Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bug’s Bleat - - GCF: Funeral Arrangements

A view of our leaf covered lawn. We love the trees and the leaves when they are "on" the trees.

The courthouse newly "relit".

Annette's Christmas boot,

Our kitchen window decorations.

And our yard after another leaf cleaning.

"Da Boys" Check out the present distribution under the living room tree (Annette has six trees up around the house.)

Volume 14, Issue 47 Friday, November 30, 2012

Hello ALL,

My family is important to me. Especially since they are the source of many stories and I am a story teller.

So I want to start today with a story about my Uncle Paul Durwood (Hoot) Taylor. Uncle Hoot was one of two of my uncles who saw combat in WWII. If you ever asked him about his war experience he would only say that he was in Patton’s Army and went to Berlin.

Historians will tell you that “Patton’s Army” saw serious combat in their march across Europe. My mother told me that Uncle Hoot would wake up screaming in the night for several months after he came home from the war. But he never told us about his experiences.

When he came home, he went back to his former job of steel working. He drove down to the iron workers union hall in Marshall, TX and got a job. However, after the war, he no longer felt compelled to work full time. He told my mother that life was too short to not enjoy so he developed a system that worked for him.
He would work until he had $300 and then he would “drag up” and go home. He’d stay at home, enjoying himself until he had $25 left and then he would go back to Marshall and get a job.

He continued this system until he met a beautiful young farm girl from Lafayette County, Margie Colvin. They got married and moved into a small duplex in Tyler, TX where he was building a power plant.

Not long after they were married, my mother and I drove down to visit. When we knocked on the door we were greeted by a crying Aunt Margie.

“What’ wrong?” my mother asked. “Hoot and I had a fight.” Margie replied. She went on to explain that she’d cooked cornbread and beans for supper and when Hoot came home from work and saw that meal he’d asked where the meat was. Margie had explained that she’d made them a budget and they would buy some more meat in a couple of days which would be the first of the month.

She said; “Hoot just up and walked out the door. He didn’t eat or say anything.” My mother consoled her and said; “You know Hoot, he’s a little different. I’m sure he’ll be back shortly.”

Just then there was a knock at the door. Margie opened the door and a man asked if this was the Durwood Taylor residence. “Yes it is.” Aunt Margie told him. “Well, I have a delivery for him.” The man said. Aunt Margie told him; “I didn’t order anything.” To which the man replied; “Mr. Taylor did.” And he began unloading meat. Not just a pound of pork chops but whole beef quarters, hams, pork loins, sausage, ground beef, etc. There were probably 200 or 300 pounds of meat being unloaded into the small living room of that duplex. Now keep in mind that Aunt Margie didn’t even have a freezer.

Suddenly, we looked up and Uncle Hoot had stepped into the living room.

Aunt Margie, who was about Mickey Rooney’s size immediately hit 6’ and some tall Uncle Hoot like the Tasmanian Devil. She was giving him what for. I caught some of the words such as; “Why would you buy all this meat? We don’t even have a place to keep it. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of and how are we going to afford this? Etc. etc. etc.”

The whole time, Uncle Hoot just stood there.

After a couple of minutes Aunt Margie sort of wound down and stopped to catch her breath. When this happened, Uncle Hoot looked down at her and quietly said; “Do you want to know what time it is?”

That strange statement started her off again and she proceeded to again tell him how unwise it was to buy items that weren’t on the budget and it was totally crazy to buy so much meat that they had no way of using or storing. Etc. Etc. Etc. She again continued until she began to tire while Uncle Hoot stood stoically listening to her.

When she again “wound down” Uncle Hoot again asked; “Do you want to know what time it is?”

This time, a puzzled Aunt Margie replied; “Why would I want to know what time it is?”

Uncle Hoot then told her; “We are not poor. I make good money, and we can spend it however we want. The only thing I could think of I didn’t need was another watch.” At this point he pulled up both his sleeves and he was sporting a watch on each wrist.
Speaking of money, my Uncle Paul was also an Iron Worker. And, as was common and still probably is, from time to time he would get laid off from a job. On this occasion, the family was gathered on grandmother’s front porch, visiting in the evening cool when Paul announced that he’d been laid off. He went on to commensurate that he didn’t know how he was going to feed his family. Then, as everyone was quietly trying to come to terms with the problems of a family member, he got up and walked back down the street to his home.

It only took grandmother a moment to rally the kids and tell them no members of this family were going to go hungry. She told them to get up some money and take it to Paul.

So our Aunts and Uncles got together and went to see Uncle Paul and Aunt Gerry. When Paul opened the door, my mother handed him an envelope with enough money to feed them for more than a week or two.

He was thunder struck and actually started tearing up at the generosity of his family. He finally got control of himself and said; “You don’t know what this means. I was afraid I was going to have to write a check.”

You see, Uncle Paul, like his in-laws and siblings, had grown up during the great depression and valued savings above all other financial principals. His method was to support his family directly out of his pay envelope and put the rest into the bank where it would stay, earning interest unless he needed to make a capital purchase such as a car, a home, cattle or land.

Otherwise, once money went in the bank, it never came out again.
The Arkansas Scholarship lottery is running short of money. Next year they will be 22 million short in the funds needed to provide scholarships for all that qualify for them.

This isn’t a surprise to me. This was an ill conceived plan from the beginning. And it’s problems were compounded by bringing in grossly overpaid folks to “manage” it which resulted in students not getting their scholarship payments on time, a federal fine to the program as well as the administrator leaving when he was unable to account for the funds as well as having oodles of unsubstantiated “travel” expenses.

I’m sure that Governor Beebe is glad that he kept a 100% “hands off” approach to the lottery and its organization when it was approved by the voters of Arkansas.

But, even though there are major problems with the lottery as a source of scholarship funds, a simple “fix” now would be to allocate more than 25% of lottery proceeds to the scholarships. I know of no charity which would be considered successful if they only spent 25% of proceeds on the charitable cause.

What is our lottery doing with the other 75% of the money? I don’t think anyone really knows at this time. But right now, allocating 50% of funds to administration and winner payouts and 50% to support the students should solve the problem in the short term.
As congress and BO prepare to raise taxes and make NO significant budget cuts (to their spending. Our budgets, on the other hand, will be cut from the bone to the marrow.) I thought it would be appropriate to visit little Johnny.
Little Johnny was talking to a couple of boys in the school yard. Each was bragging about how great his father was.

The first one said, "Well, my father runs the fastest. He can fire an arrow and start to run. I tell you, he gets there before the arrow!"

The second one said, "Ha! You think that's fast! My father is a hunter. He can shoot his gun and be there before the bullet!"

Little Johnny listened to the other two boys and shook his head. He then said: "Sorry, dudes, but MY DAD is the fastest. He's a civil servant. He stops working at 4:30, and he's home by 3:45!"
As I understand it, our fine civil servants are coming to a consciences on ... reducing or eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, the charitable giving deduction (after all, when we give, we can specify who gets our money. Can't have that. Uncle Sam should have that money and decide who can get them elected and give them the money.) and other such things that all us "RICH" folks (who have homes and give to charity) do.

When we have a tax exemption, such as mortgage interest or charitable giving, did you know we are TAKING money from the government? At least that’s the “spin” I’m hearing from our fine civil servants.

And, the word is that they have a MANDATE to raise taxes on the rich. Hummm…. That 50.00000001% the administration won by is a MANDATE?

The problem I have with all this is that it really does little or nothing to solve the core problem … our national government spends more than it takes in. And increasing tax revenues aren’t going to solve that as they will see those funds as yet another pot of money to spend, not a source to be used to reduce the deficit.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about one party or the other. They’re both guilty. The Democrats traditionally practice “Tax And Spend” while the Republicans traditionally practice “Borrow and Spend.” Neither group has ever practiced “Live within your means.”

And that cry to “Tax The Rich” that you hear from the administration, many in congress and our national news media? Better bend over and get ready. Anytime they come up with a solution to a problem that involves getting “THEM” you can bet that, ultimately, you will be “THEM.”

Time and time again, we’ve seen the final “problem solution” strangely involved taking from every American, not just the supposed group that was going to be the whipping boy.

The original income tax was just going to be levied on those making $200,000 or more.

The “Windfall Profits” tax was going to punish the oil companies for the shortages during the Arab Oil Embargo of the ‘70s. Instead, all of us saw our fuel bills go up and small royalty owners like my mother (who was getting a $15 a month check) saw their income cut by 50% to 75%.

Etc. Etc.

The real solution is to control government spending by requiring them to balance the budget.

And since current annual federal “expenditures” (we haven’t had a national budget in years) for “Entitlements” (Social Security, Medicare, & Medicaid payments, plus any other programs which are promised to people over many years) exceeds the basic tax revenue of the nation even before you include defense, education, environment, transportation, etc., balancing the budget is going to be painful.

And that’s just what our government is not equipped to do. So, instead they bandy statements like we are “TAKING” money from them when we use the exemptions they’ve put in the tax structure. Or the “Rich” aren’t paying their share. Anything to generate more funds to enable them to spend more money. Not to actually balance the budget.

I guess we need a constitutional amendment to require them to only spend what’s brought in. Period. Then we can argue about how much to bring into the government and how much to leave us to actually solve the problems in our area.
US Federal Spending 2011

General Government 1%
Protection 2%
Transportation 3%
Other Spending 3%
Education 4%
Interest 7%
Welfare 11%
Pensions 23%
Defense 24%
Health Care 24%

Latest Commentary by Scott Rasmussen
President's First-term Gamble Will Determine Success of Second Term

Fifty-nine percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of the federal government. That stands in stark contrast to America's historic skepticism about powerful central governments. It also stands in stark contrast to the views of other voters. Republicans overwhelmingly have an unfavorable view of the federal government, and the numbers aren't much stronger among unaffiliated voters.

If the health care law is successfully implemented and working well in 2016, the president may have convinced a majority of Americans that the federal government is the solution and not the problem. If the health care law is perceived as a failure, most Americans are likely to conclude that Bill Clinton had it right when he declared that "the era of big government is over."

To find out more about Scott Rasmussen, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit
Favorite Quotes:

Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he? - - Clarence in “It's a Wonderful Life”
I am thankful that His grace is sufficient for all my needs (2 Cor 12:9), and that He offers peace to me (John 14:27). “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” - - Thanks to Joe Tudor
"Even though our Thankful month has come to a close, we should always be thankful every day for all we have and been blessed with. I know I am." - - Thanks to Nancee Davis Law
The following wisdom is shared by our friends.
So, if we lie to the government, it's a felony. But if they lie to us its politics? - - Wendell Franks
"I don’t have any time to stay up all night worrying about what someone who doesn’t love me has to say about me." - - Gena Risher Hammock
God doesn't just want your leftovers at the end of the day. He wants to be included in every meal.

When there is no light at the end of the tunnel remember that not all tunnels are straight and the light is around the corner, just keep going. - - Nancee Davis Law
dLife - Decoding Your Lab Report

Lab reports are a routine but mysterious part of medical visits. Whether you are being diagnosed with diabetes for the first time or getting your A1C test for the hundredth time, you are likely going to need to undergo some kind of testing so that your doctor will know what’s going on and recommend the proper course of treatment, if necessary. But when you see your test results, will you know what it means?

For diabetes, there are several panels of tests a doctor may order for either diagnosis or maintenance of the disease.

The most feared/revered of all the tests, the A1C measures blood glucose control over a 2- to 3-month period. This is the standard test used to determine blood glucose control in people with diabetes.

Lipid Panel
The lipid profile tests blood fats and are used to determine the risk of heart disease or stroke. High triglyceride and cholesterol levels can be caused by diabetes. Some tests are:
• HDL-C – HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol and contains the highest amount of protein. It should be greater than 40 mg/dl (2.2 mmol/l) in men and greater than 50 mg/dl (2.7 mmol/l) in women.
• LDL-C – LDL cholesterol, which contains the highest amount of cholesterol, is also called bad cholesterol because LDL deposits can build up on the walls of arteries, should be below 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/l). The target for high-risk level patients, including those with diabetes, is less than 70 mg/dl (3.9 mmol/l).
• Triglycerides – levels should be less than 150 mg/dl (8.3 mmol/l).
• VLDL-C – Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is part of an extended profile your doctor may order. It is the third of the major lipoprotein particles (the other two being HDL and LDL). VLDL contains the highest amount of triglyceride.
• Non-HDL-C – also part of the extended profile, Non-HDL-cholesterol can build up in the arteries, form plaques, and cause narrowing of the vessels and blockages. Related tests: Direct LDL-C; Homocysteine; Lp-PLA2 (Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2); hs-CRP (High-sensitivity C-reactive protein); Apo A (Apolipoprotein A-I); Apo B (Apolipoprotein B-100); Lp(a) (Lipoprotein (a))

Glucose tests are generally used to diagnose all forms of diabetes. They are:
• FPG – The Fasting Plasma Glucose test is the primary indicator of diabetes, but it is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of medication or dietary therapy in those already diagnosed with diabetes.
• OGTT – The Oral Glucose Tolerance Test can diagnose prediabetes, diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Women not considered part of the high-risk group for developing gestational diabetes may first be given a screening test called the glucose challenge test or GCT. If a problem is identified in the GCT, the OGTT is then performed for further information.
• Random Plasma Glucose – This test is a screening test for diabetes when a patient has had food or drink and therefore can't do the FPG or OGTT.

Hormone Panel
• Insulin – this test helps evaluate insulin production; diagnose an insulinoma (a tumor of the insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas, causing low blood glucose levels); and helps determine the cause of hypoglycemia
• C-Peptide – also known as Insulin C-peptide, this test monitors insulin production by the beta cells in the pancreas and helps determine the cause of hypoglycemia
• TSH – thyroid disorders are common in people with diabetes, especially women, because one autoimmune disease (diabetes) often begets another (thyroid disorders). TSH screen and helps diagnose these disorders.
• T4 – When TSH is abnormal, a T4 test may be ordered to help evaluate thyroid gland function; help diagnose hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism; and screen for hypothyroidism in newborns. Related tests: T3; Thyroid Antibodies

Kidney Function
• Microalbumin – Often ordered as a microalbumin/creatinine ratio, this is a test that measures very small amounts of protein in the urine (microalbuminuria). It is a symptom of the very early stages of kidney disease. Microalbumin is usually measured annually.
• Creatinine Clearance – helps detect and evaluate kidney dysfunction or decreased blood flow to the kidneys.
• eGFR – Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate assesses kidney function.
• CMP – Comprehensive Metabolic Panel is a frequently ordered panel of tests that gives your doctor important information about the current status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as of your blood sugar and blood proteins.
• BUN – evaluates kidney function or monitors the effectiveness of dialysis and other treatments related to kidney disease or damage.
• Creatinine – determine if your kidneys are functioning normally and monitors treatment for kidney disease.
• Cystatin C – helps detect and monitor acute and chronic kidney dysfunction Related tests: BUN/creatinine ratio; BMP

Random urine samples are tested for glucose, protein, and ketones during a physical.
However, this is not a good test for blood sugars slightly above normal because glucose is only found in the urine when the kidney is not able to filter the excess sugar. Also, urine can stay in the bladder for hours so it is not a good indicator of current blood plasma glucose levels.
• Ketones – not normally found in the urine, the presence of ketones can indicate insufficient insulin.
• Urinalysis – screens for metabolic and kidney disorders and for urinary tract infections.
• Urine Specific Gravity: measure of how concentrated the urine is to help the physician evaluate if the sample is the best one to detect a particular sample.
Urine is usually most concentrated in the morning.
• Urine glucose: Glucose is normally not present in urine. When glucose is present, the condition is called glucosuria and it results from high blood glucose levels, such as may be seen in people with diabetes.
• Ketones: Ketones are not normally found in urine. Ketones in urine can give an early indication of insufficient insulin.
• Blood: This test is used to detect hemoglobin in the urine, which indicates blood in the urine. Increased levels of blood in the urine can be due to numerous diseases of the kidney and urinary tract.
• Protein: Measures the amount of albumin in the urine. Albumin is an early indicator of kidney dysfunction. If blood sugar levels are high, it taxes the kidneys, and the increased pressure results in protein spilling into the urine.
• Bilirubin: Bilirubin is not present in the urine of normal, healthy individuals.
Presence of bilirubin in urine is an early indicator of liver disease.
• Urobilinogen: Urobilinogen is normally present in urine in low concentrations.
This test helps detect liver diseases as well as biliary obstructions.
• Nitrite: Normally the urinary tract and urine are free of bacteria. When bacteria are present, they can convert nitrate to nitrite in your urine. A positive nitrite test can indicate a urinary tract infection.
• Microscopic Examination: After urine has been centrifuged, the concentrated urine sediment is examined to count and identify substances:
o RBC microscopic: Normally, a few RBC’s are present in urine sediment. Inflammation, injury, or disease in the kidneys can cause increased levels of RBC’s.
o WBC microscopic: The number of WBC’s in urine is normally low. When the number is high, it indicates infection or inflammation in the urinary tract.

CBC with differential platelet
The Complete Blood Count (CBC) is a panel of broad screening tests to check for disorders such as diabetes, anemia, and infection. This panel test examines different parts of the blood and includes the following:
• Red Blood Cells:
o RBC count: a count of the actual number of red blood cells per volume of blood.
o Hematocrit: measures the percentage of red blood cells in a given volume of whole blood.
o MCV: Mean corpuscular volume is a measurement of the average size of your RBC’s. Larger or smaller than normal RBC’s indicate health issues.
o RDW: Red cell distribution width is a calculation of the variation in the size of your RBCs.
• White Blood Cells:
o WBC count and differential: a count of the actual number of white blood cells per volume of blood, as well as the different types of white blood cells present. WBC’s fight infections and diseases. Increased levels indicate infections. There are five types of WBC’s:
 Basophil: Type of white blood cell (leukocyte) that normally constitutes 1% or less of the total WBC count. Increased or decreased levels indicate disease.
 Eosinophil: Type of WBC (leukocyte) that normally constitutes about 1-3% of the total WBC count. Function in resisting infections and allergic reactions.
 Neutrophil: Normally the most abundant type of white blood cell in healthy adults.
 Lymphocyte: normally makes up 25% of total white blood cell count but can vary widely. Occur in two forms: B cells, which produce antibodies, and T cells, which recognize foreign substances and process them for removal.
 Monocyte: normally makes up 5-10% of the total WBC count.
Functions in the ingestion of bacteria and other foreign particles.
• Hemoglobin:
o Hemoglobin: measures the amount of oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. If you have diabetes, excess glucose in your blood can attach to hemoglobin and raise the level of hemoglobin A1c.
o MCH: Mean corpuscular hemoglobin is a calculation of the average amount of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin inside a red blood cell.
o MCHC: Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration is a calculation of the average concentration of hemoglobin inside a RBC.
• Platelets:
o Platelet count: Number of platelets in a given volume of blood.
o MPV: Mean platelet volume calculates the average size of your platelets, giving your doctor information about your platelet production.

The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel is a series of 14 tests that is used as a broad screening tool to evaluate organ function of your kidneys and liver. This frequently ordered panel gives your doctor information about your current glucose and protein levels, as well as your electrolyte and acid/base balance. Abnormal glucose levels in your blood may be a sign of diabetes.
Tests to Distinguish Between Types
Once diabetes has been diagnosed, there are tests to help determine if it is type 1 or type 2. Antibody tests – Glutamic Acid Decarboxylases (GADA); insulin-associated tyrosine phosphatase antibody (IA2A); insulin autoantibody (IAA); and islet cell antibody (ICA) – can provide evidence of autoimmune activity, which is specific to type 1. Type 2 is not an autoimmune disease.

This is just the beginning. Your lab report may have more or different acronyms depending upon the conditions your doctor is seeking to diagnose or monitor. Your lab report format may also include sections not listed here. That is why it is important to be in communication with your doctor and if you do not understand something, never be afraid to ask.

1 - U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Clinical Laboratory Improvement
Amendments. (Accessed 01/10)
2 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current CLIA Regulations. (Accessed 01/10)
3 – Lab Tests Online. Deciphering Your Lab Report. (Accessed 01/10
"Hot Chocolate" Banana-Nut Oatmeal - - - Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings

This isn't just any old oatmeal. It's like having dessert for breakfast. This recipe has got toasty nuts, sweet banana, rich cocoa and just enough chocolate chips to give you both healthy and sweet fix at the same time.

2 cups plain almond milk
2 fully-ripened large bananas (1 1/2 diced and 1/2 thinly sliced crosswise)
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Kosher salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1/3 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
Pinch ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips


Bring the almond milk, 1 3/4 cups water, the diced bananas, almond and vanilla extracts and pinch of salt to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.

Stir in the oats, cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of the honey and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until the oats are fully cooked to desired consistency, 6 to 7 minutes.

Transfer to 4 bowls, top with the sliced bananas, walnuts, the remaining 1 tablespoon honey, cinnamon and chocolate chips and serve.

Per Serving: Calories: 382; Total Fat: 12 grams; Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams; Protein: 11 grams; Total carbohydrates: 61 grams; Sugar: 24 grams; Fiber: 7.5 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 135 milligrams

[,1946,FOOD_9936_656484_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html] Copyright 2012 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

Notes: Cook's Note: Soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk or oat milk are also good substitutes.
Copyright 2012 Television Food Network G.P. All Rights Reserved
Mat 14:28-33, James 2:16, John 4:16-19, Rom 7:22-8:2
Charles Jacobs’s new book "Get Back In The Game" has come out and can be ordered on his web page at
Home Tips for the Holidays - - Danny LIpford, Today's Homeowner
AskBob - - Bob Rankin - - Seven Tips for Online Holiday Shopping

Shopping online for the holidays is easy and convenient, but when you use the right tools, you can also save a lot of cash. Here are some money-saving tips for the smart online holiday shopper...
Continue reading Seven Tips for Online Holiday Shopping []
The latest from Michael Yon, the foremost “milnews” blogger on the web.

Please see [].

Introduction to combat tracking []. Please read, and please support my work [].

Please don't miss it. []

Very Respectfully,
Michael Yon
Your Writer,

Please remember that this website accepts no advertisement and is dependent on your support.

PS Please sign up for my updates at "Michael_Yon" [] (not Michael Yon).
If you would like to encourage US Troops overseas, but are not sure just how to begin, visit for ideas.
Please remember ... America is not at war. The U.S. Military is at war. America is at the MALL.
~~~~~ - - Want to feel good about giving? I think today's stories will do the trick.

Businessman Giving His Company To Employees []
Joe Lueken could have sold his grocery chain to the highest bidder. Instead, he is turning over the reins to the employees he treasures.

Retired Teacher Finds Gifts For Hundreds Of Kids []
Ever wonder how good it would feel to be Santa Claus? Mary Sauter spends her entire year finding out.

ACC: Report: Create national council to direct federal energy strategy
The U.S. should direct national energy strategy and coordinate federal agencies through a council created by Congress and the White House, says a report from a division of the Bipartisan Policy Center. Currently, "no single entity is in a position to implement, coordinate, and assess all of the federal government's energy-related activities and initiatives," says the report, whose contributors and backers include public and private officials and Honeywell International. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (11/28) []
Photos on the front of this week’s “Bleat” include - -.A view of our leaf covered lawn. We love the trees and the leaves when they are "on" the trees. The courthouse newly "relit". Annette's boot, Her kitchen window decorations. And our yard after another leaf cleaning.
For the latest issue of "Da Bleat.", go to
Our photos are posted at
Feel free to share the "Bleat" with any and all. That's why we publish it.
BreakPoint - - Christians on Campus - Our Right to Exist
By: John Stonestreet

Religious freedom on many of our college campuses is in serious trouble. And Christians are the target.

Our nation’s universities have long prided themselves on serving as forums for open and free exchange of ideas. But a growing trend in schools throughout our nation is threatening to put an end to that legacy, at least for evangelical Christians. Let me explain.

Earlier this year, Chuck Colson and my co-host, Eric Metaxas, told you about events at Vanderbilt University, where they recently adopted “anti-discrimination” regulations. These would require student groups to allow anyone—regardless of beliefs or behavior—to obtain group membership and seek leadership positions. As Eric pointed out in April, this amounts to an attack on these groups’ right to exist.

To borrow his example, such regulations would theoretically force a university chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), to allow steak connoisseurs and fur enthusiasts into their ranks and leadership. This may not sound like such a big deal, until you realize that even a small cohort of these “fur-draped carnivores” could tip the membership scales and vote the group into extinction.

Well, PETA likely doesn’t have much to fear from these regulations—but Christian groups do. Increasingly, they’re being singled out with policies which David French, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, calls “absurd.”

“[This] level of mandated openness…actually diminishes diversity,” he says. “It’s utterly antithetical to free expression.”

And it’s not just happening at Vanderbilt. Schools nationwide like Brown, Colby, Amherst, Williams, Bowdoin, and the Universities of Maine and North Carolina have all pursued similar policies.

Now the latest, Tufts University in Massachusetts, is getting national press coverage as a kind of epicenter for the controversy.

Tufts’ chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is 120 members strong, and has been a model of Christian openness and tolerance for years, welcoming members with a variety of beliefs, including some from the LGBT community.

But a recent ruling by the Tufts student judiciary revoked InterVarsity Fellowship’s status as a university group on the grounds that its constitution requires leaders to celebrate “the basic truths of Christianity,” as well as to practice sexual chastity.

The university’s decision implements the logic of one of the worst Supreme Court rulings in years. In the 2010 case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez the court essentially held that religious groups must place no stipulation on the beliefs of members. In other words, they’re not allowed to define themselves according to their defining beliefs.

Greg Jao, national field director of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, called this reasoning in the case of Tufts “illogical, and a little bizarre.”

“Groups can only exist,” he says, “if their leaders can affirm the reason for that group’s existence.”

As we’ve pointed out before on BreakPoint, atheist groups on campus would not appreciate the university forcing them to allow Christians into leadership positions. Gay and Lesbian clubs would not take kindly to opponents of same-sex “marriage” filling their seats and running for president. By the same token, Christians must have a right to exercise our beliefs in public and tangible ways. And yes—that means being able to police both membership and leadership according to the group’s beliefs.

Otherwise, as Jao noted, there’s little point in having the group at all.

Folks, this is political correctness run amok. And as French noted, it actually ends up destroying, not preserving, diversity. But that may be exactly what some school and student officials at Tufts and elsewhere have in mind.
This is why we must defend the real meaning of religious freedom on all fronts against redefinition. True freedom does not end when we leave church, and that’s not what America’s founders had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment. We must be free to gather together and express our faith in the statehouse, the marketplace, and especially the halls of academia.

Further Reading and Information

Tufts Christian Fellowship controversy highlights importance of religious diversity
Boston Globe editorial | November 17, 2012 []

Campus Crackdown
Chuck Colson | | March 15, 2012 []

Unmasking Discrimination
Eric Metaxas | | April 19, 2012 []


Copyright © 2012 Prison Fellowship. All Rights Reserved

Residents of Columbia County, Arkansas are represented in Congress by:

Senator John Boozman (R_ AR)
1 Russell Courtyard
Washington DC, 20510
Phone: 202-224-4843
Senator Mark Pryor (D_ AR)
Phone 202_224_2353
FAX 202_228_0908
Representative Michael A. Ross (D _ 04)
Phone 202_225_3772
FAX 202_225_1314

Other states congresspersons can be found at: []

"You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." - Harriet Woods

"Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones, which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart." - Henry Clay

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." - Aristotle

"If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." - Mark Twain

"Lasting change is a series of compromises. And compromise is all right, as long as your values don't change. - Jane Goodall

"Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Breaking Christian News

Jesus Speaks to Syrian Widow - - Teresa Neumann (Nov 26, 2012)
"Tomorrow, I will send you someone who will tell you about Me. Listen to him." -God to Syrian Widow
Read Full Story []

Uganda's President Publicly Repents - - Teresa Neumann (Nov 27, 2012)
"We want to dedicate this nation to You so that You will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfill what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: 'Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people You have chosen as Your own' . . . And I hereby covenant Uganda to You, to walk in Your ways and experience all Your blessings forever." -President Yoweri Museveni
Read Full Story []

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GCF: Funeral Arrangements

If this was forwarded to you, please consider your own
subscription to Good Clean Fun. It's free! Just send an
email to:

While my parents were making pre-planning funeral arrangements, the cemetery salesman pointed out a plot that he thought they would like.

"You'll have a beautiful view of the swan pond," he assured them.

Dad wasn't sold: "Unless you're including a periscope with my casket, I don't know how I'm going to enjoy it."
_ _______________________________ _
Because of my fluency in American Sign Language, I was hired to be a Santa Claus at the mall. My employer wanted to provide hearing impaired children with a Santa who could communicate with them.

I sat for hours, performing for the children who came to visit. But none of them was deaf. Then, two girls approached shyly. One explained that her sister was deaf and could not speak.

"What is your name?" I signed slowly.

"J-A-S-M-I-N-E," she replied with her fingers, grinning from ear to ear.

I was bubbling over with pride when I absent-mindedly signed,
"My name is H-E-N-R-Y, nice to meet you."
_ _______________________________ _
I decided to grab a burger at a drive-thru. There were no cars in sight, so I rolled right up to the pay window.

"We're still serving breakfast. And you have to order at the speaker," the clerk scolded.

I drove all the way around the building to the squawk box and ordered a breakfast sandwich. "I'm sorry," she said, "we are now serving lunch."
_ _______________________________ _
GCF: Meaningful Gift

Every year on my birthday, I looked forward to my aunt's gift ... a scarf, hat, gloves or sweater knitted by hand.

One year, she must have had better things to do because I received a ball of yarn, knitting needles, and a how-to-knit book.

Her card read: "Hat, some assembly required."
_ _______________________________ _
GCF: Delivery Nurse

When the patient was wheeled into the delivery room, she told me, "I remember you from the last time I gave birth."

I was thrilled, especially since it had been a few years. "Do you really remember me?" I asked, milking it.

"Yes. You're the nurse who ate all my candy."
_ _______________________________ _
/ )| Thomas S. Ellsworth |( \
/ / | | \ \
_( (_ | | _) )
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This ought to make you feel better about your computer skills

Tech support: What kind of computer do you have?

Customer: A white one.
Tech support: Click on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the screen.

Customer: Your left or my left?
Customer: Hi, good afternoon, this is Martha, I can't print. Every time I try, it says, 'Can't find printer.' I've even lifted the printer and placed it in front of the monitor, but the computer still says he can't find it.
Tech support: What's on your monitor now, ma'am?

Customer: A teddy bear my boyfriend bought for me at the 7-11.
Customer: My keyboard is not working anymore.

Tech support: Are you sure it's plugged into the computer?

Customer: No. I can't get behind the computer.

Tech support: Pick up your keyboard and walk 10 paces back.

Customer: OK!

Tech support: Did the keyboard come with you?

Customer: Yes.

Tech support: That means the keyboard is not plugged in.
Customer: I can't get on the Internet.

Tech support: Are you sure you used the right password?

Customer: Yes, I'm sure. I saw my colleague do it.

Tech support: Can you tell me what the password was?

Customer: Five dots.
Tech support: What anti-virus program do you use?

Customer: Netscape.

Tech support: That's not an anti-virus program.

Customer: Oh, sorry... Internet Explorer...
Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.
Tech support: How may I help you?

Customer: I'm writing my first email.

Tech support: OK, and what seems to be the problem?

Customer: Well, I have the letter 'a' in the address, but how do I get the little circle around it?
This one and the next are our personal favorites!

A woman customer called the Canon help desk with a problem with her printer.

Tech support: Are you running it under windows?

Customer: 'No, my desk is next to the door, but that is a good point. The man sitting in the cubicle

next to me is under a window, and his printer is working fine.'
And last but not least!

Tech support: 'Okay Bob, let's press the control and escape keys at the same time.

That brings up a task list in the middle of the screen..

Now type the letter 'P' to bring up the Program Manager.'

Customer: I don't have a P.

Tech support: On your keyboard, Bob.

Customer: What do you mean?

Tech support: 'P'......on your keyboard, Bob.


Thanks to Waneta
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As I was lying in bed pondering the problems of the world,I rapidly realized
that it's the tortoise life for me!

1.. If walking is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.

2.. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, and is fat.

3.. A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.

4.. A tortoise doesn't run and does nothing, yet it lives for 150 years.

And they tell us to exercise?? I don't think so.

I'm retired. Go around me.
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God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
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Now that I'm older here's what I've discovered:

1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

2. My wild oats have turned into prunes and all-bran.

3. I finally got my head together, and now my body is falling apart.

4. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.

5. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.

6. If all is not lost, where is it?

7. It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.

8. Some days, you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.

9. I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few.

10. Kids in the back seat cause accidents.

11. Accidents in the back seat cause kids.

12. It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.

13. The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you're in the bathroom.

14. If God wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my knees.

15. When I'm finally holding all the cards, why does everyone want to play chess?

16. Its not hard to meet expenses . . . they're everywhere.

17. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

18. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter . . .I go somewhere to get something, and then wonder what I'm hereafter,

19. Funny, I don't remember being absent-minded.
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Larger Bills

I do the water and sewer billing for a small city in Washington state. Customers complained about our postcard-sized bills -- which they said looked too much like junk mail. So we decided to start sending full-sized bills in envelopes. The month before the switch, I had a note printed on the cards, announcing the change.

Two days later, I heard someone yelling at our receptionist, "Is this some kind of joke?" When the customer threw his bill upon the desk, I saw his point. The note was, "Coming Soon! New Larger Bills!"

Received from Thomas Ellsworth.


Little Johnny's Pappa

Little Johnny was talking to a couple of boys in the school yard. Each was bragging about how great his father was.

The first one said, "Well, my father runs the fastest. He can fire an arrow and start to run. I tell you, he gets there before the arrow!"

The second one said, "Ha! You think that's fast! My father is a hunter. He can shoot his gun and be there before the bullet!"

Little Johnny listened to the other two boys and shook his head. He then said: "Sorry, dudes, but MY DAD is the fastest. He's a civil servant. He stops working at 4:30, and he's home by 3:45!"

Received from Irene A. Mystery.



The preacher came to call the other day. He said at my age I should be thinking of the hereafter.

I told him, "Oh, I do it all the time. No matter where I am -- in the parlor, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement -- I ask myself, 'Now, what am I here after?'"

Received from Doc's Daily Chuckle.


Lab Lawyers

At a convention of biological scientists, one prominant researcher remarked to another, "Did you know that in our lab we have switched from mice to lawyers for our experiments?"

"Really?" the other researcher replied. "Why did you switch?"

"Well, for three reasons. First, we found that lawyers are far more plentiful. Second, the lab assistants don't get so attached to them. And third, there are some things even a rat won't do."

Received from ArcaMax Jokes.


Job Impressions

I had always talked about my job a lot at home, and my young daughter had always expressed great interest. So I thought it would be a treat for her to spend the day with me at the office. Since I wanted it to be a surprise, I didn't tell her where we were going, just that it would be fun. Although usually a bit shy, she seemed excited to meet each colleague I introduced. On the way home, however, she seemed somewhat down.

"Didn't you have a nice time?" I asked.

"Well, it was okay," she responded. "But I thought it would be more like a circus."

Confused, I asked, "Whatever do you mean?"

She said, "Well, you said you work with a bunch of clowns, and I never got to see them!"

Received from Doc's Daily Chuckle.


Rate this funny at

Brought to you by The Good, Clean Funnies List A cheerful heart is good medicine... (Prov 17:22a) Mail address: GCFL, Box 100, Harvest, AL 35749, USA

To print or email this funny to others, go to

The latest GCFL funny can always be found on the web at
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Madeleine Begun Kane Latest Column - - Remorseful Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow was feeling remorse
About taking an ill-advised course:
He’d married a gal
Who was also his pal,
Before he’d secured a divorce.

© Madeleine Begun Kane. All Rights Reserved.
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"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." __ Franklin D. Roosevelt
"There is not enough darkness in the world to put out the light of one candle."
Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity. _ _ George Carlin
"Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead, tell the storm how big your God is!" _ _ Queen E. Watson
“A political class of Republicans and Democrats that look after themselves, not the Nation. A media hostile to the very precepts of this nation. A generation of Americans who see morals as vices, and are ignorant of America's Actual History.”
"The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life." - - Theodore Roosevelt
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Emergency Phone Number 911
(Fire, Police, Ambulance, Sheriff, etc. )
Central Dispatch 234_5655
(Non _ Emergency Number)
Direct Numbers
Ambulance _ 234_7371 (24 Hour)
Jail _ 234_5331 (24 Hour)
Poison Control _ 800_222_1222 (24 Hour)
http://www. aapcc. org/
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Interested in getting in touch with the Banner_News through e_mail? For the editor, For news and sports items, Coming Events, Diary, Church News, school and civic events. []
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"Laugh whenever you can and cry if you need to." __ "Bug"
"I read the end of the book. We win!" __ "Bug"
"We may not be able to cure the world, but we don't have to make it sicker." __ "Bug"
"There just ain't enough fingers for all the holes in the dike." _ _ "Bug"
"It's no big deal doing what God tells you to do. A big deal would be NOT doing what God tells you to do. Just ask Jonah." _ _ Paul Troquille
“Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.” Knowledge is power. _ Francis Bacon
"The problem is here and now. The time for talk is past. The time for action is now."
Comments on the first Earth Day _ James F. McClellan via John "Fuzzy" Thurman
Hope you enjoy the newsletter.
Again, thanks to all our contributors this week.
"Remember Pearl Harbor? Remember 9/11!" __"Bug"
God bless and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!
God is Good and Faithful CU 73 IC JFM CSP NREMT_I KC5HII

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