Monday, August 31, 2009

Are songs too long?

Murray's going to Washington!

Murray from Illinois has e-mailed his group:

"OK THAT'S IT, I'VE HAD IT!!! I've written to my legislators and received no satisfactory response. Plus Senator Durbin refuses to even acknowledge I exist. He refuses to hold any town meetings and professes that he'll not be "suckered punched" by a bunch of crazies like me. So I'll be off to DC to join the thousands of other crazies on 9/12 to protest the destruction of our great country. You know... the one Obama calls the greatest country in the world that he wants to change??

Anyway, just in case I run into one of your senators, tell me their name and what you would like me to say to them. Just so you don't ask me to tell him/her to keep up the good work!"

Monday Memories from my cousin

Bill and Gayle were married August 30, 1959 in the Mt. Morris, Illinois Church of the Brethren. She writes this about the memories of the last 50 years.

"We grew up on the same street, went to the same school and attended the same church. Our first date was on June 5, 1955. Our first home was Mrs. Isley’s upstairs apartment 3 blocks from the campus of the University of Northern Iowa where we were students.

Gayle remembers:
-purchasing an Eureka vacuum cleaner with wedding money
-washing, starching, hanging, sprinkling and ironing ALL our clothes
-being afraid to light our gas oven & burning cookies
-waxing our linoleum floors every Saturday
-shopping at Cardinal Grocery & saving King Korn yellow stamps
-attending all of Bill’s varsity basketball games
-being relieved to learn that my new husband cleaned his own “game”
-wearing skirts, never slacks or jeans, to class
-playing Johnny Mathis, Ray Conniff, Nat King Cole, Percy Faith & Henry Mancini records on our stereo (no TV)
-intertwining “homemaking” with “homework”

Bill remembers:
-driving our ‘48 green Plymouth sedan
-having a basketball scholarship to help with expenses
-eating at the Panther Pizzeria after games (Pizza was new back then)
-working at the Western Auto & selling a lot of Lawn Boy mowers (new)
-hunting for pheasant and quail on Iowa farms
-having teammates over for meals
-juggling basketball practices, games, roadtrips and classes

We laughed a lot that first year and we still do; but the important relationship with our Lord and Savior didn’t come until we went to Alaska to teach. It has been our joy to follow Christ through the ups and downs of life for many years now. We’ve been blessed with four beautiful children and eleven grandchildren so far. We are grateful for our fifty years together. We want to encourage you to trust and obey God on your personal journey too!"

Thank you Gayle--wonderful memories and good advice!

I vaguely remember ironing.

Another one who has read the HR 3200

Michael Connelly, a constitutional lawyer writes the Truth about the Health Care Bills.

After reading the bill, “I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated. If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.

The first thing to go will be the masterfully crafted balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S. Government. . . “

Read his resume at his website. Contact him, not me if you disgree with his arguments which include the bill rations health care, particularly for senior citizens and other classes of citizens, provides for free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession and eventually would force private insurance companies out of business and put everyone into a government run system.

Maddy has Crohn's Disease--an ethics tangle

Quite by accident, I discovered that one of my blogs on HR 3200 appeared as a link on a college reading list on medical ethics (so if you commented, you‘re there too). That got me interested in the program and I began browsing some of the other offerings. Some true to life scenarios were presented for students to discuss, and I thought this one about Maddy who has Crohn’s Disease was very interesting. I have a neighbor with Crohn’s (she’s 92, so has managed it well living longer than my parents who had no significant health problems until the final month of their lives at 88 and 89), and I used to work for a dear woman who had IBD (irritable bowel disease) which can be very debilitating.

Reading through the ethical responses by the hospital, her doctor, her friends, and society at large was really interesting. But there was no response from Maddy‘s point of view. What should have been her ethical response as a 25 year old to her illness, which she had known about since junior high school?

According to the information given, she had graduated from college, during which she’d had very few flare ups, but now had become very ill with frequent problems brought on by skipping doctor’s appointments and not eating right, worsened by moving away from home (just a guess, but Mom probably watched her diet). She’d become dehydrated and malnourished, terrible conditions for someone with Crohn’s, but the underlying assumption of the writer of the problem was this was caused by lack of insurance. She then required hospitalization, IVs, antibiotics, and surgery, which she didn’t choose. Her parents in the meanwhile (but not at the beginning) were experiencing financial set backs and she didn’t want to bother them with her problems. So, if I read the responses correctly, the problem then falls in the lap of the doctor, the hospital, the friends, and society at large.

Here’s my thoughts about Maddy.

1) If a person has a chronic or debilitating illness, she may have to modify her life’s dreams and career options. Her chosen field didn’t look promising to me either for income, or for a reduced-stress life (very important for these types of diseases). I don’t know what you do with a degree in “health psychology” but having worked in academe most of my professional life, it sounds like a way to keep the faculty employed. There are thousands of programs at the university level that lead nowhere except to frustration, low-income and living on credit.

2) She, her parents, and doctor had about 12 years to plan for this event (living on her own), knowing her student or parents' insurance would end, and that employer insurance may have requirements about pre-existing conditions.

3) She most likely, although it doesn’t say, became careless about the flare-ups since they had been rare before she graduated. Young people suffer from lack of learning from hindsight and planning with foresight.

4) She began missing doctor appointments and meds after graduation, rather than giving up other things in her life. This has a huge snowball effect. I don’t know what these could have been, and I know it sounds cruel and unAmerican to say “drop cable, cell phone, hair appointments, or nights out with friends“ so you can pay for your meds, but if you know the consequences of these missed steps, you can’t expect to stay healthy.

5) As a result of her own bad decisions, she is forced to return home a sick woman who will get even sicker to live with her family who is already under terrible stress from her father’s lost job and two younger children to support.

[Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's, Ph.D., and law degrees.]

Filthy lucre and H1N1

Filthy Lucre usually means obscene or shameful profit, but just plain old paper money is really dirty. I learned this sanitation tip when I was clerking at Zickuhr's Drug store in high school. According to a cartoon health item on the dangers of swine flu I saw this morning viruses can live on paper money for 2 weeks. I always shudder a bit when the coffee clerk pats or rubs the top of the paper top while serving me after handling the money. It would be much better to have the customer pick up and place the cover over the cup.

When I was the veterinary medicine librarian at Ohio State we were constantly washing our circ desk where the returned books came in--zoonotic diseases, you know. Books and hard surfaces in libraries, including keyboards, are really dirty--you could probably scrape them before you washed them.

Americans have a really bad nervous tic of constantly touching their face, nose, eyes, ears or hair while speaking, either casually, in conversation or from the podium. They even do it while on the phone, although the listerner can't see them. Thirty years ago I used to attend the "brown bag" sharing of the agricultural credit group at Ohio State. Over half of the grad students were from Asia or Africa. Since it wasn't my field (I was the librarian), I would amuse myself by noting face touching and nose rubbing by the speakers. I almost never saw a 3rd world student do that--it was about 100 to 1, in favor of the Americans.

The rush to dim our lights

Howard M. Brandston, a lighting designer and artist, has a sensible, easy proposal for a test to use before we rush head long into dimming our lights with The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which will effectively phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2012-2014 in favor of compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs.
    "Here's my modest proposal to determine whether the legislation actually serves people. Satisfy the proposed power limits in all public buildings, from museums, houses of worship and hospitals to the White House and the homes of all elected officials. Of course, this will include replacing all incandescents with CFLs. At the end of 18 months, we would check to be certain that the former lighting had not been reinstalled, and survey all users to determine satisfaction with the resulting lighting.

    Based on the data collected, the Energy Independence and Security Act and energy legislation still in Congress would be amended to conform to the results of the test. Or better yet, scrapped in favor of a thoughtful process that could yield a set of recommendations that better serve our nation's needs by maximizing both human satisfaction and energy efficiency." Full article
Ah yes, the old, "let's see if elected officials can comply with their hair-brained ideas" plan. They won't buy this very sensible plan of course, because they are usually exempt from the cost and pain of their own hasty and ill conceived plans--some of which like HR 3200 and the equally bulky cap and trade or TARP, never are even read before voting on them. HR 6 is worth reading in its entirety--your Senator probably didn't.

Here's an acronym you'll definitely need to watch: ESPC, energy savings performance contracts: "CBO estimates that H.R. 6 will increase direct spending by $582 million over the 2008-2012 period and reduce it by $85 million over the 2008-2017 period. Those effects result primarily from provisions that increase mandates related to the use of renewable motor fuels, require federal agencies to meet new goals related to the efficiency of energy and water use, extend and expand federal agencies’ authority to enter into energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs)." That phrase is definitely like giving a credit card to your ex-girlfriend for a shopping spree.

As I was looking through the CBO cost estimates in the agriculture sector, I wondered if these biomass requirements are what caused the starvation and food riots in developing countries in 2008 (see Green Body Count). Even liberal, pro-green editorials noted the problem. Oh well, what's a few million starving brown or black children in less developed countries? It's always "all about us" isn't it? We have no idea what the CFLs will do to the quality of life here or in China where they use dirty coal to produce them or to the environment, but we rush head first into the dark tunnel anyway, thanks to Congress. (Except for his very limited time in the Senate, this one can't be laid at Obama's feet.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kennedy's letter to the Pope

He should have been asking God for mercy, but wrote the Pope looking for his prayers.
    "I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I have worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination, and expand access to health care and education. I have opposed the death penalty, and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and been the focus of my work as a United States Senator. . . I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic Your Holiness. And though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings of my faith. I continue to pray for God's blessings on you and on our Church, and would be most thankful for your prayers for me." CNN
Who is more poor and more in need of protection from the death penalty and needs excellent health care than the unborn? What could show less respect for the teachings of his faith, yet Ted Kennedy approved, campaigned for, supported pro-choice candidates and voted for abortion rights. It would have been far better to keep that letter private and not read it at his burial service--unless the intention was to show the hypocrisy.

Cradle to the grave health care

We already know what Obamacare looks like; the other first famiies have had it for years:
    Native Americans have received federally funded health care for decades. A series of treaties, court cases and acts passed by Congress requires that the government provide low-cost and, in many cases, free care to American Indians. The Indian Health Service (IHS) is charged with delivering that care.

    The IHS attempts to provide health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives in one of two ways. It runs 48 hospitals and 230 clinics for which it hires doctors, nurses, and staff and decides what services will be provided. Or it contracts with tribes under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act passed in 1975. In this case, the IHS provides funding for the tribe, which delivers health care to tribal members and makes its own decisions about what services to provide.

    The IHS spends about $2,100 per Native American each year, which is considerably below the $6,000 spent per capita on health care across the U.S. But IHS spending per capita is about on par with Finland, Japan, Spain and other top 20 industrialized countries—countries that the Obama administration has said demonstrate that we can spend far less on health care and get better outcomes. In addition, IHS spending will go up by about $1 billion over the next year to reach a total of $4.5 billion by 2010. That includes a $454 million increase in its budget and another $500 million earmarked for the agency in the stimulus package.
Read more about IHS health care, "At Native Americans and the Public Option"

Lakeside Cottage Architecture, pt. 12

Garages--the extreme makeover
Garages pt. 2, attached

Some garages were attached, then incorporated into the house; others became another cottage. These are what I call "extreme make-over" garages.

This used to be a four bay fire station, built in 1954, then was converted to a laundromat in 1970, with the last bay on the right becoming the drop off and staffing area, which a few years ago then became a very nice deli called Summer Stock. I've heard that this is its final year as a laundromat. Many now have machines in their cottages, but there's nothing like a commercial laundromat for mattress covers and bedspreads.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Where's the "national" in NPR?

It could be the DPR, at least as long as I've been listening. Like all liberal entities, they see the splinter and miss the plank. At least they are blind to that plank in Obama's campaign rhetoric, which continues on and on and on. His health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm's brother, would have had Ted Kennedy removed from the surgeon's schedule, if he'd had his way (see his JAMA article on rationed care and the expense of treating elders last year). Anyway, back to hypocrisy and the frittering of our tax dollars on NPR from James Taranto, Aug. 28:
    "Julie Rovner of National Public Radio offers what we guess is supposed to be a defense of ObamaCare. She asserts that "recent claims" against the health-nationalization scheme, despite having been "all thoroughly debunked," have nonetheless been effective because "opponents used fear as a key weapon in their arsenal."

    Of course, so have supporters. "What is truly scary, what is truly risky, is to do nothing," President Obama said earlier this month. And in reality, there is an element of fear in almost all political appeals. Opponents of just about any action will warn of its dire consequences, while proponents will make similar claims about the results of inaction. As it is perfectly rational to avoid dire consequences, fear often leads to highly sensible behavior.

    That isn't quite how Rovner sees it, though. She ignores the scare tactics on the pro-ObamaCare side and portrays the other side's fears as something less than human.
I haven't seen any "debunking" that sounded truthful or non-partisan, have you? And comparing the opposition, the people who pay her salary, to rats, seems a bit over the top. It's all the same-old, same-old--The sky is falling. The Democrats can take care of everything, including grandma and your privacy. The right is wrong. Trust me I'm from the government.

Final look at week 10

Last night's program (end of week 10) was a surprise for me--I really hadn't read the publicity. A huge storm blew in about 6:30, and I almost stayed home! Others knew the quality of the performers and there was an excellent, warm and welcoming audience for Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. If you've never heard of them, you certainly know what they are most famous for--"Ashokan Farewell," which was the Grammy award soundtrack for Ken Burns' PBS The Civil War. They perform Appalachian, Cajun, Celtic tunes, and since it was Civil War week at Lakeside, we heard tunes popular on both sides of the conflict with an invitation to sing along. I had not attended the morning seminar, and it seems they also filled in for that speaker who was unavailable at the last minute.

However, we also were treated to Mike and Ruthy, Jay's daughter and son-in-law. They have been performing together for a decade, sometimes with Pete Seeger's grandson as The Mammals, and Ruthy has the most fabulous voice (and I know I say that a lot, but she really does) I've ever heard at Hoover in this genre. You can go to their website and take a listen. At the end, Ruth brought out their young toddler, Will, who charmed the audience with his ability to keep time and say Hi and Bye in the microphone.

I mentioned earlier what a pleasure it was to hear Craig Symonds of the U.S. Naval Academy lecture about Civil War naval battles. But just as thrilling was Father Robert J. Miller, a Catholic priest from Chicago, who lectured Wednesday and Thursday on religion and faith in the Civil War (his book is Both prayed to the same God) and the role of the Jesuit chaplains on both sides which I think will be his next book. If he writes as well as he speaks (he was a member of the Redemptorists, the traveling mission preachers, sometimes preaching 5 times a week in missions work) I look forward to reading it. He is also a founder of Genesis Housing Development Corporation, as a way to stabilize neighborhoods. He is pastor of St. Dorothy Parish, an African American congregation in Chicago.

I've never been a Civil War buff, but after attending the programs at Lakeside in the summer, I see you never run out of topics if that's your interest. Last year I inspected the latrines at the prisoner of war camp on Johnson's Island a few miles from here on one of the hottest and buggiest days of the summer.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lakeside cottage architecture, pt. 11

The early attached garages
Early on, Lakesiders must have started attaching the garage to the house, especially if they didn't have large lots on which to build one. Here's an example of a classic, 19th century, cross gable house which used to have a garage attached to the house. The added garage has since been incorporated into the house with yet another addition behind it.

Between the two side walls, built into the corner, a slopping shed roof garage was created. The blue lines show the original house, the green lines the location of the former garage. (Please excuse the primitive drawing--it's my primitive, no upgrade Paint Program.) What's interesting about this garage, is that the original doors are still there, cut in half, to form windows that swing in. It was that way when the current owners bought it, and the garage probably wasn't as large as I've shown it, but no one really knows.

This one, a gable to the side shed dormer to the street, on the same street, had a garage added to the back, then that garage was incorporated as a room, and another garage was added to that. Because this is one of the older neighborhoods, space for a garage was limited.

Here's another house on the same street that was able to fit a garage on the lot, attached to the house. It still has the original doors.

This attached garage has 4 lights over three 2 panel doors, and I haven't seen very many of those. Also looks like the roof was raised after it was built.

Part one of garages, 6 lights over 3 panel doors

Will Teddycare replace Obamacare?

1) He was good to his mother and it was never reported that he tried to throw her under the bus even though she lived to 104. To my knowledge, no one officially from the government was included in her final moments or decisions.

2) He got the very best and the most advanced treatment for his brain tumor even though he was over 75, obese, and had led a debauched, dissolute life during which he didn't cultivate a "healthy lifestyle." At the end, no one from the government suggested he should just stop trying to get back to the Senate, take pain killers and give up sopping up health dollars. You go, Ted! That should be your legacy.

Leaving for college 1957 style

1951 four door Packard
This morning I heard a story on TV about parents leaving their children off at college, and how long it would be before they checked in (the parents, not the kids). That caused me to ask myself, "Did Mom and Dad wave good-bye as Carol and I in the packed-up-Packard pulled away from the house on Hannah?"

At least I think we drove the 1951 Packard, with Carol dropping me off at Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana, and then driving on to Goshen College to park it until we needed it to drive home at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I suppose it's possible Dad drove us, left the car with Carol, and then took the bus back to Mt. Morris. I remember driving it back to Manchester after Christmas break loaded with about 4 or 5 other MC students and all their luggage and presents and having a flat tire.

Of course, we weren't the first to leave the nest, is my excuse for their casual behavior (compared to today's parents). It must get easier with the second and third. My oldest sister was married, Carol, the next oldest, left for Brethren Volunteer Service in Maryland in the late summer of 1955 for a year before starting a nursing program, and in June 1957 I hopped the Greyhound Bus and went all the way to Fresno, California by myself for a summer volunteer term.

Considering that I keep my cars 8-10 years, a 6 year old car looks pretty darn good in hind-sight, but my Dad loved snappy cars and didn't keep them long. I don't know where he found this one--it was gun metal gray green and we were a little embarrassed to be driving a "tank."

Wonder what it is worth today if it's still on all fours?

Now the lefties love Wal-Mart

So Huff and Puff and Color of Change are now singing the praises of America's corporate giants. Hmmm. Smells fishy, doesn't it. A Leftist Government controlling and threatening businesses' bottom line; I wonder what that's called--certainly not capitalism, a representative system of government, or the USA we had before January 20, 2009? Color of Change alumni are now in the administration. To use a favorite administration phrase, they are about to wee-wee in their pants, they are so worked up. Obama is called a racist, which is what someone is who makes snap judgements based on race (as in the policegate incident) something 80% of the citizens are called every day, and all of a sudden free speech is out the window. You can't possibly notice Obama's leftist politics--it just has to be his genetic make-up--not that he's turning the USA into a banana republic.

Time to write those lily livered corporate CEOs and assure them that investors and shoppers watch Glenn Beck, too, not just left wing non-profits and Media-Muck-up. Don't try e-mailing them; you'll just waste time being shuffled around their websites.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Small, medium, big

I have no problem telling a Chihuahua from a Jack Russell from a Dachshund, or an Arabian from a Thoroughbred from a Percheron, or a Jersey from a Guernsey from a Holstein, but once I get beyond robins and blue jays, I'm not much good identifying birds. I've been going on these bird watch/walks this summer, and you should hear these people rattle off the names! I see a bunch of gulls, or I think they are gulls. "There goes an adolescent boney," or "look at that herring gull, see the head on that ring bill?" One lady from Akron told us about thousands of purple martins "staging" in Akron before they fly off to Brazil. Then there are the terns, cormorants, ospreys and herons. I just didn't grow up around shore birds. Some of the early a.m. watchers have been doing this 20-30 years! They've identified hundreds--it's like a game with them. And like any hobby, they all say they meet the nicest people.

Boneparte gull (small)

Ring bill gull (medium)

Herring gull (big)

Lakeside Cottage Architecture, pt. 10

Early 20th century garages

It’s rare that I can’t find a topic on the internet by googling a few sets of words, but I think I’ve found one: the architectural history of the American garage. The garage as a piece of America's towns and cities is now about 100 years old--and the earliest are disappearing--except here, where time occasionally stands still or slows down. American Garage Magazine (online) reports the Robie House (Frank Lloyd Wright) was one of the earliest to have a garage in 1906.

Lakeside is a good petri dish for this research. As Midwestern towns go, Lakeside isn’t very old, having been founded in 1873 as a summer campground then growing into a resort with a few permanent residents. For about the first 50 years of its existence, visitors to the Christian campground arrived either by boat, or by rail from Sandusky or Toledo. When a bridge was made across the bay, people began coming by automobile in the 1920s. Rail passenger service ended in 1930 due to drastic losses in passenger ticket sales.

I lived in two small Illinois towns in the 1940s and 1950s and many garages had previously been small carriage houses or barns. Lakesiders didn’t arrive by carriage and left their horses at home so few needed a stable, although some of the local permanent residents probably had horses. Lakeside also didn't have alleys, like the cities and small towns of Ohio where garages for houses were accessible.

Although I'm not sure why summer residents wanted garages, I'm guessing the automobile in the 20s wasn't as durable as today. In the 1920s, garages were first located some distance from the house there being some fear of the gasoline engine. I'm calling the first group six lights over three panels for the door style.

These little cuties with different roof styles both have six panes over three panels in doors that swing forward. The one on the left seems to have the original siding. Both are quite a distance from the street.

This is an early "attached" garage--same door style, but added to the kitchen lean to which had been added to the basic cottage. Early cottages didn't have kitchens or bathrooms.

Same door style, but much bigger building. Also, no visible drive-way which is the case for many garages in Lakeside which haven't seen a car in years.

It's hard to find original siding in Lakeside--it's been wrapped in vinyl siding, but here's a home and garage, 6 over 3, both with original siding.

No lobbyist left behind

"The Waxman-Markey climate change bill, a 1,427-page special-interest wish list, was put together in such a rush that the allowance permit numbers don’t add up. If you add the percentage of emissions allowances to various special interests in the years 2016 and 2017 and you get a value greater than one hundred percent. That’s right—the bill allocates nearly a billion dollars worth of allowances over and above the emissions “cap” set for those respective years.

Thousands of lobbyists worked on this bill to secure a piece of the allowance pie. These special interests range from the natural gas industry to the auto industry. Even tropical rainforests made the list. Electric utilities were the big winners, receiving 43.75 percent of the allowances in 2012 and 2013. Petroleum refiners didn’t fare as well, receiving only 2.25 percent of the emissions allowances from 2014-2026. Lobbyists brought their A-game to shape this bill and Members caved into their demands, all but guaranteeing this bill will do nothing for the environment. And it comes at the expense of the ratepayer and the taxpayer.

With over 12,500 registered lobbyists in Washington, it’s no surprise that this bill turned into a feeding frenzy that was rushed through in the middle of the night and promises more than it can actually hand out. Waxman-Markey is nothing more than a huge energy tax and a handout for special interests." The Foundry

Sword of the Spirit, John and Mary Brown

At Hoover Auditorium last night we were treated to an excellent two person play based on the life and letters of John and Mary Brown by Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino (6th Annual Civil War Week at Lakeside). The Browns lived in Hudson, Ohio, as well as North Elba, NY, site of the Brown family cemetery, where Mary said it's winter 6 months and cold the rest of the year. She is buried in Saratoga, California where she went to live after John's death. There were also family ties to Put-in-Bay and Decorah, Iowa, as well as other sites because John Brown was a passionate abolitionist, fanatical Christian and a not-so-great provider who moved frequently, uprooting his family when they weren't burying their children.

Mary Brown sounded a bit familiar to me, so when I got home I browsed my little shelf of cottage books, many of which are about northern Ohio or the lake, and found "Ohio scenes and citizens" by Grace Goulder, a very popular Cleveland writer who died in 1984 at 91. Mine is an orange paperback in excellent condition, Landfall Press, 1973, reprinted from the 1950 World Publishing Co. The chapter on John Brown's wives is probably the only one I'd read in this collection of articles that originally appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Her work on Dianthe and Mary Brown is just a masterpiece of research, with material taken from letters diaries, interviews with relatives, and trips to archives, cemeteries and libraries. I didn't see anything that was in conflict with last night's presentation, although Mr. Artzner commented after the play that within the past decade there have been many new books on John Brown. Maybe so, but if you want to know anything about his wives, check out Grace Goulder. Really terrific.

The Slacker Mandate

When my children were 18, they launched themselves into the everyday blue and pink collar work world, anxious to prove themselves and get away from Mom and Dad. And health insurance coverage, as I discovered. I don't know what the rules are today, but in 1987 unless your child was being supported by you and attending college, they were no longer on the family dole for insurance. I think college students could stay on a policy until age 23. No amount of cajoling or bribery could get them to enroll at any of our wonderful colleges or state university. So we did what any intelligent, frugal parent would do, we eventually purchased "temporary" catastrophic health insurance for them in their own names.

One of the reasons young adults don't sign on for company health benefits is they have immature brains--it's called the "nothing can happen to me" syndrome. And actuarially, they are among the healthiest segment of the population. The huge risk, in my mind, was auto accidents (young adults are also big risk takers), and they both had one before age 20. Obama wants you to assume that risk for everyone's primarily healthy young adult--it's called the "Slacker Mandate." This raises the cost for everyone to insure a very tiny group--the irresponsible, but healthy young adults who won't pony up the cost of a pizza and beer for their company co-pay. SCHIP, the government insurance plan for families earning less than $83,000 for a family of 4*, already considers a 28 year old of lower income parents a "child."

CAHI: "As one of his "Health Insurance Consumer Protections," President Obama intends to extend a family-policy's coverage to young adults up to 26 years old.

He's following a state trend. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance tracks all state health insurance mandates -- there are currently 2,133 state mandates nationwide -- and more and more states are mandating health insurers cover young adults. Some states are even pushing the age limit up to 30. It's often called the "slacker mandate" because these adults are still on their family's policy."

So you see, we have Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and all these mandates from the various levels of government requiring coverage of the oddies and endies and non-disease diseases and conditions. If you can't get the elephant into the living room through the front door, dismantle the entire back of the house and push him in that way. But you better have a big pooper scooper on hand.

*Figure varies by state. It can be as high as $120,000 for a family of 8, not poverty in my book. Congress created the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 1997 to provide public health insurance for families who could not afford private coverage yet earned too much to qualify for Medicaid. SCHIP gave states flexibility to set income eligibility. Some states exceed 250% Federal Poverty Level while others have proposed limits up to 400%.

Watching you watching me

The feral calico that hangs around here catching small rodents and squashing the lilies, eats at all the neighbors, but she knows a cat when she sees one. Ours does not. Tuesday evening near dusk I found her sitting in our yard watching our very puzzled and concerned kitty whose eyes are glowing in the flash from safety inside the porch.

Then on Wednesday morning when I was out and about researching and photographing my next architectural project (early 20th century garages), I came across these kitties congregating for breakfast at another neighbors. This is a different group than I usually see nearer the lake.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Does HR 3200 cover abortion?

Does it matter? Do you think we'd have millions more of dead fetuses if the tax payer covered it, or fewer if we didn't? Even though the life expectancy of women is reduced by abortion, even though every modern society that has gone this route now has a birth rate below replacement recovery (aided by oppressive taxes) foretelling the death of that culture or ethnic group or race, it is the law of the land, and legal. I think bringing up this issue is a red flag for the pro-lifers, to get their support to defeat his socialization of the health care system. Although the point at which people approve of aborting a live baby is a moving target (first trimester, second trimester, "viability" whatever that is, or anytime, and I've even seen one of the Obama supporter/advisers who says up to two years old after birth--forgotten which one). The "death panel" issue gets the attention; those people have made it through the birth canal, finished school and careers and can vote. Life for the weak, disabled, ill or expensive means little in the range of moral values of the liberal, even though it is their demands that a child who cannot think, speak or lift his head be brought to public school with a tax paid attendant. Why did so many voters not see this coming? Lack of reverence for life is no respecter of size or age or IQ. Obama's take over of this huge segment of the economy should not be defeated because of its various pieces/parts, but because it's a disaster and completely unnecessary. That's why he wanted it rushed through before anyone could read it or discuss it. From the increase of government bureaucracy, to the national computerization of our health records costing billions and promoting snooping, to the rationing of care, to the destruction of private insurance, to the punishment of doctors, there's just nothing worth saving. In the building industry we have mold, radon, gassing out, corrupt builders, crazy home-buyers, mortgage fraud, etc., but what President has told us our homes are so expensive and dangerous that he needs to control every aspect from the White House? Oh wait. . . Maybe that's not the best example.

Barack Obama has always supported all the euphemisms for abortion--"reproductive health," "reproductive freedom," "medical services for women," and all the goals of Planned Parenthood, whose support he sought during the campaign. If anything, it's the one issue about which he's been absolutely clear and honest--the unborn American has no inherent right to live. If abortion is not in HR 3200, just wait for 2.0. or the upgrade.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thank you, President Obama

I heard on the news tonight that Toledo's unemployment is now 15.4%. If Obama cared one bit about Americans, if he had any real American political or economic savvy at all, he would have made the economy his top priority on January 21. Instead, he put his social programs, the take over of the economy by the government, in first place.

Not Lincoln with a BlackBerry

Ah, some people say it so well. FOUAD AJAMI on the Summer of Obama’s Discontent. The magic has worn off; people are seeing the real Barack Obama, the man many of us saw from the beginning. A Chicago community organizer with no experience doing anything, a friend and buddy of radicals and Marxists who used him, handsome and glib (when the teleprompter was on), to get control of the White House.
    The Obama devotees were the victims of their own belief in political magic. The devotees could not make up their minds. In a newly minted U.S. senator from Illinois, they saw the embodiment of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Like Lincoln, Mr. Obama was tall and thin and from Illinois, and the historic campaign was launched out of Springfield. The oath of office was taken on the Lincoln Bible. Like FDR, he had a huge economic challenge, and he better get it done, repair and streamline the economy in his "first hundred days." Like JFK, he was young and stylish, with a young family.

    All this hero-worship before Mr. Obama met his first test of leadership. In reality, he was who he was, a Chicago politician who had done well by his opposition to the Iraq war. He had run a skillful campaign, and had met a Clinton machine that had run out of tricks and a McCain campaign that never understood the nature of the contest of 2008.

    He was no FDR, and besides the history of the depression—the real history—bears little resemblance to the received narrative of the nation instantly rescued, in the course of 100 days or 200 days, by an interventionist state. The economic distress had been so deep and relentless that FDR began his second term, in 1937, with the economy still in the grip of recession.

    Nor was JFK about style. He had known military service and combat, and familial loss; he had run in 1960 as a hawk committed to the nation's victory in the Cold War. He and his rival, Richard Nixon, shared a fundamental outlook on American power and its burdens.

    Now that realism about Mr. Obama has begun to sink in, these iconic figures of history had best be left alone. They can't rescue the Obama presidency. Their magic can't be his. Mr. Obama isn't Lincoln with a BlackBerry. Those great personages are made by history, in the course of history, and not by the spinners or the smitten talking heads.”
And now with his administration and programs in complete disarray, his health care plan overhaul exposed for what it is, he’s decided to placate his leftist supporters by selling out the very people who protected us from the terrorists. Anything to destroy the country.

Keeping track of Obama's czars

Considering what happened to Russia's last Czar and his family, I hope these guys are looking over their shoulders at the next wave he's going to appoint.

Civil War speakers this week

Craig Symonds, Professor Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy and the author of ten previous books, including Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History, yesterday examined Lincoln’s presidency through the lens of the naval side of the Civil War, and his relationship with his Admirals. Today’s lecture we learned about a new kind of warship with iron sides and revolving gun turrets used in the Union blockade of Southern ports and the Battle of Mobile Bay. Symonds is an outstanding, lively, well-informed speaker, and he never misses a step when asked questions from the audience. If he had notes, I didn't see them. If you ever have an opportunity to hear him, don't miss it, even to just enjoy a well-prepared, articulate speaker.

Two annoyances: first, so many people don't turn off their cell phones. How many calls can grandma get? So irritating. Then there's the "other" expert in the audience--this one about 2 row behind me with an extremely deep voice, that rattled and rumbled as he pointed things out in an audible whisper to the guys he was sitting with. If he's so smart, why isn't he on the speakers' circuit, or sitting in archives researching?

Reminds me of comments at my blog.

Dear Fellow Seniors

Yes you, the classes of 1946 or 1957 or 1965 plus those earlier or later to the release from high school. What are you thinking?

First, conservatives. Some of you don't seem to realize that Medicare and Medicaid ARE socialized, government run medicine, so you sound a bit foolish with that rallying cry. You need to go back and re-read your high school text books, especially the part about the New Deal and the Great Society. It's all there in black and white.

Second, liberals. Yes, Medicare costs are out of sight, and Medicaid is bankrupt. And whose fault is that? Congress has had the power ever since the 1960s to ask the tough questions and stop the fraud and abuse, but it didn't. Guess why doctors won't take new Medicare patients? Take a look at the cash for clunkers program. How hard was it to get bottled water to Katrina victims? Hello! Once the federal government gets past clean water, quarantines and vaccines, and purple marks on beef, it's chaos in helping large numbers--like 300 million clients. State and local government agencies or non-profits or large businesses are more flexible and efficient.

Next, unhappy members of AARP. Where have you been? This is an organization formed, not to protect or represent seniors, but to sell products, particularly insurance. They don't represent you in Congress; they are a powerful lobbyist for their investors. Your elected Congressperson is supposed to represent you. I have no problem with people earning a few carefully disguised dollars, but really, I had this one figured out in their first mailing when I turned 50. And I was a Democrat who always had worked for the state.

Finally, about life expectancy and all the lies you're hearing whether Republican, Democrat, Independent or Libertarian. No, we don't have terrible health care, but we do have expensive drugs. We wouldn't have them being developed under socialism, even though the "drug programs" are. Seniors are now the cash cow for drug developers. When you get to a certain point in economic and social development, and the big killers like infant diarrhea, plague, malaria and leprosy are under control, you go after the diseases that affect people who make it through early adulthood. If you reduce auto accidents, something else jumps to the top. If you conquer cancer, another disease makes it to the nightly alarms called the broadcast news. That's why we have more years of life expectancy at age 40 or 50 than all those socialist countries. Our infant mortality rate is high because of poor, unmarried and immigrant women having babies--Europe aborts theirs, and illegal immigration is tough in Ireland, Italy and Finland. We are a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural country--this ain't no Finland or Sweden, in case you missed it. "Access" or "insurance" are just two tiny factors in what a long life or good health means. It's life style, it's genes, it's gender, it's education, it's religion, it's accidents and disasters, unforeseen.

Come on, you guys, bring those brain cells out of retirement and let's hear it for the team!

More ways to cripple the economy

You can't just look at the health care plan as this administration's blueprint to destroy the economy; don't forget The malarky filled Waxman-Taxman. The House members also didn't take the time to read that. So much for not taxing the middle class and only going after the rich. It makes the new cigarette taxes for the poor look like pennies.
    "On June 26, the House of Representatives narrowly passed climate change legislation designed by Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA). The 1,427-page bill would restrict greenhouse gas emissions from industry, mainly carbon dioxide from the combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas.

    If passed by the Senate, the bill would burden families with thousands of dollars per year in direct and indirect energy costs. According to a new study produced by Heritage's Center for Data Analysis (CDA), forecasts severe consequences—including crushing energy costs, millions of jobs lost and falling household income—if Congress enacts the so-called Waxman-Markey bill.", and each state is different so be sure to click to your own state. Here's some of the bad news for Ohio--your mileage and tax increases may differ.

      "By 2035, Americans living in the state of Ohio will see their electricity prices rise by $1,091.47 and their gasoline prices rise by $1.40 per gallon solely because of Waxman–Markey. . . . [charts] As the economy adjusts to shrinking gross domestic product (GDP) and rising energy prices, employment will take a big hit in Ohio. Beginning in 2012, job losses will be 62,595 higher than without a cap-and-trade bill in place. And the number of jobs lost will only go up, increasing to 111,989 by 2035.

      Contrary to the claims of an economic boost from green investment and green job creation and “postage stamp” costs, the Waxman–Markey climate change legislation does the complete opposite by increasing energy prices . . ."
No, it looks like none of the House members has read this one either--they're dragging us kicking and screaming back to the 1930s 10 year Depression. Must have gone to elite colleges like Harvard where they learned about evil capitalism.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Obamacare critique

A note from American Daughter
David H. Janda M.D., renowned expert on preventive health care, will critique ObamaCare on talk radio tonight. His is the author of the widely circulated article
which we carried a few days ago.
He will be a guest on our friends’ radio show, The Awakening, with Hanen and Arlen, which airs Monday nights from 9 to 11PM ET on Sentinel Radio.
Click here, to listen to The Awakening, tonight, Monday, 9-11pm ET.
Call-in Number: (646) 727-2652
UPDATE, 3:17 PM Dr. Janda will be on the second half of the program, at 10PM.

Throwing a bone to his leftist supporters

Torture. Terrorism. Bush. Anything to get them off his back about health care reform. They'll fall for it, too.

From James Taranto, WSJ, Aug. 24

"A backlash in the progressive base--which pushed President Obama over the top in the Democratic primary and played a major role in his general election victory--has been building for months," writes former Enron adviser Paul Krugman, the Angry Left's tribune, in the New York Times. Krugman faults the Obama administration for being insufficiently tender to terrorists and not harsh enough with bankers--but it's clear that what's brought the anger to the surface is the political failure of ObamaCare:
    On the issue of health care itself, the inspiring figure progressives thought they had elected comes across, far too often, as a dry technocrat who talks of "bending the curve" but has only recently begun to make the moral case for reform. Mr. Obama's explanations of his plan have gotten clearer, but he still seems unable to settle on a simple, pithy formula; his speeches and op-eds still read as if they were written by a committee. . . .

    There's a point at which realism shades over into weakness, and progressives increasingly feel that the administration is on the wrong side of that line. It seems as if there is nothing Republicans can do that will draw an administration rebuke: Senator Charles E. Grassley feeds the death panel smear, warning that reform will "pull the plug on grandma," and two days later the White House declares that it's still committed to working with him.

    It's hard to avoid the sense that Mr. Obama has wasted months trying to appease people who can't be appeased, and who take every concession as a sign that he can be rolled.
As we all know, you can't appease terrorists. Oh wait, sorry--appeasing terrorists is worth a try. It's Republicans you can't appease.

A.D. Wenger writes about Europe

Earlier this month I blogged about my new book (110 years old), Six months in Bible Lands by A. D. Wenger. Wengers are in my family tree, but I think he's a different branch--Christian Wenger, and I'm descended from Hans and Hannah. I've finished it now, and thoroughly enjoyed reliving the many places we visited this spring on our "Steps of Paul" tour. I have some more notes on this book at my other, other blog just in case you've been following that story. He was a premillenialist, Mennonite pacifist evangelist, so all his writing has that filter.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Obama's war on the economy

Maybe he doesn't like the word victory in the war in the Middle East, but he can see it clearly and his aim is straight in his war on the American economy (O woe). He is following the Democrats' template of the 1930s and digging us a deeper hole.
    From WaPo Aug. 22: "The nation would be forced to borrow more than $9 trillion over the next decade under President Obama's policies, the White House acknowledged late Friday, bringing their long-term budget forecast in line with independent estimates.

    The new projections add approximately $2 trillion to budget deficits through 2019. Earlier this year, the administration had predicted that Obama's policies would require the government to spend $7.108 trillion more than it collects in tax revenue over the next decade.

    An administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the report will not be formally released until Tuesday, said the change is due primarily to updated projections of economic growth that are far less rosy than data used when the White House released its first long-term budget outlook in February. At that time, the White House predicted the economy would shrink by 1.2 percent this year; in fact, the economy shrank at an annualized rate of 6.4 percent in the first quarter, the sharpest drop since 1980." link

Health care two years ago

When it looked like the battle would be between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Edwards and both were talking health care reform, I wrote the following in May 2007. As usual, I found holes in the left's arguments about our health care and coverage. Hillary has gone on to be neutered and banished in her role as Secretary of State, and John-Boy of the beautiful hair and loose morals is now paying for a new baby. Obama sneaked up on them by staying on task and having very smart handlers.

"Whenever government controlled health care is trotted out, the left points out miserable statistics about who isn't covered by insurance, our infant death rate, and how our per capita health care costs (government + private) are the highest in the world.

The left, particularly feminists and pols who depend on a steady supply of victims, won't point some dirty little secrets they've contributed to the problem of poverty and health care. For instance, more than one third of infants in the U.S. are born to single mothers, most never married, teens and non-white. Many of these babies are premature and will require extraordinary health care costs the rest of their lives. They will struggle in school, need special classes, and go on to have more babies. What and who has promoted removing men from the family and giving women money to do so with Uncle Sam as the absent step-father? The federal government and the programs, although well-intentioned at the beginning, have been promoted and marketed by the left. Conservatives, not wanting to be "mean" have gone along, and along and along, contributing to the problem through inaction and acquiescence. The liberals only solution to the problems they helped create is to kill the little ones before they are born and enroll in the system.

We have millions and millions of illegals in this country. Liberals encourage them to be illiterate in two languages in the failed name of diversity and multiculturalism. They are not learning English--some are afraid to leave their homes, let alone learn how to call for a squad or read a prescription. They miss or don't know about vaccinations and don't get health problems taken care of until they show up in the ER. They can't read to get a valid driver's license. They bring in diseases that have long been conquered in this country. Who is protecting and encouraging them in this unhealthy life style? Not conservatives.

Why would you compare this mess to Canada, which easily controls its borders (one being ours, one being too cold, and two being too wet) and rations health care or to Argentina which is 98% European and mono-cultural with zero diversity and strict immigration?

We already have government health care; it's called Medicaid for the poor and Medicare for the over 65. It is expensive and rationed. Why would the rest of you want it? When the new shingles vaccine became available the first thing I was told was that Medicare didn't cover it--so I paid for it because it is worth it (I've seen shingles and definitely want to avoid it). My Medigap policy is very expensive and doesn't always cover and by the time I finally get the bill that has been passed around, it is 6 months later and I've forgotten the appointment--and that's what the rest of you want?

Next time you hear Hillary or John-Boy touting universal government health care, peek under the rug and ask which universe and how much care."

One of those happy accidents

In my last post I mentioned that I'd planned to go to the 10:30 service at Hoover this morning to check out the pastor of the week, but he doesn't start until tomorrow! So on the program instead of a sermon was a Cantata based on the Beatitudes, "The Solemn Blessings" composed by Michael J. Shirtz. There was a large festival choir, guest soloists--soprano and tenor, guest flute and violin, 8 brass instruments, and the Mike Shirtz Quartet. Wow. It was fabulous. The best music program I heard this summer (I'm also more alert in the morning and usually doze once or twice in the evening), and we've had some wonderful performances. This chorale had everything from classical to romantic to jazz, blues and rock. Mr. Shirtz played the piano. And it also had a strong message. This is a young man to watch. I can't tell ages anymore, but from where I was sitting he looked under 30. There's not much about Mr. Shirtz in our newspaper, but on the internet I find he is the Director of Choral Activities & Department Coordinator at Terra Community College in Fremont, Ohio. I looked through Terra's listings and it seems to have an extensive music program with many opportunities for performing artists. Many of their performance groups are open to the community. The tenor soloist, C. Andrew Blosser was outstanding--according to the internet he is a doctoral candidate in voice at OSU and director of the Men's Chorus at Capital.

Week 10 at Lakeside, Civil War theme

Week 9 was truly spectacular--American composers and writers. Monday began a look at Aaron Copland (1900-1990) which continued through the symphony offerings at night. Monday night we had a performance by a Mark Twain actor, Marvin Cole, and then he lectured on Huckleberry Finn on Tuesday, including performing the dialog between Huck and Jim, the two runaways. He made a brief reference (with displeasure, which I share) to the current deconstruction fad, where only the sub-text, never the actual words matter, which unfortunately your children will probably be hit with in college literature class. Due to our house guests and my art class, I skipped a few that I had circled as interesting. The final performance of the symphony was spectacular. My husband's painting of the orchestra, which had won the popular vote during the art show, was given to Director Cronquist for his birthday.

This week looks busier than I probably want to be--the 6th Annual Civil War Week, plus the week's Chaplain looks good too, Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon pastor of All Saints Orthodox Church in Chicago. I skipped lakefront services this morning and am attending the 10:30 service at Hoover so I can hear him. If I like that, I'll probably attend the 9:15 week-day sermons by him. He'll also be doing vespers. He is a senior editor of Touchstone. A sample of his writings shows I may need to pay very close attention.

The week opens on Saturday and it was Corky Siegel and Chamber Blues. We thoroughly enjoyed them, and I actually stayed for the entire performance! Click here to preview. So for the lectures/seminars after the chaplain's hour I've noted: Lincoln and his admirals; U.S. Colored troops; Battle of Mobile Bay; Helen Noye, young nurse at Anapolis; Religion and faith in the Civil War; Civil war sketch artists; God's storm troopers, the Jesuit chaplains; as well as one of the evening programs, a play based on the life of abolitionist John Brown and his wife. That sounds a bit busier than I like to be, tossing in the bird walk at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and the herb class at 8:30 on Wednesday. We'll have to see. But it looks like I won't be signing up for any art classes.

Note: That's not me in the above photo, but a plein air artist. I just thought she looked a bit 19th century.

Comparing Bush and Obama

The source of this viral e-mail which also appears on many forums and blogs, is buried somewhere around early July--the two earliest I found were both African American sites. But I can't find any untruth in it, although I'm sure my loyal liberals will drag out comparisons of Bush with Clinton or Carter.
    If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a teleprompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how he inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

    If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan's holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

    If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the non-existent "Austrian language," would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

    If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to "Cinco de Cuatro" in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

    If George W. Bush had mis-spelled the word "advice" would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoe as proof of what a dunce he is?

    If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he's a hypocrite?

    If George W. Bush's administration had okayed Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

    If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

    If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

    If George W Bush had proposed to double the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

    If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

    So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can't think of anything? Don't worry. He's done all this in 5 months -- so you'll have three years and seven months to come up with an answer.


It's all in the verbs

President George W. Bush, Sept. 12, 2001
Powerful, no-nonsense, clear

"The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war. This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve. Freedom and democracy are under attack.

The American people need to know that we're facing a different enemy than we have ever faced. This enemy hides in shadows, and has no regard for human life. This is an enemy who preys on innocent and unsuspecting people, then runs for cover. But it won't be able to run for cover forever. This is an enemy that tries to hide. But it won't be able to hide forever. This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe. But they won't be safe forever.

This enemy attacked not just our people, but all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world. The United States of America will use all our resources to conquer this enemy. We will rally the world. We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination.

This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win."

Colin Powell, Secretary of State, Sept. 12, 2001,
Colloquial, specific, confident

"We are undertaking a full court press diplomatically, politically, militarily, and in the course of the morning and early afternoon I have been in touch with a number of foreign leaders and international organizational leaders to coordinate the diplomatic approach to this. I have talked to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, and I thank the United Nations for the Security Council resolution they passed and also for the statement from the Generally Assembly. And I expect the General Assembly to also work on a resolution later today.

Lord Robertson in NATO is hard at work with a resolution that is under consideration now that would tee up -- if I can put it that way -- prime Article V responsibilities. Article V of the charter says that an attack from abroad by any one against any member of the alliance is an attack against the alliance. If that resolution goes forward, that doesn't invoke Article V yet but it puts in a position to be invoked, when the United States makes a judgment about the nature of the attack and where that attack came from. And I appreciate what Lord Robertson and his colleagues are doing for us.

I have also been in touch with Foreign Minister of Belgium Louis Michel, who is also head of the presidency of the EU at this time, and High Representative Javier Solana to thank them for the strong support we have received from the European Union and the statements they have made, and their cooperation promise to us, to deal with this tragedy and to move forward.

I have also attended -- along of course, with my other colleagues -- the National Security Council meeting with the President where we reviewed all that has happened and began to make our plans for the efforts we will taking in the future, not only to bring these perpetrators to not only justice, but to the punishment that they deserve. But at the same time to undertake a worldwide effort to build a coalition against all forms of terrorism, wherever it may occur and however it rears its ugly head."

Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Sept. 12, 2001
Speaking with the voice of memory and experience of thousands of conflicts

"We are appalled by these barbaric acts and condemn them unconditionally. These acts were an attack on our common values. We will not allow these values to be compromised by those who follow the path of violence. We pledge to undertake all efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism. We stand united in our belief that the ideals of partnership and co-operation will prevail.

EAPC Member Countries are : Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2), Tadjikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan."

Congress’ Joint Resolution, Sept. 12, 2001,
Includes Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton, Reid, Edwards, and so forth. Contains the usual vague verbs of political-speak and none of the specificity of Bush and Powell, or the outrage of our allies, until you get to points 7 and 8. Sounds like distant observers who have lost touch with their constituency, but do call on others to battle in the war against terrorism, but not themselves.

"Resolved (107th CONGRESS, 1st Session, H. J. RES. 61) by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress--

(1) condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorists who planned and carried out the September 11 , 2001, attacks against the United States, as well as their sponsors;
(2) extends its deepest condolences to the victims of these heinous and cowardly attacks, as well as to their families, friends, and loved ones;
(3) is certain that the people of the United States will stand united as our Nation begins the process of recovering and rebuilding in the aftermath of these tragic acts;
(4) commends the heroic actions of the rescue workers, volunteers, and State and local officials who responded to these tragic events with courage, determination, and skill;
(5) declares that these premeditated attacks struck not only at the people of America, but also at the symbols and structures of our economic and military strength, and that the United States is entitled to respond under international law;
(6) thanks those foreign leaders and individuals who have expressed solidarity with the United States in the aftermath of the attacks, and asks them to continue to stand with the United States in the war against international terrorism;
(7) commits to support increased resources in the war to eradicate terrorism;
(8) supports the determination of the President, in close consultation with Congress, to bring to justice and punish the perpetrators of these attacks as well as their sponsors; and
(9) declares that September 12, 2001, shall be a National Day of Unity and Mourning, and that when Congress adjourns today, it stands adjourned out of respect to the victims of the terrorist attacks."

Source, September 11, 2001, Yale University

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lakeside Cottage Architecture, pt. 9

Dutch Colonial Revival

The Dutch Colonial Revival style is obvious from its gambrel roof (think of a barn or the Amityville Horror movie house), with or without flared eaves, and the frequent use of dormers. It's more American than the 19th c. "victorian" style. This was a popular style in America in the 1700s--they were less expensive to build because most of the second floor walls were the roof--and the owner wasn’t taxed for a two story house. The Federal Direct Tax records of 1798 shows that gambrel-roofed houses were classified as one story. Then in the late 19th and early 20th century, there was a “revival” of this style, and there are a number of them spotted around Lakeside. Here’s what you could find in this style home according to one style page I found.

1½ to 2 stories
Clapboard or shingle siding, but occasionally with brick or stone facing
Typically symmetrical fa├žades, but also found with side entries
Gable-end chimneys
Round windows in gable end
Porch under overhanging eaves
8-over-8 windows
Shed, hipped, or gable dormers
Columns for porches and entry

We have two classic examples on the lakefront--one at the end of Oak Street right on the lake that is quite elaborate with various gables, dormers and shingle siding and another at 320 Lakefront, that hasn't had as many modifications as the Oak St. house which was in an estate for years and quite run down when we first bought our cottage here, and has now been extensively remodeled twice in the last 15 years or so.

This Dutch Colonial has been extensively remodeled.

This one at 320 Lakefront is probably very close to its original intent and is a classic. The new owner caused quite a stir in wanting to demolish it and build a "victorian" cottage. For now, that hasn't been approved by the Design Review Board. Many cottages here replaced wooden porches early in the 20th century with shaped concrete block from nearby Marblehead.

There are others probably built from around 1910-1940 and they fit nicely into Lakeside’s eclectic style catalog of homes. Like many other Lakeside cottages, they reflect a hodge podge of add-ons to suit the various owners' needs over the years.

This was a 2 story barn built in 1918, and was converted in the 1980s to a cottage with added dormers, and remodeled again with a large porch to the north.