Saturday, February 21, 2009

Think Spring!

No, these are not this year's flowers. I just WISH they were. When we lived in Indiana, we had a flower bed by the front steps. It was a sheltered spot that benefited from the warm morning sun. The crocuses would burst into bloom right at the edge of the snowbank. I loved them for their optimism, and their "sheer morning gladness at the brim."

Indiana was where I was first introduced to crocuses. Someone in West Lafayette actually planted their entire front lawn in crocuses. I was enchanted and so envious.

As you have probably surmised, this week's sunny weather (since Wednesday) has caused me to prematurely "Think Spring." I AM SOOOO READY!! So desperate for Spring, am I, that I plan on buying the very next bouquet of daffodils I see at the supermarket. As a matter of fact, I feel like buying everyone I know a bouquet of daffodils. Maybe if we all "Think Spring" it will get here sooner!! LOL

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"MAKE MY DAY!" (Car burglar gets wedgie from Dirty Harry in disguise as a mild mannered pet doctor) LOL

The following story was in today's newspaper. It made my day!

The incident began Monday afternoon at Brickyard Animal Hospital, 1213 E. 3300 South, [in Salt Lake City] where Yvonne Morris is the head technician.

Morris was sitting in her office next to a window when a man walked by that she said she immediately had a feeling about.

"I said, 'That man really looks like no good.'"

A few minutes later, Morris heard a car alarm going off. She looked out the window to see the back window of her head receptionist's car was broken out, and the man who had just walked past her window was sitting in the front seat.

Morris told her receptionist to call 911 and then ran outside to confront the man. When she arrived at the car, the man stood up to confront her.

"I said, 'You might as well just sit down because the police are on their way. You're done. Caught,'” she told the man.

The man turned his back and started to walk away — then took off in a sprint, Morris said. But rather than let it go, and even though the man outweighed her by a lot, she ran after him.

The man tripped, giving Morris time to catch up, grab him and sit on him.

The man wiggled his way free and took off again. And again Morris pursued. She caught him again, this time grabbing hold of his shirt and jacket, which he then wiggled out of, she said.

The third time Morris caught up with him, she said she grabbed hold of the boxer shorts hanging out from his baggy pants — and pulled up.

"I gave him a good wedgie," she said. "That was the only thing available to grab on to."

Morris then put a headlock on the man and held him until someone from a neighboring business came out to assist.

"As soon as he was in the headlock he gave it up," she said. "I appreciate the fact he didn't swing at me."

Morris said she learned the headlock move from wrestling with her brother and from her husband, who is part of special security forces in Iraq.

"He's always trying to show me moves and I try not to pay attention. Apparently I must have learned them somehow," she quipped.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Slippery Slope Gets Slippery-er

For innocent souls, Chuck Asay’s cartoon (above) may be a puzzlement—surely our nation would never descend to the level of Nazi Germany’s policies . . . would it? For the information of those of you who may be "history-challenged," Hitler sought to “purify the race” by exterminating not only Jews and Gypsies but also by sterilizing all “defectives,” that is, anyone mentally or physically handicapped.

You may be thinking, “Isn’t this cartoon a little over the top?” Sadly, if anything, Chuck Asay’s cartoon was a bit too timid. Too polite. Too gentle.

In yesterday’s newspaper, Princeton professor Peter Singer was quoted as having said: “Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Sometimes it is not wrong at all.” (emphasis added)

Peter Singer is a “bioethicist.” He cites Darwin to justify his view that “the life of a newborn baby is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog or a chimpanzee.” (emphasis added)

It would be a mistake to dismiss Professor Singer as merely a wild-eyed mad man. Unfortunately, Singer is not alone in his “scientific” views. Nicholas Provenzo (Libertarian commentator) says, “It is crucial to reaffirm the morality of aborting a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome, because a person with Down syndrome is only capable of being marginally productive.” (emphasis added)

How many of our nation’s policy makers agree with these views? Probably more than we realize. And, how soon will National Healthcare become a reality? When the available dollars for healthcare become too few and the demand too great, who will get tossed out of the life boat first? If you "can’t save everyone," who are the “expendable” ones? Survival of only the “fittest”?

If it is “moral” to abort a “defective” fetus or kill any other inconvenient infant or person, how soon will it become immoral not to? In a society convinced that resources are limited and that catastrophe lies ahead, it is not far-fetched to anticipate the day when abortions will become mandatory for “defective” infants (or an excess of infants), and euthanasia will be required of the “marginally productive” and any others who are “inconvenient.”

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"A good leader expects much, inspires greatly, and sets on fire those he is called to lead." ~James E. Faust

I recently finished reading David McCullough’s 650-page biography of John Adams. A few days later, I watched the HBO 7-part movie based on this book. I have to say that I am glad that I read the book first because I probably wouldn’t have read it at all if I had seen the movie first. David McCullough received a Pulitzer Prize for John Adams. He deserved it! (And I plan on reading the book again soon.)

McCullough is a gifted writer and a careful scholar of American history. Through reading this biography, I became another admirer of the patriot, John Adams, who was one of the key figures in the formation of our country. It was his vision which shaped and steered the country through its infancy. His wife, and dearest friend, Abigail, was his equal in intelligence as well as in patriot vision.

The Hollywood HBO version of McCullough’s book skewed the “patriot dream” of John Adams into a nightmare. Hollywood wanted us to see Adams’ faults. Of course, Adams had faults. But, after Hollywood was done inventing numerous demeaning scenes, Adams was barely recognizable as the same man depicted in McCullough’s 650-page epic.

In one scene, while John Adams is eating and talking to Thomas Jefferson, the director has Adams lean over and use the table cloth as a napkin for wiping his mouth. The intent of this scene had to be to show us that Adams was an uncultured hick in contrast to the elegant Thomas Jefferson.

In an earlier scene, Adams is teaching his young son about agriculture and the two of them are stirring manure with their bare hands and smelling it appreciatively. Why invent such a scene, if not to create disgust in the viewer and to lower Adams in our estimations?

I’m sure the movie producers justified such scenes as necessary to create or depict “realism.” They harbor the notion that for a potato to be a “real” potato, it must be shown with a great deal of dirt on it. However, according to a wise and insightful writer of the mid-20th century (Robert Frost), a potato doesn’t need the dirt to make it real; and that, furthermore, what "art" does is clean up the potato, rubbing the dirt off so that the real potato (without dirt) can be seen.

In contrast, as I read the book I don’t recall one word of “dirt.” When McCullough talked about Adams’ faults, it was done with judiciousness, understanding, and respect. Adams was never demeaned. (Nor were any of the other characters.) The conviction I received, as I read, was that Heavenly Father had raised up such men as Adams to be the founders of this nation and gave them tremendous strength, courage, and vision. That this experiment in creating a nation based on liberty actually succeeded was indeed a miracle.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

42nd Anniversary

Notwithstanding Emily’s humorous “The Husband Store” blog, I’d like to share my own personal criteria for choosing my husband. The three items in my criteria were formulated during my adolescence. As I was growing up, I slowly began to realize that “rich” and “drop-dead gorgeous” and other Hollywood-style values were not the highest ideals with which to measure a future husband. Therefore, the three “musts” of my husband-criteria were these:

1. First, my future husband must be good—a man of virtue and integrity. But, more than that, he must be a faithful, righteous Latter-day Saint. If he was the latter, then he most certainly would also be the former. The husband-leader I would follow must needs be committed to the path of righteousness. If he was true and faithful in all things, then he would also be doing his best in all things. Goodness trumps worldly wealth by measureless volumes.

2. Second, my future husband, I decided, must be nice to me. I would never stay with an angry, vengeful, mean personality. Love and gentleness and respect shining from someone’s face is stunningly beautiful (regardless of physical attributes). Kindness trumps good-looks every time.

3. Last, my future husband had to be “smarter” than I was. I needed someone in whom I could feel intellectual respect and trust. To acquiesce to my husband-leader I needed to be able to trust that he possessed knowledge and wisdom that I lacked.

When The Knight proposed, I knew pertinent background information on him as well as his future aspirations. I felt that I could trust him to fulfill my criteria. Of course, I also felt that Heavenly Father had rather dramatically pointed him out to me some three years earlier. Besides that, he was cute and lovable with his perpetual jaunty cheerfulness!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, shoe-throwing world

Did you see the video in December of the guy throwing his shoes at President Bush in Iraq? Amazingly, the Prez deftly dodged both shoes (if he hadn’t ducked they’d have hit him in the head). But, now shoes are flying everywhere! Last Monday a protester threw a shoe at Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a speech at Cambridge University in England. Also, this week, Israel's ambassador to Sweden, Benny Dagan, became the latest target of shoe-throwing protesters at Stockholm University (they also threw books and other objects).

When I was a fifteen, Nikita Khrushchev (Communist Party Chairman of the Soviet Union) took off his shoe and pounded the lecturn at a UN meeting. In an odd way, it was funny and scary at the same time. I concluded that the guy was a mad man because no sane person would conduct himself in that fashion.

What does the current shoe-business mean today? If you are an Arab, throwing a shoe at someone is the ultimate insult. I was not overly surprised that a barbaric people who think suicide bombers are heroes would go so low as to throw shoes at the US President. But, I do expect more intelligent and articulate behavior from our Western University students. Why would they stoop to such demeaning, anti-intellectual, mindless mob behavior?

I suspect that the motive of the students was that throwing shoes would get international media attention (which it did). A protest of mere words would not be noticed. This latest shoe-business is really just show-business. The YouTube Generation values their video clip on the internet above self-respect and civility.

Civility is necessary to civilization. Without it, barbarism will run rampant to the detriment of us all.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Congress Saves the Day!!!

Okay ....
According to today's newspapers, Congress averted a "failure"! Millions of people were going to be "left in the dark"!

"A delay was needed to prevent the transition from becoming a failure." ~ Rick Boucher (D-Va.)

"The prospect of leaving millions of consumers in the dark was simply unacceptable."~ Edward Markey (D-Mass.)

What planet are those guys from?
The transition is going to happen.
No matter when it happens (whether on Feb 17 or June 12), the transition won't "fail."
What already failed was those millions of people who applied for and got the coupons for their converter boxes and then failed to use the coupons.
Maybe they decided that they'd just get a digital TV instead.
Or maybe they realized that TV isn't worth watching anyway so why get a converter box to clutter up the top of the TV and add more wires to the tangled up mess behind the TV?
As far as being "left in the dark," that's where TV programming leaves viewers now!
What the "vast wasteland" does best is put viewers into a stupor of thought.
And why is the government mixed up in all this, anyway??
Just wondering . . . . . . .