Thursday, September 30, 2010

Melvin remembers Floyd too

Over at American Spectator there's an article on the pay of government workers--it's established that government workers earn twice that of the public sector, and even when all variables are crunched--skills, education--it's 10-20% more. (But they will be out in force October 2 demonstrating in Washington, DC.)

Here's a comment from Melvin at that story that I noticed because he mentioned a hurricane in North Carolina, which I also mentioned today.
    "Shortly after a hurricane struck NC a number of years ago, a section of a secondary gravel road had corner washed out. I still being active duty Marine Corps and had a background in construction, was asked for a recommendation by Major Zimmerman in how we could repair the small section of road that was washed out relatively quickly because since the damage was on a blind corner a military vehicle could fall into the hole without seeing it. My recommendation was a tandem load of medium aggregate rock and a backhoe could have it repaired in about 4 hours.

    "OK, Ssgt. how long would it take if we ask the civilian government employees to fix it?" I replied " About a year." Flabbergasted the Major said, "Marines could get killed or hurt if their vehicles drove into the hole."

    The problem with government employees is, that the bureaucracy is so large and immovable that it will take 50 government bureaucrats in all their safety regalia of hardhats, safety vests, personal GPS locating devices, holographic government ID cards, and the ever present handled communicating device in where they can communicate with fellow bureaucrats all over the world, to come out to that small washed out section of gravel road to say, "Yep, yep, there's a hole their alright," get into the caravan of pickup trucks and leave.

    It actually took 11 months and change for the government civilian employees, to come out with a dump truck and a backhoe to fill in the hole. The very same thing I told Major Zimmerman that I could have fixed with Marine Engineers in a matter of hours. And the part that really annoyed the hell out of me is that they had to send out a environmentalist that had a honest to goodness Doctorate degree to come out and inspect the hole to make sure there wasn't any endangered species that had taken up residence there. For crying out loud how much did the government waste by having a doctor come out and inspect a hole in the ground? I don't know about you, but asking a lowly E-6 in the Marine Corps to see if a bunch of critters are living in a hole is much, much cheaper than sending a doctor out to do the same thing.

    Oh by the way, I had the displeasure of sneaking a peak at the civilian government payroll roster one day, let me tell you everything you hear about government employees living large is absolutely true, but if you saw what I saw on that roster in terms what they were pulling in, would cause an instant revolution.

    Just drive by one day and see what type of vehicles that are parked in a government parking lot (local school board), you won't find any Yugo's parked there, thats for sure."

He said it, he lied, the media sighed

Barack Obama said it. He wasn’t ambiguous and there's no wiggle room. Obama definitely said, "If you like your insurance you can keep it. Nothing changes." Everyone knew that was nonsense, but he said it then, his disinformation staff on cable and broadcast news repeated it.

And now, every day when you open the newspaper you see a change. The end result will either be exorbitant high insurance costs that few can afford, or companies will be dropping coverage (see story on McDonald's) so their employees will go for the government carrot.

Remembering Floyd and our 1999 vacation

"In North Carolina, the nearly 21 inches collected in Wilmington since rain started falling Sunday topped Hurricane Floyd's five-day mark of 19 inches set in 1999, the National Weather Service said."

We had been planning a lovely NC fall vacation in 1999, and then Floyd happened and there was all sorts of flooding--especially those big pig farms and lots of yucky stuff. The photos of floating hogs sort of spooked us, so instead we went to visit people in Fairfax, VA, drove into Washington DC for sight seeing, ate at some lovely restaurants and also made some stops in Annapolis, St. Michael's and Oxford, Maryland. On the way home we visited Oglebay in WV. It wasn't our original plan, but a very nice trip.

Carl Paladino alleges Andrew Cuomo affair

Pot to Kettle. Paladino who has an out of wedlock child claims Cuomo was unfaithful to ex-wife. Really, children . . .

Carl Paladino alleges Andrew Cuomo affair - Maggie Haberman -

Christine O'Donnell--I like her, but

finding a good mailing address is tricky.  Why do all these young folks working on the campaign not make it easier to use U.S. mail?  I'm still looking.  Meanwhile, here's an article to read about her opponent Chris Coons (lots of Chrises in this campaign).  Remember, the GOP wasn't thrilled that she beat out their candidate in the primary.

Her Facebook page says,

Mailing Address:
Friends of Christine O'Donnell
P.O. Box 3987
Wilmington, DE 19807
And the web page has no way to ask without signing in and all that, which I don't like to do.

Support Steve Stivers

Steve Stivers is running in my 15th district in Ohio.  Even if you're out of the district, you can support him. You can donate on line or the old fashioned way, which I find much more personal.  I don't really like the expensive GOP fund raisers (one campaign required me to go to the P.O. to pick up and sign for the item another sent me $1.00), so am sending support to the candidates I like.  Right now the big issues are the deficit and government spending.  If they turn out to be RINOs, turn them out.  If Steve can't do a better job than Mary Jo Kilroy and help stop Obama, then vote him out the next time.

Stivers for Congress
211 S. 5th Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-358-0800

Sean Bielat running against Barney Frank

Barney Frank is a danger to the whole country, so I'd support Sean Bielat if I could, and I can. Lots of little people who are tired of tyrant Barney can send money to support his campaign. Frank can spout off on everything, so I have no idea why he's afraid of a former Marine.

You can donate on-line, but there are 3 mailing addresses, too.
Sean Bielat for Congress
Brookline Post Office Box
PO Box 1143
Brookline, MA 02446

If everyone sent even $5 to the Republicans running against the entrenched Congress people who have taken our country to this terrible state, we could give them a much better chance. Then, if they don't remember why they are there or why they got support from people out of their district, boot 'em out next time.

Also, remember to vote. It's almost November!

Why does the President hate black children?

No, I'm not referring to his stance on abortion, which kills them before birth, in higher percentage than other groups and races.  It's the DC scholarship program that he has ruined for them.

In the fall of 2008, 216 new low-income students were notified by the Department of Education that they had been selected to receive scholarships to get out of violent DC public schools and attend alternatives, like the ones the Obama girls, Malia and Sasha, attend. But the NEA and the AFT teachers' unions helped elect Obama, and now Obama has torn up their winning “lottery tickets” to a good education and has taken back the scholarship money. Most of these kids are black.

This report by the Department of Education is not exactly a page turner, and it's stuffed tables and graphs, but it does say children in the Opportunity Scholarship program had statistically significant better reading scores than students who applied to the program but were not offered a scholarship. Also, read it now, because reports that go against Obamaplans have a tendency to disappear from the internet.

All the NBC channels and cable affiliates are promoting Obama's and Arne Duncan's education plans and theories this week. Why not discuss the alternatives? Because NBC is in Obama's hip pocket and he belongs to the unions who helped him get elected (and will be appearing in full force in DC on 10-2-10 along with the Communist Party USA and other radical groups).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sigh--That Forsyte Woman

It was on Turner this afternoon--had to give up Glenn Beck.

Equality -- or Freedom?

"On average, Asians earn more than Hispanics; blacks less than whites. Mormons earn more than Muslims; Jews more than Jehovah's Witnesses. And Polish Americans earn more than Puerto Ricans.

Does that prove America is a racist and religiously bigoted country?"

One time I asked my boss, Jay Ladd, why a male librarian hired after me, younger, was earning more. His answer stunned me. "Because he asked for more." When I had children, I left the work force. When he had children, his wife left the work force. But there are lots of reasons women's salaries differ. They take fewer risks; move less; turn down more difficult assignments; don't want to do the out of town trips and work; and there are no "good old girl" networks that even come close to the "good old boys." We tend to stab each other in the back rather than let another woman get ahead.

This article is on the new Paycheck Fairness Act passed by the House 256 to 162.

Equality -- or Freedom? - Pat Buchanan - Townhall Conservative

Return on investment of a college education

There are lots of reasons to go to college, but a nice nest egg when you retire isn't one of them. If your parents had invested your first two years of college expenses in IRAs that you couldn't raid, by age 65 you'd be well set--much further ahead than attending an Ivy League school, or even any college at all. I have a scheme that just might get you the best of both worlds, because really, I'm quite a fan of education. I'm the third generation in my family to have a college education. It's also a good place to meet your future spouse, my grandparents, parents, and my husband and I all met in college.

When your child graduates from high school insist that he/she get a job and work for at least one year--fast food, retail, construction, agriculture worker, county flagman, groundskeeper--you get the idea. It would be nice if they can live away from home and support themselves, but that isn't essential. Then take the amount of money it would cost you for a year at a state university (I have no idea what that is these days, $12,000?) and invest it in the stock market (but not in their name, because otherwise they'll take it the first time they want a car, a nice wedding or new furniture).

After a year in the trenches or behind the counter, they'll probably be better able to take advantage of what college has to offer, and by investing for them, you'll insure they have a nice retirement in the distant future. This will really help if they want to go out and save the world in a low paying job like social work or library science, positions that have lots of simple pleasures but don't pay particularly well unless you want to claw your way to the top and become a manager/director.

I know this works, because I figured it out one day standing in line at the Tremont Goodie Shop in the 1980s while grieving that my children said no to college. Unfortunately, I already had their college money (for the first year) in accounts with their SS# and name and it later disappeared for consumer goods that will be gone long before they retire. But in case you don't believe an ordinary librarian, go read this article.

College: Big Investment, Paltry Return

"Over the past 30 years, the S&P 500 Index averaged about 11 percent a year. Only 88 schools out of the 554 in the study had a better return than the S&P. Everywhere else, students would have been better off—financially, at least—if they invested the money they spent on their college educations and never set foot in a classroom." -- And I would comment that the ROI predicted for any of these colleges is far higher than the 1%-4% I've read in other sources.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ratty jeans

When loading some of my husband's jeans and cotton casual slacks into the washer today, it occurred to me that the jeans were well past their prime and I decided to look for some new ones when I went to Kohl's to buy a watch battery. The "new" jeans are so awful, so distressed, so ripped, so wrinkled and faded, I decided we'd stay with what we have.

Neither of these were brands at Kohl's, nor did I actually see any this awful (bottom one is $350), but you get the idea.

A sadder but wiser Axelrod packs his bags

Axelrod designed the Hope and Change theme with the logo that looks like it was stolen from a Pepsi ad, and now seems surprised and discouraged that there was no there there.
    "In that sense, Axelrod, who announced a few days ago that he will return to Chicago in the spring, is leaving in defeat. It's not really an electoral defeat: Though Democrats will probably experience a shellacking on Nov. 2, Obama's prospects for 2012 will surely rise with the economic cycle. Rather, it's the notion that Obama, who declared on election night that "change has come to America," has failed to change Washington, a belief shared by 53 percent of Americans in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll."
Barack Obama, the most left of all our Presidents, the most fiscally irresponsible and the most narcissistic, has succeeded in helping to destroy the economy, but he has also succeeded in rallying the conservatives as never before. We'll see what dumping Axelrod and Emanuel do to his chances for 2012.

A sadder but wiser Axelrod packs his bags

President Obama calls his followers to DC on 10-2-10

to meet with hundreds of other communist and socialist organizations. This was planned in response to the 8-28-10 Glenn Beck gathering of 500,000+ of ordinary Americans who paid their own way to sing, and pray and listen to inspiring speakers talk about love of country and God. It was peaceful and a family event. The Washington Mall was spotless when they left.

The Communists among us are now fighting back. They'll be bussing them in, paid for by your tax dollars and union dues. CPUSA, is just one of many. Go to One Nation Working Together and look at the sponsors. With all this public and private money they should be able to gather a few million, not just half a million like 8-28. Check out some communist sites. You are known by your friends, Democrats.

Communism has failed in every country that tried it, and has resulted in the deaths of millions. How quickly Americans forget--at least my generation. My children's generation never even learned the facts of what happened in the Soviet Union and China and Vietnam.

Young Communist League

Are you smarter than a third grader in Ohio?

Today I was looking at a Standards Guide for Families, What is Expected in Grade Three. Some schools have a pdf to print at their website, but you can see it at, and select the grade you're interested in.

I found some of the questions overwhelming, and here are two examples:

1) Explain the major functions of the government. Right now we have major political parties and grass roots movements like the Tea Party trying to figure that one out. Does a third grader have the experience and the vocabulary to understand the question let alone answer it? Do they know their school is a function of the government? The snow plows? Not sure I did.

2) Describe the changes in religion in your community. Now that was part of a long list, which included among other things, architecture. Again, I think when I was in 3rd grade I knew that our little town (Forreston, IL) had a Lutheran Church (we weren't Lutheran but attended there), a Reformed Church and something across the street from the school that years later became part of United Methodist after a few mergers (I've forgotten its name), and that during Bible School, kids from country churches came that we didn't usually see. I knew our Pastor's name and that at school we each had a little Bible in our desk and took turns reading it aloud. But that's about as much as I knew and we were regular attenders. Kids today? I don't think a lot of them are even aware there are churches.

I also found some terms I didn't know. "Using a compass rose and cardinal directions. . ." What's a compass rose? Not sure I would know what a cardinal direction was either.

Are these tests written to explain to adults what children should know? The vocabulary doesn't seem very kid friendly to me.

Sliced Honey Crisp apple with walnuts--the perfect breakfast

Walnuts. I eat them everyday, and I'm sure they're good for me--omega-3 fatty acids, or something. Supposed to be brain food, I think, but I don't see any turn around in that department. However, there's way too much hype about food health benefits. It's all part of the gnosticism of the environmentalist movement. Other than scurvey and ricketts, not much is cured or reversed with good nutrition. What really works besides chosing the best genes (your parents... and their parents), are all the NO-NOs--not smoking, not drinking, not doing drugs, not being promiscuous, not eating too many "healthy" foods (good food is fattening too), and not sitting at the computer all day. The last No-No is a big weakness for me. Well, at least I got a lot of help from Mom and Dad.

I love this web site

Monday, September 27, 2010

Terrible tragedy in Upper Arlington

Last night a father in our community killed his two little boys and then himself. His wife found the bodies. There are no words . . .


12 reasons Obamacare will raise your health care costs

All of us will see higher health insurance premiums with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It imposes several costly new mandates and restrictions on health insurers and providers that will raise health cares costs and therefore premiums. This paper lists a dozen factors that will contribute to higher premium costs. Read it carefully, so that when you're accused of being a homophobic racist right wing idiot because you think it should be repealed, you'll have some ammunition.

Have your tried Radio Paradise?

Just listening to Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt sing Kisses Sweeter Than Wine from the album Where Have All The Flowers Gone.

Radio Paradise - commercial free Internet radio - modern & classic rock, electronica, world music & more - picked & mixed by real humans.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What was the Obamateurism of the Week?

At the time I voted, misquoting the Declaration of Independence was ahead (33.1%), with saying Mexico was here long before the United States (24.1%) was even an idea next. Mexico became a country carved out of New Spain in 1821, but what can you expect from a guy who's always been a bit defensive about his own country? And both comments were to the same audience, too. I don't think the 4 apples for $1.00 was an actual mistake, because that's all the vendor asked for, probably giving him a break. One of his staff stepped up and paid the full amount. $1.00 would get you about 1/3 of a Honey Crisp, but it would be worth every cent.

Hot Air » Poll: What was the Obamateurism of the Week?

As seen on TV and the Internet

Christopher Coates testimony was on C-Span, the video of the civil rights violation was all over the internet. The egg laid by the Justice Department is all over Eric Holder’s face.
    “Christopher Coates's testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights was the latest fallout from the department's handling of a 2008 voter-intimidation case involving the New Black Panther Party. Conservatives and some congressional Republicans accuse Justice officials of improperly narrowing the charges, allegations that they strongly dispute.

    Filed weeks before the Obama administration took office, the case focused on two party members who stood in front of a polling place in Philadelphia on Election Day 2008, one carrying a nightstick. The men were captured on video and were accused of trying to discourage some people from voting.”

It seems some few in the DOJ wish to redistribute voting rights along racial lines. I don’t think the “We won, so deal with it” excuse covers this one.

The world isn’t kind to whistle blowers. Will Coates, a Clinton appointee, who resigned his position over this, ever work again in government?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Federal workers--I have relatives who are but. . .

the gravy train has to roll to a stop somewhere. And I know, I know, I was "on the dole" many times through various government grants. They were interesting jobs (USAID, FIPSE, JTPA), they paid well, I worked hard and had very committed co-workers, but hey--nothing we did mattered after the contract ended. We just have way too many people at the public trough.

"In their campaign blueprint released this week, GOP lawmakers proposed a hiring freeze on non-security federal workers to help slash $100 billion in government spending. On Capitol Hill, they've tried to block President Obama's proposed 1.4 percent pay increase, to furlough federal workers for two weeks to save $5.5 billion, to fire workers who owe federal taxes, to shrink the pool of political appointees, to freeze bonuses and even to shut down the government. None of these ideas has gotten much traction in the Democratic-controlled Congress, but the resurgence of a GOP majority after the November elections could change that."

WaPo Link

Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010, S. 3773

Don't let Pelosi, Reid and Obama kill more jobs with a tax hike.

S. 3773 prevents nearly $4 trillion in tax hikes over the next decade. Specifically, it would:

•Keep income tax rates right where they are. That means that the lowest rate would remain at 10 percent, rather than rising to 15 percent. It also means that the top rate (at which a majority of small business profits pay tax) would stay at 35 percent, rather than rising to 39.6 percent

•Keep the capital gains and dividends tax rate at 15 percent. Under the Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) tax hike, the capital gains tax rate is set to rise to 20 percent in 2011. The dividends top rate is set to rise to an astounding 39.6 percent in 2011

•Keep the death tax from rising to a 55 percent top rate with a small $1 million exemption. Instead, the death tax would be 35 percent with a generous $5 million exemption to protect most small businesses and family farms

•Prevent tax hikes on families, including a return of the marriage penalty and cutting the child tax credit in half

•Index the alternative minimum tax (AMT) to inflation. Under S. 3773, the number of AMT taxpayers should remain constant, rather than the sharp rise in AMT families that the Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) tax hike would result in.

S. 3773, the “Tax Hike Prevention Act of 2010” is a common-sense bill. It simply keeps in place the tax structure America has lived under for the past decade. It avoids a huge tax hike in the midst of a weak economy that will kill jobs. It’s supported by the American people, and should be voted on by the Senate before the election.

Text mostly from Americans for Tax Reform

Tax Foundation Projects 2011 Tax Parameters Using New Inflation Numbers

With Obama and Congress dithering over the Bush tax cuts and probably leaving it all in limbo for the lame duck Congress when those already voted out will have a chance the push something through, I can't imagine anything worse than being a professional tax preparer, or someone who will need their services (and that's just about everyone). The Tax Foundation has prepared three scenarios (as of Sept. 17).

From news release: "Tax Foundation Fiscal Fact, No. 245, "Tax Foundation Projects 2011 Tax Parameters Following Release of New Inflation Data," outlines inflation-adjusted 2011 federal income tax parameters under three policy scenarios:

(1) All the Bush-era tax cuts expire;

(2) All the tax cuts are extended (Republican plan);

(3) Congressional Democrats' proposal is adopted, which is similar to the Obama plan but does not extend major stimulus measures or include additional limits on itemized deductions.

The report is available online at"

The Tax Foundation - Tax Foundation Projects 2011 Tax Parameters Using New Inflation Numbers

Velma and Peggy

The source of the previous political verse was Peggy Noonan reflecting on Velma Hart's comments to the President at the townhall last week, saying she was exhausted from defending him. I still believe she was a plant intended to make sure Obama looked more human in his president struggles, because really, have you ever known a politician who created a more scolding, cold image? Well, she failed, or he failed, but way too many people including Noonan and Rush Limbaugh were taken in by this exchange. I just don't buy it. He's let a lot of things slip, like the exchange with Joe the Plumber, and announcing proudly after the election that he was just a few days away from fundamentally transforming our country (to what?), but usually he's very carefully scripted by like-minded speech writers and it all scrolls across the teleprompter.

Besides, for the life of me, I can't see what Velma is complaining about, even if she's for real and not a plant. She has a cushy government job (no unemployment, only growth at the federal level); she's married and her husband has a job; she's got great perks plus veterans benefits; she's rich enough to send her kids to private school which must be about $20,000 a year per child; so what exactly was she expecting from a president who promised to transfer some wealth. She's wealthy! He was planning to take it away from her and give it to you! If she didn't crunch the numbers before voting for him in 2008, I don't feel sorry for her.

Her life, her complaints, confirm to me she's a plant. Obama's not one of us--and I'm not talking about his birth certificate. Especially he's not an American black--even Jesse Jackson complained about that before 2008. Velma's just the type of woman Obama would select for the job of poor mouthing, and trust me, she'll be blamed if this backfires.

Reflections on a phrase from Peggy Noonan's The Enraged vs. The Exhausted

"This "will be remembered as the year the American people said no" to the status quo. The people "do not trust" those who make the decisions far away. They want to restore balance." Peggy Noonan

Let this be remembered
As the year
Americans said, NO
To the status quo.

Let this be remembered
As the year
Americans with tea,
Said Don’t tax me.

Let this be remembered
As the year
Americans tossed RINOs
And Pelosi DINOs.

Let this be remembered
As the year
To media mainstream
“Stop stealing our dream.”

This will be the year
Americans will vote
And remember
This coming November.

Obama blows over wall of separation with hot air!

Will Christmas pagents reappear this year in schools? Can we decorate the public square again? President Obama has enlisted pastors to plug his health care plan. Whoopee! The man who asked Georgetown University to remove any signs or symbols of the faith, now comes crawling since 70% of us reject his ideas on a takeover of a huge segment of the economy. The president most far out on late term killing of unborn babies, now wants churches to plug his program to impoverish more Americans. If you start hearing this drivel in your church either in Sunday School or from the pulpit, I hope you walk out!
    . . .on Tuesday President Obama and his director of faith-based initiatives convened exactly such a meeting to try to control political damage from the unpopular health-care law. "Get out there and spread the word," reported the president as saying on a conference call with leaders of faith-based and community groups. "I think all of you can be really important validators and trusted resources for friends and neighbors, to help explain what's now available to them." Since then, there's been nary a peep from the press.
Jim Towey: Pastors For ObamaCare? -

Friday, September 24, 2010

Obama's foreign agenda

President Obama's devotion to international institutions like the United Nations is the core of the Obama Doctrine. . . The United Nations finds no moral conflict in having human rights abusers sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council; in having socialist countries sit on the United Nations' Economic and Social Council; or having terrorism-sponsoring nations block the United Nations from defining an act of terrorism."

Morning Bell: Waiting for Crazy | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

So the UN doctrine on human rights is now the BOUSA doctrine on human rights?

The "crazy" in the title refers to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and not Obama--just in case you don't read the article.

Congress again puts politics ahead of rescuing the economy

Obama and the Democrats find yet another way to keep the economy sinking, sinking, sinking--mass uncertainty about taxes. Yes, Mr. Obama's plan is working.

"The delay could complicate the financial planning of millions of Americans. "You're going to have families sitting there thinking about the tax consequences in end-of-life situations," said Alan Rothschild, chairman of the American Bar Association's section on estate law. "That's a horrible situation." The estate tax, which lapsed in January, will return next year at rates up to 55% unless Congress acts."

Congress Punts on Taxes -

Would there be a Republican pledge without the Tea Party movement?

In 18 months the Tea Party went from zero to 29% of the voters. What would Republicans be pledging or debating if it weren't for these folks nipping at their heels as they turned tail and ran?

Highlights of the Pledge include:
  1. Small business income deduction of 20% of income
  2. Permanent extension of current tax rates to avoid largest tax hike in history
  3. Cancel unspent stimulus funds
  4. Place a cap on all new discretionary spending
  5. Restore spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels of 2008
  6. Repeal and replace the health care law
For more information on the Pledge to America

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Childhood memories? Where did she grow up?

One of the bottles I found under the sink today in my week of kitchen cleaning was a handsome spray bottle with a teal label called "Beach Days Surface Cleaner." I think I bought it some years ago at an eco-friendly display at Meijer's and some how it got stuck in the undersink clutter. It's made by The Good Home Co., established in 1995. The label says,
    "In 1995, I began to hand-make quality products with frangrances that were based on my memories of simple, beautiful places. My own wonderful, childhood memories of perfect days by the sea inspired this Beach Days fragrance."
Whew! She must have grown up next to a solvent factory if this stuff makes her nostalgic, because a whiff of this can make your eyes burn from 20 ft. There was only a little left in the bottle, so I added water. That seemed to make it worse.

The main solvent is "propylene glycol n-butyl ether" and it's not recommended for glass, wood, marble, fabric or painted surfaces, which leaves me what exactly in the kitchen?

Glycol Ethers - General Information

And sound and look of affluence

On my morning walk today I could hear the sound of traffic roaring both north and south from Rt. 315--several miles away. I could also hear the happy sounds of the Upper Arlington High School band practicing miles away. I saw construction/remodeling signs of contractors in the yards of the upscale neighborhood built in the mid-1970s. Then I picked up a flyer from a real estate sign for 3815 Criswell Drive.
Half a million won't get you much in Huntington Beach, California, or Coolidge Corners, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, but it buys a heck of a lot of house in a very convenient neighborhood of Upper Arlington, a community of outstanding schools and community services, minutes to Dublin or downtown Columbus or OSU, Battelle or Chem Abstracts and a stone's throw from one of the country's best golf courses.
  1. Almost 3,000 sq ft
  2. 112 x 150 lot
  3. finished media room
  4. bump out on garage for hobbies or third car
  5. beautiful yard with patio and irrigation system
  6. island kitchen with pantry wall and mud room
  7. dining room with wet bar and built-ins
  8. marble floors in foyer and kitchen
  9. 2nd floor laundry
  10. deluxe master bath with jetted tub and shower
So the taxes are over $10,500, but we don't have personal property taxes like some of you do; we don't have mountains and beaches near by, but there is an airport; and of course, we have football out the wazoo.

Today I got an e-mail from Bob, a high school friend warning me Starbucks prices were going up, up and away. (About 6 guys from my high school (1950s) have e-mail lists--and they say women talk. . .) I wrote back and told Bob I judge affluence by . . . kitchen counter tops. Recently our neighborhood had a home tour. You would think laminate counters are a sign of 3rd world poverty. Granite, marble, polished concrete, and the new cabinets to support them, the track lighting to shine on them, and the gorgeous art to hang above them are a sign that Americans are still doing quite well, thank you. Also, I'm a fan of HGTV, and hooked on the home buying "reality" shows (completely unreal). You would think people have seen a rat if the buyers see laminate.

Personally, I think marble is way overrated. It's hard to clean--in fact my kitchen counter never feels clean to me and it's too dark to tell. The instructions for its care read like a school exam, so now I just clean it with anything handy--usually Windex, which I've learned is just about the handiest tool around.

The point of all this is to tell all those economic experts and journalists who for the last 30 years have been telling me how awful it is to be poor in the United States and how we're all going to hell in a hand basket, that many Americans are doing just fine. And they are very, very tired of hearing our scolding, obsequious president diminish what a market economy can provide for most of us, and give hope for the rest. We started our marriage in the bottom quintile 50 years ago and never even noticed we were poor because we had so much for which to be grateful.

The Carter-Obama Comparisons

This is a "kiss and tell" entry. I adored President Jimmy Carter, and wrote him a fan letter after he was turned out to pasture by Reagan (and I received a thank you note which I kept on my refrigerator for at least a year). However, at first I thought he was a wonderful ex-president going about inspiring people with authentic Christian good works (Habitat for Humanity). However, as he got older and more restless he began setting a really bad example for future Democratic ex-presidents and ex-vice presidents. (This doesn't seem to be an affliction of Republicans.) He began to act as though he still mattered to the American public, that people cared what he thought. That said, I still admire a man who will defend his record while working out of a cramped apartment with a Murphy bed rather than living it up in high style the way other Democrats do. Old clips seen on 60 minutes a few days ago, however, did bring some unfortunate comparisons with my least favorite president, Barack Obama.
    "Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz, for instance, told Fox News in August 2008 that Mr. Obama's "rhetoric is more like Jimmy Carter's than any other Democratic president in recent memory." Syndicated columnist Jonah Goldberg noted more recently that Mr. Obama, like Mr. Carter in his 1976 campaign, "promised a transformational presidency, a new accommodation with religion, a new centrism, a changed tone."

    But within a few months, liberals were already finding fault with his rhetoric. "He's the great earnest bore at the dinner party," wrote Michael Wolff, a contributor to Vanity Fair. "He's cold; he's prickly; he's uncomfortable; he's not funny; and he's getting awfully tedious. He thinks it's all about him." That sounds like a critique of Mr. Carter.

I don't think Carter is the narcissist that Obama is, nor is he a Marxist, but he is a liberal, finger wagging whine. When I saw that 1970s clip of him lecturing the American public on their morals, it just sent a chill down my back. Excuse me if it sounds racist, but that was way too much blue-eyed, elder soul for this former fan.

John Fund: The Carter-Obama Comparisons Grow -

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Look out Illinois, here he comes

"There is a "decent chance" Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel will leave the White House as soon as October of this year to run for mayor of Chicago, a senior White House official confirmed this afternoon to CBS News, though the official stressed that no final decision has been made."

This might be your only opportunity to have the words "decent" and "Rahm Emanuel" in the same sentence. Act now if you're from Chicago.

The unintended consequences of government take-overs

This is what happens when 1) lobbyists write the bills, and 2) congress doesn't read the bills, and 3) a president puts his own leftist ideology ahead of what's good for the nation (a good economy so we can pay for health care).

"Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Inc. and others will halt new child-only policies in California, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut and elsewhere as early as Thursday when provisions of the nation's new healthcare law take effect, including a requirement that insurers cover children under age 19 regardless of their health histories."


Senate Republicans hold up Dream Act for children of immigrants--a lie

Republicans can't stop anything in this Congress (which is why Obama won't be sorry that some Democrats will be defeated in November--he'll be able to continue blaming Republicans for all his mistakes). And slipping the Dream Act into a defense bill is defenseless. WaPo is so biased in this story it is unbelievable that anyone buys or advertises in this yellow rag. The vote was 56-43 and 60 were needed. Arkansas Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor voted with Republicans. Majority Leader Harry Reid also voted to block the bill in a procedural move that allows the defense bill to be revived later.

The DREAM Act allows young people to become legal U.S. residents after spending two years in college or the military. I'm completely in favor of young people entering the military and achieve a fast track to citizenship--the U.S. has been doing that since the early 19th century. But why give citizenship to illegal students? Then why not any international student who is here with his/her parents for any reason?

What about all the people who have come here and followed the rules. How will the Democrats and RINOs reimburse them? Why, when a college education doesn't guarantee even a citizen a job, are we using it as a carrot for illegals to come here?

Senate Republicans hold up Dream Act for children of immigrants

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gabourey Sidibe's 'Elle' cover: Why the outrage? |

There was a photo of President Obama in the newspaper today and his skin looked lighter than mine. Must have been the lighting, because I think everyone, even Joe Biden*, knows who he is. So what's the fuss over Gabourey Sidibe? Is this a new form of racism? A black woman, can't be enhanced, can't be photographed to look glamorous, and only Oprah gets that privilege? Magazine cover editors can't make their own decision without checking with the race police? Like those white models look like that first thing in the morning?

*""I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Gabourey Sidibe's 'Elle' cover: Why the outrage? |

OSU's Brutus Buckeye tackled by Rufus, mascot of OU

It came as a shock that when the OU mascot, Rufus, ran on to the field he attacked Brutus Buckeye. Now after all the shock, awe and apologies, it turns out the doofus Rufus wasn't even a student at OU-- "[Brandon] Hanning, 19, is a student at Hocking College. He enrolled at OU last year but dropped out, he said. He added that he still hadn't been informed of his firing, but didn't care." Link. The only reason he tried out was so he could tackle Brutus.
    "As the Buckeyes ran onto the field of the “Horseshoe,” packed with 105,000 cheering fans, Rufus spotted Brutus running out with the team, got in front of him and attempted a tackle. Brutus avoided this first attempt, with Rufus losing his head, literally. Brutus lifted his arms in a “what the hell?” gesture, and jogged away.

    Rufus got up, collected his head, adjusted it and gave chase. By the time Brutus got to the end zone, Rufus caught up with him and jumped on his back, pulling him to the ground.

    Brutus appeared unfazed, and made his way back up, with Rufus still clinging around his neck and striking Mr. Buckeye about his stuffed mascot head and face. The two then toppled to the painted ground again. As they got up, Rufus still swinging, Brutus pushed him off and again raised his arms in protest, with Rufus responding in kind.

    A member of Ohio State security then escorted Rufus to the sideline and told him that if he touched Brutus again he would be forced to leave." Athens News

Funny? I don't think so. And after reading several accounts, it's still not clear why a non-student was their mascot. Maybe no one checked after he dropped out of school?

Minimum wage, no benefits temps hired by union to picket Wal-Mart

The UFCW of Nevada pays temporary workers minimum wage to demand fair treatment and wages from Wal-Mart. Doing the same thing it claims Wal-Mart does.

Working stiffed, the Jon Stewart show.

Bad kitty

Summer at Lakeside

Old habits die hard. Ours is a rescue cat. She was turned in at Cat Welfare, but had clearly been a pet--was declawed and spayed. However, she'd been living by her wits for awhile, possibly inside an apartment where we speculate the owner had died or gone to a nursing home. She was very adept at digging food out of the garbage disposal or trash, and would gobble all her meal in a matter of minutes instead of nibbling through the day as our other cats.

This morning when I walked in the kitchen I stepped on a chicken bone, which she had dug out of the trash.

The street easement mowing and care is a home owner's responsibility

Construction during 2009

We have "new" sidewalks in our neighborhood. The easement, which belongs to the city, is narrow and when walking you're probably within about 6' of cars and trucks whizzing by, drivers on cell phones, moms talking to kids, stuff blowing off trucks. But most of us are happy to have them, and I see a lot of people getting out to walk. It's supposed to be near 90 today, so I went out at 8:10 to take advantage of the shade walking north.

The residents at the corner of Kenny and Millcreek do not take good care of their property in general, but the easement along Kenny is a disaster. Horizontal weeds grow out on to the sidewalk 12 to 18 inches. Vertical weeds are 2-3 ft tall. Plastic bottles and bags snuggle up to the weeds.

If the owners won't take care of it, the city should give them a warning and then charge them for the maintenance.

Then on Regency Dr. a bit east of Kenny the driveway ribbons and curbs that connect to the street are crumbling and dangerous--chunks of concrete are in the street. The other streets aren't that way. Whose responsibility is this? All the houses through there are very expensive, some are for sale. I wouldn't want to purchase a home where taxes are high and maintenance and pride are low.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sickle cell testing of athletes stirs fear of discrimination

Nothing like a helping of ignorance to assist young athletes in dying on the field.

This must be the worst case of race based discrimination I've heard in a long, long time. Don't allow the testing so you can make money on black athletes.

Sickle cell testing of athletes stirs discrimination fears

Clean the kitchen week

No, you won't find it on any calendar, but I'm declaring this as "Clean the kitchen week." Pretend your mother is visiting; or that you are moving to a new place and you don't want to take anything you won't use.

Monday: Refrigerator; toss the frosty frozen stuff; make vegetable soup from the tired left overs. The photo above is chicken broth, tomatoes left from summer (peeled), a quarter of a green pepper, some celery tops, chopped onion, and some left over brown rice. Consolidate or pitch. Wipe down the shelves. Clean the cabinet above (if you have one) and the floor below. Don't forget to vacuum the dust.

Tuesday: Gunky, sticky stuff--Stove top, oven and microwave.

Wednesday: Hard to reach stuff--get out a step stool. Shelves in cabinets, both wall and base; pantry if you have one; bookshelves if you have one in the kithen. Look at past due dates on staples; resort your can goods so you know what you have; toss discolored or old food items.

Thursday: Hidden away stuff--Drawers, including that junk drawer where you toss everything you don't know what to do with.

Friday: Shiny stuff--Counter tops, sink, faucets, pictures and mirrors (if you have them) floor.

Saturday: If you're employed, I guess you have to do Monday-Friday all in one day. Otherwise, take the day off.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Democrats spend on anti-health-reform advertisements

Where were these brave Democrats (that's a joke) when 70% of the American people let them know we didn't want ObamaCare? Politico's Sarah Kliff notes:
    "Democratic candidates are spending three times more advertising against the health reform law than they are in support of it.

    Since the beginning of Congress’s August recess, Democratic candidates have poured $930,000 into ads deriding the health overhaul but just $300,000 in pro-reform spots, according to Evan Tracey at Kantar Media."

Politico is a liberal site--insists on calling it "health care reform." Sounds better I suppose than health care swamp, health care sop, or health care boondoggle bill which no one read.

Clarice Feldman at American Thinker says the Democrats have noticed the guillotines being rolled up to the polling places. Would you trust a flip-flopper, tax-and-spend-and-lie-about-it, incumbant Democrat/Republican or a TEA candidate?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And what about Molly?

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal tells about Molly Norris, a caroonist who's been driven underground and forced to give up her job for suggesting something Muslims didn't like. Now we have Sharia for our newspaper staff? Taranto continues and notes that Obama has only championed First Amendment rights for Muslims:
    "Where is President Obama? Last month, speaking to a mostly Muslim audience at the White House, the president strongly defended the right of another imam held up as a moderate to build a mosque adjacent to Ground Zero. The next day, and again at a press conference last week, Obama said he was merely standing up for the First Amendment. As far as we recall, it's the only time Barack Obama has ever stood up for anybody's First Amendment rights.

    Now Molly Norris, an American citizen, is forced into hiding because she exercised her right to free speech. Will President Obama say a word on her behalf? Does he believe in the First Amendment for anyone other than Muslims?"

Story about Molly Norris.

Molly disappears.

People understand the Tea Party candidates

Dan Green writes in response to Peggy Noonan: "When you see tea Party folks on the tube, or see them interviewed, I see a next door neighbor. I see someone who pays their share of taxes, struggles but pays their mortgage, I see folks who helped their kids through college. When I see or listen to numerous economists, and elected legislators, I sense babble."

Now maybe that's not a political philosphy to satisfy 8 term congressmen of both parties or rich union leaders, or Karl Rove, or mainline Protestant misleaders and passive pastors, but it works for a lot of us.

Peggy whined her way through most of George W. Bush's 2nd term, and she's not quite on board with most conservatives. . . yet. But she's moving. She's moving.

Black Civil Rights Mafia Betrays Black America

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican says Lloyd Marcus (Confessions of a Black Conservative). Black Americans are being mislead by dinosaur Civil Rights "leaders."

"Black kids were doing extremely well in the D.C. school voucher program. Obama killed the program to appease the teachers' union. Blacks overwhelmingly oppose illegal immigration. Obama and company support illegals because of their coveted votes. Blacks oppose gay marriage. Obama and the progressives support gay marriage. . . Please allow me to set the record straight. Beck and the Tea Party patriots are far greater stewards of MLK's dream than the "sold out" Black Mob."

American Thinker: Black Civil Rights Mafia Betrays Black America

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pertussis in California

In the first six months of 2010, there was a 418% increase from the 258 cases of pertussis reported in California during the same period in 2009. But don't blame immigration from Mexico, says the LATimes article. Mexico does an excellent job of vaccinating its children. (But do illegals once they are here?) Pertussis is whooping cough, and it's a sound you'll never forget once you've heard a child or adult who's had it. According to MMWR, pertussis is cyclical with peaks occurring every 3-5 years in the U.S. But if this increase continues in California, it would be the highest since 1963. Infants die of whooping cough--there are some parents who are spooked by vaccines, but they are putting their children and other children in grave danger.

Also, your immunity after awhile wears off and you may require a booster. I actually had the disease and don't think I've ever had the shot.

Today the world stops turning

It was probably sometime during 1956 when I stopped in to chat with a very young, stay at home mom, and was shushed because she was engrossed watching a "soap," As the World Turns, whose characters Penny Hughes (Rosemary Prinz) and Ellen Lowell (Wendy Drew) were struggling with Ellen's unwed pregnancy in the fictional Oakdale. The world stops turning today, September 17, 2010 having had a long run since it began April 2, 1956. I remember a few critical episodes from the 50's and 60's, like Ellen giving her son up for adoption and then later marrying the adoptive father, and Penny losing her husband Jeff (played by Mark Rydell) in an auto accident. I wouldn't recognize any of the story lines or characters today, so I don't think I'll tune in--I'll just remember them they way they were.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

People are groomed to be Marxists

says Teague Cuddeback, a former protégée of a Marxist activist embedded within the Democratic Party. She was suckered too, so she points out what to watch for--particularly among idealistic young Christians who mean well, but don't know their Bible.
    "We were young, impressionable, sometimes alienated but always seeking greater autonomy from anxious or overweening parents. We just knew we were changing the world for the better. It felt great to be appreciated, considered important, to be working under the guiding hand of someone older, but not too much older; someone in the know, well placed, intelligent, well-read, cheerful, always encouraging, affirming us as talented, valuable persons. We were praised for unselfishly standing for the disenfranchised, the disrespected, those without the legal power to do much for themselves. Oh, how we identified!"
She also makes this interesting comment about the Tea Parties:
    "The TEA Party movement has emerged to the utter shame of the Republican Party. It is challenging the brain-dead thinking of those still surrendering their votes to Leftists whose policies are directly responsible for most of the social and economic ills we face today. They are having some impact. The Tea Partiers also have shocked and frightened Republican Party stalwarts who have been doing the same thing for so long with the same pathetic results and are threatened by voters who now demand accountability or their jobs.

    Anyone who’s been to a TEA Party rally has felt the energy and desire to “get ‘er done” and know the blanket charges of racism are ludicrous. Democrats make these statements to disguise the fact they have been promoting genocide among blacks for decades and more recently encouraging Hispanics to be law breakers. The Tea Partiers – bless their souls – are attempting to demonstrate that it is the institutionalizing Democrats that block all efforts to unleash the native intelligence and skills of those kept poor by deception and fraud."

So ignore the charges of ignorance, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and take a good look at what you can do. You just might be able to see November from your house, your job, your polling place.

Ouch! Trees have feelings too

This afternoon I was at our city building which has a large concrete mall area with a low wall, and one round opening for a sycamore type tree--the type with the peeling, multi-colored bark. I'm guessing it's about 40 years old to judge from its girth. They left enough space in the original landscaping for it to really spread out.  The trees on the other side of the wall are spreading too, so it's getting harder to see the tree.  But up close you can see that huge hooks have been screwed into two lower limbs on which to hang "art."  One looks like it might be an elongated bell, the other a crooked globe trapped inside metal toothpicks.  They are BIG and HEAVY and in my judgement, not nearly as beautiful as a tree spreading its limbs to kiss the sky.  I'm afraid this is an example of tax supported "public" art--ugly rusting blobs of metal sitting around city buildings usually are. I have no idea why the artist didn't suggest an appropriate hanger for the art so the tree wouldn't need to be damaged and defaced.

Teachers union helped defeat Adrian Fenty

Why it's so hard to get a good education in a city school system. Did you know that even the non-union teachers have to pay dues to the union in order to teach in the system? They have a lot of money to defeat a politician who tries to change things to favor the students rather than the teachers--and there was indeed change happening in DCPS.

Teachers union helped unseat Fenty - Ben Smith -

Four years ago the newly elected Adrian Fenty, mayor of DC and a man with a passion for improving education, appointed Michelle Rhee chancelor of the DC Schools.

"Rhee hit the ground running. She closed schools. She removed principals (who are not covered by a union) whose schools scored low on tests with more reform-minded replacements. She proposed to the Washington Teachers' Union a contract that sharply curtailed job protection. And as the contract worked its way through an interminable set of negotiations, Rhee terminated hundreds of teachers in layoffs she attributed to budget shortfalls. And she brought the union contract negotiations to a successful conclusion, trading higher salaries for less job protection.

Rhee got results. The year after she arrived, DCPS had the greatest gains of any state in fourth-grade math and was one of only five states to show increases in math for both fourth and eighth grades. The high school graduation rate increased faster than in previous years. And last month, the U.S. Department of Education awarded D.C. one of its highly competitive Race to the Top grants." NPR Report

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Do the right thing, Craigslist

Do the right thing. Shut down the sex ads and go back to making your money on used refrigerators and spare bedrooms for rent. The alternative is for all honest, decent people to stop using this service.

"More than 250 Craigslist sites exist around the world that still feature 'Erotic' sections where trafficked children and women are being sold for sex," according to the letter signed by 100 representatives from such groups as the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, the Rebecca Project for Human Rights and the Salvation Army."

Craigslist under pressure

Would you paint in a $200 t-shirt?

Mrs. O's $207 t-shirt for 9/11 service day

Would you even buy a $200 t-shirt? This is in keeping with Mrs. O's style--take 40 of your best friends on a trip to Spain and put them up in first class 5 star hotels while the little, unimportant people struggle with a recession, made worse by your husband's tax and spend policies. This "let them eat cake" attitude has given rise to an extended nickname for her, Michelle Antoinette Obama.

I think the tasteful light green cover ups the residents are wearing would have worked just fine for a paint in service day.

Mrs.O - Follow the Fashion and Style of First Lady Michelle Obama - Home - Service and a Statement Tee

Yesterday I bought a $4 Jaclyn Smith t-shirt at KMart (on sale). It is tasteful, practical, a good color for me, it covers what needs to be covered, and if I spill or splash something on it, I'll be sorry, because I think it's a great buy. Jaclyn Smith's designs are great for the mature woman--she's had a relationship with KMart for 25 years and isn't just a brand, but is an entrepreneur who participates in the design and production. I'm a much smarter shopper than Mrs. O. who during the 2008 campaign tried to commiserate with pink collar workers by complaining about her college loans, and the costs of private schools and piano lessons for the girls. Some rich people are clueless about how others live.

My $4 Jaclyn Smith just-because-I-like-it t-shirt

Smutty Nose and Herring Gut

The September 15 cover of JAMA is Monhegan, Maine, by Rockwell Kent. Monhegan is an island off the coast of Maine, accessible only by ferry; it has hiking trails, but no roads or cars. To get you there, the ferry will negotiate Herring Gut, the opening between tiny Smutty Nose islet and Monhegan.

The painting is owned by Colby College, a lovely and very liberal, liberal arts college I attended one summer where I had such a good time I didn't even attempt to transfer my credit hours to the University of Illinois for fear of pulling down my grade point.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

40-Year-Old Virgin Actor Admits to Brutal Stabbing of Girlfriend, Blames "Chaos," Mistaken Identity - E! Online

Move along. This is not a hate crime. The victim is a white, straight, female. She'd have to be a Muslim, or a lesbian, or a minority for her ex-boyfriend to get an additional charge of "hate crime," and thus more years on the sentencing (which seems terribly light to me).

40-Year-Old Virgin Actor Admits to Brutal Stabbing of Girlfriend, Blames "Chaos," Mistaken Identity - E! Online

Monday, September 13, 2010

On the road to the wedding--Monday Memories

Today I received a 50th anniversary card from my cousin Sharon Weybright, which included a photograph of her and her fiance at an Oasis rest stop near Chicago, taken by her father, Leslie, when the family was on the way to our wedding in Mt. Morris, Illinois on September 11, 1960. I think the tollway was only about a year or two old then, and Fred Harvey Restaurants were the vendors. The Harvey restaurants started on trains in the 1870s and continued to serve travellers in automobiles until the mid-1960s.

Notice not only how glamorous Sharon is--hat, gloves, high heels (she was about 21), but how well dressed the people are who are entering the restaurant. It was a different time. No baggy jeans and butt cracks in those days!

They bought it--crook, line and stinker

The old "hope and change" message sounds pretty hollow today. And another stimulus isn't very stimulating, no matter what it's called. This item is from How Barack Obama Became Mr. Unpopular. Of course, if TIME and other news tools had been doing their job of vetting candidates, he might not have sneaked through, right? So why believe them now?

"We bought what he said. He offered a lot of hope," says Fred Ferlic, an Obama voter and orthopedic surgeon in South Bend who has since soured on his choice. Ferlic talks about the messy compromises in health care reform, his sense of an inhospitable business climate and the growth of government spending under Obama. "He's trying to Europeanize us, and the Europeans are going the other way," continues Ferlic, a former Democratic campaign donor who plans to vote Republican this year. "The entire American spirit is being broken."

Mr. Ferlic, what were you thinking?

The plight of the small businessman

Small businesses generate 65% of job growth and Obama plans to tax them to death if they are successful. So when the head of SBA says they need access to capital, that's only part of the story. Small business owners often pay taxes at individual income-tax rates rather than corporate rates, so these rich "fat cats" that Obama demonizes in almost every speech may be a dress designer or dry cleaner or dairy plant that employs 20 or 30 people and easily go over his magic number of $250,000. I'm not sure why Geithner, who couldn't even figure out his own income taxes, is saying Obama's increases will only affect about 3% of the population. We're retired, and looking at the tax charts it looks like we'll be paying more--I sure we all will, even if it's indirectly through higher prices.

As the saying goes, "I never got a job from a poor man." Increasingly, you only get a job through some level of government, and that will impoverish all of us, so the only people hiring will probably be poor, too. Ending Bush tax cuts?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

She can pull it off; why can't he?

Today I've heard speeches from both the First Lady and the President. I doubt that you could get a piece of thread between them on political philosophy and beliefs. But somehow, she can sound like one of us and he can't. Is it the speech writers' fault? I don't think so. He doesn't know who he is--how can we? After watching a 90 minute rerun of the National Cathedral service on September 14, 2001, Obama's performance, and that is what it is, just makes me want to cry.

September 11, 1960

And all the while the world whirled by--the Vietnam War, the Jesus Movement, the Civil Rights movement, the cultural revolution in China, new immigrants fleeing their homelands, the rise of Feminism, assassinations of our leaders, apocalyptic religious timetables, the Cold War, the nuclear arms race, the obsession with youth culture, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of the European Common Market and the Euro, Middle East wars and terrorism, increasing depravity in entertainment, the 9/11 attack (on our anniversary!), the loss of family and friends through divorce and death, and technology drawing us inward while pushing us apart. Barely able to keep up the pace and race, we eventually got a garage door opener, microwave, computer and a cell phone. We traveled to Alaska, major cities and tourist spots in the U.S., Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Estonia, Russia, and toured the Holy Land seeing sights we never dreamed we‘d see on trains, planes, buses, foot and camel. Whew! What a ride it has been. How fast the time has gone and how blessed we have been.
Update: September 12--a few party photos:

What a surprise! My sister had the wedding dress sent (a big hush, hush secret) which our mother made for her in 1955, and which I wore in 1960.

Another huge surprise--my brother came from Illinois! The new deck (finished on Saturday) worked out great.

We cut the cake about 3 p.m., but most of the guests were enjoying the lovely weather and were outside on the deck or in the tent.  The knife is the one we used at our wedding.

Our Indiana family drove over for the occasion and my son-in-law's father from Cleveland.

Friends from UALC enjoying some fellowship in the family room.  We think there were between 115-120 guests, most signed the guest register, which was also my original book from 1960.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The illusion of safety

While I was in the car today I was listening to a talk show where the host and listener/caller were discussing texting while driving. The caller was a truck driver and he said it was a federal crime with a $2700 fine and points on your license to text and drive for truck drivers. But he was talking on a hands free phone--assuming that was safe! It's not the hands, it's the brain. It's the equivalent of driving while drunk.

The Illusion of Safety « All 2010 News « News « College of Liberal Arts & Sciences « University of Illinois

Where’s Next: November May Determine Regional Winners

Democrats love to paint the lie that it is the Republicans who are the "fat cats." Gosh, how many times have we heard that phrase from the president's blue lips? Washington DC with hardly a blip of unemployment has seen its economy roaring. Never better for federal jobs--federal employment, excluding the postal service, remains roughly 200,000 larger than in 2008. New York City and Silicon Valley, bastions of liberal greed, are bloating on government grants courtesy of Obamanomics,is another. This article even says Ohio--specifically Columbus--will be one of the regional beneficiaries, although not the outlying areas. I wondered why he had so many return trips here--preaching to the union choir in campaign singy songy happy clappy praise choruses.
    "Other regional winners from the Obama economy generally can be found in state capitals and University towns, particularly those with the Ivy or elite college pedigrees that resonate with this most academic Administration. One illustration can be seen in the relatively strong recovery of Massachusetts – home to many prestigious Universities and hospitals – which has seen jobs grow by 2.2 percent since the Obama ascension. Similar, albeit less dramatic recoveries can be found in Columbus, Madison and Minneapolis-St.Paul, with their large university communities and regional federal employment centers. Yet the political benefits of this growth may be limited. Many other parts of these same states, including the outer boroughs of New York are not doing well; aside from Columbus, Ohio has continued to skid as its industrial and corporate base dwindles, often moving to more business friendly states.
Wall Street CEOs love the Democrats--more regulation means less competition from the little guy and up and coming competitor.

But not so fast. Some regions are sticking to basics, sound planning, lower costs. And when this passes, those regions may siphon off some of that blue region growth.
    " . . . the fastest growth in science, engineering and technical jobs has been in low-cost states such as North Dakota, Virginia, New Mexico, Utah and Texas. Just recently, several major Silicon Valley powerhouses – Adobe, Twitter, Electronic Arts and eBay – announced major new expansions in Utah, a state that is among a brood seeking to move prized businesses, including even entertainment, from the Golden State."
We'll see. November will be a contest of ideologies and the private sector against the public for economic growth.
Where’s Next: November May Determine Regional Winners |

A Tsunami Approaches: The Beginning of the Great Deconstruction

I obviously was in the wrong public service profession. My teacher's pension, Ohio's STRS, is almost exactly the same as my husband's Social Security--a little less, for 24 years of service, and I'm not eligible for the SS spousal benefit if something happens to him, nor even my own Social Security payout.
    "By 2010, the general public received a series of shocks. The first shock was the jobless recovery of the Great Recession that cost 8 million jobs. Most of the job losses occurred in the private sector yet the majority of the $800 billion Stimulus Bill went to “save and create” public sector employment.

    The second shock was learning that civil servants earned twice that of private workers. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal workers received average pay and benefits of $123,049 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation.

    The third shock was revelation of incredible retirement plans doled out by politicians since 1999. In 2002, California passed SB 183 that allowed police and safety workers to retire after 30 years on the job with 3% of salary for each year of service, or 90% of their last year’s pay. During the Great Recession, fireman began retiring with $150,000 pensions at age 52 despite a life expectancy approaching 80. In Orange County CA, lifeguards, deemed safety workers, retired with $147,000 annual pensions. The Orange County sheriff, recently convicted of witness tampering, will receive $215,000 annually while in jail. Bob Citron, the Treasurer of Orange County who pushed the county into bankruptcy in the 1990s, receives a pension of $150,000 per year. A tsunami of anger and resentment is building.

Keep bailing, folks. Looks like the public sector pension plans are going to have a melt down.

A Tsunami Approaches: The Beginning of the Great Deconstruction |

Gov't: Spending to rise under health care overhaul

This doesn't come as a huge surprise, but who can we blame. The American people wanted him. His agenda from the beginning has been to destroy, and we are sure getting it. Don't worry about this "low" figure--the next report will show it to be much higher, I'm sure.
    "Factoring in the law, Americans will spend an average of $13,652 per person a year on health care in 2019, according to the actuary's office. Without the law, the corresponding number would be $13,387. That works out to $265 more with the overhaul. Currently, Americans spend $8,389 a year per person on health care."

The Associated Press: Gov't: Spending to rise under health care overhaul

Said the pot to the kettle . . .

It's amazing that President Obama didn't notice the divisivness, hate and racism in Rev. Wright's sermons for 20 years--a huge UCC church in Chicago, but somehow he finds the leader of a tiny no-name sect in Florida threatening. My book club is bigger that that guy's church. Here he is "looking back" declaring integration a failure, white motives corrupt and immoral, yada, yada. Let's see, I think we heard almost the same line of thought in Obama's campaign speeches. Maybe he was listening after all.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Pork and gravy for the obesity problem

Yesterday while making a salad for the meal to take over to my daughter's home where a beehive of activity is taking place to build a deck, I had a flashback to my childhood. The after school snack. A chunk of cabbage. Crisp, crunchy and sweet, and probably from Mom's garden. I'm sure kids would turn up their noses at vegetable snacks today, but that's what we got. Desserts were for meal time, and that might be something I call "warm milk cake" because I don't think it had a name, and it certainly didn't have icing.

For years women's magazines have been sounding the alarm on the obesity problem--a lot of good that has done. Personally, I think the current feminist movement which started the back to the workplace shift for women in the 1970s, which grew an entire casual eating out restaurant industry-- take-out, pizza, and fast food empire--because women weren't home at 5 or 6 p.m. to cook, is the source of many of the problems we have in 2010 with over weight children, who then become over weight adults.

There are medical problems--some genetic--that can cause obesity, such has metabolic syndrome, but even these can be controlled or helped with a simple plan of ELMM. Eat less move more. It's darn hard work, but not a penny from the government pork and gravy train is needed. Here's a common sense tip from a government program called Letsmove dot gov:
    •Keep fruits and vegetables within reach; store cookies, chips and ice cream out of immediate sight.

    •Schedule specific family activities at regular times. Instead of saying "we need to be more active," plan a 30-minute neighborhood walk after dinner three evenings a week.

    •When shopping, park the car as far from the store as possible. Make it a game: Count the steps as you walk to the store -- and next time, try to park even farther away.

When my mother sent us outside to play, I don't think it was a plan to be more active, but it worked. As did mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, riding our bicycles to friends' homes, and running around outside at school recess, even in extremely cold weather. Ice cream? We didn't have a freezer, so if we had it, it was a very special event.

But where's the money in common sense?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

What could possibly go wrong?

This was forwarded by guest blogger, Murray.

Let me get this straight.

We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't,

written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it,

passed by a Congress that hasn't read it and

whose Speaker states we will pass it to see what it says,

and by a Congress that exempts themselves from it,

to be signed by a president who also smokes,

with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes,

to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese,

and financed by a country that's broke.

Food Crisis Worsens in Central Africa

Read between the lines of this New York Times "green" article and do a little research, and you'll find food aid is often the cause of the crisis in these intractable hunger areas. Their governments use the food aid to hold the people hostage and to relocate them at will; the food aid depresses prices driving farmers from the land.

Food Crisis Worsens in Central Africa -

Today's WSJ reviewed a new book on the outcomes of money gathered from the feel-good Live Aid concert. The government of Ethiopia killed more people than the famine through forced resettlement. You can read sections of the book at Google. "Famine and foreigners, Ethiopia since Live Aid," by Peter Gill.
    As Gill notes, aid agencies (generally foreign) have been involved (and/or meddling) in Ethiopia for decades now, as have foreign governments, and the roles of these often very well-backed foreign governments and institutions has played a part in the course various famines (and periods where famine was a threat) took. In the mid-1980s, for example, the Derg imposed a mass resettlement policy, trying to move people from one area of the country to another. They often did so forcefully, and the policy divided both the nations providing aid as well as the aid agencies with their differing policies of non-interference and conceptions of sovereignty.

    As Gill repeatedly notes, many aid agencies did very well by the famines -- in getting cash, raising their profiles, becoming players. While avoiding outright condemnation, Gill does note that, for example, Oxfam in particular not only expanded rapidly into a dominant player, but eventually also was closely tied to the British Labour government -- and that its self-interest seem to have influenced at least some aid-decisions, such as silence on the resettlement policy. (On the other hand, he seems to approve of Médecins Sans Frontières' (Doctors without Borders') focus solely on conditions on the ground, and indifference to stepping on anyone's (and particularly any government's) toes.) Link

ARRA at Ohio State University

As of a year ago, Ohio State University had been awarded 174 grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--and although I think any one project is worthwhile and will help Americans and world citizens in the long run, in the short run, they probably have done nothing for the economy. Even little for the immediate Columbus community. Over 82 million dollars. Multiply that by all the other universities, colleges, and non-profits who got their cut. These are not "shovel ready," "boots on the ground" jobs for working people. Like $1.5 million for "autonomous vehicles." Or $1.5 million for "understanding cancer" spread around 240 scientists in 14 colleges? That will hardly pick up the travel tab at the conferences they'll attend.
    "Conquering disease and improving health, reversing the effects of climate change from global warming, creating new nanotechnological materials, and exploring alternative energy sources – these are just some of the research thrusts in ARRA awards to The Ohio State University."
ARRA Funded Research at OSU, November 2009

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day Detour

Usually we go to the Upper Arlington Art Show on Labor Day, but this year we'll be at my daughter's home to help with building the deck, the decorating and whatever else needs to be done before our party next Sunday. So I've got some bratwurst grilling on the stove top which I'll reheat there; made some cole slaw with carrots and pineapple; about 2/3 of my pumpkin coffee cheese cake (made without the pumpkin since there's none to be found); and I'll swing by the store for chips and buns.

Not that I didn't know this, but I'm not an "event planner." Oh, I have great ideas 6 months going into it, but as the day draws nearer whether a luncheon, dinner, bridal shower or 50th anniversary party, I lie awake at night thinking about the "what ifs." In this case, where will everyone park. Well, at least we've cancelled the one in Illinois--I've been awake since mid-June. I need some sleep!