Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quietly bringing in New Year 2012

A very lovely New Year's Eve. First we attended a wonderful jazz concert at UALC which featured the works of Henry Mancini--always a nice walk down memory lane since he did so many movie and TV themes. Then a worship service with communion led by Pastors Dan Clark and Brodie Taphorn. We saw many friends from years ago that we miss now that there are three campuses.

Then we came home, put on some quiet music, had dinner, and I set out the little cardboard mailbox with all the Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year cards and letters and we took turns reading through them aloud--it took about 90 minutes. We had, of course, read them when they came through the mail slot or were handed to us, but this time we actually discussed them and noted things we'd missed. Usually I tape the return address to the card if the names are rather common or duplicative, but I missed one. Neither of us seem to know which "Jim and Becky" sent that card. . .

Wayne and Marie (housemate from the U. of I. in the 1950s) still get the prize for most travels and activities, but I think Marilyn Ford won for biggest family photo--almost 40 children and grandchildren in her photo. I got out the church directory from 1978 and she and Jack had 4 children in that photo. Gayle's Thanksgiving letter usually leads the pack, and we think there will be a few yet to come this week. My brother called instead of sending a card--they've gone to e-mail, which is difficult since my husband doesn't do computer stuff. We really treasure the hand made and artistic efforts--we seem to know a lot of artists. I didn't do a Christmas letter this year--maybe this will inspire me. . .

Friday, December 30, 2011

Week-end plans to bring in the New Year 2012

It's the end of the year. Not to be original, but time sure flies. Tonight we're going out with Ron and Jane to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary. I'm thinking of baking a cake and then coming back here after the Rusty Bucket--but maybe if I wait the urge and ambition will go away. We met when we were all members of First Community Church in 1968. The guys met in a men's breakfast group, Jane and I met at a funeral, and the guys still see each other weekly for a Wednesday morning group which Ron teaches.

Then tomorrow evening we're going to the New Year's Eve Jazz Concert and Worship at the Mill Run campus of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church at 5:30, then worship and communion at 6:00. Sunday there is a reduction in the number of services because of Saturday worship so we'll go at 10 a.m.

Always take off your apron before photographs

Blogger's stats

I've recently switched over to a new Blogger template, and although it takes some getting used to (I guess they have to have something for the younger employees to do), I am paying more attention to the stats feature. Today for the first time I looked at country of origin for my visitors (for December 2011).

USA -- 1,789
France -- 283
Russia -- 152
and Germany -- 101 each
U.K. -- 81
Taiwan -- 71
Canada -- 68
India -- 50
Turkey -- 19

Of course, my all time big winner is a HGTV story on Tony Chau moving to Las Vegas. 534 page views since Oct. 15, 2010. So many people want to get rich on the internet.

Civil dialogue

Some readers of blogs say anything. I saw this at Frugal Cafe. A Blogger shouldn't have to explain how to be polite and non-threatening to commenters, but this is the world we live in.
Because of the onslaught of attacking comments against Sarah Palin and/or her children (often with the F-word or other vulgarities) , anti-Palin comments are no longer accepted for posting. Don't waste your time trying. There are plenty of liberal blogs and Obama-run media articles out there bashing Palin... post your hate-driven criticisms on one of those sites. My blog, my rules.

The 1% today were the 99% yesterday

Mobility is the unique feature of our economy and culture. That's why people want to come here. The Occupiers are not only wrong, but they dumb, uninformed and anti-American.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holder needs to go

The empirical evidence shows that voter ID laws do not suppress minority voting. In Georgia, black voter turnout for the 2006 midterm elections was 42.9%. After Georgia passed its photo ID, black turnout in the 2010 midterm rose to 50.4%. Black voter turnout also rose in Indiana and Mississippi after enactment of their voter ID laws.

IHOP makes the Wastebook 2011

A DC development corp builds an IHOP in Columbia Heights (DC) with federal subsidy ($765,828) and gets listed in Coburn's Wastebook 2011. Leftists go crazy because it's mentioned on Fox and in Coburn's list, and insist it isn't yuppieville. So I looked at real estate in the area. 1 bdrm $2,160, 2 bdrm $3,050, average salary $65,231. That would buy a few pancakes for government workers, wouldn't it? But so what? Why do we need to subsidize IHOP? Or rather, why are we subsidizing a development corporation with a 40 year federal/local back patting, wallet padding scheme?

Anacostia Economic Development Corporation

Looking through Anacostia's timeline, I see that 40 years ago it did help the neighborhood by assisting small business in the community--hat store, hardware store, shoe store, funeral home, supermarket, furniture store, drapery store, etc. But the big money was in Title VII CDC, and it moved on. Looks like some lottery, gaming, and cable--then apartment development, then a for-profit subsidiary, more real estate development and shopping centers, relocation of some government office buildings and post office. Wheeeee! Why does this company still need the government to make a profit and payroll? And of course, former DC Mayor Marion Barry is involved.

Really--do browse the Wastebook 2011. It is fascinating.

Hoosiers didn't need guardians in 1947

This floats around a number of conservative blogs citing on-line newsletter Foundation for Economic Freedom, but I also found it in a book, Contemporary American Federalism, by Joseph Zimmerman (SUNY Press, 2008), a preview of which was in Google, but not the section with the footnote which cited the source. I hope it is real, because on the Internet if something sounds too good to be true, you're usually right to be suspicious. In any case, our states, like our citizens are so accustomed to being on the dole, this would be tough to pass today. "Being fooled," of course, refers to many of FDR's programs during the Great Depression. And as single moms have learned since the mid-60s, Uncle Sam is not a good step-father.
House Concurrent Resolution No. 2 of the 85th General Assembly of the State of Indiana, passed by that state’s House and Senate in January 1947.

"Indiana needs no guardian and intends to have none. We Hoosiers—like the people of our sister states—were fooled for quite a spell with the magician’s trick that a dollar taxed out of our pockets and sent to Washington will be bigger when it comes back to us. We have taken a good look at said dollar. We find that it lost weight in its journey to Washington and back. The political brokerage of the bureaucrats has been deducted. We have decided that there is no such thing as ‘federal’ aid. We know that there is no wealth to tax that is not already within the boundaries of the 48 states.

So we propose henceforward to tax ourselves and take care of ourselves. We are fed up with subsidies, doles and paternalism. We are no one’s stepchild. We have grown up. We serve notice that we will resist Washington, D.C. adopting us."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Days are Here Again

Ronald Clark, a blogger and retired systems engineer for the Navy from Indianapolis, Indiana writes:
Back when the depression was going and America was suffering badly, Franklin D. Roosevelt mounted a Presidential campaign that featured the song, "Happy Days Are Here Again" with vague promises of a transformation of America into a place where the Government would take care of the people. He was elected with "Happy Days Are Here Again" ringing in everyone's hearts and ears. This was the start of real socialism in America and if you are so inclined to research the era, you will discover everything that FDR did during his years as President, made the depression and suffering much worse. The depression was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity (never let a crisis go to waste) to gain power for the Federal Government to implement policy that would never be accepted during normal times. His nanny Government also was responsible for extending the depression in America while the rest of the world recovered quite rapidly.

In other words, it was WWII that ended the American depression, not the entitlement, utopian policies of FDR. There is even strong evidence that FDR made decisions that forced the US into war in order to recover from the depression with his socialism policies firmly in place.

I know, not pretty, but mostly true.

The "Happy Days Are Here Again" theme during the FDR era is the same utopian Flim Flam that people ate up then and is the same as is the "Hope and Change" utopian nonsense that gullible people are gobbling up today and believe the Government can create jobs and take care of them. The point being, that the same disastrous results are occurring as in FDR's day and one must wonder if all of these unnecessary wars nowadays are an attempt to recover as FDR used WWII to recover. (Sorry, the wars nowadays are not big enough to effect the desired change.)

There really is no free lunch, someone must pay and we are now paying with our treasure, freedoms and jobs.
Happy Days

Original recording used in the 1930 MGM film Chasing Rainbows and recorded by Leo Reisman with vocals by Lou Levin.

You do the math--Obama's economy

The ravages of the Obama economy now mean that more Americans live under the federal poverty line than at any time in U.S. history since records have been kept. Under President Barack Obama, every fifth child in America now lives in poverty.

The Democrats took over the government not in January 2009 with Obama's election, but in January 2007, with control of the Senate and House. They destroyed, with Senator Obama's help, a good economy with a 4+ unemployment rate, but put Barney Frank in charge of an important finance committtee, and let Fannie and Fred continue their bad subprime loans.

It's the math, stupid

Cozy Scandinavian Apartment Showcasing Inspiring Details

Ignore nor this tiny, aneseptic apartment in Sweden. I'm just testing my blogger button.

Cozy Scandinavian Apartment Showcasing Inspiring Details | Freshome

Year end contributions to Christian organizations

Although we regularly tithe at our church home, Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, at the end of the year we enjoy looking over and supporting other Christian appeals. Luther suggested for Bible study 1) Oratio (prayer), 2. Meditatio (meditate) and 3. Tentatio (struggle) which isn't a bad plan when chosing good causes--because the ones that aren't good are tossed when we receive them, and the others set aside for further consideration.

1. Pinecrest Community is always on our list and this year I included a note to Leanne Manheim, the Development Director, because I've met her a few times on the visits with my sister. The Illinois budget is in terrible shape--the state isn't paying its Medicaid bills for months and months.

2. Pregnancy Decision Health Centers help women with problem pregnancies make good decisions for their babies. Abortion is the holocaust of our era--some 50 million deaths since the early 70s. The other day I heard a revolting statistic--64% of the women who "chose" abortion felt pressured by boyfriend, husband, parents or peers. If you are 17 and don't have access to your own funds even for doctor and hospital, or transportation to a pregnancy help center, what would you do if parents demand that you have an abortion in order to remain under their roof--and the boyfriend's parents agree.

3. Lower Lights Christian Health Center on Columbus' west side provides health care in a low income area of our city, over $350,000 in unreimbursed medical care to uninsured and underinsured patients, which is about 75% of its patient population. It was started by a young Christian female doctor, Dana Vallangeon, in 2002.

4. World Mission Prayer League supports 120 full time workers to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was founded by Lutherans in 1937. I am one of its "prayer warriors," and I love their publications.

5. Into the Field is the newest ministry on our list directed and founded by Jennifer Cameron, the daughter of friends and member of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. It serves other ministries and the Body of Christ seeking to serve other Christians.

6. Lutheran Bible Translators brings the gospel to people who have no written language and put it in their "heart language."

7. Lakeside the Chautauqua on Lake Erie is where we have our summer home, and now spend the better part of the summer. Gate fees and association dues just don't cover the expenses to keep this community of art, literature, music and religion running, so there are always fund raisers.

8. 168 Film Project , has a huge mission--to illuminate the Word of God through short film. The founder, John Ware, is now a Californian, but is also a son of Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, and his mom still attends there. There are 168 hours in a week and that's how long the writers, actors, editors, directors, etc. have to put together a short (11 minutes) film on a Bible verse. Last year an entry for documentary featured UALC, directed by Steve Puffenberger.

And finally, there may be a few conservative candidates and organizations on our list of gifts, but that will be our little secret.

Ohio State Receives $1.4 M Grant for Development of Resistant Ash Tree

Although it's too late for the lovely graceful ash trees we have now on our condo grounds and the grounds at Lakeside, Ohio, this is indeed good news--if it works. Can't be too soon. . .
Scientists with Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) have received a three-year, $1.4 million grant to continue their groundbreaking work toward the development of a tree that can be used for preservation of ash in natural and urban forests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) provided the funds.
Ohio State Receives $1.4 M Grant for Development of Resistant Ash Tree — Ohio State University Extension

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How a Sustainalist Think Tank rates Obama

Call them leftists, socialists, environmentalists, greengoes or sustainalists, makes no difference. Here's how the World Resources Institute rates Obama in 2011 for Climate Policy.

1. Congress Didn’t Act (makes little difference--Obama has said he will veto anything that is anti-regulatory or good for business).
2. National Vehicle Rules Established (EPA and DOT busy nailing down the coffin lid for Michigan).
3. California Moves Ahead (going international for its regulations to further create a budget crisis).
4. Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Economic benefits (a greenhouse gas cap–and-trade program for the electricity sector in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S.)
5. EPA Makes Slow Progress on GHG Rules (moving forward with more regulations, just not as fast as WRI would want). The EPA is a regulatory train wreck.
6. Emissions Continue to Climb (hard to imagine since taking clunkers off the road so low income people can't afford a car to drive should have fixed that).

This isn't being done or not done by legislation--our elected representatives who are supposed to be our voice in Washington. It's all regulatory. We the people have no say in any of this. Only lobbyists, unions, and politicians.

The federal government is the biggest user and abuser of fossil fuels.

Caravaggio: The power of art

On my link, each part flowed seamlessly into the next. It takes about an hour to watch the whole thing, but it is well worth it. Caravaggio--evangelist for the unwashed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Emily's List supports pro-abortion Democrats

The pro-abortion group EMILY’s List, which supports female Democratic candidates who oppose all limitations on abortion, has unveiled new endorsements in four highly-contested 2012 House races.

Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH), Elizabeth Esty, Dina Titus and Tarryl Clark have each proven to EMILY’s List that they will not waver in their support for abortion-on-demand.

Story here.

Elizabeth Esty, an attorney and former state lawmaker, is running for the House seat in Connecticut’s 5th district being vacated by Congressman Chris Murphy who is running for Senate.

Former Congresswoman Dina Titus from Nevada’s 3rd district lost her reelection campaign in 2010 to pro-life Joe Heck by a margin of just 2,000 votes. Redistricting has put her in 1st district.

Former MN State Representative Tarryl Clark unsuccessfully challenged pro-life Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in 2010 in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. Redistricting has put her in the 8th.

Ohio's Congresswoman Betty Sutton due to redistricting will face Republican Congressman Jim Renacci, who currently holds a 100% voting record on pro-life issues.

Why do Democrats hate American babies?

Am I happy or blessed?

Today I was reading Psalm 119 in a modern English version, and found it off-putting to use our common, homely, overused, trite word HAPPY instead of the more familiar BLESSED. But then I did a little research, and found that HAPPY is more accurate, plus it has a deeper meaning than we usually assign to it.
Happy are they who follow the pure path,
who walk in the law of the Lord.
Happy are they who obey his decrees
and seek him out with all their heart.

Ps. 119:1 BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) are the undefiled (the upright, truly sincere, and blameless) in the way [of the revealed will of God], who walk (order their conduct and conversation) in the law of the Lord (the whole of God's revealed will). Amplified Bible.

Also came across this explaining the difference between ashre (happy) and barak (blessed). Ashre involves our choices, our doing.
Dr. Walter D. Zorn, Prof. of OT & Biblical Languages Lincoln Christian College & Seminary, Lincoln, IL

"Happy in the Psalms"

Gerald Janzen discovered in his study of ashre that it is not the "antithesis to the cry of woe, hoy, 'Ah! Alas!'"5 Neither, Janzen revealed, was it ever used with reference to God. The word is never on God’s lips to refer to man or to Himself. When one “blesses” God or God “blesses” man, barak is used, not ashre. Ashre is used 44 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, 26 times in the Psalms . . .

. . . having looked at all the 26 references to ashre used in the Psalter, I discovered that “happiness” is a by-product of something one does and includes the choices one makes. Psalms 1 and 2, of course, set the tone as one discovers that “happiness” comes by the good choice of not “walk[ing] in the counsel of the wicked or stand[ing] in the way of sinners or sit[ting] in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps 1:1-2). This coincides with the idea of “happiness” being “bliss.” It is a “delight” to meditate on God’s instruction. The “doing” here is the study of God’s Word. Psalm 2 concludes with an ambiguous thought: “Happy [are] all taking refuge in him.” The “him” could be the “Son,” the newly anointed and exalted Son-King, or Yahweh, the King Himself.

(It is unfortunate that the NIV uses “blessed” to translate ashre. It is best to use “blessed” for barak instead of ashre. The English student would not know the difference. Using “happy,” or “blissful,” or perhaps “fortunate” would be best for ashre as it refers to the human being, and particularly God’s people.) A review of the 26 references in Psalms will reveal the source for "happiness" and its logical consequences. . .
I feel better now, and in the future will read it with a different eye.

I dare you to understand this

Or even understand the accent. . .

Lutherans and the sign of the cross

Eastern Christians and Western Christians make the sign of the cross differently, but this Lutheran pastor says it doesn't make any difference. Just don't think it's only for Catholics; it's to remember your baptism.

Monday Memories--Christmas 2011

It was a quiet Christmas. Dinner here on Christmas Eve, then church at 9 p.m. at UALC Lytham Rd. Christmas day services we served communion, and then went to Phil's home to have dinner and open gifts.
However, Phil had helped select my gift for my husband, a guitar, so that one was opened on Christmas Eve. He then got a beginner's book and DVD "how to" from Phil on Christmas Day. And the new setting for my e-mail won't allow it to accept the photos from my son's cell phone--back to the drawing board.

Christmas Eve Menu: Standing rib roast, twice baked potatoes; baked chicken thighs with mustard sauce, potato salad; tossed salad greens; mixed fruit; steamed carrots with a touch of honey; rolls and Asiago cheese bread; freshly cooked cranberries a top pound cake with real whipped cream; Merlot.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Lovely cello music

My mother played the cello--not often, and probably not well, although she did play in the Dixon orchestra back in the 1920s (I don't know that it was called that, only that she went to Dixon to do it.) One of her brothers played the saxaphone, and one the violin. When I see the cello get a chance to do something other than support others in the orchestra, I always listen, and think about Mom. Some time in the 1950s my sister Carol got the saxaphone, and my cousin Sharon (on dad's side) the violin. And Mom continued to play the cello every now and then.

My nephew Chris Rees, a freshman in college (grandson of my sister Carol, son of Cindy) now is quite a cellist and plays in groups (not in this video, though), and he posted this lovely piece on Facebook, so I'm sharing. Love the cello!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Entertaining--it's not for the old and forgetful

There will only be five of us for dinner tonight, but I've already thrown out the vegetables and run the dishwasher twice. I changed my meat choice, so now I have two kinds of potatoes. As I recall, my son-in-law doesn't like his food to "touch," which means mixed anything usually is put on his plate, but just moved around. I left my Christmas dishes in the box this year, and am using my good china, and my grandmother's dessert dishes, but I'm leaving Mom's goblets in the case. Too much work to wash. The first table cloth I pulled out didn't fit the table--I'd forgotten; which means it will never be used again and I think I've had it 30 years. I bought a special bread at Panera's this morning, but left it on the counter when I got a coffee refill, and had to go back to get it. But, I did have to clean a bit, and that's always a good thing, and a good reason to entertain.

I whipped up the potatoes (to reheat later) with my little Sunbeam mixer, which was a wedding gift, so it's 51 years old. The cord is stiff, it falls out of its connection, it trips the outlet switch, and the beaters fall out about every 45 seconds. But how many more years will I be making cakes or whipping potatoes, so I don't replace it. Besides, at this stage, it would be like kicking out a member of the family.

I'm not a coupon user, but in the fall I had one for a free cone at Graeter's Ice Cream, so we went in, and while there "bought" a book of coupons to support cancer research, figuring we'd use it. We haven't. So I looked at it yesterday. $2 off an ice cream pie. Hmm. That sounded good until I looked it up. $26, so with the coupon plus the tax, you'd still have a dessert that is at least $2.50 a serving. That's more than making an entire (box) cake with (store bought) icing. So I looked through the book and see that with a $15 purchase, you get a free pint of ice cream (which I think is about $4.00); so it would make more sense to buy the pie and get the free pint (black raspberry chocolate is awesome). Or skip the whole thing and make dessert at home as a reminder that companies don't stay in business to give away their products with coupons. They do it because it is profitable. That's a very difficult concept for the American consumer. I AM the Columbus anti-coupon queen, even when I've paid for the coupons.

Have a blessed and holy day celebrating our Savior's birth.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Paul, please run for President!

Paul Ryan has old-fashioned goals, says Real Clear, like saving America from fiscal bankruptcy, economic stagnation, and a European-style entitlement state.

Paul Ryan's old fasioned American vision

In a White House meeting this year, Ryan's superior knowledge of health care baffled Obama and left him speechless. And the serious Ryan budget, which lowers spending by $6.2 trillion and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion over ten years, totally outflanked the White House. It embarrassingly exposed the Obama administration's flimsy and inconsequential 2012 budget, which even rejected the findings of Obama's own Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission. (Another Oval Office embarrassment.)

And when Ryan unveiled his first Medicare-reform package, which featured patient-centered consumer choice and market competition, the White House went nuts. Team Obama whipped up a Mediscare panic, resorting to a fictional caricature of Ryan forcing old ladies off a cliff. But the charge that the Ryan plan "ends Medicare" couldn't be further from the truth. The website PolitiFact labeled this "the lie of the year."

Ryan later amended his Medicare reform to keep the existing system as an option, and bolstered it with a menu of market-based private insurance plans to promote cost-cutting choice and competition. But he did so with the bipartisan support of Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon. How did the White House react? It went rhetorically ballistic, although it couldn't put together a serious response.

Josh gets second on x-factor

Imagine what a hair cut and new pair of jeans could have done for him. Yes, "being real" has a lot of appeal, but his audience does have to look at him.

Christian colleges mandated to offer "plan B" abortion in health care

On Wednesday, Colorado Christian University became the first interdenominational Christian college to join Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic college in North Carolina in filing a lawsuit over the regulation that requires employers' health insurance plans to provide free contraception, including Plan B, and sterilization under their group health plan.

As a Christian college, CCU teaches the sanctity of life at all stages, and that abortions are against God’s law.

Read the story here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Something good is happening in Kansas

The tone of this article isn't positive--after all it comes from the Washington Post.
In the past year, three state agencies [in Kansas] have been abolished and 2,050 jobs have been cut. Funding for schools, social services and the arts have been slashed. The new Republican governor [Sam Brownback] rejected a $31.5 million federal grant for a new health-insurance exchange because he opposes President Obama’s health-care law. And that’s just the small stuff. . .

The governor has said his main concerns are creating jobs, cutting taxes and bringing new businesses to the state, which has been losing population to domestic migration over the past decade and ranks near the bottom in private-sector job creation.

“We cannot continue on this path and hope we can move forward and win the future,” he said in the Wichita speech . “It won’t work. We have to change course, and we’re going to have to be aggressive about it or we are doomed to a slow decline.”
The story here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

NASA has confirmed that its Kepler mission has discovered planets roughly the size of the Earth outside of the Solar System.

Whenever I read of new discoveries in the solar system I think of Psalm 19. "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world."

The heavens are declaring, proclaiming, speaking, displaying--but there are a lot of people not listening.

Lewison family faith

Listening to the local Catholic radio I hear many things that are unfamiliar, or I think were settled in the 16th century reformation--at least for those who began following the teachings of Luther and Calvin. Purgatory; Worship of Mary and the saints (and please don't tell me it's not "worship" because they are praying to them--I hear them); Obligations; Miracles at shrines; Indulgences. And so forth.

That said, it would seem that proper theology doesn't mean much. I heard this morning an amazing story of faith on Women of Grace hosted by Johnnette Benkovic, and whether it is Jesus, Mary, the saints or all combined, it is undergirding this family.

A woman, Mary Lewison, called the show I was listening to earlier in the year--February possibly--to discuss the death of her 18 year old son who was killed when his truck was hit by a train. The moderater had also lost a son, so the two had had a long talk on the air. This week the woman sent the moderator an article about the family to catch up, which Johnnette then read on the show this morning.

After the death of her 18 year old, 4 of the 5 surviving children in the family were in two different automobile accidents, 2 serious enough to be hospitalized. Then the woman's husband had a heart attack when he was in a different state, and got to the ER within minutes of death--the doctor called it a "widow-maker," and she became his care-giver; when she thought nothing else could happen to her family, the woman was fired from her job for missing so much work during her husband's 4 month recovery!

She has not lost her faith in Jesus. Broadcast is here for December 21, 2011.

Religious gobble-de-gook

clap·trap (kl p tr p ). n. Pretentious, insincere, or empty language

San Francisco Theological Seminary (Presbyterian) and the Graduate Theological Union, a hodge podge of Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Baptist, UCC, Disciples, UMC, Unitarian and others are going to tell black Baptist women . . .

“Given the realities of sexism in a post modern world and the continued undermining of a womanist theology, this symposium acknowledges that leadership roles in ministry are often fraught with subtle and overt politics of exclusion and the realism of marginalization based on sexism,” Taylor said. “The old traditional ecclesiastical institution is becoming an endangered and extinct institution if the culture continues to imprison the gifts and creativity of seminary trained women while preserving sexism, homophobia and other primitive practices.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No pizza tonight

I was sure hungry for a pizza. I mentioned it to my husband, and he had his taste buds set. But I had a colonoscopy today and they told me to be careful about what I ate. So I'm fixing mac and cheese, I'll skip the cole slaw, but probably have the applesauce.

Colonoscopies are very important--they are the only test that can prevent cancer, but the preparation is certainly unpleasant. So is listening to the doctor and nurse discuss the movies they've seen during the procedure. My mother, my paternal grandmother and my father's sister all had colon cancer, so despite the unpleasantness, it's an important preventative step.

I was a bit groggy when I got home--not much sleep last night--and I slept for 3 hours.

The nurse also warned me to stay off Facebook and the Blog. Apparently some people can't be trusted even after a mild anesthetic.

Still, pizza sure sounded good.

Why has Los Angeles lost its mojo?

We've seen the Democrat political machine kill or disable many of American's most vibrant cities. And now its Los Angeles's turn, although it took longer because of its dispersed center.
"A big reason is a decline in the power and mettle of the city's once-vibrant business community. Between the late 1980s and the end of the millennium, many of L.A.'s largest and most influential firms—ARCO, Security Pacific, First Interstate, Union Oil, Sun America—disappeared in a host of mergers that saw their management shift to cities like London, New York and San Francisco. . . controlled by a machine of labor and the political leadership of the Latino community, the mayor is a former labor organizer. . . strangling regulations backed by a powerful and wealthy environmental movement. . . even liberal Democrats are catching on." The environmentalists are killing the port business, the generator of blue collar labor, and thus the unions have to expand into the once vibrant Latino small business sector.
How Los Angeles lost its mojo

Who are the Occupiers? Market research reveals

Frontier Lab used serious market research techniques to study and report on the motives of the Occupist protestors. If you are a conservative and a Christian, nothing in this report will surprise you. If you are a liberal, you will criticize it, sit on the fence, claim "they had a point," and deny that the research was properly done. But both sides will recognize the Occupists' need to belong to something--anything--to enhance their sense of self-worth and its leadership arising from the professional left.

"What did Frontier Lab discover? First, that many of the rank-and-file occupiers feel isolated in their lives, and appear to lack basic community ties such as are provided by participation in clubs, churches, and strong families. Indeed, much of the report could have come from the early chapters of Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone. They thus attach to their political causes with something like a religious fervor. For many, a commitment to “social justice” is “not the end, but rather a means to an inflated sense of self and purpose in their own lives.” Crucially, involvement with others who agree with them provides an “overwhelming feeling of being part of a family.” I noticed this on my first trip down to Zuccotti Park, when I saw a telling sign adorning the entrance to the tent city: “For the first time in my life, I feel at home.” On subsequent visits I was struck by the importance of the commune to the project. As much as anything else, vast swathes of occupiers were simply looking for a new club. This group, Frontier Lab dubs the “Communitarians.”

The second group, which to all intents and purposes forms the leadership, is less existentially lost, and derives its fulfillment from the “prestige,” “validation,” and “control” afforded by the movement’s coverage in the media. Frontier Lab calls this group the “Professionals.” Its members fill the ranks of the professional Left and boast long histories of attending and organizing protests. For them, indignation is quotidian, “community action” is a career, and they feel “validated by the fame and attention” and “rewarded for their life choices.” Unlike the Communitarians, the Professionals actually want tangible change, or a “win,” but politics is still playing second fiddle to self. There is nothing spontaneous or organic about the movements they lead. They are waiting for the revolution and hope to be in its vanguard. Their careers depend upon it."

The Occupiers and OWS analyzed

Trading Christmas with Faith Ford

Hallmark Channel has been running Christmas movies for weeks. They are light, happy, predictable heart string tuggers. I watched Faith Ford in Trading Christmas, a romantic comedy about a man and woman who trade homes for the holidays, and she meets his brother and he meets her best friend, and well, the rest is all about falling in love. I think they get repeated, so if you missed it, check the listings.
It’s also fun, once in a while, to watch a movie where we meet no bad people. The only two unpleasant characters here never show up on screen. We only hear about them, and from what we hear, we don’t dislike them as much as feel sorry for them, because we know what their selfishness will make them miss.

If you’re watching “Trading Christmas” and you get a vague feeling you’ve seen it before, it’s possible you have. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet made a movie called “The Holiday” in 2006 that followed pretty much the same blueprint.

I love foodie blogs

I rarely cook these days--two and too. Two people. Too many calories.
But I love to read food blogs. Smitten Kitchen. Enjoy.

Women in technology

It's biology. I'd noticed that there hadn't been much of an increase in female faces and names in article I see about technology--especially the business end of it. I suspected it had something to do with babies--and this writer thinks so too.

Having children instead of startups
And this is why women don’t have startups: children. It’s not a complicated answer. It’s a sort of throw-back-to-the-50’s answer. You could argue the merits of this, but you could not argue the merits of this with any woman who has kids and has a startup.

There’s a reason that women start more businesses than men, but women only get 3% of the funding that men do. The reason is that women want a lifestyle business. Women want to control their time, control their work, to be flexible for their kids. This seems reasonable: Women start more lifestyle businesses and men start more venture-funded businesses. This does not, on face value, seem inherently problematic.

But wait, let’s ask why so many men with kids are doing startups? Why aren’t they with their kids? A startup is like six full-time jobs. Where does that leave the kids? We use social service funding to tell impoverished families that it’s important for dads to spend time with their kids. But what about startup founders? Is it okay for them to leave their kids in favor of 100-hour weeks? For many founders, their startup is their child.

Madison Rising denied a permit

The tents are gone, but dozens of Occupy Wall Streeters still swarm Zuccotti during the day. [Conservative band] Madison Rising’s manager and organizer, Richard Mgrdechian, says the band had hoped to give Downtown a “Take Back Wall Street” concert, something “pro-American and pro-capitalist.” A chance to say “thank you to the firemen for all you’ve put up with, thank you to the police for all you’ve put up with.”

Read more:

Luckily for the fledgling band, some places have been more welcoming than Zuccotti and the left-blogosphere. They were the headlining act at the Oct. 8 “We Stand with Gibson” concert in Nashville, honoring the Gibson Guitar company during its battle with environmental regulators over using rare woods in its guitar fingerboards.

By picking causes like that, they may not get invited to many Manhattan cocktail parties, but you’ll likely hear them at a few Tea Parties.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Questions in the Bible

The first recorded question in the Bible comes from Satan (in the form of a serpent) which was, "Indeed, has God said. . .?" (Did God really say. . .Yea, has God said. . . )

Since Adam and Eve fell for that clever ruse, the second question recorded was from God, "Where are you?"

And upon rereading this very carefully today, I see that God, when giving them (Adam) instructions on how to take care of everything he had created he said, "but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." It was Satan that told Eve she would be like God if she knew good from evil, and we've been dealing with that lie ever since.


Did you know that a 4-ounce serving of turkey breast contains only 1 gram of fat and is the leanest type of meat you can include in your diet? Health newsletter

Yes, and that's why it is so tasteless and needs mustard, mayo or butter on the sandwich.

Humanism has more rules than God!

We are SO advanced, aren't we? We like to think in the 21st century our American life style is based on more freedom than the past--that we aren't bound by so many stuffy rules or finger wagging moralizing. We are just so evolved! HA! We might as well go back to wearing hats and gloves and leave the voting to the men folk.

When people felt undergirded by God's law, precepts, statutes and commands--one, two or three centuries ago--they had far more freedom than today when humanism and all its grandbaby systems rule the day--new age religions, socialism, environmentalism, Agenda 21 goals, thousands of rules and regulations for business, educators with hands tied so a 3rd grader doesn't smell a peanut or get bullied on the playground or doesn't know how to put on a condom, and employees can file a complaint if a supervisor says, "Merry Christmas," or compliments her appearance. But women have "choice."

In our focus on the victims, the whiners and the objectors, if a pastor preaches about marriage between a man and woman, he's homophobic or insulting single moms. If you live in the country enjoying a few acres, someone will try to regulate you to save Mother Earth by moving to multi-story housing and taking the bus to work. And God forbid if your BMI is a little high--you'll have the federal government asking for your tax money to correct everyone else's weight and install a farmer's market in your neighborhood! Movies and TV can make a fortune for their investors on wardrobe malfunctions, sloppy sex with any gender, and anything goes vocal screaching, but don't you put a nativity scene in the public square.

Humanism in all its forms puts us under pressure to redeem ourselves, and since the beginning of time, since God asked Adam and Eve, "Where are you?" we've just been making up more rules--and lies.

Monday Memories--Dad's Ranchero

I think Dad's was all red. My goodness, it was fun to drive! But then, I was 19--woot!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Allowing the arrest and detention indefinitely of American citizens

I was not in favor of foreign terrorists captured in middle east war zones being given the rights of Americans to our civilian trial process within the U.S., however, I believe U.S. citizens should have them. I'm very concerned about the new Defense Authorization bill just signed--especially since we've recently heard Tea Party groups called terrorists by the other team. That word is just being used too frequently. There's a lot to think about in this article (long).

Glen Greenwald on the new military authorization bill

In hindsight, the Bush administration went too far, and in watching the Obama flip flops and broken promises, I think we've started down a very dangerous road of eroded rights and pot-holed guarantees.

If you won't give it, we'll take it--the Occupists

This is what "social justice" theology gets you--rude, ungrateful pagans who don't want what Jesus has to offer, Forgiveness of sins.
The displaced occupiers had asked the church [Trinity Wall Street], one of the city’s largest landholders, to hand over a gravel lot, near Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas, for use as an alternate campsite and organizing hub. The church declined, calling the proposed encampment “wrong, unsafe, unhealthy and potentially injurious.”

And now the Occupy movement, after weeks of targeting big banks and large corporations, has chosen Trinity, one of the nation’s most prominent Episcopal parishes, as its latest antagonist.

“We need more; you have more,” one protester, Amin Husain, 36, told a Trinity official on Thursday, during an impromptu sidewalk exchange between clergy members and demonstrators. “We are coming to you for sanctuary.”
Occupists get nasty with Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Newt on Gay Marriage

Newt definitely shouldn't be talking about marriage, or mistresses for that matter, or divorce. The Bible is silent on gay marriage and you just can't make an argument from silence, but it has plenty to say about marriage between a man and woman, the only marriage the Bible recognizes. It has enough to say on being a father and husband, that the Roman Catholic church should reexamine its annulment procedures (Newt was baptized a Lutheran, became a Baptist, and is now a Roman Catholic).
The National Organization for Marriage, which previously criticized Gingrich for his two divorces and extra-marital affairs, said the former Speaker of the House signed its anti-gay-marriage pledge Thursday.

In the pledge, candidates promise to pursue a constitutional amendment forbidding same-sex marriage and to create a presidential commission to investigate "reports of Americans who have been harassed or threatened" for opposing same-sex marriage.
Gingrich Signs Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge He may sincerely believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, but so far, there's not much evidence.

This is insane--cut throat pre-K applications

Are New Yorkers crazy? $30,000 for a private pre-school, and 28,817 applicants for 19,834 slots in the city’s public pre-K programs? So some have formed co-ops. Sounds like they aren't the play groups that I had with 3-4 other Moms in Upper Arlington in the early 1970s.
The dearth of high-quality preschool education for poor children has been widely reported, but there is a growing middle-class gap when it comes to prekindergarten. “Access is actually lower for middle-income people than it is for people that are poor,” said Steven Barnett, director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, a research and advocacy group that supports universal prekindergarten. Those who say middle-class families should just pay for preschool themselves, Mr. Barnett said, “don’t understand how expensive it is.”
Underground Pre-K Groups.
I don't really agree with the author on the benefits of pre-school (33% higher income in one study). The children who attend high quality schools also come from highly educated, 2 parent, high income homes with a lot of enrichment opportunities. If not, they probably lose any gains they supposedly got in pre-school. It appears that New York's strict standards, regulations and red tape for child care have caused a higher demand, fewer facilities, and a way for those on top to stay there.

The author and her husband and some other families they knew in their neighborhood created a co-op pre-school. Ending 3 weeks early after some families moved and replacements had to be found, it was exhausting. "Emotionally burned and mentally depleted, my husband and I vowed never to do it again." But they did.

One commenter, "Redstate," really became unglued with older mothers puzzling over how it could be such a big deal to help a child get ready for kindergarten. Another practically has your kid enrolled in prison if you don't get him into pre-school!

In my opinion, which means nothing to young parents or New Yorkers, the push to get more children in school before age 5 is a quest for more schools, more public teachers and more union members.

How to lie with headlines about the Republicans

Today I was looking for information on a training program for women that I saw in the recent budget consolidation bill (1200 p.) that was being rammed through. In the process of googling, I found this article at the Washington Post Answer Sheet but don't know if these programs were actually cut:
43 education programs Republicans want to eliminate
Forty-three education programs — including those that promote literacy, teacher development and droppout prevention — have been targeted for elimination in a Republican-sponsored bill in the House as a first step toward rewriting the law known as No Child Left Behind.
And then when I read the article, I found out the reason they wanted to eliminate them was because
1) they'd already lost their funding in the last budget bill;
2) Obama had proposed a consolidation and the program was part of that;
3) they hadn't been funded in recent years;
4) they were approved but never funded; and
5) they were duplicates of other programs.

Note: The House is controlled by the Republicans; all revenue originates in the House (Art.1, Sec. 7, Constitution of the United States)

Here are two an examples:
Even Start Family Literacy Program had received $66.5 million in FY 2008, 2009, and 2010, (which means it was a Bush program), but it had been deemed ineffective by the OMB and the children and parents in the program showed no better gains than those not in the program.

The High School Graduation Initiative (Drop Out Prevention) provided grants ($50 million in FY 2010 and 2011) to help schools increase high school graduation rates. The program did not receive funding in FY 2008 or 2009. It duplicates the ESEA Title I (Aid for the Disadvantaged) program. The fact that the FY 2008 and FY 2009 years were mentioned, indicates to me this was originally a Bush program, but was probably not funded by the Democratic House.

As soon as Obama took office in 2009, all Bush programs were scrubbed from the web, even applications forms and reports of success or failure, so unless you can find mention of them in a state document, it's awfully difficult to research. Obama added money to education programs with the stimulus, so the 2009 education budget although proposed during Bush's final year actually reflects the Obama infusion. Then when the stimulus ended, a drop in funding is shown for 2010.

Gingrich and Fannie and Fred

"Mr. Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in two separate contracts with Freddie between 1999 and 2008. The former Speaker stuck to his line that "I was approached to offer strategic advice" and had warned the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) to stop lending to bad credit risks." WSJ Review & Outlook, Dec. 17, 2011.

I would have given them the same advice for free.

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16 is Tea Party Day

Today is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773, a band of patriots called the "Sons of Liberty," disguised as Mohawk Indians, boarded three ships and threw 342 chests of tea into the harbor. Tea was heavily taxed and had become a symbol of British oppression. Earlier that year, the men of Marlborough, Massachusetts, declared in writing: "Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their liberties. ... [we] implore the Ruler above the skies that He would bare His arm in defense of His Church and people, and let Israel go." From Faith2Action newsletter.

Of course, the story was much bigger than tea in the harbor. England had ignored laws which forbade the colonists to trade with any other country, resulting in great wealth for New England. When George III came to the throne in 1763 and ships of war showed up to enforce the old laws, and soldiers began to break into businesses and homes, the citizens protested. The cost of the wars with France were enormous and since it was to protect the colonies, George decided the Americans could pay with new taxes. This was done without the people's consent--a basic principle of English law. A Stamp Act was passed requiring paid stamps (a tax) on documents and newspapers. The "Sons of Liberty" pulled down a building were the stamps were sold and hung and burned a stuffed figure of one of the sellers and other riots followed. The Stamp Act was repealed.

In 1767 new taxes were levid on glass, paper, paints and tea, to pay for the king's soldiers in the colonies, judges and other officers who answered to the king not the people, and to line the pockets of leading citizens so they would be loyal to the king. In answer to the new taxes, the people agreed not to import these items, "eat nothing, drink nothing, wear nothing" from England. So the taxes were removed--all except on TEA. The cost wasn't the issue--the price was made very low--it was a tax to show the American people that they couldn't thumb their noses at the king.

From my grandmother's American history textbook, "The Leading Facts of American History," by D. H. Montgomery, Boston: Ginn & Co., 1891.

Hitchens the atheist is dead

When I heard on Catholic radio this morning that Christopher Hitchens had died from cancer I thought, well, now he knows. When I stand before God, He will see only the righteous of Jesus Christ. Hitchens knows for sure now, but I pray that he accepted the Lord's hand at the final moment. It's never too late; God is merciful. He waits. But, Oh what a waste of a life for the one who waits to the end.

Rueters announcement of death

This just has to be fake--no one is this dumb

TIME magazine put the protestors on the cover for person of the year. Supposedly, this is a real quote from a protestor at Occupy Toronto.
“It’s weird protesting on Bay Street. You get there at 9 a.m. and the rich bankers who you want to hurl insults at and change their worldview have been at work for two hours already. And then when it's time to go, they're still there. I guess that's why they call them the one per cent. I mean, who wants to work those kinds of hours? That's the power of greed.” – Jeremy, 38

The Texas Planned Parenthood rebuke

Why does Obama hate poor people? He'd rather poor Texas women in a government funded health program get nothing than see Planned Parenthood Funding, which disproportionately kills black babies, get cut. For a guy whose unmarried, teen mother chose not to abort her bi-racial child, I think this man has serious issues.

Jeopardizing women's health

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A face only a mother could love

Alert PETA. Trouble ahead. The naked mole rat is a useful model for aging and cancer. "The strictly subterranean naked mole rat lives as long as 30 years and shows negligible senescence, no age-related increase in mortality, high fertility until death, and resistance to spontaneous cancer and experimentally induced tumorigenesis. They also live in full darkness at low oxygen and high carbon dioxide concentrations and are unable to sustain thermogenesis or feel certain types of pain. " Nature, via JAMA, Dec. 7, 2011

December 15 is Bill of Rights Day

Today is Bill of Rights Day, when the American people tweaked the Constitution to include some precious protections the signers didn't include. This is from CATO Institute, a libertarian think tank, and in my opinion, they should have included what the Supreme Court has done to not just speech, but prohibiting the exercise of religion.

Looking at health care costs

Actually, I do own a book by Newt Gingrich, "Saving Lives & Saving money" published in 2003. I'm not sure what his point was. About 1/3 of it was examples of health plans he liked. About 1/2 was anecdotes about businesses and people who controlled their costs. I think the rest was photos of him. Like Obama, he's a narcissist. It's a gray, dull book. Stodgy, uninteresting. Maybe he's a good speaker, but he's not a good writer--if he wrote it. I couldn't find any recommendations for the government, so I don't know if he was campaigning for or against a federal take-over of health care.

When "Anyone but Obama" no longer works for me

When someone says, "I promise you. . . " the I-you relationship is gone if the promise is broken, and the promise is worthless from the start if the person making it is not competent to keep it, or is of poor character. Frankly, I don't understand why conservatives want to believe Newt Gingrich's promises. Has he kept them in the past? Is he a man of character? I thought I was in the ABO crowd, but on the other hand, if we have a Republican Progressive in office who has supported big government in all the areas we've been fighting Obama, what have we gained? Newt has either been a poor academic or a rich politician/lobbyist all his working life--just like our current President. AND if elected AND he has a Republican House or Senate, who will stop the overreaching executive branch as we slide further into socialism? Neither party has a good record of saying NO to its own guys.

1. Newt is a BIG government guy, and not too supportive of capitalism. Conservatives say they want smaller, less intrusive federal government. Charles Krauthammer on Gingrich's attack on Romney: "What conception of capitalism do you have if you attacking your opponent for entering what is the risk taking of capitalism? It's the old line from Schumpeter which is that capitalism is creative destruction. And this kind of attack is what you'd expect from a socialist," Krauthammer continued."

2. Newt was an academic before elected to Congress. Conservatives have been quite critical of Obama for his lack of business sense and his poor understanding of the bottom line. Newt likes to say he has a "consulting business," but it's really a lobbying job and he's on the payroll.

3. Newt has been a supporter of some sort of massive federal health care for 20 years--probably since Obama was in grad school. Conservatives say they don't like Obamacare.

4. Newt is good in front of a microphone--people like his speaking style, even if he says nothing and lies. Conservatives have not appreciated this quality in Obama.

5. Newt could match Obama for self-centeredness and narcissism. Someone said (a former wife, maybe?) "he thinks he's the smartest guy in the room." I don't know about the rest of you, but we already know that emperor has no clothes. Is it OK for white guys, but not black guys?

6. Newt is a career politician. Conservatives claim they want a new broom--and not a socialist broom either.

7. Newt was a lobbyist for Fannie and Fred, who helped created the 2007 recession and implosion. Conservatives have Barney on YouTube and play it frequently--denying there was any problem within the GSE's. And when Barney Frank says Gingrich has no ethical core, we're in deep, deep trouble.

8. Obama has flip flopped on the Iraq War--he has nothing good to say about it, actually came close to treason when he was a Senator, in my opinion, but to listen to him yesterday you'd think it was the best thing since sliced bread. Gingrich is like that about global warming--he was cozy and loving to the concept when it suited his pocket book, now he says it was a mistake. Do Conservatives believe what he said then or now?

9. Newt led the charge to impeach our serial adulterer in chief, Bill Clinton, while cheating on his wife. Conservatives who approve of that hypocrisy, please raise your hand.

10. And finally, Newt's favorite President is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the guy who extended the last Depression over 10 years. 'nough said?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cass Sunstein downplays the regulations by lying

"Cass Sunstein, the director of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has been shopping around lower numbers [about the increase in regulations that are strangling the economy] that selectively compare Mr. Obama's first two years favorably with Mr. Bush's last two. Administrations are typically most active on the way out, and in any case the Bush regulatory record is nothing to crow about. But Mr. Sunstein's numbers are even more misleading because they only include the rules that his office reviews while excluding the prolific "independent" agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission.

This means that if Congress tells, say, the Securities and Exchange Commission to write a new rule, it doesn't enter Mr. Sunstein's tally. So it omits, for example, some 259 rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial reregulation law along with its 188 other rule suggestions. It also presumes that Mr. Obama is a bystander with no influence over his own appointees who now dominate the likes of the National Labor Relations Board."

WSJ Regulation for Dummies

She turned down bariatric surgery

A recent issue of JAMA (Dec. 7, 2011) has an update on a woman who had counseling about the various options of bariatric surgery in 2009--Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and laparoscopic adustable gastric banding. She suffered from severe obesity, depression, anxiety and osteoarthritis. She also had hypothroidism with Graves disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis of both knees, a benign breast mass, and menometrorrhagia. Her doctor recommended the surgery because she'd been unable to lose weight dieting. Although I'm not sure why the "update" was published, we did learn she chose not to proceed and that she believed she was being rushed. She thought it might affect her mood and her social life and she wouldn't be happy. Now after 2 years, she's considering it again--wants to enjoy her retirement, she says.

I only mention this because weight counseling is included in Obamacare, because the nanny state is so worried about obesity. It seems that people don't always accept, understand, or believe their doctors, even if it's covered by insurance. Who knew?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I wonder what they did with all the poor people who used to live there?

I saw this in the OSU Today on-line News today.
Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment has housing opportunities for faculty and staff in the Weinland Park neighborhood, which is just steps from the university's main campus and other great amenities like the Short North. A great deal of investment is taking place in the neighborhood, making it a perfect place to call home, and many housing opportunities are coming for all income levels and housing needs. Also, the Faculty & Staff University District Homeownership Incentive Program is available in this area.
Demolished neighborhood waiting for new housing.

Weinland Park neighborhood is north of downtown Columbus, and a group of 20 organizations plus Ohio State (Ohio taxpayers) and Columbus (city taxpayers) have pledged $15 million to develop housing in the area plagued by crime, foreclosures and vacant houses, according to an article in the Dispatch about 15 months ago. Seven years ago when this was proposed the average household income was about $15,200. Why would they want faculty earning over $100,000 to invade their space?
Proposed in 2004 by Deborah Pryce
Crime statistics

Weinland Park neighborhood, the elementary school and housing, is like a petri dish for Ohio State projects. I looked through a proposal by the architecture/urban design students and it included a component on obesity and fresh food sources.

If these kids had fathers, mom would probably have a car and could drive to Krogers to shop, or, maybe they wouldn't have to live in a neighborhood where they are guinea pigs!

Nathan Glazer's Warning

I've expressed concern often at this blog about what government is doing to non-profits and church charities and outreach. Nathan Glazer warned that social policy often does more harm than good, and extends this to what happens when the government footprint squashes local charities.

Just as families and buildings risk harm from social policy, so too do nonprofit social-services organizations. In The Limits of Social, Policy
Glazer makes clear that the sort of marriage between government and nonprofits that the Obama White House is pursuing may fundamentally change what makes the helping organizations of civil society so great. As an example, he points to the Meals on Wheels programs that bring food to elderly shut-ins. These programs were effective and cheap back when local charities ran them on their own. “They are small, they rely on volunteers to cook and deliver the meals (often using their own cars and their own gasoline), they are sponsored by churches and other voluntary organizations, they depend on local contributions for the cost of food and whatever paid staff they use, they generally charge for the meals but provide them free for those who cannot afford to pay. All in all, a useful and economic service.”

But then Congress voted to provide federal assistance to the programs. The result was a “host of potential difficulties,” including requirements “that each service must provide more than one hundred meals daily, that they provide auxiliary social services to meals recipients, that they cooperate with area-wide comprehensive planning services for the elderly, that they train their staffs and send them to seminars provided by the Administration on Aging, . . . that they have full-time directors.” Glazer’s concluding reflection can be applied to other programs as well: “When one realizes that meals-on-wheels programs are small, use volunteers, are unacquainted with elaborate paperwork and regulations involved in qualifying for federal assistance, one sees the difficulties they will have in satisfying government regulations and in also remaining who they are.” Government’s seemingly benign endeavor to extend the reach of local social programs, then, is deeply hazardous.
Nathan Glazer's Warning by Howard Husock, City Journal Summer 2011

But in addition, churches that take government money are then stifled in their primary responsibility--providing the Gospel to the needy. Who is it that tries to stop the Gospel?

Obama's accomplishment?

I was just reading through a long list of Obama's accomplishments in an e-mail--someone must have taken them off a White House web site, so I just picked one to check--increase in military housing, which led me to the new GI bill. And here's what I found at the website:

"In July of 2008 the Post-9/11 GI Bill was signed into law, creating a new robust education benefits program rivaling the WWII Era GI Bill of Rights. The new Post 9/11 GI Bill, which goes into effect on August 1, 2009, will provide education benefits for servicemembers who have served on active duty for 90 or more days since Sept. 10, 2001. These benefits are tiered based on the number of days served on active duty, creating a benefit package that gives current and previously activated National Guard and Reserve members the same benefits as active duty servicemembers."

So yes, it went into effect under Obama, but it was signed into law under Bush, and knowing how long these things take, who knows how long it was in the hopper.

The Role of Carbon Dioxide During the Onset of Antarctic Glaciation


Earth’s modern climate, characterized by polar ice sheets and large equator-to-pole temperature gradients, is rooted in environmental changes that promoted Antarctic glaciation ~33.7 million years ago. Onset of Antarctic glaciation reflects a critical tipping point for Earth’s climate and provides a framework for investigating the role of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) during major climatic change. Previously published records of alkenone-based CO2 from high- and low-latitude ocean localities suggested that CO2 increased during glaciation, in contradiction to theory. Here, we further investigate alkenone records and demonstrate that Antarctic and subantarctic data overestimate atmospheric CO2 levels, biasing long-term trends. Our results show that CO2 declined before and during Antarctic glaciation and support a substantial CO2 decrease as the primary agent forcing Antarctic glaciation, consistent with model-derived CO2 thresholds.

The Role of Carbon Dioxide During the Onset of Antarctic Glaciation

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Memories--I was a stranger and you invited me in

After Dad returned from the service after WWII he was assigned a new territory by Standard Oil, and he moved our family to Forreston, Illinois in 1946. Poor Mom! Housing was scarce and the old farm house Dad bought didn’t have a bathroom and the indoor water was a pump in the kitchen. I was only 6 and thought it was a great adventure--horses in the pasture next door, a new puppy, a different school and new friends.

Our next door neighbor, Helen Vietmeier, was beautiful, kind, gentle and soft spoken. Her family lived in a lovely home where I often visited and played. Although I didn’t usually call adults by their first name, she was always Helen to me which is what her lovely teen-age daughters Doris and Betty Jo called her. Helen reached out to the strangers in that shabby house and invited our family to the Lutheran church, one of three Protestant churches in the town of 1,000 settled by Germans in the 1850s.

Although we were members of the Church of the Brethren 15 miles away in Mt. Morris and remained “visitors” the five years we attended, we children participated in everything--choir, Bible school, Sunday School, plays for special events like Mother’s Day and Christmas pageants, and those wonderful Lutheran pot lucks. Because we were so young, we effortlessly learned the liturgy, difficult hymns, the creed and the Lord’s Prayer through regular Sunday attendance. When I didn’t understand Pastor Hersch’s sermons I would look at the amazing stained glass windows for which 19th century members had sacrificed. My sisters and I were all baptised in our former church, and they also attended confirmation classes at the Lutheran church. My oldest sister began her career as a church musician on the organ at little Faith Lutheran. We returned to our home community and church in 1951 after Dad owned his own business, and I didn’t see Helen again until my mother’s funeral almost 50 years later.

In 1975 we’d been living in Upper Arlington for 8 years. I heard about a speaker who was going to be at Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, so I decided to attend. I was a stranger and didn‘t know anyone, but I sat next to Dottie Wharton who invited me to attend services with her and a neighborhood Bible study at Denise Kern’s home. About a year later on Palm Sunday 1976, we were confirmed by Luther Strommen and joined UALC. I felt right at home.

Praise God for believers who reach out to strangers to extend a welcome and the Gospel. And praise God that the stranger is being Christ to the believer.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

AmeriCorps to help classroom teachers teach service

This seems odd to me. I saw an article in the local paper that an AmeriCorps staffer trained by "Partnerships make a difference" is working with our local teachers to incorporate service activities into lesson plans. Hmmm. We have tax supported colleges to train taxpayer paid teachers to work in tax supported schools. Our public school teachers with years of training and experience need additional tax supported college kids still finding their own career path to teach the teachers about "service?"

Service to our community and neighbor is a component of most religions, and if we can't let the Bible, which teaches the importance of service as a result of faith, into the classroom, isn't this just backdoor religious instruction?

So I looked up "Partnerships make a difference" and it turned out to be an OSU 501(c)3, a "non-profit" that gets government and private grants to exist. Locally, service projects are required in order to graduate, and they are important on college applications.

Here's an idea--one I've had for a decade. The teen-agers in Upper Arlington park on Northwest Blvd and walk 2-3 blocks to the highschool. This makes it impossible for the older people who live in those four-family units to shovel the snow in the winter, especially if the plows have been by and buried their sidewalks and driveways. Have each teen keep a shovel in his/her car, and before rushing off at the last minute, they could shovel 5 or 10 ft of sidewalk and driveway for the families they are blocking.

Going after Newt with the G-Word

Notice how liberals always bring up the scary G-word? And I don't mean God.
"On Wednesday night, Candance Gingrich-Jones, the openly gay half-sister of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, appeared on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and endorsed President Barack Obama."
They do that hoping to defeat Republicans who might be supporters of Newt, who didn't reject a family member who was gay. That's how narrow they are and how little they know about Republicans, who love their gay relatives, some of whom are also Republicans. They've got one finger pointing out and three pointing toward themselves for hypocrisy, devisiveness, and fear mongering.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Latest issue of Edible Columbus is free

Edible Columbus issue 8 (Winter 2011) is complimentary and available at a number of local stores. I got mine at Giant Eagle. I met the publisher and editor-in-chief, Tricia Wheeler, about 2 years ago when we sat next to each other at Panera's and I notice she had a mock-up of Issue 1 (I collect first issues). We talked about the concept (buying and eating locally), and when we said good-bye, she asked me my name. I told her, and she said, "We live in your house!" They had purchased our home of 34 years from the people we sold it to.

Friday, December 09, 2011

The First Amendment puts limits on Congress, not us!

One of the reasons for the First Amendent's guarantee of religious freedom (Congress couldn't establish a religion and couldn't prohibit the free exercise of religion) being listed first was the power in some of the colonies of some established churches, particularly the Congregationalists and the Anglicans. They had become fat, lazy and rich through taxing everyone for a state church. Doing something frivolous on Sunday could get you mobbed, or thrown in jail. The American colonies which became the 13 states had many, many denominations and sects--Dunkards and Mennonites (my background), Presbyterians and all sorts of Dutch and English Calvinist groups, German Lutherans (my current church but with the Scandivanians mixed in), Quakers, Moravians, French Huguenots, Baptists, Roman Catholics, and Jews. New York alone had 12 different denominations.

These "dissenters" wanted to be free of the taxes and wanted to preach their own faith from the pulpits (many states had state-paid ministers). The first amendment was added to the Constitution in "The Bill Rights" and was intended to stop government supported sects, not to create a wall of separation and have religion (more specifically Christianity) removed from the public square, as our Supreme Court has done for the last 50 years.

Now we have a federal government hostile to religion (primarily any group respecting The Bible) with many state and local governments following along. Instead of Christianity, a religion, it promotes "spirituality" in environmentalism, multiculturalism, greenish-Gore climate protection programs, humanism, progressivism (the core of socialism), feminism, and globalism. "Spirituality" is very subjective and has no outside standard of truth, with the result that adherents soon become coersive and demand compliance to their version of truth, the very principles the First Amendment was supposed to prevent.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Sustainability and Stewardship are not synonyms!

Stewardship is a Biblical and spiritual principle--God created the world, he is the owner and appointed man to be a manager of his creation, a job for which he must give an accounting (Luke 12:42; 16:2; I Cor. 4:2). There are numerous Biblical stories about responsible servants and house/estate managers. The concept of stewardship affirms that God retains his sovereignty and that his creation is good and applies in all areas of life.

Sustain as a verb (to prop up, to maintain, to cause to continue, to endure) has a very different connotation than steward (to manage, to supervise, to control). In English, a very flexible, innovative language, you can make a verb into a noun by adding suffixes such as -ship or -ability or -ment. However, sustainability is not in my Webster's 2nd International (1948) nor my Webster's Collegiate 9th (1983)--so it developed sometime after the first Earth Day (1970), our most recent return to pagan goddess worship.

In contrast to God's revealed "creation is good" in Genesis, other religions treat the material world as bad and dark, always in conflict with the light, and it's up to humans to either rise above it through altered states (meditation), or redeem it.

In my opinion, as an ethical concept sustainability is an unruly teenage noun dressed in the latest fad fashion with tattoos and nose rings, chasing and teasing the much older and wiser noun, stewardship. It's an orphan who reports to no higher power, certainly not to our Father God, a newcomer who loves to hang out in pagan temples with secular and mystical spiritual leaders.

Think of it this way if the above is too esoteric. If you have a pension, do you want it to endure and run on the lowest level of maintenance, flat lining on life support with infusions from all cultures and governments around the globe, or do you want it to thrive with sound management and control in a market economy guided by the God of the Bible?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

"Selfless Audacity" Means Creating a Sustainable Not-a-Business Model

Since librarians as a group are already 223:1 liberal to conservative, what do you suppose "selfless audacity" means in the publishing field? Libraries will not only be selecting (purchasing) the book, but publishing them. Will any conservative title see the light of day or ever make it to the library shelves?

"Selfless Audacity" Means Creating a Sustainable Not-a-Business Model | Peer to Peer Review

Conestoga Christmas program

Last night our Conestoga group (Friends of the Ohio Historical Society) met at Saint Joseph Cathedral, 212 East Broad St., Columbus, for a wonderful dinner, tour of the building and an organ concert. I couldn't begin to describe the beauty of the organ, which took two years to build, and the fabulous concert performed by Cathedral Director of Music, Paul Thornock. There is a series called "Cathedral Concerts," and the next one will be Sunday, December 11, at 3:00 p.m., for Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas.

Some Christian books have no Gospel (good news)

This drives me crazy. My husband says I'm fighting a losing battle, he's heard me say it so often. Gospel-free Christian books. Christian "how to" books that are longer than the New Testament. Like Willow Creek's book on "Leading life changing small groups." Lots of mnemonic devices like: Mission statement--mandate, method, model, mechanism, means. Discipleship--Grace, growth, group, gifts, good stewardship. Leadership--Love, learn, lead. Chapters on structure, on leadership, on personal growth, group life, crisis care, and resources. What's missing? The Gospel.

No one was better at making lists, giving tips, and admonishing the slackers than Paul, who basically structured the Christian church after the resurrection of Jesus. But he also began with the basic gospel before he launched his topic so they were all on the same page and had the correct foundation.

I've checked the website, and there is a 2007 revised edition--the one in hand is 1996. However, it's virtually impossible to tell the good news, without the bad--sin and God's wrath. And modern day evangelicals think it's unkind or harmful to point out sin. Therefore, they have nothing to offer except a mechanical list of rules to follow to change or modify behavior.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Monday Memories--Christmas in the 1940s

When I remember Christmas 1944, I'm aware that at that time, I remembered Christmas back in Illinois and I knew it was different, but 1944 is really the earliest clear memory. In 1944 Mother had moved her family of four little children in a 1939 Ford to a foreign land filled with people of many ethnicities and strange customs--California. It even smelled funny to me--Alameda and Oakland--you could smell the Bay and the ocean. My father was in the U.S. Marines and the country was at war.

On the one hand, it was a scary time for a little child, but on the other, it was fascinating. Ribbons of highway, miles and miles of flat land, eating in restaurants, sleeping in camps, strange bugs and animals, mountains, desert, the great Salt Lake, picking up hitch hiking soldiers to help with the driving, and always our strong Mother who seemed to have everything under control (but who was only 32 and had probably never driven outside of a few counties in Illinois.

We lived in a stucco ranch house in Alameda. We went to school with children of many types--Filipinos, Chinese, black, Oakies and Arkies, visited local sites like the San Diego Zoo (although that's certainly not close to Alameda--maybe it was San Francisco), and played with neighborhood friends. I can't remember a Christmas tree in that house, but I suppose we had one. I do remember Christmas caroling in the fog--that's how I know I had memories then of earlier Christmases--because I remember thinking how odd we didn't have snow. I recall going to a community gym where I think we had church, and hearing a group sing "White Christmas," which in those days, was a "new" anthem of nostalgia. Somewhere in the mix my mother's brother Clare was killed in China and my father shipped out so our reason for being there was over.

Dad came home when the war was over (to our house in Illinois) shortly before Christmas 1945--I seem to remember an announcement that he would be home for Christmas. What I remember are the glorious presents Mom had wrapped--and I do remember that tree and the excitement. A doll house and a sled--to be shared by all--but it seemed to me that she must have "broken the bank," and indeed, 30 years later my daughter and all her cousins had played with that same 2 story doll house in mother's basement--having been "redecorated" many times.

For Christmas 1946 we must have been in Forreston in the little farm house that didn't have a bathroom until Mother installed it, because I remember receiving my first Bible, a KJV which I still have. I think I remember going back to Mt. Morris and possibly Franklin Grove to have dinner and presents with my grandparents, but we did that many years, so I've sort of put those memories through a blender and filter. We were attending Faith Lutheran Church so it's possible we were in a Christmas pageant. We weren't Lutherans, but that church took us in and made us feel welcome.
Norma in 1946

By Christmas 1947 we had moved to a lovely 4 bedroom brick house with a big porch and yard. We girls all had paper routes, and it seems to me the snow was very deep. Christmas 1947 meant spending hours near the tree with my brother, shaking and handling presents, trying to guess what might be in them. The tree was real, and I recall some of the ornaments were Disney characters. I remember clothes hand made for my dolls from scraps left from the dresses Mom made for me. I still have some of them. The four of us sang in a quartet for community groups with my oldest sister the accompanist--Frosty the Snowman, Winter Wonderland and White Christmas. I don't think we had a lot of talent, but the Cuteness meter was off the charts, especially with my charming little brother.

At Christmas time at the Forreston school which contained all 12 grades, all the classes would gather in the hall and the principal, John I. Masterson, would read the Christmas story from the Bible--the Luke passage. As one of the younger students, I thought being together with the high school students was more awesome than the actual celebration.

Good times, good memories, thanks for reading.

Friday, December 02, 2011

World's Shortest Books--a list going around

By Tiger Woods

By Jane Fonda & Cindy Sheehan
Illustrated by Michael Moore
Foreword by George Soros

By Rev Jesse Jackson & Rev Al Sharpton

By Hillary Clinton

By Bill Clinton

By Bill Gates

By Dennis Rodman
By Al Gore & John Kerry
By Amelia Earhart

By Dr. Jack Kevorkian
By Ellen de Generes & Rosie O'Donnell
By Mike Tyson

By O. J. Simpson

By Ted Kennedy

By Bill Clinton
With introduction by
The Rev. Jesse Jackson
and forward by
Tiger Woods with John Edwards


My Complete Knowledge of Military Strategy
By Nancy Pelosi
And the shortest book of them all.........

by Barack Obama

HT Kay Ferris