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Hamas and MS-13

Conestoga tour to Mansfield May 17—Reformatory

Conestoga is  “friends” group that supports the Ohio History Connection (formerly Ohio Historical Society) and we take tours and raise funds to support research and preservation on our history.  On  a beautiful sunny May 17 after a very cold Spring we met at the center at I-71 & 17th Avenue, boarded a bus, worked our way through a traffic back up  and arrived at the Mansfield Ohio State Reformatory about 10:30. Our guide/docent who has a degree in history and anthropology carefully explained the history of the building, the wardens, the architect, and some escapes and threw in a little information on the four movies filmed there after it closed in 1990, especially Shawshank Redemption (1994).  Another guide, who was not on our tour but who talked to some of the members who could not take the physical demands of the entire tour (lots of stairs) was a former “resident” of this reformatory when it was still in service. He now works there and lives in Mansfield.  Most of us cared about the history, but other tourists come there for the movie history and paranormal gatherings—it is very spooky.  Some administrative areas have been restored, but it’s very expensive. The building was slated to be torn down, but a preservation group saved it.



Morgan Freeman 



Dyson vs. Peterson in a debate

The comments on the debate between Michael Dyson and Jordan Peterson are better than the debate. Dyson lost clearly because he said nothing and the audience noticed.

“The left dominates academia, the media, the tech industry, politics and Hollywood and yet they think they are the have nots while at the same time everything they cry about regardless of how delusional it might be gets transcribed into law.  At the same time the ones they cry about are getting jailed for voicing their opinions on Facebook.”

“Dyson, spewing word salads.”

“Michael Eric Dyson, that was an embarrassing sermon. It's good people like you speak, because you expose more and more how racist you are, and how bereft and empty the Left has become. You have nothing to offer except political correctness and identity politics.”

Tom Wolfe

I've had this issue of Biblio (v. 4, n.2 1999) for 20 years.  I suppose I should read it.  Tom Wolfe died this week.

Wikipedia’s liberal bias

You can read the whole article, but here are 2 good examples of the liberal bias of Wikipedia, a source virtually everyone uses even if they deny it: Coulter vs. Moore and Beck vs. Olbermann and how their personal lives and career are treated in the Wikipedia entries. This article is from a conservative source, Frontpage, because you probably couldn’t find one from liberals making a similar charge of bias in favor of conservatives (although I think the Communist Party of the USA makes this charge about American media). Wikipedia always provides sources, but when the sources are biased, plus the verbs and adjectives are loaded, the content shows the bias. There have been a number of unflattering biographies of President Obama, yet they wouldn’t be used as the primary source of a Wikipedia account of say, his legacy.

“Consider Ann Coulter versus Michael Moore. Coulter’s entry (on August 9, 2011) was 9028 words long.* Of this longer-than-usual entry, 3220 words were devoted to “Controversies and criticism” in which a series of incidents involving Coulter and quotes from her are cited with accompanying condemnations, primarily from her opponents on the Left. That’s 35.6 percent of Coulter’s entry devoted to making her look bad. By contrast, Moore’s entry is 2876 words (the more standard length for entries on political commentators), with 130 devoted to “Controversy.” That’s 4.5% of the word count, a fraction of Coulter’s. Does this mean that an “unbiased” commentator would find Coulter eight times as “controversial” as Moore?

The same disproportion can be seen in the former flagship stars of Fox News and MSNBC, Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann. Beck’s entry is 7810 words; instead of featuring a dedicated “controversy” section, as in the case of Coulter, the 1789 words of criticism from leftist opponents are scattered throughout -- 23 percent of the profile.

Beck’s page shows other metrics for measuring Wikipedia bias. First, the sources: Of the 206 references, 25-35 could be characterized as leftists critical of Beck, with frequent citations from Salon’s resident Beck antagonist Alexander Zaitchik and his attack book Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance. Another telling sign of bias is the fact that 9% of the entry, or 729 words, are comprised of potentially embarrassing details from Beck’s “personal life.” Such information is often more detailed in conservatives’ entries.

In Olbermann’s 3750 word entry 199 words (5 percent) could be characterized as criticism. However it is much more muted than that directed at Beck. Of the 199 critical words 113 are devoted to an incident in which Olbermann went off on a rant against Republican Senator Scott Brown that was so vulgar that Jon Stewart stepped in, eventually causing the MSNBC host to apologize. This is a frequent element in the treatment of leftist figures by Wikipedia. Criticism from those further to the Left (or, like Stewart, higher within progressives’ hierarchy of household gods) may be included which itself “centers” the subject of the profile. Incidents where the figure apologized for his or her transgressions may be featured as a form of exculpation, transforming a failing into a chance to show the subject’s humanity.”

What’s happening with Philadelphia’s foster care?

The City of Philadelphia is attacking the Catholics--THIS time—because it doesn’t recognize marriage between/among homosexuals. Therefore it must lose its grant funding for children’s foster care.  But in fact, federal, state and local government social services sub-contract to many different religious groups, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox, and Muslim. The problem is, you have to dance with the one who brought you. And many do.  Churches often have to compromise their beliefs, morals and values in order to get the money—to collaborate--or to even get insurance for their staff members. Remember when Obama went after the nuns who cared for the elderly and poor because they didn't provide birth control for staff? And Chick-fil-a because it didn't cover abortifacients?  I believe it was Massachusetts that planned to penalize churches that didn’t “integrate” the bathrooms because the building might be used for secular or public purposes.

All Christians are commanded to do good works--some see it as part of salvation, others see it as an outcome of salvation, but Jesus made it clear--if you have no good works, you don't recognize him as savior (Matt. 25) and he won't see you as his flock. There are no goats in heaven. At one time in the U.S., virtually all community services were handled by the churches and community organizations, but gradually the government became more socialist and began copying and co-opting them (like the Peace Corps which was built on the Anabaptist volunteer model) and then doling out funding for the churches to do what Christ commanded. Gradually, churches lost their mission, and began competing for the government dollar instead of hearts.

Not accepting the grant money isn't always the solution. The government also controls the licensing and regulations for social services and all the HR regulations for staff, internships, codes, building, etc. Also, some of these agencies that the government attacks for not recognizing homosexuals as adoption candidates or fostering (it is after all supposed to be about the children) also run food panties, clothing and material outlets for the poor, settle refugees and immigrants, run job training programs, prison ministries, summer camps, disaster relief, etc., and the government can consider those "contaminated" and pull those grants, too.

So the holier than thou accusations about gay couples are really just an all out attack on Christians. Even those Christian organizations who have no problem with gay couples, just might draw the line at polygamy, incest or someone who choses another of the 32 genders.

Avenatti hogs the attention of CNN

Michael "Stormy" Avenatti, has appeared on CNN 65 times and MSNBC 43 times between March 7 and May 10 thus tragically and irresponsibly blocking their viewers from stories about Korea, the border, taxes, important judicial appointments, reduced regulations to release the economy from Obama's chains, Clinton's campaign mischief, trade deals, CIA appointments, lowest unemployment rate ever for black Americans, Hamas attacking Israel, while focusing on a man who's prostituting himself for naked attention. CNN also helped elect Donald Trump in 2016 by concentrating so often on his campaign, and it's helping his rising poll numbers in 2018, however, Avenatti's appearances are about double the time (worth billions) they gave Trump. What's in it for him--other than love of the attention?

Trump’s enemies in the media

Yesterday it was reported that Kim was unhappy about the U.S.-South Korea military drills, which as I understand, happen every year. Chuckles and jeers from the Left.  Does it seem to you that the MSM are cheering for North Korea just so they can poke fun at the President who's come further in ending the Korean War than all the presidents since the mid-50s? Really? They want more nukes from North Korea and more from Iran it seems. Whose side are they on? Has their hate for Trump overflowed to hate for Americans? The fall out will be on their supporters, too, because when bombs fall, they don’t ask about your party.

Why walking is good for you

Weight loss, toned muscles, better than running, helps the brain, stronger bones, relief from back pain, a calmer mind.


Seattle punishes success

Seattle is driving out its lucrative, job creating businesses by creating a "head" tax on each employee so they can create more homeless camps and hopelessness. Hope they come to the mid-west. I'm thinking whoever our governor or mayor will be, Democrat or Republican, they will be smarter than that!
The Left always eats it own.

Even for leftists, this is insane, but Jeff Bezos owns Washington Post which runs 8-10 anti-Trump articles everyday, so I guess he deserves it.

For my children

My new pledges

I will back up my computer once a week.

I will unplug my lap top once a week and let the battery run down.

I will floss once a day.

I will replace the head in my electric toothbrush every 3 months.

I will faithfully use my eye drops.


Computer in for repair.

Diversity propaganda and reeducation workshops

If you watched much TV, you'd assume that 30% of the population is LGBTQ (it’s about 2%)  and that white men were all abusers and losers. "Entertainment" has become diversity reeducation.  Of course, if you watch old movies on TV, you'd see that Indians talked funny and scalped people, blacks were servants who loved to dance, and that women wanted to be punched and slapped.  So maybe entertainment isn't the best place to learn values--it was wrong then, and wrong now.

The Gates Annual letter

Interesting letter to donors from Bill and Melinda Gates. Especially the Trump policies question. "The administration’s policies affect our foundation’s work in a number of areas." But when you read the whole response, it's nothing at all--just a lot of IFs and we don't agree with him type things. His policies have not affected their foundation and what it does at all. What does affect their foundation is the success of capitalism world wide, particularly in India and China, and that's what is reducing poverty. Extreme poverty has dropped dramatically--2014 figures showed 721 million fewer people worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1981 — despite the fact that the global population went from 4.5 billion to about seven billion during that time.

Yes, NGOs (charities, foundations, churches) can help, and for the child with a vaccine, or the opportunity to have an education, donors matter. But what really matters are the policies of the government where the children or workers live, not the policies of our government. Only the president of Nigeria can stop Boko Haram who kill Christians educated by missionaries. There's growing research to show that charities in 3rd world countries have held them back.

Kim in North Korea and his father and grandfather have contributed to the deaths of millions and the poverty and slave labor in the countryside. No Gates money could change that. Trump possibly can. He's made more progress than all the "progressives" bundled together of the last 50 years.

Another question was why don’t the Gates contribute more to U.S. causes.  Well, even defined very broadly, including military aid, the percent of U.S. federal budget for foreign aid is very small--about 1.3%. But that's higher than the 1990s after collapse of USSR. There are almost always strings attached to foreign aid--as there is with NGOs donations. IMO, there's no point in propping up a dictator or communist government with foreign aid. However, our government spends about 73% of the budget on social/human services here at home, and about 15% for defense.

Trump Trauma among Rich Democrats

02138 is the ZIP for Cambridge, MA, home to Harvard and MIT. The town voted 89% for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but 4.5% thought she wasn't liberal enough and voted green or socialist according to Dominic Green in the April 2018, First Things. The townspeople were in end-times mode after the election insisting that Trump won because black voters were suppressed. The sky was falling and they might lose the right to abort babies.

"Here in west Cambridge, the only thing falling from the sky is money. It showers down upon my property-holding, stock-optioning, tech-investing, organic-eating, trash-recycling, Democrat-donating neighbors."

Green then goes on to talk about the small pocket of poverty in Cambridge--street crime, drug-dealing, high rise office buildings for Novartis, Google, and Twitter--where minorities work only with a mop and bucket. And none of the tech people are black, they aren't even servers in the artisanal pizzerias favored by the rich Democrats and university professors. Property values are soaring in Cambridge and the poor and minorities are pushed out. New low rise apartments are being built for the singles who work in the biotech industry. Green grieves for the loss of diversity, and reports that ordinary middle class like police, firefighter, nurses and teachers can't afford to live there. Also, they don't want conservatives in Cambridge (or teaching at the elite colleges). Republicans are such losers--besides they are too poor to live there. They might hang the Stars and Stripes from their porches and buy American-made cars. And it's just so darn embarrassing that Donald Trump is making Cambridge residents who survived nicely the recession even more rich and that middle class wages are rising. Yet they lie awake at night worrying about the future of the republic and their children.

Read the whole article.

Book Club Selections for 2018-2019

This week our book club met to discuss Cod by Mark Kurlansky, and we selected our choices for September through May next season. The addition of a poetry reading is new, and I’m looking forward to that.  Russia seems to be on our mind—2 selections, one a novel and one a memoir.  I was pleased to see the great Ronald White on the list—he’s been a speaker at Lakeside twice, once on Lincoln and once on Grant. Thurberville, of course, has a Columbus setting.  We’ve read Dava Sobel before—a great writer. Not sure I have all the leaders correct—but that will be sorted out. 

Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles led by Carolyn, September

The year I was Peter the Great, by Marvin Kalb, led by ?? October

Lincoln’s Greatest Speech by Ronald C. White, Jr., led by Peggy, November

Selection of favorite poems—each member decides.  December

The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper, led by Mary Lou, January

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, led by Letha, February

Thurberville, by Bob Hunter, led by Jean, March

A Country Between by Stephanie Soldena, April

Longitude by Dava Sobel, May

Spike in STDs in LA—Is it racism or sex?

It's nothing new to blame STDs on racism or society in general--just google it and you'll find articles in peer reviewed journals 10-15 years old. STDs among men who have sex with men is 107x higher than men who don't, (over 300x higher in Hawaii) and it's rising, according to the CDC. For years that was blamed on stigma and homophobia, but that's not the cause--it's a higher rate of promiscuity, a desire for risk, and the old stigma excuse has gone by the boards. And the higher rate for black men, higher than Hispanic, Asian or White? Again, it's caused by sexual behavior, not racism. And they call climate deniers unscientific? Will we never learn? More contraception will prevent pregnancies? Didn't happen. More sex, more babies. The pill will reduce abortions? Didn't happen. Abortions can reduce women's poverty? Making pregnancy a woman's problem simply took men out of the equation creating more poor households. Academics and progressives never learn.

Take back the culture

Now that Eric Schneiderman, leader of the Trump Resistance and Superhero of the MeToo Movement has been found to be a serial abuser of women, you would think it might cause a set back in the twin movements of demonize Trump and create more victims for the left. However, I've been watching this stuff for about 40 years and it's only a bump in the road. CNN today offered an interview with Stormy's attorney instead of news of the hostage release or an analysis of Schneiderman's duplicity.

Take back your HR department, your party, your profession, your college or university, your church social justice committee, God's rainbow covenant for Noah, and maybe your extended family. Stop waiting for the left to implode--they just pick up the pieces and move on to a new cause.

Small town seeks economic recovery and growth

I grew up in a small northern Illinois community, Mt. Morris (and Forreston 15 miles away) which had a healthy economy in the 1940s through the 1960s based on the printing/publishing/magazine fulfillment business. The town had been built first on education, and when the college failed during the 1930s Depression, private investors took over the buildings and developed a nice economy to complete the printing business already established by the Kable twins at the turn of the century.  The printing plant, originally known as Kables,  was sold several times, and finally closed a few years ago. The publishing company, Watts, known for its numerous agricultural journals, moved out of town, as did the fulfillment company.   Murray Trout (now deceased) wrote a history for me a few years ago.  Now another friend, a member of the Mt. Morris Economic Development Corporation,  has updated me on the current negotiations on using the printing plant.

“The initial behavior of the 'new' owners, "Phoenix" seems to be more favorable and more 'engaged' than the previous owners, IRG.

Omni-trax, owner of the RR spur has been busy clearing brush and repairing track.

The plant has an overabundance of electric power, natural gas service, two deep water wells and a water tower, a $14 mm waste water treatment plant within a mile, one block from buried, ultra-high speed (giga-bit) fiber optic cable, the RR spur, of course with 'cross-docking' capabilities, 600K square feet, fully sprinklered  under roof and a 30+ acre property base.  

The problem is NOT the facility, but its location in the state of Illinois.  One of the highest property tax structures in North America; workers comp and unemployment tax rates off the charts, and a legislature that is run - and has been run for 30 plus years - by a 70+ year old Democrat from Chicago, not to mention a $100+ billion unfunded liability, public employees' pension fund, with unsustainably generous (3%) annual cost of living increases, and a structurally unbalance-able budget.  Have I forgotten or overlooked any other disadvantages—oh yes--each of our contiguous neighbors - WI, IA, MO, KY, IN - are 'right to work' states.

A Janesville, WI, outdoor and children's furniture manufacturer has 'waltzed' with us several times:  His company is reported to be headquartered in Battle Creek, MI; and he expressed an interest in moving it to the Mt. Morris Printing Plant.  He claimed possibly 400 semi-skilled labor jobs.  He claimed that Kellogg's was his financial backer, and wished to establish a 'maintenance facility' for their long-haul trucks.  After the Kellogg's decision makers studied the location, they reportedly determined that, "We aren't interested in doing business in Illinois."

It's not a 'pretty' picture … although we have had several small successes, e.g., Sullivan's Foods replaced MM SuperMart with a new, 50% larger store, DOLLAR GENERAL and CASEY'S have opened stores.  But downtown is virtually half deserted! 

The ENCORE! arts group has become instrumental in attracting music groups to summer concerts, and visual artists to The Gallery, i.e., 1st floor of Old Sandstone, as well as several summer festivals, i.e., PorchFest  - music on private porches, functioning much like a 'progressive dinner' - and StrawFest, a straw-statue constructing competition.   The Performing Arts Guild continues to showcase several productions each year.

And periodically, we are contacted by IL Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to 'bid' for re-locating businesses, but to no avail as yet.

Mt. Morris has two Tax Increment Financing ("TIF") districts, which accumulate tax funds for rehabilitating 'downtown' structures, and nearly 200 acres of Enterprise Zone property, which offers tax abatement and sales tax avoidance incentives.  We have engaged a Rockford-based architect, who specializes in restoring buildings to their once, long ago glory; and hope thereby to 'spruce up the downtown' with some of the TIF funds.

Many of the 'experts' which we hear and see suggest towns and villages build their own 'creative economies'; but when one studies the demographics of Mt. Morris, and realizes that Pinecrest Communities [retirement/nursing facility affiliated with Church of the Brethren] is the growth industry, one doesn't find many early, middle aged entrepreneurs!

Attacks on Laura Ingalls Wilder

One of the first attacks I remember on Laura Ingalls Wilder was written by Michael Dorris, who committed suicide about 20 years ago after being accused of sexual abuse by his daughters and the break up of his marriage. She is practically sacred to my memories of childhood and sitting with Mom while she read the whole series to my brother and me (even though I knew how to read). Many years later I read all her columns for farm magazines when I prepared my own research about women who wrote for agricultural publications.

Caroline Fraser has written 2 books and wants to dispute Ingalls-Wilder's memories and facts. That's what current academic criticism is--call it all myth, and especially browbeat American pioneers for daring to settle on Indian land. So that means we should discredit memories of Jews who were children in the 1940s watching their parents and siblings go to the gas chambers, or terrorism memories of survivors of Tutsi-Hutu wars, or the tales of living through the dust storms of the plains during the Great Depression, or the Gospels because they were written so many years after Jesus' resurrection, or the slave narratives recorded by the Federal Writers Project, or even my blogs about what I saw, heard and remember.

Liberals have long discredited Mrs. Wilder--especially because her libertarian daughter, a novelist, edited her works and was very patriotic (died in 1968). Some don't even give Wilder credit. But also the message of hard work, self-reliance, faith in family and community, and self-sacrifice is an anathema to them. I guess Laura and her little family struggling on the prairies were precursors of white privilege and must be destroyed before she gives other children hope and enjoyment.

Who’s the hater now?

It's now fashionable to declare that if a person believes marriage is between a man and woman,  he is a homophobic hater.  Yet both Obama and Clinton ran on that assumption right up to 2012 or until someone threatened to spill the beans.  It's possible to believe differently and not hate. This company, Chick-fil-a, doesn't discriminate or have hiring and promotion quotas for its homosexual employees, but the thought police have declared them not suitable to be among the 7,300 fast food restaurants for New Yorkers. 

Recently, a Houston gay man shot and killed his partner/husband then himself --now that's hate, but apparently he had correct political views on same sex marriage.  Or maybe he expected fidelity?

Abortion peaked in 1981

Everything the Democrats told you about abortion is a lie. Roe v. Wade has created more poverty among women; it has created more child abuse; there are more scandals at abortion clinics than there ever were for "back alley" abortions; staff at abortion clinics suffer trauma and quit; they are "aging out" of the abortion business; many women suffer terrible post abortion trauma; studies from Europe reveal a 6-7x higher suicide rate among post-abortion women; some of the strongest opponents of abortion are women who have experienced one or two.

It's good that there has been a dramatic decline in the number of abortions. The pro-lifers are winning this issue of violence against the unborn. “There is diminished enthusiasm for abortion, misgivings about its brutality, medical professionals withdrawing their support, and the general public moving with the larger trend toward the pro-life stance, all of which allow for legislative action.  . . Every life lost to the abortion industry if a crime.”

Rachel MacNair, "Our Pro-Life Future,” First Things, June/July 2018, p. 41-44

Wearing a hat to church

I bought a hat to wear to a Derby party last night. So I decided to wear it to church today (Lutheran). Things have changed since my early 20s when I stopped wearing hats and gloves (and going to church).

1) You can knock them off getting into a car.

2) Cars in the 50s and 60s did not have bulging headrests to mess with your hat.

3) The sign of the cross requires a slight change in movement--aim for your eyebrows.

But I got a lot of compliments--particularly from men over 70. Children just stopped and stared.