Sunday, March 28, 2010

I'll return after Easter. Lots to do this week, and I'm starting by going to a movie this afternoon. Precious. My husband turned up his nose, so I'll go alone. Besides, he really wants to watch basketball.

I was watching Kentucky and West Virginia play yesterday. Wow! What super athletes--every last one of them. Several thoughts floated through my mind as I looked up from my book (The Virginian, 1902). Not a single white guy on the floor. No women, either. No fat kids. No Asians. No disabled. Obvious age discrimination. They all had very expensive outfits and shoes (tax payers expense?) that most guys their age can't afford. Some probably had scholarships that others didn't even hear about. Last night those teams were the cream of the crop--and no one even cares that they aren't sharing their place on the team with someone less qualified, less tall, less skillful, less handsome, less melanin, less educated, less willing to work hard, stiffer knees and shorter fingers. Sports are really unfair. When will the President insist that athletes share the wealth?

The federal office that oversees the GSEs Fannie and Fred, right on its website, has diversity of employees as its number one goal. Imagine. The gang that can't shoot straight, that brought us our current recession, are looking for minorities and women and disabled, because they seem to think that's what caused the problem, but college athletic teams aren't. Go figure!

Male Answer Syndrome

When my children were toddlers, Phil Donahue was a local talk show personality in Dayton, Ohio, and I watched him everyday. If my friends came over with their babies, we'd watch him together. One thing I noticed 40 years ago was that no matter how famous the guest or how well-known the celebrity, when it was time for questions, the women in the audience asked questions, and the men expounded their own theories and ideas instead of mining for new information from the expert. Every program. Every guest! Many years later when I used to watch Charlie Rose on public TV, I observed that when he interviewed women authors, his questions were really expository and overly long and boring, often leaving her with nothing to say except, "Yes," or "No," or "I agree, Charlie." With male guests, he allowed them free rein and didn't interrupt them.

Today I was reading an artist's newsletter about Male Answer Syndrome, which led the artist-author to comment on the differeces between male and female artists. Apparently, it has had a name since the early 90s and I missed it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

How ObamaCare Will Affect Your Doctor

Billions for IRS agents to enforce Obamacare, but nothing for doctors. Not a pay raise; not a pat on the back. Not a penny. In fact, it will drive doctors out of business with higher taxes and lower reimbursement while adding more patients to the rolls. That's how he plans to ration care. It's only "fair," you know. Why should you have something you've worked for while others have nothing to reach for?

How ObamaCare Will Affect Your Doctor -

That would mean you have to stop killing jobs

Stop the war on the economy. Stop killing jobs

Cordless phones

When we moved here, the kitchen had what is probably second generation cordless phone--lots of heft, ugly as sin. Probably from the early or mid-90s. But we sort of got used to being able to walk around, or keeping it in the living room in the evenings. So I bought a GE 900 cordless phone for my husband's office about 5 years ago. I had to use the laundry room to dock it since you need a phone outlet and an electric outlet side by side, but that wasn't much of a problem. (I have no idea why the previous owner had both a phone jack and cable connection in the laundry room, but maybe she ironed more than I do.) Lately, it's been dying after an hour or two off the docking station, and he's been keeping the kitchen phone in his office (it no longer rings), and that's not handy or conducive to good marital relations. So today I looked up the cost of buying a new battery, Sanik 3SN-AA60-S-J1. Seems it is about the same cost as the phone was ($14-15.00). So he bought a new phone.

Stimulus evidence one year on

Watching the workers we hired to relandscape the condo grounds (below freezing today, and a Saturday) compared to 2 miles over where ARRA funds are (posted as) being used and nothing is being done, I thought about Barro's article.

The math is a bit over my head, but I can figure out the bottom line. Robert J. Barro says, "Viewed over five years, the fiscal stimulus package is a way to get an extra $600 billion of public spending at the cost of $900 billion in private expenditure."

The stimulus

ATT will take $1B non-cash charge for health care

And now it begins.

"AT&T Inc. will take a $1 billion non-cash accounting charge in the first quarter because of the health care overhaul and may cut benefits it offers to current and retired workers.

The charge is the largest disclosed so far. Earlier this week, AK Steel Corp., Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co. and Valero Energy announced similar accounting charges, saying the health care law that President Barack Obama signed Tuesday will raise their expenses. On Friday, 3M Co. said it will also take a charge of $85 million to $90 million."

ATT will take $1B non-cash charge for health care

HT Bob who says, "They always say, and for damn good reason, "Hind sight tells the story." "

Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama Moves to worsen the housing mess

Haven't we been this route before? Didn't it lead to the bubble bursting in 2008? Did you know you can still get 100% financing, no money down, home mortgages (check out USDA--the food people--they also throw money at new mortgages). Now today we get the news that "The Obama administration on Friday announced broad new initiatives to help troubled homeowners, potentially refinancing millions of them into fresh government-backed mortgages with lower payments." Duh! 11,000,000 homeowners with property worth less than they owe, and the government continues to provide no-money down, 100% mortgage financing which is a 100% guarantee that the cycle will continue. Administration Moves to Assist Struggling Homeowners -

Maybe we need a refresher on how our friendly government loan officer and enforcer got us here.

It has never been about health care--you've been conned

Today I was reading something from the American Roman Catholic Bishops about why they supported the health care bill--"the anguish of mothers who are unable to afford prenatal care, of families unable to ensure quality care for their children, and of those who cannot obtain insurance because of preexisting conditions." If that's all this health care bill was about, that could have been taken care of in a hundred pages or so. Isn't it amazing with all the food programs we've had in place since WWII, like SNAP (food stamps), WIC, commodity supplements, school lunch programs, summer feeding programs, after school snacks, school breakfast programs, fresh fruits and vegetables for the low income, TEFAP and food banks, the government only expands its assistance but never succeeds in feeding the poor? And even with all the Medicaid and Medicare, the SSDI, SCHIP plus all the non-profits and the power and wealth of the churches, all these people don't have health care? Whose pockets are being lined, who is taking a giant cut if it isn't getting to the needy? Why are more trillions needed if everything thrown at it since the 1960s isn't working?

And what exactly is a pre-existing condition? Our U.S. Census now reports that one sixth of us--50 million--are disabled. Other websites say that 111,000,000 have eating disorders, and 44,000,000 have mental problems. TV ads tell us that one in ten are autistic. And the stats on obesity and diabetes seem to change with the season. Soon, we will not have a single healthy, well-fed person in the United States! Won't the illegals be disappointed when they sneak in!! They could have been sick at home! These government programs must keep expanding, not because we are less healthy than 1950 or 1900, but because we are. No government program wants to go out of business due to success!

The ObamaCare travesty/takeover was never about better health; it has always been about government control and power. The Bishops should have seen this one coming, and raised a few more red flags, and not just about abortion. Millions of Catholics have lost their lives not just to legal abortion, not just to do-gooder DDT bans, but to democide--death by government. In gulags, in death camps, in reeducation camps, in starvation through collectivization. President Obama is ridiculing his opposition--he, the biggest advocate for abortion in the highest office in the land, in the formerly most powerful country in the world. Why in the world would the Bishops trust him with the rest of our lives?

Only the Word of God stands up to earthly powers. It's time to use it.

Media coverage of the Congressional threats

If you want to know why the news coverage (not the editorial page) of the Wall Street Journal has a reputation for being the most liberal newspaper in the country, just read journalist Naftali Bendavid's account of . . . just about anything political. Today's piece on the charges being thrown back and forth about threats is a good example.
    "Democrats seized on the reported violence to portray opponents as irresponsible. Republicans condemning the acts, charged Democrats with trying to make political hay."
I'd say that's true--but words matter. Notice, she doesn't say who the irresponsible opponents are. We're left to conclude they are Republicans, which is exactly what the Democrats have said, with zero proof--some even demanding apologies. Naftali is much smoother than crazy Chris Matthews--after all, she did a puff piece book on Rahm Emanuel and was given access to the insider's view. If you look back at what she wrote in July 2009 about the 52 Democrats opposing Obamacare, you would think they had no power to hold up this bill if not for Republicans.

You have to get to paragraph nine of Naftali's article today to learn that the Democrats have not just charged "opponents," but their Republican collegues specifically and not the progressives, socialists, or Communists who believe they had been betrayed by the Democrats with a weak bill giving concessions to insurance companies and lobbyists.

Democrats and their supporting actors in the press do not put the various crazies we've seen since Obama took office--Amy the Professorial Shooter, Stark the suicide pilot, Hasan the military doctor, or Awlaki the American Muslim cleric in their column of extremists. Oh goodness No. That wouldn't be good journalism. Wouldn't be prudent. But let a white haired, 80 year old, Tea Party participant give them the finger and they rush into the streets screaming "stranger danger" and then spend days rehashing it with Chris Matthews.

The truth is, just in case you are in the information cave called broadcast news, we have well-trained FBI and police to investigate threats of violence. Reporters and Congressmen should not be deciding who threatened whom. A nasty fax, a brick through a window and a shot fired are at opposite ends of the voilence spectrum, and so far, the Republican side of Congress is in more danger.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Movie Fans Study Films for Flaws

And I thought my crabby, nitpicking commenter (180 visits) was bad! These people make a life of finding mistakes in movies. I occasionally see an obvious movie gaff as big as Joe Biden's mouth, but I don't think I'd watch Jaws that often, or Pirates.

Movie Fans Study Films for Flaws -

Three years ago, a joke

Glenn Beck made a joke about the Titanic when he was on CNN. James Cameron has never forgiven him. Cried all the way to the bank. How high school musical.

Where was the outrage?

In February, a CNN analyst and a Huffington Post writer advocated violence against Republicans and his own party (go gangsta i.e., breaking knee caps, etc.) for opposing Obamacare and appointments even though they had no power. Don't think it got much coverage. Imagine if that had been Rush Limbaugh? Perhaps the MSM were too busy trying to blame Tea Partiers for the guy who flew his plane (turns out he was a registered Democrat) into an IRS building and a looney-tunes professor who shot up her department to notice what their side was doing (she was a liberal through and through). Now some deranged idiots at that same level of talent and smarts are either threatening or pretending to threaten members of Congress, and the Washington Post (today's afternoon edition) is only mentioning the Democrats, even though two of the people threatened were Republicans, and they didn't worry a bit when Karl Rove got threats.

It is the left that is notorious for violence in political demonstrations. Look how they tried to stir up trouble among students a few weeks ago about tuition raises. Glenn Beck made a very interesting observation on his show last night. Now that the Weathermen, SDS types and Alinskyites have oozed their way to the top levels of government and are now "The Man," they have to put down the opposition at the grass roots in the same manner as they were treated in the 60s and 70s. However, the tea partiers aren't violent, so they have to stir the pot and work people up--or even fake it.
    "What you need to do is collapse it from the inside. You need to get as many people from the welfare rolls onto it and collapse. But remember that there needs to be a framework that it collapses into. What that means is you must have power. It's not enough to be out on the streets. You must be Richard Nixon. You must have radicals at the top. . . Van Jones said. . . I am willing to drop the radical pose for the radical ends."

Some topics for Glenn Beck

We really enjoy sitting down together at 5 p.m. and watching Glenn Beck. Those of you who only get snippets through the George Soros funded Media Matters and other filters (Glenn usually greets their snoops as the "unemployed hippy-dippy dudes sitting in mom's basement" screening and reporting back to the watchdog agency) are missing some great history lessons and reading lists. He's probably done more for libraries and Amazon than any other author/host because he reads so much, and those titles fly to the top of the best seller list, faster than an Oprah Book Club selection. He even suggests going back and reading original sources--marxist, socialist, founding fathers, etc., something dear to this researcher's heart. Beck's film documentaries are stunning. I studied Russian history (19th and 20th century) back in college in the 50s and 60s and saw newsreels of the decimation of the Ukrainian farmers, the forced collectivization and starvation and the millions murdered in China's revolution. Some of the footage in his documentaries certainly ring more true, even with the dramatic voice overs, than watching a Katie Couric or Charlie Rose. That said, there are other topics I'd like to see on his programs.

1. There have been some really fabulous federal government programs that benefited millions of Americans and grew the economy. It would not be a violation of his core values and beliefs to mention
  • the national park system

  • the homestead acts and land giveaways

  • the interstate highway system

  • the land giveaways to the railroad barons who opened millions of jobs and opportunities for immigrants and city bound poor

  • various public health advancements like clean water, polio vaccination, meat inspection, flour and milk enrichment, compulsory TB testing

  • the Army Corps of Engineers and flood control

  • mining rights to energy developers which revolutionized our industries

  • compulsory education

  • land grant colleges and universities.
Glenn. Here's a tip from a librarian and history buff. The founders are interesting, but a lot has happened since the American Revolution. Also, you like to talk about your Democrat grandfather. Didn't he tell you not to throw the baby out with the bath water?

2. Glenn has recently stepped on a real hornets nest--he's taken on the liberal church--more specifically the way "liberation theology" has infiltrated the pastors and pulpits, and "social justice" themes have replaced the gospel of Jesus Christ. Glenn is absolutely correct that Jesus not once asked the Roman government to feed the poor or visit the sick or set the slave free. What Glenn is missing in these mini-sermons is that in the United States, the Christian church was at the forefront of social change, long before the federal government got in that game. In fact, the government has usurped and co-opted the churches and made them just another non-profit employee of the government through tax grants for feeding programs, summer camps, pre-schools, prisoner reentry programs and housing renovation in poor neighborhoods while at the same time telling churches they can't preach the gospel or hand out printed material because they are taking government money to do their jobs!

  • The great religious awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries were followed by great fervor for combating sin and a movement toward greater personal responsibility all because of renewed faith in God, not the government

  • Sunday schools were begun by "church ladies" so that children working in factories could get an education--this is the foundation of the public school movement

  • the big three social movements of the 19th century, abolition of slavery, temperance, and woman's rights, were all Christian movements with women doing the heavy lifting; the woman's rights movement of the 19th century was not the feminist movement of today; it was faith-based action

  • the Lyceum and Chautauqua movements of the 18th and 19th centuries were the originators of self-improvement movements and adult education--both were begun and funded by concerned citizens, not the government

  • a less punitive justice system in the form of penitentiaries (penitent) rather than debtor's prison or corporal punishment was pioneered by the Quakers

  • the spread of printed materials to an expanding reading public went viral through church printing presses--Methodists, Lutherans, Baptists, Congregationalists, etc. During war time soldiers were given free reading material and libraries by both the Protestant and Catholic presses

  • medical care for the wounded during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars was led by bands of committed Christian men and women with nuns and priests working all sides of the conflict

  • churches pioneered stewardship of the earth and the humane treatment of animals, long before the government thought to regulate it (19th century agricultural journals--take a look)

  • it was the church groups that met the immigrant ships of their own ethnic groups and helped them resettle and learn the language, customs, and establish businesses

  • after WWII pacifist denominations created a volunteer rebuilding program for Europe, which later the government used as a model for the Peace Corp and Vista.
Glenn. Here's the bigger story--bigger than liberation theology--many church members don't know their own history, let alone the Bible, and they don't realize they were the source, not the result, of these programs.

The Security of Your medical records

Your medical records weren't secure when they were paper; and they are even less so in electronic form. Any shred of privacy disappeared with HIPAA (1996, 2002). I've lost count of the number of times I've sat waiting in an exam room of a specialty clinic with the previous patient's information (including SS#) on the screen, or the name of the customer on the clip board with the number of the prescription at the pharmacy pick-up counter window. Read the small print in those privacy notices--it simply tells you who will see it--and that usually includes just about everyone you don't already know. "The HIPAA Privacy Rule allows a covered health care provider to use or disclose protected health information (other than psychotherapy notes), including family history information, for treatment, payment, and health care operation purposes without obtaining the individual’s written authorization or other agreement." (FAQ,
    President Obama said in his 2009 speech that electronic records for all, "will cut waste, eliminate red tape and reduce the need to repeat expensive medical tests [and] save lives by reducing the deadly but preventable medical errors that pervade our health-care system."
Nice for them. Not so nice for us, says this psychiatrist. And if you've read up on medical errors, you see that a simple 2 minute check list, if followed, can reduce many of them. She suspects (and she's been treating people for 35 years) that once patients understand that a vast audience beyond their doctor can see this at the touch of a keystroke, they'll be less forthright and honest about what to put in the record. Consent, she says, must be built into the electronic records system. Patients should be able to decide who sees their records.
    "A 2009 poll conducted for National Public Radio, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health asked if people were confident their medical records would remain confidential if they were stored electronically and could be shared online. Fifty nine percent responded they were not confident."
Sounds good, but I think that genie popped out of the bottle years ago. Even in the 80s before any of this was possible I read stories of the information that insurance companies kept in databases, and how they traded that information with other companies, therefore a missed DUI or a "forgotten" treatment for depression somehow managed to catch up even after the life or health policy was approved. A "Do not Disclose" request doesn't mean no one sees it. And for those who think having the government in charge of this information means everything will be fair, just, and work on your behalf, I give you the new IRS agents who will be in charge of seeing that it all works on the government's behalf.

Deborah Peel: Your Medical Records Aren't Secure -

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom

Haven't read the book, but I love the title. Librarians are 223:1 liberal to conservative--probably won't be in my public library. "A full-throated defense of Tea Partiers and shows just how right conservatives have been on healthcare reform, the stimulus package, cap-and-trade, cash for clunkers, and more."

Book Details - That's No Angry Mob, That's My Mom

$10 billion for 165,000 new IRS agents

The IRS is the "enforcer" of the new health care mandates. It will have the power to
    "monitor individuals and businesses’ health insurance statuses through the mandatory reporting the bill requires. Under the law, every individual and most businesses are required to report to the IRS, on their tax returns, whether they have purchased or provided the required level of coverage and disclose to the IRS which months, if any, in which they failed to do so.

    Using this information, the IRS would then determine whether an employer or individual falls under the mandate, which contains exceptions for religious conscience, hardship, incarcerated persons, and members of Indian tribes.

    If either an individual or a business has failed to comply with this mandate for any month out of the year, they are required to pay a separate tax to the IRS. For individuals this is a maximum of $750 per person (up to $2,250 per household) and $750 per uncovered employee for businesses. Article here.
Ways and means report

Illegal immigrants are exempt from all the taxes and penalties in this law.

Reach deadline at risk

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances (Reach).

And after the deadline, then what? I'm assuming that once the chemicals are registered with the required safety information THEN they will be withdrawn because they will be declared unsafe. That might be why some are still not registered. Also, in the EU, not all are using English, so those safety and substance requirements are a bit dicey. Lots of really fun acronyms in this article.

Reach deadline at risk

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Americans are in for a big shock

when they see how much "free" government health care is going to cost them. After the band has stopped playing, the balloons have popped, and Obama has moved on to amnesty for illegals and higher taxes on CO2.

We are pensioners--Social Security for my husband and STRS for me (I'm not eligible for SS spousal benefit because of my teacher's pension). Our "health" expenses in 2009--insurance, drugs, dental, medical, etc. (we have vision insurance but neither of us used it) ran to about $11,000. How can that be when we have the premiere government health plan--Medicare? According to the Pelosi-Obama-Reid-Con (PORC) health care will be free for all!

We paid for it through payroll deductions while we were employed; we pay for the plan again quarterly (for me) or through deductions in the SS (for him). Then we each have to buy a supplemental plan (different companies) to cover the things that Medicare doesn't. Then we pay out of pocket for the rest that neither Medicare nor the supplement cover, like vaccinations for shingles or H1N1. Neither one of us was sick or hospitalized in 2009. My husband had a few "preventive" measures like some suspicious skin spots removed. But Obama assures us that prevention is going to save us money, so that's OK (it's never actually been proven because careful people then live longer and pay for more health care down the road). Does anyone think that we'll ever see that $2500-$3000 reduction Obama is promising each household/family? Or will it just keep going up, up and away through higher taxes and higher premiums?

Fun to read--Men are from Mars, etc.

This came from Rusty, who has a nice jazz radio program on KAMU-fm in College Station on Friday afternoons and whom I didn't know in high school. It's probably an urban legend, but I got a big laugh.
    Here's a prime example of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" offered by an English professor from the University of Colorado for an actual class assignment:

    The professor told his class: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send a copy to me.

    "The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending a copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

    "Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails, and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail.

    "The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

    The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:


    (first paragraph by Rebecca)

    At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

    (second paragraph by Bill)

    Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


    He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her.

    "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.


    Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie.


    This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


    Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.

    Oh, shall I have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F---ING TEA??? Oh no, what am I to do? I'm an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels!








    In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.


    A+ - I really liked this one.

Religious Colleges should be allowed to follow their beliefs

even at sporting events. Goshen College, where my sister attended in the 1950s, is about 50 miles from Manchester, a Church of the Brethren college I attended. We shared a car (ca. 1951 Packard) to get back and forth to our parents' home in northern Illinois. Both colleges are picture post-card perfect, midwestern liberal arts schools. Goshen was recently in the news because a parent from a competing school athletic team complained that the Star Spangled Banner wasn't sung or played at athletic events at Goshen. I believe a compromise has been reached by using an instrumental version.

However, I was surprised to read in the paper that Goshen was still 55% Mennonite in student body. Mennonites along with the Quakers and Brethren are one of three historic peace denominations in the United States. In my family database I have many Mennonites and Brethren, and a few Quakers since they tended to hang out together in the 18th and 19th centuries. Are the rest of us really in danger of losing something if a few college students don't want to sing about an 1812 battle in a voice range that is almost impossible to reach and which celebrities regularly slaughter at base ball games?

Manchester's Brethren roots, on the other hand, are hard to find on the college web site. They are mentioned in the history section. Of the 10 or so MC web pages I searched with the "find" feature, Jesus' name appeared once. Environmentalism and religious pluralism are much bigger than Jesus at Manchester if pixels mean anything. At the About page the following values are listed: learning; faith; service; integrity; diversity; and community. It was hard to tell if there is any viable connection (other than funding support) from Church of the Brethren.

Anyway, I think little Goshen should stick to its guns--uh, um, its beliefs.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fed Loses Secrecy Suit, Considering Options

The Federal Reserve lost an appeal March 19 in a bid to keep hidden the details of its estimated $2 trillion in bailouts to bankers around the world, prompting celebration among anti-Fed campaigners and promises of a continued fight from the banking cartel.

Read the story here

Iranian and Chinese funds support Obama

Hassan Nemazee was a prominent Democratic party fund-raiser. He pleaded guilty last Thursday to stealing hundreds of millions of dollars to buy property in Westchester County, donate to charity and give money to political campaigns. He was a national finance chairman for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign before raising more than $500,000 for Barack Obama's campaign after the Democratic National Convention in August 2008. Mr. Nemazee was charged with bank fraud on Aug. 25, 2009.

This Business Week account doesn't discuss his funding of the Obama campaign. Can you imagine this slipping through if it were Bush?

Iranian and Chinese funds support Obama, Biden, Clinton and Kerry

Conestoga Spring Soiree

Soiree. Doesn't that sound classy? Well, it was a lovely event, and I learned a lot of history. Conestoga is sort of a "friends" group of the Ohio Historical Society. We do really interesting things and once a year there is a fund raiser. This year it was at the Bricker-Doody House in Upper Arlington. I've driven past that house for 40+ years, so it was fun to get a peek inside, and to also learn the history of John Bricker, former Ohio Governor and Senator. He was Attorney General from 1933-37, Governor, 1939-1945, and in 1944 he was the Republican nominee for Vice President on Thomas E. Dewey ticket.

A reenactor performed as Senator William E. Jenner of Indiana, reminiscing about his days in the Senate with Bricker from the perspective of 1980 looking back on their careers (Bricker died in 1986, Jenner in 1985). It was fascinating. Also two of Gov. Bricker's grandchildren shared memories of staying in the house when they were children.

The home has been beautifully restored and expanded, and it was so nice of the Doody family to share it with us for a good cause.

January 21, 2009--On this day

President Obama should have hit the floor running to fix the economy. Instead we got apology tours, unspent and poorly planned ARRA funds for businesses and districts that don't exist, inexplicable loitering, dithering and floundering over military requests instead of decisive action, bailouts of auto companies to save the unions, and months and months and months of boring, repetitious campaign speeches on "fixing" health care where he lied and obfuscated through his teeth and teleprompter. This man doesn't understand basic math. Can he add 65 to 1945 and figure out the Boomers are going to be collecting Social Security? That pensions are invested in private companies? Can he do the math on what a national unemployment rate of between 9-10% (but locally much, much higher--18-19%) does to tax revenue at the state and local level, to say nothing of the federal?

So he's got less, owes more, and like a hoarder applying for another credit card from China, decides that fixing something that wasn't broken is more important than saving the economy. Why? I don't think it's "legacy." It's way beyond that. He's a marxist; wants to destroy our market economy. He needs passionately to dismantle it. It's all he knows; all he's been taught from the beginning of his sad, stunted life. We're seeing him take it down, piece by piece.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

FDR abolished benefits for American veterans as an economy measure

Maybe that's why all those WWI veterans' photos and stories in Life and Look are so awful! Go to a library and see for yourself! Look what FDR did to the veterans--those guys who survived the enormous battles in France that took thousands of lives, who survived gassing and the flu pandemic. And it could happen again if you give a President too many powers like FDR had during the Depression to "restore" the economy.
    Veterans Administration Created

    President Hoover, in his 1929 State of the Union message, proposed consolidating agencies administering veterans benefits. The following year Congress created the Veterans Administration by uniting three bureaus - the previously independent Veterans' Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions and the National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. President Hoover signed the executive order establishing the VA on July 21, 1930. Hines, who had served since 1923 as director of the Veterans' Bureau, was named the first administrator of the agency.

    The new agency was responsible for medical services for war veterans; disability compensation and allowances for World War I veterans; life insurance; bonus certificates; retirement payments for emergency officers; Army and Navy pensions; and retirement payments for civilian employees. During the next decade, from 1931 to 1941, VA hospitals would increase from 64 to 91, and the number of beds would rise from 33,669 to 61,849.

    In March 1933, President Roosevelt persuaded Congress to pass the "Economy Act." A response to the Great Depression, the measure included a repeal of all previous laws granting benefits for veterans of the Spanish-American War and all subsequent conflicts and periods of peacetime service.

    It also gave the President authority to issue new veterans benefits. Roosevelt then promulgated regulations that radically reduced veterans benefits. When the President's authority to establish benefits by executive order expired in 1935, Congress reenacted most of the laws that had been in effect earlier."
You can read about this at the History of the VA.

Another fragile group FDR's new tax programs (tripled during the Depression) nearly destroyed was African Americans--one of his "new deals" threw half a million blacks out of work by raising wages above market levels and allowing union goons to organize by going after employees and employers alike with violence. Has a familiar ring, doesn't it?

Media focus is on racial slurs at tea party

Not on dirty trick tactics, bribes and pay-offs of our President and his Chicago goons. No one even knows if the slurs came from participants concerned about the slide into socialism or if they were Moveonover plants. Does it matter? Does the press ever report the obscene swearing and cussing when the left demonstrates? (BTW, weren't they having a war protest the same day? I didn't see any coverage.) The media doesn't investigate slurs when they are made against Conservatives--like when Fancy Nancy called them Astroturf or the sexual pejoratives. Or when the President the last few days of his recent campaigning threw out all the charges we've made, but didn't deny them? Racial slurs are never appropriate whether coming from the left or right. But the other side sure gets its dander up when they find minorites jumping the fence of the left-owned plantations.

I'm still looking for the men/media who can stop referring to women, even Tiger's lady friends, as bimbos, hotties, and words a real lady would never tolerate. 51.7% of us are female; 80% are white; 12.8% of us are over 65. If it's slurs you want to stop, let's spread the wealth of respect.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Country of Origin Labeling--COOL

I ALWAYS look for country of origin on packaged and fresh food. The 2009 7 CFR Part 60 and Part 65 obviously doesn't cover everything, like the "distributed by" note on the Trail's End Mix Gourmet Blend that was dropped off at my door today to promote Scouting. Not a word on the package about country of origin--raisins, cranberries, nuts, sugar. It should be my choice to purchase food grown in countries without the protections afforded us by the USDA. I never buy anything that will go on my skin or in my mouth that was made or created or grown in China--including toothpaste, hand lotion, etc. Look what the did to our pets; to their own infant formula. For other Asian nations, I'll decide on a case by case basis--like tuna or mushrooms. You really have to read the small print at Trader Joe's. Safe food is something the U.S. does well--and if the USDA would get out of the mortgage business (no money down, 100% financing) it would have more money to hire more inspectors.

Agricultural Marketing Service - Country of Origin Labeling

Sauerkraut-Raisin Drops

I saw this recipe at a defunct food blog. The writer said she'd never tried her grandmother's recipe because sauerkraut made her gag. I rushed right to the kitchen to make a batch, but discovered I was out of sauerkraut. Sigh. Maybe next week. My mouth is watering, so I ate some Girl Scout cookies instead. Not the same.

Sauerkraut-Raisin Drops

3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 8-ounce can sauerkraut, drained
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins

In mixer bowl, beat the 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar till fluffy. Add egg, milk and the teaspoon of vanilla. Beat till fluffy. Rinse sauerkraut, drain. Stir sauerkraut into creamed mixture. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix dry ingredients into batter. Stir in the raisins. Drop from a teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool.

Do not frost.

Update: Made these on the 23rd. Really yummy. Can't taste the sauerkraut. However, it's hard to find an 8 oz. can of sauerkraut.

A peek at government health care in today's Dispatch

There's a brief article in the Dispatch today that is a peek at what we all can expect when the government controls our health care: lawsuits, people not signed up, information arrives too late to be useful, appointments are not set up, qualified recipients don't receive their medicine or services, or they are lost in the system.

Now this story involves a very small group, incarcerated mentally ill. How hard can they be to keep track of and serve with medication? It seems one in four declines post release services, but that hasn't kept advocates for nine former inmates from suing Ohio for more services. More of the mentally ill refuse post-prison help | The Columbus Dispatch

When you hear the sob stories in the MSM about Americans who die without health care (which is untrue because we have laws that require their treatment, even for the illegals and no amount of "preventive" medicine helps alcoholics, overeaters and smokers if they refuse to change), keep in mind that many people eligible for services either don't apply, or find the process so complicated and daunting they give up. There is so much red tape strangling the poor, the homeless, the mentally ill, the confused and the elderly, it's not surprising that millions don't use the health programs to which they are entitled. Without a family member advocate, many of the programs are useless. That won't change regardless of the trillions Obama throws at the problem. His intentions are evil; the results won't be any better because this take-over has nothing to do with health.

White House Felonies? Obamagate?

Interesting time line at American Spectator with the similarities to other backroom deals, fixers and criminals 40 years ago. The evasive Robert Gibbs is just another Ron Ziegler (Nixon's press secretary).
    "These days, Charles Colson is one of humanity's good guys. He has spent decades creating a ministry called the "Prison Fellowship" in which he looks after the souls of America's prison population. But it will be remembered how Colson got to this point. Once upon a time he was the feared Nixon White House political aide who famously was said to be capable of running over his own grandmother for his president. In a pre-Watergate 1971 story, the Washington Post described Colson as one of the "original back room boys…the brokers, the guys who fix things when they break down and do the dirty work when it's necessary."

    And how has the Denver Post described Obama's Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina? The man at the center of the Romanoff story and possibly the Sestak story as well? The Denver paper tellingly said Messina was "President Barack Obama's deputy chief of staff and a storied fixer in the White House political shop."

    Which is to say, Messina is Barack Obama's Chuck Colson. The fixer.

    With a senior Democratic United States Senator (Arlen Specter, March 12, 2010), a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, now ever so not delicately suggesting the players in this drama could all go to jail, it would seem that perhaps Mr. Messina and his Chicago buddies in the White House have fixed things for President Obama in a fashion that was unimaginable on inauguration day in January of 2009.

    On that day many of these people sat just yards from the very spot on the Capitol grounds where Richard Nixon -- seemingly invulnerable -- landed in the glow of the klieg lights to bathe in the applause of an admiring nation as he reported on the results of his diplomatic triumphs with the Soviet Union and Mao's China."
The American Spectator : Specter Opens Door on White House FeloniesUnfortunately, transforming politics as usual is not part of Obama's dreams for our country that he promised during the campaign.

Another cat story

Our current pet is our third cat, and we think she is about 11 years old--perhaps born in 1999. She had been homeless, declawed and spayed and was turned in at Cat Welfare Association. Her past on the mean streets of Columbus gave her reason to have eating issues. Poor thing. For years she would attack our garbage disposal even after a full meal. You didn't dare leave any food out. Our second cat was our loveliest--a part lynxpoint Siamese--purchased from a pet store. We thought she just had an odd personality--chewing up the underside of the furniture and racing toward water whenever she heard it running--and smart--could open the bathroom door by turning the knob with her paws. But in fact, she had bad kidneys, and died when she was four. Mystery, our first cat (1976), was our lover with sensitive ears. In those days I had an electric typewriter and when she heard it from another room she would race to me and leap into my lap and try everything to get me to turn it off. I think she saw it as competition for my affection. If I raised my voice, she would put her paw over my mouth--and if that didn't work, would nip me.

All this is to say you don't need to be a vet to see that pets are born with their personality and quirks (just like people) and can also learn bad habits (just like people). You see things the vet doesn't see.

Around the time we returned home from Lakeside last September our cat began a hacking cough and started to sneeze. I suspected she was back to her old tricks of eating inappropriate items, like twisty ties and plastic plants. I figured it would end up in the litter box. The cough would come and go. I also noticed she no longer spit up hairballs. Probably age, I thought. When I could no longer tolerate being sprayed with her sneezing every time she came near, I finally took her to the vet 2 weeks ago. Of course, she didn't display any of these symptoms for the doctor. She just did her terrorized "help me, help me, they're going to kill me" routine. The vet recommended an x-ray, because if she had a tumor, the medication she was about to prescribe wouldn't make any difference, and I knew what that meant. The x-rays were clear. Well, the antibiotic had to be compounded and the faxed order went astray (she probably had a virus, but had developed an infection the vet speculated, a virus gone dormant that she came with in 1999). So she didn't really get that until a week ago, plus some ear stuff and a nutritional supplement. All this came to over $300, but we love her, and if it's not terminal and will make her more comfortable, I can handle that.

I had vacuuming on my Monday to-do list, so Thursday I got around to it. Under the dining room table was a big pile of dried yuk. Lots of patterns in that rug, so it just blended in. I should have inspected it, but didn't, but as the quiet Panasonic ran over it I realized it was a piece of clear plastic encased in a lot of hair.

We haven't heard her cough or sneeze in a few days. Maybe it's the medication, or may it's my first guess. Or prayer--my women's group prayed for her Monday and Kendra's horse and Sharon's cat.

CBO crumbles under health workload

Unfortunately, collapsing the entire government is the final goal for Obama. That's what he meant by the "fundamental transformation" he announced in 2008. That's what this "constitutional" lawyer meant when he said our Constitution was flawed. After he exhausts us all with health hysteria (over 85% already have insurance they like and many eligible for gov't insurance haven't applied or are wading through red tape), he moves on to amnesty for illegals, and destroying the energy system with cap and trade. In his latest campaign speeches he ridiculed all the points the opposition makes without correcting a single charge or even claiming they are lies. He just swats, as though we are gnats buzzing around his head.

"The budget office is responsible for providing Congress nonpartisan analysis and cost estimates for legislation, but the CBO has been in the limelight in a much greater way as Democrats desperately try to keep the cost of the health care bill in check.

But the CBO admits that the quantity of analysis hasn’t been enough to meet the needs of Congress.

Wasserman Schultz said she was concerned that Elemendorf’s office had recently sent a scored legislative summary to a House office that later needed to be significantly amended."

Read more: CBO crumbles under health workload - Erika Lovley -

Friday, March 19, 2010

Congressman Mike Rogers, "This is a travesty."

YouTube - Congressman Mike Rogers' opening statement on Health Care reform in Washington D.C.

Friday Family Photo--The bicentennial cat

This is probably a repeat--but that's what old people do. Besides, I like the photo.

Mystery our first cat was a bicentennial baby, so that would place this photo in 1976, because she is still a traumatized kitten here desperately trying to escape my children.

My husband and daughter brought Mystery (so named because she was so tiny we didn't know her sex) home from an Indian Princess camp out at Camp Akita. The little girls found kittens at a near-by farm and they all ran away, except the little black one who was too sick to run. That's the one they brought home. She lived for almost 18 years, and when she could no longer see to jump up on my lap, I carried her to the vet and said good-bye. Never let a faithful pet die alone in a strange place. Hold her and whisper sweet things.

The children are apparently playing dress-ups, because my son is wearing the jacket of one of my suits from the 60s, and has one of my belts around his neck. So they dressed up the cat too who is wearing the clothes of Sue the doll.

Message for The Narcissist in Chief

I'm sorry Mr. President, this isn't about you. It's not about the office you hold and it's not about the Speaker. This is about the American people and the health care system that they want for our country.

Boehner has never been my favorite Republican, but he nailed it this time.

In the footstep of Maude

In the 1970s, Maude was a plump, flashy, mouthy TV liberal character, married to her 4th husband, who let it all hang out--her female health problems, plastic surgery, her advocacy for better race relations, her adult daughter's love life and the tension between them. She got her start as a neighbor of the Jeffersons as I recall. Somehow, liberals (myself included since I was a Democrat then) were able to see the humor in her over-the-top extravagances. But if the shoe is ever on the other foot, the only conservative writers and producers could possibly find amusing is the straw woman--created for them to laugh at and knock down. If conservatives were presented as real people with black friends, gay sons or parents with AD, someone would jump in with more regulation and christen the show "hate speech" because real people aren't allowed on their political planet. Television's Strong Women Characters -

Bret, Barry and Brit--A Fox among the chickens

Taranto writes in today's column about the Baier interview: ". . .perhaps the first time Obama has ever faced a tough interview. The interviewer was Bret Baier of Fox News Channel, and the president was clearly unprepared, coming across as petulant and evasive."

MediaMatters and HuffnPuff of course went crazy that their guy looked so bad. Fox can't be a "real" news channel if it doesn't bow and scrape. I have underestimated Baier who took over for Brit Hume--haven't seen him as having the experience, or even an authoritative voice. But he definitely had Obama's number, who also had underestimated him and was unprepared. Or was it just a lack of the teleprompter?

We've lost an important political ally in the loss of the objectivity of our main stream press reporters and editors, owners and advertisers. They've been so enamored of this president and so fearful of his Chicago goon squad that they are losing viewers and readers right and left (no pun intended). Taranto observes that if the MSM had been a little tougher on him in 2008, or even honest, Obama would have been prepared for these questions. But then, he wouldn't have been president if the press hadn't constantly pitched the soft balls. Smart President, Foolish Choices -

Andrew Cline writes at American Spectator: "If the president were true to his campaign promises, he would immediately nix the Slaughter scheme and demand a real, fair vote on health care legislation. But everyone who went looking for those health care meetings on C-SPAN already knows he isn't true to his campaign promises." The American Spectator : Democrats Against Democracy

And Brit Hume thinks Bret did a good job, too. Hot Air » Blog Archive » Brit Hume gives his successor an attaboy on Obama interview

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tea Party Rally on Capitol Hill against Health Care Bill

Kill the Bill. Start over. If reform is worth doing, it's worth doing right. This Congress is the worst example of sleaze and corruption that I can remember in my lifetime. Obama keeps reciting the same lie--but did tell the truth in his interview on Fox. It's incremental--the take-over of one sixth of the economy won't all happen at once. Oh, that must make the take-over he admitted to, OK. - Tea Partiers Rally on Capitol Hill in Opposition to Health Care Bill

And what do you talk about with your friends, Donna?

Donna Butts is executive director of Generations United which according to her letter to President Obama in 2008 has 4 priority areas: "maximizing tax dollars through intergenerational shared sites and resources; supporting intergenerational caregiving and family structures; engaging children, youth and older adults as resources to communities and families; providing access to quality health care coverage for all people in the U.S." Just off the top of my head after 5 minutes research, I'd say GU is one of thousands of non-profits which exist to get grants from the government and other non-profits (foundations, churches, etc.) to provide a living for their staff. (Most churches have provided for this since the beginning of the first century A.D.) And although they might not be living with their parents or children, I know very few boomers who aren't pitching in to either help their parents or their adult children and grandchildren.

However, I just want to draw attention to a quote of Donna Butts which appeared in papers today in heralding the Pew Research report about multigenerational households on the increase (they are no where near as common as 1940, but up a little between 2007 and 2009).

"All they (older people) do is talk about who died, what hurts, and what medication they're on." It's not that she's incorrect. I'm 70, and I've learned a lot about recovering from mastectomies, stroke, laproscopic robotic surgery, bronchitis, and pulled muscles just from listening to people over 45. And I've regaled a few with my story of sleeping on airport floors sicker than I've ever been in 2009. But I've also heard about apps for my I-Touch, volunteer opportunities, Twitter and Facebook, free concerts, 9-12 political events, the best travel deals and new restaurants to try.

And Donna--have you ever stood in line behind a group of teen-age girls and overheard the fascinating topics they discuss? 1) boys, 2) texting, 3) boys, 4) clothes, 5) boys. Or how about that group of millennials who were at the next table where we ate last week, meeting after work to unwind? 1) Unintelligible screeching, 2) Ear splitting howls, 3)Oh. My. God. 4) Dirty joke, 5) Workplace gossip. Or a Jane Austen fan club? Or BMW owners? Or generation 2 point 0 anything?

People talk about what they know and experience--at any time in life. If you're not into motorcycle cross country trips or saving dolphins, you'll probably be bored. Donna may talk about generation research to anyone who will listen, regardless of age.

The Health-Care Wars Are Only Beginning

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes ObamaCare would have a more congenial fate—that it will become as popular as Social Security and Medicare with voters. She's kidding herself. Social Security and Medicare were popular from the start and passed with bipartisan support. ObamaCare is unpopular and partisan. It's extremely controversial. Its passage is far more likely to spark a political explosion than a wave of acceptance." Fred Barnes

Fred Barnes: The Health-Care Wars Are Only Beginning -

SS and Medicare like many government programs started small, became bloated and over extended, always with the intention of government controlling our lives. They have contributed to our enormous health care bills, and are the weak, crumbling foundation for Obamacare.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mia Farrow writes from Chad

You can read today's editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Mia Farrow here, dated March 16, 2010. It's short and simple, but a cause she is quite passionate about, and unlike some celebrities who seem to have the knack of touching down with hurricanes and earthquakes, she has stayed with this one.

She calls Chad "desolate and powerfully beautiful." I suspect she admires their simple and primitive culture--certainly different from her own. But it's that culture which is starving those babies and children staring back at us from her web page. Their leader is 90 years old; their development minimal to non-existent. No big carbon footprint here--not even green technology. Nothing. And they are dying. And if a few are saved with infant formula, what about next year and the next? Will they be struck down with malaria or some other vector borne disease that Western environmentalists won't let them fight with pesticides?

She says, "The numbers of starving children far exceed the capacity of Unicef's emergency feeding center. Cases of formula and life-saving nutrients are arriving, but many children are already too weak to swallow. The Chadian government must urgently take action, along with the World Food Program and other relief agencies before it is too late." Unfortunately, corrupt African governments combined with 50 years of guilt-ridden Western hand-outs and food programs have destroyed the local economies--especially the farmers and small businesses. Who can compete with free food or free clothing, so the land goes untended, and the cycle is repeated. We're already hearing about this in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where the food donations for the desperate and battered people are destroying the little food stands that support families.

I certainly don't have the answer--but neither do UNICEF and the World Food Program and the clutch of non-profits and Christian agencies who have served in these areas for half a century.

A letter to Senator Brown

Murray received a funds appeal from Senator Scott Brown. So did I. I think I scribbled across mine and mailed it back, something to the effect that I wasn't pleased with his first vote, but I'd wait and see. Murray actually sent him a letter which he's allowing me to reprint here (under U.S. copyright law, he owns the content, not Sen. Brown)
    March 17, 2010

    Senator Brown:

    I received your letter today thanking me for my contribution to your successful victory in the Massachusetts Senate race. You need to understand that my contribution, among thousands of others, was for a specific purpose. Thankfully, that purpose was realized.

    "We The People" need your help to not only stop Obamacare but to stop the recklessness that's taking place every day with our legislators. This means Obamanomics needs to be stopped in its tracks. As I write, Obama is readying himself to sign the just passed $18 billion stimulus/jobs/hire bill while he has $500 billion of the stimulus left yet to spend. You know. . . the billions that we needed quickly a year ago for "shovel ready" jobs. You voted for the stimulus/jobs/hire bill while it was $15 billion and watched it grow to $18 billion practically overnight. I guess that's strike one on you!

    Anyway, if you help the taxpayers of this country during your next year by stopping the spending frenzy, government's takeover of anything else, cap & trade and raising taxes, then I'll consider helping you extend your political career along with many of the other taxpayers. I'll be holding on to your request for donations until then.

    Please help this great country survive.

Good job, Murray. Couldn't have said it better myself!

Slaughter the Senate Bill

House Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter (D-NY) wrote this about the Senate health plan--the only plan we have at the moment and which they are planning to "deem as" passed without voting on it (that's even worse than the Obama Senate record of voting present so he wouldn't have to commit):

Under the Senate plan, millions of Americans will be forced into private insurance company plans, which will be subsidized by taxpayers. That alternative will do almost nothing to reform health care but will be a windfall for insurance companies. ... Supporters of the weak Senate bill say "just pass it -- any bill is better than no bill."

I strongly disagree -- a conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills. It's time that we draw the line on this weak bill and ask the Senate to go back to the drawing board. The American people deserve at least that.

Also, when Obama was in Ohio this week I'm pretty sure he promised his teensy-weeny audience (before I could switch channels) that they could have the same plan that Congress has! Well, folks, Congress gets to choose from a variety of private health plans and get to keep it after they leave Congress. Where will their Cadillac plans be after Obama destroys the private carriers?

The only reason left to pass this bill (reconcile, slaughter, deem) is to save Obama's reputation so he can move on to grab even more of the economy. Many Americans are talking recalling their representatives or voting them out of office, forgetting that Congress has made itself irrelevant--Obama just goes around them.

Morning Bell: There Is No Bill But the Senate Bill

What may be the saddest war song ever

Today my husband played the 3 cd set of "The Dubliners; Ireland's No. 1 Folk Group" in exercise class. Irish songs are minor key and very sad. Our "cool down" song must be the world's saddest war song. It's about the Irish-Australian soldiers who returned from WWI, a war when losing 7-8,000 men in one battle over several days wasn't unusual. And even so, more American soldiers died of the flu than from the war. Here's just part of it:

They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind and the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And when the ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thank Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity

And the Band played Waltzing Matilda
When they carried us down the gangway
Oh nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared
Then they turned all their faces away

Now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Renewing their dreams of past glories
I see the old men all tired, stiff and worn
Those weary old heroes of a forgotten war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Of course, today "everyone is Irish," but some of us really can trace our ancestors across the pond to Ireland. Mine beat the crowd of the famine ships of the 19th century and crossed in the 1730s, signing on to fight in the American Revolution against their hated British rulers, stopping a generation or two in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and then moving on to Tennessee, with later generations leaving Appalachia for Illinois, Texas and California as various misfortunes gave them a push to seek a better land and life. After 7 or 8 generations in the U.S., my German-English and Scots-Irish bloodlines got together in an outdoor farmhouse wedding in August 1934, and the rest is my history, as we say.

At the coffee shop I was refilling my cup and next to me was a young man with a blinking St. Pat's pin on his baseball cap (hate to see people wearing those inside). "Any Irish in your genealogy?" I asked. He said he didn't think so but wasn't sure (most 20-somethings don't know much about genealogy, so it really wasn't a fair question). "My mom's Hungarian-German, but my dad's adopted, so we don't know anything about his family." I didn't pursue that story line--after all, we are total strangers, and for all I know his parents could be divorced or deceased. But here's my opinion.

If his grandparents were willing to adopt his father, a life changing event for him over which he had no control, then it's perfectly OK for his dad to "adopt" his ancestors from his adoptive parents' genealogy. Over this he does have a choice. It's not fair that the state of Ohio still has laws hiding his father's past, but there are a few things his father does control, and that's to climb that family tree with all its roots and branches, his grandparents, great-grandparents, great-greats, cousins, nephews, nieces and so forth.

Capitalist and Populist Architecture--Eero Saarinen

Eero Saarinen's father, Eliel Saarinen, was a prominent architect in Finland. We visited several of his sites in 2006. In 1923, when Eero was 13, the family moved to the United States where Eero became one of the most prominent architects of the 1950s. We've also visited some of his sites, the closest to us being Columbus, Indiana. But you may have been in the TWA terminal, or seen the John Deere building in Moline, IL. The video continues with other topics, you may have to search for the Saarinen piece, which today is at the beginning, but who knows tomorrow? Or you can click on the link.

Exhibition Tour: Eero Saarinen

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Repealing Obamacare Will Be Easier If Congress Skirts Normal Process

On the road for his “Courage and Consequence” book tour, Rove chatted with The Heritage Foundation about Obamacare, his defense of President George W. Bush’s conservatism, the growth of Tea Parties and anger toward government spending.

Karl Rove: Repealing Obamacare Will Be Easier If Congress Skirts Normal Process | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Everyone Shouldn’t Go To College

About four years ago I blogged about the cost of a college education, private vs. public, and whether some college bound young people might be financially better off not to attend college. I followed up that link today looking at a 2008 update of the information. It contained information not in that first report (if you invest the money you would have spent on a child's education, the life time (40 years) average of earnings is higher than attending college, and a public school education is a better deal in life time earnings that a private school).

REEF » Everyone Shouldn’t Go To College

What the recession has done to this mix, I have no idea. The REEF website doesn't appear to be current.

Update: I found Michael Robertson who authored REEF material at another website. Robertson knows a bit about education and making money--he invented the MP3 player.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Michael Steele is leader of the GOP

"Why do the Dems need to "Clarence Thomas" the Man of Steele? Because whenever a man of color, especially an African American man, a black conservative begins to advance in the GOP he has to be taken down. He becomes a demonstration that it’s "Cool to be in the GOP". He lets the black community witness it’s okay to be conservative. In fact, he’s saying, "You should be proud of it and don’t be bashful about letting your conservative political leanings be known". The Dems can’t let the other slaves see that a single one escaped! They have to bring him down so that another example is put into the eyesight and psyche of the black voter that they possess. Politically-free "coon"? Not permissible!

The Dems have to "Clarence Thomas" the Man of Steele because he is the real deal. He can go toe-to-toe with Obama intellectually and orally. Coupled with shredding the perception that the GOP is the "white party", the Dems know that the plantation is about to be burned down. Add to these direct factors the additional factor of organizations like rising up all around the political landscape like mushrooms in the night, and in an attempt to play effective defense, they go on the play-dirty offensive and call Limbaugh the leader of the GOP and not the duly elected leader of the party, Steele. Basic fascist political tactics of defining your political opponent when you’re backed up in the corner and about to get your brains smashed in!" CLAVER T. KAMAU-IMANI, Host: "The Christian Politician" Radio Show, Founder/Chairman of

Just don't call it "health" care

No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, let’s not call this current Washington battle “health“ care. ObamaCare is technically about insurance, but more accurately it‘s about a government take over of the economy. We Americans already have health insurance for the poor, and health care for everyone, in case you’re reading this in Europe. In fact, one of the programs for the poor, SCHIP, will cover children up to the age of 28 whose parents have incomes up to $70,000 depending on the state (350% of poverty level). I should be so poor (our income is about $34,000)--but I digress.

If you want to know what government health insurance and government health care look or feel like, please read, “HIV Clinic” an essay by Eric P. Walker, in the March 3, 2010 issue of JAMA. The patient described therein has both health insurance (provided by the government for the poor) and health care (a clinic for the poor in her neighborhood).

According to Walker who is a physician’s assistant, the patient comes to the clinic for a prescription for pain but has to walk to the pharmacy to fill it, because her bus pass voucher has expired. There is no one to provide her private transportation (later in the essay you learn she is married to a creep who stole her pain medication). On the way to the clinic she bought a package of crackers at a gas station because she hadn’t eaten since yesterday. She can’t have surgery for her pain because she doesn’t have a stable address which the hospital, following government insurance regulations, requires for a patient to be discharged.

So let’s just stop right there Mr. Walker. First, you say you work in an HIV clinic, so I’m assuming she has been diagnosed and is receiving the drug cocktail that will extend her life. There are two primary ways for women to get HIV--1) having sex with a man who had sex with an infected man, or 2) through IV drug use. In my opinion, men who have sex with men and bring home STDs and AIDS and/or abuse their wives and girlfriends are a much bigger health problem for poor women than private insurance company CEOs who serve the middle class or Cadillac insurance for the wealthy and union members. When will those men be called before Congress and shamed?

Second, let’s think about all the unintended consequences of good intentions that have been building up dating back before you were born. Since that great leap forward known as the War on Poverty--programs that have contributed to her secondary conditions not related to HIV or her health. There is no pharmacy in her neighborhood to fill her prescription and probably no supermarkets or grocery stores where she can buy nutritious food. Democrats and Progressives control all major cities in the United States--Detroit, Chicago, LA, NOLA, Cleveland, etc. They first drove out all the small businesses through regulation, taxes, or pushing legislation for their inner-belts and highways taking land and homes through eminent domain. They railed against mom and pop stores and Asian shopkeepers that were charging “too much” for goods and service, compared to larger stores. Then they marched against any superstores moving in insisting they be unionized, after which they moved on to friendlier suburbs offering tax breaks. Currently in the name of saving the planet they are working through a variety of programs called cap and trade and sustainable agriculture to take away the stop and shop gas stations (remember Mr. Walker, gasoline is bad; processed food is bad) in poor neighborhoods, so soon that HIV patient probably won’t even be able to buy crackers in her neighborhood as she walks to the clinic to pick up her prescription which can‘t be filled locally.

Third, her central city community is fortunately served by public transportation which is tax subsidized by the suburbanite voters who moved away 30 years ago. Because she’s poor, she has a voucher for a bus pass. That’s got to be a Catch-22 nightmare only a bureaucrat with a social work degree could come up with. Does she have to go to a government agency in another neighborhood or city building and sit and wait to pay for the pass with her voucher issued by a different bureaucracy? It is dated, and it has expired. It’s not unreasonable to imagine that she would need to take the bus to the same office to apply for the voucher, but with no mail box, she might be turned down. It would be a good guess that the government didn’t give her a taxi voucher, or a handicapped van voucher, either because, 1) the bureaucrats decided she wasn’t that sick (years ago when she signed on for the alphabet soup of programs), or 2) because no thinking taxi or van driver would go into her crime ridden neighborhood which went down hill when all the businesses and home owners were driven out by do-gooders, or 3) they need to support the city transit system rather than a private company or small business like a one-man cab company.

Dear naive ObamaCare supporter: nothing in this so-called "health care bill" being pushed by Pelosi, Obama and Reid will help this woman. She already has government health insurance, and she’s still infected, still in pain, still denied necessary surgery, still homeless, still married to a creep, and still a victim of all the progressive politicians who destroyed her neighborhood 40 years ago.

And you want this for the rest of us?

Do it for the children and their children--guest blogger Murray

"OK folks, the Democrats are putting forward the BIG PUSH this week. More arm twisting, bribes, lies and special deals. The Tea Party and Patriot groups will be in D.C. the morning of March 16 to get IN their representatives' faces about the ugly healthcare bill by sitting in their offices. Let's get together and help. Please call or e-mail every legislator you can between now and 3/16 to help to push back.

If you need some encouragement click here:

You can do this. I'm calling on you to STAND UP and defend yourself on behalf of your children and grandchildren."


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Christians expelled from Village of Hope in Morocco

One of the missions that our church supports is Village of Hope in Morocco.
Now the Christians there have been accused of proselytizing and have had to leave. What appears here is the official statement, and this is the link that our church website points to. We know God is in control, but for many of these children, these are the only parents they've ever known.
    "The parents of VOH want to clearly state their love for the Kingdom and people of Morocco and fear this act by the authorities will cause long term damage to the excellent reputation of Morocco. Morocco is viewed by the West as a moderate and safe Islamic state with an ever improving response to social issues. The King has been a driving force behind so much positive reform and he is to be honoured for all he has done for the betterment of his people. However, actions like this are only likely to tarnish Morocco's image and have a detrimental effect on inward investment, foreign aid and tourism. If a perception grows that non-Islamic guests in Morocco and foreign led organisations are being targeted then we fear for the damage that could be caused. Key relationships with the EU and other trading partners and supporters of Morocco could be affected unless a negotiated settlement can be seen to take place. VOH, through its international investors, have pumped Millions of Moroccan dirham into infrastructure, care of children, employment of Moroccans and the local economy only to have it taken away in a matter of hours. What signal does this send to others looking to support the development of Morocco either through trade, aid or simply as a tourist.

    The parents only want to be reunited with their children. Every single set of parents would return to Morocco to continue with the care of the children and continue to live under the law and authority of the State. Equally, the parents would be willing to negotiate for the release of the children into their care to the parent’s country of origin. As parents, we plead with the Moroccan authorities to open a dialogue with us as to the future well being and care of our children." Village of Hope Ain Leuh Morocco
Proselytism is defined as distributing literature of any kind (this includes Bibles and videos as well as tracts) or discussing the gospel with an intention to persuade. Did you know that our U.S. government has the same rule for churches using government grants to feed and house the poor? Even when that program is provided from within a church building? We live in a "free" country, but churches have made some very uncomfortable (in my opinion) agreements to not evangelize, not to even distribute literature, in exchange for serving the poor (see Matthew 25) with government funds in a variety of ways (not in Matthew 25).

Edy's Slow Churned Snack Size Cups

Speak for yourself, Rick! He says he prefers a 4 oz serving rather than 6 oz. Not me. If these wonderful little snack cups were 4 oz, I'd eat two! Six oz. is just about right. We've tried the coffee, mint choc chip, vanilla bean and chocolate. They are 5/$5 at Meijers. Also, this is 1/2 the fat. Fat free ice cream might as well be frozen skim milk in terms of satisfying a craving, don't you think? Remember the little cups of ice cream we got as kids with photos of movie stars on the inside cover?

Edy's Slow Churned Snack Size Cups

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Now, a Chicken in Black - New York Times

Oh yuk! Really looks unappetizing. Black chicken skin and legs. And the bird is so pretty.

Now, a Chicken in Black - New York Times

Career Management Inventory

Do you keep books in the bathroom? The other day my husband suggested I needed to change the books in my bathroom (which he occasionally uses). Books that sit on the toilet tank are seen more by men than by women, if you get my drift. I thought it was funny. But I did take a look at the titles again, and decided to keep them all. One title is "No more blue Mondays; four keys to finding fulfillment at work" by Robin A. Sheerer. I don't know how long I've had it or why I bought it (used book for $1.00) because I'm retired. As I leafed through it, though, I found an interesting survey to help someone unhappy at work. So I took it--based on what I remembered of my last position ca. 1999-2000. Interestingly, it didn't cover anything I didn't like about those last two years--planning a new library for the veterinary college. I guess I didn't see those interminable hours of looking at electrical and plumbing sheets, choosing furniture and shelving, and attending endless meetings seeing my space cut as part of "my job." Questions 47-59 were on personal appearance, which sort of surprised me (I didn't copy the last page but it was teeth, weight, exercise, etc.) I gave myself a green star for true, lime green for mostly true, and red for needed a lot of work (hate to set goals). I'm a bit obsessive about time, so I gave myself 2 stars for being on time. In fact, when I was the chair of a committee, we didn't wait for the slug-a-beds.

Click to enlarge so you can read the print (pages were gray).