June 4 (Radio) Trevor Loudon On ‘Your Defending Fathers Show’ – Patriot Voices 92.5 FM WYPV Petoskey With Brian Sommerfield

Pacific Freedom Foundation

Event Details

  • Start: 4 June 2014 10:15 am EDT
  • Categories: Radio Interview

Trevor Loudon is touring the country like a modern-day Paul Revere to warn America of “The Enemies Within,” and sharing his ideas about how to turn it all around.

On June 4, Trevor speaks candidly with Brian Sommerfield on Your Defending Fathers Show. WARNING This program talks about radical ideas such as… freedom, liberty, less regulation, free and open markets, the right to bear arms, limited government, minimal taxation, personal responsibility, balanced budgets, moral absolutes, states rights and a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. ! ! ! ! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED ! ! ! !

Your Defending Fathers Show, Patriot Voices 92.5 FM WYPV Petoskey – Brian Sommerfield
Wed. June 4, 10:15 am EDT

The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress is like no other book written on American politics. The book exposes, in layman’s terms, the comprehensive communist, socialist and extreme progressive infiltration of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

The book profiles fourteen Senators and more than fifty Representatives and their ties to the Communist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America, the Workers World Party and the Institute for Policy Studies, Council for a Livable World and other radical anti-American organizations. Trevor has done the hard work to connect the dots of why the U.S. Congress has moved further and further left over our lifetime and you won’t want to miss him.

If your TEA Party, 9.12 or patriotic group would like to have Trevor Loudon speak, please contact Regina Thomson.

Check out Trevor’s TOUR MAP AND SCHEDULE, which is constantly being updated with new events and venues.


June 8 (Radio) Trevor Loudon On ‘The Mike Hewitt Show’ 1090 AM WKBZ-AM Muskegon

Pacific Freedom Foundation

Event Details

  • Start: 8 June 2014 12 pm EDT
  • Categories: Radio Interview

Trevor Loudon is touring the country like a modern-day Paul Revere to warn America of “The Enemies Within,” and sharing his ideas about how to turn it all around.

On June 8, Trevor speaks with radio personality, Mike Hewitt. He is the host of The Mike Hewitt Show on 1090 AM WKBZ and is an independent solutions driven Jeffersonian leaning conservative focused on current events and the politics of our times. Mike interviews leaders from across Michigan, getting the complete story and keeping you informed!

The Mike Hewitt Show, 1090 AM WKBZ
Sun. June 8, 12 pm EDT

The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress is like no other book written on American politics. The book exposes, in layman’s terms, the comprehensive communist, socialist and extreme progressive infiltration of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

The book profiles fourteen Senators and more than fifty Representatives and their ties to the Communist Party USA, Democratic Socialists of America, the Workers World Party and the Institute for Policy Studies, Council for a Livable World and other radical anti-American organizations. Trevor has done the hard work to connect the dots of why the U.S. Congress has moved further and further left over our lifetime and you won’t want to miss him.

If your TEA Party, 9.12 or patriotic group would like to have Trevor Loudon speak, please contact Regina Thomson.

Check out Trevor’s TOUR MAP AND SCHEDULE, which is constantly being updated with new events and venues.


A Done Deal of Sorts

Arlene from Israel

In spite of well-founded predictions that this would never happen, a Fatah-Hamas unity government was sworn in today in Ramallah, to much fanfare. It is to be headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (pictured below), former president of An-Najah National University in Nablus, who had been appointed by Abbas.

Credit: brecorder

Under this new arrangement, the areas of Judea and Samaria administered by the PA and Gaza will be governed by the same political entity. There are, as I understand it, 17 ministers, five of them from Hamas.

You can see the listing of the members of the government here: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=3D701510

Some are new appointments, but eight people retain the positions they previously had.

One of the primary goals of this new government is the supervision of elections, which are slated for 2015. Do not expect this to go smoothly.


This is the first unity government between the two major Palestinian Arab factions to be established in seven years. That is when Hamas, after winning PA elections, violently wrested control of Gaza and established a separate polity there. Several attempts at reconciliation in the interim failed.

Even today, at the very last moment, it looked as if things would fall apart because Hamas suddenly insisted on a ministry and minister for prisoner affairs. But the PA was treading carefully on this because of intimations that the US frowned upon this ministry. Abbas had said a separate agency that was not part of the government might be established. In the end, a compromise was reached in which there would still be a ministry, but no minister would be appointed – the ministry would be under the direct supervision of Hamdallah.



Hamdallah for his part had said earlier that the prisoner issue was a top priority and that the Prisoners Law would continue to be implemented.

I wish to be very clear about this: the law provides salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons, with the level of salary calibrated to the severity of the crime. The Palestinian Media Watch has been doing battle with the State Department on this matter. For State continues to make reference to the need to provide support for the families of those in prison (thereby representing this as a welfare law of some humanitarian dimensions). PMW has documented, however, that the payment is to the prisoners.

See: http://palwatch.org/STORAGE/special%20reports/4_reports_PA_salaries_to_terrorists_Feb_13_2013.pdf

The US government would, understandably, be defensive about this. For the “terrorist salaries” have been drawn from the PA’s general budget, which means from monies donated to the PA. Many tens of millions in US funds (US taxpayer funds) go to the PA, with some of this – estimated at $46 million – used for the prisoners.



The support for the prisoners is is a major issue for the Palestinian Arabs, for they see these people as “martyrs,” heroes who fought for their cause. Which tells us a great deal.


Speaking of prisoners….

The Shin Bet has revealed that it has blocked 11 different attempts to kidnap Israelis – both soldiers and private citizens – that were orchestrated from inside Israeli prisons.

The prisoners, who were members of Hamas, Fatah, and other Islamic organizations, were in communication with terrorists on the outside, who were instructed to activate the kidnappings. The goal was to force trades that would secure the release of the prisoners who had instigated the kidnappings.

There are dozens of other reasons not to release terrorists in prison, but this alone is sufficient reason. No terrorist in an Israeli prison should believe that his release can be assured in this fashion.


A bill was being promoted – by MK Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and MK David Tzur (Hatnua) – that would give judges the option during sentencing (primarily sentencing of terrorists, although this is not specified) of blocking any possibility of future early pardon. This was designed to prevent release of terrorists for political reasons. It would, said Shaked, restore a modicum of sanity to the country. Indeed. Coalition head MK Yariv Levin (Likud) and Yisrael Beiteinu faction leader Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenur faction head) were among those who also signed on to the proposal.

But Prime Minister Netanyahu blocked the vote, according to various reports thereby incurring considerable anger on the part of Naftali Bennett (head of Habayit Hayehudi). Then Netanyahu said it will be considered by the Security Cabinet instead, which apparently mollified Bennett somewhat. And I? I throw up my hands. The political machinations are more complex than anything I wish to discuss in detail here.

What I will note is that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein had a role in this, which should surprise no one.


What is so incredible is that this law would apply only to future sentencing (those now in prison could still be pardoned for political reasons), and yet this caused political tensions.

Returning to the matter of the new unity government…

It came as a surprise that Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and his cabinet have resigned, thereby making way for the new unity government. Originally, he had said he would insist on maintaining control.

Abbas, meanwhile, has declared that the new government would be established on the “Palestinian principles” of “recognizing Israel, recognizing the terms of international agreements, and the explicit rejection of violence and terrorism.”


This is a sick joke. A ploy. I have referred in the past to fancy political footwork, and that’s what we’re seeing. Hamas ostensibly withdraws to the background and Abbas says, “See, we’re all on board here.” Not if Hamas is part of that government, they’re not. And that’s without even considering the fact that Fatah, as the PA, has itself never explicitly rejected violence.


My concern is that the international community will find it convenient to buy into this ruse and again pressure Israel to negotiate or otherwise offer cooperation. Israel has said that there will be no negotiations with a government that includes Hamas. The US government is supporting this position, for the moment. But Kerry, while expressing concern about Hamas, has had communication with Abbas and will be meeting with him.

He is saying the US will not accept the unity government “initially.” Not encouraging. He’s saying, “Convince me, guys.”

If there is any good news with regard to US involvement in “peace negotiations,” it is that Obama gave a major foreign policy speech without mentioning this. And there is talk about cutting US support for the new unity government – but this comes from Congress and not the White House or State Department.


Most news sources I’m seeing are saying that Netanyahu has declared he will hold the PA responsible for any rocket fire from Gaza, now that there is only one government. But there is much more to it than this.

Over the past several years, Israel – even while aware of the stockpiling of rockets in Gaza – maintained a policy of “quiet for quiet” (Hamas doesn’t launch those rockets and Israel refrains from attacking Hamas – a policy I always thought was bananas). Now, however, there is a different scenario in play:

According to the Guardian, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz is insisting on the record that Abbas now had an obligation as part of the Oslo agreement, to demilitarize Gaza.

(For the record, Interim Agreement of 1995, Chapter 2, Article XIV 4 outlines what weapons are permitted for the PA police, etc. and rockets are not included. See: http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=63724)

And Netanyahu is quoted as saying, “Enough of these tricks. If this new Palestinian government has regained sovereignty over Gaza the first thing that Abbas should do is announce he is starting demilitarization of Gaza.”


But that is not exactly what the Security Cabinet has now said: http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=63959. The issue of Abbas’s obligation to remove rockets from Gaza is skirted.


Gubernatorial candidate Chris Holbrook arrested for exercising 1st Amendment

Hat Tip: BB


Minnesotan gubernatorial candidate Chris Holbrook was exercising his 1st Amendment right on Thursday at Lake Calhoun park in Minnesota.

He was simply talking to people about liberty when he was approached by some true Minnesota jackboots destined to stomp out what little rights are left to Americans.

“You guys need to contact the park board and get a permit,” said the jackboot tyrant “You can’t promote, you can’t do any of that stuff without a permit.”

Apparently this power tripping cop’s version of the Constitution that he swore an oath to, lacked the part about prohibiting any laws that abridge the freedom of speech.

This is America ladies and gentlemen, talk to people in a park about freedom and go to jail.I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor)

(VIDEO) – Gubernatorial Candidate Arrested for Talking About Freedom in a Public Park

Mpls. Park Police apologize to libertarian candidate


Snowden Interview Backfires on NBC and “Truthers”

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

The reviews are in: NBC’s Brian Williams was a sap for Edward Snowden in Moscow when he gave the NSA leaker a platform disguised as an interview.

It was “Edward’s Snowden’s first interview on American television,” Williams announced. But it was conducted in Moscow, under the watchful eye of the Russian security service, the FSB. In an interview with VentureBeat, former KGB General Oleg Kalugin said, “The FSB are now his hosts, and they are taking care of him.”

Snowden followed the script, and so did Williams. It was the NBC version of the Voice of Russia, which highlighted his claim that “he was not under the control of Russia’s government and had given Moscow no intelligence documents after nearly a year of asylum there.”

This is the Moscow party line. NBC and Brian Williams swallowed it—hook, line and sinker.

The interview also backfired on the 9/11 “truth” movement. Snowden, hailed as a hero and “whistleblower” by the 9/11 “truth” movement, failed to validate their claims that the U.S. government and its secret puppet masters were behind the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America.

If anyone should have concrete proof of 9/11 being an “inside job,” it should have been Snowden, with his access to all kinds of top-secret and classified documents. He addressed 9/11 during the NBC interview, but failed to disclose anything about secret agents planting explosives to bring down Building 7 in what the “truthers” say was a controlled demolition.

It was NBC’s Brian Williams who suffered the most embarrassment, however.

“In the days that have followed [the interview], Williams has been criticized for not pressing Snowden on many issues,” noted Don Kaplan of the New York Daily News. “Williams grilled Snowden about his motives and responsibility for the largest security breach in U.S. history. But many of Snowden’s answers were unsatisfying—and Williams failed to push for examples of exactly how government surveillance has harmed anyone.”

“Brian Williams of NBC News did a good job of letting Edward J. Snowden say what he wanted to say,” commented Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times. She, too, noted that Snowden “wasn’t pushed for specific examples where government surveillance had harmed a single American individual…”

In short, Snowden failed to prove his case that the NSA had been violating the privacy rights of ordinary Americans.

In this case, Williams became the dupe. And that may become as big a story as Snowden’s defection to the Russians. “I thought you guys might give this a fair shake,” Snowden told Williams, in explaining why he chose the network. He was rewarded for his faith and confidence in NBC. He was allowed to portray himself as a patriot.

The softballs went like this: When Williams asked, “Do you see yourself as a patriot?,” Snowden answered immediately, “I do.”

Sitting in Moscow, under Russian surveillance, Snowden added, “If we want to be free, we can’t become subject to surveillance. We can’t—give away our privacy. We can’t give away our rights.” Yet, Moscow controls his fate.

When previous NSA defectors William H. Martin and Bernon F. Mitchell landed in Moscow, they, too, held a press event. “We were employees of the highly secret National Security Agency, which gathers communications intelligence from almost all nations of the world for use by the U.S. government,” they said at a 1960 press conference with the Soviet press at the “House of Journalists” in Moscow. Like Snowden, they were granted asylum.

The Martin and Mitchell defections were “a spectacular publicity coup,” noted Vasili Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew in The Sword and the Shield. It was “the most embarrassing press conference in the history of the American intelligence community.”

One might say, based on the press reaction, that the Snowden interview was also embarrassing—but mostly for Williams and NBC.

Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter commented that Williams’ interview with Snowden “was yet another in a long, long line of deferential, uninformed, unchallenging genuflections before a guy whose story and motivations are more than a little specious.”

A fascinating follow-up story is how lunatic fringe sources such as the Alex Jones “Infowars” website focused on Snowden’s 9/11 comments, as if he somehow confirmed the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as being an “inside job” conspiracy.

NBC “censored” his comments, Mikael Thalen wrote on the Alex Jones website, even though they were, in fact, posted by the network. The Alex Jones channel featured this story under the graphic “9/11 was an inside job.”

What Snowden said was that the U.S. “had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States, to detect this plot.” This is a non-controversial statement that captures the failure of the intelligence community to stop the plot. The problem is that Snowden’s leaking of more classified information relating to ongoing intelligence and military operations makes it more likely that terrorists will be able to carry out another 9/11-type assault.

Snowden never echoed the 9/11 “truthers” in claiming that the attacks were carried out by a mysterious cabal that blamed 9/11 on Muslims, or that they were deliberately allowed to occur so that the U.S. could go to war in the Middle East.

No worry: the 9/11 “truth” movement has another explanation for Snowden’s failure to blame 9/11 on “inside job” conspirators. They argue that Snowden himself is part of the conspiracy.

Iranian Press TV, a dependable outlet for anti-American propaganda and disinformation, reports that Snowden himself may be part of the “inside job.” According to this line of thinking, Snowden is actually working for the globalist cabal operating behind the scenes and is making sure that more damaging and sensational secrets don’t come out. The author of this Press TV piece is Dr. Kevin Barrett, described as “one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror,” and author of Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie 2007).

In other words, Snowden is a double agent! In fact, the truth—as they see it—has already come out. “Edward Snowden told Brian Williams and NBC Nightly News he is a trained intelligence operative who worked for the CIA, NSA and DIA,” reported Kurt Nimmo of the “Infowars” site. He claims this “admission” means that Snowden is still working for the U.S. government and won’t blow the whistle on the real serious scandals.

Snowden’s mouthpiece, meanwhile, is threatening to release the names of American citizens who were targeted by the NSA. Glenn Greenwald, who received many of Snowden’s documents and has now written a book about the leaker, was even interviewed by Tucker Carlson on the Fox News Channel on Sunday about this possibility. Greenwald has called this the “finishing piece” to the Snowden story.

What got lost in the discussion, as usual, is the fact that there are legitimate grounds for conducting surveillance of Americans in contact with foreign intelligence agencies or foreign terrorist movements. One of the NSA’s greatest successes was Venona, the code name given to the intercepted and deciphered Soviet intelligence messages between Moscow and the Soviet espionage network in the United States.

If Greenwald’s “finishing piece” alerts foreign spies and terrorists to the fact that their American agents are under surveillance, it becomes that much harder to stop plots against the American people. Snowden—and Greenwald—would then have blood on their hands.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.


Forum: What’s The Secret Of A Happy Life?

The Watcher’s Council

I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
— Robert Frost

Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: What’s The Secret Of A Happy Life?

Simply Jews: I have asked SWMBO, and her answer was unequivocal: you (meaning I) are happy, and you better remember this. So I do.

Eternal compliance is the solid base of happiness, it seems.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Using every trick in the book to keep the boys chasing after that Laffy Taffy?

Enhancement drugs like botox, phentermine and aleve. Copious amounts of vodka spiked with Diet Ginger Ale (Canada Dry only please) along with a brisk 30 minute walk EVERY day – rain or shine.

Pursuit of the latest fashions and haute couture, communication devices.

Of course, all that stuff tends to fade away if the ancients are to be believed (jury is still out on that – heck, from a personal perspective – they’ve always seemed to be wrong about everything else).

Methinks accepting X as your personal Lord and Saviour and striving to lead an Xian life is key. Xians are not perfect LOL – yet we are forgiven.

Virginia Right!: For me, I am fortunate to be a happy person in general. Things don’t get me down, or if they do, not for long. I know a lot of people that have to work a lot harder than me to be happy.

I suppose you have to first start with being happy with who you are. Change the things that are obstacles to happiness if you can, but leave some imperfections to add color to your soul. And to keep you humble. Be happy in your imperfections, they add character.

If you think you would like to do something, jump in. Be brave. Dance like no one is watching often. Laugh a lot.

But I think more that anything, you need a close companion, spouse and best friend all in one. I have had that for 31 years and counting. And with that in my arsenal, everything else can fall apart and I am still going to be happy.

And have a hobby. Or several. You MUST have the diversion to balance the load. For me, it is playing and writing music. But you don’t need talent, just a desire to do something you love as often as possible.

Liberty’s Spirit: So what is the secret to a happy life? Live your life. Simply live it. Enjoy it. Revel in your children’s successes. Figure out how to help them through their failures. Support those that you love. Find ways to grab at every minute of everyday. Don’t put off the important things. Stand up for what you believe in. Do what is right and honest. Don’t be afraid to alienate anyone who isn’t a positive influence in your life. Have patience. Have self-respect. Be kind. And above all BE BRAVE.

Ask Marion: The secret(s) of a happy life are:

Finding your purpose (hopefully something bigger than yourself); we all have one… or a few.

Following your heart and doing what you truly love or have a passion for (one and two usually end up being the same thing or related)

Enjoying the journey, which includes finding the good in the people, what you have and where you are each day, no matter the circumstance(s)

Saying what is on your mind and the truth and doing what needs to be done, no matter what and definitely regardless of whether it is popular

Ignoring the naysayers and negativity

Listening to what God is telling you

Learning to let go and forgive (yourself and others)… the toughest one for me
Liking yourself

Did (or do) I do all these things, or even do the ones I did well or consistently enough? Hell NO!

Do I wish I could have a do over? Hell YES!

I look back at the saddest and happiest moments and events of my life, and other than the deaths of family members that I had no control over, both the happiest and saddest times of my life were when I did the best or worst job of following my credo.

If I could give a young person some advice, the younger the better, I would tell them:

Find your connection with God (a higher power)

Listen to everyone’s input, the more information the better, but in the end follow your heart… the little voice inside.

Do something that scares you every day; fight your daemons.

Make a bucket list of 100 things when you graduate from high school, and a second one if you graduate from college, and keep them and work through them throughout your life.

Follow your heart; the people who are happiest and often do best in life… including financially are those who followed their dreams, not their parent’s dreams, not their counselors direction, nor chose the a career based on the money they could make.

Speak-up for yourself and others; never believe that anyone else will fight for you or your dreams and definitely they won’t fight as hard as you would.
Take some me time everyday, even if just 15-minutes, to breath, to reflect, to clear your mind of the negative, to pray, to be grateful, to be happy!

Surround yourself and fill your life with things you love and that inspire you… photos, trophies, books, favorite movies, flowers, music, pets, a garden to work in, people you love and that inspire you, volunteer, and own at least one extravagance that makes you happy… a car, a piece of jewelry, a painting, a crazy expensive pair of shoes, a rare edition, an antique, a boat, gold, a revolutionary war rifle or document, a collector doll, whatever does it for you.

And on a side note, I believe that we often make our own lives more difficult or dimmer than they need to be. Outlook and attitude are half the battle. My husband, daughter and I were part of the volunteer cast of the Glory of Easter and Glory of Christmas at the Chrystal Cathedral for 14-years, a great source of happiness and joy. One year several volunteers with an array of special needs from a local independent living facility joined us as part of the cast. At dinner, provided by other volunteers between shows, the subject came up about what they all did for a living. One gal told me she rolled the silverware into a napkin for the trays and then put them into bins at a buffet-style restaurant. Most of us would complain about boredom or the repetitiveness. She said she loved her job because everyone needed silverware and by rolling them in the napkins, she saved them time and was helping to give good service. Each of them had jobs, and jobs that might cause many of us to complain, but each of them were grateful and actually loved what they did.

My father died far too young at age 63 after a pretty tough life, and he was much better at doing the things above than I have been. One of the last things he said to me, just days before he died of colon cancer, was: “It wasn’t enough!” It is a statement that haunts me daily and more so the older I get, for I’m sure I will feel the same way. I’m driven as it is, a type A driver personality, and part of me feels that I need to accomplish more for the time my dad missed. But I’m working on enjoying the journey, forgiving myself for the things I didn’t do and at letting go. Yet although I think I understand the basic formula for a happy life… getting there is harder than it seems.

Bookworm Room: When I was growing up, my parents were not happy people. I always thought “small wonder.” Daddy went from Berlin ghetto; to orphanage; to aliyah to Palestine (which to him, was exile from his beloved German homeland); to five years with the RAF in the Mediterranean theater during WWII; to the Israeli War of Independence; to immigration to a strange land he never fully understood and in which he never really made a living.

My mother went from a childhood of ridiculous wealth in Europe; to near-poverty in Tel Aviv, where her unhappily married parents had a rancorous divorce; to 3 1/2 years in a Japanese concentration camp; to the Israeli War of Independence; to immigration to a strange land she never fully understood, all the while married to a man who couldn’t support her in the style to which she’d become accustomed as a 10 year old — or indeed, to any style that was greater than a scrabbling working class economic existence, even as my parents aspired to a rarefied, upper-class European lifestyle.

In our house, happiness wasn’t what was on the table. Instead, we dined on depression, despair, and economic envy.

For all that, I still had a pretty happy childhood. I was loved, fed, and sheltered. Those are the basics. I quickly came to terms with the fact that I would always march to the beat of my own drummer, so I found happiness in eccentric pursuits such as books, antiques, and anglophilia. I always had a “best” (and sometimes “only”) friend, and that was quite good enough.

I’ve had very happy intervals in my life. I loved living in England (Margaret Thatcher’s England), where I discovered that the acid-tongued bookworm was actually a party animal who loved to dance all night and, when not dancing, to spend the night talking with friends. My friends drank, and I got a contact high, no alcohol required.

I was happy at law school. I never fully understood what the heck I was doing with the whole legal thing (and indeed, didn’t for years after graduation), but I loved my fellow classmates. Just being around them made me happy . . . and sometimes they’d go dancing with me.

Adult life came along: work, single nights out with groups of friends or uncomfortable dates, more work, more uncomfortable dates. The occasional unrequited love. (Sigh.)

Eventually I met the man I determined to marry, and my life took a turn I had never imagined. Suddenly, I found myself living in the quintessential suburban home with one husband, two children, two dogs, and with responsibility for an increasingly difficult mother. This was not how it was supposed to me. I somehow imagined myself dancing through life, not folding laundry, driving carpools, cooking inedible dinners, nagging children, cleaning the house, etc.

I should be unhappy, right? And indeed, there are days when I am feed up to here and beyond. But I’ve decided that being unhappy with the lack of pleasures in my life is cruel not only to my family, but to me. So I work hard, really hard, at defining myself as a happy person.

First, I routinely count my blessings (what some people call gratitude). Maybe I’m not dancing and going to parties and dating the charming men who seem to live only in romance novels, but I’ve got it pretty darn good.

I live in a beautiful part of the world, in one of the nicest neighborhoods imaginable, in a lovely, comfortable house. I have two children who, while they can be excessively teenager-y, are also loving, moral, decent human beings, with whom I have a great relationship about 90% of the time (which, as I see it, is pretty darn good odds for a parent/teenager relationship).

My mother may be increasingly unhinged, but she always remembers that she loves me. And I have two of the best dogs in the whole world. They don’t do tricks, but they live by my rules and think that I am the sun, the moon, and the stars combined. What an abundance of blessings.

But counting ones blessings isn’t enough. That’s just a balancing act: for every bad thing (or irritating or frustrating) thing, I’ve got two good things.

My newest goal is to turn just about everything in my life into a blessing or, at least, a positive. I stumbled across this idea when I was talking to my mother back last week when she was still compos mentis. (She seems to have slipped a few cogs in the past few days.)

She was, as always, complaining. She complained about the high quality home in which she lives, she complained about the nurses who work hard to keep her healthy, she complained about the aides who wash her and dress her, she complained about the other residents who still manage to like her, she complained about the weather, she complained about her pain, she complained about being old, she complained about imminent death, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I was exhausted just listening to her. I finally said, “Look, Mom. You cannot change your circumstances. You’re no longer able to live on your own, you won’t get younger, and you’ll suffer joint pain. Those are givens. What you have to do is change your attitude.”

Wow! Did I just say something that profound? Yes, yes I did! If you cannot change your circumstances (and assuming your circumstances aren’t a concentration camp in Nazi Germany, Siberia, or North Korea), you have to change your attitude.

Changing ones attitude doesn’t mean bouncing around giggling, “Oooh, there are dead rats in my basement. Isn’t that just wonderful?” No. It means thinking deeply about the lessons you are learning or the benefits you are getting from things that you’d normally find less than thrilling.

Traffic tickets? Expensive and humiliating, but also, perhaps, the universe sending you a reminder that you’re tootling around in a two-ton death machine and really ought to be more careful. Taking that lesson the right way may mean that I don’t kill or maim someone in the coming weeks or years.

Irritating teenagers? Well, I may be middle aged, but patience and forbearance are still virtues, and I apparently still need to work on them. My children are my classroom, not my prison wardens.

Dirty laundry? Perhaps I can find a way to make things less boring and more fun. And indeed I did. After years of trying to make my shirts look like the ones on the shelf at the GAP, I have found a new way, one that somehow satisfies me at a visceral level. It seems that, while I’d been folding them the right way for the GAP all those years, I’d been folding them the wrong way for me.

That dishwasher? I challenge myself daily to see how fast I can go. It turns out I like the same “beat the clock” game that toddlers do. (Except for my toddlers. My kids never wanted to play beat the clock. They wanted to play “there’s no way in Hell you can make me do that task, ever.” I hated their game, but I’m enjoying mine.)

So, what’s the secret of a happy life? Telling yourself you’re going to be happy. Looking at the world through rose colored glasses. Counting your blessings. Trying new approaches to old chores. Reminding yourself that no one else but you can make you happy.

Well, there you have it.

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it.

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