Thanksgiving ~ No Bread Stuffing


Here’s a healthy, weight loss recipe, turkey and vegetable stuffing that tastes like stuffing, without any bread!

Healthy turkey dinner with no bread stuffing!

What do you do if you are cutting back on white processed foods, like flour and processed sugar, and you still want to cook a turkey dinner? I’ve tried. It’s just not the same without the bread or cornbread stuffing, until now. I recommend an organic, free range turkey and organic vegetables. Throw away the high cholesterol turkey organ meats.

Saute a large onion, two stalks of celery, 4 large or 6 small carrots, and one large parsnip in 2 tablespoons of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter,”  or “Earth Balance” butter substitute, and add more if vegetables stick. Season with 1 tsp black pepper and 1 tsp salt, and 2 tsp poultry seasoning. I used herbs from our herb garden: 4 large leaves of sage, 4 tall stems of creeping thyme, and a couple Rosemary leaves. Fresh herbs are very fragrant and I think, smell and taste better, but dried herbs will also do. This tastes amazing like the flavor of stuffing, without the bread.Cut a large onion in quarters and place in the large cavity of the turkey. Add a large spring of sage, several springs of thyme and rosemary in the cavity.

Spread “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” on the outside of the turkey, and under the skin if you can. Season the outside of the turkey with pepper and salt. I also used fresh cut up herbs of sage, thyme and rosemary on top of the outside of the turkey.

This is my own recipe, which I found to be surprisingly good as a substitute for those of us trying to make stuffing without bread and fatty meats. Obviously if you are a vegetarian or vegan, do not use the turkey. The stuffing is still a nice alternative to bread stuffing. Enjoy!

Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It’s Not a Democracy by Tom McKay from PolicyMic ~ America Is An Oligarchy ~ Repost


The news: A new scientific study from Princeton researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page has finally put some science behind the recently

Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It's Not a Democracy

Princeton Concludes What Kind of Government America Really Has, and It’s Not a Democracy

popular argument that the United States isn’t a democracy any more. And they’ve found that in fact, America is basically an oligarchy.

An oligarchy is a system where power is effectively wielded by a small number of individuals defined by their status called oligarchs. Members of the oligarchy are the rich, the well connected and the politically powerful, as well as particularly well placed individuals in institutions like banking and finance or the military.

For their study, Gilens and Page compiled data from roughly 1,800 different policy initiatives in the years between 1981 and 2002. They then compared those policy changes with the expressed opinion of the United State public. Comparing the preferences of the average American at the 50th percentile of income to what those Americans at the 90th percentile preferred, as well as the opinions of major lobbying or business groups, the researchers found out that the government followed the directives set forth by the latter two much more often.

It’s beyond alarming. As Gilens and Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” In other words, their statistics say your opinion literally does not matter.

That might explain why mandatory background checks on gun sales supported by 83% to 91% of Americans aren’t in place, or why Congress has taken no action on greenhouse gas emissions even when such legislation is supported by the vast majority of citizens.

This problem has been steadily escalating for four decades. While there are some limitations to their data set, economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez constructed income statistics based on IRS data that go back to 1913. They found that the gap between the ultra-wealthy and the rest of us is much bigger than you would think, as mapped by these graphs:

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Piketty and Saez also calculated that as of September 2013 the top 1% of earners had captured 95% of all income gains since the Great Recession ended. The other 99% saw a net 12% drop to their income. So not only is oligarchy making the rich richer, it’s driving policy that’s made everyone else poorer.

What kind of oligarchy? As Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan explains, Gilens and Page’s findings provide support for two theories of governance: economic elite domination and biased pluralism. The first is pretty straightforward and states that the ultra-wealthy wield all the power in a given system, though some argue that this system still allows elites in corporations and the government to become powerful as well. Here, power does not necessarily derive from wealth, but those in power almost invariably come from the upper class. Biased pluralism on the other hand argues that the entire system is a mess and interest groups ruled by elites are fighting for dominance of the political process. Also, because of their vast wealth of resources, interest groups of large business tend to dominate a lot of the discourse.

In either case, the result is the same: Big corporations, the ultra-wealthy and special interests with a lot of money and power essentially make all of the decisions. Citizens wield little to no political power. America, the findings indicate, tends towards either of these much more than anything close to what we call “democracy” — systems such as majoritarian electoral democracy or majoritarian pluralism, under which the policy choices pursued by the government would reflect the opinions of the governed.

Nothing new: And no, this isn’t a problem that’s the result of any recent Supreme Court cases — at least certainly not the likes FEC v. Citizens United or FEC v. McCutcheon. The data is pretty clear that America has been sliding steadily into oligarchy for decades, mirrored in both the substantive effect on policy and in the distribution of wealth throughout the U.S. But cases like those might indicate the process is accelerating.

“Perhaps economic elites and interest group leaders enjoy greater policy expertise than the average citizen does,” Gilens and Page write. “Perhaps they know better which policies will benefit everyone, and perhaps they seek the common good, rather than selfish ends, when deciding which policies to support.

“But we tend to doubt it.”

Promoting Human Rights Worldwide ~ Repost


Mali, Africa is in great need of meditation and prayers at this time. Photo by BBC News Africa.

Since the beginning of recorded time, discord in families, civic and social relationships, national and international conflicts and wars have been part of human history; but so has human strength, integrity, human rights promotion, conflict and peaceful resolutions, to better the world in which we live. We all have the responsibility as citizens of today’s world, with today’s strife and struggle for basic needs of food, shelter and clothing, to use the gifts we have to help those in need. Human being’s needs include mind, body and spirit; mental, physical and spiritual health.When this post was first written, we saw the violation of human rights in Timbuktu a city in western Mali, the Middle East, numerous countries combating human, drug and gun trafficing, and the seemingly endless war on terror.

What can we do to help our brothers and sisters when we are only one person, isolated and buffered from the hot spots in the world?

We have a choice. A decision needs to be made, not only by our armed forces and political leaders to whom the job of coming to the rescue usually falls, but personally by you and by me. Each individual has a way to better the world in which we live. The adage, “No man is an island,” is approprioate here. There is nothing you can do that is so small, that it cannot have a ripple effect, and a positive effect on the world, any place in the world, today.

We do have a powerful effect on those in our lives mentally, physically and spirituality; just as we have the same effect on ourselves when we address our own character development. If any one of the legs of this tripod is missing, we get a malformed human being. It is also interesting to know, that the strongest of the three is spiritual. Think of this for a moment. At the end of our lives, it is not our mind, intellect or emotion, nor our body that keeps us living. It is our spirit, our soul departing us that determines the end of our life.

Therefore, in dealing with promoting human rights in the world, we need to address the spiritual solution to this problem.

We need to bloom right where we are, using our ordinary human gifts of understanding, empathy, love without conditions, peaceful conflict resolution, humor bringing light and positive energy to all situations that touch our life.

It all starts with us.

Outrageous affronts to humanity also begin with us. Are you harboring a grudge or grievance against anyone? Why? Has a judgement been made here? You might be right. There might be a need to stand your ground. But at a closer look, and with time, might it be possible to make amends and heal some relationship?

Imagine that every thought and word you and I have ever had, continues emitting it’s energetic frequency, after it has left our mind and our lips. Minutes after saying hurtful words, we can apologize and make up with someone, but those original thoughts and words are still “out there” attracting like frequencies. It is beneficial to be mindful of this.

If our thoughts and words have frequencies that affect the world, then meditation and prayer are real remedies. Connecting with God, our heavenly Father is the beginning of our spiritual resolution. Begin meditation and prayer with a specific intention of placing ourselves in God’s presence. It is like the electric switch on the wall. The electricity is always there, but we need to flip the switch to turn it on in order for there electricity to flow. With our mind connected to the Source of all creation, and your physical  self engaged in prayer, next we talk to God as we would with a dear friend, and sent it out to a particular region, or people, or situation in need.  Your meditation matters and is effective. Your prayer matters and is effective.

The Light is stronger than the dark. God is stronger than Satan. The dark areas of the world are dark because they are not living in the Light, because they do not see the Light. Many things bring the Light, including education, aligning with God through prayer, and human relief efforts through organizations like the Red Cross (Red Crescent) and Doctors Without Borders. You and I bring the Light with every understanding we make, with every problem we solve, by taking very good care of ourselves, so we can help others

Sweden’s Prostitution Solution: Why Hasn’t Anyone Tried This Before?


Esnoticia!co has published an innovative solution to the sex trafficking of women and children that has met with success in Sweden. The twist is that female prostitutes are treated as victims, and the male purchasers of women are the ones who get arrested.
In a centuries deep sea of clichés despairing that ‘prostitution will always be with us’, one country’s success stands out as a solitary beacon lighting the way. In just five years Sweden has dramatically reduced the number of its women in prostitution. In the capital city of Stockholm the number of women in street prostitution has been reduced by two thirds, and the number of johns has been reduced by 80%. There are other major Swedish cities where street prostitution has all but disappeared. Gone too, for the most part, are the renowned Swedish brothels and massage parlors which proliferated during the last three decades of the twentieth century when prostitution in Sweden was legal.
Sweden's Prostitution Solution:  Why Hasn't Anyone Tried  This Before?

In addition, the number of foreign women now being trafficked into Sweden for sex is nil. The Swedish government estimates that in the last few years only 200 to 400 women and girls have been annually sex trafficked into Sweden, a figure that’s negligible compared to the 15,000 to 17,000 females yearly sex trafficked into neighboring Finland. No other country, nor any other social experiment, has come anywhere near Sweden’s promising results.

By what complex formula has Sweden managed this feat? Amazingly, Sweden’s strategy isn’t complex at all. It’s tenets, in fact, seem so simple and so firmly anchored in common sense as to immediately spark the question, “Why hasn’t anyone tried this before?”

Sweden’s Groundbreaking 1999 Legislation

In 1999, after years of research and study, Sweden passed legislation that a) criminalizes the buying of sex, and b) decriminalizes the selling of sex. The novel rationale behind this legislation is clearly stated in the government’s literature on the law:

“In Sweden prostitution is regarded as an aspect of male violence against women and children. It is officially acknowledged as a form of exploitation of women and children and constitutes a significant social problem… gender equality will remain unattainable so long as men buy, sell and exploit women and children by prostituting them.”

In addition to the two pronged legal strategy, a third and essential element of Sweden’s prostitution legislation provides for ample and comprehensive social service funds aimed at helping any prostitute who wants to get out, and additional funds to educate the public. As such, Sweden’s unique strategy treats prostitution as a form of violence against women in which the men who exploit by buying sex are criminalized, the mostly female prostitutes are treated as victims who need help, and the public is educated in order to counteract the historical male bias that has long stultified thinking on prostitution. To securely anchor their view in firm legal ground, Sweden’s prostitution legislation was passed as part and parcel of the country’s 1999 omnibus violence against women legislation.

An Early Obstacle in the Path

Interestingly, despite the country’s extensive planning prior to passing the legislation, the first couple years into this novel project nothing much happened at all. Police made very few arrests of johns and prostitution in Sweden, which had previously been legalized, went on pretty much as it had gone on before. Naysayers the world over responded to the much publicized failure with raucous heckling, “See? Prostitution always has been, and it always will be.”

But eminently secure in the thinking behind their plan, the Swedes paid no heed. They quickly identified, then solved the problem. The hang-up, the place where their best efforts had snagged, was that law enforcement wasn’t doing it’s part. The police themselves, it was determined, needed in-depth training and orientation to what the Swedish public and legislature already understood profoundly. Prostitution is a form of male violence against women. The exploiter/buyers need to be punished, and the victim/prostitutes need to be helped. The Swedish government put up extensive funds and the country’s police and prosecutors, from the top ranks down to the officer on the beat, were given intensive training and a clear message that the country meant business. It was then that the country quickly began to see the unequaled results.

Today, not only do the Swedish people continue to overwhelming support their country’s approach to prostitution (80% of people in favor according to national opinion polls), but the country’s police and prosecutors have also come around to be among the legislation’s staunchest supporters. Sweden’s law enforcement has found that the prostitution legislation benefits them in dealing with all sex crimes, particularly in enabling them to virtually wipe out the organized crime element that plagues other countries where prostitution has been legalized or regulated.

The Failure of Legalization and/or Regulation Strategies

This Swedish experiment is the single, solitary example in a significant sized population of a prostitution policy that works. In 2003, the Scottish government in looking to revamp its own approach to prostitution enlisted the University of London to do a comprehensive analysis of outcomes of prostitution policies in other countries. In addition to reviewing Sweden’s program, the researchers chose Australia, Ireland, and the Netherlands to represent various strategies of legalizing and/or regulating prostitution. The researchers did not review the situation where prostitution is criminalized across the board as it is in the US. The outcome of that approach is already well known. The failures and futility of the revolving door of arresting and rearresting prostitutes is all too familiar the world over.

But the outcomes, as revealed in the Univ. of London study, in the states under review that had legalized or regulated prostitution were found to be just as discouraging or even more discouraging than the traditional all round criminalization. In each case the results were dramatic in the negative.

Legalization and/or regulation of prostitution, according to the study, led to:

A dramatic increase in all facets of the sex industry,
A dramatic increase in the involvement of organized crime in the sex industry,
A dramatic increase in child prostitution,
An explosion in the number of foreign women and girls trafficked into the region, and
Indications of an increase in violence against women.
In the state of Victoria, Australia, where a system of legalized, regulated brothels was established, there was such an explosion in the number of brothels that it immediately overwhelmed the system’s ability to regulate them, and just as quickly these brothels became a mire of organized crime, corruption, and related crimes. In addition, surveys of the prostitutes working under systems of legalization and regulation find that the prostitutes themselves continue to feel coerced, forced, and unsafe in the business.

A survey of legal prostitutes under the showcase Netherlands legalization policy finds that 79% say they want to get out of the sex business. And though each of the legalization/regulation programs promised help for prostitutes who want to leave prostitution, that help never materialized to any meaningful degree. In contrast, in Sweden the government followed through with ample social services funds to help those prostitutes who wanted to get out. 60% of the prostitutes in Sweden took advantage of the well funded programs and succeeded in exiting prostitution.*

* The full Scottish government report on prostitution policies can be seen at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk
So Why Hasn’t Anyone Tried This Before?

Why, then, with Sweden’s success so clearly lighting the way, aren’t others quickly adopting the plan? Well, some are. Both Finland and Norway are on the verge of making the move. And if Scotland takes the advise of its own study, it will go in that direction too. But, the answer to the question of why other countries aren’t jumping to adopt Sweden’s plan is probably the same as the answer to the question of why governments haven’t tried Sweden’s solution before.

In order to see prostitutes as victims of male coercion and violence it requires that a government first switch from seeing prostitution from the male point of view to the female point of view. And most, if not virtually all, countries of the world still see prostitution and every other issue from a predominantly male point of view.

Sweden, in contrast, has led the way in promoting equality for women for a very long time. In 1965, for example, Sweden criminalized rape in marriage. Even by the 1980′s there were states in the United States that still hadn’t made that fundamental recognition of women’s rights to control her own body. The Swedish government also stands out in having the highest proportion of women at all levels of government. In 1999, when Sweden passed its groundbreaking prostitution legislation, the Swedish Parliament was composed of nearly 50% women.

Sweden’s prostitution policy was first designed and lobbied for by Sweden’s organization of women’s shelters and was then fostered and fought for by a bipartisan effort of Sweden’s uniquely powerful and numerous female parliamentarians. Nor has Sweden stopped there. In 2002, Sweden passed additional legislation bolstering the original prostitution legislation. The 2002 Act Prohibiting Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation closed some of the loopholes in the earlier legislation and further strengthened the government’s ability to go after the network of persons that surround and support prostitution, such as the recruiters, the transporters, and the hosts.

And Why Can’t We Copy Sweden’s Success Here?

While it’s probably true that we and other countries are still much more steeped in patriarchal darkness than Sweden, there’s no reason we can’t push now for the policy changes that Sweden has made. The beauty of it is that once the ground has been broken and the proof of success has been established, it should be ever much easier to convince others to go down that path.

Feel free to photocopy and distribute this information as long as you keep the credit and text intact.
Copyright © Marie De Santis,
Women’s Justice Center,
justicewomen.com

Making The Same Mistake Is Not A Mistake ~ It Is A Choice ~ Life Changing Meditation ~ Repost


Have you ever found yourself repeating cyclical dysfunctions in your life? Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does this keep happening to me?”second same mistake is a choice Take a moment to look at your life thus far, the people in your life, your job situation, your living status, your financial health, and all other areas of your life. Pay particular attention to those areas that you really do not want to look at too deeply, areas that seem like hot spots to you, or any area that thus far you have kept a tight lid on, have only allowed yourself to view as a single option, or the only option. One minute we may think we have conquered one problem or another, only to have it rear its ugly head once more in our lives. What do we do with that?

Find a quiet spot, physically and mentally, and become the observer of your life. Know that as you peer into the windows of your life, you see all of it, only this time you are able to avoid all of the distracting drama, button pushing, and out of control emotion. Simply see your life as you remember it, without making judgments on yourself. Simply become aware of the patterns you see. Notice your habits that you might have suppressed all your life, because it is, as you might say, your way of doing things. Do you see any life lessons here that keep repeating? What do you see?

Our habits, even if they are dysfunctional, are comfortable to us, because we already know how they will play out. We also know by now, that whatever we focus on grows. But there are times when we revert back to our two-year-old selves, or any age where our character development got stifled through a dramatic event. At times we dawn a self-defeating type of amnesia, as if by our forgetting about what happened “the last time this happened,” we can change the future. Deep down, we know this is a lie. Our history keeps rolling on in its repetitive, circular compression as if this compression might have well been yesterday all over again, until that is, we make the sometimes painful and necessary changes, by our decisions to do so, in order to get a different result in our lives.

We know how to push others buttons to get our desired result, and they know how to push ours, or at least that might be our lived experience thus far. Know this: just because something has always been for us, some habit or desire, functional or not, does not mean we are forever doomed to have a continued life of dysfunction. We are not doomed forever to a life of victimhood. We are not meant to live a life where other people constantly are supposed to take advantage of one another, either us being the aggressor, nor the victim.

Some of us live our lives as a music conductor conducts the orchestra, with precision, yet with cunning conniving and manipulation, while others of us are carried away by the music, like flights of fancy, but not rooted in the necessary reality of reality.

The key word in today’s article is choice. Yes, we have free will and choice. We may not like what is entailed when we change our choice options. Often fear arises. So because we turn out focus to the fear of this, that, or the other thing, we stagnant, making fear-based decisions, out of fear of the unknown, and the pattern repeats again. How do we break out of self-sabotage patterns, some of which are destroying our life?

Pay attention. Ask yourself these questions:

What motivates me?

Do I want a different outcome in my life?

Exactly what do I want to accomplish in my life?

Is what I am doing now in line with my life goals?

What are my life goals?

What are my short term goals?

What are my long term goals?

Have I written these goals down?

How serious am I about my goals?

Do I feel I have reached my full potential”

Is there more for me to learn?

What plans do I have to increase my education?

Where do I want to live?

How do I want to live?

Are their people in my life that affect my life?

Have I allowed my hopes and desires to be swayed by others thinking?

What are my own personal goals, not influenced by others?

What is my dharma, life’s ultimate work or calling?

Do I give away my personal power and decision making to others, or to situations?

Do I fully know that I am made in the image and likeness of God?

Do I know that God does not make junk?

Do I know how special I am in this life?

Do I know that my decisions not only affect my today, but my entire future?

Is The Bible Really Real? Is The Bible Only Used By Archaeologists To Find Ancient Cities? Is The Bible Only Fable, Myth And Allegory?


After 42 years of intense personal Bible study, research of the Bible in many differing religions that use the Bible, and including

Comfort and hope can be found here.

Comfort and hope can be found here.

concentrated courses in countless courses I’ve taken in Catholic, Protestant and Jehovah Witness circles, one might think I have all the answers concerning the Bible. My ego says I do, but reality proves I do not. Faith is a matter of faith. It seems just as soon as I think I have it all figured out, I find another puzzle piece that needs to be addressed, things that I had glossed over or ignored, thinking that piece of information meant one thing or another, all the while, I actually had no idea what that piece meant. It serves us well, from time to time, to dust off our belief systems, to see what we actually believe and why. Fear and ridicule are not a good premise for a foundation of any belief system, while education is. It is also a curious thing to include what the Bible has to say about life situations, because if it were such an archaic, old-fashioned, out-of-date book, it would not remain one of the best selling books in all of history. There must be something there.

Can we, intelligent and educated human beings in the 21st century, believe what the Bible says? Think about this for a moment. Even though the Bible was written over a period of 1,600 years by some 40 different people, or schools of people, it has amazing harmony. Obviously these people never met one another. Yet, the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments are connected by one central theme. The book of Genesis starts with a paradise earth. The book of Revelation ends with a paradise earth, fulfilling God’s original intention. And throughout it all, God uses prophets, kings, and ordinary people in the Bible to guide us to his ways of loving kindness and forgiveness to bring this about.

While secular historians seem quick to cover over the defeats of their people, or even rewrite history, the Bible writers in contrast candidly recorded both their personal failings and those of their nation. Take for example is Psalm 51: 1-4. David writes when Nathan the prophet came in to him after David had relations with Bathsheba. David does not go into denial, or political spin to make his actions look like something else. No, David is truthful.

But perhaps the point that captures my attention the most is that of reliable and accurate prophecy that was fulfilled. First let’s look to the Old Testament, when the Bible not only foretold the fall of Babylon some 200 years before it happened  (Isaiah 13:19-20) and exactly how it was to happen, but it foretold the name of its conquer (Isaiah 45:1-3). Who does that 200 year ahead of time?

We only have to look to the prophecies of a promised messiah throughout the Old Testament, and see them fulfilled in Jesus in the New Testament.

Also, consider this Bible passage,So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place (until day dawns and a daystar rises) in your hearts. For you know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were moved by holy spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

“All Scripture is inspired of God.” 2 Timothy 3:16

From the above paragraphs,And Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms, the beauty and the pride of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorah when God overthrew them. She will never be inhabited, nor will she be a place to reside in throughout all generations. No Arab will pitch his tent there, and no shepherds will rest their flocks there.” Isaiah 13:19-20 This is in the area of Iraq, where shepherds do not graze their flocks to this very day.

This is what Jehovah says to his anointed one, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have taken hold of, to subdue nations before him, to disarm kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut: “Before you I will go, and the hills I will level. The copper doors I will break in pieces, and the iron bars I will cut down. I will give you the treasures in the darkness and the hidden treasures in the concealed places, so that you may know that I am Jehovah, the God of Israel, who is calling you by your name.” Isaiah 54:1-3

For these reasons and many more based on my own faith experience, I personally believe the Bible is a worthwhile, and current book to study, in today’s world so in need of hope.