Saturday, August 29, 2009

Morning in Colbert

I attended an all-day training for the Good News Club today and we needed to leave early. I was driving through the rural countryside here in northeast GA this morning at 7:00 and was astounded again at how beautiful God's creation is. I arrived at the collecting point, Colbert Baptist Church, and snapped these two pictures as I waited for the rest of the team. At left is the garden across the street from the church, inside of which is a small labyrinth-like hedge and a leafy overhang where we have Easter sunrise service.

The second picture is of the crossroads street where the church is located, Fifth and Church Streets. Like any crossroads, one leads to a meandering way, and the other leads to salvation.

As we piled into the car and headed out across the county, we traveled one of the best and prettiest routes in the entire area. The morning fog (mist, really) was lifting but a heavy dew remained. We passed a pertly sitting black cat wearing a red ribbon with a bell, under a leafy tree. We rode by Crow Holler Farm. We rolled past a handmade sign advertising "Okra! cut daily." A work truck promoting "Specific Window Cleaning" sat idling in the driveway. Meanwhile the dew was drying and the sun was peeking over the greening hills. The rain we received last night perked up all the greenery and the cows were let out to pasture and happily munching.

All too soon we arrived at our destination and as I went up the brick steps into the training place I turned for one last glance. I looked out over the fields, fields that are alive with growing things that will be harvested soon. I praised the Lord that He sent me to such a beautiful place, and went inside to learn how to better harvest souls for Him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My heart beeps for kids

In the science center at the pre-kindergarten class in which I work, there is a pair of stethoscopes. My bruiser boy who has a voice like a foghorn and stomps around the class like he is on a football field, unexpectedly loved the science center, slowing down enough to examine the shells and the microscope and kaleidoscope and all the other minute things. When he got to the stethoscopes, he joyfully held them up and said, "Hey! These are for listening to heart-beeps!"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Low hanging fruit

All the lower apples have been picked. Now I need the ladder to get the higher-ups. There is only so much low hanging fruit to be had, lol.

There is a nice 'hole' I can pop up into and have a 360 degree access to some fruit bearing branches. I noticed yesterday just before dusk that there were many large butterflies swooping around and landing on the branches. I worked hard to get a good shot but this one was the best I could do, from below, using zoom. They avoided me even though I stood quite still. I thought they were big for butterflies. And they moved fast. No lazy flitting for these guys. They zoomed.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I miss the fog

My friend Jeanne is a great artist and a wonderful photographer. She recently posted this photo of her morning awakening at a camp on Crescent Lake, Maine. What a gorgeous photo, and it truly captures what Maine in summer is all about. Loons, a quiet lake, fishing, quiet putt-putts as the sun rises. And fog.

I never thought much about fog. On my last trip several years ago to Lubec, I tried to photograph fog and learned about light bouncing everywhere but where you want it ... but I realized after seeing Jeanne's picture, that I miss the old fog. And foghorns.

On a Georgia summer morning we may get some fog for short periods as the warm ground meets the briefly cool air. But that is just temporary fog, not the earth-to-sky, enveloping, dripping, getting lost kind of fog. The kind of fog I see mostly is on the way to work in the morning, like this:

On that trip to Lubec Maine, I was working one sunny morning at the table by the bay window of the cottage I'd rented by the Cove. I looked up some minutes later to see:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on...

[Fog, by Carl Sandburg]

The fog had come in like that, silently, on cat feet, and continued coming in until even the near boats at moorings were obscured. I smiled, basking in the wonder that is a foggy day in Maine, never thinking that I was taking it for granted, and that little cat feet of fog did not exist everywhere.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another cute day in PreK

Today the pre-kindergarten children, who are 4 years old, were directed to draw on a blank piece of paper as many circles as they could. Large, medium, and small. The teacher and I were going around to each child and asking them to count the circles they had drawn. I would ask, 'How many circles did you draw?" and they would answer "I drew four!" even if there was one on the paper. Or sometimes they answer, "I drew B," mixing up a letter versus a number.

One little girl has the cutest plump cheeks, and still has a bit of baby fat on her wrists and is the sweetest and tiniest of all. I got to her drawing and I leaned way down. "And how many circles did you draw?" I asked.

She looked up at me with a furrowed brow, shrugged her shoulders, and said, "All of them."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Last thoughts on a quiet weekend

A gentle summer evening rain is falling, as the sun sets and the hay out back nestles snugly against the treeline. The birdhouse is now devoid of the chicks who had inhabited it, grown and gone, searching for worms at other yards and bigger fields. It is quiet here, the Sunday night train hooting in the distance, close enough to hear its evocative horn but far enough away not to intrude on relaxing thoughts.

The hustle and bustle of the upcoming week is being kept at bay ... for a while yet...until the inevitable occurs and the morning school bell rings, and we're off!

Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Best Christian Blog of the Week, and a new job

Cool! I was awarded "Best Christian Blog of the Week" this week for The End Time! Thanks goes to The Holy Spirit for inspiring the writing.

I started work at school last Thursday and I have been running ever since!! Herding 20 four-year-olds through an 8 hour day at school is a monumental task. They arrive between 7:20 and 7:40 and after the 8:00 bell rings we have breakfast. Last bell is 3:00 but that's just to get on the bus or go tot he gym and wait to be picked up. Some wait in the gym after school to be picked up for up to half an hour, too, or spend an equal or longer time on the bus ride home. It's a long day for them.

I am grateful to be working for an excellent teacher and also to be working in a very well-run school. And no matter how physically demanding the work, I am grateful for it. I read somewhere that over 535 Georgians are losing their jobs every day.

They are sooooo cute, I laugh all day. I was asked by a little girl this week, "Can you come home with me and stay overnight?" And given hugs and asked for the millionth time, "When is lunch?" and "Can you tie my shoe?" and "When are we going home?"

This week we will paint and also use homemade play-doh. I can't wait, I like art with the kids. Any activity that emergent literacy will support is great, especially the describing of the picture later. It all supports early literacy and it is a ball to hear their work being described. One boy, he is a bruiser for a 4 year old, plays football, always responds the same way when asked what his picture is (remember, add a Georgian accent):

"It's a big ole building"
"It's a big ole man"
"It's a big ole apple"


One pair were having snack at the table and the little girl said to the boy, "I have a boyfriend."
Boy says, "So? I have a boyfriend AND a girlfriend!" Then they ate animal crackers and drank juice and fell off their chairs and spilled their drinks and asked, "Can you tie my shoe?"

And the ever-popular "I have to pee."
"Not right now, sweetie."
"Oh no, I am going to pee myself!"

They have learned fast that this is the one sure thing that will get them an extra trip to the fun house that is also known as the bathroom. See, there's echoes and stalls that lock and soap dispensers and paper towel knobs to yank, and pants buttons to struggle with and emerge victorious, and a row of friends waiting in line to hold hands with and jump up and down and giggle. We have 5 stalls for 11 girls. It takes a long time to get through it. Two of our gals can't even reach the faucet and I have to turn it on and off for them and they don't even have enough strength to push the soap lever all the way so I do that too. And even though there are 9 boys and plenty of urinals, it takes a long LONG time, because, well, boys are boys and they like to play.

So that is a day in Pre-K. Two more weeks and the long-term sub job is up and I revert to regular subbing like last year. I miss those little buggers already.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Town Hall meetings canceled on advice from US Capitol Police

I am not making this up. "The U.S. Capitol Police have advised all lawmakers to cancel their town hall meetings." Over the last week or so, constituents have been venting their fury over the decided lack of proper representation from their Congressmen, the obvious socialist direction they are taking the USA, and the lack of respect of the process their elected representatives are exhibiting. So, people are angry, and they are letting their elected representatives know:

Health Debate Turns Hostile at Town Hall Meetings
Town Hall meetings heat up over health care
Health care debate filled with sound, fury
Angry Americans disrupt health care talks

Enduring heat from their constituents, several of the meetings turning, shall we say, exuberant, Congressmen did the best thing they could thing of to do: stop meeting with the people they represent. This decision apparently came after US Capitol police finally advised lawmakers to cancel, leaving constituents with one less way to be heard.

In a McClatchy article, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) said, "President Obama underestimated the free-fall the nation had already taken in partisan hostility when he talked about bringing change to Washington," said Cleaver, who supports reform. "It has gotten worse. There is something at play here that is indescribable."

I can describe it. It is called civil unrest: "Civil disorder, also known as civil unrest, is a broad term that is typically used by law enforcement to describe one or more forms of disturbance caused by a group of people. Civil disturbance is typically a symptom of, and a form of protest against, major socio-political problems; the severity of the action coincides with public expression(s) of displeasure."

And the American populace has never been shy about expressing their displeasure. I don't hold with death threats, vulgarity, or disruption, but on the elected side, I don't hold with cavalier representation, lies, and failure to fulfill promises either. The gulf between the People and the Government widens, and canceling the Town Halls has wrenched it further apart. When you stop talking, everything stops.

PS: a final note: back in April, President Obama said to the bankers,
“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.” Oops, guess not. Only, Obama never guessed that the pitchforks he envisioned would be coming for HIM.

Ten reasons US Health care is better

Good reading! From Stanford University.

Ten reasons why America’s health care system is in better condition than you might suppose

"Medical care in the United States is derided as miserable compared to health care systems in the rest of the developed world. Economists, government officials, insurers, and academics beat the drum for a far larger government role in health care. Much of the public assumes that their arguments are sound because the calls for change are so ubiquitous and the topic so complex. Before we turn to government as the solution, however, we should consider some unheralded facts about America’s health care system."

more at source


Deconstructing a liberal's argument

I get comments to this blog but I delete most of them from the more extreme left. Not all liberals argue this way and I respect the ones who don't. However the worst are not honest comments and are unworthy of seeing the light of day, so I immediately delete them. To wit, let us deconstruct a long one I keep receiving. (When I delete, they send the same comment day after day, like they have nothing else to do, lol)

This commenter opened with the following in response to health care entries on this blog:
“You must be very lucky to have full coverage insurance. Most of the rest of us aren't so fortunate.”
This is a straw man argument; 'an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.' The commenter has no idea what level of health insurance I have, if any. However she or he presented this fallacy in the first sentence and built an opposing argument from it for the rest of the lengthy reply. Unfortunately it is entirely false. However, it is the most popular and well used of the fallacious arguments the liberal person of this ilk will use. Another straw man argument ensues in the next sentence, as if to cement it:
“My aunt had good insurance and lived healthy; then she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Three months later, the insurance company canceled her policy! This was when Bush was President and Republicans were in control.”
Assuming the commenter actually has an aunt who was sick with cancer, President Bush had nothing to do with her insurance company’s position, any more than any President Clinton or previous Presidents. The Government was not involved in private insurance at that point except for Medicare and that was in place long before Bush. It is only Obama who has his fingers in it.
“They didn't do anything!”
A liberal generally believes that government exists to intervene in the citizen's welfare from cradle to grave, hence this commenter's plaintive wail, 'they didn't do anything!' whoever "they" are. "They" are not specified. A conservative generally believes in personal responsibility. Where I live, neighbors, families, and churches help people in need. I believe the government does not exist to hold my hand from cradle to grave.
"Obama is the first politician at ANY level in a looooong time to do something we have almost never seen in Washington - follow through and do exactly what he said he would do!"
I think the President with the most promises kept goes to Reagan. Obama has not followed through with even one. As a matter of fact he has done the opposite on all of them. He said he would end the war but he expanded the front in Afghanistan. He said he would negotiate health care reform in public sessions televised on C-SPAN but instead he wants it pushed through without the House or Senate even reading the bill. He decried earmarks, then signed 9,000 of them.

One of the Democrats who voted for Obama wonders which promise she should believe: the 2003 promise when Obama said he wanted a single payer system? Or the 2009 promise that he does not want a single payer system? Senator Cornyn asked Obama that very question this week, and Cornyn is an Obama supporter! In actuality, Obama is the first president we have had in a looooooong time to be such a blatant liar.
“Why do they keep saying we need to "wait" and get it right? Republicans had 8 years...not only did they not get it right, they didn't even TRY to help my aunt or anyone else!”
This is the Appeal to Pity, or the Galileo Argument. Government does not exist to help Auntie recover from cancer. And ‘waiting’ to actually read the bill is just common sense. Or used to be.
“Just like our military protects ALL American citizens, we need FULL and COMPLETE health coverage for ALL Americans.”
This is known as Argument by Generalization, it is also Non Sequitur, 'something that does not follow'. I could just as easily say ‘Just like our military protects ALL American citizens, we need FULL and COMPLETE DVD libraries for ALL Americans.” It is a false premise.
“Bin Laden isn't the number one terrorist, diseases and insurance companies are the number one terrorists. Disease and insurance companies are responsible for more deaths in one month than for all American deaths due to terrorism EVER.”
I must have missed the bulletin where heart disease was re-classified as terrorism. To say “health insurance companies are responsible for more deaths in one month than terrorism ever” is just stupidity. Heaven forbid a person arguing in this manner should ever provide a fact, a link, or a reference. For example, there are 13,651 deaths every week in the US due to heart disease, or 54,604 per month. Are health insurance companies "responsible" for these plus all the other patients who die from kidney failure, car accidents, leukemia etc? No.
“Then again, many people died today thanks to our broken health care (non)system and insurance companies canceling them."
Fact? Reference? Link? Nope. Health insurance is called an “employment benefit,” meaning, it is a gift you receive, not a demand automatically met.
“How do you and others trying to defeat reform feel towards those tragic deaths that would have been prevented if only we had universal health coverage for all?”
In the world of fallacious arguments, this is called the “Appeal To Pity (Appeal to Sympathy, The Galileo Argument). Do what we say ... or children will DIEEEEE! It is not a solid argument and is often used when no facts are available. Appealing to emotion is done absent facts, making it an old standby of the list of fallacious arguments. The opposite of her argument would be; “once we have universal health care no one will die.” Which is not true of course. Government cannot save us from dying, nor can it save us from death due to our own lifestyle choices. A liberal of this ilk generally looks for someone else to blame rather than take personal responsibility. Think of the McDonald's coffee drinker who spilled hot coffee on herself and won her suit.
“Why is it OK for the govt. to provide education (and give you a job) but it isn't OK for the govt. to provide health care?”
This kind of fallacious argument is known as Changing The Subject (Digression, Red Herring, Misdirection, False Emphasis.) We are not debating education. We are not debating about my work. Secondly, the government does already provides health care: Medicare.

There was more but you get the idea of how these people argue. Ad Hominem, Galileo Argument, Straw Man, Appeal to Pity, etc. none of it is honest. That is why I DELETE these kinds of comments. They are not worthy of the light of day. Happy debating!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Obama the "hopenchange" president wants snitches

From the Weekly Standard

"The White House call for people to inform on anyone spreading "disinformation about health insurance reform" didn't sit well with a lot of people -- Obama isn't running a political campaign anymore, he's supposed to be running the country (and in the event even those who spread video clips of the president making statements on health care reform that are now impolitic have been targeted by the White House). Texas Senator John Cornyn has written a letter to the president politely asking if he could please put an end to the creepiness:"

“[T]the White House Director of New Media, Macon Phillips, asserted that there was “a lot of disinformation out there,” and encouraged citizens to report “fishy” speech opposing your health care policies to the White House. Phillips specifically targeted private, unpublished, even casual speech...“If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to xxxx@XXXXXX.

I am not aware of any precedent for a President asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed ‘fishy’ or otherwise inimical to the White House’s political interests,” Sen. Cornyn wrote. “You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights. And I respectfully request an answer to the following:

· How do you intend to use the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and identities of citizens who are reported to have engaged in “fishy” speech?
·How do you intend to notify citizens who have been reported for “fishy” speech?
·What action do you intend to take against citizens who have been reported for engaging in “fishy” speech?
· Do your own past statements qualify as “disinformation”? For example, is it “disinformation” to note that in 2003 you said: “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan”?"

Way to go Sen. Cornyn! Obama is worse than Bush. Worse.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The left is pretty concerned with inaccurate details...

...while they ignore glaring ones. Obama's Certificate of Live Birth had many glaring errors on it, namely the use of the term "African," a term not used in 1961, but Negro was. Or the lack of folds on the paper that had been claimed to be mailed. Or the date "2007" bleeding through and visible. Or the fact that Hawaiian officials said they examined the real birth certificate in 2008, no wait, they destroyed all paper copies in 2001, no wait, we didn't mean that, the paper copies are still here after all. Now Hawaii even refuses to verify the COLB released to the public by Obama and the other one obtained by Wat a mess.

Yet the left claims the document Attorney Orly Taitz uncovered is a fake because at the bottom it says "Republic Of Kenya" dated 2/1964 and the Republic was not declared until 12/1964. Would that they were so attentive to detail on the COLB!

First, Kenya declared independence in 12/1963, not 1964. Second, the area that Obama was likely to have been born was using the term Republic even prior to that, in a long-standing land dispute with Zanzibar that still runs today.

The left's squashing continues to no avail. You ever put your thumb on mercury? It squirts out in another direction. That is what happens to truth, it keeps popping up from different directions when you least expect it.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Authentic looking Kenyan birth certificate surfaces

Is this the smoking gun in the birther movement? I remember Obama's grandmother saying he was born in Kenya. Also the Kenyan Ambassador said the same. Many have suspected all along he was. And when Obama released the ridiculous Certificate of Live Birth (COLB) and it had no fold-creases, no mention of attending physician and no seal, it just got surreal that we should accept his eligibility on such flimsy evidence. The COLB was a document anyone could obtain whether you're born in Hawaii or not.

Then today, this surfaces, thanks to Orly Taitz:

Forensic tests are being down now to determine authenticity. Also she has lodged a "Motion for rogatory discovery to authenticate Kenyan Birth Certificate of Barack Hussein Obama and in addition, is looking for help with legalities in Britain. If you go to her site it says it is a malware attack site but that is not true.

The document posted online looks more real than his COLB, it has pertinent information, a raised seal, doctor signature, and creases where it has been folded. All items the COLB lacks.

This should get really, really interesting! I personally believe he is not eligible to serve according to the rules set out in the Constitution, but the Constitutional crisis resulting from this coming to a head will be massive. I fear for our country...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Massive Palin divorce rumor debunked

One anonymous blogger writes that Sarah and Todd Palin are divorcing and the media has a conniption. Palin's Facebook page stomped out the rumor right away but it had already taken off. What is WITH people?

No Truth to Latest Rumors

Today at 11:50am
"Yet again, some so-called journalists have decided to make up a story. There is no truth to the recent “story” (and story is the correct term for this type of fiction) that the Palins are divorcing. The Palins remain married, committed to each other and their family, and have not purchased land in Montana (last week it was reported to be Long Island). Less than one week ago, Governor Palin asked the media to “quit making things up.” We appreciate that the more professional journalists decided to question this story before repeating it."

Conservatives for Palin wrote:

"At the beginning of the month, Zaki reported that Gov. Palin was being investigated by the FBI and was going to jail. That turned out to be false. Last week, the ADN reported that Gov. Palin was moving to the Hamptons. That turned out to be false. Today, Zaki reports that Gov. Palin is moving to Montana after throwing her wedding ring into Lake Lucille. That turns out to be false."

Gee. With this guy's track record he would fit right in at MSNBC.

Obama vs. Bush, in photos

Obama vs. Bush, in photos. Source and credit goes to Don Surber!

Next set, source and credit goes to Doug Ross

Just sayin'.