Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Knit a Beret-Type Hat

This is a child's beret Gena Greene made to match a child's jacket. (Bubblews destroyed the image.) Here's how it was done:

1. Choose yarn: This textured silk-blend yarn is no longer on the market. (Most very fancy yarns are available for only a few months.) Choose yarn that you can knit up at a gauge of 4.75 stitches per inch. You'll need about 150 yards to 150 meters for this small, plain beret; more if you use fancy stitches or add a tassel on top. Test and find out whether US#7 or US#8 needles give you the right gauge.

2. Choose the size: If you want it to fit well on a small head, use a #6 needle (or set of double-pointed needles) to cast on 72 stitches and *K 1, P 1* for 10 rows. If you want it to fit comfortably on a large head, use the same needle(s) you will use for the main part of the beret, cast on 72 stitches, and *K 1, P 1* for 12 rows. This headband is the only part of a beret that needs to fit.

3. If you've been using smaller needles, change to the larger size. Change from ribbing to stock stitch (K on the right side, P on the left side if using two needles; K every round if using four). Mentally divide the 72 stitches into 6 groups of 12. Increase those 12 stitches to 13, and repeat in each group of 12 around. If you increase by picking up the running thread between two stitches and knitting it through the back loop, the lines formed by the increase will be relatively inconspicuous. If you increase by (K 1, P 1 in the same stitch) or by (yo), the lines will form a pattern. Then work one row even.

4. Now increase each group of 13 stitches to 14. Work one row even. Increase each 14 stitches to 15. Work one row even. Increase each 15 stitches to 16. Work one row even. Continue until you have 6 groups of 20 or even 24 stitches.

5. You can accentuate the fold line by working four rows (two ridges) of garter stitch if you like, or continue in stock stitch.

6. Now decrease on every other row: 24 stitches to 23, or 20 to 19. Work one row even. Decrease 23 stitches to 22 or 19 to 18. Work one row even. (Note that, if you work three or more rows between decrease rows, you'll have a cone-shaped hat.)

7. Continue until there are 6 stitches. Run the yarn through them and draw them together for the final knot. Sew the sides together, and add a tassel if desired.

These also sell for $5.

Odd-Shaped Feet

(Reclaimed from Bubblews...with some caution, because it mentions body parts! Photo by Jdurham at Morguefile.com.)

Dad's mother's side of the family tend to have odd-shaped feet. Most people don't even notice that there are three different ways the bones in the human foot can fit together, but it really makes a difference in the way shoes fit.

Which type of feet do you have? Stand up and look carefully at your toes. If your big toe is longer than the toe next to it, you have what's called an English foot. This does not mean you're English; it means you have the foot shape portrayed on old English statues. Most shoes are designed to fit an English foot better than the other kinds. (Photo by MGDBoston at Morguefile:)

If your second toe is longer than your big toe, you have what's called a Greek foot. Again, this has nothing to do with your ancestry but refers to the foot shape portrayed on old Greek statues. Although many shoes *look* as if they might have been designed to fit a Greek foot, very few shoes really do. People with Greek feet tend to feel very stiff and tired after standing or walking for a few hours. They even have more backaches than people with English feet. (Photo by PedroJPerez at Morguefile.com:)

I read about this distinction as a child and thought "Well, at least I don't have Greek feet." So why did "sturdy, supportive shoes" that worked so well for English feet never work for me? (One year, I forget whether it was the Reeboks my boyfriend gave me so our shoes would match or the Nikes my mother gave me because she'd found such a terrific sale price, but anyway I wore a pair of very expensive and fashionable athletic shoes while walking five miles to work, and by the time I got to work it looked and felt as if I'd sprained both ankles.)

Turns out that although my big toe and second toe are the same distance from my heel, my second toe is shorter and the metatarsal bone behind it is longer than they would be on an English foot. This is a real minority foot shape known as Morton's Toe. People with Morton's Toe also have more backaches, and more trouble finding shoes that really fit, than people with English feet. (Photo by Andi at Morguefile.com:)

There's an old song that has the words, "Two-dollar shoes hurt my feet...it takes ten-dollar shoes to fit my feet." If I were writing that song, it could be "Hundred-dollar shoes hurt my feet...it takes five-dollar shoes to fit my feet." The less "sturdy and supportive" shoes are for English feet, the less pain they inflict on feet like mine. Some of the shoes that work best for me are cheap, generic, Chinese canvas slippers. The thin rubber soles last only a month or two if I walk in them every day, but at that they're still a bargain for me.

Well, I'm about to reach my original Bubblews goal of raising $50 to contribute to a church fund, and I'm still wearing the same shoes I wore to the computer center in December. I'm thirty miles from home, but seven miles is as far as I've had to walk at night (so far! touch wood!) This is because a cousin on Dad's mother's side of the family usually remembers to call and ask where I am when he gets off work. (The worse the weather is, the later he works.) He wears standard work boots from Wal-Mart on the job--the kind people with English feet would call cheap but decent, sturdy, serviceable boots. He has Greek feet. More than food or family, what he looks forward to at the end of the work day is taking off those boots. Although it's driving not walking, spending an extra hour at the end of the day in those boots has been quite a sacrifice to allow me to wear the same pair of comfortable shoes all winter.

If I'm able to use the Internet closer to home and continue earning money here, the next thing I'd like to do is buy a pair of man-sized boots that work better for Greek feet than the kind Wal-Mart sells. They're not cheap, but this cousin has earned them.

If you can relate to this story because you, too, have Greek feet, there's a trick you may want to try. Buy a pack of Dr. Scholl's or similar little adhesive rubber pads. Stick one in each shoe at the point where the second toe and second metatarsal join in the ball of your foot. This raises the metatarsal just enough that some people say it allows them to be comfortable in almost any shoe...but of course the rubber pads have to be replaced every week or so.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What Happens to the Males in the Social Cat Family?

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where someone commented that she liked reading cat stories "if they are successful." I honestly don't know whether this story describes something "successful.")

Here's the picture that shows why Heather's and Irene's brother's name was Little Mo. For foreign readers: Morris is the name of the big, old orange cat in the Nine Lives cat food commercials, and Little Mo is the name of the kitten who appeared with Morris in commercials that added the message of "Adopt a new kitten to go with your elderly cat." When Little Mo moved to his new home I suggested that his new humans could call him Morris when he grew bigger and older, but at the Cat Sanctuary "Morris" is a human name. So we've just simplified his name to "Mo."

Mo is a social cat; in the absence of cat companions he set about training and socializing a puppy. But it occurred to me, reading Lowley 's discussion of the social structure of typical lion prides, that I don't really know how gender would affect an extended family of social cats whose humans were willing to keep male cats.

As some long-term readers (like Carolroach ) may recall, the member of the Patchnose Family who first tried to train a human to supply his family with food was the male kitten Mackerel. Mac was the first member of the family who was brought to the Cat Sanctuary, where he began to bond with me literally overnight. He and I spent the rest of the summer persuading his feral mother, brother, and sister to become friendly too. His brother eventually became semi-tame, even affectionate, although he never really had a name. Unfortunately, when they reached puberty their play-fighting became rough--or rather the little brother's did. Mac wouldn't really hurt his brother, but only slap him down, even when his brother had really hurt Mac. After taking Mac to the vet to have a serious wound from repeated bites dressed, I sent his brother away.

Mac and his sister Polly were a real team, though. They hunted together, and when their mother died just after beginning to wean a second litter of kittens they reared those kittens. I seriously considered keeping the male kitten, Pell, because he had such cute, clever ways of showing that he didn't want to be adopted. Mac seemed fond of Pell, too, until Polly had kittens of her own. Pell seemed to want to be a good uncle, at first, but then Mac started slapping and yelling at Pell, telling me that Pell was interested in the two definitely female kittens in the wrong way. So Pell also left the Cat Sanctuary.

Mac seemed fond of Polly's male kitten, Steelgray, until the little fellow reached puberty. Then his attitude changed. By this time Mac had become a big, tough tomcat who chased possums, raccoons, even big dogs. He was gentle and protective with smaller cats. He didn't hurt Steelgray, either--but he started growling, snarling, slapping him, and generally nonverbally telling me that he wanted Steelgray to be adopted too. So that happened.

Actually, Steelgray was almost as good at understanding human words as Mac was, and I was very fond of him. The original deal was that an elderly friend would take advantage of a senior discount program, get Steelgray neutered, and bring him back. For the first week or two Steelgray wanted to come home, and said so in no uncertain terms. Then it seemed as if he figured out that the price of coming home was being neutered, and the price of being unaltered was learning to get along with an older cat who was not naturally social...and he chose the older cat.

Some other male kittens born into the family didn't stay long enough to be given names. One batch of three brothers I sent away when they were exactly thirteen weeks old were "Ginger and brothers." I have tried to make it absolutely clear to my cats that I don't want to put up with tomcat odor around the house. Mo had one cousin, Mitch, who stayed at the Cat Sanctuary until he was a full year old.

But what happened to Mac? The Patchnose Family don't inbreed successfully. Although Polly and one of her daughters definitely tried, all the kittens looked like other males, none like Mac. After he was about a year old, although he continued to hunt with Polly and bring in squirrels and rabbits for his young relatives, Mac started spending a lot of time with other females whose kittens looked like him. Then, on the occasion of his second annual rabies shot, I told him that cooperating with rabies shots was the price of living with the rest of us...and from that day, although he continued to come home for half-hour visits for another three years, Mac didn't live with the rest of us. He became a very friendly feral cat. I worried about predators. Mac was fearless, and up to a point he had reasons to be...but he was eventually hit by a truck.

Could multiple males live at the Cat Sanctuary as part of the family? I don't know; in theory they could if both were as nice as Mac, or if one or both had been neutered at an early age.

I do know, however, that the resident cats have consistently let me know which outsiders they were willing to add to the family, and have been able to communicate with all but one of the normal cats who've visited the Cat Sanctuary, such that anybody might have mistaken them for social cats. The females don't always agree about the social status of visiting males. Sometimes resident females who aren't in season tolerate other females' mates, sometimes they tell the other females' visitors to go away. There was, however, a solid consensus that Graybeau (the father of Polly's kittens) should stay at the Cat Sanctuary after his human died, and currently there's an equally solid consensus that the very friendly neutered male from down the road can move in any time as far as my cats are concerned. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Knit the Basic Hat

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where the original photo showed a different hat.)

(Yes, experienced knitters will finish the Basic Hat in time to wear it this winter.)

I used to collect hat patterns and knit them, because hats sell faster than anything else a person can knit. Over time I learned that the hat patterns that worked were all about the same...and here's the basic pattern for a stocking cap that can be made with one skein of the kind of craft-type yarn that's so cheap and abundant in the U.S. Red Heart, Wintuk, Sayelle, Berella, Sugar & Cream...you might want to buy two of the small balls of Sugar & Cream these days...

Use (U.S.) #8 needle(s) or the size that gives you a gauge of 4.25 to 4.5 stitches per inch. 

Cast on 72 stitches. If you have a short circular needle or set of double-pointed needles, you may knit around rather than back and forth.

Work 1 to 2 inches of either ribbing, garter stitch, or moss/seed stitch.

Choose a stitch pattern. Stock stitch, garter stitch, any variation on moss/seed stitch, or random stitch will always work up fast. If you want more variety in your knitting, choose a fancier pattern from a book or magazine. If you're using the extra skein you bought to be sure of having enough to make a sweater, poncho, etc., use the pattern (or one of the patterns) from the larger project. 

You can knit a hat in a ribbed stitch, which will draw in when the hat's not worn, and it will stretch to fit the average head nicely without any extra stitches being cast on. This is not true for a cable stitch. If you use a cable pattern, be sure to increase enough stitches to keep the straight part of the hat straight.

Work even in pattern for 4 to 6 inches, depending on the wearer's size, taste, and preference about rolling up the edge.

Shape the top: Maintaining the pattern of choice so far as possible, *work 7 stitches, work 2 together* across the next row: 64 stitches remain.

Work at least one row even. If you want a long end, you can work 4 to 8 rows, or more, between each of the following decrease rows. If you want the hat to fit the head evenly, work the decreases on every other row:

*Work 6 stitches, work 2 together.* Work 1 row even, or more, on 56 stitches.

*Work 5 stitches, work 2 together.* Work 1 row even, or more, on 48 stitches.

*Work 4 stitches, work 2 together.* Work 1 row even, or more, on 40 stitches.

*Work 3 stitches, work 2 together.* Work 1 row even, or more, on 32 stitches.

*Work 2 stitches, work 2 together.* Work 1 row even, or more, on 24 stitches

*Work 1 stitch, work 2 together.* Next row, *work 2 together* all across: 8 stitches remain.

You may now draw the yarn through these 8 stitches and knot them all off, or decrease them to 4 and then 2 stitches, as you prefer. You may add a tassel or other decoration of choice. 

These hats sell for US$5.

Black Dog to the Rescue

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where this post originally appeared with a photo posted by Taliesin at Morguefile.com. That photo seems to have disappeared from both sites, so here's a photo posted by Missyredboots.)

As a young student I lived in a boardinghouse a few blocks away from the school. Some people worried because I had to walk through the park at night, and a few violent crimes had occurred in the park. I was just glad to get out of the dormitory.

I liked the park, too, during the daytime. It was a great place to walk, study, or jam with several musicians who lived in the neighborhood. And, of course, it was a great place for dogs. At the time the neighborhood had no leash laws. Retrievers are the official animal emblem of Maryland--specifically, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever breed--and these largish, friendly, water-loving dogs were always lolloping around the creek, alone, with their humans, or as a pack.

The boardinghouse owned two retriever-mixes who lived in a pen below my window. I never saw anyone taking them out for a walk. When I asked I was told that they had belonged to the owners' children, but now that the owners' children were grown up and working, nobody had time to do more than try to remember to put food and water in the pen. Once the dogs had had leads and collars, but nobody seemed to know what had become of those things. It seemed like an awfully small pen for two big dogs. I bought a lead and collar and tried to take each dog for a walk on Sundays. They were quite an armload to lift over a 4'6" (about 1.4m) fence, especially the bigger dog, especially when she was wet, but they seemed to enjoy their walks (with occasional swims) as much as puppies would have done. (Retrievers have a reputation for acting like puppies forever.)

I didn't try to make them walk at heel; the idea was to have fun. I did shorten their lead when other dogs approached, but the other retrievers in the neighborhood seemed like quite a friendly social club, never growling at the dogs who of course became my pets even though they did not legally belong to me.

Inevitably one night, as I walked home from work, a couple of public school boys drove past and tried to talk to me. This was part of prefeminist U.S. social culture. Girls were supposed to be terrorized because boys who just stopped to say "hi, nice evening isn't it," were supposed to remind us that we could be kidnapped. What I actually felt was annoyed by their idle chatter; I didn't know them and didn't want to make their acquaintance. I was prepared to make anybody who tried to kidnap me regret that thought.

But in any case one of the retriever social club lolloped up and shoved its head under my arm just as if I had any idea to whom it belonged, which I didn't. It was solid black and bigger than either of "my" dogs. Retrievers were actually bred for being gentle and peaceable, able to catch a wounded duck and carry it around in their mouths without messing up its feathers, but people with guilty consciences do not necessarily know this.

"Hey, nice dog!" said one of the boys.

"Cool!" said the other one.

"Screech!" went the car.

I looked at the dog, wondering where it was supposed to have been. It looked back at me. Then it vanished into the night.

Probably I'd seen it before. Probably I saw it again. It never approached me again, though. Dogs can tell from our scent how much stress we're feeling and that dog had just known it had a chance to be helpful to a friend of a friend.

What reminded me of that dog today was stumbling across the Yahoo Voices article by Kattie Lilly that I just plussed on Google +. Black dogs (and cats) tend literally to fade into the shadows at an animal shelter, so they're often the last to be rescued...it's possible that a dog just like the one who rescued me is languishing in a shelter, now, waiting to be rescued by you. (And even if dognappers volunteer to "rescue" valuable animals for your local shelter, a mixed-breed black animal in a shelter is almost certain to be an abandoned pet who really needs a good home.)

Progress Report

(Recovered from Bubblews)

Over 100 Bubbles have brought my Bank up to $44.92. Can we get past $50 in the next week? Of course we can! I should soon have $50 to contribute toward the purchase of a decent secondhand trailer house big enough to hold two parents and five children.

For those who've expressed concerns...I *think* the rule is against posting links to other sites that pay writers per page view. My Blogspot definitely does not pay per page view. If it did I'd be posting more stuff there. So I think it's legal to post this link to the Blogspot page, which also explains, just in case anybody out there needs a tax write-off, how to mail a substantial check directly to the church's homeless fund. If I'm wrong, I've asked the Help Desk to notify me and I'll remove the code that makes this a live link. (People have asked, and yes, all checks tagged as "Homeless Fund" will go directly to the purchase of a trailer house for this family. There aren't many homeless people in Hawkins County, Tennessee.)




So...even if it snows next week, I should be able to contribute $50 toward the cause of keeping this family close to their home, friends, school, perhaps the mother's job (she's expected to be able to go back to work in time).

And this will, indeed, constitute ten percent of my income for December, January, and February.

Please do not mistake the lack of tears, major depression, suicidal thinking (I have contemplated e-suicide, though), or similar hysterics for satisfaction with this level of income.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Virginia Farmers' Chance to Speak Out

Well...if you're within two hours' drive from Richmond, that is. This is a practical decision for the Free Citizen staff, who are on a tight budget. It also means that farmers out in the point of Virginia need not apply. Gate City, for example, is at least six hours from Richmond. Nevertheless, here's their offer:

"Virginia Free Citizen  is giving farmers a platform to speak out:

We are looking for small farms to visit within 2 hours or less drive of Richmond and plan to do monthly “on the farm” stories. We are also interested in any farm owner who would like to send us their own letters/articles and we will interview them on the phone if a visit is not practical.  We are interested in life on the farm and the issues that face the farm owner in Virginia in regards to farm and food freedoms and impact of regulations/ordinances,  Obamacare, property rights, etc.

Farm owner interviews will be scheduled on Saturdays.

We realize a Saturday visit could be intrusive on a farm, since the work is daily, so we would be sensitive to that and the visit would be in the time window requested by the farm owner. 

Feel free to forward this email to others who may be interested.

Interested farmers, please contact Jeff Bayard at  editor@virginiafreecitizen.com

Jeff Bayard
We are funded by individual citizens in Virginia,
Please Donate to keep us going!

Two Stories About the Law of Attraction

Thanks to StefanR for prompting this reaction to his post: 


Here are the two stories:

1. The Classic

A college freshman wanted to have a car that would attract young women...can you believe, when I first heard this story, that was the Camaro IROC Z-28? Anyway he listened to a guru who told him to visualize the car as vividly as he could, and he would have it. So he visualized vividly for a week, and he was still riding the bus to school. He stuck pictures of the car he wanted on the walls, and he was still riding the bus to school. He chanted to himself "I am having a ton of fun in my new red car," and he was still riding the bus to school. He bought a model of the car. He let the landlord's children help him put it together and roll it around a little model track while he visualized having a ton of fun in his new red car. They built other model cars, built a model town, and had little road races...and he was still riding the bus to school. At the end of the term the student complained to the guru, and the guru said, "Well, it sounds to me as if you and those younger boys are having a lot of fun with your new red car!"

(This little red car was posted by Danielito at Morguefile.)

2. The Personal Weird

Around age thirty, I'd just become very clear in my own mind that although I would always love the fellow I'd been dating for a few years, and wish him well wherever he might be, I did not want to be married to him.

"So whom do you want to be married to?"

"I don't know that I want to be married to anybody."

"Well you must at least want to like one man in particular."

So I thought about it, and visualized an Official Significant Other who would at least meet society's expectations for what an attractive, popular, successful thirty-year-old woman was supposed to want. Not too tall, but dark and handsome would be all right. Popular, successful, charming, but without having reached such a pinnacle of success that the only way left for him to go would be down, like Michael Jackson or Diana Spencer. Comfortable about being a Bright Young Thing in Washington, but not attached to it. A Christian, but not fanatical. And so on. Anyway, apparently I had described a young man who had just been hailed as the brightest of the Bright Young Things...let's just say that he was not John Kennedy.

A few months later, having met the brightest of the Bright Young Things, I realized that one thing I did in fact like about him was that he seemed to take it for granted that I had a crush on John Kennedy; didn't everyone? (Well, no.) He was accustomed to being rich and didn't seem at all spoiled by having become famous. But no sparks flew. He could almost have been a relative, although he wasn't one. I later learned that while the trashier mass media were maundering about how "sexy" this guy had become (by becoming a celebrity), he was actually having health problems and wasn't feeling sexy at all.

I met the Bright Young Thing during a holiday weekend I spent flat-sitting for an old, sick patient. The patient had a brother who was a lot younger than he was and a lot older than I was. The patient's brother might have been considered a catch for some women, and several women had recognized him as such and were trailing after him, but obviously the idea of him even asking me for a date was out of the question...so we were strictly good friends, and partners in helping his poor old sick brother. And then we got to be partners in odd jobs. And then he told me that, under the deplorably liberal interpretation of common-law marriage Washington had at the time, he and I were now married: we'd been using the same address (for business purposes) in D.C. for a year or two, and (when a particularly alarming admirer was stalking him) I'd let myself be described as his wife without objection, and neither of us was legally married to anyone else. So if he hadn't already been a U.S. citizen and had wanted to become one, I might have had to get a divorce from him in order to marry anyone else, if I'd wanted to do that. But since he was already a citizen he didn't want to give me any trouble, so I could forget that he was my common-law husband if I wanted to do that. He only wanted me to know how outrageous the law could be, and had in fact been for some other people at that time. (Local government was trying to make common-law marriage seem outrageous in order to stop recognizing it altogether.)

And we were already best friends and partners. We already knew the worst things about each other. We'd already sat up with each other's sick relatives, and worked together on memorably horrible jobs, and moved furniture together. It occurred to me that this marriage just might actually work for both of us.

It did, too...except that an operation that "would have removed it if there'd been any cancer" had not removed it, and it had been cancer. But, out of almost ten years of common-law marriage, we had almost seven years together before either of us realized that.

More Thanks to Republican Delegates

This web site is fairly sure Virginia's Republican Delegates have already seen Carol Stopps' pithy report on their good work. This web site would have forwarded her e-mail to them with a heading like "More Thanks" or "Second the Thanks," last week, if this web site had been more active than it was. This web site is now embarrassed by its inactivity. Anyway, here, for posterity, is CS's Cooperative Legislative Action group's commendation:

"We may be getting rolled in Washington. But in Virginia Republicans are holding strong.

We owe a big thank you to all committee members who yesterday killed two big parts of the progressive statist agenda.
The Obamacare State Exchange...DEAD in the House
An increase in the minimum wage...DEAD in the House

"At present, we are getting rolled in Washington.  Democrats have pushed an omnibus bill, a disastrous farm bill, endless debt ceiling increases, and amnesty for illegals.  Instead of an equal and opposing force in the opposite direction, Republicans have….. pushed an omnibus bill, a disastrous farm bill, endless debt ceiling increases, and amnesty for illegals."    -    Erick Erickson, Morning Briefing 2/5/14

Here are the bills:

HB 292 Obamacare state exchange. Passed by indefinitely in Commerce and Labor by voice vote

HB 32   Minimum wage increase. Tabled in Commerce and Labor by voice vote

HB 536  Minimum wage increase. Tabled in Commerce and Labor by voice vote

These are the Republican members of the Commerce and Labor Committee. We have no way to know exactly how they voted without recorded votes, but we will assume the best, and we thank them all   :)

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

The "Virginia Republican Creed"

You just might be a Republican. If the Republican Party seriously practiced this creed, I just might be a Republican...(Thanks to Patricia Evans for sharing.)

"The Virginia Republican Creed says:
That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice,
That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society,
That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government,
That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,
That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense,
That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fibre of the nation."

Robert O. Adair Longs for Spring

The February Thaw is here! Hurrah! Robert O. Adair's poem sounds as if the Thaw has not yet reached his part of the country, but he's ready for it to get there...


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Help Wanted: Linux System Administrator

From Jim Babka:

"Help Wanted
Downsize DC is seeking a system administrator with expertise in Linux environments to work on discrete project/tasks as needed (no full-time positions available, at this time).
Your responsibilities include...
  • Installing software, applying patches, managing file systems, monitoring performance and troubleshooting problems with commercial, open source, and locally developed software
  • System failure analysis and recovery; ensuring the consistency and integrity of file systems and backups
  • Hardware/software configuration and management
You should have...
  • Strong experience working in Linux environments
  • Demonstrated initiative, customer orientation, and teamwork competencies
  • Ability to communicate technical issues with non-technical people
Experience with source code management tools and code promotion processes is a plus. Experience with managing WordPress, Java, and Scala systems is not required, but that too would be a plus.
Also, it is extremely important that you let us know the range of compensation you expect, so priority will be given to those candidates who supply that information (keep in mind that these are non-profit organizations).
For immediate consideration, do NOT hit reply to this email. Instead, send a message to HelpWanted@DownsizeDC.org.
Jim Babka"

President Obama on Raising the Minimum Wage

Many of you undoubtedly received this mass e-mail from the White House...

"Hello everyone,
Earlier today, I signed an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers.
It's the right thing to do. But what's more, companies have found that when their employees earn more, they're more motivated, they work harder, and they stick around longer. You should expect the same of your federal government.
The bottom line is this: We are a nation that believes in rewarding honest work with honest wages. And America deserves a raise.
If you agree, let me know you're standing with me -- and take a look at what else we're going to do in 2014.
The order I signed today will help folks across the country. But it's not enough.
Right now, there's a bill in Congress that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all Americans. It would lift wages for more than 28 million current workers, and would move millions of Americans out of poverty. That means businesses would have customers with more money to spend.
Raising the minimum wage would grow the economy for everyone.
You don't need to believe me: Believe the 600 economists -- including seven Nobel Prize winners -- who wrote both houses of Congress last month to remind them that the bill before them will have little or no negative effect on jobs. "

Can 600 economists be wrong? This web site would like to believe that raising the minimum wage would not damage the economy for everyone. This web site is, however, run by people who've actually been in the U.S. about as long as our President has been alive, and we can't.


Tim Kaine on Gun Control

From U.S. Senator Tim Kaine:

"Thank you for contacting me to share your views on proposals to reduce gun violence. I appreciate hearing from you. 

No one can deny that gun violence is a serious problem in this country today.  We owe it to the victims of the growing number of mass shootings to vigorously debate specific and comprehensive proposals that can keep our communities safer.  The right approach focuses on many issues - improvements to the mental health system, better security protocols and common sense rules about gun use, including keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.

When I was on the Richmond City Council in the 1990s, our city was mired in an epidemic of gun violence that included the city having the second-highest homicide rate in the United States.  The most successful step we took was implementing Project Exile, a program that involved federal prosecution and tougher penalties for gun crimes that were previously treated more leniently in state courts. Celebrated by diverse groups engaged in the gun violence debate - including the National Rifle Association and the Brady Campaign - the program helped drive down Richmond's homicide rate by nearly 60 percent within a few years.

In 2007, the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech revealed glaring weaknesses in campus security protocols at colleges and universities, in our mental health system and the gun background check system for gun purchases. In a bipartisan spirit, I worked with then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell to immediately improve our background check system and issued an executive order ensuring that those adjudicated to be mentally ill and dangerous would be entered into a national database and barred from purchasing weapons. We also changed standards for mental health treatment and increased funding for community health programs while dramatically improving campus security and efforts to assist college students suffering from mental stress.

On the sixth anniversary of the horrible shootings at Virginia Tech, I took to the Senate floor to remember the 32 Hokies who lost their lives. The tragedy happened after a dangerous young man illegally purchased weapons due to flaws in the background records check system. I was pleased to cast my vote on April 17, 2013, in support of S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act legislation, which included tougher laws on gun trafficking and straw purchases, and ways to improve safety in schools. I also voted in support of a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on gun laws, but unfortunately a filibuster of this measure prevented it from passing. I also voted for a ban on large-capacity magazines, and for a proposal to ban combat-style weapons. I am disappointed a minority of the Senate chose to use the filibuster to block common-sense reforms.

As your U.S. Senator, I will continue to work to bring that kind of comprehensive approach that will strengthen the safety of our communities, while protecting our Second Amendment rights. As a gun owner who worked with others to constitutionally guarantee Virginians the right to hunt, I know that you can be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment without tolerating the gun tragedies that are too often a part of our daily lives.

Thank you once again for contacting me.

Tim Kaine"

Property Rights Rally in Gloucester

From Patricia Evans:

"Is Environmental Extremism Destroying Individual
Property Rights?
What is the Cause? What is the Solution?
These and other questions will be answered
when nationally acclaimed experts take the stage on

Saturday March 8th 2PM
Route 17 in Gloucester County, 6 miles north of
the Coleman Bridge, 4299 George Washington Mem Hwy,
Hayes, VA 23072
Admission is free but your donations are appreciated.

Tom DeWeese heads the American Policy Center
and is one of the nation's leading advocates of individual
liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal
privacy, back-to-basics education and American
sovereignty and independence.
He publishes The DeWeese Report and appears as an
expert on TV and radio news.  Appearances on Fox 
News and other networks are available on YouTube.                                                                                                                                            

Marc Morano has been called the “King of the Skeptics”
by Newsweek Magazine and the “Matt Drudge of Climate
Denial” by Rolling Stone Magazine.
He is the executive editor and chief correspondent for the
award-winning ClimateDepot.com, a climate change and
eco-news center, and is a frequent guest on TV and radio
news programs.  Appearances on Fox News and other
networks are available on YouTube.

Special Guest, Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, is an economist,
a senior columnist for Canada Free Press, and the
bestselling author of "U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental
Piracy."  A former teacher with 30 years experience,
Ileana is a weekly contributor on Liberty Express Radio,
Atlanta’s Butler on Business, and on Silvio Canto Jr.
Blogtalk Radio in Dallas.
Please join Bishop E.W. Jackson, candidates for Congress,
Supervisors, School Administrators and others as we learn from the experts!
Hosted by: Concerned Citizens of the Middle Peninsula,
The Clarion, Committee for Constitutional Government,
Peninsula Tea Party, ACT! for America Peninsulas Chapter,
Fauquier Free Citizen, S.T.A.N.D, Staying True to America's
Destiny, and Concerned Citizens of the Historic Triangle.

Contact: Tricia Stall,  triciastall@gmail.com    757.897.4842

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

Virginia Tea Party Patriots' Bill Reading Results

From Carol Stopps and the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation:

We have now finished reviewing the bills that were amended / substituted during the first half of the 2014 General Assembly session.

The bills below are the complete list of the VA Tea Party Patriots Federation legislative priorities for the second half of the 2014 session. For your convenience I have marked the bills which were not on the list dated February 9th.

Thank you all very much for your service to the citizens of the Commonwealth.


Carol Stopps
Chair: Cooperative Legislative Action (CoLA)
VA Tea Party Patriots Federation
"A statewide coalition of Tea Party and Patriot groups" 


...HB 17 Electronic communication or remote computing de... ...HB 99 NEW Tax information; changes unlawful dissemination... ...HB 121 NEW Tax information; disclosure by Department of Ta... ...HB 197 Virginia history and United States Const...
. .HB 198 Student discipline; expulsion due to fir...  . .HB 199 NEW Local government expenditures or reducti...
  ..HB 258 Higher educational institutions; restrictions o...
  ...HB 286 State Inspector General; appointment by General...
  ...HB 324 NEW Virginia Virtual School; established, report, e...
  ...HB 333 NEW School calendar; local school boards responsbil...
  ...HB 357 Concealed handgun permit applicant; access to i...
  ...HB 364 Civics Education, Commission on; reestablished ...
  ...HB 449 Student information; release to federal governm...
  ...HB 492 Notaries; if not accredited to represent person...
  ...HB 610 NEW School calendar; local school boards responsibl...
  ...HB 706 General Assembly member; legislative standing t...
  ...HB 754 Student discipline; modifying long-term suspens...
  ...HB 790 General Services, Department of; inventory of a...
  ...HB 1006 NEW Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP); DCR to ut...
  ...HB 1034 NEW Dams, certain; liability of owners.
  ...HB 1043 Health benefit exchanges; regulation of navigat...
  ...HB 1053 State Inspector General, Office of; powers and ...
  ...HB 1084 Permits and approvals, certain; damages for unc...
  ...HB 1147 Health insurance; offering plans.
  ...HB 1173 Stormwater management programs; optional for so...
  ...HB 1176 Health insurance; notice of increase in premium...
  ...HB 1200 Elections; qualifications of candidates, reside...
  ...HB 1256 Detention and removal of U.S. citizen from Stat...
  ...HJ 40 Virginia Medicaid program and Medicaid-funded n...
  ...HJ 147 Affordable Care Act, federal; Bureau of Insuran...
  ...SB 194 Eminent domain; date of valuation, inverse cond...
  ...SB 239 Student mental health policies; violence preven...
  ...SB 242 NEW Higher education; students' personal informatio...
  ...SB 325 NEW Standards of Quality; waivers from third grade ...
  ...SB 423 Stormwater management program; regulations, sin...
  ...SB 446 General Assembly; reports accompanying general ...
  ...SB 503 Notaries; legal advice on immigration, etc.,non...
  ...SB 542 Health benefit exchanges; regulation of navigat...
  ...SB 578 Permits and approvals, certain; unconstitutiona...
  ...SB 582 NEW Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP); DCR to ut...
  ...SB 603 Oyster grounds; condemnation. OPPOSE if amended to match HB1092. [No judicial review]


... HB 975 Hybrid electric motor vehicles; repeals annual ...
  ...HB 1025 Biofuels Production Incentive Grant Program; re...
  ...HB 1059 NEW Electric utility regulation; recovery of certai...
  ...HB 1092 NEW Oyster grounds; condemnation. [No judicial review]
   ...HB 1116 Banister River; Scenic River designation.
  ...HB 1220 NEW Research and development, qualified; increases ...
  ...HB 1239 Real and personal property taxes; exemption for...
  ...HB 1249 Prescription Monitoring Program; registration w...
  ...HB 1253 Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Com...
  ...HB 1267 Va.Beach arena; if Va. Beach issues bonds for a...
  ...SB 45 left in committee Virginia Health Benefit Exchange; established / oppose any budget amendments to establish a state exchange or expand Medicaid
  ...SB 48 Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management ...
  ...SB 127 Hybrid electric motor vehicles; repeals annual ...
  ...SB 250 Employment applications; inquiries regarding cr...
  ...SB 252 NEW Insurance; state health care plan to provide th...
  ...SB 257 Tye River; designation as component of Virginia...
  ...SB 294 Prescription Monitoring Program; requirements o...
  ...SB 297 NEW Medicaid enrollees; work search requirements fo...
  ...SB 418 Solar equipment; certified pollution control eq...
  ...SB 464 NEW Human Resource Management, Department of; state...
  ...SB 498 NEW Electric utility regulation; renewable energy p...
  ...SB 510 Firearms; possession following a misdemeanor co...
  ...SB 513 Hampton Roads Transportation Authority; created...
  ...SB 551 Cranesnest River; designates as component of Vi...
  ...SB 571 Va.Beach arena; if Va. Beach issues bonds for a...
  ...SB 604 Immigrant Assistance, Office of; created.
  ...SB 653 Renewable energy property; grants for placing i.

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

Church of England Tackles Climate Change

From Charlotte Iserbyt, forwarded by Karen Bracken:


Don't you feel sorta sorry for "them" with all the global "deep freeze"?  Obviously, the term to be used now is "climate change". 

Thought you would like this entry from 3D which relates to the Church of England's "agenda" going way back (see bolded text):

dealing with a proposal by Protestant groups in the United States for a plan of action toward “a just and durable peace” for the years following the end of World War II. Excerpts from
Time’s “American Malvern” follow:
These are the high spots of organized U.S. Protestantism’s super-protestant new
program for a just and durable peace after World War II:
• Ultimately, “a world government of delegated powers.”
• Complete abandonment of U.S. isolationism.
• Strong immediate limitations on national sovereignty.
• International control of all armies and navies.
• A universal system of money... so planned as to prevent inflation and deflation.
• Worldwide freedom of immigration.
• Progressive elimination of all tariff and quota restrictions on world trade.
• “Autonomy for all subject and colonial peoples” (with much better treatment for Negroes in the U.S.).
• “No punitive reparations, no humiliating decrees of war guilt, no arbitrary dismemberment of nations.”
• A “democratically controlled” international bank “to make development capital available in all parts of the world without the predatory and imperialistic aftermath so characteristic of large-scale private and governmental loans.”
This program was adopted last week by 375 appointed representatives of 30-odd denominations called together at Ohio Wesleyan University by the Federal Council of Churches. Every local Protestant church in the country will now be urged to get behind the program. “As Christian citizens,” its sponsors affirmed, “we must seek to translate our beliefs into practical realities and to create a public opinion which will insure that
the United States shall play its full and essential part in the creation of a moral way of international living.”...
The meeting showed its temper early by passing a set of 13 “requisite principles for peace” submitted by Chairman John Foster Dulles and his inter-church Commission to Study the Basis of a Just and Durable Peace. These principles, far from putting all the onus on Germany or Japan, bade the U.S. give thought to the short-sightedness of its own policies after World War I, declared that the U.S. would have to turn over a new leaf if the world is to enjoy lasting peace....
Some of the conference’s economic opinions were almost as sensational as the extreme internationalism of its political program. It held that “a new order of economic life is both imminent and imperative”—a new order that is sure to come either “through voluntary cooperation within the framework of democracy or through explosive political revolution.” Without condemning the profit motive as such, it denounced various defects in the profit system for breeding war, demagogues and dictators, “mass unemployment, widespread dispossession from homes and farms, destitution, lack of opportunity for youth
and of security for old age.” Instead, “the church must demand economic arrangements measured by human welfare... must appeal to the Christian motive of human service as
paramount to personal gain or governmental coercion.”
“Collectivism is coming, whether we like it or not,” the delegates were told by no less a churchman than England’s Dr. William Paton, co-secretary of the World Council of Churches, but the conference did not veer as far to the left as its definitely pinko British counterpart, the now famous Malvern Conference (Time, Jan. 20, 1941). It did, however, back up Labor’s demand for an increasing share in industrial management. It echoed Labor’s
shibboleth that the denial of collective bargaining “reduces labor to a commodity.” It urged taxation designed “to the end that our wealth may be more equitably distributed.” It urged
experimentation with government and cooperative ownership....
The ultimate goal: “a duly constituted world government of delegated powers: an international legislative body, an international court with adequate jurisdiction, international
administrative bodies with necessary powers, and adequate international police forces and provision for enforcing its worldwide economic authority.” (pp. 44, 46–47)

Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt
Former Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of Education
To order the updated abridged 2011 version  of "the deliberate dumbing down of america", it is available from 3D Research at Amazon.com."

Marriage in the Constitution?

Fair disclosure: I don't see a "shocker" in Patricia Evans' news story, below. I don't see a victory for the pursuit of happiness, either; equal rights to the pursuit of happiness would give equal rights to choose one's own heir or guardian to those who are (happily or unhappily) unmarried at the time when the choice has to be made...which includes the half of those who have been married who didn't die first. Neither do I see society becoming more concerned about the dear little emotional feelings of the handful of same-sex couples who want to have wedding parties (who rarely miss a chance to throw a party, whatever anyone else thinks, in any case). What I see is a cave-in to terrorist tactics--not the "But Adam and Steve throw great parties" sort of thing that's being reported in the media (although lots of well-meaning young people are jumping on that bandwagon), but "We don't want any AIDS blood thrown in our faces." I also see an attack on me, personally, as a widow who's found only one other man I'm remotely interested in dating, and he's older than I am, but nobody cares about middle-aged women anyway riiight?

I'm not pleased. But I'd advise Christians not to waste time and energy on this one until you're ready to stop twisting your knickers about other people's personal affairs (an unwinnable war) and actually spare a thought for the well-being of older Christians.

Anyway...from Patricia Evans:


Liberal Judge Strikes Down VA Marriage Law / Ruling Confuses Declaration of Independence with Constitution

"This is another example of an Obama-appointed judge twisting the constitution and the rule of law to impose her own views of marriage in defiance of the people of Virginia. There is no right to same-sex 'marriage' in the United States constitution. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that states have the preeminent duty of defining marriage. The people of Virginia did just that in voting overwhelmingly to affirm marriage as the union of one man and woman. That decision should be respected by federal judges and we hope that the U.S. Supreme Court ends up reversing this terrible decision. This case also leaves a particular stench because of the unconscionable decision of Attorney General Mark Herring to not only abandon his sworn duty to defend the laws of the state, but to actually join the case against the very people he is duty-bound to represent." - Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage

Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote a 41-page opinion here:  Bostic Et Al v. Rainey Et Al

"In her ruling, she claimed the Constitution declares that "all men are created equal," which is, instead, the first line of the Declaration of Independence.  Apparently she knows the Constitution about as well as the "Constitutional law professor” who appointed her."  - Vern Shotwell

Shocker: Liberal judge strikes down VA marriage law

 A federal judge has struck down Virginia’s law that defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
 This law is not simply a law.  It is a constitutional amendment approved by the voters. 
 This comes after Virginia’s liberal Attorney General refused to do his job and defend the law in court.
 From Politico:
A federal judge ruled Thursday that Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
"Tradition is revered in the Commonwealth, and often rightly so. However, tradition alone cannot justify denying same-sex couples the right to marry any more than it could justify Virginia's ban on interracial marriage," Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote in a 41-page opinion (posted here).
Ruling on a lawsuit brought by a gay couple who lives in Norfolk, Allen said the state's prohibition on same-sex marriage could not be justified even under the most lax constitutional test for state actions: whether it had a "rational" connection to a legitimate state purpose. Her ruling will not immediately make marriage licenses available to same-sex couples in Virginia because she ordered that her decision be stayed pending an expected appeal.
"The Court is compelled to conclude that Virginia's Marriage Laws unconstitutionally deny Virginia's gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry. Government interests in perpetuating traditions, shielding state matters from federal interference, and favoring one model of parenting over others must yield to this country's cherished protections that ensure the exercise of the private choices of the individual citizen regarding love and family," the judge wrote.
 Guess who appointed Judge Allen?

The case, if it can be appealed must be appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The problem is that appellate courts have to rule based on the record from the trial court.  The record is the transcript of witnesses’ testimony and other evidence the trial judge heard.
With Virginia’s Attorney General refusing to defend the case, the case might not even be appealed and even if it is, the record may be very limited.

Once again, we see an imperious federal judiciary overruling the voters of a state to advance a social experiment that changes America from the nation that we know into something totally unrecognizable.
And with the striking down of this law, can the liberal state apparatus be far behind?  That liberal state apparatus is the one that will force you to support homosexual marriage whether or not it conflicts with your religious beliefs.

From Breitbart,

"Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Confuses Declaration of Independence with Constitution"

The Virginia decision follows a declaration from Attorney General Eric Holder that the federal government will begin to expand same-sex marriage rights from the top down by recognizing marriages between same-sex couples on a federal level that invalidates the ability of states that ban such rights.                                                                                                                                                              

While the emphasis certainly will stay with the legal repercussions of such a ruling, one wonders how many legislative clerks and assorted editors such a federal opinion goes through where such a gaping error related to the most powerful legal document in the country can slip through. Surely no elected official would be spared from late night talk show monologues had they made the same mistake.

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