Saturday, January 28, 2012

St. Tom's Day

On the Catholic Church's calendar, today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the 33 Doctors of the Church. He wrote the famous Summa Theologica that contains "The Five Ways," proofs of God's existence that have been taught in seminaries and universities for many centuries, right up to the present day.

Aquinas is one of those over-achieving saints who makes me feel as though I can never make the grade. But I once read that a saint is really just a sinner who keeps trying. I have no proof to offer, but I certainly hope that's true.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I’ve Learned

I collected my sixth zero this week. No one with a functioning brain cell gets this old without learning at least a few worthwhile truths. I’ve learned “The Five Be’s” that I thought worth sharing.

Be Open to Life. It goes by fast, so try not to get stuck in the slow lane. Shake up the routine once in awhile—do something different, go someplace new. Be willing to accept surprises. If you are, you might find yourself on a limosine ride to wine country with all of your kids and several of your dearest friends on your 60th birthday weekend. I know, because it happened to me.

Be Grateful. No matter what’s going on, we’ve all got a lot to be thankful for. I’ve lost a few jobs over the years, but I’ve kept my health. My husband died too young, but my children and friends are the best comfort and support anyone could hope for. I used to think that “an attitude of gratitude” was just a sappy catch phrase. Now I know it’s the key to being satisfied with life.

Be Prepared. People will never fail to disappoint. Friends I thought were true blue dropped me like a hot brick when crisis struck. True colors show under pressure, and pressure shows up in every life. I don’t exempt myself; I’m sure I’ve let some people down, too. But there can be good surprises. I discovered new friends I never knew I had during hard times, people who stepped up to help me and my family and then stayed to be part of our lives. It’s impossible to predict how people will react under stress, so keep expectations low and be ready for anything.

Be Calm. After my husband died in 2006, I found myself becoming much more mellow about leaky faucets, car trouble, lost invoices, noisy neighbors—just about any annoyance of life. My motto became “EEUD”—Everyone Ends Up Dead. If it sounds morbid, it’s not meant to be. It’s just a statement of fact. Nobody gets out alive. Keeping that reality in mind puts life in perspective. There simply isn’t anything worth getting hysterical about.

Be Aware. I’ve heard it said that everything goes back in the box at the end of life. For me, it’s important to note that everything I take out of the box during my lifetime comes from God. Since everything’s going back to Him in the end, I try to avoid breakage and to pack carefully. This is especially true as the calendar reminds me that my shipping date is drawing ever closer.

If I had to capsulize all my life’s wisdom into one sentence, I suppose I’ve learned that life is good and meant to be lived as joyfully as possible. It doesn’t take 60 years to figure that out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Generous Patriot

There are much better things that Obama's much-maligned "billionaires" can do with their money than fork it over to the government. The $7.5 million contribution to restore the Washington Monument, an amount that matches the congressional allocation for repairs to the damage caused by last summer's earthquake, is but one example.

The donor is billionaire David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group (gasp! A capitalist investment executive!). Much gratitude to this rich and generous soul from a regular working gal, one of the "99%," who appreciates the innumerable opportunities that private wealth can offer to do good in the world.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Technology Tea Party

Isn’t it great to have Wiki up and running smoothly again?

I really enjoyed yesterday’s Internet blackouts. It was the spirit of 1773 all over again. With search engines and websites going dark and offering petitions against regulating the Internet, along with easy links to complain to elected representatives, millions of American citizens gladly stood up to excessive governmental authority by logging on and cyber-screaming “No more!”

The force and magnitude of public reaction to the proposed SOPA and PIPA legislation certainly shocked our ruling oligarchy in Washington. They were probably wondering, can the torches and pitchforks outside the Capitol be far behind? Perhaps they had good reason for such concern. Americans are sick and tired of being regulated and legislated at every turn. We are beginning to draw our line in the sand, and the perfect starting point is Everyman’s Internet.

If there is one place—and there may be only one place—in the economy that has grown and thrived during this prolonged recession, it is technology. Now, why is that? Could it be due to the fact that the bureaucrats haven’t gotten their power-hungry paws on the Internet yet? Might it be because entrepreneurial, hard-working, creative people find the Internet to be the one unfettered haven of freedom and opportunity for expression and achievement?

It appears that the entertainment industry will have to find another way to deal with piracy. Politicians, always a beat behind the grassroots they supposedly represent, are slowly catching on to the reality that the American Internet surfer is holding the mouse that roared.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On the Reading List

I heard Mark Levin interviewed on the radio during my drive home tonight. Having read his previous bestselling book, Liberty and Tyranny, I know that Levin is an extremely smart, educational author and was immediately intrigued.

From the discussion, it sounds as though Levin's Ameritopia goes far deeper into the source of today's American troubles. It goes all the way back to Plato's Republic to help explain how we got into our modern governmental straitjacket.

Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America has the potential to be a true game-changer come November. I definitely plan to read it. Considering the fact that as of today it's ranked #3 on Amazon's bestseller list, I think many of my fellow voters will be doing their own homework, too.

: Today, Jan. 18, the book is #1 on Amazon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


With the Republican presidential primaries underway, I suppose we’d better get used to all politics, all the time. Sigh.

I’ll say this for President Obama—he told us exactly what he was going to do. When he announced to adoring 2008 crowds his plans to begin “fundamentally transforming” the country, I remember wondering why he would want to do that. I mean, despite our many problems, the U.S.A. has been a pretty decent place to live for a couple of centuries. People from all over the world are (or were) trying to get here. We have (or had) the best standard of living in human history. Who would want to "transform" us?

Well, Barack Obama
would want to. And, whether we wanted to be or not, we’re transformed. We have incomprehensible runaway debt, high unemployment, and diminishing jobs. Our friends can’t trust us and our enemies can’t keep a straight face looking at us. We’re literally sitting on a century's worth of oil and natural gas that the government forbids us to touch. Individual healthcare has been highjacked by bureaucrats. Billions of taxpayer money was forked over to political cronies with nothing to show for the investment except bankruptcy. Environmental regulations are driving 100-year-old family farms out of business. Policy decisions and political appointments aren't processed through constitutional channels anymore; instead, decrees are issued by presidential fiat.

Yes, Obama is “fundamentally transforming the United States of America." That’s one campaign promise the president definitely has kept.

Last night, in one of his three fundraising appearances yesterday (when does this man work?), President Obama promised that if we’ll just give him one more term, “Change will come.” Oh, I don’t doubt that. A second Obama term? The country would be "changed" beyond recognition--and there's really no alternative to America. There's no place we can look to for a better life; the U.S. has been the historical haven for immigrants. Apparently the president hasn’t noticed, or perhaps more likely, doesn't mind Rome burning around him. There hasn’t been enough change to suit him. I wonder what’s next on his transformative agenda? Internment camps for Republicans?

Or maybe, if his poll numbers look as grim in the fall as they do now, he might just decide to postpone the election. If you think that can’t happen, you haven't been paying attention. This is a president who seems to operate by that famous movie line, “the Great Oz has spoken.” He thinks that oceans recede and planets cool when he speaks. The only trouble is, Kansas and a few dozen other states in the Land of Hope and Change aren’t listening anymore.

Don’t look now, Mr. President, but I think most of the country is probably hoping for a change come November. We might even be hoping for a "transformation" back into the good ol' U.S.A.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Random Post-Christmas Thoughts

* Despite the fact that Christmas carols abruptly cease at midnight, December 25 is only the first day of Christmas. Christmas ends twelve days later, when the arrival of the Magi bearing gifts is celebrated early in January. Nobody in America gets that. In fact, people in many European countries exchange gifts on the Feast of the Epiphany.

* Companies shutting down over Christmastime remind me that ‘tis the season to be lazy. I estimate that I lived in my pajamas for approximately 70% of the ten days I was off work. It felt terrific. It’s too bad that retirement is no longer an option—at least, not while I’m mobile. As I’ve often told my kids, someday I’ll be steering my walker down the halls of business on my way to the printer (or maybe the nurse’s office).

* No matter how many goodies I get for Christmas—and I got plenty—nothing can outshine holiday time spent with family and friends. I got plenty of that, too, fortunately. That’s one good thing I can’t ever have too much of.

* I’ll be rolling my biological odometer over to the next zero later this month. For the first time in my life, I actually feel one year older. In fact, I feel an entire decade older. But there is a bright side: I’m definitely too old to die young.

Monday, January 02, 2012

A Heartwarming Story

This links to the perfect human interest story to start off the New Year. In 1928, a teen-aged mother gave up her newborn girl for adoption. She never forgot her lost baby, prayed to see her one day, and was joyfully reunited with her daughter 77 years later.

I wish happy endings and new beginnings for all in 2012.