Saturday, April 30, 2022

America First worked and protected Europe and Ukraine

Despite all the fretting over Trump's "America First" rhetoric, his administration strengthened relations with key partners. The Biden Administration has lost them all.

The two invasions of Ukraine—2014 against Crimea and now against the Ukrainian homeland—took place under two weak Democratic presidents. President Trump’s combination of military build-up, tough talk and unpredictability arguably kept malign Russian ambitions at bay.

The War in Ethiopia has been made worse by our focus on Ukraine

"Footage and news coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been all-encompassing. This is partly because widespread social media use in Ukraine and partly because reporters have much greater access to the front lines.

In Ethiopia, both of these are massively restricted. Clips of military strikes in Mariupol fill our TV screens while next to no footage of the atrocities which have taken place in the East African country have surfaced.

Also, while journalists are prevented from showing the world the tragedy being inflicted upon millions of people, humanitarian aid has also been blocked from accessing the affected regions.

The invasion of Ukraine has, unfortunately, only made this issue worse, as global attention on the war has meant that humanitarian aid has been redirected."

Four years ago this April, our church UALC was celebrating with the Oromo Church of Central Ohio its move to a new church building which we helped fund.  The Oromo people are from Ethiopia, and one of their own is the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

End of the month round up. The world of Biden just gets crazier. Food shortages. Jesus the gardener.

The misinformation "Baghdad Bob" lady, Nina Jankowicz,  that's going to run the "truth office" of the DHS has really stirred things up, hasn't she? I wrote about her before. I wonder if it has anything to do with how many Hispanics and Blacks are turning to the GOP?  Democrats think men can be women by hoping/thinking, and that Ivermectin is unsafe, and that free speech is bad if they aren't in control. Some truth guards they are. Even immigrants know when they are being conned--look where they come from and what they are fleeing!  The Democrats need a venue in Spanish to explain their constant drumbeat about race, color and sex. What better way than using the office that first greets them (and hundreds of other nations) at the border? Can you even imagine the uproar from the media if Donald Trump had suggested he owned free speech and that's all you could hear or know. Wow.

While returning from the gym this morning I heard an old Catholic homily on the importance of the inauguration of Barack Obama. Father John Ricardo, Pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Plymouth, Michigan.   Obviously from their 2009 archives, but I can't locate it for a link. He began with what an historic, important event it was and how we all needed to pray for the new president. And he moved on to the danger of Obama's anti-life mission and how he intended to undo the protections for life already in the law. (At that time, Obama's stance on abortion was the most radical of all politicians, state and federal.)  My mind drifted to the sad fact that instead of the hope people had at the time of his election for healing of old racial wounds (even I was hopeful there would be less manic concern about race) he exacerbated and poked his finger in the eyes of all who support his leftist goals. What a shame.  It could have turned out so differently.  The racism ball had been rolling in academe for a long time--now it picked up speed. 

Recently I wrote about some shortages.  Strange ones.  But this morning at Wal-Mart I found oyster crackers, both name brand (over $3) and house brand ($1).  I bought 2 packages since I didn't know how good they would be, but I should have bought more.  I've already eaten about half a package, and they are fine.  I also found Hersey's dark cacao. That was in short supply or unavailable where I usually shop, so I bought two.  I don't want to strip the shelves and create shortages.

Last Sunday's sermon by our senior pastor Steve Turnbull had an interesting take on Mary at the Tomb in John 20,  and her meeting the one she thought was the gardener. What if Mary wasn't wrong.  What if there is a gardener; we long to do something with our lives.  I found an interesting site on the internet that uses art--paintings, woodcuts, tapestry--with that theme--Mary meeting Jesus as a gardener. In the paintings Jesus is often shown with a hoe or spade.  Sometimes a hat and overalls.   Browse and enjoy.  The art is incredible.  I went back and listened to the sermon again.

Last night we went to our favorite Friday night date restaurant, the Rusty Bucket, with Bill and Joyce, and Joan and Jerry and then back to Joan's for dessert--peach cobbler made by Joyce. All of us have summer homes.  Bill and Joyce leave about mid-May for their home on an island in Lake Erie and we just signed the papers to sell our home in Lakeside. Jerry is recovering from some serious surgery and so we don't know when they'll get to Michigan. We all go to the same church where we met within the last 2 decades.   

Thursday, April 28, 2022

What happened to the disciples?


"Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19)

No change in five years

Five years ago, April 28, 2017, I wrote this:

"Why should conservative taxpayers be paying to fund our "everything is hate speech" universities? By far the largest areas of state spending, on average, are education (both K-12 and higher education) and health care. Why should you pay to have the state turn your kids against you and your values?"

I was thinking about that today as the demand to pay other people's college debts grows. Yes, some college graduates have high debts. I don't. Maybe the plumber has debts for his trucks. Or the guy who was sweeping up broken glass from the accident yesterday at Five Points has a second mortgage, or the one on the mower this morning is trying to pay back the coyote who got him into the country, or my newly retired neighbors who moved in two weeks ago will have some debt to redo the 80s decorating of their unit, or the woman with a cane I saw shopping at Aldi's today could sure use an extra $500 a month for live comfortably. Those are the people who will be paying the debts of these primarily young, healthy adults with a bright future ahead of them.  Why do they need these people to pay off their debt? Debt they agreed to. Someone pays, you know. It's not "forgiven." We the taxpayer get stuck with it.  And why should they ask people they don't respect or admire to pay for their rent, nights out, pizza and beer, drugs, football games, travel costs, ripped jeans, and new computers?

A caller to the Dennis Prager show this morning said he fears for the future of our country. His kids (he was divorced in 2017) lived with him during the pandemic lockdown and he got a look at the on-line classes. He was sickened. His 16 year old told him Abraham Lincoln was the most racist of all the presidents. She knows that because her teacher told her.  His college age daughter is learning the same drivel. He asked Dennis Prager what could he do. The show went to commercial, and I arrived at my destination. But paying for these misinformed and silly children to go to college isn't the answer.

Biden's Disinformation officer already accused of disinformation herself

"Nina Jankowicz is President Joe Biden's pick to serve as executive director of the Department of Homeland Security's new Disinformation Governance Board—and her appointment has already met with some controversy."

It seems she thought the Laptop from Hell (Hunter Biden) was disinformation.  Protect Biden at all costs and we may never know what is mis- dis- or fake.  

Update: Remember Bagdad Bob from 2 decades ago? "Sahaf's nickname, "Baghdad Bob," now denotes someone who confidently declares what everyone else can see is false--someone so wrong, it's funny. But when read beside the eventual cost of America's decade in Iraq, "Baghdad Bob" isn't so funny anymore."

What is a vaccine and why did the definition change?

 Another high official in government has also tested positive for Covid although fully vaccinated with 2 boosters--the Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack.  The other we know about is Kamala Harris--fully vaccinated with 2 boosters.   Meanwhile, the vaccines are still "emergency use" although President Trump's "Warp Speed" plan became available in December 2020, even though more people died in 2021 under Biden with all the advances and vaccines than under Trump in 2020.  In order to cover for all the misinformation and silencing of other opinions, the language had to be changed. I noticed the second booster isn't being pushed--my doctor says it's optional and the protection seems to be slight.

Here's how the definition has changed, yet many of us older (than 30) people still think of immunity rather than just less severe disease.  Notice the word "protecting" has disappeared as has "produce immunity."

We Bruces got the Pfizer version in February 2021 with great excitement, relief, and awe at the incredible system our local health systems had established in the such a short time.  It was touted, as I recall, at about 90% or higher, had by fall had dropped to 16%. 

The prior CDC Definitions of Vaccine and Vaccination (August 26, 2021):

Vaccine: A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease. Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but can also be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose.

Vaccination: The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease.

The CDC Definitions of Vaccine and Vaccination since September 1, 2021:

Vaccine: A preparation that is used to stimulate the body’s immune response against diseases. Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but some can be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose.

Vaccination: The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease.

See the complete story to follow how "the right wing" was accused of misinformation for pointing this out, and the e-mail exchange in CDC to get a work around.  This is how the "misinformation" and fake news becomes a story about the misinformation and was the cause of conservatives being removed from Twitter.


Have you been following the Durham investigation?

I'll just put this here so I can find it, or so the Russia, Russia, Russia hoaxers will.

Durham states he is in possession of “hundreds of emails in which Fusion GPS employees shared raw, unverified, and uncorroborated information – including their own draft research and work product – with reporters.” (He even filed them under seal with the court.) These include:

Emails with Slate’s Franklin Foer from May 14, 2016 in which Fusion GPS conveys information on a Trump advisor and Alfa Bank.

July 26, 2016 e-mails from Fusion GPS to the Wall Street Journal communicating allegations from Christopher Steele stating “a Trump advisor meeting with a former KGB official close to Putin … would be huge news.”

July 29 and July 31, 2016 emails with a reporter (Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger) concerning Carter Page’s investments and meetings with Russians - of which the reporter said “Its bullshit.”

And many others--check the link.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Twitter as a private company--what does it mean?

Article by Michael Rechtenwald "Elon Musk's Twitter Gambit and What It Means to the "Clique in Power"

"Elon Musk’s bid to take over Twitter and turn it into a private company has apparently been successful. Now the real action begins. Musk’s buyout exposes the Big Digital media complex to unwanted and unwonted competition, while threatening to loosen its near-total control of information and opinion. Twitter has represented a vital component in an information configuration that has barred competitors and participants from the digital sphere by means of progressive criteria, including wokeness, political fealty, and obedience to official state dictates and narratives.

The response to the Twitter takeover by the arbiters of acceptable expression has been as hysterical as it has been swift. The New York Times, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Media Matters for America, members of the establishment professoriate, and other “experts” have rushed to fortify the defensive forces against free speech."

Read the entire article:

Now it's a shortage of crackers?

 I haven't been able to find oyster crackers at 3 different stores, so I figured I'd go on-line and ask.  I didn't know there were forums that report complaints about shortages, but there are.  It seems there is a shortage of both saltines and oyster crackers and soup lovers are complaining. Some report that they can't even get them from Amazon!  I like the oyster crackers for convenience and I eat less of them than saltines, which I tend to load up with cheese.  So I have no idea if it's a supply chain problem, or people cutting back on more expensive snacks and thus creating a shortage among lower priced items. I did check a small Pepperidge Farms Outlet in my neighborhood, and there absolutely is no shortage of the little Goldfish shaped crackers. 

Trans-pasta for lunch

I know it's popular among those watching their carbs, but this trans-pasta thing with zucchini spirals or squash in spaghetti pasta shapes just isn't working for me. It simply becomes a pile of zucchini  with tomato/meat sauce on top. Same with cauliflower that looks like white rice. Vegetables are not flour products or rice. 

And in other trans news: "Matt Walsh’s tale about a boy who pretends to be a walrus was intended as commentary on the debate over transgender children. But Amazon removed the popular book from its LGBTQ list."

Don't look for Captain America

Kirk Cameron on Elon Musk and freedom of speech:

" I like Avenger movies. While we all love a savage superhero… looking to one man with lots of money and power to fix our problems is how people unwittingly enslave themselves. How? By looking to the wrong source for their freedom and protection. While I’m thankful for Elon’s crusade to save free speech, it should have been “we the people,” (all of us) full of faith and character who render bad companies powerless (by holding them accountable) and build good ones in their place (by putting our money and time where our mouth is).
Perhaps, and I hope, that is exactly what Elon is doing. But if we want lasting freedom and blessing, we must not look for a Captain America to be our free speech Savior. The Savior position is has already been permanently filled by the only qualified candidate, and “we the people” need to step up our game and self-govern with our combined powers of faith, character and courage or a bigger, badder Thanos will gladly fill the void and do the governing for us."

Preparing for Lakeside Women's Club

 Evidence that the Lakeside Women's Club has strong leadership is the current president, Barbara Browning.  She has had a long career in teaching and family life, including shepherding her family into their current Lakeside lifestyle.  I've only known her about three years, and as I recall it was cultural issues and not religion or hobbies or book club that brought us together. One amazing feat was her convincing me to prepare brief devotions for the weekly meetings of the Women's Club for summer 2022.  You wouldn't think that someone who loves to write, explain, cajole, argue, research and ramble for 20 years on the internet and who has been scribbling in some form since I was 6 or 7 could be so hesitant to speak in public.  I'd rather pull weeds or clean an attic than speak to an audience.  I get light headed, the room swims, and I can't put a sentence together.  But when Barb asks, you just can't say No. Her secret seems to be she believes in people!  So I came up with a plan to make it more palatable.

Last summer one of the Lakeside chaplains for the week was retired Methodist pastor John Ed Mathison, a well known (but not to me) motivational speaker who established Leadership Ministries in 2008 when he retired after 36 years as pastor of Frazer Memorial UMC in Alabama.  His current ministry includes a Daily Message, a weekly blog, a daily radio message, and weekly videos and of course, extensive public speaking.  He's authored a number of books, and I bought one based on his radio ministry titled, "Got a minute? 365 Daily inspirational messages for those on the Go!" To open a LWC meeting one only needs a minute or two, and it shouldn't be the heavy theological themes I'm drawn to. So along with my own morning devotions I've been checking different "minutes" in his book to use this summer. John Ed does a lot of sports, youth, and goal setting themes.  I hate setting goals, so I avoid those; I'm not athletic, so I skip those.  However, John Ed didn't get to be famous without knowing how to draw in a diverse, busy and even not so religious group.  It's also a podcast, so you can download an app and listen to him in his sweet Alabam voice.  I'm looking forward to sharing some of those radio minutes this summer.

Today I read about Liz Smith, a director of nursing, who fostered and then adopted a baby girl, Gisele, who was born physically challenged and extremely premature.  In a minute John Ed told her amazing story. I know so many adoptive and foster parents at Lakeside (and in Columbus) I thought it would be a good story to share. Ever the researcher, I then checked the internet for the story, and found it had been featured on a number of TV and news stories.  From there I went to the Facebook page of Franciscan Children's Hospital in Boston where Ms. Smith worked and read many more stories of some of the children, parents and staff of a remarkable facility. So now I'm a "follower" of that FB page.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

What has happened to marriage--and families, and churches, and jobs, and morals, and home building and education

 In 1949, 78.8% of all U.S. households had married couples. By last year, 47.3% had married couples. And guess what, marriage rates by race tracks with poverty among children.  The highest rate of marriage is among Asians; next whites, then Hispanic, and then blacks. 


If I find more recent links, I'll add.  It has fallen off the radar on topics people want to research.  Most meaty articles are about five years old.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Zuby interviews Tyler Alvarez about Homelessness--Housing First hurts!

 I really enjoy Zuby's podcasts.  He's British with an American accent.  His parents are Nigerian.  He is conservative and hosts many people on a variety of issues.  He's a hip hop artist and a body builder also.  In this interview he discusses the Housing First movement with Tyler Alvarez who worked in that program in San Diego and has found it to be a  failure.  Alvarez estimates that in LA or San Francisco the city spends from $750,000 to $800,000 per homeless person a year in the Housing First programs.  It's insane, but it also keeps many people employed who are in the "helping" professions and the housing business.  It's a shame. Homelessness increases because the problem is not their home, it's their addictions and their mental health.  It's also the enabling of the people who have good intentions. Alvarez estimated that of the 50 people he was able to place in housing, only one really was successful, and she was really motivated to help her five children.  

Donating money or food and volunteering he also believes does not help in the long run because of the wages and careers of the staff.  He recommends getting involved in your local city politics--know who are the big players getting rich on these schemes.  You have to really push to get the real numbers on what this costs your community.  Don't accept squishy words or guilting/shaming you. Alvarez calls it "pathological altruism" the way the homeless are treated by do-gooders.

Musk will again attempt free speech as promoted by our Constitution

 "SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — The Twitter board Monday voted to accept a takeover offer from Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a deal at $44 billion.

Musk took to the social media platform, tweeting out “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”

“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it. ”The deal took the San Francisco-based company private, purchasing shares at about $54.20 a share.

In a news release, Musk said his goal in acquiring Twitter was to make it better.

Before the opening bell Monday, shares of Twitter Inc. rose 5% with trading halted at the time of the announcement."

Until social media like Google, YouTube, Twitter and others began to control politicians and the news media, I considered it a private matter for a private company to set its own standards.  Now, however, Big Tech is controlling the public square where freedom of speech and assembly is to take place.  It will still be private and non-government, however from the screams from the Leftist amongst us many are not happy to have unapproved opinions out there where others could be influenced.  Journalists, who should be the ones most concerned about cancelling and stifling, have been the most obnoxious.  

Adults over 50 as a group don't have good nutrition

Dr. Chris Taylor, PhD, RDN, LD, professor of Medical Dietetics and Family Medicine at Ohio State University says that another group that may need early intervention in nutrition education is older adults. What may surprise many is the age group that needs it.

“We learned that adults in their 50s exhibit the poorest diet quality,” Taylor said. “Many of them are still working full time and are more likely to eat out.” They’re less likely to meet appropriate nutrient thresholds and tend to consume poorer quality food.

“These are adults who aren’t setting a stage for successful aging,” Taylor said. “Typically, we don’t counsel people on nutrition until there’s a problem [like obesity or diabetes]. We need to understand how important nutrition is to successful aging strategies. We need to start talking earlier rather than addressing poor outcomes when adults are in their 60s or 70s.

“The single nutrient perspective makes you miss the important point. Just focusing on one element like low carbohydrates doesn’t help us understand the big picture. What strategies should you employ? You need to look at the influence of the entire diet.”

Russian Oligarch's yacht is seized--$90 million--in Spain

The first of many, I'm sure. Biden's "helping" with sanctions and boycotts.  But our government has the power to shut down any business it doesn't like. Vekselberg isn't a U.S. citizen, he's a Russian, and most likely a bad dude.  Plus the yacht was in Spain. His goodies are probably not safe in Russia.  Think of all evidence there is that Hunter Biden accepted millions from a Ukrainian firm to buy influence with his father and our government did diddly squat. This court order was only in place a few weeks; the Biden scandal has been going on for years.

"Spanish law enforcement today executed a Spanish court order freezing the Motor Yacht (M/Y) Tango (the Tango), a 255-foot luxury yacht owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Spanish authorities acted pursuant to a request from the U.S. Department of Justice for assistance following the issuance of a seizure warrant, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which alleged that the Tango was subject to forfeiture based on violation of U.S. bank fraud, money laundering, and sanction statutes. . .

“Today marks our taskforce’s first seizure of an asset belonging to a sanctioned individual with close ties to the Russian regime. It will not be the last,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Together, with our international partners, we will do everything possible to hold accountable any individual whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war.”

“Today’s action makes clear that corrupt Russian oligarchs cannot evade sanctions to live a life of luxury as innocent Ukrainians are suffering,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Today the Department of Justice delivers on our commitment to hold accountable those whose criminal activity strengthens the Russian government as it continues to wage its unjust war in Ukraine. That commitment is one we are not finished honoring.”

Google Docs has become the latest speech enforcer

 We've all seen language evolve, but some of the kinder, sweeter, more leftist inclusive stuff is just nonsense and gag-worthy.  Google is now eliminating or suggesting alternates for "mother" or "lord" or "master" in some well-known idiomatic expressions.  It reminds me of some of the ridiculous phrase twisting we lived through in the 80s and 90s, like "handicapped" or all the polite ways to say "mentally challenged" instead of "retarded."  A whole generation of adolescents had to give up a favorite common insult.  The word "challenged" has become a joke.  I use it when I tell people I'm math challenged, or directionally challenged. (If I don't have my watch on my left wrist, don't give me directions.)  So that has given us pregnant people and assigned sex at birth. Remember a few years back when someone who didn't have a good grasp of English thought "niggardly" was a reference to blacks?  People are so incensed with "black face" (used mostly by Democrat entertainers and politicians like Jimmy Kimmel and Joy Behar) last week there was a black DJ at a high school dance accused of wearing black face--that's the live reenactment of being overly sensitive about words.  I'm so old I remember when black was the insult and Negro was the correct term. I think even "senior citizen" is on the chopping block.

Moving right? Where's the plumb line?

 I saw an opinion piece (based I'm sure on someone's academic research while quarantined happily) that American voters are moving to the right.  I suspect that depends on where you place center.  Yes, more blacks and Hispanics are fleeing the Democrat party. That doesn't mean the spineless Republicans have any appeal.  Their personal values, particularly on sex and children, are probably more conservative than whites, who are a mishmash of many races and cultures. Minorities made huge gains under Trump, and all Biden has provided is promises and high inflation.  If CRT and wokeism in the classrooms of first graders is the plumb line, and if social media are considered the standard for American voters, I suppose it looks like we're moving to the right.  But I don't see it, particularly not in my community of Upper Arlington, Ohio.  Our public library has a miniscule collection for conservative Christians of any denomination, and as far as politics and social issues, you might find one or two authors against hundreds of the other ilk. Our churches seem as lost in the fog as the media.  I'll have to check and see if any of my conservative friends have taken off their muzzles and face masks.

Obama's North Star certainly isn't the Constitution

"Obama comes out to get mad about disinformation: Yesterday [April 21] at Stanford, President Obama gave a sweeping speech about disinformation, my favorite thing to complain about people complaining about. He called for more government regulation of platforms (they should be “be required to have a higher standard of care when it comes to advertising on their site”) and criticized big tech’s business model (“inflammatory content attracts engagement”).

“These companies need to have some other north star other than just making money and increasing market share,” the former president said.

We have an idea of what that North Star can be: how about the constitution? There’s a First Amendment in there that seems like a pretty great articulation of what the values of a social media company ought to be."  Nellie Bowles, "Common Sense" April 22, 2022  

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Alcohol deaths during the Covid lockdowns

"The number and rate of alcohol-related deaths increased approximately 25% between 2019 and 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rates increased prior to the pandemic, but less rapidly (2.2% mean annual percent change between 1999 and 2017). The rate increase for alcohol-related deaths in 2020 outpaced the increase in all-cause mortality, which was 16.6%.

Previous reports suggest the number of opioid overdose deaths increased 38% in 2020, with a 55% increase in deaths involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. There were similar increases in the number of deaths in which alcohol contributed to overdoses of opioids (40.8%) and, specifically, synthetic opioids (59.2%).

Deaths involving alcohol reflect hidden tolls of the pandemic. Increased drinking to cope with pandemic-related stressors, shifting alcohol policies, and disrupted treatment access are all possible contributing factors. Whether alcohol-related deaths will decline as the pandemic wanes, and whether policy changes could help reduce such deaths, warrants consideration.

Study limitations include inaccurate death certificates, such as underreporting of alcohol involvement,6 and unclear causal relationships among listed causes of deaths. Provisional data are subject to change when more death certificates are processed."

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Advice on using less plastic--or how we lived in the 40's and 50s

Sometimes you have to wonder about the modern "sustainable" and eco-friendly life style. I can still remember when we were encouraged to use plastic bags to save trees. I have about 6 reusable bags, but during the pandemic we weren't allowed to bring them into the stores! They can get pretty yucky.  I remember when no one paid for bottles of water. All straws in restaurants were paper, in fact, most people didn't eat in restaurants. We all used cloth diapers; if there were disposable diapers, they were used for trips in the car. A few people had freezers, but they were for their home grown food. There were not 1500 kinds of air freshener and floor cleaners confusing one at the store. My Tupperware pieces (not many) are probably 50 years old. Can't compost--where would I put it that it wouldn't draw rodents or other animals.

This is the list recommended by Lifetime Fitness. For younger people, it might be a learning curve. We are all addicted to "convenience." My age group at least remembers a different time.  The trash figures are stunning, however, there are no citations for how the authors came up with them.  The worst environmental damage in recent years was caused by Covid and mask mandates.  Billions of masks made from fossil fuel are everywhere. The number of food containers for carry out must have been a real boost to that industry.  Probably came from China, like the masks.
1. Invest in a reusable glass or stainless-steel water bottle. People around the world buy a million plastic bottles every minute; in the United States, more than 60 million end up in landfills and incinerators every day.  (We don't buy throw away plastic bottles for water, but I do have plastic bottles I can reuse, thank you.  Don't like carrying glass bottles around.)

2. Opt for cloth rather than disposable diapers. Americans discard some 20 billion plastic diapers annually.  (I've seen the cost comparisons about 40 years ago and adding the cost of hot water and soap and electricity to dry so you don't save a lot.)

3. Bring your favorite mug or travel container to the coffee shop for filling up.

4. Skip the plastic straw. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless-steel or glass straw.

5. Stock up on reusable grocery bags. Americans use and discard some 102 billion plastic bags annually. Each of these can take 1,000 years to degrade.

6. Pass on prepared frozen foods: The packaging is mostly plastic or cardboard coated with plastic.  

7. Eschew chewing gum — it’s pretty much made from plastic. [Note:  I didn't realize this until about 5 years ago and gave up a very bad habit I'd had since childhood.]

8. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters, or invest in a refillable metal lighter.

9. Avoid plastic wrap to cover leftovers, cheeses, and other refrigerated food by using a dish cloth or parchment paper. [This isn't going to happen, but I do use reuseable plastic storage containers.] 

10. Cook with cast-iron instead of nonstick pans. Teflon, the most common nonstick surface, is a fluoropolymer plastic. [I prefer this, but it's not safe on a glass top stove, nor can I lift them safely.]

11. Make your own cleaning products. They’re less toxic, and you can reuse spray bottles, eliminating the need for multiple plastic bottles filled with cleaners. (For recipes, see “Make Your Own Spring-Cleaning Kit“.)  [Good in theory, but I've moved on to hiring at cleaning service.]

12. Decline plastic flatware with your takeout orders; pick up bamboo or other reusable flatware for picnics and traveling. [I use cheap stainless ware picked up at yard sales and reuse. But Covid made this carry-out trend grow immensely.]

13. Buy food in bulk when possible and pack it in your own reusable jars or containers. You’ll save money and limit unnecessary packaging.  [Not a useful tip for 2 person household.]

14. Bring your own containers for vegetables and fruits to the farmers’ market, where you can refill them.

15. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Skip foods packed in single-serving plastic cups.

16. Mix up your own hand salves, lotion bars, and deodorants instead of buying personal-care items sold in plastic containers. Coconut oil is a great base for all of these. (For more ideas, see “DIY Beauty“.) [I use a lot of coconut oil as moisturizer.]

17. Replace your Tupperware with a set of reusable glass storage containers for leftovers. [Not going to happen.  Glass is too heavy.]

18. Compost your food waste to reduce the number of plastic bags needed to haul it to the landfill.  [No place to put it.]

Masks are gone for now

The cruelty of our states and our federal government show us their totalitarian direction these last two years and how far the USA has fallen on the freedom scale.  It's not progressive, or democratic, despite their attempt to change the language. The frenzy from the Left about Elon Musk's desire to make Twitter a free public space again is really alarming--not the freedom of speech but the Left's effort to stop it.  The battle for the minds of young children is another arena where we see evil taking over.

Maoists in the Mist by Melissa Mackenzie

"Masks are gone, for now. Biden and his totalitarians have decided to appeal the decision by a Federal judge that the CDC exceeded its authority with the Federal mask mandate. I write about the ways the totalitarians harassed Americans in big and small ways.

My biggest concern is the people who cannot see their own Maoist impulse through this public health debacle. The indifference to ruining people's careers and harming their ability to care for their families when they worked through the pandemic and took all the risk up front is astonishing.

The Keyboard Klass™ is contemptuous of nurses, for example, who worked through the pandemic. These men and women got COVID, are immune and then were FIRED for refusing to take an experimental genetic therapeutic (it's not a vaccine.) It was their choice to not get vaccinated, said the self-righteous unaffected.

Nancy Pelosi sat in a business her policies shut down and violated her own rules for her hair. 43% of small businesses in California went out of business while this woman had her hair done.

This is evil stuff.

I wrote up the indignities supposedly free people faced over the last couple of years.

Civilization is a thin veneer. Too many people would like to impose their will on their neighbors and gladly do it and feel morally superior in the process.

I hope that freedom-loving people remember what happened these last two years.

The mask mandates--they didn't work

The graph tracks the results of a natural experiment that occurred nationwide during the pandemic. Eleven states never mandated masks, while the other 39 states enforced mandates. The mandates typically began early in the pandemic in 2020 and remained until at least the summer of 2021, with some extending into 2022. The black line on the graph shows the weekly rate of Covid cases in all the states with mask mandates that week, while the orange line shows the rate in all the states without mandates. As you can see from the lines’ similar trajectories, the mask mandates hardly controlled the virus. . . If you add up all the numbers on those two lines, you find that the mask mandates made zero difference. The cumulative rate of infection over the course of the pandemic was about 24 percent in the mandate states as well as in the non-mandate states. Their cumulative rates of Covid mortality were virtually identical, too (in fact, there were slightly more deaths per capita in the states with mask mandates).


But now we have people addicted to and dependent on masks.  Sigh.

First really great day of the spring and it's 83!

 We cleaned off the deck and washed the furniture and had our dinner outside--beef roast, potatoes, carrots and yellow peppers, fresh fruit and a giant cookie.  What an amazing day.  Our neighbor's dog, Kerry, stopped by to visit.  She loves Bob.  He takes her on walks and feeds her when her owners are gone.  She didn't want to go home, but I think she could smell the beef roast!  Later in the day I took a walk and enjoyed the flowering crab apple trees.  I'm wearing my head phones in the photo while enjoying a podcast about Liturgy of the Hours.  Had a visit with a new neighbor Mark who moved in last week, and an old neighbor Jan (but younger than me). So many of my neighbors are planting flowers.  It was a beautiful time.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Bottom of the news barrel

Research finds that a high-sugar diet supplied by tourists is giving Bahamian rock iguanas the lizard equivalent of high blood sugar.

"Northern Bahamian rock iguanas (Cyclura cychlura), already listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, face a grave new threat: adoring tourists who regularly offer them grapes as if they’re paying tribute to Dionysus, the Greek god of wine.

Research published today (April 21) in the Journal of Experimental Biology shows that iguanas that live on islands frequented by grape-slinging tourists are unable to regulate their blood glucose levels as well as those that live on more remote islands to which humans rarely venture. The study focused on two subspecies of the rock iguana—the Allen Cays rock iguana (ssp. inornata) and the Exuma rock iguana (ssp. figginsi)—both of which are critically endangered."

A quick look at the article shows that neither the tourists nor the scientists were too bright about this. It seems the tourists were told originally to give them grapes rather than bread, and that some tourists are actually holding inappropriate diet items, like lettuce in their own mouths to feed the iguanas!  Grapes are very high in sugar and even for humans aren't included in low carb diets.  Also, the indangered iguanas on a poor diet are thriving

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Our Friday night date--a little history

 Tomorrow night we'll be going to our Friday date night spot, The Rusty Bucket. Our Friday night dates go way back--sometime in the 60s.  The Bucket is just one of many restaurants where we've been regulars over the years.  I accidentally came across a blog about how we ended up there about 17 years ago.

 "Last night [March 18, 2005] we switched from "Old Bag of Nails" in the Tremont Shopping Center to "The Rusty Bucket" in the Lane Avenue Shopping Center for our Friday night date. Our suburb's recent non-smoking ordinance has moved all the smokers out of the Old Bag down to Grandview Heights, which means a lot of the alcohol sales are also gone. So in this one location, the owners have changed the menu and raised the prices, moving to more dinners. We like the "pub" atmosphere and seeing our friends and neighbors, so we decided to try Bucket, which opened about a year ago. The decor is just about the same with a little more of a sports bar feel (more TV screens than Old Bag), similar menu, and cheery young ladies to wait the tables. We thought the food was tasty, hot and well-prepared, and the noise level wasn't too painful. We'll probably go back--although we didn't see a soul we knew even though the two restaurants are within a mile of each other."

Let's see if we have any photos.


 New Year's Eve 2019 with Sloughs

With Kunzes in Worthington Rusty Bucket

Visual Arts Ministry Sept. reunion 2010

Tucker on Biden--the composite of clips

 I don't like it when people speak disrespectfully of the cognitively challenge.  Unfortunately, Joe Biden provides too many opportunities.  After protecting him for years, the media seems to turning, but why?

Will we protect Finland's border and not our own?

"Should Finland join NATO, the United States, under Article 5 of the NATO treaty, would be obligated to go to war with the world’s largest nuclear power to retrieve Finnish lands that an enraged Russia might grab.

Moscow has already indicated that, should Sweden and Finland join NATO, Russia will introduce new nuclear weapons into the Baltic region.

Why is it wise for us to formally agree, in perpetuity, as NATO is a permanent alliance, to go to war with Russia, for Finland?

Given the war in Ukraine and concomitant crisis in Eastern Europe, it is understandable why Stockholm and Helsinki would seek greater security beneath the U.S. nuclear umbrella."

Pat Buchanan has been needling the right and left for as long as I've been paying attention.  He didn't like President Bush.  You won't be able to accept all his warnings and logic, but often right, and I don't mean just politically.

Tribute to Phil from his friend Sonja

 Sonja and Phil went through cancer treatment together. She has survived and moved to a lovely 19th century home in central Ohio which she has lovingly furnished with her antiques and pets. She's a huge Civil War fan.  Today is the second anniversary of his death, and I saw this on her Facebook post today, April 21, 2022.

"There is a huge hole in my heart, that was created when God called you home 2 years ago, on this day. It still hasn’t healed yet, and sometimes I feel like it gets bigger.
I find myself wishing that I would see a message from “Tripod” (still one of our funniest names ever created for you) pop up with a “can you talk now?” I sometimes cry still, when the 4pm hour rolls around, as that is when you would call after work, and we would have our marathon conversations filled with laughter, sarcasm, and wisdom…what I wouldn’t give to have you rocking on the front porch with me, having one of our conversations, and enjoying our pure, deep friendship. Damnit, I miss you, Phil!

The Bruces gave me the honor of speaking about Phil, at Phil’s memorial service 2 years ago, these are the words I spoke."


On vacation from Facebook--notes of farewell and good luck


Sue Flaherty: I will miss you and your insight. Hurry back!

Sara White Martin: I'll miss you!

Keith Fernanes: I know where to find you!

Kelly Monroe Kullberg: We'll miss learning from your research expertise. And seeing your personal posts, Norma

Anna Loska Meenan: I'll miss you.

Diane McDermott: I will miss you and your wisdom while you are absent. Take care, my friend.

Sue Noll: I don't have messenger by choice, but appreciate your updates and wisdom. Please pop in if needs for prayer occur!

Debbie Hummel Marconi: I log off everyday between 5-6. It has made a great diff in my angst. Enjoy the peace!

Jenny Seely Simoni: Enjoy your R & R.

Mame Russell Drackett: I will miss your calm wisdom! Take care!!

Beverly Miller Meyers: Happy vacation.

Mindy Stauch Newman: I will miss you so I will visit the blog. Thanks for all the wisdom. I loved reading your FB page.

Barbara Martin: I will, but I'm with you.

It's been a chilly April, but today should be warm

“The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.”

― Robert Frost

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Vaccines were not effective for Omicron variant

"The currently available 2-dose COVID-19 vaccines were not effective in preventing symptomatic disease caused by the omicron variant, as determined according to data from more than 800,000 omicron-infected individuals. . . . Boosters created a short-term improvement in vaccine effectiveness against the omicron variant, but this effect also declined over time."

Read the whole article. It's complex with percentages and number of weeks following the vaccine. But clearly, there is a long way to go.

A Litany of Compassion for the Sick, by Fr. Peter John Cameron

 We pray with special love and concern for all those who are ill or infirm, asking the Lord for his consoling grace to strengthen the sick in times of trial.

Response: Lord, be close to give your comfort.

When pain or distress is overwhelming:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When the healing process goes slower than hoped:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When terrified by treatments for therapy:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When it’s hard to let go of long-held plans:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When the feeling of alienation arises:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When worn out and weary:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When troubled by impatience and negativity:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When loneliness adds to anxiety:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When sickness makes it difficult to communicate:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When discouragement or despondency sets in:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When fear makes it impossible to face the future:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When the ravages of disease attack self-esteem:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When anger and resentment assail:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When beset by worry or fretfulness:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When it’s hard to rely on others for care:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When envy arises toward those who are healthy:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When pessimism or cynicism holds sway:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When anguish is intensified by the need for reconciliation:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When sickness is mistaken for punishment:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When loved ones are far away:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When sickness causes financial hardship that leads to worry or despair:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When afflicted by the feeling of nothing to hope for:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When weakness makes it impossible even to think:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When friends draw back fearful of disease:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When illness makes those who are suffering moody or irritable:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When haunted by regret and the shame of past sins:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When it is difficult to sleep:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When there’s resistance to necessary change:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When tempted by denial:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When nobody seems to understand:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When bound to home or when restricted in movement:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When listlessness and apathy threaten:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When medication seems to make things worse:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When all that’s needed is a caring touch:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When it’s impossible to maintain familiar routines:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When it’s hard to find the strength to go on:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When it becomes difficult to pray:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When suffering of any sort becomes hard to bear:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

When death draws near:
Lord be close to give your comfort.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Parental rights bills and the battle for the children's bodies and minds

And now U.S. Bancorp? Ethan Peck posed this question at shareholders' meeting:
"U.S. Bancorp is a corporate partner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which has lobbied ruthlessly against Florida's anti-grooming legislation preventing teachers from speaking to children as young as 4 years old about sex and sexuality. In sponsoring HRC, U.S. Bancorp is then, in effect, using its shareholders' assets to fund efforts to indoctrinate young children with radical gender ideology."
U.S. Bancorp CEO Andy Cecere doubled down on the company's sponsorship of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) which is fighting Florida's law giving parents rights to stop the indoctrination of young children.

 I always say "follow the money," and usually it doesn't lead to a bank. However, I'm still asking how this went from a tiny fraction of adults with actual gender dysphoria to a huge political cause involving thousands of corporations, including Disney, which should be kind to families, not blowing them apart with a radical agenda. Who is making the money from the transhoax? It just doesn't make sense. We know there are doctors and mental health "professionals" and academics getting grants and government bureaucrats slogging in the swamp, and fund raisers, and non-profits. It doesn't seem to fit the usual, right/left, fascist/communist, totalitarian/imperialist, race/ethnic, or colonialist/serf model. Seems to go for the beginning of all creation--In the beginning God. . .
They go after the unborn, and when a few slip through their bloody grasp, they try to destroy those little ones too. Who is behind these killing fields?

Now we know who is running the White House. The Easter Bunny

 The only people who will understand this are those who saw news coverage of the big jolly rabbit guarding Biden as he tried to talk to someone in the crowd about Afghanistan. The silencer stepped right between them waving his arms (front legs) and redirecting Biden to a "safe space."

Monday, April 18, 2022