Monday, October 28

I'm back

It's been a long time since I posted here and my life has changed radically. I don't think I have, but my life has.


I am an unwilling widow.

It's not as if we didn't see it coming. Herb was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's shortly after we moved to Nebraska in 2007. His condition deteriorated until he died on May 14, 2011. Some day I'll write about those years--I kept notes--but not now. It hurts too much.

Now I'm not a stranger to grief. In fact, grief and I are old friends. Our beloved son, Teddy, died at age 16 of an aneurysm in the cerebellum. And raising a severely retarded, autistic child (Teddy's younger brother, Allen) is a daily walk with grief. Allen is now 48 years old and doing beautifully. 
So, knowing I was going to have to renew my acquaintance with Old Man Grief again, I thought I was resigned and ready for it.

I was wrong.

Losing my best and closest friend of 57 years cut deep. The sudden emptiness--I hadn't understood that he was there for me even when he wasn't physically present. Perhaps it was knowing he would call to check on me or I could call him to share something new or ask his opinion or just fuss about something, knowing he was on my side, that made him seem so close when he was away. And knowing he'd be back. That was the best thing of all.

When he decided to retire so that we could move from Oklahoma to Nebraska to rescue grandchildren from a neglectful Mom, we entered a truly delightful time for us both. We enjoyed being together. We rented a house on five acres of land, with trees, a long, winding driveway and
Country peace and quiet (except for the sometimes rambunctious but always loving kids). Often, at night we would sneak out after everyone was asleep and lie on a hillside to gaze at the stars and talk. 

When our son remarried we took an apartment in Kansas City and had four  years of exploring, making new friends, and just enjoying hanging out together. We moved back to Nebraska to help with the grandchildren again and now, with the vision of hindsight, I think I sensed something wrong and instinctively knew I would need help. He never knew. 

But the loss blindsided me. And life itself seemed to gang up on me. I'd been driving without an accident for over 50 years and suddenly a teenager "tee-boned" me, causing severe damage to my car. Appliances broke down, one by one. I had to have surgery for glaucoma--and more. Even our precious little Cavalier Spaniel, Angel, died of a sudden heart attack. And more. 

If I hadn't had the love and support of a treasured daughter and son-in-law and son and grandchildren I really can't imagine getting through all that.

But I am getting through it.  Life is a precious experience that I am grateful to have. 

I don't know what I'm going to blog about here. Or even if I'm going to. But for now I'm back.

Sunday, April 29

Strangers and friends

"Strangers are friends you haven't met yet."
I said that to a new friend who is moving into town last week and hearing myself made me stop and think. That may have been true when my children were young, and each time we moved to a new town and state I quoted that to my children.

But it's not a quote I would use to my grandchildren because the world has changed for the worse. And I feel a little guilty about using it to my friend because he has small children.

I grew up in a middling-sized college town in the South. When I was young I was free to roam a good-sized suburban neighborhood at will either on foot or on my bike. There was a war on but there were no murders in our town. The most famous murder in that day happened in Ohio and made the national news, it was such a rarity. I rode a bus downtown to go to movies or shopping and by the time I was in high school and had my driver's license I could pretty well go anywhere I wanted at just about any time (although it wasn't until I was in college that I stayed out at night).

Today not a single local evening news cycle goes by without a report of murder, drive by shootings, domestic homicide and gang killings. I don't dare smile at a child in the line at a supermarket for fear of terrorizing a youngster who has been warned not to talk to strangers.

That's what happens when a society turns away from God and the Ten Commandments. And it will get worse if we don't turn back soon, although in a world of home invasions and kidnappings it's hard to imagine things getting worse.

To you who deride Christianity I ask, "What is wrong with a world in which  you treat others as you would have them treat you?" Isn't it enough that it's hard to live like that? But when you have the assurance and the faith that others are at least attempting to be fair and kind, isn't that a better place to be than in a world where everyone is out for himself and to heck with anything that gets in their way?

Today we have to teach our children to beware of strangers. A day doesn't go by without news reports of missing children and horrible kidnappings are killings. Today strangers are to beware of.
What a terrible difference in a single generation.

Sunday, April 22

Caveat

I think it's time for a new resolution -- to try to keep up with this blog. With the new Presidential campaign in full swing (although I'm still hoping for an open convention), I'll have plenty of feelings to share here. As a political junkie, I've been observing and participating in the American political process actively since 1952 and intend to continue to do so until my 100th birthday.

I do want to state from the outset that I seek no one's good opinion or approval. I plan to write about what I'm thinking and why and, frankly, since I arrive at those through a good deal of research and thought, I don't care whether the reader approves. That said, I would appreciate your thoughts if you disagree, especially if you back your statements with facts that you've researched. I am interested in fact much more than opinion because it seems to me that journalists today have forgotten that reporting should be based on fact.

In addition to all that, I plan to write MY opinion of facts I find. I don't pretend to be unbiased -- I am not a reporter. At least not here.

So if you like to read what I'm thinking, please do. And do tell me what you're thinking about, as well. But please don't expect me to write under restrictions imposed by you and your standards. I have my own standards and will abide by those.

Thursday, October 13

Raising Cain

My daughter, Teena, recently asked me what interests me about Herman Cain (for President). I really enjoyed sitting down and noting the things about him that have caught my attention:

I think the two things I most like about him are, first: He's not a politician. That will be a disadvantage to some extent because he will have to learn how to handle Congress but I suspect that even the new Congress is so sick of the status quo that they may be more willing to work with him if he's elected.

He is someone who knows economics and knows how to create jobs. He has a long history of taking companies (there were two others before Godfather's Pizza but the press is ignoring that) and turning them into profitable ventures.

I don't like his tax plan as much as I do the Fair Tax but he's the only one serious about getting rid of the current tax code. We have to get rid of that mess -- no one really understands it, not even the IRS. But the IRS has the power to enforce any interpretation of it that they choose in any given situation.

I like his position on immigration: Secure the borders and effectively use and enforce the immigration policies that are already on the books. (He has been falsely accused of promoting a "Wall of China surrounded by moats filled with alligators." That's not what he said, although if it kept the drug runners out, that wouldn't be a bad idea!!!

I love the fact that he's a black man, and a brilliant, successful one to boot. He's an example of what this country is at it's best: a place where a person whose ancestors and even family rose from oppression to the ultimate in success. He is walking, living proof that the Negro race is just as good as the other races. (As is Bill Cosby, by the way.)

I think he has the ability to surround himself with people who know the things he doesn't (he's a little short in the military department, for example). He has said if he wouldn't send his own children to a particular war zone, he wouldn't send someone else's.

I like his views on education, too. He believes in incentives for teachers and in getting the Federal government out of education. He thinks individual communities should have control over their own schools without union and/or government intervention.

I don't even know his views on abortion or homosexuality because those issues just aren't as important to me as the other things! But I'm sure I'll disagree with him about some things. I'm also sure that he believes in listening to the American people and that we wouldn't ever see a bill passed on his insistence that everyone could "find out what's in it after we pass it." (That's a Nancy Pelosi quote.)

I believe he would be a strong President on the International stage. He wouldn't apologize for America's mistakes (and yes, we've made mistakes and will continue to make them -- but I suspect we'll make fewer under him.

He believes in developing American energy resources on all levels but not through Federal funding. He would encourage getting rid of irresponsible environmental regulations and encourage not only drilling but American industry in developing alternative energy -- without resorting to government subsidies like ones for corn to promote ethanol production!

He's a good guy, but the media is going to crucify him. He served in the Dept of the Navy but has been criticized for not serving in the military. (They never mentioned that about Obama.) He's also been criticized for not participating in Civil Rights marches -- but he was under 18 at the time and a high school student! The best thing we could do for this country is to pass a law saying that the media can report only facts, never opinion as fact. Can you imagine the hue and cry against that? Reporters now operate on the assumption that if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth.

Anyway, that's why I like him.


Sunday, March 27

Surprise!

So now we learn that some of the rebels in Libya are members of Al Quaeda! Surprise, surprise. (Click on the title to see the article).

Would someone like to explain to me why Obama, without consulting Congress, bombs Libya to keep a militant dictator from killing his own people in the streets when he turned away from Ahmadinejad when he did it in Iran?




Saturday, January 22

The Best Thing on the Web

Thanks to my smart daughter, I just discovered groupon.com.

This is going to be fun.

If you'd like to try it out, try this http://www.groupon.com/r/uu19277042

Wake UP

I simply HAVE to wake up and blog! There's so much going on out there that it's really hard to stay silent.

After years of hearing people like Bill Maher and Jeanene Garofola call President Bush a liar and stupid and even calling for his assassination (which was seen often on the Daily Kos), not to mention the thorough assassination through outright lies and refusal to report the truth about Sarah Palin and what she did for Alaska (not to mention the disgusting attacks on her children), the "intellectual" left self-styled progressives put on their halos and most innocent looks while they characterize everyone -- not just Fox News and "tea partiers" as uninformed, stupid and useless.

They are tireless. And I wonder sometimes if they're correct when I see Obama's ratings climbing when he does a quick soft-shoe (suddenly agreeing to extend the Bush tax reforms after years of campaigning against them, for example, and pretending to "compromise" with the newly-elected conservative members of Congress) to look like he's listening to the people. There's not a sincere bone in that man's body. He's just charming. So what? So is George Clooney but he's not smart enough to run the country. Heck, he's not even a serious actor!

Obama is having a great time in the White House. While nearly half of America is jobless and fighting for their lives, he's hopping all over the country in Air Force One and throwing big parties for foreign leaders who are at least smart enough to travel on commercial transportation (even if the goods they ship to the US are shoddy -- heck, we buy them and don't complain. We get what we deserve!)

Obama is slowly but surely propagandizing the American people into thinking they can't take care of themselves. He's controlling our speech because some idiot nutcase shot up a shopper's parking lot -- but when another idiot killed our troops on a military base, he barely said a word and the media certainly didn't hesitate to "target" conservatives.

Maybe the entire nation is sick -- Obamamania is certainly an invasive and dangerous virus.

My Review of Triple Basket Deep Fryer

Originally submitted at Brylane Home

Fry different foods at once! Cool-touch stainless design comes with 3 baskets: a jumbo for big batches, plus 2 side-by-side baskets for smaller batches. Immersion element preheats and recovers oil temperature quickly. Adjustable thermostat, ready light, odor filter, detachable, easy-clean 4½-lt....


You people must be kidding

By Sunnye from Bellevue, NE on 1/22/2011

 

1out of 5

Cons: Flimsy construction, Poor quality

Describe Yourself: Avid Cook

Made in China! This is just another example of the junky products we keep getting from China and certainly is testament to buying American only. In the first place, it's flimsy -- the top doesn't fit, the controls don't work and the cord doesn't attach to the body of the machine.

This is a piece of junk and I'm not going to even spend the money to send it back -- it goes in the trash and I will certainly think twice before I ever buy another appliance online. You can only tell how good the construction is by seeing it first-hand.

(legalese)

Saturday, November 6

THIS Is Some of What is Behind the Tea Party's Ire

Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post writes: “The first African American president takes office, and almost immediately we see the birth of a big, passionate national movement - overwhelmingly white and lavishly funded - that tries its best to delegitimize that president, seeks to thwart his every initiative, and manages to bring the discredited and moribund opposition party roaring back to life.”

Think back to 2007. There was dramatic vilification of the President, calls for his assassination, calling him a liar and stupid and worse. Obama said Bush was spending too much money while voting in the Senate to spend more.

The American voter objected strenuously to the increase in the national debt and they believed Obama’s promise of hope for the future meant fiscal responsibility.

But “almost immediately” -- in two years -- Obama has spent recklessly and carelessly, according to the US Treasury Department, in 19 months, Obama increased the national debt by $2.5260 trillion, which is more than the accumulative national debt from Washington through Reagan. In four months (May through August 2010) Obama ran cumulative deficits of $464 billion, which is more that the Bush administration ran through the entire fiscal year of 2008. As far as the GCP is concerned each of Obama’s two years rack up the biggest federal deficit percentages since World War II.

So. Wrecking the national economy is one reason for Tea Party ire.

“One thing that struck me from the beginning about the Tea Party rhetoric is the idea of reclaiming something that has been taken away.” Okay. Let’s look at what has been taken away: The freedom of the individual to choose the kind of health care s/he wants. The freedom NOT to have health care insurance if you don’t want it. (There are people who can afford to pay for their health care without depending on insurance.)

The freedom to choose doctors, keep a health plan you like and the freedom to choose high-deductible coverage.

The freedom to hire or not to hire minorities and/or illegal immigrants.

The freedom of business owners to make business decisions without government intervention.

Most of all, though, with the dramatic increase in the size of government (14.5% in two years), he is denying us freedom from “Big Brother” and massive government oversight of our lives. And that’s just a beginning.

“Again, who's in possession of the government, if not the American people? The non-American people? The un-American people?” It looks like the latter. People who promise transparency then refuse to listen to ideas from the opposition (specifically Obama’s refusal to listen to alternative ideas for the health care legislation and his cramming it down legislator’s throats without anyone even reading the bill).

“So who stole the government? What makes some people feel more disenfranchised now than they were, say, during the presidency of George W. Bush?” And just exactly what do you refer to here? What disenfranchisement? This is a vague accusation without substance.

“After all, it was Bush who inherited a budget surplus and left behind a suffocating deficit - I'm not being tendentious, just stating the facts.” True, and that’s part of why Obama was elected. But certainly no one expected Obama to more than triple that debt in two years. He was supposed to remedy it, not add to it.

“Bush was vilified by critics while he was in office but not with the suggestion that somehow the government had been seized or usurped - that it had fallen into hands that were not those of "the American people." Did you not hear the outcry over the Patriot Act? That’s exactly what was being said. Both Bush and Cheney were accused of treason, no less.

“But why would this concern about oppressive, intrusive government become so acute now? Why didn't, say, government surveillance of domestic phone calls and e-mails get the constitutional fundamentalists all worked up?” Because the surveillance of phone calls and e-mails were only of people who were contacting terrorists and terror cells. And because a growing Federal government has no need for existing except to intrude on the lives of the citizens. That’s what government agencies do.

“I wonder how he can be seen as "elitist," when he grew up in modest circumstances - his mother was on food stamps for a time - and paid for his fancy-pants education with student loans. I wonder how people who genuinely cherish the American dream can look at a man who lived that dream and feel no connection, no empathy.” I can explain this – Obama was raised by his grandparents (his grandmother was a banker) and attended two very expensive and exclusive Muslim schools in Hawaii. He attended Harvard after working for some high-powered political operatives in Chicago (it was Michelle who had student loans to pay off). And he attended Columbia and Harvard, hardly public education. He’s elitist all the way.

“I ask myself what's so different about Obama, and the answer is pretty obvious: He's black.” That is hardly it – more than 10% of the population of the US is black, and there is quite a large number who are extremely successful in all walks of life.

What is so different about Obama is that he is young and inexperienced. He did nothing to earn or even to qualify for his position. He’s just a pretty face and a good actor – a modern Harry Belafonte with powerful friends.

So you begin your article by saying it’s not racist to differ with Obama or to criticize him or to be a Conservative or a member of the Tea Party. And you end your piece by saying the only explanation for opposition to Obama is racism.

You can’t have it both ways.

Saturday, October 2

Letter to Steven and Cokie Roberts

This morning I watched Cokie Roberts and her husband Steven on Book TV talking about his new book about immigration in America.

A very great deal of that discussion involved a diatribe by Steven about how the current discussion about immigration is typical of America. He spent a long time discussing how different ethnic people came here and suffered discrimination.

Steven and Cokie don't seem to understand the relevant discussion -- or they are intentionally obfuscating it. So to them I ask:

Just what about the word "illegal" do you not understand.

NO ONE -- nada -- no one is against LEGAL immigration. That's not even under discussion. It's the people who sneak into this country in intentional and direct defiance of our laws that we object to and that is what is under discussion here. It has absolutely nothing to do with people who follow the rules and come here honestly to enjoy our country and its benefits.

It's because of ILLEGAL immigrants who refuse to obey our laws and learn our language that we are encountering so many problems.

The fact that politicians feel they have to cater to this voting bloc (who should not be voting at all and who do so ILLEGALLY) show what a huge problem this has become.

Shame on you, Steven and Cokie Roberts, for not facing the real problem and for making the existing problem worse by shrouding a serious problem in a fog of lies.

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