Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday Pictures -- Webcams 'R Us

The Pineapple Express systems which bring torrential rains that are re-hydrating California are bringing mostly cloudy skies into southwest Montana. We received a related pulse of energy that covered us with snow last week, and expect a new pulse overnight. By Christmas Eve we should have a thick blanket of sparkling fresh snow on top the present base courtesy of yet another front. Here in Bozeman, the winter snow pack has set in for the duration.  

Through the good offices of the National Park Service in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks we can look real time at the spectacular scenery most any daylight time that we choose. Here are several of today's images.

Two Medicine, Glacier National Park

Apgar Lookout, Glacier National Park

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

 Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

You can play in Montana. Here are some of today's webcam images from our local ski areas.

Mountain Village, Big Sky

Madison Base area, Big Sky

Ridge north view, Bridger Bowl

Ridge south view, Bridger Bowl

In this last picture, see the brave souls, upper center, preparing to ski off the precipice. We live about a dozen miles due south of them. Have a nice day and good luck to all!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

On the Road to Bathgate, Act 4i: Robert Dimon Hoskins -- Editor, Publisher, Lawyer, Public Servant and Merchant

R. D. (Robert Dimon) Hoskins was of an extraordinary generation -- a pioneering generation that explored, settled, and developed the land we know as the United States of America. They created institutions that made our country great. It is a generation we honor on this blog. It is a generation without peer. 

We led off blogging on our family history with posts on my grandfather (R. D.'s brother-in-law) Isaac J. Foster. We reported on Ike's public and civic life, including two terms as a popularly elected county sheriff. In due time we will plow into his farming and ranching business, dig into his career in real estate and expound on his prolific career as an auctioneer.

We then blogged on my great uncle (another of R. D.'s brother-in-laws) George S. Foster. Uncle George was a notorious Chicago lawyer and Democratic machine politician, who was elected city alderman, founded several banks and served as a bank officer and president, and came to be a landlord with significant holdings. Along the way he was married a time or two and fathered children with women who were and were not his wife.

Then we moved on to reviewing the life of Lyndon King Armstrong, my grandmother's brother and yet another brother-in-law of R. D. Hoskins. Uncle Lyndon was a pharmacist, miner, engineer and publisher, and a professional society and trade association head. He was a prominent member of the Spokane community who book by book, and journal by journal, accumulated the best mining library in the Pacific Northwest. Among his peers Lyn was renowned for the the special entertainment he planned for collegial gatherings.

Now R. D. ((Rob, Robert, Bob, Hos', Hosk') Hoskins is the fourth member of this generation whom we profile. Each of the four is connected by blood or marriage, and having lived and worked in the tiny frontier town of Bathgate, North Dakota. Let's get to know Rob.

R. D. Hoskins Life Summary

Today we chronicle the front end of R.D. Hoskins' life, covering the the time from his birth in 1860 -- six months prior to the beginning of the Civil War -- to the turn of the 20th century.

A 1907 history of the then young state of North Dakota yielded this glimpse of Rob's early life.

North Dakota Magazine, Vol. 3, pp. 157-58, 1907

R. D. Hoskins married Florence Mabel Armstrong on Thanksgiving Day, 1884 in Bathgate, North Dakota. Florence was sister to my grandmother, Laura Elizabeth Armstrong Foster, and namesake to her niece (my aunt) Florence Foster King. While my grandparents would remain Bathgate residents throughout their adult lives, R. D. and Florence moved on to Bismarck, North Dakota and settled in the capital city in 1890. Florence and Robert Dimon Hoskins formed a family there that was enterprise as much as it was clan. 

Rob came of age in Pennsylvania. When he turned twenty one the manifest destiny bug bit. He moved west. Rob Hoskins would work as lawyer, editor, publisher, public servant and merchant -- and he farmed a bit too. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Breaking Open Cuba

It could be done.

The idea would not be to have ties with a government -- it's to have ties with the people.

Here is how you do it.

Raoul Castro and Vladmir Putin, July, 2014
On the diplomatic side, the President of the United States flies soonest on Air Force One to Havana. On the airport tarmac he intones, "Raoul Castro, tear down this regime."

On the economic side, build the Keystone XL pipeline and target a portion of the refined output to Cuba. 

When Cuba opens up its citizenry would be overtaken by what for them is an unimaginable tide of capitalism and freedom, and resulting prosperity. And we would have an ally as close as our neighbor to the north. 

But, of course, you would need a bold and wise president, with real vision and a strategic sense -- someone who understands the power is in a free and unfettered people and a strong economy -- not the technocrats. Don't hold your breath.  

Happy Hanukkah!

Today, the festival of lights begins.

According to the Talmud, one of Judaism’s most central texts, Judah Maccabee and the other Jews who took part in the rededication of the Second Temple witnessed .... a miracle. Even though there was only enough untainted olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day, the flames continued flickering for eight nights, leaving them time to find a fresh supply.
Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

GOP Must Nominate Real Person to Win Presidency

So Jeb Bush all but announced he is running for president today. I think I'm going to puke. This is a good day to republish my December 2012 letter to the editor, hoping it allows me to keep my dinner down.

The replays of and commentaries on Chris Wallace's interviews with Mitt Romney popping up here and there reminded me of a letter to the editor I sent to the Bozeman Chronicle in November.

The Chronicle published my letter under their (not my) headline "GOP must nominate real person to win presidency" where I offered unsolicited political advice on how an opposition party has to define itself and nominate someone who can take on the destructive Democratic juggernaut. That was before my blogging, so I thought I'd republish the letter, in full, here:

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 12:15 am  

  There are plenty of Romney “campaign failure” post mortems. But I think Romney did about as well as he could. The problem was the person and his experience. 

  This election was about the economy. But Romney never labored, operated a business or was an entrepreneur; he was a financier with drive-by exposure to working, operating and entrepreneurial guys. Romney’s resume helped him grasp the value of capitalism but not so much the power of free markets and the value creating-proposition of economic process. 

  In contrast, Ronald Reagan learned economic lessons from working independently as an actor, years of touring the country to speak with legions of ordinary people, and pull-himself-up-by-the-bootstraps life experience. He learned what doesn't work as a union activist and president of the actors’ guild. Reagan knew that individuals, not big government and big labor, are the driving force behind the U.S. economy. The great communicator spoke of economic issues in personal terms that connected with people. 

  Listening to Romney on economics was like eavesdropping on a conversation among options traders about puts or calls – strange and off putting. Romney wasn’t prepared to communicate with ordinary people. 

  Republicans, get smart. Nominate someone who is neither MBA nor lawyer (or is not defined by that education). Choose someone who led a real life – a nominee who can speak sincerely and confidently on how nanny-state government gets in the way while free market economic processes work. Messages delivered from a candidate’s heart on the debilitating impacts of dependency and debt, and in favor of the real economy over the hollowness of the monetary establishment (ala Ron Paul), are messages that resonate. This candidate believes in the people. Then you might have a chance, and if you won, would actually make a difference. 

  Grady Foster

Monday, December 15, 2014

What a Difference Three Days Makes

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Let Them Eat Natural Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings Over Gemelli Alfredo

We got up in the middle of the night so we could effect a 4:45 am delivery of our two high school students to the speech/debate bus destined for a Saturday meet at Billings Central High School. To no great surprise the girls had a tough time getting a move on and left the house without breakfast. As we pulled out of the driveway we saw our friendly neighborhood skunk foraging in the drainage ditch. By the time we were in town traveling down Main Street, I had ascertained the kids had not eaten. I asked "Do the high schools have vending machines?" One of our students answered, "Yes, but nobody uses them -- you know Michelle Obama. The food tastes like dirt." 

Of course, that's only public schools. Here is the lunch menu for Obama's kids at Sidwell Friends, bastion of the elites.
Most American kids attend public schools. On the other hand, the first daughters, Malia and Sasha, attend Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. Tuition per student at the private school is $36,264 per year (but that includes a hot lunch).
For Tuesday, Dec. 9, the scrumptious, bountiful lunch menu for both the middle school and the upper school at Sidwell Friends is:
Potato Sausage Soup; Firecracker Slaw; California Chef’s Salad; All Natural Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings; Sweet Potato Black Bean Bake; Sautéed Local Greens; Gemelli Alfredo; Sliced Pineapple
This menu of completely free lunch items certainly sounds delicious and nutritious. Also, to be clear, it’s for a single day, not the entire week.
We count ourselves pleased that the regime is teaching our youth just how sucko socialism actually is. It is the lesson of a lifetime.

Note: So later that morning I took the family over to Billings to do some Christmas shopping in the big city. We met up with the big kids. Turns  out, there were crosses all over the place. Billings Central is a Catholic school. And it had edible and nutritious treats in the vending machine. Let's hear it for freedom of religion! 

Friday, December 12, 2014

More Elk

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How Many Points Does It Take?

Cliimate change ....  habitat destruction ... blah, blah, blah ...... global warming destroying the environment .... blah, blah, blah .... man caused .... blah, blah ..... wilderness protection needed ..... blah, blah, blah .... the earth is at a tipping point ..... blah, blah, blah ..... inconvenient truth ..... blah, blah ...... threatened with extinction .... blah, blah, blah .... urgent and personal for everyone on the planet ...... blah, blah ...  habitat destruction ..... blah, blah.... blah .... fundamental threat to places, species and communities .... blah, blah, blah.

Ma! Look at what I found down the road!

Bozeman Daily Chronicle, December 11, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

On the Road to Bathgate Act 4e: Isaac J. Foster, Introducing the Auctioneer

My grandfather, Isaac J. Foster, made an important business decision in 1908. He decided to take up as an auctioneer. 

Finding the life too difficult or insufficiently remunerative, in the day, farmers and ranchers would frequently pick up stakes and move on. They would sell their 160 acre farms -- sometimes listing with or selling to Ike's real estate business. When farmers sold their land they usually were desirous as well of disposing of their farm equipment and implements, furnishings and livestock. The sales method most often used for chattels was an auction sale. 

Isaac who bought, sold, leased and brokered farm land, saw auctioneering as a profitable auxiliary business opportunity. He could line up clients as a twofer. In time auctions became the primary business. In the beginning, Isaac announced the new line of business in a display ad in the local newspaper.

Bathgate Pink Paper, March 18, 1908
I have decided to take up the business of Auctioneer and will be pleased to have the patronage of those who intend to hold auction sales of any kind of goods, wares or merchandise. I will make a specialty of Farm Auctions. I am not new in this business and can give you value received every time and sell the goods if anyone can.
This does not mean that I am out of the Real Estate business, for I am in that to stay.

Several years later, Isaac found a more graphic way to communicate his farm sales specialty.

Bathgate Pink Paper, June 19, 1912
Since we last blogged on Isaac, we have come to understand auctioneering was his dominant vocation for more than twenty years, into the 1910s and 1920s. Auctions were big business and big social events. In Ike's later years, his individual sale ads typically stated that hot lunch and beverages would be served. Town folk and farm folk alike from miles around would gather to eat, greet, meet, bid and gossip.

We will be continuing our I. J. Foster series with extensive posts on his auctioneering, real estate and farming and ranching operations. But for the present we are finishing up an extended post on his brother in law, R. D. Hoskins, which we hope to publish in the next week or two. Like I. J., R. D. found a wife and cut his commercial teeth up in Bathgate. While Issac Jarvis Foster stayed put to become a notable denizen of Pembina county, Robert Dimon Hoskins moved on to become a prominent citizen of the capital of Bismarck and the entire state.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Home Is Where The Art Is

It has been a while. We were able to weasel a few scraps of the kids' art this week. First are a couple of drawings from our Anime artist.

Our Anime artist is playing flute in school, guitar outside of it, studying Japanese on her own, and is focused on traveling to Japan the summer after next, where she will visit Asa, our 4H exchange student from last summer.

Then we got a water color and pencil piece from from our eldest. She is in high school now -- takes piano and guitar lessons, is in the BHS engineering program and participates on the JV speech/debate team. She just had her best performance this weekend (5th out of 25) in a tournament up at Whitehall. She was all smiles when we picked her up after her 14 hour day. After visiting Germany, France, Spain and Portugal on an 8th grade class trip this last spring, she is planning a trip to Sweden next summer.

And we were on the road from Montana to Texas when Father's Day sneaked up on us last summer. It was not convenient to buy a card but there was plenty of time to pen the best Father's Day greeting of all.

 Take care and have a great day! 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Her She Comes ....

This time published by the New York Times in the hope their spin on her damning record will fend off much more serious attacks to come. It's inoculation strategy. In the days, weeks and months ahead it will be, "Oh people, don't pay attention, the Times already reported that. That's old news"

During the Clinton administration, pretty much everyone in Washington not on her staff despised Hillary Clinton, including on the Hill, in the Cabinet, White House aides, and even her husband, much of the time. But worry not says the Times,

Hillary Clinton angling for government takeover of healthcare in
1994. They said she was "really smart" then too. She believes it.
Now carefully controlled at 67, then she was fiery and unpredictable, lobbing sarcastic jabs in private meetings and congressional hearings. Now criticized as a centrist and challenged from the left, Mrs. Clinton then was considered the liberal whispering in her husband’s ear to resist the North American Free Trade Agreement and a welfare overhaul.

“She’s much more politically astute now than she was in early 1993,” said Alan Blinder, who was a White House economist. “I think she learned. She’s really smart. She learns, and she knows she made mistakes.”

In other words, what you see now in public appearances is a calculated phony. When the pressure is on, people revert to form.

Happy to help you get to know your next President of the United States. 

Good luck and have a nice day!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The New York Crime Mecca

Eric Garner's crime in New York was he was selling shit, and selling shit is a crime in New York. Watch for Barack Obama to figure out a way to give New York hundreds of millions of dollars of your money so New York police can continue to stop people from selling shit. That's progressivism for you -- sell shit and die. Conform people!
Eric Garner, a hard core seller and enemy of the liberal establishment, minutes before his death.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Avalanche Advisories Issued

It's that time of year again. Beware the avalanche.

There has already been a fatality. A snowmobiler from North Dakota perished near Cooke City.
A 31-year-old snowmobiler from North Dakota died Wednesday after being buried in an avalanche in the Henderson Peak area near Cooke City.
The Park County Sheriff’s Office received a report at about 1:30 p.m. of an individual partially buried and not breathing.
Search and Rescue members were dispatched from Cooke City, according to a release from Undersheriff Scott Hamilton.
According to another release, the man had been riding with a friend about 100 yards off the trail when the avalanche occurred.

The 31-year-old man was reportedly buried in about 7 feet of snow. He and his riding partner both had avalanche beacons.

The friend located and unburied the man, which took about minutes 20, and performed CPR.
Here is the Gallitan National Forest Avalanche Center's warning for Cooke City.

Cooke City
The mountains around Cooke City received .6” of SWE last night with strong winds. Over the last nine days this zone was hit hard with storms and avalanches. Steady snow will help the stability in the long-term, but not the short-term. The immediate problem is a weak layer of facets on the ground that started avalanching after the storms dropped almost 3” of SWE (a couple feet of high density snow) since the weekend before Thanksgiving. The weak layer was very active then and will be less reactive now, but by no means is it stable. Red-flag warnings like cracking and collapsing of the snow are becoming rarer, but triggering a slide on skis or a snowmobile is still likely if you venture into avalanche terrain.
Last Wednesday’s avalanche fatality (videoreport) and a seven foot burial on Friday (yes, he lived) are irrefutable evidence that the avalanche danger is real. Given the poor snow structure and recent snow and wind the avalanche danger is rated CONSIDERABLE today.

Here is the video.

The avalanche center has issued warnings for other nearby ranges.

Bridger Range   Gallatin Range   Madison Range  
Lionhead area near West Yellowstone  
A poor snow structure plagues all the mountain ranges in our forecast area (snowpits). Weak, faceted snow at the ground is still misbehaving. On Sunday, Eric got widespread cracking and collapsing in Beehive Basin in the northern Madison Range (video) while I had similar experiences in the Bridger Range at Fairy Lake (video). Yesterday, the Big Sky Ski Patrol triggered avalanches with explosives which are relevant because these slopes have a backcountry snowpack and this is the first time they’ve been tested. 
Strong winds have been loading slopes near the ridgelines as well as cross-loading in gullies. Weak snow at the ground is still unstable, especially on steep slopes. For today, the avalanche danger is ratedCONSIDERABLE on all slopes steeper than 35 degrees and MODERATE on all others.

Here is the Fairy Lake video.

Be careful out there. For advice on how to prepare for avalanches in the event you are unexpectedly overtaken, go to our post January post. We don't want to write this winter on any more of our children's classmate's parents buried in and perishing in the snow.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Top November Posts

Thank you awesome readers! Your patronage was over the top this last month. Here are November's top ten. It is a balanced mix -- half November posts and half golden oldies. Your favorite stories are our favorite stories too -- karma at its best.  So let's get to them -- our November top 10.

1.)  I am retired. Up to now I have said little of my "professional" career on this blog. That carries over into life off the web as well. A Montana friend who played golf with me dozens of times this summer asked late August when I worked for the Postal Service was I was "a carrier or a clerk?" In Lining up Postal Data -- A Tale of a Career and Two Calendars we lay out what I actually did while employed for decades by the largest (by employment) and the most ubiquitous of all federal government agencies. If you know who Jonathan Gruber is, you will probably enjoy the post. If you don't know who Jonathan Gruber is, you could very well learn something. All thanks to the Washington, DC inside the Beltway establishment for their readership, promotion and sharing -- pushing this post to the top of the heap.

2.)  The Golf Channel: Spouse's Guide to Sanity (Special Guest Post) is the all time fave among Along the Gradyent readers. The PGA Tour is done for the year; same for the LPGA and the Champions Tour. But the Australian and Sunshine tours are in full summer swing and the silly season is upon us. If you will watch Tiger at his Hero World Challenge  this week, or Greg at his Franklin Templeton Shootout the next, or you are stuck in front of a television that's stuck on the Golf Channel, this primer is for you.

3.) It has come and gone but in mid-November it was coming. Here It Comes is the story of naming winter storms, a task accomplished this year by the Latin class at Bozeman High School. When the Weather Channel invited the class on for a segment honoring their achievement, the weather people surprised the students by changing the B name to Bozeman. Winter storm Bozeman lived up to its name dumping six inches of snow here in the Gallitan Valley, bringing full circle the Weather Channel's recognition for the young linguists, logicians, classical scholars and would be meteorologists at our high school. Go Hawks! 

4.) Hey bid a bid a, hey bid a bid a, hey bid a bid a, do we have $225 K, do I hear $225 K? 225 from UNLV! Now do we have $250K. Hey bid a bid a. Over there! $250K for president Bill. Do I hear $330 K now? Yes, thank you UCLA. Hillary Clinton's University Tours go to the highest bidder. Your next president of the United States bemoans the high cost of college education, while picking university foundation pockets and purses to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars each, to speak for a few minutes on the same. Jonathan Gruber is so right.

5.) Before it got torched it was open for business nightly in season right down the street from my childhood home. The Dells' prosperous run was concurrent, not the least bit coincidentally, with the Volstead Act and prohibition. Additional attractions included beer, liquor and gambling and gangland wars over the profits of the same. The Dells was said to be owned or controlled by Al Capone and his gang. It is commonly referred to as the most notorious of the Morton Grove roadhouses. Read about that and more in Morton Grove Before the Baby Boom The Complete Story of the Dells.

The Dells gets torched, October 7, 1934.

6.) Lyndon R. Foster was perhaps my favorite uncle -- yet I never met him. I learned essentially everything I know about uncle Lyn when I researched and wrote On the Road to Bathgate Act 4f: Lyndon R. Foster -- Veteran, Publisher and Politician. Lyndon literally put his life on the line in defense of freedom, accountability and good government. He got the Germans out of France and the mafia out of LA. 

7.) People are finally figuring out the federal government sucks and the president and his minions are lying to them virtually every day. As for looking forward,
Despite having cherry picked her appearances, just about everywhere Hillary Clinton had gone to support candidates the Democrats lost last night. I guess that should be no surprise, since last spring and summer she was about the first presidential aspirant in history to have lost a book tour. We look forward to learning what the next president of the United States has in store for us in 2015.
We commented thus and on other issues the day after in Random Observations on an Election.

Arlene Harvey, check room
girl at Club Rendezvous
8.)  Another of the roadhouse stories from prohibition era Morton Grove concerned an establishment across Dempster Street and a block up from The Dells. We blogged Morton Grove Before the Baby Boom: Club Rendezvous Goes Up in Smoke. 
Drapes and streamers stretched from the walls and ceiling of the dance hall and the dining room. The bar was packed. A mass of persons moved to the music of a three person orchestra on the dance floor. Every table in the dining room was filled. Many were Northwestern university students who had just come from a school musical comedy production. 
The girl who had sent the cry ringing through the building, snatched her wrap and made for the only exit -- except the kitchen door -- a narrow doorway on the east side of the dance hall. This doorway led into an anteroom which led to the street.
The Daily Herald, March 29, 1935
A frenzy of fear seized the merrymakers. Screaming, trampling, striking, they surged to the east exit -- only to discover, firemen said, it opened inward. The foremost were flattened against the door and wall by the desperate press of the panic-stricken. 
It did not end well.

9.) Boom, Thwack, Kapowee! Five Guys Has Opened

10.) Caring About Culverts is the story of one of our 1970's real economy jobs, the kind of job that doesn't exist anymore in our overly corporatized, centralized and regulated economy. We rolled them, we punch holed them, we fitted them, and we riveted and bolted them. We did whatever it took to build anodized corrugated steel culverts in Madison, Wisconsin back in the day.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Home is Where the Home Is

We are in our third year in Montana now. Today we didn't blink when temperatures dropped from 45 degrees at 9:00 am, down to 12 degrees by 3:00 pm. The weatherman cautions of below zero temperature readings coming overnight. As the thermometer plunged today the heavens blessed us, blanketing the fields all about with a fresh sparkling white coat. This is our home. We love it.  

Before Bozeman, Montana there was Arlington. We spend less and less time thinking about our years in Arlington, Virginia, and if the truth be known, don't miss it very much. But our German exchange high school student is curious about other locations in the United States, so I thought I would show her our old home in Arlington on Google Maps, and point out a few things about our old neighborhood and the DC area. I typed in our former home address and there it was.

In an early blog post, we had looked back at the house we called home. We saw Google Maps had updated the street view during the four week period between when we accepted a contract for sale and closed the transaction in June 2012. Here was the view.

Google Maps street view of our former Arlington home, June, 2012.
Two Januarys back I noted, "I wish Google had waited a few months to refresh the picture because I would have liked to see the front porch with the railings, side extension and stairs down to the driveway, which I understand the new owners have built in." 

This time around, sure enough, in a July, 2014 street view there they are.

Google Maps street view of our former Arlington home, July, 2014.

It looks like the new owners have taken advantage of the county sidewalk, curb and gutter replacement program to cut a side deal with the concrete contractor to replace the walkway to the front stoop and the driveway, both much needed improvements for the structure's 75th year.

The front porch now is now fenced in and the stairs have railings, excellent safety features, if creating a somewhat less open and inviting space. There is a new stairway at the right for accessing the driveway. The front pathway that wrapped around the porch and the big oak tree to the right to the driveway is no longer needed and is now gone.

We can see the two huge oak trees have had a major trim, thinning their crowns and removing branches that jutted over the house. Most of the perennials and all the annual flowers we planted to spruce up the front are gone.  

I remember when I had a yet more extensive tree trimming done on the oaks shortly after moving into the house in November 1998. Both oaks had a  couple of huge limbs overhanging the house no more than two feet above the apex of the roof. A big ice or wind storm and the roof and attic would have been trashed, leading to God knows how much more damage below. I got a full season of firewood supply out of that trim.

We are pleased as punch that our successors have kept up the iron works, with the candles, on the front porch rear wall. We bought that from Williams Sonoma and put it up when we listed the home because we thought it added an interesting touch to what was otherwise boring blank space. It fit so well, that we left it behind when we moved hoping the new owners would appreciate it as much as we had. It appears they have!

Have a nice day and good luck to all.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hillary Clinton's University Tours

I am sure you all are dying to know how your next Presdent of the United State is sustaining herself and her political team while between jobs. 

Look at what she scored for a recent appearance in La La land.
Hillary Clinton reading from a teleprompter at UCLA.
When officials at the University of California at Los Angeles began negotiating a $300,000 speech appearance by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the school had one request: Could we get a reduced rate for public universities?
The answer from Clinton’s representatives: $300,000 is the “special university rate.”
She is fifty thousand upping Bill.
In 2012, former president Bill Clinton delivered the inaugural Luskin lecture at UCLA for $250,000. Upon learning that Hillary Clinton’s fee would be $300,000, Guy Wheatley, a UCLA development official, wrote in an e-mail: “Wow! She get’s $50K more than hubby!” 
Luskin told a university official to make sure the event raised at least $100,000. The university sold more tickets — which ranged in price from $250 for one seat to $2,000 for two seats, a photo with Clinton and access to a post-lecture reception with the college deans — and provided fewer free tickets to students.
Remember how "dead broke" they were? The Clintons had to get "mortgages for houses" and "make double the money because of obviously taxes." It's great to see she continues to make progress. 
Perhaps recognizing the awkwardness of her financial gluttony your next president offered what must be her super university rate at the University of Las Vegas in October, dropping the fee to $225,000. I think I understand why. It would not have looked good to look greedy when giving a speech criticizing the high cost of college tuition.
"Higher education shouldn’t be a privilege for those able to afford it," Clinton told a crowd of approximately 900 people. "It should be an opportunity widely available for anybody with the talent, determination and ambition."The former secretary of State said that many students are affected by student loan debt "that can feel like an anchor dragging them down," and praised President Obama for increasing federal Pell grants by $1,000.
Hillary Clinton on the Teleprompter at UNLV.
Her speech fee itself, though, was controversial. Clinton first made headlines in June for the address when it was revealed UNLV was paying Clinton the steep rate to speak at the foundation's ritzy dinner at the Bellagio hotel and casino. 
UNLV students protested her visit, insisting the university instead spend the money on scholarships -- as tuition at the school will increase by 17 percent over the next four years.
“You could give scholarships to thousands of students, benefit research on campus, give more students grants for research and studying,” Daniel Waqar, student relations director for the UNLV Student Government, told Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston in June.
Hillary had a big message, a very important message, certainly worth 225 smackers to the university community, don't you think?
In the end, the politicians who scream the loudest about the high cost of college do the most to pay off their cronies, drive up input costs, and add non-essential overhead that inflates tuition, sucks money out of student pockets and imposes burdensome debt. Thank you our next President Hillary Clinton, we appreciate your leadership.
Have a good day and good luck to all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving Medley!

Join in and sing praises of Thanksgiving. Precious be our blessings and the joys of celebration with family and friends. A Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We Give Thanks to Our Forefathers (and Mothers)

On this Thanksgiving Day, 2014, we give thanks to those who came before us, pioneered and led our families to this fruitful and abundant land. They crossed fitful oceans and sailed into the great unknown, relentlessly pushing ahead ahead on a tide of hope and optimism and little else.

We thank our maternal grandparents, Elsa Rydin and John Stuberg, who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Sweden.. They made their their way to and through Ellis island, from thence traveling on to and settling in Chicago, where Elsa was a domestic and John was a master brick mason who was drafted into the US army as a resident alien during World War I.. 

We thank our paternal grandfather, Isaac J. Foster, who left his youth behind in eastern Canada to take up the life of a pioneer settler in the Dakota territory. He was farmer, rancher, insurance and real estate man, auctioneer and lawman. We thank grandfather Isaac's parents, Margaret Sanderson, a Scottish immigrant, and William K. Foster, a farmer and logger, who emigrated from Ireland in the company of his siblings and widowed mother to escape the potato famine and start new lives in the New World. 

Great grandfather and great grandmother Armstrong
are buried in Nashville. Minnesota
We thank our paternal grandmother, Laura Elizabeth Armstrong and her parents (my great grandparents), John Adams Armstrong and Laura Valeres Hollembeck Armstrong, whose in-country family roots go back to before the American revolution. The Armstrongs picked up stakes again and again, moving west and settling eventually in Bathgate, Dakota territory to make a better life. 

Today we offer special thanks to relations who were architects and builders of our prosperous country, R. D. Hoskins and Florence Mabel Armstrong Hoskins of Bismarck, North Dakota. 

Thanksgiving was always a day of gratitude and particular remembrance for R. D. and Florence because they were married in Bathgate, Dakota Territory, 130 years ago on Thanksgiving day, 1884. R. D.'s friends at the Pembina Pioneer Express made note of the event. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

SECDEF Hagel Resigns

Dude is on his way out.

Chuck Hagel, resigning as Sec. of Defense.
Now that the news has broken, more details are beginning to leak out of the White House concerning Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s departure, first reported by the New York Times. 
According to NBC News Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszweski the White House forced Hagel to resign, having lost confidence in his ability to manage the Pentagon in the face of chronic foreign policy challenges. 
“He wasn’t up to the job,” said one administration official, speaking, natch, on the condition of anonymity.
All I can say is don't paint us surprised.