Thursday, December 30, 2010

Postcards from the Dark Side

     The alarmists have struck again! The message: another cautionary note, fraught with elements of  both reality and creative writing, warning us of the danger from Internet postcards sent to our email boxes. Per the message, the digital postcards deliver a destructive  and catastrophic payload to the computer hard drive when opened. Lending credibility to this threat from the anonymous author, is the advice from the anonymous, very advanced, programmer from Microsoft, who does computer work for a living combined with a high status with the software giant. This unknown source is notorious for not sending email notifying recipients of a threat if they it is not for real, so lock down the hard drive and man the virtual battle stations, 'cuz this got to be real!


Our friend is a very advanced programmer who does computer work for a living and has a high up status with Microsoft . He doesn't send these if they aren't real.  If he says this is for real, it for sure is.  Be aware..
Hi All,
I checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus!
I checked Snopes, and it is for real. Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP.
You should be alert during the next few days. Do not open any message with an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,' regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which 'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer.
This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list. This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you receive a mail called' POSTCARD,' even though sent to you by a friend, do not open it! Shut down your computer immediately. This is the worst virus announced by CNN .
It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.


     I know I rely heavily on Snopes for their investigation into the reliability of the messages written about in the RC Blog, so I decided to follow the footsteps of the author of this message for the slaying process. One would think that if CNN called this the "worst virus" ever, a simple keyword search on the CNN site would render some sort of result, but no such luck. A keyword search at Norton (which is, in reality Symantec) revealed some of the partial truth because there was a worm virus, called W32.Mixor.Q, that was sent through email in 2001. The final check, Snopes, where the author also verified the status, (which, if the anonymous, high up status computer dude doesn't forward hoaxes, then why did the author need to check Snopes?) revealed the truth that a virus did exist but it is old news now. I don't know, maybe the virus makers are slacking, so we need to replay old threats. The bottom line is that we are probably safe from this virus because it is likely saved on a floppy disc and who has disc drives anymore?

~Slayer computer virus&primaryType=mixed&sortBy=date&intl=false

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Morning Before Christmas

     It has been some time since I have submitted anything to the RC Blog, so I apologize to my four faithful followers (yes, this comment is a hint for you to push the "follow" button at the top of the right column). Slayerland has been unusually busy with preparation for Christmas, dissertation proposal writing, and other things in life that clamor for attention. Now, on Christmas Eve, I finally got a chance to take a break and thought I would post The Soldiers Night Before Christmas as a tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces who stand watch while we celebrate, lest they not be forgotten.

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.
His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.
Soon `round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.
I couldn´t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don´t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don´t ask for more,
my life is my God, my country, my Corps."
With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn´t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the cold night´s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
I didn´t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
"Carry on Santa, it's Christmas Day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!

     This poem was originally titled Merry Christmas, My Friend and written by LCpl James M. Schmidt in 1986. The poem was changed to the version posted here by LTC Bruce Lovley in 1993. LTC Lovely mainly changed Marine-specific references to more of generic feel toward all service members. The bottom line: I am thankful for ALL of our U.S. Military members and want them to know they are heroes every single day.

Thank you and Merry Christmas


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Perilous Parking Lot Practice by Predators?

     The Mall and Target seem to be favorite places for ill-doers to hang out. Do not get me wrong, people of any gender should be aware of their surroundings at all times because bad people do exist. However, sensationalism of evil doings by posting accounts of fictional occurrences via email is akin to yelling "fire" in a theater. One might counter with a statement such as, "Well, it could happen." If that is the argument, then society has much ground to make up as far as warning the population about things that could happen, but have not actually ever occurred before. Besides, I thought that is what movies were for.


Needs to be read!!
 A new way to abduct a female very scary


Please pass on to all your girlfriends, wives, etc.  Just to be on the safe side. Please be aware and
pass it on to anyone you think this will help.

Sunday afternoon around 5 PM I headed into the Target.  It was still light outside and I parked fairly close to the entrance.  As I got out of my car and began walking towards Target, an older lady shouted to me
from the passenger seat of a car about 30 feet away from me.

"Ma'am you must help me, help me please, help me Ma'am!" I looked at her in the eyes and started to walk towards her when all of a sudden I remembered an email my Mom had sent me a week or two ago
about rapists and abductions using elderly people to lure women in.

I paused, memorized the license plate and immediately headed into Target to get a manager to come help this lady, just in case something was up. While the woman manager headed out there, I kept a close watch just
because I was curious what was wrong with the lady and wanted to be sure nothing happened.

As the Target lady walked up towards the car and got very close to the old woman in order to help her, the back door of the car flies open and a large man with a stocking cap on, jumps out and sticks a gun to the
lady's stomach as he shoves her into the back of the car. I yelled out "call 911" several times and just as I was saying that, a policeman who happened to be on the other side of the parking lot! And who, luckily had seen the entire thing happen, raced over to the car.

He was able to stop the car and arrest the male as well as the old lady, who was involved in the scheme… By God's grace everyone was all right, including myself, although I think we were both shaken up.
Like many of you, I would not in a million years have left an elderly person who was yelling for help if it weren't for the e-mail I had read last week. So, I wanted to pass this along so you all can be aware and remember that you really can't trust anyone these days.

You just never know when something like this could happen. I would have never dreamed it to happen to me especially on a Sunday afternoon at a Target in a safe area!

It definitely was not a coincidence that my Mom sent that email just a few days before this all happened. Please, be careful and always be aware of your surroundings. Just because you individually don't go over to help someone doesn't mean you have to leave them in trouble but don't go ALONE, you really don't know what might be going on.

This was checked with <>  http: //snopescom/ - this is true and they also use children to lure the victim !!

Please pass on to all your girlfriends, wives, etc. Just to be on the safe side. Please be aware and
pass it on to anyone you think this will help.


     At the end of the message, the author urges the reader to validate the information via the Snopes website. Snopes' response to this claim was "Er--no, we don't say that. In fact, we say the exact opposite. The story is false." Since the source given in the email body refutes the claim, this is good enough for me. Using a reference in such a manner reminds me of using a sworn enemy as a job reference. I did find it particularly amusing that the alleged first person in the message had no issue with throwing the Target manager under the bus. She was also very helpful by yelling "call 911" several times. I don't know, but she almost sounds like an accomplice to me. Anyway, be aware of your surroundings but please do not stop helping older women and children who may be in need.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Worth Fighting For?

     During my course of business last week, I spotted a bumper sticker that read "War is Terrorism" on two different cars while on I-5. Now this is understandable since I was in the Seattle area, but what baffles me is that one of the bumper stickers was on a woman's car. My first reaction to seeing this woman with that sticker on her car was that she should don a burka, burn any books she owns, and quit having opinions because women under Taliban rule were not permitted such things. In other words, the notion of this person believing war unjust under any circumstance was like a double negative. How could she protest war if she did not believe in conflict?
     As for the message on the bumper sticker, I thought war was war and terrorism was terrorism. Let's ask Webster. War is usually an open or stated state of conflict between states or nations, or it is a state of antagonism or hostility. Terrorism is the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion. It looks like Webster agrees with me that a difference exists between these two words.
     I don not want to give you the idea that I am a war monger, in fact, quite the contrary. My belief is that the conflict in Afghanistan has gone on long enough and I do not believe politicians know the desired end-state for that nation anymore. This is compounded with my very personal stake of my only child being currently deployed. Sure, I want the war over, but I also believe that U.S. actions have improved the standard of living for the people of Afghanistan, which is a wonderful ancillary benefit of our so called "terrorism" in that region of the world. So I ask the "War is Terrorism" lady, what good came from the terrorist actions that occurred on September 11, 2001? As I recall that day, there was nothing but destruction. I believe those actions and preservation of our way of life are things worth fighting for.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Anatomy of a Slaying

     By now I am sure you are wondering how exactly I am able to determine the reliability level of the different messages that have made it to the Reality Check (RC) blog. I assure you I am not magic, nor am I a seer, nor do I have a leprechaun working for me who grants unlimited wishes. For this RC installment, I thought it might be fun to take you, the reader, with me as I slay another piece of scary yet bogus email. So fasten your seat belt and get your personal emergency alarm whistle at the ready as we check to see if this new technique is really being employed by savvy kidnappers in the modern world. For this journey, I will insert Slayer commentary in brackets [like these] to give you insight as to how the message is validated.

THE ORIGINAL MESSAGE [With embedded Slayer commentary]:

[No date for the original message, not a good start for the reliability meter]
I'm not an alarmist but this one hit home with me. You can really get yourself into trouble just by being "nice". We must all think first. Please read below [Really? It sounds like you are being an alarmist].


Please take a minute to read this. This is very scary and could happen to any of us..
[Double period, must be a serious point] Seems like every nice thing people do for one another can be perverted.

A new twist on kidnapping from a very smart survivor:

About a month ago
[A month ago when? This is not a real date] there was a woman standing by the mall [Which mall?] entrance passing out flyers to all the women going in.The woman had written the flyer herself to tell about an experience she had, so that she might warn other women.

The previous day, this woman had finished shopping, went out to her car and discovered that she had a flat.

She got the jack out of the trunk and began to change the flat. A nice man dressed in a business suit and carrying a briefcase walked up to her and said, 'I noticed you're changing a flat tire. Would you like me to take care of it for you?'

The woman was grateful for his offer and accepted his help. They chatted amiably while the man changed the flat, and then put the flat tire and the jack in the trunk, shut it and dusted his hands off.

The woman thanked him profusely, and as she was about to get in her car, the man told her that he left his car around on the other side of the mall, and asked if she would mind giving him a lift to his car.

She was a little surprised and she asked him why his car was on other side.

He explained that he had seen an old friend in the mall that he hadn't seen for some time and they had a bite to eat, visited for a while, and he got turned around in the mall and left through the wrong exit, and now he was running late.

The woman hated to tell him 'no' because he had just rescued her from having to change her flat tire all by herself, but she felt un easy . (Trust that gut feeling!)

Then she remembered seeing the man put his briefcase in her trunk before shutting it and before he asked her for a ride to his car.

She told him that she'd be happy to drive him around to his car, But she just remembered one last thing she needed to buy. (Smart woman!!)
She said she would only be a few minutes; he could sit down in her car and wait for her; she would be as quick as she could be

She hurried into the mall, and told a security guard what had happened, the guard
[Blart? Really?] came out to her car with her, but the man had left. They opened the trunk, took out his locked briefcase and took it down to the police station.

The police opened it (ostensibly to look for ID so they could return it to the man). What they found was rope, duct tape, and knives. When the police checked her 'flat' tire, there was nothing wrong with it; the air had simply been let out. It was obvious what the man's intention was, and obvious that he had carefully thought it out in advance. The woman was blessed to have escaped harm.

How much worse it would have been if she had children with her and had them wait in the car while the man fixed the tire, or if she had a baby strapped into a car seat? Or if she'd gone against her judgment and given him a lift?

I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life.

A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only; but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc.., you may want to pass it on to them, as well.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that The world we live in has a lot of crazies in it. Better to be safe than sorry.


1.      Found Snopes website via Bing. Typed “new form of kidnapping” in search box.
2.      Read article on Snopes reveling this story to be a variation of an urban legend. This particular version has been on the Internet since 2001.
3.      Double check CNN for any similar story since the news media loves this kind of s**t, it would likely turn up there if it were real, no such luck.
4.      And Presto, this piece is debunked!

     Since you took the journey with me, you already know this piece is a total fabrication. In fact, it took longer to write about how it to slay it than it did to determine the message was a load of hooey. At this point, I believe it is safe to dry off and pocket the personal emergency whistle until another potential threat is uncovered via the magic of the Internet and email.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Onions: Friend or Foe?

     Many a dish has been spiced up with the help of our multi-layered friend, the onion, for as long as we can remember. But wait, the email in this piece points to the possibility that the food we once considered to be our friend could actually have dire consequences if we don't consume it within milliseconds of breaking through its protective exterior layer. On the flip side, the same thing that may make the onion dangerous could also be a breakthrough in the medical field and I would imagine onion wards will open in hospitals around the globe once medical doctors get wind of the healing power of the onion.



Good Morning..just had to pass this one on with fall here & winer coming...would be nice if it did work...
If you ever come to my house and see a bowl of onions on the table, you'll understand why. Very interesting. Who would have thought a little old onion could do so much.

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it and many died.
The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.
Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ. She said that several years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work.. (And no, she is not in the onion business.)

The moral of the story is, buy some onions and place them in bowls around your home. If you work at a desk, place one or two in your office or under your desk or even on top somewhere. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.
If this helps you and your loved ones from getting sick, all the better. If you do get the flu, it just might be a mild case.. Whatever, what have you to lose? Just a few bucks on onions!!!!!!
Now there is a P. S. To this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:
Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmers story.. But, I do know that I contacted pneumonia and needless to say I was very ill.. I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put one end on a fork and then place the forked end into an empty jar...placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs.. Sure enough it happened just like that.. The onion was a mess and I began to feel better.
Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note.
Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don't know what to blame. Maybe it's the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu's and is the very reason we shouldn't eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.
I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Mullins is huge, and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family. My friend, Jeanne, is the CEO.
Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.
The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He's one of the brothers Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula. He's even developed sauce formula for McDonald's.
Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially- made Mayo is completely safe.
"It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quaint essential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.
Ed says that! when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the onions, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.
He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.
It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!)
Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'! ll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.
So, how's that for news? Take it for what you will. I (the author) am going to be very careful about my onions from now on. For some reason, I see a lot of credibility coming from a chemist and a company that produces millions of pounds of mayonnaise every year.
Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.
Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.
Please pass this on to all you love and care.


     While I hoped that we could use onions to suck disease out of the sick and then shoot the disease-laden vegetables at our enemies through onion cannons as a new super-weapon, the reality is that the claims made in this email sound incredulous because they are not true. Mike Mullens of Mullens Food Products set the record straight in the Snopes article on the subject by writing that  the information in the email sounds as if it came from two separate tours of the plant and was (surprise, surprise) taken out of context. The real deal is that no amount of onions with anything stuck in them will suck the sick out of you and it is fine to save onions for a second use because they will not morph into a disease troll plotting its attack for the next recipe that calls for onion. Now the only question is what to do with all these onion necklaces and paperweights I made after first reading the email. Maybe some potato salad...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Have Gun, Will Travel

     The piece below leads us to believe that serious restrictions toward gun ownership have been have been covertly implemented into law. The email provided a link to the Snopes site as evidence of the validity of the message. Unfortunately for the author(s) of the email, Snopes does not support the claim as factual but, instead, it is another example of a truth/fiction cocktail. Further exploration through the usual haunts such as Google, Bing, Fox News, and other online resources failed to reveal that the bill (which is actually two separate bills) had been ratified. The true part is that both bills have been presented to Congress but have essentially been shot down due to lack of support.


Little by little -------- chip, chip, chip!!!
Gun owners.... Look what's on the 2010 tax return....

It begins... More Freedom gone... The right to protect yourself and your family gone!  Now ALL GUNS must be listed  on your next (2010) tax return!

Senate Bill SB-2099 will require us to put on our 2009 1040 federal tax form all guns that you have or own.  It will require fingerprints and a tax of $50 per gun.  This bill was introduced on February 24, 2009, by the Obama staff.  BUT, this bill will only become public knowledge 30 days after the new law becomes effective!  This is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Act of 1986.  This means that the Finance Committee has passed this without the Senate voting on it at all.  Trust Obama?  You must be kidding!

The full text of the IRS amendment is on the U.S. Senate homepage:  You can find the bill by doing a search by the bill number, SB-2099.  You know who to call; I strongly suggest you do. 
Please send a copy of this e-mail to every gun owner you know.

Text of H.R.45 as Introduced in House: Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009:
Obama's Congress is now starting on the firearms confiscation bill.  If it passes, gun owners will become criminals if you don't fully comply.
It has begun... Whatever Obama's "Secret Master Plan" is... This is just the 'tip of the iceberg!'

Very Important for you to be aware of a new bill HR 45 introduced into the House. This is the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009.
Even gun shop owners didn't know about this because the government is trying to fly it under the radar as a 'minor' IRS revision, and, as usual, the 'political' lawmakers did not read this bill before signing and approving it!

To find out about this - go to any government website and type in HR 45 or Goggle HR 45 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sales Act of 2009.  You will get all the information.
Basically this would make it illegal to own a firearm - any rifle with a clip or ANY pistol unless:  1) It is registered  2) You are fingerprinted  3) You supply a current Driver's License  4) You supply your Social Security number  5) You will submit to a physical & mental evaluation at any time of their choosing.  Each update change or ownership through private or public sale must be reported and costs $25.  Failure to do so you automatically lose the right to own a firearm and are subject up to a year in jail.
There is a child provision clause on page 16 section 305 stating a child-access provision.  Gun must be locked and inaccessible to any child under 18.  They would have the right to come and inspect that you are storing your gun safely away from accessibility to children and fine is punishable for up to 5 years in prison.

If you think this is a joke - go to the website and take your pick of many options to read this..  It is long and lengthy.  But, more and more people are becoming aware of this.  Pass the word along.  Any hunters in your family pass this along.  This is just a "termite" approach to complete confiscation of guns and disarming of our society to the point we have no defense - chip away a little here and there until the goal is accomplished before anyone realizes it.

This is one to act on whether you own a gun or not.. Please..... Copy and send this out to EVERYONE in the USA , whether you support the Right to Bear Arms or are for gun control.. We all should have the RIGHT TO CHOOSE!


     I realize that being a doctoral student has made me a very picky writer. As such, the selection of Kristin ITC font, a variation of Comic Sans, for a subject as important as infringement on our Second Amendment rights baffles me. Aside from the poor font selection, application of Occam's Razor would reveal that a bill of this gravity would hardly make it through the various government channels necessary to make it law undetected. I think we can safely holster our weapons and put the rifles back on the gun rack since the author of this email clearly missed the target.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some Things Are Worth Repeating

     On this election day, November 2, 2010, we are reminded that we have the freedom to elect those who represent the people's voices for our government. Sure, we have more than our fair share of scandals and corruption, but overall, the system is a pretty good one because we do not fear persecution from the government while exercising our right to vote. This message is correctly attributed to Charlie Reese, a retired journalist, and was originally published in 1985.


          545 PEOPLE--By Charlie Reese
          Politicians are the only people in the world who create
 problems and then campaign against them..
          Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the
 Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
          Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against
 inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
          You and I don't propose a federal budget.  The president does.
          You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on
 appropriations.  The House of Representatives does.
          You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
          You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
          You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve
 Bank does.
          One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine
 Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300
 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible
 for the domestic problems that plague this country.
          I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because
 that problem was created by the Congress.  In 1913, Congress delegated
 its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally
 chartered, but private, central bank.
          I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound
 reason.  They have no legal authority  They have no ability to coerce a
 senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing.
  I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.
  The politician has the power to accept or reject it.  No matter what
 the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to
 determine how he votes.
          Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing
 you that what they did is not their fault.  They cooperate in this
 common con regardless of party.
          What separates a politician from a normal human being is an
 excessive amount of gall.  No normal human being would have the gall of
 a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating
 deficits.... .  The president can only propose a budget.  He cannot
 force the Congress to accept it.
          The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives
 sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and
 approving appropriations and taxes.            It seems inconceivable
 to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace
          545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of
 incompetence and irresponsibility.  I can't think of a single domestic
 problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.  When you
 fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the
 federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they
 want to exist.
          If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
          If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the
 red ..
          If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want
 them in IRAQ If they do not receive social security but are on an elite
 retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it
 that way.
          There are no insoluble government problems.
          Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats,
 whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose
 gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the
 power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.  Above all,
 do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied
 mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that
 prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
          Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.
          They, and they alone, have the power..
          They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people
 who are their bosses.
          Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own
          We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their
         What you do with this article now that you have read
 it.........  Is up to you.


     Once in awhile, an email circulates that is factual and correctly cited for its original source. Although some minor changes were made to the original text to make the message more contemporary, such as changing "U.N. Missions" to "the Army and Marines in Iraq", the message is mostly intact from its original state. The gist is that we the people are responsible to vote for change if we do not like the current state of the Nation. So, if you haven't voted yet, get out there and cast your ballot, or, if you keep your vote to yourself, keep your opinion to yourself after the election.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What is an Amrndment?

     This particular email was received, appropriately, on Halloween, 2010. The gist of the message plays at the heart strings of responsible Americans as a call-to-arms to put self-serving politicians in check. Research on the 28th Amendment (proper spelling) reveals a Snopes article that refutes the claim in the email and other web pages that offer different proposed 28th amendments.


TIME HAS COME FOR THE 28th AMRNDMENT [title copied directly from the email]

"The big question for the election next month is whether the voters keep their
eye on the ball and judge candidates by what policies they advocate or whether
they can be thrown off the track by red herrings. We have already seen in 2008
what can happen when voters fail to pay attention to a presidential candidate's
track record, and let themselves be dazzled by rhetoric, symbolism and media
hype." --economist Thomas Sowell

The Time Has Indeed Come!

Governors of 35 states have already filed suit against the Federal Government
for imposing unlawful burdens upon them.  It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to
convene a Constitutional Convention.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it

An idea whose time has come!

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many
citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay
after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the
laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution
for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The
latest was to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform ... in all of its
forms.Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above
the law.

I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever.
The self-serving must stop.

A Constitutional Convention - this is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose
time has come.  And, with the advent of modern communication, the process can be
moved along with incredible speed. There is talk out there that the "government"
doesn't care what the people think.  That is irrelevant.  It is incumbent on the
population to address elected officials to the wrongs afflicted against the and me.  Think about this...
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3
months & 8 days to be ratified!  Why?  Simple!  The people demanded it. That was
in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to
become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

I'm asking each addressee to forward this Email to a minimum of twenty people on
their Address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
message. This is one proposal that  really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States
that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and,
Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives
that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."

You are one of my 20+.

Keep it going.  


If I were sending out a call-to-arms in a serious email, I may use spell check, an editor, a person to look at the title, or even a seeing-eye dog to make sure the title conveys the proper gravity I was looking for. However, what on earth is an Amrndment? Were you not able to afford more vowels for the title person-who-wants-to-make-big-changes?

Aside from the title gaffe, the article seems to be well written and uses facts to warrant the claim. Facts, though, are generally true by nature, which helps to make them, well, facts. Snopes helped me to see that the claim of one-term Congressional retirement with full benefit is not possible and that the Healthcare Reform exemption is also not a true statement. In this game, two strikes, you're out. Unless you count the title, which makes at least another two strikes. My final word is to try spellcheck.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Five Minute Reseach Project

     Many people receive email and take the information contained within at face value.  Perhaps this is because we trust the person who sent the message to tell us the truth, or maybe it is because it came from the Internet, so it must be true. The reality is that often these messages are either false or contain an amalgamation of truth and fallacy, which changes the validity of the content altogether. My mission as the Slayer of B. S. is to spend five minutes validating or debunking the content of some of these messages sent via email. What follows is an example of my research.


A student at HBHS had pancakes this week and it almost became fatal. His
Mom (registered nurse) made him pancakes, dropped him off at school and
headed to play tennis. She never takes her cell phone on the court but
did this time and her son called to say he was having trouble breathing.
She told him to go to the nurse immediately and proceeded to call school
and alert the nurse. The nurse called the paramedics and they were there
in 3 minutes and worked on the boy all the way to the hospital. He came
so close to dying. Evidently this is more common then I ever knew. Check
the expiration dates on packages like pancakes and cake mixes that have
yeast which over time develop spores. 

WARNING ABOUT Pancake Mix (and other boxed mixes)

(maybe you already know this, I DID NOT !!) Talk about frightening. ...

Throw away ALL OUTDATED pancake mix you have in your home, PLEASE! If
you don't believe me, read this article and then follow the 'Link' below
to SNOPES. Sorry to be the Grim Reaper of bad news, but I would rather
have you ALIVE, besides a $2.00 box of pancake mix is NOT worth your

P. S. You might want to tell this to your children, grandchildren,
nephews, nieces and anyone else who keeps pancake mix in the cupboard.


From Snopes:  cause of death due to anaphylaxic shock reaction to
molds. I recently made a batch of pancakes for my healthy
14-year-old son, using a mix that was in our pantry. He said that they
tasted ' f unny,' but ate them anyway. About 10 minutes later, he began
having difficulty breathing and his lips began turning purple. I gave
him his allergy pill, had him sit on the sofa and told him to relax. He
was wheezing while inhaling and exhaling. My husband, a volunteer
Firefighter and EMT, heated up some water, and we had my son lean over
the water so the steam could clear his chest and sinuses. Soon, his
breathing became more regular and his lips returned to a more normal
color. We checked the date on the box of pancake mix and, to my dismay,
found it was very outdated. As a reference librarian at an academic
institution, I have the ability to search through many research
databases. I did just that, and found an article the next day that
mentioned a 19-year-old male DYING after eating pancakes made with
outdated mix. Apparently, the mold that forms in old pancake mix can be

When we told our friends about my son's close c all, we were surprised at
the number of people who mentioned that they should check their own
pancake mix since they don't use it often, or they had purchased it some
time ago. With so many people shopping at warehouse-type stores and
buying large sizes of pancake mix, I hope your readers will take the
time to check the expiration date on their boxes. Also, beware of
outdated Bisquick, cake, brownie and cookie mixes.


OK. I went ahead and read the ENTIRE Snopes article from the link pasted in the email. While there is truth to the scenario, the vintage pancake mix is really only effective as a poison for those who have allergies to mold. In other words, a yeast monster seeking to prey upon irresponsible shoppers will not grow in the cupboard from ancient pancake mix as the email would have us believe. So change the alert level back to green and pass me the syrup, it's breakfast time.