Saturday, February 28, 2009

Competition Lost

Reading the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News was an emotional experience, as I had predicted. All the writers just wrote what was on their hearts. I even read columnist Mike Littwin, who I usually am not able to read from beginning to end, because he invariably resorts to his one-note bashing of conservatives. I figured he might forget to do it this time. Like Littwin, I am a "newspaper junkie." He even admitted that he is not a journalist, but, rather, a "newspaperman." He chose in his final column at the Rocky to write about "the miracle of producing a daily newspaper, day after day."

Here are what I thought were Littwin's best words:
"A newspaper isn't meant to stand the test of time. It's meant to be true to that day, that moment. We talk in terms of stories. The Rocky lived. It breathed. It captured sounds and signs and loud, disturbing, private noises - the noise of the workday world and the world people tried to keep secret from the rest of us."

That last phrase is what I fear the most about losing one of the two newspapers that competed against each other every day to uncover those secrets and share them with readers. The competiton had to make each reporter and photographer work harder to produce the best possible product.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pot to California's rescue?

A California legislator has proposed legalizing the sale of marijuana, saying that the plan would generate $1 billion annually for California. He proposes a tax of $50 on an ounce of marijuana. Pot is presently a $14 billion-a-year crop in California. Supposedly 58% of Californians approve of selling and taxing marijuana like alcohol or cigarettes. A Rasmussen poll last week found that 40% of people nationwide support legalizing marijuana, with 46% against. I guess 14% don't know what to think.

My own views against legalizing marijuana were formed in my career as a child protection worker, as I saw the effects of drug abuse on children. Here is one case I remember, that involved marijuana. A pre-school age girl came to school one day with a big bruise on her forehead. She told the teacher her daddy had pushed her onto the coffee table. I was called to the school and interviewed the child and teacher. That night I accompanied two police officers to the house, which was a shrine to marijuana. The daddy admitted he had been high on marijuana when his daughter climbed up on the couch where he was toking up, and, irritated, he pushed her down onto the coffee table. I urged the cops to remove both the daughter and her toddler brother.

After making the same admissions in court, the parents agreed to work on a treatment plan I wrote for the court. Before the children could be returned to the home, they would each have to undergo drug testing to insure they were no longer using dope. The mom was a large woman, and it took her about 75 days to get the THC out of her system. The dad was skinny, and he was free of the THC in just a little over a month. Both parents participated in parenting classes and psychotherapy, and had regular visits with their children. They were reunified with their children after a few months, and remained drug-free.

It remains my conviction that drug abuse and parenting is not a good mix. The California legislator is not taking into consideration increased child welfare costs, increases in traffic accidents, and increases in expenditures for public health programs that would likely occur if the legislation passes.

Failing to see the forest for the trees

Sometimes we conservatives can fail to see the forest for the trees. There is a bill in the Colorado legislature to require pregnant women to be tested for HIV. If a woman is infected, her baby can be treated to prevent transfer of the virus. According to a story yesterday by RMN reporter Lynn Bartels,
"the risk of transferring the virus from mother to baby during pregnancy or delivery can be reduced from 25% to 2% with medication and preventive care."

My experience as a child protection social worker and foster parent helped me to realize that many of the babies that come into the child welfare system are born to mothers who have had many, many sex partners. Even if that is not the case, they may have had a long-term relationship with one individual who is infected with HIV.

So this bill is a no-brainer, right? Wrong! While it looks like it has enough bi-partisan support to pass, at least two conservative Republicans spoke out against it. One said, "poor behavior has its consequences." Another quoted from the Bible and said, "we are taking sins and making them to be legally okay, and that is wrong."

So, let me understand. You are pro-life, but you oppose this effort potentially to save the life of a child?

A Sad Day For Colorado: Goodbye Rocky

Today is the last day for the publishing of the Rocky Mountain News, 59 days short of its 150th birthday. It is an extremely sad day. Could this have been prevented? What if they would have decided to put together a really excellent on-line publication and charged subscriptions? That is what the WSJ does; they put out an excellent product every day, and they have over one million subscribers. Of course, they already had a national reputation to build upon: excellence in reporting on the economy. If the Rocky would have charged for on-line subscriptions, they would have had to carve out a niche for excellence and uniqueness.

The Rocky provided editorial balance to the Denver Post. Editorial page editor Vince Carroll did an excellent job of providing a common sense perspective on local and national issues. He brought us superb national columnists like Charles Krauthamer, Michelle Malkin, George Will and Victor Davis Hansen. Dave Krieger was one of their excellent sports columnists who, no matter what the sport, always seemed to be able to put his finger on what actions needed to be taken in order for the local team to become successful. I am extremely pleased that the Denver Post has announced that they will be hiring both Carroll and Krieger, although they also picked up a gaggle of one-note lefties, too.

Another columnist, Dave Kopel, whom the Rocky paid to offer unfettered criticism of its news coverage, pointed out in today's final column that bloggers ("internet opinion writers") are still dependent on news reporters. So true, Dave.

Today the Rocky put together what is probably the best edition they have ever published. I will be reading it from cover to cover, wiping away tears the whole time.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Do we really need them here?

A couple of days ago I wrote about the war on drugs, which we seem to be losing. Last weekend's WSJ had a cover story by David luhnow and Jose De Cordoba, which shed more light on what is happening in Mexico. President Calderon has been trying to bust up the drug cartels. In his first three years in office there have been 153 clashes with drug gangs, whereas during the six-year presidency of Vincente Fox there were only 16. Nevertheless, practically every local police department in Mexico is still corrupt.

Two of the main drug cartels each employ 10,000 gunmen! In 2008 6000 people, 90% of whom were linked to the drug trade, were murdered. Dozens were beheaded. The cartels also extort businesses, creating a parallel tax system. Teachers in Juarez were warned by handwritten signs pasted on schools to hand over their Christmas bonuses or die. The gangs have taken over the border, highways, cops, and are now trying to take over the cities. Gangsters go into barrios and hand youth $30 and tell them to go block traffic and hold up anti-military signs.

Mexico is a country of 100 million people, and is the U.S.'s second biggest trading partner. Organized crime gangs from Mexico are now operating in at least 230 towns and cities in the U.S. Phoenix had 370 kidnapping cases last year. Gangsters are often better armed than the police or military. Where do the arms come from? The United States!

In 2000 the people voted out the PRI Party, which had been in power for 71 years, and had developed corrupt alliances with the drug cartels. After 9/11 border security tightened, and the cartels began selling cocaine in Mexico. Demand for cocaine has increased 20% a year since then. The U.S. has given Mexico $400 million to beef up its military. The goal is to break down the cartels into smaller, more manageable gangs.

Here in Colorado law enforcement officials say they have crippled the MS-13 gang, which was attempting to gain a foothold here for drug trafficking. MS-13 gang members are mostly Salvadoran nationals and first-generation Salvadoran-Americans. They also include Hondurans, Guatamalans, Mexicans, and other Central and South American illegal immigrants. They have 7,000 to 10,000 members in at least 42 states. They specialize in drug distribution, murder, rape, prostitution, robbery, home invasions, kidnapping, carjackings/auto thefts, and vandalism.

I might be wrong, but I don't think we need them here.

Free Protection for Our Immune Systems

Did you know that
"we need about 40 compounds - including vitamins, amino acids, and minerals - to survive? At least 80 percent of Americans are deficient in one of the 40 compounds. The body rebalances its metabolism when it's deficient in one of the compounds, the DNA can become damaged, setting a person up for cancer and other degenerative diseases later in life."

These facts were contained in a story by Jennifer Brown in the Denver Post Tuesdaay, which focused primarily on the results of new studies which indicate that vitamin D boosts immunity. Of course, vitamin D is available free in the sun's rays, which is far and away the best source, but don't forget those sunny eggs!

"Vitamin D appears to interact with cells that are important to immunity. Without enough of the vitamin, those cells are not as effective in killing common bacteria and viruses," wrote Ms. Brown of the study conducted by Harvard Medicaol School and the national Center for Health Statistics.

Let's try to get outside in the sun, with no sunscreen, for at least fifteen or twenty minutes every day.


"Okay, juniors, you can snuggle in the tub until we finish eating all the hay in this tub, then we are coming for the tub you are sitting in."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cupid's Arrow

Ten days after Valentines Day Cupid finally got it right. There is hope! Keep trying!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What is the Solution?

I keep reading things written by people whom I respect, alleging that the war on drugs is a failure. Those who say it is a failure point to the fact that the demand for illegal drugs seems to be ever-increasing, organized crime has taken over the production and distribution, and governments do not seem to be able to stop it, despite spending more and more money. Organized crime syndicates in Mexico seem to be more heavily armed than the Mexican military, and the criminals are operating successfully all over the U.S.

How do we reduce demand? Wouldn't the dropping of prohibitions just increase the number of people trying the drugs? They say we should treat marijuana like we do cigarettes and alcohol. It doesn't seem to me that the millions we spend on educating people about the dangers of cigarettes and alcohol has had much of a deterrent effect. The theory is that if police no longer have to bust people for drug use, they will be freed up to stop arms sales to organized crime. But, police still have to deal with people's behaviors in the neighborhoods where police are patrolling.

I think for an initial period, at least, child abuse and neglect would increase, thereby necessitating the hiring of more child welfare workers and bureaucrats. My own experience as a child welfare caseworker and county director of human services was that in at least 80% of child abuse and neglect cases, it was just a matter of time before I learned what drug(s) the parent or parents were abusing.

I'll try to keep an open mind to the suggestions and ideas people put forth to address this huge problem. Can you imagine the lines at the marijuana counter at Wal-Mart?

Oh great: I start to soften my stance on this drug war issue, and I walk by a t.v. set to hear Bill Ayres interviewed by Alan Colmes. Colmes asks Ayres why he dedicated his book to Sirhan Sirhan, and Ayres give him a rap about how the drug war is a "colossal failure," and all these people in our prisons should be in psychotherapy or drug treatment programs, instead of prisons. I do not want to be in the same chorus as the despicable Mr. Ayres.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bible Teachings: The Children's Edition

In today's family Bible study we looked at some things in Proverbs, but mostly we studied Galations 5:22 and 23. Here are some of the concepts we studied, and the answers the children came up with.

What does it mean to be wise? "Don't whine when people correct you."

Wealthy? "When you have a lot of something that is good."

Love? "Being sweet to others; it will help you get married some day, and get children. It is what God wants you to do. Treating pets right. Love is powerful, and can cause good things to happen."

Joy? "Happiness, the opposite of anger; being a happy person."

Peace? "Quiet; no bad guys coming after you; no war."

Patience? "Wait for the stuff you wanted. Don't say, "When is my stuff going to be here? Wait, don't say anything snotty. Don't call your friend on the phone and say, "When are you going to be here?"

Kindness? "Niceness; do something nice, like helping people."

Goodness? "Good people spreading good. If you are in the store and you notice that someone has cracked eggs, tell them that eggs are spilling. If you see a friend in the store, and he has something you want, but your mom won't let you have it, don't just get mad and take it: just mind your own business."

Faithfulness? "Do what you say you are going to do. Keep your promises. If you go to bed without brushing your teeth and you promise your mom you will do it first thing in the morning, remember to do it."

Gentleness? "No hitting. Be nice to animals.

Self control? "If there is a bully, don't punch him (like you want to), because if you do not use self control, you get in trouble and your life is miserable."

Crucify our sinful self? "Give up selfishness."

Follow the Spirit? "The Holy Spirit will help us do all the things we studied about today."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Out and About with the Animals

This week there was a report in the WSJ about camels, llamas, and alpacas having tiny molecues of antibodies that are being seen as cures for everything from scorpion bites to cancer. It is important to keep the animals stress-free, and these are about as stress-free as they come. Pretty sweet, too.

This is Chuckie Norris. It is his job to get all of the girls pregnant. He enjoys this job, and is good at it.
Can you tell which dog is king of the hill?

Dispensable Dads

Are fathers dispensable in today's culture? Kay Hymowitz asks in yesterday's WSJ, "Where in the World is Octodad?" Should donor children have the same right to know their parentage as adoptive children already have? In Canada donor children have brought a class action lawsuit to accomplish that right. Norway, the Netherlands and New Zealand have all banned donor anonymity. Britain now requires donors to agree to be contacted when their children reach eighteen.

Octomom, Nadya Suleman, continued making news this week, when it was learned that she and her mother owe $23,000 in back mortgage payments. Also, it has been reported that her sperm donor begged her to stop having babies after the first six.

Yes, Nadya's babies do have a father. He is hardly mentioned in any of the stories about his fourteen children Nadya gave birth to. Ms. Hymowitz believes we have a "cultural ambivalence about fathers, an ambivalence fed in no small measure by the fertility industry." Hymowitz notes that "donors - or, more precisely, sellers - sign contracts that assure them, contrary to Father's Day rhetoric, that responsibility really does end at conception."

Hymowitz goes on to report that "out-of-wedlock birth rates in the U.S. are now 38%" which includes African Americans, for whom the rates are now 70%.

Playing in the fresh snow

Merry and Coby love to surprise each other. When one of them, usually Merry, gets distracted, the other, usually Coby, playfully attacks. Here is a rare example of Merry getting the jump on Coby.
White flowers will have to do for now.
Obnoxious though he may seem at times, Mr. Rooster's morning cock-a-doodle-do is always welcome.

"The Worst Mistake You Can Make!"

Greg, our seven-year-old, said this morning, "I don't like having friendships with girls. If you hit them, they say they don't want to be friends any more, and they stay mad at you for a long time. If my boy friends get mad, we just hit each other and then we go on being friends!"

Then, about five minutes after he said that, Sara came screaming up the stairs. She made up a story about eight-year-old Jon using a profanity and hitting her. Jon readily admitted to hitting her, but denied using the profanity. After interrogation by the prosecuting attorney, their mother, Sara confessed that she lied about Jon using a profanity.

In "time out" for hitting Sara, Jon said, "I better learn from my my mistake. That's the worst mistake you can make: not learning from your mistake!" I gave him a hearty congratulations for figuring that out. (Sara's timeout was longer, for lying about what her brother said.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Book Cooking

Do you know when was the last time our country was debt-free? It was January 1, 1835, under the leadership of President Andrew Jackson, the founder of the modern Democratic Party! In fiscal year 2008 the national debt increased from $9 trillion to slightly over $10 trillion. Yet the budget deficit in the last fiscal year was officially reported as being $455 billion.

These figures are reported in an article in yesterday's WSJ by John Steele Gordon, author of "Hamilton's Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt." Gordon asks,
"How could the national debt have increased by considerably more than twice the "deficit"? Simple. Just call the money borrowed from the Social Security trust fund an "intergovernmental transfer" and exclude it from the calculation of the deficit.

Corporate managers have gone to jail for less book cooking than that."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cuties Who Like to Snuggle

The baby goats are so used to being held as we feed them, that they come right up and try to climb up into our arms.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New Life

My unstoppable wife has now added 100 rock cornish chickens to her nurturing agenda. These are meatbirds. Our neighbor is raising laying hens. In a few months, we will trade her some meatbirds for some laying hens. Colleen still bottle-feeds two of the six baby goats, and they are thriving. It is so much fun to see the frisky little goats darting around, jumping and running full speed ahead.

Most of the chicks snuggle together under the heat lamp all night.

What is Your "Water Footprint"?

Do you know how much water it takes to produce a pint of beer (20 gallons), a 2-liter bottle of soda (132 gallons), a pair of Levi's stonewashed jeans (500 gallons), a cotton t-shirt (700 gallons), a hamburger (630 gallons)? These are some of the examples cited in an article in yesterday's WSJ by Alexandra Alter. More and more companies are looking at their water "footprint," and ways to stop using so much water.

36 states are anticipating water shortages by 2013. It's a hard thing to calculate a water footprint, because there are so many other factors to consider. There are no clear standards for what should be measured in arriving at a water footprint. I predict we will be hearing much more about this in the months and years ahead. Predictions are that if current trends continue, there will be an additional three billion people living on the earth by 2050.

Confidence, leadership, and motivation

Barack Obama spent a year-and-a-half selling himself as the "hope" and "change" candidate. We are seeing the change, but not the hope. Now he speaks about catastrophe and being "on the precipice." That is not going to make Americans confident and motivated to take on challenges and risks.

Jimmy Carter also wallowed in doom and gloom, which were self-fulfilling prophecies. Jimmy was the last Democrat I voted for, and I so regret that vote. Carter deservedly lost overwhelmingly to Robnald Reagan, who spoke of America as "The Shining City on the Hill." He never lost his sunny disposition and confidence in the American people.

Barack, you got your mammoth spending bill. Now go back to being the confident person you were as a candidate, who sold 53% of the American people on a hopeful future. The attitude of the president is hugely important in motivating many Americans to keep on keepin on.

Of Pork and Transparency

Local bloggers, led by new resident of Colorado, Michelle Malkin, enjoyed a roast pork feast at the state capitol building, while Obama signed his mammoth spending bill. Colorado blogger Brad Jones of the Face the State blog pointed out another reason why it was appropriate that Obama signed the bill at the Museum of Nature and Science.

Monday, February 16, 2009

I think I have figured it out!

President Obama is coming to Denver's Museum of Nature and Science to sign the spending bill. Why did he choose this location? I think I have figured it out.

The Museum is located just off Colfax Avenue, which is the longest street in the USA. It begins on the high plains east of Aurora, Colorado, and goes straight as an arrow across the cities of Aurora, Denver, Lakewood, and Golden, ending in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Also located just off Colfax is the football stadium where Obama accepted the nomination of his Democrat party.

Colfax has more used car lots than any other street in America. Not all, but many, of the people who work in those used car lots use all kinds of innovative sales pitches to con people into buying cars that probably won't work, even after the buyer pays more for them than they are worth. It's the perfect venue!

According to historian Phil Goodstein, when Denver was founded in 1850 Colfax Avenue was "the artery which led miners to the motherlode of riches recently discovered in the Rockies. Unfortunately, over the years Colfax Avenue has lost much of its vibrancy, and has become known as a venue for abandoned properties, prostitution and drugs." I used to ride the 15 bus, also known as the "vomit comet," according to Mr. Goodstein, to work every day. It hauls bureaucrats down to the state capitol building, which you can see in this picture JUST BEYOND THE U.S. MINT!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"It is nice to be able to ask our questions, Dad. At church they talk about things Mom has already taught us."

Since I am working seven days a week, (have been since we stopped doing foster care July 3, 2008) I asked Colleen if we could have church at home today. I also asked it because I wanted to spend time with my family, with all of us asking questions that help us all clarify our values.

We had a great worship service at home. I asked lots of questions, and encouraged the kids to do the same. The questions they came up with were as deep as anything I or Colleen have have ever come up with. Below are just some of the subjects we discussed. The questions sometimes came fast and furious, so we did not have time to address them all. Whenever possible we asked the children to come up with the answers, in order to clarify their own beliefs and values.

If you are in a war, and the terrorists are about to shoot you, should you pray for them? Answer: shoot first, then pray for them.

Why does God make tornadoes? No answer given.

Does God make our food? No answer given.

Will the Devil come to Earth? Answer: He is already here.

How can God be in us? Ask Him. Invite Him into our hearts.

What is confessing our sins? Tell Him what He already knows: that we did or thought something wrong. Tell Him I have been naughty or mean, then STOP being naughty or mean, and listen to Jesus, who wants us to be nice. Tell Him, "I'm sorry."

God wants us to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Like throwing a stone in a pond and creating ripples.

How do we know that God loves us? Because He made us. Because He made the mountains and the sky. Because he made all the planets and the universe. Because He sent His only Son to die for us. Because He sends the Holy Spirit to live in us. Because He said so!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Flight for Life

It ain't perfect, but our healthcare system must surely be the best in the world. Please don't turn it over to government bureaucrats.

Sweet, Innocent Love

Sadie Hawkins Valentines' Dance last night. See how well I have taught this young man to dress up? This is one redneck family that knows how to clean up!

Friday, February 13, 2009

"I've Seen It Rain Fire in the Sky."

A Successful Plan

After the disastrous presidency of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan inherited multi-year, double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, double-digit interest rates, declining incomes and rising poverty. How did Reagan turn the economy around in just two years? According to a WSJ article Wednesday by Peter Ferrara, there were four components of the successful Reagan plan.

The first was across-the-board reductions in tax rates, which provided incentives for saving, investment, entrepreneurship and work. The second component was deregulation. Third was control of government spending. Fourth was tight, anti-inflationary monetary policy.

Times are not nearly that bad now, but Obama's plan contains not even one component of Reagan's spectaculary successful policies. What I remember is that the nation's media were constantly ridiculing Reagan, to the same extremes in which they are presently fawning over Obama.

Blunders are multiplying

With the sudden withdrawal by Judd Gregg at Commerce, Obama's cabinet calamities continue. Obama's efforts to politicize the 2010 census, by having its director report directly to Obama's highly partisan Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, rather than respecting the scientific methods of statisticians at Commerce, may be Obama's biggest blunder yet. The temptations involved in redistricting and reapportionment of political districts were just too great for the Obama team to leave to scientists.

Also on Thursday Obama announced that the CEO of Caterpillar had indicated that if the stimulus bill passes, Caterpillar will begin rehiring workers who have been laid off. An enterprising reporter followed up on this claim, bringing TV cameras for an interview with the Caterpillar CEO, who said he would probably have to lay off even more people before he would begin rehiring!

Anything for a buck, huh, Doc?

Six of the Suleman babies now weigh 3 pounds, two weigh only a pound and a half. Nadya won a six-figure settlement from the state of California for support of the three disabled children she already had (three of the six children living at home with the grandparents) and then paid big bucks to the Beverly Hills "doctor" who implanted six embryos which produced the eight new children. All of her previous six children were also in-vitro fertilized.

Place Your Order Now!

In a WSJ article yesterday entitled, "A Baby Please. Blond, Freckles - Hold the Colic," Gautam Naik writes about the advances in screening embryos for trait selection. 42% of the 132 PGD clinics already offer gender-selection service. PGD is "pre-implantation genetic diagnosis." Some of the clinics are going to offer "trait slection" soon. The tests do not work on Asian or African ethnicities because key pigmentation markers for those groups have not yet been identified. However, if you want a daughter with blond hair, green eyes, and pale skin, you'll soon be able to place your order.

What do you think about this?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The yellow pansies are the hardiest. Anyone know why?

Spot is growing, and his "moo" is getting a lot louder.


Beware of Biases

I have added a new blog, CNSNEWS.COM, at the top of my list of links. Why? Because I found that they pointed out a huge bias on the part of the Wall Street Journal regarding the issue of a secure border. Recently I quoted from a WSJ article, saying that the border fence was now completed across California, Arizona, and New Mexico. In fact, only 32 miles of double fencing has been completed. Here, from CNSNEWS.COM, is the language of the 2006 law:
“The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for at least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors” along 700 miles of designated border areas, the Secure Fence Act said.

Representative Duncan Hunter, who I actually thought was the best of the Republican candidates for president in 2008, is quoted in the article.
The single-layer fencing, or primary fencing, consists of one eight-to-ten-foot fence. Double-layer fencing, or secondary fencing, consists of a parallel pair of eight-to-ten-foot fences and is equipped with sensors and cameras. A patrol road runs between the two fences.

“The double-border fence is what works,” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R.-Calif.) told “As long as you have Border Patrol watching that, no one is going to get over it.”

Senator Kay Baily Hutchinson put in an amendment that allows the Homeland Security Director to stop building the fence.

Read the whole thing here.

I remember listening to Laura Ingraham when the amnesty bill was being debated. She pointed out that the WSJ was biased in favor of the cheap labor illegal immigrants could provide for businesses. The WSJ is an excellent paper, but readers just need to be aware of biases, no matter what the source you may be reading or listening to.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fresh Breakfast in the Morning Sunshine

Dusk at the Pond

We had light snow all day yesterday. At dusk I checked out the pond.

Can She Take Care of Them?

After listening to a local talk radio program, I reported here that Nadya Suleman had gone to a fertility clinic in Mexico. That is not true, and I will not listen to that local show again, because I think its host has a thing against Mexicans, and allows himself to report as fact people's biases against Mexicans.

Nadya's doctor is in Beverly Hills. The Medical Board of California is looking into the case. It is true that she is receiving assistance from both the federal government and California for her other six children. Three of her first six children are disabled, and the federal government pays their grandmother to take care of them. She says she is exhausted taking care of the first six children. The grandparents have a three bedroom house where Nadya plans to return with her newest eight children.

Kaiser Permanente has asked California's Medi-Cal program to pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars it has cost to care for the eight babies still in the hospital. Nadya was expecting no more than twins, although this doctor commonly placed high numbers of embryos in in-vitro fertilization.

Bill O'Reilly is recommending that California remove the children and move for a civil trial to terminate Nadya's parental rights, so that the babies can each go to permanent homes via adoption. What do you think?

The Census: Scientifically Accurate, Or Politically Beneficial to Democrats?

President Obama says he wants to restore science to its "rightful place." Then how do you explain why he wants the director of the 2010 census to report directly to the White House, instead of to the Secretary of the Commerce, whose department employs statisticians to make sure the job is done scientifically accurately, rather than politically beneficially to Democrats?

Creating Demand in Their Own Backyard

Because of the recession, we are no longer gobbling up China's exports at the pace we were previously doing. China is planning to open 150,000 stores in the rural countryside this year to offer its 700 million rural residents the opportunity to spend more money. According to the China National Statistics Bureau, here is how many Chinese own various goods, as measured in goods per 100 households in the year 2007:
Bicycles 97.7
Color TVs 94.4
Mobile phones 77.8
Washing machines 45.9
Refrigerators 26.1
Computers 3.7

A Stealth Return to Welfare as We Knew It

Under TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) welfare caseloads have shrunk from 12.6 million in 1997 to fewer than 5 million in 2007. Currently, welfare recipients are limited to a total of 5 years of federal benefits over a life-time. They are also required to begin working after two years of government support. Since 1965 welfare had been open-ended, but TANF changed all of that.

Guess what? A stealth provision in the House of Representatives version of the stimulus bill makes TANF open-ended once again, as are Social Security and Medicare. The language, "such sums as are necessary," was inserted in the section of the House bill dealing with cash assistance to low income families.

The source for this information was an article by Benjamin Sasse and Kerry Weems in yesterday's WSJ.

A "Duty to Die?"

Rush Limbaugh noticed a provision in the "Porkulus" bill that created a national health care office. Doctors who wanted to know whether they would be paid for a procedure, especially for an elderly patient, would have to check with that national office. If it works anything like the U.K. national healthcare system, the wait might cause the sick or elderly person to die, before the procedure could be implemented. Remember when Colorado's pompous Governor Lamm said back in the seventies that old people have a duty to die? Lamm is now a quiet senior citizen.

Who was behind it?

Late last September there was a run on mutual funds that specialize in money market investments. Over $500,000,000,000 was electronically drained from these funds in about an hour. The Federal Reserve Bank closed those accounts, when it saw that it could not stem the flow of money out of the funds. The Fed announced that all accounts would be insured up to $250,000. It took the Fed about two hours to act. If it would have gone on all day, our economy, and the world's might have collapsed.

Who was behind this electronic run on these funds? George Soros? China? Someone who wanted Obama to win the election?

Who Poses Our Biggest International Test?

Remember when Joe Biden told us during the campaign that Obama would be tested overseas soon after taking office? Well, it has started. Russia gave Kyrgyzstan $2 billion in loans and grants, and Kyrgyzstan immediately announced (in Moscow) that it was closing a crucial American air base, used by us to ferry troops and supplies in and out of Afghanistan. Iran launched its first satellite into orbit, with inescapable military implications. Pakistan freed A.Q. Khan, creator of Pakistan's nuclear bomb, and the seller of nuclear secrets to unsavory characters around the world.

Gerald F. Seib writes about the implications of these developments in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, which also asks the following "Question of the Day:" What country do you think poses President Obama's biggest international test? Russia? Iran? North Korea? Pakistan? China? Iraq? Afghanistan? Mexico? Or, will it be Islamic terrorists without regard to their country of residence?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pond activity resumes!

The ice has melted on the pond, but the leaves on one tree turned brown, but never dropped!
A few of the geese go for a swim.
The three ducks wait until the big flock of geese are through swimming, then they have the whole pond to themselves, while the geese graze on bugs in the grass.


What is addiction? Dr. Stanton Peele has written a book entitled "Addiction-Proof Your Child." In it he lists six criteria which define an addictive experience.
"It is powerful and absorbs people's feelings and thoughts. It can be predictably and reliably produced. It provides people with essential sensations and emotions (such as feeling good about themselves or the absence of worry or pain). It produces these feelings only temporarily, for the duration of the experience. It ultimately degrades other involvements and satisfactions. Finally, since they are getting less from their lives when away from their addiction, people are forced increasingly to return to the addictive experience as their source of satisfaction."

Here are twelve basic values that Dr. Peele believes will insulate your children against addiction.
"A sense of purpose. Achievement and accomplishment (feeling that it is right and worthwhile for them to do things well). Caring about oneself (self esteem) - believing they have the power to gain praise and esteem through their own actions. Caring about others. Responsibility. Managing money and other assets. Awareness of one's self and one's environment. Adventure and excitement. Pleasure and fun. Social, political, religious and other commitments. Maturity: an ability to delay gratification, an awareness of others, a concern for the wider world. Efficacy - feeling competent, able (not attempting to get things magically: knowing that their efforts will produce rewards)."

Dr. Peele strongly recommends we give our children more opportunities for self-directed activities, because such activities contribute to virtually all of the values and abilities that combat addiction. Parents need to strike a balance between protectiveness and fostering independence. The ultimate goal of parents is that our children find meaning in life and seek positive activity and accomplishment. Our job is to encourage self-directed engagement, and they need to see us engaging in constuctive activities ourselves.

Dr. Peele believes the most important skill parents need in addiction-proofing our children is the ability to ask questions. He calls it motivational interviewing, or values clarification. The intention is to solidify your children's values in their own minds as a guide to their behavior.

I thought all of those concepts were good. Where I disagree with Dr. Peele is when he advocates for the decriminalization of drug abuse. For example, take meth abuse. A Rand Corporation study concluded that U.S. taxpayers are paying $23.4 billion a year in costs associated with methamphetamine abuse alone. Two-thirds of all ID thefts in Colorado are caused by methamphetamine users. More than 70% of all official child abuse cases involve drug abuse. To say drug abuse is a victimless crime is pure hogwash!

Colorado has more meth users than the state of New York! Why? Because of the supply route coming up from Mexico. Although women account for only 25% of abusers of other illegal drugs, they account for 50% of meth abusers. Most meth is now being produced in labs in Mexico, rather than motels and rural farmhouses in the U.S., as was the case a few years ago.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

"How do you expect us to stay warm?"

Flopsy and Brownie are doing well. Every night they curl up together on a blanket next to the fireplace. They are now drinking milk replacement and also their mothers' milk. They make very good pets. They are quiet and cute as they can be. They want to relate to the humans. They like to have their heads scratched, and they do amazing tricks, similar to kittens. They follow our kids around the house. When the fire goes out they ask, "How do you expect us to stay warm?"

Last night's sunset

Protectionism and Recessions

John W. Miller reports in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that countries all over the world are enacting trade barriers to protect some of their key industries. Russia is the worst. Since November Russia has introduced 28 measures to raise tariffs on other countries' imports and subsidize its own exports, and plans six more. Global trade grew by 6.2% in 2008, but is now predicted to shrink by 2.1% this year. 153 nations belong to the World Trade Organization. Russia isn't one of them.

The European Union has warned U.S. Democrats not to implement proposed "Buy American" provisions in their planned new "stimulus" spending. The E.U. itself is resuming subsidies to dairy farmers' exports, and barring Chinese screws and bolts.

The U.S. is planning tariffs on Italian water and French cheese to punish the E.U. for resticting imports of U.S. chicken and beef. India plans to increase tariffs on foreign steel. Egypt has imposed duties on sugar. The U.S. has imposed tariffs on Chinese mattress springs and graphite electrodes.

History is clear: protectionism only makes a world-wide recession worse. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat the mistakes that have been made in the past.


Remember when the pundits criticized McCain for not properly vetting Sarah Palin? Obama is making McCain look like the greatest vetter of all time! Four recent nominees of Obama have had problems complying with the tax codes. Of course, if you are nominating people who customarily fudge a bit, is it reasonable to expect them to be forthright with your vetters?

Where There's A Will There's a Way!

The border fence between the U.S. and Mexico has been completed across California, Arizona, and New Mexico. So, drug smuggling in those areas has stopped, right? Wrong! According to a Wall Street Journal article February 4 by Stephanie Simon, "The smugglers build ramps to drive over fencing, dig tunnels under it, or use blow torches to slice through."

The last 70 miles of the 670 mile security fence, mostly across the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, has been very difficult. There is opposition from environmentalists and property owners, so completion has been slowed.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Inconveniences of the "Love Generation"

Gary Graham has written a post at Andrew Breitbart's new website (Big Hollywood). The post has already engendered over one thousand comments. I urge my readers to read it here. Warning: there is some rough language in the beginning, but once you get past that, you will find much to think about.


Do you realize that Iraq just held successful provincial elections? Physical security was provided solely by Iraqis! Many people felt comfortable enough to bring their children with them to polling places. There were no suicide bombers.

The big loser in the election was Iran, which poured money into the southern provinces in support of candidates who failed at the polls. The big winner was "the concept of a unitary Iraq," according to a Wall Street Journal opinion piece yesterday.

Expect violence in the months ahead from al Qaeda, which is now desperate. Also expect violence from Shiite extremists armed and trained by Iran. Nevertheless, the article written by Kimberly and Frederick Kagan, asserts that "Iraq has gone from being an impending disaster to a golden opportunity."

I cannot help but recall the dismally inaccurate assessments of Iraq by Biden, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, who are all silent now.

The Media Isn't Noticing

Many people have died in Kentucky due to the killer ice storm that has left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity for more than a week now. Where is President Obama? I understand that he flew in Air Force One, with his fleet of SUVs, down to Williamsburg, Virginia to a spa last night. Remember when the media and their Democrat allies excoriated President Bush for not responding faster to Hurricane Katrina?

Some spots may not get electricity back for weeks. The 8,500 Amish Kentuckians have been largely unaffected, since they don't use electricity anyway. One Amish man said, "We paid it no attention." He and other Amish have been helping other non-Amish cope.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Never-Ending Cycle

We have a crisis in this country regarding hospital care for the mentally ill. More and more hospitals are shutting down units which formerly cared for patients who required psychiatric care. These are patients who require a lot of staff time, including the need for security guards to "watch" many of them 24-7.

These are also patients who invariably do not take responsibility for, or have the means to, purchase private insurance. For example, only 5% of the 960 admissions to Denver Health Hospital had private insurance in 2007. Even those who do have private insurance find that their insurance often does not entirely cover the costs of treatment; thus, hospitals lose money if they take these patients.

In Colorado about 40,000 mentally ill or drug-addicted people a year show up at hospital emergency rooms. Police get called when persons behave erratically enough to scare someone. Police then choose whether to take them to an emergency room or to jail. Often times these patients scare the people at the reception desk with their crazy raps. They stay a short while at the hospital, then are brought back again in a week or two. It's a never-ending cycle.

He Wanted This One Kept Quiet

In contrast to the media blitz Obama conducted in announcing his earlier executive orders, he quietly signed another one Friday afternoon, January 23. President Bush had executed an order that said that any agency that accepted funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development could not "advocate, counsel, refer, or offer abortion," even if they used money that came from other sources.

President Obama overturned that rule, signing the executive order in private, and releasing it late on a Friday afternoon. Taxpayer money will now once again flow to groups that promote the abortion of babies.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Third in line to the presidency!

Nancy Pelosi said today that 500,000,000 Americans are losing their jobs every month! Nancy, that is 6,000,000,000 a year. How amazing is that, considering that the entire population of America is closer to 300,000,000? As Mark Stein predicts, there will be one hell of a line at the soup kitchen!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Nanny State

Update: Another nominee did not pay her taxes! The person Obama picked to do performance reviews of the federal government has asked that her nomination be rescinded. It seems she did not pay taxes on her nannies. Yes, that's right, two nannies; one for her teenage son, and one for her teenage daughter.

"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy."

"Gratuitous disparagement of the country he is now privileged to lead"

That is Charles Krauthammer's portrayal of Obama's "self-inflation as redeemer of U.S.-Muslim relations." Krauthammer reminds Obama that in the most recent 20 years America engaged in five military campaigns that resulted in the "liberation of Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq."

Rewriting History

What history books has Obama been reading? He says our security emanates from the "tempering quality of humility and restraint." What would the residents of Hiroshima think of that historical analysis? Dresden?

No, Americans, British, and their allies, as Dorothy Rabinowitz writes in the Wall Street Jurnal, had "one enduring conviction - that fascisim should be eradicated from the face of the earth, and a total war of destruction be waged on Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany until their surrender."

Do We Really Want a New, New Deal?

Two professors have conducted research about the Great Depression, and how FDR's New Deal exacerbated and prolonged it. Their conclusions, reported in a lengthy article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, were that "New Deal labor and industrial policies prolonged the Depression by seven years!" They continue, "The main lesson we have learned from the New Deal is that wholesale government intervention can - and does - deliver the most unintended consequences."

Will Obama and the Congress provide us with incentives to work, save, and invest? Will the banking and manufacturing segments of our economy be reformed, so that they become competitive and profitable? Will our educational system provide our children with relevant knowledge and skills to compete with graduates from other countries?

Another Tax-Cheat!

Say it isn't so! Another tax-cheater nominated by Obama for his cabinet. Tom Daschle failed to report $255,000 in income for a car and driver supplied to him for his personal use from 2005-2007. In addition, he and his wife Linda, an aviation lobbyist, may have failed to report certain "travel and entertainment services" while Mr. Daschle was pocketing over $5,000,000 in earnings the last two years.

Bad Banks

The newest concept being considered by countries around the world: "bad banks." Bad banks would be created as a depository of troubled loans and securities. The banks we have now are not "bad banks?"

Monday, February 02, 2009


What have you been hearing about Octowoman? I am referring to the woman in California who was celebrated on Katie Couric and Kaiser Permanente after giving birth to eight children. Turns out her name is Nadia, that she is unmarried, lives at home with her mom, who gets paid by California to take care of her previous six children, also born out of wedlock. You, the taxpayer, are paying for her medical care and food stamps, too.

The Associated Press, who could not find Barack Obama's birth certificate, has found the birth certificate of the babies' sperm donor. Nadia is not a citizen of the United States, but you are paying for her children. Nadia went down to Mexico to a fertility doctor, who AP cannot locate. Mom and children are still in the hospital.

California is broke; $40,000,000,000 in debt. They cannot even send out the tax rebates people have coming to them. Do you think illegal immigration has anything to do with the state's financial problems?

Octowoman Nadia is hoping to sell the movie rights to her story. I believe there was already a James Bond movie about her. Do you remember its name?


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Last Night's Sunset

Nurturing Kids

Flopsy and Brownie's mammas are ignoring them. Both were nearly dead this morning. Their human friends took turns nurturing them. All that foster care experience is paying off for some new kids!

After all the feeding, Sara sees an audience for a board game. An audience is an audience, is an audience.