Friday, July 29, 2011

The Largest Snake Ever Found

Ok, I know you probably already know how I feel about snakes..... So you can imagine how I felt when I saw this.

~~~~~~   Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~

The Largest Snake Ever Found

Ok, I know you probably already know how I feel about snakes..... So you can imagine how I felt when I saw this.

~~~~~~   Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Free Canning Class

This time of year, if you are lucky, many folks have tomato's coming out their ears.  This year I haven't been so lucky. The heat and drought have helped to destroy any canning that I was planning on doing.  Right now I'm struggling to keep them alive through this drought. But, not everyone has had my kind of luck this year. 

I received an email from a friend last week asking about what to do with all the tomato's she is happily picking this year.  Of course the very first thing I suggested was to can them.  I have found that there are so many people who are just flat out scared to try canning their own foods.  The excuses reasons  are many and most always unfounded.  Canning is easy!  The hardest part about it is getting your fruits or veggies ready to go.  Once you get them in the jar the hard part is over with.  Just pop them in your water bath or your canner for the "allotted" time. That's basically it.... Easy as pie! (and we all know how I love pie)   <(*@*)> 

If you want to learn to can, there are a couple of suggestions I would make right off.  The first one is to go get yourself a Ball Blue Book.  It's what I call the Canning Bible.  The instructions for just about anything you could want to preserve are in it, along with the proper way to get 'er done.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that the book is really cheap inexpensive. A new one won't cost you $10.00 and you will use it for years. The information is timeless.  They carry them at your local China-Mart and lots of other places too.  I got my new one on Ebay for $6.00.

One other thing I found awhile back is a Free Online Canning Class.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click to get started. It's self-paced and very thorough. I went through it 3-4 years ago and really got a lot out of it.  So if you don't have anyone to "teach" you the how-to's  give this site a look. You know you just can't beat Free....

So what are you waiting for?  "Tis the season" to make the most of the bounty that awaits you.  If you don't have a garden, check your local farmers market. You will not regret it. Not to mention how wonderful those jars look sitting in your pantry....  

When you think about it, canning is one of the great ways to stock up your pantry inexpensively.  You will be so glad you did once winter comes and you open a jar of some fresh canned green beans, or tomato's or squash or whatever you choose.  Just remember that anything you can find in the grocery store, you can put up yourself.  A great way to save money while knowing EXACTLY what is in the food you are eating!
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~

Free Canning Class

This time of year, if you are lucky, many folks have tomato's coming out their ears.  This year I haven't been so lucky. The heat and drought have helped to destroy any canning that I was planning on doing.  Right now I'm struggling to keep them alive through this drought. But, not everyone has had my kind of luck this year. 

I received an email from a friend last week asking about what to do with all the tomato's she is happily picking this year.  Of course the very first thing I suggested was to can them.  I have found that there are so many people who are just flat out scared to try canning their own foods.  The excuses reasons  are many and most always unfounded.  Canning is easy!  The hardest part about it is getting your fruits or veggies ready to go.  Once you get them in the jar the hard part is over with.  Just pop them in your water bath or your canner for the "allotted" time. That's basically it.... Easy as pie! (and we all know how I love pie)   <(*@*)> 

If you want to learn to can, there are a couple of suggestions I would make right off.  The first one is to go get yourself a Ball Blue Book.  It's what I call the Canning Bible.  The instructions for just about anything you could want to preserve are in it, along with the proper way to get 'er done.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that the book is really cheap inexpensive. A new one won't cost you $10.00 and you will use it for years. The information is timeless.  They carry them at your local China-Mart and lots of other places too.  I got my new one on Ebay for $6.00.

One other thing I found awhile back is a Free Online Canning Class.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click to get started. It's self-paced and very thorough. I went through it 3-4 years ago and really got a lot out of it.  So if you don't have anyone to "teach" you the how-to's  give this site a look. You know you just can't beat Free....

So what are you waiting for?  "Tis the season" to make the most of the bounty that awaits you.  If you don't have a garden, check your local farmers market. You will not regret it. Not to mention how wonderful those jars look sitting in your pantry....  

When you think about it, canning is one of the great ways to stock up your pantry inexpensively.  You will be so glad you did once winter comes and you open a jar of some fresh canned green beans, or tomato's or squash or whatever you choose.  Just remember that anything you can find in the grocery store, you can put up yourself.  A great way to save money while knowing EXACTLY what is in the food you are eating!
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind

July 26, 2011

By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer

The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families.  For many Americans, "flat broke" has become a permanent condition.  Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck.  Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are.  The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys.  For example, according to a new Gallup poll, "lack of money/low wages" is the number one financial concern for American families.  To make ends meet, many American families are going into even more debt and more American families than ever are turning to government assistance.  Right now, more Americans than at any other point since World War II are flat broke and have lost hope.  Until this changes, the frustration level in this country is going to continue to grow.
The following are 10 facts about the financial condition of American families that will blow your mind.....
#1 Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now.
#2 Only 56 percent of Americans are currently covered by employer-provided health insurance.
#3 The median yearly wage in the United States is $26,261.
#4 The average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.
#5 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#6 At this point, American families are approximately 7.7 trillion dollars poorer than they were back in early 2007.
#7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#8 According to one study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.
#9 Today, there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps, and nearly half of them are children.
#10 According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment.
So what is causing all of this?
Where in the world did all of the good jobs go?
Well, the truth is that millions of them have been shipped overseas.
Our politicians promised us that merging our economy with the economies of other nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers would not create more unemployment inside America.
They were dead wrong.
Now we are being told that we just need to accept a lower standard of living.
For example, billionaire Howard Marks says that it is time for all of us to just accept that the standard of living of American workers is inevitably going to decline to the level of the rest of the world....
"In addition to balancing the budget and growing the economy, I think we have to accept that the coming decades are likely to see U.S. standards of living decline relative to the rest of the world. Unless our goods offer a better cost/benefit bargain, there’s no reason why American workers should continue to enjoy the same lifestyle advantage over workers in other countries. I just don’t expect to hear many politicians own up to this reality on the stump."
Are you willing to accept that?
Well, most Americans appear to be willing to accept this "new reality" because they keep sending most of the exact same bozos back to Washington D.C.
Meanwhile, the job losses continue to get worse.  As I wrote about the other day, as the U.S. economy has started to slow down again we are starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over America.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out where all of our jobs are going.  But unfortunately, most Americans don't understand what is happening because neither the mainstream media nor our politicians are telling them the truth.
For much more on how millions of our good jobs are being shipped out of the country, please see another article I recently published entitled "How Globalism Has Destroyed Our Jobs, Businesses And National Wealth In 10 Easy Steps".
But it is not just the globalization of the economy that is destroying our jobs.
The federal government bureaucracy has become so oppressive that it is amazing that anyone is still willing to hire workers in this day and age.
Hiring workers has become so complicated and so expensive that many small business owners want to avoid it at all cost.
For example, a small business owner identified as "007" recently left the following comment on one of my recent articles....
Speaking as a small employer, I would rather have a root canal than another employee. Let’s see. You first have to hire someone you trust without some labor lawyer suing you for some type of discrimination. Then you have OSHA to make sure your work place is safe. Then you have workmans compensation insurance, unemployment taxes, health insurance, liability insurance, now Obamacare. Oh be careful not to be deemed to have a “hostile work environment”. Then you have to negotiate the labor laws. The Department of Labor is constantly cranking out regulation.
Then you get the pleasure of paying payroll taxes both state and federal along with the required filing of a multitude of payroll forms. Miss filing or paying these taxes and you will be crushed with interest and penalties.
Of course, you are competing with businesses that can hire at a fraction of the cost of American Labor and with very little regulations. In this economy, no one in their right mind is hiring into this unstable and declining economy.
If business turns down all you have to worry about is laying off workers. Of course your unemployment insurance tax will go up 200% for years. Then you only have to then worry about a wrongful termination law suit.
The entire system is stacked against American workers.
If you are a blue collar worker, you should give up hope that things are going to get better.  The system has failed you.
You can stop waiting for the "good jobs" to come back.
They aren't coming back.
That is one reason why I try to encourage everyone to become more independent of the system.
As our economic system continues to degenerate, Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.
Sadly, desperate people do desperate things.  Already we are starting to see signs that the fabric of American society is starting to be ripped to shreds.
So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?
There is a limit to how many people we can actually put in prison.  The reality is that the number of Americans in prison has nearly tripled since 1987.
Our prisons are already dangerously overcrowded.  As society falls apart, many communities will simply not be able to shove more people behind bars.
Even with our prisons stuffed to the gills, many of our largest cities continue to be transformed into absolute hellholes.
Detroit is now the 3rd most dangerous city on the entire planet and New Orleans is now the 9th most dangerous city on the entire planet.
So what are our leaders doing about all of this?
Well, they appear to be too busy fighting with each other and cheating on their wives to do much about our problems.
According to Politico, U.S. Representative David Wu is the latest member of Congress to be accused of a sex scandal....
Rep. David Wu has been accused of an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage daughter of a longtime friend, the latest scandal to engulf the troubled Oregon Democrat.
This country is a complete and total mess.  Tens of millions of American families are flat broke and are about to slip into poverty.  Meanwhile, our politicians continue to prove that they are some of the most corrupt on the planet.
There are many out there that still believe that America has a bright future ahead.
It is getting really hard to see why anyone could possibly believe that.

Broke! 10 Facts About The Financial Condition Of American Families That Will Blow Your Mind

July 26, 2011

By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer

The crumbling U.S. economy is putting an extraordinary amount of financial stress on American families.  For many Americans, "flat broke" has become a permanent condition.  Today, over half of all American families live paycheck to paycheck.  Unemployment is rampant and those that do actually have jobs are finding that their wages are rising much more slowly than prices are.  The financial condition of average American families continues to decline and this is showing up in all of the recent surveys.  For example, according to a new Gallup poll, "lack of money/low wages" is the number one financial concern for American families.  To make ends meet, many American families are going into even more debt and more American families than ever are turning to government assistance.  Right now, more Americans than at any other point since World War II are flat broke and have lost hope.  Until this changes, the frustration level in this country is going to continue to grow.
The following are 10 facts about the financial condition of American families that will blow your mind.....
#1 Only 58 percent of Americans have a job right now.
#2 Only 56 percent of Americans are currently covered by employer-provided health insurance.
#3 The median yearly wage in the United States is $26,261.
#4 The average American household is carrying $75,600 in debt.
#5 Only the top 5 percent of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
#6 At this point, American families are approximately 7.7 trillion dollars poorer than they were back in early 2007.
#7 The poorest 50% of all Americans now own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.
#8 According to one study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010.
#9 Today, there are more than 44 million Americans on food stamps, and nearly half of them are children.
#10 According to Newsweek, close to 20 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 54 do not have a job at the moment.
So what is causing all of this?
Where in the world did all of the good jobs go?
Well, the truth is that millions of them have been shipped overseas.
Our politicians promised us that merging our economy with the economies of other nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to workers would not create more unemployment inside America.
They were dead wrong.
Now we are being told that we just need to accept a lower standard of living.
For example, billionaire Howard Marks says that it is time for all of us to just accept that the standard of living of American workers is inevitably going to decline to the level of the rest of the world....
"In addition to balancing the budget and growing the economy, I think we have to accept that the coming decades are likely to see U.S. standards of living decline relative to the rest of the world. Unless our goods offer a better cost/benefit bargain, there’s no reason why American workers should continue to enjoy the same lifestyle advantage over workers in other countries. I just don’t expect to hear many politicians own up to this reality on the stump."
Are you willing to accept that?
Well, most Americans appear to be willing to accept this "new reality" because they keep sending most of the exact same bozos back to Washington D.C.
Meanwhile, the job losses continue to get worse.  As I wrote about the other day, as the U.S. economy has started to slow down again we are starting to see another huge wave of layoffs all over America.
It doesn't take a genius to figure out where all of our jobs are going.  But unfortunately, most Americans don't understand what is happening because neither the mainstream media nor our politicians are telling them the truth.
For much more on how millions of our good jobs are being shipped out of the country, please see another article I recently published entitled "How Globalism Has Destroyed Our Jobs, Businesses And National Wealth In 10 Easy Steps".
But it is not just the globalization of the economy that is destroying our jobs.
The federal government bureaucracy has become so oppressive that it is amazing that anyone is still willing to hire workers in this day and age.
Hiring workers has become so complicated and so expensive that many small business owners want to avoid it at all cost.
For example, a small business owner identified as "007" recently left the following comment on one of my recent articles....
Speaking as a small employer, I would rather have a root canal than another employee. Let’s see. You first have to hire someone you trust without some labor lawyer suing you for some type of discrimination. Then you have OSHA to make sure your work place is safe. Then you have workmans compensation insurance, unemployment taxes, health insurance, liability insurance, now Obamacare. Oh be careful not to be deemed to have a “hostile work environment”. Then you have to negotiate the labor laws. The Department of Labor is constantly cranking out regulation.
Then you get the pleasure of paying payroll taxes both state and federal along with the required filing of a multitude of payroll forms. Miss filing or paying these taxes and you will be crushed with interest and penalties.
Of course, you are competing with businesses that can hire at a fraction of the cost of American Labor and with very little regulations. In this economy, no one in their right mind is hiring into this unstable and declining economy.
If business turns down all you have to worry about is laying off workers. Of course your unemployment insurance tax will go up 200% for years. Then you only have to then worry about a wrongful termination law suit.
The entire system is stacked against American workers.
If you are a blue collar worker, you should give up hope that things are going to get better.  The system has failed you.
You can stop waiting for the "good jobs" to come back.
They aren't coming back.
That is one reason why I try to encourage everyone to become more independent of the system.
As our economic system continues to degenerate, Americans are going to become increasingly desperate.
Sadly, desperate people do desperate things.  Already we are starting to see signs that the fabric of American society is starting to be ripped to shreds.
So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?
There is a limit to how many people we can actually put in prison.  The reality is that the number of Americans in prison has nearly tripled since 1987.
Our prisons are already dangerously overcrowded.  As society falls apart, many communities will simply not be able to shove more people behind bars.
Even with our prisons stuffed to the gills, many of our largest cities continue to be transformed into absolute hellholes.
Detroit is now the 3rd most dangerous city on the entire planet and New Orleans is now the 9th most dangerous city on the entire planet.
So what are our leaders doing about all of this?
Well, they appear to be too busy fighting with each other and cheating on their wives to do much about our problems.
According to Politico, U.S. Representative David Wu is the latest member of Congress to be accused of a sex scandal....
Rep. David Wu has been accused of an “unwanted sexual encounter” with the teenage daughter of a longtime friend, the latest scandal to engulf the troubled Oregon Democrat.
This country is a complete and total mess.  Tens of millions of American families are flat broke and are about to slip into poverty.  Meanwhile, our politicians continue to prove that they are some of the most corrupt on the planet.
There are many out there that still believe that America has a bright future ahead.
It is getting really hard to see why anyone could possibly believe that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Surprise Cake

I'm not much of a cake person.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing at all against cake. It is a dessert therefore it falls into my favorite food category!  I've always been more of a pie lover.  As a matter of fact, for my birthday one of the things that Mars does is to bake me a birthday pie.  My choice usually. There have been peach pies and cobblers, lemon meringue, chocolate, various cheesecakes (cause really aren't they a pie?) and lots more I can't remember.  It's become a tradition that I love.  Now with that being said, I ran across a recipe on.... you guessed it .... All Recipes!   It's called Surprise Cake.  What's the surprise you ask?  Well the surprise ngredient in it is cayenne pepper!  Yep! Cayenne pepper.  So without further ado, I give you one of the best cakes I've had in at least 10 years.

Surprise Cake

Ingredients

    2 cups white sugar
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butter
    1 cup water
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 cup sour cream
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    1/4 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
    In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. Set aside.
    In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup butter, water and 3 tablespoons cocoa to a boil. Remove from heat. Add to flour mixture and beat until smooth.
    In a separate bowl, Mix sour cream, eggs, baking soda and cayenne pepper. Add to the cake batter. Blend well. Pour batter into 9x13 inch pan.
    Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

    For the Frosting: Melt 1/4 cup butter, add 1/3 cup cocoa. Add confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth and free of lumps.
    Spread frosting on the cooled cake. Cut into squares and serve. Ask your company if they can guess what is in it, they never will.

I didn't have any sour cream so I substituted cream cheese in this.  The result was one of the best chocolate cakes I've had in a long time!  It has an almost brownie like texture to it which I really like.  I'll be honest about the frosting though.  I followed the recipe exactly and it came out really thin and runny. I ended up adding at least another cup of powdered sugar and it still was kind of thin.  Next time (oh heck yeah there WILL be a next time) I think I might try a cream cheese frosting for it.  Maybe a butter creme... hmmm I'm going to have to think on that one a bit.  Anyway, this recipe is a keeper!


Once again I forgot to take a picture of it and by the time I thought about it there wasn't anything to take a picture of.  Well, I guess I could have taken a shot of the empty pan but I didn't want you to see the tongue impressions where I tried licking the pan..... Stop laughing, you would have done the same thing!  There WAS chocolate involved.....
       ~~~~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~

Surprise Cake

I'm not much of a cake person.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing at all against cake. It is a dessert therefore it falls into my favorite food category!  I've always been more of a pie lover.  As a matter of fact, for my birthday one of the things that Mars does is to bake me a birthday pie.  My choice usually. There have been peach pies and cobblers, lemon meringue, chocolate, various cheesecakes (cause really aren't they a pie?) and lots more I can't remember.  It's become a tradition that I love.  Now with that being said, I ran across a recipe on.... you guessed it .... All Recipes!   It's called Surprise Cake.  What's the surprise you ask?  Well the surprise ngredient in it is cayenne pepper!  Yep! Cayenne pepper.  So without further ado, I give you one of the best cakes I've had in at least 10 years.

Surprise Cake

Ingredients

    2 cups white sugar
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butter
    1 cup water
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 cup sour cream
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    1/4 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
    In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. Set aside.
    In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup butter, water and 3 tablespoons cocoa to a boil. Remove from heat. Add to flour mixture and beat until smooth.
    In a separate bowl, Mix sour cream, eggs, baking soda and cayenne pepper. Add to the cake batter. Blend well. Pour batter into 9x13 inch pan.
    Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

    For the Frosting: Melt 1/4 cup butter, add 1/3 cup cocoa. Add confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth and free of lumps.
    Spread frosting on the cooled cake. Cut into squares and serve. Ask your company if they can guess what is in it, they never will.

I didn't have any sour cream so I substituted cream cheese in this.  The result was one of the best chocolate cakes I've had in a long time!  It has an almost brownie like texture to it which I really like.  I'll be honest about the frosting though.  I followed the recipe exactly and it came out really thin and runny. I ended up adding at least another cup of powdered sugar and it still was kind of thin.  Next time (oh heck yeah there WILL be a next time) I think I might try a cream cheese frosting for it.  Maybe a butter creme... hmmm I'm going to have to think on that one a bit.  Anyway, this recipe is a keeper!


Once again I forgot to take a picture of it and by the time I thought about it there wasn't anything to take a picture of.  Well, I guess I could have taken a shot of the empty pan but I didn't want you to see the tongue impressions where I tried licking the pan..... Stop laughing, you would have done the same thing!  There WAS chocolate involved.....
       ~~~~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shade and Sweetwater: What About Bob*?

This lady has a way with words and I couldn't agree with her more. Our spending millions and millions of dollars to support other countries while folks here at home are becoming homeless at an alarming rate. Folks can't pay their bills or feed their own children and yet we send our money overseas.  Why is this????

Shade and Sweetwater: What About Bob*?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cost of Livin'

ost
My nephew turned me on to this song. I think it speaks volumes about what is going on in the "Real World".  All this talk in D.C. isn't addressing the real problems that face so may folks these days. I don't have the answers... only questions....

I've had to take a little "down" time. I'll be back in a day or two, I promise. It's probably the heat, which I was all ready to fuss about....  Till then I found this on my FaceBook page. 

I was going to complain about how hot it is, then I realized that: 1.) It isn't 109 degrees; 2.) I'm not 5,700 miles from home; 3.) I'm not dressed in a full BDU'S and helmet and carrying 70+ lbs.; and. 4.) There is very little chance that anyone will shoot at me or that I might drive over a bomb in the road today! 
Thanks to all who serve. 
I may not agree with the war  but I support our veterans.
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Can See... The Heat

I am pleased to announce that I will be holding my first ever give-away coming soon. I'm lining up some great prizes for the winners too.  I just have to figure out how to actually RUN a blog contest.  Having never done it before, I keep thinking there may be something that I am missing or may need to know.  LOL  Nahhh, I'm just trying to figure out how I want to do one. Have you ever held a give-away and if so is there any advise that you can give me?  What kind of contests do you guys like to participate in?  Are some more fun than others?  Are there some give-away's  that you shy away from?  Any input you would like to give?  Let me know in the comments below.


I found my glasses!   OK I know that I haven't said a single word to anyone about loosing them in the first place.  Mainly because I really didn't want anyone to know that I had once again lost them. That, and the fact that I'm not totally blind without them, unless that is, I find that I have to read something on the side of a box or bottle. That print is so dang tiny anyway that even folks with normal eyesight would have to squint to see it.   I've looked for them off and on over the past six weeks or so and came to the conclusion that somehow I had lost them in the truck. It has an ability to "eat" things from time to time and then regurgitate them at a later date.
  While I was watering the lower section of the garden yesterday I decided to dump out the dog's water trough and give it a good rinse.  While I had it on it's side, I looked down and spotted something shiny beneath the tall grass growing there.  I reached down to see what it was... Yep, My Glasses!  I don't know HOW they got there, I'm just going to assume that I had laid them down on the concrete steps that are right there, and they got shuffled off.  My apologies to the truck for the accusation.I might be able to sit down and read a book now.



I can't afford to tick off the truck, its our only means of transportation. Besides, it's not been feeling well the past few days.  It seems that the battery is going bad. It's not holding a charge. Which shouldn't be happening as it is still under warranty.  That being said, I can't find the receipt.  I'll try to talk WallyWorld into replacing it but I'm not holding my breath.  Good thoughts my way would be appreciated.


Man oh man it's hot. I'm amazed at how hot most of the country has been.  It's not going to bode well for many homesteaders and farmers. The heat is causing problems all across the nation.   Crops were iffy before because of all the spring rain, and now the heat is decimating what is left of many crops.  Folks are having to butcher their livestock because they can't find and/or afford the hay for them.  Please check on your neighbors who may be affected by this horrible heat  and keep folks in your prayers.


Around here with the a/c not working, I've been taking cold showers two and three times a day just to cool off for a little bit. Having well water is great for this because we are talking COLD water. Cold enough that the faucets condensate when you run it a couple of minutes.  And with that being said,  I've decided that even though we can't afford to do it, I am ordering the fan blade for the air conditioner.  I'll just have to do without something else. I can't take the heat anymore. It's been 100+ here for days and days with no relief in sight and the fan is just blowing around hot air.  I know it's going to jack up the electric bill too, but that's just the price I'm going to have to pay. Being this miserable on a day to day basis is growing really old really fast. It also makes for grumpy people.  I don't like grumpy people, especially when its me.   Besides, I figure by the time it gets here July will be just about over and then there's probably another 6 or 8 weeks left until we can turn it off again.  
Ok I'm done with my fussing for the day.  Ya'll stay cool and stay hydrated!
      ~~~~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cut, Cap and Balance


I woke up this morning listening to the radio. All the talking heads going on and on about the debt ceiling and the government possibly shutting down. Now that is one heck of a thing to have to wake up to every morning.  I live within my means (and trust me they aren't all that meaningful) and I pay my bills. I don't rack up debt that I have no way of paying back and I think the government should be able to do the same.  I don't think they  have a clue as how to cut, cap and balance the national budget. Wishful thinking after all these years of abuse and overspending.  And yet they will tell us that we need to live within our means. The problem is that many Americans can't do it either.

It seems that these days there is no example with which to draw from. Our grandparent's knew the value of a dollar and did their best not to incur debt that couldn't be repaid in a timely fashion. But that was the old way.  The new way seems to be to spend without regard as to how the hell you are going to be able to pay it back.  Defaulting on loans isn't just for the government these days. Folks are loosing everything they have every day, and mostly because they didn't live within their means.

Most folks under a certain "age"  grew up in families who owed debts that they were (and still are) struggling to get out from under.  The "prosperity" of people in general from the late 80's and even today has people thinking that it is just a natural part of living. Talk about entitlements....
For many years now it seems that the "American Dream" has been about buying a big house, having a couple of new cars, getting that boat you always wanted, nice vacations a couple of times a year, the latest styles in clothing,  the ski-doo's, the ATV's, the big screen TV, surround sound, and all the newest appliances.  If you don't have the cash just put it on the credit card and pay the interest every month. Even the kids feel that they are "entitled" to an education, cars, clothes, iPhones,video games, music and hefty allowance.
 We have taught it to our children and they in turn have taught it to theirs. Instant gratification has become a way of life and has been passed down to the next generation. Talk about entitlement!  I could go on and on about this but what difference would it make? Unless folks realize that they are not entitled to the fancy trappings that they feel they can't live without, the trend will continue. That is until they find that they can no longer maintain that lifestyle.  Or until the bank comes and takes their home, those credit cards are maxed out. and the collection agency hounds them until they can't breath anymore. 

More and more people are waking up these days and realizing that they are in a debt hole so deep that it may take years to dig out of it. There are no more inheritances to be had these days because folks owe someone for everything they have. Leaving an inheritance is impossible. For some, the only way out of debt is death. It doesn't have to be that way.


I would imagine it's a terrible thing to wake up one day and realize that your way of life can't be sustained anymore. That your credit cards are maxed out and you just may be one the millions who have lost or will loose their jobs. The fear of losing their homes and everything they have accumulated is very real for many today. For some it is to late and they are finding themselves homeless and living in their cars.  Of course the cars are on the repo list as well. 

 But people are waking up.  Some are finally realizing that they need to somehow crawl out of the hole and start to change not only their debt load but the way they do their day to day living.  I wish them lots and lots of luck because it most certainly isn't an easy thing to do. Waking up can be pretty painful when you first realize what you have done to yourself.
One of the first thing that will have to be done is to pay down the debts that have accumulated.  A major change in lifestyle will have to happen as well.  Living within your means isn't always easy. It takes a different mind set than the one you have had in the past. 
So what can be done to change that mind-set?  Well, I would say that the first thing would have to be knowing that things are going to have to change. That doing the same things over and over is insane and can't be sustained if you want to get out from under all that debt.
I am probably not the best person in the world to give advice as to how to do that. BUT even though I've never had credit cards I know that you have to stop just paying down the interest and stop incurring more debt on them.  Pay them off. If you have to do that one card at a time then do it.
No more spending money on things that aren't necessary.  That means that you don't need a new pair of shoes to go out to dinner next week.  It means not going out to dinner at all and wearing one of the pairs of shoes already in your closet. Just an example, but I'm sure you understand what I mean.  Start living "within your means".  Look at your bills. Start paying them down. No one can do it all at once but little by little you CAN get them paid off. Get out of debt. Start working on it now.  Stop eating out, start cooking at home.  Actually, cooking from scratch isn't all that hard and takes no more time than opening up a box of Hamburger Helper.  Its just cheaper and better for you.  Do you eat lunch out most days?  Start taking your lunch to work.
Stop going to Starbucks and invest in a coffee maker and a thermos. Make sure all your food comes from your own kitchen and not from some fast food joint.  You would be totally amazed at how much money that alone will save you. These are only a few examples. I can think of a lot more.
Sit down and make a list of all the things you spend your money on every month. Make an accounting of where it all goes.  Become responsible for your actions and your debts. What are some of the things you can cut out of your life?  Cut them out! Use that money to pay down your debt.  There are so many other things that you can do to live a more simplified life and get you out from under all that debt you have been "entitled" with.  Take a look on the internet, there are thousands of articles on saving money and reducing your debt.  You just have to ''want" to do it. It's not easy and it won't happen fast, but if you will just try I am positive that many of you can do it.

Cut, Cap and Balance your own way to financial independence.  Stop the "entitlements" and own your personal freedom instead.
    ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~~

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ability Chicago Info Blog: Opinion: Social Security is Not an Entitlement : By Dan McGinnis July 15 2011

Ability Chicago Info Blog: Opinion: Social Security is Not an Entitlement : By Dan McGinnis July 15 2011

Have A Great Weekend

I'm going to take the weekend off and putter around the homestead. Please hit the blog roll. There are so many great folks there to visit.  I hope you all have a good weekend and I'll be back on Monday!
Have a Super Weekend!
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Wrap Up

 Today I present to you just some of the news that apparently wasn't fit to print in the Main Stream Media this week. You know, even if I tried I could not make this stuff up.

This first story actually really really didn't surprise me much ....What DID surprise me is that I am not alone in thinking this! 
" Using his law enforcement experience and data drawn from the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, Jim Kouri has collected a series of personality traits common to a couple of professions.
Kouri, who’s a vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police, has assembled traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse and manipulation of others.
These traits, Kouri points out in his analysis, are common to psychopathic serial killers.
But — and here’s the part that may spark some controversy and defensive discussion — these traits are also common to American politicians. (Maybe you already suspected.)" Read more here.  

And speaking of politicians, it seems our illustrious leader doesn't seem to think that "We, the people" can possibly be able to understand the intricacies of the treasury and our debt crisis as well as "professional politicians" nor should we be expected to. We are too wrapped up in our own lives to have a clue I guess. His words, not mine.   Have a listen to this.
Of course, being the "Paid Political Professional" that he is, Thursday it seems he got his panties in a bit of a wad and stormed out of the debt ceiling meeting stating that all the progress made so far had been "erased.  Now I ask you... How professional is that? Acting like a kid that doesn't get his way he threw himself a little hissy fit. Geesh....

Ok, I suppose that's enough politics to last for awhile.  Unless you are this Oak Park Mi woman who has been cited and faces possible jail time of 93 days for growing vegetables in her front yard.  Apparently the city manager has a thing against vegetables.  What I want to know is what did a vegetable ever do to him?


Alright, since we are on the topic of food, I'm willing to bet that most of you haven't heard this alarming tidbit about the radioactive contamination of meat that has made its way into Japanese Markets.
"If we were to eat the meat everyday, then it would probably be dangerous," Hosono said at a news conference Tuesday. "But if it is consumed only in small portions, I don't think it would have any long-lasting effects on the human body."  
Excuse me??????


Alrighty then.......   On a lighter note... well it's not really lighter, actually it's kinda heavy, but I'm gonna leave you with this one. In North Texas this week a  woman gave birth to a 16 lb baby boy.  Can you say Holy Roly Poly!!!  This could be a state record.  They always say things are bigger in Texas!!  And now I can  prove it!
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tomato's and Heat

Well the tomato's look like they are done for the summer. It's just getting too hot for them to set fruit. Not to mention that it seems no amount of water seems to keep the leaves from curling up.  I'm hoping I can keep them watered and alive for the next couple of months. If so, they should start setting fruit again once it cools back off.  I know I got a late start putting them in the ground this spring and so really, I'm happy to have gotten a few nice fresh and tasty tomato's from them.  It sure would have been nice to have been able to put some up though.  The hope now is to have a good fall crop. Get some canned.  We use a
lot of tomato's and tomato products around here and having them on hand would sure cut the grocery costs. I'm happy to say that I've been able to put up several jars of pickles, both sweet and dills this year.  We should be good to go on them for the coming year. As for the tomato's, maybe it's all for the best. If we have a good fall crop I can do some canning while it's not 100+ degrees outside! 

Speaking of hot weather some of you may recall that our air conditioner is out. A hail storm last year took  out the fan blade and we haven't been able to locate another one.  It seems they stopped manufacturing the part. Thanks to a good friend, I've been able to locate another one on Ebay after months of searching. Of course ordering it isn't in the budget at the moment but it's good to know where I can find it.  The only reason I bring it up is because being without a/c will make you re-think the way you do some things.  Like firing up the oven.  Lately I have been waiting till after dark and it's cooling down to bake my bread. It means I stay up a bit later to get it done but I'm not trying to bake when the outside temps and the oven temps seem to be about the same!  I've also been doing what little canning as well as other baking I've been able to do this year at night.  As a matter of fact I've got one last batch of pickles that needs processing and a cake that I've been dying to try on the agenda for tonight.

 Even though the temperatures are staying around 100 degrees here it is time to start thinking about Fall garden. I am getting ready to pull out my seeds from the freezer and see what all I can get started. I'm counting on the fact that if I get them started Mars will till us up a place to put them.  Yeah, I know, it's a little "sneaky" but I know he just won't be able stand to see those cute little plants going "homeless".  LOL   Besides, with the cost of everything going up so dramatically this past year, how can we afford not to grow as much of our own foods as possible.  It's not like food prices are going to be going down and we all need to eat. 


So have you started planning or planting anything yet?  I've said it before and I'll continue to say it... If you do not have some sort of food growing , you should be.  No excuses.  I don't want to hear that you don't have any room for growing food. I will call you out on that one!  If nothing else, you can grow a little herb garden in your kitchen window.  Make a salad garden and grow it on your patio.  Anything is better than nothing. You can't eat "nothing".   We are coming on some hard times as individuals and as a nation and it is our DUTY to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. No one is "coming to help".  We have to be responsible for ourselves.  You must look out for you and yours and do the very best you can. 

The deal we were supposed to be getting on the internet connection is still on a holding pattern.  They showed up to do the install after a 3 week wait and things went great for all of a day and a half.  Then it just stopped working.  Apparently the modem is bad.  So after calling WildBlue about the problem, they set up a date for a tech to come out and fix the problem.  The earliest time we could get them out here.... TWO WEEKS.  Well since there was nothing we could do about that I set up the appointment for them to come out.  They should have been here yesterday.  No one called and no one came out.  After spending several hours on the phone throughout the day demanding some sort of explanation they rescheduled.  For next week.  Of course, when they charged me for the service they took it out even before it was ever even installed. Do they care that it will now be SIX weeks and still no service?  Yeah, well... of course not!  OK, rant over.  So for now I'm still using the aircard. Not the greatest way to be online but certainly better than none.

      ~~~~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hasty Chocolate Pudding

It has been SO HOT here.  The temperature today is forecast for 107, right now it's 105 and I'm positive it's going to hit the mark.  It wouldn't be so bad if our main ac was working.  Trouble is the fan blades on it were broken during a hailstorm last year and we haven't been able to find anyone who carries it.  It seems they don't manufacture the part anymore.  So far we've had no luck online finding one. And no luck finding anyone around here who might have a used one either.  Anyway... I'll stop whining now!


One thing that we don't do much of in the summer (air conditioner or not) is much cooking in the house.  The only real exception to that is when I make bread.  I'll stay up late in the evenings after it cools down and then bake enough for the week and freeze it for later on.  Most of the time though we cook on the BBQ pit, or on the propane burner I use for my canning. We did fire up the wood stove we found this spring.  Mars cooked us a big pot of beans and made tortilla's to go with it. He cooked those on the wood stove too. 
Oh and of course there is the microwave.  We tend to use that alot in the summer as well.  I'm always on the lookout for new things to do.  Especially when it comes to desserts.  I love to bake but other than bread (which is a necessity) I'm not going to fire up the oven in the summer time.  We also love desserts around here.  The problem is that there aren't a whole lot of desserts I've found to make during the heat of summer.  So when I saw this recipe on All Recipes   (I just love that site!)I just HAD to try it.  Boy oh boy am I glad I did!  This is super easy and only takes a few minutes to prepare.  The only problem is.... it doesn't last long around here.  So I thought it would only be fair to share it with you here.  

Hasty Chocolate Pudding
Ingredients
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    3 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 cups milk (sub 3/4 c powdered milk + 2 cups water)
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions
    In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and cornstarch. Whisk in milk a little at a time so the mixture does not have any dry lumps.
    Place in the microwave, and cook for 3 minutes on high. Stir, then cook at 1 minute intervals, stirring between cooking times for 2 to 4 minutes, or until shiny and thick. Stir in vanilla.
    Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator. Serve cold.


Really simple to make and it doesn't heat up the house.  Oh, it doesn't hurt that it's really good too!  I've made it a couple of times and have had to double the recipe just to see if it will last two days.  Does it?  Sometimes!
     ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday Thought

      "Only after the last tree has been cut down,
    Only after the last river has been poisoned,
    Only after the last fish has been caught,
    Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
 
Cree Indian Prophecy

      ~~~~~~  Hey...  I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~ 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

This and That Thursday

   This post is going to be all over the place so buckle up and try to bear with me here.  Lots of little things to talk about.  Nothing earth shattering, just the goings on around our little homestead and a few random thoughts.

  Living without a TV isn't really something that I miss much. The content these days is.... well... There isn't much is there?  As long as we have the internet this girl is a happy camper!  I was so happy last week when the installer came out to hook up our new satellite internet connection. It was great. (while it lasted) Two days later it quit working.  It seems we got a defective modem or something.  After waiting 3 weeks for them to come out and install it we can now wait another 2 weeks for them to come fix it.  <sigh>  I guess that's what happens sometimes when you live out as far as we do now.  So I'm back on the aircard and waiting impatiently. 
  
   Pete, over Patriots Against A New World Order  is doing another great giveaway.  Who couldn't use a copy of  "Back to Basics"?  So go on over and sign up for a chance or two to win!  Oh and say hi for me will ya?  He's a great guy and a true patriot.
Speaking of give-aways... I'm going to be holding my very first one in the not to distant future!  Should be great fun and I'm working on finding some cool prizes.  Stay tuned for more information.

I  talked to my dad this weekend. Saturday was his birthday.  73 years young and still going like a mad man.  I got my love of growing things from my dad, who got his from his dad.  We talked for at least an hour, until he told me he needed to go.  Seems like I was busting up his birthday party. (excuse me!!)  A few of the grandkids were throwing "poppa" a Birthday BBQ. I heard everyone had a great time. I sure would have liked to have been there to celebrate with the family but it just wasn't in the cards. Maybe someday soon.

OK quick question here.  What is up with folks with music players all the way down at the bottom of their blogs. I do a lot of reading at night after Mars goes to bed and I try to keep things to a dull roar so he can sleep. There is nothing like forgetting that your speakers are all the way up and getting blasted with music, scrambling as fast as I can to figure out where the heck the button is before I wake someone up!  Not only that but the sudden volume scares the heck out of me!!!  Of course I can't ever remember which blogs have them so its always a surprise!!!  LOL

I saw this posted over  at Rural Revolution the other day.  I thought it was worth sharing!  Oops, I best be careful. The last time I said that it caused a big ruckus!  ;-)   She writes a wonderful blog and I would encourage you all to go give her a read. I'm betting you will enjoy what you see!  She just published her new book called "The Simplicity Primer".  I'm hoping to get a chance to read it soon.  Orange Jeep Dad is giving away a copy of it (along with some other cool stuff) over at his place and I'm hoping to be the lucky winner. But just in case I'm not, you might want to head over there and enter. 

  I came close to loosing one of the rabbits the other day.  I went out to feed and water the other morning and Bucky was nowhere to be seen.  The cage door was firmly locked but no rabbit.  About that time I looked up to see BB (the dog) sniffing the ground with her tail up in the air.  I looked around and caught sight of the little feller in the weeds across the fence.  I started calling to him and shaking the feed bucket and Mars went around behind him and was able to scoop him right up.  Whew!!!!  Disaster averted. I'm sure glad I've been handling them all quite a bit.  He wasn't scared in the least.  Apparently there was a big enough hole in the cage that he squeezed right out.  He's lucky he didn't break a leg or something since the cage is a few feet off the ground.


   Mars has been digging trenches again. This should be the last one he'll have to do for awhile.  He's burying the water line so it won't freeze up this winter.  It's hard to think about winter right now as hot as its been.  He's been getting up and out there as the sun starts creeping up trying to beat the heat. The grounds pretty hard too so he's been having to water it down to loosen it up. It's almost done now and I know he will be glad for it to be over with.  He broke the sharpshooter (shovel) tip.  I guess that's another thing to go on the "list" of things needed around here. 

Ok I guess that's about all there is to talk about for now. Ya'll stay cool and find yourself a shady spot when ya can. And drink lots and lots of water.  It's dang well hot outside!
      ~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Texas Cowboy rules as they apply

 Texas Cowboy rules as they apply to Yankees and other foreigners

1. Pull your pants up. You look like an idiot.
2. Turn your cap right, your head ain’t crooked.
3. Let’s get this straight: it’s called a ‘gravel road.’ I drive a pickup truck because I want to. No matter how slow you drive, you’re gonna get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.
4. They are cattle. That’s why they smell like cattle. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don’t like it? I-10 & I-20 go east and west, I-35 goes north and south. Pick one and go.
5. So you have a $60,000 car. We’re impressed. We have $250,000 Combines that are driven only 3 weeks a year.
6. Most every person in the Wild West waves, It’s called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
7. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of geese/pheasants/ducks/doves are comin’ in during a hunt, we WILL shoot it outta your hand. You better hope you don’t have it up to your ear at the time.
8. Yeah, we eat trout, salmon, bass, bream, catfish, deer, elk and rattle snake. You really want sushi and caviar? It’s available at the corner bait shop.
9. The ‘Opener’ refers to the first day of deer season. It’s a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.
10. We open doors for WOMEN. That’s applied to all WOMEN, regardless of age.
11. No, there’s no ‘vegetarian special’ on the menu. Order steak, or you can order the Chef’s Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham and turkey.




12. When we fill out a table, there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables, and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup! Oh, yeah…we don’t care what you folks in Cincinnati call that stuff you eat…IT AIN’T REAL CHILI!!
13. You bring ‘Coke’ into my house, it better be brown, wet and served over ice. You bring ‘Mary Jane’ into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.
14. College and High School Football is as important here as the Giants, the Yankees, the Mets, the Lakers and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.
15. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don’t hit the water hazards – it spooks the fish.
16. Turn down that blasted car stereo! That thumpity-thump ain’t music, anyway. We don’t want to hear it anymore than we want to see your boxers! Refer back to #1!
A true Texan will blog this and send it to a few friends that probably won’t get it, but we’re friendly so we share in hopes you can begin to understand what a real life is all about!!

http://texasfred.net/   
It HAD to be done!


      ~~~~~  Hey I'm Just Sayin' ...   ~~~~~

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cool Contest

Happy Independence Day! Let's not forget what this day is really all about.   Be careful out there today, its going to be a hot one! 

Check out the great new contest over at Orange Jeep Dad's.  He's got some really cool prizes and it's easy to enter.  Oh, and tell him SciFiChick said hi!  (It won't get me an extra entry in the contest but.....
       ~~~~~   Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~

Friday, July 1, 2011

White House Rural Council

While "We the Sheeple" were busy watching Anthony's Weiner, it seems the POTUS  had more important things to destroy.  What?  You didn't know?  Executive Order 13575 ( White House Rural Council ) has been signed.  I find it extremely disturbing that something as BIG as this didn't even make it to the main stream media.  Of course these days most real news doesn't make it to see the light of day. They want to keep you distracted with "Weinergate" or some other nonsense while they strip away the last vestiges of what we all hold dear.
I don't often post other folks "stuff" here but I thought this was a well written piece and gives an excellent overview of what is coming to a small town near you.  The America we grew up in is dying a slow and ugly death. What is taking it's place is some twisted and nightmarish attempt at changing the very face of this once great nation.

Does The New ‘White House Rural Council’ = UN’s Agenda 21?
On June 9, 2011, President Obama signed his 86th Executive Order, and almost nobody noticed.
(For the record, Obama is on par to match President Bush’s 291 orders executed during his two terms in office. The National Archives defines an Executive Order this way; Executive orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government.)
President Obama’s E.O. 13575 is designed to begin taking control over almost all aspects of the lives of 16% of the American people. Why didn’t we notice it?  Weinergate.  In the middle of the Anthony Weiner scandal, as the press and most of the American people were distracted, President Obama created something called “The White House Rural Council” (WHRC).
Section One of 13575 states the following:
Section 1. Policy. Sixteen percent of the American population lives in rural counties. Strong, sustainable rural communities are essential to winning the future and ensuring American competitiveness in the years ahead. These communities supply our food, fiber, and energy, safeguard our natural resources, and are essential in the development of science and innovation. Though rural communities face numerous challenges, they also present enormous economic potential. The Federal Government has an important role to play in order to expand access to the capital necessary for economic growth, promote innovation, improve access to health care and education, and expand outdoor recreational activities on public lands.
Warning bells should have been sounding all across rural America when the phrase “sustainable rural communities” came up. As we know from researching the UN plan for Sustainable Development known as Agenda 21, these are code words for the true fundamental transformation America.
The third sentence also makes it quite clear that the government intends to take greater control over “food, fiber, and energy.”
The last sentence in Section 1 further clarifies the intent of the order by tying together “access to the capital necessary for economic growth, health care and education.”
The new White House Rural Council will probably be populated by experts in the various fields that might prove helpful to the folks who live and work outside of large urban areas, right?  Well, Tom Vilsack, the current Secretary of Agriculture, will chair the group, but let us review the list of members appointed to serve on this new council – according to the order, the heads of the following groups have been appointed:
  • (1) the Department of the Treasury; Timothy Geithner
  • (2) the Department of Defense; Robert Gates
  • (3) the Department of Justice; Eric Holder
  • (4) the Department of the Interior; Ken Salazar
  • (5) the Department of Commerce; Gary Locke
  • (6) the Department of Labor; Hilda Solis
  • (7) the Department of Health and Human Services; Kathleen Sebelius
  • (8) the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Shaun Donovan
  • (9) the Department of Transportation; Ray LaHood
  • (10) the Department of Energy; Dr. Steven Chu
  • (11) the Department of Education; Arne Duncan
  • (12) the Department of Veterans Affairs; Eric Shinseki
  • (13) the Department of Homeland Security; Janet Napolitano
  • (14) the Environmental Protection Agency; Lisa Jackson
  • (15) the Federal Communications Commission; Michael Copps
  • (16) the Office of Management and Budget; Peter Orszag
  • (17) the Office of Science and Technology Policy; John Holdren
  • (18) the Office of National Drug Control Policy; R. Gil Kerlikowske
  • (19) the Council of Economic Advisers; Austan Goolsbee
  • (20) the Domestic Policy Council; Melody Barnes (former VP at Center for American Progress)
  • (21) the National Economic Council; Gene B. Sperling
  • (22) the Small Business Administration; Karen Mills
  • (23) the Council on Environmental Quality; Nancy Sutley
  • (24) the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs; Valerie Jarrett
  • (25) the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs; and such other executive branch departments, agencies, and offices as the President or Secretary of  Agriculture may, from time to time, designate. Chris Lu (or virtually anyone to be designated by the 24 people named above)
It appears that not a single department in the federal government was excluded from the new White House Rural Council, and the wild card option in number 25 gives the president and the agriculture secretary the option to designate anyone to serve on this powerful council.
Within the twenty-five designated members of the council are some curious ties to Agenda 21 and the structure being built to implement it:
Valerie Jarrett from the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs served on the board of something called Local Initiatives Support Corportation (LISC). LISC uses the language of Agenda 21 and ICLEI as their web page details their work to build “Sustainable Communities.”
Melody Barnes head of the Domestic Policy Council – Former VP at George Soros-funded Center for American Progress.
Hilda Solis from the Labor Dept – in 2000 received an award for her work on “Environmental Justice.”
Nancy Sutley head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality – Served on the board of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District and was one of the biggest supporters of low-flow toilets that are now credited with costing more money than expected while causing some nasty problems.
Is it possible that concerns about 13575 are just typical anti-government paranoia? Let us review the mission and function of WHRC:
Sec. 4. Mission and Function of the Council. The Council shall work across executive departments, agencies, and offices to coordinate development of policy recommendations to promote economic prosperity and quality of life in rural America, and shall coordinate my Administration’s engagement with rural communities.
“Economic prosperity” and a better “quality of life,” that all sounds fairly innocent and well-intentioned. But continuing deeper into the order we find the council is charged with four directives:
(a) make recommendations to the President, through the Director of the Domestic Policy Council and the Director of the National Economic Council, on streamlining and leveraging Federal investments in rural areas, where appropriate, to increase the impact of Federal dollars and create economic opportunities to improve the quality of life in rural America;
The vague language here sounds non-threatening. But, is there a hint here that a “rural stimulus plan” might be in the making? Will the Federal government start pumping money into farmlands under the guise of creating “economic opportunities to improve the quality of life in rural America?” It is difficult to discern as the language is so broad.
We continue with the functions of the WHRC:
(b) coordinate and increase the effectiveness of Federal engagement with rural stakeholders, including agricultural organizations, small businesses, education and training institutions, health-care providers, telecommunications services providers, research and land grant institutions, law enforcement, State, local, and tribal governments, and nongovernmental organizations regarding the needs of rural America;
Virtually every aspect of rural life seems to now be part of the government’s mission. And while all of the items in (b) sound like typical government speak, you should be alarmed when you read the words “nongovernmental organizations” (NGOs). NGOs are unelected, but typically government-funded groups that act like embedded community organizers. And NGOs are key to Agenda 21′s plans.
Continuing:
(c) coordinate Federal efforts directed toward the growth and development of geographic regions that encompass both urban and rural areas;
That one sounds very similar to the language found in the United Nations plan for sustainable cities known as Agenda 21. Managing the population in both rural and urban areas, with a focus on controlling “open spaces.”
(d) and identify and facilitate rural economic opportunities associated with energy development, outdoor recreation, and other conservation related activities.
This function of Executive Order 13575 ties energy development with outdoor recreation and “other conservation related activities.” When did outdoor recreation become a conservation related activity?
Aside from the content of this order and some its vague intentions, the timing of the signing should also be considered. Later this month, Washington DC is hosting a meeting of the Agenda 21 operatives who are members of ICLEI:
Washington, D.C. – ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA) and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) today announced the launch of the National Press Club Leadership Speaker Series to be held on June 28. The event’s inaugural keynote speaker will be the Honorable Sha Zukang, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), whose keynote address, The Road to Rio+20, will explain the role of key global and national stakeholders, and the impact and vision of this historic conference.
As Secretary-General of Rio+20, Ambassador Sha Zukang will convene high-ranking leaders from government, the private sector and civil society to chart a pathway to accelerate the implementation of sustainable development decisions and the green economy through the creation of an institutional framework and inclusive participation.
The United Nations has pushed their sustainable development program for almost twenty years. The UN’s “social justice” blueprint called Agenda 21 requires governments to control almost all aspects of an individual’s life, but has recently met with substantial resistance in America. Since The Blaze covered this topic and the story appeared on Glenn Beck’s Fox TV program, we have been inundated with reports from around the country about efforts to remove ICLEI and Agenda 21 from local governments.
Carroll County, Maryland: Starting in February, 2011, all five newly elected county commissioners, led by Richard Rothschild, voted to become the first county in the nation to end the ICLEI contract.

Amador County, California: The Mother Lode Tea Party lead the successful effort to remove ICLEI form Amador County.
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: Activists Ruth Miller and Maggie Roddin have raised awareness that lead to the removal of ICLEI.
Edmond, Oklahoma: Molly Jenkins motivated 200 people to attend the city council meeting and demand action against ICLEI.
Las Cruces, New Mexico: continues to debate the issue, but rational voices are gaining momentum in the community.

Spartanburg, South Carolina: City Councilman Roger Nutt successfully directed the effort against the program and Spartanburg became the 6th community to kick out ICLEI in a vote of 6-0 by City Council (with one abstention).
There have also been anti-ICLEI rallies held in several cities this week, with more planned in the near future:
  • June 27, 11:30am-3:00pm
    Exeter, NH, Exeter High School
  • June 27, 5:00pm-8:30pm
    Galveston, TX, Galveston Convention Center
  • June 27, 8:30am-5:00pm
    Ocean Shores, WA, Quinault Beach Resort and Casino
  • June 30, 1:00pm-5:00pm
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA, TBD
  • June 30, 10:00am-5:00pm
    West Long Branch, NJ, Monmouth University
There appears to be a developing, grass-roots movement to reject programs like Agenda 21. It remains to be seen if these groups might also reject a Washington-based control over rural lands, like the council created by Executive Order 13575.
As long as there’s not another Weinergate, maybe they’ll notice.
       ~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~


Story courtesy of The Blaze