Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Song



"Peace is the natural, happy state of man; war, his corruption, his disgrace."

Spring Day

Finally after three days of fog, thunderstorms, and deluges, I awoke to sun coming through the pines into the east window this am. A spring bird song rang through the air. I thought a minute or two, struggling to put a name on the bird. Finally I had it. Robin!!! Yeah, OUR robins are back!

An old print I inherited from my grandmother sprung to mind-a lovely little curly golden-haired girl sitting on a park bench, staring up in rapture at a robin in full song. "Spring Song" is the title. I felt like that little girl, although I was still snuggled in my cozy bed hitting the "snooze"button.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Prophetic Dreams?

I decided this afternoon at hay time to ask the Firebird to help me comb Nicolas. Nicolas is very difficult to comb, jumpy, and tries to butt you. So, two people are in order.

Goats shed their undercoat, or cashmere, at different rates. Nic has already shed his neck out-now we are working on topline and shoulders mostly.

I decided to tie him out in the woods where I put the hay. First thing, I sprung my ankle, and then tripped on the stone wall and fell face first. Luckily I had an armload of hay to break my fall. The goats were all crowding me as I tried to spread the hay. I should have taken it for an omen.

Nic was his typical jerky self, and we spent more than a half hour combing Nic. I was using a white plastic grocery bag hung on a tree to put the cashmere in. All of a sudden, the Firebird yelled, "Ani has the bag!"

Ani, a small Alpine wether, had torn the bag off the tree and was proceeding to eat it. I was off like a shot chasing that damn goat! Over the stone wall, yelling, chucking the wire brush and hitting his behind, and still he kept running and chewing. I watched the bag disappear and yelled for the Firebird to help me corner the goat.

Back in the muck pen, Ani finally turned as I said his name, and I reached over one of the little houses as he offerred the bag. I tore the bag out of his mouth and he prompty swallowed the rest. I have no idea how much fiber I lost to that pig, but a good chunk of bag is unaccounted for.

Shortly afterwards I recalled my nightmare the other night. I dreamed that a coyote was chasing Anaken through the woods and caught him just where I caught him this afternoon.

I suppose if any coyotes (the tricksters) were watching today, they had a good chuckle at my expense.

Busy goat day

This morning I awoke bright and early except it was foggy out. Snow fog. Not a good farm day, after all. I decided my goats weren't too wet for a comb, though. First I did Nic's feet since he was way overdue.

Then I combed Daphne and got quite a bit of fiber off of her. I had the Firebird helping, so I put him on Obi, then Moonie, then Ani. They were all giving him a hard time. By then I had moved on to Genevieve, who was being very good. Last year I could barely comb her, she wouldn't stand still and kept trying to horn me. Not this year-she has learned it feels good on all those itchy places!

Anyhow, I let the Firebird take Gen over and went on to comb Obi, Derek, Ani, and Moonie. I didn't spend a lot of time of any of them, but they are all shedding some nice fine cashmere. I love Moonshadow's-it is nearly black with white marble where he has the lighter spots. It is very short, but very fine.

I figure when I send it off for processing I might have them blend in Nic and Obi's longer cashmere. Or, if I have enough, I might separate the long from short, since the short is so extra fine. I need a pound minimum of raw fiber for processing, so I will weigh it over at the farm at the end of the season and decide what to do then.

Nic and Ob's and Ani's all have a lot of long guard hair mixed in, but the others have nearly clean fiber, so it may be worth doing it in two batches since one might not need the de-hairing process, which removes the long prickly guard hair.

Later the herd came out of the woods for a drink, and I noticed Nic was limping BADLY. He was fine when I released him earlier. I put on boots and coats and rushed out to see what was wrong. He had picked up some kind of stick-it might have been barberry-and had at least a half inch stuck right into the sole of one clew! OUCH! I plucked it out and doused it with hoof and heel, but I will have to keep an eye that puncture doesn't abscess.

He was much better once that was out. I couldn't help but notice he is loaded with cashmere and needs a combing too. Maybe this afternoon if I can get the Firebird to hold him.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mud Season

I was so tired yesterday afternoon after combing at the farm all morning. I had a late start and even though I skipped graining my goats for later and just threw them hay, we were in the car three minutes later than usual. I no sooner started the car then a friend showed up with the Johnny's seed catalog for me! Ha-ones of those days!

Anyhow, I was in pj's lounging in front of the comp and heard a noise yesterday afternoon and we had company! The nice lady next door and her great-granddaughter came to visit. I had changed the phone number and they couldn't call first. Willow has missed her friend, so it was a nice suprise. Except I still had not gone to the dump and they were standing out front staring at my bags of garbage the coon had been into. The woodpile that was hiding the trash has been used this month, so it was quite an eyesore out there! I called them around back ,through the MUD (!) and cleaned off the table so we had a place to sit and chat.

I was very happy I had switched rooms with Willow 'cos the girls went upstairs and spent a great two hours making lots of noise and playing with tons of toys! The downstairs was another matter! A bit of a shambles with dirty dishes and needing to vaccuum. I need more visitors to keep me on my toes!

Anyhow, I did get the dishes done later and went to the dump today. Can't do anything about the mud around the yard, though!

Then, of course, things are always happening that set me back. The Firebird went out to water the goats this afternoon and Nicolas was out (again). Nic was out back in the woods yelling 'cos he couldn't figure out how to get back in! (I told boss I think he is retarded. I know that expression is frowned upon, but he is a goat)

Firebird coaxed him down around the fence and Nic couldn't get back through the gate fast enough! (I wonder how long he had been "lost"?)

That meant walking the fenceline. We had to dig some snow out back to free the fifth line-the sixth is still disconnected. I think he is jumping the fence, though, so we found a spot by the rock wall where we rolled some stones down to make a bigger jump if that is where he is getting out.

I had a nightmare about a coyote getting one of the goats last night, and trying to chase it off unsuccessfully. Not good! So, at least we have another line hot on the back line!

The whole front pen is inches deep in thawed goat manure. Really bad this year! I think I am going to tear that part of the fence down and put it up out back and then seed out in front. I also might just block them off there for the summer and seed it. It does make a nice winter pen and I can see the goats from the house. If they just wouldn't stand there and poop all day! Go out in the woods! LOL.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Return of the Raccoon


Or..time for a dump run.

The raccoon is actually holding an oreo cookie between its paws tonight. I heard it outside in the trash and called the Firebird down. We watched the raccoon eat 4 or 5 old oreo cookies I tossed out of the cupboard into the trash. I tried in vain to wake up Willow but she was sound asleep.

When the raccoon headed around the house I banged on the wall and used by mean voice again. LOL. The Firebird commented that the raccoon was jumping everytime he heard my voice. The Firebird and I were talking while we were watching the raccoon through the double door.

Quick Mr. Mouse-the title of my last entry was in reference to the winds we had here today, which of course, I forgot to mention. :P

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Winds of Change

Thanks everyone for all the nice well wishes for Willow! She is on the mend and happy for your comments.

Still moving rooms with Willow. She has a lot of stuff!! I had to move some shelves and fill them back up again. I found a small portable stereo I offerred to the kids and Willow jumped on it. She tuned right in to the local classical station and has been running it 24/7. She has always loved classical and often times when cruising radio stations she would have me stop on it -until I could stand no more. LOL. Give me Newton Faulkner and Brett Dennan anyday. :P

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rough weekend

Another Friday night, another trip to the ER. Willow took a header off of her new bike face first into the driveway. I was sewing some patches on her jeans in the house when her brother ran in yelling that she had fallen and lost a tooth. Apparently they had been racing (against the rules) down the goat path we call a driveway, and she lost control in the mud.

She chipped one of her permanent front teeth, knocked both the top ones and the baby tooth next door loose, and cut her upper lip inside and out.

She cried the whole time in the ER. The most productive thing from that trip was a cute little toy frog the security guard gave her. She had xrays which showed her upper jaw wasn't broken, and the PA didn't think she needed stitches, although there were two deep nics on the outside that could have used some butterfly bandages. The inside of her mouth probably needed stitching. It has been so swollen and sore I haven't had a good look at it yet. I don't think the PA even looked at that.

We were there three hours and finally when I said she needed something for pain they said they would give us tylenol. Some novacaine when we walked in might have been nice.

I swore next time I will go to another ER! I think we would have been better off staying home.

* * * * *

Nicolas the goat has been jumping the fence all weekend and stuffing himself silly on hay off the pallet. I finally put some hot strands up and blocked the whole lower pasture off.

I switched rooms with Willow yesterday. She has been asking for my room for awhile, but I knew it was a huge project and had been putting it off. Besides, I liked that room! Trouble was, I had to clean the stovepipe and my bed needed to be moved, so I figured we might as well go for it. Just need to swap dressers and books and organize her stuff more and that job will be done.

I felt so bad for her after her accident I decided to do the room swap.

Her lip has been so swollen for three days, and only soft foods for two of them! Finally today she was able to eat some bagel and cream cheese.

I had to get on the roof and clean the stovepipe this am, and it was COLD! Below freezing and windy. The pipe was so plugged ! I usually clean it in Jan or Feb, but between the crutches and the fact there had been snow and ice on the roof all winter, I am just getting to it.

I got the brush stuck twice-in different parts of the pipe. I thought I wa going to snap the rope I was using to pull it through. The second time was cleaning the elbow, and I got the brush so jammed I had to take the pipe apart to get the brush out. Somewhere in there I clipped the back off my hand on a stovepipe edge and sliced it open. Another trip to the ER? Nope-I'd rather bleed, thanks very much. :D


I guess the feral cats aren't the only ones that have been enjoying the nightly bowl of Meow Mix.
This big furry raccoon was not the least bit intimidated by my boots left out on the deck (accidentally)- or of me taking photos from inside the window.

I banged on the window but he came back in a little while, so I had a chance to take some pix. Then I banged on the window again and did my, "hey you go on," and he finally rambled down over the ridge. I went out and picked up the cat food bowl. Then I banged on a pot and grumbled some more. Hopefully he kept on going.

No more food out overnight!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I think I gave Coldplay a bad rap during my rant about the 60 minute interview. The band Coldplay is comprised of very talented artists-this song by them has been running through my head for the last several days.:


Oh brother I can't, I can't get through
I’ve been trying hard to reach you 'cause I don’t know what to do
Oh brother I can't believe it's true
I’m so scared about the future and I wanna talk to you
Oh I wanna talk to you

You can take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or a write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done

Are you lost or incomplete?
Do you feel like a puzzle, you can't find your missing piece?
Tell me how do you feel?
Well I feel like they're talking in a language I don't speak
And they're talking it to me

So you take a picture of something you see
In the future where will I be?
You can climb a ladder up to the sun
Or write a song nobody has sung
Or do something that's never been done
Or do something that's never been done

So you don't know where you're going and you wanna talk
And you feel like you're going where you've been before
You tell anyone who'll listen but you feel ignored
Nothing's really making any sense at all, let's talk
Let's talk, let's talk, let's talk.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vernal Equinox


Wednesday, March 18, 2009



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Don't Diss Me

"you're dissing me" is an old expression. I think it means disrespect, or pulling someone's leg.

My last couple of days have been dis. Disgusting, dismal, discombobulated, disrespected, disinterested, discontented, disturbed, disconnected, disheveled.

I am fortunate enough to have ones in my immediate environment that support and in at least one case, worship me. I can't feel down around Rubes. She will come sit on my lap and purr in her funny high trilling manner, and then lick my hand, and then my nose if she can reach it. She is letting me know I saved her and she loves me. Every night when I go to bed she will be there by my pillow. When I burnt my foot, she stayed downstairs with me until I made it to bed. A very faithful friend!

I had to shake my melancholy and took Peko down to the stream yesterday.The saplings found a downed tree at the bottom of the ridge and played balance beam on the four inch trunk. Peko and I went on. He was VERY excited! Once or twice he started racing around at high speed with his jowls flapping and his tail tucked between his legs.

I had one of those moments where I really appreciated my life. The pretty little piece of land I call home. Lucky Lady. :)

Don't be fooled by the pic-we still have several feet of snow on the lawn. I think it blows down off the pond all winter.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Goat And I

Each sunny day upon my way
A goat I pass;
He has a beard of silver grey,
A bell of brass.
And all the while I am in sight
He seems to muse,
And stares at me with all his might
And chews and chews.

Upon the hill so thymy sweet
With joy of Spring,
He hails me with a tiny bleat
Of welcoming.
Though half the globe is drenched with blood
And cities flare,
Contentedly he chews the cud
And does not care.

Oh gentle friend, I know not what
Your age may be,
But of my years I'd give the lot
Yet left to me,
To chew a thistle and not choke,
But bright of eye
Gaze at the old world-weary bloke
Who hobbles by.

Alas! though bards make verse sublime,
And lines to quote,
It takes a fool like me to rhyme
About a goat.

Robert William Service

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pie Moon Sky

Full Moon in the sky
Tear in my eye
makes me cry
can't tell you why

eat chocolate pie
don't wanna try
can't tell a lie
wish I could fly

wish I could buy
a castle so high
I could see you drive by
and I would wave hi

stop in for some pie
watch the moon in the sky
dry the tear from my eye
and I'll tell you why.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Squirrel Nesting Season

Last week I saw a grey squirrel plucking dried beech leaves off branches and stuffing them into its mouth. Beeches cling to their leaves as long as possible, and this protected branch had held most of the now-faded- to-light-bronze leaves all winter. The squirrel was taking full advantage of this nesting material.

Just a few minutes ago, I was headed downstairs and some moving color caught my eye, and I shrieked and started laughing.

A scrap of bright green acrylic blanket was moving up the trunk of a tall pine tree. The scrap is about 1 foot wide and three or more feet long. It was originally outside to be used to cover a goat house entrance, but it was too narrow. It was then put into use to cover the grain dishes to make them easier to un-bury after a snowfall. We keep the dishes outside the gate.

The squirrel really wanted that prize for its nest! We watched as it moved up the trunk, then suddenly near calamity! The squirrel got tangled in the blanket, lost its purchase on the trunk, and fell. The blanket hooked on a branch and the squirrel saved itself. Close call!!!

The squirrel must have thought so too, for it returned to the trunk above the blanket and stayed still for some moments. Then it went back to the blanket and started tugging on it. This went on for some minutes, and it appeared that the squirrel was trying to tear the blanket into smaller pieces. But the blanket is too tough.

Then the squirrel tried backing up the tree pulling the blanket. That didn't work very well. I don't think squirrels can go very far backwards vertically, especially with the weight of the blanket.

The next step the squirrel stopped and stuffed as much of the blanket as possible into its mouth, trying to get it out of the way. Then the blanket resumed its up-the-trunk ascent-and it looked like the squirrel was under the blanket climbing blind.

At this point I had the cam and was trying to adjust the settings, as we were watching through a window from some distance. Just when I got the cam set, the squirrel and blanket went to the back side of the tree and we lost eye contact with the proceedings.

We watched awhile longer, as I was worried the squirrel was going to fall a great distance in its efforts, but after not seeing anything for a few minutes, we lost interest in staring at the trees.

There is a nest high in that tree already. I am not sure if the squirrel was going to add to the original nest or build a new one. I will try and get a glimpse of the bright green blanket later to determine where it ended up.

I think it will make a great nest! The material is sort of water resistant and if the squirrel is clever, it will act as a barrier to hungry crows that find baby squirrels a tasty supper. If I can find the blanket up in the tree from a ground position, I will try and get a pic.

The whole thing was very amusing! Except for the scary near fall, that is.

Here's where the blanket ended up:

We can't figure out why it is so far from the trunk. There was some wind when we stopped observing, so maybe the wind blew it to this branch. The main nest is the dark spot to the right of the blanket.

I cropped this shot-the blanket is hanging approx. 60 feet off the ground.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Owls Attack: Warnings posted at Bangor city forest

By John Holyoke
BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — For some cross-country skiing enthusiasts, there’s nothing like heading into the woods on a crisp moonlit night.

Beautiful trails. Pristine snow. Peace. Quiet.


Idyllic, perhaps, until a great horned owl swoops down out of a tree, talons outstretched, and smacks you on the head.

For the past several weeks, local cross-country skiers have learned, one by one, that touring the Rolland F. Perry City Forest in Bangor may lead to unforeseen consequences.

Out there on East Trail, near the Veazie Railroad bed, is an owl. An ornery owl. An ornery, territorial, get-out-of-my-neighborhood owl who, in fine Maine fashion, can be a bit brusque when it encounters interlopers.

Full story:


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Too much detail news

I'm turning my other blog, Tree's Life in Too Much Detail, into "Invite Only". That way I can put personal photos up, etc without having them out there in cyberspace.

If any of my regular readers would like access, drop me an email at cd_her_one@yahoo.com

Blogspot insists the invites be sent by email (I wish it could be google account, too)

Feel free to add a comment to this post to remind me to check that email for your request. (it's not my primary email and I don't check it very often)

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Surely there is a hidden power that reigns
Mid the lone majesty of untamed nature,
Controlling sober reason."—Mason's Caractacus.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Kitty Black Kitty


Well, my blog reader probably saw this coming. Yes, feral male black kitty has brought a girlfriend around. She is much less feral than he is, or that may be due to the fact that she appears to be in heat.

She was so starved the first night she came to the food dish with him, she was gulping the dry food so fast she had to lift her head and gulp several times before going back for more.

This afternoon I let Peko out with me as usual while I hayed the goats. He has learned to linger close to the house, since he likes to bark at the goats and that usually earns him a stern verbal reprimand. He always waits with his tennis ball, so I can give him a couple of retrieves before I trade out with the Firebird who has other outdoor chores which follow mine.

Well, today I finished and saw Peko sitting on the back deck very serious, with no ball. I inquired, "where is your ball?". He just sat there, so I started to look around the deck and saw new kitty there, rubbing on the edge of the deck quite near the dog. I started speaking to her, and when I reached out to pet her, she bolted with Peko in hot pursuit.

He only went a few strides, as I was calling him back. I assumed she retreated under the house (black kitty's winter domain), but I could only see black kitty in the gloom. Willow went out afterwards, and came in with a great story of being able to pet her and showing her the fresh water on the deck, where new kitty had a big drink.

In between those two events, we discovered a freshly killed vole next to the deck where I had initially seen new kitty next to the dog. So, she is bringing us presents already in exchange for the dry cat food. Hmmm. I hope she belongs to the neighbor. We'll have to take a walk over there in the the next day or two to find out if they have owners.

I don't mind feeding the odd stray, but I can't stomach the thought of a litter of kittens under the house. And we have plenty of housecats already. :)

First Quarter Moon


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Signs of Spring

As we were leaving our favorite Chinese restaurant today with a sack of take-out, sharp eyed Willow spotted a bird in the bittersweet vines at the corner of the building. ROBINS!!!

Here's the male keeping a watchful eye:

Here's the female, duller colored, hiding in the vines, looking cold. Probably thinking, "I told him we should wait two more weeks to move to the summer home!"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Enough of Winter

I called S bright and early this am to plow us out. So far this winter I have assured him that I am stocked up and in no hurry to have the driveway plowed. This weekend I was in denial, I guess, and didn't get out to stock up. Plus, I needed to get to the bank today.

I looked out mid morning and saw his truck way down the drive, and I could make him out ahead of the truck, snow flying. Hmmm. I suited up (yes, winter requires some coats, gloves, boots, etc-no running out barefoot to greet visitors) and waded through the snow down the drive.

Boy, was S mad!!! He was on glare ice shoveling a huge pile of snow. The snowbanks are so high in the drive that the snow won't go to the side, and it just builds up in front of his plow. Then the thaw and rain we had on Friday made the lower drive a skating rink, so he couldn't get any traction to push the mountain of snow piling up in front of his plow.

Basically, he was digging me out by hand and not happy. I told him I would get a shovel and went back to the house for the good one. He was mostly done the second pile by then, but much calmed down and we chatted and slung snow til we had the pile over the banks.

I clambered over the bank into the garden, figuring we would have to repeat the procedure, and no point in going much further. I sank in up to my hips in snow. Yeah, we have a BUNCH of snow built up on the ground. I have intentions of going out on the lawn with a stick and my tape measure, but that means pants and boots filled with snow, so not much incentive there...LOL. You'll just have to take my word for it. At least three feet of snowpack out there.

It has been so cold this winter, the shadow of the snow forts we built back in December are still visible. The ground has been white since December. Gahhhhhh!!!!

What does green look like? How does grass feel between your toes? What does a locust chirping on a hot summer night sound like? The smell of fresh mown hay??? Leaves on the trees?!?!?! *SIGH*

Someone ought to make white plastic Easter eggs for us Northerners. They would be much easier to hide than the colored plastic ones! The last few years I just take a handful and toss them across the lawn, where they go skittering and sliding on the ice crust and then vanish into the depressions. Looks like the same modus operandi for this Easter....

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Day

Two barred rock eggs for pancakes-the day started off with chocolate chip pancakes and the tail end of the monster NOr-Easter that plastered snow from Maine to Georgia. Sounds like the Appalachian Trail. That gives an idea of a nickname for the storm,
Appalachian Whale.

We were whaled on pretty good this am-8-10 inches of powdery sandy snow. COLD temps might have hit 20. In fact, it has been so cold this winter that my hay guy, S, broke into his fourth wood stack in the middle of Feb that he had marked as April 1 last year-6 weeks ahead on the wood stack.

Mine is getting really low. I am glad it's March. Hopefully the wood will last until the end of the month and then I can scrounge what we need for April. Usually I have some left over, but barring any sudden change, that's not happening this year.

Black Capped Chickadee


The Most Regressive Tax of All

Contributed by Mark E. Smith
Saturday, 14 February 2009
Last Updated Monday, 16 February 2009

When you see a homeless veteran rolling a cigarette to help cope with the constant stress of living on the streets and ward off the hunger pangs a bit, do you become angry that they are smoking or do you give them some money for food or tobacco? Either way, after April 1st, you might be well advised to cross the street and avoid them altogether, as they will not be able to afford to buy rolling tobacco any more and studies have shown that smokers who are deprived of tobacco are apt to become irritable or even violent.

The Democratic Congress has just passed a two thousand one hundred and fifty-nine percent (2,159%) tax increase onrolling tobacco, President Obama signed it into law, and it becomes effective on April 1st, increasing the cost of an ounce of rolling tobacco well beyond the reach of most homeless and low-income people. Many of the companies that sell rolling tobacco will be going out of business on April 1st. You might think that this is a good thing because you've been told that smoking is bad for the health, and I'll speak to that in a moment, but first let's look at the tax.

The tax increase on rolling tobacco was imposed in order to fund [[SCHIP]] which supposedly provides more health carefor children. Actually, of course, most of the money will go to the health care industry and the big pharmaceutical companies, who will immediately begin prescribing dangerous and unnecessary drugs to children who weren't previously covered by any health plan. If the Democrats and Obama had really wanted to provide health care, they would have passed a single-payer health plan like Canada's, but that would anger the insurance companies so it is off the table.

Another place they could have gotten the same amount of money would have been by placing a one percent (1%) or even a half of one percent (0.5%) tax increase on the luxury yachts and private jet planes that are purchased by multimillionaire corporate executives with taxpayer bailout money, but that would anger the wealthy elite so that too is off the table. They could have gotten a much larger amount by decreasing the military budget by a tiny fraction of one percent, perhaps as little as a hundredth of one percent (0.01%), but both the Democratic Congress and the Obama administration are committed to pursuing the Bush/Cheney wars of aggression based on lies, so that's off the table also.

They certainly aren't going to increase taxes on the wealthy, and they know how angry the diminishing middle class is already, so the only people they could tax are the poorest of the poor and that is exactly what they have done.

Doesn't it seem strange to anyone that Congress doesn't dare increase taxes on the rich by a fraction of a percent, but increases taxes on the poor by over 2,000 percent without a second thought? But those who think there is a health benefit to not smoking may be surprised to learn that not all scientists agree. Thereis some dissent, for example, about the matter of second hand smoke. But there is an even bigger story that was apparently suppressed in the U.S. to the extent that I can't find any references to it and would greatly appreciate it if anyone with access to Swiss medical references would try to find it.

Back in 1972 there was a joint Swiss-American study on carcinogenic hydrocarbon particulates. The scientists chose a Swiss town in the Alps that was built around the top of a mountain. Half of the town was on one side of the mountain top and half the town on the other side. One side of the town was developed and had a highway, many paved streets, and lots of automobiles. The other side of town, shielded behind the mountain top, was mostly rural farmland and had only a few cars and tractors. In those days all the men intown smoked cigarettes but none of the women admitted to smoking. If women did smoke, they did so secretly and infrequently and weren't about to admit it. Naturally, the scientists found carcinogenic hydrocarbon particulate matter in the range of about five parts per million on the roadless side of town, but about five hundred parts per million on side of town with lots of cars. What was really interesting was that they also found ten times higher cancer rates among both males and females, for all types of cancer, on the side of town with cars.

Unless or until I can find the reference, which was published in a respected medical journal, this study will just have to beviewed as anecdotal evidence, so I'd like to add some more. As a senior citizen, I've noted cases of people who have been smoking all their lives and do not have lung cancer, while there have been cases of young people who have never smoked dying of lung cancer. I believe that the real culprit is automobile emissions and also the microscopic particles from rubber tires and metal brakes that go into our air and are inhaled into our lungs. But the automobile industry is much more powerful than the tobacco lobby so it was easier for the government to crack down on tobacco.

As a low income senior citizen, I've been rolling my own cigarettes for decades. I have a rolling machine and I order pounds of additive-free tobacco by mail along with filtered paper tubes. Since the company that supplied my tobacco will be going out of business on April 1st, I just ordered enough tobacco to last me a year. I'll clear all the food out of my refrigerator's freezer section and keep tobacco in there instead. I can always trade tobacco for food, if necessary, but I can't trade food for tobacco. After that tobacco is used up, I'll have to buy generic packs of cigarettes, which will cost me at least five times as much as it costs me to roll a pack of cigarettes now, and I'll probably never be able to afford additive free tobacco again, so I'll be paying for chemical poisons I really don't want. Those chemicals are added to cigarette tobacco to alter the taste and to make the tobacco burn more quickly

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This is probably the most regressive tax in United States history and I believe that makes the Obama administration andthe Democratic Congress the most regressive government in U.S. history.http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/20286mediaLefthttp://medialeft.

Contributed by Mark E. Smith