Friday, December 31, 2010

No, stay on the highway!

Our son Thomas recently passed his Commercial Driver's License. I better not show this picture to his mother.
Via Woodsterman

Guess who is running for mayor of Chicago?

The following was written by Basil, a guy who is a contributing blogger at IMAO.

« BTW «» Random Thoughts »By the way, I’m running for mayor of Chicago, too
Posted by Basil on December 28, 2010 at 8:02 am
Did you miss the news the other day?

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners ruled that former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is a Chicago resident and can run for mayor.

Part of the problem is that Emanuel doesn’t actually live in Chicago. Hasn’t for a couple of years. He says he’s paid taxes there. And that whole selling his house thing? He wasn’t really selling it.

The Board, in true Chicago style, said that as long as Emanuel was planning on going back, he was a resident.

Which brings me to my point: I’ve been to Chicago. Spent days there. Drove the roads and paid the tolls … which are road taxes. Even been to a White Sox game. And plan to go back to see a Cubs game at Wrigley.

Like Rahm Emanuel, I’ve been to Chicago, paid taxes there, and plan to go back.

Therefore, I am a Chicago resident.

So, I’m running for mayor, too.

And, since it’s Chicago, I want everyone to register so you can vote for me. I mean, it’s Chicago. Dead people vote there all the time. I don’t see why being alive should disqualify you. Just tell them you’re a Democrat. That should cut through any red tape.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do when I’m elected mayor of Chicago. I suppose I should think up some campaign promises or something. I mean, it’s what people running for office do, right?

Here are some of the things I’ve come up with:

Rename US Cellular Field to Cominskey Park.
Daily contests between Lou Malnati’s and Pizzeria Uno’s for best Original Chicago Style Pizza.
Every holiday gets a massacre. St. Valentine’s Day has ridden that gravy train for too long!
Oprah has to give cars to everybody.
Lake Michigan is renamed Happy Fun Lake and is declared off-limits to Canada.
I’m looking for more ideas. When I’m elected mayor, I’ll have jobs for everyone who submits ideas and otherwise contributes to the campaign. As mayor of Chicago, I’ll be able to do that.

Whom do I tell, Janet?


Barry's Hawaiian vacation, and a superhero from the north

Apparently our President is on vacation in Hawaii. Be careful out there, Mr. President. Via Andy's Place

New Rules for Congress

John Boehner, expected to be the new Speaker of the House, has announced new rules. The Constitution will be read (I am not clear whether this is to be done every day or just one time at the beginning of the new session of Congress), and all new bills must be shown by the author of the new legislation to be linked to the Constitiution. It sounds great, but is there any doubt we need to hold their feet to the fire?

Our Dumb World

Want more than just a chuckle? Try reading The Onion's Our Dumb World, The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth. This book travels to all corners of our globe with magnificent satirical descriptions of all the countries. You should avoid this book if you can't stand a satire that includes the United States, or if you are offended by the "f-word." No country escapes the withering satire of The Onion's writers. There is a part of me that would love to write for The Onion.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The year of the nannies

2010 was the year of the nannies. Michelle Malkin identifies the most egregious examples here.

Take a quiz on how well you followed the news in 2010.

The Pew Research Center has a quiz on how well you followed some of 2010's top news stories. Take the quiz here.

"The redistribution of health"

Laura Ingraham blogs here about the "redistribution of health" and "hospice chutes."

Rare-Earth Metals

Which country supplies the world with 95% of the "rare-earth minerals" used in high tech batteries, television sets, cellphones and defense products? That's right, China. In the second half of 2010 China decided to cut its exports of rare-earth minerals by 72%. Read more about this issue here.

A Cautionary Tale

Motel Zero has a cautionary tale. If you are a gingerbread man, don't look at this post.

Can you spot the imposter?

Via Theo Spark

We will be thinking of you tomorrow, Al Gore

Tomorrow we have a "100% chance of precipitation," with high winds and 5-10 inches of snow predicted. They always add "heavier accumulations in local areas." Then, for the next three nights, our temperatures will be below zero.
Al's photo courtesy of The Looking Spoon

The Pleasure of My Company

I like a book that makes me chuckle. Steve Martin's The Pleasure of My Company did just that. I had been seeing his name on the best seller lists, and decided to see what I could check out from the library. First I checked out Shop Girl, but that one did not hold my interest. The Pleasure of My Company definitely did. It is filled with irony, yet also with much sweetness. It is written in first person from the point of view of a 31-year-old man who is a prisoner of his own neurotic obsessions. A neighbor in his apartment building, while the two are jogging, helps him to see that he can break free from one of those obsessions.

Our main character becomes the caretaker of the toddler son of his therapist, who is a graduate student in psychology, and he decides he wants to leave this child free of the constrictions he has erected in his own life. A woman, to whom he has long been attracted, who is a pharmacist who fills his prescriptions at Rite Aid, sees how sweet and kind he is to the toddler, and she becomes attracted to him, too. She has a great sense of humor, and divides his obsessions into three categories: acceptable, unacceptable, and hilarious. He decides to make the most of one of his obsessions, silent counting and alphabetizing, and becomes gainfully employed at Hewlet Packard.

The book has a very happy ending, which I won't ruin with this review.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Drugging our kids

The 2009 results are in. We are drugging our kids at a world record rate. The Wall Street Journal reports on the total number of prescriptions or refills dispensed to children and teens.

ADHD Medications: 24,357,000. Included in that number were 7,018,000 to children ages 0-9, and 17,339,000 to children 10-19 years old.

9,614,000 Antidepressants (1,026,000 to children 0-9 years old and 8,588,000 to children 10-19 years old).

6,546,000 Antipsychotic medications (1,396,000 to children ages 0-9, and 5,150,000 to children ages 10-19.

More than 25% of U.S. children are taking a medication on a chronic basis. That number includes asthma and antihypertensive meds.

"We occupy a very tiny place."

No Christmas in Iraq's Muslim-ruled areas

Daphne at Jaded Haven wonders how it can be a good thing that Christians are being targeted in Iraq's Muslim-ruled areas.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Federal Reserve: Whom is it helping?

The Burning Platform is a blog that does its homework. In this essay about our economy, the writer supports his argument with graphs and persuasive data. Here is an example of 2010 price increases we have all had to deal with.
"Only an Ivy League academic could examine the following yearly price data and conclude, as Bernanke has, that inflation is well contained:"

Unleaded gas up 24%
Heating Oil up 28%
Corn up 50%
Wheat up 48%
Coffee up 56%
Sugar up 27%
Soybeans up 30%
Beef up 26%
Pork up 22%
Cotton up 101%
Copper up 33%
Silver up 72%

The blogger's main points are that Federal Reserve policies have hurt senior citizens and squeezed the middle class terribly, while enriching Bernanke's true masters, "the ruling elite who control the wealth in this country."

Kwanzaa and other faiths

President Obama gave us this Kwanzaa greeting yesterday:
"Michelle and I extend our warmest thoughts and wishes to all those who are celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today is the first of a joyful seven-day celebration of African-American culture and heritage. The seven principles of Kwanzaa — Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith — are some of the very values that make us Americans."

Visit the Moonbattery blog and scroll down to find two December 27, 2010 posts that you will not find in your local newspaper. Moonbattery gives us background information about Kwanzaa and also some history of the President's own religious faith.

Price of silver rises 51% in 2010

The Wall Street Journal has this story today about the price of silver soaring. Guess which countries are producing the most silver? Peru, Mexico, and China. The United States ranks eighth. Maybe we'll see some mines open back up here in Colorado and other western states.

New Medicare regulations bring death panels to life

Fausta's Blog breaks this story about Death Panels being written into Medicare regulations. Implementation date? January 1, 2011!

Malkin: Prayers for the Inspector General, Please

Michelle Malkin has a breaking news story here. Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine has informed members of Congress that he is going to investigate allegations of selective enforcement of civil rights laws in the New Black Panther voter intimidation case that Eric Holder's Justice Department declined to prosecute. Malkin respects Mr. Fine, and believes this is a significant story.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

O Come All Ye Faithful

A New Slinky

What is Christmas without a new slinky, to replace the ones from the nine previous Christmases? Jon seems to like it.

Sara's Christmas 2010

Whoever created the AquaSand game should be required to clean up after each child that uses it. Sara enjoyed it while it lasted, then gave us her present to us: a 2011handprint calendar. My three favorites were September, July, and December, so, here they are!

A Christmas Card from Greg

This is the front of a poem card that 9-year-old Greg made for us today.
The inside of the card is hard to read, even if you click on it. Here is the poem 9-year-old Greg wrote: "Dear Mom and Dad,
What makes the clouds clear up?
Who goes off and buys me syrup?
Mom and Dad!
Who are the ones that tuck me in?
Who are the people that never sin?
Mom and Dad!
Who's always happy?
Who's never snappy?
I'll tell you who! Mom and Dad!
Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas!"
Even though he overrates us tremendously, Greg is a kid who knows how to show gratitude, as do Jon and Sara. I'm thankful for that. I'm also thankful that our kids have two parents intimately involved in their daily lives.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and thank you for dropping by the blog. Blogger is not cooperating (not uploading pictures). I'll try again later.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Goodbye, Nancy

via Cliff at Kingdom Triangle

What's next, no Santa?

Via The Looking Spoon

Pat Conroy's My Reading Life

I have had a book on hold for months, and it finally became available: Pat Conroy's My Reading Life. But, true to Pat Conroy, it is about so much more than what he has read. The first part of his book is devoted to his mother, who read to him daily when he was a young child, Gone With The Wind being her all time favorite. The next part of the book is devoted to the memory of Gene Norris, Pat's high school English teacher. What a fabulous man Norris must have been, inspiring hundreds of students to live life to the fullest.

Speaking of living life, Conroy talks about his near-suicide during and after writing Beach Music. It was Mr. Norris, along with a skilled therapist, who walked Pat out of taking that disastrous action. Norris saved Pat's life in so many ways, Pat having had an incredibly abusive father, then encountering this teacher who believed in him so mightily.

This is as far as I have gotten in the book, but I am sure I'll have more to say later.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The need for a strong America

Thomas Friedman writes a good post here. He chastises China for their absurd behavior regarding democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo's Nobel Peace Prize. He further chastises these countries, persuaded by China to boycott the ceremonies: "Serbia, Morocco, Pakistan, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Colombia, Ukraine, Algeria, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Vietnam and the Philippines. A pathetic bunch."

But Friedman doesn't stop there. In addition to "pathetic" countries, he cites pathetic inividuals, such as "superempowered" individuals like the Wikileaks crew.
He finishes by pointing out that the best answer to these problems is a strong America, committed to its core values,"powerful enough to project them and successful enough that others want to follow our lead — voluntarily."

Time on his hands

What do you do when you are on Christmas break from school? Well, Jon's idea is to make a tank. It actually fires weapons, in this case a scrunched up aluminum foil ball that you see lying on the table. I asked Jon to list the ingredients, and here is the list: duct tape, bailing wire, paper towel roll, aluminum foil, scotch tape, cans and lids, cardboard, hair tie cut in half, nails, screws, and a metal lamp cover.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cheapskate or Energy Saver?

Via Born Again Redneck

Be hip! See America as evil!

As I was scrunching up old newspapers to build a fire (fifteen degrees tonight), I came across this gem written by Shelby Steele in the Wall Street Journal on October 28. I had not read it, although I try to read Shelby Steele any time I see his work, because he is so often spot-on with his analysis. This article, entitled A Referendum on the Redeemer, is provocative, original, and, I believe, spot-on.

Steele points out that one of the results of the acknowledgement of America's most "flagrant hypocrisies" that took place in the sixties led to "the presumption that evil was America's natural default position." This became the "perfect formula for political and governmental power" (using the government to intervene against the evil tendencies of American life.) Thus, "Obama and the Democrats have put themselves in the position of forever redeeming a fallen nation, rather than leading a great nation." "They bet on America's characterological evil and not on her sense of fairness, generosity or ingenuity." And who is the child of the sixties that swallowed whole this bad faith in America? Barack H. Obama. As they say, read the whole thing!

Telegraph Days

I finished my first book by Larry McMurty, author of Terms of Endearment, Lonesome Dove, and many other fine novels. This one was Telegraph Days. The central character is Nellie Courtright. Yes, another book read by Bob, in which the central character is a woman. Nellie was brave, beautiful, bold, blunt, and above all, organized! It was that last character trait that she believed led her to become chosen by Bill Cody as the manager of Buffalo Bill's far flung enterprises.

She gets her start as a young businesswoman running a telegraph service for the town of Rita Blanca in no-man's land, not yet part of any state, but later to become part of Oklahoma. She becomes a writer, her first big story being about a gunfight in Rita Blanca, in which her younger brother, soon after becoming a Sheriff's Deputy, shoots and kills all the members of a notorious outlaw gang. She has run-ins with Wyatt Earp in Dodge City, Kansas and in Tombstone, Arizona, where, as a new reporter for the Tombstone newspaper, she gets right in the middle of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral. We also meet Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Doc Holiday, and Billy the Kid. She finishes her career in Malibu, California, where in the early twentieth century, she meets all the biggest movie stars and moguls.

I shed a few tears at the end, when Bill Cody makes one last request of Nellie, while on his deathbed in Denver.

O Holy Night

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How to stop the Tea Party people from partying: Arson

Here is a statement from the Chicago Tea Party people about how an arsonist disrupted their Christmas party at a pub in Chicago.
Via Moonbattery

Sarah Palin hunting with her dad.

Via Primordial Slack, which is pushing a Palin/Nugent ticket for 2012, just to cause the GOP elites to "howl in pain."

A "Gentle Giant"

You've probably heard about this man who walked into a school board meeting (gun free zone) and shot at school board members (but did not hit any of them). How about the courage of the woman with the purse?

Prior to this action, he linked on Facebook to many "progressive" websites, including Media Matters and His wife had recently been fired by the school board. She referred to him in a t.v. interview as a "gentle giant." After he was shot by security officers, he killed himself.
Via Moonbattery

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nancy Pelosi: have yourself a very liberal!

Via Maggie's Notebook

Ahead of the curve

I just read this incredible post at Moonbattery. Proctor and Gamble has quit putting phosphates in its dishwasher detergents. Seventeen states have banned the phosphates because they are believed to create algae. Unfortunately, they also clean food from dishes in the dishwasher. Now, people are going to have to wash and rinse their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher!

At our house we feel we are way ahead of this curve. Our dishwasher died a couple of years ago. We hand wash all our dishes, then put them into the dishwasher to dry (we do not turn on the dishwasher; they just get dry in there)!

Nuclear setback for Iran?

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Iran's nuclear program has been set back two years by the "Stuxnet" virus infecting their computers. Meanwhile, there is this Fox News commentary that one of Iran's nuclear scientists has been killed by a bomb, and another injured. So far I have not seen anything else on these stories, which should be huge news.

"We can't just leave it up to parents!"

President Obama signed the $4.5 billion dollar bill that will subsidize with money our government does not have, and regulate what children eat before school, at lunch, after school, and during summer at any school receiving federal funds.
Via Moonbattery

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hugh Hewitt interviews President George W. Bush

Hugh Hewitt recently interviewed George W. Bush on Hugh's radio program. A transcript has been posted here. I was interested in reading about Mr. Bush's Christian faith. Here is one excerpt.

GWB: "You know, it’s interesting, and Tim Keller helped me understand this, that if you allow power to become your god, then it is corrupting. If you allow fame to become your god, it is corrupting. If you allow money to become your god, it is corrupting. And what religion helped me was to understand that that was those truths. And so power can be used effectively to help people, or it can be intoxicating, in which case it is difficult to have a proper relationship, if you’re a Christian, with Christ."

There is much more interesting stuff in the interview, including some background information about why he said he felt he could trust Putin. Another was his comment about people in the C.I.A. leaking to the New York Times in an effort to influence the 2004 election. I have put a hold on his book Decision Points at our library, and am anxious to read it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What's good for the goose...

What is the European Common Good? This brief blog post is well worth reading.

Two youths try to rob a police station

If you are going to rob somebody, your local police station is probably not the best place to do it. Just sayin.
Via Redneck Peril

Nighttime reading to the children

Along with Shel Siverstein's books, I am reading to Greg and Jon at night a book co-written by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson entitled Peter and the Starcatchers. It is a hoot! It takes place at sea. Peter is one of five orphans forced to be on a boat that, shall we say, has few comforts. It, along with a pirate ship appropriately named the Sea Devil are chasing a fast ship called The Wasp. There are two trunks believed to be filled with wonderful treasures. We shall see. Jon fidgets a lot during the reading, but he remembers all the characters, and gets all the humor. Harry Potter is still his favorite read. I try to get him and Greg to guess what is going to happen next.

Tonight Sara and I read The Bog Baby, which is exquisitely illustrated by Gwen Millward. We also read The Little Red Hen, which I am sure many of my blog readers remember. The hen tries to enlist the other animals in helping her at various stages of wheatgrowing and breadmaking. No one wants to help until it is time to eat the bread, but by then it is too late. Sara got the message: "When I don't clean my room, I don't get to watch t.v., right, Dad?" "That's right, Sara."

Before it was bedtime, Sara wanted me to see how fast she can run. We went out to a far pasture to collect firewood, and she ran and ran and ran. She really loves to run, and is getting stronger and stronger. I tried to help her with her motion ("elbows in, and move your arms back and forth to help you go faster.") That translated into a weird stroke that looked like a flailing, drowning swimmer, so I said to her, "Just forget that advice, and run naturally, like you were before."

A weight loss plan that works!

Want to lose weight? I have done it, and I am now going to share my secret with you. For most of this year my weight has been around 215. Recently I had gotten it down closer to 200. Then came the infected tooth ten days ago. Now I am down to 178 this morning with shoes and clothes on!

I actually don't recommend you go out and get your tooth infected, especially the molar where you had a root canal many years back. I got an antibiotic from a dentist. He wants me either to get the infected tooth extracted for $200.00 (with Christmas coming up, the timing could not be worse) or see if an oral surgeon can save the tooth and extract many more hundreds of dollars from our bank account. My plan is to see if the antibiotics will kill the infection, brush and floss diligently forever and ever, and keep the tooth. The dentist says the tooth is infected, and the antibiotics will only kill the infection in the bones and areas around the tooth, not in the tooth itself. Why not? We'll see.

December is all about China?

Wednesday afternoon should be interesting. That is when Sara is going to make a presentation at school about China. For some reason her class is focusing on China this month. Sara is supposed to talk about 3-5 facts about China. She asked for my help this evening. So far this is what we have come up with.

1. China's government is communist. What does that mean? It means that the Chinese people are not free to criticize their government. If they do, they will be put in jail.

2. China loans money to the United States government. What is a loan? It is where they give us one dollar, but we have to give them one dollar and one dime back.

3. China makes cheap stuff. They sell it to Wal-Mart. (There is a Wal-Mart right next to Sara's school).

4. At Christmas time American children open up their toys made in China that their parents buy at Wal-Mart. Colleen scolded me on this one, because many of these first-graders believe (or pretend to believe) their toys come from Santa Claus, not Wal-Mart.

I guarantee you that Sara is going to mix and mangle these concepts so they will not be recognizable on Wednesday. Maybe I can persuade the teacher to let me ask Sara questions and prompt Sara, then she will explain the concepts more clearly. Stay tuned!

Strike One

A federal judge in Virginia today struck down the provision in Obamacare that requires individuals to purchase health care in order to pay for others' health care. Pajamas Media already has this video of Robert Gibbs today changing the language of the bill.

"Wait a second. What?"

Condi Rice cuts through Katie Couric's attempts to manipulate the facts about Saddam Hussein's threat to the world. I wish Sarah Palin would have been able to smack down Katie as well as Condi does here.
Via Moonbattery

Parents who raise victimizers

On December 11, I wrote about Victimizing. Today I want to write about a similar topic, parents who raise victimizers. Do you allow one of your children to victimize other people? If the parent sees her child victimizing other people, and just looks the other way, that parent is guilty of gross neglect of duty. That parent is creating a monster that other people will be victimized by throughout that child's life, both as a child and then as an adult. There are many possible "reasons" why a parent fails to confront her child who is victimizing others. None of these "reasons" are valid or acceptable. They are all excuses for the parent's cowardice. The bottom llne is the parent time and again chooses the easy way out, thereby allowing that child to develop into a monster for the rest of society to deal with.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Have you hugged your dog today?

Via Ace of Spades

Michelle Obama's Bake Sale Reform

The Looking Spoon links to this Associated Press story about the child nutrition bill that is on its way to President Obama. Brownies and other school bake sales will fall under the purvue of this intrusive bill. This is another issue tailor made for Sarah Palin, who is already speaking out against it.

Shem Creek

What is there about the low country of South Carolina that attracts good novelists? First Pat Conroy, now I have discovered Dorothea Benton Frank. I just finished her fine novel Shem Creek. You might be amazed to learn that the villain is an environmental whacko high school teacher! It is a love story. Lots of people are loved, the way it should be in our world.

A mom, after her husband proves to be an unfaithful jerk, takes her two teenage daughters and, seeking healing, moves back to the low country from New Jersey. She had been raised in the low country, and her sister still lives there. And what a wonderful loving sister she proves to be to our main character, the mom.

The mom and her new employer eventually become lovers and marry, after each one gets betrayed by their unfaithful first spouses. Both slowly realized that they had found the character in each other that was missing in their first spouses.

The book has a very happy ending for all of the characters the reader comes to care about.


Feeling victimized? How do you respond when you feel victimized by someone close to you? Some people feel it gives them the green light to endlessly victimize the person whom they choose to identify as their abuser. That's a trap, especially in a spousal relationship. Once one lets evil get a foothold, it seems to become so enjoyable that the person who once may actually have suffered some injustice from her spouse, now gives herself permission to inflict as much misery as possible on the person who they believe wronged them. Each time they abuse that person, they remind the person of the horrendous flaws that person possesses, at least in the ever-flourishing and ever-darkening imagination of the person who daily bathes in the foamy suds of abuse.

And, what if that person can find an ally? If she is an attractive woman, finding allies among horny males is a piece of cake. She suddenly realizes she can find a man with more money, more property, less years in the aging process, more of whatever she believes is lacking in her current relationship.

Obviously, getting away from such overwhelming evil is recommended. But, if there are children involved, that alternative is not so easy. Children, both boys and girls, need fathers. If you are a man being victimized, you may decide to stay in the home soley because you want to stay actively involved in parenting your children. Seeing your children once or twice a week does not substitute for seeing them every day, even if you are miserably abused by your spouse. Also there is the common abuse known as Parental Alienation Syndrome. This is where one spouse does the most evil thing imaginable: alienating the child's affections from his father. If she is engaging in other evil behaviors, what makes you think she will not engage in parental alienation?

Our prisons are full of prisoners who decided to become victimizers after suffering victimization themselves. Unfortunately, over 90 percent of the people in prison for spousal abuse are men, though from my own experience as a social worker, it is my belief that the actual occurence of spousal abuse is closer to fifty percent by males and fifty percent by females. Women are more experienced in non-physical forms of abuse.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The President's body language

We are hearing that President Obama engaged in bipartisan compromise with Republicans. He said he enjoyed it, but does his body language say otherwise? Jay Leno suggests we study this video for body language clues.
Via Moonbattery


I am confused. For years now we have been hearing from Democrats and their allies in the media that the Bush tax cuts were for the rich. Now, however, I read in today's paper that an accord has been reached that will preserve the Bush tax cuts "for families of all income levels." How could that be, if the Bush tax cuts were only for the rich?

Monday, December 06, 2010

What works with challenging children?

David Bardsley writes a wonderful column today here. Misdiagnosed by all of the "helping professions" from age six, when he was seen as a behavior problem in school, until age twenty-six, when he was correctly diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome, his parents decided that they knew their child better than any of the experts. The parents decided to give him "unyielding support, relentless encouragement, uncompromising love, and vigorous physical activity." He is now a surgeon. Read the whole thing!

The reading list

I have been trying to read at least one book by famous authors I have not read or have not read in a long time. I just finished John Updike's The Terrorist. I enjoyed it. Updike has a lot of good insight into the way the world works. Pat Conroy he ain't, though!

The boys and I are reading all of Shel Silverstein's books. Both Greg and Jon can draw as well as Silverstein, but they can't yet match his silly poetry. With Sara I am reading all of the Arthur books, as well as any other book that catches my eye at the library. I finished Liz Gilbert's Committed, which did not hold my interest as well as her Eat, Pray, Love. I also got tired of her lame bashing of conservatives.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Personality disorders

The people who are putting together the new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disoders, Fifth Edition, are removing several popular diagnoses, including Narcissistic, Paranoid, Schizoid, Histrionic and Dependent Personality Disorders. Is that because these disorders are so common now that they almost seem normal?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Aliens are here!

Believers in aliens finally have some solid proof! NASA is announcing a new bacteria found in Mono Lake, California is made of arsenic! All the rest of are made up of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same. Except this new bacteria!

The President doing the right thing

When Barack Obama does something good, we should note it. He gave a speech to the troops at Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan today, thanking them for their service and promising to stay in the fight.

Skeletons in closets

Ace believes he knows why the media mocks Bristol Palin: because she did not get an abortion!

A Question

Why did it take an inquiry from Senator Joseph Lieberman before Amazon discovered that its servers were hosting WikiLeaks, and subsequently dumped WikiLeaks from its servers? Maybe Christmas buyers should shop elewhere until Amazon can clarify.

UN Climate Change Bureaucrat Prays to Ixchel

The U.N. Convention on climate Change opened in Cancun with a prayer to the goddess Ixchel by its Executive Director. Moonbattery gives us some history about Ixchel: "During this Mayan festival in the honor of Ixchel: the goddess of the Moon, beehives, fertility, medicine and weaving, a beautiful young woman was chosen by craftsmen and artisans to represent the goddess. This young woman was sacrificed by the priests and flayed.
Her skin was worn by a man who sat at a loom and pretended to weave, while the craftsmen danced around him in animal costumes. The ceremony was then completed when the worshippers engaged in bloodletting and then had a ritual bath."
The image above shows Ixchel.

You have to stay alert, even in the library!

A Canadian man used a crossbow to kill his father in a library in Toronto while shocked mothers and children watched.

We don't know whom he called.

Charles Manson is on a list compilied by the California State Prison system. The list is of inmates caught using cell phones last year. Manson made calls to British Columbia, California, New Jersey, and Florida. The punishment? A reprimand and confiscation of the cell phone! This split photo shows Charlie when he was first brought into prison and how he looks now at age 76.

No backbone

Do you bank with Chase? You might want to rethink that choice. Chase directed its bank in Southlake, Texas to remove a Christmas tree from its lobby, because someone was offended.

The TAX system explained IN SIMPLE TERMS!

Sometimes politicians, journalists and others exclaim; "It's just a tax cut for the rich!", and it is just accepted to be fact.
But what does that really mean?

Just in case you are not completely clear on this issue, I hope the following will help.
Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner and the bill
for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.
The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20."
Dinner for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected.
They would still eat for free.
But what about the other six men - the paying customers?
How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33.
But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to eat their meal.

So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100 savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33 savings).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28 savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25 savings)
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22 savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16 savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free.

But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!"
"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison.
"We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start eating overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
Stolen from The Looking Spoon

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Fight the power!

Have you ever been in a situation in which power was being misused, and you felt powerless to do anything about it? Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest to describe such a scenario, and what happens when someone decides to fight the power. His heroic character, McMurphy, is demonized by the all-powerful nurse Ratchet, but in the end he earns the love of all the men formerly under Nurse Ratchet's control. Could a novel be written today in which men are abused by a woman and her black henchmen, or have we become too immersed in political correctness? Oh, by the way, Nurse Ratchet wins in the end...or does she?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

George Soros into the light of day

Van Helsing asks, "Wouldn't it be interesting to learn what Soros knows about the financial collapse of 2008 that ushered his minion B. Hussein into power?" Glenn Beck is fearlessly and ferociously going after Soros.

Biden is disappointed

Where else, but from my friends at The Looking Spoon

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Illegal immigrant found guilty in murder of Chandra Levy

via Bloviating Zeppelin, which has more details

A War on the West?

This is how much of the West is already owned by the federal government. Michelle Malkin reports that Obama, through Ken Salazar, is stealthily grabbing more land, which she calls Obama's War on the West.

Illegal immigration is ultimately about moral issues.

Finally, someone has said what needs to be said about illegal immigration. Victor Davis Hansen explains that it is often debated on issues of costs and benefits, but that ultimately it is about moral issues. He outlines those moral issues here.

What Sarah Palin is thankful for

In case you missed this, here is what Sarah Palin said she was thankful for on Thanksgiving 2010.

"I am giving thanks for so much this Thanksgiving. I’m grateful that we enjoy the “blessings of liberty” secured by our Constitution. I’m grateful for the protection of America’s finest, our men and women in uniform — many of whom will spend Thanksgiving far from their loved ones so that we might celebrate with our families in peace and security.

I’m grateful that America’s children can look forward to a hopeful future because their mothers and fathers will make the sacrifices generations of American parents have made to safeguard freedom and opportunity.

I’m grateful that our land is rich in resources — all that we need to sustain ourselves and secure our prosperity.

I’m grateful that all Americans have the equal opportunity to earn, contribute, create, produce, perform, and succeed by our own merits and through the application of a sincere work ethic. I’m grateful for the ingenuity, innovation, and optimism that still animate the American spirit.

Most of all, I’m grateful that the steadying hand of Providence that guided the Pilgrims to Plymouth Rock continues to guide us toward a better future."

— Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and Republican vice-presidential nominee, is author of the new book, America by Heart.

No Guilt Whatsoever

George Soros has no guilt whatsoever about his role in sending fellow Jews off to their deaths during the Holocaust. Here is a partial transcript of a 60 Minutes interview with him.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Not this Mitt again!"

This post is up at Pajamas Media, and it is not at all favorable to Mitt Romney.

Photos of North Korea's artillery attacks on South Korea

Go here to view more photos of North Korea's artillery attacks on South Korea.

News of the day

Here is the story and picture of the latest would-be-terrorist caught by the F.B.I.
Then there is this post, which points out, among many other interesting observations, that the young man has a "Mohammed Coefficient of 200%."
Update: The New York Times is reporting that it was a Portland Muslim who tipped off the F.B.I. Now that is really good news, indeed!

Clarity from a Brit

This fellow from Britain seems to have a knack for clarity!
via Dr. Sanity

TSA harasses woman over breast milk

What happens when a woman with a bag of breast milk asks the TSA not to put the milk through Xray screening? She is detained for over forty minutes and misses her flight home, where her 7-month-old child awaits for the arrival of her and her breast milk.
via The Looking Spoon

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

The children seemed really excited about Thanksgiving this year. 10-year-old Jon made absolutely delicious applesauce, then helped 9-year-old brother Greg (who made a wonderful fruit salad) and 7-year-old sister Sara set the table.
16-year-old Kim made six pies, mashed potatoes, and a sweet potato dish.
Although they missed the family gathering around the dinner table, 21-year-old Thomas and 18-year-old Erik arrived in time to make turkey sandwiches and finish off the pies.

Black Friday

As I walked into the Big Box Superstore today, my first clue that things might get a little strange on this Black Friday was the message I heard on the store intercom: "Will the shopper who was looking for Harry Potter please come to the dressing room?" Then, I saw shoppers eyeing the "Prelit, pine-scented artificial Xmas trees," and a man carrying a camo Snuggie, and decided to hurry for the checkout counter with my bag of apples. At the checkout counter I saw Prevention Magazine, which featured helpful hints for diabetes sufferers. On the cover was a chocolate cheesecake which, thankfully, was only one of "24 delicious diabetes recipes." Is this a great country, or what?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Paranoia about Sarah Palin

Barbara Bush wishes Sarah Palin would just stay in Alaska. I presume Barbara feels it is now Jeb's turn to be nominated as the GOP candidate for president in 2012. New York Times theater critic Frank Rich also fears a Palin candidacy. Tunku Varadarajan tries to understand the "Sarah Palin Paranoia" problem here.

Funding the ground zero mosque with taxpayer dollars

Muslims are asking for public funds (applying for a $5 million dollar grant) to build the ground zero mosque. While New Yorkers might think that is a fine idea, I doubt if the rest of the country will be too overjoyed.
Via Moonbattery

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where are the do-gooders now?

Remember when every good liberal in America and Europe proudly joined with Nelson Mandela to end apartheid in South Africa? Since then the ANC (African National Congress) has been in power for 16 years, unemployment is now 25.3%, ANC leaders have supported Robert Mugabe's African auto-genocide in Zimbabwe, there are rolling electricity blackouts, and the ANC has completely denied the country's HIV problem.

A new book detailing all of this and more has been written by R.W. Johnson of the London Sunday Times, and it is reviewed in the Wall Street Journal here by Grame Wood. Where are the do-gooders now?

Can Republicans lead on energy, or will they back renewable energy subsidies?

Kimberley Strassel wrote an excellent piece in the November 19 Wall Street Journal. She points out that although Republicans in the House are ready to fight against Obamacare, financial regulation, tax hikes, cap and trade, and unspent stimulus dollars, they are tongue-tied when it comes to Obama's stated ambition of "transforming" America's economy! No one of prominence (except Rush Limbaugh) has had the guts to speak out against Obama's "green" economy, which Strassel alleges will result in high costs and low jobs. I agree with her as to those results.

A good portion of the American people seem really to have been brainwashed on this "green" stuff. People actually think they are saving the environment when they bring their not-very-clean cloth bags back to the grocery store time and again, then drive away in their SUVs. Republicans are afraid to lose the votes of these suburban Americans. They don't want to be seen as anti-environment. So they have adopted what Strassel in her excellent article terms an "all of the above" strategy, meaning that they are for oil drilling and also for government-funded renewable energy subsidies. As Strassel notes, "Europe has already proven these subsidies destroy traditional employment, are permanent drains on state funds, and raise energy prices."

Republicans claim to believe in smaller government, freer markets, but gee, guys, it's "green!" Obama is way, way out in front of them on this issue.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Who's Nurse Ratchet and who is Mr. McMurphy?

I am reading Ken Kesey's masterpiece One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Has there been any person who has done more to influence us to treat the mentally ill humanely? The book and movie, of course, were about the sadistic Nurse Ratchet and her control of her patients. It was also about Mr. McMurphy, the Jack Nicholson character. McMurphy boasted that he could get to Nurse Ratchet. Sarah Palin is boasting to Barbara Walters that she can beat Obama. So Sarah is the McMurphy character, and Obama is Nurse Ratchet?

I saw on the cover of National Enquirer today that Sarah's 16-year-old daughter Willow is pregnant. If that is true, I think that might end Sarah's chances for the nomination.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In an historic gesture of goodwill, B.H. Obama lands on American soil.


Does TSA have a new trainee?

I don't know if this is rumor or fact, but there is a news story saying that Bill Clinton has volunteered to work for the TSA. This photo would seem to lend credence to the rumor that he is currently in training.


"As smoking is to the lungs, so resentment is to the soul. Even one puff is bad for you." from Liz Gilbert, in her wonderful book Eat, Pray, Love.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Photo from Indonesia

via blonde sagacity

The Mystery of the Missing Donuts

Ten-year-old Jon wrote this story today.

Jim woke up on Saturday morning very hungry. He sat up in his bed and remembered he didn't eat dinner last night. He got dressed, went to his car, and drove to the donut shop. When Jim got there he saw a hole about the size of a football in the big glass door. He walked in and saw a man on the floor with a knife in his chest. "Oh my gosh, there is a dead man on the floor!" Jim said, while he ran out the door screaming like a little girl. Then he whipped out his old cell phone and called 911. He told the 911 person, "I walked in and there he was, dead! Then I saw that-that-that the donuts were gone!" Jim screamed very fast.

The police came in and asked Jim more questions. Outside in an alley by the donut store, the police found a trail of frosting and sprinkles on the wall. The police and Jim walked and walked, following the trail until the alley ended. "Whoa, whoever did this sure stole a lot of donuts," said Jim. "How are we going to find him now," asked Charlie, a very loud detective. "I think I found the answer Char. Look," a young detective said, while pointing to the ground where tire tracks were. Charlie said, "Let's follow them!" They walked and walked, farther and farther, until Charlie said, sounding very annoyed, "Okay guys, let's think about this. There is a random set of tire tracks right next to the crime scene, leading straight to the middle of nowhere." "I think you're right. This is probably a red herring," said a big policeman named Bill. The group agreed. They headed back, but this time the opposite way.

"I just figured this out," said a skinny, short-haired detective. The tracks are going exactly straight. Don't you think that's weird?" "Yeah, I guess so," said Charlie. Then the others nodded to show they agreed. "Our suspect probably put the car in gear and let it loose," said Bill. "Look! The track leads directly to this apartment," said Charlie. Bill knocked down the door and found a very small man feasting on a pile of donuts.

You're under arrest for the murder of Chou Chung, and for stealing his pastries," said Officer Cindy Lou. "Get up! What's your name?" "Hgruwphtodo," said the small, but now very fat man with a mouth full of donuts. "What?" said Charlie. The man swallowed, then said his name in a small, squeaky tone: "Greg Tolker." Okay, how about this, Greg, "Get up now or I'll shoot you," said Charlie. Greg got up. Jim, Charlie, Bill, Cindy Lou and the young detective all drove back to the police department with their prisoner in handcuffs.

"Thank you for helping catch Greg, Jim," an old man who was the Chief said. Jim went home with the rest of the donuts, ate one, then went to bed and took a nap. The end.

Fill the seats with people who wish they weren't there!

P.J. O'Rourke isn't satisfied with the election results. He has a different idea as to how we could elect people to go to Washington: use the jury system!
Certain individuals on juries would be na├»ve and easily suborned by special interests. They could turn out to be thieves. This has happened before in Washington. But who is more dangerous as a burglar—the thief who knows all about your valuables and where you keep them or the thief who’s never been in your house (or Senate) before?

There are, of course, no easy reforms in a long-established political system—except this one. The principles of jury selection are simple to apply to representational democracy, at least in respect to our elected officials. We don’t have to change the Constitution, we just have to change the Democratic and Republican nomination process, which is such a mess that any change would be uncontroversial.

There’s a jury pool in every political district. Call up members of the pool for jury—that is to say, nominee—duty. Let voters in primaries act like prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges, excusing some and dismissing others. When the pool has been culled to a reasonable size, the general election voters can pick whom they like. Nothing would prevent common politicians from running on third party or write-in tickets. But they’d be easily identifiable as what they are—politicians.

Then we’ll know when we’ve won an election: We’ll know we’ve won when every candidate who is voted in begins his or her acceptance speech by saying, “Oh, #@*!”

America gave him the ball, but Michael Jordan he ain't

Dr. Sanity compares Obama's narcissism with George Washington's humility.
Yet it’s important to remember that our presidents aren’t always this way. When he accepted command of the Revolutionary forces, George Washington said,
I feel great distress, from a consciousness that my abilities and military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important Trust. .  .  . I beg it may be remembered, by every Gentleman in the room, that I, this day, declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the Command I am honored with.
Accepting the presidency, Washington was even more reticent. Being chosen to be president, he said, “could not but overwhelm with despondence one who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.”

Compare those words of George Washington to these of Obama.
But Obama’s faith in his abilities extends beyond mere vote-getting. Buried in a 2008 New Yorker piece by Ryan Lizza about the Obama campaign was this gob-smacking passage:
Obama said that he liked being surrounded by people who expressed strong opinions, but he also said, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” After Obama’s first debate with McCain, on September 26th, [campaign political director Patrick] Gaspard sent him an e-mail. “You are more clutch than Michael Jordan,” he wrote. Obama replied, “Just give me the ball.”

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cody gets some support

Remember the thirteen-year-old boy in Sacramento who likes to ride his bike to school while flying an American flag, but the school told him he couldn't continue? Here's an update.

More absurdity from the United Nations

One of my favorite blogs, Betsy's Page, has an excellent rundown on the latest idiocy from the United Nations. Saudi Arabia has been selected to sit on the board of the new U.N. agency to promote equal rights for women. Betsy cites reports from several sources that show that Saudi Arabia's treatment of women is anything but equal to that of men.

Stuffed Brain Syndrome

Ten-year-old son Jon, after showing me his science homework, literature homework, lesson on verbs, and his math, says to me tonight, "Dad, I think I need to stay home from school tomorrow. I have too much stuff in my head, and I can't afford to put anything else in there."

Government Motors: "Rubbish"

George Will hits a home run with his latest column. He writes about GM and its new Volt car. He points out that the government (we, the people) so far has lent GM over $50 billion, but GM CEO Ed Whitaker says in expensive ads on television and in a Wall Street Journal column that "we have repaid our government loan, in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule." That refers to a TARP-funded $6.7 billion escrow account, with no mention of almost $50 billion in other loans.

Then, there is the ludicrous Chevy Volt, charged by coal and gas-fired power plants to give the driver 40 miles before the gas engine kicks in, or, when the car is moving 70 mph. The federal government will give tax credits of $7,500 to every purchaser, but it will not be available in 44 states, for which George Will expresses gratitude on behalf of us taxpayers.


Dennis Prager explains "the middle east problem" concisely.
Via Theo Spark

Eat. Pray, Love

I am enjoying Liz Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. Yes, there have been a couple of Republican-bashing remarks, but we can't always limit ourselves to people who have the same political beliefs, can we? Liz has a great sense of humor, and writes about grappling with life issues that most of us have to deal with at one time or another. She goes through the excruciating pain of divorce, then another failed love relationship, and decides to spend four months each in Italy, India, and Indonesia. Italy was where she pleasured herself eating. Now I am at the part in the book where she goes to India and lives in an Ashram.

One of her comments about life in the Ashram, quoting someone else, was that "prayer is where we talk to God; meditation is where we listen to God." She had problems with the meditation part, and so would I.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And Democrats did well among female voters?

Barry and Michelle go for a walk in a Muslim country. Clarice Feldman has the commentary here.

Beware the praise of liberals in the media and academia

Sara Palin has some advice for the incoming freshman Congressmen and women. Much of it is what you would expect in terms of policy, but she also had some advice for them in dealing with the media. Clarence Thomas also had something to say about the same subject.

Undo it!

Michelle Malkin has the story on the hundreds of waivers to Obamacare being given to businesses, unions, and states.

A Happy Birthday Girl

For Sara's seventh birthday, the family headed to town. The onion rings got things rolling.
The birthday party was held at one of those restaurants where all the waiters come and sing happy birthday and bring a sundae to the lucky person. Sara suddenly became shy, a rare occasion indeed!
After the singers left, Sara quickly recovered, as she realized Mom was going to eat that sundae, if she didn't!
Judging by the look on her face, the birthday dinner seemed to have gone well. Now for the best part: going home to open presents!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Can you believe this?

A boy in Sacramento, California, home of the Democrats who are running the largest budget deficits of any state, likes to ride to school with an American flag on his bike. The middle school he attends has told him he can no longer do that. Read the story here.

A stupid military decision?

Amy Goodman writes here about President Obama's stupid decision to support Indonesia's notorious Kopassus, the Indonesian military's special forces commando group. As Obama landed in Indonesia, a journalist named Allan Nairn released several secret documents which revealed how the government of Indonesia, through Kopassus, has murdered tens of thousands of Indonesian citizens, Obama's old neighbors.

Palin email hacker gets one year in jail

The lefty creep who hacked into Sarah Palin's email during the presidential campaign has been sentenced to one year in jail. Here is Sarah talking to reporters outside the courtroom after she testified last April.
via Gateway Pundit

The Obama/Pelosi/Reid Legacy

In order to help us comprehend what is happening to our economy under Obama's presidency, Gateway Pundit posted these graphs.

"Something big is going on at the center of the galaxy"

This New York Times article tells about the photo above. Two huge "energy bubbles" in the core of the Milky Way have been discovered. No human knows what they are.
via Finest Kind Clinic and fish market

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Ride of Betsy Dowdy

Tonight in honor of Veterans Day I read Sara the story of Betsy Dowdy. It is about a sixteen-year-old girl who lived on the barrier island of Currituck, North Carolina. On December 8, 1775 a neighbor warned Betsy's father that the redcoats were marching toward them, and surely would take their supplies and animals. As the legend has it, Betsy got her beloved horse, Bess, and took off to warn General Skinner, who was fifty miles away. She made it to the General, who gathered his men together and joined with the Virginia militia to fight and defeat the redcoats. Their victory on December 9, 1775 was important, because it proved to the Americans that the British could be defeated.

The book I read to Sara was entitled The Ride by Kitty Griffin.

Fascism and Communism: Variants of Totalitarianism

"Fascism and communism are variants of the same totalitarianism, which central control of all economic activity tends to produce." So writes Frederich A. Hayek in his classic book The Road to Serfdom.

Lords of Discipline

I just finished reading Pat Conroy's Lords of Discipline. I had not been too eager to begin reading it, because I knew from reading his My Losing Season that it was going to be about the cruelty he and others endured as cadets at The Citadel. He disguised The Citadel as "Carolina Military Institute." The book builds to a climax that left me in tears, but I am so glad I read it (or, more precisely, listened to it as an audio book). His development of characters is just perfect. What a rich imagination he has. I found myself trying to guess what was going to happen to each of the characters. Which would turn out to be persons of honor and courage? Which would turn out to be pathetic people not to be trusted? One thing I knew for sure, though, all would be thoroughly believable characters.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time to hit the slopes

I found this photo on Theo Spark's blog. I better not show it to my stepson Erik, who a couple of weekends ago was skiing at the top of Loveland Pass. I want to make sure Erik keeps his head in his school work, which he has been doing very well so far. We have snow here now, and more expected tomorrow.

Who are the ones who are developmentally disabled?

Yesterday I was in one of those huge big box superstores. There were twenty or so developmentally disabled adults being chaperoned by two other adults. Suddenly, one member of the group, a short round young woman, let out a piercing scream I had never heard from a human or animal. She had recognized her brother shopping in the store with his two young children. She ran to him and gave him a highly emotional hug. After telling him several times, "I love you," she patted the two young children lovingly and returned to her group, telling everyone that the man over there is her brother. The male chaperone came over and introduced himself to the brother, which I thought was very cool. The group milled around for a while, then left the store. The joy never left that young woman, as she continued to tell everyone that she had just seen her brother.

The genuineness of that young woman's love for her brother was inspiring to me. We are so used to reciting polite but phony greetings to one another. Here in Colorado, it all starts with "How're you doing?" If I am not doing well, I still say that I am. Sadness and loss are subjects that are off limits among us non-developmentally disabled adults. If you say "I'm well, thank you" enough, you start to believe it yourself, and you actually begin to feel better! Developmentally disabled adults do not seem to be capable of guile. The loving emotions from that young woman seemed to burst forth from every cell of her body.

I wonder, who are the ones who are disabled?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hilarious Trick Play

There was one minute to go in the game and The Mayor’s team was down by six. The ref just finished marking off five yards on the defense when The Mayor – quarterback Mayor, that is – leaned over and yelled at the center that the ref was going to mark off five more yards. The Mayor then told the center to give him the ball – ”hiking it” in football lingo – technically starting the play. The Mayor then started to walk off the yards – as cool as a cucumber on a crisp autumn day in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – and once he passed by the defensive line, he ran like diarrhea coming down the leg of a tourist at an all you can burrito cart in Tijuana.
video and narrative from a blog called Mitchieville
Via Andy's Place

Monday, November 08, 2010

0 for 95!

In an article entitled "Net Neutrality" goes 0 for 95, Gordon Crovitz writes in the Wall Street Journal today that all 95 members of Congress who signed a pledge to support "net neutrality" lost in last week's elections! Crovitz documents the absurdity of trying to regulate the internet, and urges more competition as the solution, not more regulation.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A politician hooks himself up to a lie detector machine

I found this at the wonderful Invincible Armor blog
Now do you understand why, even as a teenager, I so enjoyed watching Johnny Carson every night with my parents before going to bed?

"Can we read now?"

By now those of you who are regular readers of this blog (and who are very much appreciated), know that I am enamored with the writings of Pat Conroy. I am now reading to Jon and Greg The Water is Wide, which is Pat's account of his year teaching on Yamacraw Island, off the coast of South Carolina. The boys are thoroughly enjoying it. Conroy is so much like me, except that he can write so wonderfully. He is five years younger than I, so we have lived through the same decades in this American life. He went through the same do-gooder phase at about the same time that I did. He shares my lack of love for bureaucracy, or to put it more positively, he was willing to be unorthodox in order to reach his students. Greg, Jon, and I love his wonderful sense of humor. I love to put the boys asleep at night reading to them something they enjoy so much. They ask questions or I explain words to them I know they do not understand. I love it when they actually come to me and ask, "Can we read now?"

Thursday, November 04, 2010

A Tea Partier Who Can Flat Out Sing!

via American Digest

America the beautiful

I found this at Gecko's blog, and please tell her I miss her! Video via American Digest

Rationing Health Care of the Elderly

I found this at Red Stick Rant

Lots of zeros

President Obama and his entourage of 3,000 attendants are flying in five jets to India, where they plan to spend $200,000,000.00 per day for ten days! One person will not be part of the entourage: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Do you think Obama's $3,000,000,000.00 aid package to Pakistan might be on India's agenda of items to be discussed?


If you ever get a chance to visit Arches National Park in Utah, you'll be glad you did. I found this photo at Theo Spark's Last of the Few blog.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

When countries invest hope in a leader

Two years ago this month the majority of the American people invested their hopes and dreams for themselves and their country in Barack Obama. He was smart enough to convince them, albeit with the help of the omnipresent teleprompters, that he was the person who could bring them the changes they sought. Seventy years ago the German people invested their hopes and dreams for their country and themselves in Adolph Hitler. He was smart enough to convince them that he was the man who could deliver the changes they sought.

A.J. Goldmann writes in today's Wall Street Journal about an exhibition at the German Historical Museum entitled Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crimes. The exhibit addresses the question of how Hitler was possible. How did parents allow their young people to be indoctrinated with evil? The exhibit shatters the myth that Nazis seized power. What was Hitler's appeal to the Germans? How did the acts of violence meet with the approval or at least the acceptance of the German people? Were the German people seduced by a ranting lunatic? Why does Hitler so fascinate the Germans even today? (10.000 visitors lined up to see the exhibit on the first weekend of the show).

Until we understand what ordinary Americans were (are?) thinking when they invested their hopes in Barack Obama, we are going to have a hard time winning the 2012 election. I think they thought he would miraculously create an America in which our sins of the past would not be allowed to be repeated; all that was or is bad about America would be vanquished by their fearless leader. Then, of course, there are the union people who know that he shares their belief that corporations are evil, the racial and ethnic minorities, the gays, and the women who think (sometimes correctly) that Republicans are going to make them carry rapists' babies, the young adult males who do not want to fight for their country or have anything to do with military discipline, and the young adults who want to get high on marijuana or cough syrup or glue or on whatever they can get a doctor to prescribe for the psychiatric fad of the month.