Sunday, July 31, 2011


The following is an editorial.

In a special session of Congress held late into Sunday evening, the Democratic controlled Senate and the Republican controlled House of Representatives finally reached a tentative agreement on a potential budget that not only raises the debt ceiling limit like the Democrats and President Barack Obama wanted, but also supports $2.4 TRILLION American dollars off the country's debt over the course of the next decade, although the Republicans were hoping for a much higher number and no debt ceiling increase.

It still has to officially be approved by both sides of Congress and signed into law before the August 2nd deadline.

Both sides agreed to table any discussion about the existing tax cuts the rich enjoy, for now. That and other issues are to be examined in closer detail by a new budget committee that is to file a report by November on recommendations to improve the government's financial situation, including the possibility of additional budget cuts to be considered.

There are already critics pointing out that no future administration has to abide by whatever portions of the pending budget might not be enacted by the time they are in office. This country has a long history of the new doing away with old agreements whenever the Presidency changes hands between parties.

But what's to stop all this manure from piling up next time? Especially in light of the fact that, even if passed, this agreement only lasts until 2012.

While a two party governmental system of checks and balances is great, there are times like the last few days when political beliefs get in the way of bi-partisanship and doing what is right for the country.

Congress needs to remember who they are actually working for.

President Obama, when announcing this news, noted that the American people made their voices heard in this matter, and that things did not go as (smoothly) as they should have.

Once again, a friendly reminder Congress: the people who voted you in are the same ones who can vote you out!

The above was an editorial.


Hello Everybody! Ms. Waxy Dragon here.
I love horses.
After dragons and cats, I personally feel they are the most beautiful animal in the world.
But one thing horses really love to do is tell jokes, and I'd thought I share some of them with you, straight from the horse's mouth.

When does a horse talk?
Whinny wants to.

What do you call the horse next door?
A neigh-bor.

What did the teacher say when the horse walked into the classroom?
"Why the long face?"
Do you know what the horse said in reply?
"Because I fell earlier on the way to school and couldn't giddy up right away."

Why did the pony have to gargle?
Because it was a little hoarse.

A man rode his horse into town on Friday, stayed overnight, and then rode out on Friday. How is this possible?
Friday is the name of the horse!

Do you think horses would make good baseball players?
After all, they're always hitting flies with their tails.

As the horses say, "Any friend of yours is a palomino!" and I hope you'll all be here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies! Have a great week everybody!-wd.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Amongst the headlines of events happening around the world this past week:

*The United States' budget woes continue as the August 2nd deadline looms. The Democratic controlled Senate has rejected the Republican sponsored budget bill of severe cuts without raising the debt ceiling, while the Republican controlled House of Representatives' rejected the Democrat's budget bill that included raising the debt ceiling but without enough budget cuts from the Republican point of view, leaving Americans wondering why the two sides can't get anything done. Meanwhile, if Congress does not unite to pass a budget by the deadline, rumor has it that President Barack Obama will enact the power of the 14th Amendment to the United States' Constitution and raise the debt ceiling himself.
Your Free Choice E-zine will continue to monitor and report on the story, but stands by its previous editorial on the subject, posted earlier this week.

*Ollantla Humala has been sworn in as Peru's new President.

*The annual trade deadline for Major League Baseball teams July 31st.
*Meanwhile, professional football teams are scrambling to get ready for the 2011 season now that a new contract agreement is in place.

*This is the 20th anniversary for Lollapalooza.
*August marks the 40th anniversary of the legendary Concert for Bangladesh.
*Due to poor sales and a troublesome economy, Nintendo has cut the price of its new 3DS system.

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


Another weekend, more puzzles.

A familiar phrase is illustrated below. Do you know what it is?


What famous musical group named themselves after a cartoon character, only to later find out that they got the name wrong?

We'll reveal all next weekend, but for now, let's look inside THE ANSWERS BOX for the results from July 23's Puzzle Corner.

The duo of Fischbacher and Horn are more commonly known as Siegfried and Roy.

Two different things, sharing at least one common word, have been combined to create a new thing. Based upon the clue below, do you know what it is?

Something your optometrist can see unaided?
Visible to the naked eye doctor.

Monday, July 25, 2011


The following is an editorial.

In hopes of breaking the stalemate currently keeping anything from being accomplished on the issue, United States of America President Barack Obama briefly addressed the nation this evening to explain his position on the budget debate currently plaguing Congress.

In his speech, the President explained that it wasn't just a matter of attempting to balance the budget, but needing to raise the debt ceiling limit as well in order for America to be able to meet its financial obligations. Otherwise, payments such as Social Security and Veterans' Benefits would be at risk.

The problem seems to lie with some Republican members of the House of Representatives. They are all for massive budget cuts and reduced spending, regardless of which programs and services might be harmed in the process. Yet they refuse to even consider rescinding existing tax breaks to the rich so that everyone contributes fairly to the financial income and well being of the United States.

In his rebuttal address after the President's speech, House of Representatives Majority Leader John Boehner, a Republican representing the state of Ohio,claimed that there were already a couple of possible budget proposals that had bi-partisan support, but allegedly President Obama refuses to sign any of them because they do not raise the debt ceiling limit, which would give the government the authority to spend more money.

However, it should be noted that not once in his speech did Boehner mention the existing tax cuts to the rich in any way, shape, or form. Instead he kept stressing how America needed to tighten its economic belt and balance the budget to face the tough times ahead.

President Obama himself acknowledged that neither side is totally blameless in events that have gone on for years, leading to the current situation. There are also a couple of proposals that would extend the deadline by as much as one year, but why delay things only to be at the same impasse again later?

So who's right?

If the current situation is not resolved by August 2, the country is at risk of defaulting on bills and having its International credit standing lowered, things that in the long run will affect every citizen, no matter what side of the issue they might be on.

The Free Choice E-zine urges Congress to DO THE RIGHT THING!
Balance the budget, tax the rich more fairly by taking away their special loopholes and cuts, and raise the debt ceiling at least enough to adjust for inflation and compound interest on the existing debt.

Doing that does not mean that the country will start spending more.
The worst that will happen if the rich are taxed more fairly (like the rest of us) is that some of them might not make any campaign contributions between now and the Presidential election in 2012.

Besides Congress, you are supposed to be representing us: WE, THE PEOPLE.
The voters who previously elected you into office are the same ones who can kick you out of office come the next election.

The above was an editorial and as always, comments are welcomed provided they follow the guidelines established in the upper left hand corner side bar on your screen.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here!
Although I haven't posted any in a while, I always keep my trusty camera at paw in case there is a good photo opportunity.
In my family, besides my big brother Ranger the Labrador Retriever and my Human 'owners', I also live with a bunch of cats!
And before the rest of my fellow canines say anything, remember that we live in more modern times and a lot of us are in complex family matrices.
But I'll admit, it's not easy trying to co-exist with felines.
It seems all they want to do all day is sleep when sleeping is for night time. And of course they'll sleep anywhere!
Max in a box

Merlin, same box

Take these two fine examples of cat hood. The tabby on the left is Max, the head of the feline portion of our household. That box might be a little too small for him, but he doesn't care. That's cattitude for you.
The younger fellow on the right is Merlin, half of a set of twins that came along later. To say that they look up to their older siblings is a serious understatement.  Merlin is pictured in the exact same box Max slept in earlier that day. Granted, it is a slightly better fit for Merlin, being a bit on the snuggly side instead of overflowing with feline, but you still have to wonder about him.


This tuxedo clad fellow is called Oreo because of his fur pattern. There is a cream colored underbelly on that cat, but you can rarely see it when he naps, like on the food preparation table in our kitchen where he knows he shouldn't be, but sleeps anyway.
He and the others like to stay out all night when the weather is good. The other three go hunting, but Oreo claims he goes to more 'formal' occasions.
Where? What five star restaurant allows cats?

Mischief, with his "innocent" look

The other cat, litter mate to Merlin, in my household is appropriately named Mischief, because that seems to be his chief occupation and specialty.
Don't let that innocent face fool you. We're always finding things out of place or missing whenever he's around, especially food.
But since he and the other cats like to stay outdoors whenever the weather is good, maybe that's why they sleep all the time inside.
Your guess is as good as mine folks.
All I know is that when they are outside, they usually go hunting and don't come anywhere near me and Ranger unless they have a dead mouse they want to share. 

Well, that's this for today everybody. Have a great week and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Amongst events around the world this past week include:

*As the United States moves closer to its self imposed deadline to balance the country's budget, White House officials are puzzled as to why key Republican members of Congress are suddenly not returning their calls.
*While authorities have a suspect in custody concerning the recent Norway murders, they have yet to discover a motive or any terrorist connections. 92 people are confirmed dead between a bombing in Oslo and a shooting spree in Utoya.
*In the latest developments concerning the International Phone Hacking Scandal that the News of the World tabloid is involved in: Investigating authorities have arrested the recently resigned Murdoch Media Executive Rebekah Brooks while "whistleblower" Sean Hoare has been found dead in his home. Meanwhile, the portions of English government that hired former members of the tabloid's staff are being investigated too.
*The Space Shuttle Atlantis returned to Earth safely, thus ending both its final mission and the shuttle program completely.
*The Borders Bookstore chain has started liquidation proceedings.
*After a brief survey of Mars, the Dawn space probe has reached Vesta within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

*Singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead within her personal residence. Reports are uncertain as to the cause of her passing.

*While the National Football League and its players are on the verge of reconciling, it is unknown just what kind of a season will result. Normally training camps would already be in session, with pre-season games held in August before the regular season begins in September. That is not counting the fact that some players (especially rookies) have yet to be signed to contracts. The earliest the players could go back to work is mid-August.
*Brett Blyleven, Roberto Alomar, and Pat Gillick will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
*Japan won the FIFA Women's World Cup by beating the USA 3-2 in a penalty kick shoot out.
*Yao Ming has officially retired from professional basketball.

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


Another weekend is upon us, and while the weather has been hot, the puzzles are cool.

The duo of Fischbacher and Horn are more commonly known as who?

Two different things, sharing at least one common word, have been combined to create a new thing. Based upon the clue below, do you know what it is?

Something your optometrist can see unaided?

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's peek inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from our brief quiz from July 16.

01. Who legitimately broke Babe Ruth's home run record?
Hank Aaron, because Barry Bonds has yet to be legally cleared of all the steroid/performance enhancing drug allegations against him.

02. Who preceded Johnny Carson hosting The Tonight Show?
Jack Paar, I kid you not (which was the title of his autobiography).

03. What famous actor suffered Misery?
James Caan.

04. What famous science fiction author wrote of Foundations and Robots?
Isaac Asimov.

05. What can be an auto club, a battery size, or the theme of this quiz?
Triple A's, for each answer has 3 A's in them.
Hey, I did say it was A brief quiz. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Hello Everyone! Ms. Waxy Dragon here!
Now I may not be as studious as Autumn the Puppy, but there are things (other than chocolate) that I get curious about and look into.
Like: Why did the chicken cross the road?
First off, who said it was a chicken?
Are we talking a physical chicken, as in feathers, a beak, etc.?
Or are we talking a more literal chicken, as in someone afraid to do something?
And why did this chicken, feathery or otherwise, need to cross the road?
Was there something important on the other side?
Was it challenged to do so?
Whatever the answer, I hope it crossed safely at an intersection, staying in the cross walk, and with the lights in its favor.
After all, what do you call a chicken that doesn't look both ways before it crosses the road?

In any event, here are some (in)famous crossing jokes that I've found.
Hope they don't make you too cross.

Why did the hen cross the road?
To prove she wasn't chicken.

Why did the rooster cross the road?
He wanted to impress the chicks.

Why did the duck cross the road?
Because it was the chicken's day off.

Why did the robot cross the road?
Because the chicken was out of order.

Why did the fox cross the road?
To look for the chicken.

So, why DID the chicken cross the road?
Maybe he thought it was an eggs-cellent idea.

But I know why the chicken STOPPED crossing the road.
Because it was tired of all the jokes!

That's it for this weekend. Have a great week everybody and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.-wd.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week include:

*Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has taken out full page ads in England, apologizing for his News of the World tabloid's hacking of cell phones while covering the murder of a school girl. Meanwhile, two high ranking officials within his media organization have resigned as Scotland Yard and British Parliament continue their respective investigations. Recent events are also drawing more attention to Murdoch's other holdings, like FOX News, but no public comments have yet to be made about News Corp's other divisions. The scandal has also caused News of the World to shut down its offices and Murdoch to cancel his bid to by the British BSkyB.
*United States President Barack Obama is in debate with Congress over balancing the budget and the possibility of raising the nation's debt ceiling limit, while Republicans are pushing for more budget cuts while keeping the existing tax breaks and other perks for the rich.
*Meanwhile, President Obama is expected to meet with the Dali Lama soon, despite China's objections.
*The United Nations has accepted the recently formed nation of South Sudan for membership.
*The planet Neptune has completed its first known orbit of the Sun since being discovered in 1846.
*The once thought extinct rainbow toad has been rediscovered in Borneo.

*A grass roots protest against Netflix impending rate hikes and policy changes is underway on Facebook.
*Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have separated after seven years of marriage. Divorce proceedings are pending.
*Television producer Sherwood Schwartz (Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch) has passed away at age 94.

*The National League won the 2011 All-Star Game by a score of 5-1 against the American League in professional baseball held Tuesday night, and now whatever NL team goes to the 2011 World Series will have home field advantage. Meanwhile, Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
*Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees won the 2011 Home Run Derby, held the night before the All Star Game. The event raised over $600,000 (US Dollars) for charity.
*With the conclusion of the All Star Game, Major League Baseball has begun the second half schedule of their 2011 season.

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


I have something quite special planned for this weekend.
Ready for a brief quiz?

01. Who legitimately broke Babe Ruth's home run record?
02. Who preceded Johnny Carson hosting The Tonight Show?
03. What famous actor suffered Misery?
04. What famous science fiction author wrote of Foundations and Robots?
05. What can be an auto club, a battery size, or the theme of this quiz?

We'll reveal all next weekend, but for now, let's peek into THE ANSWERS BOX and reveal the results of July 9's Puzzle Corner.

A possible accessory for a famous mallard could be DONALD DUCK SAUCE.
Daffy Duck or Howard The Duck would have also been acceptable for the famous mallard.

01. {Blue jays, Cardinals, Orioles} Are all bird inspired teams in Major League Baseball.
02. (Ravens, Falcons, Eagles} Are all bird inspired teams in professional American Football.
And yes, one could say last week's Puzzle Corner was for the birds. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Hello Everybody! Autumn the Puppy here!
And in my never ending thirst for knowledge (and a bottomless water bowl), look what I've dug up for you this weekend.
Having observed Humans for some time now, I have to admit that you folks do have some interesting perspectives on life.
To wit:
*To some people, it's not whether you win or lose, but how and where you place the blame.

*A fool and their money may soon be parted, but sometimes they can throw one heck of a party saying goodbye.

*Parents know money isn't everything in life, but it sure keeps their kids interested.

*Some say red meat isn't really bad for you. But let me assure everyone that the fuzzy green meat definitely is!

*Some scientists are working hard to develop artificial intelligence. But don't worry, I think that will never replace natural stupidity.

*Elevators are like life. They have their ups and downs. So does that mean escalators are a step in the right direction?

*William Canby is accredited with creating the first computing scale, proving the motto that when there's a will, there's a weigh.

*When marble was first discovered, did everyone take it for granite?

*Is being employed at a muffler shop exhausting work?

*University students in California are conducting atmospheric tests on the air quality there. Let's help them out. For those in that state at the moment, I wonder: can UCLA?

Well, that's all the space I have for now. Have a great week everybody and please come back next weekend for more Sunday Funnies.-AtP.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Amongst the events that have happened around the globe this past week are:

*South Sudan is now officially a country, seceding from Sudan.
*After being found innocent on all charges, Casey Anthony is scheduled to be released from jail July 17th, although there are those who disagree with this.
*NASA's last space shuttle, Atlantis, has launched on its final mission.
*A new outbreak of hacker attacks is underway, including an erroneous Twitter report that United States President Barack Obama was allegedly assassinated on the FOX News Twitter account.
*Meanwhile, a very alive and well President Obama is trying to get Congress to agree upon a balanced budget for the country.
*The British tabloid News of the World is accused of doing its own hacking in order to cover/present stories.
*Pyeongchang, South Korea will host the Winter Olympics in 2018.
*Former US Presidential First Lady Betty Ford has passed away at the age of 93.

*At the 125th annual Wimbledon Tennis tournament, Petra Kvitova won the Women’s Singles title, Bob and Mike Bryan won the Men’s Doubles title, Kveta Peschke and Katrina Srebotnik won the Women’s Doubles title, Novak Djokovic won the Men’s Singles title, while Jurgen Melzer and Iveta Benesova won the Mixed Doubles title.

*The producers of the soon to be canceled ABC TV network soap operas All My Children and One Life To Live have announce that both shows will continue on WEB TV, retaining most (if not all) of their respective casts and crews.

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


Another weekend is upon us, but let's keep those wits sharp as The Free Choice E-zine presents some more enigmas for you to solve.

Two things, sharing at least one word between them, are combined to create a new item. Do you know what it is, based upon the clue below?

A famous mallard's accessory?

The items in each group below have something in common. Do you know what it is?
01. {Blue jays, Cardinals, Orioles}
02. (Ravens, Falcons, Eagles}

We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's look inside THE ANSWERS BOX for the results of July 2's Puzzle Corner.

Out of the letters in the word INDEPENDENCE, you can form: deed, deep, den, depend, dice, did, die, died, din, dine, dip, end, I, ice, in, indeed, inn, need, needed, nine, pen, pi, piece, pin, (and) pine. Other words besides the 25 listed might be possible.

DOINOORS is indoors (the word IN within the word DOORS), somewhere you hate being on a beautiful day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Today is July 7.
Some consider this date lucky because it's 7-7.
Of course the luck allegedly improves if July 7 falls on a Saturday, the seventh day of the week for most calendars, as it will in 2012.
And if it's Saturday July 7 in either the year '07 or '77...
Well, you get the idea.
In any event, hope you have a good day today.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Today, the United States of America celebrates its 235 year of Independence.
But how did it all come about?
In all honesty, it wasn't easy.
As the years passed, the descendants of the original colonists wondered why their fledgling country was still part of England and in time, decided they were perfectly capable of governing themselves.
However the British monarchy of the time didn't like that idea, and tried to keep what is now America under the crown's rule.
In the end, not only did the United States gain its independence, but America and Great Britain became friends and allies.
The following might be a bit on the simplistic side, but is quite entertaining in its own way.
From the classic Saturday morning series School House Rock, we humbly present two selections from the America Rocks! curriculum on American history.

First is "No More Kings" from 1975, written by Lynn Ahrens and performed by Ahrens with Bob Dorough.

Then we have 1976's "The Shot Heard 'Round The World", written and performed by Dorough.

Both videos are courtesy of YouTube, and are copyrighted by School House Rock, Ink. Inc.

Hope you enjoy them and HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Hello Everybody. Free Choice Editor-In Chief Lee Houston, Junior here today.
Both Autumn the Puppy and the recently returned Waxy Dragon are both off for the holiday weekend, along with the rest of your favorite E-zine's staff, so I'm here alone this weekend.
It's lonely at the top. *sigh*
Anyway, tomorrow the United States of America celebrates its 235th year of independence, and our resident comedienne's have submitted some appropriately themed jokes to celebrate the occasion.
But I would like to kick things off with a quote from one of my favorite authors.

"We have three benefits in this country. The freedom of speech. The freedom of thought, and the wisdom never to use either."--Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Now on to the jokes.

What happened as a result of the Stamp Act?
The colonists licked the British during the American Revolution.

Why did Paul Revere ride his horse from Boston to Lexington?
Because the horse was too heavy to carry.

Which favorite son of Virginia wrote the Declaration of Independence?
Thomas Jeffer's son.

What did King George think of the American colonists?
He thought they were revolting.

Why were the early American settlers akin to ants?
Because they both lived in colonies.

What famous pig signed the Declaration of Independence?
John Hamhock.

Why did the British cross the Atlantic Ocean:?
To get to the other tide.

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

Did you hear the joke about the Liberty Bell?
It wasn't funny. Nobody cracked up with laughter.

What was Thomas Jefferson's favorite dessert?

TRUE fact: When the time came to choose a national symbol, Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be the turkey!

Well, that's it for this weekend.
Have a good week and please be back here next weekend for more Sunday Funnies!-lthjr.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


The United States of America celebrates its 235th year of independence Monday.

Amongst events that have happened around the world this past week:
*The E.Coli outbreak in Germany might have spread to France.
*US President Barack Obama addressed Congress in hopes of getting its members to agree on ending tax cuts to the rich in order to help balance the country's budget better.
*Ma-Vib, an Italian engineering firm, laid off all its FEMALE employees this week, drawing more International attention to Italy's patriarchal and labor practices.
*Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been found guilty on 17 charges of corruption during his retrial, adding 300 years to his previous sentence of lying to Federal investigators when he tried to "sell" now President Obama's former Congressional seat.
*Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock are now married.
*Pope Benedict XVI has become the first Pope to Tweet as the Vatican creates its own official website.
*Astronomers have announced the discovery of the furthest known quasar from our solar system, designated: ULAS J1120+0641.

*Actor Daniel Craig has married actress Rachel Weisz.
*Maria Shriver has officially initiated divorce proceedings against Arnold Schwarzenegger.
*An autopsy has concluded that former wrestler Randy "Macho Man" Savage died from heart disease and not from the car accident that happened after he passed out behind the wheel while driving.

*Not all the matches in the 2011 Wimbledon Tennis Championship have been played at press time, so there will be a complete report on the final results next weekend.
*The Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
*The 2011-2012 professional basketball season is now in jeopardy as players and team owners have failed to reach a collective bargaining agreement.

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


Most Americans have at least part, if not all, of this three day weekend off since Monday the country celebrates its independence.
But that is no reason to let our brains go lazy.
Ready for some new enigmas?

Since what America is celebrating Monday is so important to this and a whole lot of other countries, how many words can you make out of the letters in INDEPENDENCE?

Something is represented by the image below. Do you know what it is?


We'll reveal all next weekend. But for now, let's look inside THE ANSWERS BOX and discover the results from June 25's Puzzle Corner.

Based solely upon the number of films, what is the most successful movie franchise?
Believe it or not: Blondie, based upon the famous comic strip. There are 28 films (to date) starting with 1938's Blondie to 1950's Beware of Blondie, all featuring Penny Singleton as the title character and Arthur Lake as Dagwood.

The Peter Falk movies were:
01. The Killing Company>Murder, Inc. (1960)for which he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
02. Earth is crazy, insane, nuts, (and) loony>It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963); which is a terrific comedy.
03. The Cash Monarchs>Money Kings (1998)
04. Not Enough Crooks>Too Many Thieves (1966)
05. The Inexpensive Investigator>The Cheap Detective (1978) Based on the Neil Simon play.