...the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. Geo. Washington Feb. 22, 1732


Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This 'n That

Well, the toe is pretty much healed. There is a little blood blister there but it was pronounced as healed by the good doctor. If you remember the last of July it looked like this.

I do not have to go back for a month and that is great news. I will miss seeing Bridget and Mark but it will be a good miss because it will mean that I have been healed.

Cassie had a good day. She came in at 5:30. Ate and drank and then went into her basket in the back room and slept all morning. Then she came out and climbed up on my lap and slept there until my leg cramped and then she moved to the cushion which is really a dogie bed that she co-opted and slept some more. She gets up to go get a drink and is sleeping some more. I have heard the expression "it's a dog's life" but I think that cats have it pretty good also.

If you haven't read it Don has a long comment on Cassie is home which tells about his cat escaping. It is pretty amazing. Cassie came back in better shape than his kitty.

This week-end was a pretty busy Masonic one. Friday Night was our Specialis Procer Lodge #678 Festive Board and we had a first time guest. His name is Kurt as is our Worshipful Master so I took a picture of "the two Kurts" I think it is one of the best pictures of Kurt H that I have ever taken and he must also as he used a cropping of it for his Facebook profile picture.

It was an interesting evening and the pinch hitter speaker did a good job with his topic "A Point Within a Circle."

Saturday I had a meeting and a reception and on Sunday I recovered and got the Red Cross of Constantine dues cards ready. Thanks to Kurt for helping me with them. I stayed home on Monday with one brief trip out to eat and to mail a letter. I wanted to be here in case there was any word about Cassie.

I have been very disgusted with what I have seen this week-end by the ignorance and racism of the Tea party. In the video below by Chase Whiteside and Erick Stoll who were on the Mall on Saturday to interview some of the people who attended Glenn Beck's rally you can really see it. As Joe Sundbay from Americablog who posted it said "It's scary" As I watched it I was appalled. I don't mind honest criticism of the Administration. I am critical myself, but the lies and half truths that this is based on just infuriates me. I honestly don't know why I watched it. It is about 13 minutes of my life I can't get back.

(Speaking of criticism. I don't think Mr. Obama should ever address us from the Oval Office. He does not look comfortable and whoever writes his speeches should be fired. He missed most of the point as far as I am concerned. He should have said. "We have brought the last of the Combat troops home from a war which should never have happened. A war which has cost our country the lives of over 4,000 of our brave men and women. Soon we will bring the rest of our people home from there and I pledge that we will close our operations in Afghanistan by the end of my term in office. We will use the funds which we will no longer have to spend on the war by first ensuring that the Veterans will have a chance for the best education which our country can give them and also to build up the educational system of America's schools fairly and equitably without requiring any school system to "compete" for funds." At least that is what I would do with the money. He might also have said that he will go after the criminals who started the war which should never have been. )

One of the things which I did not allow in my classroom was the use of "you know" as punctuation. There is a woman towards the front of this video who says "you know" nine times in her diatribe. Just, you know, sort of, you know...oh you know what I mean.

As long as I am ranting I have one more. People who post on Facebook who do not use your and you're correctly. Also their, there and they're. Did they learn nothing in school? And the spelling on their signs. Ignorance shinning through. Does accurate spelling matter? No less a person than Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to his daughter:

"Take care that you never spell a word wrong. Always before you write a word, consider how it is spelled, and, if you do not remember, turn to a dictionary."
Oh wait, the Texas Republicans wrote Mr. Jefferson out of history.
Ok, here is the video. At least watch through the first part...

Speaking of Facebook I got a Friend request from someone I did not know the other day. We did have several friends in common so I said OK. I went over and scrolled down his wall. When I saw that he had liked the "No Mosque at Ground Zero" page I decided I did not need him as a friend. As you may or may not know one of the things I like about Masonry is that we are tolerant of all religions. As long as a man believes in a Supreme Being he may join the Lodge. The thing I like about my blog is that it is mine and I don't have to argue with anyone on here. I will let respectful comments post even if you disagree with me and if you have spelled things correctly and used proper grammar... But I don't have to. Can't do that with Facebook. But I can unfriend and also hide individuals who never put up anything. One of my former students went off the deep end and started attacking others on Facebook. When I called him on something he had written he said 'bite me" - Needless to say he has gone to the great unknown on Facebook, I don't have time for that sort of thing. The only thing I am intolerant of is intolerance. There I have gotten all that off my mind. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs. j

Quote of the Day

From Paul Krugman writing in the New York Times. Click here to read the entire article.
Thanks to Craig W for pointing it out on Facebook.

It’s Witch-Hunt Season


If I were President Obama, I’d be doing all I could to head off this prospect, offering some major new initiatives on the economic front in particular, if only to shake up the political dynamic. But my guess is that the president will continue to play it safe, all the way into catastrophe.

CASSIE IS HOME!



It has been 4 sad days but this morning I got up to let the dogs out for their morning pee at 5:30. As I have been doing for several days I opened the garage door to check to see if she was back and there she was meowing loudly. Her collar was still on her and she didn't have a mark on her.

Cassie's birthday is tomorrow. I think she is going to be 12. I am so grateful. She ate some food, drank some water and has now gone to her bed for some sleep. Please say a prayer of gratitude with me.









Monday, August 30, 2010

Miles has Visitors

Bruce and Ginny came over to bring things for the storage unit that my garage has become. They had a nice visit with Miles. Cassie is still missing. Miles misses her. He wants to go outside more than usual and when he gets there he stands at the bottom of the ramp and sniffs. She got out the front and I doubt she could be in the back yard. We all miss her. She would/will have a birth anniversary on Wednesday. She has always tried to get outside but usually does not go anywhere. It is a very sad place for me right now. I keep expecting to see her under my feet.
When I got the toys for Bailey I got Miles a big worm like thing. He likes it and tosses it and we won't tug it. He pulled up the carpet hole that Jon had "fixed" today. Guess he will have to fix it again. Sometimes living with animals is not all it is cracked up to be.

Here is a movie I made. It is really two clips that I joined together so it is my first attempt at editing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fall is coming to Iowa - Photos by Bob Kelly

After recovering from a flood that caused major inconvenience to my office area, I am now up and running again, nearly at 90% at this time. So much so I felt compelled to go out and shoot on Sunday afternoon. I wanted to shoot some images of corn rows, which are so pretty by this time, which I did, and I ended up at a marshland swamp, of all places. I thought I had been through enough of water, but this water produced beautiful things as you can see below.

The corn leaves are now turning from green to gold as the plant dries out and prepares the ears of corn for harvest. The tassles still remain which make for interesting lines as the rows curve or to up hills. Soon the grain bin will be holding the corn in this field.

The south east part of Hamilton county has many marshlands that are beautiful all seasons of the year and today I observed three unique flowers and some colorful turtles. The Swamp Smartweed likes to grow in very wet places and is a beautiful hot pink color. The Broad Leafed Arrowhead, has arrowhead shaped leaves and delicate white flowers with yellow centers, and loves to grow in wet, boggy, or swampy areas, keeping its feet wet, all the time. The beautiful blue flower is a Great Lobelia, and likewise is at home in the swamp areas and this time of year it puts on a good show.



The Painted Turtle has some bright colors as it matures, particularly on the underside of its body, and the inside areas of its shell that are visible. These guys were loving the warmth of the sun as they crawled up on a small clump of reeds. Fall promises to be beautiful and color and these scenes from today are a preview of what is coming. Enjoy!


Missing Cat

Cassie is missing please help us to know that she will come back. She has always tried to escape and finally did it.

Missing Cat

Cassie is a declawed female cat who escaped from 1309 Glendale sometime Friday evening. She was wearing a collar and tag but it may have come off. If you see, find her or know of her fate please call

Jay 515-441-9580 or Jon 515-451-1293

Grand High Priest Reception

Reception for Most Excellent Companion W. Charles Smithson, Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of the State of Iowa.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I have a new Cousin.

My cousin Amy and her husband Lee had a baby this week Aiden Thomas was 8 pounds, 8 ounces and 19 inches long. Mother, Father and son are doing well. Please welcome him to the world. He lives in Texas.







Anniversary

This is the Anniversary of the Speech - I will remember it rather than watching the events taking place under the auspices of the Faux News Common tater.



Here is American's United's "take" on Beck's "Event"

Addendum. My Brother Timothy W sent me this link on Facebook. I is an excellent take on the events and it won;t take long to read. Click here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Found For Friday



We have to stop cutting down trees. This is getting serious
The economy is so bad that I just got a pre-declined credit card in the mail. Then I ordered a burger at McDonald 's, and the kid behind the counter asked, "Can you afford fries with that?"
I once knew a woman who turned into a deer when the moon was full, she was a real were-doe.

We Need To Have A Talk

After just a few years of marriage filled with constant arguments, a young man and his wife decided the only way to save their marriage was to try counseling. They had been at each other's throats for some time and felt that this was their last straw.

When they arrived at the counselor's office, the counselor jumped right in and opened the floor for discussion. "What seems to be the problem?" Immediately, the husband held his long face down without anything to say.

In contrast, the wife began talking 90 miles an hour, describing all the wrongs within their marriage. After 15 minutes of listening to the wife, the counselor went over to her, picked her up by her shoulders, kissed her passionately and sat her back down.

Afterwards, the wife sat speechless.

The marriage counselor looked over at the husband, who stared in disbelief. The counselor said to the husband, "Your wife NEEDS that at least twice a week!" The husband scratched his head and replied:

"I can have her here on Tuesdays and Thursdays."

A man who reeked of alcohol flopped on a subway seat next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of rum was sticking out of his ripped jacket pocket. He opened his newspaper and started reading. After a few minutes, the disheveled guy turned to the priest and asked, "Say, Father, do you know what causes arthritis?"

The priest, disgusted by the man's appearance and behavior snapped, "It's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, and a contempt for your fellow man!"

"Well, I'll be," the man muttered and returned to his newspaper.

The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized, "I'm sorry to have come on so strong - I didn't mean it. How long have you been suffering from arthritis?"

"I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does."
A motorcycle patrolman was rushed to the hospital with an inflamed appendix.

The doctors operated and advised him that all was well. However, the patrolman kept feeling something pulling at the hairs in his crotch.

Worried that it might be a second surgery and the doctors hadn't told him about it, he finally got enough energy to pull his hospital gown up enough so he could look at what was making him so uncomfortable.

Taped firmly across his pubic hair and private parts were three wide strips of adhesive tape, the kind that doesn't come off easily --- if at all.

Written in large black letters was the sentence:

'Get well soon.....from the nurse in
the Jeep you pulled over last week.'

Kind of brings tears to your eyes doesn't it?
No matter how you look at it, dyslexics always have more nuf!
A frustrated wife buys a pair of crotchless panties in an attempt to spice up her dead sex-life.


She puts them on, together with a short skirt and sits on the sofa opposite her husband.


At strategic moments she uncrosses her legs ... enough times till her husband says... "Are you wearing crotchless panties?"

"Y-e-s," she answers with a seductive smile.

"Thank God for that... I thought you were sitting on the cat!”
He never heard the gunshot.
A Mafia Godfather finds out that his book keeper, Enzo, has cheated him out of $10 million. His book keeper is deaf. That was the reason he got the job in the first place. It was assumed that Enzo would hear nothing that he might have to testify about in court.

When the Godfather goes to confront Enzo about his missing $10 million, he takes along his lawyer who knows sign language. The Godfather tells the lawyer, "Ask him where the 10 million bucks is that he embezzled from me."

The lawyer, using sign language, asks Enzo where the money is.

Enzo signs back, "I don't know what you are talking about."

The lawyer tells the Godfather, "He says he doesn't know what you are talking about."

The Godfather pulls out a pistol, puts it to Enzo's temple and says, "Ask him again!"

The lawyer signs to Enzo, "He'll kill you if you don't tell him."

Enzo signs back, "OK. You win! The money is in a brown briefcase, buried behind the shed in my cousin Bruno's backyard in Woodbridge!"

The Godfather asks the lawyer, "What did he say?"

The lawyer replies, "He says you don't have the balls to pull the trigger."

Hey, I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.
Managerial Mishaps

The manager of a large corporation got a heart attack, and the doctor told him to go for several weeks to a farm to relax. The guy went to a farm, and after a couple of days he was very bored, so he asked the farmer to give him some job to do.

The farmer told him to clean up all of the cow manure. The farmer thought that to somebody coming from the city, working the whole life sitting in an office, it will take over a week to finish the job, but for his surprise the manager finished the job in less than one day.

The next day the farmer gave to the manager a more difficult job: to cut the heads of 500 chickens. The farmer was sure that the manager will not be able to do the job, but at the end of the day the job was done.

The next morning, as most of the jobs in the farm were done, the farmer asked the manager to divide a bag of potatoes in two boxes: one box with small potatoes, and one box with big potatoes. At the end of the day the farmer saw that the manager was sitting in front of the potatoes bag, but the two boxes were empty.

The farmer asked the manager: "How is that you made such difficult jobs during the first days, and now you cannot do this simple job?"

The manager answered: "Listen, all my life I'm cutting heads and dealing with crap, but now you ask me to make decisions!"

I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad I take something for it
If a man is standing in the middle of the forest speaking and there is no woman around to hear him...is he still wrong?


Thanks to everyone who sent me jokes and pictures this week. Some great ones. Have a wonderful Week-end - Hugs,, j

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Two Issues

Women's Equality Day

Today is
Women's Equality Day celebrating the event in August 26, 1920 when the last certification (that of Tennessee) for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed. It is quite simple:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Giving the right to vote to Women did not solve the problems. Women still struggle for equality in our society. I grew up in a single parent household (helped by grandparents) without much child support from my male parental unit. I watched as my mother used her secretarial skills to cover her bosses mistakes for years and yet her wages were not enough to support our family. If it had not been for my grandparents allowing us to live with them we would not have had much of a place to live.

I watched one day at the optometrist when a mother told her daughter that the glasses she needed would depend on whether or not her father would provide the money for them. Teachers used to be paid more if they were male. Progress is being made but more needs to be done.

Once I asked my kids how many representatives there were in the US House of Representatives. We had just read the statement "...there are even 10 women who are U S Representatives" in their (outdated) Social Studies Book. I then asked them about the percentage of women in the world. They guessed 50 % (actually the percentage is about 52%)
Today Wikipaedia gives these figures:

As of 2009, 441 members of Congress are male (83%) and 92 are female (17%).

Still not very representative. Even though the Speaker of the House is a woman their sex is still under-represented. So I would still recommend to the women in our world to get more involved. God knows they could not screw it up any worse than the men have..

Check out the Anthony Center for more information on the struggle.

Islam

There are things about our country that I value highly. One of those is the freedom of religion. I am free to worship my creator (or not) in any way I wish. And my neighbor is free to worship his conception of the deity however he wants.

We did not start out that way. Many of the early Colonies were established so that the people living there could worship the way they wanted to but no one else could. Maryland was the notable exception. They did evolve however until:

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson, proclaimed:

"[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."


And today one of the Landmarks of our society is the right to worship freely. This applies to all religions. When my sister was in her car accident she had Christians, (Presbyterians, Methodists, Unity, Christian Scientists, Catholics, etc.) Muslims, Wiccans all praying for her. She felt that prayer surrounding her in a blue and white light..

Muslims have been a part of our country since the 1700's and they have been peaceful citizens and valued members of our society. In fact you may not know this but Iowa can claim the first Mosque in the United Stated. The Mother Mosque of America in Cedar Rapids.

I taught Muslim students and was sensitive to their religious needs as I tried to be to those who were of the Christian, Jewish or Hindu Faith in my classroom. I wanted every student to feel that they had the right to bring their religious preferences with them and I would respect those practices while they were in my room.

That is one reason why I decry what (so-called) Christians are doing in our country today. A Vandal did about $3000. damage to the Mosque in Cedar Rapids. Turns out it was a 19 year old from a nearby town. Don't know his motivation but I can guess. Almost all religions have a history of violence and intolerance. I still think the answer is that we need more Love in the equation. On both sides. Perhaps the young vandal should have to do community service at the Mosque and attend some of their social meetings and really get to know them as people. Once you know someone the hatred can disappear. And perhaps instead of throwing rocks through windows we should work together to build that understanding and LOVE ONE ANOTHER. At least that is my solution.


Addendum: I just got back from my Lodge tonight As I sat there I looked at the Altar and realized that in both Lodges in which I hold membership there are three books on the Altar. The Holy Bible, the Tanakh and the Quran . I like it that way. They get along fine. We should also.
Thanks for stopping by to listen. Hugs, j

Morning Laughs

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Anatomy of Intolerance

Recommended to read.

H/T TPM

Still a Voice of Reason

"We would compromise our commitment to fighting terror with freedom...Islam did not attack the World Trade Center, Al-Qaeda did."

Mayor Bloomberg

Celebrating Bailey


Fifteen years ago in January my mother died. It was not unexpected and while I was able to be glad for her my life became very lonely. As the year progressed I decided it was time to get a dog. I had had several in the past but always wanted a Yorkie. Some friends of mine had one and I really liked their dog.

I got Bailey in the fall from the Millers in Boone. but August 25 is his birthday so I thought I would post some photos of him to celebrate. I have some toys to give him and some treats. I am sure Miles will destroy the toys but such is life.
Jon reminded me that today was also the anniversary of the day he found out from Iowa State Vet Med Center that Max wasn't going to make it. Thus followed a period of saying good-bye to him. It was hard but at least he was no longer suffering. Then followed Miles and you can see that he and Bailey were about the same size. Followers of the Blog know that has changed.
Bailey has to look up to everyone.
He does like to play with toys and tomorrow morning he will have some new ones (as I said)
There was a time when he slept here and leaned against my leg. I think the arthritis makes this uncomfortable for him as he will no longer do this. I miss it. He also stopped sleeping on the bed with me.
But he is still my beauty and is a lot of company. He does not let Miles bully him although Miles does try to steal his treats...
He goes to the groomer every 6 weeks and comes back looking goooood.


He used to play with the large soccer ball. He pushed it with both feet but he always had to have something in his mouth. One time he had an old (empty) can while he was pushing it. He stopped playing with it about a year ago and Miles has sort of trashed the ball also.
Jon was concerned that Bailey was cold last winter so he got him a sweater. It helped.
The red sweatshirt did not work out so well but he wore it once or twice,
He is always happy to go outside and it seems that as he is getting older he must go out more frequently. His control is not what it used to be.
And finally a couple of portraits of my little Buddy. Happy 15th Birthday Bailey.
My life is better because you are in it.