Experienced Math Tutor Disturbed By What She Sees in Common Core

Form nuclear sub engineer turned homeschool mom turned math tutor on Common Core:

“Cognitive development proceeds not in a smooth curve, but in jumps and plateaus.  Just as most babies learn to walk at twelve months, so most adolescents become capable of logical operations such as algebra at twelve years.  And just as whether a baby walks at nine months or fifteen months has no bearing on whether he plays football in college, so whether a student learns algebra in 7th or 9th grade has no bearing on whether she becomes a National Merit Scholar…save that a child who is pushed and flounders and fails is unlikely to love an activity.

That is what I am seeing with my tutoring students: the math-bright ones are being encouraged to take honors pre-algebra at age eleven.  In prior years, this would have meant that they first had a thorough, final review of arithmetic: adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers, decimals, and fractions; long division; changing fractions to decimals to percents and back.  Then for a treat, they would be introduced to the glories of algebra, the fun stuff: Rene Descartes’ brilliant invention, with plenty of lists of points that, if properly executed, form an outline of a fish or a dinosaur.  They would be taught signed numbers, order of operations, distributive property, and how to solve for x, and that would be about it.  They would finish the year happily aware that math is fun and that they are good at it.  If they were fortunate enough to be taught from Jacobs’s Mathematics: a Human Endeavor, they would learn about sequences and mosaics and logarithms and even networks, but all with a very concrete development, suited to the emergent logical thinker.

The reform mathematicians who put together Common Core are ignoring cognitive development.  My Common Core pre-algebra students are hurried through the arithmetic review and taught the coordinate system.  They graph lines and parabolas.  They do transformations, exponents (including zero and negative exponents), and a truly horrendous percentage of percentage problems.  The homework can be finished in an hour if the student’s parents can afford to hire a BS mechanical engineer to sit at his elbow and remind him when he takes a wrong turn.  Otherwise, he is up ’til midnight.  Students work hard at tasks beyond their strength; they flounder; they fail; they learn that math is no fun.

This isn’t education. This is child abuse.”

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/09/uncommon_not_core.html#ixzz3EibyHsy3


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The Altar of Moloch

http://ow.ly/BRRTI “Poet: I would have died for my aborted daughter’s right to choose, just like she died for mine.”  Key difference- she selfishly chose to sacrifice a human being on the altar of her choice. Her dead victim had no such choice.

Her dead child was no martyred heroine of the pro-choice movement. She was a human sacrifice on the altar of Moloch.

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May Byron’s Vintage Vegetable Cookery Book, Part 1

vintage-vegetables-206x300May Byron’s Vegetable Book: Containing Over 750 Recipes for the Cooking and Preparation of Vegetables


In Europe, with the fall of the Roman empire, vegetables seem to have declined in popular favour ; and, apparently, they did not regain their old footing until after the Renaissance. The spread of classic literature was also the spread of classic vegetables. Exhumed out of long neglect, from the fourteenth century onward, one finds vegetables being more and more cultivated, and slowly, very slowly introduced from one country to another. We, after our usual habit, were the last of all to profit by these developments, although a large number of the vegetables in question already grew freely as wildings in this fruitful isle.


Our ancestors of the Middle Ages—such as were well-to-do—did not, indeed, take much notice of vegetables, except as salads. The robust and sturdy Elizabethans added copious ” salletings ” to their bill of fare, but even the potato was at first regarded as a mere medium for conveying the Elizabethans’ beloved and all-important sugariness. They expended their ingenuity and their appetite upon fish, flesh, and fowl, elaborately spiced and seasoned ; all very well for those to eat vegetables who could get nothing better. Gerarde experimented, in his Holborn garden, with the ” loveapple,” or tomato ; Parkinson interested himself in new and rare productions like the cauliflower. But those who could afford it, preferred meat; and ginger was ” hot i’ the mouth, too,” with most meat dishes.

Meanwhile the poor folk made shift to eke out their scanty meals with any sort of greenstuff. I have myself spoken with a man who, in his childhood, before the repeal of the Corn Laws, had subsisted largely on charlock, young nettles, and other such free gifts of field and hedgerow.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, culinary vegetables became a continually more frequent addition to the dinner-table; during the nineteenth century they reached, perhaps, their maximum of variety, for a great many which were cultivated for a decade or so after the ” hungry Forties ” have dropped out of use, and have not been replaced by new ones. The list available in the greengrocer’s shop, like the number of individual vegetables grown in the average garden, is quite extraordinary in its limitations. On the Continent, and in the United States, a much wider range is proffered.


But whereas in former days a vegetable was strictly seasonal, so that you could not obtain, let us say, a new potato born out of due time, nowadays the seasons are very nearly negligible, by reason of (a) foreign products and (b) improved methods of storage. I don’t maintain for a moment that the expensive forced vegetable is half so good as that which arrives naturally at its authentic date. The former seems to have missed just that much of sun and rain and sweet influences which went to make up the latter. And the stored vegetable cannot, in reason, be equal to the fresh one: we may here except potatoes.

The fact remains, however, that owing to all these increased facilities, strict vegetarianism has become, not only a fad or a fashion, but a cult and an obsession with very many people. Some persons it suits; some it doesn’t. You cannot tell till you have tried. In any case it is no use dogmatising : chacun d son gout.

Although this book is not written for the professed and rigid vegetarian (for some such might cavil at the meat stock and animal butter employed in many of the recipes), yet the professed vegetarian will find it of considerable value in the number and interest of dishes here presented; whilst the ordinary housewife, desirous of combining variety with economy, and pleasing her family into the bargain, will here find suggestion of the widest scope—of which the gardener may also take advantage, in supplying her with something more liberal in his seasonal range of foodstuffs. The present enhanced price of meat makes the wise choice of satisfying vegetables a matter of extreme importance.

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Income Inequality

Those statistics on income disparity may not mean what you think they mean. Definitely not what the NYT imagines they mean:

“Recently, the US Federal Reserve (“The Fed”) published their regular report on the country’s income distribution (.pdf). Here’s a New York Times article reporting on it, which says,

“For the most affluent 10 percent of American families, average incomes rose by 10 percent from 2010 to 2013.”

Well, that’s not right. The Fed didn’t actually study how family income changed over time. Instead, they looked at one random sample of families in 2010, and a *different* random sample of families in 2013.

The confusion stems from how they gave the two groups the same name. Instead of “Oakland A’s,” they called them “Top 10 Percent”. But those are different families in the two groups.

Take the top decile both years, and call it the “Washington R’s.” What the Fed report says is that the 2013 R’s hit for an average 10 points higher than the 2010 R’s. But that does NOT mean that the average 2010 R family gained 10 points. In fact, it’s theoretically possible that the 2010 R’s all got poorer, just like the 1974 Oakland A’s all got worse. ”

That doesn’t mean it’s all roses and whoopsy daisies:


“Now, even if you agree with everything I’ve said so far, you could still have other reasons to be concerned about the Fed report. For me, the me, the most important fact is the discovery that 2013′s poor (bottom quintile) have 8 percent less income than 2010′s poor.

You can’t conclude that any particular family dropped, but you *can* conclude that, even if they’re different people, the bottom families of 2013 are worse off than the bottom families of 2010. That’s real, and that’s something you could certainly be concerned about.

But, many people, like the New York Times writer, aren’t just concerned about the poorer families — they worry about how “income inequality” compares them to the richer ones. They’re uncomfortable with the growing distance between top and bottom, even in good times where the “rising tide” lifts everyone’s income. For them, even if every individual is made better off, it’s the inequality that bothers them, not the absolute levels of income, or even now fast overall income is growing. If the “Washington R’s” gain 20 percent, but the “Oakland P’s” gain only 5 percent … for them, that’s something to correct.”

You should also take a look at the links here.

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Free4Kindle Titles; Nonfiction

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Algebra – The Very Basics

Blurb: If you’re looking for a gentle introduction to basic mathematics, look no further. This book picks you up at the very beginning and guides you through the foundations of algebra using lots of examples and no-nonsense explanations. Each chapter contains well-chosen exercises as well as all the solutions. No prior knowledge is required.

Topics include: Exponents, Brackets, Linear Equations and Quadratic Equations. For a more detailed table of contents use the “Look Inside” feature. From the author of “Great Formulas Explained” and “Physics! In Quantities and Examples”.

Reader Review: My daughter is taking Algebra 1 and I wanted to be able to help her with homework. This book is a great introduction and refresher. The explanations are short but clear and are demonstrated with lots of helpful examples. Definitely worth a try for students (or parents) struggling with math.

Me: According to the reviews and Amazon links, if you like this book, you might also be interested in this 3 dollar title: ALGEBRA in WORDS: A Guide of Hints, Strategies and Simple Explanations

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Twenty-Four Vincent van Gogh’s Paintings (Collection) for Kids

This is just what it says it is, no more, no less. 24 color images of Van Gogh’s paintings. There’s not really any information other than the title of the paintings. I think it’s a neat project (he has plenty of other artists available, too). I suggest first just letting kids look at them, and then playing a sort of ‘I Spy’ with them. At some point you and your child could try to draw sketches of them (nothing fancy, just a kind of map or diagram of what’s in the image and where). Or you could take turns describing the images and guessing the names of the paintings.

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CK-12 Middle School Math Grade 6, Volume 1 Of 2

Blurb: CK-12′s Middle School Math Grade 6 covers the fundamentals of fractions, decimals, and geometry. Also explored are units of measurement, graphing concepts, and strategies for utilizing the book’s content in practical situations. Volume 1 includes the first 6 chapters.

Reader Review: The kindle version does not give you the answers and im not sure if the website does, but I have to say for being free. It has a ton of good lessons in it that are great for anyone refreshing themselves or learning algebra for the first time. I put the lessons on my phone and have been working on them at work. The only down side is not having an answer key but you can still get allot out of the lessons plus its free. And there is a web site you can go to that is also very helpful that goes along with the material. This actually would be great for home school kids and anyone that wants to improve on there education.

Reader Review: This book gave me a helping hand , because my 5th grade daughter is not the best @ math . But she bought this book on her Kindle fire and she worked on this book for hours and she really liked it ! But that’s not the best part yet…… when she entered middle school her grades went way up !!!! :) thank you so much!!!!! and please please pleas continue to write these awesome and helping books!!!!!

Negative reviews mostly complained that it was boring, or too easy.

Here’s the second volume:

CK-12 Middle School Math Grade 6, Volume 2 Of 2

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CK-12 Basic Geometry, Volume 1 Of 2

reader review: With this purchase of the CK-12 Basic Geometry, Volume 1of2 in Kindle digital format, I feel I made a good choice over a college text and am now relearning geometry. It provides the reader a good explanation of the concepts and gives some good examples to work in problem solving. It is written like a textbook, without the formal academic puffery the typical college engineering text can give. I feel it is like normal classroom conversation in it’s delivery and I feel the author is talking to me. It also has good learning and practice questions and answers, so you can follow up with testing yourself. It is an easy read for learning this subject, that I remember being tedious in High School and I’m glad it is in Kindle digital format, as I use the Kindle PC App I downloaded from Amazon just for this kind of learning from a Kindle book. It’s a great reference in this form and on the PC and a good tool for learning. This Basic Geometry format gives the reader many working and study problems and then follows up with review work for the reader. If you are the student who would like to attempt this subject and will need it for a follow up with other math uses, it is a good read.

Reader Review: I made a good choice by selecting this book to help a youngster with geometry homework problems. Provides good explanations and examples. I was able to find the information I needed to help my nephew with solving problems.

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Money, Budgeting, and Consumer Math: with Examples, Problems, and Explained Solutions

Blurb: Money, Budgeting, and Consumer Math: with Examples, Problems, and Explained Solutions is a crash course in all things money. Real life scenarios and problem sets teach the broad financial concepts of saving, budgeting, investing, managing credit, recognizing risk, and understanding how businesses work. Recommended for Grades 5 and up.

86 pages

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Parenting ADHD Children: What you can do to really make it easier (adhd child, Parenting adhd, Adhd Children, adhd Nutrition, Child Care, Attention Deficit Child)

Blurb: You’re are out of resources?
You don’t really know what to do anymore?

In this book, you’re about to learn how to use simple and powerful techniques that will truly help you parenting a child with ADHD. Let’s face it, this situation is not the case of everybody and you must handle it with all the knowledge possible. This book contains information of quality that will help you and your child on this journey.

If you are suffering from this situation and haven’t been able to change it, it’s because you are lacking an effective strategy to make this easier for your child and you.
With the knowledge in this book, you’ll get the tools needed to improve your capacity to deal with a lot more situation that might arise in the future!
Do yourself a favor, read this book and act on it!

Here Is A Glance Of What You’ll Learn in this Book..

ADHD, what is it
The Behaviors and what you can do
Important foods for ADHD’s child
Helping them in their social life
How should you handle it yourself
And much more!

Reader Review (there were six five star reviews): This book was extremely helpful… A lot of strategies to helping your child manage their ADHD symptoms, from every angle — How to manage daily tasks and chores, relationships, self-esteem and uncontrollable behavior. And teaches you how to harness the hidden TALENTS that come with ADHD by employing strategic discipline. It is not impossible!! I highly suggest this book for parents who are struggling, you have solid advice here.

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The Gospel of Mark: Bible Trivia Quiz & Study Guide – Education Edition (BibleEye Bible Trivia Quizzes & Study Guides – Education Edition Book 2)

I’ve downloaded a couple of these. I like them for a change of pace with our Bible reading and study for school. There’s a chapter from the bible, then a list of questions on the chapter with answers. The format is one multiple choice question per page, followed by the answer and the complete text of the verse(s) where the answer is found.

I generally just read the questions aloud in order to avoid the multiple choice format, which isn’t my favorite, and to spend a little bit of extra precious time with my teenage son. This isn’t all he does for Bible study, and this isn’t something we use all the time, just every once in a while.

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Paleo Kids Recipes and Raw Paleo Recipes: 2 Book Combo (Caveman Cookbooks)

Welcome to the Caveman Cookbooks!
A series of Paleo Cookbooks for home cooks and food enthusiasts!

Looking For New Paleo Ideas That Actually Taste Great?
Explore the world, and make cooking an easy task with Angela Anottacelli, as she takes you through different cultures and cooking techniques all carefully designed to please the avid Paleo follower!

Busy Moms Listen Up!
Angela delivers delicious recipes for the entire family. She was a working mother when she decided to write these books, she understands the constraints that come with the territory.

Hungry? Excited? There’s More!
You’ll never have trouble coming up with meal ideas again. The Caveman Cookbooks provide you with everything you need to go Paleo, stay Paleo, and LOVE PALEO:

Vitamix Recipes – Soups, Smoothies, Juices, and Sauces – don’t have a Vitamix? A blender will do just fine!
A Collection of Your Favoruite Foods (All Paleo Style) – miss the pasta, pizza, burgers, and desserts from your diet? It’s all one click away!
Italian, Indian, Greek, Mexican recipes, and many more!
Always on the go? Check out the On-The-Go Recipe Book or the Freezer Recipes Book to save time!
On a budget? Paleo doesn’t have to be more expensive than it already is – check out the Quick and Cheap Paleo Recipes – with every recipe taking 10 minutes or less!
Slow cookers, pressure cookers, and baking galore – you’l find it all with this amazing set of cookbooks!
All recipes are family-friendly, and Angela goes a step further by providing her very own set of Paleo Kids Recipes – great for the whole family – even better for the little ones!

Me: There are no reviews as of yet. I looked over the free sample, and the recipes do look good. You need a juicer for several of them. Many of the ones I could see used almond flour as well, so keep that in mind.

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Simply Raw: Easy Raw Food Recipes For Beginners

Paleo Cravings : 50 Barely Allowed Paleo Recipes I Shouldn’t Be Telling You About

Blurb: Are you on Paleo diet, but still want to eat well?
Do you walk around craving really good food, the kind that makes you drool?
Maybe you think this is not possible while on Paleo diet.

Well I’ve got good news for you!

No need to settle for just OK food. You crave GREAT food, and the Paleo Cravings book is here guide you on your way to some really delicious, crave-satisfying food.

Some examples of the recipes you will find inside:

- (Over) Loaded Paleo Hash
- Protein Packed Paleo Breakfast Biscuit
- Paleo Tortillas
- Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Skewers
- Paleo Spaghetti Bolognese
- Paleo Shepard’s Pie
- Swedish Meatballs Paleo Style
- Paleo Friendly French Bread
- Loaded Paleo Nachos
- And much more!

If you want to stick to your Paleo diet, you MUST have a way to satisfy your cravings…as we all know that cravings have the potential to ruin every diet.
Pick up this book today and make sure you use it and always satisfy your cravings – without breaking you Paleo diet rules.

Reader Review: I love eating paleo and this book has a TON of recipes. There’s ones for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts, and the list goes on. Lots of recipes to try out. So far, my favorites would be the “hummingbird bread”, “pumpkin chocolate chai protein shakes” and the “paleo lasagna”. This book will keep you busy!

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Easy Family Meals: 50 recipes for everyday cooking (Family Menu Planning Series Book 4)

Reader Review: This superb cookbook is lovingly created by an author who understands that nutritious meals must be great tasting for family members to enjoy the meal and ask you to make the recipe for them again!!!!!
For me, I cook for people that are very PICKY eaters and prefer the old standard not so good for you recipes. Sound familiar? So when I happened upon this cookbook while searching in the Kindle store under family meals, this one caught my attention. Now I use it alot and list below why I love this cookbook:

+ Each recipe is given: Prep time, Cooking Time, Yield in Servings.
+ The recipes are much more nutritious and tasty too!
+ Very well illustrated cookbook (most of the recipes have a picture of the finished recipe, but not all).
+ Easy to read even on a small 7 inch Kindle.
+ Recipes have just a few ingredients and easy to find ingredients. (Many of the ingredients I have on hand always, these are staple foods that I keep in my pantry and fridge at all times.
+ Recipes that are meat and potatoes that most families will like!

Some of my favorite recipes in this book are:
* Macaroni Salad – This is great cold or even heated! Used fat free mayo instead of the vegan.
* Baked Fish – Finished in just 35 minutes and a great substitute for the fried fish I made before! So much flavor!
+ Chicken Tenders – This baked version uses crushed corn tortillas for the coating and they are tasty and crispy and it is ready from start to finish in just 40 minutes!
+ Cheesy Stuffed Potatoes – This one has baked beans for extra protein and it is more filling.

So I found this to be a family friendly cookbook, it is the best of two worlds: Taste and Good Nutrition!

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Paleo Dressings and Dips – 25 Delicious Paleo Condiment, Dressing and Dip Recipes (Quick and Easy Paleo Recipes Book 10)

Avocado dressing; hoisin sauce; pineapple salsa; substitutes for the usual salad dressings. In looking at the preview, the avocado and pineapple recipes looked great. The BBQ sauce looked good, no added sweeteners, does have liquid smoke (You have to read labels, most have added ingredients, but Wrights Liquid Smoke doesn’t). So there may be other recipes that won’t fit with your ideas of paleo or clean eating, but there should be plenty that do.

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Sarmale – Romanian Old Recipes from Rustic Cuisine (Delicious Romania)

Romania is a very interesting country from Europe. Don’t smile, I know you think something like this if you read that Bram Stoker’s wellknown book about Dracula in the past, but that country it’s not the vampire’s domain. Belive me, I still live there! From ancient times to present days, visitors can find just hospitality and good, realy good food in Romania.
About good Romanian food is this book, too. Sarmale means a common rustic dish prepared in all Romanian homes. It’s so simple and low cost to make the food, but it is so tasty and impressive when you eat it… Sarmale means little chopped food, mixed with some grains, packaged in different leaves and boiled. Can be this complicated? Of course not, even a child can do it. You can feel the special taste and smell, too. Just try some recipes! Everything about preparing sarmale is step-by-step described and I hope you like this.
This book is the first part of “Delicious Romania Series”, containing original old rustic recipes, selected and compiled by a Romanian journalist after visiting local monasteries, simple homes in Romanian villages and after reading some secret family documents about cooking tips and tricks in these families. And after every recipe was prepared at home by the author, too!

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Asian Paleo Recipes: 30 Classic Asian Comfort Foods Made Healthy Without Grains, Legumes, or Dairy

30 Healthy Asian Paleo Recipes The Whole Family Will Love

Utilizing a paleo diet isn’t just a fad – it’s a great way to eat in order to lose weight and improve your health. You will enjoy better digestive health, more energy, and a host of other positive changes, including lowering your risk for many serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and others.

But Asian recipes typically can be full of carbohydrates and are not paleo friendly, as they contain rice, noodles, and other grains that can hamper your health and weight loss goals.

Asian Paleo Recipes is full of healthy, delicious, Asian-inspired meals that you will love!

Some of the Asian paleo recipes included:

* Chinese Cashew Chicken
* Thai Chicken Satay
* Sweet & Sour Pork
* Korean Beef & Eggplant Appetizer
* Chinese Shrimp-Fried Cauli Rice
* Korean Bulgogi
* Spicy Chinese Noodles
* Crab Avocado Rolls
* Vietnamese Lime Shrimp with Carrot Slaw
And many more …

Cook yummy, Asian-inspired paleo meals with these easy-to-prepare, delicious recipes!

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Paleo Asian Recipes: Delicious, Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner and Dessert Recipes

Paleo Asian Recipes: Delicious, Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, Dinner and Dessert

Bacon and Avocado Omelet

Shrimp and Mushroom Quiche

Filipino Style Roasted Chicken with Veggies

Beefy Japanese Curry

Chinese Orange Chicken

Shabu-Shabu Paleo Platter

Duck Paleo Okonomiyaki

Pork Aloha Skewers

Salted Duck Eggs with French Beans

Steak Lettuce Wraps with Quick Pickles

Awesome Ais Batu Campur (ABC)

Milky Melon with Sago

And Jelly Mountain Paradise, amongst others!

Aside from these great recipes, you will also learn why you should use the ingredients mentioned in this book and how each of these dishes can be healthy for you. Interesting

Facts about some of the recipes can also be found here.

It’s important to get informed about your health—and it’s even better to be able to create healthy dishes that will surely get everyone’s attention. Start reading this book now and eat your way to a healthy life!

You may also be interested in this book for . 99 for Kindle; http://amzn.to/1uwnX3a Delicious Dim Sum: A Collection of Simple Chinese Dim Sum Recipes
Price goes up a dollar tomorrow.

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The Korean Table: 25 Easy-to-Prepare Korean Recipes

Korean cuisine is simple yet exotic, and very easy to prepare. A balanced combination of vegetables, meat and rice, Korean cuisine is flavorful, varied, healthy and fulfilling. A proper Korean meal will always have a variety of dishes served in a platter including boiled rice, soup, a main dish and a selection of side dishes that include pickled vegetables, salads and other delights. While it might seem like too much to prepare such a meal, the fact is the Korean recipes are some of the easiest to master.

If you wish to learn Korean cooking, this book offers 25 different traditional recipes to help you out. Covering a variety of side dishes, soups and main dishes, this book can help you prepare the perfect Korean platter right at home in the easiest way possible. So, get started with your new culinary adventure and start making these exotic Korean dishes at home right away!

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I looked at the sample, and they look good, many of them even paleo friendly

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Soapmaking From Scratch – 25 Unique Soap Making Recipes That Make For Great DIY Projects or Gifts

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How to Crochet: 16 Quick and Easy Granny Square Patterns

When you’re short on time and yarn, crochet granny square patterns are just the way to go! With this eBook you’ll learn how to crochet granny squares that are as unique as they are easy. Featuring a range of pattern styles and crochet stitches, you’ll be able to create quick and easy granny squares in no time. This eBook will help you with:
• Step-by-step tutorials
• Detailed materials lists
• Clear, large photos
• Easy-to-understand instructions

Reviewers largely agree these are cute patterns but they are not for raw beginners.

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Declutter: 30 Simple Habits for Getting your Life, Schedule and Home Decluttered: An easier way to simplify your life, organize your home and make the … (Armin Bergmann’s 30 Simple Habits Book 5)

Do you feel overwhelmed by your day to day life? Does it seem like your to-do list grows perpetually longer rather than shorter? Do you long for life to be more simple and to have more time in your day? Could you use a little motivation and some practical advice to help you simplify your life, organize your home, and make the most of your time?

At some point after childhood (where time seems to always go slowly), life picks up pace. While we enjoy the experiences of adulthood, it can also become overwhelming as the weight of our responsibilities becomes apparent.

This can be exhausting and frustrating. Whether you are preparing for it, in the midst of the struggle, or feel like you are drowning, there are some simple habits, coupled with some stick-to-it attitudes that can help you get your life, home, and schedule de-cluttered.

In this concise book, I’ll show you 30 simple habits that are utilized all the time by people who strive for simplicity in their lives. The habits in this book aren’t magic. All I’m suggesting is that if you gradually implement these super simple habits into your routine, you’ll be pleased with how manageable your life will seem.

It may take some trial and error as you work to determine which habits will be most effective in your specific situation. You may also discover that a combination of multiple habits will help you make progress. Your individual personality coupled with the particular needs of your situation will help you determine which of these simple habits will work best for you. Consistency and the willingness to sacrifice momentary ease for the longterm good will be necessary.

I wish you all the best on your journey and I hope the content of this book provides the perfect spark of motivation that you need as you march down the road to being clutter-free.

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Minimalism for Grandparents: Decluttering for Health, Happiness, and Connection in the Golden Years

The golden years should be a time of freedom, celebration, and new adventures. But if your garage, attic, closets, and surfaces are filled with clutter, all that extra stuff can get in the way of a full experience of life as it was meant to be lived. Minimalism for Grandparents covers not only techniques for decluttering, but how to fill your newfound space with meaningful, fulfilling activities that leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

This guide to simplifying for improved health, happiness, and relationships teaches:

• Why you should define your own sense of minimalism
• How to create your “Minimalist Mission Statement”
• How to find your decluttering “champion”
• How to use the techniques of “blazing” and “gazing” to declutter
• Why decluttering now can lead to a happier, healthier life
• How to deal with sentimental items without losing their meaning
• Why you should use your newfound space to leave a living legacy

And much more…

Reader Review; I truly enjoyed this book and walked away with a very different, and new, view of decluttering. It honestly made me think of decluttering in a new light and inspired me to act sooner rather than later. And to act in a different way. And with new reasons to act sooner rather than later.

The book flipped my concept of decluttering upside down, which is a bit of a surprise and a nice relief for me. Instead of an effort to discard, decluttering should be an effort to discover the meaningful items in my life and to give them prominence in the sacred spaces I should create for them. I hadn’t really thought much about pulling out the meaningful nuggets for legacy or about creating sacred space with the items that create the memories I want to hold on to. I tend to resist the stress of making the thousand decisions to discard, or not, in the decluttering process. I hadn’t considered that decluttering could be a treasure hunt, like a squirrel thrashing through a pile to find the good seeds, tossing the rest aside without giving it a second thought. I like this approach and have already started.

The path to decluttering should lead to treasure, not trash; to meaning and legacy, not loss. That’s the message I took away from “Minimalism for Grandparents”.

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Keep It Simple Stupid! Cutting Back and Simplifying Your Life Like The True Minimalist Masters (Simplified Life Book 1)

Reader Review: In the busy modern world of consumerism and rapidly changing technology, it is easy to lose sight of simple pleasures. This book gives insights into minimalism, a concept beyond owning fewer belongings, but also taking time for friends and self. It is a thoughtful book, and I can see several areas of my own life where I can simplify, declutter both my home and mind, and find even more contentment. Nicely done!

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SIMPLE STEPS – THE AMAZING HOUSEWORK METHOD: You Are Doing Your Housework Wrong – How to declutter, organize, and tidy your home the easier way

You are doing your housework wrong

For years, I’ve used a cleaning method that’s very efficient. I teach it in my successful book, The Easy Way To Clean.

Despite this, up until recently, I always found a large task daunting and intimidating. It filled me with dread when I looked at that pile of ironing, untidy room, cupboard, drawer, etc. I could do these things efficiently but they were still daunting. It used to make me feel tired just looking at it.

Recently, something occurred to me. It changed the way I looked at household tasks. My mind is now completely relaxed when I approach any task. I tackle it with comfortable ease.

It’s all about the way you see it. There are also certain efficient processes I follow that allows me to complete each task a lot faster.

Household tasks, organization, and decluttering always looks daunting. This is because of the way you look at it and tackle the task.

There is a better way. I call it Simple Tasks.

Here’s the benefits…

- No mind panic.

- Complete any household task easily and efficiently. This turns anything into something super simple. You can do it without hardly any motivation.

- Tidying that untidy room is a cinch.

- That pile of ironing is as simple as ironing one thing.

- Declutter, organize, and tidy an area in super simple steps.

- Keeping your home continually tidy is as simple as putting one thing away.

- This amazing method turns all your housework into super simple steps.

Make it easy on yourself. Give it a try.

Reviewers either rave or say there’s nothing new here.

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The Minimalist Mindset: How To Declutter, Downsize, And Get More Fulfillment From Life

Very good and concise book on getting control of your life. Most of the suggestions are common sense, and nothing that is hard to do, but not really many new ideas. It’s sort of like things you forgot that you already know.
With all that I think it is a very good book, and gives you good tips to organize your home and your life.

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Container Gardening with Kids: 7 Easy Steps to Bountiful Harvests for Everyone

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Sometimes when you click on a link, for some reason it won’t finish loading. Just hit refresh and it should work.

Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free.  Deals were reduced prices at time of listing, but these prices generally don’t last more than the day they were listed.

Same for reduced price titles.

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing.  If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something.  Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7.5% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works.

Also, Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards. And if you haven’t joined, please click on the link and join so that I can keep getting free Amazon gift cards because I am still shameless.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires because I am a crank like that.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full. You can left click on a title on your Kindle anddelete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again. Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently.  Now that I have my tricksy little new phone, I have added it to my list of devices to which I can download devices.  Woot!

Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

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Other mothers’ sons bring them flowers. Mine brings me:

2014-09-27 10.47.46

Because he knows I will love it. It’s so interesting!

Yesterday two of the married daughters and all the grandbabies were over visiting, and during the course of the conversation the eldest thought that I said I wanted to move to Nebraska (since that is where Shasta’s family are going). I scoffed. She said, “WEll, I thought it was weird. So weird that if you really had said that I was going to say I will put you in the car myself and take you to the nearest psychiatric facility to have you committed, because that is just not you.”

“I wouldn’t mind moving,” I said. “But I want to move overseas. Preferably somewhere in Asia.”

“I know,” she nodded, “But that’s normal.”

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Clean Eating, Some Sales

First off, yes, these are affiliate links. If for some reason the idea that I might make a few cents or even dollars in exchange for the time I spent sharing deals here frustrates you, you can always just go to the websites involved and order rather than clicking one of my links. I would say that would make me sad, but unless you tell me you did that, I won’t know.

Secondly: These are relative bargains. It will probably still be cheaper to eat conventionally, and this isn’t a purity contest or a post intended to shame anybody. You do what you can do and figure out what matters the most *and* fits in your budget *and* doesn’t stress you out to the point where it’s interfering with your everyday life and relations. And things that look like good deals to me may not be good deals for you- a lot depends on where you live and what’s important to you, and your family’s individual needs.

On the other hand- and this is something my daughters with their little ones and one car families have been discussing- if you can afford it, there are definite advantages to having groceries delivered to your door, especially during the winter.

So…. here are a few things I found this week that I thought would be worth sharing.

Until midnight EDT Monday, September 29th, Healthy Buyer’s Club members can get free ground shipping on all Healthy Buyer’s Club products shipped from our Nevada and Missouri warehouses by using coupon code 14922HBC in your shopping cart! Coupon does not apply to our cold storage inventory in Minnesota, or Wisconsin farm products. Memberships start at only $9.99, and the minimum order is only $15.00! Buy in bulk and save with FREE Ground Shipping! Applies to lower 48 U.S..

You can buy just a one month membership for 9,.99.  Depending on what you are going to order, this could easily pay for itself.

(If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.)

Tropical Traditions has free shipping right now, but just through tomorrow night. I usually order a big five gallon bucket of coconut oil from them during a free shipping promotion. I’ve also ordered raw honey from them during free shipping promotions, and I’ve been very pleased with both products and service.

Tropical Traditions has a really good bargain with raw honey, truly raw honey. It’s a little over ten dollars for a 17 ounce jar.





You can also get ten 2.2 lb bags of organic coconut flour for 76.50. I don’t buy coconut flour because I don’t cook with it in large amounts, but if you do, you might find this helpful. You have to be a member of TT, and I don’t get an affiliate link for this one, I just thought it looked like some readers might find it helpful. If you don’t want to be a member or you haven’t tried it before and don’t want to spend that much at once, you can buy just 4.4 pounds for just under 20 dollars right now.

Organic shredded coconut is 8.50 for 2.2 lbs as well.


100% grassfed Bison breakfast sausage- the Bison are grassfeed completely, finished on grass as well. They come from an ethical farm in Wisconsin.
the sausage ingredients: Bison, water, salt, fennel, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, anise, ground sage, sweet basil, mustard seed, and spice extracts. NO MSG! Right now, you can get approximately 8 lbs for 70.95. That is a big chunk up front, but 8,86 for 100% grassfed meat, for sausage with no sugar or MSG, is a pretty good bargain in the clean meats arena.

Members can also buy approximately 25 lbs of ground bison for 225 dollars, or 9 dollars a lb. For just 12 dollars more, you can get it made up into patties. Also check out the oxtails and soupbones from their grassfed bison.

One pound of ground chicken, pastured, organic, is 10.99- that’s still almost ten times what you’d pay for conventionally ground chicken, but if you can afford it and the pastured, organic side is important, that’s about what you can expect to pay anywhere, and this is delivered to your door.

Green PolkaDot Box
Shop: Grass Fed Beef at Green Polka Dot  Box: A GMO-free membership club that ships organic and non-GMO food at wholesale prices directly to your door. Products for vegans, gluten-free, food allergies About that delivered to the door concept- here’s a new company I’m kind of excited about, and I hope they do well.  They are one of our advertisers (see the right side bar), and if you click through and join, we get fifteen dollars.  It’s basically an organic buying club that ships to your door.  Membership is fifty dollars a year, and obviously, that won’t be for everybody.  They have a wide range of gluten free and other allergen-free related products, so if you live in the boonies and have special dietary needs, this could be really helpful.  They also ship grassfed meats and dairy products if you live within two days of fed ex shipping from Utah.  That limits you to the western states and the western edge of a couple of the western most middle states for meat bargains.  That’s too bad for me, because pasture raised ground pork is just 5.29 a lb., and grassfed angus beef is 6.99 lb for ground.

You can also search their site for specific dietary needs.

Right now they have things like 5 oz cans of wild caught albacore tuna for 2.99;  32 oz of almond breeze milk for 1.39; Grassfed beef chorizo for 7.99 lb; And more.  Check them out, look around, and yes, I would like it if you used my link if you’re going to join, but it’s okay if you don’t.

Other sources to keep in mind for having groceries delivered to your door:

His Coffee Whole Bean Coffee, Nicaraguan Organic, 16 Ounce JUST 3.07~!!!

Remember, if you use their subscribe and save option, you get a total of 15% if you have five or more items delivered at the same time each month (and you can order, cancel, rearrange your order, and have a variety of shifting items coming at different times).

Vita-cost: Free shipping on orders over 49.00; free shipping right now for vita-cost products if the total is just over 25.00. They have a surprising variety of items, including the best price I have seen for coconut aminos (wheat and soy free replacement product for soy sauce or Bragg’s). Just a little over five dollars for an 8 ounce bottle, just over 10 for the 16 oz. And if you set it up to be delivered regularly, you get 10% off. Other things I like: Valerian; Sweet potato chips; sunbutters. Their prices are generally comparable to Amazon, and sometimes much less, but it pays to take the time to compare.

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So many books, so little time: Free Kindle Titles

VOICES: Book 2 in the David Chance series (Suspense, Mystery, Thriller)

Blurb: When the author released this book, I was ready to read it. I liked his first book in the series, Messages, very much. Let me be honest; I like David Chance the main character. The plots in Hileman’s books are always great, but I am a character-driven reader. David is the kind of character who drives me back to a book. In Voices, John Michael Hileman has written an action-packed suspense novel full of all the key elements readers want – twists and turns, mystery, characters you’re not sure of, and a couple you do not like – even a little. Hileman weaves the faith part of the story in naturally; it’s there; it’s real, and it fits. Believers and unbelievers alike will connect with David Chance – the man who is a doubter and hesitant seeker. The man hearing Voices. Then there’s Jon Blake – the teen with more trouble and hurt than a kid should have to bear. And now, he’s hearing them too – voices. Lots of them. Voices picks up seamlessly where Messages left off. In my opinion, John Michael Hileman has done it again – he’s written an excellent book! And,while the end of the book is satisfying, I closed my copy looking forward to the day I could return to David’s world. books border black and white Losers Like Us: Redefining Discipleship after Epic Failure

Blurb: In 2008, after seven years of preparation, Daniel Hochhalter permanently failed his PhD, leaving him with no refunds, no transferable credits, no recourse to appeal or try again, and no hope of gaining the qualifications needed for his desired career. Then he lost his job. Devastated and in crisis, with no Plan B and no clue how to redeem his future, he looked to the twelve disciples and discovered that—despite their gaping faults and sins—God still loved them and used them to change the world. With fresh warmth and wisdom, ample hope and humor, Losers Like Us skillfully intertwines Dan’s own story with theirs to show how our worst mistakes and greatest failures bring us to a place of teachableness, egolessness, brokenness, and empathy—the very qualifications required to receive God’s love and grace, and to manifest his kingdom on earth. “God seems to have a soft spot for the ordinary, broken and failed people of the world. We fight those labels with everything we have, but in the end we always seem to end up in the same place. In Losers Like Us, Dan Hochhalter takes a raw and honest look at a journey from failure to freedom. But Losers Like Us is more than that—it is an invitation to discover that freedom for yourself.” —Rick McKinley, Senior Pastor, Imago Dei Community Daniel Hochhalter lives with his wife and two wiener dogs in Portland, Oregon, where his only true credential is that the Lord loves him. Dan has a B.S. (Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA) and an M.Div. (George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Newberg, OR). He does not have a PhD. books border black and white An Untamed Land (Red River of the North Book #1)

Nearly 500 five star reviews Blurb: Proud of Their Heritage and Sustained by Their Faith, They Came to Tame a New Land She had promised herself that once they left the fjords of Norway, she would not look back. After three long years of scrimping and saving to buy tickets for their passage to America, Roald and Ingeborg Bjorklund, along with their son, Thorliff, finally arrive at the docks of New York City. It was the promise of free land that fed their dream and lured them from their beloved home high above the fjords of Norway in 1880. Together with Roald’s brother Carl and his family, they will build a good life in a new land that promises untold wealth and vast farmsteads for their children. As they join the throngs of countless immigrants passing through Castle Garden, they soon discover that nothing is as they had envisioned it. Appalled by the horrid stories of fellow immigrants bilked of all their money and forced to live in squalid living conditions, the Bjorklunds continue their long journey by train as far as Grand Forks. From there a covered wagon takes them into Dakota Territory, where they settle on the banks of the Red River. But there was no way for them to foresee the price they will have to pay to wrest a living from the indomitable land. The virgin prairie refuses to yield its treasure without a struggle. Will they be strong enough to overcome the hardships of that first winter? books border black and white CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet

blurb:  An Antidote to “Take Two Verses and Call Me in the Morning” Your friend just left his wife. You catch your child posting something inappropriate on the Internet. Someone in your small group is depressed. A relative was just diagnosed with an incurable disease. When those you know and love experience trouble, you don’t want to hand out pat answers or religious platitudes. Instead, you want to offer real hope and help from God’s Word. You know it’s true, but how does an ancient book, written thousands of years ago, connect with our twenty-first century problems? In CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet, Michael R. Emlet gives you the tools to connect the Bible to your life and to the lives of your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. You will learn to understand people and God’s Word in ways that promote gospel-centered, rich conversations that help you and those you know grow in love for God and others. This book will make the whole Bible come alive to you. Instead of platitudes, you can offer a cup of living water to those who are struggling in this broken world. — Michael R. Emlet, M.Div., M.D., practiced as a family physician for twelve years before becoming a counselor and faculty member at CCEF. He is the author of many counseling articles and the booklets, Asperger Syndrome, Angry Children: Understanding and Helping Your Child Regain Control, Help for the Caregiver: Facing the Challenges with Understanding and Strength, and OCD: Freedom for the Obsessive Compulsive.

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Invisible (An Ivy Malone Mystery Book #1): A Novel

She’s not your average crime fighter!

Ivy Malone has a curiosity that sometimes gets her into trouble, and it’s only aggravated by her discovery that she can easily escape the public eye. So when vandals romp through the local cemetery, she takes advantage of her newfound anonymity and its unforeseen advantages as she launches her own unofficial investigation.

Despite her oddball humor and unconventional snooping, Ivy soon becomes discouraged by her failure to turn up any solid clues. And after Ivy witnesses something ominous and unexplained, she can’t resist putting her investigative powers to work again. Even the authorities’ attempts to keep Ivy out of danger and her nosy neighbor’s match-making schemes can’t slow her down. But will the determination that fuels this persistent, quirky sleuth threaten her very safety?

“I laughed out loud. McCourtney’s charming mystery debuts a voice both enchanting and startling.”-Colleen Coble, author of Without a Trace

“McCourtney’s skill at blending whimsy, quirks, and questions into a lead character makes Invisible a must read.”-Lois Richer, author of Dangerous Sanctuary

“Invisible is a treat! Ivy Malone is a heroine with spunk and determination!”-Carol Cox, author of A Stitch in Time

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A Heart Deceived: A Novel

Miri Brayden teeters on a razor’s edge between placating and enraging her brother, whom she depends upon for support. Yet if his anger is unleashed, so is his madness. Miri must keep his descent into lunacy a secret, or he’ll be committed to an asylum—and she’ll be sent to the poorhouse.

Ethan Goodwin has been on the run all of his life—from family, from the law … from God. After a heart-changing encounter with the gritty Reverend John Newton, Ethan would like nothing more than to become a man of integrity—an impossible feat for an opium addict charged with murder.

When Ethan shows up on Miri’s doorstep, her balancing act falls to pieces. Both Ethan and Miri are caught in a web of lies and deceit—fallacies that land Ethan in prison and Miri in the asylum with her brother. Only the truth will set them free.

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The Name Quest: Explore the Names of God to Grow in Faith and Get to Know Him Better (Morgan James Faith)

An insightful journey through all the biblical names of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Beginning in Babel and ending with a burning Babylon, “The Name Quest” explains the significance that the different names for God have for an everyday relationship with God and for spiritual growth. The names of God are like a rainbow–each name expresses part of the spectrum of the character and attributes of God. Along the way, the author tenderly answers tough questions: Which of the Hebrew names of God is His personal name–Yahweh or Jehovah? What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ name? How can we relate to the Holy God and the Judge? Why is a God of love called the “Jealous God”? What does it mean to call Jesus the Messiah? “The Name Quest” mentions all the names of God in the Bible while explaining their significance in ordinary language. The author weaves together fifteen years of Bible study research with plentiful illustrations and humorous anecdotes. These include lessons learned as a pastor on a Caribbean island. A visit to a Welsh hill farm introduces a chapter about the Good Shepherd. The story of a Hungarian political prisoner illustrates the meaning of Immanuel (or is it Emmanuel?) A rescue from the slopes of an active volcano helps explain salvation and the meaning of Jesus’ Hebrew name Yeshua. Even the clever advertisement on a packet of potato chips offers a lesson about how to grow in faith in God. Unlike chasing rainbows, the spiritual journey has an end. “The Name Quest” is a road map for every Christian’s spiritual journey and it points to the destination–being formed into the image of Jesus Christ.

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Badger Game

At 10:42 p.m. on March 2, 1962, Katherine Colleen Ferguson arrived at the corner of Broadway and Seventh Avenue in New York City after a journey of 128 feet, straight down. Not belong before she had warned Thomas Andrew Curry about a grand jury investigation of stock manipulation involving a matter they had both worked on while clerking for the same law firm. And not long afterward, Thomas and Sandrine Cadette find Harrison Tyler’s body in his Greenwich Village garret, in the shadows of a savagely vandalized satirical painting he had almost finished. These two mysterious deaths in the intersecting worlds of fine art and high finance both implicate the small Manhattan law partnership formed by Thomas’s father, T. Graham Curry, and his mentor, Theodore Furst. That’s how Thomas and Sandy find themselves in the middle of an investigation that his Manhattan attitude and her French flair will take in provocative directions.

The eighteen years from the end of World War II to President Kennedy’s assassination was the Greatest Generation’s victory lap, but it wasn’t all triumphal parades and booming birth rates. It was also a time of dirty politics and nasty little wars – in China, where Thomas’s mother was killed; in Algeria, where Sandy’s father died for his country, on the wrong side of history; and in Korea where Thomas learned, as he later put it, to fly helicopters and kill people. Coming of age then, people like Thomas and Sandy had to decide whether to embrace nihilism or life. Thomas and Sandy picked life.

Badger Game is an old school, plucky-couple, New York mystery: snappy patter, adult pleasures, seedy clip joints, insolent cabbies, erudite banter, smoking guns, the occasional fist-fight, puzzles aplenty along the way, and a twist at the end. It’s about art, love, murder, money, and Cold War politics – but mostly it’s about two people at a remarkable time and place. New York City in 1962 was gliding serenely toward the end of its last golden age – and nobody knew it. As Furst explains: “My dividing line is November 22, 1963, and my last normal year is 1962. I don’t know why that is, really. I’ve lived through the depression, World War II, Korea, McCarthyism – all more momentous than the assassination of President Kennedy. I just know that that’s the way it seems to me: Before then, things were distinctively one way, and since then they’ve been distinctively another way. Thomas and Sandy were two of my favorite people. This is their story, not mine. Telling that story is the best way I can think of to recapture what was special about the way things were Then.”

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School of the Assassins

Reader Review: First, let me say that this was a well-written, fast paced suspense adventure. The main character isn’t just a hero, he’s a superhero, but one who could actually be real. Personally, I would love to meet him; he could help reestablish my faith in the possibility of morals in humanity. Pieter is the best part of this book.

Secondly, the fighting scenes are not unnecessarily graphic, but seem to be accurate and, more to the point, possible. Blood and gore, beatings and torture are described, but not celebrated.

Reading this novel made me feel sad about the drug cartels, our seeming inability to fight them, stupid government choices, the poor treatment of vets, young and old, and the state of the world. I do not usually read this type of suspense, but, in this case, Mrs. Blais kept my attention with her writing style, character development and evolving plot.

The only drawback was the quick introduction of characters and the expectation that the reader would remember the names when next mentioned. Additionally, the scenes/people changed
rapidly and it would sometimes take a few sentences for me to realize the who, where and when of the new situation.

Reader Review: This fast-paced, well-written thriller combines little known contemporary history of the ongoing war in South Africa with today’s drug scene in the Los Angeles area. The author uses a powerful descriptive narrative and a keen understanding of people caught up in extreme circumstances to move the reader at a fast clip through this entertaining tale of suffering and redemption.

Reader review: The genocide in South Africa surprised me. The Mexican drug cartels moving into Los Angeles was a nice touch. And the US training elite Hispanics right here in the US is glorious paranoia. An unconventional mix of characters and problems raises this thriller above most despite the cardboard villains (with one intriguing exception). Bravo for the unique “love” affair, the activist grandma, the envious cousin. My only complaint–not enough to take away stars–is the too speedy ending.

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The Good Soldier: Jack Noble Early Years Bundle (Noble Beginnings & A Deadly Distance)

Based on reader reviews, it looks like formula fiction in the military/spy genre, action packed, not necessarily realistic, and easy to read.

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The Cleaner – John Milton #1 (John Milton Thrillers)

Blurb: To get the full Mark Dawson Starter Library (four books, for free), visit the offer page by cutting and pasting the following into your browser: eepurl.com/32kLT

And John Milton Book #3, Saint Death, is available for 99c (usually $3.99) for a limited period.


John Milton considers himself an artisan. A master of killing. Milton is the man the British government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst: the enemies of the state that MI5 and even the military can’t stop.

Years of state-sanctioned murder have taken their toll. Milton is troubled by nightmares, a long line of ghosts who torment his dreams. He resolves to make his next job his last and, then, perhaps, he can start to make amends for everything that he has done.

Sharon Warriner is a single mother in the East End of London, suicidal with fear that she’s lost her young son to a life in the gangs. After Milton saves her life, he promises to help. But the gang, and the charismatic rapper who leads it, is not about to cooperate with him.

As London burns through summer riots, Milton finds himself in unfamiliar territory, dealing with an unfamiliar foe. And when his employer sends another agent after him, the odds against him are stacked even higher.

Reader Reviews: The story is written from the British perspective which means some of the language will be unfamiliar to the American reader. But the story is a good read, full of action and a much different plot viewpoint for an action novel.If you are going to read the John Milton series, this first book is a must read to understand what happens in some of the rest of the series. Milton is an interesting hero to say the least. A man of violent death trying to do the right thing and how it all turns out.

Reader Reviews: After reading 1000 Yards, I was expecting spies, intrigue and assassins in this first John Milton novel. They’re all here, but they don’t form the central core of the story. Milton is a fascinating character, and Mark Dawson has managed to make his motivations for getting involved in a more domestic issue totally believable. Richly drawn incidental characters add to the enjoyment and realism, and when I finished this one I had to move straight on to Saint Death without even putting my Kindle down.

An intriguing read – definitely a page turner. I was quite surprised at Milton’s adventure as I was expecting him to return to his spy activities, not get totally involved with a woman and her son in London. I enjoyed this book (and the Beatrix Rose Trilogy) so much that I immediately purchased the other John Milton books. It’s nice to know that you’re going to enjoy a book when you sit down to read it.

I was also pleased to see that the writing was virtually error free – at least I didn’t notice any hiccups. Too many ebooks are riddled with errors that show that no one has bothered to proof-read the books before publishing them. This has been very distracting in the past to the point where I have stopped reading a book out of frustration which also means I won’t buy any other works by that author. Kudos to Mark Dawson for caring enough about his readers to ensure his books don’t have that problem.

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Thicker than Blood (Thicker than Blood series Book 1)

Two estranged sisters, one a rare book dealer, the other a cattle rancher, meet again after fifteen years.
Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. She could never imagine that a stolen first edition of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” would lead her back to the sister she abandoned fifteen years ago. With her life in danger, can May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven Christy’s searching for? Will the sisters realize before it’s too late that each possesses what the other desperately needs?

Thicker than Blood is Book #1 in the Thicker than Blood series.

All books stand alone entirely and can be read independently of each other, but for the best reading experience, we suggest reading them in order:

Book #1: Thicker than Blood
Book #2: Bound by Guilt
Book #3: Ties that Bind
From Publishers Weekly
Darlington, a debut author and winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest, enters the evangelical Christian publishing arena with a story that deals in antique bookselling and unresolved interpersonal relationships. Orphaned sisters Christy and May Williams have chosen very different paths after the sudden death of their parents 15 years earlier. Christy retreats into alcohol and abusive relationships, while younger sister May tries her hand at running a ranch. When the death of a close relative brings the two estranged sisters together, internal pain resurfaces that cannot be ignored by either one. Slowly, amid violence and false accusations, Christy moves toward May, emotionally and spiritually, as both young women discover the possibility of second chances. Darlington’s setting in the fascinating world of antiquarian bookselling is clever; unfortunately much of the story is too formulaic to provide what could have been a compelling reading excursion. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Meeting Place, The (Song of Acadia Book #1)

A Chance Encounter Forever Changed Their Lives–and Destinies.

Crafted by two masters of inspirational fiction–Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn–and combining the engaging historical settings, rich characterization, and heartwarming messages quintessential to both authors, The Meeting Place is another timeless story for you to cherish.

Set along the rugged coastline of 18th century Canada in what was then called Acadia (now Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), The Meeting Place re-creates a world that was home to native Indians, French settlers, and English garrisons. Such diverse populations did not live in accord, however. Instead, they were isolated within their own groups by a brewing political tension under the difficult English rule.

Amid such chaotic times two women, both about to become brides and both trying to live lives of quiet peace, meet in a lush field of wildflowers. Louisa, a Frenchwoman, and Catherine, who is English, continue to meet secretly through the seasons, sharing both friendship and growing faith.

The outside world does not mirror their own tranquil happiness, and the dreaded crackdown by the English throne threatens far more than their growing bond. In the face of a heart-wrenching dilemma, Louisa and Catherine strive to maintain their faith and cling to their dreams of family and home.

Winner of the Christy Award, presented by the Christian Bookseller Association to honor the best in Christian fiction.

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The Hidden Agenda: An Extraordinary True Story Behind Colombia’s Peace Negotiations with the FARC (Rescue the Captors Book 3)

God is moving in the hearts of powerful leaders in all the Colombian fighting factions, and peaceful meetings are now taking place in Havana, Cuba.

Marxists guerillas, right-wing paramilitary, and the Colombian government each have their own agenda. Who would have guessed a meeting of the minds would take place under the helpful auspices of communist Cuba? And that these battle-scarred leaders would give reporters and missionaries the opportunity to challenge some of their core philosophies and even pray with them?

During the often intense negotiations, it becomes obvious that even the most hardened individuals can have a change of heart. Previously seen only as men to be feared, these powerful leaders are now turning to the only one who can provide lasting peace – the Lord. The Stendals have witnessed Army generals having daily prayer and distributing Bibles to their troops, guerrilla commanders requesting and receiving prayer for healing, paramilitary commanders asking their many victims, one by one, to forgive them, and many other powerful demonstrations of what the Lord does through those willing to love their enemies. God’s agenda is winning, and we watch in awe.

About the Authors

Russell Stendal, a former hostage of Colombian rebels, is a lifelong missionary to that same group in the jungles of Colombia. He is an influential friend to military and government leaders in Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States. Russell’s ministry shares the gospel via twelve radio stations, hundreds of thousands of Bibles, books, and movies distributed through airplane parachute drops, and numerous speaking engagements for groups of leaders, prisoners, and individuals. Russell goes wherever the Lord leads, whether it’s to speak with a president or to go deep into the jungle to help an individual in trouble. He has witnessed thousands commit their lives to Christ.

Alethia Stendal has been a photographer/ videographer in Colombia for the past ten years. She has written and directed several documentaries about the war in Colombia. She has also been involved in the production of audio material such as the MegaVoice English Bible and has co-edited several books in English including “The Book of Daniel” by her father, Russell Stendal. In recent years, Alethia, has been the co-writer/director/producer of the full-feature film La Montaña. She also did the wardrobe design for the film. Currently she lives in Bogota, Colombia with her husband, Stephen Miller, and travels extensively inside and out of the country promoting her film and increasing awareness on issues of the conflict in Colombia.

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On The Edge of Time

On the Edge of Time involves the human heart’s earnest search for heaven in the midst of Hell come to Earth.

It is two weeks after millions of people have mysteriously disappeared from the face of the earth, and, like millions of others, Jerry Westfield, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is upset and perplexed at that loss, particularly since it took his best friends, Jeremy and Kathy Palmer. His personal concerns must be set aside, however, when the international situation frantically signals the immanent destruction of the state of Israel. It is there that Jerry is sent to cover the story of his journalistic career and is reunited with Jacob Klausman, a ‘retired’ member of the ‘Mossad,’ Israel’s secret service. It is also there that he will meet with a cataclysmic series of monsters and miracles, including Ruth, the woman who will change his mind about marriage, and the charismatic Demetrius Strapollos, who soon is hailed as the ‘Messiah’ who will rescue Israel and restore her former glory.
This quick-moving tale of suspense and power on a cosmic scale is intricately detailed and researched, providing the reader with insights into international politics, Biblical prophecy, the darkness of the human heart, and the challenge of faith in the face of disillusionment and pain. As current as this morning’s newspaper, this book will challenge the reader’s belief system, introduce him or her to the intricate world of international intrigue, and insure that the reader will never look at the Mid-East situation in quite the same light ever again.
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DIY Hacks: Hacks for Your Household and Your Life to make your life Easier ( DIY, Hacks, Projects, Tips, Household Tweaks )

Have Fun while Learning to Save Money

This book contains various do-it-yourself home improvement projects. You can start with the outdoor portion of your home like your garden or your patio as this book provides you with simple to do garden hacks that will definitely leave the outdoor portion of your house looking great and looking like you want it to. These tips are even very environment-friendly since they involve recycling items and turning them into useful amenities in your garden. You would be making this world a cleaner place by lessening the contents of landfills and placing old but still usable items in your garden as beautiful and functional pieces that do not cost you anything but a little time and hard work.

Also with a complete Bonus chapter with information you can use right Now!

You are also given tips on how to give life indoors without spending so much or without spending anything at all since this book has great decorating tips for those of us with little budget to spare but want a decorated home. This book has proven that you do not need money to put some oomph in your home since you are given tips for decorating your home without even buying a single item.

This book not just works for single people but also for married couples since it provides tips for couples when it comes to decorating, furnishing and turning their house or apartment into a home.

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Simple Ways to Be More with Less

If you have imagined a life with less, reading this book is a great way to get started. Most of us have lived our adult lives working more, to make more, to spend more, to have more. We haven’t done it maliciously, but out of habit.

Our parents wanted better for us and we want better for our children, but somewhere along the way we forgot what better was.

These 27 ideas will help you be more with less. They are simple for the most part, but sometimes the smallest change makes the biggest difference. As you go through this process, you will subtract things from your life, and add other things (which aren’t really “things”) back in.

Living with less sometimes means adding more in the way of healthy habits to your lifestyle. You don’t have to do everything in the order that they appear. You don’t have to do all of them or any of them. Pick and choose the suggestions that work for you. Implement these ideas to create your life on purpose.

Simple Ways Reviews:

“If you are looking for a way to jump-start change in your life and begin simplifying right now, Simple Ways to be More with Less is the perfect stepping stone. From simple food recipes and ways to reduce debt, to step-by-step action plans for reducing clutter, every page is full of helpful and inspiring material that will make you think, learn, and move into action.” – Raam Dev

Simple Ways to be More with Less rocked my world. The book is loaded with practical tips, tools, and advice. Courtney is open, honest and shares a wealth of information. Pick it up today. You won’t be sorry. – Tammy Strobel

“Whether you are seeking to embrace a minimalist lifestyle or want to find a more peaceful way of life, Project 333 founder Courtney Carver’s e-book Simple Ways to Be More with Less is an excellent resource. She outlines meaningful changes that are simple to make in the same warm, friendly, eternal-student tone that makes her blog such a delight to read. Interspersed with her thoughtful guidance are excellent essays from her mentors in simplicity, including Leo Babauta, Tammy Strobel, and Joshua Becker among others. I’ve already begun integrating several of Carver’s ideas, and I look forward to trying out more.” – Beverly Army Williams

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Curious George Goes to the Zoo

The zoo is the perfect place for a curious little monkey to make mischief and new friends! George is going to visit a new kind of zoo where the animals all roam free. Some of those animals look like a lot of fun—so much fun that a curious monkey can’t resist joining them. Giraffes and flamingos are close enough to touch, but George befriends a baby rhino who seems a little sad. Who better to lure her from her hiding place than George? And just in time for her special birthday party!

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Feeding Eden

Imagine rushing your child to the hospital, terrified for his life…just because he took a mouthful of the wrong food or a few drops of milk touched his skin. Susan Weissman knows how that feels. From birth, her son Eden suffered from allergies so intense that an errant bite could be deadly: Dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, fish, shellfish, and several fruits all wreaked havoc with his body. Susan had to make food the focus of her existence just to lead him safely through a world filled with edible landmines.

In Feeding Eden, Susan writes with poignancy, honesty, and humor about her quest to help her son–including trying a cluster of alternative therapies-as well as the effect of Eden’s illness on their entire family. More than just a story for parents with severely allergic children, this is a stirring account of one woman’s recipe for motherhood as she rises to a challenge she has no choice but to conquer-and successfully restores her entire family’s appetite for life.

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Unforeseen: (Tenth Anniversary Edition) (A Thomas Prescott Novel)


A revised tenth anniversary edition of the one that started it all…

Retired homicide detective Thomas Prescott is reluctant to read the best selling book Eight in October, a true-crime thriller based on a string of murders occurring throughout October of the past year. After all, it was his case, and he doesn t need to be reminded of the gruesome details. The book dubbed the serial killer, Tristen Grayer, The MAINEiac. Grayer is allegedly dead, but only Prescott knows the truth, Grayer is alive and lurking in the shadows. On October 1st, the anniversary of the first murder, Tristen resurfaces, killing someone special from Prescott’s past. Suddenly, it s deja vu for Prescott except this time the women closest to him begin to fall victim at the hands of Grayer. With the help of former flame, medical examiner Dr. Caitlin Dodds, and Eight in October author, Alex Tooms, Prescott must race against the clock to stop Tristen from completing his encore.

5.0 out of 5 stars.
WHERE IS THE 10-STAR OPTION?, December 4, 2012
By free2ride

I really enjoyed this book right from the beginning. My first by this author- certainly not my last though. I loved the humor. One would think a book about serial murders would not be funny but the humor was done appropriately and added so much to the characters and the story line. About 85% through the book I started saying thing like “oh no!”, “oh my God!”, “no way!” and “this can’t be happening!”. By then the book was not getting put down for any reason! The ending was deliously mysterious, surprising & so fitting! I need more Thomas Prescott!

5.0 out of 5 stars.
A GREAT THRILLER!, March 1, 2011
By Connie Pribbeno

I read alot of Thriller books. I like authors like: Harlan Coben, Stuart Woods, Jeffery Deaver,
Richard North Patterson. If you like these authors, you will love this author!!!

5.0 out of 5 stars
A NEW DETECTIVE, September 1, 2011
By C. Orelli (Sacramento, CA)

Lots of kudos to Nick Pirog for giving us a facinating new detective. Thomas Prescott, a wise-cracking ex-policeman fired from the Seattle police department, takes jobs as a consultant to the FBI in Philly. His current project is identifying and neutralizing a serial killer with a perchant for murdering the women in Thomas’ life. Trying to follow the clues while also protecting the lives of his blind sister, his mournful ex-girlfriend and his sexy current girlfriend as well as the female students in the law-enforcement class he teaches, makes for a real roller-coaster ride for Thomas and the reader. Always one step behind the wily killer and his ax, Thomas must put a period to this psycho before he loses more women he cares about. A tense read, sprinkled with Thomas’s witticisms and hair raising close calls. Add a new detective to Mike Hammer, Spencer, and Travis McGee!

5.0 out of 5 stars
By Tif Saucier

Unforeseen’s main character, Thomas Prescott, by Nick Pirog, had me laughing out loud and speed reading to the end. I read this book in a day, couldn’t put it down. I read a lot of mystery thrillers and Pirog’s unique style was refreshing. I found it to be funny, quirky, bawdy and yet he still pulled off the theme park thrill ride feeling of a great thriller and a well laid out mystery that left me guessing right up until the end. I look forward to reading more of his work and recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading something out of the usual cookie cutter type style that so many authors seem to have fallen into. Pirog captured my attention from the first page and never lost it. An unusual and perfect mixture of witty humor to balance a gruesome murder mystery. I found myself laughing out loud many times throughout the book. I love this writer’s style. I’m now reading the second Thomas Prescott novel, and hoping there will be a third soon! LOVE this book!

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Sometimes when you click on a link, for some reason it won’t finish loading. Just hit refresh and it should work.

Subject to change without notice: Free Titles were free at the time I copied and pasted the links. But they don’t always stay free.  Deals were reduced prices at time of listing, but these prices generally don’t last more than the day they were listed.

Same for reduced price titles.

Shameless money grubbing: I thought this was common knowledge, but it turns out it’s not- these are affiliate links. If you click on a free title and download it, I get….. nothing.  If you click on a free title and while you are at Amazon also buy something else, I get….. something.  Depending on what you buy, it will probably be somewhere between 4% and 7.5% of what you spend (I don’t get a percentage on penny sales) but I don’t pretend to understand how all of that side works.

Also, Swagbucks remains my favorite source for free Amazon gift cards. And if you haven’t joined, please click on the link and join so that I can keep getting free Amazon gift cards because I am still shameless.

Don’t have a Kindle? : You don’t have to have Kindle to take advantage of these offers. You can read them on various free reading apps. I often read mine on my laptop if they are short enough books, even though I have two kindles.  That’s because my kids keep taking off with the Kindles to read their school books and they don’t remember to recharge them before returning.  I wouldn’t say I’m bitter about it, but I might be a little disgruntled. If you’re curious, this is the Kindle I have, and I have used others and mine remains my favorite. Mine has Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and I don’t have commercial screensavers.  The second Kindle is actually one I was given in exchange for some writing work, and I gave it to my two teens.  It does not have 3G, which is why it’s their Kindle.  Personally,  I don’t like Kindle Fires because I am a crank like that.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week.

Yes, my Kindle gets slow because I stuff it too full. You can left click on a title on your Kindle anddelete it from your device, while still keeping it in your list of titles at Amazon in case you want to add it back to your Kindle later without paying for the title all over again. Don’t delete it from folder at Amazon unless you want to rid yourself of it permanently.  Now that I have my tricksy little new phone, I have added it to my list of devices to which I can download devices.  Woot!

Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

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Teenagers, Take 2

The Boy prepares to go hunting (youth season just opened).  First he goes out earlier in the day to spy out the lay of the land.  Wild turkey have been spotted.  He puts a handgun inside the waistband of his bluejeans, at the back.  I raise my eyebrows and have an intake of breath so sharp the walls go into a convex curve and back again.  Or maybe that’s just what it looks like because I’m hyperventilating.

“It’s okay, Mom,” he assures me, “I never do this without first making sure the weapon is not loaded.”

“That’s good,” I say.  ”I’m very fond of you and would hate to lose you.”

“Well,” he says, “No worries, because *I* am very fond of my buttocks, both of them, and I’d hate to lose one.”


He’s also done the dishes a couple of nights without even being asked, and one of them was when he was still jetlagged from the trip home from Estonia.

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News and Views, hither, thither, and the proverbial yon

News and Views iconWho could have known?  Tens of thousands of illegal aliens released into  American towns never showed up to their first scheduled hearings.

Only about a third of Americans can even name our three branches of government.  Disgraceful.

Driver follows cop’s directions, gets shot anyway.  At least this cop was fired and then arrested.  The video is out of the cops shooting a shopper in Walmart, and the video shows they pretty much shot him on sight, with no reason.


The purpose of Common Core was never excellence. Even it’s proponents at the higher levels acknowledge that some states already had better, higher standards than those put in place by Common Core.  They still think it’s a good thing for those states to lower their standards, in order to equalize all the children.


The media had to make up stories to create the racist version of the Tea Party they believed in.  But they won’t show what the real climate activists look like.  It’s pretty ugly.


Holder’s stepping down.  Here’s a look at his legacy.  Here, too, along with previous AGs


FBI director doesn’t like people protecting their privacy.


A man who recently converted to Islam beheaded a co-worker at work.  This has nothing to do with his recent conversion of course (he’d also been trying to convert others. Maybe the beheading was an evangelism gone wrong). Just random workplace violence, like the murders at Ft. Hood.  He was in the process of being fired when he went haywire, and I would definitely buy that he maybe has  mental health issues.  But…. beheading is definitely a specific message.  He was stabbing another woman when he was stopped by an armed employee who also serves sometimes as a reserve deputy.


WEll, how about that?  No wonder leftists have a hard time believing their political opponents can really be grassroots:

Rush Limbaugh this week revealed the hidden story behind the two-year-old #StopRush Twitter campaign, exposing the “grassroots” effort as a Media Matters-founded automated attack kept alive by about 10 people.


More Gamergate stuff.  This is an engaging read, although, FYI,  loaded with barnyard words we don’t say around these parts, and we even have an actual barnyard.   This is an excerpt dealing with my favorite of the recent revelations, and by favorite I mean the one that makes me drop my jaw while I’m rubbernecking and say, “Oh, No they dint:”

“Back to SJW [Social Justice Warriors]. Milo Yiannopoulos, a journalist on Breitbart, highlighted #GamerGate just a couple of weeks after it began, focusing on the political aspects of the story. Another Brietbart journalist, Noah Dulis, talked about journalistic malpractice and why that was the most important aspect. Then Yiannopoulos was leaked some very juicy emails, and wrote a story. And this one, you’re just gonna have to read.

There was, for years prior, a secret Google Groups mailing list called GameJournoPros. On this list, the individuals implicated above, whom gamers suspected of colluding to shape coverage, exchange ideas, and ban certain topics… colluded to shape coverage, exchange ideas, and ban certain topics. (Though, unlike what the article implies, not everyone on the list did so.)

Game journalists. On a secret email list. Discussing what stories to cover and censor. Deciding, deliberately, to attack gamers in their publications.

Everything #GamerGate believed and asserted, everything game journalists mocked them for believing, was true. One journalist had publicly referred to gamers suspecting collusion as “conspiracy theorists”, while he was on the list, actively colluding. “

Links are in the original.

Threats: Imminent IS (IL: IS) attacks on Paris Metro and US Subways in NY   Denmark is also one of the countries targeted in a recent video release by the IS (IL:IS) terrorists.


The secret deal with Saudi so that we can bomb Syria.  Related: This war is about Europe’s energy supply.

In Iraq, IS(IL:IS) blows up one of the oldest church buildings in the world.

Pakistan: minister arrested for ‘blasphemy’ shot to death in his cell.

In Denmark, they x-ray the bones and teeth of asylum seekers who claim to be minors.  Turns out, many of them aren’t underage after all.

In America, about 2.5 million immigrants are Muslim: “Between 2010 and 2013, there was actually a greater increase in the number of immigrants from the Middle East than from Central America.”  also,  U.S. Immigrant Population Hits All-Time High: 41.3 Million People

A plea to end Sharia law in the UK in order to give women meaningful equality under the law.

Sources (in addition to the linked sources above):

The Gates of Vienna Newsfeed is invaluable

Ace of Spades is informative and entertaining as well, but definitely not for kids



Drudge, which is an aggragate site with links to many other news sources left and right, and I often make myself free with said links.

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