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Monday, November 15, 2021


Welcome to the blog, 'zine, and bookstore of Priscilla King. We encourage comments, contact, and support. If the comments section isn't working, or the "contact" tab isn't showing, please feel free to e-mail (our Message Squirrel's address, which routes messages to Priscilla King, Grandma Bonnie Peters, Gena Greene, and others).

The Bookstore currently exists in the real world as a department inside this store: Book reviews appear here; good clear photos and catalogue descriptions of other merchandise appears there.

As discussed below, due to recent world events our discussions of U.S. political issues have moved to a U.S.-only web site called Freedom Connector. Many writers, elected officials, and others active in U.S. politics have pages at this site. U.S. readers should find it easier to comment and socialize at FC than it's been here.

International readers are still welcome to read and comment about books, nature, history, recipes, handcrafts, and miscellaneous topics here.

Unlike some other web'zines, this one has not been kickstarted with a big grant or loan. We are paying as we grow. So, in order to start buying guest posts, or even keep this site alive, we need reader support. If the Google "Support" button above or the Paypal "Donate" button below isn't working, you may e-mail Saloli to buy any book you've seen reviewed here (total cost is usually US$10), buy an advertorial article or picture ($50-100 if I write it, less if you do), or buy any handmade item you've seen photographed here (they start at a total cost of US$10).

Please support this blog! If you like what you're reading, Google recommends $5, the average cost of a printed magazine:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tray of Bracelets at Tree & Tra Fashions

Readers have voted and made it official: Blogspot does the best job displaying photos. So here's another photo from the Store Security Sequence of pictures I took at the Tree & Tra Fashions store this summer.

You can still buy any of these bead bracelets online, along with other handmade and imported fashion accessories, here:

If you don't use Facebook, you can't contact the store via that page. If you would like to order something without using Facebook, you may e-mail our Message Squirrel:

As of Saturday, the bracelets were still in the store on Route 23, although the store no longer has phone or Internet access and may close its physical doors soon. Local readers may look for Tree at Duffield Daze.

If the store closes after Duffield Daze, Tree (Teresa Vernon) will still have the bags, beads, cell phone covers and other fun stuff shown on the Facebook Page until they are sold; since they are "fashion" items they are likely to be replaced rather than restocked. She will also have the physical copies of the books available to local supporters without shipping fees. These items can still be purchased locally without paying shipping fees, publishing your real identity via Facebook, or using a credit card, whether they are displayed in a store or in a private home.

Morgan Griffith's Message to Grade Twelve

Morgan Griffith would like to help more teenagers from southwestern Virginia get into U.S. Military Academy programs:

"U.S. Service Academies

Some students who are approaching the end of high school may be thinking about attending one of the U.S. Service Academies.  As your Ninth District Representative, each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of young men and women to four of the five service academies – the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marines Academy.   The fifth academy – the Coast Guard Academy – does not require a congressional nomination.

Attendance at a service academy gives a student a world-class education with a focus on leadership qualities.  Students must receive a congressional nomination, and must also be offered admission by the individual academy.  Those selected will spend four years at one of the best schools in the nation, provided with free tuition, expenses, and room and board.  The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation.

Our goal is to get as many interested students from our area accepted into the service academies as we can.  Currently, we have three students attending Air Force Academy, five students attending Naval Academy, and two students attending West Point (Military Academy).

Michelle Jenkins, the member of my staff who coordinates our academy nomination program, last year visited the U.S. Naval Academy, and just recently returned from visiting the U.S. Air Force Academy.  Michelle visited these facilities to learn how we can help even more interested students from our area get accepted to the academies.  While visiting, Michelle saw first-hand the tremendous educational opportunities that exist at the service academies.  She also was able to meet with cadets – including at least one from the Ninth District – to hear of their desire to serve our country and utilize the leadership training they are gaining at their academy to make our country the absolute best.

Admission requirements are similar across the five service academies, though each does operate under its own admissions guidelines.  Each of the academies are looking for candidates of character.  They are seeking students who have leadership skills, motivation, and are academically competitive.  Competitive SAT/ACT scores, emphasis on math/science courses in high school, and extracurricular activities that show leadership are strongly encouraged.  Candidates must also be medically and physically qualified.   A whole-person evaluation is used by each academy based upon these factors.

The application can be found on our website, along with a question/answer summary that may be of help to students and their families as they are making a decision about applying to a service academy.

The deadline for the application to be received in our office is October 15.  After that that time, a seven member Advisory Committee comprised of folks from throughout the Ninth District will review the applications, and will interview the applicants during October/November with the goal of putting together an excellent slate of candidates for the academies to consider.  The Advisory Committee works very hard at this, and I appreciate their efforts and input.

Southwest Virginia, Southside Virginia, and the Alleghany Highlands have a rich history of military service, and acceptance into the service academies is a distinct honor.  The first step is applying for a nomination through our office.

I encourage interested students to review the information provided on my website, and to contact my offices with any questions.  You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at "

The Samizdat Collection

As previously noted I most fully enjoy a book when my hands, as well as my eyes and ears, are engaged with it; I’m lucky to be able to read and type at about the same speed, so the way I get the most entertainment and the most efficient education out of a book is to copy it into a computer file while I read it. And here’s a short list of some books I can sell without a pang, because by now “my” copies, the ones I plan to keep, are samizdat. This is not a complete list; it's just a handful of folders from the printed samizdat file shelf.

As previously discussed, Andrei Codrescu's Bibliodeath, and also Road Scholar.

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Without Tears, Knitter’s Almanac, and Knitting Around; one of these years I’ll get around to copying Knitter’s Workshop and perhaps, by that time, I’ll own a copy of The Opinionated Knitter, the posthumous collection.

Harriette Simpson Arnow’s Weedkiller’s Daughter; some day I may copy The Dollmaker and Mountain Path.

Margaret Atwood’s Robber Bride and, so far, part of Cat’s Eye. I’ve read Cat’s Eye several times, only once and only partway at a computer. (I recommend that everybody read The Handmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake, which are so superbly written that people don’t always even notice that they’re science fiction, but I didn't read either of those books at the computer.) 

Booton Herndon’s Seventh Day. I wish he’d written more books...this writer could make Seventh-Day Adventists entertaining.

Tony Horwitz’s Confederates in the Attic. Some day I may read his other travel books at a computer; they’re enjoyable enough.

Books about both of the foreign languages I actually read (French and Spanish) and the other languages I’ve not really tried to read or speak, but have studied enough to recognize the language and figure out short simple pieces of it like song lyrics: German, Gaelic (both Scotch and Irish), Welsh (although for some reason my brain refuses to absorb Welsh), Swedish, Latin, Greek, Swahili, Hausa, Russian, Urdu, Indonesian, Japanese, phonetic Hebrew, phonetic Arabic, phonetic Korean, and phonetic Amharic. Throw a chunk of any of these languages at me and I’ll stand there going, “What’s that supposed to be?”—but when the panic subsides I’ll remember which language it is, and even remember some individual words before I sit down and look up the words, one by one, at home. (And why did I choose those languages? Because they’re the ones for which I’ve owned first grammars and dictionaries. First grammars and dictionaries for other languages are always welcome.)

Books in French and Spanish. These are the ones I most need to read at the computer. If I read them with my eyes alone, as if they were English, I’ll know how the story comes out but I’ll skip over the words I don’t know and usually miss some of the meaning. If I read them at the computer, I’ll look up and learn new words. I don’t always print or save these samizdat, but I have several of them.

A majority of C.S. Lewis’s nonfiction books, including the literary studies, which are hard to find in the U.S., such that I think I copied all of them from library books. I started copying Lewis’s Christian books around age sixteen or seventeen. I also used to try to write like him, which I now try to avoid doing—a literary “voice” that sounds like someone the age of your grandfather, who lived in a different country, is just plain weird.

Almost all of the short stories of Joan Aiken, just to get them all into one file folder.

Dorothy Sayers’ Mind of the Maker. Exquisite! I also copied her script for a pageant about The Emperor Constantine, although I would have preferred to have her play script about St. Paul. If I live long enough I may read the adventures of Lord Peter Wimsey at the computer, too.

Wendell Berry’s Another Turn of the Crank; eventually I plan to add What Are People For and other nonfiction work by him.

Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, Freedom of Simplicity, Money Sex & Power, and Prayer.

Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies and Grace Eventually. I want her other nonfiction books, too.

Kathleen Norris’s Dakota, Amazing Grace, Cloister Walk, and Acedia & Me. (If I’d read The Virgin of Bennington at the computer would I have enjoyed it more?)

Marilou Awiakta’s Selu.

Mary Daly’s Wickedary. (Long messy footnotes tend to prompt me to read a book at the computer so I can follow the author's original train of thought.)

Marlene Dietrich’s ABC. (Never heard of it? Can’t find it? Try the Arlington, Virginia, library...they used to have everything.)

Several of Dave Barry’s and P.J. O’Rourke’s books.

Several books by Sark (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), including Eat Mangoes Naked.

Erica Carle’s Hate Factory...a very special samizdat “edition” of a copy my father annotated by hand for my brother’s and my benefit.

Audubon’s Birds of North America. Most people buy it for the paintings; I wanted Audubon’s notes, and I have them...I’m less wild about his paintings.

Many childhood favorites—The Bingety-Bangety School Bus, The Sneetches, Blueberries for this category I’m including only short books with lots of pictures. As a child I learned to read at an age when most children still need to be read to, but my interests were mostly age-appropriate. Some adults in my life fretted that I wasn’t getting enough of a challenge or reading enough serious educational materials, so the actual reading lists of my childhood were very irregular. I’d go to a store or library and pick out Bedtime Stories to Read Aloud, and it would turn up at home bundled together with Practical Beekeeping, The Horseman’s Bible, and Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days? Some of which did become favorites later, but as a child I liked frivolous stories with lots of pictures. Many of the books fell apart before my sisters grew up. I saved the stories to read to The Nephews. This was how I discovered the usefulness of reading at the computer.

Possibly the oddest choice in my collection: Shiva Naipaul’s Journey to Nowhere, an unhappy report by a writer who had an unhappily short life. I couldn’t say how his writing style differs from his famous older brother’s, exactly, or even say that I prefer the younger brother’s books; Sir Vidya certainly gave the world a lot of reading pleasure, and I’ll vouch for his snarky but credible study of Southern Baptists. Maybe it’s just that Shiva Naipaul seemed closer to my husband in age and experience, whereas I think my husband may have met V.S. Naipaul for the first time during the round of Nobel Prize celebrations, when the Great Curmudgeon seemed to be glaring straight at us when he read aloud about Mr Biswas as “a devout practitioner of interracial sex.” In any case, Journey to Nowhere is not the most informative book about Jonestown but it is a wonderful, insightful book about the 1970s in general.

Probably the most commercially motivated selection: Groucho Marx’s Beds, which took one rainy afternoon to copy so I could resell the original book; reselling the book then took less than one hour.

Books I didn't save or print, and now wish I had: large parts of the textbooks we used in my college classes. I read them at the computer but didn't think I could afford either to print the copies or to save the books. Note to all students: try at least to save one or the other. One day you'll want them. The information will be updated over the years but you'll still want to refer back to the hard copy of the original information you stored in your head.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review and Link Extravaganza: Last Chance to See

(While I was composing this one last week, I didn't realize it would be my "Last Chance to Blog" at the Tree & Tra Products store. The store had made enough to stay open...if a financial crisis at home hadn't driven Tree to withdraw her assets. I've been regretting all week that I didn't have time to share all these lovely links.)

Book Title: Last Chance to See

Author: Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine

Date: 1990

Publisher: William Heinemann (U.K.), Ballantine (U.S.)

Length: 222 pages plus color photo section

Illustrations: full-color photo insert

ISBN: 0-345-37198-4

Quote: "Mark...did all the preparation and organisation and research...and also taught me most of the small amount I now know about zoology, ecology, and conservation work. All I had to do was turn up with a suitcase and try to remember what happened for long enough afterward to write it down."

In 1985, when his science-fiction-comedy Hitchhiker's Trilogy was easily the best-selling trilogy on Earth, Douglas Adams was asked to write a narrative about real science that would involve travelling to remote places...reliving, he explains, the sort of mood in which he created Arthur Dent, with what he describes as "fantastic relief" as "Weeks of mind-numbing American Expressness dropped away like mud in the shower and I was able to lie back and enjoy being wonderfully, serenely, hideously uncomfortable." But not for very long at any given time, because he and Mark Carwardine and others had been sent to uncomfortable places to try to snap what just might have been the last possible photos of rare wildlife.

Right. I want to try something different today. Yesterday and the day before I wrote about the comedic content of two other very funny books. Last Chance to See is still laugh-out-loud funny; no worries there. But I think, in the spirit of this particular book, the best way to tell people who've not yet read it about Last Chance to See is to provide some images and updates on the animals Adams, Carwardine, and the rest of the crew met (including some non-threatened species), and end with the latest chapter of the story...

The aye-aye: (You could just search for each of these animals right on the National Geographic page, but I'll try to link to some other sites.)

The Komodo dragon:

The Russell's Viper and other venomous snakes:

The Sydney Funnel-Web spider:

The Lesser Frigatebird:

The White-Bellied Sea Eagle:

The crested terns:

The flying fish:

The megapode:

The mudskippers:

The Northern White Rhinoceros:

The gorillas:

The hyena:

The hippopotamus:

The kea:

The kakapo:

The Little Blue Penguin:

The Tui:

The New Zealand Pigeon:

The Bellbird:

The North Island Robin:

The New Zealand Kingfisher:

The Red-Crowned Parakeet:

The Paradise Shelduck:

The Weka:

The Baiji river dolphin: (Note that while some recent web pages cautiously discuss this species as if it currently exists, more pessimistic writers were considering it probably extinct in 2006.)

The Yangtze Finless Porpoise:

The Rodrigues Fruit Bat:

The Mauritius Kestrel:

Douglas Adams no longer needs the dollar you'd get from buying this book from me online, for which I'd have to charge $5 for the book and $5 for shipping. (The $5 for shipping covers up to ten normal-sized books shipped to the same address.) I have an apparently clean paperback copy that shows some wear and has been exposed to mold, not the one with the really nice-looking cover; a local reader could buy this copy for $1, no shipping. But if you're a serious collector of Douglas Adams' books you probably have the hardcover with the beautiful Garden-of-Eden-type painting, already. If you're mostly interested in the animals, what you need to know about Last Chance to See is that Mark Carwardine teamed with Stephen Fry to write a brand-new updated edition, published in June 2014, available here:

The new edition won't be available as a Fair Trade Book for a while. Ask for a new copy, at your local bookstore, to support Carwardine's effort.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Justice for Jason Byrns (Who Tried to Kill Jamie Lawson)

Not exactly news any more, but since overseas readers didn't see it in the newspaper, this web site officially reacts to the last installment in the Jamie Lawson story.

On June 21, the Kingsport Times-News' front-page report of Jason Byrns' trial might have been intended to provoke reactions: "A Tennessee man...failed to have his sentence reduced Friday during a hearing in Scott County (Virginia) court. Jason T. Byrns, 33, of Kingsport, appeared in court after filing a motion to have his 60-year prison sentence reduced on the grounds the punishment was too harsh."

Well, just for the exercise, we could try it the other way round. "Hypothetical J. Doe, of Gate City (Virginia), appeared in the Kingsport court..." Or "H.J. Doe, of Gate City, appeared in the Scott County court..." Or "H.J. Doe, of Kingsport, appeared in the Kingsport court..." Or whatever jurisdictions you care to name. This web site maintains that Byrns was stupid even to bother filing the motion.

We are talking about a drug dealer who was apparently trying to evade arrest, conviction, and most likely a fine and a week or a month in jail when he crossed the Virginia line and found a police roadblock waiting for him there. Apparently guided by some sort of inner demons, Byrns stomped the gas pedal and roared into Scott County as fast as his vehicle would go, deliberately swerving to intimidate pedestrians, fellow motorists, and five other traffic officers. State Trooper Jamie Lawson had been assigned the duty of stopping Byrns, and Byrns rammed Lawson's police car seven times, at speeds estimated to be between 50 and 70 miles per hour (in a residential neighborhood), before he finally shoved the police car into another vehicle parked beside the road. Lawson spent weeks in an expensive specialized hospital unit; the partial disability resulting from damage to his spine is expected to be permanent.

Too harsh, he whined? I know a few Kingsport men who might be persuaded to teach Byrns what "harsh" means...There is no serious dispute that anyone who would rather commit murder than pay a fine should be kept off the streets for as long as there is any chance of his attempting to operate a motor vehicle. Sixty years, starting from age 33, sounds about right. The question is whether the taxpayers can reasonably be asked to feed something like Byrns for sixty years.

On the purely theoretical assumption that, although the Times-News hasn't mentioned it, Byrns may have a relative somewhere who is praying that Byrns may be capable of some sort of spiritual experience, revival, rehabilitation, the development of a human mind that understands why it's better to spend a few weeks in jail than it is to commit murder, the law does require the taxpayers of Virginia to feed Jason Byrns for up to sixty years. There might be some reasonable debate about whether that is "too harsh."

Jamie Lawson was trying to protect people from a homicidal maniac, and he may never "walk free" from pain again. If Jason Byrns never walks out from behind the razor-wire fence again, it appears to me that, to the extent that humans are capable of doing justice, justice has been done.

Book Review: Tricky Business

Book Title: Tricky Business

Author: Dave Barry

Author's web page:

Date: 2002

Publisher: Putnam

Length: 320 pages

ISBN: 0399-149244


The "Acknowledgments and Warning" is separate from the plot of this novel, so that's the section that can be isolated and quoted without losing any of its entertainment value. It also highlights the main difference between Dave Barry's novels for adults and the narrative sections in his newspaper and magazine articles. Censorship in general is a bad thing, but censorship of specific bad words only makes writers like Barry funnier. (Admit it: a key passage in Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up gained lots of comedic value from the "more tasteful" substitution of newspaper names for the proper names of body parts...)

Anyway, this is a laugh-out-loud-funny novel about Florida, featuring two wonderful old curmudgeons who sneak out of a nursing home together, a cruise-and-gambling ship, a hopeless rock band, an undercover federal agent, a feminist's daughter who wants to be Sleeping Beauty, a man whose job consists of parading around in a giant artificial shell, a chef and restaurant you don't want to read about on lunch break, a gaggle of sexy-looking casino girls who are tired of being harassed, the dumbest news crew a TV station ever hired, one bad guy who's been reformed by the love of a good woman and of their children, and a lot of unregenerate bad guys who will get what immature guy-type readers will agree they deserve in what those readers will agree is a funny way.

People who are easily offended will probably be offended by what happens to most of the bad guys, because this is not a Sunday School book. They don't repent. They will eventually make their fictional world a better place, but not in a Sunday-School-book way.

Most, though not all, of the nice characters (the ones who kill other people only in self-defense--this is not a Sunday School book) will survive their wild and crazy adventure while the gambling ship rides out a hurricane. Some of them will even bond with each other. The children will be safe throughout the story, although in this story, unlike Big Trouble, this will require the children to be offstage almost all the time.

The average reader probably won't learn anything new from Tricky Business, unless it might be something about the hazards of immoderate laughter. Grandparents are wonderful? You already knew that. Children are precious? Ditto. People who take drugs are usually not too bright while sober, and lose what intelligence they have when stoned? Ditto. Some, as it might be one out of three, hopeless musicians who have moved back in with their parents may be ready to act like adults when they get a chance? Ditto. Young women who are required to look sexy while doing legitimate jobs may be someone's mother, and don't enjoy being confused with streetcorner girls? Ditto, I hope. Gambling ships are run by crooks, and illegal drugs are distributed by really nasty crooks? If that's news to you, you're not old enough to read this web site. Whether exploring these and similar insights in Tricky Business causes you to be looked at strangely in a hospital waiting room, wake up the person trying to sleep beside you on a train, incur additional pain from a broken rib, or conversely feel much less pain from almost any other cause, remains for you to find out.

This web site's bottom price for used books sold online is $5 per book + $5 for shipping. Local lurkers can walk into the store and pay less, and people in other localities can probably find secondhand copies of Tricky Business for less than $10. But if you buy this book from me, Dave Barry or a charity of his choice gets $1, and any profits go into making this a writing site where other deserving writers get paid for their work.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: Elvis Is Dead and I Don't Feel So Good Myself

Author:  Lewis Grizzard

Date: 1984

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers / Warner Books

ISBN: none

Length: 269 pages

Quote: “[I]f Elvis Presley was forty-two and old enough to die, what did that say about me?”

Lewis Grizzard became a curmudgeon prematurely. He was an early baby-boomer, and in this book he complains about the trends in pop culture that defined middle and late baby-boomers—listening to the Beatles or Run-DMC instead of Elvis Presley, e.g. So he basically spends the whole book talking about my less-than-half of our generation. I suppose that gives me the right to pass judgment on how offensive it is. I think most of his criticism of people my age was hilarious, and the rest of it was much-needed advice more of us should have listened to. So there.

He left, of course, an opening, which so far nobody seems to be taking, for someone currently between ages 40 and 55 to write a book explaining, in witty detail, how the Beatles actually composed and performed some interesting music during an historical period when Elvis Presley had completely lost whatever shock value or sex appeal or youth appeal he’d ever had. The Elvis I remember looked older and sicker than my mother, who was the same age and was certified hypothyroid. Of course by this time the Beatles were evolving in an underwhelming direction too, taking drugs and acting stoned in public even to the extent of bragging, because they had apparently been composing music in their heads on the day the word “hubris” was explained at their school. But this is supposed to be a book review, so someone else can complete the analysis of what else went wrong with pop music in the twentieth century. Possibly one of my sisters, both of whom definitely belong to Generation X, and one of whom can make a pretty good case for Run-DMC.

Aside from fascinating arguments about the merits of different bands and singers, what else does this book contain? Well, there’s an assumption that readers “never forget days like...the day John Kennedy was killed. Like the day Martin Luther King was killed. Like the day Robert Kennedy was killed. Like the day Nixon resigned.” Funnily enough, although I was alive on more than one of those days, the only one I remember at all is the day Nixon resigned.

There’s a demonstration of ignorance about hippie styles. Grizzard thought that the hygiene problem with bare feet would involve sweat. Duh.

There’s a comically exaggerated reminiscence about the fad for skin-tight jeans, in which Grizzard fails to consider the possibility that women who demanded that men buy into this fad were just making a point about previous fads for girdles and miniskirts and similar badges of oppression.

There’s an oddly moving anecdote about a woman who allegedly lured Grizzard over to her side in a singles bar, inflating his mistaken ideas of what women might want, just to tell him his fly was open.

There’s an excellent comment on the real reason why today’s out-loud “gay” lobby are losing sympathy even among those of us who have no desire to persecute homosexuals. My way of putting it might be that homosexuality is one kink, promiscuity is another kink, and exhibitionism is another kink; whatever your kinks may be, if you don’t think “don’t ask, don’t tell” is an excellent and liberating policy for all of us, your primary kink is exhibitionism, to which I think nobody should even try to be friendly. Grizzard uses 163 words to make this point, but his words are funnier.

There’s a reminiscence about the movies and TV sitcoms of the 1950s. (Since we didn't pick up TV broadcasts reliably here until 1978, a lot of retired people are now subscribing to cable channels that re-broadcast the classics of war-baby and early-boomer culture. So it's possible for anyone who's interested in these articles to know what they're about.)

There’s a chapter full of excruciatingly funny reminiscences about the changing trends in parenting and educating between the 1950s and the 1980s. All I’ll say about a chapter with a title like “Who Does My [body part with a name that resembles the word "but"] Belong to Now?” is that this is Grizzard’s real revenge on women my age who do things like wafting a guy to our side just to notify him of some fixable problem with his appearance. Some of us were unsuspectingly reading this book in public, and this chapter forced us to giggle out loud, which caused people to demand that we share the joke. Sure, a modern woman can read this chapter aloud, even to a third-grade class, but some things don’t change: when you read a first-person account of the gender-specific experience of someone of the opposite sex, you become the joke.

There’s a chapter about sports and male bonding, which culminates in a story about a young man eating a phonograph record. And I’ll bet Grizzard would have thought today’s stupid-guy jokes are bad.

There’s a chapter about food trends, in which Grizzard expresses his strange, but well stated, inability to appreciate the trend toward letting people assemble their own salad their own way in a restaurant. He also expresses a perception that asparagus resembles a house plant, which I find strange, in the sense that I’ve never seen such a house plant, and a perception that asparagus is not a taste treat, which I find tragic. Home-grown asparagus, fresh out of the garden, is a once-a-year treat to which even toddlers will look forward next year. By the time it's been trucked to the store, asparagus is just another vegetable. When it's been in the store for a few days, or has been canned, asparagus is yucky. People who don't like asparagus are people who've never had the opportunity to find out what people who love asparagus are talking about, and it's sad that any American should have to be one of those people.

There’s a bit about computers, written long before anyone had even imagined the kind of computer on which you’re reading this, which of course makes the chapter a real scream.

There’s a bit about why Grizzard didn’t spend enough time in therapy to maintain hipness during the Age of Therapy, which, incidentally, exposes the real root of the problems with women that weren’t so funny in his real life: Men who make good husbands do understand cats.

There’s also documentation of the real secret of Elton John’s success. I would not have known this firsthand, but I’m sure it’s true, because there had to have been some secret to that pretentious no-talent’s success...Well, there’s probably not a way to read or discuss this book without getting into some kind of argument about pop music. Too bad. One book can’t have everything.

By now Lewis Grizzard is dead too, so this is not a Fair Trade Book, just a book that I...have already sold in real life, actually, though I can get more copies if local readers want them. To buy it here, e-mail; the minimum price for online orders is $5 per book and $5 for shipping. This book has been printed in a few different editions and you might find a better deal on one of them at Amazon or E-Bay.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Another Picture from Tree & Tra

While store-sitting here at last month I snapped some lovely pictures of the merchandise...not to advertise it, just to have a record on my cell phone of how the display had looked, just in case anything went wrong. Someone requested, "Show us more!" So I'm strewing these pictures around every place I go in cyberspace just to see where they come out best.

You can actually buy this fashion necklace directly from the store's Facebook page.

Pesticide Poisoning and Gluten Poisoning...Two Different Things?

Jon Rappoport (who doesn't know me) discusses a study showing that glyphosate, the currently popular herbicide that's definitely responsible for the sinus allergies and asthma I had earlier this summer, may also be responsible for the increased incidence of gluten sensitivity...e.g. my increased sensitivity to gluten in genetically modified corn and rice?

Here's the comment I posted:

Very interesting. When I developed “celiac sprue” the A.M.A. Home Medical Encyclopedia said the incidence of this condition was something like 1 out of 10,000 people almost only in certain Irish families almost always after age 50. (I was 30.) I’m related to one of those families all right; come from a long female line of ancestors who died or became disabled in their thirties. In Ireland the explanation used to be that an ancestor had inadvertently walked on the grave of someone who either was hanged, or had died of starvation, depending on who was explaining. But why was I the one to get “sprue,” even though my getting it helped me help my surviving relatives…and why are so many young people who aren’t even Irish showing similar symptoms?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

When and Where Will the Politics Come Back?

Last winter this web site announced that, because reading over our Yearbook convinced me that our Politics Department was eating the rest of the site, we'd be moving the political content to some other location, then undisclosed.

A hater at the Huffington Post, imaginatively picturing me as something that "has nice fingernails but lives in the ocean and wants to destroy Japan," inspired me to set up a Live Journal site as Priszilla. I have nothing against Japan. As a cyberspace entity, I'm more interested in destroying a virtual construct, the La-La Land of the Loony Left (where Obamacare would work and gun control would reduce violent crime and taxes on soda pop might even make people slim and beautiful).

However...I discovered that other Live Journalists are called Priszilla. No pun intended by them. That's the standard way the saint's name is spelled in some Slavic countries.

Slavic the two that the U.S. hoped to enlist as allies, but are now trying to drag us into their war with each other?

Live Journal was founded in one of those countries, and if my country's diplomatic relationship with those countries is going to be affected by what I as an American perceive as a tedious boundary dispute they ought to be able to settle all by themselves, then Live Journal may not be a good site for discussions of U.S. politics.

Neither, apparently, is Blogspot. The computer consistently shows that this blog is read by about as many Russians and Ukrainians as Americans. As long as those countries were at peace with us and each other, that was fine...but I don't want to hand information about my country's politics or politicians to a country that's become our enemy.

So, the Politics Department of this web site will be migrating to Freedom Connector. I'm still not sure exactly how that will work. I've neglected Freedom Connector because it bans fundraising, and the original purpose of this web site was to raise funds for a legitimate, writer-owned writing site that could replace the original, healthy Associated Content that sold out to Yahoo...remember? Since we receive such masses of political content free of charge, the Politics Department has no real fundraising needs. It can move to a place where everybody pretends we don't need any more money than we already have. The format will change, but at least it will be easy for congenial people to comment and interact with each other and let me know whether anybody's reading, liking, or understanding any of it.

I'm not sure exactly when it will happen, either. As discussed on Bubblews, I'm now posting from; when we get more funding we'll have multiple computers that connect to the Internet here, but currently only Tree's computer is connecting. I'm not sure how many cookies this little laptop thing can handle. I'm not worried about using it to process material from elected officials, and Freedom Connector itself has seemed to be a fairly safe and stable site...I know I don't want to expose this computer to The Blaze, any more than I'd want to expose it to the Huffington Post; those sites drop too many cookies and attract too many angry people.

Meanwhile, back at Blogspot, I'll be checking out how the "pages" thing works these days and possibly having a Books Page and a Miscellaneous Page...but not a Politics Page.

Russian, Ukrainian, and other readers around the world will remain welcome to build their English vocabulary here and communicate (via e-mail to salolianigodagewi @ if necessary) with us about books, recipes, weather, nature, history, crafts, charity, animals, and gardening.

Chatabout: Another Scam After All?

Well, it looks as if is going down the drain. It was too good to last.

The idea was that if advertisers wanted to learn more about what we really think, they could pay to advertise on a site that paid us for cheerful friendly "chat." It was great fun while it lasted. The rules clearly stated that the amount one could earn from actual "chats" was capped at a dollar a day, so a reasonably efficient typist could earn a dollar in an hour or two while checking up on e-friends, putting in good words for deserving stores or books or whatever and warning people off bad ones, and admiring people's vacation pictures. Chatters earned a penny per Chat and could watch the meter tick over as we Chatted.

Yesterday, suddenly, for no obvious reason, we were all notified that the price had just been unilaterally dropped to half a penny per Chat.

The horrible thing was seeing all the Chats from people--I hope they were merely in denial--who typed that they'd "just get used to it." Hello? This is not like, say, changing a nice-looking woodgrain background to an ugly orange background, or a tidy row of pictures and/or headlines to a messy-bulletin-board effect. We're talking about people who've probably put in ten or more hours' work to earn five dollars, who've suddenly been told they have to put in that much more work to get their five dollars. If you actually read some of these people's Chats, some of them are talking about living with major disabilities during the year or two (on average) it takes their claims to be processed before they start collecting a pension. Some of them may actually be hungry. Some of them are wheelchair dwellers. We're talking about a corporation grabbing the lunch money out of the hands of wheelchair dwellers. This is not something decent human beings want to allow ourselves to "get used to."

How is this happening? Well...two other writing sites, Yahoo Voices and Helium, recently crashed and burned (because they had been cheating writers). So there are a lot of displaced writers on the Internet this summer. That's unfortunate. At Bubblews I'm seeing a lot of gibberish that's obviously been run through translation software, and today I saw gibberish that had obviously been copied from a magazine article and run through translation software so that it came out garbled enough to squeak through the plagiarism detector...but many of these displaced writers are competent.

There are ways the corporate writing sites that can already afford to pay us, without asking for donations, could address this overpopulation problem.

They could have "levels," as Associated Content had before it sold out to Yahoo, or as Hirewriter has, where short Chats or comments on other people's work are good for a penny, blog posts might earn a nickel, short informative articles or pictures might earn $5, and actual research or reportage ought to earn the $50 (or more) our time is worth. Of course, this would involve some actual editing, but (hint, hint) most competent writers are at least competent to sort documents for editing, if paid to do that.

They could limit the amount of time each person could invest in Chatting. Bubblews allows people to post up to ten mini-articles ("Bubbles") per day; if someone has written more and wants to download it into their Bubblews account, the site now allows extra writing to be stored on a "Drafts" page that's not available for public view. Chatabout is supposed to allow people to post up to a hundred Chats per day, although I have watched the meter fudge over into "Bonus Points"; the limit could be enforced, and in view of the number of people who want to Chat the site could even have pushed excess Chats into a "Drafts" page, too. I see some conversations between people who have obviously formed a real bond, who are Chatting each other through life crises, who really would like to stay in touch even if they weren't paid to do so, and those people could be gently prodded to take their conversations into private e-mail.

They could shut down the whole site "for maintenance" every few days, thereby indirectly reminding online writers to maintain real lives. Bubblews does that.

But if you've signed a contract to pay the amount X for the product or service Y, and you then try to alter that contract so that it binds you to pay 1/2X for Y, I think you should be shamed and shunned and shut out from the company of decent human beings until you have crawled your way back into society by paying everyone at least 2X for Y, plus late fees. What? You're a corporation that's over-invested, and can't afford to pay what you promised to pay? Er, um...where in the Bible or the Constitution does it say that you have to eat? Better to starve like a human being than eat like a cockroach.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Review: The Taste of New Wine

A Fair Trade Book

Author: Keith Miller

Date: 1965

Publisher: Word Books

ISBN: none

Length: 127 pages

Quote: “It wasn’t so much that people lied. We just had an unspoken agreement not to press the truth.”

This book has been quoted and cited and promoted throughout my lifetime, so obviously the problem I have in reading it is my own problem, caused by excessive familiarity. In 1965 Keith Miller could not have known that his book would be read during an Age of Therapy when, motivated perhaps by all the media noise about our President’s having been caught in a particularly tacky sort of lie, everyone was going to carry on about “being honest” as they treated every school, church, or even office meeting as a form of group therapy.

He might have anticipated that the banality of “Have a nice day” would generate the backlash of “Don’t tell me what kind of day to have,” but he could hardly have imagined Americans seriously protesting that using phrases like “Have a nice day” or “Good afternoon” was hypocritical—in the same sense that preaching race hate as a Christian or Muslim doctrine (yes, my generation actually had to deal with that) was hypocritical.

Somehow I doubt that he even foresaw adults seriously debating the morality of answering “How are you?” with “Fine, thanks,” and needing to spell out that, in the context of this little ritual, “Fne, thanks” does not mean “Everything in my entire life is perfect” so much as it means “Capable of making conversation on the subject you want to propose; willing to let you interpret my body language as mostly relevant to the topic,” even though, of course, the feelings our bodies express will not necessarily stick to the topic of a conversation. Body language never lies, but more often than not it distracts.

Keith Miller could hardly have anticipated a period of history in which people would try to “put aside the masks” and “be blazingly real” by ignoring what others had actually said and trying to “read their faces.” If anybody who’s ever been guilty of this social offense happens to be able to read this article, please understand that, even if someone’s face or body position was reacting to the perception that you were a particularly obnoxious idiot, everyone was much better off with the social lie that your tragic mental condition might not have been recognized, yet.

So for me, reading The Taste of New Wine 45 years after its publication, this book seems full of clichés, and I have to remind myself that in 1965 these phrases must have seemed fresh and memorable. The idea that a serious religious practice, for people who were not actively employed as ministers, could consist of living “in relationship with God,” was actually new, once. The idea of debunking politeness and “being honest” had not evolved into its own form of (remarkably unattractive) hypocrisy. Miller was part of a fellowship group that seriously studied the Gospels and attempted to do what they believed Jesus would have done; it wasn’t just incessant chatter and clichés, back then. And Miller’s book was part of a salutary movement away from the kind of Christianity that allowed people to say “I go to church on Sunday, but I don’t let it affect my life during the rest of the week” into the kind that allows people to say “If I go to church on Sunday, or on Saturday or on Wednesday or at any other time, it had better be in order to share what I’ve learned and be guided by what others can teach me during the rest of the week.”This is where our awareness of the need to be “doers and not hearers only” of our beliefs started, and this book has an important place in church history.

Who needs to read this book? Maybe young people who missed the Age of Therapy, who were taken to church just because their parents went. Anne Lamott’s nonfiction books narrated how, when she became a desperately poor single mother, a small, poor, majority-minority church adopted her and her son. And she went to services, out of gratitude to the people who’d slipped her small amounts of much-needed money when she needed the money, even after she achieved fame and prosperity as a writer. And she took her son along. And funnily enough, even though she’d explained exactly why to the entire English-speaking world, the kid rebelliously asked why he had to go to church. Okay, so there are probably other twenty-somethings who can relate to this young man’s story. Most of their parents have not written bestselling books that explain exactly why they go to church, and most of their stories would be different from Lamott’s. So to those people this old book might still be relevant. Go back to where some of us started—reading this book, or any of the dozens of books that elaborated on its themes, in a church-sponsored school with a lot of ministerial students. This is a first book about how a yuppie-type married man discovered the reality of spiritual life within his own religious tradition. It helped some of your parents make that discovery for themselves. Maybe it will help you.

Just be prepared, if The Taste of New Wine does help you, to see reactions on the faces of people my age that may warn you that you’re speaking in clichés.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Robert Hurt Thanks Veterans, and Comments on Other Things

From U.S. Representative Robert Hurt:

Dear Friend,
Communicating with the people of Virginia’s 5th District and hearing your feedback is very important to us. In order to ensure that we keep you up to date on what is going on from month to month, we record a monthly video address. You may watch the video address on our website at, and you may read the address below:
Video Address Text
“Hi, I’m Robert Hurt. Thank you for tuning into our Monthly Video Address.
“It is an honor to represent Virginia’s Fifth District, and I appreciate the opportunity to share with you some of what we have been working on during the month of May. Over the past month, my colleagues and I have continued our efforts to enact policies that will provide more opportunities and a brighter future for the American people.
“This month, it was reported that over 800,000 people dropped out of our labor force in April -- reducing the labor force participation rate to a 35-year low. Many communities in the Fifth District continue to experience unemployment rates well above the national average, and our rate of recovery from the economic downturn has been weak. That is why the House of Representatives has adopted dozens of pro-growth proposals that would help jumpstart our economy and get us back on track. However, the President and the Senate must join in our effort. It is my hope that in the coming months we will be able to find bipartisan common ground in encouraging job opportunities for Virginians and Americans, and I remain committed to continuing to work toward this crucial goal.
“Also this month, I am pleased to report that the House of Representatives passed legislation to establish a Select Committee to investigate the events surrounding the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. During ongoing congressional investigations into this subject, we have discovered that the Administration has not been transparent with Congress and the American people. It is critical that this Select Committee focus on obtaining a complete and objective picture of the attacks that claimed the lives of four Americans so we can ensure that this does not happen again.
“At the same time, we have recently learned that the Department of Veterans Affairs has provided service to our veterans that has fallen miserably short. To help address this issue, last week the House of Representatives passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act with a strong bipartisan majority. This important legislation allows for the removal of ineffective and derelict senior level officials at the VA that are contributing to the mismanagement within the agency. It is my sincere hope that this bill will serve as an important step toward greater care for our veterans by holding the VA accountable for its actions and initiating much needed reforms.
“Finally, and most notably, we observed Memorial Day to give thanks to all of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives while defending our country. To all of those who are and have been members of our armed forces – thank you for all that you have given up in the name of American liberty. Your sacrifice has allowed us to enjoy a way of life which we often take for granted. With these sacrifices in mind, our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have served or are serving our nation and their families.
“Once again, I thank you for the opportunity to represent the Fifth District of Virginia in Congress, and I look forward to continuing our work to promote a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. As we close, I encourage you to sign up for updates at our website at and join the conversation on our social media pages. Thank you for tuning in to our monthly video address.”

Constitutional Convention?

I'm trying to move this kind of thing off Bubblews, but time's limited and people are still looking for it here, so here is Patricia Evans' e-mail:

"From the Committee for Constitutional Government:

Here is the text of the flier that will be handed out at the GOP convention next weekend, June 6.   If you can help hand them out at the convention, please contact Sue Long at  Any help in handing them out would be greatly appreciated.
Is a Convention to Alter the Constitution a Good Idea?
Federal overreach is of great concern—rightly so. What to do about it is of equal concern.
With the best of intentions, some citizens are calling for a constitutional convention to pass amendments to our U.S. Constitution for the purpose of reigning in federal power. The premise is that the states would control the convention—who the delegates would be, how they are chosen and how many per state; what amendments would be proposed and voted on, what the processes would be and any other matters the convention would take up.
But Article V of our Constitution states clearly the two ways to amend the Constitution:
1. Congress proposes amendments and presents them to the States for ratification; or
2. When 2/3 of the States apply for it, Congress calls a convention to propose amendments.
Our Constitution is clear: States are authorized to apply to Congress to call a convention. Beyond that they have no say.   
This is confirmed by an April, 2014 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the authoritative source Congress uses for accurate information. CRS states without exception
that only Congress makes all the rules. It points to the ’70s and ’80s when there was considerable interest in an amendment convention. (And states then began rescinding applications.) Congress introduced 41 bills that included specific conditions as to the procedures for a convention including selection of delegates which would be, as opposed to “one state, one vote”, instead,a formula based on the Electoral  College, whereby Virginia would have 13 votes to California’s 55, etc. The report shows not only what Congress could do; it verifies what it has already done in preparation for a convention.
Control is in the hands of the Congress guilty of overreach in the first place!
Who is financing what?  George Soros is pouring millions into organizations promoting a convention. The seed money to start the Convention of States in 1912 was $1,207,183, collected in donations, though they had no paid solicitors. Most opposing a convention are paying out of pocket with their own non-tax deductible dollars.
Promoters claim there is no concern about a runaway convention. History tells us otherwise. The 1787 convention was called for the purpose of adding amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Yet, it was scrapped altogether and a whole new constitution was produced. There is no ruling authority to prevent that from happening again. Present at the 1787 convention were statesmen like George Washington and James Madison. How many such do we have today?
There is also a claim that 3/4 of the states would have to ratify any proposed amendment.  Once again, the 1787 convention set a precedent by changing the rules. They changed who ratifies from legislators to conventions and the required number for ratification from all the states to 3/4. What could happen today? Ratification by a simple majority of the states?  Or by Congress?  Or by no one?
The claim that “The states would never ratify a bad amendment.” does nothing to quell concerns. The 16th and 17th amendments come to mind. 
Why take the risks? If convention supporters somehow accomplished state selection of delegates, who would they be?
Speaker William Howell appointed those
attending the first “Convention of States” promotional gathering. Attending from Virginia:
Sen. Frank Ruff, who voted for the tax increase/ transportation bill (HB 2313) in the 2013 Virginia Assembly and fought against the Boneta Farm bill;
Del. Scott Lingamfelter, who voted in the 2004 Virginia Assembly to rescind any application for a convention (that had been passed when Democrats controlled the Assembly) on this basis:“WHEREAS, the operations of a convention are unknown and the apportionment and selection of delegates, method of voting in convention, and other essential procedural details are not specified in Article V…the prudent course requires the General Assembly to rescind and withdraw all past applications for a convention to amend the Constitution of the United States …”
Then, Lingamfelter prefiled a motion to call FOR a constitutional convention to be voted on in the 2014 Assembly.
Del. Jim LeMunyon, who voted for the tax increase/transportation bill (HB 2313) in 2013 and sponsored Homeowners’ Association bills opposed by Association dwellers;
Del. David Albo, who also voted for the tax increase/transportation bill (HB 2313) in the 2013 Assembly and voted against a convention in 2004, but for it in 2013.
Do these sound like people we trust to vote on making good changes to our Constitution?
Changing the name to a “Convention of States” or “Balanced Budget Amendment” (BBA) does not change what it is. It is still an Article V convention called by Congress for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. States may convene all they wish; states meeting together is traditional. But for the states to make the call for a convention and/or decide its conditions would be completely unconstitutional.
Are the amendments being proposed advisable? For example, a BBA would result in raising taxes to balance the budget if there was no agreement on cutting the spending. Also, the BBA would increase the power of the federal government. As it is, the government can only spend money on the enumerated powers listed in the body of the Constitution. The BBA would result in no constraints on spending other than the cost, bypassing the limitations of the enumerated powers.  
Who besides well-meaning patriots support convention? Globalist George Soros, liberal California Governor Jerry Brown, Richard Parker, a former member of the 1960s radicals known as Students for a Democratic Society and  Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessing, an Obama supporter.
Could we depend on the states to reign in federal overreach when it is the states that take federal grants, making them an accomplice to the overreach? 
Since Congress disobeys the Constitution, is the solution to change it? If people don’t obey the 10 Commandments, should they be rewritten? When government officials don’t abide by the Constitution now, why trust they would obey an amended one?
   The solution? Obey the Constitution, not change it. For more information, contact the address below.
Committee for Constitutional Government • Box 972 • Gloucester VA 23061 •

Groups that have gone on record opposing a call for an Article V convention, American Policy Center, Concerned Citizens of the Middle Peninsula, Virginia, Third Congressional District GOP, Danville Tea Party, Newport News GOP City Committee, Eagle Forum,  Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AFL-CIO,  Gun Owners of America, National Rifle Association, United Republicans of California, California Democratic Party, The American Independent Party, National Association to Keep and Bear Arms, The Constitution Party, American Pistol and Rifle Association, Pro-America, The John Birch Society, The Second Amendment Committee of Hanford, CA, Constitutionalists United Against a Constitutional Convention, United Organizations of Taxpayers, Voters Against Conspiracy and Treason, and
Mid-Peninsula Tea Party (comprising the counties of Gloucester, Mathews and Middlesex), Mathews County GOP Committee,the Conservative name a few.

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."  - Thomas Jefferson "

Morgan Griffith on Emissions Regulation

From Congressman Griffith's E-Newsletter:

President Allows Nations with Emerging Economies to Pick Carcass of U.S. Economy
Monday, June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new regulations that would require our nation’s existing power plants to cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.  This rule will impact approximately 1,000 fossil fuel-fired plants, particularly those that burn coal or natural gas.
In issuing these regulations where Congress has refused to legislate, the President and his EPA are seeking to fulfill his 2008 promise that, “…under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”  (Interview with the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board, 1/17/08)
Amazingly, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in her statement unveiling this latest attack on the American family, “Critics claim your energy bills will skyrocket.  They’re wrong.” 
Let’s see.  The President says it will make your rates skyrocket, but because they know that’s politically unpopular, Administrator McCarthy tells you the opposite. 
Somebody is trying to fool the American people.
A reporter asked me last week if I thought that developing nations would see what the United States was doing and then issue similar regulations for emissions from existing power plants after President Obama does so. 
I told the reporter, Matt Laslo, a freelance reporter covering Congress, that what I think the other nations see is an opportunity to pick the carcass of the American economy.
After nations with emerging economies watch this Administration’s unreasonable regulations damage our economy, negatively impact our jobs and our access to reliable energy, and raise our electric rates, do you expect that these nations will “follow our lead?” 
I am of the belief that these developing nations will promote their own country’s energy needs.   They want what we have – prosperity – and this Administration’s policies are making it easier for them to take our jobs. 
A company choosing to open a facility in one of these countries – which do not have the environmental standards we currently have or had 10 years ago – will be able to more cheaply produce products.  In doing so, they will damage the quality of the air for the world. 
Since we live in the Northern Hemisphere, we share air with China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Myanmar, etc.  All of us in the Northern Hemisphere share the same air.
According to a NASA study, it takes just 10 days for the air from the Gobi Desert in the middle of China to reach the eastern shore of Virginia.  Instead of implementing regulations or policies that discourage the domestic production of goods, we ought to encourage manufacturing in the United States – where we do care about our air quality.  This would benefit the world’s air quality, and certainly would benefit our economy as well.  We can have balanced, reasonable regulations, but this new proposal by the President is neither balanced nor reasonable. 
I am of the belief the President’s expectations that other nations will “follow our lead” will be dashed, just as his expectations for a “reset” of our relationship with Russia – which has been described in a New York Times story as “…a very climate-change-skeptical society” – were dashed...  
I am deeply concerned about the impact that these regulations will have on our electric prices, our economy, our access to reliable energy, and more.  I vow to continue fighting these regulations and additional efforts the President may undertake to advance his War on Coal, which is, in turn, a war on middle class America.

Fair disclosure: This web site has suspected for a very long time that the corporations that collect money for providing energy could reduce nasty emissions, continue to employ local people at decent wages, and also reduce our bills, if they got serious about reducing the waste at the top of the corporate pyramid. This web site has nothing to offer, other than the force of opinion, toward making them get serious about that.

This web site has also felt distressed for a long time by travellers' reports of how careless with the environment people are in some of these countries from which the calls for tighter regulations in the U.S. have come. There's a very famous, beautiful picture of one specific place in China that dominates my favorite Chinese restaurant. An iconic place, like Mount Hood or Lake Louise. That place, its names, and what it's like there, now, are discussed in Peter Hessler's book River Town (which I discussed at 

Last year, when this web site received correspondence that I thought was worth sharing even if I had some misgivings about it, this web site just posted it and waited for readers to comment. This year, having read my own Yearbook (which is now available to sponsors with any donation over $75), and felt misrepresented by my own web site, I feel obligated to comment. I don't know exactly how a real conservative, one who wants to conserve our environment as well as our money, would go about encouraging corporations to set responsible policies for themselves and thus limit their own economic growth. I do understand that, in the absence of the kind of religious fervor observed in a few very small Protestant groups, in some not all Catholic monasteries, and in the Old Left Wing, it's extremely hard to motivate an American to choose to pass up any opportunity to bank more money this year than he banked last year. So hard that I'm not sure how anybody could blame Congress for being unable to do this. But this web site would like to see them at least give it a good try

Please keep up the good work, Congressman Griffith.

"As always, if you have concerns or comments or wish to inquire about legislative issues, feel free to contact my offices.  You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671.  To reach my office via email, please visit my website at"