Thursday, December 25, 2014

No. 129 – December 25, 2014 – Christmas Gifts

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster 

It was a birthday party.

Father Peter W. Nielsen, III, invited children and adults attending St. Peter Church's Children's Service to sit on the steps and carpet at the altar to hear the story of the birth of Jesus. The young girl we know as Mary, the Mother of Christ, Father Peter said, was fourteen when a messenger from God appeared to her and said she would have a son who was to be called Jesus.

Pausing in his narrative, told in language the smallest child could understand, Father Peter asked who acted as a messenger for God. A small girl, no more than four, said it was an angel. Asking then about the word, 'prophet,' those listening learned angels and prophets deliver messages from God to his people.

The story, so well known, came alive.

Shepherds saw the sky above them fill with angels, as numerous as the stars. They sang the news of a baby born to a virgin. Lonely men, hungry for hope in a world filled with trouble, heard them. Rejoicing erupted in shouts of joy and dancing as the multitude of angels faded, leaving the shining stars they knew so well.

Together, the shepherds left their flocks to find the child. In the presence of the sleeping baby they told Mary and Joseph what they had seen, gazing with awe and hope at the child so recently born.

Jesus, Father Peter, said, brought the gift of salvation to humanity.

Thirty three years after his birth Jesus invited his friends to a meal. He told them to continue to share the bread and wine in remembrance of him, sharing these gifts with everyone.

Adults and children gathered close to the altar, watching as the meal was prepared for them. All raised their cupped hands and took the bread and drank the wine. The youngest, less than two years old, put the bread into his mouth and sipped from the silver cup.

As this gift was given to us, so what we do for others are gifts given to Jesus. These gifts say, “I love you.”

In the dining room we sang happy birthday. The cake was cut. Father Peter asked children and adults to share how they love others this next year. What gifts, time or things, do you give? Each is a gift given to Jesus.

How do you say to Jesus, “I love you?”

No. 128 – December 16, 2014 - A Birthday Party for Children On Christmas Morning

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Things are happening at St. Peter Church, which stands waiting at 4901 Main Avenue, Ashtabula. A newly called Priest, The Rev. Peter W. Nielsen, III, has made it his mission to make sure the smallest among us understand the gifts which Christmas brings with a short service, lasting only 45 minutes to an hour. 
So on Christmas morning, when the packages have been opened, the church doors will swing wide as the bells ring out their song, welcoming everyone to a birthday celebration. 
This is planned as a party for a special child, loved by billions around the world.

Father Peter announced the morning service, which will start at 10:30am, as a come as you are celebration. PJs and slippers are completely acceptable. This is, after all, a birthday party for a child who even when He was born knew each of us. Children attending will raise their voices with those of their parents, parishioners and guests, making a joyous noise to our Lord, lead by our Choir Director Danielle Cline. 
We will begin a celebration of the life of Christ when he was only a few hours old, clasped in the arms of His Mother. His presence gives us every reason to celebrate and share a special peace and His story, savoring its mysteries and its lasting promise. 
Expect to be moved by the Christmas Story read to us by Father Peter as it is shared in a way new to all as St. Peter renews its ministry. 
Children of all ages are welcome. This is their service. With the congregation of St. Peter Episcopal Church all will hear a Christmas Story which is familiar and yet made new. This is children's time to experience the wonders of the gifts which came to each of us through the birth of the Baby Jesus. 
Together, Father Peter says, we will make the Christmas story our own, listening and making joyful sounds as we share our best gifts with everyone. 
A Child was born and laid in a manger by a mother who knew the preciousness of the Gift He brought. At our celebration all baptized will be welcome to receive the Eucharist. All will receive a special Christmas blessing. 
After the service we will share a birthday cake in the dining hall, blowing out the candle together as we look forward to a year filled with hope and renewal.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

No. 127 – December 11, 2014 – He Spoke to Set the Record Straight

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Antonio Veciana, now 85, baldly stated there would have been no anti-Castro movement in Cuba without the CIA funding. More shocking revelations were to come.

Speaking to an audience of 200 gathered at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel last September 28, the former lead for the Alpha 66 Assassination squad stood at the podium, his son at his side, also revealed publicly, for the first time, his encounter with Lee Harvey Oswald as he waited to meet with his CIA handler. The accidental encounter occurred six weeks before President Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas.

Veciana and Oswald had the same CIA handler, David Atlee Phillips, then using the cover name, "Maurice Bishop."

Arriving for his meeting with “Bishop” fifteen minutes early Veciana witnessed Oswald meeting with a CIA official in Dallas. As events continued to unfold after Kennedy was shot Veciana came to believe Oswald was also a CIA operative, but one the agency decided it would be expedient to use as a fall guy to cover their involvement.
Veciana told the audience he is convinced the CIA organized the president's murder.

The Alpha 66 Assassination squad was allegedly responsible for the two assassination attempts on Cuban leader, Fidel Castro during those years. Vecianan lead the team, made up of Cuban exiles in the early 1960s.

Speaking through an interpreter Veciana was dignified but emotional as he outlined what he had seen and knew. Asked later why, after all this time he had decided to speak out he responded saying he wanted to set the record straight because over time he had come to admire Kennedy, a man he and Phillips had regarded as a "traitor" for allowing communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro to remain in power.

David Atlee Phillips, AKA "Maurice Bishop, formerly an actor, used hundreds of aliases during his career. He was named as head for the CIA's operations in Cuba soon after he was recruited in the 1950s.
After his retirement, Phillips found a new avocation. Organizing thousands of intelligence agents he formed the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. The supported the political careers of other former CIA linked individuals, among these former CIA Director George H.W. Bush and Bush allies.
Phillips career in the CIA lasted 25 years. He was one of only a few to receive the Career Intelligence Medal. He died of cancer on July 7, 1988 in Bethesda, Maryland.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

No. 126 – December 3, 2014 – The Guiding Hand and Unseen Miracles

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

The first showing of a microscopic motion picture took place in a small, make-shift basement laboratory at U. C. Berkeley in 1926 . All of the U. C. instructors who could had crowded themselves in to the cramped space.

They were there, wrote Arthur C. Pillsbury ten years later in his book,Miracles of Plant and Animal Life,” “ to see the results and I was very anxious to get their reactions. After the short showing was over, Dr. Setchell turned to Dr. Holman and said, “What have we just seen, Doctor?”

Startled, Dr. Setchell talked about Brownic movements in protoplasm. The theory of pseudo-random motion came from botanist Robert Brown in 1827. Brown noted particles moved through the water. Unable to determine the mechanisms causing this motion it was assumed these were random and not purposeful.

What the UC instructors had seen on the screen was a cell dividing.

There was nothing random about it, as science eventually accepted. Pillsbury did not wait to hear anyone else's opinion. Knowing he needed the best equipment to continue his work he placed an order for what he needed. He then started out on a lecture tour to pay for it. The first unit cost $5,000, an enormous sum in 1926. To ensure these insights would remain available Pillsbury refused to patent his invention, instead publishing instructions for building your own camera.

Pillsbury said in his book, describing what he had seen in his study of Spyder Lily pollen as it germinated. No matter what the obstruction, they grew over and under it or pushed it to one side.” Pillsbury continued,the nucleus, the germ of life, as it came out of the grain, traveled down the tube and entered the stigma. To ponder the reason, the why and wherefore, of nature's struggles to carry on, the difficulties to overcome, make one realize that the Guiding Hand must control all life, that one cannot well be a student of life and an atheist.”

The insights provided must have been unwelcome on college campuses where atheism and Marxism were gaining credibility for ideas covertly funded by the largest, and wealthiest, corporations on Earth.

These insights, with implications for all science, could not be contained. The explosion in discoveries gives mute testimony to what scientists refused to ignore.

In November, 1927, a fire in Pillsbury's studio destroyed his ability to fund another such project.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

No. 125 – November 26, 2014 – The Wealthy Find Santa Barbara – The Potter Hotel

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

The final section of the Southern Pacific's coastal railway - Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo - was finally completed in March, 1901. Finally, trains could roll unimpeded from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

This changed much about the character of Santa Barbara. Suddenly, it was possible for the wealthy to travel in the comfort of their private rail cars to a town which, to the Eastern privileged, was cloaked in perpetual summer.

Such travelers expect something extraordinary, and Milo Potter saw that they found it.

The Potter Hotel was build on the slight rise of Burton's Mound, providing a glorious view of the Pacific, just steps from the sand. Construction started on Sunday, January 19, 1902 and was completed exactly one year later, 1903.

The Mound been the site of a Chumash village. The last village Wot (Chief), was Yanonali. A street was named for him. The Mound passed to Lewis T. Burton, an otter hunter who bought it in 1860, selling to the Seaside Hotel Association, a group of local investors. Nothing was build until Miles Potter bought the land in December, 1901.

The result was glorious.

The Potter stood six-and-a-half stories high with 390 guest rooms. The main Potter dining room sat 700 in a town of 7,000 inhabitants. The Potter Farm in Goleta, provided suckling pigs, chickens, eggs and dairy products. Potter's Squab Ranch, also in Goleta, laid claim to being the largest in the world with "60,000 milk fed squabs" intended for the exclusive use of the Potter tables.

Potter had a touch for the business of catering to the wealthy, many staying for a month or more, spending the winter there. The Railway station was steps away and provided tracks where posh private cars could be kept secure.

The Potter changed Santa Barbara. The wealthy and famous came and many never left. The primacy of trains would soon be displaced by the automobile. The Potter Hotel exactly spanned the twenty years in which this shift took place.

And in 1906 the first circuit panorama camera was used to capture the magnitude of the Potter. The camera's inventor, Arthur C. Pillsbury, the previous April had recorded the death of San Francisco by earthquake and fire.

Potter sold the hotel in February of 1919. It burned, not to be rebuilt, on April 13, 1921. The Potter was gone – but its impact on Santa Barbara remained.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

No. 124 – November 22, 2914 - A Cat Cafe for Ashtabula?

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Cat Cafes started in Taiwan, caught on, and moved into Japan where small apartments leave little room for even a smallish cat. One article on the subject quoted German philosopher Albert Schweitzer as saying, "The only escape from the miseries of life is music and cats."

Taiwan now hosts 150 and they are spreading far and wide. One is about to start in Australia. North America's first opened in Montreal recently.

In a cat cafe the patron must make an appointment to spend an hour interacting with the kitties who have their run of the cafe. Patrons have been observed on the floor enticing attractive cats with purchased cat treats and tossing mouse toys. Naturally, cafes in Japan feature tea rather than coffee for patrons. The cost is generally around $10.00 an hour. The cat treats are extra, costing around $3.00.

While it is unlikely this edgy form of commerce will be popping up in Ashtabula any time soon the innovative spirit for answering an unfilled niche leads this writer to consider a business which might prosper, and bring a trickle of prosperity with it, to Ashtabula.

What Ashtabula needs are businesses which make it attractive to live here. Other towns nearby, for instance Geneva, have managed this.

Why not fill a niche which has been emptying due to the give away of washers and dryers to needy families and the exodus coming with the collapse of the job market here? These factors have caused at least one laundromat owner to consider closing up shop entirely.

Consider for a moment our need to bring in young people and give them a reason to stay. One of the greatest assets we have is the Ashtabula Kent State Campus. More students would likely come in from other places to attend if housing and student life was more attractive. So, what about building student housing? Student housing which works economically is sturdy, well insulated, well designed, and attractively located with gathering places to draw students to other businesses.

A combination Internet Cafe with laundromat set up in the Star Bucks mode would be very attractive to students. Add niches with tables for conversation so students can chat as they do their wash, enjoy a latte, and dig into their school work. Place this near that student housing.

Cat Cafes happen where there is prosperity and leisure. Let's start with the prosperity. Meow.

Friday, November 14, 2014

No. 123 – November 13, 2014 – A Mystery and Photographer George Fiske

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Everyone knew George was not well and was experiencing intense pain. Hoping for his recovery they were saddened when he shot himself on October 20, 1918.

His still existing collection of glass negatives was acquired by Curry Company, soon to be the Yosemite Park and Curry Company, YP & CC in 1923. Most of his collection had been lost in a fire which destroyed his studio and cameras in 1904.

As a photographer Fiske, had earned the esteem of the international community who had viewed the haunting beauty of his work.

One of these photos, among the most famous, was titled, “Half Dome on Christmas Morning.” The image was titled, “The Domes of Yosemite in Winter,” when it appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1902.

The image shows Half Dome, draped in snow with winter closed in around it. The image is haunting in its poignant power, the stillness of the moment sinks into the mind as you view it. It is also unmistakable. Mountains do not change. The configuration of snow and leaves in the foreground are never the same. A later image would have revealed human artifacts.

The glass plates remaining in Fiske's depleted collection when he died was sold to Curry Company. In the early 30's the collection of Julius Theodore Boysen, another early Yosemite photographer, also acquired by Curry, was stored with it. But in 1934 a fire enveloped the barn and these early images were lost. At least we thought so. Now, the jury is out on this question.

Caches of glass plates and early film have been surfacing.

Rick Norsigian, a house painter from Fresno bought a box of negatives at a garage sale. Looking through the box he was was astonished at the beauty of the images, mostly of Yosemite. Hoping they were by Ansel Adams he launched an effort to have them recognized by the Adams family, which ended in a settlement with the Adams estate in 2010.

The same year a Fiske, undoubtedly the famous Half Dome on Christmas Morning image surfaced from the stored work of another, nearly unknown, photographer. J. M. Garrison. The image came with the accounting for sale of the image, for use as a post card, by the Yosemite Park & Curry Co., dated December 10, 1958.

It is a mystery now resolving into answers, piece by piece. Expect the unexpected and remember George Fiske.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

No. 122 – November 6, 2014 – When 'Change' Delivers More of the Same

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

'Wag the Dog' is an expression which denotes, “to purposely divert attention from what would otherwise be of greater importance, to something else of lesser significance. By doing so, the lesser-significant event is catapulted into the limelight, drowning proper attention to what was originally the more important issue.”

Now, the Dog has been Wagged. Feel better? If you were voting for someone with an R beside their name you probably feel good. If you went for the big D, you are sad. No matter. The present trajectory is not going to change unless or until we take control of our own lives and our own communities.

What you just witnessed was a cast change of no real significance. One team of professional liars 'D,' is just giving liars team 'R' their turn. This is intended to distract us so we remain passive where it matters, here, where we live.

I understand why it happens. When we are hungry for hope, any hope, elections are very seductive. The fiery speeches and promises make things seem possible. But in the end nothing changes except the names of the rascals who are taking and spending your money and transferring more of your personal life to their direct control. Solving problems in our own community, ourselves, recedes into the distance again.

Several months ago I interviewed the candidate for Ohio's 14th Congressional District. A classical Conservative was running. He answered every question asked just as President William Howard Taft or Senator Barry Goldwater would have done. He loved Barry's line on gays in the military. “You don't have to be straight to shoot straight.” He and Barry shared the same view on abortion, too, and on preserving the environment.

You had a chance to vote for him last Tuesday. No, it was not the Libertarian. The candidate was Michael Wager. He sounded shocked when I told him.

William Howard Taft, the president who went down to defeat in 1912, would have stopped the FED, nixed the IRS and made sure the Hetch Hetchy was not converted into a water supply for San Francisco. His views were known. He was a Conservative.

Oh. And the pledge of allegiance was written by a socialist whose goal was to stop the study of our founding documents in schools.

Direct governance by the people was the original form of government intended by our founders. We still need it.

Friday, October 31, 2014

No. 121 – October 30, 2014 – The Peaceful Revolution of Anguilla

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

The people of Anguilla voted for independence, 1,813 to 5, in 1969. Tired of being ignored by St. Kitts, the seat of government for Britain, as the West Indies Associated States, they badly needed a water pump. Having no government they were at a loss for how to provide this. 
First, they declared independence in 1967. No one seemed to notice. 
The British Crown and St. Kitts ignored their Declaration of Independence for two years.
St. Kitts and the Crown also refused to recognize Mr. Jeremiah Gumps as the spokesman for their new government, which he was. Mr. Gumbs acted as a spokesman and roving Ambassador for the newly founded government. 
Jeremiah Gumbs was also the man with a connection to the United Nations everyone else lacked. Knowing who to call got the ball rolling toward a resolution to the whole problem. Jeremiah called Helen Garland. 
Helen had been vacationing in Anguilla with her children each summer for a number of years by then. She lived in New York and was the only person they knew, and trusted, to advise them. 
Helen was an early volunteer organizer at the United Nations. Her children loved Anguilla's beaches. There they played with Jeremiah's children during their long summer get-a-ways from the fever of New York.

Walking Jeremiah through the steps needed to access a special United Nations subcommittee on colonialism was easy for Helen. In this way committee met Mr. Gumbs and heard this tiny nation's formal arguments for Anguillan independence. 
These moves were noticed by the Crown, who had ignored Anguilla for around 300 years.
In February of 1969 vote took place. On March 19th Britain invaded with 315 Red Devil paratroopers parachuting in, avoiding the goats herded onto the landing strip. 50 Bobbies hit the beaches. The landing force was met by the massive media. 
A truce was signed on March 30. The only casualty was one newsman who was hit in the eye by a champagne cork.

Matters were resolved to the satisfaction of most. On July 1971, Anguilla became a dependency of Britain. Two months later Britain ordered the withdrawal of all its troops, who seemed sorry to go. Anguilla left St. Kitts behind, now provided with a separate administration and a government of elected representatives. And in 1982 a new Anguillan constitution took effect.

And today, Anguilla is at peace, hosting tourists from around the world.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

No. 120 - October 23, 2014 - The CIA Lied

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

G. Robert Blakey is the former general counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), which issued its report in 1979.

At the time Blakey said, “It is time that either Congress or the Justice Department conducts a real investigation of the CIA,” Blakey said at a conference last month. “Indeed, in my opinion, it is long past time.” 
Still angry that his committee was thwarted in September of this year Blakey spoke out at the Assassination Archives & Research Center (AARC) Conference, held on September 26 in Bethesda, Maryland. 
The HSCA was not satisfied with the previous investigations on the assassination of JFK. They wanted answers. The answers were in the National Archives, sealed. The CIA is not budging, so the documents will remain in the Archives until 2017 – or who knows when.
Congress unanimously passed a law in 1992 requiring the release of JFK records. It is now 2014, 22 years later and the CIA is still refusing to cooperate. 
Apparently no one with any access to the continual leak of information today believes Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin, or had anything to do with the JFK murder. This is the conclusion drawn from the ongoing dialog between people, many of them having first hand knowledge of the assassination in 1963. As they get older they grow concerned about what this kind of 'security' has wrought for America. 
Although my respect for Congress is not high they are the people elected to represent us. Why then has every administration since 1992, these include Bush, Senior, Clinton, Bush W, and Obama, not instituted an investigation of the CIA by the Department of Justice or simply closed down the agency? 
This was the course of action Kennedy was considering at the time of his untimely death in Dallas. Curious coincidence there. 
Bush, Senior once headed the CIA. Today the Bush Family and the Clintons are very friendly. And Obama's family worked for the CIA, too. Evidently, those who become presidents, the critical position for doing something about the CIA, are very inclined to accept CIA assurances that all is well. 
Perhaps it is time to take the advice offered by Blakey, “It is time that either Congress or the Justice Department conducts a real investigation of the CIA. Indeed, in my opinion, it is long past time.” 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

No. 119 - October 16, 2014 – Fire the Center for Disease Control.

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Dr. Tom Frieden is the Director for the Center for Disease Control. Tom blogs and tweets. Because so many revelations are coming out about the unpreparedness of the CDC to cope with an Ebola pandemic I decided to find out about Tom, who is in the driver's seat on the issue here in the United States.

Tom's most recent blog included this reassurance. “The United States is helping lead the global response to the epidemic, but we cannot do it alone. That is why President Obama launched our sixth Grand Challenge. Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development is designed provide health care workers on the front lines with better tools to battle Ebola.”

The first question which sprang to mind was, “what does this guy mean?” I discovered by following the link leading to the 'Grand Challenge for Development.' In a nut shell, Tom wants people to get together and innovate and share their ideas.

This is disturbing. I remember Tom being quoted as saying, some time ago, that we were entirely prepared for a break out of Ebola; there was nothing to worry about. Joining together in conversation about ideas when a second health worker has just merrily traveled on a plane to multiple locations, including Cleveland, does not strike me as good planning.

I thought maybe there would be more sign of Tom knowing what he is doing in his tweets. I went to look. I found, “2nd Texas health worker #Ebola case is very concerning. My thoughts are w/patient & their family.” Kind though, but not reassuring. Next, #Ebola situation is changing daily. We will continue to share what we know when we know it.” This also fails the reassuring test.

Cleveland is not far from here. Residents of Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale and Dallas and other connecting cities for the 132 passengers who shared that flight could be infecting the whole US now. Some of them may be in Ashtabula, as I write.

Also, the World Health Organization rebutted the 21 day incubation period, saying it could be as long as 42 days.

But wait! Tom says in a communication dated October 2 we have nothing to worry about. Tom said, “Every health care worker must meticulously follow every single infection control protection we recommend.”

But Tom, they did that. What do you have to say now – or should we wait for the next tweet?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

No. 118 – October 9, 2014 – Have a Copy of The Constitution? You Might Be a Terrorist.

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

The first time I encountered talk of 'domestic terrorism' was in September, 2007. This was not what I expected at the monthly meeting of my local National Federation of Republican Women's Chapter in Porterville, California.

The luncheon was catered, featuring a tasty chicken salad. The ladies at my table chatted about local elections, the local women's club, and church activities as we caught up with personal stories and shared photos of our children and grandchildren.

I had not paid any attention to who was to speak for the program, which always took place after lunch. Having been a program chairman any number of times myself I knew it would not be anyone from the 'A' list.

Just as I was about to ask a shortish, uniformed fellow walked into the room. His gestures strongly suggested he was to be our speaker. His topic, I soon learned, was how law enforcement copes with gang activity. Settling back into my seat I sighed, prepared to listen politely but not with great interest.

Using his tipsy screen, which would not stay put, the lecture was illustrated with nasty looking tattoos, strange hair-dos and sad looking young people.

This changed about a third of the way through the Deputy Sheriff's remarks. Having dealt with the problems of graffiti, chronic absences from school, petty larceny and drug dealing the officer moved on to the heavier stuff.

The real problem, he told us, was domestic terrorists. He went on to enthusiastically describe how these groups and individuals could be identified.

I sat up, attention riveted. The ladies around me were looking at him quizzically, too. It seems domestic terrorists were likely to be found carrying around copies of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and even the Declaration of Independence. They had also been known to own and use guns.

I looked in my purse. There was my little booklet which included the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The chat at our table earlier had included pictures of grandchildren proudly displaying the deer they had shot. Were Elvira's grandkids domestic terrorists?

The ladies were polite, clapping when the Deputy finished talking. Few questions were asked. Of course, it seemed like no questions were really necessary.

Federated Women is a hotbed of Domestic Terrorism. Strange. I thought I was a Patriot. Oops, that is another word for terrorist, isn't it?

No. 117 – September 30, 2014 – John F. Kennedy's death changed our world

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

This last weekend the AARC Conference drew over 200 to the Bethesda Hyatt Regency on the 50th anniversary of the Warren Report. Kennedy's violent death in 1963 shocked Americans, undermining public trust.

The Warren Commission's purpose was to ease the minds of Americans, not to discover the truth. At the time most Americans needed reassurance, accepting what they were told.

In the years since more shocks have fallen, and reassurances are now thin. Records, now public which refute facts originally provided, are raising more questions for Americans from every walk of life.

In 1963 Andrew Kreig, was sitting in his high school history class when he learned the President had been shot. He believed the assurances given until four years ago.

Now both an attorney and investigative journalist, he realized these holes in the official story, rigidly ignored by the Main Stream Media, of which he was so long a part, must be answered.

Today, Kreig has 60 books on the subject. His book, Presidential Puppetry, covered new ground on the assassination. Puppetry is now being updated to include the Warren Report and current revelations on other events which shocked America. Kreig organized the AARC Conference.

Half a century after the Kennedy murder people, now aging themselves, are beginning to speak out to clear the record, a natural reaction as we face our own final judgment.

A retired judge from Cleveland who served on the Commission, attended the Conference with two non-Warren Commission colleagues. He has yet to speak out, but is considering doing so.

Kreig realized the Kennedy murder was only one of several incidents, stretching back to the Lincoln Assassination, where facts were withheld to 'reassure' the public. The possibilities concealed include the CIA as the assassins of JFK.

Questions are also open on the deaths of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.

Other events, which changed American and now haunt us, include the Iran Hostage Crisis, Iran – Contra, Pearl Harbor, and the 1912 defeat of President William Taft, an Ohio Conservative, who not have taken us into war, by outsider, Woodrow Wilson. Wilson approved the war after signing the Federal Reserve into law on June 23, 1913, two decisions benefiting corporate elites.

Reassuring us with half truths makes us vulnerable to ever more manipulations and lies. Consider the mortgage meltdown and other events which have harmed millions.

Now, instead of 'reassurance' we need the truth.

No. 116 – September 25, 2014 – Will Bessie Rise Again?

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Reports of 'monsters' living in deep bodies of water occur regularly around the world from every continent. Sightings of the Lochness Monster have been recorded at least since the 7th Century, the first of these found in the Life of St. Columbia by Adamnan. The sighting was dated at 565 AD. 
Over the centuries descriptions of these watery denizens have been extremely consistent. The creature is described as being up to 50 feet in length, the part viewed above the water as serpentine. 
The same description has been recorded on multiple occasions by people observing what communities bordering on Lake Erie fondly refer to as South Bay Bessie. 
The first recorded sighting of Bessie occurred in 1793, before the area began to be widely populated. This first report was made by the captain of the sloop, Felicity while those on board were shooting ducks north of what is today Sandusky, Ohio. 
This report describes the creature as “snake-like, 9 to 12 m (30 to 40 ft) long, at least a foot in diameter, with a grayish color.”

Later that same year another boat reported experienced a similar sighting, this time, “copper-coloured and 60 feet (18 m) in length.” The crew discharged muskets at the creature, which they reported had no visible effect. 
The length of the creature varies, some reports stating the length of the creature being less than 20 feet. Individual sightings, reflecting similar appearance and difference sizes, would be natural if the area held a population comprising animals of different ages. 
In 1817 the Dusseau brothers reported seeing a creature writhing on the beach which they described it as between 20 and 30 feet and shaped like a large sturgeon - except that it had arms. Panicking, they fled. When they returned they found marks on the beach and silver scales they described as being the size of silver dollars.

The brothers assumed the animal was dying. What if it was spawning? This is not unknown in the animal kingdom. Grunion do it. Why not Bessie? 
Sightings have continued intermittently throughout the 20th Century with huge serpentlike creatures in Lake Erie reported in 1985 and 1987, in 1990 and 1993 and, the latest at 11 a.m. Thursday August 12th. The creature was reported to be 30 – 40 feet in length. 
Is Bessie real – or an illusion shared by people around the world? You decide.

No. 115 – September 18, 2014 – Two Equinoxes, North and South on Earth

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

For over forty years the Peace Bell at the United Nations has been rung at the precise moment of the Vernal Equinox, calling attention the balance between the Earth's two hemispheres as the world balances between winter and summer, North and South. This year, bells will ring out around the world for the Southern Hemisphere, too.

The woman who has coordinated these events since 1971 is Helen Bryan Carlson Reurs Garland.

Most people have never heard of her, but many have participated in, or admired, the outcome of her work on a multitude of issues. The Earth Society, which Helen now heads as CEO, is committed to Peace, Justice, and Care of the Earth.

Committed to action, Helen rarely thought about receiving credit for a life filled with the kind of work which connected people to each other and made things happen for peace, justice and the environment. She began this work at the United Nations shortly after it was founded.

Most of what you hear about the United Nations focuses on governments. Helen's work is with ordinary people and Non-Government Organizations. Through her work people can learn who they can work with to solve problems, common to many.

Helen was instrumental in creating a global dialogs on such issues on local commercial fishing. Fisherpeople from all over the world have been able to confront the take over of their traditional fishing grounds by massive corporate vessels which strip the oceans down to the seafloor, because oe Helen's work.

Helen began working for peace soon after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations in 1947. Her generation included soldiers returning from WWII with whom she had grown up. Many of those she knew and dated went to Yale.

Helen did not realize until many years later she had been living cheek and jowl with the very people who brought the CIA into existence. She read about this years later, in the NY Times, stunned.

Activists such as Margaret Mead learned about Environmentalism from Helen. Buckminster Fuller and U Thant, Secretary-General of the United Nations, were close personal friends. And Pete Seeger held a concert during her birthday cruise on the Hudson River every year from 1968 until he died.

Ring a bell for the Southern Equinox, September 22, 2014 at 10:29 PM EDT. The Earth needs our attention today as never before.

No. 114 – September 11, 2014 – What Happened to World Peace?

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster 

As the memorials for September 11, 2001 end it is time to remember the potential for peace which existed in the days following.

The world grieved with us.

Ordinary people around the globe reacted with outpourings of sympathy, protesting these acts of terrorism. World leaders immediately responded, condemning the murders and offering support. Among these leaders was Vladimir Putin. Russia's president urged "the entire international community should unite in the struggle against terrorism," also saying the attacks were "a blatant challenge to humanity."

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi called the attacks "horrifying" telling Muslims that "irrespective of the conflict with America it is a human duty to show sympathy with the American people." Mohammed Khatami, president of Iran, expressed, "deep regret and sympathy with the victims." Yasser Arafat, Palestinian president, denounced the attacks. Appearing stunned, he repeated how, "unbelievable" they were.

Saddam Hussein expressed sympathy for those who died.

North Korea also offered its sympathy to Americans.

Few people demonstrated anything but sympathy for America. Prayers and vigils by people of most faiths took place as across the world tens of thousands came out to protest the attacks.

So, who planned the attacks?

Osama bin Laden adamantly denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks in an interview by Ummat, a Pakistani daily, published in Karachi on September 28, 2001 He expressed his views on the loss of life, saying, “Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.”

Osama went on to say, “They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened.” Speculating who was to blame, he advised looking, “within the US system,” or for those responsible, or for persons who seeking conflict between Islam and Christianity. Finally, he suggested involvement by American intelligence agencies. 
Terror, Obama said, “is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people.”
According to the CIA 15 of the 19 hijackers had Saudi citizenship, 2 United Arab Emirates, 1, Egyptian and 1 Lebanese. 
No plan to invade Saudi Arabia was suggested by Bush. 
Afghanistan was not involved in 9/11, yet we invaded them. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein expressed his willingness to leave Iraq, if paid. But we invaded. Millions died. 
These wars were policy built on lies. Find those who benefited and you have all the answers.

No. 113 – September 4, 2014 – The Free Stores, FreeCycle, Rethinking Life

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Imagine going into a store where everything is free. It happened in San Francisco as the Sixties and New Age Movement were beginning.
Free Stores were opened in Haight-Ashbury in 1966 by the Diggers, a community-action group made up of improvisational actors. The stores operated from 1966 to 1968, in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco.

The experiment can be viewed as the beginning of today's Gift Economy. Traditionally, buying and selling of goods and services took place using coin and printed 'money.'

The stores closed, but innovations continued. The last half of the Twentieth Century saw played out a series of innovative practices which challenged this, and other, assumptions.

Although barter and trade persisted locally the lack of a unit for transactions limited the practice to very local areas. Reacting to the abuse of money, and the Vietnam Conflict, people began reaching out for alternatives for war and commerce.

In 1966 the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, started in Laguna Beach, was contributing income generated from sales of LSD to fund protests against the Vietnam Conflict with marked success.

Though few knew it doors were reopening from a century earlier.

The first experiments with alternative life-styles and exchange by Westerners in North America came through the Transcendental Movement, communalism ignited through the writings of Robert Owen, a Scottish Socialist. Owens introduced Time Hours with the National Equitable Labour Exchange in 1832.

These experiments often failed. Abigail May Alcott, mother of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, made the observation she was the commune's only domestic animal. It was deemed inhumane to employ animals for labor during Fruitland's existence in Massachusetts.

Communalism did not persist. But time hours was successfully introduced in Ithaca, New York in 1991, providing an alternative to money during the recession then taking place. Ashtabula has a Time Hours Group through St. Peter Church. Try it.

FreeCycling, person to person gifting of unused items, started on May 1st, 2003 in Tucson, Arizona, and took off as the ease and effectiveness of the practice became obvious.

Baby clothes, parts for appliances, furniture, things pass rapidly from person to person through freecycling, saving money without overhead.

No. 112 – March 28, 2014 - The Diner Down on South Main Avenue

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

The building on South Main Avenue started life as a Tastee Freeze in the 1960's. 
Robert Laufland and his wife acquired it, starting a neighborhood diner which began serving early in the morning. Clientele included utility workers and others who had to make early jobs. Bill Murphy remembers delivering donuts there from the Swedish Bakery, owned by his parents across the street. 
The portions were generous and the atmosphere friendly and welcoming. Everyone knew everyone, which is how Robert and his wife wanted it. 
When Robert's wife became ill the Diner was purchased by Willian Allds, Jr. Then, his parents took it over. During this time Sonja Loll was hired to run the bustling business. The early mornings, beginning at 5am, at the latest 6am, suited her as did the warm, friendly atmosphere of place. 
Breakfast could include ham, bacon, mouth-watering biscuits, gravy to die for and more. Extras slices of bread were free. While the cooks made breakfast the lunch specials were already simmering, sending out aromas which drew many back a few hours later. 
Diners cheerfully stood to eat sandwiches at lunchtime, waiting for a seat to empty at the counter. Many who ate breakfast there returned for lunch, remembering the savory scents which issued from the kitchen. A good part of their success was the excellence of the food. 
Melveen Allds and Sonja were friends and had known each other for a good long time. 
A neighborhood gathering place, people nearby, living alone, treated it as an extension of their little-used kitchens. Sonja made sure these customers would have a meal ready for them. The daily special was put aside, with dessert. 
It was a comfy arrangement. Melveen and Sonja would sit together at a table when business was light to go over the payroll. Melveen also worked for the Morrisons as a title clerk and bookkeeper. William, Sr., her husband, had worked at General Tire until it went out of business. 
The large bar was open at the corner, next to Murphy's Bakery, had standing orders on Friday night for the House Macaroni and Cheese, fried fish and cold slaw. 
And in the afternoon there was always coffee for which you paid once and poured forever. Evenings you could enjoy supper, with desert or serve yourself ice cream, closing at 7PM. 
Sonja says it was a nice place to work. Do you remember its name?

No. 111 – August 21, 2014 – Drafting Norman Schwarzkopf

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

The first Veteran's Administration Hospital in America was paid for with a check for one million dollars in 1918. The check was presented by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Taxpayers had nothing to do with it.

By early 2004 it was clear to Americans there had been no Weapons of Mass Destruction. The news was filled with images of suffering in Iraq and whole families dying. Coffins holding the bodies of American military were returning to America. Former military were struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and dying on the street, left homeless by the failure of the Veteran's Administration to provide needed care.

In our Lodge, No. 613, Santa Barbara, where I served as Esquire, ensuring our members remained orderly, helping retired military was always on the agenda. By 2004 surge of patriotism, produced by 9/11 was waning. Another four years of George W. Bush looked like a really bad idea, but who could we trust?

It was during a conversation with Steve Brown, a former Exalted Ruler, it came to me that General Norman Schwarzkopf was just the man for the job. So did Steve. So we decided to draft him.

Papers were filed for our campaign committee with the FEC. Steve modestly accepted the position of Chairman of the Draft Committee. The website went up. The news release went out.

Phone calls and email began to roll in.

Then, we were contacted by the newly formed Veterans Party, who really, really wanted Norman as their candidate, too. Phil Meskin, their founder, is a Vietnam Veteran who has served vets since the day he left the service.

It was a perfect partnership.

Norman was living in Florida, right next door to a friend of Mike Pinera's of Iron Butterfly. Mike was living with Jerry Corbetta then. Jerry wrote “Green-Eyed Lady,” and he and Mike toured with Classic Rock All Stars.

Jerry is a friend of mine. Using various connections a sit down with Norman was arranged. We found out Norman was fighting cancer. A presidential run was, therefore, out of the question. It was a sad moment.

Americans desperately wanted a president they could trust. All of us trusted Norm, a man with brains, balls and simple decency.

Election Day saw the longest waiting lines to vote in memory. We wanted peace, sanity, kindness and a government we could trust. It should have been Norman.