Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Not Too Late to Have a Healthy Old Age

Attention baby-boomers! It's not too late for most of us to adopt the behaviors that contribute to a healthy old age (without major disabilities, dementia, or other totally boring chronic conditions caused by bad health habits). Carol Roach reports on a formal scientific study:

Rick from California Recommends "Broke"

This web site started recommending Broke, by Glenn Beck (and his serious research team), before this web site was even set up...back when we were using a cute, doomed little "Weebly" page. However, Broke is not A Book You Can Buy From Me, because Beck and friends are still selling it.

Jonathon Seidl shares a link to the audio recording of Rick from California discussing Broke, here:

If you've not already read Broke, here's where to buy it directly from Beck, Balfe, et al.:

And here's where I'll update what I said about it, summer before last. Broke is part of a series, along with Arguing with Idiots, An Inconvenient Truth, and Cowards, in which Glenn Beck presents huge amounts of serious research done by people who aren't professional entertainers. While the other books in this series range through a list of topics Beck has covered on his show, Broke is all about the U.S. economy. As such, it contains a lot of informed opinion and educated guesswork. When Broke came out, I could say that you might not agree with the interpretation of the numbers presented in Broke. By now there's been time for economists to debate that interpretation...and most of them seem to think Beck, Balfe, and friends are right.

How You Can Help Your Country: "Gold" Dollars

Becket Adams reports on a dead-easy way you can help the United States save money:

What's missing from this story is not comments from people who enjoy carrying around wads of paper money--there are plenty of those, and I'm not saying the government should stop printing paper bills--but comments from people who LIKE "gold dollars." I am one of those people.

I can't figure out the people who say the dollar coins are too easily mistaken for quarters. Have youall actually used one of the recent gold-toned dollar coins with either Sacagawea or a past president on them? They're bigger than quarters, they're heavier than quarters, they're a different color from quarters, and they have smooth edges (quarters have what coin collectors call "milled" edges). I do remember a silver-tone dollar coin, with Susan B. Anthony on it, that could easily be mistaken for a quarter, but I think all of those things are in collectors' frames by now.

Don't like carrying coins in your pockets? Well, most banks now issue debit cards, which are just an electronic version of writing cheques, and most businesses that process large amounts of money in a single transaction are prepared to accept debit cards. (This web site maintains that amounts of money lower than $500 should always be paid in cash, but some businesses that employ untrustworthy cashiers disagree.)

The U.S. Mint is not proposing to stop printing bills for amounts of money that would become hard to carry around in coins. They're not even proposing to discontinue the five-dollar bill. So, if your pocket full of coins becomes heavy, you could always trade extra dollar coins for a $5, $10, or $20 bill.

But you don't like coins, period, you say? Bah, humbug! This web site can see right through you...the computer can. Your problem is not coins, it's flab. Start walking to and from work, and before you know it you'll be able to reach into your pockets for coins comfortably.

Democratic Party View of Socialism

Has the Democratic Party gone socialist? Billy Hallowell offers an objective measurement:

When you hear independent, liberal web sites, such as Associated Content used to be and such as this site still intends to be, described as "right-wing," this is what you have to bear in mind. Am I right-wing? My husband used to say so--as a joke. He was a card-carrying Democrat in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, and I'm slightly to the right of them. But as Glenn Beck has demonstrated, FDR and JFK made speeches that, if read today, would be branded "right-wing."

Restaurant Gives Discount with Church Bulletin

Well, I think Prudhomme's Lost Cajun Kitchen should come up with a fresh promotion...

One of the perks and quirks of having a small business is that you can offer flash discounts for any reason whatsoever. For example, "Discount with a printed copy of this advertisement or advertorial" is one that seems to work for a lot of people. Local lurkers about whom I've written advertorials have received copies of their write-ups from out-of-state visitors and even foreign visitors, and they have, of course, given them the discount discussed in the write-up. If you want to find out who's reading your ads, I naturally recommend this option.

When managing stores or booths I've thought of all kinds of creative discounts to advertise. One year a fellow from a local high school was playing in the Super Bowl with the Chicago Bears, so on Super Bowl weekend my store became "The Bears' Den" and offered discounts to anyone wearing or carrying a Bears souvenir. College towns are accustomed to stores offering discounts to people wearing college gear, and in Kingsport, Tennessee, in July, all kinds of nice things can happen to those who wear "Kingsport Fun Fest" T-shirts...the older the better.

Another gimmick I've used in more than one year, which helped raise awareness of the "Black Friday" shopping event (I grew up calling it "Thanksgiving Friday"), was a discount on any black sweaters, cell phones, books with black jackets...I've offered other discounts on merchandise in special colors, too, like a discount on red, green, and white knitwear in December.

When I became a certified massage therapist I was surprised to learn that advertising "Police Specials" was legal, was considered ethical, and was recommended by the National Certification Board. I was an adult and had heard of storekeepers who felt at risk offering "Police Specials," but I'd never considered doing it before. On consideration, I see nothing really wrong with "Police Specials" as long as other members of the community get their "specials" days too. I've offered Teachers' Specials, Bus Drivers' Specials, Young Parents' Specials, Veterans' Specials, and so on. Nobody's ever complained, but if they did I would probably whip out a calendar and say, "Right, your special sale will be..."

Even big-chain stores have often offered Senior Discounts. In the 1970s my father used to grumble that this practice was discriminatory. Hah! Anyone less scrupulous than Dad figured out how to work the system by paying a senior citizen in advance to buy whatever you, the hard-pressed young parent, might need. In Washington and its suburbs the Ames chain stores offered good prices all week but really excellent prices on "Senior Tuesday." There aren't a lot of retired people in Washington but on Tuesdays you could always see a half-dozen or more, waiting on the bench at the front of an Ames store for younger friends to summon them to the checkout counter. I would have expected some effort to be made to pretend that the hired "grandparent" was shopping with the family, but this was not the case. People who weren't physically able to hike through a big crowded store would hobble up to the cash registers and buy carts full of children's things. I asked a store manager whether this bothered him. He said, "Why? At least it gets people to visit their old, disabled friends."

If you don't want to ask who your customers are and what they do, another gimmick that moves a fair amount of retail-priced merchandise along with the sale items is the Tag Sale. Stores that use this system write prices on tags in different colors, and advertise a discount on anything with a red tag on Monday, green tag on Tuesday, blue tag on Wednesday, etc.

So I have no problem with the idea of a Church Bulletin Special. (Don't go to church? Duh...ask a friend to save a bulletin for you.) But I think that, having been reported last summer, for this restaurant, the Church Bulletin Special is getting stale. They need to think of a fresh gimmick to bring in a whole new demographic group.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Horse and Zebra Escape from Zoo

Liz Klimas also shares a cute nature video from, of all places, New York City:

Bashing the Granny-Bashers

Liz Klimas reports on three recent incidents where senior citizens successfully defended their property against the "granny-bashers" who try to fund drug habits by lurking outside grocery stores, housing projects, etc., and robbing anyone who looks stooped or moves slowly. There's a deeply heartwarming video:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More Cats Need Your Help

For years the stated mission of the Cat Sanctuary has been to carry on a project that was actually initiated by a cat (Magic), of offering a safe home and healthy life to needy cats and kittens.

However, since the rescue of the almost equally special alley cat, Mackerel, and his mother, Patchnose, and sister, Polly, the actual function of the Cat Sanctuary has basically been to provide a good home to this cat family. A few other cats have come and gone, but we've not been doing any real cat rescue work because there's been no real need.
I'm serious, Gentle Readers: Although uninformed people have been bringing pets they can no longer keep into "Cat Auschwitz" (the Humane Society shelter), "Cat Auschwitz" has been relying on actual pet-napping to supply the market for Shelter Kingsport, Tennessee, and also in Denver, where I'm told a batch of local cats were shipped, and other cities.

This changed over the weekend. We have been informed that a nearby trailer park has declared a Cat Problem and is looking for homes for several abandoned pets and/or friendly feral cats. We have agreed to accept these cats as they are trapped and vaccinated against deadly infections, and will be actively trying to place them in permanent homes.

We will not expose the Patchnose Family to un-vaccinated cats. However, when we say that other cats can stay here (at PK's home) on the approval of the Patchnose Family, we mean that very seriously. What's special about the Patchnose Family is that they're very social cats. In at least three cases the cats have been the ones demanding that we feed and shelter new cats! For cats who don't get along with the Patchnose Family, other foster homes have been located...of course it's best for the cats to go straight to a permanent home if possible.

We urgently need a digital camera in order to post photos of these cats, and a late-model laptop computer to ensure adequate online time to handle the cat situation as well as General Assembly 2013 and the general-magazine-type content of which several readers are requesting more. We have advertised these needs in newspapers, and we're advertising them here.

I don't know these cats yet. I don't know whether any of them is as social as the Patchnose Family; I do know that the Patchnose Family have bonded, to the extent possible, with non-social cats and seem to help socialize these cats to some extent. I don't know whether any of them is anything other than American Shorthair. All I can tell you is that they're friendly, lovable cats who need your help to survive.

Are Christians Doing Enough to Help the Poor?

Billy Hallowell's op-ed post contains a mini-poll:

I voted "No." I have worked with church-sponsored programs that made a regular effort to move poor people off welfare or other tax-funded "entitlements." This is what right-wing Christians claim to think the church should be doing. Well, which church do they have in mind? Only a few of the large, highly organized churches are even trying.

I'm not saying this to disparage the various Catholic, Methodist, Salvationist, and Seventh-Day Adventist charities with which I've worked. Within the limited scope of what they're able to try to accomplish, they do quite a lot of good...but relative to the number of welfare beneficiaries (and able-bodied welfare cheats) in this country, what they're doing is pathetic. Most church fundraising goes to maintain church buildings, pay ministers, support mostly overseas mission projects, and/or (at best) maintain a tiny emergency fund that helps churchgoers make one rent or utility payment per year. Few churches sponsor urban missions, and those that do seldom offer more than food and shelter--no effort to help needy people get back into the socioeconomic game.

I think the state of what American Christians are doing to help our officially recognized "poor" class is woeful indeed...and what I can see firsthand as a member of the unrecognized poor-in-America, the people who are generally managing to feed themselves and doing some good for others by their work, is even more woeful. Christians are currently in the middle of an annual spending spree, but they're not spending mindfully. How many Christians are choosing to buy their presents from a neighbor or fellow believer who depends on his or her work to pay his or her bills, rather than from some multinational corporation?

The season of partying (and stocking community food banks, hint, hint) is here...and how many Christians' holiday parties will feature locally produced food treats, rather than the kind people buy at Wal-Mart? How many Christians remember that, although employees of big corporations make it painfully obvious that they don't care whether you buy what they sell or not, self-employed people and small family business owners do care, because how much you buy determines things like how warm they can keep even one room, whether they can drive to church, and what they can eat?

I just finished posting photos of a batch of handmade needlecraft items. Fair disclosure: the crocheter known to cyberspace as MK left a lot of lovely crocheted pieces in my booth when she died, age 87. The knitter known as Gena Greene (a.k.a. Green Gena and Lady Greensleeves), however, is alive and well, and will be using the price of one of those lovely, expensive sweaters, when you buy it, to pay her heating bill this winter...the way I use sponsored articles, advertorials, and the profits on Books You Can Buy From Me to pay my grocery bill.

The creative cook known as Grandma Bonnie Peters plans to spend this winter with a relative, far away from the house that has a Tennessee-certified kitchen, but when local people pay her for a batch of Veggie Burgers, Rice Biscuit Bread, Taco Soup, Vegan Split Pea Soup, Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Lasagna, or similar goodies, they're helping a seventy-year-old Christian meet her share of the cost of treatment for a broken wrist.

Filling out the list of contributors here...Saloli the Message Squirrel does not depend on your shopping decisions to meet her needs, because she lives in an oak tree. Other people whose writing regularly appears here have private incomes and request donations only for their political work, which some readers may want to support. However, this site exists to market other products designed and made by people who need the money they earn from their creative work.

Yesterday this web site also featured a link to a story about an unemployed trucker who's marketing really cool-looking toys via Bed Bath & Beyond. Recently we also featured a link to a story about the Belly Rest pillow for pregnant women, and the terrific tote bags, for everybody, that commemorate "mom-trepreneur" Kerri Smith's battle for the right to market these pillows. We enjoy marketing things that are handmade in the U.S.A. because that's a very important way we, as Christians, practice social justice toward those members of the middle class who most try, and most deserve, not to become really poor (as in homeless or hungry).

As the shopping season begins, may I remind everyone to shop mindfully. People who make things by hand in the U.S.A. aren't asking for handouts, but buying things they make, rather than imported products sold by huge corporations, is a way to help their whole communities.

Many readers want lower taxes and smaller government. Here is your opportunity to do something about it. Take the burden off Uncle Sam. Take personal responsibility for keeping someone who's not a corporate employee from going on welfare, or, if you want a real challenge, for getting a welfare beneficiary off welfare. Either way, you're doing something good for the community and the country. So, this Christmas, put your money where your mouth is.

(Now the system's asking me to label this article. Which of our favorite labels are not applicable? When you buy locally made gifts, you may also be supporting the people we discuss under "women's history," "wheelchair access," "thank a veteran," etc. etc. etc....and add any other disadvantaged group of your choice.)

Holiday Trees in North Carolina

For those who didn't know, North Carolina makes a lot of money by selling Christmas trees, and if you drive through most parts of North Carolina you're sure to notice all the Christmas tree farms. These trendy left-wingers don't seem to know their own economic base...

Faded Ribbons Jacket (with a Beanie)

Knitted by Gena Greene

Photo by Victoria Cooley

We wish Tori had photographed these two separate items separately, but we understand the time constraints under which she volunteered to snap these pictures.
About the sweater
In real life the colors remind me of sour candies--blueberry, grape, lemon, green apple, cherry...What shows as white on this computer is pale yellow in real life. The stripes are textured and give the sweater a strong vertical grain, almost like corduroy.
Size: Medium woman's (5'3"-5'7"; 40")
Material: 55% Red Heart acrylic, 45% miscellaneous including cotton and mohair
Care: Machine wash and dry carefully
Credits: "The 'Faded Ribbons' design appeared in Knitter's magazine...sorry, further details are not available. The original sweater was knitted with two handpainted yarns in different color combinations. This one was knitted with one Red Heart acrylic multicolor yarn and lots of scraps that harmonize with the colors, including scraps from the Hand-Painted Jacket."
[Update: It was the Spring 2008 issue of Knitter's magazine. The designer was Simona Merchant-Dest, who designed it as a pullover with a long, snug ribbed waist.]
Price: $50 + shipping
About the cap
Size: Small
Material: acrylic
Care: Machine wash and dry
Credits: "This is a basic beanie, the kind every knitter knows how to make. Cast on 72 stitches to make this size in this kind of yarn, knit 1" in garter stitch and 3" in stockinette stitch, then shape a round top to fit close to the head. I have made several of them. They take little time to make and little time to sell. If this one's sold before readers respond to the web page, I can make more of these beanies in any color. There could be one to match any sweater if I have enough yarn left. The price on the beanies is always $5--regardless of what they're made of--the profit on acrylic beanies offsets the loss when somebody asks for one made of a luxury material."
Price: $5 + shipping
Click here to buy the sweater or the cap.

Rock Creek Jacket

Knitted by Gena Greene

Photo by Victoria Cooley

In real life the colors are orange, yellow, and warm gray (not blue--the camera seems to be picking up the blue tone in that lovely old brocade chair). The two front sides are the same length, in real life. That pink-and-blue thing that shows on the front is a skein band containing the manufacturer's care instructions for the blended-fiber yarn.
Size: Large woman's (5'6" to 6"--sleeves may stretch; 44")
Material: Wool/acrylic blend
Care: Washing as wool is recommended, but instructions for machine laundering are attached
Credits: "A box of yarn from a wool shop's going-out-of-business sale included this distinctive boucle yarn and, tucked in with it, a paper containing four Paris fashion patterns printed in French only. At the time I didn't have a dictionary of foreign knitting terms, but just puzzled it out by the numbers and the picture on the pattern. This jacket was designed just for this yarn."
Click here to buy it for $90 + shipping.

Hand-Painted Jacket

Knitted by Gena Greene

Photo by Victoria Cooley

This short, bulky jacket is knitted in two hand-painted wool and mohair yarns from Cherry Tree Hill. It's recommended especially for those who want to avoid adding bulk below the waistline (we meet quite a few of these people in real life). Although fluffy, light, and lacy, it's very warm.
Size: Woman's large (5'3-5'10", 42")
Material: 50% pure wool, 50% wool-mohair blend
Care: Hand wash gently; dry flat
Credits: "The design appeared on the cover of Knitter's magazine."
PK: Which issue, and who designed the sweater?
"I don't know. I've misplaced the magazine and don't see it on Amazon."
Frugal tip for readers who knit: Always buy Knitter's magazine. Back issues actually gain value on Amazon.
Click here to buy the sweater for $180 + shipping.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Big Turkish Carnation Jacket

Hand knitted by Gena Greene

Photo by Victoria Cooley

Size: Large woman's (5'6-6', 44-48")

Material: Mixed; 80% acrylic

Care: Machine wash and dry

Credits: "In 1991, the Turkish Carnation Jacket in Glorious Knitting was the most challenging thing I'd knitted. Someone saw it and asked me to knit one just like it, only extra-large, for a big, tall woman who liked things oversized. I thought changing the gauge would have that effect. It did, with a few extra effects--the sleeves came out just long enough for a tall woman with no cuffs at all, just a gathered edge at the wrist, and the shoulders are wide. Although it matched the intended wearer's measurements, it was not the one (of a batch of sweaters that had been requested for her to choose from) that she ended up buying. It's just too big for the average woman, so it's still waiting for the right person to wear it."

Click here to buy the sweater for $65 + shipping, or to buy a copy of Glorious Knitting for $5 + shipping (includes $1 for Kaffe Fassett or the charity of his choice).

Slotto: Toys for Boys (This Old Girl Likes Them Too)

Becket Adams has samples of a hot new collection of creative toys for boys (and girls) of all ages, designed by an unemployed truck driver...

Comments from kids are requested. Comments from The Nephews are especially requested.

Crocheted Table Mat

Crocheted by MK

Photo by Victoria Cooley

Size: About 2' square
Material: Cotton
Care: Machine wash and dry
Click here to buy it for $10 + shipping.

Crocheted Butterfly Place Mat

Crocheted by MK

Photo by Victoria Cooley

The trouble is, there's only one of them. If there were a set of four or more...
Material: Acrylic
Care: Machine wash and dry, carefully, and readjust the butterfly's wired antennae afterward.
Price: $5 + shipping

About This Batch of Pictures...

Frankly, Gentle Readers, I'm disappointed by this batch of pictures. Although digital cameras have been on our wish lists since this web site was created, nobody out there has sent us any. In order to add any visual quality to this web site at all, we have to depend on Morguefile or on e-friend Victoria Cooley.

Tori is related to Oliver's Humans, one of whom sweetly suggested to Gena Greene that last week would be a good time to take a lot of sweaters into Oliver's (the antique furniture store in historic downtown Gate City, Virginia) and have them photographed. The idea was more professional-quality images of all the sweaters with a backdrop of all the charmingly decorated period furniture collections in Oliver's store.

Well...Tori had done a good bit of the work of arranging all those furniture collections, but she was also studying for tests, and had lots of other images taking up memory on her camera-phone, waiting to be sent here and there...and it shows. All the armchairs, tables, shelves, beds, quilts, racks, stands, and sofas in the store, and every single photo shows the knitted piece draped over the same armchair.

I had hoped to give youall a real virtual tour of the Jackson Street stores, with all the clever little craft booths and antique Christmas decorations; ideally, enough views inside enough stores to attract some of those Tennessee readers to Gate City during the shopping season. Instead, as of today what you're getting is an inside view into the frustration of poverty-in-America. I'm not hungry (today), but I can't afford to take the photos I wanted to post here, and I can't afford to make it worth Tori's time to put off studying and take pictures for us. I'm sorry. The computer is showing that several readers are interested in the shopping attractions of Gate City and Kingsport; I wish I could do more for you.

If anyone out there can spare a digital camera, please e-mail

Mauve Patchwork Jacket

Hand knitted by Gena Greene
Photo by Victoria Cooley

A big, thick, fluffy winter jacket for someone who always needs more warm fuzzies.

Size: Large woman's (5'4" to 5'10", about 48" around)

Materials: 60% mohair, 25% acrylic, 10% wool, 5% other material; each patch or sleeve stripe consists of one strand of a mohair-wool blend and one strand of another yarn.

Care: Hand wash (gently) and dry flat. You can try shrinking it, carefully, but shrinkage may be uneven.

Credits: "The pattern comes from Nancie Wiseman's Knitted Sweaters for Every Season; the mix of yarns is what makes this version unique. Experienced knitters may have missed this book when it came out. It was kind of expensive for only 16 patterns, but each of those patterns is distinctive and uses a technique that goes beyond the basics, like this patchwork pattern. If knitters want to learn new knitting skills, Knitted Sweaters for Every Season is a big box of mixed chocolates. And not all of the patterns are sweaters."

Price: $250

Click here to buy the sweater, or to buy Knitted Sweaters for Every Season as A Book You Can Buy From Me for $15 + shipping (ensuring that Wiseman or her favorite charity will receive $2).

Where to Find Laura Ingraham

Becket Adams reports that Laura Ingraham's radio show is going off the air:

There's an interesting mix, in the comments, of fans and people who think she sounds "naggy." Hmm. Are they thinking of Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the Professional Nag whose books had titles like Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives? (Different generations; Schlessinger is Jewish, Ingraham is Catholic; Schlessinger's show focussed on "morality," Ingraham's on news. I've bought all but one of Ingraham's books; I only bothered to check one of Schlessinger's books out from a public library. But they both have low voices and Northern States accents.)

But where can fans turn for daily contact with Ingraham's ideas? Possibly due to radio network contract rules, Becket Adams doesn't tell them. This site will relieve yourall's distress. Here's what Ingraham posted on this topic at

"After more than 9 years with the distributor Talk Radio Network, I decided it was time to move on. After much thought and reflection, I have decided to pursue my first loves--modern dance and the xylophone. In the highly unlikely event that these efforts do not prove fruitful, I intend to return to radio.

Seriously--to the more than 300 stations that carry the Laura Ingraham Show and to all my loyal listeners, I feel the time is right to expand and retool my radio program and to explore other syndication options, which I am now actively pursuing. During this brief hiatus, my team and I will continue to deliver thought-provoking and entertaining analysis via my website and twitter @IngrahamAngle."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Morgan Griffith's Public Health Concerns

Congressman Morgan Griffith's E-Newsletter is available free of charge to all Virginians who want to read it. This week's E-Newsletter contains two statements about public health concerns that qualify as updates for most and news for some of us:

"Meningitis Health Scare

Before Thanksgiving, the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing on the fungal meningitis outbreak caused by an unsterile facility in Massachusetts called the New England Compounding Center. Sadly, there are approximately 1,415 people in Southwest Virginia who received injections made by this company, meaning they may have been exposed to fungal meningitis. Nationwide, 34 people have died from this outbreak. At least two of them are from our region.

As I return to Washington after Thanksgiving, I am working with other members of the subcommittee to ensure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the necessary authority over drug manufacturers who are avoiding the manufacturing laws by pretending to be small compounding pharmacies. In my opinion, the New England Compounding Center was in fact a drug manufacturer operating in a negligent fashion under the guise of being a compounding pharmacy. This is necessary to enforce good standards and prosecute bad actors so that hopefully the next tragedy may be averted...

Consumer Alert

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a recent warning related to counterfeit airbags that may be installed in some vehicles after crashes. NHTSA tested some of these airbags, which look very similar to the real thing, and found that the counterfeit ones “showed consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the airbag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment.”

According to NHTSA, the only vehicles at risk are those with an airbag that has been replaced within the last three years by a non-new car dealership. If you suspect your vehicle may be affected, please call your automaker or visit "

Actually, if you're under 5'4" (or if you're 5'4" and sometimes slouch or lie back in a car seat), an airbag that doesn't deploy may be the safest option! This web site recommends inspection, maintenance, and use of seat belts.

Death to Patrick Greene's Frivolous Lawsuit!

Death to Patrick Greene's frivolous lawsuit! Hurray! I said it and I'm glad. Let this troubled soul claim he's received a "death threat" from this web site if he likes....

I'm quite sure that any death threats this guy received from "peace-loving Christians" were aimed at his silly complaints rather than his body. What about that story that the word "evil" has been burned into his rugs on two separate occasions, and he's not naming a suspect or pressing charges? Does that sound to you like some sort of personal quarrel, rather than Christians "persecuting" an atheist?

Hmm...I'm filing this under "Christian-phobia," but do we need a topic label for "stupid pranks"? Nah. Why give stupid pranks that much attention?

Rob Bell on Texting While Driving and Other Topics

Actually, the title for this e-mail could be "Rob Bell Wants to Be Virginia's Next Attorney General." Here's the e-mail, enhanced with updated links because funny things happened when the links were pasted in here:

As you may know, I am a former prosecutor and currently serve as the chairman of Virginia State Crime Commission. (  We are currently looking at the following issues:

Texting While Driving

In a recent case in Fairfax, a judge ruled that a driver who caused a fatal accident while texting could not be charged with reckless driving. Under reckless driving, the driver could have been punished with restriction / loss of license, probation, or even jail. We are looking at ways to clarify the law to ensure that these penalties are available for very serious traffic accidents caused by drivers who text.

Financial Abuse of Seniors

It is of course illegal to commit fraud on anyone, but some criminals are specifically targeting seniors for financial abuse. These offenders can be contractors, financial advisers, or even family members. I asked the Crime Commission to review ways to provide additional protections for those who may be especially vulnerable to scams. You can read an article describing the problem here:

Cigarette Trafficking

As cigarettes have become more expensive, we are seeing more crimes related to their sales. The Commission heard testimony about traffickers who illegally transport Virginia cigarettes to other states, those who counterfeit Virginia tax stickers, and even those who counterfeit the cigarettes themselves -- disguising cheaper cigarettes as Marlboros, for example. Organized crime has found trafficking cigarettes can be as lucrative as trafficking in illegal narcotics, and this predictably has brought violence and other problems. You can read the news article here.

A full list of the all the Commission's studies can be found here.

We welcome your feedback on any of these issues. You can e-mail me by replying to this e-mail, or you can e-mail the commission itself at

We will be taking votes on various options on Wednesday, December 5. Those that pass will become our recommendations to the General Assembly.

Thank you for your interest in public safety in Virginia, and best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Rob Bell

Delegate, 58th District
Attention bill readers and General Assembly watchers! Some bills we were watching last winter will be up for reconsideration this winter, and these links will be relevant to the discussion.

More Zoning Ordinance Abuse

Yet another example of what zoning ordinances lead to. Not more investment by huge corporations, "but don't you want jobs?"--but petty personal harassment:

Attention Scott County Board of Supervisors. We need an ordinance permanently banning this kind of nastiness from Scott County.

Did Jamie Foxx Really Call Obama...?

Did Jamie Foxx really mean to say "God and our Lord and Savior, Barack Obama"?

If so, has our President been formally hailed as "The Antichrist"?

She Didn't Raise a Soldier, but a Terrorist

I put on my Names Maven hat and read Sharona Schwartz's article. Big disappointment; she only found one newly trendy name to explain to me. The kicker is the video below, where a Lebanese mother is apparently buckling a "suicide belt" around a little boy.

"No," commented a skeptical reader, "that's the neighbor's kid." I could be more cynical and say I suspect it's some sort of Halloween costume made of cardboard, but is that an image to publish if you want others to sympathize with your cause? ??? Muslims aren't supposed to drink alcohol or use any drugs Muhammad knew about (except coffee, which he didn't consider a drug), but there are drugs not mentioned in the Koran that some Muslims use heavily. I wonder which one this poor woman has been using?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Petition for Benghazi Investigation

Can you stand any more facts about the Benghazi murders than you're already getting from the news media? (Before you say no, remember that in some past cases where politicians were implicated in disasters, the complete facts turned out to be less horrible than some of the stories we heard. If you like the present administration, do you want to see them exonerated to the fullest extent possible?) Specifically, do you want to see Petraeus and Clinton on the stand? If so, here's your link:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Photos from Scotland

Elizabeth Barrette shared this photo series from a blogger known as Glinda:

Note the number of respondents who referred to the Canada Goose as a duck!

Michael Moore's Letter to President Obama

Uh-oh....Mike from Flint has gone over the edge again...

I like Michael Moore. He's a comedian. Most of the time he's a good, thoughtful one. But this shtick is not funny.

Newark Mayor Needs Food Stamps?

Somehow I find it hard to imagine that, as Jason Howerton's story suggests, Mayor Cory Booker will actually be able to go on food stamps...

Can he live on the amount of money for which food stamps would be issued, if he didn't have an income? I'd guess he could--comfortably, even in Newark, even in winter--but he may need some advice on how to do it.

For those who live in places where they can either have vegetable gardens, or barter for produce from neighbors' gardens, living on food stamps is a snap. You might have to learn a lot of ways to cook zucchini, but you can be well fed.

Welcome to America! You Too Can Be a Welfare Cheat!

"Welcome to America, where you too can be a freeloader." Is that what our government actually means to tell newcomers to the United States? Caroline May reports:

One Explanation for the Grinch?

Billy Hallowell reports on another case of Christian-phobia, this time an outburst of Christmas-bashing:

Two factors that may have emboldened these atheists:

1. The Cross has nothing to do with Christmas. The Crucifixion occurred in spring, around Passover. (There's even some controversy whether the "sabbath" mentioned in the Bible was a Saturday, the "weekly sabbath," or Passover, a "yearly sabbath" that could be observed on other days; if Passover fell on a Thursday that year, the "three days and three nights" prophecy could have ended "on the first day of the week.")

Actually, Jesus is connected with the twenty-fifth of December only in a tangential way. We don't know when He was born but it was probably in October. However, on realizing that every culture has a traditional winter solstice festival, the early Christian Church decided to convert that festival into a Christian celebration of giving to those in need, and the image of the Holy Family finding no vacancies in the inns works for calls for charitable donations, at least in the northern hemisphere.

2. The Christmas season starts after Thanksgiving.

Efforts to rush, commercialize, and exploit the Christmas season alienate Christians too, as Christina Cheddar Berk reports here:

Please, Gentle Readers, hold your reindeer. Give people time to digest Thanksgiving dinner before you start hanging lights.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Phenology for 11/19/12: Red-Tailed Hawk

Q. What's the difference between a red-tailed hawk and a chicken hawk? (Fair disclosure: I have the advantage of having read Scott Weidensaul's Raptor Almanac.)

A. "Red-tailed hawk" is a recognized species name in English. "Chicken hawk" is not a species name; it's a general description of any individual hawk someone has observed chasing chickens. Most often this is a Sharp-Shinned Hawk, who is smaller than a hen but is still occasionally able to dart in and grab a young chicken. Red-tails and goshawks are the only hawks big enough to try to harm an adult chicken, and they seldom try.

Hawks weren't meant to make other birds the main part of their diet. Those who do tend to gain fat and lose muscle mass, and become unhealthy. Although some states have officially declared the practice illegal, I see nothing wrong with shooting a hawk whom you have caught chasing chickens. Healthy hawks prefer a varied diet of rats and mice, fish and shellfish. There is no need to shoot them and, in fact, there are good reasons to let them fly around a farm, as long as they stay away from the chickens.

It's a funny thing about the whole hawk and eagle family...they'll all eat smaller birds (including one another) if they're hungry, but they have been known to bring a smaller bird to the nest, decide they weren't all that hungry, and keep it around as a pet. Eagles have reared red-tailed hawks this way. Hungry eaglets often shove their younger siblings out of the nest, but well-fed eaglets will accept hawks as more of the family. Red-tails have had less success rearing chickens--but this may be because chickens need more variety in their diet than a mother red-tail would provide.

I don't have a photo of the red-tail who let me get within ten feet of her on Saturday. (You can't always tell whether smaller hawks are female, immature, or members of a different species, but you can always spot the female red-tail; she's much bigger than her mate and young--almost as big as a turkey or osprey. In Texas and Mexico she's called aguililla, the "lesser eagle.")

Red-tails most often swoop in and grab something small enough to carry back to their nest. They seldom try to carry a chicken after its feathers have grown in. Despite their strong wings and fearful talons, they don't fight well on the ground; "chicken hawks" are routinely beaten and chased by bantam hens. (I have seen them hold a grudge and come back to fight these hens.) So you don't often see a red-tail standing on the ground. However, they do like venison, as much as humans do, and you do sometimes see one tearing into a road-killed deer, which is what the one I saw was doing. If undisturbed (I went around and did not disturb her) she probably carried a big chunk of meat back to her nest, but when I saw her she was just eating, for herself, as even busy mother hawks do. She must have been hungry to have let me get as close as I did, and is probably still feeding a family.

Here's another fun fact about red-tails: they don't always have red tails, or reddish-brown coats, although the one I saw did. If red tail feathers do appear, they usually appear after a red-tailed hawk is two years old. Some fully accepted, healthy members of the red-tailed hawk family are drab brown, black, white, or a combination of these colors, with no reddish feathers.

Hawks are usually seen from below, which means you see them in shadow. In that situation, you can tell the mature female red-tail by her size, but you can't always tell other hawks from crows...which is why so many birds duck into hiding when a crow flies overhead.

The National Geographic web site has a photo of a typical red-tail seen from below. Note that it's brown and white:

A site titled "The Art of Manliness: Introduction to Falconry" has a picture of a red-tail who looks almost identical to the one I saw. Scroll down and look for the caption "Red-Tailed Hawk":

And here's a link for The Raptor Almanac, which contains many pictures of red-tails, pictures of every other species in the hawk and eagle family, and lots of fun facts, and is recommended:

(I've not posted a review here, but yes, it's A Book You Can Buy From Me. E-mail if you want Scott Weidensaul to receive a share of the price.)

"Insert Tab A into Tab B"

How many times have you heard someone use "insert Tab A into Tab B" as shorthand for any set of complicated instructions? If so, were you, or were these people, aware that what they were saying is shorthand for unusable instructions?

The blogger known as Krait vents:

Made me smile, anyway, so maybe it will have that effect on you.

Sharing with the Cats

Something I should have posted long ago, but it takes time for an occasional behavior choice to become an everyday policy. My diet (the diet of the real blogger who writes as "Priscilla King") has changed since I (Priscilla King) came into existence in cyberspace. Many of my lifestyle choices haven't changed a bit between years of prosperity and years of austerity, but this one has.

By choice, I'm still an omnivore who eats mostly vegan meals. That is, if I can afford what I like, I like mostly vegan meals. It's easier to balance a diet that's mostly plants, equally satisfying to the palate, and more satisfying to the soul.

However, since the cost per pound of little flat tins of cat food (not locally produced) went past the cost per pound of cheap-grade chicken and turkey (locally produced), I've been buying some sort of cheap meat, regularly, and cooking it along with my rice and beans. The cats (who don't have the option of going vegan) thus get their "treat" meal; sharing food with their human makes them feel loved. I'm not averse to eating meat and like the flavor it adds to my meal too.

I think this is an excellent frugal tip for anyone who lives with enough animals (several cats, or one big dog) to eat up most of a pound of meat.

I would warn readers, though: Always boil or broil meat thoroughly before eating it. Even if it's called "cold cuts," heat it up. Whether it comes from factory-farm (battery) chickens and turkeys, or factory-farm (feedlot) cows, hogs, or sheep, meat marketed in the United States tends to come from overcrowded animals who are constantly exposed to infectious diseases. If it's pink...well...I might give it to a dog, but some of my dog-owning friends would object vigorously.

Meet the Good Giraffe

First, let's thank Liz Klimas for the introduction:

Now, the link to the Good Giraffe himself:

If you have time, it's worth scrolling back through the archives for an armchair or computer-chair tour of Scotland. The giraffe does photos and videos.

Why is this listed as "Frugal" and "Creative Tightwad," though? Because, if you're not employed or satisfactorily self-employed, sticking your neck out with a creative, low-budget promotional gimmick is a wonderful way to market yourself.

Why Stop Common Core?

"Common Core" is a scheme, organized by unionized teachers (not parents, students, employers, or homeschoolers) in several states, to enforce a single curriculum on the public schools in every state. While this might sound useful to those who plan to move children from state to state (which this web site does not recommend), in practice it would interfere with parents' and communities' efforts to uphold their standards.

And what standards would be violated? Could be one school's longstanding reputation for teaching more advanced material, preparing students to make better use of better colleges, than other schools seem able to manage; e.g. Gate City High School, where simply having more teachers than the other high schools in the county has allowed students more choice between faster-paced and slower-paced classes, and better learners have tended to uphold higher academic standards. Or it might be a neighborhood's tradition of skimming over parts of textbooks that present theories as facts, e.g. the "fact" that species evolve into completely different species (not scientifically verified), or that homosexuality is genetically determined like skin color (no longer even a tenable theory). Or it might even be a local school's tradition of making full use of local resources, e.g. Northern Virginia's tradition of being able to offer summer internships in government offices.

Local communities need to maintain control over their public schools. If some schools uphold higher standards than others, we should be able to use free-market dynamics to help inferior schools upgrade, rather than using standardization to pull down the best schools.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Obamacare Costs Us Doctors

All I have time to do with this story, today, is post the link to Dr. Lee's actual words:

Another Gardener Under Attack

Back in July 2011, Donald Pennington reported on a Michigan resident whose front-yard garden was under attack, apparently because it looked too "different."

This time, Philip Hodges reports on a Florida resident whose yard garden has come under attack as an alleged water quality hazard:

Critical Analysis of the Sugar Study

Does sugar boost your self-control? Does it really?

Phenology for 11/17/12: Chilly, with Crows

Sometimes I find myself not bothering to post any phenology reports because time is limited and I've not seen anything unusual. Then I remember...the Internet is global. How else do readers in France, Russia, or Indonesia know what our "normal" is?

Weather: chilly nights, dipping down below freezing but not yet staying there long enough for the ground to freeze; mild days, afternoon highs in the fifties and sixties Fahrenheit.

Flowers: mostly dormant, but a few dandelions still pop up.

Insects: mostly dormant, but yesterday the computer center was pestered by a housefly.

Birds: During the past week I've seen a nuthatch and heard a flock of chickadees, "singing" competitively. (To humans they all sound pretty much alike, but female chickadees hear sounds outside the human range and recognize different males by their songs...and may dump their mates in favor of males with a more appealing song.)

Most noticeable, however, have been lots of blue jays and American Crows. Americans don't always realize that in the Eastern States we have two distinct species of crows. American Crows are bigger than Fish Crows. Both species are solid black all over (except for rare albino individuals, of which I've never seen one). Both are great mimics and, although they don't interbreed and usually travel in single-species flocks that use different sets of calls, in places where flocks mingle (like parks where visitors leave lots of crumbs) the birds will learn to imitate each other's calls to expand their repertoire of "words."

In Scott County, Virginia, they all seem to be American Crows. Waterfront parks in Maryland and Florida are where I've met Fish Crows who identified themselves as such. Instead of warning other crows of a human's approach, or warning a human to leave them alone, with the usual loud "Caw! Caw!", Fish Crows actually say "hunh-unh." (Some Native American humans copied this "word" into their languages, and now it's part of American English slang too.)

More about the crows:

Meet or adopt a Fish Crow in Florida here:

Nobody seems to think American Crows need adoption. They are too common. Those who like a cheeky, misbehaving, messy pet who's vulnerable to louse infections and may occasionally bite, however, say that American Crows who've learned to overcome their instinctive distaste for humans can become amusing pets.

Wildlife Video: Orca Follows Dog

Orcas usually eat fish. Was this one especially hungry--but not quite hungry enough to eat a dog? Or was it just steering the dog away from its fishing grounds? Madeleine Morgenstern shares the video:

Binding Spells for Christians?

In the Pagan/Wiccan community, there is a saying that whatever magical energy you send out returns to you three times over. This makes modern Witches uncomfortable with the idea of hexing people, no matter how desperately people may need it. As the author known as Starhawk puts it, "binding spells" are safer. "If you bind a rapist, you may find yourself magically prevented from committing rape, but this should not be a problem."

According to Starhawk, this is all about altering your own consciousness through speaking to your "magical-thinking" inner child in ways he or she can understand, anyway; Christians who believe in active, personal "demons" disagree. This Christian web site does not recommend casting spells, and refers questions about the practice to e-friend Elizabeth Barrette.

However, terms and concepts have a way of getting around...Lloyd Marcus reports a passivist Christian friend trying to use "binding prayers" to prevent a candidate whose ideas he doesn't completely like from implementing laws the friend doesn't like.

Magical thinking for Christians? ???

TMH Makes the Case Against Secession

Another conservative voice calls for reason:

Can Both Groups Have Thanksgiving Dinner?

Steve Elliott reports on Mercy Chefs' efforts to serve Thanksgiving dinner both to victims of Hurricane Isaac and to victims of Hurricane Sandy. Fair disclosure: this means money. Is anyone out there feeling munificent?

From the desk of Steve Elliott, Grassfire Nation

Dear Priscilla,

As you have seen reported in the news, the need in the New York region following Superstorm Sandy is tremendous.

That's why we partnered with Mercy Chefs, a disaster relief organization founded by Chef Gary LeBlanc.

With the help of many friends from our Grassfire Nation team, Mercy Chefs have already served over 50,000 meals in two of the hardest hit areas of New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg commended Mercy Chefs for their extensive help.

+ + Gary's dilemma

Yesterday, Gary was telling me of a huge decision facing Mercy Chefs.

Months ago, following Mercy Chefs Hurricane Isaac relief work in Louisiana, Gary promised the people of LaPlace that Mercy Chefs would return there over Thanksgiving and provide 5,000 victims, who are still rebuilding their lives, a hearty Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. He even arranged for an appearance by a celebrity Chef.

It is their tradition to rmercychefseturn at Thanksgiving to an area they served during the course of the year.

Gary knew he had to honor that promise to the people of LaPlace, which meant shutting down operations in New York.

When he made that promise, He never anticipated that two of the Mercy Chefs mobile kitchens would be put into service this late in the season - and for an extended period of time.

That left him with an extremely difficult decision. Serve Thanksgiving meals to the victims in New York - or New Orleans?

Then, he wondered if he could possibly do both. After all, the Mercy Chefs team of chefs and helpers are all volunteers. Would he dare ask them to leave their homes and man two kitchens in two different areas of the country over the Thanksgiving holiday?

The answer came when Mayor Andrew Hardwick of Freeport, NY called and asked Mercy Chefs to relocate a mobile kitchen to feed those victims still housed in Freeport’s emergency shelters. Many of them haven't had a good hot meal since Sandy struck.

Gary knew he had to make a bold decision and commit to help those victims.

+ + Then came the hard part... asking for help over the holiday

Gary's volunteers gave him a resounding "yes" when he asked them to man two mobile kitchen sites - and feed thousands of people a day for 5 days - including a full-course Thanksgiving dinner.

+ + A definite answer to prayer!

Rev. Tina Baker of Refuge Apostolic Church of Christ in Freeport said Gary's call was an answer to prayer!

“We asked ourselves, how do we feed these families who have lost everything. How do we give them the gift of a Thanksgiving meal? And then Mercy Chefs called and offered to come to our community over Thanksgiving week. It’s a gift. It’s a blessing!”

Both locations - New York and LaPlace will start providing hot meals on Sunday, culminating with dinner on Thursday.

Gary will provide the kitchens and the boots on the ground in these two cities - but I need you to commit, along with me, to to help me supply the Thanksgiving week dinners.

Priscilla, can I count on you to do that?

A gift of $10 will feed a family of 4 a professional Chef-prepared Thanksgiving dinner.

Please click here to give your best gift possible.

Feed a family banner

As you might imagine, this will be more than a meal to these people who have lost everything. It's a symbol of hope on a day we set aside to give thanks to God for his blessings.

We want to be a source of thanks for them next week.

And with your support and prayers, you will be right there with us!

This could be a special Thanksgiving to remember for you and the people of LaPlace, Louisiana - and Freeport, New York.

Your gift of any amount will be a tremendous blessing to people who, right now, have little to be thankful for.

I also hope that you will remember Mercy Chefs in prayer leading up to and including their days of relief work in Louisiana and New York.

God bless you,

Steve Elliott
Grassfire Nation

Morgan Griffith on Jobs in Virginia's Ninth District

From Morgan Griffith:

Griffith Statement about Job Announcements in the Ninth District 11.16.12
Friday, November 16, 2012 – Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) released the following statement regarding the news of both job losses and gains in the Ninth District:

“I am deeply troubled by today’s announcement that Merillat will be closing its 2 manufacturing plants in Atkins. These job losses negatively impact the entire community, but most significantly the hard-working employees and their families.

“There is no news that can replace my sadness for the families who are facing the layoffs at Merillat shortly after Christmas. However, I would be remiss if I did not applaud Governor McDonnell’s efforts to bring jobs to the Commonwealth. In the shadow of this bad news from Smyth County, there is some good news in another part of the Ninth District. Governor McDonnell today announced an expansion of HanesBrands adding 50 new jobs in Patrick County.

“I am glad that we have had one step forward, but I am still troubled that it seems that for every step forward, there are four steps back.

“I will continue to promote job-creating policies and fight against overregulation to get our economy back on track.

“For those individuals impacted by the job losses, please feel free to contact my district offices for possible assistance and a resource packet.”

That contact information:

Washington, DC Office
1108 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
T (202) 225-3861
F (202) 226-0076
Abingdon Office
323 West Main St.
Abingdon, VA 24210
T (276) 525-1405
F (276) 525-1444
Christiansburg Office
17 West Main St.
Christiansburg, VA 24073
T (540) 381-5671
F (540) 381-5675

Friday, November 16, 2012

Automatically Disabled Texting?

Carol Bengle Gilbert reports on efforts to protect distracted drivers from themselves:

Patriot Coal Agrees to Stop "Mountaintop Removal"

Good news! "Mountaintop removal" is what it sounds like, only uglier. When all the coal that can be efficiently shovelled out by traditional mining has been removed, and there's not enough left to make even "stripping" profitable, real greedheads just blast through the rock, destroying the whole ecosystem of a mountain and leaving most of the remaining rock, people's yards, roads, gardens, and springs.

A coal mining town is grimy, but livable, sometimes even scenic; the damage being done is mostly reparable. A "mountaintop removal" area is not livable, nor is the damage reparable.

So the following Bloomberg story comes as good news:

Now if the other companies will follow this one's lead...

Why This Will Be a Good Night to Have Insomnia

Between midnight and dawn tonight (the morning of 11/17/12), those who can't sleep can watch the sky for meteors. A "shooting star" is expected to be visible every minute or two. Most will be small and faint; click here (I apologize for the annoying pop-up) to read how big a chunk of space debris it takes to make a meteor look like a real "star."

No use to hope that even at 3 a.m. the meteor shower will be quite as dramatic as the National Geographic time-lapse photo here...

The "Leonid" meteor shower, which occurs in mid-November every year, was first documented in 1833, a year when the fireworks were especially dramatic. The religious revivals of the 1840s were spurred partly by a belief that these "falling stars" heralded the end of the world! More history here:

Union Kills Hostess, Wonder, Dolly Madison

Becket Adams reports:

Book Announcement from Rene Holaday

Rene Holaday introduces The Perils of Sustainable Development thusly:

"Hello Everyone!

In my book that was just published this last summer, called "The
Perils of Sustainable Development", I discuss how the country has been
taken over by the UN programs that they refer to as "infrastructure".
What was the first thing we did when we invaded Iraq- we set up our
own type of government "infrastructure". This is what the UN has done
in our country. The UN's system of governement is called "Sustainable
Development". Tony Blair defined it best when he stated;

"There is Capitalism, there is Communism, and now there is Sustainable

The UN's form of governance is a combination of both Communism
and Fascism. Communism has two basic principles which are; absolutely
no private property rights,
and absolutely no individual rights- both of which are rampant right
now in the USA. Fascism, according to Mussolini, is corporations
teaming up with government in order to control the people in tandem,
establishing the ultimate control system. We are now seeing this
coming about through Public Private Partnerships(PPPs). The other
aspect of fascism that is prevelant in the USA right now is the
fascist prinicple of private property and small business regulation.
Freedom and liberty that exist in Capitalism allow for no such
regulation at all, especially without Due Process of the law and court
When I saw that the final two candidates for the Presidential
race were two obvious globalists who support and defend the UN being
in control of America, it was a no brainer as to the conclusion that
it didn't matter which globalist won- they were both on the same team,
which is the UN's supporting team. The only American soveriegnty
supporting candidates I saw in that race were Virgil Goode and Ron
Paul. The fact that the "Americans" didn't even make it into the
final part of the race just means that the globalists won against the
American candidates, and why wouldn't they- they have taken over the
media via people like Ruppert Murdoch and George Soros. The
"American" candidates have ZERO chance of winning without the media,
and the globalists already know that.
As you all know, there are Socialist and Communist parties that
run in every race, but they never get any votes, so they have gotten
smart and infiltrated the Democrat and Republican parties in order to
get their agendas accomplished in America. The Socialists infiltrated
and took over the Democrat Party and the Communists took over the
Republican Party.
I am a very active Republican, but all I have seen the Party do
in the past several elections is take direction from the top down,
instead of from the ground up- i.e. the people. So instead of letting
the people pick their candidate, the candidate has been picked at the
very top level of the party and forced on the people through to the
end, regardless of the majority's choice. I can say that out of
direct experience as a State Delegate for the Republican Party, so I'm
not just bashing the parties, I have been in the middle of it and saw
it with my own eyes. It's downright scarey, but most people don't
even realize what is going on.
So the globalists, siding with the UN domination over America,
which is their goal, will win every election from now on, or until the
electronic voting machines are done away with. It's a no brainer.
The American people will have to put a stop to both the UN
infiltration and the electronic voting machines if they ever want to
gain control of any elections in the future. In Aaron Russo's film,
"America...From Freedom to Fascism", the creator of the electronic
voting machine states that he was asked to design a manipulatable
voting system, and he stated that and much more under oath. So the
center of the problem is the electronic voting system, and beyond
that, it is the globalists that are taking over the whole country
right now through all the the interconected UN programs that are UN
In addition, the UN with it's Communist/Fascist style of
eco-governance takes direction from Karl Marx, of course, who stated;

"My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy Capitalism."

This is why we're also seeing the complete abolishion of Christ
and the Father taken off of everything in public view. The UN agenda
is following the Communist lead, and they want no reference to God or
Jesus anywhere if they are to take over.
Do all of you know that in the spring/early summer of 2009, 500
major American cities all simultaneously adopted the UN's form of
governance which is "Sustainable Development"? It's true. Myself and
about 100 others showed up to the Spokane, WA hearing to stop the
implementation of Sustainable Development. They adopted it anyway, in
order to receive a measly $75,000 grant. However, in order to receive
that grant, they had to actually connect 13 other UN programs together
in the city, thereby making a functioning UN network in the Spokane
area. So they passed it in spite of all our testimonies against it.
I thought it was bad until I found out that it had happened all over
the nation at the same time, which then of course made it that much
worse to realize what had just happened. Didn't even make the evening
news did it?! And do you know that Spokane was the only one of those
500 major American cities to offer any protest against it? We were
the only ones educated well enough on the subject at that time to even
realize it was a bad thing that was happening. All the other 499
cities passed it without a hitch.
I mean, to get the full scope of this, can you even name 500
major cities in America?? And to think that Sustainable Development
is a foreign/UN governance and it was just established as
infrastructure throughout our whole country.....I call that a
COUP.....- don't you? So it was no surprise to me at all to see 2
globalists fighting for the Presidency. Why wouldn't there be another
globalist as President when global governance infrastructure was
established in 2009 throughout the nation?

We have to get the UN out of this nation-period.

God Bless, a SOVEREIGN America, free from UN infiltration,
Rene' Holaday
Author of "The Perils of Sustainable Development" available on
Interest in this topic is picking up. The Blaze just re-ran Chris Field's introduction to the same topic, by way of publicity for Glenn Beck's new book, Agenda 21:

Granny Got Her Axe

Jordan Sargent reports:

Inaugural Rental Season Begins in Washington

Sometimes the news from Washington makes me glad I've left. As when people start renting rooms in mid-November for the inaugural weekend in late January...

Sounds like the traditional distinction between "tourists," the nuisance, and "out-of-town visitors," the pampered and coveted excuse to do tourist things again, is being blurred in an increasingly crowded city. Excellent reason not to be there.

Ponga Sweater

Hand Knitted by Gena Greene
Photos by Victoria Cooley

In real life the colors are Christmas green and white. The shape is a longish A-line pullover, not a dress; on me (5'4") the ribbed edge comes to or slightly below the bottom edge of jeans pockets. The neckband stretches but is meant to fit snugly around the neck.

Size: Women's 40", 5'4" to 5'10"

Material: Washable wool-acrylic blend

Care: Machine wash carefully (preferably in a pillowcase) or hand wash; dry flat

Credits: "Cynthia Helene designed this version of fairisle stitch and called it the Ponga Pullover. Some people here see the large designs as tilted Christmas trees, but what she had in mind were the ponga ferns in New Zealand. In an article that appeared in Vogue Knitting, fall 1995, she explained how the other motifs also reflect things she noticed as an American living in New Zealand."

Price: US$80

PK notes: Thanks to those who have been making the Blue Collage Sweater pictures one of the most often viewed pages on this web site. When I saw Tori in Oliver's and stopped to tell her how popular the pictures have been--and that the sweater is sold!--she snapped another picture of the sweater right in the store, where she was helping friends decorate the store for Christmas. (Note the decorations in the background.)

She's promised us a few pictures of the displays that are actually in Oliver's, after the Christmas decorations are complete. The Ivy Cottage and Memory Lane stores, which also sell furniture and household decor, will also be dressed up for Christmas and we hope to bring you colorful close-up peeks inside all three stores during the holiday season.

Knowing that some readers don't like sponsored posts, we usually offer a perk for reading advertorials about stores: print the advertorial and turn it in at the store for some sort of discount on your purchase. If this perk becomes available this winter, advertorials you can use will specify how much of a discount and which store.

Be Prepared for a Natural Disaster, the polling site, finds that a discouraging number of Americans even in the strike zone haven't taken, or tried to start taking, some basic steps to protect themselves against a rerun of Hurricane Sandy:

Honestly, Gentle Readers...sometimes I think it's a good thing that the Cat Sanctuary gets power outages on almost a weekly basis. It's physically impossible for us to depend on anything electric-powered; we enjoy our mod. con. too, but we have to keep candles, flashlights, firewood, and so on around at all times.

Maybe some of you get through years without a power outage. If so, I would like to appeal to your pride. If you are able-bodied and you find yourself stranded in the cold and the dark, do you want to sit around begging for help, or would you rather get busy helping your neighbors who are less able-bodied than you are?

This web site generally offers advice on how not to spend money, but on some things you need to spend money. Some of these things are candles, flashlights, batteries, blankets, dried and canned food, bottled water if your source of water is off your property, firewood and/or Coleman fuel and/or a generator, a battery-powered radio if contact with the outside world is important to you, and some other "alternative" source for anything you are likely to need if you're cut off from electric power for a week. (For example, if you're a writer, a manual typewriter and paper.)

Check out Liz Klimas's warning here: