Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Get the popcorn ready—winter’s coming

There's a good reason you don't see me review many films; I rarely go to a movie. However, an 8 hour flight across the ocean with a lot of movies on the back of the seat in front of mine gave me the opportunity to see recent releases. Right before touch down in Philadelphia I finished "Clouds of Sils Maria" (2014) with Juliette Binoche which went to DVD this July. Good, absorbing movie about relationships for your next movie night at home. Another one I recommend which I watched in flight is "Age of Adaline" (2015) with Blake Lively, about a woman who remains 29 years old for 80 years. Cast includes Harrison Ford and Ellen Burstyn.

While I was watching a rather elderly Ellen Burstyn (an outstanding actress), my husband next to me was watching her 40 years younger in “Alice doesn’t live here anymore.” (Later adapted for a TV series Alice.) Trailer for Adaline.  Review from New Yorker for Sils Maria, with the reviewer narcissistically giving us much more about what he knows than is necessary, but still fairly accurate.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Which Spanish language?

And we think we've got language problems!  Spanish?  Lots of people living in Spain don't want to use it! They want their own regional language. Although my knowledge of Spanish is limited, I could certainly hear the differences between what is spoken in Spain and here in north America. Everyone sounded like they were lisping. You could see their tongues moving with c, s or z, and many cities had signage in two languages.  We flew into the airport at Murcia, the capital of the region of Murcia, which is sort of pronounced, MORTH ee ah there instead of mer SEE ah as we had learned it. When checking our bag in Madrid, the clerk wasn’t sure where we were going!  It’s between Valencia and Andalucía.

Wikipedia says, "Due to massive emigration from Andalusia to the Spanish colonies in the Americas and elsewhere, most American Spanish dialects share some fundamental characteristics with Western Andalusian Spanish, such as the use of ustedes instead of vosotros for the second person plural, and seseo. Many varieties of Spanish, such as Canarian Spanish, Caribbean Spanish and other Latin American Spanish dialects, including their standard dialects, are considered by most to be based on Andalusian Spanish."

In Catalonia, north of Valencia, home of Barcelona, there are four languages with official status in Catalonia. But Castilian Spanish and Catalan are the major ones.  That region was having a referendum on secession and language was just one issue. (Catalan was not used during the Franco dictatorship.) Mainly they were unhappy with 13% of the wealth in the country, they paid 20% of the taxes.  That probably sounds very reasonable to the 10% of Americans who pay 68% of our federal income taxes.

Hola. We're home from Spain

We're home from Spain after a wonderful 2 week trip for our 55th anniversary. Home. Where the big stories when I turned on the TV were a new Oreo flavor (Cinnabun) and a stolen dog instead of the visits of Xi Jinping, Pope Francis, Putin, millions if refugees pouring into Europe, and the richest province in Spain (Catalonia) trying to secede because they pay too many taxes and don't want to speak Spanish. Ah. Finally. Important stuff.

Your post cards should arrive in a week or two, but it's probably not worth it (if you're planning a trip). It costs one euro (about $1.12) to send a post card to U.S. (less in Europe), and you don't even get a pretty stamp for your trouble, only a label. Generally, things in Spain are a very good buy for people with Euros, just not at the post office.

In Spain we were hosted by our Finnish friends, Martti and Riitta Tulamo, who are friends from 1979-81, their years in Columbus as students, and are now a retired horse surgeon and architect, enjoying the good life, and the most fabulous tour guides ever. An added bonus was seeing about 600 photos of Virve's wedding in May at a castle in Estonia plus the places we visited in 2006 in Finland when we visited there. They provided the apartment and all the driving to special tourist spots, plus critical information we needed. 

I'm a news junkie, so in Spain every accommodation we experienced had different cable channels we enjoyed. In our Madrid hotel (Sidorme) we watched American series reruns of Monk, Closer and Castle along with spaghetti westerns in Spanish with Spanish subtitles; in Torreviaja our apartment cable selection was different than our hosts’ selection, and was primarily international news channels in English--China, BBC, Russia, Arabic, Algeria, France, Japan, Korea--great coverage of business and international events, wonderful documentaries with revisionist history (from our view point), and zero criticism of their own countries' government and policies. Hmm. We could learn from this. Oh, and the women journalists were lovely but well covered--very modest by our standards.

During our two wonderful weeks in sunny Spain, we encountered rain only one day on tour. Our umbrella and rain gear were back in the hotel (of course), so we were soaked while I was attempting to use a cane on slick stones. So one of my souvenirs is a new pink umbrella purchased in the village San Lorenzo de El Escorial at the monastery El Escorial, NW of Madrid.

I didn't gain a pound in Spain despite the fabulous meals which included very few vegetables (unless chocolate counts). After virtually no cheese or bread in 6 months, I had them at least once or twice a day. Perhaps walking with a cane on cobble stone streets takes a lot of calories? Our cat, who lived for 2 weeks with our daughter and her tiny Chihuahua, seems to have gained some. Little beggar.

I had no Facebook or e-mail, and really, didn't miss it. We made conversation the old fashioned way—face to face.  We met many wonderful people waiting in line for various tourist spots like cathedrals, mountain castles, Roman fortresses, Moorish architectural wonders, and great restaurants. Belgium, Holland, England, Finland, Montreal, Colombia, Poland, Philippines, Japan and even Bellefontaine and Marion, Ohio. Tourism is enormous and critical to the economy--and snatching a few minutes in garbled English about best places to visit was fun.

We almost couldn't find bad food, and the supermarkets were fabulous with very reasonable prices and great variety. Always look for "Menu del Dia" a mid-day special usually with 2 or 3 courses including bread, wine and dessert. Super highways and secondary roads put ours to shame.

Except for waiters and hotel staff and the ubiquitous China stores (Chinese immigrants thrive in Spain), we met few Spaniards, but Spain seems the most monochromatic, ethnically similar place I've ever visited. Spain, except in the southern most regions of Andalucía and Valencia near Morocco, must be about 98% white. Really handsome people, with gorgeous women and great flair for fashion. Only after 50 do the women pack on the pounds. A few gypsies, and some Africans, but TV and employment opportunities seem entirely Caucasian. Each province and state and city has its own culture, language, fiestas, and regional food, but in skin tone, not much difference.

The worst problem we saw was graffiti--it's everywhere from high rises, to highway overpasses, to ancient ruins, to construction sites. Very ugly and I never got used to it.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I’ll be taking a blogging break, but I’ll be back

break 4

There are Americans who believe we are “The Great Satan” along with Iranian leaders


Self hate is not attractive, Democrats.

Blood on his hands and unpaid taxes on the profits

Terrie Hubbard owner of Capital Care Network abortion clinics (Toledo and Columbus) and manager/operator of the Columbus Founder's clinic, has been sued by the City of Columbus for failing to pay back taxes on an estimated $1.2 million dollars of the estimated 1.6 million earned from 2011 to 2013. In a lien filed a few weeks ago on back-taxes in 2012 and in a lawsuit filed in May for 2013 taxes, Columbus claims the clinic owes more than $50,000.

That is a lot of blood money. How many babies have to die to get that sort of profit? A "good" abortionist can make more before lunch of one day than keeping those patients full term. Don't tell me it's about women's health--it's the money.

According to Secretary of State records, Founders is owned by Downtown Gynecologists. Downtown Gynecologists is owned by a trio of physicians, two of whom perform abortions at Founders and one of whom is a retired OBGYN and appears to be a member of Worthington City Council. (GCRTL, Greater Columbus Right to Life story)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

More research on diverging classes going nowhere

“In 2013–14, Harvard Business School (HBS) conducted its third alumni survey on U.S. competitiveness. Our report on the findings focuses on a troubling divergence in the American economy: large and midsize firms have rallied strongly from the Great Recession, and highly skilled individuals are prospering. But middle- and working-class citizens are struggling, as are small businesses."

Isn't that a shock.  Here’s my take, Porter and Rivkin.

1)  The transfers, billions and billions, are not factored in for the lowest income;

2) those transfers often result in a single mom with 2 kids using 5 or 6 of the more popular programs like SNAP, Medicaid, Section 8, EITC, will have twice the income of the new minimum, so even if she wanted a good job, we've disincentivized her from accomplishing anything.

3) Government regulations are killing the very small businesses, maybe in her neighborhood, that would employ her and provide the tax base which would give her and the kids a future.

4) The most recent Obamacare mandates and EPA regulations are hurting the poor and low income the hardest by damaging small businesses, further preventing them from moving up. Beefing up the bridges and roads and stiffening education requirements will hardly undo that damage.

Quickly looking through the report I see the authors suggest more money for public transportation and more money for education and basic skill building.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Obama’s legacy? A destroyed Democrat party?

No two-term president in recent times has seen his party clobbered in both midterm elections. Politico, a left of center political website: 

“When Obama came into the White House, it seemed like the Democrats had turned a corner generationally; at just 47, he was one of the youngest men to be elected as president. But the party has struggled to build a new generation of leaders around him. Eight years later, when he leaves office in 2017 at 55, he’ll actually be one of the party’s only leaders not eligible for Social Security. Even as the party has recently captured more young voters at the ballot box in presidential elections, its leaders are increasingly of an entirely different generation; most of the party’s leaders will fade from the national scene in the years ahead. Its two leading presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are 67 and 73. The sitting vice president, Joe Biden, is 72. The Democratic House leader, Nancy Pelosi, is 75; House Whip Steny Hoyer is 76 and caucus Chair James Clyburn is 75, as is Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, who will retire next year. It’s a party that will be turning to a new generation of leaders in the coming years—and yet, there are precious few looking around the nation’s state houses, U.S. House or Senate seats.

Barack Obama took office in 2009 with 60 Democrats in the Senate—counting two independents who caucused with the party—and 257 House members. Today, there are 46 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, the worst showing since the first year after the Reagan landslide. Across the Capitol, there are 188 Democrats in the House, giving Republicans their best showing since Herbert Hoover took the White House in 1929.

This is, however, the tip of the iceberg. When you look at the states, the collapse of the party’s fortunes are worse. Republicans now hold 31 governorships, nine more than they held when Obama was inaugurated. During the last six years the GOP has won governorships in purple and even deep blue states: Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio. In the last midterms, only one endangered Republican governor—Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania—was replaced by a Democrat. (Sean Parnell in Alaska lost to an independent.) Every other endangered Republican returned to office.”

Read more:

Unfortunately, the Republican voters, or those registered that way, are chasing after Donald Trump and appear to be throwing away this opportunity to have another “Team of Rivals” in our federal government.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

On that great day of judgment, there will be no delete; there will be no erase

Maybe it was all the fuss about Josh Dugger the reality TV star, but I just today saw an article about Billy Graham’s grandson Tullian Tchividjian resigning his pastorate due to an affair. Hadn’t seen anything on the internet. Then when I poked around the archives, I see the church he took over in 2009 (Kennedy’s church) had a bad split within a few months and a group left led by Kennedy’s daughter and started a new church. That group must be feeling a little smug—or maybe not.

Tullian Tchividjian is now using Facebook and Twitter to confess, muse, and reflect on God’s forgiveness.  It’s a strange, strange world.

Then I saw that R.C. Sproul’s son, a widower and well known Christian author and theologian, got caught up in the Ashley Madison mess. Oh my. Good reason not to make your pastor your reason to be in church.

"The reality is that we all sin before the eyes of the watching God of Heaven and Earth. Not only that, but all of our sins will one day be publicly exposed. On that great day of judgment, there will be no delete; there will be no erase; there will be no way to hide all that all of us have done. It is my hope that this kind of cyber assault might wake us up to that reality."  R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Occupational licensing fees are a permanent money source for states

“Licensing is done by the states, and requirements vary widely from state to state. There are 1,100 different professions licensed in America, but only 60 are licensed by every state. Requirements also vary. Michigan requires security guards to have thee years of education, while no other state requires more than eight months.

Who is hurt by burdensome licensing requirements? Military spouses have to move frequently from state to state and licenses aren’t easily transferred. Immigrants find licensing boards produce impenetrable requirements. People with any criminal conviction may find themselves perpetually barred from a licensed profession, even if the license has nothing to do with the crime. Ex-prisoners also have to wait up to a year for a decision from a licensing board, forcing them to be idle even as they struggle to re-enter the labor force.

But the primary victims of licenses are the poor. One study found that dental visits cost 9-11 percent higher in states with tight requirements for licensing hygienists than states with looser requirements. A 2012 report from the state of New York found that 95 percent of the people in court for eviction notices or consumer debt cases weren’t represented by lawyers because they couldn’t afford them. New York State bars lower-cost paralegals from representing the poor in these routine cases.”

Occupational licensing, also called occupational licensure, is a form of government regulation requiring a license to pursue a particular profession or vocation for compensation. Professions that can have a large negative impact on individuals, like physicians and lawyers, require occupational licenses in most developed countries, but many jurisdictions also require licenses for professions without that possibility, like plumbers, taxi drivers, and electricians. Licensing creates a regulatory barrier to entry into licensed occupations, and this results in higher income for those with licenses and usually higher costs for consumers.

“Licensing advocates argue that it protects the public interest by keeping incompetent and unscrupulous individuals from working with the public. However there is little evidence that it has an impact on the overall quality of services provided to customers by members of the regulated occupation.” Wikipedia, from

Happy No-Labor Day

“As Americans celebrated the Labor Day weekend, nearly 94 million people of working age actually had nothing to celebrate. That’s because they aren’t in the labor force. They’re not working and they’re not looking for a job. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the labor force participation rate is now 62.6 percent, a 38 year low.”

“A mother with two children participating in seven common welfare programs would enjoy more income than what she would earn from a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. In Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than a $20-an-hour job. “

Government aid is bi-partisan—Republicans vote for increases almost at the same level as Democrats.  It means VOTES!  But obviously it’s not best for the individual, the family or the country.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

This Dane thinks something’s rotten in Denmark (socialism)

“Without any doubt, socialism democratically is a slow subliminal, passive-aggressive process. It takes decades and generations to subdue the more independent right wing and create co-dependency to fully establish and achieve neo-communism. This describes the exact process that has slowly but steadily taken place over a 150 to 180 year span in Denmark, as well as throughout most of Europe. Rolled out over decades, this process ultimately achieves its goal of blinding society’s citizens to think of this malignant collectivist mentality as an ordinary part of their culture."

Hillary’s apologies?

Politicians give the "sorriest" apologies I've ever heard. Not just Hillary, but she's first on the list today. She apologized for 2 accounts not the private server. She claims it was approved, and everyone (including the president) knew. Is that shifting the blame or what? And the woman investigating is a donor to the Hillary campaign? Did I hear that right? Last spring they talked about Hillary 3.0. Is this 4.0?

Stop the Iran deal

Barack Obama has negotiated a deal with the leader of Iran who calls the U.S. "The Great Satan" and who swears Israel won't exist in 25 years. Obama has had to drag his own party kicking and screaming, with no votes from Republicans, and over 70% of the country against it. He calls it a victory. I'd hate to see a defeat.

Ferguson and Black Lives Matter, but only some

"The reality is that Michael Brown is dead because he robbed a convenience store, assaulted a uniformed officer and then made a move for the officer’s gun. The reality is that a cop is six times more likely to be killed by someone black than the reverse." WSJ on the phony "Black Lives Matter" movement which will primarily hurt the poor.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Hang on Sloopy, 50th anniversary as OSU song

When we came to Columbus in 1967 I worked in cataloging at the OSU Libraries as a cataloguer of Slavic material--I even typed cards using a Cyrillic typewriter--that's how much things have changed. What hasn't changed is the 50 year popularity of "Hang on Sloopy" for football games. I remember listening to the chatter on Monday of the game on Saturday and the almost worship of the band, even if the team didn't win. So what can you get if read up on the history of Sloopy (she was a girl in an Afro-Cuban pop song made popular by the McCoys)?

“The pillaging of black culture and mistreatment of black musicians have been part of American music from the first minstrel show to the present.”  Ted McDaniel, Professor Emeritus.

It was first recorded by a black group, The Vibrations, and did not become a hit, but did when performed by the McCoys, a white group.

Who says that about black singers who perform Italian operas or black musicians and Bach? Really, it's getting boring.

Pope Benedict and Pope Francis

I love the writings of Pope Benedict/Cardinal Ratzinger. He writes about the basic truths of any era, any culture, yet because of being exposed to the horrors of Marxism and National Socialism (Nazi) in his youth, he seems more alert to the dangers of our worship of the culture and current governments than Pope Francis, a sweet, dear man whose words are easily manipulated and quoted by non-believers. Francis is a favorite of internet memes--usually misquoted. It's hard to believe the media would be chasing after the tough and difficult words of Benedict and grabbing for snippets to post on Facebook or Twitter. Ratzinger believed relativism is the new expression of intolerance.

Ratzinger: "Christ is totally different from all the founders of other religions, and he cannot be reduced to a Buddha, a Socrates or a Confucius. He is really the bridge between heaven and earth, the light of truth who has appeared to us.

The gift of knowing Jesus does not mean that there are no important fragments of truth in other religions. In the light of Christ, we can establish a fruitful dialogue with a point of reference in which we can see how all these fragments of truth contribute to greater depth in our faith and to an authentic spiritual community of humanity." (Murcia, Spain, 2002)

Until planning our trip to Spain, I’d never heard of Murcia.  We’ll be in that city (mostly the airport, I think).

Monday, September 07, 2015

It’s Labor Day, and many people are working today

Labor Day. There's a lot of support for an increase in minimum wage, because it makes good politics and sounds generous, but not much economic sense, therefore we know it's from the left. Very few hourly wage earners are at minimum and if they work full time, they are above the poverty line and lose benefits. (Maybe you think that’s good, but it could be a huge drop in the tax free, spendable income.)

Only about 30% of teens today are employed, so compare that to my era (1950-60s) or the 1970s—45-60%. That hurts them down the road. But politicians still get to hire at subsistence wages and call it "internships." Only about 11% of the work force is in a labor union, but in many states (like Ohio) you have to pay dues to a union to teach school even if you aren't a member (unions contribute almost 99% to Democrats).

I've been listening to Dennis Prager interview people about their jobs and why they love them. One guy writes for a motorcycle magazine (34 years) and gets to test the new models. Another sells ads for the back of the grocery tape--makes an unbelievable income. A woman called and said she homeschools and takes care of her husband and loves what she does, especially the research. One man designs one of a kind gift boxes. They were all so excited about their work it's been a fun program for Labor Day.

What was your first job? Mine was a newspaper carrier for the Rockford Morning Star. My sisters actually had the route which was almost the entire town of Forreston, IL, but I got the edges of town which included a least 2 farms down a scary lane with no homes. In my mind's eye I can remember the route. I was in second grade, I think. The worst part--collecting; the best part--getting gifts at Christmas from my customers.

  • Tom Blackburn: Columbus Dispatch carrier, it was an afternoon paper back then.
  • James Isenhart: While still in HS in Mt. Morris was mowing lawns, then Kable Printing!
  • Melissa Nobile: Baby sitting, lifeguard at the lake, dental office receptionist. And then I went to college.
  • Kelly Sanders: Babysitting was my first job then came McDonalds.
  • Jeanne Poisal: Babysitting then Woolworth’s.
  • Mike Balluff: I too carried and delivered Rockford Morning Star in Mt Morris, then stocked shelves at M&M Market and lifeguard at Camp Emmaus. I got paid 69 cents/hr at Messers. That was just enough to keep my '51 Buick in gasoline.
  • David Keck: Carrier for The Toledo Blade. Almost identical likes and dislikes. One dread at the end of the route: having a paper left over, or being short one.
  • Roland Lane: Carrier for the Columbus Citizen.
  • Anna Loska Meenan: Babysitting, then a maid at a Holiday Inn
  • Sue Noll: Counting inventory or cleaning out an abandoned, filthy house for a perspective tenant, can't remember which was first
  • David Meyers: Subbed on a Columbus Citizen route. Fondest memory was walking on the crust of frozen snow, seldom breaking through it. Also the feeling that I was the only one awake in the world.

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces (about 1 & 1/2 cups) creamy peanut butter (reserve for cooled cake)

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 16 ounces confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 _ Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9” x 13” baking pan.
2 _ Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
3 _ Place butter in a medium saucepan. Melt over medium heat.
4 _ Stir in cocoa powder. Then, stir in water, buttermilk, and eggs. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils.
5 _ Remove the mixture from the heat and add to flour mixture. Stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla. (NOT Peanut Butter—save that for icing)
6 _ Transfer batter to prepared pan and spread evenly.

7 _ Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
8 _ Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, spread the peanut butter over the cake. Allow to cool completely.
9 _ To make the icing, place the sifted confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.
10 _ Combine butter, buttermilk, and cocoa in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil.
11 _ Remove from heat and pour over confectioners’ sugar. Stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla.
12 _ Spread icing over peanut butter. The cake can be served immediately or can sit at room temperature to allow the icing to set.

Cooking at Home recipe site—really yummy stuff here.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The law is sacred, if it upholds liberals’ values

“As far as I can tell, there are only three unassailable constitutional rights left in the United States: the right not to be "discriminated" against, the right to have an abortion and the right to have a gay marriage. In the eyes of liberals, nothing—not the freedom of association or religion or anything else mentioned in the First Amendment or Second Amendment—will ever supersede these consecrated rights.

The rest? Well, it's malleable, depending on the situation.”

“. . . we have cities across this country that ignore immigration laws they don't like and create sanctuaries from law. We have cities that ignore federal drug laws because they find them oppressive. Yet no one finds himself in jail. When Californians approved Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage, a number of officials refused to enforce the law. They were celebrated. I may even agree with the impulse. But not one elected official has been hauled off to jail for any of these stands.”

“And if we're going to be rigid about the rule of law, let's throw all officials who ignore it into cells. We can start with the president and work our way down.”

When wolves returned to Yellowstone

Everything changed.

A great story but others disagree.

And then in the comments they quibble over the words “elk” and “deer.”

Resettlement of Syrian refugees

I'm about to offend liberals and conservatives and Christians  alike.  I think the U.S. needs to resettle Syrian Christians. Now before you get your panties in a knot thinking I'm being a bigot, take a look at the population of the U.S.--almost 80% check the Christian box and our founders were European Christians regardless of the lies they are teaching your kids in school. It's in all our basic documents. We're fractured among many religions, but most are Christian whether Pentecostal, Baptist, Mormon, Catholic or Orthodox, but on refugee resettlement we tend to work together. We also have Syrian Christians already here.  Despite that, many Christians don’t want any more middle easterners brought into the country.

U.S. Syrian Christians have not returned to the middle east to join ISIS and bomb us. They aren't beheading Egyptians, or Yazidis or other Christians. Yes, they will need to be vetted because ISIS has already told us they will be sending terrorist cells with the refugees.

It is also churches that will be called on to resettle them. Unfortunately, some take government money to do it--which is not a good idea. There's nothing Biblical about that. There's enough of a problem with language and culture--let's not top that with fear of religion. That's how it's been done since my ancestors got here in the 1730s and the Mennonites and Lutherans met them at the boat.

Also, Islam is the second largest religion in the world--let those Islamic countries step up and take in some Muslim refugees. They certainly don't want Christians whom they been kicking out or oppressing for the last 2 decades.

One dead toddler on the beach is terrible, but there have been thousands and thousands of children who have died, thousands of families uprooted, hundreds of villages and churches destroyed, and all we have done is draw a red line.

The murder that Black Lives Matter ignores

Jamyla Bolden was murdered and Black Lives Matter movement did nothing. . . They were busy protesting the death of a criminal who had shot at the police according to Stacy Washington, a St. Louis black conservative radio talk show host.

“During the same week a 93-year-old Tuskegee airman, a war veteran who valiantly served this country, drove through Ferguson and got lost. He pulled over to ask two young men for help with directions in finding his daughters house. They robbed him.
Shaken, the veteran unsuccessfully pursued the robbers in his vehicle. He pulled over again to ask for help again. The two young men he asked for assistance carjacked him. The BLM movement did not protest for him either.”


Stacy E. Washington, conservative talker

As Carson moves up in polls, there are more attacks, but of course, the left media aren’t racist [sarcasm alert]

Salon dot com is a left wing digital news rag. And apparently racist, too. Article yesterday on how scary and extremist Dr. Ben Carson is. Worse than Trump, they report. He actually believes Planned Parenthood and the Democrats' commitment to abortion are committing genocide (more black babies killed in 4 days than all the blacks lynched in 80 years). And he would use drones on the border (instead of just against middle east Muslim terrorists). If you dislike a black politician's policies, you're a racist, right?

And then there was the deliberate misinterpretation about what he said about marriage. “When I mention bestiality or pedophilia in the same sentence with homosexuality, people say ‘Carson says they’re the same.’ Of course they’re not the same,” he told the New York Times. “That point was if you change the definition of marriage for one group, you’ll have to change it for the next group and the next group.” Dr. Ben Carson

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Butter Cream—more pumpkin recipes—it’s autumn, almost


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon...
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (You can substitute light brown sugar)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (I left this out, too)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts, optional (I didn’t add the nuts to the batter, but sprinkled them on top of the frosted loaf instead)
Position your oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 5″ loaf pan; set aside.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined; set aside.

In another bowl, or bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs on medium-high speed for two minutes or until lightened in color. Add the brown sugar, mixing for about 2 minutes, then the granulated sugar, mixing for about 1 minute. Add the orange and lemon zests, if using, and beat for another minute. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Drizzle in the canola oil with beater on medium-low. Reduce speed to low and add the pumpkin puree. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add the dry ingredients in two additions and blend for 10-15 seconds just until incorporated. Fold in the pecans using a rubber spatula.

Spoon the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

If you’re going to frost the loaf, you can make the frosting while the loaf is cooling…


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 Tablespoons canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons half & half or milk
1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional, for sprinkling on top
Cream the butter, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and vanilla, blending well. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Add half & half or milk and blend well. NOTE: This makes a very thick butter cream frosting. If you want a thinner, creamier frosting, add more half & half or milk until you get the desired consistency.

After frosting the cooled pumpkin loaf, sprinkle with chopped pecans or walnuts if desired.

I tried to find the original source of this recipe which I found on Facebook, but wasn’t successful.  This appears to be the recipe book

But I did go back and look through the posts of the Facebooker whose page showed it; his son had been murdered in June, so I think this recipe was probably from sometime last year. A very say story.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Carrot cake




  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

        ----------or----------Use a spice cake mix

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots


  • 8oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 9″ cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Cut out rounds of parchment paper and place at the bottom of cake pans. Spray the top of the parchment paper with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a large bowl. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the chopped nuts, coconut, and carrots.
  3. Pour the batter into the pans, set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the edges have pulled away from the sides, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a cake rack.
  4. To prepare the frosting, cream together the cream cheese, sour cream, and butter in a mixing bowl. Slowly sift in the confectioners’ sugar and beat until the mixture is free of lumps. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice.
  5. Once the cakes have completely cooled, frost. Sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts, or create icing carrots to decorate with.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes and at the 12 Tomatoes website

A quest for spirituality gone to waist


Dear Danny  Hamen,

Your ridicule of religion in your chicken and waffles article published in Stock & Barrel, Summer ‘15 (a 614 publication, pp. 38-41) wasn’t cute, funny, or clever, but instead disrespectful, sarcastic and in poor taste (pardon the pun since it was a foodie article).  One or two references, like “promise land” or “on a mission,”  or even an “Oh Lordy” would have been fine, but you apparently spent your Sundays in church as a youth thinking about food instead of the sermon and didn’t want to waste what you learned. 

Here I quote your phrases in all your religious imagery:

Religious experience
I found divinity
The Holy Ghost veiled in Frank’s Red Hot and Ohio maple
I was speaking in tongues
Oh my God. . . Oh my God. . . Oh my God. . . Jesus Christ
Holy pilgrimage
But hath no fear
Like a great messiah of fatty fried food
Took my hand and led me to the promised land
There was only one set of footprints in the sand
Hot sauce stain which looked like a baby Jesus . . .I took this as  a sign.
I  licked it up, and drove home a believer
I had a mission
Divine intervention
I was starting to see visions
What I felt was pure divinity
I was born again, greasy and obese with a chicken breast in one hand and a waffle in the other
Praise be to Biggie

Oatmeal with raisins for breakfast

My husband's breakfast is usually the same (except with the Thursday Cursillo guys when it's bacon and eggs), oatmeal with raisins. This morning (at the lake) he was out of raisins, but being resourceful, he remembered I had raisin bread in the freezer. Yep. He took 2 slices, picked out the raisins for his cereal.

Let’s get out of the abortion business

Planned Parenthood does not offer any women’s health services that are not offered by other health care centers. None. . .

Planned Parenthood boasts that it served 2.7 million patients last year, but FQHCs alone served 21.1 million. That’s about eight times more clients. . . .

There are 665 Planned Parenthood facilities compared to the 13,540 comprehensive women’s health clinics.

Fifty years after Watts

I was reading through this 50 year anniversary article on the Watts riots, summarizing the books and research, and see the writer STILL believes it's a matter of more government money. “Solving these problems through federal action, as well as local grassroots pressure that ties police reforms to economic justice initiatives, is essential to averting more rebellions in the next fifty years.”

Never mind the trillions spent on Head Start, housing, medical care, education, etc. and the 123 transfer programs.  And yet those black families who have moved on to the middle class and the upper quintile have behaviors and life styles and education not unlike their cultural cousins, white middle class and upper middle class. Marriage, education, jobs and family support. Look at every powerful black government official, including our President, and that’s what they’ve got. (Celebrities and sports figures are rich but have the opposite life style.) Why is that so difficult to see? Well, there's no money in advocating that, either for academe or government or churches.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Milwaukee man gets no jail time for illegal gun sales

This man illegally purchased guns and sold them them on the street to people who can't buy guns legally. Now compare his jail time to the Kentucky woman who wouldn't issue a marriage license. Judge seemed to like that Dontray wants to be a rap musician. Why didn't Kim Davis think of that! Story from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"In giving probation with no jail time to a Milwaukee man charged with 55 counts of buying firearms with fake identification and dealing them without ...a license, a federal judge delivered a message:

"People kill people," U.S. District Rudolph Randa said, echoing a common gun rights slogan. "Guns don't kill people."

Dontray Mills, 24, purchased a total of 27 firearms, mostly handguns, between December 2012 and April 2014 and pleaded guilty to one of the charges on April 22, 2014, after an ATF investigation. As a result of the conviction, Mills will never again be able to buy firearms legally."

Paul Harvey, The Policeman, one of his best narrations

Not everything you see on the internet is accurately attributed.  This is.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Transgender Women (male to female)

A systematic review of studies of HIV among transgender women suggests that the prevalence of HIV in the United States is 27.7% among all transgender women and 56.3% among black transgender women. Data also suggests high rates of HIV among transgender women globally. Bacterial STD prevalence varies among transgender women, but is based largely on convenience samples.

Providers caring for transgender women should have knowledge of their patients’ current anatomy and patterns of sexual behavior before counseling them about STD and HIV prevention. Most transgender women have not undergone genital affirmation surgery and may retain a functional penis; in this instance, they might engage in insertive oral, vaginal, or anal sex with men and women.

Back to School purchases big business for retailers

Speaking of and in Spanish

Telemundo, a Spanish language TV network (owned by NBC) with all white faces, blue and green eyes, tall skinny blondes and no brown or black tokens or hints of Indian heritage in sight, has sent me an e-mail: "TELEMUNDO PRESENTA “FRANCISCO EN AMÉRICA”, EXTENSA COBERTURA DE LA VISITA DEL PAPA A CUBA Y LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS A PARTIR DEL 19 DE SEPTIEMBRE." Every product I purchase, every tag and label I read also includes Spanish. Why do U.S. Spanish language companies have a different set of rules for good customer service?

I was looking for a video to practice Spanish while exercising, and this morning found Clear pronunciation (in English) and good understanding of why we often don't get it. Forgiving and funny.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Unions lie about right to work states

Private sector wages are not reduced in right-to-work states as union advocates have argued, according to a new report released Tuesday by The Heritage Foundation.

Every state with compelled union membership and Virginia, a right-to-work state, has living costs above the national average, which is how EPI arrived to its finding that right-to-work states have lower wages.

Though more than three-quarters of Americans believe union membership should be voluntary, 25 states still have compulsory unionization.

What about Fox–Michael Smith

“Let's just think about this for a minute - since 1995, the Fox News channel has been the only broadcast outlet, cable of otherwise, that has featured Republicans with conservative views. At one time or the other every pundit on Fox's prime time lineup has been vilified as a right wing extremist nut job. Hillary Clinton even accused them of being in league with Richard Mellon Scaife to form the VRWC (Vast Right Wing Conspiracy).

Even (or perhaps because they are) presenting a conservative point of view, Fox News has been #1 overall with the most #1 shows for the past decade+ and in doing so has earned the badge of honor from the left as Faux News because they report on things the left would rather us not know.

Megyn Kelly asks a tough question of a tough,"hard shelled", assertive, non-conservative newly minted Republican who was a Democrat until the last decade and then worked to become the Reform Party (the party of Jesse Ventura) nominee. Said "hard shelled" candidate goes on to whine incessantly for weeks against Fox and makes sexist grade-school comments and tweets regarding Kelly.

Said candidate gets softball interviews and the red carpet rolled out for him at Democrat friendly media outlets and shows, inducing Meet the Press, ABC and NBC. Said Democrat biased media uses said candidate to spout off how the other candidates in the race simply can't match up to such majestic accomplishments and gargantuan ego of said candidate, essentially the same thing Hillary would do if she wasn't afraid of slipping up and getting saying something that would get her indicted.

So tell me again how Fox is the tool of the Democrats and the GOP establishment? It would seem to me that there is a tool but I would propose that it isn't Fox News.

For goodness sake people, look at who you are aligning with to attack Fox.”  From Michael Smith’s Facebook.

Biden confused about FDR—especially his accomplishments


Yes, Joe Biden really said this in Sept. 2008 while campaigning, but the worst error is thinking FDR did anything about the Great Depression, which he extended into the 1940s.

Black Lives Matter even when they aren’t victims—tell the organizers

There are many things BLM protestors (funded by leftists with deep pockets) can do--like read victim reports of the Department of Justice, and the FBI. New policing and law enforcement laws--including tough on drugs--of the Clinton years have brought down crime and saved many black lives. Since 1993, the rate of serious violent crime has declined by 75% from 29.1 to 7.2 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older, but has taken an uptick under Holder and Obama. The rate of violent victimization increased 17% with a black president and black AG--mostly among whites. Violent crimes against American Indians is almost double the rate for blacks--and it is also intraracial. Those not killed or injured matter too.

General Mills to spend millions on climate change

Not to be too cynical, but the more "climate change" laws and treaties the U.S. can foist on developing countries, the more goodies are left for the western, developed countries. I'd rather the money be spent on things that will actually help people, in developing countries like pure water, better infrastructure, fairer import/export agreements, stop protecting tyrants, etc. To put Appalachian coal miners out of jobs while China is building all the new dirty coal burning facilities is dumb; to waste billions on chasing a carbon myth when African women still carry dirty water in their pails walking miles from home makes no sense. But it's good advertising.

On Monday, the food giant announced plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent in the next 20 years, and said it will be investing more than $100 million in renewables and improved energy efficiency in its facilities. Other large food companies have also set greenhouse gas reduction targets, but General Mills’ plan stands out because it involves the whole supply chain, from farmers to eaters.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Almost too embarrassing to read

The newest batch of Hillary’s illegal e-mail stash reveals her sycophantic, bootlicking, weasel word lackeys begging for attention and favors.  Lanny Davis was Bill Clinton’s special counsel. Here’s just one example:

“He grovels for a favor in a 2010 email with the subject line “Personal.”

“[A] personal favor My dear friend Hillary: I hate to email you too much and to ask you for any favors,” Davis writes before proceeding to ask her for a favor. “I feel as if I am taking advantage of a great privilege that you allow me to send you a personal email every so often. But this is a favor that I fully understand for 100 reasons might not be appropriate or comfortable for you to say yes to.”

Davis launches into a long-winded diatribe about an article that is going to be written about his law firm and humbly requests that Clinton say nice things about him—but not before telling her she is nearly as important to him as his own wife.

“Aside from Carolyn, my four children, and my immediate family, I consider you to be the best friend and the best person I have met in my long life,” Davis writes. “You know that from the dedication and appreciation of you I have always felt and expressed to you over four decades. So that is why your comments would mean a lot to me, even if just a written statement.” “

In 2009 after the first 100 days, Davis wrote an equally abject confession about how he’d converted to Obama, after supporting Hillary in the 2008 campaign.  The man knows no shame. And she was his “best friend” in his long life.

In the short term . . .

Older individuals who undergo knee or hip replacement are at high risk for myocardial infarction (MI) [heart attack]  in the first postoperative month, a general population-based study found.

In the long run, joint replacements benefit the heart health.

Among those with hip OA who underwent hip arthroplasty, 128 had a heart attack during follow-up, compared with 138 controls. However, the team notes heart attack incidence was higher for hip arthroplasty patients in the first 6 months following the procedure, before declining to a lower level than those who did not have surgery.

The researchers also found that patients who underwent hip or knee arthroplasty were at greater risk of VTE - a collective term for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) - years after the procedure, compared with controls.

DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, most commonly in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis. PE is a common complication of DVT, occurring when a blood clot breaks off and makes its way to the lungs via the bloodstream. It is estimated that around 300,000-600,000 people in the US develop DVT or PE every year.

Title of the research article: “Total joint arthroplasty and the risk of myocardial infarction - a general population, propensity score-matched cohort study,”  Yuqing Zhang et al., Arthritis & Rheumatology, doi: 10.1002/art.39246, published online 31 August 2015, abstract.

Age and the Presidency

I would never belittle someone for her age, some people my age do amazing things.  But I have personally experienced how the body and mind just don't do as instructed despite years of accumulated wisdom and education. I remember 60 with great fondness--sort of a surprise for someone who not too long ago thought 30 was really over the hill. I've watched a lot of presidents age quickly in office--Bush and Obama seem to really have aged right before our eyes--looking tired, wan, wrinkled and gray.  Perhaps it's the constant TV and internet exposure.  But the age of the Democrat bench for 2016 really worries me.

Warren is the youngest, and she would be almost 70 if she won the election and took office in 2017, in addition to being a millionaire flake who lied about her ethnicity to get special perks and speaks with forked tongue about the rich. Joe Biden, well, even Democrats call him their crazy Uncle Joe. It turns out he’s the best thing that ever happened to Obama, because he makes him look good.  Bernie?  Advocating openly a philosophy that has killed millions in the 20th century. And this folks, isn't dementia.  It's just wrong headed, pie in the sky socialism, the foundation of both Communism and National Socialism the major killers of their own citizens of the last century

old bench