Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Memories--our 50th Christmas

We decorated the tree Saturday. As I was placing a shabby, scarred, blue flocked bulb on the tree I commented that this was our 50th Christmas, and it dropped and shattered. Well, it had a useful, long life. The tree we bought in 1993, and have definitely gotten our money's worth, but it is shedding almost as much as a natural tree, and each year, we toss 5 or 6 branches that break. The first photo below is me with the tree we had in 1969--a cut tree which we put in the dining room to keep a certain curious little boy from taking it apart (put a baby gate up). Many of the decorations are still the same 40 years later. I buy one or two new ones each year. We gave up the tinsel in the late 70s when Mystery our first cat ate them and they ended up decorating the litter box.

A Geezer Rant

Ronald Clark, a blogger who's a few years older than me, lives in Indianapolis and writes Banging the Drum. He wrote "Geezer Rant," and here's part of it.
    How did it happen that manly men started replacing a hearty handshake with an embracing hug?

    How did it happen that a proud free people began letting the Government completely run their lives?

    How did it happen that shapely women are now kicking manly men’s butts in pop media?

    How did it happen that even sailors blush when hearing mainstream movie dialog?

    How did it happen that modern women have now become the sexual aggressor?

    How did it happen that grade and high school students now feel free to cuss-out and physically threaten their teachers in the classroom?

    How did it happen that it is now socially acceptable to scorn Christianity?

    How did it happen that Governments and people are afraid to criticize Islam?

    How did it happen that the New York Times changed from the paper of record to an ideology rag?

    How did it happen that people who don’t want to work have now become respectable welfare recipients?

    How did it happen that it is socially acceptable and celebrated to have children outside of marriage?
And there's more.

Handeling my new van

This morning after exercise class I stopped at the Lane Rd. branch of the Library to pick up a book I reserved (my last request for purchase of a title on the Constitution was denied but that's another blog). While I was there I flipped through the classic CDs in hopes there might still be a Messiah in the box. With hundreds in our congregation using the same material for Advent, I didn't think I find one (probably the largest Lutheran church in Ohio and the library hadn't purchased a new title on Lutherans in the U.S. in 40 years before I asked for one). But--there it was--Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

So on the drive home I popped it into the disc player in my new van, and now can't learn the trick to remove it. But the first 3 or 4 minutes are great. I also learned today what happens if you push the "panic" button on the key.

The "lost" climate data

"SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation." Times on line

On the other hand, some very old stuff is now going to be available on line.

"Rare scientific manuscripts from Britain's Royal Society go online - 30 Nov 2009

The UK’s Royal Society has announced that historic manuscripts by scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin and others will be published online for the first time. As part of celebrations to mark its 350th anniversary, the society will make original manuscripts of papers published in its journals available to the public via Trailblazing, a new online resource.

Trailblazing contains 60 articles chosen from among the 60,000 that have appeared in the Royal Society's journals. Among the highlights from the Trailblazing site are: a 1770 scientific study confirming that composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a genius and, more recently, acclaimed British scientist Stephen Hawking's early writings on black holes. Also included are Sir Isaac Newton's landmark research on light and colour, a gruesome account of a 17th century blood transfusion and Benjamin Franklin's famous kite-flying experiment to identify the electrical nature of lightning in 1752."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My 2010 Chrysler Town and Country Van

This is a stock photo, but it's about right. I bought it yesterday. It's like marrying a total stranger you met in a bar and waking up in the morning and wondering what did I do? Actually, it's not like that, since I've only been married once, to a man I'd known for 2 years, and never go to bars, so that's fiction, just like a lot of other examples, parables, fairy tales, etc., that has confused some of my readers when I explained Neal Boortz' fictional story about Carrington Motors. But it's really odd anyway.

This morning I went out to the garage at 6 a.m. and climbed in. I wanted to be sure I knew where the lights were because I knew I'd be leaving home in the dark. When I picked up Paul (son-in-law's father) for church this morning, I didn't know which button to push to open the passenger door. When I went to Panera's after church and decided to practice in the parking lot, I managed to power down all the windows but didn't know what to do to get them back up--and it was rather nippy. Also, the key thingy is a bit sensitive and I seem to be beeping the horn.

This van is about 13" longer than my 2002 Dodge Caravan, which means my husband and I have traded sides in the garage. That means when backing out in the dark of the first day of our "marriage" I was headed for the neighbors' bushes instead of the road. Also, it seems to be wider, because I can't get out of the driver's side without bruising my left calf. The frame seems to be about 12" away from the seat in which the rest of my body is waiting for a foot to hit the ground. And I'm not terribly tall.

And junk. Oh dear. Where will I put my junk? Although Chrysler has designed lots of neat storage, some under the floor, nothing hides things quite as well as a bench seat--like the huge road atlas, my extra athletic shoes in the big orange box, the snow scrapper/brush, and a pile of JAMAs. Now the passenger row has bucket seats, not a bench. My old van had a storage net anchored between the two bucket seats in the front--this van has a tidy little box, not expandable. The T&C has all sorts of pockets and cup holders in the door and between the seats--I guess for all the people who eat in their cars. It's a 7 passenger van, but I think you could serve snacks for 12. I don't eat much while driving, but I do drag along a lot of "stuff," none of which will fit in these little compartments.

However, there's a lot to love, too. It's awfully comfortable--no complaints about my Dodge, but this T&C makes it feel like a horse cart--or my husband's Ford Explorer (a fancy name for a small truck). Oodles of positions for the seats, and the middle and back row can disappear into the floor all together if you want to carry a small pony, dry wall, or some living room furniture with you. There are dual ventilation controls and back of the van vents, but I haven't figure that out. We weren't interested in a GPS system but this does tell me which direction I'm driving and the temperature. But I really liked the price. It had about $4,000 in discounts, plus they gave me $4,000 for my van, so it was under $20,000, making it cheaper than my Dodge was in 2002.

I went a bit more high tech in this search. Because of Chrysler's financial trouble, I was afraid this style might disappear. And it still could, of course. It's not like God created it--mortals invent things like AGW. I first saw the ad in the Columbus Dispatch. I went on line and looked up all the specs and printed them out. Then I e-mailed two dealers (the one who had the ad, and a Dodge dealer) explaining what I wanted. I got prompt responses and we chatted by phone with me questioning everything on the printout I didn't understand. One salesman sent me a brochure. But the Dodge salesman wasn't even coming close to the T&C in features or price. So after lunch, we drove to the east side (that's another bad point, location of dealer) which seemed like we were going to Pittsburgh, test drove it, and made a deal.

If you've had as many minivans as I have, you'll see this one is more boxy like some of the newish sedans or even the original mid-80s minivan--maybe muscular would be the word. I hope it gets good mileage like my Dodge, which was just great on the road.

Some sing in the shower

Our church, UALC, is using an Advent daily meditation based on Handel's Messiah, written by John Gugel. You can purchase a CD to go with it, or use your own. I have miscellaneous selections from the Messiah, so have been looking up the different selections on YouTube. An amazing variety. One of the most gutsy is this one (Every valley shall be exalted), by a man recovering from a bad cold who appears to be singing in the lavatory off the kitchen. But I also found some really upbeat and jazzy versions by a contemporary (well, 1989) Christian group First Call, as well as a variety of churches which had performed this classic favorite of the season. They are not as polished as the pros, but their devotion and energy is worth watching.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Herman Shuman, obituary

James Shuman, me and Herman Shuman (82), 1998

 Herman was the grandson of my grandfather's older sister, Sarah.  We were second cousins. I had met the family in 1949 traveling with my grandparents, and again in 1998 when we went to Pendelton, IN to visit them. James Shuman, his son who is my age, is a genealogy guide for the various Brethren groups, and we'd had discussions on the internet.  He was visiting from California, so we decided to meet and exchange information. Herman and I continued to write at Christmas, and he called me a few years before his death to let me know he'd been ill and wasn't sending cards.

"Herman Shuman, son of Luther and Florence (Miller) Shuman was born November 21, 1916, near Pendleton in Madison County, Indiana in the home where he lived for 93 years. He was baptized into the Old German Baptist Brethren Church on August 25, 1935, to which he remained faithful.

He was married to Ruby Reavis, daughter of Henry and Mary (Long) Reavis, on March 28, 1937, and together they raised four children. He passed away in his sleep on November 24, 2009, at the age of 93 years and three days.

He spent his working years as a farmer. He was a minister in the Old German Baptist Brethren Church for over 60 years.

His companion was called away on April 5, 1994, after 57 years together. He continued in generally good health for another 10 years. Then a weak heart and the accumulated problems of the years began to afflict him.

In February 2005, he fell while in Florida, and was in and out of the hospital at Lakeland, and was finally transferred to a hospital in Anderson, Indiana. At that time, his daughter Lois moved in with him and looked after him for the remaining years. For the past year, his daughter, Sara gave him the nursing care he needed, as he was in and out of the hospital numerous times.

Through it all, he remained cheerful and uncomplaining, and he gave a good testimony to those around him. He authored several books, and he working on a history of the brethren in Central Indiana at the time his health declined.

He will be keenly missed by his two sons and two daughters, James and his wife, Dorla of Modesto, California, David and his wife, Virginia, Sara Miller and her husband, Randy, and Lois all of Pendleton; five grandsons; four granddaughters; seven great-grandsons; 11 great-granddaughters; one great-great-granddaughter; and a brother-in-law, Paul Reavis and his wife, Thelma of Rossville, Indiana.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pendleton Emergency Ambulance, P.O. Box 165, Pendleton, Indiana 46064."

Herman was the author of "The Country Preacher," a biography of Elder Solomon Stoner of the Old German Baptist Brethren.  There is one photo in the book of Herman and his family with Elder Stoner in 1951 in Canada. Ruby, Solomon and Herman standing, David, Sara and James in front; Lois was born in 1952.

Update:  I received an e-mail from Cousin James in January 2010.

"I am very sorry to be the one to tell you that my father passed away at the age of 93 years, 3 days, on November 24, 2009 (I thought my sister Lois had notified you of that). He had been in gradually declining health for the past few years, and especially the past 14 months. He had been taken to the hospital many times during those months, and had returned yet again with a serious infection. He appeared to be responding to treatment, and we were hopeful. He had slept during the evening, then was awake and visiting at 11 - 11:30 pm with Sara, who was spending the night in the recliner beside his bed. She told him she was dimming the lights so they could both get some sleep and he cheerfully said, "All right!" Soon he was asleep again, and she drifted off, only to be roused in less than an hour by the nurse tapping her knee. She said, "I'm sorry to disturb you, but your father just passed away." Sara is certain there was no struggle or unusual sound at all, since she had been caring for him daily for over a year and was alert to his calls for assistance.

So his passing was as easy and peaceful as could have been hoped for. As the minister said at his funeral, "He crossed over Jordan nearly dry-shod." And although we miss him greatly, because his mind was clear and sharp to the very end, we rejoice that he was finally freed from a body that was no longer cooperating with him very well at all; it was taking most of his time and energy just to stay alive, and there were fewer "good days" in between increasing lengths of "bad days."

We are adjusting to not having an older generation to look to and care for, but it will take quite a while to finish up his estate. My brother David, who has Parkinson's, is the "surviving trustee" of his revocable living trust, which held all his assets, and sister Lois is assisting him in doing some of the legwork and making the phone calls, etc. that are required. My wife and I have already committed to spending 6 weeks or more there next summer to help distribute his personal property as we go through a houseful of "stuff" accumulated over 93 years (he was born in that house!)."
Update 2017: When I noticed that David, the younger son,  had Parkinson's at the time of his father's death, I checked for his name, and found that he had died in May 2016.

"PENDLETON- David Lee Shuman, 75, of Pendleton, died May 28, 2016 in his home while surrounded by his loving family after a 20-year-long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was born December 28, 1940 in Anderson to the late Herman and Ruby Shuman.

He was a graduate of Wabash College and Purdue University. He worked with computers at First Savings for 15 years and then at Indiana University and Purdue University in Indianapolis for 15 years until Parkinson's Disease forced him to retire.

He enjoyed fishing, landscaping, studying the Scriptures, computer technology, and spending time with his family. He was a member of the Old German Baptist Brethren Church where he served the Lord faithfully till death.

He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Virginia Ann (Terry); three children, Jeffrey (Tricia) Shuman, Bethany (Craig) Skiles, and Kathleen (Randy) Hufford; 11 grandchildren, Lindsay (Brad) Graybill, Brandon (Ruth) Skiles, Kelly (Rick) Land, Katelyn Hufford, Morgan (Clark) Deaton, Ashley Hufford, Mandalyn Skiles, Justin Hufford, Megan Hufford, Hallee Shuman, and Trent Shuman; �and four great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his siblings, James (Dorla) Shuman, Sara (Randy) Miller, and Lois Shuman; along with several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, May 30, 2016 at Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service and Crematory, Lahm Chapel, 211 E. State St., Pendleton, Indiana 46064.

Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at the Old German Baptist Brethren Church, near Pendleton with the home brethren officiating. Burial will follow in Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Pendleton.

A special thanks to Dr. Goshert, Dr. Stevens, Hospice, our church family, and Dennis and Betty Hopkins."

Friday Family Photo--the baby quilt

February 1969, patchwork baby quilt made by my mother.

"Of all the treasures I can boast
I love the patch-work quilt the most.
She pieced it in the long ago,
With patient stitches, fine and slow,
Each block devised of dark and light
Small diamond pieces, looking quite
Like piled-up boxes, or like stairs
To lead you upwards unawares.

I almost hear her voice once more
And see the quaint old things she wore,
The dolman, and the Paisley shawl,
Myself a child again, and all
My childish faith and love surge up
To fill my worn heart's empty cup;
Of all the things she once possessed,
I love the patch-work quilt the best."

"The Patch-Work Quilt," by Eve Egleston Hoyt, 2nd and 6th verses

If I'd made a few notes in 1969, I could have identified most of the fabric in this patch work quilt my mother made. Not today. The memories are gone. In fact, I lifted this photo and poem from my Memory Patterns blog written in 2005--and reading through it, if I hadn't recorded some of those items even 5 years ago, they'd be lost forever. Even if you have no interest in blogging current events as I like to do, a blog is wonderful for family memories and photos (but please, not every step they take--be selective).

And here are the babies in my daughter's kitchen, just yesterday as we went over the river and through the "woods" to celebrate Thanksgiving at her house. Oh, I love having adult children who can cook for me. We had the most fabulous leftovers for dinner last night--and they sent the carcass home with me--we'll have wonderful soup and casseroles.

We had a wonderful holiday, and I hope you all did too.

Security at the White House

It's so odd, isn't it, that the media goes crazy over Michele and Tareq Salahi who went to Obama's first state dinner without an invitation? All this hubbub from the folks who totally ignored the Climategate story (except for Fox) which is HUGE and should bring down the cap and trade scam to tax us into oblivion (but probably won't with the media's complicity), and couldn't figure out if Maj. Nadil Hasan was crazy or a terrorist. ABC was just outraged. Did it even mention the release of 10 years of e-mail and data that showed manipulation in the climate change research? At least Mrs. Salahi had on an attractive dress that covered her lovely figure as would be fitting considering the culture of the honored guests. After all, they did pass the security check--they weren't armed, or a threat, they just weren't invited. Besides, with a name like Tareq Salahi perhaps Security didn't want to be insensitive and ask questions. Look how far that attitude got Maj. Hasan in the military.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ohio has bedbugs

And so does your town, apparently. There are bedbug task forces in New York, Columbus, Cincinnati, Chicago. I just heard about it.

And there is a chemical that is 100% effective, according to the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture.
    "In tests at the University of Kentucky, the chemical killed 100 percent of the bedbugs exposed to it within 24 hours and kept on killing after eggs hatched, Beal said. That compared with a 16 percent kill rate after 72 hours for a commonly used household insecticide against one strain found in Cincinnati, and 40 percent in another strain."
The department asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct.23 for an emergency exemption to allow the use of Propoxur in residences according to the Dispatch. From the reading I did, that doesn't sound likely.

Huffington Post article

Sunday, November 22, 2009


It's a mistake at my house to ever clean out a drawer. Take yesterday. I stopped to read a 1981 invitation for a reunion of McKinley Hall (University of Illinois) residents which included married names, and found my old roommate on the Internet. I've e-mailed her, but. . .I find so many things set aside for another day. Things I could finish if I weren't blogging or researching crazy health bills or reading your blog. I am up to my mascara-free eye lashes in
halls to deck,
unread books,
unprinted files,
shirts not ironed,
buttons not sewn,
computer glitches,
recipes not tasted,
sinks not scrubbed,
decorations to unpack,
Christmas letter labels,
notes to the ill and bereaved,

holiday money appeals to examine,
walks to take before it gets too cold,
veterinarian and doctor appointments,
and to top it all off there is mold growing in the store room!

Does anyone need a dark green baby crib
just 42 years old with a few missing pieces or
wooden poles for heavy lined drapes or
a bathtub grab bar (we have no bathtub) or
five kinds of solvent and wallpaper paste?

Update for a joke:

~ A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store but she couldn't find one big enough for her family.

She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?"

The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just like the old days

Not a creature is stirring. It's the Ohio State-Michigan game today and all of Buckeye land is glued to their TVs. Except me. It was just like the old days of 1960 this afternoon. I stretched out on the couch and took a nap while my husband watched. He had a game plan. About 11 a.m. he prepared his lunch and set it aside. About 11:55 he came upstairs, warmed it up, and took it back to his favorite chair. This is one organized football fan.

Twiddle dum and Twiddle dee--"spending on things that matter"

Do you remember that phrase after the last election? "Now maybe we can spend money on things that matter," by rejoicing, teary Obama supporters. What a laugh. The welfare state grows no matter who is in office, sometimes more under Republicans, but definitely under the less-than-conservative two Bush presidencies. Once a human services program is in place, who controls the White House or Congress makes little difference in its growth.

"The most significant growth in Human Resources spending is attributable to Medicare and "Health Care Services," an OMB category dominated by Medicaid. Still using constant dollars, these two categories combined to account for 8% of Human Resources outlays under Kennedy and Johnson, 15% under Nixon and Ford, 17% under Carter, 21% under Reagan, 26% under George H.W. Bush, 31% under Clinton, and 34% under George W. Bush. Measure all the Human Services outlays from 1962 (the first year of more detailed OMB historical tables) through 2007 in constant dollars, and it turns out that Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security accounted for just under two-thirds of the total."

More interesting facts about the persistence of poverty and the corresponding growth of the welfare state at "Reforming Big Government."

Ohio’s HB 318

Late Wednesday, Ohio Senate Democrats rejected the latest Republican amendments to HB 318. The bill will attempt to fill the $851 million gap in the FY10-11 budget. The Senate Finance Committee has adjourned indefinitely--for time to enjoy a Thanksgiving Holiday while thinking this through. Too bad our federal Senators didn’t do the same--they could have used the T-holiday to read through 2074 pages commiting us to trillions of debt and the takeover of private businesses, all for the extremely small percentage of Americans who don't have health insurance (and that won't even change!). Then they could have enjoyed a turkey tryptophan stupor instead of gorging on this other turkey stuffed with pork and shredded taxpayers‘ investments.

Following are the provisions rolled into the substitute bill that were highlighted by Senate Finance Chairman Sen. John Carey (R-Wellston) during Wednesday evening's hearing. This information was provided by AIA Ohio which has a horse in this race, the Ohio Construction Reform Panel's recommendations which could determine how architects will do business with Ohio for the next decade. Notice the money hoped for from casino fees.
    - Allows one-third of the scheduled income tax reduction to go into effect rather than freezing the full reduction. This nets the state $278.7 million in FY10 and $284.0 million in FY11.

    - Creates a trigger mechanism by which an increased portion of or the full scheduled income tax rate reduction would occur if the governor moves forward on VLTs, or if excess casino revenues are generated within the biennium and could be used to offset GRF.

    - Restores $25 million in FY10 and $35 million in FY11 for chartered, nonpublic schools that were disproportionately cut in the budget process.

    - Transfers the casino licensure fees, approved by voters as 'State Issue 3,' into the GRF to offset current regional job program expenditures. This provides $200 million in FY11.

    - Grants waivers for school districts regarding unfunded mandates for all-day kindergarten and class size reductions.

    - Allows school districts to privatize transportation services if they choose to do so.

    - Provides flexibility in state report cards for school districts that failed to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) in certain sub groups.

    - Allows broader use of joint purchasing by education service centers and school purchasing consortia.

    - Includes SB190 ROTC high school credit provisions.

    - Requires DAS implement paperwork reduction/cost savings strategies. This is estimated to save $10 million/year.

    - Includes comprehensive sentencing reforms. This is estimated to save $20 million in FY10 and $30 million in FY11.

    - Establishes an oil and gas drilling pilot program on state-owned land at Salt Fork. This is estimated to bring in $10 million in FY11.

    - Removes pay cut language as it is now contained in SB209.

    - Creates a privatization commission to study state functions that could be privatized.

    - Specifies that future collective bargaining contracts let by the state will coincide with the state's biennial budget time frame.

    - Requires that three state agencies (natural resources, education, and transportation) undergo performance audits.

    - Studies a state government restructuring plan similar to those proposed in SB52 and HB25.

    - Studies potential cost savings and economic benefits to Ohio employers and injured workers by allowing private insurance companies to compete with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC).

    - Requires the auditor of state's office to determine if BWC has adequate reserves compared to industry standards and to recommend rebates if an over-reserve is determined to exist.

    - Studies cost savings that may be achieved if the state were to go to a four-day workweek.

    - Transfers functions of the School Employee Health Care Board to DAS and deletes GRF appropriation in the Department of Education. This saves $800,000/year.

    - Transfers $15 million per fiscal year from the liquor profits fund into the GRF.

    - Transfers $15 million per fiscal year from the Housing Trust Fund into the GRF.

    - Transfers $1 million per fiscal year in total from three public safety education funds (83G0, 83N0, and 8440).

    - Specifies that the insurance settlement funds for the Lake Hope State Park lodge be used for the purpose of fixing that site.

    - Uses half of the current scrap tire fee to provide funding to the state's soil and water districts.

    - Ensures correct appropriation authority for the Department of Mental Health's 408 line item.
There are many things in here that deserve a closer look--and it's happening in all states, not just Ohio. Like that Housing Trust Fund--that's created from real estate transfer fees, but is used in conjunction with federal funds for housing programs. 20 years ago no state had this--now about 40 do. The high unemployment rate is squeezing the flood of tax money to a dribble. During the boom years, did anyone at the state or federal or local level think they should have paid down their debt instead of adding more programs?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two Golden Ages of Television?

Peggy Noonan writes in the WSJ what she’s thankful for--the usual--friends, health, surviving. And then gets to this:
    “And after that, after gratitude for friends and family, and for those who protect us, after that something small. I love TV, and the other day it occurred to me again that we are in the middle of a second golden age of television. I feel gratitude to the largely unheralded network executives and producers who gave it to us. The first golden age can be summed up with one name: "Playhouse 90." It was the 1950s and '60s, when TV was busy being born. The second can be summed up with the words "The Sopranos," "Mad Men," "The Wire," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "ER," "24," "The West Wing," "Law and Order," "30 Rock." These are classics. Some nonstars at a network made them possible. Good for them.“
Looks like I missed both golden ages. My parents didn’t have TV when I was growing up so if I ever saw Playhouse 90 (1956-1961) I don’t remember it. I was just too busy going to school, dating or working at the drug store to sit down and watch TV. And of the second group I’ve only seen Law and Order (now in its 20th season), and much of it only in reruns--miss Jerry Orbach. Hardly ever watch it these days--too predictable. The others in the second golden age I’ve never seen.

Over the years we’ve enjoyed Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-1966) both when it was current and later in reruns; Mary Tyler Moore (1970-1977) and the spin-offs Rhoda and Phyllis; Love Boat (1977-1986) was great for seeing all the stars not usually seen; Cheers (1982-1993); the Bill Cosby Show (1984-1992) and still laugh and identify with the family situations and love the fashions; Murder she wrote (1984-1996) with Angela Lansbury was never missed and we enjoyed it in reruns too; Golden Girls (1985-1992) although I think I saw this mostly on reruns; Murphy Brown (1988-1998)--great ensemble cast; Frasier (1993-2004) again mostly seen in reruns; Ellen (1994-1998); some of the movie channels like TNT and AMC for the movies I never saw when they were current; Third rock from the sun (1996-2001)--hard to believe Tommy is almost 30; we enjoyed Dharma and Greg (1997-2002); Monk (still current and watching it tonight); The Closer (now in the 5th season).

And remember the great variety shows--Sonny and Cher (1971-1974), Donny and Marie (1976-1979), The Captain and Tennille (1976-1977), Hee Haw (1969-1993) and now we even watch Lawrence Welk, which we never would have done in the 1950s and 1960s, as archives were dusted off with added interviews from the “Welk family” (1986- current) for its old time slot on Saturday evenings (tomorrow will be the Thanksgiving special on PBS).

The guy leading the global warming charge

If the interior of the earth is several million degrees hot, maybe that should be the cause of global warming instead of CO2 (which doesn't increase until after the temperatures rise, btw).

In explaining geothermal energy possibilities to Conan O'Brain Surgeon, Al Gore said, ". . . two kilometers or so down in most places there are these incredibly hot rocks, 'cause the interior of the earth is extremely hot, several million degrees, and the crust of the earth is hot ..."

Close Al. Close. No one really knows how hot it is, but the experts' guesses are 4-6,000 degrees. Maybe Conan could use some of those extra Palin fact-checkers on his show. Or Al's next gig could be making up numbers for

Friday Family photo--the snow horse

I'm dating these photos as the winter of 1949-1950, or 60 years ago, and I'm guessing this is before Christmas, maybe the first snow, and the horse is a bit skimpy. I did a painting from a photo of one of my snow horses with my brother and dog and I have on a lovely plaid coat, which I probably received for Christmas, plus there was a lot more snow and my ability to sculpt a horse had improved a lot. Lady the dalmatian was a replacement for Curly, a shepherd mix, son of Pretty, who had her puppies under the neighbor's porch. During the summer of 1949 Curly disappeared (I was told) while Mom, my brother and I were on a trip with my grandparents. Lady developed skin cancer after we moved to Mt. Morris and only lived a few more years.

The other little boy on the left is Buzzy Brown--the only name I ever called him--don't remember his real name. He lived down the street. I think he was an only child and his parents were rather affluent. He seems to be wearing a matching hat and coat. To show you how thrifty my mother was--I'm wearing a homemade headscarf and mittens, and the mittens were lined with my father's wool Marine uniform from WWII. The blanket on the snow horse was from my grandmother's house, and I guessing it was from her mother's house of the mid-19th century. I am wearing over-the-shoe boots, but my brother isn't--although in the photo of the other snow horse he is. Perhaps he came outside to pose after all the work was done?

He's a poor step-dad and significant other

Eighty six% of the households in the top 5% are married couple families. Only 19% in the lowest 5th are married couple families. Do you suppose this affects the income gap? You betcha! Households with two full-time workers earn five times as much as households in which nobody works. Median income for households with two full-time earners was $85,517 in 2003 compared with $15,661 for households in which nobody worked. Median income for households with one worker who worked full-time all year was $60,852, compared with $28,704 for those who worked part-time for 26 weeks or less.

Oh, the injustice of it. Two married people who work have higher incomes than people who receive government money provided by the people who work. Not only that, but the median income of working people increased by 13% from 1987 to 2003, but those who don’t work and depend on Uncle Sam only got a 1.4% increase. Indeed, marriage may actually penalize poor people while helping their children (they get fewer benefits, but studies show children do much better with married parents). Both Democrats and Republicans tossed the ball of control back and forth during that time period. And since social programs (far exceeds defense) grew faster than anything else in government during those years, especially under Republicans, do you suppose we could conclude that Uncle Sam is not only a lousy step-dad, he’s not even all that great as a lover and significant other? Source

Government acronym: CSEPP

I didn’t know we had a Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) whose mission is to “enhance existing local, installation, tribal, State, and Federal capabilities to protect the health and safety of the public, work force, and environment from the effects of a chemical accident or incident involving the U.S. Army chemical stockpile.” According to the page I read, the stockpiles are secured on seven U.S. Army installations in the continental United States. The map, which was hot linked with colored dots, had eight dots. The first location I checked said it was one of six locations in the nation where chemical weapons are stockpiled.
    The chemical agents of primary concern to CSEPP are the nerve agents GB and VX and the blister agents H, HT and HD. The chemical agents are stored in three basic configurations: (1) projectiles, cartridges, mines, and rockets containing propellant and/or explosive components; (2) aircraft delivered munitions that do not contain explosive components; and (3) steel one-ton containers. Most of the stockpile (61%) is in the latter form.
So how'd you like to live in that county? So is it six, seven or eight? Did one of these guys get reassigned to which has bungled many of the numbers and dollars for ARRA for jobs not lost?

I also learned that in 1985 the United States Congress ordered that these weapons be eliminated in the safest manner possible. So that’s what these websites are all about, the ongoing elimination of chemical weapons. "Enhance" in government speak means "eliminate." I guess that's why the health care bill is going to enhance the lives of so many seniors. If we haven't been able to get rid of these in a quarter of a century, what's the rush on health care?

Oh Canada!

A different take on a familiar tune.

I’m proud to be in Canada, by Lee Greenwood.

and an interesting new book by a talented Canadian writer, Denise Chong. Egg on Mao. A good reminder for us, too.

“What I realized while writing this story, as I was tracking this growth and development of a moral being, is that if you don’t stand up for those rights, if you don’t stand up against the indignities that accumulate in daily life, then the very values that you’re supposed to defend—like decency, dignity, goodness, respect—they all start to lose their currency,”

Egg on Mao: The Story of an Ordinary Man Who Defaced an Icon and Unmasked a Dictatorship (Random House Canada, $32.95), by Vancouver-born author Denise Chong. It has revived interest in the moral heroism of Lu Decheng and his friends Yu Zhijian and Yu Dongyue in the 1989 pro-democracy protests. Review here.

Just 24 days

Things have changed since my first child was born in 1961. The thought then was that they needed some time to build up immunity before meeting the world and its bacteria, viruses and contaminants. When I was on my way out of the coffee shop this morning I stopped at a table and asked, "How old is your little one?" "Three and a half weeks," she said. So I looked it up at several web sites thinking perhaps there was new advice. Doesn't seem to be.
    "Immediately after birth, the newborn has high levels of the mother's antibodies in the bloodstream. Babies who are breastfed continue to receive antibodies via breast milk. Breast milk contains all five types of antibodies, including immunoglobulin A (IgA), immunoglobulin D (IgD), immunoglobulin E (IgE), IgG, and immunoglobulin M (IgM). This is called passive immunity because the mother is "passing" her antibodies to her child. This helps prevent the baby from developing diseases and infections.

    During the next several months, the antibodies passed from the mother to the infant steadily decrease. When healthy babies are about two to three months old, the immune system will start producing its own antibodies. During this time, the baby will experience the body's natural low point of antibodies in the bloodstream. This is because the maternal antibodies have decreased, and young children, who are making antibodies for the first time, produce them at a much slower rate than adults.
    Once healthy babies reach six months of age, their antibodies are produced at a normal rate."
Add to that it is flu season; our government is hyping a pandemic; the mother might not be breastfeeding; the table where I sit always needs to be wiped down before I use it; it was noisy and confusing with strangers' voices (like mine) battering her little ears; she couldn't focus yet so was staring at the brilliant can lights above.

Maybe someday someone will investigate the increase in allergies and autism in today's children (peanut butter, gluten, pets, etc.) over those of 40 years ago and find out if they inhaled things in the built environment before their bodies were ready for the insult to their delicate systems.

On reading the new health care bill

There are 2074 pages in the Senate version of health care “reform.“ Fox News is suggesting that we not just accept the talking points of the Democrats, but that the ordinary citizen take a piece of the Senate Health Care bill, study it and send in comments. There is a template in which you can enter information you either like or don’t like. So I took the challenge. (HT Bob C.) I randomly selected a page--1896. That’s a huge mistake, I learned--you're probably better off to begin with a section that interests you. Oh well. I ended up in something called “Follow-on Biologics User Fees.” Call me crazy, but a “user fee” is a tax. Here’s a little poem to keep in mind while browsing this health care bill.

No matter who gets the fee,
it is passed on to me.
So don't be so lax,
Remember it’s a tax.
He said that he wouldn't,
We know that he shouldn't.
But we just can't win,
We've been lied to again.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t make heads nor tails out of this tax. I think a special college level course is needed in how to read a Senate or House bill. They first had to define a biological product, and to do that I had to see section 351 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 262) (as amended by
this Act) and I had to familiarize myself with section 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355) and section 3511 of title 31, U.S.C. for standards, and requirements prescribed by the Comptroller General, etc.

But I did see some very disturbing things in this unintelligible section, like dates (5 years after fiscal year 2012, for instance)--for review and audit that seemed to involve a population the size of a small city. Although the wording is “shall consult with“ not “will consult with“ so that might actually make a difference in who figures this one out and how much it will cost me in 2017. Assuming this reform hasn't seriously shortened my life expectancy, which today is somewhere in the 90s.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eleven AP fact checkers for Palin’s book

Did AP fact check Obama's book? Just point to the article. It used 11 on Palin. She must really be a threat.

Associated Press writers Matt Apuzzo, Sharon Theimer, Tom Raum, Rita Beamish, Beth Fouhy, H. Josef Hebert, Justin D. Pritchard, Garance Burke, Dan Joling and Lewis Shaine plus Calvin Woodward all contributed to the article “fact checking” her book. Mark Steyn said that equaled about l.8333333 errors/facts per writer. Surely, if all 11 actually read it they could have found more. I find errors in books and web pages all the time. Spent some time tonight at a FEMA site and found three errors within three clicks. And the facts they disputed? Not so much. They were really flimsy--like “railed against taxpayer-financed bailouts.” Please? Most Americans on both the left and right have done that.

Has AP in 10 months of brilliant journalistic analysis even come up with 11 criticisms of Barack Obama? Like his deficit which makes George W. Bush, the biggest spender up to Jan. 20, 2009, look like a penny pinching piker? Taking over huge segments of the economy? Calling the Cambridge police stupid? Not knowing how or when to salute? Bowing to foreign leaders? Or his marxist passion to redistribute wealth? Or how about that terrorist trial he wants in New York City? Don't bother to count. It was just a rhetorical question.

Has AP ever looked so ridiculous?

If there are hungry Americans. . .

Then we have totally incompetent federal, state and local governments, because we tax payers have certainly done our part. We've given them enough money to cover the problem. $60.7 billion was the USDA's food assistance budget in 2008. Here's a tiny fraction of what went to the low income and poor, not for hunger, but for "food insecurity." Primarily, it pays the salaries of the people in the USDA "food chain," which include "public partnerships" like non-profits and churches.

School Meals Programs
Child and Adult Care Food Program
Summer Food Service Program
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Food Distribution Program
Women, Infants and Children

School Meals Programs
Child and Adult Care Food Program
Summer Food Service Program
Supplemental Nutrition Asssitance Program
Food Distribution Program
Women, Infants and Children
Farmers Market Nutrition Program

School Meals
Child and Adult Care Food Program

Summer Food Service Program
Food Distribution Policy Database
Charitable Institutions & Summer Camps
Commodity Supplemental Food Program
Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
Nutrition Services Incentive Program
Processing Policies
Schools/Child Nutrition Institutions
The Emergency Food Assistance Program

Sustainable Development is wealth redistribution

Your wealth into a giant green rat hole. I must get 3-4 items a week in my e-mail on sustainable development, buildings, products, and life style, both for my husband (architecture) and me (librarianship and news releases from OSU). As Christians, we are huge supporters of conservation and stewardship of God’s creation, but “sustainable” has become a code word for something much more sinister.

Both prophets and pundits, right and left, whether Glenn Beck, Tom DeWeese, Bill Maher or Van Jones , know "sustainability" calls for changing the infrastructure of the nation, away from private ownership and control of property to central planning first by our government, then by a world governing body--whatever entity the United Nations will evolve to. When you see the word “sustainable,“ you can safely substitute “wealth redistribution.”

We fought a few wars to defeat the centrally planned economic disasters based on the theories of Marx and Engels. You’re too young to remember millions of starving Ukrainians declared wealthy because they owned a cow or a wheat field, but the same thing has been going on for years in Communist North Korea. Those plans evolved and then failed in the USSR, its Eastern European satellites and Maoist China (which now under a cloak of capitalism owns us and is cautioning our president to cut back on his insatiable appetite for debt).

When our home grown Communist sympathizers found out that “revolution” wouldn’t work because the workers and labor unions of the USA already had too much freedom, material goods and wealth and were loyal to American ideals, they just drilled from within, driving our businesses off shore, and in 2008 we elected them (with a very long lead in from socialists and progressives in the government)! But for those who weren’t swayed at the polls or by campaign promises, there is always the great green hope and hype.

However, that hyped hope (cap and trade based on phony CO2 scare tactics) is death for the poor of developing countries. Did you see our food prices rise almost over night in 2007 when the bio-fuels fever really took over and land was being taken out of production for food and turned into bio-fuel for automobiles? We saw our price of bread, meat and milk go up a few pennies to a dollar, but in poorer nations, they were having food riots and killing each other as a shortage of wheat turned into a shortage of rice and cooking oil.

Tom DeWeese cautions us to pay attention to the language--we’ve been hearing some version of this since the 1930s--pausing only briefly as we finally dropped the cloak of protectionism after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941
    "We now have a new language invading our government at all levels. Old words with new meanings fill government policy papers. The typical city council meeting discusses "community development," "historic preservation," and "partnerships" between the city and private business.

    Civic leaders organize community meetings run by "facilitators," as they outline a "vision" for the town, enforced by "consensus." No need for debate when you have consensus! People of great importance testify before congressional committees of the dire need for "social justice."

    Free trade, social justice, consensus, global truth, partnerships, preservation, stakeholders, land use, environmental protection, development, diversity, visioning, open space, heritage, comprehensive planning, critical thinking, and community service are all part of our new language." Tom DeWeese
I wrote on this topic about a year ago, Prize for the most green words. Really made an architect unhappy; he thought he needed to attack me, instead of the topic at hand.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

People are catching on

"Less than half the population believes that human activity is to blame for global warming, according to an exclusive poll for The Times. The revelation that ministers have failed in their campaign to persuade the public that the greenhouse effect is a serious threat requiring urgent action will make uncomfortable reading for the Government as it prepares for next month’s climate change summit in Copenhagen.

Only 41 per cent accept as an established scientific fact that global warming is taking place and is largely man-made. Almost a third (32 per cent) believe that the link is not yet proved; 8 per cent say that it is environmentalist propaganda to blame man and 15 per cent say that the world is not warming."

From First Things

Get your free download of The Skeptics Handbook

Katie Couric on the new breast guidelines

Isn't that just so odd? Katie says it's the REPUBLICANS making this into a political issue (she spoke on our local news show this evening). I guess those "women's groups" objecting and questioning the panel aren't DEMOCRATS? And it couldn't be that the DEMOCRATS have some of that transparent Pelosi tape over their mouths? Washington Wire (very liberal) at WSJ took the same tack (hmmm, almost like talking points were coming from the White House, isn't it?) Here's my favorite health writer, Tara Parker Pope
    "The panel that issued the changes, the United States Preventive Services Task Force, advised doctors not to teach women to examine their own breasts, saying the self-checks led to more imaging procedures and biopsies but did not reduce cancer deaths.

    Many women, particularly those of my generation, were mystified. Breast self-exams are inexpensive and noninvasive. No radiation, no fuss. You can do them in your own home, lying down in bed, in between checkups or mammograms. You don’t even need health insurance because they are free. So why not?"
Actually, the only detection that matters is your own--not the studies. Money raised for breast cancer for way too long has gone for education and detection, and not enough for research--just my opinion. That's always been my gripe about "runs" and "walks" for any disease of the week--the bulk of it goes back to support the organization doing the events, and then for education, and then a tiny portion for research.

Bernadine Healey was interviewed on Glenn Beck tonight and she said it should be between the woman and her doctor to decide. But Bernadine, there's that pesky insurance issue. . . women who have "cadillac" insurance are going to be taxed more, assuming their employer doesn't drop it, and that just might put a damper on what tests they're willing to put up with. And I know from Medicare, you don't just get any test or shot you want--it has to be one the approved schedule. If 40 year olds don't need it, maybe they'll decide 70 year olds aren't worth it either? Keep your eye on that Preventive Services Task Force once you're on the public health insurance.

Also, please read this story about Kerry Dumbaugh. I know her. She was interviewed in 2002 about a false negative mammogram, but 2 doctors could feel the lump. She was 42. Her grandmother died of cancer at 56--but her cancer had been visible for years. Kerry works for the Congressional Research Service and is an expert on China.

Now it's our turn to be Baby Jane

Baby Jane was born with spina bifida over 25 years ago. Her parents, on their doctors' advice,
    "had refused both surgery to close her spine and a shunt to drain the fluid from her brain. In resisting the federal government's attempt to enforce treatment, the parents pleaded privacy.

    What first piqued [Nat] Hentoff's curiosity was not so much the case itself but the press coverage. All the papers and the networks were using the same words to say the same thing, he says.

    "Whenever I see that kind of story, where everybody agrees, I know there's something wrong," he says. "I finally figured out they were listening to the [parents'] lawyer."

    He went after the story, later publishing it in The Atlantic as "The Awful Privacy of Baby Doe." In running it down, he found himself digging into the notorious, 2-year-old case of the first Infant Doe. That Bloomington, Ind., Down's syndrome baby died of starvation over six days when his parents, who did not want a retarded child, refused surgery for his deformed esophagus.

    Then Mr. Hentoff came across the published reports of experiments in what doctors at Yale-New Haven Hospital called "early death as a management option" for infants "considered to have little or no hope of achieving meaningful 'humanhood.' " He talked with happy handicapped adults whose parents could have killed them but didn't. It changed him.” Finish the story here.
But keep in mind the slippery slope, and now fellow seniors, it’s our turn, and it's called ObamaCare.

Food insecurity is not hunger

"According to the USDA's annual poll, 17 million U.S. households reported some degree of food insecurity in 2008, up from 13 million households in 2007," writes Scott Kilman in yesterday's WSJ. I'm not sure when "food insecurity" became the term du jour, but it means at some point during 2008 someone in the family worried about not having enough food or their "normal eating patterns were disrupted." So that's what hunger has become to the USDA--worrying about food while HHS is wringing is bureaucratic hands over obesity. Even when unemployment was at 4.5%, journalists were writing food pantry and food insecurity stories, especially during the holiday season when many charities are making appeals. Now because of unemployment at 10.2%, people who used to contribute or volunteer at food pantries now are recipients, so the stories have expanded. In 2009 they are not directed at the president's policies, as they were four or five years ago. Even in food insecurity, Obama is untouchable.

And really, no modern day president can be blamed for hunger in the U.S., because it has been the policy of the government for the last 60 years to expand its largest welfare program to . . . farmers. And what used to be using up post-war surplus by giving it to the poor (blocks of cheese, butter, and boxes of dry milk back in the 60s and 70s) is now growing subsidized food to be given to the poor through schools (breakfast, lunch, afterschool and summertime snacks), churches (they usually run the summer programs), non-profits (they provide grants from donors and the government to buy the food), and federal and state "partnerships (redistribution of USDA money to many programs, rural and metropolitan)."

This at a time when there are entire households of adults and children where no one knows how to purchase or prepare food. I needed to buy 2 large containers of applesauce to donate to Faith Mission this week, so while I was going through the store, I jotted down some basic, non-prepared food items with prices.

Fresh items: 3 lb bananas, 8 lb. potatoes, 1 lb. carrots, 3 lb. apples, 8 lb oranges, 2 lb cabbage (total $11.18); main meal items: l lb pinto beans, l lb. black beans, 2 lb rice, 2 lb macaroni, 15 oz spaghetti, 26 oz spaghetti sauce (total $8.56); refrigerator case: 1 doz eggs, 1 gal milk, 1 lb butter, 2 lb cheddar cheese (total $7.45); beverage: 11.5 oz coffee to brew ($2.50). That came to $29.69, and for another $5.00 I could have had 2 loaves of bread and 16 oz. of natural peanut butter. For another $5.00 I could buy a 16 lb. turkey because they are on special right now. So for $40, that's a lot of food on the shelves, but someone has to buy it and someone has to prepare it who knows that beans with rice and potatoes combined with milk are almost nutritionally perfect.

But you can blow your way through $40 pretty fast buying soft drinks, potato chips, prepared individual meals at $3.00 each, crackers, cookies, etc. And it's not just poor people. On my afternoon walk yesterday I walked in a neighborhood that has a Tuesday trash pick up and at one home which I would estimate at $800,000, there were 6 plastic containers at the curb, all filled with flattened boxes and containers for processed food, many for the single server type. Her children probably don't qualify for school lunches, but they might be better off if they did.

See also my blog from April 2009 on What ever happened to food stamps.

A new blog coming on?

Sometimes it's like an itch you can't scratch, but I've been thinking about a new blog--would be my 13th I think. However, I have several I've not been keeping up, like my hobby bloggy on first issue magazines (I must have hundreds), what's on my bookshelves, coffee shop conversations (some are too wild to repeat), and the class reunion (it was 2 years ago).

The other day I scanned something for the class reunion blog. It was an award I'd earned in 8th grade for reading and was given at graduation. I had no memory of this or the books we read, and no one has responded to my questions. Surely I wasn't the only kid who got one of these? Total silence. But while I was rummaging around in the basement storage area, I again pulled out grandma Mary's box of clippings, papers and scrapbooks. And I could feel it coming on. . . a web log devoted to paper memorabilia.

Also just this morning I found a really nice blogger dot com template web site. I haven't looked at all the possibilities yet, but lots of variety and good design.

Maybe I could do it just for a month the way I did Memory Patterns in November 2005.

Non-obese and non-smokers, but still have clogged arteries

Well! Think of the research grants that will need to be rewritten! Read the story by Ron Winslow in today's Wall Street Journal.

We visited this museum when we were in Egypt in March. An amazing place, and we just scratched the surface. No cameras.

Invites to join Facebook

This morning I received an invitation from the fourth wife of the first husband of my sister-in-law to join her friends group at Facebook. Very nice lady. In my husband's family it really is until death do you part. Even if they get a divorce they still are welcome at the family events, which makes it nicer for the children who get to see their former step-parent occasionally. But I prefer blogging. I did go in and follow her link, however, and saw two other recent invitations (don't know how long that shows) and one has nine followers, the other has 109. The one who has 109 has never met a stranger, and she travels a lot. Long before e-mail and Facebook, you had to take a number to visit, or go shopping, or out to dinner. I don't think I even know 109 "friends," and I'm sure I don't want to go through junior high school again with people de-friending or refusing to even respond to my invitation to come to the party.

As it is, I'm on a number of e-mail discussion lists all sent and managed by men--four by guys who were in high school with me, and one from my husband's Wednesday morning men's group (he doesn't do e-mail). And they say women like to talk. The men do catch up.

Dirty little secrets in the House Bill reveal Obama’s claims for health reform are lies

"You lie." And this time it's the non-partisan and independent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services saying it, not a "Southern racist congressman" as the media tried to portray Joe Wilson.

" A report released Friday by the non-partisan and independent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency in charge of running Medicare and Medicaid, blows the lid off of every one of Obama’s claims. All of the following quotes are from the report itself [this summary is from The Morning Bell webpage]:

Health Care Costs Increase: “In aggregate, we estimate that for calendar years 2010 through 2019 [national health expenditures (NHE)] would increase by $289 billion, or 0.8 percent, over the updates baseline projection that was released on June 29, 2009.” In other words, Obamacare bends the cost curve up, not down.

Millions Lose Existing Private Coverage: “However, a number of workers who currently have employer coverage would likely become enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program or receive subsidized coverage through the Exchange. For example, some smaller employers would be inclined to terminate their existing coverage, and companies with low average salaries might find it to their - and their employees’ - advantage to end their plans … We estimate that such actions would collectively reduce the number of people with employer-sponsored health coverage by about 12 million.” In other words, Obamacare will cause millions of Americans to lose their existing private coverage. . .

Seniors Access to Care Jeopardized: “H.R. 3962 would introduce permanent annual productivity adjustments to price updates for institutional providers… Over time, a sustained reduction in payment updates, based on productivity expectations that are difficult to attain, would cause Medicare payment rates to grow more slowly than and in a way that was unrelated to, the providers’ costs of furnishing services to beneficiaries. Thus, providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their business could find it difficult to remain profitable and might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries).” In other words, the Medicare cuts in the House bill are so out of touch with reality that hospitals currently serving Medicare patients might be forced to stop doing so. Thus making it much more difficult for seniors to get health care."

There is much more--go here to read the news about the lies we’ve been told or bring up the report and read it. Few, including your congressional representative, read the bill--so you might as well read the analysis.

Here in central Ohio radio land we are being annoyed by syrupy radio ads for Mary Jo Kilroy extolling her part in this mess (I think the ad campaign is sponsored by a union). Over half of government workers (local, state, federal) are now unionized, up from 17.3% in the early 1970s. Guess who your representative is really representing? Guess who wants to unload onto the taxpayer their health care responsibilities and pie-in-the-sky promises after taking workers' dues all those years?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Did Edwards want the Veep spot with Barack?

Democrats are arguing amongst themselves over this at Politico, but I thought this was a good explanation by a reader at Ben Smith: "Edwards was a stalking horse to draw votes from Hillary. He is a two faced lowlife and had no business running when he KNEW he was already busted with a pregnant mistress and cheated on his cancer stricken wife. As for Elizabeth she is an enabler and should not have helped him run. Obama used Edwards to siphon votes from HRC and now we have months with no decision for the troops and record unemployment. Thanks Johnny! Thanks Barack!"

Tell us how you really feel!

Louder with Crowder visits Gitmo

Obama has stained Gitmo. It’s well worth watching the whole thing. The terrorist prisoners certainly have it much better than U.S. prisoners. Find out what our enemies already know (thanks to Obama).

But how would it look?

Mark Steyn on the decisions not made. Thirteen dead--fourteen counting the baby.

"Two joint terrorism task forces became aware almost a year ago that Major Hasan was in regular e-mail contact with Anwar al-Awlaqi, the American-born but now Yemeni-based cleric who served as imam to three of the 9/11 hijackers and supports all-out holy war against the United States. But the expert analysts in the Pentagon determined that this lively correspondence was consistent with Major Hasan’s “research interests,” so there was no need to worry. That’s America: Technologically superior, money no object (not one but two “joint terrorism task forces” stumbled across him). Yet no action was taken.

On the other hand, who needs surveillance operations and intelligence budgets? Major Hasan was entirely upfront about who he was. He put it on his business card: “SOA.” As in “Soldier of Allah” — which seems a tad ungrateful to the American taxpayers who ponied up half a million bucks or thereabouts in elite medical-school education to train him to be a Soldier of Uncle Sam. In a series of meetings during 2008, officials from both Walter Reed and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences considered the question of whether then-captain Hasan was psychotic. But, according to at least one bigwig at Walter Reed, members of the policy committee wondered “How would it look if we kick out one of the few Muslim residents?” So he got promoted to major and shipped to Fort Hood.

And 13 men and women and an unborn baby are dead." . . .

" “Diversity” is one of those words designed to absolve you of the need to think. Likewise, a belief in “multiculturalism” doesn’t require you to know anything at all about other cultures, just to feel generally warm and fluffy about them. Heading out from my hotel room the other day, I caught a glimpse of that 7-Eleven video showing Major Hasan wearing “Muslim” garb to buy a coffee on the morning of his murderous rampage. And it wasn’t until I was in the taxi cab that something odd struck me: He was an American of Arab descent. But he was wearing Pakistani dress — that’s to say, a “Punjabi suit,” as they call it in Britain, or the shalwar kameez, to give it its South Asian name. For all the hundreds of talking heads droning on about “diversity” across the TV networks, it was only Tarek Fatah, writing in the Ottawa Citizen, who pointed out that no Arab males wear this get-up — with one exception: Those Arab men who got the jihad fever and went to Afghanistan to sign on with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In other words, Major Hasan’s outfit symbolized the embrace of an explicit political identity entirely unconnected with his ethnic heritage.

Mr. Fatah would seem to be a genuine “multiculturalist”: That’s to say, he’s attuned to often very subtle “diversities” between cultures. Whereas the professional multiculturalist sees the 7-Eleven video and coos, “Aw, look. He’s wearing . . . well, something exotic and colorful, let’s not get hung up on details. Celebrate diversity, right? Can we get him in the front row for the group shot? We may be eligible for a grant.” "

It's probably an urban legend, but. . .

"Iranian Air Defense Radar: 'Unknown aircraft you are in Iranian airspace. Identify yourself.'

Aircraft: 'This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqi airspace.'

Air Defense Radar: 'You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart our airspace we will launch interceptor aircraft!'

Aircraft: 'This is a United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter. Send 'em up, I'll wait!'

Air Defense Radar: (no response .... total silence)"

Seen at DANEgerus

Palin on Newsweek

Sarah Palin had some photos taken for an article "I'm a runner," in Runner's World. I've looked at the article. The photos are cute. Newsweek didn't choose one with her son Trig--that might be a reminder to Democrats that they've successfully legislated about 90% of Down Syndrome babies out of existence plus untold millions of other babies that don't measure up to their high standards.

Besides, I've seen women show more leg than that just going to work--or they did when they were younger and looked better. Here's Sarah's comments on the Newsweek cover from her Facebook page.

"The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this "news" magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner's World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness - a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention - even if out of context."

Here's what Runner's World editor has to say: "On the cover of this week’s issue of Newsweek is a photo that was shot for the August 2009 issue of Runner’s World, in which Sarah Palin was featured on the monthly “I’m a Runner” back page. Runner’s World did not provide Newsweek with the image. Instead, it was provided to Newsweek by the photographer’s agent, without Runner’s World’s knowledge or permission."

Don't trust the internet--especially not dot gov

"Forget everything bad you’ve ever heard about President Barack Obama’s $787 economic stimulus. Combing through the data on the $18 million website you’ll find tons of Obama stimulus success stories from across the country. In Minnesota’s 57th Congressional District, 35 jobs have been saved or created using $404,340 in stimulus funds. In New Mexico’s 22nd Congressional District, 25 jobs have been saved or created using $61,000 in stimulus cash. And in Arizona’s fighting 15th Congressional District, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending.

The it-would-be-funny-if-it-weren’t-our-tax-dollars-at-stake punch line here is that none of the above Congressional Districts actually exist." Morning Bell, Heritage Foundation.

and this one. . .

"The government’s Web site that is supposed to tell taxpayers how their stimulus dollars are being spent, and which spends $84 million per year to do so, shows that $6.4 billion of the stimulus has been spent in 440 congressional districts that don’t exist [there are only 435 to begin with], according to a report by the Franklin Center, as reported by

The site,, reports, for instance, that North Dakota’s 99th Congressional District has received $2 million in stimulus funding. But North Dakota has only one congressional district. The nation’s capital now contains 35 congressional districts, according to"

And these guys want to take over health care.

Michigan got a bunch of new districts. . . According to, the federal recovery Web site operates on an $84 million budget. One would think such hefty price tag would ensure more accurate reporting. Instead, it says nearly $6.4 billion was used to "create or save" fewer than 30,000 jobs in these 440 "phantom" congressional districts. That's almost $225,000 per job.

A note about town names

Many years ago I was looking at a letter written to my great-grandparents in the 1850s and it was addressed to the town of Ogle, Illinois. That puzzled me a little because I'd grown up in Ogle County, they had lived in Lee County, and I'd never heard of the town of Ogle. My dad, who knew every road and farm in northern Illinois (he delivered fuel oil and later owned a bolt supply service for farming equipment) explained it was an early name for Ashton.

Today I came across a clipping in my grandmother's quilt pattern file published sometime during or after 1982 (photos of missing children on the back, but no quilt information). The article is written for the Dixon paper by George Lamb who had written Historical Reminiscences about Dixon, Illinois in 1970. The column was called, "We Remember When," and included Nachusa (Taylor), Nelson (Summerset), Shelburn (Rocky Ford), Ashton and Franklin Grove. So here's the story.
    In 1854 the railroad that passed through the eastern section of Lee County established a freight stop and at first called it Ogle Station. Later the name was shortened to Ogle and after a time this name was dropped in favor of the town title of Ashton.

    In 1853 Christian Lahmann, who owned the tract of land south of the railroad several miles east of Dixon, platted about 10 acres of it and christened what the hoped would be a thriving new village, Chaplin. The name lasted only until the village of Franklin Grove was incorporated first in 1857 and, again, in 1865."
I'm sure all this is in the Lee County History (2 vols.) which is somewhere on a family member's book shelf.

Townhall meetings are OK in China, just not here

In the USA, citizens meeting peacefully to question President Obama's policies are vilified and criticized by our Congress, White House aides, and our media. Some citizens have been beat up or intimidated by SEIU Obama goons, and Obama didn't even say they acted "stupidly," nor have charges been brought against the union thugs in the Democrat controlled jurisdiction. Democrat operatives aren't calling Chinese citizens "tea baggers" and "astroturf."
    "When the SEIU members went to the town hall meeting hosted by Democrat Congressman Russ Carnahan, did they have a fight on their minds? Were they spurred on by The President’s words or the HCAN national Field Advisor Margarida Jorge’s talking points? Did the favorite White House guest, Andy Stern promise the POTUS that the situation would be dealt with, as a way to curry favor with the King? We may never know if there was a specific instruction given, but we do know that four adults from the same gang decided simultaneously to mingle with the protestors and then single one out for a beating. We also know that the union has hired for them, Paul D’Agrosa one of the top criminal defense lawyers in St. Louis. Finally, we know that County Counselor Patricia Reddington, who serves at the pleasure of Democrat County Executive Charlie Dooley (previously a union member) is not moving the case." Big Government
According to ABC News, the Chinese townhall is OK, and no one has even "vetted" the questions. Do you believe that? [I don't.]
    "In the afternoon at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Mr. Obama will host a town hall meeting with “future Chinese leaders.” Several hundred students, the youth of China, will join the President at the event, coming from many local universities.

    Beforehand the White House solicited questions online which the President will respond to during the town hall. White House aides estimate hundreds, if not thousands, have already been submitted online.

    The President will call on the roughly 400 college students in the audience at random and no one from US will have vetted their questions, The White House says. Aides says this event "is the same as if it were in Iowa,” referencing the many town halls then-candidate Obama held during the 2008 Presidential campaign.

    The town hall will be live streamed on the White House website, an unblocked website in China, in order to reach the “broadest possible audience,” Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes says." ABCNews
An unblocked website in China. Interesting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife--Monday Memories

We hadn't seen a movie since Julie and Julia during the summer at Lakeside, so last night we went to the dollar theater to see The Time Traveler's Wife. I'd gotten the basic story from someone at the coffee shop and was hoping it wasn't a chick flick. Having paid $3 for our 2 tickets and $4 for a small popcorn, we settled in for the 7:30 show. I didn't know it was about a librarian! Henry is born with a wandering gene that causes him to inexplicably move around in time, even sometime appearing as the older Henry with the younger Henry. Only his clothes remain when he "travels" so when he reappears he's naked so he's often rummaging around or breaking into stores to get clothes. He meets a young girl periodically as she is growing up (she brings him her brother's clothes so he can dress in the woods), and they finally meet in the mid-1990s in a Chicago library, fall in love, and get married. After several miscarriages they have a baby girl who also has his genetic anomaly, so she too is moving back and forth in time watching her parents. Interesting movie, and my husband liked it more than I did, since I'm not much into fantasy. Henry is played by Eric Bana who bears an uncanny resemblance to our son--same age, height, weight and coloring. I kept wondering where (which movie) I'd seen him, then I realized why he looked so familiar.

When we got home we discovered the cat had done a little time travel herself. She was a rescue cat with a few bad habits caused, we think, by her abandonment. To be kind, she "had issues" about food and had learned to survive by stalking trash cans. Ate everything in sight. Dug things out of the garbage disposal. Would be on the kitchen counter in a flash if you turned your back. But she's over 10 now and not so limber, and is a bit more relaxed and trusting about food. But last night she reverted to kittenhood and while we were gone jumped to the countertop, and dug out the chicken bones and potato skins and had them all over the floor when we got home. And when that one last kernel of popcorn hit the floor when I took off my coat, she gobbled that down too.