Posted by: Helen Philpot | April 13, 2009

Until the next post…

A Note From Matthew:

My grandmother feels bad that she has not been able to post recently.  She has been a bit under the weather, but we expect her to be up and around in no time.  My father showed her the video one of you posted and says she loved it.   She asked if I would re-post a link.

After you watch it, post your dreams and share them with Helen.  Her dreams came true when all of you told her how much you enjoyed her writing.

I hope you all enjoy this: Susan Boyle – Dreams Do Come True


  1. マークジェイコブズ 鞄 ジャージ


  2. Hello, Neat post. There is a problem with your web site in internet explorer, would test this?
    IE nonetheless is tthe market chief and a big part of other folks will pass over
    your magnificent writing because of this problem.


  3. Werner,

    I like the positive blog idea. I am swamped until July so I cannot set one up. Sounds like a good idea with promise. When I really retire I would like to try stuff like that.

    I am at the ‘the harder I work, the behinder I get stage of the school year..’ Then I run off to OR and Nevada in June.


  4. Werner you’re right – I did get vgman and uncommonsense all garbled up. Sorry vgman! And my apologies to uncommonsense. And now this tuckered out old dog is heading for some much needed sleep!


  5. James, I admit the repubs I know (and was referring to) REALLLLY lean right, I would guess some of them would be considered extremists. They have some personal blogs that reflect this point of view, and they also gather on a FOXS NEWS blog and discuss their positions. I was mystified when I first heard the talking about Lincoln, and then I did some investigation and sure as shootin it’s true.

    Now having said that I am married to a repub, (or thinks he is) and his family are all registered republicans, and their views do not reflect the right right.. 😉

    But I stand by my statement the RIGHT of the repubs don’t consider Lincoln a “good” president. Do a little word-press search and read some of their blogs you will see what I mean.

    If I closed my eyes and listened to Bush he did NOT sound like a democrat. His religious bull shit, his cowboy bravado, torture,war at every cost,mission accomplished, good job Scottie….. Ummmmm Nooooo he did NOT sound like a democat..


  6. Darn, it was a little off but I think you get the picture.My first attempt at stick art!

    Werner, I agree it would be great to be able to go to a site and hear positive news instead of negative. That is the reason I don’t watch TV or read the local newspaper. However, I do think that most of the comments on this blog are well thought out, informative and except for a few very positive. Helen has given us a place to express and exchange ideas and the only rules are “back up your statements” and know your subject. I for one have learned a lot from the “Gang”.

    Gee, Werner, do I have a slight sarcastic bend? Not really, just a weird sense of humor :-)Comes with age.

    Actually I feel this blog is very postive.


  7. Just got this from an email friend, and it is more appropriate for this comment section than Helen’s newer one. Please remember, this is just for fun:

    I was shopping at the local supermarket where I selected:

    A half-gallon of 2% milk

    A carton of eggs

    A quart of orange juice

    A head of lettuce

    A 2 lb. can of coffee

    A 1 lb. package of bacon

    As I was unloading my items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk
    standing behind me watched as I placed the items in front of the cashier.

    While the cashier was ringing up the purchases, the drunk calmly stated,

    ‘You must be single.’

    I was a bit startled by this proclamation, but I was intrigued by the
    derelict’s intuition, since I indeed had never found Mr. Right. I looked
    at the six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about my
    selections that could have tipped off the drunk to my marital status.

    Curiosity getting the better of me, I said , “Yes you are correct . But how
    on earth did you know that?”

    The drunk replied, “Cause you’re ugly.”


  8. Now Werner be nice : “Asshat!” Try this instead 🙂 It may not come through the way I intended.

    _! !_


  9. I am 66, and I haven’t applied for Social Security or Medicare because aside from my back and one eye, I am healthy and have health insurance.

    However, I just asked the VA about applying for their coverage if our health service should fall apart. The man who answered the phone said “What do you mean ‘if?” That was special–and chilling.


  10. I did it Werner. I hope everything went through all right. That is a beautiful tornado picture. Alvo, Ne is within a hundred or so miles of us. Let me know if I have to do more.

    De Lurker girl, you have a pretty good view of our problem. Back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, John Maynard Keynes was a British economist who created an economic framework for influencing an economy in good and bad times. It has been discredited by some, but I think it still has merit.

    A government should reduce spending in good times and achieve a tax-income balance to maintain the health of businesses and consumers. During a recession, a government must prime the pump with money to help businesses and others maintain themselves. The government should cut taxes to get more cash circulating.

    Governments unwittingly made the Depression worse. The Smoot Hawley Tarrif shut down international trade. Some of FDR’s plans made things worse. Lets hope we have learned enough not to make the same mistakes.

    Our current deflation is minor compared to what it can be. It is a real danger, maybe more than inflation. Businesses have products to sell, but too few buyers, so they cut prices. They lay off workers to reduce expenses and the cumulative effect is less money for consumers to spend. Eventually the economy begins to improve.

    A fine balance must be reached. Once more money moves through the economy people begin to spend money on too few products who’s numbers were reduced during deflationary hard times. Demand raises prices. Then it is time to shut the money spigot.

    A miscalculation or other mishap can send an economy into hyperinflation. It happened during our early history when “not worth a continental” described the low value of money. The Wiemar Republic before WW11 and Argentina thirty years or so ago were examples of economies where prices rose so fast that people’s wages could not keep up with expenses. One virtually needed a wheel barrow of money to buy groceries.

    Our debt is so large China is buying much of it to keep us afloat. They have warned us they may charge the equivalent of more interest. Other countries are lending us money too. Standard and Poore hints that municipal bonds may lose their highest credit rating leaving treasury bonds with the highest ratings. The government’s selling the bonds is like borrowing from yourself.

    Congress spent a lot of money during the Bush years but Obama proposes to spend trillions. His expenditures would total much more than anything in our history. I read that he asked his cabinet to cut $100.000,000. from their budgets. That is enough to pay two hours of the interest we now owe on the national debt.

    Unless the government forces us all to pay confiscatory taxes it will have nothing but printing presses to support the value of the extra money it prints. The bills won’t come due for several years. That is when our problems will start.
    We have to spend to help our economy recover, but the deferred projects and pork which may be laudable are equivalent to someone with a $100,000.00 income buying four of Jay Leno’s cars.

    Then, as you write, will come the recriminations, and depending on conditions, violence assasinations, and protests as during the Vietnam war. Don’t let it spoil your day. Maybe our financial czars will do it right. I have hope we can escape the dangers, but pay attention just in case.


  11. According to Michelle Malkin, Keli Carender who blogs as Libertybelle staged the first protest on Feb 15. Others followed within a few days. Some called them anti- tax protests. Some bloggers offered instructions on how to organize demonstrations.

    TEA is an acronym for Taxed Enough Already. One account traces the name to CNBC commentator Rick Santelli’s call for a Tea Party type of tax protest. However, the name was used before that.

    According to Robert Schlesinger of, ABC wrote “If crowds approach their predicted levels it will be an impressive display of grass roots activism–on a scale rarely, if ever demonstrated by conservatives. There has been little advertising, no real top-down direction from party leaders, and extensive networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to bring activists together.”

    “It has real potential.”


  12. So if the answer to our current economic mess is to spend, but by spending we will incur inflation and higher taxes, how is it possible in any way to recover? Doom both ways, right?

    Is inflation really that much worse than the incredible deflation we’ve experienced? I don’t know if deflation is the right term for when your investments and retirement savings shrivel, homes values sink, empty foreclosed homes decay while homelessness skyrockets, businesses both small and vast collapse, and prices continue to climb… I’ll take inflation if it means people have gone back to work and are able to take care of their families.

    I am quite nervous about the spending but my understanding is that the absence of spending was one of the things that put the ‘great’ in the ‘great depression’. If we spend and things don’t get better, at least we’ll have improved infrastructure to show for it. If we don’t spend and our money continues to vaporize, we have nothing for it, right?

    I’m discouraged that no matter what the current administration does, it will be blamed for not snapping their fingers and permanently solving the issue. The blame game will be a true barrier to progress. I’m quite discouraged today.


  13. OK!
    For the “positive blog” idea:

    Anyone that wants in, go to my blog (linked through my name) and send me a comment on anything there (You don’t even have to like it 😉 ) I will receive an email (please identify yourself with your screen name from here, I’d like to sort out the fakes/trolls) and I will answer you with my email.

    I will wait approx. 48 hrs to see who wants in and if Ann wants us on anonymousbloggers (To help create traffic in that direction)

    If not I set up a tumblr account and we just share login and passwords. Need your emails to send PWs initial and when changes need to happen.

    SO, James send me a comment I answer with my email, same for all others that want in.

    Let see what we can move!



  14. For some entertainment while you wait, go to my blog and, if need be, scroll down to “spiders on drugs”.

    That’s how we spend the taxpayers money in Canada (National Film board financed)

    Right on!


  15. WernerOderwer, I’m in. Someone let us know the details. The more I think of your idea, the more I like it.

    Uncommonsense, I’m sorry about your sister. If I could, I would write something comforting, but I have no words.

    Our economy is in relatively good shape too. A recent survey showed Nebraska and Iowa have the happiest people in the country. I like Wyoming too.

    Sorry for my confusing you with vgman.

    Though I farmed for 33 years and own farms, I am trained to be an historian. I dropped out to farm while I was working on my PHD after a job counselor told a Navy friend and I we needed to hide our veteran status if we expected to find jobs. So our love of history is another point of agreement.

    As you know agriculture is physically dangerous too. One survey listed it as the most dangerous occupation in America.

    I agree with you. The healthier places will unravel eventually.

    Are you a retired teacher? My wife teaches high school.

    I agree we are suffering because schools don’t teach Civics. They also need to teach the scientific method which can apply to every day life.

    I don’t know who named the movement. Fox didn’t. They did try to capitalize on it and advertised for ratings, I assume. They may have been the only major network who didn’t see the protest as a threat. If I had to guess, I’d say Michelle Malkin or more likely another blogger named it. If I have time, I will google and see what I find.

    I saw the name the first time in Feb. I could never join the TEA Party movement as an active member because I disagree with some of their positions. I don’t think government spending is necessarily bad, for example. However, the tax protest is useful to frighten legislators into being more careful about their choices and perhaps replacing them.

    Rush Limbaugh played a montage of news casters and television commentators who believe Obama’s proposed minor cabinet expense cut is a reaction to the TEA Parties.

    A Gallop Poll shows a majority of Americans believe big government is our most serious threat. Independents and Republicans are united, while most Democrats think big business is most dangerous. This potentially plays into the anti tax-big government movement’s hands.

    I agree a movement needs a clear objective to be successful, but they all have a right to protest no matter what.

    Yay Werner! I like your response to Go.


  16. Hey there, Go! If you don’t like this discussion forum, why are you bothering to read it?

    H&M have invited us to chat amongst ourselves here on any damn topic we like.

    If you don’t like it, feel free to Go!


  17. James you and I agree on many issues. I have a farm background (Nebraska panhandle) and still have relatives who farm. I now live in Northern Virginia, last week I was in Casper and Torrington, Wyoming at my sister’s funeral, and the difference in the economy there and here in Virginia at the moment is day and night. They do not have the high percentage of layoffs and housing problems, but if we do nothing it will soon affect them as well. Farmers, as you and I both know just roll with the punches, a good year or two almost always guarantees low prices the following year. It requires a lot of prudence to remain in the farm and ranching businesses.

    I certainly don’t think you or any of the other participants named the movement, I personally suspect Fox News is owned that honor, “tea bagging” sounds like one of their media headlines, and they are pretty poor about a lot of their research. Henceforth I am going to call it a “tax protest,” but if I see anymore signs off the subject, I’ll just call it a protest. I agree protesting is one of our civil rights, but it needs a clear objective, at the moment the entire Republican Party doesn’t seem to have any ideas that will resonate the main stream.

    And I forgive you for confusing me with vgman, I have no students and no essays to assign or grade, thank goodness, I am retired. One thing is really bugging me though, about our educational system, they aren’t teaching Civics and I don’t think they have for a long time. Check with your children and grandchildren on this one folks.

    Dear Helen I keep hoping, no news is good news, but it has been a long time without a word and I am concerned.


  18. I agree. Matt, we need an update!!!!!!!!!!!!


  19. Oh, Helen…PLEASE get better soon….I can’t take any more of this….I NEED a Margaret & Helen Post!!!!! 🙂


  20. Uncommonsense, we live too far in the sticks to get cable without a satalite dish. Our closest neighbor lives two miles away, and only four or five traffic lights exist in the entire county.

    I didn’t see Sex in the City until we installed a digital converter box. One of the newly available stations plays it. I know of him, but I have never seen Anderson Cooper’s show. We still have dial up computer service. An e friend refers to my part of the country as “America’s Third World.” I can’t support my conclusions with any other than who I know. Most people I know don’t know teabagging is a sexual term. They do their sexual depravity in more conventional ways, I assume.

    This is just my opinion. I think the protesters adopted ‘TEA Party” because schools teach the Boston Tea Party was a protest against one too many taxes. It was short and grabbed attention. Jim Cramer of Mad Money yelled that we need a Tea Party, and that helped “spread the word.” I don’t think most even suspected the name could have other connotations.

    Yes, Rush is essentially an entertainer. He profits from any political situation. Obama is good for his business. He does try to influence political behavior, but so do many movie stars.

    The internet gave us our latest protesters. They used blogs and web sites in the same fashion as Obama’s campaign did to unify activities and to troll for money. They were unhappy because their Republican representatives behaved like Democrats and didn’t seem to listen to their concerns. They were mad at Bush, but Obama’s spending plans which dwarfed anything heretofor made them determined to find a voice. They were “mad as H00l and not going to take it any more.”

    The movement which included people who voted for Obama began across the country as they shared their concerns on line. Michelle Malkin and several other bloggers caught on and acted as clearing houses to coordinate protests. People in far flung places learned they were not alone. They began to share information. Other bloggers viewed the protesters with jaudiced eyes.

    The first protest happened in February and the woman who organized it described her success on her blog. I don’t remember how many people showed up–maybe sixty. Others copied her and wrote about their experiences. Early protests were sometimes people inviting the neighbors over for dinner and discussing their concerns as they made plans. Most had never done anything like this and it was a heady feeling for them. Since they began individually, each protest group has different issues. The movement does not speak with an entirely united voice. I am not a libertarian, but the protesters I saw leaned in that direction.

    I don’t think it began much differently than many grass roots movements. College teach ins and small demonstrations began small with little sign they would amount to much. They grew into the Vietnam era anti- war, civil rights movements and spawned still other protests. A fire needs fuel to spread. The current anti- war movement did not have enough to sustain it, so it remained on the fringes. The TEA Party movement may suffer the same fate, or it may become mainstream. Future events will determine its fate.

    Democrats and others know these protests are a potential threat. They may already be having an effect in Congress as Blue Dog Democrats and others have begun to balk at some of the spending proposals. One is the bill which would have stopped exemptions for high income charity donations. Cap and Trade is another.

    One Democrat said to another as they listened to Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican Convention. “We have to destroy her within seventy two hours.” I believe they believe the same thing about the TEA Party movement. News organizations, entertainers, and politicians have mocked and questioned the protesters’ motives because they regard them as dangerous.

    Anti war protests, pro immigration demonstrations, and even Code Pink seem to represent the public’s demonstrating their rights as good citizens. TEA Party protesters are dangerous or insincere. Hypocrocy explains part of the double standard. Janeane Garafalo, for example said around 2003 that public dissent is our duty. Now, she smears TEA Party protesters as racists. However, the fear of what the demonstrations might become fuels the criticism. I don’t think timing of the Homeland Security briefing’s to police about possible terroristic activities among conservatives and returning veterans while ignoring illegal alien gang members was a coincidence. Democrats were attempting to marginalize the protest as the Bush administration tried to do to the anti- Iraq war movement.

    Again, I am writing from my impression. Many protesters did not protest spending on the war because they supported it. Quite a few like our family had friends or relatives fighting there. People with such a strong warrior tradition they have sent generations of sons and daughters to war believe that when once at war, we spend and do what we can to win quickly.

    Most people don’t have the time, or interest to research more than what the six o clock news feeds them. For example, a survey showed the majority of people did not know Democrats controlled Congress after 2006.

    We invaded Iraq when our population was still scared and angry about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Most of the news media did not throughly question our rationale. A majority of people believed Saddam Hussein was directly connected with 9/11 terrorists because of misinformation which circulated about the country. Democrats and most of the worlds’ intelligence agencies believed Iraq was a danger. Events must be judged from the context of their times, and we lived in a different world in 2003 than we do now.

    Iraq did present a potential threat, which I described in an earlier post. I also opposed the war because Afghanistan seemed more dangerous and difficult to win than it first appeared. Our predicessers’ invasions there had bad outcomes. I also believed for reasons I earlier discussed, we would eventually have to invade Iraq unless the government changed. Our victory there will have unintended consequences, most of them good, I hope. One is our niece and her husband are now there and they are enjoying a more peaceful time than their last tour.

    Again, it is a guess. I don’t believe the protesters gave much thought to bridges and infrastructure. The television news and local newspapers didn’t devote much time to the problem. They didn’t know. They do care about the environment, education, and other issues, but they believe in local control.

    The stimulus bill which the Democrats forced through Congress without reading it further angered the protesters. Nebraska’s Secretary of Treasury estimated the bill was about 800,000 pages long. Many of its and other proposals have little to do with economic recovery. They are intended to change the structure of our economy.

    We needed a large infusion of money to keep our businesses financial institutions afloat and to give people money to spend. By the way, his critics mocked Bush when he told people to shop to take us out of the post Clinton-9/11 recession, but modern economists say people need to spend more money.

    We needed to fight a world wide economic emergency with heavy spending according to Keynesian economics. I thought much of the money was to keep deserving people in their homes to stabilize the housing market. Bringing over valued housing values down is good, but we need to keep people in their homes too.

    We didn’t need to own General Motors or numerous banks.

    China is bankrolling our economy. They have warned us they may not continue to do so. Russia warned us against too much spending and debt because it helped destroy the Soviet Empire. We face large Social Security and Medicare expenditures soon. We won in Iraq, but Afghanistan and other wars may drain our treasury even faster than we know. So might a future war. What if Israel starts a war with Iran? What if North Korea attacks the South? Treatment of our veterans promises to become more expensive over the years.

    According the the Government Accounting Office, the spending will help stop the recession, but in the long run, it will hurt our economy. We will have to print the money to pay our unprecedented future debt, and contrary to Obama’s promises, it will bring higher taxes and inflation. Taxes may be tolerable now, but they will rise and join inflation to steal our incomes. I remember the Nixon-Carter years.

    Small businesses which create most of our jobs are of varying sizes. There is a small John Galt movement among those making around or slightly more than $250,000.00 per year.

    I don’t believe in the whole trickle down theory. I do believe we need healthy businesses to create jobs and pay taxes. By some accounts about half of Americans don’t make enough to pay income taxes, but they still must spend a lot in Social Security and other taxes. We paid for our recent good times with borrowed money. We lived beyond our means, and now people are learning to live like we farmers.

    Where will consumers get the money to power our economy? Credit works until the bills come due. Consumers will get more spending money from paying lower taxes or training for better jobs. Wages can’t go too high because they will make our industries uncompetitive with foreign companies. Obama’s policies will raise taxes and restrict the supply of private money. More support will come from the government because people won’t survive without it. Democrats’ policies will turn us into essentially European socialists, and many people in this country think it is a good prospect for us. Libertarians, conservatives and others in the TEA Party movement disagree.

    I don’t know how consumers will be able to aquire money to spend at accustomed levels. I suspect we will have to accept a lower standard of living, save more, buy smaller houses, plant gardens and drive smaller cars.

    Our economy needs a new equilibrium. My wife and I have run our farm business for years. Seeking an equilibrium with income and expenditures kept us in business. A nation cannot forever flaunt economic realities . The TEA Party movement thinks our children and grand children will pay for our excesses. Obama’s plan uses too much government money to create jobs. His plan needs to encourage more wealth creation to pay for private sector jobs.

    Millionaires do create jobs. Ten or twenty years ago, the government taxed yauts at a high rate, and people slowed their buying. Companies laid people off, and some went broke. I think the government lowered the taxes. Warren Buffet complained about anti- corporate jet rants in Congress. One of his companies makes corporate jets, and the adverse publicity caused people to lose their jobs.

    I agree millionaires mainly create jobs through their massive consumption. If they are taxed too highly, they will find loopholes to shelter their money. We need a tax structure which encourages businesses to expand and hire people here in the United States.

    I don’t know where good Republicans will emerge either. Nebraska state Treasurer Shane Osborn may be one. He is one of the few politicians to speak at local TEA Party meetings. He says he believes in transparency, and cited his office’s web site, He seems popular.

    Maybe the TEA Party movement will spawn new politicians. One speaker told the audience they ought to run for political office. I usually vote half Democratic. We need two healthy parties. Maybe the TEA Party movement will become a third party, though I think it is unlikely.

    I agree with GraydogA about the essays. Maybe the students could argue from a point of view from which they disagree.

    I am a volunteer weather observer. One time I reported a narrow band of snow remaining four miles north of us. I also said I wished our farm was under the snow so I could get in another day of cross country skiing. The meteorologist who was based seventy miles away and had never set foot on our farm asked “Are you sure? Check the lane south of your house.” I did and found a 1/4 mile patch of snow remaining our farm lane.


  21. Greytdog
    your mixing vgman with uncommonsense here, methinks….


  22. Greytdog, let him start, I won’t follow…..


  23. Go!
    how about you just Go! and f*** yourself? Maybe you get some fun in your miserable live that way?


  24. to Go! who posted: “YES!!!! Good Idea Werner….all of you go there!!!
    PLEASE get your own blog!!!”

    My answer: You start – we’ll follow.


  25. essay writing has nothing to do with whether or not historians teach. But it can have something to do with whether or not students learn. What’s the point of the essay you are considering having your students tackle? To convert them to your point of view or to have them develop the necessary skills to develop and substantiate their points of view?


  26. YES!!!! Good Idea Werner….all of you go there!!!
    PLEASE get your own blog!!!


  27. Jean, Sally, JuneauJoe, Ann Strongheart, LORBE, James, Whirled Peas, Tine, and all ther rest of the “Gang”

    I think I saw a good idea hidden deep in Jean’s post…
    …Contented civilizations have relatively little history. Good deeds are rarely newsworthy. It is the exceptions to the rules that make news……

    How about if we setup a group blog (on anonymous bloggers, maybe (Ann?)) where we all can blog and there the only criteria is the “News” item has to be/have in anyway a positive impact?

    With a moderator to check posts before they go up?

    It’s been tried before with little success, but between the lot of us, we might make it work…..

    Anything collected of the net, blogs, news etc, across all party lines (true purple, if you want) and worldwide!

    A place where people can look to when they want to know what positive is happening in this wiorld or where THEY could post something positive they would like to draw attention to?

    This is only to push-off an idea, but are there any takers?

    Raji, MirrorMan (also sarcasm can have a positive byte, no?)


  28. “btw uncommonsense the right population of the republican party do not like Lincoln, nor do they think he was a good president, they do NOT want their party to return to the days of Lincoln.” -LORBE



  29. uncommonsense

    I am surely no beauty “Queen” either and (some) people like me for my “inner” beauty, but never mind if you find Susan “plain” (like you do) or “ugly” (as I tend to do) point is she has an incredible voice and her looks shouldn’t (and doesn’t) matter anymore.

    I just don’t like the way some people say “don’t say he’s ugly, or fat, you might hurt his/her feelings”.
    Screw that, stand for what your are and live with it or change it when it disturbs you to much (mostly works only with fat) but don’t pretend it doesn’t matter or it isn’t there when it stares into your face.

    This is bigottery at it’s political correctest implication and stinks ten miles against the wind!

    And, to show you we are actually on the same side, I’d like to stuff that asshats Tommy B.s statement down his throat by stating that ALL people with a voice should stand up and sing out loud, never mind the looks, and peopel that have nothing more to offer than an ugly mind better stf up!

    So, I hope that cleared things a bit!


  30. Greydog not all historians teach.


  31. Lorbe, what variety of Republicans do you hang out with? The ones I know consider him to be one of the best presidents in history. As for the next Eisenhower and TR Roosevelts, maybe some will emerge from the TEA Party movement. I heard a commentator say one of the results of the 1978 (?) California tax revolt was Ronald Reagan.

    I agree, Clinton was essentially a Republican. So was John F Kennedy by modern standards. If you shut your eyes, Bush was a Democrat. He certainly was not a small spender, and he put more money into social programs than many predesessors.

    Conservative Republicans think Bush was as much a problem as Obama. Bush refused to veto big spending bills Democrats often composed. Bush and Teddy Kennedy basically wrote the No Child Left Behind Act. Bush, not Obama paved the way for large spending and created the bail out pattern Obama used. One reason McCain attracted lackluster support was conservative Republicans considered him to be a Democrat in Republican clothing, a RINO.

    Meanwhile the Democrats shifted left. The Blue Dogs were Rahm Emanual’s plan I think. His strategy was to run conservative and moderate candidates to counter vulnerable Republicans. It did not signal a drift toward moderation. Democrat leaders assumed they could later control the Blue Dogs. Ronald Reagan said “I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Party left me.” Back in the days of Eisenhower, a colilition of Republicans and Democrats essentially ran Congress. Tip O’Neil and Reagan used to drink and golf together. Both sides are more partisan now.

    Jean, I agree about Obama’s CIA decisions.

    I like his new openess.

    His schmoozing with our enemies may or may not be a good thing. I’m still on the fence. They see it as a sign of weakness. He got some good will at the G 2 summit meeting but few results other than photo ops. A British newspaper called him a panty waist. Another said he is a wimp. French premier Sarkosi called him soft and weak or something to that effect, and those people are our allies.

    If he presents an image of weakness among people who wish us harm, Obama risks problems not unlike the Cuban missile crisis after the first summit when Khrushev decided John Kennedy was a weak man who could be dominated.

    Obama’s blandishments have created little effect so far, though they may later. Iran still holds an American reporter, its leaders mocked Obama’s video message, and issued more demands. Iran proudly says it will be a nuclear power.

    North Korea has become more intransigent than it was, and threatens to throw out nuclear inspectors. While we announce we are reducing our spending on big ticket military items, Russia says they will test another missile, and China decides to start building its military forces. Israel fears Obamas’ strategy as it applies to them, and they mutter about bombing Iran. So far, Obama’s plan to play nice has produced few results.

    Chavez basically insulted the United States, and Ortega did for over an hour. Chavez may think Obama is his guy. Bill Ayres has visited Venezuala and spoken highly of the country’s educational system. Chevez knows they are long time associates. What must they think, and what of Raul and Fidel? Obama said the ball is now in their court. He said they have to show their good will with actions of their own. I like that. If Obama means to “speak softly but carry a big stick” I agree with his making nice. If not, he is creating problems for himself and the United States. That is why I am on the fence. Obama’s strategy might work, but we don’t know yet.

    As one who has been mildly tortured, I believe that an interrogator should suffer what he/she inflicts on prisoners. It would help them judge its effects and seems more moral to me. We should not tell the world what we willing to do or not do except for disavowing violent torture. Imagination is a powerful force we can use on prisoners.

    Letting a world court try our leaders for what are often political differences is dangerous. This year, it might be Bush. Next, Obama might be judged if the political winds change. Even if not. Our drones, with Obama’s approval, are attacking terrorists in Pakistan and are accidently killing women and children sometimes because the fighters hide behind women and children.

    Our accidently blowing away an aspirin factory or damaging a Chinese embassy during Clinton’s administration might also pass as a war crime in the minds of anti- American lawyers. We are sovereign nations, and need to punish our own criminals.

    I agree with most of your last paragraph, Jean. It happens because we are human.

    Uncommonsense, I will answer you in a shorter post. This one is too long.


  32. uncommonsense – Danger! Danger! I think the research essay idea is a good one – teaches them the concept of thesis/antithesis/synthesis plus the correct methodology for research referencing. But the question must be stated without bias or without leading them to a conclusion you want them to reach. If you have any students like myself (and please pray that you don’t) I would often take the contrary p.o.v. just because I resented the teacher’s bias (I actually once wrote an excellent paper on the virtues of imperialism in Africa) and her attempt to make us conform to that bias. Which is fine provided that your guidelines for writing are followed – thesis statement, at least three supporting arguments well dissected and reasoned, they can also include and argue with an opposing p.o.v., and a conclusion that wraps it up with a reasoned argument. Are you using Turabian or MLS research referencing method? You could set the essay up in two parts: 1) outline of paper with submittal of bibliography, and then 2) the paper. If you can graded them on the mechanics and not the mindset, then you’ll have a winner. Give them articles for a starting point then let them carry it on from there.


  33. btw uncommonsense the right population of the republican party do not like Lincoln, nor do they think he was a good president, they do NOT want their party to return to the days of Lincoln.

    I say to the republicans that do, come on over to my side! lol


  34. uncommsense inquires: honestly want the GOP to come back strong, where are your Evert Dirksons, Gordon Smiths, Teddy Roosevelts, and Dwight Eisehowers?


    They became moderate democrats. When the world swung to the right so did the party. If you closed your eyes and listened to President Clintons words, he was an Eisenhower and Roosevelt he could have either or those two men.


  35. Helen, I’m greatly worried about you. I wish you good health soon.

    You are truly missed.

    How is Margaret doing? We miss her as well.

    Matthew, when you get a wee minute perhaps you can post an update for us?

    Thank you.


  36. Hi Helen, Matthew and gang,

    I’m starting to get worried about you, Helen. Matthew, do you suppose you could give us a quick update on how our gal is doing?

    I think most of us are pleased with Obama’s new policy of openness and transparency. His meeting with world leaders, his candor in dialogue can only serve to begin a new era of ‘modus vivendi’ so peoples can work on problems without conflict. Still, he must have had to figuratively hold his nose when he shook hands with that obnoxious little punk, Chavez.

    I would also like to comment on Obama’s decision to release the CIA’s records on torture but NOT to prosecute the operatives involved. Our new president is not only quite intelligent and well informed but also a very shrewd politician. As a lawyer and constitutional scholar, he knows full well what a can of worm would be opened up with long drawn out trials.

    We all remember the impeachment of Clinton for his sexual shenanigans – the time, the controversy, the money and public preoccupation. Nothing like a sex scandal to make the people sit up and take notice! However, in the meantime, important issues affecting the whole country went largely unattended to.

    The Bush Administration cleverly changed the wording of ‘torture’ and thus conveniently changed the law. There have always been plenty of laws on the books that were at best immoral but at worst, repugnant. Going by the letter of the law, convictions would be hard to come by. Besides that, the operatives were only taking orders from above. The ‘Higher Ups’ were the real criminals!

    So by releasing the records, there will be no prosecutions within the US, but the door is left open for the damning records to be used in War Crimes trials in The Hague. The Bush administration could well wind up being hoisted by its own petard!!! Now, that would be justice.
    It seems to be a sad fact that the destiny of any civilization is shaped by three main factors: (1) All peoples strive for the best possible life they can provide for themselves and their children. (2) The higher birth rate and grinding poverty outside the ‘empire’, coupled with the (3) higher standard of living within the ‘empire’ make immigration and/or ultimate invasion inevitable.
    Contented civilizations have relatively little history. Good deeds are rarely newsworthy. It is the exceptions to the rules that make news. The egos and excessive ambitions of some, but not all, leaders promote war, and then the inevitable successive wars. From time to time, the conquered chafe at their status and must be conquered again. Further, a new ‘empire’ is always on the horizon, waiting to challenge the authority of the older regime. Thus, a conqueror must continually be at the ready in the arts of warfare. How does he do this? By imbuing into the population the love of country, which is already there, and inspiring the ideal of dying for home and country. Who can deny basic patriotism? And, so if wars do not occur on their own, then rationales for them have to be invented from time to time. Yep! It worked like a charm, didn’t it?
    Leaders and their people alike preach peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, war grabs our attention and gets the hot blood flowing.


  37. Question for anybody who wants to answer–
    I’m laying the groundwork for my students to write an essay on any of the amendments in the Bill of Rights–been thinking about the 4th one there with its emphasis on search and seizure.
    If I use articles from the Associated Press as one of many resources for their investigative work, I’m not sure if the topics are too much, too deep, or too mature for them……
    FISA intercepting any commucications via internet, texting, cell phone, etc. But then again, they are very proficient with these devices.

    FBI agents in West Virginia are able to zoom camera lenses into a teenage girls’ prom dressing room…….

    Are they ready to learn how the 4th amendment to the Constitution applies to them? With these stories?

    What do you think, should I go for it?


  38. Just saying James, before adopting a nickname for an event it is a good idea to investigate how that term is used in contemporary culture. If you don’t, the event and/or its organizers are subject to ridicule. I assume you’ve seen the Anderson Cooper video, the “Sex in the City,” video or that you might be aware that the term, tea bagging, has a similar connotation for a wrestling hold. I don’t write entries for the OED, but as an historian, I find it an invaluable source for reference, words take on new meanings all the time. Name any Republicans who have not rushed to apology to R. L. for calling him an entertainer, as if an entertainer was a bad thing.

    What I don’t understand is the “why” of these localized tax protests. What I hear is, the protesters don’t want to leave a debt to the children and grandchildren. I understand that, but like many others here, I wonder why the tea baggers didn’t protest the money wasted on the war in Iraq, a country that presented no threat to our security. I also wonder why there is an objection to leaving our children safe bridges and highways, better educations, a cleaner environment, and other concrete things that we can point to and say that is where the money went. The fundamental difference in my view is you believe in the trickle down theory and I think capitalism only works when currency flows upward. If the middle and lower classes have no expendable cash, they can’t pay their bills or buy anything, that closes stores, shuts down factories, banks go broke, more and more people lose their jobs compounding the problem and anarchy is result (the French Revolution for example). The Obama Administration is trying to save capitalism through some temporary fixes. Another thing I don’t understand is why people with a tax cut are protesting millionaires’ and billionaires’ tax rates, they, the wealthy, are not going to hire more people with their excess funds. Businesses do not expand and new businesses do not form when there are no customers. It is the same with farmers, they plant more acres in crops of high value, I understand they planted more corn last year and now the price has bottomed out. It is all a matter of supply and demand, Obama’s plan creates more demand by creating jobs.

    I honestly want the GOP to come back strong, where are your Evert Dirksons, Gordon Smiths, Teddy Roosevelts, and Dwight Eisehowers? I think you have them; it is just a matter of identifying them and supporting them, instead of hamstringing them to being a part of the party of no, because if you do they are going to bolt and form a new party. But maybe that is not so bad, that is how the Republican Party was formed in first place and their first president, Abe Lincoln, turned out better than okay.


  39. I’ll let you know. One time I saw a meteor which burned so bright it lit up the entire sky in a blue light. I feel your pain. One time clouds blocked an eclipse of the moon.


  40. If it is, let me know how it goes. I can’t believe that yet again I miss out on the meteor shower! arrgghhh


  41. Thanks for the information GreytdogA. I hope the sky is clear here on that night.


  42. FYI (not in the SE USA unfortunately)
    A meteor shower. A crescent Moon. A disappearing planet. These three things
    will be on display next Wednesday, April 22nd, when the Moon occults Venus
    during the annual Lyrid meteor shower.



  43. uncommonsence, you are the deluded one. Your insulting tone with vulgarisms is not only inaccurate but unbecoming to one who professes to be an adult. Insults are the refuge of children and and the ignorant. Which are you?


  44. it still won’t go through…
    “For one day — and we do this one day every year, this is our 19th year — we are raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society”
    Rush gave $300,000 to start things…


  45. I keep trying to post the link about Rush and his Cure-A-Thon and it won’t go through????


  46. Thelma,

    OUCH! even with a smiley face.


  47. should have posted this Friday…


  48. Helen I hope you are at least starting to feel a little better by now. If it is the same crap I have had for over four weeks now I know how you feel. Take care & we love you!!!!!


  49. LOL werner,,, thanks for the addition… good one. ❤


  50. James, I don’t argue politics. I challenge mis stated facts. I will express my opinions based on my life history and experiences and observations peppered with the biases I’ve picked up along my journey. And I only discuss an issue once, and then only until each person has had a chance to explain their point of view.. then it’s over and we move on..

    I know your views on our country’s trend, I think you know mine.. 😉 …namaste…


  51. Jean and Grandma Katie: I was browsing around and thought you might be interested in this. Paul Potts’ second album, Passione, will be released on Tues., May 5.


  52. The planets are lining up to give us a week full of energy, which also means lots of opinions are going to be a flowin’… On a personal note I am meant to keep a low profile today… Oh boy! 😉

    I was a young teen in the 70’s. I can remember visiting my husband (then boyfriend) in college and seeing at least one poster Farah Faucet on every guys dorm room wall. Many of my fellow co-ed would cut their hair like hers was styled, and they would scour the mall for hours looking the infamous red swimsuit that so many guys ogled before they went to sleep each night. I don’t think it would be a stretch to say thousands of girls would have done just about anything to trade places with her, and yes even BE her if they could…. at that time… because of the way she looked…. I wonder if they have changed their mind? Here we are in our 50’s gravity has taken over, and smile lines and worry spots have found their way onto our faces. Our hair, if we are lucky to still have a full head 😉 still won’t lay in perfect sweeping bangs. …… It’s funny how we humans can be so short sighted..

    When I see Susan Boyle I see someone who has a kind smile and a quick laugh and more fame & talent then even Farah had back in the day…. I wonder how many girls would like to have traded places with Susan Boyle in her youth? … I wonder if they would want to now…mmmmmm I wonder..


  53. I hope you’re feeling better. We miss you.


  54. Helen, dear…do get better soon….these comments are pure crap compared to your posts!!


  55. We miss you, Helen! I truly hope you feel better soon!


  56. Werner, Susan Boyles is hardly the elephant man. I concede she is plain by historical and contemporary standards, but I’ve also heard people pick apart the looks of beauty queens. It is time we give the ladies a break or judge men by the same standard, heavens knows I’ve told many a man, who looked merely clean and well dressed, how great he looked. And sometimes just to be kind, I’ve stretched that.


  57. You poor delusional tea baggers why? Moderate Republicans are dismissing you as wing nuts, Independents and Democrats either yawn or giggle, scrotum tea, yum. The only people, paying you a never mind, are craven Republican politicians, big deal, they also sprint with pleasure to kiss Rush Limbaugh’s big fat hairy ass. I believe in a two-party system, come to your senses or go the way of the American Whigs.


  58. Knitting1105
    … My dream is that we judge people with our eyes closed. When my daughter was 5, we had a long talk about appearances. I told her that if you like someone when your eyes are closed, you should like them when they are open also. Susan Boyle taught us that in spades. She is a great inspiration to me, as you are….

    I strongly second that!!!


  59. uncommonsense
    Susan Boyle is drop dead ugly, but sings like a charm.

    I was really impressed by her singning, but concerning her we better don’t speak of looks, luckly with a voice like her’s looks became the least important point.

    But being born a “Frank” I do speak frankly and call a shovel a shovel, and don’t think we should hide behind niceties..

    And I don’t belive in belittleing people either (except trolls!!!)

    But I’d also never call an arse a “behind”, that’s something you’re left if you don’t know your arse from your elbows!
    (Not personally, just an example!)


  60. LORBE:
    …but as it stands today we are a left leaning republic….

    let me add a little “,” to your statement:
    …but as it stands today we are a left, leaning republic…

    now if THAT isn’t purlpe, I am color-blind! ;-P


  61. Lorbe, At last I am able to read the article. I agree with a lot of what I have read, but I still haven’t read a lot of it.

    Here are some of my reactions: Eric Hoffstader, I think wrote something similar in the 1950’s. He could have written the same during the pre and WW1 Progressive Era. In the late 1990’s and 2000’s writers claimed all the new ideas were conservative. At least one wondered if the Democrats would be able to run an administration since they had been out of power so long. The social and political pendulum swings from liberal to conservative and back. We have lived a conservative generation, and we are now entering a liberal time baring emergencies to change our tone.

    Based on our past history, this trend is not permanent. True, some parts of our culture, like racial and social tolerance change for the better, but I am not convinced we are headed toward permanent “progressivism”.

    Maybe our historical cycles have ended, but we won’t know that for another generation. This time has been a special case with slight predictive value. The divisive war when the press failed to tell us we were winning in Iraq until events forced them to, the Republican Congress’s heavy handed rule, deficite spending, and the press’s failing to tell us the Democratic Congress after 2006 was the same were part of a perfect storm. Obama was black so most blacks voted for him. He was articulate and hid his true leftist nature behind reasonable moderate talk. He had an inspiring story, and a nice family. Only Sarah Palin matched his chrisma. His sweeping victory was a foregone conclusion.

    Now, that Obama shows he is really a liberal with big spending plans, it remains to be seen how long he and Democrats stay popular. If what I fear will happen in the next decade, the worm will turn.

    Hispanics are an interesting case. Republicans gained many supporters during the Bush era. Time will tell if the recent change is permanent. They may be like the Reagan Democrats.

    I know some Hispanics, and a few years ago, some of my wife’s students attended a wedding in Mexico City. The ones I know and read about have conservative social values. As they climb the economic ladder, they may become Republicans, depending on what the parties do.

    The Omaha World Herald ran a story about what has happened to Colorado. Four years ago, Republicans controlled the state. Now Democrats do, though more voters are registered Republicans.

    A law passed in 2002 limited contributions to candidates and parties, virtually killing the parties as they then were. Democrats reacted more quickly than Republicans and formed independent groups to finance their elections. Three millionaires and a billionaire provided most of the funds and bought the Democratic victories. Colorado was less a change of voters’ preferences than Democrats taking advantage of new conditions as Republicans waged an internal civil war. It may flip back, in spite of liberal enclaves.

    Another element of change the article may have mentioned is out migration from liberal areas like parts of New England and also California. Even if liberal policies forced them to move voters took their attitudes and values with them and brought more strength to Democrats near their new homes. Liberal enclaves have formed in the South because of that. It is happening in Montana and other states too. We saw “Don’t Californiacate New Mexico or Arizona bumper stickers in the 1970s’, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have a song about Californiacation now.

    Mark Styne dealt with demographics in his book “America Alone.” He wrote that low birth rates and sluggish economies will destroy European countries as we know them because they don’t have enough replacements to maintain their social programs. Muslims will win in the end because they reproduce faster, and they are necessary to keep European socialist countries going.

    “America Alone” will buck the trend because our millions of immigrants reproduce almost as fast as Muslims. American conservatives also have higher birth rates than liberals. Idealogues will hold fast to their parties. The rest of us change with circumstance. It is like turning an ocean liner. That’s why I say the war for America’s soul is not over.

    Our daughters’ political beliefs are similar to mine, but we like to argue. One weekend when she was home from college, we argued for over two hours about something until my wife tired of it and told us to quit. Our daughter said “but Mom, nobody at college argues like Dad.”

    You and I agree on some things, and I agree with much of the article, but I am concentrating on our differences because otherwise we wouldn’t be posting to each other like this. Thanks again for your nice posts.


  62. I second that emotion.




  64. Raji and others
    for the space photos, scroll down in the text half page there is a link to the gallery!


  65. Honolulu Sally
    gave your Pres an “A” and they didn’t even notice IO come from Canada…….

    I ONLY belive a poll I falsified myself!(W.Churchill, nothing changed much in the l;ast 60 Years or so….)


  66. Thanks for the link and the good words, Lorbe. We have slow dial up, and I have opened another window to kill time here while the link is loading. I’ll get back to you soon.

    Becky, the TEA Party movement is no more a joke than our anti war movement. I have an e friend who has been staging protests with his lonely little group in Omaha since 2003. I disagree with him, but I respect his commitment to standing on a street while some drivers yell insults. Protests are like the valve on a pressure cooker. They keep people from resorting to stones and guns.

    The movement started because Republicans seemed as clueless as the Democrats. Now Republicans are trying to run to the head of the crowd to make it think they were in front all of the time. They are grasping at TEA Parties like a drowning man hangs on to a life preserver. Some Democrats like Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson are doing a modified version of the same thing. It is good politics for them.

    Jean, the TEA Party movement is not a feeble attempt to appeal to provincial zenophobia as I have already explained. Democrats and much of the press is propagandizing that message, but it is untrue. I attended the TEA Party because my wife asked what I had been doing to back up my rants against Bush and the later Democratic spending. Nothing except vote, write, attend our county political meetings and write letters to the editor. So, I called her bluff and dragged her to the Party. As I wrote earlier, it was more like a high school pep rally than the protests I was accustomed to during the Vietnam War and civil rights movement.

    When Bush called in the Democrats and all agreed the nation was in peril if we didn’t act that day, there wasn’t time for most people to react. Some did. I read their blogs. We were in danger. As I understand it a virtual run on the international bank had started and within a few days, the financial system would crash.

    Glenn Beck and others were highly critical of Paulson’s almost total control of the bail out money, and Beck in effect called Bush a socialist. It takes time for a grass roots protest movement to gel. Once the enormous quantities of money were spent and Obama made a billion seem like petty cash, people were angry but they had no where to turn. When the Seattle woman started the first protest, it was like setting a grass fire.

    All sorts of people attend protest rallies, and they don’t deserve smears from the likes of Janeane Garafalo or the press without supporting evidence. The current and Vietnam anti war movements were populated by marxists and communists but it is wrong to condemn an entire movement because of a few. The press ought to be judging them from the strength or weakness of their arguments, not from who they are. Even better, this group cleaned up after itself. If they were zenophobes, at least they were neat. That is more than you can say about people who celebrated Obamas’ inauguration in Washington DC.

    The origonal Boston Tea Party was an economic protest as noted in the link JuneauJoeA provided. A monopolistic multinational corporation was getting special benefits at the expense of small colonial businesses. Other taxes and laws designed to help other British businesses also rankled because they threatened livlihoods. The British weren’t evil. They thought they had legitimate reasons for the taxes. Running a colony was expensive, and the British thought it was only fair that the colonies helped pay the bills.

    Time and distance gradually made the colonists identify as separate from Englishmen. One historian noted that a third of the people probably supported the revolution, a third opposed it, and a third didn’t care. Some of my distant relatives are Canadians because they backed the monarchy.

    The Louisiana Purchase had little to do with other than economic choices. The French needed money to finance a war in part because they nearly bankrupted themselves helping us win our independence. They put Lousiniana up for sale. Jefferson saw a deal and he took it. He understood that restless Americans would not be contained within their borders when empty land laid nearby. Jefferson also realized our long term security was imperiled with next door land controlled by a potential European enemy.

    Through our history, American empricism has been anything but bland. Shortly after the United States became free, the Whiskey Rebellion began. Culpepper’s rebellion was another. “54 40 or fight” was the rallying cry which nearly led to war with Britan. Bleeding Kansas, a fifty year long Indian war which was the longest in our history, the central government waged armed conflict with Mormons,
    and range wars erupted in the American West. Texas had a war too, and we fought one with Mexico. Violence and bloodshed made us what we are today. In that respect, we have a lot in common with Russians.

    I like your stories, Jean. Please keep them coming.


  67. Matthew: Any chance for an update on your grandmother? Also, any word from Margaret?


  68. Morning coffee…but no post from Helen…things are not well in my world this monday morning.
    Do get better soon, Helen!!!!!


  69. James here is one link I could get my fingers quickly this morning. Ill look tonight for more if you like.

    Disclaimer: this is a right think tank study, (John Podesta’s) but its the one that I saw first.

    Click to access progressive_america.pdf

    There is a pretty cool interactive map attached to this link to, I can’t tell you exactly where right now but look around in the contents it’s there.

    Also check CNN website under commentary, I think there is an article in there about the progressive trend. (is that considered unbalanced? )

    Yes, James I do enjoy discussing politics with you. Thank you for giving me the privilege. namaste


  70. Thank you for posting the clip with Susan Boyle. I saw another link but it didn’t have all the before and after parts with her reaction to the attention she got. I just can’t seem to tire of seeing this video. I would like to wish you a speedy recovery, Helen. You are one in a million and make me proud to be an American. We just need more eloquent Americans like you! And one less Rush.


  71. She would have lost in court and she was talking about taking it to court. She finally listened to decent advice.

    We still have to go through Sarah picking and Attorney General and a Supreme Court Justice.

    Sarah is like Bush in that she picks people she likes for religious reasons and they the opposite of what Alaskans need. The dems are taking her on though and that is good.

    The soap opera will continue.


  72. Juneau Joe, Sarah Palin caved in at the last minute and appointed the compromise Senate candidate, Egan. I guess she finally figured out that no Democratic Senator was going to knuckle under to her bid for power. Juneau now has a new Senator! I understand that there is a run on paper for recall petitions as well.


  73. Greytdog,

    I stand corrected on the Korean dictator, not the Vietnamese. I agree he is pure psychopath.

    I still didn’t think the food in that market looked very appetizing considering the supermarkets we are accustomed to. However, MY mother always went out in the country to buy live chickens, bring them home and butcher them herself. The packaged ones in the supermarkets were not fresh enough for her standards.

    However, I’ll take the conveniences we enjoy any day, thank you very much.




  74. Here is John Bonehead talking about carbon.
    Are the Republicans giving classes on stupid?

    Listening to this idiot is almost as bad as listening to Sarah Palin. The Soap Opera continues here in Alaska by the way.


  75. Helen,

    I have only recently come to your blog, during the presidential elections. Like everyone else, I love your humor and writing. I wish you the speediest recovery.

    My dream is that we judge people with our eyes closed. When my daughter was 5, we had a long talk about appearances. I told her that if you like someone when your eyes are closed, you should like them when they are open also. Susan Boyle taught us that in spades. She is a great inspiration to me, as you are.


  76. Tommy B., Susan Boyle is not ugly and it was a performance not a “incident.”


  77. Jean – it’s North Korea with the idiotic psychopathic dictator and his rocket/missile system.

    As for the markets in SE Asia, frankly my mom fed our family plus numerous guests from the foodstuffs purchased at the markets. The food there is not infested or disease ridden simply because of the flies or lack of refrigeration. The pigs/cows are butchered same day as sold; fish is always fresh (except for the dried ones); and the chickens you took home to butcher in the yard. . . ’nuff said before I rant.


  78. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show:

    Fox has become
    ‘the hippie station’

    “Have the conservatives in just two and a half months out of power become everything that they hate about the loony left? Everything that the right hated they now embrace.”



  79. Hi Helen and gang,

    Helen, we are still wishing you well and waiting patiently for your return.

    Aw, c’mon. I wasn’t going to bother to respond to that silly tea-bagging thing. It was obviously a gimmick and feeble attempt to appeal to naive xenophobic provincialism and get a quote movement unquote going. But it has no legs. For one thing, the original Boston Tea Party was a protest against the Empiricism of the English Monarchy. Except for the recent past eight years, AMERICAN Empiricism has been pretty bland. Without a shot fired we BOUGHT the Louisiana Purchase and Alaska.

    So where were the tea-baggers just before the end of the last term when Paulson et al were jamming through a 3 trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street? Not a peep. Why weren’t they upset about the taxpayer’s money THEN? That was only a few months ago.

    Whether it calls itself Democracy, Communism, Conservatism, Liberalism, Democratic or Republican, the lust for power is and has been universal forever. The Bush Oligarchy of secrecy was certainly anything but a democracy. It was the old ego driven Latin maxim “Quid lucrum istic nihi est?” “What’s in it for ME?” Any egotistical ideology is convinced it is superior to any other but in actuality, masks deep-seated and long-standing feelings of inadequacy.

    Case in point, the dictator What’s-his-name of North Vietnam who continues to starve his people in order to rattle his saber and try to build expensive rockets and a potential nuclear arsenal. For what??? To feed his own insatiable ego.

    A few years ago we took a cruise to the South China Sea. Our ports of call were in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. (We have been to Thailand twice.)

    All over the public areas of the ship were darling ceramic elephants about eighteen inches high and two feet long. They were used as plant stands. Some had been painted in a variety of bright colors and others were plain colors. When we docked in Vietnam at Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, those elephants were displayed for sale everywhere along with T-shirts that said “Saigon”. I told my husband I wanted an elephant. He said, “No”.

    We toured the city, the temples and all the usual well-known sites, seeing magnificent buildings alongside heart-wrenching poverty. One thing we have noticed in Asia as well as other areas of the world, there is an unmistakable STENCH to poverty that must be CENTURIES old.

    The huge public market displayed throngs of people shopping for food. Fine for produce I guess, but there was no refrigeration. Flies were everywhere. I could not imagine feeding my family anything from that market.

    Whenever we got off the tour bus, there was always a cluster of tiny women with adorable babies in their arms. The little ones appeared to be six to nine months old. The women pointed to the babies first and then put a hand, palm up, right in our faces under our noses. This went on all day. We emptied our wallets. An American dollar would go a long way against the Vietnamese ‘Dong’ at an exchange rate at that time of 10,000 to one. They had to know that American women especially, were a soft-touch for babies.

    As the day wore on, though, we began to wonder. On closer examination, all the babies seemed to be healthy, clean, well cared for and SLEEPING! We never saw a crying baby!!! Wait a minute. It began to dawn on us that a baby could be a valuable commodity in a thriving enterprise! I suppose people everywhere do whatever they have to do to survive. But if true, and I am not saying it is true, only a suspicion, using a baby for financial gain is chilling.

    I have never missed a meal or been without a home or what we generally consider the necessities of life along with many of its luxuries. Nor have our children or grandchildren lacked for education, health care and opportunities to achieve their potential. Granted, we worked hard but we had many advantages and plenty of luck being in the right place at the right time.

    Still that doesn’t make it right for other human beings to have to live in abject destitution. And of course, we have plenty of pockets of poverty right here in the US. When was the last time you drove through the blighted parts of the Bronx in New York? That’s why I am a bleeding-heart-flaming-liberal democrat!

    Meanwhile our group went back to the ship in Ho Chi Minh City in the late afternoon and I noticed they were selling the ceramic elephants on the dock. Back in our cabin, I made some excuse. The ship is a big place! I went back out on to the pier to get myself an elephant. They were selling them for five American dollars each and a hand woven basket to carry it in for fifty cents. I chose a white one with beige etched into the creases of its design. Back in the cabin I slipped him under the bed and didn’t mention it until we were at sea. I figured my husband wouldn’t throw him overboard.

    Our final port was Singapore. In one of the shops I spotted a beautiful silk blouse hanging high up on the wall. I asked the salesman how much. It was way too much so I left the shop. Next thing I knew the salesman was walking beside me with the blouse over his arm. He must have climbed up on the wall and taken it down. We started haggling over the price. My husband dropped back a few paces, looking in shop windows and pretending he wasn’t with me. The bargaining went on for a block and a half before we agreed on a price fair to both of us.

    On our last night in Singapore we happened to find ourselves in a restaurant obviously frequented for the most part by local patrons. A table or two away there was a birthday party going on. When it came time to sing “Happy Birthday”, we spontaneously joined in, without any forethought. A little while later, we were each surprised and delighted to be served a lovely piece of birthday cake from the celebrants.

    I had a bit of a crisis when it came time to pack for home. We had bought quite a few things and our luggage space was limited. I hauled out the elephant who happened to be hollow. I stuffed dirty underwear and socks inside shoes and then inside the elephant; an old packing trick from our many travels. We checked one of our original carry-ons and took the elephant on board the plane. It was bulky but not very heavy, and I volunteered to carry it. My husband, always the gentleman, was trapped.

    The cruise ended in Singapore. It was a six-hour flight to Tokyo and a six-hour layover there. My husband was not a happy camper as he sat glaring at my dirty-clothes-and-shoe-stuffed-elephant-in-a-basket for six hours. Then it was a nine-hour flight to Honolulu.

    We were a little tuckered out when we finally stood in line for customs. We had declared everything but wound up being singled out for a random fine-toothed luggage search, including the dirty-clothes-and-shoe-stuffed-elephant. The customs agent dumped everything out of our checked baggage, our carry-ons and my elephant. My husband stood as far away as possible, trying to disavow ever having seen me before in his life! It took me a good half-hour to re-pack that mess.

    Ah, well, we and my elephant made it home safe and sound. I now have a genuine Vietnamese white elephant sitting on the floor of the living room with an orchid plant on top. My husband has made peace with it – more or less.




  80. Oh and Tommy B is an asshat.


  81. The tea parties were a joke. The Republicans having nothing else to offer just stole the Libertarian movement and ran with it. So I guess we are at odds – the Democrats are Socialists and the Republicans are Anarchists.


  82. Lorbe, I would love to see any links you have to show me. Thank you for the complement.

    I saw a paucity of facts from some people at the TEA Party too, and as I wrote, I didn’t agree with everything I heard. Other people were knowlegable. However, I didn’t hear one person speak of inflation, and I think it is a real danger. I do see the protest movement as a useful tool for sending a loud message to Congress, even if I am not a libertarian .

    Bear in mind, I am only describing what I have seen in and around Omaha, and it may not be representative of other places. The one I attended had a few Hispanics who applauded too. One speaker did complain about illegal aliens while saying she supports people who settle here legally.

    The Heartland is a garden spot compared to some parts of the country. A business organization declared Sioux land which includes parts of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota to be the strongest economy for its population in the country. Unemployment rates are as low as 4.5%. In Omaha too, homes have maintained their value and jobs are still available. The Omaha World Herald still has a good circulation.

    The recession is creating uncertainty, and people are losing jobs, but our relative prosperity may color the attitudes and behavior of local TEA Partyers. Another organization said that Nebraska has the happiest people in the country, and Iowa comes in second. South Dakota and I think Kansas ranks high too. The recession has not personally hurt my wife or me. We have helped our son and his wife a little, but they live in California. Maybe that makes the movement more mellow than in some regions. I have no idea. Maybe they are all the same.

    If the Democrats don’t over reach and miscalulate, we may be all right, but I am afraid they will unless the fear of hostile voters gives them pause. Politicians tell us Social Security and Medicare are safe, but I have doubts. Combine retiring baby boomers with huge new expenditures and our printing presses will be churning out money at a rapid pace. I’m not sure our leaders have planned for unexpected emergencies like wars or natural disasters.

    I disagree that we are a left leaning Republic. Parts of the country lean to the left, but not the Heartland. The battle for Americas’ soul is undecided.

    I hope you enjoy arguing with me as much as I with you. A year or two will tell which of us is right In the meantime, it is fun to argue.


  83. Well, I don’t know if this Susan Boyle incident is really a good thing after all…Now all the ugly people are going to think they can sing.


  84. Two things which I don’t have in common with Meghan McCain are I don’t like punk rock, and I don’t have a tattoo. Otherwise, I agree with what was posted, and so would at least some of the TEA Partiers.

    Jean, in an earlier post you wrote that one advantage of mortality is it forces us to do things. Buddy Holly may have been such a man. Even in high school, he acted as if something was chasing him. He met a blonde girl as he knocked her down after he rushed from a concert his group had performed in the school auditorium. Holly applogized and said “I don’t have time to help you up, but you sure are pretty.” She became his high school friend and drummer’s girl friend Peggy Sue. She thought he had a premonition.

    Buddy met and asked out a young New York woman from Puerto Rico. She had never been on a date, but he proposed that night. A day or two later, the family flew to New York City and they married in Lubbock, Texas.

    Buddy and the Crickets did well, but he thought Rock and roll was a passing fad. He wanted to write and publish music and set up a school for aspiring singers. The couple needed money for their dreams, so Buddy took one last tour with Richie Velenze and the Big Bopper.

    His six months pregnant wife asked him to stay home because she dreamed of a comet crashing to earth. A man on the street told Holly a bus would kill him. Buddy also had disquieting dreams. During the tour a young Bob Dylan was so impressed he decided to start writing and performing music. The Beatles, Elton John, and others copied the Crickets.

    The performers charted a plane to Fargo so they could get there in time to do their laundry. Waylan Jennings gave up his seat to one of the performers and lived to become a country star. Holly who died at 22 sampled more of life than many twice his age.


  85. … let me be clear.. I think YOU DID project intellect in your post.. 😉


  86. James, I take you at your word… You in your heart of hearts believe those people at the TEA parties were protesting spending…I hear you…

    However, I am sorry to say that is not what I believe . I….. in MY heart of hearts saw and heard lots of racism and hatred and sour grapes.. and little facts and intellect, as I just heard you project….I PRAY I am wrong…. I really do, but in MY heart of hearts I think this whole “movement” is based on hatred and fear. That will not survive, not today, not this time….

    Another thing we will have to agree to disagree about is the direction and “climate” of our country. Everyday more and more data is being present that suggests our country is headed in a progressive direction. (If you want the links and books I’ll be happy to send them to you). I do agree with you it could change at the drop of a bomb (excuse the bad pun) but as it stands today we are a left leaning republic…

    I hear you are trying to give our President the benefit of the doubt… thanks for that…. because of course we all rise with the tide… namaste


  87. Lorbe, I know what you’re getting at. I don’t know where they were thirty years ago, either. These are my guesses: Maybe, under Reagan, they were basking in “morning in America” while dreaming of their next financial scores, as they sang “I’m all right Jack.”. I know we farmers were struggling to survive back then.

    Republicans were muttering about Bush and Congress’s deficits during the second term. Republicans helped elect the Democratic majority by staying home and others complained McCain was not much better than Bush. They saw no alternatives, so they didn’t vote. If you recall, McCain could hardly attract a crowd large enough for twenty tables of bridge until Sarah Palin entered the scene. What she said resonated with some of the same voters who began to protest.

    The stimulus bill which passed before most had a chance to read it rankled people like my cousins who carried “Next time Read the Bill” signs.

    Others thought Bush’s deficites were tolerable because he was a Republican. I wrote to our Congressman, and I would have joined a TEA Party had there been one. I also voted for more local Democrats. Many people likely didn’t worry too much as long as they got theirs. I’m sure the TEA Party movement has some hypocrites in its midst. Don’t get me wrong. Not all of the TEA Partyers are pure of heart. Some are libertarians who support no bail outs. Others
    support bail outs but oppose non stimulus spending.

    I think the large bail outs (some of which we needed. I support some of what Obama is doing.) combined with other spending not connected with the recession are so over the top they caught peoples’ attention. The prospect of unsustainable debt, a sluggish recovery, combined with what for the first time, was voters’ uncertain personal futures made them act now, when before they muttered into their coffee.

    This is more a libertarian than Republican movement, and it includes people who voted for Obama. I didn’t read the blog, but one linked to the Drudge Report, the New McCain, I believe headlined “TEA Parties Have Republicans Scared S less.” Today on an Iowa Public Television interview with Chuck Grassly, our Senator squirmed and back peddled to let the interviewers know he shared TEA Party values.

    Washington Post colunist Steven Pearlstein told David Gregory on Meet the Press that “Dick Armey is right about that it’s (taxes) going up. It has to go up. We need to get the deficit down and we need to live within our means…So one of the things, I think I’m a little disappointed in is that Obama has got himself locked into a nobody under $250,000 is going to get a tax increase.

    I think he’s going go find that that’s very limiting in terms of putting us on that stable foundation, the rock that he talked about in his speech this week. But he’s got to say in order to invest, you’ve go to stop consuming certain things…That is, allow yourself to be taxed so that we can make these investments.”

    Nina Easton of Fortune said “I think the media underestimated this as an animating force, a tax–the potential of tax increasing. I think that there is –its an animating political issue…I would recall 1993 Contract with America, when Democrats didn’t think that seriously either. I think tax and spend issues ar a real, are a real animating issue for Republicans. I think there’s also been a little mini TEA party on the Hill, In that we see moderate Democrats have already declared basically dead on arrival the Obama proposal to limit deductions for wealth households giving charitable contributions. There’s a concern about the cap and trade which is the energy plan that a lot of Republicans are countering as a tax increase.

    And some moderate Democrats are agreeing. So I think the Democrats underestimated at their own peril.”


  88. Raji, LORBE wasn’t really “shushing” Whirled Peas – LORBE was merely giving Whirled the heads up that what Megan McCain said is not what many Repubs want to hear. . . so sad really that, in this country (among many others) truth must be whispered rather than shouted from the rooftops. When did speaking the truth become such a liability in this country?


  89. well I hear ya Raji, although I was never a repub, and never will be, but today is today and with our election “laws” as they stand, there will never be a purple party, sooooooooooo I have to dance with the boy who brung me.. 😉 sooo again shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh about this megan girlie and her intelligent ideas…


  90. LORBE, don’t shhhhhh whirled peas. That’s what the purple party is all about because today’s Repub Wingnuts are not my Father’s Republican party !!!
    There was a time, a long long time ago I was proud to be a Republican but not in the past 30 years or so or did it start with Nixon?


  91. Dear Helen,
    I happened upon your and Margaret’s website when someone linked to one of your commentaries from the local discussion board. I don’t get here as often as I would like, but I have shared your website with some of my friends and they feel like I do. You are a treasure! I agree with most if not all of what you write.

    I am sorry to hear that you are feeling suboptimal, but I hope you are back to your wonderfully wordy self soon! We need to read your unabashedly open and right-on opinions. You say things that most of us wish we could say.

    Get well, soon!

    Kathleen in Wisconsin!


  92. shhhhhhhhhhhh whirled peas


  93. File this one under:

    Not your father’s
    Republican Party!

    Meghan McCain: ‘Most of the old school Republicans are scared shitless’ of the future.

    “So tonight, I am proud to join you in challenging the mold and the notions of what being a Republican means. I am concerned about the environment. I love to wear black. I think government is best when it stays out of people’s lives and business as much as possible. I love punk rock. I believe in a strong national defense. I have a tattoo. I believe government should always be efficient and accountable. I have lots of gay friends. And yes, I am a Republican.”

    WiseUpWingnuts ~ Δ ~ 😉


  94. James, i’ll take you at your word that the modern day TEA parties are protesting spending … with a huge grain of salt… um hummm

    My question is: where were these people 8 years ago? More importantly, where were these people 30 years ago?
    Under Reagan, the budget was never balanced and debt ballooned. In fact, under Reagan the total debt/GDP ratio increased from a little over 30% to a little over 60%. Yet there were no protests. And the fact the budget was never balanced didn’t seem to bother anybody.


  95. thymeChere it says to me, “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

    Like Kay, I hope Helen is feeling better. And a pat on the back for Mathew who does so much to help.


  96. Missing Helen

    Hope you are feeling better!!!!!!


  97. In today’s LA Times Op-Ed

    Susan Boyle’s extraordinary ordinariness
    What does the Scotswoman’s soaring performance on a British talent show, and our reaction to it, say about us?,0,5091314.story


  98. Thanks for submitting an article that helps support my point about the TEA Parties JunueaJoeA.

    As one of the posters wrote, the first tea party was a protest against a government created monopoly. The colonists’ tax money was financing an international business which threatened to strangle local businesses. They believed they had no recourse but to demonstrate since they had little influence in Parliament. Likewise for the TEA Party protesters who feel their representatives have abandoned them.

    That is a far cry from protesting the equivalent of Wal Mart. It isn’t even close. The description would have been accurate if the government through taxes and other regulations made Wal Mart a government supported business. Unlike the case of Wal Mart, colonists protested the use of government money to control the market in Britain’s interest. Unlike the TEA Party protests, the origonal protesters were willing to destroy property to make their point.

    Obama has persuaded Congress to lower taxes. The modern TEA Party movement is protesting proposed future spending and taxes, not today’s. They are worried about the trillions of new debt which will dwarf anything we spent and borrowed on two wars and bailouts. Such protests are an important part of our history. Anti war, suffragette, anti- drinking, and other movements are as American as apple pie, and so is this one.

    A NPR commentator who also appears on Fox’s network Sunday morning show said Obama will find it hard or impossible not to raise future taxes. This confirms the TEA Party protesters’ fears. Its voice is inchoate and fuzzy because the movement has no real leaders. Time will tell if it fades, but a perfect storm confluence of events will strengthen the movement, and that is what leftists and liberals are afraid of.

    Thanks again for posting the article. I will download it and refer to it if someone mentions the TEA Party protest elsewhere.


  99. Juneau Joe-
    Welcome home and if you don’t go to the folk festival tonight- last night!- listen on the radio!
    Waterfalls are running off the mts where icefalls hung all winter… birds returning… days longer by 5 mins more each day…saw teeny tiny 1st leaves of a wild lupine coming up yeterday… spring is here!

    Ah Helen- just checking in to see if you were up and about. Do get better soon.

    Secret Talker∆- best wishes and healing thoughts for your ma…

    Best wishes all around here in the parlour… does all this tea party thingy round the country mean we are switching to coffee with pie here?


  100. The original Boston Tea Party was a rebellion against a corporation! An article by Thom Hartmann


  101. Helen,

    Hope you are feeling better! You didn’t go to one of the tea parties, did you? That would have made me sick!!!


  102. From The Daily Dish:
    So You Think You Can Knit?

    😉 ~ Δ


  103. AvostrenateA, as you know by now, I am as glad as you are that Mark Martin won and I agree about the Hendrick team. His winning in the number five car had to be an emotional experience for the team.

    JuneauJoeA, I’m glad your daughter and son in law’s wedding gave you a lot of good memories. Our son in law the only child of a minister and his wife. He has preached at the same church for over 37 years, so the congregation watched their son grow up and wanted to be involved in the wedding. He performed the ceremony.

    They gave so many presents it took our car and theirs to hold them all. As we started on our seven hour trip to their new home, our daughter and son in law left first. As we backed out of the driveway, we saw our son in law’s father standing at the edge of the driveway watching their car drove away until he could no longer see it. Then his shoulders slumped a little and he slowly walked to the house.


  104. Ragi, Jeff Gordon had some bad luck, but I am glad Mark Martin won. He has a lot of class, and I can identify with an old guy like him. Martin is only the third driver over fifty to win such a race.

    Tony Stewart who came in second said Martin is changing conceptions of longevity for the next generation. They have assumed they should retire at his age but Martin is proving it isn’t necessarily so. Another thing I liked was how many drivers and previous owners came over to congratulate him.


  105. Scott W, I listened to the Susan Boyle link you posted – amazing amazing voice. What a great arrangement; was playing it when SO walked through the room – stopped and said “who is that?” Told SO and now we’re hunting to see if there are any copies of that CD anywhere. . .I’ve even written relatives in West Lothian. . .


  106. JuneauJoe, welcome home and mazel tov to your daughter and new son in law!

    Those photos really are amazing, aren’t they? When I start to feel jaded or ubercynical, I like to return to the Hubble page and just be. . . rejuvenated. I look at those photos and think WOW oh WOW.


  107. James:
    I was happy to see Mark Martin win. I have a lot of respect for him, being a clean competitor. His record is consistent (almost always in the top 10) and I haven’t heard him whine except once last year when he drove for the wicked step-mother.
    It’s great to see that a “fogey” can still do it.
    Jeff will get his due, he’s nowhere near finished. Don’t you just love the whole Hendrick team this year!


  108. Thanks, Matthew, for the post.

    Take care of yourself, Helen dear.

    We’ll be here and there and everywhere.

    It’s been a wild week in Alaska.


  109. I don’t know if anyone has posted this link yet, there are so many comments here I can’t go through them all to see. But a Scottish newspaper found a CD recorded for charity which has a song sung by Susan Boyle, “Cry Me a River”. It’s fabulous!


  110. Greytdog: Those images from Hubble are amazing!

    My daughter and new son in law are doing well. They, and I, are amazed at the people who flew to Vegas to help them start their lives together. Lots of good memories. We had 86 people there and more who almost made it.

    I have been listening to Susan Boyle before I head off to teach after hearing her on Margaret and Helen.

    Helen: You feeling better yet? I sure hope so! Your insight into our world is a pleasure to read.
    Get Well! Get Well! Get Well! Margaret; You are missed too.


  111. Try these sites:


  112. James, being a NASCAR fan from way back, I’ll go for Jeff Gordon to win 🙂


  113. Whirled peas, that link was way too funny and thanks for the updates on the weekly address.

    Greytdog, I could only pull up one photo also. Can you do another link?

    James, I do love doctors who say if you handle the pain, no surgery. Right now I have several that are advocating surgery but I’m hanging in there for no surgery just lots of therapy and no pain meds.


  114. So far, I give Obama a C# or a B-. It depends on my mood.


  115. I forgot to add my name again.

    In case my post about dreams was lost, here it is again. Our dream is our soon to be married friends are as happy together as my wife and I have been.

    My other dream is that Jeff Gordon wins tonight’s NASCAR race. He is due for a victory.


  116. I have two more dreams, that our soon to be married friends are as happy together as my wife and I have been, and that Jeff Gordon wins tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race.


  117. The TEA Party movement began with internet word of mouth. A Seattle woman did the first one in Feb., I think. It’s message is a little fuzzy because it is just a bunch of people worried about our country, and they have different agendas. They are a little too conservative for my taste, but if they manage to turn themselves into a pressure group to slow Congress’s spending they will have served a good purpose.

    From what I have seen and read, they are as hostile to Republican incumbents as Democrats. I heard a show which summarizes and discusses the top ten talk show subjects over the week. The moderator and his guest also said the TEA Parties were part of a grass roots movement made possible by the internet, twitter and other devises. The other compared them to sock hops. I had earlier compared the one I attended to a high school pep rally.

    Bloggers helped coordinate and encourage them. Fox, talk show hosts, and others attached themselves as the movement gained traction. They wanted to captialize on the attention for their own benefit. Fox’s coverage of the event attracted good ratings, and I am sure that was one of their goals.

    The two men I listened to said in a way, those groups were trying to hijack the demonstrations. They also said the Tea Party movement shares similarities with the Obama campaign. It raised more money than any previous presidential candidate because the campaign used the internet for networking and fund raising. The internet also gave birth to the TEA Party movement .

    JuneauJoeA, I agree news organizations should not be spending money to create the news.
    Making a numbers mistake is something I have done too. Just don’t do it when you are filling out your income tax form. Ha!

    I may have been the only poster to attend a TEA Party, and I may be the first here to attend a gay wedding. We ran into our friends while we were shopping in Nebraska today. They live in Iowa near where my wife teaches school. One is a former student.

    Now that Iowa is changing its law to favor gay marriage, they plan on a real ceremony soon–maybe in May. We are looking forward to it. As a joke, one of the women bought me the most garrish red shorts I had ever seen, and she tried to persuade me to tell my wife I was actually going to wear them. I don’t wear shorts. As a joke, I could give it back to them as a wedding gift, but my wife wouldn’t let me.

    If anyone reads Time Magazine you will see an article about how Americans are coping with the recession. One couple interviewed is a husband-wife owner of a gun shop in Missouri Valley, Iowa. The shocker is we know them, and my wife has taught at least one of their children.


  118. Just saw this in a comment section following Charles Barkley’s interview on Jay Leno’s show talking about how unpatriotic right wing nut jobs like Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck are for wishing for Obama’s failure.

    The comment goes as follows:

    This was passed along to me by my Liberal friend who is getting it from a few of her (ugh!) conservative friends.

    “OK all you good conservatives, time for action. MSNBC the most liberal of networks has an online poll to grade Obama. They know we don’t watch their network, and the votes will pile up from misguided liberals with high grades.

    EVERYONE, click on the link below and give him the “F” he deserves. As of now he has 50% “A” grade from the liberals. We can drive this down.

    PLEASE VOTE AND THEN PASS THIS ON!!! It only takes a minute ? one click!

    btw, they are being successful in driving his grade down – currently more F’s than A’s.


  119. Scott,
    Sorry, I did a Limbaugh with the numbers.

    FOX donated 500 Thousand dollars worth of advertising to the TEA parties. (i had previously stated 500 Milion.)

    Sorry about the mistake. However, I find it inexcusable for a ‘news organization’ to be making the news.


  120. I hope you are feeling better real soon Helen.
    We miss you tons!!!!


  121. Scott,

    I went to your web site and was pleasantly surprised to learn that you and your partner operate a B&B in Nachitoches. I grew up in MS, and my father was a rabid fan of Nachitoches meat pies (to the sorrow of my mother;-).

    Here’s to the health of your partner, and here’s to the health of Helen. And, yes, Helen and Margaret are “true lights” in the wilderness. I am grateful that they have brought so many interesting people to my attention.



  122. I was so sorry to hear that you have been ill, Helen. Here is to your quick recovery.

    I dream that I will be able to marry my lifetime partner, who is now 78 and going in for a pacemaker implant on Monday (tomorrow), so I will not have to fear what my life could become if his family (no children or ex-spouses) were to drag our 16+ year relationship into court.

    I also dream we, as humans, will begin to spend more effort on science to make determinations, instead of things that were written based on a lack of information.

    Thanks to both you ladies for being a true light in the wilderness.


  123. “I find it interesting that FOX news donated 500 Million in advertising to push the TEA parties.” -JuneauJoe



  124. Hope you are getting better every single day Helen! Just sending warm wishes your way.


  125. i too am “under the weather” and that is because I was above the weather in an airplane and caught something from some germ laden person. Next time I travel I will look like Michael Jackson…mask and gloves. This seems to be a four week virus and I am almost feeling human again. I love your writing and hope you are feeling better to so I can enjoy your wonderful mind again. In the meantime I will check your archives since I only discovered you about 6 months ago. Take care and get better. Don’t know you but love you, C


  126. ut oh the daily tracking poll is +7 today … do I feel a trend coming on???? LOL

    Ok Ok Ok I am a B—- but hell it’s been a long 8 yearsss….


  127. President Obama’s
    Weekly Address 4/18/09



  128. I think your response to gay marriage — as a liberal — has a lot to do with age. Although I’m not a conservative by nature (I’ve always registered as an independent), I’m somewhat conservative on some issues. 20 years ago (my 30s), I would have been very conflicted on gay marriage and probably against. Now, in my 50s, oh, why the hell not? In the last 30 years, the definition of family has gone way beyond a guy, a girl, 2.5 kids, one split level, a dog, a cat and a volvo in every pot.

    I’m childless, not by choice, divorced, but I don’t feel family-less. Why? Because I’ve reinvented the concep (and no, I’m decidedly not gay). So have plenty of others.

    And face it, heteros haven’t done very well with marriage. Why should they get an exclusive?

    Gay marriage doesn’t scare me or upset me anymore. If two unrelated people want to form a family, more power to them.

    I really can’t imagine God disagreeing with that.
    (And, yes, I’m a practicing Christian.)

    As for the tea parties: yes Fox created a “news” event. That’s why you guys as news consumers (I’m a journalist) always need to research what you support.


  129. Grandma Katie,

    It was lots of fun. Still recovering and trying to get back some sleep which I missed in Vegas. Getting up at 5 AM and finally finding a clock well past midnight took its toll.

    Then I flew in, slept and went to work. I even missed out on the Folk Festival here in Juneau – too tired.


  130. Helen:

    I’ll be sending wishes your way that you feel better! Take care of yourself, okay? And I mean it!



  131. My husband forwarded your website. Your website is wonderful. I thank my hysband for sharing it with me. I also forwarded to all of my peeps.

    Helen, I wish you a speedy recovery.


  132. Greytdog – you said exactly what Ifeel about polls. I feek t he pollsters pick an area where t hey know the area where they can predict the outcome to fit what ever they want. Never have I been picked for my opinion. Oops, well once Iiiii answered a call meant for my SO. When I said he was not there, then t hey asked my opinion. Question was “Did I approve of Bush and what he was doing. Needless to say t hey q uickly hung up.
    I could only get one of the outer spppace pictures. but it was beautiful so thank you for p osting it.
    Lorbe – yea.
    Juneau Joe – welcome back. WAs beginning top think you had such a good time at the wedding that you had forgotten us.


  133. TeaBaggees in a Nutshell.


    PEACE ~ Δ


  134. I find it interesting that FOX news donated 500 Million in advertising to push the TEA parties.

    Lorbe – You are doing a great job.

    The fallen economy was caused by Cheney/ Bush and the wars they loved to create. Wars along with tax cuts for the wealthy and de-regulation created the mess we currently face.

    It was also interesting that Mr. Democracy Bush had many elections around the world during his 8 years and the people voted in anti-American candidates. Bush ignored those elections. Bush also stripped us of Constutional rights routinely.

    Starting a war with lies has cost us dearly.


  135. “Lorbe, I admire you for not calling the tea baggers unpatriotic, it takes a better person not to stick it back at them…” -uncommonsense

    Who called who unpatriotic?


  136. Sometimes something comes across your consciousness that has nothing to do with politics, religion, or economics. Something that just makes you sit back and go “omigod” and from deep in yourself comes the spontaneous celebration of the human soul. . . thus was the reaction to Susan Boyle. . . and now these. . . I have sat here and looked at these pictures with the same wonder and amazement . . .these are so ripe with possibility:


  137. I tried to post last night, and our computer with Fire Fox crashed. It has happened three times since I posted here. Here is some of what I would have written last night.

    The TEA Party movement represents a potential threat because the polls show Obama’s ratings falling with relatively uncommitted groups. The slippage is small and might be meaningless as a small fire in the woods might be. Or, the TEA Party may energize voters to call their Congress people en mass and organize voters to threaten encumbants’ holds of their offices.

    The Democrats know this. Otherwise, they would not be trying to destroy the movement before it grows.

    Congratulations Jean. Four years ago a neurosurgeon told me I needed surgery but “as long as you can stand the pain, don’t let a neurosurgeon like me operate on your back.”

    Ann, I agree with Raji.


  138. Jean, that is great news. Thanks for sharing and I wish you the best of luck with PT and treatment. You do seem to have a fine doctor.

    Ann, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I think it’s wonderful you can be there for her.


  139. Helen,
    I hope you are feeling much better very soon. I watched that video before, and I am totally amazed at how NICE Simon acts in England! He is nothing but a crab, here…LOL

    You get better…

    I am going to start a blog on here too…it will start out with the media’s obsession with Michelle Obama’s clothing…and all of them who cut her down…

    But you get better, and if you feel like it, we will be looking for your next post…

    Til then, I mean it, really!


  140. Lorbe, I admire you for not calling the tea baggers unpatriotic, it takes a better person not to stick it back at them, but hey, free speech for all, even the ignorant. I’ll hold you to it on that poll thing.


  141. Folks we’ve lost years, even decades, arguing ideologies. Isn’t it about time that we cut the crap and ask ourselves and each other, what does it accomplish to argue over such nonsensical things as poll results? There is only one poll that counts, and that happened in November, we have a President and we have a Congress. Besides it is just plain boring for the rest of us. If you are convinced that you know how to fix this country’s problems contact the appropriate officeholder and persuade them. We are all friends here, and even though we have different political philosophies, we don’t have to drag up the past every time we discuss current events, nor do we boast more people support our position, we aren’t a couple in a dysfunctional marriage. Speaking of divorce, I told my nephew in Oklahoma to sharpen his pitchfork, it is now up to him to protect our southern border. Same nephew told me, there is a similar meaning, (“Sex in the City”), for “tea bagging,” in the wrestling world, when one wrestler’s family jewels hang in their opponent’s face. I thought I had erased that particular nude wrestling scène from “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation” from my mind, now it is back. Groan!


  142. Hi gang and secret talker aka ann,

    Ann, I’m sending warm wishes for your mother. I’m sure your love, support and concern mean the world to her.

    I have great news, for me at least. No spinal surgery for this old broad!!!!! I saw the surgeon this afternoon. We had a good session. He is a very fine doctor and extremely thorough. He examined me from head to toe with a fine-toothed comb. He even showed me my MRI and explained it. It’s not often you have an opportunity to look at pictures of your insides!

    In my case, the surgery is sort of a last resort and not always successful. We are going to try some periodic epidural spinal steroid shots and physical therapy. Sounds good to me!




  143. Hi Helen,
    I hope you get better really soon! I bet all the tea bagging by the nutters (LOL!) has been interesting news for you to watch while you are under the weather. I hope to read your views on the subject when you are well.
    Love from SC!


  144. Hope you get better soon, Helen!


  145. The point of all this is, the TEA baggers are not a threat. Not one of 250,000 people out there would have ever voted for Obama and WILL never vote for Obama or any democrat for that matter. Net gain (votes) ZERO

    Voters who do not affiliate with any political party were turned off by the radical tone of the protesters, and would bet my last dollar you wouldn’t find a democrat in the bunch.

    When a political party starts defining itself by the extreme fringes of their party it’s time to rewrite the play book. When Rush and his buds spew their hatred diatribes it only serves to marginalize the republican party even more.

    There maybe a time when the tide turns for Obama. But it hasn’t begun yet and the tea baggers didn’t do a thing to make that happen. It will take a disaster for that to occur, and isn’t it a pitiful thing for the only hope for the republican party to see success is for a disaster to occur in our country.

    I made a promise to myself that NEVER again would I allow anyone to label me as un-American, or put words in my mouth accusing me of “not supporting the troops”. Never again would I sit politely by and allow other people to define MY party and MY country with lies and unfounded accusations.

    So my fellow bloggers I do apologize to you for boring you with “poll” numbers and multi posts on a seemingly silly matter… But a promise is a promise… Never again….


  146. maybe they should do a poll and find out how many people bought tea bags


  147. UAW boasts:
    Lorbe …read this…

    and yes I like your polls….you seem to think its all about Obama but your own post show people(58.8%) think the nation is on the wrong track…

    Yes Uaw I have read the polls, thank you for mentioning the right track wrong track poll. It is very good news considering when Bush left office 60 percent of our country thought we were heading in the wrong direction, so Obama is up a couple of points. Also right before the election the number was 76 percent…. The democratic congress is climbing too… Slowly but surely we are getting there…


  148. Helen,

    I have forwarded your site to several of my 80-something friends/relatives in hopes that they, too, will start a blog. My aunt Nancy lives in Mississippi, and she would be perfect for blogging as you have. Just can’t lead that horse to water!

    Please get well soon…I miss your postings. They are invaluable in my life.



  149. Helen -[ hurry and get better!!! we miss you very much.
    Do you suppose reading Coulllllter’s vile writings had any thing to do with you feeling poorly? If so DON’T read any more of her trash~~


  150. Frankly speaking if you want to rate these politicians there is only one rating that counts – your vote. Political polls are nothing more than gobbleygook and sleight of hand movements. Political polls have about as much credence as high school most popular/likely to succeed rankings.


  151. raji…we’ve had Nancy as Speaker for over two years…how can we not rate her…..or Barny Frank or Chris Dodd or John Murtha….it’s not all about Obama


  152. After listening to “Cry Me a River” I am convinced Susan Boyle has a voice that can cover any range. Totally amazing.
    Lots of comments out there, but I don’t doubt that the Scottish lady will handle all this new publicity quite well. After all she has been dealing with the “pubs” for quite awhile.
    I too am of Scottish descent, going back to Angus McCrae who came over as a stone mason to build University of the South in Sewanee,TN and met my great grandmother and stayed.

    I won’t comment on what I think about polls 🙂 How many of you out there have actually answered one of them? We are still into only a few months of our new presidency. How can we rate him this early? UAW can you answer that question?


  153. right now, I don’t care about politics. I care about Helen.

    I hope everything is ok.


  154. Lorbe …read this…

    and yes I like your polls….you seem to think its all about Obama but your own post show people(58.8%) think the nation is on the wrong track…


  155. De-lurker girl, glad you enjoyed the clip. I couldn’t stop laughing either! 😀

    For those who didn’t watch it…it’s from Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show. A call-in from a lovely (and lively) 88-year-old viewer named Gladys, of Austin, TX.

    I thought to myself: Helen must be a little like that.

    I Love Jesus But I Drink A Little


  156. UAW……. ask and you shall receive.. here are nine more polls for ya.

    I hope you find these just as appealing….namaste all…


  157. James:

    Thus far the President has maintained a fairly high level of support among independents and that has kept his overall approval rating above 60 percent in most national polls. (rassmussen 4-17)

    rassmussen 4-17 – 3-17 trends of strongly approve/strongly disapprove

































    I am sorry James I just don’t see a huge decline in the “trends” you are referring to. There is a difference of 2 points from a month ago until now. namaste….


  158. Feel better soon!!


  159. Hi Helen and Margaret and everyone. I am writing from my mother’s home. Her name is Helen too! She is in the hospital now_ seems to be doing well from a procedure..we would appreciate some good thoughts…most folks here are generous I am happy to say! Thanks-looking forward to sharing some yummy pie later on!Thanks and all the best!


  160. Margaret, I hope you feel better soon!!



  161. James….
    you beat me to it…

    55% polled say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance so far. Forty-three percent (43%) disapprove.


  162. Helen,

    I hope you are doing better! I am sending positive waves your way and can’t wait for your next post. But no hurry…take it easy and get well!


  163. In case you missed Gramiam’s link upthread, yahoo has a link to the 10 year old recording to benefit some charity of Susan Boyle. She is a goosebump inducer.


  164. Today’s Ramussen’s Daily Tracking Poll supports what I wrote. 35% of the nation’s voters strongly approve of how the president is doing his job. 32% strongly disapprove. The graph shows a steady to slowly falling strong approval while the strong disapproval total is rising fairly quickly. The Presidential approval index is 3.

    Some polls show Obama to be more popular than his policies. People who love or hate him will not soon change their opinions, but those in the middle with no strong emotions will jump ship if they see policies they don’t like.

    Today’s poll numbers don’t mean as much as the trends. Both Democrats and Republicans are worried about the TEA Party movement because it could hurt either party. If the liberal news media discounted the threat, they would ignore the movement as they did before it attracted national attention. Fox wants to use the movement to gain ratings by appearing sympathetic as its executives try to decide how to use TEA Parties to their own advantage.

    Obama has maintained his rating among Democrats, but he has slipped among Republicans. More importantly, independents are less favorably disposed toward him than they were.

    Obama’s decline is normal, but to me it shows some bad news would give the TEA party movement more recruits to pressure Congressional lawmakers. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it . Six months from now, I will sound prescient or foolish. I don’t care. I love living dangerously.


  165. Lorbe…I went back to your posts on 4-16….2:16pm and 2:17…..
    don’t see where I misunderstood anything…
    and send more polls…I like the bit about only 48% of regular dems are in favor of gay marriage…


  166. I understand Werner, that is why I included the rasmussen poll which is (higher by the way) I have about 6 more to back the facts but if people don’t want to believe two then my guess is they won’t believe 62…


  167. Lorbe
    I found out that the best way to explain things to our “rightwingers” is to use neutral or even sources a bit to the right they trust, where ever possible!

    They see the dailykos a bit like we see Fox (And I know it’s not the same, just for comparison)

    No complaint, just FYI


  168. Werner.. I am a she..;-)



    There are two polls UAW you can read for yourself… if you would like more I’d be pleased to provide them.


  170. UWA
    why do I get images of spittle flying?

    I thought you got it that ARGUMENTS was what it was all about here?

    And don’t prentend to be dumb, we know better by now.

    So get some arguments together when you want to blast LORBE, we, and she/he might have to accept your point.

    Against spittle, the only thing I, and most of the others, will do, is to open our umbrellas!

    So, we pretend this didin’t happen and you try again, yeah?


  171. L0RBE…..Bullshit….It’s not nice to lie…..even to yourself


  172. Helen – I’m sending get-well vibes your way. As far as dreams go, I’m living mine. I get to play with words all day long as a medical editor and am dancing and choreographing in my spare time in fabulous Chicago.

    I’m part of the Windy City Cowboys, a gay country-western dance group. Check out our site. Thirty dancing cowboys will make ANYONE feel better. The Cowboy Love Story is my choreography.


  173. obama net favorable ratings by party ID 4-16

    dems 90 percent

    ind 53 percent

    rep -49 percent

    I don’t think there is any reason to worry about the tea party effect ….


  174. Honolulu Sally, I have been following discussion of the TEA Party movement for awhile. A Seattle blogger and housewife organized the first one in Seatle in February. She wrote about it in her blog, and several others decided to do the same. I think the first few drew as few as twenty to forty people.

    Jim Cramer of Mad Money ranted and said we need a tea party. That made others determined to protest too. I don’t think this is organized as astro turf protests like Cindy Sheehan’s and others. They were better run than what I have seen.

    Most of the people I saw there were not rich enough to be caught in tax increases for $250,000 incomes or whatever the limit will be. They are worried about future expenditures which have little to do with the immediate stimulus. Taxes on energy like cap and trade will hurt the economy and other expenditures will give us an unsupporable debt within ten years. The Congressional Budget office said the stimulus will help, but if Congress spends everything, our economy will be sluggish through the ten year period. Inflation will be likely.

    If China believes our debt is too risky they will spend their money elsewhere. Even the Russians warned us to curb our spending.

    I can only write about what I see, and I have seen little verbal support from Fox News or politicians until recently. Even conservative writers dismissed the tea parties as a one time emotional release. The news media basically ignored the demonstrations. Now some are trying to climb on the band wagon.

    George Soros and others have contributed a lot of money to so called grass roots movements, and the money is traceable because it is usually a matter of public record. If the TEA Party movement is getting similar aid, some enterprising reporter will tell us.

    I don’t know what will happen to the movement, but I know liberals and some conservatives are worried because they don’t understand it. I predicted to you that General Motors would become a government subsidarity or go bankrupt. I was proven right, because we now own General Motors and even guarantee warranties.

    Obama has become divisive according to polls which rate his approval rating as high as it can go among Democrats and very low among Republicans. Independents are leaning against Obama. Here is my prediction. If the economy worsens or new legislation disturbs more of the independents, they will join the movement and it will influence the next election. If a bill inflames those people as the Bush immigration forgiveness bill did, it will be defeated.

    Otherwise, the movement will be one of many diversions we will soon forget. I’m leaning toward the former, but it is too early to know. Republican and Democratic office holders both worry about the TEA Bag movement, and they should.


  175. UAW, I don’t know how you jumped to the conclusion that through omission I painted all veterans as looney tunes.. Of course I didn’t… therefore I owe no one an apology, including my husband and brother, father, uncle/s and brother in law whom are all veterans.

    And yes there is a BIG difference in a person throwing shoes over a fence and a person (Tim Mcvey) blowing up babies. One is a looney tune one might not be.

    as far as this gibberish…

    And as far as taxes not going up tell that to New York City residents….How many different states(or cities) have plans to raises taxes,fees,licenses,permits,registrations,etc….

    I have no idea what you are referring to, but it isn’t attributed to me..


  176. Should have better said “Brithplace”, Homeland is now Quebec!


  177. Dear Greg,

    politically you might be, sorry the Pun, right, but geological Franken is still my Homeland.
    Gobbled up by Bavaria in the late 1880s and now the norhern part of Bavaria, most people do still know the Capitol, Nuernberg!

    just FYI


  178. Helen:
    PLEASE get well soon! We miss you much!

    From the land of Franken…

    Greg in MN


  179. Susan Boyle sings!
    What’s the science?


    So, amazing as this all is, what’s the real science behind singing? Why can some people sing like angels, while others (including me), sound like a bunch of angry cats fighting? Researchers are looking at speech pathology to find out why.

    PEACE ~ Δ


  180. OMG, Tine, that clip was a RIOT! Thanks so much for sharing it.

    Any comments on Sarah’s pro-life speech in IN yesterday?


  181. Helen, I must know…. Are you Gladys from Austin, Texas?

    Gladys who loves Jesus but drinks a little?

    No? Well, I hope you enjoy this anyway. 😉


  182. UAW Tradesman,

    Regarding Minnesota’s missing senator, I would assume that the official recount and the 3-judge panel hearing Norm Coleman’s lawsuit would have dealt with an issue of more votes than voters. We Minnesotans just want the representation in the Senate that we deserve.


  183. Hi Gang

    do it like me:
    I never had any money problems, since I never had any money to have the problems with in the firstplace. Only tons of holes wher to stuff any incoming cash into to stop my live from foundering!

    Just don’t let it get you down.

    And an advise to people that have to make ends meet with little cash and lot’s of bills:

    I send this letter once to a creditor in Germany that kept pestering me for unpaid fines I didn’t intend to pay since I found the grossly injustified.

    I worte (translated):

    Dears Sirs
    you keep pestering me about unpaid fines over a longpaid invoice.
    Since you are VERY persistant, let me explain how things work around here:
    If ther SHOULD be any money leftover at the end of the month (in Germany we get paid monthly) all the names of my creditors get thrown into a had and I let my youngest kid draw the lucky winner of the month, whos bill get’s paid!
    If you don’t stop pestering me, your name won’t even make it into that hat!

    Or to frase it diferently:
    I always wonder on how much month can be left at the end of the money……

    Doing slightly better now, since my wife takes care of finances……..


  184. Honolulu Sally:

    Get a good hardwood baseball bat, fix in vise, drill 1/2″ hole vertically into top approx. 3″ deep, fill with leftover molten lead form last newyears party, or buy fhishing line leads and melt in a pot in a waterbath, pour in hole, seal with a 1/4″ layer of Epoxy. Done.

    Take a few practice swings to make sure you’re acustomed to the extra weight and you’ll always have a “heavy argument” handy when needed.

    Works wonders with some of those bone-heads!!!


  185. L0RBE on April 16, 2009
    at 2:16 PM….you made a statement about Tim McVey and through omission painted all veterans the same….I apologized to Ted Kennedy…I haven’t heard you say anything about all the veterans you insulted….
    as far as loony-tunes is there any difference between throwing tea bags or shoes across the White house fence……
    and as far as taxes not going up tell that to New York City residents….how many different states(or cities) have plans to raise taxes,fees,licenses,permits,registrations,etc….


  186. Get well soon Helen, we need you, while the rest of us can rant, we lack your panache.


  187. Feel better soon Helen, I miss you! And thanks for sharing the video, how wonderful to share such a moving performance.


  188. Lest anyone think that “I Dreamed A Dream” was a fluke, here is a copy of “Cry Me A River” which Susan Boyle performed on a charity CD in 1999.

    Over 20,000,000 hits on YouTube since Saturday. I hope this lady becomes the icon she so richly deserves to be.


  189. Off the subject rant:

    I am a 5’1″, 104 lb, mature, good-looking woman. I have tried to donate blood on numerous occasions. The United Blood Services has been on campus, where I work, several times begging for blood donations. They always say that our supply is at a critical level. When I go over to donate, however, I am turned away due to my height and weight.

    So, this is one instance that I feel a “lowering of the standards” would be beneficial. Why can’t they take just a half-pint from me. I am convinced that I am not the only petite, wanna be donor. I understand that it has something to do with the purificaiton process. WHATEVER! This is 2009, isn’t it? Technology, people. Technology!

    Okay, I am finished. I hope that you are feeling better, Helen! I miss your posts.


  190. UAW, have you read the DHS report? Or are you parroting?

    Here’s the report:

    Note: you have to sign in to read the document, but it’s no big deal to do that. Read the document and note that it speaks of BOTH right/left wing extremism. The central theme is EXTREMISM.


  191. UAW, I was just pointing out that the study that Bush had the NSA conduct concluded that the extreme right and left wings of the parties and veterans are ripe for the terrorists to RECRUIT.

    You asked WTF?

    I merely suggested had we conducted this study prior to Oklahoma bombing perhaps we could have saved a few babies, or maybe not… But just the fact that someone is a veteran obviously does not preclude them from being a loony tune..

    What the Kennedy’s have to do with that escapes me.


  192. Obviously UAW you don’t know the Kennedy clan – except to ridicule Ted; what was the affect of their father’s death on his children? Perhaps you should google them and see what they do today as adults – all guided by the memory of their father’s wisdom, his courage, and most of all, his emphathy and compassion for others. AND there is an underlying foundation (from Rose) in the Kennedy clan that each generation has an obligation to give back and pay it forward. But you go right ahead and denigrate whoever you want to – the right to bigotry and ignorance is sacred and divine in this country.


  193. Easier,
    I teach middle school. On the front wall of my classroom is a poster with the word “YET” in huge letters. Students aren’t allowed to say “I can’t” or “I don’t know” (etc.) UNLESS they follow their statement with the word ‘yet’…implying that they can’t do the task now, but they are learning and they know they will be able to do it soon. Maybe you can just incorporate the word ‘yet’ into your vocab.?

    Thank you for you wonderful words of encouragement and support! I’m trying to remember not to get weary in the waiting!


  194. Get well soon Helen… sending loads of sunshine your way from India.


  195. Hello all!

    I hope your feeling better Helen. Crawl out from under that weather!

    We miss you!



  196. Ditto what Judith said! I too will never see a quarter million dollars a year….unless I’d win the lottery! Since I seldom spend the dollar for a ticket, I know that’s not likely to happen!

    Helen, hope you’re feeling better. HUGS and LOVE!


  197. Get better soon! We miss you!


  198. Honolulu Sally – yeah, I thought that, too.

    I watched the crowds at the rallies and thought they looked more like me than they looked like the people whose privileges they were defending.

    I don’t know about anybody else who reads this blog, but:

    I’m never going to earn over a quarter of a million per year. My taxes are staying put or getting cut.

    I’m never going to leave, or have left to me, enough money to trigger the estate tax.

    Capital gains? What capital gains?

    I don’t even know where I’d go to meet anybody who has enough assets to hide them offshore. If the estimates on that fraud are even half right, we can balance the budget for a good while once we get that rathole closed.

    Does this remind anybody else of the Civil War, where a whole bunch of poor Southerners fought to preserve the rights of slaveowners – who got to stay home to protect their property?

    Divide and conquer – old dog, still hunts.


  199. Please read connotation instead of donnotation. Always happens with me.


  200. Grandma Katie, Werner, Greytdog, thanks for your input. I do understand “do” vs “try”. However, as someone who has been told on many occasions that I could not do, without even being given a chance, I always told those people to at least let me try before deciding. That is the meaning of trying for me. I would never give up without trying. For me, trying has the “doing” donnotation “doing” has for you. It is not a defeatist word at all for me. Without giving something a “try” you wouldn’t even know if it would work out or not. At least by trying, you might just find out that you can actually really do it, whatever “it” might be.


  201. Take care and feel better soon!!

    I have seen many links to the Susan Boyle video and have watched it about 8 times. Truly amazing. It is incredible how this is being spread on the internet. This afternoon I watched it and there were about 12 million hits. By the time I got home it was over 15 million.


  202. Helen,
    Get better soon. Thank you for having Matthew bring the Susan Boyle phenomena to our attention. Fantastic!

    Please nag Helen to take care of herself.

    Hugs to you both!


  203. James,

    Thanks for the TEA party recap. Fascinating.

    It all depends on which side of the fence one is on. You are on the other side from me (though we are parlor friends), and we definitely watch different “news” stations.

    One of “my” news stations took Fox News to task for promoting and encouraging the Tea events instead of being a news organization that reported events. Of course Fox denied it and said this was a grass roots movement. It seems to me that one of the criteria Fox News uses to hire media personalities is that they must dislike and distrust Obama, and do what they can to stir it up.

    “My” news stations did belittle the Tea events, not just because of their “tea-bagging” with the double entendre of balls-in-mouth pun, but also because the basing of their Tea Parties on the Boston Tea Party in 1773 was stretching it.

    It seems like people came out to Tea parties to oppose Obama and socialism, not just taxation. The funny thing is, from what I saw, most of the people at those rallies were of middle class, and their taxes will not be raised, so they were fighting for the wealthier class’ tax hikes. How many suits and fur coats were in attendance at those rallies?

    Another subject of opposition was about the federal budget. Maybe skywriter can clarify it for me, but my thinking is that we will be going into major unprecedented debt near term, and a 10 year budget tapered off but enough to ensure sustainability of necessary programs.

    Google searching for Obama’s budget numbers, I came across this quote:

    “There are times where you can afford to redecorate your house, and there are times where you need to focus on rebuilding its foundation,” Mr. Obama said as he unveiled his plan. “Today we have to focus on foundations.”

    Amen to that. Foundations are more costly, but most important to establish. I wish those gloom and doomers who fear and protest for their grandchildren’s inheritance of federal debt (a questionable degree of burden) can instead see this as laying a solid foundation for education, health care, preservation of family, energy and the environment. That which they protest will actually benefit and preserve America for those same grandchildren.

    Dang, I think I need that baseball bat with lead, Werner.


  204. L0RBE…
    I wonder if the children(relatives) of Robert Kennedy have anything to say about Sirhan Sirhan ( the Islamic assassin) …..
    then again I wonder how many drunks are pissed about the bad press Ted Kennedy gave them(couldn’t drive a whore across a bridge without drowning her)
    I want to appoligize to Ted Kennedy…..not LORBE


  205. a good ‘net article on Secession & the US Constitution


  206. How am I supposed to twitter while I’m teaching?
    I don’t understand how such a use of communication can function in the hands of someone whose main job is instructing students.
    If the rest of the world is all a twitter, what am I supposed to do in front of 24 students? Twitter away?
    No–you all twitter, and I’ll explain to them what you’re doing.


  207. Dear Helen and gang,

    This outta roust you out of your sickbed, Helen! The Texas governor came out of his governor’s mansion (castle with a moat?) brandishing his sword and announced he wants Texas to secede from the Union.

    Where DO SOME of these Texas politicians with their ninth century mentalities come from? I really feel bad for all the fine people in your state who have to put up with them.




  208. Heln,
    I am so sorry that you are under the weather. I join the world in hoping you feel beter and will continue to blog and share your wisdom with us.
    I’ve enjoyed every one of your posts, most make me laugh out loud. We need many more of you! God Bless.


  209. Greytdog,
    I enjoyed your post. When the subject of “trying” comes up I always say the same thing: “Try to get up off that chair”. The person then gets up, of course, at which point I say “No, that’s ACTUALLY getting up, not trying, see what I mean?” Try that (ha)on your friends. It’s a little didactic (pedantic?) but still fun.


  210. A very major OMY, please do get to feeling better prontotissimo..You are a true treasure and thensome and have shared your blog with many who become equally enchanted –you have a great way with words, fantastic perspectivity and are an absolute delight more so than ever in these trying times !!
    The spectacular surprise of Susan Byle alighting on the world stage is another true treasure …voice of an angel for sure and a marvelous , genuine personality , another true charmer !!!
    (Rude awakening for many who snark about their opinion of her appearance…perhaps they do honestly prefer plastic, where Susan is authentic and real and quite naturally adorable…too many fols presume THEY are THE arbiters of what beauty consist of and Susan was a shock to their plasticized sensibilties !!! She seems quite grounded, wish her the best and do hope we all have opportunity to hear more from her…have a feeling she has not just songs to sng superbly, but some great insights as well !!!


  211. YAY!!!!!!! The Alaskan Legislature has soundly rejected Wayne Anthony Ross as Attorney General of Alaska. Next on the agenda, IMPEACH PALIN!!


  212. The site must have forgotten my name. As you probably guessed I, James described the TEA party.


  213. My TEA Party experience was interesting. The people were certainly better behaved than at the few Vietnam era anti -war protests I saw. The police and television station where our son law works estimated over 1,500 people.

    My wife and I were late because we had an hour drive after her teaching day ended. One of the speakers was Shane Osborn the former pilot who’s plane was forced down into China about ten years ago. I don’t remember all of the details. He is now Nebraska’s state treasurer, and he spoke of the danger of proposed spending during the next few years. He was one of the few speakers who took questions.

    Another speaker discussed law enforcement officers like Ramos and Campone (sp) who were wrongfully (I think) by the Bush administration for wounding an illegal alien smuggling drugs.

    Bob the Landscaper as a spoof of Joe the Plumber spoke too. He was firey and elequent at times. The crowd hooted and hollered at the suggestion Fox News bought and paid for the parties. They were locally produced and still wondering about what to do next.

    The highlight was a Patrick Henry impersonator who said “I appologise for my unkempt hair. I have been rotating in my grave for the past fifty years. He gave basically Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death speech” with modifications for the modern day.

    Several hecklers made it funny. A man yelled “How can you speak without a teleprompter?” Patrick Henry quickly replied “Because nobody is telling me what to say.” Someone also yelled about the Homeland security statement targeting conservatives, veterans etc, and Patrick Henry said “not since the Revolution have I been surrounded by so many potential terrorists.”

    One speaker got cheers after she said we need to close our borders and let immigrants become legal citizens. No blacks, but a few Hispanics attended, and they cheered with the whites. The crowd hooted and hollered when a speaker mentioned press bias and misrepresentation of the TEA Parties. They also made light of an Omaha talk show host who holds a grudge because he was excoriated when he complained of Bush’s heavy spending. My wife and I heard a caller blow him away with his arguments before we turned off the yelling.

    While all of this was happening, multiple cars and trucks honked as they drove by. Even a city bus did once.

    The mood of the party was anger at both parties. They blamed Bush for his spending and Obama and the Democrats for taking it to a new level. The anger was not so much at present taxes but for future taxes and inflation. It was also directed at politicians who do not listen when people call or write them.

    No Democratic politicians that I know of appeared, and when a speaker thanked several Republicans who showed up, there were scattered boos in the crowd. I didn’t cheer or boo. I was too busy taking pictures and video as souvieneers.

    I overheard a man say to another “I didn’t expect to see you here.” He replied, “I’m here for my grand children.”

    The speakers discussed turning this into a movement like the civil rights anti- war and feminists had done in the past. They urged everyone to vote, contact their representatives, write letters to the editor, post in blogs and message boards, etc. There were muted hints of starting a third party. It was just a crowd of well behaved people looking a little self conscious because most had never done anything like this before.

    The show stopped from time to time for drawings. They gave away TEA Party tee shirts and books. The winners of books had to read an inspirational political statement from a list.

    My favorite part of the program was when I looked and discovered two cousins were standing beside me. What were the odds in such a big crowd? They and a friend held flags and “Next time read the bill!” they had painted on the backs of card board boxes.

    My wife and I were there for two hours. A woman sang to close the show, and the crowd picked all refuse and put it in trash cans. When we left, there was no sign such a large group of people had gathered. The experience reminded me of an old fashioned high school pep rally. The few instances of anger reminded me of students trashing the opposing high school team.

    The angriest person I saw was my wife. She sometimes rolls her eyes when I tell her an example of press bias. The television station where our son in law works had referred to the parties as a tax protest. I called and explained it is more complex than taxes.

    Yesterday, the Omaha World Herald printed a good description of issues surrounding the tea party movement, and my wife e mailed the stations. Our son in law’s television station sent back a belittling snippy e mail saying they better knew the facts than mere civilians. She fired back with two more e mails and noted that their falling ratings might be connected with their ineptitude.

    We visited our daughter and son in law after they got off work, and we didn’t get to sleep until after 1PM. I had to take our car 16 miles to get a spring fixed, and expected to be reading books in the waiting room for five hours. The wrong parts came, and it would take a couple of hours to get them from Sioux City, so the shop owner drove me home. I am waiting for my wife to get home so we can get the car. It is parked outside with the keys inside.

    And that is my impression of the TEA Party. Several others were held in other parts of Omaha, and I don’t know what they were like. I guess they were probably similar. It was an enjoyable diversion, and I got to see family members.


  214. Get well soon Helen. You are greatly missed!!


  215. We miss you Big Time and my morning coffee doesn’t taste the same without your post. I’d make you chicken soup if I lived within three states!
    What is my dream? On a family level, I hope we all are in good health and have excellent medical care and insurance to cover both preventative and chronic illness and insurance that will allow us to make medical choices of treatment strategies if necessary.
    On an international level, I want our inclusive country to be worthy of respect.


  216. I wonder if the mothers of the innocent babies that they left at daycare that morning would be offended that we are looking into POSSIBLE looney tune veterans ?


  217. Timothy James McVeigh (April 23, 1968 – June 11, 2001) was a United States Army veteran and security guard who was convicted of bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, the second anniversary of the Waco Siege, as revenge or to inspire revolt against what he considered a tyrannical federal government. The bombing killed 168 people, and was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was convicted of 11 federal offenses, sentenced to death, and executed on June 11, 2001.


  218. Helen, get well soon. We all miss our other grandmother.


  219. UAW, it’s almost comforting to know that some rocks remain impervious. Keeping you and your wife in our thoughts and prayers.


  220. Hurry and get well Helen… Sending yellow thoughts your way. namaste….


  221. tish…..
    apparently you don’t have a problem with more votes than voters…..I myself have a problem with “vote early and vote often”…..isn’t it one person-one vote?????


  222. Dear Helen,
    Feel better soon! We all miss your wit and charm.
    That video, which made me cry, made me go back to re-watch the Paul Potts video. He won the Britain’s Got Talent the year before (?) and also was truly wonderful to listen to.


  223. HI Graydog…
    My wife had a PICC line put in today for TPN…I been busy….
    from what I’ve heard reported(not that much)there were approx. 263,000 people at tea-parties and nothing was destroyed…..let me think….left-wing extremists overturn and burn cars, smash windows, harass people (flip off and/or attack)who they think are to the right a little……????????throw shoes over the White house fence and it’s funny….throw a box of Lipton green tea and they need to send the bomb robot…..WTF!!!!!!

    and now we need to watch out for our returning war veterans because they might actually think that they fought to protect the constitution and the Bill of Rights and are now suspected TERRORISTS……a double WTF….when is Janet Reno coming back…..remember the jack-booted storm troopers….how soon before the BATF is back in the paper for killing some more innocent people……I thought we wanted change!!!!!


  224. We miss you. Come back just as soon as you can. 🙂


  225. I hope you’re soon feeling better, Helen. I just recently discovered your blog and feel that I’ve found soulmates in you & your dear friend Margaret.
    I see that one of your online friends asked how you felt about Al Franken finally being named the winner of the Minnesota senate race ~ well it’s not over yet because Norm Coleman & the republicans haven’t run out of money yet. They’re vowing to take this issue all the way to the Federal Supreme Court to make sure all the absentee ballots are counted ~ that is political-speak for “the longer we delay this, the tougher it will be for President Obama to move forward with his agenda”. It’s time we sent Al to Washington to help Amy Klobuchar speak on behalf of us!
    Oh & I can’t forget to tell you how very much
    I love the clip of Susan Boyle ~ what a beauty! Really!!!


  226. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well. Get better soon, because the only blog I really enjoy reading is yours. Plus, it’s time to enjoy the nice weather! Feel better soon!


  227. Get well soon!
    Can’t wait to hear your take on the tea parties, lol.


  228. We miss you Helen and hope you get well soon!


  229. The conversation about try vs do reminds me of my grandfather. As kids we’d always say “we’ll try” until one day this very stoic often silent man barked out at us “never try, only do; it’s do or don’t do, never try”. I remember standing there slack jawed – first, he’d actually spoken more than one word to us, and then started laughing as my brother whipped around and said, “Grandpa, you’re Yoda!” That became a family nickname until the day my grandfather died – he always had these little succinct pearls of wisdom that came out sounding like Yoda. So now, we don’t “try” – we either do or we don’t. I think it taught us to do what we say we will do – and to be able to say no to those ideas and actions that go against what we believe. I’ve noticed that my brother’s kids now carry on that same mantra. . .you never have to remind them to do something they have committed to doing. . .


  230. Avoidingstasis: I figured that was you. Glad you’re hanging in there. 🙂

    Judith: That was fabulous!


  231. ATine,
    for some reason I must have forgotten to name this previous entry as mine — again thanks for asking!

    By: Anonymous on April 15, 2009
    at 10:26 AM
    Tine, thanks so much for asking! Am making my way trhough these strange new days step by step, with the help of really great friends.
    thanks again!
    PS if you (or anyone) feel like emailing:
    I look forward to messages, but no pressure.
    : )
    PPS hope Helen gets up and running again SOON!


  232. Get well soon, Helen–your commentary is so missed! Susan Boyle is wonderful–what a voice!


  233. Get well soon. I really enjoy your thoughts and wit.

    My dream is to be able to make a very nice living here in my new art studio. Nice enough I can travel to Italy and take my best friend along.

    Boyle is very inspiring. As are both of you.


  234. Easier

    NEVER try, AL:WAYS do!

    The worst that can happen is that you fail, but even from that you can learn.

    So anyway you look at it, it is always a win win situation!

    just my 5 cents


  235. Honolulu Sally
    …Hmmm. Maybe I should start practicing on those Fox News and Rush people. Except for those guys, I think I’d need a super large extra fat voodoo stick.

    I’d recommend a baseball bat, maybe with some added lead to the top!


  236. Greytdog
    Gov. Perry (TX) is talking about secession

    don’t worry, le Quebecois doing this since nearly 100 years now and nothing happened……….

    Q: Why would a Quebnec seperatist wear a tatoo of the map of Canada on his arse?

    A: Everytime he sits down, Le Quebec spearates…..



  237. Greytdog, thanks for sharing that amazing photo.


  238. Helen, I hope you are feeling better soon. It’s spring (finally) – time to enjoy the lovely flowers.

    I love that video. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to sing that well. And it’s such a good reminder that we shouldn’t judge someone on looks alone.

    What do I dream? The same thing I’ve been dreaming of since I heard Martin Luther King, Jr., in the 60s when I was a teenager – no, not just racial equality, but peace. Peace between the races, peace within our communities, peace with other countries. And I guess I’ll just have to keep on dreaming, but maybe someday . . .


  239. Helen, I hope you are feeling better. I miss reading your wonderful blog and great commentary. It’s a breath of fresh air that has been missing for so long in this country.
    The story and clip of Susan Boyle is an inspiration and reminds us that dreams can really come true. Sometimes we have to wait for them but they will come. Susan has already won no matter how the show goes – 11 million hits on the video already.
    Take care of yourself and get better. We miss the HELL out of you!!!!


  240. Easier – love the idea of removing the word can’t from your vocabulary. However, please don’t replace it with the word try.
    When I was in massage school we hasd a very graphic demonstration about the word try. WE actually sasw it work by demonstration.
    According to our instructor, try sets up defeat in our brain. I work on attempting to not use that word in conversation. Use any positive word you can in place of it.


  241. Helen– I hope you are feeling better soon! You are a wonderful talent, just like Ms. Boyle!



  242. My dream is also for world peace – to be achieved by the majority of the world population acting like grownups and demanding that their leaders and legislators do the same.

    We don’t have to be interested in the same things, we don’t have to believe in the same religions. But there are common grounds in religious and non-religious philosophies.

    Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. First, do no harm. Do good and avoid evil. Infinite diversity in infinite combination combining to form a harmonious whole. Respect. Tolerance. Compassion. We’re all in this together. Keep your stick on the ice. Balance.

    There is no room for ‘One True Way”ism in a world as large and diverse as this. Evil does exist, but it’s hallmark is the statement that “We have all the answers, and you don’t get to ask any questions”. Any time you hear any version of this, your hooey horn should sound loud and clear. Run away, don’t walk. Protest. Yell. Scream. Vote.

    If they won’t let you inspect what they’re doing, they’re doing something that won’t stand up to the light of day. A belief system that can’t be debated is not strong enough to be valid.

    Question. Think. Make a difference.

    And sing.


  243. Amazing photo. . . I personally call it The Hand of God. . .


  244. Get Well soon Helen,

    I want to hear your views on the Tax Day Tea Party!!! 🙂


  245. Okay – where’s UAW??


  246. I would like to add my voice to the chorus, and wish you a speedy recovery Helen! Last night I did not check here but I did wonder if you were doing ok, the time between posts was getting just too long for it to be normal, especially with all the things that have been happening on the word stage lately.

    What I wish is to remove the word can’t from my vocabulary and replace it with the words try. Always give it a try. Let us all always give it a try before giving up. I would also like to find patience enough within me to deal with people who have irrational fear of other human beings and be more forgiving of them. I have such short patience with them. There is a lesson in Susan’s video for us all. Pre-judging and making up our mind before giving people a chance is really not appropriate. Lastly, yes, and often repeated on this site, decent healthcare for all.


  247. Get well soon Helen. We love you here.

    I’m with Whirled Peas and all the Miss Americas and Miss Universes with their dream for WORLD PEACE. Along with that comes respect, honesty and a willingness to forgive.

    My wish is to be able to heal (a magic wand would help). Not just those with disease, ailments, injuries, but also those with diseased spirits, unhappiness, and pessimism.

    Hmmm. Maybe I should start practicing on those Fox News and Rush people. Except for those guys, I think I’d need a super large extra fat voodoo stick.


  248. Helen, please hurry and get well. We miss you and Margaret’s pearls of wisdom and wit. Your parlor is full of friends and family and are really well behaved, don’t you think? Thanks Matthew for being so good to your grandmother and so kind to all of us.


  249. Get well soon. You are greatly missed. I’ve just had a piece of lemon meringue pie. Would you like to share with me?

    My dream is to get past this “bump in my road of life” and see some sunshine.


  250. Well isn’t this just special? Gov. Perry (TX) is talking about secession. . . maybe he wants to return the Alamo to Mexico?


  251. Yes James, do tell us about your teabagging experience. . . 🙂


  252. James, do come back and fill us in on the TEA party you attend. You may be the only one on this blog attending.

    Tine, I posted the lyrics to the song in an early post if you can’t get the song out of your head, at least you can sing all the words 🙂


  253. Dear Helen,

    I have enjoyed your blog. Praying that you will be up and about soon.


  254. Please get well quickly. Miss you lots!


  255. Juls

    How you manage to keep the Blues in the caribean?

    I love the Blues, but every time there the scenario just forces a smile on my face and my Blues fades away, never could
    write a good Blues there….. LOL



  256. Helen, you weren’t buy chance riding the bike that ran into Elisabeth Hasselbeck in New York, were you??? She is fine….maybe you should give it another go! 🙂


  257. Helen, my dream is for you to come back soon and KICK SOME ASS. God knows, there’s plenty more ass that needs kicking, and you manage to do it in such an entertaining way. We miss you, Helen. Really. I mean it.


  258. Love that video! I sure hope you get better soon. I miss all of your wisdom, humor and common sense!


  259. Sign me up for the earworm epidemic. It’s even worse when you don’t know the song very well….arghhh….


  260. Helen – while you are resting,Absolutely DO NOT read Big Foot Coulter. That is probably wh at wore you out , all that venom. Again thanks for reading it so we didn’t have to read it!!!


  261. Helen,
    Be well & come back to us soon. The Susan Boyle video should give us all pause. What an amazing voice & an amazing spirit.

    I dream of Carribean blues, sea breezes, white sands. A life of less thinking and more being.


  262. Feel better soon! Your writing is one of the highlights of my reading world!


  263. I know what you mean, Judith!!!!
    I heard it in my head ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!
    Even with taking a sleeping aide!!!!


  264. Get well soon! I miss your humor and wit!


  265. (Whimper)…..


  266. Susan Boyle is a treasure.

    However, I don’t actually think she can imagine what an ear worm she started. Seriously – my co-workers are threatening to kill me. Soon.

    I need another song, quick. Oh, no! Aaaaggh……


  267. There is no purple party, but maybe we will get one. As soon as my wife gets out of school, we are attending a T. E. A. party. From what I hear, this potential uprising is hostile to how both political parties and the men and women who are running our country are damaging it. My wife and I will soon learn for ourselves.

    Another wonder about Ms. Boyle’s video is Simon’s expression when she first started to sing. Priceless.


  268. I hope you feel better soon Helen and are back to your hilarious self.

    I posted that video on my facebook page. That Ms. Boyle is just a joy to watch. A bright spot in these trying times.


  269. We are thinking of you.

    Demand things! Be imperious! Like, “I thought I said Orange Blossom Honey with my hot tea and lemon!”

    Or just feel better soon.

    Oh, and Ms. Boyle’s voice is a wonder.


  270. Helen, I am praying that you feel better soon. You have incredible writing talent and I’m waiting for you to oversee the establishment of the Purple Party.

    I was telling my brother about that on a hike a week ago and he totally agreed that’s what the country was missing….

    And thanks for sharing Susan Boyle. I quit having dreams a while back and I think I’ve suffered for it. Time to get with it. Thanks for the inspiration.


  271. I think that if there is conclusive evidence Demjanjuk is who he appears to be an not a case of mistaken identity, special forces should take him out with prejudice. The lawyers will hold the case until he dies at home in bed.

    The Israelis are not perfect, but their methods work.


  272. Hi Gang
    since we don’t have a post from Helen,
    I’d like your opinion on the whol;e

    I am really disgusted that this pig can hide since 9 years (that’s when they started the extradiction process) in his home. (2002 he lost his US citizenship and still no way he gets to Germany).

    And before someone starts and the “poor old geezers” health, I found it rather revealing that he cries for an ambulance to the airport and needs a weehlchair and all, but once he is released, he can WALK to the Pickup of his son and CLIMB into back no problemo.

    Me personally, as much as I dislike what the Israelis do in the Middle East, I sometimes miss the fast and clean solutions of the Mossad, when it comes to pigs like this.

    I mean, to get a nickname of “Ivan the terrible” in a German Concentration camp it does take some real atrocities…. this is no summer camp to begin with…..

    So, blast me, comment, or do whatever you think is right here…..


  273. Hope you’re up and posting soon, Helen! thanks for posting a link to that amazing video.


  274. Get well soon, Helen!


  275. Yes, a fractured hip can be difficult to overcome. Do get rest.


  276. DEasr helen do hope you are well on the road to feeling better. WE do miss your words of commentary on the idiots of the day!! There seems to be an un ending suppply of them!!

    And the newest troll – weare ignoring you so go away!

    Greytdog, Jean and Avotresante and anyone else who has listened to Paul Potts. That show really gets some excellent. talent.
    Those who have not heard him yet, you will be j ust as thrilled as with Susan Boyle!


  277. ^Tine, thanks so much for asking! Am making my way trhough these strange new days step by step, with the help of really great friends.
    thanks again!
    PS if you (or anyone) feel like emailing:
    I look forward to messages, but no pressure.
    : )
    PPS hope Helen gets up and running again SOON!


  278. Let me add a strong “seconded” to Maven’s recommendation of this video:

    Music truly brings the world together!!!


  279. Hugs and a Get Well Soon to you, Dear Helen.

    Here’s a great article/editorial on Susan Boyle:

    Check it out!


  280. Helen, I’m sending a very gentle hug. Rest and recover, and we’ll all just mingle until you get back.
    My dreams came true when I began living a conscious life. Everything we’ll ever need is right here. The package sometimes isn’t pretty but there are miracles inside.
    I read yesterday that Simon is signing Susan to a record deal, like he did with Paul Potts. I hope so. I listen to my Paul Potts CD often, and can already imagine Susan’s voice floating through my working hours.


  281. Response to Steph Hochuli

    Yet why shouldn’t she sound wonderful? Not every great singer looks like Katherine Jenkins. Edith Piaf would never have been chosen to strut a catwalk. Nor would Nina Simone, nor Ella Fitzgerald. As for Pavarotti


  282. We here in Mexico City love this Helen Philpot. We send to you on the wings of a dove best wishes for the best of health.


  283. Hope you’re on the mend and will soon be bringing your own brand of sunshine to your grateful folllowers–Not unlike Susan Boyle!


  284. Matthew, don’t let your grandmother worry about not posting. I think we all agree her health is more important.

    Take care of yourself Helen, don’t worry about us.


  285. That glorious voice, but the looks hold her back. Sad, but there it is.
    Get well. I miss your posts. Now that Levi has left, the stories about Sarah get more interesting indeed


  286. I finally watched the video this morning, kind of not wanting to buy into the “hype” I guess. Susan is amazing, and I would love to know her and be her friend…but I have to wonder, now that the spotlight is pointed on her, if it will really be the “dream” she has wanted since she was 12 years old or if she will find that she was happier living with her cat Pebbles and never being kissed?

    The video made me happy and hopeful but on the same hand sad…does that make sense?


  287. Dear Helen and Gang

    don’t forget the film too, my favavorite version is “Les misérables (1982)” with Lino Ventura as Jean Valjean.
    I found this version the best but also the 1998 and 1952 film versions are rather good.


  288. Heal, Helen, Heal! I miss your wit and wisdom and just plain honesty!


  289. Do get some rest, dear…and read a bit.


  290. Hello. This is Madelin from Romania.

    I have discovered this blog a while ago and I was thrilled. Still am.

    Now I have a kind request for you. It is a meme.
    All you need to do is to post a comment about a book you love (from childhood up to now).

    This meme is intended to be a support action for a lady who closed her ‘book review blog’ because she was harassed on the internet by some nerds.

    Thank you very much.

    And I wish you all the best! Take care!


  291. Helen: Here are a couple of videos to perk you up, at least make you smile: the first is Dweezil DemoCat for President–his 2008 campaign video.

    The second just a little video of my doggie in his rain slicker and deciding enough is enough…LOL Grand Theft Auto!!

    No matter how awful you feel, DON’T drink any tea today!!! Heavens! Don’t give in to these kooks!

    And to Hekate (above), wow, Molly Ivins…sorely missed, along with Ann Richards!


  292. I heard Susan Boyle’s song earlier today at DU and was knocked off my seat. Thanks for posting it here so she gets an even wider audience.

    How about them Texans? How I long for Molly Ivins at times like these.

    Get well soon! I mean that.


  293. Please get well soon, Helen. We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts about Texas seceding!


  294. Helen (and Margaret),

    You gave us hope through your humor during the election and since. THis video of Susan Boyles is very fitting to be on your website becuase like Ms. Boyles no one sawyou coming. You were just an old lady who decided to write a blog. And wow – were we surprised and privleged to find you. I know Susan’s dreams are now coming true. I hope your grandson is right when he says that yours have come true too. Get well soon. We await your every word…. your laughter and genius is every bit as needed in this world as Susan’s angelic voice. God bless…


  295. Feel better, Helen. You are greatly loved.


  296. I guess when you spew all this hate, it takes a lot out of you. Maybe while you rest you will watch FOX or listen to Rush and realize that our world is being destroyed by Obama. If you want to continue to write your garbage then I hope you don’t recover from whatever has you down.


  297. Helen dear,
    I will add my get well wishes to the many that have already been sent to you. I was getting worried about you, don’t scare me like that! I look forward to reading your next blog when you are up to it.
    Peace be with you!


  298. As far as my dreams…

    …this says it all:

    YES ~ ‘Time and a Word’

    In the morning when you rise,
    Do you open up your eyes, see what I see?
    Do you see the same things ev’ry day?
    Do you think of a way to start the day
    Getting things in proportion?
    Spread the news and help the world go ’round.
    Have you heard of a time that will help us get it together again?
    Have you heard of the word that will stop us going wrong?
    Well, the time is near and the word you’ll hear
    When you get things in perspective.
    Spread the news and help the word go round.

    There’s a time and the time is now and it’s right for me,
    It’s right for me, and the time is now.
    There’s a word and the word is love and it’s right for me,
    It’s right for me, and the word is love.

    Have you heard of a time that will help get it together again?
    Have you heard of the word that will stop us going wrong?
    Well, the time is near and the word you’ll hear
    When you get things in perspective.
    Spread the news and help the word go round.



  299. Hey Helen,

    Maybe this will make you feel better. Couldn’t hurt.

    Christina Aguilera: “At Last”



  300. It occurs to us that Susan Boyle is the Anti-Sarah Palin.

    Someone who isn’t what society considers attractive, but who has tremendous talent nevertheless.

    As opposed to that other person, who is good-looking on the surface but totally empty inside.

    And the fact that Susan is Scottish is just icing on the cake.

    Screw you, Sarah!!!!! Go, Susan!!!!


  301. Helen,
    If this weren’t so painful
    to watch, it would be funny.

    ‘They’ say laughter is the best medicine… Letterman

    😉 ~ Δ


  302. Dear Helen, gang, Whirled Peas and Sherri,

    Helen, if you don’t already have it, I hope someone will get you a CD or DVD of “Les Miserables” and you can listen to it over and over again as you convalesce. I also very much enjoyed Paul Potts’ rendition of “Nessun Dorma”.
    As many of you know, that was Pavarotti’s signature aria from Puccini’s opera “Turandot”.

    Sherri, I too believe that every person deserves the dignity of respect, full citizenship, and rights promised to us by our forefathers. We are getting there! Slowly but surely. It is not hard for me to remember that women legally gained the right to vote only nine years before I was born! It was a hard upward struggle then too.

    When it comes to dreams, most of mine are and have been sweet dreams with an occasional nightmare. My most recent dream came true in November when our long POLITICAL nightmare was finally over.

    Throughout my life, I have continued to paddle my own little canoe to the best of my ability, personal dreams, nightmares and all. Isn’t it wonderful that in our youth, we are so confident that we know all there is to know about everything! The older I get, the more I realize how little I know about less and less. One lifetime is not long enough to even scratch the surface!

    I think it was the English who came up with the idea of ‘Common Law’ where justice was considered on a case by case basis rather than sweeping pronouncements for society at large. Sure we need general laws for some semblance of order since we haven’t even come close to Utopia – yet. But still, in a not-so-perfect world we need to have goals to shoot for.

    When I was in my forties, a little more mature than in my earlier college years, I took a graduate philosophy course in Existential Psychology and Philosophy. One of the most important ideas I took away from that course was ‘acceptance of all and rejection of none.’

    The textbook was a ‘tome’ of over 600 fine-print pages. I still have that book and refer to it from time to time as a reference. The title of the book was “The Vitality of Death”. Huh! A rather provocative title don’t you think?

    The whole idea is that if we knew we would live forever, we would have no incentive to accomplish anything. Since we all know we are mortal, we can work to make this a little bit better world when we leave it than when we came into it. That doesn’t leave much room for passivity, does it?




  303. Helen, I hope you feel better soon.

    I haven’t read any of the above comments, no time and have been feeling lousy all day myself.

    You all asked what our dreams are. Well, mine was pretty simple but deceptively hard to achieve. All I ever wanted was to be married to a wonderful man and start a family. It took me 39 years and lots of mistakes, but I finally got my dream. I married the best guy in the world last August, and this fall, I’ll become a mother for the first time!

    Life is good.

    Keep it up Helen. We love you!


  304. Hey, congrats on the success of your blog. I just started mine recently so hopefully you’ll take a look when you have the chance.


  305. Helen: Hope you feel better soon. Sure miss your posts.

    Another wonderful YouTube link (my son gave me):

    Brings new meaning to the concept of “global village”. Hope you enjoy it!



  306. Okay folks. Here’s a wondrous article on Susan Boyle written by Colette Douglas Home:

    easier URL:

    A snippet from the article:
    “Susan is a reminder that it’s time we all looked a little deeper. She has lived an obscure but important life. She has been a companionable and caring daughter. It’s people like her who are the unseen glue in society; the ones who day in and day out put themselves last. They make this country civilised and they deserve acknowledgement and respect.

    Susan has been forgiven her looks and been given respect because of her talent. She should always have received it because of the calibre of her character.”


  307. […] Until the next post… A Note From Matthew: My grandmother feels bad that she has not been able to post recently.  She has been a bit under […] […]


  308. Hope you’re feeling better soon, Helen!

    Meanwhile, my dream is that the heroes of the Alamo will rise up tomorrow and wipe out the tea party being held there. Beck will be broadcasting from there to all the Fox faithful, and I have the feeling that this act will foul the normally clear and healthful air in this fair town. Sigh. I may need to watch Susan Boyle sing about 100 times tomorrow to balance it all out.


  309. Michael & James, thank you for your support and your vote to end discrimination. James, you’re right – intersexed and transgendered people are among the most misunderstood and discriminated against groups of people today. Why can’t we just accept the worth and beauty of humanity in all it’s facets and treat one another with kindness and compassion? Why must we fear those who are not “just like us?” No one deserves to be dehumanized for any reason.


  310. FYI – ABC News featured the Susan Boyle video at their last story tonight. Charlie Gibson reported that the video has received over 3mil hits, with 1mil just today. And he reported that it does look as if she will most likely win the competition finale. I think she’s already won. I know that I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to hear this remarkable, unassuming woman sing with grace and majesty.
    And Grandma Katie thanks for sharing the tidbit about Paul Potts. Went to youtube and watched his video appearance – wow. Simply wow.


  311. Hope she feels better soon. We miss her.


  312. We all hope you’re better soon. You are the best and brightest political commentator ever and missed more than you can imagine!

    The video was so amazing and made me cry. I shared it with so many people and their day was brightened also. Thanks so much for sharing!!


  313. Helen, I’m sorry that you’re not feeling well, and I hope you are back with us very soon.

    As for my dream, it’s to finish the novel I’m working on – and have it published.

    I watched the Susan Boyle video, and now I’m blotting tears from my eyes. I’m going to consider the video a meme and spread it via my own blog – everybody should get to hear Susan Boyle.

    Again – get well soon, Helen.


  314. Susan Boyles, brought tears to my eyes. I then left the screen and just listened.

    I dreamed a dream in time gone by
    When hope was high
    And life woth living
    I dreamed that love would never die
    I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

    Then I was young and unafraid
    And dreams were made and used
    And wasted
    There was no ransom to be paid
    No song unsung
    No wine untasted.

    But the tigers come at night
    With their voices soft as thunder
    As they tear your hope apart
    As they turn your dream to shame.

    And still
    I dream he’ll come to me
    That we will live the years together
    But there are dreams that cannot be
    And there are storms
    We cannot weather…

    I had a dream my life would be
    So different form this hell I’m living
    so different now from what it seemed
    Now life has killed
    The dream I dreamed.


  315. My dream, like yours, Helen, is to have people read my writing and enjoy it. And you’ve given me faith that it can still happen.

    Thanks for having Matthew post the video — it was truly uplifting.

    Hope you’re better soon!


  316. With all these people sending good vibes your way, you’ll be better in no time at all, Helen. We’re not going anywhere, we’ll still be here when you feel well enough to kick butts and take names with your pithy prose again.

    And Susan Boyle? Yeah, I cried. It was the first youtube imbed I’ve ever placed on my facebook page.


  317. Helen,

    Wishing you a very speedy recovery. We all miss your wit and wisdom. Feel better soon. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    And thanks for the YouTube link of Susan Boyle.
    Just amazing. It was Kleenex time for sure.

    Take care and our best to Margaret as well.


  318. Helen,
    Get better soon. We need you & Margaret.
    My dream… well, watching President Obama shift the priorities and direction of this country is like a dream come true, to be honest.
    Feel better. We’ll all be praying for you.


  319. WhirledPeas – wassn’t the looks on all the faces at Paul Potts performance priceless? and then Simon’s face was fun to watch the change in expression. and your coment “Don””t judge a book by it’s cover” was so great. No matter h ow many times I wat ch the videooooo I get goosebumps.


  320. Helen, I am so sorry that you are not up to your witty and insightful blogging. I want you to know that your blog is my favorite and I never miss it, although I quit posting because you have so many followers I just didn’t want to tire your eyes.

    I told my daughter to be sure to read your blogs and sent her the link. She doesn’t even read mine, but I know she would make time to read yours. I think yours and Margaret’s is the best blog on the web hands down.

    Get well soon. You are sorely missed.


  321. Dear Helen,

    I hope you’re feeling better, you can’t keep a good woman down for long!

    Best wishes,


  322. Hope you feel better soon, we’ve missed you and your words of wisdom and hilarity. Thanks Matthew for the update on Helen and the link to Susan…she is wonderful and I got a kick out of watching not only her but the reaction of the audience and the judges as they quickly realized how they had misjudged her and how spectacular she is.


  323. Let me add my voice to the chorus of Get Well Soons you’ve already got.


  324. Werner, I like your attitude toward music. Songs can take you to new places and lift you out of the blues.

    Sherri, would you believe that we have two good friends in your position who live in a western Iowa border town with fewer than 300 people? We visit each other frequently. I don’t know if they intend to marry if our new law stands.

    An addendum to my dream because of Sheri’s post is that transgender and intersex people have the respect they deserve too. I also hope our two friends stop smoking.


  325. Sherri…I’m with you!!!!
    The time for change is NOW!!!!


  326. Thanks for reposting the link to the Susan Boyle video – amazing!

    My dream is to legally marry my partner of 17 years. We have built a beautiful life together, we own a home together, we volunteer inour commmunity together, we share a family together
    …..however, we are denied the legal protections, benefits, responsibilities, and civil rights that privileged heterosexual couples enjoy.

    We are second-class citizens. My dream is to no longer be a second-class citizen, to no longer be excluded, to no longer feel the painful effects of discrimination and bigotry, and to enjoy equality and full civil rights.

    Hard to believe discrimination and exclusion still runs this deep in 21st century America.


  327. Susan Boyle and Paul Potts LIVE IN CONCERT!!!

    They rock as much as you do, Helen!!!! 🙂
    Get well soon!!!


  328. Please get better soon! Your razor sharp mind and wit are awe inspiring. Fabulous fabulous blog. Love Ya!


  329. Hoping you feel better soon.


  330. Hope you feel better soon, I’ve missed your posts but that’s not the only reason!



  331. Please feel better soon. We miss you Helen!


  332. Sorry to hear that you are feeling under the weather,… Get well soon,… Do you think it may have been a delayed reaction to read that Ann Coulter book? Let’s play it safe Margaret, you are too important to many of use as we need to saintly common sense,… lay off the toxic material from the rightwingers,… it can’t be good for you


  333. Dear Helen.
    I do hope you feel better soon. Your posts are wonderful and I have looked forward to every one since I was lucky enough to find you.

    The video of Susan Boyle was inspiring. Thank you for reminding us to watch.

    Feel better. You are truly missed. Really.


  334. Was just now able to listen to Susan! She should have an album out by tomorrow!

    Genuine! Genius!


  335. Have….to…..keep….my mouth……shut!

    Tacker, tacker, tack! (Tacking shut mouth)

    F***ing trolls!


  336. Helen, I do hope you are up and feeling better real soon. You are so very missed and always make me laugh. And that video!! (Are you sure it wasn’t you? lol) It made me angry at first with the way people were prejudging her and making fun of her and I was almost afraid to keep watching but, then she started to sing! The faces on those people were priceless and it was so beautiful I had to cry. Thank you so much for that video. What a beautiful way to teach others a lesson.


  337. Hope you feel better very soon, Helen. Remember that you have many folks on the Internet who adore you and wish only good things.


  338. Helen, please know that we are all praying for your recovery and want you well and strong…YESTERDAY! Hugs and good wishes


  339. Helen & Margaret,
    That vidoe of Susan Boyle was absolutely incredible!
    I’m a fairly loudmouth liberal in Alaska, and when I discovered your blog I felt I’d come home! You two remind me of my Mum, who’s now 80 and another outspoken voice for the future.
    Thank you both for this blog…and to your grandson who set it up! 🙂
    Every time you’ve said George W Bush is an idiot, and Sarah Palin is a bitch, I’ve laughed until I cried! And “Big foot” Coulter….omg, too funny!
    Thank you for reminding me to be more involved with our country, our politics, and our future!!!


  340. Dear Helen,

    I knew there must be something wrong when you hadn’t posted in a while. I hope your illness is nothing serious and that you’ll be up and around in no time. We all miss your words of wisdom and your humor.

    The Susan Boyle video was something I needed to see right now as I am about to attempt a new career at the age of 51. Expect the unexpected and the dream will come true.

    All the best and sending all the good kharma I can muster!


  341. Hope you are feeling like your ownself soon. Take good care of yourself. The video is wonderful. I have not had the courage yet to follow my dream but Susan Boyle gives me hope.


  342. Well, I’m not surprised your sick…you’ve been acting strange recently….


  343. ‘Sending’ pots of chicken soup to help you feel better. Love what you’ve done so far and looking forward to more. Hope you’re back on your feet soon.


  344. Take all the time you need to get well, we can wait. We’re pretty good at amusing ourselves, obviously.

    And, in the ‘do no harm’ category, I recommend: rest, chicken soup, chocolate, and lots and lots of pie. Laugh as much as you can. Don’t put up with any nonsense from doctors, relatives or us.

    We’re thinking good thoughts about you.


  345. Just think: THOUSANDS of people are missing your wit and wisdom! For your sake, I’m sorry you’re under the weather; for our sake, I’m sorry you’re under the weather!


  346. Feel Better Soon Darlin’, we miss you!


  347. Get well soon Helen!

    And here’s another from the ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ file:

    Paul Potts

    The regulars here already
    knows my dream is……..

    PEACE ~ Δ


  348. IF you got satelite-dish TV, try if you can’t get I-net through the dish too? Ask your provider

    Werner, don’t have that either.

    Thank you James for your poem. What an amazing group of people that have gathered here together all because of Helen (thanks of course to Matthew)


  349. Helen, you are awesome!

    For every person that comments here and says how much they love your writing, there are about 100 people who have read your blog and love your writing but haven’t bothered to comment.

    I’ve shown your blog to tons of friends and family and everyone loves it!

    Matthew, you’re a lucky grandson.


  350. OMG! Did Helen die??


  351. Please exc use the typos. They have been bad the pastp couple of days.


  352. Helen – so that is where you have been!! WE missed you very much. Your words brighten our days. Get well soon. Thanks to Matthew for the heads up.

    My wish is also for some health care that doesn’t take all our m oney. If it wasn’t for my sons (mostly youngest) I would be living in a box under a bridge!!

    Thank you fo;r the the link about Susan. She was marvelous. Now for another one from that same program.
    Go to Paul Potts you Tube and click on the item about his performance. The exppressions on Simons face are priceless. Paul Potts won on this proooogram a couple of years ago. Simon signed him to a record deal and he has made his first album. I just watched the video and still get goosebumps.


  353. Greytdog: can’t thank you enough for that video you linked here; it spoke my heart. Bless you.

    Am praying for Helen to have a speedy recovery. And, re: Susan Boyle; what a wonderful slap in the face for all the people who usually think like Simon: first judge a book by it’s cover! HAH!!


  354. Rest in peace, Helen.


  355. Paulawog, you rock!!!


  356. Thanks, Matthew!

    Helen, take care and get well soon .. we need your voice!


  357. HUGS to you helen ~ get better soon … we miss and adore you! HUGS to you as well, margaret. 🙂 HUGS to susan boyle for not letting anything get in the way of her dream. she’s awesome!

    one of my dreams is that we, as americans, keep an open mind. try new foods – talk to people who don’t ‘look’ like you – listen to some music that’s not what you usually listen to – plant something & watch it grow – turn off the tv and actually have a conversation with your spouse or children – try to learn another language, or at least learn how to say ‘cheers’ in several! 🙂 – marvel at nature, even the dandelions and the moths – love children, all children … they are all precious, unique little gifts – listen to an elderly person’s story, even if you’ve heard it 200 times – be kind to others.

    my other dream involves brad pitt … but that’s for another post! 😉


  358. I wrote about this last night.
    You know what’s sad? This woman has the voice of an angel. She’s every bit as good as Elaine Paige, Betty Buckley or Patti Lupone, but no one bothered to get past her looks. Look at the faces in the audience before she started singing. They were getting ready to laugh at her.

    I wonder were she would be right now if she actually looked like Elaine Paige? Probably staring in Les Miserables.
    I can relate Susan. Really, I can.

    Isn’t is a shame people are so judged by their looks.

    Feel better Helen.


  359. I just watched that video via Sullivan’s blog this morning and it gave me chill bumps too, Helen.

    I’m so glad that you had the opportunity to see it, and that you loved it as much as we did.

    Feel better soon, dear. The blog world needs you, and appreciates you more than you know.

    I found you via Bill in Portland Maine who posts a daily Cheers and Jeers over at the great orange satan aka daily kos and I have been a regular reader since then. I simply adore you and your opinions. 🙂

    Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery.


  360. Hey James

    The beginning (and ONLY that) of your poem reminds me of Yesterday morning:

    …..Monday morning, quarter past seven and the week just doesn’t want to end…….

    But that’s only my every week monday blues, and as we all know:

    Blues is just a bad man feeling good……

    or was that: a good man feeling bad……
    can’t remember….. getting old too……

    but doesn’t really matter, as long as the music’s alright!

    So, take you favorite piece of music (if you ain’t got one in the moment, the link to “Playing for change” above should do the job) and let it blow your head clear and your blues away!

    Put a smile on your faces, send a smile to Helen so she get’s well, it’s SPRINGTIME again!


  361. I LOVE your letters. You two are magnificent!!! You make me proud of my generation (I am 76), in using the internet and using it well to communicate good old common sense.


  362. I hope you’re feeling better, Helen.

    I like your poem Werner Oderwer. Its what I did. And never take yourself seriously.

    Yes, Susan is inspiring.

    My life has been an exciting adventure complete with unexpected twists and turns from the pits to the mountain top. .

    My dreams now include my wife and my surviving healthy together until the end.

    I dream of our children’s success, and for grand children.

    We want some day to start a scholarship fund for young people who have a hard time paying for college.

    I want to visit Alaska some day.

    I want to be interviewed tomorrow, when we attend a tea party.

    To Helen and the rest:
    “I wonder why I got out of bed at all
    The morning rain drops block my window,
    and I can’t see at all.
    Even if I could,
    it would all be gray.
    And then I read you
    and its not so bad.
    And I want to thank you
    for giving me a good moment of the day.”


  363. Raji

    IF you got satelite-dish TV, try if you can’t get I-net through the dish too? Ask your provider.

    just a thought


  364. secret talker:
    ..…hey-there’s a folk festival in juneau this week-let’s all hang out!…..

    please post video on anonymous bloggers, we will all enjoy and it will genereate some more traffic to that site too…..


  365. Get well soon!


  366. Thank you, Matthew, for letting us know – I was beginning to worry. Helen, Dearest – I hope you will be up and about soon. Hello to you also, Margaret – I hope Spring has found it’s way to Maine.

    I love the Susan Boyle video – I haven’t cried that much in ages! I’ve also seen the video of the dancing in the train station someone posted above – The coolest part is the real bystanders who join in on the edges. They are easy to spot as they are a 1/2 beat behind the practiced dancers.

    Helen – I would just love to hear your opinion of Glenn Beck.


  367. Sorry to hear that your little scooter has lost some of it’s get up and go….recharge soon and head’em out!!!!! 🙂


  368. Helen, hope you are out from under the weather soon! Just give whatever’s troubling you a dose of what you usually give Limbaugh and Palin, and you’ll be fine in a jiffy! Take care!


  369. Hey grandma, you have to get better, we miss u big time!!


  370. Now I’m feeling a little nauseous myself….


  371. Avoidingstasis, how are you holding up?


  372. Oh yeah, and not to forget:
    never, ever take yourself seriously, it’ll kill all the fun!


  373. Pamela and others

    take a lesson from Susans video:

    Learn and accept that YOU ARE the center of YOUR universe, and scr** what others may say and think about you.

    Don’t be selfish, but make sure that you matter to yourself first!

    A friend told me a poem once (don’t know who wrote it) when I was a confused 16, and it stayed with me all my life, let me share it with you:

    You needn’t run, if you want to stay,
    you needn’t do what other people say,
    just find your place at the sun
    and do what you like,
    and you will like what you have done!

    Or to say it in my arrogant German way:

    I am the nicest, most beautifull person on this earth and everybody loves me…..
    ….and who doesn’t, well, that’s his own fault!




  374. I add my wishes for your good health to all the others, and my thanks to your grandson for keeping us posted. The Video clip was powerful indeed — many thanks for that too
    : )


  375. Helen, get better soon, and if you’re afraid of my Rhum remedy (messing up any meds you’d take), try Chicken soup, works wonders!!!

    The Video is great, reminds me of the Montreal Jazz Fest, 4 years ago, when my big daughteer from Germany was here.

    We saw an act by a lady from smalltown Mass. forgot her name (And REALLY regret that!) she was a bit like Susan in the vid, type of late 40s early 50s work at home Mom of 2 or 3, hairdo like Susan in the vid, dressed in an electric blue pants suit (about the only thing remarkable about her looks).

    Like in the Metro or in your neighbours kitchen you’d say hello and don’t think twice about her, but then, she started playing her guitar, WOW, WOW and double WOW, she blew both our hats off without even breaking a sweat, what an act.

    Jazzy, bluesy, slightly rocking guitar work, didn’t bother to sing, just let her guitar do it’s job and I guess (secretly) laughing her head off about all those people (several hundred , maybe a small thousand) standing there gaping with open mouth at her.

    That video was an instant recall of that first experience, AMAZING!


  376. Oh Helen, please feel better soon. I wish I could send you some chicken soup and pie. Thank you so much for all you do for the ‘purple party’.

    My dream was always to go to Austrailia. It took my mother to pass away at 43 to realize that I couldn’t wait for the “right time” to go. At her funeral I told my father that I was going to Austrailia and within two years I was there for a month long adventure.

    Thank you Matthew for keeping us posted.

    Take care of yourself, Helen, you will be in my prayers.


  377. Helen, I’m sending you some fresh spring air from Minnesota to help you feel better….

    Thanks for drawing our attention to Susan Boyle. I missed that link yesterday, and if you hadn’t mentioned it, I would’ve missed out completely.

    Jean said yesterday that only someone made of stone could watch that without tears. I *am* made of stone….I rarely cry at movies, etc. But I wept like a baby watching Susan sing. Wonderful!


  378. Helen,

    I hope you get well soon. Your ideas are a springboard for thought and imagination.

    Having just married off my last daughter, I wish my kids, grandkids, nephews and nieces have health care and opportunities equal to what I have had.
    (The Vegas wedding was amazing!)

    I will be at the Juneau Folk Festival this week.


  379. Beautiful video, I’m choking back tears!

    Feel better soon, Helen! You are missed!


  380. Helen, Please accept my warm thoughts and prayers for your quick recovery. I don’t post comments often but I do check in here very frequently. I love your tart and refreshing views of this crazy world we live in.

    Speaking of the crazy, isn’t amazing to see that wonderful link to the Susan Boyle video. Her wonderful voice and personality moved me to tears. Also moving is the response it is getting. It is somehow reassuring that in the food fight of the political blogosphere, we can all see a moment of true and pure beauty. What a wonderful dream Susan and Helen, thank you so much for sharing.


  381. Helen please get better soon, we miss you!! Take care and remember you are loved by all of us.


  382. Feeling bad is the pits, no? Boring and blah. Well, you’ll be feeling better soon, and spring is springing and soon (I hope) you’ll feel like writing again.

    I appreciate so much your posts. The humor and the observations–always make me laugh and think at the same time. I have always felt that you took time with your posts, and had meaningful things to say, along with laugh out loud humor.

    So, as with Susan, good things often come in suprising packages, and from unexpected places, and are the sweeter for it.

    Be well my friend. Write when you feel like it. Your public awaits.


  383. Hurry up and get well, Helen.

    The video was just great. I’ve seen the link all over the place, but never clicked on it before since I don’t watch those kinds of shows EVER. But I’m glad I kit this one.

    Reminds me of the first time Gomer (Jim Neighbors) Pyle opened HIS mouth to sing on camera.


  384. Get well soon Helen!

    Quite literally, I dreamed of corn cakes last night and made them for breakfast this morning, but this happens more often than not when I have a fresh bottle of buttermilk in the house. 😉

    But in all seriousness, that video was very touching and teared me up as well. As wonderful as her voice is, I imagine how much courage one must muster to put oneself out there, which is the antithesis of cynacism in and of itself. It’s funny how the old adages hold up: do underto others what you would have them do unto you and don’t judge a book by its cover.


  385. Helen:

    You are missed! Your fans are waiting! We are hoping and praying for a speedy recovery so that you can do what you enjoy once again, and we hope that includes writing more blogs!

    What is my dream? My dream is that we Americans wake up and realize that if we live in an us/them world, we will always have enemies. If we live in an all-of-us-are-in-it-together world, we will have friends. Last night I finished reading an incredible book by Mary Pipher called “The Middle of Everywhere”, which described the modern immigrant experience in America. She described leaving a potluck with tables overflowing with food, to go visit a new friend recently immigrated from Africa. The friend was sad, having just learned that two of her friends had starved to death while in a refugee camp, trying to live on 4 cups of rice a month.

    Knowing what I now know about what others face in many other countries, I am ever more grateful for the country I live in, and will work harder to ensure our arms and doors are open to helping others who need a hand. Once they make it to safety, they turn around and extend their hand to others. If we all did that, one day there would be no one needing help, and we could work on other things, such as making and eating pie!

    Thanks for your strong voice.


  386. I hope that you get to feeling better soon!!

    My dream? I want to raise my daughter to be a confident, self-assured, independent woman with a strong sense of self-worth and an outlet for creativity!

    Take care!!


  387. Helen, I hope you’re feeling well very soon. Your posts are incitful and delightful.

    Thank you for sharing the Sarah Boyle video, what a thrill!


  388. Get well soon.You are sorely missed.


  389. AWWW–we miss you Helen and Margaret—I sure hope you are feeling better soon.


  390. Certainly sorry to hear that you are under the weather. Must be something going around inasmuch as very young and robust son is also down with something. He is recovering and my wishes for a solid recovery go out to you!

    I am also going to lay some Happy Easter wishes on you! (I think there is something very therapeutic in chocolate bunnies!) This Easter Sunday will forever be enshrined in the hearts of a family and friends in Underhill, Vermont! What was lost(even temporarily)has been restored in good shape! Kudos to Captain Phillips and the same for everyone else up the line, including President Obama.

    I continue to be amazed at the way this President functions. There seems to be a natural talent for balancing the country, the world and his family. Its not just the new puppy. Film and photos show him having more fun than the kids at the annual Easter Egg party at the White House. That is a very good sign!

    He is obviously doing something very right as the wingnuts are having apoplexy.

    Again, best wishes for your health! See you soon!


  391. Ah Helen-
    Sorry to hear you have been ill.Here’s hoping you are on the mend.
    Haven’t stopped in long enough for tea and pie for awhile but always look in to see what you are up to and to grab some of your wisdom for the road…
    I’m with Raji- sounds like this video is worth the long download time with dial-up . Thank you. Will do it!

    I’ve gotten to live most of my personal dreams- more so than most folks I think.
    I have one now that’s a bit different.
    Now that I’m in outer middle age I’m looking at some of the messes we baby-boomers made in all the years we’ve had the playing field and feeling a bit embarressed .

    Who knows why? Did we REALLY think the world would end by the time we were 30 ? Did being called baby-boomers allow us a lazy mindset about the day we would finally grow up?

    Doesn’t matter I guess… What matters to me now is that I hope I have time to clean and tidy up what I can before I/we have to pass this ole world on to my grand and her peers…
    I really want to leave them a tidier place to make their own mistakes and follow their own dreams.

    Best wishes Helen and Margaret- thanks for having us all in.
    ALWAYS lots of great how-to-tidy-up ideas and methods served up with pie here at your soirees…
    Feel better Helen…!


  392. Thanks grandson for the update. When I was in the hospital, I had my daughter keep everyone informed. We are like family you know?

    Please get well soon – we miss your humor and wit. I have the same dream as many – BETTER affordable health care. I don’t take meds, because I cannot afford them. I don’t go to the doctor, because I can’t afford the co-pays. This is tragic.

    There is so much going on – we hope to hear your opinions quite soon.


  393. Get Well Soon…

    My Dream.. Health Care for all, Jobs for all who want one and can work… and health and happiness for each of us.

    Not big dreams, just pie in the sky…lol

    I do want us to have the health care we deserve.. universal health care, that we should have. I see no reason why we can’t have it. If we can just get the damn rushpublicans to get off their butts and help for a change.


  394. Helen, sending you get well wishes and hoping to see you back soon. You have so many friends out here in cyberspace sending you “chicken soup” for the soul.

    I’m going to try to download that video. Some things are worth the hour or so on dial-up and this appears to be one of them.


  395. Greytdog- I just had to let you know how much I enjoyed that clip…hey-there’s a folk festival in juneau this week-let’s all hang out!


  396. Have more pie, dear. You’ll be up and around in no time at all!


  397. First, thank you for that link. I don’t follow the program, so had not heard it before. Fantastic!

    I do hope that Helen will be back with us soon, in tip top shape. I miss her.

    My dreams? They all came true for me when I met and married Ralph. Our marriage was a brief 18 years, but as Tagore wrote, “The butterfly measures its life in moments…but it is enough” My husband and our children were my dream. Beyond that I can only pray for Peace in our world, and for others to know the joy that I have known.

    It sounds so trite and “corny” doesn’t it? But it is true. I know that dream will never come true for me, and perhaps for no one so long as the world exists, but working toward it is what we have to do. Lord! I sound so soppy sweet! It isn’t like that. It’s damned hard work as a matter of fact, but always worth it.


  398. Helen,
    sorry that you are not feeling well and I hope you will be better soon. The video is great, and I cried a lot.It is great when someone gets a chance to accomplish something . My wish is that all people could have the chance to make a good life for themselves and their family.
    I am living my dream ,also quite late in life, and that is why I wish all could have that opportunity


  399. Thanks to your grandson for posting a message! I check your website first thing EVERY morning hoping for a new bit of wisdom from you (I LOVE them, love them, love them) and had begun to worry. As everyone above, my hopes are for you to feel much better very, very soon.

    Now, to that video – how wonderful was THAT? A really good reminder to us humans who judge!

    Take Care – Rest Up…
    And we all hope to read from you when you’re back to your ol’ self again!


  400. Do get well soon, Helen…we miss your wit! Maybe we should all chip in and buy Margaret a plane ticket so that she can help make Helen all better. 🙂

    Get well soon!


  401. Sometimes we need something like that to kick us in the rump don’t we? Amazing.. just like you Helen.

    I do hope you feel better. I’ve missed your take on the world.


  402. Helen, so sorry you’re not feeling well – it might be a good thing we all don’t know where you live cuz you’d be deluged with gallons of homemade soup, fresh bread, fresh veggies and salads, and of course, lots of pie! So take care of yourself, okay?
    And I’m so glad you enjoyed that video. As a PS – Simon Cowell (he of the sarcastic liners on American Idol) is already signing Susan Boyle to his label.

    And as a get-well card, this is for you – and thanks so much for opening up your heart and cyberhearth to all of us.


  403. Helen, hope you’re feeling better soon! We miss you!

    That video was amazing! It was so inspiring!


  404. Dear Helen
    Please rest and take care of yourself.

    Susan Boyle reminds me so much of Gracie Fields… another rather ordinary looking English girl with a powerhouse voice. But Our Gracie got her break earlier. And the looks didn’t matter so much she had personality and a voice!


  405. Helen:

    Please take the time to rest. We want you whole and well.


  406. This blog has made me smile at the most disheartening of times, and now this video has really inspired me during a very low phase. At a certain point in our lives, I think many women struggle with who we are if we aren’t someone’s mother, or grandmother, or wife … there can be a societal devaluation, or even pity that is depressing.

    This woman, Susan Boyle, had such poise, such presence and humor. I wish her all the best on the show and in her career. Her voice is extraordinary–such natural vibratto. I’m glad I stopped by to see about Helen and Margaret. Do feel better soon, Helen!


  407. I knew — just KNEW — there must be something wrong when you hadn’t posted for so long. I miss your postings. Get better!


  408. That video is now getting so many hits that I had trouble opening it, but I was able to click on one of the other links featuring Susan Boyle and I must say – I cried. She is exactly what we need right now – hope.


  409. Dear Helen and Margaret too,

    I’m so sorry to hear you are on the sick list. Please take good care of yourself and we look forward to your coming back soon.

    Absolutely! I posted a comment about Susan Boyle on your previous post. What an amazingly talented lady!




  410. Helen, get well soon! We miss you!
    Oh my Susan was awesome. That video did to me what Obama did to Chris Mathews!


  411. Thankyou for posting this link, I found it inspirational!


  412. I come here every day to see whether Helen has written a new post. I’m always so disappointed when she hasn’t. But then there are the days when there’s a new post, and those days make up for all the others.

    Dearest Helen, I’m very sorry to hear that you’re not feeling well. I hope you feel better soon, and not just so you can write a new blog for us (I’m selfish, but not quite THAT selfish).

    I think you, Susan, and my mother have something in common. You’ve all accomplished something amazing later in life. You’re the best blogger out there, by far. Susan has an amazing voice. And my mom started writing murder mysteries at age 70. You all give me hope that maybe someday I’ll do something noteworthy.

    Take care, Helen.


  413. Hope you are feeling better soon, Helen, I wouldn’t want you to miss spring!

    Susan was very inspiring!


  414. Helen, we miss you. Hope you feel better soon.

    What do I dream? I dream that our country will grow strong once more, with intelligent leaders making hard decisions based on the good of the nation. And, I want all the angry, divisive crackpots seen, finally, for what they are, and watch them fade away for good.

    Today, I shared some joy with friends and family from a Huffington Post story about a Youtube video. I am mesmerized by the incredible 4 minutes. Perhaps it will help you feel better and get you back on your feet. We miss you.

    Read the explanation, then click on the link, sit back, and smile at the joyous fun.


  415. Dear Helen,
    I hope you are feeling better. I miss your wit and insights.

    I know you typically write about the travesties endured by Americans on a national level but I dream of reading your reactions to the countless and excruciating Palin embarrassments here in poor suffering Alaska-after all, if you don’t keep us thinking clearly, we could end up with a national catastrophe in 2012.


  416. Helen – GET WELL soon!!
    Thanks for that – made my evening.
    My wish – that we can each be shocked in such a wonderful way by someone that we underestimate just like Susan did to us there!!
    I hope it happens often to each of us. We need it!!


  417. Dear Helen, do feel better soon. I watch for your posts and tell all my friends.

    I loved the link. It shows that behind the most unassuming exterior lies some very extraordinary people.

    My dream is to one day write something inspiring and witty – like you have Helen.


  418. Feel better soon Helen……I miss reading your posts! All my best wishes for a speedy recovery,


  419. Feel better soon, Helen. We miss you!


  420. The video was amazing. Just as Margaret and Helen are amazing. Get better soon, Helen. The net is a duller place without your posts.


  421. You are so missed and so needed – my very favorite political commentator EVER! My wish is for your speedy and full recovery.


  422. I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling low, I hope you feel better soon.

    That video is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    take care of yourself, hear?



  423. Helen, thank you for that link… I still have chills from listening to Susan and I am appropriately chastened about my cynical expectations and first impressions. Love is universal and beauty is not a visual.


  424. Feel better my dear! We love you!


  425. Helen get better soon!
    You are missed!
    That video is awesome isn’t it? Make one realize how judgmental we all are. Who would have thought such a magnificent voice would come out of that lady. She was wonderful!!!
    Thanks for sharing it!


  426. Helen, I hope you feel better soon.
    I’d like to know what you think about Glen Beck going on the road with a stand-up comedy act, Al Franken finally being claimed the winner in (what seems like a) five-five year MN race for Senate, and lastly, the new White House Puppy named “Bo.”



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