Word Crimes

A friend just shared this with me. I know, I know. I commit at least one of these a day, but it’s not because I don’t know better.

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Is this just me?

coffee cupI went to the store yesterday on my way home from therapy.  Before I left for therapy, I asked, multiple times, if there was anything I needed to get at the store.  The first few thousand times nobody could think of anything, although the Boy wanted his favorite cereal (frosted shredded wheat, of all things).  Then as I walked out the door, the FYG remembered dishwasher detergent.  But that was it.  ”Are you sure?” I asked.  ”Call if you think of anything.”

When I got home and my husband and son-in-law were unloading the grocery bags from the car, my husband said, “What about dog food?”

Well, nobody told me we needed dog food.

And this morning as he brought me my coffee the Boy said, “It’s black because you are out of creamer. I used the last of it yesterday.”

It never fails.  It makes me want to gnash my teeth and bang my head against the wall.

Lately when this happens I remind myself that this is a disproportionate response probably brought on by a brain injury caused when my first babysitter abused me.

And then I go back to gnashing my teeth and banging my head against the wall because that is more fun.

Happy, optimistic people would use this moment to point out how many blessings are revealed in the above scenario:

  • We have a dog and can afford dog food.
  • We have a dishwasher and eat enough food to create enough dirty dishes to run that dishwasher.
  • We have:
  • running water, hot and cold:
  • electricity:
  • a car:
  • and access to a grocery store.
  • I have coffee
  • And a son who brings me a cup of it in the morning (most of the time)
  • I have a husband and a son-in-law (well, 3 of those), and don’t have to unload groceries or even put them away.

That’s what I think optimists would say, although probably not more than once to me because the look on my face would make them afraid to say it again.

Me? In between gritting my teeth over coffee sweetened with stevia and coconut milk instead of wonderfully chemically enhanced flavored coffee creamer and banging my head against the wall in frustration, I remind myself that:

My insurance covers therapy so I can bring this up next week.

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She starts her first real job today.  She got hired at the one and only place she ever applied.  It’s part time, but they pay several dollars an hour over minimum wage and give a 15% employee discount.

She’s working at the little deli/bakery/bulkfoods store in the town where Pip and Mop Top live. It’s an adorable little country store owned and largely staffed by ladies from an old fashioned denomination in our area that is similar in many ways to older Mennonite groups.  Their preacher used to live up the road from us and he, my husband and one other neighbor man used to have Bible studies together about once a month, and the girls have done both babysitting and housecleaning for the family, so we think that helped her get the job, besides her own people skills, which are stellar.

She had intended to apply at the library once Pip left, but the broken leg interfered with that, as the job she’d have started with would have required a lot of kneeling to shelve the childrens’ books,  which she was unable to do until the loose screw in her knee was removed and the latest incisions healed.

I’m excited about the discount as the store carries freshly ground almond and peanut butters, bulk oats and other grains, molasses, wild honey, and has a delightful nook of Doug and Melissa toys to warm a grandmother’s heart.


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Today was a therapy day: PTSD and Triggers, Oh, My

Today was a therapy day.

My head hurts.

I don’t want to turn this into a complete PTSD blog, but I always have found blogging therapeutic, even before blogging.  I used to send my friends emails of some of my most stressful days because i could write them funny and my friends enjoyed them and I got stuff out of my system.  Before that, I wrote letters, although mostly, of course, I never mailed them since that would have required the sort of organizational level where one has addresses, stamps, and envelopes all at one’s fingertips or at least has the general idea of the location of all those things which I never did and still do not.

So a couple weeks ago I had homework of making a list of PTSD triggers.  I used an old advertisement and paintshop to create this:

triggers blank template


I filled in each of those until I ran out of room.  My therapist loved it so much she wants a copy for her files AND she says she bragged about me to her supervisor who was mainly excited that I did my homework.  Apparently I am the only patient they have had recently who did her homework the first week it was assigned.  Or so they say.  Remember, I’m cynical.  Also bitter, because it took me a long time and was incredibly difficult and stressful and was itself a pretty rough and serrated trigger and now I want to go punch the people who lightly and easily do not do their homework because I am jealous.   And this week I am reading Anger Management for Dummies.

I mentioned I ran out of room. That required a page two:

PTSD Triggers page 2


This one I filled in by writing in a spiral from the outside edge of the circle around and around and around until I got to the center. I used different colored inks mainly because thinking about the colors helped me pretend not to notice the things I was writing and why.

I also filled in a couple things in the small circles, and then used the larger margins to copy some quotes that I had found helpful recently, things that describe my feelings, things from other bloggers with PTSD or other issues.

And now I am the Therapist’s Pet or so she would have me believe.  It occurs to me that it’s a good thing we live here in the boondocks where everybody is a hunter or is closely related to somebody who is or I’d probably be committed for the above graphics.

This last week I was supposed to think about the patchkit type things as I have mentioned before, solutions, things that help.  That list fit on a tiny stick it pad page, not even the regular sized stick it pad, but the little, miniature one that is about 2 inches square, maybe.

This probably means that the triggers outnumber the helpful coping mechanisms by about 10 to 1 but I can’t tell for sure because that would require doing math and math has always been a trigger, probably the earliest and first trigger I ever recognized although I wouldn’t have used the word trigger, I just knew that math freaked me out in a way utterly disproportionate to the actual threat that math posed to my existence, not that you could tell by the way my heart-rate went up, my breathing spazzed out, my tension levels sky-rocketed, my head, oh, my head, and I felt fury, rage, resentment, and rage swirling around me like being dive-bombed by a swarm of no-seeums.

This is what happens when some idiot in the ivory halls of education inflicts new math on kids who have a psychopath for a parent who insists on ‘helping’ with homework.

My troubles over math were so severe that once in the eighth grade a very sweet elderly math teacher who knew how well I did in other subjects asked me if something was wrong at home because she was concerned.  I told her no, nothing at all was the matter, I just hated math.

No, nothing is wrong.  That’s the same thing I told the sixth grade teacher who asked me what was wrong that made me sit in her classroom and stab my fingers like I was a voodoo doll using the pins I had taken with me from sewing class, and it is pretty much the exact same thing I told my tenth grade humanities teacher when he took me out of class to talk privately in the hall and ask me if somebody was hurting me at home.  Actually, him, I think I just laughed and shrugged my shoulders because I wouldn’t say no anymore, but I still couldn’t say yes, either. I didn’t want that responsibility. I did not want to be the one who broke the silence.  That would make whatever happened after that my fault.

So, anyway,  I have always known I have a problem with math and I have known why.

I have another problem with a normal, day to day task that ought to be easy and simple and it was once something I did easily and lightly and even happily.  But now I have panic attacks within 15 minutes or so.  If I stick around for half an hour I am so drenched with sweat, stinking sweat laden with the foul stink of fear in every single drop, sweating to the point that my hair is actually sopping wet and I have to take a shower- and I don’t know why.  I can’t think of any reason for this to be a problem.  It hasn’t always been an issue, and I can’t think of anything particularly traumatic associated with it.

And that is this week’s therapy homework.  Try this every day for just a few minutes, and spend time trying to figure out why it does what it does to me.  I am looking at the week ahead and thinking that I have been asked to try water-boarding myself for fifteen minutes a day and while being waterboarded, I am to contemplate what it is about waterboarding that causes such an extreme physiological reaction.  Except the waterboarding is all in my head.

Lots of things are in my head, because that’s where the brain is, and research is pretty clear that abuse in childhood often leaves a measurable mark on the brain, and terror hijacks the brain.


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Holder’s DOJ Investigates Tiny Parade Float Which Mocks Obama, Ignores Fast & Furious, IRS crimes, VA Scandal

This threatening parade float fit on the bed of a pick-up truck.  It consisted of a zombie mannequin in overalls and an outhouse labeled “Obama Presidential Library.”

In spite of the overalls Nebraska, overalls, hello?  When is the last time you saw the President in over-alls?) , it seems a number of people think Obama looks like a zombie and somehow their perception that the President they love looks like a Zombie somehow made the mannequin racist and a significant enough threat that the DOJ sent somebody to investigate this ‘discrimination.’  The NAACP got involved.  The Democrat party in NE said it was the most disrespectful thing, like, ever.

Remember the guy who hung Palin in effigy for Hallowe’en? 

Remember the actual death threats against Bush at leftist protests?

There was the Obama rally featuring a guillotine and severed heads, including one of Bush.

Or all of these, including Bush’s face as a shooting target for children.

But no, an outhouse labeled presidential library and a zombie is the most racist and disrespectful thing ever.

Farmer and Veteran Dale Remmich created the float, and he said the mannequin represents himself, not the President (duh, the overalls!), and he is voicing his displeasure over the VA and Bergdahl scandals.  The VA Scandal, you know, the one where real human beings who served their country died while stuck on secret waiting lists as the people who created the secret waiting lists gave each other high fives and job-well-done bonuses, punished whistleblowers, and Holder still isn’t investigating anything at all about it.

Incidentally, not only was the green mannequin in overalls, it had a walker.  Like Remmich or his 3 VA friends who are being maltreated by the VA right now might need someday.

Obama parade float

Inside the outhouse there are a few newspaper articles pasted to the walls (you can see them on the video here). I couldn’t see them clearly enough to read them, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that they had to do with the VA or Bergdahl scandals.

More about this scandalous parade float here and here.

The float, Remmich said, was intended to be political satire, but probably is more expressive of political outrage. I think it’s political satire, and the outhouse as presidential library for the least transparent administration in history is pretty clever satire at that.  But the DOJ’s response is a scandal, particularly in light of all the real crimes Holder refuses to investigate.

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Great Grandmother’s Journal Entry, 1952, Her Brother’s Death

I have a series of journals my great-grandmother kept in the decade of the 50s.

In addition to her handwritten notes about her days, my great-grandmother included in her journal cards, newspaper clippings, and receipts she thought might be of interest.  Today I’m sharing the contents of a newspaper clipping, the obituary of her brother, as well as a few pictures and historical tidbits I found via our friend Google.

Her only entry for the day of his death is to note that she had been very sick, and his son John had called to tell her that Adam (the name he went by) had died, but she couldn’t go because she had been too sick.

The text of the clipping:

John Fleischer, Early Auto Enthusiast, Dies

“John Adam Fleischer, one of Canton’s earliest automobile enthusiasts who was said to have owned the fourth automobile in Canton, died Friday afternoon in his home at 212 Harrison Ave, SW at the age of 72.”

Fleischer house perhaps

This house came up when I googled the address, and it was built in 1907.

“His first automobile was an Orient Buckboard. From this first car he developed an interest in small racing cars and by 1903 became well known as an auto racer.”

orient buckboard sketch

Sketch of an Orient Buckboard from an advertisement in the early 1900s

“By trade he was a railroader and was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad 48 years, retiring in 1948. He held membership in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.”

pennsylvania rr uniform ad penn rr ad

Surviving family included his daughter Katherine, in Arkansas, his son, John H. in Canton, his other son David in Louisville, and his sister Mary, my great-grandmother who kept this clipping in her journal for 1952. The family members lived in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Arkansas.

The service was performed by a Lutheran pastor. I didn’t know we had Lutherans in the family tree, although that shouldn’t be surprising since most of them were German.

Orient buckboard

I’m  not sure the newspaper got the trade organization’s title correct. I can find
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. I’m guessing it was the first, but I didn’t spend a lot of time on it.

Also included in her diary are two little ‘in Remembrance’ cards from the funeral.

J. Adam Fleischer was born April 11, 1880, and he died August 29, 1952 (his sister, my great-grandmother would outlive him by about 15 years).

A few things that happened the year he was born:
The first electric streetlight is installed in Wabash, Indiana.
William Ewart Gladstone defeats Benjamin Disraeli in the United Kingdom general election to become Prime Minister for the second time
In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.
Second Anglo-Afghan War: General Frederick Roberts, commanding British forces, defeats the Afghan troops of Mohammad Ayub Khan in the Battle of Kandahar, bringing an end to the war
The University of Southern California opens its doors to 53 students and 10 faculty.
Garfield won the November election for American President.

Here are a few things that happened the year he died:
West Germany had 8 million refugees
The University of Tennessee admits its first black student.
Truman was the American president, Churchill was Prime Minister in the UK
United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces that the United Kingdom has an atomic bomb.
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer: The U.S. Supreme Court limits the power of the President to seize private business, after President Harry S. Truman nationalizes all steel mills in the United States, just before the 1952 steel strike begins. (I mention this because my great-grandmother mentions it in her journal, she was appalled).
The U.S. Senate ratified a peace treaty with Japan
Korean War: U.S. President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower fulfills a political campaign promise, by traveling to Korea to find out what can be done to end the conflict.
The New York Daily News carries a front page story announcing that Christine Jorgensen, a transsexual woman in Denmark, has become the recipient of the first successful sexual reassignment operation.
The word smog was coined
Mau-Mau uprising in Kenya begins
A coup in Egypt

The back of the clipping is interesting as well, although it’s incomplete, of course, since the focus was on the obituary. The back has an ad for a Burlesque show featuring Glo…- I am guessing Gloria, and the last name begins with Mar, but there the clipping is cut).

“We have enlarged our circuit and plan to give you all the big stars in burlesque.”

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K-Drama Review: When It’s At Night

When-Its-At-Night-Poster3From Dramafever: When It’s At Night (밤이면 밤마다)
Starring Kim Sun Ah (I Do, I Do; Scent of a Woman; City Hall; My Name is Kim Sam-Soon) and Lee Dong Gun (Sweet 18; Marry Him If You Dare)
“After her treasure-hunter father is branded a thief by Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration and disappears, Heo Cho Hwi decides to follow in his footsteps, but on the side of the law. Seven years later, she is an art hunter who is committed to protecting the nation’s artifacts. Investigating art crime all over the country, she hopes that one of them will lead her to her father.

Kim Bum Sang, an expert specializing in detecting forgeries and restoring original art pieces, is only in it for the fame and money. When the two must pair up to track down stolen cultural heritage pieces, they immediately clash. With the dedicated preservationist and the hotshot playboy working together as a team, all sorts of sparks begin to fly, and they just might prove the rule that “opposites attract” ”


There are two dramas with the same name, so pay attention to the actors listed.  I spent a long time ignoring this one whenever it came up because the description I kept reading made it sound very questionable as a good match for my tastes.  But as is often the case with K-dramas, the synopsis in English may not be that much like the drama itself.

This wasn’t earth-shattering or amazing, but it was a cute show, and not the least because the little brother is played by Park Ki Woong (Good Doctor, Full House Take 2, Bridal Mask/Gaksital).

I wouldn’t say that Kim Bum Sang is only in it for money- he does like the money, but he also really loves the old cultural treasures for their own sake. He just doesn’t really care about a proper chain of ownership or the cultural heritage aspect.

It’s Cho Hwi’s goal to track down all the cultural heritage artifacts her father has stolen to return them to their rightful place. Unfortunately, somebody else wants to track them down and steal them. The producer/writer/directors gave this drama a delightful classic jewel thief caper feel that I enjoyed.

I feel like there were a couple caveats for family viewing mainly in the first episode, but regrettably, I didn’t make a note of them when I watched it.

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Free Kindle Books, Get ‘Em While They’re Hot

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Banana Splits for Breakfast: 55 Ways to Spiritually Guide Your Preschooler

Blurb: Are you a Christian parent of a preschooler? Would you like some ideas on how to spiritually parent on purpose? If so, this book will help you to make the most of the time you have leading your child!

Dr. Susan Harrison shares personal stories and insights she has gathered from life with her own preschooler and over 10 years experience with families with preschoolers. Some examples include how to watch TV the right way, unique ways to read the Bible with your child and how to teach your child to share about Jesus Christ.

Reader review: Dr. Harrison has done a terrific job of compiling a list of purposeful and fun ways to draw children closer to God. This is a must-read for parents, grandparents, godparents, favorite aunts and uncles, teachers, or anyone who wants to be a positive spiritual influence on the children in their lives. Although it is targeted at preschoolers, many of the ideas may also be applied to older children. This is a book I will continue to reference for years to come. Bravo!
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No-Knead Pizza Dough & More: From the Kitchen of Artisan Bread with Steve

Blurb: You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how easy it is to make pizza dough. Just mix… wait… and poof, you have pizza dough. And, once you have the pizza dough you can make pizza, calzone, breadsticks, and garlic knots.

Hi… I’m Steve. My YouTube channel is “Artisan Bread with Steve” on which I have a series of educational videos demonstrating how to make a variety of no-knead breads and these cookbooks support the videos giving me the ability to go into greater detail regarding the dynamics of making no-knead bread—a level of detail I couldn’t fit in a video—while they give my readers and subscribers a convenient vehicle for reading and using recipes. Even if you aren’t thinking about making bread you will find this and interesting book to read.

This cookbook includes… the detail and abbreviated recipe for country white (the most common no-knead bread), Basic No-Knead Pizza Dough, Thin Crust Pizza, Breadsticks & Bits, Pan Grilled Flatbread, and Yogurt Flatbread. Even if you aren’t thinking about making bread you will find this and interesting book to read.

Thanks – Steve
Reader Review: This book was excellent to learn from and Steve’s videos are so helpful to understand and follow. I will refer back to this book, and the videos to assist me in being better educated and feeling that I DON’T need to buy the canned dough as often (oops !). This book makes me feel more able and confident to make homemade without all the chemicals. Thank you.

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Grandpa, Tell Us About Phi, the Golden Number: Explore the amazing connection between nature and math!

Blurb: This is a book for people from 9 to 90 who like surprises. And beauty. My intention is to show the beauty in both nature and mathematics, with some surprising connections that will make you stop and think. With this and future books, I want to foster curiosity, particularly in young people who might now see beyond boring or dull school subjects into a new world of science, physics, engineering, and math.
In this book, Grandpa and his grandchildren embark on an adventure into the fascinating connection between nature and a number called phi (ϕ). Phi is also called the Golden Number, the Golden Ratio, the Golden Section, and the Divine Proportion. It is an irrational number, like pi (π), and its value is approximately 1.618.
One of the interesting facts about phi is its relationship to the famous Fibonacci series and to the beautiful logarithmic spiral, one of the most beautiful shapes in nature. Grandpa and the children find Fibonacci numbers in the numbers of flower petals, the number of spirals on pine cones and pineapples, the shape of seashells, the genealogy of bees, how falcons attack their prey, the shape of soccer balls, and more. From the structure of a carbon crystal, to the spiral one sees in distant galaxies, phi is pervasive throughout nature. And over recorded history, it has had an effect on science, religion, astronomy, mathematics, art, and architecture.
I hope that this book results in a few young people realizing that the wonders of nature and mathematics are worth more exploration and that because of that, our society gains a few good engineers, physicists, and natural scientists.

8 5-star reviews, here’s one: My seven year old daughter and I read John Choisser’s “Grandpa, Tell is About Phi, the golden number” together. It’s a book you can take you time with and it’s broken down into easy to start, easy to finish short sections. It was so much fun to go out in the garden and actually see some of the things we learned in the book. It’s fun, easy to follow and a great introduction to science and math without even knowing it’s an introduction to science and math. Be sure to get this book for your kids or grand kids, you’ll be glad you did.
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CLOCKWISE (The Clockwise series)

Blurb:A teenage time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.

Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 29th century! And now this –she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.

Reader Review: Adorable. Adventurous. Awesome. These are the words that came to my mind after finishing Clockwise. It was a book that had me rolling with laughter, catching my breath in suspense or anticipation, and reaching for a tissue as tears filled my eyes. It started off as a cute tale about the odd complications of the main character’s time-traveling habits, but it quickly turned into an adventure about growing up, being true to yourself, and making the best out of any situation. Plus it has time-traveling in it!

1) Characters: Casey is a realistic, loveable, and spirited heroine. She has to deal with her family, friends, school, and her unique ability to time-travel. She only wants to blend in and survive, but as the story unravels she learns important lessons about herself and growing up. I found it very easy to relate to her despite the unusual situations she found herself in. Her best friend Lucinda was hilarious and acted as a voice of reason (as a good friend should be). Casey’s love/hate interest Nate was also realistic and charming. He and Casey’s interactions are a important part of the story, but it’s more about their growing friendship and possible other feelings that an actual “romance” (which is some ways made it more realistic to me). And the Watson family that take in Casey and Nate in 1860 are so heart-warming. Though the story is not without its “villains”!

2) Plot: The basic plot of the book is a simple one: girl meets boy, girl can time travel, girl accidentally time travels with boy (several times), and then complications arise! But I felt the book was more about the characters’ journey and discoveries than a typical “adventure” tale. There were several unexpected twists arose that gave me goosebumps and made it giddy with anticipation.

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Christian Mystery: Until Death Do Us Part

Blurb: When Reggie vowed until death do us part, she had no idea how close she’d come.

Newlywed Reggie Monroe struggles to find her happily ever after. As much as she loves her husband, she finds life to be overwhelming as she attempts to be the perfect farmer’s wife in rural Ohio.

When Dylan receives a mysterious message from his best friend, he knows trouble is brewing. To keep Reggie safe, he encourages her to visit friends, but keeping secrets from Reggie is never a good idea. It only makes her more curious—and everyone knows that curiosity killed the cat!

Until Death Do Us Part becomes more than words as Reggie struggles to stay alive and reunite with her husband.

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Delaney’s Peace (McKenna’s Haven Book 6)
Blurb: The long-awaited sixth book in Lisa Crane’s McKenna’s Haven series!

All she wants is to be left in peace.

Delaney Miller’s mother was brutally murdered when Delaney was only 10 years old. Now, years later, the man who was convicted of killing her has returned to town, only to meet the same fate. Delaney is the prime suspect in the case.

At the request of the sheriff, his brother-in-law, a Fort Worth homicide detective, comes to help investigate the murder. But the closer he gets to Delaney, with her haunting gray eyes and her loving heart, the less certain he is that she’s guilty.

Everything about L’Amour James, from his bad-boy muscle car, to his bright green eyes, is another little disturbance in the peace Delaney so craves. How can he convince her that peace isn’t about places and things … while keeping her safe when the murderer comes after her next?
Reader Review:I’ve been a fan of this author for a few years now and can’t but be excited when a new book is released. I normally finish them in one sitting but something about this one beckoned me to take it slow. I am so glad I did! Lisa’s gift of storytelling has reached a new level. This story of Delaney and L’Amour has the same Christian romance element you love about Lisa’s stories. This one does not disappoint and does not lack in chemistry and delivers the right amount of heat. I absolutely loved the murder mystery element in this story. I can’t tell you which was more suspenseful – trying to determine the killer’s identify in time or if L’Amour could break through the walls around Delaney before it was too late. If you love the McKenna’s Haven series you won’t be disappointed. All your favorites are back plus a few surprises! Highly recommend this book! Take my advice… Take it slow, you will want to savor this one!!
Reader Review:Okay. I finished the series last night and I’m ready for #7. The series did not disappoint in any way. Terrific build of characters and different, not done before plots. This book specifically takes a turn toward murder mystery with your favorite people from the other books. Highly recommended but I would definitely start and read in order though they all would stand alone. Because I had a hard time figuring out the order since they are not on the covers, I’ll list them here. McKenna’s Prayer, Jace’s Healing, Jesse’s Heart, Colt’s Hope, Win’s Joy and Delaney’s Peace. Enjoy!

Billed as Christian, romance, mystery, suspense

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Good Hater: George Henry Hoyt’s War on Slavery

Blurb: Massachusetts abolitionist George Henry Hoyt treated the Civil War as a John Brown raid on an epic scale. A young Boston lawyer who briefly represented Old Brown following the Harper’s Ferry Affair, Hoyt followed John Brown’s son back to Kansas, where he joined the Kansas Seventh Volunteer Cavalry, known contemptuously in Missouri as Jennison’s Jayhawkers. While rising from Second Lieutenant at the war’s beginning to Brevet Brigadier General at its end, Hoyt consistently treated the Union army as a mere tool for pursuing abolition through direct action. As the chief of the Red Legs – Kansas’ most feared and hated irregular outfit – Hoyt used the power of the Union to punish regular Missourians for the evils of slavery.

Reader Review: Good Hater is a fascinating look at an individual who seemed to be in the right place at the right time for a neglected history that few speak of; but then again, I went to public school.

I say right place at the right time, but the individual profiled, George Hoyt, was an accomplished and intelligent man who placed himself where he wanted to be through sheer strength of will. He was a lawyer who went to war despite his physical ailments which surely made his journey that much more difficult and impressive.

It’s also a fascinating look at how a country could become divided so quickly, and how good men seeking to accomplish good goals ultimately have to pick a side. Humans, when push comes to shove, are unable to maintain cognitive dissonance. Free speech, which George Hoyt once championed, went out the window when he gained the upper hand and led men out to kill. George Hoyt was rightly motivated by his righteous hate of slavery, but that seems to have also infected his soul. In the later part of his life, this lawyer-commander committed what we would today call war crimes. The book also reminds us, that in all these years, humans have not changed. Our partisan politics, although rancorous, are quite tame in comparison.

This book explores the fascinating pre and civil war environment, from John Brown’s trial to Bleeding Kansas to behind Union lines from the perspective of this interesting man.

The writing is of comprehensive professional quality, The writers’ style lends itself to a refreshingly neutral point of view that is quite rare in this day and age.

It’s a quick read, and well worth your time and money. For me, it certainly kickstarted an interest in the civil war’s less known battlefield. Not the front lines, but what was going on behind it.

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Beyond the Clouds: Why I Became a Military Writer

Blurb: Mark Berent is a well-known author of many Vietnam airwar books and articles. In this article he recounts the people and events that motivated him to write. As he says:
“They’re out there now, somewhere beyond our eyes, beyond the clouds, rolling and soaring in towering cathedrals flying beautiful airplanes that need only the fuel of their love. These are the men I honor…

Reader review: This book is short and to the point.

For those of you who intent to read his “Wings of War” series please read this first. If you served, especially if you served back in the 60s or 70s, and even if you did not serve in that area of the world you will understand his feelings. Feeling about real life and real events.

I didn’t read this short book first but in his “Wings” series I knew exactly what he meant when he referred to arrogant civilian authorities having lunch in DC to pick not only targets but bomb loads and routes. Also understood his scorn for members of the media who trivialized the efforts and high price paid by those serving in our military, just as I felt then and still do. And today I feel that way towards the media with their treatment of those currently serving our Country. I am sure you will recognize the sections of his series relating to the movie female who made broadcasts from Hanoi calling our tortured POWs liars. And those bumper stickers are still in use.

In reading his “Wings of War” series I felt I understood exactly what LTC Berent was feeling. This short book was confirmation.

Other titles by this author (if not free, the price is listed):

ROLLING THUNDER: An Historical Novel of War and Politics (Wings of War Book 1)

Let’s Kill the Dai Uy (Short Story)

To War in Style (Short Story)

Rho Magna, the Laotian War Dragon (Short Story)

$3.99: STEEL TIGER (Wings of War Book 2)

$3.99: EAGLE STATION (Wings of War Book 4)

$3.99; PHANTOM LEADER (Wings of War Book 3)

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Don’t Worry About The Mule Going Blind: Hazel’s Daughter

Blurb: Betty Tucker came of age in Belle Glade, Florida, infamous for its poverty and violence (e.g., see the Wikipedia entry and the 2006 documentary One Percent). Her childhood was one of debilitating poverty, borne of racism: exploitive migrant labor, multiple rapes and other abuse, chronic illness among her family and acquaintances … the list is long and bitter. Betty survived not only by sheer hard work but also by nurturing a nascent belief that she deserved better. She moved to California, earned her college degree, and raised a family. Then, in 1997, she began a long and eventually successful search for the twin girls she had given up for adoption thirty years earlier.

Fear, insecurity, sexual abuse, want, neglect: This memoir will look beyond the description of these difficulties in the author’s life to examine how they stifled her ability to shape her own life, how she acquired the tools she needed to take more control of her life, and what impact her choices, both intentional and unintentional, had on her life and those of her children.

Reader Review:Betty Tucker’s escape from a life of poverty and bigotry in the cane fields of south Florida has taken many detours. Leaving an unhappy childhood at the hands of an abusive mother, she found herself in a less than loving marriage.
No doubt the lowest point of her life was the unscrupulous taking of her twin girls at birth by the state of New York.
Some might have given up at this point. That was not the case with Betty. Stalwart and with undying determination, she searched for her children. After years of disappointing leads and false information, she succeeded in finding them.
Only by Betty’s perseverance was she and her offspring finally reunited.
Betty’s life has had many other stumbling blocks as well. The major obstacles along the way in addition to some of the lesser make up the intriguing story she has to tell.
Unlike some born to a life of hardship, Betty chose a path less traveled. With undying fortitude, she went on to receive her degree.
In later years, she chose to write. Thankfully for us, the readers, she chose to do so. Otherwise, we may never have heard this amazing story.

Jeff Breland, author of Some Other Time

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Cross Cultural Doctoring. On and Off the Beaten Path.

Blurb: You will read why I decided at age 55 to leave my position, jump into the unknown and get off the beaten path. I will relate how my wife Anne and I accomplished this and how I kept working for various lengths of time in a number of different cultural settings around the world and how we travel extensively between assignments.

The book is written as a series of loosely connected anecdotes, some medical, some non-medical. Some are funny and some are not so funny. When appropriate I have added some reflections about our experiences.

I try to convey to the reader the excitement we have felt about our adventure. I hope that the book will inspire readers, medical and non-medical, to consider at some point of their careers to take the step to get off the beaten path. Anne and I certainly have never regretted our choices and have never looked back. Reading this book may also inspire readers to write their own story.

I hope that you will enjoy reading the book as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

I am not interested in making money from this book. I wanted to make the book available for free, but Amazon does not allow that. Thus the book is priced at the minimum of 99 cents. May I suggest that the reader make a charitable contribution to Hospital San Carlos in Chiapas, Mexico, in lieu of the usually accepted fee for a book of this nature. Their website is given on the first page of the book.

Reader Review: Doctor and his wife has travelled EVERYWHERE with aplomb. Even as a very young couple they made a hasty and difficult trip to the United States from Belgium for school quite brave couple. And they surely cope. After practicing and teaching for quite awhile, he retired and took up practicing medicine in needy places. Very needy, very isolate places with little in the way of help, instruments, medications, hospitals. They both took on the jobs with a winning, easy charm to great good effect for the locals who soon came to love them.

He practices in my town occasionally and is beloved, not only by patients but by nurses and physicians.

If you will read this, you will say “this is a good man”.

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All My Georgias: Paris-New York-Tbilisi

About the Author
Son of the President of the first democratic Georgian Republic (1918-1921), Redjeb Jordania was born in Paris after his parents were forced into exile by the invasion of Georgia by the Red Army and its incorporation in the Soviet Empire. Redjeb studied international relations at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques and music at the Ecole Cesar Franck in Paris, and the Hochschule Fur Musik in Munich. He later came to the States, where he obtained graduate degrees from Yale and Rutgers universities. At various periods of his life Redjeb has been a professional pianist/composer, a professor of Maritime History, a boat builder/designer, a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute. For the past 25 years he is a resident of East Hampton and Manhattan, and frequently travels to Paris and Georgia where he retains many ties.

blurb: All my Georgias is a book of memoirs structured as a compilation of real life stories that paint a vivid picture of the author’s lifelong journey through the hectic 20th century .
Redjeb Jordania is the son of the first president of Georgia, Noé Jordania, who along with his entire government, was forced to immigrate to France after the Soviet occupation of Georgia in 1921. Redjeb was born in Paris, where he grew up among the Georgian émigré colony. He later moved to the United States where he eventually settled in New York and East Hampton.
His very first occasion to visit the country of his ancestors came about in 1990. That fall and the following year he had the privilege of witnessing some of the tumultuous events that led to Georgia’s independence, the election of President Gamsakhurdia, and a few months later his ouster by an armed rebellion.
These stories are told in a masterful manner, fascinating, sometimes comical, with historical and cultural insights as background, including: life in the Georgian émigré colony in Paris, a delirious music lesson under the bombs during WWII, living without citizenship, a New York encounter with the KGB, Georgia’s road to independence, and much more.
Anyone interested in how people adjust to history – or just a good story – will find this book hard to put down
Sandro Kvitashvili. Rector,
Tbilisi State University

Reader Review:Well, it’s his story (and history), and Redjeb Jordania tells it his way: the narrative switches back & forth, and was clearly assembled over the course of many years; but it’s an absorbing account of a long life indelibly marked by his family’s exile from the Republic of Georgia (of which his father was President) in the wake of the Russian Revolution. He has a fund of anecdotes going all the way back to early childhood in Paris, and a distinctive & engaging way of telling them. He finally set foot in Georgia in late 1990, just as the Soviet Union was preparing to fall apart, and his eye-witness account of the events in Tbilisi in October-November of that year is especially fascinating.

This book radiates charm & insight.

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PALEO SLOW COOKER: 65 Delicious Gluten and Dairy Free Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes

Blurb (partial, this author has a really long blurb): Cooking food for your family day in and day out can get tiresome and time consuming. That’s why Paleolithic Slow Cooker: 65 Gluten and Dairy Free Paleo Slow Cooker recipes gives you slow cooker recipes to help you minimize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, while creating tasty, savory, just plain delicious meals. Just put all the ingredients in (usually in the morning), switch the slow cooker and get on with your day! It’s great during the summer, too, as you don’t have to heat up your kitchen to cook.

Reader Review: I am just getting interested in Paleo so I thought I would give the cookbook a shot since I am a slow cooker junkie.

Don’t know why but I never thought to make spaghetti sauce in the Crockpot. It was easy and delicious as was the whole roast chicken. Glad to know I can always learn a new recipe that my family will love. I’m looking forward to trying the Fish Chowder because I never really thought of fish in a slow cooker but the recipe looks mouth watering. I will not be trying the venison stew but that’s just a personal preference.

I think that if you are just starting out on the whole Paleo thing, this is a gentle, easy start. I know I don’t feel deprived at all with these recipes.
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Paleo for Chocolate Lovers: Delicious, Decadent Chocolate-Filled Recipes

blurb: When you make the switch to the Paleo diet, you are bound to go through a transitional period. During that time you may start to think that the Paleo diet is too restrictive or that it means giving up all of your favorite foods. In reading this book, however, you will find that you can still enjoy all of your favorite tasty treats while still sticking to the Paleo diet.

This book is loaded with Paleo-friendly recipes designed with chocolate lovers like you in mind. So, what are you waiting for – get cooking!

Reader Review: This nifty little book is well worth the purchase price. It’s full of simple and delicious chocolate recipes with clear and concise directions.

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NutriBullet Recipe Book Bible: 100+ Delicious Smoothies for Life Long Health (Easy to Make Under 3 Minutes)

Blurb:NutriBullet Recipe Book Bible is a recipe book with 100 different recipes for anyone to make with their NutriBullet or Smoothie Blender. All recipes are easy to make in 3 minutes or less! Learn the benefits of drinking smoothies! Included:

Protein Packed Recipes
Low Fat and Low Calorie Recipes
Dessert (Healthy) Recipes
Pre and Post Workout Recipes
All Green Recipes….

And MORE! Enjoy!
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Gluten Free Diet for Beginners: The Ultimate Gluten Free Diet You Must Know About To Look Amazing

Reader Review: Well yeah, there are a lot of Gluten-Free Diet books out in the market but the question is whether or not all of these books contain the kind of information you need to get started or to get going. This book had given me the best and simplest explanation of gluten and what it does to the body. The foods to eat and not eat are explained well, not just the typical list we usually encounter. The benefits of this diet are outlined well. I like that this book doesn’t assume readers will find everything they want in this book and goes on encouraging them to read more about the Gluten-Free Diet as they get started. This book makes a perfect read for the before and during stages of the diet. Must read!

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Mexican Cooking Dude Cookbook — Authentic Mexican Recipes from Mexico and the American Southwest

Blurb: This book contains real Mexican recipes, complete with photos and instructions. Recipes include pinto beans, tacos, enchiladas, chimichangas, refried beans, arrachera steak, fish tacos, and more. Many of the Mexican recipes include interesting stories about their origination and history. This is a perfect cookbook for beginners, those learning to cook, and experts who are looking for special dishes.

Reader Review:
I love that the author sat down.. typed up some of the recipes that he is probably hounded for at every dinner party he gives.. right down to the quick breakfast he tosses together. I love that he was able to get “secret” recipes from various favorite local restaurants all over the Southwest region. OMG.. So , many recipes and variations to try.. It could take a very long time. Fantastic quick read.. A must for anyone who loves ordering Mexican.. but, doesn’t feel they could ever make a dish taste “restaurant” professionally made. With this unique cookbook.. you’ll be able to do just that!

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Across China on Foot (Tales of Old China)
About the author: Edwin Dingle was born in 1881 and in the early 1900s was working in Singapore as a journalist. Looking for adventure, he traveled up the Yangtze River from Shanghai and then by foot southwest from Chongqing across some of China’s most wild and woolly territory to Burma. This book was published in 1911. Dingle was in Shanghai in the early 1920s, and was the proprietor of China and Far East Finance and Commerce, the predecessor publication of the Far Eastern Economic Review. In the mid-1920s, he headed to the United States, where he founded his own health and sex cult in 1927 around the concept of Mental physics, which kept him occupied until the ripe old age of 91.

Reader Reviews: Unique book on foot travel in China in those days when it was really uncivilized. Mr. Dingle has also done research
on the places where he is traveling and shares it with us, but the best part is when he simply describes both the
treacherous terrain as well as the treacherous people. He doesn’t try to come across as a saint but describes his
own anger at certain people who look down at him for being an obviously poor foreigner. The terrain gets tedious
after a while, but this book gives a pretty good picture of China before they built highways.

~This book is an incredible chronicle of a time past, when much of China was populated by primitive peoples on the edge of survival. Dingle’s descriptions of the backward provinces are detailed and fascinating. What is most interesting are the 100 years of progress and change since this account was written.

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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.

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.

If you like these free listings, you should also like my Facebook page, because I list other free titles there several times each week. Most of the blurbs and book descriptions above are not mine, but come from  reviews on Amazon’s page.

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.

Excerpts above all come from Gutenberg editions.

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American Slavery and its Victims

I was looking up something else, and that led to something else which led to something else which led to this short collection of excerpts that seemed to me to be connected:

In 1784 Thomas Jefferson attempted to work out a plan whereby to free the slaves, even though he was himself a slave-owner. He was not unaware of the injustice of slavery and he was particularly concerned about the deleterious affect it had upon slave-owners. He wrote:

There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to his worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patriae of the other.

He continued:

With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed. For in a warm climate, no man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labour. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.

He believed he saw signs even then that would lead to the natural emancipation of all slaves in America, and I believe that at the time of the above writing, he expected this to happen in his lifetime. What a different world this might be if he had been as astute a prophet as he was a statesman!

Frederick_Douglass_as_a_younger_manFrederick Douglass experienced firsthand the insiduous results of nearly unrestricted power over another human being which Jefferson observed.  He writes of being sold to a new family when he was still a young child, perhaps seven or so, and being amazed by Mrs. Auld, his new owner, who had previously had to get her bread by her own labour and had never owned a slave and was thus;

preserved from the blighting and dehumanizing effects of slavery. I was utterly astonished at her goodness. I scarcely knew how to behave towards her. …She did not deem it impudent or unmannerly for a slave to look her in the face. The meanest slave was put fully at ease in her presence, and none left without feeling better for having seen her. Her face was made of heavenly smiles, and her voice of tranquil music.
But, alas! this kind heart had but a short time to remain such. The fatal poison of irresponsible power was already in her hands, and soon commenced its infernal work. That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon.[...] Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me. When I went there, she was a pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman. There was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within her reach. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness.

In 1856 Robert E. Lee wrote in a letter to President Pierce:

There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is idle to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it is a greater evil to the white than to the colored race.

Lee was, like Jefferson, too optimistic. In 1837, just 19 years previously John C. Calhoun (previously serving as vice-president under the staunchly anti-slavery John Q. Adams) stood up on the floor of the Senate and insisted that slavery was a ‘positive good’ and that the race relations in the South of slave and master

“forms the most solid and durable foundation on which to rear free and stable political institutions…”


George FitzhughAnd just two years prior to Lee’s optimistic statement, the southern apologist and lawyer George Fitzhugh would write in his book Sociology for the South that white owners acted the part of parents and guardians towards their inferior, childish back charges, and that slavery protected blacks from themselves as well as other dangers:

slavery here relieves him from a far more cruel slavery in Africa, or from idolatry and cannibalism, and every brutal vice and crime that can disgrace humanity; and that it christianizes, protects, supports and civilizes him; that it governs him far better than free laborers at the North are governed.

henry adamsConsidering Jefferson’s description of what slavery did to the owners, it is perhaps not surprising that Henry Adams was so unfavorably impressed by the Southerners when he arrived in Washington, D.C. in 1860 as a private secretary, a young man eager to learn form the country’s greatest statesmen. He expected to learn from the politicians of the day, as a descendant of some great men himself. He was surprised by what he found- Southern statesmen had the reputation of being the foremost of statesmen, but to this young Northerner:

Adams found himself seeking education in a world that seemed to him both unwise and ignorant. The Southern secessionists were certainly unbalanced in mind — fit for medical treatment, like other victims of hallucination — haunted by suspicion, by idees fixes, by violent morbid excitement; but this was not all. They were stupendously ignorant of the world. As a class, the cotton-planters were mentally one-sided, ill-balanced, and provincial to a degree rarely known. They were a close society on whom the new fountains of power had poured a stream of wealth and slaves that acted like oil on flame. They showed a young student his first object-lesson of the way in which excess of power worked when held by inadequate hands.

mary chesnut

Mary Boykin Chesnut, a staunch Southerner and a spy for the confederacy wrote of the vile reality of slavery in her private diary in 1861:

“I wonder if it be a sin to think slavery a curse to any land. Sumner said not one word of this hated institution which is not true. Men & women are punished when their masters & mistresses are brutes & not when they do wrong-… God forgive us, but ours is a monstrous system & wrong & iniquity. Perhaps the rest of the world is as bad. This is only what I see: like the patriarchs of old, our men live all in one house with their wives & their concubines, & the Mulattos one sees in every family exactly resemble the white children-& every lady tells you who is the father of all the Mulatto children in everybody’s household, but those in her own, she seems to think drop from the clouds or pretends so to think-.

emancipated slaves

Good women we have, … Mr. Harris said it was so patriarchal. So it is-flocks & herds & slaves-& wife Leah does not suffice. Rachel must be added, if not married & all the time they seem to think themselves patterns-models of husbands & fathers.”

I am sure that right now you are thinking of some of the same homeschool leaders that I am thinking of. It’s not wonder they lauded the Confederacy and revise its history, is it?

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Yet another example of the difference between how left and right view economics: Jerry Brown  in 1995:

The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs. Jobs for every American is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system so every single American has the dignity and the wherewithal for shelter, basic food, and medical care. I’m talking about welfare for all.


Two years ago 45.8 million people were on food stamps, more than ever before. The numbers have gone steadily up.
Make of that what you will.
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