Crony Capitalism, Charter Schools, and Recovery?

Crony Capitalism- the reason why the government is doing a lousy job of protecting us from corporations. We are in greater need of protection from the government.

Why do progressives hate charter schools so much? Personally, I think it’s because they actually don’t want poor kids to learn, but regardless of whether that is the reason, it is is the result.

Recovery? What recovery?

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Think Twice About Your Olive Oil

From a review of Tom Mueller’s book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil:

More serious – for aficionados and olive farmers – Bertolli and its supermarket rivals corrupted the meaning of extra virginity, a controlled definition of high-quality oil since 1960. “Gentle”, “smooth” and “not peppery on the throat” are the sort of words Bertolli and its rivals used in ads promoting their generic extra virgin oil. But true extra virgin oil is peppery – it bites the back of the throat so fiercely it can make you cough. The flavours are vivid. “Peppery” is an official, positive attribute of “extra virgin” whereas smoothness will reliably indicate a low-quality oil.

So Bertolli and the other brands came to need low-quality oils in order to produce an expensive one. That suits them, naturally, but it is ruinous to people trying to make and sell the proper stuff. And it suits the fraudsters, who, for millennia, have been passing off oil from all sorts of plants as that of olives. The deodorising and cleaning techniques that are used to render seed oil or even oil chemically extracted from the stones and twigs of olives produce a very bland oil.

It has become almost impossible for the processors to tell when they’re being sold fake oil and, as one sadly tells Mueller, even harder for them to sell good oil for a reasonable price: “When a customer tries a robust oil, they say, ‘Oh no, this is a bad oil!’ He’s become used to the flat taste of the deodorato.” As a result, 70% of cheaper extra virgin oil sold is a fraud, according to Mueller – though that doesn’t harm the big guys. And so the Bertolli family sold up to Unilever, a company that got rich turning waste animal fats and whale oil into margarine. (Unilever has now sold Bertolli to Spain’s biggest oil corporation.)

The link takes you back to a review of a book on olive oil by Mueller, and also to the story of an olive oil taste test never published by the reviewer or his company because the results were embarassing. Among other things, the snooty foodies in the test both chose Unilever’s Bertolli oil as the best.

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Noncitizens Illegally Voting

Dems in PA accepted bribes to oppose Voter ID laws:
Pennsylvania Democrats have been caught red handed allegedly accepting bribes in return for their opposition to voter identification law in the Keystone State. According to PJ Media’s J. Christian Adams, lumps of cash and expensive Tiffany & Co. jewelry were accepted by Democrats and exchanged for votes against voter identification legislation in 2012. Despite the bribes and the no votes, the legislation passed but was struck down by a judge earlier this year.

Naturally, the Democratic Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane hasn’t charged Democratic legislators for their alleged misconduct.

Meanwhile, a Federal Judge has ruled that AZ and Kansas certainly can require voters to provide proof of U.S. Citizenship.

Every vote by a non-citizen cancels out a vote by a citizen who actually has the right to vote. Think voting by non-citizens never happens? Well, the government isn’t very interested in finding examples, but when people actually look, there are many, many examples to be uncovered. Felonies, to be precise.

“This handful of wrongs are now being looked at and dealt with, but it took an enterprising and creative journalist to uncover them. These are 94 cases he uncovered in his own backyard alone, using just one narrow method. How many people in this country are registered to vote, and actually do vote, who are not US citizens? We don’t know. It is lunacy that election supervisors “have no way to verify citizenship” in many places, even at the point of registration. It’s further lunacy that we would not require every potential voter to produce valid proof of citizenship before casting a ballot, from coast to coast. These steps are sobasic, so fundamentally fair, and so rudimentary that it’s difficult to accept that an entire political party is dead-set against these voter integrity efforts for reasons that are not nefarious. Only US citizens are allowed to participate in US elections under the law. Citizens who don’t have proper identification ought to be able to obtain them quickly and easily. That’s the reasonable recourse for the “suppression” non-problem. But every single person who wants to vote should prove that they’re doing so legally. That’s not racism; that’s painfully basic common sense. Oh, and it’s overwhelmingly supported by Americans of all political stripes.”

It’s hard to believe any of this is coincidental. In Kansas recently:

The Kansas House of Delegates has passed a bill that would require that students be instructed in the “importance and execution of an effective professional handshake.”

The requirement was included as an amendment to legislation that would make instruction in financial literacy a requirement for all Kansas high school students.

While Kansas lawmakers deemed a firm handshake as being an important skill for students to acquire, a separate amendment that would have instruction on the Constitution and government institutions was defeated.

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Pro-Abort Professor assaults Pro-lifers and steals their material, denying free speech, etc.

A pro-abort professor at UCSB, forcibly stole a sign from a pro-life group on campus, took it to her office and destroyed it. She now faces several criminal counts, including vandalism, assault, and theft. Professor:

Miller-Young’s UCSB web page describes her areas of emphasis as “black cultural studies, pornography and sex work.” Her “areas of study” are “Pornography; Sex Work; Black Film, Popular Culture and Art; Feminist & Queer Theory; African American & African Diaspora Studies; Visual Archives; New Media; Ethnography; Oral History.” The school clearly either charges far too much in tuition, gets far too much money from the state, or both.

Incidentally, only one network news group has covered the story at all. Guess which one, and then tell me again about how unreliable they are. You know if the characters were reversed and it was a pro-life professor of religion who assaulted pro-aborts and stole and destroyed their sign, the main networks would be all over it like slime on a duck pond.

The professor explained to the police that she was stronger than the pro-life activists, so she was able to take their sign away. This might makes right argument is also the one most often used by pro-aborts when it comes down to the unvarnished truth.

Ironically, she then shouts at the pro-lifers that yes, she might be a thief, but they are terrorists. The only violent act that occurred here is hers, and the ones she defends.

More here: Professor Who Assaulted Pro-Life Protester to Take Her Sign Pleads Novel Defense: She Was Psychologically “Triggered” By Thoughts and Images She Didn’t Agree With Politically

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Quick List of Parenting Remedies We Used

1. When children are just generally getting into trouble every time you aren’t in the room with them (or even when you are): Tomato staking. IT’s not easy, but it really does work. That is when you keep the children in the same room with you all the time and nip problems in the bud, explaining how to handle them better, correcting asap as needed. If somebody has to leave the room, they leave alone, with a time limit for return. When I did this, I was not very accommodating about what they wanted to do- they had to follow me and find things to do wherever I needed to work. Incidentally, I did this with our middle two constantly, over 20 years ago, before somebody else developed the term for it. They hated it, but I have seen them use it with their nephews, nieces, and the Little Boys. It worked.

2. Fighting with their siblings: Appreciate your sibling- this is a disciplinary consequence my husband instituted that I thought was nuts, but it worked very well for ours. When they were fighting he would tell them they didn’t appreciate their sibling enough to have one, so they could no longer have a sibling and had to act like the other one did not exist, no exchanging of looks, no talking, no playing together. I don’t remember doing this more than a couple hours. Usually they were begging to have their sister back in a matter of minutes.

3. Tattling: I always ask, “Why are you telling me this?” because sometimes kids are just dorks with communication and I really need to know urgently, and sometimes what they are really meaning is ‘can I do that, too?” But sometimes they do it for attention, for the specific purpose of getting somebody else in trouble, etc. So my next question is, “When I call your sister in here, what will she tell me happened? And then I did call in the sibling to hear their version. This can be tedious, but it had two or three benefits- as I walked them through this it helped them learn something about seeing something from another point of view. It helped them learn to prioritize important details (tell me the baby hit her head BEFORE you describe to me the life history of the wall where she hit her head), and sometimes it bored them to tears and frustrated them so much they resolved never to tattle again, and that’s okay, too. Also, if I caught somebody lying for the purpose of getting somebody else in trouble that warranted more severe punishment than otherwise.

We did not begin with this approach. We used to only allow children to come tell us for safety reasons, but my children turned out to be absolutely wretched judges of when somebody was going to be hurt or something damaged.

4. Screaming, using mean words- I had them lick a soap bar or take a spoonful of vinegar along with a short reminder that this bitterness is what harsh words and unnecessary screaming are like. At least, my goal was a short reminder. I was often far too long winded, and this is a big mistake.

5. Sharing- I did not require sharing- if somebody owns a toy, it’s theirs to do what they want with. I did not allow hoarding, either, though, and this is where tomato staking comes in.

If it’s a group toy, I might have used a timer, but in retrospect, I think I would have fewer group toys.

6. In the Bible, putting off bad traits and sin is always accompanied by replacing them with good things. I would fill their time with productive things to do as much as possible.

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Home, Exhausted, and Drain-Bed

We got home about 4 this afternoon, and after putting away a few things, I promptly collapsed on the couch where I have been every since, exhausted, stiff, sore, and my brain mostly numb. I have been trying to figure out how I can be so very, very tired, when I did nothing but sit at the hospital for the last 11 days.

While Cherub was in the hospital, I ended up with the kids School Kindle rather than mine. That was okay, because our son spent most of the 11 days she was hospitalized working on the Rattery (which is looking SPIFFY). The FYG spent most of her waking moments doing her PT because she was determined not to need her crutches as a bridesmaid.

I thought about reading something fairly ambitious, after all, in the hospital with the Cherub 24 and 7, ‘sleeping’ on the couch in the room or the recliner next to her, that should give me plenty of ‘free’ time for reading, right?

evil laughter

I did not get any significant reading done. I tried to watch a K-drama, but it typically took an entire day, from 5 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m. to get through a single one hour long program.

One day, just out of morbid curiosity, I timed the interruptions- every 30 minutes, all day long, beginning at 5 a.m. We got a brief reprieve at about 4 in the afternoon. Nobody came to bother us for a full hour because the floor got three new patients all at once. When the nurse trotted in, she apologized for not checking on us for such a long time.

Sometimes it was time for a breathing treatment, a doctor consult, vitals checks, attach antibiotics to the IV, take an x-ray, remove the IV connection when the antibiotic was complete, sometimes it was to deliver or remove a meal, to clean the room, the empty the trash, to replenish linens. The interruptions were not always of a life saving or sustaining nature. Four to six times per meal somebody would pop their head in to ask how she was eating, if she was eating okay, and if they could get me anything. The Cherub was eating very slowly and is easily distracted. So I’d have to regain her attention and interest and coax her back to her food and about then, somebody else would come in to ask if I had brushed her teeth yet. It was also strange because several times when they poked their heads in the door and offered to go get me something and I did have something they could get me (water or coffee), they forgot it. I would see them again in 30 minutes, asking something else, never noticing I’d never gotten the coffee they’d offered half an hour ago.

Often they wanted to chat while changing antibiotics, check vitals, emptying the trash, etc. So I would politely put my Kindle down or close my computer screen, smile politely and try to chat. They meant well, and probably extroverts appreciate it and thrive on it. I was ready to hide in the bathroom with the water running and a towel over my head.

When they left, I’d offer a change of toy or book or snack to the Cherub, adjust her in the bed, and then, if the Cherub didn’t need me, I would take a few moments to recalibrate my head, try to resume my place. I’d be interrupted again five minutes later.

Also, nobody ever shut the door all the way on their way out. We spent the first few days on a floor just one step below ICU in regard to serious care needed, and most of the other patients there were older. I could hear some of the elderly and senile patient screaming and yelling, and that was distracting and upsetting. Then they moved us to pediatrics, even though The Cherub is 26 (and we are glad they did, it was a good move for all of us), and if the door was open, the sound of the crying babies was even more distressing.

The recliners in the PCU floor were actually pretty decent. We reached the conclusion in the pediatric wing that the recliners were designed by mad scientists interesting in seeing just how far they could go torturing the human frame on one of these chairs. Everything about them was just far enough ‘off’ to be miserable, and the ‘reclining’ part was a sad jest at our expense. The chairs didn’t exactly recline- they sort of opened up like a flat board, and if you shifted at all, then slowly and almost imperceptibly they would begin to fold back in again, sitting you bolt upright before you knew it.

No wonder I am so wiped out.

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Cherub comes home tonight. She’s on a PICC line and I have to take her to town once a day for antibiotics, but we already go to town three times a week for physical therapy for her sister, so what’s one more thing? Plus, we’ll be HOME.

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Working while pregnant isn’t healthy for you or the baby

That’s what this study says. It’s okay to say this now that Obama’s economy is driving people out of the workforce. It’s actually kind of amusing to read how they twist and turn around the results.

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Cherub Update

She’s cleared up enough that they can’t read her x-ray as well as they could before= her spinal curve makes it harder to judge how much fluid might be left now. This is also a good sign, since spinal curve or not, it was easy to see her entire left side was whited out before. She ate a good breakfast. I am still feeding her, but she ate it faster than she has been, and she let me get more liquids down her than she has been as well.

It would help a lot if she would not suppress her coughs, but would let them out full force so she could get some of the phlem up and out herself.   We’re trying to figure out how to encourage her to cough and cough hard.

Her respiratory therapist today has a daughter very much like our Cherub, only her daughter’s CP is a little worse so she is mostly wheelchair bound. It was good to talk to her. She does not have the family support that we do, which was just one more reason to be so grateful for all the support and back up we available to us from our kids and sons-in-law.

They still don’t know what caused the fluid in her lungs. They are treating it as an infection since everything else has been ruled out.

A reasonable guess is that she aspirated on something she ate and that caused an infection and fluid build up which caused the lung to collapse and the antibiotics killed enough of the bug to mask that infection from the lab. Her lung is reinflating,


She is doing so well, in fact, that they are taking out the chest tube today!!!! They are also putting in a picc line and the goal is that we will go home with the pic line and continue antibiotic treatment via pic line at home. But there’s no word on when that ‘going home’ will be- definitely not today, they say, and probably not tomorrow.


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Bureaucracy and Technocrats

The Cherub is allergic to wheat, corn, and eggs- not gluten, but wheat.   However, the dietary staff won’t let us order oatmeal for her in the morning (she’s allergic to literally *every* other thing on the breakfast menu). I have stood in the room with the nurse while the nurse tries to fix that and tells them over the phone it’s not a gluten issue, it’s wheat, but it never gets changed.

I am the one who told the staff about this allergy in the first place- so it would not be in their computer at all if it weren’t for me.  Nobody asked me what tests she has had or how we know about these allergies, they just took my word for it.

So this just kind of cracks me up in an obnoxious sort of way-
Every single time we place the order, the dietary staff has to have our floor nurse ‘over-ride’ the erroneous gluten error tag. They cannot take my word for it that my child can eat oatmeal.

The nurse, of course, is taking our word for it. Who do you think tells the nurse that the Cherub can eat oatmeal? Li’l ol’ me.

So I call the kitchen, state our room number, place the order for oatmeal, hand the nurse the phone, tell her to tell the kitchen staff that the Cherub can have oatmeal, and the nurse dutifully repeats what I told her to say, hands me back the phone and I finish our order (applesauce, juice, hot water, and fruit).

This is what happens in a technological society run by technocrats. 

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