By the time American patriots there ran out of ammo and
succumbed to the Redcoats in 1775, they had exacted a terrible toll,
leading British Gen. Sir Henry Clinton to remark that "it was a
dear-bought victory, another such would have ruined us." Likewise, Obama
won on health care, but he lost public opinion. Most Americans believe
his signature legislation will either do nothing to help them or will
actually worsen their health coverage and drive up costs. The health
care debate united more Americans in bipartisan opposition to Obama's
But Democrats can still make this November's election significantly worse. Pressing on with the same obsessively partisan agenda Obama began last year will do the trick.
Last night the Democrat party died as it drove a spear through the torso
of the Constitution and passed legislation that the majority of Americans overwhelmingly opposed. Nancy
Pelosi sauntered into the capitol surrounded by fellow socialists,
carrying the gavel used in 1965 to pass the now-bankrupt Medicare.
Back to the moment at hand,"forget about flagging pessimists on our side of the debate like Charles Krauthammer," we wrote in the comments at neo's, where our good friend is admonishing her readers to "Stop the whining about 'it can't be repealed.'" As we wrote there:
And even on this issue, the message will have to be not just repeal but also replace — replace Obamacare with sensible reforms. What’s more, working out exactly how to repeal and replace the parts of the legislation that will already be in effect is an important task, one to which I know Paul Ryan has already given some thought.
But the details of the replacing and reforming are secondary. Repeal is the heart of the matter. It should be the heart of the message. Think of it this way: This year Obama has handed Republicans a one-item Contract with America, an item a majority of the public supports — opposition to, and therefore repeal of, Obamacare.
Whether it's an effective solution remains to, hopefully, be seen. John Hawkins has another idea involving de-funding this power grab by a now purely Leftist federal government that effectively abandoned democracy and the Constitution right in front of
the news media's cameras, which couldn't have cared less. So, don't look
to the media as impartial, let alone an ally. We're on our own, now.
Bill Whittle, you may have put the nation on the road to recovery of the Founders' enlightened vision of freedom singlehandedly. Longhandedly, that is, as in writing out the Declaration of Independence longhand. We've completed the first part (three 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, above) and found the exercise a revelation. Two examples: 1. it was the united (l.c. "u") States of America (emphasis on individual states), not the United States. 2. The goal was to "effect" rather than "affect" the people's "Safety and Happiness," a positive intention rather than a vague hope (yes you, Hopenchangers). Also, bonus revelation, we can still write longhand!
OBJECTIVE: The students will recover, evaluate, analyze and create an artwork by writing in longhand, with calligraphy pens, the Declaration
I have a large copy of the Declaration hanging in a place of honor in my art room.
Detail of one of Laura Lee's student artworks. It looks to be a technique we remember from our own enchanted childhood, where you make a drawing with waxy crayons and then overwash with poster paint. The layered result evokes a pentimento, revealing something of the artist's thinking as the work progressed.
Forget the NCAA
tournament, the Iditarod,
and the Academy
Awards, it’s Art Season for me. Three art competitions in recent
weeks have had me working day and night to prepare my “players” for
their chance to shine.
"Why do I do it when most of
the Arts establishment discourage competition in art? (and other areas)," she asks rhetorically:
The art establishment discourages competition in art just as educational elites frown upon any kind of competition in schools.
Children are not being encouraged to compete or to strive to achieve in
many schools in America, unfortunately.
Talent is the great equalizer; I’ve taught in high socio-economic schools as well as the low socio-economic school where I am teaching
presently. I much prefer schools in poor neighborhoods. The children
aren’t as distracted by ipods, video games and other prizes of the well
off. Many of my students are immigrants and appreciate the education
that our school is providing. Many, of course, not all, of the students
who I taught who came from richer neighborhoods did not have aspirations
"When life comes easy, achievements are few," observes Laura Lee:
What does the national art educational establishment consider
important? Not achievement, nor excellence but social
We are calling everyone that is able to come to Washington, DC on March
16th, 2010 for one last push against Obamacare. We will meet at the
Cannon building at 9 am and speak with as many representatives as
possible, encouraging them to vote NO on this version of health care
Hey, Heather J. You'll be in the area. How's about representing the clan for us? Field reports sought. You take pictures, we'll post 'em here.
[FYI, this is exactly how my plate looked when it arrived yesterday morning. Except for the raisin eye-pupils, which I added in order to provide a “demented” effect.]
Yes, but it's those very artfully placed cockeyed raisins that transform the objet trouvé into a work of art. Plus, like all great art, it contains layers of meaning, sending the mind's eye of the beholder on flights of fancy and self-revelation. For example, give his breakfast a quarter turn, and you're in EXTRA Happy Meal territory:
1. Using carpenter's glue, bond two sets of two pieces of three-quarter-inch pine together, one for the base, the other for the "sue."
2. With a few skillful turns of band saw, drill press and dremel tool, remove everything that doesn't look like "sue" and drill diagonally up from the bottom and vertically down from the top of the "u" to provide a channel for the cord. In the base, drill halfway down from top and then halfway in from the back to complete the channel. Fine tune with rasps and files.
3. Finish things off with 3 coats of Gesso, wet-sanded, followed by countless coats of water-based high-gloss enamel by Krylon. Total cost of materials: c. $30 (wood was available "free" from shop inventory of leftovers). Total labor: 40 hours. A little gem of a thing.
"Awww. You shouldn't have."
We had provided technical assistance utilizing LinoType's online "Font Finder" and "Create sample" features, scrolling through the "Sans Serif" category to find a face that matched Tuck's original back-of-the-napkin sketch (above). We hit the jackpot with two members of the "Neue Helvetica® Font Family," "85 Heavy" and "86 Heavy Italic,"
using italic for the "s" and "e" and regular for the "u" to get a nice
distribution of positive and negative spaces and the solid vertical
upright that would hold the Home Depot lamp hardware and K-Mart
lampshade. We got the sample into Photoshop for a little cutting and
pasting and size adjustment, and the finished product was astonishingly
close to Tuck's second sketch (upper right).
The wrapping paper itself, printouts of the logo in various colors on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, provided documentation and a witty commentary on the design process. Tuck used his paper shredder to get the reference to the lampshade's fringe along the bottom, and Tiny, sitting atop the printer behind the gift package in the countdown to supper the other afternoon, lent the necessary surrealistic air of mystery to the proceedings.
Tuck looks on with proprietary satisfaction at Saturday presentation ceremonies for the belated Xmas gift Down East, where family members gathered for a Valentine's/Mummy's Birthday luncheon of comfort foods featuring Fanny Farmer's classic Beef Stew with Vegetables — the Bourguignonesque version slow-cooked on the stovetop with red wine and beef stock — freshly baked Pillsbury Italian and vanilla ice cream with addictive Butterscotch Sauce [Mummy's signature Sunday treat way back when]. We made our dessert sauce the old-fashioned way — following the superbly written and illustrated "How to Make Butterscotch" at Simply Recipes: No more corn syrup!
The "card" was a copy of Tuck's working drawings, suitable for framing.
We love the playfulness of the beaded fringe that hangs from the pale ivory lampshade. Let there be light!
"And because we know that a lot of the things we might have wanted to spend lots of your money on now no longer have a prayer, that’s why I have urgently endeavored to jam as much of the Democratic agenda into this recovery plan as humanly possible, while accusing the Republicans of cheesy politics, while also pretending like my own stuff doesn’t stink."
Ha ha, just kidding. He didn’t really say that last bit. I made that up. Sounds good, though.
Even court jester and VP Joe Biden ain't lookin' so bad these days, having unwittingly told it like it is — sorta — when he addressed House Democrats at their posh retreat at Kingsmill Resort & Spa in Williamsburg, VA to discuss future strategery, "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there's still a 30 percent chance we'll get it wrong." We might quibble with the percent, but right on, Mr. Vice President!
Scenes from a Birthday Party. Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, a bottle of cognac and a gentleman's portable umbrella were among the gifts for Tuck's 68th, frosting on the cake of a Cold Turkey Cookbook Birthday Eleganza computerside last evening. First course (not pictured), a Tucker favorite we hadn't served in years, steamed artichokes with butter dip.
First among equals, most exclaimed-over gift of the night was The Daily Carrot. We present a carrot to our hubby each afternoon before supper, trying to outdo ourselves from day to day by surprising him with ever more creative contexts. One memorable presentation involved laying the carrot in the arms of the SpongeBob atop his computer. Another had the carrot hidden in plain sight amidst the finger foods of a Friday Puzzle Date doib plate. This time we raised the bar, setting the bright orange taproot — as one would a precious jewel — inside an acetate teabox, wrapped and ribboned to blend in with the other gifts, most of which he knew about ahead of time, having helped us pick them out. "Do I know what this is?" he asked. "Not really," we began, adding after a pregnant pause "Well, you SHOULD know." The lightbulb went off, a moment of pure pleasure as he realized he'd been fooled again.
Second course: French Onion Soup. We melted some butter and sweated down the sliced onions an hour in our fave old-fashioned Revere Ware stainless steel pan — a faithful servant of decades when fancier, trendier pans came and went — turning them occasionally till they turned "dark mahogany." Then you add white vermouth to the pan, turn up the heat and reduce liquid to a "syrup consistency." Add broth and cider and simmer 15 minutes. Full recipe here. Note: We made Pillsbury French bread, used Gruyere cheese and followed the Food Network's suggestion of an "optional" splash of cognac. Tuck said it was the best soup ever. 'Wish we'd taken more pictures, but we were too busy savoring the moment.
A come-hither whisper from within a "Beggar's Purse" of wax paper, where one of our Corny Cornbread Mini Muffins poses provocatively atop the dining room table. To make your own: Use the recipe at "Extremely corny and very moist," substituting a cup of thawed, puréed frozen corn if you don't have fresh steamed. Then dollop the batter into a Pam-sprayed mini-muffin pan and bake 15 minutes at 350˚. Yield: 12 minis. See below for how to make wrapper. It's a piece of cake.
"I have just invented the most adorable bit of packaging," we wrote our imail correspondent this morning:
'Was trying to find a cute container for a batch of Corny Cornbread Minis to present as a hostess gift this evening. 'Didn't have any containers or cute boxes of the right size. 'Was about to just put 'em into a reclosable food storage bag when inspiration struck: Wax paper!
She: TELL ALL!!!
We: You place a mini in the center of a six-inch square (half the roll width) of wax paper, draw together opposite corners over the top of the mini and give the thing a twist.
She: AWESOME!! They're called Beggar's Purses, I think, in regard to wrapping little things in dough.
We: I must try it in DOUGH sometime. I LOVE the term, and it fits perfectly with how I stumbled upon it. I do LOVE the look and feel of wax paper. Very sensuous, dreamy … WAXY!
I mean, if you're going to act cosmopolitan … at least look cosmopolitan! …
Okay, this is slick and easy.
Go to Start Menu, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, "Character Map."
The Doc's excellent instructions were meant for Windows, of course, which got our workaround, problem-solving juices flowing. Apple's "Character Palette" is instantly accessible in a drop-down menu from a little flag symbol along the top right of our iMac screen. [The flag has been there all along, but we never thought to check it out before. So much for intellectual curiosity.] Instead of Windows' five steps from Start Menu to "Character Map," it's only two clicks for us from flag symbol to "Character Palette." As we said in the comments at Maggie's, "L'État, c'est Mac!"
Update for non-bloggers, from an imail chat this afternoon:
Goomp: I read "Voilà!" but I am not sophisticated enough to understand it.
We: It's just a technical trick that makes it easy to insert foreign punctuation marks and other symbols into blog posts.
Goomp: I am sure other bloggers will find it helpful. It sounds like a time saver.
We: Plus the fun of acquiring a new skill.
Goomp: After you expained it, I get the idea. I think those who will use it probably understand.