Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Passover

"Remember this day, on which you went free from Egypt, the house of bondage, how Adonai freed you from it with a mighty hand...." -Exodus 13:3

Passover at the White House.

"Passover has a message for the conscience and the heart of all mankind. For what does it commemorate? It commemorates the deliverance of a people from degrading slavery, from most foul and cruel tyranny. And so, it is Israel's - nay, God's protest against unrighteousness, whether individual or national." -Morris Joseph

Miles on Monday

There is not enough green yet for my taste. But it will come. They promised warmer weather. I am going to move the old recliner out to the porch so I can nap out there. Miles is wondering what I am doing out in the back yard holding up that little black thing. He loves being outside and while the weather is nice I will let him out for hours. As long as he does not bark. If he barks he gets brought back in.
This is currently his favorite outdoor toy. The bird feeder was out there. He got a hold of it and has pretty much destroyed it. Carries it around with the proudest strut you ever did see. He is beautiful when he moves. Has a nice gait. I will try to get it on film sometime.
Bailey went out also and this is not a good picture but you can see the relative size. Bailey went to the groomer this morning. I also got a new battery for my door opener on the car and two Chili cheese dogs from the Dairy Queen (and yes a Blizzard also but only a small one.)
Two shots of Miles to finish out the photo session. One without effects and one with.
He is so beautiful I just can't wait till he gets past the puppy chewing stage. He got to my leather brief case strap the other day and almost chewed clean through it. I yelled at him and he looked so sorrowful that I petted him and hugged him...I wonder what lesson he learned from me. Anyway here is a movie which I made with the phone. Nothing great, just experimenting.

Jon came by and picked him up yesterday and took him for a walk with Nick and his (NIck's) two Shelties. I have not seen Nick's dogs but they got along all right. I transferred a bunch of music from my iMusic to the phone and now when the phone rings I hear the Black Dyke Band playing Basin Street. When Criag calls me it plays Mac the Knife. So much fun.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week. Hugs, j

Constitution - Limits on Congress

Section 9 - Limits on Congress

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

(No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.)

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Old Jews Telling Jokes

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday This 'N That

I want to extol the virtues of my new phone. For one thing the sound quality when I listen to someone is really great. For another I can plug it into my computer and download the pictures I take directly to the computer just like I do my camera.

I took this picture of Worshipful Master Kurt at our Specialis Procer Festive Board (He was being festive) and it transferred nicely. Just a fun snap shot but at least I can get it off the phone. Which is more than I could from the other one. Now to try a video

When it is plugged into the computer via the USB port I can transfer music from my iTunes and Jon tells me it has 1 Gig more than his MP3 player. the icon does say MP4. So I transferred one CD to the phone, got out the earphones and plugged it in and
oh, my it is nice. So very nice. The sound is better than my Bose radio... (But don't tell Bose that) - It will also charge from the computer.

I did not accomplish much today. Just relaxed and read my blogs and my book. I did find some cartoons to share

There is so much crap going on in the world right now it is taking the edge off the fact that the birds are singing and the flowers are springing up and a few million people can go to bed now with fewer worries about their health care. Tomorrow we will go back to looking at the Constitution. I find it interesting. I hope you do also.

Right now the nephew is grilling over at his friend Nick's and I am waiting for my Black Market Reuben Pizza. It has been a while since I had one and I did not eat much for lunch in anticipation. Thanks for stopping by.. Oh yes if you go over to ColbyandStacey's Weblog you can see his post about his pet corn snake.Derf. I found it fascinating. Hugs, j

Go Read

No More Crosses - A Sermon by John Shuck

Music for Sunday

When I was a kid in the First United Methodist Church in Ames I used to love Palm Sunday because we sang this hymn.

And just because I love it here is another one I found while searching for the first.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


You can read a review of this opera from the New York Times here.

Simon Keenlyside
, baritone is Hamlet and Marlis Petersen is Ophelia Hamlet in this production of Hamlet - in High Definition, Live from the Met.

Miss Peterson was a last minute replacement and during one of the interviews at Intermission she told Renee Fleming about the experience of being in a show in Vienna on the 12th, flying to New York on the 13th and opening on the 16th. This beautiful woman was perfect in the role of Ophelia and her "Mad" scene made me realize that is is not just an opera singer. She and Mr Keenlyside are "actor singers." They were both able to make one believe that they were not just singers but were rather story tellers who wanted us to feel the emotions of the characters.

She talked about the part with Maestro Louis Langrée over Skype before coming to the Met for rehearsals, missed the dress rehearsal and I could not tell that she had not been in the part from the very beginning.

Mr. Keenlyside has a wonderful voice and I could listen to him all day. And he is young and rugged looking so his body type fits my mental image of Hamlet. The part is demanding and he is onstage a lot and I got to thinking that for a "singer/actor" to put in that many performances and for that long a show.(almost 4 hours) is almost a superhuman feat. But he maintained his energy throughout the entire performance and when he came out at the end to take his bow he looked just as refreshed as when he sang with Ophelia in the first scene. An interesting side note, when he was interviewed he stated that he can't read music. That means he has to learn it all by ear. Incredible.

The music began with tympani and French horn. Ambroise Thomas's music was (as I overheard someone say) "unfamiliar music, it still has a familiar feel to it." - I had written "soaring and majestic" in my notes and I loved it.

While the story is from Shakespeare this is not Shakespeare. And the story was not original with Shakespeare. Click here to read about where he got the story. You can even read the part Shakespeare left out. While the opera is based on Shakespeare's play as I said it is not Shakespeare. However there is enough of the play in the opera to make it very familiar. I found that interesting and of course, my favorite (aside from "Get thee to a nunnery) is the soliloquy of Hamlet which begins "To be or not to be..." The line I love from there is one that the authors of the Masonic Ritual stole from the Soliloquy...."The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns..."

It has been 113 years since this Opera was performed at the Met. I am grateful that they chose to bring it back -- and that I got to go see it.

One of the interesting things about Opera in the movie theater (which has reached more that 2 million people around the world this season) is that I can have popcorn and a coke (diet of course) with my opera. Some folks bring along real food and almost have a picnic at intermission. Nice little bread and something sandwiches...Ladies with big purses can get away with bringing anything into the theater....(I once read that Joanne Woodward used to smuggle in a six pack of beer for Paul Newman) least they weren't pealing and eating oranges.

They also announced the 2010-2011 Season today. Next year they will open and close with two of Wagner's Operas. There is one more opera this year. May 1st

Armida – Gioachino Rossini

May 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm ET
US Encore: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 (6:30 PM local time)
Canada Encore: May 22, 2010, 1 pm
Expected Running time: 4 hours, 19 minutes, 2 intermissions

This mythical story of a sorceress who enthralls men in her island prison has inspired operatic settings by a multitude of composers, including Gluck, Haydn, and Dvorˇák. Renée Fleming stars in the title role of Rossini’s version, opposite no fewer than six tenors. Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman returns to direct this new production of a work she describes as “a buried treasure, a box of jewels.” The fanciful and magical tale, Zimmerman says, “has an epic, enchanted quality and a tremendous visual element

If I don't get to go to Guthrie I will go - if not I will see it at the Encore showing. The Encore for Hamlet is Wednesday, April 14 so if you missed today you can still see it.

There was a preview of the set and it looks wonderful. Speaking of sets. The sets today were minimal. In most cases just a wall. Not much else. The focus was on the players. The costuming was perfect. I think the ladies dresses were elegant without being gaudy.. (Hollywood fashionistas take note)

The following is from the New York Times and it is about Miss Peterson's experience coming in at the last minute. Oh and there was only one "clapper" in the theater today- even though the audience at the Met gave them a standing ovation at the end.

ISU Pep Ralley

There was a big send off pep rally on Saturday afternoon as the Iowa State University Lady Cyclones left to be one of the Sweet Sixteen teams in the third round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. The first photo of Head Coach Bill Fennelly is a favorite of mine as it is all about reflections.....the way the team reflects on Ames and ISU, and the way the fans reflect back excitement and appreciation that sure does help to motivate the team. The Lady Cyclones face the University of Connecticut (UCON) in the early afternoon this coming Sunday, and you can watch it on your channel that carries the NCAA Women's Tournament games. The good news is the the Cyclones ARE going!!....the bad news is that UCON is the number ONE women's college basketball team in the country! In 1999, a magical year, ISU women faced UCON as well, and against all odds....they WON! Who knows it could happen again!! Let's hope so!!

The second shot is a fun one showing our mascot CY on the left and Jeff Johnson, ISU Alumni Director, in front leading some cheers between the women team members behind him, and the fans who were gathered out in front. After the fifteen minute pep rally the team hopped back on the bus and drove to the airport and immediately got on their chartered jet. A few hours later they were settling into their temporary Dayton, Ohio home, for what will be the biggest game of their lives on Sunday afternoon. GO CYCLONES!!!

Photos and text by Bob Kelly

Friday, March 26, 2010


A correction was sent in for my post on Simon Boccanegra. Please go read it. Thanks

The US Constitution - The Powers of Congress

I am moving forward and skipping the following sections. You can find links to them here.

Section 4 - Elections, Meetings
Section 5 - Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment
Section 6 - Compensation
Section 7 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto

Today we are looking at the powers of Congress. They have a lot of them.

Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Found For Friday

While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant, and resumed their trip.

When leaving, the elderly woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table, and she didn't miss them until they had been driving for about forty minutes.
By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance before theycould find a place to turn around,in order to return to the restaurant to retrieve her glasses.

All the way back, the elderly husband became the classic grouchy old man.

He fussed and complained, and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive.
The more he chided her, the more agitated he became. He just wouldn't let up for a single minute.

To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant.
As the woman got out of the car, and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her,
While you're in there, you might as well get my hat and the credit card.

This coming week is National Senior Mental Health Week. You can do YOUR part by remembering
to contact at least one UNSTABLE Senior to show you care.

I have now done MY part.

Only in drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Only in people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

Only in banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

Only in America we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

Only in we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

Only in America they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering


Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?

Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

Four women were playing golf. One teed off and watched in horror as her ball headed directly toward a foursome of men playi

The ball hit one of the men.

He immediately clasped his hands together at his groin, fell to the ground and proceeded to roll around in agony.

The woman rushed down to the man, and immediately began to apologize.

'Please allow me to help. I'm a Physical Therapist and I know I could relieve your pain if you'd allow me, she told him.

'Oh, no, I'll be all right. I'll be fine in a few minutes,' the man replied. He was in obvious agony, lying in the fetal position, still clasping his hands together at his groin.

At her persistence, however, he finally allowed her to help. She gently took his hands away and laid them to the side, loosened his pants and put her hands inside.

She administered tender and artful massage for several long moments and asked,

'How does that feel'?

He replied: It feels great, but I think my thumb's still broken

So you're a senior citizen and the government says no health care for you,
what do you do?
Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. You are
allowed to shoot 2 senators and 2 representatives. Of Course, this means
you will be sent to prison where you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over
your head, and all the health care you need! New teeth, no problem. Need
glasses, great. New hip, knees, kidney, lungs, heart? All covered.
And your kids can come and visit you as often as they do now.
And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just
told you that you are too old for health care. Plus, because you are a
prisoner, you don't have to pay any income taxes anymore.

Spreading the Stupidity

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Another New Master Mason

When I got to Lodge tonight to meet with Paul the Worshipful Master was sweeping the front sidewalk. He takes the admonition that officers are servants to heart. He is welcoming Larry back. Larry has been in school and just got his Associates Degree so he came to Lodge to celebrate. It was nice to have him back with us.
After sweeping up he cleaned up (nicely) and presided at a Master Mason Degree, He conferred the degree and did a very nice job.
After the meeting Oliver and Jim reminisced about old times. Oliver was one of my officers when I was Master and was Master of both Arcadia Lodge and Cyrene Lodge in Clarion. He drives down often to attend Arcadia. He is a devoted member - we are lucky to have him.
This is John (our newest Master Mason, his uncle, father and Master of the Lodge. Masonry is a Family affair.

A close up. Worshipful Master Dave, John and his father and uncle.
The core of Masonry is family.

I worked in Des Moines today at the Scottish Rite. I got to open the building. I love unlocking the big bronze door and turning on the lights. Then I checked the newspaper Obituary list against the membership list. I also processed dues that came in, answered the phone. Worked on updating the database, visited with people who came into the office, opened the mail, addressed post cards to go out, and went out to lunch with Shane. In the afternoon I took a deposit to the Bank and came home.

When I got home I had to run the Spot Bot because Bailey had an accident, Rested for a little while and then went to Lodge to meet with Paul and go over his Masonic enlightenment course. (He passed with flying colors.) I feel really productive today and I really enjoyed myself. I have a project in mind for the Scottish Rite. I noticed that a lot of the zip codes do not have the +4 on them. I started using the USPS Zip code look-up to make the correction. I will probably try and go down once a week to work on it and other things. In the meantime I must get ready for the Specialis Procer Stated Meeting tomorrow night. And I still love my Palm Pre. It is awesome.
Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, j-bear.

The Constitution- What is in it? -The Senate

Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 3 - The Senate

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded by the 17th Amendment, section 1.) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; (and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.) (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded by the 17th Amendment, section 2.)

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

The senate was an attempt to pacify the small states who feared that they would be overwhelmed by the larger states with more representatives. With every state being equal they thought that they would have a better chance to maintain their interests in this House. What do you think? Has it worked?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A New Master Mason

Mike, Master Mason. Blogs at Iowa Freemasonry.

Welcome Brother Mike I am glad I was able to attend your Master Mason Degree.

I worked all day at the Scottish Rite and will tomorrow also. Tomorrow evening there will be another Master Mason degree - this one in Ames, Another one in Newton. One Iowa Lodge has 24 candidates they are working on. It seems that Masonry is alive and well in the state of Iowa. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, j

Constitution - B - The Legislature - House of Representatives

Article I - The Legislative Branch Note (This is on the Separation of Powers)

Section 1 - The Legislature

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Section 2 - The House

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

(Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.) (The previous sentence in parentheses was modified by the 14th Amendment, section 2.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.


This provides for a House of Representatives and is apportioned directly from the number of people we have in the United States. It provides for a counting of the people every ten (10) years and currently there are 435 Members of the House. I can remember discussing this with my fifth grade class one year. Our text book said "There are even 5 women who were members of the House of Representatives." - This was in the 90's. I asked the kids "About what percentage of our population are women? They thought about 49%. I suggested that it was actually a little higher about 52%. I then asked them to figure out how many women SHOULD be in the House of Representatives. (About 227 should be women if they are really representative. As of 2009, 441 members of Congress are male (83%) and 92 are female (17%) - I think I made my point and I told the girls in the class that they should begin preparing to run for office. Things are better now but not where they should be although it is nice to see a powerful Democrat sitting as the Speaker of the House for the first time. -

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Constitution of the United States A

Over the next few days we are going to take a tour of the Constitution of the United States.

The Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Preamble Note

This gives you some insight into the Preamble and why the Constitution was written and the reasons behind the statements in the Preamble. It says in part,

promote the general Welfare

This, and the next part of the Preamble, are the culmination of everything that came before it — the whole point of having tranquility, justice, and defense was to promote the general welfare — to allow every state and every citizen of those states to benefit from what the government could provide. The framers looked forward to the expansion of land holdings, industry, and investment, and they knew that a strong national government would be the beginning of that.

and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

Hand in hand with the general welfare, the framers looked forward to the blessings of liberty — something they had all fought hard for just a decade before. They were very concerned that they were creating a nation that would resemble something of a paradise for liberty, as opposed to the tyranny of a monarchy, where citizens could look forward to being free as opposed to looking out for the interests of a king. And more than for themselves, they wanted to be sure that the future generations of Americans would enjoy the same

You hear lots of people on the Republican side decrying the new Health Care law. One of my Lodge Brothers put this on my Facebook in responsed to the post below.

They should also be held accountable for their ignorance of Article I section 8 (clauses 3 and 18) and Article VI section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. It's okay- go ahead and look them up. That's more then the House Republicans have done.
It got me to thinking and so for the next few days we are going to be examining the Constitution. It is BASIC to this country and I doubt most of us have read it. I may ask another Brother for a guest post on it because I know he carries a copy of the Constitution around with him. I am no Constitutional Lawyer but I did teach Elementary School and I doubt that my students remember it but when I was teaching fifth grade US History (not the Texas version) was a part of the curriculum and we did study it and review it. It doesn't hurt to look it over again. So join me for a week or so as we look at this most radical document. And don't believe everything you are told... look it up. Comments welcome.

Quote of the day

An Absence of Class

Published: March 22, 2010
Writing in the New York Times.

It is 2010, ... it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.

Read the entire article Click here.

Where I Have Been

This is Shane fixing the Internet which went out all of a sudden in the Scottish Rite Office yesterday.This has turned into a busy week. I thought I was going to have nothing to do but then as things turned out I am going to work three days (one was yesterday) at the Scottish Rite and I have two third degrees to attend and a stated meeting plus on Saturday the Met is broadcasting live (Hamlet) so it will be a lonely week for the "boys" - Fortunately for Miles Jon came over yesterday and took him to Emma McCarthy Lee park for about an hour and a half walk. Miles enjoys being outside and as long as he does not bark I let him run in the back yard. Bailey enjoys the respite from having Miles want to use him as a "toy" - Cassie enjoys it, Bailey not so much.

Today my hairs are being cut and I have a foot Dr. appointment. Nothing new on my agenda. I did get the flowers below from a friend. Every year she sells bunches of daffodils for the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days and I get a couple of bunches. Mine are just coming up but have not started to bloom -- besides I don't like to pick the ones outside. I enjoy having them there for the world to enjoy.
I could have blogged last night but Jon and I went out to eat at the King's Buffet and since it was right next to the RadioShack (or just The Shack as they now call it) I took him in and we both have new phones. Palm Prie I stayed with Sprint as I get a discount for belonging to the NEA (my union still at work for me) and for the most part I have been very satisfied with them. I spent the rest of the evening transferring my phone numbers to the new phone and marveling at what it can do.. I doubt I will ever get lost again. I can click on an app. Put in gas prices and it will direct me to the gas stations with the cheapest gas.. It is ____(NSFW word here)________ amazing. I am off to play with it. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs.

Oh, and congratulations to Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi on getting Healthcare reform passed. Aside from the usual rantings from Steve King (Iowa's Michelle Bauchmuan) and the other Repblican Naysayers I think it will be a good thing for the country in the long run. At any rate two good things will come out of it. One - we not longer have to have so many posts on the blogs to read about it and Two- Now maybe Mr Obama can concentrate on some of the other promises he made. We need jobs, Mr. President and equality for all.

Just in case we forget, Minnesota Mom blogging at Happy to Be From Iowa (you can read that two ways) has this excellent post which puts things in perspective.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ginny sent me this link

An elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years and he'll be 90 this year.

Check out this impromptu performance... It's all attitude. Enjoy!! Click on link below

Brighten your day. Go watch..

Miles (and Bailey) on Monday

You can see the dead spot in my grass from last fall when Miles only used one spot to "go" At least now he is not so exclusive. Hopefully the grass will come back.
Isn't he pretty? Still a puppy.
The elder statesman does not like being used as a toy.
I am so ready for the green to return. I noticed that the crocrii are up all around town.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring is Here

It is Mach 21st, and the first official full day of Spring, and on this Sunday afternoon I found the first blooms to confirm that Spring is really here! These are both varieties of the Crocus bulb plants, and they were small, but vibrant. The yellow variety was fully open with more coming nearby, while the purple one is showing what is about to emerge tomorrow. They were the very first blooms I had seen anywhere this spring, after a deluge of white for months and months, they are a most welcome sight! Enjoy, and notice flower beds that face the south, and maybe you will see some as well
Pictures and text by Bob Kelly