Sunday, October 31, 2010

UALC has final vote today

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which claims a membership of 10,400 congregations and 4.6 million baptized members, accepted a task force on sexuality recommendation to remove the celebacy restriction for its gay and lesbian pastors in August 2009. This was not a vote to have gay pastors marry each other or to marry congregants--this was a vote to remove the celebacy requirement for openly gay and lesbian pastors. The old "committeed, loving relationship" routine.

This caused splits in many congregations, and not a blip in other. Under the ELCA’s rules, congregations that wish to disaffiliate themselves must take two votes passing by a two-thirds majority, with a 90-day consultation period with the local bishop scheduled between the votes. The congregation officially cuts off ties with the denomination upon passage of the second vote.

According to an Illinois paper by the end of June, 462 congregations had cast their first votes to leave the ELCA, with 312 adopting the resolution. Of these, 196 congregations have taken their second vote, with only 11 congregations opting not to leave the ELCA. Our church voted almost 92% to leave on the first vote and 95% on the second. The crowds were the largest I've ever seen in our church, outside a special musical concert.

I know members of other Lutheran congregations who will never have the opportunity to discuss it, or to vote on leaving, because either the church board or pastor won't allow it to even come up. You can have all the constitutional documents you want, you can all use the same Bible, but if no one is reading either one, it doesn't make a lot of difference.

In the ELCA homosexuals are invited to be full members, to share in the sacraments, and to be treated in all ways as heterosexuals. But let's remember the gold standard in virtually all churches is chastity and celebacy outside of marriage.

I was going through Google to see when ELCA (created in 1988) began accepting openly gay pastors, and it appears the local congregations never had a say in that. Some pastors finishing seminary simply announced shortly before ordination that they were gay, so they were told in order to have the church's blessings they'd need to be celebate. That may have been the early 90s. Maybe they (I think they were all women) didn't exactly lie when entering seminary, but they surely had their fingers crossed when the discussion of sex outside of marriage came up.

If a heterosexual, married pastor declared love for a non-spousal other, saying they have a "loving committed relationship" about which they need to be open in order to be culturally relevant for our times, and that Jesus didn't address a ménage à trois as a sin, not many congregations would swallow that line of reasoning, no matter how "normal" the sex drive is of the pastor. But give ELCA a few years, and it will be up for a vote.

21st-Century Social Media Literacies

This author writes, in part, about crap detection. I think I've found some.

Attention, and Other 21st-Century Social Media Literacies (EDUCAUSE Review) | EDUCAUSE

Morgenstern needs to get out of the East coast bubble

Joe Morgenstern wrote a review of the film "Wecome to the Riley's" in last week's Wall Street Journal. He didn't particularly like it. Sounds pretty awful to me--would I pay that much and go to a theater for that or wait til it comes to the dollar theater?

But what I noticed was this line, "Doug (James Gandolfini) speaks for unspecified reasons, in a Southern accent" although the play takes place in Indianapolis.

I guess he's never lived in Illinois, Indiana, or Ohio, just a little below the center line, because a Midwestern speech pattern here (and I've lived in all three) might just sound "southern" to someone living in the northeast or New York City. We have a heavy dose of Appalachian English around here, which by the way, is the way the Scots Irish immigrants spoke English in the 17th and 18th centuries, Mr. Morgenstern. Their English just might be more pure than yours. To my ear, most of my Indianapolis relatives sound "southern," but then I grew up in northern Illinois, and still put and R in Washington.

Welcome to the Rileys, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and Monsters | Film Reviews by Joe Morgenstern -

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A holy experience

"It killed my Dad that he worked the dirt to pay the taxes to pay the checks of teachers who told his kids that working the dirt wasn’t worthy work."

A beautiful love story.

In defense of food. You'll love this.

There is no Gay Teen Suicide Epidemic

This morning in a class at church a retired teacher commented on the gay teen suicide epidemic. I told her there were no statistics to back up this claim that gay teens are bullied and then commit suicide. "Oh yes," she said, "I've attended workshops on this." Now that I believe. However, the so called statistics are urban legends and are from a jumble of bad information. This was disproved 8 or 9 years ago. Ritch Savin-Williams says gay teens are just as psychologically healthy as other teens and just as resilient.

Just like the phony "death by abortion" statistics we got in the 1960s, these are politically based and biased for a different agenda. Even one suicide, for what ever reason, is too many, but there is no gay teen suicide epidemic. As a demographic, gay men and women are very successful, the best educated and highest paid group in our society. I suspect that as teens they were rather resilient, smart and brave. . . maybe more so than other groups. Also, they do their share of bullying, of each other, and straight teens.

Do you know what is killing and maiming teen-agers at an alarming rate? Automobile accidents and sports injuries. Each Year over 5,000 teens ages 16 to 20 die due to fatal injuries caused by car accidents. About 400,000 drivers age 16 to 20 will be seriously injured. These are not urban legends--these are reportable, verifiable statistics, plus they are deaths that in many cases could be prevented if we had the collective guts to raise the driving age to 18! Snowmobiling, with speeds of 90 miles per hour and vehicle weights of more than 600 lbs., causes 200 deaths and 14,000 accidents yearly. And school buses? In 2002, 26 children ages 14 and under were killed, and in 2001 an estimated 4,500 were injured in school bus-related incidents. More than 40 percent of these deaths were child pedestrians.

What about dog bites? From 1979 to 1996, 304 people in the USA died from dog attacks and 30 in 2009 alone. How does that compare to deaths by suicide caused by bullying--a statistic that just doesn't exist?

How do you know a gay teen doesn't commit suicide from unrequited love--just like straight teens--he is madly in love with someone who rejects him. Because of his youth and inexperience, life seems without value and meaning. If he was teased or bullied on Tuesday and commits suicide on Thursday after a text message from his boyfriend who is dumping him, is it the bullying, the boyfriend, or his own insecurities?

Is There a Gay Teen Suicide Epidemic? | Homosexuality, Lesbian & Gay Teen Suicide, Sexual Orientation | LiveScience

The holiday food drives are coming!

You can help the unemployed and low-income while helping your local economy. As the holidays near, you'll be getting a lot of appeals for food drives and food pantries. Many will ask for checks or donations because they can buy a lot of food for each donated dollar, much more economically than we can, because those bulk warehouses and food producers/brands are based on federal grants to states and agricultural surplus created by government planning (i.e., they aren't really cheaper if you look behind the curtain).

However, I suggest you actually purchase the food locally to help your local businesses and their employees and the whole chain of supply that isn't government sponsored or getting government grants. This time of year health and beauty aids are always appreciated. I don't like to buy giant bottles of shampoo for our use, but I've seen some brands for under $1.00, so I will buy one or two for each bag that goes to the food pantry.

Many food pantries are stressing healthier foods, so salt-free and sugar-free canned items are also appreciated. Thirty years ago we volunteers were told that many poor people didn't have adequate cooking equipment--like refrigeration, stoves or microwaves--but these days, I suspect they don't have adequate cooking knowledge. Macaroni and cheese, potato soup, navy bean soup and red beans with rice are all very inexpensive and nutritious, but how many women (or men) know how to make those Depression era delights?

The Ford Women

In today's Wall St. Journal there is a very attractive ad for women in the automotive industry. Apparently Automotive News did a feature on 100 of them. The photo includes 19 executive women at Ford (2 are not in the photo). So I took a closer, fashion look to see if there's something to be learned. I'm assuming they all had a little help with make-up and style, maybe not the two from "What not to wear" on TLC, but at least an advisor.

Of the 19 women in the Ford photo
  1. 15 are in pants, 4 are in skirts
  2. 13 are wearing black and white
  3. 5 are in shades of grey
  4. 1 is wearing a taupe jacket with black (Barb Samardzich, 51, who might be at the highest level, although I don't know the meaning of all the job titles
  5. only one woman is black, none are Asian, if any are Hispanic, they must be more Spanish than Indian because I couldn't tell
  6. only one had a really short hair cut
  7. 7 had shoulder length or longer hair styles
  8. 9 had chin length hair styles
  9. one had ear lobe length hair
  10. one had below the chin, above the shoulder length hair
  11. only two appeared to be overweight
  12. only one appeared to really thin (hard to tell)
  13. all had fabulous shoes and good make-up
Good job, ladies.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Maybe he can answer my question

Today I wrote to Patrick P. O'Carroll, Jr., Inspector General of the Social Security Administration. In September he wrote (or his staff did) a report on the dead people and convicts who received the $250 stimulus check back in 2009. 71,688 beneficiaries were deceased and received about $18 million and 17,348 beneficiaries were incarcerated and received $4.3 million. I always wondered why I received one because people with teacher's pensions aren't allowed to "double dip" so I don't get a Social Security check. If there's going to be a clawback, I don't want to wait until they've added a few hundred in interest. I won't hold my breath to see if he answers.

Zombie payments

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has just released a new report on the payments by the U.S. government to over 250,000 deceased individuals--$1.1 Billion of that was to farmers. The title is Federal Programs to Die for. This is a decade long report, so it spans both the Bush and Obama administrations, however, the failure belongs to Congress which has oversite over these Agencies which have misspent the money.

"Since 2000, the known cost of these payments to over 250,000 deceased individuals has topped $1 billion, according to a review of government audits and reports by the Government Accountability Office, inspectors general, and Congress itself. This is likely only a small picture of a much larger problem. Among the agencies making payments to the deceased:
    • The Social Security Administration sent $18 million in stimulus funds to 71,688 dead people and $40.3 million in questionable benefit payments to 1,760 dead people.

    • The Department of Health and Human Services sent 11,000 dead people $3.9 million in assistance to pay heating and cooling costs.

    • The Department of Agriculture sent $1.1 billion in farming subsidies to deceased farmers.

    • The Department of Housing and Urban Development overseeing local agencies knowingly distributed $15.2 million in housing subsidies to 3,995 households with at least one deceased person.

    • Medicaid paid over $700,000 in claims for prescriptions for controlled substances written for over 1,800 deceased patients and prescriptions for controlled substances written by 1,200 deceased doctors.

    • Medicare paid as much as $92 million in claims for medical supplies prescribed by dead doctors and $8.2 million for medical supplies prescribed for dead patients.

    • Congress has established HIV/AIDS funding distribution based on historic numbers of deceased HIV/AIDS patients, while many individuals living with AIDS desperately wait for medical care."

Since almost 72,000 deceased individuals got the $250 stimulus check through the Social Security Administration, I guess I shouldn't worry that I got one, even though I don't get a Social Security check.

The Cat Club Register of 100 years ago

The National Library of Agriculture has a digital archive of fascinating publications--The Cat Club Register, is one of them. I've chosen my cats' creative, interesting names from horse registries, because they seem to have all the great names. But 100 years ago, there were some good ones for cats:
    The Prince of Orange

    Oliver Woolleepug

    and Tortietumtee, a tortoiseshell female whose sire was unknown, but her mommy, who was out catting around, was named Toddiegoloddie

In this archive I also found a 1942 typed report of a government lab attempting to create rubber from the goldenrod plant--this was an invention of Thomas Edison who had used this process to create tires for his friend Henry Ford's Model T. He had turned it over to the U.S. government in 1930, which did nothing about it until it was desperate for rubber during WWII.

This one, Small gardens for small folks, 1912, is really precious. The author, Edith Loring Fullerton, uses photos of her own children, and it was published by W. Atlee Burpee for distribution by the USDA.

Thomas Friedman's predictable election rant

Who is Friedman kidding by blaming Republicans (and indirectly the Tea Party supporters and candidates who are the only life in this current campaign) for our economic mess? Democrats have been in control of Congress for the last four years (and most of my life time), so let's plot a graph. They are in charge of all the major cities; they've pushed all the major social legislation since FDR's New Deal and the Johnson War on Poverty, which statistically he is showing has failed, and under their President Barack Obama, have spent more money with fewer results than any administration in our history. And then with Katie Couric and Barack Obama, he blames the great unwashed, the vast fly-over couch potatoes and gun clingers watching TV evangelists, for the mess instead of the well-heeled, well- educated, beltway revolving door lobbies, and Ivy League crowd that have gotten us here with misguided, incredibly expensive social engineering.

Thanks, Mr. Friedman, for your usual, insightful drivel.

Thomas Friedman: Election rhetoric shows you can't keep a bad idea down | Viewpoints, Outlook | - Houston Chronicle

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Video Shows Activist

Have you seen the video of the "stomping?" Someone wrestled a woman in disguise to the ground who was lunging at Rand Paul. Another person, Tim Proffit, held her down by placing his foot on her shoulder. No one stomped her head. Don't you wish someone would have wrestled Sirhan Sirhan to the ground before he shot Bobby Kennedy? How about the instructions we get these days about being the first line of attack in tackling terrorists on the plane? Go for it! So how is anyone suppose to guess an agitator's intentions, especially since she was in a rather obvious disguise? Now it turns out there is new video which shows her to be a liar, too, about where she was and what she was doing. The video shows that Valle reached in the candidate’s window with her “RepubliCorp” sign and shoved it in his face. It was the people who nabbed her who told the man to back off and got the police. Lauren Valle is a professional agitator for

The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : New Video Shows Activist Lunging at Rand Paul's Vehicle

Law and Order and the Soda Police

Yes, this is the bias that drove me crazy about Law and Order--any version of it. The criminal was never a minority, or the homeless person, or the career criminal scum bag--the criminal was usually, 1) a religious, pious person, 2) the spouse, 3) a policeman or a judge or 4) a family member. Ripped from the headlines--oh yeah!
    [Law and Order: SUV, Oct. 13] "Not only is she [the dead victim] guilty of killing children with soda, she’s also guilty of building gyms for underprivileged communities in her corporation’s name. Good thing she’s dead! In true Law & Order form, the episode has a (predictable) twist: it seems that Lindsay wasn’t killed for her soda-peddling after all, but over a personal grudge. Yet the real message of the episode is clear: soda is the new tobacco. It’s the monster in the closet; it’s coming for your children; and it’s to blame for whatever’s wrong with your life.
ObamaTV on NBC: ‘Law & Order: Soda Police’

Most ridiculous scare tactics

Today I heard a leftist radio commentary tying Timothy McVeigh not only to the Republicans but to the Tea Party (which isn't a party, no one is registered, and no one is in charge). McVeigh wasn't a Republican. He also wasn't a Christian, as Juan Williams suggested in his own misguided defense of himself for being fired for saying something about Muslims. McVeigh was a crazy agnostic who hated the United States of America. Then the appeal was for Sarah Palin to take charge of all these right wing crazies so we could avoid another Oklahoma City--like they care. But if he were a Christian right wing political crazy, he was caught and executed pretty darn fast. That's more than we can say about captured jihadists. Even mentioning their religion can get you fired.

Come on guys. Get a grip. Point A will never get to point B if you jump to X Y and Z.

Chevron ads

A few years ago, the Chevron ads were trying to tell us how beautiful it is that we have abundant supplies of natural energy. Now they are trying to tell us how green they are. I sort of like this ad, and I think we could all really be inspired by the words . . . saw it in the Wall Street Journal.
    "Something's got to be done.

    So we're going to do it."

Actually, oil, coal and natural gas are beautiful . . . put there by God through decayed vegetation for use later by the people he created. In God's economy nothing is wasted--not even dead plants. If you've ever created a mulch bed to put on your organic garden, it's the same principle.

The interesting thing about rich corporations is that they didn't get that way by hiring dumb people or designing and selling stupid ads. Chevron and all the other petroleum giants are heavy into wind, biofuels, carbon exchanges, and anything else that can be marketed as "green."

All our energy is still going to be controlled by the same global entities. When the EPA puts the Ohio coal miners out of work, you can be sure that the stockholders won't be hurt all that much, although the businesses in Ohio certainly will be. These companies have huge lobbies that control the regulations, and those regulations will always take advantage of the smaller companies--even those worth billions. The more companies, local or state, or national, that a global entity can put out of business through higher taxes and more regulations, the better for them. That's why you often see giant corporations supporting Democratic candidates. Follow the money.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


On October 17 I notified the CMS that it had misspelled ophthalmologist on the web page about glaucoma. No one replied, and it hasn't been corrected as of today (October 27, 2010). I guess they are too busy planning the next Obamacare bill.

Mixed Findings in Study of Vegetables and Breast Cancer Risk

Speaking of burst health bubbles--vegetables/fruit intake apparently has no association with overall breast cancer risk.

"High vegetable consumption is associated with a significantly lower risk for estrogen receptor-negative/progesterone receptor-negative (ER-/PR-) breast cancer in black women, according to results from the Black Women's Health Study reported online October 11 in the American Journal of Epidemiology. However, there was no association of total fruit/vegetable intake with overall breast cancer risk, and the investigators suggest that their significantly positive finding of a lower risk for ER-/PR- breast cancer could possibly be due to chance as a result of multiple comparisons."

Mixed Findings in Study of Vegetables and Breast Cancer Risk

Everyone seems to be looking for that big vitamin C/scurvey or clean water/cholera or hand washing/infection break through. Don't smoke. Eat all the colors, exercise, and do a lot of your own food prep. It may not cure your ailments, but you'll look and feel better. Then stop the government nanny state mentality and don't let your city council or the federal government tell you what you can and can't eat.

Out of the darkness with a smile

Two weeks ago the world watched and waited while 33 coal miners were brought up out of a dark cave. As they emerged one by one, they had big smiles on their faces, they were praising God and hugging friends and family. A few days ago my Aunt Betty, 78, was also released from a dark cave--Alzheimer's Disease. I'm sure she was greeted by her Lord and Savior and her friends and relatives, and she had that gorgeous smile we all remember and probably was telling a joke and looking for her golf clubs. We'll all miss you Betty, and we rejoice with you in your release and homecoming!

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

The current issue of Atlantic has an article by David H. Freedman, "Lies, damned lies, and medical science." It's primarily about the work of one man, John Ioannidis (pronounced yo-NEE-dees). I had just been reading a current issue of JAMA about the ongoing controversy about HRT for women experiencing hot flashes during menopause. "Estrogen Plus progestin and breast cancer incidence and mortality in postmenopausal women" JAMA p. 1684, Oct. 30, 2010. Truly, you could get whip lash trying to follow this! In the early 90s, I remember a nurse friend of mine saying that HRT was practically the magic bullet for women--benefitted the heart, controlled osteoporosis and could fight Alzheimer's. There was, even then, some concern about elevated estrogen levels and breast cancer, but heart disease is a bigger killer of women than breast cancer, and osteoporosis kills many older women in falls and deforms their bodies worse than a lost breast, and Alzheimer's? That is a frightening disease.

In 2002, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) was stopped early because of evidence that estrogen/progestin (made from horse urine) was increasing the risk of breast cancer AND myocardial infarction AND risk of stroke and pulmonary embolism. Big oops, right? And while reading this I started to jot down other big oops we've heard over the years like Vitamin E, fish oil, Fosamax, and drink 8 glasses of water a day.

One ongoing medical/social controversy is DDT. Millions and millions of Africans have died since U.S. environmentalists in the 70s scared it off the market. The research is terribly contradictory, but facts are facts--millions of people, mostly children, who would have been alive are dead or injured for life. There could have been something done that reached a middle ground before the parasties were again allowed free rein to multiply to a trillion cells in a few days and consume half a person's volume of blood. Folks, this is an excruciating way to die! All for thin shells of birds.

Then when I met AZ for coffee she gave me a copy of Freedman's article. It seems it is based primarily on the 2005 article that John Ioannidis published in Public Library of Science: Medicine. Ioannidis has recently been appointed to Stanford Prevention Research Center.

PLoS Medicine: Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

Good writing of dirty stories?

I think I'll pass.
    Samuel Steward [OSU alum] became a tattoo artist, a gay porn writer, a researcher with Alfred Kinsey on his landmark sex project, a friend of Gertrude Stein and other modernist writers, and the lover of Rudolph Valentino, Thornton Wilder, and Rock Hudson, to name just a few."
No, considering the amount of disease and grief that promiscuous gay sex has brought to modern life, I don't think I'll attend Justin Spring's lecture.

Wexner Center for the Arts: Public Programs - Writer's Reading / Justin Spring on / In Search of Samuel Steward: Rediscovering an OSU Professor Turned Sexual Revolutionary

From PW publicity at "Life in the closet proves boisterous indeed in this biography of an iconic figure of the pre-Stonewall gay demimonde. Steward (1909–1993) was an English professor, a novelist who wrote both well-received literary fiction and gay porn, a confidant of Gertrude Stein and Thornton Wilder, a furtive but exuberant erotic adventurer whose taste for sailors, rough trade, and violent sadomasochism endeared him to sex researcher Alfred Kinsey; later in life, he became Phil Sparrow, official tattoo artist of the Oakland, Calif., Hell's Angels. Spring (Paul Cadmus) fleshes out this colorful story by quoting copiously from his subject's highly literate journals and sex diaries—his Stud File contained entries on trysts with everyone from Rudolph Valentino to Rock Hudson—which afford an unabashed account of Steward's erotic picaresque and the yearnings that drove it. (His swerve from academia into tattooing, with its mix of physical pain and proximity to nubile male flesh, was essentially a fetish turned into a business.) Spring's sympathetic and entertaining story of a life registers the limitations imposed on homosexuals by a repressive society, but also celebrates the creativity and daring with which Steward tested them."

Residential Knowledge Community

As a librarian, I've been called a lot of things (never over-paid, though)--information specialist, database architect, knowledge manager, associate professor, department head, etc. So I'm used to odd titles. Architects? Not so much. So "residential knowledge community" was new to me. Apparently means those careers and professions that design and build homes suitable for living and lasting longer than a generation.

Here's the assessment of David Andreozzi of Rhode Island, and interestingly enough, this was exactly how I've felt about architecture the last 40 years--especially Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 20th century and the 80s guy who designed the Wexner Center on the OSU campus, Peter Eisenman:
    "A century long love affair with modernity combined with a desire to create star architects have morphed our profession into celebrating architecture, that at times goes so for to the extreme that it begins to ignore building codes, fails to adequately satisfy program requirements, and encourages state of the art experimentation over proven technology, in order to proclaim invention over creating architecture. We live in a time of starchitects that design sculpture with secondary program placed upon it, and we all celebrate this as good. It can be argued that our current paradigm actually discriminates against history, environmental scale, and individual culture in architecture in whole."
To say nothing of on-going costs! Eisenman's design won out in a competition and has locked Ohio into a perpetual repair program due to the design which has cost us millions more. The building is dysfunctional and disorienting to the senses. Entire foundations exist to do nothing but restore Wright's buildings which ignored everything then known about environmental damage and we're paying for it now as buildings fall apart and anyone over 5'5" feels squashed walking through one of his homes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More on Vivian Schiller firing Juan Williams at NPR

"Schiller, a former New York Times executive, is one of a few dozen power players working with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and a leftist group called Free Press to ‘reinvent journalism.’ That’s how the FTC describes it. The FCC calls what they are doing the ‘Future of Journalism.’ Free Press, a think tank funded by leftist billionaire George Soros, among others, calls it ‘the new public media.’" Link

So the next time NPR asks you for money during one of the excutiatingly boring fund raisers, just say you gave with your taxes. If you google "NPR Project Argo" you'll see there is no need for your subscription, nor your taxes. NPR's doing just fine in the money department. The government owns the health industry, automobile industry and is soon to take over much of energy, so why not media?

Florence van Erb Left Wall Street for a Non-Profit Career with Making Mothers Matter

It's easier to make an impact resolving societal injustices if you skip the social work or education degree, do something to create wealth, then switch careers or retire, and put your money and your business experience to work. Florence von Erb has an MBA and a successful Wall Street career and now saves women involved in international prostitution. Yesterday on our local NPR station I heard a program about prostitution in Franklin County and a program to redirect their lives. Also the man said they expect a large increase in prostitution when the new casino opens. See what we get when we want easy money?

Florence van Erb Left Wall Street for a Non-Profit Career with Making Mothers Matter - WSJ. Magazine - WSJ

Monday, October 25, 2010

Let's not get theological . . .

A lesbian Lutheran pastor is proud of her role in "ending discrimination" against non-celibate homosexual pastors in her church.

See my church blog.

How we got here--2006-2010

800 rooms in Mumbai

Yes, that's probably a record for a presidential visit. Despite his bowing and scraping, I suspect President Barack Obama is viewed as an infidel, and thus worthy of being taken out by some jihadist who'd like martyrdom status for the next life. (Muslims have a works based system for eternal life; Christians are saved by grace.) So frankly, I think he needs all those rooms for his security forces and maybe decoys. Although I don't understand the need to visit the red light district. Don't we have plenty of that in the USA?

Barack Obama's Indian delegation 'books 800 rooms in Mumbai' - Telegraph

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Aren't you proud to be an American?

Sarah Palin appeared at a Tea Party gathering in Arizona today. She encouraged the crowd to vote. Trig seems to enjoy politics just as much as his Mom, and clapped when she said "Aren't you proud to be an American?"

Photos from Yahoo.

The liberal no-nothings chastised her for the 1773--thinking it should have been 1776. But 1773 was the Tea Party, not the revolution. Something to think about--not only do the libs support aborting little guys like Trig, but they know nothing about our history.

Reporting the news without the facts

I just watched a video of a Professor of Political Science of Iowa State University called Dr. Politics and he was commenting on the firing of Juan Williams by NPR. He got so many of the actual facts and details wrong, I won't even link to him. What's the point, when you have an obviously liberal commentator in fly over country who hasn't even watched the tape of the exchange of Juan Williams with Bill O'Reilly?

He thought the problem was that an NPR employee was even appearing on Fox. Well, where else will they be able to find a liberal point of view to be fair and balanced? With one of their competitors? Technically, NPR belongs to we the people, right? And isn't Fox people? Fox pays NPR's salaries, building costs, equipment and utilities through the funnelling of money from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (15% from feds, but it's actually higher if you figure out all the tax breaks to foundations and members to contribute) to the local stations (who don't have to follow any of the rules the other commercial stations do), which then pay NPR for their own programming. It's called laundering federal grant money.

Hey, Dr. Politics. Do your homework!

Plus, he never even took off his dark glasses for the little rant. I don't like it when they interview bumble bees.

In her own back yard

Condi Rice was a Professor at Stanford University, a world traveler, a news analyst, an author, but most importantly for her, the daughter of two educators who sacrificed for her education, piano lessons, and her involvement in sports like skating and tennis. So she was shocked to discover when asked to deliver an elementary school graduation address that the ceremony was elaborate because 70% of the children would not finish high school. She was embarrassed that she'd lived in Palo Alto for a decade and knew little about the community.
    "In 1991, Peninsula philanthropist Susan Ford and then Stanford University Professor Dr. Condoleezza Rice co-founded the Center for a New Generation, an innovative after-school academic enrichment program. The goal of the program was to increase the high school graduation rate in the Ravenswood City School District by helping middle school students prepare for high school and college. To accomplish this, the program focused on core subjects including Math and Language Arts. Electives such Art and Music were offered to help students express their imagination and creativity. Since the mid-1990s, CNG has been located at the James Flood Magnet School in Menlo Park . 130 students are enrolled in the program at Flood this year.

    In 1996 CNG merged with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula . Since that time, the program has continued to evolve. In recent years, 100% of graduating eighth graders have been accepted to prestigious private high schools including St. Francis, Sacred Heart, Eastside College Prep or other college matriculation focused programs in the community." Link

In her book (ch. 32) she points out that their efforts were not welcomed by the various nonprofits in East Palo Alto run by resident of the city. They were little more than job programs for the staffs of the organizations, money flowed to them from foundations and corporations, and there was little accountability. Misguided noblesse oblige, she says does little to help kids and is in fact guilt money.

Reading between the lines with Condi

Having almost finished Condoleezza Rice's memoir, Extraordinary, Ordinary People, I'm impressed and alternately bored. First, it's a remarkable story of a loving, supportive family and a dutiful daughter, an only child. Second, she's quite a name dropper, and I think has included everyone who was anyone or could become a someone or is now a has been. Maybe all autobiographies are that way--I usually read biographies. However, I think she has some subtle messages for conservatives who are so quick (like me) to criticize Barack Obama's administration.

1. Her father was obviously a powerful influence in her life, and the friends he made along the way, who sat at their kitchen table in days before public accomdations for blacks were as good as what whites had, would cause great concern if someone wanted to stir up trouble about her "associations." Her father was, however, a conservative Republican, but believed in honest, confrontational dialogue with those whose political ideas were different--i.e., radical blacks. She also numbers among her friends today many black Democrats. Based on the black Republicans I've seen on Glenn Beck's show, I'm guessing she voted for Obama. If you were black, wouldn't you in 2008, before you really understood what he was about?

2. She makes no apologies for affirmative action that most likely got her established at Stanford at a young age and before she had a strong publication record--she knows she was good enough, or better than other candidates, but she is honest about the need of the department to move ahead with minority faculty hiring.

3. She makes no apologies for the academic tenure system, in fact, calls herself a fan. Even so, she says, "it's true that university faculty since the 1960s have been overwhelmingly liberal. I strongly believe that students would be better served by a wider range of views and an environment that challenges the liberal orthodoxy that is so pervasive in universities today . . . conservative colleagues say that they simply censor themselves in political debates. I have never felt the need to do so." Odd that she doesn't see the similarity to blacks in the south who needed to submit to indignities to keep their jobs and security, nor that being a black female she has a double layer of protection against the anger and narrow mindedness of the left wing academics.

4. She notes from her early experience as a staffer in the National Security Council how many offices and agencies make decisions that could/should be made by Congress or the President. (Iran-Contra was devised and carried out by NSC.) This today is one of the big issues about the Obama government and its growing list of "czars," people appointed who have great power, but have never been vetted or confirmed and who by-pass the representative government. On p. 247, she called Brent Scowcroft "the most important man in Washington whom few Americans could identify in a photo lineup" and who wanted his NSC staff out of the limelight (something she couldn't do as a black woman).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Biblio Magazine for sale

The day had to come. I just don't have enough space to keep things I don't use or need.  I wasn't a very good collector--when I was a subscriber I always intended to buy Vol. 1, but never did.  You always think you have more time than you really do.   I have complete volumes (12 issues) of Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, plus 4 issues of Vol. 4 (discontinued at vol.4 no.4) of Biblio magazine, probably the sweetest magazine about books, manuscripts, ephemera, collectors and publishers that ever was published (issn 1087-5581).  Top quality paper and printing, too.  Will sell as a set, not individually.

I also have the first 6 issues (Fall 1994 to Spring 1997) of Counter, published by the University of Iowa Center for the Book with articles and reviews concerning the history of the book and the arts and technologies of the book.  Not sure who would be interested except libraries missing an issue or two.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

NPR Announces Plan to Bolster News Coverage of State Government Nationwide

George Soros, powerful wealthy Communist, is funding NPR journalists so they can be more "open and transparent," and then Juan Williams gets fired for admitting he's occasionally fearful of men in Muslim garb. Woot! That was fast, wasn't it. Doesn't some of our tax dollars go to fund NPR (National Public Radio) and don't many of my liberal friends and relatives just hang on every word? Whew! Well, at least NPR is an equal opportunity boss--Juan Williams is black, and he occasionally appears on Fox as the liberal commentator. A real two-fer, but I want my tax money back! Dump, turn off, excoriate NPR! Not only is it taking money from an open Communist, but it is practicing employment terrorism by firing anyone who doesn't toe the standard line.

Soros also created (with help from Mrs. Clinton) Media Matters, and is giving money to Huffington Post, which really didn't need any more help to fall over the cliff, but it probably wasn't making enough money to support all those nut cakes who after all, want to be paid their fair share too.

NPR Announces Plan to Bolster News Coverage of State Government Nationwide | U.S. Programs | Open Society Foundations

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Canadian killer Russell Williams

I'm guessing there are more dead women in the cold case files, but what I found surprising (AP report) is the sentence may be only 25 years? Maybe if one of them were a lesbian he could get life?
    The 47-year-old, who until nine months ago was running Canada’s busiest air force base, pleaded guilty to more than 80 sex crimes, including two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of sexual assault and dozens upon dozens of thefts of lingerie and women’s clothing. But his guilty pleas – which were so extensive it took a court clerk 34 minutes to read his crimes into the record – were a sideshow to an almost theatrical exposé of his sexual depravity. In his address to Mr. Justice Robert Scott, assistant Crown attorney Robert Morrison underscored how more than a dozen of his victims were under the age of 18, girls young enough to have dolls placed on their beds, or Tweety bird emblazoned on their underwear. In the end, the colonel’s steadfast routine of photographing and documenting every last step of his lingerie thefts was his undoing; the prosecution displayed photo after photo on two flat-screen televisions of the colonel sprawled out on numerous beds adorned with flowery duvets and wearing all manner of women’s and girl’s clothing: bras, slips, thongs and negligees. In most of the photos he is fondling himself, and in all of the photos he is wearing the same focused and determined look on his face. His method of breaking into homes varied from slipping through an open window, to picking locks, to cutting open screens.
Not only evil, but creepy. So much for harmless cross-dressing and sexual fetishes never leading anywhere.

Liberals on Conservatives

A conservative who veers to the left is "growing," "sensitive to complexities," "nuanced," and "puts public interest ahead of ideology."

A conservative must not "impose their views" on the rest of society," and is suspect as a candidate for public life if those views are formed by Christianity (but not Islam, Buddism or Judaism).

Choice is good if killing an unborn child, but bad if the child's mother wants him to attend an alternative, charter school.

Murders at Ft. Hood trial of Muslim doctor need to be on the 5th or 6th page of the newspaper; bullying of a gay teen deserves front page story.

Serial murders of women that go on for years are just a crime, but a murder of a homosexual is a hate crime.

Disinformation in marketing by a for-profit company needs congressional hearings; disinformation in inflation (3000%) of illegal abortion death statistics to get Roe v. Wade passed was necessary for the greater good.

A gay politician like Barney Frank who is crooked and lies, whose partners have loose lips, is lauded and applauded, but a gay politican who is Republican like Mark Foley is hounded out of office. If a gay Democrat harrasses a staff member, it's business as usual; if a gay Republican does it he's a pervert especially if he's been in the closet. The victim, apparently, matters not at all.

Liberals push condoms, not marriage and fatherhood, and are very critical of conservatives who push chastity as a solution to poverty.

Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle, Republican candidates who have never spent a penny of your tax dollars or declared a war lost while our soldiers are still in harm's way are kooks and radicals, but Harry Reid, Chris Coons and Nancy Pelosi, entrenched Democrats, are just fine and trustworthy.

If bank employees don't read all the documents in a foreclosure, they are evil tools of the fat cat bankers; if congressmen or the President don't read a healthcare or a banking bill of 2,000+ pages, well, that's just the cost of doing the government's business.

More to come.

Pot to Kettle--Arne Duncan to investigate "for profit" education

Don't you just love it? With most of the failing students in the U.S.A., including here in Columbus where drop-out rates are deflated and graduation rates are inflated (only include those who started 12th grade) and even our local Columbus Dispatch doesn't really investigate the figures, Arne Duncan, Obama's Secretary of Education decides that for-profit schools need to show they are worthy of taxpayer money,
    "These schools and their investors benefit from billions of dollars in taxpayers subsidies, and in return, taxpayers have a right to know that all of these programs are providing solid preparation for a job," Press Release, Sept. 24
Taxpayer dollars are going for all sorts of gimmicks and geegaws, Mr. Duncun, public school and teachers have to pay union dues whether or not they are union members. And NEA and AFT donated mega bucks for the Obama campaign. Considering this puff piece (do you hate teachers' unions, how old are your kids, do you see the President often), I don't expect much from our alert media now that there are no Bushes or Reagans in office.

And here's a press release about collusion collaboration between Arne Duncan and the AFT and NEA, to restore the public image of teachers' unions. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, as the saying goes.

At least Arne Duncan sends his children to Arlington (VA) schools and not to private school like most legislators, the president, and government high level employees. Arlington's schools are perfectly fine, so he's not making any sacrifice, but could he make this attack against for-profit education if his daughter were in private school?

Monday, October 18, 2010

How to Nudge Consumers to Be Environmentally Friendly

It wasn't so long ago we were being urged to switch to plastic bags to save trees, and to use electric wall mounted hand dryers that blow fecal material around rest rooms to save the environment. Some of them can damage the ear drums--sound like jet planes taking off. The recycling instructions for paper and plastic are so complicated, I just don't bother any more. Now we're not supposed to use any bags at all, except those we bring with us. We Bruces use up most of our plastic bags--we have a cat, and we have paper, food and plastic garbage, books that need to be transported in the rain, and goods donated to worthy causes. Most plastic bags these days are so thin that we can only use half of what I bring home.

This summer at Lakeside, the association was selling reusable canvas bags for us to take to the farmers' market. Problem for me was they were made in China where they still use dirty coal.

Does peer pressure work? All your neighbors are . . . yada yada. I liked this response
    "When George Binns, a retired engineer in Beverly, Mass., received an OPower report from his utility showing that he was using 64% more energy than his most efficient neighbors, he resolved to do exactly nothing. "I'm not a traveling man," he says. "I don't go on guilt trips.""
How to Nudge Consumers to Be Environmentally Friendly -

Bloodlands -- new book on Stalin and Hitler

To the victor go the archives (or history telling), but I don't think I'll read this one. The review is stunning enough. I was surprised to learn that Germany only had a small population of Jews--about 400,000. Most of the Jews the Nazis killed were in territories controlled by the Soviet Union, however, Joseph Stalin had started what Hitler tried to finish.

National Socialism and Russian Communism were flip sides of the same coin of Karl Marx, who is alive and well in American politics of 2010. Hitler wanted to control all of Europe; Stalin all the world. When the war was over and Russia was our ally so we could defeat the Germans, FDR handed the countries Stalin had helped to decimate back to him. When we were in Estonia in 2006, the saddest thing we saw was a small museum about the Soviet occupation of Estonia. Those poor people. They kept waiting for the Americans. They were so sure they would come.

The display of strength on October 2 at the Washington Mall of the U.S. Communists was stunning. Perhaps there aren't enough people alive today who remember Russia in the 1930s and 1940s and what Communism really is.
    "Among his other goals in "Bloodlands," Mr. Snyder attempts to put the Holocaust in context—to restore it, in a sense, to the history of the wider European conflict. This is a task that no historian can attempt without risking controversy. Yet far from minimizing Jewish suffering, "Bloodlands" gives a fuller picture of the Nazi killing machine. Auschwitz, which wasn't purely a "death camp," lives on in our memory due in large part to those who lived to tell the tale. Through his access to Eastern European sources, Mr. Snyder also takes the reader to places like Babi Yar, Treblinka and Belzec. These were Nazi mass-murder sites that left virtually no survivors.

    Yet Mr. Snyder's book does make it clear that Hitler's "Final Solution," the purge of European Jewry, was not a fully original idea. A decade before, Stalin had set out to annihilate the Ukrainian peasant class, whose "national" sentiments he perceived as a threat to his Soviet utopia. The collectivization of agriculture was the weapon of choice. Implemented savagely, collectivization brought famine. In the spring of 1933 people in Ukraine were dying at a rate of 10,000 per day.

    Stalin then turned on other target groups in the Soviet Union, starting with the kulaks—supposedly richer farmers, whom Stalin said needed to be "liquidated as a class"—and various ethnic minorities. In the late 1930s, Mr. Snyder argues, "the most persecuted" national group in Europe wasn't—as many of us would assume—Jews in Nazi Germany, a relatively small community of 400,000 whose numbers declined after the imposition of race laws forced many into emigration at a time when this was still possible. According to Mr. Snyder, the hardest hit at that time were the 600,000 or so Poles living within the Soviet Union."

Book review: Bloodlands -

I find it distressing that loyal party Democrats don't see who is absconding with their party. The crowd wasn't huge on October 2, but it was blantantly anarchist and communist; Democrats, particularly Jewish Democrats, need to give each other a kick in the pants, then kick out the Communists, George Soros, MoveOn dot org from their leadership.

Maureen Dowd and Ann Coulter

I've never cared much for Ann Coulter. She's a true sister under the skin of Maureen Dowd, who is so sarcastic, full of hyperbole, and nasty, she's really hard to read. Ann's not that bad, but close. I'll bet they go out drinking together and yuk it up over their silly fans.

Tony's Ready to Move the Party

My site meter rolled over to 385,000 yesterday primarily because I wrote about a HGTV program which featured Tony Chau of Las Vegas buying and remodeling a home in Hollywood. That entry is getting about 35 hits a day. I think most people are looking for an easy way to make millions on the internet, and Tony apparently did that. I don't know if HGTV even uses real names--after all, it is a "reality" show.

Collecting My Thoughts: Tony's Ready to Move the Party from Las Vegas to Los Angeles with the purchase of a Hollywood Hills Vacation Home

What are some practical principles for using social media?

The current issue of Christian Research Journal has a thoughtful article by Douglas Groothuis, "Understanding Social Media," in which he analyses the benefits and dangers of Facebook and other social media like MySpace and LinkedIn. He writes on a blog (which I don't think he classifies as "social"):
    "things like Facebook and Myspace, although that’s declining in influence, have dangers, and part of that is what you are saying, overexposure, not being careful, not exercising confidentiality, there’s the danger of gossip, rumors, and so on, and also the general tendency to simply be very superficial and very quick to speak. Scripture says not to be quick to speak, but to be quick to listen, and slow to judge. And the Book of Proverbs repeatedly says that a wise man or a wise woman holds his or her peace but a fool proclaims his folly. . . "
What are some practical priniciples for using social media?

Today's WSJ has a front page article about Facebook Apps (Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc.) and the sharing of users' identifying information. I don't use the apps, but I am "overexposed" in the sense that Facebook is so easy to upload what I'm reading and comments are easy, that I spend way too much time on it.

So my new Facebook/Internet rules are

1. Do not log on before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.

2. Commit to finish my hobby blog--then sell the hobby (a collection of over 100 first issue journals and magazines dating from the early 1970s).

3. Always be polite and kind in commenting on posts I don't agree with.

4. Rely more on face to face interaction rather than faceless social media.

5. Promote more artists, authors and small businesses that I like.

If this is successful, I'll add more, like no logging on before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. But cutting back on social media is probably like dieting. Don't buy that gorgeous dress in a smaller size as incentive, or it will hang forever in your closet.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Hype of ARRA: shovel ready jobs created and saved

Now that even the President as admitted (New York Times) that there never were "shovel ready" projects, the hype and tripe we were fed the past 2 years sound even worse. Plus the subtle message is that the government was doing nothing before Obama descended from the lofty heights of white guilt to save us, despite the fact that President Bush was the biggest spender on social programs in all the history of the U.S., only to be outdone by the raging trillion dollar deficits of Obama!
    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009. It is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act is an extraordinary response to a crisis unlike any since the Great Depression, and includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need."
If there were challenges "long neglected" then where was Congress--controlled by the Democrats for most of my voting years? Jobs have not been created or saved, and if you laid the graph of our economic ups and downs since 2008 on top of one from the 1930s, you'd see Obama is following FDR's failed template.

The above quote came from the National Eye Institute where I was researching the number of Americans at risk for glaucoma over the age of 40. When I tried to check on how much of ARRA for the NIH (over $10 billion) has been spent, I found "spin doctors" from left wing think tanks and golly gee-whiz writers for government agencies all saying the same thing about saved or created.

Look folks, the health research industry (mainly universities) lives on government grants--this was a huge infusion for NIH, but I seriously doubt hiring a temp researcher or newly minted doctor on a project started 5-10 years ago really "created" anything. The time and effort to solicit and process the grant proposals, plus the special quasi-government companies that sprang up to do all this probably ate up 50% of it. All these jobs are temporary--a bit more glamorous than FDR's CCC camps of the 1930s, but from them we at least got some parks and roads.

Odd things our government does

Did you know that African Americans are at a higher risk for glaucoma than whites, Asians or Hispanics? And did you know the government includes them in Medicare for glaucoma screening at age 50, but not the rest of us, even though anyone can get glaucoma, and in numbers, more whites are affected than blacks? Oh well. I was listening to a public service announcement on the radio this morning and almost couldn't believe my ears. So I looked it up--several times.

Also on the page where I was reading about this, ophthalmologist was misspelled. So I searched through the documents until I found a contact link--almost everything was phone numbers, even though I was using the web--until I finally found something, so I wrote:
    You have misspelled ophthalmologist at a page on glaucoma screening The phth only appears in a few words in English, but on a government web site, it should be spelled correctly.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

106 ways to show love

A guy named Vince writes an advice and review column for romance writers and readers. This one is pretty good--106 ways to show (not tell) people (your characters in a story) are falling in love. There's a few (26-28) I don't care for and I think he meant have patience instead of have patients, but it's a very good list about showing love. My husband of 50 years would get an A if this were a test.

Catching up on this and that

I found some narrow leg, boot cut Chico's jeans at the Discovery Shop for $7.50 yesterday. Very comfortable, but I'd never pay $70.00 for them new, and these look like they've never been worn or washed. A tad long, so I wear my boot scooting heels with them.


My husband had a few spots removed by the dermatologist--one about which I've been nagging him for a long time. However, they were not dangerous or even suspicious so the procedure was "cosmetic" and will not be covered by insurance.


A friend went to the ER with symptoms similar to a heart attack, but it wasn't, it was his gallbladder, and he will have surgery sometime soon. But in the process of testing him for everything, a dangerous condition very rare, and unknown to him, was found and will be treated with medication (but not cured or removed). So perhaps the incident was a God thing?


While at the Discovery Shop I found a review journal for $3, hard cover, on a topic a friend needs. I've never seen a title like this as a used book, and I've only known for 5 days that she could benefit from this very narrow field of knowledge. Another God thing?


My husband has just made a young bride and groom very happy with the gift of a fabulous watercolor of the old Abigail Tea Room in Lakeside, Ohio. They've had the spot picked out to hang it for some time (married in April), but had been busy. He was just about to put it in a show in which case it wouldn't have been available. Aother God thing?


I'm having the best time volunteering as a conversation partner with a young woman who needs practice with English. She's been in the U.S. for over 6 years and her children all speak English. It's such fun to talk to her and to practice works like Mass a chu setts and Penn syl van i a. She says she likes me as her partner because I speak distinctly and she can understand me. Also, I love to explain things, like the fact that a C has no sound of its own. Cat is kat; century is sen shur i.


Tomorrow our Lytham Road Traditional service communities of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church (we have 9 communities based on worship style) are having a brunch at 9:30. I've decided to make peach cobbler--I have a peach that needs to be used up, and a large can of peach pie filling. Yum.


When I was in Mt. Morris last Saturday I had a chance to visit the home we lived in from 1951-1958. Although I was 18+ when my parents moved, it did seem smaller. My mother worked so hard to remodel it and make it lovely for us, so what fun to see some of her handi-work still there--like this bookshelf unit disguising the radiator in the living room.


Although I went to the cemetery last week and visited some of "the old folks at home with Jesus,"--great grandparents, great aunts and uncles, grandparents, sister, cousins--I also found some live ones in the parking lot of the Mexican restaurant. I met my 2nd cousin Sharlein, whom I probably only saw a few times when she was a little girl, her son Bryan, my 2nd cousin once removed, and his wife and adorable baby daughter, 2nd cousin twice removed. So I've added a few names to my Family Tree Maker 2008 (which I hate--liked the older 7.0 version). Also found on Facebook my first cousins once removed Lorrie and Jodie (grand daughters of my Uncle John), although I haven't made a connection yet. Also I've been friended on Facebook by a high school girl friend of my son, Kristina, who is a dead ringer for my daughter and reconnected with her step-father Dermot of whom I'd lost track in his world travels.


We're half way through October and the colors are brilliant and the rains gentle--a perfect color combination or red, yellow, orange, burgundy and green.


I've started Condoleeza Rice's new autobiography, Extraordinary, ordinary people. Only into it by 2 chapters, but it promises to be a great read. I like her writing style--spare but descriptive. The account of racism, prejudice and Jim Crow laws (put in place by Democratic "progressives") she writes about in the 1950s south is harsh, but she doesn't portray herself or her family as victims, and she isn't a whiner. Of her parents she says, "Every night I begin my prayers saying, "Lord, I can never thank you enough for the parents you gave me." Amen, sister!


Tried 3 new (to me) restaurants when I visited Mt. Morris last week. La Vigna is on Daysville Road near Oregon, and over the last 65+ years I've been down that road to "the farm" I've seen a lot of establishments in that location. Very good Italian food. Then my classmates from high school met for lunch at the Pinecricker Inn in Polo--before everyone slipped away we took photos on an unseasonably hot day. A Pinecricker is someone who lived in the area of Pine Creek, near the White Pines State Park. My father grew up in that area and attended Polo High School.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crime and fatherless homes are directly related

Heather McDonald in City Journal reports on what has happened in Chicago since the September 2009 death of  16-year-old Derrion Albert, when his attack was caught on video and spread across the internet.  The federal government and social workers responded as they've learned to do with a $40 million dollar federal grant for "at risk males."  But that's not what they need.  They need married fathers. Since Albert’s death, 78 more youth under the age of 19 have been killed in Chicago, overwhelmingly in black-on-black shootings.
    In every American city, the disproportionate black-illegitimacy rate is matched only by the disproportionate black crime rate. In Chicago, blacks, at least 35 percent of the population, commit 76 percent of all homicides; whites, about 28 percent of the population, commit 4 percent. In New York City, blacks, 24 percent of the population, commit 80 percent of all shootings; whites, 35 percent of the population, commit less than 2 percent of all shootings. The black illegitimacy rate in New York is over 78 percent; the white illegitimacy rate in the city is 7 percent. The national rate of homicide commission for black males between the ages of 14 and 17 is ten times higher than that of “whites,” into which category the federal government puts the vast majority of Hispanics.
Of all the problems we face as a nation, this one seem insoluable to me. I certainly don't think the government can change this, but it sure did help create it, beginning with Johnson's War on Poverty which is when the out of wedlock birth rate began to soar for both blacks and whites. Slight reversal with the 1996 Welfare Reform (begun in 1994) intended to strengthen families and marriage, but was maligned by the press as "War on Welfare Mothers." It had a side affect of reducing illegal immigration and did increase marriage, resulting in more children living with their fathers. Gradually, other federal and state programs were added back in like SCHIP. It did result in reducing case loads for agencies and possibly some lost jobs or transfers.

White House claims it met stimulus goal of 70% spent by Sept. 30

But no one knows how, unless they really goosed it that last month, because they weren't even close. For now, "if they said, it happend" is the rule of this administration. Here's one agency that didn't get its spent--Department of Homeland Security, one that you would think (if you thought like a conservative) would have no problem.
    "•The Department of Homeland Security has spent less than $500 million of its $2.8 billion allocation. When the stimulus bill was passed, the CBO estimated that Homeland Security would spend more than $1 billion by now. The slow spending comes from nearly every part of the agency. For example, Customs and Border Protection has paid out less than $50 million, even though it was authorized to spend $680 million to modernize ports of entry and deploy other border technology. That program was halted briefly last fall as news media and members of Congress questioned the plan to modernize little-used border stations in Montana and North Dakota instead of busy crossings along the southwest border." Link
So some alert news media noticed the ND stations weren't as big a risk as Arizona and NM. Who knew!

Tony's Ready to Move the Party from Las Vegas to Los Angeles with the purchase of a Hollywood Hills Vacation Home

I love to watch HGTV--programs are "reality shows" just a tad unreal if you've ever owned, remodeled or purchased a house, but they are fast paced, well-produced, and the advertising is appropriate for the programming. Some times I yell at the set--especially when a young woman is buying a home and planning to be a landlord to her boyfriend of 3 years. Oh lordy lady, how dumb can you get? If you break up, you may not be able to move him out of the house without legal action.

But last night they had the story of Tony Chau of Las Vegas on House Hunters buying a second home in Hollywood. He is a Vietnamese immigrant (name sounds Chinese to me, but there are Chinese families living in Vietnam, called Hoa ), but came to the USA at age 10 and is now 26 and a millionaire. He has some sort of marketing company on the internet. He was house hunting with his decorator who has done several houses for him. What he ended up with was fabulous--and we heard several times during the program how much he likes to party. Well, maybe so, but I do like success stories about immigrants because they are visible, physical evidence that America is still the land of opportunity and dreams if you want to work hard and have a marketable skill.

Tony's Ready to Move the Party from Las Vegas to Los Angeles with the purchase of a Hollywood Hills Vacation Home : House Hunters : Home & Garden Television

What dreams are made of--or fairy tales

Oh wow! A drastic one-year reduction in drop outs in the Columbus Public Schools "defies the odds for an urban school district." Well, why not--the Columbus Dispatch Jennifer Smith Richards didn't peek under the book covers. I'm sure it makes Columbus Superintendent Gene Harris look fabulous.

However, the drop is because of social promotion**. No one fails in elementary school in CPS. Also, a student isn't a "drop out" if he transfers--he's not tracked, and he may never return to school. In some schools serving low-income one parent families, moving on is a family tradition. That probably takes care of quite a few right there.

So that dumps unprepared students into the high school where there is no social promotion. But not to worry--instead of social promotion, they just don't flunk anyone. A student can remain a 9th grader for four years***, passing into Algebra II with DD or FF earned in Algebra I. The graduation rate is figured on students who actually enter the senior year--and since a 4th year 9th grader isn't technically senior, he doesn't graduate and isn't counted. Tricky business, isn't it.

So why is someone who flunked Algebra I taking Algebra II sitting in class with your kid who is good at math? First, because CPS doesn't have honors classes--that would be "tracking." Tsk, tsk. Second, our last 2 governors (Republican an...d Democrat) believed every child should be in a college prep curriculum. This has decimated the track for vocational education. As the current generation of people in the trades retire, more jobs will be sent out of state because many of the Ohio h.s. graduates who do make it are flunking in college after 1 semester.

The Columbus Dispatch could do some investigative reporting so the people will be informed, vote out the politicians who put this system in place and then blame the administrators, who blame the classroom teacher for a kid who'se been lost since third grade.

Every school district in the state calculates drop outs and graduation rates differently. Your mileage will differ with your school and the years your child attended. If you live in Columbus I think home schooling, a private or public charter school, or a church school would be a good alternative if you can afford it.

Teachers are extremely well paid--that's no longer a problem. The problem is they are well paid prisoners in their own system with their hands tied. It's the children who suffer, then our cities, and then our state, because what state can remain competitive in a system like this?

City schools see big cut in dropouts | The Columbus Dispatch

** Social promotion is the practice of passing students along from grade to grade with their peers even if the students have not satisfied academic requirements or met performance standards at key grades. It is called "social" promotion because it is often carried out in the perceived interest of a student's social and psychological well-being. Most schools won't admit the extent of this practice, according to what I've read.

***Repeating a class or "retention" is considered a negative experience, so the poor kid is just moved to the next level of difficulty, but not promoted a grade. Make-up classes are offered, but not required, and may be computer classes, which would require more discipline and effort than a regular class.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dueling books about Obama's father and surrogate father

Which is it? Is he a hack Marxist because of Barack Obama, Sr. who hated the British colonial system in Kenya so he became a Communist or because his white grandfather Stanley Dunham introduced him to a buddy-dad in Hawaii also a Communist party member, Frank Marshall Davis who coached him to hate all things American? Which ever, the books of Dinesh D'Souza and Paul Kengor came out on the same day.

The American Spectator : Obama's Surrogate Anti-Colonial Father

More insanity from Chris "leg tingle" Matthews

Is this man crazy? Open mouth spew garbage?

"CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay let’s talk about what the message to a lot of the people was. The message coming out of the Tea Party people, and lot of them are good people, is every man for himself, basically. “No more taxes, no more government, no more everything. No more safety net. No more health care for everybody. Everybody just get out there, make your buck, save it, screw the government, move on.” Right?"

Not once has a Tea Party ever said every man for himself. It's always been help your neighbor--don't ask the government to take your money to do it for you!

The miners were fortunate enough to have a strong leader, someone along the lines of our own founders! A man with a vision, charisma, and a goal--to get his men out alive. Plus it was 75% American technology and 25% Chilean guts that got them out!

Gracious goodness God almighty, please someone give that man a clue, or else he'll cost even more American jobs--his own!

Trucks Encircle ABC, CBS, NBC, Challenge ‘Liberal’ Media to ‘Tell The Truth’

"Four billboard trucks bearing the message “Stop the Liberal Bias, Tell the Truth!” began circling the Manhattan headquarters of ABC, CBS, NBC, and the New York Times on Friday. The trucks will do so for eight hours every weekday for the next four weeks as part of a campaign run by the Media Research Center, a watchdog group that analyzes the media for liberal bias."

Trucks Encircle ABC, CBS, NBC, Challenge ‘Liberal’ Media to ‘Tell The Truth’ |


I'm guessing someone will get them on EPA violations for polluting the air more than the media does.

Obama White House vs Chamber of Commerce

I've never donated to the Chamber of Commerce, but I will now. Obama's attacks (can you prove they aren't taking foreign money) is just one more way to try to destroy our economy since he knows most new jobs come from small business, and they tend to be Chamber members. And does he include the Black Chamber of Commerce in this smear?

Obama White House vs Chamber of Commerce – A New Low of Fear & Smear » Right Pundits

Copy of the Chamber's response at NYT.

Those libs and dems who are "deeply troubled" that the Chamber has foreign members, didn't care a twitting twitter over the foreign money that poured into Obama's 2008 campaign against Hillary.

Cole's survivors angry over case

"The 10th anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole on Tuesday conjured up painful memories for the families of the 17 Navy sailors who died in the terrorist attack, but it also revealed simmering anger at the Obama administration over the lack of concrete progress in bringing an alleged perpetrator to justice."

Cole's survivors angry over case | POLITICO 44

Tiresome political ads

As noted earlier, on our trip to Illinois and Indiana this past week, we heard a lot of political ads on the radio--most for candidates and issues we knew nothing about. But here's a refrain I just don't understand, and it seems to sprout (excuse mixing my idioms) at all levels of government. Republicans ship jobs overseas. Really? I thought it was unions and over regulation from everything to emissions to pollution to green space to finances that did that. And if a business moves from Mt. Morris to Rockford or to Missouri or Florida, it might as well be overseas for all the good it does for your local economy. (You can get a good deal on the beautiful and historically significant "Old Sandstone" in Mt. Morris, former home of Watt Publishing which has moved down the road to Rockford.)

Until the White House began directly taking over various segments of the economy with czars and new laws since January 2009, the government had little to no say in whether a company went global. Business in a market economy is about profit--they need to pay back their investors and their stockholders. Period. The benefits to the government and society should stem from that, not from the government stealing from the owners.

US midterm elections: Volatile forces shape US vote

A new angle to smear the Tea Party candidates and conservative Republicans--anti-science! Whoop! Now which threatens real scientific research more, back breaking deficits and killing the golden tax goose (a thriving market economy which brings in more tax dollars), or Tea Party candidates? Obama worsened the gulf oil spill mess by destroying more jobs and shipping money and jobs to Mexico and Brazil so they can mess up the oceans with drilling.

This editorial in Nature reflects the continuing support among academics and eggheads for the failed Obama administration. They've still got the guilt glitter in their eyes and are seeing Obama through rose colored hopey changey glasses.
    "In the face of fiscal constraints to come, making decisions on where to cut and how that will affect our research and innovation effort is a very serious issue," says Anne Solomon, a senior adviser on science and technology at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, a think tank based in Washington DC. An issue paper co-authored this year by Solomon calls for a "science and technology-enhanced Congress", in which legislators are broadly knowledgeable about science and have better access to technical expertise on the complex issues they face — from energy policy, to education, to economic and security matters. In fact, the opposite is likely to be true of the next Congress.
Obama's promise to "restore science to its rightful place" was no promise at all--it was just one more whiny childish slam at George W. Bush, and I'm surprised the editors of Nature fell for it. And hopping on the embryonic stem cell band wagon? Oh please! Is that the best you have to offer? This piece resembles the new WH charges about the Chamber of Commerce--just accusations, no facts. I concur with the reader who left this comment:
    "Nature editors use weasel words and constructions that they would scarcely countenance in something placed rather deeper inside the covers of the magazine.

    The fighting is now "hyper-partisan" (with no reference or supporting evidence--maybe a Lexis-Nexis comparison?) compared with past US elections. This makes progress "virtually" impossible so that "Voters on all sides sense that too many privileged Americans, including the politicians for whom they end up casting their ballots, are engaged in reckless behaviour that leaves a mess behind." Really? You've got some parsed polling data to support this assertion somewhere?"

US midterm elections: Volatile forces shape US vote : Nature News

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

EPA Funnels Taxpayer Money to Dozens of Liberal Community Activist Groups

An Acorn by any other name is still a nut. Community activist groups, ah, let me count the ways they can spend our money. The $2 million EPA will send out in environmental justice grants will probably go to pay more salary and administrative costs. Spread among 76 groups that's just "get out the vote" money.

educate senior citizens on climate change

community bike rides

increase awareness about the dangers of sun and heat exposure

investigate the environmental impact of practices such as idling automobiles and buses at school entrances

Kinda makes me wonder what they were doing before the money infusion.

EPA Funnels Taxpayer Money to Dozens of Liberal Community Activist Groups |

Private vs Public School teachers assessment of their schools

Public school teachers have unions and all the perks. They are well paid and have terrific pensions awaiting them after 30 years, some in their 50s, young enough to start a new career or go back and teach. You can check at Buckeye Institute for your district (in Ohio). [I checked someone who teaches half time for $43,000 for 184 days, and her life time pension (based on 18 years average) is worth $638,400 at this point.] However, private school teachers seem to have in their schools more of what we want for our public schools according to a new AEI study on civics and citizenship.

•While just under half (45 percent) of public school teachers say social studies is considered an absolutely essential subject area in their district, two out of three private school teachers (68 percent) say this is true for them.

•Private school teachers are almost twice as likely to report having a great deal of control over what topics they choose to cover and how quickly or slowly they move through the curriculum (86 percent versus 45 percent).

•Private school teachers report significantly higher levels of confidence that most students in their high schools learn what they are supposed to before they graduate. This confidence differential is especially stark on items pertaining to the implicit curriculum, such as teaching good work habits and respect for authority. For example:
    ◦"To have good work habits such as being timely, persistent, and hardworking" garners 31 percent "very confident" responses among private school teachers, compared with 6 percent among public.

    ◦"To be tolerant of people and groups who are different from themselves" garners 43 percent "very confident" among private, compared with 19 percent among public.

•Private school teachers are also more likely to report an overall more positive school atmosphere for conveying the importance of citizenship:
    ◦Their high school has a community-service requirement for graduation (82 percent versus 37 percent).

    ◦Their administration maintains a school atmosphere where adults are respected (88 percent versus 65 percent).

    ◦Their high school encourages involvement in student government and other issues-oriented clubs (91 percent versus 73 percent).

Komen for the Cure Donated $7.5M to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz in 2009

"The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has long denied that abortion plays any role in elevating the risk for women of contracting the deadly disease.

That's despite a wealth of research over decades showing an average increased risk of about 40 percent for women having abortions compared to those who carry their pregnancy to term.

But the contributions Komen affiliates make to Planned Parenthood, which does more than 25 percent of all abortions in the United States and aggressively promotes abortion abroad, provide another sources of frustration for pro-life people who otherwise would support the group."

The excuse that this money goes to poor women without insurance for mammograms is pretty lame. That just means it frees up more of PP other money for abortions!

Komen for the Cure Donated $7.5M to Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz in 2009

Congressional staff gain from trading in stocks overseen by employers

The Wall Street Journal on October 11 looked at congressional financial disclosures and found 72 staffers of both Republicans and Democrats who held shares in companies overseen by the staffers' employers.
    "Unlike many Executive Branch employees, lawmakers and aides don't have restrictions on their stock holdings and ownership interests in companies they oversee. Congressional rules say that requiring employees to do so could "insulate a legislator from the personal and economic interests that his or her constituency, or society in general, has in governmental decisions and policy." An analysis of financial-disclosure forms for 2008 and 2009 compiled by the website LegiStorm shows that several hundred congressional aides bought or sold stocks. At least 72 traded the stocks of companies their bosses write laws for."
Congressional Staffers Gain From Trading in Stocks -
While the rest of us piddle around in 4-5% gains, they're doing 90%+, but hey--no conflict; husbands and wives don't even discuss what's going on--the money just keeps on rolling in. And if you believe that. . .

Obama and Palin 10th Cousins

I guess it's nothing to blog or brag about that while in Illinois in the parking lot of the Mexican restaurant I ran into my first cousin once removed, Margaret, her daughter, Sharlein who is my second cousin (we share great-grandparents Leanor and William Ballard), and her son Bryan and wife, my second cousin once removed, and his daughter, my (?) second cousin twice removed. I've checked my database and I don't have their names, but Bryan is 30 and this was the first time we'd met.

But POTUS Barack Obama is the 7th cousin 3 times removed of Warren Buffett and 10th cousin of Sarah Palin and 11th cousin of George W. Bush (and all the other Bushes are assorted cousins, too). Rush Limbaugh is his 10th cousin once removed as is his brother David. The ancestor he shares with Buffett was a slave owner who came to the continent in the 16th century. No word on whether his Kenyan ancestors helped round up fellow Africans to sell to the European slave traders.

Obama and Palin: Cousins? - NATASHA LENNARD | POLITICO CLICK

I used to think it was really odd that people took photos of grave markers, but now I do it. I was able to walk through the back yard while visiting in Mt. Morris, stroll through the school track field to Plainview cemetery and visit "the old folks at home (with Jesus)" to spend some quiet time with them. Someday at the resurrection we'll all be together again.

Great grandparents who were born in Tennessee, but lived most of their lives in Illinois

Cousin Phil, grandson of the above, and his wife who were killed in an auto accident near Oregon, IL.

Little Alma Fay, my grandmother's sister who died in 1908 as a baby, first child born after they came to Illinois.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Driving with the radio

On long trips like the 9.5 hours to northern Illinois I like to listen to a.m. radio. We like our favorite talk shows, but there's a time change to account for, so we have to listen through all the drive time chatter about traffic, whether it's in Chicago or St. Louis or Indianapolis. I think music on the radio is being wiped clear by people using i-pods, because I really didn't find much. And the political ads--they were excruciating. Not only have we already voted (mail in), but we didn't know any of the names or issues. They all sound alike--everyone running against candidate so-and-so is crooked, or let someone out of jail, or has taken special interest money, or shipped jobs off shore. I did find a familiar Cincinnati voice, Mike McConnell, but he was on a Chicago station--WGN. He's got an incredible voice and style. . . but didn't seem as loosey goosey as his former gig. And the women! Oh my, oh my. Such nasel, whiney, harsh voices. Found very few I could listen to more than a few minutes. And twirling the dial, I decided no one sounds better or is more talented than our own Bob Connors, right here in Columbus WTVN 610.