US government spending by the numbers

The Heritage Foundation has produced a very useful report on where our tax dollars are being spent by the Obama administration.  Here’s an excerpt. Deficits fell in 2013 because President Obama and Congress raised taxes on all Americans, the economy saw slight improvement which helped to bring in more revenue, and spending cuts from sequestration and spending caps under the Budget Control Act of 2011 took effect. The nation should not take this short-term and modest deficit improvement as a signal to grow complacent about reining in exploding spending. Though deficits will decline for a few more years, existing spending

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Sadness

I’ve been so preoccupied with getting my books ready for publication that my reading of other blogs has suffered over the past few months.  I was therefore blindsided when I paged through to Suz’s blog, ‘Shining Pearls Of Something‘, and found that her husband had been diagnosed with cancer, out of the blue, and died on June 30th.  I’ll let her tell the rest of the story. In spite of this wrenching loss, I think I’m one of the most fortunate people on this planet.  I spent twenty-five years married to a man I never deserved (no, I’m not being

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A very versatile recipe

For those who like quick-and-easy recipes (that are also low-cost), I think I’ve found another one that works really well. Miss D. and I were in Walmart yesterday, and found they had several packs of carne picada (i.e. chopped beef), sliced thin, on special at $2.48 per pound.  It was almost at its ‘use by’ date, so it had to be consumed or frozen at once:  but at that price it was cheaper than even the lowest grade of ground beef, so I grabbed several packs.  Three went into the freezer, and two (totaling about 7 pounds of meat) were

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Too cute!

It never ceases to amaze (and amuse) me how the young of any and every species seem to recognize each other as infants.  We saw it a few days ago in an encounter between a 2-month-old Golden Retriever puppy and an 8-month-old baby girl.  Here’s a kitten and a baby raccoon having a wonderful time together. Peter

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Guys, what sort of girlfriend do you have?

The link to this video was sent by an anonymous reader.  It made me laugh out loud, so I thought you might enjoy it, too. And no, I’m not saying which variety of partner Miss D. may be.  I have at least some small sense of self-preservation! (By the way, ladies, feel free to chime in with your views on what sort of male partner you have.  I don’t know whether he would fall under canine/feline or some other distinction, but I daresay you can suggest appropriate categories!) Peter

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Security lessons from the Kenya terrorist attacks

I’m sure that by now, most readers have heard of the terrorist attack this morning on a suburban shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, by the Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab.  It had long threatened such an attack in retaliation for Kenya’s role in suppressing its domination of neighboring Somalia. There are some extremely graphic photographs of the scene at Buzzfeed.  I recommend looking at them, not out of prurient curiosity, but so as to improve your own tactical awareness.  Notice how the shopping mall was a virtual duplicate of many that one finds in cities and towns all across the USA. 

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More Big Brother intrusion – social networking style

Yet another illustration of why I profoundly distrust (and don’t use most) social media has just hit the news.  Bloomberg reports: LinkedIn Corp., owner of the world’s most popular professional-networking website, was sued by customers who claim the company appropriated their identities for marketing purposes by hacking into their external e-mail accounts and downloading contacts’ addresses. . . . LinkedIn required the members to provide an external e-mail address as their username on its site, then used the information to access their external e-mail accounts when they were left open, according to the complaint. “LinkedIn pretends to be that user

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Sounds like a reason for instant deportation, if you ask me

I could hardly believe my eyes when I read an account of a French Muslim woman who’s just been found guilty of ‘justifying a crime’. A mother who sent her three-year-old son Jihad to school wearing a sweater with the words “I am a bomb” on the front, along with his name and ‘Born on September 11th’ on the back, was handed a suspended jail sentence on Friday for “glorifying a crime”. A court of appeal in the city of Nimes, southern France, convicted Jihad’s mother Bouchra Bagour and his uncle Zeyad for “glorifying a crime” in relation to the

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It’s been a busy day

We bought Miss D. a new-to-her used car yesterday, and spent the morning getting it emissions-tested, registered and licensed, as well as running other errands.  This evening we went for a walk ahead of the oncoming storm front.  Both of us have suffered injuries that act as internal barometers for atmospheric pressure changes, so it was painful, but a relief to get moving for a bit.  We met a little kitten on the way, who reminded us very much of our own recently-acquired cat.  She played happily with us, ran halfway up a tree, chased her own shadow . .

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Making yourself drunk – without booze???

I was surprised to read of a man who made himself drunk through an internal disorder.  NPR reports: This medical case may give a whole new meaning to the phrase “beer gut.” A 61-year-old man — with a history of home-brewing — stumbled into a Texas emergency room complaining of dizziness. Nurses ran a Breathalyzer test. And sure enough, the man’s blood alcohol concentration was a whopping 0.37 percent, or almost five times the legal limit for driving in Texas. There was just one hitch: The man said that he hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol that day. . .

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