Dear Readers:  It will be my pleasure to be a guest on Canto Talk this Tuesday, Nov. 17th.  Click HERE at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST or after for a podcast.

Our featured guest will be my niece, Julia Addington.


The subject will be a dark one: Human trafficking.  Julia is on her way to India for a mission to fight this particular plague.

In a six-bed women’s ward in New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital lies a frail 15-year-old girl. Her face and head are bandaged, leaving visible only a bruised blue-black eye and swollen lips. Burn marks and scabs extend down her neck to her whole body, and a disfigured ear clings on to her face like a piece of mangled flesh. A strange stench surrounds her. The nurse who comes to check on her explains the smell: A wound on the girl’s skull is rotting and has filled with maggots.

The girl tries to speak. In a muffled voice, she says: “My employer would beat me every day with a broom and a stool. Many times she would put a hot pan on my body and burn my skin. That’s how the skin on my skull started peeling out as she repeatedly burned the same spot.”

Somehow the horrific brutality inflicted on this teenager is not an isolated case. Thousands of girls are trafficked every year from remote villages to large cities and sold as domestic workers. Many are abused or sexually exploited.

Extreme poverty, lack of education and employment, and poor implementation of the government’s minimum wage system in rural India make girls more vulnerable to being trafficked. The 2013 Global Slavery Index, published by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation, an organization that works to end modern slavery, found that almost half of the 30 million “modern slaves” in the world are from India.

Julia will be working with a team from Harvest International Ministry:

Pastor Mark Tubbs, the HIM Mission Apostle and his wife Ann lead transformation trips to hot spots around the world. They lead teams with the primary purpose to raise people up and to get a glimpse of what we all can look like with total freedom! We also go with the purpose of increasing the leaders and churches in strategic areas where the fire of transformation is burning. HIM has growing influence in many nations and we will go to establish the church in specific cities and regions. Each team has leaders and individuals that sense God wants to release them, and often the breakthrough comes on these trips.

…In this trip, we will not only minister to many new pastors hungry for prophetic training, but we will also provide healing prayer for those rescued from human trafficking via the Himalayas. Along with Apostle Leanna Cinquanta, we will go to Lucknow and continue to bring key training to new church planters. As “inner healing” is very new to India, we will train workers and minister to those who have been saved from slavery. In addition, we will go out in strike teams to minister in villages.

Julia requests donations to help defray her costs for this mission. If you can help, there are some options.

* Click HERE for Pay Pal. When there is the option to make a note/designate gift [SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO SELLER] pls write India- Julia Addington.

* To send by check:

Make checks out to “Transformation of the Nations” with India- Julia Addington in the memo line (important!!!).

Mail to:

Transformation of the Nations
C/o Linda Solarek
3350 SW 108th Ave
Beaverton, OR 97005

Add to this discussion, Silvio and I will be doing a round-up of current events…which have been quite intense. It should be another great show.

Dear Readers: I am thrilled to be joining Silvio Canto Jr. for another Halloween special. So, please join us for another spook-tacular session this Thursday, Oct. 29th to discuss the history if the now ubiquitous Halloween costume with one of the country’s premier costume designers. (Click HERE at 7 pm PST/10 pm EST or after the show for a podcast).

Daisy Viktoria will be the featured guest. I had the privilege of meeting her at an ancient Egyptian themed event, during which she won the historical garb contest by universal acclaim. I then had her create one, for my “Goddess of Capitalism” collection:

Leslie as MUT #01

Daisy is one of the most remarkable artists it has been my fortune to meet:

Daisy Viktoria is an award winning fashion and costume designer. Daisy learned to sew at a young age and spent much of her childhood playing make believe and creating costumes for herself and her dolls. Daisy also grew up in a family of historical reenactors. She learned a lot of sewing techniques through fashion history, and she still plays in the SCA to this day! Daisy has also been a cosplayer and attended anime and fantasy conventions since she first heard about them in college.

Daisy has designed and created hundreds of corsets of all varieties, as well as hundreds of costumes and gowns ranging from modern Fantasy Couture to Historical. She specializes in corsetry and bridal gowns with a historically inspired fantasy touch.

Something that sets Daisy apart from other fashion designers is her college degree. Daisy has a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from UCLA. Her undergrad is also in ChemE with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Florida, where Daisy graduated Summa Cum Laude, the highest honors.

Daisy Viktoria has been featured in various print and online magazines, as well as blogs and social media. Her designs have graced the runways throughout Los Angeles and southern California, at fashion week events and fantasy conventions, and even Dragon*Con in Atlanta! These are some of the magazines where Daisy’s work has been featured: Gothic Beauty, Dark Beauty, FAE, Von Gutenberg, Linger, Vedere, Rebelicious, Petite Alternative, Like A Lion, Tinsel Tokyo, Avant Garde, Cloud Orchid, Raine, and Hardcore Gamer.

Daisy has an unparalleled ability to capture the Zeitgeist. For example, her Game of Thrones Collection:

It was even cited on the HBO Show Page!

She is a real Wonder Woman!

But let not the fantasy fool you: Daisy can nail historical garments with uncanny accuracy…like she lived during the epoch!

In fact, hoops and hoop skirts have been big this year!

Her work has been featured in Los Angles runway fashion shows:

If you are interested in seeing more, or even ordering for the increasing number of costume-oriented events that Americans are organizing, please see her website: daisyviktoria.com!

Of course, Silvio and I will be also mixing this up with chilling news updates! Happy Halloween!

As an occupational safety and environmental health professional, I have been following the news of the shooting deaths of Virginia reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward by Vester Lee Flanagan closely.

LI #14

Is there anyway that this tragedy could have been prevented, and are there lessons to be learned for other employers who can then better protect their staffs from senseless violence? As Flanagan was a former employee of Parker and Ward’s station, it seems appropriate to consider the possibility.

By definition, workplace violence includes:

  • Threatening behaviour – such as shaking fists, destroying property or throwing objects.
  • Verbal or written threats – any expression of an intent to inflict harm.
  • Harassment – any behaviour that demeans, embarrasses, humiliates, annoys, alarms or verbally abuses a person and that is known or would be expected to be unwelcome. This includes words, gestures, intimidation, bullying, or other inappropriate activities.
  • Verbal abuse – swearing, insults or condescending language.
  • Physical attacks – hitting, shoving, pushing or kicking.

Reports now indicate Flangan’s employment history included many of these incidents. He was self-described “powder keg,” fired from his job at WDBJ in Virgina because of “anger management issues.”A 23-page note was sent to ABC news that indicates Flanagan was inspired by the Charleston shootings:

This morning, a fax was in the machine (time stamped 8:26 a.m.) almost two hours after the shooting. A little after 10 a.m., he called again, and introduced himself as Bryce, but also said his legal name was Vester Lee Flanagan, and that he shot two people this morning. While on the phone, he said authorities are “after me,” and “all over the place.” He hung up. ABC News contacted the authorities immediately and provided them with the fax.

In the 23-page document faxed to ABC News, the writer says “MY NAME IS BRYCE WILLIAMS” and his legal name is Vester Lee Flanagan II. He writes what triggered today’s carnage was his reaction to the racism of the Charleston church shooting:

“Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15…”

“What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”

However, given the fact that Flanagan had been fired and escorted out by police (not a typical occurence for any firing), the question has to be asked is there anything the news station could have done to anticipate his attack?

For example, could monitoring of Flanagan’s social media account by the station’s Human Resource staff provided any warning? Should Parker, Ward, and other station employees have been informed of Flanagan’s history, so they could have been on the lookout for him and know what to do if he showed up during filming? Could past employers have been able to warn the Virginia station of any problems with Flanagan if rules preventing such information dissemination had not been in place?

As with many of the other senseless slaughters covered on Legal Insurrection (e.g., Charleston, Santa Barbara, Aurora, Sandy Hook), the failure to address metal illness effectively was a key component. Gun control is not the issues as much as “mental illness control”.

And while journalists such as Parker and Ward can potentially experience violence while covering a story, a feature piece on local anniversary is typically a high risk event. The UK Daily Mail offers some background on the two victims:

According to her bio at WDBJ7.com, Parker was the station’s morning reporter. A local girl, Parker had spent much of her life outside Martinsville, about an hour from where she was tragically gunned down Wednesday.

Prior to her time at WDBJ, Parker worked near the Marine base Camp Lejeune for the Jacksonville, North Carolina bureau of WCTI.

She graduated from James Madison University just three years ago. While there, she interned at the local ABC/Fox affiliate and was news editor for her university’s nationally recognized newspaper, The Breeze.

According to her station biography, she says she liked to whitewater kayak, play with her parents’ dog Jack and attend community theater events.

‘She was so enthusiastic and she was doing what she loved,’ Deon Guillory, a reporter who had Parker as an intern in college, told CNN. ‘She was living her dream.’

Photographer Ward was a Virginia Tech graduate who attended high school in Salem, less than an hour from the scene of his murder.

The two Virginia natives often worked together on WDBJ stories and started off at the station as interns.

In April, they traveled together to Appomattox for the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. In February, the station posted photos of the duo to Facebook as they dressed up as bride and groom at a local bridal store.

‘Adam was a delightful person. He worked hard – you could tell he loved what he was doing,’ Robert Denton, who taught Ward at Virginia Tech University, said.

I hope some serious lessons are learned in the wake of this tragedy, instead of the usual cries for more gun control.

Dear Readers: Silvio Canto, Jr. and I wanted to invite everyone to join us for the 3rd annual Valentine’s Day Show on Canto Talk (click HERE 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST for the live show or later for the archived podcast).

The featured topic will be famous Television and Movie couples. After all the chaos and tragedy, I thought we needed a break from heavy history. We are also inviting listeners to call in with their favorites: 646-478-4933.

My #1 Favorite TV Couple: Morticia and Gomez from “The Addams Family”.

Valentine's #02 Mortician and Gomez

The Addams Family started out as a cartoon:

The Addams Family is a group of fictional characters created by American cartoonist Charles Addams. The Addams Family characters include Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley, Pubert Addams, and Thing.

The Addams are a satirical inversion of the ideal American family; an eccentric, wealthy clan who delight in the macabre and are unaware, or do not care, that other people find them bizarre or frightening. They originally appeared as an unrelated group of 150 single panel cartoons, about half of which were originally published in The New Yorker between their debut in 1938 and Addams’s 1988 death. They have since been adapted to other media, including television series (both live and animated), films, video games and a musical.

The TV show ran 2 years. The tangos and mushy French-accented passion were hilarious to me as a pre-teen, when I watched the episodes in syndication.

The very wealthy, endlessly enthusiastic Gomez Addams (John Astin) is madly in love with his refined wife, Morticia (née Frump) (Carolyn Jones). Along with their daughter Wednesday (Lisa Loring), their son Pugsley (Ken Weatherwax), Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan), and Grandmama (Blossom Rock), they reside at 0001 Cemetery Lane in an ornate, gloomy, Second Empire-style mansion, attended by their servants: Lurch (Ted Cassidy), the towering butler, and Thing (billed as “itself”, but portrayed by Cassidy and occasionally by Jack Voglin), a disembodied hand that usually appears out of a small wooden box. Occasionally episodes would feature other relatives such as Cousin Itt (Felix Silla), Morticia’s older sister Ophelia (also portrayed by Carolyn Jones), or Grandma Frump, Morticia’s mother (Margaret Hamilton).

Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan) and Lurch (Ted Cassidy)

Much of the humor derives from their culture clash with the rest of the world. They invariably treat normal visitors with great warmth and courtesy, even though their guests often have evil intentions. They are puzzled by the horrified reactions to their own good-natured and normal behavior, since the family is under the impression that their tastes are shared by most of society. Accordingly, they view “conventional” tastes with generally tolerant suspicion. For example, Fester once cites a neighboring family’s meticulously maintained petunia patches as evidence that they are “nothing but riffraff”. A recurring theme in the epilogue of many episodes was the Addamses getting an update on the most-recent visitor to their home, either via mail, something in the newspaper, or a phone call. Invariably, as a result of their visit to the Addamses, the visitor would be institutionalized, change professions, move out of the country, or suffer some other negative life-changing event. The Addamses would always misinterpret the update and see it as good news for their most-recent visitor.

We will also be featuring a Celtic love ballad, explained by the supremely talented and luminous harpist, Joanna Mell.

For more information on hiring Joanna for an event, click HERE.

For samples of Joanna’s music, click HERE.

To buy Joanna’s albums, click HERE. (MUT NOte: Her Come Ye Back album is such a timeless classic, my son is trying to steal it from me!).

Dear Readers: I am thrilled to be chatting with Silvio Canto, Jr. this week on CANTO TALK. I will be on this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 (7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST). CLICK HERE FOR LIVE SHOW OR ARCHIVED PODCAST.

MUT #02 Joanna Mell

One of the guests on the show will be an exquisitely beautiful artist I have connected with via Facebook, who plays like an angel. Joanna Mell is a Celtic Harpist, who renditions of traditional tunes have had a healing effect on my soul as I cover the chaos that has become the current news cycle.

As I am a big fan of “The Dresden Files” book series about wizards, fairies, vampires, and other fantasy creatures, I wanted to feature this Carolan tune “Si Beg, Si Mor” (The Fairies of the Small Hill and the Big Hill).

In fact, what caught my attention on her business website was the “Therapeutic Harp” entry.

The harp has been used for centuries to produce soothing music which brings peace, rest and healing to the mind, body and spirit. The first mention of the therapeutic use of the harp occurs in the Old Testament in 1 Samuel 16:14-23, when a “skilled harper”, namely David, was brought to King Saul, who was in a restless and fearful state. After David played his harp for the king, Saul fell into a restful, healing sleep. There are many accounts of ancient Irish harpers being able to induce sleep, relaxation and healing of fevers and epileptic fits by playing certain types of music on the harp. Today, a small group of harpists are being trained to use the harp as a healing instrument in clinical settings such as hospice, hospitals, and nursing homes to induce relaxation and stress relief, normalization of heart and breathing rates, enhancement of oxygen absorption rates, normalization of blood pressure, and pain and anxiety abatement. In the case of the hospice client, therapeutic harp music has the ability to ease the transition through the dying process. Therapeutic harp music also has beneficial clinical applications in the chemotherapy process, easing nausea, anxiety and other undesirable side effects.

And, after following the disasters — both foreign and domestic — associated with our current crop of politicos and their policies, a dose of great music seems to be in order.

In fact, we will put it to the test — because Silvio and I will be chatting with military history expert par excellence, Barry Jacobsen, about the national security matter of the week. It’s too early to say what the latest problem will be…but the recent incident with Vice President Joe Biden might be a good bet.

For more information on hiring Joanna for an event, click HERE.

For samples of Joanna’s music, click HERE.

To buy Joanna’s albums, click HERE. (MUT NOte: Her Come Ye Back album is such a timeless classic, my son is trying to steal it from me!).

MUT #01 Joanna Mell

Dear Readers:

I have always felt that the best step many of my fellow citizen activists could take would be to get elected to local offices. So when I heard one of my favorite, savvy, and sassy conservative activist friends was running for her city’s town clerk, I just had to find out more.

Therefor, it will be my privilege to join Silvio Canto Jr. to interview New York’s Karen Beseth, who is running for Dewitt Town Clerk.

I will be asking her for campaign tips and tricks she has learned, to pass down to others who might be inspired to join her on their own political careers. And, of course, we will be comparing “Blue State Blues.”

Her Facebook page is HERE, for those who want to send a direct message of support. If you do nothing else, please LIKE her page. This is the type of tactic she has had ton handle:

It has come to my attention today that a member of the DeWitt Town Board used the town’s email to send town employees an invitation to Angela Epolito’s fundraiser. Ms. Epolito sent out an apology on behalf of the Supervisor, but not until after town government e-mail accounts were used for political purposes. I was also concerned that the Supervisor used the Town’s taxpayer funded fall newsletter to publicize his position on the referendum to turn the Town Clerk into an appointed position.

I am not just a candidate for Town Clerk, I am also a resident and taxpayer in DeWitt. Town resources should not be used for political gain. It is unethical. The people of DeWitt deserve better from our elected officials.

Click HERE at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST or afterward for the archived podcast. If there are specific questions you want me to ask, put them in the comments section.

Dear Readers: I am happy to report I will be able to delve into two areas of personal study on the next edition of Canto Talk Thursday: infectious diseases and history.  As military history expert Barry Jacobsen concludes his review of World War I history with a look at its aftermath, I will chime in on the event that took even more lives in 1918: The Spanish Flu Pandemic.

Click HERE Thursday, Sept. 25th at 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST or after for the podcast.

A great documentary on the subject: WE HEARD THE BELLS.

A synopsis:

Influenza Strikes

Throughout history, influenza viruses have mutated and caused pandemics or global epidemics. In 1890, an especially virulent influenza pandemic struck, killing many Americans. Those who survived that pandemic and lived to experience the 1918 pandemic tended to be less susceptible to the disease.

From Kansas to Europe and Back Again:

Where did the 1918 influenza come from? And why was it so lethal?

In 1918, the Public Health Service had just begun to require state and local health departments to provide them with reports about diseases in their communities. The problem? Influenza wasn’t a reportable disease.

But in early March of 1918, officials in Haskell County in Kansas sent a worrisome report to the Public Health Service. Although these officials knew that influenza was not a reportable disease, they wanted the federal government to know that “18 cases of influenza of a severe type” had been reported there.

By May, reports of severe influenza trickled in from Europe. Young soldiers, men in the prime of life, were becoming ill in large numbers. Most of these men recovered quickly but some developed a secondary pneumonia of “a most virulent and deadly type.”

Within two months, influenza had spread from the military to the civilian population in Europe. From there, the disease spread outward—to Asia, Africa, South America and, back again, to North America.

Wave After Wave:

In late August, the influenza virus probably mutated again and epidemics now erupted in three port cities: Freetown, Sierra Leone; Brest, France, and Boston, Massachusetts.

In Boston, dockworkers at Commonwealth Pier reported sick in massive numbers during the last week in August. Suffering from fevers as high as 105 degrees, these workers had severe muscle and joint pains. For most of these men, recovery quickly followed. But 5 to 10% of these patients developed severe and massive pneumonia. Death often followed.

Public health experts had little time to register their shock at the severity of this outbreak. Within days, the disease had spread outward to the city of Boston itself. By mid-September, the epidemic had spread even further with states as far away as California, North Dakota, Florida and Texas reporting severe epidemics.

The Unfolding of the Pandemic:

The pandemic of 1918-1919 occurred in three waves. The first wave had occurred when mild influenza erupted in the late spring and summer of 1918. The second wave occurred with an outbreak of severe influenza in the fall of 1918 and the final wave occurred in the spring of 1919.

In its wake, the pandemic would leave about twenty million dead across the world. In America alone, about 675,000 people in a population of 105 million would die from the disease.

Find out what happened in your state during the Pandemic

Mobilizing to Fight Influenza:

Although taken unaware by the pandemic, federal, state and local authorities quickly mobilized to fight the disease.

On September 27th, influenza became a reportable disease. However, influenza had become so widespread by that time that most states were unable to keep accurate records. Many simply failed to report to the Public Health Service during the pandemic, leaving epidemiologists to guess at the impact the disease may have had in different areas.

World War I had left many communities with a shortage of trained medical personnel. As influenza spread, local officials urgently requested the Public Health Service to send nurses and doctors. With less than 700 officers on duty, the Public Health Service was unable to meet most of these requests.

On the rare occasions when the PHS was able to send physicians and nurses,
they often became ill en route. Those who did reach their destination safely often found themselves both unprepared and unable to provide real assistance.

In October, Congress appropriated a million dollars for the Public Health Service. The money enabled the PHS to recruit and pay for additional doctors and nurses. The existing shortage of doctors and nurses, caused by the war, made it difficult for the PHS to locate and hire qualified practitioners. The virulence of the disease also meant that many nurses and doctors contracted influenza within days of being hired.

Confronted with a shortage of hospital beds, many local officials ordered that community centers and local schools be transformed into emergency hospitals. In some areas, the lack of doctors meant that nursing and medical students were drafted to staff these makeshift hospitals.

The Pandemic Hits:

Entire families became ill. In Philadelphia, a city especially hard hit, so many children were orphaned that the Bureau of Child Hygiene found itself overwhelmed and unable to care for them.

As the disease spread, schools and businesses emptied. Telegraph and telephone services collapsed as operators took to their beds. Garbage went uncollected as garbage men reported sick. The mail piled up as postal carriers failed to come to work.

State and local departments of health also suffered from high absentee rates. No one was left to record the pandemic’s spread and the Public Health Service’s requests for information went unanswered.

As the bodies accumulated, funeral parlors ran out of caskets and bodies went uncollected in morgues.

Protecting Yourself From Influenza:

In the absence of a sure cure, fighting influenza seemed an impossible task.

In many communities, quarantines were imposed to prevent the spread of the disease. Schools, theaters, saloons, pool halls and even churches were all closed. As the bodies mounted, even funerals were held out doors to protect mourners against the spread of the disease.

Public officials, who were unaware that influenza was a virus and that masks provided no real protection against viruses, often demanded that people wear gauze masks. Some cities even passed laws requiring people to wear masks. Enforcing these laws proved to be very difficult as many people resisted wearing masks.

Advertisements recommending drugs which could cure influenza filled newspapers. Some doctors suggested that drinking alcohol might prevent infection, causing a run on alcohol supplies. Some folk healers insisted that wearing a specific type of amulet or a small bag of camphor could protect against influenza.

States passed laws forbidding spitting, fearing that this common practice spread influenza.

None of these suggestions proved effective in limiting the spread of the pandemic.

Communications During the Pandemic:

Public health officials sought to stem the rising panic by censoring newspapers and issuing simple directives. Posters and cartoons were also printed, warning people of the dangers of influenza.

Although the Public Health Service was aware that much of the nation’s large immigrant population did not speak or read English, posters used English almost exclusively. But even native English speakers found the posters and directives confusing. And limited understanding of influenza, combined with the rapidity of its spread, meant that these directives were often ignored or poorly understood.

Fading of the Pandemic:

In November, two months after the pandemic had erupted, the Public Health Service began reporting that influenza cases were declining.

Communities slowly lifted their quarantines. Masks were discarded. Schools were re-opened and citizens flocked to celebrate the end of World War I.

Communities and the disease continued to be a threat throughout the spring of 1919.

By the time the pandemic had ended, in the summer of 1919, nearly 675,000 Americans were dead from influenza. Hundred of thousands more were orphaned and widowed.

And answering the question: Was the Spanish Flu Really Spanish???

Did the so-called “Spanish flu,” an epidemic that killed more than 50 million people worldwide between 1918 and 1919, really start in Spain? For almost a century Spaniards have either borne this mark of shame with resignation, wearily telling the world that it had to start somewhere, or have put the blame on neighboring France.

A new study by Spanish and US scientists points out that the pandemic was dubbed “Spanish Influenza” by the world because the press in Spain widely reported the outbreak in its early stages between May and June of 1918. Spain was not involved in World War I, and its media had no restrictions, while the main European nations and the United States, embroiled in the conflict, censored all news relating to the pandemic for fear of a decline in troop morale.


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