Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Okay, I freely admit that it's shameless plug time once again.
The second issue of Pro Se Productions' Masked Gun Mystery is now available at both the company's own website (http://www.proseproductions.com/) or the printer's (http://www.lulu.com/).

Look at that great cover by noted comic book artist Norm Breyfogle!

And inside are more pulse pounding pulp style detective, crime fiction, and noir stories than you can shake a stick at!

*"The Compassion Play", An Aloha McCoy Story by Ken Janssens
*"Clean Up in Aisle Six" by Aaron Smith
*"The Scarlet Courtesan of Sovereign City" by Derrick Ferguson
*"Staying Dead", a Tale of Virgil by C. William Russette
*"The Gray Ghost and the Lighthouse Murders" by Bill Craig
*"Imprints" by Joshua Allen
*"Crime of the Arts: Part 2," by Erwin K. Roberts (Robert E. Kennedy)
*"On The Edge of A Hero", the debut of The Rapier by Don Thomas
*The latest chapter asking "What Is The Fate of Gary Wooten?" by Fuller Bumpers and John Palmer IV
*This issue also previews: "The Rook, volume 6 - The Scorched God" by Masked Gun Mystery's editor Barry Reese, AND
*"Shortages", the latest Hugh Monn, Private Detective mystery by yours truly.

Hope you like everyone's hard work on this issue and all Pro Se Productions.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Today is the retail industry's self created day of hype in counterpart to the ominous "Black Friday" for those who prefer the comfort of shopping at home and avoid the inconvenience of getting up in the middle of the night to find 'bargains'.
Depending upon the web site and its server, you may experience some delays trying to complete your transaction(s).
Whether these events are working out to the retail industry's advantage remain to be seen. No numbers from this year's Black Friday have yet to be released as this post is created, and cyber-shopping has been steadily increasing for years now despite the self manufactured desire.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here, and boy am I stuffed.
I definitely overate (again) on Thanksgiving.
Usually I just overindulge in rich dark Bulgosian chocolate. But it was nice to be able to sit down with all my dragon friends and just hang out for a while this past Thursday.
Of course my eating habits are nothing compared to theirs! There are a couple of turkey farms that are VERY thankful that Thanksgiving only comes once a year.
But I think this does prove my point. Not all dragons think Humans are crunchy and taste good with ketchup. Of course the bigger ones in the dragon clan that do feel that way about Humans always complain about having difficulties getting their prey out of those suits of armor. After all, have you ever tried to eat canned food when it was still in the can? We're dragons, not goats.
Anyway, since technically we're at the end of the holiday weekend, I thought I'd share some Thanksgiving themed jokes with you.

What do turkeys say in outer space?
"Hubble, Hubble, Hubble."

Why did the Pilgrims want to set sail in the spring?
Because April showers bring may flowers.
And of course, if April showers bring may flowers, what do may flowers bring?

How do turkeys travel?
Bird class. Although they have wings, turkeys can't fly!
"Really? I swear, as God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!" Arthur Carlson, Station Manager, WKRP In Cincinnatti.

Is it true you can't take a turkey out in public because they use such fowl language?

Why do a Pilgrim's pants fall down?
Because for some reason they wear their belt buckles on their hats!

What did the mother turkey say to her naughty son?
"If your father could see you now, he'd turn over in his gravy!"

What kind of music do Pilgrims like?
Plymoth Rock.

What would be the best instrument for a turkey to play?
The drums, because he has the sticks for it. Drumsticks, get it?

Well, unfortunately we've reached the end of another Sunday Funnies.
Oh, now you applaud!
But before I go, just how do you dispose of the leftovers properly?
I mean, I've got more turkey in my refrigerator right now than I'll be able to eat between now and Christmas!
These birds are going to haunt me for weeks!
I don't have to worry about turkey ghosts, do I?
Please tell me there is no such thing as a poultrygeist.
Does anyone know the number of a good exorcist? Or at least Colonel Saunders recipe line?

Take care everyone. Have a good week and we'll be back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.-wd.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Amongst events happening around the globe this past week:

*Tom DeLay, former Republican House of Representatives Majority Leader, was convicted this past week of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money, but plans to appeal the court decision.
*The World is keeping an eye on North Korea. First they unveiled a new uranium enrichment facility. Then a military "exercise" resulted in firing live missiles at South Korea's inhabited Yeonpyeong Island, killing at least two civilians. South Korea has since suspended humanitarian flood aid to North Korea while beefing up its border patrols, and the United States Navy has moved ships into the area for a previously scheduled exercise with the South Korean Navy.
*Quantas Airlines is returning its fleet of Airbus A380 planes to service after declaring them safe. The fleet was previously pulled from use after an accident involving one of the planes.
*Prince William and Kate Middleton are scheduled to tie the knot Friday April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey.

*The King Features Syndicate (Bettle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Mutts, Zits, Popeye, Blondie, etc.) celebrated its 95th anniversary this month.
*Since their long awaited debut on ITunes just this past week, the Beatles' Hey Jude has become the most downloaded track from their library.
*After the successful movement to get Betty White a shot at hosting Saturday Night Live!, a gig for which she won an Emmy this year, there are now (separate) groups actively seeking similar opportunities for legendary comedian Carol Burnett (which I completely understand and support) and the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.

For more news at any time, feel free to scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen or visit any other reputable news source.


Another weekend is upon us, and you know what that means puzzle fans! But between Thanksgiving and the pressure to "Buy, BUY, BUY!" coming from retailers, I thought it best to take it a little easy on everyone this go around.
So can you name the TV show these famous opening lines came from?

01. "You unlock this door with the key of imagination."
02. "He awoke to find himself trapped in the past."
03. "But in that darkness, fate moves its huge hand."
04. "We travel through time to help history along."
05. "To seek out new life and new civilizations."

Tune in next weekend and find out if you're right. Meanwhile, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX and see the results from November 20's Puzzle Corner.

According to the song (and I played the track on the Songs You Know By Heart CD THREE times to confirm this), Jimmy Buffet is "not too particular, not too precise" but a Cheeseburger in Paradise includes: bun, "a huge hunk of meat" cooked medium rare, onion slice, lettuce, tomatoes, mustard AND Heinz 57 sauce; served with french fried potatoes, a kosher dill pickle, and a cold draft beer.

From the letters in the word THANKSGIVING, one can spell: a, ah, an, as, at, gain(s), giant(s), gait, gas, giving, gnat(s), hag(s), has, hat(s), having, Hi (and acceptable short form of Hello), his, hit(s), I, in, inn(s), is, isn't (the contraction of is not), it, its, it's (short for it is), king(s), kin, kit(s), knight(s), knit(s), nay, night(s), sag, saint, sat, sin, sink, sit, sink, tan(s), tank(s), than, thank(s), thin(s), think(s), this, 'Tis, vain, AND visit.
Other words besides the 67 listed above might be possible.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


An Editorial.

The Friday after Thanksgiving each year is the start of the Christmas shopping season. Many years past, there was no such thing as "Black Friday", so named because a lot of stores open so early that the sun has not even begun to rise in the East.
I can even remember a time when THE earliest a store ever opened was 7 am. Now one chain is scheduled to open at 10pm Thanksgiving night. Establishments that already do business around the clock are scheduled to begin their sales at midnight Friday morning;with the earliest I personally have heard of any other retail establishment opening for business being THREE AM Friday morning!
Folks, I don't know about you, but I seriously thing this concept is getting a bit out of hand!

In any event, to those either brave or foolish enough to go out before the sunrise, I wish you a safe journey.
To those whose employers have them work on this Black Friday, you have my sympathy.
To those establishments who hope to cash in on this event, I wish you well, but still think there has to be a better way to earn an honest living.

And as for myself, I will be nestled all snug in my bed while everyone hunts bargains and the unknowns in the night they do dread.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


To all our readership who celebrate this time together, either despite or because of all the trimmings and trappings associated with the holiday: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

And now, a poem for the day by Victoria Pagac...

Time For Thanks Giving
Leaves fallen on the ground everywhere
Tables set with their best silverware
Parades matching down streets
Football on the TV as the family eats
Pies in the oven and turkeys filled with stuffing
Its time for Thanksgiving and the family I'll be hugging!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Hello Everybody! Waxy Dragon here!
Being just a three year old baby dragon, some people think I don't know everything I should about life.
But I do!
I know Thanksgiving is coming up. And while everyone is thinking turkey with all the trimmings along with all the other good things associated with the holiday, let's talk about something that isn't connected with the celebration.
Yes, you heard right.
Now not to make an udder disgrace out of myself, but I do know that cows are a part of most humans' daily lives between contributing to dairy products and providing good meat.
But have you ever thought about it from the cows' perspective?
I mean, there you are just sitting in a field minding your own business and the next thing you know...

I heard an awful joke that went along the lines of: "Why do they call it PMS? Because the name mad cow disease was taken."
Yet if you were a cow and you knew how your life was going to end, wouldn't you be mad too?
Thankfully, except for a few dumb knights and kings, dragons don't have that problem.
But if anyone ever did try to put me on their dinner menu, I do know some of my older and meaner relations still believe that humans are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
Yet why can't we all just get along?
Cows go to the mooo-vies too.
Cows don't give you any bull.
When they get the hiccups, cows give milkshakes.
You've never heard a cow howling at the moon like some dogs and wolves do. They may try to jump over it, but they never howl at it.
In the end, all I'm asking is that everyone try to take a page out of the cows handbook of life and try to love one an udder.

See you next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


*NATO met this week to discuss the War in Afghanistan and other concerns. Amongst the topics is wondering whether a complete withdrawal in that region is possible by 2014.
*When the new Congress takes session in January, Democrat Nancy Pelosi will become House Minority Leader while Republican John Boehner the new Speaker of the House of Representatives.
*Prince William and Kate Middleton have announced their engagement. Details and an exact date for the wedding are pending.
*MSNBC has now suspended Joe Scarborough for contributing to political campaigns too.
*Facebook has announced that it will soon be able to provide e-mail service to its subscribers, with all e-addresses ending with @facebook.com
*The Better Business Bureau is under investigation for allegedly offering preferential treatment to select members.
*The existence of a planet previously undiscovered has been confirmed. Its current designation is HIP 13044b.

*Actor Wesley Snipes will soon be serving a three year prison sentence on his recent tax conviction.
*The remaining Beatles and their legal representatives have finally come to terms with an arrangement to release the entire musical catalog on ITunes, bumping the release of Bruce Springsteen's new album off the musical headlines in some areas.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen.


Another weekend is amongst us puzzle fans! You know what that means.

According to his song, what does Jimmy Buffet consider a Cheeseburger In Paradise?

The holiday is almost upon us, so how many words can you make out of the letters in THANKSGIVING?

We'll have the results for you next weekend. But now, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX for the results of November 13's Puzzle Corner.

The first person ever to have their picture on a box of Wheaties cereal was "Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy" in 1934. Granted he's a fictitious character, but the company was sponsoring his radio program at the time.

"Hold me closer Tony Danza" should actually be "Hold me closer Tiny Dancer" by Elton John.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Hello Everybody. Autumn the Puppy here!
And look what I've dug up for you this weekend!

Now I'm sure everyone is familiar with the concept of "Chia Pets", whereupon you plant grass seeds upon some piece of Terra Cotta statuary and watch it grow to simulate hair or fur on whatever the object is.
But would you believe that Joseph Enterprises, the company behind the Chia line of products and other things has developed a line of "Chia Presidents" within their "I'm Proud To Be An American" line?
IT'S TRUE! You can see for yourself at http://www.chia.com/
In all honesty, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I mean, it's one thing to grow fake fur upon a pretend animal, or even to raise chia grass as fake hair on a small bust of Elmer Fudd, Shrek, or some other bald cartoon character. Yet why the Chia people have never gotten the commercial license for The Joker or some green haired anime characters is beyond me. After all, Bugs Bunny briefly gave Elmer green hair during "The Rabbit of Seville" and if Shrek did have hair, green seems the natural color for it to me.
But to grow that same chia "hair" on either George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty, or current President Barack Obama?
I'm just shaking my head over that one and wondering if my dog collar is too tight.
Well, three of the four subjects represented in the line are in no position to say anything, and who am I to gainsay the President of the United States if he has no opinion on the matter.
Of course the guy does have far more important things to contemplate anyway than a statuette with green "hair".

Meanwhile, a few Sunday Funnies ago were posted some funny signs. Now while they didn't send any images, Free Choice E-zine readers have sent in their recollections of signs past, including:
Posted outside a hotel: "Help! we need Inn-Experienced people."
Inside a music store's entrance: "Bach in a minuet."
On a maternity clothes shop window one September: "We are open Labor Day."
And this one was once in a podiatrist's window: "Time wounds all heels."

Well, I hope everyone had a good chuckle or two while reading this post, and we'll be back next weekend with more Sunday Funnies. Have a great week everybody!-AtP.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


*After seven and a half years in prison, Myanmar pro democracy supporter and Nobel Peace Prize Laurette Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from jail.
*After engine problems that kept the ship adrift at sea without any electrical power, the cruise ship Carnival Splendor has finally made it back to port.
*Unfortunately, the cholera epidemic in Haiti continues, worsened by the recent strike by Hurricane Tomas.
*United States President Barack Obama continues his current foreign relations tour, with a recent visit to Japan.
*From our Connecticut correspondent: While Republican Tom Foley has conceded the Governor's race to Democrat Dan Malloy, state and federal officials are still investigating the incidents that led to the electoral problems to begin with. More on this story as it develops.
*Was a ground to air missile actually launched off the California coast Monday night? That's what authorities are investigating, with no results officially announced at this time.
*In England, Queen Elizabeth II has established a Facebook page, but the "poke" and "befriend" functions have been disabled.
*Retailers are trying to get consumers into a shopping mood prematurely with "early bird specials" and "pre-Black Friday" sales, although the Christmas shopping season does not officially start until the Friday after Thanksgiving.

*Noted film producer Dino De Laurentiis passed away at age 91.
*Conan O'Brien has started hosting his new late night talk show on the TBS cable network, and so far is allegedly beating Jay Leno in the ratings game.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to our IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen.


Okay enigma fans. I think I took it too easy on you folks last weekend, so let's see how well you do with these new puzzles.

Who was the first person to ever appear on a box of Wheaties cereal?

Sometimes we mishear things, so what should the following song lyric actually be?

"Hold me closer Tony Danza."

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek into THE  ANSWERS BOX for the results of November 6's  Puzzle Corner.

The cat had: "a shot of rye".

The answer to everything is Hoyt Axton. Having recently acquired a CD by the late singer/songwriter, I was just in a mood for some good music while I was creating last weekend's puzzles.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Once known as Armistice Day, today is the day the United States of America has set aside to pause and honor those within the various branches of our military, both past and present, who have served during times of war and periods of peace.
They are members of the Army, Air Force, and Navy. The Marine Corps who celebrated their 235th anniversary yesterday. The National Guard and Coast Guards, etc.
But there are more than the ones who serve America.
Those within England, France, Spain, South America, and so many more countries than I have the room to list here, who have done their duty for both their respective countries and the world.
If you have the opportunity to do so, thank a veteran, whether they are currently active in the service or not.
Thank them for the freedoms and liberty you enjoy today, and the ones your children and future generations will enjoy tomorrow.

A public service message of The Free Choice E-zine.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Hey everyone! Your favorite baby dragon Waxy here!

For those who had to:
Did you remember to set your clocks back one hour before you went to bed last night?
If not, guess you were pretty early to wherever you went this morning.
Daylight Savings Time ended last night, so everyone in the United States is now back on Standard Time.
Not sure what you did with the extra time, but I slept for part of it and am saving the rest to eat lots of chocolate later!
Of course being a baby dragon, my lifestyle is not for everyone, but I hope you had a great day anyway.

Take care!-wd.

A public service message of The Free Choice E-zine.


Hello Everyone. Autumn the Puppy here, and look what I've dug up for you this weekend.


Now before we begin, this program and any global positioning service are serious and valuable tools to prevent people from getting lost, but then again, a computer (program) is only as good as the person who wrote it.
Of course us dogs never get lost. We have an excellent sense of smell and direction. We might not always come when you call, but at least us canines are not lost.

While checking out the Google Maps program for an obedience school project, I accidentally put in Japan as 'Point A' and China as 'Point B', instead of looking for the individual maps.
Anyway, as curious as I am, I went ahead and pushed the 'Get Directions' button. The program did its duty and soon appeared a detailed set of instructions in regards to how to traverse between the two spots.
BUT (and you knew there had to be one) as I read the results, I was amazed by Step 43, and this is a direct quote: 43. Jet ski across Pacific Ocean, 782 km.

Can you believe it?
At first I thought this was a fluke, so I tried it again with a similar request.
The directions between Honolulu, Hawaii and Anchorage, Alaska had this as Step 12: Kayak across the Pacific Ocean to Washington State, 2756 miles.

Kayak? I guess the jet ski was busy going between Japan and China.
At least they didn't suggest swimming. I mean, I can out swim anyone doing the dog paddle, but even I would get tired eventually.
But how come the instructions didn't have me kayaking to Alaska directly?

Anyway, totally abandoning my research for some brief fun, a while later turned up the same Step 12 attempting to traverse between Honolulu, Hawaii and Galveston, Texas.
Well, at least it was not suggested to kayak through the Panama Canal, or worse: around the tip of South America!
But I was still going to Washington State. Wouldn't it have been more prudent to kayak to someplace in California?
And the jet ski was probably still somewhere between Japan and China.

Oh well.
I did try it with other locations, but the funny steps didn't happen again.
Two land points only gets you pretty strict road directions, and some requests result in just an announcement that no directions are available.
However the glitch, if that's what it is, in Google Maps will NOT do planets!
Trying to get directions between Earth and Mars only netted me a route between Earth, Texas and Mars, Pennsylvania.
And here I was hoping to be the first extraterrestial astro-mutt.

Yet even though I've only found the three listed above so far, there might be others.
If you locate one, please let me know courtesy of leehoustonjr@gmail.com and just put something along the lines of Autumn's Trippy Map in the subject line.
Otherwise, we'll see you next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.
Have a great week everybody and don't get lost! - AtP.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


For those living in the affected areas, Daylight Savings Time ends tonight. Don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour before going to bed.

*Hurricane Tomas ravaged the Caribbean, but now seems to be headed out into the wilds of the Atlantic Ocean, where it will only be a hazard to navigation from this point on.
*After the recent explosives discovery, air freight has been temporarily banned from leaving Yemen, while International authorities are now trying to track down the source of package bombs mailed from Greece.
*MSNBC Anchor Keith Olbermann has been suspended (indefinitely?) for contributing to political campaigns when on air personalities must remain neutral.
*Mount Merapi in Indonesia underwent a second eruption even as survivors from the first event were cautiously returning to their homes.
*In hopes of improving American exports and foreign relations, United States President Barack Obama has embarked upon a goodwill tour of Asia.

*The United States' 2010 mid-term elections only put the Republican Party in the majority position of the House of Representatives come the 2011 session.
*Dilma Rousself is set to become the first female president of Brazil.
*Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed is the new Prime Minister of Somalia.

*Actress Jill Clayburgh passed away this week.
*Charlie O'Donnell, long time announcer for Wheel of Fortune and other programs, is no longer with us.
*Conan O'Brien begins his much anticipated new talk show on the TBS cable network this coming Monday night.

*The National League San Francisco Giants won their first World Series since 1954 by defeating the American League Texas Rangers.

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of your screen.


Hello Everyone. Fall seems to be settling in, so let's stay warm with a couple of enigmas.

Can you complete the lyric from the 1979 hit Della and The Dealer?
"The dealer had a knife, the dog had a gun, and the cat had..." what?

The following groups have something in common, do you know what it is?
01. (Joy To The World, Greenback Dollar)
02. (This week's Puzzle Corner)

Personally, I think I'm being a little easy on everyone if you sing with me and find the key; but all will be revealed next weekend. For now, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX and find out who's who from our HALLOWEEN QUIZ last weekend's Puzzle Corner.

01. His biggest fan always expects him on Halloween night, but has yet to see him.
H.) The Great Pumpkin of Peanuts fame. Poor Linus.
02. He never drinks 'vine'.
F.) Dracula, quoting a classic line from the original movie with Bela Lugosi.
03. Despite his appearance, he's friendly.
C.) Casper, the friendly ghost.
04. One has to wonder just how well he can play hockey.
L.) Jason, from the Friday the 13th horror movie franchise.
05. A multi-faceted being.
G.) The Frankenstein Monster, which is the correct name for the creature.
06. Every monster is hoping she doesn't have stake for dinner.
B.) Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.
07. A human named after him loved music.
Q.) The Wolfman, and a nod to pioneering Rock and Roll DJ Wolfman Jack.
08. Despite the broom, she doesn't do housework.
O.) Witch, with a hint to her alleged transportation.
09. Despite the name, he's not vampiric.
A.) Batman, the DC Comics' super-hero.
10. He may love Christmas, but Halloween is his night!
I.) The Grinch, and a hint to his Doctor Seuss stories: How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Halloween is Grinch Night!
11. He tried to steal Christmas too.
K.) Jack Skellington, in The Nightmare Before Christmas.
12. Everyone allegedly goes to him for advice, but he's never had his own talk show.
P.) The Witch Doctor, based on a line from the David Seville (aka Ross Bagdasarian) song.
13. No one would know he's there, even in a crowded room.
J.) The Invisible Man
14. This monster might be all wet and a social wallflower at parties.
E.)Creature from the Black Lagoon.
15. Always wants to play rap music.
M.) The Mummy.
16. The Tally Man.
D.) Count Von Count, from Sesame Street.

Friday, November 5, 2010



Well, there is still one major race that still hasn't been determined (see below*), but otherwise here is the basic results of the 2010 Mid-term elections.

Come January 2011, the new balance will be
239 Republicans
185 Democrats
011 Independent/Third Party Candidates

This deeply saddens The Free Choice E-zine because one of the first things a Republican spokesman said the new House would try to accomplish is the repeal of the Health Care Reform Act that was passed earlier this year.

Our question: WHY?

There are millions of Americans within the United States that for one reason or another do not have any health care insurance! A situation that the Health Care Reform Act addresses and rectifies within the years to come.
Hopefully by next spring the new Representatives will realize that they are in error on this matter.
Otherwise, come the 2012 elections, most of the 2011 impending electees will be looking for new positions outside public office.

Come January 2011, the new balance will be:
52 Democrats
46 Republicans
02 Independents/Third Parties

Or in other words, probably "business as usual" with the two major parties constantly arguing and it being a minor miracle if anything ever gets accomplished.

Granted, one side is not as bad about that as the other, but still...

But the increasing number of Independent/Third Party electees should also be noted. There might just come the day when there are enough people within this group to affect the outcome of things within Congress.


As of Friday afternoon as this is posted, there is still no official declaration of a winner in that state's Governor race.
At last report, Democrat Dan Malloy was allegedly ahead of Republican Tom Foley, but the margin varies depending upon the source.
Representatives for Foley have said they question the results and will (legally) challenge any declaration of Malloy as the winner.
How did this come about?
*A few small towns like Chaplin, Connecticut had their regular polling places changed within mere days of the election, causing some confusion as to where to actually go vote.
*Some polling places within Hartford ALMOST ran out of ballots, while Bridgeport, Connecticut DID run out of ballots, causing a frantic rush to be granted permission for xeroxed copies to be used and polling places in that city to be allowed to stay open longer than originally scheduled.
Of course whether the ballots were copied, let alone counted, accurately remains to be seen.

And some people thought Florida's 2000 "Hanging Chad" situation was a mess!

But The Free Choice E-zine DOES have a correspondent within the New England area, and will be reporting upon this more as the situation develops and the facts can be confirmed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Although The Free Choice E-zine hoped to present the 2010 mid-term election results by now, alas between recounts, challenges, and questions that have arisen within a few of the races across the country.
Projections and the results thus far indicate that while the Republicans have become the majority party within the House of Representatives in comparison to the number of Democratic and Independent members, the Democrats look like they have maintained a majority in the Senate.

So we will take a final look at things when every race becomes official.

MEANWHILE, a few of the oddities across the country include:
*The city of Bridgeport, Connecticut underestimating voter turn out and not printing enough ballots, thus running out of the official form HOURS before the polls closed in the Nutmeg state. Voting officials had to get permission to use xerox copies and extend the voting hours in that area.
*Some smaller towns report their polling places being changed just mere days before the actual election, thus causing some confusion in voters wondering where they were supposed to go.

Incumbent Democrat Jenny Oropeza won reelection to maintain her position as a senator in California's state government by a 58% percent margin against her Republican challenger's 36% of ballots cast, despite the fact that Ms. Oropeza passed away two weeks ago from a blood clot that arose during her battle with cancer!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The time for debate is over.
NOW is the time to express your feelings and opinions.
In Congress, the ENTIRE House of Representatives and 30 Senatorial seats are on the ballots.
Over 30 states will be deciding upon their governors and numerous other local candidates.
It is not only your choice, but your inalienable right!
Just remember: the person who does not exercise their right today cannot complain about the results tomorrow. So CHOOSE WISELY and

A public service message of The Free Choice E-zine.

Monday, November 1, 2010



For those eligible to vote within the United States of America, tomorrow is an important election within your living history, with the whole world watching to see what we think.
The 2010 midterm elections, so named because they fall within the middle of a President's current term in office, are being closely observed and analyzed from every conceivable angle as pundits wonder if President Barack Obama and the Democrats will still have the majority in Congress come 2011, since it is generally believed that these election results will "accurately" reflect the current position of the country.
Similar situations are taking place within a lot of the individual state governments as well.
Therefore, The Free Choice E-zine has been presenting a series of advice posts to hopefully create a more informed voter going to the polls November 2.


Although there are some Third Party candidates (Libertarian, Tea Party, etc.) involved in a few of the state elections, what it basically comes down to once again is the Democrats versus the Republicans.
When one looks objectively at the last two years since President Obama took office, you can truly say that the Democratic party has made an honest effort to address and try to fix the problems that arose during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration and a Republican controlled Congress.
Whether or not you agree with the proposed solutions is another matter, but at least attempts have been made!

So in its most simplistic terms, what it comes down to is this:

Do you want someone in office who will actually make an honest attempt to try and fix things, or would you prefer someone in office who just wants to live in the past?

Tomorrow, the decision is YOURS!




The Republicans are saying all kinds of things in regards to current events and the alleged (in)actions of certain people and their party. Of course the Democrats are taking a similar approach in some races, but the GOP is definitely the more vocal of the two.

Now The Free Choice E-zine unfortunately does not have the time nor the resources to examine every individual situation. But we can offer some free advice.

If you think nothing seems to be getting done by the incumbents and are considering the "oust the bums" approach, ask yourself this:

Is there genuinely no progress on a specific issue because there is true disagreement about how your (local, state, or national) government should proceed on the matter? OR
Is there no progress because one side/party is intentionally stonewalling/stalling/filibustering/delaying things to make the other side look bad and themselves appear to be good?


Without getting into a long, dragged out history lesson, basically there are two different political parties with opposing views on almost everything, supporting their respective slate of candidates across the United States within the upcoming elections November 2, 2010.
The Democrats are hoping to maintain the majority within the House of Representatives and regain it within the Senate. The official breakdown there at the moment is 48 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and one Independent.
The Republicans are hoping to regain the majority within both divisions of Congress, something they have not held since the days of the George W. Bush administration.
The final decision, of course, will be the voters.

There are also various fledgling third parties, such as the Libertarians, the Green Party, and the newborn Tea Party; but those have yet to establish themselves as well as the main two.

Some people prefer to vote by party instead of selecting individual candidates, yet some candidates are trying to avoid the "stigma" of being affiliated with one specific party and are not listing their party affiliation in their campaign ads.
Whether you decide to vote by party or will choose who you think is the best candidate for each position, when trying to decide who to vote for, The Free Choice E-zine humbly suggests asking yourself this:

Ignoring all the rhetoric, mud slinging, and campaigning, WHICH side has actually done WHAT in hopes to benefit you more and not themselves?

Granted, the above only works with incumbents or past office holders. But you can usually foresee a candidate's future in office by their past actions.


Regardless of what office they were running for, it was unheard of for most candidates not to have some military experience until the 1970s, when Selective Service replaced the draft in the United States.
Even now, there are some candidates who have volunteered to serve their country and are now considering that service as an asset towards their qualifications to hold whatever elected post they are seeking.
While such service can be considered beneficial under the right circumstances, by the same token, those running for office who have not served should not have that lack of service held against them.

In the end, regardless of the candidate and the position, ask yourself this:

Setting aside the military question, just what ARE a potential candidate's qualifications and are they the best one to receive your vote come Election Day?


Every candidate advertises through the various media outlets available, and the respective parties also run additional supportive ads via such groups as the Democratic Congressional Committee, the Republican Congressional Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, the Republican Governors Association; etc.

But there are also a lot of ads from other groups such as "The Concerned Citizens Committee", "The Congressional Business Committee", "The Associated Action Network", etc.

So who are these people?

While it varies between the individual states and issues, unfortunately most of these Third Party Advertisers (not to be confused with the legitimate Third Parties such as the Libertarians and the Tea Party groups) are nothing more than lobbyists and special interests groups running advertising in hopes of clouding an issue to get the candidate they actually support elected.

Whether or not an ad is telling the truth is something that you the voter must figure out, but you don't have to go it alone.
There are places on the Internet such as http://www.snopes.com/ , http://www.time.com/ , and other reputable websites and news sources that specialize in confirming the truth over the rhetoric/mudslinging, and lies.
If you have doubts, look up the answer for yourself!

REMEMBER: The people running the ads are trying to get you interested in a specific position or opinion. It might not be the wrong position/opinion, but YOU are the only one who can decide if it's the right one for you!


Unfortunately, this is a question far easier to ask than to answer.
This must be judged on a case by case basis.
For example:
There are a lot of ads right now citing "facts" about the Health Care Reform Act that passed earlier this year in an attempt to lure voters away from the incumbent Congressional candidate who might have either worked on and/or voted for the measure and thus this allegedly makes them a bad representative of the people.


It should be pointed out that in a lot of cases, the so called "facts" are actually from EARLIER editions of the bill and NOT the final version that was presented before President Barack Obama for his consideration.
After all, THERE WERE several alternate takes on the matter between both the House of Representatives and the Senate before the two sides got together to create a unified document.

So if you have any doubts about a candidate's "facts", you can go to http://www.snopes.com/ , http://www.time.com/ , or any reputable news source.

The above is the last in a series presented under the belief that a more informed voter is a wiser voter.