Saturday, January 20, 2018

John Corby, 61, dies

What a shock.  He's been on Columbus radio for years--obviously not as long as we've lived here (50 years), but I can't remember when I didn't listen to him, usually in the car, usually he was talking about the local scene, what restaurants were good, and "how about those Buckeyes." He had a great audience rapport and kept up the banter taking phone calls.

"With deep shock and sadness we report that long time afternoon host John Corby on News Radio 610 WTVN died unexpectedly Saturday morning. January 20th, 2018. He was 61." 610 WTVN

Friday, January 19, 2018

Request for reviews is up

I'm not up on publishing cycles, but yesterday I received at least 10 review offers, including children's books, interview opportunities, contemporary music, and one Phd student who needs more for her survey (it was for journalists, so I wrote back and told her a blogger is not a journalist and I was too old). Is this the Trump Bump or is it always like this in January and I've forgotten? A selection of the offers:

. I'm writing to introduce author, presidential expert, and leadership-architect Cash Keahey and his new book EIGHT LEADERTYPES IN THE WHITE HOUSE. 

Kids are growing up in a technological environment, and knowing how to make the best use of good tech is a critical part of preparing them for their future lives. Important 21st century skills such as problem solving, communication and creativity can also be improved with the use of great tech.

launch of author Kim Chaffin's new book  'Simply Blessed: Finding Joy in the Little Things  Yes, its a 7-day digital devotional released as part of the "A Call to Community" campaign for Q1, the landing page 

Donald Lee Sheppard quickly rose through the ranks of major international benefits consulting companies before launching his own employee communications firm, Sheppard Associates. In his new book  The Dividends Of Decency: How Values-Based Leadership will Help Business Flourish in Trump’s America 

In Road Rules for Retirement, Mark shares the many challenges you will face getting to and through retirement. He reveals the many risks you must know about and account for to make sure you never outlive your money. 

Having worked for thirty-five years as a cameraman and producer for every major U.S. television news network and the Foreign Press Corps, Tim Ortman understands firsthand the television news production process with over three decades of experience shooting, lighting, editing, writing, story editing, and producing.   Newsreal: A View Through the Lens When… [Incorgnito Publishing Press, May 2018].

This spring, the University of Notre Dame Press will publish Flannery O'Connor and Robert Giroux: A PublishingPartnership by Patrick Samway, S.J. Flannery O'Connor is considered one of America's greatest fiction writers.

AMIE Cut for Life is a page-turning work of suspenseful fiction that tells the truth about human sex trafficking and female genital mutilation.   At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone ritual cutting.  Currently, there is an alarming rise of female genital mutilation in America.

I appreciate you're busy but I just wanted to follow up on the email I sent you the other day; a copy is included below for reference. Here’s the link -

Please let me know if you would like to interview the contest coordinators or need additional giveaway details.  

Dr. Ward is available for an interview, to write an article or to provide commentary on this topic.  Please let me know if you are interested. 

MacDuffie just finished narrating “Unf*ckology” by humorous advice columnist Amy Alkon, which is slated for release this month. She also narrated a documentary about leopards, which will air on the Smithsonian channel later this year. She will soon be narrating Sue Monk Kidd’s latest book, “Dance of the Dissident Daughter: My Journey from Christianity to the Sacred Feminine”; followed by a collection of sharp and elegant essays on faith, values and history by Pulitzer-Prize and National Book-Award-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson.

As it turns out, the old, tired trope that "single life sucks" has passed its expiration date and is ready to be washed down the drain. In her new book, SINGLE GIRL PROBLEMS: Why Being Single Isn't a Problem to be Solved, relationship expert and co-host of Canada's award-winning, beloved national talk show The Goods ANDREA BAIN shares her fresh, insightful, and humorous voice to spill the beans on single life. 

Friday meme--fun to play

This was on Facebook, so links may not work for you.
HT Jane Baird Lathem, a Methodist pastor’s wife—would she lie?
1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
2. Where was your profile pic taken?
-home of Jeanne Poisal-

3. Worst physical pain you’ve experienced?
-giving birth-spinal block, but mouth surgery is a close 2nd
4. Favorite place you've been?
5. How late did you stay up last night?
-11:00 p.m.- (This is really rare.)
6. If you could move somewhere else, where would you move to?
-Not sure—nice vacation/retirement places in Missouri--
7. Which of your Facebook friends lives the closest to you?
-Jan Bradley/Joyce Johnson (both neighbors)
8. When was the last time you cried?
-don’t remember-
9. Who took your profile picture?
-Jeanne Poisal or maybe Joanie Poynter-
11. What's your favorite season?
-Summer-at Lakeside, of course
12. If you could have any career, what would it be?
-Researcher, sort of what I do now-
13. What was the last book you read?
-Worst Hard Time- book club selection, didn't like it
14. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be?
- My Mother, d. 2000-
15. Are you a good influence? –relative to what or whom?-
16. Does pineapple belong on a pizza?
-oh yes, if there is ham and cheese on it--
17. You have the remote, what channel will you choose?
- HGTV, Fox if Tucker is on-
18. 2 people who you think will play.
-Dianne, Dave-
19. Last concert you attended?
-New Year’s Eve Jazz concert at UALC-
20. Favorite type of food
-my mother’s-plain, Midwest, comfort, and especially her pies-

Thursday, January 18, 2018

California's poverty rate--highest in the nation

"It’s not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause, for decades now. Myriad state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200 percent above the poverty line receive benefits, according to the California Policy Center. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments, and “other public welfare,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Unfortunately, California, with 12 percent of the American population, is home today to roughly one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients. The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse."

City Journal

For the musicians in my life

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The president's health and the media

"President Donald Trump's in-house doctor reported Tuesday that the President is in excellent health and mentally fit to perform the duties of his office. This is unconditionally good news for the country, but a setback for non-doctors in the media who have been pronouncing our duly-elected President a “neo-fascist sociopath” or at least a “sick man” who is “not mentally stable.” " Wall St. Journal, James Freeman

And now, fat shaming.

"President Trump gets a physical and is found to be in very good health. He even takes a test to measure his cognitive ability and is found fit. Good news, right? Well, evidently the MSM thinks there MUST be a mistake. They questioned the doctor thoroughly. They asked, “since he is obese don’t you find that concerning?” The doctor replied that Trump is not obese. They wanted to know if the cognitive test covered signs of early stages of Alzheimer’s. They doctor assured them his mental capabilities are fine. They just wouldn’t stop. President Obama smoked and drank but those things NEVER came up in a briefing about his, why is that.....hmmmmmmm!!!" Jane Baird Lathem, blogger and Facebook friend.

Another sign the Democrats are losing it, along with their cronies in the media. But obviously, it's never going to stop. They are the crazy ones. Next, it will be the color of his ties, or his hair comb over, or his time on the golf course, oh wait, they've done that one.

Sanctimony and smears

"Foul-mouthed journalists get to pronounce on Trump’s “vulgarity,” pundits who wish him dead comment on his “hate-filled” heart, and pols and celebrities who announce their desire to beat him up are nevertheless treated as experts on presidential “temperance.” "

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

California has the highest poverty rate in the country!

I heard this on the radio today and couldn't believe it, but here it is in the Orange County Register.

How can it be that a state which is (I've heard) the 5th largest economy in the world, that has the film and TV industry locked down, that has the tech businesses controlling our lives, that is a lovely tourist attraction both artificial and natural, that has a fabulous climate, gracious purple mountain majesty as well as the amber waves of grain, or at least broccoli and garlic fields, that has all the diversity of race and creed that we are always told is desirable. How? Why?

While the rest of the country is blossoming under President Trump, California is dead last in business expansion. Socialism on the cusp. Environmentalism and climate change hype run amuck. Regulations stifling business out the wazoo. And governor Moonbeam.

Victor Davis Hanson explains how this has happened incrementally.

Oregon's assisted suicide law by Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni Eareckson Tada, Agoura Hills, Calif., Jan. 16, 2018

"Ever since the 1990s when Oregon passed its Death with Dignity Act, I've been working to de-grease its slippery slope. Under the law, physicians may give lethal drugs to patients with terminal illnesses who want to end their lives. The law's proponents have insisted it could only be offered to those who had 6 months or less to live, and was a safety valve when nothing else could be done to alleviate suffering. But not so anymore.

"The Oregon Health Authority (which studies and keeps records on the Death with Dignity Act) now says, 'the law is best seen as a permissive law... it does not compel patients to have exhausted all treatment options, or to continue current treatment.... If the patient decides they don't want treatment, that is their choice.' In an eerie tone, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) said the law is 'silent on whether the patient must exhaust all treatment options.'

"This spells bad news for people with chronic conditions such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, ALS, or even diabetes. Many people with chronic conditions rely on medication or other supports to enable them to live for decades. But what if people with disabilities begin to despair of their condition? What if insurance runs out? Citing an example, the OHA said that if you are a diabetic in Oregon and decide to forgo insulin injections, you could qualify for a lethal prescription under the state's physician-assisted suicide law.

"It is true that no one with diabetes has yet taken advantage of this new interpretation of the law, but the door is now open, inviting any Oregonian despairing of his disabling condition to test the law's new interpretation and request assisted suicide. Such cases are already successful in Canada and in Western Europe, showing how slick the slope is in Western industrialized nations.

"This is one reason why I recently revised my book When Is It Right to Die? I wanted to give Christ-followers a keen understanding of the arguments surrounding physician-assisted suicide, as well as give them language for articulating a biblical worldview on life, no matter how disabled or elderly one's life might be. People are not 'better off dead than disabled,' and life is worth living until God decides it is time.

"Christians can provide life-encouraging alternatives to assisted suicide by providing hands-on support to persons with disabilities who are despairing of their lives. Christians can ascribe positive meaning to a person's affliction, prevent social isolation, help them deal with depression, provide spiritual community, and, in short, be a friend. This is compassionate care; not the administration of lethal drugs.

"In 1997 the US Supreme Court ruled that there was no inherent 'right to die' in the U.S. Constitution. But that did not stop states from creating legislation based on people's perception of a 'right' to die. Oregon was the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide for mentally competent people with terminal illnesses. California, Colorado, Vermont and Washington also have enacted similar laws based on the Oregon model (Montana's Supreme Court ruled that nothing in state law prevents physicians from helping terminally ill patients end their lives).

"People who feel overwhelmed by their chronic medical conditions do not need assisted-suicide; they need treatment for depression, good pain management, social community, support, help, hope, and a purpose for living. Christians have the message that gives life meaning, and helps people grasp that life is worth living. I pray Christians will do all they can to expose the dangers behind this new and chilling interpretation of a terminal illness."

What is time?

Book XI of St. Augustine is devoted to an extraordinarily subtle analysis of the nature of time and the relation of time to creation.  “What then is time?  If no one asks me, I know what it is.  If I wish to explain it to him who asks me, I do not know.” His analysis of time arrives at the conclusion that time is an aspect of created being, and that, consequently, in the uncreated being of God time has no effective reality. In God and God’s consciousness there is no change, no before or after, but only an eternal present.  (Masterpieces of Christian literature in summary form, ed. Frank N. Magill, Harper & Row, 1963. p. 132-133.

“By the time of Augustine, the Church had settled down in Roman society.  The Christian’s worst enemies could no longer be placed outside him; they were inside, his sins and his doubts; and the climax of a man’s life would not be martyrdom, but conversion from the perils of his own past.”  Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo; a biography. Faber & Faber, 1967. p. 159

Our pastor, Brodie Taphorn, preached this past Sunday on "You have too much to do" part of the sermon series "What to do when. . .insights from ordinary people of the Old Testament."  The scripture launch was Exodus 18:18-23,  but he supplied background from surrounding verses, and the second reading was from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Jethro gives advice to his son-in-law Moses on how to manage the huge load of responsibility--delegate as we say today.  Brodie addressed the busyness of the modern culture, how most Christians respond, and suggestions from the text.

After the sermon and during the "meet and greet" I told Brodie I was probably the only person he knew who says, "I'm never busy." I almost never have to much to do.  So I offered to write him a note about it, but I'm still working on it. And I think St. Augustine has some of the answers on how we use time.

For me, my non-theological take is that in the English language we use all the same verbs with time that we use with money; invest it, use it, spend it, save it, plan for it, waste it, hoard it, borrow it, lose it, and in the end, you "cash it in" because there is no use for it outside our created world.  As Augustine says time is also a creation of God.  Me?  I tend toward the hoard and save, so I usually have a lot in the bank, but I'm not so good at the spending part, particularly using my time for the Kingdom.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Beyond Impressionism, Monday Memories

Yesterday after the 9 a.m. service at UALC we went to the Columbus Museum of Art with Joan and Jerry and Howard and Betty, and thousands of others to see the last week of "Beyond Impressionism." (Ends Jan 21) Columbus is the only American city to host this wonderful show drawn entirely from a private European collection. Betty is a 35 year CMOA docent, so she gave us a lot of details and information. We also enjoyed a wonderful meal in the Schokko Art Café, but we hear it is closing in a week. I had the most delicious corn chowder, something I never get at home.  Worth the trip is the wonderful James R. Hopkins "Faces of the Heartland" exhibit featuring his paintings of the Cumberland Falls area of Kentucky 100 years ago. Years ago we vacationed in that area and even tried to do some paintings of the Falls. 
The busy day at CMOA and the final week of this show was featured on one of the local news shows last night. It's sort of fun to be cheek to jowl in a museum with a lot of screaming children. Hopkins was an OSU art professor and you can see some of his paintings in the Faculty Club.

Good fences make good neighbors

I’m old enough to have actually attended a poetry reading by Robert Frost, one of the 20th century’s most famous and favorite poets, when I was a student at the University of Illinois. My date that night was someone I'd met at Chinese Student Club, and I'm not sure if he understood anything, but he was polite and listened carefully.  In high school I can remember our English teacher, Mrs. Price, reading to us, “Mending wall.”  One of the most famous lines is, “Good fences make good neighbors,” but the poem actually begins with “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” which is his real message.

Frost tells of meeting a neighbor who owns the property on the other side of the wall in the spring to repair the damage to their wall of boulders and stones, each one walking his own side, and in some areas because of the terrain, no wall is needed.  But Frost wants to ask his neighbor, why do we need a wall, we don’t have cows who can escape or wander away? “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” and causes it to fall, like the hunter and his dogs chasing and shooting rabbits, or maybe elves? His neighbor seems to move in darkness, just repeating what his father said, “Good fences make good neighbors.” So it isn’t Frost who says this—he’s too cosmopolitan and sort of sees his neighbor as a rube—it’s his old neighbor born and raised in the 19th century quoting his own father whose wisdom and fears go back even further. (It’s actually an almost universal proverb common in many languages.)

So with all the talk about a wall--it’s called a fence in the legislation  Democrats Obama, Schumer, Clinton and Pelosi voted for—what does it keep out and what does it keep in? But like Frost’s neighbor there are reasons, seen and unseen, to believe we need walls.
  • Those who are anti-wall would not deny a security firewall for the Wi-fi at their office or home. It keeps others from cyber mischief, or stealing bandwidth or passwords and codes. 
  • Those who are anti-wall would not deny themselves a guard dog—maybe a Rottie or shepherd mix, or more than one—to protect their home and children.  They may just have a small poodle or Chihuahua to make noise and alert them someone is on their property.
  • Those who are anti-wall have keys or codes to lock their house, their car, their safe, their work files. Yet all those things may first be secured within a gated community, and some gated communities have a guard in addition to walls, fence, gate, treacherous terrain and alarm bells.
  • Those who are anti-wall would not deny us privacy and safety within our own person.  We have Constitutional guarantees that wall off government from telling us where we can go to church or what we can think or say. 
  • Those who are anti-wall believe we have a right to personal behavior codes of modesty and safety that wall off our bodies and which should protect our sexuality and personhood from rape, assault, insult and bigotry, some are even codified in law, even if they aren’t in common sense or tradition.
  • Those who are anti-wall are also in the midst of a big cultural controversy brought about because the only wall left for sexual behavior seems to be “consent,” and that’s a "he said, she said" unwritten law wall. A pat, slap or flirt of 20 years ago has become grist for a law suit or career failure. There were/are no clear boundaries.
And then there are the municipal invisible fences or walls, like when I drive one mile north on a snowy day, I clearly know where Upper Arlington ends, and Columbus begins because the streets aren’t plowed.  There’s no sign or fence, but there is an invisible and actual boundary which provides different schools, tax rates, building codes, environmental regulations and city services which in turn put different values on homes and a variety of rents on businesses, insurance rates, and regulations for shopping centers. 

The Scioto River has a bridge, as does the Olentangy, and they have flood plains which prohibit building, but the real wall is the different township lines and city limits jurisdiction of Hilliard, Columbus, Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, Clinton Township and Dublin. The birds and wildlife go back and forth freely, and to some degree, so do the people.  These communities with their visible, invisible and natural boundaries all cooperate on certain things, but no one I’ve ever met who lives in them has suggested we just become one big municipal blob called simply the Columbus Metropolitan Area, even if map makers and politicians think of us that way.

Back to Robert Frost.  Although he lived in a rural area when he wrote “Mending wall” he wasn’t a farmer, and he culturally wasn’t rural. He was born in San Francisco, had lived in the Boston area and had been living in Europe before purchasing his New Hampshire farm.  He’s sort of poking fun at the ideas of his neighbor’s concept that the wall actually improve their relationship.  Would Frost have purchased property where no one knew the boundary?  Were there once cows or sheep kept by former owners, but they were stolen or wandered away before the wall? Were the boulders and stones he and the neighbor replace when they’ve fallen down, once brought there by a glacier and by repurposing them into a wall, was the land made more useful?

And of course, by living in a rural farmhouse surrounded by a fence and inhospitable terrain as well as peace and quite, Frost himself built another kind of wall, at least temporarily, so he could write, teach and lecture. And become famous.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Screen life isn’t real life

“Unfortunately, TV (any form of information/entertainment on a screen whether phone, video, film, computer)  floods the viewer with inauthentic images of real-life situations. This is why the Church has always had her doubts about theater and other forms of entertainment, not just because they can be bawdy, but because of the false vision of life that they present in such convincing ways. It’s our task to remain vigilant, to maintain a different way of viewing things, even when the spiritual dimension has been suppressed.” Bevil Bramwell, OMI

Trying to keep the TV and Facebook off today (a fast), but we do have a trip planned to the Columbus Museum of Art to see the Post Impressionism show after church.  Betty Zimmer, who’s had 35 years as a docent will be our guide, and we plan to have lunch there.

From the CMA website:
"In partnership with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain, Columbus Museum of Art presents Beyond Impressionism – Paris, Fin de Siècle:  Signac, Redon, Toulouse-Lautrec and Their Contemporaries. CMA is the only U.S. venue for this extraordinary exhibition. Featuring approximately 100 paintings, drawings, prints, and works on paper, the exhibition explores the Parisian art scene, focusing on the most important French avant-garde artists of the late 19th century, including Paul Signac, Maximilien Luce, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Félix Vallotton, Odilon Redon, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The Parisian fin de siècle was a time of political upheaval and intense cultural transformation."