Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday Memories--the Conestoga trip to Ripley and Georgetown, Ohio

Our Conestoga group supports the Ohio History Connection, and this year we took an all day bus trip on May 18 to Ripley, Ohio, to visit the newly restored homes of John Rankin and John Parker and to Georgetown to President Grant's boyhood home. All three homes are supported by local organizations with the help of the Ohio History Connection. We left the Ohio Center in Columbus about 7:30, and I think the trip was about 2.5 hours. Once the driver got lost as we looked for a McDonald's for our rest stop, so that contributed to some extra driving. Our group was over 40, so we needed to divide into 2 groups to take the tours because both houses are small. One group was dropped off at the Rankin House and then the other traveled to the Parker house which faced the river.

Rev. John Rankin, a Presbyterian minister, built his home in 1829 and he was active in the The Underground Railroad. It is located on a lovely bluff overlooking the Ohio River and the small town of Ripley, which in the 19th century had 9 millionaires. The river was narrower and more shallow then, and slaves came across from Kentucky. The hill was clear in the mid-19th century, so slaves and the conductors had to come at night watching for a candle in the Rankin cottage window. Now the hill is completely forested. The slaves were hidden in the barn as it was illegal to have escapees in the homes which could be searched. Mrs. Rankin and her daughters sewed clothes for them, and shoemakers in the community made shoes--and there were an unusual number of that craft in such a small town. The house didn't look very large from the outside, but had 4 nice sized bedrooms, where the children slept 3 to a bed. The Rankin family left Ripley and went to Kansas after the war, so none of the original furniture is in the house, but it is all appropriate to the era. John and Jean Rankin are buried in Ripley. The site of the Rankin home is having a make-over with a large visitor and education center, but it wasn't ready yet. The home was completely restored in 2014.

Before we switched places we enjoyed a relaxing lunch at Cohearts Riverhouse. The restaurant is located along the Ohio River in the scenic Historic District of Ripley and looks out across the river to the hills of Kentucky. We had selected our menu choice when we signed up so it was all ready for us.

 Half the group then visited the John P. Parker House, home of an African American inventor who helped hundreds make their way to freedom. As a young man he'd been sold 5 times, and his last owner allowed him to work extra at the foundry and save money to buy his freedom. Parker moved to southern Ohio and around 1853 established a successful foundry behind his home in Ripley. Patenting a number of inventions from his foundry, Parker was one of only a few African Americans to obtain a U.S. patent in the 19th century. Though busy with his business, Parker was also active in the Underground Railroad and is believed to have assisted many slaves to escape from the Kentucky side of the Ohio River. Suggested reading: His Promised Land; The Autobiography of John P. Parker Before leaving Ripley.

Then we boarded the coach and traveled about seven miles to Georgetown, Ohio and another Ohio History Connection and National Historic Landmark, the boyhood home of Lt. General and 18th President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant; newly restored to its appearance in 1839. Grant's parents had moved to Georgetown in 1823 and his father was a tanner.  U.S. Grant lived there until he was 17. This home was saved from demolition in 1965 by local preservationists and in 2002 was donated to the state. It had a $1.4 million restoration in 2015. As with the other two locations, we had a wonderful docent.
Originally we'd planned to also visit the schoolhouse Grant attended as a boy, but we were about 2 hours behind schedule so voted to head for home. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Can you trust political polls? Not many do.

Just 26% of Likely U.S. Voters say they trust most political polls. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 55% do not trust most political polls. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Thirty-seven percent (37%) rate the current polling on political issues and events as worse than it has been in the past. Only 11% say polling is better now. Forty-six percent (46%) think it’s about the same.
Just one-out-of-three voters (35%) believe most pollsters are interested in reporting the attitudes of Americans in an unbiased manner when they poll on Trump. Forty-three percent (43%) think most pollsters are trying to block the president from passing his agenda. Just 12% say most are trying to help the president pass that agenda instead.

Not surprisingly, given how wrong most pollsters were about the outcome of the presidential election, 64% of Republicans think most pollsters are trying to block Trump’s agenda, a view shared by 42% of unaffiliated voters but only 24% of Democrats.

The underreported accomplishments of the Trump administration

The underreported: (From American Thinker)

"While the Democrat/media complex tries to whip their base, and the country into a frenzy, this administration is putting good things in place. First and foremost for our culture is the restoration of law and order. That begins with giving the respect due to our law enforcement officials, which has been a hallmark of this administration. The outrageous demonization of law enforcement by the previous administration is gone. The ongoing praise of and cooperation with our police from Trump et al is not only refreshing, it’s going to have a long term positive effect. Violent demonstrators are no longer being coddled (except in Berkeley), instead they are prosecuted. Eventually, they won’t even get away with being lawless thugs in Berkeley. 

The existing border laws are being enforced. Illegal crossings are down 70%. ICE agents have been reenergized, rounding up criminals and deporting them. Bad guys are on notice. Drug trafficking will slow. MS-13 is being fought. This is just the beginning. The Attorney General is simply enforcing laws that exist. With Trump’s resolve to control the borders, these border issues will get better, and become reasonably controlled. If this is successful, the nation will be able to take a deep breath. Genuine assimilation will have a chance to succeed.

Having been a GOP poll watcher in a Democrat precinct, I have witnessed the Democrat drive to encourage vote fraud. Watching my Democrat counterpart demand that anyone be allowed to vote, regardless of identification, regardless of being on the precinct rolls, regardless of their legal status as citizens -- I knew this was a problem. Trump was laughed at when he claimed that Hillary’s popular vote margin was due to vote fraud, yet having been up close and personal, I am certain that more than just a couple of percentage points of voter fraud has gone on many places for many years, including 2016. 

We now have an administration that intends to do something to ensure vote fraud is curtailed. A few may have complained before, but no member of the GOP has seriously challenged this crime. The new executive order, along with the new investigative commission is long overdue. It is certain they will allow states to clean up voter rolls, press for the common-sense demand that voters have proper ID, are US citizens, and vote only once. Other ways to ensure a true vote will be recommended and put in place. We can now be assured there will be less Democrat crime on this front; those who commit vote fraud will be fearful of real prosecution, and our precious franchise will see enhanced integrity. This is an important issue, far more so than discussed. It’s a great move for our country and it will change elections.

Another major push is for economic revitalization. The administration’s proposed policies in this area are wonderful. The response of American business to the Trump administration is a good indicator. The undoing of so many bad regulations from prior administrations is one giant step, with more underway. The unleashing of our energy resources and businesses has been a major win. The first step in positive change to the failing Obamacare is a good sign. If health care legislation, and economic reforms pass, we will be on an economic trajectory that will be exciting, one that will repudiate the failings of Obama’s policies, and we can be confident of another Reagan style recovery. 

In foreign relations, nothing has been a bigger surprise than Team Trump’s many successes. In spite of the media perception of disarray, the Trump team has put together a burgeoning alliance in the Middle East, one that includes Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and others. This alliance will be key in dealing with the noxious mess left by the Obama/Clinton years. When Iran tries to flex its might, we will need the repair that the Trump team is working on.

Likewise in Asia. The disaster left us by the feckless Clinton/Abright deal with North Korea is being navigated well. There is no easy fix to having been duped by a mad dictator into enabling his acquisititon of nuclear weapons. Democrats can take solace that most people don’t know the degree of stupidity of their policies with North Korea, and don’t yet grasp the elevl of peril. Trump’s clear skill in negotiating and forming relations with China’s premier was extraordinary. That China is helping us with the Korean mess, perhaps for the first time, is a testament to Trump’s skills.

All of this as a reminder that there is much to be praised since the Trump administration took office. The leftist media wants us to think all is horrible, every day being a constitutional crisis that will end the world, and it’s all Trump’s fault. Truth be known, it’s the reverse. Trump’s successes are finally beginning to overcome the awful years of the Obama/media collusion and their inept failures. Failures in virtually everything they did."

Read more:

Victor Davis Hanson tracks the myth of Russian interferring

All the mistakes were made by the Obama administration, yet they blame Trump.  Why? Because they want to change the results of the November election, the very thing they accuse Russia of doing. The media actually made the Trump presidency possible with all the free publicity they gave him.  Too late guys, you can't go back. Hillary and Bill Clinton did so much more with and for the Russians, so many more contacts than Flynn.  Clapper found no evidence; FBI paid for bogus research then surveilled Trump  and then unmasked operatives. It's good that Comey is gone.

Constant negative programming about Trump from the media, making it hard to govern and get the changes made that need to be made. VDH thinks some of the Trump hatred is classist--he doesn't fit the ruling class image and he's unpredictable. The blue wall crumbled, they lost the working class, castigated white people with names like clinger and deplorable.  Why should the people love them? But blame Russia.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Finding Bill O'Reilly

After Fox got rid of Roger Ailes, it then fired Bill O'Reilly. It is now suffering the consequences as its number drop, and the ridiculous Rachel Maddow is now at the top.  That's beyond me, but it happens. In fact, without a conservative source of news, conservatives like me have just turned off the TV news, so we can't hear all the Trump bashing unless someone else is dissecting the latest leak.  I was never a fan of the O'Reilly show, not because he didn't have interesting stuff, but because of his style of interrupting his guests. Bob watched every night, so from my office I could hear what was happening.  This pod cast (YouTube) Bill discusses the life and firing of Roger Ailes and the so-called news (leaks) of the week. So Bill still has his website, and it offering a podcast.  Not sure I'll stay tuned, however, with no guests to interrupt, it's actually better than his Fox show!

Lionel Nation--he's addictive 
May 18, 2017 report

In my search for news since Fox has gone to the dark side, I found Lionel Nation.  The first YouTube I watched I thought maybe he had ADHD.  Couldn't seem to stay on topic, but now I see his method of sounding real and discussing the. . . well, he calls it Truth. In this report he discusses how Roger Ailes changed the face of news, then moves on to the dangers of a special prosecutor and how he may bring out more on Hillary Clinton and John Podesta (for which there is much more evidence of collusion with the Russians) because the charge includes "the election" not just Donald Trump. And as an aside he lists all the reasons not to go to Times Square in NYC. Also Maxine Waters.  WOW.  You can get whip lash, but his comments (when he stays on topic) are much more informative than the 30 seconds you get on cable TV.

I don't understand exactly how YouTube works, but I think this gets to his regular playlist.

Friday, May 19, 2017

McCarthyism is baaaaack

History really does repeat itself. I remember Joseph McCarthy--I was in high school and we'd discuss it in class. He led the investigation that people like to refer to as McCarthyism--making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence--looking for (Russians) aka Communists in the government, business and entertainment fields. The difference between what he did in the 1950s and what the Democrats are doing today is that there really were Communists in the government, especially in FDR's administration, and the entertainment industry. We had real traitors. The truth gradually dribbled out over the years as they wrote their memoirs, and people felt freer to discuss it. It’s the hysteria I remember. And that’s what we hear today. In order for it to be McCarthyism, it must be from people within the government. And it is, with the press piling on.

Friday Family photo--Good bye vintage clothes

For many years I've had a clothing stash of dresses I've enjoyed wearing. It's time to send them along to wherever old clothes go to die, some over 60 years old, some made by my mother. I was going to try to find some cute young thing with a 23" waist to model them, so I could take a photo, but decided to search my photo archives to see ME wearing them.

I think the oldest dress I have isn't in the closet, but on a shelf.  And I don't actually have my dress from 5th grade, but I do have my cloth doll's matching dress.  Both were made by my mother and were identical.  I think the reason the doll dress survived almost 70 years is because by the time Mom made it, I was no longer playing with dolls. Mother made the Sue doll with the yellow yarn hair, but our neighbor Ruth Crowell who had no children made the "white doll," which has always been called that.  I never gave it another name. I also never played with it, so it survived.  It was Blue Doll I loved to death. The chair in the photo is from my great-grandmother's home near Ashton, IL, was painted by my grandmother, and then it was refinished and recaned by my mother in the 1970s. The secretary was made for my husband's grandparents over 100 years ago and is now in our son's home.
 I don't think I ever had a purchased, commercially made formal.  This lovely white faille with a bright red bow was made for the 1955 Christmas dance at my high school.  I'd also just had a new hair cut, going from long to short, so I was feeling like a model. Phoebe modeled it in 1981, probably 8th grade, but even at 13 she was bigger than I was at 16.
My mother made these jackets for me before I left for college. I actually wore the red and grey one to a 1950s birthday party for my sister-in-law Jeanne last year and since scarlet and grey were the OSU colors, I also wore it a few times in the 1990s. My sister Carol had a similar corduroy jacket in brown and yellow; she was attending Goshen College in Indiana and I was attending Manchester College 50 miles away. Mom also made twin bed coverlets and bed skirts for our dorm rooms--mine were pink and grew, all the rage in 1957, but I'm not sure about Carol's.
Our first big date was for the St. Patrick's Ball at the University of Illinois in 1959 for which I wore a borrowed red lace dress belonging to dorm mate Sally Siddens who didn't have a date. But for that dance the next year I wore this beige, brown and gold jersey dress with a big crinoline. Since I was well over 140 lbs then, I thought it might fit me for a 50s party in 2016, but couldn't even get close to zipping it.
When I got married in 1960, I'd planned to make my "going away" dress, but not only was I not a good seamstress, but I chose a difficult fabric--silk.  So a week before my wedding I bundled everything up and took it back to Mt. Morris where my mother finished it for me. I bought a hat that matched perfectly.
My niece secretly mailed my wedding dress to my daughter for our 50th wedding anniversary party in 2010--I was so thrilled to see it after 50 years.  But then there was a problem about what to do with it.  She didn't want it back!  So it resided with my other dresses for 6 years in a bag in the closet, until I finally took it to the cancer resale shop.
This pale blue sheath I bought in 1957 in Ft. Wayne, IN, when I was a student at Manchester College. Don't recall the event, probably a lecture since MC didn't sponsor dances, but I wore it many years.  Here we are in 1962 with our son Stanley.
 I have two items in the closet for which I have no photos. In 1963 I bought a light blue and white, 3 piece knit suit, and still have it.  And my favorite winter coat was red and its with the vintage clothes.  The dry cleaners ruined the buttons, so I didn't wear it after 1968.  Both the suit and the coat showed the influence that Jackie Kennedy had on women's fashion in the 1960s. I think the coat was probably purchased in 1962 or 1963.

For a New Year's Eve party in 1965 I made a snappy red wool dress with a ruffle, sewn in my kitchen at 108 E. White St. in Champaign. We didn't have many occasions to go to parties, so I later took the ruffle off and wore it as a jumper for a number of years. The photo with the children and the deruffled party dress is their birthdays in 1969.

I made Phoebe and me matching dresses for her baptism in 1968, and her dress is packed away with her baby clothes and stored in her basement, and my dress is in my closet. White flocked sheer cotton. It was a hot day in June.  Because I was baptized in Church of the Brethren, as were my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents on both sides, and their practice is to baptize adolescents and adults, we had no sweet little dresses passed down from grandmother to mother to baby.
For our 10th wedding anniversary party, I wore this black pants suit--the only slacks among the vintage dresses.  They were all the rage then, and I loved it.  I wore again in the 90s for some retro event at OSU--don't remember what it was. But it's still in the closet.
Here we are in formal wear for a 1974 Christmas party with Couples Circle 50 of First Community Church. That was also one of my favorite hair styles. I think Jane Fonda made it popular. Bob was so thin in those days, we bought that suit in the Boy's Department of Lazarus.
The class of 1957 had its 30th class reunion in 1987, and I wore my all time favorite, a teal and coral floral polished cotton. I'm in the front row seated far left.  Big shoulder pads, full cut skirt.  Loved that dress. I was a very bad time in my life, but when I wore that dress I felt like a princess. We don't dress up any more for our class reunions.
I had a lovely deep teal silk, with soft pleats at the waist, self belt, probably purchased around 1985 or 1986. It is a size 8 which is how I'm guessing at the year.  I was taking an aerobics class and was quite trim in those days.  My daughter wore it, and my teal suit (obviously liked that color) to have her senior photos taken.  I can't find a photo of my wearing it,  but I remember wearing it to an AIA party we went to with Ken and Connie Becker.


Big hair, big shoulders. I'm not sure what year I bought this lovely cream colored silk 2 piece with a full, flowing skirt, but it made a wonderful dance dress, something we were still doing in those days. This photo is from 1988, so it was toward the end of its era.  But I peeked inside the storage bag, and there is was.  Can't show it off with this head shot.
For several years our church, UALC, sponsored a wonderful Christmas dinner with musical entertainment.  In 1991 we took Ron and Nancy Long, old friends from FCC and Lakeside, as our guests.  I had a black velvet outfit with beads and bangles that I just loved.  Some years later, I separated the top and bottom, and bought a near skirt for it that wasn't so tight and uncomfortable.  Still have the top in my vintage closet. I also have a lovely silk dress the same color as Nancy's in my vintage collection (see above), but don't seem to have a photo of me wearing it.  Those deep jewel colored silk dresses were very popular for several years.
 In 1993 the Corbett descendants of Joe and Bessie had a family reunion in Mt. Morris, over 100 attending, and we stayed at a B & B in Franklin Grove where this photo was taken with our son-in-law Mark. This is not what I wore to the reunion, but it definitely was on the trip and in the vintage closet. Linen and polished cotton in coral and taupe with applique on bodice.
Later that year I wore my pink pleated, two piece Mother of the Bride dress at our daughter's wedding. The next year I wore it again at a niece's wedding in Florida, however, MOB dresses don't have many uses.  Usually, they are too fancy.  Also had pink shoes, pink hose and pink purse dyed to match.
The oldest dresses I have in my "currently still wearing" closet will be 8 years old this summer having purchased them in 2010. Last fall I sent to the resale shop my sheer black dress I worse at my sister-in-law's wedding in 2006 (seen above in the photo with the mannequin, so that's where we are today. No more vintage closets.

Today I attended the funeral of Kathy Heinzerling who was at some of the parties where I was wearing these dresses 40-50 years ago.  Appropriate for walking down memory lane.

Higher education costs

Image result for manchester university indiana dorms

Recently we purchased a 40" color TV for $325, 50 years after we paid $375 for our first color TV that required monthly service. The trade off is we now pay a monthly subscription cost to a cable company. In today's dollars that would be $2,752. 60 years ago I paid $1,000 for room, board, and tuition at a private Christian college, and it was about the same as the University of Illinois to which I transferred. Today that should be $7,338. At both institutions, those costs were in part subsidized either by donors, the church or the citizens of Illinois and I was expected to be a donor after graduation. Government regulations and interference have changed the cost of education. Big time. I don't see how Mike Lee's solution will change it, but it's important to know what has happened to put so many families in debt when their only solution seems to be to borrow more money from the government.  
"The Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act. This bill would allow states to create their own accreditation system for institutions that want to be eligible for federal financial aid dollars.
Each state could then be as open or closed to higher education innovation as they saw fit. They could even stick with their current regional accreditors if they chose to do so."

Thursday, May 18, 2017

What's happened to the media? Prager U can tell U

How did we come to distrust and dislike the press/media when their importance is mentioned even in our constitution? There’s now no objectivity, news articles contain vast stretches of opinion, and that is overwhelmingly liberal because each journalist wants to make a name for herself with her colleagues. Social media have also had a huge affect, and sales are dropping.  After all, the USA is a capitalist country, a system that is virtually driving out poverty all over the globe; why advertise in a system that degrades you and your product? Someone referred to Washington Post as Washington Compost.  Close.  It's clearly a fish wrapper these days.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Prager University can undo years of misinformation in college

 Prager U videos are really great--they can teach in a few minutes what you won’t learn in a semester at a major university. In under 6 minutes, you can destroy years of academic misinformation with a Prager U video.

 What does Social Justice mean?  Basically, it’s redistribution of wealth.  That’s how the United Nations defines it. It’s a little like “Women’s Reproductive Health” is actually code for abortion anytime, for any reason. We need F.A. Hayek’s definition: he saw to the core of the issue--a pernicious philosophical claim to amass power for the state.  To the snowflake progressive, it means whatever they want it to mean.

Why do feminists persist with this oppression myth and the gender gap lie?  Because victims make better followers.  The need a base for their power position and interviews in the media and promotion in academe.  Most workplace pay gaps vanish if  you control all points, like part time work, or choosing a lower paying specialty like pediatrics instead of brain surgery.  And why wouldn’t greedy capitalists choose women employees over men if they can get them for less? Repudiate the victim myth, ladies. 

The Judeo-Christian culture has greatly elevated the role and status of women compared to other religions and regions of the world.  Women are commodities in the view of many Muslims.  Which value system do we want in the West? Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an author and activist, ponders the question why American feminists refuse to see what’s happening and won’t offer Muslim women the freedom they have in the West.  They excuse the inexcusable.

Oh my. How did the SJW let this slip by? Oklahoma is the Choctaw word for "red people." Maybe when they are finished destroying the history of a vanquished foe in city parks, they can hitch a ride west with their hate? If they keep going, eventually the SJW will have to dismantle the elementary schools and streets named Roosevelt, because FDR sent Italians, Germans and Japanese to camps and prisons in WWII. That's after they've destroyed all those elite universities founded by Christians like Yale, Harvard and Princeton.

Sweet little Baxter

It was 68 degrees at 7 a.m. so I've already had two walks in the air that won't get cooler. This may be the day we turn on the AC.  I stopped to talk to and pet a sweet neighbor dog that is dying, but still cheerful, also out for a short walk. We've known him since puppy hood and we remember the day they brought the little fluff ball home almost 13 years ago.  We will miss him. My husband was the dog walker for their football game days, so we've gotten to know him. He's had a great life--well loved, well traveled, and a faithful guard who barked at us when we came to "his" house.

Some people say their pet is "just like family."  Not me. But we can love them anyway--we can even love the neighbor's.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kathryn Heinzerling

I was sad to learn of the death of Kathy. We moved to Columbus 50 years ago and she was one of the first to befriend us in our Couples Circle 50 at First Community Church.  Her husband Bob, who died in 1989, was our dentist. We lived a few blocks apart, and back in the day when I was a stay at home Mom I used to walk over there with my kids in the baby stroller.!/Obituary

Note: Memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Friday, May 19, 2017 at First Community Church, 1320 Cambridge Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43212, with a reception immediately following. Memorial contributions may be made to the Heinzerling Foundation, 1800 Heinzerling Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43223.

Larger babies higher intelligence

"The association between birth weight and intelligence is stable from young adulthood into midlife. These long-term cognitive consequences may imply that even small shifts in the distribution of birth size, in normal-sized infants as well, may have a large impact at the population level."

Monday, May 15, 2017

Political correctness in 1994

I was still a Democrat in 1994 and didn't change my registration until 2000.  The evidence from 1994 is that the worm was starting to turn.  This is an excerpt from a 1994 letter to a friend.

"I've always enjoyed large compilations of information--encyclopedias, handbooks, etc., so when I saw the title The Oxford History of the American West (1994) on the new book shelf at the public library, I checked it out. The cover is a lovely realistic painting of mountains, cowboys, cattle--probably by a WPA artist. But inside. Oh my. Political Correctness reigns. There is not a kind, decent or pleasant word about "our" country, the one we know. It glorifies every ethnic group that ever made it to either shore, and vilifies anyone of European descent. Although the authors are somewhat puzzled about how to write about the Spaniards. After all, someone might realize that Spaniards (Hispanics) were also European. Some sections are so odd, it is almost comical--if this wasn't being taught in schools. For instance, the Indians knew how to treat animals, because although they killed them, ate them and skinned them, they respected them. I seriously doubt that made a difference to the animals. This is followed by a section on how the wives and slave women of the Indian men spent their lives tanning and preparing hides (not presented as a negative against Indian culture). Apparently, political correctness doesn't apply if women are abused within the culture of a maligned minority."
So that was 23 years ago--that's a lot of misinformed students, and it's only gotten worse.

Re-education camps

Last week I wrote about a professor who had refused to attend one of those reeducation events.  Today I received an e-mail ad for one of those diversity reeducation/mind control events. I won't link to it, but the words "white men" was in the title of the organization. Somehow they had twisted research to determine how much money is lost in bullying of LGBTQ in the tech industry. Big name companies were listed which have used their events according to the PR material.

I wonder if anyone ever asks how much money is lost in bullying overweight employees or older workers or skinny men who aren't athletic, or Christians who leave due to bad jokes and slurs or janitors who don't feel appreciated. The victim industry is huge. What group/minority has ever made personal advancement in employment, social life, politics or health by always being a victim? The ones who clean up are those with moral indignation asking for your money.

Should Sewing Be Taught to Children? Guest blogger Sally Perkins

I learned to sew in 4-H in the 1950s (my teacher /group leader was Mrs. Bechtold and of course, Mom helped), and my children learned the basics in a required home economics class in middle school in the early 1980s.  And now?  Let's have Sally, my guest blogger, tell us.

The teaching of sewing was absolutely essential for previous generations who were clothed by their own handiwork. But in today’s consumer society, where clothes are throw-away items, the art of sewing has dropped off the ‘life skills’ list. However, the last few years has seen the image of sewing transformed in the US. No longer the domain of apron-clad grandmothers, the revived craft is being taken up by younger women seeking a form of creative self-expression. And as adults are taking up the hobby, so are their children, resulting in a surge in sewing classes and boom in sewing machine sales.
What are the benefits of learning to sew?
Sewing is an expensive hobby, considering the outlay on fabric and equipment. So is it really worth it? There are obvious practical benefits of teaching a child to sew. The life-long skill will save them from costly clothing repairs and alterations in the future if they are able to hem a new pair of pants and darn a favorite sweater. But there are many more developmental benefits to be gained:
  • Help improve physical dexterity - Introducing hand sewing at an early age will help develop and mature finger dexterity and fine motor skills.
  • Teach discipline and patience - Learning to sew demands listening and following instructions. And once the basics are taught, a child will need to follow through a project in a careful and disciplined manner. Threading a machine, reading a pattern and cutting out fabric are all tasks that demand precision, order and patience.
  • Enhance math skills - The tasks of measuring, together with the addition and subtraction skills required when piecing fabric together, all help with the development of math skills.
  • Encourage creative expression - Once a child has mastered the basics, sewing offers a valuable creative outlet. Your child can select their own fabric and thread, and create their own designs be it clothing, accessories or toys. This may be of particular value to children who find it difficult to express themselves through writing and speech.
  • Build self-confidence and promote self-esteem - The satisfaction of completing a sewing project from start to finish will boost your child’s self-confidence and morale.
How do you teach your child to sew?
If you are a stitcher, share your skills with your child. Start with hand-sewing using non-fray fabric such as felt, then let them explore cottons and other materials. Introduce a sewing machine when you and they are ready and eager. Consider investing in a sewing machine with child-friendly features including large dials, good speed control and automatic needle threading. You’ll also find useful books on the market outlining simple first projects.
If you aren't a stitcher, don’t despair as many craft stores offer sewing classes for children. Usually lasting an hour a week, they should provide enough direction for your child to engage in a craft that will grow their self-confidence, inspire their creativity and, at the same time, give them a practical skill for life.
So, should sewing be taught to children? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’!

The poverty meme

"The global incidence of extreme poverty has gone down from almost 100% in the 19th century, to 10.7% in 2013. While this is a great achievement, there is absolutely no reason to be complacent: a poverty rate of 10.7% means a total poverty headcount of 746 million people."

This progress wasn't made with Communism or dictatorships or street demonstrations, and it won't continue by taxing wealthy countries more to fight a mythical climate problem when that money could be going to address poverty problems today instead of sea level in 10 decades. We should have learned from the Rachel Carson debacle which killed millions of African and Asian children with still no solution for malaria while trying to protect birds and insects.

There are genuinely hungry people in the world and the USA, but what has lifted most people out of hunger and poverty isn't government programs, but innovation, technology, creative use of fossil fuels, the green revolution in agriculture and entrepreneurship. Someone living below the "poverty line" in the USA today has more material luxuries than the wealthy of the 19th century. Refrigeration, indoor plumping, flush toilets, healthy food, education, health care, sanitation, even smart phones automobiles and computers. Yet, the SJW only care about the gap.

People do make bad choices--we eat too much, exercise too little, smoke, drink, and are promiscuous. Government isn't going to change that. That's the job of the church to address moral and spiritual failings. Read the definition of "food insecure." Hunger in the USA isn't even relevant and is a meaningless word. The number of people living in extreme poverty fell by more than 1 billion since 1990, from 1.85 billion in 1990 to 0.76 billion in 2013. On average, the number of people living in extreme poverty declined by 47 million every year since 1990 (or 130,000 every single day). Violent crime is also down dramatically since the Omnibus Crime Bill. Who is driving the narrative that this is an awful, horrid place in need of more government control? I can think of at least two. 1) Democrat party, 2) the media.

Monday Memories of Kindergarten and Alameda

I'm looking at my kindergarten photo from Webster Elementary school in Alameda, California. I used Google to see if it still exists, but it closed in 1958 having served the Webster Housing Project, opening in 1944. I assume that project was all military family housing. I remember it as a wonderful, racially mixed neighborhood with people from all over the country and many nationalities. Families came there uprooted with fathers off to strange lands.

Looking at the photo more closely I begin to see the differences (all white children in my class although there were blacks in the school) and memories come to mind of the families who were terribly poor. No lunch programs in those days, but we did get free milk which tasted wretched. Wonder what was in it, because I liked milk. The school was a one floor plan with canopies outside joining the buildings to shade the sidewalks.  There were African American and Filipino children in my school and I’d never seen either, being from rural Illinois. Recess was on concrete instead of grass. Right from the beginning I loved school, except nap time on little rugs we brought from home. How boring.

My earliest Christmas memory is 1944 in Alameda, California. Dad was in the Marines and Mother had driven across the country in our 1939 Ford with four small children and my Aunt Muriel to find housing, schools, new helpful neighbors, and what I thought was a very exciting life. My recollection is singing carols in the fog--recalling that it wasn't like Christmas in northern Illinois. The community got together at a school to sing carols. Money was so tight, but Mom did her best. Not sure what the gifts were, but one was a little white glass cat which I still have.

Strange that with so little and living in constant fear of attack, we were all united then. Material riches certainly did not bring Americans any peace, even if we did win that war.

Advancing technology vs. advancing age

Although I spend a lot of time reading, composing, listening to and watching programs and lectures on the computer, I’m a number of years behind on the technology—always have been since I got my first e-mail about 25 years ago. I’m so long at this I can remember when a colleague in TN asked the other Vet Med Librarians about 20 years ago to take a look at Google as a search engine, which was very new. Long before I had a blog I wrote several times a day on several Usenet groups, particularly one for writers. There were mean and nasty people then too, and trolls trying to destabilize the group and friendships. So the down side of social media goes way back.

But I took a HUGE leap forward yesterday. I looked at my little Mother’s Day package and wondered how my daughter could fit a new outfit into that! (Love it when she buys my clothes) But it was a Roku stick. Looking forward to new challenges. As I understand it (it's still in the box because I'll need her help in setting it up) anything I can watch on my computer I can now watch on TV, plus 4,500 other channels. Horror movies, old TV westerns, documentaries, fashion shows, religious programing. Then I can take the stick out and take it to the Lake and watch my stuff there.
"Roku devices are simple to set-up and easy-to-use. They come with a simple remote, and powerful features like Roku Search which makes it effortless to find what you want to watch. Roku devices give you access to 450,000+ movies and TV episodes from top free and paid channels, so you can stream almost anything: Roku How it Works "
Our son works in the automotive repair field, manages a shop for a major auto dealer, and for some time I've been dropping hints about how the automotive industry is changing. Good article in Atlantic about the Uber/Waymo (Google) wars, but it introduces the novice and elderly to the other players in the self-driving auto changes to come.  The author argues that self driving cars will probably change the world--fundamentally. "Mass adoption would create and destroy entire industries, alter the way people work and move through cities, and change the way those cities are designed and connected." Billions are at stake in personal profits. Big winners and losers.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Really nice day

Mother's Day. We had a wonderful worship at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church with Jeff Morlock preaching, and then back to our house for a nice surprise gift--a Roku stick. I'd like to explain what it is, but I don't know much about it except we'll be able to stream programs on our TV and then take the stick with us to the Lake house and use it there. Then it was off to J. Alexander's Redlands Grill in Worthington for a most delicious meal which included a piece of Key Lime Pie to bring home because I was too full. Lunch menu.

Malware alert

"So far, over 213,000 computers across 99 countries around the world have been infected, and the infection is still rising even hours after the kill switch was triggered by the 22-years-old British security researcher behind the twitter handle 'MalwareTech.'"

There is now a 2.0.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Liberals have made things worse for blacks


In "Please Stop Helping Us," Jason Riley examines how well-intentioned welfare programs are in fact holding black Americans back. Minimum-wage laws may lift earnings for people who are already employed, but they price a disproportionate number of blacks out of the labor force. Affirmative action in higher education is intended to address past discrimination, but the result is fewer black college graduates than would otherwise exist. And so it goes with everything from soft-on-crime laws, which make black neighborhoods more dangerous, to policies that limit school choice out of a mistaken belief that charter schools and voucher programs harm the traditional public schools that most low-income students attend.

Between 1940 and 1960 before the Great Society programs and the voting act, and at a time when black political power was nearly nonexistent -- the black poverty rate fell from 87% to 47%. Yet between 1972 and 2011 the implementation of Great Society programs -- it barely declined, from 32% to 28%, and remained three times the white rate, which is about what it was in 1972. Drug offenses are not driving the incarceration rate--violent crime is. It's a red herring to claim it's drugs. When everyone from the president (Obama) on down buy into the Black Lives Matter myth of cops killing young black men, we'll never be able make headway, and the solutions won't come from Washington, but from black people. (paraphrase) Affirmative action and quotas helped primarily the black middle class, not the underclass--it actually lost ground. (paraphrase).

The civil rights movement has become an industry. Liberalism has succeeded in convincing blacks to see themselves as victims.