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?