Gun deaths down 30% | Washington Examiner

Data from the FBI and Pew Research Center show that all gun violence has declined since the Clinton era, though suicides blamed on guns has ticked up.In a new report, Pew said that between 1993 and 2000, the firearm murder rate dropped by almost half, from seven homicides to 3.8 homicides per 100,000 people. It also said that all gun deaths — murder, suicide, police and accidental — have dropped 30 percent since 1993.

Source: Gun deaths down 30% | Washington Examiner

Liars lie:Hillary Clinton’s public vs. private Benghazi facts | Sharyl Attkisson

Within hours of the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Clinton emailed her daughter, Chelsea, that Americans had died at the hands of an al-Qaeda like group. Al-Qaeda is the Islamic extremist terrorist group that was led by Osama bin Laden. Clinton also informed Egypt’s prime minister and Libya’s president that the attacks were “preplanned” and “had nothing to do with” an anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube.Yet Clinton told the American public and families of the Benghazi victims that the maker of the video was to blame for sparking protesters who got out of hand in Benghazi and spontaneously launched assaults. In fact, there had been no protests in Benghazi.

Source: Hillary Clinton’s public vs. private Benghazi facts | Sharyl Attkisson

Why trying to help poor countries might actually hurt them – The Washington Post

I have always wondered about the third world countries we give cash to.  You just know the dictators who run those countries make sure that they pocket as much of it as possible. It makes more sense to me to have other organizations go in and personally assist the people who need the help.  This is how Rotary International has been fighting, pretty successfully, polio.

Deaton, an economist at Princeton University who studied poverty in India and South Africa and spent decades working at the World Bank, won his prize for studying how the poor decide to save or spend money. But his ideas about foreign aid are particularly provocative. Deaton argues that, by trying to help poor people in developing countries, the rich world may actually be corrupting those nations’ governments and slowing their growth. According to Deaton, and the economists who agree with him, much of the $135 billion that the world’s most developed countries spent on official aid in 2014 may not have ended up helping the poor.

Source: Why trying to help poor countries might actually hurt them – The Washington Post

Fear of Creating

I fall asleep right away most nights, and then maybe three, maybe four hours later, I wake. I have a great idea for making one thing or another, and I figure out how to do it and what it will look like.

Sometimes, I even make note of what I want to make.

And eventually I go back to sleep.

Then, the next day, or the day after, I keep thinking about that one thing I want to make, but nine times out of ten, I am petrified of trying to make it. It could be something with fiber, it could be something with wood, it could be an oil painting, even writing – and I find that I am so afraid of failure that I can’t even start the project.

Once in a long while, I break out of that mold, and I do make that thing, and typically, it works out well, someone really loves it and buys it, but then, I find myself back in that hole of being afraid of using my ideas.

I’ve been this way a long, long time.  I am not sure I can change at this point.  All it takes is for one person to tell me I’ll be a failure, and I seem to take that to heart.

So, I endeavor to kick myself in the ass, and try some of these scary new ideas out in the coming weeks.

What have I got to lose, after all!

Appearances

I’m as snarky as the next person.  However, I have always drawn the line at mocking someone because of their appearance.

Year ago, when Obama was starting his run for the Presidency, I had a lot of women friends, conservative bloggers, as I was,  who made a ton of fun of Michelle Obama because of her appearance.

I am not fan of Obama or his wife, but I cut ties with those women because, to me, criticism of someone’s appearance is shallow and meaningless.  Criticize their political positions, criticize their honesty, criticize their ideas, but for God’s sake, no one has much control over  their appearance.

And I’m sure part of my pique was because so many of the otherwise wonderful conservative women bloggers I was engaged with were quite beautiful women, and, yeah, I am not beautiful.  I’m kind of odd.  Not ugly, but not beautiful or fashionable.

Plus making fun of how someone looks is much more hurtful than just disagreeing with their viewpoints on this, that, or the other.

Today, someone mocked me for my looks. Said I looked like someone who started out as a man and then had a sex change operation.

That hurt me more than almost anything anyone could say about my political positions, my education, my interests, whatever.

So, looking back on things, I know that I was right back some years ago when I broke off ties with those gorgeous conservative women I was aligned with, because it is very hurtful when someone makes fun of how you look.

God made me who I am.  I cannot help it if someone thinks I look like a transgendered man – or is it woman? hell, I don’t know.

So I guess this is a warning to people I know.  Make fun of anyone’s looks, and I will no longer be friends with you.  I don’t care if you are making fun of someone who is politically opposite me – complain about their positions, not their physiques.

Getting back into shearing the goats

Finally got back into the shearing mood.  I sheared Celieto this afternoon.  She is 2 1/2 year old doe.

I was a bit annoyed with her. She let me lead her up to the shearing stand just fine, and was good for about 5 minutes of shearing. Then she decided she was done, and wiggled and squirmed and even managed to jump off the stand twice.

What should have been a 20 minute simple chore turned into a 50 minute pain in the butt.

Willow and Carly did NOT help one bit.  They kept jumping up on the stand with Celieto. I believe they thought they were helping me.

Bah.