Aah, my old stomping grounds.

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. — High school students in this well-to-do Westchester suburb pile on four, five, even six Advanced Placement classes to keep up with their friends. They track their grade-point averages to multiple decimal places and have longer résumés than their parents.

“I would never put lunch before work,” says Elaine Rigney, a junior at Briarcliff. She intends to work through the new period.
But nearly half the students at Briarcliff High School have packed their schedules so full that they do not stop for lunch, prompting administrators to rearrange the schedule next fall to require everyone to take a 20-minute midday break. They will extend each school day and cut the number of minutes each class meets over the year. Briarcliff currently does not require students to have a lunch period.

(from the NYTimes)

I went to Byram Hills High School. I had lunch, but didn’t eat. I did occasionally chat with friends though. I did not work through my lunch period.

I did go to college at 16 though, so that might count for something.


millions are off work. Hundreds of thousands are out shopping. And those who make that possible, who keep that possible, are working and are overseas without a single day off.

Memorial Day. For remembering.

Who your friends are: the US military

One of my students served in this group. His best friend died “over there.”

Thank you to those of you who have served.

God, please bless the families of those who serve, especially those who have died or been wounded. Give them your comfort, your love, your peace. Please let them know that many appreciate their loss.

God, for those who serve, please bless them. Keep them safe. Give them wisdom, knowledge, hyperawareness. Bless them.

Prayer, vision, word

Thomas was at our home this weekend with his family. He is a mighty prayer warrior. He prayed for E, who is an atheist, and was given this picture, explanation, and point.

E is protected inside a giant white web. There are multiple layers to the web and each is strong, not weak like spider silk. The web is formed from prayers and our families’ spiritual history. E is inside it, pushing against it (rebelling teenager?) and he is cutting some of the strands. But there are many of them and they are strong. He is not making much progress in getting away from their protection. It will take a lot of effort.

The word that came with this is: Life without God is not worth the effort.

My response: I have felt encouraged to pray for E more, since each link in the web is one more that he cannot/will not get through without effort. R has also been moved that way and has committed to pray for E at least every day for the next ninety days.

My request: Please pray for my son E. Your prayers will join with ours and make a difference in his salvation.

Memorial Day

For the past 232 years people have fought for the freedoms that you and I often take for granted: freedom of assembly, freedom to worship God in our own way, actually voting, freedom from seizure of our person or property…

This weekend is a holiday, a holy day, in memory of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

Remember them. Pray for their families.

God bless America. God bless the USA.

Weight Tracking 2

From a previous post:
March 17- Happy St. Patrick’s day to ya’, darlin’.
176.8 43.9% fat (78 lbs)
I need to go get my measurements.
43-34-43 My waist is bigger than my ribs.
th 23.5 calf 15 upper arm 13.5 wrist 6.75 neck 14

March 25
170.8 44.9%
th 23 calf 15 upper arm 13.5 meck 13.75

April 11
th 23 calf 14.75 upper arm 13.25 neck 13.5 wrist 6.5April 15
th 23 calf 14.75 upper arm 13
43% (71 lbs) and 38.5% (64)= average of 68 for a 10 pound fat loss this last 30 days.
This is the date I said I would start mixing the two fat percents. Yesterday I weighed two pounds more and had less percent fat.

April 15
th 23 calf 14.75 upper arm 13
43% (71 lbs) and 38.5% (64)= average of 68 for a 10 pound fat loss this last 30 days.
This is the date I said I would start mixing the two fat percents. Yesterday I weighed two pounds more and had less percent fat. But…

May 3
43 and 41%
(That doesn’t look good.)

May 8
42 and 37%

May 16
40 and 34%

May 18
38 and 33%

May 20th at night
36 and 30%
I’ll try and check it in the morning. Then I’ll know how that measures up.

Basically though in five weeks I’ve lost three pounds. That’s still better than not.

May 21 (morning as usual)
40 and 35% The percentages are higher than I would have liked for sure. But… They’re better than nothing. It’s 60 pounds of fat now.


School let out. My eight classes are over. But I have a miniterm.

And I’ve already agreed to teach five classes in the fall. Two at CC1. Three at 4YS. Yes, that 4YS. The one I didn’t get hired at.

May I just say that they pay almost double what the CCs pay per class. That is pretty amazing. And I can get all the classes back to back. Which is also nice. It’s also really necessary, since it is an hour away.

I was thinking M was going to college. But he didn’t do too well in the one class he should have done well in, because he didn’t turn in homework. He made a B. He should have made an A, except that he skipped about twelve homeworks.

10% of Americans are hungry. Or are they?

I’ve heard that from my church. I saw it in the grocery store. I’ve seen it on billboards.

Let me ask you a question. Wouldn’t you think if a person were hungry, that they would be in poverty? I would think that if you were out of poverty, that you wouldn’t be hungry unless you chose. And I don’t care if you choose to be hungry. I only care if you are hungry and can’t not be hungry.

Disclosure: when I was young, we often had little money. I remember being hungry. I remember having no food in the house and being hungry on a regular basis through fifth grade. So I know what it is to be hungry.

So I went looking for where this mythical 10% is coming from. It sure is bad if 10% of Americans are going hungry and we as a people aren’t helping them.

There are 350 million people in the US. There are 206,000 at the poverty line or below. Ten percent of 350 million is 35 million. We don’t even have one percent of our population who are at the poverty level. That would be 3.5 million. In fact, we have less than .01% of our population who is at the poverty level.

I found an article that said that 26 million people receive food stamps. I hate to tell you this, but if they get food stamps, they aren’t going hungry.

I also saw the government questions which lead to determining that 10% of Americans go hungry or, more accurately, are food insecure.

The 18 questions and my responses

Worried food would run out before (I/we) got money to buy more
I often worry that the food will run out before we have money to buy more. Does that mean it will? No. Does that mean I don’t have enough food? No. It just means I worry.

Food bought didn’t last and (I/we) didn’t have money to get more
That has happened to me in the past. Maybe even recently. A lot of time that is because I have done something else with my money, like gone out to a restaurant, instead of buying groceries. I have even had to buy groceries on a credit card because I didn’t have cash. Does that mean I was in danger of going hungry? No.

Couldn’t afford to eat balanced meals
I have rarely been able to afford to eat balanced meals, because the food costs more than I am willing to pay. Plus, you have to go to the grocery store more often to get the fresh foods that give you the green parts of your meal.

Adult(s) cut size of meals or skipped meals
I have cut the size of my meals or skipped meals a lot recently. I am trying to lose weight. But it didn’t ask if I am trying to lose weight. It just asked if I’ve cut the size of my meals or skipped them. In fact, at some times in my life, I was fasting regularly. Does that mean I am poor? No. It means I’m religious.

Respondent ate less than felt he/she should
I often eat less than I feel I should (if by that you mean how much I want). I just ate lunch and I ate less than I felt I should, even though I had a full bowl of chili, a salad, two cheese sticks, and four chips. Yes, I remember a time when the answer to that question would have meant we did not have enough food, but now it wouldn’t.

Adult(s) cut size or skipped meals in 3 or more months
Er, yeah. Been dieting for years.

Respondent hungry but didn’t eat because couldn’t afford
Yeah. I couldn’t afford the calories. And sometimes it’s because I don’t think I can afford what I am hungry for (maybe that $100 steak).

Respondent lost weight
I have. Done that almost every year since 1988. It’s a terrible thing… that I don’t lose more.

Adult(s) did not eat for whole day
Yes. I did mention fasting, didn’t I?

Adult(s) did not eat for whole day in 3 or more months
Yes again. See above.

Relied on few kinds of low-cost food to feed child(ren)
Yes. Because that is all my kids will eat.

Couldn’t feed child(ren) balanced meals
Yes, because they wouldn’t eat them.

Child(ren) were not eating enough
Absolutely not, especially of protein. (My children are vegetarians.)

Cut size of child(ren)’s meals
Okay, I don’t think I did this. Unless you count telling my son he couldn’t eat a whole box of Wheat Thins in one sitting. So, er, yes, I did.

Child(ren) were hungry
Children are often hungry. I would certainly answer yes to that question.

Child(ren) skipped meals
Yes. I don’t make my kids eat. My eldest usually skips breakfast. And my youngest sometimes fasts for a meal.

Child(ren) skipped meals in 3 or more months
Yes. My eldest doesn’t eat breakfast.

Child(ren) did not eat for whole day
I think that has happened when my kids were sick. Probably even in the last year. So, yes.

Why would someone fill it out that way?

I know why I would. I would fill it out that way because it is the government and everyone knows you have to be careful what you say to the government and I would make sure that I was being absolutely truthful with every answer. I wouldn’t want them to come back and say, “Hey, your kid said he doesn’t eat breakfast. You lied.”

Maybe other people think there is a benefit to them (like those food stamps) of filling it out that way.

People who are saying that 35 million people in the US are hungry are either lying or it’s not quite dinner time. And that includes the people who came up with this survey.

Update: The surveyors add that the questions (which they don’t include) explicitly state because there was not money to buy food. After reading through the report, that is true. (It wasn’t clear from the percentage tables.) So perhaps I would have answered the questions differently.

So here is another question, have you ever run out of money for food because you bought something else? I have. I bought books. But I know other people who bought alcohol, cigarettes, clothes, or trips. Does it count as being food insecure if it is the fault of the responsible person that there wasn’t food money? I don’t think it ought to. But there is nothing in there that asks what they spent the money on that they had.

I still don’t think that 10% of Americans are hungry.

My son would eat Taco Bell for breakfast but I don’t think that is a good use of my money, so I won’t buy it. Does that mean there is not money for food?

Being for something is more important than doing anything about it.

I was listening, for just a little bit, to a radio program. It wasn’t NPR, so it was right-leaning. But the host had a guest on who claimed that Republicans care less about the poor because they give more to charity. The fact that Republicans, who are less well-off financially on average than Democrats, he said, give a lot of money to charity proves that Republicans don’t care about the charities. Because giving money to charity is done for selfish reasons, to make the giver feel better. He said that is why Democrats don’t give much to charity, because they actually care about the people and don’t want to be selfish givers.

If I were hungry, I would want food. If you felt good about giving me food, I’d be okay with that.

But if I were hungry and you said, “Oh, that’s terrible. I feel so awful. You need food! Someone has fallen down on their responsibilities, because you have no food. I care. I care.” I would be annoyed. If you cared, you would do something about it.

And for the people out there who think that using the government (meaning money the government got from me and other taxpayers) money is the only right way to help someone, I would say that such a sentiment proves you don’t care. Because if YOU cared, YOU would do something about it, not just dither that something ought to be done and take someone else’s money to do it.

What are you responsible for?

Today R, quoting NLP, said you are responsible for 100% of what you say and what people hear. Your words and their meaning have to be shaped by you to clearly speak to your audience.

First of all, that means that anyone you talk to has to be known and understood intimately, because if not, how can you know what to say to them and how to say it? That doesn’t work in my marriage too well. We have on rare instances argued when both of us agreed, because we didn’t understand that we were agreeing with each other. There is no one I know better than my husband, but I cannot always say things so that he hears them like I want him to.

Second, it means that the mood of the hearer/audience, their reactions that are unique to the day and not connected to your words, shouldn’t make any difference. Every Sunday the guys wave us quickly and want us to park in such a space, even when someone is getting out of a car in the next space. But today it particularly irritated me. They didn’t change their communication, but my response to it changed. How is that their responsibility?

Third, I can say something that a “normal” person would interpret one way. That is, most people in my circle, say 75%, would react a certain way. But then I am talking to one of the minority and don’t know it because the audience didn’t announce that they had a certain predisposition. So they take what I am saying one way where almost anyone else would have taken it another. Is that my fault? Is that my responsibility?

Fourth, it says that the listener has no responsibility. They are hearers only. They are empty vessels which are filled with my words. So if I am a powerful orator and I convince my audience that I am the new hope for the world, they have no responsibility for following me; it is all my doing. And thus we absolve the Germans, even those who knew it was wrong, of the Holocaust. It is this way that thinking has been devalued. If the listener has no responsibility, then the audience need not examine the arguments for truth or falsehood, for consequences, for long-term effects.

I think I as a listener am responsible for not only the words I listen to (garbage in, garbage out) but also for my interpretation of them as well as my implementation of them. So I would say that the speaker, the writer, has the least part of responsibility, though perhaps the greater need for persuasiveness.

Tagged: A meme

which requires me to think a bit.

What was I doing ten years ago?

1998… Living in Austin. Had a five year old and a six year old.

The six year old was in his first and last year of non-homeschool education with a teacher from Hell, or Boston, who made fun of the children’s accents because they were from Texas and turned my little mathematical genius into a user of the number line because he wanted to follow the rules. Er, guess I need to get over that Mrs. Farrar (pronounced fair-uh in Bostonian).

My five year old was in preschool, because he’s an October birthday. He had a great teacher and loved it.

And I was working on my dissertation, which I didn’t actually finish until 2000.

We went to a great church and I was celebrating my tenth anniversary, the only one for which my husband and I have ever purchased each other gifts.

What are five things on my to-do list for today?

Write a proposal for TYCA-SW, a two year college conference taking place in September in OK City.

Buy my husband dress shoes.

Hit the thrift shops for something to destroy.

Do laundry.

Remember to take home Alien Bee.

What are some snacks I enjoy?

Queso made with taco meat, eaten with carrots
BLT sandwiches
(Can you tell I’m doing low carb?)

What are three of my bad habits?
I put off grading student papers. (Not a good idea.)
I surf the net rather than grading student papers.
I am too focused on student papers, especially since I’ve already graded finals and turned in grades and my miniterm won’t start for two more days.

What are five places I have lived?
1. West Lafayette, Indiana (I am a PU grad.)
2. Abilene, Texas (went to undergraduate there)
3. Charlotte, North Carolina (which seemed like a huge city when I lived there. Not so much after living in Houston.)
4. Huntsville, Texas (for grad school, not the prisons!)
5. Hammond, Louisiana (where I went to school when private school in Abilene was too expensive)

What are five jobs I have had?
1. Waitress at Golden Corral (lots of work, no money)
2. Waitress at a low-end steak house (more fun, but still no money)
3. Church secretary
4. Junior high school history teacher
5. High school biology teacher

Turns out I have answered some of these questions before, in another meme. However, I tried to use different answers this time.

Thought I would answer another question from that blog.

What are the last five books I have read?
1. Five romance novels I bought at the book sale yesterday
2. Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs
3. Spanish Dagger by Susan Wittig Albert
4. Small Favor by Jim Butcher
5. Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris (I had read it before, but it was better having read Grave Surprise.)

Five people to tag
1. Ron at Reactuate.com
Hmmm. I tagged my Durham buddy already. I’m not sure who else does memes.
How about this? If you like doing memes (which I do) or you feel like answering the questions above for some reason, how about you consider yourself tagged?

No more do-overs for terrorist-memorializing architects

Defenders of the crescent design keep accusing Tom Burnett Sr. of trying to
get an improper “do-over” after failing back in 2005 to sway the design-competition jury.
But who is really seeking the do-over? The American people rose up in
protest in 2005 when they saw that the Memorial Project wanted to plant a
bare naked Islamic crescent and star flag on the flight 93 crash site.

That uproar forced the Memorial Project to agree to redesign the memorial so
that it would no longer include Islamic symbol shapes (whether they are
intentional or not). But nothing significant was changed. Every particle of
the original crescent design remains completely intact in the so-called
redesign, which only disguised the original crescent with a few irrelevant
trees, placed to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent.

The American people caught a hijacker trying to re-hijack Flight 93, and the
Memorial Project told him to go back outside and try again, which is exactly
what he did. Now they accuse Tom Burnett of wanting an improper

There were dozens of articles and television segments about the crescent
controversy this week, mostly in Pennsylvania, with some national news
coverage by Fox News television and AP. This
post is an attempt to capture the general thrust of the new wave of position

The Memorial Project is inverting every moral imperative at this point, and
it all comes from their fervent desire to reverse the results of September
2005. Their embrace of the crescent was rejected by America and they are
determined to undo that defeat, to the point of being willfully blind to
massive evidence of al Qaeda sympathizing intent.

The new face of the Memorial Project: Edward Felt’s wife and brother
take the lead

Sandra Felt, one of the Flight 93 family members who helped select the
Crescent of Embrace design, admits
that she never paid any attention to warnings about Islamic and terrorist
memorializing symbolism in the crescent design:

Sandra Felt has
known for nearly three years about complaints that the design of the
proposed Flight 93 National Memorial allegedly contains Islamic symbols, but
she never gave them any credence.

“I don’t even think about it,” said Felt, whose husband, Edward, died on …
United Airlines Flight 93.

And nobody blames her. It shouldn’t
be on the Flight 93 families to investigate evidence that any one of us can
easily fact check. But Sandra and her brother in law Gordon Felt, now
President of Families of Flight 93, are going further, pretending for some
reason that the charges people have made against architect Paul Murdoch are
actually being leveled against them.

How could that be, when three of the features that our petition lists
as unacceptable–the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent, the 44 glass
blocks on the flight path, and the giant Islamic sundial–were not even
discovered until after the crescent design was selected? Nobody blames the
family members for approving design features they had no inkling were there,
yet Gordon Felt says that warnings about the design are “quite hurtful, to think
we would want to create a memorial to those who murdered our loved ones.”

Nobody ever suggested any such thing, but Felt is getting as much mileage as
he can out of this excuse NOT to look at the facts, telling Fox News television:

I was outraged, for anyone to
infer that family members who have been such an integral part of this
process have in any way been involved in memorializing the murderers of our
loved ones. I find it extremely offensive.

This after expressing
his anger at Tom Burnett last week for Tom’s failure to submit to the
Memorial Project’s “dem
ocratic process
.” Tom lost the jury vote, so in Felt’s view, he is
apparently supposed to shut up now. Strange view of democracy.

Along with Patrick White (brother of Louis Nacke II), Gordon Felt sees Mr.
Burnett as trying to get an improper “do over” by raising all these new
concerns. Presented with evidence of an enemy plot, Felt acts as if this new
information is cheating. Like Sandra, he is positively hostile even to the
idea of taking this information seriously.

Not surprisingly, this slope is slippery, and Gordon Felt now seems to be
deliberately misleading the public about the 44 inscribed translucent blocks
that are to be placed along the flight path.

Memorial Project misinformation, covered up by the media’s refusal
to check the facts

One of the claims in our petition is that there are 44 inscribed translucent
blocks, or “glass blocks,” to be placed along the flight path. Asked about
the 44 blocks by AP reporter Ramesh Santanam, Mr. Felt denied

Opponents also claim there is a plan to have 44 glass
blocks, for the 40 victims and four hijackers, in the design.

“That’s an absolute, unequivocal fabrication that is being portrayed as
fact,” said Edward Felt’s brother, Gordon Felt, president of Families of
Flight 93. “It’s misleading and helps drive the conspiracy theory.”

He said he is insulted people would believe he would participate in anything
that honored his brother’s killers.

Santanam presents these
directly opposing factual claims, and that’s it. No fact checking, when all
he has to do is open up the design
and count the translucent blocks. It takes literally two minutes.

Open up the Sacred
Ground PDF
and on the right side you see this:

Memorial Walls, 43 "glass" blocks,

At eye level, are 43 “glass” (or translucent marble) blocks, built into the
two part Memorial Wall that follows the flight path just above the impact
point. Forty are inscribed with the names of the 40 heroes. Three are
inscribed with the 9/11 date. (The blocks can be counted in an elevation
view at the bottom of the PDF.)

For the 44th glass block, go to the Entry Portal
, which shows a giant glass block, marking the spot where the flight
path breaks the circle in architect Paul Murdoch’s description:

44th block close up, 50%

44th block sits at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway, which follows the
flight path at the upper crescent tip. Murdoch even has the brass to tell us
that it marks the terrorists’ circle-breaking crescent creating feat. To be
inscribed: “A field of honor forever.”

They have been covering it up for two years now.

The Memorial Project has known about this terrorist memorializing
block-count since April 2006, when Project Manager Jeff Reinbold argued that
the giant glass block at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway cannot be
counted with the others because it is so much bigger (Crescent of
Betrayal, download
, p. 146). As Tom Burnett wrote in his February 1st advertisement in the Somerset Daily

What? Because the capstone to the terrorist
memorializing block count is magnificent, that is supposed to make it

But regardless of the merits of the Memorial Project’s
rationale for not being concerned about the 44 translucent memorial blocks
on the flight path, there can be no excuse for telling the public that this
claim is false. No one ever said that all the blocks would be the same size.
We have been explicit: the 44th block is the giant glass block that
dedicates the entire site.

Maybe Gordie Felt has a different dodge in mind. Maybe he is caviling over
the fact that the 44th block is made of slightly different material than the
other 43, being designated “glass” while the others are labeled “translucent
marble.” That’s like caviling about the size difference.

We can’t go repeating “44 inscribed translucent blocks on the flight path”
all the time, so we shorten it to “the 44 glass blocks” or “the 44 blocks.”
Is that Gordon Felt’s excuse for evading the fact that there are 44
inscribed translucent blocks on the flight path? We use a necessary
shorthand and his instinct for evasion says “aha!”?

Sorry Mr. Felt. That is NOT how you live up to your fiduciary responsibility
to the American people. You have accepted a position of trust and you trying
to hide the truth, not expose it.

The fourth petition complaint: that the giant crescent is STILL

One of the intolerable features of the soon-to-be-built memorial was known
to everyone involved in the jury process. That is the crescent and star
configuration of the original Crescent of Embrace design. When outrage
erupted in September 2005 over this the planting of a naked Islamic flag on
the graves of our murdered heroes, the Memorial Project was adamant they did
not want to change it. They had talked about the
likeness to an Islamic crescent during jury deliberations and decided that
they wanted to choose it anyway. When controversy erupted, they felt the
critics were trying to override what they thought was THEIR decision to

That position collapsed when Congressman Tancredo insisted that, intentional or not, it was
unacceptable to build the Flight 93 memorial in the shape of a symbol that
the Flight 93 terrorists claimed as their own. Pretty obvious one would
think, but the backers of the crescent design were bitterly angry about
having their preference overruled, just as they are now. They didn’t want to
change the design, and they DIDN’T change the design.

In the original, the terrorists break our liberty-loving circle, turning it
into a giant Mecca-oriented crescent. The Park Service describes
the so-called redesign in the exact same terms:

The circle is
broken in two places that mark the southeastern path of the plane to the
crash site. The circle is broken at the entry to the memorial and at the
crash site.

It is still a broken circle, and it is still broken
in the exact same places. The only change is that, instead of the broken off
part being completely removed, a chunk of the broken off part of the circle
now floats out across part of the mouth of the crescent:

Crescent Bowl35%

Except for the re-coloring of the redesign image (right), the only change is
the “broken off” arc of trees to the left of the crescent.

Both thematically and geometrically, nothing is changed. The unbroken part
of the circle (the crescent) remains completely intact. In particular, it
still points to Mecca, making it the world’s largest mihrab (the
Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built).

Sandy Felt seems pretty clear that the issue is still the giant

Sandy Felt, Edward Felt’s widow, was on the second

She said … that the issue of the crescent shape came up during discussions
because of a public comment card submitted.

Jurors were not willing to dismiss the design because of the name, “Crescent
of Embrace,” or the shape.

“There’s no particular ownership of this shape,” she said. “… We felt
confident with the notion that the void in the embrace was representative of

She and the other crescent defenders claim that it is Mr.
Burnett who wants a “redo” on this point, but it is actually THEY who are
looking for a “redo.” On this very point–on just the crescent shape itself,
without taking into account the numerous other Islamic and terrorist
memorializing features–it is the DEFENDERS of the crescent who lost the
popular vote in September 2005, not Tom Burnett.


Do the nine people who voted for the crescent design (the vote was 9 to 6)
really think that they have a greater claim to represent America’s
democratic voice than a United States Congressman, speaking for a national
uproar? Do they really think that it is THEIR prerogative to plant a
terrorist memorial mosque on the graves of our murdered heroes, no matter
what the rest of the country thinks?

America stood up in September 2005 and said OVER OUR DEAD BODIES. The
Memorial Project pretended to accede to this rejection, promising to remove
the Islamic symbol shapes, but they DIDN’T remove the crescent. They only
hid it.

Democracy is the will of the American people, not the will of nine family
members, misguided by grief, who have fallen in love with a giant Islamic
shaped crescent. It is bad enough that an inflated sense of prerogative
makes these family members think it is okay to try to sneak their giant
crescent onto the crash site even after it has been publicly rejected. Worse
is their using their bitterness at being rebuffed as an excuse not to
witness the numerous further Islamic and terrorist memorializing design
features that have been discovered.

Every American feels tremendous sympathy for the grief of these families,
but that does not absolve those who have stepped up to positions of public
responsibility from the need to BE RESPONSIBLE. As much as the families may
want peace and healing, our nation is in the middle of what promises to be a
very long war with those who attacked us on 9/11. To be willfully blind to
evidence of an al Qaeda sympathizing plot is DANGEROUS.

Since these family members are embracing every excuse to evade evidence of
radical Islamic intent, they simply have to be overruled, and this time for
good. No more do-overs for terrorist memorial mosques.

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Superheros and dethroned authors

Mental Floss offers the origin of superheros and supervillains. Did you know Lex Luthor used to have a full head of red hair?

Orson Scott Card rakes JK Rowling over the coals for suing an author for writing something that she herself read, used, and found valuable while she was writing the Harry Potter series. Turns out she’s done quite a bit of lifting herself. I think that Card is making an argument of HP to Ender that isn’t really relevant/useful, but it is an interesting insight.

When I first heard God…

That was the topic of last week’s lesson and when I wrote letters to God, both this week and six months ago, I could not remember. But tonight, I was reminded of how God was active in my life much earlier than I had been thinking.

When I was 13, I read the sermon on the mount one morning before school. At the time I was impressed by Jesus’ teaching to “turn the other cheek.” I got to school, went through my day, no problem. Then I got to gym and God had known what was coming.

There was an argument over a mat and Cookie, God bless her wherever she is, hit me. I actually stood there and thought, “Did she hit me on the right cheek? If she didn’t, I can hit her back.” But she had hit me on the right cheek. She asked me if I was going to hit her and I said no “he told me not to.” He who she asked? I pointed to heaven. She looked up in the rafters of the gym. Then she asked me if there were somebody up there. I told her no, God had told me not to hit her. “God told you not to hit Cookie?” she asked. Yes, I told her. When? This morning when I was reading the Bible. It said in the Bible not to hit Cookie? she asked. Yeah, I said. Sort of.

That wasn’t me. That was God witnessing himself to Cookie. I’m expecting that she’ll be in heaven and we can sit down and talk about the day God was in the rafters. I’m looking forward to it.

Then, when I was in high school, our preacher died. It was sudden, unexpected, and horrifying. He was 33 and had three young children. Our church decided to continue to pay his widow the salary for a year and allow her to continue to live in the home that had been supplied by the church. During that year, regular members of the congregation led singing, preached, and prepared the communion thoughts. And during that year, every week, the Holy Spirit led them to dovetail perfectly together. If we sang “Angry Words,” then the sermon was on an unbridled tongue and the communion thoughts were on the importance of Jesus’ words. It was like that every week. And every week one of the elders would get up and remind us that the Holy Spirit had orchestrated that.

He also told the high school class (Laura and I) that we went to church with a prophetess. She had called the elders and had told them that she had a vision and she thought Jim was going to die. But she couldn’t believe it. And since she didn’t really believe it, neither did they. Then he died…. Don’t know what the prophecy was supposed to make different, because it didn’t. But it made me believe in the modern day working of the Holy Spirit.

And those were some of the earliest times when I could personally see God working in my life.