The Aromas of Christmas

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

Christmas time is when I’m prone to catching colds, this year being no different. My work takes me out in the elements and this past week we’ve had our share of damp and soggy air. Not complaining, after this year of drought we needed the rain. Monday, the symptoms started to appear, so we took steps to minimize the impact; lots of vitamin C, extra Zinc and Lucy’s magic box of essential oils. I don’t claim to know the names of these mysterious fluids, only that she applies some to the soles of my feet and around the base of my neck and instantly my breathing becomes more efficient. Remind me to avoid trips to Salem; last I heard they burned witches for this sort of thing.

“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble…”

Lucy has a fancy diffuser machine for these same oils, a futuristic oblong thing which casts a pale blue light while operating. Small amounts of mist escape from the opening spreading a most enjoyable fragrance throughout the house. The properties of oils which make up the mist are supposed to kill viruses and germs. The best part of having the diffuser going may be how it makes the air smell like crushed Cedar or Juniper tree needles; pretty neat, since our Christmas tree comes in a box for easy storage and contains no aroma of its own.

This evening, Lucy will be in the kitchen with our granddaughter helping bake the last batch of gingerbread cookies, a family recipe that at one time was kept under lock and key. Some folks dream of waking up to a brand new car in the driveway, a huge red ribbon wrapped around it on Christmas morning; at least that’s what television commercials would have us believe. There’s nothing wrong with getting a new car, bicycle or even a genuine Red Rider BB Gun, but a tin filled with home made gingerbread cookies from this recipe is on top of my list. I could handle some dark chocolate, maybe some maple syrup candy to melt in my mouth and then, as I breathe out, carefully let the vapors circulate in the olfactory caverns for a second chance to enjoy the subtleties created by that confectionary delight. These varied aromas make Christmas a special time and me with a cold, go figure.

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”


Did Democrats Really Win The Two-Month Payroll Tax Cut Duel?

By: Jeffrey Klein, Political Buzz Examiner

Now that the “two-month” extension bill, covering the payroll tax holiday, long term unemployment benefits and the Medicare “fix”, was passed by unanimous consent, the mainstream media is labeling this as a “big win” for Democrats, by Senate “force majeure.”

The talking heads on the Right had been saying that Republicans may win the on the policy, but lose on the politics; whereas, the talking heads on the Left were claiming an “optics” victory.

In this case, both the sides most likely labeled the outcome of this stand-off accurately, because during the holiday season, when emotions are naturally heightened and distractions are a plenty, it seems that he or she who has the positive “sound bite” wins.

And this was definitely the case of the dueling labels, in this corner…Santa Claus, the deliveryman of glad tidings and cash; and in the opposite corner, the “Grinch” who stole Christmas–even though barking reality and truth.

But, borrowing a theme from the hit Broadway musical CATS, the real question is which side will prevail after the holiday season is over and the “cleansing light of day” reappears? In other words, an action that seems agreeable in the dark of night, may result in a totally opposite feeling the next morning.

In this case, the “next morning” will come in early January 2012, once the holiday “hangover” has lifted; then, the facts and circumstances surrounding this bill, and more so the “necessity” of even having to proffer it, will hit home for more and more Americans.

The fact is that Democrats gained control of the Congress on January 3, 2007, four years ago–facing only President Bushes veto power, and then achieved complete control of the government with the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 13, 2009.

The facts are that since then:

1. The U.S. economy has fallen into a shambles, our national debt is soaring beyond our annual GDP, budget deficits are at record levels because of out-of-control entitlement programs, and the economy continues to limp along at an anemic one percent or less, versus a vigorous 3.5 percent in 2008.

Through the recession, unlike the government, U.S. companies have learned to do more with less [people] in order to survive and even remain profitable, which is reflected in a nearly recovered Dow that currently stands at 12,247.15 versus 12,621.77 on January 3, 2007.

2. Net job creation is non-existent and 2.5 million jobs have disappeared that will never return, causing painful long-term unemployment, which has risen from 4.6 percent in 2007, to over 10 percent in May 2009, and now remain stubbornly frozen around 9 percent.

3. The decline in jobs and cascade of home foreclosures has cut the average market value of homes by almost 50 percent since 2007, and will pick up the pace in the New Year. Once all of the useless legal delaying tactics have run their course, there will be hundreds of thousands of additional homeowners forced to become renters, or squatters with family members–smashing the center-piece of the “American Dream.”

4. Finally, the price of necessary goods and services has skyrocketed and remain high, particularly gasoline, averaging $3.29 today, versus 1.78 in January 2009.

And, food prices have risen by 6 to 12 percent per year, due to this increase in energy costs, plus heavy demand for corn for Ethanol production–a very expensive, government subsidized program which has had little affect on U.S. domestic oil consumption.

So, by it taking nearly a month of legislative time to finish by offering up a puny, “two-month” Band-Aid bill, as a counter-measure to the sound one-year legislation passed by the Republican-controlled House, which he didn’t like, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) illustrated once again that Democrats are actually the prime cause of the “do nothing Congress,” as they are are simply hell-bent on their own re-elections.

As an increasing number of voters begin paying more attention to the political process starting in January 2012, while the above four years of bitter facts “sink in,” they will come to realize, just as they did in January 2010, that it is the obstructionist Democrats and their socialist agenda who are responsible for our ongoing economic calamity, and that President Barack Obama has been nothing short of a nightmare.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Jeffrey Klein



By: Dave Logan

Pictured above: Debbie Lee with her son Marc Alan Lee, the first Navy Seal to be killed in Iraq.

Debbie will be on FoxNews’ America’s News Headquarters Saturday 12-24-11 at 12:25 PM ET. If it’s possible, please tune in and ask others to do so as well. Debbie’s a patriot through and through and we should support her whenever possible.

Read all about Debbie Lee and her son Marc Alan Lee at America’s Mighty Warriors. And consider making a generous contribution. Thanks.