Monday, December 21, 2015

According to Hoyt

She has the neatest blog - politics, culture, and, of course, fantasy and sci-fy (she is an author, having been published both IRL by Baen and in digital form).

One of the best things is the way she analyzes America from the standpoint of an outsider, which she was, initially.  Sarah was born and raised in Portugal, and retains the ability to see us at a distance.

"The Long March" is 2 days old, but worth the time reading it.

Probably  the most crucial part?
There is strife.  Strife means the old blood and the new don’t agree.  Another way to look at it is renewal.

Problem is advocates of liberty are about as good at coordinated action as a bunch of cats

It's true, the Left outflanks us at unified action.  Gone are the days when Democrats proudly proclaimed, "I'm not a member of a political organization - we're not organized at all".

Mao and his ilk would be bursting his jacket-buttons at the way modern American Leftists have managed to corral ordinary American citizens into lockstep.  They've done it by the time-honored manner used by so many Leftists - enforcement of cultural norms and social shaming, pressure on their peers to banishment the non-conformers, and threats - threatened and actual - against employment.

Who could have predicted that the Woodstock Generation would turn to methods they ridiculed when they were the outsiders?

Do You Need a New Comeback?

Never Fear - Kathy Shaidle is here!

One of the neat things about occasional bouts of insomnia is that. when carousing around the web (my most common go-to for those times), you sometimes run into Fun Facts!

Such as this:
More Catholics were killed by left-wing atheists—like my typical sparring partner—during the Spanish Civil War than “heretics” were killed during the 350-year Spanish Inquisition.

The "Crusades were SO Terrible" meme that the Progressives/Leftists want to beat any opposition over the head with is another of those accusations that is best combated with a Fun Fact!

Such as this map showing that the Jihadi invasion of the Middle East - at that time, almost exclusively Christian - and Europe was FAR more extensive than the defensive Crusader wars.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

You Can't Be Virtual Always

Look, I'm a big fan of the online world.  It speeds up the collaborative process when at least a portion of it can take place online.  This semester, the teacher I'm mentoring and I have been doing at least part of our interactions online.

However -

At least 2-3 times a week, we find that it's necessary to get up, walk the relatively short distance to the other's room in the pod, and quickly confer.

Apparently, humans are just hard-wired to prefer at least SOME IRL contact.  I have people with whom I have only online interactions, and I find that I wish we were able to at least occasionally met in the physical world.

So, Rubio's decision to keep Iowa almost completely non-physical is probably a HUGE mistake.  More than the coastal people recognize, those living in the interior are accustomed to "pressing the flesh", and those politicians who haven't been face-to-face may not realize that they will likely be perceived of as "cold" - and, therefore, likely to stumble in the first hurdle.

A huge amount of human decision is Gut Feeling - basing our choices on how someone handles personal interaction.  If you think about it, we've evolved in our hardware, but our software (brain) still works hard to make sense of those tiny indicators that let us know that a stranger:

  • Likes us - can be welcomed into our trusted circle

  • Is telling the truth

  • Will be loyal

  • Responds to the same stimuli as us - shows disgust for what appalls us, feels his heart beat faster for what energizes/excites us, is suspicious of the same people that we mistrust, etc.

  • Is a leader that would inspire us to follow him


Rubio may not realize the extent to which we depend on getting those cues - and how much better we are in person at putting those indicators into context.

I've often said that intuition is not what people think it is - rather than a mysteriously-based hunch, it's the accumulated judgement of minor observations - mostly conducted without being consciously aware of the process -  that allows us to handle interactions with strangers.  I suspect that it's handled by more primitive parts of the brain, and therefore less liable to be overridden.

Virtual is fine within your already-established trust circles.  It doesn't work with strangers.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Like Willie Nelson,...

I'm on the road again.

Heading to Cleveland for the holidays.  This will be a short, visit-packed trip, with us heading back again no later than the 27th.

Good news - I passed the General test for Ham Radio, which makes me eligible to work the HF bands - those are the ones that are generally used for DX - long distance contacts.  Can't do that without an HF rig, however, and those are QUITE expensive.  Minimal - about $600.  Maximal - my dear, if you have to ask...but, can be $12k - 15k.

For a RADIO?

Well, yes, but they also do so much more:

  • Slow-scan television/video can be received/sent, making it the choice for getting REAL news from far, and not-so far away.

  • Outer space communications - bouncing a signal off one of the many satellites, communicating with the space station, controlling a satellite.

  • Emergency communications - when the cell towers are not functional, radio can be.  Providing both emergency assistance to disaster agencies and helping those affected assure family that they are OK.  And, in case of the Zombie Apocalypse....

  • Locating rogue transmitters, chatting with another amateur with your special interests (other than radio - Black, disabled, women, chess players, English or other language learners in other countries) running an underground movement to free your country from an oppressive government - anywhere the "outs" need a way to communicate outside of the regular media channels - Ham is there.

  • Connecting with the Internet where access is weak or nonexistent.

  • And, yes, old-fashioned, but very effective - Morse Code.  Which I'm planning to take up now that I've passed the test.  Have to buy/make a CW oscillator first to learn with.


My other big plan is to get into shape - a shape other than round.  Fitness is my primary goal, but it wouldn't kill me to hear that I also look good.  I should have the time this Christmas break to set up a workable plan for weekdays and weekends, as well as begin tracking my food intake.

Merry Christmas to all!  And if you are feeling STRESSED by the holidays, think of THESE PEOPLE - they live in the Mideast, and risk SERIOUS punishment for celebrating.

    

Friday, December 18, 2015

In a World of Dumba$$ Ideas...

...this has to rank in the Top 5.
Two Texas lawmakers wrote President Obama this week to oppose a possible plan to use Fort Hood military base to house unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed into the U.S. from Mexico.

Fort Hood spokesman Rheinlander said:
the Department of Defense and HHS will continue to keep local and congressional officials informed throughout this assessment and selection process.

In other words, we (the Elite - trademark pending) will graciously let you know what WE have decided - not that WE care what you peasants think.

What is Dumber Than a NYT Columnist?

The answer is:

Nothing.

Nothing is dumber than a NYT Columnist.

A perfect example of that is the mindless regurgitating of an academic study that explores why some people, in extreme situations, freeze in place.  The brain activity that causes it, the possible alternative ways to keep that from affecting peoples' survival in crisis situations, and all of that other academic hedging is explained.

Why?

Because the academic has explored bold new territory?  Come up with novel solutions?

No.

Towards the end, only a hint of POSSIBLE ways to fight the freeze are given.  No doubt, this "conclusion" will be used to argue for more money to study the problem further.

Whereas any "uneducated" Redneck could tell you the solution to the problem.

Join the military - particularly the Marines.  I guaran-damn-tee you that your "hard-wired" tendency to freeze will completely disappear.  It will be replaced by practiced, rote training that overrides your instinctual freeze.

Funding agencies, please contact me for information about where to send the check.

What a Lovely Memorial

The subject of that memorial is one of the many - too many - people who died in San Bernardino.

I'm thinking either Rubio or Cruz, although I'm leaning Cruz - mostly because he is NOT charismatic.  He is, however, a prodigious thinker.  It really would be great to have someone in the White House who would NOT slogan, but out-think the enemy.  A chess player.

Ever hear someone sneer about the Truman decision to drop the bomb, explaining that it was "ridiculous" to think that he expected large casualties from an invasion.  That person, I'd wager, will explain that it was a strategic decision, based on desire to intimidate the Soviet Union, or just a thirst for revenge and blood.

The actual answer to the question of Truman's motivation might be here.

I'm going to post and then relax - I've been studying for the upgrade to my radio license, and I'm tired.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Status Update

I'd like to be more active in blogging, but, right now:

  • We're in the middle of renovating our house in Cleveland.  It's been a LONG, slow process - with one major epiphany - Contractors LIE!  We were originally hoping to sell it, but our son needed a larger place in a safe neighborhood (his family will soon be expanding), so....

  • My husband needed to work on his Master's program, as well as a research program he is involved with, so-o-o-o, it was up to me to do more around the house and with the bills.  And,

  • I'm working on getting the finals ready for this upcoming week.  Have to finalize the two different versions, make an answer sheet, and get them to the office to be copied.  And,

  • I'm trying to get an exercise program going - it's been one failure after another.  And, I really do need to shape up!  And,

  • I'm studying for my upgrade of my Ham Radio license to General - the test is next Saturday, and I'm nervous about it.  And,

  • We're trying to get some Christmas shopping done earlier this year.  We usually wait until the last couple of days before, but we would rather spend that time with family and friends.  And,

  • I'm pulling some tax information together for my accountant.  Whether or not I consider it important, the IRS does.  And,

  • I need to prepare for next semester's classes - 2 different subjects from this semester.  And,

  • I'll be attending a conference in January in New Orleans.  So, I really want to get into shape so I can look spiffy.  And,


Nope, I guess that's about all.

So, compared to my chaotic life, politics/culture/news seems less exciting, and certainly less important.  I'll be posting, but only about 1-2 times a week.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Gathering Storm

In the aftermath of the recent shooting - both in America, and in the rest of the world (the media focused on Paris, but just about totally ignored the kidnapping of a Malaysian engineer, who has been reportedly beheaded) - the American people are nervous.

For a very good reason.

Unlike truly random attacks, the Islamic terrorists aim at maximizing Christian deaths.  It is for this reason that the "holiday" party was targeted - the killers could be reasonably sure that those of the Christian faith would be present.  Other groups that have faced terror from Islamicists are the Kurds, the Druze, and, of course, every whacko group's fave, the Jews.

The Progressives have been wrinkling their foreheads at the perplexing actions of ordinary Americans, who - despite the number of shootings by random crazies and "Peaceful Muslims" (trademark pending) - are reacting by choosing to increase the number of guns owned by citizens.  It's "truly a puzzlement" (to quote the King of Siam from the musical) why any sane person would react to the increasing violence with purchases to defend themselves and those they love.

/sarc

I personally know 1/2 dozen or more Democrats who've either bought guns, or are contemplating a purchase.

Hmmmmm.

Whatever COULD be causing people to feel unsafe?

Why, it's as though these nervous people don't fully trust their government to protect them.

They must be paranoid.

[UPDATE]  I know it reads like an Onion article, but apparently the appropriate response to the CA shooting should be attendance at a radical mosque:
A handful of House Democrats are expected to meet Friday afternoon at a Northern Virginia mosque that has reported ties to terrorists.

The Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church is where Anwar al-Awlaki, an accused recruiter for al Qaeda who was killed in 2011 by a U.S. drone strike, was an imam at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was also widely reported that some of 9/11 hijackers attended the mosque, and that Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan worshipped there

Have we morphed into Bizarro World?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Post-Thanksgiving Chillin'

We're doing some cleanup around the house.  NOthing major, just puttering around.  I'm shredding old financial records in small batches - the shredder makes it dusty, and it bothers my breathing.  So I'm doing it in short bursts.

My daughter might have gotten bumped to a smaller plane, with a travel voucher as a sweetner (not sure, her txt message was a little cryptic).  The other daughter is in NY still - she'll be traveling back home tomorrow.

It's been  nice break from intense political news.  Yes, it's important, but I'm getting fatigued with the B$.  I need this timeout to prepare myself for the run-up to Iowa.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tense International Situation

Putin has apparently upped the ante, charging that the USA either leaked information about the downed Russian jet, or that their allies did, causing the plane to be targeted.

The leadership of the USA has been too eager, for years, to engage in treaties and mutual protection agreements with other countries.  We're currently committed to send troops into too many international fights.

I'm not gonna go all Rand/Ron Paul on you, but it does seem prudent to re-examine the extent of our alliances, and let those other countries know that we expect them to limit their belligerence, territory acquisitions, and watch who they let into their borders - at least, if they want our help.

If they don't need us, hey, knock yourself out, do whatever you want.

Keep in mind that this could easily be disinformation, what we in the States would call blatant lying to achieve our aims.  Russia is notorious for that practice, and Putin probably learned something from his years working for the KGB.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Something for Court Syncophants to Think About

Too many people have been tip-toeing around Obama for many years - for good reason.  He protects his supporters (Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, Lois Lerner, et al) from prosecution.  He also punishes his enemies, and is ruthless with those who dare to oppose him.

Henry V was like that, too.  He was fickle in his alliances and friendships, casting aside those who had doggedly served him, and reducing them to penury and oblivion.

Here, from Henry V, is Wolsey's lament at the sudden end of his career:
here take an inventory of all I have,

To the last penny; ’tis the king’s: my robe,

And my integrity to heaven, is all

I dare now call mine own.

O Cromwell, Cromwell!

Had I but served my God with half the zealI served my king, he would not in mine age

Have left me naked to mine enemies.

Don't leave yourself naked to your enemies.  Serve God first.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What is an American?

I've written on this before.  It's a subject that fascinates me, as I grew up in a working class neighborhood that, during my childhood, was apparently the destination of choice for many immigrants.

Some of the nationalities I've known in my younger days:

  • English - my best pal's father was a retired military man from England

  • Irish - both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

  • Yugoslavian

  • Greek (one of my dad's best buddies was a Greek who became an American by volunteering for the Army)

  • Egyptian - my daughter's friend in high school was Coptic

  • Arabic - both Christians and Muslims - many friends of both groups

  • German

  • Brazilian

  • Romanian

  • Hungarian

  • Polish - my aunt married a Pole who was a Byzantine Catholic

  • Swedish

  • Estonian

  • Russian

  • Japanese


That list is just off the top of my head, and would probably be 2-3 times longer if I took more time to think about it.

The thing is, I lived surrounded by people who originally were from someplace else, and I spent enough time with them to get a feel for how their home language sounded, what they ate, how they interacted with each other and with Americans, what their political and religious beliefs were - it was a good introduction to Assimilation 101 as you could get.

Sarah Hoyt writes here about her experiences in America after leaving Portugal.

As a result, I do understand that fitting in is tough, that feeling like an outsider is emotionally draining, and that even a country like America, which does accept outsiders into the family, also harbors preconceptions about their "foreignness".

I've even had experiences with being the New Kid, as a result of marrying a man who likes to pick up and move to new places.  I initiated only one of those moves, to the South.  Surprisingly, I was able to assimilate more easily than he was.  Some of that was due to long practice with having to make new friends in a strange place.  Some of that was my ease with taking on a new culture.  Like some who find themselves in a new land, I am more than often charmed by the regional differences, and willing to adapt to them.  After all, the locals stayed in their original location, and are presumably happy with their home.

I was the traveler, who moved here.  I should adapt.  And, mostly, I have.

That's what I expect from immigrants - that they recognize that THEY were the ones who left home, and that THEY should make some personal changes to fit in.  Not give up everything, like the Fresh Off the Boat show, but make an effort to learn the language - enough to communicate with Americans.  We're not that fussy; we'll learn to handle your unique accent, your occasional mangled syntax.  Well, we might tease you a little, but we do that to many people (for example, Yankees and Southerners).  Our teasing implies that we consider you one of us, and it doesn't mean we don't like you.  Quite the opposite - we only tease family.

That's the important thing - America is one of the few places on Earth that will not only let you in, but, eventually, let you into the family.  You become an American.

Americans not liking immigrants?  Ridiculous!  I don't know anyone who doesn't tear up at the sight of each new batch of Americans reciting the oath that makes them Americans - it's like America's way of adopting new family members.

We do not, however, warm to lawless groups of border-jumpers.  Most of us are in favor of rounding them up and returning them to the country they came from.  And, as for those who do it more than once - I'd have no problem sending them to prison for 10 or more years, followed by deportation.  In fact, I'd like to explore a prison set up off-shore (there are a lot of islands in the Pacific who would love to have the money coming into their communities) specifically for 2nd-time offenders of immigration law.

What about their families in America, particularly those who have American-born children?

They can select from:

  • Voluntarily returning, taking their American children with them - suspended fines, to be imposed if they come back.  The child may return after achieving their majority.

  • Leaving their American children with an American family of their choice, to be raised by them in America.

  • Giving up custody of their American children, to be adopted by Americans.


That's it.  I'm not willing to bend the rules just because they managed to evade the law long enough to create an American child.

Monday, November 23, 2015

What is Driving the SJWs to Action in the Universities?

Hint:  It's NOT about Social Justice, Bringing in a New Era of Racial Equality, or Protecting Poor, Fragile, Little Snowflakes (who are, unlike real life, not exclusively White).

It's about a Naked Power Grab.

The Old Guard (1960s Leftists) have hung onto their power too long.  The SJW leadership is tired of waiting for them to retire/die/fade away.

They have manufactured this take-over in the footsteps of Obama, who wrested power from the Old Guard Democrat Clintons, and are putting the Alinsky Handbook into practice in that effort.

They will likely be successful.  Don't cheer their success, even though they finally rid us of the Clinton Dynasty.

Like the Bolsheviks, succeeding the Mensheviks, they will be worse - more ruthless, less bumbling, and more determined to eliminate ALL who oppose them.

BTW, for anyone who hopes that their particular cause will, at least, benefit from the change-over, lotsa luck.  YOUR interests aren't even on the radar.  This is about power, NOT fundamentally transforming America.  Any transformation is simply a means to an end.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ending the Subsidization of Our Own Downfall

The next President must dedicate at least a little energy to halting the free reign of 501(c)4 organizations.

They are organizations that are not supposed to be overtly partisan or political.  However, in practice, they usually are.  One such organization is Organizing for America (really, it's Organizing for America's Downfall!).

Here are the rules for 501(c)4's.

On a related note, universities seem to be particularly exempt from rules of basic decency.  They scream about "equal pay for equal work", yet ignore on of the most egregious examples of its lack on campus.
Equal pay for equal work may be a national rallying cry. Yet for some reason, academia expects that it can pay a graduate-student teaching assistant or a PhD-holding part-time instructor a fraction of what it would pay a tenured full professor for teaching the identical class. The gulf between a full professor and a part-timer — in terms of money, power, and status — far exceeds that between the WalMart manager and his greeter at the door. And at least the latter pair have far different tasks. Is such disparity liberal?

Read more at: National Review

 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Candidate Ted Cruz

Today is a good day to focus on Cruz - he just published an immigration plan.  Very comprehensive - but NOT in that "find more ways to bring in people" way.

The biggest thing?  Use of tactics that will catch the invaders:

  • Border wall

  • Aerial surveillance

  • Biometric tracking system

  • Put the screws to DHS - fire/discipline those who are screwing up, work with the states

  • And other ideas


The absolutely BEST idea?  Get rid of the "slush funds" - government funds that are given to groups acting contrary to American interests (those that are allowing invaders to drag out the process of deportation, help invaders settle into communities in the USA).

Paris is Burning - Again!

The most timely information is coming from the bloggers and social media.  Officially, 30 dead - unofficially, may be 100 or more.

President Oblivious was on the news a few minutes ago, stammering about the situation (he really is tangletongued when he has to improvise).  He started to talk about the French nation, their "pursuit of happiness" clause - what?  That's NOT the French!  The Big Zero recovered fairly quickly, moving into a bad French accent about "Liberte" and all that.

Supposedly, there is no threat against the USA.  Not believing much that I hear from Official Washington.

Anyone want odds on the names/ethnic identity of the perps?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Candidates - Bernie Sanders

He LOOKS like such a kindly, if slightly cranky, uncle.  His appeal is that he is for the "Little People".

But, is that reality - or a carefully crafted misleading of the American people?

[caption id="attachment_1037" align="alignleft" width="275"]Lovable Lil Socialist Lovable Lil Socialist[/caption]

Let's start with his record on Free Speech - he's against it - at least when it comes to speech HE and his Progressive Friends don't approve of, like the right of corporations to lobby for their interests, those opposing Conventional PC Thought, or those who would dare to disagree with the Fashionable Left.

Sanders was against American involvement in Vietnam - BUT, it was NOT because of his deep love for humanity - like most Progressives/Leftists, he averted his eyes to the atrocities of the South Vietnam bloodbath after the Americans left.




[caption id="attachment_1038" align="alignleft" width="278"]Not As Far Left As Bernie Not As Far Left As Bernie[/caption]







Honestly, if you want to know just how Bernie will destroy America, just look at this list:




  1. Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure

    1. Now, this could be CHEAP - ONLY $ 1 trillion!



  2. Reversing Climate Change

    1. He wants to "transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies." He thinks the Federal government should weatherize our homes - last time I did so, I paid for it myself.  Guess that makes me a chump, doesn't it?



  3. Creating Worker Co-ops

    1. He likes the idea of workers owning their business in common with their co-workers.  So much for job mobility, diversifying your investments, or not taking your work problems home with you.



  4. Growing the Trade Union Movement

    1. Now wait a minute!  I'm confused - is he anxious to make workers fat-cat bosses, or angry proles?



  5. Raising the Minimum Wage

    1. "The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage." Can't wait until those worker-owners hear that demand!



  6. Pay Equity for Women Workers

    1. "Women workers today earn 78 percent of what their male counterparts make." De-bunked repeatedly.



  7. Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers

    1. He will "develop trade policies which demand that American corporations create jobs here, and not abroad."  Can't wait until he finds out that the President does NOT control every business in the USA.  Which, if he wins, will be VERY few.



  8. Making College Affordable for All

    1. This is too amazing to cut short - here it is, complete.  "In today's highly competitive global economy, millions of Americans are unable to afford the higher education they need in order to get good-paying jobs. Further, with both parents now often at work, most working-class families can't locate the high-quality and affordable child care they need for their kids. Quality education in America, from child care to higher education, must be affordable for all. Without a high-quality and affordable educational system, we will be unable to compete globally and our standard of living will continue to decline."  So, in addition to taking over the cost of college, the federal government will also pay for child care.  At least, the Institutional Kind of Care - not that sweet grandmotherly woman who watches your kids now.



  9. Taking on Wall Street

    1. "The function of banking is to facilitate the flow of capital into productive and job-creating activities. Financial institutions cannot be an island unto themselves, standing as huge profit centers outside of the real economy."  Boy, oh, Boy!  I guess no one has let him know where the majority of the money the Democratic Party has came from!



  10. Health Care as a Right for All

    1. "We need to establish a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system." Ya' think we should let him see the figures for Obamacare?  Better not - he might stroke out.



  11. Protecting the Most Vulnerable Americans

    1. Except for those oooky little bundles of tissue.  Those Americans only live due to the benevolence of their Parental Unit - the XX ones.  Or if both are XY, the most Twinkly one.



  12. Real Tax Reform

    1. " It is not acceptable that major profitable corporations have paid nothing in federal income taxes" - however, it IS acceptable that almost 1/2 of the working age population pays NOTHING, and is a net beneficiary of government money.




From all of this, I'll bet that you have figured out that "Uncle Bern" is unlikely to receive my vote.  In fact, I think it's a fair bet that Al Sharpton is likelier to get my vote.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Some Catholic Things

I was watching a video from Word on Fire (Fr. Barron), and thought it was a useful explanation of the role of the Pope in the Catholic Church.  If you are not a Catholic (and, maybe, if you are/were), the authority of the Pope is not well understood.

Some non-Catholics think that we blindly follow every statement from the Pope (do those people KNOW any Catholics!), others that everything the Pope says is divinely inspired, still others believe that Catholics are not familiar with the Bible, as they are believed to be forbidden to read it.

Addressed in order:

  • NO, we don't all follow the Pope's religious instruction - many, for example, insist on using contraceptives, do not attend Mass regularly, ignore what is said about charity, war, modesty, et al.

    • One issue is that once baptized, and unless formally excommunicated, you are considered a Catholic for life.  The great majority attend only at Christmas and Easter, and ignore the little bit of doctrine they actually know.  Others, like Joy Behar, continue to self-identify as "raised Catholic" - not practicing in decades,  disagreeing with everything, and woefully ignorant of just about anything in the actual Catholic church.



  • Everything the Pope says is NOT divinely inspired - only those things relating to faith or morals teaching are considered infallible.  So, don't take his advice on how to bet on a horse race (no more reliable than any other person).  Also, this does NOT mean that the Pope never sins - he does, after all, have to make his Confession just like everyone else (and I assume he also loses his temper, tells "white lies" to avoid hurting someone's feelings, and harbors ill feelings towards annoying people - he is, after all, human).

  • Practicing Catholics, whether they realize it or not, are intimately familiar with the Bible - Old and New Testament - a good portion of it is read each day in the Mass - a reading from the Old Testament, one of the Psalms, a reading from the New Testament, and the Gospel.  It's on a 3-year cycle, rotating from the various Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and other books of the Bible.

    • Most Catholics own at least one Bible (I have 5-6 of them, in various places).  True, most don't often break it out, unless it is to check out something someone said, but it's a rare home of a practicing Catholic that doesn't have a Bible.

    • I own:

      • A Gideon NT - received from the Gideons when they were doing a distribution at my college - portable and useful for comparing with the Catholic versions.

      • A Douay-Rheims - Big, seldom taken off the shelf, bought during our first year of marriage.

      • Several St. Joseph versions - often used in Catholic high schools.  One is very small (about 4 x 6), and useful when traveling.

      • New American version - I think it's my husband's.

      • New International version - can't remember when we got that.



    • I also facilitate our Wednesday Adult Faith group, and read the next Sunday's Mass readings, as well as help focus the discussion of their meaning following that.  Right now, we're also viewing a video about the Gospel of John, and how it applies to our lives.




I'll be posting about once a week more about the Catholic faith, and how its teachings are a part of my life.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Saturday, October 31, 2015

NOT Pushing a Single Candidate...

I thought a USEFUL task for me would be to pick a single candidate each post, and focus on what is GOOD about that candidate - no matter what the party.

No one does this, to my knowledge.  Feel free to pass on links to those acquaintances who might not be getting this information from the media.

Today's candidate, in no particular order, is:

TED CRUZ

You may be most familiar with him from his sterling defense of the Republican candidates from the media's shameless attacks disguised as questions.  Here is a video, along with an explanation of that fighting tactic.

The Wall Street Journal had good things to say about Cruz's Flat Tax proposal. This could lead to REAL GROWTH in the economy, which we haven't had in years.  I'm generally for flat taxes, because they benefit the frugal, who DON'T buy a house that is way too expensive, on the grounds that they will make up the cost on mortgage deductions.  In the business world, this would lead to encouragement of more frugal management practices (which would lead to more profits).

It would also benefit many people who pay no income tax (but do pay other taxes), by giving them some reason to care about government spending - which helps us ALL.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sheer GENIUS!

No, I mean it.  Genius is an online tool that you can use to annotate text.  It was designed for song lyrics, but you can use it for any kind, including speeches.

I used it for the intro to Hillary's Benghazi testimony.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rush is Running the Numbers...

...and, it completely upends what the pundits are saying about the fundraising of Democrat and Republican candidates.

There is an embedded app that allows you to toggle the total amount raised and how much is contributed by small donations.  I won't tell you the details, but it gave me a new appreciation of Ben Carson.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Why Do We Argue Politics?

After all, so few people will change an entire way of life, based on the arguments.

What do I mean?  For many, self-identification is a gateway to relationships, self-esteem, cultural and religious affiliations.  Their friends all agree with them politically - "arguments", for these people, amount to a spirited discussion of tactics and interpretation, not any kind of attempt to put forth the reasoning behind their stands.  OF COURSE, all rational people agree on general principles:

  • Abortion is ABSOLUTELY necessary (not exactly wanted, but needed for their personal fulfillment).

  • Conservatives are stupid.  Even if they have degrees, publications, or high IQs, they are stupid.

  • Religion is OK, but must be tepid, willing to bend to more "modern" ideas, and not inhibiting any sexual activity that the adherents really want to engage in.

  • Your sexual identity is NOT determined by your DNA or exterior body, but by how you "feel".  And, although Liberal women would be OUTRAGED by a biological and identifying man in a women's locker room, a biological man who identifies as a woman is PERFECTLY OK.

  • Your racial identity is determined by whether you have a single Black ancestor - at that point, no matter how White you look, you will always be Black.  Those people (Southern Democrats) who originated that "One Drop" rule?  TOTALLY racist.

  • Money is horrible when someone has worked hard to earn it, but wonderful when they have inherited it from an ancestor who earned it - at least, if they are Liberal.  If their ancestors were Conservative, it is still horrible, and government should punish them by taking it away.

  • Power concentrated in the hands of elected Boards of Directors is just one more example of the Oppressors in action.

  • Power concentrated in the hands of non-elected Boards composed of family members and friends of the organization, as long as they fund Liberal groups, is just peachy.

  • Adultery is:

    • If committed by Conservatives, grounds for firing, shaming, and forced removal from office/employment/any influence whatsoever.

    • If committed by Liberals - oh, those Rascals!  How adorbs!  Look, a Conservative trying to make Liberals face the same consequences - GET those prudish Conservatives!



  • Truth:

    • Falls like precious pearls from the lips of Liberals.  Don't you DARE say that they are lying!

    • Cannot be found in the vicinity of Conservatives - they ALL lie.




Can you use FACTS to change these preconceptions?

No.

All of the above stem from an emotional attachment to Liberal Values.  It is a given of their thinking that all virtue stems from their Liberalism.  They are good BECAUSE they are Liberal.  Conservatives are bad BECAUSE they are Conservative.

Although emotionalism is often a trait of women, many Liberal men fall into that category.  It seems to be a trait encouraged by the Liberal/Leftist Power Structure - they HAVE to base their politics on emotion.  If they used their brains, they would be Conservatives.

Jeanine Turner has some advice on how to talk to Liberals.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Heinlein's Crazy Times

In some of his books, Heinlein refers to the time period in which society's foundations totally collapsed, and government was incapable of performing even the most basic protective functions, as the Crazy Times.

We're at least in the cusp, if not fully at that point now.

Words fail me.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I'm Beginning to Lean Towards Several Candidates

I've been only sporadically keeping up with the Republican "pit bull fights" - er, "debates".  Not disinterested, just REALLY busy with other things in my life.

So, I really do depend on analysis of their performance from trusted sources on the Internet.  What do I consider a trusted source?

  • Someone who cites reputable sources, with links, for their argumentative points

  • Someone who is upfront about their affiliations, donations, and political leanings/votes

  • Someone who does not merely repeat talking points

  • Someone who does not demonize or smear the opposing side


This is a relatively small group.  They support different candidates, but generally will order that support on a continium - Prefer X, but Y is OK except for issue B, and Z would be terrible, because of....

That sort of reasoning, that is an assist to, but not a replacement for, keeping up generally on the candidates' progress/statements/background (verifiable).

What I read of Cruz's work on modifying/eliminating FTC regulations makes me willing to give him a second look.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Antebellum Campus

Today's campuses have a LOT in common with the Old South, pre-Civil War:

  • ALL women are fragile, delicate flowers

  • They cannot TAKE coarse, rough language

  • They are put on a pedestal (in today's terms, they CANNOT be criticized for ANYTHING)

  • They can say or do anything, without forfeiting their position

  • They can chastise any men, without fear of being contradicted

  • They are prone to the vapors if the subject veers into potentially upsetting topics

  • Their virtue (sexual and otherwise) may NOT be questioned

  • They are not responsible for their actions - it was ALWAYS the fault of the big, bad man

  • They are ENTITLED to support from some man, or the government - surely, you don't expect them to PAY for their upkeep?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This Makes My Blood Boil!

Evidence backing up the claim that Bergdahl VOLUNTARILY left the US forces to join the Taliban may not even be introduced at the trial.  This, I believe, is a mistake.

Apparently, the government feels that the case is so strong that the tapes aren't needed.  However, I believe that failure to include them - and drive a nail in the coffin of conviction - will lead to yet another obvious case that the Leftists/Progressives will use to lead the charge of "false conviction".

And, we've seen too many of those Hiss/Rosenberg trials that the Left is STILL insisting is due to an overreaching, diabolical government conspiracy to hang perfectly innocent victims.  Which they will use to raise funds.

Monday, September 21, 2015

One Man, One Vote - KINDA

The influx of "undocumented" invaders into more heavily Democratic areas of the country is clearly intended to keep the power in the hands of the party that wants our borders to be nonexistent.  This court case addresses this ploy, by asking the Constitutional question:

Should our representation be governed by eligible voters, or by rounding up/importing "persons" into would-be Democratic strongholds?

It's a good question, and one with Constitutional precedents.  The 3/5ths clause was designed to keep Southern slaveowning states from getting an unfair advantage by fully counting their inhabitants, including slaves, for representational purposes.  In other words, it was designed to dilute the slaveowners' political power.

Funnily enough, the polling precincts with the fewest number of eligible voters often out-vote those with a higher percentage of eligibility.  True the Vote is one of those many organizations that are fighting voter fraud.

But, but, but....

Isn't voter fraud a myth?

No.

Here are other instances of fraud.

And here, with multiple videos.

And, in nearby NC.  Which, is why the state enacted Voter ID - which did NOT reduce non-White voting; it actually increased.

 

Playing Around With a Cloud

Constructed from some of the most common words in my blog.SuperCloud

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Change of Appearance

I decided to re-boot my site with a fresh appearance - this may change.  The previous one, with rainbows and sunshine, seemed too perky for the grim times we are seeing in the world.

Finally Out of Lockdown Hell

I apparently violated the upper limits on database tables, so was kept from posting/administration for the better part of a month.

Just too busy to straighten it out.

As I was able to log into my Outlawblogger site (which I share with other bloggers), I didn't pu ta priority on it.  Yesterday, when I found myself with extra time in the day, seemed a good time to clear up loose ends.

So, I'm back.  Estimated frequency of posting - about 3 times a week.

Friday, August 7, 2015

I'm BAAAAACK!

I was absent from blogging for over a week, because:

  • I was at an out-of-town workshop and conference (Baltimore, MD)

  • My site was locked up, due to an overload with the system administration


However, since returning to town, I'm back in operation - and, that's despite having multiple family foo-foos (not terrible, just time-consuming).

Monday, July 20, 2015

I'm a Woman in a STEM Career, And...

...I can attest to the fact that sexism against women is almost 100% B$.

Men have been my champions, mentors, and supporters - not to mention friends.  I've gotten - on the mere request - a recommendation YEARS after we last were in touch.

And, I married a man in Tech.  There is a saying in STEM - even <s>UGLY</s> not pretty female engineers can find a husband - they are that rare.  The ones on the job are treated like Queens - VERY respectfully.  And, engineers make GREAT husbands (well, except for that annoying thing about always having to FIX everything).

Oh, sure there is the random woman who is sexually harassed by the boss, but, what you find out is that she is NOT a coder, but in PR, or HR, or some such.

A boss would NEVER give a gifted coder a reason to leave.

This article is spot-on.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Atrocity From Planned Parenthood

Yeah, I know, there are ALWAYS atrocities from them.

This one involves selling human body parts from abortions.

'Cause, ya know, you NEED to make your money back!  Plus some more!

If you are not OUTRAGED, if you are not APPALLED, then move on.  And seriously question your humanity.
Follow the logic. If children can be bought and sold, then what do we call that?

It’s called slavery.

So, when is the mainstream media going to find it important to talk about, write about, and urge Americans to protest it?

 

Friday, July 17, 2015

On a Vacay Trip

My daughter and I are heading to WV to visit relatives - I have two aunts who are in fragile health, and I hesitate to put off the trip any longer.  They are my father's sister & sister-in-law.

I'm looking forward to the trip for several reasons - I really do love the ladies, my daughter and I will have some time to talk, and I enjoy seeing the scenery.  As a bonus, I plan to work with my cousin to get some of the family heritage information scanned and stored online at Ancestry.com.

I'll be returning home either Saturday or Sunday, then, unpacking and laundering, and re-packing for another trip on Tuesday.

But, that's the last for a while.  All this travel this summer has been exhausting.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Some REALLY Good Advice

Here.

Some "Solutions" Cause More Problems Than They Resolve

This change is one that has been suggested by MANY people.

Although it would avoid the problem of the state forcing compliance on the Church, it would be more likely to end up with something like they have in Europe (which does things this way, for the most part) - most couples just use the state-sponsored method of getting official recognition of their marriage.  Few bother with the Church Wedding (or, do it for the sake of the parents, who might be pressuring the young couple).

One of the side effects of Church weddings is that it's an opportunity for Church representatives to spend some time with the couple.  It can be a teaching opportunity, and a point of catechesis.

I DON'T believe that this will lead to fewer problems - in fact, it is likely to lead to more.  For those couples that were previously told that they couldn't be married in the Church, imagine the OUTRAGE of an already-married - or will-be-married couple who is informed that they are not eligible for a Church wedding.  I can see the bonanza for lawyers who will sue the Church.

This will not just be gay couples, but also previously married and divorced people, cohabiters, and - if my expectations are realized - still-married potential polygamists.

The Progressive lobby will be encouraging the lawsuits, picketing, protests - not because they give a rat's @$$ about Church weddings, but because it will tie up Church funds, time, and energy, as well as provide a platform for their posturing.

Beware of "simple" solutions.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

How Many Immigrants ARE There in the USA?

According to the US government, approximately 11 million.

According to multiple sources, and using different methods of checking it, about 20-30 million - and the higher number is likelier to be more accurate.

I found information about the OFFICIAL number (12 million), and why many dispute that number, in Ann Coulter's Adios Amigos book.

But, I'm not one to just blindly accept other people's numbers, so I did some checking.

The Wall Street Journal - almost unique among newspapers for having reporters who actually understand numbers - says that EITHER set of numbers is, at best, only a rough guess (for various reasons, including the fact that the US census doesn't even ASK about immigration status!).

Justich and Ng, at that time researchers for Bear Stearns, came up with the highest numbers, using a variety of means:
Bear Stearns' conclusion of dramatic underreporting was calculated by analyzing various data not included in other reports: border crossings, foreign remittances, housing permits, school enrollments, demand for language proficiency programs and service demand in gateway communities for illegals – all of which lead to findings contrary to Census Bureau numbers.

Keep in mind that the Bear Stearns report depended on hard numbers, not directly tied to sources that had a bias towards under- or over-counting.

I took a course in college on Civil War and Reconstruction.  For that class, we had to create a history of a single unit - either North or South.  For most of us, it was our first experience using original sources.

One major problem for most of us is that the evidence contradicted itself, depending on which source you consulted.  I remember asking, "If both sides indicate that the battle took out hundreds of the enemy, and only a few of their own, who do we believe?"

His answer: Look to the next-day muster - units report who is still standing, and will get a paycheck.

In other words, as the Watergate investigators found, look for the money.

On those grounds, the Bear Stearns data is probably better than most, as it relies on remittances, specific targeted requests for services, and similar information sources.

Ann Coulter estimates that about 1/4 of Mexico is currently residing in the USA.

Some Random Thoughts NOT About SSU (Same Sex Unions)

I bought the Kindle version of Ann Coulter's new book about immigration.  I find her TV appearances to be kind of snotty, and there is that think with her endorsement of Romney, but...

The book is good.  So far, I'm enjoying it.

Her point about amnesty?
Everyone knows that one amnesty begets ore illegal aliens, which begets another amnesty.  It's called an "incentive."  There's less of an incentive if the gate is locked.

I mean, picture it - you have people trespassing on your property, causing damage, drinking and stealing things.  Which will best get them to stop?

  1. Providing food, water, and the keys to your house, along with leaving your minor children in their custody while you go to work to pay for all of that.  If they happen to drink and drive your car, bail them out of jail, and pay all fines.  Free school, food, medical care, lawyers for their "mischief" - whatever their illegal little hearts want.

  2. Meeting them at the edge of your property, armed, and prepared to back up your demands to leave, pronto.  Keep patrolling until the threat of trespass is over.


If you are a Progressive, you chose (1).  BUT, you don't ACTUALLY give them the keys to YOUR house - you live in a gated community.  Instead, you drive them to a working class neighborhood, and demand that the residents provide all of the things you have promised - free school, "entitlements", tax credits, medical care.

The sane members of our society chose option (2).

Starting to Climb Out of the Hole We're In

It's pretty clear that we're in a precarious position - we're fast running out of OPM (Other People's Money), any proposed changes are resisted - with FEROCITY! - and the clanging timpani of the Progressive cymbals is limiting our ability to think clearly.

So, what to do?

We have to look at a multi-pronged attack - fight on many, many different fronts.  In short, we have to form coalitions:

  • Those that work to gain back our Constitutional Rights

  • Those that dismantle the bureaucracy - getting rid of jobs/divisions/sections that are not the work of the Federal Government, flat-out working to GET RID OF newer departments - Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture, for example.

  • Those that chip away at the entrenched "civil" workers who are, variously - thugs, lazy, self-importantly building empires, unnecessary, and stealing - or, any combination of the above.  This group needs to build a case (criminal) and use that as leverage to force those employees out - WITHOUT their pension rights - they may reclaim the money they PERSONALLY put into the system, if any.

  • And, my personal favorite - start a bounty system that allows those with verifiable clean records to be bonded by a COMMERCIAL firm (with NO guarantee from the government - they will personally take any risks) to get rid of a LOT of scammers, frauds, and cheats with "entitlements".  A set percentage of whatever they turn up and can prove.  This could provide employment to a lot of ambitious Millennials, who could both build up their bank accounts, get experience in doing something USEFUL, and gain a lot more skepticism about those who are collecting these taxpayer-provided monies.


I'll admit that the last idea was sparked by this.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Are We Being Manipulated?

I tend to think:

YES!

based on articles like this.  I'm starting to feel like a lab rat.

This is not a new phenomenon - a book I read a few months ago (written by Leftists, but worth buying because of the insight into the methods they are now using to push, prod, and NUDGE the population towards their way of thinking, acting, and being) is Nudge.  It opened my eyes to the various ways you can incrementally move people's actions and thinking towards your goals.

One way to APPARENTLY change the political line-up is to make it as easy as possible for people to "join the club" - that is, to align themselves with the Popular Kids - which Facebook did with the rainbow-colored overlay for profile pictures.  After seeing most of your peers and family show up with the rainbow hues, many people follow the crowd - rather like how after sufficient numbers of people on a city curb jaywalk, you will usually find yourself crossing the street with them. It's human nature - we are a generally social species, and most people find it uncomfortable to stand apart from the crowd.

I don't, personally. Whether it's my Dad's hillbilly ancestors, my whole family's quirkiness, my oddball status during school, or my nerdy nature, I've just always stood apart from the crowd.  This tendency made adolescence acutely painful for me - that's the age of maximal pressure to conform - but, once past that point, I've generally shrugged off attempts to corral me. It's put me in conflict with many, including DH, who, at heart, is a conformer (that's not a bad thing, just who he is).

Whatever method the Leftists used against Justice Kennedy, it worked - and how! As the article pointed out, the Leftists on the Court vote as a block - they don't have to work to decide the issue, it's a reflexive action.

And the pressure to conform is being enhanced by social media. Most people are even less likely to express opinions different from their friends on Facebook and other media sites - so, for many people, the online world is becoming an echo chamber.

This would explain a thing I've noticed - so many people, when I've mentioned an issue, or a story I'd read about, respond by saying "where did you HEAR about that?" in a tone that indicated that they assumed that I'd been loitering around lurid conspiracy sites or neo-Nazi hideouts. In fact, it usually was something I'd picked up reading relatively mainstream outlets - Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Foxnews, CNN, Huffington Post, Instapundit, etc. Not crazed, fevered loners, just news aggregation sites or original reporting.

But, they weren't hearing about it. In part, because their news/information was largely supplied by sources like Facebook and Twitter, they had narrowed their information inputs to that introduced by people who already thought like them. Rather than search out new thoughts or interesting ideas, they had become passive consumers of oddities, "everyone agrees" posts, and superficial news digests/headlines only info.

The feed was passing on only filtered news and opinions, not the broad range of viewpoint that actually existed.  So, when I brought up information that hadn't hit their feed, it was as strange - and, to them, unbelievable - as a lone transmission from another world. It was rejected automatically, dismissed as a quirk/rumor/hoax, and, ultimately, forgotten. Didn't matter that I provided plentiful links to the original sources - they never checked them out.

Over time, since so few people seemed to agree with them, many relatively conservative people moved to embrace, or at least, accept as inevitable/normal/unremarkable the Progressive/Liberal/Leftist views on social issues. They fell victim to the Spiral of Silence. I highly suggest you check out that link.

The Precious Little Snowflake Syndrome is going to be contributing to the homogenization and conformity of Future America. Too many kids are being raised to value approval, rather than autonomy.

My concerns are primarily about the natural consequences of the decision - imposition of taxes on non-conforming churches (Catholic and Mormon, to start with), push for loss of employment and other sanctions on those who dissent, particularly in public employment - cops, government workers, teachers. At first, it will be VOLUNTARY posting of Rainbows in the classroom or wearing Rainbow Ribbons on your lapel, followed by "suggested" attendance at gay weddings/events of other staffers. Later, it will be more blatant coercion to contribute to Gay Causes, "include" Gay-Friendly content in courses (Math & Science teachers might find this tough to implement), and pressure to PUBLICLY AFFIRM GAYNESS/Trans People/Whatever. Make no mistake about it - You will be WATCHED, not only for YOUR actions/lack of action, but to make sure that you don't support those who publicly dissent.

Some are looking for a Saint Thomas More for our times.  Perhaps rather than looking for a saint, we ought to be acting like saints.

While I can, I'm going to watch A Man for All Seasons - before some Censor decides that it's a thinly veiled piece of H8 towards GAY MARRIAGE!

Friday, June 26, 2015

If You're a Church Member, Better Prepare

...to have to put more money into the plate - because the GayNazis will be gunning (dare I write that?) for your tax exemption.

I'm betting that the IRS will go after the Catholics and the Mormons first.  A lot of churches will sit on the sidelines, thinking that they're not going to have the same happen to them.

We know how well that work in the past when the Fascists attacked - yes, they hit the low-hanging fruit first, but, don't worry, they'll get around to you, too.

Our lawmakers could be of immediate help by passing legislation for ALL churches and other religious institutions - if the IRS goes after one of them, the decision applies to ALL of them!  No exceptions - either ALL churches lose tax-exempt status, or NONE of them do.

That, coupled with the logical step of forcing Obamacare on ALL lawmakers, judges, and bureaucrats, might halt their power grab - at least temporarily.

Frankly, until this week, I believed that the USA was indestructible.  No longer - we are hanging on the ropes, and only habit and inertia are keeping us from complete tyranny.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Confederate Conundrum

I posted yesterday about the Confederate flag controversy. I came down on the side of removing the flag from the Capital grounds at that time.

Iconic flags, the ones that appear at most Southern state capitals, to the one painted on the top of the  Dukes of Hazzard's car, General Lee, are being targeted for removal.

Breitbart's Ben Shapiro compares the bloodlust frenzy to the destruction of previous civilizations by ISIS.  And, in fact, it has similar roots - the victors want to energize their troops by a public tearing down of any symbols that represent the defeated.

Funnily enough, most people disapprove of the ISIS actions; many are quick to emulate them in this matter.

I'm NOT a native Southerner - I was born in Cleveland, OH, and I still identify as such.  However, I've lived, worked, and voted in this state for almost 10 years, which, I suppose, gives me a stake in the matter.

The Shapiro post is particularly good - I recommend that you read it.

I did come up with ONE useful idea about the SC flag.  In the legislation about it, make it clear that this is the LAST time a Confederate memorial would be touch, by including a clause that renders the action null and void if any further legislative or court action is introduced to extend the ban of the flag from Capital grounds - any attempt to remove other artifacts, names, memorials, or to bar private citizens from displaying Confederate lags on their own property.

Unfortunately, the madness is on the Left, and they are unlikely to be deterred from continued actions.  I expect that the effort will extend until - of course - the next election, in 2016, when they will expect to waltz into the White House, House, and Senate on the basis of this issue.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Republicans Need to Work on This

Nikki Haley is leading a fight that will have repercussions in the 2016 election.  She is calling for the Confederate flag, currently flying on the State Capitol grounds, to be taken down.

The urgency of the action is being driven by the recent tragedy in the Charleston church, that took the lives of 9 people.

It's a divisive issue - the lawmakers were only able to get the flag, which was put in place in 1962 (Hollings, Democratic governor), moved from the Capital dome to another spot on the grounds in 2000 (Hodges, Democratic governor).  As a result of that action, lawmakers were forced to make a compromise that made any further movement require a 2/3 vote - a REALLY high bar to change.

South Carolina is funny - the people are generally pleasant (Black and White), polite, and not given to screaming and yelling.  As a result, the aggressive actions of protestors strike the natives as distinctly uncivilized, and lead many to reject the message.  Perhaps that's the intent of the protestors - perhaps not.

The people who display the Stars and Bars are in the minority - generally less educated, more rural, and long-time South Carolinians.  The more urban parts of SC have had their "unreconstructed" heritage diluted by the influx of people from other parts of the country and the world.  Many of the Republican party have not responded to the Charleston Post-Gazette's poll of legislators - that may be because they don't want to rush into a decision, it may be because they are opposed, but don't want to go on the record until they have to.

This is a time for leadership on the part of Republicans.  If you are in SC, please contact your legislator, either thanking them for supporting the issue, or urging them to support the issue.

I sent this text to legislators:

I am writing you to urge you to support removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state grounds. Among the reasons to do so:

- As a gesture of respect for your fallen colleague, Senator Pinckney
- Opposition to this proposal would cement the perception that Republicans are not supportive of either civil rights for all citizens, and of Black people in general
- Failure to declare for this proposal would have a devastating effect in the 2016 election, and likely for some time to come
- It's the right thing to do - it's time for change

Thank you for your support,

Linda Fox
1131 Christopher Circle
Rock Hill, SC 29730

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Really Find the News Depressing

In no particular order:

  • The Data Hack - anyone who had applied for a job in the last 10 years or so is probably most at risk, although this breach could extend over several decades of data.  Read here for a short commentary of the problem.

  • The therapist who is demonized for suggesting that his patient might spruce up.  Given that the patient was in therapy to try to find a romantic relationship, it wasn't a bad idea (men do tend to focus on the visual).

  • The insistence on tinkering with our money - AGAIN. The first suggestion, to boot Andrew Jackson and replace him with Harriet Tubman, was withdrawn when Republicans pointed out that Jackson was a slave-owning Democrat who butchered Native Americans, and Tubman was a gun-owning Republican who didn't wait for government to solve her problems.  South Carolinians might wish that Andy stay, as he was a Native Son, but otherwise, conservatives were fine with the change.  Now, they've decided to boot the non-Democratic Andrew Hamilton - who was raised by an unwed single mother in the Caribbean before immigrating to the USA, who served in the Patriot Army and whose actions entitled him to be classed as a hero, who single-handedly put the USA on solid financial footing, and died because he wouldn't be "dissed".  Maybe they'd prefer this woman?

  • George Zimmerman's attacker, who shot at his vehicle, may face life in prison (although, I wouldn't count on it).  The attacker claims self-defense, contrary to pretty much every piece of evidence available.  The shooter does appear to be an unstable Looney-Tune.

  • And, just for fun, an article looking at body re-shaping and impossible standards - for men.


Not the most important headlines, just ones that caught my eye.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Last Day of the Workshop

I'm tired - a good kind of tired. I worked hard, learned some new things, and had some GREAT lunches.

But, I'm ready to go home, and get back to organizing/cleaning/paperwork. If possible, by the time I return to school, I will live in an Organized Atmosphere.

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

I bought the Franklin Covey Goal Setter. It was relatively inexpensive, and works on my IPad, which is the technology that tends to be a go-to most of the time. It just fits in my bags, is lightweight, and does 90% of what I need to do.

Next week, I'm going to see how much progress I can make. With my certification renewed, I'll have some free time to spend on cleaning/fitness/whatever.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Where to Start?

I read a post in the New York Times today, that made me wonder how the writer could possibly hold his head up in public again.

He was:

  • Self-righteous

    • "I could take what I had been led to believe was both the morally and legally reprehensible step of defaulting on my student loans, which was the only way I could survive without wasting my life in a job that had nothing to do with my particular usefulness to society.



  • Whiny

    • "Or maybe, after going back to school, I should have gone into finance, or some other lucrative career. Self-disgust and lifelong unhappiness, destroying a precious young life — all this is a small price to pay for meeting your student loan obligations."



  • Clueless about the reality of making a living

    • "I could give up what had become my vocation (in my case, being a writer) and take a job that I didn’t want in order to repay the huge debt I had accumulated in college and graduate school."



  • Certain he was made for "better things" than a mundane retail job that would have allowed him to pay off his loans

    • Maybe I should have stayed at a store called The Wild Pair, where I once had a nice stable job selling shoes after dropping out of the state college because I thought I deserved better, and na├»vely tried to turn myself into a professional reader and writer on my own, without a college degree. I’d probably be district manager by now."




Unbelievable.  If you open your dictionary for the word "Entitled", his picture should grace that entry.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Have You Ever Been Confused About This Hegemony Thingy?

The term "hegemony" is a Leftist buzzword - funnily enough, I've NEVER heard a coherent explanation from one of them as to its exact meaning. I suspect that they don't even really understand it, other than to know it's VERY, VERY BAD!

A good starter explanation.

If you understand the bureaucrats and "intellectuals" as the deputies or agents of the ruling class, you will understand just who rules America, and it AIN'T Conservatives!

Yet another explanation.

To hear a Leftist Professor tell it, hegemony is a BAD THING. So, why are they so eager to impose THEIR hegemony on the rest of us?

It's a puzzlement.

Understanding the Beginnings - The Frankfort School

The Frankfort School - how Marxism married Freudianism for a Lethal Prescription for American Culture.

The Authoritarian Personality - what is it?  Scroll down the page about 1/2 way.

The F Scale - which SAYS that it can predict the incipient Fascist. If you'd actually like to take the test, here's a link. Keep in mind, it's HEAVILY biased against Conservatives.

 

De-Mystifying the ISIS Successes

According to this site, it's not rocket science, but known principles of war and politics.  Here's a link to some free pdfs detailing Boyd's thinking.

Want to know more about the Future of War?

SOME of the current state of pre-war is being conducted via hacking cybersystems.

SOME of it is by the usual means of controlling/enabling lazy/reflexively anti-American media.

And, most troubling, some of the pre-war is being won by the same TROLLS that are "winning" the war for SSU (Same Sex Unions) or other Cultural Battles.

For example, I wouldn't be surprised to find that THESE globes will be widely available in the USA.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Hijab Decision

If I understand the Supreme Court correctly, they did NOT rule on whether the company could hire - or not - based on the applicant's dress.  What they did is decide that the applicant didn't have to inform the company about the need for religious accommodation.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire an applicant in order to avoid accommodating a religious practice that it could accommodate without undue hardship. The question presented is whether this prohibition applies only where an applicant has informed the employer of his need for an accommodation.

My bolding.

So, the Muslima will still face the question of whether the wearing of her headscarf is a "reasonable accommodation".  It boils down to whether or not Abercrombie will want to continue fighting the EEOC decision.  I'm guessing that they may not, for fear of bad publicity.

What happens now?  The Tenth Circuit will have their decision bounced back to it, and have to decide on other grounds - NOT whether the applicant had informed the potential employer of her need for an accommodation - but, whether the Abercrombie "Look" allows them to reject an applicant who wears a headscarf.

Not hopeful for the outcome.  Just imagine what this means for Hooters.

 

Hooters-Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justice Thomas, as usual, is nuanced:
Unlike the majority, I adhere to what I had thought before today was an undisputed proposition: Mere application of a neutral policy cannot constitute “intentional discrimination.” Because the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can prevail here only if Abercrombie engaged in intentional discrimination, and because Abercrombie’s application of its neutral Look Policy does not meet that description, I would affirm the judgment of the Tenth Circuit.

More from Thomas:
I would hold that Abercrombie’s conduct did not constitute “intentional discrimination.” Abercrombie refused to create an exception to its neutral Look Policy for Samantha Elauf ’s religious practice of wearing a headscarf. Ante, at 2. In doing so, it did not treat religious practices less favorably than similar secular practices, but instead remained neutral with regard to religious practices. To be sure, the effects of Abercrombie’s neutral Look Policy, absent an accommodation, fall more harshly on those who wear headscarves as an aspect of their faith. But that is a Cite as: 575 U. S. ____ (2015) 3 Opinion of THOMAS, J. classic case of an alleged disparate impact. It is not what we have previously understood to be a case of disparate treatment because Elauf received the same treatment from Abercrombie as any other applicant who appeared unable to comply with the company’s Look Policy. See ibid.; App. 134, 144. Because I cannot classify Abercrombie’s conduct as “intentional discrimination,” I would affirm.

What Thomas did agree with is that the woman's right to sue did not depend on her having asked for an accommodation.  And, that is ALL this decision is affirming - contrary to what the media would have people believe.

 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Armenian Genocide

It's the 100-year anniversary - a very sad anniversary - of the Armenian genocide.  Even today, the Turks refuse to accept that it was a deliberate attempt to wipe a people off the face of the Earth.  Not unlike Japanese refusal to accept their nation's responsibility for atrocities committed by Japanese forces during WWII.

Here's a link to a thoughtful piece about HOW these actions occur - afterwards, too many people have trouble understanding just how a seemingly civilized nation could possibly be complicit - even directing - deliberate murder, rape, and attempted annihilation of their own citizens, based on cultural/religious factors.
In 1915, radio was in its infancy and few in Turkey were literate; most government messages of demonization were spread by word of mouth. According to Vahagan Dadrian, an historian of the Armenian genocide, the vilification of the Armenians was spread mainly through sermons by mullahs and by town criers who sprinkled the news about Armenians with words such as “traitors,” “saboteurs,” “spies,” “conspirators,” and “infidels.” Other means included dissemination of photographs of weapons that were labeled to convince Turks that their Armenian neighbors were storing up arms for use in plots to slaughter them. By stirring up distrust and fear of “those people,” a program of genocide can gain at least tacit if not open compliance from the population at large.

It sound not unlike the deliberate attempts to create hatred and mistrust of non-Black people by the Obama administration.  Americans, traditionally a people that avoided tribal/cultural divisions, are being herded into cliques, tribes, and deeply divided political entities.  Your political opponents are not merely those with different experiences and viewpoints, but actual demons.

Here's a list of those who call the Armenian genocide what it was.

Recently, Pope Francis stuck his neck out, and called a spade a spade - he garnered a lot of criticism for it, but he did it nonetheless.  For that reason, and because I'm generally a hopeful person, I have some optimism that the Catholic Church, and the papacy, will survive its Liberal/Leftist collaborators.

Here's a link to a LONG post - about divisiveness and politics, and how friendship can provide links that bridge the gap.  I think it's worth reading, and considering how we might put friendship at the service of re-building our country.

Here's another post - about brainwashing - which I think is relevant, as so many of the techniques used by Leftists - Social Shunning, Thought Control, Consensus, The Delphi Techniques - are designed to coerce obedience to authority through psychological pressure and specific, teachable techniques.

I'm luckier than most.  My father was a West Virginian, and after moving to Ohio, an outsider.  As such, he had a long experience with NOT conforming to groupthink.  Some of that must have rubbed off on me, as I've often been on the other side of conformity.

One of the most valuable things we can teach our children and grandchildren is that they won't die - they will find inner strength - by NOT conforming to the pack.  They need to learn this before they get sucked into the Great Progressive Mind-Molding Machine.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Reflections on Assumption (8/15/2013)

This was an old draft, but I found it and liked it, so....

This morning I was not scheduled to be at school until 10 am, so I took the opportunity to attend Assumption services. It was a nice service, and offered an opportunity to meet the new parish pastor. He gave an interesting and clear homily, and seemed to be someone who will be good for the parish.

We sang one of the few songs Catholics both know the words to, and can carry the tune - Hail, Holy Queen. We're not as musically inclined as the choir in Sister Act, or, for that matter, any Protestants, except the Episcopalians and Unitarians, so we sang the sedate version. It sounded good - not great, but solid and filled with fervor.

Assumption is one of those holy days that drive non-Catholics (and SOME sorta-Catholics - those ones that say "I was RAISED Catholic" or "I'm really spiritual, but don't go to mass, because you can worship God anywhere" - although they never seem to take the time from important things like sports and Facebook to actually do that worship thingy) nuts.

Assumption drives them nuts because they think it's about treating Mary as a God, not a person.

Well, it's not. It's more about giving her due as the person that made the Redemption all possible - she didn't have to agree. But she did, and was given the distinction of having her body taken into Heaven, without having to decompose after death like the rest of us. Interestingly, the Church has never actually said whether she died, or was taken before death.

Why treat her so special?

Come on, folks, who of us doesn't think their mom was the best! Oh, sure, our moms were flawed human beings, but we all realize the sacrifices they made for us, and the unstinting love they had for us - even when we acted like butt-heads.

I like to think of it as a just reward for having had to see her son crucified - it must have been awful to watch him suffer. And for not holding it against Jesus after the Resurrection (Jewish Mother Moment - "Oh, sure, Mr. I Can Walk on Water, you couldn't let me in on the plan? Do you know how I felt? Oh, that doesn't matter, who am I? Just the woman who had to ride a camel, deliver in a stable, and you didn't even give me grandchildren!").

Saturday, April 25, 2015

It Was a Good Day

I accompanied my husband to a job fair - not for me, I really like the place where I am at, and plan to stay there until I retire.  I was there because we were going to meet with our semi-adopted son later, which we did.

I used that time to ferret out who to talk to in the school district about setting up some professional development - my husband and I have done so in the past, and we wanted to start doing so in SC.

Other than that, I did something I seldom do - other than a few targeted inquiries about registering at a conference this summer, and checking my personal email - I did not "plug in" today.

Didn't seek out internet news, didn't even watch the local or national news.  If war was declared, I missed it.

I may do that regularly once a week from now on - just stop grabbing all of the "news" and "information", and live IRL.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I've Always Thought the Fridge Was Out to Get Me

Admit it.

You can't pass the fridge without wanting to open the door.  It's seductive, enticing.  Practically screams, "You WANT me.  You NEEEEED me."

Long Romantic Walks

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as I can tell, there is no other reason that I'm so overweight.  It must be a plot.

Well, your fears have been realized - the appliances ARE out to get you, and the fridge is the prime suspect.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Day 3 of Enforced Bed Rest

I'm still home, taking it easy.  My arthritic knee is still experiencing inflammation and pain.  With pain meds, and anti-inflammatory meds, I am improving, but S-L-O-W-L-Y.

I've been on a movie binge:

  • Live Free & Die Hard

  • Working Girl

  • Sneaker


The last, I'm watching now.  One of the few really accurate and interesting movies about technology.  A more recent favorite tech movie is The Net (horribly outdated - tech is moving fast).

It's funny.  Many of the 60's and 70's Liberals/Progressives have become wealthy.  They ARE the Establishment.  Yet, they persist in positioning themselves as SJW (Social Justice Warriors), whose only aim in life is to help the "Little People".

Difference between genius and stupidity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like this poster.  I may make it my new motto.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The More Things Change...

...The more they stay the same.

This is a link to a post by Jay Nordlinger referencing a talk by Dorothy L. Sayers - in 1938.  She sounds remarkably sensible - her views correspond quite well to that of current-day Conservative women.  Funnily enough, in the early days of the feminist movement, she was considered an icon.  I first read about her in Ms. Magazine - those were the days, before they OD'd on PC nonsense, and decided that Republican women weren't REALLY women, but cross-dressing men who "identified" as women, WERE.

Re: who is a woman - I felt as though I'd fallen down the Rabbit-Hole when I read of the pressure for producers of "The Vagina Monologues" to include cast members with penises - or, as they call themselves "transgender women".  Funny - I thought the definition of WOMAN specifically excluded those people with penises.

Look - if you still have an "outie", you are, by definition, a MAN.  Until you completely transition, there is NO justification for calling yourself a woman.

BTW, it REALLY irritates me that those who originally were men put on a parody of womanly behavior that is akin to white people in blackface - exaggerated, over-the-top stereotypical actions - eyelash-batting, roguish eyerolling, pinkies extended, hip-swinging silliness.

What REALLY is a woman?

  • Strong - able to shove an 8-inch diameter sphere through a TINY hole in childbirth.  And, several years later, do it again.

  • Fiercely protective of her family - willing to cut the heart out of someone who hurts her child.

  • Hard-working - at home, and outside.  Will work incredibly boring jobs without complaint, coming home to cook, clean, monitor homework, do laundry, and get ready to do it again the next day.

  • Caring - protective of the weak or defenseless.

  • Intelligent - both academically (girls are far better students, on the average), and intuitively.  When a woman says that "she has a feeling" about something, listen to her - she likely picked up on small things, without consciously noticing, and made conclusions - all while doing something else simultaneously.


That is NOT a weakling, nor a giddy fool.

Feeling Old

I'm hobbling around today, thanks to a bad knee (osteoarthritis and a torn meniscus).  This week, I had a bad flare-up of the problem, and on Tuesday, I finally gave up, went back to the doctor, and got some heavy-duty meds.  And, a few days off work.

It's a grim prognosis - if it doesn't get better, surgery is in the future - either for repair of the meniscus, or complete knee replacement.  Either option has a healing time of about 6-8 weeks, and physical therapy, as well.

After this weekend, I'm going to get serious about weight reduction.  Just 20 pounds off the knee would make a huge difference.  I'm going to re-arrange my bedroom to have some space to stretch and exercise while watching TV.

While I'm sidelined, I plan to work out the upper body - I can use the Bowflex and resistance bands (I promise to be careful, and not injure myself like Harry Reid).

Monday, April 6, 2015

Disbelieving the Actually Raped is NOT the Worst Thing...

...it is EQUAL to the other terrible possibility - that of wrongly accusing, and publicly smearing, an innocent man as a rapist.

Naturally, the "rape culture" crowd never even consider the position of the wrongly accused:
there were two potentially bad outcomes here, not just one. It would, of course, have been terrible if Jackie’s story were true but nobody believed her. But it would also have been awful if the charges were untrue and the alleged perpetrators had been unfairly maligned. That it never crossed the minds of the howling mob that their targets may in fact be innocent — and, indeed, that Sabrina Erdely cannot bring herself to apologize to those whose lives she has damaged — is perhaps the most worrying, and illiberal, thing of all.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/416530/fighting-against-rape-culture-means-never-having-say-youre-sorry-charles-c-w-cooke

Bold-face mine.

Another story about group-think - the current "issue" in Indiana with the RFRA.

Just how far will the pro-SSU group go to force Christians to go along with what they consider a grave sin?  Will they force the baker, at gunpoint, to bake the cake?  Will they just be satisfied to force him out of business, destroy him financially with fines and lawsuits, and drive him to living on the streets?

Will they send in the SWAT team to collect the fines?  Will they send him to prison for refusal to pay the fines (this already happens with the poor and men who are unable to pay child support - whether or not they are the father)?

Ironically, one of the most vocal opponents of Indiana's law, on the grounds that a business must offer its services equally to all, is Tim Cook, head of Apple.  Why is this ironic?  Because his company rejected an app that supported a viewpoint he disliked - that marriage is for men and women only - it's called the Manhattan Declaration App.