Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Homeless. Do We Even Look? Are You Sure?

This should leave a bit of a lump in your throat. I know it did me.   :(


If a family member posed as a homeless person, would you recognize him or her?

That’s the question a new campaign — Make Them Visible — is asking. In a video produced by ad agency Silver + Partners and Smuggler for the New York City Rescue Mission, several people come face-to-face with their relatives and significant others dressed as homeless people. However, not a single participant recognizes their mother, brother or wife.

“There’s only one person that didn’t make it into the film — because they couldn’t handle the fact that they walked by their family,” video director Jun Diaz of Smuggler production company told Fast Company. “It happened every time.”

The jarring social experiment, staged in Tribeca and Soho near the mission’s shelter, shows just how invisible homeless people are to pedestrians on the street.

“We don’t look at them. We don’t take a second look,” Michelle Tolson, director of public relations for the New York City Rescue Mission, told The Huffington Post.

Tolson explained that the ad agency and production company hired actors for a documentary video and quietly contacted each person’s family to see if they would be interested in being apart of the social experiment. While the family members were in on the ruse, the participants had no idea they were being set up, and only learned after the fact when they watched themselves walk past their “homeless” family member.

“The experiment is a powerful reminder that the homeless are people, just like us, with one exception,” Craig Mayes, executive director of New York City Rescue Mission, said in a statement provided to HuffPost. “They are in trouble and in pain. And they are someone’s uncle or cousin or wife.”

Watch how each person reacts after the big reveal in Make Them Visible’s video above.


PS, The NYC Rescue Mission is a personal Charity I’ve supported for over 25 yrs. Just happened upon this vid and thought you may like it. Here is a brief bio of the joint and link for more info.   Thanks. Steve

The New York City Rescue Mission, America’s First Rescue Mission, has had the same goal since 1872: to provide hope, food, clothing and shelter to people in crisis in New York City.

Founded by Jerry and Maria McAuley, New York City Rescue Mission has been serving the city since 1872.

h/t Digg

Hollywood job loss increased 19% in 2 years


Dave McNary reports for Variety, Sept. 10, 2014, that preliminary statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show a steady erosion of jobs in the motion picture and sound industries.

Employment in those two industries has dropped to 298,000 in August — marking the first time in the past decade that the number has dropped below 300,000. To better understand the 298,000 jobs, that figure is:

  • 8% decline from a year ago when total employment in the motion picture and sound industries was 324,600 jobs.
  • 19% decline from 2 years ago when total employment was 366,300 jobs in August 2012.

Hollywood’s declining employment will continue. On Sept. 4, Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara told the studio’s 8,000 employees that layoffs were coming at every level.

The industry has been hit by a sharp decline in domestic box office, with summer business generating the poorest total in eight years. Additionally, production incentives outside the U.S. have continue to lure producers to use international locations.

The BLS stats showed that average hourly earnings of $29.20 in July for all employees and $23.71 for non-supervisory employees.

The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) statistics for 2012 — the most recent period covered by the industry group — asserted that the industry supports a total of 1.9 million direct and indirect jobs for a total of $111 billion in total wages in 2012, with the direct jobs generating $46 billion in wages, and an average salary 43% higher than the national average. “There were over 293,000 jobs in the core business of producing, marketing, manufacturing, and distributing motion pictures and television shows,” the MPAA said. “These are high quality jobs, with an average salary of $86,500, 76% higher than the average salary nationwide.

The MPAA estimates that there were nearly 360,000 jobs in related businesses that distribute motion pictures and TV shows to consumers. The “indirect” jobs include caterers, dry cleaners, florists, hardware and lumber suppliers, and digital equipment suppliers. This also includes jobs in other fields that do business with consumers, such as DVD and Blu-ray retailers and employees at theme parks and tourist attractions.

I read some of the 259 comments on this article on Variety. The comment below is representative:

Kim says:

I think folks are tired of going to the movies and having liberal agendas shoved down their throats instead of entertainment. Hollywood has alienated a huge segment of America that simply does not agree and the box office reflects that..

Bear in mind that Hollywood employment is plummeting DESPITE the 20% tax cut “the entertainment industry” has enjoyed since the 1950s.

And they want more: A bill in Sacramento will increase California’s “incentives” for Hollywood from the current $100 million to $400 million a year. (See DCG’s post on this, here.)

See also:


Foreign jihadists: countries of origin and why they join

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

Click chart to enlarge

ISIS jihadists

Excerpts from The Economist, Aug. 30, 2014:

The Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence outfit, reckons that by the end of May as many as 12,000 fighters from 81 nations had joined the fray [Islamic State], among them some 3,000 from the West (see chart above). The number today is likely to be a lot higher. Since IS declared a caliphate on June 29th, recruitment has surged.Syria has drawn in fighters faster than in any past conflict, including the Afghan war in the 1980s or Iraq after the Americans invaded in 2003. [...]

Most Western fighters are men under 40, but this war has attracted more women than past causes. Some 10-15% of those travelling to Syria from some Western countries are female, reckons Peter Neumann of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), a London-based think-tank. As many as 30…

View original 1,114 more words

A bit more on Juneteenth

Sorry Ben Carson, Bill Cosby and Allan West. Your heroic efforts to lead us have fallen down, due to the unmitigated ignorance of people like this crowd in Tennessee.



Late on Saturday night, a mob of black teens swarmed a Kroger grocery store in Memphis, Tennessee and proceeded to beat two store employees and one customer to the ground.

 – 7 Sep 2014

Read the story at:

These actions could give new life to the Ku Klux Klan. If that happens, these thugs can blame themselves.

Healthy and Fit at Any Age


Is time toxic? Must the human body inevitably decline?

I understand that God intends for all of us to one day pass over the veil and reap our Heavenly reward, however I find it hard to believe that He would create a defective product, designed to fall apart for no other reason than the passing of time. Perhaps the aging process is something we contribute to ourselves.

I’ve heard health and fitness described as a three-legged stool consisting of exercise, nutrition, and rest. If all three legs are sturdy, the stool remains strong. Remove or weaken one leg and the stool topples over. That’s a good analogy, but I would make it a four legged stool with the addition of our emotional/spiritual state.

In fact, you could make a good case that our emotional/spiritual state contributes more to health and fitness than the other three legs combined. Here are some examples I’ve observed:

I worked with a girl in her mid-20’s; very pretty with a wide-eyed curiosity about the world. She got married and I didn’t see her for two years. During that time she went through a devastating divorce. When I next saw her I was shocked at how much she’d aged. She looked 10-15 years older and all of her innocence about the world was gone.

Another girl I worked with, also in her mid-20’s, was extremely attractive, but she wore a perpetual scowl and was always angry, usually about men. She got pregnant and entered into a two-year-long custody battle with the child’s father. A year after that, she was pregnant again, by a different guy, and the same thing happened. Over a four year period, she aged a good 10-12 years. Her bitterness literally aged her.

On the male side, I had two friends, both young men in their thirties and early forties. Each went through a divorce and suddenly they both had gray hair. In two years they were both dead. Another young man I worked with was laid off after a dozen years on the job. Nobody else would hire him and he turned to drugs. He’s dead now, too.

Stress and negative emotions are crippling to the body. Jesus’s advice to forgive your neighbor is actually good for our immune system. So the first leg in our quest for health and fitness is to de-stress, avoid negative people and situations, and practice positive thinking. One of the best ways to do this is to turn to God. Prayer, reading the Bible, reading religious books and material, reading Joan’s biographies of the saints, all of these are beneficial to our health and appearance. And don’t forget humor. Laughter is one of the best stress-busters.

The second leg in the quest for health and fitness is exercise. I’ve been an avid weight-lifter since I was fourteen, but I’ve recently discovered that when the body has to balance an external weight it causes the spine to compress. I’ve found that better and safer results can be obtained through bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, bodyweight squats, one-legged squats, isometrics, etc. Exercise is an individual thing, so find what works best for you, and adhere to the three “F’s”: Fast, Fun, and eFFective.

Our third leg, nutrition, is also an individual fit. Some people function best as vegetarians, some as carnivores, and others on a mixed diet. The one thing that almost all healthy people, whether meat eaters or vegetarians, have in common is an avoidance of junk food, processed food, and fast food. Next to extreme emotional states, I believe the one factor that causes people to age more than any other is consuming processed foods and drinks. You know what I’m talking about. Basically anything that comes in a wrapper, bag, can, or box. Cereal, soda, beer, cookies, candy, frozen food, fast food (which is all shipped frozen), potato chips, canned food, etc., etc., etc. The chemicals in these items wreak havoc on the skin and immune system.

The fourth leg, rest, seems like it should be the easiest, but in this day and age very few of us are able to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. Heck, most of us have trouble getting six hours. I know I do. If you’re in the same boat, do what you can to catch little naps or even just brief moments of quiet time. Listening to classical music is not a substitute for sleep, but it relaxes the body.

By adhering to the four legs of health and fitness — exercise, nutrition, rest, and a positive emotional/spiritual state — there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to maintain a strong, supple, and fully functioning body no matter what our age. Unless, of course, God sends us an illness. But that’s a subject for another time.

Coming your way: A fee to fill pot holes

Ravenous for revenue, spendthrift governments will raise your taxes and also turn to other avenues to raise cash, such as charging fees for doing what governments already are paid to do.

In China, corrupt local governments charge residents with hundreds of fees, including fees for catching rats and for the light bulbs in street lights.

In the United States, citizens of Duluth, Minnesota just discovered a new street improvement fee in their August utility bills. The street fee now joins other utility fees of water, sewer, storm water and street lights, which can total nearly $50 a month.

And those fees are on top of residents’ property taxes, which should lead one to ask what exactly property taxes are for.

Duluth-crosswalk-workDuluth’s residential households pay $5 a month for street repair

Tom Steward writes for, Sept. 2, 2014, that the city of Duluth charges 24,200 residential customers $5 per month and 3,800 commercial customers $40 to $240 a month to fill potholes and repair cracks. Duluth even charges nonprofits for the curbside upkeep outside their doors.

The new street repair fee is expected to raise about $3 million per year. The city had considered raising property taxes about 30% over two years to fund road repairs before going in the direction of a street utility fee.

Duluth needs to fill a $16 million financial pothole left over from previous street upgrades. Compound that overdue bill with the Fond Du-Luth downtown tribal casino pulling the plug on $6 million in annual payments, which had gone for street work.

One of three City Council members opposing the street utility calls it a “casino revenue replacement fee” that will further stifle economic development and raise the cost of living. Howard Hanson, a council member who’s proposed a city-owned casino to make up the lost revenue, said, “I’m told owners of multiple properties, in particular, a restaurant group in Duluth, is paying upwards of $20,000 a year for this new tax. And that’s driving up the cost of our goods and services.”

Even city councilors supporting the fee acknowledge its broad unpopularity. “Most of what I’m hearing from people is, ‘Don’t do it, we don’t like it, find a different way,’ and it’s hard to come up with a different way,” Barb Russ said before voting for the street fund at the city council’s June 23 meeting.

Worse still, the new street fee won’t be the last.

Already, the Duluth City Council is thinking of more taxes and fees.

City councilor Emily Larson said next year when the new street fee comes up for reauthorization, there’ll be a virtual menu of local taxes on the table. Larson said at the decisive June meeting, ”Maybe that can include a local gas tax or a wheelage tax, maybe it could include a dedicated quarter percent sales tax. There are other options that we can and should be pursuing. In the meantime, this gets us one very small step forward.”

Jim Booth, a financial planner who’s running for county commissioner, said, “Government has to start living within its means, instead of this thinking that we have an unlimited amount of money. We don’t. And it’s exactly the people the politicians say they’re watching out for — the low- and moderate-income people — that they’re hurting.”

I wonder how many illegals from the ongoing “border surge” has the Duluth city government ​​blithely accepted?​


Dogs Left Behind





In his USA Today column, Jonah Goldberg exposes a national disgrace I was completely unaware of, one that is almost too heartbreaking to comprehend: the United State military sometimes reclassifies combat dogs as “equipment” and abandons them to languish in shelters overseas in war zones.

Other than the fact that combat dogs save an average of 150 American lives during their service, these living creatures form strong emotional attachments to the men assigned to them. But when their time is up — when they become too old, combat fatigued or shall-shocked to be useful in combat — rather than transport them home for adoption, they are sometimes heartlessly abandoned…

Read story at

How might the memory of this abandonment be affecting our veterans who were forced to ignore the plight of their dogs? ~ TD 

See also: – H/t Dr. Eowyn 

See also: – H/t Dr. Eowyn