Monday, December 31, 2012

Kim by Rudyard Kipling (1901)

The January selection for our book club is Kim by Rudyard Kipling (1901). I'm finding it very interesting, and Kipling's knowledge of the country of his birth which he left at a young age is amazing. Also enlightening are the notes and introduction in my used paperback copy (Penguin, 1987) by Edward Said, probably read by thousands of high school and college students in the last 25 years. Dinesh D'Sousa calls Edward Said Obama's founding father.... "One of Obama’s founding fathers who remains relatively unknown is the Palestinian radical Edward Said. Prior to his death in 2003, Said was the leading anti-colonial thinker in the United States. Obama studied with Said at Columbia University and the two maintained a relationship over the next two decades."

Said is actually an excellent writer, and I’m thankful to have his critical analysis of a novel 110 years old.  But as a man without a country, a U.S. immigrant always unhappy with his adopted home, he reminds me so much of all the transient (in soul and sometimes body) faculty and foreign students I knew at the University of Illinois in the 1950s-60s. Because I was a foreign language major many of my instructors were emigres—driven from homeland by politics or war.  First degree relatives shot, burned or imprisoned, never to be seen again.  The cultural heritage of centuries ripped away.  Many of my classmates came to the U.S. as “displaced persons” as toddlers or children after WWII--grateful for their lives, but always mourning what had been lost to Stalin, or Mao, or Hitler, or Tito, etc.  Some had been ethnic Chinese whose families had lived for years outside China, sort of double displacement.

No matter what is good in the novel Kim, Said can't get past British imperialism, as Obama can't get past what he calls American imperialism. One can substitute Said's situation for what he says about colonial powers/Kim's: "For what one cannot do in one's own [homeland--anywhere in the middle east or Asia] where to try to live out the grand dream of a successful quest is only to keep coming up against one's own mediocrity and the world's corruption and degradation, one can do abroad." (p. 42 introduction, Penguin ed.) I think Said enjoyed his tiny celebrity status as the ultimate anti-colonialist, and he would have been a nobody in any other country without the give and take and freedom of speech he was allowed in the U.S. and classrooms filled with adoring disciples ready to deny anything good in Western civilization.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

If you live with a librarian. . .

Lunchtime conversation may include, “I was looking at the UN statistics on homicide yesterday and noticed some very odd things.” Then the spousal eyes glaze over—sandwich in hand he heads for his man cave.

Of course, the compilers warn that not all countries keep stats the same way, nor are all current. But you can’t miss the obvious—the homicide rates for North America-- Canada (1.6 per 100,000) and the United States (4.8)--are far lower than Central and South America. Brazil 21 per 100,000, Columbia 31.4, Dominican Republic 25, Jamaica 40.9, El Salvador 69.2, Honduras 91.6. 

And then there is poor little French speaking Haiti (6.9)—apparently far safer than its island neighbor, Spanish speaking Dominican Republic, which is much more wealthy and developed.  And the African countries are almost as high—Cote d’Ivoire is 56.9 for instance, Lesotho 35.2, Malawi 36, except those African countries with Islamic rule have low homicide rates.  (Maybe covering up the women works since most homicides are committed by men.) The tables don’t specify guns or knives, clubs or poison. But countries with lower gun ownership than the U.S. do have higher homicide rates. 

Like every other bad social charting, our homicide rate soared with the war on poverty and then began dropping in the 90s, although it hasn’t returned to the 1950s level before the government encouraged men to leave their families and let them fend for themselves.

Norway has the highest rate of gun ownership in Western Europe, yet possesses the lowest murder rate. In contrast, Holland's murder rate is nearly the worst, despite having the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe. Sweden and Denmark are two more examples of nations with high murder rates but few guns

There are plenty of statistics out there—but I’m sure Congress will just throw them at each other since this isn’t about life, safety or property, but about politics.

As they play kick the can again


the President gives everyone a raise for showing up!

Why liberals hate Tim Scott, a newly appointed black Republican from South Carolina

“Taxation is a form of slavery. When a man does not receive the benefits of his toils because it is taken from him by the government, that is a form of slavery. As a black man, he [Scott]should be anti-tax.

Looking back at the creation of the unions, one must remember that unions were created in order to keep the black man from getting certain jobs. Even today, the Democrats in the state of New York do not allow BOCES programs in the state’s five big-city minority-student school systems because they don’t want black kids to learn a trade that might enable them to compete with white tradesmen for unionized jobs. As a black man, Rep. Tim Scott should be anti-union.

As far as abortion, when one reads the words of the Eugenists who promoted abortion to kill off black babies in the wombs of their mothers in order to “improve the genetics of the population,” and when one considers the fact that abortion mills are purposely placed in ghettos where they’ll be more likely used to kill black babies, it is no surprise that Rep. Tim Scott is against abortion.

All three of these things that this liberal despises Tim Scott for opposing are things that the Democrat Party use to institutionalize inequality in society.”

The Frederick Douglass Foundation

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mental illness and guns

Mack Rights writes about how the mentally ill respond to psychotropic drugs

“People talk about mental illness all the time, but they don’t too often speak of the side effects of psychotropic anti-depressants. Nor do they like to talk about the fact that 90% of mass murders are done by those on psychotropic drugs. Nor do they talk about the fact that many on these drugs commit suicide due to constantly changing brain chemistry. Nor do they talk about why so many on these drugs actually mentally snap.

While I’ve written about this more extensively in the past, I’ll give a brief description. Anti-depressants and ADHD drugs very often change the brain’s chemistry so that it begins to rely upon the artificially high level of neurotransmitters in their brain’s synapses. These neurotransmitters then guarantee that the drug taker feels good all the time, no matter what happens. This is bad when the taker of the anti-depressant suddenly doesn’t like the fact that he or she is no longer able to feel sadness upon being informed of sad news. Many of the normal emotions in life are then repressed. The feeling of artificial and euphoric happiness is the feeling all the time no matter what is going on.

Eventually, the person may try to experiment with trying not to take the drugs that the brain has become reliant upon. A crash occurs. A major crash sometimes. The brain’s synapses become devoid of the neurotransmitters that we require to function in life. This crash can also occur when the drug is replaced with another. These crashes are common. By the way, if you are taking anti-depressants or ADHD drugs and are freaked out by what I’ve just written, please do not try to quit using these drugs without help from professionals. The addictions are real, and the withdrawals are severe.

And that’s why guns aren’t recommended for people whose happiness depends upon the use of a drug to maintain an acceptable brain chemistry.”

Gun control laws and liberal policies

What became of Mark Basseley Youssef?

Jeddah had Raif Badawi of Saudi Arabia could get the death penalty for his offenses against Allah--an internet web site “Saudi Arabian Liberals." Don't we have someone in jail in this country for being offensive to Allah and the Muslim faith? Blamed for something he didn't do? Benghazi?  So what's happening with Mark Basseley Youssef? Amnesty International considers Badawi to be a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. What has AI said about our government's prisoner's freedom of expression?

He got a year in prison

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's not about children, about safety, or violence, it's about politics

A gun control debate in Congress is probably needed, because the general public needs to hear about declining gun violence rates and the thousands of gun laws on the books; also include our failing mental health system and rising violent themes in movies and video game industry. Then let Jamie Foxx testify and brag about his killing only white people in his latest movie.
"Ivy League bound youngsters in private schools across the nation are the beneficiaries of top notch security systems which almost always include armed personnel. Yet ruling class pols like Obama and Bloomberg want to deny regular folks the same security their children enjoy. Obama, with his four-year "under the radar" push against our Second Amendment rights, has no problem suggesting the underclasses put their kids in harm's way."
A task force report on firearms dated April 2002 on violence involving children based on a systematic review of all available studies. They went to a lot of work, but I doubt Congress will ever consider it because the task force couldn't determine the effectiveness of the firearm laws to prevent violence or reduce violent outcomes. Minds are already made up and this has become a political issue, not one based on facts and figures.
When Britain and Australia disarmed their citizens, the criminals did what the bad guys always do--they didn't obey the law.
Homicide is primarily a problem of maleness--victim and perp--youth and ethnicity. Homicide rates among non-Hispanic, African-American males 10-24 years of age (62.2 per 100,000) exceed those of Hispanic males (21.5 per 100,000) and non-Hispanic, White males in the same age group (3.4 per 100,000) (CDC 2009a). Obama ignored these facts until white suburban children were killed, then said he had been too busy fundamentally transforming our society to do anything like appoint a task force. Can't imagine why blacks support him, except for his race.
No surprise here. "Researchers found that people who played a violent video game for three consecutive days showed increases in aggressive behavior and hostile expectations each day they played. Meanwhile, those who played nonviolent games showed no meaningful changes in aggression or hostile expectations over that period."

More abortion coverage for military women

I certainly don’t think of abortion as “healthcare” since someone always dies, but was surprised that the U.S. military was “behind” the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) coverage of abortion (for any reason, even gender selection, any time even when viable) for its staff. In fact, ELCA congregations are required to carry this insurance.

“Congress, in the pre-Christmas rush, passed a Democrat-sponsored provision that will allow women in the U.S. military to use their health insurance to pay for abortion in cases of rape or incest. Right now, the Defense Department pays for abortion only when the mother's life is at stake.
The expanded abortion coverage is included in the defense authorization bill that is now on its way to President Obama for his anticipated signature. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), introduced the abortion measure.”

Tribute to the Minnick boys

I didn't expect to ever see our family on YouTube. Here's a very touching tribute to the Minnick boys, sons of my cousin Evelyn Corbett. I noticed it on the Facebook page of their brother-in-law, married to my first cousin, once removed. They spent much of their childhood in Mt. Morris, Illinois and attended school there. Lonnie died in January of 2010, and Larry died in February of 2010.  Julian (little blond boy near the end) died in 1987.

What we’ve come to expect—David Gregory



End of the year contributions

The Christian’s first responsibility is to tithe to the home congregation where we worship, serve and enjoy the fellowship of Christian friends. Our home church supports through our tithes and offerings over 50 missions from food pantry to crisis pregnancy to campus outreach to foreign missions and missionaries.  However, there are many other worthwhile organizations and services from which we benefit directly or for which we pray, or to which we’d like to add additional support.  There are some that were dropped last year due to their health insurance for paid staff covering abortion (something which many ministries may soon have no control over if it is mandated by the President and HHS in a move to squelch religious freedom). Also this year there were many political appeals, and after the election and our earlier donations which failed to make changes, we did not continue.

Four of these have direct ties to people we know from within our congregation who are serving the Lord full time.  Because I listen to or watch a lot of Catholic media which I find superior to what is available on Protestant stations, I support them (no advertising).  Lakeside, of course, is a private Chautauqua association where we have had a second home since 1988, and where we vacationed with our children beginning in 1976.  We benefit tremendously from its outstanding programming 10 weeks during the summer, and want it to continue for many years in the future.  My husband has been on several boards there and teaches at the art center.

                       ualc window 001

Pregnancy Decision Health Centers, Columbus $100

Lutheran Bible Translators $100

Eternal Word Television Network, Alabama $25

St. Gabriel Catholic Radio AM 820. Columbus $25

168 Film Project, John Ware $25

Pinecrest Community, Mt. Morris, IL $25  (broken link)

Hilltop Preschool, Columbus, Jane Leach $25

World Mission Prayer League $25

Into the Field (Jennifer Cameron)  $25

Cum Christo  $25

C.O.C.I.N.A.  (Haiti) $100

Lakeside Association  $1250

          Oak St. cottage

Prayer on public property

Apparently, religious faith is OK on state property in times of crisis. In an article on how to help children cope with the Newtown tragedy at an Ohio State medical website, I noticed this suggestion: "Please keep all of the victim’s families in your prayers."

(Apostrophe alert, but since the writer's heart was in the right place, I didn't correct it.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Where is the logic?


What a bunch of liberal boobs

wrote one reader when the NY paper, The Journal News, published the names and addresses of gun owners of several NYC suburban counties.  “You also made a map for criminals to use to find homes to rob (both those who don’t have guns, and those who do, since often burglaries about about stealing guns).   The paper has treated law-abiding gun owners, exercising their 2nd amendment rights, like sex offenders.  Everyone in that community should drop their advertising and subscription to that paper.  Somewhere I think I saw on the internet that the home address of Janet Hasson, president and publisher, had been posted. I supposed it would require too much real journalism to find the illegal guns.

When I went to college, an A was an A

But not anymore.  The more prestigious the college, the more grade inflation.

“Contemporary data indicate that, on average across a wide range of schools, A’s represent 43% of all letter grades, an increase of 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988. D’s and F’s total typically less than 10% of all letter grades. Private colleges and universities give, on average, significantly more A’s and B’s combined than public institutions with equal student selectivity. Southern schools grade more harshly than those in other regions, and science and engineering-focused schools grade more stringently than those emphasizing the liberal arts. At schools with modest selectivity, grading is as generous as it was in the mid-1980s at highly selective schools. These prestigious schools have, in turn, continued to ramp up their grades. It is likely that at many selective and highly selective schools, undergraduate GPAs are now so saturated at the high end that they have little use as a motivator of students and as an evaluation tool for graduate and professional schools and employers.”

Christian cruises

The only Christian cruise we ever took was in 2009 when a group of Lutherans and Greek Orthodox from Columbus, Ohio, traveled to the Holy Land via a cruise ship after flying into Greece.  It was a fabulous, spirit filled trip.  We did have good food and some Christian entertainment, but nothing I would call hedonistic.  It’s just a great way to travel (we were bussed to the sites after docking).  One woman did meet her future husband on the cruise (he was a waiter).  This Catholic blogger seems to see it as a particularly distasteful Protestant form of entertainment and doesn’t like it that Catholics are now doing it.

I can see Protestants having Cruises, there is some logic there. In most Protestantism (not all), there is no sanctuary and entertainment is a key factor in bringing in the crowds, so a Cruise makes sense. Plus, with the contraceptive and divorce mindset firmly implanted, a Cruise is great for those couples who are holding off having kids so they can see the world first, as well as a great place to find a second spouse. And with Christians in general not too far removed from the mainstream Paganism, it seems a Cruise is a venue all Americans should be up for. And that's why Catholics should not be following behind.

Vinyl is thriving

Who knew? My son, that’s who.  He keeps up on these things with his playing guitar and composing. He told me yesterday when he showed me a new album by his neighbor who is the drummer with Joshua P. James and the Paper Planes.  But today's Columbus Dispatch has an article about it. Says the young people know about vinyl but we old folks still think it's dead. Yup.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Memories—December 24, 2012

                          Christmas 2001

Remembering Christmas gifts through the years--not from my past--but our kids'. Hippity hops; a cardboard puppet stage that had to be assembled the night before; little cars with miles of tracks; bathrobes and slippers made by my sister; stretch Armstrong; board games like Racko and Stratego; educational (of course) magazines from Grandma and Grandpa Corbett; Fisher Price anything when they were still made of wood from Grandma and Grandpa DeMott; a Chicago Bears sweatshirt from Auntie Lynne Wilburn; Barbie doll clothes and stuff; and others for which I'd have to drag out the photo albums (remember those clumsy things before all photos were imprisoned on smart phones?).

The above MM banner is a bit more recent—Christmas 2001—the last in our home of 34 years.  The books are Tolkien I believe.

Today’s torturous ultra-high heels remind me of Chinese custom that lasted over a thousand years

"The practice of binding feet was originally introduced about a thousand years ago, allegedly by a concubine of the emperor. Not only was the sight of women hobbling on tiny feet considered erotic, men would also get excited playing with bound feet, which were always hidden in embroidered silk shoes. Women could not remove the binding cloths even when they were adults, as their feet would start growing again. The binding could only be loosened temporarily at night in bed, when they would put on soft-soled shoes. Men rarely saw naked bound feet, which were usually covered in rotting flesh and stank when the bindings were removed.”  Jung Chang, Wild Swans: The Three Daughters of China

Beginning at an early age, the bones in a girl child’s feet were crushed as toes were bound and arches were destroyed.  She was in constant pain, but her bound feet were her greatest asset. I suppose corns, bunions, callouses and broken ankles plus being unable to walk or run  is less painful, but it still amazes me that women  still do this to appeal to men.




"I regret binding my feet," Zhou says. "I can't dance, I can't move properly. I regret it a lot. But at the time, if you didn't bind your feet, no one would marry you."

As we roll off the fiscal cliff

Don't be fooled as we roll off the fiscal cliff. It's not about the wealth of the top 1 or 2 percent. The federal tax system is "progressive" and has been for close to 100 years--wealthier people pay taxes at a higher rate than others, but there just aren't enough of them to impact our debt. That plan he dangled during his campaign isn't enough to float the government even 2 weeks. You can't get blood out of a turnip--even the top 20% of households now pay more than 94 percent of income taxes. What he really wants is the wealth of the middle class, that middle bracket (20%) of the 5 quintiles. Now, there's something that really matters, and you all have it, so in this administration it obviously belongs to someone else--our government. (The 2 lowest quintiles--40%--pay no federal taxes--they get money and stuff from the gov't).

Away in a manger


Bless all the dear children, born and unborn.

Forbes list of top 10 grossing movie stars

Do you suppose any of them will come out against violence in movies; or will they just point fingers at the NRA?

1. Robert Downey, Jr. total box office for the year: $1.5 billion

2. Kristen Stewart, $1.2 billion

3. Christian Bale, $1 billion

4. Daniel Craig, $951 million

5. Robert Pattinson, $793 million

6. Taylor Lautner, $779 million

7. Andrew Garfield, $752 million

8. Jennifer Lawrence, $748 million

9. Will Smith, $624 million

10. Mark Wahlberg, $598 million

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday Thirteen—13 magazines in need of reading

TT my magazines

I have an odd hobby—since the 1960s I’ve been collecting first issues of magazines (aka journals, periodicals, serials).  I have given it up because of storage problems, and I rarely ever subscribed to one I bought for my hobby.  The fun was in the hunt.  But we do have a lot of magazines around the house, which I periodically (joke) take to the library book sale.  Here are a few in the house as of November 2012, but by no means all.

1.  Edible Columbus.

edible Columbus

I found out about this magazine  (and I do have the first issue) by accidentally meeting the editor—she lives in our former home of 34 years in Upper Arlington.  This magazine is available for a number of cities and focuses on healthy, locally grown foods.

2. Lake Erie Living.

We own a summer home in Lakeside, Ohio, a Chautauqua community, so we’re very interested in what is happening on our lake, and the other Great Lakes.  And you should be, too.  There are eleven states and provinces that touch at least one of the Great Lakes, and they are the largest source of fresh water in the world.

Lake Erie Living (2)

I also have the first issue of Lake Erie Living.

3.  Bird Watcher’s Digest

I remember when my mother subscribed to this when she had a retreat center.  I don’t know much about birds, but several years ago I met Bill Thompson III at Lakeside when he was there to give a program, and I went on several bird walks. The next Midwest Birding Symposium (Sept. 2013) will be at Lakeside.


4.  JAMA; The Journal of the American Medical Association

When I was Head of the Veterinary Medicine Library at Ohio State University, I got hooked on medical journals, and about 1/3 of our journals were human medical.  A mammal is a mammal, after all.  I don’t subscribe to JAMA because I have a source that gives me her copies, but I rarely miss an issue.  Some of the research articles are too difficult for me, but it also has essays, editorials, poetry, politics (left of center), patient information, and brief summaries. Until recently, all the covers were paintings, both ancient and modern, which I loved, but recently the editors have added medical art intended to instruct, like the Nov. 7 issue on cardiovascular disease showing some of the innovations available today.


5. Architectural Digest.

Off and on, we’ve subscribed for years—you see how the 1% lives.  It’s very heavy on celebrities and the homes of decorators. We allowed the subscription to lapse for several years, and picked it up again in 2012 after a really good offer.  My favorite issue is always the Hollywood issue, where the editors dig through the archives and old b & w photos for the famous movie stars, Gable, Astaire, Monroe, Crosby, etc., directors and producers you now only see on TNT film series.


6.  Watercolor Artist


Both my husband and I paint.  This cover has a huge surprise. When you unfold it there is a naked woman with the couple observing the scenery.

7.  American Artist.


Sadly, American Artist and Watercolor magazine ceased publication after November, 2012. But we still have shelves full so we won’t lack for resource material or advice.

8.  Timeline, a publication of the Ohio Historical Society.

We are members of Conestoga, a Friends group that takes trips together to historical sites and raises money for the Ohio Historical Society.  It has an excellent magazine that comes with our membership, as well as a nice newsletter called Echoes.


On this cover is the Lustron, a prefab home made in Columbus after WWII.  My grandparents owned one in Mt. Morris, Illinois.

9. Biblio

I’m a few issues shy of a complete set, and it died a number of years ago, but every issue is a treasure. 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. 10.

10. Preservation


This is a wonderful magazine for learning about our culture, the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  When we were in California in 2006 we visited some Greene & Greene homes featured in this issue.

11. Fine Homebuilding


Home magazines became more popular in our home when my husband left a larger firm where he was a partner doing primarily commercial buildings and became a sole practitioner designing and remodeling homes. They are fun to look at, although I’m no longer interested in doing most of the things suggested.

12.  Tri-Village Magazine


This magazine carries news and business opportunities specifically for Grandview Heights, Marble Cliff and Upper Arlington, northwest suburbs of Columbus, Ohio.

13.  Architectural Record


This is my husband’s magazine, but I also read it. “Green” and “sustainable” are big topics for architects, and they can’t survive without government work, so they tend to chase political trends. Poor people can’t afford architects, and rich people have been demonized, so that only leaves the government and non-profits.

Join the fun at Thursday Thirteen!

It is said, these are actual court statements, recorded in a book.


Disorder in the Courts

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.


ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?


ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.

The Balkanization of America

From today’s Wall Street Journal

It may be over four decades since the passage of the Voting Rights Act, but whenever America votes today, the exit polls can't move fast enough to divide voters by the color of their skin. Mere moments after the 2012 exit polls were released, a conventional wisdom congealed across the media that the Republican Party was "too white." . . .  No one can beat the Democrats at the politics of social division. Instead, the GOP should tell prospective voters that no matter what their country of origin or happenstance of birth, their success in the U.S. will depend less on celebrating their assigned category than on supporting political policies that expand economic opportunity. A Republican Party that fails to tell that story in a way anyone can grasp is a party that will never escape the box the other side dropped it into on Nov. 7.

I have nothing against the rich, but our President does

Susan Rice, a leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, was worth an average $33.5 million in 2009. Hillary was worth about $31 million.  Rice’s portfolio would have sent Democrats into a media rage if she’d been a Bush appointee. I wonder how she got so rich? John Kerry who is next in line if Rice doesn’t make it is worth about $232 million.

“Some of the American and Canadian energy companies and banks that Rice holds stock in have had poor environmental track records as of late. As of 2009, Rice had between $50,000 and $100,000 in BP stock; the company was responsible for the largest marine oil spill in history in 2010 and recently was sanctioned by the EPA for its conduct. She also has as much as $1.5 million invested in Enbridge, which spilled more than a million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan not long after the Gulf spill.

Rice has millions tied up in banks, including up to $6 million in TD Bank Financial, about $6.2 million in Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and up to $2 million in Royal Bank of Canada, which was named the nation's most environmentally irresponsible company. According to the Rainforest Action Network, Royal Bank of Canada is the top financier for companies drilling in tar sands, one of the dirtiest forms of oil, in Alberta, Canada, and has earned more than $80 million from those loans.”

As Obama pushes granny over the fiscal cliff. . .

“Costco, the giant wholesale-club operator, announced Wednesday that it will pay a special dividend of $7 a share before the end of the year. That's about $3 billion the company will return to shareholders that the feds will only tax at 15% rather than the 39.6% rate scheduled to kick in when the Bush-era tax rates expire next year. For households earning more than $250,000 in 2013, you can add another 3.8 percentage points in tax thanks to the ObamaCare surcharge. Costco's shareholders approved, sending its stock up about 6%. . . . Other are moving up their regular quarterly dividend to be payable in December rather than in January. . .  When the capital gains rate last rose, to 28% from 20% as part of the 1986 tax reform, investors also cashed in before the higher rate took effect. ”

It's the oldest lesson in tax policy: Tax something and you get less of it and that’s why we know this isn’t about revenue, but about ruining the economy. The “transformation” he promised us in 2008.

Review and Outlook

Guest blogger Michael Levin on Zig Ziglar

The next-to-last time I saw Zig Ziglar, I was one of 17,000 in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, where he was speaking as part of a program of superstars, including Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Joe Montana. He was onstage accompanied by his daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman, because Zig had suffered a fall a couple of years before that and nobody wanted him to fall again, especially onstage, and especially in front of 17,000 people.

On April 15, 2011, I saw Zig again, this time for lunch, with his daughter Julie and his son Tom. From 17,000 down to four. If you love Zig Ziglar as I do, you can readily understand it was one of the greatest thrills of my life.

Zig Ziglar is one of the greatest motivators, authors, sales trainers, and inspiring figures the world has known. Millions have read his books and listened to his recordings, and they became, as a result, better salespeople, better spouses, better parents, better people. His mellifluous baritone echoes through the mind of anyone who has listened to him speak. His values harken back to a better world, where integrity was the watchword, where faith mattered, and where sales was a profession in search of a champion.

Zig was their champion. He grew up one of twelve children during the Depression, on a farm in Yazoo City, Mississippi, and his father passed away when he was five years old. By age six, Zig was earning his own money, and selling, mowing lawns. He used that money to buy his first suit, which he wore to church. By the time I met Zig face to face, he had been selling—lawn mowing services, pots and pans, sales training, personal development, and the ideas of his Holy Bible, for 79 years. “You must be married,” Zig said, as we were introduced. “I can tell by how nicely you’re dressed. Only a married man could dress that nicely.”

At lunch, Zig leaned over to me and said, quite seriously, “Never say anything negative about yourself.” It sounds so obvious, but we all do it all the time. If we don’t see ourselves as wondrously made, as Zig likes to quote from the Bible, who will?

I asked Zig what caused him to make the transition from sales training to motivational speaking. His son Tom explained that Zig studied the success of his students, and he realized that only 20 percent of it was due to technique. The other 80 percent was due to reputation and character. So that’s when Zig began to focus on those issues and not just talk about selling.

But don’t estimate old Zig on sales. He’s forgotten more about sales than most of us will ever know. One of his most enduring stories involves his son Tom, who at the time was contemplating a career as a professional golfer. Zig and Tom were playing a competitive round of golf and Tom needed a long putt to drop in order to win the hole. He made the putt, and then he asked his father, “Dad, were you rooting for me?”

As only Zig can say, in that honeyed Southern drawl, “Son, I’m always rooting for you.”

As massive as Zig’s audience was, the publishing industry didn’t think him worth a shot when he wrote the book I found many years later in that furniture store, See You At The Top. By then, Zig had been providing sales training to the Mary Kay Company. Mary Kay Ash was such a devotee of his, Tom told me at lunch, that she told Zig that if he were to self-publish the book, she would buy the first 10,000 copies. Those initial 10,000 sales mushroomed into millions upon millions of books, since Zig has now authored 26 books in all.

I had the extraordinary privilege of editing Zig’s last book Born To Win. I’ve edited or coached hundreds of writers, and it was an uncanny, almost out-of-body experience instead of quoting Zig to people, talking directly to Zig, and making suggestions—how dare I?—to improve his manuscript.

It means the world to me that I was able to meet him face to face at lunch with just him, his two grown children who work with him, and me, and tell him that he made me a better salesperson, a better husband, a better father, a better believer, and a better man.

As I headed out to drive to the airport, Zig took me by the hand and cautioned me to drive carefully.

“After all, most people are caused by accidents,” he warned, with mock solemnity.

New York Times best selling author and Shark Tank survivor Michael Levin runs, and is a nationally acknowledged thought leader on the future of book publishing.

In 70 years will there be anyone left to admire Fluke?


The Hero and the Fluke.

Only Fox News gives all sides

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a bias.  Bias is first  created by the stories that are selected, just as librarians first ban books by what they buy.  For instance, the misbehavior of a Democrat might be featured, but would never appear on broadcast or CNN, therefore leading Democrats to assume the worst about Fox.

"A Public Policy Polling nationwide survey of 1,151 registered voters Jan. 18-19, 2010, found that 49 percent of Americans trusted Fox News, 10 percentage points more than any other network. Thirty-seven percent said they didn’t trust Fox, also the lowest level of distrust that any of the networks recorded.”

Last night on Glenn Beck (who now owns his own media company and is no longer on Fox) the artist who has caused quite a stir by depicting Obama hanging on a cross with a halo, crown and torn veil tried to explain his reasons—he thinks the media isn’t fair to Obama.  Surely he isn’t thinking of the main stream media which never report anything negative unless it is a HUGE story.

But he also showed some of his other pieces—like the angry face of his brother-in-law.  He said this man had been quite reasonable until he started watching Fox News, now he can’t have a political conversation with him.  That may mean the BIL doesn’t agree with the artist all the time and now has more information.  Glenn asked a few perceptive, probing questions, and they shook hands and agreed to disagree.

The artist (forgotten his name) said he never thought Beck would be so reasonable, or that they would have so many ideas in common (Beck is a libertarian who strongly believes in freedom of speech).  When asked if he’d ever watched Beck’s show, (when it was on Fox) he admitted he’d only seen snippets filtered through leftist sites. Although he doesn’t sell his originals, he does sell products made from his images, so Beck gave him a lot of free publicity.

And after January 9, then what Mr. President?


Obama’s tax hikes on the wealthy will cover about 8 days of his spending.

Why didn’t Obama nationalize restaurants?


The percentage of our income that goes for food at restaurants and alcohol is 6.6.  The percentage for health care is 6.4.  But he nationalized health care? And my goodness just look at the housing expenses, rent mortgage, 31.5, utilities 5.4, furniture and household items 4.1.  HUGE.  But he nationalized health care.  That’s because it’s about a 6th of the economy, and restaurants aren’t. . . but look out, they could be on the horizon for Mr. Transformational

And you think divorces get messy?

“She [Halle Berry] told him early on she wanted a child and that was her focus for a good deal of their early relationship,” said a friend of [Gabriel] Aubry’s. “He didn’t see the problems that would lead to if they ever split.”

Happy days for the couple would end shortly after Nahla’s birth and soon a custody battle began, with court filings filled with accusations of abuse and the use of the “N” word directed toward Berry. She fought for primary custody but was denied, and earlier this year she was ordered to pay Aubry $20,000 a month in child-care payments. Berry and Aubry now share 50/50 custody of Nahla.”

Berry was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio—daughter of a white mother and black father who are divorced.  Her name comes from the department store Halle’s, which is big, or was, in Ohio.  I don’t often ride the bus, but last year I went down town to a pro-life event and rode the bus home.  I got an earful listening to two people discuss her with the bus driver.  Apparently one of them had gone to high school with her and thought she was stuck up even before she became Miss Ohio USA (1986).

Black infant death rate in Ohio—Columbus Dispatch

It’s high.  Infant mortality applies to age up to one year.  If they counted pre-born black infants who are killed in abortion, the figure would be much, much higher.

I hope someone at the Dispatch digs a little deeper and looks at something beside race in today's story about high infant mortality among blacks in Ohio. For instance, adjust for marriage, education, employment, age, entitlement programs, etc. Instead, someone will ask for more government money.

And much of the solution, they said, will come from officials who don’t work in the fields of maternal and child health, but rather in local, state and federal government; housing; education and early-childhood education; and those focused on family well-being who haven’t traditionally focused on birth outcomes.

For example, Mario Drummonds, executive director and CEO of the Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership in New York, cited new housing as making a positive difference in infant mortality by providing a better environment in which to raise infants who suffer from asthma.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Which taxes are involved? All of them.

“. . . let's be clear about exactly what the threat is, though we have explained it here before. Going into effect on January 1 are increases in the tax rates for virtually every major federal tax. That is primarily because the tax increases of Obamacare go into effect, and the Bush tax cuts expire, which President Obama refuses to renew for the nation's job creators, investors, and successful small businesses (the English translation of "the rich").

As a result, the top two federal income tax rates will jump by nearly 20%, the capital gains tax rate will soar by nearly 60%, the income tax rate on dividends will nearly triple, the Medicare payroll tax rate will explode by 62% for these disfavored taxpayers, and the death tax will rise from the grave with a 50% rate increase.

That is all on top of the corporate income tax, now featuring a top marginal rate of nearly 40% on average, counting state income taxes. That is now the highest in the world under President Obama, except for the socialist one party state of Cameroon. Even Communist China and Vladimir Putin's Russia have lower marginal corporate income tax rates, as do the social welfare states of the European Union, mostly at 25% or less.”

And there’s more. . .

Elections have consequences, and so does postponing tough decisions while leading from behind.

Tax cuts for the rich?

“. . . under both Republican President Calvin Coolidge and Democratic President John F. Kennedy, high-income people paid more tax revenues into the federal treasury after tax rates went down than they did before.

There is nothing mysterious about this. At high tax rates, vast sums of money disappear into tax shelters at home or is shipped overseas. At lower tax rates, that money comes out of hiding and goes into the American economy, creating jobs, rising output and rising incomes. Under these conditions, higher tax revenues can be collected by the government, even though tax rates are lower. Indeed, high income people not only end up paying more taxes, but a higher share of all taxes, under these conditions.

This is not just a theory. It is what hard evidence shows happened under both Democratic and Republican administrations, from the days of Calvin Coolidge to John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.”

So, it’s not about revenue, but about Obama’s idea of “fairness,” i.e., that rich people should have their money taken away from them and given to the government, not the low income.

It’s a whole lot more than $16 trillion

“The full extent of the problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come?

As Washington wrestles with the roughly $600 billion "fiscal cliff" and the 2013 budget, the far greater fiscal challenge of the U.S. government's unfunded pension and health-care liabilities remains offstage. The truly important figures would appear on the federal balance sheet—if the government prepared an accurate one. . .

The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees' future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. ”

Cox and Archer

A terrific Christmas tree


Why not take 100% of households over $250,000

They probably stole it. Taxing them will only get about a week, so why not just take all of it?

A: Number of US households: 116,000,000
B: Average US household income: $68,000 (median = $52,000)
C: Total US household income (A * B): $7.89 trillion
D: Percent of households above $250k income: 1.93%
E: Number of households above $250k income (A*D): 2,238,800
F: Percent of national income earned by households making $250k or more = 25%
G: Total income of households making $250k or more (C*F): $1.97 trillion
H: Total income of households in excess of $250k (G - E*$250,000) = $1.412 trillion

Alright! Take that, fat cats! Our $1.412 trillion windfall has us covered for the next 141 days. . .


Note: if you give him money for a few more days he’ll just ask for more

Obama is leading from behind again, because it's been so successful. He wants his people to pressure Congress to raise taxes so we can go further in debt and run the government for another week.

Obama is to travel to Hatfield, Pa., Friday to visit toymaker K'nex Brands, "a business that depends on middle-class consumers during the holiday season, and could be impacted if taxes go up on 98 percent of Americans at the end of the year," the White House said.

The tax increase refers to George W. Bush-era tax cuts set to expire Jan. 1. Obama wants to preserve the Bush-era tax rates for incomes up to $250,000 but increase the marginal rate on taxable income above that threshold.

Obama was to play host Wednesday to middle-class Americans the White House said would be affected by the tax increases if Congress does not act to avoid the fiscal cliff's more than $500 billion in annual automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in after New Year's Day.

Obama also was to meet with 14 chief executives from big businesses, the White House said.

The president's campaign-like push comes as top Democratic and Republican leaders were at a standoff on the issue.

Not mentioned during the campaign . . .

"On December 23, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Public Law 112-74). This new federal law states that the amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her LIFETIME will be reduced to the duration of a student's eligibility from 18 semesters (or its equivalent) to 12 semesters (or its equivalent). This new law applies to ALL Federal Pell Grant eligible students effective with the 2012-2013 award year beginning July 1, 2012. (DCL-GEN-12-01)"

The cut in grant eligibility has serious ramifications for non-traditional students. Part-time students who do not receive a full semester grant may lose out on funds if they do not earn an undergraduate degree within 12 semesters. Adults who go back to school, including retraining for a new career, will also have limited access to grants.

The amount of the grant varies based on family income (with a current yearly maximum grant of $5,550). If a student gets a grant less than a maximum, and a year later finds their income level has been reduced, they will not be able to recoup the difference in the lower amounts earned in a previous year. The cut in eligible semesters makes it difficult for students to make up that gap in later years.

The money for the Dream Act (DACA) has to come from some place, so why not from native born students?

Too many Republicans and Christians don’t vote

No free stuff, no bus rides to the polls, no deceptive ads.  How do they expect to win?

Susan Rice, the little lady


Do Presidents not learn from history?

Actually, President Obama has learned the lessons from the 1930s Great Depression well.  The Great Depression was extended by FDR who raised taxes each time there appeared to be a fragile recovery.  FDR also campaigned against the high government spending of Hoover (like Obama and Bush), and to this day Hoover is blamed.

By the spring of 1937, production, profits, and wages had regained their 1929 levels. Unemployment remained high, but it was slightly lower than the 25% rate seen in 1933. The American economy took a sharp downturn in mid-1937, lasting for 13 months through most of 1938. Industrial production declined almost 30 percent and production of durable goods fell even faster. Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.0% in 1938.

The top tax rate in 1938 was 78% and on capital gains it was 30%. They were 24% and 12.5% in 1929.  Who knows how quickly the country could have recovered if Hoover and FDR had none thrown the federal government into the mix?   Even some of the programs put in place by FDR were declared illegal or ran out, but he launched a “progressive” socialist plan that we have to this day.

Blame the job creators

If you’ve raised a family or taught in a classroom you know that trying to make things “fair” is the first step in creating jealousy and unhappiness.  When you start that you have everyone checking the size of her slice of the pie or the award for being the best speller or the fastest runner, especially if Johnny came in 2nd or 3rd.  Then to really hype the hate, start comparing the two or three or groups, and complain and gripe about the achievers.  Oh yes, that really works.

“The US unemployment rate has been pretty lousy for a while. Luckily, no one blames President Obama for this, as the recent election showed. And why should they? The government has done everything right: It enacted a huge stimulus, built infrastructure, passed ObamaCare to make sure employees are healthy and it supplied businesses with millions and millions of people just standing around waiting for work.

So if the government has done its part, and there still aren’t enough jobs, then who should we blame? Obviously, it’s the fault of those lazy, good-for-nothing businesses and job creators.”

Read more here.

The Fiscal Cliff


Let Obama take us over the Fiscal Cliff (he's out campaigning for tax increases right now) so people know what he's about. Of course, he will blame the Republicans who want cuts in spending to reduce the debt, but his proposed tax increase which he thinks you voted for will only pay for the government about a week. That’s useless and he knows it.  The purpose was to create class resentment, not revenue.  Then he'll have to come after YOUR paycheck.

One of the easiest and most sensible cuts is to raise the age of receiving Social Security and Medicare. It can be gradual so people have plenty of time to prepare.  And which party has shot down that idea consistently—the Democrats.  They want nothing to do with a program that will take power away from the government and put it in the hands of the citizen.

In 1930 the life expectancy for whites was 61.4 and blacks 49.2. Sixty-five for retirement (in an era when many worked their entire life) seemed extremely optimistic. But in 2010 for whites it is 79 and for blacks 75.1. A male retiree, born in 1940, will spend anywhere from 19 percent to 25 percent of his life collecting Social Security benefits (depending on whether he retired at the normal retirement age of 65 or chose early retirement), and a female born in the same year will spend 21 percent to 27 percent of her life collecting benefits.

The biggest old age problem we have is not Social Security, but a less than replacement birth rate, and many people will have no cousins and no nieces or nephews as well as no grandchildren to help them. Families are the original safety net, but the Democrats by pushing contraception and abortion are also weakening this safety net. Maybe YOU have grandchildren, but will they have grandchildren?

Obama has no intention of saving the United States from its plunge into being Greece or a failed European state.  So don’t look for solutions—just look for higher taxes.

ANGELS in the Roman Catholic Catechism


The existence of angels — a truth of faith

328 The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls "angels" is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.

Who are they?

329 St. Augustine says: "'Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'" With their whole beings the angels are servants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word".

330 As purely spiritual creatures angels have intelligence and will: they are personal and immortal creatures, surpassing in perfection all visible creatures, as the splendor of their glory bears witness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The pre-born have a life with God



concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry

No one in the Democratic party is against statism. 

Free speech in America


Obamacare layoffs widen to other fields

“It has been hailed for increasing coverage, streamlining the delivery of care, and lowering costs. But the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the federal health insurance law that has generated controversy since its 2010 passage, has also led to the layoffs of dozens of architects at two firms, HDR and Jain Malkin.”

It has been hailed for increasing coverage, streamlining the delivery of care, and lowering costs.

None of this has been proven.  It was a pipe dream, with dollars up in smoke as the economy stalled.  “Never waste a crisis” and he used the recession to ram through a complicated, hated law.  Just as Obamacare’s uncertainty screwed up the economic recovery, so too hospitals have had to postpone expansions, and architectural firms with heavy portfolios in that specialty, are laying off workers.

The rich pay far more. Is that fair?

"Taxpayers earning at least $200,000 represented 2.8 percent of all people filing tax returns in 2009, according to Internal Revenue Service data. However, they donated 37 percent of the $158-billion in itemized charitable gifts made that year."  The president not only wants to raise their taxes, but he wants to take away “charitable” loopholes. .

"There are 133,000 male heads of households and 143,000 female heads of households who make more than $200,000 a year." Obama calls them rich and wants to increase their taxes. Oh my goodness, a gender difference in income--but the female high earners (who need free stuff like birth control from the government) exceed the men.

I was looking at the table by the CBO of “Share of Federal Tax Liabilities for all Households, 1979-2009” and noticed a lot that wasn’t “fair.”  The top quintile (20%) in 2009 had a tax liability of 67.9% (55.3% in 1979) and the lowest quintile had .3% (2.1% in 1979).   The top 5% had a tax liability of 39.6% (28.1 in 1979) and there is no comparable figure for the bottom 5% because I think it is a negative number.

Charles Murray points out the top earners in the United States also tend to be college educated, industrious, married, and participate in a faith family.  And what does Obama reward?  High college debt, sloth, single women and spits in the face of the religious.

Elections have consequences


The Kitchen Cabinetreports:

The U.S. Treasury borrowed over $24 billion the day after Thanksgiving. That's $211 for every household in ONE DAY. So $211 goes on my bill on Black Friday and I didn't even go shopping? Obama could take every dime of every person earning over $200,000 (about 5 million people) and he wouldn't have enough to run the government for one year, plus then those people would have no money to fund the state and local governments where YOU live.