Saturday, December 10, 2016

Doing as well as parents

So only 51% of 30-somethings earn more than their parents at the same age? Have they looked at what MY PARENTS lived through? They were teen-agers and 20-somethings during a decade of the Great Depression, then WWII.  Of course we earned more than our parents at 30 in 1970. My dad enlisted in the Marines at 33. It wasn't too tough to earn more than that in 1970. But let's flip that--30-somethings today certainly spend more than their parents did on phones, cable, leased cars, student loan pay backs, mortgages, eating out (which we did rarely, and my parents about twice a year), manicures, pets, etc. They and we also tithed our income, which keeps one from getting too frisky with the money coming in.
In 1970, 92% of American 30-year-olds earned more than their parents did at a similar age, they found. In 2014, that number fell to 51%. . . The percentage of young adults earning more than their parents dropped precipitously from 1970 to about 1992, to 58%.
Of course, the authors give the usual pablum for correction--more education and more taxation.  However, other studies show that 1999 was the record year of income, and that the top 2 quintiles hit a record income in 2015.  The average household income in the top quintile is $202,366 and the bottom is $12,457.  Also the number of earners in a household is vastly different.  About  2.2 at the top and  .45 at the bottom.  It's very difficult for a household with one part time worker to keep up with one that has more than two.

Claiming Russia did it

"Over the course of the summer, WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Some Democrats have suggested that the controversies and bad publicity generated by the emails dumps — which only affected their party — contributed to Mr Trump’s victory in the election." (Financial Times, Dec. 9)

Do you know any undecideds or independents or Democrats who changed their minds or chose their candidate based on DNC emails? Maybe they should have, but her people were very loyal. One video of Trump 10 years ago ago sent his supporters fleeing. No. No one left her. The tipping point, according to a Clinton researcher tracking undecideds, was her calling us deplorables, and that's not Russian hacking. That's her getting a laugh at a fund raiser. Did Russia issue that October report on Obamacare premium increases? No. The polls noticed. Jill Stein could be a Putin plant, but I doubt it. She pulled enough votes from Clinton to give Trump the electoral votes he needed.

Continental Ambitions; Roman Catholics in North America

I accept review copies of books--usually non-fiction. Next time, I'll ask the number of pages and font size. Kevin Starr's "Continental Ambitions; Roman Catholics in North America, the Colonial Experience" has 639 page, a 32 pg. index, a 38 pg. essay on sources, a preface, a prologue, acknowledgements and notes. I can barely hold it on my lap, and the print is tiny. It begins in 1511 and ends when John Carroll returns to Maryland in the 1700s. So there's more to come. The prologue covers the Christian missionary work in Greenland and Iceland in the 12th century. Because I'm a Lutheran, I know nothing between Paul's journeys/letters and the 16th century so this is some deep diving for me. Starr has been the city librarian of San Francisco and the state librarian of California. Publisher is Ignatius Press, 2016. ISBN 978-1-62164-118-6. And here's something I haven't seen in awhile: Printed in the United Sates of America!

 Continental Ambitions 
"Starr begins this work with the exploration and temporary settlement of North America by recently Christianized Scandinavians. He continues with the destruction of Caribbean peoples by New Spain, the struggle against this tragedy by the great Dominican Bartolomé de Las Casas, the Jesuit and Franciscan exploration and settlement of the Spanish Borderlands (Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Baja, and Alta California), and the strengths and weaknesses of the mission system.

He then turns his attention to New France with its highly developed Catholic and Counter-Reformational cultures of Quebec and Montreal, its encounters with Native American peoples, and its advance southward to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The volume ends with the founding of Maryland as a proprietary colony for Roman Catholic Recusants and Anglicans alike, the rise of Philadelphia and southern Pennsylvania as centers of Catholic life, the Suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, and the return of John Carroll to Maryland the following year.

Starr dramatizes the representative personalities and events that illustrate the triumphs and the tragedies, the achievements and the failures, of each of these societies in their explorations, treatment of Native Americans, and translations of religious and social value to new and challenging environments. His history is notable for its honesty and its synoptic success in comparing and contrasting three disparate civilizations, albeit each of them Catholic, with three similar and differing approaches to expansion in the New World." Ignatious Press
"Asking Kevin Starr a question is like turning on a fire hose. First there's a blast of erudition. Then, as his intellect gathers, information rushes out in a deluge. He's talking, but it's as if an invisible scholar inside his head is yanking books off shelves, throwing them open, checking the index, then racing off to find the next volume. On the outside, Starr is an avuncular 72-year-old, but his brain is sprinting like an Olympian." LA Times, April 12, 2013

Was he just feeling the Bern?

In the January 2015 the SOTU speech President Obama proposed a zero tuition plan for community colleges, at $60B over 10 years and a $7.3B over 5 years loan repayment for college loan burdens. These programs always end up being more costly than the plan. Since our soaring education costs (aka bubble) have been caused by the federal government flooding campuses with money which causes them to raise tuition, I’m curious if these proposals went anywhere, and do they carry over to the next administration?  Was it a bone to the left wing of the party?

From the National Taxpayers Union website.  Lots of graphs and analyses. 

Friday, December 09, 2016

Why he supports the Salvation Army

A man named Joseph told this story on Facebook.

"This is why I support the Salvation Army and tell every bell ringer young or old my story.

It was a Friday afternoon, I was 11 at the time and my sister was 8 and we were with my mother at the welfare office where she was begging for a $20 advance on
her foodstamps. I never forgot the look of embarrassment in her eyes for having to do this. The social worker flat out said NO!, they will arrive sometime Monday. I can still remember the look of shame and humility on my mother's face. For she had no idea how she would feed her children that weekend. An elderly man wearing a corduroy jacket with the patches on the elbows approached us and suggested we try the Salvation Army. We went to the Salvation Army,who greeted and welcomed us with open arms. They gave us enough food for the weekend, they also gave my sister and and I winter jackets, clothes and a couple of toys. They also provided our Christmas dinner that year and a few Christmas presents. I have never forgotten their unselfish act of kindness toward us. Because of the Salvation Army we made it through that weekend."

Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved and Dennis Prager, talk show hosts (conservative) on 98.9 a.m. (Columbus) have a cheerful rivalry among their listeners to see which one can get the most donations, but Gallagher also has a personal story.  He says the Salvation Army saved his son's life (I don't know the details). 

Image result for Salvation Army

Thursday, December 08, 2016

If you've lost a pet

A few days before our cat, Lotza Spotza, died, our son's chocolate Lab, Rosa, died. He says, "If you've lost a pet that was your life, I recommend visiting a local rescue, or a clinic that has resident pups. Does a lot of good. This is Noel..."

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Son Phil getting some doggy love

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Be on the look out for dirty tricks

It might be time for some columnists and talk show hosts to stop dancing in the streets over Trump's win. The party that found the right to kill unborn children in the Constitution and passed a law requiring citizens to purchase a product or go to jail is finding all sorts of ways to get around the Electoral College, which is indeed in the Constitution. Everything from threatening electors, to publishing their private information so they can be mob-bullied, to demanding recounts for the 1% winner, to telling electors to vote for other candidates to deny Trump the 270, to creating state laws to ignore the Electoral College. I hope someone is minding the store during the party because these guys (DNC/Clintons) are experts at deception, death, and deceit.

Hillary Clinton got more popular votes than Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries, but he won the primary contest.  Hillary Clinton a higher percentage of the popular votes in 2012 than her husband did in 1992, and he only won because Ross Perot pulled votes from George H.W. Bush. Now since I voted for Clinton in that election, I thought it was just fine that Republicans who supported Perot had thrown a monkey wrench into Bush's second term.  Jill Stein pulled votes from Hillary Clinton in all the close races that Trump won. Now she's raising more money than she did in her entire campaign for a "recount," which is just a way to keep people riled up about the electoral vote. Without it, we're a bi-coastal country, with nothing in the middle.

I remember 2012 election night. I could hardly believe it. How could Romney NOT win? In a day or two I was over it. My hopes were dashed during the primaries as I saw the strongest Republican bench in decades go down in flames and at the end I was a Cruz supporter. I didn't mourn, cut my hair, stop wearing make-up, unfriend family, refuse to share holidays with friends, or say nasty things about decent, good people who had voted for Obama in 2012 or Trump in the primaries. What's wrong with these people?

Here's a message from Ogle County, Illinois for the coastal elites who sneer at flyover country because they voted for Trump. The author lives in Rochelle and is a radio host.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Ten reasons your liberal friends and family have cut you off

Here are ten reasons left-wingers cut Trump voters from their lives according to National Review.  I don't agree with all of these. For instance, many of my liberal friends are indeed religious and honor their parents, although I'm in an older group than the group this is addressed to. Having been a liberal humanist myself for many years, I know religious choices are often cultural and can respect many of the habits and manners taught when young. Also, the leftists I know personally do have lives outside politics--they love to craft, make art, sing, compose, write, etc. They are not as likely to hunt deer, repair cars, or fix my plumbing--all things we need, but some don't respect until the toilet overflows or the lights go out. But I do know liberals who have put politics above family--but only certain family. Those they truly love and admire they've managed to suck it up for the sake of the relationship.  Love really does trump hate.  But you have to believe in love and not use it as a way to settle old scores you were afraid to bring up.
  • 1. Just like our universities shut out conservative ideas and speakers, more and more individuals on the left now shut out conservative friends and relatives as well as conservative ideas. 
  • 2. Many, if not most, leftists have been indoctrinated with leftism their entire lives. This is easily shown. There are far more conservatives who read articles, who listen to and watch left-wing broadcasts, and who have studied under left-wing teachers than there are people on the left who have read, listened to, or watched anything of the Right or who have taken classes with conservative instructors. As a result, those on the left really believe that those on the right are all SIXHIRB: sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, and bigoted. Not to mention misogynistic and transphobic. 
  • 3. Most left-wing positions are emotion-based. That’s a major reason people who hold leftist views will sever relations with people they previously cared for or even loved. Their emotions (in this case, irrational fear and hatred) simply overwhelm them. 
  • 4. Since Karl Marx, leftists have loved ideas more than people. All Trump voters who have been cut off by children, in-laws, and lifelong friends now know how true that is. 
  • 5. People on the right think that most people on the left are wrong; people on the left think that most people on the right are evil. Decades of labeling conservative positions as “hateful” and labeling conservative individuals as “sexist,” “intolerant,” “xenophobic,” “homophobic,” “racist,” and “bigoted” have had their desired effect. 
  • 6. The Left associates human decency not so much with personal integrity as with having correct — i.e. progressive — political positions. Therefore, if you don’t hold progressive positions, you lack decency. Ask your left-wing friends if they’d rather their high-school son or daughter cheat on tests or support Trump. 
  • 7. Most individuals on the left are irreligious, so the commandment “Honor your father and your mother” means nothing to those who have cut off relations with parents because they voted for Trump. 
  • 8. Unlike conservatives, politics gives most leftists’ lives meaning. Climate change is a good example. For leftists, fighting carbon emissions means saving human existence on earth. Now, how often does anyone get a chance to literally save the world? Therefore, to most leftists, if you voted for Trump, you have both negated their reason for living and are literally destroying the planet. Why would they have Thanksgiving or Christmas with such a person? 
  • 9. The Left tends toward the totalitarian. And every totalitarian ideology seeks to weaken the bonds between children and parents. The Left seeks to dilute parental authority and replace it with school authority and government authority. So when your children sever their bond with you because you voted for Trump, they are acting like the good totalitarians the Left has molded. 
  • 10. While there are kind and mean individuals on both sides of the political spectrum, as a result of all of the above, there are more mean people on the left than on the right. What other word than “mean” would anyone use to describe a daughter who banished her parents from their grandchildren’s lives because of their vote?

Monday, December 05, 2016

Make new friends, but keep the old . . .

Spending time with old friends is one of the joys of retirement and my age. However, meeting new people and hearing their stories is fun too. (It's challenging for us oldsters to listen--we'd rather talk-- but it's good practice.) At our retirees luncheon on Friday at the OSU Golf Club I sat by another OSU library faculty retiree, Barbara, who had come on staff the year I retired (2000), so we'd never met. She's had a fascinating career with many twists and turns. I'd prepared packages of homemade cookies, and passed out our Christmas card with Bob's painting of the Marblehead Lighthouse in the snow.

Then on Sunday I chatted across the dinner table with a new friend from church, Carol, who told me all about the Winona Public Library where she'd worked in college. I've checked out the links she gave me--fabulous architecture, and like many community libraries it started as a lyceum and private organization with paid memberships and then a wealthy donor. Going to Minnesota is not on my bucket list, but if you're in the neighborhood, it would be worth the visit.

Today is our book club December gathering at Carolyn A.'s home.  We'll be discussing The Annotated Alice,The Definitive Edition by Martin Gardner. 

 Image result for annotated alice definitive edition
 I've never read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, don't care much for fantasy, and his fascination with Alice Liddle, from what I'd read, seemed a little creepy viewed from our 21st century sensibilities.  And to make it worse, Martin Gardner was a mathematician (he died at 99 in 2013), and my skills in that area were never strong, and are now zip, nada, zilch.  But I did read in the introduction that Carroll began this whole adventure making up stories to amuse the three Liddle sisters on boat rides and later wrote them down and gathered them into a gift book. Makes me wish my mother had written down the stories she told me while braiding my hair when I was little (to keep me from screaming in pain!).  The ladies of the club are dear, and my goodness, what bibliophiles and scholars they are! And eclectic tastes.  I'd never read a mystery nor would have found Maisie Dobbs which my husband adores if it hadn't been for this lovely group. 

Wednesday is our Conestoga Christmas Party at The Boathouse at Confluence Park, which has a gorgeous view of downtown Columbus, with reception at 6 and dinner at 7. Dancing has been taken off the menu--either we're all too old or it got too expensive.  Conestoga is a friends group or auxiliary  established in 1986 to enhance support for the Ohio History Connection (aka Ohio Historical Society). To date, its members have raised over $500,000. Conestoga members participate in a wide variety of social and educational events, tours of historical sites and museums and lectures. Membership currently costs $100 for a single membership and $150 for a couple membership. Dues include admission to all regularly scheduled Conestoga social events and educational programs, as well as all the benefits of the Plus Family membership.

On Thursday the Pregnancy Decision Health Center, all locations, is having its annual Christmas get together at the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Upper Arlington about 2 miles from here. It can be rented for banquets, parties and weddings/receptions.  I've been to several events there, which is located in Sunny 95 park.  The original barn was constructed in 1838 near Reed and Fishinger roads before there was suburban development for Columbus. In December 1928, it was moved to Lane Road to replace a barn that had burned down on the McCoy family farm. It was used as storage for about 40 years. I remember driving past it many times on Lane Rd.  Residents could even purchase eggs from the location. In 2007, the City of Upper Arlington was planning the new Sunny 95 Park  and an organization was created to save the barn and move it. Mainly it was the timbers and framing--doesn't look much like the old barn. I'm just blown away by the commitment and love exhibited by the staff and volunteers of PDHC. All I do is answer the phone, greet clients, and assemble some papers and sort baby clothes. They do the really tough things, and often can only save one baby out of ten, but they don't get discouraged.

Monday Memories--Tax year 1962

American taxpayers can claim a Child Tax Credit (federal) of up to $1,000 for each child under age 17. The credit is reduced by 5 percent of adjusted gross income over $75,000 for single parents and over $110,000 for married couples. In 1962 the personal deduction, which included yourself, your children, steps, cousins, blind grandmother (if you supported them) was $600. Using an inflation calculator, that would be $4,730.50 today. I down loaded the 1962 instructions to check. It was only 4 pages.

In 1962, if you had income over $200,000, (about $3.5 million today) that portion was taxed at 91%. Although, based on what I've read, almost no one paid that because of various ways to shelter income. When top marginal rates were lowered by JFK and Reagan, the government actually got more money.

I remember my uncle "Gramps" Miller helping me itemize that year. We had purchased a duplex in the fall of 1962 and he showed me how to itemize every little thing that went toward the rental half of the house, and also the miracle of double depreciation. I learned then, that although owning a home residence was money poured down a hole, if you bought income property, it could pay for itself.  In fact, if we hadn't bought that run down duplex in a shabby neighborhood, we wouldn't be where we are today.

40 years after we bought 108 E. White St., it had deteriorate badly   

Saturday, December 03, 2016

How I missed it in 2008

I didn't vote for Barack Obama in 2008, but there were two things I thought were positive about the choice other Americans had made; I thought finally we could put that nasty racist label behind us, and I also liked his positive family image for young men in our society who've eschewed marriage as a viable lifestyle. Then by 2012, I'd wised up. Race relations were far worse, and marriage was redefined and a political issue. I neglected to realize in 2008 that the anti-Americanism that had infected our campuses and celebrity culture was the air he breathed his whole life and it would not stop just because a bi-racial liberal with a handsome family was living in the White House. Gen-X and millennials had been learning for years the U.S. was a country of prejudice and class domination, founded on violence and theft from Indians, a population of victims.
No. Racism was ramped up during the Obama years.  Not by whites, although that did happen, but by the professional racialists, multiculturalists, inclusion and diversity mavens who were now left with nothing to accomplish. No federal grants if the trouble and bad feelings were resolved. They were down for the struggle, but not the success. So they increased the reparations talk, challenged even the most sensible voter protections, lied about the white on black crimes, especially by police, and expanded the victimhood blanket to cover all manner of differences, including a fraction of the 1% who are gender confused and called it "civil rights." 
Instead of working together as Obama had promised during his campaign (by the way, Hillary also won that popular vote in 2008), he decided to poke Christians in the eye, especially Catholics, by announcing programs and executive orders on their college campuses which were in violation of church teaching. He celebrated Planned Parenthood. He took on the police because they responded to a call about a house break-in, and the perp turned out to be the black owner who had forgotten his key. 
He created the most massive social program in our history by taking over 1/5 of the economy with empty promises and no votes from Republicans. He called the murder of soldiers on a U.S. military base by a Muslim officer  "work place violence." He whined to his friends in media and blamed President Bush or the American people for everything he couldn't do. The war in Iraq was virtually over at the end of 2008 and Afghanistan had been quiet for years, yet he foolishly decided to not follow recommendations on how to keep it that way, and midwifed ISIS with his Secretary of State in 2014. Criticizing the climate mafia or eating a chicken sandwich virtually became a hate crime, and bathrooms became an issue.
So now it's payback. There's a new sheriff in town much to the surprise of most of us, especially those who didn't vote.  Now Obama's followers are frighteningly angry and filled with rage, proving why we have the Electoral College and not mob rule. He stirred a hornet's nest, but his surrogates in the news media and social media who are getting stung are blaming racism, homophobia, xenophobia, misogyny, yada yada, and any other words they can spit in frustration.

The thought police on the Left--in journalism, academe, politics and even the spice store!

If you think the Left/Democrats/Progressives are hard on people who believe in the thousands of years old definition of marriage accepted by all religions and cultures, look what they do to people who don't bow to the gods of the relatively recent religion of climate change (formerly known as global warming):
"I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally. In fact we are in an era of good fortune when it comes to extreme weather. This is a topic I’ve studied and published on as much as anyone over two decades. My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career." Because he questioned certain graphs in IPCC reports, he was labeled a "climate change denier."
It would be fanciful to think a President Trump could hold back the gestapo thought police and the ideological czars. This began before the Obama years and the high priest Al Gore. Both parties have contributed to the destruction of careers when academics and researchers stray from the thought plantation.

And then there's Penzeys.  The nice little spice company. There is a Penzeys store within walking distance of my house, but it might as well be on the moon due to the hate and bigotry of the owner/CEO. Just Google the name and add in the word political, and you'll see what I mean. He doesn't want you as a customer if you didn't vote for his party and his candidate. He's selling finger wagging sermons to spice up your kitchen cabinet. Mr. Penzey, if you use the -ist and -ic terms on me, and I'm tossing them right back.