Monday, August 22, 2011

Texas Accent? What Texas Accent?

A few years ago, I was in California for a large meeting in the company I worked for. I'm an Okie who lived in the Permian Basin most of my adult life. So my soft Oklahoma drawl is overlaid with a layer of West Texas twang. Whenever I visited the corporate offices in Silicon Valley, it wasn't unusual for people to follow me around listening - not so much melodious as a novelty, I expect.

Among the international staff attending this day-long meeting was a woman from our South Korean office. She commented to me during one session that she was having trouble following the speakers (all from the West Coast), due to their accents. She said she had to translate from English to Korean in her head and their pronunciation made this a real challenge.

We were staying at the same hotel, and had dinner together that night. Mindful of what she had told me earlier, I tried to speak slowly and distinctly. At one point I asked her directly if she was able to understand
me ok?

She laughed and said "I went to school at UT. I learned to speak English in Texas. You sound normal to me!"

The University of Texas at Austin ranks consistently in the top 10 US schools educating international students every year. Foreign students at UT focus especially in science and engineering fields. Texas A&M has the second highest international enrollment in Texas. Texas universities have the 3rd highest population of foreign student enrollments in the country, following only California and New York. They come from all over the world, and top home countries for these students are South Korea, India, China, Mexico, and Taiwan.

I keep seeing articles where people opine that Texas accents are some kind of drawback to a successful political campaign.

They should be remindful that such an attitude toward regional dialects is not only inaccurate and based on faulty comparisons, but also is likely to seem awfully provincial on the world stage, where, to a high percentage of international graduates, this is the normal American accent.



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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Global Warming Vanities; or Jobs, Electricity, and Fuel? Rick Perry Has His Priorities in Order



In New Hampshire, a woman came to an event to see Governor Perry and told her son to ask the Governor his views on the theory of evolution and if he knew how old the earth is.

An article on a website I had not posted to before (not one I link to) suggested that Governor Perry should give political answers to science questions, so as to avoid having the wrong opinion. I thought I posted a response but it hasn't shown up (I probably mis-submitted or something) so I will use it here instead as a base for a longer post.

Watch Governor Perry (whose degree is in Animal Science) over time, and I think you will find that he gave political answers to these questions - and smart, nuanced answers at that. He reached his intended audience with his intended message while displaying gentle respect to a little boy whose mother was using her child for her own political agenda.

Asked "How old do you think the earth is?" Governor Perry moved down to eye level with the boy and said "You know what, I don't have any idea - I know it's pretty old, so it goes back a long, long ways. I'm not sure anybody actually knows completely and absolutely how old the earth is."

The mother then instructed her son to "Ask him why he doesn't believe in science."

"I hear your mom was asking about evolution," Perry told the boy. "That's a theory that is out there - and it's got some gaps in it."

He told a child that science requires the study of facts, and that the answers are to be found within the gaps in our knowledge. Surely no scientist would disagree.

He added: "In Texas we teach both Creationism and Evolution in our public schools -- because I figure you're smart enough to figure out which one is right."

He told a young boy he's not afraid to give children all the info we have and let them think for themselves (and the parents listening all heard the tacit inference that this man won't try to indoctrinate their children).

While creationism and Intelligent Design are not a part of the approved curriculum in Texas schools, they would be allowed as part of the study, evaluation and critique of scientific theories in biology class, and can be discussed if students ask. Creationism could also be discussed in the high school elective Biblical History.

According to MSNBC, the Supreme Court ruling in 1987 about teaching Creationism held that ""teaching a variety of scientific theories about the origins of humankind might be validly done with the clear secular intent of enhancing the effectiveness of science instruction."

Texas schools are, in fact, better than average, as proven by test scores and objective standard measurement criteria of the US Department of Education. According to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Robert Scott, Texas students are excelling in the sciences: "The 2009 NAEP Science results were impressive, as well. Texas’ African American eighth-grade students earned the highest score in the nation and our Hispanic eighth-grade students were eighth. Only eighth-grade students attending the Department of Defense schools scored higher than Texas’ white students who were tied with white students in Massachusetts. On the fourth-grade test, Texas’ African American students out-performed their peers in every state accept Virginia and those students attending Department of Defense Schools. Texas’ fourth-grade white students were ranked third behind only Virginia and Massachusetts."

The stage mother in this exchange (and perhaps US Education Secretary Arne Duncan) needs to spend some time watching RFD TV or read up on agricultural science to educate herself: there is no physical or biological or genetic science more cutting-edge than that being developed and used in practice by farmers or ranchers who graduated from Texas A&M. While Governor Perry has not practiced in a scientific field in a long time, and he may not have gotten an honorary doctorate, that doesn't change the fact that his mind is trained in the hard sciences.

And as another Christian long ago, Galileo, showed us, science is not made true or nullified by "consensus". Only proofs and objective facts can determine the validity of a scientific theory.

Asked what Texas schools teach about the theory of anthropomorphic global warming, Perry told a New Hampshire teacher ""We teach the straight-out facts in Texas in our schools. You'll have to pick those up in our classbooks."

The LA Times reported that Perry has said "...scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climate's changed — [it's] been changing ever since the Earth was formed."

Perry said it is not wise to spend billions of dollars on untried programs for an unproven theory: "I don't think, from my perspective, that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on what is still a scientific theory that hasn't been proven, and from my perspective is more and more being put into question."

While organizations such as the United Nations support global warming schemes for developed nations, adding carbon taxes and carbon restrictions to create a "carbon trading market" that would work the same way today's stock market works, many thousands of traditional climate scientists working in the field, including meteorologists, geophysicists and chemists, have stated unequivocally that "there is no convincing scientific evidence" that human activity is causing or will cause climate change. They state further that "there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects on the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth."

Perry has actively supported alternative energy development: Texas has developed the largest wind-power capacity in the entire United States, and more than most countries. He has worked continually to develop Texas' clean water resources and other essential environmental needs.

Perry said as long ago as 2007 that anthropomorphic global warming has been so politicized as to inhibit rational scientific inquiry: "Virtually every day another scientist leaves the global warming bandwagon. ... But you won't read about that in the press because they have already invested in one side of the story. I'm not saying we shouldn't be good stewards of our environment. We should. I am just saying when politics hijack science, it quells true scientific debate and can have dire consequences for our future."

Perry is willing to maintain a healthy skepticism until all the facts are in.

More importantly, Perry is one of the few candidates who is not willing to "go along with the crowd" in the meantime.

Most importantly of all, Rick Perry is the candidate who will refuse to subject Americans to immediate hardship in the here and now over hypothetical future possibilities.

The age of pretend-calamity is over, because the real calamity is upon us right now.

People need jobs right now, and the predictable governance that will let them build a new future for their families. They are smart enough to figure out for themselves who has a real plan with the right tactics, and who is going to be able to execute that plan to get the job done, and get America working again.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

President Obama Overrules Law, Tells Illegals "Come Get Your Green Card"

President Obama has an interesting approach to the law. He seems to believe he can tell people to just follow imaginary laws he makes up instead of actual laws approved by Congress.

So, since Congress has refused to pass a law allowing foreign nationals extra special rights when they commit crimes like murder and rape in the USA, President Obama tried to tell the Supreme Court they should force Governor Perry to follow the imaginary law that the President thinks Congress should pass.

And now, since Congress has refused to overrule Clinton's 1996 law and refused to pass an Open Borders and Amnesty for All law (aka "The Dream Act" and "Comprehensive Immigration Reform"), President Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Attorney General Eric Holder have just taken it on themselves to implement imaginary law  and stop deporting illegal aliens unless the person persists in killing people after being told to stop, or made politically incorrect comments that offended the Newsweek subscriber.

And here's a secret preview of the President's new Jobs Jobs Jobs speech from the AP: All the illegal aliens who aren't deported get to apply for a work permit!  The President's answer to the jobs program is to import 11 million new workers! What do you bet that he will then claim these as "new jobs created"?

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection writes: "While you weren’t looking, Obama passed immigration amnesty"

"He didn’t pass it through Congress, even though he had overwhelming majorities for almost two years, because there were not enough votes.  He also didn’t do it by regulation, because that would take time and be subject to public comment and other messy procedures.

"Instead, Obama simply has issued an internal policy not to deport illegal aliens other than those who have committed some other serious crime....

"This was no mere internal operating procedure or prosecutorial discretion.  This was a political decision which came only when the political process had failed to produce the results Obama wanted.  Even if you support the substance of the decision, it should worry you that we have a President with such a low regard for the political process."

CNN says the White House is playing politics and hoping no one will notice by picking Friday afternoon in late August right before the President leaves for his vacation, to announce an order they gave in June

Just in case you aren't old enough to remember what the Democrat Party used to be, and how it used to support the distinction between lawful and unlawful actions, here's a link to some of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan's testimony before the House when she headed the United States Commission on Immigration in 1995, which also found that immigration of unskilled immigrants comes at a cost to unskilled U.S. workers.

The President is obviously ignoring the testimony of experts such as Dr Frank L Morris, Sr, who outlined to Congress in 1995 the adverse effects of uncontrolled immigration on employment of citizens.

The fact is that less than 15 years ago, Congress DID pass "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" and President Bill Clinton signed it into law: "The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996"

It's a good law, or would be if it were being enforced. We don't need a new law : we need new politicians and agency leaders who are willing to enforce the law we have instead of pretending and making up  imaginary ones.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Words To Think By



 Superior advice from a science blog that's guaranteed to remind you what science is supposed to be. There's no such thing as "settled science", not in climate study, not in genetics, not even when it comes to Neanderthals. But this maxim is applicable to ev.er.y.thing:

Hawks' Paleoanthropology Advice, #1:

"If it's been a while since you looked at it, look again. It may look different. It hasn't changed. You have."



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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Process Is the Thing: The Trans-Texas Corridor, Rick Perry & Good Governance

It's difficult, I think, to look at any politician and not be disappointed at some point. I always feel a little more comfortable when I know what the flaws are, where the weaknesses are likely, because then I can make a good judgmentcall on whether it's a flaw I can put up with.

Quite Rightly, of the compelling blog Bread Upon the Waters, made a comment that got me thinking about the now-cancelled Trans Texas Corridor and how things have changed since Perry proposed it in January 2001.

I replied briefly, but want to explore my thinking further on this topic, and why I think Perry's handling of the opposition and final public refusal of the project is a positive and healthy sign.


Rather than seeing it as a failed project or a bad idea, I tend to think of it as a model of how "big ideas" should be debated in a Republic: declared with detail in advance, wrestled over openly for a long time, in the
sunshine, with Texas/America's best interest the only goal, and all voices welcome and respected.

In fact, the way Governor Perry and our Texas Legislature handled the Trans-Texas Corridor was by a process exactly the opposite of how President Obama, Representative Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Harry Reid stage-managed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which was negotiated in secret, written in secret, voted on in secret, and shoved into place in the dead of night in a frenzied marathon after a six months reign of shrill tenor that misrepresented the bill, manipulated the facts, and maligned the
citizenry.

The changes to, and even avoidance of, the legislative process itself are among the most critical departures from normal that the Obama administration and Democratic Supermajority have done. When they abandoned the established rules of predictable governance and removed accountability for their decisions, they became unreliable. Methods used for corporate management or product marketing are not appropriate for effective governance.These new methods, regardless of outcome, are reason for concern: if we cannot trust the system of checks and balances, and the people who inhabit those roles within the system, what might happen next?

We can feel safer from even rotten ideas if we can somehow come back to a point where the process becomes trustworthy again. So, when I look at the political field, that capacity and determination to provide predictable, reliable governance is essential in a candidate. I believe that Governor Rick Perry has both the capacity and the determination, and that his handling of the Corridor project proves that.

Now, about that Corridor.

During the effective life of the Trans-Texas Corridor project, it was opposed mostly by rural land owners. As time passed and more disturbing facts about undercurrents in world events became known to our elected officials as well as to the public, others joined in opposing it. Eventually, the project was abandoned, and will not be resurrected. Governor Perry acceded to the will of the public, as is proper for an elected leader. And in the process, he did not cast undue blame, or dwell on the matter, or try to punish those who opposed it. Instead he behaved like a healthy adult.

To me, the Corridor was an idea of another time and place. America was different then, in January 2001 when the proposal was first announced as a vague idea, and even later, when we still thought perhaps we could "get back to normal". Texas was different, and honestly I expect that Rick Perry was different. He was a young Governor then. I know I've changed my opinions on a number of things as hidden things have come out into the open in the intervening decade.

In hindsight, the Trans-Texas Corridor is a big hurdle for a lot of people.  But Texas is known for our highways - we have the best roads in the nation, in part because of visionary planning. Heck, we have a constitutional amendment that protects our highway funds against being used for anything else. Texas has our own electric grid. Texas requires pipelines for water, oil, natural gas. Unlike other states, Texas infrastructure is NOT crumbling, because our leaders have maintained and constructed actively all along to plan for future health of the state and its people.

Horizons are not just something Texans aim for but something we move between.

So it's not hard for me to understand how a project like the TransTexas Corridor fit into the era in which it was first proposed - before Sept 11th, at the height of the tech revolution's wealth and optimism, still feeling the headiness of the millennium, back when most of us still thought most immigrants came here because they wanted to be Americans, and eBay let us trade with the whole wide world from our living rooms.

How many of us - including our leaders - knew in those "before the Fear" (ante-timorem?) days that within a decade we would be where we are now?

As an object lesson, the Trans-Texas Corridor is a good example of how a "Big Dream" should be wrestled with in a feisty democracy - exactly the opposite of how Obamacare was handled. The Texas process allowed everyone their voice and happened in the light of day over a period of years, so that the potential unintended consequences and "unknown unknowns" could come to light.

That's how it is with ideas: they all look like diamonds in the beginning - the fact that some prove to be rust when viewed more closely shouldn't keep our leaders from proposing more new ideas out in the honest open, or from engaging the debate in support, or from being willing to abandon a plan without looking back.

And if our representatives do the right thing, take the peoples' "No" for an answer, and abandon rejected ideas, we should appreciate that.

Just as we should appreciate our representatives who accept the peoples' "Yes" and enforce, fund and support those matters the citizenry have firmly demanded.

The failures, who need to be rejected and sent home as fast as their horse will carry them, are those representatives who refuse to abandon ideas the populous have rejected, and keep trying to sneak them in anyway; or who refuse to defend or enforce the law as it stands just because they personally or a coterie of interest groups don't like it.

We elect people to stand in our place, and look after our interests. In the process of doing that well, a good leader had better make a few errors or he isn't doing enough.

So, I say, let us respect the honest man who learns from his mistakes. Let's not browbeat anyone for being open minded enough to realize and admit when they were wrong.

The man who moves so carefully as to never get it wrong probably lacks the courage to ever get it truly right.



(PS, wanting to get this posted - I will be adding links along as I find them to flesh out the references)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rick Perry is In: No More Vacuum on the Republican Side of the Presidential Race





There are a lot of people who make superior governors, congressional representatives or senators, but who are not presidential timber - at least not in the current climate. Tim Pawlenty has just stepped aside from the presidential race. I admire Herman Cain and hope he will do well this go round, perhaps building toward a successful candidacy later on (or a senate run - Cain would be a top notch Senator), but he's missing the crucial "head of government" experience that I believe voters will require for the next couple of decades.

Now that Rick Perry has stepped up to the plate, we have a candidate to get excited about. I'm thrilled, and yesterday was a zippity doo dah day here: we got 2 1/2" of glorious rain, and Governor Perry announced with an amazing and inspiring speech.

Perry has been a truly good governor. He represents everybody, and pretty much he's a WYSIWYG kind of man. He believes what he says, and he stands up fearlessly for what he believes. He has a sense of humor, and doesn't take himself too seriously. He can look after himself, and has no pity for evil men who harm innocent people.

He's an unapologetic Christian, and willing to show it.

He used to be a conservative Democrat, like me and a whole bunch of other Texans. In 1989, he walked over to the Republican bench. So did many of us in response when the Democrat Party finally went insane after the 2000 elections. He puts his values and his State before any party. [8/16 Correction: My badly constructed sentence originally implied Perry became a Republican in 2000. Edited to clarify.]

He knows there's a solution to every problem and thinks outside the box. Every once in a while he's had a boneheaded idea, but once the electorate clarified that for him, he was willing to take "no" for an answer from the citizenry. He's not still trying to sneak those things in under cover of something else, like so many politicians. That's humility at work.

Rick Perry really likes people, and has friends among all sorts. He can talk with anyone because he's really interested in the person. When he went to Los Angeles in June to speak at a "United For Life" event raising funds for a new women's clinic, the mostly Hispanic crowd of 5,000 gave him a standing ovation.

Rick Perry will be our next President. I've only one possible caveat, and that would be a Sarah Palin candidacy.

If Sarah Palin should decide to run this year, how cool would that be to have TWO fabulous candidates, both of whom would represent Real America, from which to choose?

That's what our elections are supposed to be about: about choosing the best of a great lot. It gives me renewed hope to know we still have such people with the courage to run.

Governor Palin is the only person who can compete with Governor Perry, but as I have posted elsewhere, I've long had a suspicion that she was waiting to make certain the candidate void was filled before issuing a final decision - and now that Perry has agreed to run, it may no longer be essential that she do so this year.

(In fact, and I have nothing to base this on but a gut feeling, I would not be surprised to learn years from now that Palin, Perry, and Trump have coordinated for some time.)

My thinking about Sarah Palin as a leader is that she works on the shortest distance between two points. I believe her current goal is to help us restore the US federal government on a broad spectrum to trustworthy representation for America's future wellbeing, and that doesn't stop with the presidency, in fact it doesn't even start there. As the debt limit capitulation showed, the rehabilitation of Congress has only just begun.

So, I believe that whether she decides to run for President or not will depend on whether she & Todd feel she can best accomplish these things from within the oval office, or whether with Perry firmly holding the fort there, she would then be free to turn her remarkable skills of influence toward other essential steps.

Sarah Palin's campaign has already started, and is moving along famously. The question now is which campaign it is!

~~~

8/16 UPDATE: I've added a few links to this post that lead to good information about important questions, and will add more from time to time.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

RAIN!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!

"The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none." Deuteronomy 28:12




Radar Map via WFAA.com 



We are receiving the loveliest rain today  through a large swath of Northern and Central Texas.
Thank you Father God for sending the rain to water the land! We are grateful for your bounty.

This follows on Thursday's (Aug 11) West Texas rain, when San Angelo received nearly 1/2" of rain, the first moisture they've had since June.

 The state of affairs in our drought is becoming dire. Texas lands, plant and animal life and wildlife, cities and towns suffer not only the catastrophic lack of rain, but also from record constant high temperatures that have been so extreme as to make the rare 98 degree day feel like a cool spell.


The Colorado River Municipal Water District, which provides water to most Permian Basin cities, including Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, Snyder, is implementing waste-water reclamation to enable sewage water to be purified for use as household and drinking water.

Robert Lee, Texas, is fast running out of any water at all, down to 1% of its normal water supply from nearly dry Lake E.V.Spence. Anxious to run new water pipelines to bring water from nearby Bronte, environmental and regulatory permitting is still up in the air.

 Kemp, Texas has no water at all temporarily, until the city can repair damaged pipes and refill its empty water towers.

Brown County, in Central Texas, has had water use restrictions since mid-June, and has anticipated moving to Stage 3 restrictions within the next couple of weeks (unless this lovely rain continues to spill out of the heavens).


Even Dallas, normally secure from water limitations thanks to its location in North Texas, has implemented  use restrictions, setting up watering schedules on an odd/even basis.

Please join with us in continuing grateful prayers for the rain we receive, and asking God's favor to speed the end of the drought.

8/13/11 PM UPDATE:  So far today we've received about 2 and 1/2 inches of rain in a nice slow steady downpour that lasted all morning and into the afternoon, and I hear that Brownwood received about the same.  What a lift it is to everyone's spirits! This is an optimistic part of the country, and people try to stay cheery, but the long weeks of heat and absence of rain was beginning to wear on everyone. This bit of rain today will give encouragement to tide us over even if the drought is not over yet (some predictions say it could last another year, since we seem to be moving into a second La Nina cycle).

8/14/11 PM UPDATE: We had another lovely rain late this afternoon. It began raining here before we left for a gathering in town and rained hard all the way through our 15 mile drive. I haven't heard how much total yet but it was certainly welcomed. God is Good, all the time.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Boutique Abortion: Some Terrible Truths Within Fertility Treatment Today

 Before we talk about the newest nightmare trick in the abortionists' toolkit, let me say this:

Any woman who was beguiled or deluded into having an abortion and now recognizes the magnitude of what she has done deserves loving, forgiving and restorative care. She deserves to have her anguish respected, her grief understood, and finally, her tears dried with compassion. She deserves to know Jesus forgave her the moment she first asked Him to, and that everything really can be ok again.

And any woman or girl who has had an abortion in her youth because she felt she had no other choice and still believes she had no other option because of the way things were at that time, I will not condemn or judge. There are things we know now that we didn't know then. 

But.

But there are other kinds of women out there:  there are those for whom abortion and children are interchangable as style choices, prioritized on their 5 year plan for social enhancement.

Politicaljunkie Mom's post "Infanticide by any other name: The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy" shares her just and righteous outrage over the events revealed in an article that opens the door on a particularly modern evil insidiously referred to as "twin reduction" and "reduced gestation".

A New York Times lifestyle feature interviews an assortment of affluent women who had fertility treatments resulting in successful transfer of fertilized eggs (in some cases, with donated eggs) so that they became pregnant.

With twins. And had abortions against one of the twins because twins didn't fit their vision for motherhood.

"Undergoing reduction to a singleton".  Each woman must have thought their narrative of rationalization  sounded sane, civil, and sustainable when they were dreaming it up in the isolated hothouse of their social hierarchy.

In truth, the stories they tell are terrifying and grotesque caricatures of motherhood. Poles apart from nurturing, these are tales of  I want, of  I control, of  "I alone".

Haunted by legitimate and healthy guilt for taking a life, the women deny culpability and instead ascribe their feelings to others: blaming "outsiders", "the stigma" against boutique abortion, "lack of support", fear of "being treated with disdain". They "resent" being "rebuffed" by ethical physicians who refused to abort one twin, and don't want to "feel the sting of their judgment".

What is it that can cause a person to declare it is better never to have been born, than to risk "becoming a second-rate parent"?

It must be a terrible thing for a woman to be so lacking in empathy as to think it better to deny life to an infant so she can hide from the world her unwillingness to be his mom, than to bravely carry the child to term and allow an eager and loving family the joy of adopting him.

But before we despair, read the comments. No less than nine pages of comments show that in this matter, even solidly "Pro-Choice" women understand the wisdom of Solomon, and see the pathology these females confuse with sophistication.

In fact, the almost unanimous revulsion of the commenters, who persistently begin by saying they 'support legal abortion but', is a very hopeful sign. It indicates they are seeing and opening their minds to think past the creed recited by rote.

In general, these commenters are like most people who think legal abortion is something necessary in an imperfect world: their support has come from a desire to be caring and kind. But in the case of "twin reduction", the commenters see this "choice" for what it is. They discover there are limits to their support. And when the chips are down, they do the right thing. They choose to stand on the side of life.

~~~
Aug 13 UPDATE:  Rachel Abrams comes down hard against the atrocity of "twin reduction" in her blog post "Mengele Lives! (In the Pages of the New York Times)" .  And she points clearly at the intentional dishonest use of euphemism as a primary tool in the furtherance of evil:
" That “needle into the other one” is a legacy bequeathed to the editors of New York Times, to their authors, and to their readers by the great heroine of feminists, mother of Planned Parenthood, and eugenicist Margaret Sanger, by way of Josef Mengele. The casual, unquestioning linguistic capitulation to it is a kind of depravity, and not fit to print. "


Read it all here.

End of Update.
~~~~

A note in closing to whomever it may concern:

Oh Honey, if you have had an abortion, and in your heart of hearts you now understand, you CAN be forgiven and pardoned.  You need not hide this shame forever. (And you do NOT have to make it public: do not confess to your husband or your children unless they already know - speak first to a counselor, or biblically faithful minister or priest.)

Your baby in Heaven loves you and forgave you long ago. Everything instantly became all better from the moment you asked God to forgive you. Our Father is that Good to us.

Sometimes a heart has to be broken open to release all the love that's in it to pour out onto the people who need us.

That's why Jesus came and died for us - so that it CAN be ok again. There will come a time when we will understand, and we will see then that all this suffering will prove to have been worth it.

YOU are worth it. Jesus loves you, and you are precious. ""Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart ..." You are STILL that person, and God STILL has a plan for good in your life. Your future is essential to our good world, and you can come out of where you've been, into the joyous sunlight.


`

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Some Safety Recommendations in Case of a Flash Mob or Riot

I can't imagine how frightened people all over Great Britain - and in some US cities - must be right now. They are in our prayers and our thoughts.

I am no expert in safety or security, but my first questions when considering a dangerous situation are "What do I do?" "How do I protect myself and others? What will minimize damage or injury? That's how I get a head start on overcoming fear to be sure I can take immediate action in an emergency.

I've never before considered what to do if a flash mob should erupt. I didn't find a lot in my searches, but  here are some articles about protecting oneself from violence during riots that may be useful to help people prepare themselves in advance.

If anyone has links to expert or official advice and instructions for keeping safe in times of civil unrest, please add them in the comments.

wikiHow's "How to Survive a Riot" in the Travel Safety & Security category seems to offer VERY useful advice, pointing out that "riots can break out anywhere", noting that angry mobs have rioted after "college tuition increases, soccer games, institutionalized oppression, death caused by police, editorial cartoons, and a movie star's death". The article lists 8 steps, with detailed notes under each. Below are condensed excerpts:

1. Be prepared. If you know an area is ripe for a riot but you can't avoid traveling there, take some simple precautions to help protect yourself.
*First, be prepared for the worst; the unexpected can happen at any moment. Crowds are dangerous when they're in an ugly mood and normally placid people can turn frenzied just by being in the presence of other frenzied people.
*Wear dark clothes that minimize the amount of exposed skin when going out. Do not wear clothing that could be interpreted as military or police wear in any way; avoid wearing anything that looks like a uniform.
*Take a motorcycle helmet with you. If bricks or other large items are being thrown about, at least you protect your vulnerable head.
2. Remain calm. ... Avoid confrontation by keeping your head down.
# Walk at all times. If you run or move too quickly, you might attract unwanted attention.
3. Get inside and stay inside. Typically riots occur in the streets or elsewhere outside. Being inside, especially in a large, sturdy structure, can be your best protection to weather the storm. [B]e on the lookout for signs of fire. If the building is set on fire get out quickly.
4. Stay on the sidelines. If you're caught up in a riot, don't take sides.
*Try to look as inconspicuous as possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob. 

*Stay close to walls or other protective barriers if possible but try to avoid bottlenecks.
5. If you're caught up in a car, stay calm. Remain inside the car unless your car becomes a focus for the riot, in which case it risks being torched, smashed or rolled over. Calmly and swiftly leave it behind and get to safety if that happens.
6. Use the social media to alert you as to where to stay away from.
7. Avoid being hit by riot control chemicals or weapons.
8. Move away from the riot. ....in most circumstances it's better to move out of a riot slowly.
* If you run, you will draw attention to yourself, so it's usually best to walk.
* It can also be dangerous to move against a crowd, so go with the flow until you are able to escape into a doorway or up a side street or alley
.

The article also includes lists of tips and warnings. Be sure to read it all at wikiHow. There's a related article on wikiHow titled "How to Avoid Danger During Civil Unrest" that offers useful advice as well.

The Travel Safety Hub on WorldNomads article "Safety Advice: What to do about Political instability" from 2008 lists recommendations for avoidingdemonstrations and keeping safe during disturbances, including:
If caught in a civil disturbance
* If you find yourself caught up in a demonstration keep to the edge of the crowd where it is safer. Try not to be identified as being one of the demonstrators by keeping well away from the leaders/agitators
* At the first opportunity break away and seek refuge in a nearby building or find a suitable doorway or alley and stay there until the crowd passes
* When leaving the fringe of the demonstration just walk away – don’t run as this will draw attention to you
* In the event that you are arrested by the police/military do not resist. Go along peacefully and rather contact red24 or your embassy to help you resolve your predicament
* If you are caught up in the crowd, stay clear of glass shop fronts, stay on your feet and move with the flow
* If you are swept along in the crush, create a space for yourself by grasping your wrists and bracing your elbows away from your sides; bend over slightly – this should allow you breathing room
* If pushed to the ground, try to get against a wall and roll yourself into a tight ball and cover your head with your hands until the crowd passes
* Remember to keep calm – the crowd should sweep past in a short space of time
* If shooting breaks out, drop to the ground and cover your head and neck, and lie as flat as you can
"

This article from last year on a progressive/liberal website describes how one couple used Twitter to track a mob's movement and to attempt to build a counter-stream of re-tweets urging calm: "How the Twittersphere Helped Keep Oakland Safe During Riots"

Here are two articles from the Christian Science Monitor on how social media can draw a crowd - or a mob:
Social media mayhem: when flash mobs go from benign to malign `includes a girl who used Facebook to invite her friends to her birthday party - and 1,600 people came to her house.
'Flash robs': How Twitter is being twisted for criminal gain outlines how gangs of dozens are scheduling shoplifting events and other criminal activities.

Our community Neighborhood Watch programs and Volunteer Fire Departments are good places to start working with our local authorities and first responders to plan ahead to help our communities avoid or respond quickly, firmly and effectively to these kinds of events.

January 20, 2017 UPDATE: Here is a great article from Donald Sensing on what to do - and what NOT to do - in case shooting breaks out: http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/2017/01/what-not-to-do-under-gunfire.html

Monday, August 8, 2011

So Now I've Written a Letter to the Associated Press

Have you ever written to the AP news agency? I hadn't, until just now.

The Associated Press Statement of News Values and Principles is a fine document. It states, in part "But always and in all media, we insist on the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior when we gather and deliver the news. That means we abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions."

So when I saw a distortion in an article tonight, I wrote a letter to the AP to ask them to correct it.

Here's my letter. Tell me what you think?



*****************************

Hello,

Thank you in advance for helping me with a troublesome matter.  I appreciate your time and effort.  Is this the best address to use to request a change in use of a descriptive word? 

Two stories are running tonight that may be found here: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110809/D9P07TEG0.html   and here:  http://apnews.myway.com//article/20110808/D9P077F00.html  
The main story is: "London burns: Riots spread through UK capital city, Aug 8, 7:39 PM (ET),
By DAVID STRINGER and RAPHAEL G. SATTER , Jill Lawless, Meera Selva, Stephen Wilson and Dancia Kirka contributed to this report
. "

Both versions contain the following sentences:

""This is the uprising of the working class, we're redistributing the wealth," said Bryn Phillips, a 28-year-old self-described anarchist, as young people emerged from the store with chocolate bars and ice cream cones.

"Phillips claimed rioters were motivated by distrust of the police, and drew a link between the rage on London's street and insurgent right-wing politics in the United States. "In America you have the tea party, in England you've got this," he said. "

The use of the word "insurgent' by the authors to describe the Tea Party or "right-wing politics" in the United States is not only inaccurate, but it is inappropriate, inflammatory and unwise.  The word "insurgent" is used currently by the US military to describe our opponents in Iraq & Afghanistan. It is wholly inappropriate to use such a word to label a simple political fiscal disagreement handled lawfully through ordinary established political channels. 

The source (Phillips)  being quoted may have drawn a comparison with his blunt statement, but he did not use the word "insurgent". Further, his statement required no elucidation for readers to understand it.   Thus the use of this word originated with the authors and reflects a highly unprofessional bias in making this false connection between rampaging young thugs burning buildings in Britain, and legitimate statements of orthodox opinions by voters and elected officials in the United States.

The AP is a trusted source of pure news, and has served people of all political, social, and fiscal viewpoints with great distinction. It deeply concerns me to see an article betraying such a lack of respect for simple communication ethics under the banner of the AP.

If you would please forward this to the editor who can address this matter, I would greatly appreciate it.  Also, if there is a better address for me to use in future, please apprise.

Thank you very much for your time and attention. 

/ signed/

*************


The AP email address is here.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I was Planning to Write about Community Prayer....

I was planning to post about the different events that marked the August 6 Texas Day of Prayer and Fasting proclaimed by Governor Rick Perry. While protesters against 'The Response' earned pretty much all the New Greek Chorus coverage, it was not in any way the only event supporting Christian solemn prayer for the day.

I thought I'd follow up on not only the number of attendees in Houston, but also the streaming connections, about how we first joined others locally in our coliseum for silent public repentance and prayer in a come-and-go event that continued all day (and that did not stream the Houston service, so is not counted in any official lists), how we then streamed The Response from home and together made intentional prayers for the rest of the day, how churches in other towns opened their doors for people to participate together.

I thought I would write about how all of these somber displays of faith and obedience to Jesus our Lord were made by individual people of sincere good will, who humbled ourselves to ask God's forgiveness for OUR OWN sins.

Humble, individual people of all backgrounds and walks of life, all of sincere good will, who lovingly asked God's help in hard times for our children seeking work, for our poor parched land, our cattle and fruit trees, for young and old struggling with uncertainty and financial insecurity, for our President and his family and government leaders without regard to politics or position.

Compassionate individual people of all ages and nations, of all backgrounds and walks of life, all of sincere good will, who courageously stood in public and confessed our full faith in God our Father, in the Holy Spirit the Comforter, and despite the ridicule we might face as a result, called upon our Savior Jesus Christ by name.

Grateful individual people of all ages and nations, of all backgrounds and walks of life, all of sincere good will, who were heartened and cheered in these troubled times to come together and pour out our hearts to Jesus.

I was planning to write about the graceful confidence such a designated day of focused and public prayer gave us all. About the strength we drew from constant intercession to go foward with renewed hope.

I was planning to write about the beauty of holiness that covered the day.

I was planning to write about these things and some other things, to help counter some of the misunderstanding, but then I remembered that scripture talks about this: 1 Corinthians 2:10-16: "The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit."

And I remembered what Jesus said in Matthew 11:25: "At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."

So, let this just be here to say thank you to all those who prayed along with us yesterday. Not in any way especially, but most certainly including, Governor Perry, who got the ball rolling for it. May God bless you all.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

TODAY 8/6 The Response Call to Prayer For A Nation In Crisis

 UPDATE Aug 11, 2013:  A footnote: Yes, it did indeed rain. A good source of the detail is from TexasStormChasers.com, which records, less than a week after this prayer event, the bountiful rain that the Lord did indeed send to the parched land in Texas. "A large portion of North and West Texas benefited from the most widespread rainfall event our region has seen in over three months! Several cities received several inches of much needed rainfall and San Angelo even had a flash flood event." - See more at the Texas Storm Chasers website.

We also received even more rain in October of 2011.... click HERE for The Weather Channel's report on those amazing rains. Since that time, the Lord God has sent us rain to suffice while we wait for the drought to completely break. In two days of rain in July 2013, Lake Brownwood recovered five feet of water, and is now only 6 feet below capacity. God is good, all the time. Thank you Father for hearing your people!

-------------------------------

(UPDATE Sunday, Aug 7, 2011: Follow-up post for this event is here: "I was Planning to Write about Community Prayer..." )

-------------------------------

Original Post:

 O Lord our God, "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” -Psalm 119:160

Texas Governor Rick Perry will pray at this Day of Christian Prayer and Fasting. He has invited the governors of all other states to join him and the other Christians of all denominations who with gather in Houston today for the express purpose of  following the tenets of our Christian faith and the Lord's instructions,  to "call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy according to His grace, mercy, and kindness towards us."

Governor Perry told CBN News "I'm going to be praying for our country's economic prosperity." "There's just so many people that can't take care of their family because government's over taxed, over regulated, over litigated and caused roadblocks to economic prosperity -- and I don't see any relief in sight," he said.

When Christians pray in an event such as this, humility is one of the factors: publicly acknowledging our sins and transgressions, by publicly acknowledging our need for and reliance on God.  Governor Perry has also said  "This is me, just me, private citizen Rick Perry," he said. "As I take that stage, yeah, I'm going to be the governor of Texas, but this is about me and God."

 The biblical authority for coming together as a nation in prayer is found  in Joel 2:12-17 ""Blow the trumpet in Zion,  declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly."and in 2 Chronicles 7:14 " If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

The Response will be streamed live and many churches around the country plan to broadcast it on their screens. Streaming starts at 9:00 am today, Saturday morning, and the event itself begins at 10:00 am. It will continue until 5:00 pm.

I plan to watch, spending my day in prayer for our troubled nation, and in thanksgiving to Jesus.

HERE is the link to registration (it is free). You can access the main live webcast here: The Response Live Web Stream. You may need to register in order to view it. There is a schedule and prayer guide in that can be downloaded here: PDF document link.

 If you are unable to gather with others or access the internet, the Psalms are a good place to start, and
some of the historic prayers offered by America's presidents may provide a model for our own prayer and Bible readings. The full texts given by the Response can be found here (scroll down).   Excerpts:

On March 23, 1798, President John Adams declared a national day of humility, fasting and prayer:
That the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies... with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for His inestimable favor and heavenly benediction.

On April 13, 1841, President John Tyler declared a national day of fasting upon the death of President William Harrison: When a Christian people feel themselves to be overtaken by a great public calamity, it becomes them to humble themselves under the dispensation of Divine Providence, to recognize His righteous government over the children of men, to acknowledge His goodness in time past, as well as their own unworthiness, and to supplicate His merciful protection for the future...to impress all minds with a sense of the uncertainty of human things and of the dependence of nations, as well as individuals, upon our Heavenly Parent... We may all with one accord join in humble and reverential approach to Him in whose hands we are, invoking Him to inspire us with a proper spirit and temper of heart and mind under these frowns of His providence and still to bestow His gracious benedictions upon our Government and our country.

On March 16, 1776, the Continental Congress passed without dissent a resolution presented by General William Livingston declaring: Congress....desirous...to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely...on his aid and direction...do earnestly recommend Friday, the 17th day of May be observed by the colonies as a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease God’s righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain this pardon and forgiveness.

On June 14, 1783, George Washington wrote a prayer to governors of the newly freed states on disbanding army. On the plaque in St. Paul's Chapel, NY, and Pohick Church, VA, where Washington was vestryman 1762-84: Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

On April 15, 1775, just four days before the Battle of Lexington, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, led by John Hancock, declared: In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments...the 11th of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer...to confess the sins...to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression.

On April 19, 1775, in a Proclamation of a Day of Fasting and Prayer, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull beseeched that: God would graciously pour out His Holy Spirit on us to bring us to a thorough repentance and effectual reformation that our iniquities may not be our ruin; that He would restore, preserve and secure the liberties of this and all the other British American colonies, and make the land a mountain of Holiness, and habitation of righteousness forever.

On June 12, 1775, less than two months after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, where was fired “the shot heard ‘round the world,” the Continental Congress, under President John Hancock, declared: Congress...considering the present critical, alarming and calamitous state...do earnestly recommend, that Thursday, the 12th of July next, be observed by the inhabitants of all the English Colonies on this Continent, as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, that we may with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins and offer up our joint supplications to the Allwise, Omnipotent and merciful Disposer of all Events, humbly beseeching Him to forgive our iniquities...It is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for public worship and to abstain from servile labor and recreations of said day
.

May God bless you and this day.

May God Bless America

Friday, August 5, 2011

Remember The Oil Bust! A Whole Bunch of Lessons Texas Learned From, and Washington Still Wants To Deny

Another post I never got around to putting up:

 Video News Report From 1986:



One reason Texas has done better than the general country , specifically in the housing and mortgage and banking mess, is because Texas went through some of this in the 1980s.

Darned near everyone in the state from suits to nuts went bankrupt and foreclosed in the Oil Bust. Unemployment went through the roof and the insane housing prices of the Boom fell through the floor.

Geologists hired on as janitors. Iowa filled back up when all its welders went home. Odessa looked like "The Day After" in large swaths for years, as empty apartment buildings and half-finished condos sat abandoned.. So many newcomers to the boom turned right around and left the state in the bust that it took decades before demand finally began catch up with the housing supply.

And good hardworking frugal people who had lost their jobs, also lost their homes and their cars and everything except all the things that matter.

What did the rest of the country do? Instead of supporting the need to free America from the tyranny of the Arab oil price manipulations, Congress levied Windfall Profits Taxes (actually Excise taxes - taxing not profit but production) on American oil producers, effectively making it impossible for them to compete with OPEC.


People think their mortgages are underwater now? Try that same mortgage with a 12% interest rate. All people could do, who wanted to keep their homes, was stay put and pay it down. And that took decades, because values were allowed to settle back to legitimate supply/demand pricing.

The govenment didn't come in and artificially prop up values, and taxing entities had no choice but to reduce their expenses and deal with it.

So those who could still pay their mortgage, because they were buying a home to live their life in - not an "investment" - paid it, and paid extra on the principle, and refinanced as soon as they could, and waited and waited and waited it out.

Those who couldn't pay their bills moved into rental housing, declared bankruptcy, wept, then wiped their tears and carried on their lives.

Then when things were better again, in 2000, Enron happened, and its retirees and employees, most of whom had their 401k's invested heavily in Enron stock, lost it all. Those still working lost their jobs along with all their retirement savings, of course.

They had to pick up and go on.

And they did.

And it was hard, but they never gave up.

That's what Texans do. That's what Americans do.

And that's what Americans are going to do now.



.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Tea Hatred": The Left's Reaction When Faced With Honest Politicians

In "Tea Hatred", Christopher Taylor rounds up heretofore-unimaginable quotations from the bizarre wilding mob that is speaking for the Democrat Party these days, then analyzes just why the progressives' communal reaction is so extreme.

His post opens with a solid reference list of dozens of outrageous statements by people who've dropped any attempt at pretense. There's also a marvelous snippet about the good character of the House Freshmen, and you can read it all at Word Around The Net.

When he gets to the meat and potatoes, his concise description of the tea party phenomenon is right on point - and both parties need to pay attention:

"And this was a major miscalculation by the Democrats, as I've written about in the past. They thought America loved them and their leftist extreme ideas in 2006 and 2008. They were wrong: America was sick of the Republican overspending, overextending the government, arrogance, and not listening to the voters. So what did the Democrats do when they got into power? Became even more arrogant, insulting the voters, expanding the government even more and spending even more. Finally the ordinary voter said "I've had enough, it didn't work to throw the GOP out of office, here's where I draw the line"

"And out came the tricorn hats, the Gadsden flags, the hand-made signs, and the grim determination to change it all. And that drives the left berserk."

Read the Rest...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Whom Would Jesus Sell into Debt Slavery?

Via The Kraalspace's (linked from my sidebar) own sidebar link to The Bovina Bloviator, who blogs about "Charity and Debt", this article by Dr. Timothy Dalrymple, who crystalizes the Washington Debt as immoral, and introduces Christians For A Sustainable Economy in his article "Whom Would Jesus Indebt?"

I haven't taken time this morning to research Dr Dalrymple or his group, but the points he makes here are crucial to understanding why the misplaced priorities in  social spending endanger the poor more than anyone. Excerpts (emphasis added):

"One of the gravest dangers of the Budget Control Act passed yesterday is that it could provide Americans with a false sense of security.  ...Not only are we deep in the dark heart of the forest, but we’re still walking in the wrong direction.  The pace may have slowed, but the trajectory has not.  The immediate cash-flow crisis has passed, but the long-term solvency crisis remains.

"We are still borrowing enormous amounts of money, still selling our children into debt slavery through our own spending insanity. ...

 "Too many anti-poverty programs are beneficial for the politicians that pass them, and veritable boondoggles for the government bureaucracy that administers them, but they actually serve to rob the poor of their dignity and their initiative, they undermine the family structures that help the poor build prosperous lives, and ultimately mire the poor in poverty for generations.  Does anyone actually believe that the welfare state has served the poor well?

"It is immoral to ignore the needs of the least of these.  But it’s also immoral to ’serve’ the poor in ways that only make more people poor, and trap them in poverty longer.  And it’s immoral to amass a mountain of debt that we will pass on to later generations.  I even believe it’s immoral to feed the government’s spending addiction....."

Go here and read it all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Have Fairy Potters Been in My Garden? A Wonder From One of God's Little Creatures


One of my earliest collections, when I was a little kid, was miniature pitchers.  The two white porcelain ones near the front of this photo were in our little shoebox of playthings at Big Grandmother's house from my tiniest days. One is actually a doll's sugar bowl but it had lost one handle long before I came along. The dark pewter one just behind them (and in front of the Holy Bible) was the first antique I bought for myself, when I was about 9. It is very old, and until Sunday was the smallest of miniature pots in my collection.

On Sunday, I added a new pot, so tiny and fragile that it is protected in the clear glass jar to the right of the peach pit basket.

Let's open the jar and see. It doesn't look like much in there, does it?




Ah. That's better.  It looks for all the world like the seed pots that studio potters were so fond of in the 1970s.  Except it is so tiny it makes a penny look large.

I found this little pot a couple of weeks ago. On a geranium leaf in the side yard!





A tiny mud pot, as round as one coil-built of clay, tapering to a slender neck and finished off with oh so thin and fragile flaring rim.


At the time I found it, the neck was still open, as though it were a vase waiting for a flower. But I knew that it wasn't, even though I'd never seen this before.  So finely made that it might be at home with one of Rose Cabat's Feelie Pots, this was not made by human hands.

It was, instead, the home of a tiny creature. When I went back to check on it  a few days later, the hole in the neck had been sealed up. So I just waited.



On Sunday, the side of the vase had been broken open and the small creature had moved on to the next phase of its life. So I carefully picked up the tiny pot and brought it inside.

With the opening in the side, it now looks something like the crockery bottle birdhouses that the Prichards' make at the Luling Icehouse Pottery  ( They are a warm and friendly couple - we bought birdhouses from them for our gift shop when we lived on the coast ).




Wow I love the internet. I used to have an enormous library of references on all kinds of subjects, and it was a labor of love to spend hours searching through various volumes to try to find an answer. But sometimes I just didn't have the right book to find it. That's where Yahoo search and Texas A&M's amazing online resources come in.



In just a couple of minutes, I learned this little pot is made by the Potter Wasp as a cradle for its next generation. It's scientific name is (Order) Hymenoptera: (Species or Family) Vespidae: (subfamily) Eumeninae

We've had blue-black mud daubers (aka dirt daubers) everywhere I've ever lived. They are a harmless - actually beneficial - wasp that does not sting so I leave them alone, but their houses are not very attractive.

The Potter Wasp is kinfolk to the dirt daubers, a small, solitary wasp that can sting but usually won't. It sounds like it keeps to itself, so maybe that's why I haven't seen it before.




From lightning bugs to butterflies to potter wasps, is it any wonder people once believed in fairies?

Pottery is one of the oldest arts of mankind. And throughout the Bible, God's relationship with man is referred to as that of The Potter to the clay. Even the anthropological history and linguistics identify Man with the clay, and God with The Potter.

The shared attributes of various creatures, even down to the need for a home, points to the maker's mark. Some creatures are more simple, some complex, but a single Creator.

The infinite variety of God's creatures is so amazing. There are wonders everywhere we look, if we pay attention.

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