Mrs Neely

Toward the end of Sunday service, the Minister asked:

‘How many of you have forgiven your enemies?’

80% held up their hands.

The Minister then repeated his question.

All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.

‘Mrs. Neely?’; ‘Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?’

I don’t have any.’ She replied, smiling sweetly.

‘Mrs. Neely, that is very unusual. How old are you?’

‘Ninety-eight.’ she replied.

‘Oh, Mrs. Neely, would you please come down in front & tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years & not have an enemy in the world?’

The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said:

‘I’ve outlived the bitches.’


Onions and Mayo

Note One.

In 1919, when the flu virus killed 40 million people, there was this doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help them combat the flu. Many of the farmers and their family had contracted it, and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer, and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different, the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then).

The doctor couldn’t believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser in AZ. She said that several
years ago many of her employees were coming down with the flu and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work; try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Note Two.

I sent it to a friend in Oregonwho regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don’t know about the farmer’s story…. But, I do know that I contacted pneumonia and needless to say I was very ill… I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, placing the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs…. Sure enough it happened just like that…. The onion was a mess, and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

Note Three

Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don’t know what to blame. Maybe it’s the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu’s and is the very reason we shouldn’t eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open!


I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of
Mayonnaise. Mullins is huge, and is owned by 11 brothers and sisters in the Mullins family. My friend, Jeanne, is the CEO.

Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist. The guy who gave us our tour is named Ed. He’s one of the brothers Ed is a chemistry expert and is involved in developing most of the sauce formula. He’s even developed sauce formula for McDonald’s.

Keep in mind that Ed is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone
asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always
worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed’s answer will surprise you. Ed said
that all commercially- made Mayo is completely safe.

“It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated. There is no harm in refrigerating it, but it’s not really necessary.” He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the quaint essential picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials
look for is when the ‘victim’ last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it’s not the mayonnaise (as long as it’s not homemade Mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It’s probably the Onions, and if not the onions, it’s the POTATOES.

He explained, onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it’s not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It’s already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit,
that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you
put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!) Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you you’ll probably be okay, but if you slice that left over onion and put on your sandwich, you’re asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions..

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook
the next day, it becomes highly poisonous after even a single night and
creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

Please pass this information on to all you love and care.

Rye Bread

Two old guys, one 80 and one 87, were sitting on their usual park bench one morning.

The 87 year old had just finished his morning jog and wasn’t even short of breath.

The 80 year old was amazed at his friend’s stamina and asked him what he did to have so much energy.

The 87 year old said, “Well, I eat rye bread every day. It keeps your energy level high and you’ll have great stamina with the ladies.”

So, on the way home the 80 year old stops at the bakery. As he was looking around, the lady asked if he needed any help. He said “Do you have any Rye bread?”

She said, “Yes, there’s a whole shelf of it. Would you like some?”

He said, “I want 5 loaves.”

She said, “My goodness, 5 loaves … By the time you get to the 3rd loaf, it’ll be hard.”

He replied, “I can’t believe it, everybody knows about this shit but me.”

Omnishambles Goes On (2)

MORNING BRIEFING – By Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph)

BREAKING – David Cameron on the Today Programme (it’s fightback time):

“It’s been a difficult month, government’s have difficult months. This government came together to dig this country out of the huge economic mess that it’s in… but we’re not just a bunch of accountants dealing with the deficit. Everything we’re doing, providing better schools, everything we’re doing is about helping people who do the right thing.”

“You have difficult weeks and difficult months”, says Dave, but what matters is “the vision” and “keeping your eye on the long term.” Though he added that: “I accept we need to learn lessons in communications.”

On Theresa May and Abu Qatada’s deportation, the Prime Minister stressed that: “ The Home Office was very sure it had the right date” and “the Home Office was working on the basis of something they had checked.” He denied that the announcement last Tuesday was a PR stunt, and said that ministers were told throughout that it expired on the Monday night.

On tax avoidance and whether we ‘are all in it together’, the PM said: “there is a form of aggressive tax avoidance that is wrong”, but he refused to say that he shouldn’t have employed Philip Green, a noted tax avoider. “Everyone should pay their tax”, said Dave, but he wasn’t interested in individuals’ tax affairs.

On House of Lords reform, the Prime Minister started by saying he support House of Lords reform. But he said that the Government shouldn’t rule a referendum out “out of hand” (as Nick Clegg did yesterday) but he “personally” is not in favour. He said that the three main political parties are in favour of it, but all three are split.

The PM concluded by arguing that he is working very hard, because: “I know who I’m fighting for”. His job is an “ extremely hard job”, and he is “normally at my table at 6am going through my boxes. I am fortunate to have an excellent cabinet. Absolutely driven by this government’s mission economic rescue mission”


Dave is out on the offensive today – trying to draw a line after the last month’s omnishambles. He’s just been on the Today Programme and he’ll be on the 6 o’clock and 10 o’clock news bulletins too this evening.I gather that his plans include inviting Nick Robinson to tag along for the day, part of the Craig Oliver focus on telly and the all important – allegedly – evening news bulletins.

A self advertised media blitz is a standard response for a PM who is in a hole. The calculation is that his very presence on the airwaves will be enough to dazzle us all and mask the Government’s self inflicted difficulties. The danger comes when the PM starts to think that only he can solve the problems. Think Tony Blair and his eye catching initiatives.

Mr Cameron must explain why he thinks all is well when patently his administration is showing worrying habits of incompetence. It doesn’t help either that across the Channel there is a far more interesting story of a cock-sure centre right politician with an uneasy relationship with wealth who has been stuffed by an anaemic left-wing Mr Nobody – sound familiar?


As Chris Hope reports , a big part of Dave’s media fightback is about mayors. The PM make a rather dramatic-sounding speech in Bristol later today where he will call on voters to use their “one moment, one chance. One day when you can change the course of your city” by voting for elected mayors on May 3rd.

“It’s a once-in-a-generation chance to change the way our country is run. I passionately want those cities – from Bristol to Birmingham, Nottingham to Newcastle, Sheffield to Wakefield, to give a resounding, emphatic ‘yes’ next week”

I wonder if the electorate will agree – what I hear is that in the cities where referendums are taking place, a lot of people haven’t even realised. But, as we argued in our leader on Saturday , and as Bagehot wrote in the Economist on Friday , Dave is right: mayors could be a real force for radical change.


Then there’s the news from across the Channel. The Telegraph’s man in Paris, Henry Samuel, reports that Francois Hollande has pulled ahead of the right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in France’s first round of the presidential race, achieving 28.5 percent of the vote compared to Sarkozy’s 27.1 percent. This takes Sarkozy and Hollande forward to the second and final round of elections on May 6th.

This result isn’t the focus of the British papers though – the surprise result for the far-right wing candidate Marine Le Pen has covered the front pages of the broadsheets. Le Pen achieved a record 18.1 percent for France’s Front National, beating the previous best in 2002 when Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, won his way into the second-round run-off with 17 percent of votes.

Our leader column compares the Le Pen result to George Galloway’s in the UK: they both show “the same combination of economic malaise and popular disillusionment.” We warn whoever emerges as winner on May 7 not to think that “the old order has been restored.”

The Guardian celebrates the rise of Hollande, saying that the country is on “the crest of a leftwing wave,” while the Times (£) says the new relationship between Hollande and Merkel could cause instability that “threatens the global economy.”


The debate on Lords reform is gaining momentum. Nick Clegg went on the Sunday Politics yesterday to say that the decision on Lords reform should not be “subcontracted” to the British people – read our report here.

That’s not what the Joint Committee on House of Lords Reform is saying however – their report will be published today, and they, like Ed Miliband, recommend a referendum.

The fallout from disgruntled Tory MPs has already begun with the ultra-loyalist Nadhim Zahawi appearing on the Today programme rehearsing the objections he set out in the Observer yesterday.

The Guardian has a poll claiming that 69 percent of the population support a reformed House of Lords, which is interesting until you realise the poll was commissioned by the lobby group Unlock Democracy.

The FT (£) reports that Mark Harper, the minister for constitutional reform, has poured scorn on proposals from Lord Steel, former leader of the Liberal party, that lords should receive payoffs of up to £30,000.

Andrew Adonis keeps popping up on this topic too. He and Paul Tyler have an op-ed in today’s Guardian , arguing that the status quo is not a realistic option and the only way to head off calls for abolition of the chamber is to reform it.


We’ve splashed on the speech Danny Alexander is making this morning where he will order government departments come up with £16 billion more saving on top of the current spending cuts they’ve outlined.

Departments will be required to hold a “rainy day” fund of five percent of their budget, or identify programmes that can be cut to provide the cash. He will also demand that ministers send him monthly reports on their progress.

According to Danny, this will: “demonstrate the collective determination of government to ensure that never again will our nation’s finances be allowed to get into such a mess”.

But as the FT (£) points out, departments going over budget is not what caused the budget deficit – rather, it was unrealistic expectations about tax revenues:

“Although the budget deficit ballooned under Labour from £35bn in 2007-08 to £157bn in 2009-10, very little of that increase was caused by lax spending control in government departments. Shortfalls in tax revenues explain most of the rise in borrowing.”

Oh dear. Clearly what’s worrying Mr Alexander is not departmental overspending – it’s the need to put aside more cash to cushion any further problems in the eurozone. But what will his fellow ministers think of this Treasury power grab? I can’t imagine too many ministers will be keen on these monthly reports…


Despite running 26 miles in Lycra tights yesterday, Ed Balls found time to pen a piece for the FT (£) on the topic of Bank of England reform. He did finish, right? The FT pictures him running across Westminster bridge with the insouciance of a man out for a walk, rather than a, um, big guy on his first marathon. And who’s the guy in the black brogues running with him?

Anyway, Mr Balls says this:

“The new governor will, in my view, be strengthened and not weakened by greater transparency and clarity than we have had before. The chair of the Treasury select committee is right that the bill does not go anywhere near far enough in this regard, which is why Labour will support his amendment today.”

Mr Balls argues the Bank of England Reform Bill, going through the House today, is flawed because it is not clear on the Bank of England’s objectives: is its aim to keep inflation stable? Or to ensure financial stability? Or to protect jobs and growth? The mix of all three creates the occasional conflict, as Balls points out…


An amusing verdict on David Cameron from his chum of 15 years, the actress Helena Bonham Carter, in an interview over the weekend:

“He’s not that conservative, actually. I mean, he’s not a right-wing person. If he was in America, he’d be a Democrat, and he’s got a hilarious sense of humour, which nobody really knows about.”

Not that conservative? I expect a lot of his MPs would agree…


Latest YouGov/Sunday Times results: Labour lead on 8 – Conservatives 33%, Labour 41%, Liberal Democrats 11%, Ukip 8%.

Government net approval rating: -38%


Jamie Reed, Labour’s MP for Copeland, and a shadow health minister, on his twitter problem:

“@jreedmp: Been thinking a lot about those scores of people (4) who think my tweets are, on occasion, childish.”

“@jreedmp: I’ve decided that a) they smell b) my dad could beat their dads in a fight and c) my car is faster than theirs.”

We can’t help but agree, Jamie.


In The Telegraph

Iain Martin: Voters have lost patience with the culture of spin and fakery

Con Coughlin: We’re all at sea over our new aircraft carriers

Leader: The law’s all too lordly way of defying its critics

Leader: Lessons from France

Best of the rest

Leader in the Financial Times (£): Taking big money out of UK Politics

David Wighton in the Times (£): Osborne was right to chip in to the IMF

Andrew Adonis and Paul Tyler in the Guardian: Reform the House of Lords now and it can survive

Ed Balls in the Financial Times (£): Fix the confusion at the heart of the bank


Today: EU foreign ministers meet to consider easing sanctions against Burma.

Today: Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham addresses the Unison health conference in Brighton.

Today: House of Lords returns from Easter recess

Today: Alastair Campbell gives a keynote speech on “delivering change and success in challenging times” at the Leadership conference in Edinburgh

10am: Danny Alexander speech to the Institute for Fiscal Studies on fiscal sustainability, 7 Ridgmount Street, London.

10am: The Joint Committee on House of Lords Reform releases its report

11am: Chairman of the Joint Committee on House of Lords Reform, Lord Richard, hosts a press conference, Committee Room 3, House of Lords, London

11am: Peter Stringfellow announces that after 32 years of supporting the Conservative Party, he will be supporting Ukip candidate Richard Bradford in the Hyde Park by election, Porters Restaurant, 17 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden

11.40am: A cross-party group of MPs host a press conference, calling for elected House of Lords. Attlee Room, Portcullis House, London

2.30pm: David Cameron gives a speech to the “Yes 2 Mayors”On rally to encourage the British to vote “yes” on elected mayors in Bristol.

2.30pm: Work and Pensions Office Questions

4pm: David Willetts gives evidence to the Lords’ Internal Market, Energy and Transport EU Sub-Committee on the European railway market, House of Commons

6pm: Parliamentary Labour Party weekly meeting in Committee Room 14, House of Commons

10pm: Ann Widdecombe presents a programme about excess drinking on Radio 5 Live

A dismal decade when defeat was in the air

I suppose you cannot say this at the start of a four-part, four-hour television series devoted to the subject, but weren’t the Seventies in Britain fairly horrible? Almost everything new – the Bay City Rollers, the NatWest tower, Edward Heath’s black leather chairs and golden carpets in No 10, Wimpey homes, decimal coinage, the “Europe or bust” campaign on women’s T-shirts, Arthur Scargill – was painfully ugly. Everything old, except Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, had got shabby. Things had a tendency to get worse. This is not just a retrospective impression: it was obvious at the time.

Dominic Sandbrook, who presents this programme, and has written the huge new book from which it grew, has the surprisingly rare quality essential in any proper historian. He is interested in his subject for its own sake. He enjoys the period of the fairly recent past on which he focuses and relishes its details. This makes him a good screen companion. But the requirements of telly insist that the presenter give artificial shape to a decade, and so Sandbrook finds himself saying, at the start of it all, that “21st-century Britain was born in the Seventies”. There is not much evidence for this.

Read more….

EU set to impose new sanctions on Syria

“These sanctions will be put in place against Syria,” the diplomat told AFP after EU ambassadors endorsed the measures ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

The extent of the luxury ban has yet to be defined but the aim is to deliver a symbolic blow against the posh lifestyle of President Bashar al-Assad and his glamorous British-born wife Asma, another diplomat said.

“The Assad couple, as well as his inner circle and leaders of the regime must be made to understand that events in Syria will also impact their personal lives,” the source added.

Brussels also decided to expand the blacklist of dual-use goods which can be used for internal repression or for the manufacturing of equipment used for internal repression.

The 14th round of EU sanctions comes as violence continues in Syria despite the presence of UN truce observers in the country.

Read more….

Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to take seat in Burma’s parliament

Suu Kyi’s party has refused to swear to “safeguard” an army-created constitution in the first sign of tension with the government since a landmark by-election this month saw the democracy icon win a parliamentary seat.

The spat comes as European Union nations are preparing to suspend most sanctions against the impoverished nation for one year to reward a series of dramatic reforms since direct army rule ended last year.

Burma, long-isolated under military dictatorship, has seen a rapid improvement in relations with the international community after the Nobel Peace Prize winner and her party achieved a decisive win in the April 1 polls.

Suu Kyi has shown increased confidence in the reformist government of President Thein Sein in recent weeks, calling for the EU sanctions suspension and planning her first international trip in 24 years.

Thein Sein, who is currently on a visit to Japan, on Monday vowed that he would not backtrack on the country’s democratisation.

Read more….