Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Michael Hurd’s observation on hypocrisy of Apple and other businesses

“On Sunday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that his company would “never tolerate discrimination.” He then compared Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act to Jim Crow; he equated a law guaranteeing the rights of individuals to take part in only the transactions they want to a law forcing individuals to take part in only those transactions the government deems worthy. But Cook is happy to do business with and in Saudi Arabia, as Erick Erickson points out, as well as Uganda, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. All of those countries are quite unfriendly to homosexuals.

Other companies looking to boycott Indiana include Smallbox, Salesforce, and Angie’s List; particularly, they want to disassociate from businesses headquartered in Indiana. Yet all of these companies work with businesses with outlets in places like Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is punishable by death.”

Hypocrisy on the left should hardly be news; but it seems each new generation forgets the concentration camps, the reeducation ordeals, the starvation of kulaks, the show trials, the banishments to Siberia—all in the name of socialist/leftist ideologies.





How the media see the parties’ candidates

Bob Devine's photo.

Indiana isn’t targeting gays. Liberals are targeting religion.


The Indiana law is a version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that passed 97-3 in the Senate and that Bill Clinton signed in 1993. Both the federal and Indiana laws require courts to administer a balancing test when reviewing cases that implicate the free exercise of religion. . .

The federal RFRA followed the Supreme Court’s Employment Division v. Smith ruling in 1990 that abandoned its 30-year precedent of reviewing religious liberty cases under strict scrutiny. Congress responded with RFRA, which merely reasserted longstanding First Amendment protections.

In 1997 the Supreme Court limited RFRA’s scope to federal actions. So 19 states including such cultural backwaters as Connecticut, Rhode Island and Illinois followed with copy-cat legislation, and Indiana is the 20th. Courts in 11 states have extended equally vigorous protections.

As I noted earlier. . . this is political, it’s about the 2016 election and having a “gotcha” question for Republicans, because the Democrats have NOTHING except sex.

“This was not a deliberate attempt to breach the security of NSA.”

No, of course not.  It was just two drug dealing prostitute transgenders stealing a car from the man they were having sex with and then they drove the wrong way.  No problem.  Nothing to see.  Move on. Definitely not terrorism.

Washington Post story to beat all stories.

It does make one wonder how intruders can make it all the way into the White House after jumping a fence, when they get shot making a wrong turn into the NSA.  What is going on there that is more important than the security of the President?

Baltimore Sun

John Vogel

Kevin Corke on Fox

A really great addition to the Fox News line up is Kevin Corke. He does the morning correspondent news, usually on Washington. He keeps opinion to the minimum in his reporting, but occasionally slips it in. I think he used to be with an NBC affiliate. One of the best I’ve seen with a beautiful voice, and not tough to look at either. Love his ties and fashion sense. Fox has much better diversity, better looking women with great dresses and shoes, and more qualified news reporters and more political variety than the other cable and network news sources. The outnumbered show at noon is outstanding. 200% better than the View.

But make it dark chocolate


Dark chocolate helps with weight loss, and has also been shown to improve memory and cognition. Don’t waste the calories.  But buy the best and not white or milk chocolate.  There are some companies that produce a chocolate supplement, but I prefer to make my own.


I think the secret to the positive attitude and energy is theobromine (food of the  gods). I no longer drink regular coffee, only decaf. Generally, caffeine and theobromine have very different effects on different people. Theobromine is relatively mild and helps elevate serotonin levels producing a really nice side effect of feeling good over a longer period of time. Caffeine is a stronger stimulant and acts relatively quickly as a wake-up drug. Compared to the caffeine, the theobromine has about one-quarter the stimulating power.

Other memory helps, including dark chocolate were listed in my Thursday Thirteen in January 2014.

Diabetes and high fiber breakfast cereal

I was watching a medical segment on Fox News this morning with Dr. David Samadi which was a display of breakfast cereals and which ones are high in fiber and therefore help fight diabetes.  So I looked it up, and found . . . an article published in 2004, 11 years ago.


and from 2006


and from 2008


So maybe someone from the cereal companies was just doing some clever marketing.  Eating cereal at breakfast makes me hungry all day, so I don’t do it.

Governors who rule from Democrat glass houses

shouldn’t lob missiles at Indiana.

Connecticut has the same law as Indiana about religious freedom, as do almost 20 states.  Shame on you, Gov. Dan Malloy,  Democrat. There is also federal law—not only the Bill of Rights, but the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed by President Clinton. Barack Obama as a state senator in Illinois helped pass Illinois’. . . although perhaps that not a good example since he lied about his beliefs to get elected in 2008. He probably lied then too. The LBGT lobby is very hostile to Christianity. The real aim isn’t bakeries and florists, but churches.

“The first RFRA was a 1993 federal law that was signed into law by Democratic president Bill Clinton. It unanimously passed the House of Representatives, where it was sponsored by then-congressman Chuck Schumer, and sailed through the Senate on a 97-3 vote.

The law reestablished a balancing test for courts to apply in religious liberty cases (a standard had been used by the Supreme Court for decades). RFRA allows a person's free exercise of religion to be "substantially burdened" by a law only if the law furthers a "compelling governmental interest" in the "least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest." “ http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/indianas-religious-freedom-restoration-act-explained_900641.html#!



No gay person has ever been hurt or discriminated against by the RFRA, whereas many by choice kept their sexuality hidden for decades for fear of their careers and wealth or disappointing their own families.  Being “out” never hurt librarians, hair dressers, or musicians.  Perhaps there was a bigger story?

Shallow memes by Democrats


This is what happens when unbelievers try to be theological and tell Christians what to believe and do.

When did Jesus ever tell sinners to continue as usual whether the sin was greed, lying, sex or telling others how to live? What did he tell Zacchaeus the tax collector who was cheating his own people?  He was really hard on hypocrites and haters, which right now the winners in that class are representatives of the LBGT community who demand service and ruin people’s livelihood after living years in the closet hiding who and what they were, voting for a man who lied about his true beliefs.

 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Monday, March 30, 2015

Close to Hayers Gap, VA, but still in Virginia

I’ve now cycled 502 miles.

That means I’ve cycled the distance between Columbus and Mt. Morris, past Mt. Morris, which is only 455 miles.

There’s more to it than surgery and hormones

It would appear there’s much more going on in being male or female than surgically changing the genitals or adding hormones. I guess scientists are bigots.

“Differences in male and female rodent sexual behaviors are programmed during brain development, but how exactly this occurs is not clear. In the preoptic area (POA) of the brain—a region necessary for male sex behavior—the female phenotype results from repression of male-linked genes by DNA methylation, according to a study published today (March 30) in Nature Neuroscience.

There is very little known about how the brain is masculinized—and even less about how it is feminized—even though the question has been studied for more than 50 years, said Bridget Nugent, study author and now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

These sex differences in the brain are programmed toward the end of fetal development, through to one week after birth in rodents. In males, testicular hormones drive masculinization of the brain; this was thought to occur by direct induction of gene expression by hormone-associated transcription factors. Because a feminized brain occurred in the absence of ovarian hormone signals, most researchers assumed that the female brain and behavior was a sort of default state, programmed during development when no male hormones are present. But the downstream mechanisms of how hormones can modify gene expression were not previously known.”




Ferguson the play

LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2015) — Would you indict Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown? The controversial shooting will be reenacted on stage in FERGUSON, a new play based on actual grand jury witness testimony. Written by journalist and documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer and presented by Theatre Verité Collective, four performances of FERGUSON take place as a guest production at the Odyssey Theatre, April 26 through April 29. The audience is the jury. How will you vote?

Crowd funding. If you contribute, you get a copy of the script—which is the actual words of testimony.



The wedding cake order


Monday Memories, the class of 1958

class of 1958

Looking through this photo of the 50th class reunion of the class of 1958 published in the Mt. Morris Times, October 16, 2008, I’m reminded again how many friends I had in this class.  We moved back to Mt. Morris  from Forreston in March 1951, and Sandy Davies who lived a few houses away became one of my first friends.  I was in 6th grade and she was in 5th. In 7th and 8th grade I was very close to Doree Dumont and Carol Samsel.  We had great fun in the summer break—Doree’s mom had a summer house outside of town with a swimming pool. Carol was a lot of fun and we spent hours playing cards—her mom was terrific. Good snacks.   In High School, Carolyn Kielsmeier and I worked together as editors of the yearbook.  Connie Frey and I, although on opposite sides of the fence politically, have become friends through Facebook and are in an e-mail discussion group together. I dated a few boys from this class, but won’t mention their names.  Don’t wish to embarrass them. Several members of this class were also members of the Church of the Brethren and we were in CBYF together. Dick Butler and I are FB friends—although I don’t think he ever posts anything, as are Carol and Connie and Ken Duncan and Kay Egan and Rodney Miller. I probably couldn’t pick them out of a police line up today, but having the names in the article did jog the memories.

Religious freedom in Indiana

Hate mongers are making the Indiana law (based on the federal law) about homosexuality—or 2% of the population, only a tiny fraction of whom want to be married. In 2008 Barack Obama ran on the law of the land, both DOMA and Don’t ask don’t tell, then in 2012  announced he had evolved about his beliefs as the gay lobby became more powerful and he already had the conservative black vote (black Christians are more conservative than white).  Then his closest adviser and friend, David Axelrod, admitted in his recent book that Obama lied in order to get elected.   The 75% of the population who say they are Christian apparently don’t matter in the push to squash another viewpoint on God’s purpose for creating us male and female. And to these haters and bigots, the first amendment protections don’t matter.   Should the owner of a bakery be required to make tiny KKK cupcakes for a child’s party?  Should a Jewish deli be required to sell ham?  Do Muslim retailers need to sell products made with porcine parts or lard or allow dogs in their stores and taxis? Should Christian trinket stores be required to sell little statues of Hindu gods? Do Jewish fraternal organizations on college campuses need to pledge Muslim members? Are churches protected from the hate speechers—can pastors preach from the book of Romans?





About the Masons

From What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe. Many of our founding fathers were Freemasons, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. But an incident in 1826 brought about the demise of the movement. In 1826, a man named William Morgan attempted to publish a book about the secret rituals of Freemasonry, much to the horror and strong objections of the masonic community. After his home was ransacked for the manuscript, Morgan disappeared. His kidnappers, including the Sheriff of Niagra County, were Freemasons who were never fully prosecuted, due to the protection and collusion of other Masons. Thus began the rise of Antimasonry as the first "third party" in American politics.

"Freemasonry, introduced into America from Britain in colonial times, had been an important force in the young republic. Its members had constituted a kind of republican elite, with Benjamin Franklin and George Washington prominent among them. The international Masonic brotherhood satisfied longings for status, trust, and metropolitan sophistication in an amorphous new society; its hierarchies and secret rituals offered a dimension lacking in the stark simplicity of much of American Protestantism. Freemasonry promoted the values of the Enlightenment and new standards of politeness. Its symbols of the pyramid and the eye had been incorporated into the Great Seal of the United States. Its ceremonies graced many public occasions, including the dedication of the United States Capitol and the construction of the Erie Canal. But in the Morgan episode, Masonic commitments of secrecy and mutual assistance led to disastrous consequences. To be sure, the Masonic brotherhood succeeded in the short run, protecting members from legal punishment and preventing Morgan from publishing all but the first three degree rituals, which appeared in print a month after his disappearance. But, as American Masonry's most recent historian has shown, 'it lost the larger battle in the court of public opinion.' During the decade after the Morgan affair, thousands of brothers quit the order and hundreds of lodges closed. Although Freemasonry recovered its numbers after the Civil War, it never recovered the influence it had wielded in the first fifty years of independence.”

This excerpt is from delancyplace.com which sends e-mails about a variety of books.  Sometimes I just skim, but this one was an interesting part of America history about which I knew nothing, except I’d always had a negative view of the Masons. As we say in libraries, to the victor belongs the archives.  http://www.delanceyplace.com/view_archives.php?2760&p=2760 


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why don’t pro-life Christians celebrate The Annunciation?


“Most evangelical Protestants are today [March 25] sitting out as Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and some liturgical Protestants celebrate one of the most significant events in the New Testament: the angel Gabriel's announcement to Mary that she would give birth to Jesus.

One might expect American evangelicals to be among the most enthusiastic celebrants of what is known as the Annunciation. For starters, it focuses on two issues that theologically conservative Protestants have long defended against theological liberals: the historicity of the Virgin Birth, and Christ's unique divinity. In a theological sense, the Annunciation could be of greater significance than Christmas.”

Be prepared for a rather disappointing Protestant response.

Cats (or my cat) and coconut oil

I keep a small amount of coconut oil in a pill bottle inside the top drawer of my bathroom cabinet.  It’s very nice as a skin moisturizer, or make up remover, or for dry skin.  One morning Lotza had a runny nose (always, actually) and I swiped it with a touch of the oil because it looked irritated.  Of course, she licked it off—and loved it!  Now in the morning she sits on the counter top waiting for me to open the drawer.  First, she goes after the tooth paste, which I use first; then my thyroid pill because I do that an hour before eating; finally, it’s the coconut oil and she gets a smear.  One day I made the mistake of giving her a small amount with lunch.  Oh, she thought she was in heaven, but about an hour later, threw up her lunch, and probably breakfast.  I tried it again the next day, and the same thing happened.  It might be good for her, she might love it, but it’s not good for cleaning up carpet.



Dinner was delicious

We had baked salmon with shallots (a type of small onion) and herbs (parsley and dill in lemon butter) and baked potatoes with a salad plate of fresh fruit, toasted pecans and mixed greens of kale, Swiss chard and baby spinach with onions and olives. We are celebrating the end of our colds—and Palm Sunday, of course.


Racism and Sexism charges a cover up for political bias


Can’t criticize her or it is racism.

Image result for hillary clinton

Can’t criticize her or it is sexism.

Why are women a protected class after all this time?

I wonder if this would work in Lakeside?

“Occupants of the Rotonda in Tysons Corner, Va., must have their dog's mouth swabbed in the presence of a building authority. If pet waste is found outside the building, the waste will be tested and matched to the guilty dog's DNA, reported MRCTV, a site operated by the Media Research Center.” Newsmax.



What Americans really think about the recovery

According to a Pew Report on what the American public believes has happened in the economy, “72% say that, in general, the government’s policies since the recession have done little or nothing to help middle class people, and nearly as many say they have provided little or no help for small businesses (68%) and the poor (65%). These opinions have changed little in recent years, and differ only modestly across demographic and income categories. There are significant partisan differences in these views, though majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents say that government policies following the start of the recession have done little or nothing for the poor and the middle class. Similarly, more think household incomes have recovered than did so two years ago. But while 51% say there has been a partial recovery in incomes (up from 42% in September 2013), just 4% say they have fully recovered. About four-in-ten 42% think household incomes have hardly come back from the recession.”

Many believe that banks, corporations, the wealthy have benefited from government policies since the “Great Recession.”  I personally think politicians have said very little about the poor in recent years, and increasingly emphasize the middle class not making progress.  And if they do move ahead, then they complain about a gap.

“The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted February 18-22, 2015 among a national sample of 1,504 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (526 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 978 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 559 who had no landline telephone).”

Sin and the sink stopper

Image result for plastic sink stopper

This morning I pulled out the stopper in the bathroom sink drain.  Oh yuk.  It was awful.  I wiped it off—lots of black gunk.  But there was more because the stopper is plastic (bad design) with many edges and crevasses especially near the top.  It’s not that I never clean that sink—and it looked fine until I pulled out the stopper. I wiped it many times with a paper towel, each bringing up a new layer.  Then I soaked it and watched black chunks float loose, then I sprayed it with a Clorox bathroom cleaner—more stuff.

It’s like sin, isn’t it?  You don’t see it at first—all covered up and looking nice because it’s below the slick marble of your good intentions.  Then you start poking around and the horror sets in.  Sin is covered over and really black.  It might take a lot to get rid of it. Like the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice.  But even then, we’re supposed to take care of what he did for us, daily and not let the build up put us and others at risk. Confess it and make amends before the gunk takes over.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Incident Cancer, and Survival After Cancer in Men

Good news.  Cardiovascular fitness in midlife may protect against cancer, not just heart disease.  Aren’t middle age?  Well, tell your sons, or grandsons.

Free article. http://oncology.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2203829

  • High CRF was associated with reduced incident lung (HR, 0.45 [95% CI, 0.29-0.68]) and colorectal cancer (HR, 0.56 [95% CI, 0.36-0.87]) in white men.

  • High CRF is associated with a one-third risk reduction in all cancer-related deaths among men who developed lung, colorectal, or prostate cancer at age 65 years or older compared with low CRF.

  • High CRF is associated with a two-thirds reduction in cardiovascular death compared with low CRF among men who developed cancer at age 65 years or older.



Owner of about a dozen IHOP restaurants sells them due to Obamacare costs

Yes, Scott Womack, who testified against Obamacare before Congress, is still in business—but Obamacare is taking its toll. He has sold off full service and switched to more restaurants with hourly employees to avoid the mandates.  Is this sound business practice, Mr. President? 


The Affordable Care Act created an employer mandate, which was supposed to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014, but was delayed for one year by the Obama administration. The mandate requires companies with more than 50 employees to offer “adequate” coverage or face a tax penalty.

Even though he reduced his labor costs by moving into quick-service dining, Womack still took a sizable hit on health insurance. His insurance provider boosted rates by 40 percent in one year, forcing him to cut back on coverage.

He offered the plan to all 180 employees. Only two of the 140 hourly workers signed up. . .

Rather than helping existing and aspiring franchise owners expand by adding jobs, locations and more hours for their employees who need them most,” said spokesman Matthew Haller, “the law’s arbitrary definition of ‘large employer’ and ‘full-time work week’ have contributed to the steady increase in part-time employment in America and have been a drag on new franchise business formation.”

Americans spend 4.3% of their household income on “food away from home.”  Looks like as that cost goes up,  more Americans will be fixing dinner at home.  Fewer people will be working in the restaurant industry, which helped many students and housewives bring in some extra dollars.  That might pay off in obesity.

Speaking of delays, there have been more than 49 significant changes made to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: at least 30 that President Obama has made unilaterally, 17 that Congress has passed and the president has signed, and 2 by the Supreme Court. Why?  Because 1) it’s unworkable on a national level for businesses of all types, and 2) as special favors for those who support the president’s policies. http://www.galen.org/newsletters/changes-to-obamacare-so-far/

What is the Census Bureau’s definition of “family”?

The 2010 version states: “A family consists of a householder and one or more other people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage or adoption.”

The 1930 version is strikingly similar: “Persons related in any way to the head of the family by blood, marriage or adoption are counted as members of the family.”

But before 1930? If you do genealogy research, you may have noticed a difference. Family is more closely what we would call  unrelated “occupants.”  The pre-1930 version is more what we would call “household.”

The 1920 version: “The term ‘family’ as here used signifies a group of persons, whether related by blood or not, who live together as one household, usually sharing the same table. One person living alone is counted as a family, and, on the other hand, the occupants or inmates of a hotel or institution, however numerous, are treated as a single family.”

The 1900 Census version: “The word family has a much wider application, as used for census purposes, than it has in ordinary speech. As a census term, it may stand for a group of individuals who occupy jointly a dwelling place or part of a dwelling place or for an individual living alone in any place of abode. All the occupants and employees of a hotel, if they regularly sleep there, make up a single family, because they occupy one dwelling place …”


Friday, March 27, 2015

You can be a bigot—but only in selected areas


The University Diversity Scam


I blogged about the bloated diversity positions at Ohio StateMore than once.  A few times.

Obama’s foreign policy a miserable failure

“An abiding goal of President Obama’s foreign policy has been to reduce America’s role in the Middle East, in the belief that it would lead to greater stability and serve U.S. interests. Has a policy ever been so thoroughly repudiated in so short a time? Mr. Obama has succeeded in his retreat, but the vacuum he’s left has produced a region on fire that is becoming a broad Sunni-Shiite war.”

Review and Outlook, March 27

Do on-line computer game sites help your brain?

Might be fun or relaxing, but so far, the proof isn’t there.  Exercise is probably better.

“In addition to remaining intellectually active, older adults concerned about maintaining their cognition must protect their cardiovascular health. The brain contains multitudes of blood vessels, and lack of physical activity seems to affect the brain negatively, just as it does the heart. Stroke carries its own risks of cognitive impairment and dementia, independent of diseases like AD. The American Heart Association recommends that older adults get at least 150 of moderate-intensity physical activity minutes per week. Time spent playing computer-based brain games might be better spent, when possible, taking a walk.

In summary, brain games have not yet fulfilled their promises of improved brain fitness. This does not mean that computer-based cognitive training will never be able to improve cognitive function, but it does not appear that training with the right amount of intensity and duration is yet available. If such games are enjoyable for their consumers, there is no compelling reason to stop playing, but for those hoping to avoid dementia, a focus on improving cardiovascular health and seeking broader opportunities for mental stimulation may prove more beneficial.

Gray Matters, vol. 2

It’s difficult for me to put the word ethics and President Obama in the same sentence—he lied about his support for gay marriage in 2008 in order to get elected and then lied again  in 2012 and said his view “evolved;” he lied about Obamacare in order to get support from Catholic politicians;  he lied about insured Americans being able to keep their plan or doctor when he knew it wasn’t true; he believes  abortion is a woman’s health issue and gives our tax money to Planned Parenthood, allowing killing the unborn for any reason, even gender and disability, at any point in the pregnancy; he’s inserted himself into “race conversations” when he didn’t have the facts, like the Boston police incident with Professor Gates and the Trayvon Martin case in Florida; he pulled out the troops prematurely from Iraq ignoring his military advisors allowing ISIS to swarm so he could meet a campaign promise, and then claimed victory; he touts Bowe Bergdahl’s release in the Rose Garden while calling Ft. Hood workplace violence denying the injured special medical benefits; and on and on.  No, ethical is not a word that comes to mind.

But here is it: “Commission Releases Gray Matters, Vol. 2 – final response to President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative related request Commission focuses on three controversial issues that must be addressed if neuroscience is to progress and be applied ethically”

 See more at: http://bioethics.gov/node/4715#sthash.Q6kR6TQ2.dpuf

The origins of modern medicine

“Dr. Stanley Burns is an ophthalmologist, surgeon and historian who lives right near Grand Central Station in Manhattan. His three story home - is nondescript from the outside. There's a tiny sign on the door that says Burns Archive but inside is one of the largest and most important photographic archives of early medical history in the world.

Currently Dr. Burns serves as the medical and historical adviser to The Knick, a hit HBO series.”

You can listen to an interview.




The interview also includes discussion with the author of The Good Doctor, the story of Dr. Philip Lerner.


Long lost purple heart will be reunited with family of recipient

Ten years ago Smuckers the dog dug a hole in the lawn and when his owner Steve Jankousky went to fill it up, he found something shiny—a Purple Heart.  For 10 years Jankousky has been looking for the man whose name was engraved on it--Cpl. Richmond Litman.  Finally, he found a step-daughter, and will soon be in touch with Litman’s family.  The Korean War soldier died in the 1990s.


Smuckers, left, dug up a Purple Heart medal a decade ago. This weekend, he and his owner, Steve Jankousky, will be reuniting the long-lost medal with Cpl. Richmond Litman's family.

And Smuckers is still alive to help with the reunion.  Neat story.

Do you need to be present at your wedding?

Although this “Ask a Librarian” question primarily concerns Islamic law in The Gambia where proxy marriages and divorces are allowed, there was a time (WWII) when proxy marriages were more common in the U.S. and is still legal in four states,

“In the United States, proxy marriages were apparently common during World War II; today, four states (California, Colorado, Montana and Texas) still recognize this form of marriage with certain restrictions.”

Maybe it’s just me because I was a librarian, but the Library of Congress  Law librarians blog is fascinating, and I could spend a day or two just wandering through.

Ebola vaccine coming along

“A Phase 1 trial in China has demonstrated the safety of a new Ebola vaccine and hinted at its efficacy, according to a study published today (March 25) in The Lancet. The vaccine candidate is the first to incorporate immunogens from the strain of Ebola that has terrorized West Africa for nearly a year; all other tested Ebola vaccines have been based on the strain that caused an outbreak in Zaire in 1976, according to a press release.”

The Scientist

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Life expectancy

Drug Enforcement Agency employees get hand slap for sex parties

Agents from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) attended wild sex parties in Colombia with prostitutes procured and paid for by local drug cartels, a shocking report from the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) states.

Politico reports that seven agents admitted attending the parties, were punished only with suspensions of between two and 10 days, and supervisors often failed to report the violations up the chain of command.

The explosive 139-page report is the result of an OIG investigation into allegations of sexual improprieties and harassment within the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Read http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/DEA-prostitutes-parties-Colombia/2015/03/26/




Based on the 8 recommendations, Hillary isn’t the only government official that has a technology problem.

Sarah Palin was right—you can see Russia from Alaska


Prayer in the Senate, March 25


Congressional Record, v. 161, no. 50

What’s your gender?

A survey published in 2008 had a question about gender—and choices were male/man (26%), female/woman (41%), part time one or the other (20%), or fill in the blank with responders own term.  The fill in choice got 860 possibilities including genderqueer, hybrid, third gender, twidget, birl and pangender. 

I guess I’m not shocked that the researchers were shocked to find employment discrimination.

And I suppose that makes most of us anti-trany if we can’t figure it out.

“A gender not listed here,” The Williams Institute, UCLA, 2012

No one notices on my exercycle


Big talkers

2014header - final


I’ve listened to #1, 5, 10, and 23.  Can no longer get Laura Ingraham in our market.  Not many women in the top 25.  I do listen to Teresa Tomeo and Johnette Benkovic on Catholic Radio.  They always have interesting guests and topics.

A perfect cycling lecture—Sir Martin Gilbert on Churchill


I consider him the best writer of the 20th century.  One volume of his history of the 20th century is on my bedside table—still unread.


This speech was given in 2001.   Sir Martin Gilbert died February 3 at age 79.

Alzheimer's Culprit—could be tau?

This information is appearing in difficult to understand science journals, but here’s a fairly easy to understand “translation.”

Abnormal tau protein collecting in the brain may be the main cause of Alzheimer's disease, a new study claims.

Another protein called amyloid accumulates as Alzheimer's progresses, but is not the primary culprit behind the devastating memory loss that is the hallmark of the disease, Mayo Clinic researchers report.

They said their findings suggest that targeting tau should be the new focus of efforts to find treatments for Alzheimer's.



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Afghan civilian casualties

“The U.N. now reports that more than 17,700 innocent Afghans have died in the past five years of fighting, the majority of them killed by the Taliban or other groups fighting the Afghan government and coalition forces.”

Condolence payments from the military

“According to the data we received, in fiscal years 2011 through 2013, the military made 953 condolence payments totaling $2.7 million. $1.8 million of those were for deaths, and the average payment for a death was $3,426. Payments for injuries averaged $1,557.”

“The total for Iraq that year [2009] was over $18 million; overall, Afghanistan saw fewer and smaller claims than Iraq, because of remote geography and fewer U.S. troops deployed. Prices for replacement goods or lost wages were generally lower, Dribben said.”

Where was Jeb Bush in the fight against Obamacare?

Making money from it.

One part of Bush's business was a lucrative seat on the board of directors of the hospital giant Tenet Healthcare. Bush joined the company after leaving the governor's office and was paid more than $2 million for his services between 2007 and last year, when he resigned to run for president. Tenet strongly supported the passage of Obamacare and has profited enormously from it. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/what-did-jeb-bush-do-to-fight-obamacare/article/2561928?

30 Lessons for Loving, book review by guest blogger Adrienne Zahniser

Dr. Karl Pillemer, a gerontologist and Professor of Human Development at Cornell University, has provided an intriguing look at love and marriage from the viewpoint of over 700 married adults, 65 and older, representing a total of 25,000 years of married life.  His five-chapter book, neatly divided into six lessons per chapter, is the result of a carefully designed in-depth interview study named the Marriage Advice Project, which he outlines in the Appendix.  Here he details the need of such a study, his research methods, ways he found a diverse and appropriate sample of interviewees, how he determined the questions and conducted the interviews, and how he analyzed the enormous amount of data collected.  His goal was to ask these older experts, married 30 years or more, “directly and in detail about the kinds of advice they would offer younger people about getting and staying married in a complex and difficult world.”

Though the study was quite academic in nature, the book itself is written for a popular audience—more personal, few end notes, no index or bibliography—with many quotes.  Excerpts from the many interviews are used freely and engagingly; a reader senses that both men and women responded thoughtfully, even eagerly to the questions for which they had much experience and definite ideas.  Some of these persons were widowed, some divorced, some had multiple marriages, some were same-sex, but the overwhelming cohort was 70-90 year-old couples in traditional one-time marriages.

The elders agreed on a number of important issues:  love is necessary in marrying, but so is common sense.  Sharing similar core values and interests, especially in such areas as money, religion, child rearing, careers, sex, friends is essential.  Additional values, often repeatedly mentioned, were sense of humor, honesty, trust, ability to listen and communicate, courtesy and respect, being good friends—a team, accepting partners as they are without trying to change them, and making time for each other.  The final lesson from all these experts:  “treat marriage, at every stage, as a lifelong commitment.”  Marriage then is a discipline, “a path where you get better at something by mindfully attending to it and by continual practice.” 

Most of these ideas are found in the multitude of advice books available to readers today.  This one, however, is unique because of the large sample group of older adults with views from the end of life; their experiences, both positive and negative, represent the full gamut of joys and problems inherent in love, relationships, and marriage.  They have earned a right to be heard, and the author has provided an amazing amount of useful information by listening to these many “grandparents,” then arranging their responses in a pleasing format.  This is a book you will enjoy reading and recommending to your friends and relatives! 

30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage by Karl Pillemer, Hudson Street Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-59463-154-2, $25.95.     For more information, visit http://marriagelegacy.org. Dr. Pillemer blogs at Huffington Post and has been interviewed by a number of news sources and media outlets. He has also written 30 lessons for Living, and is thinking about his next book which may be about finding one’s purpose in life, also based on the advice of older people. (I think he likes us!)

Would I go to Canoga Park for a Spudnut?

Yes.  You’ve read about them at this blog.  Although I don’t recognize any of the crazy toppings, I have fond memories of the little shop in Urbana, Illinois when I was at the University of Illinois in the 1950s and 1960s.

In January I wrote

In 2008 I wrote

In 2007 I wrote

In 2006 I wrote

In 2005 I wrote

Spudnuts Donuts
8225 Topanga Canyon Blvd
Canoga Park, CA 91304

“Made with real potato flour, Spudnuts are lighter and fluffier than normally raised donuts. You won’t be disappointed with the flour change and will most likely make this your new donut shop. Order up their crazy Cronut, their famous pastry that keeps people coming back for more.” http://localemagazine.com/best-donuts-los-angeles/

It’s Spring, but . . .


As I recall one of the worst storms we had in Columbus was April 4, 1987—we got over 12 inches and we were at a wedding.  The pastor couldn’t get there; someone else had to stand in. But they are still married. We’ve also had March blizzards—one of the worst in 2008.

List of California low priced wines in lawsuit

We’ve purchased some of these brands, but not necessarily the specific wine.  I don’t see any red merlots.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Abortion in the early church

It’s not like we weren’t told from the beginning.

The Didache

“The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child” (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]).

The Letter of Barnabas

“The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. . . . Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born” (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74]).

The Apocalypse of Peter

“And near that place I saw another strait place . . . and there sat women. . . . And over against them many children who were born to them out of due time sat crying. And there came forth from them rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes. And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion” (The Apocalypse of Peter 25 [A.D. 137]).


“What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers? . . . [W]hen we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it” (A Plea for the Christians 35 [A.D. 177]).

And others, Tertullian, Minucius Felix, Hippolytus, Council of Ancyra, Basil the Great, etc.



Update on the local house explosion

On Saturday a house about a mile from us exploded, damaging 7 others and dropping debris for miles even in adjoining suburbs.  It continues to be on the news—it’s pretty unusual, not only from the damage but because no one was hurt. It was a lovely day, and there didn’t appear to be anyone outside in the area.  The owners are visiting relatives in Japan, and even their dog had been boarded out.  But everything in the house and garage, including their car, is all over the neighborhood.  People are finding scraps of personal effects for miles, like pages from a Japanese cookbook. One interview last night reported that neighbors had been complaining for over  year to the gas company about the “rotten egg” smell, but were always told nothing was found.  And I think it is still there—makes it a bit scary.



Yes, I’m still in Virginia!

I’ve now cycled over 440 miles since Christmas and am still in Virginia according to “Tools to Keep You Active” chart. This photo is near Cedar Springs, VA, in  Wythe County. The health sites say your waist needs  to be at least one half your height measurement, and exercise should be 30 minutes a day. At least for certain health problems.   I’ve lost 22 pounds. No more leg pain. Well, that was easy. Medicare has spent thousands on tests in 2014 for me for blood clots and poor circulation all of which were negative, and all I needed to do was stop snacking, eat more healthy meals and exercise more. Nothing like lugging 40 extra pounds around to make your legs hurt. While I exercise on the bike I also use a finger strengthener.  I always had to ask for help to open detergent bottles or olives or even juice.  I think plastic bottles are sometimes the worst because it’s hard to get a grip. Hand strength is coming a bit more slowly; not sure I’ve seen improvement.