Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– and Maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
A married father of two in Germany was ordained as a Catholic priest on Tuesday, a rare move by the church, which typically requires priests to be single and to take a vow of chastity.
Harm Klueting, 61, a professor of theology at universities in Cologne and Switzerland, and his wife served as clerics in the Lutheran church before they converted to Catholicism several years ago.
Spring not far…
Denmark’s weather and temperatures perhaps a month behind London with snow still nestling stubbornly under the banks. Everywhere there lie “lakes” of thick milky ice. The earth still too frozen for melt to drain away. Not to say it isn’t sunny. Just that the warmth of the sun is like a one-bar fire in an open barn in a gale. Thank God for last year’s logs which a kindly neighbour has loaded and lit in the stove.
A huge sea storm has left the garden looking like an explosion in a tree factory, hundreds of branches of every size everywhere. And a hundred thousand leaves which we thought we’d raked… Next door’s tallest pine has snapped in half, narrowly missing both our houses but smashing the neighbouring tree as it fell. Even the birds have taken refuge. We load up on long johns and get to work in the wind. Too wet for a bonfire, we gather multiple stacked trailers of broken branches and truck it to the dump where it will slowly turn to compost. The largest ones we chainsaw for kindling for the stove
It is pruning time, too, for the fruit trees and ancient lilac hedge (warning: there is something seductive even addictive about lopping branches off. The gentlest Danish woman becomes dangerous with a killer gardening blade in her hand). But the lilac buds are starting to form and if you lie low in the frosted grass you can spot the first stirring of the spring bulbs, like a dead man’s fingers breaking through.
We stack the bushes and trees with new bird feeders while the tits dance like flurries of snow. Sighting highlight of the day: a stunning spotted woodpecker feverishly working its way down a bird cherry trunk.
The Scandi morning skies are astonishing – not so much rose petal as raspberry sorbet, forest fire or battlefield. The misty rays catch in the trees like cobwebs. The seas really roar. The pine martin seems to have traded living in the roof for life under the decking, at least it’s one step nearer the exit.
We work intensely outside for a couple of very cold hours at a time, then retreat inside for tea or beer and a nap on the sofas by the stove. We will be back again in four weeks when spring will be closer. Now, what about you lot and your gardens and lives?
Like Egyptians from all walks of life, we in the Muslim Brotherhood are taking part in the popular uprising to depose a repressive dictator. The overwhelming majority of Egyptians demand the immediate ouster of Hosni Mubarak and his regime.
Boeing news | Boeing, EADS submit final bids for Air Force tanker contract | Seattle Times Newspaper
By Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter
The two contenders for the Air Force aerial-refueling tanker contract, Boeing and Airbus parent EADS, submitted their final bids Thursday.
Boeing has proposed a military version of its 767 airliner, to be built on its Everett assembly line alongside commercial jets.
EADS is offering an Airbus A330 tanker, to be assembled at a new wide-body jet facility in Mobile, Ala., along with commercial A330 freighter jets.
Since both contending airplanes meet all the mandatory-performance requirements, the terms of the competition mandate that the lowest price should be decisive.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney on Thursday said Boeing’s final bid price is “aggressive but responsible.”
Speaking to analysts at a conference in New York, The Associated Press reported, McNerney told his audience: “The people in this room would be glad if we won at the bid level that we’ve put in, and would be happy if we lost at a lower level.”
However, price in the end may not be the deciding factor because the contest has become heavily politicized.
I have been giving some thought to starting a small home endeavor. I enjoy candles and would like to make and sell them for a small profit.
I have a lot of ideas to work out but I would appreciate any thoughts on the topic.
I am starting from the ground floor on this one. Any ideas or experience would be welcome.
- How to Start a Home-Based Candle Making Business (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- At Home Business Ideas (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- The Challenges of Starting Your Own Home Business (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
About 200 people today gathered to watch the Queen arrive at a church service on the 59th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
The Queen chatted to wellwishers and accepted flowers from children after attending the service at the St Peter and St Paul church in West Newton, Norfolk, with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Security was tight, with more than 20 police officers keeping a close eye on crowds gathered outside the church.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have spent Christmas and the new year in the royal residence at nearby Sandringham. They are due to return to Buckingham Palace in London tomorrow.
George VI, the Queen’s father, died in his sleep while staying at Sandringham early on 6 February 1952.
She was crowned at a coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.
Royal gun salutes are usually fired around the country on accession day. This year, they will be fired at noon tomorrow because accession day has fallen on a Sunday.
The prolific musician and composer Frederic Chopin was a giant of the Romantic Era, known for writing passionate pieces for the piano. But the Polish-born Chopin was afflicted by mysterious health problems, including vivid hallucinations.
In Chopin’s day, friends attributed these episodes to the composer’s creative genius.
But Spanish researchers say this week in the journal Medical Humanities they may have a better diagnosis: temporal lobe epilepsy.
Set Up a Super Bowl Pool
There’s nothing like a friendly little you-pick-the-score game to liven up the office during Super Bowl week. This pool, built around a simple visual chart, calls for no skill or knowledge of the game (although the winner may deny that).
The Obama administration is pressing a reset button to return the Middle East to the bad old days of open Arab-Israeli warfare. The White House is requiring participation of the Muslim Brotherhood in any prospective new Egyptian government, while the brothers themselves are telling their countrymen to “prepare for war.” The current crisis in Egypt and the Obama administration’s maladroit response are forcing strategists to consider conflict scenarios that had been mothballed since the�1970s.�
The Camp David Accords have formed the bedrock of U.S. security policy in the Mideast region since they were signed in 1978. The strategic logic behind the accords was that no coalition of Arab states could have a chance of waging a successful conventional conflict against Israel without including powerful Egypt. Subtracting Cairo from the equation would mean no new Arab-Israeli�wars.