Thursday, March 31, 2011

A surprise birthday celebration

Today was one of those days when a fellow just throws caution to the wind and goes with his heart. My son Jon turns eleven this weekend. I'll be working both days. I am off work today and tomorrow. Major League Baseball opens its season today and tomorrow. Tomorrow is the opening day here in Denver. The game is sold out. I went to Craigslist, where I saw lots of "deals." Then, I went to the official website of the Colorado Rockies, and saw that there was a charity workout today. You could get right down next to the field and get autographs, watch batting practice, and watch them throwing and catching and running.

An hour and a half after I read about that, Jon and I were at Coors Field. I got him out of school early. We had a great time trying to catch foul balls, eat crackerjacks, pretzels and drink Powerade. Then, we walked several blocks to the Wynkoop Brewery and Restaurant, where we played several games of pool and ate nachos with chicken, which Jon finished off with the restaurant's root beer, which is made on the premises.

On the way home we stopped at Wal-Mart, where Jon showed me the Lego game he is hoping to get for his birthday. Little does he know that Colleen has already purchased it. I tried to put some photos of our day on Picasa, but was completely unsuccessful. Does anyone know a better free place for photos?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Important news of the day

Looking at the headlines in the National Enquirer, while waiting in line at the supermarket: good news! Oprah's mom has dislosed 57 years of Oprah secrets! I assume, therefore, that there will no longer be a need for anyone to write anything about Oprah!

At the same time, the same front cover of the magazine reveals that prison food is apparently agreeing with O.J. Simpson, whose weight has ballooned to 275 pounds. But wait, there is something about a heart attack!

I confess, though, that I did not open the tabloid to get further details on either story. You'll have to do that your own self.

I wish he could have shared more of his thinking with us when he was President.

In his book Decision Points George W. Bush gives a clear and vigorous defense of all of the major decisions he made during his presidency. I wish he could have done more of that while president. I am convinced tht if he would have done that, his popularity with the American people would not have declined so much as it did in his second term.

He read fourteen books on Abraham Lincoln while in the White House. He makes numerous other references to books and other materials he read while president. He was clearly a student of history, and, with his beloved wife Laura, herself a former teacher and librarian, a lover of reading.

I know he is not a smooth talker, but with this book, he has shown that he is a superb writer. I am glad he took the time to write this book.

Observing my kids at school

When my work schedule prevents me from being home with the kids at night, I sometimes go over to their school the next day to remind them they have a dad. I did that yesterday. The three youngest had been with their mother in New Mexico during Spring Break, and I had not seen them in a week.

Sara seemed the most comfortable of the three in the school setting. She loves the interaction with other children and loves her teacher. In fact, she told me she wants to have the same teacher next year. I told her not to expect that, because she will be moving on to the second grade, while her teacher would likely still be teaching firstgraders.

Sara is far and away the tallest, and probably also the strongest child in her class. We think her biological father might have been either an NBA or NFL player! At recess she showed me how she could swing to the top of the swing set with no one pushing her. After recess I saw her doing a good job of following directions in the academic setting.

The other thing that Sara did yesterday was precious to me. She told me that when she was in New Mexico with her mother, she still felt I was with her. "I remembered the things you have taught me, and thought about you." Folks, you don't get to hear sweeter words than that very often. My thoughts also went back to the whole adoption process, and I was reminded that if child protection authorities had not intervened, she would be being prostituted by her biological mother right now.

As we were walking in from recess, a little girl from another class came up to Sara and asked her if she used a comb on her hair. Sara kindly responded by telling her about how her "Sister Locks" are done. Sara then went into her classroom, and I continued walking down the hall next to the other girl. She asked me where Sara is from. I said, "Denver." She said, "Oh, I wondered if she was from Africa." I knew that was what the little girl was wondering. I wonder how it feels to Sara to be recognized as different all the time. She seems to be getting more and more comfortable with it, but still, I am sure there are times when she wishes she was not.

Jon's teacher was reading to the class from a book about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I took a seat in the front of the room, and could see the faces of all the children. As usual, they were giving this fine teacher rapt attention. I did notice, though, that Jon's eyes were constantly blinking, and his lips were frequently massaging each other. Was he feeling some sad emotions? He has always been fidgety. I wondered what he was thinking. I am looking forward to spending time with him this week as he celebrates his eleventh birthday. After I finish writing this post, I plan to go to Craigs List to see if anyone is selling tickets to the sold out opening day of Major League Baseball in Denver.

When I went into Greg's room, I almost did not see him. He was in the far corner of the room at a big table, sitting in an adult chair. The teacher was up front at the blackboard, and the class had just watched a video on animals of the Rocky Mountains. The class was taking notes on each animal. I went back and stood behind Greg. He turned to me and said, "Dad, I am soooo bored!" I asked him why he was sitting in that comfortable adult chair. He said, "because I am awesome!" Then, he admitted it was because he had been late for class, and there were no other seats. Greg was tapping on the desk in a really good rhythm with both hands. Since he was not near other children, it was not bothering anyone. I made a mental note to get him a set of drums for his birthday in July.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Achieving inner peace

How do we get inner peace? Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, in her book My Stroke of Insight reminds us that we are "connected to a Cosmic flow." In fact, when she lost the function of her left brain due to hemorrhaging from her stroke, she experienced life only through her right brain. She did not perceive herself to be a solid; rather she perceived herself to be a fluid, connected to all other living things here on this earth and throughout the universe. The feeling was "Divine Bliss."

Therefore, now that she has fully recovered her left brain after eight years of diligence, her first recommendation to us in regard to feeling inner peace, is to slow down, and take a pause from whatever busy circuitry our left brains are running. Don't worry, she assures us, the left brain will be only too happy to restart! Dr. Taylor recommends that we pay attention to our physiological responses to stimuli in all our senses. The goal is for us to be appreciative to our cells for the hard work they do in helping us heal. Dr. Taylor recommends saying out loud something like, "In this moment I reclaim my joy." This, of course, is an acknowledgement that we were created to live eternally in joy and peace. She found that joy and happiness were the natural states of her right brain.

I believe we need to thank our Living God, for creating our miraculous bodies and minds, and invite Him to lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, such as harming ourselves or others, or being content to be less than we were created to be.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A scary fire

Yesterday was scary for a lot of people living in the Parker, Colorado area. Nine thousand homes were evacuated, while firefighters fought and eventually put out a fire. I don't know if Al Gore was in the area, but I found the photo while reading this blog.

"Everything but a resolution from the Congress of the United States"

Charles Krauthammer begins his column on Obama and Libya with these sentences: "President Obama is proud of how he put together the Libyan operation. A model of international cooperation. All the necessary paperwork. Arab League backing. A Security Council resolution. (Everything but a resolution from the Congress of the United States, a minor inconvenience for a citizen of the world.) It's war as designed by an Ivy League professor."

Read the whole thing here.

It's not fair. He showed her two forms of I.D.!

Bank robber: "Give me all your money."
Teller: "Yes sir. I need two forms of i.d. please."
Bank robber: "Oh, hang on a second." He then dutifully showed her his state i.d. and a Wells Fargo debit card, and was captured as he tried to flee with $800.00.

Robber was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday.
via Redneck Peril blog

A Movie About My Stroke of Insight!

Guess what? Sony Pictures is going to produce a featured film on Mu Stroke of Insight, to be directed by Ron Howard, with Jodie Foster to play Dr. Taylor!
Here is a website where you can learn more about the work of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, and people who, like me, have been inspired by her.

The truth about our fossil fuel reserves

Senators James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ranking Member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, released a report this month, an updated version of a 2009 paper, asserting that the United States’ resources are larger than Saudi Arabia, China and Canada, combined. The report estimates that the U.S. has 163 billion barrels of recoverable oil and enough natural gas to meet the country’s demand for 90 years, not to mention all of the jobs that could be created.
via the TexasFred blog

I hope this video results in some criminal prosecutions.

Don't watch this video if you are looking for classy, wise, or humble behavior. The woman in the bikini is upset at having to wait for her Burger King meal.
video found at Mike's America. Mike contrasts this shameful behavior with the dignity of the Japanese citizens patiently waiting for assistance after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Euphemism in Chief

This blog tries to be helpful to our President, in coming up with euphemisms that can explain our involvement in Libya.

Update: Iowahawk puts it to music.

"Are all of those kids yours?"

Notice how this mom's answer to that question changes during a shopping trip!


One month after a devastating fire, Lola the Dachshund was found hiding in the rubble of the burned-out apartment. Chas has the story and video.

"When your days are numbered"

"The way to learn to number our days is to count the moments of His grace…"
from the wonderful blog a holy experience

Leader of the Free World

cartoon found at Mostly Cajon, All American and Opinionated

The future

Cartoon found at Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred

NATO Allies

Are we comfortable letting the French play a major role in Libya?
picture found at Caption This!

When seniors start opening their umbrellas...

Just sayin.

Eternal life

Do you really believe God wants you to have eternal life? Do you want it to be the kind of life you are living now? If not, what would you like to have changed? What power do you have to help that change come about?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Mazatlan

Thirteen illegal immigrants were arrested in California. They were all dressed as U.S. Marines, and riding in a van with fake U.S. government plates.
Picture and story found at Gateway Pundit

"Doing meds," versus treating people

New York Times: "Since psychiatrists no longer get adequate pay for doing talk therapy, they instead prescribe medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient, then they send the patient away with a referral to a less costly therapist and a personal crisis unexplored and unresolved." Medicine in the United States is now dominated by large hospital groups and corporations. One blogger, a retired psychiatrist, responds.

Jesus found at Wal-Mart!

This writer found Jesus at Wal-Mart. It doesn't surprise me one bit.

Islamists take power in Egypt

As feared in this blog, Islamists are taking power in Egypt.

Who was more conservative, George W. Bush, or Ronald Reagan?

Peter Wehner, who served in both administrations, gives us this analysis in Commentary Magazine.

Apparently, he did not live up to her expectations!

Elizabeth Taylor died today at age 79.

Via Maggie's Farm

Odds of Winning? Better than Lotto!

Dish Network, which has its headquarters here in Colorado, is being sued by a man who happens to be an executive with another large corporation. It seems that the man wanted to end his subscription, and he called Dish to see what he needed to do. The Dish employee told him he needed to return the receiver to Dish. The man got up on his extension ladder to get the receiver, and, you guessed it, fell down. He is suing for ten million dollars, and regained his cognition soon enough to hire as his attorney the man who successfully sued McDonalds for seven figures, after coffee was spilled on a customer.

Let's see now, what was that about a Constitution?

President Obama, in announcing his decision to wage war against Khadafy, said that Khadafy had "lost the confidence of his own people and the legitimacy to lead." George Will writes a stinging column asking, among other things, "When did Khadafy lose his people's confidence? When did he have legitimacy?"

Where's the Parenthood?

A new Planned Parenthood report shows it now does 340 abortions for every one adoption referral and 47 abortions for every one prenatal care client. Planned Parenthood’s own records now show 5,320,095 surgical and medical abortions done at Planned Parenthood centers from 1970 through the end of 2009.
Via Protein Wisdom

The worst natural disaster in many years

Number of dead or missing from Japan's earthquake and tsunami: over 25,000. Number of dead or missing from Japan's nuclear reactors: zero.

Using derogatory words like "teabaggers"

Ann Althouse posted a video of her husband Meade cleaning up after protestors who used a Communist slogan to deface a Civil War Monument in Madison, Wisconsin. It features a discussion of the term "teabaggers," which led me to the urban dictionary to find out the meaning of the term, which is now being used synonymously with "teapartiers." Althouse and Meade engage two protesters, a lawyer and a teacher, in discussion of the use of derogatory words.

What are your dominant themes of self-talk?

When Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor was recovering from her loss of left-brain functioning, she discovered two important values. One was the value of sleep. She needed eleven hours of sleep each day, gradually reducing that down to nine and one-half. The other value was that of having people around her who believed in her ability to recover. She needed people to love her, not for the person she had been prior to the stroke, but for the person she might now become. She was still the same "essence" (soul?), but now she was having different wiring in her brain. She needed to be accepted as she was now, encouraged to set goals and dream dreams. She needed people to celebrate her triumphs, however small they might be, not focus on her disabilities. She needed people to touch her, to come close, not with aggressiveness and anxiety, but with calm reassurances.

At the same time, she needed to be careful of her own "self-talk." Paying more attention to her physiological responses to stimuli, she realized that though it would be easy to allow herself to feel self-pity, self-deprecation, and depression, these emotions had physiological components that she did not like, and therefore, she trained her newly emerging left brain to self-talk differently, limiting those stimuli from taking over and becoming dominant themes.

"Recover What?"

The reason I am so intent on learning from Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's book My Stroke of Insight is that I want to recover, too! I want to recover the joy I believe God created us to experience now and forever. Dr. Taylor writes that the question she gets asked the most is, "how long did it take for you to recover?" Her answer, not meant to be trite, is, "Recover what?" Her first priority was to recover her language skills. Her loving mother, Gigi, retaught her the alphabet. Then she focused on recovering one skill after another for the next eight years.

And don't forget this point: there were some things she did not want to recover! I am referring to the brain circuitry loops of "poor me," and other negative emotions she no longer wanted to play a dominant role in her life. I am sure with her on that one. Here's to a more dominant role for the right brain!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chevy Volt sales not off to a good start

Sales of the government subsidized Chevy Volt are "anemic: 326 in December, 321 in January, and 281 in February. GM announced a production run of 100,000 in the first two years. Who is going to buy all these cars?"

Comparing Libya and Iraq

Compare Obama's use of the military, without Congressional mandate, in Libya, to the many months of painstaking diplomatic efforts by George W. Bush's administration, prior to the decision to liberate Iraq. Just sayin.

Obama's Energy Secretary Chu

Do you think the rise in gasoline prices is an accident? Think again!

Incentive to avoid obesity

Thanks to Michelle Obama, obesity is a subject in the news. Actually, it is right in front of our eyes, anywhere we go. Do heterosexual men have more incentive to avoid obesity than heterosexual women? I think so. Women who are big all over, including their breast areas, merely have to lower their necklines, and they still can attract the attention of us dopey heterosexual males. The same doesn't hold true for obese men being able to attract heterosexual women, does it?

Monday, March 21, 2011

His Resolve Never Waivered

After 9-11-2001, America was not attacked again for the remaining seven and one-half years of the Bush Presidency. Much credit should go to George W. Bush himself. He decided to fight aggressively against the terrorists, using missiles from submarines, air attacks, and soldiers on the ground. No wimpy response as Reagan in Lebanon or Clinton in Afghanistan.

George W. Bush wrote personal letters to every one of the families who lost loved ones in the War on Terrorism (over five thousand), and met with many of them personally. Unlike the current President, he stopped playing golf when America took the war to the terrorists.

"Own Your Power!"

Do you "own your power?" I put that in quotes, because it is one of the most important concepts written about in Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's book My Stroke of Insight. It refers to the fact that we can learn to be aware of what circuitries our brains are running. Do we want to stay in those circuitries? If not, we can thank our brains for working so hard, and instruct our brains to stop running circuitries that are not welcomed. Remember, the chemical stimuli and physiological response lasts only 90 seconds. If it runs longer, it is because we choose to let it!

Though our left and right hemispheres of our brains are "interwoven," our right brain is a place of peace, serenity, and bliss. Most of us are left-brain dominant, using our language and analytical skills to live and survive in the world. Yet, the right-brain circuitry is running. We can make the conscious choice to thank our left-brain storyteller for its hard work, and ask it to pause, while we own our power to live in the present, and not let another person's negativity draw us in.

Jerry's Sacrifice

I met a man named Jerry yesterday. He was wearing a cap that said, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine." Jerry lost one-third of his leg fighting Communists in Viet Nam. He expressed dismay at the way America just turned and walked away from that war, leaving 59,000 troops to die in vain, despite the fact that America was winning the war. Jerry went there three times.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Some brilliant satire

There is some exciting basketball being played in the NCAA March Madness tournament. Innominatus has President Obama's picks here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A cure for that homeless feeling

Today is another off day from work, so, along with a lot of housecleaning (we have a new puppy), it is an opportunity to spend time with the kids, who are on Spring break. Early in the morning, I noticed that one of the cows had gotten through the fence that keeps them away from my gardens. Tulips are coming up, and the cows love to eat them. Jon volunteered to put in a post and some wire at the spot where he knew they had come in. He and Greg and Greg's friend Ricky thereby earned spending money for a bike trip to the local market, which is over a mile away.

When Greg got back to the house, he said, "When I was riding alone on my bike, I felt like I was a homeless person, but now that I am home, sitting in front of a flat screen t.v., I don't have that homeless feeling any more!"

Apparently Jon and Ricky had been riding ahead or behind Greg on the country road, thus giving him that homeless feeling.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Response ability"

One of the many ideas I liked in reading Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's book My Stroke of Insight was her concept of responsibility. The word, according to the point Dr. Taylor makes, is shorthand for "response ability." Her point is that after the 90 second physiological response to negative stimuli, we can choose how we want to respond. Do we want to engage in left-brain argument with the person who is triggering our negative emotions, or do we want our "big picture," "calm," right-brain to "mellow" out our way of handling the situation?

That does not mean we choose to become a doormat for aggressive left-brain-dominated people to walk on and over. It just means we give our brain a chance to pause and consider its choices of responses.

In the news

Cops, Firefighters join teachers, nurses and otner public employees in Wisconsin in attempting to extort support from businesses.

Sarah Palin writes here about the $4-per-gallon President.
Exhibit A: His drilling moratorium.
Exhibit B: His 2012 budget
Exhibit C: His anti-drilling regulatory policies

50 technicians remain in a nuclear power plant in Japan, courageously trying to prevent a broader catastrophe.

via Ace of Spades

Monday, March 14, 2011

The first one to speak out against Sharia law

Rick Santorum has become the first Republican presidential candidate to speak out against Sharia law, calling it "evil" and "incompatible with American jurisprudence and our Constitution."

Exposing Obama's Energy Lies

Jeff Dunetz writes at the Big Government blog that the "U.S. supply of recoverable oil is 167 billion barrels of oil, the equivalent of replacing America’s current imports from OPEC countries for more than 75 years." Read the whole thing here.

Hope and Change!

Taking advantage of a day off from retailing and enjoying temperatures above 60 degrees for the first time this year, I have been tending gardens today. Removing weeds and grass, piling on several inches of composted alpaca and cow manure, gathering eggs, and talking to the dogs and cows; that is my idea of a pretty good day!

Would you rather be right, or happy?

I know those things are not mutually exclusive, but Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, in her book My Stroke of Insight, raises the question. If God created us to have eternal life, inner peace, and joy, as our natural state, can we reclaim that inner peace? Prayer is one of the ways God, as recorded in the Bible, recommends that we can focus on what is important in life. Christians believe that God gives us who believe in Him the Holy Spirit, who can enable us to live with a compassionate, generous spirit, and live joyfully. The circuitry to experience joy is still there; it is just being inhibited by such circuitries as misery, ego and our need to be right. We can choose to hook into the circuitries of joy and happiness. Yes, we have a choice as to what we want to respond to. Feeling anger can help us feel strong. Yet, it is just as possible for us to tap into the happiness circuitry, which Dr. Taylor says is always running, unlike the anger circuitry.

Like Dr. Taylor, I get a bad physiological response from sugar and caffeine. Therefore, I stay away from both. Likewise, since I like being joyful, I prefer to hang out with people who value my joy. Right now the most joyful experience in my life is to read to my sons at night. We are reading Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It is the second in a series. The first one we read was Peter and the Starcatchers. Jon, Greg, and I share many laughs in each chapter. I try to read it with various voices associated with certain characters. For example, there is Lord Ombra, a dark, faceless figure who consumes people's shadows, and thus takes control of those people. My voice for him is a deep, groaning one. Reading to them, and getting their joyful responses, is so powerful and relaxing, and enables them to turn off their other circuits and go to sleep (most of the time). I also read to Sara, and I believe it does the same for her. Like Jon and Greg, she really focuses in on what we are reading. Now she tries to read the words herself, and can do a really good job. It is wonderful to see her progress.

"Step to the Right!"

Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor, in her wonderful book Stroke of Insight, reminds us that we can "step to the right" soon after we experience the 90 seconds of physiological response that accompanies fear, anxiety, anger or other negative emotions. In other words, after experiencing the negative emotion, we can choose either to engage with our left hemisphere of our brains or our right. We can let it pass and focus on something positive (right brain), or we can let those negative emotions eat us up, and stay with the left hemisphere dominance.

The right brain, writes Taylor, is the seat of our inner joy, and our connection with all other living things in the universe. If we allow our judgmental left brain to dominate, it will mull the negative emotions over and over again, leaving us with the same negative outcome. If, on the other hand, we can allow our right brain to dominate, we can be in touch with the joy and inner peace God designed us to experience.

In other words, it is a choice we always have to feel deep inner peace, and practice forgiveness and kindness. God gives us that power. Dr. Taylor recommends that we train ourselves to observe what "loops" our brains are running. If the brain is running negative thought patterns, we can add a kinesthetic component and wag our finger in the air while telling our brains to stop those negative loops. Our cells need to get the message that we are paying attention, and do not want the negative "storyteller" portion of our brains to dominate. Taylor recommends we "tend the garden of our mind" to get away from the negative cell circuitry. We need to be persistent in unengaging with the negative and turning to thoughts of something that brings us joy. If we are physically or emotionally tired, we are more vulnerable. Nevertheless, we can learn to scrutinize our patterns of thought.

Subject circuitry and emotional circuitry can be joined with physiological circuitry such as excitement and animation. We have the power to choose which loops we want to hook into. We need to honor the emotions, surrender to them for 90 seconds, but then use our power to choose something positive to focus on. We can give thanks to God for the 50 trillion cells in our body that work together to help us heal and find happiness. We can use the left brain language function to persistently and consistently give thanks to God for the functions our cells are performing to enable us to function.

I am going to consciously try to implement these concepts!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fighting Terrorists

George W. Bush reveals in his book Decision Points that there were three hundred specific terrorist threats per day during his presidency! I know he wanted us to go on with our "normal" lives, but I also think it would have been better for our nation if the people could have known more about the threats.

Of the thousands of terrorists captured during those seven plus years, only three were waterboarded, and those produced significant information about Al Qaeda. C.I.A. "enhanced interrogation" techniques were used on another thirty terrorists.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More decisions

Prior to 9-11, George W. Bush thought domestic issues would receive number one priority in his administration. He felt that the most important decision he made was the one regarding government funding of embryonic stem cell research. Not wanting to thwart potentially life-saving scientific research, and not wanting to establish a policy that would destroy potential human life in order to help humans already living, he spent seven months picking the best brains on all sides of the issue. He finally announced his decison in a speech to the nation in August of 2001. Once again, the most vehement criticism came first from the right. Then, Democrats realized they could paint him as not caring about the people who could potentially be helped, and they rode that issue through the 2004 election, the 2006 elections, and beyond.

In his book Decison Points he gives lots of interesting details about that decision, but then goes on to give an absolutely riveting account of the events of 9-11.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Letting us know how he felt

George W. Bush, in his book Decision Points, is generous with his praise for those who worked with him during his presidency. The two who get the most praise, not surprisingly, are Condi Rice and Dick Cheney.

Since he was usually silent when relentlessly attacked by the left throughout his presidency, I am glad that he is letting us know how he felt about some of the issues and personalities that were prominent. For example, he writes about nominating Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court. He notes that the early vehement opposition came from elites on the right. Us? Elites? Who woulda thunk it? I remember listening to Laura Ingraham pummel the nomination. To his credit, George W. still believes Harriet would have made a wonderful Justice. He wanted someone who would not change her positions after getting on the Court. He mentions how disappointed his father was with the way Justice Souter did exactly that. As it turns out, it is pretty clear to me that his nominations of Samuel Alito and John Roberts were two of the best decisions he made during his presidency.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


From The Onion: "Responsible, Thoughtful Nation Decides To Ignore Charlie Sheen Situation."
Then, The Onion breaks this fast-moving story:

Decision Points

Despite reading reviews that were less than enthusiastic, I placed a hold at the library for George W. Bush's book Decision Points, and, so far, I am glad I did. The man who restored honor and dignity to the White House after Horndog and Hillary, writes with self-deprecating humor and pride about his life.

The first chapter is about "Quitting." It is about his quitting alcohol in 1986, at age forty, and he has not had a drink of alcohol since then. It was right here in Colorado where he had his last drink, at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Then he writes about his Christian faith. Billy Graham took a walk with him one day in Kennebunkport, and explained the Gospel of Christ to him. Through his faith he became a much more disciplined person. He had previously been seen as a "hothead," especially by members of the press who traveled with him when he was helping his father run for President against Bill Clinton. George W. came to realize that the press covering the campaign were really "cheerleaders" for Clinton, and it infuriated George W., who has utmost respect for his father. He also describes himself as a fun-loving wisecracker, especially in his drinking days. Through his growing faith in God, and his sobriety, he deveoped the ability to control both of those qualities.

Laura Bush has been solid as a rock, and George W. gives her much credit. His love and respect for his father and mother is also deep. I am at the point in the book where he has just won a second term as Governor of Texas.


If you're like me and have no love partner, I guess there's no law in reading and thinking about romance and love. The characters in Susan Wiggs' book Fireside are people of substance and character. There is a twelve-year-old boy who also is a major character. He is sent by his mother to live with his biological father, whom he has never seen, after his mother is caught up in an I.C.E. raid and gets deported to Mexico. All the people for whom the reader is cheering come out well in the end.

Monday, March 07, 2011

"a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal"

Frank J. at IMAO has a wonderful comparison between Fred Phelps and Paul of Tarsus. This photo is one of many at the IMAO site.
While you are over at IMAO, check out the MSNBC interview with Donald Rumsfeld, who more than holds his own.

Libyan rebels get some help from Egypt

Strategy Page is reporting that Egypt has sent a hundred or so commandos into Lybia to aid the Libyan rebels. There may be an American or two there, too, and some British.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Five? At most?

In his latest column George Will spends a lot of space blasting former Arkansas Governor Huckabee. Will says there are at most five plausible Republican candidates for President in 2012: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, former Utah Governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusets Governor Mitt Romney, and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. The rest of the field is "cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons." No Sarah Palin? No Chris Christie? No Huckabee? No Ron Paul? No Newt Gingrich? No Fred Thompson? No Rush Limbaugh? No Herman Cain? No Paul Ryan? No Congressman Allan West? No Congressman Rubio? No Donald Trump? No Jim DeMint? No Mike Pence? What about someone few have even thought of? I like a wide open field.

There is a Pajamas Media story alleging that the Huntsman family does not like Mitt Romney, whose mandatory healthcare legislation in Massachusets is seen as the basis for Obamacare. (Romney was chosen, instead of Huntsman, to run the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, using it as a springboad to his political career). Lots of blogs I read do not like Romney: I see this phrase often: "not this Mitt again." Yet, Romney appears to be a classy gentleman and a good family man.

While I enjoy reading George Will's columns, I don't see him as that much in touch with us out here in the "sensible American majority."

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The price they pay

Michelle Malkin writes here about the unhyphenated Americans, and the price all minority conservatives must pay, if they dare stand up for core American values and documents.

Two men who know what they are talking about

Michael Totten interviews Rick Francona here on Egypt, Iran, Israel, Iraq, Libya, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and other players in the Middle East.

Choosing to be dependent on foreign oil producers

Why? Why do we choose to be dependent on foreign oil producers? AWR Hawkins points out that if we "turned on the spigot in Montana, North Dakota and Alaska" alone, we would go a long way towards independence, and would provide thousands of jobs. Read the whole thing.

Don't let facts get in your way, Attorney General Holder

Attorney General Holder, in direct opposition to his President's stated goal of not allowing ideology to take precedence over science, uttered this completely false statement recently: "intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45.” The most recent figures for that age and ethnic group show these leading causes of death:
1. Cancer

2. Heart disease

3. Accidents (unintentional injuries)

Via Carey Roberts at Pajamas Media

News from the U.N.

"Today, Iran becomes a member of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women. No country, including the U.S., is expected to object.

In related news, on Tuesday the U.N. suspended Libya from membership in its Human Rights Council. They were a little late with that one, but it is easy to understand why: the Council still includes Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Mauritius, Pakistan, Russia and Saudi Arabia. What distinguishes Libya's government from a number of others on the Council is, apparently, that it is about to topple."
Via John at Power Line

Today's exercise

Another Saturday off, and another chance to play with the kids. First, a game of football: Dad and Sara against Greg and Jon. Final score 14 to 7 in favor of Jon and Greg. Injuries: Right shoulder, Dad; fingers on both hands, Dad.

Jon had an idea of a new activity (Jon is always thinking of new activities): "Hey Dad, Why don't we show you our amazing tricks we can do on our bikes?"
"Okay, let me go get my camera!"

Greg liked the legs-up-on-top-of-the-handle bars approach.
Sara's tricks were not real daring, but Dad was glad she kept it safe, and she thoroughly enjoyed herself.
Jon's tricks were in a class by themselves.

Friday, March 04, 2011

It costs less, and has more fiber!

via Theo Spark

Sara comes home from school

If I am home when Sara comes home from school, she comes right up to me and tells me the highlights of her school day.
Seven-year-old Sara: "I'm glad God made the Devil, because it gives all the mean people somewhere to go when they die: straight to Hell!"

Sara to Dad: "Ask me any math problem. It has to be a plus, and it has to be less than twenty."
Dad to Sara: "4 plus 12?"
Sara replied, "How about 12 plus 4?"
"Why did you prefer 12 plus 4, instead of 4 plus 12?"
"Because it is the same thing!"

Sara: "The only time I like school is when Nathan is not there."
Dad: "Why?
"At school I was sitting down at my desk, and I wanted to play the card game Goldfish. Nathan had the cards, and he was passing them out to people, but he didn't pass any to me. I asked if I could play. He said yes. Then, he refused to give me any, so I walked back to my desk, and he said I was ranipulative."
"Do you mean "manipulative?"

"Actually, there are two bullies at school. One is a girl. Her name is Emily. She grabbed the end of my swing and twisted it and I fell and got hurt. Then she said "I am eight-years-old, and you're probably just a four-year-old, and I'm not inviting you to my birthday party, because it is only for my family." "She stuck her nose in the air as she said that."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

"The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb."

Dr. Martin Luther King's daughter believes this billboard should be put up in every city in America. "The billboard message’s placement comes in the wake of a report released last month by the New York City Department of Health that revealed an abortion rate of 41 percent of all pregnancies in the city in 2009 — with 59.8 percent of those to African-American women." Via Red State

On Race and Abortion

Peter Kirsanow notes the following: "In black neighborhoods, liberal-leaning groups advertise and facilitate a procedure that results in the birth of fewer black babies; conservative groups advertise and facilitate a procedure that results in the birth of more black babies."

Delusions of Grandeur

Are you a woman? Do you consider Planned Parenthood "the strongest brand in women's health in America?" I didn't think so.

How do we win this fight?

Saw this at Dr. Sanity's blog.

Insty talks with Rummy

I am usually not one to watch a 19 minute video, but this one with Glenn Reynolds interviewing Donald Rumsfeld was well worth the investment of time. I'm a fan of both.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Did God place our souls in our right-brain hemispheres?

I wrote recently here about Jill Bolte Taylor's book My Stroke of Insight. It is the culmination of what I have been thinking and writing about for the last year: how to block out negativity like self-pity, and achieve inner peace, and show kindness and compassion for others. Jill did it by losing her left hemisphere of her brain! Eight years later she fully recovered, but still chooses to remain right-brain dominant, because she liked the inner peace, and the ability to be kind and compassionate. Now that she has recovered the use of her left brain, she gets some of that previous neuronal activity for maybe 90 seconds; things like self pity and anger. But she has trained her brain not to allow those negative circuits to dominate (unless she wants to enjoy a good debate with someone about a subject she feels passionate about).

She describes the "euphoria," "oneness with the universe," "inner peace," "glorious bliss" and other similar adjectives she experienced when all she had was the right brain. That led me to wonder if God has placed our souls in our right brains!