By Law, Border Patrol Houses Violent Gang Members With Other Illegal Immigrant Minors

Crimes committed and confessed by gang members currently housed at Nogales include murder and extortion.  Are these creeps near the kids? http://t.co/9ewI16UWaP

 

Answer: Yes. Criminals and violent gang members are housed with innocent children:

“By U.S. legal standards many gang members operating in Central American countries and traveling north are classified as minors due to being under the age of 18. However, many young males are actively engaged in violent cartel and criminal activity, yet are treated as children when processed through the Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Homeland Security systems. Due to current policy, these “minor” gang members cannot be separated by Border Patrol agents from the rest of the general population of children. According to the FBI, MS-13 regularly targets middle and high school students for recruitment. The FBI also lists 18th Street as one of the most violent gangs in the country. Business Insider describes 18th Street as having special focus on document fraud and homicide.”

http://t.co/9ewI16UWaP

This article, and the slideshow called ‘Children’s Journey’ (toward the end of the article) are sobering.

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School bans Bible, makes excuses, backtracks, lifts ban

bible readingIt was free reading time- not assigned reading of specific books, but free reading.  Fifth grader Giovanni took out his Bible.  The teacher took umbrage and called him out during class, told him to put that book on her desk.

He refused.

Normally what happens in these situations is that the teacher makes up some story about how that’s not really exactly what happened, and it’s a kid said-teacher said situation and most people believe the teacher.

This teacher called the child to the front of the classroom, had him call his dad, and she left a message on the parents’ phone- during classtime and in front of the whole class! She actually told the child, in front of his peers, ‘get your dad on the phone’ that minute. She left a message where she said that the boy had a religious book in her classroom and children were not allowed to read religious books in her class.

She also made reference to reading books in the curriculum, but that wasn’t the issue- it was free reading period (the school later said it wasn’t free reading, but their story there also doesn’t hold water, more on that below), and there doesn’t seem to have been an assigned list of literature to choose from.

The school district doubled down on the dumb by sending out a letter on April 16th saying that any student could read religious books before or after class. I’m guessing their lawyer saw that after the fact, because on May 5th they put out another statement saying the kids could read religious books before or after class and during free reading time and that this had been communicated to the parents involved.

IT’s not clear to me that the May 5th letter actually went out to the students and their parents. It could have, but it reads to me like a press release rather than parent-school communication.

Giovanni and his parents want the teacher to apologize, since she humiliated their son while also violating his civil rights.

Note that the school later said it wasn’t free reading time, it was time that was part of the ‘Accelerated Reading Program,” only approved books were allowed, and the Bible isn’t on the list. But this also turns out not to be true- even if it was ARP time, almost all of the 66 books of the Bible are on the ‘approved’ list.

The AR program also is based on the student’s choice:

“There are three steps to using Accelerated Reader. First, students choose and read a fiction or non-fiction book, textbook, or magazine. Teachers monitor the reading. Second, students take a quiz. Teachers can create their own quizzes. Third, the teacher receives information that is intended to assist, motivate reading, monitor progress, and target instruction. Reports regarding reading level and comprehension skills are available through the software.”

Now, I can think of a couple of scenarios in the school’s favor (although not the teacher’s for the way she called out the child in front of the class). It looks like the approved reading list specifies NIV versions and perhaps the child was reading another version.*

But oops- that’s not what the teacher said. She said that no religious books were permitted in her classroom. That’s also not what the school said, even in their last permutation of excuses and justifications.

To use the AR program, the school has to purchase the software to keep track of the student scores, and usually tests for the books (although teachers can also write their own tests). It’s entirely possible that the school did not choose to purchase any tests for religious books (which is odd and a problem in itself, because there are quite a few included in the AR collection), but the thing is, if that were the case, then the school would have clarified that from the beginning. Instead, they first sent out a letter which stated only two times religious books could be read by the students- before and after school. Free reading wasn’t included. Their later statement was substantially different in including free reading, as well as in singling out the family and saying that this had been clarified to the family involved. So clearly, they cannot use that excuse.

At any rate, the school has now backed down, and says religious books are allowed during free reading and during the accelerated reading program.

We should all be so bold and firm about what’s right as this fifth grader was, and I wish all kids had parents as supportive as his.

*It should be noted, btw, that from what I can tell, books are on the approved list mainly because they’ve been rated, scored, and quizzes written for them. More are added all the time, and there is a process for requesting a book be added to the program.

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Baked Chicken with Orange Soy Sauce

chopsticksplainServes 4

2 1/2 pounds chicken parts

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 tsp or more garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2/3 cup of orange juice

Preheat oven to 400

Put chicken pieces in a casserole dish

Mix other ingredients, pour over the top.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken is done.

You can put all the ingredients in a ziplock bag or sealed baking dish and freeze until serving day, then defrost and bake as directed.

You can also sprinkle with sesame seeds and add snipped green onions if desired.

Serve with sides of rice, seaweed, and green beans or broccoli steamed and tossed with a touch of sesame oil.

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Why Not Adoption for Some of the Border Kids?

I am fully aware of the problems we have created with some of our international adoption drive- we’ve created ‘poverty orphans,’ given incentives for bribery and corruption and put poor foreign mothers in an even harder bind. Often, supporting the parents in their efforts to survive at home would be a much better, nobler choice than taking their kids off their hands with the smiling promise that we can give them better ‘stuff.’

horror-at-the-borderBut this situation is different. We aren’t going into their country to take their kids, they are sending their kids to us, often alone, or in the company of the coyotes, paid to transport human flesh. Of course, a lot of these ‘kids’ are teen-aged gang members who have already killed in their own country. But that’s a different issue. I’m talking about the children who are obviously children. I think we’re all worried about them and the deplorable conditions they have left, and the deplorable conditions in which they are currently housed, we just all have different ideas about the best solution for the problem.

There should be required DNA testing for those ‘family’ members showing up to take the unaccompanied children and then some parenting classes and oversight. I mean, after all, if we arrest an American citizen because she let her 9 year old play at a park behind her workplace during work hours, what are we thinking releasing an 11 year old child to a woman who says she’s his mother, but has been living without him in the US since he was 2, and left him under supervision so lax that he was able to leave for another country on his own?

border kidsThose children who do not have a DNA connection or some serious paperwork showing a relationship to the adults picking them up should be asked, at least if they are grade school age, if they would rather be deported or adopted, and nstead of deporting the youngest children, we should consider domestic adoptions. After all, they went through great hardships to come to America, let’s give them the best America has to offer- a family. This is completely different from going into their own countries and creating poverty orphans. They came to us.

Guatamala closed its borders to international adoption a couple years back, in favor of local adoption. I favor local adoption when possible, too, but Guatamalans don’t- they adopted 35 kids in a single year. I think it’s reasonable to wonder how many of these kids are the result of Guatamala’s anti-adoption policies.

We should continue humanitarian responses like this one, but I think we should add the option of adoption to the list of responses. In Florida, they are placing these kids in foster homes. Wouldn’t permanent homes be better? There are probably thousands of families who have already completed home-studies, are fully adoption-ready, who are waiting for an adoptable kid right now. They won’t all be interested in or a good fit for an older kid who doesn’t speak English, but a lot of them would be. Why not put those families who are looking for a child together with those unaccompanied children who are looking for a new life?

This would also spread the children around more evenly, so that states like Maryland, whose Democrat governor wants full asylum for all the kids, he just doesn’t want then in his state, wouldn’t be overwhelmed by a demand for services.

It would help reduce the pressure and work load of the Border Patrol so they can focus on catching the criminals and potential terrorists slipping through with the children.

And there’s something very wonky about the way the gov’t is handling this now.

Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK) told Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures that the feds sent 1,200 illegal immigrant children to Oklahoma to hold for 120 days. 90 of those illegal children were from India.”

IT’s not a perfect solution and it won’t take care of every single one of the nearly 70,000 kids that have come through so far, but it would certainly help some of them, and it would give those who believe in total amnesty a chance to put real hands and feet to their compassion. I think the quicker the children are out of the control of the government and in loving, permanent new family homes the better.

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A Miscellany Collection of Free for Kindle Titles

Prepper Barter Items: How To Stockpile & Barter For SHTF Scenarios

Blurb: Bartering seems like a skill that belongs exclusively to the ancient past or when you’re on vacation in Mexico trying to bring down the price of a bead necklace, but trading goods for goods, or goods for services, has never died out since its origin thousands of years ago. Many people have found a way to live without money and whenever currency is weakened through economic recession, trading goods becomes the only way to get the resources needed to survive. Between the World Wars in Germany, the value of money was so weak that people had to bring wheelbarrows spilling over with coins just to buy a loaf of bread. During the Great Depression in 1940s America, people had less money and so turned to bartering off their possessions to get what they needed. Our modern society is just as vulnerable to economic collapse as it was in the past, so learning how and what to barter now is extremely valuable.
REader Reviews note some editing and other errors (placing the Great Depression in the wrong decade) but: “Prepper Barter Items” is an interesting read about the unusual concept of bartering. I didn’t know much about the subject, so I found this short, quick book informative and useful. Author Robert Duncan describes bartering techniques, as well as categories of commonly exchanged items.

books black and white

Under the Chinese Dragon, by F. S. Brereton, A Tale of Mongolia

.99 at Amazon, free at Gutenberg; Under the Chinese Dragon

BY CAPTAIN F. S. BRERETON

Author of “The Hero of Panama” “Tom Stapleton, the Boy Scout” “The Great Aeroplane” “Indian and Scout” &c.

ILLUSTRATED BY CHARLES M. SHELDON
1912

Excerpt:
If ever David Harbor had felt inclined to play the coward it was at the precise moment, on this adventurous night when he came so abruptly, and so unexpectedly, face to face with one of the men who were engaged in robbing his employers’ store. Behind him, in the office, he had left Henricksen and the ruffian known as the ‘Admiral’ busily engaged with their oxy-acetylene flame, eating a hole into the safe which they hoped and imagined was well filled with gold. Upstairs was the man Ovanovitch, clearing the cases of all their portable valuables, while here, on the main floor, was Spolikoff, a Russian—a man given naturally to deeds of violence—placed there to watch for the very police whom it was our hero’s object to summon. The very man from whom he wished to keep farthest away was stealing towards him in the semi-darkness.

David drew in a deep breath. His hand clutched the revolver he had managed to secure. With an effort he controlled his muscles.

‘Run! Shout for help!’ some one seemed to scream in his ear. ‘Steady,’ he told himself, summoning all his pluck. ‘Steady, my boy; play the game. No use bolting; he’ll be just as surprised as I am.’

But, as it turned out, there was no question of surprise. While David was prepared for anything—to shoot at the man, to knock him to the ground with his fist, to rush over towards the door and bang upon it—Spolikoff sidled up to him, and spoke in a whisper that almost cloaked his foreign accent.

‘That you, Admiral?’ he asked. ‘They’ve passed again, those policemen; but I didn’t signal. There’s no need; no one can see the glare now. You’ve pulled the curtain round so well.’

David nodded. He was wondering whether he could trust himself to answer the fellow, for it was obvious that his own identity was not even suspected. Then, emboldened by that fact, he answered the man in a hoarse whisper.

‘I came along out here to make sure. It’s fine, ain’t it? Them police couldn’t suspect that we’d got a hot flame going against the safe. Look here, my boy, Henricksen wants you to go along up to Ovanovitch and give him a hand. When you’ve cleared the jewels, get away up to the next floor. He says some new furs came in yesterday, and you could carry away in your arms enough to keep you for a year. Get along quick.’

The Russian looked at him for a moment as if he suspected, though, as a matter of fact, he was merely puzzling to translate the meaning of the words, for as yet he was not an excellent English scholar.

‘Get along up and help Ovanovitch, yes,’ he repeated. ‘Then—I did not follow—you said?’

‘S-s-sh! The police!’
[...]

‘Got ‘em,’ David could have shouted, though he restrained himself, hugging his arms instead. ‘Got ‘em, I do believe. Now for the rest of the business.’ His brain had been working hard in the last few minutes, and already he had mapped out a course of procedure. After all, that was exactly like the young fellow; his friends knew him to be exceedingly practical. Edward Harbor, his father, had endeavoured to train his boy to conduct matters of any moment with sense and discretion.

‘Decide first of all what you’re going to do,’ he had often said. ‘Don’t start without a plan, all haphazard, and find when you are half way through that matters aren’t promising. Stand away a bit, as it were, and have a clear view; then make your plans, and set to at the business.’ Practical? Of course it was. Common sense management? Who can doubt it? A little advanced for one of David’s age? Certainly, if you wish so to describe it. But that is worth remedying. Others can be trained as our hero had been, and the training has its undoubted advantages; for a practical young fellow is of infinitely greater value in these strenuous days than a lad always wool-gathering, who lacks energy and initiative, who begins a task only to fail, who succeeds only where a course of procedure has been already laid down, and when previous practice has made perfect. It is the uncertainties we want to train our lads to face, as well as the hum-drum certainties of this life.

By the same author, Under the Star-spangled Banner: A Tale of the Spanish-American War is also .99 at Amazon, Free at Gutenberg

Excerpt: The city of Birmingham was wrapped in a mantle of fog so dense that the inhabitants found it difficult to move about. The thick, soot-laden atmosphere covered everything, and only a few faintly glimmering lights showed that they really existed.

The clock in the church tower had just struck two, and yet the street lamps were ablaze.

The pedestrians moved with the utmost care. Trudging along the soppy pavements, their footsteps sounded hollow and unreal, and were heard long before they themselves put in an appearance.

One of the inhabitants, however, contrived to find his way with comparative ease, for he was such an old resident that his feet would not go astray, however absent-minded their owner happened to be. There was a certain air of authority about him; yet there was that about the stern, calm features that denoted a warm heart and a kindly disposition. But still, as if the fog was not in existence, he hurried on, turning from the main street to the lower part of the town.

Ordinarily he could never accomplish this walk without meeting many an acquaintance, for Mr. Thomas Marchant was a well-known man. He was one of the magnates of this busy town, a wealthy employer of labor, and it was to the work his foundries gave that many of the inhabitants owed their prosperity.

Mr. Marchant was troubled; for only a year ago he was one of the wealthiest men in the city. His foundries were working night and day, and even then could hardly keep pace with the orders.

“I’ve never known such a rush,” he said to his manager when discussing the matter. “It gives me great satisfaction, for our men will benefit by the increased orders as well as ourselves.”

That was a short year ago, and now there was a different tale to tell. True, the iron foundry was still in full swing, but cotton mills, which Mr. Marchant owned in addition, were losing money every day, and in those few months he had been ruined; and he knew that the world would know him and speak of him as a bankrupt, while his possessions would be seized upon by the creditors.

Excerpt: Stretched in hammock chairs, Mr. Brindle cigar in mouth, and all dressed in white, relieved in Dora’s case by a sash of palest blue, they chatted in low voices, now and again lapsing into silence and listening to the sounds that came from other ships across the placid water and from the dimly lit streets of the town. Some sailor lad aboard the Maine was delighting his fellows with banjo and song, and our hero and his friends listened as if enchanted.

“Ah, honey, my honey”—the words came clear and strong; then they died down and became merged with the notes of the banjo, only to burst forth again as the audience took up the chorus, and sent it swelling across the harbor.

“How nice it sounds! How peaceful!” exclaimed Mr. Brindle, thoughtfully. “God grant that this visit from America to a Spanish port may settle every squabble. I am sure braver and more agreeable fellows could not have been sent; and if only the Dons are as friendly, all will be well. Listen! How those lads love that song! They would sing it by the hour if they were able. But there sounds the bugle, and away they go to their hammocks. I think, Dora dear, that it is time you and Gerald also went to your bunks. Remember, we have a long and tiring day before us to-morrow, and you will be in need of all your energies. Now, off with you! Hal and I will stay on deck a little longer, as I wish to speak to him.”

The two young people looked somewhat disappointed, but strict obedience being amongst their virtues, they said “good-night” and retired.

Excerpt:He glanced at his captives, favoring them with a malicious grin as he outlined their probable end. Then he went to a door close at hand, and, having knocked upon it, entered, and closed it behind him.

“I suppose he has gone to explain matters,” said Hal coolly. “Keep up your pecker, Gerald. The case looks precious bad, but we’ll pull through, depend upon it.”

“Right. I hope we may. But things look ugly. That pleasant gentleman who has just done talking to me is good enough to tell me that we shall soon be hanged. If it comes to that, Hal, why, we must face it out, and die as those at the hacienda would have us do.”

He looked into his companion’s face and smiled bravely, for Gerald was determined to show his friend that he, too, possessed a fund of pluck which would carry him through an unpleasant difficulty.

“We will, old boy,” Hal answered cheerily; “but let us hope that it will not come to that. Hallo! Who’s this?”

At this moment an officer, who was dressed in the usual Spanish uniform, emerged from the inner room, and was walking hurriedly across to the door, being bent evidently upon the performance of some special duty, when his eye fell upon Hal and Gerald. Almost instantly a startled cry escaped him, and he sprang backwards in astonishment.

“What! You!” he exclaimed, in tones of surprise, surveying them with an air of delight. “You two from the hacienda! Idiots! You have played into my hands. Men, close round your prisoners, and take the best care of them, for I can vouch for it that they are Americans. They are spies, and have come here to find out our secrets.”

He strode towards them, and grasping Hal’s hat, tore it from his head. Then he laughed sardonically in his face, and, with a triumphant glance at the two prisoners, turned upon his heel, and re-entered the room from which he had emerged a minute before.

“What bad luck! What hard lines!” exclaimed Hal, with something approaching a groan. “That fellow José d’Arousta again!”

books black and white

Training for War: An Essay

Blurb: An essay and manual on training for war by retired Army lieutenant colonel Tom Kratman, creator of the popular Carrera military science fiction series, including novels A Desert Called Peace, Carnifex, Come and Take Them, and The Rods and the Axe. Kratman’s contention: an army is for winning wars. And to win wars, you have to train men (and some women) to be warriors, not police or social workers. Herein Kratman gives guidance and a practical plan of action to officers tasked with training troops—advice than might be equally applied to other crucial training situations, as well.

At the publisher’s request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Tom Kratman is a former infantry colonel who served in the U.S. Army for many years before becoming a lawyer in Virginia. He’s now a full-time writer.

Reader Review: This is an essay on military training and contains the personal experiences and musings of the author (who is ex military and a writer of military science fiction). He points out the disconnect that exists particularly between government bureaucracy (and elected officials) and the people that serve in (the US) armed forces. There are several insights on the nature of military training and what military training needs to accomplish — and how it can be improved.

I think Tom Kratman is spot on when describing the difficulty the military has explaining the “why” of some of its training to civilians and how difficult it can be for civilians to understand legitimate military needs. Thankfully, he has both the education and experience to explain things in a way that the inexperienced reader will understand. For that reason alone this work is worth your reading.

If parts of the essay appear politically incorrect (fair warning) keep in mind that the author is speaking from the viewpoint of having a competent and capable military. Regardless of the pursuit of social policy (or equality or access) the author’s focus is what the military is and will be called upon to do in real life (and death) circumstances.
books black and whiteKorea’s Fight for Freedom

Reader Review: This book was quite interesting. Told from the perspective of an Englishman [Note: I think Scotts Canadian] who was living in Korea at the time the Japanese invaded and began their “colonization” of Korea. It can get a little bogged down in names as people come in and out of what’s happening and there are many different names thrown at you, but the information was very enlightening. The author’s final caution and call for action in the Asian theater is frighteningly prophetic when we look at the time this book was published and the series of events that would lead to WWII in the Pacific

Excerpt: Chee-chong was, up to the late summer of 1907, an important rural centre, containing between 2,000 and 3,000 inhabitants, and beautifully situated in a sheltered plain, surrounded by high mountains. It was a favourite resort of high officials, a Korean Bath or Cheltenham. Many of the houses were large, and some had tiled roofs—a sure evidence of wealth.

When the “Righteous Army” began operations, one portion of it occupied the hills beyond Chee-chong. The Japanese sent a small body of troops into the town. These were attacked one night on three sides, several were killed, and the others were compelled to retire. The Japanese despatched reinforcements, and after some fighting regained lost ground. They then determined to make Chee-chong an example to the countryside. The entire town was put to the torch. The soldiers carefully tended the flames, piling up everything for destruction. Nothing was left, save one image of Buddha and the magistrate’s yamen. When the Koreans fled, five men, one woman, and a child, all wounded, were left behind. These disappeared in the flames.

It was a hot early autumn when I reached Chee-chong. The brilliant sunshine revealed a Japanese flag waving-over a hillock commanding the town, and glistened against the bayonet of a Japanese sentry. I dismounted and walked down the streets and over the heaps of ashes. Never have I witnessed such complete destruction. Where a month before there had been a busy and prosperous community, there was now nothing but lines of little heaps of black and gray dust and cinders. Not a whole wall, not a beam, and not an unbroken jar remained. Here and there a man might be seen poking among the ashes, seeking for aught of value. The search was vain. Chee-chong had been wiped off the map. “Where are your people?” I asked the few searchers. “They are lying on the hillsides,” came the reply.

[...]At first Yan-gun seemed deserted. The people were watching me from behind the shelter of their doors. Then men and boys crept out, and gradually approached. We soon made friends. The women had fled. I settled down that afternoon in the garden of a Korean house of the better type. My boy was preparing my supper in the front courtyard, when he suddenly dropped everything to rush to me. “Master,” he cried, highly excited, “the Righteous Army has come. Here are the soldiers.”

In another moment half a dozen of them entered the garden, formed in line in front of me and saluted. They were all lads, from eighteen to twenty-six. One, a bright-faced, handsome youth, still wore the old uniform of the regular Korean Army. Another had a pair of military trousers. Two of them were in slight, ragged Korean dress. Not one had leather boots. Around their waists were home-made cotton cartridge belts, half full. One wore a kind of tarboosh on his head, and the others had bits of rag twisted round their hair.

I looked at the guns they were carrying. The six men had five different patterns of weapons, and none was any good. One proudly carried an old Korean sporting gun of the oldest type of muzzle-loaders known to man. Around his arm was the long piece of thin rope which he kept smouldering as touch-powder, and hanging in front of him were the powder horn and bullet bag for loading. This sporting gun was, I afterwards found, a common weapon. The ramrod, for pressing down the charge, was home-made and cut from a tree. The barrel was rust-eaten. There was only a strip of cotton as a carrying strap.

The second man had an old Korean army rifle, antiquated, and a very bad specimen of its time. The third had the same. One had a tiny sporting gun, the kind of weapon, warranted harmless, that fathers give to their fond sons at the age of ten. Another had a horse-pistol, taking a rifle cartridge. Three of the guns bore Chinese marks. They were all eaten up with ancient rust.

These were the men—think of it—who for weeks had been bidding defiance to the Japanese Army! Even now a Japanese division of regular soldiers was manoeuvring to corral them and their comrades. Three of the party in front of me were coolies. The smart young soldier who stood at the right plainly acted as sergeant, and had done his best to drill his comrades into soldierly bearing. A seventh man now came in, unarmed, a Korean of the better class, well dressed in the long robes of a gentleman, but thin, sun-stained and wearied like the others.

A pitiful group they seemed—men already doomed to certain death, fighting in an absolutely hopeless cause. But as I looked the sparkling eyes and smiles of the sergeant to the right seemed to rebuke me. Pity! Maybe my pity was misplaced. At least they were showing their countrymen an example of patriotism, however mistaken their method of displaying it might be.
[...]
The villagers told me what was evidently the true story of the fight. They said that about twenty Japanese soldiers had on the previous morning marched quickly to the place and attacked two hundred rebels there. One Japanese soldier was hurt, receiving a flesh wound in the arm, and five rebels were wounded. Three of these latter got away, and these were the ones I had treated earlier in the morning. Two others were left on the field, one badly shot in the left cheek and the other in the right shoulder. To quote the words of the villagers, “As the Japanese soldiers came up to these wounded men they were too sick to speak, and they could only utter cries like animals—’Hula, hula, hula!’ They had no weapons in their hands, and their blood was running on the ground. The Japanese soldiers heard their cries, and went up to them and stabbed them through and through and through again with their bayonets until they died. The men were torn very much with the bayonet stabs, and we had to take them up and bury them.” The expressive faces of the villagers were more eloquent than mere description was.

Were this an isolated instance, it would scarcely be necessary to mention it. But what I heard on all sides went to show that in a large number of fights in the country the Japanese systematically killed all the wounded and all who surrendered themselves. This was not so in every case, but it certainly was in very many. The fact was confirmed by the Japanese accounts of many fights, where the figures given of Korean casualties were so many killed, with no mention of wounded or prisoners. In place after place also, the Japanese, besides burning houses, shot numbers of men whom they suspected of assisting the rebels. War is war, and one could scarcely complain at the shooting of rebels. Unfortunately much of the killing was indiscriminate, to create terror.
[...]
Torture! Who talks of torture in these enlightened days?

Let me tell you the tale of the Conspiracy Case, as revealed in the evidence given in open court, and then judge for yourself.

When the heads of the Terauchi administration had made up their minds that the northern Christians were inimical to the progress of the Japanese scheme of assimilation, they set their spies to work. Now the rank and file of spies are very much alike in all parts of the world. They are ignorant and often misunderstand things. When they cannot find the evidence they require, they will manufacture it.

The Japanese spies were exceptionally ignorant. First they made up their minds that the northern Christians were plotting against Japan, and then they searched for evidence. They attended church services. Here they heard many gravely suspicious things. There were hymns of war, like “Onward, Christian Soldiers” and “Soldiers of Christ Arise.” What could these mean but that Christians were urged to become an army and attack the Japanese? Dangerous doctrines were openly taught in the churches and mission schools. They learned that Mr. McCune, the Sun-chon missionary, took the story of David and Goliath as the subject for a lesson, pointing out that a weak man armed with righteousness was more powerful than a mighty enemy. To the spies, this was nothing but a direct incitement to the weak Koreans to fight strong Japan. Mission premises were searched. Still more dangerous material was found there, including school essays, written by the students, on men who had rebelled against their Governments or had fought, such as George Washington and Napoleon. A native pastor had preached about the Kingdom of Heaven; this was rank treason. He was arrested and warned that “there is only one kingdom out here, and that is the kingdom of Japan.”

In the autumn of 1911 wholesale arrests were made of Christian preachers, teachers, students and prominent church members, particularly in the provinces of Sun-chon and Pyeng-yang. In the Hugh O’Neill, Jr., Industrial Academy, in Sun-chon, one of the most famous educational establishments in Korea—where the principal had made the unfortunate choice of David and Goliath for one of his addresses—so many pupils and teachers were seized by the police that the school had to close. The men were hurried to jail. They were not allowed to communicate with their friends, nor to obtain the advice of counsel. They and their friends were not informed of the charge against them. This is in accordance with Japanese criminal law. Eventually 149 persons were sent to Seoul to be placed on trial. Three were reported to have died under torture or as the result of imprisonment, twenty-three were exiled without trial or released, and 123 were arraigned at the Local Court in Seoul on June 28, 1912, on a charge of conspiracy to assassinate Count Terauchi, Governor-General of Korea.

“The character of the accused men is significant,” wrote Dr. Arthur Judson Brown, an authority who can scarcely be accused by his bitterest critics of unfriendliness to Japan. “Here were no criminal types, no baser elements of the population, but men of the highest standing, long and intimately known to the missionaries as Koreans of faith and purity of life, and conspicuous for their good influence over the people. Two were Congregationalists, six Methodists and eighty-nine Presbyterians. Of the Presbyterians, five were pastors of churches, eight were elders, eight deacons, ten leaders of village groups of Christians, forty-two baptized church members, and thirteen catechumens…. It is about as difficult for those who know them to believe that any such number of Christian ministers, elders and teachers had committed crime as it would be for the people of New Jersey to believe that the faculty, students and local clergy of Princeton were conspirators and assassins.”

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Don’t Survive, Thrive! How To Flourish When Disaster or Crisis Strikes.

Blurb: Think a crisis or disaster won’t hit you? Think Again! Remember 9/11? The Greek budget crisis? Remember the London riots? What about Hurricane Sandy? The fact is that the world has become a much more unpredictable and unsafe place and a crisis can hit anytime…This book prepares you not only to survive but thrive:

- How to find food when disaster strikes
- Dealing with poison when medical help is not readily available
- Preventing heat stroke and exhaustion when ‘bugging out’
- and many more life-saving tips that could help you and your family…

Reader Review: I read this book when my husband had been unemployed for 6+ months (he ended up being unemployed for 10+ months). Although I did not learn anything “new” per se, I was reminded that “this too shall pass.” which gave me hope.

If you have never thought to prepare for worst case scenarios in any manner, this book is a good starting point. It gently points out things which can happen to everyday people and provides assistance in developing coping skills. It’s not a psych book or an ultimate prepper/survivalist book, but just good solid practical advice to help you think about “what if.”

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A Generation in Transition: Religion, Values, and Politics among College-Age Millennials

Blurb: Step into the future with Public Religion Research Institute’s 2012 Millennial Values Survey. Find out what college-age Americans have to say about the most pressing issues facing the nation today and learn about the number of Millennials who are leaving their childhood religions. Here young Millennials weigh in on the country’s moral, social, and economic agendas as well as the 2012 election.

Mainly this is a collection of facts (America-centered), so not light reading, but it might be useful or interesting for some.

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The Joy and the Challenge

blurb: Articles and resources from SENG’s National Parenting Gifted Children Week. Topics include identifying and recognizing giftedness, the challenges of parenting a gifted child, underachievement issues and twice exceptionalism, gifted minorities and gifted boys and girls, misdiagnosis and depression in gifted youth, advocacy, and parenting supports and resources.

Reader Review: This is a compilation of essays and resources from the leaders in the field of social and emotional needs of the gifted. I like how links are provided so that much more information can be easily accessed. Both research and practical application are represented, making it a great resource for educators and parents alike.

Reader Review: Because there are so many authors included in this book, there are several different perspectives on raising a gifted child. So many times while reading, I’d stop and say, “Ohhh! That explains it!” or “So, that’s NORMAL for gifted kids!” or “Of course! Now I get it!” Raising a gifted child truly is full of joy and challenges. Unlike most special needs children, there aren’t support groups, National Awareness day/week/month, or even much understanding for their particular educational, emotional, social, and/or physical needs. This collection helps the parents of gifted children understand that we’re not alone, we’re not without support, and we’re truly blessed by our amazing kids.

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St. Mallory’s Forever! (A YA English Boarding School Mystery)

Blurb: When fourteen year old Helen Stroud finds herself starting yet another new school, miles away from her friends, she’s not happy. This time she won’t even get to see her old friends at weekends, let alone after school. Somehow her mum has got a job as music teacher at an elite girls’ boarding school, St. Mallory’s, and Helen is to be one of the boarders.

From “scuzzy comprehensive” to a world of Latin, lacrosse and ladylike pursuits, Helen blogs about her experiences, determined to reveal the truth about girls’ boarding schools to an unsuspecting world. Meanwhile her appointed “buddy” Abby has similar ideas. The two girls completely fail to hit it off, and it looks like lacrosse sticks at dawn.

But an unexpected mystery involving a missing teacher, a piece of music written by a composer after he died, and a boy from a neighbouring school who isn’t at all what he seems, brings the girls together.

With the aid of another new girl, Confucius-spouting Xuan, and the irrepressible Don Pedro, Helen and Abby set out to show Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes how real detectives work. With hilarious results!

Jointly written by the award-winning, best-selling Saffina Desforges partnership and two schoolgirl debut novelists (just 16 and 17 at time of publication), St. Mallory’s Forever! is the first of the St. Mallory’s comedy-mystery series that aims to prove one thing:

That everything you thought you knew about English girls’ boarding schools is wrong.

Yes, even that bit!

St. Mallory’s Forever!

Reader Review: Nancy Drew goes to boarding school: Reading is an act of writer-abetted imagination; good writers can take you to places you’ve never been, introduce you to characters you’ve never met, pitch you into situations that you would never in a million years get into,and make you see, experience, and feel the story as if it happened to you. The collaborative team of St. Mallory’s Forever! pull it off nicely; being completely unfamiliar with what is apparently a whole body of literature (boarding school stories), I still finished the book with a chuckle and the enjoyment of getting to know four unusual girls–Helen, Abby, Xuan (pronounced “Shin” in Mandarin), and the Don (pronounced “Teresa”, don’t ask). The story unfolds through a series of blog posts as the girls get to know each other and uncover the mystery that drives the plot, with, of course, the moments of comic misunderstandings and embarrassments that forge friendships. St. Mallory’s Forever! is a light and engaging read, perfect if you have a lazy weekend ahead.

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The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind SAMPLER

Enjoy these SAMPLE pages from The Real Scandal of the
Evangelical Mind-

What is an evangelical . . . and has he lost his mind?
Carl Trueman wrestles with those two provocative questions and concludes that modern
evangelicals emphasize experience and activism at the expense of theology. Their
minds go fuzzy as they downplay doctrine. The result is “a world in which everyone
from Joel Osteen to Brian McLaren to John MacArthur may be called an evangelical.”

Fifteen
years ago in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, historian Mark Noll warned
that evangelical Christians had abandoned the intellectual aspects of their faith.
Christians were neither prepared nor inclined to enter the intellectual debate,
and had become marginalized. Today Trueman argues, “Religious beliefs are more scandalous
than they have been for many years”-but for different reasons than Noll foresaw.
In fact, the real problem now is exactly the opposite of what Noll diagnosed¯evangelicals
don’t lack a mind, but rather an agreed upon evangel. Although known as gospel people,
evangelicals no longer share any consensus on the gospel’s meaning.

Provocative
and persuasive, Trueman’s indictment of evangelicalism also suggests a better way
forward for those theologically conservative Protestants once and formerly known
as evangelicals.

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NOT FREE: 2.99, The Derision of Heaven: A Guide to Daniel
by Michael Whitworth
Reader Review: I am so thankful for this book by Michael Whitworth. As he himself says in so many words, the book of Daniel is largely ignored saved for the “Vacation Bible School stories” of Daniel and the Lions’ Den and The Fiery Furnace. What does the average person know about this book not counting these two historical events? It is high time for the church to pay close attention to the message of Daniel. Contained herein is a pertinent message for the modern church. As Whitworth says in the introduction, “In short, the book of Daniel teaches the church how to behave while exiled in a hostile culture.”

If you are familiar with Whitworth’s writing, you expect the material to be engaging, easy to read, compelling, often funny, and always biblically balanced. This book fits that bill. He has an ability to cover vast amounts of material, as well as complicated subjects, in such a way that you actually enjoy reading it. This is no small task, but it is part of what makes his books so great.

The Derision of Heaven is certainly not a commentary in the normal sense, as it is not a verse-by-verse examination of the text. Rather, it is exactly what the subtitle states – a guide. Whitworth guides the reader through all the major sections of the book, highlighting the most intriguing aspects and mentioning the contentions of the scholars. The work is made more substantive by the copious amount of endnotes (one could really dig deeper by following the leads in these notes).

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Death Cart (The Yorkshire Dales Mystery Series Book 2)

Blurb: Student archaeologist Millie Sanderson is hoping to uncover an ancient chariot burial site in Wensleydale but work is interrupted when her housemate, Vrishti Bhatt, disappears. Inspector Ernie Brown is not concerned and dismisses a hit-and-run accident that involves her lecturer as an ‘unfortunate coincidence’.

But even Inspector Brown cannot ignore the next incident in the Archaeology Department. Baffled, he turns to DS Mitch Turner for support, ignoring Nina, a new young constable, who is working systematically through the evidence.

Meanwhile Millie and her friends are pursuing their own investigations……..

Reader Review: Not only the historical information being interesting; but, the core of the mystery with the Death Cart added lots of interest. I didn’t read it in one day but I did have a bit of a problem putting it down when it was time to fix supper, do laundry and that stuff. If you like this type of history, read the book.

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The Life of Flavius Josephus

49 pages

Reader Review: Apparently Josephus was very full of himself. He goes on and on about how the world and its people constantly do him wrong, and get on his nerves. His life was not nearly as interesting as his world history book, Thrones of Blood. Still it is a must-read for anyone who has read Thrones, to give a fuller context of this self-grandizing person, who manages somehow to still give the reader a sense that he was not the most principled person in that brutal, barbaric time.

Reader Review: Josephus is probably the most interesting historian of the Roman emperor, not least because his first-person account of the life of Jesus is the single most reliable contemporary account that has survived to the present. He lived for 63 years, and during much of that chronicled the events of the Eastern Roman empire, first as a loyal Roman, and later as a more independent voice.

Born Joseph ben Matityahu, Josephus was part of the failed first Jewish revolt against Rome and thanks to his literary skills, ended up as a prisoner and servant to Vespatian instead of being killed or sold into slavery. He proved a loyal hagiographer, telling the story of the struggle from Rome’s point of view in “The Jewish Wars,” and was freed on the death of the Emperor.

But later in life , as a free man, Josephus regained his Jewish identity, and made it his mission to educate Rome as to the ancient history and the philosophy of the Jews, and to this end produced his “Antiquities of the Jews.” He followed this with “Against Apion,” which argued against the belief of some Romans (notably Apion) that Judaism was a recent cult without a strong philosophical and moral tradition.

Whiston’s translation is a bit on the archaic side and tries to capture the peripatetic style familiar to reader of the King James Bible, in which the sentences go on and on, with clause after clause, and so on and so on and….. But Whiston’s choice of words is more modern than archaic, and the result is that this is not a difficult read. I’ve been told that the Brill translation is the best, but to my eyes, at least, there’s not a tremendous difference between his and Whiston’s; both keep the archaic style. At any rate, given the price of the Kindle edition I’m not complaining.

See also: The Wars of the Jews; or the history of the destruction of Jerusalem
534 pages

Reader Review: For any student of history, Josephus is absolutely essential reading. The content of this volume is essential to understanding Roman history, Jewish history, and the rise of Christianity; it is insightful, written shortly after the events happened, and by someone who was both fully Jew and fully Roman.

Unfortunately, this particular version appears to be a scanned reprint. It has many, many errors in spelling that appear to have been introduced by an unedited (or carelessly edited) scanning process. The confusion introduced by misspelled place and people names wore me down after the first hundred and twenty pages, and made me go looking for a more expensive (but more carefully edited) version of this essential content.

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Internet Security: How to Protect Yourself online from Social Media Data Mining – How to be Anonymous (Social Analytics Series Book 2)

Blurb: How to Protect Yourself online from Social Media
Data Mining – How to be Anonymous

This book is about how big Social Media websites use your information to make millions of dollars
by gathering peoples personal information and selling it to third parties.

Understand how to protect yourself from the possibility of becoming a victim to website manipulation and possible identity theft.

By following four simple steps, you can be more confident that all your data remains secure at all times and that it is safe.

Reader Review: This is a reasonable overview of various forms of online deception. It was an amazing book, detailing the many ways in which corporations intentionally deceive the public and their competition by intentionally posting false and misleading information on their websites. Fuller also touches on the various scams that we all know and love, but the corporate angle was the most eye opening information for me. I wish to send this book to everyone on my social media feeds when they post (and believe) everything they see and read online.

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Revolution Is a Dinner Party — Rogue Pluralism in China

Blurb: Download a copy of M. Eigh’s Revolution Is a Dinner Party — the Rise of Rogue Pluralism in China, a briskly paced and frequently hilarious account of today’s fads and parlance in China. In no time, you will be working expressions such as “My Dad is Li Gang” and “Watch Uncle” into casual conversations and amaze your interlocutors. You can go beyond name- or phrase-dropping too: The book is jam-packed with entertaining anecdotes that attest to the burgeoning pluralism in China, the good and beautiful, and the ugly and ridiculous alike.

If you would like to sound witty and well-studied on China, but can’t ever drag yourself through the dreary pages of an academic tome, this book is perfect for you.

One reader says: Witty and irreverent, as well as scholarly and insightful, M. Eigh’s new book Revolution is a Dinner Party offers readers a rare insider’s view of China’s shifting political and cultural climate. For many Westerners, China remains an enigmatic land, so some American readers may be surprised to see clear parallels between the less desirable elements of this “rouge pluralism” in both cultures. If you’ve ever secretly wished you had the power to rid American television of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and its ilk, you’ll enjoy reading Chew’s account of the Chinese government’s attempt to suppress the career of comedian Guo Degang. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work. There’s also much to be learned from Eigh’s stories of “ordinary” Chinese citizens. I’m embarrassed to reveal that I was surprised to learn of the relaxed and tolerant attitude that the Chinese have regarding homosexuality; and both impressed and amused by the story of Luo Baogen, a man who refused to sell his home below market value in order to make way for a new highway. Revolution is a Dinner Party is must read for anyone seeking insight into the 21st Century Chinese psyche. If you’re thinking, however, that you’re settling in for a slow, if well-reasoned read, nothing could be further from the truth. Revolution is a Dinner Party is briskly paced and frequently hilarious. Personally, I can’t wait to start working expressions such as “My Dad is Li Gang” and “Watch Uncle” into my daily conversations. This book is not only a pleasure to read, it’s great to look at. The cover design is colorful and clever, and the author highlights the text with historical photos and original artwork throughout. The book is a quick read, but don’t let the page count fool you. M. Eigh conveys in 80 pages what a lesser author would fluff into 500. There’s no word wasted here. This book is a fast, fun, and fascinating read that’s not to be missed.
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The Interpreters: Stories of interpreters who served the US military, as told to VICE News.

just 67 pages

Blurb: Language interpreters played a vital role in the recent US campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. These men served alongside American soldiers in parts of the world where doing so meant they could not go back home safely. They served with the promise of support, visas and better lives in the US and abroad after the fighting was over and for many, those promises went unfulfilled.

VICE News host Ben Anderson traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq to meet with several interpreters—to document the stories of their service and their struggle for justice firsthand.

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Blurb: I was deployed in 2013 to southern Afghanistan as part of a route clearance team. During my time there I made friends with the linguists (or terps, short for interpreters) that were attached to us. This is their story of the struggles receiving what was often promised to them: a life without fear, a visa to the United States. I left Afghanistan feeling sorry for the Afghani people and our linguists because while the war was over for me; for them, as long as they remain it will never end. What ever happened to no one gets left behind?

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Chasing the Avatar: Descent (Descent (Destiny Image))

Blurb:
Maya is a young woman with extraordinary prospects drowning in intense discontent. In the midst of this discontent, she meets Cha Ma, a guru. Immediately, she comes to believe that Cha Ma is an avatar – a human incarnation – of the goddess Kali, the most malevolent, destructive of all Hindu deities. Spellbound, Maya runs off to India to live in Cha Ma’s ashram as a Hindu. Her choice hurls her parents, Paul and Marie, into a battle far beyond their wildest imagination for they must fight for their daughter’s life, and even her soul, as she teeters on the edge.

About the author: From 1995 to 1997, Jovan Jones lived in a South Indian ashram and traveled around with a Hindu guru. She earned her MA in Political Science from Harvard in 1998. Soon thereafter, she moved to North Carolina in order to be near her parents, Ryven and Brenda, and to raise her son, Isaiah. She taught Social Studies and Language Arts in Cumberland Countys public schools, where she was chosen to be the countys Teacher of the Year and NCs Southeast Regional Teacher of the Year Runner-Up. Presently, she serves as the Mentor Facilitator in the large public school system, working with mentors and beginning teachers to increase teacher retention and efficacy.

Reader review: Author, Jovan Jones, has used parts of her personal testimony to write a novel that exposes the lies and destruction of Hinduism. In her novel the character, Maya, seeks for the truth through a human incarnation. Maya’s born again parents pray and fight for the spiritual life of their child in far away India. The book exposes how seeking the things that are not of God invites evil. The author shares in her novel and introduction how Jesus is intensely alive and is the one True God. If you enjoy novels and seeing the power of prayer the book will be one that will interest you.

Reader Review: Of all the books that I have ever read, Chasing the Avatar (and its sequel, Dancing with the Avatar) are two– aside from the Bible and a few other choice books– that I definitely plan to read for a second time. The author, who fictionalized her own experiences in these books by changing all the names of the characters and so on, makes each and every one of the characters come to life so clearly that you’ll think that you are actually picturing the real people in your mind as you read. In the same way, you’ll feel transported to that ashram in India so vividly that it’s like reliving your own personal experiences rather than hearing Maya’s own account. And woven into the story is just enough romance and humor to keep almost any reader engrossed throughout. Rather than my providing a summary of these fine books, I’ll just say this–you’ve got to buy both of these books! Not only are they works of truly masterful writing but they also will be eye-opening to anyone who ever even thought of abandoning their lives in their own country and journeying to India to live in an ashram with a Hindu guru. Your reading Chasing the Avatar and Dancing with the Avatar also will make you think twice the next time you think that prayer is simply reciting to God some superficial wish list rather than the essential discipline that it truly is–you’ll dare not neglect fervent prayer on behalf of your loved ones again! These first two books in the series truly are masterful works of fiction, yes, but also true-to-life accounts of the dangers that one faces when drawing close to the forces of darkness. I must commend the author not only for her fine works of writing but also on her willingness to share with the world her incredible–and nearly fatal–journey to a foreign land.

See also: Dancing with the Avatar (Descent)
(1.99)

Bound by the Avatar (Descent)
9.99

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Caught in the Middle (Ladies of Caldwell County Book #3)

It has 58 five star reader reviews. However, the lower reviews point to historical inaccuracies of the sort that make some of us itch, so be forewarned.

Blurb: She Wants the Freedom of the Open Plains.
He Wants the Prestige of a Successful Career.
Neither is Ready for What Comes Instead.

The train to Garber, Texas, is supposed to bring life’s next victory to Nicholas Lovelace. Instead, it gets held up by robbers who are thwarted by the last person Nick ever expected–Anne Tillerton from back home in Prairie Lea.

Anne’s been hiding away as a buffalo hunter. She’s only in town to find their runaway cook, but the woman flees–leaving Anne with her infant son. With Nick the only person Anne knows in town, the two form an unlikely team as they try to figure out what to do with the child.

But being in town means acting and dressing for polite society–and it’s not going well for Anne. Meanwhile, Nick’s work is bringing new pressures, and being seen with a rough-around-the-edges woman isn’t helping his reputation. Caught between their own dreams, a deepening relationship, and others’ expectations, can the pair find their way to love?

“[Jennings is] a fresh voice in Christian historical romance…” Library Journal

See also Sixty Acres and a Bride (Ladies of Caldwell County Book #1)
for 5.38

Love in the Balance (Ladies of Caldwell County Book #2)

for 5.38

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The Brigade – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Blurb: The Raymond family allows the Boy’s Brigade to use their vacation home for a week long camping trip. The Brigade is church sponsored, so Gary and Charity Raymond feel comfortable in allowing their sons to attend. What they do NOT know is that the leader of the Boy’s Brigade is NOT the person he appears to be and the boys are in real danger. Read this story about the importance of watching for “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing.” Be assured that God will have severe punishments for those whom harm His precious children. This is a book of fiction, but it is based on a true story. Names and locations have been changed to protect the innocent.

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A Chinese Wonder Book

chinese folk talesAlso free at Gutenberg, where there are lovely illustrations as well.
It’s a book of Chinese folk and fairy tales
Exerpt: ust outside the walls of a Chinese city there lived a young woodcutter named T’ang and his old mother, a woman of seventy. They were very poor and had a tiny one-room shanty, built of mud and grass, which they rented from a neighbour. Every day young T’ang rose bright and early and went up on the mountain near their house. There he spent the day cutting firewood to sell in the city near by. In the evening he would return home, take the wood to market, sell it, and bring back food for his mother and himself. Now, though these two people were poor, they were very happy, for the young man loved his mother dearly, and the old woman thought there was no one like her son in all the world. Their friends, however, felt sorry for them and said, “What [121] a pity we have no grasshoppers here, so that the T’angs could have some food from heaven!”

One day young T’ang got up before daylight and started for the hills, carrying his axe on his shoulder. He bade his mother good-bye, telling her that he would be back early with a heavier load of wood than usual, for the morrow would be a holiday and they must eat good food. All day long Widow T’ang waited patiently, saying to herself over and over as she went about her simple work, “The good boy, the good boy, how he loves his old mother!”

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Daniel Diet Comfort Foods: 50 Easy to Prepare Comfort Food Recipes

Blurb: Daniel Diet Comfort Foods::50 Easy to Prepare Comfort Food Recipes

Are you a fan of delicious, scrumptious and yet nutritious food that satisfies your cravings at odd hours? How many times you feel like eating something that is extremely delicious but don’t feel like going out? Nothing beats the joy of being able to enjoy great food, right?
Everyone loves food, we all do. But wouldn’t it be great if you could eat all the amazing food that you crave for and not have to worry about the weight you will gain afterwards? Exactly! This is what this book is all about.

In this book you will find:

1. Easy Recipes to All the Amazing Comfort Food

2. Ways to Reduce Calories from Your Food Portions

3. How you can be creative while cooking your food.

But this is not all that this book has to offer. In this book you will also find recipes and ingredients that have been added to these recipes especially so that you can keep check on your weight, cholesterol and physical well-being. Be assured that with help of this book you will enjoy cooking more than usual.

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Shadow Soldier (The Shadow Saga Book 1)

Blurb: Some legends don’t begin with a hero. They start with the villain.

100 years in the future, after a series of brutal wars have changed the face of the globe and destroyed civilization as we know it, the majority of the planet has fallen under the control of a single government known as the World System.

At the age of ten, every citizen documented by the World System is required to take the Operations Potential Exam (OPE), a test that determines what job they will occupy for the remainder of their lives.

It has been eleven years since 301-14-A tested into the soldier class. Loyalty and service are all that he knows.

Until a group of freedom fighters emerge from the untamed Wilderness and incite rebellion in the capital city. Until he witnesses the atrocities of his government with his own eyes.

Until her.

Now everything is different. Now nothing is certain.

Reader Rewiew: Thouroughly enjoyed this book. In an era where post-apocalyptic style stories-both in print and on screen- are a major hit and many have elements of religion, philosophy, and theology thrown in, this book in unique in my experience. It expresses a distinctly Christian worldview without the cheesey, “all ends well in the short-term for the Christians” tendencies prevelant in pro-Christian works. Along with that, it sucks you into the storyline quickly, and intently. While yes, there are moments that are predictable (I’ve yet to find a book or story that isn’t at least somewhat predictable), it is intriguing. It gets the reader egaged… hoping for one outcome and being at times dissapointed with a charecter’s decisions, and other times excited. It is also a good blend of sci-fi and futuristic nature with an explanation of how the new state has come to existance and basic physics of how these new elements function. Again, i truly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the completion of the series.

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The Joy of Life

Blurb: If you have never read a book about Theodore Roosevelt, read this one first. If you have read other books about him, read this one to discover more about his philosophy and spirituality based on his own works. It covers his entire life from birth to death.
The Joy of Life distills the personality of Theodore Roosevelt into one medium-sized book. Quotes appear in this book which show him to be funny, hyperactive, energetic, exciting, enthusiastic, entertaining and lovable. His contemporaries say such things as: the more I see him the more and more I love him; work was an entertainment with him there; it was love at first sight; never have we laughed so much as when T.R. was our host.
The book shows what motivated him at each stage of his life. During his Police Commissioner days he said to Jacob Riis, author of How the Other Half Lives, “I have read your book and I have come to help.” Charging up San Juan hill he realized that he was destined to become a great leader of people like his Rough Riders: a mixed group who included cowboys, Indians, Ivy Leaguers, hispanics, marshals, negroes and Texas Rangers. His greatest effort was in conservation. He preserved millions of acres of land including wildlife refuges, national parks, national monuments and irrigation projects. He accomplished many things in his life but would have obtained a place in history for that alone.

Reviews were wildly mixed on this one- some thought the author did a great job, others thought she was too haphazard and overly into speculating about Teddy’s mental health and how he and she may have shared a similar mental disorder (ADD or Bipolar, depending on review). So, like all the rest, download at your own risk.=)

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Cinderella (Fairy eBooks)

beautiful silhouette illustrations by Arthur Rackham

ARthur RACKHAM, did you see that? Arthur Rackham!

Optimized for Kindle Fire

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Can I Have Joy in My Life (Crucial Questions Series Book 12)

R.C. Sproul

Joy is a popular topic in Western culture today. Books explain how to find joy in a wide variety of activities. We speak of “joyous” occasions such as weddings and births. We sing about “Joy to the World” at Christmas. “Joy” remains a popular name for girls. But given the extent to which joy seems to be on our minds, few people seem to have it or even know what it is.

In this Crucial Questions booklet, Dr. R.C. Sproul cuts through the confusion surrounding this popular but misunderstood attribute, showing the one sure path to deep, lasting joy—a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. By abiding in Christ, Dr. Sproul shows, we may experience fullness of joy—a joy that transcends unhappy circumstances and even permits us to rejoice with others because of the blessed hope Christ provides.

Reader Review: After the death of my husband, joy seems to have been pretty elusive. Sometimes you just need permission to feel the way you feel – even in the midst of the pain. A focus that is honed in on Jesus is the only way to get thru the maze of grief in this old world. It is a short read.

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Daughter of Joy (Brides of Culdee Creek Book #1)

Blurb: In this spectacular new series, Morgan, an acclaimed writer of historical and futuristic romances, turns her deft pen to the Christian market to reflect a personal change. Abigail Stanton, who recently lost her husband and child, moves to Culdee Creek to become a housekeeper for Conor MacKay, a man whose previous housekeepers warmed more than dinner. Abby makes it clear that she won’t tolerate any disreputable advances on his part, but she feels God led her to this ranch and this family for a purpose. As she grows to love Conor and his daughter, her faith inspires Conor to believe that there might just be something to this idea of religion. This wonderful start is for all collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Review
Daughter of Joy is a beautiful story of redemptive love. Abby’s walk of faith, sometimes followed by sheer force of will alone, resonated in my heart. And Conor’s painful journey back to the safe harbor of a loving and forgiving God brought me to tears. Thank you, Ms. Morgan, for such a memorable read. — Robin Lee Hatcher, author of The Forgiving Hour

It’s got over a thousand five star reviews, and only a handful of one star reviews, but to be honest, the one star reviews made me think I probably would not enjoy it much. YMMV

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Easy Popcorn Recipes: Delicious and Fun Popcorn Recipes for the Whole Family to Enjoy! (The Easy Recipe)

We like to make our popcorn with different kinds of seasonings, so this book looks kind of fun to me.

In This Recipe Book You’ll Find:

- Parmesan Popcorn
- Spiced Caramel Popcorn
- Italian Flavored Popcorn
- Coconut Curry Popcorn
- Oreo Popcorn
- Kimchi Popcorn

- And Much, Much More…

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Jochebed: A mother’s decision that saved a nation

62 pages, by Joyce Tilney

Blurb: As a mother, you have the opportunity to mold minds, nurture growth and develop potential, like no one else. You are a mother! Jochebed raised three leaders. She was a housewife, living in slavery, yet she trained and led her children into the purpose of God for their lives. God brought miracles to earth through the lives of her children. Her life speaks through her children, Moses, Aaron and Miriam; and she is listed with the “heroes of faith” in Hebrews 11. The world she lived in was different in many ways from ours and our fore mothers, but we are dependent on the same God, have the same enemy and fight the same battles. We can learn much from Jochebed!

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Write Your Way to Glad: How Journaling Can Bring You Joy

Blurb: Are you feeling stressed, anxious, or tired? Do you constantly feel like no one understands you? Are you taking depression medication and just want a way to feel better?

More and more individuals are turning to journaling as a way to relieve stress, combat depression, and just start living again.

In Write Your Way to Glad, you’ll discover how keeping your own personal journal can help bring you the peace you’ve been seeking and the tranquility you’ve been hoping for.

Whether you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, death, divorce, postpartum depression, or something job-related, maintaining a journal can help you deal with your thoughts, emotions, and pain.

In Write Your Way to Glad, we’ll cover topics like:
What is journaling?
How can journaling help me deal with stress?
How can I get started?
What should I write about?
What if I’m not a good writer?
What if I’m not sure what to write about?

What are you waiting for? Start journaling today!

Only 17 pages

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My Dreams, Challenges and Joys: Raising an autistic child to adulthood

Blurb: “My Dreams, Challenges and Joys” is a heartwarming story about a family’s struggle in their mission to find happiness for their autistic daughter, Diana. Their uncertaintly and fear of change lead to a turn-around in communication, and their prankster daughter’s antics will not only have you laughing, but inspired as well. They came a long way as a family, as this child gave them their unending strength to go on. Despite society’s views and discriminations, Diana has become her own person.

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Review: Simon SongJoy Defends His Melody

Blurb:Do you know somebody who has a deployed loved one? Perhaps your own family is trying to make sense of life after having a family member return from Iraq or Afghanistan…
Roby Dean-Blest, an adult child of Vietnam veteran, Chuck Dean, creates a unique, school-age children’s story addressing the complicated issues of wartime PTSD, -Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Often, kids cannot understand the volatile emotions they experience during the long months of waiting and wondering..finally coming to a head with the return of their veteran.
-Then the real “adjustment period” begins…
Written as a tool for military personnel and their families, “Simon” bridges the gap for readers who may be experiencing their own delayed stress symptoms, confusion or lack of coping skills to deal with the aftermath of their Homecoming.

Reader Review: I ordered and read Simon Songjoy and loved it. I feel the topic of this book targeted to younger readers is meeting such a huge need right now. The book goes even beyond vets as so many are going through trauma related incidents and having difficulty coping. This book gives much needed answers along with acceptance of the situation of PTSD and the time it takes for all involved to understand the dynamics of heart wrenching circumstances. I know I have a better understanding after reading this delightful and creative book.
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Don’s Great Escape: Life in a German POW Camp

Blurb:
Don’s Great Escape is one man’s story of being in a German POW camp in WWII. Don’s plane went down over occupied France in 1943. He was captured and sent to Stalag Luft III made famous by the 1963 movie The Great Escape. On January 28, 1945, Stalag Luft III was evacuated so the camp would not be captured by the Russians. After several days of walking and being transported by boxcars, the prisoners eventually ended up in Stalag VIIA at Moosburg. Don was liberated on April 29, 1945. His story is told by letters written home to his parents.

Reader Review: This book is well worth the read. It is a personal account of a man in prisoned during WWII after being shot down in his plane and his parachute catching in a tree. The family puts this book together from letters written home to parents of the young man. Somehow he always seems to show hope versus despair and has hopes dashed several times as he thinks he will be home by the next Christmas, the next Thanksgiving, his next birthday. Don is from the country and family and crops are shown in his letters…his love for family and especially the new babies coming along as he is away. I would recommend this to anyone I know. It is a hopeful gutsy story.

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The Great Corporate Escape

About the Author
Michael J Holley writes comedy fiction. He is the author of The Great Corporate Escape and The Christmas Number One (and other Christmas Stories). He was born in Southampton, England in 1977, and since then has lived in Liverpool and Manchester, but now he rests in Cowes on the Isle of Wight with his wife and two children. Having been the taller half of the rhythm section for the indie-rock band Aura4, Michael still enjoys listening to proper music and tinkering around on his guitars. He also loves watching and playing football, watching comedy, reading things that are either going to enrich his life or make him laugh, and he still finds time to be a raconteur in the local hostelries. His next full-length novel, Plaster Scene, will be out in the summer of 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @mjholleywriter Or, visit his website www.michaeljholley.com

Blurb: Ben Jenkins’s corporate career is killing him slowly with boredom whilst his boss, Rupert Savage, has the potential to kill him quickly with his bare hands.

It seems as though he has everything; a good job, a loving family and great friends, but the thought of spending the next thirty years in the corporate world is making him desperately, desperately miserable.

He’s lost but dreams of escape, and the only refuge he has is his imagination. The more obsessed he becomes the more his imagination takes hold, until he’s only left with one option…

… to take freedom into his own hands.

The Great Corporate Escape is a comedy for anyone who has ever had trouble finding out what’s important in their life.

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Housekeeping:

 

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.

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

Any excerpts above all come from Gutenberg editions.

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Salad Dressing Bottle as Smoothie Cup for Cherub

The Cherub and I have a green smoothie almost every day. That means almost every day she gets green smoothie all over her face, except my smoothies tend to the color of Barney the purple dinosaur because they are heavy on the red and dark purple berries.

She doesn’t like to drink out of sippy cups, and she especially does not like to drink thick drinks this way- she just won’t or cannot do it. If I give her a straw, at some point she takes the straw out to play with it and then rubs her face. If I just give her a regular cup she gets it all over her face because she hasn’t mastered drinking a thick drink without pouring some of it on her face.

I’ve improvised a non-spill cup for her before by punching a hole in several layers of folded waxed paper which I put over the mouth of a canning jar and then secured by screwing on the canning jar lid, then putting a straw threw the hole in the waxed paper. But she could still pull the straw out, and if I’d put a rubber band around the lower end of the straw to keep her from pulling it out, she would have just torn the waxed paper.

We have one cup that has a hole for a straw and a special straw that goes in it- the straw has a ridge so she can’t pull it out. But the cup was given to my husband at work and I don’t know where to get another, and it’s everybody’s favorite cup so I couldn’t find it this afternoon when I wanted to make a non-messy green-smoothie for Cherub to drink.

Brainstorm:

bottle with lid
That’s an old Good Seasons salad dressing bottle with the lid.

straw with cap

We have a couple large cups (too large for the Cherub) that came with nice large opening straws with caps.  the cups, incidentally, don’t look like this. I just snagged a random picture off the internet to illustrate the straw with cap.  The cap is attached to a ring which slides around the straw so you can move it up to cap, and down to get it out of the way.

 

Jury rigged sippy cup I slid the ring half way down the straw, the put the Good Seasons lid to my jar over the top of the straw, filled the jar with smoothie and topped it off.

The Cherub can easily hold the jar because of its smaller circumference, but she cannot pull the straw out (a rubber band would also work if your straw is sturdy enough)

It’s glass, so there is the risk of breakage if she drops it, but we have cork floor so the risk of breakage isn’t huge, and she doesn’t drop her drinks as often as you might think- tips and spills, yes, but she doesn’t generally just drop them on the floor.

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News, Views, Links, Thinks, ETC

Excellent read on libertarian philosophy. Excerpt:

Does our libertarian use wealth that wouldn’t exist without government in order to preach against the role of government? I answer this with a question of my own: What does the government produce? What does it have that it did not first take? The state makes nothing, all it does it take, and then redistribute in such a way as to appear that it has “produced” something that could have just as easily been made on the free market.

[...]
“The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves.” -Ayn Rand Does he think that Rand was off the mark on this one, or does he agree that historical figures like King and Gandhi were “parasites”? The equation of Ayn Rand and libertarianism has to stop. Ayn Rand had an incredible understanding of economics and politics, but her moral objectivism was woefully off the mark, and should not be used to bash libertarianism as a whole.

The Salon columnist should watch this video and learn the distinction between a democracy and a republic: http://bit.ly/1oRdjvP

There’s a crowdfunding campaign to gather support for the mom arrested for letting her 9 year old play at the park while Mom worked.

Cop shot and killed 17 year old boy who answered the door with Wii controller in his hand. This same cop had already been fired from a previous job when she shot a suspect in the act of removing his backpack.

 

CNN reporter Dana Magnay was told by Israelis gathered in the area where she was reporting, that if she reported a word wrong, they’d trash her car. I guess it worried her that people expected her to tell the truth. She retaliated wtih journalistic integrity, but first tweeting that they were scum, then deleting the tweet. Now she’s been reassigned.

Even Time is criticizing Obama’s response to the border.

Obama admin may have just made it illegal not to cover prescription contraceptives. We won’t know for sure until another round of lawsuits.

Americans dead in Ukraine in the plane shot down.Obama takes burger photo-ops:http://bit.ly/1oNUtWB

Ed Driscoll on Obama’s bizarre response to the plane shot down in Ukraine (Obama basically just tacked it on to the beginning of his canned speech and carried on with the jokes as usual):

See, that’s the problem when the president is utterly dependent on his speech writers and teleprompter programmer that he’ll relentlessly stick to the script on such a grim news day, one in which 23 Americans were reported killed.

Soviets blew a plane out of the sky when Reagan was President, and his response was considerably different. http://t.co/oJvednnjXU

MSNBC punked by caller claiming to be eyewitness to Ukraine Plane crash, and Krystal Ball was really, really dim about it.  I’m a little embarrassed for her.http://bit.ly/1mSwatS

Senate Republicans paid for attacks against conservatives. Long past time to stop being their lapdogs, folks. http://bit.ly/1kwlzjM

Haley Barbour’s PAC funded racially tinged attacks on McDaniels.  

Obama’s handling of border crisis he created is worse, far worse, than Bush’s response to Katrina. http://bit.ly/1jJgk5x

CBS Airs Feminist’s Anti-Christian Song: “I Wish The Virgin Would’ve Had An Abortion” http://bit.ly/1r9tNUS

Russia Today’s Sara Firth admits RT reporters peddle pro-Putin lies, then resigns. http://bit.ly/1u04aJK

CDC follies- our gov’t left anthrax in unlocked fridge. http://bit.ly/1pjTZZI  But sure, let’s put them in charge of more important stuff.

3 serious errors with dangerous diseases in 3 mos, by our gov’t.Let’s give ‘em more things to mess up. http://hotair.com/archives/2014/07/16/update-that-little-bit-of-smallpox-the-feds-misplaced-was-alive-and-viable/

Israel launches ground operation in #Gaza Strip http://fxn.ws/1l9hulq

20 missiles found in UN-run school in Gaza. http://www.timesofisrael.com/20-missiles-found-in-un-run-school-in-gaza/

the false equivalence of Hamas and Israel; http://bit.ly/UfmoGz

Gross: teacher, coach, councilman found guilty of sexual misconduct w/17 boy students. http://bit.ly/1yBKquW  The headline is a little misleading- it sounds like the teacher was just giving a sex ed class and somebody took offense, but the article gives more detail. This was an art class, and the teacher was and is a disgusting pervert.

Matthew Yglesias of Vox:  All religion should be stamped out.  Also, conservatives too intolerant of minority religions.  http://bit.ly/1lc0V8y

You really cannot outparody Vox’s own unwitting self-parody.

Voxsplaining. Just, wow. http://ace.mu.nu/archives/350534.php

I mean, you really, really, really cannot make stuff up that’s sillier than what they do to themselves:

How Vox accused Israel of denying traffic on a nonexistent bridge. Reporter, and I use that term satireically, skims the internet, misunderstands an article about a proposed bridge that hasn’t been built and very probably never will be, and reports that as an actual existing bridge, and also just makes stuff up about Israel’s unfair rules for this totally nonexistent bridge: http://bit.ly/1r79rLL

This had me humming the Beatles’ Nowhere Man all day yesterday, only with these lyrics instead:

He’s a real Vox ‘Splain Man
Sitting in his Vox ‘Splain Land
Making up his Vox ‘Splain news for nobody

Only has one point of view
Knows only one side of each issue
But he can vox ‘splain it all to you.

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere Man, you really don’t understand.

He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere Man, have you seen Israel at all?

Nowhere Man, don’t worry
Take your time, don’t hurry
Leave it all ’til somebody else lends you a hand

Only has one point of view
Knows only one side of each issue
But he can vox ‘splain it all to you.

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere Man, you really don’t understand.

He’s a real Nowhere Man
Sitting in his Nowhere Land
Making up his nowhere news for nobody
Making up his Vox ‘splain news for nobody
Making up his Vox ‘splain news for nobody

Heh- if Zinn wrote a People’s History of Tattooine: http://kottke.org/14/07/a-peoples-history-of-tattooine

Boehner’s threatened lawsuit against Obama.  I was thinking this was just more lame political theater, but this article is interesting.  He’s threatened a lawsuit before, and he won.  His critics were wrong then, they might be wrong this time, too. http://bit.ly/1mlHAS0

Fired NYT editor Jill Abramson: Obama admin most secretive in generations: http://bit.ly/1yye18m

Obamacare misses target on uninsured by half. http://tws.io/1mRuznJ

Theme park workers caught in sex stings, child porn arrestshttp://cnn.it/1jMxJKJ

No wonder they worry about climate change.They use more electricity.http://bit.ly/1oztvBU

Remember the Obama-money lady? She says she was going along with crowd. http://bit.ly/1mR9YzM  Now she thinks Obama is the worst president we’ve ever had.

Egad.Another recycled hard-drive by Feds, this time, the FEC.http://bit.ly/1qcwsPD

 

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Quotes

“It is confessed, that private justice, or the abstinence from the properties of others, is a most cardinal virtue…” David Hume

But Progressives have turned virtue on its head by imagining that the more money they are willing to tax from others at the point of the government gun, the more noble, generous, and compassionate they are.

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.” (I’ve seen it attributed to John F. Kennedy and to Martin Luther King, Jr, but I think MLK was paraphrasing Dante.

We see this adage in action when Christian ministers believe that in cases of abuse within the family, neutrality is an appropriate stand. When you are dealing with a charismatic sociopath or psychopath who abuses family members or the child of other families, neutrality is standing on the side of evil and firmly setting your face against innocent victims.

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Let’s Talk About Parenting Risks

risk assessmentIn the wake of the story of the working single mom who left her child at the park to play while Mom worked , I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the mom, even by those who think the response (Mom was jailed, child is in foster care) was overkill- she’s been called foolish, irresponsible, foolhardy, and probably worse.  That’s in spite of the fact that few or none of those criticizing know whether or not the park was nearby (it was within walking distance), whether or not it was legal to leave a 9 year old alone in her state (it’s legal), the maturity level of this particular 9 year old (was she going to be ten in three weeks? None of us knows).   What follows is not particularly well organized, and I repeat myself, but the more I tried to tidy things up the longer it got, so I had to quit before I wrote a book.

We all take risks every day of our lives.  We all have opinions about which risks are acceptable to take, and which are foolhardy, and which should actually be criminalized.  Some of our risk assessment is well informed and factually based, and some of it is based on emotions, and I think that’s okay, too.   I didn’t let my youngest two eat tootsie rolls because of a story about a toddler who choked to death on one, told to me by the ER nurse who watched him die. My grandbabies’ mothers, out of deference to me, will cut up tootsie rolls into small pieces when I am around. But the reality is that risk is not actually, in reality, significant enough to call the cops on parents who give their kids tootsie rolls, nor can I reasonably say that those who let their four year olds eat a tootsie roll are taking a chance on their kids’ lives, although every fibre of my being shrieks out that they are clearly taking the tiny child’s life into their own hands with every bite of a tootsie roll.

But I don’t think it’s acceptable to impose our emotion based choices on others as a requirement or standard that others have to live by.

All of those criticizing the mother take greater risks with their own children’s lives every single day.

Your chances of getting in an auto accident during your lifetime are about 100%. They are not remotely slim. The risk of  being in a fatal car accident is only about 1 in 100, according to this website (I’ve read that for children, even in carseats, it’s about 1 in 230). That’s a greater risk than having a rupture during a VBAC.   Yet even doctors who would insist a VBAC is never safe will get in a car again and again without a second thought.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children (after car accidents), yet we all give our children baths, and most of us let them have access to a pool.  The risks of drowning are a lot better known than the shockingly high probability of dying in a car accident, so we do tend to be more careful about leaving children unattended there. But even so,  many a good, doting, careful mother has made a calculated risk assessment to leave a sturdy preschooler alone in the tub while Mom makes a dash from the tub to the cell phone you left on the bed in the next room and back again, or to run grab the towel out of the dryer when you realized there weren’t any clean towels in the bathroom.

The risk of child abduction by a stranger is 1 in a million. 

Most abductions are by family members, not strangers.

The child was in more danger riding in the car than from a stranger at the park. And her risk of running into a predatory adult are far greater in foster care than at the park. And predatory adults are almost always known to the child, not strangers in public places. This is an emotional reaction to fear mongering and inflated stories in the media, it is not a reasoned, logical response based on actual data and the likelihood of various threats to the child’s safety. It’s fine to base your own parenting on emotional fears that are not rational or logical but it’s not fine to criticize another parent (and call the cops on her) on the same basis.

This is an emotional, not a logical issue  for most parents, including me when it comes to making decisions for my own kids, but it is grotesquely unjust to criticize this working single parent for making what was actually, factually, a much safer choice for her child than leaving her home alone or putting her in the car and taking her anywhere.

We’ve all been frightened by statistics like this.

However, Child abduction by strangers in public places is simply not as prevalent as we’ve been led to believe.

Once you take out family abductions (usually the case of custody fights), run-aways, children who were actually simply lost, children taken by family friends- you have about 100 classic stranger abductions in a year, for the whole nation. That’s not okay, but over 10 times that many die in drowning accidents in a year, and more than that die in car accidents. If you put your child in a car (even with proper safety seats) and drive with them, you are taking a much bigger risk with their lives *every* single time you do it than this mother was taking by letting her 9 year old play at a park.

“As most people know by now, the majority of child abductions are custody related. There are also thousands of “lesser” nonfamily abductions, which “do not involve elements of the extremely alarming kind of crime that parents and reporters have in mind,” according to a 2002 U.S. Department of Justice report. Examples included in the report: a 17-year-old girl held in her ex-boyfriend’s car for four hours; a 14-year-old boy held at gunpoint by a man who accused him of hunting on his property; a 15-year-old girl forced into the boy’s bathroom at school and sexually assaulted.

Not happy scenarios, but not Lifetime television special material, either.

But how common are what the Justice Department calls “stereotypical” abductions, the nightmare-caliber crime involving a stranger or slight acquaintance who whisks away a child with the intention of holding him for ransom, keeping him or killing him?

Statistics vary, but not by much. Some estimate about 40 such cases occur each year in the United States. The Justice Department report says there were 115 cases in 2002.” More here.

Even in this absolutely horrifying tragic story of a recent stranger abduction that ended in the murder of the child, we read this:

“Williams said he has not dealt with an abduction by a stranger in more than 30 years of police work. Similarly, Greene County’s former prosecutor said he had not seen any case like this since he took office in the early 1980s.”

It’s entirely possible that we have fewer stranger abductions from public spaces because parents are watching their kids more, but that still means that strangers are not roaming parks looking for kids as often as we suppose, because they know that their chances are low. Child molesters go where the prey is easy (mostly, churches, foster care, and schools), not where it’s hard.

In this country, factually, stranger abduction is simply NOT a significant risk. I understand it’s emotionally terrifying, and I didn’t let my kids out unsupervised much, either until we lived in the country, and I would never have left them at the park alone.   Factually, our kids risk a much greater, MUCH more likely chance of serious injury every. single. time. you put them in a car. Seriously, if there were a food with as high a rate of fatalities, we would ban it. If there were a toy that killed the same number of kids, we would ban it and sue the toymaker into oblivion. But we aren’t giving up our cars.

The idea of abduction of one of our children  plays on all our fears and freaks us all out for that reason and makes the danger seem greater than it is, but you are more likely to lose your kids in a car accident than in an abduction by a stranger, far, far, far more likely. You are more likely to lose your child to a *heart attack* than to an abduction by a stranger, and yet that is not a fear that causes most of us to change the way we live our lives. 

It also turns out that a surprising number of stranger abduction claims are hoaxes, often perpetuated by kids who needed an excuse because they were late for school.

There is simply not a logically sound reason to be so harshly judgmental about this mother’s choice to let her 9 year old play at the park.  258,000 children are abducted every year. Of these, 115 are stranger abductions. That’s obviously 115 too many, but it’s hardly more than two children per state, and even then 16% are abducted from their own yards or even their own homes. 

99% of the time, the children survive and are returned home, although, of course, they have been abused and it’s all very horrible and nobody wants it to happen to their children or anybody else’s. 

Meanwhile, more children die every year from accidental falls in their own homes.

Meanwhile, as well, a quarter of a million children are injured in car accidents each year and about 2,000 of them die (more than half of those who died were properly restrained in the appropriate safety devices), but the same people who think free range parents are irresponsible still put their kids in cars even though the risk of injury or death is far, far, far more likely.

I get it, I do. I didn’t let my kids go anywhere on foot by themselves except briefly when we lived on base overseas. I let them go places in pairs when they were older. But I don’t really view that as a rational decision, it was emotional. I think it’s okay to make emotional choices. But I also believe in calling them what they are. Free range parents are not crazy or irresponsible just because they aren’t as worried about stranger abduction as you. And our kids may well be missing out on some important developmental experiences while we protect them from a danger that might happen to two children in your entire state any given year.

People get pretty upset when you point out that this is an emotional rather than logical response, but that’s the reality.  The math says it’s not really that rational. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, just that it is what it is.  Mathematically, about 1 in 10 kids will receive unwanted sexual solicitations on the internet, 1 in 4 will be surprised by an unsought exposure to pornography, the chance of any given person dying in a car accident are about one in a couple of hundred (hundred, three digits), and the odds of your child being abducted by a stranger are about 1 in a MILLION.

One in a million. That’s not a rational fear. It’s understandable, but that is not the same as logical. Taking action to avert something that has a 1 in a million chance of happening, especially while not taking any action at all to avert things that have a a 1 in 10, 1 in 4, 1 in 200 likelihood of happening is just not something that can accurately be described as rational.  The Sanctimommies who like to criticize (or worse, report) moms who let their kids play outside alone will tell you that it’s better to err on the side of caution.  But 1 in a million is in the realm of almost never.  You really cannot accurately frame that as ‘erring on the side of caution.’

Statistically, too, that 1 in a million figure is just the likliehood of being abducted by a stranger. out of that incredibly statistically minuscule number, most of them will, in fact, *not* die. They will be home within 24 hours. They’ll have been through a horrific experience, but they will be alive and with you- unlike the far more likely and quite common car accident stats.

More importantly, it’s not at all fair to characterize those decisions that assess the risks far more realistically in such a way as to even appear to denigrate those who don’t take action to avoid something that has only a 1 in a million chance of happening.

Kids are more likely to be harmed by people they know and by relatives (although, even then, getting in any car that is going to be moving is still far more dangerous). 

People who like to harm children do not act like creepers. They act like loving, kind, reliable members of your inner circle. Predatory people cannot have access to their prey if they make it obvious who they are. They have to be good con-artists and people with charisma in order to get access to victims.Children are *far more*likely to be molested by somebody they know at church, particularly a staff member or volunteer, than by a stranger at a park, and tragically, staff members at church molesting kids are far more probable than a stranger abduction- by an order of ten or more I would guess.

I know it seems counterintuitive, but consider that wolves masquerading as sheep clearly go where the sheep are, or there is no point in the masquerade. And reason church functions are not safer is not because church is inherently on its own merits dangerous (or at least not entirely), but because of the nature of *predators* and the methods they use to allow themselves access to the children they prey on. 

Consider this:

“… there are studies that demonstrate that the faith community is even more vulnerable to abuse than secular environments. The Abel and Harlow study revealed that 93% of sex offenders describe themselves as “religious” and that this category of offender may be the most dangerous. Other studies have found that sexual abusers within faith communities have more victims and younger victims. This disturbing truth is perhaps best illustrated by the words of a convicted child molester who told Dr. Salter,

“I considered church people easy to fool…they have a trust that comes from being Christians. They tend to be better folks all around and seem to want to believe in the good that exists in people.”
- See more at: http://www.ourchristianwalkinfaith.com/startling…/…

This is a really important issue and all Christians need to educate ourselves about it so we can protect our children from a very real and serious threat.  That’s far more important than spending time being informers on our neighbors for mere differences in parenting paranoia.

And what it means is this 9 year old child would have been at greater risk in a summer school program at the local church than she was at the park, but her mother wouldn’t go to jail for exposing her child to the more likely risk.

Postscript- Most free-range parents and would-be free-range parents acknowledge that the biggest threat to their kids is actually nanny-state brown-shirters who will call the cops on unaccompanied children.  I got a kick out of this suggestion from the comments here:

I need to tell my kids that. If you’re out playing and an adult asks you where your parents are, back away and yell “I don’t know you! Why are you approaching me? Stay away from me! Stranger Danger! This adult may be trying to abduct or molest me!”

Awesome.

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Chinese Cold Plate Salad

chopsticksplainChinese Cold Plate Salad

Ingredients: 4 cups shredded lettuce (and/or bok choy)

3/4 cup of cooked rice, chilled

1 cup of frozen peas, thawed (you don’t have to cook them, just rinse), Edamame, OR fresh snow peas, sliced

3/4 cup of cooked, shredded or diced, pork

1/2 cup of sliced water chestnuts

Three green onions, snipped with kitchen shears

Combine all of the above and toss well.

Combine 1/2 cup of rice vinegar and 1/2 cup of sesame oil with about 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice, a tsp of garlic, cayenne pepper or sriracha sauce to taste- shake well.  Sprinkle over salad, toss.

Serve with chow mein noodles, sunflower seeds, and pineapple chunks as optional toppings.

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