"Country a capella group Home Free gathered in the empty chapel of the School Sisters of Notre Dame’s Our Lady of Good Counsel campus to visually capture the feeling their rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High” so consistently evokes. The house of worship in Mankato, Minnesota, was a wise choice; the group’s video recorded there has garnered over a million YouTube views since the day before Thanksgiving. Check out why:"
(Sgt Trainer: This is posted just because.)
"I hope you all got a chance to check out the Homemade Christmas with Melissa K. Norris that I am participating in this year. I did a post this month on How To Make Melt and Pour Soaps which was part of her series and I was so excited to be able to share. I absolutely LOVE to make homemade gifts for our family and friend’s. I enjoy matching the gift with the persons specific tastes. I also decided to do a round up with all my friend’s to share with you all their varying ideas on Homemade Christmas gifts. I wanted to provide you with this information now so that you will have plenty of time to get involved and make your Christmas gifts this year! Enjoy and be sure to share with me below in the comments, your favorite how-to listed here and also something special you have made over the years!"
(Sgt Trainer: More and more people are realizing that "buying stuff" as Christmas presents may be easy but it is actually counterproductive as it reinforces the "corporate culture" of buying things [also known as "consumerism"] which fosters dependence on said corporations, as well as significantly reducing our abilities to think for ourselves and exercise our capabilities for creative thought and our "self-reliance" for making our own items. If you don't want to foster this type of dependence of "material things" that we don't need, rest assured that you are not alone. You are breaking the paradigm and encouraging your children, friends, and relatives that it is a more meaningful gift to give something you made yourself or to provide the recipients something that they can "make for themselves" which is something they will appreciate far longer than a "toy" or something else that is not useful in the long-term. Also, see the next article which only reinforces the pathetic mind-set of our approach to "stuff" these days.)
"A few weeks ago, I took note of this news article about how two women were camping out in front of a Beaumont, California, Best Buy 22 days before Black Friday “in hopes of landing the best deals for the infamous ‘first come, first served’ Thanksgiving night rush.” This isn’t a one-time event for these women, either. Apparently, they do it every year. This time they’re looking to “land a good deal on a television.” Three weeks of camping on a sidewalk. Away from their families. Through a major holiday. All to save a couple hundred dollars on a television. What kind of hourly wage does that come to? Oh wait, they’re clearly not working during those 22 days. What’s wrong with this picture? “Some people say we’re crazy,” said one of the women, adding that such comments don’t bother her in the least. Good thing, because I’m afraid I must agree with “some people.” That’s crazy. Camping. Grabbing. Scuffles. Fighting. Trampling. Stealing. For stuff. Useless stuff that will probably be broken or discarded or obsolete by this time next year. In 2008 at a Long Island Wal-Mart an employee was trampled to death. Would this have happened during the days of our parents? Our grandparents? Is it just me, or does it seem morality disappears during this season of good tidings of great joy?"
"The following video from Gary Franchi of NextNewsNetwork reveals the shocking admission by the CDC that this year's flu vaccine doesn't work."
"You may have heard that the image-conscious Los Angeles Unified School District chose to return the grenade launchers it received from the Defense Department’s surplus equipment program. You probably have not heard about some of the more obscure beneficiaries of the Pentagon giveaway:"
"Where have all the veterans gone? On Friday, Metric Maps posted a map on Reddit, made using U.S. Census data, showing a fundamental transformation in American society: Over three decades, veterans went from being a substantial part of most communities to a tiny minority of the American population. In 1980, nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 18 and 34 had served in the military, and as the map shows, veterans were spread fairly evenly throughout the country. Thirty years later, that figure had dropped to less than 3 percent, with veterans concentrated in a few, predominantly Southern areas."
"Not long ago, American herbalists had to rely on folklore and anecdote. There was little clinical data on herbs, and what did exist was mostly published in German. But researchers (and translators) have been busy of late, and we now have proof that herbs are viable treatments for many ailments. “Herbs won’t replace pharmaceuticals, but the research shows that–for many conditions–herbs work well, are cheaper than drugs and cause fewer side effects,” says Mary Hardy, M.D., medical director of the integrative medicine program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. “Herbs aren’t quite mainstream, but they’re moving in that direction. Patients are interested in them, and doctors are increasingly familiar with herb research. “Twenty years ago, there was no integrative program at Cedars-Sinai” she adds. “Now there is. That says something”. Here, then, are the proven, 55 best herbal treatments. Stick to the dose specified in the studies or on the product label. When making teas, use 1 to 2 teaspoons of herb per cup of boiling water, steeped for 10 minutes. Tell your physician about any herbs you plan on using, especially if you’re pregnant or nursing, have a chronic medical condition or take medication regularly."
"Entrepreneurs and established companies alike depend on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to legally protect their inventions. But the Patent Office has been using a secret system to withhold the approval of some applications. Newly released documents reveal that the office, tasked with evaluating and protecting the rights to intellectual property, has a covert system for delaying controversial or inconvenient patents. It’s a system that attorneys say, if abused, could function as a way to limit or stomp out emerging companies."
"Wall Street has for some time attempted to put taxpayers on the hook for its derivatives trades. I highlighted this a year ago in the post: Citigroup Written Legislation Moves Through the House of Representatives. Fortunately, that bill never made it to a vote on the Senate floor, but now Wall Street is trying to sneak it into a bill needed to keep the government running. You can’t make this stuff up."
"Because of patent pressure, minor drug risks are often only admitted when the patent runs out, a ruse AlterNet has written about. But when risks can't be ignored, even if the drug is selling briskly, the drug will be unceremoniously withdrawn and seldom mentioned again. Here are some blockbusters in the drug graveyard that Big Pharma hopes we will forget about. Perhaps no blockbuster drug equaled the crash and burn of Merck's Vioxx. Billed as "super-aspirin" for everyday pain whether menstrual or arthritis, Vioxx was aggressively advertised by celebrity athletes like skater Dorothy Hamill and track star Bruce Jenner as a wonder drug. Except that it wasn't."
"HAARP was said to have closed in Alaska, but a group of scientists that have a facility in the Southern California desert are attempting to carry on experiments that the Alaskan Facility did. The location is private and will not be disclosed, however their goal is to generate weather and earthquake events, giving you an agenda ahead of time so that you can prepare. Yes, they are going to be heating up the upper atmosphere in order to move the jet stream into position. They will tell you our plan ahead of time and each map will show where they are targeting at the moment. They understand that you might be upset that they are doing this, but for research purposes only they must continue the research of whether the jet stream can be controlled."
"People eligible for public assistance in Michigan better be prepared to urinate in a cup for the government. The state has just approved a questionable pilot program supposedly designed to ensure that people aren’t using taxpayer money to pay for recreational drugs. Approved in both Michigan’s Senate and House, the drug testing program will roll out in three counties later next year. In doing so, Michigan will join nearly a dozen other U.S. states in “checking up” on welfare recipients. Representative Jeff Farrington, a Utica Republican, spearheaded the bill in Michigan’s House. He said, “People want to make sure that we give a hand up to those in need, but they’re tired of giving their tax dollars to people who waste it on drugs.”
"I’m very excited to introduce my new book, The Organic Canner. The book has been 3 years in the making, and those years were filled with measuring, adjusting, tasting, and testing the recipes out on my children. It contains 242 pages of information, how-tos, and delicious recipes. I wrote this to help provide an alternative to our dependence on the grocery store, with its toxic, chemical-laden faux food. The instructions are written with the beginning canner in mind, and USDA guidelines are strictly adhered to for maximum safety. The recipes cover a broad scope: everything from jams and salsas to full meals that only need to be heated up. Nearly every page has a charming sketch, lending to the book’s old-fashioned charm."
"A lame duck Congress is on the verge of sticking it to America’s troops. Before they leave for recess they will attempt to pass the FY2015 version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It is a compendium of ill-advised ideas seemingly aimed at advancing the Obama administration’s continuing effort to “fundamentally transform” the finest fighting force in the world into something more closely resembling a social-outreach organization. Sadly, Republicans, apparently oblivious to the mandate just handed to them by the electorate, are on board."
"Marie Snow and her friend Cori Gunnels knew they stumbled across something sinister, one November day, this year, when they saw what appeared to be 50 to 60-foot long “raindrops”, “solid” in nature, falling from the sky in clusters, after three military aircraft, including a C-130, flew overhead, minutes prior, at an altitude of an estimated 5,000-8,000 ft. Using critical thinking skills, Snow and Gunnels, patriots and local residents, decided to collect samples of the fibrous material which was deployed from the three military planes earlier that day, saving the samples for testing. In fact, the fibers looked so ominous that Snow even opted not to touch them with her “bare hands” and collected them on “white pieces of paper”."
(Sgt Trainer: While a lot of people have trouble accepting that this occurs, it does. While the actual reason for it is "classified" and only speculation is possible without actual confirmation of the reason for it...or should I say the truth about the reason for it, people should begin looking up to see what is going on in our skies.)
"SANTA FE, N.M.—New Mexico has fined the U.S. Energy Department more than $54 million over accidents at the country’s only underground repository for nuclear waste. The fines, which state officials announced Saturday morning, stem from an underground fire and a radiation leak earlier this year at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, known as WIPP. Nearly two dozen workers were exposed to contamination at the plant, which handles radioactive waste from the nation’s nuclear-weapons program. The facility, in southeastern New Mexico near Carlsbad, remains closed. The fines represent the largest penalties New Mexico has ever levied against the Energy Department, state officials said, noting that their investigation found major procedural problems."
"President Barack Obama’s immigration deputies released 30,862 foreign criminals into the United States’ cities and neighborhoods, according to a federal document. The document also showed that Obama repatriated less than 1 percent of the 12 million illegals living in the United States during the 12 months up to October 2014. Officials also repatriated only 8,805 of the roughly 180,000 unskilled Central American migrants who flooded across the border since 2011, according to the “Fiscal Year 2014 ICE Enforcement and Removal Operation Report.”
"Exercise and nature are good for physical fitness and stress management. If preppers expect to survive a future disaster, they have to have good physical conditioning and stress management techniques now, because a disaster will certainly bring additional physical and mental challenges. Those who are out of shape and stressed out now are not optimally prepared for a future disaster. Research has demonstrated that, whether you jog, bike, or walk, doing so in nature has restorative benefits for your body and mind. Even a passive appreciation of nature was found to be healthful. One research study found that viewing nature for as briefly as three minutes relieved stress."
"One of the things that has always frustrated my efforts as a Prepper has been the conundrum of making my own bread. Half of you reading this are probably laughing at me right now, because you've likely been grinding your own flour and baking your own bread for who knows how long, but it has always seemed to my mind like there was a glaring problem with that type of plan. I've always wondered what was going to happen if we were to find ourselves in the midst of a societal collapse where it was impossible to obtain needed materials for such a complicated process, namely yeast. As a result, I have never fully committed to the idea of stockpiling wheat. Rather, I've been looking for a process that would allow for the approximation of bread making without the use of yeast or self-rising flours."
"You all know the saying… You can only survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water & 3 weeks without food. If you are caught in extreme weather conditions, you have a very short amount of time to get a shelter built and survive. Furthermore, imagine the effect of that weather on your extremities: your hands may be freezing cold and you’ve lost dexterity. Your emotions and mental capacity will also be stressed due to the situation. If you have adequate cordage to make a shelter, the last thing you want to have happen is it to get all knotted up when you try to deploy it. We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve unraveled electrical cord, garden hoses, paracord, or other rope and the entire coil is knotted up. You can spend 10-15 minutes or more just to work your way through all the knots so you can effectively start to use it."
"Cooking over an open fire is awesome… until you have to clean the charred mess off of your pots and pans! But have no fear! I’m going to show you a simple way to get the shine back on your metal cookware – in the field without soap, steel wool or chemicals."
"Cotton got a bad rap with the advent of modern synthetic outdoor wear. I love the properties of my synthetic base layers. In cold environments, I wear synthetic wicking material against my skin. I’ve also been known to wear…. wait for it… fleece! But I’m more a fan of natural fibers like cotton and wool. Being modern is not always better. While some situations require a blend of new and old school clothing, nothing beats wearing my favorite flannel shirt as I brew my morning coffee on an open fire at the Dam Cabin. In fact, besides being comfortable, cotton can be a life-saver! Wilderness survival is all about Core Temperature Control and cotton plays a vital role. Here are my top 31 ways Killer Cotton can be used to control your core temperature and effect your Wilderness Survival Priorities…"
"Over the counter medications are well worth stocking. Many of them were originally prescription medications and some still are in larger strengths. One of the items that I have listed is not what you would normally consider medications, but it can be used to treat some conditions. These over the counter medications can be used to treat many conditions including: headache, fever, sore throats, dehydration, ear ache, menstrual cramps, heartburn, arthritis, ulcers, diarrhea, allergies, hives, congestion, dizziness, mild anxiety, nausea, vomiting, poison ivy, athlete’s foot, ringworm, eczema, insomnia, backache, gout, diaper rash, yeast infections, and many more common illnesses."