Thursday, February 27, 2020

Joan’s new great grandchild, guest blogger

“Our granddaughter is a few weeks pregnant - still in the first trimester. She had tests this week that tell doctors what gender that baby is, whether he/she has any abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, etc., and whether the developing body parts are developing normally. His/her gender is part of the basic structure of this little human being. Nobody is “assigning” a gender or forecasting his/her humanity. The doctor doesn’t say, “The clump of cells that might be his head is forming normally.” They say, “The baby’s head is normal size and shape.” This baby IS already who he/she is. Just sayin’ “

Let’s put Coronavirus in perspective

“Approximately one in four U.S. residents aged ≥65 years (older adults) report falling each year, and fall-related emergency department visits are estimated at approximately 3 million per year. In 2016, a total of 29,668 U.S. residents aged ≥65 years died as the result of a fall (age-adjusted rate = 61.6 per 100,000), compared with 18,334 deaths (47.0) in 2007.”  Imagine if that were a virus. The media are stoking a pandemic, and saying Trump isn’t doing enough, when he’s done a lot about a job that isn’t is.  However, I’ve never heard him comment on falls.  CDC MMWR

“In the U.S. alone, the flu has already caused an estimated 19 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).” Scientific American

Have you heard the president admonishing people to wash their hands and covering their sneezes? Has he appointed an influenza czar? Or a Fall General?

On March 15-20, 2009,  about 170 of us from the Columbus area returned from the Middle East. About 20 of us got sick on the way home. Some got sick after arriving home--some 2 or 3 days later with fever, aches and chills. It took about 4 weeks for my GI track to return to normal, although I didn't go to the hospital. Still I was lying on the floor of the airport for several hours, and someone had to get me to the front of the line at customs. I'm just thankful it wasn't during this scare.

Thousands of unvaccinated cross our borders—Democrats don’t care

The Democrats are trying to make the Coronavirus about Trump, yet they don’t care a bit about the thousands of unvaccinated illegal aliens coming into the country.  Why is that?  Both become Trump issues, and they desperately need that chaos and anxiety. Illegal aliens from OTM (other than Mexico) also use that route.  They come from Asia, the Middle East, India, South America, etc., so when the virus comes in with them, will they blame Trump?  Of course.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The crazy candidates, pandering, lying, bluffing and bullying

So Bernie Sanders wants to legalize drugs and fund  the black community to sell them legally. He lauds Cuba for have a literacy program, but doesn’t mention they have nothing to read that isn’t controlled by the government.

Joe Biden believes 150,000,000 Americans have been killed by guns in the last 13 years—half the population. He also said he was running to be Senator.

Mike Bloomberg says stop and frisk saved millions of lives, but he’s sorry now he was for it before he was against it. He has no core values or programs to propose except confiscate guns.

Elizabeth Warren seems to have nothing to say except loud and shrill.

Pete Buttigeig has no claim to fame except a male husband. How does that help him carry out his socialist ideas?  His father was a Communist—and although not all men follow dad’s lead, he seems to.

And the bluffing on education?  These people don’t even know the federal Bureau of Labor figures.  The AVERAGE hourly rate for teachers is $67.00/hour.  And most states are already above the salary Saunders was saying would make a difference.

Universal pre-school?  Trillions spent from that War on Poverty Head Start program of the LBJ era, and it has not made a whiff of difference except to employ some of the parents and provide better nutrition, and it was not intended to be a jobs program.  Since it turned 50 a few years ago, I’m not sure there has been another definitive study—it was so dismal then.

It was Clinton, not Trump

In 1996, President Clinton signed a law giving the government the power to deny visas to would-be immigrants who cannot support themselves, but it has not been widely enforced. February 25, 2020  Sharyl Attkisson

“The White House on Monday hailed the court's move as a "massive win for American taxpayers, American workers, and the American Constitution."

"This decision allows the Government to implement regulations effectuating longstanding Federal law that newcomers to this country must be financially self-sufficient and not a 'public charge' on our country and its citizens," said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham in a statement.”

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent

This morning at 6:30 I’ll go to our Lytham Road campus of UALC for the imposition of ashes.  Merriam-Webster explains:


Lent traces back to Old English with the meaning of "springtime." In the Christian church, the word refers to a period of spiritual preparation for Easter, a feast that commemorates Jesus' resurrection. In Western churches, it begins on Ash Wednesday, six and one half weeks before Easter, and is, traditionally, a time of penance and of a 40-day fast (excluding Sundays); the duration of the fast is patterned on Jesus' praying and fasting in the wilderness (or desert). In Eastern churches, it begins eight weeks before Easter, and both Saturdays and Sundays are excluded as fast days.

In addition to penance and fasting, the devout often choose to give up certain pleasures, such as sweets or weekend binge-watching, as a way of remembering the suffering of Jesus. If you see that forgoing something is beginning to put a person in a bad mood, find or make them a Jack-a-Lent (originally, a Jack of Lent), a stuffed puppet traditionally set up as a target to be pelted for fun during Lent and destroyed on Easter Day. It might be a good diversion.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Pronouns are not protected by the Constitution!

A Christian professor who sued his employer has lost—calling a trans person by their actual correct pronoun can get you fired.

“I encourage my students to express their political and religious views, and professors should have the same freedom,” Meriwether said in a statement sent out from ADF.

“But the University insisted that I endorse an ideology I do not believe is true. This is simply wrong. True tolerance must be a two-way street. Now the district court suggests that professors have no free speech rights, which should trouble us all. Public universities have no business compelling people to express ideological beliefs that they do not hold. But the court’s decision opens the door for them to shift from being a marketplace of ideas to an assembly line for one type of thought.”

Rolling in the deep is 9 years old? 2011?

When I was a teen, we had to go to the furniture store to buy records.  Listening to a popular song that was 9 years old would have meant—well something from the mid-40s I couldn’t relate to, so I was surprised to see that Rolling in the Deep, 2011, Adelle, was from 2011, and that I actually knew some of these titles of Best of the 2010’s.

And who could forget Happy, 2014,  Pharrell Williams.  It seemed to be everywhere.  And you really did feel happy after listening to it. Terrific video with great cameos.

Uptown Funk, 2015, Bruno Mars.  Yes, I remember this one. It was a great song, and I’m not sure how I heard it—maybe bumper music on the Fox channel?

I don’t remember Love Yourself, 2016, Justin Bieber, although I seem to remember the line about my mom doesn’t like you and she likes everyone. But what a great video—fantastic choreography.

The Shape of You, 2017, Ed Sheeran, I remember from when the Lifetime Fitness played videos—on and on and on and on.  That one seemed to be on all the time when I joined in 2018.

So I did know a few from this real live Dairy Queen’s blog.

Is Coronavirus hype by the media?”

“So far, the new coronavirus, dubbed 2019-nCoV, has led to more than 20,000 illnesses and 427 deaths in China, as well as more than 200 illnesses and two deaths outside of mainland China. But that’s nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has already caused an estimated 19 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Scientific American, January 27, 2020

Rush Limbaugh opined today that the media are looking for the next “bombshell” to bring down President Trump.  If it has to be a panic over a virus or an economic recession, so be it—they hate him that much. In India, the President said the U.S. had the situation well in hand, but we are vigilant.  The media responded predictably—well, he lies so maybe he is lying again. One opinion-maker observed that Obama during the Ebola crisis had taken a world view.  Trump does not see himself has world manager or king.  Maybe Obama did.

That said, the media need to do some research on the old fashioned, annual flu which changes and evolves each year. They never say much about it because it’s many the elderly and immune compromised.   I got my flu shot, did you?

And some media wonk complained that Trump’s gathering of coronavirus medical experts wasn’t diverse enough.  I think it was CNN, which has if photos don’t lie, an all white editorial board.

Telemarketers and charities—follow the money—it goes to the telemarketer

This article by OSU professor Brian Mittendorf can help you sort your way through the good, bad and ugly, mostly ugly, of those phone solicitations you receive for worthy causes.  Police.  Abused animals. Women’s needs. Veterans. Cancer.  CAUTION!  Two problems:

“One is legal: State and federal authorities have a limited ability to regulate charities and their fundraisers.

The other is cultural: Charities fight new regulations, arguing that they can police themselves. Yet, they are reluctant to call out their peers who abuse the public trust.”

Charities are making things worse by not policing themselves and by becoming dependent—I guess they figure 10% of the take is better than nothing.

You the donor can police what you do.  I try to know the organization and donate directly.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Parts sold from born alive babies

From a September 23, 2019 article:

“Forrest Smith, an obstetrician-gynecologist who performed abortions in California, testified not only that Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics were selling aborted baby parts for profit, but babies were often born alive, then murdered, in order to ensure the organs to be sold were more fresh and intact.

Smith, who said he had done at least 50,000 abortions, testified that based on what he saw in the videos and what he knows about the abortion industry, he believes doctors performed abortion procedures so that babies would be born alive, even though it puts the mother at greater risk. “

Michael Bloomberg—Capitalist or Leftist—Woke Capitalism by Michael Rechtenwald

“Notice that the Democrats haven't cancelled Michael Bloomberg. If he were other than a Democrat, he'd be finished. But the Democrats have no problem with their own oligarchs, misogynists, sex offenders, tyrants, or fascists. Only those of the *other* side are a problem. And ironically, they overlook the fact that the majority of offenders are on their own team. There are exceptions of course to this overlooking (e.g. for sex offenders there's Harvey Weinstein), but they tend to keep them as well hidden as possible. Being a leftist covers a multitude of sins.

Bloomberg is a leftist all right--a leftist with money. He's the authoritarian leftist personified, the leftist with power that all leftists aspire to be even while disclaiming power and pretending to be underdogs because leftism tells its adherents that they must be underdogs no matter what, no matter whether their ideology is ascendant or not (and it is). That is because leftism demands constant querulousness and a perpetual sense of disadvantage in order to function--except in the case of the corporate leftist, like Mike Bloomberg, or King Camp Gillette before him, who have the power to redress their immediate complaints--for the time being, that is, until they find new ones. But all leftism must tell the leftists that they and their ideas and objectives are marginalized, outcast, disadvantaged, even as the likes of Mike Bloomberg dictates whether and how much sugary soft drinks people are allowed to buy at once, whether they can own a gun (they can't), or how much free speech is too much. Bloomberg is Lenin-Stalin-Mao on estrogen. Bloomberg is the core of leftism. Bloomberg is leftism's authoritarian core authorized, paid for, empowered, revealed.

Once in power, leftists are tyrants, and the worst kind of tyrants. Tyrants with a firm belief in their moral superiority.”

Michael Rechtenwald’s speech at Baylor University, February 21, 2020 on Corporate socialism and Woke capitalism.

Remember the Gillette “woke” ad about dad teaching daughter to shave? King Camp Gillette, says Rechtenwald, was one of the first corporate socialists and the ad is a return to the founder’s roots. He didn’t believe in competition—thought at its root was selfishness. Destruction of the biological distinction between men and women is part of the woke movement—destruction of the family which is in competition with the government. Gillette published books on world socialism. World corporation and The Human Drift are 2 of his titles.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Diversity used to mean people; now it means loyalty oaths and group think

“Universities started with a desire to hire African Americans, women, and other groups, to address the sadly small numbers of these on their faculties. Racial and gender discrimination being illegal, this was soon labeled a "diversity" effort. But for a long time "diversity" meant only who you hire, not their politics.

The "diversity statement" is a new effort, in which every potential faculty member must pledge their personal loyalty to the diversity movement, and pledge future activity.  They also must describe their personal experiences advancing "diversity." And they must not mention ideological or other diversity.”

This means a gay man might be denied a job if he’s a conservative; or a black woman who believes in traditional marriage might not be promoted; or a Hispanic who thinks a transwoman should not be wrestling on the women’s team could be overlooked for that coaching job.

It’s true—Princeton University offers counseling for climate activists who are anxious

“No, it's not a joke, or the Babylon Bee, it's a real website at a real top university, which a number of readers of this blog have probably graduated from or donate money to.

Dialogue Circle: Navigating the Climate Crisis
The climate crisis has been impactful and many have turned to activism and supporting environmental justice movements. This is very meaningful work and can also create a sense of despair, burnout, anger, hopelessness, and other distressing emotions. CPS counselors will help to facilitate a conversation and create a supportive space to process such experiences. 
Mindfulness and Eco-Anxiety
Eco-anxiety is the fear we feel (sometimes acutely, sometimes as an underlying dread) about the climate crisis. Join in a discussion of how you experience eco-anxiety, and how mindfulness can help us respond to it. We’ll discuss managing worry loops, staying compassionate with difficult feelings and purpose-based coping, as well as practice a mindfulness meditation. 
Forest Therapy

Forest therapy provides a chance to connect, slow down, and cope with the stressors of life, including eco-distress and other emotional experiences related to the climate crisis.”

The Warren Gap fallacy—or how she promotes envy and sows discord

For Example:

There are three married couples; all named The Bruces. White, 8th generation, college educated Americans.   Bruces A are 20+ years old; Bruces B are 50+ years old and Bruces C are 65+ years old. From top to bottom, Bruces A, B, and C.

Bruces C are much wealthier than Bruces A and Bruces B. They have pensions, 403-b, 401-K, Social Security,  investments  and 2 homes. Bruces B have some savings, no investments, and 2 homes.  Bruces A have one house, no savings or investments.  There’s a wealth gap.

Bruces B have a much higher income than Bruces A and Bruces C.  There is an income gap.

Bruces A are much healthier than Bruces B and Bruces C.  There is a health gap.

Bruces A have minimal health insurance, some hospitalization coverage never used; Bruces B have great health insurance from large self insured employer—OSU; Bruces C have Medicare A & B, plus supplemental. Good, but not as great as Bruces B.  There is an insurance gap.

Bruces A take no medications at all.  Bruces B have minor conditions requiring little medication.  Bruces C have had heart, blood pressure, cancer, asthma, cholesterol problems, all treatable.  There is a health consumption gap.

Bruces A are usually employed or under employed—they are students or lower level employees; Bruces B are fully employed, or self-employed and are DINKS; Bruces C are not employed even irregularly.  There is an employment gap.

Bruces A rarely ever have a vacation or travel; Bruces B occasionally travel to visit relatives or vacation close to home; Bruces C travel to many countries and enjoy cruises, they eat out frequently, attend art events, pursue hobbies.  There is a leisure gap.

Which of the Bruces, A, B, or C, does Elizabeth Warren want to tax to "help" the other two?

Our dependence on China for prescription drugs

This was from 2018 by Sharyl Attkisson—but even more alarming today with the coronavirus.

Sharyl Attkisson: In the 1990’s, the US, Europe, and Japan manufactured 90 percent of the key ingredients from medicine and vitamins. But now China is the largest global supplier. Why the change?

Rosemary Gibson: The change is because when we started buying generic drugs, which are terrific because they can be a lot less costly than brand name drugs, we had to find a cheaper way to make them. And China was more than willing with its lower labor costs to be a place where companies could buy those key ingredients.

Sharyl Attkisson: We’re talking about antibiotics, chemotherapies antidepressants. What other kinds of things?

Rosemary Gibson: Well, now, the generic drugs that we’re buying from China and Chinese companies in China include blood pressure medicines, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, antidepressants the whole range of generic drugs now that we are importing from China.

And more. . .

Saturday, February 22, 2020

You cannot “fast” from sin!

Thinking of a Lenten fast?  This author says some suggestions are just daft! You cannot fast from pornography! It’s always bad!!

We should always avoid sins, such as cruel words, unjust anger, selfishness, and, yes, pornography!  These are not good things that we temporarily abstain from, and then offer up as a sacrifice to God as part of our fast.  These simply are bad things that always displease Our Lord and which we should always avoid doing.

The notion of giving up sins as part of our Lenten resolution confuses the very nature or purpose of fasting, which is to deprive oneself of a good for the sake of a greater good – closeness to and ultimate union with God. You simply cannot “fast” from sin. If we have fasted from hurting words or pornography during Lent, do we then take these sins back up on Easter Monday proudly saying we will give them up again next Lent?  The very notion is absurd.

Today is George Washington’s Birthday

Did God give us George Washington?  David Carlin thinks so.
Washington saved his country five times.

            1. When as general-in-chief he won the War of Independence. He may not have been a military genius; he was no Alexander or Caesar or Napoleon, not even a General Grant. But he was a Rock of Gibraltar. He won the war by refusing to lose it.  He held things together until the French arrived to tip the balance.

            2. At the end of that eight-year war, he resigned his commission – instead of, as he might have done (as Cromwell did before him and Napoleon did after him) making himself a military dictator. He was a true republican, never more so than when he renounced power.

            3. When he chaired the Philadelphia convention of 1787, which drew up a new Constitution that would transform the United States from a loose confederation of states into what Washington saw that it was capable of becoming: a unified nation and a great world power.

            4. When, though yearning to live the quiet life of a wealthy farmer, he once again abandoned private life in order twice to accept the call to be president of the new nation.

            5. When, though he might easily have been president for life, he voluntarily left the presidency in 1797, thereby emphasizing the fact that in a republic the chief executive is not a king. Like Cincinnatus of old, he went back to his farm.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Climate change—in the 14th century

“In “The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century,” William Rosen explains how Europe’s “most widespread and destructive famine” was the result of “an almost incomprehensibly complicated mixture of climate, commerce, and conflict, four centuries in gestation.” Early in that century, 10 percent of the population from the Atlantic to the Urals died, partly because of the effect of climate change on “the incredible amalgam of molecules that comprises a few inches of soil that produces the world’s food.”

In the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), from the end of the ninth century to the beginning of the 14th, the Northern Hemisphere was warmer than at any time in the past 8,000 years — for reasons concerning which there is no consensus. Warming increased the amount of arable land — there were vineyards in northern England — leading, Rosen says, to Europe’s “first sustained population increase since the fall of the Roman Empire.” The need for land on which to grow cereals drove deforestation. The MWP population explosion gave rise to towns, textile manufacturing and new wealthy classes.

Then, near the end of the MWP, came the severe winters of 1309-1312, when polar bears could walk from Greenland to Iceland on pack ice. In 1315 there was rain for perhaps 155 consecutive days, washing away topsoil. Upwards of half the arable land in much of Europe was gone; cannibalism arrived as parents ate children. Corpses hanging from gallows were devoured.

Human behavior did not cause this climate change. Instead, climate warming caused behavioral change (10 million mouths to feed became 30 million). Then climate cooling caused social changes (rebelliousness and bellicosity) that amplified the consequences of climate, a pattern repeated four centuries later.”

And in the 17th century came the little ice age.  This too was not caused by humans.  We could learn from history, but we won’t.
George Will, Washington Post, via DesMoines Register, Jan. 10, 2015

The Socialist dreams of today's Democrats are expensive

The Green New Deal.  Forgive student debt and make college free. Medicare for All. $$$$$$$$

"The bill just for the Green New Deal, forgiving $1.5 trillion in student debt, and Medicare For All tops $100 trillion. No proposal for financing the cost has passed the laugh test. Most are variations of the “make the rich pay their fair share” cliché, meaning various tax-hikes that would stop the current record-setting economic boom in its tracks. The reality is, the top 10% of earners just don’t have enough money. We could confiscate outright all the wealth of America’s 707 billionaires, $3 trillion, and still not be able even to fund the federal government’s FY 2020 budget estimate of $4.7 trillion.

Nor can those evil corporations that create jobs and wealth be tapped for more funds. The Fortune 500 wealthiest companies are worth $22.6 trillion, just about enough to cover the fed’s total debt of $22.7 trillion rising as we speak. And of course, then the economy would implode. Nor can raising the corporate tax rate generate the money socialists need to fund their proposals. After all, Trump’s reduction of corporate rates has contributed to economic growth, more jobs, higher tax revenues, and wage-gains for workers. Why would voters want to throw that all away to achieve some vague idea of “social justice”?"
These candidates all went to public school.  Did they flunk math?

No discounts for the uninsured—but insured do get discounts

The Madison Township Fire Department “provides fire, rescue, and EMS services to Madison Township which includes the Cities of Canal Winchester, Groveport and areas of Columbus, Lithopolis, Obetz and Pickerington. Our coverage area is approximately 42 square miles. It is comprised of three stations and responds to more than 7,000 runs each year.

The Department hosts an annual Open House each year in October at Station 182 on Gender Road and Station 183 on Noe-Bixby Road. This is an opportunity for the community to visit the station, see the trucks, and talk to the firefighters. We provide paramedic coverage at various sporting events for Groveport-Madison and the Canal Winchester Local School Districts each year.  On Halloween, our crews are out in the trucks greeting the children and handing out candy as part of Trick or Treat. We also participate in the July 4th and Labor Day parades. Our trucks and personnel may also be seen at various special events around our community. “

What the Madison Township Fire Department DOES NOT provide is a discounted bill for emergency squad runs for the uninsured. The October squad run to Diley Ridge Hospital, about 3-4 miles from our son’s home was over $730.  In order for Medishare to pay, they have to have a discounted bill—even $20 would count.  But the policy of this emergency service is no discounts for the uninsured. Period.  Don’t argue.

I’ve contacted them: “We are grateful that the township squad took our son to Diley Ridge after seizures October 1, 2019. We are gathering his bills for brain cancer treatment to submit for payment to Medi-share and have learned you do not offer the uninsured a discount so they can have the dignity of paying their bills. I have put this on my blog.  Do you have an explanation for this odd policy?  Any discount would make the bill eligible for payment.”

Perhaps we’ll get an explanation.

The Democrats have shown their true colors—selected paragraphs

Don’t ever get on Melissa Mackenzie’s bad side—she can sling word porn.

“Finally, Americans are getting an earful of what Democrats believe. The worldview is paranoid and delusional, laced with toxic envy, irresponsibility, statism, and redistributionist fatalism. The world is terrible. The State will save you. Rich people are evil, and we must take their money. Life is hopeless, so murdering babies is actually what’s good for them.” . . .

“Joe Biden has a spot at Obama’s right hand. But he’ll never outshine Obama. He’s easily paid off. He’s a mumbling aw-shucks buffoon covering a vicious soul. He’s the perfect lackey. Lackeys don’t make good alphas. They succeed precisely because they can never be more than second fiddle; they don’t have the sociopathic malice to be in charge. And that’s why Biden is crumbling now. He’s the only likable candidate, but he’s stumbling and fumbling under pressure. He doesn’t have the heart for the kill shot like Elizabeth Warren or his BFF Barack. Joe Biden is finished. He just looks old. And yes, he would still fare best against Trump, but the foaming-at-the-mouth hordes will have none of it.” . . .

“[Elizabeth Warren] savaged Michael Bloomberg by comparing him unfavorably to Trump. This was like meth for the caffeine-addicted, a pure shot of speed into the veins of the media, who loves her. Bitter about their inability to push Hillary’s carcass over the line, the media has decided that a more energetic, more enthusiastic psychopath is the answer. She is a woman. It’s her time. Except it’s not her time. She’s stolen her policy positions from Bernie and doesn’t feel real to the teeth-baring Antifa thugs making up the Bernie, and now the Democrat, base. Elizabeth Warren of all the candidates is the one who genuinely scares me. It’s a relief to know that she won’t be the nominee.” . . .

“Bernie was mid-word and his face was a rosacea mask of murderous rage. Gah! One can stop the TV at any time with him and the expression is always the same. Why? Because communists are very, very angry people. Never mind that Bernie got rich being a “public servant.” Never mind that America is in the throes of an economic boom. None of that matters. The world is unfair. There shouldn’t be rich people.”

The two parties and their campaigns—so different

“Democrats still love to see themselves as representing the little guy against the big corporations. But in this century, their presidential nominees have outraised and outspent their Republican opponents, and they’ve been running ahead of Republicans in the highest income groups.

Yet as Democratic pols and pundits search for someone to stop Bernie Sanders, whom do they alight on? Not Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, whose support has been visibly waning. Probably not on Pete Buttigieg, who’s struggling to win any perceptible support from blacks, or Amy Klobuchar, whose support seems confined to white college grads.

Instead they’re looking to Michael Bloomberg, with his $56 billion fortune. Over the past several weeks, he has passed some $400 million in campaign expenditures — the same amount former President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign spent over two years.”

What does Amazon know about you?

BBC News article includes extensive history, narrative, graphics, photos and insight into how and why Amazon collects massive amounts of data Amazon on users through multiple channels of e-commerce and devices – by Leo Kelion –

“You might call me an Amazon super-user. I’ve been a customer since 1999, and rely on it for everything from grass seed to birthday gifts. There are Echo speakers dotted throughout my home, Ring cameras inside and out, a Fire TV set-top box in the living room and an ageing Kindle e-reader by my bedside. I submitted a data subject access request, asking Amazon to disclose everything it knows about me Scanning through the hundreds of files I received in response, the level of detail is, in some cases, mind-bending. One database contains transcriptions of all 31,082 interactions my family has had with the virtual assistant Alexa. Audio clips of the recordings are also provided. The 48 requests to play Let It Go, flag my daughter’s infatuation with Disney’s Frozen. Other late-night music requests to the bedroom Echo, might provide a clue to a more adult activity…” . . .

That’s the introduction to a difficult to read, white on charcoal scrolling screen.  It’s a very scary universe.

“We find ourselves being shot backward into a kind of feudal pattern where it was an elite, a priesthood, that had all the knowledge and all the rest of the people just kind of groped around in the dark,” says Shoshana Zuboff, a Harvard professor and author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.”

Trump job approval higher than Obama’s

at same time in presidency.

According to Gallup, President Trump’s February 2020 job approval is at 49%. That’s 4 percentage points higher than when he took office. President Obama’s job approval was 45% in February 2012, toward the beginning his fourth year in office.

I think I know where this is going. . . a photo contest

“As engines of economic growth, markets extend the frontiers of human well-being; as sites of innovation, they expand the boundaries of human imagination; as a non-coercive means of coordinating behavior, they diminish the threat of tyranny. However, markets can also concentrate economic power in a way that limits individual opportunity, stifles innovation, and distorts public discourse. The need to respond to market incentives can distort relationships, dissolve communities, and harm the natural environment. The extension of markets into education, health care, and criminal justice threatens to undermine the distinct aims that those institutions were designed to promote. How do markets promote or hinder human well-being? What is the relationship between economic freedom and other freedoms? What are the proper limits of markets? What, if anything, should not be for sale?”

Pretty sure capitalism will be bashed in this photo contest promoted by Center for Ethics and Human Values at Ohio State University.  The solutions will be, of course, more government control. . . because markets

  • concentrate economic power
  • limit individual opportunity
  • stifle innovation
  • distort public discourse
  • distort relationships
  • dissolve communities
  • harm the natural environment
  • undermine distinct aims of institutions
  • hinder human well-being
  • proper limits

Lakeside will have a new food service

This article about the new food service appeared in the Lake Erie Living Magazine. Stacy has taught a number of classes at Lakeside and we've enjoyed her pay it forward food restaurant in Port Clinton.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

1960 was a long time ago

“The Democrats’ candidate [JFK] in 1960 headlined freedom as the issue defining his campaign. Sixty years later, Democrats are moving down the road to nominating a socialist, pushing freedom as an American ideal out of the picture.”

“It is a generation [18-29] to whom much has been given and from whom little is expected.

When Kennedy ran for president in 1960, America’s youth still faced a military draft. In 1960, 72% of Americans over 18 were married, compared with 50% today.

According to Pew, 78% of those ages 18 to 29 say it is acceptable for an unmarried couple to live together, even if they don’t intend to get married.

From 2009 to 2019, there was a drop of 16% among those ages 23 to 39 who identify as Christian and an increase of 13% of those self-identifying as religiously unaffiliated.”

Democrat youth believe socialism is their future. They are the direction of the Democrat Party.  Get out while you still can.

My visit with the GE washer repairman

My 18 year old Maytag started making death rattle noises, so on February 4 I went to Lowe's and bought a new GE washer.  It was delivered and installed on February 5, and by the 5th load on the 13th it began leaking.  Because of Phil's illness and hospitalization on the 15th, I didn't get a call into repair until yesterday thinking I had a day before Phil's release.  The repairman came this morning.  He quickly figured out the problem (which I had guessed): the drain hose was not properly connected.  In fact, he told me I was lucky it hadn't flooded the whole basement, since it could easily have come off, instead of just leaking.  So he fixed it.

But.  He was so happy to have a live audience (me), he gave me all the information he learned in washing machine school.  I felt like I'd been to a workshop about saving water and the environment, getting clothes cleaner with a second rinse, and the best time to put in the soap.  He also assured me about all the new noises this model has.

Last night's debate--anything electable?

The United States of America began in 1776, not 1619

The New York Times has been perpetrating a fraud.

“Gordon Wood, one of the USA’s leading historians of the Revolutionary War, has been sharply critical of 1619’s best known essay (“America Wasn’t a Democracy Until Black Americans Made It One,” by Nikole Hannah-Jones), dismissing Hannah-Jones’s claim that the USA seceded from Britain primarily to protect the institution of slavery as factually inaccurate.
Wood points out that attributing American secession to a desire to protect slavery—rather than (say) taxation without representation, conflicts over French and Indian war debt, or tense armed exchanges like the “Boston Massacre”—“makes the Revolution out to be like the Civil War,” which is “wrong in so many ways.” The eminent historian seems bemused and angered by the decision of the Times to support an arguably questionable scholarly project, saying: “I was surprised by the scope of this thing, [since] it’s going to become the basis for high school education, and has the weight of the New York Times behind it.” Given that the generally reputable Pulitzer Center is already offering a “1619 Project Curriculum” targeted at “all grades,” Dr. Wood’s words of warning ring true.

Similarly, John Oakes, Distinguished Professor of History and Graduate School Humanities Professor at the City University of New York, has been extremely critical of the 1619 Project’s claim that “anti-Black racism runs in the very DNA of this country,” and the project’s explicit attempt to link many Black problems of today (i.e. “mass incarceration”) to historical slavery. As Oakes notes, this is an almost ahistorical view. To people who believe it: “There has been no industrialization. There has been no Great Migration. We’re all in the same boat we were back then.”

Update: The 1776 website is so good, I've already written them a fan letter.

Bomb attacks are now common in Sweden

If Trump is a racist for calling out immigrant related crime, why is it the highest in Sweden?

In 2019, there were over 230 bombings in Sweden—more than in any other Western country.  Explosions have become normalized.  No other western country is experiencing this. Gang crime is also increasing--nine out of ten perpetrators of Sweden’s gang shootings are either first- or second-generation immigrants. The country has gone from having among the lowest rates of violent crime in western Europe to one of the highest.   Ten years ago this was unheard of.  And sentences for violent crime are very lenient—the kidnapping and violent rape of a child might get a man 4 years.
Swedish leaders are not responding to the crime/assimilation problem.  Patriotism or nationalism are considered dirty words by the leftist governments. Citizens are being told--don't believe your eyes and ears.  Sound familiar?

No go zones are very real in Sweden.  Emergency and transportation and mail services need police escorts before going into certain areas. Sweden is deeply segregated; clan governments predominate in these segregated areas. Governments will not discuss for fear of being called racist.  Sound familiar?

Interview by First Things of Paulina Neuding

Dark chocolate cherry trail mix

Dark chocolate is good for you.

Cacao vs. cocoa

Coffee vs. Chocolate
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup pepitas or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place nuts and seeds on a baking sheet and toast 5-10 minutes, until they smell fragrant.
  • Combine all ingredients, minus the chocolate, in a large bowl.
  • Mix well and add chocolate once the nuts have cooled enough.
  • Portion into 1/4 cup portions and store in an airtight container.
Download a printable version of this recipe here.

Serving Size:

Makes approximately 16 (1/4 cup) servings

Nutritional Information:

  • 155 calories
  • 11g fat
  • 2g sat fat
  • 0g trans fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 58mg sodium
  • 12g carb
  • 3g fiber
  • 6g sugar
  • 4g protein

Astrocytomas—American Cancer Society

There are many types of brain tumors.

Glioma is a general term for tumors that start in glial cells. A number of tumors can be considered gliomas, including:

  • Astrocytomas (which include glioblastomas)
  • Oligodendrogliomas
  • Ependymomas

About 3 out of 10 of all brain tumors are gliomas. Most fast-growing brain tumors are gliomas.

Astrocytomas are tumors that start in glial cells called astrocytes. About 2 out of 10 brain tumors are astrocytomas.

Most astrocytomas can spread widely throughout the brain and blend with the normal brain tissue, which can make them very hard to remove with surgery. Sometimes they spread along the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pathways. It is very rare for them to spread outside of the brain or spinal cord.

Astrocytomas (like other brain tumors) are classified into 4 grades.

  • Non-infiltrating (grade I) astrocytomas do not usually grow into nearby tissues and tend to have a good prognosis. These include pilocytic astrocytomas and subependymal giant cell astrocytomas (SEGAs). They are more common in children than in adults.
  • Low-grade (grade II) astrocytomas, such as diffuse astrocytomas, tend to be slow growing, but they can grow into nearby areas and can become more aggressive and fast growing over time.
  • Anaplastic (grade III) astrocytomas grow more quickly.
  • Glioblastomas (grade IV) are the fastest growing. These tumors make up more than half of all gliomas and are the most common malignant brain tumors in adults.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

New discoveries in human body--I always smile at this

I love science articles. Particularly those of "new thinking," or "new discoveries." And then eventually, evolution and not God is credited.

"The brain’s drain
The lymphatic system, a body-wide network of vessels that drains fluids and removes waste from tissues and organs, was long-believed to be absent from the brain. Early reports of lymphatic vessels in the meninges, the membrane coating the brain, date as far back as the 18th century—but these findings were met with skepticism. Only recently has this view been overturned, after a 2015 report of lymphatic vessels in mouse meninges and the 2012 discovery of the so-called glymphatic system, an interconnected network of glial cells that facilitates the circulation of fluid throughout mouse brains. In 2017, neuroimaging work revealed evidence for such lymphatic vessels in human meninges.

Fluid-filled spaces
In 2018, researchers reported that the space between cells was a collagen-lined, fluid-filled network, which they dubbed the interstitium. They proposed that this finding, which emerged from close examinations of tissue from patients’ bile ducts, bladders, digestive tracts, and skin, may help scientists better understand how tumors spread through the body. The team also called the interstitium a newly-discovered organ, but many dismissed this claim. “Most biologists would be reticent to put the moniker of an ‘organ’ on microscopic uneven spaces between tissues that contain fluid,” Anirban Maitra, a pathologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Center, told The Scientist last year. . .

The fabella makes a comeback

The fabella, a tiny bone located in a tendon behind the knee, is becoming more common in humans, according to a study published last spring. After reviewing 58 studies on fabella prevalence in 27 different countries, researchers reported that people were approximately 3.5 times more likely to have the little bone in 2018 than 1918. The cause of this trend remains an open question, but the authors suggest that changes in muscle mass and bone length—driven by increased diet quality in many parts of the world—could be one explanation."

Imagine that. Diet changes and bone appears.

Ann & Phelim Scoop #30: Cancel Culture On Campus, . . .

Ann and Phelim have a podcast on current topics, and they make films and theater productions using actual news stories or trial records. I supported their film on Dr. Gosnell, the abortion doctor.

“On this week’s episode of The Ann & Phelim Scoop, we recap our recent interview with Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, the psychologist and memory expert who served as an expert witness for the Defense in the Harvey Weinstein trial. Dr. Loftus discussed her work as well as NYU’s cancellation of her scheduled campus lecture - likely in response to her work with the Weinstein team. “

Dr. Loftus Interview 1:33 Hillary Clinton segment 8:13 NYU segment 11:25 FBI Lovebirds at CPAC 13:55 Mark Steyn Dinner 18:00 Fracking Ban 20:15 Cats 27:20

“Loftus, a distinguished professor at UC Irvine, has appeared as an expert witness in more than 300 trials and has testified in a number of high-profile sexual misconduct and murder cases, including those of O.J. Simpson, Ted Bundy and the officers accused in the Rodney King beating. She also consulted in the trials of Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby.

She has routinely testified that memories can be transformed and contaminated — and, in some cases, altogether false.”

Coronavirus is novel, but the old fashioned is bad, too

While coronaviruses aren’t new, this particular one (known as 2019-nCoV) is. “We’ve seen coronavirus before, but this is a new version,” Gonsenhauser says. “So any time there’s something new people automatically go to Ebola and the zombie apocalypse, thinking that it’s untreatable and deadly. That’s not what we’re seeing. It’s certainly spreading more rapidly than SARS did, but it’s not more dangerous than other viral strains.”

As U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stated in a Jan. 28 press briefing: "This is a very fast moving, constantly changing situation,” adding, “but, at this point, Americans should not worry for their own safety."

We’ve been sitting in a hospital for 5 days and observing a lot of sick people with relatives and friends coming and going.  Face masks, tissues, gloves, hand sanitizers and signs in Chinese seem to be everywhere.  Still, I see a lot of medical personnel ungloved, perhaps an allergy to the latex?

I’ve been out of the news loop for some time, but I think I heard on a radio news show that 750,000,000 Chinese have been quarantined.  I can’t even imagine that—twice the population of the USA and they are restricted in movement?  I keep wondering—who gets out to repair things that break down?  Who is stocking the stores? Who is doing the transport?

This account, assembling stories from various sources, sounds quite draconian.  Even stories of people be welded inside their apartments. Have no idea if it is authoritative of just click bait.

Monday, February 17, 2020

I’ve learned to spell abscess

One of my cardinal rules is don't post about family without permission, but I'm claiming James 1:5, asking for wisdom and in faith receiving it. Our son Phil is in ICU so I'm crowd sourcing prayers for this setback from those who know him and us. Even if you're a total stranger--that's OK. This has nothing to do with his brain cancer, but has resulted from an infected tooth, which created an abscess, swelling and closed his airways. We took him to the ER (local small hospital near his home) on Saturday afternoon and after testing and waiting for a room, he was transferred to St. Ann's in Westerville late in the evening. Sunday morning the hospital chaplain called about 5 a.m. to say he'd been intubated so the four of us went right out. We were with him most of the day, and by late afternoon it looked like the antibiotics were kicking in and he was trying to kick butt for all the indignities of tubes, machines, beeping, noise, mother hover, etc. So that's a good sign. Don't mess with Phil. He can't talk right now, but he can say a lot with a thumbs up or an eye roll every mom knows. As soon as he is strong enough, there will be surgery.

The pastors from his church have visited and had prayers with all of us, and Pastor John said they played his favorites in church where he’s in the praise band.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The truncated Daniel—what a loss for Protestants

This morning in my devotions I was reading the Prayer of Azariah in the book of Daniel.  It is so lovely.  What a shame that Protestants don’t know it except in excerpts of songs and liturgy.  It’s beautiful passage and devotion to read when in the furnace of fire of suffering.

The Orthodox Wiki explains how it is interpreted and used by Orthodox Christians: “The song constitutes a hymn of thanksgiving to God for deliverence from the fiery furnace into which the three young men, Ananias, Azarias and Misael (also known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) had been cast by the Persian king Nebuchadnezzar. They were cast into the furnace for refusing to worship a golden idol that Nebuchadnezzar had created. However, an Angel of the Lord entered the furnace and protected the three young men. In liturgical practice, the event is seen to presage the Resurrection of Christ, thus its inclusion in the canon.”

The note in the Roman Catholic Bible reads: * [3:2490] These verses are additions to the Aramaic text of Daniel, translated from the Greek form of the book. They were probably first composed in Hebrew or Aramaic, but are no longer extant in the original language. The Roman Catholic Church has always regarded them as part of the canonical Scriptures.

Prayer of Azariah.* 24 They walked about in the flames, singing to God and blessing the Lord. 25 Azariah* stood up in the midst of the fire and prayed aloud:

26 “Blessed are you, and praiseworthy,

O Lord, the God of our ancestors,

and glorious forever is your name.

27 For you are just in all you have done;

all your deeds are faultless, all your ways right,

and all your judgments proper.

28 You have executed proper judgments

in all that you have brought upon us

and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our ancestors.

By a proper judgment you have done all this

because of our sins;

29 For we have sinned and transgressed

by departing from you,

and we have done every kind of evil.

30 Your commandments we have not heeded or observed,

nor have we done as you ordered us for our good.

31 Therefore all you have brought upon us,

all you have done to us,

you have done by a proper judgment.

32 You have handed us over to our enemies,

lawless and hateful rebels;

to an unjust king, the worst in all the world.

33 Now we cannot open our mouths;

shame and reproach have come upon us,

your servants, who revere you.

34 For your name’s sake, do not deliver us up forever,

or make void your covenant.

35 Do not take away your mercy from us,

for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,

Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,

36 To whom you promised to multiply their offspring

like the stars of heaven,

or the sand on the shore of the sea.

37 For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,

brought low everywhere in the world this day

because of our sins.

38 We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,

no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,

no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.

39 But with contrite heart and humble spirit

let us be received;

As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bulls,

or tens of thousands of fat lambs,

40 So let our sacrifice be in your presence today

and find favor before you;

for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.

41 And now we follow you with our whole heart,

we fear you and we seek your face.

Do not put us to shame,

42 but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.

43 Deliver us in accord with your wonders,

and bring glory to your name, O Lord:

44 Let all those be put to shame

who inflict evils on your servants;

Let them be shamed and powerless,

and their strength broken;

45 Let them know that you alone are the Lord God,

glorious over the whole world.”

46 Now the king’s servants who had thrown them in continued to stoke the furnace with naphtha, pitch, tow, and brush. 47The flames rose forty-nine cubits above the furnace, 48and spread out, burning the Chaldeans that it caught around the furnace. 49But the angel of the Lord went down into the furnace with Azariah and his companions, drove the fiery flames out of the furnace, 50and made the inside of the furnace as though a dew-laden breeze were blowing through it. The fire in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm. 51Then these three in the furnace with one voice sang, glorifying and blessing God:

52 “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our ancestors,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;

And blessed is your holy and glorious name,

praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.

53 Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,

praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.

54 Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

55 Blessed are you who look into the depths

from your throne upon the cherubim,

praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

56 Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,

praiseworthy and glorious forever.

57 Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord,

praise and exalt him above all forever.

58 Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord,

praise and exalt him above all forever.

59 You heavens, bless the Lord, 

praise and exalt him above all forever.a

60 All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord,

praise and exalt him above all forever.

61 All you powers, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

62 Sun and moon, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

63 Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

64 Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

65 All you winds, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

66 Fire and heat, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

67Cold and chill, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

68Dew and rain, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

69 Frost and chill, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

70 Hoarfrost and snow, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

71 Nights and days, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

72 Light and darkness, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

and clouds, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

74 Let the earth bless the Lord,

praise and exalt him above all forever.

75 Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

76 Everything growing on earth, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

77 You springs, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

and rivers, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

sea monsters and all water creatures, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

80 All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

81 All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

82 All you mortals, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

83 O Israel, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

84 Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

85 Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

86 Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

87 Holy and humble of heart, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

88 Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord;

praise and exalt him above all forever.

For he has delivered us from Sheol,

and saved us from the power of death;

He has freed us from the raging flame

and delivered us from the fire.

89 Give thanks to the Lord, who is good,

whose mercy endures forever.

90 Bless the God of gods, all you who fear the Lord;

praise and give thanks,

for his mercy endures forever.”

Deliverance from the Furnace.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

What has happened to the Democrat party?

“By ceding moral authority to the far left, the Democrats have lost the power to counter bizarre proposals with simple common sense. When a freshman congresswoman proposes a wildly improbable Green New Deal, instead of responding as Democrats of an earlier day would have—“Whaddya, kiddin’ me?”—they now take it seriously and several adopt it. When two other freshman Democrats make anti-Semitic pronouncements, no one in a party overwhelmingly the choice of Jewish voters has the authority to tell them to knock it off. When Democratic presidential candidates propose to provide free health care for all, or eliminate college tuition and college debt, or enlarge and pack the Supreme Court, or eliminate the Electoral College, all this is taken in earnest. And the Democratic Party is being held hostage to identity politics, so that no national ticket can ever again be without a black or female candidate.”

Joseph Epstein, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 11, 2020

Kidney Cancer organization honors Ann Hull

Today we are honoring our friend Ann Burkhart Hull, who passed away on Saturday evening after a courageous battle with aggressive kidney cancer. All of us at KidneyCAN send our sincere condolences to Ann's husband Jason and their three children: Ellie, Amy, and Joey.

Ann was a truly special member of our community. We remember her positive spirit and sweet disposition in the face of daunting treatments. She was active in the online SmartPatients group and was known for her kindness and support of other patients as they navigated their own diagnoses and treatments. Ann was an inspiring voice for all of us at our DC Advocacy Days, where she and Jason spoke to congressional representatives about the need for kidney cancer research funding.

Brenda Knapp, KidneyCAN Treasurer and co-founder, writes, “From the first time that I met Ann at a Rock the Cure fundraiser in Virginia Beach, I could see she was a fighter and wanted to make an impact on kidney cancer. I was always impressed by her positive, can-do attitude and her wonderful smile.”

Ann faced her battle with grace. In a recent Facebook post from the hospital, she encouraged us to “Take a minute today to enjoy your view from wherever you may be!” Today, for Ann, we will try to do just that.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Vindman twins + 70

For those of you rending your clothes over the job transfers of the Vindman brothers--remember Obama may have planted them when he increased the size of the National Security Council staff (not the Council itself). The staff is there for the president, and one of them tried to take over his job responsibilities. We didn’t elect him; foreign policy is the job of the President, not his NSC staff.  So now about 70 of them have been relocated (I would have preferred fired), and the staff is closer to normal size. You've been screaming over growing debt--this would be a great place to start cutting.

At the fitness center

I met a wonderful guy at the gym this morning. Kind, articulate, interesting, athletic and it turns out he was at St. Ann's hospital in the OR when our son had his surgery last October. Small world. The only draw back was we talked for such a long time I peddled for over seven miles instead of my 4 or 5 and now can hardly walk.

Easy cheesy potato gratin

She recommends a strong cheese and real cream.  Read the full directions at the link.  Sounds yummy. 

8-12 servings, can pair with ham or bacon


  • 5-6 large russet potatoes

  • 1 large onion

  • 2c heavy cream

  • 2Tbs butter, softened

  • 2c Gruyere or other strong cheese, shredded

  • Optional- ham, cooked Bacon, or other meat

  • 1tsp Dried thyme,

  • 1tsp Dried rosemary

  • 1Tbs minced garlic

  • Salt and Pepper

  • Directions

    • Scrub your potatoes. This dish can be made with skins left on, but you’re welcome to peel them if you like.
    • Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes very thin. Not able to see through them thin, but close.
    • Slice your onion in long thin strips.
    • Place potatoes, onion and garlic in a pot and cover with water. Bring pot to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
    • Use butter to grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 pan.
    • Put slices of potato in a single layer in the bottom of the pan and along the sides.
    • Going in layers, add onion and optional meat then sprinkle with cheese until you’ve used up all your potato slices. Top with remaining cheese.
    • In a small pan, heat cream on medium heat and whisk in seasonings. Stirring regularly let cream thicken slightly, about 10 minutes.
    • Pour cream over the top of the potatoes.
    • If you are freezing this for later, wrap pan in plastic wrap and place in freezer.
    • Otherwise, place uncovered pan in oven heated to 400 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Then turn oven to broil for 5 minutes or until cheese on top is brown.
    • Let potatoes sit after removing from oven for 20 minutes before serving.
    • If you freeze this for later, allow the potatoes to thaw completely before following the cooking directions.

Dairy Carrie has a few words for vegan Joaquin

“When you went on to say that we are “more disconnected from the natural world” in the same breath as saying that animals are equal to humans, you lost me. In the natural world where Mother Nature reins supreme, the lion does not see the gazelle as its equal. The lion sees the gazelle as its lunch. The natural world is where predator/prey relationships and the food chain exist. Humans have been eating animal products since the first person realized that meat is tasty and according to McDonald’s, since then billions and billions of burgers have been served. “

Monday, February 10, 2020

In Mayor Pete’s little town

“Had they not been aborted, the 2,411 children whose tiny bodies will be laid to rest on Wednesday would now be in their late teens,” Scheidler said. “They’d be finishing high school, starting college, entering careers, planning for their futures. Instead, they will be buried, nameless and unknown — the only act of justice we can offer them.”

Found in a garage in South Bend, home of Mayor Pete.

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Democrats seem to love Hitler

The Democrats love to compare Trump to Hitler--they also did that with Bush in the pre-Obama days of Bush Derangement Syndrome. It's like they never heard of Lenin, Stalin and Mao. And I never saw any reasonable comparison except crowds get excited at big rallies--and they did that for Obama all over the world--even in Germany in the same places they roared for Hitler. But Michael has put it in perspective. They always look for a scapegoat for their own bad behavior.

Michael Smith: . . ."instead of blaming minorities as Hitler did, Democrats blame whites. With Hitler, if you weren't patriotic, you hated Germany - Democrats believe if you are patriotic, you are a racist. Hitler sold the idea that Germany was perfect, the world outside its borders was flawed. Democrats believe the world outside America's borders is perfect, it's America that is flawed. . .

Contemporary Democrats are postmodern fabulists - they make crap up to fit their worldview and when exposed to the facts that prove them wrong, they simply ignore them or make up another fantasy. That's the only way things make sense to them. The other day, I posted the quote from Euripides, to wit: “Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish" and it sure seems there is a lot of that going around."

A Utah voter looks at Mitt Romney, Michael Smith guest blogger

My wife and I volunteered for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games and I got the chance to meet Mitt Romney. I thought he was a genuinely nice guy - but as I look back, I can see his rescue of the Games (and make no mistake, he was a big reason things got back on track) was more about raising his profile for his injection in to politics with his run for the governorship of Massachusetts.

Romney’s impeachment vote wasn’t courageous or virtuous. To do that is casting a vote when something is on the line, either personally or professionally. Neither was the case here. There was no possibility the Democrats were going to get 67 votes to convict and Romney knew he would be lauded for his “courage” by the Democrats and NeverTrumpers, so he took the opportunity to stick it to a political enemy and go down in the history books as the only Senator in history to vote for the conviction of a president from his own party.

Romney became the answer to a Jeopardy question but that’s about all.

Totally expected.

What bothers me more is the type of character one must be possessed by to run into the loving arms of a bunch of character assassins who tried, only eight years ago, to destroy him professionally, politically and personally.

Lest we forget, Romney was attacked for things he allegedly did in high school in 1965, something that the media implied may have led to a guy becoming homosexual and then committing suicide. He was accused by Obama surrogate Stephanie Cutter of literally giving cancer to Joe Soptic’s wife and then cutting off her insurance so she would die. Obama’s first spokesliar, Jay Carney, accused Romney of creating the Benghazi scandal. Romney’s Latter Day Saints religious beliefs were trashed by every major left wing news outlet in the country. The narrative about strapping Bo the family dog to the roof of their station wagon (for the kids out there, this was what we called a SUV back in the day) was the least of what was said.

I get forgiveness – but I don’t get the forgetfulness. Forgiveness does not erase the lengths the people praising Romney in 2020 went in 2012 to erase him as a threat to Obama, and the damage they did in the process.

Something tells me that Mr. Goodhair Nice Guy will say, do or be anything necessary to sit at the lunch table with the cool kids. He just wants to be friends.

Romney isn’t principled, he’s just another Rockefeller Republican who carpetbagged his way back to national politics. Romney is our Frankenstein, my fellow Utahns. We elected him.

Romney and creatures like him are why we got Trump. He creates the stark contrast between the Vichy movement in the GOP and those in the party willing to storm the beaches of Normandy to save Western Civilization.

For that, I owe him my thanks.

Annie’s gone, but we’ll see her again

She was 48 with a husband and children and a large family of parents, brothers and sister, and many nieces and nephews. Her cancer was very advanced when they found it, but she battled far longer than anyone expected.  I’m sad about Annie, I haven't seen a firm confirmation, but I think she died a few hours after her brother arrived yesterday and the whole family gathered in her hospice room. I'm crying, yes, but the sadness is more for us. Our little family. Perhaps that's selfish, but I know her mother would understand.  We’ve wept together. They've had a year more than they thought was possible, and I pray we have that, too. Ann's kids are teens, and sometimes teens need their moms more than babies do who eat sleep and poop as some say. It's such a confusing time in life.

I watched my dad after his mother's funeral (he was 70) and knew then there was never a good time to be an orphan. Not 7 and not 70.  But he was 83 when his sister (my aunt Marion) died and he sobbed and sobbed in the back of the room at the funeral home away from everyone. Big tough Marine. All my high school dates were afraid of him.  He said  because she was the oldest girl, she was the "little mother" of all the other 8. It still makes me cry to think of it; she was always there to welcome me home.

We know we're all in God's care, we're baptized, we've made a personal commitment, but the other side is still scary because we don't know what to expect. Like the baby in the womb--we suspect there's something else, we can hear music, talking, feel movement, we wiggle our toes and touch our nose--but it seems so unrealistic to think there's more than we know floating around with everything taken care of.

There is.

From Here to Eternity

Because it’s been Oscar week, From Here to Eternity movie with Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster was on.  About all I remembered was the memorable beach scene and that it was from the 50s.  I watched a few minutes last night and then turned to something else.

This morning a read a few Amazon book reviews for the 1951 book. Reviewers considered it pretty racy for 1951 but in this era, not so much.  Includes homosexuality and racism and bad language. This reviewer uses the name LEE.

“ I picked up this book knowing very little about James Jones. I'm not sure he'll be one of our enduring writers, and mostly he's known to the current generation, as he was to me, by his film adaptations. I recalled seeing "The Thin Red Line" when it came out. Actually I recalled little more than that, merely that it was a pensive, artsy Malick movie. As for "From Here to Eternity," I recalled the black and white image of the couple rolling in the surf. So I guess I assumed the novel was primarily some sort of love story. It is something much more than that, something unique and important for being a historical document of the peacetime army prior to World War II as much as it is a work of literature. Jones was an expert at creating enduring characters: Prewitt, a private from the Kentucky coal mines; Warden, a staff sergeant; Maggio, a private from New York City; and the women they love, Karen Holmes, the wife of Captain Milt Holmes; and Lorene, a prostitute working in Honolulu. Prewitt ("Prew") is the book's central character. He seems to be the best at whatever he tries, whether it's bugling, boxing, flirting, or soldiering. Despite all these talents, he also has a penchant for self-destruction. He quits the bugle corps and refuses to fight on the boxing squad, which would've made things much easier for him. Eventually he lands in the stockade, where he witnesses the slow disintegration of his friend Maggio (who has also become a prisoner). Jones uses Prew's downward arc, and his eventual love affair with Lorene, as the book's trajectory. Of course, we all know what's about to happen at Pearl Harbor, so the attack looms over everything else in "From Here to Eternity." The manner in which half-drunk, surprised soldiers responded to the attack is certainly worth a read. Apparently Jones' editors cut over a hundred pages from the manuscript due to offensive language, and these pages have since been restored, as they should be. To our contemporary sensibilities, these sections are relatively tame but cumulatively have the effect of showing what these soldiers were truly like. We hear all this stuff about "The Greatest Generation," and the men who fought in WWII are deified. Rightly they should be praised for their bravery and sacrifice, but it was refreshing to find, on reading "From Here to Eternity," that they were humans just like those of any other era. If you put a bunch of men together in a barracks, they are going to fixate on women, alcohol, gambling, etc. So I thought the R-rated material in Jones' book was essential. There was a lot of casual racism, which was hard to stomach, but once again I believe this was authentic to the period. The soldiers were even racist toward the Germans and Jews in their own ranks, and to his credit Jones does try to show the pernicious effects of this. You just have to wade through the racist sections, or through Jones' many attempts at pidgin English, which are of course offensive. My ultimate gripe with "From Here to Eternity" was that the narrative was too loose, the major plot points too few, to support a book of nearly 900 pages. I think the book could have been cut to 400 or 500 pages and been stronger for it. I suppose Jones wanted to turn in a doorstop that would be considered important in the manner of Mailer's "Naked and the Dead," but I think he could've cut a lot of internal monologue and mundane detail. Jones didn't quite know when to end chapters, for example. He also had some stylistic quirks, such as using abbreviations and contractions without punctuation. And so many adverbs! Sometimes the author would use multiple adverbs, and sometimes the same adverb, in a single sentence. That's what his editor should've been cutting. None of the characters emerge from the book unscathed, and they linger with the reader. This book, with its drinking sessions, serial adultery, and weekly trips to the whorehouse, will dispel any wholesome notions of the era of our grandparents. But it is a worthwhile novel for its fascinating, gritty take on the lead-up to combat.”

Saturday, February 08, 2020

Monica asked if I wrote it and I responded

I didn't write the Forbes article, but the commentary is all me. My opinion. When it's someone else's opinion, I put it in quotes or link. Like Michael Smith or Michael Rectenwald. It's how I usually write. Get it down, then look up a source that confirms what I think is true. I even wrote that way when publishing was required for promotion and tenure. I'd start with what I knew (or on my office book shelf), then find the sources. Maybe everyone does that, but I did get to Associate Professor. That said, because I read a lot and am a news junky, my opinions are not necessarily original or earth shattering, but a mish-mash of information from multiple sources that has percolated for awhile.

"Data is not information, Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, and understanding is not wisdom." Clifford Stoll. I had to look it up, but I used to have it posted in my office. Librarians are inundated with data and information and it's good to be reminded that doesn't necessarily mean we understand or are wise.

Presidents who used Saul Alinsky’s style

Saul Alinsky is considered the "Father of Community Organizing;" he was the idol of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. One of Obama's jobs out of law school was as "community organizer" in Chicago. And yet one of Alinsky’s rules (added to the 1972 edition of Rules for Radicals) is "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." has been mastered by Donald Trump who is a businessman and capitalist, not a politician/Marxist and definitely not a community organizer.

  • Make America Great Again.
  • Fake news.
  • Pencil-neck.
  • Low IQ.
  • Lock her up.
  • Build that wall.
  • Twitter. Troll.

He doesn't let up. He rarely picks a fight, but he surely doesn't pass up a challenge. And Democrats who have been stealing our country for 40 years using Alinsky, weep and moan and get moralistic. Alinsky was said to help the poor fight against power and privilege, and now Trump is helping the poor and middle class come into the economy and fight against the power and privilege of the Democrats who are increasingly being eaten alive by the Socialist wing of their party Obama helped build.


Friday, February 07, 2020

Hillary and Nancy’s talking points

Hillary Clinton (still making the rounds of the sympathetic talk shows), Nancy Pelosi and all the rest of the Democrats trying to save Obama's legacy continue to repeat erroneously that Trump is just continuing Obama's successes. That's wrong. The recession ended in June 2009 about 5 months after Obama took office. He had nothing to do with it. However, because of imposing more regulations, and taking our tax money to float his ARRA for his supporters, he did slow down the recovery, which toddled along for 7 years before gaining momentum. He did have us in war his whole 8 years, more than GW Bush.

People like me and Bill Gates--people who had investments--saw the recovery quickly because of the stock market. I'm not part of the 1%, but they did terrific under Obama. That didn't help the black teen or the former coal miner working at McDonald's or the retail clerk out of work because the consumer confidence didn't recover.

The Trump recovery is reaching down and pulling up the people who had given up, the people Obama gave up on and who were told things would never be any better than the slow gear on the old rattling truck; the people receiving the "dole" who thought they might never work again.

People are saving, investing and starting new businesses. They are hopeful under Trump--even those who don't like him. Obama never preached recovery, or pride, or happiness or joy.  Sharing public bathrooms with the opposite sex, allowing foreigners assistance for college that Americans can’t get, pushing abortions—how is that hope? Hope for Obama was a campaign slogan and nothing else.

And he was just smart enough to allow fracking because that saved his lunch, economically speaking. He never said America was the best, the greatest, because. . . he was honest and didn't believe it. I had to grit my teeth in November 2016 because Trump wasn't my choice, but I'm so glad he proved me wrong. And proved Obama wrong.