Jul 31, 2014

Amazing How Much Change 70 Years Makes...Enemies, Allies, And Enemies Again

Common Sense Commentary: Seventy years ago America was an ally of Russia and China and enemies with Germany and Japan. Today China and Russia are no longer our allies but becoming more and more like sworn enemies, and Germany, having been more an ally since WWII is now moving into the China/Russia orbit. Japan, which has been a major trading partner of ours since that war is now shifting loyalties to other parts of the world. Strange indeed how old enemies become best of friends and old friends often become sworn enemies.  Strange, yes, but an example shadowing the universal confusion, revision and instability of man. Below are some pictures of WWII and how various scenes have changed. The enemy of my enemy is my friend? Maybe. RB

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9.

Pics from the Past of WWII- It is amazing the difference in 70 years.


Jul 30, 2014

The Highly Trained, Self Supporting And Reliant People Obama Doesn't Want Here

Common Sense Commentary: So, at the same time Obama is welcoming illegal aliens who have no education, no jobs, no resources, no training, but have criminal records, gang tattoos, drugs and diseases, he is having the real "best and brightest" applicants, for entry ... turned away. How is it possible for one man to so wrong on every decision he makes? RB

Meet the people Obama doesn’t want 
In America


By Todd Starnes Published July 28, 2014FoxNews

Earlier this month President Obama called the tsunami of illegal immigrants crossing the border “the best and the brightest.”

“We should not be making it harder for the best and the brightest to come here, create jobs here, grow our economy here,” the president told new U.S. citizens at a White House ceremony. “We should make it easier.”

In the shadow of the illegal immigrant crisis at America’s southern border, the Obama administration continues to hold highly skilled and educated workers wishing to come to the U.S. and work for American companies to the strict regulations of its H-1B visa program, while moving toward a policy that grants work visas to the American-born children of immigrants who come here illegally.

One of those individuals is Waghmare Vishal, a computer programmer from India. Vishal is a senior engineer for Maxxton USA, a software company based in Dallas.


Vishal, who lives in India, applied for a visa so he could help Maxxton expand their business interests in the United States. But the State Department turned down Vishal’s visa.

“The consulate thought that he was a risk because he might not go back to his home country,” said Chris Connar, Maxxton’s vice president for sales and marketing. “It’s frustrating – very frustrating. This is a government-sanctioned problem.”

In layman’s terms – the State Department feared that Vishal might not go back to India once his visa expired.

I know, folks. It’s ironic.

“A consular officer looks at the purpose of the visit and for palpable reasons a person would return to his or her own country,” a State Department official wrote to Maxxton.

Connar said the very values that made Vishal an ideal candidate for the job – were in fact the reasons he was denied entry.

“He doesn’t have any family,” Connar said. “He’s willing and able to travel.”

Connar said Vishal has been a longtime employee and he was only going to be in the states for a few months “traveling around to our different customers and helping them implement our software program.”

There’s no way for Vishal to appeal the ruling. Instead, the State Department advised him to reapply. Connar said it’s mind-blowing.

“[The government] should be cracking down on the illegals -- not the people who are trying to come here legally,” he said.

And that brings me to the story of a newlywed couple from Denver. They’ve asked me not to use their names over fears it might further complicate their citizenship issues.

The husband is an American. His wife is British. She applied for a spouse visa in April 2013. As of this writing, they are still waiting for an approval.

“The whole process has been a disaster,” the British bride tells me. “It is near impossible to get any information or time estimates.”

The State Department demanded that the bride prove she would not be a financial burden to the country.

No, really.

The bride has an English degree. Her husband is the co-owner of a store in the Denver area. She said they were required to prove that they made enough money to live above the poverty threshold.

“This is all to show that the immigrant spouse won’t become a financial burden on the country,” she said.

Meanwhile, the federal government also required our blushing bride to undergo a rigorous series of medical exams – totaling $500.

“I was told that if I didn’t get that done, I wouldn’t get my visa,” she said.

So you might imagine her frustration at she watches the Obama administration allow thousands of disease-infected illegals into the country – and then provides them with medical care – compliments of the American taxpayer.

“I find the whole process so very unfair,” the bride told me. “I don’t understand why it’s one rule for one person and another rule for another.”

In President Obama’s mind, illegal immigrants represent the best and the brightest, but those coming here legally should be treated with scorn and suspicion.

“It’s been 15 months and we are still waiting -- whilst others get to take a shortcut and leave those of us who are trying to do the right and legal thing behind,” the bride said. “At the end of the day, I just want to be with my husband and live our lives.”

But to make matters even worse -- the bride’s temporary visa is about to expire. That means she will have to leave her husband in Denver and return to England. “I love it here and I want to have a future here,” she told me. “I am educated and have lots of work experience. I want to work and pay taxes and I have no intention to be a ‘financial burden’ to anyone.”

For now the British bride and the Indian computer programmer are stuck in limbo -- trying to figure out the best way to get to the United States.

Perhaps they should consider purchasing a one-way ticket to Guatemala, cross the border into Mexico and then hop onboard the first northbound train to Texas.

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary, heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is "God Less America."

Jul 29, 2014

Catching Pigs

Common Sense Commentary: The simple lessons of life also apply to the most sophisticated among us ..... Free stuff is gobbled up like slop at the hog trough under the farmers slop bucket. That also applies to us ... under Uncle Sam's slop bucket ... in his pen. RB

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist regime. In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked: "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"
The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.
The young man said that it was no joke. "You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity."
The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.
One should always remember two truths:
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.
If you see that all of this wonderful government "help" is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably delete this email.
But, God help us all when the gate slams shut!

Jul 28, 2014

Communion On The Moon In 1969 ?

Common Sense Commentary: First liquid poured, first food eaten ... on the moon.

Flashback: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin 

Recalls Taking Communion on the 


As reprinted from Guidepost by Tyler McNally
July 22, 2014 

Communion is viewed as one of the most important sacraments in the Christian faith, so it is not surprising to hear about someone taking it. It is, however, unusual to hear about a Christian taking communion nearly 240,000 miles away.
July 20 marked the 45th anniversary of the first lunar landing in human history when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Armstrong is remembered by his famous "that's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Aldrin is not so much recognized for one publicized action, but rather one that the U.S. government and NASA tried to cover up because of a previous lawsuit related to the Apollo 8 reading of Genesis.
Before Aldrin and Armstrong took to the moon surface, Buzz decided to take communion; an event that he had wanted to do months before the launch.
Excerpt from a Guidepost interview from October 1970 courtesy of Eric Metaxas:
One day while I was at Cape Kennedy working with the sophisticated tools of the space effort, it occurred to me that these tools were the typical elements of life today.  I wondered if it might be possible to take communion on the moon, symbolizing the thought that God was revealing Himself there too, as man reached out into the universe.  For there are many of us in the NASA program who do trust that what we are doing is part of God's eternal plan for man.
I spoke with [Pastor Dean Woodruff] about the idea as soon as I returned home, and he was enthusiastic.
"I could carry the bread in a plastic packet, the way regular inflight food is wrapped.  And the wine also-there will be just enough gravity on the moon for liquid to pour.  I'll be able to drink normally from a cup.  Dean, I wonder if you could look around for a little chalice that I could take with me as coming from the church?"
The next week Dean showed me a graceful silver cup.  I hefted it and was pleased to find that it was light enough to take along.  Each astronaut is allowed a few personal items on a flight; the wine chalice would be in my personal-preference kit.
Then while on the moon surface, Aldrin finally took communion after the 240,000 mile journey:
Now Neil and I were sitting inside Eagle, while Mike circled in lunar orbit unseen in the black sky above us.  In a little while after our scheduled meal period, Neil would give the signal to step down the ladder onto the powdery surface of the moon.  Now was the moment for communion.
So I unstowed the elements in their flight packets.  I put them and the scripture reading on the little table in front of the abort guidance system computer.
Then I called back to Houston.
"Houston, this is Eagle.  This is the LM Pilot speaking.  I would like to request a few moments of silence.  I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to invite each person listening, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way."
I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me.  In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.  It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.
And so, just before I partook of the elements, I read the words, which I had chosen to indicate our trust that as man probes into space we are in fact acting in Christ.
I sensed especially strongly my unity with our church back home, and with the Church everywhere.
I read: "I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me" (John 15:5).

Jul 26, 2014

If All The Bees Die Out ....So May We

Common Sense Commentary: I began beekeeping two years ago. My reasons are these:
1. Honey Bees are one of the most important factors in the abundant food production in the world. They pollinate  most of the fruit and vegetable crops upon which we all depend for healthy diets.
2. During each of the last 8 or 10 years, one quarter to one third of all the bee hives in America have died off. The exact cause is still undetermined but insecticides are the primary suspects. I want to do what I can to help stem the tide and reduce or stop that rate of lost bee populations.
3. Raw, unheated, unfiltered honey is one of the most beneficial foods available on the planet. 99% of the honey bought in stores has been heated and hyper-filtered which removes most of the pollen and leaves it in the near syrup category.
4. Mrs. Blair is a gardener and I am a health conscious old man who also needs physical activity. I have always admired God's amazing little honey bees. They do some of the most unbelievable things in the hive, garden, orchard, yard and on many field crops. They won't sting you unless you attack them or "fool" with their hive. I am working with them all year long and have never been stung once since I began two years ago .... until last week when Ron, Cindy and I robbed harvested most of the  bee's honey. I made the mistake of not wearing an undershirt under my bee suit and I substituted thin cloth gloves for my worn leather ones. I was stung about 10-12 times. Which brings me to another interesting belief of mine.... that bee stings are like a tiny bee medic administering an inoculation for some health need which only God understands. Their sting is not nearly as bad as that of a wasp. I encourage you to consider keeping a hive of bees in your yard or field... unless you have small children.
Here is an interesting article on the subject. RB

The Sovereign Investor

If All the Bees Die Out — So Do We
By John Ross Crooks
Dear Subscriber,
I’m worried and upset. The bees are disappearing … and so is your food.

Last winter, 23% of American honeybee colonies died. The rate of their decline is no less than shocking. In fact, every year since 2006, about 30% of the nation’s honeybee colonies have perished.

Some people may be thankful there are fewer stinging insects around, but bees are a crucial part of the U.S.'s agriculture industry. The recent unprecedented losses have already had a devastating impact on crop production. And if honeybee populations continue to decline, a serious crisis lies ahead.

The death of so many honeybees is creating a pollination shortage, which in turn is threatening our food production.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about one-third of the human diet comes directly from insect-pollinated plants, and the vast majority of this insect-pollination work is carried out by honeybees.

Fewer bees mean fewer crops go to market — and that means more money out of your pocket.

Prices could soon soar for the most nutritious foods we eat, including almonds, apples, carrots, broccoli and citrus fruits.

Honeybees, in fact, are the lynchpin in our multi-trillion dollar food chain, because it all comes down to cross-pollination. The bees carry the pollen, and the pollen powers our plants.

So what does that translate to in terms of dollars?

Well, the USDA estimates $15 billion in agricultural production hinges on the survival of the American honeybee.

And already grocery prices are rising twice as fast as they did last year.

That trend is expected to continue as increasing numbers of bees die off, either because of monoculture (the practice of growing a single crop over a large area), parasites, pesticides, sickness or pollution.

But it’s more than a money problem. If one-third of our food is coming from insect-pollinated plants, then when all the bees die out, we could follow.

The bottom line is that we need to support bee restoration and preservation for the sake of preserving quality, productivity and affordability in our food system.

And we need to do it ourselves because the government isn't helping.

You Wouldn’t Rely on the Government — Why Should the Bees?

A memorandum from President Obama warns that “continued loss of commercial honeybee colonies poses a threat to the economic stability of commercial beekeeping and pollination operations in the United States, which could have profound implications for agriculture and food.”

For once, I agree with him.

Yet the government is still getting it wrong.

While it’s good that the government has acknowledged the problem — that one-third of our food is in jeopardy! — its solution will fail.

The government, as usual, thinks the answer to a declining bee population is money. You know, just continue to throw money at a problem until it goes away.

While the USDA announced an $8 million incentives program last month to help “save the bees,” beekeepers aren't seeing that money. And these are the people who should be getting it. After all, they have a vested interest in the bee population.

Instead, the money is going to landowners, who are already receiving government incentives. Typically, they use the money to stop crop production on endangered land. They don't act proactively by planting better crops to facilitate bee foraging.

Another thing to keep in mind: Handouts, in my opinion, tend to eliminate any stake a farmer has in his land.

Government money is simply not the fix. And there's more to the bee problem than a poor distribution of cash …

Pesticides are Bee-Killers

There is still some mystery behind colony collapse. Disease, parasites, genetics and habitat loss are believed to be factors. But the increased use of pesticides is certainly one reason bees are dying off.

According to recent study I just read by the Harvard School of Public Health, neonicotinoid — a pesticide class similar to nicotine — is a significant factor in the shocking decline of American honeybee colonies.

The Harvard study said these widely used pesticides are probably the main cause of “colony collapse disorder.”

Make no mistake: these neonicotinoid pesticides kill bees.

Neonicotinoid are applied to seeds of industrialized crops such as corn. The poison seeps into the seed and renders the plant toxic to insects.

Normally, this wouldn't affect bees, because they don't pollinate corn, wheat or soybeans. But modern mechanized planting techniques result in large clouds of neonicotinoid dust. These pesticide clouds can drift and blanket the areas that bees visit.

And neonicotinoids are not only used by Big Ag. We can also find them in our backyards. They are sprayed on bee-attracting trees, flowers and plants that can be purchased at local stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes.

Don't just take my word for it.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has banned the pesticide in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Hawaii. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has banned three of the seven types of neonicotinoids. They’re even being dubbed the next DDT, an insecticide banned in 1972 for its impact on wildlife, the environment and its threat to our health.

These bans are fine — but it’s not enough.

We need to save the honeybee, and our food. And in the process, we'll also be saving a sweet super food ... honey.

It’s a Sweet Deal for You!

There are sugars in honey, so you might think you’re better off just avoiding it altogether. But it packs a nutritional punch.

Honey's Health Benefits

It contains many essential nutrients, including “small amounts of proteins, enzymes, amino acids, minerals, trace elements, vitamins, aroma compounds and polyphenols.” Polyphenols, for instance, are produced by plants and promote healthy gut bacteria, which help fight diseases.

It increases antioxidant levels. One such antioxidant is glutathione. Glutathione is perhaps the most important antioxidant in the human body. It helps prevent diseases associated with aging, including Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases, cancer and inflammation.

It lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), 
increases good cholesterol (HDL) and maintains a healthy balance in other amino and fatty acid levels that impact the cardiovascular system.

It is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
 When bees make honey, they add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide, which helps tackle infections.

It is a probiotic. Honey contains friendly bacteria that can benefit gut health and in turn help restore proper functioning of all systems in the body.
These benefits come from eating just a couple tablespoons of honey each day.

But with the alarming loss of honeybees, honey is also disappearing — along with one-third of our food.

We need to do something.

Bring Back the Buzz

A local beekeeper told me hobbyists can get started with a couple hives for only a few hundred bucks. If you’re interested, have some free space and reasonable neighbors, I encourage you to do some research and give it a try.

But I understand beekeeping isn’t necessarily everyone’s idea of a good time. Luckily, there are three sting-free ways you can help.

First, discourage the use of pesticides both residentially and commercially. You can do this by buying food that isn't coated in pesticide.

Second, cultivate gardens with bee-friendly plants. Most fruits, vegetables and flowers will attract bees, but seek out your local nursery or retailer for advice on what forage grows best where you live. Remember: Be sure the plants are not treated with pesticides, specifically neonicotinoids.

Third, eat honey. Eating local honey supports beekeepers — and, by extension, the bees.

“But Honey, What Honey Should I Buy?”

It’s great to eat local honey. But it’s best to eat raw honey.

Local honey contains spores from indigenous trees, flowers and grasses. It is believed that consuming local honey triggers the body’s immune system much like a vaccine does. So introducing a low dose of spores to the immune system by eating it could “prep” antibodies and make a person more resistant to allergies. Plus, buying local honey also supports beekeepers and agriculture in your community.

Raw honey, however, is better for you.

You probably won’t find raw honey in your typical grocery store. Most of the honey sold there is refined with a substantially higher glycemic index (impact on your blood-sugar level) than raw honey. Plus, honey is refined by treating it with heat. And heat eliminates most of honey’s exceptional health benefits. So ...

Get It Straight From the Source

Look online for local beekeepers — they’ll be happy to help you out. Produce stands and natural health food stores usually provide a selection of local honey, too.

If it's too hard to find, you can shop online.

Bee Raw sells honey from all parts of the country. Or you can try iGourmet.com for a large selection, plus an explanation of the different types. The varieties and flavors are endless. You might consider trying a couple of different smaller jars to determine what you prefer.

I’m currently working my way through a 20 oz. jar of honey from Glazer Organic Farms in Miami, Florida. I love it. But, as far as I can tell, it’s only available in South Florida. A tasty choice that’s easy to get your hands on is Honey Gardens Apitherapy Raw Honey.

All told, honey is good for your health, the economy and addressing yet another problem government money can’t fix.

I urge you to share this story with others. Encourage responsible action to restore and preserve the bee population. Plant a garden. And help curb the use of risky pesticides in an industry that unfortunately depends on them.

To quality living,

JR Crooks
Editor, Sovereign Living

Jul 25, 2014

It Doesn't Take A Majority To Make And Enforce A Dictatorship

Common Sense Commentary: It is very interesting how a brain washed people can believe a thing with 100% certainty and yet be 100% wrong, and still be unwilling to change their minds when faced with undeniable facts....

"Then said he (Jesus) unto them, But now .... he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough." Luke 22:36-38. 

Back during the 1970's when the Communist USSR was still a threat to the entire world, I was on a mission journey to Southern Mexico, on a train. I was alone but had been assigned a seat arrangement with three college aged Russians, two young men and a young lady. They were Communists and all spoke English quite well. Those of you who know me, know that I have been an outspoken anti-Communist ever since I fought them in the Korean war and witnessed their atrocities. Our conversations always ended in debate as to the merits of Communism. Fortunately I had read a lot about Communism. When I asked them if they knew any civilians in Russia who owned a firearm, they said they did not. "Why?", I asked. "Firearms are  illegal", one of the young men said. "Why?" I asked. "Because they are dangerous", he said. "Dangerous to whom, the civilian or the government?" I asked. Our debate was becoming an argument when I told them that "practically every home in America has a gun in it." They couldn't believe that. I told them it was our Constitutional right to "own and bear arms" in order to defend ourselves, our homes and our freedom if our government tried to violate our Constitutional rights. Then I told them the reason the Communist leadership took all of their guns away was so it could control them. At that moment we were passing through a small village with a hill at its center. I pointed out the hill and said, "I could control this entire village with one rifle, from that hill if no one else in the village had a gun."  Both of the young men insisted, "No you couldn't", but the young lady said, quietly, "Yes he could."

My point is, it does not matter in a nation or town, if the Nazis or Communists or Socialists or progressive idea-logs do not have the majority, if the majority have no weapons and the social planners and bad guys do. They can rule the nation if they are the only ones with firearms.

In 1933, the membership of the Nazi Party amounted to 1.6 million. By 1936, it reached 4.4 million members. It reached a maximum membership of around 6 million or about 7% of the German population. The other 93% did not have the will to stop that 7% of armed Nazis.

An even smaller percentage of Russians were members of the Communist Party, Under Lenin, when they overthrew the government and installed a Communist dictatorship. The same was true in China. 

Do not underestimate the potential of a small, committed political movement in a nation of peaceful pacifists who are not armed.

If we allow our government to disarm the civilians in this country, it won't take many armed soldiers or police or agriculture agents or postal workers or any other agents of our government to enforce its dictatorial agenda upon us all. There is, in our country, a relatively small, but powerful, force of pseudo "Progressives" at the door, with that agenda, even now. They have their takeover of America in progress. The only reason they are not already in absolute control is .... American civilians are the largest armed army in the world. Neither the Muslims nor the Socialists nor any other malignant minority can take away our freedoms if we simply stand up against them. If we don't, they will win this internal battle and rule all of our lives ... in time. RB

Gun Violence Decreasing
by Kerby Anderson

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans believe that gun violence is greater than ever. The problem with that view is that the opposite is true. Violent gun crime has dropped dramatically in the past two decades.

The Pew report explains that: "National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime." Government statistics show that the rate of non-fatal violent gun crime victimization dropped 75 percent in the past 20 years. The gun homicide rate dropped 49 percent in that same period. (During that same time period Concealed Carry permits, by good citizens, has increased by approximately the same percentages. RB)

Most Americans are unaware of this drop in gun crime. According to the Pew survey, 56 percent of Americans believe gun crime is worse than it was 20 years ago. If you add in those people who believe it has stayed the same, then you have 84 percent who believe it has either gone up or stayed the same. Only 12 percent have the correct view: that gun violence has decreased the last 20 years.

Let's put it another way. At a time when the nation was having a debate about guns and gun control, more than 8 out of 10 Americans had a perspective about gun violence that was completely opposite of the true reality. I think we all know why the public perception is incorrect. The news media focus our attention on crimes, especially gun crimes. This has been true for some time, but was especially true since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The Pew Research report also puts these mass shootings in context. "According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics review, homicides that claimed at least three lives accounted for less the 1 percent of all homicide deaths from 1980 to 2008." In other words, they are very rare, but of course get lots of media attention when they occur.

This latest survey once again is a reminder that public opinion can often be wrong, and that's why we need accurate statistics before we enact government policies.

Jul 24, 2014

Doomsday Seed Vault In Norway Sponsored By Big Names ... Just In Case

Common Sense Commentary: An interesting project for a troubled world.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault From Wikipedia

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault (Norwegian: Svalbard globale frøhvelv) is a secure seedbank on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen near Longyearbyen in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) from the North Pole. Conservationist Cary Fowler, in association with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), started the vault to preserve a wide variety of plant seeds that are duplicate samples, or "spare" copies, of seeds held in gene banks worldwide. The seed vault is an attempt to insure against the loss of seeds in other genebanks during large-scale regional or global crises. The seed vault is managed under terms spelled out in a tripartite agreement between the Norwegian government, the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT) and the Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen). The Norwegian government entirely funded the vault's approximately NOK 45 million (US$9 million) construction. Storing seeds in the vault is free to end users, with Norway and the Global Crop Diversity Trust paying for operational costs. Primary funding for the Trust comes from such organisations as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from various governments worldwide.

History[edit] The Nordic Gene Bank (NGB) has since 1984 stored backup Nordic plant germplasm via frozen seeds in an abandoned coal mine at Svalbard, over the years depositing more than 10,000 seed samples of more than 2,000 cultivars for 300 different species. The Nordic collection has for years duplicated seed samples from the Southern African Development Community. Both the Nordic and African collections have been transferred to the new Svalbard Global Seed Vault facility. On 1 January 2008 the Nordic Gene Bank was integrated with NordGen.[citation needed] Construction.

Entrance to the Vault Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland's prime ministers ceremonially laid "the first stone" on 19 June 2006. The seedbank is 120 metres (390 ft) inside a sandstone mountain on Spitsbergen Island, and employs robust security systems. Seeds are packaged in special four-ply packets and heat sealed to exclude moisture. The facility is managed by the Nordic Genetic Resource Center, though there are no permanent staff on-site.

Spitsbergen was considered ideal because it lacked tectonic activity and had permafrost, which aids preservation. Its being 130 metres (430 ft) above sea level will keep the site dry even if the ice caps melt. Locally mined coal provides power for refrigeration units that further cool the seeds to the internationally recommended standard of -18 °C (-0.4 °F). If the equipment fails, at least several weeks will elapse before the facility rises to the surrounding sandstone bedrock's temperature of -3 °C (27 °F). A feasibility study prior to construction determined that the vault could, for hundreds of years, preserve most major food crops' seeds. Some, including those of important grains, could survive far longer—possibly thousands of years. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault officially opened on 26 February 2008. Approximately 1.5 million distinct seed samples of agricultural crops are thought to exist. The variety and volume of seeds stored will depend on the number of countries participating – the facility has a capacity to conserve 4.5 million. The first seeds arrived in January 2008. Five percent of the seeds in the vault, about 18,000 samples with 500 seeds each, come from the Centre for Genetic Resources of the Netherlands (CGN), part of Wageningen University, Netherlands.

Mission: The Svalbard Global Seed Vault's mission is to provide a safety net against accidental loss of diversity in traditional genebanks. While the popular press has emphasized its possible utility in the event of a major regional or global catastrophe, it will be more frequently accessed when genebanks lose samples due to mismanagement, accident, equipment failures, funding cuts, and natural disasters. These events occur with some regularity. War and civil strife have a history of destroying some genebanks. The national seed bank of the Philippines was damaged by flooding and later destroyed by a fire; the seed banks of Afghanistan and Iraq have been lost completely. According to The Economist, "the Svalbard vault is a backup for the world's 1,750 seed banks, storehouses of agricultural biodiversity."

Jul 23, 2014

The Constitution Says Congress Makes Law, Supreme Court Judges Law, President Executes That Law

Common Sense Commentary: Our U.S. Constitution Absolutely Requires that Congress make laws which are in harmony and do not violate the Constitution of this Republic. The Constitution also requires the Supreme Court to do one thing, protect Constitutional Law by judging every possible violation of Law which comes before it. That same Constitution demands that the President of this Republic execute (enforce) every word in Constitutional Law or passed by the Congress which align with the Constitution of The United States Of America. He has absolutely no power to overrule our Laws, change our Laws or make any Laws. He is the "Executive", the executor of the Law. Here is a video of House Representative from South Carolina, Trey Gowdy, demanding that the House live up to its trust and purpose and stop the President from ignoring the Laws of the Land and violating our Constitution. God bless this young U.S. Representative. We desperately need more like him.

This speech could be a difining moment for America.

March 13, 2014 –  Rep. Trey Gowdy  [R-SC] sponsor of the “Enforce the Law Act” [H.R. 4138]  gave an impassioned speech defending the need to stop Obama’s power grab. 

“President fails to faithfully execute the law… he makes the House a constitutional anomaly and an afterthought! “ Trey Gowdy
Click here:

Jul 22, 2014

Murder Rate Drops As Gun "Carry" Permits Rise

Common Sense Commentary: "None is so blind as he who will not see", applies to this issue as well as debates about aborting babies, fighting capital punishment, legalizing illegal drugs, homosexual marriage, subsidizing laziness, penalizing producers, open borders, forced acceptance of flawed healthcare, blatant Presidential violations of U.S. Constitution and many other disagreements between Conservative Constitutionalists and Liberal Socialists.

Murder rate drops as concealed 

carry permits rise, study claims

Fox News
A dramatic spike in the number of Americans with permits to carry concealed weapons coincides with an equally stark drop in violent crime, according to a new study, which Second Amendment advocates say makes the case that more guns can mean safer streets.
The study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that 11.1 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed weapons, up from 4.5 million in 2007. The 146 percent increase has come even as both murder and violent crime rates have dropped by 22 percent.
“When you allow people to carry concealed handguns, you see changes in the behavior of criminals," said the center’s president, John R. Lott, a Fox News contributor. “Some criminals stop committing crimes, others move on to crimes in which they don’t come into contact with victims and others actually move to areas where they have less fear of being confronted by armed victims.”
“When you allow people to carry concealed handguns, you see changes in the behavior of criminals."
- John R. Lott, Crime Prevention Research Center
Increasing gun ownership, litigation and new state laws have all contributed to the rise in concealed carry permits. In March, Illinois became the 50th state to begin issuing concealed weapons permits. But the cost and other requirements for obtaining the permits varies greatly, from South Dakota, where a permit requires $10, a background check and no training, to Illinois, where the cost of obtaining a permit comes to more than $600 when the fee and cost of training programs are taken into account.
Six states don’t require a permit for legal gun owners to conceal their weapons, and Lott notes those states have some of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation.
The real measure of the deterrent effect of concealed carry permits, according to Lott, is not laws on the books, but the percentage of a given state’s population that holds the permits. In 10 states, more than 8 percent of adults hold concealed carry permits, and all are among the states with the lowest crime rates. Lott claims his group’s analysis shows that each one percentage point increase in the adult population holding permits brings a 1.4 percent drop in the murder rate.
“We found that the size of the drop [in crime] is directly related to the percentage of the population with permits,” Lott said.
Between 2007 and the preliminary estimates for 2013, murder rates have fallen from 5.6 to 4.4 per 100,000.carr 
The report is the first tally of concealed carry permit holders since a survey in 2011 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that 8 million Americans held them.
The total of 11,113,013 Americans who currently hold concealed carry permits represents 4.8 percent of the total adult population. But the center stated that the number of concealed carry permit holders is likely much higher, because numbers are not available for all states that issue permits, such as New York. Additionally, four states and the majority of Montana do not require that residents have a concealed handgun permit to carry within the state, so the number of residents who carry a concealed weapon is not recorded.
Florida has the most active concealed carry permits, at nearly 1.3 million. Texas is second, at just more than 708,000, while Hawaii, at 183, has the fewest of states whose data was available.
Earlier this year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California must allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms in public, striking down the core of the state's permit system for handguns.  The judges found in a 2-1 holding that San Diego County’s rule that residents must show "good cause" -- and not merely the desire to protect themselves -- to obtain a concealed-weapons permit, violated their constitutional rights.
That ruling is awaiting an en banc review by the entire circuit.

Gun Violence by Kerby Anderson

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans believe that gun violence is greater than ever. The problem with that view is that the opposite is true. Violent gun crime has dropped dramatically in the past two decades.

The Pew report explains that: "National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime." Government statistics show that the rate of non-fatal violent gun crime victimization dropped 75 percent in the past 20 years. The gun homicide rate dropped 49 percent in that same period.

Most Americans are unaware of this drop in gun crime. According to the Pew survey, 56 percent of Americans believe gun crime is worse than it was 20 years ago. If you add in those people who believe it has stayed the same, then you have 84 percent who believe it has either gone up or stayed the same. Only 12 percent have the correct view: that gun violence has decreased the last 20 years.

Let's put it another way. At a time when the nation was having a debate about guns and gun control, more than 8 out of 10 Americans had a perspective about gun violence that was completely opposite of the true reality. I think we all know why the public perception is incorrect. The news media focus our attention on crimes, especially gun crimes. This has been true for some time, but was especially true since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The Pew Research report also puts these mass shootings in context. "According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics review, homicides that claimed at least three lives accounted for less the 1 percent of all homicide deaths from 1980 to 2008." In other words, they are very rare, but of course get lots of media attention when they occur.

This latest survey once again is a reminder that public opinion can often be wrong, and that's why we need accurate statistics before we enact government policies.

Jul 21, 2014

Planned Parenthood Caught Again ... On Video Encouraging Teens To Have BDSB Sex

Common Sense Commentary: Just another tax payer funded Sodom/Gomorrah agency operating from the pits of hell encouraging teen agers to participate in sadomasochism sex and every other kind of sex whenever and with whomever they please. Where is your backbone you quisling zeros who whine ... "I can't do anything about it". And, where is your brain, your soul, you idiots who approve of this sort of thing? You all know where the majority of each political party stands on Planned Parenthood. Every American adult can vote and campaign against Obama's followers... Liberal Congressmen and congresswomen who are standing behind him. You can be sure Hillary Clinton will follow Obama's example in supporting Planned Parenthood and every other Liberal cause. In the name of God, representing Him, get active in the Conservative political forces against these people. RB

(CNSNews.com) -- Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE)--which received more than $2.75 million in government funding in 2012--has produced and posted online a video specifically aimed at teenagers that promotes bondage and sadomasochism (BDSM) and proposes "rules" to follow when engaging in these activities. (Bondage, Dominance, Sadomasochism).“People sometimes think that those who practice BDSM are emotionally scarred or were once abused—not true, it’s a total myth," the host of the video, Laci Green, informs its intended audience of teens. "BDSM relies upon and creates trust," she says. 

(They do this openly but its even worse behind the scenes. The proof is in the video below. RB)

This will sicken you but not surprise you about Planned Parenthood.

Mark Election Day, Nov.4, on your calendar, as the most important day of the year for the next two years.  After that its too late. RB

Jul 20, 2014

The Miracle Of Israel Continues

Common Sense Commentary: It was a miracle that the Jews survived, intact as a nation without a land for over 1500 years, disbursed, scattered in every other nation throughout the world, hated and persecuted in every place. Yet they and their Judaistic religion survived the Dark Ages, centuries of anti-semitism and then the Holocaust ... and yet they remained Jews. It was a miracle when in 1948 the U.S. dominated United Nations carved out a land for the survivors in their original homeland, right in the middle of a billion Muslim enemies, and they survived. Muslim attack after attack was turned back and the Jews survived. It was a miracle that in constant defensive war and internal terrorism they managed to turn that bleak, rocky, dry, hilly, useless land  into a fertile, productive and technological wonder. How is it possible they could not only survive but build a strong nation? The only answer is... God..... by way of a long series of miracles.

Another miracle has been dropped from heaven 
upon that Biblical Holy Land ... Israel.

They have been a land totally without a national source of energy of their own. Every drop of fuel had to be imported from their neighbors  and arch enemies ... in the Muslim lands. An elder Jewish leader declared, "We followed Moses out of Egypt and he led us to the only place in the Middle East without any oil. The miracles continue ....  Unbelievable miracles have arrived upon the shores of Israel ... from the sea. First, a mammoth new natural gas discovery named Leviathan, off the coast of Israel, is said to contain 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas worth billions. It will not only supply all the fuel needs of that nation for the foreseeable future, but is so big they will be the entire region's largest exporter of NG for many decades to come with huge income. This is just one of the most recent miracles taking place in the Holy Land today. It is possible that this miracle of energy and income together with a following miracle of water, and other as yet unseen miracles of equal magnitude, will be the "hooks in the jaws" of the surrounding, aggressive and hateful enemies of Israel.
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Ezekiel 38:1-4.


The Holy Land has never been blessed with much rain

Other than Galilee, a sea of grace in a dry, rocky land, and the narrow Jordan river which flows into the Dead, Salton Sea, there is little water in the land of the Bible, Israel.  It has always been that way, throughout history, as testified to in these verses....
Ezekiel 37:4   Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. God was speaking of and to Israel.

Psalms 63:1   O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.  He, David, was in Israel.

Ezekiel 19:1&13   Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel .... And now she is planted in the wilderness, in dry and thirsty ground. God was speaking of Israel.

However, that Valley Of Dry Bones in that dry and thirsty land has been blessed with another miracle ... They have discovered an unlimited source of water at their doorstep ....

All the water needs of Israel will soon be supplied 
from a source as big as the Mediterranean Sea

ADAPTATION: Israel is creating a water surplus using desalination  (Friday, February 7, 2014)

Julia Pyper, E&E reporter

SEDE BOQER, Israel -- In the land of milk and honey, water has always been in short supply.

Researchers here have linked temperature rise and drought to migration patterns across this arid region dating back to biblical times. Now, for the first time in its history, Israel is on track to experience a water surplus.

SPECIAL SERIES image removed Israel, a largely arid country with a history of few natural resources, is experiencing a clean technology boom. This series explores how it is becoming a global market leader.

The tricky part is scaling up the chemistry and reducing the cost of separating salt from seawater.

The first major desalination plant in Israel opened in the southern city of Ashkelon in 2005. Since then, four more large-scale seawater desalination plants have come online, with additional capacity in the pipeline.

In the span of a decade, desalination has come to produce about 40 percent of Israel's water supply. On its current trajectory, Israel will have access to more than 600 million cubic meters of desalinated water per year by 2015, which amounts to more than half the country's total freshwater needs.

Desalination has led to a resource revolution in Israel, said Shlomo Wald, chief scientist at the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. "Now, Israel isn't always dependent on the mercy of God to give us rain," he said.

Drought's stress eases

For the last seven years, Israel has been in a severe drought. The country's largest freshwater resource, the Sea of Galilee, had been hovering around critical lows until the rains returned last year.

More abundant water may improve diplomacy with Arab neighbors While Israel's development of desalination has brought an end to years of living with water shortages, it is also opening doors for more peaceful collaboration with Israel's neighbors.

"In my opinion, it's a big future also for our neighbors," Shlomo Wald, chief scientist at the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, said of the desalination boom in an interview. "I think Israel is willing to assist Jordan, Egypt and even the Gaza Strip ... and hopefully in the future Syria and Lebanon.

"Water is a crucial commodity in this area. I think all our neighbors should look to this huge technological effort to make water more available to the region," he added.

In December, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian government in the West Bank signed a major agreement to share water resources through desalination. Water produced from a new desalination plant in Aqaba will be divided between Israel and Jordan. The brine waste product will be piped north to the highly saline Dead Sea, where water levels are dropping at a record pace.

Mekorot, Israel's water utility, will also sell up to 30 million cubic meters of desalinated water each year to the West Bank.

It's in Israel's interest to work with the Palestinians, "because morally it's not healthy to have a thirsty neighbor and politically it's not healthy to have a thirsty neighbor," said Eilon Adar, director of water research at Ben-Gurion University.

The Gaza Strip, home to roughly 1.7 million Palestinians, is also in need of new water supplies. Today, 90 to 95 percent of Gaza's sole water source is polluted, according to UNICEF. In addition, overuse and a drastic drop in rainfall have caused wells to dry out.

The United Nations has cautioned against withdrawing too much groundwater in Gaza and called for the use of seawater desalination as an alternate source of drinking water. Yousef Abu Mayla, water expert at Al Azhar University in Gaza, said the only way to end the water crisis and realize a desalination plant in Gaza would be to set aside political differences and focus on exchanging expertise.

"We need more water, we need clean water," he said. "Climate change in the area affects our water resources and their quality as well. We have a growing population, increasing demand for water for agricultural purposes, industrial drinking, for domestic use for drinking purposes. We have to meet all these requirements with a regional approach, with cooperation and coordination."

He added, "If we start to work together on water issues ... we can improve the situation between us, between the Palestinians and Israelis. We cannot wait for the political problems to be solved."

-- Julia Pyper

By increasing Israel's desalination capacity, water managers won't have to draw on natural resources for everyday usage, allowing the region's aquifers to finally recover, said Eilon Adar, director of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University.

In the 1960s, the thirst for water led Israelis to develop highly efficient drip irrigation systems. Today, Israel also treats and recycles more than 80 percent of household wastewater. Spain, which has the second-highest reclamation rate, recycles about 30 percent.

These long-standing practices, combined with desalination, have helped Israel "conquer the desert," Adar said, "rather than be pushed away by the desert."

Israel now has enough available water that the government has decided to curb production at four of the largest desalination plants. This year, the national water company Mekorot will buy 360 million cubic meters of desalinized seawater, just 70 percent of a total 510 million cubic meters of production capacity.

Desalinated water is expensive to make, and desalination plants are extremely capital-intensive to build. So why build them if they're not going to be fully used?

Climate change insurance policy

"It basically becomes an insurance policy against future extreme drought," said Reese Tisdale, president of Bluefield Research, a U.S.-based water sector research group. It's not a question of when drought will strike again, he said, but how soon.

Climate models predict Israel will see a continued decrease in available water resources through 2035. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development anticipates that Israel will see a decrease in precipitation and that water supplies will drop at least 25 percent as early as 2070.

"One thing about plants in Israel -- and I think this is in defense of plants being installed -- is that they may have plenty of water now, but the expectation is either drought is going to return or there will at least be some volatility," Tisdale said.

Water shortages aren't unique to the Middle East. As populations grow and temperatures rise, demand for fresh water will spike across the globe. For many communities, survival may depend on the ability to economically produce fresh water from the sea.

Israeli expertise could play a vital role in expanding water access. Despite its small size, Israel ranks next to the United States and Singapore as a desalination market leader, according to Tisdale.

"Israel is the heart of know-how in desalination worldwide," Wald said of the water and energy ministry. "We don't manufacture the membranes, we don't manufacture the pumps. But the engineering and the way a desalination plant should be designed and built, I think, the international hub is here in Israel."

Selling to China and the U.S.

Energy is the No. 1 driver of cost in desalination. Due in part to Israel's own resource constraints, Israeli companies have come to offer some of the cheapest desalinated water in the world -- about 60 cents per cubic meter.

The establishment of reverse osmosis desalination, which is less energy-intensive than the traditional method of using heat, has helped cut desalination costs across the board. Reverse osmosis works using semipermeable membranes to remove salt from water. Today's membranes are 20 times more efficient and one-fifth the cost of the first membranes tested in the 1950s.

image removed Sorek, the world's largest seawater reverse osmosis plant, meets 20 percent of Israel's urban water needs. Photo courtesy of IDE Technologies. IDE Technologies, one of Israel's most prominent desalination companies, has developed ways to further cut costs by using fewer pumps and energy recovery devices. At Israel's Ashkelon desalination plant, for instance, IDE spearheaded a method of generating power by using high-pressure brine to help rotate the pump motor. A standard turbine can recover about 80 percent of input energy; this process boosts energy recovery to 96 percent.

IDE has built three of Israel's five largest desalination plants, including the Sorek project that meets 20 percent of Israel's municipal water needs. IDE has also built China's largest desalination plant and is building the largest desalination plant in the United States: a $1 billion facility in Carlsbad, Calif.

Energy recovery technology used at the Carlsbad plant, set to come online in 2016, will save $12 million in annual energy costs. Energy savings will also cut greenhouse gas emissions to the tune of taking 8,500 passenger vehicles off the road for one year. Through additional mitigation steps, the plant is expected to reach carbon neutrality.

"Each project that you do ... you think is the end of ends and no one could get more efficient than that," said Avshalom Felber, CEO of IDE Technologies. "And then you yourself come up with another innovation."

True Story Of A Grouchy Old Man And His Faithful Old Dog

Common Sense Commentary: Is a dog "Man's best friend"? No, that would be Jesus, your mate, your children, or a ... well, a friend. But there is good reason for that old adage about dogs. Other than Jesus, there are few, and often no friends as faithful to you as your dog. Even very small dogs will attack someone threatening his master. Humans will give up on you when you continue to let them down, but a dog will endure every kind of abuse and still remain faithful to you. People often practically starve a dog to death or keep him on a short chain all day every day, but the dog still loves them. Would you love someone who did that to you? If I had a friend who did that to a dog, they would either stop it or I would dump them as a friend ... but the dog wouldn't. Please don't, in an emotional moment, get a dog and then keep it in a box or on a short leash. You have no business having a dog if they don't have either the run of the house, for a small dog, or the yard for a bigger dog. If God cares about animals, we certainly should. He said, "For every beast of the forest is  mine...." Psm.50:10. So your dog is actually God's, so don't abuse him. Your dog is only on loan to you. God also cautioned us to be kind to our animals. "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast ...." Prov.12:10. That verse infers that if you mistreat your animal, you are unrighteous. RB

This is a True story, by Catherine Moore, about her dad and his dog.

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving”.

My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing.

At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust.

Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue.

Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind.

But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain.

Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article".

I listened as she read. The article described a remarkable study done at a          nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had proved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a Questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons---too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed.

Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hip bones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad !" I said excitedly.

Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it". Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!"

Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw.

Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw, confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews          reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life.

And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it".

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article. Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter, his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father, and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama or petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live While You Are Alive. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

God answers our prayers in His time---not ours.