Saturday, January 31, 2015

8 tips from Harvard Medical School for safe and effective strength training

Always warm up and cool down properly.

Use proper form to avoid injuries and maximize gains. You can learn good form through a class or one-on-one sessions with a certified exercise professional.

Breathe out when you are lifting or pushing; breathe in as you slowly release the load or weight. Never hold your breath while straining. This action, called the Valsalva maneuver, can temporarily raise your blood pressure considerably and can be risky for people with cardiovascular disease.

Don't lock your joints; always leave a slight bend in your knees and elbows when straightening out your legs and arms.

Don't be so eager to see results that you risk hurting yourself by exercising too long or choosing too much weight. And remember that it's important to rest muscles for at least 48 hours between strength training sessions.

If you've been sick, give yourself one or two days off after recovering. If you were ill for a while, you may need to use lighter weights or less resistance when you first resume exercising.

Strength training exercises should not cause pain while you are doing them. If an exercise or movement causes significant pain, stop doing it! When performing an exercise, stick with a range of motion that feels comfortable. Over time, try to gradually extend that range.

Listen to your body and cut back if you aren't able to finish a series of exercises or an exercise session, can't talk while exercising, feel faint after a session, feel tired during the day, or suffer joint aches and pains after a session.

Healthbeat, January 31, 2015

10 reasons she’s no longer a leftist

I was never a "leftist," but I voted Democrat for 40 years, which in 1960 or 1972 was a bit different than today, but I was also quite uninformed. War on Poverty, check; clean up the environment, check; more rights for women, check. Read the constitution. . . not checked.

Because I'd had a lot of Russian history in college and many friends whose families had escaped Communism, I knew what the left was, but never connected the dots to our system of ever expanding government control.

The author says she was "an active leftist for decades. I never witnessed significant leftist outrage over clitoredectomy, child marriage, honor killing, sharia-inspired rape laws, stoning, or acid attacks. Nothing. Zip. Crickets. I’m not saying that that outrage does not exist. I’m saying I never saw it."

And on religion—Christian or otherwise: “Read Marx and discover a mythology that is irreconcilable with any other narrative, including the Bible. Hang out in leftist internet environments, and you will discover a toxic bath of irrational hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition. You will discover an alternate vocabulary in which Jesus is a "dead Jew on a stick" or a "zombie" and any belief is an arbitrary sham, the equivalent of a recently invented "flying spaghetti monster."

“Given that the left prides itself on being the liberator of women, homosexuals, and on being "sex positive," one of the weirder and most obvious aspects of left-wing hate is how often, and how virulently, it is expressed in terms that are misogynist, homophobic, and in the distinctive anti-sex voice of a sexually frustrated high-school misfit. Haters are aware enough of how uncool it would be to use a slur like "fag," so they sprinkle their discourse with terms indicating anal rape like "butt hurt." Leftists taunt right-wingers as "tea baggers." The implication is that the target of their slur is either a woman or a gay man being orally penetrated by a man, and is, therefore, inferior, and despicable.”

And let’s not forget being called an old hag, demented or worse at leftist sites.

We may not get what we vote for

Sometimes we the people vote based on the person's record or our values (Candidate was a Democrat, but switches to socialist), or the slogans (hope and change) or the promises (we'll get rid of Obamacare), and then when they get to DC the old private club mentality kicks in. This is why our founders left many decisions like education, social welfare, religion, up to the states. It's easier to keep tabs on what they are doing if you know your community, city, county, and state. The president was not supposed to be more powerful than Congress and the Supremes were not supposed to make laws, but no one reads the instructions any more.

It’s outrageous that they (Republicans) will approve this woman. There is nothing I've read about Loretta Lynch that makes me confident she will be the best top cop Obama can find who is female, black and leftist. Is the bench that shallow? Her record isn't that great and she seems to be a racist who has never read the Constitution or immigration law. Why is she a shoo-in? I've looked at what some leftists have said, but that boils down to the tired, old "you're a racist” if you oppose her.

Roland Lane observes on Facebook

1. The President has informed all Americans that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization. Wow. Just like that. We feel better now.
2. Word has leaked out that Army Deserter Bowie Bergdahl was indeed a deserter but the army is sitting on the report as it has for six months.
3. One of the 5 Taliban leaders released in exchange for DESERTER Bowie Bergdahl is back in contact with Taliban leaders in Afghanistan. Not surprising since Qatar, the custodian of the terrorist Taliban leaders is knee deep in acting as a conduit for terrorist activities.
4. The Russians have begun eating the Ukraine again. The Ukraine is out of news but the Soviets, excuse me, the Russians have taken a couple more cities.

Marijuana on the brain

Marijuana also affects brain development, and when it is used heavily by young people, its effects on thinking and memory may last a long time or even be permanent. A recent study of marijuana users who began using in adolescence revealed substantially reduced connectivity among brain areas responsible for learning and memory. And a large long-term study in New Zealand showed that people who began smoking marijuana heavily in their teens lost an average of 8 points in IQ between age 13 and age 38. Importantly, the lost cognitive abilities were not fully restored in those who quit smoking marijuana as adults. Those who started smoking marijuana in adulthood did not show significant IQ declines. Drug facts, Marijuana

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Dreaming of Spudnuts

#Repost @bluedream_weaver
Yup. This just happened.... @spudnutsdonuts #maplebacon #cronut #bacon #ilovebacon #cronutlife

When we were students at the University of Illinois there was a Spudnut shop in Urbana. It's gone, but this one is in Canoga, Park, CA. (There are a number of them in California).  This is a donut with maple syrup with crumbled bacon. Spudnuts got their name from a special recipe using potato flour--at least 70 years ago. There is nothing in the world better.

Countdown to the Apocalypse by Robert Jeffress

If you like end times, apocalyptic literature, I've received a new one to review: "Countdown to the Apocalypse; why ISIS and Ebola are only the Beginning," by Robert Jeffress, New York: Faith Words, 2015, pb 128 pp, available as e-book. I've seen Pastor Jeffress on Fox to discuss spiritual issues in the news. He's the pastor of the 11,000 member First Baptist Church in Dallas, has a daily radio show and a weekly TV program, and has authored 20 books. I'm not into signs, tribulation and the rapture, in fact, considering where the world was 100 years ago (WWI, pandemic, monetary inflation, etc.).  I think we live in good times which few of us seem to appreciate. I'm the Christian who says, "I've read the Bible, I know the ending, we win." I leave the details for God to work out.

Jeffress does list all the obligatory signs that Christians since Paul have been citing, but by Chapter 3 he gets into radical Islam and how ISIS/ISIL came to be such a problem. He ties it into specific Bible stories and scripture. Then on to moral revolution and disorder in our society which is weakening our ability to stand up to persecution. He closes with hope, with Jesus Christ, "If He comes today, we win. If He comes in 50 years, we win. If He comes in one thousand years, we win." But be prepared.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (movie)

We received a free three month trial for HBO recently, and last night was the first time I actually watched an entire movie, The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) was nominated for many awards, and world wide grossed nearly $129 million with a production budget of $40 million. 

Talented mr ripley.jpg

There are some big name actors in it, although since it was made in 1999, based on a 1955 novel, they are even bigger now—Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Huffman.  The 1950s costumes and styles were very good as was the Italian scenery.  Although the author of the book (was actually 5 books) denied that Ripley was homosexual—just confused--but he certainly is in the movie. He kills one desired lover who spurned him, one whom he loves, and a friend of the first who figured out his scam.  On the list of 329 gay themed movies at Box Office Mojo, it is #4 in gross.

It’s very dark, but the main character, played by Matt Damon, is quite interesting and the viewer is dragged protesting into liking him, at least I did.  Damaged but endearing. Tom Ripley is sent to Italy by Dicke’s father to bring him home, and instead falls in love with Dicke’s lifestyle and then Dicke, whom he later kills when he rejects him to marry his girlfriend Marge, and assumes his identity. He also has to kill Freddie, Dicke’s good friend who figures out his scam, and finally his lover Peter who is about to find out, but who knows him as Tom Ripley when others think he is Dicke.

The author of the novels on which the movie is based, Patricia Highsmith, was described by Otto Penzler, an acquaintance as “a  mean, hard, cruel, unlovable, unloving person.  I  could never penetrate how any human being could be that relentlessly ugly." So perhaps that’s how she could draw such dark, evil characters to people her novels. Her own mother didn’t help much by telling her she wanted to abort her—had even tried. (Wikipedia)

Obama drops plan to tax families of college bound

Although President Obama says he wants to help middle class families he proposed in the State of the Union speech taking away (i.e. taxing them more) their incentive to build their own account to save for college--make them even more dependent on the federal government. After loud protests, even from his own party (who seem to be catching on), he has stopped eyeing the hard earned/saved college money. The 529 plan has become very popular and about 12 million American families rely on the accounts to help with college costs. Not to worry, I'm sure he'll start lusting for our IRAs and 401-k's since it's just not fair that some of us regularly saved and invested for our retirement years when others only have Social Security or food stamps.

Q. What is a 529 plan? (

Answer. A plan operated by a state or educational institution, with tax advantages and potentially other incentives to make it easier to save for college and other post-secondary training for a designated beneficiary, such as a child or grandchild.

Q. What is the main advantage of a typical 529 plan?

A. Earnings are not subject to federal tax and generally not subject to state tax when used for the qualified education expenses of the designated beneficiary, such as tuition, fees, books, as well as room and board. Contributions to a 529 plan, however, are not deductible.

Nancy Pelosi has had babies, the Pope hasn’t, therefore. . .

Nancy, Nancy, Nancy. Being a Catholic doesn't mean you are capable of having babies--if that were the case, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist women would be Catholics; it means you believe the church's teachings that they had a God given right to life from conception before you popped them out. "At her Jan. 22 briefing Pelosi said she had "great standing" to speak on the issue of abortion, noting that she was a "Catholic and a mom of five" and asserting that it was "true" she knew "more about having babies than the pope." (, Jan. 26) If you don't believe what your church teaches, find another church.

She could become a Protestant--there are about 23,000 Protestant denominations in which she could be the Pope every time she looked in the mirror or read a verse from scripture. Or, just find 2 or 3 others and start her own.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The trip to India and Saudi Arabia

If Obama still chews nicotine gum for his cigarette habit publicly and internationally and in front of cameras, doesn't that mean he's now addicted to the gum? It's embarrassing--especially watching him remove it with his fingers (which I assume has been shaking a lot of hands) and then putting it back. Yuk.…/…/addicted-to-nicorette

I don't generally defend Michelle Obama, but the critics of her clothing/no head covering for Saudi Arabia are just being ridiculous. Remember the outrage when Pelosi covered her head in a Muslim country! Really, folks, let's stick to policy (and rude behavior like chewing gum) and leave the ladies alone. She looked appropriate and was well covered. Should Amish or Hutterite women take off their prayer coverings when visiting a Lutheran church?

In the Christian faith, where this is done (Anabaptist groups, Catholics in an earlier time and some Pentecostals) the cover/veil is to show headship--God, then man, then woman, so the woman was acknowledging the proper male authority within the church. Since Islam took many Christian and Jewish teachings and all were middle east in origin, it may be the same source.The Obamas are United Church of Christ, or were when they lived in Chicago, and although some may wear hats it's not to show headship.

Jibber jabber or Marie and Jen

I’ve lost 11 lbs and gone over 150 miles, but it’s boring to ride the exercycle, so today I pulled my pb Roget’s Pocket Thesaurus (c. 1946) off the shelf.  Turned to UNMEANINGNESS.  Thought of this morning’s news story on Al-Jazeera deciding to forbid “terrorist” and “terrorism” from its new stories.  Of course, the President and Secretary of State’s spokestaff (Marie Harf and Jen Psaki) have already done that.  Here’s what I saw:

Absence of meaning


senselessness, empty sound














ambiguity, vagueness

gibber jabber

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

American Dreams by Marco Rubio

"If we want to restore the American Dream, we need tax policies, regulatory policies and spending policies that make America the best place in the world to invest, and the easiest place in the world to create new businesses and new jobs through innovation." Marco Rubio, American Dreams (2015), p. 11. That would mean undoing just about everything the federal government has done in the last 20 years, wouldn't it? This hasn't just happened in the last 6 years. Even if you remove the word "fair" and "gap" from the bureaucratic vocabulary, we'd have a long way to go. If fathers won't marry the mothers of their children, won't get a full time job, and turn their noses up at minimum wage, I don't see any policy or tax plan that will fix an attitude.

I think last week the president said just the opposite—raise taxes, increase regulations and discourage investment by trying to make everything “fair.”

January 27, 1945

70 years ago. Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Red Army of the Soviet Union. There aren't many survivors left--and most were children then. And there aren't a lot of us left who knew the survivors when we were growing up and listened to their stories. Some were victims of Soviet oppression in the Baltic states; others of the Nazis. Many churches were still resettling people in the 1950s. I went to college with young adults who were children rescued by American soldiers and later immigrated to the U.S. My husband's college roommate was an Italian war orphan. Mine was an escapee from Communist China.

In the early 1980s I became friends with a woman from Bexley (Columbus suburb) whose husband, although born in the U.S., was a child of his parents' second marriage. Both had been married and each had 3 or 4 children in the 1930s, but lost spouse and children in the Nazi concentration camps. After liberation they met each other in a camp and married, came as refugees to the U.S., started a second family for both, and had 4 more children. We are so fortunate to have this type of strength and faith as our foundation for American citizenship.

Cleaning silver plate and silver pieces the easy way

I like to set a pretty table, so every now and then the silverplate needs to be polished. That's a pain unless you learned this 5 minute trick from the internet.
1 Boil the amount of water sufficient to cover items you wish to clean (silverware, silverplate, silver platters,silver bowls or the like).
2 Tear a piece of aluminum foil to fit the bottom of the cleaning vessel; add the boiling water and baking soda, 1 Tbsp soda to 1 cup of water (Decrease amount of water and soda if only using a small amount of water). Stir together briefly.
3 Immediately submerge your tarnished silver items in the solution, making sure all surfaces are covered with the water . After only a very few minutes you will have beautifully clean and glowing silver!
4 Remove cleaned items and rinse well with clean warm water. Dry with a soft lint-free kitchen towel and go back to blogging.
June 17, 2007 004
My china gifts from my mother, my thrift store silver plate which got polished this morning, my garage sale chairs, my grandmother’s glassware and dessert bowls, a vase from friends in Finland.

Without Texas, the SOTU speech would have been very different


“Since 2010, America has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and all advanced economies combined. Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs. Some of our bedrock sectors, like our auto industry, are booming. But there are also millions of Americans who work in jobs that didn’t even exist ten or twenty years ago – jobs at companies like Google, and eBay, and Tesla.”

Where are the best hotels?

U.S. News & World Report just released its Best Hotels of 2015. The rankings are separated out geographically across the United States, Caribbean, Canada and Mexico. Of the best hotels in the US, the top five were:

  1. Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa (California)
  2. The Lodge at Sea Island (Georgia)
  3. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a Montage Resort (South Carolina)
  4. The Allison Inn and Spa (Oregon)
  5. The Four Season Seattle (Washington)

For the others, see the Forbes article.

Monday, January 26, 2015

I’m in Goochland County (riding my exercycle)

I’ve gone 153.4 miles since Dec. 26.  I don’t do more than a mile or two at a time because I don’t want to aggravate my bursa.

What members of a Facebook political interest group are reading--Part 2

Someone asked Fans of James Taranto's Best of the Web Today (about 8800 members)  FOBOTWT what they are reading.  Here’s part 2.  For Part 1 check here.  Links and authors are included if I can find them.  Some were using Kindle or Nook, some audio, but most print on paper.

Japanese Destroyer Captain: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Midway - The Great Naval Battles as Seen Through Japanese Eyes

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

Number 5 in a zombie apocalypse series.

The Book Thief

A Walk Among the Tombstones (Matthew Scudder Mysteries Series Book 10)

The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (The Liberation Trilogy Book 3)

The Vault of Walt: Volume 3: Even More Unofficial Disney Stories Never Told

No shortcuts to the top: climbing the world's 14 highest peaks


IRS Publication 17

Black Moses... Bio of Marcus Garvey

The Making of the President 1964

How to Make an Examination of Conscience [Kindle Edition]

The Prince by Jerry Pournelle

Soldier Dogs

The Magician's Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society

Department of Energy, Construction Management Procedures and Practices.

50 shades of grey—a Muslim mother’s warning

This Muslim mother warns girls about the book "50 shades of grey" -- Christian moms can agree.…/fifty-shades-grey-young-muslim-…/

Christian Grey in Real Life:

1. It is not okay to be sexually abused by someone and then accept the abuse as a lifestyle, just because the abused starts enjoying the abuse.
2. It is not okay for a man to lure a girl into marrying him with his money or good looks while expecting her to overlook his habit of objectifying women as mere sexual objects.
3. Decent men normally don't stalk girls.
4. Grey is domineering, a control freak, a stalker, and a manipulator. In real life, these character flaws cause real marital problems. Unlike Ana, most women can't endure being stalked, watched and forced into submission while compensated with wealth and erotic intimacy. In real life, most men simply do not have the luxury of gifting the company where she works to the wife while forcing her into submitting.
5. One legitimate fact in the book worth pointing out is that Grey has a problem with Ana's male friends. Yes, that I can assure you dear daughters, especially those of you who have studied with boys and have Facebook friends of the opposite gender from school or work, that your husband may raise this objection. Or if you are used to “hanging out” for school projects at a public place, he may ask you to stop doing so. You either talk this through before marriage or you should be prepared to “submit” on this point after marriage and keep in mind that in exchange for your obedience, a  luxurious ski trip to Aspen in a private jet with your girl friends is not guaranteed.

Addiction and BDSM:

6. It is not okay to marry an addict especially if a girl finds out about his addiction before the marriage. This is a serious matter and unlike the book, addicts don't lose their addiction just by marrying someone they love.
7. It can take years for an addict to overcome his addiction. Addicts almost always have relapses and those relapses can take a tremendous toll on the marriage.
8. I've come across countless men who have issues of child molestation, mother-father family issues, and desperately need therapy, but they will refuse to acknowledge any problems with their behavior let alone seek therapy. Our hero Mr. Grey, seeks counseling even before Ana asks him to seek help for his psychological issues. Dear daughters, the unfortunate fact of life is that it may take months of convincing, even arguments, and at times even family/friends' intervention, before the husband finally agrees to seek therapy.
9. It is not okay for a man to inflict physical pain on his wife for his sexual pleasure.
10.Sadism/Bondage/Submission and Dominance (BDSM) are acts of sex that may develop among couples in a halal way but it takes time. Initially a relationship needs understanding and normal intimacy. Once both partners, especially the wife, become comfortable and confident then they may experiment with different types of intimate practices.
11. After both husband and wife become comfortable with each other especially during intimacy, they may play around with different techniques and a variety of intimacy including BDSM. However, if it reaches to the point of inflicting pain where a wife starts crying with discomfort, or her eyes overflow with tears trying to endure pain, that's crossing the line. There is a difference in “delirious pain” and tearing up with pain.
12. Spanking the wife for rolling her eyes is wrong (even though it maybe an acceptable practice among the Christian Domestic Discipline). Hitting the wife with a belt to inflict physical pain for a husband's sexual pleasure is physical abuse. A decent man will draw his own limits for his sexual pleasure and a wife doesn't need to burst out in tears and start crying for him to realize that what he was doing was beastly.

Virginity and Intimacy:

13. No virgin has multiple orgasms on her first night. Do not enter your marriage with this misconception.
14. It may take days to weeks before a virgin experiences vaginal orgasm. (In rare cases, it may take up to months and may need therapy)
15. Communication and comfort is essential in making intimacy successful and pleasurable, especially for those girls who've guarded their chastity and are experiencing intimacy for the first time.
16. In normal circumstances, acts of BDSM should not be practiced on a girl who's been recently deflowered.
17. Men are not born expert-lovers. In real life, couples have to discuss their fantasies and communicate what they like and explain their desires, and not just once. Sometimes these fantasies have to be explained many times before the spouse finally understands. It may take months, sometimes years before sexual fantasies become realities. The book definitely raises the bar of expectations in many ways.
18. Yes, sex is a lot more than just penetration (as most Muslim women complain about their intimacy being dry and boring) but most Muslim men are not as experienced and “sex gurus” as Grey, especially those who have kept themselves pure before marriage.
19. Grey can read Ana's body language and knows exactly what will turn her on and what will bring her pleasure AND he is always ready to give her that. Dear daughters, in real life things are very different.
20. In the beginning of a marriage, most Muslim men don't know how to make a women experience an orgasm during every intercourse. They need to learn and the wives need to help them learn. It is a give-and-take relationship.

Romance between Ana & Grey:

21. There is never a “dull moment” in their romance. In real life, issues start rising after a few weeks of marriage–real issue—issues that need to be talked through and resolved. These issues cannot be resolved through “erotic intimacy” and “expensive gifts”.
22. Unlike Grey, men have mood swings too and they may not be romantic all the time.
23. Men want their wives to be romantic too and take initiatives and plan romantic events, dinners, outings etc. Unlike Grey, real men are not always full of romantic surprises.
24. Real men in real life have work to do at work. They simply cannot romantically email back and forth all day from work.

I hope the top 10% continues to do well—they are the ones paying most of the taxes

We have a very "progressive" income tax in the U.S.--the top 10% of earners pay over 70% of the income tax. Because I am a pensioner, my income comes from investments in my state teachers' pension and my 403-b, the 15% of my salary I socked away while I worked. (I'm not eligible for Social Security--that would be "double dipping.") Now I'm with the bottom 50% who pay about 2.3%. I can only live well if Obama and other Democrats don't target investors, risk takers, entrepreneurs, and the big spenders who keep the wheels of the economy moving.

What members of a Facebook political interest group are reading, part 1

Someone asked Fans of James Taranto's Best of the Web Today (about 8800 members)  FOBOTWT what they are reading.  Here’s a partial list. Links and authors are included if offered. Very interesting. People on social media continue to reading.  Some were using Kindle or Nook, some audio, but most probably print on paper.  Part 2 here.

Ready Player One

A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention

Gulag by Anne Applebaum

American dreams by Marco Rubio

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War


The Brothers Karamazov

Mr. Mercedes

Hollywood Traitors: Blacklisted Screenwriters – Agents of Stalin, Allies of Hitler


Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965

Ghost Wars by Steve Coll 

Endangered Species by Lawrence Grobel

Falkenberg's Legion by Jerry Pournelle

The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci

Bill Quick's (aka Daily Pundit) "Lightening Fall"

"Stonewalled" by Sharyl Attkisson

Legionnaire by Simon Murray

Napoleon's Buttons

Daughter of Persia

The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, from the Revolution to the First World War by Graham Robb

The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch

Looming Tower: Al Queda and The Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright

See Part 2 here.

Just like your mom told you—eat more vegetables


“Unlike fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamin A, E and D) that our bodies can store for future use, the water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and folic acid) can only be stored in small amounts or not at all. Since vitamins cannot be produced by the body and can only be obtained from the food we eat, they are called "essential nutrients." Vegetables' rich concentration of water-soluble vitamins is just one reason why the U.S. government guidelines for a healthy diet recommend filling at least half of your plate with a combination of vegetables and fruits.

Eating a variety of vegetables as a regular part of your meal plan helps you to stay slim and provides the energy and vitality necessary to really enjoy daily life. All of us depend on complex carbohydrates for energy and vitality. The starchy portion of complex carbohydrates is converted into glucose, which is used to produce energy in our cells. However, the energy contained in glucose can only be released in combination with vitamins and minerals.

The most important of these include all of the B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals like zinc. Vegetables are concentrated sources of these nutrients essential for turning carbohydrates into energy rather than storing them as fat, and vegetables provide them for the least calories. So, eating plenty of vegetables rich in complex carbohydrates is a sure way to help you stay both slim and energized.”

From WHFoods Weekly Newsletter, by George Mateljan, Jan. 26, 2015

Last week I made pickled fresh beets, but the best part is the beet tops/greens, which I just love. I think they are tastier than kale, mustard greens, or collard greens, and of course, there’s the bonus of the roots.  I occasionally have a baked sweet potato for breakfast. Also, helps me remember Mom’s garden delights of 30 years ago.

  • The top greens are an excellent sources of vitamin-A; 100 g leaves provide 6326 IU or 211% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Diet rich in this vitamin are known to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • They are excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides 400 ug of this vitamin that is about 333% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

  • 100 g of fresh leaves contain 30 mg or 50% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a moderately powerful water-soluble antioxidant, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.

  • This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, folate, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential to the body as part of co-enzymes during the metabolism in the body.

  • Its leaves are also rich source of minerals like magnesium, copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Obama and Bush on the sanctity of human life

Thirty-six percent of abortions are for black babies. Seventy-nine percent of surgical abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods. The last official proclamation President Bush made in 2009 was for the Sanctity of Human Life Day. President Obama consistently praises the work of Planned Parenthood and one of his first acts in 2009 was to rescind Bush's order on embryonic stem cell research, even though research had progressed beyond the need for it. In 2002, Bush signed into law the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which extends legal protection to children who survive an abortion attempt. Obama was not in the U.S. Senate in 2002, but he was in the Illinois Senate and voted against such a bill for Illinois (word for word the federal bill). To my knowledge, no one else voted against saving aborted born alive infants.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Walk for Life, 2015

“Planned Parenthood clinics performed 327,653 abortions in fiscal year 2014, according to Planned Parenthood of America's latest annual report — 487 more than the previous year and an average of 37 abortions per hour.

Planned Parenthood received $528.4 million from government grants and reimbursements last year, accounting for 41 percent of its revenue.

The federal government is barred from paying directly for abortions through Title X family planning grants and reimbursements, but federal funds do pay for Planned Parenthood operations, including the clinics where abortions are performed, CNS News reported.

Documents filed with the IRS for 2012 showed that [PP President Cecile] Richards received total compensation of $492,200 that year.”

Newsmax Jan. 25, 2015

No charges by FBI against Officer Wilson in Ferguson investigation

“Federal investigators interviewed more than 200 people and analyzed cellphone audio and video, the law enforcement officials said. Officer Wilson’s gun, clothing and other evidence were analyzed at the F.B.I.’s laboratory in Quantico, Va. Though the local authorities and Mr. Brown’s family conducted autopsies, Mr. Holder ordered a separate autopsy, which was conducted by pathologists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s office at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, the officials said.

The federal investigation did not uncover any facts that differed significantly from the evidence made public by the authorities in Missouri late last year, the law enforcement officials said. To bring federal civil rights charges, the Justice Department would have needed to prove that Officer Wilson had intended to violate Mr. Brown’s rights when he had opened fire and that he had done so willfully — meaning he knew that it was wrong to fire, but did so anyway.”  New York Times

Iowa Freedom Summit 2015 Scott Walker Speech

Talks about the death threats he and his family were getting from leftists, Marxists, progressives and Democrats four years ago.  If you were there protesting and helping, shame on you. I’m so glad he didn’t back down; Wisconsin is a better place today because of Governor Walker.

Charles Murray, “Coming Apart”

The elite in the U.S. marry each other after years of expensive pre-school, elementary and private high schools, living in neighborhoods where they never meet anyone not like themselves. Within their "super-ZIPs" they vote heavily Democratic and pretty much approve consistently for Democrat sponsored programs which keep the low income and middle income people out of their exclusive neighborhoods. When your parents and I were growing up, there was much more mixing of classes, a secretary might marry a CEO or a nurse a doctor. Not so much today. Doctors now marry doctors, and lawyers marry lawyers. They move to mcMansions segregated into neighborhoods with strict building codes, and they send their kids to private school where they might rub shoulders with the Obama daughters. Usually they don't send their kids to day care, free or expensive, because mom is the best educated care taker and can take them on trips to Europe or teach them French. None of their kids will go to community college, free or otherwise, but they'll vote for any plan that will keep them away from their Yale and Harvard bound kids.


65% for the poor, low income, and retired.

Charles Murray had a chapter in his book about working class men who weren't working. New York Times just recently caught up and did a lengthy article on the problem of men who don't work at all. Charts, stats, and everything like that.

The Economist has a similar article about the new elite—children of the educated, married, and wealthy.  "Intellectual capital drives the knowledge economy, so those who have lots of it get a fat slice of the pie. And it is increasingly heritable. Far more than in previous generations, clever, successful men marry clever, successful women. Such “assortative mating” increases inequality by 25%, by one estimate, since two-degree households typically enjoy two large incomes. Power couples conceive bright children and bring them up in stable homes—only 9% of college-educated mothers who give birth each year are unmarried, compared with 61% of high-school dropouts." Education and class; America's new aristocracy. The Economist.

Belmont and Fishtown, fictional cities of Charles Murray

“To represent the classes at the two ends of the continuum, I give you two fictional neighborhoods that I hereby label Belmont (after an archetypal upper-middle-class suburb near Boston) and Fishtown (after a neighborhood in Philadelphia that has been white working class since the Revolution). To be assigned to Belmont, the people in my databases must have at least a bachelor’s degree and work as a manager, physician, attorney, engineer, architect, scientist, college professor, or in content-production jobs in the media. To be assigned to Fishtown, they must have no academic degree higher than a high school diploma. If they work, their job must be in a blue-collar, service, or low-level white-collar occupation.

Here’s what happened to the founding virtues in Belmont and Fishtown from 1960 to 2010:

The text covers marriage, industriousness, honesty, and religiosity.

In 1960 9% of the men in Fishtown were not in the labor force; by 2000 it was 30%.  But the unemployment rate was about the same.  The men just didn’t work.  They might get some cash under the table, or work minimally for awhile to qualify for benefits, but then would quit.

Combine men who don’t work with single women raising children, and things don’t look good for Fishtown. Low church attendance and very low civic involvement. Even the men whose income is above poverty level do not participate in the community to make it better and stronger.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mayo Clinic on Chicken Soup for a cold

“There's no cure for the common cold. But if you're sick, chicken soup may help you feel better. Researchers say that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory and temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose. This relieves congestion and limits the amount of time viruses are in contact with the lining of your nose. Plus, soup and other liquids help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration.”

Vitamin C (after you have the cold), Echinacea, and zinc not recommended.

The President’s hope to tax 529 plans for college tuition

“The President wants to allow the Internal Revenue Service to begin taxing distributions from so-called 529 plans, even if they are used as intended to fund legitimate educational expenses such as college tuition. The Obama plan is to treat withdrawn earnings from these savings plans—which are funded with money that’s already been taxed—as regular income to the beneficiary. Therefore this money will be taxed again before it can be used to pay for higher education.

But the President’s plan would only apply the new taxes to withdrawn earnings on money contributed to these accounts in the future. All past contributions to 529 plans would continue to grow and then be withdrawn tax-free to pay for school.  . .“ 

Nice for families like the Obamas who have daughters heading for college soon.  His plan won’t affect his family (assuming he has a 529—don’t know if millionaires use them). Wall Street Journal

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution says it is Congress who is supposed to be proposing taxes and collecting taxes.  The President only gets 6 assignments, and 5 of those deal with security and protecting the nation.  Oh well . . .he certainly isn’t the first. He’s got a lot of company on this one.

The folks at Catfish Corner—Chicago

Obama’s new proposals are anti-marriage

"The Obama policies [SOTU speech] would also increase anti-marriage incentives in the welfare system. While the two-earner credit would reduce marriage penalties in some cases, the expanded EITC for non-parents and for absent fathers is larger than the two-earner credit and is blatantly anti-marriage. Absent fathers and other males would receive this new EITC credit only as long as they were not married. When they marry, the new credit would be removed. Overall the Obama policies increase rather than decrease penalties against marriage in welfare. Policy should seek to reduce marriage penalties, rather than take another strike against it."

Marriage is our society’s strongest protection against childhood poverty. Do we really another reason to discourage it?

1700 private carriers flitting off to Davos carrying pampered liberals, celebrities and vacationers

This is how seriously liberals take climate change/global warming. I want a clean environment for everyone, potable water for desperately poor countries. I don't want billions wasted so political hacks and non-profit CEOs in the U.S. and Europe can feel good about themselves.

The influx of private jets is so great, the Swiss Armed Forces has been forced to open up a military air base for the first time ever to absorb all the super rich flying their private jets into the event, reports Newsweek.

“Decision-makers meeting in Davos must focus on ways to reduce climate risk while building more efficient, cleaner, and lower-carbon economies,” former Mexican president Felipe Calderon told USA Today.

Davos, which has become a playground of sorts for the global elite, is expected to feature at least 40 heads of state and 2,500 top business executives. Former Vice President-turned-carbon billionaire Al Gore and rapper Pharrell Williams will be there as well; each plans to discuss global warming and recycling respectively.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Free stuff

I’ve been lured with free stuff. The entitlement generation. I’ve never paid much attention to “Silver Sneakers,” and wasn’t sure if I was supposed to have it or not. But after 10 years on Medicare, they finally sent me a card—probably because the price of my policy has gone up. The theory is, if Seniors stay healthy, then we’ll cost the insurance company less. I’m guessing it is more like, if you’re already healthy, you can use this perk—free passes to exercise facilities.

So this morning I went to the one closest to my house Metro Fitness and tried out 2 machines, but only for a total of 15 minutes. I’m nursing a sore hip (bursitis) so I don’t want to do anything to aggravate it. I did the treadmill for 10 minutes and a reclining bike with a back rest for 5. It had all the digital bells and whistles where I could enter my age, weight, check my heart rate, calories, distance, etc.

There are also “free classes” for seniors daily. There were chair aerobics today that I looked in on. One facility further away has a whirl pool and other goodies, but I don’t want to drive another 3 miles in the morning traffic. I have an exercycle at home and am using a free program on the internet having cycled 139.2 miles since Dec. 26 and lost 10 pounds (not from exercise because that doesn’t do it, but from not eating my favorite snacks, desserts, having wine with dinner, and sandwiches at lunch). I’m also in an exercise class at church that is about $1 a session. I could also walk around the condo grounds or the block for free. Yes, I’m on the government dole.

metro fitness

Anyway, I just wanted to thank the rest of you taxpayers for a perk that costs much more than if I had a private membership the way the other people using the facilities do.

The Private Library

Today I found the sweetest, beautifully written, and most informative blog about books and collecting (which I don’t do, but like to read about it) called The Private Library.  Unfortunately, it ended three years ago.  I did find this:

For many years L.D. Mitchell's blog The Private Library showed collectors that it is possible to build a collection without the benefit of much money. He published numerous articles on every imaginable subject of book collecting, he wrote about the most beautiful, the most important, the most common, the most attractive, the most unusual, the most interesting, the most extraordinary, the most amazing ... books one could read, buy, collect and simply enjoy. The Private Library has become an irreplaceable resource for all booklovers. Since April 2012, it is a static archive. L. D. Mitchell will no longer post new original content.

Standardized testing

Two bills have been introduced to reduce the number of mandated testing in schools--low quality, redundant, and way too many. NCLB expired 8 years ago. I never met a teacher who liked it. Why is it still around? Children get something like 20 standardized tests a year. No one is doing well with that system except the lobbyists for the testing companies.

I went back and checked the history of standardized tests. "In 1914, Frederick Kelly invented the multiple-choice test. By the 1950s the average public-school student took three standardized tests before graduation." Maybe those were nationwide, because it sure seemed like more--like once a year. But I was a good student and poor test taker. I never took an SAT or ACT or GRE and was an A student.

The first bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and introduced Tuesday, would empower states to reduce the amount of low-quality and redundant testing given to students. While it would not affect the number of federally mandated tests given in schools, it would allow states to use federal funds to audit their assessment systems.

The second bill, reintroduced by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on Wednesday, takes a more extreme approach on the issue of standardized testing. The Student Testing Improvement and Accountability Act would allow states and schools to scale back federal testing so that a student would only be tested once every few years -- once during grades three through five, once during grades six through nine, and so on. The bill was first introduced in 2014.

Aren’t you glad the president has so much free time?

While thousands of young people were gathered in DC for the Walk for Life yesterday, President Obama chose that time to meet with--wait for it--young people who have YouTube channels. Oh my. Of course, he's a huge supporter of abortion. But even if it weren't the Walk for Life event when hundreds of thousands promote the sacredness of life, this just seems like pandering. The "youth" who supported him in 2008 have moved on, disillusioned ready for something other than slogans. The new faces, new ideas in Washington are the young, dynamic and diverse GOP in Congress. Send in the drones and tax and spend away their future is about all he has for them.

He met with YouTube creators Bethany Mota, GloZell Green (eats Fruit Loops in her bath water to draw her audience) and Hank Green, but won’t meet with Netanyahu, invited to speak to Congress.  I’m guessing some of the following of GloZell don’t even know he is the President.

I’m so glad I’m not a Democrat; this is embarrassing following so closely to the Paris fiasco.

Al Sharpton and Eric Holder

Will Holder eat humble pie or chicken out?  Will Rev. Al ever back down from the shakedowns of corporations? An FBI investigation has not found enough evidence to charge Darren Wilson with the federal crime of depriving Michael Brown of his civil rights, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation. 40 investigators, 200 people interviewed. CNN really parses its words. This reporter wasn’t pleased. Not a single quote from those who believed Wilson.

My TBR list is growing

I've got to stop saying yes--to books to review. They are piling up. Chicks on the Right by Miriam Weaver and Amy Jo Clark; Countdown to the Apocalypse; why ISIS and Ebola are only the beginning by Robert Jeffress; American dreams; restoring economic opportunity for everyone, by Marco Rubio; America in retreat; the new isolationism and the coming global disorder, by Bret Stephens; Practical theology; spiritual direction from Saint Thomas Aquinas, by Peter Kreeft.  I think I even said Yes to one yesterday, but I’ve forgotten the title.  I reject more than I accept. However, I did take a sack of books and magazines to the library yesterday for the book sale.


Father Mario Majano on the sanctity of life

This morning on EWTN (repeated from yesterday's March for Life) Fr. Mario Majano spoke to a stadium of thousands of young people and in his homily he talked about young heroes, telling the story of one young woman who rejected an abortion for 3 crisis pregnancies, one a rape, one when she was unmarried with a young child to care for, and one after being treated for a tumor when she didn't know she was pregnant. I thought he was going to reveal one of the children to now be famous, but then he said, "Thanks, Mama," because he was one of them. (All healthy and normal.)

I checked the website of his parish and see it has a ministry (and staff) for Haitians, Africans, and Ghanans, as well as speakers of Spanish.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lower deficit and State of the Union

Obama took credit in the SOTU for the lower deficit, but it was the spending cuts demanded by the House Republicans and the 16 day shutdown that did that.  He also can't take any credit for increased fuel production which is making us an exporter and safer from dependency on the middle east, Africa and South American sources.  It was fracking that turned that around, lowered gas prices, and put money in the wallets of Americans. He has dragged his feet everywhere he could to satisfy his base on energy. And it's not air quality or climate change--they don't want the U.S. to be strong.

Winding down with the Constitution

Busy early Thursday--house guest, Bible study, fascinating presentation at lunch by Rod Crane talking about the role of volunteers with the Red Cross during Katrina, and a doctor's appointment. Winding down now by reading the U.S. Constitution. It's powerful and short.

I'm always shocked by the short list of responsibilities (6) of the President--which comes after a rather long list (about 25) for the Congress--which the Founders put ahead of the President. 1) Commander and chief of the various military branches, 2) granting reprieves and pardons against the U.S., 3) with the advice and consent of the Senate he can make treaties, 4) with advice and consent of Senate he can appoint Ambassadors and other public officials like judges, 5) fill vacancies that might happen during the Senate recess, and "from time to time" he can give a State of the Union address as he judges necessary and expedient, 6) receive ambassadors and other public ministers. Five of the six really deal directly or indirectly with national security, or relations with other nations.

I can find nothing about child care, free college tuition, health insurance, climate, advocating for any particular fuel system, or chastising citizens for discerning ethnic and religious shortcomings. So why have we and our parents and grandparents allowed this president and those before him to usurp the power of Congress? If the President strays into the Congress' job description, who will do his job?

About that pay inequity?

Mr. President,

the 60s called Tuesday night. They are upset that you don't know your history, employment law or what JFK did. The law about equal pay for equal work was passed in 1963. Employers are not allowed to discriminate based on gender. If they are not obeying the law, why didn't you do something? If they are not obeying that law, why will another one help? Also, women have earned 9 million more college degrees than men since 1982. They haven't been earning the same kind of degrees nor working the same number of hours, however. Last I checked, a mining engineer earned more than an art museum curator. Also for over 5 years, young, single college educated women have been earning more than young, single college educated men--in some cities like Atlanta and Memphis it's as much as 20%. Black women are so outpacing black men in college degrees, it is alarming. I think they get about 71% of the masters awarded to blacks students. What will you do about those gaps? Demand more laws?

Georgetown University did a study in 2011 of differences in gender and race in selecting a major. The study found that white men are concentrated in the highest-earning majors, including engineering and pharmaceutical sciences, while women gravitate toward the lowest-earning majors like education, art and social work.  The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education noted that educated white women were less likely to work full time than educated black women, accounting for the difference in their pay (educated black women earn more).,8599,2015274,00.html

Employers can't discriminate by law, but I’m sure they can read resumes.  And HR reps can talk among themselves and note absences, difficulties with co-workers, willingness to travel, etc.

Flashback on taxes and Democrats

John Kerry and John Edwards in the 2004 presidential race ran on a platform of repealing tax breaks for the rich. Sound familiar? Wasn’t that mentioned in Tuesday’s SOTU?  They didn't like Bush's tax cuts of 2003 for capital gains despite the fact the cuts brought in a 68% increase in tax revenues. Why do tax cuts bring in higher revenues? Lowering the rate provides incentive to sell, and that means money to reinvest which means more growth, which means more jobs, which means more taxes for our Congress to spend. That makes Democrats very unhappy, because it also means the rich get richer. They'd rather everyone suffer than have the upper quintile (other than themselves) get more. Bush inherited a recession too, although he didn't mention it every time he was in front of a microphone. He just put a stop to it. Obama wants higher taxes not to help the middle class (we'll never see a penny of it), but to punish the successful.

George Stephanopoulos

Georgie Porgie puddin' and pie,
Kisses Obama which makes us sigh.
When GOP comes out to play,
Georgie Porgie runs away.

Broadcast media should have different standards than cable. The FCC regulates them. We all realize George was a Democrat operative in the 90s and staffer for years, but really, give him an opinion show. George isn't a news correspondent--he's practically on the White House staff.

We’re past 6 years on the job.  How is this a rescue?  A coach or CEO would have been fired years ago. But then FDR is still hailed as a hero, and he kept us in a depression for over a decade.

Without laughing, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday’s World News Tonight advanced the White House hope that Barack Obama will be seen as Ronald Reagan was in 1987, as a President who rescued the economy and was rewarded by voters. -

Paraprosdokian--a late 20th-century neologism

Paraprosdokians are figure of speech where the latter part of the phrase is humorously surprising or unexpected and causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Who serves in the military?

I wonder how the rumor got started that an all volunteer military would disproportionately attract poor and minority? Isn't true. Blacks and white are about proportionate to the population, Hispanics underrepresented, Indians overrepresented. Higher level of education than the general population. "U.S. military enlistees disproportionately come from upper-middle-class families. Members of America's volunteer Army are not enlisting because they have no other economic opportunities. Most recruits come from relatively affluent families and would likely earn above-average wages if they did not join the military."…/who-serves-in-the-us-military-the…


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Two local history titles on Jerome, Ohio

I’ve been living in Columbus since 1967, and I admit that until today I’d never hear of Jerome, Ohio, which is just up the road near Dublin, and was described 65 years ago by Johnny Jones, columnist 1940-1971 for the Columbus Dispatch, as “American as apple pie” and off the state highways where you cross the O’Shaughnessy Dam Bridge near the Columbus Zoo. With Dublin spreading out, Jerome had a 90% increase in population in the last decade, from about 4,000 in 2000 to 7500 in 2010. Author of the first book, Les Gates, grew up in Jerome and recorded his fond memories in a small book titled simply “Jerome” (3d ed. 2014). Gates returned to the home place after serving in the military and was in the insurance business for many years in Dublin, OH.  After a few words about his parents and life on the Gates farm at 7379 Brock Road, he continues with memories, photos and descriptions of neighboring farms, the local school and business establishments like the Twin Oaks Golf Course and Seely Grocery Store. Gates is about my age, and includes stories of his years at Dublin High School with photos of his team sports, baseball and football.

In a conversation with another Jerome resident, 99 year old Mary Alice Schacherbauer, Les Gates learned she had a diary of her writings with memories and musings from 1914 to 2014. With his interest in Jerome, Les and his wife Mary decided to edit and publish her memories also  as “Days I remember; my memories and musings from 1914 to 2014. “ Mrs. Schacherbauer is about the age of my parents, so I particularly enjoyed her stories of school in the 1920s, and found to my surprise that people had school buses back then.  My parents lived on farms near Dixon, Illinois, and walked to school. She and her husband Lee married in 1937 and were active in the Jerome United Methodist Church.  She includes family stories and has many fond memories of grandparents and aunts and uncles. Several of her poems are included, and she closes with prayer for “our country, our world, our way of life.” One hundred years old and she has seen a lot of changes, but still enjoys life and especially her memories.

You can purchase one or both titles from Amazon or at local gift shops. Or you can contact Les Gates at

Monday, January 19, 2015

Soul mates by Jacqueline J. Holness

thekings  Check out her repost from 2011.

It’s not a race thing, it’s a heart thing

Daily Kos, a liberal internet opinion site, posted a rant by a young man (or woman, couldn’t tell) who had been successful in the past, moving from poverty to middle class (through luck, he says) and is now going to have to sell his car and apply for food stamps. Everyone else seems to be to blame for his situation, He’s angry and depressed. At a conservative discussion group on Facebook, this woman responded to his frustration with hope.

"I was on food stamps for about 6 mos. I did not have a car. I rode the bus. I did not have the internet or cable. I was living in a $300 a month apartment. (all bills paid). I ate a lot of mac and cheese (home made) and beans w/rice (dried). I ate baked chicken (cheapest meat at the time) in soups and sandwiches. I registered for classes and ended up getting a job at the school. It was hard. One night I had to stand in the rain to catch a bus to go to work. And I wept with the struggle. That day, I decided that it was up to me to change my situation. That was in 1997, I am now an instructor at the school. I have BA, an MA, and 48 hrs on my PhD. I am 65 and I am telling anyone who wants to that you can change your own life. I now teach students black, brown, and white who struggle the same way I did and I tell them all. They are they only one that can change their situation. I have witnessed students change their lives and their circumstances. It is not a race thing it is a heart thing. I have seen it happen."

Yes, more people die in January

If it feels like you’ve been attending too many funerals lately, you’re right.  It’s true, more people die in January than  other months, and more in winter than other seasons. My mother died in January, as did both her parents; her sister died in February and her brother in December. Checking my genealogy data, my father’s family for the most part died in spring and summer months.   It is not climate, and it’s not suicide (that’s a myth). has some good information.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Presidential word games

“The Obama administration refuses to call Islamofascist terror what it is. The President, when he talks about the terrorists, refuses to identify them specifically; they are “extremists” and the like. He and his supporters use the same terminology to describe the Islamofascists and members of Christian conservative groups or members of the Tea Party movement—“fundamentalists” (even though, by the traditional definition, only Christians can be fundamentalists), “Far Right” (even though, everywhere they are involved in politics, Islamofascists are allied with the Left), “extremists”  (even though both Christian conservatives and Tea Partiers are in the political mainstream, especially compared to Obama-style authoritarians/Progressives). Meanwhile, the Fort Hood shooting was classified by the Obama administration and its media allies as “workplace violence.””  Steven J. Allen

Turkey Meatballs

It's not that it's magic, but I like to involve one of my mother's mixing bowls when I cook/make something unfamiliar. Friday I made something she probably never did, and I used her little red bowl. . . turkey meatballs. Ground turkey is so tasteless. I decided to add some bread crumbs, seasoning and brush with some sauce.  They tasted so good, I made more on Saturday and froze them for use later. As best as I can recall:

Bread crumbs from whatever you’ve got—I used two slices of whole wheat bread.

1/2 envelop of Lipton’s dried onion soup mix

1 egg

Mix all that together and add 1 pound of ground turkey.

Shape into small balls and place in a muffin tin for small muffins (mine has 24 spaces)

Brush the tops with some kind of sauce.  I made one from mustard, catsup and a little Truvia on Friday, and used grape jelly, mustard and catsup on Saturday.  This keeps the meatballs from drying out while baking.

325 degrees about 30-35 minutes.

Makes 24. Freeze what you don’t eat.  My husband decided they were just the right size for a Ritz cracker.


Here’s a recipe from Food Network that’s a lot more work.

Here’s another one—more work—but I like the idea of serving them over greens. I’d need to make more sauce, however. I only had about a dollop and a dash.

Learning math

I’m only on page 13 of my new math book, “Math on Call,” and the reason it is going slowly is that it isn’t review, it’s new concepts, and although older people can learn new things, it takes longer.  Here’s a new one on me.  Using, or not using, the word and.

“When you read a number, do NOT say AND in any old place.  If you do, you’ll have trouble when you need to read the decimal point as “and.” Sometimes pretty funny misunderstandings can happen. 

Two hundred and twenty-five thousandths is 200.025

Two hundred twenty-five thousandths is 0.225

[Cartoon of an elephant and a hamster on a teeter-totter]

If I keep going I might be able to do Common Core Math!

You can listen to the actual songs of Selma

Knowing how bulky old tape recorders were (I could hardly carry mine at all), I’m amazed this man could record these songs.

“Carl Benkert was a successful architectural interior designer from Detroit who had come down South in 1965 with a group of local clergy to take part and bear witness to the historic march for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, for voting rights.

In addition to his camera, he brought a bulky, battery-operated reel-to-reel tape recorder to capture the history all around him, in speech but also in song.”

Freedom Songs: Selma, Alabama

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Now I can review my math

This week someone posted on Facebook about reviewing insanely simple 9th grade math problems and I mentioned I'd been looking for something for review, but couldn't go higher than 5th grade because the material was too difficult.

Yesterday at Volunteers of America for 90 cents I found the neatest book, "Math on Call," Houghton Mifflin, 2004. It's attractive, nicely arranged, color coded with clear explanations that are somewhat below my reading level, even if the math isn't. So I went online to check out the grade level and found it is "sixth to eighth." It includes number theory, computation (which is about all I can do), algebra, graphs and statistics, geometry, ratio/proportion/percent, probability and odds, then study tips, test taking tips, tables, patterns (like Fibonacci) and systems (Roman numerals, Mayan, etc.) This is a terrific "review," and if elementary kids are doing this, God bless'em.   Also, the used ones I saw on-line were about $40--I may be bad at math, but that's more than 90 cents.

Math on call

Wrong point about illegal immigration—it’s very lucrative for Mexico

Right Wing News's photo.

This makes a point, but not the right one. They are helping their government and economy. Money sent back to families in Mexico and Central America is 2nd or 3rd highest source of income for those countries, despite being rich in natural resources. If these people are poor, it's because of their governments' policies. Also, the power structure is primarily descendants of Europeans, either Spain or Germany, although they are the minority, and they are gradually moving their dark skin citizens north to the U.S. Ever watch Spanish language TV--they promote amnesty. Whitest shows and newscasts you'll ever see.

Geert Wilders, My Life on Al Qaeda's Death List

After the events in France (and now other European states) and the embarrassing response of our government, it's a good time to review the views of Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders. He's vilified on the left as a fascist which these days means using the words Islamic terrorist and having national self-respect. This is a pdf reprint of a chapter in his book published by Regnery, "Marked for death." Note particularly his inclusion of film maker Theo Van Gogh, who was beheaded by Muslims, and how he spoke of and insulted Christians and Jews.…/Marked-For-Death-Special-Report.pdf


The Biblical passages Protestants won’t read literally

I went to Bible Study Thursday  led by Pastor Jeff Morlock of UALC and we were focusing on John 4:1-30, the lesson for this coming Sunday. But I drifted a bit to John 6:25-59, where Jesus explains to his disciples, the people gathered in the synagogue in Capernaum, and to us centuries later the meaning of the phrase and promise that he is the bread of life. I've seen entire books written on one word, such as "rapture," "justify" or phrase "fruit of the spirit," and essays on whether the nativity stories mean young woman or virgin.

But here we have a huge chunk of scripture in Jesus' own words about "eat the flesh and drink his blood," with clear references to the promises to Moses and eternal life. Yet millions and millions of Protestants ignore it and say that "I am," "real," and "whoever," belong to pre-16th century superstitions of the Catholics. Frankly, I don't get it. Lutherans depending on the synod sort of fudge it with "in over around and through" and the Anglicans, I think, acknowledge it, but the rest skip right over it. Protestants seem to be taking for their part of the script, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" And Jesus is pretty clear in his explanation. "Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." To say he's speaking metaphorically or explaining bread in spiritual terms, you have to ignore the several paragraphs where he explains what he means.

Here’s what a Baptist web site says about this passage. The Catholics have 2,000 years of church teaching, tradition and Bible research to back their view.  This is one man/one ministry’s opinion with no scripture provided to support his view/belief that Jesus meant something other than what he said, but the writer is very concerned that Baptists not commune with people who don't believe as his ministry has stated.

"Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper are changed into the real body and blood of Jesus Christ. To believe this the Savior then took His body and made the disciples eat of it, and literally poured out His blood and told them to "drink ye all of it." If you can believe that you should be a Catholic. Bread cannot be His real body; neither can wine be His real blood, but bread can represent His body and wine can represent His blood. The Lutherans differ least from the Romans in regard to communion, for they maintain that "the body and the blood of Christ are materially present in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, though in an incomprehensible manner. They call it CON-SUBSTANTIATION. The Catholics call it TRANS-SUBSTANTIATION. Both are incredible."

Friday, January 16, 2015

Selma, nominated for best picture, but Rev. Al isn’t happy

I've been reading some reviews of Selma the movie, the latest Al Sharpton cause for a shakedown of Hollywood proposing a quota system for movie awards, which the very leftist industry awards itself. Four of the main actors are British as is the screen writer, throughout the movie racist Democrats are battled including LBJ a Democrat icon, and it ends with a song that includes a reference to Ferguson, a paean to a man who was shot by a policeman after robbing and assaulting a store owner. So it closes with a reminder that after 50 years under Democrat control, blacks are still protesting and asking for justice while equating a man like Brown with Martin Luther King, Jr. What could go wrong, Rev. Sharpton.

Al Sharpton go away. No more shakedowns. The best way to prove The Oscar committee wrong is to make the movie a great success and associating your face and whines with Selma is not the way to do it. Democrats and liberals are probably not thrilled with the portrayal of LBJ in this movie, but that might make others look at what an obstructionist he was when Republicans were trying to pass civil rights legislation before the 1960s.

Gilbert’s History of the Twentieth Century, v. 3: 1952-1999

History of the 20th century

What a find!  I was browsing the shelves at Volunteers of American on Henderson Rd. today and found this title by the prolific, incredible British writer, Martin Gilbert. Now I’ll have to watch for the other volumes.

“Sir Martin John Gilbert is a British historian and Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford. He is the author of over eighty books, including works on the Holocaust and Jewish history. Gilbert is a leading historian of the modern world, and is known as the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill.”

I first came across him reading “Letters to Auntie Fori: The 5,000-Year History of the Jewish People and Their Faith.”  He met Auntie in 1958 through his college friend who was Indian and over the years became her “adopted nephew.”  When she was 90 she revealed to him that she was actually a Hungarian Jew, but knew nothing about her heritage or that religion.  Thus began a series of letters to Auntie explaining her heritage. It is probably the most interesting way to learn Jewish history.

He presents Jewish history as the narrative expression–the timeline–of the Jewish faith, and the faith as it is informed by the history. Starting with Adam and Eve, he then brings us to Abraham and his descendants, who worshiped a God who repeatedly, and often dramatically, intervened in their lives. The stories of Genesis and Exodus lead seamlessly on to those of the eras when the land was ruled by the Israelite kings and then by Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Greece, and Rome–the Biblical and post-Biblical periods. In Sir Martin’s hands, these stories are rich in incident and achievement. He then traces the long history of the Jews in the Diaspora, ending with an unexpected visit to an outpost of Jewry in Anchorage, Alaska. (Good reads)

However, the book I bought is the third volume (very big)  in a set about the 20th century, most of my life time, and it seems odd to see the events I remember, like the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the assassination attempt on President Reagan written in to history.

Martin Gilbert's three-volume history of the century continues with an enthralling narrative that documents the attempts to preserve human values, to maintain the rule of law, and to uphold the rights and dignity of the individual. Gilbert shows how the conflicts of nations and the aspirations of their rulers served both to threaten humankind through war and civil war, in many regions of the globe, and to create a fairer and more fulfilling life for hundreds, even thousands, of millions of people.For more than four decades, the United States and the Soviet Union--joint victors in the struggle against Germany and Japan--struggled to establish the primacy of their respective systems, while the specter of nuclear war threatened to become a terrible reality.

Here are gripping narrative accounts of the wars in Korea, Vietnam, and Bosnia; the postwar reconstruction of Europe; apartheid; the arms race; the moon landing ; and  the extraordinary advances in medical science.  Mao started a cultural revolution, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy were assassinated, and the computer revolution was begun.  The result is nothing less than extraordinary. (Amazon)

I wish reading were easy for me; I certainly have some wonderful books on my office shelves I haven’t read.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Faith of the Founders and the current Congress

There are 204 unique individuals in the group called our "Founding Fathers." These are the people who did one or more of the following:

- signed the Declaration of Independence
- signed the Articles of Confederation
- attended the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ...
- signed the Constitution of the United States of America
- served as Senators in the First Federal Congress (1789-1791)
- served as U.S. Representatives in the First Federal Congress

88 or 54.7% were Anglican/Episcopalian, 30 or 18.6% were Presbyterians, and 27 or 16.8% were Congregationalist. 4.3% were Quakers (although not life long) and 3.7% were Dutch Reformed/German Reformed. Others like Lutherans 3.1% and Catholics 1.9% combined to make the founders approximately 100% Christian or Christian influenced. I'm sure there were atheists and agnostics clever enough to keep their views to themselves and were baptized members in name only. The third group's grandbaby is the current United Church of Christ (the Obamas' church) and it describes itself as "Christian, Reformed, Congregational and Evangelical" so the current version rolls some of those together. Protestantism is terribly fluid and confusing, a little like tracing your family tree. Where 2 or 3 are gathered, someone forms a new denomination. The 2nd great awakening came later so there are only 2 Methodists.(Religious affiliations of the founders)

92% of the current 114th Congress is made up of Christians, with Protestants at 57% and Catholics at 31%, so they've made huge strides with only 22% of the population reporting Catholic in faith. As was the case with the signers of our original documents, Congress is much more religious counting Jews (5%) than the general population--with more clergy than the Founders.

Some Christians doubt the high percentage in the current Congress. I don't judge when someone says he/she is a Christian--if we take the word of a Muslim, or an atheist, why not a Christian?. There are too many litmus tests among us Christians. God will judge. The journalists of Charlie Hebdo, hateful, nasty, despiser of all faiths, now know for sure.