How to Prepare for Bears in the Wild and at Home

HUNTERS, CAMPERS, HIKERS & HOMEOWNERS BEWARE

HUNTING

Hunters must remember that areas where they leave game animal remains will attract bears.

🔹This carrion is an easy meal that bears will eagerly consume.

🔹No matter what time of year you hunt, it is possible you could encounter a bear. Although contact is minimal in the winter, due to hibernation, be aware of your surroundings, especially in remote locations that may contain dens with sleeping bears.

🔹Bear-proofing wildlife feeding stations, such as deer feeders, can be difficult. Because hunters want game to have access to feed, but want to exclude black bears, the best options involve limiting access. Unless they are protected by an electric fence that deer can jump, gravity feeders should likely be removed in favor of spin-cast feeders.

🔹The base of spin-cast feeders should be at least 10 feet off the ground, and suspended from a cross-member that is least 4 feet from the post that supports it. Alternatively, hunters may electrify tripod spin-cast or gravity feeders, as well as providing electric fencing.

🔹Electric fencing may be permanent, similar to systems designed for livestock, or be portable, such as “back-country bear fencing” often used to secure camp sites. These portable systems are available from many outdoor companies. They are powered by D-cell batteries and use lightweight posts and wire. Whether suspending feed or electrifying, take care to prevent damage and the loss of feed.

CAMPING

🔹Campers should collect trash nightly and hang it high enough from a tree or other structure that a bear cannot reach it, or climb to it. Ten feet off ground level and four feet from any branches is generally sufficient.

🔹Sweet-smelling items such as perfumes, insect repellants, and candy attract bears.

🔹The smell of camp cooking can also attract bears. It is wise to locate your cooking site 100 yards from your sleeping area. Even the smell of food on clothes can attract bears, so change clothes before sleeping if you cook for the camp.

🔹Coolers of food are easy targets for bears—keep them inside vehicles or otherwise inaccessible. Although some coolers are rated as bear-safe, black bears will still cause damage trying to get in them.

HIKING

🔹Hikers should be noisy in areas where black bears are present.

🔹A startled bear is a dangerous bear, and will have the same reaction as any animal when frightened. Although they might flee, they might also display defensive behaviors such as bluff charges or teeth clacking. This is especially possible for a female with cubs.

Bear-proofing around the house 

Human-bear relations are most problematic around private homes.

🔹Bears, like raccoons, are opportunistic omnivores who enjoy human garbage. Homeowners should minimize exposing garbage to bears.

🔹A good first step is to secure trash cans with certified bear-proof covers. You can also contact your waste disposal company to request that they upgrade community dumpsters to be bear-proof.

🔹Minimize areas where you dump cooking grease, scraps, and reduce access to compost piles. 

Black Bears of East Texas. Photos provided by the East Texas Black Bear Task Force.

🔹Other food sources include bird feeders and other wildlife feed, fallen fruit from trees, pet foods, and barbecue pits.

🔹Wood piles attract rodents, which can be a food source. Bears will quickly assess these sources come to them for food. If you choose to feed wildlife in “bear country,” move the feed frequently to prevent bears from becoming habituated to one area. 

🔹It may be surprising, but a closed door, high window, or low wall often will not deter bears. Livestock and pet feed stored in outbuildings are easy, high-energy sources of nutrition for black bears. 

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VISIT BANDERA, TEXAS

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The Anti-COVID Regimen We’ve Used Over Two Years Has Kept Us Safe

By Dodie Dennis, RN (Retired)

Being a registered nurse for 40 years, as soon as we heard about the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I did extensive research to find the right foods and supplements for Jack and me to fight it. (Shown at the bottom of this article).

Both of us agreed we would not be taking any so-called experimental vaccines that were rushed into development and not adequately proven.

We elected to support our God-given immune systems by modifying our vitamin, mineral, and food intake instead.

Hard to get.

Hydroxychloroquine, which has been around since 1946, has been used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to malaria and other conditions.

The more research I did, talking with and learning from physicans, nurses and researchers, I decided on a regimen for Jack and me.

Let me just say, we have taken road trips through Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Colorado since June 2020. These were during so-called “lockdowns.”

Some of the crowds we’ve been in included Graceland, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, D.C., Ark Encounter, Branson, Royal Gorge, Sea World, various zoos, museums and theaters.

We have relatives that had COVID, some twice, even after taking the jab. We know more people who have died from COVID and some after being recently inoculated. We also know many nurses and even doctors who refuse to take the shots. We are respectful to any individual for whatever their choice is, but we refuse to be used as guinea pigs for their harmful gene therapy injections.

We are not fond of wearing masks, but out of respect for others, we do so only in medical offices, hospitals, and businesses that require it (usually we go somewhere else).

We know our body wears out over time, but why? Exactly what drives this process that slowly robs us of our health and vigor?

Our body ages because our cells become damaged, and our body can’t repair them fast enough. There are many different reasons for this damage, and scientists don’t agree on which one is the main cause. But most agree on this: The long term effect of this wear and tear on the cells in our tissues is the main factor in aging.

This gradual damage reduces the number of brain cells we have, allows some of the cells in our body to become cancerous, destroys the part of our cells that produces energy, limits blood flow by clogging our arteries, and weakens our heart.

Free Radicals

In the mid 1950s, Denham Harman was toiling in a science lab at the University of Nebraska. His hard work paid off when he proposed the free radical theory of aging. His name is famous in the research world, and the free radical theory is more widely accepted today than any other in the scientific and medical communities.

Take a deep breath. Feel refreshed?. As you breathe, you take in invigorating oxygen; it also produces chemicals called free radicals. These free radicals are molecules that are unstable because they lack an electron. They travel through your body like a band of pickpockets, trying to steal electrons from healthy cells. When they succeed, they leave the cell irreversibly damaged.

One damaged cell will not usually cause your body much distress. But over time, lots of these pickpocket molecules can cause so much damage that your body becomes weak and more likely to fall prey to cancer and heart disease. This cell damage is called oxidation, and it is similar to the oxidation of metal that produces rust.

Don’t feel betrayed by your body because it creates these roving thieves. Luckily, your body also produces antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight oxidation by combining with free radicals to form a harmless substance or by contributing an electron to the free radical, making it stable. However, when free radical levels get too high, these protective processes can’t keep up.

Cigarette smoke, pollution, radiation, stress, excessive sun exposure, and other factors can increase your level of free radicals, causing you to use up your store of antioxidants more quickly. In addition, as you get older, your body’s production of antioxidants slows down, allowing free radicals to damage more and more of your cells.

How can you stop free radicals from slowly taking over your body, overpowering and outnumbering your antioxidant protectors?

You can help your body manufacture antioxidants like glutathione, and you can get other antioxidants, like vitamins E and C, from your diet. As far as protecting ourselves from COVID-19, here is the well researched regimen we’ve successfully used since early March 2020.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Health information articles provide general health information and are not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a physician or other health professionals. We advise you to contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs.

OUR ANTI-COVID REGIMEN

Today we eat a low sodium (under 2,000 mgs a day) diet. We emphasize more vegetables and fruit, and smaller entrees of meat, chicken, seafood, etc. We do prefer chicken (not fried) over meat.

🔹The #1 thing we take every evening is zinc with tonic water. It’s the closest thing to hydroxychloroquine that we know of. It’s inexpensive and doesn’t require a prescription.

🔹Tonic water contains quinine, which has been used for centuries to treat malaria.  Chloroquine is a relative of quinine — both are extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree. Quinine has been around for centuries, discovered by Peruvian natives in the 1820s.

There are a few reasons why quinine and chloroquine work as an anti-viral. First they can change the pH in the cells, making them more alkaline (thus impairing virus’s ability to replicate).
 
Second, quinine and chloroquine help bring otherwise bio-unavailable zinc into your cells, and the zinc inhibits the virus’s ability to replicate inside your cells.

🔹Sunlight (vitamin D) also minimizes the effects of viruses.  A 2020 study found that people with lower levels of vitamin D were more likely to die from coronavirus. 

🔹Vitamin C is used to help our God-given immune systems fight off any viruses we come in contact with. We take Emergen-C containing 1000 mg of Vitamin C as well as B Vitamins and other antioxidants.

🔹We also take a proprietary blend of CoQ-10, Citicoline, and refined fish oil.

🔹In addition, we consume Green Pasture Products such as fermented Cod Liver Oil along with their Concentrated Butter Oil.

Concentrated Butter Oil is made from milk produced by rapidly growing greengrass fed cows. It is extracted and concentrated through centrifugation. The speed of grass growth, timing of grazing, species of grass, climate, and extraction method are all-important factors in making real Concentrated Butter Oil.

Their blend contains naturally occurring Vitamins A and D. It’s a natural source of Omega Fatty Acids.

🔹This cod liver oil is so good for your heart, brain and joints. I’ve tried many brands over the years (as a former national champion volleyball player) and Green Pasture helped me in just a matter of days like no other.

But my go to, especially for joint health, is without a doubt the Green Pasture Skate Liver Oil.

Last, but not least, we take probiotics that support gut health–the basis for immune system health.

Highly recommended!

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Interviewing Gentle Ben’s Owner and Ron Howard’s Brother

Or How to Tick Off My Teacher Without Really Trying…

Or Finding My Porpoise in Life

“This time find a book with porpoise, Jackie,” Ms. Nancy Lewis instructed me in 1965.

Purpose?

The previous time I checked out a book from the Harlandale School District Book Mobile, it was a brand new novel by Walt Morey entitled Gentle Ben.

Ben was a big brown bear in Alaska who befriended a boy named Mark. I imagined the boy looked similar to my fifth grade classmate, Mark Kuykendall, because he was somewhat adventurous.

Well, I supposed Ms. Lewis was upset about my book choices because she obviously didn’t think my Gentle Ben skit—performed in front of her fifth grade class in lieu of a book report— was as brilliant as the class did.

“GET MY PADDLE”

The week before, I had seen Ms. Lewis use her “discipline paddle” on Kenneth Andrews. Ken was upset because the recess bell rang– meaning we were to get back to class. It went off just as he had stepped up to bat during an exciting softball game.

I was playing second base when pitcher David Cardenas took the ball and walked back towards the second wing of Gillette Elementary School in south San Antonio that day.

The words that red-headed Kenneth screamed in anger, for not having the ball pitched to him, was dialect unfitting to a 5th grader, Ms. Lewis determined.

“Jackie, go get my paddle,” she directed me.

Why me? Kenneth is my friend. I don’t want to see his butt blistered by her spanking paddle.

I ran to our classroom and obediently brought out the paddle.

“What porpoise does that serve to cuss like that?” she asked Kenneth before the WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!

His buttocks were seared. All I knew was I wanted to make certain I had a good porpoise for anything I did around Ms. Lewis.

The next time the Book Mobile came to our school I made sure my book had porpoises in it.

I wasn’t certain what she had against bears, but as long as I never was on the receiving end of the teacher’s paddle, I would learn as much about porpoises as required.

CLINT HOWARD

A couple of years later, Gentle Ben became a TV series and the boy in that show didn’t look anything like the adventurous Mark Kuykendall at all.

The actor was Clint Howard, younger brother of Ron Howard, “Opie Taylor” of Mayberry and Andy Griffith fame at the time.

It was an okay show, but as long as Ms. Lewis wasn’t my teacher anymore it was all right by me.

Fast forward forty years later. It’s 2006, and I finally know the difference between Ms. Lewis’ pronunciation “porpoise” and the word “purpose.” That year I had the pleasure of meeting Buzz Aldrin, Wally Schirra, Gene Krantz, and other space related notables at the St. Anthony Hotel in downtown San Antonio.

Among some of the “celebrities” I talked with were movie and television stars James Drury (The Virginian, Disney’s Toby Tyler), Lana Wood (The Searchers, Peyton Place, Diamonds Are Forever), comedian Bill Dana (Jose Jiminez), Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet) and more.

It was certainly an unexpected eye opener to spend some time with the one and only Clint Howard. Although known to Baby Boomers for his role in Gentle Ben, he was at the Space conference for his part in the Ron Howard movie, Apollo 13.

The real life Apollo Mission control commander, Gene Krantz was nearby and in passing, called out to Howard: “Afternoon Sy!”

Clint Howard grinned and explained his role in Apollo 13 was the part of Sy Liebergot, a key member of the Mission Control crew under Krantz.

Howard loved the role acting with Ed Harris who played Krantz:

Sy LiebergotFlight… I recommend we shut down reactant valves to the fuel cells.

Gene Kranz: What the hell good is that gonna do?

Sy Liebergot: If that’s where the leak is, we can isolate it. We can save what’s left in the tanks and we can run on the good cell.

Gene Kranz: You close ’em, you can’t open ’em again! You can’t land on the moon with one healthy fuel cell!

Sy Liebergot: Gene, the Odyssey is “dying”. From my chair here, this is the last option.

INTERVIEW

Howard was kind enough to place his signature on a photo alongside his brother Ron Howard’s autograph and was willing to be interviewed for a few quick questions. Ready go:

Biggest influence?

My dad, Rance Howard is definitely my biggest influence. He has taught both Ron and I attributes of being a good man of the earth type solid human beings. We’ve learned to apply this to our work, the entertainment business.

The work can be hard enough in the morning but it is especially grueling by the end of a very long day on the  set. Through Dad, we learned to remain focused because all time counts.

I’m sure you’ve been asked this often, but I would never forgive myself if I didn’t ask, how was it working with Gentle Ben?

Yeah, that’s a good question. I’ve never really heard of that question before (He winked and grinned).

Gentle Ben was really Bruno the Bear and he actually was a gentle bear. I remember he smelled bad and enjoyed drinking Coca-Cola and eating candy, especially lemon drops and sometimes Tootsie Roll.

I was already accustomed to acting and wasn’t starstruck at that age, but co-starring with a bear was cool. My dad was always on set with me down on a ranch in the Everglades, so I was away from my mom for a bit. When we would come back for Christmas break, our house was decorated to the max for the holidays. Good memories.

I would describe you as a character actor, with a diverse set of many different roles. How do you describe your acting persona?

That’s right on. You know, my great brother Ron, five years my senior, basically played all similar roles. There is Opie (Mayberry), Ritchie (Happy Days), Chad (The Smith Family) and the character, Steve from American Graffiti, basically.

We both started very young. By the time Gentle Ben was around, I had years of experience. I’m in my fifth decade of acting and now find myself in the position in my career as a character actor with a lot of experience.

When I walk on set and I think people look towards me, somewhat for some of a bit of guidance and mentoring. Now, I don’t stick my nose somewhere where it doesn’t belong. I’m there to act, my job. Thats my thing. I’m not going to step on anybody’s toes and automatically mentor. It is not my responsibility. But I realize now that some people do look up to me, and respect my experience. So I keep that in mind when I work on any project. I will be a leader and positive influencer for the director, crew, the actors if and as needed.

Like I said, I grew up with wonderful parents. My Dad mentored and I remain grateful.

Note: At the time of this interview Rance Howard was alive. He passed away on November 25, 2017. Clint’s mother, Jean Frances Speegle Howard, died on September 2, 2000.

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Three Fingers and a Bird

The True Story of the Profound Lesson I Learned in 1963 on a Barber’s Chair

Just eight miles south-southwest of where I thought John Wayne fought at the Alamo was a spot in San Antonio where serious thinking and deciphering came into my life.

Slightly west of the halfway point along the street I saw President Kennedy on the day before his assassination–between the San Jose Mission and Kelly Air Force Base–is a region where my father was considered “patron.”

Starting on the Southeast corner of Southwest Military Drive, and heading south for eleven blocks on Commercial Street, was the first of five business pillars of our community.

Three proprietors were the foundation of commerce on Commercial Avenue and gaining the kind of momentum two others, Joe Barry and Mr. Stacey had held for a number of years. 

The first was Raymond “Bud” Jones of the “Meal A Minute” 89 cent All-You-Can-Eat -Fish fame. Bud, who passed away in October 2018, opened his legendary restaurant in 1959 at the Military Drive/Commercial southeast corner. Today, this South Side institution still serves the All-You-Can-Eat-Fish for $9.75 with his daughter Cathy and family running it.

Joe Barry owned the Terrell Wells grocery and gas store that eventually became the original VFW Post 8541. My daddy, Walter “Corky” Dennis, would go in to buy a pack of Camels (later on, he graduated to Salem’s) as I would sit in the car and look at the screen on a front door. It was painted yellow and blue with a gingham dressed girl smiling with bread in her hands proclaiming that we should “Reach for Sunbeam Bread.” 

Mercy, did I have a crush on that pretty blond haired-blue eyed beauty! I wondered often if she was kin to Dorothy of Kansas and Toto fame. Perhaps a blond cousin?

Later on, when I became at least as good at ‘cipherin’ as Jethro Bodine, I figured her out. I deduced she was the older sister of another girl and her dog– the little tan one on Coppertone signs who was embarrassed about having her panties almost torn off.

Across the street from Terrell Wells Grocery was Stacey’s Barber Shop. With a prominent barber pole on the south front lawn, Mr. and Mrs. Stacey lived on the north half of their shop in a small white wood framed house.

It was a matter of honor, but mostly courage, to sit up high on the board placed on the white arms of the barber chair of Mr. Stacey. I proudly received my trims from the same man who had cut my great grandfather John’s, grandpa Jack’s and father Corky’s hair.

I liked to go there with Daddy. But Mom, not so much. Momma would always make me sit close to the front door as we walked in. It just did not seem quite right for a girl like Momma, to be in a barber shop. There was nothing really wrong with it. Other mothers and even Mrs. Stacey came in. But a guy could not really appreciate the “feel” of the place with women in there.

There seemed to be more laughter and the men could talk about men’s things like “baseball,” or “a missile crisis” when the women were away.

In early December, Dad took me in. Grandpa Dennis was in one of the waiting chairs at the far right end facing the barber chairs on the left.

Without Momma around I could penetrate farther in and get away from the front door where the Porky Pig, Zorro or Superman books were. Sitting between Daddy and Grandpa I could scan the cover of nearby True Detective magazines. Mr. and Mrs. Stacey would never allow anything more manly than that. But to a guy just about to turn eight, True Detective was very mannish. (Note: The word “Macho” had not been invented yet as far as I know).

As each customer walked in, they were passed an 8 x 10 black and white glossy of what was purported to be the “last picture of JFK before he was shot.” One of the barbers had bought it for a dollar at the drug store located next to St. Leo’s Church on South Flores Street during their 1963 Fall Festival and Tamale Sale. Dad let me look at it and I felt important.

“Okay, Jack, you are next,” said one of the barbers. He was talking to Grandpa, who got up and sat down in a man’s size barber’s chair.

I did not notice who just walked in. I was determining if Daddy would let me go next, after Grandpa, instead of him. If so, Mr. Stacey would cut my hair. Then my odds for getting a sucker were better. Some of the other barbers did not always remember to pass out the suckers. Mr. Stacey never forgot, plus he would let me choose the color. I would leave the yellows or browns for the poor kids that were stuck with the other barbers.

Richard Floyd, my step grandfather sat down beside me grinning.

“Paw Paw,” I grinned back. We hugged.

Paw Paw was a tall human being.   With only one good eye and a few good teeth, he was not much for the world to see, but to me he walked on water.

“What are you doing, gettin’ your ears lowered, Booger?” He waved his hand from front to back over his head.

“They only charge Paw Paw half price, because I only have half my hair.”

What a treat it was to have two grandfathers and a father in the same barber shop all at the same time.

“Are you ready for your birthday?” Paw Paw asked.

When Grandpa Dennis heard that, he called me up and reached in his wallet. He handed me a dollar bill.

“Grandpa didn’t forget your birthday,” he said. “You tell your daddy to get you something with this.”

Paw Paw saw what was going on and he pulled TWO dollars out of his billfold and handed it to me with Happy Birthday instructions to tell my Mom to get me something with them.

Three whole dollars in a matter of seconds and it was the most money I had up to that point in my life. (Note: That amount in 1963 is worth $25.36 today).

When I sat back down, secretly enjoying the $3 in my pocket, my mind immediately jumped to disenchantment. Suddenly, my brain realized what people meant when they said “bad luck or trouble comes in threes.” And it had nothing to do with the money.

I had been waiting for the third calamity to reveal itself ever since my beloved cockerspaniel Blackie died on November 4th and John F. Kennedy on the 22nd.  Within a little over a month’s time, there I was, in the middle of the prohibited end of the barber shop and suddenly going through trauma numero tres!

It was at this moment I discovered that BOTH of my grandfathers had three fingers missing from their left hands.

What was this? Why hadn’t I really noticed their left hands before? Or maybe I did, but it did not register until I saw them both in the same room. Or was it because I was almost eight and noticing more adult things? After all, I had just scanned the covers of two True Detectives.

For at least the next few weeks I was terrified of everything my hands touched. Perhaps this was some kind of omen or family curse? What were the odds? Two grandfathers with the same hands missing three fingers!

My Daddy, policeman Walter “Corky” Dennis, was one of the motorcycle escorts next to the President’s car on the Kennedy motorcade during his San Antonio visit the day before his assassination in Dallas.

Just in time for Christmas, Daddy explained that Paw Paw was only my step-grandfather, so it really did not count—-there was no family curse.

“You do not have to worry about it any more.”

Thank God for Daddy’s explanation. I didn’t know how much longer I could have held out keeping my left hand in my pocket everywhere I went. Each morning when I awoke, I would look to see if those fingers on that hand were still there. Somehow it would sneak out from under the pillow during my sleep.

Definitely, I would not dare do what the other boys were inventing in the cafeteria.   By placing a pencil on top of their middle finger and bending the adjacent fingers over the pencil, they could “shoot the bird.”

Not quite understanding what that meant, as far as I was concerned if I shot that bird it was sure to be a recipe for the family curse. I knew that bird had wings for a reason. Around me it was going to just have to fly away. I did not intend to lose my three fingers over a bird.
     

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Happy 82 Birthday Sir Tom Jones, From My Mom in Heaven

Knowing I’m an advid autograph collector, my mother, Geraldine Dennis was always on the lookout and obtained several signatures for me.

In April 1969, she took me to a Tom Jones concert with my cousins Carolyn Sanders Gerland and James Johnson at the Hemisfair Arena in San Antonio, Texas. Gladys Knight and the Pips and comedian Norm Crosby also appeared.

They performed on a stage, in the center of the arena, with an amazing orchestra on one side. I was only 13 and the entire show was incredible. Tom Jones sang such hits as “It’s Not Unusual,” “Delilah,” and “Help Yourself.”

I was mesmerized by the strength in his voice and boldness of his showmanship. (It would be three years later, in April 1972, when I would see Elvis Presley for the first time at that same arena…and up until that concert, never did I believe Tom Jones could be beat. LOL.)

Elvis & Tom, 1969

For years Mom would laugh and say, “When I die I want to come back reincarnated as a gospel backup singer so I can stand behind Tom Jones and watch him work on stage.”

She meant it.

On her 50th birthday we took her to the Magic Time Machine restaurant. It first opened in 1973, the year I graduated from high school, and continues to be a fun favorite in San Antonio.

 The Time Machine is like no other restaurant I’ve ever seen, with no two seating areas alike. In San Antonio, you can sit at the Sweethearts Table, in The Attic, a Thatched Hut or even an old Refrigerator. Mom loved the salad bar, a shiny red 1952 MG-TD Roadster modified to serve as a soup and salad vegetables.

“The thing that sets The Magic Time Machine apart is our zany cast of characters who transport our guests into another point in time,” their website bills themselves. “Our servers dress in costumes representing popular pop culture icons from the past, present, and future. The entertainment comes from the humorous interaction with your server in a family friendly environment. Pirate or Princess? Hero or Villain? We have characters for every occasion and group. At The Magic Time Machine, ‘Laughing Aloud is Allowed’!”

It was a fun night that January 17, 1988. Elvis was in the house and Mom told her friends Wayne and Betty Lewis, “I wished Tom Jones would make an appearance too” and explained her reincarnation wish.

We had great laughs but it was especially joyful to see her open my present to her—an 8×10″ glossy personally autographed picture of Tom Jones. The smile and happy tears on her face endure in my thoughts even today.

I took mom to see Tom Jones two more times (she had even seen him in Las Vegas) both in San Antonio’s Majestic Theater and the Laurie Auditorium. Each time she repeated her reincarnation wish–“gospel singer behind Tom Jones.”

When Mom died in September 2006, the funeral at First Baptist Church in Boerne, Texas was full. My sister Bobbi Shipman and I both addressed our dear family and friends, some we hadn’t seen in decades. Of course, there was great emotion and sadness.

To end it all, a gospel group from a Black San Antonio church led by Janet Givens (she has sang to royalty and backed up Michael Bolton) practically blew the stained glass windows out of the church with their songs. They concluded with “Oh Happy Day!”

Mom’s funeral was appropriately uplifting…just like her.

Happy Birthday Sir Tom Jones

I imagine that as Sir Tom Jones celebrates his 82nd birthday here on Earth June 7th, Mom will be wishing him good will and happiness from Heaven–and looking at his behind.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Can We Solve and Reduce Crimes With Neuro-Criminology?

Over time, criminals have deviated from their modus operandi according to the development of forensics, technology and science.

🔹At one time we didn’t use fingerprints or DNA samples.

🔹The developments in biology, criminology, psychology, brain technology, and neuroscience have come together in the emergent field of neurocriminology.

For instance, if a cold case includes fingerprint evidence from 1990, it is worthwhile resubmitting for laboratory analysis because Next Generation Identification systems have expanded the power of its analysis. DNA analysis from ten years ago showed a good mitochondrial DNA profile, but the nuclear DNA was a little light, so it is prudent to re-test since the scientific capabilities have improved over the years.

Today, there is now a growing inclination on the part of this emerging field to predict, prevent and manage violent behavior. The developments in brain imaging technology is undoubtedly an emerging gateway to reducing crime rates.

In the same way criminology has played its part, it is likely neurocriminology will be able to positively assist in the world of criminology.

🔹Knowing the social and environmental factors creates an incomplete picture in criminology without familiarizing and fully understanding the biological factors.

🔹With knowledge expansion of the biological factors that relate to criminal behavior, we can focus and trace back to childhood development and how this plays a huge role in the making of a violent individual.

🔹In essence, as long as politics does not get in the way, we can use this information to predict the individuals likely to go down this unpleasant route in their life. We may be able to help them AND PREVENT CRIME.

How do we best reduce crime?

🔹We have learned that crime does cluster in hot spots.

🔹We have learned that there is stability in these hot spots over longer periods of time, but far less stability when looking at short periods.

🔹We also know that the public is leery and that we know very little about how traditional strategies affect individuals, their neighborhoods, and the larger community.

It is easy to blame politics, social engineering, advertising, special interests and media of all of all kinds: television programing, Internet social media, newspapers, magazines, etc. They are directly involved with societal norms, fads, propaganda, music and fashion changes. Most movies are not worth watching for societal value anymore. The bottom line is most indicators for the state of societies mental health are not that good.

The links between mental disorders and rates of crime are visible and significant in many ways.

🔹Having a mental disorder does not label you an offender.

🔹An idea that persistently emerges within public perception is that people with a mental disorder are more likely to commit criminal acts.

🔹In actual fact, people with mental disorders are more likely to be the victims of violent crime.

People with mental disorders can be viewed as vulnerable preys to cruel predators or bullies. Mental disorders are prevalent in all aspects of the criminal justice system – from offenders to victims and their families.

Many concerns faced by the American criminal justice system will not subside unless we can identify how much blame can be placed on people with mental disorders for their actions.

Neurocriminology is an emerging field which adds assistance and value to the prediction of crime.

🔹Scientific predictions are not always supported without facts; they rely on evidence and knowledge of social, environmental and biological factors in the making of offenders, and the causes of criminal behavior.

To determine the seriousness and level of responsibility someone has for their actions, we can look up to the criminal justice system. The evidence determines the fairness of the judge’s sentence. Sometimes, the sentence is too lenient or too exaggerated. This is how neurocriminology can assist in determining the level of blame an individual has for their actions. In some cases, neurocriminology can assist in finding a suitable rehabilitation program for ex-offenders.

Just like the use of forensics, we cannot solely rely on neurocriminology to give us all the answers, but we can use neuroscience with the evidence to present a more accurate account of the crime.

Neuroscience can provide further explanations for the way some individuals react to crime and their mental capacity.

🔹An example of this is the lack of emotions or fear sometimes expressed on these individual’s faces which can occur as a result of reduced ability to emotions, such as fear and aggression (amygdala functioning).

My wife, Dodie, a neonatal nurse for years, tells me that during fetal development, brain development is a significant factor.

🔹This makes up for a large proportion of prediction related to people who commit violent acts.

🔹The changing structures of the brain help us to determine the making of offenders.

Crime psychology and studies reveal that the likelihood of criminal behavior can start during fetal development and can be traced back to the mother’s pregnancy.

Factors that come into perspective are the mother’s habits.

🔹Did they smoke, drink alcohol, take drugs?

🔹Were there any genetic disease predispositions?

🔹How about injuries during birth or later that could affect the brain?

🔹What are the indications of any dysfunctional brain mechanisms in the fetus?

🔹What was the mother’s nutrition (which is absorbed into the bloodstream) like?

It is important to know how the general welfare of both mother and baby was.

For criminals, hurting others can be a form of pleasure and gratification. 

🔹Research suggests that people with triple morbidity (those with severe mental disorder, substance use disorder, and antisocial personality disorder) are far more likely to be violent than someone with a severe mental disorder alone.

🔹A severe mental disorder on its own does not form a violent individual.

🔹It takes multiple disorders alongside other social and environmental factors to produce a violent individual. This is the trend that we have seen in many notorious killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy.

🔹Having a mental disorder is relevant.

🔹However, it may not always be a valid excuse for committing criminal acts. It could be a disservice to target those with a mental disorder as future offenders. This is not how neurocriminology works. 

Brain imaging technology can help to track the development of people with brain deficiencies. Most people who have a severe mental disorder do not go on to behave violently. There are many factors that contribute to the making of an offender which are also influenced by a wider social, environmental and biological context.

Sometimes, when we hear that a perpetrator has a severe mental disorder, it becomes a central focus for the cause of the crime. The mental disorder becomes an excuse for their behavior. However, a mental disorder cannot be the sole cause of a crime.

🔹A pre-existing mental disorder is completely different to substance abuse and intoxication because your mental capacity level is permanently reduced rather than on a temporary basis.

Before you undergo the acts of substance abuse or intoxication, you have the choice to either go ahead or walk away, knowing the consequences, knowing how much of an impact this will have on your mental capacity and whether you are capable in such a state of committing a criminal offence.

Crime Prediction Map

The most likely fear that the general public has most is an act of violence that is out of the blue. One of the first reactions is that reasonless and being so unpredictable must automatically be associated with those that have a severe mental disorder.

Where my trouble is with neurocriminology, is that different stimuli activate different functions of the brain. Similar to a weather forecast, which we rely on every day for our general activities, neurocriminology is predictable in an unpredictable way.

Weather forecasters can and do make mistakes. We can predict the weather forecast, but we cannot predict the exact severity of it and how it differs in different locations. Similarly, we can predict whether someone is likely to commit a crime, but we cannot predict the type or location of the crime or the severity of the crime.

Moreover, opportunistic crimes are also difficult to predict. However, we can try and place mitigation efforts within our power to prevent someone from committing a violent act in the future.

Perhaps an emphasis on positive mental health can transform an individual’s destiny or planned route to violent behavior. This is why neurocriminology is the future and adds huge value to the world of criminology; in supporting to reduce violence and crime.


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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Since Biden, Uvalde Children Face Higher Crime Rates

City Plagued by Illegal Immigrants

Children in Uvalde, Texas live in a community where a crime occurs every 11 hours 38 minutes on average.

On Tuesday, May 24,2022, the city experienced one of the most horrific crime events in Texas history. After executing his grandmother in her home that morning, Salvador Ramos, a troubled 18-year-old Uvalde High senior, sped to the nearby Ross Elementary School and shot multiple terrified students and adults with a handgun gun and rifle. By the end of mid-day, Ramos was killed by a Border Patrol officer (who chose not to wait for backup help), leaving over 20 people dead.

ESCALATING WAVES OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin warned us last year that his small city was especially plagued with growing problems caused by escalating waves of immigrants crossing illegally from Mexico.

95% of American cities were listed as safer than Uvalde prior to the school tragedy.

🔹According to the most recent data from the FBI, the total crime rate in Uvalde is 4,249.1 per 100,000 people.

🔹That’s 81.12% higher than the national rate of 2,346.0 per 100,000 people.

🔹It is 57.87% higher than the Texas total crime rate of 2,691.5 per 100,000 people.

🔹In Uvalde you have a 1 in 24 chance of becoming a victim of crime.

🔹Uvalde is safer than only 5% of the cities in the United States.

🔹Since Joe Biden has been in office, crime in Uvalde has increased by 12.4%.

During a press conference in the nearby border city of Del Rio last October, McLaughlin spoke about his city’s troubles. He was particularly concerned about children and family safety.

“We’ve had to put our schools on lockdown 48 times this year since Jan. 1, so this (2021-22) school year, every school has officers in it,” he revealed. “The school district went out and hired more police officers, and now they’re at every school.”

‘BIDEN ILLEGAL ALIEN CRISIS’

Crime rates have exploded up in border towns due to what locals call “The Biden Illegal Alien Crisis.”

🔹Crimes are up in Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, Laredo, Eagle Pass and Del Rio.

🔹Cities not directly on the border, like San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Uvalde are experiencing similar crime surges.

FJB

A San Antonio veteran police officer, who asked not to be identified, was upfront about the causes.

“Our Chief (William) McManus is owned by Democrat operatives,” he said. “It’s common knowledge he aids and abets illegal alien transports here. He was caught a few years back helping a tractor trailer full of them escape behind a Wal-Mart and is supposed to being investigated by the Attorney General, but we don’t hear much about that anymore.”

“We know it’s all due to Democrat immigration policies to defund police, ICE, Border Patrol and squelch our ability to serve and protect,” he continued. “It’s all bullcrap. F**ck Joe Biden.”

IMMIGRANT SURGE

Perhaps the Uvalde Mayor explained the key difference between border towns and inner cities best.

“Ours is not the same as y’all’s here in Del Rio,” McLaughlin said at the October meeting. “Ours is the ‘got-aways,’ the ‘get-aways,’ the people that are walking around cutting our ranchers’ fences.”

“They’re trashing houses. Our crime rate is up in Uvalde. I’m not saying 100 percent of it is from the migrants, but it’s up considerably,” the mayor added.

McLaughlin knows the increase in criminal activity in Uvalde is due, at least in great part, to the immigrant surge.

“I believe it, and so does my sheriff and the chief of police. We think at least part of it is the migrants coming through and trying to break into places,” McLaughlin said.

CAR BAILOUTS

A big surge has been experienced in “bailouts.”

“At first, our problem was high-speed chases, and we were having three or four of those every day. Now we’ve got the chases stopped, but they come into town, and we run the license plates or DPS runs the license plates, and they don’t match the car. Then they speed up for two blocks, and everybody in the car bails out, and you’ve got 10 or 12 people that were in the car now running through town,” he said.

“My concern is, what are we going to do to stop this? With the surge you all had here in September, we were wide open,” he said. “There wasn’t a Border Patrol agent to be found in Uvalde. They even shut the checkpoint down.”

McLaughlin noted challenging issues with immigrants “riding the rails” east after they cross the border illegally.

PEDOPHILES, RAPISTS, MURDERERS’

“We have the trains that we stop in Uvalde every day, and we’re getting anywhere from 10 to 50 (immigrants) a day. On some days, 100,” he explained. “And now we’re finding out that some of those people are pedophiles, rapists, murderers.”

Popular meme

“They’re coming back on that train, and thankfully, Border Patrol is catching most of those people, but we really can’t get any information about what they’re doing with those people, where they’re taking them, and that’s concerns us,” the mayor said.

“We’re not against immigration, but there’s a right way to do it, and the way we’re doing it, the way this (Biden) administration is letting it take place, is wrong,” he noted.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

Why Homeschooling Is Growing Across America

Formal schools and homeschooling may both be good education systems, however more parents are recognizing the advantages for their children attending non-government run schools.

🔹In the spring of 2019 there were about 2.5 million homeschool students in grades K-12 in the United States.

🔹The homeschool population is continuing to grow (at an estimated 2% to 8% per annum over the past few years).

🔹By March 2022, there were an estimated 5.1 million homeschool students in grades K-12 in the United States. This represented about 9% of school-age children.

Linda C., a 28 year-old mother of two elementary age children in central Texas, recently decided after the 2021-22 school year to make changes. Her husband, Javier and she have elected to join a growing group of families in their area to homeschool “beginning immediately.”

“With so much politics, indoctrination and questions about curriculum–like critical race theory and teaching sex education to 6 year olds–we are happy with our decision to homeschool,” Linda said.

“We waited for the school term to be over to make this move,” Javier explained. “We believe in prayer. These schools may teach basics like math, reading, writing and stuff, but the soft skills of manners, getting along and figuring out things for yourself is important.”

In their research, the couple found “the homeschool opportunities are endless,” Linda continued. “We have a wonderful library, the internet is rich with information and curriculum. There are opportunities to learn from field trips. The local farmers, ranchers, the emergency management services, are some that came to mind.

Other parents they have talked with point out that for them, “homeschooling is more flexible in educating, especially soft skills,” Linda continued. “Because there are so many kinds of soft skills it takes time to learn them then teach them gradually. We’re talking about things like time management, team work, communication, leadership, critical thinking, decision making.”

“Homeschooling, by its very nature, teaches soft skills,” says Laura Young, a Christian homeschool teacher who has former students now homeschooling children. “Students learn time management when they aren’t restricted to certain class periods, but still need to finish their work by the deadline.”

They learn “teamwork when they finish a household project together (such as making dinner), communication through being part of the family and learning to get along, leadership when they are placed in charge of a project, critical thinking through everyday life that isn’t planned in advance, same with decision making,” she expressed.

“All these things are an important part of why homeschooling is superior to any other method. And the beauty of it is that these skills are taught organically through doing life together instead of artificially using workbooks.”

Research on homeschooling show that the home-educated are doing well, typically above average, on measures of social, emotional, and psychological development.

According to National Home Education Research Institute, measures include peer interaction, self-concept, leadership skills, family cohesion, participation in community service, and self-esteem.

The most common reasons given for homeschooling is to provide a safer environment for children and youth, because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, racism, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools.

Other reasons given for homeschooling include:

  • customize or individualize the curriculum and learning environment for each child,
  • accomplish more academically than in schools,
  • use pedagogical approaches other than those typical in institutional schools,
  • enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings,
  • provide guided and reasoned social interactions with youthful peers and adults,
  • provide a safer environment for children and youth, because of physical violence, drugs and alcohol, psychological abuse, racism, and improper and unhealthy sexuality associated with institutional schools, and
  • as an alternative education approach when public or private institutional schools are closed due to acute health situations such as related to disease (e.g., Covid-19, Coronavirus)
  • protect minority children from racism in public schools or lower expectations of children of color (e.g., black) (e.g., Fields-Smith, 2020; Mazama & Lundy, 2012).
  • teach and impart a particular set of values, beliefs, and worldview to children and youth.

The home-educated typically score higher on SATs and ACT than their public-school counterparts. Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.

  • Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
  • Whether homeschool parents were ever certified teachers is not related to their children’s academic achievement.
  • Degree of state control and regulation of homeschooling is not related to academic achievement.
  • Home-educated students typically score above average on the SAT and ACT tests that colleges consider for admissions.
  • Homeschool students are increasingly being actively recruited by colleges.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

The Attempt at Being Indoctrinated That I Remember Most

With a long, overdue message to a university professor…

Texas State University in San Marcos, between Austin and San Antonio, was known as Southwest Texas University during the summer of 1976. Barely beginning my junior year, a significant paradigm challenge and among the first major attempts at indoctrination took place in a Flowers Hall Sociology class.

“Is God so powerful, that He can create a rock so heavy even he can not lift it up over His head?” our professor asked the class.

Several classmates attempted to answer but were torn into by the professor’s stern logic.

I took a moment to bow my head.

A girl in the desk to my left, did the same. Several others also followed.

“Oh, come on now, please spare me,” he theatrically clinched his two fists together and began shaking them below his waste. “What do you believe? Did your Jesus, your God, shake himself like this and spew out a universe?”

The girl next to me picked up her belongings and walked out into the hallway. He slammed the door behind her.

“Any of you children, still sucking your momma’s teats, after this had better get out now and prepare to drop out for good.”

Flowers Hall entrance

A few students walked out and politely closed the door behind themselves.

He turned to us and sarcastically asked, “So how does this Jesus purport to be the almighty God anyway? When he prays to God is He praying to himself?”

Of course, gullible as some of us were, none of us had the knowledge and ability to debate him. The professor’s word was the final discussion and ruling on the subject. I’m guessing he voted for William Jefferson Clinton later that year, and if still around, voted for Joe Biden and the likes of Beto O’Rourke in 2020.

Decades later, I know the answer to the mad professor’s question.

How could the prayer of Jesus to the Father be the same as us praying to the Father when he demonstrated to us that he himself answers our prayers in John 14:13?

WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME, THIS I WILL DO, THAT THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON.

John 14:13

Now if we took the professor’s meaning of prayer, we were limited in our ability to debate him. His term for “pray” really just means a human speaking to God. Of course, this wouldn’t make sense because Jesus himself says He answers our prayers.  So if Jesus can answer our prayers, He couldn’t be just human.  

The fact that He can answer the prayers of humans, yet prayed Himself, shows both that HE IS GOD and that His prayer to the Father is of a different nature than ours.

A human being can’t both answer human prayers and pray to the Father as a human being.  Either he can’t answer prayers (but He can), or His prayer is not just a human-to-God interaction.  So the fact that Jesus can answer prayers proves that He is God while also being able to talk with other persons in the Godhead.

Along the years, I read this statement when studying the Bible:

that will I do; he does not say, that he would be a Mediator between God, and them, an advocate with the Father for them, and would intercede, and use his interest with him that it might be done, which would have been saying much, and all which he does; but he declares he will do it himself, which is a proof of his deity, and an instance of his omnipotence.”

Jesus’ prayer does not negate his Deity

🔹The word pray does not always have to mean a communication between God and Man.

🔹Jesus used the term “pray” as being a dialogue between two individuals of the same essence.

🔹One of the methods of instruction employed by Christ was leading by example. Hence if Jesus prayed, then all the more should we.

🔹If Christ prayed to the Father in like manner to our appeals and requests to God , then it wouldn’t make any sense because Jesus said that He, himself, could answer our prayers.  

🔹If He can answer our prayers, He must not be separate from God.  

🔹If He can answer our prayers, His prayer to the Father is of a different nature than our prayer to the Father.

Dear Professor, There is no contradiction between Jesus praying and the idea of Him being a member of the Trinity, (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), the Word made flesh.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.

The Dress Code to Enter Johnny Cash’s Bar & BBQ

John and June Carter Cash

Now this is a place for good ol’ red blooded Americans and patriotic country music lovers from around the world to enjoy.

The Johnny Cash Bar and BBQ is located at 121 Third Avenue South, right next door to the Johnny Cash Museum in Nasville, Tennessee.

The food, drink and decor is impressive. We especially like posted dress code and house rules.

DRESS CODE & HOUSE RULES

  • No extra long t-shirts or hoodies that hang below pockets.
  • No excessively low or baggy pants/shorts such that a person’s undergarments or buttocks are exposed. 
  • No athletic style pants/shorts (sweats, nylons, joggers, etc.)
  • No sleeveless shirts to be worn by men after 8PM.
  • No large chains. 
  • No clothing that management considers vulgar, offensive or otherwise likely to cause a disturbance.
  • No motorcycle club or gang affiliation displays of any kind. 
  • Sandals and flip flops are permitted, but not recommended.
  • Footwear must be worn at all times. 
  • No outside food or beverages. 
  • No large bags, backpacks, suitcases or gym bags after 6PM. 

*Management reserves the right to deny admission to anyone suspected to be intoxicated or deemed likely to cause a disturbance or for any other reason at its sole discretion. 

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.
Click For Johnny Cash

Ratings by Movie Goers for ‘2000 Mules’ is A+

Forget the liberal media with their “alleging ” “no proof” and “Big Lie” propaganda. They are about as much to blame for the stolen 2020 Election as the “Mules” in Dinesh D’Souza’s movie 2000 Mules.

Cinemark, the major American movie theater chain based out of Plano, Texas, started experiencing sell outs of advance tickets for regular showings  that began across the nation Friday.

Click For Times & Locations

D’Souza’s compelling documentary made film history by earning over $10 million in five days in a test start at a limited number of theaters and through streaming.

This achievement has never even been heard of for a documentary showing in thousands of theaters across the country. In contrast, 2,000 Mules was only shown for two nights in a limited number of venues before its May 7 digital premiere.

After the early evening showings on Friday, coupled with the viewings two weeks ago, the verdict is out and the audiences have spoken:

THE AVERAGE RATING FOR 2000 MULES IS 98%–AN A+.

Even Rotten Tomatoes audiences give it a 99%!

Here are some actual comments from viewers:

Lyudmila-Shocked by the movie 2000 mules! This film opened my eyes to the cause of the horror that is happening to our country today.
All these fake winners – Biden, Harris, Pelosi, Schumer are criminals destroying America. Something must be done about this and immediately. America must rise and shake off all this scum and start to recover before it’s too late.

Very thorough dig into the 2020 election. The question is – what will be done about this!!!!!

Very informative presenting facts, data, and videos. Focus on 2020 election, but also included mistakes, lack of concern and even cheating by Republicans. I liked how Dinesh presented the information and let viewers form their own based on the facts he collected.

Tom V- This documentary delivers to goods. Highlky recommended, you will not be disappointed.

Kolbo-An excellent documentary with undeniable proof of voters fraud. Very professional.

Patricia-If you care about the integrity of our elections this is a must see.

Norma-Anyone who doesn’t see this has no right to make a judgement about the movie or the election fraud one way or another. See it. Then draw your own conclusion. Don’t let CNN or the San Antonio Express-News tell you how to think. They lie anyway. Just go see it! One of my cousins started crying and felt cheated by the news media people.

David-D’Souza Media and True the Vote documentary conclusions are well supported. The 2020 National Election and the 2021 Georgia Election were stolen. Dinesh & Debbie D’Souza are Rock Stars!

Dr. A-This is impressive “single box that was only visited by 271 people contained 1900 ballots”…They were throwing the gloves away, and if DNA of the Mule was on it, collecting and analyzing the DNA could possibly result in their conviction. The mules should have taken the gloves with them for disposal…I saw the movie, my wife and I, well worth the time. The people that analyzed the Mules also used Cellphone Data to help solve the murder of a little girl, struck by a bullet in a shooting. Only 1 of 2 people were positioned to fire the shots, and they have since been arrested.

Deborah M-Truth bomb about the election fraud. Dinesh is a champion of conservative values. A real patriot. A must see for everyone.

Phil S-My wife and I watched it and it is stunning that our so called representatives and law enforcement have done nothing but avoid the obvious. The mid-terms will be a disaster.

Richard-Loved it. Really proves the 2020 election WAS STOLEN!!!

Dawn P-I believe the Democrats coordinated a massive voter fraud scheme, as Biden alluded to himself, but getting the GOP to do anything or anybody with any authority to do anything, is another hurdle. Right now, the Democrats are using the U.S. Supreme Court as a scapegoat to get people worked up and to justify cheating in the 2022 midterms. All they have to do is convince gullible people that they are doing what’s morally right by cheating.

OldeyDude-The beginning of the real story of the 2020 presidential election.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.
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Airplane Facts For Those Afraid of Flying

About 1 in 5 people have some form of fear of flying, or “aviophobia.” I was one of them, but my job required me to fly often for many years. To overcome this fright, I studied much about flight design, construction and safety.

Something that helped me considerably was knowing what the odds are of dying in a plane crash.

🔹Odds of dying in a car accident are about one in 5,000.

🔹Odds of being struck by lightning, are one in 13,000 chance for your lifetime.

🔹Your odds of dying in a plane crash are about one in 11,000,000.

🔹Fatal accidents occurred once every 200,000 flights in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, fatal accidents (also including private and small planes) only occur once every two million flights.

Most of my flights were over Texas and Mexico, often in private jets. As the president of a professional trade organization in the 1990s, I was required to give speeches across North America in locations such as New York, LA, Chicago, Orlando, Seattle, Las Vegas, Nashville, Atlantic City and Washington DC. I’ve also traveled to Europe, Cayman Islands and elsewhere.

Another bit of knowledge I learned talking with numerous pilots is that passengers should not be as concerned about turbulence as some individuals might be.

“It’s not a danger. It’s just a nuisance,” one pilot said. “We try to avoid them, naturally, because they are like bumps in the roads for us. I don’t want to spill my coffee and we don’t want you to either. Don’t worry about turbulence.”

Here are facts I learned about flying in general:

🔹Airplanes are designed to withstand lightning strikes.

🔹If you sit at the back of an airplane, your odds of surviving a crash are 40% higher.

🔹Research shows that the first 3 minutes after takeoff and the final 8 minutes before landing are when 80% of plane crashes happen.

When a plane lands at night, cabin crews will dim the interior lights. Why?

In an unlikely event that a plane landing goes badly and passengers need to evacuate, their eyes will already be adjusted to the darkness.

🔹Only 5% of the world’s population had ever been on an airplane till 2013 which drastically increased to approximately 20 percent in 2020.

🔹A Boeing 747 is made up of six million parts which are made to be all controlled by a few pilots sitting up front with switches and buttons under their fingertips.

🔹It is the rule that pilots must be fed the same multi-course meal given to those in the first and business class. However, co-pilots are encouraged to eat different entrees to guard against cases of food poisoning.

🔹Those white lines that planes leave in the sky are simply trails of condensation, hence their technical name of “contrails.” Plane engines release water vapor as part of the combustion process. When that hot water vapor is pumped out of the exhaust and hits the cooler air of the upper atmosphere, it creates those puffy white lines in the sky. It’s basically the same reaction as when you see your breath when it’s cold outside.

🔹Environment inside an airplane can alter the way food and drink tastes—sweet items tasted less sweet, while salty flavors were heightened. The dry recycled air inside the plane cabin doesn’t help either as low humidity can further dull taste and smell making everything in a plane seem bland.

🔹Plane doors can’t actually open in mid-flight.

🔹Australian airline Qantas has never had a fatal accident involving one of its commercial aircrafts.

🔹The fastest commercial plane flew at twice the speed of sound. It was the Concorde, that regularly flew over the Atlantic, and was decommissioned after an accident involving Concorde, in France.

🔹Long-haul flights have secret bedrooms and a bathroom for flight attendants.

🔹Living in an airplane flight path could harm your heart, especially those closer to an airport. Individuals exposed to noise above 60 decibels on a regular basis—like the sound of an airplane overhead—have a 30 percent greater risk of dying from a heart attack than those typically exposed to noise levels under 45 decibels.

🔹Why is there a tiny hole in the airplane windows? It regulates cabin pressure. Most airplane windows are made up of three panels of acrylic. The exterior window keeps the elements out to maintain cabin pressure.

The world’s safest airlines in 2022, according to AirlineRatings.com (out of the 385 different airlines they monitor) are Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, SAS, Qantas, Alaska Airlines, EVA Air, Virgin Australia/Atlantic, Cathay Pacific Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa/Swiss Group, Finnair, Air France/KLM Group, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Emirates.

AirlineRatings.com also identified their Top 10 safest low-cost airlines. In alphabetical order they are Allegiant, easyjet, Frontier, Jetstar Group, Jetblue, Ryanair, Vietjet, Volaris, Westjet, and Wizz.

The least safe airlines are Pakistan International Airlines, Air Algerie, Scat, Sriwijaya Air, Airblue, Blue Wing, Iran Aseman Airlines, and Nepal Airlines.

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From award-winning Texas author Cynthia Leal Massey.