Thursday, August 30, 2012

Posts return Saturday

Posts resume Saturday! I'm getting ready for Labor Day weekend tomorrow (Friday.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Amateur Gourmet (cooking)





BLOG DESCRIPTION: The Amateur Gourmet is a funny food blog filled with recipes, restaurant reviews, food videos and original songs.

MY REVIEW: This is an entertaining cooking blog that runs the gamut from banana pudding (the real thing with 'nilla wafers) to a visit to a local restaurant to see how sushi is made to "Made up Minestrone". All along with very interesting running commentary. The writing is great.

When recipes are given, the ingredients are listed, the instructions are clear with pictures to help.

It is a great mix of true gourmet, down home food, and amusing anecdotes. Adam doesn't talk down to his readers. In the post about sushi, he doesn't assume one knows everything about sushi, nor does he start at the bottom. You feel like you are there at the bar, experiencing the moment - learning all along. He posts frequently (almost every day).

And anyone from New York who takes on Collard Greens knows his stuff when he quotes the Lee Brothers - a reliable source, and Pimento cheese.

In his post for February 22 (Ten Rules for Food Blogging) I loved No. 5 “Update frequently, at least three times a week.”

This guys brilliant and he cooks!!!

--How to make your own Matzoh
--Nick and Toni's Peni Alla Vecchia Bettola
--Where to eat in New York
--Collard Greens
--Pimento Cheese

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Green Diary (Environmental)





BLOG DESCRIPTION: Think Green, Think Greendiary. Get Inspired! We care about environment and exist with a sole mission to help you lead a greener, healthier and sustainable lifestyle. We are devoted to what's hip in the green world and keep a tab on latest green lifestyle trends. We track eco-friendly products, innovations, best environment friendly practices, design, and everything that impact the environment to help you build a smarter sustainable future.

MY REVIEW: An interesting and well done blog about a very important topic. The contributors to this blog comment on articles from a vast number of publications.They do a great job of summing up the important parts in an appealing way and they give the source, should you want to follow up for more information. For those of us on the run, this is great way to get "snip-its" across the board on all areas of the "Green" topic then go elsewhere if we find an article that strikes our fancy. There are more than one contributors to the blog and I like the way they write and explain. They do have a point of view and share that bent - but, hey, it's their blog. It works well on a Kindle and they don't weight it down with pictures, but give you links, should you want to see related pictures to the posts.

They tackle a broad range of Green topics from different type of energy source, to oil spills, to an interesting piece about a university that has the elliptical machines in their gyms set-up to harness energy - who knew! I recommend this blog as well done and timely. They post often and often several times daily. A good read on a Kindle.

---New catalyst developed to generate cheap hydrogen fuel from seawater
--Schoolkid makes Egyptian boat from papyrus reeds, recycled stuff
--Fish Blimp: Biologically inspired flying vehicle
--H2POD drip feeds water to drought-stressed trees
--BP engineers plan a giant dome to fix the Gulf of Mexico spill problem

Ann Currie writes two blogs of her own:
My Life a Bit South of Normal Silver Pieces: The Strange and Peculiar

Thursday, August 23, 2012

MMA News (martial arts)



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: MMA News, UFC, WEC, Strikeforce and more


BLOG DESCRIPTION: UFC,Strikeforce,Ultimate Fighter,WEC,and more.The best MMA news. MMA Online news. Fighter bios, and tons of inside information.

MY REVIEW: Well, if you like mixed martial arts, you'll like this blog. All the news that's fit to print!

--Dana White: What's Next For Lyoto Machida? - "Maybe Rampage"
--Matt's Fight Pick Blog...
-- Green Power Ranger
--Is Overeem ready for Fedor?
-- Rampage Vs. Suga-Who Will E...

Ms. Cairo writes several blogs including:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Topical Murder and Dated Death

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tapped (politics)



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Tapped, by The American Prospect


BLOG DESCRIPTION: TAPPED, the Prospect's award-winning group blog, is a link-intensive collection of musings, ramblings, opinions and other assorted writing on the political developments of the day.

MY REVIEW: This is another blog that gives you your money's worth. Multiple posts a day, from different authors - all of whom seem to be Democrats or Liberals. Very interesting to read their take on certain subjects (I've heard no outrage over what goes on in Brownsville, Brooklyn, in fact I'd never heard of Brownsville Brooklyn til I read an article about it on this blog, and I was surprised to see the author didn't even mention that this "could be" what is going to happen in Arizona...
The New York Times has a great story about police officers using the stop, question, and frisk tactic in Brownsville, Brooklyn -- one of the many areas designated an "impact zone" under commissioner Ray Kelly. Those zones are flooded with police officers, often new recruits, who reinforce small quality-of-life crimes like having an open alcohol container in public and questioning folks who appear to be loitering on the street in an effort to prevent bigger, more violent crimes. The department is pretty open about the point, too: If they arrest someone for something as mundane as jumping a turnstile in the subway, or for blocking pedestrians on the sidewalk (which is one of the shadier subsections of the disorderly conduct statute), then officers can search them incident to a lawful arrest and find out if they have a weapon. The same is true if officers begin questioning someone and can articulate a reasonable suspicion that they have a weapon. Making "furtive movements" was one of the most commonly cited reasons for a frisk.

Obviously this must be a procedure on the Brownsville police department's part to keep the citizens safe...why is their no outrage over this? Presumably because Brownsville has no illegal aliens? [And after further research I see that articles about this practice by the police are just now appearing in papers like the New York Times.]

Anyway, multiple authors, similar viewpoints, and its interesting to read these articles and think their views are sooooo wrong....and yet there must be so many thousands of people who think their views are sooooooo right! An interesting study in human nature.

Sample post:
Shifting the Balance From the Senate.

Ruth Marcus writes today that President Obama's decision to install Donald Berwick by recess appointment was "outrageous." By her lights, a recess appointment is "the last step in cases of egregious delay," and Obama should have gone through the normal confirmation process before taking this option.

Marcus, like others, doesn't seem to understand that the Senate has seen a tremendous change in norms, beginning with the 104th Congress and continuing into the present. Whereas previous Senates were mostly deferential to the president's nominees, these Senates -- and particularly the current one -- have taken to routinely opposing nominees, regardless of the position's importance or the candidate's actual acceptability. This is key; when there is a clear policy reason for a filibuster -- for instance, the nominee's ideology is objectionable to the critical vote in a filibuster -- the president can still meet his goals by offering a similar but less objectionable nominee. But when obstruction is routine, and there's no point at which the president can meet the preferences of an objecting senator without sacrificing his goals, then it doesn't make any sense for a president to bother with the confirmation process.

Instead of chastising President Obama for circumventing the confirmation process, critics of this recess appointment should direct their fire at the Senate. By refusing to confirm hundreds of unobjectionable nominees, Senate Republicans have drastically tilted the balance of power in their direction, forcing the president to rely on his other powers. The more Republicans refuse to confirm the president's nominees, the more he'll appoint them during recess. As I've said before, I think this is a good thing; not only does it allow the president to pursue his policy choices -- as is his prerogative -- but in the absence of Senate reform, it can push the minority into greater cooperation. By cutting them out of the process, President Obama will force Senate Republicans to choose between some input and none, pushing them to yield on all but the most controversial nominees.
-- Jamelle Bouie

--Lightning Round: Demystifying The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
--McCain Worship Never Dies.
--The Little Picture: Progressive What?
--The Trouble With Tech Reporting.
--Preparing for a Scandal-Happy 112th Congress.
--Forget the Truth, Give Me the Spin!
--Stop-and-Frisk State.

Ms. Cairo writes several blogs including:
Seaborn: Oceanography Blog
Star Trek Report: Space Sciences
Topical Murder and Dated Death

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Motherhood Uncensored



Motherhood Uncensored


BLOG DESCRIPTION: A frank, humorous look at motherhood, authored by Kristen Chase, a Yankee transplant, military wife, and mom of three kids living in the Deep South.

MY REVIEW: This blog is not quite what the description says, but is still a good blog.

The blogger is a mother dealing with life, as we all must do, and giving her take on it. And, it is a humorous, realistic look at the world as it goes by. The posts I read were a hit and miss on different subjects with no theme (and I prefer a blog to have a unifying themse!) She just comments on something in the news, or something a child did, etc. bringing with it humor and a woman's perspective. And most importantly, she posts regularly and frequently!

She has been blogging for years so the blog has some depth to it, which is refreshing. The number of comments and followers is impressive - that speaks volumes in itself. I imagine there are some themes and characters she writes about and one gets to know her family.

I recommend this well done blog. It is nice to see a dedicated blogger who wants to do something other than rant.

--Hey Jillian Michaels: rescue yourself
--My little runaway
--Cheerleader nation
--The father, the girl, and the snack

Ann Currie writes two blogs of her own:My Life a Bit South of Normal Silver Pieces: The Strange and Peculiar

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Love Science



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Love Science, by Duana C. Welch


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Although many relationship advice columns exist, Love Science is the only one that presents not only what to do and how to do it--but the science and research behind the advice.

Its author, Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., resides with her husband, children and assorted critters in Austin, TX, where she is a relationship consultant who uses social science to help singletons prepare for, find and commit to their lifemate. She also teaches psychology at area universities, and in her former professorship was twice voted Professor Of The Year. She enjoys embracing her inner nerd, hiking with her greyhound, and sampling dark chocolate.

For more information, please contact her via email at

MY REVIEW: As far as I'm concerned, the "science" or "Art" of people interaction is something that should be taught in school from day one. Certainly, kids in kindergarten are taught some things - or at least it is attempted to teach them "how to share." I dont' know if they're taught to be nice to each other, to not call each other names, etc. (I myself have no kids, thank goodness.)

But once kids get into their teens, especially today, and those hormones start pumping, boys and girls are pretty much left on their own to figure out their relationships...and that usually doesn't end least not in these permissive days.

Getting your relationship advice from Ann Landers, or any other newspaper columnist, is not really good enough. She only has a couple of paragraphs to deal with any situation. This blog at least goes into great depth in various people's questions.

The only drawback is that posting seems to be infrequent...once a week or once every two weeks. The blog feed is set up so that comments to the posts are also viewable on Kindle, whcih is nice.

So subscribe and give it a try.

Sample post
Momma’s Boys: The good, bad and ugly of loving a guy who adores his mother
Dear Duana,

What do you know about the man whose controlling mother offers approval only when he makes Mom #1….the man who lets his mother openly complain about his wife, tells Mom everything, and then takes Mom’s contrary advice at the expense of his wife’s input on all of it—money, career, parenting? How does he wean himself from her approval? And what happens if he doesn’t?


Dear Sarah,

Ever notice the clinging, hand-holding, full-frontal-hugging, endless-kissing, crying-at-partings indicative of…a one-year-old and his mother? Our first passionate relationship is usually with Mom and/or Dad. And if it goes well, it forms the roadmap to Happily Ever After with our eventual mate.

But before we Go There, please read the following three statements*, and then pick which one reflects you (and then, your partner) the best:

A. I find it relatively easy to get close to others and am comfortable depending on them and having them depend on me. I don’t often worry about being abandoned or about someone getting close to me.

B. I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others: I find it difficult to trust them completely, difficult to allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous when anyone gets too close, and often, love partners want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable being.

C. I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me or won’t want to stay with me. I want to merge completely with another person, and this desire sometimes scares people away.

These descriptions indicate your Attachment Style—the basic way you create and sustain a bond with a partner—and they were derived from behaviors originally observed between Mommas and their babies, and later backed up with observations of adult couples parting at airports. “A” refers to adults with secure attachment (56% of the adult population); “B”, avoidant (25%); and “C”, anxious/ambivalent (19%)—mimicking the percentages of security and insecurity among babies with their parents.

Although the past does not *have* to dictate the future, about 70% of infants maintain the same attachment style into their 20’s and beyond—and they learn it from the way their parents treated them as babies.

So, it can be a Very Good Thing to start life as a securely attached Momma’s Boy, or to marry a man who did. Not only are secure adults’ relationships more trusting, happy and lasting than others’, they’re more likely to handle inevitable problems appropriately. In contrast, the insecurely attached may pay so much attention to possible problems that they actually create them—bringing up conflicts destructively, and often refusing to be soothed no matter how their partner responds.

Continuing life as/with Momma’s Man is another matter. The central emotional task of marriage is creating a sense of I’ve-Got-Your-Back, We’re-In-This-Together Solidarity. And women’s inherited mating psychology is geared toward seeing *any* other woman’s high rank in her partner’s heart as a threat to that solidarity and her security. Women value being loved not only for its own sake—placing it ahead of all other criteria for marriage, everywhere in the world—but also because love signifies a partner’s *willingness* to provide and protect. A man who devotes his resources to someone else is, plainly put, useless as a spouse. And it’s well-established that men give their resources to the #1 person in their lives. So, if that’s Momma….

Which means two things: 1. I really hope your question was academic and not personal, because 2. although research usually hedges or gives a range of options, science shows one and only one solution to the Momma’s Boy problem:

The husband *must* side with his wife against his mother—letting everyone know that the wife is #1. Failure in this guarantees a loss of his marital happiness, and potential loss of the marriage itself.

It might be tough to convince your man of this, though, not only because of the training he’s received from Mom, but because men usually don’t see that they are making a choice. Ironically, research shows that most men who do all those things you listed in your letter, Sarah, do not think of themselves as putting Mom first. They just want everyone to get along; they see their role as pleasing both of the women they love, and are dumbfounded when it doesn’t work.

But Trying To Please Two Women Never Works—unless by “works” we mean the guy masochistically enjoys being the object of rage. To quote John Gottman, the master in this arena, “It is absolutely critical for the marriage that the husband be firm about [putting his wife first], even if he feels unfairly put upon and even if his mother cannot accept the new reality….he has to stand with his wife and not in the middle (emphasis added).”

Upshot? Men can’t wean themselves off Mom’s approval. They must Just Do It, making the wife #1. For instance, if your monster-in-law makes a snide comment about you, your husband must man up and say he won’t hear anything negative about his wife. If something’s on his mind, he must tell you first, ask your opinion first, and take your input more to heart than his mom’s. If his mother offers unsolicited advice about where you should vacation, what he should eat, how to discipline the kids, etc., he must side with you: “That’s an interesting idea, Mom. Sarah and I will discuss all our options.” He should remain respectful to Mom—but he can no longer sit on the fence.

Sarah, it’s rare that science provides one and only one solution, and I wish there were more options. Because in a sense, this puts the power in the hands of your husband. Will he see what it will cost him to keep making his mom the primary woman in his life—and how he will benefit by putting you in your rightful, top place? Hopefully so. May he do the best thing for you and your marriage. It will be the right thing for him, too.



*Taken from Cindy Hazan’s and Phil Shaver’s Adult Attachment Questionnaire

The author wishes to acknowledge the following scientists and sources:

Thomas N. Bradbury and Benjamin R. Karney, for their outstanding textbook regarding Intimate Relationships, including attachment theory.

John Gottman, for the definitive longitudinal work on what makes marriages succeed and fail—and what to do about it.

David Buss and his colleagues, for worldwide research into evolved mating preferences, and for the comprehensive text Evolutionary Psychology.

Cindy Hazan and Phil Shaver and Chris Fraley, for their research into adult attachment styles via questionnaires and/or at airports.

John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, for groundbreaking work in attachment theory and infant-caregiver attachment.

D. C. van den Boom, for experimental research showing how to create secure attachment in children by educating the parents.

Everett Waters and others, for longitudinal research showing that attachment styles are usually stable from infancy through adulthood.

--Momma’s Boys: The good, bad and ugly of loving a guy who adores his mother
--Q&A from “Phishing With The (Inter) Net: Baiting the hook”
--Phishing With The (Inter) Net: Baiting the hook
--Q&A from “eHarmony: Using the Friends & Family plan to find love online”
Ms. Cairo writes two blogs of her own:
Winged Victory: Women in Aviation
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters

Monday, August 13, 2012

Better Than I Expected: Sex and Aging



AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Better Than I Expected: Sex and Aging


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Join us in celebrating the joys and discussing the challenges of older age sexuality. Joan Price is an advocate for ageless sexuality and author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty, a sassy, sexy book combining her personal story with tales from sexually seasoned women and tips from the experts. This blog presents senior sexuality news and views, reader issues and problems, relevant book reviews, and much more. Join us in speaking out and proving that our society's view of seniors as sexless is wrong, wrong, wrong. Welcome to our community!

MY REVIEW: I review practically every blog topic in this blog, from erotic fiction to gay fiction to sex for seniors. There are a few types of blogs that will never be reviewed here - hardcore sex, fetish sex, blogs that advocate hate for any group (blogs that talk about stopping illegal immigration do NOT advocate hate in my book, despite what liberals say!) stuff of that nature. (And if a blog that I review suddenly changes its posting style and devolves into that kind of material, please let me know, and I'll remove the review.)

So, for our senior population, this blog will be of great interest. I myself am only 50 (though I claim to be 60, because that way people tell me that I look really good for being 60), and don't need this material yet, but for the active senior, sex is not something that they should be ashamed of. Education is the key to growing old, happily, together.

--Sex Toys for Older Men
--Naked at Our Age: A Straight Talking Guide to Senior Sex
--What I learned at the Museum of Sex, NYC
--Free Fall: A Late in Life Love Affair, an erotic memoir
--Erectile Dysfunction: Michael Castleman Talks to Women

Ms. Cairo writes three blogs of her own:
Topical Murder and Dated Death
Winged Victory: Women in Aviation
Volcano Seven: Treasure and Treasure Hunters

Sunday, August 12, 2012

60 is the new 40

On August 10, 2012, the Cheyenne chapter of the AARP hosted a seminar called Gray Matters - which was free and provided a free lunch - unfortunately fish and cheesecake, blech - from 4 to 6 was a reception for all travelers who had come in for the AARP National Spelling Bee to be held on the 11th.

I attended that and it was a lot of fun. The emcee introduced a few folks, we talked about words, there was a "mock" spelling bee (which only consisted of about 20 people getting up and being questioned on one word...) and so on. And there were finger foods there - Chinese food to be precise. Don't know where they got it from or if they cooked it on site (Little America is a hotel and resort where people come to play golf among other things) but it was delish.

The spelling bee started at the ungodly hour of 8:30 am (Well...8:30 is not so ungodly but I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 6:30 to get there in time for registration, etc.) It started with 4 rounds of 25 words each - which was a Written Test.

The first 25 words were extremely easy. They asked words like "Greetings" and "Navel" and "Mince." I suppose a few might have been considered difficult... "Animus" and "Lacuna."

The second 25 words were equally easy, but I did miss MUGWUMP.

I assume they did this just to help everyone settle the nerves and get new people used to what was going on. People had trouble hearing some of the words (hey, they were all over 50 and most over 60) and the Pronouncer  would come down and tell them the word face to face and have them say it back, etc. Indeed, the Pronouncer did an excellent job.

Third round was where they started asking the difficult words.

I missed:

The fourth round was the real killer. I only got 12 out of 25 right. I missed:


I then stayed for the Oral rounds and was joined by one of my friends from my Scrabble Club. (I think an audience could have assembled for the Written rounds, too. There were chairs there and family were in them...but I think most people only wanted to come see the Oral rounds where you actually saw the speller's faces as opposed to their backs, etc.)

Two of the people I met last night at the reception made it to the Orals. One of them it was his first trip to the Bee and he was successful his first time out. Made it through about 10 rounds. (In the Orals, you miss two words and you're out.) Another one was an elderly woman from Minnesota who also got through about 10 rounds before being knocked out.

There were three sisters and a brother who had come as a sort of family reunion. The eldest sister made it to the Oral rounds but was bounced after only two rounds. This was too bad and it was because she was a bit unlucky - she got two 6-syllable words in a row while some of the others were getting much easier ones (but still, not ones I could have spelled). But she was disqualified along with several other people in the same round, so hopefully she didn't feel too bad.

The words in the Oral Rounds were extremely difficult. Several times more difficult than the toughest words in the final round of the Written.

But, had I studied for a year, I think I could have handled them.

And it is my intention to study for a year and  get into the Orals next year.

So, why is the title of this blog entry 60 is thenew 40?

Because it is.

People are living longer. You don't want to outlive your money and more importantly you don't want to outlive your sense of enjoyment of life. And learning new things every day is enjoyment and keeps the mind active.

The AARP Spelling Bee is held every year, and it gives you an excellent reason to travel to Cheyenne and see The Cowboy State. You'll meet lots of interesting people.

You do have to study.

I studied very desultorily for about a month...combine all the time I studied and it was about 10 hours. Not nearly enough, but then, I'm a good speller so the Written Rounds were relatively easy - except for that killer last round.

Why learn words that you'll never, ever say in real life?Well, because they're interesting. And the concepts of what you'll learn, you can apply in other areas. So it's a win win.

So start planning to live a long, healthy, active, intellectual life, and do it now, however old you might be!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Simply Left Behind - politics, etc

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle


AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Simply Left Behind, by Carl


BLOG DESCRIPTION: "Democrats Work For Solutions; Republicans Pray The Problem Will Go Away" - Actor212

MY REVIEW: Rush Limbaugh castigates Liberals all the's the rebuttal from Simply Left Behind (from the TV character Matt Santos on The West Wing):
"Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things...every one! So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, 'Liberal,' as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won't work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor." -- Matt Santos, The West Wing

From that, you get the idea of what this blog is about. You'll find these articles very interesting. Subscribe!

Sample post
Is Wisconsin 'broke'? Answer is in the eye of the beholder, experts say
In his inaugural budget address, Gov. Scott Walker stood before a joint session of the Legislature and delivered the somber news: We're broke.

"Too many politicians have failed to tell the truth about our financial crisis," he said. "The facts are clear: Wisconsin is broke and it's time to start paying our bills today so our kids are not stuck with even bigger bills tomorrow."

The governor has repeated the message time and again, from his Inauguration Day speech to a "fireside chat" to discuss his proposal to limit collective bargaining for most public employees. It is usually followed by calls for budget cuts.

Trouble is, many experts say Wisconsin isn't really broke.

"That is not correct," said Andrew Reschovsky, a professor of public affairs and applied economics at UW-Madison's La Follette School of Public Affairs. "Wisconsin has a range of options other than cutting spending."

There are a number of ways to judge whether a state's finances are in order.

Economists often look at a state's pension funds, and whether they have more liabilities to be paid than money saved. They also typically look at the imbalance between the money coming in and money going out in any given budget, known as the structural deficit.

Pension outlook good

When it comes to its pension system, Wisconsin is far from broke. Current assets in the Wisconsin Retirement System total about $80 billion, expected to cover its obligations promised to current workers and retirees, making Wisconsin's retirement system one of the largest and most solvent pension funds in the country.

"Wisconsin gets a gold star," Reschovsky said. "We have a strong pension system."

The state is in especially good shape compared to our southern neighbor, Illinois, which has one of the worst pension shortfalls in the United States.

Another common measure of a state's bottom line is how much of its budget is already spoken for because of commitments made in prior budgets, the structural deficit.

Before Walker introduced his budget, the state faced a $3.6 billion deficit for the two years ending July 2013. That's close to 13 percent of its budget, putting it in the middle of states nationally, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Eye of beholder

Even so, Wisconsin hasn't been bouncing checks or defaulting on loans.

"Wisconsin is Republican broke, but it's not broke," said Mordecai Lee, a UW-Milwaukee political science professor and former Democratic state lawmaker. "Broke suggests near bankruptcy."

Using the word "broke" helps Walker frame the debate around his controversial budget plans on his terms, Lee said, suggesting spending cuts are the only option and any tax increases are out of the question.

He cited Walker's business tax cut laws, passed during a special session on the economy, as an example. The legislation could end up costing the state about $116 million in the next budget.

"We weren't too broke to do tax breaks for corporations," Lee said.

Walker makes no apologies for using the term. "I've never said we stand alone," he said. "But if you have a budget deficit, you're broke."

Walker said he is not only concerned about balancing the upcoming budget but is thinking in terms of balancing the one after that.

Other budget options

Most agree this is not going to be an easy budget, especially without the option of tax increases. Walker's proposal includes $1 billion in cuts to education in addition to Medicaid cuts and less money going to counties and municipalities.

Walker and Republican leaders have said the law to dramatically limit collective bargaining for public workers, currently on hold because of a legal challenge, would help local governments make up for cuts in state aid by raising pension and health care contributions on employees. Many of those municipalities say it won't be enough to cover the cuts.

Of course, there are other options. Other governors, Democrats and Republicans, have raised taxes and fees, raided money from segregated funds such as the transportation fund, or used one-time sources of revenue to balance the budget.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said he supports targeted tax relief tied to job creation. But he said proposed tax breaks could create tax loopholes for large corporations.

For example, changes to a current state law requiring large, multistate companies that do business in Wisconsin to be considered one company for tax purposes, a policy known as combined reporting, could mean millions of dollars less in tax revenues, Barca said, at the cost of key programs such as education.

"Education is your seed corn," he said.

He added Democrats faced a much larger deficit, about $6 billion, two years ago and addressed it while protecting things such as education and health care.

'Acting broke'

But to do that, Republicans say, Democrats and then-Gov. Jim Doyle used short-term fixes, causing the problem to reappear this year.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said in recent years, budgets have been patched together by multiple "budget repair" bills, numerous fund raids and federal money to mask the continuous deficit. And he pointed to a November 2009 Pew Center report that named Wisconsin one of the top 10 states "in fiscal peril."

This budget will end those money tricks and create greater financial stability, he said.

"Do we have a responsibility to put in place an honest and legitimate budget? Yeah," Fitzgerald said.

He added the state has other obligations that need to be taken into account, including $1.6 billion in unemployment insurance money owed to the federal government.

But are we broke?

Maybe not. But when he looks at the increasingly desperate measures governors and lawmakers have taken to get from one budget to the next, Fitzgerald said, "we've been acting broke."

--Privatized Fascism
--Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeea! Not Happening
--I'll Take Twelve
--This May Be Worth A Closer Look
--The Reason The Debt Ceiling Debate Is Political No...
--The End Of The Birthers
--Fighting Fat?
--I May Need To Take Some Pot-Graduate Courses. I me...
--We Should Go Back And Finish The Job
--Cowards Of The Country
--If You're A Conservative Budgeteer....
--High Art
--Wisconsin Is Broke! Broke, I Say!
--The Other Uncle
--Coming To A Theater Near You
--War's A-Coming
--Romneycare Is On The March
--Boener Must Read My Blog
--*Rubbing Hands With Glee*
--The Zen Way To Publishing Success
--An Illustrative Example
--At What Price?
--I Wish Matt Taibbi Would Be A Little Less Shy

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Free (and semi-free) Literary Books for the Kindle

REVIEWED BY: Marguerite Zelle


AMAZON SUBSCRIPTION LINK: Free (and semi-free) Literary Books for the Kindle


BLOG DESCRIPTION: Your guide to the best free and inexpensive classic e-books for the Kindle. Because some conversions are sloppily done, a free download can be a waste of time. These are books that are out of copyright, but never out of style! Many are from before 1923, but some were published between 1923 and 1963. I link to the US & UK versions.

MY REVIEW: There are a LOT of free books for the Kindle - most of them coming from before 1923, because that's when the copyright date went into effect. Anything published before 1923 is in the public domain, anything after that....may or may not be.

But everyone's getting into the act with these public domain books - there are often several versions available. And some of them have just been scanned in - which always results in a few errors which may or may not have been corrected before being uploaded to the Kindle.

So this blog is really helpful and well worth the 99 cents a month, to save time finding professionally produced books.

Sample post:
Tristram Shandy - by Laurence Sterne The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, a novel by Laurence Sterne, published 1759 through 1767. (US Edition) (UK Edition) That is, additional pieces came out over the years, but now all are collected into one novel.

This is said to be a very funny and at the same time, very difficult novel. (Proust & Joyce are also in the funny, but difficult category – not to scare anyone off.)

The book has a rather famous beginning with the protagonist’s conception. And here it is:
I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly consider'd how much depended upon what they were then doing;--that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;--and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost;--Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,--I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that in which the reader is likely to see me.--Believe me, good folks, this is not so inconsiderable a thing as many of you may think it;--you have all, I dare say, heard of the animal spirits, as how they are transfused from father to son, &c. &c.--and a great deal to that purpose:--Well, you may take my word, that nine parts in ten of a man's sense or his nonsense, his successes and miscarriages in this world depend upon their motions and activity, and the different tracks and trains you put them into, so that when they are once set a-going, whether right or wrong, 'tis not a half- penny matter,--away they go cluttering like hey-go mad; and by treading the same steps over and over again, they presently make a road of it, as plain and as smooth as a garden-walk, which, when they are once used to, the Devil himself sometimes shall not be able to drive them off it.

Pray my Dear, quoth my mother, have you not forgot to wind up the clock?-- Good G..! cried my father, making an exclamation, but taking care to moderate his voice at the same time,--Did ever woman, since the creation of the world, interrupt a man with such a silly question?
Did you follow that? Did you find it funny? Then this book is for you! I have to say it is funny and I like the analogy about us being so hard to budge from the tracks laid out for us early in life. To me that is more thoughtful than funny . . . This is yet another candidate for the “first modern novel.”

--Dracula's Guest -by Bram Stoker
--Tristram Shandy - by Laurence Sterne
--“Looking Backward, 2000 to 1887” – by Edward Bella...
--The Lifted Veil- by George Eliot
--Wuthering Heights - by Emily Brontë.
--A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United ...