Another Way To Learn How To Start Blogging

Posted By on March 21, 2014

awtlhtsbIf on the previous article, you knew how to learn how to start blogging by lurking in forums that are about how to start blogging, there is another way to learn and not in a lurking way. This method of learning, though, will cost you money. This is by personally taking tutorials about blogs from expert bloggers. The price will depend on them. If they think you need to learn from the very basic (from sentence structure, grammar, and correct usages of words), then they will need to charge you bigger since you will be taking lessons that are meant for first graders.

However, if you need to learn only the advanced way to blog like codes for each font style or format, and proper arrangements of codes, then it will be a sure thing the expert will not ask for too much. This method is actually better than trying to figure out the things you see online. Why? Because you get to personally talk to an expert and you get to ask questions and get the answers immediately. Blog tutoring, though, is not easy to find. You need to start looking in forums. There are many self-proclaimed experts in those forums but only few of them are really experts and will accept your offer to be your tutor.

Problems You Encounter During Learning How To Start Your Own Blog

There are many problems you can encounter while you are on your road into training yourself and knowing more about how to start your own blog. There may be problems that you will encounter before, during, and after your training about how to start your own blog. How will you avoid the problems that you are going to encounter while learning? Here are some helpful tips about them. First, before you hire your tutor, always ask for a proof that they really have been a blogger for so long. How is this helpful? By knowing or seeing their blogs online that are dated in the past and have been viewed, you can give them a part of your trust to be your tutor.

Another way is to copy and paste their article into Microsoft Word and see how many errors are there. Let us say that they have been a blogger for so long but their article is brightly colored by lines that indicate that there are errors and they are more than half of the whole article, then you might as well choose another tutor. Why? So what if they have been blogging? If they have a really bad grammar, then do not make a bad choice by hiring them!

Tips And Tricks On How To Stop A Panic Attack

Posted By on February 28, 2014

tathtspaThere are tips and tricks on how to stop a panic attack. This type of information you can find online and in several books. As life has become fiercely competitive and stressful, people are experiencing actual physical illness, which was much rarer in earlier and more peaceful times. This is largely due to the poor economy and the struggle for survival. People go from one day to the next in a state of anxiety. This blows out into a panic attack when even the slightest pressure rears its head. It is obviously time for us to take a step back to see where we are going with this kind of living. This is exactly the phase in life when people start looking for someone to teach them how to stop a panic attack.  This is also the perfect time to do some research into the various tips on relaxation.

One of the most basic steps on how to stop a panic attack is to learn deep breathing exercises. Nothing can arrest a panic attack as best as calm and deep breaths can. People seek out yoga gurus in order to learn how to breathe. You may be able to learn without turning to yoga. However, it would need a lot of practice and learning the right way to inhale and exhale.

You Can Write On How To Stop A Panic Attack If You Know How

If you master how to stop a panic attack, you can write a book, too. You can experiment with different techniques and make a list of the ones that work most effectively. You can also make sure that you are able to elucidate what exactly makes a person panic. For instance, a major panic attack may not be easy to handle with just a few deep breathing experiences. It may need more drastic measures like hypnotherapy. Most of all, it will need tremendous desire to change. Many people go through panic attacks and even knowing how to stop a panic attack in theory are unable to put it into practice. This makes them cower from life’s small and big challenges and they live their entire in a frozen state. This becomes highly apparent when they have to make a presentation even if it is only to small school kids.  You can only imagine what such anxiety does to highly placed professionals when they have to address the management.

In the end, you have to figure out how much control you give to your panic attacks. You can change it if you have enough will to change. Prevention is always the key. While this may not be an immediate cure like popping a pill, it will work if you religiously practice it and make it a habit. This way, you can stop the panic attack well before it advances. Anyone can learn how to stop a panic attack.

What Is HDD Recovery?

Posted By on December 22, 2013

wihdrComputers are bothersome. They can malfunction at times causing the operating system to crash or the hard disk drive to fail. This would not be great news especially for those who have stored all their treasured files like music and academic documents. The worst is when there is no backup for the data. Some would panic in such eventualities knowing that their hard work and time is all gone like that. However, with the possibility of HDD recovery, it is a bit of relief as data lost in most circumstances could be retrieved with the work of pros.

HDD recovery is useful as it helps one to get back all their lost data. This however is possible with software that one purchases meant to help in such situations. The damaged hard drive is read by this software and the information is retrieved. Mechanical damages however may require manual repair of the device as it may be physically ruined and some damages are irreparable leading to a total loss of data. The cost of HDD recovery high besides time as the exercise may take a bigger duration depending on the intensity of the damage. This calls for care of the computer hardware and also a backup.

Opting For Professional HDD Recovery

Having your HDD crash on you can be one awful experience. There are a number of reasons why the drive may malfunction. However, what usually stresses many people is the loss of valuable data that occurs. It is for this reason that people try as much as possible to get HDD recovery so as to get the chance to recover the information that they may have lost. There are a number of steps that people will follow when they wish to recover these drives from home. You have probably heard of people who warm the drive and even freeze it in a bid to get it back to work. However, these are steps which may sometimes fail to bring back the desired results. In any case, sometimes these procedures can bury the hope of ever getting the information ever.

It is for this reason that it is advisable to seek professional help as soon as a malfunction of the drive is noticed. They will usually even employ the use of software, which can help them know the cause of the problem. You need to check on the profiles of these companies to be sure that they can offer you reliable HDD recovery.

The Unlucky User Will Need RAID 10 Recovery

Posted By on October 10, 2013

rd10It would be surprising to know that the common user of personal computers would have no clue as to what Raid 10 is or what RAID 10 recovery entails. This is largely due to Windows and Macs, which are infinitely user friendly. People who claim to computer savvy may be telling the truth. However, what they mean is that they know how to use a computer and the operating system that comes with it. They may even know how to use the software that is installed in the system. However, if you were to ask them about the hard drives and formatting these, they would shrug their shoulders and happily claim ignorance.

Individual or home users do not really need to know anything about arrays or data storage. But, they do need to know that if they did not take backups, they would be in need of RAID 10 recovery teams on occasion. In order to explain the problem to the technicians, they may also need to know about what goes on behind the operating system. There have been cases where the user is clueless and completely dependent on whoever arrives on the doorstep from the RAID 10 recovery team. If you are lucky, you will get the best professional from the service provider. But, you may not always be lucky!

RAID Repair Capabilities, Help And Support

When seeking RAID repair services, many will opt for the cheapest. This is not a bad idea as saving on costs is an important factor as well. But what does one gain when they spend less only to seek better services soon after? This is why, it is very important to look out for experts, who are capable of handling your data with utmost caution. Most information stored is usually of value, necessitating the services of someone who has immense experience in handling the disks. The services offered have to be highly rated when it comes to the number of successful operations, especially when data is lost due to unavoidable calamities.

For those who use RAID in their businesses, a single day when it malfunctions can translate into large amounts of losses. This may call for an urgent RAID repair process to restore the previous functions. When a situation like this one arises, it is imperative to seek the services of a company which offers 24/7 customer support to initiate data recovery immediately. The company has to keep the owner updated on the progress of recovery. Emergency recovery services may also be an option if there is need for immediate data recovery.

Situations That Call For Back Tax Help

Posted By on October 8, 2013

scfbtBack taxes often arise due to numerous reasons. Perhaps the most common ones include changes due to circumstances like switching jobs or beginning to receive pension, the revenue office not processing returns information properly and not being notified about the revenue. A number of people usually pay without seeking back tax help because they do not want penalties and accrued interests that come with late payments. The truth of the matter however is that when one has reconciliation or the discussion about the amount owed, whatever accrues is referred to as arrears and not a debt. One may run into penalties when forced into self-assessment.

It is possible to challenge a letter from HMRC and ask them to hold collections up to that time when they will have got satisfactory answers from the tax payer. Most of the time, these matters take a long time and require lots of patience. In cases, where it is the employer, who has contributed to the late payment, no one can hold you responsible so long as there is evidence. An example is – when the error lies with the HMRC or the employer. For such cases, one can easily solve the problem by seeking back tax help.

Highly Rated Tax Relief Help

When you are looking for a company that can give you tax relief help, make sure you look for its rating in the business review. Not too many new and upcoming businesses get a good rating with them because they are simply not up to the mark in terms of qualified staff. It would be safe enough to pick one that has got a high rating because you would know that this company has been scrutinized and approved. Naturally, with approval from Better Business Bureau, you would expect only companies that are legitimate and have a solid reputation.

This kind of caution is imperative when it comes to seeking tax relief help. As it is, you are going through a stressful time and cannot afford to take any risk that will put you further behind. In fact, you may even want to go one step further and have your accountant verify the information too. The credibility of a company would definitely be part of the gossip mill among people of the same industry. Once your accountant also gives you the approval, you might want to reach out quickly for the tax relief help so that your concerns can be alleviated at the earliest.

Do Stop Snoring Pillows Really Work?

Posted By on September 12, 2013

sspwThere are different kinds of stop snoring pillows and these are designed in order to provide extra support on the neck while sleeping. The reason why some people snore is due to the soft tissues of their palate that slides backwards and cause obstruction to the throat. The soft tissues then vibrate and produce a snoring sound. That is why the aim of anti-snoring pillows is to keep the head aligned with the spinal column in order to open the airway freely while the person is asleep. Stop snoring pillows usually take effect when used every night but some people are unsure if it really works.

Basically, there are several variables that will determine whether this kind of pillow is effective or not. First, anti-snoring pillows are made in specific sizes. If you purchase the wrong size for your head, you will not experience the effectiveness of the pillow at all. Second, restless sleepers who cannot stay in just one position will not find relief also. Third, overweight individuals do not need a pillow to alleviate their snoring problem. They need to consult a physician in order to treat their breathing problems while they sleep. Therefore, stop snoring pillows can work but in certain circumstance.

You Should Consider Things About Stop Snoring Pillows

Stop snoring pillows are made for individuals who snore while sleeping. Snoring is very embarrassing, as it can disturb the sleep of others. Although this is unconsciously done, snoring occur because of an airway obstruction. People who snore almost every night should consult a physician in order to alleviate the problem. The physician who specializes in sleep disorders usually observes the sleeping pattern of the individual. If there is a need for medications, the physician will prescribe the appropriate drugs. But if lifestyle modifications are just needed; exercise, diet and even stop snoring pillows may be recommended.

Anti-snoring pillows are made to align the head and the spine while the person is asleep. It comes in different sizes and types. Some people who use this pillow every day find relief in snoring. However, anti-snoring pillows may not be effective to those who stay in several positions while sleeping. Aside from that, overweight individuals cannot enjoy the benefits of such pillow because of the thickness of their soft tissues. Snoring because of an underlying disease cannot be alleviated by these types of pillow. Thus, stop snoring pillows can only be useful to individuals who simply have a bad sleeping position.


Simple Ways To Stop Snoring

Posted By on August 1, 2013

“How do I stop snoring” is definitely a crucial question that you have asked yourself in the morning when you wake up feeling groggy and all fatigued. There are a number of mechanisms that you could use to minimize or at best, stop snoring, a few of them at First, shedding a few pounds will leave the tissues of the throat leaner so that they do not have to vibrate when you are breathing during sleep. Smoking has also been attributed to snoring. Hence, if you are bothered by the snoring problem, the first step may be to kick out the smoking habit. This will keep your nasal membranes healthy and hence breathing will be smoother.

There are also a number of drugs and substances that have been shown to boost snoring and you are better off avoiding them before you sleep. If you are wondering, “How do I stop snoring”, then it might help you to know that alcohol and products that contain caffeine are not the best for you. Sedatives too need to be avoided because these products have been shown to cause the muscles found in your throat to relax and make passage of air difficult. If the problem seems to be persistent even with anti snoring devices, it might be a sign of a bigger problem and therefore a doctor should be consulted.

How To Get A Young-Looking Skin

Posted By on March 29, 2013

dermatologyThe beauty industry is packed with anti-wrinkle creams from different brands. This is because many people have come to realize the importance of having a youthful-looking skin. It is crucial to be informed the results may vary due to several conditions. The type of active ingredient or ingredients that are present on the product and their concentration, the length of time that it was used and the person´s skin type can greatly influence the result. If you are planning to use an anti-wrinkle cream, you must search for the 10 best anti-wrinkle creams in the market and study each one of them. It is also advised to consult a dermatologist before deciding on which product to use. The dermatologist will assess your skin type and can suggest a product that suits your skin best. However, you must not solely depend on the anti-wrinkle product that you are using. It is also important to consume fruits and vegetables that contain nutrients which are needed for a healthy skin. You must keep your alcohol consumption in moderation and do not smoke. It is also recommended to get enough sleep to avoid. The appearance of your skin can influence the way that other people perceive you. Thus, it is only correct to place a large amount of effort in protecting it. Read more

What You Should Expect From Anti-Wrinkle Creams

There are probably thousands of commercials about anti-wrinkle creams all around the globe. This is because there is a strong demand for these types of products in many different places. Anti-wrinkle creams promise to give the consumer a younger looking skin by reducing age spots and wrinkles. Since ageing is natural process, everyone is a target consumer. However, it is crucial to be oriented that not all anti-wrinkle creams are the same. The results of using a certain anti-wrinkle product may vary from one person to another due to several factors. If you are planning to use an anti-wrinkle cream, it is advised to conduct a research about this type of product prior to purchase. You have to know the different active ingredients that are being used on anti-wrinkle products, their rate of efficiency and potential side-effects. There are thousands of anti-wrinkle creams out there. This makes it quite difficult to find the product that suits you. You may search for the 10 best anti-wrinkle cream in the internet. Once you had obtained the list, study each product carefully. Many people decide on their own when it comes to choosing an anti-wrinkle product. But it is still better to talk to a dermatologist before actually buying or using the product.

 What You Must Know About Anti-Wrinkle Creams

wrinkle-creams-04Many commercials that feature anti-wrinkle creams are enticing. But it is important to remember that the results may vary from one individual to another. The effectiveness of anti-wrinkle creams is dependent on a number of factors. One of the most dominant factors that should be considered is the active ingredient or ingredients that were used to make a certain anti-wrinkle cream. It is important to know the active ingredient or ingredients that are present on the product before actually buying it. You should research about each active ingredient for you to know what to expect from the product that you are buying.  Some ingredients have potential side-effects that you should be aware of. Get the list of the 10 best anti-wrinkle cream and study each of them. The length of use is also a very important factor. Usually, it will take many weeks before improvements become evident. It is very essential to follow the instructions on the container of the anti-wrinkle cream. One´s skin type and lifestyle should also be considered. The appearance of wrinkles can be exacerbated if the consumer has poor nutrition and keeps unhealthy habits such as excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. It is also vital to know that some products have not been subjected to extensive research to prove their effectiveness.

The Stars Over New Mexico Shine Brightly

Posted By on December 20, 2012

Rising 300 feet from the canyon floor, Fajada Butte is a dominant landmark at the southeastern end of Chaco Canyon. Near the summit of the butte on a June day in 1977, Anna Sofaer, an artist, was recording one of two spiral petroglyphs located on a rock wall behind three upright slabs of rock. At midday, she noticed a dagger of light slicing through the spiral. This apparent “sun dagger” falls on the spiral during equinoxes and both solstices. It may also mark the major and minor standstills of the moon. There is a great deal of controversy among archaeologists as to the dating and placement of this “sun dagger” site. Also, because the site has become increasingly fragile over the years, tourists are no longer allowed to climb to the butte’s summit.

fajAt the opposite end of Chaco Canyon, near the great house Penasco Blanco, is a breathtaking painting which many believe to represent the supernova of A.D.1054, which formed the Crab Nebula (M1).

Standing beneath this pictograph, one can envision an ancient astronomer gazing up toward a star blazing next to a crescent moon in the twilight of dawn. What would the ancient one have thought, standing in what may have been a sun-watching station, on seeing an average, familiar star grow bigger and brighter than ever before, almost right before his or her eyes? This stellar event could be seen in daylight for three weeks. Adding yet another twist to the mystery is what appears to be a blazing comet etched into the rock wall beneath the “supernova” painting. The same sky-watching community could easily have added this feature with the visit of Comet Halley in 1066.

Though remote, Chaco Canyon is worth every bump and jolt on the rugged 17-mile dirt road that must be traveled to get there. Ladies, wear your sports bras for this ride. According to Cornucopia, “If you can get here, you can be here,” is the motto of the National Park Service, caretaker of this exquisite monument lost in time.

In any event, Chaco Canyon is a compelling adventure that will have you creating your own ideas of what the Anasazi were up to. To see all there is to see, plan to spend two or three days here.

Camping is the best way to fully appreciate Chaco Canyon’s wonders, unless you relish a 70-mile drive into Cuba, New Mexico, the closest place with plentiful accomodations, each night after exploring the ruins and trails all day. Besides, if you leave the park, especially from May to September, you’ll miss great astronomy nights filled with telescopic tours of the universe. And under the jet-black skies of Chaco Canyon, the Milky Way stands out against the backdrop of stars like a ribbon of clouds dusted with sparkling glitter. What self-respecting observer would want to miss that? Bring a telescope or binoculars — you won’t regret it.

But if you’re like some people I know and have sworn resolutely never to camp again, the Chaco Inn at the Post — a bed and breakfast with three nice rooms and great food — is about 25 miles from the park in Nageezi. You’ll definitely want to call ahead and make reservations, (505) 6323646. Be sure to take your own food into the park because you won’t find any at the informative visitors center, and carry lots of water with you. However you manage it, Chaco Canyon will deliver. Immerse yourself in the mystery of a genuine lost world.

Superintendent, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, P.O. Box 220, Nageezi, NM 87037; phone, (505)786-7014; website,

Roswell, New Mexico: Is the Truth Really Out There?

“We were in the back of my pickup truck, buck-naked . . . having a good `ole time when about 11:30 the night of July 4, 1947, all hell broke loose.

“There was a big flash, an intense, bright explosion, with a noise like thunder, this thing came plowing through the trees, shearing off the tops, and then stopped between two huge rocks . . . the damn thing stopped about sixty yards from the pickup . . . we thought at first it was going to hit us!”

Okay. So this excerpt from The Jim Ragsdale Story: A Closer Look at the Roswell Incident is somewhat short of a documented, scientific report. Some of you are raising your eyebrows. What? An editor for Astronomy taking a joyride out to an alleged UFO crash site? Hey — it was on the way to the airport. And besides, the International UFO Museum and Research Center (IUFO MRC) at 400-406 N. Main Street in Roswell, New Mexico, has a great gift shop. The museum contains various displays including “Crop Circles: Phenomenon or Hoax?”, “Ancient Cultures and Their Connections to Extraterrestrial Life Forms,” and “The Mystery of Cattle Mutilations.” Give IUFOMRC a call, (505) 625-94-95, or check out their website, commercial/ufo/index.html.

In December 1996, the Tourism Association of New Mexico awarded the IUFOMRC its “Top Tourist Destination of New Mexico” award. Whether or not an alien spacecraft crashed outside of Roswell, the town has many attractions, both within the area and nearby, including the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Bottomless Lake State Park, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. See Roswell’s website at for upcoming events.

My traveling companion and I toured the museum and spoke with the delightful museum director Deon Crosby, who showed us pictures and gave us a map to the site where Roswell local Jim Ragsdale allegedly witnessed an alien spacecraft crash into the side of a mountain in 1947. We donned our X-Files, FBI-agent, Mulder and Scully hats and took the bait. It was, after all, just a couple months short of the 50th anniversary of the alleged “Roswell Incident.”

Following directions, we drove 51 miles west of Roswell on Pine Lodge Road toward Capitan and Boy Scout Mountains. The drive was beautiful as Capitan loomed ever closer in the late afternoon sunshine. After another five and a half miles or so on rugged dirt roads, we arrived at our destination. The boulders in question were easy to find because Crosby had shown us pictures of them before we left the museum.

rozmusThe UFO supposedly crashed into the side of a mountain before slamming into three large boulders, stopping just short of Ragsdale’s camping site. One of the boulders was supposedly split by the impact. I’m no geologist, but I did meticulously photograph the boulders in question. Was the boulder split by an impact, or could it have been a more natural event, such as water seepage? The site didn’t appear extraordinary-apart from the split boulder, it was a lovely forested hill. Here and there we saw a downed tree, but no more than one finds on any camping excursion.

Not wishing to be a stick-in-the-mud, when I returned home I turned my photographs over to geologist Herman Bender of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. His verdict? Though he stated that an on-site visit would be necessary for total confirmation, on studying the photos, he felt the crack in the boulder was a result of a natural process, probably seismic. The surface of the rock inside the crack, he thought, showed weathering and exfoliation in excess of the 50 years since the purported impact-more likely thousands of years.

Did an alien spaceship crash into a mountain hillside on a thunderous July night in 1947? Did the United States government confiscate that spacecraft and then undertake a monumental effort to cover up any leftover evidence? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. For my part, I say no. But darn it all, I wanted to believe.

RELATED ARTICLE: Roswell’s Real Flying Objects

Long before the famed alleged UFO crash of 1947, strange objects whizzed about in the skies over Roswell. There were 56 in all, each well-documented, each uncontested. Though the man behind these gizmos did most of his work in secrecy, it was hard to hide the blasts and contrails coming from the local desert. These were the rockets of Robert H. Goddard.

From 1930 to 1941, the Goddards and their crew of four lived at Mescalero Ranch, just outside Roswell. They constructed a launch tower and a crude control shed and went about making giant advances in the science of rocketry.

Goddard built the first liquid fuel rocket in 1925, filled it with Texaco gasoline and liquefied oxygen, and set it off from a cabbage patch in Auburn, Massachusetts. When a Boston Globe headline read “‘Moon Rocket’ Man’s Test Alarms Whole Countryside,” Goddard began to realize the need to relocate. Thanks to supporter Charles Lindbergh, he received a large enough grant from the Guggenheim Foundation to head to the open spaces of New Mexico.

While there, Goddard made major advances in rocket propulsion, stabilization, tracking, and recovery. Thanks to parachutes sewn together by Mrs. Goddard, instruments could be placed in the nose cones and retrieved after the flight.

When visiting Roswell, stop at the Museum and Art Center. Goddard’s launch tower sits on the front lawn, and a faithful recreation of his workshop waits inside. An extensive collection of rocket assemblies, patent applications, and documents spanning Goddard’s career compliment the fragments of his first flight, also on display.

Admission to the museum is free, though contributions are appreciated. Located at 100 West Eleventh Street “Eleventh and Main), the museum is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays and holidays, 1 to 5 p.m.

StarHill Inn

Mystical and magical, a stop at the world-renowned StarHill Inn is a vacation in itself. People have traveled from as far away as Singapore to experience the velvet black skies of the Southwest coupled with the warm hospitality of Phil and Blair Mahon, owners and operators of this star-gazing getaway. Nestled deep in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the northern part of New Mexico, StarHill Inn has provided an astronomical extravaganza for amateurs and professionals alike since 1988. But it charms more than just those who love the dark. Daylight is delightful, and the sun rises to the melodies of 300 or more bird species who call the area home.

With two national wildlife refuges (Las Vegas and Maxwell National Wildlife Refuges) and two state parks in the immediate vicinity, it’s easy to see why StarHill Inn provides birding workshops on its menu of activities. The inn also provides a map of birding spots in the area, and Blair is always willing and eager to share her birding adventures with others.

StarHill Inn is not only a birders’ paradise; hikers can trek for months without repeating a trail. And should you tire of StarHill’s 195 acres of ponderosa forests and mountain meadows, just drive to a trailhead in the Pecos Wilderness. More than 200,000 acres of woods, wildlife, and mountain peaks climbing to 13,000 feet are yours to explore. If the season’s right, areas to hunt, fish, and boat are just minutes away.

New Mexico’s abundant opportunities for exploring ancient Native American pueblos and cliff dwellings are nearby as well — Bandelier, Puye, Pecos, and Tsankawi are all between 45 minutes and two hours away.

And, of course, the lure of Santa Fe is hard to ignore. About an hour’s drive southwest, its history, downhill and cross-country skiing, musical festivals, pueblos, and numerous art galleries and shopping opportunities make it a must on any New Mexico adventure list.

But if you’re one of those single-minded, die-hard, detect-faint-celestial-targets-’til-you-drop types, you will not be disappointed. With only a small light-dome visible to the southwest (Las Vegas — no, not the gambling mecca of Nevada, but New Mexico’s own), the limiting magnitude at StarHill Inn is 6.5. Powered piers for seven telescopes command the observing deck, which is adjacent to the library/warming house and observatory dome.

Bring your own observing equipment or rent one or more of the many on-site telescopes, binoculars, and accouterments. From 7×42 binoculars to a 24-inch f/8 Ritchey-Chretien scope with an ST-8 CCD camera, the selection should satisfy star-gazers at all levels of expertise. You can also opt for a private observing session and sky tour with Phil using your choice of nine telescopes. The sky’s the limit for relaxed or serious observing, astrophotography, and even armchair astronomy. If the night clouds over, the library holds a television, videocassette recorder, videos, books, and a computer loaded with TheSky (Software Bisque), Earth-Centered Universe (Nova Astronomics), and Distant Suns (Virtual Reality) software.

Don’t feel like observing? Simply relax in one of StarHill Inn’s seven extraordinary cottages for the evening. Impeccably decorated and immaculate, the Mahon’s love of this celestial retreat shines in each and every detail. All units boast a fully equipped kitchen stocked with staples (including a toaster-oven, coffeemaker, and coffee), a beautiful and distinct fireplace for those cooler nights, a private porch, and a lovely bath. When it’s time for bed, snuggle up under the colorful, fluffy comforters, turn off the lights, and gaze at the delicate array of stars painted on your ceiling.

Whether you take your family, a friend, or travel alone, there is something for everyone at StarHill Inn. Be sure to call for a schedule of upcoming workshops, including those on visual astronomy, ancient astronomy, and astrophotography. This retreat could easily justify an entire holiday, but it can also complement your vacation if you’re just “passing through.” Whatever you do though, don’t pass it by.

Was Clinton Too Watered Down?

Posted By on December 20, 2012

IN his weekly radio address in mid April President Clinton lamented that his anti-terrorism bill had been watered down and argued that “we need the real thing.” When the bill was in conference, Democrats worked to add provisions to give it “some teeth.” Rep. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), a liberal’s liberal, complained that “there’s a lot that should be in this bill that’s not.” Clinton FBI Director Louis Freeh, meanwhile, argued that a federal law-enforcement review commission provided for in the bill would have “a chilling effect on those charged with vigorously enforcing the law.” What all these newly tough-on-crime Democrats were complaining about were provisions either deleted from the bill or added to it at the behest of Republicans like freshman Rep. Bob Barr (Ga.).

Barr helped torpedo the initial Clinton version of the bill last year, then in March stripped down further a compromise version he had worked out with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde. “The traditional forces of big government say, ‘There’s a problem, let government fix it,”‘ explains Barr. “And if it’s law enforcement, traditionally Republicans said, ‘Give law enforcement whatever it wants.’ The process whereby this bill became law is recognition that there really are new forces at work in the Congress on behalf of the people.” New, indeed. As Clinton touts his cops-on-the-street plan and talks tough on assault weapons, Republicans are in danger of losing their grip on the crime issue for the first time since 1968.

The Dole campaign is getting most of the blame for the GOP’s current funk. But the Republican predicament has been a party-wide effort with roots far deeper than a stumbling presidential candidate. The GOP Congress has operated with a reckless disregard for its own political health. In cases like the anti-terrorism bill, it has succumbed to the misplaced enthusiasms of its well-intentioned and energetic freshman class. In others, like the balanced-budget fight, it has been seduced by its own airy triumphalism. And in still others, like affirmative action, it has been wary of offending polite opinion. “The Bush Administration in drag,” is how one House member describes a GOP Congress so weakened it now cowers before the minimum wage.

Like the Bush Administration, the GOP Congress has allowed critical distinctions between itself and Bill Clinton to get blurred. Crime is one example. Another is taxes. Both Republicans and Democrats now endorse what Clinton calls “a modest tax cut.” And, astoundingly, Clinton may have more credibility than the Republicans. “I can’t tell you,” says GOP pollster Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, “how many focus groups, when I ask, What do Republicans stand for? say, Higher taxes.” A dramatic tax-cut proposal from the GOP, a la Christine Todd Whitman in 1993, would be just the thing to clear the fog — but Republicans don’t dare. Which is just one of many unhappy results of the GOP’s year-long dance with the deficit.

It is impossible to overestimate the damage done by the GOP’s fixation on the balanced budget, which came at the instigation not of Dole, but of House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The fight left Clinton looking both principled and reasonable, while shattering the GOP’s credibility, a political dynamic that has been at work ever since. Dole Chief of Staff Sheila Burke recently tried to cheer up ameeting of long-faced Republican staffers by noting that Republicans have had a pretty good couple of weeks. In one sense they had: meaningful habeas-corpus reforms signed into law; that decade-old will-o’-the-wisp, the line-item veto, finally a reality; a new farm bill that is flawed but that nonetheless represents progress. The trouble is that none of this matters. The President is riding so high he can flip almost anything to his advantage.

TAKE welfare, a premier GOP issue. Republicans have two Clinton vetoes under their belt. But both date from the budget fight when no one was paying attention, and Clinton is touting all the reform waivers his Administration has granted states. Should Republicans send Clinton more veto bait? Maybe — except any bill would inevitably get caught up in GOP in-fighting, and by the time Senate moderates are through with it could actually produce a presidential signature rather than a veto. What to do? “Here’s what we lay out for ourselves,” complains one Senate aide. “If we pass it and he signs it — we lose. If we pass it and he vetoes it — we didn’t get anything done. And if we don’t pass it, he can’t veto it — but we’re do-nothing. So, therefore, we lay out a scenario where whatever we do and whatever he does — we lose.”

It was in this lose-lose atmosphere that Republicans — convinced they can’t beat Clinton on anything — got rolled on the minimum wage. A foul-up on the part of Dole’s floor manager made it possible for the Democrats to offer the amendment, and when eight Republicans voted to consider it Dole was trapped. It has become clear that while Senate Democrats are ready to play politics to the hilt — 47 filibusters as of March, more than in either of the past two Congresses — Dole’s colleagues aren’t prepared to do the same. Not only did a bloc defect on the minimum wage, five of them abandoned Dole on a crucial vote on Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs), including Slade Gorton (Wash.), whose vote seemed a product of personal pique. Meanwhile, not one Democrat voted for MSAs, even those who had previously endorsed the idea.

This is nothing new from Senate Republicans. The difference between this year and the beginning of last year is that the House — at least initially — wasn’t there to provide a fire wall. Gingrich, still limping from the budget debacle, quickly bowed to the inevitability of the minimum wage. Citing the fact that only thirty-some House Republicans voted against it the last time it came up, in 1989, he thought he was reading the tea-leaves of his conference, which has been softened by a relentless barrage of union attack ads. (Labor and environmental groups have spent almost as much against Washington freshman Randy Tate as he spent getting elected in 1994.) It took House Majority Leader Dick Armey to pull Gingrich back, getting his endorsement of an alternative package of tax cuts and union reforms.

An effective counter-thrust to the minimum wage, the package may finally get Republicans talking again about economic growth. And at least it’s playing offense, which Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour realizes is half the answer (see “Bread & Circuses,” p. 26). But unless Bob Dole gets out of Washington he will never shake free of the sort of Democratic tactics that have been tripping him up. And, at a deeper level, unless the Republican Party regains confidence in its own ideas it won’t be able to defend itself against proposals even as discredited as the minimum wage. “I think it’s the minority mentality,” says Rep. Jim Talent (R., Mo.). “I think it’s a creeping sense people have that the last election was really some fluke and the Left has some divine right to govern and will no matter what we do or say.”

A CRUCIAL sign of the coming of a GOP tide in 1994 was Republicans’ willingness to stand up to bogus proposals like the Clinton crime bill, because they knew they could take their case to the public. That sense is now lost — just when the GOP needs it most. “The irony is that there’s more work to do now than when we started out a year and a half ago,” says Kellyanne Fitzpatrick. If the party applied half the energy it took to push Medicare uphill last year to truly popular issues like English-only legislation or a rollback of affirmative action, life might be easier. So far, though, there’s no relief in sight. The Senate recently passed the Kennedy – Kassebaum health bill 100 to 0. With its “guaranteed issue” requirements the bill promises to disrupt the private insurance market, creating an opening for yet more government intervention. which even for this chastened GOP Congress is a departure: reviving not just the Clinton Administration, but its approach to health-care reform too.