Some (Unwanted) Advice for Ireland

English: This protester was on his own and let...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of you may not have noticed but Ireland is going to vote tomorrow on ‘Gay Marriage’ That all well and good, I suppose. At least they get to vote on it, as opposed to here, where it is being imposed by non-elected judges with very dubious legal precedents, but we can let that slide for the moment.

There are some lessons here for them, warning: unsolicited advice to follow. First I, like Robert Tracinski, in the quoted article, as far as what the state recognized as marriage, well I can’t get very worked up about it. I too had a strong preference for the term Civil Union with all the attendant rights and privileges of marriage. Marriage is a specific term, based on religion far more than on the state, which is a johnny-come lately comparatively.

In any case, it’s not about ‘gay marriage’ anyway advocates don’t give any more of a rat’s patootie about gay people than they do about women, or blacks, or Hispanics. The gays are simply getting used, still again. It’s all about power and the ability to control the speech and actions of the people.

Ireland is currently engulfed in a bitter debate over a national referendum on gay marriage to be held this Friday. They could draw some useful lessons from America’s own little experiment with gay marriage—which turns out to be a cautionary tale about what can go wrong.

My own position on gay marriage has run the gamut from profoundly ambivalent to vaguely sympathetic. Back when it was still an option, I was all in favor of “civil unions” that would allow gay couples to create the same legal relationship as marriage but without the name. But the idea that gay unions had to be called “marriage” gave me the heebie-jeebies. I was generally willing to acquiesce to the idea of gay marriage, but I feared that gay marriage advocates were seeking to use the power of the state to coerce public acceptance of homosexuality.

Well, there’s no reason to speculate about that any more. We’ve conducted our national experiment with gay marriage and the results are in. After the attempts to force pastors to officiate gay weddings, after that baker in Oregon got fined $135,000, and after the national campaign against Indiana for passing a law that sought to protect religious freedom, I consider those fears fully vindicated.
What we have learned is that, for a very large number of its advocates, gay marriage is not just about seeking a recognition of the rights of gay people; it is also about beating down Christians and coercing them into renouncing their beliefs. If you can brand gay marriage holdouts as “bigots,” that’s all that is necessary to declare them without rights and outside the protection of the state. Their sincere religious convictions are dismissed as a “flimsy cloak of piety” that is “discordant with cultural norms”—as if that were a crime—so everyone must be made to mouth their support for “the law of the land.”

He goes on to make his case authoritatively, I think. Toward the end, he quotes Thomas Paine a couple of times:

There never yet was any truth or any principle so irresistibly obvious that all men believed it at once. Time and reason must cooperate with each other to the final establishment of any principle; and therefore those who may happen to be first convinced have not a right to persecute others, on whom conviction operates more slowly.

That was in reference to the lessons he learned from the terror that followed the French Revolution, and it looks very clearly to me that that is where much of the left wishes to take us, we were wise enough the first time around to avoid it. Will we be this time? It’s not looking good lately. The second quote is this:

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

And it is desperately important that we remember that one at all times. And that is exactly what the one promoting gay marriage in Ireland, the US and the UK propose to do. I will never support any person who believes in ‘free speech for me but not for thee’. Then it becomes about freedom, not rights.

Read more at Ireland, Look to America’s Cautionary Tale on Gay Marriage.

It’s interesting to note, as Fr. Ray Blake has, for all the sound and fur, and all the lobbying strength just how few the gays are on the ground.

We don’t have Irish statistics that I know of. The U.S. Department of Health did a survey of Sexual Orientation and Health Among U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 2013. The survey of 34,557 adults aged 18 or over was published July 2014. They were asked: “Which of the following best represents how you think of yourself?”’ The replies were: Straight 96.6 %. Lesbian or Gay 1.6 %. Bisexual 0.7 %.UK statistics in 2013 are lower. The Integrated Household Survey (2013) found 1.2% of adults identified themselves as gay or lesbian; 0.5% of adults identified themselves as bisexual.If the US percentages are similar for Ireland, we may project the following numbers of people, based on the 2011 Census: Total population 4,588,252. Of these, 3,439,565 were aged 18 or over.We may then estimate the following aged 18 or over: Lesbian or Gay: 55,033; Bisexual: 24,076. Total: 55,033+24,076 = 79,109.The Central Statistics Office (CSO) for Ireland reported that in 2013 there were 20,680 marriages registered in the State, and 338 Civil Partnerships, making a total of 21,018. The 338 Civil Partnerships are 1.61 percent of the total. The percentages may help in having an idea of how many people in your local parish or area identify as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual – that is, if numbers are evenly distributed around the country. It is possible that the percentages are higher in urban areas and lower in rural areas, due to migration.Same-sex couples: statistics for Ireland:According to the 2011 Census, there were 4,042 same sex couples living together in 2011. Of these, 2,321 (57.4%) were male while 1,721 (42.6%) were female. These 4,042 same-sex couples are 0.34 per cent of families in the State. The Census was taken on 10 April 2011, so we do not know how many of those 4,042 same-sex couples in the 2011 Census are included in the total of 1304 Civil Partnerships registered 2011 – 2013.According to the CSO, the number of same sex couples living with one or more children was 230 (reply received from the CSO in March 2015). This is 5.69% of all same-sex couples.

Read more at A Minority Interest

Now mind this carefully, just because they are few in number does not mean that it is OK to violate their rights, that would be unforgivable if there was only one of them. I just find it fascinating how so few can through their amplification system make so very much noise that we think the foundations of the Republic are shaking. Well maybe they are but it ain’t the gays themselves doing it.

Progressive Authoritarianism

responsibility-42This is quite interesting, and a fair read of where our society/government is trying to go, and why. It also goes into some detail as to why if we are wise, we probably don’t want to go there. By Joel Kotkin writing in The Orange County Register.

Left-leaning authors often maintain that conservatives “hate democracy,” and, historically, this is somewhat true. “The political Right,” maintains the progressive economist and columnist Paul Krugman, “has always been uncomfortable with democracy.”
But today it’s progressives themselves who, increasingly, are losing faith in democracy. Indeed, as the Obama era rushes to a less-than-glorious end, important left-of-center voices, like Matt Yglesias, now suggest that “democracy is doomed.”

Yglesias correctly blames “the breakdown of American constitutional democracy” on both Republicans and Democrats; George W. Bush expanded federal power in the field of national defense while Barack Obama has done it mostly on domestic issues. Other prominent progressives such as American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner have made similar points, even quoting Italian wartime fascist leader Benito Mussolini about the inadequacy of democracy.

Like some progressives, Kuttner sees the more authoritarian model of China as ascendant; in comparison, the U.S. and European models – the latter clearly not conservative – seem decadent and unworkable. Other progressives, such as Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir, argue that big money has already drained the life out of American democracy. Like Yglesias, he, too, favors looking at “other political systems.” .
. .
Progressive authoritarianism has a long history, co-existing uncomfortably with traditional liberal values about free speech, due process and political pluralism. At the turn of the 20th century, the novelist H.G. Wells envisioned “the New Republic,” in which the most talented and enlightened citizens would work to shape a better society. They would function, he suggested, as a kind of “secret society,” reforming the key institutions of society from both within and without.

In our times, Wells’ notions foreshadowed the rise of a new class – what I label the clerisy – that derives its power from domination of key institutions, notably the upper bureaucracy, academia and the mainstream media. These sectors constitute what Daniel Bell more than two decades ago dubbed a “priesthood of power,” whose goal was the rational “ordering of mass society.”
Increasingly, well-placed members of the clerisy have advocated greater power for the central state. Indeed, many of its leading figures, such as former Obama budget adviser Peter Orszag and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, argue that power should shift from naturally contentious elected bodies – subject to pressure from the lower orders – to credentialed “experts” operating in Washington, Brussels or the United Nations. Often, the clerisy and its allies regard popular will as lacking in scientific judgment and societal wisdom.

Unlike their clerical forebears, this “priesthood” worships at the altar not of religion but of what they consider official “science,” which often is characterized by intolerance rather than the skepticism traditionally associated with the best scientific tradition. Indeed, in their unanimity of views and hostility toward even mild dissent, today’s authoritarian progressives unwittingly more resemble their clerical ancestors, enforcing certain ideological notions and requiring suspension of debate. Sadly, this is increasingly true in the university, which should be the bastion of free speech.

I find that there is a lot of truth in this concept, unfortunately like any other closed society, it breeds corruption. Who hasn’t noticed amongst this ‘elite’ a huge amount of influence peddling, not mention pandering, to obtain funding. In Wolf Hall, we watched as Thomas Cromwell curried favor with Henry VIII, do we not see the same process underway (for quite a while now) in Washington?

The killer “app” for progressive centralism, comes from concern about climate change. A powerful lobby of greens, urban developers, planners and even some on Wall Street now see the opportunity to impose the very centralized planning and regulatory agenda that has been dear to the hearts of progressives since global “cooling” was the big worry a few decades ago. This new clout is epitomized by the growing power of federal agencies, notably the EPA, as well state and local bodies of unelected regulators who have become exemplars of a new post-democratic politics.

Of course, this is in large part the model presented by postwar Europe, and we are watching as it demonstrably fails, which makes it less and less likely to be a model we should follow. Most likely the free-est country in Europe is the UK, not least because they share our suspicion of government (although it is not nearly as virulent). But the UK has, since 2008, created more jobs than the rest of Europe combined.

The fly in the ointment here, of course, remains the electorate. Even in one-party California, local constituents are not always eager to follow the edicts of the nascent “new Republic” if it too strongly affects their lives, for example, by forcibly densifying their neighborhoods. Resistance to an imposed progressive agenda is stronger elsewhere, particularly in the deep red states of the Heartland and the South. In these circumstances, a “one size fits all” policy agenda seems a perfect way to exacerbate the already bitter and divisive mood.

Perhaps the best solution lies with the Constitution itself. Rather than run away from it, as Yglesias and others suggest, we should draw inspiration from the founders acceptance of political diversity. Instead of enforcing unanimity from above, the structures of federalism should allow greater leeway at the state level, as well as among the more local branches of government.
Even more than at the time of its founding, America is a vast country with multiple cultures and economies. What appeals to denizens of tech-rich trustifarian San Francisco does not translate so well to materially oriented, working-class Houston, or, for that matter, the heavily Hispanic and agriculture-oriented interior of California. Technology allows smaller units of government greater access to information; within reason, and in line with basic civil liberties, communities should be able to shape policies that make sense in their circumstances.

This is, of course, nothing less than the federalism the founders designed into our system, which wasn’t new, even then, the catholic Church calls it subsidiarity, although it, like politicians, has always had trouble practicing it. In the eighteenth century as in the twenty-first, America is simply too large to be governed by an elite, centered in the capital, let alone by a clerisy without the requisite skill to understand even the concepts of what most people do.

One possible group that could change this are voters, including millennials. It turns out that this generation is neither the reserve army imagined by progressives or the libertarian base hoped for by some conservatives. Instead, notes Pew, millennials are increasingly nonpartisan. They maintain some liberal leanings, for example, on the importance of social justice and support for gay marriage. But their views on other issues, such as abortion and gun control, track closely with to those of earlier generations. The vast majority of millennials, for example, thinks the trend toward having children out of wedlock is bad for society. Even more surprisingly, they are less likely than earlier generations to consider themselves environmentalists.

They also tend to be skeptical toward overcentralized government. As shown in a recent National Journal poll, they agree with most Americans in preferring local to federal government. People in their 20s who favor federal solutions stood at a mere 31 percent, a bit higher than the national average but a notch less than their baby boomer parents.

If so, and I tend to agree, they may well save us all, simply by thinking for themselves, and acting in their own self-interest. Because I think it self-evident that being ruled by a distant, connected (to each other) is not in our best interest, either individually or as a society.
Hat tip to Gene Veith at Cranach, The Blog of Veith

View from the Trenches: Open Letter to the SARC

Screen-Shot-2015-05-14-at-9.33.52-AMI’m a senior electrician and operations manager. In both roles, my major function is to lead, and to get people to do their best, as well as to get the job done: on time and on budget. In other words its up to me to get the best my people can do, whether they are white, brown, black, or purple; male, female, or other. I just don’t care.

Are you a competent electrician, able to do all of the duties of the position? That’s my only question. Granted there are parts of the job that require physical strength, there are parts that require a certain type of intelligence. If I need five hundred feet of trench hand dug in wet clay, I’m unlikely to (if I can help it!) send a five foot two, 98 pound electrician (whatever their gender) to do it. To me that’s common sense. But it happens, it also happens that I end up doing it myself, I don’t like it either, but that’s life. The mission is the thing. And my mission is to get the electrical done, come hell or high water.

One of the places I learned that was in Air Force ROTC way back in the age of steam airplanes, and I learned it from men who had driven airplanes from England to places like Schweinfurt, and from islands like Saipan to Tokyo. They understood the costs of the mission very well and accepted it. That mission (unlike mine), projecting through air power the overwhelming force of the United States, cost them the loss of many of their friends. They, and their friends, willingly paid it. They were warriors.

And we are lucky, we still have warriors but, it seems to me that the Air Force has forgotten their mission, and become a touchy-feely, don’t hurt me outfit. If so, it has become a flawed weapon, not to be trusted, and that is the point of this article.

I start with the original poster’s explanation of the author because it is right to do so.

Kayce M. Hagen is a pen name assumed by an active duty enlisted airman. She wrote the following words to capture her thoughts after attending mandatory annual training given by her base’s Sexual Assault Response Coordination (SARC) office. I’m publishing her letter here not just because it captures in visceral form a sentiment I’ve heard repeatedly from airmen who are frustrated by increasingly tone-deaf and overwrought approaches to this issue, but also because I believe her input raises (or renews) two important questions. First, what is the current Sexual Assault Prevention program doing for the Air Force? Second, what is it doing tothe Air Force? Kayce’s input explores these questions in a powerful way. Enjoy and respond. -Q.

★       ★       ★       ★       ★

Dear SARC,

I got up this morning as an Airman in the United States Air Force. I got up and I put on my uniform, I pulled back my hair, I looked in the mirror and an Airman looked back. A strong, confident military professional stared out of my bathroom mirror, and I met her eyes with pride. Then I came to your briefing. I came to your briefing and I listened to you talk to me, at times it seemed directly to me, about sexual assault. You talked about a lot of things, about rivers and bridges, you talked about saving people and victimization. In fact you talked for almost a full ninety minutes, and you disgusted me.

You made me a victim today, and I am nobody’s victim. I am an American Airman in the most powerful Air Force in the world, and you made me into a helpless whore. A sensitive, defenseless woman who has no power to protect herself, who has nothing in common with the men she works with. You made me untouchable, and by doing that you made me a target. You gave me a transparent parasol, called it an umbrella and told me to stand idly by while you placed everything from rape to inappropriate shoulder brushes in a crowded hallway underneath it. You put my face up on your slides; my face, my uniform, my honor, and you made me hold this ridiculous contraption of your own devising and called me empowered. You called me strong. You told me, and everyone else who was listening to you this morning that I had a right to dictate what they said. That I had a right to dictate what they looked at. That I had a right to dictate what they listened to. That somehow, in my shop, I was the only person who mattered. That they can’t listen to the radio because they might play the Beatles, or Sir Mix-A-Lot, and that I might be offended. That if someone plays a Katy Perry song, I might have flashbacks to a night where I made a bad decision. I might be hurt, and I’m fragile right? Of course I am, you made me that way. […]

When you isolate me, you make me a target. When you make me a target, you make me a victim. You don’t make me equal, you make me hated. If I am going to be hated, it will be because of who I am, not because of who you have made me. I am not a victim. I am an American Airman, I am a Warrior, and I have answered my nation’s call.

Help me be what I am, or be quiet and get out of my way.

Read it all: One Airman’s View: Open Letter to the SARC : John Q. Public.

There is nothing to add to that, except to thank God for women, no warriors, like Kayce.

Lead her

Follow her

—or—

Get the hell out of her way!

Amtrak, Frankford Jct, and the Laws of Physics

Amtrak Train 188 carrying 238 passengers and five crew derailed late Tuesday night, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The train was traveling 106mph when it entered a 50 mph curve at Frankford Junction, the NTSB said.

Amtrak Train 188 carrying 238 passengers and five crew derailed late Tuesday night, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The train was traveling 106mph when it entered a 50 mph curve at Frankford Junction, the NTSB said.

Well, I guess we know enough that we can talk a bit about the Amtrak wreck in Philadelphia. I note that lack of knowledge hasn’t really stopped anyone else, who seem to mostly be special pleaders for increased Amtrak funding. Well, guess what? I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Amtrak. I tend to take it east about once a year. But that’s a planned trip, and I have the time, and I enjoy the relaxed pace. If I have to go any other time, or on a schedule, well, I fly like everyone else.

Here’s the thing, in the northeast corridor, given it clientele, which is business travelers, going downtown to downtown, there is absolutely no reason Amtrak can’t make a profit. It’s basic fare should be based on flying between Washington, New York, and Boston, including surface travel from the airport to downtown on both ends, because that is the service it provides. Last time I looked it was slightly cheaper than the bare airfare between those points, therefore it is enjoying an unfair advantage in its fare structure. I’d bet that if you’re going downtown in those cities, it’s also faster, especially the Acela service, so it should command a premium price.

Understand rail service has costs that others don’t. Nobody who can add two plus two really thinks that gasoline taxes fund all the road building and repair that we do, they likely collect enough but far too much gets siphoned off. Neither does air travel pay for all the infrastructure involved. Railroads are expected to maintain their own rights-of-way and that’s not overly fair until the other modes do as well. But, I personally, am not willing to talk about increased subsidies in the corridor, until they are willing. to charge a fair price for the service they provide. Do that for a couple of years, and then we’ll see.

That’s the corridor. I see no reason at all, except perhaps an unwillingness to anger its supporters amongst the elite for Amtrak not to make a profit in the corridor. That’s a political decision, and a poor one, in my mind, if you can make a profit, well, why not?

Outside the corridor, it’s an entirely different ball game. Like I said, I enjoy taking the train but, it’s neither efficient, nor cheap, nor convenient. Out here, I drive almost as far to get the train as I do to get on a plane (also subsidized) and once I do, it will take me about 36 hours to arrive, if it stays on time.

Frankly the diner sucks, it’s better than the airlines, which is not much of an accomplishment but, not as good as say Perkins. Back in the day, eating in the diner was a fine dining experience, I doubt I’m the only one who had his first really good food on the train, so it can be done but its not being done, probably because it’s not demanded. The cafe car/lounge car/snack car really sucks, unless you have a liking for microwaved frozen pizza to go with a six dollar can of Budweiser.

The thing is, a bank of vending machines would be as good, with a couple of microwaves, there must be a vending machine that can read an ID for controlling sales of beer and such, instead of paying somebody (and to be honest they are nice somebodies, I’ve yet to meet one I didn’t like) around $40/hour to send that car.

That’s true incidentally for all the train service people, I’ve absolutely nothing bad to say about them, nice people doing their best. But long distance train travel in a country this big just doesn’t make economic sense, it perhaps did, when we shipped the mail this way (mail service was better then too, by the way) but without that, it can’t possibly make money, it hasn’t since about 1900 in fact, and the railroad tried hard for most of the twentieth century..

But by comparison, even out here on the prairie, I’m nearly as close to an airport (the time of day is more convenient as well) and my trip takes about six hours, and that mostly because I have to change planes in Denver, and yes, it also costs less. Quite a lot less, in fact. And so, as much as I enjoy taking the train, I’m considering giving up and flying as well.

This particular wreck increasingly looks like it was simply a case of the engineer speeding, something like 107 mph in a 50 mile curve, that would make it completely analogous with the wreck of the Lake Shore Limited on the New York Central on Gulf Curve in Little Falls, New York back on 19 April 1940. You just can’t break the laws of physics, and when you try, people tend to get hurt and die.

You just can’t fix stupid, not even with tax money.

Taylorism, or “My Steam Engine is Broken”

English: Frederick Winslow Taylor lived from 1...

English: Frederick Winslow Taylor lived from 1856 to 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Business and Industry in this country is screwed up, I suspect you’ve noticed that. There a fair number of reasons for that. One of the big ones is that the regulatory agencies are completely out of control.

In my field, industrial electrics, there are procedures that are all but essential to troubleshooting but one can no longer use them because you cannot comply with OSHA rules and implement them. So, we all, even the best of us, have to grope around in the dark, almost randomly changing parts based on our experience, and hoping we get lucky. Eventually. we do, but it’s often slow and frustrating because we know there are better ways. That’s one way.

Another is that the lawyers and the accountants have taken over, and so we are restricted to doing things that will reflect on the monthly or quarterly (at most) bottom line. You don’t build a great company by making a profit in this quarter and the devil take the next, we’ll worry about that, then. You build a great company by doing thing the right way at the right time, not patching things together to get through the day. And with the lawyers so deeply involved, anything approaching honesty, or even admitting you might have made a mistake, will cost you your job, and likely your career.

It’s rather like letting the umpires and scoreboard operators run baseball, regardless of the owner, players, and spectators. It just doesn’t (and can’t) work very well.

Then there is management philosophy. If you’ve ever worked for an old-line manufacturing corporation, you likely noticed the sign over front gate, the one that said:

Thinking is neither allowed nor encouraged

Do as you’re told!!

Yeah, me too. frustrating wasn’t it? In large measure, it comes from what is called Taylorism, and there is another book that is on my wish list about it. In truth, if you are building 50,000 widgets, just alike, it works fairly well. It would be wiser to automate the whole line, and use your people for better purposes, though. Here’s a piece of the write up:

In the early 1900s, the US was swept up with a drive for improved ‘efficiency’ in every field of endeavor; a drive that was sufficiently significant to earn its own title, the Efficiency Movement. This movement is seen today as a part of the wider Progressive Era – the early twentieth-century drive to clean up corruption in politics, break up industrial monopolies and generally to allow the cleansing waters of modernism to flow through the mucky stables of late nineteenth-century American civic life.

Unfortunately, some aspects of the Efficiency Movement – particularly Frederick Winslow Taylor’s ideas about Scientific Management, often referred to as Taylorism – are still lodged in the modern corporation’s subconscious. These industrial-era, managerial behaviors are still affecting corporate behavior today – in ways that are entirely inappropriate to the knowledge economy.

Continue reading History News Network | The Mantra of the Industrial Revolution that’s Hobbling the Knowledge Economy.

Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that only thinking people can do work to my standards, and so that is part of my selection process, even above credentials. What I do is tell my supervisors what needs to be done, who they have to help them, what material they have, and when it needs to be done, and let them run. They can, of course, talk to me if they need to, but it’s their mission to get it done, safely, on time and on budget. Their career depends on it, and I’m not particularly interested in excuses.

In other words, I think the employee’s brain is at least as important as his back, but I’m kind of lonely sometimes.

What’s in a name?

Jessica wrote this post two years ago for Mother’s Day, and I think it to be timeless. It tells us much that we know but maybe only subconsciously about how important our mothers are to all of us, and how very important they are to our development. Think about this, Jess lost her mother when she was seven and yet, from accounts by those who know, she is a great deal like her mother. Some things are timeless in a society, and the role of mothers is paramount amongst them. I should add that Jess herself continues to improve and when I last spoke (metaphorically) to her, she sounds very much like the girl, I first met, she is recovering well Here is Jess. Neo

20130510-211820.jpg

When I was little, I would sometimes hear my father say that something or other was ‘like mom and apple pie’ – it was a synonym for everything good in life, and the clear implication was that mom had baked the apple pie. I don’t hear it much nowadays. Being a Mom is not, I think, much argued as a career option for girls, nor valued by teachers, and home baking (not chez Jess) not in fashion either. Here in the UK we are having an argument about how many children a child minder can care for, with all parties arguing the case for it because we need more women out there in the work place. I have several female friends who work and whose entire salary goes on paying for the nanny or the child minder. All the latter are female, but there is a class thing going on there; it is OK for women who couldn’t have a career in, say TV or whatever to mind children; educated middle class women like myself should get out there and have that career; if we get pregnant then we farm the little one out as soon as we can.

That left me thinking about who, then, will do what my mother did in my case, which was pass on values and moral teaching. I don’t recall being taught right from wrong – it was my mother did that for me when I wasn’t looking. It was my mother who took me to church, and, like countless mothers before her, helped pass on the values she had inherited. She had a career, she used to say – CEO the house and family. My Daddy was a determined sort of man, fond of getting his own way; he used to say he wasn’t always right but was never wrong. On the farm, his word was law – in the house, however, he would leave it to my mother – that was her realm. I am sure I did not get my own obsessive tidiness and love of cleaning from Daddy, who used to infuriate my mother by strolling in, in muddy boots and leaving his ‘clutter’ everywhere. She gave me those things, and more. My sister (who is really my half sister) said recently, after I had persuaded a workman to do something she wanted done that it was like watching my mother at work. I asked what she meant. She explained that my mother had been an expert at persuading our father to do things in just the way I had. It set me to thinking what else of my mother’s I had absorbed without knowing it?

My mother died when I was seven, and my memories of her are fairly dim. Daddy was my great hero, and I never met a man yet who lived up to him. My sister says I am a man’s woman, and I do prefer male company. But I am my mother’s daughter in more ways than I know, and I am glad she made me part of her career. So, for all those mothers who have passed on so much to so many if us, thanks mom.

Mothers' Day Cake crop

Mothers’ Day Cake crop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Mother’s Day!

from us both

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