

A class of compounds found in citrus fruit peels called polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) have the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs, and without side effects, according to a study by U.S. and Canadian researchers that was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In this study, when laboratory animals with diet-induced high cholesterol were given the same diet containing 1% PMFs (mainly tangeretin), their blood levels of total cholesterol, VLDL and LDL (bad cholesterol) were reduced by 19-27 and 32-40% respectively. Comparable reductions were also seen when the animals were given diets containing a 3% mixture of two other citrus flavonones, hesperidin and naringin.

Treatment with PMFs did not appear to have any effect on levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol, and no negative side effects were seen in the animals fed the PMF-containing diets.

Although a variety of citrus fruits contain PMFs, the most common PMFs, tangeretin and nobiletin, are found in the peels of tangerines and oranges. Juices of these fruits also contain PMFs, but in much smaller amounts. In fact, you'd have to drink about 20 glasses of juice each day to receive an amount of PMFs comparable in humans to that given to the animals. However, grating a tablespoon or so of the peel from a well-scrubbed organic tangerine or orange each day and using it to flavor tea, salads, salad dressings, yogurt, soups, or hot oatmeal, buckwheat or rice may be a practical way of achieving some cholesterol-lowering benefits. The researchers are currently exploring the mechanism of action by which PMFs lower cholesterol. Based on early results in cell and animal studies, they suspect that PMFs work like statin drugs, by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol and triglycerides inside the liver.

Twenty six days until Spring says John Tesh


COWS Washout

The Central Ohio Watercolor Society will be exhibiting in March at High Road Gallery, 12 East Stafford Avenue,  Worthington, Ohio, by members who have been juried into the organization. They have titled their show WASHOUT AT HIGH ROAD GALLERY. Show dates are February 26 to March 22. Meet the artists and awards reception is Sunday, March 2nd from 2-4 PM. The gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 12-4 p.m.

I know my husband has some paintings in the show, but I don’t have photos, so here’s one by Jeri Platt.


Browse some of the great paintings by members at this web site, including my husband.

Exercise is important . . . butt

Photo: LOL!

Un-stuffed cabbage rolls

I love cabbage rolls, and although this has no rice (which I recall is in my recipe), I think this sounds yummy—in fact I think I’ve made it and just didn’t have a name. From Fifty Plus and Getting Fit.  I usually skip oil and to test it I’ll probably use half the amounts or we’d be eating it for a week.


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
    1 tablespoon oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 small cabbage, chopped
    2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
    1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
    1/2 cup water
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon sea salt


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook, stirring, until ground beef is no longer pink and onion is tender.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.

Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Weatherman sings about our winter (Let it Go)


The actual song from the movie Frozen

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Beating the bushes to find the uninsured to sign up for Obamacare

“Planned Parenthood and other liberal political organizations to find the law's intended beneficiaries: "The hunt for the uninsured in Broward County got underway one recent afternoon when 41 canvassers, armed with electronic maps on Samsung tablets, set off through working-class neighborhoods to peddle the Affordable Care Act door to door. Four hours later, they had made contact with 2,623 residents and signed up exactly 25 people.
"Many of their targets, people identified on sophisticated computer lists generated in Washington as unlikely to have health insurance, had moved away. Some were not home. Many said they already had insurance through Medicare, their parents or a job. A few were hostile at the mere mention of President Obama's health care law. 'We're going to repeal that," one man said gruffly as he shut the door in the face of a canvasser..." “ James Freeman, Wall St. Journal 2-19-14

Will they blame this on the GOP opposition to the forced-to-buy-product-or-be-fined, or will they go back to blaming Bush?.

Mike Rowe—dirty jobs pay well—where are the workers?

I’ve seen Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame on Fox and Friends and on Glenn Beck talk about the importance of training our young people for jobs that are going begging.  Today he mentioned Tulsa Welding School to which he offers scholarships—it has 800 jobs it could fill, if it had the students. He has a foundation to support scholarships and has published a book, Profoundly disconnected.

He said that at the height of the recession in 2008, he was filming at locations that had “help wanted” signs.  There were not enough trained American workers to do the “dirty jobs.”

Mike Help Wanted FB photo

Meanwhile, Rowe is being attacked for making an ad for WalMart (he did the voice over) which talks about the value of hard work, and that Wal-Mart will be investing $250 billion in the American economy and American made products in the next decade.  On his Rowe’s FB page Sean Murray says, “I thought you were good person. But I just saw your AD that WAL-MART paid for. Your a corporate suck, Rowe.” And that’s mild compared to some I read.

So those who griped that Wal-Mart had too many foreign made products and didn’t pay their workers enough, who picketed their construction sites, are now complaining that Wal-Mart is helping the U.S. economy.  This means it was never about American jobs or American workers, but about trying to destroy a very successful business.

If you want to see hate in action from the ridiculously uninformed anti-capitalists, just read the comments submitted to these videos.  You wonder if they even watched them, or only saw it was about Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart haters have their own Facebook page.

I am a Ukrainian

On Tuesday morning, huge columns of protestors marched out from their barricaded encampment in the center of the capital, Kiev, and surrounded the parliament building while the chamber was in session. Police responded with stun grenades and rubber bullets, while protestors reportedly set fire to the headquarters of President Viktor Yanukovych’s ruling political party.
Read more: Ukraine Revolution Erupts in Fresh Violence |

Why 70% are obese or overweight in the U.S.—maybe


I kid you not.  This is a real diagram in a real research paper which attempts to explain the best method for measuring why if we eat more and move less (energy gap) we gain weight. At least I think that is what it is about. Time to get on the exercycle.

Energy Gap in the Aetiology of Body Weight Gain and Obesity: A Challenging Concept with a Complex Evaluation and Pitfalls

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

History tells


Some Democrats will whine: “but the bad southern Democrats became Republicans.”  What about all those Democrats in the north and how they voted?

Lunch at the new art hotel, The Hilton

And then after that breath taking show, our Conestoga group went to the new Hilton, had a fabulous lunch in the  Gallerie Bar & Bistro, a 160-seat full-service restaurant and bar and then another art show which hangs throughout the hotel, much of it commissioned by Ohio artists, others purchased from galleries. The pointillist painting behind the front desk isn’t even a painting, it’s the skyline created by Granville, Ohio artist Christian Faur and is made of 30,000 crayons!

The dining area is really lovely.  The art that you can see in the very open area--15,000-foot tall atrium--has a theme—food, or dishes, or glassware, or eatery signs. The artwork is through out the hotel, displayed in functional space, guest rooms (with paintings on the ceiling) and public areas of the hotel and all the furniture, rugs, sculpture, windows, flowers, colors, etc. make it all one big art space. Everything was a feast for the eyes. Our group was divided in the three and we had tour guides.

The food was delicious—everyone at our table agreed on that.  Sorry, I didn’t see the prices listed anywhere since we had paid in advance, so I can’t give you a heads up.

A visit to the Pizzuti Collection inaugural show

Today our Conestoga group (Friends of the Ohio Historical Society) had a mid-winter, kill the blahs tour of the new Pizzuti Collection, lunch at the new Hilton, and then a tour of the Hilton’s wonderful art collection of Ohio artists. What a day!  Just fabulous. And the sun came out and it is in the mid-40s heading for 50 degrees. This inaugural exhibit is the private collection of Ron and Ann Pizutti of contemporary art which they have been collecting since the mid-70s.  The collection is now a 501-c-3 and it includes a lovely renovated building, formerly the United Commercial Travelers insurance building, with 18,000 sq. ft., at 632 North Park Street, 43215, in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus.

Exhibition press release:

The opening exhibitions feature the Pizzuti Collection through two lenses. The Inaugural Exhibition on the first and third floors presents the collection in a narrative form, using works from the collection to connect the threads of experiences, artists, and galleries that guided its formation for more than 30 years. The Inaugural Exhibition will include works by John Chamberlain, Dave Cole, Jean Dubuffet, Carroll Dunham, Leandro Erlich, Darío Escobar, Ori Gersht, David Hammons, Guillermo Kuitca, Josiah McElheny, Louise Nevelson, and Ai Weiwei.

Additionally, the grand opening of the collection can be viewed through a thematic lens. Cuban Forever highlights compelling contemporary art, primarily by native Cuban artists. Much of the artwork in the collection was acquired via trips to artist studios in Cuba to meet and learn more about the art being produced in the country. This exhibition presents the best survey of the Cuban contemporary art scene today. The artists presented include Yoan Capote, Raúl Cordero, Enrique Raúl Martínez, Enrique Martínez Celaya, and Douglas Peréz. In addition to works by native Cubans, the exhibition includes work by Americans Michael Eastman and Teresita Fernández. Eastman’s stunning photographs of Havana and Fernández’s evocative sculptures transcend the artists’ nationalities and underscore the global environment in which Cuban artists work. The name of the exhibition, Cuban Forever, was chosen to emphasize the global nature of the artists included, reinforcing that the Cuban identity is not bounded by geography.

Interior_Stella (-Norisring- 1982)_Weiwei (-Moon Cabinet #5- 2008)_Arad (-Bodyguard 4- 2007)

The Pizzuti Collection also includes programs for school children, educational programs, a library, talks by artists (because it features contemporary art many of the artists are alive), lectures, rotating exhibitions with a variety of memberships ranging from$3600 to $75.

From the windows of this building we could see the construction of a new complex which will include a new office building, parking garage and Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph a 135-room, art-themed boutique hotel on High Street in the Short North arts and entertainment district.

John Kerry believes climate change is the new WMD


As his home state is buried in snow. 18 snow storms this season.


“. . . the liberals’ obsessive focus on climate is a measure of two things: First, domestic politics — how out of touch they are with ordinary Americans and how much they believe the Democrats’ radical, ignorant base can carry them to victory in the 2014 and 2016 elections. And second (though perhaps first in their minds), ideology — how desperately focused they are on kneecapping the American economy and distributing taxpayer dollars to third-world countries in the interest of “climate justice” while saving the world from a mythical threat.”

Remember this?

Photo: Altogether now:  It's fun to play at the _________!


Excess verbiage

Because verbiage is by definition an excess of words, the phrases excess verbiage and excessive verbiage are redundant.  Notice this example from a writing guide at George Mason University, and also the examples provided. All too wordy and pretentious.

Excess verbiage
Effective writing requires elimination of excess verbiage. The value of concise writing is stated in quotes below from some noted authors.
‘The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.’ Hans Hoffman
‘Often I think writing is sheer paring away of oneself leaving always something thinner, barer, more meager.’ F. Scott Fitzgerald
‘I believe more in the scissors that I do in the pencil.’ Truman Capote
One technique for eliminating excess verbiage is to scrutinize a wordy passage, underline those phrases that contain hard information, and then rewrite the passage using only the underlined portions.

Oh CRAP—made a mistake in the website


I got a chuckle out of this—a library guide with a easy acronym CRAAP, spelled CRAP in the heading.  However, in browsing the video I thought the instructions read like a translation. “The CRAAP test is an method . . .,” “Are there citations and sources for information present?”  “. . .is the site domain make sense.” Nouns were randomly capitalized.   There are other videos in this series.  I’m afraid to look. Except I did.  The video on the “information cycle” almost made me hyperventilate. It seems to be the “news” cycle, not information cycle.

Kitchen conversions—we learned in elementary school

Photo: I should print this and put it on my fridge!

By the way, want one of these big cool jars?
Get one here -->

(affiliate link)

Pic from Farmer's Pal

Math refresher.

I don’t see any kitchen conversions in this Basic Match Refresher, but it does look useful without all the kiddy stuff you see on some math sites.

Coconut sugar—have you ever used it?


This is from the web page—not exactly unbiased.  But I’ve never tried it.  I have seen this sugar substitute in recipes.  Might try some.

Good idea, except I kill any plant that enters the house

Photo: Do you grow any of these in your house?

I guess I’ll just change the furnace filter more often, or buy  one of those super duper air cleaners my friend Bob Barr swears by, Oreck, and continue buying plastic plants.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Father of Justine Pelletier tells his story on Glenn Beck—it’s frightening

But this story is from ABC News, just in case you don’t trust Glenn.

“One day Justina Pelletier was a seemingly healthy teenager performing jumps and spirals at a skating show and six weeks later, on Feb. 10, 2013, she was in the emergency room at Children's Hospital in Boston after a severe bout with the flu, refusing to eat and barely able to walk.

Her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier of West Hartford, Conn., say their daughter was diagnosed and being treated at Tufts Medical Center for mitochondrial disease, a rare genetic disorder with physical symptoms that can affect every part of the body. Justina's sister Jessica, 25, is also being treated for the disease.

But three days later, a team of doctors at Boston Children's said her symptoms were psychosomatic, according to the family. The hospital then filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, as required by law, because they suspected the parents of child abuse for subjecting their daughter to invasive medical treatments and denying her mental health therapy.”

Exercising without stressing your knees and hips

Sometimes my bursitis aches; other times I don’t feel anything. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, and can happen just about anywhere you have a joint.  Advil will knock out the pain, but it is not recommended for those of us who take blood thinners, nor is turmeric. I keep a Thermapac in the freezer and sometimes sit on it.  This comes from Healthbeat, Harvard Medical School.

The following activities are gentle on knees and hips. You can combine these exercises to create a routine lasting 30 minutes or longer:

  • Floor exercises (abdominal curls, crunches, push-ups, or leg lifts)
  • Resistance training with hand weights
  • Gentle yoga
  • Swimming
  • Exercise ball routines, including stretches, abdominal curls, or leg lifts

Water exercise offers particular benefits because:

  • The water supports your weight, reducing stress on your joints.
  • You can try out exercises before doing them on solid ground.
  • An 85° F pool is comfortable for exercise and soothes joints.
  • You can increase range of motion and endurance without strenuous effort or joint pain.

Michael Landon, Jr., Christian production company

I was watching Home and Family on the Hallmark channel while riding my exercycle and Lori Loughlin was the guest and she mentioned Michael Landon, Jr. and his production company (Christian) so I Googled it and found this: "Landon is currently working on several films. Gown of Spanish Lace, a story inspired by a Janette Oke novel which is in development at MPower, Deep in the Heart, based on a true story of unimaginable forgiveness, and Rise, which he is developing with author, Kelly Monroe Kullberg (Finding God at Harvard). . " Kelly Monroe Kullberg is a member of our church. Serendipity is such fun on the internet.

Christianity Today: How have your father's failures (affair when Michael Jr. was 15 and left the family) on that front affected you as a husband and a dad?

Landon: I think the main thing is remembering the pain I went through. Otherwise I think people would be divorcing left and right. I am extremely protective of my marriage, and I create boundaries for myself with other women that won't allow any of that side to ever happen. We're going on 18 years of marriage, and I've been faithful to my wife. I see my three children and know that the last thing I'd ever want to do to them is be unfaithful to my wife, not only for her sake, but for their sake, for my sake and for my testimony. I refuse to ruin my testimony. So it's a combination of all those things—honoring God and wanting to run the rest of this race as best as I possibly can.

His mother’s manicurist led him and his mother to Christ. after the devastation of his parents’ divorce.

As a result of Arab Spring, less religious freedom

“At the onset of the Arab Spring in late 2010 and early 2011, many world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, expressed hope that the political uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa would lead to greater freedoms for the people of the region, including fewer restrictions on religious beliefs and practices. But a new study by the Pew Research Center finds that the region’s already high overall level of restrictions on religion – whether resulting from government policies or from social hostilities – continued to increase in 2011.”

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Brain development in children

“The list of chemicals that can affect brain development in children has grown. In a study out today in The Lancet Neurology, researchers outline new chemicals that may be contributing to what they dub the “global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity.” In 2006, the team had released a list of five neurotoxins that may contribute to everything from cognitive deficits to attention problems. Now that list is expanded, based on new research that has since accumulated on chemicals linked to developmental disorders in children. Today, they outline six more.” Forbes

Summary in The Lancet Neurology.  “Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants:

  • lead,
  • methylmercury,
  • polychlorinated biphenyls,
  • arsenic,
  • and toluene.

Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants—

  • manganese,
  • fluoride,
  • chlorpyrifos,
  • dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane,
  • tetrachloroethylene,
  • and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.”

Some tidbits about science

The survey, "Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding," conducted in 2012, involved more than 2,220 Americans and was conducted by the National Science Foundation for the Science and Engineering Indicators report that is presented to the federal government.

“According to a new survey that focuses on public awareness and perceptions of science, research and scientists, only 74 percent of Americans that participated knew that the Earth orbits the sun. The survey also revealed a strong appreciation for the work of scientists while Americans continue to struggle to answer basic science questions.”

Actually, I’m surprised that 74% knew.  Aren’t you?

About 30% Americans say that “dealing with global
warming” should be a priority for the president and
Congress. In recent years, dealing with climate issues
has been near the bottom of Americans’ list of
potential priorities.”

So guess what our President and Secretary of State are doing?

“. . . between 2000 and 2008, scientists represented just 1% of characters on prime-time network shows. Of these scientists, 7 out of 10 were men and almost 9 of 10 were white. 8% of the characters were medical.”

I’m thinking they aren’t counting the pathologists and archeologists in the the crime shows.


I’m not surprised that the Internet is increasingly becoming a source of information for scientific information.

Jordan Davis


Why do the killings of young black men only matter for media attention when they are killed by a white or Hispanic?

“The national tally of black males 14 and older murdered in America from 1976 through 2005, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics: 214,661. 

From 1980 through 2008, 93 percent of black victims were killed by blacks.

Translation: For every Trayvon Martin [or Jordan Davis] killed by someone not black, nine other blacks were murdered by someone black.”  John W. Fountain

The Davis killing sounds like a terrible crime, a waste. I grieve for his parents and friends. And if Michael Dunn had been a middle age black man we would have never have heard of this trial.


Saturday, February 15, 2014


You didn't have to be big and tall or even loud

Zion Isaiah Blick only lived for 10 days but his memory is living on across the nation.

When Josh and Robbyn Blick learned that their son would be born with a fatal genetic abnormality, they decided to document their few, precious days together on Instagram and Vimeo. Now, the world has fallen in love with baby Zion.

Flourless Chocolate Soufflé

This is a wonderful and easy way to make a soufflé (says Tweetspeak author). She prefers to use 4 or 5 ounce individual ramekins.

    Servings 8
    Cook Time  12 minutes

    • 7 ounces  semi-sweet chocolate
    • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
    • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
    • 4  egg yolks
    • 8  egg whites
    • pinch of salt
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    1. Butter and sugar the ramekins, and set them on a jelly-roll pan.
    2. Combine the chocolate with the coffee in a heat-proof bowl. Place bowl over a pan of hot water and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Stir smooth, then remove from the heat, and stir in the butter. Cool to room temperature.
    3. Stir in the egg yolks.
    4. Use an electric mixer to whip egg whites with salt until they hold a very light peak. Add sugar gradually, and continue to beat until whites form soft peaks.
    5. Stir a quarter of the whites into the chocolate base. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining whites.
    6. Pour batter in buttered and sugared molds, filling molds to the top. Bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, or until the soufflés are well-risen and baked all the way through, except for the very center, which should remain soft and liquid. (Check one of the soufflés by taking the point of a spoon and using it to lift the top off on one side -- it will fall right back into place.)
    7. Serve immediately. Pass chocolate sauce or whipped cream, if you wish.

    Follow-up on Thursday Thirteen—Black History

    One of the Thursday Thirteen I wrote this week was the percentage of European heritage among American blacks.  The assumption I’d had (or read) was that the owner/master was the ancestor of mixed race African Americans.  Apparently not.  There’s an interesting photo archive available on the internet providing a photo genealogy, and a number of the families were descended from a black man and white woman, the man being a free black or a freed slave and a white servant. In that case, I’m assuming the children of the marriage or relationship were free born blacks (over 13% of the African American population by 1830).

    “The Gowen family descend from Michael Gowen a "negro" servant who was free in Virginia in 1657.”

    The Becketts are descendants of a  “Virginia slave named Peter Beckett who married a white servant woman named Sarah Dawson in 1680.”

    “The Maclin family were free African American members of Bruton Parish, James City County in the 1740s and owned land in Wake County in the eighteenth century.”

    “The Okey family was free in Delaware about 1680 and owned land in Granville County in the eighteenth century.”

    “There were also Granville County marriages between Pettifords and Durhams in 1813 and 1822. The Durhams were free in Delaware about 1690.”  There is a photo of  Narcissa Pettiford Rattley, a white woman (1829-1914) and her black husband, Jesse Rattley whose children married Durhams.

    “The Leviner family descends from Jean Lovina, a Norfolk County slave, whose master, Major John Nichols, freed her children, John and Sarah, and left them 350 acres of land in Norfolk County, Virginia in 1697.”

    Alfred Burdine “was probably related to David Burdine who was a "free colored" head of a Pendleton District, South Carolina household with one slave in 1820.” (i.e., he was a free black who owned a slave)

    “The Banks family descends from Elizabeth Banks, a white servant, who had a child by a slave in York County, Virginia in 1683, and the Hammond family descends from Margaret Hammond, a white servant, who had a child by slave in Northampton County, Virginia in 1689.”

    “The Dungey family descends from Frances Dungey, a servant woman who had mixed-race children in Brunswick County, Virginia, in the 1720s.”

    It’s a fascinating photo record.  Take a look.


    The Pompey family descend from John and Ann Pompey who were free in Brunswick County, Virginia in the 1730s. Photo from c. 1900.

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Love at first sight

    Does love at first sight exist? (Question at Fox and Friends this morning) My husband told me on our first date he was going to marry me. Not exactly first sight, since we had met a few weeks before, but close. I just thought he was being silly. But married people are healthier and financially more secure, even if their eye sight and heart aren't linked. Single men have mortality rates that are 250% higher than married men. Single women have mortality rates that are 50% higher than married women. Based on life expectancies, nine of ten married men and women alive at age 48 are alive at 65, while only six of ten single men and eight of ten single women make it to 65. And of course, children raised by married parents have only an 8% chance of growing up in poverty, so that statistic transfers to parents. Also, and I know you've been waiting for this, married couples have more sex than unmarried couples living together. Living together before marriage decreases the chances of a strong, healthy marriage and increases the chance of divorce.


    Valentine's Day

    The case for marriage

    Love is

    JESUS LOVE is Precious HE NEVER FAILS....!

    Valentinus (St. Valentine) was condemned to be beaten with clubs, then beheaded, February 14, 269 A.D. His crime? He was conducting weddings and marriages in secret in defiance of the emperor's decree. He was declared a saint in 496. Feb. 14 was chosen for his execution because it was a festival day for a Roman goddess. According to tradition, Valentine sent love letters to his parishioners from prison.

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Thursday thirteen -- Black history month


    Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

    1.  In 1934, Joel Augustus Rogers, a highly regarded journalist in the black press, published a little book of 51 pages titled 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro With Complete Proof: A Short Cut to the World History of the Negro.  Some of my 13 facts come from this source, further researched and written up by Prof. Louis Gates, and some from Wikipedia.

                         100 amazing facts

    2.  10.7 million Africans survived the passage from Africa directly to the Americas, but only about 388,000 landed in what is now the United States.  The rest went to the Caribbean and South America, particularly Brazil. The death rate was very high in those countries, and there were fewer women so the birth rate was low compared to the U.S.

    3.  Africans arrived in North America more than a century before both the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock and the Jamestown settlement. Juan Garrido was born in West Africa around 1480, lived in Portugal and Spain, and he joined the earliest conquistadors to the New World. He was a free man. He came seeking wealth and fortune and lived his final days in Mexico.

       West African ethnicity 

    4.  Perhaps you’ve noticed that most African Americans are lighter skinned than Nigerians or Haitians. Our president himself had a mother from Kansas and a father from Kenya and has no family heritage to American blacks at all. Based on the companies that do DNA studies, exactly how mixed race are Black Americans? (Louis Gates article)

    * According to, the average African American is 65 percent sub-Saharan African, 29 percent European and 2 percent Native American.
    * According to, the average African American is 75 percent sub-Saharan African, 22 percent European and only 0.6 percent Native American.
    * According to Family Tree, the average African American is 72.95 percent sub-Saharan African, 22.83 percent European and 1.7 percent Native American.
    * According to National Geographic's Genographic Project, the average African American is 80 percent sub-Saharan African, 19 percent European and 1 percent Native American.
    * According to AfricanDNA, the average African American is 79 percent sub-Saharan African, 19 percent European and 2 percent Native American.

    5.  Obviously,  Elizabeth Warren isn’t the only American, black or white, to claim native American ancestry where there is none. (I do a lot of genealogy, and everyone’s family tree whether Irish, black or English, seems to have a Cherokee grandmother). Many American blacks claim native American ancestry, but the DNA studies show it is very small.

    6.  First African American woman multi-millionaire was not Oprah, but Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 (Walker was the name of her 3rd husband), who made a fortune in hair products for black women.

    7.  Yes, free American black citizens owned slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1830, the year most carefully studied by Carter G. Woodson, about 13.7 percent (319,599) of the black population was free. Of these, 3,776 free Negroes owned 12,907 slaves, out of a total of 2,009,043 slaves owned in the entire United States. (Louis Gates article) The percentage of free black slave owners as the total number of free black heads of families was quite high in several states, namely 43 percent in South Carolina, 40 percent in Louisiana, 26 percent in Mississippi, 25 percent in Alabama and 20 percent in Georgia, higher than for white heads of households.

    8.  As of 2013, there have been 1,949 members of the United States Senate, but only nine have been African American. The first two in the 19th century were Republicans (Hiram Revels, Blanche Bruce) as was one in the 20th (Edward Brooke, III, longest, 12 years), and one in the 21st (Tim Scott). Of the 5 Democrats, 3 were elected and 2 appointed.

                             Photograph of Senator Hiram Revels

    9. Most famous African American political and media leaders of national fame whose names I would recognize have been Republicans--Martin Luther King, Jr., James Weldon Johnson, Edward Brooke, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Clarence Thomas, Booker T. Washington, Walter E. Williams, Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, and Eldridge Cleaver, to name a few. Frederick Douglass was the first African American to have his name on a national party nomination (Republican) in 1888.

    10. Most gun laws in the United States were originally designed to prohibit blacks from owning guns, first as slaves before emancipation and then in special state codes after the 14th amendment.

    11.  Although Abraham Lincoln is called the great emancipator, his Emancipation Proclamation didn’t really free the slaves. Rather, it “freed” any slave in the Confederate states who could manage to flee her or his owner and make their way to Union lines. It didn’t free slaves who lived in the North. The 13th amendment abolished slavery. The body guard of Lincoln named his baby daughter Emancipation Proclamation Coggeshall.  She’s buried in Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio.

    12. The first people of European ancestry to settle in Chicago and Manhattan were  mixed race free black men from what is now Dominican Republic.  One with a French father and Haitian Mother (Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable) in Chicago in 1779, and one with a Portuguese father and African mother, Juan Rodriguez in 1613 on Manhattan Island.


    13. The Swiss resort town of St. Moritz is named for the first black saint, Maurice, born in Thebes in Upper Egypt. Maurice was martyred in what is today Switzerland for refusing to massacre Christians for the Roman Empire.