Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

We thank you, Lord, for the many blessings you have given us this year and pray that we would be thankful for anything that may come our way. We thank you for allowing us to live another year and for keeping our families safe and happy. We pray for all the people who are having troubled times and ask that You would take this cup from them.... that You would give us a heart that cares enough for our fellow man to do whatever is needed to make life more comfortable or even tolerable for all Your children . Help us to show the love of Christ through all our actions....that we would witness with our lives and not just with our mouths. And Lord, we truly give thanks that You have a sense of humor that allows us unfettered joy. Amen

Friday, November 19, 2010

Now, I'm really mad!

Now, I'm really mad!

Last night, I wrote about something that has bothered me for about a year and some of my dear blogger friends came over and read about "The Foundation for a Better Life", their spots on TV and their billboards about life values. The first link I put up was one I found last January about this organization. You can still investigate their crap stuff at, but amazingly enough, the link I had supplied disappeared by this morning. I swear to you that the stuff was there last evening, as I wrote the blog and had been there all year. The second link is still up and running with the propaganda they wish to spread all over the world. (It is available in ten languages) I really wanted y'all to read the stuff they have been bruiting about on the net, so being a true anal retentive type woman....I just happened to have copied a bit of their "stuff" last year and saved it in My Documents. The editors of this site are Arthur & Marilouise Kroker, who have published a ton of things concerning various nefarious doings on the net. If you Google them, you can see that some people are publishing things with a political agenda so advanced that we ordinary people are just not quite smart enough to understand how dangerous they are. Please read the following article that I was bright enough to save last year, before they wiped it out this morning. The very idea that it was removed scares me....and I hope it worries you, too.

(The misspellings and poor language usage are theirs, not mine)

The Foundation for a Better Life Website: A Critical Archeology
Patient Iteration of the Message
The Foundation's website ( contains several subpages linked off the home page. They are "Values," "Good News," "TV Spots," "Billboards" and "About FBL " (a generic mission statement). Clicking on "Values" brings up a page in which a facsimile of a continuous celluloid film strip (in frames) is exhibited; each miniature image frame (over a scroll bar) is captioned with a "value." (There are fifty-two "values," mirroring the number of cards in a typical deck). Typical value captions over the visuals are "Appreciation," "Class and Grace," "Compassion," "Cooperation," "Gratitude," "Hard Work," "Loyalty," "Right Choices," etc. When the web surfer clicks on a caption or its associated image, the graphic (Flash) opens into a new screen. The new screen displays a larger iconic image originally seen in the filmstrip frame. (Many of them are reminiscent of psychological projective test imagery). Then a short story on the selected "value" comes to the fore, such as the of the one below (graphically composed with an image of a son and father fishing on a small boat):
My fondest memory of my Dad occurred one summer day out in the middle of a mountain lake. "Don't jerk it. Just reel it in real slow," my father whispered. But it was so difficult. I hated to wait for anything. I usually took forever to decide what I really wanted, but once I decided, I wanted it right now. And right now I wanted to catch a fish.
My father seemed to sense my impatience. "The big ones didn't get that way by snapping the first thing to hit the water," he said quietly. "You'll soon find that anything big and worthwhile usually takes a lot of time." Then, with a smile that I will never forget, he added, "After all, I've already spent twelve years on you."
"The values we live by are worth more when we pass them on . . . [7]
The phrase, "pass it on" (as a linked icon) surrounds the story on three sides, as it does for almost all of the fifty-two parables of values on the site. This perpetually repeated suggestion to "pass it on" finds an echo in a famous 1928 essay on propaganda:
Winning people over to something that I have recognized as right, that is what we call propaganda. Propaganda stands between the idea and the worldview, between the worldview and the state . . . At the moment at which I recognize something is important and begin speaking about it . . . I begin making propaganda. At the same moment, I begin looking for other people to join me. Propaganda is nothing other than the forerunner to organization. Once it has done this, it is the forerunner to state control. It is always a means to an end.[8]
The narrative that surrounds this particular "virtue" of patience also unintentionally announces pieces of the methodology and tactics of the Foundation's campaign: These general tactics are patience, and repetition and iterative spread of the message ("pass it on"). This constant exhortation mirrors Goebbels' statement that such "clear" ideas "seek escape through the mouth." But the similarities between the FBL's campaign and Goebbels' ideas doesn't end with these general prescriptions:
Targeting the Message to Multiple Audiences
Propaganda adjusts itself to the prevailing conditions [and] is always flexible. That means that propaganda cannot be limited [because] it changes according to whom I am trying to reach. Propaganda should be popular, but not intellectually pleasing . . . The propagandist's speeches or posters that are aimed at farmers will be different than those aimed at employers, those aimed at doctors will be different than those aimed at patients. . The task of leaders and followers is to drive [our] knowledge ever deeper into the hearts of our shattered nation. [9]
This flexibility is mirrored by the diversity of deeply aestheticized and idealized racial, ethnic and class images, coupled to equally idealized narratives, targeted to different audiences on the Foundation's values sub page. As Guillermo Gomez-Pena notes, they clearly echo
a 'benevolent' form of multiculturalism [that] has been adopted by corporations and media conglomerates across borders, continents and virtual spaces. And our major cultural and educational institutions have followed suit. This global transculture artificially softens the otherwise sharp edges of cultural difference, fetishizing them in such a way as to render them desirable. [10]
And, as Gomez-Pena laments, the propagandists of this "new" capitalist multiculturalism have outsmarted "us" by so cleverly disguising the serious social contradictions and covert violence under the surfaces of these images and intended messages. It is equally obvious that the Foundation's hired and pro bono spin meisters have also learned from them. The Foundation appropriated, in the billboard portion of the campaign, some of the best recognized and diverse icons of 20th Century and contemporary millennial culture: Winston Churchill and Shaquille O'Neill; Mother Teresa and Whoopi Goldberg; Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali; the 1989 photo of an anonymous Chinese student trying to halt a line of tanks into Tiananmen Square and hockey great Wayne Gretzky. In some of these, historical images of defiance to a repressive state apparatus (Tinanamen Square, Ali's refusal of the Vietnam-era draft, for example) are recoded as embodying consensual, conventional and "prosocial" values. The recoding of icons (the reframing, and often the inversion, of denotative and connotative meanings) is a constant, even a defining feature of the Foundation's website. But beneath the inscription of structural-functionalist themes onto postmodern life lies a genealogy of money, and power.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't Bury Your Head in the Sand!

Ten months ago, I wrote a piece
about something I had noted
about television "service spots" from "The Foundation for a Better Life". I couldn't figure out who or what would be paying for these innocuous, sweet little spots.....virtual pieces of fluff without any real need for their message. It really puzzled me and I wrote this:
"My husband was walking out the door today and the television was playing that public service announcement about the big, burly hockey player singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to his little girl on phone, as his teammates laughed along. My husband said, "I like this one." Then, I thought about the one I like.... the little boy playing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" with a concert pianist assisting in front of a large audience. There is also one about a Downs Syndrome teen being elected Home Coming Queen. A little voice niggled about in my pea sized brain....Who or what is "The Foundation for a Better Life"? I've been wondering who would want to pay for these lovely little blurbs every day and what would they expect to get out of it? What group could be financing this? So, I Googled it and found this:

Oh, holy cow! Here we go again! This is something everyone better try very hard to understand, because it is another threat to our way of life and it is being put to us in such a lovely way that we will be buried from within....without murmuring a peep. Imagine that I have only begun to wonder about this and it has been organized and orchestrated since 2002, at least. We are sheep being led to the slaughter. God help us!"

Well, that was last January and since then, I have packed up in Florida and unpacked in Ohio and both of us have had lots of medical and dental care from our home doctors. I haven't blogged or accomplished much of anything, but now we have packed up and driven back to Florida. I'm actually looking at the television again, instead of just listening to it. Those sweet little service announcements are continuing, but now, while they remain from "The Foundation for a Better Life", we are being directed to:

Please look at the differences between these two sites and tell me that there is not some hidden agenda to draw us into a sinister web that will change our entire way of life without our knowing what hit us. It is odd that fascism and radical change is no longer mentioned at the new site, just sweet, airy values. There are even spots for school faculties to go and find ways to subvert our kids! Help! I wish someone of importance would look into this campaign and do something more than one little old lady can accomplish with a few words.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

FEMA Fails Again!

Two weeks ago tonight, we had a terrible night of tornadoes that hit on the western edge of Toledo, Ohio and then skipped to the eastern edge of town to a little farming community about four miles from where we live. Five people died, the police department was totally flattened, homes were reduced to rubble (see picture) and the high school was completely blown to pieces. (This was supposed to be the shelter for people without a "safe place") Luckily, it was a Saturday night and school was not in session. The next afternoon was supposed to be graduation, but it was postponed for a few days and held at a local Community College. Even the school busses were picked up and tossed about like Matchbox cars. When daylight came and the officials could survey the total damage, they found a terrible carnage of homes, public buildings, vehicles and even a turned over train. All the trees were denuded and the official damage report made it a Category F4 tornado. The amazing thing was the outpouring of local support for this small community. My daughter has a group of young adults from church that meets for food and fun every Tuesday evening. She called her people and said , " Bring sturdy shoes and work gloves....we're going to Millbury this week." They picked up debris for hours, working side by side with inmates from the Sandusky County Jail. Hundreds of people came from miles around, including a football team from a town south of Findlay, Ohio, to do anything they could for the people. National Guardsmen told my daughter on one of her trips, "Hey, don't do such a good job... it will affect the damage rating when FEMA gets here." Well, guess what? Yesterday, FEMA turned down the request for a Disaster Designation, because most of these hard working people had insurance and the citizens were cleaning up much of the mess by hand. Men were using chain saws to cut up fallen trees and women were dragging branches to the edges of roads for volunteer trucking to the dump. They had been burning large piles of wood, but the Environmental Agency told them they had to stop to protect the Earth from Global Warming. Duh! So, now Lake Township has no high school and no police department and no help from the government in this disaster. Why are the people of New Orleans still whining and not working on their city's five year old mess, but receiving aid from the government, when the Governor of Ohio has to beg for a little help for a town obliterated by a tornado. Funny, these folks did not have five days to get out of town....only about ten minutes warning that a severe storm was heading their way. Life is not fair, but neither is our Federal Government.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Students, veterans team up to place Memorial Day flags

My husband and I went to Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania, Ohio to visit the final resting place of our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, a niece, a nephew and one of our granddaughters. It is a beautiful cemetary....lush grass, beautiful trees and peaceful quiet. When I was young, the pond in the middle of the park had graceful swans swimming about through the warm summers. While we were there this Memorial Day Weekend, I was awed by the rows upon rows of American Flags throughout acres of gravestones and markers. I thought that VFW Posts had veterans placing the flags at the graves of the military, but then I saw this video from a local TV station. The students they talked about are from the high school that my husband, my children and I had attended many years ago. Whitmer High School is in Toledo, Ohio, not Sylvania. We are very proud of the social studies department and the students , who honored our military. They are wonderful representatives of the youngest generatiion. God Bless them.

Students, veterans team up to place Memorial Day flags: "Whitmer High School teamed up with the American Legion Post 587 to place American flags at Toledo Memorial Cemetary."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This is Alex ...Check Him Out

This is Alex...he was such a cutie... and still is! He is one of my seven grandsons. He is a bit older now, than he was in this picture, having graduated from Nyack College last year. He has been working in New York this year and recently started writing a blog about serious stuff. When he was little and adorable, I had no idea that he would grow up and have such deep thoughts about something so important to us all. I guess Nyack was actually worth all the money they charged for his education. If you have a few minutes, check out his fledgling efforts.... it made me think a bit about how I relate my personal life with my spiritual life. The address is on my Blogroll, so just click on" Sandwich Time with Jesus."

Friday, March 26, 2010

It is Finished!

Finally, I have finished my flip flop wall quilt. I removed the original fabric was bright and fun, but just wasn't the right fabric. Then I found this Batik fabric that looked like watery bubbles and knew it was the right one. Quilters are a funny breed of people. We love fabric, all fabric, but don't always make the right decision the first time in the store. We go back again and again and buy more and more, until finally the right thing falls into our outstretched arms. Actually, I never met a quilt store that I didn't like. I want it much to do and so little time!

So, I sandwiched the top piece, the batting and the backing and began to quilt around the flip flops in close lines to simulate the ripples you make as you step into the water. I thought the background fabric for the flip flops looked like sand on a beach somewhere. It was definitely not Florida white sand, but dirt somewhere.

What came next was a natural.
If I had beach, flip flops and an ocean...then I needed schools of fish in the water. Can you see the fish swimming along in the bubbles? They have tiny little glass bead eyes. It is finally done, because we have Net Flix and I can hand quilt while I watch chick flicks with "My Honey". When we get a guy "blood and guts" movie, I head for the sewing machine, since I have female sensitivities and can't watch tough stuff. I am so happy that "My Honey" loves Sandra Bullock movies!
P. S. I just discovered that you can left click on the pictures and actually biggify my quilty fishes enough to see their little beady eyes. Woo Hoo!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where Have I Been?

The months seem to fly by when we are in Florida and I have very little to show for time spent. I read, follow my friend's blogs, sleep and occasionally sew. January was spent making this queen sized quilt, two pillowcases and two pillow shams, but I am going to take them to Ohio for my favorite long arm quilter to finish. If you notice the color scheme, then you will know that I made this one with my number two grandson in mind. He is in his fifth year with the Air Force and this seems apropos.
This year, we were struck by the astounding bargains in the real estate market, so we started snooping around with an eye toward finding a bargain for our son-in-law (who is able to retire from law enforcement at a young age). Turns out our daughter is not ready to make a move to Florida, so we somehow got carried away and made an offer for a really neat four bedroom home in Punta Gorda. Our whole Winter has been lost in the scramble to fill out the proper papers, show the proper money and since the end of January, we have been at the mercy of that miserable bank known fondly as "Bank of America". They are loaded with "short sale" homes here in the land of distress and sunshine. Since the government had bailed them out of their misery last year, we thought they would be happy to find a couple with some cash in their hot little hands who would take one of their losers off their books. They have six more days on our contract (they asked for an extension) and have not been in touch with the good news. I have been to Home Depot and picked out new tile, crown mouldings, light fixtures, but still don't know if we own anything. It is a new home, but needs some upgrades to make me happy. If everything goes through, we will drive home to Ohio and sell our condo there and then move to Florida as residents instead of snowbirds. All this has taken two months of our pitifully short lives, so we are noticeably anxious to get the show on the road. We need to see about having a pool put in and all sorts of things done, but instead of living our lives, we are waiting on the bench like third stringers.
Here I am with no excuse for not blogging and not much production from my sewing machine. I did finish a cute wall hanging (hand quilting) for a good friend, but I have to take pictures of it and get them posted. Instead, I have been so frustrated by the government escapades that I cannot blog without ranting. Forgive me, friends. I need to get back to what is important.... I want my children and grandchildren to know what I was all about when I am long gone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

With My Head in the Sand

Please, help me understand what is happening in the world. The husband and I have been stunned by the things we have seen coming to fruition recently. This last year has amazed us with the very swiftness of the Progressive Movement's grasp on our country's government. Having complacently sat back for
lo these many years and watched life breezing by in a most comfortable fashion, I am ashamed to say that we have been slowly awakened (the veritable sleeping giant) over the last twelve months by blatant and forceful programs coming out of Washington. The Stimulus Packages have cost billions. Have they actually produced any jobs or have they just spent our tax money to line politicians' re-election pockets? The Cap and Trade thing....will it completely kill our Capitalist form of society and tax us, our children and grandchildren beyond any imagined level? The push for a Green Initiative for the sake of "Global Warming"....has anyone noticed that we are having the worst cold weather on record? Does anyone know that GE is a big part of the current administration and that they own the patent for the nifty little mercury light bulbs which will become the bulb de rigueur next year, driving the little incandescent bulb makers out of business in the USA, thereby allowing GE to make the new bulbs in China?
These are just a few of the things we have watched coming down the Pike, since we were children, in little bits and pieces. The bits were such minor little things that we barely noticed as more bits were added and changed until we no longer recognized the danger to our way of life.
Today, the husband went off to play golf.... the first time in many days, as we have been freezing our behinds in southern Florida. Don't tell me that it is not fair for one man to play golf when the masses cannot play. He started working and paying Social Security Taxes at eleven years old, when he became a golf caddy for a dime a round. He worked and paid the upper amount of social security taxes for sixty-three years. I even heard Rush Limbaugh talk about senior citizens not paying for Medicare last week. Allow me to enlighten you about that. We paid health insurance our whole married life until he retired at seventy-four. In the beginning, Blue Cross paid only 80% for hospital visits and Blue Shield paid only 80% for surgical visits in the hospital. We paid for ordinary doctor's visits. Our children were paid for at $10.00 a month during prenatal visits. If you had paid the whole $90.00 by the birth, the price was $90.00 or $100.00 for a boy. (We all know why) Insurance didn't pay for birth or any other ordinary medical treatment. We have never had dental or prescription coverage, until Medicare came along. There still is no dental coverage and the Rx thing is a laugh. Between the two of us, Medicare takes $280.00 a month from our Social Security and our secondary insurance is $400.00 a month. Okay, $680.00 every month----does that sound like we are getting something for free? The husband is now seventy-eight and gets to play golf once or twice a week after being an upright citizen and raising three law abiding, tax paying children. Why would the government want to redistribute the little amount we have saved for our old age ?
Finally, I'm going to get to the problem today!!!! The husband was walking out the door and the TV was playing that Public Service Announcement about the big, burly hockey player singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to his little girl, while his teammates laughed along. The husband said , "I like this one." I thought about the one I like....the little boy playing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" with a concert pianist in front of a large audience. There is also one about a Down's Syndrome teen being elected Homecoming Queen. Then, I voiced something that had been niggling about in my pea sized brain....Who or What is "The Foundation for a Better Life"? I've been wondering who would want to pay for these lovely little blurbs every day and what do they expect to get out of it? So, I Goggled it and found this;

Oh, holy cow! Here we go again! This is something everyone better try very hard to understand, because it is another threat to our very way of life and it is being put to us in such a lovely way that we will be buried from within....without murmuring a peep. Imagine that I have only begun to wonder about this and it has been organized and orchestrated since 2002. We are sheep being led to the slaughter. God help us!   I found this 6/17/2016....  Something hinky is going on!