School Shootings and Israel

“When terrorists attacked a school in Maalot in 1974, Israel did not declare every school a gun-free zone. It passed a law mandating armed security in schools, provided weapons training to teachers and today runs frequent active shooter drills. There have been only two school shootings since then, and both have ended with teachers killing the terrorists.

Israel proves the NRA’s arguments

Arutz Sheva, Tzvi Lev, 15/02/18 20:49

Wednesday’s horrific shooting in Florida has reignited the gun rights debate in the United States over the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, adopted in 1791, which states:: “… the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

In the past, proponents of limiting civilian access to firearms have extolled Israel as having the proper approach to limiting mass shootings, pointing to the numerous legal hoops Israelis must jump through in order to be granted a gun license.

“In Israel, gun ownership is a privilege rather than a right,” wrote Public Radio International in November. “There is no such thing as a right to bear arms in Israel,” the Huffington Post preached after the 2016 shooting in an Orlando nightclub that left 50 dead.

Newsweek praised Israel for obligating its citizens to “show genuine cause to carry a firearm, such as self-defense or hunting”. The message is clear: Israel has the right approach in curtailing access to firearms, and the United States would be well advised to tread the same path.

In reality, Israel’s gun policy is living proof of the arguments the American gun lobby has been making for years.

Gun rights advocates contend that the way to stop mass shootings is by ensuring that there are always well-armed citizens present who can neutralize the shooter. As NRA chairman Wayne Lapierre always says, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”. A bedrock of the NRA’s philosophy is that criminals will always acquire guns illegally, and draconian gun laws only render law-abiding citizens defenseless.

When the knife intifada erupted in September 2015, the Israeli government’s response was to ease the process for the civilian populace to obtain weapons.
Enter Israel: When the knife intifada erupted in September 2015, the Israeli government’s response was to ease the process for the civilian populace to obtain weapons. After a particularly bloody Jerusalem shooting attack that killed four, then-Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan drastically changed the gun laws in order to significantly raise the number of armed civilians on the streets. Instantly, graduates of Special Forces units and IDF officers with the rank of Lieutenant and above were permitted to purchase guns at their will, security guards were allowed to bring their guns home after work, and the minimum age for a license was reduced from 21 to 18.

Erdan explained that “civilians well trained in the use of weapons provide reinforcement in the struggle against terrorism”, while Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for every resident to carry a gun, and was even photographed traveling the city carrying a Glock 23.

In addition, the overwhelming majority of terror attacks in Israel are stopped by armed civilians, not law enforcement. For example, the terrorists in the 2016 Sarona market attack were stopped by armed passersby. A pistol-carrying tour guide put an end to the 2017 ramming attack in Arnona that left four soldiers dead.

In Israeli eyes, guns are a valuable deterrent against terrorism. In fact, terrorists have told the Shin Bet internal security service that they often target haredi Jews due to the high likelihood that they are unarmed.

Gun control supporters would answer that the mandatory military service that every Israeli undergoes justifies the trust Israel has of its citizens. However, this argument doesn’t hold water. The vast majority of IDF soldiers aren’t combat soldiers and are certified as 02 riflemen. To be 02 requires one to shoot between 40 and 70 bullets. The pistol course needed to obtain a license takes less than four hours. It is a far cry from the highly trained population that the Left imagines.

Gun control has been proven to be a dismal failure in Israel. The Israeli Arab communities are rife with illegal weapons, with some police estimates putting the number of unlicensed weapons in the Arab sector as high as 500,000. Think about that for a second: The most heavily guarded borders in the world and a highly professional Shin Bet are still not enough to prevent criminals from obtaining illegal firearms.

When terrorists attacked a school in Maalot in 1974, Israel did not declare every school a gun-free zone. It passed a law mandating armed security in schools, provided weapons training to teachers and today runs frequent active shooter drills. There have been only two school shootings since then, and both have ended with teachers killing the terrorists.

It is an approach that the Americans should take to end the constant slaughter of innocents.

Posted in Culture, Government, Israel, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Truman, Trump and Trumah

In Efrat, Israel, live inspirational friends with whom Renee and I spent a few nights in 2015, and with whom we expect to spend a few more nights this summer, including a Shabbat.  The husband, born in Chicago, recently wrote the thoughts behind the following.

Think about the common denominators between two American presidents who have made such great contribution to Israel and the Jewish people.

TRUMan – Gave the order for the US to recognize the State of Israel.

TRUMp – Gave the order for the US to finally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

TRUMah – The Hebrew word for contribution.

FAKE News –  Chicago Tribune headlines declaring Dewey the winner of the 1948 election.

FAKE News – Hillary Clinton has 85% chance to win.

Is the comparison of the two presidencies not strikingly uncanny?

The nation is like a mighty lion;
When it is sleeping, no one dares wake it.
Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed,
And whoever curses Israel will be cursed. Numbers 24:9

Over 300 years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher, to give him proof of the supernatural. Pascal answered: “Why, the Jews, your Majesty—the Jews.”

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:4

May the President and his administration continue to be blessed with success and leadership.

I will bless those who bless you,
But I will curse those who curse you.
And through you I will bless all the nations. Genesis 12:3


Posted in Government, Israel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s great gifts to Israel and America

Caroline Glick wrote in Jerusalem Post,

“With his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump gave a Hanukka gift to the Jewish people. But he also gave a Christmas gift to the American people.

“Trump’s gift to Israel is not merely that 68 years after Israel declared Jerusalem its capital, the US finally recognized Israel’s capital.

“In his declaration, Trump said, “Israel has made its capital in the city of Jerusalem, the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times.”

“By stating this simple truth, Trump fully rejected the anti-Israel legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama.

“In his speech in Cairo in 2009, Obama intimated that Israel’s legitimacy is rooted in the Holocaust, rather than in the Jewish nation’s millennial attachment to the Land of Israel. Whereas the Balfour Declaration and the League of Nations Mandate rooted the Jewish people’s sovereign rights to the Land of Israel in its 3,500-year relationship with it, Obama said that Israel is nothing more than a refugee camp located in an inconvenient area. In so doing, he gave credence to the anti-Israel slander that Israel is a colonialist power.

“By asserting the real basis for Israel’s legitimacy, Trump made clear that the Jewish people is indigenous to the Land of Israel. He also made it US policy to view Israel’s right to exist, like its right to its capital city, as unconditional.

“Trump’s extraordinary gift to Israel was an act of political and moral courage. It was also a stroke of strategic brilliance.

“To understand why it was both courageous and wise, consider the political, institutional and geopolitical contexts in which Trump acted.

“Politically, Trump made his declaration in a poisonous political environment at home.

“The Democrats responded to Trump’s victory last year over Hillary Clinton by seeking to delegitimize his victory. To this end, they chose to oppose everything that he says and does.

“And so, despite their long-held and recently voiced support for US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, leading Democratic senators including New Jersey’s Cory Booker and California’s Diane Feinstein condemned Trump’s declaration.

“The Democrats’ rejection of Trump’s move was an astounding act of hypocrisy. But it was also predictable.

“Trump had to know the Democrats would oppose him. And he also had to know that in their opposition, they would empower US allies in Europe and the Arab world to publicly condemn his move in a manner they would be loath to do if the Democrats supported him. And still, despite this sure knowledge, Trump took action.

“And it wasn’t only the Democrats, the Europeans and the Arabs Trump willingly opposed. His chief opposition came from within his own government.

“Since 1949, the State Department has driven US policy on Israel and on the Middle East as a whole. And since 1949, the State Department’s Israel policy has refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Even worse, it worked to undermine any international support for Israel’s sovereign rights to Jerusalem.

“For instance, a 1962 State Department memo to then-president John F. Kennedy’s national security adviser McGeorge Bundy laid out the law on Jerusalem.

“The memo told Bundy that not only did the State Department oppose Israel’s decision to make Jerusalem its capital. It detailed the efforts the State Department had made over more than a decade to lobby every government that opened diplomatic ties with Israel not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and not to locate its embassy in Jerusalem.

“Over the years, various presidents have taken issue with the State Department’s policy toward Israel. These disputes have been informed both by genuine disagreement with Foggy Bottom’s institutional hostility toward Israel and by political concerns. The American people have been supportive of Israel, and that support has only grown over the years.

“But despite their genuine disputes and political concerns, no president who opposed State Department hostility toward Israel seized control over US Israel policy from the State Department.

“That is, no one did until Trump did.

“On Wednesday, in a very public way, Trump wrested control over US policy toward Israel generally, and Jerusalem specifically, from the State Department. The consequences of Trump’s seizure of the reins over US Middle East policy are enormous, and entirely positive for the US itself. Indeed, two in particular are great gifts to the American people.

“In his declaration, Trump said, “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious. That Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

“Under State Department control for 68 years, US foreign policy relating to Israel specifically and the Middle East as a whole was made in deliberate defiance of reality. In the case of Jerusalem, rather than recognize the plain fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital city, the State Department insisted on pretending that Israel has no capital. This position was a central component of an overall US Middle East policy that the State Department similarly based on a defiant rejection of observable reality.

“So it happened that for decades the US ignored the multiple, systemic pathologies of the Arab and Islamic world and opted instead to predicate its policies on the false assumption that the problems of the Middle East are rooted in Israel’s refusal to sufficiently appease the Arab world.

“By rejecting the State Department’s position on Jerusalem, and by noting that its position is rooted in a rejection of reality, Trump initiated a new course for US Middle East policy rooted in reality for the first time in three generations.

“The salutary implications of a reality-based policy for America are as self-evident as the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

“This brings us to the second positive advantage America gained from Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

“Over the span of decades, a US president’s power to determine foreign policy was measured by two things: the amount of daylight between White House statements and traditional State Department positions, and the disparity between US foreign policy positions and the positions of Western European governments and the EU. The greater the distance between White House positions and those of the State Department and Europe, the more power the president held over US foreign policy.

“The only exception to this rule was Obama. Like the State Department, and like Europe, Obama’s foreign policy was predicated on the need for the US to appease its enemies at the expense of its allies – first and foremost Israel. It was also based on the State Department’s long-held assumption that the US should align its policies with Europe. Given his convictions, Obama could advance his agenda in harmony with the State Department.

“During Obama’s tenure, US allies and enemies alike were conditioned to believe that the US would not challenge them and that the State Department controlled US foreign policy. The Europeans came to believe that despite their military and economic dependence on the US, it was the US that had to take their policies into account when it fashioned its foreign policies – and not the other way around. This was certainly the case in the Middle East where Obama eagerly joined them in appeasing Iran and turning the screws on Israel.

“As for America’s enemies, Obama and his State Department made it clear to the North Koreans and Iranians that American threats were a joke. The US would do nothing to seriously challenge them. And in the interests of appeasing them, the US was willing to sell out all of its allies.

“With this track record, it was clear that Trump would need to take dramatic action to show US allies and enemies alike that the rules of the game had changed in Washington.

“Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem did the job.

“By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in defiance of Europe and the Arabs and in the course of wresting control of Middle East policy from the State Department, Trump showed US allies and enemies alike that he is in charge. And he is willing to act even when doing so provokes US enemies to threaten retaliation, when he believes that his action advances US interests.

“Trump’s move wasn’t merely strategically brilliant. It was also a political masterstroke.

“Consider the liberal Union for Reform Judaism’s contradictory responses to his recognition of Jerusalem. In the lead-up to Trump’s declaration, URJ President Rick Jacobs condemned Trump’s anticipated move which he claimed would harm chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Jacobs’s statement – which was supported by key groups within the Reform movement – effectively divorced Reform Judaism from Zionism. By giving the PLO a veto over Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, Jacobs said that the Reform movement thinks PLO claims to Jerusalem are stronger than Jewish claims.

“This self-evidently anti-Zionist position apparently didn’t go down well with the Reform rank and file. Because less than 24 hours after Trump gave his speech, the URJ issued a new statement praising Trump’s move.

“And the URJ leaders aren’t the only ones with egg on their face.

“Trump risked political support in the opinion polls by deepening US support for Israel in the face of strident opposition from the Democrats, the State Department, the media, the Europeans and the Arabs because he believed it was the right thing to do.

“And as it works out, it was also an astute, if incredibly gutsy political move.

By standing up to the Democrats who just months ago called for him to take the very actions he took, but now opposed them because it was Trump adopting them, Trump exposed the likes of Booker and Feinstein as hypocritical opportunists. At the same time, he took ownership of a policy of supporting Israel that enjoys broad and deep public support.

“To sum up then, by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump made clear that US support for Israel is not conditioned on anything. Israel, the Jewish state, is supported by the US because it deserves US support as an allied democracy.

“Trump strengthened himself against his political opponents by taking ownership of a deeply popular foreign policy position.

“He took control of US foreign policy from a State Department that opposes his policies. He made reality, rather than the defiance of reality, the foundation of US Middle East policy.

“He put US allies and enemies on notice that he is calling the shots in US foreign policy. And he took a large step toward restoring US credibility as a superpower.

“Oh, and he accomplished all of these things without spending a dime.

“For his gift to Israel, Trump now enters the pantheon of Israel’s friends in the annals of Jewish history.

“For his gifts to America he has taken his place among the most astute American statesmen.

“And for his political and economic mastery, he enters the ranks of the geniuses of American political history.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Muslim reaction to recognizing Jerusalem

“The Muslim reaction to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital shows the true violent face of Islam. Buckle your seat belts.


“We are repeatedly scolded for not agreeing to the opinion that “Islam is a peaceful religion,” that “the Islamic Radical Terrorists don’t represent true Islam” and so on and so forth. Except when it comes to Israel, Islam proves it is not a religion of peace, but a religion of pure unadulterated terrorism. [Emphasis mine. JRL] Take, for instance, the Islamic reactions to President Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Virtually every Islamic or Arab leader’s reaction is laced with threats of extreme violence against anything and everybody. The Islamic reaction to President Trump’s “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital” declaration exposes the true face of Islam as a religion of extreme violent terrorism.”Arutz Sheva reported that “Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the supreme Islamic institution of Sunni Muslims, on Tuesday warned that “the gates of hell” will open if the United States goes through with plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy to Jerusalem.” So, here you have the “Grand Imam” of the “supreme Islamic institution of the Sunni Muslims” proclaiming a clear grotesquely violent terroristic threat against everyone and everybody if Jerusalem is declared Israel’s capital. This is the Grand Imam of Egypt, a country that is supposedly at peace with Israel!

“One would think the Grand Imam would have been more concerned about the hundreds of Sufi Muslims who were just murdered in the name of Sunni Islam in the northern Sinai a week or so ago. One would have thought the Grand Imam would have wanted to use this Trump Jerusalem Declaration moment to show how peaceful and non-violent Islam was so as to set a good example for all Muslims. But no, the Grand Imam shows he is just as much a bloodthirsty Muslim terrorist as the Muslim terrorists that murdered over 300 praying Muslims in a mosque.

“Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t represent mainstream Islam?

“Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t directly represent Islam itself?

“Can anyone claim the Grand Imam doesn’t really understand Islam or the Koran?

“All this proves is that we were fed a steady pablum of lies by President Obama, and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster that ISIS and al Qaeda and all of other Islamic terrorists “aren’t following Islam,” and that “we are not at war with Islam.” The Islamic reaction to Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration proves that al Qaeda and ISIS are not the exceptions of Islam, but its central pillar. It proves that peaceful Muslims are an imaginary exception that doesn’t exist.

“Islam will never allow any Palestinian leader to share any part of Jerusalem with Israel.
Unfortunately, the Islamic hysterically violent and extreme reactions to Trump’s declaration prove we are at war with all of Islam. When it comes to Islamic leaders, it appears incontrovertible that the lunatic terrorists are in control of the Islamic asylum.

“But, most of all, the Islamic reactions to Trump’s Jerusalem Declaration prove the Two-State solution is, has been, and always will be a total fraud and lie from the start. Islam will never allow any Palestinian leader to share any part of Jerusalem with Israel. Any Palestinian Arab leader who compromised on any part of Jerusalem would have “Betrayed Islam” and quickly become a dead Palestinian leader, just as Sadat became a dead Egyptian leader.

“Forget the katyusha rockets from a Palestinian Arab ‘West Bank’ State, forget that entity stealing all of Israel’s water, forget Iran taking over the ‘West Bank’, and forget the millions of Palestinian Arabs pouring into the ‘West Bank’, pushing to pour into pre-1967 Israel. Israel’s presence in any part of Jerusalem, or any part of the Muslim Wakf of the Levant, would always have been the raison d’etre of th Muslim world to continue satisfying its blood lust to murder every Israeli west of the Jordan River.

“Buckle your seat belts.

Posted in Culture, Islam, Israel, Truth or Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No-till Gardening

In 1970 while on Sabbatical study leave at Landbouwhogeschool, the Dutch Agricultural University, in Wageningen, mentor Kees (C. T.) de Wit obm showed me a pasture where the only tillage for multiple years had been slit seeding of grasses and legumes into the clay soil. Good soil tilth and thriving vegetation was evident. His point was to eliminate plowing and disking, allowing vegetation to maintain soil health.

“In the first paragraph of the landmark 1943 book Plowman’s Folly, Edward H. Faulkner said, “The truth is that no one has ever advanced a scientific reason for plowing.” Nonetheless, 40 years after that publication cracked the foundations of agricultural science, most farmers still plow. Why?

“The most obvious (or at least the most frequently claimed) reason that soil is tilled is to loosen it so oxygen and water can reach the area where roots will grow. It seems logical that friable, loose earth would allow roots to spread evenly and to proliferate, and this is indeed the case. But using a moldboard plow doesn’t necessarily produce such soil. Plowing and disking a field results in a soil with broken structure lying atop a heavily compressed plow pan (the undisturbed layer that the plow doesn’t reach). This broken-up soil is very prone to being compacted by rainfall. In addition, many passes must be made over the field with very heavy equipment, the wheels of which further compress the soil. Untilled ground starts off being less compacted than a heavily machine-worked field, and it stays that way. What’s more, earth that has become compressed by tillage or machinery will return to a less compacted state after a few years of no-till planting.

Over the years I have read about minimum tillage or no-till management of soil and crops. Agricultural Engineering professional conferences have espoused the concept and supporting equipment. The most obvious example to my eye has been soybeans drilled directly into stubble as soon as wheat was cut, revealing strips of green in the golden standing straw visible from the road. Makes sense.

But I’ve never farmed crop or pasture acreage where I could try out the no-till concept. Articles emphasizing seedbed preparation, incorporating organic matter and fertilizer before planting seeds or transplants into my garden always led me to rototill as deeply as possible.

Cover crops I have also read about, but never practiced. Motivation and laziness are to blame. As a result each spring has found my beginning garden covered in dead crabgrass, weeds, fescue, etc., again encouraging rototilling to my mind, not wanting to burn and not willing to rake it off, thinking to incorporate what litter was there, so it would decompose.

Early this 2017 fall, after seeing cover crop seeds on, while chasing Bradford Watermelon seed, I began thinking about pursuit of a cover crop this winter on one or both of my bedded garden spots, one of which had not been cropped in 3 years.

My interest in garden winter cover crop was ratcheted up by a recent conversation with David Bradshaw, neighbor and retired well known Clemson horticulturist. His experimental winter treatment of Wrens Abruzzi Rye and Crimson Clover, knocked down and spring incorporated, resulted in yields of okra, cucumber and squash as I remember it, with no additional fertilizer, comparable to those under recommended rates of 10-10-10. The combination of N from the legume (peak when crimson clover heads begin to turn red) and decomposition of the biomass from the rye provided what the crops needed. Sustainable farming to my mind.

Browsing uncovered emphasizing cover crops and zero-till. Gabe has increased organic matter content in North Dakota from 1.9% to 6.1% over the past 20 years, and infiltration rate from 0.5 to 8 in/hr.

“Today, the Brown Ranch includes about 3,000 acres of restored native rangeland and improved pasture producing cattle, pork and poultry, and 2,000 acres of no-till, cropland producing corn, peas (grain and forage types), spring wheat, oats, barley, sunflowers, vetch, triticale, rye and alfalfa, plus a great diversity of cover crops. No insecticides or fungicides have been used on the ranch for over a decade, herbicide use has been cut by over 75 percent and no synthetic fertilizer has been used since 2008. Corn yields average 20 percent higher than the county average.

“Mycorrhizal fungi grow in healthy soils and are responsible for nutrient transfers between plants and soil biology. The most critical thing in a plant’s life is its relationship with mycorrhizal fungi, which is why tillage and synthetic chemicals should be avoided.

And, earthworms proliferate under no-till practices. See

“Earthworms have significant impacts on soil properties and processes through their feeding, casting, and burrowing activity. The worms create channels in the soil, which can aid water and air flow as well as root development. The shallow-dwelling worms create numerous small channels throughout the topsoil, which increases overall porosity and can help improve water and air relationships. Nightcrawlers create large vertical channels, which can greatly increase water infiltration under very intense rainfall or ponded conditions. Nightcrawler channels can also aid root proliferation in the subsoil, due both to the ease of root growth in a pre-formed channel and the higher nutrient availability in the cast material that lines portions of the burrow. Earthworm casts, in general, are higher in available nutrients than the surrounding mineral soil, because the organic materials have been partially decomposed during passage through the earthworm gut, converting the organic nutrients to more available forms.

Earthworms improve soil structure and tilth. Their casts are an intimate mixture of organic material and mineral soil and are quite stable after initial drying. The burrowing action of the worms moves soil particles closer together near burrow walls, and the mucus secreted by the worms as they burrow can also help bind the soil particles together. Increased porosity, plus mixing of residues and soil, are additional ways that earthworms improve soil structure.

So, my next question is how to incorporate cover crops and no-till into my vegetable gardening.

I like the results of David Bradshaw, so after rototilling with skid steer, have mixed Crimson Clover seed and winter rye (not Wrens Abruzzi) into 5 pounds of grits and dropped the mixture, using a Scotts Turf Builder Classic Drop Spreader, onto the two 8-ft wide beds above the bee hives, about 60 ft long. Those beds had been built wide 4 years ago so I could rototill them, and had added bark mulch and horse manure. After sowing I rolled the area with the wide tires of the lawn tractor to get soil-seed contact. Soil was damp. I was late, sowing late October, but germination was fine. Rye is now 2 – 3 inches tall; clover has put on true leaves.

I also rototilled the bamboo infested beds above 130, about 2 weeks ago, and ordered Wrens Abruzzi Rye from Hancock Seeds near Dade City FL. I sowed the remaining 1.5 lbs Crimson Clover and about 3 lbs Rye today after another light pass of rototilling. Rolled as above. Yes, I’m late. Beds are of similar size.

I also rototilled the 10-20 ft wide strip between driveway and bamboo, same day, and today sowed 3 lbs Austrian Winter Peas (by hand; seed would not go through seeder) and 3 lbs Hairy Vetch. We’ll see how deer respond.

Question: How to knock down the vegetation next year and seed?

“So, you’ve harvested the veggies from your garden and planted a mixture of cover crops in their place in order to protect and nourish the soil. How do you make the transition back from cover crop to your chosen vegetables the following season? It might be tempting to till and turn those cover crops over into the soil, but this is the last thing you should do. You do need to terminate the cover crop somehow though. There are a number of different ways to do this. You could:

  • Stomp the cover crop into the ground with your feet or a board (simply attach two rope handles to a 2×4 board and then use the board to step down the crop)
  • If the cover crop has started to form seed heads, you can kill it off by rolling crop roller or small barrel over it
  • Cut the growth down and leave the residue on top (although it works better if it’s rolled or stepped down)

“Once the cover crop has been killed off, you’re ready to plant your vegetable seeds. For a small garden, Gabe recommends using a hoe to part the cover crop remains over to the side. Create a small slice in the soil, drop in your seeds and cover with a small amount of soil. If you’re planting a transplant, simply move the cover crop aside, dig the hole and plant as normal.

With the heavy biomass litter I expect, using a hoe seems laborious. So how to get seed in the ground? Transplants I can see. But seeds?

My father had what is now called a jab planter, whereby one or a few seeds are dropped from waist level down a tube into a divot made by jabbing the tool into the ground. He used it to plant watermelon, in hills. I haven’t found one like his, but do find that Forest Service evaluated four similar at, preferring the Hatfield Transplanter,, apparently available only from Johnny’s Seeds, and Almaco Hand Jab (expensive).

A jab planter might work well for hill dropped seed. But things like beans, at close spacing, ? Planet Jr? Through the litter?

Crabgrass, brought in with horse manure, and perpetually reseeding, has been much more problematic than weeds in my gardens. I may try Treflan watered in by rainfall next spring. “A one-half inch rain or its equivalent in sprinkler irrigation must be received within 24 hours or poor weed control will result.” It is labeled for Asparagus, Carrot, Celery, Cole Crops, Cucurbits, Okra, Pepper, Potatoes, Southern Peas, Tomatoes, Beans, Greens, and Green Peas. See

Jerry’s Journal # 19 • 24 November 2017

PS: An eBay search yielded several “corn planters” for sale.  I have bought one out of Kansas, yet to be seen.  An internet search also yielded  So we’ll see.  3 December 2017

Posted in Food, health, Life | Leave a comment

Tear Them Down?



Posted in Culture, Government, Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Parable of the Haircut

A Modern Parable

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.  After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.’ The florist was pleased and left the shop. 

When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door. 

Later, a cop came in for a haircut, and when he tried to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.’ The cop was happy and left the shop. 

The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door. 

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, ‘I can not accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week’ The Congressman was very happy and left the shop. 

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut. 

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it. 


If you don’t forward this, I question your sense of humor and patriotism.  No, nothing bad will happen.  However, you must live with yourself knowing that laughter is not in your future. 🙂

Remember, politicians got us into the mess we are in. Let’s oust them and start over with more ordinary but courageous citizens, as our founding fathers were.  Jerry

Posted in Cartoons, Culture, Government, Life | Leave a comment

NY Times to critics – shut up

Jack Englehard in Israel National News

They hired her to monitor the paper’s integrity…and they fired her for doing her job.

She had two strikes against her. One – she criticized The New York Times first for publishing an op-ed written by imprisoned terrorist Marwan Barghouti, and then for neglecting to mention his crimes – at least 26 Israelis murdered from his work as an unrepentant jihadist.

Two – she complained that the paper’s constant pummeling of President Donald Trump was overly aggressive and had crossed “over the line.”

She wrote that there ought to be consequences for such un-journalistic behavior.

Instead – she became the consequence.

Her name is Liz Spayd and for 11 months she served as the paper’s “public editor,” which translates as house watchdog, or reader’s representative.

So what was her reward for being our representative, demanding, as we do, truthful journalism?

She got fired. This happened a few days ago to the girl who must have been snubbed in the hallways and left to sit alone in the cafeteria.

So they hired her to monitor the paper’s integrity…and they fired her for doing her job.

Let that be a lesson to anyone in the building who even THINKS about speaking his, or her, mind.

Spayd’s firing means that the Times won’t even pretend to be a fair-minded mirror of our times.

Speak up, and you’re done. That goes for every newsroom that uses the Times as its oracle. They follow the leader.

Objective reporting?

These days every headline must conform to OMG proportions for anything related to Trump…and Israel, always.

The paper has been shameless and quite ridiculous in its attempt to smear Trump as a fellow-traveler to the Russians. It’s done by rumor, gossip, whispers, innuendo, hearsay and unsubstantiated accusation. Those are Red Scare tactics that were used by HUAC and McCarthyism to ruin people. It’s how Inquisitions are done.

Spayd’s firing means that the Times won’t even pretend to be a fair-minded mirror of our times.

Even as it calls itself the paper of record and serves as the template for the rest of the news media, it’s a paper intended entirely for radical leftists.

They love it when the paper goes after Trump and the Jews, and it was probably the left that made Arthur Sulzberger Jr. get rid of her.

Sulzberger says there is no longer a need for an ombudsman. The paper can be trusted to serve as its own judge. Liberals cheered. They too know what’s best.

They complained that Spayd was “controversial” – and what is controversial to them?

Anyone who departs from the gospel according to Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman is a danger.

Liz Spayd’s firing is the latest evidence that Big Brother still wants us under heel.

So if a single lonely voice is silenced because it demurs from what is official policy – how is the Times of today any different from the Pravda of yesterday?

No dissent then and there; no dissent permitted here and now.

Which means that so far as getting news that is trustworthy and reliable, we are not in America anymore. We are back in the USSR.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva. His books, including “The Bathsheba Deadline,” are available from Amazon and other retailers. Engelhard wrote the international bestseller “Indecent Proposal” and the award-winning Montreal memoir “Escape from Mount Moriah.” His latest is “News Anchor Sweetheart.” He is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website:

Posted in Culture, Israel | Leave a comment


Dear Friend,

If it is to be lived with purpose, life is a delicate balancing act of body and soul, heaven and earth. It requires two feet firmly upon the ground and a clear head high up in the air. Only then are you the master.

In a rush, you are not in control of your world—the world is in control of you. Place your foot gently on the brakes, slow down, switch gears from madness to mind. Reclaim mastery.

… copied

Posted in Life, Quotes | Leave a comment

Fragrance is a gift of God, as long as it comes from nature, e.g. a rose, a broken egg, the seashore, a fart, a lemon, a thunderstorm, a mint leaf, a freshly plowed field, or freshly mown hay, and those fragrances never do us harm.  But then synthetically manufactured “fragrances” also pervade our home and personal care products, e.g. SC Johnson’s Pledge Lemon Clean Furniture Spray, which ingredients include “fragrance”:  butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT); citral; citronellal; citronellol; dipropylene glycol; geraniol; nerol; p-mentha-1,4-diene; terpenes and terpenoids, lemon-oil; terpenes and terpenoids, sweet orange-oil.  And Avon’s Senses Vanilla Body Lotion contains “Parfum/Fragrance” in its list of 24 ingredients plus water. (But what is in that Parfum/Fragrance?  Not a word.)

Many if not most home and personal care products contain “fragrance,” including sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body wash, deodorant, dryer sheets, air fresheners, fabric softeners, cleaning products, scented candles, body lotion, makeup, facial cream, skin toner, serums, exfoliating scrubs and perfume.1 Fragrance is defined by the FDA as a combination of chemicals that gives each perfume or cologne (including those used in other products) its distinct scent.

Dozens of children’s bath products have been found to contain chemicals that cause cancer in lab animals and are classified as probable human carcinogens. The companies argue that each product contains just low levels of these toxins—but there shouldn’t be any carcinogens in baby shampoo at all. Period.

When manufacturers list ingredients of a product, they may use the term “fragrance,” a term  entirely free of government oversight and safety regulations, which means that when you see “fragrance” on a product label, it does not refer to a single ingredient, but likely dozens of chemicals in combination.  Those chemicals may be natural, but not usually, or more predominantly petrochemically derived, e.g. benzene derivatives, aldehydes and phthalates.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies benzene as a Class A carcinogen.2  One of the aldehydes, formaldehyde is classified by OSHA as a human carcinogen. Short-term exposure to formaldehyde can be fatal. Long-term exposure to low levels of formaldehyde may cause respiratory difficulty, eczema, and sensitization.  As CBS reported, “Phthalates are so ubiquitous, we all have traces in our bodies.  … The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, put phthalates on a list of chemicals that ‘may present a risk’ to the environment or human health. That’s because they disrupt hormone activity and some preliminary studies show that they may be causing a slow and steady demasculinizing of men.”

If we purchase a product that lists fragrance as one of the ingredients, we have no way of knowing how many chemicals reside within, or how those chemicals might interact with each other. Many of the chemicals are increasingly linked to chronic health conditions.

The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists 3,059 materials that are reported as being used in fragrance compounds. Of these 3,059 ingredients, some have evidence linking them to health effects including cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and sensitivities.  Of these, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics lists 23 by common name that are of health concerns. (Under Health Concerns, click on More)  That site is also informative on the problem of fragrance in home and health care products.

You may be surprised to know that legislation put in place in the U.S. in 1976 — a measure called the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) — has perhaps done more harm than good in terms of regulating the chemicals used in products that you use daily.  Notably,

  • TSCA grandfathered in some 80,000 chemicals that are ready available and can be easily incorporated into all kinds of consumer products manufactured and sold in the U.S.
  • Certain substances are generally excluded from TSCA, including, among others, food, drugs, cosmetics and pesticides.

So, what can we do to protect ourselves from Big Fragrance Brothers and our government who are failing to regulate them?

  1. Read the label!  If the ingredients include fragrance, perfume, or parfum, leave it on the shelf or discard it if it is already in our home.
  2. Opt for Fragrance Free on the label. Unscented or Scent Free may well include fragrance to cover up odors.
  3. Evaluate a proposed product against the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic database, by product, ingredient or company
  4. Find safer alternatives.
  5. Read the myths on cosmetics safety.
  6. Take time to read what I’ve written here.
  7. Watch Annie Leonard’s The Story of Cosmetics or read the annotated script.
  8. Download the Think Dirty® app to your phone.  Scan the product barcode in your bathroom or store, and Think Dirty will give you easy-to-understand info on the product, its ingredients, and shop cleaner options!
  9. Question yourself, “Do I really need this product?”  “Might my health be better without it?”
  10. Forward this blog to those you love.
Link | Posted on by | 1 Comment