Saturday, March 31, 2012

This Could Save Your Life (Or, Someone You Love)

I wish I had had this information before my mother suffered the stroke that ended her life a week later.


It's a link to a site with a pdf of a wallet-sized card reminder of the things to look for if you suspect a stroke.


In all fairness, Mom was also resistant to the idea of going to the ER.  She'd called her regular doctor, and he said he'd see her Tuesday in the office (this was Sunday).  She refused to go to the hospital, as her doctor was aware of the stroke, and wasn't concerned.


He should have been.  Before she could see him, on Monday, she had another stroke, this one more severe.


The argument I should have made was for Dad to realize that she wasn't competent to make the decision.  And, I should have called 911, and let the techs persuade her.


I will be carrying this card in my wallet from now on, and I urge anyone with a history of cardiovascular problems in their family to do the same, as should all their family and friends.


Strokes can be minimized in their damage, IF you seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stand Up & Be Counted!

Are you For - or Against Blacklists?


What do I mean?  How can anyone be FOR Blacklists?  Aren't they the McCarthyite (Spit!  Spit!  on his grave) tactic that all proper, good-hearted people are appalled by?  That NO person should EVER employ?  Or Support?


Well, not exactly.


In this article, Jeffrey Lord makes the case that The Tactic has returned - in fact, never left.


Warning - this is LONG (but surprisingly readable).  It may ruffle your feathers, and cause you to stutter, "but, but...".


Just approach it with an open mind.


Then, ask yourself, what if this tactic were employed against ME?  Or someone whom I support?


Would I still think it fair?

"The Poor You Will Always Have With You"

Are some people just destined to be poor?


I don't think so.  I think wealth has more to do with the actions of  individuals, than how "lucky" they are.


Dennis Prager agrees.
 People who make less than $20,000 a year . . . told Kahneman and his colleagues that they spend more than a third of their time in passive leisure — watching television, for example. Those making more than $100,000 spent less than one-fifth of their time in this way — putting their legs up and relaxing. Rich people spent much more time commuting and engaging in activities that were required as opposed to optional.

Hmmm.  Maybe there's a reason that network marketers are told "turn off the TV".

The Trayvon Martin Case

First, and most importantly, it's critical to be respectful of the family.  It has to be devastating to lose a loved one so young, no matter what the circumstances.  To have the shock of the death followed by criticism of that child seems especially cruel.


However, few violent deaths happen in a vacuum.  Mr. Martin's death is no exception.


Was the shooting a deliberate targeting of a Black youth?  At this point, that is unknown.  The initial reports of racial slurs being recorded seem to be in error - enhancements support the belief that the words used were "f---ing punk" - not nice, but not a racial comment.


Was he just walking home (well, not HOME, but to his father's girlfriend's house, where his father was at the time)?

CORRECTION - his father and girlfriend were out.  When they returned, they thought Trayvon had gone out with the nephew of the girlfriend.

At this point, his actions have been called into question.  He was NOT a model A-B student - he had multiple suspensions, one for carrying multiple pieces of gold women's jewelry and what has been called "burglar's tools".  That characterization comes not from police, but the school that he attended.  He was serving a 10-day suspension, which does NOT happen for simple truancy and tardiness.


Should he have been wearing a hoodie?  Certainly, he had a legal right to do so, but - and here Geraldo has a point - it is a type of clothing associated with thugs and petty criminals.  I do have to wonder at its use that day in February - the 26th.  By FL standards, it was cool (64-74 throughout the day), and there was a light precipitation.  So, the use of the hoodie may have seemed reasonable to many.


So, why was Trayvon shot?  Again, not known.  The initial investigation resulted in George Zimmerman not being held in police custody, a fact that apparently infuriates many people, who think he should be in jail.  The idea that police can't just decide to arrest someone without enough evidence is not well understood (I can't imagine why not, as Law & Order is one of the most popular television series of all time).


The evidence - ballistics, phone calls, eyewitness statements - seems ambiguous.  The family is convinced that the screams are Trayvon's. Others have identified them as Zimmerman's.  Trayvon's girlfriend is NOT an eyewitness, although her cell records back up her statement that she was talking to Trayvon at the time of the shooting.


I'm not real clear about how she heard the altercation, but didn't get concerned enough to call him back - or his family.  I can't wait to hear what she has to say (she will be testifying).


This link seems to paint a picture of Trayvon as a thug - who had already engaged in violent acts.


George Zimmerman's past has been brought up as well.  He has been described by the media as "a White Hispanic".  In fact, his father is White, his mother is Peruvian.  His appearance is that of a Latino of Indian descent.


Much has been made of Zimmerman's background - I've heard vague references to past incidents of violence, but nothing specific.  Even though he may have had brushes with the law, they were not major enough to prevent him from carrying a gun legally.


I suspect that this will be one of those much-abused cases that lead people to hijack the actual facts for their own agenda.


It's a shame.  Both men deserve better.  They deserve a system that looks for the facts, and judges fairly.


Not likely to happen.

Re-Organization of The Blog

This week, I'm going to start a major re-organization project.  You may see some evidence of the process (if you see a Page Under Construction sign, take that as a temporary thing).  My goal is to group similar posts under a topic division - it may be links in a sidebar, it may be tabs on the heading bar - I'm not sure how it will turn out.


In the meantime, here's a cogent and insightful piece on Capital Punishment.  I think it refutes the idea that those who favor the Death Penalty for egregious crimes are knuckleheads - one of those arguments against continued imprisonment of murderers is that they so often visit their violent nature on the people around them - guards, prison staff, and even other prisoners.  Does being locked up for a crime mean that you have lost your right to life?

Monday, March 19, 2012

A VERY Exciting Time to Be A Catholic

Probably more so, than any time in the last century.  We are awakening to the dangers of falling under the spell of a Liberal Philosophy, and thereby weakening our specific, Catholic  traditions.


Catholicism is NOT a liberal institution.  It is profoundly conservative, in the old-fashioned sense of "conserving" its message from Our Lord.  There is a reason that translators try, as far as possible, to adhere to the exact words of the original Bible - they try to conserve the meaning of the stories.  To that end, at times, the Biblical translations have to preserve old parables, then footnote the underlying meaning.  It's a delicate balance, and one that showed up recently with the revised mass liturgy.


That revision attempts to restore the spoken words to be the same as the original (for example, the prior words "and also with you" return to "and with your spirit" - an exact translation of "et cum spiritu tuo").


The new battle with the Obama administration's efforts to force acceptance, and payment for, birth control and abortion, is exhilarating!  It's bringing the fight out in Catholic circles that had begun to lay down and die.


(For those who are fulminating "but the directive DOESN'T cover abortion, that's a later column - trust me, it does.  I'll post later this week, to give you a chance to vent.)


It's those defiant moments that define an organization.  Those moments force the group to mark their territory, plant their sword, and prepare to die rather than submit.  At such a time, organizations reinforce their core.


This is one of those moments.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Value of Marriage, and How Society Can Promote It, Or Not

I just found this article about marriage (it's from 2008, but still timely).  The information that caught my attention:
In the six centuries up through Austen’s lifetime, Clark found, English women didn’t marry on average until age 24 to 26, with poor women often having to wait until their 30s to wed. And 10 to 20 percent never married. Judging from the high fertility of married couples, contraceptive practices appear to have been almost unknown in England in this time, but merely three or four percent of all births were illegitimate, demonstrating that rigid premarital self-discipline was the norm.

OMG!  (I really should change that, as it's disrespectful to God.  Maybe Oh, My Zeus! would be better?)


No!  Couples using abstinence to prevent children?

I thought that simply wasn't possible!  That it was a physical and psychological impossibility for humans to abstain from sex for an extended length of time!

Apparently, the levels of marriage in different areas of the country vary widely, with the most marriages taking place (and, at a younger age) in the less expensive places to live:
The simplest explanation is that GOP “family values” resound more in states where people can more afford to have families. In parts of the country where “Families can be easily supported, more Persons marry, and earlier in Life.” And where it is economical to buy a house with a yard in a neighborhood with a decent public school, you will generally find more conservatives. It’s a stereotype that marriage, mortgage, and kids make people more conservative, but, like most stereotypes, it’s reasonably true. You’ll find fewer Republicans in places where family formation is expensive. Where fewer people can form families, Republican candidates making speeches about family values just sound irrelevant or irritating.

So, maybe Republicans need to stop talking about how marriage is so good for the economy, and start talking about the ECONOMY needs to be good for marriage.

Number 1 way to promote marriage - improve the economy, a LOT!

FYI, you DON'T need to have the most lavish, expensive wedding on the planet to be married.  You just need the money for the license, preacher/priest/judge, and maybe a small restaurant dinner for immediate family and 1/2 dozen or so close friends after.  Honeymoon optional, but can be as simple as a nice hotel in a nearby city for a few days.  (other than the first 2, even those are optional).


License                                                                                    $   60

Officiator (this won't include organist, flowers, etc.)    $ 100

Charlotte       The Ballantyne      2 days                            $ 450

Dinner            Olive Garden           15 people, $ 12.95      $ 250 (with a generous tip)

Total                                                                                           $ 860

Without the admittedly fancy hotel                                     $ 410

It IS do-able, and if couples would just stop aiming for a David Tutera wedding, they would be able to start their married life out RIGHT.

Don't waste money trying to impress people who already KNOW you don't have it.  Use that money to start your life off together in the right way, and with care for your future.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Things Obama Knows that Aren't Correct

He had said that
"One of my predecessors, President Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone: 'It's a great invention but who would ever want to use one?'" Obama said. "That's why he's not on Mt. Rushmore."

"He's looking backwards, he's not looking forward. He's explaining why we can't do something instead of why we can do something," Obama said. "The point is there will always be cynics and naysayers."

Citation:  Politico

Obama was incorrect.

According to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center:
Hayes was not only the first president to have a telephone in the White House, but he was also the first to use the typewriter, and he had Thomas Edison come to the White House to demonstrate the phonograph.

Courtesy of The American Thinker.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

What IS Diversity?

Of color/ethnic group?


Of religion?


Of background?




Thomas Sowell thinks that last may be the most lacking in academia and other Liberal bastions.


If you haven't read Dr. Sowell, you're missing a treat.  He's an economist, author, and commentator, who is also Black.  Unlike many economists, he can explain his field without either:

  • Confusing me

  • Boring me

  • Causing me to say "Huh?

I Want His Name!

Well, it's certainly possible that the soldier-shooter in Afghanistan was named John B. Smith, or some other Caucasian-type variant.


But, I'm beginning to doubt it.  The continued refusal of the government to release his name makes me wonder...


Could any part of it be "Ali" "Abed" or "Mohammed"?


That is beginning to seem like a real possibility.