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MAISIE UPDATE
Posted:Feb 18, 2019 9:24 am
Last Updated:Feb 18, 2019 10:19 am
53 Views

I'm sorry to be slow in keeping everyone posted. It's been almost a week since Maisie's stroke, and there have been small ups and downs, but basically things remain the same. Maisie is mostly unresponsive, breathes through a ventilator, and is fed through a tube. From time to time she has been able to respond to commands, open her eyes, and try to pull out her breathing tube.

Yesterday, she underwent surgery to allow the blood in her head to drain.This was successful. Everyone warns me not to expect rapid progress, as the brain heals very slowly.

Thankfully I have some support in the persons of my daughter Emily and Maisie's son Patrick. Both have been just super helpful and I am very grateful and proud. They are also taking care of me, because Maisie has been my unofficial caregiver for some time....I have my share of medical problems too.

It's been a very difficult week, as you can guess. It's been a very jolting reminder to take nothing in life for granted. It can all be taken away in the twinkling of an eye. I hope you will continue to keep Maisie in your prayers, and if you have a prayer to spare, please send it my way. God bless all.
9 Comments
MAISIE IS VERY ILL
Posted:Feb 12, 2019 5:17 am
Last Updated:Feb 15, 2019 10:18 am
1232 Views

For those of you who are praying people, I hope you will send a prayer Maisie's way. She suffered a stroke around 7:00 pm yesterday as we were heading out to dinner at the bottom of our front steps. First she felt lightheaded, then she seemed to have difficulty responding to my questions, then she became nauseous. I pulled out my phone and dialed 911. EMTs arrived in about 10 minutes and took her off to Baroness Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

I was told later by an attending doctor that she had suffered an "intercranial hemorrhage," and that her condition was critical. Surgery is being discussed. I will OK whatever the doctors recommend … I just want her back.

Needless to say, I have been distraught. Maisie and I are almost at our 5th anniversary, and we have grown closer over those 5 years. I hope we have a few more.
47 Comments
GOV. NORTHAM STEPS ON HIS CRANK, BACKS UP, STEPS ON IT AGAIN
Posted:Feb 2, 2019 3:33 pm
Last Updated:Feb 7, 2019 4:23 pm
665 Views

Gov. Ralph Northam (D-Va) has managed to self-destruct redundantly in the last 48 hours or so. First, he seemed to endorse a "comfortable" infanticide for unwanted children AFTER they were born. A pediatrician by profession, Northam succeeded in staking out the most extreme pro-abortion position in the country. (Sorry, Hillary and Andrew Cuomo.) And he conjured up a vision of a newborn being made "comfortable" while the and Mengele-like physicians delivered a verdict of life or death.

I think Northam might have survived this, as I don't think Democrats would have abandoned him on this issue. But than he touched the new third rail of American politics -- he opened himself to a legitimate charge of racism. You've seen the picture from Northam's medical school yearbook, sure -- a white man in blackface drinking beer with a hooded Klansman. I don't think Northam can survive this. The further revelation that Northam's nickname in his undergraduate yearbook was "Coonman" didn't help much either. (I had a friend in school with the nickname "Koonman," but his last name was Koonce. He also has remarkably curly hair -- get it?)

Earlier today, Northam blundered again. In a press conference, Northam denied have been in the infamous photo after all, after having admitted to it the previous day. Many reasonable people asked themselves why he would have taken the for even a second if he thought it wasn't him in the pic.

So there's where things stand as of now. William J. Bennett published an analysis today in which he predicted that Northam would resign before the end of the Super Bowl. Bennett makes the point that Democrats have nothing to lose, as the Lieutenant Gov., who would tak Northam's place, is very accomplished black politician with the very Virginian name of Justin Fairfax. He is well-educated and well-spoken. and for Democrats this is catnip. Northam -- an older white guy with a rural Virginia accent -- can't compete.

I don't take any satisfaction in Northam's decline and fall because he has done much good in his life as an Army surgeon in Iraq and as a pediatrician. But I agree with Bill Bennett -- he's toast.
23 Comments
I ADMIT IT, TREASON WAS COMMITTED
Posted:Jan 12, 2019 6:34 pm
Last Updated:Jan 14, 2019 3:38 pm
1375 Views

Leaf and Jiminy are all atwitter by the NYT that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence probe in the immediate aftermath of the firing of James Comey, aka the "Cardinal." The implication was that Trump was in fact a Soviet agent, despite an absolute absence of evidence to support this.

At the same time, there is a large body of evidence suggesting that elements at the top of the FBI were attempting to end Trump's presidency by an administrative putsch. This is the act of treason. An attempt to overthrow a duly elected administration is treason, pure and simple, and there is ample evidence that FBI tops guns Comey, Rosenstein, and Strzock were doing precisely that. The FBI and the DOJ generally were deeply threatened by the election of Trump. DOJ employees supported Hillary with an astonishing 97% of their campaign donations. The FBI basically became an Inquisition dedicated to burning Trump at the stake. Rosenstein was caught saying he would wear a wire to entrap Trump.

In an excellence piece appearing on the Fox News site, Newt Gingrich had this to say:


"The senior members of the Justice Department (all promoted under the Obama administration) were clearly prepared to go all-out to repudiate the verdict of the American people in the 2016 election.

Further, these were Justice Department bureaucrats who had ignored the Clinton Foundation scandals, minimized the investigation into the Clinton email and Internet scandal, and ignored former President Clinton collecting money from Russians overseas while his wife was secretary of state."

All of this was complicated by the pusillanimity of Jeff Sessions, the man who should have overseen all of this.

But for Leaf/Jiminy the accusation is the conviction. Both have had their dresses blown up over their heads by the NYT story, and are clutching their pearls.

But who in fact committed treason? Answer: the unelected pooh-bahs of the DOJ who were all clutching their pearls over the election of Trump. Let's face it: We have a Gestapo who have the power to arrest, to kick down doors of citizens and even an attorney's office, hold targets in solitary confinement, and threatened with incarceration and bankruptcy.

This is not the America I grew up in.
0 Comments
I ADMIT IT, TREASON WAS COMMITTED
Posted:Jan 12, 2019 6:06 pm
Last Updated:Jan 25, 2019 10:11 pm
2209 Views

Leaf and Jiminy are all atwitter by the NYT article to the effect that the FBI had opened a counterintelligence probe in the immediate aftermath of the firing of James Comey, aka the "Cardinal." The implication was that Trump was in fact a Soviet agent, despite an absolute absence of evidence to support this.

At the same time, there is a large body of evidence suggesting that elements at the top of the FBI were attempting to end Trump's presidency by an administrative putsch. This is the act of treason. An attempt to overthrow a duly elected administration is treason, pure and simple, and there is ample evidence that FBI tops guns Comey, Rosenstein, and Strzock were doing precisely that. The FBI and the DOJ generally were deeply threatened by the election of Trump. DOJ employees supported Hillary with an astonishing 97% of their campaign donations. The FBI basically became an Inquisition dedicated to burning Trump at the stake. Rosenstein was caught saying he would wear a wire to entrap Trump.

In an excellence piece appearing on the Fox News site, Newt Gingrich had this to say:


"The senior members of the Justice Department (all promoted under the Obama administration) were clearly prepared to go all-out to repudiate the verdict of the American people in the 2016 election.

Further, these were Justice Department bureaucrats who had ignored the Clinton Foundation scandals, minimized the investigation into the Clinton email and Internet scandal, and ignored former President Clinton collecting money from Russians overseas while his wife was secretary of state."

All of this was complicated by the pusillanimity of Jeff Sessions, the man who should have overseen all of this.

But for Leaf/Jiminy the accusation is the conviction. Both have had their dresses blown up over their heads by the NYT story, and are clutching their pearls.

But who in fact committed treason? Answer: the unelected pooh-bahs of the DOJ who were all clutching their pearls over the election of Trump. Let's face it: We have a Gestapo who have the power to arrest, to kick down doors of citizens and even an attorney's office, hold targets in solitary confinement, and coerce confessions by threatening them with incarceration and bankruptcy.

This is not the America I grew up in.
55 Comments
2012 was no fluke: ROMNEY IS STILL A LOSER
Posted:Jan 3, 2019 2:56 pm
Last Updated:Jan 12, 2019 1:18 pm
2195 Views

Does Mitt Romney have a political death wish? Six years after his loss to Obama, Romney managed to crawl back onto the national political stage --- with the help of an endorsement from Trump. What does he do right out of the gate? Trash his benefactor and wound his party with a stab in the back in the form of an op-ed in the Washington Post, next to the NYT the most hostile anti-Republican paper in the country. The op-ed was a sorry piece of work: it offered no insight into our current national problems, Romney signaled -- no screamed -- his virtue, it offered no positive suggestions whatsoever. What was he thinking of? Does he really want to become the single replacement for 3 senators: McCain, Flake, and Corker?

I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and considered him at the time to be a very impressive candidate. I don't think I was wrong: he's quite bright, looks like a President, speaks well, had strong executive experience, and was by most measures "of good character."

But he had the fatal Republican flaw. He didn't understand that as the party standard-bearer, he needed to take the fight to the enemy. Instead he decided he would model the "Republican gentleman" style, try to curry favor with the press, assure everyone of his ever-so-moderate views, and display no backbone in the fray of campaigning. He made life very easy for Barack Obama.

But Mitt's own moral shortcomings become more apparent this time around. He has a nasty tendency to play footsie with Trump when he believes it's to his advantage and then recoil in moral outrage when he doesn't get his way. He is beginning to look more and more like a political opportunist and less and less like a Mormon knight-errant.

How are Republicans viewing this? According to a poll just taken, Trump would defeat Romney in a Republican primary >> 72 - 8<< !! Mitt, maybe you should just take your backbench seat in the Senate as the least senior senator and shut up for a bit.
50 Comments
LEAF'S STRANGE OBSESSION WITH TENNESSEE ( and Iowa)
Posted:Dec 17, 2018 11:30 am
Last Updated:Dec 23, 2018 7:48 pm
3007 Views

I copy here Leaf's peculiar blog about the educational deficiencies of Tennesseans. (He will take it down within a day.)

Tennesseans among LEAST EDUCATED in the United States....so, basically they are STUPID

Survey: Tennesseans among least-educated in U.S.
Chuck Campbell, USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee Published 12:33 p.m. ET Jan. 24, 2017 | Updated 2:22 p.m. ET Jan. 24, 2017

Tennesseans are lagging behind most other Americans in the amount and quality of education they get, according to a new survey.

The state ranks as the No. 8 least-educated state in the U.S. according to WalletHub, a financial-oriented website that compiles rankings of U.S. states and cities based on the social and economic well-being of their residents.

The education survey, released today, measured 11 metrics to come up with the rankings – including the percentage of residents with high-school diplomas as well as those with associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The survey also factors in the quality of education based on U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of public-school systems as well as their ranking of the top 200 U.S. universities.

The new education plan will bring sweeping changes to Tennessee schools. For districts, especially, there will be increased efforts to document student progress. This overview focuses on four major areas of the new plan. Karen Kraft / The Tennessean

Tennessee is No. 39 overall for the subcategory of “quality of education and attainment gap,” thanks in part to its No. 35 ranking for “average university quality.” But the state only mustered a No. 43 ranking for both the subcategory “education attainment rank” and the survey as a whole.

Every struggling school to see intervention under new law

Massachusetts finished as the No. 1 most-educated state in the WalletHub survey, followed by No. 2 Maryland and No. 3 Colorado. West Virginia is America’s least-educated state, according to the survey, and Southern states hold 12 of the bottom 15 positions – including No. 49 Mississippi and No. 48 Louisiana.

Virginia was an exception to the low rankings of Southern states, placing No. 7, but the next-best ranking from the region was Georgia at No 35.

We all know what he's trying to do -- in his cowardly, feline, passive-aggressive, nasty way, he is trying to insult Maisie and me, who he knows live in Tennessee. He does the same with BigBlock about the state of Iowa, which he maintains is choked with the odor of pig excrement.

Leaf, your catty attack makes no sense, to begin with. I am not a Tennessee native; I have not been educated at all in this state. (Neither has Maisie.) I had the good sense to receive all my education to age 21 in my home state of Virginia, which you approvingly note is ranked No. 8. After that, I pursued graduate studies in Ohio and Illinois with some study abroad here and there. You, I believe, hail from one of those ruined, rusted, tragic states of the upper Midwest, or so you disclosed some years ago.

So what do you reveal about yourself with such a blog? Two attributes: spite and bigotry. The essence of bigotry is assigning to every member of a group the worst traits of individuals within the group. Since you are not the brightest guy on the site, let me make this analogy: what if someone opined in a blog that African-Americans were stupid, lazy, alcoholic, drug-addicted, & so forth? Not good, huh? And yet that is exactly what you do.

My personal opinion is that you need to apologize all whom you have offended. (HAH!) You are an excrescence, a pimple, a fungus, a carbuncle on this site. We were blessedly relieved of your presence for 3 months a while ago. I figure you were spending a 90-day sentence in the workhouse. I would like to ask you to resume your sabbatical and make it permanent. You are doing your best to wreck the site.
34 Comments
GHW BUSH ENTERS INTO EPISCOPAL VALHALLA
Posted:Dec 7, 2018 10:41 am
Last Updated:Dec 9, 2018 8:08 pm
2951 Views

On Wednesday a little before 11:00 , I sank into the couch to watch a bit of the elder Bush's funeral at the National Cathedral. As I have the attention span of a tse-tse fly (unless listening to Wagnerian opera), I didn't expect to stay the course to the end.

Two and a half hours later, I was still riveted in place as the president's body was being borne out of the church. It was the most overwhelming spiritual experience I have had in quite some time. It was a synaesthetic experience: the pageantry of the High Church Episcopalian service, the colors of the vestments and banners, the sublimity of the music, the beautiful texts and words from the eulogists and the ancient texts of the liturgy, the sincerity of the mourners combined to fill a void in the soul. It was hard not to think well of one's fellow men afterwards.

I have spent a good deal of my life moonlighting as an Episcopal church musician, and so I was fascinated to follow this aspect of the service. Having played for many high feast occasions, I can pass this on: the organist is the quarterback of the service, not any of the gaggle of clergymen. The hymnody -- what the people collectively sing -- is the "theology of the people." The hymns, some of which were Bush's favorites, reflected the man: they were great hymns of praise, not of lamentation. They were also extremely Episcopalian hymns: "Praise the Lord, the King of Heaven," "For all the saints, who from their labors rest" -- splendid hymns which invite the organist to drop the hammer. There were also great hymns known to all Protestants: "A Mighty Fortress is our God" (composed by Martin Luther himself), "Fairest Lord Jesus," "Oh God, our help in ages past," and many others.

The eulogists surpassed themselves. Bush's biographer Jon Meacham had been given unparalleled access to the Bush family, and spoke with affection and an insider's knowledge of his subject. Brian Mulroney, at age 79, gave a little gem of a eulogy in his very pleasant basso. Thank you, Canada! He was gracious enough to say the following: "this country, the United States, which is, in my judgment, the greatest democratic republic that God has ever placed on the face of this earth." What do you think, Lulu? Then finally George W Bush outdid himself. Never considered eloquent, he rose to this occasion, though overcome by grief at the end.

The whole ceremony was like a refreshing drink for a parched nation. The effect may be short-lived, but we demonstrated our better selves, and gave us hope that we have not strayed too far off course to become once again a more civil nation.
17 Comments
THE LAST OLD-SCHOOL REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT HAS DIED
Posted:Dec 1, 2018 12:02 am
Last Updated:Dec 4, 2018 6:47 am
3368 Views
R.I.P. George Herbert Walker Bush, 1924-2018

About 2 hours ago, I heard the tone on my phone signaling breaking news. Usually at that hour, I expect to read about a train derailment or a forest fire, but not this time: my phone informed me that President Bush the elder has passed away at age 94. My mouth involuntarily formed the syllable "awww" (unironically). Unbeknownst to all, I am a rather sentimental person.

This, of course, was not unexpected: it was clear to us all at Barbara's funeral that he was very feeble. But the actual event still shocked as I realized that Bush Sr. was the last of his kind in so many ways. He was the last of 7 presidents to serve in WW2, just as Andrew Jackson was the last to see service in the Revolution and William McKinley was the last of he Civil War presidents. And he served with distinction: at one point, he was the youngest fighter pilot in the navy. A modest and gentlemanly man, he seems a fit final representative of the Greatest Generation on the world stage.

I was an admirer of Bush (not uncritically) since 1980, when he was chosen as VP by Reagan. I voted for him twice for president, and I was very disappointed when he didn't win a second term when facing Slick Willy in 1992. Even as a one-term president, his accomplishments were significant. Perhaps most notably, Bush conducted one of the best, cleanest wars in our history (I am aware of the oxymoron) in the Gulf War of 1990. Just to remind you: after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Bush put together a coalition of 30 nations, secured UN backing, and let Norman Schwarzkopf and others roll over the vaunted Iraqi army in 100 hours, with very few allied casualties. Further to Bush's credit, he resisted the urge to capture Baghdad and Saddam and engage in "nation-building."

At that point, Bush's approval rating was over 90%. And yet....he was defeated at the polls two years later by a more skillful politician. Oddly, Clinton's team and some of the media decided that Bush was a "wuss." Newsweek had an infamous cover which read GHW Bush: fighting the wimp factor. This about a man who had been shot down over the Pacific and earned a Distinguished Flying Cross. Bush was cursed with a whiny timbre to his voice which may have encouraged this perception. Bush also had to deal a populist 3rd party candidate in the form of H. Ross Perot, the jug-eared, populist, gazillionaire. That may have been the deciding factor. Add to that the fact that Clinton simply out-cooled Bush in 1992: Clinton played his saxophone on late night TV, was attractive to young women, liked by the media. (Democrats have a habit of "out-cooling" GOP nominees: think JFK vs. Nixon, Clinton vs. Dole, Obama vs. McCain, and Obama vs. Romney. Fortunately, Hillary was incapable of "out-cooling" anyone.)

But something changed in our politics when Bush left office: Baby Boomers replaced the Greatest Generation (Trump is our 4th Baby Boomer president) in the White House, and everywhere we see acrimony, threats of impeachment, overheated rhetoric, and street nihilism. We Boomers have many sins to account for when the "Roll is Called Up Yonder."

Bush Sr. seems as far away now as Lincoln. He deserves to be remembered for his remarkable life of public service, and, maybe more importantly, he seems now to have been the last gentleman president.


BELOW: In this photo, GHWB, as captain of the Yale baseball team, meets Babe Ruth, probably in 1947 or '48. Interestingly, the 2 men were the same height (6'2") but Ruth was ravaged by cancer.
25 Comments
YES, I'M A NEGRO, AND I'M TIRED OF THE 'MAN' HOLDING ME DOWN!
Posted:Oct 17, 2018 10:30 am
Last Updated:Oct 19, 2018 4:04 pm
4709 Views

And the 'WOMAN' is even worse! Notice how the female magpies on the site keep sassing !

So here's the story: For her last birthday, I got Maisie a DNA kit from ancestry.com, and got myself one as well. We both spat into the little vials and sent them back. Turns out my DNA is not very exotic at all...for the most part. A whopping 81% of my ancestry is from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. 8% is from what they call "Germanic Europe," which makes sense as my surname is Germanic. [The figure is lower than I would have expected.] A surprising (to me) 7% of my blood is Norwegian. (Hi, Lulu.)

But then came the eye-opener, the colored person in the woodpile, shall we say. 1% of my DNA comes from "Cameroon, Congo, and Southern Bantu Peoples." This changes everything. Perhaps some of you have heard of the "one-drop rule," codified into law in some southern states, including Tennessee and Virginia (my home state.) If you had one drop of Negro blood, you were considered to be a Negro.

There is a splendid scene from Jerome Kern's Showboat based on this custom/law. Steve Baker, the matinee idol on the showboat, is living with Julie, a beautiful woman who is revealed to be a mulatto. A Mississippi sheriff is tipped off, and stomps on board to arrest them for miscegenation. But the resourceful Steve Baker has just pricked Julie's hand with his pocket knife and swallowed a bit of her blood. Steve is able to melodramatically declaim "everyone on this boat can tell you I' ve got more than one drop of Negro blood in me!" So the couple is spared arrest, though they are dismissed from the company.

But I am afraid this revelation about my ancestry came a bit too late for me. I could have had my pick of colleges, jobs in academia, etc., just like "Pocahontas" Warren!

Life is unfair.
27 Comments

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