Thursday, July 20, 2017

God’s plan for marriage N.T. Wright

“I believe, the ­biblical picture of man and woman together in marriage is not something about which we can say, “Oh well, they had some funny ideas back then. We know better now.” The biblical view of marriage is part of the larger whole of new creation, and it symbolizes and points to that divine plan. Every time I, as a priest, celebrate the marriage of a couple, I remind myself, and I frequently remind the couple, that what we are doing is setting up a signpost. We live in a world of many storms and many winds; those signposts can easily get battered and broken. But they are pointing somewhere – and the reality to which they are pointing is the fulfillment of God’s good purposes for creation.

Marriage is a sign of all things in heaven and on earth coming together in Christ. That’s why it is a tough calling. But that is why, also, it is central and non-negotiable. That, for me, is what it’s all about. “ NT Wright, Plough, Sept. 2015.

Family support vs. public policy

JD Vance ponders at the close of his book, "Hillbilly Elegy," whether there is a public policy that can correct/assist/compensate for his disastrous, difficult childhood. Why did he make it from the socioeconomic "hillybilly" bottom rung of the culture to the top--high school, university, Yale, law career, good marriage, high income--when so many don't?

He attributes a great deal of his success to his grandparents (he took their surname as an adult) who were a stable presence, and even his mother with her drug problems, many husbands and revolving door of boyfriends instilled in him the importance of education and learning. His older sister always protected and advised him, several aunts and uncles opened their homes and loved him through the tough spots. Even when he didn't follow them, he had good role models. "I was often surrounded by caring and kind men. . . Remove any of these people from the equation, and I'm probably screwed."

But he also acknowleges the tough, hillbilly, working class culture as giving him and others he knew the strength to work out solutions when the main stream culture and elites were totally foreign to them. For instance, if he hadn't lied for his mother when he was 12, he could have gone into foster care, removing him from all the people who loved him and helped him succeed.

After a successful career in California, Vance has returned to Columbus (he's an OSU graduate) to start a non-profit to address some of the problems like job training, the opioid crisis in Ohio and the crumbling social structures. It is reported his next book is on the decline of community churches.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hillbilly Elegy, porch reading at Lakeside

JD Vance grew up in Middletown, OH and is the author of Hillbilly Elegy. While stationed in Iraq as a young Marine, he has an epiphany after seeing the delight of a young Iraqi boy over a small eraser.

"For my entire life, I'd harbored resentment at the world. I was mad at my mother and father, mad that I rode the bus to school while other kids caught rides with friends, mad that my clothes didn't come from Abercrombie, mad that my grandfather died, mad that we lived in a sm...all house. That resentment didn't vanish in an instant, but as I stood and surveyed the mass of children of a war-torn nation, their school without running water, and the overjoyed boy, I began to appreciate how lucky I was: born in the greatest country on earth, every modern convenience at my fingertips, supported by two loving hillbillies, and part of a family that, for all its quirks, loved me unconditionally. At that moment, I resolved to be the type of man who would smile when someone gave him an eraser. I haven't quite made it there, but without that day in Iraq, I wouldn't be trying." (p. 173-74)

I've read one review in the New York Times, and heard one review at Women's Club.  Both were condescending, and I think those authors missed the point of the book.

Good food, good causes

I've been browsing "Mennonite Girls can cook" blog. I think they are Canadian. Lots of great, simple recipes. Like "Orange French Toast."  Yummy.


"We are a group of ten women who share recipes and our faith, with a purpose, inspiring hospitality while using our resources to help needy people around the world.  A simple recipe blog that started to document our family favorite recipes began in 2008 has resulted in two cookbooks."

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

ENCORE Chamber Music at Lakeside

Monday night's program at Lakeside Hoover auditorium was stunning. Not a group I'd ever heard of, but one that builds my faith in youth, in music, in live performance; it was delightful--even the woman I sat beside who was 90 and told me about her life. ENCORE Chamber Music is a 6 week summer academy of Northeast Ohio which sends its students into the community to perform. Jinjoo Cho, who has played with the Lakeside Symphony many times is the artistic director and narrated the program of Mozart, Holst and Tchaikovsky.
A native of Seoul, South Korea, Cho moved to Cleveland at the age of 14 to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM).

She is a gold medalist of the 2014 Ninth Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the first prize and orchestra award-winner of the first Buenos Aires International Violin Competition in 2010, and first grand prize at the Alice Schoenfeld International String Competition
Cho finished her Bachelor of Music degree both at the Curtis Institute of Music and the CIM. She also received her Master of Music and Professional Studies from CIM.

Practicing a craft

As we traveled between Lakeside and Columbus today I was struck by the beauty of the mid-July green hues. From forest to farm to lawn.  Often this time of year, the vegetation begins to have a dusty, straw color. Heavy storms the past few weeks through central and northern Ohio have taken care of that! We drove through small towns and past farms with 19th century homes, shared the road with construction crews, and passed over railway yards.  Everywhere I looked I saw not just God’s handiwork, but man’s--or hundreds of men. Real work, real hands, real products that lasted well beyond their life times. Even the heavily laden trucks that rolled past us were packed with produce from the farms as we noticed the tallest corn we’d ever seen.  “I hope that’s for feed and not ethanol,” I said.

I settled in for the ride and opened my magazine First Things, August/September 2017.  Whether it was a message or a coincidence, who knows, but the article I turned to was “Back to work,” pp. 33-37, by John Waters, an Irish playwright, writer and author of nine books. I had been thinking about the many useful skills and talents my grandmothers who were 20 years apart in age (born in 1876 and 1896) had and which my generation doesn’t.  Not only do I not know how to use a smart phone as many my age do, but I don’t know how to harness a carriage horse, gut and pluck a chicken, milk a cow, trim a kerosene wick or bank the stove with corn cobs to heat water for a weekly bath.  And there in my lap, author Waters laments the triumph of several generations who have no talent except to manipulate technology. I was shocked to see my own thoughts of the moment in an article drafted months before by an Irishman I’d never heard of until I saw him on Route 4 in rural Ohio.
“I often look at rows of buildings on a streetscape or motorway and think that all this, one way or another, is the outcome of interventions by other men.  Each piece--building, bridge, or flyover--is perhaps the conception of one or two men, but has been executed by dozens or hundreds of other men working together toward a common goal.  Sometimes, walking down a street, I am overcome by shame that there is no place on the face of the earth, aside from the occasional library shelf, which contains any analogous contribution of mine.”

. . . Most of the people I meet in my work these days resemble me in this respect.  We live in cities and judge ourselves superior to those who get their hands dirty out in the sticks.  But really we are slaves of a new kind: indentured to technologies that steal our time, creativity, and imagination.  Technology is actually the “new religion,” not least I the sense that it compels us to believe in things we do not understand.  . . I look around and realize that all those present, male and female, make their livings from secondary or tertiary economic activities, unproductive in any fundamental sense--you might even say parasitical on the main business of wealth creation.”
Waters looks back to July 13, 2012, when President Obama told people who actually do real work and produce real products that “you didn’t build that.”  Even taken out of context, as Waters think it was in the 2012 campaign, he sensed it was the tipping point in the creation of Brexit and the victory for President Trump, a man who represents people who relate to the world in concrete ways, but no longer recognize the world that is presented to them. “They are being discounted when the big decisions are being made.”  For up to half the country, Obama was attacking the very essence of their humanity. 
He concludes: “I cannot be the only man who feels less at home in the world than his father did.  Perhaps this is the deepest meaning of Trump’s election:  the back answer of the dispirited men of America who still want to build and fix things but have gotten on the wrong side of a cultural wrecking ball."

Monday, July 17, 2017

Teen Vogue teaches kids how to have anal sex

Disgusting.  Get it off the shelves.

A difficult job--police

Borrowed this from a fellow Peace Officer (at our nephew's Facebook page who is also a police officer)

"I have pulled dead, mangled bodies from cars. I have lied to people as they were dying. I said you are going to be fine as I held their hand and watched the life fade out. I have held dying babies. Bought lunch for people who were mentally ill and haven't eaten in a while. I have had people try to stab me. Fought with men trying to shoot me. Been attacked by women who have had the shit kicked out of them by their husband as I was arr...esting him. I have held towels on bullet wounds. Done CPR when I knew it wouldn't help just to make family members feel better. I have torn down doors, fought in drug houses. Chased fugitives though the woods. I have been in high speed car chases. Foot chases across an interstate during rush hour traffic. I have been in crashes. Been squeezing the trigger about to kill a man when they came to their senses and stopped. Waded through large angry crowds by myself. Drove like a mad man to help a fellow officer. Let little kids who don't have much sit in my patrol car and pretend they are a cop for their birthday. I have taken a lot of people to jail. Given many breaks. Prayed for people I don't even know. Yes and at times I have been violent when I had to be. I have been kind when I could. I admit I have drove to some dark place and cried by myself when I was overwhelmed. I have missed Christmas and other holidays more than I wanted too. Every cop I know has done all these things and more for lousy pay, sucky hours and a short life expectancy. We don't want your pity, I don't care for your respect. Just let us do our jobs without killing us."

Shared From Public Post

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The war on business is over

“[In the Warsaw speech] President Donald Trump has quickly made it clear that Barack Obama’s war on business is over. He’s also made it clear, through regulatory rollbacks of breathtaking scope, that the Obama war on fossil fuels is over. Trump wants America to achieve energy dominance. He withdrew from the costly Paris climate accord, which would have severely damaged the American economy. He directed the EPA to rescind the Obama Clean Power Plan, which would have led to skyrocketing electricity rates. He fast-tracked the Keystone XL pipeline. He reopened the door for a modernized American coal industry. He’s overturning all the Obama obstacles to hydraulic fracturing, which his presidential opponent Hillary Clinton would have dramatically increased. And he has opened the floodgates wide to energy exports.Right now, U.S. oil reserves are almost in parity with those of Saudi Arabia. We have the second-most coal reserves in the world. There are enough U.S. gas reserves to last us a century. We have already passed Russia as the world’s top natural-gas producer. We are the world’s top producer of oil and petroleum hydrocarbons. And exports of liquified national gas are surging, with the Energy Department rapidly approving new LNG projects and other export terminals. All these America-first energy policies are huge economic-growth and high-wage-job producers at home. But in the Warsaw speech, Trump made it clear that America’s energy dominance will be used to help our friends across Europe. No longer will our allies have to rely on Russian Gazprom supplies with inflated, prosperity-killing prices.” Larry Kudlow, “Trump has Putin over a barrel,”

Who won that war?

Who's winning the War on Poverty, now 53 years old? The "official" federal poverty rate in in 1964 was 19%; in 2016 it was 16% and the episodic poverty rate was 32%. In Ohio that rate varies by county, with Cuyahoga at 18.2% and Scioto at 23%. Cuyahoga is 64% white and Scioto is 95% white, so it isn't just a race problem.    In the federal plan, we have over 80 anti-poverty programs providing a handsome living for government workers, but apparently not doing much to reduce the rate. Ohio has 48 community action agencies employing 6,500 people spending $450... million serving 700,000 Ohioans. "Hunger" is now called "food insecurity," and in Ohio many college students qualify for food and housing benefits, but probably still can go to rock concerts and beer joints.

My career (veterinary medicine librarian and agriculture librarian) was in pig poop and nematodes (worms), so deciphering government budgets and reports is far above my education level, and after 2008 the reports became even more obscure. Technically, Community Research Partners isn't "government," but the agencies do survive on government money.  I do know the last 8 years made things worse for the entrenched poor, yet you'll hear screeches and head banging from the media and politicians about Republicans who want to kill people if anyone tries to stop this gravey train.

In my county (Franklin) the unemployment rate was 4.1% in 2015, the success of the recovery(?). But 26.3% of the residents receive Medicaid, a poverty program, and 24.5% of the children are considered living in poverty. So does that mean people aren't looking for jobs, or the jobs don't pay well enough to disqualify someone for poverty programs?  Is that why this war will never be won?

Found on the internet

HOWARD CORBETT, manager of the local Standard Oil Station in Mount Morris, is the son of Joe and Bessie (Ballard) Corbett and was born March 24, 1913, at Oregon, 111. He graduated from the Polo High School in 1930 and attended Mount Morris College for two years. He was a member of the undefeated football team of 1931. He was employed by the Kable News Co. from 1932 to 1936, and in March, 1936, became the manager of the Standard Oil station. Mr. Corbett was married in 1934 to Olive Weybright and they have two children: Joan and Carol.

Mt. Morris Past and Present, rev. ed. 1938

Friday, July 14, 2017

No dignity? No decorum?

"We Right-thinking people have tried dignity.  There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.  We tried statesmanship.  Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain?  We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?  And the results were always the same.

This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob."

Friday book review, Just Mercy

“We will ultimately not be judged by our technology, we won’t be judged by our design, we won’t be judged by our intellect and reason. Ultimately, you judge the character of a society . . . by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated.” Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy.  Today’s book review at the Lakeside Women’s Club.

When I see compelling phrases like this, which incidentally I believe, I am left to wonder why is it the Left see this in Communism and Islam, in cooperation with Iran and ignoring why so many seek to come to the U.S., illegally and otherwise? No poor person was ever elevated by Communism or dictators unless it was by becoming a government lackey, spy or bureaucrat.

Speaking to Russians? It's a crime (according to Democrats)  Tucker looks at this on July 13.

Obama and Lynch are now linked to the Russian lawyer story.  But leftists pretend otherwise.

Democrats, embittered and leaderless

"This bold new agenda [Trump is a Russian agent] has proven so enormously popular that the Democrats have wasted $40 million to lose four special elections. The Democrats are leaderless. Their base has become a roving mob of angry embittered sloganeers showing up at town hall meetings and random political events to scream hate. They threaten to kill the wives, children and dogs of Republican members of Congress. . . They are going into the midterm elections on a conspiracy theory. The theory is backed by their fake news media outlets at the Washington Post, the New York Times and CNN. It just lacks any actual evidence beyond the sort of web of connections usually advanced by conspiracy theorists."
"The Democrats couldn’t cope with the fact that a left-wing extremist murdered JFK. So they built a vast array of conspiracy theories that blamed the CIA, the Cubans and the “climate of right-wing hate” in Dallas. The Communist who killed JFK was just a “patsy” for one of those vast right-wing conspiracies.
But it was left-wing extremism that killed Camelot. It’s left-wing extremism that is killing the Democrats."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Stormy morning July 13

Because of the storms, I couldn't walk the lakefront at 6 a.m., so I waited until 9. I saw a whole different population of dogs, grandparents, babies and birds. There was the college crew of groundsmen in matching shirts removing trash; mommies and daddies walking the babies in strollers instead of the early a.m. patrol of grand dads in golf carts so the rest of the cottage can sleep; a gull with a fish almost as big as he was with 3 senior citizens taking photos; grandma with 3 lovely teen granddaughters, but I got a whiff of cigarette smoke (very rare here) and I think it came from granny; walkers on their way to buy donuts at the Patio Restaurant (only serious joggers are out at 6); some "spiritual" but not religious groups at the pavilion; but no skunks--they don't like the activity and daylight, but are visible earlier.

Photo by Beth Sibbring Jennings of the lakefront near Vine St.

The DOJ and the Russian lawyer

Was Veselnitskaya working with the DOJ

Rather than working for the Russians, was she working for Obama DOJ? When these revelations become the hot topic, you can bet the MSN will drop any interest.

"The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.

This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa." The Hill

Many Democrats believe churches are the problem, but media are OK!

"If you still wonder why liberal Democrats can’t get elected except in deep blue urban areas (hint: it’s not a Russian conspiracy) and why they seem so out of touch with everyday working Americans, a new Pew Research Center survey may hold a clue. It found that 36% of Democrats believe that churches have a negative impact on American society. Among liberal Democrats, that jumps to 44%. Only 40% of liberals think that churches have a positive impact on society. By contrast, just 14% of Republicans have a negative view of churches. And what do a majority of liberals think does have a positive impact on American society? Fifty-one percent said the national news media do. Enough said." Mike Huckabee

What exactly is collusion?

 The definition is "secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose: "acting in collusion with the enemy."  John Brennan, Obama's head of CIA, is a good example.

Working with British and Estonian spies, "John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan’s retinue of political radicals didn’t even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with “Hillary for president cups” and other campaign paraphernalia.

A supporter of the American Communist Party at the height of the Cold War, Brennan brought into the CIA a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump. He bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as “non-partisan.” "  From The Spectator, April 17, using The Guardian, April 13.

A gift for newlyweds or engaged couples

I haven't listened to this series--after 57 years of marriage and my "kids" at near the mid-century mark, not sure I'd change anything, however, listening to Father Riccardo is a treat, even if he were reading cookie recipes. Lots of his talks are on YouTube.


Part 1 – Marriage:  Fr. John discuss the two unique creation stories in Genesis. We are made in the image and likeness of God. What implications does that have?
Part 2 – Ephesians 5:  Fr. John breaks down Ephesians 5. This chapter contains one of the most beautiful passages ever written about marriage, but it is almost immediately considered to be out of touch and out of date because of how it starts: “Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord.”
Part 3 – Fatherhood: It is the great mission and task of earthly fathers to be a tangible and visible expression of the heavenly Father’s love for His sons and daughters. Fr. John discusses the important role of fatherhood.
Part 4 – The Dignity of Woman: Mary DelPup, the Director of Evangelization and Catechesis at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, concludes the “What’s the Point?” series with a talk on the Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem or “On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.”