A Pennsylvania company called Fireworks is celebrating Pope Francis’ upcoming U.S. visit by marketing a specially-designed toaster that burns the image of Pope Francis onto your sliced bread. The Toaster comes with and an additional insert that toasts the words “Spread the Love” in English onto your toast. The toaster has seven shade settings and a removable crumb tray and sells for $48.95 online at ToastThePope.com.
Few people are aware of the extent of the fundamentalist Christian programs now going on in the U.S. Military aimed at turning our country’s Military into a global Christian mission for Jesus Christ.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), based in Albuquerque, New Mexico has working for years to draw attention to this situation. Mikey Weinstein, the head of MRFF, says these religious efforts constitute a “systematic program of indoctrination sanctioned, coordinated, and carried out by fundamentalist Christians within the U. S. military.” He writes that Christian programs in the military “[represent] a bona fide national security crisis” that is ongoing “throughout the entirety of the United States Air Force in particular, and the U.S. Armed Forces as a whole, whereby unchecked evangelizing activity is carried out on Uncle Sam’s time and the taxpayer’s dime.”
A shocking YouTube compilation of clips contains clips of videos created by the many parachurch groups that operate freely within the U.S. military shows military chaplains and fundamentalist preachers stating openly that they consider the military a hunting ground to recruit followers for Jesus Christ. They refer to military recruits as a “ripe harvest field,” and say the military offers them a “unique opportunity for a gateway ministry.”
Major General (Ret.) Bob Dees, Executive Dire actor of the Campus Crusade for Christ International’s Military Ministry, states, “The first strategic objective is to evangelize and disciple the enlisted members of the enlisted Air Force.”
Footage taken by AlJazeera shows Lt. Colonel Gary Hensley, the Army Command Chaplain in Afghanistan (the chief of all of the Army chaplains in Afghanistan) telling members of the military that they need to go on a recruiting drive for Christ. “Hunt ’em down and get ’em in the Kingdom, that’s what we do, that’s our business,” Hensley says.
A representative of the military branch of Campus Crusade for Christ states,
“Our purpose for Campus Crusade for Christ at the Air Force Academy is to make Jesus Christ the issue at the Air Force Academy and around the world, and I think that we’re seeing God do that. We’re seeing kids come to Christ, being built up in their faith and being sent out to reach the world. They’re government-paid missionaries when they leave here.”
All activities shown in the video are currently ongoing in the U.S. Military and are open violations of U.S. law. The rules regulating Air Force culture, Air Force Instruction 1-1 (pdf), state that “Every Airman is free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all.” The regulations mandate that
…Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for their own free exercise of religion, including individual expressions of religious beliefs, and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion. They must ensure their words and actions cannot reasonably be construed to be officially endorsing or disapproving of, or extending preferential treatment for any faith, belief, or absence of belief.
The activities shown in the video are shocking and need to be seen to be believed. You can support the efforts of MRFF here, or write to your own elected officials and express your opinion about this blatant violation of service members’ rights, Air Force rules and the U.S. Constitution.
The mystery remains about who has been writing huge, cryptic messages using this hill on the Redlands for years now, and what drives him or her to do it
Back in December, 2014, I talked about the Mysterious Talking Hill Off South Camp Road. For years now, someone has regularly been climbing up this hill and scratching brief, huge messages into the green bentonite. The letters are probably at least 10-12 feet high. The writer changes the messages every other week or so. This task is far more challenging than using Twitter, which limits messages to 140 characters. The messages scratched into this hill are almost never more than four letters, tops. Repeatedly climbing up the crumbling scree to “erase” the old message and scratch in a new one can’t be easy, but some unknown person has been driven to do it frequently for at least six years now.
Sometimes the messages make sense. For example, around Mother’s Day it may say “MOM.” Near the end of December it may say “XMAS.” In May of 2014, when Google Street View caught a photo of the enigmatic hill, it said “USA.”
Google Street View captured the hill in May of 2014, when it said “USA.”
Yesterday the hill said “TREK.”
We don’t know.
Maybe it had to do with the recent article in the Daily Sentinel about Jamie Bianchini, the man who went on an 8 year bicycle ride through 80 countries — an extended TREK. Or maybe the writer simply bought a new Trek bicycle and was glad as hell about it.
Here’s how to see the Talking Redlands Hill:
Take Broadway out towards the Redlands. Turn left at Monument Road, where the “W” gas station is. (Stop at the fabulous Trailhead Coffee House for Coffee if you have time). Continue on Monument Road toward the Colorado National Monument. When you get to South Camp Road, turn right and go a couple hundred feet to the dirt pullout directly opposite East Fallen Rock Road. There’s a big green electrical box there. Park and look for the dirt road heading generally northwest from the pullout, then look up at the Morrison formation hills just above it. Look a little to the right at a lower green bentonite hill lying between the two rock-covered peaks, as seen in the photo at the top of this article. See what it says and report back! And if you know who’s doing the writing, please do tell!
Promotional movie poster from the 1971 movie, “Cold Turkey,” starring Dick Van Dyke
In August, 1969 all of the citizens the town of Greenfield, Iowa (pop. 2,100) attempted to quit smoking as a publicity stunt in connection with the on-site filming of the movie Cold Turkey, starring Dick Van Dyke.
In an internal project they code-named “Bird 1,” Philip Morris (PM), the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, surveyed the citizens of Greenfield 8 months after their quit attempt. PM used local Girl Scouts to hand-deliver the questionnaires to citizens to increase the acceptance of the packets. The Girl Scouts were instructed to knock on doors and hand a questionnaire packet to “every person who was 14 years old on Cold Turkey Day.” PM paid five dollars to everyone who completed and returned a survey.
This tobacco industry document is the report containing Philip Morris’ analysis of the success of citizens’ efforts to go “Cold Turkey.” PM’s descriptions are entertaining, highly chauvinistic and of course paint a very dismal picture of quitting smoking:
“Even after eight months quitters were apt to report having neurotic symptoms, such as feeling depressed, being restless and tense, being ill-tempered, having a loss of energy, being apt to doze off, etc. They were further troubled by constipation…As can be seen from Table 3, the…differences among male smokers were sizable, but the female data are the most startling. The anti-smoking campaign failed to persuade the women to quit. We can only conjecture at the reasons for the failure: –perhaps it is because women are better at running their husbands’ lives then their own… –perhaps it is because busy housewives are less exposed to anti-smoking arguments, or less responsive to logical argument, or less apt to participate in community affairs…It is also possible that [smokers who] wish to stay off smoking have learned from experience that alcohol weakens their resolve. A sad picture is painted of the quitter who used to enjoy himself at a party, now restricted to coffee, fruit juice and coke, turning his back on the swingers in the kitchen in order to hover around the candy and peanut tray among the staid old gossips in the parlor. After one or two such experiences he probably quits partying altogether…The net effect of the extra food at mealtime and the snacks of candy, nuts, ice cream and coke had its predictable consequence: the quitters report more trouble with constipation and much more trouble with weight gain. This is not the happy picture painted by the Cancer Society’s anti-smoking commercial which shows an exuberant couple leaping into the air kicking their heels with joy because they’ve kicked the habit. A more appropriate commercial would show a restless, nervous, constipated husband bickering viciously with his bitchy wife, who is nagging him about his slothful behavior and growing waistline.”
See a PDF of the confidential internal PM document here.
WCAF’s billboard graces I-70 Business Loop right in front of Hobby Lobby, which sued the federal government to deny its female employees’ coverage for contraception due to the company owners’ personal religious beliefs. (Photo Credit: JT)
A new digital billboard is up on I-70 Business Loop in Grand Junction, Colorado, supports people who don’t believe in God by reassuring them that they’re not alone. The board was put up by Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF), the area’s first secular group. WCAF was founded in February, 2007, to give western Colorado atheists voice in a part of Colorado where religiosity has historically dominated the culture and people were afraid to admit they didn’t believe in God.
WCAF’s billboard on I-70 Business Loop, just west of Chick-Fil-A. It reads, “Don’t Believe? You’re not alone,” and lists WCAF’s website at WesternColoradoAtheists.org.
“If you had told me 25 years ago a day would come in Grand Junction when a big, glowing atheist billboard would be up on the main highway into town on Easter weekend, I never would have believed it,” said Anne Landman, Board Member at Large of WCAF. “But times have really changed here. We’ve had a huge amount of support for this board. It’s all right now to be an open atheist in western Colorado, and that’s what WCAF is saying with this board. It’s fine not to believe in God. Lots of people don’t, and if you don’t, you’re joining a fast-growing number of people in the U.S. who don’t.”
WCAF meets regularly twice a month and invites people to visit its website at WesternColoradoAtheists.org for information on meeting times and locations.
Paul Liebe’s family-unfriendly banner outside his business, NiteLife Billiards on North Ave.
Paul Liebe is the owner of NiteLife Billiards at 2882 North Ave. in Grand Junction. “Liebe” means “love” in German, but unfortunately Mr. Liebe does not project a loving front to many area citizens. His business’ slogan is “We Deliver Family Fun,” but Mr. Liebe is far from family-friendly. R-rated is more like it, at a minimum.
Liebe, a gun proponent who bills himself as a “public figure” on his Facebook page, recently made headlines for selling “open carry” T-shirts printed with a realistic-looking handgun in a holster. The shirts come with a dire warning letting people know that actually wearing the shirt can lead to death if the wearer encounters police and they mistakenly think you are wearing a real gun. In short, don’t put these shirts on your kids — they aren’tfamily-friendly, or friendly in any way at all.
Liebe’s personal attitudes are far from family-friendly, too, and so is his language. On February 13 he posted on his publicly-accessible Facebook page: “If you don’t like what I post, get the FUCK OFF MY PAGES,” and “…I don’t give a shit if your FEELINGS get hurt.”
Read the fine print: the chicken is artificially injected with a 15% saline solution, for which you are paying by the pound
Last summer I picked up two raw chickens on sale at City Market, put one in the freezer and the other on the smoker for dinner. When it was done and I cut into it, the chicken oozed a milky-looking liquid and had a weird, stringy texture that all dinner guests agreed made it just too unappealing to eat. With my main dish inedible, I ran back to City Market with the second chicken and told them something was very wrong with it. They gave me my money back and I bought a ready-made rotisserie chicken to substitute for dinner that night. To say we were disappointed was an understatement.
After that, I couldn’t help but wonder: what was wrong with my chicken that it came out so funky?
The answer is, it wasn’t really chicken. The fine print on the label said the chicken had been “enhanced” with a “15% solution of chicken broth.”
This is what ruined my dinner. I cooked a chicken that had been pumped full of liquid, when I thought I was buying just chicken. It was also on sale, which meant it had probably been sitting around a little longer than desired prior to purchase.
“Enhancing” chicken is a euphemism for injecting it with a mixture of water, phosphate, sodium and sometimes carrageenan, a chemical derived from seaweed that increases the chicken’s ability to hold the injected liquid in its tissues. Injecting it this way plumps up the chicken, making it look more appealing to consumers. You can see a video of a chicken-injecting machine at work here.
Illicitly-placed “McInnis” campaign sign on a power pole along G Road. XCel has asked McInnis’ campaign to remove the signs.
The “Scott McInnis for Commissioner” signs that have appeared on power poles throughout the county have been placed illicitly, without first obtaining permission from the power company. The power poles are private property and the signs will have to be removed.
When someone from a different campaign contacted XCel to ask permission to place signage on the company’s power poles for a different candidate, and pointing out that Scott McInnis already had signs on the poles, XCel responded:
“The area contact has notified the [McInnis] campaign office to remove all signage from our private property. At this time, we are not allowing any political signage on our poles or other property. Again, we appreciate that you asked for consent prior to posting signs for your candidate. We hope you have a wonderful weekend.”
Former congressman Scott McInnis withdrew from a 2010 run for Colorado Governor amid a plagiarism scandal, for which he later apologized. In 2004, Congress also violated its own House Rule XXI, Clause 6 to rename a natural conservation area in Colorado after McInnis, who was then a sitting congressman. The rule prohibits sitting members of Congress from naming public works or lands after themselves. McInnis did not notify anyone in Colorado about the bill to change the area’s name to honor him, and only two representatives spoke in favor of it — one from California and one from Guam. The bill was passed with a non-recorded voice-vote on a day when the House chambers were practically empty.
This “Hey Kids!!!” poster recruiting kids to attend evangelistic Bible classes was photographed at Broadway Elementary.
Grand Junction parents are voicing concern that their children attending District 51 elementary schools are being sent home home with fliers soliciting attendance at Bible study classes held immediately after school on school grounds. The Child Evangelism Fellowship is actively working to recruit young children into to Christianity by promoting “Good News Club” meetings to be held weekly within local public school buildings from about 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. Times apparently vary according to individual school schedules. Parents have reported via a local Facebook group that fliers and posters promoting the religious classes have shown up at Tope, Broadway and Pomona elementary schools.
The mission of the Child Evangelism Fellowship is “to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and establish (disciple) them with the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living.”
Concerned parents say a public school is an inappropriate place to carry out that mission, and grade school-aged kids won’t be able to distinguish between their regular classes and the Bible study classes. Parents also believe such religiously-intensive activities are more appropriately held in a church than a taxpayer-funded public school building.
Mesa County rule of thumb: Vote AGAINST the candidates with the biggest, most professionally-made signs
Have you been so busy trying to make ends meet, putting food on the table and raising your kids that you haven’t had time to bone up on local politics? There’s an election is coming up this November. How will you know who to vote for?
The one thing you need to know is that the same party has been in charge of everything here for decades: the Mesa County Republican Party, which some call the “Old Guard Republican Establishment” (OGRE). They’ve had a lock on local elected offices for a very long time.
6) Forty one percent of School District 51 students qualify for free and reduced-cost lunches at school, and Kids Aid, an area nonprofit that provides backpacks of food to hungry students so they can get through the weekends without starving, sends 1,800 District 51 students home with backpacks full of non-perishable food home each WEEK.
Yes, you read that right. Eighteen hundred Mesa County school children are food insecure every week.
Bin 707 Foodbar in downtown Grand Junction is serious about supporting local food products and organic food producers. “We’re local first, Colorado second,” says Bin’s new website. “Locally purchased products keeps money in the local economy for longer, instead of investing it in large corporations.”
Yup, Bin gets it.
When the time came to create a new website, Bin patronized Synergy Marketing Consultants at 2478 Patterson Road, a full-service digital marketing agency located right here in Grand Junction. Cat Mayer of Cat Mayer Studio, located at 3360 Star Court in Grand Junction, did the photography for the new site, and the photographs are gorgeous.
This ad run in today’s Daily Sentinel shows the paper has adopted AnneLandmanBlog’s new nickname for lower dowtown G.J.: “LoJo”
Today’s Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has an ad promoting a run the paper is sponsoring called the “Wrong Side of the Tracks Run” planned for July 3 that starts at the paper’s office building at 734 S. 7th Street and ends at the Edgewater Brewery at 905 Struthers Ave.
In the ad, the Sentinel adopts the nickname first proposed by right here in AnneLandmanBlog for Grand Junction’s southern downtown area as it undergoes its urban renewal phase. We called it “LoJo.” The nickname appeared in our April 17, 2014 blog titled “Jumpin’ Without Jesus: Get Air at the Silo Opens Soon in Grand Junction,” about the old Mesa Feed grain silo and building being made into a trampoline and jumping facility.
Yes, folks, you heard it here first!
Thanks, Daily Sentinel!
Below is the photo with the caption using the name “LoJo” from the April 17th Jumpin’ Without Jesus blog:
The old Mesa Feed building on south 7th Street in LoJo is being rebuilt into a climbing and trampoline amusement park.
Discontent’s giant skateboarding, stoned Bong Guy greets tourists driving into Grand Junction off of I-70B. Art was created by their employee Kyle O’Connor.
Try as they may, the Grand Junction City Council, Mesa County Commissioners and even Diane Cox haven’t been able to stop the pot culture from seeping into Grand Junction. It’s starting to show up everywhere these days, despite city and county-wide bans on retail marijuana commerce.
Roasted Espresso and Subs on 5th Street and Colorado Avenue, the coolest coffee bar in town, now offers to add cannabis seeds to any item for $1.50. Shelled cannabis seeds contain a high amount of protein and nutrients like iron, vitamin B and calcium. Reader’s Digest calls them “super seeds” and says they are a “great source of complete protein and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Cannabis seeds also contain phytosterols, plant-based compounds that help lower cholesterol levels.” The THC content of seeds is almost nonexistent.
Discontent at First Street and North Avenue — a high-visibility location at the west entrance to town — bills itself as a “lifestyle store for the counter-culture” and sells a wide selection of pipes, rolling papers, vaporizers, water pipes and other accessories. The quality of their selection of glass art bongs is so magnificent it’s hard to imagine actually using them to smoke. Discontent also carries skateboarding accessories, Van’s sneakers and clothing for the younger set, but they report their clientele has a wide age range. They had one customer who was 85 years old. (Discontent checks date of birth on customers’ IDs.) Discontent is now sporting a huge picture of a stoned, skateboarding bong-guy with bloodshot eyes on its front window.
Tourists coming in off I-70 stop in at Discontent to ask directions to the Colorado National Monument, but the store manager reports the most frequent question from tourists is “Where are the recreational pot shops?” Unfortunately, Discontent must direct them out of town to Rifle, Ridgway or Carbondale, where retail recreational marijuana stores are permitted, to spend their cash. Discontent has been so successful in its current location that they are planning to open a second store in Glenwood Springs, one of the places that has also allowed retail MJ sales. Locals can only watch helplessly as cash-laden pot tourists drive straight through town without stopping and head to points beyond to spend their money.
CVS touts its apparent new-found interest in people’s health
CVS Drugstores announced this week that they are finally acting on information the rest of us have known for fifty years: they’re going to stop selling cigarettes because they are addictive and deadly. On February 5, 2014 CVS announced that it would end cigarette sales at its 7,600 stores nationwide by October 1. What CVS didn’t mention was the grassroots efforts behind this move, including the relentless driving force of a human being, Dr. Terence A. Gerace, who carried out an almost four year-long, single-focus, one-man campaign to push CVS to stop selling cigarettes. Dr. Gerace started his campaign in earnest on May 20, 2010. Over the years it has included a web site containing a log and description of every single one of the days he personally stood protesting in front of a busy CVS store in a prominent part of Washington, D.C., a “CVS Sells Poison” Facebook page, a “CVS Sells Poison” YouTube song and video, almost 170 days of personal protest in all kinds of weather at the Washington, D.C. store and some imaginative, hand-made iterations of what Terry though CVS ads could look like if the chain finally went cigarette-free. To his credit, though, Dr. Gerace has turned down offers of publicity for himself now that CVS has finally agreed to stop selling cigarettes, saying the focus should be on the change, and for that he deserves a gold medal.
Some communities understand that it is wrong for pharmacies, which market themselves as interested in peoples’ health, to sell cigarettes. A few enlightened U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Richmond, California, Boston and about 80 other cities in Massachusetts now have ordinances banning pharmacies from selling cigarettes. Canada prohibits pharmacies from selling cigarettes and so does the United Kingdom. In Europe, pharmacies do not sell cigarettes.
For decades the tobacco industry has protected the big national chain drug stores against lawsuits brought by people who were sickened by cigarettes bought at their stores through contracts that indemnify the stores against such legal action. After all, the pharmacies know they are selling a deadly product but keep doing it, to the cigarette makers’ great financial advantage. CVS had many such protective contracts with cigarette companies. To see the contracts tobacco companies held with any drug chain, just go to the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library online and enter the search term “indemnify and hold harmless” along with the name of any major drug store chain you like to shop at, like Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc. They’re all there, demonstrating that these stores know they are selling a deadly product and choose to do it anyway.
Now that CVS has decided to stop selling cigarettes, the only question left in people’s minds is no longer which national chain drug store will be the first to stop selling cigarettes. It’s which one will be the last.
The spring fashion ad campaign of luxury department store Barneys New York features seventeen transgendered models, most of whom have never modeled before. The campaign, titled “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters,” was shot in New York by renowned photographer Bruce Weber. The ads are an effort to raise awareness of a largely misunderstood community that has seen little progress towards acceptance over the last few decades. The photos feature the models posing with members of their support networks — friends, relatives and even pets — accompanied by a short summary of each model’s personal story. Barneys hopes that by giving the models and their unique personal stories national exposure, they will help increase social acceptance of transgendered individuals. Barneys partnered with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the LGBT Community Center to create the campaign, and the retailer will donate 10 percent of all the sales it makes on February 11, at their stores or online, to the two organizations, with the total proceeds being divided equally between them.
Thinking of getting solar panels installed on your house or office? Great! Just don’t let your solar company rush you into a deal, and make sure they calculate the size of your system based on the correct power consumption data from your building. Any error will cost you for decades.
That’s our advice after having had a bad experience dealing with Grand Junction’s High Noon Solar. In their zeal to rush us into a soon-to-expire lease deal, High Noon miscalculated the size of power system we’d need. Now we’re stuck with a system that’s too small to offset our power bills to the extent that High Noon promised.