Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August 31 Link Log

I won't be online for long today, may or may not be online tomorrow, and don't expect to be online at all between Friday and Tuesday. (I would suggest that local lurkers look for me at Duffield Daze, but what are the odds of finding any specific person at Duffield Daze? It's more fun if you just enjoy the show and mingle with people as you find them. I expect to be miles away from a computer and too heat-and-crowd-dazed to know which end to plug in if I did come across one.) Anyway, it looks as if there may be time today for a few quick links...Categories: Special, Animals, Blog Feed, Book Link, Food; lots of recipes because most of the links were shared via Google +.


Isn't #NovaSkye special? That's the name of the adorable infant I'm backing in this "cute photo" contest. Her father is a cancer survivor. Her mother is +Lyn Lomasi . Vote here if you agree that the combination of a cancer survivor and a writer who's trying to help other writers get paid, plus a cute baby picture, deserves $250:


Depending on the relative sizes of human and dog, this "no hands" dog leash could become an adaptive device for some dog owners with partial disabilities, like +Sandy KS :

Dog memories. (Jaquo is a memory-hog site that may or may not open in your browser. I don't know for sure, but I suspect cookies.)

This dog is actually up for adoption. After trying Petfinder I'm almost as wary of online animal adoption as I am of online dating, but if anyone out there is in the right part of the world, looking for puppy love...

Blog Feed 

Google + users may recognize +Andria Perry 's blog as the newest addition to this blog's feed.

Book Link 

Every Link Log needs an Amazon book link; here's one that I've wanted to read for some time now, and haven't read yet:

Food (Yum) 

Something different, and eggy, to do with zucchini. If you don't eat cheese, you could add more eggs or some cooked rice to fill up the dish, or just toss the veg with the seasonings and oven-roast them.

Would you like pepper and vinegar with that? (I don't really enjoy a meal with vinegar on the table, but in recipes it's not a problem, since I automatically read "lemon juice" for "vinegar." Some vinegar is more sour than lemon juice, some less so--but if you can get lemon juice to the table while it's fresh, it actually adds nutritional value! And fibre! And a smell and taste I find appetizing.)

Do you pick blackberries? Buy them? Want to preserve them? I have to admit that, coming as they do in between strawberry/cherry/raspberry/blueberry and peach/apple/pawpaw/persimmon season, blackberries tend to seem like weeds to me. My recent forebears felt the same way. A few stragglers still survive in the orchard, and sometimes they bear a few berries, but nobody's cultivated or really harvested them in the past sixty or seventy years. Currants and gooseberries never got a lot of love here, either. Grapes, which another local family have tried to make their main crop, got lots and lots of love...from possums, so at the Cat Sanctuary the humans gave up on them at some point back in the Reagan Administration. However, this is the basic formula for making jam and jelly out of whatever fruits you care to preserve. Some need more sugar and/or lemon and/or Sure-Gel than others; taste your fruit before it gels. If it gels, and your jars and lids are sterile, it's 99.9% guaranteed to stay delicious until next year's harvest.

Gluten-free pizzas are more of a challenge, but regular pizzas are quite easy to make at home. Here's a basic recipe:

Morgan Griffith on EPA Regulations

(Visit his web site, linked in his last paragraph, for comments on the Olympics and on international relations...) From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith, R-VA-9:

Alabaster Towers

As summarized by The Hill, a report released earlier this month by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the EPA “has not properly analyzed the environmental effects of its ethanol mandate.” The Hill story explains that “The 2005 law creating the renewable fuel standard requires the EPA to write reports on the environmental impacts of the requirement to blend ethanol and other biofuels with gasoline, and to determine whether measures are needed to blunt the effects. But the [OIG] found the agency’s compliance with those provisions lacking.”

For many of us, the results of this OIG report are unsurprising.

For many of its major rules, EPA does not assess the ripple effects of its rules across the economy and often underestimates the potential job losses from its regulations.

For example, while EPA acknowledged potential lost “job years” of up to 26,000 in 2025 and up to 34,000 in 2030 for the electricity, coal and natural gas sectors due to the Clean Power Plan, EPA did not consider the full economy-wide impacts of the rule. The Energy Information Administration recently projected that the Clean Power Plan would reduce coal production in all major U.S. supply regions, while if the Clean Power Plan is not implemented, “U.S. coal production remains close to 2015 levels through 2040.” Based on the EIA’s analysis, the National Mining Association recently projected that the actual job losses in the coal sector alone due to the Clean Power Plan could be 100,000 or more.

Similarly, the EPA proposed regulations on boilers in 2010, which the regulated community concluded would have put at risk nearly 230,000 jobs across the U.S. economy, including over 20,000 jobs in the forest products sector alone. All the while, EPA continued to suggest there would no or minimal job losses from the proposed rule.

EPA bureaucrats in their alabaster towers in Washington don’t seem to understand how the economy in the real world works. They have essentially accused industry of crying wolf. But that “wolf” has consumed our jobs, and our people are paying the price.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Book Review: Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street (Baby-Sitters Club #49)

Author: Ann M. Martin

Date: 1991

Publisher: Apple / Scholastic

ISBN: 0-590-98484-5

Length: 140 pages

Quote: “Rosie is quite occupied with her lessons after school. We’ve found the most marvelous private teachers who come to our house…You know, it’s tough enough to manage a daughter’s career…”

Rosie has talent, all right, and her mother wants the world to know it. Rosie has formal lessons and practice sessions whenever she doesn’t have auditions—for dance, acting, music, spelling, and if her mother ever finds out that Rosie shares Claudia’s interest in art there’ll probably be a teacher to manage her painting “career” as well. That’s why, when Rosie finally breaks down and admits she is interested in Claudia’s paintings, she doesn’t want her mother to know.

It’s the Baby-Sitters Club; therefore, it all ends nicely. A middle school art show, in which Claudia’s study of Andy Warhol culminates with a display of “Disposable Comestible” (junkfood) paintings, is involved. Money is earned, lessons are learned, even in a burst of furious rage nobody says anything uglier than “I’m not going to do it any more!”, old traditional songs of American childhood are sung, and groan-out-loud middle school jokes are cracked. And a nice time is had by all.

It’s easy to make fun of the nonstop niceness of the Baby-Sitters Club world, but seriously, you have to salute Martin’s achievement with this series. She stuck to the formulas for over a hundred books in the original BSC series plus almost a hundred spin-offs, presenting at least one real-world baby-sitting success story for readers to learn from in every book. BSC books are still selling like hotcakes; while writing them Martin wrote a few non-series novels, as well, and now…she’s not retired; she’s writing another series. Her favorite Baby-Sitter is Kristy, the organizer who’s always thinking of ways for everyone to make more money. I think there’s a bit of Kristy in Ann Martin.

Anyway, as mentioned previously, all BSC books are Fair Trade Books. That means that from the $5 per book + $5 per package you pay to either address at the bottom of the screen, we send $1 to Martin or a charity of her choice. If you order eight BSC books, you send us $45 and Martin or her charity gets $8.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Book Review: Poor Mallory

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Poor Mallory (Baby-Sitters Club #39)

Author: Ann M. Martin

Date: 1990

Publisher: Apple / Scholastic

ISBN: 0-590-73451-2

Length: 142 pages

Quote: “It’s bad enough to lose your job. But it’s especially bad when you have eight kids, a wife—and a hamster—to support.”

At eleven, Mallory Pike may not really know what her laid-off father is going through, but she’s learned to express empathy. She even organizes her seven younger siblings into a money-saving club (money-earning, for the other middle schoolers). She’s just the nicest, sweetest, most supportive daughter a suddenly unemployed parent could hope for.

So her first reward is that her very good friend Kristy, president of the Baby-Sitters Club and stepdaughter of the millionnaire, sets Mallory up for a new, regular baby-sitting job with some of the richest brats in the richest neighborhood in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. She’s constantly reminded of how much her mostly lovable siblings would appreciate the toys the brats don’t seem to appreciate.

And then Mallory’s next reward is that some of her schoolmates (the type who’ve always resented the precocious big-sister cleverness that’s earned the respect of the thirteen-year-olds in the Baby-Sitters Club) start making snide remarks in the cafeteria about her father having been fired.

Even her siblings’ schoolmates start getting teased at school. If there’s anything sixth grade girls recognize as justification for violence, at this difficult time in life when so many girls feel that sanctimonious self-righteousness is the way to convince others that they’re grown up, picking on their little sisters has to be that thing.

Life is not fair…even in the Baby-Sitters Club world, the Enchanted Planet of Nice where Stoneybrook seems to be located. Only in the BSC world would an actual child react to this the way Mallory does: by acting nicer than ever, empathizing with the most poisonous little pill she baby-sits and helping the rich brat find out who her real friends are.

Anyway, in the BSC world a happy ending is guaranteed. Mr. Pike will find another job before his severance pay runs out, and the Pike kids will get to lord it over the school “friends” who’ve tortured them with the idea that he wouldn’t, and everyone will live nicely ever after. The real suspense in any BSC story is finding out exactly how the Baby-Sitters will solve a baby-sitting problem so I don’t feel that reassuring everyone on this point spoils the story.

If you like stories where profoundly nice characters get the happy endings they deserve, you’ll love Poor Mallory. It's a Fair Trade Book, as are all the other BSC books; from your $5 per book + $5 per package we'll send $1 per book to Martin or a charity of her choice, and you can probably fit eight BSC books into the package for that $5. Payment may be sent to either address at the bottom of the screen.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review: Patterns of Recruitment

Welcome back to school, Gentle Readers...

Title: Patterns of Recruitment (A State Chooses Its Lawmakers)

Author: Lester G. Seligman et al.

Date: 1974

Publisher: Rand McNally

ISBN: none

Length: 264 pages plus 5-page index

Quote: “The way political aspirants maneuver for position and prominence, the ingenious tactics and propaganda…are peculiarly endemic to the recruitment process. The electoral laws governing recruitment tell us little about the interactions among candidates, their sponsors, opponents and the electorate. This book concerns the interaction patterns in the recruitment of state legislators in Oregon.”

Or, what kind of people seek positions in the state legislature, and why? (This book was written by graduate students and their professor, for the college library market; a somewhat awkward and verbose literary voice is expected. If people who are neither C.S. Lewis nor Rachel Carson write like them, the thinking seems to go, what they write isn’t academic enough.)

To some extent the authors found what they expected to find. State legislators needed to be fairly affluent, and the median family income for candidates was more than twice the median for Oregon residents generally, but above the level from which campaigning was possible, higher incomes did not reliably predict greater success either in campaigning or in the legislature. Candidates didn’t have to be male, and there had been some interest in adding more females to the legislature, but the balance of the state legislature remained almost entirely male. Candidates didn’t absolutely have to enjoy campaigning, or do it especially well, and in some cases it may even help if they don’t have much interest in larger political issues (since the issues with which they deal will be mostly narrow, local ones anyway).  

Candidates for office are, in theory, taking risks…but candidates for state and local office may, the authors found, regard the financial risk of campaigning as a strategic investment. If the majority party in an electoral district have a qualified incumbent candidate, the minority party’s “challenger” is extremely unlikely to win. Why do people even campaign in this type of situation? Advertisement, the authors found. The social mores of the period frowned on self-advertisement by the “professional” class much more than we do now. A lawyer couldn’t expect positive results from advertising in a newspaper or on a local radio broadcast, but could increase name recognition, and subsequently increase business, by running as a doomed “challenger” candidate…and in Oregon, in the 1966 election, several election losers admitted that that was why they campaigned for office. An insurance agent the authors identified as “one self-promoter” said, “I don’t have a snowball’s chance of beating him…I figure every election is worth ten or twenty policies.”

The authors found that “taxation is the perennial issue, often the only issue” on which candidates for state and local office could even distinguish themselves, in spite of party affiliation. However, in “an off-year election (1966)…local influences on recruitment are more easily identified…The issues…were…taxation, national resources, conservation and the War in Vietnam.” Of these, property taxes remained “the salient issue,” despite the formation of a “Save Our Beaches” group and a senatorial election expected to “become a referendum on Vietnam policy, but [Mark] Hatfield played down the Vietnam issue and emphasized his record as Governor,” and the candidates for state office avoided aligning themselves closely with the U.S. Senate race.

When elections for state office were real contests, the authors found, “Candidates…defined the contest as one that divided the community into ‘we-they’ blocs…such as Baptists vs. Methodists, Elks vs. Moose,” or “the people who own the stores and businesses that the ranchers use” vs. “the ranchers,” rather than aligning closely with national political party platforms.

Not surprisingly, some people who campaigned for office found campaigning especially uncongenial. People with especially good credentials, who’d been encouraged to campaign by sponsors, were not necessarily pleased about having been “coopted.” “I’mchairman of the United Fund, I work on the Planning Commission, I run the Elk’s Little League, I’m on the city council,and I try to take time out from all this to keep my practice going. then they asked me to run for the House,a s if I wasn’t doing enough around [name of city]. I don’t know what the [expletive deleted] they want…I’m interested in our locakl problems, but all my friends want me to go to Salem.” Another said, “If I had known what I had to put up with, I would never have let them talk me into running.” Another: “I can hardly wait for this campaign to be over. I feel like I’m marking time.” Most of these highly qualified “coopted notables,” “successful businessmen or lawyers, accustomed to the direct and decisive discourse” didn’t like “Evasive campaign rhetoric…cloying conduct and showmanship...and pandering to a crowd.” Most of them did win, but “All but one of the successful coopted candidate sin 1966 withdrew in 1968, and the other was elected to a higher state office.”

State and local officials in the United States have included some well-known “power seeker” types, but the authors didn’t see this trait in the current crop of Oregon legislators. “Many…seemed hesitant about seeking office and some others were reluctant…the political aspirations were modest.” More experienced state legislators “understandably” had even more modest aspirations than first-time candidates. All appreciated the honor of being backed for office, but one burst out, “I don’t need to be a legislator.”

How important, even to historians, is a study of Oregon’s state elections in 1966? Not terribly, I suppose. I inherited this book from my husband; it had been sent out for review, presumably by someone other than him since it’s not about economics or diplomacy; I’ve seen no indication of the sort of reviews it got in 1974. It was not, in any case, a bestseller or considered terribly important even in its time. It’s not a book I’d urge every school and public library to keep on the shelves. Nevertheless, since the majority of correspondence this web site has received shows that most of our respondents are interested in politics, some even on the state and local level, as an historical document Patterns may interest some of our readers. It may help some people decide whether to “recruit” friends, or let themselves be “recruited,” into political office “on the ground floor.” It may, therefore, be worth reading today. 

If you want it, send $5 per book + $5 per package to either address at the very bottom of the screen. I'm sorry to report that Seligman no longer needs the $1 he'd get out of that price if this were still a Fair Trade Book. The $5 shipping charge, however, will cover at least one more book of similar size; scroll down to find Fair Trade Books to add to the package.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book Review: No Longer Alone

A Fair Trade Book

Title: No Longer Alone

Author: Joan Winmill Brown

Date: 1975

Publisher: Fleming H. Revell

ISBN: 0-89066-010-7

Length: 160 pages

Illustrations: black-and-white photos

Quote: “My beautiful, fun-loving mother…had died in childbirth. The baby, who was to have been the ‘surprise,’ was dead also.”

Psychoanalytical theory traced everything back to some sort of emotional trauma in a person’s early life. Losing her mother was Brown’s “trauma,” easy enough to spot. Her emotional feelings of loneliness and despair, which reached the level of clinical depression, weren’t alleviated merely by remembering the trauma, as psychoanalysts hoped. Some readers might suspect that her “cure” for depression was growing up, and realizing among other things that she did not actually want to be a psychiatric patient…but there’s no question in Brown’s mind that her path back to mental health involved a spiritual experience.

Similarities between Brown’s early training as a singer and actress, and those of Julie Andrews, highlight the two great differences in their stories. Andrews belonged to a family of performers; and Andrews had a world-class talent. Apart from that, both grew up during the war, attended a variety of somewhat inadequate schools, got office jobs and performing gigs at an early age.

Perhaps partly due to having suppressed natural grief for so long, Brown lacked the instinct that guides most introverts to do what a doctor had to tell Brown to do: pace herself, be selective about spending time around other people, spend quality time with herself. Feeling almost rebellious because she didn’t know how to pace herself either on a job or as the mother she wanted to be, Brown pushed and pushed until one day she found herself boohooing uncontrollably on a bus. “Must be drunk,” fellow passengers hissed. A doctor prescribed one of those wonderful “sedatives” of the late 1940s and early 1950s that left so many of the Greatest Generation twitching and homeless. Brown apparently survived the lethal-chemical-experiment gantlet and was able to find a husband, have children, and market her talents in the United States thanks to Billy Graham’s international gospel crusades, with which she and her husband worked.

Highlights of No Longer Alone include a splendid example of a drug-free, healthy childbirth: “I thought it was something I had eaten…Three-year-old Bill… [said] ‘Dennis the Menace’ is coming on next, Mom, and that will make you feel better!’ I realized my own little ‘Dennis’ was on the way…In a mirror I saw my second son being born.” It was followed by postpartum depression, “an award-winning attack of the blues,” as second son (named David, not Dennis) became ill and Brown’s father died around the same time. This time Brown was able to feel her feelings at the time, and move on through them into the rest of her life.

Brown remained primarily a British actress, best known in the U.S. as part of the Graham Crusade team. Though Christian-phobia kept their association from being publicized, Brown reports that Graham encouraged her to share her story with Judy Garland, but the doomed pillhead actress replied, “[Y]ou had a need. I don’t have any needs!” We all know what happened to Garland a few years later. Brown thinks the overdose could easily have been accidental. “When I had taken my phenobarbital tablets, I would sometimes forget if I had had them.”

By 1975 Brown had reached an age at which actresses of her generation normally retired, although she hadn't really, so this was a fairly typical end-on-a-high-note memoir for the period. It’s recommended to anyone interested in the history of Hollywood, of Graham Crusades, of movies, of women, and/or of mental illness. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26 Link Log

After four hours in the blazing sun this morning, I do have enough cash to eat, although not well, so I'm wrapping this one up and hitting the grocery store. Categories: Animals, Baltimore, Book, Cancer Survivors, Constitutional Rights, Economy, Food, Fun, Gardening, Marketing, Obamacare, Phenology Link, Politics, and, regretfully, not Zazzle...


Dog pictures.

Baltimore Update 

A point not made in the article linked below: If the troubled city of Baltimore wants to achieve peace through lower population density, then air surveillance, which adds noise and air pollution and reduces the quality of life, might be a useful strategy. If they want people to continue to live and work Just no. Maryland has used (helicopter) surveillance in public parks, in the past, and here I stand to testify that even if they were monitoring the scene of a recent unsolved murder, nobody wants their walk in the woods to be spoiled by a helicopter roaring overhead every ten minutes.


The late William F. Buckley Jr has a new posthumous collection coming out soon. It's to be called A Torch Kept Lit, a collection of his memorial eulogies:

Cancer Survivors 

No, the extremely cute baby isn't one. The father is. Voting for #NovaSkye will help her parents meet their expenses. As usual with these "vote for the cutest picture" things, people can visit the site and vote once a day. (This link is likely to reappear in different categories, in the next few weeks, to remind different readers to vote for Nova.

Constitutional Rights 

Y'know, people who make a responsible decision not to use firearms, as it might be because we're not great marksmen and feel less likely to harm innocent bystanders when we choose knives or tasers, appreciate the responsible firearms owners of these United States for the important role they play in protecting our lives. The people who wail about gun control, actually...


Tim Worstall presents an economic argument for simplifying welfare handouts by simply handing people money rather than food stamps, fuel assistance, vouchers for this or that. He does admit that there "might be problems with this plan":

Here's my comment, in case you don't see it...using the "old" Internet convention where asterisks on either side of a word show where the emphasis falls.

The problem with this plan is that there are three distinct categories of poor people in the U.S.: addicts, mentally "disabled" people, and people who are willing and able to work and/or actively working but not being paid enough. As a member of the third category, I *definitely* feel more need for cash (and recognition!) than for the crummy handouts. On the other hand I also know addicts who feel a need to avoid handling cash; one relative who's a recovering alcoholic has a closer relative of his buy him gift cards for everything so he can't buy booze! Huge government programs seem doomed to lump us all together.

For myself...I'm a writer, and regard odd jobs as the real-life experience that feeds my writing. No corporation is going to hire me, but few ever did--I'm accustomed to working short gigs for small businesses and individuals, and prefer that. What I want government to do is focus on making sure I get paid when I *work*, first. Then, in my personal case that would give me a few hundred thousand US$, but if I still needed money I'd want government to give me a fair chance to set up some kind of low-investment venture--I refuse to take food stamps however hungry I get, but I'd take a pencil stand!

And what about recognizing that even if addicts did outnumber struggling artists, small businesses, working parents, and part-time hourly-wage workers (which I doubt), they're a separate category of poor people and can be helped, if at all, in a completely different way than those of us who simply need money.


I'm stepping away from this Washington Times discussion for blood pressure reasons. (I'm not normally hypertensive, but I've been living on coffee for two weeks while an alleged payment allegedly clears.) I'm sharing the link because I have, seriously, heard an able-bodied food stamp dependent say, "But talking to social workers is work! Hard work! You wouldn't do it!" (That is, technically, true. I would, however, dance barefoot on the grave of a social worker.)


Interesting version of pineapple upside-down cake, with several alternatives. To make this gluten-free, use the cake mix shown below. It says "vanilla," but if you use pineapple juice for the liquid and applesauce for the oil (plenty of butter will soak in from the topping), you'll get a fruity pineapple cake.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix, 19-ounce (Pack of 4)



Dan Lewis shares fun facts about Minneapolis:


Did you plant your corn, beans, and squash together this year? If not, here's why you might want to consider it next year:


I'd hoped it was only a marketing mistake that was causing me to flag The Heritage Foundation as spam. No such. This long respected organization has employed some deeply disturbed people. How can Daren Bakst blather about any kind of legislation "creating" something that's existed for at least ten years, some say twenty, and that's already well over 90% approved by Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and foreigners alike? (How can he? Well, how do you read the expression on that face?) Everybody already wants GMO labels that are clear and easy to read, Bakst. Wake up!

But cheers to fellow GMO/glyphosate/gluten-intolerant people! Kellogg's and Campbell's are on board. Our next Twitter-target is Smucker's. I've never been a heavy consumer of jam, and used not to like Jif peanut butter because it was more sugary than good old JFG, but y'know what? I tried some Jif last week, and it tasted like peanuts, not like a Reese's Cup. So I just located them, @smuckers , on Twitter and Tweeted about how I'd like to see that Jif was GMO/glyphosate-free. I mean, the fact that I didn't get sick shows that the Jif I ate was, but I'd like the company to verify that that's a policy. Join the Twitter campaign, Gentle Readers--it's free, it's easy, it's safe, it's fun, and it appears to be working.


Should every for-profit company market itself in connection with a favorite charity? Andrew Heikkila is echoing what a lot of Real Twits are recommending for Twitter. The Advertising Age is over. A lot of baby-boomers are Bobos who believe we should spend money in socially responsible ways...

The official charity of this web site is the Adventist Disaster Relief Agency, chosen by Grandma Bonnie Peters, who is an active Seventh-Day Adventist, and endorsed by me because they do a lot of good. On Amazon I have one Smile account dedicated to ADRA and one dedicated to Ozarque's official charity, which was Heifer International.


Is this our future? "Nationalized" medical care? (Warning: seems to be behaving badly on this computer, slowing down everything else.)

Phenology Links 

Virginia swelters in yet another day with 90-degree heat and 90-percent humidity. "Proof of global warming," say left-wingers whose brains are obviously feeling the heat. Not quite. It's proof of a longer than average hot season, similar to the ones we had in, was it 1978? 1979? One year when the Scott County schools, not yet air-conditioned, debated postponing the first week of classes because the heat hadn't broken on schedule in mid-August. (It seemed to me then, and now, that children don't suffer as much from heat as adults do; a few older people had died of heatstroke that August too, but I just bounced in and out of water and enjoyed the summer.) That it's measurably much worse in Virginia's cities than in Virginia's rural areas is proof of local warming. Proof of global warming would be documentation that temperatures had been steadily rising all over the world, over twenty or fifty years. That may in fact be happening, but we don't know yet. Here's a report from a corner of the United States in which this has been a cool summer:


Scott Adams tracks the election:

...and Ryan Miller explains further why the Clinton campaign argument Adams cites is dead wrong. This Michigan student is sooo right. Actually, he's uttering thoughts I had as a young student...but here they're nice and terse, blog-post-length, whereas when I was his age I thought the only way to make this point would be to write a massive historical study like Thomas Sowell's Cultures Series, which I wasn't old enough to write. The point: people who think primarily in terms of individual freedom (or individual salvation, at the church college I attended) aren't haters; people who think primarily in terms of groups, and setting up "programs" and "policies" and "agendas" for groups, are at least co-dependents with hate. Ryan Miller should go far.

(Amazon wants to show you volume one of the Cultures Series, but the link should take you to the page for the three-volume set.)

I'm no fan of Sally Kohn's, but I find myself in agreement with her: the totalitarian quality of Sharia law is radically "Progressive," by any standard that still defines "progress" as movement toward socialism. If those who want a totalitarian government can't get people, in practice, to worship "Humanity" or the government itself, as it seems they can't, then an intolerant, totalitarian religion is the next best thing for them.

Bad News: Paypal vs. Postal Payments

Bad news from Paypal. The company did hold off doing this for many years, and did notify users that they were doing it only when considering bankruptcy; they were giving users a very, very good deal on small accounts, and many of us have always wondered how sustainable such a good deal was. Anyway, as of this summer, when you send this site a Paypal payment of $10 or $15 or whatever is the bare minimum we have to charge to make a profit, Paypal delivers an actual payment that involves, eww ick, now we have to add a $1 (or, for larger payments, $2 or possibly more) surcharge for online payment.

Believe me, I didn't want to do this. The more digits my dyscalculic brain has to bother about, the more likely it is to make those dyslexic-type mistakes. I'd prefer to keep all online prices in multiples of $5, eliminating all one-dollar bills and small change from my Paypal account altogether, and cashing out when the account reaches $100. This was my original policy; Paypal is the party that's making it impossible.

Since the only way we collect online payment is Paypal, this applies to any form of online payment and will apply equally to any marketing site (e.g. Craiglist, E-Bay, etc.) that the real-world members of this site may use individually or collectively.

As local lurkers have had many chances to observe, any merchandise shown here that I sell in real life costs much less than the online price--local buyers get books for typically 10% of their online price. Why? Because (a) real-world transactions are much, much simpler, and (b) in a real-world transaction, local buyers are free to snap up a "bargain" price on an item that might be considered lower in value. In the case of books, a lot of local buyers are willing to pay $1, cash, for books in conditions that don't meet Amazon's standards; after a book's gone through public libraries and/or schools, storage sheds, open-air markets, etc., its condition is very unlikely to meet Amazon's standards. If you buy the book online from this Amazon Affiliate site, what you get should meet Amazon's standards. If it doesn't, send it back.

It wouldn't be ethical for this site to accept any competing online payment processing service's offer that made it possible to eliminate the surcharge. Paypal anticipated the possibility that some other company would start advertising "We Don't Deduct Anything from Payments Below $100...For Now," and people who've been using Paypal might then have an incentive to advertise that the surcharge applied to Paypal payments but not to Elcheapo payments, etc. Those who continue accepting Paypal payments at all have signed a contract to the effect that we will not, ever, do this. All forms of online payment are equal, unless somebody develops a competing online payment processing service that costs us more than Paypal.

However, because U.S. postal orders are not online payments, because you-the-buyer pay the processing fee up front and the post office pays us the full amount in cash, it would be unethical to apply the surcharge to real-world payments made via U.S. postal orders. You actually pay a little more for the extra security of paying via postal money orders, but we don't have to charge you as much. What our new surcharge actually does is reduce the difference between Paypal handling fees and U.S. Post Office handling fees. Formerly, postal payment added more than $1 to your $10 payment, whereas online payment added only a cybersecurity hazard. Now, postal payment still adds a little more than $1, but online payment adds $1.

So...this web site likes the convenience of Paypal, but this web site will always recommend Keeping It Real. You're safer, and we're safer, if you can use a U.S. postal money order. (This has always been the case.) Better yet, come to Gate City (the current miserable weather is bound to break soon), check out the bargains I've not written about yet, and pay cash.

Book Review: Honey for Tea

Title: Honey for Tea

Author: Elizabeth Cadell

Date: 1962

Publisher: William Morrow

ISBN: none

Length: 190 pages

Quote: “‘Has anybody proposed to you?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘And you said?’ ‘No.’ ‘Why? Are you sure you’re not leaving it too long? You’re going on for twenty-five.’”

During the years when Elizabeth Cadell was one of Britain’s most successful authors of young adult novels, that was about all teen readers expected in the way of a plot, although the blurbs promised parents that her stories also delivered “a proper moral at the end.” Nobody expects Jendy, the sister who’s going on for twenty-five, or Nancy, twenty-seven, to have serious life goals other than marrying suitable property owners. They’re reasonably attractive upper-middle-class young women, and they’re in England, so what else would they do? The question is whom they’ll marry.

Moral? In 1962, it counted as a moral if the heroine doesn’t sleep around and thus gets married at the end, but Honey for Tea offers more in the way of a moral than that. In the course of this story the Marsh sisters and their aunt, who frets about not having a male heir, discover a lovable relative who’s been cheated in many ways because his parents weren’t Properly Married, and bring him around to the idea of “settling” into a proper house and marriage.

None of Cadell’s novels was ever a great favorite of mine, but novels aren’t my favorite kind of books anyway; a lot of people all around the world enjoyed them as new books, and they’ll certainly enliven any time of predictable boredom, commuting, convalescence, etc. These days, they’re even a nice nostalgia trip for baby-boomers, or a pain-free history lesson for the younger generation. 

And are they ever increasing in value as the original library copies begin to wear out. Check out those Amazon prices! What I physically own is a hardcover library copy, which I'll physically sell for less than $95, but if you want a hardcover copy that's where the prices start. If you just want to read the story, send $25 per book + $5 per package for the paperback edition. (As always, the $5 shipping charge covers as many books as fit into the package--one to three more of this approximate size.)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 25 Link Log

The cats and I seem to have shaken off the trifling "summer cold" infection we had last week. Huzza. Today's agenda: Google + or bust. Ohhh my aching Google + feed. Today's Categories: Special Note, Animals, Books, Crafts, Education, Food, Funny, Health, International, Marketing News, Nice, Obamacare, Phenology Links, Pictures, Politics, Shopping, Travel.

Special Note 

Bienvenus, French readers! Valkommen, Swedish readers! Google reports that this site is gaining a lot of readers in France and Sweden. I don't even know how ridiculous the automatic translation software makes my blog posts sound, but I have faith that most of you can read the site in English and clear up any confusion.


Snail shells, possibly color-enhanced:

About this one...The bad news is that if you encourage birds, paper wasps, hornets, and mantids, you might not want to make a butterfly feeder. Also, if you have neighbors who poison their land, you might want to see butterflies somewhere else. The good news is that it's cheap, easy--even unavoidable, if you drop fruit and vegetables outdoors. Butterflies (like true bugs) slurp up only liquids, and (unlike bugs) don't have a proboscis strong enough to puncture many species will compete to drink the juices of any rinds, peelings, or rotten bits of melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, or other late-summer produce. (Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for the link.)

Don't you just love it when someone who's not expected to live not only survives, but achieves something others of his or her type can't? +LadyNightwaveBrendaMarie Writer rescued a dog that wasn't expected to live. It's now passed the century mark in dog years:

Do you know a dog who bolts its dinner? Making itself sick, or perhaps rushing through its own dinner and then bullying a smaller pet out of that pet's dinner? Here's a whimsical, practical gadget that promises to teach that sort of dog nice, patient table manners:


Rescued cat:


Cozy mysteries with cat characters...

Sound like a tribute to the inimitable Sneaky Pie Brown series:

+Barbara Radisavljevic reviews a Christian historical novel that may be on the raw side, even if it's not explicit...I feel like adding a trigger warning even to the review: icky-squicky plot. (But, yes, it does occasionally happen when evil older people are able to find a desperate young girl, or even boy, even today...often with illegal immigrants and "refugees" in the U.S., and reportedly with some "guest worker," "exchange student," and even "international volunteer" programs elsewhere. I mean...Zahara Heckscher volunteered with a Tvind-group charity and wasn't pushed into prostitution, but what were other American girls with less money and creative intelligence supposed to do when Tvind "volunteer directors" plunked them out on street corners in strange cities and told them to raise the required amount of money, however they could?)


Some seem to think that having lots of projects going at once is a character defect. At times I've started lots of projects just for the express purpose of displaying the material available and letting people pre-order the style they liked in the size they wanted...well, it got complicated, so I'm not currently doing that, but it was a strategy, not ADD. Anyway I'm sort of glad that +Marsha Cooper is a multi-project quilter, because her posts so often display so many lovely inspirations...


Good for U-Chi. This site posts trigger warnings when I think of it, as a courtesy, but this site also believes that, as a policy to be enforced on and for everyone, trigger warnings are unworkable. If individuals courteously warn people they know, people whose emotional reactions they know something about, that something contains pro- or anti-war/homosexual/abortion/whatever material, all is well. If teachers are required to issue warnings to entire classes, for all they know a warning to some students may be a trigger for others. A line needs to be drawn somewhere. There are special private schools that protect delicate little children from any mention of guns or "other" religions or the observation that making babies may feel good, but at a public university, a good place to draw the line is around the whole idea of anyone whose mind is all that fragile participating in a university program.

Bad for Anne Arundel County. If Anne Arundel were still living, this idiocy taking place in her name might well kill her!


How to make America's favorite snack, cheap:

Salad idea:

Easy way to take your turmeric, if you take turmeric:


Blogger shares the wit and wisdom of non-blogger friend:

Blogger shares the weirdness of people met in places that provide health care:


This web site recently displayed the following rant/vent post:

Another blogger weighs in:

Meanwhile, +Lyn Lomasi addresses the health concerns of the very young...not in obscene terms, just baby-squick terms, but let's post the link in very formal medical language anyway:

post about safe ways to relieve constipation in infants


More of the problems...refugees are having here; reportedly much worse than the girl assigned to the school where she's falling behind her baby sister. Americans aren't afraid to take in refugee children, no. Maybe some of us aren't afraid to treat the said children badly? Sounds likely. We are a huge and diverse nation, these United States; even in Virginia it's possible to find scum. (And at the Cat Sanctuary? None of us would deliberately mistreat a guest, but let's admit it: with the leaks, creaks, and no electricity, what we can offer guests is basically a camp that's located near good schools.)


Calling all my favorite "big" conservative sites. The Blaze, Townhall, Constitution, all those sites that have good content that I rarely see because the pop-ups and blinking ads are such a bore. Good news! You're going to have to lose the ad-garbage! Google will down-rate you if you don't! So you can switch to nice, content-relevant, modest little text ads that sit in their place at one side of the content and wait for readers who are interested to look at them, the way ads should always do! Hurrah!

Here's the excuse for the pop-up ads, and in terms of the company's overall account balance it may still be true...but it's not true for me. Once you read this post, you too will be motivated to remember a name, e.g. "Netflix," that you once saw in a pop-up ad, and think when you see that name three years later, "Oh yuck, obnoxious pop-up ads, I don't want anything from this company."

Nice Things 

Adorable child salutes local police:


Jason Pye shared three separate news reports about Obamacare:

Phenology Links 

Garden plants in Alabama, plus a wonderful free-range kitten...

Canola in bloom in China (thanks to +Martin Kloess for sharing)...Y'know, talk about a triumph of marketing. The old name for this vegetable was "rabe" or "rape," either of which was properly pronounced "raahp," per Germanic-language spelling rules. Many English-speaking people just didn't take to the vegetable while it was marketed under its old name. Some genius in Canada started pressing the oil from the seeds and marketing that as Canola Oil, and publicists told people, "You can't go out to a field and pick some canola..." Well, now, in practice, you can...and we're discovering that the vegetable actually tastes pretty good, too, considering how nutritious it is.


I don't ordinarily approve of posting recognizable images of living children on the Internet. This, however, is an infant, likely to change a lot before she's out of a parent's sight, and her parents are cancer survivors. So, is this a cute baby or is this a cute baby? Cancer survivors/widows/etc., vote here:

Politics (General) 

Is this young idjit just trolling for attention, or is he spewing hatespeech in a more literate dialect? He needs to read my post from earlier this week, for sure.


Calling all local lurkers with odd-shaped feet! (I know there are a lot of you,'cos a lot of local people are related to me on Dad's mother's side, and we have odd-shaped feet that lots of shoes won't really fit even if they seem to fit. That's why we don't enjoy walking and have backaches, headaches, foot aches, and leg aches.) The comment I just posted on +Sandy KS 's blog reminds me. You've been seeing me in that booth with the shoes, right? I tried selling secondhand shoes when I had my own booth, and they did not move for years and I said "No more," but now they're selling again, especially the odd sizes. Well, guess what? An Internet Portal is a place that can get odd-sized shoes, any size, shape, or color, straight from a lot of manufacturers you have and haven't tried. For my own relatives I don't recommend Nikes or Reeboks--they're generally good shoes but they totally don't work with our kind of feet. Rockport Sports and Sperry Topsiders work well with my feet. But this web site can potentially link you to the whole world of hard-to-find shoes.


+Lyn Lomasi shares what she's learning about taking a very long road trip. Multiple articles:

Western Pennsylvania...almost as beautiful as western Virginia. (LOL. Actually you have to know a place well to tell, by looking at a picture, in which state it was taken.)

Book Review: Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

A Fair Trade Book

Title: Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself

Author: Alan Alda

Author's web page:

Date: 2007

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 978-1-4000-6617-9

Length: 209 pages

Quote: “Once the show became successful, invitations started coming in asking me to pronounce a few words to live by.”

So, here are the words to live by that Alan Alda, a.k.a. “Hawkeye Pierce,” chose to leave to posterity. Samples:

“Here’s my Golden Rule for a tarnished age: Be fair with others; then keep after them until they’re fair with you.”

“[Y]our life will have meaning when you can give meaning to it.”

“Even when you’rein charge of something, don’t be afraid not to know exactly what you’re doing.”

“Freud said, ‘Health is the ability to work and to love.’ Add a third: Be able to play.”

“I don’t think I’m a teacher. But I do like to infect people with enthusiasm.”

That Alda has done; “M.A.S.H.” may well have infected TV watchers with more enthusiasm than any other family-friendly sitcom in the history of television. This, however, is not his memoir. (Never Have Your Dog Stuffed was the memoir.) The structure of Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself is a long, rambling manuscript for a speech, or speeches, to which Alda adds anecdotes and further exposition.

Need I say more? If you’re a serious fan of Alan Alda, you’ve already read this book. If you’re a not-so-serious fan, you want it. If you don’t remember Alan Alda and the sort of thing he was likely to say, you need to read this book for historical understanding, and because you’re the age of his intended audience. If you don’t like Alan Alda, you’re probably reacting to the inherent silliness of a sitcom about a military base during a war, which is reasonable, and you need to read his book in order to separate your impression of the man from your impression of the show. I did; I’m not saying the book contains the wisdom of Moses, which it doesn’t, but it’s about as good as anything that comes out of Hollywood.

To buy a gently used copy here, send $5 per book + $5 per package to either of the addresses at the very bottom of the screen, from which we'll send $1 to Alda or the charity of his choice. At least three more books the same size should fit into the package for the same $5.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24 Link Log

Lots of links today. Categories: Animals, Books, Christian, Connecticut, Education, Faith, Food, Fun, Health, International, Louisiana, Marketing, Not In Our Name, Phenology, Politics, Sex, Sports, Women's Issues, Weird, Writing...but, regretfully, not Zazzle.


Since some people have discovered this site by searching for information about monarch butterfly caterpillars...

This web site missed National Moth Week, and also Bad Poetry Day. (I was online on Bad Poetry Day. Someone tweeted a reminder that it was Bad Poetry Day. I did other things on that day.) If you didn't do anything about National Moth Week in July, you missed it too, but here's a list of moth resources with some cool images of interesting-looking moths. (Actually, some of the big showy ones are moths, and some of the little drab ones are butterflies...that's one of the first things you learn when you start looking them up.)

Tortie Tuesday was yesterday, but I happened to find these cute photos of a classic "tortie" cat today:


If you liked E.T., what you might not absolutely love about this book is that Kotzwinkle's impression of a bear is as fully realized a character as E.T., but a completely different character.


Tying directly into the previous post:

Connecticut Update 

New school for the Sandy Hook students opens next week:


Delightful! (Even though it's The Blaze...European readers may need to be warned that this site is known for annoying ad clutter, or then again, it may not open for European readers at all. The Blaze is not Glenn Beck's blog; it's a group news blog he helped launch--but it's addressed to his U.S. audience.)

Less delightful...I have three thoughts for young Khadidja Issa. One: it sounds as if your younger sister got into the school with the better English program because she was already ahead of you academically, so maybe you should focus on studying harder instead of suing the school. Two: it sounds as if you're my kind of refugee (several G.E.D. tutors in the family!), so if you want just to back away from the hate your suit is generating and go to a friendlier school, we can discuss whether your family are the refugees this web site has invited to stay at the Cat Sanctuary. I warn you, though, growing up still involves hormone surges that feel absolutely horrible no matter how well off a teenager is, and English is still a hard language to learn--harder if older. Three: it sounds as if your primary problem may be that your baby sister is giving herself airs because merely being younger gives her a physical advantage in language learning, and if so, the position of this web site is that she's acting bratty and should stop it now.

Faith (Differences In) 

Most of the people who call themselves Witches, Wiccans, or Pagans probably wouldn't find a Christian, fiscally conservative site a "safe space." However, this web site hates only censorship and actual abuse of persons. We offer bigotry no sanction. So yes, this site is being maintained as a safe space for any and all open-minded modern-style, nonviolent New Age Witches. And Muslims. And Mormons. And Catholics. And Buddhists. I may disagree with what you believe, but I uphold your right to believe it. Blessed Be.

(What about Jewish? someone may ask. I am a whole-Bible Christian. Grandma Bonnie Peters has "converted" and been a member of a Messianic Jewish temple. Differences between the two labels should be strictly cultural. I have no plans to disown the long line of active Christians in my actual family tree, partly because some people think I look Jewish...anyway, this site intends to be more than merely safe for non-Socialist Jewish readers. If they want to subscribe, post, or comment, they are positively welcome.)


Sharon Brown shares two hominy recipes...meh. Most traditional Southern hominy recipes appeal to me less than just plain grits, lightly salted. (Grits, like cornbread, could also be sweetened, but that's just Not the Southern Tradition. If you sweeten it you call it something else and serve it as dessert. "Grits" implies a savory main dish for breakfast, sometimes fortified with meat or cheese.) What's cool about grits is that corn bran contains a phytochemical that interferes with the balance among B-vitamins in the body and can, if eaten frequently in a low-protein diet, hasten the development of deficiency diseases. With grits (or hominy or posole, as explained) the bran is removed, so you don't have to eat your corn products along with something high in protein to maintain a balance. Not that children don't love cornbread or grits with milk, or adults don't appreciate cornbread with beans or chili, or grits with eggs, bacon, ham, cheese, or chicken...but if you're vegan and don't feel like eating beans or mushrooms at breakfast, with grits you don't have to.


From Twitter:


Vegans go back to school...Mary McDougall and her daughter Heather will be hosting a Webinar, tomorrow, about packing healthy vegan box lunches. Register today to get your question in.

(As featured in...)

Forks Over Knives

Is BPA (a chemical used in canning, which can contaminate foods) anywhere on your list of food-buying worries, in these GMO-and-glyphosate-infested days? It's not on mine...but @kroger already promised to take it off everybody's list, permanently.


Since this site has no foreign policy, its only comment on this link will be that it may interest some readers:

Louisiana Update 

Our President finally gets to Louisiana...after the crisis. (Remember, please: presidential entourages are a nuisance during the crisis, so this doesn't prove that the President doesn't caaare.) But where does he visit, and why? (For those who don't already know, a lot of these "conservative" sites are already self-censoring out of readers' feeds just by running too many flashy annoying ads, and Breitbart has to be the granddaddy of'em all.)


The whole article is worth reading, but the last paragraph...!!!

Not In Our Name 

The death penalty is not unconstitutional and, in Dylann Roof’s case, it's justified. It’s too late to ask my Confederate great- and great-great-grandfathers what they’d say to the idea of killing a lot of church people in a church…I suspect Colonel William Peters, who was only distantly related to the ones in Gate City but is still one of my favorite Confederates, would have volunteered to execute Roof himself. Even in war, even under orders, and even at the risk of his own life, the Colonel refused to kill noncombatant supporters of his enemy. I wouldn’t be surprised if my direct ancestors felt the same way. I'm sure more aggressive Confederates, like the generals whose names everyone remembers, would have shot Roof where he stood. Not in the name of the Confederate States of America can anyone do such a vile, cowardly thing. Nor in the name of any legitimate Tea Party, either.

On another site, in a discussion of the news item linked below, someone asked, basically, "Why honor the memory of the things people got wrong?" I didn't have an answer at the time. Now I think that one reason to preserve, and honor, the memory of our misguided ancestors (and everybody had misguided ancestors) is to remind everyone to study exactly who they were, and what they did, and that idiots like Roof can't do the most quintessentially "Yankee-ish" kind of dastardly deed in the name of the Confederacy. The Confederates made plenty of mistakes, and their notion of honorable warfare led directly into some of those mistakes. The notion of honorable warfare does, however, rule out murdering innocent, unsuspecting, old ladies and little children in a church. The Confederates would have agreed that that's obscene.

Phenology Links 

Although I'm still seeing some pretty flowers--clover, roses, feral "Rose of Sharon" (Hibiscus syriacus), Queen Anne's Lace, Queen of the Meadow--I'm also seeing these midwestern flowers:

And goldenrod, although I've not seen this midwestern "prairie" species.

And these "weeds." No need to try to eradicate them! People eat them!

Politics (Election 2016) 

Scott Adams reminds us that there's some good in almost everything, even this horrible election:

Nick Gillespie is less optimistic:

I can see why Hillary Clinton would want to shut down this web page. Read it before she does! (Tolerating this kind of free speech, when you're the target thereof, is a proof of True Americanism that ought to be required of all candidates, but I'm guessing that the pampered, all-about-my-little-feelings sector of "millennials" can't imaaaagine why....merely because it's what made your pampered, sheltered upbringings possible y'little brats!) This site is difficult to read and cluttered with annoying ads and videos, but...

Politics (General) 

But Michelle Obama just out with something very, very good, and true, and relevant. (Yes, that's "out with" used as a verb, whether Google annoyingly tries to "fix" it or not.) This web site hasn't had nearly enough opportunities to applaud Mrs. Obama. If it did audio, it'd insert a recording of the two-minute applause track you've heard (occasionally) on TV.

I am (a small yet visible part) Cherokee (most Cherokee people I know say "Indian," but I don't, because) my husband was (predominantly) of Indian descent, and I'd like to put it on the record the headline of this article profoundly annoys me. We should never ban, or have banned, any document "for racism." We should acknowledge the role of racism in history, and learn from it!

Since I posted earlier about White privilege, might as well share Jim Wallis' new book on the subject. The usual cautions apply--he's about as left-wing as it's possible for Protestants to get--but he's an old friend-of-a-friend and I believe he's a sincere, though old-school, Christian, and a good writer. The position of this web site, once again: Don't stop giving whatever "privileges" you currently give to your own people...but do, please, consider extending them to other kinds of people too. 

Politics (Virginia)

Virginia Republican-fest alert: I, Priscilla King, officially reply to this invitation thusly: If my Significant Other is able to drive to this with me, which is only what I've been praying for, is it only two years now?--then both of us will be there. In a Ford truck. With an "ISIS Hunting License" decal. And my top-heavy figure will be draped in a modestly loose "Gate City: I Still Pray" T-shirt. And we'll go as high as we can toward bribing Grandma Bonnie Peters to ride along and look for the "S.D.A. Tea" crowd, too...I no longer encourage her to drive, but she's still the heart of any alcohol-free party.

Oh, wouldn't that be fun! Realistically, I don't expect this to happen, so other fiscally conservative Virginians should fill in the gap and keep Virginia's Republican Party as close to the right track as possible.


It's a PDF. (Why does anybody ever even bother with PDF any more, anyway?) It's a low-graphics PDF so my computer does open it, as yours may not do; it's also very long. However, here's a scientific study that debunks the idea that teenagers who aren't constantly trying to make babies before they're eighteen may need to be encouraged to identify themselves as "sexual minorities." 

There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.

Hat tip to Onan Coca for this fair and honest summary of what the study does say. may or may not work better than a PDF works for your computer; it does use some cookies and annoying pop-up ads. If you read the comments, you may notice me taking exception to some people's bigotry-based distortions.


Want to run five kilometers? In Utah? With U.S. Representative Mia Love? (Yes, it's Facebook, but the page opened for me from "old" Google Chrome.)


Sounds as if some students plan to unionize themselves right out of their student labor jobs:

Women's Issues 

This link comes from a recent arrival in the United States. I think he's half right. We did once need a movement to call attention to the fact that women were, in practice, being cheated out of equal wages for equal work, relative to male co-workers. Now that that movement has called everyone's attention to that fact, it's often possible for remaining inequalities to be redressed--as in this case where a slightly less famous female movie star was getting lower pay than the male star--just by threatening to publicize injustice toward women. This is a case where the right-wing solution is currently more effective than anything the left wing called for, fifty years ago...but then again that's true because the left wing made its noise, back then.


Jerry Jenkins, coauthor of the blockbuster series, recommends a friend's post: