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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Musical Interlude For New Year's Eve

(If you must have politics,  please scroll down)

From Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964):


Are you celebrating this year's end and the new year's arrival in style or in a quiet fashion?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Tammy Swofford has been visiting for a few days. She arrived the day after Christmas.

Good times!  We've been enjoying dining out every day and taking in a few local attractions — including a visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

We went to the Gallery specifically to see Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections:


Click on this link for more information and many photos.

No post-Christmas blues here in the AOW household!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ethnicity And Race Designations Required?


I admit that I had my doubts about this October 20, 2013 story, "Obamacare seeks to segregate patients, doctors by race" — until I visited my neurologist on December 9. Before that date, I last saw my neurologist on June 17, 2013.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!



A selection of Christmas music for today and tomorrow:

Cameo And The Christmas Tree

(This re-post will be stuck here throughout the Christmas season. Please scroll down for more recent material, including political topics.  And I will have another post specifically for Christmas Day 2013)

With many thanks to Stogie, who made the graphic for this post in 2011! Click directly on the picture to enlarge it:



I wrote the story below the fold in 2005. Over the past few years as she has aged, Cameo has mellowed — somewhat, anyway.  But the memories of those bygone days Cameo's terrorizing the Christmas tree still bring a smile to our faces. I hope that the anecdote will bring a smile to your face, too.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Another Musical Interlude

Music and images:


Lyrics:
1. God rest you merry, gentlemen,

Let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ our Saviour
Was born upon this day,
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray:

O tidings of comfort and joy,
comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.

2. From God our heavenly Father

A blessed angel came,
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name:

O tidings ...

3. The shepherds at those tidings

Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway,
This blessed Babe to find:

O tidings ...

4. But when to Bethlehem they came,

Whereat this Infant lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling,
Unto the Lord did pray:

O tidings ...

5. Now to the Lord sing praises,

All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface:1

O tidings ...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dean Martin At The Top Of ASCAP's 2013 Holiday Songs List

According to Vintage Vinyl News (hat tip to I Love Dino Martin, a site that I visit almost every day):
Since November 1st, 2013, "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow"! has aired more times than any other holiday song this season, ending the four-year reign of previous list-topper "Sleigh Ride."...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Christmas Spirit

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

As I've mentioned before, this year the AOW household has received numerous Christmas blessings from Decorate A Vet, an organization that thanks veterans for their military service by putting skilled artisans and volunteers' hands to work. 

 Jeff Jones, the founder and vice president of Decorate A Vet says when we thank him, "Gotta love the Christmas spirit!"  And the expression on his face when he makes this statement is one of joy.

As you'll see in the some of the photos below, the blessings we received from Decorate A Vet go far beyond decorating veterans' homes for Christmas. Permanent home improvements are made!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Silencing Voices

(hat tip to Jihad Watch)

CAIR/ISNA spokeswoman:
Media in the US is very gullible...If you have something to say, especially as a Muslim, they'll come running to you. Take advantage of that!
If you have a few minutes, please watch the following video, which includes a panel with two anti-Islamist Muslims:

Monday, December 16, 2013

About Global Warming

Back when I was in college (1968-1972), I heard quite a bit in my science classes about "the coming Ice Age." 

Today, of course, environmentalists' theme of "The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!" has changed to incessant chatter about global warming.

Comes this recent article from the Daily Caller:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Musical Interlude

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

For this third Sunday of Advent 2013, my favorite Christmas carol:


The Choir of King's College, Cambridge dates back to 1441.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Objectionable Windows?

The Washington National Cathedral's stained class windows incorporate many different themes and subjects.

Upon the recent death of Nelson Mandela, objections have now arisen to two of the stained glass windows — two separate windows depicting General Stonewall Jackson and General Robert E. Lee, both of them officers in the Confederate Army:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Personal Update: Still Sick (But Enjoying Christmas Blessings)

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

It's going to take a while to get over this miserable head cold.  Until I'm feeling better, blogging will be be light — if I blog at all. Thankfully, the classes that I teach will be on Christmas Break as of Thursday at 2:50 P.M.

Despite this misery, I ventured out to Hair Cuttery on Saturday to get my hair colored. As of Thanksgiving morning, I have no more bubbles in my eye, so I could finally tip my head back to access the shampoo bowl. I had to do something with my hair after a student's comment to me last Thursday: "You look like you've been run over by a dump truck."  Indeed!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Personal Update: Sick!

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

I have been felled by a head cold — just in time for the approaching winter storm.

The pitch of my voice has dropped to basso profondo.

Charming, just charming.

Until I'm feeling better, blogging will be light.

I will, however, be co-hosting this afternoon's edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show. Our guest is Duck. The topic for discussion: the surveillance state.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

First They Came...[ObamaCare]



Those employer-based plans, many of which are going to be slammed by the end of 2013, and the information comes from Obama's own Department of Justice (hat tip to Bunkerville for the video below):


For all those who have been sighing with relief because they have employer-based policies, a reminder from 1946:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Non Sequitur

(Two posts today. Please scroll down. The two posts are somewhat related)

Last week in my mailbox on the front porch, I received a card from UPS.  The card stated as follows:
We are unable to deliver this package(s) because:
CORRECT STREET # NEEDED, NOT DELIVERED
Your shipment will be held at the above address until:
Dec 02, 2013
After that date, it will be returned to sender.

Please pick up your package(s) at the address listed at the top — a government issued photo ID is required — or you may call us...
The shipment was a set of four audio CD's from Amazon. Clearly, an item that easily fits on my large front porch, where UPS has left numerous large packages over the years.

What makes this topic worthy of a blog post? The utter inanity of it all!

Recommended Reading

See CULTURE OF IGNORANCE – PART ONE at The Burning Platform. A lengthy read, but one that I hope you will take the time to peruse and absorb. Brief excerpt below the fold.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Musical Interlude

For this first Sunday of Advent 2013, Of the Father's Love Begotten, a poem paired with the medieval plainchant melody Divinum mysterium:



Another arrangement of the same Christmas carol:


Please take a few moments to consider this meditation for today.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Humor

With a hat tip to Adrienne's Corner:


[In keeping with the spirit of gratitude for our many blessings, Nincompoopery is on hiatus until December 7]

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

(Custom graphic by Stogie of Saber Point)


The true meaning of our American Thanksgiving:


Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.

For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.


— Psalm 100:4-5 (KJV)

I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

— Philippians 4:00 (KJV)
[In keeping with the spirit of gratitude for our many blessings, Nincompoopery is on hiatus until December 7]

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tales From The Classroom

("Tales from the Classroom" is a new feature posted occasionally here at this blog.  All tales are true and present matters about which I have personal knowledge.  The following tale relates the story of something that happened in November 2013)


On November 12, I received the earliest Christmas card ever from one of my students — the youngest student in the homeschool group. This little girl is only eight years old, and we admitted her on one-month probation last year to the middle school classes, classes for those from ages 11-14.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Local Businesses Helping Veterans

This year, Mr. AOW was nominated to receive various services for our house and property. Just in time for Christmas!

The first crew came on Saturday and worked all day. These young men served in the USMC! The first thing they did upon arrival to our house: thank Mr. AOW for his service.

The general yard work will be done the week of December 1.

The services we're receiving include tree trimming, tree removal, gutter cleaning, leaf raking. and the placing of outside Christmas decorations — tasks that I have been unable to do. Before his stroke of September 15, 2009, Mr. AOW used to do that kind of work.  I have kept up the best that I could, but many maintenance tasks have been neglected.

Read more about Decorate A Vet HERE.

THIS STORY provides one example of the kind of reaching out that Decorate A Vet does:
Met with one of our Veterans family today to discuss decorating details. Tragically, this Vietnam Veteran was struck and killed by a texting driver in September. He left behind a loving wife and three sons. Since moving into this home in 1987, he has religiously decorated the house each and every Christmas. This year we will do the job to help carry on that family tradition and hopefully help in the grieving a tiny bit.

2012 VOLUNTEERS

More than lip service to the popular mantra "Honor our veterans"!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Famous Child Stars Of The 50's, 60's, and 70's

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)


Where are they now?  See THIS SLIDE SHOW, which provides an update on 16 child stars of that period.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fifty Years Ago Today

One of the most-watched videos on YouTube:


As most old enough to remember November 22, 1963, I recall that day is if it were yesterday....

A seventh grader at the time, I was in study hall and working diligently to get my Virginia History homework done. Mr. Carson, all the students' favorite teacher, came in to tell us, "The President of the United States is dead.  He was shot in Dallas, Texas." Classes at the private school I attended in 1963 were held in the Richardson House, a brick Antebellum mansion with at least four porches.  All classes for those above fifth grade were immediately halted, and we went to the porches to pray and to sit in silence after the prayers.  None of us students headed for the playground.  Instead, we waited for the buses to be readied for early dismissal because of the concern that our entire country's national security was in jeopardy. After all, the Cuban Missile Crisis and bomb-shelter drills still loomed large in our nation's consciousness. Once home, everyone sat glued to the television sets until after the funeral for President John F. Kennedy.

For other personal comments about that day, see the comments section at the Washington Times article Share your memories of JFK’s assassination 50 years ago.

If John F. Kennedy were alive today, he would be ninety-six years old.

Comprehensive web page: The Kennedy Assassination.

For those interested, there is an animated video about that day in Dallas below the fold.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Word Is Untrustworthy


by Sam Huntington

“We have to pass the pass the bill so that you can, uh … find out what’s in it … away from the fog of the controversy.” —Nancy Pelosi

Does this make Nancy Pelosi a liar, like Barack Obama?  No, not really.  She was only obfuscating the issue because no one in the Democratic Party wanted (then or now) clarity for the American people.  Although, I think it must be said that while Pelosi wasn’t lying, she was still demonstrating dishonesty.  Who votes on a bill as important as one affecting one-sixth of the entire economy without reading it, understanding it, and being able to explain it to one’s constituents?  The answer is no one.  But there are, I suppose, two possible exceptions: the first possibility is that Nancy Pelosi is an incompetent boob who should never have been elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives.  The second likelihood is that Nancy Pelosi knew full well what the bill entailed, and she intentionally and conspiratorially misled the American people.  It is hard to know which is worse.

What we know now is that it was always a Democratic intention that the American people should lose their existing health insurance, and their doctor.  It is the only way to force the American people into the ACA, or as some would have it —Commie Care.  And President Obama lied to the American people a second time. 

“I’m sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me.” —Barack Obama

It simply doesn’t wash, Mr. President.  You knew all along that the American people would find themselves in this situation because it was your intention to force people into Obama Care.  

But you know, it does make me curious whether Barack Obama has a compulsive lying disorder … and I wonder if it is possible that such a disease can be unhappily transmitted to other members of his administration.  If we aren’t careful, this lying to the American people could become pandemic.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Harvard Must Be So Proud


On November 14, 2013, Obama apologized to the nation for the non-functional Healthcare.gov web site. On November 18, 2013, Obama claimed in a conference call with OFA volunteers that "more than a 100 million Americans" have signed up for ObamaCare health-insurance plans.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Who Will Do The Driving?


For decades, as both children and adults, the Baby Boomers drove our economy:
Almost exactly nine months after World War II ended, “the cry of the baby was heard across the land,” as historian Landon Jones later described the trend. More babies were born in 1946 than ever before: 3.4 million, 20 percent more than in 1945. This was the beginning of the so-called “baby boom.” In 1947, another 3.8 million babies were born; 3.9 million were born in 1952; and more than 4 million were born every year from 1954 until 1964, when the boom finally tapered off. By then, there were 76.4 million “baby boomers” in the United States. They made up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population....
Consider the situation today.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mind-Boggling Stupidity


Proof positive from this November 16, 2013 article in the Washington Post:
...[A former Democratic Party Chairperson has stated that] she thinks HealthCare.gov will be functioning well by the Nov. 30 deadline because that’s what the president said....
This statement was apparently made after Obama's announcement last Thursday, November 14, 2013.  The words denial of reality don't begin to cover this absurd statement.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Review: Elizabeth Smart's My Story

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Today, Elizabeth Smart, recently married to Matthew Gilmour, is twenty-six years old and over ten years distant from the kidnapping and abuse perpetrated upon her by serial pedophile Brian David Mitchell and his complicit wife Wanda Ileen Barzee. A particularly naive and innocent fourteen-year-old, Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bedroom during the night on June 5, 2002.  She was rescued nine months later on March 12, 2003, because she outsmarted her captors.  I remember the day of her rescue so well.  America was surprised and overjoyed that the girl presumed dead for many months had been found alive!

The memoir My Story is somewhat repetitive — in part, because the author does not graphically relate or sensationalize the numerous vile deeds perpetrated upon her but rather couches the events in the same words over and over again.  But don't abandon the book because of the repetitiveness.  Reading this memoir until its conclusion is worthwhile!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Conversation about Three

by Sam Huntington

Why is the number three so significant to human societies? We may credit Pythagoras ( a2 + b2 = c2), but if the Egyptian pyramids suggest anything at all, the notion appears to have been around for a lot longer than that. What may make this significant in terms of human society are its several applications —beginning with the three great pyramids.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tales From The Classroom

("Tales from the Classroom" is a new feature posted occasionally here at this blog.  All tales are true and present matters about which I have personal knowledge.  The following tale relates the story of something that happened in the mid-1980s)

Jodi was a very bright seventh grader — or so we thought until time for the science fair came.

Jodi had submitted an elaborate plan for testing her hypothesis as to how certain factors affected plant growth. She planted corn in various containers and subjected those containers to different factors.

Jodi on the day of a progress check (frowning with dismay): I may have to change my project.  None of the corn I planted is sprouting!

Teacher: Corn is usually very easy to grow.  Maybe you planted hybrid kernels.  Hybrid kernels do not usually reproduce.  Where did you get the kernels you planted?  What kind of corn did you plant?

Jodi: Libby's.

Teacher (incredulously): You planted canned corn?  Canning kills the kernel!

Today, Jodi is a state-certified science teacher at the elementary-school level.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day 2013

The meaning of Veterans Day is often lost today.  Many people have a mistaken idea as to what this day signifies.

Veterans Day is not only a day to remember those who have perished in the service of our nation but also a day to honor the living.

Remember to thank a member of our military serving now.

Remember to thank a living veteran today.

Remember to honor the meaning of this solemn day.  Pause at 11:00 A.M. on the 11th day of the 11th month.

Video below the fold (hat tip to Western Hero):

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Idiocracy

SPEW ALERT! SPEW ALERT!
SET DOWN YOUR BEVERAGE!

Proof positive of idiocracy — at Northeastern Illinois University:


More information HERE.

More proof of idiocray (hat tip to Bloviating Zeppelin):


"Mizled"? Are you kidding me?

At the University of Florida, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. Please take a moment to look at the list of distinguished alumni of Omicron Delta Kappa.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Recommended Reading

See Liberal entitlement-state dream is crumbling at CNBC.  First two paragraphs:
May I ask this question? Why is it that Americans don't have the freedom to choose their own health insurance? I just don't get it. Why must the liberal nanny state make decisions for us? We can make them ourselves, thank you very much. It's like choosing a car, buying a home or investing in a stock. We can handle it.

So why must the government tell me and everyone else what we can and cannot buy?
Read the rest HERE.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Obama Statesmanship: an oxymoron

By Sam Huntington

No one I know believes that statecraft is as easy as a walk in the park, but I do think that the United States of America has made it far more difficult than necessary. We should begin with our understanding that foreign relations are an interdisciplinary art and science. It involves a knowledge base in international law and policy, trade, history, culture, environment, and human rights. In the realm of diplomacy, I think there only two kinds of states: those that do negotiation well, and those that do not. It may be entirely fair to say that Thucydides would not be much impressed with Obama’s state department. I think this is true even if we ignore Obama’s initial apology tour in 2009, his speech in Cairo, and the disaster that we now refer to as the Arab Spring.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Personal Update

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

I saw my retinal surgeon on Monday, November 4.

I got a good report!  Vision in my left eye is 20/50+2! That's better than I had two days before surgery! In a few months, I can be fitted for a change in eyeglass prescription.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Benefits Of Good Literature

I can't say that I'm surprised that science supports something I've always contended: reading literary classics, particularly works of fiction, has benefits beyond enjoying the plot and building vocabulary.

From the Washington Post:
Why literary novels are better for you than Danielle Steel
By Science News and Reuters, Published: October 7

Reading good literature may help you socially, psychologists suggest


Think of it as the bookworm’s bonus: People who read first-rate fiction become more socially literate, at least briefly, a new study suggests.


Researchers randomly assigned nearly 700 volunteers to read excerpts of “literary” novels by recent National Book Award finalists and other celebrated authors, to read parts of fiction bestsellers, including one by Danielle Steel, or popular nonfiction books, or to not read anything. Those who read literary works then scored highest on several tests of the ability to decipher others’ motives and emotions, say David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, psychologists at the New School for Social Research in New York.

One test asked participants to describe the thoughts or feelings of one or two individuals shown surrounded by various items in a series of images, based on written and visual clues. In another test, participants tried to match emotion words to facial expressions shown for two seconds on a computer screen.

By prompting readers to ponder characters’ motives and emotions rather than just a fast-moving plot, literary fiction recruits mind-reading skills used in daily encounters, Kidd and Castano propose in the journal Science. The researchers don’t know whether regularly reading literary fiction yields mind-reading upgrades that would last.
Will Common Core take into account these findings? Common Core emphasizes reading more nonfiction and less fiction.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jen's Nightstand Project

If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Jen Nifer proposed this little project.

Here is my narrow little nightstand, an antique made of black walnut, and it allows for no clutter:


Mr. AOW's nightstand is a lot more interesting than mine!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Top Hospitals Opt Out


Obama stated:
“If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
From U.S. News and World Report:
Americans who sign up for Obamacare will be getting a big surprise if they expect to access premium health care that may have been previously covered under their personal policies. Most of the top hospitals will accept insurance from just one or two companies operating under Obamacare.

[...]

Chances are the individual plan you purchased outside Obamacare would allow you to go to these facilities....
Much more information at the link.

The loss of policies goes well beyond non-participating hospitals and the dumping of private health-insurance policies. Please see Mid-range estimate: 51% of employer-sponsored plans will get canceled.

WE THE PEOPLE have yet to plumb the full depths of the ObamaCare nightmare  Meanwhile, most mainstream media network anchors continue to intone Obama's very name in dulcet tones.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Solving Suicide

by Sam Huntington


I used to drive my sensei to distraction, always asking about the suicide rate in Japan. What does it matter, she would ask. I would always argue, “It matters because young people are taking their own lives, rather than facing up to the challenges that everyone must face.” She persisted, “People who commit suicide are facing their challenges —and they are making a decision that is suitable to them. Plainly, this is none of your business —or mine.”

This was a conversation that took place in 1985. Since then, the suicide rate in Japan has only gotten worse. Every year, the suicide rate exceeds 34,000. Of these, 70% are men. Approximately 3,000 children commit suicide every year when they learn that they have failed their high school entrance examinations. Forty percent of suicides among men occur between the ages of 20—44. Suicide among Japanese women is the leading cause of death between the ages 15—34. One Japanese suicide every fifteen minutes is more than twice the frequency of suicide in the United States.