Life After Life: A Novel, by Kate Atkinson is based on the premise that the protagonist, Ursula Todd, lives her life over and over and over and over. The suggests that the reason might be so that she can do it until she gets it right. Ursula never seems to get it right.
The book illustrates the main reason I don’t believe in multiple universes or reincarnation. The Creator seems to have set up an orderly universe, with predictable consequences – you know, those laws of physics like, an object in motion tends to stay in motion, conservation of mass and energy in a closed system, and that for action there’s and equal and opposite reaction. He has also instilled unconditional love as our highest value. None of which is consistent with forcing us to go through life – or death – over and over until we get it right.
The best part of the book is that most of the story takes place in London during World War II. Ursula was born, each time she was born, in 1910, so she was a teen during the War to End All Wars and a young woman working for the British Government during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. We Americans are blissfully ignorant of the nightly (“save one”) bombing of London for 10 weeks in September and October, 1940, followed by bombing of that city and others by the Germans the attempt to instill terror in the British and to literally destroy Britain. I am in awe of the people who lived through those nights and of the Air Raid Wardens who served them.
The author pretty much lost my respect for her insight because of a scene in which Ursula is raped. I’m not sure the act could physically be completed the way it’s described, but there’s no way that rape is that nonchalant, non-violent and silent. Perhaps it would have been more plausible if she had induced a fugue state in Ursula. Ms. Atkinson does a much better job with the miserable timeline during which Ursula marries an abusive husband.
There is an interesting detour as Ursula sort of falls into the outer ring of Adolph Hitler’s inner circle.
I only finished the book because of the Battle of Britain stories and a hope of making some sense out of the author’s concept. Or maybe I just wanted a happy ending?
We’ve been in Joplin, Missouri, learning how to run an STI (sexually transmitted diseases) clinic. Now, we’re going home!
I’m in the middle of reading Willie Nelson’s latest book, the semi-biographic stream of consciousness, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road.
I enjoy the stories about his life and family, but I’m continually irritated by his confused comments on politics and ethics.
It really knocks me for a loop when I encounter someone like Mr. Nelson, who has obviously thought long and hard about certain issues but doesn’t seem to understand the basics of ethics or logic. Because he doesn’t know *why* some things are right and others are wrong, he ends up proving one of the homey proverbs he quotes in the book: if you don’t stand for something, you’ll end up falling for anything.
I love to hear Willie Nelson and his songs. My husband and I went to see his band play at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio last January and were very impressed by the Nelson concerts — both of them. Lukas Nelson’s band, Promise of the Real, opened for his father and sons Lukas and Mikah joined the Nelson family on the stage.
It’s tempting to reference Laura Ingraham’s book, Shut Up and Sing, along with the theory and demand behind it. Just because a person is a great singer, songwriter and guitar player, doesn’t mean he’s a great person, much less that he’s a great philosopher or thinker. It certainly shouldn’t mean that his philosophy should be given greater weight than that of other people because of his celebrity and access to the press.
The fact is that Mr. Nelson is a leader and he influences a large number of people. It’s a shame it’s not for the right reasons.
In this book, Mr. Nelson praises the Occupy Wall Street protests, says he agrees with Warren Buffet “that it just ain’t fair for people like us to have all the advantages,” and states that the Second Amendment shouldn’t apply to today’s weapons because they aren’t designed for hunting, only for killing people. His religious comments are mostly just silly ramblings.
However, the cause Mr. Nelson is best identified with – and the one for which it would be simplest to correct his logical errors – is the legalization of marijuana. He writes about his founding of the “TeaPot Party” in the book. Mr. Nelson’s reason for legalizing marijuana is simply that people want to smoke it and there are other legal substances that are worse. And he proposes a Statist’s plan as flimsy as his utilitarian ethic: “Tax it, regulate it and legalize it!” to raise money for the Government:
It’s already been proven that taxing and regulating marijuana makes more sense than sending young people to prison for smoking a God-given herb that has never proven to be fatal to anybody. Cigarettes and alcohol have killed millions, and there’s no law against them, because again, there’s a lot of money in cigarettes and alcohol. If they could realize there is just as much profit in marijuana, and they taxed and regulated it as they do cigarettes and alcohol, they could realize the same amount of profit and reduce trillions of dollars in debt.
Nelson, Willie; Friedman, Kinky (2012-11-13). Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road (p. 20). William Morrow. Kindle Edition. (accessed 12/03/2012)
It might surprise some people that I – the self-proclaimed “hot air under the right wing” – agree that marijuana shouldn’t be illegal to grow, own or use. I base my belief on a plain reading of the US Constitution. How on Earth can our Federal government outlaw a plant that literally grows like a weed and doesn’t require manufacturing or processing to use? In fact, my theory as to why the plant is illegal is because it would be hard to regulate and tax.
Or maybe not.
Back in the mid-1990′s, I attempted to grow a traditional herbal medicine garden and ran into trouble obtaining Oriental poppy seeds, Papaver somniferum. Most of the orders I placed were cancelled, so I started doing some research. I learned that the Clinton Administration was raiding gardens and arresting people for growing and sharing the seeds of heirloom plants passed down from their mothers. This was in spite of the age-old use of the plants in gardens and herbal medicine, as well as the ready availability of food grade fertile Oriental poppy seeds for cooking and baking.
The more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that the Federal government’s “War on Drugs” is not Constitutional and it’s not conservative. I agree with Mr. Nelson that this “war” is a costly abuse of government that strengthens organized crime and too many American freedoms have fallen as collateral damage. But the reason is not because people want to abuse drugs or because the Government could make money off the taxes. It’s because there’s no justification for outlawing a plant in the Constitution.
This is what happens when we the People don’t know our own Constitution and allow our Legislators to habitually pass abusive laws: the infringement of our inalienable rights.
Well, have YOU had your picture in the New York Times?
My husband and I went to see The Avengers tonight – I think every showing in two theaters in New Braunfels were sold out. It was great. There were some hokey lines and the space warriors were not well designed, but the movie as a whole was 5 stars. I loved the subtle and not so subtle wit and humor.
I spent my allowance on comic books as a kid and then discovered science fiction. The movies rarely do either well, but I’m glad to say that this time they did.
The bad guy is “Loki,” the alien adopted brother of Thor. At one point, he demands that a crowd of humans bow to him, declaring that this is our natural state. On elderly man stands, saying he refuses to bow “to a man like you” and that there will always be evil men. In another scene, Captain America talks about self-sacrifice for the cause and for the team. When Thor and Loki are described as “like gods,” the Captain says, “There’s only one God.”
I can’t help but wonder whether Hollywood understands how subversive movies like this are. the themes of too much entertainment are shown to be ugly, selfish and shallow.
(An example of the opposite would be “The Iron Lady” that tells Maggie Thatcher’s life story as though she lived an entire life through moments of dementia.)
The Atlantic has a funny little interview with physicist Lawrence Krauss, the author of last year’s A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing,
Krauss states that he likes to “provoke people” and believes that science is meant to make people “uncomfortable.”
The joke is that the interview’s subject is whether science has made philosophy and religion “obsolete.” What they should really be discussing is the claim by Krauss that physics can answer the question, “Why?”
Science is pretty good at answering the questions “How?” and “What?” In fact, one of the criteria of a scientific experiment or statement is that observers around the world should be able to replicate that experiment if they work with the same variables as the first reporter.
But science never answers “Why?”
The hypothesis of the article is that theoretical physics has answered enough “whys” that philosophy and religion – and the notion of a Creator – are “obsolete.” That’s the “hook” that Krauss says he was looking for in order to make his book sell. It also won him praise from (Red Letter Evangelical) atheists Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.
It’s ridiculous to talk about any aspect of natural physics within this universe as though the discussion or findings rule out the existence of a Creator. Obviously, what is within the Universe, what can be observed, measured, or even “presumed,” must adhere to the laws of physics of this universe – whether or not there is a Creator.
The problem of “something from nothing” is resolved by Krauss by imagining an infinite number of universes, interconnected so that this universe is not a closed system: “infinite” “calculable” “multiverses.” Where did those multiverses, and the conditions that make Krauss’ quantum physics exist, come from?
We still get back to “something from nothing.”
Without philosophy, I dare anyone to explain the existence of concepts such as “like,” “provoke,” and/or “meant to.” Or “Beauty,” “Truth,” and “Justice.” And religion is the best way to explain “Love” and to answer “Why?”
My brilliant son pointed out the “prt sc” button on my keyboard when I asked how to make a screen print.
This is too cute to pass up. The Google News headline for a Business Week article on “lean, finely textured beef” contained a typo that proves the rule that you can’t believe everything you read. Or the rule that typos rule.
Beer Price May Rise on `Pink Slime’ Hysteria, Perry Says
BusinessWeek – 16 hours ago By Elizabeth Campbell on March 29, 2012 via Google News.
Of course, the real headline should have been “Beef Price . . . ” and was corrected on the website.
Working within the 5 letters for the personalized plates was tough. “DR 4 LF,” “MD 4 LF,” etc. were not available.
Then: Standing at the counter at the Comal County tax office, today, it occurred to me that I could have used my initials.
The frame and the plate are worth a lot of bumper stickers, aren’t they? Just think, the regular plates cost $30 a year, with $22 of that going to support adoption services in Texas. This is an easy way to donate and much less messy than bumper stickers!
Order yours at the Choose Life link at Texas Alliance for Life.
While I’m very tempted to make “Saturday Night Live” jokes and puns about the opening statement by the SAEN that “Pelosi whipped up” anything, I think I’ll just quote the SAEN quoting Charlie Gonzales,
“Of course I’m endorsing him,” he said. “And when you support Joaquin Castro, you support Nancy Pelosi returning as speaker of the House.”
The “rest of the story,” at LifeEthics.org.
We wanted Glenn at Celltex because from the start we have been determined to do things right,” said David Eller, chairman and chief executive officer of Celltex, which is based in Houston, Texas. “Celltex is a leader in adult stem banking and multiplication technology. We already have state-of-the-art technology, and with Glenn, we are assured that we will be using it in the most ethical way possible.”
Dr. McGee, who resigned his position as the John B. Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics and his role as editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Bioethics in November 2011, was the founder of the publication. Under his leadership, The American Journal of Bioethics became the leading journal in its field. He is now serving in an advisory capacity with the journal until March 1, 2011. [sic]
I think I’m so tech-savvy. And then, I hit one little old button and shut down the website for hours.
WingRight is back up after a silly mistake. GoDaddy and WordPress are communicating again. And I won’t mess with critical settings without a lot of research – at least until the next time.
I’ll admit that I don’t like Over The Counter hormone preparations. But isn’t this going too far in the name of convenience?
Students at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania can get the “morning-after” pill by sliding $25 into a vending machine, an idea that has drawn the attention of federal regulators and raised questions about how accessible emergency contraception should be.
The pill only works during 5 or 6 days of a girl’s cycle. But what if she throws her cycle off several times a month?
And studies show that even when women have the pills in the medicine cabinet, they don’t use it correctly.
BTW, I’m convinced that Plan B is not an abortifacient – does not cause abortions by interfering with implantation or development if there is fertilization. It can block ovulation for 5 days before ovulation and it makes the mucus thick at the cervix and uterus so sperm and egg have a hard time getting together. It doesn’t change the way that implantation goes and it may even encourage the protection of the new embryo by moma’s body
If, as I believe, the pills only work in preventing fertilization, they are only medically justified/necessary 5 days before or one or 2 days just after ovulation, the window of fertility. The other 20 days or so of the menstrual cycle, the pills are useless and un-necessary.
The best evidence is that Plan B works to prevent ovulation or to prevent the oocyte (the “egg”) from being released from the ovary and passing to the fallopian tube. This is why the pill is best (and only?) functional before ovulation. In nature, the egg only lives about 24 hours and sperm can live from 2 to 5 days. If the egg is not released, is over 24 hours old, if the sperm cannot get to the egg or if they are dead or incapacitated, there can be no fertilization.
The only post-ovulation effect that has been proven that could prevent pregnancy also prevents fertilization. Levonorgestrel causes the mucus in the cervix to be thick (so sperm have a hard time getting to the uterus and then the fallopian tube where the egg is) and by making the sperm unable to penetrate the zona pellucida, the covering and nurturing cells around the oocyte or egg.
Remember Natural Family Planning? This is the method of following body temp and cervical mucus changes to help figure out when a woman is fertile and when she’s not. The post-ovulatory changes that indicate the non-fertile time immediately following ovulation are due to a progesterone similar to the one that is in Plan B.
Also, the progesterone increases the likelihood of implantation and supports that early pregnancy by delaying the period and encouraging the lining of the uterus to develop.
Of course, the single, small dose in Plan B doesn’t have as great an effect as the hormones from the corpus luteum after ovulation.
Sonja Harris, the Blogger “Red Sonja” of Conservatives in Action, noted that the Obama Administration told the Church that it has a whole year to make peace. She’s astounded that the speaker meant peace with Obama, not with God.
In my life time, the Catholic Church has not experienced such brutal attacks coming from the President of the United States of America. It even hurts typing that line. Never have Catholics and other Christians been so assaulted for trying to live their faith.
I have to remind myself as to why the Conservatives in Action came to be. It was because Obama began his assault on the Catholic Church early by using Joe Biden, a joke as a Catholic, to bring in the Catholic vote. And immediately after Obama’s inauguration, the day after the Right to Life March in 2009, and three days after taking his oath to protect us on January 20th, he signed the Executive Order on January 23rd to repeal the Mexico City policy thereby having the American taxpayer pay for abortions overseas.
It is imperative that as Christians we understand that politics do play a significant role in our lives. Politics dictate our every move. The amount of times we flush the toilet, the light bulb we should use, how fast we should drive, the age of retirement, how many septic tanks we can have on our property, these are a mere drop as to the hundreds of thousands of restrictions that are upon us today. Until Catholics understand that politics and religion are indeed intertwined, we can kiss our faith good bye.
Do we want a big name blogger – one who is nearly a member of the traditional media – named to the CPAC Blogger of the Year? Or do we want a grassroots, self-taught blogger like you and me to represent us?
I know many of the bloggers who will most likely be nominated and would be proud to call them friends, but Sonja Harris better represents me and most of the Pajamas crowd.
EMAIL THIS FORM, FILLED OUT WITH YOUR INFORMATION, TO BloggerAward@conservative.org
CPAC 2012 Blogger of the Year Award
Please submit nominations by COB on Wednesday, February 8
Your Name: ____________________
Your Email Address: ___________________
NOMINEE: ________Sonja Harris, Conservatives in Action_____
Nominee’s Blog Title: Conservatives In Action_____________________
Nominee’s Blog URL: http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/
Nominee’s Twitter ID (if applicable): @SonjaHHarris
Nominee’s Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org_________________________________
Description of Merit:
Self-taught conservative with an email list that is forwarded to over 10,000 readers a week, including Israeli and other international readers. While the e-mail is her biggest effort, Sonja has a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#%21/pages/Conservatives-in-Action/219411951422716 and publishes a blog under the name “Red Sonja” at http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/
She also publishes on TexasGOPVote.com http://texasgopvote.com/users/sonja-harris
Sonja was a volunteer blogger for the Rick Perry campaign in Iowa http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2012/01/rick-perry-and-iowa-caucus-2012.html , live-blogged the Newt Gingrich/Herman Cain debate in Houston http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2011/11/cain-gingrich-debate-on-november-5-2012.html ,
and has covered Texas http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2011/06/medina-valley-hs-class-of-2011-and.html , national and international news.
Please read her coverage of Pro-life rallies, take a look at her photographs of political and social events and her series on art. http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2011/02/photographys-place-in-art-art-for-our.html
So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin.
CONSERVATIVES IN ACTION
Bloggers can sign up for the Perry.org Blogger Action Center and get widgets for their blog here.
I like my button, seen at the right, but these are pretty! There are several State-specific widgets and these more general buttons:
Transhumanism is a field composed of many interesting mind games (pun intended) but the really great title of this Scientific American review of Connectome, a new book by Sebastian Seung on cutting edge neuroscience, the state of the science behind the Human Brain Project and the transhumanist religion that is adopting it, is what made me post tonight.
Can you remember the last update of the operating system software on your phone or the browser you’re using to read this note? Or did you buy a Windows 7 computer only to find that your year-old wireless printer was not supported? Or – horrors! – have you, like me, found that your entire computer system is no longer “compliant” and won’t be supported by your vendor after a change in Federal law?
If you have a smartphone and have installed “apps,” how many of them are due an update? That software will completely replace your old program which will be removed from your phone’s memory.
Now, just imagine that your consciousness, your whole brain full of connections and thoughts, a program that, according to a certain group of transhumanists, will think, feel and essentially be you.
The idea is to dispose of the fallible human body that inevitably degrades and dies for a program that will live forever.
My experience with technology is that it, too, decays, degrades or comes with bugs and glitches that require constant upgrades with code that may be worse than a human malignancy. And that security programs can themselves be as bad as the hacks and viruses they’re supposed to protect me from.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to beta this one.
“”Siri is doing exactly what it was built to do—provide answers to questions like, “Where can I get an abortion?” using its own algorithms and the online resources it has available to craft answers.
“”Consider the current kerfuffle. This is simplifying things a bit, but the gist of this story is that Siri is getting hung up on a word, “abortion,” because organizations that actually offer abortion services tend not to use the word as much as anti-abortion organizations do. So when Siri goes looking for where to get an “abortion” in the digital wordscape of the Internet, lo and behold, it returns addresses for Crisis Pregnancy Centers rather than Planned Parenthood.”"
I’m not sure how I feel about allowing my car to communicate with other cars, but some sort of warning from a monitor at the intersection would be good.
While they’re at it, could someone put out a signal telling the driver the local speed limit? I think the “smart cars” of the future should help us this way.
In order to reduce the number of accidents at intersections, researchers at MIT have devised an algorithm that predicts when an oncoming car is likely to run a red light. Based on parameters such as the vehicle’s deceleration and its distance from a light, the group was able to determine which cars were potential “violators” — those likely to cross into an intersection after a light has turned red — and which were “compliant.”
The researchers tested the algorithm on data collected from an intersection in Virginia, finding that it accurately identified potential violators within a couple of seconds of reaching a red light — enough time, according to the researchers, for other drivers at an intersection to be able to react to the threat if alerted. Compared to other efforts to model driving behavior, the MIT algorithm generated fewer false alarms, an important advantage for systems providing guidance to human drivers. The researchers report their findings in a paper that will appear in the journal IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems.
Jonathan How, the Richard Cockburn Maclaurin Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, says “smart” cars of the future may use such algorithms to help drivers anticipate and avoid potential accidents.
“If you had some type of heads-up display for the driver, it might be something where the algorithms are analyzing and saying, ‘We’re concerned,’” says How, who is one of the paper’s authors. “Even though your light might be green, it may recommend you not go, because there are people behaving badly that you may not be aware of.”
How says that in order to implement such warning systems, vehicles would need to be able to “talk” with each other, wirelessly sending and receiving information such as a car’s speed and position data. Such vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, he says, can potentially improve safety and avoid traffic congestion. Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is exploring V2V technology, along with several major car manufacturers — including Ford Motor Company, which this year has been road-testing prototypes with advanced Wi-Fi and collision-avoidance systems.
Video proof that someone needs to buy this man a world atlas.
The MSM isn’t going to highlight this gaffe even though Obama is indeed running for president just like all the GOP candidates. So we will.
Take note, Obama is in Hawaii, not Asia:
Spending the night at the Woodlands Resort after the Texas Patriots PAC “debate” between Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. They proved that competition is good – wish we’d had some. Besides that, in the parking lot in front of my room – taking up 5 -6 of the parking spaces – is the Newt Mobile, the Cain Train pick up and the trailer they haul the NewtMobile around in. How close are these two and are we supposed to believe they’ve got it all figured out?
And the NewtMobile, with Cain President on the front and back.
The benefit show at UT’s Erwin Center will now kick off at 6:30 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets ranging in price from $25 to $250 are available at TexasBoxOffice.com.
Asleep at the Wheel
Randy Rogers Band
Dixie Chicks *barf*
Proceeds will go to the Austin Community Foundation’s Central Texas Wildfire Fund.
You can also buy T-shirts to support the Bastrop Fire Department (BFD) from the UT Senate. Click Here or at the pic above.
AUSTIN, Texas — A huge benefit concert to help out the more than 1,500 people who lost their homes in the Bastrop County wildfire is planned for next month.
Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, the Dixie Chicks, Asleep at the Wheel, Steve Miller, with Eric Johnson & Joe Satriani, Shawn Colvin & the Court Yard Hounds, and the Texas Tornados have all signed up to perform.
Friday Night Lights and recent Emmy winner Kyle Chandler will be the host.
The concert, dubbed Fire Relief: The Concert for Central Texas, has been organized by Austin music moguls Ray Benson and Peter Schwarz, who say they pulled together all of their resources to put the show on.
Tickets go on sale Friday at Texas Box Office. Prices range from $25 to $250 for the Oct. 17 show.
The book begins with Lincoln’s triumphal inauguration March 4, 1865, as the Civil War is grinding to its conclusion, with the fall of Richmond, Va., a month away. A photograph of the ceremony shows part of the crowd, and in the crowd can be seen stage star John Wilkes Booth, who was already plotting to kidnap the president.
Edit: spelling BBN
I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but I do think Governor Perry is red meat for the controversy-hungry media and that he scares the dickens out of RINO’s.
And now, we’ve got the Washington Post literally turning over rocks to turn up scandalous words. (That rock never belonged to him or his family, although the reports say they repeatedly tried to hide the word.)
Here’s someone who does see conspiracy:
There are three reasons why these groups are plotting against Perry.
First, he hails from Texas and they claim he is “soft on illegal immigration.” I will set the record straight on Perry’s immigration policy. Second, he’s not a “silver tongued” public speaker — as if that should be a qualification anyway. We all know what the last “silver tongued” orator has done to our country. Actions, my fellow citizens, speak louder than words. Third, Governor Perry is a Christian Conservative.
Take a look at the new look at Conservatives in Action.
“Red Sonja” reaches over 10,000 readers with her email newsletters, and her blog is sure to reach as many. If you want to read what Conservatives are thinking, read this blog!
The bloggers over at the Junk Science blog disagree with the statistical significance of researchers who published an article using data from the Nurse’s Health Study. The article is published in the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine.
Personally, I’d have bet on Chocolate, but that data is still being cooked.
I’ve posted on LifeEthics.org about the link that previous researchers found between coffee and death from all causes (but only for women, not for men) and between coffee and the prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia.
I have often thought that people who become addicted to nicotine and who regularly use other stimulants to calm down are probably self-treating hyperactivity, possibly chemical/neurochemical depression.
This makes sense: if there are less fat cells full of stored fat, and less of them to fill after weight loss, then it is intuitive that there will be fewer circulating triglycerides.
Some of us have wondered whether those fat cells, when emptied after weight loss by dieting, cry out to be filled. (or send out hormones or hormone-like signals) to increase calorie intake.
The research doesn’t definitively prove that liposuction caused levels to drop, however, and an outside researcher questioned the value of the study.
The study looked at 270 women and 52 men who underwent either liposuction, a tummy tuck (known as an abdominoplasty), or both. On average, the patients were slightly overweight, although they ranged from nearly underweight to morbidly obese.
The patients underwent fasting blood tests before surgery, one month afterward, and again three months afterward. At three months after surgery, triglyceride levels dropped from an average of 151.8 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) to 112.8 mg/dL in patients who underwent liposuction alone, representing a decrease of 25.7 percent; they fell by 43 percent in those with levels considered to be “at risk” — that is, 150 mg/dL or more.
Levels of white blood cells also dipped after liposuction and in patients who had both procedures. (High white blood cell counts are linked with an increased level of inflammation within the body and have been associated with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.) Levels of cholesterol and blood sugar didn’t change significantly.
Commenting on the study, University of Colorado researcher Rachael Van Pelt, who has studied the after-effects of liposuction, said the findings are “virtually meaningless” because triglyceride levels vary from day to day, and the researchers didn’t include a control group.
If you don’t subscribe to “The Best of the Web” by James Taranto, here’s an example of why you ought to:
Obama says that to all the girls.
Still, he did manage to find some affection yesterday in North Carolina. The Puffington Host reports that while Obama was delivering a campaign speech there, “a lone male voice rang out: ‘I love you Barack!’ Obama responded immediately: ‘I love you back!’ ” It must’ve been Giuseppe.
Obama quickly decided he’d better play hard to get. According to Agence France-Presse, he added: “If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill.” The reference was to Stimulus Jr., the $447 billion boondoggle he proposed in a historic speech to a joint session of Congress last week.
That inspired us to write a very short piece of fiction, which we published yesterday on Twitter: ” ‘If you love me,’ she said, ‘you’ve got to help me pass this bill.’ That’s when I dumped her. My friends were right: she was a gold digger.”
Memories in the hearts and minds of others are what we leave behind. Even more than our DNA, that’s what makes us human. We are the only species having this conversation, after all!
More than I’ve noticed in the past, this nascent Presidential election is bringing out emotions, old rivalries, and pitting Conservative against Conservative as we perfect our skill of hair-splitting. We’re covering life, liberty and pursuit of happiness like the founders and many since, and reviewing changes in local politics as well as basic philosophies and world visions. (Not New World Order, how you see the world.)
And, Lord knows, we Conservatives can split hairs finer than Baptists.
Nevertheless, I think all this fussin’ is a good thing as long as we stop short of “eating our own. ” We’re proving, once again, that we are not merely reactionaries or like those old “yellow dog” Democrats or Republicans (meaning we’d vote for an old yellow dog before we’d vote for the other Party). We have arrived – and are arriving – at our opinions through thought and research. (Don’t you love the Internet?) No one can watch us nit-pick (and cherry-pick quotes) and accuse us of blindly following some leader. Oh, no. Not us!
However new and raucous our debates have become, some of us have been reminiscing about the people who influenced our views on politics, even as we continue to engage in political arguments. I’ve gotten to “know” some pretty impressive grandma’s and parents and been able to share my own memories of my family.*
We’re reminding one another of why Texas went from a Democrat State to a Republican State. And we still learn lessons from the people who lived that conversion before us.
What a great debate and a blessing to live in these times!
*My mother passed away in August, 2006. I still miss her. Here’s an introduction in the form of the note I wrote on what would have been her 70th birthday:
Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007 would have been my mother’s 70th birthday. Helen Margaret Jernigan Burnett, “Mama,” died from complications of thymic carcinoma last August.
Mama is probably the source of my addiction to arguing and politics. Some people might think it comes from being the oldest daughter of a Baptist preacher, but I believe it comes from being the daughter of a certain Baptist preacher’s wife.
Mama was a teetotaler, prolife, conservative who believed in equal opportunity for anyone who would do the work, but also worked to help others. She and Daddy stopped to “early vote” on the way to see the chest surgeon – just in case her surgery was scheduled before the election a few weeks away. She was semi-famous in her hometown as the food demonstration lady at the local Wal-Mart, the one who handed out samples and root beer floats. She won awards at work for leading fund raising and selling at the store, and ran the early morning Senior Citizens Bingo. Most of all, she was the best “Grandmama” in the world.
As Daddy pushed her wheelchair into the hospital for what turned out to be her last admission, she suddenly looked up at the people around her and said, “I have the best insurance in the world: Jesus Christ!”
It turned out that she was suffering a series of strokes that would steal her ability to do even basic self-care and make her delirious most of the time. Daddy, my sister or I took turns to be with her most of the time; feeding her, helping with her baths and trying to help her control her pain. I wasn’t always patient and I’m afraid that I preached a few of the lessons I learned from her, back at her. But I was better at doing what I could for her than I would have ever thought.
In spite of what I knew of her condition and prognosis, Mama’s death was totally unexpected. Evidently, she had her final stroke while in the MRI, as I sat at the head of the machine, singing to her and trying to keep her (both of us) calm.
I’ve often heard people say that they wouldn’t want to be a burden to their children. Needing someone else to feed us and wipe our chin when we can’t hold the spoon, much less assist us in performing much more intimate acts of hygiene, seems to be the worst thing we can imagine.
I’ve never had a good answer for patients or family members when they express this fear to me. Now, I know that the worst thing that I can imagine is living the rest of my life without having fed Mama, washed her, and rubbed her back on that last day.
The faith that she and Daddy surrounded me with as a child makes me sure that Mama is in heaven. But it’s the memories of caring for her those last few days that let me live here on earth knowing that I loved her as best I could when I could. Mama’s last lesson was that we owe it to our loved ones to allow them to care for us, for their sakes.