Sunday, October 20, 2019

Insurgencies, civil wars and conflicts in Africa

As fingers point and hands are wrung about 50 soldiers pulled out of the Turkey-Syria conflict where the U.S. is attempting to hold back ISIS, can anyone tell me why this particular civil war in Syria is so critical to American interests?  I’m not looking for snarky, ad hominem attacks, this is a REAL QUESTION.

It’s about Africa, not the Middle East.

There are civil wars, insurgencies and tribal/ border conflicts all over Africa. Except for Kenya (Obama’s relatives) and Nigeria (Boko Haram kidnapping Christian girls) the U.S. media and politicians  rarely pay attention to the slaughter and mayhem in Africa, particularly of Christians by Muslims. And please spare me the trash talking about European colonialism—a quick look  at Wikipedia shows wars, conflicts and civil wars going back 1500 years, and most of these are tribal or Muslim sects.

Here’s a quick check, according to Wikipedia. See that source for more detail:

  • On going insurgency in Egypt
  • On going South Sudanese Civil War
  • On going 2nd Libyan Civil War
  • On going ISIL insurgency in Tunisia
  • On going insurgency in Maghreb (Algeria and Morocco)
  • Ongoing insurgency in Somalia
  • On going conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia
  • On going Burundian unrest
  • Ongoing Anglophone crisis, Cameroon
  • Ongoing Northern Mali conflict
  • Ongoing Boko Haram, Nigeria
  • Ongoing Kamwina Nsapu Rebellion, Democratic Republic of Congo

Is it the color of their skin? American blacks don’t care about Africa if it’s not directly related to U.S.  slavery? The amount of natural resources?  The distance? Language problems?  CIA doesn’t even have Fact Books on some of these countries.

Reflection on Exodus 17:8-13, with apologies to Moses.

In those days, Cancer came and waged war against Phil's brain. Phil Bruce therefore said to his medical posse, "Pick out the best you have--surgeons, nurses, therapists, med techs, hematologists, cardiologists, radiologists--and go out and engage Cancer in battle. I will be standing on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand."

So the posse did as Phil told them: they engaged Cancer in battle after Phil had climbed to the top of the hill with his family Norma, Bob, Phoebe and Mark. As long as Phil kept his hands raised up, his body had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, the Cancer had the better of the fight.

Phil's hands grew tired so they put a rock, his church, in place for him to sit on. Meanwhile, his family, extended family and close friends--Ron, Keith, Carl, Tom, John, Sara, and many others-- supported his hands, some on one side, some on the other side so he remained steady till sunset. And the medical posse mowed down the Cancer and tumors with the edge of medical miracles swords.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Janice Fiamengo looks at space travel

As we honor the women in space today, let's take a look at what other women are doing, disparaging space travel and exploration as ableist, colonialist, white supremacist, anti-native American, with a panel of angry resentful "scholars" male shaming. "Discovery" in their view is a racist, exploitive word, up to no good.

Janice Fiamengo who's about the smartest woman on the internet comments and analyzes. I don't see her as often as I used to. The Left has quite a campaign against her that seems to be working. She lives and works in Toronto.

I'm not sure one of these panelists is a woman, but they take the feminist line and may identify as one; I'm also not sure one of them is black, but she seems to identify as one; also not sure why the whitest is native American, but that's what pays her mortgage. It 's not lengthy, but will demonstrate for you the craziness going on in academe as wokeness moves from the social sciences into space travel.

A billion can do a lot in DC guest blogger Jeffrey

Jeffrey Varasano: "I posted this earlier on a thread talking about people like Romney or George Will. There sure seemed to be people who claimed to be Republicans but undermine us from the inside. Why? Are they bought off? Maybe they were progressive loyalists from the beginning who were long ago tasked with infiltrating the Republicans or conservative media? Or what about blackmail? Maybe Soros digs up dirt on people and then uses them as puppets thereafter.

These things sound far-fetched until you sketch out what it would take. I've done this before with Christopher Buckley. Let's say that you wanted to buy control of the US government. How many people would you have to buy and how much would each cost? Let's do a back-of-the-envelope budget using $1B / year.

Just to use round numbers let's say you devoted $1M per year towards each House and Senate seat. That money could be split out. A no-show job for a congressman's kid for $300k, $50K each to 4 staffers, $100k to a private eye or honey pot operation. Dump the rest into campaign contributions. If it's a congressman you don't think you can control then keep the honey pot budget and give the rest into an opponent. So now for $535 million you've got your finger into every congressional & senate seat pretty good. Keep in mind that if a target is in a safe district and you've already got pictures of him with a naked 8 year old, your budget to keep him in control can go way down next year and you can put the surplus towards a different seat.

Now you make a list of other people you want to influence. Let's say you make a list of media people. On the conservative influencer list you start with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity at the top and then work your way down. Most people would be surprised how quickly you run out of recognizable names, especially in the pre-internet era. Pre-internet maybe 50 names. Today maybe it's a 100. Remember you don't have to control each and every one and the money can be spent either supporting them, ruining them, or even recruiting new ones.

Add another for a 100 liberal media people. So that's another 200 million bringing us to $735M.

Next up we take the remaining $265M and divide it into 2650, $100k buckets which we spread out through the bureaucracies AKA deep state. For sure a good hunk of that goes to the Fed and money supply people.

So for a billion dollars a year we've got our finger in just about everything.

From here out we can expand our influence without spending any more money but rather using money that falls out of the influence we've already bought.

Let's say you want to start "grassroots" efforts at all 3000 colleges, again spending $1M each. That's $3B, but you don't have to come out of pocket for that. All you have to do is bump some college subsidy budget from 147 billion to 150 billion, and then divert 3 billion. Then with each college you split the million with a 100k going to the Latino center, 100k to the environmental sustainability center, 100K to the women's center, etc.

So all you need to get started is a billion a year. But that's really chump change in an era when quantitative easing was pumping out 80 billion dollars a month. Who's to say if that defense contract is worth 43 billion or 65 billion? Certainly not the congressmen and media you own.

Keep in mind that big money players are simultaneously playing this game. The Chinese, the Russians, The Saudis, the UN, the Bilderbergs, Soros, etc. And all the bought off players agree on one thing: if you notice or talk too much about any of this you are a kook.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Does this president make me look fat?

Prof. Brittney Cooper of Rutgers has suggested Trump is making black women fat. No word yet about white women. So I decided I'd look up her research on this, but didn't find anything to suggest it is anything but an opinion. It's just a guess, but if she's researching gender in hip hop music, those hot babes in the videos would drive most women to poor health decisions. With so many crazy feminist theories out there, one really has to be outrageous to get attention. She's making the squad look normal.

"Professor Cooper is currently completing her first book Race Women: Gender and the Making of a Black Public Intellectual Tradition, 1892-Present. Her work focuses extensively in the area of Black women's intellectual history, Black feminist thought, and race and gender politics in hip hop and popular culture. She has two forthcoming articles about hip hop feminism in Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society and African American Review. Professor Cooper has also published book chapters on Black women's history in fraternal orders and the Janet Jackson Superbowl incident. She is co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective blog, which was named a top feminist blog by New York Magazine in 2011 and a top race blog by in 2012. She writes for the CFC as "crunktastic.""

Note:  I wasn’t familiar with “crunk.”

Crunk definitions aren't consistent. "A style of hip-hop music originating in the southern United States, characterized by electronic sounds, simple refrains, and a high-energy, heavily rhythmic beat." Another definition, "combination of chronic and drunk (on marijuana)" Another: "suitable replacement for the infamous seven dirty swearwords that they couldn't say on TV" Another: To cry like a crane. Can also be a verb: "Matzi was out on the corner with his homies, crunkin' to some tunes."

It's beginning to look fallish

I drive on Henderson Road to get to the Fitness center every morning. It's really beautiful--lined with full Maples. We had a cold snap last night and suddenly the colors are running faster than a bunch of Republicans in Congress.

Phil Bruce

Latest photo, 10 days after surgery

The crazies in our culture

The Left is schizo and psychotic. What they are doing to children while screaming about priest sexual abuse (which is far less than that from teachers) and #MeToo is just bizarro.

  • They offer underage children abortions then give them birth control;
  • they promote surgery on genitals under the guise of "gender confusion";
  • they pump children full of hormones to delay puberty which will damage them for the rest of their lives;
  • they allow young girls to be intimidated and bullied by boys in their own bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic events;
  • then they punish them if they use the correct pronoun.
  • This is a political agenda. In Columbus it was being promoted on a local "news" show a few nights ago, as a medical and human interest story because a 3 year old thought he was a girl.

People. You've lost your minds.

And they call this "progressive?"

Saint Luke

Today is October 18 and the day the Catholics, Orthodox and many Protestant denominations honor St. Luke, author of 2 volumes in the New Testament, Luke and Acts. Luke was most likely a Syrian (something to remember, too) and didn't know Jesus or his disciples, but thought it was critical to do the research of what was already written down and being preached in the churches. He did know Paul, and I'm sure those discussions were magnificent. He gives us fascinating insight into our Lord's life and heart, and particularly has a tender heart for the poor and not so powerful. He also provides a lot of focus on women. No one but Mary could have provided the details of the Infancy Narratives. Thank you Lord for the words of Luke.

Luke is the patron saint of artists; bachelors; bookbinders; brewers; butchers; glassworkers; goldsmiths; lace makers; notaries; painters; physicians; sculptors; stained glass workers; surgeons.

And so St. Luke, take care of my sweet, darlin' bachelor and the surgeons and physicians who are helping him. (Had brain surgery Oct. 8)

"As Luke with courage went
to heal, restore and teach,
obedient to his Lord
in spirit, action, speech,
give doctors, nurses, clergy too
the healing power that comes from you."

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Turkey, the Kurds and President Trump

I haven’t done much research on this and may change my mind.  I did pull up articles from December 2018 when Trump announced we were going to pull out, and remember all the campaign promises he made, similar to those Obama made but he only expanded the war.  It is a fact that Turkey has been an ally for years, and is part of NATO. THE KURDS ARE NOT A NATION STATE.

Previous presidents have also pussy footed around Turkey and refused to do anything about its killing of the Armenian Christians 100 years ago (there’s a huge lobby in the U.S.) the first of the 20th century holocausts. Not even Trump has touched that. I’ve never seen such hypocrisy on the part of Democrats or such lily livered, spineless behavior on the part of Republicans as this so-called withdrawal. It’s truly disgusting. 50 Americans are going to be home for Thanksgiving who might not have been there otherwise, and the wars in the Middle East, now 1000 years old, will go on and on and on.

Dave doesn’t vote

He’s concerned after watching MSNBC or some other anti-Trump source, that a woman of Ukrainian heritage lost her job in the administration and that Rudy was investigating corruption. But he doesn’t vote!  My response:

But you're OK with destroying the job of the Ukrainian prosecutor which Joe Biden bragged about (as a representative of Obama)? Biden demanded he be fired, or Ukraine would get no money to fight the Russians. He knew what would happen if the news got out about who was really manipulating the U.S. election.

Rudy was doing his job--investigating the corruption of the Democrats of the previous administration who tried to undo the election results of 2016.

You have a strange set of standards--don't vote, but support crooks widening the muck in the swamp. Voting is always a challenge--often the lesser of 2 evils. So is donating money to campaigns and candidates, but it's better than a monarchy or communism where there's no voting at all, or just straw man candidates. We see now Mitt Romney's true colors, but he still would have been better than a second term for Obama.

Thousands of years of human history under every imaginable form of government from human sacrifice to peasants rounded up from the fields to march to foreign wars, and the little guy finally has a say based on one of the finest constitution ever produced, and you thumb your nose at all the blood and treasure over centuries it took to get here because it isn't perfect. I'm shocked.

Milly and Jack

We live on a beautiful, ravined property with lots of trees between us, the ravine, and the houses on the other side. We've known Milly and Jack, residents on the other side, since they were college age. She was our daughter's confirmation sponsor, (about 38 years ago) so although younger than us, they are now grandparents. Like me, Milly is an early riser, and although it's too far for her to see me, I wave when I see her light on because I know she's reading her Bible.

This past year their deck was being enclosed to make a large inside space--not sure it has a name since they already have a family room and a study. It allows them to be inside while enjoying the outside is the best description I can think of. We couldn't see much of the transition--too many trees, but we know the contractor and could see little figures moving around and could imagine the process. This morning I looked out and the whole addition/house appeared in a blazing light because more leaves have dropped making it visible. I could almost see the outline and complexity of the new space.

That's what our life is now. We see the light, but we're in the dark, and others are out there keeping watch for us.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


I keep a "Gratitude Journal." I saw the outline (6 items) in an article several years ago, and I've revised it a bit to suit my needs. The main part is writing down 3 things from the previous 24 hours for which you are grateful. Most days, our life is so pleasant and delightful, I have to think hard, and occasionally had to resort to "beautiful weather for a walk along the lake," or "modern technology."

Since our son Phil's diagnosis of brain cancer two weeks ago, finding things to be grateful for has been no problem--some days I can record 15 and bust right past three. From Ron Brown calling the squad, to Pastor Margo's faithful visits, to borrowed walker, to visits from loyal friends, some going back to his childhood, it has been a snap. And as you've noticed, I write a lot (always have). It's not a method I'd recommend for writer's block, but I think I'm not the only one who takes life for granted until we're shocked back to reality.

Phil (left) one week after surgery with friend Craig

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Our country’s religious foundation is crumbling

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other,” said John Adams in 1798. Some things don’t change, even after 221 years, and Attorney General William Barr quoted Adams to say so in a stellar speech at Notre Dame about American politics and our crumbling moral foundation.

Barr, a devout Catholic, made the case that modern Americans have replaced dependency on God with dependency on government. He also argued that modern secularists are not merely non-religious; they are outright hostile to religion.

“The campaign to destroy the traditional moral order has coincided [with] — and I believe has brought with it — immense suffering and misery,” Barr asserted. “And yet the forces of secularism, ignoring these tragic results, press on with even greater militancy.”

He wondered, “Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress?” Worse, he implied regression: “The secular project has itself become a religion, pursued with religious fervor. It is taking on all the trappings of religion, including inquisitions and excommunication. Those who defy the creed risk a figurative burning at the stake — social, educational, and professional ostracism and exclusion waged through lawsuits and savage social-media campaigns.”

In any case, says Barr, the government is a poor substitute for true religion. “Today, in the face of all the increasing pathologies, instead of addressing the underlying cause, we have cast the state in the role of the Alleviator of Bad Consequences,” he said. “We call on the state to mitigate the social costs of personal misconduct and irresponsibility.”

“So, the reaction to growing illegitimacy is not sexual responsibility, but abortion. The reaction to drug addiction is safe injection sites. The solution to the breakdown of the family is for the state to set itself up as an ersatz husband for the single mother and an ersatz father for the children. The call comes for more and more social programs to deal with this wreckage. And while we think we’re solving problems, we are underwriting them. We start with an untrammeled freedom and we end up as dependents of a coercive state on whom we depend.”

Wow.  The Leftists are sure try to impeach Barr now.

Glory be to the Father

Have you ever wondered why we say, "world without end" in the Gloria Patri? Me neither. I guess I've said or sung it so often I'd never thought that it meant the world would go on forever and never stop. But someone did ask (on radio), so here's what I heard. It's a very awkward idiom that comes from Hebrew, then Greek, then Latin, then squeezed into English. In other words, a bad translation for "will be for ever." In none of the other languages does the word world appear.

Found a longer explanation.

Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. A blast from the past

We bought our Lakeside cottage in September, 1988, and thus began a weekly (usually Saturday since we both worked) trip to clean, paint and remodel (I watched, Bob worked). On the way through Bucyrus we'd stop at Wendy's and became very fond of the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with a small fries. Our children were shocked because "fast food" certainly hadn't been on the menu when they lived at home! I was such a mean mom. I probably haven't had one in over 20 years.

Yesterday after we returned to Canal Winchester from Phil's doctor appointment in Westerville, he treated us to lunch--Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and fries. Probably we aren't eating as healthy as we could be, but it was fun to enjoy one again. Sometimes you just need comfort food instead of a salad.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Winter Friend, source unknown


You know time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems like yesterday that I was young, just married, and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all those years went.

I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is... the winter of my life, and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those "older people" were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it friends are retired and getting grey... they move slower and I see an older person in myself now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me... but, I see the great change... Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore... it's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will... I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so... now I enter this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last... this I know, that when it's over on this earth... it's over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done... things I should have done, but indeed, there are also many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.

So, if you're not in your winter yet... let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can TODAY, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life... so, LIVE FOR TODAY and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember.. and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!

"Life" is a GIFT to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

Remember: "It is Health that is real Wealth and not pieces of gold and silver."

~Your kids are becoming you......but your grandchildren are perfect!
~Going out is good.. coming home is even better!
~You forget names... but it's OK, because other people forgot they even knew you!!!
~You realize you're never going to be really good at anything.... especially golf.
~The things you used to care to do, you no longer care to do, but you really do care that you don't care to do them anymore.

~You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV blaring than in bed. It's called "pre-sleep."
~You miss the days when everything worked with just an "ON" and "OFF" switch..
~You tend to use more 4 letter words ... "what?"..."when?"...???
~Now that you can afford expensive jewelry, it's not safe to wear it anywhere.
~You notice everything they sell in stores is "sleeveless?!"
~What used to be freckles are now liver spots.
~Everybody whispers.
~You have 3 sizes of clothes in your closet.... 2 of which you will never wear.

~But "Old" is good in some things:
Old Songs, Old movies ...
and best of all, our dear ...OLD FRIENDS!!

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!"

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Pray for Sonja and Phil

Sonja is battling breast cancer; our son Phil is fighting a malignant brain tumor.  These "kids" grew up together, attended the same church, UALC, and Upper Arlington High School in the 80s and they are friends on Facebook, encouraging each other. Let's keep the prayers coming.


Saturday, October 12, 2019

Psalm 92

Today, Psalm 92 came up in my meditation time.

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night,
on the ten-stringed lyre and the lute,
with the murmuring sound of the harp."

Our son Phil enjoys giving thanks to the Lord with his church's praise team. He loves the music, being part of worship, and the friendships he's developed through the music.

I wasn't sure what a 10-stringed lyre looked or sounded like, so here's a video.

Phil had brain surgery for a malignant tumor on Tuesday and was released from the hospital on Friday evening.  He had a good night at his home, and is working on his routine. We’re hoping the guitar playing will be therapeutic for his right hand which is weak.

The Tesla and the environment, guest blogger Michael Smith

“For what must be the millionth time, I just ended a discussion with a leftist acquaintance in a frustrating and disappointing manner.

There was a particular local situation, one of which we were in violent agreement that doing something was needed. The position my acquaintance was that while we agreed something needed to be done, every workable solution proposed was rejected with the position of "Something needs to be done, just not that."

Her proposed solution was the most unrealistic, unworkable and fairy tale action imaginable - but it made her feel good, so that was on what she based her support.

We ended a similar discussion last week when she asked me when I was going to get rid of my carbon emitting pickup.

Predictably, I replied "When I want a newer one."

I then asked her if she understood the ethical and environmental damage necessary to construct her Tesla - she, like many of her camp, drive these EV's around town thinking they are the leaders in saving the environment without realizing that the cobalt used in her car battery had a real chance of coming from a mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where child labor (as young as 4 years old) is exploited or that nickel mining and refining are especially dangerous to the environment, especially when you consider that a significant amount comes from countries significantly less concerned about the environment than the US. I also noted that the rare earth metals critical to battery production likely came from a strip mine in China where environmental protection doesn't even make the list of priorities.

I asked her if she knew that it was a near certainty the electricity she used was generated by fossil fuels as over 70% of Utah's electricity is generated by coal burning power plants and that even if it was wind generated, the carbon cost to construct and then decommission a windmill (they are burying the fiberglass blades in landfills) is far more than it saves over its operational life.

I told her about a study by the US Energy Information Agency that indicates widespread adoption of electric vehicles nationwide, when compared to the current internal combustion production (which produces about 1% of the pollution of the cars of the 1960's), will likely air pollution.

Yet she still rides the moral high horse because she chooses to ignore the total cost of her decisions. Apparently saving the planet means that you do things that make you feel good and you just can't be too concerned about what damage your feel-good emotions do "over there".

Most of this crap is just to make wealthy white suburbanites (who can afford such things) feel good about themselves without actually accomplishing a damn thing.

As Reagan said, "...they just know so much that isn't so."”

Friday, October 11, 2019

Everyone around you is grieving. Go easy.

"Unless anyone passing by looked deeply into my bloodshot eyes or noticed the occasional break in my voice and thought enough to ask, it’s not like they’d have known what’s happening inside me or around me. They wouldn’t have had any idea of the gaping sinkhole that had just opened up and swallowed the normal life of the guy next to them in the produce section."  John Pavlovitz

I thought similar thoughts this past week as we watched and waited with our son who has brain cancer.  The temporary assistant pastor at Phil’s church who has been visiting him—her husband died 8 months ago, and her tenderness and caring helps her grieve.  Our own Pastor Dave who came to the hospital through the terrible fog to pray with us the morning of surgery—both his own son and grandson, child of another son, died the summer of 2018. A friend from high school days who came to the hospital to see Phil who is going through a painful divorce—the death that never ends.  My cousin Gayle who faithfully ministers to a small group of women who are prayer warriors and whose husband died after a long illness. My neighbors who are struggling with this same disease in their 33 year old daughter-in-law, mother of 2 toddlers. Adrienne, my long time library colleague and coffee buddy who had hip surgery this week and is caring for her husband who has Parkinson’s Disease.  Sweet Annie and dear Sonja, both battling different forms of cancer in their 40s whose parents (my age) have to stand aside and let them decide. My sister-in-law at 83 driving her husband to dialysis 3 times a week and watching him change before her eyes.

Everyone is grieving.  Just be kind.

“Parents whose children are terminally ill.
Couples in the middle of divorce.
People grieving loss of loved ones and relationships.

Kids being bullied at school.
Teenagers who want to end their lives.
People marking the anniversary of a death.
Parents worried about their depressed teenager.

Spouses whose partners are deployed in combat.
Families with no idea how to keep the lights on.
Single parents with little help and little sleep.”

Thursday, October 10, 2019

With a little help from friends

We'll be heading to the hospital in a few hours to visit our son  as he continues down (up?) the difficult road after brain surgery on Tuesday. We've been overwhelmed with the prayers and kindness of his friends, our friends and total strangers. A neighbor I don’t know well just dropped by with a quiche for supper.  It is a huge comfort!

So I want to tell you a story from way back--maybe 1987, don't remember for sure. As the mother of teens, so close in age and so beautiful people used to think they were twins, I was at my wit's end and couldn't pray. So in addition to feeling like a total failure as a mother, I assumed I wasn't being a very good Christian either. No prayer could slip pass my clenched teeth.

At church one Sunday I ran into Judy Gibeaut and in about 30 seconds summed up my rage and frustration. She gave me a hug, told me not to worry about praying, that she'd do it for me so I could just focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I think she did call it intercessory prayer, but whatever she said, I've never forgotten it.

I'm not doing much praying since October 1 when this hit us like a ton of bricks, so we're relying on others. After so many years of Sunday worship, baptisms, Bible school, Sunday School, funerals and weddings, I think I've got the "Lord's Prayer" [Our Father] down pat--not very good at memorizing. Tertullian, 2nd-3rd century theologian, wrote that the Our Father was a summary of the Gospel so we can cover a lot of territory with that!

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Guardian angels

Friday morning I was reviewing Bible and extra-biblical writing on guardian angels. We certainly are calling on them today. We know Phil has one –I  remember about 7-8 years ago his car explosion and he had jumped out of the car after someone in a white vehicle pulled up behind him and yelled, “ you're on fire,” then left. Then boom. It went up in flames.

There's a beautiful hymn/poem in the book of Daniel when the three men are being saved from the fire. Unfortunately, that lovely passage is not in the Protestant Bible, so you'll have to look on-line if you don't have a Catholic or Orthodox Bible. See Daniel 3:26-90. At verse 46, "Now the king's men who had thrown them in continued to stoke the furnace with brimstone, pitch, tow, and faggots. The flames rose 49 cubits above the furnace, and spread out, burning the Chaldeans nearby. But the angel of the Lord went down into the furnace with Azariah and his companions, drove the fiery flames out of the furnace, and made the inside of the furnace as though a dew-laden breeze were blowing through it. The first in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm. Then these three in the furnace with one voice sang, glorifying and blessing God: [and the hymn continues]

But I also like my friend Sonja Ness' method. She has named her tumors, "Gertie and the 3 blind mice" and enjoys watching them diminish as they are attacked by chemo (and probably her guardian angel who is guiding her treatment team). So using the angel example in Exodus 23:20-23 I'll name the tentacles of Phil's tumor, "My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out."

Guardian angels aren't just for Hallmark cards. Nor are they cute, sweet and plump with feathery wings. They are strong and powerful like the one who came to Mary (Hail, Mary) to announce the coming of Jesus or the one who greeted the women at the Tomb. They have a long tradition in the church. Saint Basil the Great (d. 378) taught that "each and every member of the faithful has a Guardian angel to protect, guard, and guide them through life." St. Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153) wrote, "these celestial spirits have been placed at our sides to protect us, instruct us, and to guide us." Billy Graham wrote a book about angels and called them God's secret agents. Then there was a 19th century Dutch Calvinist, Abraham Kuyper, who also was a fan of angels (also wrote about demons and miracles) and describes their powers.

A phrase attributed to St. Augustine, "“We cannot pass our guardian angel's bounds, resigned or sullen, he will hear our sighs.”

Saturday, October 05, 2019

It’s going to get even more nasty—guest blogger Michael Smith

“Mittens and Low Energy Jeb opine about what a nasty person Trump is and that he did something that they would never, never do.

Know what they also never, ever did?


Romney didn't win the presidency from Obama because he mistakenly thought niceness counted. Spoiler alert - it didn't. No style points awarded.

Lil' Jebbie couldn't even gather enough lift to get the nomination, much less win the Oval Office.

Look at how badly Romney was treated when he ran. On the floor of the Senate, Harry Reid claimed Mitt hadn't paid taxes in a decade. Romney allegedly hazed a gay kid in 1965, hair raped him with a pair of scissors and caused his suicide 40 years later. Bain Capital, Romney's old firm, caused a woman's cancer and cut her insurance two years after he left, none of which happened but the Democrats still aimed he was responsible. He drove across the country with the family dog strapped to the roof of the family station wagon. He thought women should be kept in "binders".

Low Energy Jeb's neocon bro, Dub, was called a drunkard, a dunce, a racist, a warmonger, pretty much every name in the book. Cindy Sheehan camped outside his Texas home for 6 years.

And remember the differences in what Obama, Schumer and Pelosi said at John McCain's funeral as compared to what they said during the 2008 presidential campaign. Either McCain had a twin or those three stooges are rank hypocrites.

Romney and Lil' Jebbie are idiots to think this is just political and not personal - because it is both political AND personal. To a Democrat, there is no difference between the two.

And that is why you have to fight the way they fight.

General George S. Patton said that "No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country."

I think we are about to see the nastiest election season of our lifetimes. Generally, the worst ever is thought to be the 1828 election contest between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams - but 2020 is looking back and saying "Hold muh beer..."

The Democrats have set the rules of engagement and those ROE's are "weapons free".”

Friday, October 04, 2019

National Brain Tumor Society

News, information, research, blog.

On Tuesday our son had several seizures, went to the ER, had a CT scan and MRI and by Wednesday we knew he had a brain tumor. A new chapter in our lives.  We had lunch together on Saturday in our old neighborhood and there were no signs of a problem.  Life changes quickly.  Don’t waste your opportunities.

Interesting video of a brain tumor patient with a sense of humor.

There is no impeachment at this time

“Moreover, there are no subpoenas. As Secretary Pompeo observed in his fittingly tart response on Tuesday, what the committee chairmen issued was merely a letter. Its huffing and puffing notwithstanding, the letter is nothing more than an informal request for voluntary cooperation. Legally, it has no compulsive power. If anything, it is rife with legal deficiencies.

The Democrats, of course, hope you don’t notice that the House is not conducting a formal impeachment inquiry. They are using the guise of frenetic activity by several standing committees — Intelligence, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Reform, Financial Services, and Ways and Means — whose normal oversight functions are being gussied up to look like serious impeachment business.”

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

October is Domestic Violence Month

For 40 years, October has been National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so be nice--it's for men, women, same-sex couples, teens, etc. We also have VAWA, or Violence Against Women Act, drafted by handsy, hair smelling, Ukraine visiting Joe Biden in 1991 and signed in 1994 by President Clinton, who lost his license to practice law because of the law suit by Paula Jones bringing on the impeachment when he lied under oath about the assault.

Republicans have had bad press about VAWA because they've failed to renew it due to Democrats stuffing it with all sorts of things like special visas for illegals who are victims of domestic violence (wow, can you imagine how that would be incentive to file a false claim) and special prosecution for male native Americans. And LGBTQ has been added, even though by adding men some time back to the law, the funding has not followed to protect men from aggressive women.

Funding? Oh yes. Big bucks for lots of organizations. The violence will never decrease because the grants would decrease, so it will just be redefined, or more victims will be added to the list. Don't know the amount right now but it was over $1.6 billion 25 years ago. The Office of Violence Against Women has 95 positions and gets over half a million! Obama added some more groups to get points with women. Since 1994, campus violence, elder abuse and tribal violence have been added to assure a strong pipeline of funding.

Special needs adults also enjoy a good workout

I don't see many adults with Down Syndrome these days. Pre-natal testing has reduced their chances of surviving in the womb, along with the culture of death promoted by many in our culture. (Like Obama's advisor, Zeke Emanuel, a so called ethicist. He believes people my age shouldn’t be using up resources.) But there is one young woman who comes to the fitness center where I exercise in the morning, and with a trainer, has a great time. She works hard, follows his instructions, and he is rewarded with her great smile and laugh. After the workout he walks her to the door and waits there with her until her mother picks her up. It's just beautiful. Today I told him how much I appreciated seeing them together. He told me he used to coach a Special Olympics team, and loved it.

Abortions for babies with Down Syndrome are not has high as thought 20 years ago, and those statistics were based on Europe. In the U.S. we do not have a data base for this, but the latest research show it is 30%, and that varies with race and ethnicity. It is highest among Asian Americans at 61%.

There are loving parents waiting to adopt a child with Down Syndrome, so if you know of a mom who is not prepared to parent and has received this diagnosis, put her in touch with

I noticed this comment from 2013 at that site:

My sweet angel, Colleen, was born on 7 March 1991. She was Down Syndrome, and had severe health problems since birth.

When she was born, I had no idea what the name “Down Syndrome” meant. But 22 years later, I know it means “Unconditional Love”! She taught me and my 2 older children so much about love, caring, acceptance and being grateful for the little blessings in life. Twice in her life the Lord used her to save 2 women who were ready to commit suicide! And she did not even realize what was happening. Her pure love changed their lives forever!

Colleen passed away on the 12 th July this year, in ICU, due to multiple organ failure. A huge part of my heart died with her. She was the single most precious blessing in my life

Monday, September 30, 2019

My friend Sonja and her cancer blog

She’s rounding the bend, can see the end of her chemo.  It’s been a tough battle.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

The cost of walking away for Linda

“Leaving the Democratic Party has not been easy. It's not been just like going to the voting booth and closing that curtain and voting privately. It has cost many people family and relationships. That's how much the liberals hate President Trump. They don't have a clue that it isn't President Trump drawing us away, but rather their disgusting behavior pushing us away. That's what it was for me.

When I saw Hilary Clinton on the platform with all those other celebrities calling themselves Nasty Women, I changed parties after being a Democrat almost 40 years. I didn't want to be identified with them . . .especially after all of the other things Hilary Clinton had done.

It's difficult at times. It has caused alienation from so many members of my family. We still talk when we see each other, but are no longer close. You wouldn't think that it was possible, but that is how deeply the hatred runs for President Trump through the liberals. My two daughters have stopped talking to me at times. And the thing is . . I don't discuss politics with them. They will hear something the President did and get angry with me because I voted for him. It's "all my fault."  . . . Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but I believe the Republican Party is on the right side. The Republican Party protects the life of unborn babies and so far, they have protected our constitutional rights to own a gun. Also, they believe in closed borders. I've never regretted that I walked away.”

Call me slow. . .

We attend a liturgical service at our Lutheran Church—and we’re in the North American Lutheran Synod, which is conservative and pulled out of the ELCA maybe nine years ago. We’ve been in the same congregation but 3 synods in 45 years.   But it’s the same wording for Confession and Forgiveness and we say it every Sunday. I don’t think the informal/contemporary service use this Confession.

“. . . We confess that without Christ (that’s just been added recently) we are in bondage to sin and we cannot free ourselves.  We have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.  We have not loved You with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  For the sake of Your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.  Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in Your will and walk inn Your ways, to the glory of Your holy name. Amen.”

I looked through the 1930 hymnal and with the exception of the archaic thees and thous it’s similar.  However, I notice there is no contrition (repentance, turning away from sin) expected on the part of the believer, no promise or even a suggestion that she’ll change.  How could that be? I know the words of the hymn, Jesus did it all, but I have no responsibility to even try to not sin?

If I borrow your truck and it has half a tank of gasoline, and I return it to you empty, I say, “Oh I’m so sorry, couldn’t find a gas station,” or “I ran out of time” or “I didn’t have enough money”—something like that.  Then next week I borrow it again, and again return it empty, telling you, “Gosh I’m so sorry,” but make up an excuse even more lame.  Then the 3rd week I do it again, but just say, “Forgive me for the empty tank,” and leave it at that.

Even in the Lord’s Prayer, the one Jesus taught, the believer asks the Lord to forgive our trespasses, and then says “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Ka-boom. A sign of change.  We have to forgive if we expect forgiveness.

University of Illinois record enrollment

Congratulations on the record breaking enrollment at U. of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.  Enrollment was about 20,000 when I started in 1958, and I think the cost was about $1,000 year. It was about a 4 hour drive for my parents who lived in Mt. Morris, and it was up to me to get a ride home for holidays.

I lived in a private dorm owned by the Y right in the middle of the action, McKinley Hall on Wright St.   I found a website for the YWCA in C-U down the street from the old McKinley Hall, but now it's just bogged down in day to day SJW missions and intersectional causes. It's actually where I met my cousin Chuck Ballard when we got together so he could give me a ride home. I think he was a senior--and incredibly handsome.

William B. McKinley was an Illinois millionaire, business owner and politician (not the president of the U.S.) and I went to a McKinley Presbyterian church down the street (visited website of the foundation--same SJW), and was sick in the McKinley Hospital now a health center, taught Spanish at Urbana high school that had McKinley Field, and walked on McKinley Avenue.

Like the wealth of many 19th and 20th century millionaires which built so many schools, churches, colleges, orphanages, funded orchestras, etc., today the source is ignored and they don't even mention his name, or capitalism, on their websites

Saturday, September 28, 2019

My Sirius 3 month freebie

My new car comes with a 3 month free subscription to Sirius.  I’d really like to try it, but all the ways they have for getting me set up involved a smart phone. I’ve got my ID number but it won’t work.  So when the chat lady signs in I pull the old, “I’m 80 years old and I don’t text” routine.  I also don’t carry my computer in the car with me to follow their over complex on-line instructions.

I need someone’s 12 year old grandchild.

This should be taken care of before you leave the lot.  That’s a tip.

I’m enjoying the keyless entry and start.  Wish I could do that for the front door when I’m carrying in groceries.

Domestic Violence

"On Friday, the president issued the proclamation of October 2019 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In the official statement, he said, “Domestic violence erodes this environment, leaving many Americans in potentially life-threatening situations. As a Nation, we must resolve to have zero tolerance for acts of domestic violence.” He added that, over the past fiscal year, the administration has made $8 billion available to provide aid and service to victims and survivors, “These services assist more than 2 million domestic violence victims annually, helping individuals and families heal from physical and psychological wounds.”

He concluded, “This month, we strengthen our resolve to ensure homes are places of refuge, comfort, and protection — and not places of fear and abuse. We renew our commitment to support and protect victims, hold perpetrators accountable, and prevent violence before it starts. We strive to eliminate domestic violence in all its horrific forms in order to sustain the hope of a better life for victims and to foster safer homes and relationships for all Americans.”" Daily Prayer Briefing.

In 1989 Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has been passed each year since. Although most of the violence is against women, 1/4 is against men, and somewhere I read that the rate of domestic violence is the highest in lesbian relationships (mainly psychological and verbal). Statistics on this seem quite squishy to me, with "intimate partner" or "dating" apparently folded into "domestic" (which implies sharing a residence). One site pointed out more women were victims of homicide (domestic violence) than all the lives lost by our military in the middle east wars.

Ryan, Romney, Nadler and Schiff 4 peas in a pod

The panic is building in both parties; Trump has completely upset the gentlemen's agreement that was Washington DC. Ryan and Romney are flummoxed. What will be the next impeachment staged play starring the vaudeville team of Nadler and Schiff? Where is the next woman hiding who remembers Kavanaugh from 30 years ago? What will be the next Democrat candidate carrot--free cars for everyone? Two ponies for every child? All high school students get an automatic PHD and guaranteed government think tank job? Free tummy tucks and eye-lid lifts for anyone over 45--why should only the rich benefit?

Quid pro quo or Quid pro Joe?

The “Ukraine Quid Pro Quo Impeachment” story is collapsing so fast that trying to keep up with all the developments is like trying to provide real-time play-by-play of an empty building being imploded with TNT.  Mike Huckabee

It’s fascinating to watch two or three points of view on this.  If you watch Mark Levin or listen to Rush Limbaugh, you’d think all the Democrats are total idiots, scum with nothing to do but set traps.  Then if you catch one of the alphabet broadcasts, or CNN talking heads, they have Trump all but out of office and in jail.  Yet they are all looking at the same documents, watching the same hearings.

The new development in this story is that ABC actually retracted their fake news instead of doubling down on it, which puts them a rung above many other media outlets on the journalistic integrity ladder.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Why Donna left the Democrats—she didn’t—they left her

“Today I was asked why I moved politically, from center left, too hard right. My response was, I didn’t move. Nothing about my political belief system has changed. I still have a live and let live approach to life. I still believe who you sleep with or marry is your own business. I still believe in equality for all. I still believe the 2nd amendment is what levels the playing field and keeps us safe from threats both internal and external. I still have no religious beliefs but aren’t bothered by yours. I still believe social programs are vital but abused. I haven’t changed, they have.

They went from live and let live, to live the way I want you to or not at all. They decided equality isn’t really what they’re asking for now. Equality almost always equals some sort of special treatment they feel they’re owed and rarely has anything to do with equal treatment. They decided that there’s something inherently wrong with me because I was born white and I’m somehow responsible for every evil deed any white person throughout history has ever committed but will receive none of the credit for any of the accomplishments, not that I’d be any more deserving of accolades for someone else Accomplishments then I am for blame for their misdeeds. They have constantly and repeatedly over the years claim they are not trying to take away our guns while trying to take away our guns one baby step at a time. They have become the party of bullying, name-calling, harassment, and absolutely no tolerance for anything that doesn’t fit their agenda.

Nothing about me has changed.”

Cacao vs. cocoa

I ran out of Hersey’s 100% cacao yesterday and when I stopped at Marc’s where I usually shop, it didn’t have any, so I picked up Baker’s 100% cocoa.  Today I looked up the difference, and as I thought the cacao and cocoa aren’t not the same.  It’s in the processing which destroys many of the antioxidants.  Also the cocoa, even dark, has over twice the fat content of the cacao, according the the labels.

So I’ll have to swing by another store and look for the cacao.  But the cocoa, the article says, is better for baking, which I rarely do anymore.

“What Are The Health Benefits Of Raw Cacao?
  • Lowers insulin resistance
  • Protects your nervous system: Cacao is high in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant also found in red wine, known for its ability to cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your nervous system
  • Shields nerve cells from damage
  • Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces your risk of stroke
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease: The antioxidants found in cacao help to maintain healthy levels of Nitric Oxide (NO) in the body. Although NO has heart benefiting qualities, such as relaxing blood vessels and reducing blood pressure, it also produces toxins. The antioxidants in cacao neutralizes these toxins, protecting your heart and preventing against disease.
  • Guards against toxins: as a potent antioxidant, cacao can repair the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. In fact cacao contains far more antioxidants per 100g than acai, goji berries and blueberries. Antioxidants are responsible for 10% of the weight of raw cacao.
  • Boosts your mood: cacao can increase levels of certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being. And the same brain chemical that is released when we experience deep feelings of love – phenylethylamine – is found in chocolate.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The affordable housing game

The paper reported another real estate sale fee increase (you pay a hefty fee when you sell property based on sale price) to build "affordable housing" in Columbus, Ohio. And if you check the business news for your town, you'll probably see the same thing, different amount, different catchy name or acronym.

I've tracked this ploy for 40 years, under various names at my blog. Even 20 years ago, based on the transfers that went into this, there should have been no unaffordable housing for the workers our booming economy is drawing to central Ohio. Why? Because if you're smart and invest wisely, you move up and sell that house to another family. We bought our first home, a duplex in a shabby neighborhood, for $14,000 in 1962, the renter (now a FB friend, a liberal) paid our mortgage, and 2 years later we "moved up" to a nicer area and our renters paid both mortgages plus the car payment, and we paid back my father from whom we borrowed the down payment.

Many do benefit from "affordable housing" government (local, state, federal) programs. Middle and upper middle class. Developers, builders, sub-contractors, bureaucrats, government employees, banks, non-profits who get the grants, churches, salesmen, and even groups like ACORN who provide the workshops on how to use the money. The article names specific programs and funds. So what happened to "North of Broad," "Crossing at Joyce", "Home Again," "Restore Columbus," and CHIP, to name just a few that a decade ago were the darlings of the housing saviors?…

There were 160 housing programs in the federal government in 2012. That figure probably hasn't shrunk. I suspect they may have been at the bottom of the 2007-08 housing bubble that burst.

A Protestant tours a Roman Catholic Cathedral

Excellent explanation of what the architecture, art, windows, altar, ambry (where oil is stored), etc. mean.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

FBI Lovebirds play

The play FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers   is a “ dramatized staged reading of text messages between Trump nemesis FBI Agent Peter Strzok and his lover, fellow FBI Agent Lisa Page and their subsequent interrogation by a congressional committee. Dean Cain (Gosnell, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) and Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pretty in Pink) play the roles of Strzok and Page. The staged reading premiered this summer at a theater in Washington D.C.

Politico called the play “Hamilton for the MAGA crowd.” National Review praised Cain and Swanson’s performances, stating that the play left the D.C. audience “howling.” Townhall also praised the lead actors and stated that FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers is a “hilarious glimpse into DC.” Even Vice News on HBO ran a story about the production, calling it “the most dangerous play in Washington, D.C. . . .

On October 7th at 9PM EST, FBI Lovebirds: Undercovers will be uploaded to YouTube, where millions more can access it and learn the truth behind the Mueller Report. “

Myrna walked away from the Democrat Party in 1988

“I was raised in a Democrat household. We even have pictures of my older sister in diapers with Roosevelt election buttons all over it (1940). That's how strongly my family followed the Democrat Party in the 1940s.

I married my husband in 1965, and he was a Republican, thanks to one of his college professors, who was also a TV news commentator. My father could not understand how a young man, who isn't wealthy, is a Republican. So, for years, I remained a Democrat, even though my husband was a Republican. But I did listen to some of the things my husband said.

Fast forward to 1976. My husband and I became Amway distributors. Amway was a short name for the American Way. Of course we went to rallies and heard both Rich DeVos (Betsy's father in law) and Jay Van Andel. They were Dynamic and inspiring, mostly because they were telling the truth about America, free enterprise, working hard, and lifting up your fellow man, while lifting yourself up at the same time. I had never heard some of those ideas expressed like that before, and they really got into my American heart and mind. I fell in love with the Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct of that company, which caused me to join, aside from the products and inspiring speeches. That company was a pure American ideal and I loved it. But still, I remained a Democrat.

Now it was 1988, and the Democrat Party had their convention. When I watched the small group bring forth the name of Jesse Jackson, an extortionist, to be their choice for nominee for president, that's when I had had enough. I mentally walked away, physically re-registered as Republican, and have never looked back.

Seeing how the Democrat Party has morphed into what it is today, or actually exposed itself for what it has always been, I believe I did the right thing. I will never go back. “

Whatever happened to MS-13

In early 2018, there were dozens of articles about the dangers of MS-13 in high profile publications. Over a decade before in 2006 it was estimated that each career gang member cost taxpayers $1.7 to $2.3 million in a 10 year period. The New Yorker reported in January 2018, "There are roughly ten thousand MS-13 members in the United States, and some fifty thousand spread throughout Central America, but the gang is diffuse and disorganized, grouped in a loose patchwork of local chapters known as cliques. Its members are ruthless—they rob, extort, and kill—but they have relatively little money to show for all their violence. . ."

When Donald Trump called MS-13 animals, and they were streaming over the border with caravans of illegal immigrants, Democrats were quick to call him a racist, even though the ruthlessness and cruelty of this gang of central American origin had been reported for over 25 years. Even though in 2012 under Obama, it had been labeled by the government as a "transnational criminal organization."  Now I hardly see a single reference to them.

That's how Democrats are chasing reasons to impeach. Run from one Trump imagined travesty to the next. From bombshell to bust, from racist to war monger usually in just a few hours . . .

Carson on the homeless problem in California

I watched Fox's interview with Ben Carson about the federal government (my tax money) helping out the homeless disaster created by the Democrats with all their building red tape which only helps the wealthy and well-placed. He held up San Diego as a good example with wrap around services. California has one of the largest economies in the WORLD--they can solve this without Florida, Montana and Ohio money just by cleaning up their own local laws. It’s the same reasons their forests and neighborhoods burn.  Environmental wackos, aka climate change alarmists.

“The leadership in San Diego has a grasp of the homelessness situation, which stems in part from rising housing costs,” Carson said. “To reduce homelessness in San Diego, the city has developed a housing plan which takes the appropriate steps to alleviate some of the impediments to the production of affordable housing.”

"Impediments" my granny's bean soup--it's mismanagement and swallowing all those "green" regulations.

Monday, September 23, 2019


I wrote about homocysteine in February at this blog.

Today I noticed this after seeing Dr. Bret Scher on a Prager U video.

This video is on how the government made us fat is good.

Heavy marijuana use provides a lifetime of problems

"Study members with regular cannabis use and persistent dependence experienced downward socioeconomic mobility, more financial difficulties, workplace problems, and relationship conflict in early midlife."

Cerda, M., Moffitt, T.E., Meier, M.H., /Harrington, H. L., Houts, R., Ramrakha, S., Hogan, S., Poulton, R., Caspi, A. "Persistent cannabis dependence and alcohol dependence represent risks for midlife economic and social problems: A longitudinal cohort study" Clinical Psychological Science, 2016 . 

Study done on New Zealand middleclass ages 18-38 in longitudinal study. Dependent cannabis users ended up (at 38) in lower socio-economic rung than parents; non-users ended up higher. Although often they were also alcohol users, cannabis dependent have more financial and workplace problems than alcoholics.

I doubt this study is a surprise to those who have been around heavy marijuana users, but those who push legalization will find reasons to ignore. Easier to control citizens with dumb-downed brains and social status so society can be blamed.

President addresses UN on religious freedom; a first

“The President will call on the international community to take concrete steps to prevent attacks against people on the basis of their religion or beliefs and to ensure the sanctity of houses of worship and all public spaces for all faiths.”   80% of the world lives under religious oppression.

His address concerns all religions, but this is the worst time in history for Christians. "In 2017 Pew released a report showing that the number of countries where Christians fell victim to government restrictions and social hostilities grew from 108 in 2014 to 128 the following year. In its World Watch Monitor Report, covering 2016, Open Doors, an organization supporting persecuted Christians, found that: “More than 200 million Christians in the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian experience persecution because of their faith.” Other sources claimed that the true figure for 2016 may be as high as 600 million..

As thousands gathered last week to protest a climate model that has been proven false or inadequate for decades, real people were being tortured, turned into refugees and killed for their faith.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

This how Facebook works

Q: How many people does it take to change a lightbulb in a Facebook group?

1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed.

14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently.

7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs.

17 purists who use candles and are offended by light bulb discussions.

6 to argue over whether it's 'lightbulb' or 'light bulb'.

Another 6 to condemn those 6 as stupid.

22 to tell THOSE 6 to stop being jerks.

2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is 'lamp'.

15 know-it-alls who claim they were in the industry, and that 'light bulb' is perfectly correct.

49 to post memes and gifs (several are of Michael Jackson eating popcorn with the words added, “I’m just here for the comments.”)

19 to post that this page is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a light bulb page.

11 to defend the posting to this page saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant here.

24 to discuss the merits of LED/swirly fluorescent light bulbs

44 to claim LED and fluorescent bulbs will kill you.

12 to post F.

8 to ask what F means.

7 to post 'Following' but there's 3 dots at the top right that means you don't have to.

3 to say "can't share"

2 to reply "can't share from a closed group"

36 People to post pics of their own light bulbs.

15 People to post "I can't see S$%^!" and use their own light bulbs.

6 to report the post or PM an admin because someone said "f÷×$"

4 to say "Didn't we go through this already a short time ago?".

13 to say "Do a search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs".

1 to bring politics into the discussion by adding that (insert politician of choice) isn't the brightest bulb. This usually takes place within the first three comments.

50 more to get into personal attacks over their political views.

5 admins to ban the light bulb posters who took it all too seriously.

1 late arrival to comment on the original post 6 months later and start it all over again.

Lots of Bible

I'm in an (older) adult Sunday School class after the 9 a.m. church service at Lytham Rd UALC; we're using "Hebrews (The people's Bible)" by Richard E. Lauersdorf. I'm in an (older) adult Bible study class on Thursday mornings; we're studying Hosea with handouts from Pastor Jeff. I'm in a women's Bible Study group on Saturday morning at Lytham Rd. UALC; we're using "God of Covenant, a study of Genesis 12-50" by Jen Wilkin (Lifeway Press, 2018) and as a couple we're in a SALT (Sharing and Learning Together) group using "Making sense of the Bible; rediscovering the power of scripture today" by Adam Hamilton (Harper, 2014).

Our Sunday School class has an outstanding teacher--Charlie Ollermann--a lawyer who grew up in Nebraska. He manages to keep this class from wandering too far afield. Last week there were 40 in the class, and I brought cookies and they all sang happy birthday to me. The Thursday group is mainly retirees and Pastor Jeff Morlock who is our pastor for seniors always brings up good points. Jeff's wife is also a pastor and has recently taken a position at St. John's Lutheran in Grove City. The Women of the Word on Saturday is a group that has been together perhaps 15 years, and we come and go as our schedule allows. Mary Jo Sullivan's prayers make it worth coming. This fall's offering on Genesis follows the first part, and includes a video. The Lifeway instructor, Jen Wilkin, is excellent. Our SALT group doesn't meet regularly--maybe 10 times a year, so it takes us a while to work through a book, but the Hamilton book is very well written and we're enjoying it.

Town Hall with candidate Bernie

Do the women who ask silly questions at Town Halls know the U.S. birth rate is below replacement rate? So are they asking the candidates to reduce the populations of black and brown countries? Do we have a name for that?

A member of the audience asked Socialist Sanders about human population growth during CNN’s climate town hall Wednesday. She specifically asked Sanders whether he would support measures to curb that growth.

My exercise log turned 8,000 today

In late December 2014 I had a check up and the scale at Dr. Bush’s office said 170 (which I call 165 on mine).  So I started a log for riding my exercycle and told myself I’d ride to Jeanne’s home in Indianapolis, about 180 miles and back.  When I met that goal I said how about Debbie’s in California (Bob’s other sister).  Meanwhile I started using my Silver Sneakers membership at the Metro next to Panera’s on Bethel road.  So I recorded miles (and for awhile minutes, but that ended in a few weeks) in a small notebook for which I’d had no use.  Today, on the second notebook I logged in 8,000!  My routine usually is to go to Lifetime Fitness on Henderson Rd near by, but I’m down to about 4 miles (3 on cycle and 1 on treadmill), but if it’s nice I walk maybe a mile outside, and occasionally use the treadmill in my office while watching the news. I’d also been doing a resistance routine and some regular stretching, but when we got back from Lakeside on Labor Day, that sort of dropped off.

Looking back through the first log I see I was far more successful at weight loss in 2015 than in 2019.  After 6 months of logging my miles, I’d lost 30 pounds—obviously I also stuck to my tried and true diet plan of “eat less move move” aka ELMM. I’ve put about 13 back on.
I was working on our Spain travel plans then, both saving money and trying to lose weight for all the walking we’d be doing.  Unfortunately, I developed bursitis and did have to carry a cane much of the time in Spain. To save money, I stopped having my hair colored ($500/year), gave up my morning coffee (about $2/day) at Panera’s, sold a piece of pottery for $500, rolled the change in the piggy bank (about $200) and cashed in some points on our Freedom Card, about $200. Saving money for me is easier than losing weight!

Riitta and I on the stairs in Gaudalest September 2015

April 2015 with new exercise outfit

Friday, September 20, 2019

Doc Martin and Downton Abbey

I thought Doc Martin the series on PBS was over, so I obviously missed season 8 (spring 2019). Now I see it's been cancelled after season 9.  My friend Bev says I can get it at the library.  I think 9 should be on soon.  The U.S. gets these later than U.K.

And then there’s Downton Abbey the movie.  Several Facebook friends have seen it and thought it quite good.  I guess we’ll miss that one too since it seems to be a limited engagement.

Thursday, September 19, 2019


I am offered a lot of books to review, and occasionally I accept. If you've been baffled by adolescent behavior--your pupils, your kids, your grandchildren, or even your own if you can remember that far back, this is the book that explains it, and why it's probably necessary. "Wildhood; the epic journey from adolescence to adulthood in humans and other animals," by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers (Scribner, 2019). I'm assuming that Barbara is the scientist and Kathryn the word magician, because it's both very learned, and easy to read.

Using the lives of four animals, Ursula the penguin, Shrink the hyena, Salt a humpback whale, and Slavc a wolf (plus dozens of examples of other animal species--salmon, bats, gazelles, seals, etc.) they provide a look at everything you see in teenagers from status, to anxiety, to bullying, to risk taking, to privilege to sexual coercion. Is your son living in your basement? If animal parents were that protective, the species wouldn't survive.

"Animals will suffer pain, forgo food, give up sex, and betray others just to ensure they've not left out or driven from a group. You might say that for social animals, status is like gravity. It's powerful and inescapable. It's invisible. It exerts an omnipresent force, and it molds how a creature moves through the world and behaves around others." p. 97

Now, doesn't that sound just like junior high school?

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Sneak peek at “A republic, if you can keep it”

It's a wonderful day to sit on the deck with a cuppa and enjoy the blue sky and rustling leaves with a good book. But because it's so lovely, the lawn crew has shown up and there's a very loud mower just a few yards away, so I'm back inside. Even after 18 years here in this delightful spot with mature trees and a creek, I'm still thrilled to have them doing it and not Bob.

I'm loving "A republic, if you can keep it," by Neil Gorsuch. In the introduction he introduces us to his roots and branches, some fascinating people. All of us should have to write a paragraph or two about parents, grandparents, great uncles, etc. and their challenges and contributions so we understand how we got here.

Of his mother (pgs 13-14): "My mother was brilliant and a feminist before feminism. Born in Casper, Wyoming, she graduated from the University of Colorado at 19 and its law school at 22. That was a time when almost no women went to law school. She studied and taught in India as a Fulbright Scholar and went to work as the first female lawyer in the Denver District Attorney's Office. There, she helped start a program to pursue deadbeat dads who had failed to pay child support, long before efforts like that were routine. Her idea of daycare often meant me [Neil] tagging along. She never stopped moving. When she ran for the Colorado state legislature, where she was soon voted the outstanding freshman legislator, she wore out countless pairs of shoes walking the entire district again and again. As kids, we just had to keep up. Later, she served as the first female administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington."

With a mother like that, how could he be anything other than a great lawyer and judge.

720,000,000 million women off to the salt mines

With Trump, we know who's in charge. If Biden were elected, who knows. Did you hear that child care proposal to put 720,000,000 women to work? Yikes. And at a union event.

Let's ignore the number which was more than twice our population, and look at child care tax credits. Currently it's $2,000 and Trump is doubling that for next year. Also, do you really know women who aren't working because of the tax credit? Of course not. The unemployment rate is ridiculously low now, and any qualified parent can name his/her price (his comment was also sexist). There are thousands of doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, teachers and academics who think they are better qualified to raise their children to school age, and that marriage and home are too important to give up for a tax credit. Besides, they want to stay home and listen to the record player.

Hitler and the disabled—the slippery slope of the left

The article he refers to appeared in the NYT in 2017, and there's a pay wall, but this is a decent summary--if there can be anything decent about the Nazis. The Democrats, Antifa, BLM, Occupy movement and pink hat Trump haters and Hollywood celebs have cheapened that word and its memories. I had read about this years ago, but many people don't know that methods were tested on the disabled. Germany actually had some outstanding facilities for children and adults with challenges. Imagine the horror of the parents and siblings who came to visit or look for them! Hitler also learned from the Turks who slaughtered many thousands of Armenians. It's the power of the state--National Socialism (aka Nazi)--and it's the very thing President Trump is resisting. But Trump's enemies are clever--they know that most people don't know history, don't know the meaning of words, even, and that the big lie can be repeated and repeated until their minds are mushy. Hitler's socialist model first killed his own citizens before moving beyond the borders.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A nice birthday week

Today my friend of 45 years, Nancy, and I went out for lunch at the OSU Golf Club, and I’d had a hair cut and style with Melissa earlier, so I felt good.  We both had the quiche.  Our condo association had Monday and Tuesday set aside for drive way/street resurfacing, so we’d all been doing a little extra walking, since everyone’s cars were parked in the parking lot of the church next door.  Fortunately, the weather was bright and sunny, and except for wet shoes in the morning, it all went well.

I'd been carrying 2 Barnes & Noble gift cards in my purse for a year, so today I stopped in and purchased, "A Republic, if you can keep it," by Neil Gorsuch, (2019) and "Call sign Chaos" by Jim Mattis, (2019). I rarely buy books, but these looked like keepers. In fact, I think it was Hugh Hewitt who said the Mattis book would still be read 100 years from now. I doubt that, but in today's environment a few months would be good.  So I’m calling them a present to myself, even though I think I got the cards for Mother’s Day.

But the big splurge, not intended for birthday, but coincided is a new car.  We now have a white Chrysler Pacifica Touring L with heated seats and steering wheel and all the latest gadgets for safety and audio.  It’s going to take a while to learn all the new features, like keyless entry and start and the motor turning off at stop signs.

Then Saturday evening we’re going out with our daughter and son-in-law to try a restaurant in Grandview.

Equity for Muslims

I received a notice today that OSU is having a "health equity" lecture on care of Muslim patients. Usually when liberals use the term "equity" they are discussing oppressed or low income groups, but according to Pew Research American Muslims have a higher education level than Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Adventists, Baptists and Catholics, and we're told that education translates to income. So what inequity will be discussed? FGM perhaps? And isn't that a cultural/religious issue? Pork on hospital menus? How women are gowned or how hygiene standards are kept by Muslim staff? I know there are sharia concerns, but that doesn't sound like "equity." Since we have so many foreign and non-Christian medical staff, are there lectures on how to treat Christians?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Pop corn sales

I'm a sucker for a guy in uniform. I just paid $10 for a container of popcorn (2.5 lbs) I didn't need. But the Boy Scout was adorable, well spoken, clear about his product and prices, and the scout leader was standing near buy.  We invited them in, chatted a bit. He was a young boy any parent or scout leader would be proud of.

What is happening in our country?

Driving to the fitness center today I heard a caller to a local radio (610 a.m.) show say she'd hired a teen to do some work (didn't say what--I assume yard work or repair) and discovered he didn't know how to use a ruler. She showed him a ruler and a tape measure, and he didn't know what to do with the numbers. She also said Columbus, OH school board had removed all American flags from classrooms. I'm not in the Columbus district so I’ve never heard.  She said the American Legion and VFW were planning to replace them because no one knew where they had been stored. Her final comment on public education supported by citizens in Columbus was that during the 2016 election cycle neighborhood children told her she shouldn't vote for Trump because their teacher told them they would lose their welfare. I asked about this on Facebook, and one Columbus teacher said she had a flag in her classroom, but another friend had this shocking comment.

Brian responded:  “I posted 57 educational videos to YouTube last month, all videos are for my business and all open with and have thumbnails that have the American Flag on them. We had zero copyright violations, and broke no community standards with content. Our account was shut down permanently they cited the fact the videos all have the American flag on them as hate speech. I appealed the ruling and lost. This is your country in 2019.”

The American flag is hate speech?

Opening the book—sermon series, audio and visual

We’re starting a new sermon series at UALC, called Open Book, an initiative to read and teach through the Bible.  So this Sunday will be Genesis 2.

  However, last Sunday, September 8, a few in-house details needed to be addressed as there are changes in scheduling taking place and worship services are being condensed or merged.  You can not change worship styles even in the same Lutheran congregation without causing some conflicts or hurt feelings.  Last night at dinner in a restaurant  for our church’s art ministry one of the spouses of a member declared how much he dislikes organ music and only enjoys what I call the “clangy bangy service.” (loud guitars, many amplification speakers, quartet leading—X-Alt)  Bill honors God in a different way than the Bruces who like liturgy, hymns, scripture and written prayers.  So Senior Pastor Steve Turnbull at the Lytham Road services (9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) preached on this.  I’m listening again to the audio, and can tell it wasn’t the 9 a.m., but essentially the same words for the 10:30.

To prepare for tomorrow’s service (Sunday September 15) I looked at (on-line) the Biblical story of the creation of the earth and Adam and Eve. What is so annoying about listening to it on-line while reading is the advertisements.  First, there was a woman’s blouse flashing on the left in teal and black.  I paused to close it, and it was quiet for a minute, then brought up a stationary ad of a dress, so I closed it.  Then a few seconds later it posted a car advertisement (we were looking at new cars yesterday), so I closed it.  Three interruptions in one Chapter! Cookies left along the way on my computer have told advertisers that a female who is car shopping is now reading Genesis 2.

Also, a professional actor is reading (in the NIV audio by Gateway), and although he has a wonderful voice, after a few sentences they all start to run together, so I find the audio of the reading done by our own layperson more pleasant.  Unfortunately, it isn’t available until the sermon is recorded.  To get around this, I can click on what was being read last week at Mill Run which will be the selection for this week at Lytham.

These on-line interruptions in my vision are similar to what I experience auditorily in some worship services—loud noises, odd music, abrupt changes, difficulty hearing what is being said due to fluctuations in voices (dropping voice at end of sentence) or people whispering behind me. Aural comprehension has always been a problem for me from the time I was told in school or at home I wasn’t paying attention or I was lazy, to this day when someone asks about a point in a sermon and I don’t recall a word.