Michigan Votes Today!

Waiting for SuperPac Superman

Albert Supports Hank!

An American can-do story: "Hank is a refreshing candidate - energetic, inspiring, and real. Unlike so many others, he wasn’t born with a 'silver spoon - but rather earned his success and his name through hard work. He knows what it’s like to have very little, and knows that with hard work and dedication anyone can seize the opportunities that this great nation presents all of us."

"From the very first day, Hank has been a fighter. Born to a single mother living on the streets ..."

"After much encouragement, Hank decided to enter the race for US Senate."

In the photo: Albert endorses this candidate, as his own hardscrabble beginnings are eerily similar to Hank's.


Small-Scale Homesteading, Etc.

This thoughtful essay, about 'urban' homesteading, was written by Nick Grabbe, former editor of the Amherst Bulletin and an acquaintance of mine.

He writes: "We live in a farmhouse-style home on a half-acre lot a mile from downtown Amherst (MA). I work four days a week and enjoy writing the newspaper articles that provide us with a modest income and health insurance. Betsy has not worked for pay but has supervised the children and had time to contribute her talents to our home economy and the local community.

It isn't exactly living off the land, but it's a balanced life. Our beliefs are interwoven with our tasks, and as we go about our household chores, we have that good feeling you get when work and play become one."

Nick also describes how much he enjoys wood stacking and composting.

While he promotes the frugal lifestyle, Betsy Krogh, Nick's wife, got arrested (last year) for participating in a protest against the Keystone XL Pipeline in Washington, D.C. Here's an article explaining why some Tea Party activists (usually 'drill, baby, drill' types) also oppose the pipeline.

While I rarely agree with Betsy and Nick's politics, I do admire how they practice what they preach. Being "green" isn't a term they toss around to impress their fellow libs on the wine-and-cheese circuit, or to browbeat folks. Betsy, who attended Smith College and is very energetic, once spent an afternoon patiently teaching me to knead bread.

Here's to fresh loaves, raised-bed gardens, and agreeably agreeing to disagree. (Toasting with a homemade smoothie made with homegrown strawberries.)



Sun. Inspiration: The Lingap Center

In the 1990s, John Drake, an executive at an energy coporation and a graduate of Hillsdale College, frequently traveled to the Philippines (specifically Toledo City in the Cebu Province) on business. The squalor, poverty, disease, and even child prostitution he saw (when he wandered away from his luxury hotel resort) changed his life forever.

Mr. Drake, who is a devout Catholic, has since become known as "the orphan guy" due to his work renovating and creating the Lingap Center, a home for needy and abandoned children. (The story of how this orphanage came to be, can be read here.)

The Toledo City-based Lingap Center can clothe, feed, and house up to 100 children, ages 6-18, and it is considered a top-notch facility with an excellent financial reputation. One hundred percent of donations go to the kids, while fifty percent of the young charges spend their entire childhood at the center. Some of the 'grads' have gone on to receive substantial college degrees (like engineering) and vocational training.

Mr. Drake has even hired a "street teacher" to educate street children (who are not wards of orphanage) at a nearby park. One of these cute-as-a-button students is pictured below:

Mr. Drake, and his wife, Judy, were in Petoskey, this past week speaking at a luncheon, and their presentation was riveting. This remarkable, humble couple are truly points of light.

Mr. Drake has since quit his 'dream job' to labor as a fulltime 'missionary.' (It sounds like the latter is now his dream job.)

BTW: "Lingap" is Tagalog for "to help."

Visit the website.


Sat. Sighting: Pat Knight Jabs Hoops-Playing Freeloaders

On the team he coaches, no less. (This is his first year as head coach at Lamar University in Texas. He didn't recruit these six seniors he very publicly excoriates after a loss to Stephen F. Austin University.)

Headcase Bobby Knight is this guy's dad.

Take a watch:

P. Knight: “I’ve never seen more F’s on report cards than I ever have since I got here. Missing classes, being late for workouts, missing workouts. … What I don’t think they understand is all that correlates together. If you’re not going to be a winner off the court, you’re not going to be a winner on the court.”

P. Knight: "We've had problems with these guys off the court, on the court, classroom, drugs. I mean, it's being late for stuff. All that stuff correlates together if you don't win games."

P. Knight: "These kids are stealing money by being on scholarship."

One wonders if Coach Knight and the Mayor of Philly should host an anti-punk confab.

Update: Throwing down the gauntlet does a program good - Knight receives kudos from fellow coaches; more potential recruits have expressed interest in LU; and some of the harshly criticized players responded well to the so-called rant.

Weekend Watch: Illegal Everything

ILLEGAL EVERYTHING is the title of John Stossel's latest exposé about government overreach. It aired last night, and it will air tonight at 10p, ET and Sunday at 3p, ET on your local Fox News station

From the website: "John Stossel argues that America has become a country where no one can know what is legal.

With government adding 80,000 pages of rules and regulations every year, it's no surprise that regular people break laws without even trying.

A small businessman spent 6 years in federal prison for breaking Honduran regulations (and, to make it worse, the Honduran government said he didn't). A family in Idaho can't build a home on their land because the EPA says it's a wetland-but it only resembles a wetland because a government drain malfunctioned and flooded it.

TAXI TROUBLE: Want to start a taxi business? Too bad - it's illegal. Illegal, that is, unless you buy a government-issued "taxi medallion" that can cost as much as a million dollars. One city has a free market for cabs - Washington, DC - but lobbyists there are pushing to regulate."

I watched it last night. Eye-opening and infuriating ... especially the first half. Among the lively guests: Economist Walter Williams, Attorney Harvey Silvergate, and Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms.

Caveat to social conservatives: The second half of the show has a sympathetic segment on illegal drugs and prostitution, and, IMO, it lacked gravitas.


Friday Fun: The 27 lb. Maine Lobster

This story caught my eye, since, today, one of my sons is visting the University of New England which has campuses in Biddeford and Portland.

To think that Rocky weighs more than my tabby Albert (who is a big ol' cat).

He's being spared the lobster pot. (The electric chair for crustaceans.)

Rocky is going back to the wild, after he gets ooohed and aaahed at an aquarium.

Some claws!

Fri. Fun: 'Linning'

Lin(e) 1: The court jesters of Saturday Night Live lampoon the sports media.

Lin(e) 2: Last nights Knicks v. Heat matchup was exciting and physical, although not a stellar game for the country's most famous point guard. He got schooled, non-Ivy League-style.

Lin(e) 3: A budding bromance between Jeremy Lin and that guy from the Broncos?

Lin(e) 4: CBN does a positive feature on his faith and his character.


San Diego's Public Pension Reform Battle

Learn about the astronomical (and unsustainable) pension obligations that City Councilman Carl DeMaio is rightfully concerned about ...

The chipper DeMaio, who is running for mayor of San Diego, is championing a 401(k) retirement plan for city employees.

He believes in parity: "City employee compensation should be no better, and no worse, than what is available to other employees in San Diego."

NSFMP (Not Safe For Moral People)

The Havre Daily Corrector, Montana's feistiest blogger, passed along two posts that he says will 'be sure to get my dander up.'

One here (how Planned Parenthood pushes porn), one there (a British journalist advocating for euthanasia).

"Planned Parenthood should get nothing!" Ron Paul, Mesa debate, 2-22-12


'Militia' Sighting in Massachusetts in 2012

The last time I was in Massachusetts (and I attended a hoops game), I snapped this photo of the UMass/Amherst student booster section known as the "Mullins Militia Bunker."

All the more fun when the country's best mascot - The Minuteman - stopped by the bunker to do a meet-and-greet.


Sun. Inspiration: Joyful Nick Vujicic

Nick V., who was born in Australia but currently lives in California, is a motivational speaker with an international following. He is also a wheelchair marathon athlete who has a bachelors degree (double major) in accounting and financial planning.

Earlier this month, Nick, who is 29, got married.

This young man is a force of nature; simpatico, too.

Nick demonstrates how he masters everyday tasks.


What if Petoskey News-Review Employees Took to the Streets?

Ho-hum. The editorial viewpoint of my community's local paper is consistently status quo, consistently bland. No local conservative or independent thinker or concerned taxpayer has any real presence on the op. ed. page. Nor does anyone who doesn't sing the praises of the safety net society or of city workers.

This column, from the former editor of the PNR, is a prime example of what I'm yammering about. In it, Kendall Stanley complains about all the 'attacks' on public-sector unions by various state legislatures.

He writes, "When, one might reasonably ask, did the people who provide us with services become people legislators feel they have the right to vilify? It’s as if the entire economy of the country was being destroyed by public employees."

Now that you mention it ... the entire economy of some states, like tiny Rhode Island, is very much at risk due to public pension benefits. According to the New York Times (not some right-wing rag): "After decades of drift, denial and inaction, Rhode Island’s $14.8 billion pension system is in crisis. Ten cents of every state tax dollar now goes to retired public workers." Whoa!

Mr. Stanley also doesn't bother to mention the unprofessional conduct of, for instance, those firefighters, public school teachers, etc. in Wisconsin. Remember how they angrily took to the streets of Madison when their precious collective bargaining 'rights' got tweaked in order to avert a serious economic crisis in the Badger State?

By the way, I'm not advocating needlessly picking on government employees. On more than one occasion, I've been assisted by police officers and have encountered helpful city and town workers and elected officials. But the economic realities of our times demand that governors promote pro-active measures (like Right-to-Work) that benefit as many people as possible, not just a select few who are recklessly and selfishly pushing for increased spending. The operative word is parity - parity between the private sector and the public sector. Without a robust private sector, there is only recession, recession, and more recession.

Let's leave the puff pieces to the public relations people, Mr. Stanley. Try researching with Google next time you write, and try imbibing something more nutritious and bracing than Kool-Aid.

If you want to add your two cents, Kendall Stanley can be reached at: kendallstanley@charter.net


Friday Fun: The Little Sirena

Attorney Rubén Blades is a singer who hails from Panama. One of his most upbeat tunes is called El Capitan y La Sirena (The Captain and the Mermaid). I've always had a soft spot for its Brazilian-style beat even if the lyrics are nonsensical.

Here's the musica.

Fri. Fun: Intramural Hoops w/Pizzazz

On game night (this past Monday), Anthony Bear (on the right) made Wid III an honorary Cree. Sweet.


Of Snippets, Inserts, & Groan-Worthy Humor

- A UMass sociology professor, who grew up in the libertine Netherlands, has written a book aggressively promoting teen sex. (Insert eyeroll icon followed by sad face icon.)

- Thanks to Fred for passing along this easy-to-digest article about the Federal Reserve. (Insert photo of Ben Bernanke as Darth Vader.)

- Viva Puerto Rico Libre! is Allan Wall's latest. (Insert upside down exclamation mark before the word "Viva.")

- Yesterday, USA Today ran an article called "Demographics evolve among home schools." There is a telling quote at the end of the piece by one Norma Curry who has a 24-year-old daughter she homeschooled into 'gainful employment.' (Insert smiley face icon.)

These are linserts. Get it?


Tornado Lin Hits Toronto

The Linsanity continues: "Jeremy Lin made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with less than a second to play to cap his finishing flurry of six straight points, and the New York Knicks rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 90-87 Tuesday night, extending their winning streak to six games.

Lin had 27 points and a career-high 11 assists in his first game since being named Eastern Conference player of the week."

To think that no D-1 school wanted this 'overnight sensation' who describes his recent good fortune as a "miracle from God."

The WSJ dubs Jeremy the 'new Tim Tebow.' Hehe.

Update: Lin is so money.

Happy Valentines Day, Ladies & Gents

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13)

Vulgarians at CPAC 2012

Whassup with the coarse language that was so casually employed by well-known conservatives* at CPAC?

Examples: James O'Keefe and Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin.

Of course, CPAC organizers will look the other way at these family-insensitive indiscretions, because these are the 'cool' kids.

But they snootily ban the wholesome John Birchers from paid sponsorships, at CPAC, due to their independent political views.

Big Tent it ain't.

Update: WW says that CPAC also squished out on immigration.

'Nother Update: Some reckless young people at CPAC get scolded by their 'elders.'

*I use the term loosely, as these people I reference, are more Republican Party boosters than they are social and economic conservatives.


Shaolin: Smart, Spiritual, and Sincere

Between "Lin, Lin, Lin," "Linpossible," and the "Lin-Sanity Continues," Jeremy Lin, who just started playing point guard for the New York Knicks (and who had an amazing weekend) has been the inspiration for some creative wordplay.

The son of immigrants from Taiwan, Jeremy is a Harvard grad who is a serious Christian. Not your typical NBA player especially, since he wasn't drafted and this whole Knicks thing is kinda random.

Here's a clip where he thanks the Lord (whoever posted this doesn't spell well).

Here's a clip from a game.

Update: The sofa, doubling as a bed, that Lin crashed on goes viral.


Friday Fun: Among the Working Boats

I was in Portland, Maine, not long ago, walking on a wharf near some lobster boats. I like the name of this vessel - so New England.


The Truth Shall Set You Free

Disappointing that the Social Contract Press, which did a fine job exposing the Southern Poverty Law Center's leftist agenda, has run a puff piece about Margaret Sanger by Don Collins who is a frequent critic of conservatives and pro-life advocates. Collins deserved a rebuttal. A forceful one. Since it won't be offered by TSC, here is the other side of the story.

More from Clenard Childress on PP.

More from Conspiracy Central ...


Bald Eagle Freed

Credit: Petoskey News Review

Details here.


Hey, Smokey

This amiable kitty, named Smokey, lives at the Overlook at Northampton, MA nursing home. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of weeks ago. He stealthily roams the halls keeping a select few patients company.


Super Bowl Headgear

Patriots or Giants? Tom or Eli? Blue and red and silver or blue and red and white?


A Word about Number 39

My newsfeed about the New England Patriot's 5-foot-8-inch dynamo is up. The title is Facing the Giants? A snap for Danny Woodhead.

Speaking of ... this is a corny, feel-good movie that I really liked.


Fri. Fun: Snowmobiling Gamblers

You know you're in northern Michigan when you see a sign, at the local casino, for snowmobile parking.

But notice the dearth of the white stuff; an unusually mild winter we continue to have. I haven't used my snowshoes once.


Indiana Becomes Number 23

Indy: Union workers protest RTW at Super Bowl village.

All eyes will be on Indianapolis this weekend, due to the Super Bowl.

But that will be fleeting.

In contrast, Gov. Mitch Daniels' action, yesterday, is lasting: He signed a right-to-work law (HEA 1001). The first 'Rust Belt' state to do so. Way to go, Indiana!

Update: Governor Daniels' official (and reasonable) statement about HEA 1001:

“Seven years of evidence and experience ultimately demonstrated that Indiana did need a right-to-work law to capture jobs for which, despite our highly rated business climate, we are not currently being considered.

“This law won’t be a magic answer but we’ll be far better off with it. I respect those who have objected but they have alarmed themselves unnecessarily: no one’s wages will go down, no one’s benefits will be reduced, and the right to organize and bargain collectively is untouched and intact.

“The only change will be a positive one. Indiana will improve still further its recently earned reputation as one of America’s best places to do business, and we will see more jobs and opportunity for our young people and for all those looking for a better life.”