Sunday, January 31, 2016

Zika and microcephaly

I was listening to a radio news report on Zika on the car radio Friday morning, the mosquito borne pandemic, and almost hit the curb. (It was still dark.) The announcer urged caution for "women carrying children." Truth. It wasn't a clump of cells, a fetus, or even a baby. Children. How did that ever slip past the censor?

 "It is not known how common microcephaly has become in Brazil’s outbreak. About three million babies are born in Brazil each year. Normally, about 150 cases of microcephaly are reported, and Brazil says it is investigating nearly 4,000 cases."

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Poverty 70 years ago compared to today

I've never seen a really good definition of structural or institutional poverty--probably because those are terms the left uses to criticize and demonize the right, so they lie about causes and solutions and ask for more money to throw at the problem.  It's a great term for creating a straw man and then accuse someone else of knocking it down.  The idea is that something within society is working against people to keep them from decent jobs and housing.

When I was a child, I actually knew poor children who were from poor families. In those days there were no wealth transfer programs, no school lunch, no welfare checks. We went to school together, and occasionally we played together. I don't remember any attending church (there were 3 churches, plus rural churches, so it's possible they did and I didn't know it).  From my limited childhood understanding of economics, poor children had poor parents. In most cases I had never met their fathers, but had seen a mother--in those days (1940s/1950s) poor children had married parents, which is not usually the case today. The poor children I knew often didn't have underwear or socks, and their clothes were soiled and sometimes they smelled like urine. They did poorly in school.  I knew children who were in foster care because their parents were too poor to take of them; I knew children who moved about every three to six months because their fathers were tenant farmers, and not very good ones because they drank.  I knew children whose parents couldn't take care of them so they lived with their grandparents. I knew a few children that only had a mother, and she was often a waitress or just  appeared occasionally.  I noticed even in those days (I was maybe 8 years old by then), they had a vocabulary that included bad grammar, dirty jokes and words we weren't allowed to say. I knew one boy who had lost an arm in a farm accident, and another who was accidentally killed when he found his father's shotgun under a bed.

Of course, poverty is relative.  Even my friends who weren't poor might have a dinner of soda crackers crumbled into a bowl of milk once or twice a week, had tongue sandwiches from butchering (gag), wore hand-me-down clothes from their cousins, and for Halloween a paper sack with a face drawn on it would be a suitable costume. Even families who weren't poor may have not had a home with an indoor toilet. For their once a week bath, the heated water came from the stove and was carried to the bathtub and three children might share the water.  But being clean meant you weren't poor! The holes in our clothes were neatly patched and when they were outgrown they were given away, and if worn out, they were cut into strips and Mom crocheted a rug.  Most of us who weren't poor had mothers who canned produce from gardens they had planted, weeded and harvested with the children's help, and we all wore dresses or trousers our mothers had sewn.  But my goodness, we certainly didn't think we were poor, even if we only had one pair of shoes which had to last until our toes were squashed.

Now when I see poverty in Columbus, I still don't see institutional poverty.  I see poor children with poor parents. The share of U.S. children living in poverty has actually increased by 2 percentage points since 2008. But unlike the 1940s these parents have lots of help from the state and federal governments--SNAP, Section 8 housing, WIC, school lunch and after school and summer time snacks, Medicaid, and all sorts of material aid from churches and non-profits, from food pantries to furniture to clothing to an automobile.  Many of these poor families are headed by women. The majority are white. If they are lucky, they have an older "wise" woman in their life to help them negotiate the system.  I met one the other day which was three generations and they were living in an unheated garage and were about to be evicted. But just like the children in the families I knew 70 years ago, the children are poor because  the adults had made really bad decisions--about relationships, alcohol/drugs, education, and jobs.  But especially relationships. The women become entangled with men who don't work or are petty criminals, then they are abused, and left with the children as he moves on to another woman or goes to prison. And the next guy she finds is more of the same.  They are much better dressed than those I grew up with, but I can't forget the desperate look in the adults' eyes--the children don't seem to know they are poor.

The wealthy non-profits with well paid CEOs, the government bureaucrats and the academics in ivory towers seem to think that some are poor because others are rich. They want billions, no trillions, to close some sort of gap.  It's like they've never looked at or talked to a poor family.

“Young people can virtually assure that they and their families will avoid poverty if they follow three elementary rules for success – complete at least a high school education, work full time, and wait until age 21 and get married before having a baby.  Based on an analysis of Census data, people who followed all three of these rules had only a 2 percent chance of being in poverty and a 72 percent chance of joining the middle class (defined as above $55,000 in 2010.”

Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution, testifying before Congress on June 5, 2012

Trump vs. Trump

  • On Ted Cruz: In January 2016, Trump said, "I don't think Ted Cruz has a great chance, to be honest with you. … He's a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him." In December 2015, "I really do. I like Ted Cruz a lot."
  • On Iowans: In January 2016, Trump said, "I love Iowa. We've done really well here." In November 2015, "How stupid are the people of Iowa?"
  • On Hillary Clinton: In July 2015, Trump said, "Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States." In March 2012, "Hillary Clinton, I think, is a terrific woman. I mean, I'm a little biased, because I've known her for years. … I think she really works hard, and I think she does a good job. And I like her."
  • On Megyn Kelly: In December 2011, asked by Fox News host Megyn Kelly if he'd be a better moderator than her, Trump responded, "No, I could never beat you. That wouldn't even be close. There would be no contest. You have done a great job, by the way. I mean it." In January 2016, Trump said, "I have zero respect for Megyn Kelly. I don't think she's really good at what she does. I think she's highly overrated." 
Stephen Colbert

I've yet to meet a conservative who supports Trump.  Don't know who these uninformed people are, but they must be voting for the first time and are really excited about a know-nothing campaigner.

Southern Strawberry Punch Bowl Cake (trifle)

 Do It Yourself's photo.
 Southern Strawberry Punch Bowl Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 (6 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
1 lg. can crushed pineapple, drained
2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen strawberries
2 bananas
1 (16 oz.) carton Cool Whip

Bake cake in two round cake pans and set aside to cool. Make pudding and set in refrigerator to get cold. Cut one layer of cake in small chunks; put in punch bowl. Spread half of pudding on top; then add half of pineapple and one package strawberries. Slice one banana on top; half of Cool Whip, spreading to cover completely. Repeat with the other layer the same - ending with Cool Whip. Let set in refrigerator overnight.

I would probably purchase an Angel Food cake, and skip the baking part.  I seem to remember either my mom or sister making this refreshing dessert. Using sugar free pudding mix and Free Cool Whip, you could probably call this "low-calorie."  I've got a pretty punch bowl I never use. . . now all I need is the ambition and an event.

The 40,000 mile mountain range you've probably never heard of

This story appeared in the New York Times recently (it won't let me view it because of my browser, but there are other sources, since it's been known for some time.  I checked another source. Gilman, Larry; Lerner, K. Lee. "Mid-Ocean Ridges." Water:Science and Issues. 2003. 30 Jan. 2016 <>.  Truly fascinating.  You could get lost just imagining it.

 Do you suppose all this might possibly affect the climate with earthquakes and upheavals, gases and mineral deposits with the ocean bottom moving as much as 6" a year? Is it Bush's fault, or the GOP? Obscure information, yes, as NYT reports, but known for some time.

Friday, January 29, 2016

The well dressed man at the coffee shop

After almost a life time of going to a coffee shop for my first coffee of the day, I gave it up to save money for our trip to Spain last September, that and the fact I needed to switch to de-caf and it just didn't seem worth the price.  I did successfully add $600 to my trip piggy bank.  But these last two Fridays I've gone to Panera's after 6:30 Mass at St. Andrew's with my notebook and current reading in hand.  I'm a people watcher--I like to see a man (or woman) take pride in his appearance--it just feels like they are going to accomplish something that  day.  I'm good at spotting the "interview costume," because the person just doesn't look comfortable. Twenty years ago I could tell the workers from the retirees, professionals from housewives, but not any more.  It's equal opportunity sloppy, casual Friday even on Wednesday.

So when I saw him--my eyes followed--not in a lustful way, although he was very nice looking and well proportioned in a 20-something sort of way, but in wonder and awe like visiting a new city.  He was wearing clean, pressed khakis, a tucked in shirt with a collar, and well fitting loafers.  He had a touch of facial hair, neatly trimmed, and a good hair cut.  No visible tattoos, no studs, no earrings.  In short, he looked like he cared about himself and his job.  Praise God.  He was washing the windows.

When I gathered up my things to leave, he was working outside in a coat--also neat and clean.  I stopped and inquired if he were a Panera's employee or a private contractor, and I think he responded,  Ohio Window Cleaning Co.  I complimented him on his work, and he gave me a smile that could light a cloudy day and said, "Thank you."

 This company, which has obviously invested time and energy in training its employees, could give workshops on the side.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Terri Schiavo: what is disgusting

Just saw the teaser headline that the husband of Terri Schiavo is disgusted by a Jeb Bush ad that featured her. There is nothing more disgusting than the "husband's" behavior in forcing her to die of hunger and thirst when her own family was willing to take care of her. He went to court, won millions which were supposed to be for her lifetime care, then took a new "wife," and abandoned Terri to a painful death. There's probably a better word than disgusting for him, but I don't own that sort of vocabulary.

Image result for Terri Schiavo 
She wasn't connected to life support--was breathing on her own.  Could recognize voices and respond.  She needed food and water, as we all do to live, but because she couldn't swallow, she was disconnected from life.  Her parents begged to let her be their responsibility.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

At Mass this morning I heard that today is the Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church (d. 1274). Then the homily by the young priest was a 2 minute reflection on that. I was so excited. Finally, I knew a saint mentioned in Mass. I had received for review, the book "Practical theology spiritual direction from St. Thomas Aquinas; 358 ways your mind can help you to become a saint from the Summa Theologiae" by Peter Kreeft (2014, isbn 978-1-58617-968-7). Kreeft admits in the introduction that reading 4,000 pages of Summa is a challenge, but in it he's found more personal spiritual nourishment and more motivation to be holy than in most other spiritual writers.

Practical Theology
 Ignatius Press link

Cage free eggs won't be cheap

Right now, the US market has about 300 million laying hens, and only about eight percent of them are cage-free, according to this story in Wired.

In 2014, the US as a whole produced nearly 100 billion eggs, totaling $10.2 billion in revenue. This kind of mass production depends on cages. With those tiny wire boxes, farmers can micromanage everything about a bird’s life. They can even help automate egg collection by forcing the bird to lay its eggs directly into a funnel that drops down into a collection area.

Today, eggs are widely available and cheap mostly because of caging systems.

Let's hear it for collard greens (which taste really good with a little bacon and onions)

  • The cholesterol-lowering ability of collard greens may be the greatest of all commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. In a recent study, steamed collard greens outshined steamed kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage in terms of its ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract. When this bile acid binding takes place, it is easier for the bile acids to be excreted from the body. Since bile acids are made from cholesterol, the net impact of this bile acid binding is a lowering of the body's cholesterol level. It's worth noting that steamed collards show much greater bile acid binding ability than raw collards.
  • We get unique health benefits from collard greens in the form of cancer protection. The cancer-preventive properties of collard greens may be largely related to 4 specific glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin. Each of these glucosinolates can be converted into an isothiocyanate (ITC) that helps lower our cancer risk by supporting our detox and anti-inflammatory systems. 
From The George Mateljan Foundation Healthy Food Tips, Jan. 26, 2016

Cruciferous Vegetables

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Collard greens
  • Daikon radish
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Land cress
  • Mustard greens
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Shepherd's purse
  • Turnip
  • Watercress 
" The vitamin K content of cruciferous vegetables — especially kale and collards — is fascinating to think about in light of intensive research over the past five years on cancer, inflammation, and cruciferous vegetables. Vitamin K is a conventional nutrient that clearly helps regulate our inflammatory response, including chronic, excessive inflammatory responses that can increase our risk of certain cancers. Studies on cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention have not typically focused on vitamin K per se, but we suspect that the amazing K content of cruciferous vegetables is definitely related to their cancer-preventive properties through mechanisms involving better control of inflammation."

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hillary blames the GOP for Flint water problems

Try Again Hill 750

The documentary, Trapped.

"Four abortion providers received a standing ovation from an audience at the Sundance Film Festival this week after the group secretly attended the premiere of the pro-abortion documentary Trapped." Secretly? I'm surprised the blood on their hands didn't give them away.

Pregnant women are trapped; about 60% are forced into an abortion by peers, boyfriends, husbands and parents.  What are you going to do when threatened with rejection, loss of love, support and financial help, or loss of tuition money for college? It's tough raising a child even if you have an education and a good job.  Without a safety net, it's almost impossible. There is very little "choice" in the pro-choice movement.

 An article in The Daily Beast is headlined, “Coerced Abortions: A New Study Shows They’re Common.” The article is based largely on information from the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion research center) but raises the topic of “reproductive coercion.” This is an interesting twist on the concept. Rather than looking at women who are coerced into having an abortion, it looks at women who are coerced or tricked first into getting pregnant, then also coerced into aborting the baby, identified as “reproductive control.”

In his own words

 With a little editing, it sounds like our president cares about the slaughter of 58 million babies since Roe v. Wade.

Calories and salt overload

I noticed a "groupon" ad showing a photo of a Thurman to go cheeseburger.

So out of curiosity since it looked so gross, I checked the calorie count--about 1300 calories, 96 g fat, and 2000 mg sodium! Yikes. Do people eat this stuff? So I checked out my favorite Friday night date meal at the Rusty Bucket (although I only eat half and my husband eats the other half on Saturday). My Philly Cheesesteak is 717, but I also get fries which are 390. Good thing I only eat half. Before you go out to eat, read the menu on line, then look it up. 

 Image result for Philly cheese steak Rusty Bucket

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Donor beware

" A morbidly obese man hailed by Michelle Obama for setting a good example for Americans by slimming down turns out to be a sex offender. A race-obsessed Black Lives Matter activist turned newspaper columnist insists he’s African-American even though he’s not. A holier-than-thou Latino actress aims to politically empower fellow Latinos – but only if they’re Democrats. These three people have all created or had connections to sketchy non-profit organizations."  Foundation Watch

Tuesday Musings

I had a hair appointment this morning. It's the only time I see People magazine. If you think the Oscars were white, you should see the Golden Globe awards. Even the double page of ladies dressed to the nines didn't have a black or brown woman.

Also, I picked up my new glasses, although they aren't that new--the frames are from my 2008 prescription.  When I looked through the selection of frames, they didn't look that out of date.

Today there are over 31 percent more women on college campuses then men, so why do we need lopsided assistance like special grants, scholarships and workshops exclusively for women? This isn't your grandmother's university.

About estimates. Apparently the measuring stick (device) was lost in the snow of the blizzard in Washington, and now they don't know if there was a record! These are the experts predicting the demise of the planet within a fraction of an inch of the ocean. Also, Washington Post and New York Times reported "hundreds" attended the March for Life on Saturday when in fact there were thousands, you can even count noses in the photos, and there were probably hundreds just stranded on the PA Turnpike. These are the brilliant news sources that create the polls to tell us who we should be voting for.

EWTN's Doug Keck was reporting on radio this morning that in returning to Alabama his group got stranded, and stayed at a Walgreen's.  I assume the staff couldn't leave either. I checked Google, and found photos of a storm in 2014 where people were sleeping in the aisles of a Walgreen's using packages of Maxi-pads for pillows.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Life expectancy--Monday Memories

When you are born, there is a life expectancy assigned and I'm sure many factors are included, especially gender and race and how others that age fare. Mine was 65.2. Then the longer you live, the more that is adjusted. I received my withdrawal account for my TDAs and each year my balance/withdrawal is refigured based on my life expectancy. Now it is about 98. In other words, the money needs to last that long! That's sort of scary, isn't it?

My grandfathers lived into their 90s as did one of my grandmother's sisters (Ada) and my mother's sister (Muriel) and brother (Leslie). But not my parents. Looking back, none of those who lived into their 90s had any medical care as children--they weren't even born in a hospital.

                                                          With Aunt Muriel in 1991.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Enjoying great music

I enjoy the Lawrence Welk reruns of the syndicated archives by OETV on PBS. I didn't watch it when I was young. Tonight I watched the 1967 salute to the Indy 500, recreated in 2004. "Norma Zimmer, features a special salute to the “Indianapolis 500”, the exciting and popular auto race. The show opens with some of the cast driving around in little cars, singing “Indiana” and then bounces along the road with “Tico,Tico” by Myron Floren. The Lennon Sisters sing “There’s A Kind Of Hush” and Norma joins Jim Roberts to sing “Make Believe”, the classic duet from “Showboat”." Great music.  Norma Zimmer died in 2011.

United States is 49th in press freedom

We're #49 in World Press Freedom. Canada is #8.  "In the United States, 2014 was marked by judicial harassment of New York Times investigative reporter James Risen in connection with the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer charged under the Espionage Act with giving him classified information. US journalists are still not protected by a federal shield law that would guarantee their right not to name their sources or reveal other confidential information about their work. Meanwhile, at least 15 journalists were arbitrarily arrested during clashes between police and demonstrators protesting against black teenager Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri."

Gender Identity and homeless shelters

Emergency shelters are the next target for regulations from the federal government elevating gender identity over health, safety, privacy, and religious liberty concerns. Why is this tiny fraction of a fraction of the population considered more important than the health, safety, privacy and religious liberty of women who have been women since conception and who have struggled for centuries for the crumbs of laws and protections given to men?

Flint and Detroit

Flint, MI sort of stole the news last week, because I don't remember seeing much about this union protest in front of Obama's venue in Detroit. I haven't been watching much news lately, so maybe I missed other stories of Democrat contolled unions and black groups protesting when Obama’s in town, which if he were Bush, would be a call for total rebellion. There must be a lot of corruption in the city government if they can't make schools tick with $16,000 per student plus all the other wealth transfer programs.
"According to the U.S. Department of Education, just 8 percent of Detroit eighth-graders can read proficiently. And just seven in 10 students graduate. Detroit public schools spend roughly $16,000 per pupil per year but the schools have many code and building violations. (All Democrat mayors since 1962.) The unionized teachers went on strike last week with complaints about conditions and charter schools. The protest was outside Cobo Center before President Barack Obama's visit to the auto show." (from my FaceBook wall)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ethnicity, gender and religion in campaign 2016

There's an interesting video out there with Rubio responding to questions about his religion.  One appears to be off the cuff (unless the question was planted) and the other in a prepared speech.
Many Republicans who complained of Obama’s lack of experience (in anything), will have to eat their words if Marco Rubio is elected. Has Rubio done anything other than be a politician? The question in the video came from an atheist.  Atheists and agnostics are also condescending, accusing the religious people of being illiterate bumpkins and troglodites. Films for example, and some politicians with sketchy theology and history, but who pretend to be Christians. They are becoming very aggressive, putting up billboards that are anti-God and ads on TV. And of course, the anti-God people pretty much control the culture so they control the conversation.
The a second event on the video is linked to the first, with the audience member wanting to hear a "formula" statement about faith.  Rubio talks about his current church attendance and affiliation, which is Southern Baptist and Roman Catholic. Now that presents a puzzle, but he’s an excellent word crafter and seems to pull it all together. He says that when he and his family became Southern Baptist (had actually been Mormon for awhile) and he really studied the Bible it revitalized all the lessons and liturgy he’d learned growing up as a Catholic, so they “reverted” to Catholicism but continue to follow the Southern Baptist sermons (Christ Fellowship)  and still occasionally attend because they like the pastor (mentioned his name, but I’m not familiar with that). The Catholic church is a big umbrella with a lot of leeway on beliefs (Pelosi and Kerry for instance have not been denied communion for their abortion and gay marriage beliefs), whereas the Southern Baptist umbrella, if there is one, is pretty small with little deviation from doctrine allowed. Next to Cruz, Rubio is the most talented speechifier of all the candidates, and even if you don’t like him, you have to be amazed as his quickness.
If Rubio pulls ahead, Trump will find a way to smear Catholics, and then point to Rubio as being duplicitous because he attends two churches (like he stirred up the Cruz birther issue). However, this makes Rubio conversant in three religious languages and styles, Mormonism, Baptist and Catholicism—and all three have a very strong social action/justice commitment. Trump in a narcissistic know-nothing in any language. Especially religion.

Friday, January 22, 2016

March for Life in DC

Today is the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children." Thousands are gathering in Washington DC (and other locations) on the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and a huge blizzard is headed that way. It is estimated that 58 million unborn in the U.S. have been killed in those 43 years. Events are still on-going, although some buses have been cancelled. I guess Michigan and Buffalo are there--this is no big deal for them!

 Pro-life is also pro-woman. Many are being pressured, or cut off financially if they don't submit to the wishes of boyfriend, parents, or peer group. It also means the right to live if you are old, sick and disabled. Don't you believe the progressive lies about "there are no death panels." Of course not. They are called "ethics committees," and there's one waiting for you if you get too expensive or inconvenient to care for. In our society we are valued for what we can contribute to the general good, not because we are children of God. 

Things are moving quickly. Two years ago would you have believed people could be fined and jailed for not baking a cake? Before Obama, would you have believed that the IRS would control your medical records and you could be jailed for not buying a product? Stay informed, people. Soon you may be jailed for not signing off on a hospital's demand to withdraw food and water.

 As First Lady, Hillary asked Mother Teresa why the US had not yet had a female president. The little woman sitting beside her at lunch replied, "Because she has probably been aborted."  I don't know if this is an urban legend, but it's something to think about especially since she is now full bore pro-choice--even for gender selection.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

My name is Mahtob

You may remember the film "Not without my daughter" starring Sally Field. That little girl is grown up and telling her own story, and Glenn Beck interviewed mother and daughter tonight. After experiencing the physicial and mental oppression of women in Iran, and then their amazing escape, she needed to learn not to hate her father. Glenn asked her how she did that, and she said it was attending a Lutheran school and her teachers telling her Bible stories about God's love and protection. Title of her book is "My name is Mahtob."
 Mahtob Mahmoody, on her own, and in tandem with her mom, has spent much of her life sharing her message of hope and inspiration with audiences throughout the world. She is a harbinger of peace not hatred, of forgiveness not bitterness, of celebrating the good AND the bad experiences in life that mold our character. Drawing the best from her Iranian and her American heritage, Mahtob employs anecdotes from her life to illustrate the beauty of a multi-cultural existence.

A felony, but who cares?

Crushin Libs's photo.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mrs. Clinton on abortion

"Hillary Clinton has recently moved to the absolutist position on abortion, writes our columnist William McGurn, and she’s been rewarded with Planned Parenthood’s “first presidential primary endorsement in its 100-year history.” The candidate has now abandoned the longtime Clinton formulation of “safe, legal and rare” in favor of “safe, legal, unlimited—and federally subsidized,” according to Mr. McGurn." (Wall Street Journal)

Unlimited, ruthless abortion of American babies, 36% of which will be black. Whew. She just gets worse and worse.

Mrs. Clinton's platitudes

The murder rate within the black male population of Baltimore is about 156 per 100,000. Young black men being killed by other young black men. The national rate is 5 per 100,000. So what is Mrs. Clinton's solution?
"There needs to be a concerted effort to address the systemic racism in our criminal justice system. And that requires a very clear agenda for retraining police officers, looking at ways to end racial profiling, finding more ways to really bring the disparities that stalk our country into high relief."
Why do thinking people vote for someone who babbles these platitudes that no one believes, not even her?

Who is to blame for the water in Flint, Michigan?

Candidates for the highest office in the land were finger pointing about the lead in the water supply of Flint, MI at the Democrat debate Sunday. It appears to be a collection of problems and decisions shared by the local, state and federal (EPA) governments over many years. Since they’ve been in government their entire adult lives and are progressives/socialists, they need to look at the fingers pointing back at them as they conclude more government solves everything.

Some would say, no use assigning blame, let's just clean it up.  Of course, that's a given. There are children suffering and some will be damaged for life.  After Cher and other celebs move on to a new cause with which to get publicity, the townspeople will still need water.  But unless we also realize that bigger, more bloated and richer government bureaucracies are not the answer to all our problems, the next time it will be a building blown up, or a virus released, or baby tissue sold to the highest bidder (oh, wait. . . .)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I just walked by the sink

Eat at Home's photo.

Pray for the Pro-life marchers!

Here's what's in store for the thousands heading for Washington, DC for the annual pro-life march.

" The snowstorm targeting the I-95 corridor from Richmond to Boston late this week has the potential to rank among the most memorable on record, according to the National Weather Service’s Paul Kocin."

These brave people only get a few minutes on national cable or broadcast news, but EWTN usually covers several hours.  There are many speakers, some from the government, and special events for young people and mass.

Happy Birthday, Heidelberg Catechism

"One of the best known catechisms of all time is the Heidelberg Catechism. It is named for a German city, where it was prepared by theologians of the University of Heidelberg at the request of Elector Frederick III, a friend of the Protestant Reformation. Frederick hoped the new catechism would secure harmony among Protestants in his territories and strengthen the hold of the Reformed faith on his provinces. He wrote the preface of the Catechism himself, which is dated this day, January 19, 1563. The Heidelberg Catechism is used by the Reformed Church. Hundreds of thousands of people have memorized it and lived by its teachings over the years since then."

Of course, his plan to unite Protestants didn't go well--today there are about 35,000 different denominations and non-denominations or "just the Bible" churches, which if it weren't for the pro-life movement probably would have little to agree on.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Rate of increase in immigration

From 2010-2014 there has been 0% increase in immigration growth to the U.S. from Mexico and only 3% for all of South America, so the Donald is spouting for nothing. But it's 25% from South Asia; 36% from Iraq; 25% from Egypt; and 93% from Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, there has been a -1% increase in growth of immigration from Europe. North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Kentucky have had the largest percentage of increase in growth of immigrants. Bernie Sanders' state and Hillary Clinton's state were among the smallest increases--Vermont was actually -7.2%. [American Fact Finder,]

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Chasing the millennial generation--a how to

 Image result for millennial church attendance

Just Google "church attract millennials" and you'll find
  • 5 ways, 
  • 10 ways, 
  • why they don't,
  •  how to attract, 
  • what they want, 
  • why we need them, and 
  • where are they. 
And you'll also read nonsense, and appeals to buy a how-to book. 
  • First, you need a very loud band, 
  • second, casual attire like torn jeans and t-shirts, then
  • no (apparent) theology (although it's there), 
  • dramatic presentations highly entertaining, 
  • something called transparency (which usually isn't there), and 
  • if your church is growing, you probably have post modern architecture, or a repurposed building that doesn't look like a church, and 
  • very important to pull it all together is a minister/pastor with a terrific personality who has no discernible credentials or ties to any church of the past or recognizable to their boomer grandparents because "non-denominational" sounds better to them. 
  • And even though there are thousands of service/ministry opportunities already asking for their help, start something new they can support.
That's a quick summary, and I just skimmed the highlights. The Gen-X generation has hit 55 and the boomers are in their 70s, so every church is looking for millennials.

Imagine Jesus' apostles starting off with this check list.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Increase in anti-police violence

City Journal's Heather Mac Donald writes in the Los Angeles Times: "Reaction to anti-cop vitriol is the biggest driver of the crime increase in Los Angeles and nationally. None of the factors usually blamed for crime — poverty, income inequality, the availability of illegal guns — have significantly worsened over the last year and a half. The one thing that has changed is the relentless, virulent discourse about the police."

LA Times

Tertullian's letter to his wife on marriage, 202 a.d.

How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice.

They are as brother and sister, both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in flesh or in Spirit. They are in very truth, two in one flesh; and where there is but one flesh there is also but one spirit.

They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another.

Catholic Marriage, Wedding, Christian MarriageSide by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another, they never shun each other's company; they never bring sorrow to each other's hearts… Psalms and hymns they sing to one another.

Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present, and where He is, there evil is not.

(Crossroads Initiative)
Tertullian is considered an early church father, but later in life he broke away from the church and disagreed with the Pope on forgiveness of sins. He later embraced the Montanists known for their ascetical lifestyle.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Why can't we be like Europe?

Immigrants are flooding into Europe. A generation or two ago immigrants helped their falling birthrates as their empires broke up and they felt an obligation. They were hard workers, fertile, and wanted a future for their children. Not so much today. Those 2nd generation from immigrant families want to join ISIS; and the new ones want the social benefits pay off, don't want to work at all, and didn't bring women with them. And the birthrate is below replacement due to abortion and contraception and good times. Next? Well, looks like they'll have to pass some euthanasia laws for the old.

Yes, these are the countries Bernie wants us to imitate.

When people get what they ask for

Today's Old Testament lesson is from 1 Samuel 8 and should be a lesson for Americans.  The people are unhappy with Samuel and tell him they want a King.  He warns them, but they insist.  Really, it sounds like the American voters who think ever expanding statism in the form of Hillary or Bernie, or a bombastic loud mouth "boss" like Trump is OK.  So he prayed to the LORD, who replied:
"The Lord answered Samuel, “Comply with the people’s request—everything they ask of you—because they haven’t rejected you. No, they’ve rejected me as king over them.  They are doing to you only what they’ve been doing to me from the day I brought them out of Egypt to this very minute, abandoning me and worshipping other gods.  So comply with their request, but give them a clear warning, telling them how the king will rule over them.”
Then Samuel explained everything the Lord had said to the people who were asking for a king.  “This is how the king will rule over you,” Samuel said:
  • “He will take your sons,
  • and will use them for his chariots
  • and his cavalry
  • and as runners for his chariot.
  • He will use them as his commanders of troops of one thousand and troops of fifty,
  • or to do his plowing and his harvesting,
  • or to make his weapons
  • or parts for his chariots.
  • He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, or bakers.
  • He will take your best fields, vineyards, and olive groves and give them to his servants.
  • He will give one-tenth of your grain and your vineyards to his officials and servants.
  •  He will take your male and female servants,
  • along with the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys, and make them do his work.
  • He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and then
  • you yourselves will become his slaves!
  • When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king you chose for yourselves, but on that day the Lord won’t answer you.” " (CEB)

Abbott and Costello- "Who's on unemployment?" (Stuart Sullivan)

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 5.6%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%....
COSTELLO: You just said 5.6%.
ABBOTT: 5.6% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 5.6% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 23%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 23% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 5.6%.
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 5.6% or 23%?
ABBOTT: 5.6% are unemployed. 23% are out of work.
COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, Obama said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you miss his point!
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.
COSTELLO: To whom?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But ALL of them are out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles that would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how it gets to 5.6%. Otherwise it would be 23%.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
ABBOTT: Correct.
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
ABBOTT: Bingo.
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have people stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a Democrat.
COSTELLO: I don’t even know what I just said!
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like Hillary.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

It's Ratification Day!

Happy Ratification Day, January 14. On this day in 1784, the United States of America was established as a sovereign entity.
  • A proclamation was issued by the Confederation Congress on April 11, 1783, “Declaring the cessation of arms” against Great Britain.
  •   Congress approved the preliminary articles of peace on April 15, 1783.
  •   The Treaty of Paris was ratified on January 14, 1784.

The empty chair at the SOTU

At the State of the Union on Tuesday, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) said that the empty chair President Barack Obama left in the first lady’s box for victims of gun violence should have been left for “those who’ve had their heads cut off or killed through ISIL, because that was the true cause of the problem in San Bernardino.”

Story here.

Image result for Empty chair state of the union 
Why did this dress cost $2,000?  Even if it was donated by the designer.

The perpetual virginity of Mary

Two years ago I was in a Beth Moore Bible study with some former Catholics (now Lutherans) who were very puzzled to hear that Jesus had brothers, which they had never heard in Catholic school or attending Mass for decades.  And I was equally puzzled by the idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary, which I didn't know about. But as it turns out Luther, Calvin, Wesley and Zwingli also believed in the traditional church teaching on Mary. Who knew?

State of the Union Happy Talk

While telling us what a great job his administration was doing in the SOTU, the mayors of 22 cities had a different story. "MAYORS’ HUNGER AND HOMELESSNESS REPORT CITES INCREASED DEMAND IN EMERGENCY SERVICES AS ECONOMIC RECOVERY LAGS." 66% of the survey cities reported requests for emergency food assistance increased over the past year. Among people requesting, low wages were cited as the biggest reason for hunger. 58% of the cities reported an increase in homelessness. How can this be when the recession was "over" in June 2009 and unemployment is about 5%?

I avoided Tuesday night's fantasy spin called the SOTU by the POTUS, and I avoided turning on the TV and radio in the morning so I wouldn't have to hear the analyses and audio clips. But while I was at the supermarket, I glanced down at the newspaper rack. There was his smiling face with headlines positive, but the other papers had front page stories about ISIS, Iran, and an 11.5% increase in health care for Ohio government workers, record high.

He lies, he lies. If his eyes are darting side to side and he is stammering, he's lying.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

These 10 sailors, 9 men and 1 woman

got no mention during the State of the Union address.  But then neither did North Korea.  Huge PR win for Iran.

Let's turn all those billions over to Iran. They can be trusted, right?

What if you actually won the Powerball?

Image result for powerball ticket

Lots of us have been playing this mind game. . . "what if. . . how would I use it?" This is a good article. As a Christian, I'm daughter of the King, so I'm already rich, I have my inheritance, but even materially, as an American I'm very rich. "Did you know that according to the website, The Global Rich List, if you earn $50,000 a year you are in the top 0.31% of the world? You are richer than 7.38 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion people. If you earn just $11,700 a year – the poverty line in the United States – you are still richer than 6.8 billion people in the world. In other words, the poorest people of the United States are richer than 84% of the world." Caution: there are people who want to redistribute your peace of mind and faith in Christ, and your material wealth and give you nothing in return.