Closing Out Women’s History Month With Dr. Mary Schweitzer, Ground-Breaking Molecular Paleontologist, and a Special T. Rex

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

At the beginning of the month there were a rash of blogs posting about Women’s History Month. IA decided to honor the month as it ends as a “bookend” and a last reminder this month of women’s accomplishments.

The woman I’d like to focus on is a scientist named Mary Schweitzer.

Mary Schweitzer

Dr. Mary Schweitzer

Schweitzer is an Associate Professor in North Carolina State University’s Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.  She earned her B.A. degree in 1977, married, had children and eventually completed her PhD in 1995 (a “roundabout” career path, according to the author of the Smithsonian piece quoted below).

One of her research/teaching areas of interest is in the area of molecular paleontology, which focuses on the “preservation and detection of original molecular fragment in well preserved fossil specimens.”

What is her claim to fame? In 2005 she made headlines by reporting in Science her discovery of soft tissue…in the bones of a 68-million-year old T. Rex.  Here’s the abstract:

Science 3 June 2005:
Vol. 308. no. 5727, pp. 1456 – 1460
DOI: 10.1126/science.1112158

Reports
Gender-Specific Reproductive Tissue in Ratites and Tyrannosaurus rex

Mary H. Schweitzer,1,2,3* Jennifer L. Wittmeyer,1 John R. Horner3 Unambiguous indicators of gender in dinosaurs are usually lost during fossilization, along with other aspects of soft tissue anatomy. We report the presence of endosteally derived bone tissues lining the interior marrow cavities of portions of Tyrannosaurus rex (Museum of the Rockies specimen number 1125) hindlimb elements, and we hypothesize that these tissues are homologous to specialized avian tissues known as medullary bone. Because medullary bone is unique to female birds, its discovery in extinct dinosaurs solidifies the link between dinosaurs and birds, suggests similar reproductive strategies, and provides an objective means of gender differentiation in dinosaurs.

(By the way, that mention of medullary bone is important because it enabled Schweitzer to identify the specimen, originally thought to be male, as actually being a pregnant female T. Rex…)

In 2006, the Smithsonian Magazine described Schweitzer’s discovery this way (my bolding):

Dinosaur Shocker

Probing a 68-million-year-old T. rex, Mary Schweitzer stumbled upon astonishing signs of life that may radically change our view of the beasts that once ruled the earth

  • By Helen Fields
  • Smithsonian magazine, May 2006

Neatly dressed in blue Capri pants and a sleeveless top, long hair flowing over her bare shoulders, Mary Schweitzer sits at a microscope in a dim lab, her face lit only by a glowing computer screen showing a network of thin, branching vessels. That’s right, blood vessels. From a dinosaur. “Ho-ho-ho, I am excite-e-e-e-d,” she chuckles. “I am, like, really excited.”

SNIP

It was big news indeed last year when Schweitzer announced she had discovered blood vessels and structures that looked like whole cells inside that T. rex bone—the first observation of its kind. The finding amazed colleagues, who had never imagined that even a trace of still-soft dinosaur tissue could survive. After all, as any textbook will tell you, when an animal dies, soft tissues such as blood vessels, muscle and skin decay and disappear over time, while hard tissues like bone may gradually acquire minerals from the environment and become fossils. Schweitzer, one of the first scientists to use the tools of modern cell biology to study dinosaurs, has upended the conventional wisdom by showing that some rock-hard fossils tens of millions of years old may have remnants of soft tissues hidden away in their interiors. “The reason it hasn’t been discovered before is no right-thinking paleontologist would do what Mary did with her specimens. We don’t go to all this effort to dig this stuff out of the ground to then destroy it in acid,” says dinosaur paleontologist Thomas Holtz Jr., of the University of Maryland. “It’s great science.” The observations could shed new light on how dinosaurs evolved and how their muscles and blood vessels worked. And the new findings might help settle a long-running debate about whether dinosaurs were warmblooded, coldblooded—or both.

It didn’t take long for creationists to take aim at Schweitzer. Ironically, Schweitzer is an evangelical Christian.  From the Smithsonian article:

Meanwhile, Schweitzer’s research has been hijacked by “young earth” creationists, who insist that dinosaur soft tissue couldn’t possibly survive millions of years. They claim her discoveries support their belief, based on their interpretation of Genesis, that the earth is only a few thousand years old. Of course, it’s not unusual for a paleontologist to differ with creationists. But when creationists misrepresent Schweitzer’s data, she takes it personally: she describes herself as “a complete and total Christian.” On a shelf in her office is a plaque bearing an Old Testament verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

In a 2007 interview for PBS in conjunction a NOVA segment about her discovery, Schweitzer answered viewer questions and had this to say:

Q: Many creationists claim that the Earth is much younger than the evolutionists claim. Is there any possibility that your discoveries should make experts on both sides of the argument reevaluate the methods of established dating used in the field?
Carl Baker, Billings, Montana

A: Actually, my work doesn’t say anything at all about the age of the Earth. As a scientist I can only speak to the data that exist. Having reviewed a great deal of data from many different disciplines, I see no reason at all to doubt the general scientific consensus that the Earth is about five or six billion years old. We deal with testable hypotheses in science, and many of the arguments made for a young Earth are not testable, nor is there any valid data to support a young Earth that stands up to peer review or scientific scrutiny. However, the fields of geology, nuclear physics, astronomy, paleontology, genetics, and evolutionary biology all speak to an ancient Earth. Our discoveries may make people reevaluate the longevity of molecules and the presumed pathways of molecular degradation, but they do not really deal at all with the age of the Earth.

So, let’s celebrate Dr. Mary Schweitzer and her work and her ability to separate her faith from her science.  And let’s also celebrate her willingness to breaking out of what the “conventional wisdom” mold to do what “no right-thinking paleontogist” would do.

Dr. Mary Schweitzer–an inspiration for us all!

  • **

More on Mary Schweitzer and the religious controversy that swirled around her in this long 2006 piece by Barry Yeoman.

An example of the types of attacks on Schweitzer’s work (Check out the left sidebar categories) … http://stupiddinosaurlies.org/

The Past Week: March 1-7, 2009 (More on Sinclair Lewis; Canada-EU Free Trade?; China Eyeing the Big Three Automakers’ “Juicy Bits”?; Palin’s “Troopergate” Foe Winds Up In Obama Administration)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

This week’s post on Sinclair Lewis (see below) drew a lot of attention, so I thought I’d point readers in the direction of a site devoted to Lewis that is really a great place to start if you want to find out more about “It Can’t Happen Here” and all of Lewis’ work.  Here’s the link:

http://www.squidoo.com/it-cant-happen-here-sinclair-lewis

***

Friday I received the daily newsletter from Radio Canada International and once again there were squibs included that I couldn’t find at either the RCI site or when I searched around the CBC’s news area.

Read these with an eye to several posts that will be starting tomorrow, with American Lassies’s post entitled “THE PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COMMUNITY/NORTH AMERICAN UNION: 2010 Is Just Around the Corner.”

OTTAWA: CANADA, EU AGREE ON FREE-TRADE AGENDA

Canada and the European Union have agreed on a framework for negotiation of a free-trade accord after six months of discussions. Canadian Trade Minister Stockwell Day says the two parties will discuss goods and services, investment rules, intellectual property and free circulation of workers. The minister says Canada’s provinces will take part in the negotiations. Bilateral trade last year was worth $90 billion, an increase of seven per cent over 2007.

***

Chicago Correspondent Leslie emailed me during the week about a report she heard on the local Chicago PBS station:

Late last night (3/4)I was watching “France 24 News” (http://www.france24.com/en/) on one of the public teevee stations here. They were covering the auto show in France and interviewed a spokesperson for the Chinese car line called “Brilliance” . This company is partners with BMW. The reporter inquired about the possibility this auto would enter the US market in the near future. The answer was: this auto line doesn’t meet the emission standards of the US. It is a big polluter. BUT,

They are looking at the auto industry in the US, and are realizing the financial distress of the auto manufacturers may make them – particularly GM – interested in having this Chinese company buy them out.

Of course, I wanted to jump up and email you all right away, but I’ve been having some sleep problems and decided to try to stay in bed.  Glad I did. Because This Morning I heard:

GM is now talking about filing for Chapter 11.

(Maybe you all have heard all this before, but I had not and wanted to just tell you before I start ruminating.)

I did a bit of poking around and it was easy to find articles from November-December 2008 on the subject. And, apparently, it’s not just GM that’s involved in buyout speculation.  The following post that I found at The Truth About Cars blog seemed to sum it up nicely:

China Buyout Watch: SAIC Sets Sights On Saturn

By Bertel Schmitt
December 12, 2008

After last night’s Congress cruelty, there might be government help after all. From the Chinese government.  In China, the interest of Chinese automakers has grown far beyond the rumor stage. Today, government-controlled China Daily (THE English speaking news outlet for the official party-line) runs a long article on the Chinese aspirations to snap up juicy bits of Detroit. Actually, as China Daily sees it, it’s Detroit that’s making the advances to China. The headline says it all: “Big 3 look for Chinese medicine.”

SNIP

Folks, take my word for it: If China Daily writes something like this, then the matter is way beyond the idle chatter stage. There will be denials, or milquetoast “no comments,” but if it’s in China Daily, something is definitely in the bush.

***

Remember “Troopergate” that marred Sarah Palin’s reputation during the Presidential campaign? Well, guess what? From the Anchorage Daily News:

Legislator takes job with Obama administration

Longtime Juneau Democrat Kim Elton resigned from the state Senate on Monday to take a job as director of Alaska affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“This job is the funnel through which the Alaska issues are going to be addressed,” Elton said in an interview after an emotional farewell speech in the Senate.

SNIP

Elton was chairman of the Legislative Council, a bipartisan panel that voted unanimously last summer to investigate Palin’s removal of Walt Monegan as public safety commissioner, as well as the allegations she pressured public safety officials to fire a trooper who was her ex-brother-in law.

SNIP

Palin and Elton have also been at odds, and Palin greeted the announcement of Elton’s new job with the terse declaration that “Senator Elton pledged his allegiance to President Obama last summer.” Palin also said in her written statement that she hopes Elton will use the job to Alaska’s benefit.

An earlier story in the Juneau Empire offers more details:

Elton was head of the Obama campaign in Juneau, but has one other attribute which may help him get the Interior position. He’s a close friend of Pete Rouse, a former Alaskan who served as chief of staff for Obama’s Illinois Senate office. Rouse also serves as chief of staff for Obama’s transition team. “Every time we go back to D.C., we stay with Pete,” Elton said. The most recent visit was three weeks ago, to attend the inauguration of President Obama.

How about them apples?  Now, where did those 30 or so Obama lawyers go who were reported to have  turned over every part of Alaska to find dirt on Palin?

THE PAST WEEK

*By Kenosha Marge

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (March 7, 2009) (The Many Faces of Pansies and Other Garden Delights; Tico Goes Belly Up!) Pics!

Secy. of Defense Robert Gates Downplays Possible U.S. Role as Fears of Mexico Collapse Mount; Don’t Be Fooled, There’s A Bush-Era Agenda Still Going On Here…

*STANDING TALL: DECLARATION OF AN INDEPENDENT

URGENT PRESS RELEASE March 4, 2009 from W.A.M. RE: Expiration of the “E-Verify Program” Which Screens Employment of Illegal Aliens

“It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis: Well, It Sure Seems Like It IS Happening Here…

IL State Treasurer/Obama Ally Giannoulias Planning to Challenge Roland Burris–Report from Our Chicago Correspondent; Medicare Musings

An Interesting Theory on Superpower Collapse: U.S. Going the Way of the Soviet Union?

The Past Week: February 22-28, 2009 (Laura Bush Lives On; Budget Director Peter Orszag/Robert E. Rubin, Iceland Bankrupters; China Taking Advantage of U.S. Weakness As It Looks to Buy Foreign Oil Companies?; U.S. Deaths Spike in Afghanistan; Baracus Caesar Obamacus Meets Barackistanis)

The Past Week: January 18-24, 2009 (Condi Rice Getting Booked; Pat Paulsen, We Need You!; VOA and wwiTV.com; Questions)

Well, we’re already seeing the arrogance of Obama and Pelosi and some signs of life from the New York governor as Caroline Kennedy fades from the scene of diversion…

***

As you’ve probably heard, Condi Rice has signed on with the William Morris Agency…here is her page at the WMA site:

Condoleezza Rice
<!– –> <!– –>
<!– –> <!– –>

full bio

OK,  she JUST signed on, so there’s nothing there now as  I write this…but she already is listed in the roster of people speaking on “Domestic and Global Issues.”

She’s sharing the roster with the likes of Al Franken, Arianna Huffington, Larry King, Diane Dimond, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Winnie Mandela, Ed Koch, Joe Scarborough, James Cramer, Rita Crosby, Gen. Claudia Kennedy and George Lakoff.  Oh, and Prince Edward of Essex.  And there are many more in the club…

Condi is also listed on the “Women’s Issues” roster (and so is Jennifer Lopez!).  My old chum Peggy Noonan is with a whole crew of people to ignore over on the “Mass Communications” roster.

According to Reuters, Condi won’t be going on shows as a policy analyst, but is going to concentrate on “philanthropic efforts involving classical music and college educations for disadvantaged students, as well as initiatives to help U.S. children become global citizens.” And, she reportedly is negoatiating a book deal, which will possibly include a memoir of the Bush years.

Wonder if she’ll include the August memo prior to 911, you know, the one about planes, buildings, etc. etc.

***

I see the pilot of the jet that ditched into the Hudson has finally been released to the public by investigators.  One wonders about the delay…

***

I was watching the show Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America” on PBS last night and really was caught up in the segments on Lenny Bruce and the censorship… and the Smothers Brothers and the censorship…and George Carlin and the censorship. In the middle of all this, the name of Pat Paulsen comes up. Remember Pat Paulsen and his run for President??

Well…his son carries on….Check out the website Pat Paulsen for President“…

Looks like Pat’s son, Monty Paulsen, is gearing up for a 2012 run for the White House. Here he hits the campaign trail to find the pulse of American voters.  (video follows)

According to Tommy Smothers (Tommy Smothers Says Paulsen Saved the Show):

It’s debatable who actually urged Paulsen to run for commander in chief of the free world starting in 1968 through 1996, Smothers said.

“It could have come from a whole bunch of people,” he said. “But his ‘68 run was one of the best satirical things ever done in politics.”

[Trivia from IMBD: In 1968 Paulsen first ran for President of the United States under the Straight Talking American Government (STAG) Party, first as a “gag” candidate, then apparently for real. Some critics claim that he stole votes from Hubert H. Humphrey and caused Richard Nixon to be elected (in the televised election returns of that year, he was referred to as a “minor party candidate”). Until his death, he ran as a perennial write-in candidate. His last campaign slogan was “Send Pat Paulsen to the White House! He has to sleep somewhere!”…His last running mate in 1996 was Tiny Tim.]

In the article, Smothers opines that the McCain-Obama race could have used Paulsen added to the mix….I agree!!

Paulsen delivered a series of “Editorials” as V.P. while on the Smothers Brothers Show and the texts are preserved on the web. Here is an excerpt that was shown on the PBS special. It’s on the subject of the draft:

Are Our Draft Laws Unfair?

October 29, 1967

A good many people feel our present draft laws are unjust. These people are called soldiers…Now the crux of the criticism is based on the premise that an ineptitude without gross regress tends to efficiate and gorge masical…and frankly, we find this a bit cloudy.

Let’s take this step by step…When we talk about the draft, we are talking about a law duly enacted by Congress, in which men should be drafted first…women second…and Congressmen last. And what are the arguments against the draft? We hear that it is unfair, immoral…discourages young men from studying, ruins their careers, and their lives…picky…picky…picky.

MORE

Paulsen was awarded a Comedy Legends Award posthumously in September 2008 (he died of cancer in 1997). Will Durst remembers:

“I remember Pat when he first announced he was running for president on ‘The Smothers Brothers Show’ in 1968. He did these double-talk speeches that were so hysterical because he had that look of a ’60s-era politician,” Durst said. “It was hysterical. That was satire.”

One of his choice quotes:

Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles.
Pat Paulsen

***

Tired of the media? Well, you can get your propaganda directly from the new and improved Voice of America site…you can listen to what’s being piped into Afghanistan, for example, and many other places in many languages.

The Confluence had a great piece up yesterday on the subject of the status of women in Afghanistan, which never seems to improve.  Do check out  Saturday: A little thing for the girls.

***

If you want to see television from Afghanistan, check out World Wide Internet TeleVision from the Netherlands at  wwiTV.com.  This site has the most incredible collection of foreign and U.S. TV that can be viewed via the web that I have ever seen.  I love the CCTV from China. Check out the English feed.  Today I learned that China is hoping to boost its economy by promoting breakfast–Chinese-style breakfast, not American fast food offerings.  One man said that the state-run restaurant breakfasts were very good and one woman said that for only 3 yuan…well, it’s a bargain!  Sure looked great to me…lots of food and who can beat that price?? (But first I’d check for melamine…)

***

I leave you with two questions:

Why am I suddenly getting emails again from the JRE Grassroots group? In case you don’t remember, this was a thing put together by John Edwards.  Well, according to the emails, they want to figure out what to do so they are contacting people on their email list for suggestions.  My suggestion is that they ask John Edwards if HE has any idea on the subject…

And, who would be looking at this little blog at about midnight MT from Andrews Air Force Base (the base the Presidents all fly from)?

Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland landed on https://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/obama-a-lo&#8230; 23:45:02 — 4 minutes ago

Maybe they’ll come back for a visit again?

THE PAST WEEK

*By everyone at IA–Kenosha Marge, Grail Guardian, American Lassie, Leslie Chicago Correspondent, and IA-GRL

**By IA-GRL, Leslie Chicago Correspondent, & Kenosha Marge

I’ve Been Tagged…So Here Are Six Things About Me….

Obama’s Entitlement “Reform”– the Social Security-Medicare Nexus and Health Freedom

T.A.R.P, Recovery Plan, Term Limits Action…All Obscured Under the Cover of Media Hoopla

Come and Get it! “Idiot Wings” Served Up by Republicans & Democrats…(Update 1X: Lyrics from Stealers Wheel)

*Welcome to…THE IA INAUGURATION DAY SAFE-ZONE!

**Throwing Things as We Think of Other Historic Events on January 20th We Don’t Plan to Celebrate (A Joint Post by IA-GRL, Chicago Correspondent Leslie, and Kenosha Marge)

REMINDER: Inauguration Day is an OBAMA-FREE SAFE-ZONE Here at IA!

The Past Week: January 11-17, 2009 (Al Jazeera Hooks up with PBS; House vs. Senate/Obama and Bailout Oversight; “Everyman” Biden; Non-GMO Verification Project; “The Prisoner” is Free; Extra Anatomical Tube Bypass

The Past Week: January 11-17, 2009 (Al Jazeera Hooks up with PBS; House vs. Senate/Obama and Bailout Oversight; “Everyman” Biden; Non-GMO Verification Project; “The Prisoner” is Free; Extra Anatomical Tube Bypass

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Looks like Al Jazeera finally is going to get a wider audience in the U.S.  From what I’ve seen of it on the Internet, I’m thinking it’s credible but I AM wondering about the connection to PBS!  Who set up this deal?  Was this just the Bush Administration’s idea or did the hand of Obama get involved somehow? And that the mere mention of NBC….

Al Jazeera Network TV deal broadens U.S. reach

Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:17pm EST

By Robert MacMillan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Al Jazeera Network plans to announce on Thursday that it has signed a deal to run its news on Worldfocus, a syndicated nightly news program produced in New York and distributed throughout the United States.

(SNIP)

Worldfocus, hosted by former NBC News correspondent Martin Savidge, is produced by New York City public broadcaster WLIW and syndicated to a number of Public Broadcasting Service affiliates, as well as other stations in 60 U.S. markets, including 27 of the top 30.

Al Jazeera declined to disclose terms of the deal.

The service’s Arabic-language network is available in the United States through the DISH Network Corp. It has been trying to increase the distribution of its English- language network through cable television, but so far is available only in Washington, D.C., Toledo, Ohio and Burlington, Vermont.

(MORE)

The story contains more details on Al Jazeera’s expansion via the Internet, which has grown to include a free broadcast service, YouTube, Twitter…and a marketing campaign being launched in the New York  Times and Washington Post.

***

On Wednesday, Harold Meyerson wrote an op ed piece in the Washington Post on the current financial crisis and had a moment of upset:

The Money-Changers

Wednesday, January 14, 2009; Page A17

…That’s why a bill that Barney Frank is promoting in the House, which would direct banks that choose to take bailout funds to start lending to creditworthy borrowers and designate no less than $40 billion for mortgage relief, is necessary if Congress is to authorize the Treasury to spend another $350 billion on TARP. Over in the Senate, the Democrats seem inclined to think that the need for such legislation is obviated by President-elect Obama‘s promise to administer the TARP in the ways that Frank’s bill would mandate.

If Obama’s appointees inspired sufficient trust that they would be willing to take on the banks, such legislation would be unnecessary. Unfortunately, they don’t.

(MORE)

What? A bit of doubt about Obama’s choices?  But my mind, as simple as it may be, asks this question.  First, what’s going to happen between the House and the Senate?  Seems Rep. Barney is having a sudden bout of  “accountablilty” when it comes to delivering bailout money to borrowers…they should be “creditworthy.”  And  that stipulation has to be within legislation that must be passed to authorize the Treasury to spend more bailout money.  But the Senate is saying “Who needs legislation?  We’ve got OBAMA’S WORD that he’ll do exactly the same thing without the bother of a law.”

So, I then ask myself: if Obama gets his mitts on this money, does it really go to “creditworthy” individuals?  Which individuals?  Will this be “reparation” money? If the recipients are the not “creditworthy” and a lot of them are the same people who couldn’t meet previous mortgages doesn’t this mean that Obama is just repeating the “non-oversight” pattern of the Democrats that helped get us into this MESS we’re in??

***

OK, the guy they tried to tell us hung out at his local Home Depot (he didn’t) and who’s got his son Beau lined up to glide into the Senate is still being sold to us as “Everyman”??  Oh, PLEASE!  From Silicon Valley’s Mercury News, which picks up this AP nonsense:

Senate veteran, Delaware everyman faces new role

By BETH FOUHY Associated Press Writer

As for the story, it’s the same old same old…

***

So, do you have any confidence that Obama will do something to remedy this situation?  Wonder if this is even on Tom Daschle’s radar? From the American Association for Health Freedom:

The Non-GMO Project Product Verification Program is Up and Running

The governments of the US and Canada stand in sharp contrast to sixty other countries around the world, including the European Union, Russia, and China, by not requiring foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be so labeled. They do so despite good evidence that GMOs could have negative health implications for humans and the environment, and despite the fact that 87% of American consumers want products that contain GMO ingredients to be labeled.

***

This week we lost Patrick McGoohan, who was Number 6–“The Prisoner”–in the Village.  I also enjoyed watching him in “Secret Agent” (“Danger Man” in the UK)  when I was  teenager. In fact,  I had a huge crush on him!

And, we can’t forget Ricardo Montalban either, who’s own “village” was on Fantasy Island…

Godpseed…

***

Ever hear of an “extra anatomical tube bypass”?  Well, my 24-year-old nephew had this surgery on Wednesday. He was born with a congenital defect of the aorta and underwent surgery when he was about 3.  His blood pressure has always been high and the meds have made him tired.  It was now time to make the fix since he’s stopped growing.  Instead of messing with the aorta itself and dealing with possible complications from previous scarring, the procedure used was a “bypass” which eliminates the need to arrest the heart and putting the body into hypothermia.  The surgery went well.  I convinced him to go to a medical hypnotist.  He didn’t need any blood transfusions and today, 3 days after the procedure, he’s only on Tylenol for the pain (which even the day of the surgery he described as being only “soreness”) and the swelling is almost gone. And his blood pressure is better now than ever before and equalized throughout his body.

Congratulations, Mark! You did it!!

***

THE PAST WEEK

“The Black President”: A 1926 Novel “Predicts” the Politics of 2008 with Some Eerily Similar Details

The Scanner-Politics 1/15/09 (40 Musical Obama Supporters Slide-Show; Barbie at 50 [French]; Women and the World; “Obama-Cola The Great National Temperance Beverage”; Tina Brown; WLS Chicago–the Governor Sells Furniture)

Hip-Hop Inaugural Events Start TONIGHT (1/14/09)…Ludicras Co-Hosting “Urban Ball”

The Obama/Media Combine Whoring Abraham Lincoln, Non-Stop

Reality Check from Our Chicago Correspondent: University of Chicago & Its Hospital “Terminating” Jobs Like Crazy (Michelle O., Guess Shuffling All Those Indigent Patients Elswhere Didn’t Help the Bottom Line That Much? Your “Plum” Job is Going, Too!)

The Past Week: January 4-January 10, 2009 (Donor Fatigue among Obamacrats; Wes Clark; Ms. Magazine–Total Sellout; Tess; Street Numbers Man; “Grounding” with Harvesting; Betta Fish Drama)

The Queen of 2008’s Sell-Out Pundits…Meet the REAL Peggy Noonan, My High School Classmate (with HS Yearbook Pic)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Back in 2001, Peggy Noonan was in love with Ronald Reagan’s feet. (No kidding.)  This time around, she seems to have boarded the “Hopey-Dope Train” with Barack Obama. This turnaround smells bigtime to me. Nothing like dashing off a little bull to get on board the Obama bandwagon and make a buck!

A few weeks ago Noonan was on Laura Ingraham’s radio show pushing her new book, Patriotic Grace. (The interview is available on Ingraham’s site as a premium stream.)  Peggy’s arrogance and air of superiority seems to have reached full-flower these days; she spoke with her dramatic “sophisticated” phoniness about how the country simply wanted civility and nicey-nice.  To her credit (and I don’t usually give Laura Ingraham much credit), Ingraham, who says she and Noonan are friends, nearly retched while on air.  She wasn’t buying any of it. And, of course, neither do I, because I know Peggy Noonan from “the early years.”

Continue reading

Sarah, Joe and Liza the Chicken

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

You can get a lot of insight while while doing leg press exercises at the gym and watching a show about chickens on the large screen TV.

It happened to me Sunday at the gym as I gazed at the close-captioning on the screen above me, which was tuned into PBS, which was running a older documentary titled The Natural History of Chickens.

I’ve always wanted chicken but have never had the chance since I’ve always lived in towns which prohibit them in backyards.  So, I’ve gotten my vicarious experience with chickens courtesy The Hencam and Vasalini’s Chicken Cam.  Seeing a show on PBS, therefore, was a real treat as I counted reps.

As I finished up my stint on the leg press, a story started rolling across the bottom of the screen. It was about a very special chicken that one of the farmers featured on the program recalled with great fondness and appreciation.

Let me tell it to you now…

Liza was a small Silkie banty hen, with white fluffy feathers that looked almost like fur.  Since she was smaller than the other chickens at the farm, she had some hard times.  When she tried to lay her tiny eggs, she was pushed out of the nest box.  Liza desperately wanted to be a mother…she would try to “mother” the chicks of the other hens, only to be chased away.  The farmer began to take pity on her, so he built her a nest box apart from the others, and Liza began to lay her eggs, only to have them eaten by rats.

The farmer had formed a bond with Liza and was now very worried about her. She became listless and started to pluck at her feathers.  She was obviously in distress. So, the farmer finally constructed a miniature chicken coop just for her.  She laid one egg at a time until there were six, then settled into incubating them.  When her babies finally hatched, the farmer said they were “achingly small” compared to other chicks and he hesitated to let them out in the yard.  But, as Liza and her newly-hatched chicks fussed about being cooped up during that first week, he finally let them out and they began enjoying the normal routine of daily chicken life. Liza proved to be an excellent mother and the chicks thrived.

One day while out in the yard, the entire flock suddenly froze and then began dashing for shelter in a panic.  The farmer, who happened to be looking out the window and saw the commotion. knew right away that a hawk was in the vicinity.  He saw Liza running toward the house, then suddenly turn…she had lost her chicks.  Running back, she found them and gathered them under her and hunkered down. In horror, the farmer saw the hawk swoop down…and it was over.

The farmer went out toward the pile of white feathers, all that was left of LIza.  As he neared her, he saw a chick pop its head out…He knelt down to pick up Liza but before he could, she was up and herding her little family back to where they had been scratching for seeds.

Liza’s feathers were so fluffy that the hawk had misjudged just how far to fly down.  It hadn’t been able to pick her up as he swooped over her, so…he missed!

Later, the farmer reflected on what Liza had done. He had never seen it happen before. He said he had thought to himself, “Here is a creature, thought to be devoid of any thought or feelings, who ignored her own ‘fight or flight’ instinct to go back to her chicks, willing to sacrifice her own life as she tried to protect them.”  Liza would always remain very special to him.

So what does this have to do with politics?  Well, here we have two VP candidates with compelling stories about their families.  And which one is getting trashed? Sarah Palin, of course, because suddenly the Democratic Party has decided to crucify her as a “working mother”  especially because she decided carry through and bring a Down’s Syndrome child into the world.  Joe Biden, after losing his wife and a child in a tragic accident, decides to take his newly-won Senate.  With two very small sons at home, he commutes to Washington, DC so he can be home every night.  Has anyone ever judged his decision to take his Senate seat only weeks after his wife’s death and assume the time-consuming job of being a Senator with two young children at home?  Anybody question his parenting skills?

Didn’t think so…

Two working parents, making difficult, Liza-like decisions.  Trying to do the best they can for their children as they continue with their own lives.

But only one subjected to insult and derision.

A Tiny Light in the Darkness…(Prof. Andrew J. Bacevich on Moyers, 8/15))

~~Posted by kenoshaMarge

One of the few news programs on television that I try to watch regularly is Bill Moyers Journal. I may not always agree but I am usually informed. Some no longer watch him because they believe he has been in the tank for Obama. I understand that and somewhat agree. Still I find many of his programs worthwhile and continue to watch them.

I’m somewhat picky so I decide which of his programs I will or will not watch. On the August the 8th one of his guests was columnist Bob Herbert. I find Clinton/bashing, Obama/loving columnists like Herbert loathsome and so I didn’t watch Moyers that night. Like I say, I’m picky. I’m willing to learn but not from someone with so little credibility as Herbert.

What I like most about the program is that it is not done in sound bites and talking points. That alone would make it worth a watch.

What the heck can you learn about anything in15-30 seconds? Obama good, Clinton evil, McCain old, very old, maverick and oh by the way; storm come, houses blow down. What the hell is this, media for 3 year olds? No, it can’t be because Sesame Street informed and taught the kiddies much better.

Moyers mostly aims for fair and honest. His aim is something off a little but whose aim is perfect? That he even tries is an accomplishment in itself.

Just because I don’t always agree with him doesn’t make him wrong, a liar, a fool or any other insult we seem to sling around with great frequency towards those that have the audacity to disagree with us. As adults it behooves us to allow that not everyone is going to agree with us on every subject all the time, even if we would prefer things that way. Echo chambers teach us nothing that we didn’t all ready know. If you prefer the sound of your own voice above all other things, echo away.

Friday, August 15 was a particularly interesting program for me. Moyers had only one guest, Andrew J. Bacevich. At the risk of making my ignorance abundantly clear, I had never heard of the man before. My loss.

The program went by too fast. If you didn’t see it this link will take you to PBS.org and the interview. It is well worth the watch.  http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html

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