Archive for September, 2010

Today I finish reading a book on polygamy and my local paper carries a story from AP News, “Utah police investigate plural family for bigamy.”  There seems to be no end to this controversy as the article states, “an estimated 38,000 self-described fundamentalist Mormons continue to believe and/or practice polygamy, believing it brings exaltation in heaven.”  These fundamentalists seem to have perfected delayed gratification.

Polygamy is not my hobbyhorse, but I will admit to reviewing two books on the subject.  First was David Ebershoff, The 19th Wife, on November 16, 2008, “Who Is Afraid Of Wife Number Nineteen?”.  The second was Brady Udall, The Lonely Polygamist, on August 8, 2010, One Two Three Four and Five Wives.”

Udall praised Dorothy Allred Solomon, Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk: Growing Up In Polygamy as the best account by an author who had lived the life.  So I bought the book, but with wrong expectations.

Solomon writes from a refreshed, expanded memory and with inhibiting familial and emotional ties that make the book suspect for all but Mormons, an insider book for insider readers.  For the general reader the book will confirm prejudices and suspicions, and only lightly inform.

Since the Mormons started the problem and seem to provide continuing energy to keep it bright, perhaps they should lead the nation in resolving the problem.  They could declare excathedra that marriage is a private matter and a fundamental civil right.  No one should be made an outlaw because of whom they live with.  Religion would bless those who ask for the blessing, and leave in peace those who do not ask for the blessing.

Now that would be something for a big choir to sing about.  Charles Marlin

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Before reading The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto I thought I would follow with a review, but The Hour is dated, sexist, and not at all a pleasant little book.  Written by Bernard DeVoto of past fame, it was reprinted to snare the fading browser looking for a book for a man who probably does not like to read books.  Impulse and desperation were the publisher’s marketing strategy.  I will not review it.  Charles Marlin

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There is something about the title of Norwegian author Per Petterson’s third book translated into English I Curse The River Of Time.  The title may be enigmatic, esoteric, recondite, or tenebrific, but before you select you should know that Mao Zedong may have written the phrase originally and that for sure it fits the book.

I would be more excited about the book if I had not earlier read Out Stealing Horses and To Siberia.  If you are new to Per Petterson, I suggest you start with Out Stealing Horses, wait a while then go on To Siberia.  A little of the Norwegian environs goes a long way, so a little time between titles will be refreshing.  I Curse The River Of Time should be last.

The novel has a mother not to be forgotten and a slacker dude son, but Norwegian not American slacker dude.  The son does a lot of drinking, walking, and thinking, but the distance traveled is not far.

If you have Scandinavian-American heritage, there may be a special meaning for you in these two characters.  Those northern genes are probably very hard to kill or crowd off.  Charles Marlin

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High Financier: The Lives And Time Of Siegmund Warburg by Niall Ferguson is part biography and part financial history but the two parts don’t add up to an interesting read.  The book is a soup, not solid enough to slice, too thick to stir, and tedious to spoon out.

If the reader has an obsessive interest in financial history and the history of globalization, then this is a prize book for you.  For all others it is not likely to be read to the end.

The book does have a message for today’s shakers and takers.  Warburg had an intense respect for the management of risk.  If our business school faculties had the same respect, then their financial elite graduates would not have got us into the current mess.  A hundred Warburgs in banking and government could have saved us.  Warburg would have suggested only two or three were needed.

To the jacket photographer Bernard Lee (“Bern”) Schwartz and jacket designer Darren Haggar I say thanks for exceptional work.  All authors should be so blessed.  Charles Marlin

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The Board of Directors of the Clarion County Community Foundation met September 15, 2010, and accepted the resignations of Randy Vossburg and Anne Day from the Board.  Mary E. Brooks was elected to fill a partial term on the Board.  The remaining vacancy will be filled in the future.

A report on fund balances as of July 31, 2010, show Mary E. Shaner Scholarship Fund For Keystone High School at $105,356.50; Rimersburg Medical Center Fund at $43,575.16; and the Unrestricted Grants Fund at $4,972.10.

There were discussions on brochure development and on a proposed symposium on estate planning.  The next meeting will be Wednesday, October 17th at 5:15pm.  Charles Marlin

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David Mitchell is now in Aisle 6 considering the wide choice of pasta. He appears to be headed toward the meat counter which faces on Aisles 6 through 10.

Remember the contract you agreed to upon entering the store: you may look but no touching or speaking to him. Also remember you agreed to purchase a $10 shopping coupon on behalf of the St. Emma Food Pantry.

Our friendly store associates in the blue vests are ready to help you purchase your shopping coupon which you are to deposit as you leave the store.

There is no need to crowd as the David Mitchell Food Pantry Event will continue until 7pm.

Yes, all of management enjoyed The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet, but we are not able at this time to discuss the book.  Please return for your regular shopping needs.  Charles Marlin

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#16  What is a community foundation endowed restricted fund?
Mr?Man will keep his answers short and simple but remember a community foundation can be flexible in responding to your interest in creating a fund.  The Clarion County Community Foundation will know ways to help you achieve your charitable goal you may not have thought of.

The first step for the donor is to explain what they feel is motivating them and what they hope to achieve.  It is from this sharing that the foundation and the donor become partners in the creation and administration of a restricted fund.

An endowed fund is one in which all donations are invested for income and growth.  Those donations throughout the history of the fund plus the income retained for growth become the principal held in trust by the foundation.

A restricted fund is one that names one or more nonprofits as recipients of the income produced by the principal held in trust and designated as income available for grants.

A nonprofit is any organization engaged in charitable or religious activities and is recognized as a nonprofit by the Internal Revenue Service.  The regulations governing recognition as a nonprofit are complex and are best handled by professionals.  It is easier to say that nonprofits include churches, non-profit cemeteries, veteran organizations, non-profit social service providers, food banks, non-profit private schools, non-profit hospitals, conservation organizations, colleges and universities.  When in doubt, ask the nonprofit.

#17  Who can create an endowed restricted fund?

An individual, family, circle of friends, or an organization may create an endowed restricted fund with a community foundation because the foundation is a state chartered fund trustee.  Donors on their own face financial hurdles and legal requirements in setting up trustees.  Setting aside a savings account or CD by naming it a trust does not remove the principle from access by individuals or officers.  This is false security, no better than whistling in the dark.

A fund held by a community foundation will always remain in the community involved.  The foundation trustees are elected from citizens living where the fund is dedicated to serve.  Records are public.

Mr?Man sees you have additional questions concerning endowed restricted funds, so he will answer them in a few days.  Keep watching for my handsome face.  Charles Marlin


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