A Change for the Better

Written By: Linda - Feb• 26•15

One legislative change that I’d like to see pushed through Congress – SOON – is to retirement benefits for Federal employees who violate the law.

They should lose ALL pension and insurance rights forever.

The money they contributed should be returned to them, with nominal interest, in full.  The Federal portion should be untouchable by them or their beneficiaries.

As for their insurance benefits, those not paid in full (i.e., life insurance), would be dropped.  They would be eligible to buy COBRA coverage, at prevailing rates, and, after that point, be eligible for any health benefits that any member of the public would receive – and pay for.

If this is done, administrators like Lois Lerner would hesitate to implement illegal and/or politically motivated cover-up schemes, for fear of screwing themselves out of their cushy retirement/benefits package.

Those fired for cause would have their pensions reduced by 1/3.  Those refusing to testify, or found to have withheld evidence to Congressional committees, would have their pension accounts frozen until they complied.  If not yet retired, the account would cease to accrue its benefit, and NOT add any increases, until they caved on their refusal.

Such changes would clearly convey the power of the purse, which is Congress’s.

Gotta Brag!

Written By: Linda - Feb• 12•15

My daughter was published recently.  She wrote about positive reasons to enter religious life.

When Is Abortion NOT Abortion?

Written By: Linda - Feb• 08•15

When the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says so, that’s when.

What happened:

In 1965, the medical definition for when pregnancy begins was changed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Why? Ideology.

At the 1959 Planned Parenthood/Population Council symposium, Dr. Bent Boving argued for changing the definition by moving the date of conception from when fertilization occurs to when implantation occurs. He said that “the social advantage of [birth control] being considered to prevent conception rather than to destroy an established pregnancy could depend upon something so simple as a prudent habit of speech.”1

In 1964, Dr. Christopher Tietze pushed this propaganda further. After noting that many religious and legal experts accept medical consensus as fact, he said that “if a medical consensus develops and is maintained that pregnancy, and therefore life, begins at implantation, eventually our brethren from the other faculties will listen.”2 Tietze would later win the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Margaret Sanger Award for outstanding contributions to the pro-abortion movement.

Ironically, medical textbooks STILL teach the more traditional definition of pregnancy:

Medical textbooks still teach that human life begins at conception when sperm and egg unite. See Keith L. Moore, T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (Philadelphia: Saunders, 2008). Keith L. Moore is a recipient of the American Association of Anatomists’ highest award for excellence.

From the Guttmacher Institute:

To be sure, not every act of intercourse results in a pregnancy. First, ovulation (i.e., the monthly release of a woman’s egg) must occur. Then, the egg must be fertilized. Fertilization describes the process by which a single sperm gradually penetrates the layers of an egg to form a new cell (“zygote”). This usually occurs in the fallopian tubes and can take up to 24 hours. There is only a short window during which an egg can be fertilized. If fertilization does not occur during that time, the egg dissolves and then hormonal changes trigger menstruation; however, if fertilization does occur, the zygote divides and differentiates into a “preembryo” while being carried down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. Implantation of the preembryo in the uterine lining begins about five days after fertilization. Implantation can be completed as early as eight days or as late as 18 days after fertilization, but usually takes about 14 days. Between one-third and one-half of all fertilized eggs never fully implant. A pregnancy is considered to be established only after implantation is complete.

Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

There’s a LOT more at that site – I suggest that you check it out when you have a few minutes.

This is a MEDIA fight – a fight to ensure that all sources of information for the public sing the same tune.  A full discussion is here.  And more here (from a Catholic viewpoint).

 

One of My Favorite Sites for Re-Post Links

Written By: Linda - Feb• 08•15

It’s Liberal Logic 101.  

Today I woke early, and was catching up, and found this:

liberal-logic-101-1394-500x416

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naturally, as I am Catholic, it caught my eye.

The Crusades were a Defensive War.  The Muslims were attacking an ally, who asked for our assistance.  They were not that successful – as the Muslims kept re-grouping and re-attacking over many centuries.  Although the Battle of Tours in October 762 (Christian forces led by Charles Martel, Charles the Hammer) stopped the Muslims from advancing further into France, they maintained their Iberian Peninsula foothold in Europe until 1492, when the combined forces of Ferdinand and Isabella finally pried loose Moors in the Battle of Granada.

The Muslims were, in the treaty, free to practice their religion, until 1502, when they were given a choice, convert or leave.

Beginning in Valencia in 1502, Muslims were offered the choice of baptism or exile. The majority decided to accept the former, becoming ‘New Catholics‘, of very great interest to the newly established Spanish Inquisition, authorized byPope Sixtus IV in 1478.

The Morisco conversos (converts), though outwardly Catholic, continued to adhere to their old beliefs in private as crypto-Muslims in a practice known as taqiyyah or precaution, conduct allowed for by some Islamic authorities when the faithful are under duress or threat of life.

Some of the above I knew from college work – I specialized in Latin American History, and was reasonably fluent in Spanish, at that time.  I cited Wikipedia (yes, I do know their woeful record of inaccuracy in many entries.  However, they are generally a good resource for basic research – I sometimes use them for background in areas of science I need to brush up on.  That would be Chemistry or Physics, NOT Climate Change).

The Muslim invaders weren’t stopped from their Aggressive Wars until the Battle of Vienna:

…the other 9-11: September 11th, 1683, the day when an alliance of Christian armies led by Jan III Sobieski, the King of Poland, arrived at the Gates of Vienna.

The Ottoman Empire had been expanding into Europe ever since Constantinople fell to the Turks, and even before that. Wherever the Muslim armies went, they plundered cities, took slaves, turned churches into mosques, and converted many thousands of Christian captives to Islam at the point of a sword.

The Sultan’s armies overran Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia. They turned Protestant Hungary into a compliant vassal and made war repeatedly on Austria and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Ottomans had designs on Vienna, since the fall of the city would open the way into the heart of Austria and the rich principalities of southern Germany.

The Gates of Vienna tells the stirring story on their blog.  Do read it – you need to know why September 11 has significance, beyond 2001’s atrocity.

Bonus – you’ll learn the story of why we eat Croissants.

 

Yes, We Are Officially Living in Bizarro World

Written By: Linda - Feb• 06•15

I grew up reading Superman, Batman, and all of the other DC heroes (and heroines – I LOVED Supergirl).

There was a character, Bizarro Superman.  Can’t remember just how he was created, but he was like a Frankenstein version of Superman – craggy, just as strong as Superman, and dumb as a box of rocks.  He was like the Anti-Superman – not evil, just whackily determined to do the opposite of whatever made sense.

Sort of like our current Liberal/Leftist/Progressive Americans.  If it’s BAD for America, then they are resolutely FOR it!

What brought this to mind?

  • Newscasters (Brian Williams) who lie, then lie about the lie, then…well, you get the point.  But, we are expected to TRUST them.
  • “Republican Politicians who are elected, take over the Congress and Senate, and proceed to turn around and implement the Democratic platform.  Hey, if I wanted a Democrat, I would have VOTED for him.
  • A country whose economy is cratering, but accepts “news reports” about the growing employment picture (never mind that the only ones being hired are illegal), the improving economy (the only way they can keep the figures from spiraling downward is to artificially keep the interest rates near zero), and growing public pension disasters (which the courts will NOT let the government bodies amend).
  • A society that hates the married, but LOVES weddings – the more lavish, the better.
  • A society that SAYS it elevates women, but has no problems exploiting their naked bodies in shows that a sensible viewing audience would have to admit is pornographic.
  • A judiciary that overturns laws voted on by the public, if they don’t agree with Progressive views.
  • A society that is trying to make sugar and fat illegal, but encouraging pot consumption.
I could go on and on, but why bother?  Either you agree that this all is WHACK, or you likely haven’t read this far.

Were the French Writers “Needlessly” Inflammatory?

Written By: Linda - Jan• 12•15

No.

Their fanning-the-fire writings were necessary.

From the National Ross Douthat:

But if publishing something might get you slaughtered and you publish it anyway, by definition you are striking a blow for freedom, and that’s precisely the context when you need your fellow citizens to set aside their squeamishness and rise to your defense.

Whereas far too often in the West today the situation is basically reversed: People will invoke free speech to justify just about any kind of offense or provocation or simple exploitation (“if we don’t go full-frontal seven times on ‘Game of Thrones’ tonight, man, the First Amendment dies”), and then scurry for cover as soon as there’s a whiff of actual danger, a hint that “bold” envelope-pushing might require actual bravery after all.

The idea that we need to tone down our speech/writing/atristic expression due to THREATS is the most profoundly ILliberal idea I’ve ever heard.  Should our people generally accept and tolerate other religions?  Yes.  But NOT because they threaten to kill us if we do not.  That threat, alone, would make them a fair target for ridicule, criticism, and contempt.

Focusing on the Most Important Things

Written By: Linda - Jan• 11•15
  1. Family – the major part of my energy for the next year will be to keep my far-flung family in my thoughts, and to show that by regularly calling, texting, emailing, and – yes – sending short notes in hard copy (there is nothing like the lift you get when you receive something in the mail WITHOUT a translucent window).  Family also includes my long-suffering husband, whom I need to make a top priority.
  2. Financial – this includes selling our second house, organizing records, and reducing debt.  All of this is necessary, if I plan to make our goal of retiring in 2-1/2 years.
  3. Work – setting up files (and weeding out old ones), making appointments for grade entry and planning, scheduling all mentor meetings, labeling my stuff and sub-dividing it into smaller boxes, with lessons inside.  I spend too much time trying to find stuff, and I’m tired of working in a cluttered environment.
  4. Home – clean, organize, and repair.  Really, the biggest part will be weeding out junk.

Notice that there is nothing there about politics?  By necessity, I will have to carefully manage what little time I have left.  So, I will be scheduling my once a week posting, and only occasionally posting more.

The Gathering Storm…

Written By: Linda - Jan• 03•15

…all apologies to Winston Churchill, who named his 1st of the WWII books that way.

No, we in America are preparing for a Storm – of Classic Proportions.

storm-clouds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s beginning to look like a CORKER – and it’s going to hit Barry’s “natural constituency”:

  • Single women
  • Part-time workers
  • Artists, actors, musicians – anyone who works on a sporadic basis, and whose income fluctuates
  • People who receive a regular paycheck, but may have received extra money outside of that – such as teachers

What is the cause of that storm?

Obamacare – or, for those who decided, after it turned out to be a stinker – ACA, the Affordable Care Act.

Ya’ see, people got those subsidies because they entered information in the website, or told the person over the phone, what they were making.  I’m betting that MOST of them wildly underestimated – either through wishful thinking, or because the fools didn’t understand the meaning of NET pay.  It’s amazing how many people never think about how much they make; for most people, the amount they take home is what sticks in their minds.  So, I’m betting that most of the subsidy-receivers used the net pay as their earnings.

And, that’s where the fun begins.

If they underestimated, they received MORE subsidy than they were entitled to.  And, unlike your mama, who would have said, “Oh, that’s all right, honey, you can keep the money”, the feds will take it back – with interest, if possible.  When these folks file their income taxes, they will find that they OWE Uncle Sam – and it will come in the form of a reduced IRS refund, or none at all.

Let the games begin.

I’m a HAM!

Written By: Linda - Dec• 20•14

It’s official – I passed my Technician’s test. In about 3-4 days (maybe more, because of the holiday), I should be listed in the FCC database, and can begin transmitting. Until then, I can only listen in.

Winter Break? Bah, Humbug!

Written By: Linda - Dec• 08•14

I work in a public school.  As a result, I’ve occasionally been corrected – very gently, I must say – when I refer to the 2 week vacation at the end of the year as “Christmas Break”.

Oh, no, I am informed, it’s a GENERIC holiday celebration (I generally refrain from pointing out that HOLIDAY is a variant of the original HOLY DAY).  Just happens that SO many important holidays occur around this time that it’s convenient to adjourn for vacation.

I always respond by saying, “I’ll call it Winter Break the very first year that it DOESN’T include Christmas”.

Christmas is the ONLY reason for the break – it comes at a bad time, just before the end of the semester.  It would make FAR more sense to delay the vacation for another week, give the tests, then adjourn for a between-semesters vacation.

Won’t happen.  Parents (most of them taxpayers and/or voters) would have the school boards roasted – like chestnuts – for daring to implement the sensible switch.

No, we break BECAUSE the majority celebrate Christmas – many of them attending church for the only time that year (I’ll address the twice-a-year Christians another time).  A few celebrate Kwaanza – fewer every year – and, in selected locations, Hannukkah makes the present-giving event(s).

Michelangelo_Buonarroti_-_Tondo_Doni_-_Google_Art_ProjectFunnily enough, few remember the Christian tradition of Epiphany (Jan. 6) or the Holy Day of Obligation (Jan. 1 – Feast of Mary – older Catholics may remember this as Circumcision of Jesus).

Christmas goes on from December 25 (the 1st Day of Christmas) to January 5 (the Eve of Epiphany, when the Magi appeared – celebrated as Three Kings Day in many countries).

The picture at the left shows the Holy Family at the start of their Flight into Egypt (by Michaelangelo).

So, in the spirit of the EXTENDED season,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!