Homemade Coffee Creamer

I gave up half and half in my coffee. It’s been several months, but it still haunts me. As much as I make the proper mmmmmms and aaaaaaahhhs when I inhale that splendiferous first cup of coffee, the taste just doesn’t satisfy. Who am I kidding.

I WANT MY CREAMER!

A frenzied internet search led to a plethora of recipes — all the same and all including sugar. As much as I adore my coffee blond, I prefer her decidedly unsweetened. Also, nearly all the recipes used coconut oil as the added fat. Coconut oil is delicious in coffee all by itself and when you use about a tablespoon to a large cup of coffee and whiz it in the blender it even looks like you used creamer. However, coconut oil is pricey and I don’t always have it on hand. I do, however, always have butter. Sweet, luscious butter. By the way, you can also use it just like the above-mentioned coconut oil to make Bulletproof Coffee. Equally delicious.

I did give up half and half for a reason and adding 100 calories to one cup of coffee is not in the cards.But I knew butter would be an outstanding replacement for the coconut oil. The end result? One I can definitely live with. She’s not the blond I prefer, but she does a good job of mellowing coffee’s harsher notes

Next time around . . . I’m going to try dry whole milk. It can be difficult to find in stores, but is available all over the internet and Walmart has a well-priced version. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Honestly, I’m surprised at the price of dry milk and milk products in general. Currently surplus cheese is stacking up in warehouses across the country, because the demand for milk products has declined and farmers are turning it to cheese to keep it from spoiling. I have a suggestion. Sell butter at something less that $4 a pound and we’ll happily flock to buy it.

I digress.

Kylie


Coffee Creamer

  • Servings: Varies12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 Cup Non-fat Dry Milk Powder

1 T Butter, chilled ( The real thing.)

Place the milk powder in your blender container and blend for a few seconds to make the crystals finer in texture.

Cut the butter into 6 pieces. I use chilled butter because I use a VitaMix, which tends to get real happy about blending in fats and you can end up with something that more resembles peanut butter than coffee creamer.

Drop the butter on top of the milk powder and pulse several times. Peek inside to see if it is incorporated. Pulse until it is.

Pour into your serving/storage container. You’ll see some lumps. Just stir with a fork until the pieces break up. It does not have to be perfect.

To serve, use a heaping tablespoon or the amount that works for you. Don’t rely on color, but rather, give it a taste. Being non-fat milk it isn’t going to give you a super creamy color (blond).

 

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Unicorns, Flying Pigs and Clean Coal

I’m ever a fan of political cartoons and one of my favorite cartoonists is David Horsey. He paints a crystal clear picture of Trump’s ongoing war on the environment.

By Horseey
LA Times Article – David Horsey

Trump’s “doubling down” on fossil fuel resources and promises of energy jobs means money is siphoned away from  building infrastructure to support newer, cleaner and renewable energy sources. He has moved the US from being a forward-thinking nation and an international leader in advanced technologies and has set the clock back some 100 years — in so many areas.

While it is true that today’s coal producing plants are cleaner than those of the past, it is still a giant step backward for our planet. . . coal is not clean. So what is all the buzz about “clean” coal? Most plans reference CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) as a preferred method of clean coal manufacturing. It has to do with reducing the carbons released into the air during processing. CCS is in its infancy, which means it is not a viable solution for our very immediate issues. I have to surmise that Trump intends to push the burning of fossil fuels regardless of the fact that doing so cleanly is not currently possible on a large scale.

cleancoal
Unable to source the cartoonist.

Nor is coal even potentially the “big employer” for whom Trump is the self-proclaimed savior. That honor goes to solar and wind technologies. Yet, he continues to push his proposition to prop up a failing industry rather than diverting those funds to help propel solar, wind and other renewable energy into the stratosphere? (Pun intended.)  According to a 2017 report from the Department of Energy; 671,776 people are employed in power creation fields centered around renewable energy resources, with 373,807 of those working in solar energy. The renewable energy industries are enjoying explosive growth in spite of Trump’s efforts. This compares to only 160,119 employed in the coal industry.

Trump Claims Coal Industry gains 45,000 New Jobs Fuzzy dice

Once gain the fact checkers chalk one up on the alternative facts side of the board. In July, 2017, Trump claimed that through his efforts 45,000 jobs had been restored to the coal industry, when in fact, as of August, 2017, only 600 coal jobs had been created since he took office. Now that is some fuzzy math.

Trump Takes Aim at Solar Energy

January, 2018; Trump places a 30% tariff foreign solar panels, potentially costing the solar energy industry 23,000 jobs. As if touting the benefits of coal were not enough, Trump seems to be engaging in battle tactics against solar energy. Remember, solar energy boasts the highest number of employees in the energy industry. I can’t imagine what goes on in the mind of a man that on the one hand says he wants to grow American jobs and then goes after one of the largest employers in a segment of the economy. Only Trump can manage to attack the planet and a thriving pro-Earth industry in one fell swoop. Nice swing, Mr. Trump.

Speaking of Swings

In his drive to inundate the planet with a plethora of carbon pollutants he has taken deadly shots at the following policies, with more in his sites:

  • Stream Protection Rule
  • Paris Climate Agreement
  • Anti-dumping rule for coal companies
  • Offshore drilling ban in the Atlantic and Arctic
  • Northern Bering Sea climate resilience plan
  • Royalty regulations for oil, gas and coal
  • Inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions in environmental reviews
  • Green Climate Fund contributions
  • Endangered species listings
  • Hunting ban on wolves and grizzly bears in Alaska
  • Protections for whales and sea turtles
  • National parks climate order
  • Environmental mitigation for federal projects
  • Calculation for “social cost” of carbon
  • Planning rule for public lands
  • Mine cleanup rule
  • Sewage treatment pollution regulations
  • Ban on use of lead ammunition on federal lands
  • Restrictions on fishing
  • Fracking regulations on public lands
  • Migratory bird protections
  • Department of Interior climate policies
  • Rule regulating industrial polluters
  • Safety standards for “high hazard” trains

That’s just a short list, more are complete or on the way. Check out this New York Times article for more information.

The Upside

While the leader of the free world — wildly assuming we even still hold that title — presses on, all is not lost. States and industry are thumbing their collective noses and moving forward with clean energy as well as taking their own paths as regards many other Trump-questionable efforts in social programs, immigration and human rights.

There may yet be hope for us to survive the cruelty of the Trump administration.

Just sayin’, Kylie Sabra

 

 

“On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder – Recommended Reading

Reprinted from May 12, 2017

Tyranny – Entered as Easily as a Warm Bath

Do you love studying history? I do hope so. Understanding what is in our past can help us safeguard the future. Changes can be subtle. So subtle that you can wake up one morning to find yourself in a pot of hot water, only to discover it’s too late to escape. Are we destined to be served up as fodder for a government based on tyranny? Is democracy on its way out? Whether you think so or not, it doesn’t hurt to know the signs.

There’s an old morality tale with many versions about boiling a frog.  This is mine.


Frog for Dinner

The frog laughed as the man tossed him into the pot of boiling water. It took him all of two seconds to leap to safety. The man tried again, but still the frog jumped out.

The man scratched his head and then there was a gleam in his eye. He turned his back to the frog and set to work. He tossed the pan of boiling water and brought out a  beautiful piece of heat-proof crockery. He filled it with cool water from the pump and set a lily pad in the middle of it. Just to set the right mood he lit some candles and placed a plush towel and small slippers by the new “tub”, tucking more towels around the bottom.

The frog watched curiously. The man had captured him a few days ago and that tub looked oh so inviting.

“Forgive me, Mr. Frog,” the man said. “I’ve been remiss as a host. I have plenty of food and there’s really no need for me to make a meal of you. Let me make it up to you if I may. May I offer you a nice cool bath to wash the road from you? Then, you can join me for dinner.”Boil-a-Frog_004

The frog cocked his brow and dipped one toe into the water. He smiled. “Indeed, sir. It would be a great pleasure.” He slipped into the tub and lay back. He was justifiably exhausted from the ordeal of the past few days and in no time at all, he drifted into sleep.

The man pulled the towels away from the bottom of the bowl, revealing a wood pile ready for the lighting. The water grew warmer and warmer and the frog fell deeper and deeper into blissful sleep.

The sounds of a knife slicing through carrots and the scent of onion and garlic filled the air. The frog awakened, but by then it was too late. He couldn’t move as already he was being cooked. The man tossed the aromatics into the simmering pot — I mean bowl — and added some salt and pepper. The frog was too far gone to even sneeze, although he powerfully wanted to.

That night, the man chuckled at his own cleverness as he poured a lovely Cabernet and toasted his dinner guest.


As with any morality tale, there is a lesson. Be aware of what’s happening around you so as not to be a boiled toad.

I ran across this book as I was conducting my daily blog research. The title was eye catching, but even more so was the tagline — Twenty Lessons From the 20th Century. It didn’t hurt that it came highly recommended and quoted by many reliable media sources.

On Tyranny is a fast read and is only $3.99 on Amazon Kindle . If you’re expecting professorial high-speak, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Snyder’s writing style is straightforward and, as such, is powerful. He seems like the kind of man I’d like to know. He isn’t overly enamored with the sound of his own voice. Snyder says the book is, “. . . an attempt to distill what I have learned about the 20th century into a guide for action today.”

The book entails twenty key points and are well documented. It’s hard to say I have favorites as they are equally important, but here are a few.

Do not obey in advance.

Investigate

Listen for dangerous words

Take responsibility for the face of the world

Without dissolving into fear, we are well advised to recognize the signals that foretell the rise of tyranny in our world.

Kylie Addison Sabra

 

Respectful Buyers Welcome

There is such outcry over low offers on Poshmark. This sets forth my personal philosophy.

First, I’d like to say that Poshmark is not now, nor was it ever intended to be a low-quality, price-cutting marketplace. Rather it was intended to be a place where people could sell and buy good quality used clothing at fair prices. To those that insist on making low offers, I’d suggest that they try ThredUp, eBay or Goodwill. The increasing frequency of low offers from ill-informed or disrespectful buyers hurts the reputation of Poshmark and frustrates sellers, making it a less desirable place for purveyors of fine clothing to sell.

Lowball Meme by Kylie
You’ve seen them. Sellers’ artistic and heartfelt pleas to end lowballing.

I think that Poshmark may have done itself and its clientèle a disfavor by ever placing an OFFER button on the site. As well, many sellers seem to be their own worst enemy actually inviting offers. You’d may as well say you don’t believe at all in your product or that it is fairly priced to begin with. Indeed, many sellers artificially inflate their prices to offset the low offers.

Some buyers make incredibly low offers because they simply can’t afford the item they want. Some think it’s fine for them to “put it out there”, but is it really?  I had a buyer offer $100 on a suit that retailed at $1600 and I was offering for $479. That is a decrease in my asking price of 79%. As a buyer myself, I just admire items I can’t afford and move on to those I can.

My Philosophy

My pricing strategy is based upon careful research of each of my products and brick-and-mortar experience selling upscale used clothing. My pricing is between 60% and 70% off original retail, depending on whether or not the item is NWT (new with tags). This is widely acceptable pricing for clothing that is in excellent condition. Hence the asking price is well-thought-out and fair.

Discounts can be realized by bundling purchases. I’m quite generous in this area as a small bundle of just two items will earn the buyer a twenty percent savings. Do I take offers? It depends on a number of factors; all of which are again strategically calculated. I keep a spreadsheet of every listing that includes its listing date, retail value and current listing price. In most cases these are firm. However, over time, the amount I will take may decrease. You can’t count on this, however, as I am also inclined to re-list items I especially believe in.

When you make an offer I will consult my spreadsheet and determine, without emotional influence, what I am willing to sell a given item for at a given time. I will counter (or not) with my final offer. Or, if I am currently unable to lower the price, will simply decline. I find this removes the emotional element from the process.

I will say that in no circumstance will I ever consider an offer that is less than 30% of my asking price and rarely consider offers that are less than 20% of my asking price unless they are part of a bundle, as the items are already fairly priced.

As regards to shipping costs.

I’ve read from a number of buyers that they make lower offers because they don’t want to pay shipping. Shipping is purely a benefit to the buyer — not to the seller. It gives the buyer the opportunity to shop from the comfort of her armchair and requires no effort on her part. It is a convenience commodity. Shipping, for the seller however, involves purchasing packaging, spending gas money and taking time out of their already busy schedules to deliver said packages to the post office or mail store. All of that is on top of the twenty percent that Poshmark takes as their share

Food for thought.

I’d say the crux of the matter is to be an informed and respectful buyer and be an informed and fair seller. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a successful Poshmark experience.

Kylie Sabra

Sausage and Sweet Potato Shakshouka

I love the way Rosie incorporates vegetables into the breakfast meal. They are mostly forgotten and yet bring such vibrancy to a meal often fettered with too much fat and too many simple carbs. I’m keeping my eye on you Rosie.

Wish to Dish

A recipe for munching and brunching today…

Sausage and sweet potato shakshouka recipe wish to dishSausage and sweet potato shakshouka recipe wish to dish (8)Sausage and sweet potato shakshouka recipe wish to dish (6)

Shakshouka is a dish that has recently found fame on instagram – it is posted almost as frequently as the perennial avocado toast and you are unlikely to scroll down your feed on a Sunday (brunching day) without it popping up. The recipe originates from the middle east and it consists of eggs that are poached in a spiced tomato sauce. Other ingredients are often combined into the sauce such as meats or beans but this varies from region to region.

I have added sausage meatballs and sweet potato to this shakshouka recipe and suggested an optional sprinkling of coriander to top it all off. For me coriander is never optional – I love it and can not get enough of it: if you are not a fan however then any fresh herb would be a wonderful substitute. Coriander is definitely the marmite…

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Tweet Tweet Tweet President Trump

Reprinted from May 3, 2017

I feel like the crow in The Secret of NIMH.

I try hard to focus on one thing, one aspect of the man called Trump. There are so many “sparklies” vying for my attention, I find myseIf constantly flying in this or that direction and having to circle back. I’ll try to reel myself in, perhaps tie a  restraint about my ankle to hold me down. Did you know a group of crows is called a “murder”? Seems rather a macabre beginning to my post, but somehow appropriate. Oh dear. See!  I digress.

I can’t help but love this quote from  Republican  Senator Bob Corker, who was once on Trump’s short list to become Vice President.

“I think it would be a good thing at this point if the iPhone was put in a safe, locked away and maybe returned in four years.” 

Am I the only one for whom the vision of an irate school teacher chastising a fifth grader for tweeting obscenities at school comes to mind?

The Trump Tweets are not merely amusing . . .

They are frightening and reveal a complete lack of emotional maturity on the part of this man we now call Mr. President. At this point, Trump is so desperate for a health care plan and Mexico border wall win that he said, “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!”  The cost of a government shutdown is not on par with a trip to your local Walmart. According to an April, 2017 CNN report, the last government shutdown was for 16 days in late 2013 and cost the US over $2 billion in lost productivity.

Yes. I follow @realDonaldTrump, but don’t think that makes me a fan. It’s just the best way to keep up with what he’s doing now — and every day, because believe me he’s going to tweet it. The man just can’t help himself. Some express annoyance at bloggers — like me — who bombast our “President”, but seriously he does a great job himself. We just have to call it out. 

Here are some of my favorites. Hmmm is favorites the right word? It’s kind of like hitting the Facebook “like” button when Auntie Marie kicks the bucket. Just doesn’t seem right.


This one is hot off the press today and begs the question. If the President can’t get his way with a proper vote of House and Senate, is he supposed to be able to just change the rules to suit his ends?


April 30th
The Democrats, without a leader, have become the party of obstruction. They are only interested in themselves and not in what’s best for U.S.

Am I the only one that recalls eight years of Republican obstructionist government?


April 27th

Democrats used to support border security — now they want illegals to pour through our borders.

This is apparently in support of a claim made by White House budget director Mike Mulvaney stating he didn’t understand the Democrat’s failure to support the Trump wall when they did just ten years ago. But that wasn’t a brick and mortar wall covering 1,000 – 2,000 miles, measuring 35 – 50 feet in height. It was a fence covering a selective 700 miles and was seen as the lesser of two evils at a time when it was that or declare all illegal aliens in the U.S. felons. Apples?  Oranges? Anyone?

I’m about 100% certain that no Democrat wants illegals flooding our borders, but then we don’t want to tear apart families or keep out people who have already passed our stringent requirements for entering the U.S. One really has to question the effectiveness of a wall over such a large area. It may be 35-50 feet tall, but how deep are you going to dig it? There is always a way.

I understand the need to control our borders, but question the overwhelming costs for such a venture when at the same time up to ten million people may go without health care and low-income families face loss of assistance. Check here for a complete lists of vital programs on the Trump chopping block.

Oh dear. I promised. I feel a jerk on that ankle chain. Focus woman!


May 1st

President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!

Featured image by DonkeyHotey

American Health Care Act Passes the House – Letter to Rick Larson

Reprint from May 4, 2017

NOTE: As sad as this is, the bill currently before the Senate is even meaner. It will likely not pass — we hope. I’ll be watching this situation closely over the weeks to come.

American health care is descending into a death spiral.

In an earlier post I encouraged readers to reach out to their representatives and Senators, so I did as well.  Congressman Rick Larson represents my Washington State district and upon visiting his website I found an invitation to share our personal health care crises as a result of rising costs, which I did.

Regardless of whether you are Democrat or Republican, Trump supporter or detractor; these numbers are frightening. Here’s an excerpt of my letter to Congressman Larson. Some is omitted as being too personal to share with the general public.


We have both worked hard all of our lives and yet  I fear that the next big illness we face could mean death, because with $600 monthly premiums we can’t afford to pay for doctors’ visits. And I pray we don’t end up in the hospital. I have put off knee replacement surgery for seven years now because we can’t afford it. My husband has to go without insulin from time to time. This is an utter nightmare to which I see no end.

With the proposed changes under the American Health Care Act before Congress, this picture promises to grow even darker, as premiums for older people are portended to skyrocket at the same time our wages have plummeted – if we can even find work. How are we supposed to survive?

The Republican’s claim the government has no obligation to ensure that healthcare is affordable. If not the government, then who?

According to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office), 14 million people will be without health insurance next year if American Health Care Act is signed into law. The AHCA allows insurance companies to charge up to five times more for premiums for the elderly and sick. “In 2026, under Obamacare, a 64-year-old who earns $26,500 a year and faces a typical premium of $15,500 would pay just $1,700. The AHCA would require a payment of $14,500, almost nine times as much, and not one some making $26,500 is likely to be able to afford.” – FORTUNE

 It seems the elderly have been deemed expendable.

This change would leave us with a monthly shortfall of $1,000. This, of course, means we would have to forgo health insurance at a time in our lives when we need it the most. Was this indeed the thinking of the GOP all along?

When a government deems segments of its population expendable and then sets policies in motion that would, even if indirectly, eliminate these segments, what do we call that?


Sadly, as I was composing my letter, the American Health Care Act passed the House.

Clearly the GOP consensus is that the poor, the sick and the elderly are indeed expendable. I wish I could ask each of them individually. “If you did not have the resources that you currently possess — a stable home, financial security — and you had to make critical health care decisions for your parents, your children; is this what you would have chosen for them?”

Things My Daddy Taught Me About Truth, Bullies and Speaking Out

Reprint from May 4, 2017

 

 “. . . I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

The Value of Truth

Friday and Saturday nights would find my dad and me sitting at the kitchen table. We’d talk into the wee hours of the morning. My mother suffered from mental illness and this was really the only way we could spend some time together. Nothing was off the table. He shared his thoughts on life, love, religion, and politics. He taught me not by preaching, but by sharing softly. My dad rarely raised his voice.

He also fostered my love of words. For as long as I can remember, he started his day with the Webster Dictionary; letting it fall open on his lap and allowing his finger to land where it may. That was his “word for the day”. He shared them with me and we’d use them throughout the day in as many ways as we could think of. What fun when he discovered the word proboscis. How many nose jokes can a grown man come up with in one day? You’d be surprised.

truth

He taught me that truth is highly underrated and because of its scarcity is a most valuable commodity. He taught me to seek out the facts and draw my own conclusions – not falling prey to the ramblings of others. He never told me what to think. He taught me how to think. “Find your own truth, Kylie, and defend it if you must.”

When I was in eighth grade, I was bullied by a group of girls. The abuse was verbal and emotional and finally grew to be physical; sending me home bloodied and upset more than once. I’d always been taught to find peace and understood this to mean to mean that I couldn’t defend myself. This torment lasted throughout most of that year. One day I came home, again, bloodied up and frustrated. Dad quietly said, “Kylie if you come home like this again you’re going to have to deal with me.” Sounds cruel right? “You have to stand up for yourself and what you believe, Kylie. If you don’t, no one will respect you and you’ll constantly face bullies,” he said.

As we approached the end of term, the abuse escalated as if they wanted to get in as much torment as possible before they had to take a summer break. That next day, a girl sitting behind me in my science class stabbed me in the back with the tip of her pencil. I turned about and grabbed her by the hair and slammed her face down on the desk. I’ll never forget the look on my teacher’s face. He had watched these little heifers tear at me for months. There was just the slightest smile as he looked on and he kept right on teaching. She never touched me again, but she was just one part of this little clique, so I had a present waiting for me on my way home on the bus that afternoon. Of course there would be retaliation as the kitten swiped at the rabid dog.

There was no place to sit up front so I had to move to the back. The meanest of the group took out a hat pin. I know, right? What was an eighth grader doing with a hat pin? Well she made great use of it and stuck it deep into me just before we reached her stop. She laughed and made her care-free way down the aisle. I stood up, placed each hand on the seat backs, lifted myself up and kicked her down the aisle. Then I moved to the next and to the next and to the next with my last kick landing her out the door on her behind sprawled on the ground. Everyone on the bus clapped. And no. I did not get into trouble. It seemed that my entire little world had been waiting for me to rise up.

Funny thing about bullies, when you face them, they flee. A couple of weeks later the term ended and we all headed our separate ways for the summer. When I came back to school – a freshman – these same girls that had terrified me became my best friends. Come to find out, one of them was even a second cousin.

So, my dad taught me how to handle bullies, value truth and speak my mind. Why then, as a business owner, am I supposed to sit back quietly when our President makes decisions that affect us all, and many of these decisions are not only questionable, some are downright cruel? I’m not. My daddy taught me better. I need to take up my pen and do some proverbial ass whuppin’.

Dad would be sad to see the state of affairs today and just how scarce a commodity truth has become, what with alternative facts, political spin doctors and social media masquerading as a valid news source. I’m going to keep plowing through the facts and figures. I’ll draw my own conclusions and I will write about them. Because that is what I do. I encourage you to do the same.

Extend your mind beyond the four corners of your head space. Read as many reputable news sources as you can get your hands on. Compare. Contrast.

Re-read our America’s founding documents so you know which of your rights may be in jeopardy. Look at the Congressional Record and see how your representatives are voting. There is actually a Daily Digest to make things easier and many ways to search, whether it be by representative, issue or date. Research allows you to make your own informed decisions instead of relying on others to tell you what to think.

Know how to contact your representatives  and senator so you can express your views in a way that make a difference.

More importantly, go straight to the horses’ mouths. Read what they are actually saying and then look to see if it is accurate, if it makes sense. Does it hurt others? Are they following through on what they say? Is it in the best interest of the country, or does it favor a select few, leaving many others disenfranchised?

It’s wonderful to know what you believe. It’s imperative to know why you believe it. There are a host of free blog sites out there. Do your due diligence and share your truth – whatever it is. It’s a free country – so far. Let’s keep it that way.

Suggested Resources for Reliable News Sources

This is a small list and by no means all inclusive. Some lean left and some to the right. For a better overall understanding, it is good to examine both. I will be doing a post on left, centrist and right media.

Reuters, The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, BBC ,  NPR, Snopes (Great for fact checking.), The Economist, PBS News Hour, C-Span, The Associated Press, The New York Times

 

Respectfully submitted,

Kylie Addison Sabra

“On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder – Recommended Reading

Reprinted from May 12, 2017

Tyranny – Entered as Easily as a Warm Bath

Do you love studying history? I do hope so. Understanding what is in our past can help us safeguard the future. Changes can be subtle. So subtle that you can wake up one morning to find yourself in a pot of hot water, only to discover it’s too late to escape. Are we destined to be served up as fodder for a government based on tyranny? Is democracy on its way out? Whether you think so or not, it doesn’t hurt to know the signs.

There’s an old morality tale with many versions about boiling a frog.  This is mine.


Frog for Dinner

The frog laughed as the man tossed him into the pot of boiling water. It took him all of two seconds to leap to safety. The man tried again, but still the frog jumped out.

The man scratched his head and then there was a gleam in his eye. He turned his back to the frog and set to work. He tossed the pan of boiling water and brought out a  beautiful piece of heat-proof crockery. He filled it with cool water from the pump and set a lily pad in the middle of it. Just to set the right mood he lit some candles and placed a plush towel and small slippers by the new “tub”, tucking more towels around the bottom.

The frog watched curiously. The man had captured him a few days ago and that tub looked oh so inviting.

“Forgive me, Mr. Frog,” the man said. “I’ve been remiss as a host. I have plenty of food and there’s really no need for me to make a meal of you. Let me make it up to you if I may. May I offer you a nice cool bath to wash the road from you? Then, you can join me for dinner.”Boil-a-Frog_004

The frog cocked his brow and dipped one toe into the water. He smiled. “Indeed, sir. It would be a great pleasure.” He slipped into the tub and lay back. He was justifiably exhausted from the ordeal of the past few days and in no time at all, he drifted into sleep.

The man pulled the towels away from the bottom of the bowl, revealing a wood pile ready for the lighting. The water grew warmer and warmer and the frog fell deeper and deeper into blissful sleep.

The sounds of a knife slicing through carrots and the scent of onion and garlic filled the air. The frog awakened, but by then it was too late. He couldn’t move as already he was being cooked. The man tossed the aromatics into the simmering pot — I mean bowl — and added some salt and pepper. The frog was too far gone to even sneeze, although he powerfully wanted to.

That night, the man chuckled at his own cleverness as he poured a lovely Cabernet and toasted his dinner guest.


As with any morality tale, there is a lesson. Be aware of what’s happening around you so as not to be a boiled toad.

I ran across this book as I was conducting my daily blog research. The title was eye catching, but even more so was the tagline — Twenty Lessons From the 20th Century. It didn’t hurt that it came highly recommended and quoted by many reliable media sources.

On Tyranny is a fast read and is only $3.99 on Amazon Kindle . If you’re expecting professorial high-speak, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Snyder’s writing style is straightforward and, as such, is powerful. He seems like the kind of man I’d like to know. He isn’t overly enamored with the sound of his own voice. Snyder says the book is, “. . . an attempt to distill what I have learned about the 20th century into a guide for action today.”

The book entails twenty key points and are well documented. It’s hard to say I have favorites as they are equally important, but here are a few.

Do not obey in advance.

Investigate

Listen for dangerous words

Take responsibility for the face of the world

Without dissolving into fear, we are well advised to recognize the signals that foretell the rise of tyranny in our world.

Kylie Addison Sabra

 

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