Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Phenology: Red-Tailed Hawk

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where it appeared on August 28, 2014. Obviously the rest of the phenology is not applicable to March 31, 2015, but I've seen the male red-tailed hawk flying above Route 23 again this month. Image credit: ShadowLight at Morguefile.com: http://mrg.bz/ftLukd)

I've mentioned earlier that ever since deadly poisons were sprayed alongside Route 23, I've not seen many living birds or butterflies there. This morning on the way to the computer center I did see a flock of small migrating birds fly over Route 23, southbound.

The red-tailed hawk who lives near Route 23 screamed three times as I passed by. I'm not really familiar with this red-tail, although I've been observing him and his mate for years--can't swear that he's the same one I've been observing, but he was definitely a mature male with the same color pattern. (Male red-tails are much smaller than females; both sexes show more red feathers as they mature, with individual variation.)

Anyway I can't claim to understand the red-tail's language. He might have been calling his mate, or mourning for the loss of her, or trying to attract another female red-tail's attention. He might have been able to raise a family this year, and been giving fatherly advice to his young. He might have found fresh roadkill. But it's just barely possible that he was saying, "Write about me!" So I did.

Though red-tails do sometimes eat smaller birds, they don't thrive on this kind of cannibalistic diet. Healthy red-tails eat mostly small animals--mice, rats, voles, frogs, freshwater shellfish. (They have been known to eat young domestic animals, but this is rare.) I was glad to observe that the hawk I saw seemed completely uninterested in the little tweetybirds passing by.

(Fun facts and nice clear pictures of red-tailed hawks are available at these nonprofit sites:

Book Review: Round the World in 80 Dishes

Title: Round the World in 80 Dishes
Author: Lesley Blanch
Date: 1955
Publisher: Gramercy Publishing / Crown / Harper & Row
ISBN: none, but click here to see it on Amazon
Length: 174 pages
Quote: “My book does not aim to turn you from good English food, but rather to offer you a cook’s tour of supplementary dishes.”
This tour starts and ends in Britain. The table of contents lists three Canadian recipes, only two U.S. recipes, and nothing from the Caribbean.
It’s fair to admit that Lesley Blanch’s taste was not mine. Evidently it’s not a popular sort of taste in the U.S. at all. The first recipe that interested me at all appears on page 34, and more as a curiosity than as a treat; in a gluten-free kitchen one automatically dusts the lean meat, which in my kitchen would probably be turkey, with ¼ cup of cornstarch rather than ½ cup flour, and substitutes rice for either the barley or the tarhonyia pasta, but apart from that the recipe involves slowly stewing the meat with onions, tomatoes, bayleaves, garlic, paprika, and dried prunes. Definitely different. And probably very good for the digestion.
A few other quirky recipes from this book: Black coffee with a chocolate bar grated into it. Egg yolks beaten with brown sugar, warmed, then cooled. Potatoes “scalloped” with anchovies and topped with tomato purée rather than cream. Eggs poached in whole tomatoes. Anchovy suce on spaghetti. Spinach in rice cakes. Imam Bayildi—“the religious teacher fainted”—basically stuffed eggplants, or squashes, with more onion and less tomato in proportion to the breadcrumbs and chopped nuts than Americans would expect. Rose-petal jam. Home-fried potatoes seasoned with nutmeg, and topped with warmed honey, with lemon juice squeezed into it. Baked apples stuffed with chopped chicken. Onions, oranges, green peppers,and black olives, eaten as a salad.
Then again, one never knows...the very first odd recipe in this book, “Pain Perdu, or Lost Knights of Windsor,” turns out to  be what Americans know as French Toast. I never liked that either, but many people do. Other formerly exotic dishes in this book include rice pudding, shashlik, risotto, and rice pilaf. If you try some of the more bizarre recipes, you never know; you just might import a new favorite, like pizza, and launch chains of restaurants.

Lesley Blanch, who wrote more exciting books than this one, no longer has any use for a dollar. This web site still has to charge $5 for this book + $5 for shipping. Don't be too hasty to believe you've found a better price online. If you buy a Fair Trade Book from salolianigodagewi @ yahoo.com, we can tuck this one in for only the $5. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Living American Vampires

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where it appeared on January 14, 2014. Image credit: Jdurham at Morguefile: http://mrg.bz/zHi4nE.)

Many vampires are alive and living in the United States.

The more common kind are, of course, people in whom other people see vampire-like qualities. I used to have long black hair and fanglike front teeth, so in primary school another little troll used to tell people I was a vampire and try to get me to chase her and anyone who was currently claiming her as a friend. I never held a grudge...we all spent far too much wasted, minimally supervised, overcrowded time on a so-called playground that was basically an empty parking lot, and anything to do that wasn't actually fighting was an improvement. As an adult I've told friends that I eat garlic daily to keep my vampire side under control.

My husband's French-African-West-Indian ex-wife never had long hair or crooked teeth, but had more serious qualifications to be called a vampire by adults. One was that she never seemed to age; she had documentation of widely separated birth dates, and all seemed equally believable. More alarmingly, as a private nurse, she persuaded several people to name her as a primary heir to their estates shortly before they died--and the last two were young. Then there's the bizarre fact that although she was five inches taller, obviously belonged to a different "race," and had a heavy foreign accent, she managed to steal my identity...simple bribery, or shapeshifting? And although she was seen outside her home during the daytime, she always seemed to be chauffeured by someone else, shielded from actual sunlight...

But there are people who become so alienated from other humans that they seriously tell themselves and others that they're something other than human, at least "on the inside." Some of these people feel that they were born into human bodies by mistake, the way some people in the homosexual/transgender community feel that they were born into bodies of the wrong gender. 

Live Journal hosts quite a few of these "Otherkin"; they have a community page that's open to public view: 

My guess would be that several of these people were told a few times too many, as children, that "People" thought, felt, and behaved differently than they did, or that they weren't "acting like human beings." I'd also guess that the incidence of mental illness and brain injuries in this community is above average--the community page contains some posts from people who describe symptoms--but more of the group seem to be using metaphors to express a sense of emotional alienation. In addition to the vampires, demons, and space aliens, several community members identify their inner personalities as animals.

This is, of course, a different crowd from the LJ users who write speculative fiction from the aliens' perspective...we're ever so much more mainstream, although I sometimes wonder whether all writers haven't been made to feel like aliens during those bleak days when we were told that "Everybody" would rather be out on the playground, or pavement, trying to push each other flat, than be reading or writing, and we hadn't found each other yet and had no way to disprove this...

I can think of several good reasons for writing from the perspective of a rhinoceros, whether one seriously believes one's inner self to be rhino or human, but I'm less sympathetic to people who act out their vampire and werewolf sides by actually biting people. A relative of mine was so bemused by a girl vampire, when they were seventeen, that he let her bite his arms and slurp up his blood. Although he didn't realize it at the time, he was very lucky that he turned eighteen first and the vampire's parents threatened to prosecute him for statutory rape if the vampire didn't leave him alone. Fortunately it didn't take him very long to find a human to marry...I never heard what became of the vampire.

Book Review: Little House in the Big Woods

Title: Little House in the Big Woods
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Date: 1932
Publisher: Harper & Brothers
ISBN: none, but click here to see it on Amazon
Length: 176 pages
Quote: “Once upon a time, sixty years ago,a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin...and she called her father, Pa, and she called her mother, Ma...”
And you know the rest. That girl was so little, and it was so long ago, that everything she did was an adventure. One day they smoked some venison! One day Pa shot a bear, but all the little girl saw of that adventure was the cooking and preserving of the bear meat. And sometimes she churned butter! And sometimes Pa made his own bullets! And at Christmas their cousins came to visit, and they played in the snow! And so on!
Sometimes the grown-ups told stories that were even more adventuresome! Once Grandpa was chased by a panther! Once Pa, as a boy, was frightened by an owl! Once a dog warned Aunt Eliza away from another panther, a big one! And so on!
And after many, many more of these adventures and stories, the little girl grew up! And got married! And had just one little girl of her own! And then that little girl grew up, and she said, “Why don’t we write down all the stories you’ve told me about your childhood, make them into books, sell the books, and become rich and famous?” And her mother did, with some help from her own, now grown-up, little girl. And lots and lots and lots of other children read the books. Boys liked them too, because Laura was so close to her Pa and all the hunting and fishing and wolves and bears and “American Indians” in the stories made them exciting.
But only after Laura’s own little girl was an old, old lady, in fact mostly after she had died, did two little girls, both called Melissa, and a laid-back actor called Michael Landon who didn’t look anything like Laura’s Pa, make a television show of the books. Then Laura’s relatives really started to collect the money. The little old house, one of several houses Pa had built for his family as they travelled, became a museum. Friends and relatives went on writing more Little House books, about Laura’s little girl, Rose, and her mother, her grandmother, and even her great-grandmother, when they were little girls. The Little House industry is still going strong (see http://www.lauraingallswilderhome.com/ for more information), and this little book is where it starts.
Probably every library in America now has a complete set of the edition of these books issued after Laura died and the original series was considered complete, the edition with pictures by Garth Williams; but a few libraries treasured their original editions for years, and so what I physically sold in between writing and posting this review was a harshly used, though superbly bound, 1932 copy with pictures by Helen Sewell. 
Although these books are wholesome and educational, one reason why kids loved them was that they offered an escape from both the safe little nicely-nice nursery world of children’s books in the 1930s through 1960s and the mindless, predictable violence of “Westerns.” There’s no melodrama in these books. The “Indians,” like the large animals, usually frighten the Ingalls family because they’re alien and unpredictable, but they come in peace; when fed or given souvenirs, they go away. There aren’t very many “bad men,” and they aren’t very bad, but you never know when you’re going to turn a page in these books and find one of the characters in what could be mortal danger—employees threaten to riot because the manager can’t pay their wages on time, a man wakes up to find his wife standing over him with a knife—and Laura’s matter-of-fact narrative tone, in these scenes, hardly varies from the tone in which she explains how they salted fish. This is not a world in which anyone asks children to talk to therapists about their feelings about having a new baby sister or losing a baby tooth. To a certain kind of child it’s a profoundly reassuring world.

Laura Ingalls Wilder no longer needs a dollar, but this web site still needs to charge $5 for the book + $5 for shipping. If you're not buying a Fair Trade Book and tucking this one into the package, you might as well find a better price online.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: Native Heart

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Native Heart
Author: Gabriel Horn
Date: 1998
Publisher: New World Libvrary
ISBN: 1-880032-07-4
Length: 291 pages
Quote: “I’m not a Cuban refugee from Florida! I am Indian.”
Well, for starters, he’s not very sensitive to people from India. “American Indian” is not a demeaning term, but it is a confused and confusing term.
And it’s my painful duty to tell you that this is a confused and confusing book. At no point in the book is it clearly explained exactly what Gabriel Horn is—genetically or otherwise. The book doesn’t even include any pictures. It does, however, include some self-discrediting statements.
He’s from Florida. Of that he convinces me. He cites a vision in which he identified with the Calusa people, who no longer exist as a separate nation. It’s not impossible that Calusa genes could survive either in Florida or in Cuba or Haiti. Horn carefully doesn’t tell us where his parents and grandparents were. He describes growing up with a foster mother who regretfully helped other women load him into a car and take him away, but that wasn’t the way young Seminoles were sent to school; that was the way children were removed from inadequate foster mothers. One can understand his reluctance to provide any details about this foster mother, but did the boy Gabe even know who his parents were, where they lived, what had become of them? Is his self-identification with Calusa people based on any known facts whatsoever, or only on a vision that reflected sympathy with their loss?
Three of Horn’s close friends are positively identified with Native American nations. No genealogy is given for his wife or for a possibly multiracial, fair-skinned, blue-eyed “uncle.” Many people whose legal identity is Cherokee have visible European ancestry, but people like that who are related to me are usually willing to give a genealogy rather than belligerently claiming that “one drop of Indian blood could overpower anything that Europe ever produced!” (Page 55.) They also have active, ongoing relationships with family groups, which Horn does not mention his uncle having.
The genealogy given for his teacher is confused: Horn claims that she was “the direct descendant of the Massasoit Osamekun and his two sons, Wamsutta and Metacomet.” Being a direct descendant of two brothers would be difficult. The teacher was controversial because she wrote and taught about what had been the oral traditions of her ancestors. The controversy was more about her exposing these secrets to outsiders than about her use of the name “Princess Red Wing.” Native Americans did not have royal families. The English called Metacomet “King,” so they would have called his daughters or granddaughters “Princess.” Red Wing was several generations past that title.
Horn was of course involved with a group called the American Indian Movement (AIM). Like the majority of social groups, including some purely social clubs, all political parties, all civil rights groups, many religious organizations, and many youth groups, during the mid-twentieth century, AIM was influenced by the atheistic religious thought of Karl Marx. Marxists who wanted immediate, violent revolution saw their best chance in reaching out to the less educated, less wealthy minority groups, in which people would not necessarily recognize how regressive and European Marx’s ideas were. They didn’t succeed in corrupting Martin Luther King, although they tried. They did succeed in corrupting more “radical” groups led by younger, less devout individuals.
Sadly, one of those groups was AIM. Gabe Horn doesn’t talk about this at all. He expresses sad bewilderment (on page 62) that “I could hardly find a person in this country who’s known about Leonard Peltier in the sixteen-plus years he’s been in prison. In Russia, they know about Leonard Peltier.” I knew about Leonard Peltier. Some have questioned Peltier’s conviction for murder, but whether he was the one who killed the two federal agents, he was definitely a revolutionary who encouraged others to try to overthrow our government by violence; Peltier really was what Randy Weaver and David Koresh were wrongly accused of being. Whether there could be any just cause for such efforts is another question. Peltier may be “a chief in the old tradition” who “led by example,” but if so he was a chief in the doomed tradition of Metacomet or Tecumseh. Horn does not explain why Soviets were more sympathetic to Peltier than Americans were; because Peltier was more sympathetic to the Soviets than to his fellow Americans.
Again, on page 264, he finds it “strange” that he received hate mail, saying that “All reds are better dead,” “the day after my picture appeared in the Minnrapolis Star with the vice-premier of China.” Did Horn really imagine that, while the Tiananmen Square incident was still fresh in people’s minds, anyone was going to believe that Deng Xiaoping was interested in promoting the freedom of speech among indigenous people? I don’t think so. Some people who had dealt directly with members of the American Communist Party, the Chinese Communist Party, or the Soviet Communist Party, as had Nelson Mandela and Ronald Reagan, were able to persuade even right-wingers that they were genuine liberals willing to communicate with anybody...but they did not accomplish this by pretending they hadn’t noticed what a tyrant Deng was, or how “tainted with red” AIM had been from its beginning.
No, I’m afraid that not only was Horn influenced by Marxist “Communist” thought, as most of his contemporaries were, but he became so emotionally involved with it that he’s never even dared to own the enormity of the mistake he was trying to make.
Another piece of irony appears on pages 193-194, where, as a teacher, Horn “talked about...the books that they needed: Lame Deer, Black Elk Speaks, The Education of Little Tree, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Way to Rainy Mountain... ‘This is the literature and history of all our people,’ I said. ‘Fill this place with books of truth!’”
The Education of Little Tree was, very unfortunately, not a book of truth. It’s not far from being one. It’s a very nice, idealistic story about a little multiracial boy who spends some time with his Cherokee grandparents in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a great nostalgia trip for Cherokees and for residents of the Blue Ridge Mountains alike. Little Tree isn’t going to be part of the Cherokee Nation; he’s taught very little of any non-English language, and what he's taught isn't Cherokee, but he’s taught some of his grandparents’ country-living skills and ethical wisdom. Anyway they are very authentic mountain grandparents. The trouble is, there's some question, and the complete facts may never be known, whether they were physically related to Forrest Carter at all. Many now believe the book to be pure fiction.
Native Heart may be fiction too; if fact, it's one-sided. “I was told how the early colonists slaughtered Red Wing’s ancestors in their sleep,quartering the body of Metacomet and severing his head...for twenty-seven years, [Metacomet’s head] was impaled on a spike and displayed in a glass case in the quaint Pilgrim town of Plymouth.” And why would anybody, even those mean old Pilgrims, do a terrible thing like that? Well, it seems, Metacomet had formed a nasty habit of murdering and terrorizing them...but you will not find any account of Metacomet’s own murders and treacheries in Native Heart. And when Gabe Horn tells the world about people’s hostility and inhumanity to him, he carefully omits any mention of why people opposed him so. 
This book is recommended to anyone interested in researching the controversy among certain Native American groups about so-called teachers such as Horn. Further than that, this web site cannot go. However, Horn is still living, so we can still offer Native Heart as a Fair Trade Book. Send $10 for the book + $5 for shipping to salolianigodagewi @ yahoo, and we'll send $1.50 to Horn or a charity of his choice. 

Lower Grocery Bills by Comparison Shopping

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where it appeared on February 10. Image credit: Seemann at Morguefile: http://cdn.morguefile.com/imageData/public/files/s/seemann/preview/fldr_2009_06_04/file6471244175261.jpg.)

Can you still eat on US$30 per week in these United States? On $20? On $10, if you have to? I can. Not as well as I did in the 1980s, but enough to survive. And here's my tip for other Bubblers...

Did you take Home Economics in high school? Did you make some sort of "artwork" on the theme "Comparison Shopping Makes Cents"? If you did, on behalf of art, I forgive you. Anyway, the idea was that each of the supermarkets in town offers a really good price on just a few grocery items each week. Supermarket managers may even sell something below the price they paid for it on the assumption that an excellent price on, say, packaged cereal will lure people into the store, and while they're there these people will pay a higher than average price for milk and also buy some bananas the manager wants to sell fast. People who are working full-time and have more money than time can afford to play this little game the way the supermarket managers want it to be played. Writers can, however, play the game our way. 

Read a newspaper. (If possible, subscribe to one, or more, so you can clip the coupons.) Look for sale prices on things you buy. If you live in town, you can plan your morning walk to include stopping at the store that offers a good bargain on something you need every morning, then plan your menus around what's on sale each week. You don't buy the overpriced milk every time you find a bargain on packaged cereal, because you've found a better price on milk at another store, or you've planned to eat your cereal without milk, or you're planning to store the cereal until you find a bargain on milk. 

By and large prices have doubled since the 1990s, when I started buying the foods I now eat regularly...but, by "comparison shopping," I still pay close to the same prices I paid in the 1990s for most things. 

Of course, since I live in a small town, the supermarket managers are aware that I'm doing this and they all haaate me. I figure that if people are going to hate me for something like this, let'em hate...it could be worse: people like that could like me. 

If we still had locally owned "corner stores" where the storekeepers were relatives, sold our garden produce, knew which disabled senior citizen most needed free groceries before they started rotating stock, and probably charged us less for the same things than they charged random people from town, I might still be loyal to "Our Store," the way my parents brought me up to be. But we don't have those stores any more.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Link Log for March 26 (#2)

Categories: Education, Health, Politics, Travel.


School choice wins in Alabama!



Not all diabetics want to hear it, but...most adult-onset diabetes is caused by the diet and exercise choices people make, and can be reversed if they commit to making different choices before they're completely disabled by the disease. (Without looking it up, I believe Ralph Moody wrote about doing this, on the advice of his doctor, in the 1930s.) While some people become diabetic as a result of other things, such as permanent damage caused by injuries, the majority of people who are currently taking insulin could choose not to be diabetic. Adayahi has been doing this for many years; Grandma Bonnie Peters has been doing it longer than Mike Huckabee. Here's another blog by another self-cured diabetic:



Seizure of a suspect's assets without a trial...we'd guess the average high school student would agree that that's obviously banned by the Bill of Rights. There are members of the current administration who don't see it, though. Frontline report on the ongoing congressional debate:



Professional-quality photos at this New York State nature/tourism blog.


Link Log for March 26

Happy Twitterday...meaning loads of links! Today's Categories: Animals, Books, Extreme Weather, Fashion, Food, Foot & Mouth Disease, Immigration, Job Opportunity, Politics, Quotes, Sports, Travel, Weird Science, World News. Whew. This is plenty. After checking in with non-Twitter e-friends I may post another Link Log.


Please don't overfeed your pet. Cats' and dogs' ribs should be hard to see, but easy to feel.



Now I have to read Strahan's Managing Ignatius...I loved A Confederacy of Dunces (any student doing student labor can relate to Ignatius) and later worked with a friend on a snack wagon.


Has anyone ever cited Tom Sawyer as influencing his decision to "become a vagrant"? (Especially considering that, according to Mark Twain himself, although Huckleberry Finn did think about becoming a vagrant at the end of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he later went back to his home town and shared a few more adventures with Tom Sawyer...)


Extreme Weather 

Tornadoes in Arkansas and Oklahoma, including the town of Moore:


Massive flash flood in the desert of Chile:



Cardigans are the height of fashion, the Guardian reports.

Hmm. Does any of these cardigans appeal to you?



Cookies! (The nice kind.)


Foot & Mouth Disease 

MSNBC apologizes for Jamilah Lemieux's claim that "Nothing says 'Let's go kill some Muslims' like country music." Er. Um. I have heard country songs that were definitely about "Let's go do some things of which Muslims would not approve." I've never heard one that specifically mentioned Muslims at all, nor am I aware of one that seriously advocates killing...murder ballads, in which the killing has already happened and usually the killer has lived to regret it, yes. Does anybody out there have clue one what Lemieux thought she was talking about?



Katie McHugh's Breitbart.com story reads as more angry and defensive than persuasive...but you need to scroll down to the next to last paragraph to read the key fact. The position of this web site is that conservatives should stop wailing like bashful toddlers about the idea of strangers being around us, and start strategizing ways to counteract the way the Old Left is actively reaching out to those who may not have heard that the Cold War is over..."President Rodriguez"? Some of our conservative correspondents are already campaigning for "President Cruz"! The position of this web site is also that a more crowded United States will not be able to fulfill anybody's American Dream, and people in other countries need to focus on bringing the benefits of American Democracy to their countries rather than trying to move here. 


Turns out that Ted Cruz is not a natural-born U.S. citizen though...his parents were citizens, but his mother happened to be in Canada when he was born. I sympathize. I'm a seventh-generation Virginian but my parents happened to be in Los Angeles on the historic day. Canadian Ilya Shapiro sympathizes, too. But will constitutional law have to be revised to allow Senator Cruz to run for President?


Now here's a place that could use some immigrants. Points if they already speak Spanish!


Job Opportunity 

If I could depend on anybody else to look after the cats for six months (and yes, the Cat Sanctuary does take in strays in addition to resident cats; yes, we have one this week) I might go after this job, because Grist badly needs some True Greens to help them focus on genuinely sustainable as distinct from Poison Green stories. Well, I'm too old for them anyway. If you're a college senior or recent graduate, this might be for you.



Virginia requires voter registration one month before an election. How bad is this? Does it ensure that newcomers have a reasonable idea which candidates for state and local positions are which, or does it keep people who've moved across town from voting? Both I'd guess. But here's this web site's timely tip for political activism: Get your neighbors registered to vote before October. And provide opportunities for them to find out which local people you do or don't support, and why.


Meanwhile, another big hairy land use dispute takes shape in Virginia's New River Valley. Makes me glad I don't live there, although some of our correspondents do, and this web site will doubtless receive plenty of correspondence about it...



Laura Ingraham quoted Charles Mackay (1841): "Men...go mad in herds, and only recover their senses slowly, one by one."


Why Bristol's spring Race Week has been moved to April rather than March.



Personally, I sort of fancy the idea of taking the plunge (into marriage) at the "Lovers Leap" at Natural Tunnel. But nobody can deny the appeal of Alexandria Old Town.


Weird Science 

Tobacco mosaic virus helps boil water faster?


World News 

Reuters' Joe Penney took some awesome photos of the town of Damasak, Nigeria, after Boko Haram took it over. The Guardian link is what showed up on Twitter; one or two pictures from this collection will probably be in your local newspaper.


SDA TEA: Can the Mix Work?

Patricia Evans e-mailed this invitation to the last of three public events intended to explore the common ground between some Seventh-Day Adventists and some Tea Parties. For me, these are two separate circles of acquaintance; I'm interested in meeting people who even have both circles of acquaintance, much less belong to both. If anyone living reasonably close to Gate City cares to drive out to Moneta to attend this, I'd love to go along!

"Did you know that the Founders believed that passing debt to future generations was immoral?

Did you know that by 1835, fulfilling those beliefs, even after fighting the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the United States was debt free? (well, almost...only $32,733 or about 2/10ths of one cent per person)

Did you know that by 1905, only 114 years after ratification of the Constitution, the United States, with only 6% of the population and 5% of the land area was producing over half of almost everything in the world?

Please join us this Saturday the 28th  at 2:00 to re-discover the 28 principles of liberty that our Founders deemed essential for any society that wishes to remain prosperous and free!

We will have light refreshments about midway through the presentation. If you’ll be joining us please click  HERE so Cathy will know how much grub to rustle up.

America: A Miracle That Changed the World
Discover the 28 Principles of Liberty that our Founding Fathers deemed essential for a society to remain free and prosperous

Saturday, March 28th  2:00 – 6:00 or so
Smith Mountain Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church
10802 Moneta Rd.
Moneta, VA 24121

Google    Bing    Yahoo    Mapquest

Hosts and Contact:
Chuck & Cathy Angier
434-688-2208 (cell & text)
PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact us. Email contact will probably be more productive than phone, but either is fine.

With Blessings,

Chuck & Cathy

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

Book Review: God Is In the Small Stuff

A Fair Trade Book

Title: God Is in the Small Stuff
Author: Bruce (Bickel) and Stan (Jantz)

Authors' web page: http://www.christianbook.com/html/authors/5112.html
Date: 1998
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
ISBN: 1-58660-489-9
Length: 250 pages
Quote: “God is in the details of your life...He cares about what you are doing.”
Yes, these two churchmen call God a “He” throughout this book. Outmoded, now that we’ve all examined the Hebrew words used to refer to God and God’s characteristics in the Bible and observed that they vary not only in gender but also in number; God is not bound to a mortal body, so God can sometimes be most like a She, an It, or a They, and, as Mary Daly has discussed at great length, God’s name of choice appears to be a verb. Yes, there will be other indications throughout this book that Bruce and Stan have done more personal witnessing than scholarly studying. Deal with it.
Bruce and Stan have, anyway, come up with some pithy epigrams, like, “Don’t worry about proving God’s existence,because no one can disprove it,” or, “Have a passion for God and compassion for people.” I like the one about, “If you think of the Bible as God’s personal letter to you, you might end up reading it as often as you  read your mail.” I don’t get as much real mail as e-mail; if the volume were equal, I might well be 3000 real letters behind...that’s approximately how many unread e-mails I had at the time of writing.
Particularly excellent thoughts are found in chapter 10, “Appreciate God’s Creation”: “Don;’t get hung up on how long ago God made the heavens and the earth. Don’t get hung up on how long it took God to make the heavens and the earth...Science is not the enemy of God, and religion is not the enemy of science.” I’d like to see more Christians challenge the claim that evolutionist theory “has the status of a fact” in real science; evolutionism is a religious dogma. Until we discover a way to compare data about the origins of life in other worlds, it will be impossible to call any belief about the origins of life scientific.
A remarkably unhelpful thought appears on page 134: “We can’t always choose the situations that life brings to us,.but we can choose the attitude we will use to face them.” If you’re ever tempted to say this, you know why: either (a) you’re visiting someone who has said it to you, or (b) you are a mean, selfish, thoughtless person who  doesn’t want to do anything to help your neighbor, so you just tell your neighbor some patronizing nonsense about his or her feelings and hope your neighbor will go away. If someone has said it to you, here’s the truth to use to smash the lie: “Fix Facts First, Feelings Follow.”For example, one fact you can probably fix that will help you to feel better right away is the one where this unhelpful person is spouting patronizing nonsense about your feelings. By walking out, hanging up the phone, having him removed from your property by the police if necessary, you can eliminate one source of unpleasant feelings right now. 
A thought that’s actually quite helpful, even if it arouses more "ouches" than laughter, appears on page 188: “The best jokes are painless and profaneless.”
If you’re looking for a fresh supply of uplifting epigrams, this book is for you. It's a Fair Trade Book; if you buy it here, by sending $5 for the book + $5 for shipping to salolianigodagewi @ yahoo, we will send $1 to Bruce & Stan or a charity of their choice. And you pay only one $5 shipping charge for as many books as fit into one package.

Cat Answers My Question

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where it appeared on April 3, 2014. Image from Gracey at Morguefile: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/596284)

That's a Morguefile image of "a cat watching" because this is a true report about one of my resident cats. Which cat, I'm not saying. Some things this cat is reporting are crimes, so the cat is in the Witness Protection Program.

We have had some trouble with poachers and trespassers at the Cat Sanctuary. We are 99% sure who they are, but since their harassment tends to occur in the dead of the night when it's hard to identify faces or clothing, we have yet to get solid proof. The cat points out to me, every morning, exactly where anyone's been during the night and what, if anything, they've touched. If asked she's proved to be a reliable informant about which way they came and went. Actually, seeing that the cat got extra attention this way, other cats have started copying the behavior. I have wondered, based on forensic evidence, whether the cat makes a distinction between human poachers who may have been illegally hunting deer, and the deer themselves. In the natural course of events I knew that one day the cat would answer this question, too. 

Sure enough...last week when I gave the cats their breakfast this cat did the gesture-posture thing that means "We've had trespassers. Follow me." So I followed her, and she showed me how trespassers had entered the orchard from the woods and exited via the driveway. At the end of the driveway she did the gesture-posture thing that means "Be careful! Someone's around that corner!" Many times, when I've gone outside (warning: this may spoil some readers' mental image of me) wearing something I don't want anybody but the immediate family to see, the cat has used this piece of body language to warn me to go inside before a neighbor drove past, and dress to receive visitors if I wanted to receive visitors. This time I was ready to confront a trespasser, so I proceeded out to the road, and the cat walked with me and pointed to the trespassers.

Deer, they were. Of course poachers would have run away when they heard the door open and shut. Our resident deer family, however, know that I'm harmless. There were two big deer, two little deer, and two young fawns, browsing in the neighbors' woodlot. And if the cat makes any mental distinction between unknown humans and deer, as large dangerous creatures of whom she feels wary, I couldn't see it in her nonverbal communication.

Of course it's still up to humans to identify human poachers and trespassers by their human names...unfortunately! So I'm sharing this story in the interest of linguistic science. Social animals share information with friends, and this is how much information my social cats are able to provide.

(Update: Continuing harassment has left me 99.9% sure of the human trespassers' names, but still lacking proof that will stand up in court. Social cats copy behavior they see other cats rewarded for doing...all the cats, including little Sisawat, now nonverbally tell me about trespassers. Although dogs and humans continue to be a problem, the majority of our trespassers continue to be deer.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Link Log for March 25

Today's Categories: Animals In Need, Breaking News, Crafts, Economics, History.

Animals In Need 

Florida is soon to lose one of its cutest hounds. Stroll through a Florida neighborhood with Valentino here:


...and, if you're feeling munificent, help him and his human relocate here:


The lovable residents of the Cat Sanctuary appreciate readers' support, too. E-mail salolianigodagewi @ yahoo.com for information about how you can support this web site if the "Support My Blog" button isn't working. (With most computers I use, it's never worked.) If the button is working for you, please note that, although you can send $5 to us as "Friends and Family," we get only $4.50 if you use a Paypal "donate" button these days.

Breaking News 

This web site has been documenting the poisonous effects of glyphosate on humans and animals from the beginning, and now the World Health Organization has confirmed:


(Yes, this is about those "Roundup Ready" crops, like corn, rice, and peanuts, that should be safe for gluten-intolerant people like me to eat. These days they often make me sick because, in order for these foods to grow in fields saturated with glyphosate, the plants have been genetically modified--made more similar to wheat--by having genes from a species of bacteria that causes drastic food poisoning spliced into them. These days I'm spending less time feeling sick because I'm avoiding far more kinds of food than I ought to be. But I'm neither healthy nor happy.)


Splendid socks...



+Theresa Wiza shares a more detailed economic analysis of the minimum wage concept...


than this simple one:



Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for sharing the link to these illustrations of medieval "particoloured" clothes:


WHO Condemns Glyphosate

From Food Democracy Now:

"Just this morning, Congress reintroduced the Pompeo bill that would outlaw state GMO labeling bills and make labeling of genetically engineered foods a "voluntary" process, with the USDA and FDA in charge. Incredibly, this comes less than a week after the world's leading cancer agency declared that the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup is linked to cancer in humans. This is an outrage!
​As you ​know, 99% of GMO crops grown around the world are genetically engineered to either be resistant to Roundup or contain their own pesticides. We nee​d Congress to stand up for our health and the future of our children and food supply today!
The World Health Organization Declares Monsanto's Roundup "Probably Carcinogenic​", Now Congress wants to Outlaw GMO Labeling!
Late last Friday afternoon, March 20th, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a stunning announcement, declaring that the main chemical ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling weedkiller Roundup – Glyphosate ­­– has the potential to cause cancer in humans. This announcement should have parents and elected officials across the world very concerned, since according to WHO,​ glyphosate is used in more than 750 different weedkillers and is routinely detected in the air during spraying, in water and in our food.
This comes after decades of propaganda by Monsanto and vocal GMO promoters, who have repeatedly claimed that both Roundup and glyphosate were perfectly safe, including such declarations that Roundup is “safer than table salt” and so safe, you can “drink it”.
Incredibly, because of the widespread adoption of GMO crops for food production, an estimated 75% of processed foods in American grocery stores contain ingredients from genetically engineered crops, such as corn and soybeans, that have been engineered to survive being sprayed with ​high doses of Roundup.
Alarming details in the new World Health Organization report confirm past scientific studies that point to real harm from the overuse of glyphosate. According to the report, published in the prestigious journal Lancet Oncology, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup is linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and lung cancer in humans and there is “convincing evidence” that glyphosate can cause cancer in lab animals.
Americans deserve less toxic chemicals on their food, not more! Tell Congress, President Obama and the EPA, it’s time to ban glyphosate and label GMOs. Every voice counts!
According to the new report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), widely considered the gold standard for carcinogenicity review, scientific experts from 11 countries reached this conclusion after working for more than a year to perform “a comprehensive review of the latest available scientific evidence”.
After a rigorous review, the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s 17 member working group concluded that the chemical glyphosate should be reclassified as a Group 2A substance, meaning “Probably carcinogenic to humans”. The IARC stated that there was sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity based on laboratory studies.
The IARC’s new classification of glyphosate is significant because it places it in the second highest category, Group 2A, Probably carcinogenic to humans, and the only higher remaining classification is Group 1, known Carcinogenic to humans.
While the IARC’s announcement is ground-breaking news, the fact that an estimated 80% of GMO crops worldwide are engineered to be sprayed with Roundup is alarming.
Why you should be concerned: Roundup is Everywhere!
Glyphosate is the main chemical ingredient in Monsanto’s most widely used weedkiller on the planet, used for agriculture, home gardens, state parks and roadways, and is currently being sprayed on hundreds of millions of acres around the world, mainly due to Monsanto’s claim of its safety.
While Monsanto originally introduced Roundup​ in 1974 as a broad-spectrum herbicide, it wasn’t until Monsanto’s invention of Roundup Ready® GMO crops that sales escalated.
Since GMOs were first introduced in 1996, the six main commodity crops have been genetically engineered to survive massive sprayings of Monsanto’s Roundup or glyphosate. These GMO food and agricultural crops include Roundup Ready® corn, soybeans, sugar beets, cotton, canola and alfalfa that are either in our food as processed ingredients or are routinely fed to livestock as the main part of their diet.
Contrary to widely repeated industry selling points, rather than reducing herbicide use, a 2012 Washington State University study published in Environmental Sciences Europe found that GMO crops have led to a massive increase in the spraying of Roundup on agricultural farmland.
In the first fifteen years since Monsanto’s Roundup Ready® GMO crops were introduced, the study found that between 1996 and 2012, the application of glyphosate has skyrocketed by more than 527 million pounds.
Monsanto's Roundup Is in our Food, Air and Water
If being unlabeled in 75 percent of processed food sold in the U.S. weren’t bad enough, a recent study published in June 2014 in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry found that glyphosate could be detected in more than 75 percent of air samples.
The study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and found that glyphosate, as a result of agricultural application on GMO crops, was found in 86 percent of air samples and​ 77 percent of rain samples in 2007. The air and water samples were taken​ in the year 1995, before Roundup Ready® GMO crops were introduced. In 2007, in Mississippi and Iowa, one of the study’s authors claimed that glyphosate “was found in every stream sample examined in Mississippi”. Makes you feel safe, doesn’t it?
So not only are millions of tons of glyphosate being sprayed in millions of acres of farmland across the world, but it’s literally in the water we drink and the air that we breath!
Take Action: Tell Congress, President Obama and the EPA that it's time to ban Monsanto's Roundup and label GMOs! We can’t wait until there’s a smoking gun. What we already know it alarming enough. Every voice counts!
I​t's difficult to imagine the impact on our children, particularly in agricultural communities. Once and for all, Congress and our regulatory agencies need to know that our children are not science experiments!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
1. IARC Monographs Volume 112: Evaluation of Five Organophosphate Insecticides and Herbicides. International Agency for Research on Cancer World Health Organization 20 March 2015
2. “Carcinogenicity of Tetrachlorvinphos, Parathion, Malathion, Diazinon, and Glyphosate” The Lancet Oncology, March 20, 2015
3. “IARC: Glyphosate 'Probably Carcinogenic”, The Ecologist, March 23, 2015
4. “WHO: Ingredient in Monsanto Roundup 'Probably Carcinogenic' to Humans”, Al Jazeera, March 21, 2015
5. “Study: Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide Probably Causes Cancer [UPDATED]”, March 24, 2015
6. “Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the U.S. -- The First Sixteen Years”, Environmental Sciences Europe, September 28, 2012
http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/go/1322?t=23&akid=1507.359821.SizWNm "

Amvets WWII Film Project

For the history buffs, here's a new documentary project from Lt. Col. Richard Cole, with fundraising link:

I'm one of the 80 men you might know as the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders. We are the men that did the unthinkable — we launched Army bombers from an aircraft carrier over enemy territory to show the Imperial Japanese military they were not invincible. Just four months after Pearl Harbor, no one ever thought this was possible. I heard someone say it was similar in today's world to flying a B-2 bomber off an aircraft carrier.

Most of us crash landed or bailed out of our planes in China or along the coast. One plane landed in Russia, where its crew was interned for two years before escaping. Three Raiders were killed while bailing from their planes. Eight were captured by the Japanese — three were later executed, while another died in captivity.
Doolittle Raiders
I'm 99 years old as I write this email and I'm one of only three surviving Raiders. I'm worried about how history will remember our mission, but I'm more worried about how few Americans will remember my fellow Raiders and the impact that their lives had on the rest of the world.

The general story of the Doolittle Raid has been told in books and movies, but nothing has been told about the men themselves: what they did as young men, how they lived their lives, and how the momentous event impacted them. The American Veterans Center came to me to put together a documentary to tell the Raiders' story and I was thrilled that someone would finally tell this story!

The documentary will briefly retell the story of the planning, carrying-out, and the aftermath of the Raid. It is important to remind viewers why striking the Japanese Home Islands was so important to our national morale and to the battle in the Pacific.

This documentary, however, is mostly about the men as individuals. It's about their personal experiences on the day of the Raid and in the days and the years after. This is also about life after the war, including the relationship that we shared and the circumstances that tied us together forever.

The American Veterans Center is partnering with Emmy-winning producer Tim Gray to create this documentary and has filmed interviews with me and the few surviving Raiders. The AVC is footing the bill for the film, but it's going to cost nearly $10,000 to finish editing the program.

I hope you consider sending a gift for $25 or $42 (the year of the Raid). If you send $150 or more, I'll send you a collectors print that I personally signed.

I don't know how many years I have on God's green Earth, but I do know that I want to watch this documentary just once with my children and grandchildren to show them the impact that those Raiders had on me and on the rest of the country. I hope that the families of the other Raiders who are no longer with us will watch the film and see just how important their fathers and grandfathers were to this nation.

The American Veterans Center hopes to have the film completed by this summer. If you send $42 or more, I will ask them to send you an advanced copy of the DVD as soon as it is ready.

This is so important to me and I believe it is important for all Americans to see. I hope you will consider helping. "