Ancient chemotherapy

Autumn Crocus, as per Scribal Terror

In the first century Dioscorides (fl. ca. A.D. 50-79) employed a drug made from autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale L.), the very plant investigated by A/ P. Dustin in 1938 as an antitumor agent. Dioscorides recommended that the plant (kolchikon) be “soaked in wine and administered to dissolve tumors (oidemata) and growths (phumata) not yet making pus.”
. . .
Mattaeus Platearius (d. 1161?) and Avicenna employed the plant in ways that suggest antitumoral activity. . . . Abu Mansur (fl. 968-977) said that the drug concocted from it is poisonous but dries up old sores. In light of this evidence one can conclude that prior to the thirteenth century autumn crocus was employed as an anticancer agent, but that its use was not widespread. The reluctance may have been due to the belief expressed by Hildegard [von Bingen], who said that it was more of a poison than a medicine.

Which of course it was, but all medicine is a balancing act between killing and curing, and the ancient and medieval doctors who used autumn crocus apparently knew what they were doing and got results that were promising enough for them to recommend its use to others.


Flight 93 Memorial: Update

Congressman Ramstad comes out in opposition to the Flight 93 memorial

Blogburst logo, no accident

Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN) gave a House speech this month, supporting Mr. Burnett’s opposition to the crescent design. The speech is entered in the Congressional Record here, along with supporting statements from Tom Burnett Sr. (father of murdered Flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Jr.).

That makes two Congressmen now who have come out publicly against the crescent memorial. (Tom Tancredo took the lead last November, asking the Park Service to choose a completely new design.)

News coverage revs up confrontation at this Saturday’s public meeting

Ramstad’s speech, and our ongoing petition drive, netted a full width banner headline on the front page of the Somerset Daily American, with the story continuing full width on an inside page as well. This high profile local news coverage should make for an interesting Memorial Project meeting at the Somerset County Courthouse this Saturday. Several critics will be speaking during the public comment period, and the first batch of petitions will be delivered in bulk (over 5000 signatures to date, 4700 online and 500 on paper).

The Daily American article includes lots of powerful language from Mr. Burnett and other critics of the crescent design, along with some remarkably disingenuous evasions from the usual defenders. Most egregious is Patrick White, vice president of Families of Flight 93, who tries to pretend that the criticisms of the design are all about Mr. Burnett trying to get an undemocratic “do over” after failing to stop the Crescent of Embrace design when he served on the design competition jury.

While on the jury, Mr. Burnett only complained about the giant Islamic shaped crescent and the minaret-like Tower of Voices. No one on the jury, including Mr. Burnett, knew anything about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent; or about the placementof the 9/11 date in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag; or about the 44 glass blocks on the flight path; or about the fact that the Tower of Voices turns out to be a year-round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial.

Not that the jury is beyond reproach. It was bizarre for these family members and design professionals to plant a bare naked crescent and star flag on the graves of our murdered heroes, but given everything that the jurors did NOT know, this configuration at least COULD have been an accident. What came out after the design was selected is absolute proof of terrorist memorializing intent, with every Islamic and terrorist memorializing feature being repeated in the Tower of Voices portion of the memorial.

One example is the 38 Memorial Groves. (There were supposed to be 40.) By itself, it is merely suspicious that the arc of 38 groves can be seen as a set of 19 nested crescents: one for each 9/11 hijacker. But architect Paul Murdoch proves this terrorist memorializing intent by surrounding the Tower of Voices with a second set of 19 nested crescents. And on it goes. EVERYTHING gets repeated in the Tower of Voices, and the 93 foot tall Islamic sundial is itself a very precise structure that could NEVER occur by accident.

Patrick White wants to dodge all this by pretending that the controversy is about the initial jury decision, instead of the ensuing blindness to voluminous evidence of terrorist memorializing intent. No one exemplifies this willful blindness better than Patrick White himself.

Patrick White denies the Mecca orientation in public while admitting it in private

At the July 2007 Memorial Project meeting, a critic of the crescent design engaged Mr. White in private conversation, asking how he could be unconcerned about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent. White’s reply was to suggest that this orientation cannot be seen as a tribute to Islam because the inexactness of it would be “disrespectful to Islam.” (The crescent points 1.8° north of Mecca, ±.1°.)

But this isn’t what White was telling the public. That same week, Patrick White told the press that all of the claims about Islamic symbolism had been thoroughly investigated and been found to be untrue and “preposterous.” In private, White was acknowledging the almost exact Mecca orientation of the crescent and making excuses for it, while issuing sweeping denials in public.

He is still doing the same thing. He KNOWS that the giant crescent points almost exactly to Mecca, yet claims that such “assumptions,” have been “repeatedly shown-to-be-false.” In fact, not a single factual claim about what is in the design has ever been rebutted. If the crescent did not point to Mecca, it would be trivially easy to demonstrate. This is a simple geometric claim. But all the Memorial Project has ever offered is unsupported denials, denials that they acknowledge in private to be FALSE.

Patrick White’s dishonest attack on Tom Burnett

The jury process is irrelevant. No one is criticizing it. The jurors bear no responsibility for hidden Islamic and terrorist-memorializing features that they knew nothing about when they chose the crescent design. If it were not for two ugly bits of misinformation, put forward by Patrick White in his effort to make the jury process the issue, there would be no reason to mention the jury process at all. Both of White’s falsehoods are aimed at discrediting Tom Burnett Sr.

1. In the Daily American article (half way down) White claims that Mr. Burnett: “gave his consent to support what the majority picked.”

Mr. Burnett was incensed in 2005 when the Memorial Project announced that the jurors had united behind the majority choice. Without ever consulting with Mr. Burnett, the Memorial Project wrote in their jury report that: “By consensus the Stage Two jury forwards this section of the Flight 93 memorial to the partner [Paul Murdoch] with the full and unqualified support of each juror.” Tom has been trying to correct the record ever since, and Patrick White OUGHT to know it.

2. White also claims that: “No one agreed then with Mr. Burnett’s preferred choice for a final design.”

“To the contrary” says Mr. Burnett, “the vote not unanimous; it was 9 to 6.” Five people were with Mr. Burnett in rejecting the crescent design. This on a jury made up of 8 design professionals and 7 family members. It could even be that a majority of family members opposed the Crescent of Embrace. Tom requested the vote tally in a formal letter to the Memorial Project which was never answered. Now Patrick White throws the vote tally in Tom’s face, and completely misrepresents it.

3. Bonus badness. White claims that: “Jurors gave all of Mr. Burnett’s concerns a complete airing.”

In fact, the design professionals on the jury tried to shut Mr. Burnett up. Tom Sokolowski, director of Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum called Mr. Burnett “asinine” just for noticing that the crescent is a traditional symbol of Islam. This overt hostility to Mr. Burnett’s concerns is not what most of us would call “a complete airing.”

So no, the jury process is not the issue here, but if it were, it couldn’t stand up to scrutiny either.

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Blogs in Plain English

My husband showed me “Twitter in Plain English” from Common Craft, but I liked this as well. Hmmm. I might use the Twitter video as a “other things to think about” on the last day of class.

Dream Diary: Expert in teaching

I want to submit four proposals to four different conferences in the next year.

I will submit the first to CCCC (disadvantaged students and the internet). The second to TYCA-SW (introducing politics). The third… I don’t know. And I will submit one to CCTE (how to use a blog in the classroom).

I’d really like to get accepted to 4Cs. I may have to call DW and ask for feedback on the proposal. Or talk to her about it. I wonder if it should only be about 300 words, since it is not a panel. I might want to go ask at CC1 and find out if someone there is working with the internet in class.

Dream Diary: Weight

I want to weigh 145 again this year and maintain that weight for the next twenty years, with twenty to twenty-five percent body fat.

What resources do I have now?
I have used three good eating plans and lost weight on them. I have just lost 12 pounds. I am still eating well on that plan.

I have learned to enjoy bicycling and have always enjoyed walking. Both of those will help me with the body fat.

I know how to use weights for maximum growth.

I have several good books to encourage me forward.

I have enough money to buy whichever kind of food I need.

What resources do I need to acquire?
I need to know that I can meet this goal. I have met this goal before, even after having children. So I can, in fact, meet this goal.

I can see myself standing on the scale and having it read 144.8 and 145. I can see it calculating body fat and saying 22%. And I get off and dance around the room!

Have I evidence of achieving this before?
I need to lose 20 more pounds. I have lost 20 pounds before. I lost more than that on Quick Weight Loss and on Body for Life.

I lost down to 145 when we lived in Abilene, after Elijah was born. So I have weighed 145 as an adult and as a parent.

What happens if I act as if I have the resources?

My weight will drop. I will continue to lose weight. I have done it before and I can do it again.

I will maintain the weight because I have often done things for years: driven, studied, walked, etc.

What is the real purpose?
To look good for Ron.
To be healthy.

What will I lose or gain if I have it?
I will lose weight.

I will lose excuses.

I will gain a new wardrobe.

I will gain a healthier body and a longer life.

I will gain more self-confidence.

What will happen if I get it?
I will look hot.

I will get new clothes.

I will act more self-confident.

What will not happen if I get it?
I will not get old and fat.

I will not die young.

I will not develop medically-caused bipolar disorder.

I will not attract creeps because I’ll still be older. But I will look good.

What will happen if I don’t get it?
I will weigh more.

I will be more likely to develop adult onset diabetes.

What won’t happen if I don’t get it?
I won’t ever get my pictures taken.

I won’t get a great new wardrobe.

I want to weigh 145 again this year and maintain that weight for at least the next forty years, with twenty to twenty-five percent body fat.

A Meme

Happy Catholic tagged me. Well, sort of. She said I could answer if I wanted to. That’s almost the same as tagging me.

What was I doing ten years ago?
Living in Austin.
Just bought a house.
Planting a garden with my dad.
Going to a non-denominational church that actually, really, had no politics.
Watching my sons play soccer.
Homeschooling my sons.

Five things on my To Do list today
1. Grade papers for Monday morning’s class.
2. Grade papers for Monday evening’s class.
3. Grade papers for Tuesday morning’s class.
4. Grade papers for Tuesday evening’s class.
5. (Nope. I already graded Tuesday afternoon’s papers.) Read NLP for Dummies.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire
Call my husband’s boss and tell him R quit.
Take my kids to live in a few foreign countries for the next year or so.
Endow two chairs at my alma mater.
Give big bucks to my alma mater’s library.
Hire someone to do my lawn.
Have someone make my clothes.

Three of my bad habits/qualities
1. I am quick to anger.
2. I am easily bored.
3. I am becoming a procrastinator.

Five places I’ve lived
1. Armonk, New York
2. Flagstaff, Arizona
3. Durham, North Carolina
4. Geneva, Switzerland
5. Covington, Louisiana

Five Books I’ve recently read
1. Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn and
2. his Skybreakers
3. Patricia Briggs’ The Hob’s Bargain (finished it last night)
4. Robert Aspirin’s Dragons Wild
5. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper

I tag Bev G because she is my friend, she blogs, and she might actually do it.

The interview

I interviewed yesterday for six and a half hours. There was no scheduled time for lunch, so I brought a bar and peanuts, thinking that I could eat them on the run. That wasn’t as necessary as it looked, since I had 15 minutes between each part of the interview.

The president mostly asked me questions about my life. Of course, I was only there for ten minutes, so… He asked how I got to Texas from New York, why I chose my PhD alma mater, what things influenced me. Then he asked me three times what my research was going to be… He asked it three different ways, so it is possible I wasn’t answering what he was asking or he wasn’t understanding what I was saying. (I think now, looking back, that he was asking me where I was submitting proposals and papers. I would certainly have changed my answer, since I didn’t answer that at all.)

I told the chair that. She said she thought it might be X issue. I said I had thought about X issue and had presented a paper on it, back when I was teaching full time. I also said I had brought a copy for the president, but had not had an opportunity to give it to him. She went right out, put it in a folder, addressed it, and had it delivered to him. Doubt he saw it, since he was so busy, but…

I found out that there is a new chair for the department. I liked that. The new chair is the woman who supported me in the first interview. She is also the woman who took me around for my interview and introduced me to, it seemed like, everyone on campus. She becomes chair June 1.

The interview seemed to go fairly well. I am not the high profile candidate the president would like to hire, but I am a solid teacher and could, I believe, do presentations on a regular basis. I’ll just have to remember that it is part of my job description. Maybe I can get in touch with some people from my old college and present panels. Have to think about that.

I believe the chair likes me. I got on well with the dean, who is an easy-going person.

I think I got on well with the provost, too. While I’m scrutinizing it with a microscope I wonder if perhaps I didn’t seem a little too eager with her. As I was leaving she said, “You seem to have a lot of interests.” Now that would be good if she were talking about my teaching, but it came on the heels of my saying that her desk, a huge beautiful wood work with hand painted flourishes, was beautiful. I had already commented on how much I liked the blue glass, telling her that I collect it. And, when I came in, I asked her if she were born in September, because she had on a sapphire necklace (and earrings and wedding ring, but I noticed the necklace). So I’m now a little less sure about that.

I told the chair that, for a year or two, I would be willing to teach four sections of freshman English, if that was what needed doing, but that I did not want to do that for twenty years. She laughed and said no. She asked me what my dream job would be and I had trouble articulating it, even though I have written about it before. She kept asking me if I were going to be happy not teaching literature. I’m a writing teacher, primarily. But, having taught six to nine classes of freshman comp a year in the last six years, I am ready for a change. I am more than willing to teach business writing or something else, if that is available. (It doesn’t go to adjuncts at the community college for sure.)

We also discussed when in the day I would want to teach. Of course everyone wants to teach in the mid-morning (almost everyone). I said I’d prefer to teach a night class rather than a 4 pm MWF. Can you imagine being in Houston traffic at 5 three days a week? I would not enjoy that. But now that I’ve thought about it, I’m not sure when I would rather teach. Something else to think about. They schedule their classes early, so if I have a different opinion than what I told her, I should let her know if they call to hire me.

I think that my freshman comp class went very well. I taught for thirty minutes. The students were engaged; they laughed in the right places; they answered my questions. I did a little more lecture than student involvement, but I think it went all right.

However, in the tech writing class, while I showed that I know technology and I gave some good points, I was so busy presenting what I had prepared, that I didn’t engage the students. And that is the class the dean sat in on. (In fact, only the chair and the adjunct whose class it was were in my freshman comp teaching.)

I will try to remember that the teaching isn’t so they can find out what I know, but so that I can show them my best teaching style. That they did not see.

The chair said that she would let me know by June 1, hopefully. We’ll see.

If I don’t get the job, it will be God’s decision. When I started this search, with three colleges to apply with, I told God I needed him to be clear where he wanted me to go.

Kingwood was hiring developmental writing only and so I didn’t get in. There are plenty of adjuncts who have done that for them on a regular basis. And they might have gotten someone from outside. I don’t know.

Montgomery didn’t call me back after the phone interview. I thought they would, but I was wrong.

So whether I get an offer or not, I feel confident it will be what God has in mind.

Other things discussed:

The future graduate programs… MFA, JD, etc that are being envisioned and made part of the vision.

What the school is known for now. It is a SLAC, but at the rate they are changing, it won’t be that for long. Right now they’re strong in pre-med. Three of their sophomores were admitted to medical school, assuming they keep their grades up and graduate. They also have a very strong nursing school. In addition, they have a very strong bilingual education emphasis. They got $1.5 mil from the government for scholarships for that.

Developmental writing. The chair and I discussed this. I brought it up with the provost and the dean.

My considered response

After the phone interview, I almost withdrew my name. I loved the idea of working at a college like this one, which is why I applied, but the interview was problematic. However, I decided it was worth continuing because I did want to work there.

After the on-campus interview, even given that it went all day and had no lunch break, I really want to work there. I will be disappointed if they don’t offer me the job. There is a financial issue, though, because I need to make enough money to make it worth driving across town for. We probably won’t move. (I’ve considered it, but right now it would be unpopular with my family and financially foolish.)

I want to work there. It looked like a great place to be. Right now it’s small, but it is booming and will be growing like crazy. Being there in the transition stage would be good because I’ll get to know people across the campus and because I’ll then be in a nationally recognized school.

Besides teaching, which I love, I will also need to get re-involved professionally. That is a little harder to do because I have been out so long, but I am already moving that direction.

I need to talk to R about the whole thing. I want him to be more enthusiastic than he is about the prospect of my working there. And, unlike others, this job would probably be very supportive of us moving to New Zealand for a year to teach.

Whoa! What you can get rid of when you start!

About three weeks ago I went through my closet and pared down. I took the clothes to our old church’s garage sale.

But today R and I were talking about keeping the 20% of clothes you wear all the time and getting rid of (most of) the rest.

So we stopped talking about it and started doing it.

Even though I had gone through my closet three weeks ago, I still got two big trash bags full of nice clothes that don’t fit me any more (or never did). I also pulled out all my belts and three pairs of shoes. (I hadn’t done those before.)

R went through his closet and his dresser and got two more bags full of clothes, plus a bag of trash.

We also got rid of an entire brown grocery bag full of hangers and kept only the hangers I actually like to use.

We’ll take those down to the thrift store that supports women who are abused at home and are trying to get them and their children out. Last time we went they didn’t have very many clothes. I don’t know if they had sold them all or if they were trying to make the room seem bigger. It did seem bigger. It also seemed empty.

Between here and there you used to not be able to find anywhere to donate. But Goodwill opened a donation site. Maybe lots of the people in my area now give there.

But I’m going to pass them up and go to the thrift store because I know that they help families.

And I can’t believe how empty my closet is now!

I still have six pairs of shoes I only wear one time a year, but… Most of the rest of the stuff is gone.

Chinese soldiers covered in egg.

Those 7000 statues in the Terracotta army were apparently lacquered and then painted and then covered in egg. Or it might have been egg paint. Depends on which sentence I understood correctly.

The most interesting part for me were the colors and how they got them:

The researchers thought animal glue might have served as a binder, but all of the data pointed to egg instead. The pigments, they found, were bone white, lead white, cerussite (which sparkles), quartz, cinnabar, malachite, charcoal black, copper salts, Chinese purple and azurite.

for Dielli

Pretend Murder = Art


A Yale student, the valedictorian of her high school class, has claimed to have artificially inseminated herself and taken natural abortificants and kept the results of the self-induced abortions, which she uses as art.

Update: But now she may be saying she didn’t do it at all. At least that is what Yale says. It was just a stunt. However, if you read the paper, it clearly indicates that she would be expelled if she actually did it. So I’m still not sure. Read here to be confused yourself.

Redstate on The Art of Murder.

The Anchoress hoping it is a hoax.

Critical Mass who argues that it IS shock art and that shock art is simply a new way to transgress.

American Digest shows you pics and video where you can watch the “artist” rant.

One Cosmos describes it as a “snuff abortion film.”

Review: Magic Lost, Trouble Found

This book was recommended to me by my brother. He said it is a light read, fun, and she has a bunch of books in the series if you like it.

The POV is first person. The main character is a semi-legal elf who does seeking/finding. Sometimes she finds things that were stolen. Sometimes she finds people. She works with a thief she’s trying to reform.

The book starts with her standing in a smelly alley watching her “reformed” thief break into a necromancer’s very warded home. Her cousin shows up to keep her company and then… Things get wild. Of course. It wouldn’t be a book without that.

I like the characters. They are very clearly differentiated. She does use too many similar names. And she introduces too many characters too often. It took me a while to remember that Piaras was her adopted brother, not the spellsinger at Tam’s. So in that particular scene a lot of the dramatic tension was missing that should have been there, would have been there, if I’d just known who the heck he was.

I liked it. My brother was right; it is a light read. Definitely swords and sworcerers and not high fantasy. But it’s a good read.

Another book down/done.

Interesting blog posts

What does Divorce cost? Apparently the financial cost is $112 million a year.

A question I’ve been asking myself gets asked on the blogs. How can we have a discussion on race without mentioning race? And why, when Ferraro did it, did she take a nosedive in popularity?

The first glimpse of the pied piper is from the 1400s. A piper in multi-colored clothing took off 130 children from Hamlin. It doesn’t say why.

Oldest living tree found in Sweden looks small, about 13 years old. But its root system is 9500 years old, according to someone who ought to know. I was all excited when I thought it was big and beautiful and old. But little and old… Not so much.

In another response to Obama’s fatuous comment on America, Varifrank lists 20 reasons why he is bitter. Some of them are silly. But one of them, I just kept saying, yeah. Yeah.

“If I was an irresponsible ass who became a drug user and fathered half a dozen kids out of wedlock, went bankrupt walked away from my mortgage and didn’t pay my bills, the government would provide any number of programs to help rehabilitate me, but if I live a straight life, pay my bills, live within my means and take care of my family, the government can only say that I don’t pay enough taxes and that its only fair that I step in to help people who live in the other category. “


A woman in Virginia loses full custody of her daughter. Her lesbian ex-lover, whom the mother broke up with three years ago, gets liberal visitation rights. You know, if her ex-lover had been a man, who wasn’t biologically related to the child, he wouldn’t have gotten these rights.

Why are those children being taken away from their parents? I know the parents are polygamists, but why are the children being taken away from them? Gays can adopt. Why can’t biological parents keep their children? I know the state went in because of an abuse call but when they couldn’t find the person, I quickly thought some activist must have made up the whole thing. And The Common Room agrees.

Bloodletting decides to respond to Obama. And he does so with a full discussion of his experience with communism (and a GREAT metaphor) and a description of his culture that really resonated with me.

My culture judges a man by the content of his character not the color of his skin, which is why quotas are so hateful.
My culture believes that a man has a right to the fruits of his own labors, and he may feast or famine dependant upon how fat or hungry he wishes to be, which is why taxing the food out of my mouth and giving it to the lazy bum who cannot or will not take care of themselves pisses me off.


Weight tracking

Ouch. I gained over four pounds this week, after losing four pounds two weeks ago (down to 169) and then going back up.

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 6.5

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…

10 pounds of fat in 30 days. Even if I DID gain four pounds the week before I started this. That’s still good. It’s a 7 pound loss from where I was before that… So I’ve gotten at least a strong 7 pound loss out of it. And really, since unfortunately that IS what I weighed, I actually lost 11 pounds.

I’ve lost 11 pounds in a month.

For reference, on Quick Weight Loss, I lost 30 pounds in 100 days. In 31 days I had lost 14 pounds on QWLC. So what I am losing now is not as good as then, except that this diet is a lot easier than that one. AND, also for reference, when I started QWLC I was 10 pounds heavier than when I started this.

I went back and read the QWLC entries and I really hated the food the first week or so. I was hungry all the time and not getting enough to eat.

My lowest weight in the last 12 years was in September of 04 when I weighed 154.8 after 100 days on QWLC and a week on BFL… Maybe to get the best weight loss, I need to cycle through the diets.

I know that on -whatever this diet is called- I have NOT been careful of my calories and I have still lost weight. That is GREAT. It hasn’t been hard except for a few days. In fact, I am kind of amazed that it has been 30 days today.

I have also been riding my bike at least 3x a week for the last seven weeks. So I have been getting more aerobically in shape. I was really hoping to do 5x a week and for a while (two or three weeks) I did. But I have done a minimum of 3x a week for seven weeks. Yeah for me!

On BFL I lost 45 pounds of fat in 42 weeks or 40 pounds in 48 weeks. (It depends on whether you look at the end or where I lost the most.)

I’m not sure I really want to post this now; I’ve been just saving it, but I would like to have it.

Bones Rocked!

Bones began its new season tonight. It was great. The lines were so funny, so strong, so perfect… We had to stop the TV and rewind at least twice because we all burst out laughing.

Great show.

What kind of pie am I?

I wasn’t going to post this quiz, but the answer is sooo me. And with only a few questions.

You Are Apple Pie

You’re the perfect combo of comforting and traditional.
You prefer things the way you’ve always known them.
You’ll admit that you’re old fashioned, and you don’t see anything wrong with that.
Your tastes and preferences are classic. And classic never goes out of style.

Those who like you crave security.
People can rely on you to be true to yourself – and true to them.
You’re loyal, trustworthy, and comfortable in your own skin.
And because of these qualities, you’ve definitely earned a lot of respect.

90 Minutes in Heaven

by Don Piper is a very hard book to read. The author tells of debilitating depression, horrifying physical pain, and terrible injuries. But it is also a fascinating book to read. The author tells of his time in heaven, after he was dead for 90 minutes.

“People in heaven don’t have an awareness of who is not there. They do know who is coming” (203).

I want to know E is coming, like I know R and M are.

God, please send humor to my son to break through the shell of his cynicism. Help him to have faith in you. Amen.

they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them

As one of those flyover conservatives who supports the Second Amendment, believes strongly in an active God, and wants a strong immigration policy to protect our country and keep us safe, I resent Obama’s articulation of my beliefs as something I cling to from bitterness.

It could well be that, as he said eventually, he misspoke. I think it is more likely that he was addressing his audience with a characterization they would agree with. But you don’t lie to an audience to get them to believe you.

Betsy’s Page has the best discussion I’ve seen, though the Barack Obama: Jedi Mastervideo takes forever to load.

A letter from Tom Burnett Sr.

From Tom Burnett Sr: A petition to stop the Flight 93 Memorial

Dear Fellow Americans:

The planned Flight 93 Memorial contains extensive Islamic symbolism. It is an insult to my son Tom, and to the other murdered heroes of Flight 93 who stopped Islamic terrorists from destroying the White House or the Capitol that terrible September day.

Please consider signing this online petition that I and some compatriots have put together. It calls for a new memorial design, and for investigation of the present design. If you want to do more, feel free to forward or post this appeal.

For those who are not familiar, the original “Crescent of Embrace” design was laid out in the crescent and star configuration of an Islamic flag:


Outrage over this overt Islamic symbolism forced the Memorial Project to disguise the original crescent with a few additional trees, but every particle of the original design remains completely intact in the so-called redesign. The giant crescent and star flag is still there!

The Memorial Project assumes that any similarity to an Islamic crescent has to be unintentional. Even if it WERE unintentional it would still be intolerable, but how can anyone look at that crescent and star configuration and think that it CAN’T be intentional? That is like seeing an airliner fly into the World Trade Center and thinking that it CAN’T be intentional. Worst of all, the Memorial Project refuses to confront voluminous evidence that the Islamic symbolism IS intentional.

It turns out that a person facing into the giant crescent will be facing Mecca. A crescent that Muslims face into to face Mecca is called a “mihrab” and is the central feature around which every mosque is built. The crescent memorial will be the world’s largest mosque!

When TWO airplanes fly into the World Trade Center, even the most naïve person has start taking the possibility of intent seriously, but not the Memorial Project. The Islamic symbolism in Flight 93 Memorial goes on and on, but the Park Service refuses to be concerned.

Architect Paul Murdoch says that the crescent shape comes from the hijacked airplane breaking the circle where it crosses the upper crescent tip. The flight path then continues down to between the crescent tips where Flight 93 crashed. (That’s right: the crash site is the star on the crescent and star flag.)

Along the flight path are to be placed 44 translucent blocks, equaling the number of passengers, crew, AND terrorists:

Left image: The Memorial Wall, traces flight path just above the point of impact. The white line at eye level is a set of 43 glass blocks, 40 to be inscribed with the names of my son and the other passengers and crew, and three (on the near side of the gap) to be inscribed with 9/11 date. Right image: At the upper crescent tip, at the end of the Entry Portal Walkway, sits a huge glass block, the 44th glass block on the flight path. It marks the spot where, in the architect’s description, the terrorists broke our humanitarian circle, turning it into a giant (Islamic shaped) crescent. Inscription: “A field of honor forever.”

I don’t want to celebrate the terrorist’s circle-breaking crescent-creating feat, and I certainly don’t want my son’s name inscribed on that terrorist memorializing block count.

We need to get the word out: the Flight 93 Memorial has been re-hijacked, and this time the whole nation is aboard. We have to get up out of our seats and stop this abomination!


Tom Burnett Sr.
Northfield Minnesota, March 2008

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