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Sun, Feb 28th - 8:06PM

February 28: Last Pre-Trip Day

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
41.2  miles.

81 recordings of 29 types.

Rasmussen: -17: 45/54.

We took Pharaoh and Abby out to the vet where they'll board for the next week. Spooky was wild when we got back. He's going to be so hyper when we return.

I also ran one more load of wash, and watched enough TV to make it safe to tape stuff all week.  Tonight we'll watch the closing ceremony of the Olympics and Amazing Race, and it'll all be good.

Apparently, for some people, there's never enough money.

At this point, ObamaCare can be likened to 747 whose engines just won’t start. The few remaining True Believers are trying to get it going by pushing it down the runway…everyone else is telling them to give it up already and get another plane, or have simply gone home in disgust.

Dark-Star on February 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Eeensy weensy spider.  "I am the TEA Party Leader!"

So many many choices. I didn't realize the gift for the Dali Lama was cufflinks! Tone deaf!!!
Between that and the DVDs to Gordon Brown and the "my greatest speeches" to the Queen... well, he wants to give us 0bamacare: please, please Mr. 0bama, do not give me anything!

Obama has slightly high cholesterol after media tried to tell us how oh-so-healthy he is. If they'd just stop hyping by resorting to lies.
Like telling us Michelle Obama is a fashion trend-setter when those too-tight sweaters with waist-emphasizing belts are actually unbecoming.

Instapundit: EATING BOOGERS STIMULATES YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM. So, you see, it was really a subliminal health-care reform message.

jtLOL: bipartisanship: When you do whatever I want and nothing I don't want, and you don't give me any backtalk

Heh. Oppositional defiant disorder.  I bet they list Persistent Deadline Avoidance, too. (George Will).


Tea Party Anniversary photos.

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Custard's Last Stand, Tamar Meyers, The Life of Man with God, Thomas Verner Moore, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

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Sun, Feb 28th - 6:13PM

February 27: Tea Party Anniversary

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
41.2  miles.
rain, then clearing

85 recordings of 29 types.

This is a video of last year's tea party. I'm in it for a second. I was going to go this year, too, but the weather's pretty awful.

Dallas anniversary.

John Boehner jumps on the bandwagon.

Violence Breaks out at Tea Party
Oops, my bad. It wasn't a Tea Party event. I don't recall ever seeing a report where a Tea Party turned violent, even with all those extremists in attendance. This was just a group of Berkeley liberals, students who don't want their tuition to rise.

New York, and San Diego.

Chile had a devastating earthquake and then there was the tsunami watch. I saw pictures of Long Beach Harbor with the water out... but I think the newscasters were disappointed not to see devastation in Hilo. I must say, if we'd been there we'd have been up on the hill watching, too.  I liked the term "evacuating vertically."  Heh.

Let me guess... Hawaii is building up an emergecy seawall made from stacks of birth certificates and other records?

@MelissaTweets: As it turns out, waiting for a Tsunami is like watching water in a pot boil.

There was also a quake in Okinawa. Such timing about going to LA, yes?

Argh.  The whole profile kerfuffle messed up my Plucker, as well, and if I reinstall it, I'll lose what I have, so I'll wait till after the trip. I apparently forgot to do Hollyweird. I had Rich print out the Hollywood walk of fame cache because it would be too hard to read on his iTouch, but otherwise I suspect we'll manage.

Rasmussen index: -21: The only other time the Approval Index was this low came in late December as the U.S. Senate prepared to approve its version of health care reform (see trends). Most voters continue to oppose the proposed health care plan. (May the idiots notice this, please.) 43/55

The comments are interesting: fewer BDSers and many 0bama-haters.


Well, let’s just hope he does as well as Canada on their quest to win all the gold.
Next question: During his Chile comment speech, how will he weave in a nod to global warming is at fault and passing healthcare ‘reform’ will help heal Chile? Also, how much money will we be borrowing from China for aid?
HornetSting on February 27, 2010 at 1:31 PM

 MelissaTweets Ugh, President Obama is talking again. Remember how he couldn't find a TV about Iran, the Ft. Hood bomber & the crotchbomber?

I forced myself to sit through most of the “Summit” the other day…
… I’m still recovering.
It sure would be nice, every once in a while, that we could go through one day, just one day, without having to look or listen to this guy.
I know to be free, you have to be ever vigilant, but this is really getting ridiculous…

Seven Percent Solution on February 27, 2010 at 1:35 PM

But being able to do it in a way that would get maximum revenge against an apostate?  That’s just gravy.

Moe Lane

PS: You know, if we absolutely had to elect a Democrat President, it’s a darn shame that we didn’t at least elect the one who said (bolding mine):

“We cannot cede our leadership in space. That’s why I will help close the gap and ensure that our space program doesn’t suffer when the Shuttle goes out of service by working with Senator Bill Nelson to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight beyond 2010; by supporting continued funding for NASA; by speeding the development of the Shuttle’s successor; and by making sure that all those who work in the space industry in Florida do not lose their jobs when the Shuttle is retired – because we cannot afford to lose their expertise.”

Oh, wait. We did.


Eensy, weensy spider; little teeny tiny….WHAT! This woman is second in line for the President of the United States of American. While you people on the left must be exhausted from engaging in the crucifixion of Sarah Palin, might you take a scintilla of that energy…a moment of your time… to take a real clear look at the Leader of the House? Who cares about Sarah Palin! She’s not even in elective office!

Wow.  British Member of Parliament Insults EU President. It all needed saying.


Oh, grumble, I got rid of two White Collars I haven't seen. I'm sure they'll be back.

I got two caches!! Rich was off at Lowe's when I discovered these nearby caches, and I decided to walk the dog over and get them myself.

Doc Zero writes a wonderful anti-suicide screed.

Mark Steyn:

In America, the feckless, insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany, and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, they’ve reached the next stage in social-democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw can’t borrow against the future because, in the most basic sense, you don’t have one.

...Economic reality is not my problem. I want my benefits. And, if it bankrupts the entire state a generation from now, who cares as long as they keep the checks coming until I croak?

[particularly if there ISN'T a generation from now.]

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Sun, Feb 28th - 6:12PM

February 26: The Frogs

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
38.6  miles.
rain (100% chance!)

94 recordings of 35 types.

Rasmussen: -20: 44/55 (freefall)

I'm -3.5 pounds for the week, and this after ballooning up so badly on retreat!  I was aware of my food intake last night too, and careful. Blood Pressure is low!!!

Last night we went to see The Frogs, Jesuit's spring play. I didn't know anything about it except that Aristophanes got in trouble for it. (Now it's on my Palm for me to read.) It turns out that Sondheim wrote a musical, (recognizably Sondheim, some of the music sounds like it came from Into the Woods) Nathan Lane tinkered with it, and then of course Jesuit tinkered with it.

The food ahead of time was good, and unlike my usual pigginess, I was careful. They had their chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, and a "lily pad" rice thing I really liked, cheese balls, a mini-hamburger, and "frog's legs" which were actually chicken. I've had frog legs (on my honeymoon) but I know better now, the amphibians are endangered.

I enjoyed the play, actually.  The music is so-so, but the energy the kids put in was terrific. The sets, too, and Charon's boat on the River Styx, which had to be remote-controlled (did the electronics club do this?) It's one act, so no art show during intermission, which was a disappointment. Very nice overall.

Patriot Act Renewal Passes House. Odd how the Democrats are suddenly in favor.

Not a minute too soon.

Doesn't take opposition well, does he?

0bama at the bat. Funny video.

0bamateurism. Heh.

Why would they have laughed at a Harvard graduate who tried to file a claim? Because Obama hadn’t bought collision insurance.  The only insurance drivers in most states have to carry is liability insurance, to cover damage they do to the cars of other drivers.

Another 0bama Miracle! (Doug Ross)

I really wish President Obama had held a real job before he took his current role. Like, running the cash register at a 7-11 or serving as the assistant manager of a LaserTag franchise. I think some experience in the real world would have helped.

It might have gotten him off of this bizarre health care obsession.

Hahahaha! Algore gets an earful.

What was 0bama thinking?

My hero!

Well, good for him. He doesn't normally show this much class.

Nice picture. Two feet of snow....

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Sun, Feb 28th - 6:58AM

February 25: Health Care Summit

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
38.6  miles.
partly cloudy

91 recordings of 35 types.

Rasmussen: -15: 45/54.

The stupid logo is the 0bamateurism of the day.  Orrogance- everything in his image. ---Monica on February 25, 2010 at 8:09 AM

I'm trying to figure out what we'll do in Hollywood, but this was odd. No mass times on the Christ the King (Hollywood) webpage?

I went to Mass at Retreat House this morning. I showed them the BIRDS! I also took a number of pictures around the grounds.

This afternoon I took some CASA stuff back. It was definitely time I returned my badge. To my surprise, I got wanded instead of walking through the scanner. I wonder why, because when I went down, the scanner was in use again. It was good to see Astrid. Her husband is on dialysis 6 days a week, so he's in my prayers now.

We also got the maps for the trip! I love maps. Rich and I had a bit of a kerfuffle, because he was more interested in his iTouch, I was more interested in the maps.

I had the health care thingie on all day. What with that and the Olympics, I'm having a hard time getting the recordings down where I'll need them for the trip.

Looked like a middle finger scratch just now – anybody else see it?
Laura on February 25, 2010 at 3:31 PM
Obama’s one demonstrated qualification for elected office is that he is an arrogant snob.
Dark-Star on February 25, 2010 at 3:34 PM

Boy oh boy, he does take up his time and then some.


Yuval Levin’s also right that it’s not to Zeus’s advantage to descend from Mt. Olympus, because the lesser gods that surround him on his side of the aisle are … what’s the word? Ah yes — unappealing losers.
he doesn’t seem like the President of the United States—more like a slightly cranky committee chairman or a patronizing professor who thinks that saying something is “a legitimate argument” is a way to avoid having an argument. He is diminished by the circumstances, he’s cranky and prickly when challenged, and he’s got no one to help him. The other Democrats around the table have been worse than unimpressive. The Republicans seem genuinely well-prepared, seem to have thought through the question of who should speak about what rather carefully, and several of them have done quite a good job making their case against the Democrats’ approach.

*snort* I see dead people's teeth.

Kathryn Lopez: "I cannot get over the President of the United States being a time keeper and moderator of this. These tasks seem to be beneath the office. AND he does not even appear to be able to keep control — they're already way over time, which seems to be his biggest concern. It's hard to believe he has done this to himself. In my mind, this has been a disaster for him. He continues to look professorly and cool and Rs look passionate and knowledgeable. To say nothing of the substance of the arguments . . ."

A corner reader:  - Obama still does not handle being questioned or refuted well. At all.

Ed Morrissey:

The risk going in to the summit wasn’t that Republicans would get trapped into a bill they opposed. It was that the media attention that follows Barack Obama would give Republicans the media platform for their own principles and proposals. What will resonate more strongly with Americans — the idea that the federal government should narrow our choices to a couple of key mandates, or the idea that grown-ups can make their own choices and that government should just ensure that fraud doesn’t occur? Democrats have just set themselves up to get a loud and clear answer to that question.


I thought the Republicans were stupid to even show up and that they would give away an argument they had already won, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory again like they’ve done so many times before.
I was wrong.
They made the Jugeared Nitwit and his commie henchmen look like fools.

single stack on February 25, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Don Surber

19. From Ann Coulter: “Democrats think it’s a good strategy to call the Republicans The Party of No. When it comes to Obamacare, Americans don’t want a party of No, they want a party of Hell, No! or, as Rahm Emanuel might say, *&^%$#@ No!”

Shouldn’t that be spelled *&^$%#@?

It’s $ before % except after @.

... 24. Rasmussen: 81% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Simon Cowell; 15% have an unfavorable opinion.

Rasmussen: 10% have a favorable opinion of Congress; 71% have an unfavorable opinion.

By George, I think they’ve got it.

Republicans had their best day in years: "Obama's problem today was that he couldn't fly solo; he tried to, speaking for more minutes at the meeting than either the Democrats or Republicans did, but surrounding him with sad sacks like Reid and Harkin was bound to dilute the effect."

[Daniel Foster]
According to Senate Republicans, President 0bama spoke for 119 minutes, other Democrats for 114 minutes, and Congressional Republicans for 110 minutes.

ABC News to 0bama: You Lie!

0bama picked his nose during the summit. That should make an 0bamateurism of the Day.

WHAT?  They lost my profile?? All my personal things like the screensaver and the Stonehenge background, and my icons organized just like I like them? And then, once I get that organized they give me IE8 when I don't want it, and they lost all my cute little toolbar icons. Glorp.
I'll stick to Chrome, creeps. (It turns out I need IE for this journal... but not much else.)

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Sat, Feb 27th - 7:09PM

February 24: Respite Care

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
38.6  miles.
gray, cloudy, cold

89 recordings of 35 types.

Today I went down to Bernadette's because she's tired and overwhelmed and needed to get some housework done. I got the easy job, playing with Gareth.  I took a couple of books illustrated by Ashley Wolff, who is someone Bernadette met in first grade (she doesn't remember.) The books are I Love My Mommy and, just guess, I Love My Daddy.  The daddy one has a page with penguins, and Gareth does love his penguin.  He's at a deconstruction stage with books, magazines, anything that can be torn, so he can't be left alone even with the board books.  He enjoyed having them read to him, though.

We played with his playhouse, and puzzle. After an hour or so, I decided his feet were just too cold and sat with him all wrapped up in a blanket and watched two episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba. One of them, "Games," was new to me and to Bernadette. 

She, meanwhile, vacuumed two bedrooms and the hall but then the fan belt broke.  Again.  She couldn't find the spare so the living/dining room didn't get done.  Poor B.  She also did laundry and folded/put away clothes, so I don't feel my time was wasted. What with lunch and getting Mr. Fussy down for his nap, I was there about 4 hours, and loved every bit of it.

Of course, on this video I was trying to get him pushing the toy. Ha.

Rasmussen: -16: 45/54. Congress gets 10%! 71% rate it poor!

Union ratings plummet.

0bamateurism of the day: "Gosh darn that Congress — that one with a Democratic advantage of more than 70 seats in the House and eighteen in the Senate that simply can’t get anything done!"

Precarious Arrogance (about Krugman and deLong)

John Yoo: My Gift to the 0bama Presidency

Barack Obama may not realize it, but I may have just helped save his presidency. How? By winning a drawn-out fight to protect his powers as commander in chief to wage war and keep Americans safe.

He sure didn't make it easy.
In 2005, a Navy Seal team dropped into Afghanistan encountered goat herders who clearly intended to inform the Taliban of their whereabouts. The team leader ordered them released, against his better military judgment, because of his worries about the media and political attacks that would follow.

In less than an hour, more than 80 Taliban fighters attacked and killed all but one member of the Seal team and 16 Americans on a helicopter rescue mission. If a president cannot, or will not, protect the men and women who fight our nation's wars, they will follow the same risk-averse attitudes that invited the 9/11 attacks in the first place.

Without a vigorous commander-in-chief power at his disposal, Mr. Obama will struggle to win any of these victories. But that is where OPR, playing a junior varsity CIA, wanted to lead us. Ending the Justice Department's ethics witch hunt not only brought an unjust persecution to an end, but it protects the president's constitutional ability to fight the enemies that threaten our nation today.

13 Republican Votes for the Jobs Bill “There are plenty of opportunities for bipartisan cooperation,” [Lamar Alexander] said. “Where we have trouble are these great big, comprehensive, 2,000-page, full-of-surprises, turn-the-country-upside-down pieces of legislation that cost so much. If the administration would stop biting off more than it could chew, I think we would have more progress.”…

stop digging

stop digging

Stop Digging


Are we going to have to take that shovel away and beat you idiots with it?

Doorgunner on February 24, 2010 at 12:03 PM

God doesn't listen to Joe Biden.

The best about him is when he stands there next to Obama with the ashes on his forehead acting all santimonious. This pro-abortion hypocrite has the nerve to stand there on national television with ashes on his forehead. What parish does this dolt belong to, anyway?

NJ Red on February 24, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Heh. I laughed at the Brits worrying about how he hurt himself because of the ashes on his forehead.

Missile Defense Agency's new logo. Idiots. I didn't notice the crescent and star, but the 0bama-branding is egregious.

Now is not the time for weakness.

Dammit, here we go again. I will never understand anti-Semitism.

Toyota vs. Government (Danny Glover):  “Toyota’s handling of the recall has been miserable. . . . But the evidence that the federal government’s recent entrance into the car business has influenced its antagonizing approach to the Toyota recall is quite convincing.”

 Thirty-one House Dems quizzing Toyota execs got UAW campaign cash. “Why is that significant? Because the UAW is a major stockholder of Toyota’s top U.S. rival, General Motors. Also, Toyota has successfully resisted UAW attempts to organize the Japanese firm’s estimated 31,000 assembly line workers employed in five plants here in America.” Yeah, but it’s only special interest money when it goes to Republicans.


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Fri, Feb 26th - 1:57PM

February 23: The BIRDS!

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
38.6  miles.
gray cloudy storm

87 recordings of 36 types.

I'm watching Sunday's Olympics. They can make the most exciting sports mind-numbingly dull, can't they"

-19 (but the strong approval has gone up to 23%) 45/54.

jimgeraghty    I wonder if Harry Reid is worried about Jon Corzine becoming abusive.

I got an interesting 403 error message


You don't have permission to access /The odds are high that the excise tax will never actually happen. There is no reason to think that the Congress of 2018 will be any braver than the Congress of today. It will probably get around the pay-go rules or whatever else might apply and it'll postpone the tax again. The excise tax will turn into another doc fix. This is a mythical provision in which doctors are always about to get their reimbursements cut. But somehow they never do because the cuts are always pushed back, year after year. So we've sunk another level in our tawdry tale. The White House, to its enormous credit, has tried to think about the long term. But it has been dragged ever lower into the mire by Congressional special interests that are parochial in the extreme. This bill may be deficit-neutral on paper. But it has just become a fiscal time bomb. The revenue will never come. Compromises have to be made to keep it (barely) alive. But responsibility ebbs. Politics wins. on this server.

Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

That was this story.

Hey there, I was cleaning up a kitchen counter and found my favorite glasses! These have been missing awhile.

My Uncle Samurai (picture.)

Michael Steele's Spending Spree. They never never learn.

Fingers crossed.  This thing looks like Ramiriz's cartoon (Fatal Attraction.)

Speaking of scary movies, Rich called me to watch the waxwings coming through. OMG. In back they were dipping down for water, and then across the street there are berries in the bush. Or were, anyway.

Heh.  Another tea party protest.

Heading for an Exit on 0bamacare? (Jennifer Rubin)

I broke Baby Bear's chair. I semitripped over it and as I caught myself I put weight on the rung. Sulk.  This one belonged to my Mom and Gareth likes it. Rich has glued and taped the rung, so it should be OK.

Valerie Jarrett wants to treat tea party people like kindergartners.

Just as Obama’s supposedly going down the tubes because he hasn’t been aggressive enough in building Great Society II, the ObamaCare meltdown is due not to public antipathy to the bill on the merits but to the failure of our American Pericles to properly explain it the first 8,000 times he talked about it on camera. It’s a teachable moment — everything is — and he simply hasn’t taught yet. No worries, though. He’ll get it through our thick heads one of these days.

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Fri, Feb 26th - 1:55PM

February 22: Monday, Monday

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
38.6  miles.

The temptation that I should name instead of just giving in to it is gluttony. I keep eating things I shouldn't and too much of them, because they're there and they're So Good. I was good for awhile, but this last year I've just been terrible.  It took being told twice for me to actually recognize this one.

There's nothing inherently wrong with eating this stuff, except I'm supposed to be careful with cholesterol and fat and carbs. I have to be aware that I'm choosing to eat it, and "this is a special occasion" isn't good enough. I can have these foods, but in more moderation than I've shown of late.

89 recordings of 33 types.

Rasmussen: -19: 45/54. Why, look who's on TV again!

I went to the first Monday Mass at St. Philomene's for awhile. There were 15 people there! Afterwards I stopped at Raley's and saw a lady from the retreat, as well as a parishioner of my parish.

I called the dentist and yes, my tooth whitening kit is in. I certainly am tired of the yellow teeth!

Don't tell me how to talk to you! (Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me...)

0bama helped bring on the Health Care backlash.

A good news story.

The Dali Lama out with the garbage. Grrrr.

Dr. Zero

The current President offers himself as a hospice nurse, armed with fabulously expensive drugs that can ease the pain of a dying nation. His successor will be required to perform that service for a morbidly obese government that never should have been allowed to gorge itself on our liberty until its heart gave out.

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Thu, Feb 25th - 10:58PM

February 21: Back to the Real World

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
38.6  miles.
partly cloudy, warmish

90 recordings of 32 types.

The preaching at Mass was the same as Wednesday's. If I hear it often enough, I might internalize it.

Rasmussen: -19: 45/54. Gee, can that be related to this?

Instapundit:  CNN POLL: Majority Think Government Is Broken. By “majority,” they mean “86 percent.”

Hmmmm. I have a pitchfork!

Mike Potemra

An accurate, and quite pointed, line from a friend of a friend: “I heard that Obama just received the Gold Medal at the Olympics for the ‘downhill,’ and how everyone was amazed how someone can go down that fast in such record time . . .” And it is amazing. I remember everyone telling me back in January 2009 that a reputation like Obama’s could not possibly be sustained, that compared to the adulation he was receiving he could not possibly do anything but underperform. But he has not merely underperformed in comparison to an inflated reputation. He has underperformed in comparison to anything a reasonable person would call “success.” I certainly hope Conrad Black is right in what he said in a recent NRO article: “Despite this appalling year of miscues and vaudeville amateurism, hope persists. The president did the right thing in Afghanistan, and will almost certainly, of all ironies, be a successful war president.” But I would also hope that America will, in 2012, choose someone better suited to the overall task of the presidency.

Obama 'Not Qualified' to be President.

(I love John Bolton.)

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Thu, Feb 25th - 2:28PM

Part 2

Reflection questions:

Jesus calls us to empty ourselves of the need to be productive in order to be loved by acknowledging that it is the Word of God that gives us life.
Whose "word" do you really listen to? That you are loved for what you do or for who you are? In what ways does reflecting on God's Word bring you life?

Take time to allow God's word to nourish you: Pray John 1:1-4, 14; 6:63

Jesus calls us to empty ourselves of the need to do spectacular things in order to be loved. Our call to community--to be in right relationship with others--liberates us from the lure of the sensational.

Do you see the ways you are already loved? In what ways?

Mother Teresa once said, "We cannot do great things, we can only do small things with great love." Do you notice the gifts of others that give you life? Do others see your giftedness? How would you acknowledge and celebrate these gifts?

Take time to reflect on how we are called to share our gifts as God's Beloved: Pray Matthew 6:1-6

Jesus calls us to empty ourselves of the need to control others by loving as we are loved by God.  Where are you being called to surrender and place your trust in God?  Can you see the strength that you have learned through vulnerability?

Take time to pray with St. Paul: Ponder 2 Corinthians 12:5-10.  [my comment: this "beloved" stuff is TOUGH!]

Dinner was apple, cranberry, walnut salad: chicken breast with mushroom sauce, rice, steamed veggies & peach pie. Yum.  Most of the St. Philomene women miss Father H.  Me, not so much.

[from a St. Anthony Messager magazine]


Little old ladies once used to be
A part of everyone's family.
They'd bake and garden and quilt and knit,
And before bedtime they'd rock a bit.

Where have the little old ladies gone?
For one thing golfing at crack of dawn,
Driving sports cars by Mercedes-Benz,
Learning karate for self-defense,
Doing aerobics with limber knees,
And scuba-diving in southern seas.

Space-shuttling one day you'll surely see one.
I don't think I'll ever try that one!
---Mary Margaret Milbrath

So the conference I missed had instructions on the written Confession. We're to take the piece of paper he gave out and write ONE WORD on it to describe the area of sinfulness that's bothering us.

First we had a little conference about the Retreat House.  The new sign is an Eagle Scout project. The cost of each retreatant is more than they ask.  There will be volunteer opportunities.

And then we went to Reconciliation. It was wonderful!
Father David started by explaining the three acceptable forms of Reconciliation:
A: individual Confession and Absolution,
B; General Penance with individual absolution
and C: General Absolution.  The Titanic is sinking or the bombs are falling.

We did B.  Each rite has 4 parts: Contrition, Penance, Confession, and Absolution.  We did the first two: an act of contrition, and we're to go forth and spread love and mercy.  Then each woman, individually, went up and handed over her paper, he read it and handed it back, then you let it go into the cauldron.  Father had some words for some of us, fewer for others (he said to me "you are forgiven.")  Then he laid on hands and gave the absolution.  Everyone else at the time is singing and praying for the woman Father's talking to. At first it was fairly random, but we eventually lined up and Father moved from side to side (like in Asteroids, ha!) to meet the penitent.  I saw some women really upset, and he talked to them and soothed them. 

When the absolution was done, we walked to Sister Marcella who anointed our hands to remind us to pass on the mercy.  The whole thing took almost two hours, and people would leave and come back, but it was wonderful. I was impressed with Father David. He's obviously in awe of the sacrament.  He treats the power to absolve with respect, and the penitents with respect.  (Unlike You-Know-Who... I felt with him he didn't think people had sins worthy of his attention. He was actually probably trying to tell people not to sweat the small stuff, but it sounded more like "don't bother me with your petty concerns.")

At the end, we took the cauldron outside and burned our papers up, completing the  image of totally shedding the sin.  Then it was time for ice cream!!! Rocky road with chocolate sauce. Yum!

And so to bed, 10:30.


I woke up way early.  The clouds had parted enough so that I checked outside to see if I could see any stars and orient myself... I thought the room was facing West or southwest. I was stunned to see it's facing due north... there was the north star and the big dipper. Hmmm?  Apparently the road in winds more than I realized. 

I ate the banana I squirreled away yesterday. Then when the sun had risen, I went out and walked the grounds, including the labyrinth.  This time I looked down, pausing at every turn to bless God.  It was great. 


Morning prayer, and a group photo.

Breakfast, bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, fruit, yogurt, orange juice.

Father David came to me before the conference and asked if I could help... he wanted a Eucharistic minister.  (Sister Marcella had to leave this morning.)
I said I'd never done it before, and he told me "body of Christ, body of Christ, body of Christ" (Yeah, I think I can remember that!)

The conference was "do you love Me?" about St. Peter.  Jesus asked him three times if he loved Him.  Peter also denied Jesus three times. Peter is very much in his head.  He's very much into Peter's plan, not Jesus' plan.

1. Peter the Operator. Mark 1:29-39.
2. Peter the Micro-Manager Matt 16:21-23.
3. Peter the real-estate agent (Transfiguration: Matt 17:1-8)

Peter goes back to Galilee, back to 3 years ago. Jesus seeks him out.

As a Pope, it's OJT.
There aren't many books about Peter.  Peter == us.  Guilt & shame aren't building the Kingdom.

What is Jesus asking of you?
do you understand your unique talents--giftedness?

We had a wrap-up session.  This chitchat makes me uncomfortable.

Reflection questions:
Recall a time in your life when you knew that you were absolutely loved. How did this awareness of being loved change you?
Can you trust that God gives you what you need when you need it?
Can you describe what it is like when someone believes in you?
Do you know your own giftedness?
How is the Lord calling you through your giftedness?
Is there anything that you need to say to the Lord this morning with regards to this call and the gifts that have been entrusted to you?

Then Mass. Distributing Communion was special. I stopped on my way to the station and gave Communion to one lady who has a hard time walking. It was just wonderful giving out the body of Christ. I thought the Reconciliation was the Retreat highlight, but this was another one.

Lunch, hamburgers, fries, salad, with pie for dessert. I snagged a piece of rhubarb pie for Rich, and then he was late. I had headed out to look for him at one point and Father David asked if I was leaving without saying goodbye. He wanted to be sure I'd liked the Mass. (Yes. This was a great retreat.)

Rich got his pie. We looked for a cache on the way home. Nope. (It turns out to be missing.)

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Wed, Feb 24th - 9:18PM

With Burning Hearts, Proclaiming our Passion

This is the third year I've gone on retreat, and it seems to me this was the best one.  I always look forward for the chance to step away and step back and enjoy some silence and a chance to center.

Friday Evening
I got off to a bad start, annoyed with the receptionist because she apparently messed up my reservation --- again --- and didn't have my name tag. They will have it for me in time for dinner. I have a room in the Chapel Building, which I prefer. It's on the second floor down near the end of the hall, #28. My cup for the weekend is a Giant Panda. (You pick a mug and use it all weekend, then put it into the wash.  This saves a lot of money on washing and/or disposable cups.)

In the booklet, a reading on "Contemplative Awareness" by Joan Chittister, OSB.

Learning to notice the obvious, the colors that touch our psyches, the shapes that vie for attention, the looks on the faces of those who stand before us blurred by familiarity, blang with anonymity -- the context in which we find others and our distracted selves -- is the beginning of contemplation. Awareness of the power of the present is the essence of the contemplative life and common to all contemplative traditions.

Then the questions:
I came on this retreat because...
The concerns or distractions that I bring with me are...
This past year, my relationship to God has been...
This past year, my relationships with family and/or persons dear to me have been...
This past year is there anyone with whom I need to forgive or be forgiven by... If so... who?
The greatest strength I bring with me to this retreat is...
The burden I carry as I begin this retreat that I ask you to hold for me during these days is...
I want to thank you Lord for...

Two people I thought I'd see at this retreat weren't there. The dinner was pretty much the same as Wednesday's lunch except with cheesecake dessert. Father David came over & asked if I'd been living upstairs and I said I should have pitched a tent. We also talked about the University of Wyoming (where his niece is going) and Purdue and rocket scientists.

I was talking to a woman from Presentation and having a hard time not badmouthing Father H. One mother of a classmate of Monica's welcomed her grandson home from the Navy! And yes that's the classmate's son.

Every time I breathe you seem a little bit closer. I never want to leave, I want to stay in your warm embrace.

The 8:15 conference (after the orientation one) started with three jokes from Brother Kurt.

Chuck moved to Texas and bought a Donkey from a farmer for $100.00.

The farmer agreed to deliver the Donkey the next day.

The next day he drove up and said, 'Sorry son, but I have some bad News, the donkey died.'

Chuck replied, 'Well, then just give me my money back.'

The farmer said, 'Can't do that. I went and spent it already.'

Chuck said, 'OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.'

The farmer asked, 'What ya gonna do with him?

Chuck said, 'I'm going to raffle him off.'

The farmer said You can't raffle off a dead donkey!'

Chuck said, 'Sure I can Watch me. I just won't tell anybody he's dead.'

A month later, the farmer met up with Chuck and asked, 'What happened with that
Dead donkey?'

Chuck said, 'I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two dollars a piece and made a profit of $998.00.'

The farmer said, 'Didn't anyone complain?'

Chuck said, 'Just the guy who won. So I gave him his two dollars back."

After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York Scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion, that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, A story in the LA Times read: "California archaeologists, finding of 200 year old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers"
One week later. A local newspaper in Kentucky reported the following: "After digging as deep as 30 feet in a field near Woodbine, Kentucky Bubba, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Bubba has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Kentucky had already gone wireless".
Just makes you proud to live in Kentucky!  (Brother Kurt is from Louisville!)

There was a plane with three passengers, a priest, a boy scout and the The Smartest Man in World.

The pilot came from the cockpit wearing a parachute, he stated that the plane was in auto pilot mode and the plane would crash in a few minuets, but, there was a more serious problem, there were three of them and only two parachutes so they would have to decide who was not going to get a parachute. Then he jumped out of the plane.

The Smartest Man in World said, "I have to have a parachute as the world definitely needs me because I am The Smartest Man in World." Then he grabbed a pack and jumped out of the airplane. The priest turned to the boy scout and said, "I am ready to meet my maker, I have lived a full and fruitful life you may take the parachute and go and make your mark on the world." To which the boy scout replied, "I came prepared, we can both have a parachute, The Smartest Man in World just jumped out of the plane with my back pack on."

(I'd heard this one before.)

My notes, however, from this conference, "Are Not Our Hearts Burning?": the booklet: "Road to Emmaus -- heart is burning
New life grows from broken-ness
pruning, cultivating"

...and in my journal:
"SOMEONE is easily distracted!  Brother Kurt told 3 good jokes & Father David is doing a written Confession, but the first conference was ...
I can't relate at the moment.
I'm going to take a shower, do night prayers, and go to bed."

And so I did. 10 PM.


I had tossed and turned, but still slept in till 6. I thought I'd go out as soon as the sun rose and sit by the fountain and watch the birds. A couple of years ago there'd been a hummingbird right there, and I saw a lot on Wednesday. I was really looking forward to this.

God has a sense of humor. Or at least He likes surprises. There was a dead goldfinch floating in the fountain. No, I'm not going to sit there enjoying nature now!  So I walked on down to the labyrinth, and saw how different my approach is from the contemplative "look only at the present" thing from the reading I quoted earlier.  I kept looking ahead to see where the path went.

After the labyrinth I headed back to my room and saw Father David coming from the residence, waved at him. As I went into the building, I spied the caretaker fishing the dead bird out of the fountain... and he threw it down the hill! He then told Father D. about it.

Mass was at 0730.  There was a reading first about "Berakah prayer."  In the Jewish tradition, people don't ask God for a blessing, they announce the blessedness of God. In the homily, Father told us about this again, and asked us to bless God for things.  Blessed be God for nature, blessed be God for grandchildren, blessed be God for health, blessed be God for modern medicine, etc. etc. Suddenly, I found myself saying "Blessed be God for surprises. He messes up all my plans and I get to somewhere better."  This drew a big laugh, and someone after Mass broke silence long enough to say "He's the God of Plan B."

Breakfast was French toast/sausage/strawberry/pineapple/ oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar... tomato juice, yogurt.

"If you talk to God you are praying,
if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia!"---Thomas Szasz, a 20th Century psychiatrist.

Before the first conference ("the Heart of Nativity") a woman had a glass cup crack in her hand... fortunately on the side away from her... the coffee was HOT, you could see the steam rising from the floor.

There was a picture on the screen that looked like the California coast, but it turned out to be the Sea of Galilee.  Then another picture on a hillside, where the "sermon on the Mount" occured.  The same story in Luke is the "sermon in the Plain" (which should have been "on the boat" or "on the sea") In both cases, Jesus is somewhere he can be heard by this big crowd.  Matthew, writing to Jews, has the mountain, as all important meetings with God occur on mountains.

(Father David looked at the picture of the hill and said, "I'm from Colorado.  This is hardly a mountain!")

St. Bonaventure talked about the "eye of the heart" which is what we're supposed to see with.  And a Sufi saying is "Jesus stands by the river, selling river water."

Both morning conferences were about the Beatitudes. They are not the past or the future... "you ARE blessed."

"Poor in spirit"... hatchling chick.
"Meekness" == gray paint.  Sometimes meek people are cynical.

The first morning conference ended with a slide show. I saw an igloo with a satellite dish.

During the break I watched turkeys fighting, then went up to my room. I noted that there was a half-hour to the next conference, but that I needed a nap.

The second conference, Father David talked about the "law of abundance"... Jesus does things BIG.  He looked at the crowds and saw brokenness, guilt, shame, grief, sorrow: I believe He was looking at us, since I believe Time is a human construct, but God works in Eternity. Everything happens all at once, all the time.  Anyway.

The first four Beatitudes are about brokenness, the next three about already being blessed.

Father David says he is an Incarnationalist. He believes in the "Discovery Channel God"... "hey, come look at THIS!"  The last two Beatitudes, which are about the same, are the most important, hence the repitition. (Blessed are you when men persecute you...)

You are light, and you are salt. 

Jesus never runs out of love and mercy.  David went through the Passion and said "does he stop forgiving here?  How about HERE?"

Reflection questions:
How does Jesus see you?
Does the incarnation of Christ mean anything to you after Christmas day is over?
Do you know who you are in the eyes of the Lord?
What is the role of blessedness in your life?
Have you ever thought about the abundance of God in your life?
What is it like to surrender into the flow of God's abundance?

I discovered a "stations of the cross" on the first floor... all pictures of hands... that I want to do, but I can't find the prayers. Hmmm.

Lunch was salad, soup, breadsticks and cheesecake.

Then we had free time. I discovered the "hands" didn't have Veronica. Too bad. I enjoyed it anyway. I walked around the grounds, saw a hawk and a single turkey (apparently crying for company).  A woman from Woodland took my picture.  She does watercolors. Then it began to rain a little and was cold. I went back to the room.

I didn't feel well at all.  Of course, this would be the time and place to drop dead, I suppose.  My innards were making more noise than I remember ever happening in my life.

In "The Self-Emptying Heart" Brother Kurt went through Jesus' temptations in the desert. This being "beloved" is tough!  Temptation 1: food (and power): serve yourself first. Jesus knows he is loved. God's word nourishes us too.

Temptation 2: Power (show off): (Psalm 91) The Lord will command His angels. Jesus came to give His life, not show off. Be aware of how we commit ourselves to community.  Love is not a big thing, it's a thousand little things.

Temptation 3: Power. "diabolos" to break in two. False Gods of fear, negative self-image, control... how do we bless God?

...I just couldn't face one more conference, I felt so bad, so I took a nap instead and woke up in much better shape.

(to be continued)

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Tue, Feb 23rd - 8:12PM

February 19: Friday before the Retreat

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 693
38.3  miles.
cloudy, cold

77 recordings of 22 types.

My weight is up 1.3 pounds, and Blood Pressure very high borderline.

Gee, look who's on TV again! He's there to sink Reid, with any luck.  I can't see how many people turned up at this town hall. Rasmussen has -11: 48/51.

Appropriate story for Lent.

Tango with your sibling

Krauthammer on Iran and on spending

Who knew? This explains why these shows turn up locally.

Ungovernable? Nonsense! (Krauthammer)

Ed Morrissey got conservative blogger of the year at CPAC.

You don't need liberals as friends
Fri, 02/19/2010 - 14:56 ET by carolina09
Breit is doing what I have already done, which is to avoid anyone who voted for Obama and does not regret it.  It is just not possible to be friendly with someone who wants to see you robbed at gunpoint and dominated and tyrannized.  Be polite to liberals, but don't have them as friends.  Don't trust one with anything.  Keep them away from your children. Read more.

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Custard's Last Stand, Tamar Meyers, The Life of Man with God, Thomas Verner Moore, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

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Tue, Feb 23rd - 6:46AM

February 18: Pagan's Visit

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 683
38.1  miles.
clear and mild

76 recordings of 19 types.

Rasmussen: -10: 49/50

Oh, look, he's on TV *again*!

I went out to Mass at the Retreat center today.  What with yesterday's retreat and tomorrow's weekend retreat, I should probably just pitch a tent out there.
The homily was interesting... Father gave us some of the history of Deuteronomy and how the Law was discovered in the Temple.  This involved throwing a missal around. He certainly has an interesting preaching style!

After Mass he blessed a couple who have been married 50 years. 

Pagan had come to town.  Just last week his sister had an accident, totalling her Prius.  She's got casts (boots) on both feet and one arm is also immobilized.  I suppose she's lucky it wasn't worse. Apparently this is ONE Toyota brand that hasn't had trouble, so there's no compensation in the future.

We went to the Ukrainean restaurant. I had borscht and a pieroshki.  Yum.

We also went thrift shopping and I found a $4 Radio Flyer trike. One of the tires will need replacing eventually, but it's a deal anyway. I also got some board books about the three little kittens and the itsy bitsy spider.

Then, since I had some information, we finished the ABC challenge.  First we went out to the "Quicky Cache" and found a broken container... I was discouraged, of course, but then found the actual cache. It has the EatStayPlay tokens in it, from November, so I guessed it was replaced earlier. (Later I found out someone replaced it *earlier today*, so we were sheerly lucky.)  Then a friend had also pointed out an "x" cache. In fact, that's its name, "x".  There's a rock with an "x" and when you pick it up, there's an x-coupling which is the cache. Very simple but nicely done. And that finishes our ABC challenge. Now we'll have to pick it up in Garden Grove.

Color me astounded.

In Law&Order season 2, there's a babysitter who is now Bailey from Gray's Anatomy.  She sure looks different, but I recognized her!

Democrats call Republicans hypocrites.

Victor Davis Hanson:

Here in California we idle farmland, though we have the water, expertise, and soil to produce far more food than we do. We put vast swaths of both land and sea off limits to gas and oil production, though we could produce far more petroleum and natural gas than we do. We snub nuclear power, though our population steadily increases and its desire for electronic appurtenance grows, not shrinks. We like ‘wilderness areas’ (who doesn’t?) where we build no roads, harvest no timber, and build no dams. We strangle Silicon Valley with all sorts of labor and business regulations until it fabricates and outsources abroad. In other words, we are creating no real new sources of concrete wealth as we nuance the shrinking capital we inherited.


GEORGE WILL: "Don’t hate Sarah Palin, but don’t let the fact that others hate her cause you to give her more credit than she’s earned." That seems about right. To me, people’s reactions to Palin — particularly the extreme hatred she’s inspired in the left — are more interesting than Palin herself. She may, someday, be ready to be President, but she isn’t now. Heck, she’s barely more ready than Barack Obama was when he was elected. . . .

STEVE CHAPMAN on Obama’s slumping popularity. I think it’s more than just the usual end-of-honeymoon thing, personally. People note that Reagan’s popularity fell a lot in his first year — but Reagan got generally hostile media treatment, while Obama has enjoyed friendlier press than any President in history, and has still plummeted in the polls.

RECIPE FOR DISASTER: Take one part, 'middle eastern ruler, bent on religious world domination, add one part, progressive, elitist, narcissistic neophyte, completely out of his depth, stir, add hatred that is thousands of years old and top with nuclear fission. Enjoy!
BY azjim on 02/18/2010 at 16:38

Fox News is interviewing a guy (former military) named Robin DeHaven who works for a glass replacement company named Binswanger.

He drove to the building after seeing plane and smoke from the crash, put his ladders up to the building -- and when he saw that the people at the window were 'panicked' -- climbed into the building, and helped get five people out.


John Stossel says education is too important to be a government monopoly.

Victor Davis Hanson: No Need for Hubris on Matters of National Security.

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Mon, Feb 22nd - 7:44PM

February 17: Ash Wednesday

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 683
38.0  miles.
clear and mild

102 recordings of 23 types.

Rasmussen: -11: 50/50

We went out to the Retreat House for the Ash Wednesday mini-retreat, "Create in me a Clean Heart, Oh God."  We got there in time to walk around a bit first, and see the turkeys, and a cat stalking a squirrel. A Darwin squirrel, who got itself pretty far away from a tree and just made it, apparently.  We weren't sure how the stalk ended till we got around the building and saw the cat alone with a squirrel up a tree giving him what for.  Stupid squirrel.

We started in the chapel with the Call to Prayer.  Sister Marcella rang the gong. I think of it like God's voice in my heart... and what I'm hearing is so faint.  Brother Kurt did some of the introduction and speaking in the middle of the chapel, and this poor hearing-impaired woman and her interpreter kept having to weave around him. We each had a bit of palm, and then we processed to the patio and put it into the cauldron.  Some nice traditional lighter fluid made sure they ignited.

And on to the conferences, which cover the seven Sundays of Lent.  The first Sunday is Temptation, Jesus in the desert. "Lord help us to resist temptation by acts of charity and penance."  These acts keep us busy, keep us away from temptations, which are distractions taking us away from what is real and good.

Life is offering more more more more MORE intensity.  We should pay attention to our temptations: that way you know you can resist them.

Week 2: the Transfiguration

James/John/Peter are being told "LISTEN!!" (meanwhile Rich, too, is falling asleep. *somebody* is wasting his $35!)

What were Elijah and Moses and Jesus discussing?  Maybe the Passion?

Time for a break. I went to sit by the fountain, and saw goldfinches, a bushtit,  a nuthatch, flickers, and a woodpecker.

Week 3: The Parable of the Fig Tree.

Luke 13 starts with two items of bad news, which were entirely new to me. You will all come to the same end unless you reform.

No, you can't remain victims--- what can YOU learn?

Where am *I* being called on to bear fruit?

Week 4: Prodigal Son

Note the father goes out to BOTH sons.

Week 5: The Woman Taken in Adultery
Week 6: The Passion According to St. Luke

Lunch was good. Stuffed pasta shells.

I embarrassed myself by chatting before Mass. Shame on me. Met a woman from Montana. We had ashes and Mass, and it was beautiful.

After the retreat was over, we drove out 6 miles to try to get a cache that started with a Q, and had no luck with it at all. As we came home, we passed a guy selling mandarins, 2 bags for $5.  The bags are huge, we must have gotten 20 pounds of oranges.

I spent the evening looking at caches in the Los Angeles area.


Mickey Kaus:

Of course it would be easier to pass health care reform if all you had to do was cut a deal with labor unions and insurance companies and PhRMA--the o.g. lobbies of "Special Interest 1.0"--while ignoring the mass of individual voters. But you have to really contort yourself to think the replacement of narrow, economic interests with broader citizen interests is some sort of tragic turn of events. For decades good government types have been attempting to summon broad popular interests in order to defeat narrow economic interests. Now that it's happening they're having second thoughts (because they don't like the first result). .
P.S.: Lots of intellectual effort now seems to be going into explaining Obama's (possible/likely/impending) health care failure as the inevitable product of larger historic and constitutional forces. There's something to this of course--the Framers went overboard in making it hard for the government to act, for example. But in this case there's a simpler explanation:  Barack Obama's job was to sell a health care reform plan to American voters. He failed. He didn't fail because 55% of Americans can never be convinced of anything. It happens all the time. He just failed. He tried to sell expanding coverage as a deficit reducer. Voters didn't believe him and worried that they would pay the bill in some unadvertised way (through Medicare reductions or future tax increases, mainly). That's not constitutional paralysis or Web-enabled mob rule. It's just bad salesmanship.
And if Obama thought he didn't have to succeed in convincing voters because he believed he was operating in a "Special Interest 2.0" world where all he had to do was get AARP, labor and the business lobbies on board--well, that's his failure too. ..

The Green Death 

Who is the worst killer in the long, ugly history of war and extermination? Hitler? Stalin? Pol Pot? Not even close. A single book called Silent Spring killed far more people than all those fiends put together.

...The DDT ban isn’t the only example of environmental extremism coming with a stack of body bags. Mandatory gas mileage standards cause about 2,000 deaths per year, by compelling automakers to produce lighter, more fragile cars. The biofuel mania has led resources to be shifted away from growing food crops, resulting in higher food prices and starvation. Worst of all, the economic damage inflicted by the environmentalist religion directly correlates to life-threatening reductions in the human standard of living. The recent earthquake in Haiti is only the latest reminder that poverty kills, and collectivist politics are the most formidable engine of poverty on Earth.

Environmental extremism is a breathless handmaiden for collectivism. It pours a layer of smooth, creamy science over a relentless hunger for power.
...One of the reasons for the slow demise of the climate-change nonsense is that it takes a long time to let so much air out of so many egos.
...Today Rachel Carson is still celebrated as a hero, the secular saint who transformed superstition and hysteria into a Gospel for the modern god-state. The tactics she deployed against DDT resurfaced a decade later, in the Alar scare. It’s a strategy that offers great reward, and very little risk. We need to increase the risk factor, and frighten the next generation of junk scientists into being more careful with their research. If we don’t, the Church of Global Warming will just reappear in a few years, wearing new vestments and singing new hymms… but still offering the same communion of poverty, tyranny, and death.

Ed Morrissey: "Maybe Jones and his team should have stuck to doing actual science rather than plotting to hide declines and silence critics while running the CRU.  At least he’d still have a job." 

0bamateurism of the Day
When a speaker’s three favorite subjects are Me, Myself, and I, voters have to wonder if there’s any room in Barack Obama’s love affair for them.

Mark Steyn

This is the problem: Barack Obama is not up to the job. Which many of us pointed out a year and a half ago. What was less forseeable is that he's so not up to the job he's surrounded himself by people who are not up to their jobs.
Underneath its supposed "realist" practicality and its discreet evasions, Gelb's assumptions are remarkable: He sees the president not as the chief executive required by the job, nor even as a weak prime minister chairing a collegial cabinet of all the talents, but as a callow boy-king plunked down on the throne who requires a regency of wizened old viziers around him to prevent the whole operation jumping the tracks.

'In the end, if the American people chose unwisely in November 2008, there is only one remedy: vote for the opposition party to check the president’s worst instincts. And if that doesn’t work, replace the president, too. If Obama can’t get up to speed and dramatically shift course, I suspect that is exactly what will happen.'

Oh, just great.

Great comments.

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Fri, Feb 19th - 9:23AM

February 16: Town Hall

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 683
38.0  miles.
clear and mild

91 recordings of 20 types

Rasmussen: -13: 49/51

James Moore THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM?: The Lord's Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words, there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence and the government regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words.

I did a challenge, to name all the Presidents. I forgot Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester Arthur, and Wm. Taft. And while I knew Cleveland had served two different times, I didn't realize he was counted twice. Oh, and I had them consecutive to Taylor! (part of that was luck, I was sure to Martin Van Buren then guessed.

Tim Thornton "1. Can we pat the president on the back for backing more nuclear power?"

Maybe, if he hadn't been so transparent in saying to the Republicans, "See, I gave you something you wanted. Now, here's what I want from you."

Plus, anyone laying odds on whether or not some endangered species will be found on each site being considered for the nuke plants? IOW, after O gets what he wants from the GOP, it would be easy for the new projects to drown in the regulatory cesspool.

I hate being such a cynic, but our current president has given me so many reasons to doubt his intentions.

Today we went down to Bernarob's and I babysat and Rich mowed the lawn.  Gareth was still cranky but I sat with him and watched Yo Gabba Gabba for an hour, and he warmed up (physically) and seemed to feel better. I picked up toys and blocks and for a short time it looked nice both inside and out for Bernadette. Gareth threw a fit in the evening, I'm told, over the Beefy Mac.

We ate at Red Robin (I had the Banzai Burger with pineapple) and found a couple of caches before going home.

Chris Christie's Speech on the budget.

William Bailey Have you heard of the new "Obama" Happy Meal? You order anything you want and the guy behind you has to pay for it.

Krauthammer on 0bamacare.

This evening I picked Rich up at Sharing God's Bounty and we went to Leatherby's for a town hall with Paul Smith, who's running against Doris Matsui. It was far too noisy, but he said all the things I've been saying. We also met one of the candidates for sheriff. And ate ice cream, happy Mardi Gras!

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Thu, Feb 18th - 10:25PM

February 15: Cranky Baby.

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 683
37.7 miles.
66 degrees, sunshine

107 recordings of 29 types.

Dick Cheney: 0bama's Worst Nightmare.

THIS guy again!

The Dependency Agenda (George Will).

Bernadette had an opportunity to go to San Francisco to see King Tut, so I said I'd babysit. Gareth was happy enough at the beginning of the day. When Rich came in he climbed into his lap and enjoyed that.

Then we thought it would be good to take him out to the park. Wrong. He went over to the playground, then wanted to go in the "bye bye car" again.  With tears when I tried to distract him. NO! swings. NO! slide. When we got back to the house, I showed him a dandelian to blow.  NO! Tears!

He surprised me by knowing what a "star" was, first in the playroom with a tiny one, and later in the living room with the musical one from the gyminee. He spent at least an hour in the playroom with me. (I got out of 1999 and into 2001/1996 in the paper boxes.)

In the afternoon we went into the back yard (mighod the pitfalls... sharp rocks, cacti, the rusty chicken wire...).

Nap? Not so much. He cuddled in with me for Yo Gabba Gabba, but when I tried to stop and quiet him down, tears. And when he was up and about, he ended up in time out twice.  One time I saw him check out where I was before he went for touching the tv buttons. He knows, oh he knows. I swooped in and plucked him up and plopped him into the playpen like *that*!

In Trouble

Robert got another ride home, but we needed to return the boy eventually. He left his mark....

Toddler Tornado

and fell asleep on the way home, which meant he woke up crying at home, too.

Rasmussen: -17: 47/52


Knock out Boxer...

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Wed, Feb 17th - 10:23PM

February 14: Father Who?

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 683
37.7 miles.
some sunshine, warm

105 recordings of 25 types.

Rasmussen: -15: 47/51

Church lately has been a marvellous exercise in Father H. who? The Mass intentions are back in the bulletin.  We'll be having MASSES on Ash Wednesday. The bilingual Stations of the Cross are back. The capper was that Father introduced the Knights of Columbus. Father Who? didn't like the KofC and did his best to drive them out of the parish.

We "had" to get a cache today to complete the "Days of the Year" challenge, and so I ran a query in North Sacramento.  We managed to find all five of the nearby caches.

ARGH, I accidently erased a L&O from season 2. I wonder how long it'll take till they show this one again.

Deena, Nick's wife, was in town. We stopped by (the wrong house) to meet her. Oddly enough, she wasn't there.  They did stop by before she went back to St. Louis. I volunteered to give her a bridal shower. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but I bet I'll panic in October. Nick's mom met her at the airport with a big sign "11-11-11" and baby stuff. I was a little surprised Deena didn't just turn around and get back on the plane.

Now, gee, maybe this warming isn't unprecedented. This has a VERY interesting graph

Instapundit summarizes: 'Plus, from the comments: “So, can we have our incandescent light bulbs back now?”'

Gateway Pundit:
“Look at it this way: everybody who’s actually been to a Tea Party rally, then watched Teh Newz afterwards, knows from personal experience that the alphabet media are a pack of liars and bigots. I consider that far more important than anything having directly to do with the Government.”

Also from Instapundit:

ANSWERING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What Would You See As You Plummet Into A Black Hole?

UPDATE: Reader Clifford Grout writes: “Ask the California Legislature.” Heh.

(HE can say "heh."  He doesn't live here.)

The Chowdah Revolution.

Comment (0)

Wed, Feb 17th - 10:21PM

February 13: First Date

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 683
37.7 miles.
some sunshine, warm

105 recordings of 23 types.

I was surprised to look up at the mantel and see a vase of flowers and a Valentine! A Nice Surprise!

Rasmussen: -17: 45/53.

It's neat seeing the First Nations at the Olympics. I'm using the DVR so I don't have to put up with all this gabbing.

what, no Jamaican bobsled team? :(

In 1959 I was a freshman in high school and in my algebra class was this big junior, not entirely the brightest kid in the school, who spent a lot of time flirting with me.  I was totally THRILLED when he asked me on my first date, a Friday 13th midnight movie package. I had no idea if my Mother would let me. (Now I can only imagine what she felt!) Since Mike didn't drive, his folks drove us. The package was a double feature of horror films with popcorn, a drink, and a hot dog.

A hot dog on a Friday. So I waited till midnight to eat it, problem solved. Mike tried to put his arm around me (go figure) but I made him hold hands instead. Then his parents took us home at, what, 2 AM? and I was sooooooo excited.

Mike later asked me to the Junior-Senior prom (I was one of three Freshman girls to go) but was drinking there and a teacher brought me home. I didn't speak to Mike for months and even (I'm ashamed to say) slapped his face. We eventually made peace. Later he dated one of my cousins.  When I was back in Laramie while Rich was in Viet Nam, he brought his equally large wife and their baby, at 6 months weighing well over 20 pounds.

Whenever February 13th rolls around, I remember my first date.

On this one, *hack, cough*! we went to eat at Nagato before going down to see the Mikado. I had teriyaki pork and tempura.  This meal kept coming and coming, 3 courses. Rich had chicken katsu.

LOTS did their usual good job with the Mikado. I was just not well, not too much into it.  And the orchestra was too big. But we enjoyed it.

Paul Smith: if we are the greatest nation on earth, and Gibbs is the spokesperson for said great nation, we must be the laughing stock of the world. I call them as I see 'um and he is an embarrasment to the office of the President, and to this country. His latest antics regarding Palin's hand notes are childish, disrespectful and does nothing to enhance our image in the world.

Mark Steyn:
The Washington Post ran a remarkable headline this week: "Europe Could Use Its Own Tea Party." Underneath David Ignatius went through the obligatory metropolitan condescension toward America's swampdwelling knuckledraggers before acknowledging that the Continent's problem was that there was no similar populist movement demanding fiscal sanity from the governing class.
He's right. I've been saying for months that the difference between America and Europe is that, when the global economy nosedived, everywhere from Iceland to Bulgaria mobs took to the streets and besieged Parliament, demanding to know why government didn't do more for them. This is the only country in the developed world where a mass movement took to the streets to say we can do just fine if you control-freak statists would just stay the hell out of our lives, and our pockets. You can shove your non-stimulating stimulus, your jobless jobs bill, and your multitrillion-dollar porkathons.

Does 0bama want the Democrats to Lose?
"That doesn’t mean that Obama hasn’t decided to throw the entire Democratic Party under the bus in an attempt to improve his chance to win a second term in 2012.  As strategies go, though, it seems pretty desperate — but the fact that his own allies in the House have begun to wonder whether Obama is deliberately trying to make them lose shows that his strategies have turned out to be pretty incompetent up to now."

Bees are addicted to caffeine and nicotine.

Mickey Kaus:
‘Please R.S.V.P. to Attend Our Summit. And F.Y.’: If you were going to write an invitation designed to make sure Republicans don’t come to President Obama’s 2/25 “bipartisan” health care summit at Blair House, it would be this one, no? …. Do Rahm Emanuel and Kathleen Sebelius want Republicans to attend? If so, you’d think they’d be less aggressive and argumentative.

Comment (0)

Tue, Feb 16th - 5:34PM

February 12: SGB Dinner

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 683
37.7 miles.
some sunshine, warm

I'm up +.2 pounds partly because I'm up so early (2 pounds up from Wednesday, grumble) and my blood pressure is high borderline.

109 recordings of 22 types.

Scott Ott :"If one were deliberately seeking to devise a system of recruiting and paying teachers calculated to repel the imaginative and daring and self-confident, and to attract the dull and mediocre and uninspiring, he could hardly do better than to imitate the system of requiring teaching certificates and enforcing standard salary structures..." -- Milton Friedman

*Cough*, *hack*!

Rich went off to the Sharing God's Bounty administration dinner. I'm reminded of the time her went to the Sutter Club. This was apparently a big gourmet meal with a different wine for each course (he probably shouldn't have driven home!) and he came home full of a glowing report on the food. He hadn't been, to that point, much of a foodie. He raved over the mushroom crust on the meat, and the different wines. That was the last time this bunch (to feed the hungry) went so overboard, but unlike the NGOs and the UN, private money paid for that.  Tonight's was at Espana, though he brought home pasta. (Woof!)

Rich Lowry points out the difference between campaigning and governing.

Rasmussen has: -15: 47/52.

0bamateurism of the day.

Instapundit says:
DAVID REILLY: “President Barack Obama is starting to look like the second coming of Jimmy Carter.” I repeat, that’s a best-case scenario at this point.

Daily Caller doesn't think much of Keith Olbermann. I don't even watch him on football games.

Creating a Tea Party Caucus.

So Long, LORAN

Victor Davis Hanson, The Truth is a Precious Commodity

After a single year of governance, there is now scarcely a single issue that Obama & Co. have not backtracked on, flip-flopped, redefined, or quietly dropped — mostly matters that were once demagogued to score political points.

Comment (0)

Mon, Feb 15th - 5:35AM

February 11: Disappointment

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 683
37.7 miles.

111 recordings of 24 types.

Rasmussen: -14: 46/52

I've had a sore throat and hacking cough, so I stayed home all day. Nothing much happened, except Rich tried to fix the front door, which was stuck. It appears the lock broke into the locked position, so he took off the hinges, still no movement, and took the knob off and threatened to hacksaw the bolt, and something worked for a short while.  Entertaining while it lasted.

Then I spent a couple of hours with two spread sheets trying to get all the proper years onto the Days of the Year cache.  Then I discovered the bad news, that I'd mistaken some logs that were just notes (maintenance notes on our own caches, or announcements that we would be attending an event) for actual cache finds. 4 of them, and all after the July 31 date I thought was the only one we had left. You have to find a cache on every day of the year, but not necessarily in the same year. I'd used the geocaching web page to figure it out, but it's been down, so I went to Rich's spreadsheet, which is only of finds. When I had these dates empty, I went to that date on the now-working geocaching page, and discovered my mistake. Argh. If I'd realized it when we first knew about the cache, we could at least have cached on Nov. 16 and Dec. 4.  Now we won't be finished until December 4. Most annoying.

Scott Ott: Obama's remark that he doesn't begrudge Wall Street guys their bonuses tweaks progressives, but the WH response should raise an alarm: "[Obama] made clear that there are a number of steps that need to be taken to change the culture of Wall Street..."
Exec. branch of fed. govt. charged with changing culture?!
Article What? Section What?
James Madison, phone your office.

Harry Bell: The Dept of Defense briefed the President this morning. They told President
Obama that 2 Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq . To everyone's
surprise, he collapsed onto his desk, head in his hands, visibly
shaken, almost in tears. Finally, he composed himself and asked, 'Just
how many is a Brazilian?' This is not surprising, since he obviously has no understanding of billion or trillion either.

Harry Bell: Bill, our #1 priority needs to be getting him to give a "shout out" to a Coxswain. Get on that will ya buddy? [Heh].

Michelle Malkin, on Clinton's illness:
 "Stents don’t grow on trees. They were not created, developed, marketed, or sold by government bureaucrats and lawmakers."

The Administration, Rebutted.
"Dishonesty has become the hallmark of the Obama administration. Obama and his cohorts know that most people have neither the time nor the inclination to research the truth of their public statements. Knowing, too, that the press is compliant, Obama believes that he and his subordinates can get away with just about any whopper they choose to tell. Perhaps so. Yet, in just one year the American public has lost confidence in the administration's credibility. The sort of wanton fabrication that Obama, Gibbs, Brennan and others in the administration are engaged in can only accelerate that process."

The New Commandments on the Animal Farm Barn Wall.

Comment (0)

Sun, Feb 14th - 10:04PM

February 10: Tall Wonders

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
37.7 miles.

114 recordings of 26 types.

Awwww... Captain Phil died.

Today we went to the Zoo again to be "members only" on the new giraffe viewing platform.  It's a nice structure, but the giraffes are a little leery of it, so there were no feedings today. There will be, though, when the giraffes get used to it.  The other animals that we wanted to show Gareth were all out, the lemurs and the snow leopards. The flamingos were close to the sidewalk.  We'll have more chances.

IMG_6914 Flamingos

-12 (guess his speaking yesterday didn't hurt as much as I thought it would.) 48/51

Harry Bell Hi Kari, I've posted several shots of Precedent oBOWma's fickle finger. Amazing how that is a compleat non-issue, but if you write notes on your hand it's "Like O'MyGod" what are you.... Fifteen? Yer so immature..... like TOTALLY......

Sen. Jim DeMint twitters: D.C. snow will continue 'until Al Gore cries uncle'

Holly Foote Baird Think about Gore's motives. He chose a topic nobody could really be against openly (what individual or corporation doesn't "want to help the environment"? (wink;), and that he figured could never be proven wrong in our lifetimes. When he ran for president, his net worth was a small fraction of what it is today...he did make out well with his scam!

Michelle 0bama plays the National Security card.  Because, like, you know, obesity is so important.

Everything is a “national security” issue to them…except, well, national security.
Global warming is a national security issue.
Health care reform is a national security issue.
And now, First Lady Michelle Obama is pushing her anti-obesity platform as a national security issue.

Dennis Miller calls Rob't Gibbs an imperious doofus.

John Stossel, Hurtling Down the Road to Serfdom

SNOW.  What do you see?

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Custard's Last Stand, Tamar Meyers, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

Comment (0)

Fri, Feb 12th - 5:40PM

February 9: Not Much

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
37.7 miles.
cloudy, gray

110 recordings of 26 types.

Rasmussen: -13: 47/53. (I don't think he was on TV yesterday.  Coincidence? Ha!)

About the only thing we did today was talk to a couple of roofers. And later, of course, Rich went to Sharing God's Bounty.


Robert Gibbs showed the words “hope” and “change” on his hand as he started his daily briefing with reporters on Tuesday.

Many in the room, where President Barack Obama had spoken just moments before about the need for bipartisanship, groaned at the political shot.

Leaving aside its lameness — stepping on the President’s message, and demonstrating, once again, that Robert Gibbs is never intentionally funny — it really seems to me that bringing up the whole “hope and change” schtick nowadays isn’t doing much for the White House, but rather is simply reminding people of how the original promise of this Administration has failed to bear fruit.

The limits of blaming Bush "It is time for Obama to act like an adult, and as the president, and stop blaming his predecessor for the fiscal irresponsability in Washington." Megan McCardle adds: "at what point in his presidency is Obama actually responsible for any bad thing that happens?  Two years?  Five?  Can we pick a date for when bad things that happen on Obama's are actually in some measure the responsibility of one Barack Obama, rather than his long gone predecessor?  And then stick with that date?  Conversely, can we agree that as long as the bad things that happen are really George Bush's fault, any good things that happen should probably be chalked up to his administration as well?"

Republicans are fighting back.

Comment (0)

Fri, Feb 12th - 5:39PM

February 8: Library Day

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
37.7 miles.
cloudy, rain at night

108 recordings of 25 types.

Today was library day! Gareth was full of energy, around and around. He's beginning to play with the toys a little more. He was pushing another kid on a riding toy, but I don't think that was "playing together" as he was just pushing, whether or not a kid was on it.

It's funny to watch how he lights up when Yo Gabba Gabba comes on.  He's beginning to dance along a little and to relate, more than just watch. He was tired, though, so we took turns holding him till he went to sleep.

At the end, he played the piano. We managed to stop him before he tore up the music book.

Rich went bowling and had a followup doctor appointment. He's doing fine.

Rasmussen: -15: 46/54

The Oldest Feathered Dinosaur Shows its Colors.

A Significant Admission

Bill Whittle: Party Time:

This spending is so monumental, so out of control and so beyond the pale that huge numbers of what were honest, decent, hard-working and unassuming citizens no longer feel like taxpayers but rather like host organisms: we find ourselves staggering around in shock, like victims of a plane crash or some natural disaster, looking around at the destruction of the work ethic that gave five percent of the population an economy four times the size of its nearest competitor. We watch, horrified, at the government takeover not of businesses or industries but entire sectors of the free market.  That’s why there’s a Tea Party.
We see a President who talks about sharing hardship but who then decides to go out on date night and catch a show in New York City and ends up spending every single tax dollar you and your kids will make in your entire life: gone!

Gone! What did you get for it? Nothing. What service did it do the country? None! So why did they spend it? Because – listen now – they spent it because that’s not your money. That’s their money. Just because you got up in the morning, sat in traffic, and worked all day before sitting in traffic again to come home exhausted… that doesn’t mean it’s your money to these bloodsucking, leather-winged, Big Government entitlement-mongers. No, that’s their money to spend as they see fit – and not just all the money you send in in taxes today, or next year, or the next ten years – they – Democrats and Republicans too – have spent all the money you will make in your lifetime, and then spent all of the money your kids will make, and the pool of work that your grandkids will do in 2060 or so – that’s mostly been spent too. 
do you know who we owe the remarkable success of the Tea Party movement to? We owe it to Rachel Maddow, and Keith Olberman, and Chris Matthews. We owe it to Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, and barack Obama – not just for the political motivation, but because they decided to make it personal.

By calling us Tea Baggers, and racists, and Nazis, and rubes, and hicks… by pretending we’re just a fringe group of dangerous radicals, or saying – as the President did, twice, and apparently with a straight face – that he was unaware that tens or hundreds of thousands of hard-working American patriots were clogging the streets of the city he lives in – well all of these geniuses poured can after can of lighter fluid on to what might have been some old, wet charcoal – nearly impossible to light – and turned it into a wildfire that will likely remake the landscape of this country.  That’s why there’s a Tea Party.

So thanks, you big-brain, sneering, socialist ninnies! We couldn’t have done it without you.

(Read the whole thing!!!)

Re: Palin's Shout Out   [Mark Steyn]
Re Daniel below and Stephen Spruiell over the weekend, I like Kate McMillan's designation for Sarah Palin's hand: the Redneck Teleprompter.

Maybe next time someone's buried in an Obama T-shirt the president could use it to remind him of the deceased's name.

Ed Morrissey talks about Murtha.

So you have to die to suddenly be forgiven? He doesn’t deserve it. Death does not make him less corrupt, less wrong, less horrible a politician. It is sad he died the way he did, subject to the errors of government provided healthcare, but in a way it does drip of irony.

Here’s the question. If they killed him, can his family sue the government? Can anyone? Which is one reason why the universal healthcare he wanted to foist upon us was a bad idea.

Notice when he was crashing he didn’t go back to a government run facility, but to a private one. A choice he would have taken from you.

[I read too many mysteries... a Naval hospital might not have been the best choice for the man who slandered the Marines. I'm not the only person who noticed...
"I am just shocked that Murtha died so unexpectedly. Was this at Walter Reid? I hope no doctor loses a rank for a surgery error but the irony of that has to be noticed. I know it is in very poor taste to mention it, but it is like the proverbial elephant in the room no one wants to mention but everyone notices.

The karma is smacking the dems on the ass so intensely right now. You have to wonder.

karenhasfreedom on February 8, 2010 at 9:32 PM"]

I am as distraught over this as I was at Ted Kennedy’s death. That’s all I’m saying.

ErinF on February 8, 2010 at 9:19 PM

I caught this right away. Now the Democrats are short a vote in the House.  Maybe all the prayers I've been saying have been answered.

im close enough to get overlapping tv coverage from johnstown. tuned in to their news for a chuckle


the anchors kept reiterating the “MILLIONS of dollars, THOUSANDS of jobs” murtha brought to johnstown. he was described as superman. really.

prediction: usually, dem wins by 5, but in this case, old people vote, so gop wins by 3.

battleoflepanto1571 on February 8, 2010 at 8:37 PM

I’m not a religious person. But I have to wonder these days. First Kennedy bites the dust and paves the way for Brown. Now Murtha does the same and keeps Pelosi under 218.

Hmmmm… maybe I should start going to church or something.

angryed on February 8, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Hopefully this encouraging trend of Dems dropping dead will continue and each time a special election creeps up Obama will have his lunch eaten by some no-name republican …political pr0n!

Alden Pyle on February 8, 2010 at 10:46 PM

The Republicans reply to the White House.

Comment (0)

Thu, Feb 11th - 8:31PM

February 7: Skipping the Super Bowl

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
36.2 miles.
cloudy, gray

107 recordings of 26 types.

I went to Mass on my own this morning, as Rich wasn't feeling well. They gave the Parvuli Dei medal to a Cub Scout who happened to be sitting in front of me. That was fun. I also note that we'll be having Masses (*four* of them!) on Ash Wednesday.  The Mass intentions are printed in the bulletin again. They also talked about renovating the old chapel.  Father H. had just built the new one by fiat and apparently no one likes it. Slowly but steadily, it's going to be like Father H. was never there. I LIKED the young Father Heartthrob, but we obviously grew apart in the intervening 25 years. I still like him, but I don't like most of the things he does.

Rich went to watch the Super Bowl with Rob and Gareth while Bernadette worked and I stayed home and blissfully watched other stuff.  I did turn it on enough to see the final score.  Yay!!!

Scott Ott "The Great Depression in the United States, far from being a sign of the inherent instability of the private enterprise system, is a testament to how much harm can be done on the part of a few men when they wield vast power over the monetary system of a country." -- Milton Friedman

Scott Brown fires back at Patrick Kennedy.

Rasmussen: -17: 44/56.  What was the 0bamateurism of the week? No question in my mind.

I’m worried that our system in fact needs a functioning exec to work well in the face of attack, and clearly Obama’s proven not to be that guy. The whole purpose of these “Obamateurisms” was to show that. Ok, now it’s shown. I think we ought to be thinking about what to do now that time has proven even to the dumbest among us that he’s a zero. To put it bluntly, if I was a terrorist, I’d pull a Tet on the US right now. It’s unlikely we’ll ever again have as ineffectual leadership. And in the vacuum created by his Nothingness, much mischief, or worse, can be done.

JiangxiDad on February 7, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Is it possible that Obama is even more incompetent than we know? That his staff is doing all they can do to cover? What does Obama really do other than give speeches and attend events or visit schools. We know he parties. He vacations. Do any of us even know how he spends his day? Didn’t we use to have schedules published from time to time of past Presidents. I remember Bush being criticized for going to bed early. And Reagan not starting his day until 9am, I believe.
We now read stories that Obama is spending time reading blogs and watching cable news. How much time is he spending reading blogs and watching cable news, throwing parties and giving speeches, posing for magazine covers vs actually doing the business of the President? It would be interesting to know how this guy actually spends his days. What a typical week for him is really like. When does he exit the personal residence and actually enter the Oval Office?

JellyToast on February 6, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Doesn’t anyone think we’re expecting too much out of the community organizer. Look at what they do. They go into neighborhoods, find a problem, convince the people in the neighborhood they’re not responsible for it, they go to some politician and tell them they’d better do something about it and, if something gets done, they go back to the neighborhood and get credit for it.

Obama thought this was the ultimate community organizer gig. He locates the problem, gives it to Pelosi and Reid, they get it done, he gets the credit. Nice work if you can get it. Well, Axelrod and Emanuel told him wrong, sometimes you actually have to have core beliefs and a clue about how to accomplish things.

bflat879 on February 7, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Small Earthquake in LaLa Land, or why is Sarah Palin smiling?

Heh. (Spiro T. 0bama)

The great communicator seems to be in disarray these days. Maybe its his lack of experience. Maybe its his lack of power over Congress, particularly Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Maybe its shock and awe at the push-back he's getting from the American people. He has no plan for jobs, for healthcare, for carbon taxes, for social security reform, for sanctions for Iran, for our space program, or for terrorists. Will KSM and his Al Qaeda thugs be tried in New York City? Will we finally get intelligence from the Christmas underwear bomber? Will Gitmo be closed? Will the President face reporters in a press conference, something he hasn't done since mid 2009 when he stuck his foot in his mouth about the police in Cambridge (which probably cost votes in the recent Massachusetts race)? Seems like governing may be pretty hard to do - harder than reading from a teleprompter. Good luck, Mr. President. The American people are patient, but learning to be a leader with only on-the-job training is tough on us.


Comment (0)

Tue, Feb 9th - 10:46PM

February 6: Hard Day, Easy Day

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
36.2 miles.
cloudy, gray

.112 recordings of 28 types

Yesterday was quite a day. Rich has a boil in an awkward place, and he feared that if they lanced it at the doctor's office I would have to drive home, so I had to go along to his appointment at 8:30 in the morning. I was -.8 pounds down with a high Blood Pressure, and up far too early.  I said Rich had totally messed up the day. I had to get the veggies cut for the chicken stew before we left.

Then when we got back (he didn't need me) I had to get the chicken in. For some reason the recipe calls for bone-in chicken, which I won't be doing next time, it just adds to the hassle (and the stew was good.)  I got that started, and then we trapped Spooky and took him to the vet. He's 12 pounds, and healthy. We got his injections and had a complete workup done on him, a sort of baseline to see how he's doing as he ages.

Back at home, I finished vacuuming and babyproofing, in time for Bernadette and family to come. They mentioned they were coming here and said "Pharaoh's there" and Gareth said "dog."  Nana's house has Djadja and Dog. Gareth showed Daddy how he dances with Brobee and puts his Yo Gabba Gabba toys in the bus to go for a ride. He was a delight all the way to dinner.  Then he was getting tired. He had some stew, he had a cup of yogurt, and he was going "all done all done" (aw duh aw duh with hand signals) when we all started to sing "Happy Birthday" and that caused him to burst into tears.  Time to go home. I was trying to locate YGG toys for an hour afterwards. One was way under a section of the couch. (which is still apart as we'll be putting in carpet Any Time Now.)

Then today, in comparison, was simple. I slept in really late, finished reading THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF SCONES,  and vegged out all day.

Scott Ott My final ScrappleFace story for The Washington Examiner has already led one ScrappleFace email update subscriber to cancel, for the following reason:"go work for Obama? sell out america, you piece of #$%@."(the unsubscriber used the actual word)I responded: "I appreciate the time you were a subscriber to my news satire... updates. I have not stopped writing satire, but apparently this one was a bit too subtle. Have a Great Day,Scott

Scott Ott "Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and navigation, the four pillars of our prosprity, are the most thriving when left the most free to individual enterprise." -- T. Jefferson, Annual Message to Congress 1801

The Great Peasant Revolt of 2010, Krauthammer:

This being a democracy, don’t the Democrats see that clinging to this agenda will march them over a cliff? Don’t they understand Massachusetts?

Well, they understand it through a prism of two cherished axioms: (1) The people are stupid, and (2) Republicans are bad. Result? The dim, led by the malicious, vote incorrectly.

Rasmussen: -15: (the bump is gone) 44(lowest so far)/55

Rasmussen SOTU Bounce Dissipated

Who the he1l are the 40% morons who like the idea of borrowing and spending to oblivion? Seriously, we are on the edge of the economic cliff looking toward the jagged rocks below and almost half the population is saying “Wow, what a great view.”

Bishop on February 6, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Mark Steyn:

The palpable whiff given off by the White House inner circle is that they’re the last people on the planet still besotted by Barack Obama, and that they’re having such a cool time starring in their own reality-show remake of The West Wing they can only conceive of the public — and, indeed, the world — as crowd-scene extras in The Barack Obama Show: They expect you to cheer and wave flags when the floor-manager tells you to, but the notion that in return he should be able to persuade you of the merits of his policies seems entirely to have eluded them.
When you binge-spend at the Greek level in a democratic state, there aren’t many easy roads back. The government has introduced an austerity package to rein in spending. In response, Greek tax collectors have walked off the job.

Read that again slowly: To protest government cuts, striking tax collectors are refusing to collect taxes. In a sane world, this would be a hilarious TV comedy sketch. But most of the Western world is no longer sane. It’s tough enough to persuade the town drunk to sober up, but when everyone’s face down in the moonshine, maybe it’s best just to head for the hills.

Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians. So many choices!

Tea Party ConventionCan You Hear Us Now?

Victor Davis Hanson, is Greece Our Future?

Eulogy to the Unknown Campaign Volunteer.  Not that he knew her name. Or, in fact, any of the truth about her case. Man of the people.  And then there's the World's Smartest Mother.

The lovely Mrs bgates noted last night that these girls are told by the whole world that their mother is a fashion icon, so it's not just that their mother is calling them fat in front of 6 billion people, it's that their mother has been lauded by the world as someone who knows what she's talking about.

And yet these girls are naturally predisposed to struggle with their weight, because their mother is a Klingon and their father is only emaciated because of his heroin problem.

Posted by: bgates | February 05, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Jennifer Rubin. Holder under the bus?  Not soon enough for me.

One wonders where Obama stands in this drama. Isn’t he, after all, the commander in chief? Either the president was content to go along with Holder’s decisions until they went south or he subcontracted, with no oversight, some of the most critical decisions of his presidency to a lawyer who is prone to making the kind of mistakes a “first-year lawyer would get fired for.

Either way, Obama now must suffer the results of Holder’s ill-advised decisions. There will be much speculation, given Emanuel’s comments, as to whether the White House is getting ready to throw Holder under that proverbial bus. Now, as the Democrats join the Republicans to block the KSM trial and to deny funds for moving detainees to Illinois, it would be as good a time as any.

Ha! But weren't we supposed to have IMPROVED our standing in the world?

Sarah! misspoke, "wondering if Alaska is still that beacon of hope."

The Census Stupor Bowl Ad.

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Sail, James Patterson, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

Comment (0)

Mon, Feb 8th - 10:44PM

February 5: 46 Years Ago

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
36.2 miles.
cloudy, rain at night

108 recordings of 27 types.

Rasmussen: -12: The bounce is fading.  46/53.

I met Rich when he was 21, and by the time of his birthday, we were seriously dating. I planned a surprise birthday party.  We had a date, and I asked everyone to come before we were due back. My cousin even swept the walk so there wouldn't be suspicious tracks.  They were so good at hiding I thought we were back to the house too early, and drove off to "run another errand." But 15 minutes later we were back, I unlocked the front door and in we came... everyone shouted "surprise!" and Rich suddenly realized his fly was open.

I'd really attempted a fancy cake, a tiered chocolate cake. Every layer, however, was convex, so when I put it all together with the candles on each tier, it looked at bit like a castle with guns pointed out all around. Oh, well.

On his 23rd birthday, Rich was in Texas at OTS.  He'd left in mid-January, made it back to see me once, and then came into Laramie right after a huge snowstorm that had snowed us in, September 23. Until he turned 50, I didn't have another real party for him, just family. As I did tonight.

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Mon, Feb 8th - 7:07AM

February 4: Physical

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
36.2 miles.
gray, cold, rain

105 recordings of 30 types.

I went for my physical today: first time with the new doctor. He turned out not to be the guy they told me on the website, but a nice civilian, a youngish Czech doctor.  My blood test indicates OK glucose but high cholesterol (although the HdL is OK) so he gave me a new prescription for a different statin. We'll see. I see on the prescription notes that I shouldn't have a LOT of grapefruit juice (like a quart!!!) which seems to say that if I get a small glass every other month or so, it won't kill me. Yay!

My mammogram isn't due till October and I never need another Pap smear yay yay yay. On the other hand, I had TWO shots, for pneumonia and for shingles.  That last one hurts a lot, and I was hoping that having had chicken pox as an adult I could skip it. No such luck. Oh, well. I have to have another blood test in a month, but otherwise I'm free till October.

Paul Smith 12 hours into the early release of the prisoners in Sacramento one is re-arrested for attempted rape. Folks if you live or come to Sacramento bring a gun from now on.

Rasmussen: -8: 49/50

The Democrats' Suicide Pact. 0bama now says they must pass health care or lose the midterms.  Talk about bass-ackwards!

He salutes a Navy "corpse-man" with his tick-tock head and looking down his nose.

Dems Haunted by Revived Stereotypes. 'Reagan framed the Democratic “choice” as one for “liberal policies of tax and spend, economic stagnation, international weakness, accommodation, and always, always blame America first.”'

Speculation that Hillary targeted Treacher. Geeze. The Gangster Government.

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Sun, Feb 7th - 7:30PM

February 3: Going to the Zoo

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
36.1 miles.

112 recordings of 38 types.

Bernadette wanted to be with Gareth the first time he went to the Zoo, so it seemed today would be a good day. (The Zoo is opening its giraffe platform with a members-only event next week, but they wouldn't let her come at the same time.)
So we drove down to Elk Grove and picked them up. Gareth smiles at me but really lights up at Djadja!

The first thing we did at the zoo was get lunch.  Then we started looking at the animals.  Gareth was thrilled with the tigers, then he was moderately interested in other stuff, till he zoned out. We took him to the playground where he had a good time. He's not *quite* ready to walk on the frog's tongue, but he did brave the spider web. Then he was completely zonked.  We were there 2+ hours, about twice as long as I expected. Now I can take him any time to the zoo.

Big Frog Spiderweb

Rasmussen -6: 50/49

The name Mohammed is actually useful for a good hijack test. It works very much like in An American Carol. Whenever I get on a plane these days, I hold up my cell phone and say, “Call for Mohammed!” If more than four guys stand up, I get off the plane. ---
Barry Jones

Mark Steyn:

Why did decline prove so pleasant in Europe? Because it was cushioned by American power. The United States is such a perversely non-imperial power that it garrisons not ramshackle colonies but its wealthiest “allies”, from Germany to Japan. For most of its members, “the free world” has been a free ride. And that, too, is unprecedented. Even the few Nato members that can still project meaningful force around the world have been able to arrange their affairs on the assumption of the American security umbrella: In the United Kingdom, between 1951 and 1997 the proportion of expenditure on defense fell from 24 per cent to seven, while the proportion on health and welfare rose from 22 per cent to 53. And that’s before New Labour came along to widen the gap further.
But, as Charles Krauthammer said recently, “decline is a choice.” The Democrats are offering it to the American people, and a certain proportion of them seem minded to accept. Enough to make decline inevitable? To return to the young schoolboy on his uncle’s shoulders watching the Queen-Empress’ jubilee, in the words of Arnold Toynbee: “Civilizations die from suicide, not from murder." 

No Offense to the Clueless:

Continuing to push a wildly unpopular health care bill, which directly led to Democratic defeats in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, all in an attempt to differentiate yourself? You are succeeding beyond your wildest expectations, Mr. President.

I mean no offense to the clueless.

Ben Hart: I'm more pointing out the double standard with how Bush was treated on Katrina compared to Obama on Haiti. Bush was a model of competence and efficiency compared to what we are seeing here.

[This after they went in with great fanfare saying how much better they were than Bush in N.O.]


JACOB SULLUM: They’re Not Necessarily Jobs, and They Weren’t Necessarily Created or Saved, but We Gave These Guys Money, and They Gave Us Some Numbers.

Comment (0)

Sat, Feb 6th - 9:28PM

February 2: Country Roads

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
35.1 miles.
cloudy, slight drizzle

February 2: Country Roads

99 caches of 30 types.

Today we went to the area north of Sacramento, west of Roseville. It's 11 miles away, and what with all the zigging and zagging we did on the country roads, we ended up driving 80 miles in total.

Rich bought the geocaching app for the iTouch and then it didn't seem to work. We read the forums and it appears it doesn't work if the cache name is with the file. So I tried with an old one, Benicia, and it came on up.  Rich at first thought it didn't come up if it is still zipped, so I was about to try to run Davis unzipped, but then it worked. So I re-did the pocket query for the country roads, just for the iTouch, and it worked!!!

He'd printed out the map of the area so I had an idea what order I wanted for the cache hunt, but then we had a lot of trouble getting to the start.  There are new houses which didn't show on the map, and the iTouch map (which is more up-to-date) didn't quite get over there. However, we finally located the way.  Back and forth we went.  We had 17 finds, 4 DNFs (three in a row, probably gone. That road was unfortunate.) There were two.. one on the aforementioned unfortunate road... we didn't try for. That one hasn't been found in a year.  The other we didn't go for would have involved getting our feet wet. 

There was one I thought would involve climbing a tree and I told Rich on the way that I didn't really feel like it... but then when I saw it it looked easy enough, so this 65-year-old was up a tree, twice, again.  Winded, but chuffed.

Along the way we saw these snow geese.  All in all, a great day!

Rasmussen: -7 (the SOTU bump is over although 50/49 is the first positive I've seen in months.)

NOW demands CBS yank Tebow ad.  These people are terrified of the truth. Someone at Hot Air comments

Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikini selling beer is the right one. I would like to meet the genius at NOW who made that decision. On second thought, no, I wouldn’t.
NOW doesn’t want people to have hope; they want women to buy abortions, and this ugly response has made that crystal clear.

0bama says Charity Begins with Government.

Has 0bama spent two whole consecutive days in Washington DC?  Today it was New Hampshire, and he was on TV, *again*.

Dorothy Rantala Clark Just goes to show you who really is in charge and how He protects us. I do think that political people are brought to power for reasons beyond our comprehension. If McCain would have won, we would still be on the slow slippery slope to socialism, but BO was a cold slap in the face. Each day more and more people are waking up and more and more corruption of the Democratic party is being exposed.

The Persecution of an American Patriot.

The Premier of a Canadian Province bails on his country's health plan. Depends on whose ox is being gored.

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Wed, Feb 3rd - 9:25PM

Leftover Links

(because it's too hard to actually Keep Up, you know.)

Scott Ott This story contains the phrases 'policymaking on a shoestring' and 'only a few billion dollars'. Do you think they get it yet?

Democrats and Don't Ask Don't Tell.

16 Lies in 7 Minutes

"Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. Give her sperm she will make a baby, give her a house she will give you a home, give her groceries she will give you a meal, give her a smile she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what she is given. So if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit." - Karen Uhl Ortiz, radio princess.

0bama Letting it Ride on a Bad Bet: Jonah Goldberg.

Since taking office, Obama has continued to see the presidency as the perfect perch from which to campaign for a job he already has. The solution to every problem the White House runs into is “more Obama.” Much of this stems from Obama’s own arrogance.

Rigging the Numbers, Andrew C. McCarthy

The 0bama spell is broken:

Mr. Obama's self-regard, and his reading of his mandate, overwhelmed all restraint. The age-old American balance between a relatively small government and a larger role for the agencies of civil society was suddenly turned on its head. Speed was of the essence to the Obama team and its allies, the powerful barons in Congress. Better ram down sweeping social programs—a big liberal agenda before the people stirred to life again.
Kennedy was an ironist and never fell for his own mystique. Mr. Obama's self-regard comes without irony—he himself now owns up to the "remoteness and detachment" of his governing style. We don't have in this republic the technocratic model of the European states, where a bureaucratic elite disposes of public policy with scant regard for the popular will. Mr. Obama was smitten with his own specialness.

Ben Stein: Free James O'Keefe

Obama Snubs Ft. Hood Heroes at State of the Union Address

"As an American I am not so shocked that Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize without any accomplishments to his name, but that America gave him the White House based on the same credentials." --Newt Gingrich

Michael Yon Obama is making a mistake by cutting space research. On the scale of things, it costs peanuts and returns huge benefits.

Joel Klein obviously doesn't listen to Beck, accuses him of being a birther.


TheBigOldDog    Panty bomber gets lawyer right away American Citizen O’Keefe denied lawyer for 28 hours while they leaks to press

Megyn Kelly smacks down Gloria Allred, on the Tebow Super Bowl pro-life ad.

“Posterity (to all future generations) you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” —John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

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Mon, Feb 1st - 12:28PM

January Update

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
(it should go more quickly now that I'm into England)
34.1 miles.

93 recordings of 28 types.

Look who's on TV. Again.

Rasmussen: -4: 35% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. That’s the highest level of strong approval for the President in more than seven months and reflects a significant bounce following the State-of-the-Union address.

For the full-month of January, the President’s Approval Index rating improved a point to -14. That’s the first time his numbers have improved since September. 49/50.



















and Baseball, 2 lighters, duplo block, earphones, car power cord, tube of makeup gloss, stuffed Nemo, metal Starbucks cup, marble, blow up soccer ball, token, wine opener, tlephone junction box, ball bearing, lug nut, tire stem cap, nut .

For me, 34.1 miles in January, 1.8 pounds down, 25 pages, 3 books,  1 movie, 1 plays, 11 Masses.

We found 60 caches last month, 6611 total. We're 170th in the world, and 11th locally

I proofed exactly one page. I'm in 915th (out of 29210 proofers) place in the first proofing round, with 862 pages proofed, 12th (out of 3364) in P2 with 23495 pages, 475th (of 793) in P3 with 467 pages, and formatting 485th place (2685) with 1020 pages.

In Flickr I have 32216 pictures, with 75967 views, and 121 sets to work on. I did NOTHING on this all month.

In Netflix, I saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I had another but it didn't play.

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, Alexander McCall Smith, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

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Mon, Feb 1st - 12:02PM

January 31: One Month Down

Durant's Rousseau and Revolution, p. 669
(it should go more quickly now that I'm into England)
34.1 miles.

95 recordings of 26 types.

I notice the church bulletin lists the Mass intentions again.  Slowly but steadily Father Eduino is dismantling all Fr. H's changes.  This afternoon he had a meeting with all the people involved in church services. Rich's report sounds good.

When he got back we took Pharaoh down close to the campus and picked up 5 caches. I thought Sunday afternoon would be good for one of them, but I didn't realize a Starbucks was right there. The dog never got to leave the car, but still he was happy. It beats the back yard without us.

Abby is voluntarily using the litter box. I didn't lock her into the bathroom at all today. Yay.

The decade the MSM won.

Rasmussen: -7(!) "The bounce comes almost entirely from those in the president’s party. Sixty-four percent (64%) of Democrats now Strongly Approve, up from 50% before the speech. However, the speech appears to have had the opposite impact on unaffiliated voters. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 50% now Strongly Disapprove. That’s up from 42% before the speech. The next few days should give an indication as to whether these changes will fade or if they signify the beginning of a new phase in the political environment." 50/50 approval.

Meanwhile, Gallup has a different take.

Scott Ott:

it’s time for President Obama to call for a complete review of the data before Congress acts further on cap-and-trade legislation, or his administration engages in more climate treaty talks.
In addition, the president should abandon his scheme to repurpose NASA with a focus on climate change, and should stick with plans for a 2020 moon landing and further exploration of our solar system.
Americans need to erase their childhood memories of the U.N. as a benevolent organization that delivers bags of oatmeal to doe-eyed starving children, and realize that, as former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton told me recently, everything at the United Nations is highly politicized.

Not all the GOP was thrilled to talk to the Won.

Rasmussen Reports Obama Gets An Incomplete for First Year.
Not exactly a B+, is it?


And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? -- T. Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782

Dick Armey, a former House majority leader who has become a leader of the Tea Party movement, suggested that it might be unwise for the Republican Party to count on Tea Party support. “This is not a situation where the grass-roots activists are saying, ‘What can we do to make ourselves attractive to the Republicans?’ ” he said. “It is ‘What can we do to help the Republicans understand what they must do to be attractive to us.’ "

Dr. Zero, The Deficit of Trust.

Why shouldn’t the public have deep doubts about Obama’s government?  He actually tried to pass off a $787 billion heist of public funds, laundered through his party’s loyal supporters or poured into imaginary congressional districts and zip codes, as a positive achievement in his State of the Union address.  He insults their intelligence with ridiculous “jobs saved or created” metrics that would cause an embattled business executive to be escorted from the building by security.  We don’t even know what happened to the million-dollar Nobel prize he was supposed to donate to charity.  I wonder if the lucky charity will have a valid zip code.
Which members of Obama’s corrupt party should the public trust?  Chris Dodd?  Charlie Rangel?  Barney Frank?  Should we trust the Speaker of the House more after the Freedom of Information Act revealed she’s using military aircraft to shuttle her royal family around in style, often at a cost of over $18,000 per hour of taxpayer money?  Should we trust the people who expect us to ignore an orgy of backroom deals, vote-buying, and subsidies for special interests, and treat them as honest statesmen with the best interests of the entire country at heart, when they attempt their next parliamentary maneuver to ram their health-care takeover down our throats?
People pride themselves on being aggressively informed, skeptical consumers of goods and services.  They look up reviews on the Internet, and ask probing questions of salespeople, before making a major purchase.  We should be even more skeptical consumers of government.  Businesses have the same incentives to offer fraudulent information, practice creative accounting, and saddle unsuspecting customers with inferior products… but they are much less likely to get away with it than government.  The past year has proven that no one is watching the watchmen.
Even beyond partisan politics, the media’s romance with the Big Government narrative will always lead it to focus more on intentions than results… and it’s long past time for the public to adopt a hard, cold focus on results. 

Reading: Rousseau and Revolution, What If? edited by Robert Cowley, the Bible (Zachariah), Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg, Common Sense, Glenn Beck, Don Quixote, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk, David Elkind, Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies, Katherine B. Chauncey.

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