Saturday, February 28, 2015

Watching Grease on a Saturday morning

I’m watching Grease (1978).  Hard to believe it’s been almost 40 years. Of course, the stars are all much older than the characters they portray—Stockard Channing was 34!  I’d forgotten how campy it was.  Goodness that dance scene was incredible.  Beautiful clothes too.  Not exactly 50s, but close. How about those pink socks on Travolta.

Last night I watched Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side, also a really good movie.

More brain volume shrinkage with aggressive blood pressure treatment

People with type 2 diabetes may lose more brain volume than is expected as they age, new research indicates, but treating for cholesterol and blood pressure didn’t benefit diabetics with cognitive problems, and the aggressive BP treatment actually is linked to more brain atrophy. This study suggests that chronic high levels of insulin and sugar may be directly toxic to brain cells.

“Both heart disease and diabetes are closely linked to cognitive problems (see Jan 2014 webinar; see AlzRisk analysis). To learn what is gained from treating these disorders, the ACCORD trial recruited more than 10,000 older people with Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. Nearly 3,000 of them participated in the MIND substudy. Their average age was 62 and they had struggled with diabetes for about 10 years, with poor control of blood sugar and blood pressure. The researchers split the cohort in half to test two interventions, one targeting blood pressure and the other, cholesterol. In the hypertension study, half the participants received high-dose medication that dropped systolic pressure below 120 mm Hg, while the other half received standard treatment aiming for the 130-140 mm range. In the cholesterol study, the control group took statins while the rest took statins plus fenofibrate, a drug that further lowers cholesterol and other fats in the blood.

After 40 months of treatment, all participants performed worse on cognitive tests than they had at baseline. There were no significant differences between standard and treatment arms in either study.

More than 500 MIND participants volunteered for MRI as well. These scans showed that whole brain volume shrank over 40 months in all participants, but the intensive blood pressure-intervention group had significantly more atrophy. Although treatment has since ended, the researchers continue to follow the cohort to see if cognitive differences between arms will show up over time, and if such changes will reflect the alterations in brain volume. Participants recently completed 75-month follow-up cognitive tests and brain scans; those results may be available within the year, Williamson told Alzforum.”

32,000 “lost” e-mails found

Of course, the election she was trying to swing for Obama is over.

WASHINGTON - Investigators said Thursday that they have recovered 32,000 e-mails related to a former IRS official at the heart of the agency's tea party scandal.  But they don't know how many of them are new.

The e-mails were to and from Lois Lerner, who used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status. In June, the IRS told Congress it had lost an unknown number of Lerner's e-mails when her computer hard drive crashed in 2011.

At the time, IRS officials said the e-mails could not be recovered. But at a congressional hearing Thursday evening, Timothy Camus, IRS deputy inspector general, said investigators recovered thousands of e-mails from old computer tapes used to back up the agency's system.

I wonder is anyone will be prosecuted?  Probably not.  They are Democrats.  They get to lie with impunity.

Not surprisingly, in order to stonewall the congressional investigation into the targeting of conservative groups, IRS officials never asked IT professionals to look into gathering back-up tapes or recovering emails requested by Congress.

Despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly saying under oath in previous hearings that Lerner's emails could not be recovered, Camus and investigators have been successful in recovering nearly 33,000 emails relevant to the IRS investigation.

It was actually reported in November. But I’m guessing it was known before the election, and news was put on the back burner by media.

The GOP-controlled House oversight and ways and means committees have sought the e-mails as part of their investigations into the IRS targeting scandal, which involved screening nonprofit advocacy groups for deeper review based on their names and policy positions. Most of the affected groups were conservative, although a small number of them were left-leaning.

Republicans have alleged that the Obama administration used the IRS and other enforcement agencies to silence conservative critics during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles, when the targeting occurred.

And to this we add pot

I've had conversations with people whose brains were damaged by alcohol and those who have Alzheimer's, and trust me, there's very little difference. Why are people (usually liberals and libertarians) so eager to see the population further downgrade their intelligence?

The number one song the day I was born

What about you?

Bad news for smokers—it’s worse than you thought


The study of more than 200,000 people, published this week in BMC medicine, found about 67 percent of smokers perished from smoking-related illness. That rate is higher than doctors previously estimated.

Besides lung cancer, smoking also increases the risk of at least 13 other cancers including cancers of the larynx (voice box), oesophagus (gullet), mouth and pharynx (throat), bladder, pancreaskidneyliverstomachbowelcervix, ovary, nose and sinus, and some types of leukaemia. There is also some evidence that smoking could increase the risk of breast cancer.

Rudy was right

“There is very little that a man with Barack Obama’s views and proclivities should love about the country, beyond the fact that its people are so vulnerable to insipid sentimentality that they twice elected him president.”

Read more at:

Pastor Buba (North American Lutheran Church evangelist)

Always happy to find his program in English—he travels all over the world.

Just because it’s funny

'You know that's true!  #sewing #truths'

Friday, February 27, 2015

Health benefits of decaffeinated coffee

Decaf coffee reduces the risk of incurring diabetes.

The high anti-oxidant levels of decaf will protect the cells from damage that can lead to diabetes. The decaffeination process will not eliminate chlorogenic acid which is the substance that helps regulate blood glucose levels

Cancer prevention.

Decaf still contains high levels of anti-oxidants that can prevent conditions associated with the aging process and cancer. Studies show that regular decaf drinkers have reduced risks of incurring colon cancer. For female drinkers, the risks of breast cancer are also reduced.

Decreased risk of heart problems.

Caffeine has been linked to heart conditions like irregular palpitations, heart attacks, and strokes. Since it has been removed, drinkers are less likely to develop any heart conditions

Prevention of mental decline due to old age and Alzheimer's disease.

The polyphenols found in coffee beans are not lost during the decaffeination process. These substances are responsible in boosting the brain's cognitive abilities, thus further improving memory.
These health benefits of decaf coffee cannot be dismissed as mere theories because proofs have been established with the studies that have been conducted. It may not be able to perk anyone up as effectively as regular coffee, but it will ensure good health and long life.

This article also cites sources.

I resisted giving up regular coffee for years and would order half caf half decaf, but after my hospital stay in the fall of 2013, I gave up all caffeine. Also learned to brew my own, which I've gotten used to. My favorite decaf story: I ordered a cup of 1/2 regular coffee, 1/2 decaf, and the clerk asked if I wanted the decaf on the top or the bottom. This is why we have minimum wage jobs.

Habitual chocolate users perform better

“Cocoa products are particularly rich sources of flavonoids, although this is influenced by the processing during manufacture (19). Due to a high antioxidant capacity, cocoa products have been promoted as having several beneficial properties (mainly cardiovascular). Even very modest consumption of chocolate may significantly contribute to total polyphenol intake (38). However, a recent clinical trial (39) did not find any beneficial effects of short-term (6 wk) dark chocolate and cocoa consumption on cardiovascular outcomes or on neuropsychological tests. In our study, we found that habitual chocolate users performed better in all cognitive tests and had significantly reduced risk for poor test performance in most tests, whereas the mean intake of chocolate among users was as little as <8 g/d. Moreover, a maximum beneficial effect on cognitive performance was gained at a mean intake of chocolate of ∼10 g/d. The real effect of polyphenols in chocolate may be even stronger, because not all chocolates are equally good sources of flavonoids and the type of chocolate consumed was not specified in our study. In the US and Europe, milk chocolate is the most popular form, but this contains less cocoa mass than dark chocolate and therefore contains fewer polyphenols (40).”

Must be dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. I use Hershey’s 100% cocoa with the brown label, not red.

American atheist blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh.

“Avijit Roy was a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen who proved a prominent critic of ideological hatred in his native country. He and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were attacked as they returned from a book fair at Dhaka University in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, as the Associated Press reported. Some outlets reported that the weapons used were machetes; others reported cleavers. Roy died at a hospital after the attack. His wife was seriously injured, losing a finger, but survived.” Washington Post.

No word if the killers were Islamic extremists, but the country is 90% Muslim and he urged a secular democracy.

Age can slow you down

Eugenie Clark, a marine biologist and prolific author credited with profoundly contributing to researchers’ understanding of sharks, has died at age 92.  When she was 85 she told a journalist that she could only dive once a day instead of the 4 or 5 when she was younger.

A 20 billion lawsuit against big media shutting out blacks

Sell out Al Sharpton is part of a law suit by blacks in media.

“Of course, some of us have known for a long time that Sharpton was a pawn and a sell out, offering his racial blessing for a price. We also knew that for all the appeals to race pride, this administration has been no friend to Black businesses or Black people. We knew that what Sharpton and others care most about is lining their own pockets. What is different is that right now, someone with some clout is speaking out. And speaking loudly. Right now, someone with a record of providing jobs and opportunity to Black people is speaking out. Right now someone who is self made and not a product of “the Right wing” is speaking truth to power. Maybe now someone will listen.”

Fake extra virgin olive oil?

From this health website with which I’m not familiar, comes this warning.  Many brands of olive oil are fake.  Where is the USDA which consumes billions of our tax dollars to promote safe food and accurate labeling?

Independent tests at the University of California found that 69% of all store-bought extra virgin olive oils in the US are probably fake.(3) This study reported that the following brands failed to meet extra virgin olive oil standards:

    • Bertolli
    • Carapelli
    • Colavita
    • Filippo Berio
    • Mazzola
    • Mezzetta
    • Newman’s Own
    • Safeway
    • Star
    • Whole Foods

The same University of California study listed the following brands as having met their standards for being true extra virgin olive oil.

    • Corto Olive
    • California Olive Ranch
    • Kirkland Organic
    • Lucero (Ascolano)
    • McEvoy Ranch Organic
    • Pompeii

Note: although I found the UC Davis Olive Center, I haven’t found the actual study so I can look at it.  It does produce its own olive oil for sale and is industry funded.  That’s not necessarily bad, but should be noted. So now I’m looking through the Olive Center’s FB page.

The latest report on President’s Malaria Initiative

U.S. aid devoted to malaria increased from $149 million in 2000 to $1.2 billion in 2008.
In June 2005, President George W.Bush launched President’s Malaria Initiative PMI, “a major 5-year, $1.2 billion initiative to support a rapid scale-up of malaria prevention and treatment interventions in 15 high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa.The Initiative is led by the U.S.Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).When it was launched, the goal of PMI was to reduce malaria-related mortality by 50 percent across the 15 PMI-supported countries through a rapid scale-up of four proven and highly effective malaria prevention and treatment measures: ITNs; IRS; accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment with ACTs; and IPTp. [insect treated nets; indoor residual spraying; artemisinin-based combination therapies;  intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women . ]'s-malaria-initiative-strategy-2015-2020.pdf

But as you can see from this graph in 2012, the rates and deaths from malaria are still much higher than when DDT was allowed.  This chart starts with 1983, and DDT ended in the 1970s after Silent Sprint written by Rachel Carson, a non-scientist, became popular.     She may have killed more people than WWII.


  • Global malaria deaths increased from 995,000 in 1980 to a peak of 1,817,000 in 2004, and then decreased to 1,238,000 in 2010.
  • In Africa, malaria deaths increased from 493,000 in 1980 to 1,613,000 in 2004, and then decreased by about 30% in 2010 to 1,133,000. Outside of Africa, malaria deaths have steadily decreased, from 502,000 in 1980 to 104,000 in 2010.
  • The majority (65%) of all malaria deaths occur in children under age 15. Individuals ages 15-49 years, 50-69 years, and 70 years or older accounted for 20%, 9% and 6%, respectively, of malaria deaths in 2010.
  • Overall, 433,000 more deaths occurred worldwide in individuals aged 5 years or older in 2010 than was suggested by official WHO estimates In 2012 an important research report on malaria was published pointing out serious errors in the tracking of malaria deaths. (The Lancet, “Global Malaria Mortality Between 1980 and 2010: A Systematic Analysis,”) Their figure of 1.2 million deaths for 2010 is nearly double the 655,000 estimated in last year's World Malaria Report.

"You learn in medical school that people exposed to malaria as children develop immunity and rarely die from malaria as adults," said [Christopher] Murray, IHME director and the study's lead author. "What we have found in hospital records, death records, surveys and other sources shows that just is not the case."

Most deaths are still in children, but a fifth are among those aged 15 to 49, 9% are among 50- to 69-year-olds and 6% are in people over 70, so a third of all deaths are in adults. In countries outside sub-Saharan Africa, more than 40% of deaths were in adults.

In Africa, though, the contribution of malaria to children's deaths is higher than had been thought, causing 24% of their deaths in 2008 and not 16% as found by a report by Black and colleagues, whose methodology was used in the World Malaria Report.

The current PMI funding and goals ended with 2014.  The only budget information I found for post 2015 is a draft.  Don’t know if it was approved, but it does report a funding gap.  Since 2009 the funding definitely has not kept up with the initial push.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Plans to fight terrorism


The rule of law

The asterisk attached to Obama's defense of rule of law

Word of the week—reboot

Numerous things have gone wrong here, but I think everything is working again—the car, the garage door, the phone and the TV. Our son (manager of a dealer Quick Serve) put my car up on the rack and found a huge chunk of frozen ice and dirt in the wheel well hitting the tail pipe causing  a loud noise,  and he fixed the “low tire” dash light which had been on for 4 months and inflating the tire didn’t seem to fix it; then the garage door wouldn’t go down when it was 10 below zero, and our son stopped over, got a ladder and unplugged it (rebooted) and it started working (had not gone down during our 2 coldest, below zero nights causing the neighbors to call and remind us to close the door); then the phones stopped working with a message, “no line,” so I thought well, if it worked with the garage door maybe it works with the phone, so I unplugged it, and they started working; then the TV quit, so I couldn’t reach the plug and turned off the surge protector to reboot, and then everything quit even the cable box, but it was working this morning after rebooting.  So the word of the day/week is “reboot.”

I agree with John Kerry, the world today is less violent than the 20th century

John Kerry is wrong about a lot, but I think history proves him correct about the 21st century being safer than the 20th, at least so far, although we’re only 15 years into it. It's aggravating that conservative talkers and news shows jumped on that as somehow downplaying what we face now.  Obama has still made a mess of things--we would have been much safer if he hadn't blown up the pull out from Iraq which allowed ISIS to expand, but at least in 2015, the world is safer than in 1970 or 1944.

"Our citizens, our world today is actually, despite ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to Americans and to people in the world than normally, less deaths, less violent deaths today than through the last century." John Kerry

Governments killed their own citizens in the 20th century to the tune of about 100 million--and that's not counting the world wars--and there is nothing around today, not ISIS, Taliban or al-qaeda that can match the cruelty and killing of the Communists of USSR and China, the North Koreans who starved millions of their citizens and the National Socialists of Germany or the Turks who killed millions of Armenian Christians under their control.  I think he said it poorly in light of the current news about various threats, but even a few months a go I blogged on this topic, and I think I was using conservative sources.   The jihadists are trying to build up steam for their Caliphate, but so far are no match for the terror and crime of the 20th century.  Because the Democrats are being eaten from the inside by their own radicals and Communists, Kerry probably doesn't dare mention the history behind those words, or that it was the president [Reagan], the pope [John Paul II] and the prime minister [Thatcher] who made the 21st century safer for all of us by bringing down the Soviet Union.

But, the 20th century looked pretty good and progressive until 1914, so maybe we’ll have to wait and see about it being safer today.  So far, I think we are.

Collard greens soup and baked butternut squash

with a side of black beans and brown rice.  That’s the sort of things I’m eating these days for lunch, along with fat free feta cheese (bleh) and fat free yogurt (also bleh).  (Feta cheese is made with sheep's or goat's milk and it has a bold and tangy flavor. The cheese supplies key vitamins and minerals, but it can also be high in saturated fat and sodium.) The secret to my loosing weight is to not eat things I love and which will encourage my taste buds to ask for more.  I’m a sucker for cheddar cheese, peanut butter, Fritoes and potato chips.  My daughter has been known to accuse me of “grazing” at her house. Also cookies.  Love cookies.  I can avoid candy and cake with no problems. After a week of no weight loss, I finally see a little progress.  I bought a pair of navy slacks Tuesday at VOA for $.50.  They fit great and I think a touch of Lycra and a good brand is the secret to a good fit—like Docker’s or Talbot’s .  I also bought Pendleton blue jeans for $.50 but they are still too tight.  I didn’t know Pendleton even made jeans, but they are awfully nice. About a year ago I had given away all my 8’s and 10’s, so yesterday I took some cotton jeans of various colors and sizes, washed them, and put them in the dryer.  They fit now.  Usually I never put jeans in the dryer.


It wasn’t curried, but this is a possibility.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Parks and Recreation ending and I’ve never heard of it

“The writers worked hard to make sure that not one citizen of the fictional Pawnee, Ind.,was left with a dream unfulfilled. The finale, packed with inside jokes and guest stars, showed multiple flash-forwards of the characters through the years. The end result? Every character ended up exactly where they were meant to be, except about a hundred times better”

Net Neutrality is a "Solution That Won't Work to a Problem That Doesn't Exist"

Ajit Pai is an oustpoken opponent of expanding government control of the internet, including FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's plan to regulate Internet Service Providers (ISPs) under the same Title II rules that are used to govern telephone-service providers as public utilities. Under current FCC regulations, ISPs are considered providers of "information services" and subject to essentially no federal regulation.

Bye, bye internet freedoms

In a commentary, “Neutralize Obama’s Hijacking of the Internet”, Judi McLeod, the editor of, said “Forget NSA, the FBI, the CIA, and all warnings sent by Edward Snowden. They’ve got nothing on how Net Neutrality will silence you.”

“Someday in the near future when you type in the words “Islamic terrorists” in an Internet post, you will be knocked off the Net and find it all but impossible to climb back on again.”

Both ObamaCare and “Obamanet” submit huge industries to complex regulations. Their supporters say the new rules had to be passed before anyone could read them. But at least ObamaCare claimed it would solve long-standing problems. Obamanet promises to fix an Internet that isn’t broken.

Stacy Dash hasn’t changed her mind

“I didn’t know anything about [Obama] when I voted for him in 2008. My choice to do so was purely because he was black,” she admitted. “Naively, I thought he would be the right person for the job but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. Obama had the opportunity to really unite this country in such a profound way, but instead he has done the opposite. We are so divided right now, everything has become about race, more than I’ve ever known in my lifetime.”

Stacey Dash, a black actress,  was quoted in Huffington Post in 2012 as supporting Romney, and admitted to Fox News (and again today) that she voted for Obama because he was black and sincerely hoped he would bring the country together.  Her Twitter account was swamped with hate.  It’s hard for blacks to live outside the Democrat party.  I’ve yet to see a conservative black guest/talking head on any show not say he/she voted for Obama with that hope.  They are admitting those hopes have been dashed. (Pardon the pun).

An Iraqi-Assyrian speaks out after the burning of the Mosul public library

“When ISIS first attacked Mosul, we Assyrians living in America protested and begged for help. We have lived as a minority in Iraq for hundreds of years, we have faced oppression, but when ISIS came we knew this was unlike anything we have ever faced before. Far worse than anything Saddam himself could have imagined. People counter protested us said it was not America's problem, citing the Iraq war. This is nothing like the Iraq war and I think now people are starting to understand why it is our problem. This isn't some backwards, stupid terrorist group. The leader of ISIS is CIA trained; he is smart unlike anything I've ever seen in the middle east before, and he wants to establish a caliphate. He won't stop until he wipes out the US and other westerners off the map. Now, he may very well be in absolutely no position to do that ever, but at the rate he is going he will be strong enough to cause us a lot of problems very soon.” Commenter at the article on burning the library, a Christian church and a theater.

“The library was looted in 2003 and the citizens of Mosul restored it. During the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the library was looted and destroyed by mobs. However, the people living nearby managed to save most of its collections and rich families bought back the stolen books and they were returned to the library, All Faraj added.”

I lay the ISIS problems—the killing, torture and building of the caliphate--at the feet of President Obama, who could have prevented all this loss by leaving minimal armed U.S. military in the country.  ISIS flooded in even before our pull out which had conveniently been announced with a time table. And if he were a secret Muslim, what would be different? As it is, he is just another just-us social justice Christian.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Workout in the kitchen while you’re cooking

You can dance, or clean, or do brief workouts while waiting for the timer, or put things in less convenient places (that doesn’t sound like a good idea to me) and march in place.  I started subscribing to this newsletter about 20 years ago.  Always something interesting.

Patricia Arquette got it all wrong for several reasons

First of all, there is no longer a pay gap—and hasn’t been for a number of years.  A 2009 report commissioned by the Labor Department that analyzed more than 50 papers on the topic found that the so-called pay gap “may be almost entirely” the result of choices both men and women make.   In fact, in a number of cities, young college educated women are out-earning young college educated men.  Someone should complain.

Secondly, although I don’t see a lot of movies, I know they are based on the box office draw of certain stars.  If the women aren’t a draw, they don’t get the lucrative contracts—and they all have agents who do the negotiating. In the movie I watched last night Diane Lane made $6,000,000 for this movie, more than what’s her name who played her sister, or the guy who was John Cusak’s buddy. She probably made more than Cusak, since in 2005 she was a bigger draw. Most actors will fall into the $10 to $30 an hour range with the large part of that is around $16 hourly.  That’s a long way from $6,000,000 ten years ago. Tom Hanks made about $800 for a film he was in in 1980.

And third,  Meryl Streep (net worth $45 million) sitting in the front jumped up and stole her thunder, grabbing the camera’s attention, and thus the nation’s.  What is the pay difference between Streep and Arquette?  Is it fair?  Why always compare women to men.  Why not women to women?  There are great pay gaps there.  Nancy Pelosi is worth millions and Tina who works the cash register at Panera’s will probably never have much more than she has now. Patricia Arquette (net worth $24 million) sure makes a lot more money than veterinary medicine librarians—all of them put together.

“Women don't get equal pay in America, says actress Patricia Arquette, and she blames the Founders. "To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's equal rights," Arquette said in her Oscar acceptance speech. "It's time to have wage equality once and for all. And equal rights for women in the United States of America." The supposed pay gap has been largely discredited, but never confuse a liberal (especially one from Hollywood) with facts. Worse, Arquette went on to blame the men who fought to secure Liberty and who authored our Constitution. "It's inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries when we don't have equal rights for women in America," Arquette lectured. "And we don't because when they wrote the Constitution, they didn't intend it for women." In the Heritage Foundation's Guide to the Constitution, Tiffany Jones Miller explains, "Contrary to popular belief, the United States Constitution of 1787 is a gender-neutral document. Throughout the original text, the Framers refer to 'persons' -- as opposed to 'male persons' -- and use the pronoun 'he' only in the generic sense. The word 'male' did not even appear in the Constitution until the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868." In other words, Arquette suffers from something common to men and women on the Left: ignorance.” Patriot Post, Daily Digest, Feb. 24, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Must love dogs the movie

Watching this 2005 movie—and it sort of looks familiar.  Maybe I saw it? Diane Lane and John Cusack, and a story about internet dating for 2 divorced people. I guess fashion doesn’t change much in 10 years if everyone wears jeans. Hoodies and big loopy scarves.  Can those really be 10 years old?

Sustainability on the campus

“Sustainability” is a key idea on college campuses in the United States and the rest of the Western world.  To the unwary, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism.  But the word really marks out a new and larger territory.  As an ideology, sustainability sets forth demands to curtail economic, political, and intellectual liberty as the price that must be paid now to ensure the welfare of future generations.”

50 shades of grey--if you’re naked it’s sadomasochism, if you’re not naked, it’s just violence

Judith Reisman has written a number of studies and books on the damage that Alfred Kinsey’s sex research did to society. The  wide acceptance of Kinsey’s claims, she contends, has contributed to a degradation in morality, teaching sex in schools and the expansion of pornography. She traces the mommy porn of 50 shades back to him.

She accuses Kinsey of child sexual assaults in his “research.”

“One of the main things would be for us have a congressional investigation of Kinsey, to see where people were so completely lied to, how this began,” she said.

There have been previous, unsuccessful attempts at such investigations, she said.

The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University is getting millions of tax dollars, she said, at minimum $21 million in recent years.”

Gershon Legman, the original compiler for Kinsey's pornography collection, revealed that

Kinsey's not-very-secret intention was to "respectabilize" homosexuality and certain sexual perversions ... He did not hesitate to extrapolate his utterly inadequate and inconclusive samplings to the whole population of the United States, not to say the world ... This is pure propaganda, and is ridiculously far from the mathematical or statistical science pretended.[5]

Lent Day 6–The 2nd temptation of Christ

I usually don’t copy an entire story/meditation, providing a link instead.  But for this one, it was so appropriate to power grabs of today, I hope Father Robert Barron won’t fault me for providing the whole thought. You can receive these by e-mail.

Photo by Lisa M. Hendey

Photo by Lisa Hendey

 Having failed at his first attempt to tempt Jesus in a direct and relatively crude way, the devil plays a subtler game: "The devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant."

This is the more rarefied, more refined temptation of power. Power is one of the greatest motivating factors in all of human history. Alexander the Great, Caesar, Augustus, Marcus Aurelius, Charlemagne, the Medicis, Charles V, Henry VIII, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Nixon, and Kissinger - all the way down to your boss at work. These are all people who have been seduced, at one time or another, by the siren song of power.

We notice something very disquieting in the account of this temptation: the devil admits that all the kingdoms of the world have been given to him. He owns and controls them. That is quite a sweeping indictment of the institutions of political power. But it resonates with our sense that attaining high positions of power and not becoming corrupt is difficult to do.

It might be useful here to recall the two great names for the devil in the Bible: ho Satanas, which means the adversary, and ho diabolos, which means the liar or the deceiver. Worldly power is based upon accusation, division, adversarial relationships, and lies. It's the way that earthly rulers have always done their business.

A tremendous temptation for Jesus was to use his Messianic authority to gain worldly power, to become a king. But if he had given in to this, he would not be consistently a conduit of the divine grace. He would be as remembered today as, perhaps, one of the governors of Syria or satraps of Babylon (and do you remember the first-century satrap of Babylon?)

No, Jesus wanted to be the one through whom the divine love surged into creation, and so he said to Satan, "It is written: 'You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.'"

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mayor Coleman compared to President Obama

If you want to understand former Mayor Giuliani’s remarks about President Obama’s love for country, just compare Obama’s speeches about the U.S. with our Mayor Colman’s.  He recently gave his 16th state of the city address (doesn’t plan to run for a 5th term), and frankly, I’ve never heard such a cheerleader.  Maybe Mayors just talk differently than Presidents, but I’ve never thought the President liked us or the country.  I think I said that in 2008. Even when President Obama talks about things he really shouldn’t be taking credit for, he doesn’t sound sincere and even when he isn’t wagging a finger at us, I feel like he is. (Misleading headline alert)

At one time Coleman had his eye on higher office, but his wife had some problems with alcohol, and he decided he was more needed at home.  However, some years later they did separate and divorce.

The polar vortex is back


If this was a bulls eye, I think it would be Columbus.

Our streets were finally cleared around 3 p.m. yesterday, now the snow has melted on the sidewalks and condo street, but more cold to come. 

“NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center writes that the dangerously cold outbreak is surging south thanks in part to an appendage of the polar vortex. “There are indications that this could be some of the coldest weather since the mid-1990s for parts of the Southeast U.S., Mid-Atlantic, and central Appalachians,” it wrote. “An eddy of the polar vortex will add to the potency of the surface cold front, thus creating a deep layer of bitterly cold air.” . . . the week’s record-breaking cold is not just Arctic, but Siberian air that has been trudging across the North Pole and into North America — leading many to refer to the outbreak as the “Siberian Express.” ”

Our church Haiti mission team got out of Columbus on schedule last night and out of Miami on schedule this morning.

The non-measles outbreak is taking lives—EV-D68

“CDC and medical experts state that measles is very dangerous: for every 1,000 cases of measles there will be approximately 2 deaths. But the death risk among serious cases of EV-D68 may be several fold greater: at least 14 associated deaths reported among 1,153 cases.” Sharyl Attkisson

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Net Neutrality—I don’t like the idea. And you?

“Those favoring net neutrality claim to fear that, without government intervention, Internet service providers might "discriminate" among users or content providers or may block access to web sites. In this view, government must intervene to prevent such discrimination or blocking from occurring.

Those opposing net neutrality fear that the greater threat to Internet freedom arises from giving the government the power -- or, more accurately, the government arrogating unto itself the power -- to determine whether private Internet providers are discriminating among users or content providers, or to force Internet providers to carry content they may prefer not to transmit. This fear is enhanced by the knowledge that net neutrality's "discrimination" prohibition is inherently vague, and, therefore, that the range of bureaucratic discretion is inherently large, if not unbounded.”!

“You want a Department of the Internet like we have a Department of the Interior and we have a Department of Internal Revenue Service?” Beck asked. “This is it. You like your health care? You couldn’t keep your health care. You like your Internet?”

Obama refuses to stop the NSA telephone record program, despite the recommendation of his own Board

“The Administration has not implemented the [Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight] Board’s recommendation to halt the NSA’s telephone records program, which it could do at any time without congressional involvement. Instead, the Administration has continued the program, with modifications, while seeking legislation to create a new system for government access to telephone records under Section 215.”

The Board stated, "the Administration can end the bulk telephone records program at any time, without congressional involvement." EPIC [Electronic Privacy Information Center] and a broad coalition have repeatedly urged the President end the NSA's bulk record collection program. Previously, EPIC petitioned the Supreme Court, with the support of dozens of legal experts, arguing that the NSA program was unlawful. (Jan. 30, 2015)

The PCLOB is an independent agency within the executive branch established by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The bipartisan, five-member Board is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. By statute, the Chairman serves full time, but the four other Board members serve in their positions part-time. The PCLOB’s mission is to ensure that the federal government’s efforts to prevent terrorism are balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties.​

He says he’s not a parody of a preacher, but he could have fooled me

I got an e-mail today from the Church of Stop Shopping Choir and its '”preacher” Rev. Billy describing their protest at Monsanto and Ferguson.  Wikipedia is a biased source on just about everything, but I didn’t want to devote a lot of my time to this actor/character/charade, so this is what it says, although I’m not sure if he is a parody of a Christian pastor, or a wing-nut environmentalist-activist:

“Bill Talen (born May 25, 1950) is a Dutch-American Calvinist Minnesota-born, Franconia College-educated actor who moved to New York City from San Francisco in the early 1990s, where he had originally created a character that was a hybrid of street preacher, arguably Elvis, and televangelist called Reverend Billy. This character was performed in various San Francisco alternative theater venues, where Talen had earned a considerable reputation as both a performer and a producer (Life On The Water theater, the Solo Mio Festival, Writers Who Act, etc.) In New York, Talen began appearing as Reverend Billy on street corners in Times Square, near the recently opened Disney Store. Times Square had recently begun its transformation from a seedy but lively center of small-time and sometimes illicit commerce—and also of New York theatre—to a more gentrified and tourist-friendly venue for large companies like Disney and big-budget stage productions like The Lion King. Whereas other street preachers chose Times Square because of its reputation for sin, Reverend Billy's sermons focused on the evils of consumerism and advertising—represented especially by Disney and Mickey Mouse—and on what Talen saw as the loss of neighborhood spirit and cultural authenticity in Rudolph Giuliani's New York.

Talen's chief collaborator in developing the Reverend Billy character was the Reverend Sidney Lanier. A cousin of Tennessee Williams with an interest in avant-garde theater, Lanier was then the vicar of St. Clement's, an Episcopal church in Hell's Kitchen that doubled as a theatrical space, where Talen was working as house manager. Lanier encouraged Talen, who was suspicious of religious figures after rejecting the conservative Protestantism of his youth, to study radical theologians and performers; of these, Talen credits Elaine Pagels and Lenny Bruce as particularly strong influences. Though Talen does not call himself a Christian, he says that Reverend Billy is not a parody of a preacher, but a real preacher; he describes his church's spiritual message as "put the Odd back in God."

Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir is a non-profit organization that includes Talen, director Savitri Durkee (who is married to Talen), a 40-member choir, and the Not Buying It band.”

The feminist movement plus increased materialism and decreased church participation

“In the schema of the Second Demographic Transition, long, stable marriages are out, and divorce or separation are in, along with serial cohabitation and increasingly contingent liaisons. Not surprisingly, this new environment of perennially conditional, no-fault unions was also seen as ushering in an era of more or less permanent sub-replacement fertility.” WSJ article by Nicholas Eberstadt

Don’t like that conclusion? (mine)  How else would emphasis on success and satisfaction in the business world by women combined with easy contraception and abortion and dropping church attendance work out? And it’s not just the United States.   A child-free marriage or no marriage is also sought after in many European and Asian countries.  Note, the change in vocabulary?  Childless marriage is now child-free marriage. Also, note the sources I’ve tracked down on the subject—most are left of center.

Canon 1. Confession of Faith, Fourth Lateran Council (called by Innocent III, in 1215)

“We firmly believe and simply confess that there is only one true God, eternal and immeasurable, almighty, unchangeable, incomprehensible and ineffable, Father, Son and holy Spirit, three persons but one absolutely simple essence, substance or nature {1} . The Father is from none, the Son from the Father alone, and the holy Spirit from both equally, eternally without beginning or end; the Father generating, the Son being born, and the holy Spirit proceeding; consubstantial and coequal, co-omnipotent and coeternal; one principle of all things, creator of all things invisible and visible, spiritual and corporeal; who by his almighty power at the beginning of time created from nothing both spiritual and corporeal creatures, that is to say angelic and earthly, and then created human beings composed as it were of both spirit and body in common. The devil and other demons were created by God naturally good, but they became evil by their own doing. Man, however, sinned at the prompting of the devil.

This holy Trinity, which is undivided according to its common essence but distinct according to the properties of its persons, gave the teaching of salvation to the human race through Moses and the holy prophets and his other servants, according to the most appropriate disposition of the times. Finally the only-begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, who became incarnate by the action of the whole Trinity in common and was conceived from the ever virgin Mary through the cooperation of the holy Spirit, having become true man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh, one person in two natures, showed more clearly the way of life. Although he is immortal and unable to suffer according to his divinity, he was made capable of suffering and dying according to his humanity. Indeed, having suffered and died on the wood of the cross for the salvation of the human race, he descended to the underworld, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He descended in the soul, rose in the flesh, and ascended in both. He will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, to render to every person according to his works, both to the reprobate and to the elect. All of them will rise with their own bodies, which they now wear, so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad; for the latter perpetual punishment with the devil, for the former eternal glory with Christ.

There is indeed one universal church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice. His body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine, the bread and wine having been changed in substance, by God's power, into his body and blood, so that in order to achieve this mystery of unity we receive from God what he received from us. Nobody can effect this sacrament except a priest who has been properly ordained according to the church's keys, which Jesus Christ himself gave to the apostles and their successors. But the sacrament of baptism is consecrated in water at the invocation of the undivided Trinity -- namely Father, Son and holy Spirit -- and brings salvation to both children and adults when it is correctly carried out by anyone in the form laid down by the church. If someone falls into sin after having received baptism, he or she can always be restored through true penitence. For not only virgins and the continent but also married persons find favour with God by right faith and good actions and deserve to attain to eternal blessedness. “

Note to readers:  Everything I write on my blog is indexed in some form or manner by the U.S. government (and by Google), so I wanted to elevate the content just in case it is useful for evangelizing!

There’s a lot of interesting background about the history of this council which was both religious and political.  Check it at Fourth Lateran Council, Papal Encyclicals Online.

When the council began in the Lateran basilica in November 1215 there were present 404 bishops from throughout the western church, and from the Latin eastern church a large number of abbots, canons and representatives of the secular power. No Greeks were present, even those invited, except the patriarch of the Maronites and a legate of the patriarch of Alexandria. The bond with the Greek church was indeed neglected, and matters became more serious through the actions of Latin bishops living in the east or through the decrees of the council.

Tithes should be paid before taxes

Canon 54. Fourth Lateran Council (Called by Innocent III in 1215) 

It is not within human power that the seed should answer to the sower since, according to the saying of the Apostle, Neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but rather he who gives the growth, namely God, who himself brings forth much fruit from the dead seed. Now, some people from excess of greed strive to cheat over tithes, deducting from crops and first-fruits the rents and dues, which meanwhile escape the payment of tithes. Since the Lord has reserved tithes unto himself as a sign of his universal lordship, by a certain special title as it were, we decree, wishing to prevent injury to churches and danger to souls, that in virtue of this general lordship the payment of tithes shall precede the exaction of dues and rents, or at least those who receive untithed rents and dues shall be forced by ecclesiastical censure, seeing that a thing carries with it its burden, to tithe them for the churches to which by right they are due.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday night and Saturday forecast

'WEATHER GEEK REPORT---   Heavy snow begins overnight with 6-8 inches expected across the Columbus Metro Area.  This will be the biggest storm so far this season.

Look for snow to move into Central Ohio after 2AM with snow heaviest towards morning.   The snow will really be coming down when you wake up and you can expect it to last until 10PM tomorrow night.   Roads will be snow covered, slick and hazardous across all of Ohio tomorrow.

I expect sleet and freezing rain to mix into the storm right along the Ohio River.   This will cut down on snowfall amounts in far Southern Ohio where I'm calling for 4-6 inches.   If the rain/snow line remains further south... this area could end up with more snow than Columbus.

Updates all weekend on 10TV and   Be safe and check in with me tonight and all weekend!'

This is not good news for our Haiti team leaving tomorrow. Last year they lost a day due to the weather, but at least got out the very next day.

Friday family photo—Mother’s Day 2000

Norma 2000 b

Phil 2000

2000 Phoebe

2000 Bob

It looks like our son-in-law was taking the photos.  I found these on a floppy disk today, and they don’t seem to have ever been moved to the current computer.

Little slivers of thought on Friday afternoon

Don’t ever do this.  I was trying to check a batch of floppies left over from the late 90s, and so many wouldn’t open, I looked through the listings to see what could be done.  It appeared that Windows recommended downloading something called Free File Finder.  So I did. Really screwed up my computer with thousands of ads, covering up all my Google searches, putting messages in the margins of my blog, etc.  Then when I tried to uninstall, it told me that wasn’t allowed. So I reset the computer to yesterday morning.  I think that fixed it.

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It’s bitterly cold in Columbus—I think this morning was –7 degrees with the chill factor even lower.  But the sun is brilliant, the sky is blue.  It is supposed to warm up, and yes, then some rain and snow. Everyone consoles themselves by counting down the days to spring and the phrase, “At least it isn’t Boston.”

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I’m enjoying using Silver Sneakers membership at the Metro Fitness on Bethel Road.  I don’t do a lot, but the machines I use are slightly different than my Power Spin 210 I have in my office. I’m working up to 15 minutes on the treadmill.

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Oh please!  Everything they’ve tried, all the nagging the past 25 years has made things worst. “The country's foremost nutrition advisory panel is taking a stand against meat: Americans should eat less of it, top experts say, in order to protect the environment.” WaPo, Feb. 19, 2015.  That said, it is easier to lose weight (which I’m doing) if I eat less meat.  Don’t know why, but it works for me. But tonight we’re having pizza.

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And another item from Washington Post.  First it was coffee is good for you after years of not, eggs are OK after decades of not, now this--limited airborne transmission of the Ebola virus is "very likely,".  Who can you trust about health these days:

"It is very likely that at least some degree of Ebola virus transmission currently occurs via infectious aerosols generated from the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract, or medical procedures, although this has been difficult to definitively demonstrate or rule out, since those exposed to infectious aerosols also are most likely to be in close proximity to, and in direct contact with, an infected case," the scientists wrote. Their peer-reviewed analysis was published in mBio, a journal of the American Society of Microbiology.  WaPo, Feb. 19, 2015

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Anyone else doubt that when major corporations donate to Hillary and Bill’s foundation they don’t expect any favors if she goes to the White House and he’s First Guy?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Religion and voting, election of 2004 and 2008

Gallup's final survey conducted before the 2004 election estimated that 63% of voters who attended church weekly or almost every week voted for Bush; 37% voted for Kerry. Sixty percent of those who seldom or never attended church indicated a vote choice for Kerry; 40% voted for Bush. The same directional patterns have been observed between self-reported importance of religion and vote choice.

Barack Obama has made no headway among white evangelical Protestants who attend church at least once a week; just 17% of this group supports him. By contrast, 37% of white evangelicals who attend services less frequently support Obama. Similarly, while Obama has made gains among Catholics overall, he runs even with John McCain among observant white Catholics (45% to 45%). He now has a clear lead among white Catholics who attend Mass less frequently (53% to 38%).

I guess this could account for the fact Democrats are more hostile to traditional Christian values—pro-life values, marriage, hard work, legal immigration--if they can just get enough Christians to stop going to church, think of the vote gain!

And an opinion piece about the black church and voting: Many people call for the separation of church and politics. However, within the black community, the two cannot be separated. For this reason, my research looks at how African American congregants behave after hearing their pastors, and the church itself, preach conservative values on social issues, but yet, advance notions of voting for whoever is on the Democratic ticket, claiming the party of the left is the best way to advance the interests of the black community. This paradox is important because black churches are more than spiritual gathering places, they are power centers within the black community. For this reason, black churches have power – socially, economically, and politically. The political power of the church shows in the pulpit when pastors allow candidates to speak or advocate on behalf of a candidate or party. When looking at the structure of a black church, the public face of any black church is the pastor, and the pastor is seen as a cue-giver. With that said, this study is important because it has serious implications for the future of the Democratic Party. This is because scholars note African Americans are at a standstill between supporting a party which wants nothing to do with them and a party which takes them for granted. With pastors being cue-givers, they could become middle man to voters and candidates. This study is both qualitative and quantitative.