Tuesday, February 28, 2017

President Carter and the White House Correspondents Dinner

Of course, it's not a popular view among Republicans, but Carter was my favorite President. Can't understand why people malign him so. He declined to attend two of the four WHCD. And good for him. Abuse is abuse whether from the left or right. 
"Jody's beg­ging me to speak to the White House Cor­res­pond­ents' ban­quet. My pref­er­ence is not to do so," wrote Carter on April 25, 1978. "They are com­pletely ir­re­spons­ible and un­ne­ces­sar­ily ab­us­ive. I see no reas­on for us to ac­com­mod­ate them every time they want me to provide en­ter­tain­ment for a half hour."

Four days later, Carter again wrote about the din­ner, not­ing that there had been news­pa­per cri­ti­cism of his de­cision. He was un­deterred. "I was de­term­ined not to go. They al­most ex­ert black­mail on me to at­tend, but I am not go­ing to do it in the fu­ture. I don't see how the White House press could be any more neg­at­ive un­der any cir­cum­stances and I'd rather show a sign of strength."
I think it's a good idea not to go where people don't like you and tell lies. Don't go on a date with someone who ridicules you and intends to dump you.

A new project for the Lenten season

While moving and rearranging books, furniture, paintings, and memorabilia, I counted about 70 photo albums. So we are going to spend some time each evening looking at them and reminiscing.  We started with one of the fattest, but not oldest.  When my parents died, I scooped up some of the extra family photos and sort of made a photo genealogy of them, my siblings, their grandchildren and great grandchildren. There are some duplicates because some were ours, and some theirs.  This should be great fun, and challenge our memories. Especially those trips we took in the 60s and 70s and the only photos are buildings with no information.
Various albums awaiting some action

This album is a catch-all beginning with my parents' wedding     
Our wedding in Mt. Morris, plus dances at U. of I.

Eight little Indians series by Platt and Munk

Generally, I would never deface a book, but I have 8 of the American Indian books by Platt and Munk published in the 1930s. I loved them as a child (also published in one volume) and purchased them as used books about 20 years ago. I'd like to mat and frame them--just a touch of rubber cement on mat board to hold them in place. They are not rare or valuable. Beautiful illustrations by Roger Vernam. 
I think for the most part they are very authentic and wouldn't cause hysteria in today's PC atmosphere. Vernam was a wonderful illustrator. He was the subject of my blog 10 years ago. http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com/2007/05/roger-vernam-illustrator-some-of-my.html
Each book is 12 pages,  both color and b & w, ends with a poem on back.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tom Tancredo comments on money sent back to Mexico by immigrants

"Mexico’s national income grows in direct proportion to the size of the illegal Mexican population inside the United States. Does that help explain the Mexican fixation on U.S. politics? Mexico’s most profitable export to the U.S. is not oil or avocados or automobile parts, it is people. Mexicans living and working in the U.S. send home over $20 billion annually in cash remittances —... more than Mexico earns in foreign currency from tourism or any export commodity."

I blogged about this scam before--Mexico is a very wealthy country, but it exports people. Not the white citizens of Spanish and northern European ancestry, but those with majority indigenous heritage. The Mexican census doesn't track race, but it's very racist. For some reason American political groups don't even notice. Watch Univision or Telemundo and you see an all-white cast (almost wrote caste, but that would have been even more appropriate).



On the move, staying put

We aren't leaving our wonderful condo.  We love it here.  A gorgeous view.  Wonderful neighbors.  But it has been 16 years and I was bored with how it looked.  So everything has been looked at for usefulness and attractiveness.  We still have the "mid-century" modern furniture we bought in 1963, so we're working around that, plus some mission style we bought in 2001.  The "elephant in the room" was the huge entertainment center--popular when everyone had fat TVs, but unnecessary with flat screen. However, it had a lot of storage, so we decided to keep the side pieces and create a china cabinet.  I didn't like the lounge chair, so it went to the "man cave" and that lounge chair is waiting to be picked up by some young men who work for my son. And everything was very dusty.  I sneezed all week-end.
Blue lounge chair gone, end tables from bedroom, chairs rearranged. Bedroom shelves brought to living room and memorabilia from travels brought out of storage--Italy, New York, Haiti and Franklin Grove together.
Harper Blvd Rawley 65-inch TV/ Media Stand
We've purchased a 65" media center which will go on the wall were the old one was. Much smaller.

Bob and Mark doing the heavy lifting. Mark used to work for a moving company and knows exactly what to do.
Side pieces of the entertainment center pushed together to create a china cabinet. Mark rewired my grandmother's lamp which was created from a kerosene lamp and it is sitting on the music box of Bob's grandparents now an end table.  Round bulb lamp from the 60s which had been in bedroom now on rosewood secretary.
Grandpa Byrum's chair to the bedroom with the former living room bookshelves, which was top of china cabinet on Abington, and my grandfather's encyclopedias.  

Monday Memories--Mom's crystal goblets

We've been moving and shifting furniture for about a week, redistributing books to various resale locations, removing our huge cabinet for the TV, hanging different paintings, digging things out of cupboards, and washing what has been stored for years. None of this would have been possible without our son-in-law who not only has a dollie, but knows how to move furniture. The huge TV entertainment unit which had 6 pieces was the biggest challenge--two parts are in the garage awaiting a new home, and four have been rearranged for our living room. Yesterday I was explaining various pieces of glassware and china to my daughter, and which belonged to whom, me, my mother, grandmother, or great grandmother, my in-laws, or what country the memorabilia from our travels came from and what I found at garage sales 45 years ago.
 All I had was family lore for my mother's crystal water goblets. I knew my father bought the dozen for her at an estate sale during the Depression. Not sure she was thrilled since they had one baby and one on the way, but the goblets always had a place of honor in their home, and were rarely used. Now they are mine, and rarely used. My daughter sat down at the computer and in a few minutes had identified them as Cambridge Caprice clear, 1936-1958. Cambridge is in Ohio so I've been browsing the museum website and looked at the latest newsletter. Churches and community organizations would die for this sort of support. Hull Pottery which was also produced in Ohio and closed its doors years ago (I have a number of pieces) also has a very strong association with conventions and media. http://www.cambridgeglass.org/articles/ecb/ecb201611.pdf

Thomas Perez new DNC Chair

In 2004 after John Kerry lost to GW Bush, I watched a panel of grieving Democrats on TV analyze what went wrong and how they could win back the country. Such sad faces! Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (then a representative), a former Methodist minister, helped conceive the idea that they go for the "values" voters--the evangelicals and at least sound like patriotic Americans (he didn't say that, but that's how I heard it). If you go back and look Obama's themes during his first campaign ("hope" for instance which is a very popular Biblical theme), he sounds like a black preacher. Democrats loved it. They "took back" the White House, but Obama lost the country for them at the state and local level with his socialism drift, especially the take over of 1/5 of the economy by the federal government. The DNC newly elected chair, Thomas Perez, isn't even pretending to go for the values voter. Democrats booed God a few years ago and have been peeking under boxes and rugs for more victims, more ISMS and ISTS, so that's the direction they'll go, not for the middle or working class that won them the White House in 2008.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Moving stuff again

My neighbor Jan who loves to decorate and browse consignment stores looked around the living room last week and suggested we move a few items before we go shopping.  It will all look fresh and different she assured me. So . . . in the process, it was hours of moving and dusting.
Contents of lighted cabinets, Mom's crystal, my Hull

Grandpa's Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th, 12th, 13th ed.

So to entertain myself while doing more heavy lifting than was healthy, I was watching CPAC meeting this week in Maryland. I was working back and forth with Fox News in the living room live and Mike Gallagher in the kitchen doing interviews while I unloaded bookshelves and china cabinets for a shuffling of furniture. Beautiful young people. And so articulate. So different than the angry snowflakes who know nothing, need to be bleeped and look like they dress from the missionary box while racking up a $100,000 college education on parental tab. Some interviews and speeches I have watched on YouTube then caught the sliced, diced and edited version on broadcast media. Steve Bannon is definitely the new go to hate guy--the Chaney/Rove of the Bush years or the Emanuel/Jarrett of Obama's staff. 

President Trump has pretty much had the same message for five years and it terrifies both old timey Republicans and Democrats--national security--borders and military, jobs, rebuild the middle class, reduce regulation that strangles the little guy and get government out of the way. Unlike so many rich businessmen, he doesn't seem to be threatened by spreading the wealth through capitalism. Usually these corporate giants like Bezos, Gates and Zuckerberg support more regulation from climate change to bathrooms which Democrats propose because it snips their competition's spine in the womb who can't afford it. Sort of the Kermit Gosnell of industry.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The southern border wall

The southern border wall is about 1/3 finished, was approved in bi-partisan support over a decade ago (Secure Fence Act 2006). Obama used a different method--deportation, and his administration was active in rounding up criminal aliens, but not those who had violated the law but had been law abiding after getting here, with the exception of false documents, bad checks, no driver's license, etc. There were twice as many deportations in the Obama years as the Bush years. In 2015, catching them at the... border dropped by about half, and of course, many illegal aliens went home during the recession. Since Trump's election, border crossings have gone down again. 

Still, the left rages. I believe (as do others) there is a link between abortion and border crossings. The U.S. birth rate is below replacement level and that seriously affects the social safety net that need to be paid for with workers' taxes. Because our government has approved the killing of millions the last 40+ years it now needs to find replacements who can work and pay taxes. At least in the first and second generation our African immigrants (come on a special diversity quota--over a million each decade) and the Mexican and Central American immigrants love their babies and increase our birth rate. It only takes a generation or two to reeducate them to American values.




She's not going to get over it

A retired teacher friend on Facebook whom I met 14 years ago as a blogger (I've never met her face to face and don't even know where she lives) has thrown down the gauntlet.  She's not going to get over Trump's election, she plans to rechannel her efforts to her representatives and senators to make sure they are voting as she wishes.  I left her a comment.
"That's probably a good idea. That's what conservatives did in 2009 and managed to get a number of seats changed in 2010 and 2012, although Republicans in Congress ignored them. At the state level Republicans control the majority of state houses probably as a result of the so-called Tea Party and Glenn Beck's 9-12 groups and reading clubs. The average American voter is running on what they learned in civics classes in high school if they even teach that in the 21st century. In classes I attended in 2010 we learned about the differences and importance of Supreme Court picks to determine if we had a real constitution or a plastic constitution. Also learned some history which has been pretty much covered up since even the 1920s. What a shock to some people to learn the origins of the KKK, lynchings and Jim Crow (Democrat party) and that it was the Republican administrations that led the fight for Civil Rights even in the 1960s. The biggest advantage was meeting like minded, lovely people after being demonized for so long. Some things were discouraging, like learning how committees at the local level for both parties control just about everything and don't want starry eyed newcomers upsetting their comfortable spots. You'll find out the same in your city, county and state elections. Our government at all levels is only quasi-representative. We elect a board at our church, or elect a school board, or a library board, or we answer to a team at work, and so forth. If we don't participate at some level of committee or board, our voices aren't heard. By the time of the election, it's too late. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the 2008 primaries against Barack Obama. But the popular vote didn't matter--it was number of primaries."

It seems women still need a lot of help

Several years ago I attended a meeting at church that mixed us all up so we weren't sitting with our friends.  I was at a table with a middle age father and his middle school daughter.  Making small talk I was asking her about her school subjects and interests.  Her father quickly jumped in.  She loved math and science--had been her great love from the beginning--but the way math was being taught was so confusing she dropped out of the component around 8th or 9th grade for something else (don't recall what that was).  Even back in the 80s I was helping with special summer workshops for high school girls to direct them toward STEM (through the veterinary and agriculture departments at OSU). It was hard to get their attention as they fussed with their hair and make up and squealed while in little cliches.

If you read her advice carefully, it is to treat women in STEM differently so that you can pour them into the pipeline so they don't leave by the time they are ready for the top positions. 
"I think that every individual brings a different perspective to the table. It doesn't matter whether it's men or women. The more diverse group you have at the table, the more diverse the perspectives and the viewpoints, and that really helps one build solutions and products that reach a broader group. You're able to build a product that's more connected to the real world, because the real world is very diverse. Your organization and your team have to look as diverse as the real world."
". . . Most tech companies don't have a gender-diverse leadership. Even if we increase the pipeline, we lose a lot of women when they reach a certain stage in their career, due to a number of reasons. Companies need to look deeply within their culture to understand why that happens, and provide the mechanisms needed to retain and grow a diverse leadership team.
Women deal with life events differently, and most organizations don't provide the support they need to deal with life events and keep growing in their careers. There should be a way to get them back and engaged in the workforce."
On the one hand she wants diversity and different perspectives, on the other hand she says gender doesn't matter.  Which is it? A diverse team in which women have been taught since toddlerhood that their biology doesn't matter?  You can cut it off, rebuild a vagina, pump in some hormones, and you'll have a woman created from a man--who will wear a wig and lots of make-up and pretend to be a victim?


Thursday, February 23, 2017

College aid

I think I've found the cause of the college cost bubble: the parental financials. Required until student is 26. I heard Patrick Madrid (radio talk show) discussing the work that goes into that and couldn't believe it. He has 11 children, so I figured he would know, but I looked it up anyway. If they can infantilize college students until they are 26 making mom and dad responsible, why not charge anything they want and call the balance "financial aid?" 
Very different than "my day." I got married before my senior year in college and when Dad gave me away on that lovely September day, he also said I was someone else's responsibility. Oddly enough, the University of Illinois also decided I was an Indiana resident, because my husband was paying out of state tuition. We got that tuition problem reversed on appeal, but when I decided on graduate school, I had to borrow it from dad and pay it back. I think I even paid interest.