Monday, December 29, 2008

The Hands of History: Lincoln, Obama, Ream


From one hand on a Bible, that of Abraham Lincoln during his first Presidential inauguration in 1861, to one hand on the same Bible, that of the first inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009, almost 148 years later.

That is not only history, but history in the making. All that Lincoln strived for in our country has come to be with the choice of our President-elect by voters.

I believe it is fitting that Obama has chosen to use Lincoln’s Bible to take his oath of office. President-elect Obama will be the first president to be sworn in using this Bible since Abraham Lincoln. Presidents are not constitutionally required to be sworn in using a Bible, though most choose to do so.

The Lincoln Bible, now in the Library of Congress, is burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim around the three outside edges of both covers. All its edges are heavily gilded. In the center of the top cover is a shield of gold wash over white metal with the words "Holy Bible" chased into it. The 1,280-page Bible was published in 1853 by the Oxford University Press and was purchased in 1861 by Supreme Court Clerk William Thomas Carroll for use in Abraham Lincoln's inauguration because the president-elect's family Bible was packed away in Illinois and was en route to Washington.

Today in doing research on Lincoln for my newest series of ebooks to be published on Inauguration day by
www.healingebooks.com , I discovered some information I did not previously know. And that had to do with women’s rights, and position in the mid 1800’s and with another pair of hands...the hands of Vinnie Ream, the young sculptor who did a marble bust of Lincoln and then after his death was awarded the commission to sculpt the statute of Lincoln which now stands in the Capitol Rotunda.

Although I had photographed the statue on a visit to the Capitol a few years ago, I did not know the history of the sculptor. And I was surprised to learn it was a very attractive young woman. At the time Lincoln sat for the bust she sculpted, she was 18 years of age, and then at 23, commissioned to do the Lincoln statue.

Vinnie Reams’ hands left an imprint on history, also.

She wrote: “Congress appropriated money to erect a marble statue of the martyred President in the Capitol, it never occurred to me, with my youth and my inexperience, to compete for that great honor; but I was induced to place my likeness of him before the committee having the matter under consideration, and, together with many other artists--competitors for this work--I was called before this committee. I shall never forget the fear that fell upon me, as the chairman (the Hon. John H. Rice, of Maine, who had a kind heart, but a very stern manner) looked up through his glasses, from his seat at the head of the table, and questioned and cross-questioned me until I was so frightened that I could hardly reply to his questions: "How long had I been studying art?'' and had I ever made a marble statue?'' My knees trembled and I shook like an aspen, and I had not enough presence of mind even to tell him that I had made the bust from sittings from life. Seeing my dire confusion, and not being able to hear my incoherent replies, he dismissed me with a wave of his hand, and a request to Judge Marshall, of Illinois, to kindly see the young artist home! Once there, in the privacy of my own room, I wept bitter tears that I had been such an idiot as to try to compete with men, and remembering the appearance before that stern committee as a terrible ordeal before unmerciful judges, I promised myself it should be my last experience of that kind."
"Judge then of my surprise and delight when I learned that, guided by the opinion of Judge David Davis, Senator Trumbull, Marshal Lamon, Sec. O. H. Browning, Judge Dickey, and many others of President Lincoln's old friends, that I had produced the most faithful likeness of him, they had awarded the commission to me-the little western sculptor. The Committee on Mines and Mining tendered me their room in the Capitol, in which to model my statue, because it was next to the room of Judge David Davis, and he could come in daily and aid me with his friendly criticisms. His comfortable chair was kept in readiness. He came daily, and suggesting ‘a little more here--a little on there--more inclining of the bended head--more angularity of the long limbs,’ he aided me in my sacred work by his encouraging words and generous sympathy.”

She wrote this after the unveiling of the Lincoln statue in January, 1871.

“This night when the Lincoln statue was unveiled in the rotunda of the Capitol was the supreme moment of my life. I had known and loved the man! My country had loved him and cherished his memory. In tears the people had parted with him. With shouts of joy and acclamations of affection they had received his image in the marble. Upon the very spot where a few years before they had gathered in sorrow to gaze upon his lifeless body lying there in state while a nation mourned, they had gathered again to unveil his statue. ‘The marble is the resurrection,’ say the old sculptors, and now the dead had arisen to live forever in the hearts of the people whom he loved so well.”

And I like what she wrote about Washington D.C. and the Capitol, which, of course, she had a special feeling for.

“We have a country the chosen of the earth, rich in the best of gifts and prosperous beyond all expectation. Our lines are cast in pleasant places. Those of us who live in Washington are particularly blessed. The sun has never shone upon a more lovely city. Beautifully situated, with healthful and favoring airs stealing up from the sea, between the picturesque banks of the Potomac, and with beautiful buildings rising on every side.”
"The grand old Capitol, with its majestic dome, towers above them all--a star by day and a pillar of fire by night. It is truly a picture for the artist always, whether in the sun, the storm, the rain, the mist or the moonlight. The Congressional Library is a never-failing fountain of knowledge. It is receiving now a new impetus and reaching out its arms in every direction. Its growth is so rapid that the Capitol cannot much longer contain it and it must soon build a temple unto itself. A storehouse of treasures is encompassed by the picturesque walls of the Smithsonian and the new museum will eventually become a second Kensington. The portals of art have been thrown wide open by the generous hand of Mr. Corcoran and the nation will preserve with gratitude and affection his noble gift: the Corcoran Art Gallery. We who live here cannot say that we lack advantages.”

"Our country's history and the grand destiny awaiting it, inspire us to action. Our beautiful Capitol will some day lay its proud head low, the grass will grow on our bright avenues and our pictures and statues will crumble into dust, but the recollection of great and good deeds will not die. Where are now the houses and the streets which the illustrious men of the past have inhabited? They have melted away into thin air. They have vanished, but the memory of these great men remains and the heart of youth beats high with aspiration and enthusiasm when listening to the recital of their glowing deeds. Let us all try to do something and do the very best we can. Some can make of themselves great men--all can be good men. Who can say there may not be in this very assemblage some boy who, striving to be good and great, may be revered in story and in song, when the ashes of centuries shall envelope this now fair city."


Vennie Ream lived from 1847-1914.


















~ Linda

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Choosing A Presidential Cabinet

Should a candidate for President, once he is nominated, tell the voters who will become members of his Cabinet, if he is elected? There has been quite some discussion over this subject. Does the general opinion seem to be that as a Cabinet has so much to do with the shaping of an Administration that advance information should be given? But apparently it is not done, although there have been some elections which cast tell-tale Cabinet selection shadows before them. All in all, it seems likely that the plan of the future will be one we have always followed, but in all cases to bend our energies to the selection of candidates whose judgment is to be relied upon in the making of wise Cabinet choices. It cannot be otherwise than true that a splendid Cabinet might make a success of a weak executive’s Administration. Such things have been witnessed by men and women still living.

When the Convention nominated the young man, he had not been well known, almost an unknown outside the Midwest and had not enjoyed a wide reputation among political activities. His term in Illinois politics—the Illinois legislature, an attorney—had been rather a short time. In going over very carefully the events of his career up to that time we can find no task which called forth the skill, the patience, tact and diplomacy which he has displayed in his picking of his Cabinet at a time when the country is as divided with such internal strife as we now face.

If some writers are to be believed, he picked his Cabinet members on Election night. But the Cabinet was not selected then, nor was the task so easily disposed of as some would have us believe. It actually took several weeks to pick his team, and for those persons to accept the positions offered them.

His reasons for picking his Cabinet seemed to be to combine experience, integrity, popularity, regional, and bipartisan.

If there is ever a time when this country of ours was on tip-toes over Cabinet-making, it was when the choice for Secretary of State was an outspoken opponent and a New Yorker, but was not Hillary Clinton, as you might think. Then, in 1860, it was William H. Seward, and the President choosing his Cabinet was Abraham Lincoln.

The above had been written about Abraham Lincoln’s selection of his first Cabinet of seven men, at a time when the country was being devastated by Civil War.

Sounds familiar, though, doesn’t it? I could have added Barack Obama, our President-elect, herein, but I was writing about our 16th President. Of course, I personally see such similarity between the two men, both going into the Presidency at a time of turmoil in the country, a time of needed change and excellent leadership. With Lincoln we had a man of vision, a man of compassion, honesty, and humor, and a man dedicated to his role as President. I believe we have those same qualities in Obama, and although he faces great challenges in getting our country back on track, and respected in the world, I feel confident that he can do so, and I feel confident with his Vice President Joe Biden and with the Cabinet choices.

I am optimistically looking forward to a swinging of the pendulum which has already began its movement with the historic election of Obama.

I do hope my grandchildren appreciate the historic event that has taken place. I look forward to the day when women’s rights, gay rights, and other issues of equality are no longer a political issue used by the Republican party. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a ways to go to achieve what every citizen deserves. And let’s hope years upon years do not have to go by before diversity and equality for all is accepted by all citizens of this country.

~Linda








“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father's child has." ~Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The UFO Phenomena: The Cosmic SOS by Linda Pendleton




Linda Pendleton’s newest eBook, The UFO Phenomena: The Cosmic SOS

Are we alone in the universe? Many people do not believe we are. A recent U.S. National Roper Poll showed seventy-two percent believe that our government is not telling us all it knows about UFO activity. Another CNN-TIME Poll showed eighty-percent believed the government to be hiding knowledge of UFOs.


Nearly half of Americans believe UFOs have visited earth in some form. And a Roper Poll conducted by the SciFi Television Channel indicated one in seven has had a UFO Experience.


What do you believe? What do you know?

Now on sale. Purchase and Download and receive several free gifts, including:
Crop Circles in the Fields, Objects in the Skies, and Creatures in the Bedroom
by Linda Pendleton



This 97 page ebook is packed with a collection of compelling articles and credible firsthand accounts of sightings and experiences intended to shed light and insight into Crop Circles, UFOs, and abductions. Articles by Dr. John E. Mack; Nuclear Physicist and UFO Investigator, Stanton Friedman; Crop Circle Researcher Nancy Talbott; and more. Also find astonishing photographs of recent crop circles, courtesy of Lucy Pringle and others.

Have we been visited here on earth? If so, since when? Could Crop Circles be a message to us? If so, what might that Boldmessage be? What are crop circles theories? How is a hoax (i.e., man-made) crop circle identifiable from the real thing? Has anyone or thing ever been caught in the act making crop circles? This eBook examines these questions and provide intriguing responses, as it explores life beyond this planet and contemplates our connection to it.

This 97 page ebook is free gift with the purchase of Linda Pendleton's UFO Phenomena: The Cosmic SOS, and additional ebook gifts, the 1898 novel War of the Worlds; The FBI FOIA Documents - Unidentified Flying Objects; Linda Pendleton's article on Peak Experiences.


"I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real. It's been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it's leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it. I've been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes - we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it's been happening quite a bit." ~ Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut, 2008

Purchase Here, Immediate Download



Saturday, December 6, 2008

O. J. = Oh, Justice...


Many feel a sense of jubilance and celebration today (Friday) in hearing the words of Las Vegas, Nevada Judge Jackie Glass giving her sentencing order to O. J. Simpson. The Nevada Division of Parole and Probation recommended a minimum sentence of 18 years for the 12 felony counts he was convicted of.

More than thirteen years ago, O. J. Simpson got away with the 1994 murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman when acquitted for the crimes in criminal court, but was then held responsible for their horrific deaths in civil court.

Watching the L.A. criminal trial, I was so disappointed when he was acquitted, even sick to my stomach that day. But following his acquittal on criminal double murder charges, I said one day he would do something wrong that would send him to jail. He was so arrogant, so sure of himself, until this trip to Las Vegas and his “stupidity” as he called it. I think most of us laughed at his court room speech today about how sorry he was–and stupid, and how he had been visiting Vegas since 1959–and had never been in trouble.

Judge Glass commented about the violence of his act, and also said, “it was much more than stupidity.” 15 years, maybe parole after nine years, and could be locked away for 33 years. Not bad. He’s not going to have a very good time in prison. The Judge also commented he was arrogant and ignorant.

She gave him about what I thought he would get. Good for her in following the law and good for the jury in bringing back a reasonable and just verdict for the criminal acts O. J. and his group committed in Vegas.

NBC/MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, who followed the Simpson case years back in Los Angeles, mentioned today how O. J. all these years “had publically mocked the Goldman family, again, again, and again.” When asked in so many words if O. J. “would fade away,” Abrams said, “The O. J. Simpson that we’ve seen today, the O. J. Simpson with the swagger is gone forever.”

I have to admit it was nice to see O. J. looking weary and defeated. Yeah, more than nice.

It was great to see Fred Goldman looking better than I’ve ever seen him over these years. I imagine these last few months of knowing O. J. Simpson was in jail and had little if any hope of getting out, and would surely be going to prison, finally gave Fred Goldman, his wife, Ron’s sister, Kim Goldman, and the rest of the family a sense of peace that justice has been accomplished in the name of their son and brother, Ron Goldman, and Nicole Brown. They may never receive any of the money, more than thirty-three million, owned their family and the Brown’s, but I hope for them, it no longer matters now that Ron’s killer is in prison.

Today Fred Goldman was asked by a reporter if this brought closure and Goldman answered, “There is never closure. Ron is always gone–what we have is satisfaction that this monster is now where he belongs, behind bars.”

I wish the Goldman’s peace knowing their stand for Ron all these years now has results. But isn’t it so ironic that O. J. had done something with many of those items years back in an effort to keep the Goldman’s from getting any monetary value from his things. He has said more than once, he would not give the Goldman’s a dime. Funny isn’t it, that his efforts to scam the Goldman’s led him to serious criminal acts to recover his items....but oh, O. J. said he thought he “was confronting friends” and didn’t know he “was doing anything wrong.” Yeah, sure.

A little bit of Karma that didn’t have to wait until another life-time.

~ Linda





Saturday, November 29, 2008

Humor of Ellen and Chris Matthews...so funny!


This video is so darn funny! Two of my favorite people: Ellen and Chris Matthews. I'm still laughing as I put this up here. Ellen is really such a gifted talent....she can make you feel so good with her humor....

Linda



Friday, November 28, 2008

Don Pendleton's The Executioner Graphic Novel, The Devil's Tools


Comic graphic novel, Don Pendleton’s The Executioner: The Devil’s Tools, now available at book stores such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon, other bookstores and comic bookstores.
I wrote the Introduction to the Graphic Novel, which begins:

Introduction by Linda Pendleton: "Don Pendleton’s Creation of Mack Bolan, The Executioner."
"Forty years ago, 1968, was an unsettling time in America. There was the Vietnam War and civil unrest on our city streets and college campuses, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. There were the psychedelic streets of San Francisco’s Height-Ashbury and Berkeley, love and flower power, and the long iniquities of the Mafia and organized crime. And that’s when The Executioner Mack Bolan series came to be.

"Our returning soldiers were treated badly and the events of this disturbing time in our American history inspired Don to write the first story for the Mack Bolan series. Don needed an enemy beyond redemption for Bolan and the criminal actions of the Mafia made them the perfect choice. After twelve years and thirty-eight books, the Mafia was fairly neutralized in real life. Since 1980 terrorists and international criminals have filled that role.

"My late husband had this to say some years ago about the development of his Executioner series: ‘When I wrote War Against the Mafia as a Vietnam statement, I didn’t expect much to come of it–but quite a bit came and it captured me. I continued the books to feed the obvious hunger that was there for heroic fiction.’"

To read more of my Introduction you will have to get the graphic novel....

This new original script of The Devil’s Tools is written by Douglas Wojtowicz, who has written several of Gold Eagles’ Executioner novels.
Cover art done by talented cover artist Michael G. Herring; Illustrated by S.I. Gallant; Colored by Luis Antonio Delgado; Edited by Thomas Waltz.

Published by IDW Publishing in conjunction with Harlequin’s Enterprises, Gold Eagle, World Wide Library.
http://www.idwpublishing.com/

Read more about Don Pendleton at his official site:
http://www.donpendleton.com/


~Linda

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Share the Wealth, Donate to Heifer International



As we come upon the holidays and the year’s end, it is the ideal time to “share the wealth,” as our President-elect Barack Obama suggested. And one way to do that is to give a gift, but not the usual gift we might wrap in colorful paper and ribbons and bows to be put under the family Christmas tree, but a gift of love to help with hunger and poverty and to care for the earth.

A flock of chicks for a $20 donation.
Each hen able to lay more than 200 eggs a year, allowing excellent protein and minerals–zinc and iron available to a family. Eggs to sell for needed income.


With your donation buy a share of a heifer, or a goat, to give a family needed milk, cheese and yogurt–or buy the whole animal with a few bucks more. This year my donation again went toward flocks of chicks, and this time, a goat, but there are other animals to choose from and even bees and trees.

Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Since 1944, Heifer has helped 9.2 million families in 125 countries move toward greater self-reliance through livestock, training and "passing on the gift." By providing animals and training, Heifer enables families to overcome poverty and make lasting improvements in their quality of life.

Check out their website, and gift catalog and see how easy it is to feel joy by spreading wealth....and caring.

www.heifer.org or call 1-800-698-2511

~Linda

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Marriage Equality Movement, Gay Marriage in CA


I was shocked to see that Proposition 8 passed here in CA, especially after we were inundated with a religious backed, (mainly Mormon, partly Knights of Columbus) commercial of falsehoods and scare tactics. Here locally in Northern CA it must have played every hour or two, and I got where I gritted my teeth each time I heard it.

It so happens that Proposition 8 was not about politics, not about taxpayers money, No. Proposition 8 was about equality, civil rights, and love. Why should anyone care that another chooses to marry–to join in love with another soul–and call the commitment marriage?

We’ve come a long way in our country in regards to civil rights, bigotry, and prejudices, ie., electing a black man by a landslide to our highest office, a man of vision, of humanity, intelligence, and a man with ideals to do good for our country and our place in the world.


Yet, apparently many who cast their vote for Obama here in CA, also cast a vote for Proposition 8. I am left wondering if they actually read the Proposition, or were taken in by the enormous amount of money that was used to advertise falsehoods of the Vote Yes on 8 group, nothing more than a religious agenda to take away rights.

There is now a grassroots movement, and legal moves, to cancel out this Yes vote, and even Governor Arnold... has spoken out to his surprise that it passed. This vote to change the state constitution will be defeated, and it sounds as if the recent legal marriages of gay couples that have take place will be valid.

I just saw the article reporting gay marriages are now taking place in Conn. Good for them.

I suppose it will just take a little more time for gay rights to be in full force, but it will happen. It will happen in much the same way as acceptance of interracial marriage and equality of races. We are a diverse country and those who find it offensive should save their worry and just get used to it. Everyone deserves equal rights, and it makes for a better place.


If you are interested in seeing what you can do to restore Marriage Equality and repeal Proposition 8, check out this link and group: http://www.couragecampaign.org/

Keith Olbermann said it well last night on Countdown:



~Linda

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

NEW ANGEL EBOOK, "A LOVING PRESENCE" BY LINDA PENDLETON, WITH FREE BONUS GIFTS





Now Available, my new ebook
A Loving Presence: Signs and Symbols from Your Angels and Spirit Guides by Linda Pendleton



Receive $75 worth of Bonus Gifts FREE with purchase of A Loving Presence ebook (PDF File).
Bonus Gifts include:

Charting Your Intuitive Experiences: To Heal, Solve Problems, Make Spiritual Contact and More! by Linda Pendleton
This downloadable workbook will help you chart and discover how to tap into your intuition to:
Solve problems faster and easier, Make spiritual contact, Heal, Achieve greater personal enlightenment, Tap into your own inner wisdom.

Messages from Behind the Veil: A Comparison of Channeled Truths
by Linda Pendleton
Today's quest for spiritual understanding and enlightenment is really no different than that of another century. We still ask the same questions that have always been asked. Who are we? Why are we here? What is our purpose? This ebook is a collection of "messages" from the Other Side.

Spiritual Movies: Over 50 Inspirational Movie to Breathe in Spirit by Linda Pendleton
As long as movies have been made, there have been excellent spiritual and inspirational movies with the theme of spirituality, angels, ghosts or spirits woven into story lines.


Through the Mist: Light at the End of the Tunnel by Linda Pendleton
The near-death experience (NDE) is discussed by author Linda Pendleton, whose late husband Don had two near-death experiences, once in 1979 and again in 1991. She details the experiences he shared with her and the spiritual beings he met in another dimension. This book offers a glimpse of what lies ahead and provides a sense of comfort about the death process.

And a Guided Audio Meditation by Laurie E. Smith, Miracles Coach.

All yours now with the purchase of the downloadable ebook, A Loving Presence: Signs and Symbols From Your Angels and Spirit Guides by Linda Pendleton.

Order Angel Ebooks Here
~Linda

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell on Obama and on McCain


Colin Powell has endorsed Obama as I believed he might. In this video he states so many things that I personally feel, and I know many, many of us feel, about this campaign and about our present situation in this country. McCain really dug a deep hole in bringing Palin into the campaign, and their actions and comments continue to dig it deeper day by day.

Colin Powell calls Obama a "trnasformational figure."

I would have voted for Powell in a minute if he had ran for president in the past. He has vision, intelligence, and good sense.

~Linda


Saturday, October 18, 2008

No Bumps With Obama, Says 8 year-old Trisha In Telling Us Why She Wants Barack Obama for President


This morning I was reading an article about children and their response to the election and I came across this CNN IReport video of Trisha, an eight year-old girl, a thinker, and according to the note from her parent, a child who has been interested in politics and wants to be president one day. There is hope that intelligent and passionate leaders will come from this generation.

The Scholastic Election Poll has been polling school children for at least 68 years. Poll takers said their poll has reflected the outcome of the actual election all but twice since 1940. A quarter of a million students participated in the poll.
This year, Obama won with 57 percent to McCain's 39 percent.

Trisha, 8, of Naperville, Illinois, was so excited about Obama's candidacy that she told her mother to make a video of her giving reasons to vote for him. This was posted along with the video by her parent:

"This is about passion of a 8-year old who lives in Naperville Illinois to make sure to elect Barack Obama as our next President. This is all spontaneous, none whatsoever influenced by parents. Trisha talks about why Barack Obama is the right choice and why John McCain is not. This video was shot in our backyard. Trisha is a compassionate leader, spontaneous speaker, great writer and a reader. She has written to former VP Al Gore regarding Naperville not signing up to Kyoto treaty standards. She wants to be a president when she grows up."






~Linda

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kid Rock, All Summer Long, Great Song



I love Kid Rock singing this. Hard to sit still while listening!

~ Linda



America's Got Talent, Eli Mattson Sings



The finals of America's Got Talent is really a hard one this third season. All five finalists are very good! Neal E. Boyd has a beautiful voice, and the Nuttin But Stringz are very entertaining, and I like Donald Braswell, and Emily sounds pretty good...BUT I love the unique voice of Eli Mattson. He is a good entertainer, really talented, and I can see him doing great shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere.

It's too bad the runner-ups can't have a smaller cash prize and a couple of shows in Vegas. Hopefully this will move all their careers forward.

At this point I cannot even predict who might win. In the beginning of the season I thought the winner would be Neal. Now....not sure at all. I do think it will be either Neal, Nutten or Eli.

I guess we'll know next week. You can see the other performances at the America's Got Talent website.

~Linda

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kunstler on "the party that wrecked America" and a top that needs to spin again.


Earlier today I emailed a very good blog article by James Howard Kunstler, journalist and author, regarding the Republican party, "the party that wrecked America," as he tags them, and I must agree with that tag. These last nearly eight years have been very bad for this country. Kunstler’s opening sentences:

"It turns out the real hurricane blew through Wall Street last week, not Galveston. This morning, Manhattan is strewn chest-deep with the debris of banking and at this hour (seven a.m.) nobody knows how far, deep, and wide the damage will spread."
http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/clusterfuck_nation/2008/09/a-ripe-moment.html

You may want to read Kunstler’s excellent article first before reading my friend and guest blogger, Ricky Kendall’s comments to the article. Ricky’s comments today were too good to just be deleted from my email. His comments deserve to be shared–as do those of James Kunstler.

Ricky’s response:

Linda,

Good grief. I was almost convinced to vote for McCain/Palin after reading the article and the comments! I have to agree that it would be nice to watch the Republicans struggle to dig us out of this horrible mess we are in. To be perfectly honest, I don't think either party is going to have fun trying to weld the economy back together again. The author is absolutely correct when he speaks of what we have to offer this world in products. We have none. I always wondered exactly what the consumer, information and high tech economies were all about. Out of these three, only one has a real product that you can carry home in a box and that would be the high tech economy and the software produced. Unfortunately even that software is put into a physical, hold in your hand existence using disks, cases and inserts made in another country. Even my Sunraze are made up of products that are all made in another country. I just put it all together to create my art.


Do we make anything anymore? We all consume like crazy but very few of us create anything to replace the energy at our end. The logo for my business when I cut my CD, was Power of Balance. When we receive an object, whether purchased, stolen, or as a gift, we should replace it with something. I don't mean that we should hand over a hand made trinket to the cashier along with our hard earned money. We should put something of a physical nature out there to replace it. Create something and sell it, give it as a gift or just plant a flower. The Native Americans were very well aware of this.

Humanity is a part of the earth and we are here because the planet has allowed it. Nature will be the final decision maker when it comes to our retaining our existence here. Even great economists say that an economy has a life of its own. They have no idea how true this is. Instead of letting it do as it should by letting it have that life, the politicians have screwed around with it to the point that it no longer can survive and it will crumble. There are very powerful rewards when things are in balance. Right now our economy is like a top slowing down, losing momentum and ready to fall over, fly off the table and come to a grinding halt, silent and still. We will have to start over and hope to learn from this mistake. I don't know that humanity ever learns much from its past mistakes because we just keep making the same ones over and over, mostly because of greed.

What does it take to get a top spinning again? You can't lift it to its correct position without product and you won't spin it with invisible string. We will have to go back to basics and start over. We need to create what we need to survive here, in this country. In the event that all other nations turn their backs on us, we need to have the capacity to take care of ourselves. As things stand now, such an event would be akin to the great USA being hit by a moon sized meteorite.

Thank you for sending me that great article. It was inspiring and informative. It is the first time I have seen a commentary that actually brought up the fact that we no longer produce. It was refreshing.

~Ricky

Note: You can hear Ricky Kendall’s CD at
http://cdbaby.com/cd/rickykendall
"Cultured big city jazz rock with a country flair"


~Linda

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin and Aerial Hunting of Wolves and Endangering Wildlife


Fact: Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin not only condones the aerial hunting of wolves and bears, she actively promotes this barbaric practice of hunting down wolves and shooting from low-flying aircraft or helicopters, chasing the wolves to exhaustion, and killing the animal at point-blank range.

* Palin approved a $400,000 state-funded campaign to promote this awful practice.
* Palin has proposed a bounty of $150 for every severed left foreleg of a wolf that hunters produce.
* Palin sued the Department of Interior to eliminate protection of the imperiled polar bear.
* Palin questions the science on global warming, even though her state of Alaska is already gravely affected.
* Palin is in favor of drilling for oil in the Alaskan Coastal waters and the National Wildlife Refuge, putting at risk the polar bear and the Cook Inlet endangered Beluga Whales, which may soon be permanently listed under the the Endangered Species Act.

She may be pro-life, (an issue that does not does not even belong in the political arena), but obviously she does not consider all life in our world to be of importance. We should not want an
unqualified woman with this type of backward policies in a leadership position in this country, and all the while only a heart-beat away from the top leadership role.

A vote for Palin and McCain, (I put them in that order on purpose because it is obvious that is happening) will be a vote of backward movement in too many areas of our society, including environmental issues, the present wars and future war issues, women’s rights, gay rights, stem cell research, education. It will be "more of the same" of what we have endured for nearly eight years.

For the sake of our future, and of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren I hope people, especially women, will carefully think about what is now at risk in the November Presidential election. I know for damn sure, I want the best for my family’s future and I believe the Republican ticket will only bring more damage to this country and to our world standing.




Support the television ad of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund and help to put this video on television.
http://www.defendersactionfund.org/

~Linda

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Barack Obama Political Bookmarks Memorabilia



Democratic Presidential Memorabilia
Barack Obama for President ~ Joe Biden for Vice President

Laminated Bookmarks make a nice addition
to your political memorabilia collection
See Four Designs by Linda
Order Now Through Paypal

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Freedoms, Amy Goodman, RNC, Abuse of Power and Accountability


The arrests last week during the Republican National Convention of several journalists, including award winning broadcast journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Amy Goodman gave my good friend, artist, musician, and songwriter, Ricky Kendall cause to speak out. I invited him to be my guest blogger.

His comments:

I am outraged. Amy Goodman is kind, gentle, intelligent and soft spoken. She is one of the best voices for Democracy I know. I have not seen anything so outrageous since the 60's.

The Democrats had best get their asses off their couches and vote. They need to make sure that the Republicans are booted out of office. It should have been done four years ago. What's next? If the Republicans are left in office our rights will be in shambles. This case with Amy Goodman is a very good example of what we may all face if the executive branch is left unchecked.

This country has got to be taken back from these far right zealots or we will find ourselves hiding, just as many Germans did during that reign of terror. Anyone who thinks that something so horrendous would never happen in the "Wonderful United States" had better stop and take a look around them. I can give some examples from how I have been feeling lately as a gay man.

I'm worried that, having come out of the closet so many years ago, there is too much evidence of who I am and what I am. The gays who had revealed themselves in Germany were comfortable being who they were and living their lives "out". They were eventually rounded up and used a kindling.

I fear that If I lean too far left in my daily conversations, I could be attacked by the government for being too outspoken.

I'm afraid to state my beliefs at work for fear of being fired.

I'm afraid to put a bumper sticker on my car for fear it will be vandalized.

I fear for our children who are being taught to hate and taking that hate with them to adulthood.

I fear that President Bush and Vice President Chaney will get away with what they have done and set the stage for a Presidium as in the USSR decades ago. They have set a very disturbing precedence.

Most of all, I fear for the future of our country.


We can stand by and let this happen just like the Germans did or, through political change, make sure that those who abuse their power are punished. From the Civil Servant protecting our streets to the President of the United States, there must be accountability. When they abuse their power they must pay a very high price which should include life in prison when lives are taken through their eagerness to raise their power and suppress those they are supposed to protect.

I will not let fear rule my world because that is what this administration wants of me. I feel it but I don't have to curl up in a corner and hide. I will remain who I am and I will do everything that I can to protect this nation from this anvil of greed and power that is weighing this country down.

~ Ricky


Note: Ricky Kendall’s music CD Crayon can be listened to at:

http://cdbaby.com/cd/rickykendall

~Linda

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Soldier Suicides, Military Deaths, Iraq War


Army officials reported today that soldier suicides may surpass the record rate of last year. Army officials said Thursday, September 4, 2008 that there are 62 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers and National Guard and Reserve troops called to active duty. Another 31 deaths are being investigated.

If all are confirmed then the number for 2008 could be higher than the 115 of last year—and the rate per 100,000 could surpass that of the civilian population stated by Col. Eddie Stephens, deputy director of human resources policy, at a Pentagon news conference.

Previous military deaths from suicide are: 115 in 2007; 102 in 2006; 87 in 2005; and 67 in 2004. In 2003, the suicide rate per 100,000 was 12.4, and now it is expected to be 19.5 per 100,000.

I don’t know if there are any statistics available on soldiers suffering from depression or other mental illness such as post traumatic stress. Word is that soldiers do not get the proper care they need for mental disturbances, and are being forced to return to combat, and are having long tours of duty, and repeat tours of duty.

Our media has put the war coverage in the background during all the current political coverage. Funny isn’t it, when the billions being spent on this unnecessary war should be addressed, as should the growing number of dead soldiers, causalities, and civilians?

The latest figures of U.S. military DEATHS in Iraq is 4,154, and 582 in Afghanistan. Since "Mission Accomplished" announced by GW. Bush on the Navy super-carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003 there have been 4,015 deaths. Casualties figures are 30,568.

Approximately 551,231,600,000. DOLLARS have been spent in this war, and the per day figure is 341.4 million.

Last month a report issued by the Congressional Budget Office, indicated twenty (20%) percent of money spent for the Iraq War goes to private contractors. Senator Kent Conrad, D, North Dakota, the chairman of the Senate budget committee said the findings show a troubling trend. No kidding. Funny it took a investigation to uncover that. Conrad stated, "The Bush Administration’s move to out-source large portions of the Iraq war effort sets a dangerous precedent. The increasing use of private contractors restricts accountability and oversight; opens the door to corruption and abuse; and, in come instances, may significantly increase the cost to American taxpayers."

Military deaths, military suicides, military casualties, civilian deaths, wasted and unaccounted for money–our tax dollars.

I can’t help but wonder how many of the casualties–how many of those men and women will never regain their health–how many have brain injuries, how many have limb loss, how many will never be the same again.

Why do we allow ourselves, allow the media, allow the politicians divert our attention from the war that should ended a long time ago? NO, I take that back. The war that never should have began.

By the way, since I last put up a blog about the war in early January, there have been 250 deaths.

And as I asked then, how many will have died by the time our next president takes office? I sure hope our president is not the "military minded" one--as this war could continue beyond my lifetime if he has anything to say about it. It bothers me that the focus has turned from the war to superficial issues. LOL. Of course, the war was based itself on superficial issues, and oil and greed, and power are what these men and women really died for. Shameful.

Last week at dinner we had a friendly young man waiting on our table. Waitering was his second part time job, which he said he took a couple nights a week because he enjoys people. His first job was sales of security alarm systems, which he said was making him a decent living. He had just turned 21 and when ready to go to college he had turned down an opportunity to go to the Air Force Academy because of a girl,–not with her anymore although still friends–but now he wanted to go into the military. It was so hard for me to not tell him he was crazy to even consider doing so because he said it had always been his dream since he was a little boy to be a pilot. Damn, it is hard to ruin someone's lifetime dream, but I sure wanted to. I wanted to tell him he could take flying lessons at the local airport.....but...I kept his dream alive for him.

~ Linda

Monday, September 1, 2008

Praying For Rain Backfired, Didn't It?

Pray for Rain Video: invites people to consider praying for a downpour, torrential rains, heavy enough to cause urban flood advisories in Denver, etc., a rain of biblical proportions during last Thursday's Democratic Convention and Obama's acceptance speech at the Denver stadium.

Again, some in the Religious Right are showing how ridiculous and hateful they can be. This video comes from the Focus on Family Group, James Dobson. Apparently Dobson has now pulled it from his website, but it is still out there on the Internet, and now that Gustav pounds the Gulf interfering with the Republican Convention, maybe ?? they decided in what bad and ridiculous taste this was. Boy, it sure brings back the awful and hateful comments made by "Christian" ministers Falwell and Robertson following 9-11 and Katrina. It is those attitudes that inspired me to leave my Republican registration behind nearly twenty years ago.

When are they going to learn that this "religious" control and focus is ruining the Republican Party. Again this is an example: asking people to pray for rain and cause havoc, and even worse.

When are these people going to learn that God is a loving God, and Jesus is about unconditional love? When they teach and live that then they may be worthy of the title, Christian. In the meantime someone needs to tell them to be careful what they pray for.

~Linda

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Flies Outwit Fly Swatters--and Us


How often have you chased a fly around your house with a fly swatter or folded newspaper? There it is, I’ll get it! You swat at it and it is long gone. You are determined to get the fly so you hunt down again...and again...and again. You hear it buzzing in the kitchen window so you plan your approach and your attack. But your attack fails again–and again. About the time you decide to give up for awhile and flop into a soft chair, swatter or newspaper still in hand, here it comes, buzzing around your head–BUZZ, BUZZ, BUZZ–like an Air Force jet doing dive bombings and maneuvers around a target, or assaulting a UFO. I think flies do that on purpose to show they can outsmart us. How can some little fly have such smarts, we wonder? Well, we don’t have to wonder anymore. Scientists have the answer.

According to new research by scientists at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) published in the journal Current Biology, they have concluded flies have a quick-fire intelligence and are good at planning ahead. The scientists filmed experiments with fruit flies and a fly swatter. They discovered that flies quickly calculated the location of the threat and apparently had an escape plan. Incredible, within 100 milliseconds of spotting the swatter they could move their bodies into a position that allowed an extension of the legs to save them.

Caltech Professor Michael Dickinson, who lead the study said their experiments showed how rapidly a fly's brain processed sensory information. "They're actually jumping away from our swatter because they take the time to plan their escape," Dickinson said. "This illustrates how rapidly the fly's brain can process sensory information into an appropriate motor response."

Dickinson stated, "We also found that when the fly makes planning movements prior to take-off, it takes into account its body position at the time it first sees the threat. When it first notices an approaching threat, a fly's body might be in any sort of posture depending on what it was doing at the time, like grooming, feeding, walking, or courting. Our experiments showed that the fly somehow 'knows' whether it needs to make large or small postural changes to reach the correct preflight posture."

"This is a rather sophisticated sensory-to-motor transformation and the search is on to find the place in the brain where this happens," Dickinson said. "There's actually many labs around the world trying to figure out how their little brains work so we can use that knowledge to figure out how our own brains work."

Dickinson told KNBC TV that he's been in science almost 20 years and he's never published anything that has received so much public attention. The Research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The paper, "Visually Mediated Motor Planning in the Escape Response of Drosophila," was published Aug. 28 in the journal Current Biology.

Dickinson’s advice on how to successfully swat the illusive insect: "It is best not to swat at the fly's starting position, but rather to aim a bit forward of that to anticipate where the fly is going to jump when it first sees your swatter."

I’ve already been trying that with little luck. How about you? I believe the best fly catcher and swatter is my cat, Snickers. He’s pretty good at outwitting a fly. And beside, Snickers sometimes has more patience than I do.

~ Linda

"Where'd that dang fly go?"




Friday, August 29, 2008

The Bridge to Nowhere, McCain, Palin


I’ve been saying for some time now that John McCain was losing it and getting senile or something similar with his blunders and misjudgements. Now, I am convinced of that with this pick of a woman with little experience. Two years of leading a state like Alaska with a mere population of not even 700,000, and former mayor of a small town! Think about it, Los Angeles has a population of 3.8 million! Many cities have that much population or more, cities such as Austin, Boston, Milwaukee, Memphis. So how does a short term governor or mayor of a town of 6,000 or so, give her qualifications to head our national government, and international standing in the world? But oh, according to Russ Limbaugh (who had just come on my radio before my snooze alarm went off) he thinks the pick of her is fantastic because she "hunts moose." OH come on. But also her son is going to Iraq, and she has a Downs baby–mother of five. Russ, come on, your comments were as bad as what I then heard on the cable channels this morning–"This is very interesting;" "This race is getting interesting." They didn’t know what to say, either....she hunts, she belongs to the NRA. And she fished. So?

Although I am no longer a Republican, (thank goodness) I just don’t get it. Why did McCain pick her while having some good qualified people to pick from? This is so transparent, and so political–or crazy. If this was done to humiliate Hillary, or pick up Hillary votes, I don’t think it will do much. Most Hillary backers were for Hillary for other reasons than her sexual identity although her being a woman was frosting on the cake.

McCain was once my Senator and I liked him. But in these recent years that has changed when he made his move to kiss Bush’s butt and hang on his coattails. McCain just does not get it. He is so far away, so removed, from what this country needs to turn it around. I see an old man when I look at him, and a man that appears to be not in very good physical condition, and a man stuck in a military mindset. And he may be losing his mind, losing good judgement. We had a President not too many years ago who was having mental problems, do we now want to take a chance on that happening again? He’s 72 today. I do not believe he is clear headed as he once was. And that is scary.

And now, a heart-beat away from the Presidency stands a woman who we know little about, with little experience, and not at all qualified to become Vice President, let alone President. And this woman is under investigation over an incident involving her sister’s child custody. If this woman satisfies the Religious Right’s needs and desires to keep their "issues" protected, than they belong to the "stupid Bush mentality." People need to keep the religious attitudes (and racial bias) out of our pick for the best people to head our country at a time when leadership is of vital importance after our country and world standing has been seriously eroded in the last eight (almost eight) years. Do we want more of that downfall? If so, what will we have left of what our country used to be and what it should be again? Will it be able to come back?

This McCain ticket seems to be the "bridge to nowhere." Of course that is fine with me, as I want Obama to be our president and Biden to be our Vice President. And I can only hope that the majority of this country will agree. It would be a shame to have this McCain/Palin taking us further backward into deeper conflict and chaos.

No, as Obama said last night, "We cannot turn back." And I sure as hell don’t want to. And I hope enough others don’t.

~ Linda

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bill Clinton Speech to Convention


Here is an excerpt of the speech given Wednesday evening by my favorite President, Bill Clinton, to the Democratic Convention.

"Our nation is in trouble on two fronts: The American Dream is under siege at home, and America's leadership in the world has been weakened.

Middle class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining; job losses, poverty and inequality rising; mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing; health care coverage disappearing; and a big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.

Our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation; a perilous dependence on imported oil; a refusal to lead on global warming; a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders; a severely burdened military; a backsliding on global nonproliferation and arms control agreements; and a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.


Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American dream and restore America's standing in the world.

Everything I learned in my eight years as president and in the work I've done since, in America
and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job."


~ Linda

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hillary at Democratic Convention Was Great


Hillary Clinton's speech tonight at the Democratic Convention was excellent. It was also a reminder of how close she may have come to leading this country. Her speech brought up some of the issues I have with what could happen with the outcome of this important election. And some of that has to do with women's rights and how there is a possibility if McCain was to be elected that we would continue to have the Religious Right with their noses right in the middle of our politics and decisions in areas such as the abortion issues and gay rights issues. I do not want to see this country take a giant step backward regarding those issues. When I hear women, maybe younger than myself, not wanting to vote for a Democrat I shudder and wonder what they are thinking with the huge possibility of losing their right to make decisions for themselves in regards to their bodies, or to allow the government to rule over sexuality and choice of marriage partner. Blacks got the right to vote long before women did. Divorce, which is common today, was very difficult to obtain just a very few years ago. Women have been discriminated against since the beginning of time on this planet--culturally, religiously, socially and economically. Our grandmothers and great grandmothers had no rights to even own property. If their husband's died they had to auction everything and buy back their own cows. (Do some genealogy and see how common that was). I clearly recall the alleyway abortions, the trips to Mexico, the clothes hanger abortions, that women in my generation were undergoing at risk of life. And many died from hemorrhage or infections. Whether a woman chooses to have an abortion is between her and her God and not to be judged and interfered with by government, or somebody pounding a pulpit. In those days there were a bunch of men, some very old, that held in their hands legislations controlling those issues, and some of those 'good old boys' wanted the women "barefoot and pregnant." I sometimes wonder if we've gotten very far beyond that attitude.

And then there is the war. Women....come on, how can you stand still while young men and women are giving up their lives for OIL and POWER and GREED, at the whim of our present administration....and strategies and military "strength" that McCain apparently wants to continue with his "heroic" military thinking. Many of us are asking what will happen if we need military here on our own soil? ....we are stretched too thin....bring them home.

And corruption....there has been so much corruption and often it is swept under the carpet--and Congress is to blame for that also.

What does it matter that our gay neighbors decide to marry? I believe the Republicans RR use this issue often as nothing more than diversion from important issues facing this country.

This week is also the anniversary of Katrina. Has that been fixed? No. If it wasn't for CNN and someone reporting like Anderson Cooper (who was there in the middle of it), we'd probably not hear anything about the problems that still exist there in New Orleans and elsewhere.

Our rights have been eroded, and at times almost behind our backs. Those executive orders, the Patriot Act. Why have we put up with it? And our standing in the world. We're hated, and our administration is laughed at. How many years will it take to regain our world position?

Can Obama and Biden change that? All of it? I hope so. At least it can be a start. The pendulum needs to swing and the only way it will swing is a vote for Obama and Biden. McCain, not the man he used to be, especially when he was my Senator a few years back, will keep the pendulum stuck and not moving, or it will continue to be swinging BACKWORD. We can't have that for this great country. We have to get our country back and make things good again. And we have to do it NOW before it is too late.

~ Linda

Excerpt from Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Convention Speech, August 26, 2008.

You know, America is still around after 232 years because we have risen to every challenge in every new time, changing to be faithful to our values of equal opportunity for all and the common good.

And I know what that can mean for every man, woman and child in America. I'm a United States senator because in 1848 a group of courageous women and a few brave men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights -- (Cheers, applause) -- to participate in the first convention on women's rights in our history.

And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter -- and a few sons and grandsons along the way.

These women and men looked into their daughters' eyes and imagined a fairer and freer world, and found the strength to fight. To rally. To picket. To endure ridicule and harassment, and brave violence and jail.

And after so many decades, 88 years ago on this very day, the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote became enshrined in our Constitution. (Cheers, applause.)

My mother was born before women could vote. My daughter got to vote for her mother for president. This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.

So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her lives to bring slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad.

On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice. If you hear the dogs, keep going; if you see the torches in the woods, keep going; if they're shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop; keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going. (Cheers, applause.)

And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going. (Cheers, applause.) I have seen it. I have seen it in our teachers and our firefighters, our police officers, our nurses, our small-business owners and our union workers. I've seen it in the men and women of our military.

In America, you always keep going. We're Americans. We're not big on quitting. (Laughter.) And remember, before we can keep going, we've got to get going by electing Barack Obama the next president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.) We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare. Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hangs in the balance.

I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come Election Day. Think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your lives and on the life of our nation. We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope. That is our duty: to build that bright future, to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great, no ceiling too high for all who work hard, who keep going, have faith in God and our country and each other. That is our mission, Democrats.

Let's elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden for that future worthy of our great country. (Cheers, applause.)
Instead of "That is our mission, Democrats" she should have said, "That is our mission, Americans.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Joe Biden, great choice for VP



THIS IS THE TEAM!


I am very happy, excited, (and relieved) Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate. It was the best choice and I feel a winning choice. Joe Biden has been an excellent Senator, and always one I have liked. I believe this is the team that can get this country back on track after what GW Bush and company have done to our country. I know it will take time to right the wrongs, to dig us out of debt, to regain world respect, and to fix the ills of America, but I now feel we are on an exciting track to make things happen in a positive way. Even though I was interested in Hillary for president, these guys now have my vote....and I hope many, especially women, who were for Hillary will now turn their support to Obama and Biden.


Joe Biden is full of vitality and passion, something that is so lacking in McCain....and isn’t it amazing that there is only about six years in age between Biden and McCain? McCain appears to be an old man, too old to run our country, and who wants a repeat of the last eight years. And I sure don’t want anyone in office with a military attitude. I hope the rest of America is wise enough this time to change directions before it is too late.


I like Biden's wife's looks, too. Beautiful couple.


~Linda

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Story Of A Sign, Short Film



Do Angels walk among us, in disguise?


SHORT FILM: THE STORY OF A SIGN

With a stroke of the pen, a stranger transforms the afternoon for another man in this emotionally stirring short film by Alonso Alvarez.

This beautiful short film, Historia de un Letrero (the Story of a Sign) won the Fourth Annual Cannes 2008 Online Competition, in addition to winning other awards.

Alonso Alvarez Barreda's inspirational short film conveys how compassion and love and simple acts of kindness from a stranger can be life-changing.

I am also reminded of one of my favorite quotes, "Wherever there is a human being there is an opportunity for a kindness." ~ Seneca (4 B.C. - 65 A.D.) Alonso has presented a well-crafted and emotionally stirring story that reminds us we never know what stranger we encounter may actually be an angel in disguise. I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I did.
~ Linda Pendleton





Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Don Pendleton's Executioner Series Book Cover Photoshoot










This is from the Blog - Gold Eagle Books - regarding Don Pendleton’s Executioner and Mack Bolan book covers for the series. Some interesting photography...
http://readgoldeagle.blogspot.com/2008/07/mack-bolan-mega-photoshoot.html


"Recently Gold Eagle organized a Mack Bolan mega photoshoot to create new imagery for the Bolan and Executioner book covers.

Model Phil McCauley (who has been associated with the character for several years now,) reprised his role as the Executioner."
















~Linda

Monday, August 18, 2008

Knowledge-Our Precious Birthright


Prolific American author, Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) had an interest in the paranormal and spiritualism. He wrote about his views in his 1921, The Book of the Mind.

I like Sinclair’s 1921 comments regarding having an open mind and doing research. His comments are just as valuable today, about many things in our world, such as the closed mind of some scientists, government cover-ups and deceptions in various areas, and narrow thinking that does not allow for expansion nor welcomes new knowledge. I personally go along with Sinclair’s ideas that it is our priceless birthright to seek answers. Nearly ninety years later, his words are still precious as they were when he wrote them.

He wrote: “Once upon a time knowledge was the prerogative of kings and priests and ruling castes; but this supreme power has been wrested from them, and this is the greatest step in human progress so far taken. ‘Seek and ye shall find,’ is the law concerning knowledge today, ‘Knock, and it shall be opened to you.’

"In this, my Book of the Mind, I say to you that knowledge is your priceless birthright, and that you should repudiate all men and all institutions and all creeds and all formulas which seek to keep this heritage from you.”


~ Linda

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Search for Extraterrestrials


This past week I attended a lecture given to an Astronomy Club by Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute at Mountain View, California. SETI, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence was founded by astronomer, astrophysicist, Frank Drake.

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, funded the SETI Allen Telescope Array in Hat Creek, Northern California near Lassen National Park, and 290 miles north of San Francisco. Construction began in 2005 and in 2007 had completed phase one and installed forty-two working antennas. At completion of the third phase there will be three hundred fifty antennas. ATA is a joint effort of the SETI Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, Radio Astronomy Laboratory. ATA is dedicated to cutting-edge astronomical research and a simultaneous search for signals of intelligent, extraterrestrial origins.

Dr. Shostak gave an interesting and informative talk laced with humor. He had made the statement that eighty percent of Americans believe we are being visited by extraterrestrials. And it was about that percentage of the attendees of the lecture that fell into that number. But...near the end of his talk, Dr. Shostak told the audience he was not among the eighty percent, and was very skeptical that we have ever been visited and even that we might be. Nor does he believe there is any government cover-up. He does believe there could be radio contact within the next twenty years. HUH? With who?

It was so interesting that his comments changed the body language of many in the room, myself, included, and even though I had won the door prize—a DVD of the movie Contact. Any of us who have had UFO credible sightings know we are not alone and are being visited, and also may believe that earth has been visited by extraterrestrials for centuries. And for most, it is very apparent that our government has and does cover-up. Shostak added there is no evidence of extraterrestrial visits. Well, obviously as a scientist with an apparent case of denial one wonders why he sits watching a computer monitor, with radio signals moving up and down and across. Maybe one of these days when he is driving between Mountain View and Mount Lassen, he will discover extraterrestrial intelligence beyond his wildest dreams...or denials...right there in front of him. That can make a believer, even out of a scientist.

A recent appearance and skeptical comments made on a Larry King Show by Dr. Shostak apparently irritated a lot of viewers of the show and he mentioned he received a lot of feedback, calling it hate mail. I’m not surprised as he really did put down UFO witnesses, denied any cover-up by the government, and really attacked the intelligence of people on the show and even at his lecture by making the sort of comments he makes. His humor seems to lose value when his skepticism comes into play, and what I found, was that his skepticism didn’t seem sincere.

“This isn't a person-to-person call. You can't possibly think that a civilization sending this kind of message would intend it just for Americans.” -Jodie Foster as Dr. Ellie Arroway, Contact

~ Linda

Friday, June 13, 2008

Top Chef Show and Food Network Star


Top Chef : Chicago, Season Four has come to an end. I always enjoy this show hosted by Padma Lakshmi, with Tom Colicchio as head judge, and Gail Simmons and Ted Allen judging.

The challenges the contestants go through are rather interesting for the most part. Much of the food, like the food on the Food Network’s Iron Chef, is food that I would never prepare myself nor would I eat. But despite that, I like to see the creativity in the kitchen, the cooking skills, the presentation of the foods.


I was hoping that Richard Blais or Stephanie Izard would win. And it was down to the wire, with Stephanie pulling out the win. $100,000 isn’t bad plus all the other publicity they receive. It was hard for me to cheer on Lisa Fernanades as she often looked angry and defiant, rather than enjoying what she did, and although some of her dishes sounded good, many did not. So I believe the right chef won.

I also like watching the Food Network’s Iron Chef as mentioned, and their Next Food Network Star competition, this time hosted by Bobby Flay. On this show I again enjoy the judges, Susie Fogelson and Bob Tuschman. I was sorry to see Kevin Roberts eliminated so soon .

My favorite cooking shows are Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray, Ina Garten the Barefoot Contessa, Paula Dean and Emeril, for the most part. And again, I cook little of what I see on the shows. But because I like food, I like watching.


I guess it satisfies my appetite.

Linda