Sunday's Thoughts

I'm wondering, are we truly ready to live in peace and freedom? Can we exist with those who live differently than we do, who think and believe and eat and consume and do things differently than we do, without imposing our own will and ways on that individual? Can we embrace our individual needs and wants and still feel and be at peace?

I'm not so sure some days, although I have hope. There's a lot of discussion on the internet about living new ways, doing new things. And yet where is the thought that says "although that doesn't work for me, I accept that is how you wish to live". Lots of will-imposing going on.

I'd like to see more "live and let live". In so long as that living isn't harming another. And by "harm" I'm not talking about insults or annoyances that really aren't harmful.

I'm more interested in new ideas. In expanding our boundaries. In exploring past those things we have been told are "not possible" or "not ok".

I've been thinking about world conditions. Who hasn't? Been seeing how afraid and angry I have become. How apathetic, sad, depressed I have become. And yet, aren't the thoughts I hold the primary factor of these emotional and mental states? Feelings follow thoughts.

So I've been wondering, what sort of an influence am I having if, primarily, I am putting out into the world the emotional vibrational states of anger and fear?

Do I wish to see war end? Of course. So rather than thinking "I hate war" or "I am anti-war", instead I am working on thinking thoughts of peace. "I am pro-peace." "I imagine a world of peace."

Do I wish to see the corruption come crashing down? Hell yeah! So rather than thinking "I hate those corrupt SOB's running the System", instead I am focusing on thinking "People are honest and well-intentioned". I imagine a System run on honesty.

Rather than thinking "I hate poverty" or "I am anti-poverty", I am instead working on thinking such thoughts as "I am pro-abundance" or "The world is abundant".

In a sense, since I'm already aware of what's happening now, I'm instead focusing on what I want and believing in the possibility of that.

You get the picture.

Thoughts aren't the answer of course. Action is needed, too. But they are key in turning around this current emotional vibrational state we're in. And we as individuals have the power to do that. I see it as seeing the possibilities. Faith. Hope. Without these, why even continue to discuss the going's on?

I'm in search of an inexpensive turn table, one that is self-contained. Growing up, my parents had a big collection of albums. My brother recently made several of our favorite songs into a CD. What an amazing experience to listen to songs I hadn't heard in over 20 years. I remembered each one. Nice memories. I have my own collection of 38's and 45's that simply sit unused, including a nice inheritance of old jazz, big band, polka, c/w from the 30's through the 70's.

My employment was officially terminated this past week. What a nice feeling it is to know that some damn machine has replaced me. Technology has its drawbacks. For certain.

Milk has dropped by fifty cents. At least the brand we buy. I have asked two of the clerks about this and neither one was aware of the price drop. With everything else going up at ridiculously levels, it is nice to know, for now, the zero hormone milk we drink is under $3/gallon.

I'm thinking that instead of growing food outdoors, we grow it inside with lights and purified air. Move to a bigger place and use an entire room for food. Even with organic, healthy soil, the food is still vulnerable to air pollution. Along those lines, I cannot grasp the concept that it is ever ok to spray something we ingest with toxic chemicals. I also learned that when buying carrots, buy the ones that have had the green tops removed. The tops take away energy from the carrot. I'm a carrot freak, so that was important news for me.


How "Green" Is The Prius?

Turns out that green may be more of a brown; brown being the color left behind by environmental damage.

"...it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer."

If that isn't eye-brow raising enough, consider the following:

"...the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles. The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare. “The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with the Mail, a British-based newspaper. "

To make matters even more disconcerning:

"The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. "

That's quite a trip.

Environmentally friendly? Hardly. Corporate America, in cooperation with Uncle Sam no doubt, has once again fooled the public into thinking they're doing something "good" for the environment. Maybe we shouldn't be bashing those Hummer drivers afterall.


Vaccines: Friend or Foe?

This report backs up the opinion I've held for some time: They're unnecessary.

As The Journal of Pediatrics states:

“… the largest historical decrease in morbidity and mortality caused by infectious disease was experienced not with the modern antibiotic and vaccine era, but after the introduction of clean water and effective sewer systems.”

The Department of Community Medicine out of the UK published a report in The Lancet, claimed to be a "premiere medical journal", states:

There was a continuous decline [whooping cough deaths], equal in each sex, from 1937 onward. Vaccination, beginning on small scale in some places around 1948 and on a national scale in 1957, did not affect the rate of decline if it be assumed that one attack usually confers immunity, as in most major communicable diseases of childhood. … The steady decline of whooping cough between 1930 and 1957 is predictive of a linear exponential decay characteristic of a general and progressive lessening in the volume and spread of infection among the susceptible population. With this pattern well established before 1957, there is no evidence that vaccination played a major role in the decline in incidence and mortality in the trend of events.”

Not included in this report is something I have recently come upon. It's a quote by the Pediatrician Robert Mendelsohn:

"There has never been a single vaccine in this country (The United States) that has ever been submitted to a controlled scientific study...that means if you want to be kind you will call vaccines an unproven remedy. If you want to be accurate, you'll call people who give vaccines 'quacks'."

While I read the above in a book I'm reading, I also found this article written by Dr. Mendelsohn, which gives his further observations into not only the unnecessary use of vaccines, but to their dangers.

If you're still on the fence, consider the following ingredients which are found in the most common of childhood vaccines of Diptheria, Whooping Cough and Tetanus. You certainly wouldn't knowingly feed your child, let alone yourself, a food item that contained any of these agents.

1) sodium hydroxide (which is also found in bath, toilet and oven cleaners)
2) formaldehyde (apparently not just used by funeral homes)
3) hydrochloric acid
4) aluminum
5) thimerosal, which is made of a combination of ethylene glycol, ethanol, thiosalicyclic acid, sodium hydroxide and ethyl mercuric chloride.
6) phosphates (those substances found in laundry and dish detergents that are known to kill sea life)


Monday Musings On Health, The System and Those Who Are Different Than Us.

Went to the doctor today. I saw a pamphlet for a stress control system. The opening marketing headline? "Life can be brutal...Why suffer?"


"Life" can be brutal? "Life" is a benign, neutral source. I see such head-in-the-sand marketing slogans on all sorts of health-related products. Western-trained Medical Professional's often promote the detached "life is difficult" mantra. That way we don't have to really look deep within the heart to determine what the patient is really needing. That way we don't have to look within our own consciousness to determine and understand the insanity of a System that uses people for profit and very destructive thirsts for control.

Let's at least be honest.

"Life" isn't brutal. The People who have created our current profit-before-human worth and dignity is what's brutal. The People who have created our cartel-based global business scenario is what's brutal. And all of those well-meaning but still unawake people who work for and/or wholeheartedly support these very Systems are contributing to the continual brutality.

Today, my doctor, who is both Western and Eastern trained, while advising me some more alternative remedies, was still quick to push the pharmaceutical approach first and foremost (drugs which are addictive and toxic). Big Pharma would have been proud of my doctor. My mind-controlled doctor who has been told disease is to be managed. I put a quick stop to my doctor's thought process when I said I am here asking for your assistance to REVERSE. HEAL. CURE. Not just manage symptoms.

I know of so many people and read so many stories of folks who have this or that disease. Whose bodies are out of harmony. And oh so many are on some damn drug, created by Big Pharma whose one and only goal is profit and who count on us being sick, some damn drug promoted by the FDA who refuses to look into alternative therapies and instead only promotes the Big Pharma barrel of toxicity.

Even those who are educated in more alternative therapies still often fail to acknowledge the needs of their patients. Those needs that go beyond "can you please fix my boo boo". Those universal needs of Love. Compassion. Respect. Cherished and cared for.

I believe to the core of Who I Am and All That I Feel and All That I Simply Know that our bodies weren't designed to be ill. Our bodies are designed to be productive, to be healthy, to be in alignment and in harmony with our surroundings. But given our surroundings are oh so out of harmony with our bodies, with our needs, due to the pollutants in our food, water, air, soil, with noise pollution, with our inability to be at peace with those who are different than we are, with the mind-control/brain washing we receive about who we are SUPPOSED to be from the church, schools, media, family, friends....these folks who are only continuing the cycle because THEY were subjected to the same lies....it's an endless cycle of abuse we heap upon one another and ourselves. And yet it's a cycle that can be stopped. Now. If only we would choose to do so.

Breathe. Be with who you are. Get to know yourself. Get to know what you need.

Accept those who don't think as you do. Who look different. Who go to a different church. Who belong to a different political party. Who have different sexual habits. Different eating habits. Who drive different vehicles. Who live in bigger or smaller houses than you do.

True freedom is the right to do whatever one wishes as long as we aren't imposing our will upon another. (An example of this is the family member of mine who tried for close to two years to convert me. Against my will. I finally said they had a choice--a relationship with me or to push their religious agenda on me. Thankfully love was chosen for the conversion attempts ended.)

True peace means we can be in the same space with someone who is utterly different than we are on all of the earthly levels and still be at peace with ourselves and with the other individual. (An example of this is a conversation I had with someone who is of a different political party than I am and who voted for our current president. I could have pushed the conversation until a heated exchange resulted, but instead I decided to just sit with the knowledge of our political differences. I focused instead on peace. On their worth. Their beauty. Our common connection. If all else fails, choose to eat ice cream together. Or even give an unsolicited hug. And mean it. "I disagree with you, but I still honor you and your belief nonetheless." Imagine the result of a movement like that!)

No, life is not brutal. We make it so. And we can break the cycle. Together. One person at a time.


A Different Way

Responding to a comment left on my previous post, I was inspired to think about the idea of a world without money. A system where money wasn't necessary.

Kinda like the hobbits. Everyone just helps out one another. The community grows its own food. Life revolves around maintaining the garden, the home, communing with one another, communing with nature, eating, relaxing, celebrating. It's a life filled with activity, but gone are the days of rugged individualism, of "working for the man".

A self-contained community driven by bartering. Solar-powered homes for energy. Well water for drinking/bathing. Bikes and Electric scooters for transport. Take some of that old-world living and add in today's technology. Endless possibilities--if you believe anything is possible. Which it is.

I would not dare insist this to be the one and only way for all. But it is indeed a way of life I would oh so very much like to create with others. At least give it a try.


Doing Something Different For A Change...

I wrote up a long post yesterday, airing my grievances at this and that. Something in me said "wait" before I hit the pause button, and yet rather than listen to that voice, I listened to the "fuck it, post it" voice. I can't help but think of those Looney Tunes Cartoons that had the little devil and angel on opposing sides of the animal's head. "Be good." "No. Be baaaad." Or in my case, spread Love or spread fear.

I ended up choosing Love and a little while later, deleted the post.

I go through these cycles where I discipline myself to think new thoughts. It's really the purest form of Self Empowerment I know. No one but me, controlling how I think and thus how I feel. I'm starting to understand that this is the best tool we each have in resisting the ever-growing Police State, that is if you look at this situation from a perspective of Energy and how all matter is simply focused Energy. An empowered citizen is oh so much more difficult to control than a frightened citizen. Everything is at a vibrational state. I used to think that was bunk until I began to (quite accidentally actually) zone out on the towels in my bathroom. My eyes and mind relaxed, not intentionally focusing on anything, I began to see the towel in these waves. Since that time, I've seen/experienced this in other "solid" objects such as pictures, walls and blankets. 20 years ago or so someone said something that has stuck in my mind ever since. He was looking at a coffee table and saying if he really believed, if he really knew and focused, he could literally put his hand through the table.

My first lesson in Physics. At least maybe the most important one.

Thoughts are energy. Really think about that. Those thoughts we think, they vibrate within and outside of us. They can cause disease and disharmony within and without. And I know the more I focus on the ugly and dismal, the more this shows up in my reality. I've known this for some time, but I still backslide and get lost in the, well, ugly and dismal. A lot of times this happens when I read news stories online. I want to stay informed, and yet, what purpose does it serve me or the world if by becoming informed, I lower my vibrations because I sink into states of fear, anger, apathy? Maybe rather than mindlessly reading these stories, I can use them as information to remind myself how important it is to remain focused on thoughts that create love instead of thoughts that create fear. Thoughts that empower instead of disempower. Call 'em Love waves and fear waves.

It is easy to slide back into that familiar groove. It's challenging to get out of it. But it's all habit--something that changes with repetition. And thankfully, when I allow myself to slide back into that groove, I don't stay as long as I once did. Actually, I have myself to thank for that and those who I attract into my life to remind me of what I already know.

So, rather than post something dismal, I thought I'd post something that came in my e-mail box today. Not to stick my head in the sand, as that's not my intention. Just doing something different today for a change. It's something I've been subscribed to for a few years. "Notes From The Universe". Or call it "Notes From Your Eternal Self." Same thing, IMO. In a nutshell, it reaffirms something we all already know--deep within. Maybe buried for some, but hopefully, it is becoming more known to us all. (The bolding is my doing.)

Help me with the lingo here. Are people just kidding when they refer to the "holy land," "holy words," and "holy people," as if they were somewhere else?

Or do they understand that there's no land holier than that beneath them? That no words are mightier than those they choose? And that no one, ever, has been more divine and revered and deserving of their heart's desires, than they now are?

I do declare,
The Universe


Minimum Wage

This increase in Minimum Wage over the past 5 years or so hasn't done a damn thing to increase those wages slightly above the minimum. I still see the same damn employers advertising for the same damn positions at the same damn wages. Year after year.

And that's a problem.

And as usual, I have some answers.

Do away with the minimum wage altogether and establish a living wage in which the government will determine what the Cost of Living is for a particular city or town and as such, set a living wage that will cover these costs. The more people in the household, the more that wage increases.

Establish something like that and/or else make the first $30,000 in income tax-free, both state and federal. Return to the days where the elite and the big corporations pay their god damn fair share.

Of course these ideas don't address the increases in housing and insurance. I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't support some sort of regulation on the housing market, but then again I may be wrong. For it would be enlightening to see people stop looking at "what the market dictates" and instead focus on what their heart dictates. As an example, we met someone who rented a place from an elderly woman here in town. A house. A nice one. 3 bedroom. All for only $600/month. This woman could obviously charge almost double that, but instead, she isn't into the greed mentality. She isn't out to take advantage of people.

A rarity in today's competitive world. And a breath of fresh air.

Stewpid Shit and Mindless Ramblings

In my e-mail box this morning is advice on taking certain supplements to combat fatigue. I'm taking 4 of the 5. Does this mean I'm destined to battle this fatigue and mental fog for good? Or at least until the fucking insane crooks running the establishment stop poisoning our water, our food, stop pumping out all of these excessive microwave and EMF fields, stop the chem. spraying, stop running the system on profit only, etc. etc

The faces of McCain, Obama and Clinton blare at me as I get online. I want to see this? I am blind enough to actually think a new president is gonna change things? Don't think so.

Another day facing the realities of the job market. Another day knowing I'm under-skilled and too old to compete with a 20 year old. I'm up against a younger generation who has a lot more skills than I do. That and no facial lines.

As I type I can only think "I didn't sign up for any of this".

Why is it toenails and fingernails are benign when attached, but once you trim them, they suddenly become gross and untouchable?

Same thing goes for hair.

Got family stopping by for Easter. I don't celebrate the holiday. Family knows that. But they still insist on assuming I'm doing something special. If by special they mean preaching to the world about the lies associated with the biblical Jesus and the entire religious scam, then sure, I'm doing something special. Maybe I'll paint a few easter eggs, put the faces of those who have lied to us all on them and throw 'em at the fence. It shall be known as the Real Resurrection.

My smart-ass quality isn't making my life any better, so I'll close up for now.


Banking Scam

I used to be under the illusion (or the lie as fed to us by the System) that when I took out a loan from a bank, the money was already in the possession of the bank. At the very least, the money had to be made, right? It had to come from somewhere in order to cover what I was borrowing. I was once also under the illusion that when I deposited cash, it stayed put, just as I was once under the illusion that when I deposited a check, those numbers become converted to coins and bills, all of which the bank would have on hand.

Of course I know today that none of this is true. You ask for a loan and no new monetary note is printed, no new coin is minted. You deposit a check, it remains as that. Numbers on paper, which thus get translated into numbers on a computer.

I'm reading a book and in it, I read that for every $1,000 that is put into a bank, approximately $10,000, or 10 times that amount is handed out in loans to consumers.

It was interesting to learn that this entire idea started back during the days when the currency was precious metals. Owners would store their gold and silver and other precious metals at goldsmiths, for safe keeping, who would then give receipts in the form of paper notes to these customers. This was in the days prior to interest, interest being generated or charged. The goldsmiths noticed a trend. The majority of the people kept most of their precious metals on site and when they withdrew some of that currency, it was usually only a small amount, withdrawn to pay off a debt. The goldsmiths then had the idea to start issuing notes to those who didn't have gold and silver and other metals, and they charged interest in doing so. Interest for the lending of other people's wealth.

That, in a nutshell, is what banking is.

When you take out that mortgage or car loan, where does that money come from? Does the bank actually make more money to cover the loan? Most of the money in circulation today isn't tangible. It is merely numbers on paper that is passed from one computer account to another through debit and credit card transactions, checks, money transfers.

And think about this one. For that essentially "non-existant money" you have borrowed, if you are somehow unable to repay this "fictional" money, the bank can then collect from you--in terms of REAL wealth. Car, house and other tangible assets.

It's brilliant, actually. Sick and twisted, but brilliant.

Ever think about how you are only allowed to withdraw a certain amount of money each day? The banks are limiting and thus controlling your money and what you can do with it. It's our money, right? We therefore should have the right to move it as we deem fit, withdraw whatever amount we deem fit. The banks have set up a system whereby they own the money, whether it exists or not. They control what happens to it. Do you think if the majority of a bank's customers decided to close their funds on one particular day the bank would have that kind of liquid cash on hand? Hell no!

Have you ever asked yourself, when hearing an economist speak about how the market is cyclical, just how in the world does this happen by itself? If banks are moving the "money", doesn't this mean that someone is controlling things? If stocks and bonds are bought and sold, doesn't this mean others are controlling the market? It always struck me as odd, even before I began to wake up to this entire scheme, to hear some finance guy talk about some illusive financial market that essentially runs itself.

Typically, during economic booms, people and businesses go into debt. Consumers borrow and spend more. Businesses spend and borrow more. More jobs are created. Then banks raise the interest rates to slow down that credit/loan demand. With fewer loans being taken out, this slows down this production of available "money". That then leads to slower business and job trends. Suddenly, people and business lack the ability to pay back that debt. In time, bankruptcy becomes a reality for many and the banks then take back that "money" by taking the real wealth. Again, homes, land, cars, etc.

All of this over numbers on some computer screen.

He who controls the food controls the people.

He who controls the money controls the world.

Artist Promotion

Mr. N has a customer whose son is marketing his first demo CD. The young man's name is Derek Cate. The father brought Mr. N a copy of his son's demo cd, who brought it home. I popped it into the cd player and listened. He has a really good voice. Kinda raspy in a heart-felt way. The style is light, acoustic, country with a bit of pop. I don't really want to critique the music simply because everyone has their own preference and what is music and beauty to one is noise and nothingness to another. That being said, I liked what I heard. It was easy on my ears and heart. It's the kind of music that makes me think about the people in my life, of lost loves, of possibilities and dreams broken and realized.

Support the independent artist. This one's local, too. His name is Derek Cate. Check out his CD on his myspace page. And while you're at it, we have another local, independent artist, Dan Crall, promoting his CD as well. Check out his blog here FMI. His material is unique and unlike anything you will hear on a compilation CD. The sounds of life is how I would describe it.

Ant Invasion

Ants are, I admit, very cute when they are portrayed in some Pixar movie. However, they lose all appeal when you find them invading your food.

I originally noticed this problem weeks ago in the bathroom. A rather odd place I thought, until I realized they were after the sweet smells of toothpaste, mouth wash and cologne. I ignored it for a few days, hoping they would go away on their own. When it became apparent they were here to stay, I investigated natural ways to discourage their presense. I read about using baby powder, pepper, cinnamon, vinegar. Those little ant houses, I read, were not nearly as effective as these natural deterents. So I tried them all, those "natural" remedies. And guess what? The little guys kept paying their daily visits nonetheless.

Realizing I was going to have to resort to one of those "chemical" remedies, I begrudingly headed off to the store in search of those ant houses. I wasn't the only one either. Another customer, a young man who resided in one of the local frat houses, was also in search of the ant houses. It was quite an adventure trying to locate them. We were told to go to one aisle. No houses. Just the chemical sprays, which we both said we did not want to use. So I went in search of another clerk and was told to go to a different section. So, I went back to my fellow ant-eliminator friend and said to follow me. We were greeted by a clerk who, helping us find what we were after, told us toothpaste was a good deterent. Uh, no it isn't, I said. I found them all over my husband's toothpaste.

"Well, vinegar is good," she said.

"Nope. I did that daily and they still came back."

So, we each pick up our ant houses, the young man practically clearing out the shelf. I'm quite confident that ant house stock went up in the days following. I head home, place them on the bathroom counter. And wait.

Within two days, they were all but gone. Within a week, no more ants were visible in the bathroom.

Thinking we had conquered the problem, I forgot about it for a couple of weeks. Over the weekend though, I was shocked, appalled, disgusted to open up a cupboard in our kitchen to discover them all over our food items. They hadn't died off. They had simply found a new place to visit.

So what was supposed to be a quiet, relaxing, lazy day turned into an afternoon of clearing out food cabinets, cleaning shelves and putting food into tupperware and zip lock enclosed containers. Laying out a few ant houses for good measure, I figured we did all we could do at this point, aside from calling an exterminator. Our landlord would have to pay for it and he always goes for the cheapest and has no regard for the environment, at least at this particular property. When we had a flea issue outside, I wanted a natural product used and had found an exterminator that used environmentally friendly/green products, but instead mr. tightwad went with someone else, who used nasty toxic chemicals.

Maybe the conversation I had with one of the little visitors today will be effective. I told him/her they were welcome to live under our house, but the colony had to stay put and seek their food from other sources besides our home. We could live together in harmony, I said, and that means we stay out of your way and you stay out of ours. He seemed to hear me. He stopped crawling and stayed put as I spoke.

Although maybe he was just helping himself to that crumb of banana bread that found its way to the countertop.


Hey Chris Matthews et. al: "Shut The Hell Up!"

While making breakfast this morning, Mr. N had the television on. Chris Matthews and gang were (attempting) to engage in some political dialogue. The topic of discussion? Male sexuality, compliments of ousted NY Governer Spitzer (which is ridiculous, especially considering there's speculation as to whether this is the real reason he was ousted--something I was suspicious of from the start). Why do men cheat, they wanted to know. Chris had his input. The women surrounding him had their input. Words of "testosterone" and "power" and "control" were running rampant. After a few minutes I finally screamed "ENOUGH!!!" This is news?? Enough of the tabloid crap. So two consenting adults had sex. Big flipping deal. Ok, so one was married. Again, SO WHAT. At least it's no big deal to the rest of us. Some big wig political figure has sex with someone other than his wife, other than her husband. Who cares?

Wanna talk about people doing "bad things" sexually? Let's talk about the children who are kidnapped and sold into mind-control slavery and sexual bondage by these political and business criminals. (Anyone else ever wonder why millions of children go "missing" every year, the numbers growing?)

Instead of filling up air time with such ridiculous fluff, let's talk about our dying Republic. Let's talk about this recession bordering on depression economic situation. Let's talk about our corrupt Federal Reserve. Manipulated markets. Let's talk about this ridiculous attempt to revitalize the greenback by making more of it. Let's talk about the criminals in the world of politics and business. Let's talk about how our land and people are being raped, abused and sold to the highest bidder all for profit.

I know I'm beating the proverbial "dead horse" here, but good lord, are people really listening to this stuff?? Are people really wanting to know the details of some adult's sexual affair? If so, PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR TELEVISION!

Don't watch these folks. It only encourages them.

Even though I had not made my appearance in this realm during his on-air "reign", I sure long for the days of someone like Edward R. Murrow. I long to see a journalist, a real journalistic, really speak to you and I through the television airwaves. I long to see a journalist take a news story and pick it apart, anaylze it, ask the tough questions, offer up an analysis. They exist in independent, small markets to some degree, but we all know they're nowhere to be found on mainstream television.

Oh sure, some news stories are privy to "journalistic" commentary. Why, just last night, I heard one of our local Eugene "journalists" give commentary on two baby goats who were named after the Blue Angels. Brilliant commentary, too. "They're so cute!"

Wow. Blow my mind. Bravo!

Of course I realize these pseudo-journalists are heavily monitored (censored) in what they can and cannot say. If someone broke out into a dialogue along the lines of Murrow, you can bet a commercial would appear immediately on your screen and that brave individual would likely be fired. However, maybe that's what we need. Journalists with some spine. Courage.

It brings out the urge to strike out with others and create our own news hour through public television. Casual style. A return to the days of Murrow. In-depth analysis and commentary. No fluff. Strictly News. News and analysis you won't hear on those other stations.

Give me a camera and some recording equipment. I'm ready to roll!


Continued Conversation With Blue Cross

At a little past 8am this morning, Blue Cross gave me a jingle. Mr. and I were still slumbering peacefully. I rolled out of bed, moving like a slug, mumbling about early morning people. Perhaps it was because I was still half awake. Perhaps it was the dreams I had throughout the night where I was resisting the filth and dogma of the System(s). Perhaps it was due to my conversation with these folks yesterday. Something in me snapped. And I let myself speak without thinking. Well no, that's not quite true. I let myself speak without censorsing my words.

Blue Cross thief was calling about my claim information I faxed yesterday. They wanted to know the FDA code on my supplement given the receipt I sent them didn't have it so they had nothing to code it to. The FDA does not endorse this product. Says so right on the bottle. And I knew full well the FDA would not put a code on something they haven't investigated nor approved, meaning on something they don't have their grubby hands in. So I made up a code. I gave 'em the expiration date.

"Are you sure you've given me the right code?"


"Are you absolutely sure? I put it in the system and it comes back unknown."

"Check again."

"I am and hmmm, are you sure you didn't read me the expire numbers?"

"Oh, silly me, yes I must have."

"I'm sorry but we cannot approve something that does not have the FDA code on it."

"You guys are something else, you know that?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"You health insurance companies. You're in bed with anyone who will give you cash, including the FDA."

I was shocked to hear, "I can't argue with that."

"Good, then you will probably agree with me when I say you're a bunch of criminals. Every one of you who work for the health insurance industry. You deny folks coverage because of pre-existing health conditions. You deny claims to pad your profits. You charge outrageous premiums. You have accountants and money crunchers making decisions doctors should. Thousands of people die each year because of your way of doing business and that makes you all criminals. You all should be in a jail cell right now."

"Well, yes we should make it easier for folks to get coverage."

"No, you should be eliminated and something else put in place so that coverage is a RIGHT and DOABLE for every person regardless of their income or health status."

"You know, I really do care about our customers..."

"You do not. If you did, you'd find a way to pay for this claim. You would be fighting to bring down the criminal system you're a part of. Are you doing that? Are you fighting to stop this profit before human need and dignity? Are you demanding your higher ups stop their obsessive addictive need for money? Are you demanding your co-workers who give doctors bonuses for denying treatment to stop? Are you?"

"Uhhhh, well, we are trying to make some changes. Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Yes, you can remember every word I've said. Quit your job and work to end the system of private for-profit health insurance. You know a lot for you've seen a lot."

"Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Yes, but I'm not wasting any more of my time. Good bye." Click.


Fighting For What You Believe In

After reading a movie review on piglipstick's blog on Sir! No Sir!, I decided to rent it. I was just a wee little toddler during the first years of the Vietnam War. My parents were supporters of Nixon. As I grew older, I don't recall any discussion at home about this period in history. In school, the subject was touched on briefly and (likely) was tarnished propaganda in many ways. As such, over the years I've wanted to learn more. I've learned some things on my own, but I wanted to know more about the Resistance movement, in particular from the soldiers and vets themselves.

This movie/documentary did not disappoint me. It's a very very moving piece. It makes you cheer and cry at the same time. I had no clue as to the number of underground newspapers, created and written by the soldiers themselves, at times on military bases. I was unaware as to the number of prison sentences given to those brave men and women who said "I will not participate in this illegal war."

It got me to thinking about present time. Where is this resistance today from our military personnel? God knows thousands of them have written to Michael Moore alone, not only questioning the reasons why they were sent to Iraq, thousands have said they want out. They don't want to return. So many coming back fucked up emotionally, mentally and physically. And yet, I ask, where is that organized resistance movement this time around?

I can only think that soldier's lives are in much more danger today than they were during the 1960's and 70's. Flee to Canada? Forget it. The corruption is deeper, stronger, more widespread. Human life has become a commodity in its truest form. Freedom marchers risk imprisonment, bodily harm and death at a far greater scope today than at any time in our known history. Need I use the word "taser", too?

Also missing is the culture and music of the time. Where is the music calling for peace and love? (I have a TON if any singers and bands are in need of material!) Today we have a glut of angry, violent lyrics that don't come to some conclusion of peace or healing. Get even now. That brain-damaging thumping bass seems to have left too many of this younger generation more interested in loud noise than they do in any sort of purpose. Pleasure now is the theme of the day. Meaning seems to be lost and with it, justice. Fairness. Truth. Hooked on video games, cell phones and caffeine, our younger generation has been damaged by unhealthy living, parents who are over-worked and underpaid, not to mention the growing disease that is today's public school educational environment. Corporate Culture. Buy now pay later. Mass consumerism. Pleasure now, consequences later. Slave wages, slave labor. Lamestream media and its slew of people disguised as journalists.

All have contributed to the sense of apathy and lack of awareness.

Such a massive puzzle of dysfunction and corruption. Sometimes thinking about changing just one piece simply doesn't seem nearly enough.

"The times, they are a'changin'..." sang Dylan back when. I wonder what that song means to him today.

Adventures At Costco

So Mr. and I headed out to Costco yesterday afternoon. I have calculated that buying certain items are saving us a few dollars, so at this point, making the trip out every couple of months is worth it. However, if/when gas goes up over the $4 point, that savings will disappear and as such, so will our membership.

We were also in search of a new television. The picture is slowly fading in our old one, so we've been looking around for a bargain. We found one yesterday. It has all sorts of abilities that I can't even begin to understand. I just want to point the remote, turn it on, watch a movie or two then turn it off. I don't need any of the other cool technical extras. As such, this whole experience left me anything but impressed, until I saw the picture quality. Wow. Crisp. Clear.

Too bad the young sales clerk didn't have the same qualities. At least his eyes and brain. The kid was as high as a kite. Eyes all bloodshot. That goofy smile on his face. Plus the fact that he kept looking at my boobs with that smile and eyeing me like a piece of chocolate cake he wanted to devour. All in front of Mr. N, who moved in close to me and put out the "she is MINE" energy. 20 years ago I would've slapped him. Today, I smile and think "yeah, I'm old enough to be your mama. I could hurt you, boy."

So we load up the tv and our million roles of toilet paper and tissue boxes and head on home. I go to work on trying to find room for this mass of paper products while Mr. N gets to work on setting up the new tv. It's amazingly light. Scary as well. All that plastic. As I told Mr. N "this thing better last at least 10 years!"

So we set up the tv, program it, then hook up our DVD player. Or try to. Upon turning it on, we kept getting a split screen on the tv. After trying to figure it out ourselves, we decided to call Costco Tech Support.

Oh god, what an experience. As with so many times with these "free" tech support lines, their training came out of a cracker jack box. The young girl told us to do all sorts of things, short of standing on our heads and scratching our bellies. Which actually would have been just as effective.

After 15 minutes, she called the tech support line of the manufacturing company who made the tv. A young man with a baby crying in the background spoke to us. Tried to help us.

He had us do the same things the young girl had us try.

After another 15 minutes, after Mr. N asked just what this young man was actually trained in and was there anyone else with more technical expertise available, to which we were told "not at this hour", and after being told "It must be the tv. Take it back," we hung up.

Mr. N had a bit of a fit before heading off to take a shower and deal with it "later". Take back the tv? Are they gonna pay for my gas? Where's that technical support when you really need it? he kept asking outloud.

Turns out it was right here, with yours truly. I figured it out.

On a hunch, I looked at the DVD player. I had dusted it off with an electro-static rag. Something told me I may have moved a switch and that was what had caused the problem. Looking on the back panel, I noticed a switch that could be placed on 3 different settings. So I moved it, turned on the tv and wala, we had a working system. And I had a very happy spouse.

After all of that, Mr. N is the only one who is still feeling any real excitement over this new purchase. I feel gluttonous. I think I've fed into the system in a way I would rather not. I'm the type to keep something until it expires. At least that's the person I'm becoming. We're still keeping the old tv, but I still can't help but think we've been manipulated and had by some big corporation. But I guess we all feed into that corporate system. Anyway, it's making me think more about making "buying local" doable, sustainable and affordable for all.

Who knew a tv could make one think in such a way?

Ineptness of Blue Cross Blue Shield

This criminal cow-dung corporation has their own definition of efficiency. Look it up in the Health Insurance Dictionary and you will find the following: "ef fi' ciency, n. To pay late. To ignore claims. To lose claims."

I submitted a claim two months ago. I called last month and was told there was nothing on file and to give it another week. So I called at the end of the month and was told it was in processing. I called again the first week of this month and was told it was still in processing. I called again this week and was told there was no record of any such claim, nor was there any record of me calling about it.

Nice try, folks. Look again.

I was transferred to someone else. Same response. I was even able to provide dates and the names of people I spoke with. Nope. No record. So I had to re-fax the information all over again. Before I hung up, I was informed the claim would likely be denied. I already knew that, but I played along anyway and asked why.

"It's a natural supplement, that's why."

"I know," I said.

"You can get them over the counter," said genius insurance employee.

"Not these. These only can be prescribed through a medical professional," sayeth I.

"But still, they are natural supplements. Not actual medications."

"No, the prescription isn't for one of those toxic, addictive pharmaceutical drugs. It is a natural supplement, the kind that actually work, the kind that, for most, have no side effects, the most being some mild stomach upset. And it is not something created, manipulated or controlled by Big Pharmaceuticals, who are in bed with you."

A beautiful silence followed, to which I said I'd re-fax the information and would appreciate the expense being covered.

I knew submitting this claim to such a criminal enterprise was not going to generate a positive result, but I figured it was worth a shot. And I can always appeal. And appeal. And appeal. I'm out of work and I have all the time in the world to dedicate to this cause. If anything, I'll become a pain in the ass. So much so that they may need to take some supplements for awhile. I wonder if they would have to pay for those out-of-pocket...


More Radiation Concerns Over Cell Phone Use

France says no more than six minutes of usage for children. Makes me wonder about the vast number of college students I see here in town who are glued to their phones.

Frankly, I say we get rid of the cell phones altogether. We don't need them. They're simply a convenience. They give off harmful radiation, create EMF fields that negatively impact us all. They require those god-awful cell phone towers emitting all sorts of wonderful, environmentally and human "friendly" fields, plus they have created a huge crop of addicts, whose social behaviors are nothing short of deplorably rude. Then there's the person who comes to your home to visit and spends more of their time monitoring and talking on their cell phone than they do in talking with you. At one point we had a "cell phone free zone--please turn it off before entering" sign on our front door. And need I mention the talk-and-drive crowd who endanger us all?

Brazilian Protestors Destroy GM Crops

This is one way to get rid of those damn GM crops. Send in a mob of angry women. Mama does say, afterall, to eat your vegetables. She never did say eat your genetically modified veggies.


Spin The Big Wheel For Health Insurance!

I'm sure most of you have heard by now that the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) is holding a lottery. Lucky registrants, when selected, get to apply. Enrollment has been closed since 2004.

Federal Poverty Guidelines are up this year, too, which means more people are eligible. However, don't get those hopes up too much. Federal Poverty Guidelines are pathetically low. For example, for a family of 2, your monthly income, before taxes, can be no more than $1167.00 in order to qualify. With one bedroom apartments running between $500-$600/month, skyrocketing fuel and food costs, I would add the term "Extreme" between Federal and Poverty.

Mr. Nina and I are one of the millions who make "too much money" to qualify. However, we are also unable to afford a private plan. We had to cancel our policy this month. The premium's have become too expensive.

For the 2008 Poverty Guidelines, check out this link.

Corvallis and Albany Job Facts

Visited with a local agency today, seeking job search assistance. Found out some facts that will likely discourage but perhaps validate today's job seeker.

Health Care is the fastest growing field.

40% of employers require bilingual skills. (I'll let you guess the two languages.)

There is a glut of applicants seeking clerical and office jobs. Unless you're highly skilled in numerous computer applications, you may want to rethink about applying for these jobs.

If you have a high school diploma, you should be making $500/week. College degree? $960/week. (I can hear the laughter as I type.)

Construction jobs are difficult to fill. (While I'm not desiring to dig ditches, I was told not to rule it out.)

Trying to get me to rethink my goals, I was told the field I'm interested in studying and going into has a glut of employees in the area. Most of them volunteer.

Well, that's where I differ, I said. I plan on charging people.

Somehow that attempt at humor went unnoticed.

Oil Reaches $108 A Barrel

Get those bike tired pumped up. Watch food prices increase again. And look for another cut in the prime. Anybody but me see oil and food rationing in the future?

Meanwhile, in the land of eliticism, things are swell. Simply peachy, dahling.

The Pacific Ocean's Dead Zone

Straight from the mouth of a commercial fisherman. He spent the weekend fishing off the coast of Oregon, covering the surface and the bottom depths. He went 47 miles out and came home with nothing. Nothing, that is, other than dead fish, crab, shrimp. Visibly upset, he said he had never seen anything like it. In all his years of fishing, he had never returned empty-handed. "How am I going to support my family?" he asked. "I have no idea what to do."

The dead zone is said to expand 100 miles, north and south. Going 47 miles out, that's a span of 4700 square miles. The thought of that is deeply frightening and painful and was so distressing to me, it brought tears to my eyes. Who are we without our oceans? Our oceans reflect the health of the rest of our natural environment. Do the System Creators and Supporters somehow think we can survive without our Oceans?

I'm going to contact Gesler and DeFazio and ask what is being done at the state and federal level to reverse this situation. To deal with it. Clean it up. Not investigate or create some damn panel to look into the matter. The proof is already there. We've been polluting the hell out of our waterways for decades and thanks to Bush and Co., they're dirtier than ever.

I'm sure most of you have heard about the problem of medications showing up in our drinking water. People dumping their leftover medications down the toilet or sink. Bad idea. Use them up or throw them out in the garbage. Or better yet, look into more natural remedies of dealing with your health issues. It greatly disturbs me to know that I may have been drinking someone elses risidual anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, statin or "sexual enhancement" drug.

Life in the 21st Century. We pollute without thought. We pop a pill to cure our ails. Our Oceans, our waterways...our natural environment is screaming out at us to change our ways. And if we look deep within our own selves, really look deep within, we will hear our own intuition speaking the same language.


Some Cool Lyrics

Written by yours truly over the years. This means they're mine. You cannot post them elsewhere or use them without my permission. (Gotta add that cause I've seen a couple of my blogs posted at other websites, with no mention of ownership. Blog posts, I'm not that picky about. My lyrics though, altogether different story. ) Enjoy!

Do I appear invisible to you.
Do you even care that I exist you.
I'm really not so different from you.
You know it's true.
Just look in the mirror.
And you will see
me staring back
at you
through the same eyes.

(from the piece "Invisible", 2001)

Happiness isn't something you search for
but rather found in everyday moments.
Don't let life pass you by
without knowing this.

(from "Life", 2002)

Is a crime.
You're a terrorist.
If you step outta line.
Put your faith in us.
So we can think for you.

(from "Wake Up", 2004)

I place my sword
on the ground.
The desire to fight
is gone.
I just want the earth to catch me
when I fall.

(from "Surrender", 2003)

Isn't it a shame
why we we hurt each
the way we do.
Turning a blind eye
when it's easy.

(from "Reach", 2003)

We're all told
growin' up.
We can have what we want if we work
hard enough.
And yet I look around
and what do I see.
People workin' hard
and livin' in poverty.
One world divided.

(from "One World Divided", 2002)

Corruption's ignored
while war's the way.
There'll be nothing left
when our kids come of age.
Oh no, not in my name.

Insanity's the name of the game.
We run from the truth
when it's in front of our eyes.
Life was never meant to be this way.
Let's unite as one
and create a new day.

(from "Not In My Name", 2007)

In Honor Of Uncle Sam And His Corporate Minions

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Thank you. And have a good day.


Food Costs, Daylight Savings Time and Other Dysfunctions...And Hope

Went grocery shopping yesterday. If ever there was a time to demand corporations stop passing on their expenses to the consumer, it is indeed now. Our grocery bill has jumped over 30%. Not like we're eating steak and lobster either. Basic food items, in bulk when I can. Watching for sales of items I buy. Coupons, too. I'm even baking our own bread at this point, eating more vegetarian. With the cost of fuel "rising", with harsh weather wiping out crops, and with corporate america's mantra of "we ain't eating this expense...let's pass it onto the consumer", this problem is only going to continue obviously. Mr. N and I will be growing some of our own food this year, depending on the cost of making raised beds that is. My idea of taking some of this land that is being destroyed in this city by corporate retailers and instead turning it into community garden plots is one needing to be implemented. Now.

And we have the daylight savings time. What a crock. Corporate America's wet dream. They think with more daylight, people will spend more cash. The premise being, when you leave your home you spend the greens. The only thing I like about the increased daylight is evening bike rides, walks and bbq's. The change in time has a real impact on our biological internal clocks. I'm quite sensitive to it. I've resisted, for years, this twice-a-year clock change. Let's pick a structured time and stick with it, shall we? Being that won't likely happen in the foreseeable future, there are things we can do to show these corporate fucktards their little plan won't be working. If you do decide to spend more time away from the home and you are able-bodied, ride your bike. Go to the library or a free concert or lecture instead of giving some restaurant chain, clothing store or movie theatre your hard earned cash. Take a walk (again, if you are able-bodied) with your spouse. Bring along your animal friends. They'll be very appreciative! Gather with neighbors in the street and do some old-fashioned talking. Anymore ideas?

While this area has a fairly large number of social service agencies, what is grossly lacking is their awareness of what each agency offers. I cannot count the number of occasions I have discovered something offered by a particular agency through my own doing. I would think they would have some sort of a network so that if a potential client calls seeking services, if it is something they don't or can't offer, they would know if a neighboring agency may be able to help. Common sense, right? Also shows empathy, compassion, and certainly a commitment to helping out those in need. I recently experienced this when I inquired about the low income utilities assistance program. I call up the city, ask what it's about. "I don't know," I was told. "Contact The United Way. They sponsor it." So, I ring up the United Way. "Call CSC. They do our screening," I'm told. So I ring up CSC. And, as is usually the case, I have to leave a message or two (or more), then call back. CSC staff is notoriously known for not returning phone calls. So I finally connect with the CSC staff person, who sends me an application. Upon receiving it, I was surprised to find out the numerous living expenses The United Way will pay for or help pay for, on a one-time basis. Health care expenses. Utility expenses. The list was certainly longer than I expected. And in all of my years of dealing with DHS, CSC and other agencies, not once was I told about this program. A program that is usually referred to clients through said agencies.

I once had the idea, years back, of a very part-time non-profit, whose sole responsiblity it was to know what each of the community private and public agencies offered and to have a manual that is given out to each agency. A manual that is updated twice a year so information is current, something I have found oh so lacking in local agencies. Anyone care to fund that idea? I'll take on the task.

In all of this chaos, hope can be difficult to feel, to find. If anything, as we go through this experience, as I go through this experience, I find myself taking more time to focus on the present and to see those things I'm thankful for. Gratitude. I admit, sometimes I cling to those moments fiercely. And in those moments, when I'm sitting silently holding Mr. N's hand or snuggled with our little pooch, when I see people connecting with one another, neighbors talking, when I see one of those cars here in town with the variety of bumper stickers promoting peace, love and progressive ideas, I feel that sense of hope. Regardless of what "their" agenda is, I still come back to the basic idea that as long as we retain our sense of compassion, care and connection with one another, hope, and thus possibility will always remain. It's something no one can take from us.


The Dark Side Of "The Secret"

Having once been a follower of the New Thought/New Age movement years ago, I've wisened up since then and realized some, if not much, of what these "religious" practices preach is fluff. At their very worst, they are dark and harmful in that they deny the reality that we all affect one another.

The folks behind "The Secret", trying to convince their readers through (at times) deceptive marketing that they and they alone have discovered something magical, and for only $21.95, you can access it too, seem to have an agenda. The agenda, as I see it, is to continue this "blame the victim" mentality, which does nothing to enact real change "out there" but instead, focuses every problem a person experiences as being "within"--those little thoughts, often unnoticed, that run around our brain. The basic premise is that (repeated) thought produces every single element of reality we experience. Something tragic happen to you? It must have been because some part of you wanted it or thought it. Interestingly enough, I haven't seen these folks address the fact that many people think quite often about winning the lottery, but most never do. And yet, a child can be brutally attacked in Darfur and the authors attribute it to the child's thought process. (Yes, I read in a publication of The Nation from last year that Bob Proctor, the man behind "The Secret" said this unbelievably ugly, callous remark during an interview on the radio.)

While I believe the power of thought and intention are very powerful, we must, we absolutely must realize that shit happens, many times beyond our control. Our thought is not the only one swirling around in the cosmos. To add to the cosmic pool, we have the thoughts and intentions of everyone else, some of whom have the intention to harm, to abuse, to manipulate and control others. One look at "The System" and one can see that writing all over the wall.

Oprah joined the bandwagon, promoting the book, claiming it was her intentions and thoughts that created her career. Oh really? It couldn't have been the other people who paved the way for women and blacks. It couldn't have been the people who took her hand, including the likes of Roger Ebert and Quincy Jones, and not only encouraged her but provided her opportunities. After hearing Oprah speak about the power of thoughts and intentions, I was a bit surprised to hear her proclaim that, until she was well into her 40's, and obviously very successful and wealthy in a business and financial sense, she felt unworthy of her success.

Wait a minute. Did I hear her correctly? If she carried the mindset that she was unworthy of success and financial wealth, how in the world did she manage to create just that? Aren't thoughts and intention everything?

I posed that question to someone in my life at the time who was not only studying New Thought teachings, but was teaching and thus charging others for the information. She had been telling me I was not financially successful because of my thoughts, because I didn't feel worthy of wealth. So I asked her "How come Oprah made it and not me, even though we both have had the same mindset?" It threw her for a loop. Rather than address it head on, she told me "We aren't to compare our lives to others. We don't know what Oprah's path and real intentions are." Huh? Oh, but the woman who was raped and was told, by Oprah herself, that some part of her must have wanted the experience, and the child in Darfur who witnesses violence most of us can't even fathom experience such ugliness because of their thoughts and intentions? Is Oprah somehow excused? Some exception to the rule?

I was ignored after that conversation. All attempts to have a real dialogue with this person went nowhere. In fact, in a brilliant move, as I've seen done by such head-in-the-cloud types who are challenged, the finger was pointed at me and I was accused of "rocking her boat and everything she believed in". In short, I was being too damn real. At the time I was apologetic. Today though I would have said "get over it."

I could take these folks seriously if they would stop engaging in the "blame the victim" and own up to the realities I've addressed. Life nor the cosmos aren't so black and white. They're full of gray, often messy chaos. But they don't seem interested in really helping people who are true victims. Instead they seem content to believe thought can change an entire planet, or at least a life, even in the midst of policies and laws created to oppress, even in the midst of a war-torn, impoverished community or nation. I'd like to see them express this to the little child in Iraq who is now an orphan and desires a life in their country without war and violence. I'd like to see them express this and then wait around with that child until the "desired" results manifest. I have a strong hunch they would be waiting a long time, when what they could do to really produce results, rather than say "think, think, think of what you want" would be to get the child out of the country and into a stable home. But it is doubtful that would be the road to take, for to do so would be to admit that, sometimes, often, perhaps always, we must rely on others and their intentions and thoughts to help move us along our journey, towards the sweet bliss of our desires.

No one's an island. We're all in this together. And besides, what good could ever come out of telling a victim of rape, war, famine that it was their intention that drew the experience to them. I can't think of anything positive. Can you?


I Wonder If I Could Get Away With Something Like This...

I love the irony of life sometimes. As I posted in my previous entry about employer's growing demands that employees are perfect little robots, I thought about the article's other point, about e-mail addresses. Avoid the cutsie/offensive e-mail addresses when applying for a job. Ok, so that one's a no-brainer. However, I once again thought "What about employer's respond-to e-mail addresses? Why not advice for employer's to make themselves look credible as well?"

Apparently this doesn't apply. Honest to all there is, I just viewed a position for a local employer with the e-mail reply-to address as: bitemebill

Does this mean I can apply, and make a good impression, with an e-mail address of fuckoff or ilovevodka?

Let's turn this into a game. Reply with an e-mail address you would really like to use to potential or current employers.

In Thee I Do Not Trust

I've been reading articles about the growing number of employers who perform background checks, which includes hiring firms to research candidate's online profiles on message boards and places such as MySpace and Facebook. Nothing has been said about right to privacy in one's private time, so I guess I need to. What someone does in his/her own private time, whether that be debate political and social issues to sharing photos of that wild trip to the Bahamas is just that--personal. Personal in that this individual is free to express themselves in whatever way they so choose when it is done outside of work time. However, employers are finding new ways to discriminate. Speaking out against Bush? Supportive of Medical Marijuana? Gay and lesbian marriage proponent? Or opponent? Got a photo of you inebriated or showing a little too much skin? If a potential employer reads your views and doesn't support them, or finds your photo distasteful, this can disqualify you.

As the article in which I read stated, in today's world of finding a good employee, which is becoming much more difficult (according to the article that is), employers must employ a variety of sources and tactics to determine what kind of a person they are considering as an employee.

This begs the question: What about the personal life and views of the employer? And of the other applicants? Will this suspicious spying be allowed to go both ways? Another question screaming to be answered is: Why are "good employee's" so difficult, supposedly, to find these days?

Perhaps it's the crappy pay most employers offer today. The stagnating wages. The ever-increasing, at enormous percentages, cost-of-living. Perhaps it's the diminishing benefits. The At-Will Employment Law, which offers nothing of benefit to the employee but instead, the employer, which takes job security and tosses it out the window. Perhaps it is the Corportization of America that has most Americans fed up and distrustful of the entire "working for the man" agenda. Perhaps the more employers become distrustful of potential employees, employees in turn become more jaded and distrustful themselves of anything with the word "employer" attached to it.

Let's return to the days when a handshake and a word were enough to seal an employment arrangement. When a living wage wasn't a negative term and was the norm. When benefits were an expectation instead of a luxury or something to beg and bargain for. This growing investigate-at-every-level trend, surrounded in suspicion, sure isn't guaranteeing employers of an employee they can trust. It is only serving to fuel the disgruntled worker.


Sign Of The Times?

The following message was displayed when I went to the local Oregon Employment Department Jobs Page: There are currently no jobs for this category

Sounds about right to me.


This is why I get a red flag warning from Christians

It isn't that I'm not religious or don't hold some spiritual thought. But experience, my experience that is, has shown me that Christians, overall, either do what they can to convert you or else they assume you're one of them. I cannot tell you how many times I've used the term "God" in a conversation and the Christians automatically assume I mean "Jesus" or assume I'm Christian. When I explain further my belief system, more often than not, the other person places an emotional distance between us. So in one moment I'm in their corner, I'm cool, and suddenly, because my version of "god" is different than their version, I'm to be shunned. It's all so silly. But it's happened enough that I've become cautious towards anyone wearing the Christian label.

I had an experience recently at a gathering. I was sharing one of my goals that I have been working towards. Career goal. This person asked if I was familiar with a particular book, to which I wasn't. Check it out, I was told. I have a feeling you would really enjoy it.

I finally got around to looking into the particulars of this book and found out it is written from a Christian perspective, with scripture thrown in throughout the book. Did something in me say "I'm a Christian" to this individual? Did they not think to ask what my religious preference was? Did they not stop to think perhaps I was a Buddhist? A Hindu? Muslim? Jewish? Or none of the above? Did they not think to even mention it had a Christian theme to it?

Some may deem me as being overly sensitive. However, being well over 3/4 of the U.S. population claim themselves as being Christian, those of us who don't define ourselves as Christian feel kind of left out at times. I've been told I'm going to hell or that I should be concerned about going to hell/concerned about my salvation so many times, I don't care to estimate a guess.

It doesn't have to be this way though. If only the Church would stop saying "Those who don't accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are going to hell", a lot of that awkwardness between the religious and secularists, even between the religious and the religious and/or spiritualists would disappear. We could come together as one, knowing from whence we all came, we will all return. I mean come on, what source of love, what higher intelligence would say, upon death, "Stop right there. Do you believe "X"? Yes, come on in. No, follow the flames." Does that not strike anyone as a bit ridiculous? As I've often thought, if that is indeed how it is, I'd rather experience the after-life with like-minded/conscience souls, in freedom, instead of living in fear in some strictly defined heaven. Or if hell was the option, then toss me in. I would not care to exist for eternity in any state of mind knowing I was being forced into a particular belief system just to stay conscious. That isn't love as I define it. It isn't freedom. It's judgment. It's control. We should know. Most of our leaders (public and private) practice it daily.

Continuining the conversation.... What if, upon your death as a Christian, you start to question some of the things (religiously speaking) you were taught while on earth. It's possible, correct? And as such, according to your churches teachings, wouldn't that lead to some sort of a punishment from God? Or a scolding, similar to a parent nudging a child to return to a more appropriate behavior? Do you like to be told what to do now as an adult? I don't know anyone who does, young or old actually. Who wants to spend eternity worrying about whether we're doing the right thing? We have enough of that pressure here on earth.

Think about that. Upon death, you must maintain one belief, for all eternity. Where is the freedom in that? Physical prison is one thing, but mental/conscious prison is oh so much more terrifying. At least to me.

Of course, the entire agenda of the church would crumble if that basic premise were removed, and the leaders wouldn't have much left to preach about (certainly the fear factor would be eliminated and thus, regular attendance and dollars would drop dramatically) and the members would have all of that spare time once spent recruiting. As I asked my brother: "What about the person who was raised in some remote jungle, where the terms 'jesus' and 'the bible' aren't even part of their vocabularly?" His response: "God would give him a chance once he died to change his mind." My response: "Could you change what is essentially an entire belief structure upon death?" His response: "If I was told not to do so would send me to hell, yes." My response: "But that's not authentic change. Real change comes from absolute personal truth, not fear."

Next time I'm at a gathering, I think I'll wear a little sign that says "I believe in Unity. I may use the term "god" now and then. But I wear no religious label. And I'm still cool."

Monday AM Employment B.S.

More "junk-as-usual" when it comes to browsing the employment ads. A local day salon is looking for a front desk sales associate. They want highly qualified individuals. The pay? $7.95/hour. Fuck that.

The next ad I read was for a local beading store. They job requires some knowledge of beads and has high level responsibilities. The pay? $8/hour. Fuck that.

Unless they want some 18 year old still living at home, those of us "older" folks who are looking for work need to start telling places like this to "fuck off". Stop insulting us. Stop demanding highly qualified, flexible folks who can handle fast-past, high level responsibilities. Stop demanding this crap unless you plan on paying a living wage and some benefits.


If You're Smart, Forget About Becoming A Cop In This Connecticut Town

Well, this explains why it's so easy to brainwash our police force. If you have above average intelligence, you will be rejected. Why? You could become a likely candidate to question the system. Oh no wait, that's not correct. You will become bored.

"A US man has been rejected in his bid to become a police officer for scoring too high on an intelligence test. Robert Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took an exam to join the New London police, in Connecticut, in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125.
But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.

Mr Jordan launched a federal lawsuit against the city, but lost.

The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average."