Sunday, November 27, 2011

RFID, another reason to hate it.

Howdy folks,
Well anyone who knows me and my faith in Jesus Christ knows I'm not a fan of RFID technology. Sure in the right hands it could be useful and beneficial to some, but I FIRMLY believe the risks it carries to our freedom out weighs any benefits it might have. I'm specifically thinking about Rev. 13:6 but this video also shows other issues.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beneficial foraging books

The opening paragraphs are designed to assist others avoid some of the pit falls I made in purchasing wild food literature. You can skip this and go directly to the individual book reviews if you choose. Please note that this review is of multiple wild food books. I prefer authors that work with the plants they are writing about, and don't just repeat things they read from another book (yes some wild food authors actually do that). I also prefer books with good descriptions, lots of photos of each plant to make identification easier, and to cover the plant from identification to the plate. That's my bias, here is my review.

I'm just a guy who likes to forage and enjoys the learning and nutritional aspect of wild foods. My main purpose for writing this review of multiple wild food books on one review is to assist others coming to wild foods for the first time (like I was three years ago), and to hopefully help them avoid some of the easily avoided pit falls I made in the literature I chose. At first I wanted books with the most plants in it for my money. It made sense to me at the time but ended up being a grave mistake. Books that devote one picture and a brief explanation to a plethera of plants helped me identify some plants in one stage of growth, but did next to nothing that would have allowed me to use them as food. Example, most books will show you one picture of the adult plant. Many times that's not when you want to harvest it. No one would eat a bannana that was over ripe and pure black and call banana's in general inedible due to that experience. Yet many who have sampled a dandelion have done exactly that. As I've learned from John Kallas, one has to have the right part of the plant (this includes proper identification of the plant), the plant has to be at the right stage of growth, and it has to be prepared properly. If you can't do those three things you shouldn't be sticking the plant in your mouth. Now on to the individual books.

Wild Edible Plants By John Kallas: 6 stars because it deserves more than 5

Instead of having hundreds of plants with one picture and one paragraph of information Kallas gives you less plants in far more detail and unmatched photography. If I could give this book to everyone in the United States I would as it is the best book I have found on the market. His descriptions of the plants are spot on and easy to read, his multiple full color pictures of each plant covered are the best I've seen in wild food literature, and he covers each plant from seedling to the dinner plate in stunning detail. If I could only own one book on wild edible foods this would be the one. No book can give you everything you need as a forager. That being said John does a superb job of plant selection in that most people in north america will be able to find all these plants within a mile of their home. For a guy taking care of two children under 3 years of age this book allowed me to forage while staying close to home. Consider this a must own. John also runs wild food adventures in Portland Oregon which offers wild food instruction in that area.

Nature's Garden By Samuel Thayer: 5.2 stars the second must own, and it too deserves more than 5 stars.

If I could only own two wild food books this would be the second one on my shelf next to John Kallas book. The section on Oaks and acorns are worth the price of the book by it self let alone the numerous other plants in it. Mr. Thayer uses color photographs at various stages of growth just like Kallas does. After you own Kallas book you will be hooked and Nature's Garden is the next logical progression in your journey. Other reviewers have covered Sam's brilliant rebutal to Jon Krakauer's propagandist poison plant fable of how Chris McCandless died. Chris died of starvation not a poisonous plant. Sam actually has this section of the book posted on his website for viewing (go to foragersharvest dot com), and is worth reading even if you don't buy the book. I really benefited from Sam's sections on the different wild lettuces, elderberries, thistles, and many others. On top of that Sam has the most engaging writing style of all the wild food authors I've encountered. Not only are his pictures only second to those of Kallas, his descriptions are spot on, and reading his books are like reading one of your favorite novels.

Foragers Harvest By Samuel Thayer 5 stars

I prefer Thayer's Nature's Garden over this book for my area. That being said I can't really say anything bad about this book. Good descriptions, excellent pictures at various stages of growth, good selection of plants, and done with accuracy. This book was to my knowledge the first of it's kind back when it was released back in the mid 2000's. To my knowledge it was the best book on the market then, and has only been surpassed by his follow up book Nature's Garden and Kallas Wild Edible Plants. Being the first book in this motif it (unjustly I might add) received numerous attacks by a few disgruntled souls on amazons book review section. One must remember Thayer was revolutionary in this field when he released this book, and people had a hard time adjusting. As my friend Stephen T. McCarthy once posted, "All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Well anyone who has used Sams books should understand the advantage of covering less plants in more detail than covering many plants with little to no detail like the over-hyped gimmick books that litter the wild food market do. I few things I really liked about this book include (but are not limited to): descriptions and photographs on cat tail, wapato, service berry, stinging and wood nettle. The canning section is solid for the beginning forager like I am. This in my opinion still fits the must own catagory.

Euell Gibbons, Stalking the Wild Asparagus 4.5 stars

Line drawings that are OK. Descriptions of the plants are excellent. Recipes are added by the author, plus his enthusiasm and good nature jump out at you through the page. I mostly use this book in conjunction with other books, and I never use it for it's photographs or line drawings. Not that their bad. Just not enough for a total novice in my opinion. Now his descriptions are excellent and should not be ignored.

Nancy J. Turner, "Food Plants Of Coastal First Peoples" and "Food Plants of Interior First Peoples" I'll give it 5 stars for ethnobotany and 4 stars as a foraging book.

If you live in the pacific northwest these books are MUST HAVES. A thorough grouping of the plants used by native americans for food in the pacific northwest. Why I only give it 4 stars is that it is essentially put in a field guide format which is very limiting when trying to use a plant for food. Plus while Turner is the queen of plants and uses in the pacific northwest, you'll only get a tenth of what she knows on any given plant. Kallas and Thayer go into much more detail, have numerous pictures, and lead their readers toward success. With Turner you'll get one good picture in one stage of growth. Through experience I've found that just isn't good enough. She does have more plants in her books than Kallas and Thayer but when you cover them in less detail that is to be expected. To be fair to Nancy I don't get the impression that these were designed specifically for foragers. All this being said I own them and wouldn't give them back if you paid me double what I paid for them.

Linda Runyan, The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide 3.8 stars, a good book.

Well first I do have some issues with this book: I'm not fond of the line drawings or black and white photos, she does edibility tests on wild foods and discovered many of them that way (which I'm not a fan of), and some of her descriptions are lacking in my opinion. All that being said she cans her wild foods, dries them for winter use, and lives off of wild edibles all year long successfully. She shares a lot of this knowledge with the reader in this book, and being a nurse myself I'm also able to relate to her thinking in a lot of ways. Plus her stories of using cat tail fluff as stuffing for a couch only to find out that it was infested with insect eggs was hilarious. She tells you all the mistakes she made so you don't have to repeat them. She will tell you to use two other good field guides along with hers. I would plan on not using hers at all for the pictures. I have issues with her lack of oversight on the pictures. I'm sure some will disagree but when Linda tells you in her video (by the same name) that her chickweed picture isn't very good it does bring to mind credibility questions.

Edible Wild Plants a North American Field Guide, by Elias and Dykemann. 3.5 stars

At one point in my very early stages I thought this book was the bomb. However, I would identify a plant, find it at times accidentally for the most part, and go "now what?" And that is the weakness of the field guide format in wild food literature (Thayer and Kallas do so much more for you). This book is almost the opposite of Linda Runyans in some ways. She doesn't give you good pictures but gives you some good details on what to do with the plant after you find it. This book gives you some good pitures, a brief description, and then says "your on your own kid." In Samuel Thayers "Foragers Harvest" he gives great descriptions between wood nettle and stinging nettle (both are edible when properly prepared). Thayer also happened to point out that this book actually has a picture of wood nettle and call it stinging nettle. I checked up on this, and lo and behold he was right. They have two pictures and one is wood nettle and one is stinging nettle. They are both listed as stinging nettle in the book. This tells me that the authors might not know all the plants as well as they should. Don't get me wrong I still like the book. But it does prove that wild food authors don't always use or know the plants their writing about.

Honorable mention goes to "Abundantly Wild" By Teresa Marrone. It is a wild food cook book. The pictures in the book are not great (though oddly beat many of the photos in supposed field guides) but I have read a few of the recipes and they look promising. I'll write a review about a year from now once I've put the book to the test. Until then I'll let you read the reviews on this book and make up your own mind.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Arrested for feeding the homeless??????

Below is an article I found about police in Florida arresting those who want to feed the homeless. That's right folks. They got arrested for feeding the homeless. Not robbing a bank, not rape, not murder, not assault. No, just feeding homeless people. I'll comment further after you read the article which was found at this site:,0,7226362.story

By Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel

1:33 p.m. EDT, June 2, 2011
Members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday when police said they violated a city ordinance by feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park.

Jessica Cross, 24, Benjamin Markeson, 49, and Jonathan "Keith" McHenry, 54, were arrested at 6:10 p.m. on a charge of violating the ordinance restricting group feedings in public parks. McHenry is a co-founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which began in the early 1980s.

The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall.

Arrest papers state that Cross, Markeson and McHenry helped feed 40 people Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to feedings of more than 25 people.

"They intentionally violated the statute," said Lt. Barbara Jones, an Orlando police spokeswoman.

Police waited until everyone was served to make the arrests, said Douglas Coleman, speaking for Orlando Food Not Bombs.

"They basically carted them off to jail for feeding hungry people," said Coleman, who was not present. "For them to regulate a time and place for free speech and to share food, that is unacceptable."

Orlando Food Not Bombs has been feeding the homeless breakfast on Mondays for several years and dinner on Wednesdays for five years.

Police had not enforced the ordinance while the court battle continued. The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled that city rules regulating how often large groups of people can be fed in a park do not violate the Constitution.

The penalty for violating Orlando's ordinance is 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.

Arrest documents state that Orlando Food Not Bombs received permits and fed more than 25 homeless people at Lake Eola Park on May 18 and 23. Coleman said the group rejected the permits.

On May 25, Orlando Food Not Bombs illegally fed a large group of homeless people, the police report states. The group on its website called for members to show up that day and defy the city ordinance, according to the report.

Officers said they found a press release on Markeson when they arrested him stating that group members planned to defy the ordinance Wednesday.

Bail was set at $250 for each person arrested. Cross and Markeson were released from jail early

Thursday. McHenry wants to stay in jail and let the legal process take its course, Coleman said. or 407-540-5981

So I just have to leave a parting comment. First Susan Jacobson wrote a nice story. I don't know the political views of these groups who fed these people but I do know they shouldn't be arrested for doing it. I read an article in the new american one time concerning a women in what I believe was 1950's Russia. She harvested her last onion. Her husband just died of starvation and her children were soon to follow. The government arrested her for not turning the onion over to the state. Oh you read that right. Granted the people in Orlando might not have been anywhere close to dying at this time, but they very well could be in the future if were arresting people for giving food to their fellow man. Regardless, this article should give everyone pause.

Monday, March 7, 2011

American education or Americoned education

Having young children trying to find a real educational system for my children is of dire importance. This article went a long way to assisting me along my journey.

The below article was found at this link:

Written by Sam Blumenfeld
Monday, 06 December 2010 12:13

Many parents wonder why American primary schools don’t teach children to read in the proper phonetic manner. The answer is that high literacy is not part of the system’s social or academic agenda. Neither is good cursive handwriting and basic arithmetic. Have you noticed the decline in handwriting? I recently gave a birthday gift to a 13-year-old boy, and got back a thank-you note written in chicken scratches. He had attended the public schools of an affluent suburban community.

Now, of course, if you ask any primary public-school teacher whether or not he or she teaches phonics, they will all say they do. But the kind of phonics they teach is not the intensive, systematic kind that produces a fluent, independent phonetic reader. What they teach are phonetic clues to be used in the context of a Whole Language program that teaches children to read by the sight method.

Ask that same teacher if he or she teaches a sight-vocabulary. If the answer is yes, then you know that they are not teaching phonics in the proper way. In fact, they are teaching the child to look at our alphabetic words as Chinese characters, or little mind-pictures. Once that mode of looking at words becomes automatic, the child becomes dyslexic, that is, unable to see the phonetic structure of our printed words.

Now where did this atrocious methodology come from? It didn’t come from outer space, nor was it the result of accident. It came from an agenda developed back at the turn of the last century by some of the most intelligent men in America.

It started in the 1890s, when the Progressives began working on a new socialist agenda for the public schools that would promote collectivism through a new curriculum programmed to turn children away from individualism.

Who were the Progressives? They were members of the Protestant academic elite who no longer believed in the religion of their fathers. They now put their faith in science, evolution and psychology. Science explained the material world. Evolution explained the origin of living matter, and psychology provided a new scientific way of understanding and controlling human behavior.

But what about the problems of evil and sin? As socialists they rejected the biblical explanation and instead believed that evil was caused by ignorance, poverty, and social injustice. Socialism, they were convinced, would eliminate all three causes of evil.

And so they embarked on a Progressive education crusade that would prove they were right and Bible believers were wrong. Education would eliminate ignorance, which would then eliminate poverty, which in turn would do away with social injustice.

The first step in their crusade was to change the way children were being taught in the primary schools. The emphasis on teaching reading had to be replaced with an emphasis on collectivist socialization. John Dewey, the philosophical leader of the Progressives, explained it all quite openly in an article he authored in 1898 entitled “The Primary School Fetich.” He wrote:

The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.

A perversion, mind you. To get rid of this so-called perversion he advocated using a new way of teaching reading that would turn children into little collectivists. That new method turned out to be the sight or look-say method that teaches children to read English as if it were an ideographic writing system like Chinese. To him the emphasis on learning to read phonetically in the primary grades was a perversion. And because Dewey knew that this view would be considered dangerously radical by parents and traditional teachers, he wrote:

Change must come gradually. To force it unduly would compromise its final success by favoring a violent reaction. What is needed in the first place, is that there should be a full and frank statement of conviction with regard to the matter from physiologists and psychologists and from those school administrators who are conscious of the evils of the present regime.

In other words, deceiving parents became a necessary part of the plan if the socialists were to succeed in its implementation. And psychologists, of whom Dewey was one, would be used to carry out this elaborate conspiracy of deception. Dewey then wrote:

There are already in existence a considerable number of educational “experiment stations,” which represent the outposts of educational progress. If these schools can be adequately supported for a number of years they will perform a great vicarious service.

Indeed, Dewey himself conducted such an experimental school at the University of Chicago, and the book he wrote about that experiment, The School and Society, became the bible of Progressive Education and the basis of early 20th century school reform.

And so, the major work of reform would not be done just by educators, but by psychologists, who found in education a lucrative source of support for their profession.

The new behavioral psychology was born in the laboratories of Professor Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig. His two American students, G. Stanley Hall (1844-1924) and James McKeen Cattell (1860-1944), came back to America anxious to apply scientific psychology to American education. Hall became a professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University where he taught the new psychology to his student John Dewey. He later founded Clark University. Cattell introduced mental testing in education as part of the new scientific racism called Eugenics. He later founded the Psychological Corporation.

But it was Edward L. Thorndike (1874-1949) who, after studying psychology under William James at Harvard, went on to become the chief implementer of behavioral psychology in American education. At Harvard he had studied the learning behavior of chickens by using the reinforcement technique, which he later decided should be used to teach children.

After his book, Animal Intelligence, was published in 1898, he became a leading light at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. His much celebrated stimulus-response (SR) technique of teaching children, based on animal training, now dominates American education. He wrote in 1928:

Our experiments on learning in the lower animals have probably contributed more to knowledge of education per hour or per unit of intellect spent, than experiments on children…. The best way with children may often be, in the pompous words of an animal trainer, “to arrange everything in connection with the trick so that the animal will be compelled by the laws of his own nature to perform it.”

In short, American children were to be taught in the public schools as if they were little animals. Of course, there is a great difference between humans and animals. Animals can be trained but they can’t be educated. Humans, on the other hand, can be both trained and educated because they are born with brains that are far superior to anything animals are born with. But to Thorndike and his behaviorist colleagues, man’s brain is just a bit more evolved than the brains of the apes. And if you don’t believe that God made man in His own image, that is, with the ability to speak language and use his intellect, then you will believe Thorndike and treat children like animals.

Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of nine books on education including NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, The Whole Language/OBE Fraud, and The Victims of Dick & Jane and Other Essays. Of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, former U.S. Senator Steve Symms of Idaho said: “Every so often a book is written that can change the thinking of a nation. This book is one of them.” Mr. Blumenfeld’s columns have appeared in such diverse publications as Reason, The New American, The Chalcedon Report, Insight, Education Digest, Vital Speeches, WorldNetDaily, and others

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SV40. Polio, and cancer.

Wikipedia has been very helpful from time to time. Here is what it says about SV40 virus found in monkeys. Important to know since this virus was mistakenly transmitted to humans through the polio vaccines of the 1950's and 1960's. Here is what Wikipedia reports.

"The virus was first identified in 1960 in cultures of rhesus monkey kidney cells that were being used to produce polio vaccine. It was named for the effect it produced on infected green monkey cells, which developed an unusual number of vacuoles. The complete viral genome was sequenced by Walter Fiers and his team at the University of Ghent (Belgium) in 1978.[2] The virus is dormant and is asymptomatic in Rhesus monkeys. The virus has been found in many macaque populations in the wild, where it rarely causes disease. However, in monkeys that are immunodeficient—due to, for example, infection with Simian immunodeficiency virus—SV40 acts much like the human JC and BK polyomaviruses, producing kidney disease and sometimes a demyelinating disease similar to PML. In other species, particularly hamsters, SV40 causes a variety of tumors, generally sarcomas. In rats, the oncogenic SV40 Large T-antigen was used to establish a brain tumor model for PNETs and medulloblastomas.[3]

The molecular mechanisms by which the virus reproduces and alters cell function were previously unknown, and research into SV40 vastly increased biologists' understanding of gene expression and the regulation of cell growth."

Wikipedia goes on,

"Soon after its discovery, SV40 was identified in the injected form of the polio vaccine produced between 1955 and 1961. This is believed to be due to kidney cells from infected monkeys being used to amplify the vaccine virus during production. Both the Sabin vaccine (oral, live virus) and the Salk vaccine (injectable, killed virus) were affected; the technique used to inactivate the polio virus in the Salk vaccine, by means of formaldehyde, did not reliably kill SV40.

It was difficult to detect small quantities of virus until the advent of PCR; since then, stored samples of vaccine made after 1962 have tested negative for SV40, but no samples prior to 1962 could be found. Thus, although over 10 million people received the potentially contaminated batches of vaccine, there is no way to know whether they were exposed to the virus, and if so, whether it was in a quantity and by a route that would cause infection. It is also unknown how widespread the virus was among humans before the 1950s, though one study found that 12% of a sample of German medical students in 1952 had SV40 antibodies. Although horizontal transmission between people has been proposed, is not clear if this actually happens and if it does, how frequently it occurs.[14]

An analysis presented at the Vaccine Cell Substrate Conference in 2004[15] suggested that vaccines used in the former Soviet bloc countries, China, Japan, and Africa, could have been contaminated up to 1980, meaning that hundreds of millions more could have been exposed to the virus unknowingly."

Having read books on this subject I can tell you that the SV40 virus can pass from generation to generation. Meaning, if the father got it from the vaccine he could give the virus to his children. SV40 virus infected the polio vaccine due to the fact they used to breed the virus in monkey kidneys. Lets turn back to wikipedia.

"Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive type of primary brain tumor in humans, involving glial cells and accounting for 52% of all parenchymal brain tumor cases and 20% of all intracranial tumors. Despite being the most prevalent form of primary brain tumor, GBMs occur in only 2–3 cases per 100,000 people in Europe and North America. According to the WHO classification of the tumors of the central nervous system‎, the standard name for this brain tumor is "glioblastoma"; it presents two variants: giant cell glioblastoma and gliosarcoma. Glioblastomas are also an important brain tumor of the canine, and research is ongoing to use this as a model for developing treatments in humans.[1] Treatment can involve chemotherapy, radiation, radiosurgery, corticosteroids, antiangiogenic therapy, and surgery.[2]

Excepting the brainstem gliomas, glioblastoma has the worst prognosis of any CNS malignancy. Despite multimodality treatment consisting of open craniotomy with surgical resection of as much of the tumor as possible, followed by concurrent or sequential chemoradiotherapy, antiangiogenic therapy with bevacizumab, gamma knife radiosurgery, and symptomatic care with corticosteroids, median survival is about 14 months.[3]"

So what does this have to do with the polio virus and SV40? Lets keep reading wikipedia.

"GBM is more common in males, although the reason for this is not clear.[4] Most glioblastoma tumors appear to be sporadic, without any genetic predisposition. No links have been found between glioblastoma and smoking,[5] diet,[6] cellular phones,[7] or electromagnetic fields.[8] Recently, evidence for a viral cause has been discovered, possibly SV40[9] or cytomegalovirus.[10] There also appears to be a small link between ionizing radiation and glioblastoma.[11] Some also believe that there may be a link between polyvinyl chloride (which is commonly used in construction) and glioblastoma.[12] A recent link cited in the Lancet medical journal links brain cancer to lead exposure in the work place.[13] There is an association of brain tumor incidence and malaria, suggesting that the anopheles mosquito, the carrier of malaria, might transmit a virus or other agent that could cause glioblastoma.[14]"

Did you catch the middle section there? "Recently, evidence for a viral cause has been discovered, possibly SV40 or cytomegalovirus." Hmmmm. Well, we don't know for sure if the SV40 causes glioblastoma, but it could. What I can tell you is that I know that the sv40 virus does cause cancer. Dr. Eisenstein has covered this in his books, and even the vaccine manufacturers themselves have admitted it (albeit in a back handed way).

Most who will read this know that I am a nurse and have a healthy (albeit not one size fits all) perspective on vaccines. However, this is the first time in my life where a vaccine could have (not saying it did) harmed a loved one of mine. My cousin (who will remain nameless as I don't feel giving that information is appropriate) just got diagnosed with a glioblastoma in his early 40's. A God fearing man, one who loves his family and takes care of them. He has children, and is a jem of a person. Is it too much to ask that we find out if this vaccine had anything to do with this? Am I going to say any of this to my cousin? Probably not. At least not now. But i would love to get some answers. And if this vaccine could have caused this i would love to have a little accountability. Again, not saying the vaccine is responsible (an important point). We don't know enough. But one does question.