Republican Candidate Possibilities


What a line up of possible contenders for the 2016 Republican Presidential candidate. If they were all running for president, I’d be hard put in many cases to decide. Naturally, there are several I’d only vote for if they end up being the Republican nomination but I’m hoping for some new blood in the presidential office and someone with some guts to stand up to the travesties of government that have been inflicted on us over the last years. It would be nice to get the Christian factions off the chopping block and give everyone back their freedom of speech even if they disagree. Bullying is not right but conversation is good. The list is not in any other order than my choice of how they measure up to my view on possibilities!

John Bolton: Mr. Bolton is a former US ambassador to the United Nations under former President George W. Bush. He is very strong on foreign policy, considered straightforward and honest. The worst that can be said about him is that he is conservative. And that is a bad thing?

Bobby Jindal: Governor Jindal (of Louisiana and a former US Representative) is an Indian-American and a southerner which would bring a lot of background to the plate. His list of credits is governor, congressman, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, and President of the state university system give him a head’s up on governing. His work with Health and Human services would be a plus in dealing with the drastic changes needed to bring obamacare into a usable service to the country.

Marco Rubio: Senator Rubio is a first-term senator from Florida. He is a good speaker and always has something worth hearing to say. His speech against obama’s decision to renew ties with Cuba was harsh, truthful, and to the point.

Rick Santorum: Former U.S. Senator and U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, Mr. Santorum is one of the few, scandal-free politicians in the possible running. He has a strong record for supporting conservative values and stands by them. Probably the worst thing that can be said of him is that he is too open in his faith and beliefs. Sad that tends to be a detriment in the world today.

Rick Perry: Governor Perry has been governor of Texas fourteen years running. He has a good record for creating jobs and keeping taxes low. His stand against abortion is well known. We have seen the run of businesses out of California into Texas so know the business climate is better there.

Scott Walker: Governor Walker is a no-nonsense governor and does what he views as right rather than cave to factions that disagree. Haven’t heard much about foreign policy issues in relation to Governor Walker which would be a much-needed asset in a presidential candidate.

Paul Ryan: Sure wish that Paul Ryan was considering a run as a retiring U.S. Vice President but we all know how that election went almost four years ago. He supports cutting spending and taxes. It’s a given that if we can get the government to cut spending, they won’t need so much of our money from taxes. Having been part of the ‘losing’ team in the Romney/Ryan race for president might have an adverse affect on him getting the nomination.

Dr. Ben Carson: Dr. Carson is retired from pediatric neurosurgery. He gained national fame with his speech against obamacare at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. Yes, President Obama was there. I admire is guts and determination and his heartfelt wish to either see the country come under a strong leader at the end of this administration or do it himself.

Ted Cruz: Senator Cruz is a staunch opponent to almost all things ‘obama’ which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He supports more conservative ideas. He also has Cuban heritage which can’t hurt in the upcoming battle for votes.

Mike Huckabee: Governor Huckabee is strong on conservative social principles. He tried for the nomination in 2008 but didn’t obtain the necessary push to reach the ticket. He is a strong Christian and lives his principles.

Rand Paul: Senator (Kentucky) Paul is conservative and adheres to the core Republican values. He upholds the Second Amendment and is in favor (aren’t we all!) Of lowering taxes. He comes across as isolationist on Foreign policy which wouldn’t work well in the global climate of today’s world.

Mitt Romney: Mr. Romney seems to indicate he will make a try for the Republican nomination, again. He has a lot of pros to his credit and leads the possible list of contenders for said nomination even over Jeb Bush. Unfortunately, everything he said or even didn’t say during his previous run for the presidential office will probably came back to haunt him.

Jeb Rush: Mr. Bush is the former governor of Florida and, of course, related to former President George Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush. Besides being tired or political dynasties, his support of Common Core isn’t popular with me. Fortunately or unfortunately, he seems to be a leading contender. Makes you wonder if the Democrats are behind the support in hopes of having another Bush/Clinton runoff, again.

Chris Christie: For awhile, it seemed that Governor Christie was the leader of the pack but doesn’t seem to be so much at present but it is still early times. From what I’ve read in the news, it seems that Democrats like him and that would be a danger signal to me! He is too liberal for my conservative tastes.

John Kasich: Mr. Kasich is the governor of Ohio and also a former United State Representative. Besides having been a congressman, he was Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Didn’t make points in a traffic stop which he called a cop an ‘idiot’ for ticketing him. His expansion of Medicaid in his home state was not a good move in Republican views.

George Pataki: Mr. Pataki is a former three-time governor of New York. He is strong on crime and worked to change and enforce the criminal statutes in the state. Although later repealed, he did reinstate the death penalty. Middle of the road moderate which would probably not appeal to the conservative Republicans.

New Year’s Food for Thought

Along with the many traditions around the world for celebrating the New Year, food plays an important part and often has it’s own symbolism or ‘good luck’ factor.

Kale, spinach, lettuce, parsley . . . why are they supposed symbolic of good fortune? Why, because they are green . . . like money! Serve them up with your New Year and hope it is true and the dollars come rolling into your 2015.

Keeping in the financial theme, some people/cultures believe beans resemble coins which are always welcome in any home. Check the sofa cushions to begin your rain of coins for the new year!

Noodles, the longer the better, are indicative of long life. I know this is a theme in Asian cooking but where does Italian spaghetti come in on this?

Fruit is a sign of prosperity especially the pomegranate with it’s many seeds showing forth abundance.

The porcine sector or the animal kingdom are considered lucky. Pigs are considered ‘progressive’ as they are always rooting forward in their pursuit of treats/foods in the dirt. Being of a well-fleshed nature (aka fat!), they are often symbol of abundance and wealth.

Again with the coin symbol! The scales of a fish sort of resemble coins and with so many fish in the sea, are also reminders of abundance.

If you are going to bake a cake for your New Year’s celebration, bake it in a ring pan! Rings always come full circle as do the months of the year. Some countries like to hide trinkets in the cake that symbolize the future for the finders.

Sigh . . . I didn’t see chicken on the ‘menu’ and that’s what I’m planning for the holiday tomorrow. I was thinking of something Asian for dinner so if I include noodles for good luck, I should be okay, right?


New Year’s Resolution Thought


“Not to wish to be called holy before one is holy; but first to be holy, that one may more truly be called so.”

St. Benedict: Rule, 4. (One of his ‘tools of good works) Sixth Century

A Thought for the New Year


“What a travesty and a tragedy to paint Christianity simply in terms of character-building – the stiff upper lip, the straight bat, the categorical imperative! It is a travesty because it is likely to end in smugness of self-made morality, in the arrogant self-reliance, self-complacency and scorn of the sinner which is precisely the purpose of religion to destroy. It is a tragedy becasue at best, if this is what we teach the young, we give them the prose of Christianity without the poetry, the dry bones instead of the living flesh and blood—and how then shall we expect them to be set on fire?”

Gerald Vann: The Water and the Fire (20th century)

New Year’s – Interesting Celebration Suggestions!

Just as varied as the people are the New Year’s customs around the world. Here in America, it is basically parties, kissing strangers at the stroke of midnight, and hangovers to begin the New Year. Many people flock to Times Square in New York to freeze in the cold with millions of others to watch the glitter ball drop at the appointed hour. Other countries, however, have their own unique ways to celebrate.

In Turkey, red is the lucky color and what better way to wish your loved ones a Happy New year than gifting them with red underwear to sport under their festive clothing for the New Year’s parties. They actually have vendors in the street selling said red underwear!

In Rumania, it is considered very good luck for the coming New Year if farmers can not only listen to their farm animals but understand them on New Year’s Eve. No reports the average success rate on that. My German mother always told me that the animals talk at Midnight on Christmas Eve but my dog always slept through the magic hour.

An Ecuadoran interested in travel for the New Year can try his luck with this custom. Merely get yourself a suitcase and walk it around the block. If the stars are aligned in your favor and the custom is tried and true, travel will be in your 2015 year. In Mexico, a similar custom will insure adventure in the New Year.

In Siberia, there is an annual custom of cutting a hole in the ice of Lake Baikal and diving to the bottom (in diving gear, of course!) taking with you a New Year’s tree. A little more research reveals that this is not just at Lake Baikal but any body of water that has iced over. In Russia that shouldn’t be difficult to find. A word advice to any of you eager to try, they encourage only professionals to try this!

In Brasstown, North Carolina, they have what is called a Possum Drop whereby a container with a possum is lowered over the crowd. In recent years, however, using a live possum has been banned so they substitute possum road kill or possum stew for the event. No, I’m not sure why!

In Spain, with each stroke of the Midnight chimes, people stuff a grape in their mouths trying to get all twelve in and eaten before midnight. Each grape that makes it, represents a good month for the coming year so, naturally, there is usually intense silence as people try to insure a good 2015.

A nice custom in Chile is bringing in the New Year’s in the company of your deceased friends and relative. Oh, wait, it’s not gross but loving! The graveyards are opened for the evening and people sit by the graves of their family members with lit candles and watch the New Year come in. Seems it would be a good time to reflect and pray and remember.

In many places in the United States, black-eyed beans are considered a good luck dish on New Year’s Even especially when prepared with rice. It is called Hoppin John.

On New Year’s Eve in Denmark, people will throw and break dishes on other people’s front steps. The next morning, the family with the most broken plates and cups on their doorstep are considered the luckiest ones for the coming year.

The Pothariko which translates into ‘The first foot’ is widely observed in Greece. The first person to step into a home on the new year brings good luck to the house. The person designated to enter the house must enter with their right foot to insure that things go ‘right’ in the new year. In addition, the person bringing in the proposed good fortune must also smash a pomegranate on the floor while wishing all those living within good health, good fortunate and an abundance of joy and happiness.

Here’s a good custom if you are single and wish you were not and would love to find yourself engaged in 2015. In Belarus, on New Year’s Eve, single women compete in games of skill to impress the single men and see who might be a bride in the coming year. My favorite is setting piles of corn in front of each of the competing women and releasing a rooster. The winner is the one the rooster approaches first indicating she will be the next betrothed.

Then there are the people in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom who like to start their New Year with a plunge into frigid bodies of water. I wonder how that works with those possibly suffering from New Year’s Eve hangovers?fireworks2013

Prayers for Air Asia Indonesia Flight QZ8501 Passengers



AS OF 30 DECEMBER 2014 18:00 PM LT (GMT+7)

 SURABAYA, 30TH DECEMBER 2014 – AirAsia Indonesia regrets to inform that The National Search and Rescue Agency Republic of Indonesia (BASARNAS) today confirmed that the debris found earlier today is indeed from QZ8501,

“They cannot wholly pass away,

How far soe’er above;

Nor we, the lingerers, wholly stay

Apart from those we love:

For spirits in eternity

As shadows in the sun,

Reach backward into time, as we,

Like lifted clouds, reach on.

(J.B. Tabb: The Departed – 19th century)

Potato Chips – The Cost Factor!

Potato chips are one of my favorite treats. Naturally, given that potato chips are mostly fat, it is a rare treat . . . until I saw someone on-line make them in the microwave. Although we have a large turntable in our microwave, it didn’t hold many slices so I experimented and found that lining baking sheets with parchment paper works just as well and almost as quickly. The original version called for generously oiling the surface to the potato slices don’t stick. My first attempt was okay but too oily. Placing them on the parchment and then spraying them with vegetable oil spray gave them the necessary crisp potential without added calories.

I also began to see what a profit is made by the potato chip companies, too. I sliced one, unpeeled potato very thinly and probably got more than 100 slices. I had four parchment-line baking sheets in the oven at 350 degrees and the microwave turntable filled to capacity,one layer deep. Surprisingly, the oven method went almost as quickly as the microwave chips. By the time I finished, I had a large bowl of chips almost equivalent to a good-sized purchased bag for a lot less money and way fewer calories. I felt decadent eating a whole bowl of my chips and kept reminding myself that the calories were mainly from the actual potato and it was only one potato!

In the microwave, it can take up to four minutes depending on the power. In a 350 degree oven, you are looking at five to six minutes but they can burn more quickly so need to be watched.