The ‘Freedom Caucus’

Ever notice that these people give their BS all these patriotic sounding titles….like the ‘Fair Tax Act’, Freedom Caucus and none of them have anything patriotic attached to it in reality.

For this post I want to write about the ultra-conserv caucus within the House of Representatives, the Freedom Caucus……

The group, which includes many veterans of the Tea Party movement, was formed in January with the declared aim of pushing the House GOP leadership rightward on certain fiscal and social issues. More broadly, the caucus wants power shifted away from the leadership to the rank-and-file (by, for instance, giving committees more leeway on which bills to move forward and allowing more amendments to come to floor votes).

Unlike the plethora of caucuses and committees – which range from the Ad Hoc Congressional Committee for Irish Affairs to the House GOP Study Group – the Freedom Caucus does not officially disclose who belongs to it (aside from its nine founding members), though various unofficial lists have circulated. Membership is by invitation only, and meetings are not public.

The caucus originated during the mid-January 2015 Republican congressional retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  According to founding member Mick Mulvaney, “that was the first time we got together and decided we were a group, and not just a bunch of pissed-off guys”.  Nine conservative Republican members of the House began planning a new congressional caucus separate from the Republican Study Committee and apart from the House Republican Conference. The founding members who constituted the first board of directors for the new caucus were Republican representatives Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Fleming of Louisiana, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Justin Amash of Michigan, Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Mulvaney of South Carolina, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Mark Meadows of North Carolina.


Like the forerunner of the group, the Tea Party, the Freedom Caucus never intended to lead only to disrupt.

At the beginning of this month, the House endured the longest contest to elect a speaker in 164 years. Rep. Kevin McCarthy ultimately was elected speaker, but only after he made several concessions to a small but influential faction of dissenting conservative Republicans. Though not every member of the Freedom Caucus — a far-right coalition of Republican lawmakers — voted against McCarthy, nearly every member who did oppose him was a member of the Freedom Caucus.

That commonality has drawn renewed attention to the Freedom Caucus and its role within Congress. Despite being a minority in the House, the Freedom Caucus has repeatedly punched above its weight and effected genuine change in the chamber. Powerful political factions are as old as American politics, and in most ways, the Freedom Caucus is just a continuation of that tradition. But in a few key ways, its members are doing something different: voting as a bloc, willing to go against their own party’s leadership and to gum up the works to make a statement. Those differences have allowed the Freedom Caucus to exercise influence over the better part of the past decade — and are why it’s only just getting started.

Modern congressional caucuses emerged in the last century, though less formal organizations of like-minded members have existed in Congress since the start, according to Ruth Bloch Rubin, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and the author of “Building the Bloc: Intraparty Organization in the U.S. Congress.” During the Progressive Era in the early 20th century, a group of insurgent Republicans worked alongside Democrats to strip away some of the powers that had been consolidated by the speaker. In the 1960s and ’70s, the left-leaning Democratic Study Group worked to push through civil rights legislation (along with, later, the Congressional Black Caucus), against bitter opposition from conservative Southern Democrats.

Typically, such influential intraparty factions emerge only when parties find themselves especially divided, Bloch Rubin said. “It’s usually because there’s enough of a cleavage within the party that these sort of factions have enough members and the distance between one faction and a competitor faction within the same party is enough that it warrants this kind of organizational work,” she said.

The Freedom Caucus Was Designed To Disrupt

This caucus was designed to be a distraction from the silliness of the GOP….they are there to disrupt and play political games not to govern.

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A Rigged Election?

It is Sunday and the news is just about as boring as we can get….so why not us this time to learn something about our election process….and yes it is one of my infamous history lessons.

We all remember the drama around the 2020 election….and the spill over continues 2 years later.

But then there are still those that bring up the 2000 election when Gore lost out to GW Bush in a split decision….all that history, right?

Well believe it or not those were not the only two elections with accusations and problems…..

In the 2016 presidential election, one candidate is warning about voter fraud, while another proclaims Russians are interfering. It’s not the first time contenders have alleged some form of a “rigged” election.

In my book, “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections,” I write about some of the most controversial presidential elections that left large segments of the population believing their president was selected instead of elected. In two elections, the aftermath nearly led to mass violence.

Tuesday in the Rose Garden, President Barack Obama dismissed concerns of fraud this year.

“I have never seen in my lifetime, or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections process before votes have even taken place. It’s unprecedented,” Obama said.

“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, in part because they are so decentralized and the number of votes that are cast,” the president added. “There is no evidence that has happened in the past, or instances that will happen this year.”

While such complaints have been rare before votes were cast, they were very prominent in certain post-presidential elections, as was evidence that votes weren’t always counted properly.

Here are excerpts from the book.

Rigged Election? Past Presidential Contests Sowed Doubt and Nearly Led to Violence

In a closing note….the GOP has leveled many accusations of vote tampering….but so far most of those arrested for voter fraud have been Republicans… is the latest….

The wife of an Iowa Republican who ran for Congress in 2020 was arrested Thursday and accused of casting 23 fraudulent votes for her husband.

In an 11-page indictment, prosecutors say Kim Phuong Taylor “visited numerous households within the Vietnamese community in Woodbury County” where she collected absentee ballots for people who were not present at the time. Taylor, who was born in Vietnam, then filled out and cast those ballots herself, the indictment alleges, “causing the casting of votes in the names of residents who had no knowledge of and had not consented to the casting of their ballots.”

Taylor is also accused of signing voter-registration forms on behalf of residents who were not present. In all, prosecutors charged her with 26 counts of providing false information in registering and voting, three counts of fraudulent registration, and 23 counts of fraudulent voting. Each charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.

The goal, prosecutors allege, was to get her husband, the Republican politician Jeremy Taylor, elected to public office.

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American Hegemony

I guess the best place to start is to define the word ‘hegemony’ for those not sure of what it actually means…..

Hegemony comes from the Greek word hēgemonía, which means leadership and rule. In international relations, hegemony refers to the ability of an actor with overwhelming capability to shape the international system through both coercive and non-coercive means. Usually this actor is understood to be a single state, such as Great Britain in the 19th century or the United States in the 20th and 21st century. However, it could also refer to the dominance of a cohesive political community with external decision-making power, such as the European Union. Hegemony is distinct from Empire because a hegemonic power rules by influencing other states rather than by controlling them or their territory. Unipolarity refers to the distribution of military capabilities, whereas hegemony also refers to economic, social, and cultural power. The literature on hegemony tries to explain the United States’ role in the international system as a function of its privileged position within the system. Some scholars also see hegemony as an institutionalized coalition of powerful and wealthy states. Central questions to the debate are whether a hegemonic actor is well placed to shape the system, what strategies hegemonic powers use to define the system, if there are particular costs and benefits associated with exercising hegemonic influence, if other states gain or lose from hegemony, and under what conditions hegemonic powers endure.

With that in the rear-view mirror….let us continue…..

The US has been the main mover and shaker on the international scene since WW2 and the start of the “Red Menace”…..but recently that influence is starting to wane.

American hegemony is now on life support. Intensive care specialists are still scurrying about trying to resuscitate the patient. Family and friends are saying he’s still putting up a fight. However, the undertakers of this dying order have already arrived, and are standing just outside the door: one is named Russia, and the other China. When the obituary is read we will learn that the deceased is survived by an older cousin representing a different order – balance of power realism.

As John Mearsheimer observed, the unipolar moment after the fall of the former Soviet Union was an absolutely unique period of history. At that moment, and for the next 30 years, America was the only superpower left standing. Francis Fukuyama’s vision of democratizing the world proved to be an irresistible temptation for Western foreign policy elites. So, the evangelists of this new world order set out to spread democracy throughout Eastern Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

They used the existing architecture of cold war institutions like the UN, NATO, the EC, the WB, IMF, and WTO to spread liberal values, and to “addict people to capitalism.” Blinded by their own idealism, they couldn’t imagine anyone would reject such a generous offer. After all, as President George W. Bush often boasted, “Freedom is in the heart of every individual.” In other words, given the opportunity everyone would naturally choose to be free. Of course, this idea is an echo from President Wilson’s dictum, “The world must be made safe for democracy [emphasis mine].”

American Hegemony and the Politics of Provocation

After WW2 the US and its allies wanted the world to be based on the ‘rule of law’….but since those ‘glory days’ the US has moved further and further away from that high and noble goal.

The piece begins with a brief recitation of the origins and importance of self-determination and state sovereignty to the international system. This is immediately followed by a claim on behalf of the “coalition of democracies” to a right to violate these principles more or less at will.

This coalition, Spencer-Churchill writes, has “legally and morally valid justifications for intervention in a foreign country” first, “when there is a dire security threat that emerges within its sphere of influence” and second, “because liberal democracies have an unprecedented understanding of the world population’s aspirations for human rights-based rule of law and innovation-based prosperity for middle-income countries.” The policies of liberal democracies, he asserts “are moving in concert with the broader direction of history.” The citation for this last statement is a link to a brief summary of Francis Fukuyama’s “End of History.”

Why US hegemony is incompatible with a ‘rules-based international order’

How will this slide in principles end?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Poverty–What’s It Good for?

I do hope that everyone had a great day on Thanksgiving…I did….and since viewership is down on this Black Friday I will only post one  today so my readers do not miss any of my sterling observations.

A growing problem in this country is that of the state known as poverty….of course these days someone is going to blame inflation as the culprit…..but sadly the problem is much older than that.

I have been writing about this situation for decades……some of my thoughts are posted here…..

The promises the Founders promised in the original documents of this nation have failed and failed badly.
The old pieces of manure that are the political leaders do not want to change the status quo….they need poverty so the institution continues with little action to achieve the promises of the past.
One party is capitalizing on poverty and it’s darker side…..crime…..

The Republican Party is running a huge scam right now, similar to the one they ran in 1992 when President George HW Bush was setting up phony cocaine busts across the street from the White House and running his infamous Willie Horton ad.

Here’s the essential formula:

  • Increase levels of inequality in the country to the point where poverty and homelessness are a crisis.
  • Do this with huge, trillion-dollar tax cuts for rich people so they get massively richer, while gutting social-safety-net programs and supports for working class people like unions.
  • Poverty and homelessness increase which produces an increase in crime, and that freaks out middle-class people — the majority of voters.
  • Then build your political identity and campaign around being “tough on crime” while completely ignoring the fact that the poverty you helped create is largely responsible for much of that crime.
  • Blame the poverty-driven crime, instead, on “welfare” programs Democrats have put into place to try to soften the blow of the poverty caused by Republican policies.

This is not a new idea. Around 170 A.D. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “Poverty is the mother of crime,” although he was actually trying to reduce both in the wake of others who’d made poverty and thus crime worse.

And then there’s inequality, which it turns out is at least as consequential as poverty as a driver of criminal behavior.

Years of research done by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett of the Equality Trust in the UK found that as inequality goes up, so does crime particularly violent crime.

There is an easy fix to this problem….it may not eliminate all the inequalities but it will lessen the problem somewhat….

Here is a novel idea…..wage war on poverty not the poor!

The demonization of the poor continues today….these unfortunate Americans are blamed for everything from low tax revenues to crumbling infrastructure….not a word about the tax cuts that also cut revenue for the nation….if blame needs to be assigned then look NO further than the GOP.

Again…wage war on poverty not the poor.


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Veterans Day–2022

What say we set aside all the drama around the last election and focus on something important?

Today is the day we have set aside to remember those brave Americans that have defended their nation from enemies both domestic and foreign.

2022 Veterans Day 1M 5K 10K 13.1 26.2-Save $2, 11 November | Event in Denver |

On this somber day I would like to offer a ‘feel good’ story about friendship….

Drunk ideas, while entertaining, rarely end well. But there are exceptions. Like that time in New York in the late 1960s when a conversation about anti-war protesters led one veteran to set off on the greatest beer run in history.

It was November 1967, and a 26-year-old former Marine named John “Chick” Donohue was hanging out at Doc Fiddler’s — one of the many bars and pubs that dotted the neighborhood of Inwood, then an Irish-American enclave near Manhattan’s northern tip. The bartender, George Lynch, began complaining about the anti-war movement that had taken flight across the country.

For a lot of vets like Donohue, the marches and picket signs must have felt like a snub. So when Lynch suggested that someone go out there — to Vietnam — and bring those boys some beers to let them know they’re not forgotten, Donohue volunteered to go. And he went.

What followed was an 8,000 mile, four-month odyssey. Donohue trekked across a war-torn country, talked his way onto transport trucks and military aircraft, all so he could meet up with local guys from his neighborhood and bring them a cold — okay, lukewarm — brew.

“A lot of my friends were serving in Vietnam, and I just wanted to go over there and buy them a beer,” he candidly explained in a 2015 video short, in which Donohue met up with three of the servicemen he’d provided with beer in Vietnam: Bobby Pappas, Tom Collins, and Ricky Duggan.

Donohue took a job on the next ship headed to the war, the Drake Victory, a merchant vessel transporting ammo to the ’nam from New York. He got the names and units of a half-dozen guys in the neighborhood, grabbed a seabag, stuffed it full of PBR, threw on a pair of light blue jeans, a plaid shirt, and headed out. Two months later, in early 1968, he arrived in Vietnam — just in time for the start of the Tet Offensive against U.S. and South Vietnamese troops.

The Unbelievable True Story Of The Greatest Beer Run In History

Please take a  moment in your day to remember all those that gave their all for this country.

In Memory - Veterans Day Cards

This will be my post today for I have traditions that I observe on this day

To my fellow veterans….have a great day and thank you….

Be well…..Be safe….

“lego ergo scribo”

Warning: Democracy In Peril

Just days away from the choice we must make about our government….

There has been a wealth of concern about the future of this country and our democracy (of wait for those semi literate Righties) (I realize this is a constitutional republic and not a true democracy) is in danger of collapse under the weight of the attacks from the Far Right.

Many Americans think our way of politics is broken….and now there can be a fix if we truly want to save the country and our way of life….

CNN brought some experts together to offer some solutions….


Though Americans don’t agree on many political issues, there is one issue both Democrats and Republicans acknowledge poses a major problem: the state of American democracy. According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 69% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans think the nation’s democracy is on the brink of collapse. And the figure for independents, 66%, isn’t much better.

This fear, if actualized, would have ripple effects around the world, given that so many nations look to the United States to be a global leader in democratic efforts. But it also has very real implications for our country’s immediate domestic politics and policy – as evidenced by the recent attacks against election officials across the country.

The threats after the 2020 presidential election were so serious, writes Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley, that “I had two plain-clothes Philadelphia police officers assigned to follow me wherever I went – including the bathroom.”

We turned to a group of experts and asked what can be done to fix what is broken and restore faith in democracy.

I personally think changes in our current voting rights thing….and the shared experience will go a long way to repair that is needed.

You can be part of the solution….VOTE!

Think what this country has given you….now do you part to repair our riffs… for the future not the problems of the past.

Just days before the decision….time to pay attention and do the right thing.

Do you want a future or do you want to live in the past?

It is your choice…..and I doubt we will work for the future….to be truthful.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Truss Of A Thousand Hours (Or So)


The news broke earlier today that the next “Iron Lady” of the UK has decided to call it quits after only 45 days.

Liz Truss has made history, though likely not in the way she had hoped. CNBC and the AP report that the British prime minister resigned on Thursday after weeks of upheaval sparked by her economic plan, announced last month and since largely abandoned after it spooked financial markets. What you need to know:

  • In making the announcement, she said, “I cannot deliver the mandate on which I was elected”—just a day prior she had emphasized she was “a fighter and not a quitter.”
  • But Truss couldn’t hold on any longer after a senior minister quit her government with a barrage of criticism and a vote over fracking for shale gas—a practice that Truss wanted to resume despite opposition from many Conservatives—descended into chaos and acrimony Wednesday evening in the House of Commons.
  • She was appointed prime minister on Sept. 6, making her the shortest-serving PM in modern British history, with just a 45-day tenure, reports the Guardian, though it’ll end up being slightly longer, as the BBC reports she will stay in the post until a new party leader is named and then appointed prime minister by King Charles III. Prior to Truss, George Canning had occupied the shortest-serving slot: He held the job for 119 days in 1827, though he left office for a different reason: death by pneumonia.
  • Truss is now the 4th Conservative prime minister to resign since the country voted to leave the EU in 2016, with David Cameron, Theresa May, and Boris Johnson coming before her.
  • Truss’ departure leaves a divided Conservative Party seeking a leader who can unify its warring factions. Among potential replacements—if only Conservative lawmakers can agree—are ex-Treasury chief Rishi Sunak (whom Truss defeated to secure the PM job) and House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt. Newly appointed Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt has apparently said he is not in the running.
  • A national election doesn’t have to be held until 2024, but the Guardian reports Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, along with opposition leaders, are calling for a general election.

Her quick departure got me to thinking about other “leaders’ that were just in power for a very short time….

  • Prime ministers: Truss’ predecessor in the “we hardly knew ye, PM” department was Tory statesman George Canning, who held the office for just 119 days before he died of tuberculosis on Aug. 8, 1827.
  • US presidents: The honor here goes to William Henry Harrison, who died of pneumonia on April 4, 1841, just 31 days after his inauguration. Some speculate that his lack of appropriate outdoor attire during his inaugural address may have contributed to him getting sick.
  • Other presidents: Pedro Lascurain has Harrison beat, lasting just 45 minutes or so in the Mexican presidency. Lascurain was effectively just a placeholder during a military coup on Feb. 19, 1913, making way for Gen. Victoriano Huerta after less than an hour.
  • Emperors: Michael II of Russia put in a whole 18 hours in mid-March 1917 after the abdication of his brother, Czar Nicholas II, but he was quickly replaced by a provisional government that ended the country’s czarist regime.
  • UK monarchs: Elizabeth II may have held the honor of Britain’s longest reign, but Tragic Lady Jane Grey appears at the other end of the spectrum—the 16-year-old queen lasted just nine days before being deposed in 1553.
  • Other monarchs: A world record of just 20 minutes on the throne is shared by France’s King Louis XIX, who quickly abdicated in 1830 right after his father did the same, and Portugal’s Luis II, who died not a half-hour after he’d assumed the crown from his father, who was fatally wounded in the same attack on Feb. 1, 1908.
  • “Some food in my freezer”: To put Truss’ time in office in context, this decade-old Reddit post outlines things in general that last longer than 45 days. And on Twitter, Anthony Scaramucci—who infamously lasted just 11 days as the White House communications director under former President Donald Trump—posted, “Liz Truss lasted 4.1 Scaramuccis.”

In a way I like the UK government better than ours….why?

At least when the leader is a piece of sh*t they resign for the good of the country.  We have to wait for years before we can rid ourselves of crap.

What’s next for the UK?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

My Usual Saturday News

That time again when I offer up some tantalizing news that was missed in our everyday news consumption.

One of this planet’s biggest problems is the amount of plastic that makes its way into the environment… can this problem be accurately addressed?

Five years after wax worms were found to consume the world’s most commonly produced plastic, scientists have lost none of their optimism in touting the caterpillar larvae of wax moths as a potential solution to our growing problem of plastic waste. Indeed, new research finds the larvae’s saliva to be perfectly suited to breaking down polyethylene, which makes up 30% of plastic production, per the Guardian. Federica Bertocchini, a molecular biologist and amateur beekeeper who first noticed the hive-plaguing wax worms could eat through plastic bags, says two enzymes in the saliva quickly degrade polyethylene without the need for heat. As the BBC reports, “such an effective agent” hasn’t been found in nature before.

Oxidation needs to occur for plastic to break down. As polyethylene is “highly resistant to oxygen,” per the BBC, it usually needs to be pretreated with heat or UV light. But there’s no need for that with wax worm saliva, which at room temperature allowed oxygen to penetrate the polymer within an hour, according to the outlet. It notes that step alone can take years of weathering in the environment. “What we think is that the enzymes are capable of an accelerated version of the weathering of polyethylene,” says Clemente Fernandez Arias of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), co-author of the study published Tuesday in Nature Communications. It’s “changing the paradigm of plastic biodegradation,” adds lead author Bertocchini, also of CSIC, per Reuters.

Importantly, researchers were able to produce the worms’ saliva enzymes synthetically. (Reuters notes carbon dioxide would be generated if billions of wax worms were left to do the work on their own.) If produced on a larger scale, they could be used to break down plastic waste around the world, researchers say. The idea is that “plastics can be degraded in controlled conditions, limiting or eventually eliminating altogether the release of microplastics,” Arias tells Reuters. “We imagine you could apply this new understanding to large plastic waste management facilities,” Bertocchini adds, per the BBC. “But you could also have a home-based kit [that] could help you degrade your own plastic.”

I say anything that can help solve the problem is worth testing.

Speaking of the environment….all the rage these days is the push for more electric vehicles….but my question is are they truly all the good or just a trendy thing to do?

You’ve heard about the perks and maybe balked at the costs, but with demand higher than ever, it seems like everyone is racing to get their hands on an electric vehicle

“It’s very inexpensive to operate, there’s no maintenance costs except for tires,” said Ron Zarbock, a Tesla owner. 

Craig Bickmore is the director of New Car Dealers of Utah. 

“That competition from the EV market is going to be hugely intense. You watch what happens in the next year in a half,” said Bickmore.  

One 2020 study projected in 2050 that half of all cars on the road could be electric. That would mean the world could slash CO2 emissions by up to 1.5 gigatons, which is equivalent to the current output of Russia. 

That same study concluded electric vehicles are better for the climate in 95% of the world.  

But researchers say the fact that driving an EV creates no emissions doesn’t necessarily mean they’re carbon-neutral.

Are women’s standards for men too high?

A study by dating app OkCupid found that women find 80% of men unattractive or “below average.”

I mean…sounds a little steep.

As a woman myself, I can understand why women don’t want to just date anyone.

But I can’t help but question women’s priorities if the standard for men is so high that only 20% of men can hope to meet them.

Are women’s standards for men just too high?

Women Say 80% of Men Are “Below Average”

I have blue eyes and I am the descendant of a single person….

Blue eyed people listen up.

Ever wondered why your eyes are the colour they are? Well wonder no more.

Every blue eyed person is descended from a single European who lived around 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, according to scientists.

How did they work it out? Originally, all humans had brown eyes in various shades until there was a specific mutation that made the change.

The mutation is a gene called HERC2 and it switches off OCA2, the gene that determines how much brown pigment we make.

So that’s why eyes become blue.

As for being descended from the same person, the evidence for this is because every blue eyed person alive today has this same mutation.

If you have blue eyes then we are related to the same ancestor….

Finally many of us are worried about our weight or our health….and you are what you eat…..

Since my health problems I have changed my eating habits…..this is an interesting twist on the eating of meals…..I worked for me….

If you’re an intermittent faster who endeavors not to eat in any time ending in “AM,” you may want to rethink that. NBC News reports on a pair of studies that point to there being value in constraining your meals to a 10-hour window—but making that window an early one. The studies were small ones published Tuesday in Cell Metabolism, with the first looking at the effects of late versus early eating. It involved 16 overweight or obese participants who completed both early-eating (with meals at 8am, noon, and 4pm) and late-eating (with meals at noon, 4pm, and 8pm) protocols.

It found that late eating increased waketime hunger—shifting meals four hours later doubled the chances of being hungry, per CNN—and decreased waketime energy, meaning participants burned calories at a reduced rate; their fat tissue seemed to hang on to more calories, too. “Combined, these changes upon late eating may increase obesity risk in humans,” the study concluded. The second study looked at shift workers, specifically firefighters, who worked a 24-hour schedule. It found that when meals were eaten within a 10-hour window, as opposed to more like 13 hours, health markers improved: “bad cholesterol” particles decreased in size and blood pressure and blood sugar level improvements were noted.

NOTE:  Please do not attempt any diet changes before you speak with your medical professional.

That is my meager offerings for this weekend…

Enjoy your day and be well and be safe…..

“lego ergo scribo”

“Best Thing Since Sliced Bread”

It is Sunday and I would like to drop some history on you as well as a bit of FYI……

First I would like to thank my blogging friend, Pete, for playing along with the photo quiz on yesterday’s post.

Now for the history….

I am old enough to remember that oleo had a color packet because it could not be yellow to confuse the consumer.

How many times have you heard something like that is the ‘best thing since sliced bread’?

Did you know that sliced bread was banned at one point in our history?

The year was 1943, and Americans were in crisis. Across the Atlantic, war with Germany was raging. On the home front, homemakers were facing a very different sort of challenge: a nationwide ban on sliced bread.

“To U.S. housewives it was almost as bad as gas rationing—and a whale of a lot more trouble,” announced Time magazine on February 1, 1943. The article goes on to describe women fumbling with their grandmothers’ antiquated serrated knives. “Then came grief, cussing, lopsided slices which even the toaster refused, often a mad dash to the corner bakery for rolls. But most housewives sawed, grimly on—this war was getting pretty awful.”

The ban on sliced bread was just one of many resource-conserving campaigns during World War II. In May 1942, Americans received their first ration booklets and, within the year, commodities ranging from rubber tires to sugar were in short supply. Housewives, many of whom were also holding down demanding jobs to keep the labor force from collapsing, had to get creative. When the government rationed nylon, women resorted to drawing faux-nylon stockings using eyebrow pencils and when sugar and butter became scarce, they baked “victory cakes” sweetened with boiled raisins or whatever else was available.

So by January 18, 1943, when Claude R. Wickard, the secretary of agriculture and head of the War Foods Administration, declared the selling of sliced bread illegal, patience was already running thin. Since sliced bread required thicker wrapping to stay fresh, Wickard reasoned that the move would save wax paper, not to mention tons of alloyed steel used to make bread-slicing machines.

The moral of this post is….never take anything for granted….it could change in the blink of an eye.

Enjoy your Sunday….be well and be safe….

“I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Civics, The Lost Knowledge

In the last few decades the American people have lost the knowledge of civics….and our elections and government illustrates what happens when this knowledge is lost.

I say this because of this type of report….

A recent survey found America may need to go back to civics class.

Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Civics Knowledge Survey found only 2 in 5 American adults – or 39 percent – could correctly name the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. That figure was the highest in five years, up from 32 percent last year.

One in five adults couldn’t name any branch, the study showed.

“A quarter of U.S. adults can name only one of the three branches of government and more than a fifth can’t name any. The resilience of our system of government is best protected by an informed citizenry. And civics education and attention to news increase that likelihood.”

53% correctly said it takes a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.

83% correctly said it was accurate to say that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a citizen has a constitutional right to own a handgun.

63% correctly said it was inaccurate to say that the Constitution allows a judge to insist that a defendant testify at their own trial.

55% correctly said that Democrats control the House of Representatives and 61% correctly said that Republicans control the Senate.


Since schools seems to avoid teaching our students the knowledge of civics…..apparently that chore is delegated to us bloggers…..

Let us start with George Washington…..and carry on from there….

In his first inaugural address, George Washington put the fate of this country’s democracy in the care of its people. “The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government,” Washington explained, “are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” 

Yet 233 years later, civic knowledge among Americans is at an appallingly low level. What’s more, a recent Quinnipiac Report finds 67 percent of Americans think our democracy is in danger of collapse. 

None of this is surprising to those of us who have devoted our lives to improving civic education in this country. Americans are finally starting to pay attention to the alarms raised. Thankfully, there are collective calls for improving civic education – not only during school years but as a lifelong endeavor for every person in our self-governing society.

The challenge for those of us in civic education is threefold: (1) there is less classroom time for civics in primary and secondary school; (2) the marketplace of ideas is crowded with misinformation coming from every direction; and (3) there are few resources designed to engage people of all ages.

The study of civics is best when we start with the very document that made this country great, the Constitution…..

When we think of the United States Constitution, we probably consider the structure it gives to our national government. We may think of its presence at the center of political controversies past and present. Or we may think of ways in which the document has been neglected.

But as we mark the 235th anniversary of the Constitution’s signing on Sept. 17, 1787, it’s worth noting the positive ways in which our daily lives as individuals – and our shared lives as citizens – are profoundly shaped by that document.

First, the Constitution is a common reference point for American civic life. The Preamble tells us the Constitution’s purpose – one that “We the People” share together. It speaks of the need to maintain our “more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” This purpose is as relevant today as it was in 1787. The founding generation certainly bore a heavy responsibility in adhering to these purposes, but each generation must do its part in the ongoing work of self-government. And each individual citizen is a shareholder in the enterprise of democracy.

We need a more thorough program for teaching civics at every level of our educational system.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”