Spin, Perception, The Matrix. Where's my blankie??

Listening to our washing machine run through the spin cycle earlier was an appropriate sound as I read through some blogs and headlines. Everyone has an opinion. Usually, that opinion is spun to match ones perception. Left, right, centrist, doesn't matter. Who knows what the real truth is anymore. For nearly every opinion/conclusion one finds, no matter how much "science" and "research" and "facts" are behind it, you can find the very opposite opinion with just as much information to back it up.

At times like this, I'm much more interested in what CAN be instead of what IS. I still spend some time (too much) keeping up on current happenings and blogging about them, then I hit this wall that says "Enough. What do you want?" Right now? To rest and feel better.

David Icke sends me a portion of his weekly newsletter in my e-mail box every week. Recently he talked about denying reality, being blind to reality, especially when that reality is too painful. He wrote it in such a way that felt rather insulting and demeaning to those who catch that glimpse then go running off back to the safety of their former self.

We're all different. Some are much more sensitive than others. And as such, certain "realities" (a term that is in so many ways left to interpretation-at least in terms of a persons behavior-for even though one may have a huge pile of evidence on the behavior or another, NO ONE can know with 100% certainty the motivation of another) are simply too much for the mind to grasp. It isn't about being lazy or unmotivated. It usually comes down to the mind not being able to handle the new information. This was brought up in The Matrix when Neo is grasping his awakening truth and his new surroundings. I absolutely love the scene in which he sees things as they really have been for the first time. He vomits then passes out. Despite this basic human reaction, the scene is nonetheless very powerful in its simplicity. Today I can't watch it without weeping. He also spent months resting and adapting, being healed in a very loving, supportive environment. There weren't the pressures of making money to provide himself (and family) with shelter and food and the basic needs of survival. There were no bills to pay. No children or family to worry about. No outside demands for his time or attention. In addition, he had a lot of support by like-minded people who had gone through the same experience. Not everyone has that. It is very unlikely Neo would have come into his full truth WITHOUT any of this support.

Anyway, back to the movie. Later on, Morpheus tells Neo they have strict rules on age in terms of "waking" people up. The mind has a difficult time understanding and letting go. Cyprus is the character that shows this to us.

This needs to be understood by those who have, for lack of a better term, and speaking metaphorically, woken up from The Matrix and at times spend time screaming at, badgering and otherwise insulting those who are still in the Matrix or have taken a step or two only to return. It's understandable, given this sense of urgency to WAKE UP NOW and DO SOMETHING NOW. However, letting our knowing sink in is a process. Some process quickly. Others more slowly. But eventually, we ALL come into our knowing. That being said, the knowing may not happen in one's lifetime. The demands of life interfere with this. Afterall, despite The Matrix being a very powerful movie full of some very deep insights into life, it's still a movie.

When it comes to the Matrix, there are a myriad of opinions on just what the matrix is and who is behind it. Some claim there is an alien/reptilian influence while others say that's simply nonsense. Some claim there's a God, others claim there's nothing while others claim it's again, alien influencing our thoughts. There's a general consensus that current politicies aim to create a One World Government. Some view that as something dark and sinister while others view it as a new awakening, a new age of enlightenment and peace. The result of such a thing is of course left up to the motivations and intentions of world leaders and more or less, to we the people and what we will and will not tolerate, all based on our desires, wants and needs and of course, our KNOWING the aforementioned.

Something tells me this post really makes no sense and is just a bunch of rambling. But I don't really care about making sense today or writing some brilliant put together piece. Purging ones mind is usually messy. And besides, the dryer just buzzed, letting me know my blankie is warm and dry, waiting to wrap itself around me so I can give my body and especially, my mind, a rest.


McCain's "Surprise" VP Choice: Tell Me Another One

Honestly, none of these folks are already pre-picked before you and I hear the names. Honestly.

So here we have this dude named John McCain. He's running for President. He's said to have been in search of a running mate for months. Last night, he meets with this chick from Alaska named Sarah Palin. He has a question for her. Would you like to be on the ticket as my Vice President?

Now here's the deal. Sarah's a mother of 5 little ones, including a newborn with special needs just having been born this past year. And yet, the very next day, she announces to the world that yes, she will accept McCain's offer.

I wouldn't even buy a piece of furniture that fast, let alone take a job. Common sense says I would have taken the time, like any normal human being, to discuss it over with my family. You know, go over those pesky details like moving across country, uprooting the kiddies from their schools, friends and all that they've ever known, not to mention buh-bye to their private life sans Secret Service Personnel, plus being in a position to possibly run the show if McCain is "elected" and if so, if the old dude doesn't survive. Plus, working out the details to ensure that precious newborn baby receives the care it is going to require.

And yet all of those details and questions, magically solved, in about 12 hours, minus hours for sleep.

And people say miracles don't happen.


Words and Phrases I'd Like To See Less...And More Of

I picked up some dental floss that holds the claim "Hi-Tech". Wow. Now I spent some time looking over the container. I pulled out a couple of feet of the floss, carefully observing along the way. It has a minty flavor and it's waxed. I expected it to floss my teeth on it's own, or at the very least flashed some pulsating lights while playing disco music, but alas, I discovered it was just floss.

Hi-Tech. An over-used phrase. One I would like to see less of.

Another phrase I'd like to hear less of. This one comes out of the mouths of our politicians. "The American People". Usually this phrase is followed by the word "want". When was the last time we had any visible politician who really knew what we wanted, or even cared for that matter?

This next one is a personal pet peeve. Fashion writer demagogues who say "Women, if you're over 40, do not wear___". Fill in the blank. I've heard them say anything from cropped pants to shorts above the knee to mini skirts. Hey, if Arnold Schwarzenager can wear a speedo in public and not be arrested for public indecency, then I can wear a damn mini skirt already. Back off! And lighten up.

"The Gateway Drug". Oh, fanatical politicians, teachers, church leaders and those DARE folks love to spout that phrase. Usually the drug they refer to is that deadly refer stuff. Scary stuff, eh. Never killed anyone. The worst thing that happens if you "overdose" is intense paranoia or sleep. Or an empty pantry followed by the morning after thought of "what happened to all of my food??" Come on. We ALL know what the real gateway drug is. Sugar. Kids simply cannot get enough of it. They always want more. And in time, when that fix isn't enough, they get in on the caffeine action by getting ahold of one of those energy drinks. After that, it's all downhill.

"Oh My God." Now before I head off into this little rant, I need to humbly admit I say this phrase at times. It was ingrained into my subconscious during the 80's by classmates and by watching those valley girl movies and tv shows. That being said, can't we say something else instead? Maybe we can do an Elaine. You know, from Seinfeld. When she hears news she cannot believe, she shoves the person by putting her hands on their chest and pushing while saying "Get OUT!" While it may result in some boo boo's, there will be no annoyance factor to the ears.

Now that I've shared what I'd like to hear less of, here's what I'd like to hear more of in our world:

"How are you? No, really, I mean it. How ARE you?" (I got asked that for the first time yesterday. And I answered truthfully. It was very refreshing.)

"You're really wonderful, you know that?"

After 10pm: Silence.

When I turn on my television and some pseudo-journalist or politician or corporate big wig is speaking, all one hears is: blah blah blah. blah blah blah. and turning to other news, blah blah blah. blah blah. (Hey, I wonder if someone can make something like that. We have mute buttons and all, but it would be a real hoot to have a "blah" button too, huh?)

"I love you." Embarassing to say at times, but like Louis Armstrong sings "I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do. They're really saying I love you."



Well, I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty pissed off at the moment. After reading this piece, I've found myself pretty miffed regaring our species' overall views on sex. In this piece, Democrats are accusing Elizabeth Edwards of being equally complicit in the "sin" of adultery committed by husband John.

Can we please visit this subject in an open-minded manner? Forget for a moment about the idea that this is being used to cover-up current political corruption. Forget for a moment about the idea that it's being used to overlook the sins of Obama and Biden. Let's take this apart and look at the crux of the issue: Human sexuality.

More than half of all marriages end in divorce in this country, many due to the very same "act of sin" committed by John Edwards. That's part one of the sexism issue. It's (eventually) forgivable when We The People engage in the wild thing with someone other than our partner. It's unforgivable if one is a public figure. Please. Can we get past the child-like antics?

Part two: When men commit this act of "sin", they're considered pigs. However, when woman commit this very same act, all sorts of excuses are offered up. "Oh, her husband must have been a jerk/abusive/emotionally and sexually absent..." Fill in the blank. While there is certainly some truth in stereotype (or it wouldn't exist to begin with), stereo-typing like this never offers up the full picture.

You know what all of this judgment is really about? It comes down to our own failed acknowledgement of our inner-most thoughts about sex. We're sexual beings. Men and women both. While single men are more applauded for their sexual conquests and single women are instead labeled as sluts, sexual energy doesn't carry a gender with it. It is HUMAN CREATED opinions that do this.

Sex is beautiful when it's pure and surrounded with love. It's surrendering to All That Is, a letting go act of pure trust. I read the most beautiful passage about sex in one of the Conversation's With God books (book 1, I believe). It talked about what happens when two people meet and there's that chemistry, that attraction that both feel. You desire to know that person, be close with them. If you don't block this energy, it only builds until the two connect in an estatic union of celebration. Ok, I am doing this a great injustice with my own paraphrasing, but trust me, it is beautiful. And no, I am not advocating a free-for-all or wild orgie. I'm talking about pure sexual energy and love and respect. We need to be past our human control dramas and issues before we could ever engage in such behavior (more about that in a bit).

Unfortunately, religions and governments and schools and other parts of the System have completely removed the beauty out of sex and instead pulled a Nancy Reagan by offering up the "JUST SAY NO" slogan to all who aren't married. And heterosexual. Add in Hollywood and other media outlets who have taken the beauty and purity out of this act and made it about power and control. And need I even mention the porn industry, who has still utterly failed at showing women and men both as beautiful beings, completely failing generations of primarily young boys and young men into embracing the act of sex being about both love and lust, eroticism and beauty and ultimately, RESPECT. This doesn't even mention the fact that 99% of their advertising shows naked women on their magazine and dvd covers instead of men or both.

Monogamy is hard, if not rather silly. Find me one person who has not had the desire to have sex with someone else outside of his/her partner and I will call that person naive. I once read something interesting, about past civilizations that weren't monogomous. While people did partner up, engaging in the act of sex was something that was not considered a "sin" if done with someone other than your partner. The piece went on to say that it takes a very enlightened being to embrace such a concept, one who does not have the usual insecurities of jealousy and control and underlying sense of lack of worth. I certainly don't see that as a possibility today, although considering the number of people who do "cheat" on their partners, I would say the desire is certainly there. And as such, it's worth exploring. Without judgment. Without blame. Without child-like antics and tantrums. Instead, it's time to visit this subject in a loving, open manner. Afterall, we continue to have these examples as the "Edwards Affair" shoved into our faces as a society. Instead of taking sides and engaging in shouting matches, let's use it as a chance to explore our own sexuality, both as individuals and as a society.


Feds Solve Reason Behind Building 7 "Mystery" Collapse

Try and read this one with a straight face.

Open up and say "ah", America. The Government's shoveling more bullshit propaganda down our throats.

"GAITHERSBURG, Md. (Aug. 21) - Federal investigators said Thursday they have solved a mystery of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: the collapse of World Trade Center building 7, a source of long-running conspiracy theories.

The 47-story trapezoid-shaped building sat north of the World Trade Center towers, across Vesey Street in lower Manhattan. On Sept. 11, it was set on fire by falling debris from the burning towers, but skeptics have long argued that fire and debris alone should not have brought down such a big steel-and-concrete structure.

Scientists with the National Institute of Standards and Technology say their three-year investigation of the collapse determined the demise of WTC 7 was actually the first time in the world a fire caused the total failure of a skyscraper."

Other "first time in the world" news:

Woman Pulls Golden Pig Out Of Her Ass.

World Leaders Destroy Military Weapons. Declare World Peace.

Walmart Now Paying Associates $35/Hour.

Bill O'Reilly Leaves Fox. Starts "O'Reilly And Friends: Liberal Central" Chat and Love Hour on PBS.

Ralph Nader Elected President.


What Defines A Leader

I was inspired to post this again after reading some of the Letters to the Editor in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. The McCain and Obama supporters have dug in their heels and are at it for another round of political bickering 101. Upon realizing we have yet again :::sigh::: another Presidential Election Season where only the controlling (monopoly, anyone?) two-party system candidates are receiving all of the attention (both by the MSM and the American People), it's time to ask voters to take a step back from their political labels and think about the term "Leader". What is a leader? Don't we want a President to reflect the traits of a leader? I'm sure we can all answer in the affirmative to that. As such, the following is something I wrote about 8 years ago, something I post from time to time when major political elections are underway. Hopefully, someday, We The People will actually elect folks who display these traits. I'm ready for a new day. Aren't you?

1) Excellent Communication skills. The ability to express oneself articulately in such a manner so that the listener understands what is being said.

2) Thoughtfulness. The ability to think an idea through carefully before forming an opinion. This requires the ability to see all sides of an issue; realizing life is a myriad of shades other than just black and white.

3) Listening skills. The ability to put aside one’s own agenda in order to hear differing opinions.
4) Cooperation. This trait allows for one to see the people of our world as an “US” rather than an “US vs. THEM”.

5) Flexibility. This allows for one to realize that life is rarely certain. Opinions and agendas at times must change in order to accommodate such uncertainty.

6) Humbleness. This allows for one to recognize his/her own flaws, own up to them, and to take responsibility for his/her own words, behavior and choices.

7) Loyalty. This trait reminds the individual who they were elected to represent and to never let outside interests sway them from that truth.

8) Gratitude. This allows for one to truly appreciate, honor and respect the incredible role they have been elected to serve.

These are just a few traits. As you sit down to mark your ballots, my hope is that you read through this list and ask yourself if the candidate of your choice has such traits.


Let's Make A Deal: Election Year 2008

I awoke this morning with this skit (for lack of a better word) going through my mind. Read it or not. I'm not so much interested in the political scene these days, but creative types know: once you have an idea, if you do not run with it, the idea will nag the mind for hours if not days. So here it is.

The Scene: Let's Make A Deal gameshow. Host Monty Hall has selected an oddly dressed person from the audience to choose a Presidental Candidate from behind the three closed curtains on stage. Unlike the original gameshow, all three curtains are opened, one at a time, before the contestant makes a choice.

Curtain Number One Opens. The Announcer is heard saying the following:

"We have for you today Political Puppet Number One." Cheers are heard.

Dressed in a three piece suit with a pin of the American Flag at the lapel, Puppet Number One flashes his brilliantly white smile whilst waving at the crowd of cheering Americans. He loves to say he supports the free market, the american dream, the american worker, reduced the tax burden on the individual, quality education, affordable health care and gun control. He says he will "fight hard" to end homelessness and hunger and poverty.

Net worth: $500 million.

Funded by: GE, Morgan Stanley, Walmart, Chase Manhattan, etc. etc.

Has read The Constitution, but shows little sign of understanding it.

Announcer is then heard saying:

"Behind Curtain Number Two, we have for you Political Puppet Number Two." Cheers are heard.

Dressed in a three piece suit with a pin of the American Flag at the lapel, Puppet Number Two flashes his brilliantly white smile whilst waving to the crowd of cheering Americans. He loves to say he supports the free market, public education, the american worker, reducing the tax burden on Corporations, affordable health care and the 2nd Amendment.

Net worth: $750 million.

Funded by: Ditto. (See above.)

Has read the Constitution (perhaps was even around when signed) but like Puppet Number One, shows little proof of understanding it.

Announcer is then heard saying:

"Behind Curtain Number Three we have for you, uh, we have for you, ummm...." Silence. The curtain is fully opened. No one knows who this person is. Why?

He's the Independent Candidate. No one knows who he/she is because none of the media outlets give them the time of day. However, here's where he/she stands on the issues:

Stop The Outsourcing of American jobs.
Return the tax burden where it belongs, the way the Founders intended: Commerce.
Eliminate the Minimum Wage and replace it with a Living Wage (or return to the days when minimum wage WAS a living wage).
Abolish Health Insurance Companies and put the power of health care where it belongs: Between doctor and patient. Establish a single payer System.
Stop Invading Sovereign Nations. Defensive action will only be taken when invaded and/or attacked by another nation. And at that, all means of Peaceful Non-Violent Conflict Resolution will be sought first.
Get out of NAFTA and the WTO.
Abolish The Federal Reserve and return to a gold/metal backed currency.
Put An End To Corporate Bailouts.
Impeach and charge with War Crimes every single member of the current administration and congress who has voted for and continued to vote for the War In Iraq.
Fix The Nation's Infrastructure.
Create Energy Independence. Wind. Solar. Hemp. Create a Panel to study Tesla's brilliant ideas.
Tell the Lobbyists and other "Special" Groups (i.e. those really in charge) to go to hell.

Funded by: The People.

Net worth: $150,000.

Has read the Constitution. Understands it. Lives it. Abides by it.

The people are stunned. Who IS this person? Why, it's who they've been waiting for for years. And yet, he/she has been there the whole time, just waiting for The People to put down their remotes, question the System and go in search of someone who reflects THEIR values and THEIR best interests.

Imagine, that person being here, right now.

The Independent Candidate.

Monty Hall asks the contestant to make his choice. He isn't sure what to do. The show fades away to commercial...

Ok voters, you're the contestant. What will your choice be? It's up to you.


Late Night Musings

I was thinking how much time I use, or waste, depending upon how I look at it, sitting in this chair, pondering what fascinating things I can share in this little space. Probably too much time is used trying to jump-start the creative brain cells. Tonight was no exception, despite being artificially enhanced by peanut M & M's. (plug for Mars, Inc.)

Speaking of the artificially enhanced, if you've ever wondered just what in the world makes Rachel Ray so perky, it's caffeine. I read where she drinks at least 10 cups of coffee every day.

10 cups. How completely superficial of her. And all this time I thought she just had an amazing natural level of energy. Is nothing real anymore? Can I cry now? Geesh.

10 cups. I can't even imagine. I once had caffeine overdose on 3 cups of strong Irish coffee. True story. At the time I thought it was decaf. I will never forget the reaction I had. Horrible. Started off with a pounding heart, dizziness and a need to jump up and down repeatedly. Anyway, I don't "do" caffeine. Well, unless it's in peanut M & M's. But doing the wake up and chug down coffee is not my thing. Being wired/buzzed/whatever--not my thing. All of the buzzing of our modern world puts out enough energy for me to pick up on, I certainly don't need more of the buzzing racing through my blood. I know most of our culture is into that jolt first thing in the morning, but not me. Let me ease my way into the day with a bowl of oatmeal, whole grain english muffin and fruit. Starting no sooner than 10am.

Yeah, I'm a bit of a health nut, save for the peanut M & M's, although usually when I do the chocolate bit, it's organic dark chocolate. I rarely drink soda, rarely drink alcohol, although when I do, I'm a cheap drunk. One drink and I am good to go. I watch the MSG and avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague (stomp on the head to Donald Rumsfield and his Aspartame poison). I avoid corn syrup when I can afford it (and with the price of good quality bread, sans corn syrup, going for at least $3 a loaf, this is becoming more difficult TO avoid). I eat a lot of greens. In the summer I could live on grilled corn on the cob and watermelon.

I tend to be a picky eater at times too. I have a fairly small comfort zone in this regard, so trying new dishes is something I do with hesitancy. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised, like when I tried seaweed in the form of a California Roll at Amotsu or however you spell that restaurant downtown. I was also tickled when I first tried saffron, although I quickly learned some people over-do it. And when they do, well, yikes on my taste buds and tummy. I remember the first time I ate authentic Indian food. I should have asked to be hooked up directly to the water fountain. Glasses of water were not sufficient in putting out the flame raging on my tongue.

Speaking of heat, I am so grateful relieved giving thanks to the gods and goddesses of nature that the sub-tropical 100 degree heat is G O N E. And hopefully never to return! I have a friend who lives down south, so days like this one aren't uncommon in her neck of the woods. She's on me now and then to move down there.

After this stretch of weather, that has been ruled out completely.

I cannot recall a time when the days were so hot and muggy only to be followed by evenings that were every bit as uncomfortable. When those wonderful, awesome thunder and lightening storms kicked in, we hung outside under the eaves, putting our legs out in order to let that cool refreshing rain wash over them. If the storm had been minus the lightening, I would have fully emersed myself in a full body rain dance.

Well, now that I've enlightened you all with the mundane, I'll finish up with something more punchy.

*If I have to endure the sight of another political ad, I'm going to, well I don't know what I'm going to do, my thought train is running on empty at this late hour, but trust me, I will do something.

*These assholes intent on war around the globe need to take their shit and exit our planet. They've lost the right to live here. Period. End of story on that.

*Above assholes can take their Corporate Monopolistic (Is that even a word? I've been using it a lot lately and I rather like it. It's catchy and it sounds sophisticated to my ears.) buddies with 'em.

*Let's start over again and provide everyone with an acre of land and a yurt.

*Let's eliminate the 40 hour work week, highly processed foods and fast food ANYTHING and instead create a lifestyle that is focused on connection and purposeful intent, which means fast fast fast go go go accomplish accomplish accomplish will go, to quote an SNL skit "buh bye", for one cannot truly connect with anyone and live with purposeful intent on high speed. I mean honest to god, I know I gripe about this at times in this space, but really, it is quite insane to me that the fast-paced antics of modern living are so embraced, and done by so many, day in and day out. I really don't understand this one. Nor do I want to. The world's in a state of panic and hyper-speed and adding in caffeine to the mix to keep up is not healthy or sustainable.

Ditch the coffee.

Ditch the multi-tasking.

Slow down.

Breathe. From the diaphragm.

And dance naked in the rain now and then. It'll do ya a world of good.


In Honor Of Yang Peiyi: The Real Singer At The Opening Olympic Ceremonies In Beijing

This doesn't classify as good enough? This adorable, precious child doesn't classify as pretty or presentable?

Major doses of shame on the big wigs of China's politburo for refusing to allow this beautiful child the right to sing this song for the world to see. This is ugly enough when we see the same types of narrowed focus aimed at adult women. But to do this to a child? The actions not only deplorable but those of individuals so narrow in their thinking, so full of prejudice, so lacking in the ability to see beauty from the heart and from an expanded perspective. As such, I honor this beautiful, immensely talented little girl, not only in this post, but forever more on my blog as my new avitar. Forever will your beauty reign, sweet girl!

The Walmart Empire

I watched a Robert Greenwald documentary on Walmart last night. While I don't shop there and while I have heard and read much about this corporate giant's business practices, I learned some things, things that appalled me, so I thought to post them there.

Some little known facts about Walmart you may or may not know about:

For starters, here's what you can expect as a Walmart employee, or "associate" as they are referred to:

*To begin with, if you're a Walmart associate, your pay averages around $4,000 below the federal poverty level. While Walmart claims close to 75% of their workers are full-time, their definition of full-time is around 30 hours a week.

*Once hired, you will be expected to work any hour, any shift, including assigned days off. You're basically on call during all store hours. If this causes distress in your home, too bad. You don't show, you're fired.

*Don't be surprised if your Supervisor changes your time sheet. Walmart has a strict "no over time" policy. If you happened to work over-time, Supervisor's are guided to remove the hours to avoid the extra pay.

*If Walmart offers you health insurance, the premiums are usually too expensive for you, so therefore you do what Walmart stores all over the country tell you to do: apply for Medicaid. And hey, they'll have the forms and everything for you.

*If you're female, you can forget about getting into Management, regardless of all the promises you're given by your Supervisors upon hire.

*Walmart associates have cameras at their work stations and in employee break rooms. And if that weren't enough monitoring, Store Managers are told to watch out for employees who are found talking together, only to stop talking when the Manager approaches them. Some managers have been known to fire such employees, on the spot. Why? This little employee pow wow could signal some sort of behind the scenes plan for employees to, you know, actually work together to create a fair work environment and expose the lies they were all told upon hire.

Here's some of the financial stats behind the Walmart Empire:

*The earnings of CEO Lee Scott: $27,207,799.00 (2005 stats)
*The earnings of the avg. employee: $13,861.00

*The Walton family (the family behind Walmart) has assets exceding $100 billion. If they took just $10 billion of that, this would ensure every associate received health care and a living wage.

*The Walton family gave $2.4 million in campaign contributions in 2005 alone and yet they've given less than 1% of their income to charity.

*Walmart has what's called a Critical Need Fund, which is used by Walmart employees in times of emergencies. In 2004, employees donated over $5 million. The Waltons? $6,000.

*The Waltons received a federal tax cut of $91,500 per HOUR in the 2004 tax year.

*In order to avoid returning money back to the community in terms of sales tax revenue, Walmart has been known to close an existing store and build another one, sometimes just a couple of miles away, outside of the city limits. And think the abandoned store then gets reused? Think again. As of recent stats, there are now 26,699,678 square feet of EMPTY Walmarts across the country. That could house a lot of people, educate a lot of children stuck in portable classrooms, grow food inside with climate controlled greenhouses or tear down the store and grow food or hemp, use the land for wind turbines, etc. etc.

*And hey, if you're Walmart, the city will likely dish out a nice little subsidy in the hundreds of thousands once you construct a new store. Overall, cities pay over 1 billion in such subsidies. Kaching! Kaching! Think mom and pop stores receive such subsidies? Nope. Zero. Nada. None. Read on for more what happens after Walmart enters a new city.

What happens when Walmart moves into a new city?

*Former upper echelon employee said upon entering a new city, he and another wig big would go down streets and point to local small businesses and make comments such as "See that place? It will close up in 6 months. That place over there? A year." This happens in every city Walmart sets up shop. And their predictions, sadly, are very accurate. Sadly if you happen to have a working conscience.

Walmart's Environmental Record:

*In 2001, the EPA levies a fine against Walmart for $1 million in TX, OK and MASS for violations of the Clean Water Act.

*In 2004, the EPA fines them again for $3.1 million for similar violations in TX, CO, CA, DE, MICH, S.D., TN, UT and New Jersey.

*In 2005, Connecticutt EPA fines them $1.5 million for Clean Water Act violations in 22 of its stores.

Doing Business Overseas: Where Do Those Fine Products Come From?


*Walmart CEO Claims that China has "strict standards" of employment and sanitation. In reality...

*Walmart Factory workers in China often work 14-15 hour days, 7 days a week.

*Dorms are allocated for the workers and rent is deducted from their paychecks. However, even if you choose not to live in one of the provided dorms (which are cramped, confined spaces with beds no bigger than a cot), the rent is still deducted from your paycheck.

*The factories are hot and there are few fans.

*The meals provided to Factory Workers were described as "disgusting".

*The average pay for a Walmart Factory Worker in China is $3.00/day. There is no time off allowed.

*During inspections, Walmart Factory Workers are told to lie about how many days they work and most of them comply, due to fear or punishment and/or termination. In fact, if a Worker successfully lies, he/she is rewarded.

*$18 billion in products was imported from China in 2004.

Bangladesh and Honduras:

*Factory conditions very similar to those in China.

*Female factory workers in Bangladesh make clothes and work from 8am-10pm, 7 days a week. Their wage averages between $.13 - $.17/hour.

*The Cost for a factory worker to assemble your typical product: $.18, which is then sold for a retail price of $14.96.

What happens if an Inspector actually does his job and reports the truth of working conditions overseas?

*You face retaliation and you're fired.

Watching all of this, reading it, can be overwhelming. Walmart is obviously on a mission to monopolize the Retail Economy of our country and they're receiving plenty of financial incentive, support and help from our Government at every level. They seem unstoppable. However, you can stop a giant. Residents in local cities and towns have been banning together the past several years to stop Walmart from setting up shop. And they have been successful in hundreds of communities. With persistance and in numbers, this Empire can be put out to pasture.

Of course, all of this is merely a reflection of much larger problems: wages that have failed to keep up with the COL, the nightmare of NAFTA, the eroding of Unions, and basic survival needs such as food, housing and health care costs skyrocketing at ridiculous levels. For many people, shopping at Walmart isn't always about mere choice. It's about necessity. Why pay $52 for a toaster when you can buy it at Walmart for $45? For many families, that $7 is like $5,000 to the upper class. Sure, we can remove Walmart but what about the other stores? The Sam's Clubs. The Costco's. The Dollar Tree stores. They offer low prices on their products and import most of them from China and other countries, from factories that employ the same deplorable conditions as described above. Removing these stores is only half the battle. At the same time, we must bring back the mom and pop stores of years past, stores that offered full health insurance benefits, pensions and living wages. We must demand our removal from NAFTA. We must demand political figures who represent the people. We must STOP the complacency by voting for status quo puppetheads, simply because "there's no one else to choose from". Like hell there isn't! Look around and research. There are ALWAYS a huge variety of other people running. You can't just sit in your armchair and expect the MSM to inform you of who they are--because, well, they aren't going to do that.

I know, I know, lots of "yeah but's" and other words of scepticism. All duly noted and all understandable. However, as one of the business owners driven out of business by the invasion of Walmart said (paraphrasing), "If something isn't done soon, this nation is going to be ruined. At some point, there will be a revolution if monopolies like these aren't stopped." We can be complacent or we can be active. If small bands of people in select communities can hang in there and shout "NO" to Walmart and be successful in their efforts, we can do ANYTHING.


Man Distrusts Paper Money. Pays For Truck With Coins.

Well, he paid half with coins. Never the less, he's my kind of human. He sounds a bit like my late Uncle, who refused to get a credit card until he realized his ability to travel (something he loved to do) and rent a car was not going to happen unless he did. Maybe I'm holding on to his memory by refusing to buy a cell phone. Anyway, I had my first lesson in money, or of its reality I should say, when I was a child playing Monopoly with my parents. It suddenly dawned on me: monopoly money was no different than "real" money. Both were paper, both dyed with ink.

"Mama, what's the difference between your money and monopoly money? Why can't I spend this monopoly money on candy?" I don't remember her answer, but I do remember the look on her face. What's that saying today? "Priceless"?

That would make for a funny/ironic spot on the realities of money, plus a nice little dig on the credit card companies. Little Johnny and Susie are playing monopoly with mummy and daddy. Smiles are glued on everyone's faces, big popcorn bowls sit between the parents and children, glasses of lemonade with large, perfectly formed ice cubes placed beside each of them. TV Screen asks:

Cost of Monopoly Game? $15.

Cost of popcorn and lemonade? $8.

Cost of Johnny and Susie realizing there is no difference between monopoly money and the greenback? PRICELESS.


More Streaming

That isn't a computer term. That's me saying you're in for more streaming of consciousness. Well, perhaps not streaming per say. More like "this is what's on my mind at the moment and here ya go". Also another way of saying "me no have any idea on what to title this."

So the other day, it was a warm one and I had on a tank top. Sans bra. I don't really need to wear one (contrary to what popular culture would have us think)....meaning that I don't need them for support cause I'm not large chested and since that being the case, I figure why bother? I have always found them to be constricting and besides, by nature I'm a non-conformist, my inner self always mischievously looking for ways to push the social buttons of society. (Now how cool is this? I'm using my Mozilla browser--and whenever I mistype a word, the browser very nicely lets me know I've made a typo. Not only that, they give me a list of correctly spelled, similar-looking words from which to choose. I tell ya, thumbs up for Mozilla!)

Back to my point. Boobs and bras. So I had on a tank, letting myself flow freely. My spouse points out that he can see my, ssh, shock shock, nipples. I shot him a look, a combination look, which said "uh huh and your point being?" and "oh god, here we go again...." As liberal and progressive as he is, he's got this thing about, well, my nipples showing in public. And despite me purposely getting my nipples to show through a bra (which is apparently ok with him because at least I'm making the effort to hide them), he still points it out to me now and then, especially if he sees people staring at me.

So let them stare. It isn't like I'm shoving my chest in their faces and saying "SEEEEE MY NIPPLES AREN'T THEY PRETTY!!!" I liken it to people who have piercings or tattoos or two guys or two girls kissing in public or other things considered "out of the norm" of modern day puritanical white bread american. Being free doesn't mean being free from being offended.

Now if we're at the Country Fair and women are not only going braless but topless, that's ok. Why? It's in an "approved" environment.

When I've pointed out men who have on tight tanks, nipples showing, well that's different. Why? "They have no breasts." Oh please they do too, they're just flat. I mean isn't a nipple a nipple? It is according to the voices I have in my mind. And if he's reading this, remember your quote to me, my love: "I do what the voices in my wife's head tell me to do."

We watched the opening ceremonies last night. I wept throughout. I wept because of the potential for peace and harmony is right there within our grasps. I wept as I saw the beautiful people of China giving it their all to the world. I wept as I witnessed the spectacular artistic expressions, the fluidity of the dances, the movements, the creation of beautiful scenes on gigantic canvases using nothing fancy, just the human body and some paint. And those scrolls. The amazing use of scrolls. I wept as I saw the faces of the children, their eyes full of hope.

And then they had to show some shots of Bush and Putin, the Prez of China (name slips my memory) and others and then I felt the anger rise. It's because of bastards like these that peace has continued to be so damn hard to obtain. Bastards like this who can't keep their noses out of other people's rights and freedoms. Bastards like this who think they're some chosen select crowd with the right to dictate how other people should live, eat, breathe, think, speak, etc. etc. I mean really, aren't we weary of their diatribe, of their controlling ways? Don't you think a good idea would be to shoot their asses into that Olympic torch so we could get to work creating peace, without their dark influence?

I received our electric bill today. On the back it showed someone obviously lying on a couch, their foot hanging over the side. The quote next to it went something like "Even when you're doing nothing, you're still leaving a carbon footprint." The latest in "green" marketing: "Guilt Advertising." As much as I support living in respect to ones surroundings, I can't begin to express how tired I've become of hearing the term "carbon footprint".

I've grown weary of large energy corporations telling me I need to change the way I live while they continue to control how we power our lives with their backwards, polluting, destructive bullshit means: coal and oil. Oh but wait, they may say. We're now slowly offering more environmentally friendly, sustainable energy sources. Sorry. It isn't enough. Your CEO Empires at the top know we could have had FREE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY by now--FOR EVERY ONE OF US. Why just recently we watched a program on the History Channel on this very subject. A group of scientists showed a model they built based on Tesla's original drawings. It was 30' diameter, 12' tall, with the four pilons surrounding it. When turned on, it generated 12 MILLION volts of electricity, drawn completely from the surrounding air. They're seeking funds to build one that will be over 400' tall. Isn't that awesome???

I wish them lots of luck and send them lots of positive energy. Big Oil and Big Coal will put up a stink from allowing that to happen unless they figure out a way to get their greedy little hands in the mix, which means buh bye to the little energy producers and hello Big Energy. Sure, it may be green but it will still remain in the hands of the Big Dudes.

We were given the Sun, the Wind, the Ocean, Hemp. We were also given Tesla. Let's create sustainable capitalism with these methods. Let's open up the market so that it is, for once, truly free, where the small group of people with the latest ideas aren't forced out of the market or bought out by some large entity who believes the cookies on the table all belong to them and them alone.

Speaking of the above comment about being "bought out", our neighbor is a PhD student. He was telling us of some of things he's seen as someone who is in research. It isn't uncommon for someone to have a new idea that would offer up competition for the status quo be bought out and/or forced out by some large corporate entity. That's not to say people should sit back and not pursue that idea of theirs. Just to say that if your idea isn't mainstream and offers competition to the powers that be, you may be in for battle.

Dogs are just the best, aren't they?


Where Have All The Bees Gone?

Why, to our backyard of course. Or so it seems. We've seen a fairly large gathering of them on a daily basis, out back and out front. And let me tell you, these beautiful little creatures are busy pollinating like crazy. It's a beautiful sight.

John Edwards Sex Scandal: Some Clarification

So uh, let me get this straight. Some guy who was once a candidate for President got caught boinking another woman and CNN and other media outlets are all over the story, dumping all sorts of sensationalism and tabloid style journalism in the mix, making it the top news story of the day. And yet, Pseudo President George Bush and Real President Dick Cheney can invade a sovereign nation, bomb the hell out of it, lie to We The People about the reasons behind, and in turn they can proceed to rip apart the rules of law in the nation they are supposed to be representing, and engage in all sorts of other illegal activity such as warrantless wire taps, arrests without probable cause and torture tactics, not to mention the spending spree that is forcing our country in bankruptcy while they get richer, the economy that's in a nosedive, the growing wealth of corporations who receive massive tax subsidies for continuing the trend of shipping jobs overseas. And yet, this doesn't receive top news story coverage or in-depth coverage and analysis.

Ok, I get it. Now it all makes sense. Yes, the private life of John Edwards penis is oh so much more important to our security, well-being and health as a nation than all of those petty other things.


Complete Stream of Consciousness

Doing something different tonight. I'm going to thrill you or bore you to tears with a post that is nothing more than stream of consciousness. Whatever goes through my mind in the next few minutes will get put to words, right here.

Looking around the room for some inspiration right now......hmmm....ever tried a yoga ball? I don't mean in a weird, sexual way, I mean ever use one for exercise purposes? They're pretty effective, if you can handle the balance thing. i measured myself today. lost 1" around around my waist. i know this--my back doesn't bother me the way it used to. these things will make your core strong! and for the first time since i was probably a child i have a cut on my upper arms and you know that part under your pit i have a cut there now. i didn't know you could get that. although since i'm pretty muscular for a chick i'm starting to get bulky. i compared myself to my spouse and whew, at least he's still bigger than i am.

Shit, my stomach aches. Burrito for dinner. Bike ride afterwards. Banking online afterwards. gassy food followed by movement followed by ugh activity. there ya go. Saw a really cool cat. Ok, right now I"m having a flashback to some dream I had in 1998. What the hell???

Ever get so mad you want to blow something up? Or at least see and feel something break? That's me when I'm angry. I like to see something destroyed. Usually it's just ripped up paper.

I'm getting tired of this environmental, go-green movement. lots of people in big corporations getting really rich and am i getting rich being green? heck no! I'm tired of movements, period. Earlier today as I headed to the store in my car my spouse asked me, jokingly, about my carbon footprint. I told him me and my AC gas using vehicle said he could shove my carbon foot. Handing him my cloth bag i said you want to ride your bike instead? He declined. Of course. It was 90 degrees outside. Only Olympic athletes and people under 30 can tolerate riding in muggy heat, not to mention the smoke in the air. California, leave your fucking smoke in your own neighborhood, will ya? I love summers, when we have the pacific ocean natural a/c kicking in.

Sinuses are stuffed. Eyes feel heavy. I could be baking oatmeal raisin cookies. or outside looking at the stars. hey speaking of being outside, anyone else hear about the UFO sited over in Bend, then later over in newport? of course the media downplayed it. one of the news anchors, some bimbo named brandi, way too young to really know of anything truly useful to report about, said it was probably a stunt for the x-file movie coming out. wow brilliant. oh so funny. ha ha ha ha laugh til i pee my pants. newsflash: anyone who doesn't believe in such craft needs to crawl out from under their shell. we ain't the only inhabitants in our universe, let alone our galaxy. don'tcha think given that, once in awhile, they pay us a visit to make sure we haven't blown ourselves up yet? or hey, maybe we're teaching them. i'm a bit doubtful on that one though.

dog's barking. she's a great watchdog. i have no doubt she wouldn't hesitate to bite the head off of anyone who attempted to harm us. certainly me given she's been by my side basically every day since we brought her home as a puppy. but it comes at a cost. she barks at anything or anyone that moves. she's sweet and friendly to all we knowingly welcome. to those we don't, she will bark and growl deep in her throat. i like that about her. that is unless she's barking non-stop because someone has decided to stand out in the street and have a conversation with another neighbor. no biggie to me of course. not cool with our little pooch killer here.

bored yet? i am. i think i'll head outside and watch for strange craft. we saw another one a week or so ago. that makes, what, 4 or 5 since living in this particular location. been having the desire to pack up and move. north. cooler summers. canada. sunshine coast is spectacular. it's expensive. of course where isn't expensive? corvallis homes still ain't dropping and i'm tired of seeing run down pieces of shit go for $225,000. for a damn home? please! anyway up north.......means one of my ideas needs to generate a lot of cash. i'm pursuing one right now. even if it means shipping production overseas. i know--bad bad, wrong wrong. but i've been focused on creating wealth and i'll do what i have to to achieve that, even if it means compromising on some things i typically don't believe in. and really, it's my life. i don't need to justify what i do or how i live to anyone. there's too much butting in these days. i'm pretty tired of it, to tell you the truth. like i would like? well maybe sometimes i do lie or, more accurately, downplay things. if i really let loose on this blog, wow. i'd have no readers, save for those who like to peak into the minds of others who are strange and out there. okkkkkkkk.......soooo canada..... they have that health care deal. no republicans or democrats. no buba bush. no obooboo. no mcpain. no upcoming election. honestly. i have no interest in any of that anymore. it's a game. and i quit playing awhile ago. i'm about my own agenda. it is, afterall, my life. enough of this corporate and political shit dictating in any way how i live my life. freedom is what i'm after, however i define freedom for me. in any way i can get it.

i took some quiz that said i'm a girly girl at heart. i stared at the results. and thought what's a girly girl? hmmm. ok, so yeah, i am. i like girly things. i like to giggle. i like to be silly and mischevious. i love clothes, although i don't like the part of shopping for them. uck ick. but clothes yes i love clothes, especially frilly things and peasant blouses i love soft things like that. makes me feel oh so girlie and feminine. i like make up and lotions and pretty smelling things, in so long as they're natural. i remember when i used to do the mall thing and i'd go inside a department store and someone crazed psycho with a bottle of over-priced perfume in her hands would want to spray me. "want to try some inhibition???" she'd ask, spraying me, not giving me a chance to say "uh no thank you." i'd come home smelling all sorts of weird awful chemically things, usually with a headache. i don't like perfume stuff like that. ugh. if i could, i'd roll myself in pure vanilla oil and cinnamon. but then i'd walk around licking my arms all day and i would probably get arrested by someone who thought i was trying to pleasure myself in some weird way, someone who was repressed themselves and probably envious at my ability to just let myself go in public and well ok this is getting strange so i'll close it up. and hey, tummy feels fine now. must have just needed to get some of this weirdness and frustration out of my system. more productive than ripping up paper though?? who knows.


Update: Site Meter Found To Be The Cause Of Internet Explorer Failure

If you were online last night, you likely experienced repeated messages from Internet Explorer, announcing it had to abort the attempt to access select sites. The cause? Sitemeter. Sites with the Sitemeter icon were affected, which given my experience last night and the seemingly odd randomness of the blocked sites, now makes sense. Read here for Sitemeter's statement. The problem has been fixed.

If this happens again, I now know there's an easy fix: Block Sitemeter from your list of sites (ah, if only we had known this was the cause). Or do what I did: install Firefox.


Internet Explorer Weirdness

Something's going on with Internet Explorer this evening. Someone(s)/thing(s) is blocking certain sites, including blogspot sites, from being accessible by IE. So upon suggestion from a friend earlier this evening, we installed Firefox. And hey, it rocks! I won't be using IE anymore.

Something to put in the "hmm" file, something that may be related to this or not...earlier in the week someone(s)/thing(s) attempted to hack into our system several times, repeatedly. An ISP search showed each ISP was out of China.

Are these folks feeling the mounting international pressure over the upcoming Olympics? They already heavily censor the internet over in their own neck of the woods. Are they trying to do the same thing here in the good 'ole US of A?

Who knows?

All I know is I have a cool new toy--a new means of browsing the net. New toys are always fun for awhile. That is until your neck starts to cramp constantly and your right hand (or whatever hand you use to mouse) gets that old man/old woman arthritic look to it. Then it's time to put the toy away, go get some chocolate ice cream and ask the spouse for a neck rub.

Good night all.

Giant Corporations Form Biofuel Alliance

With names like Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland, well, you just gots to know this gots to be a good thing, right??

Speaking of Ethanol, I recently had an e-mail discussion with local Representative Sara Gelser about my experience with this fuel. I shared with her how the Ethanol clogged our fuel filter, how our mechanic said we will have to replace it every 15,000 miles instead of the usual 40,000, how our car runs more sluggish now, how our fuel mileage has reduced by about 20%, how a representative from Honda Motor Company said Ethanol doesn't have the same BTU's as does regular gasoline and therefore, cars will run more sluggish, and how every single mechanic and gas station owner I have spoken with have had nothing positive to say about the fuel.

Giving credit where credit is due, Sara did look into this matter for me. In regards to my beef with Ethanol, she spoke with the Department of Agriculture about my concerns. Below is her analysis of their response. It's nothing but political speak and crafty dodging of my questions. But as I said, I give her credit for looking into it. Hopefully she'll realize the bullshit writing on the wall and own up to the fact that the Dept. of Ag. is like any other big government agency, full of spin, supported by rich lobbyists who bribe, buy and sell politicians at every level of government. You know, get some guts to go up against the big dudes.

Ah, I can dream, can't I?

Here's some portions of what the D of A had to say to Ms. G about my concerns over Ethanol. My comments are in brackets.

"I spoke with the Department of Agriculture. They told me that ethanol is approved in most vehicles manufactured after 1980-1982 [Wrong. From the information I've gathered, it is approved for vehicles manufactured from 1990 and beyond. Even Honda Motor Company said their vehicles made only from 1990 on were designed to run on an Ethanol mix of up to 15%. Apparently the D of A are also mechanics and mechanical engineers]. They sent a technician’s manual (I attached it for your reference) that states on page 16 that all post-1980 models should not experience problems with 10 percent ethanol [Should not? Or will not? Should implies the possibility that it MAY. And, apparently this sluggish engine, clogged filter and reduced gasoline mileage aren't considered a problem. Or hey, maybe I'm making the whole thing up! In fact, maybe we all are!]."

"The Department agreed with your mechanic and said that cars that experience performance problems after switching to E10 can benefit from a new fuel filter [Nice wording. Nice use of the word "benefit". Nice how they fail to acknowledge you must continuously replace the fuel filter every 15,000 after pumping the E10 into your vehicle.]. A faulty oxygen sensor may be at fault as well [Already had mine replaced.]. As you said, this places a financial burden on consumers who have to make these car improvements [So does this mean if the Ethanol hadn't been introduced, consumers wouldn't have to make these improvements??]. However, it is the Department’s contention that ethanol use does not necessarily cause these problems but simply that cars run best when in good repair [Doesn't necessarily? Again, doesn't that imply that it just MAY cause some problems? Uh huh. If this commentary isn't the epitomy of "it isn't US it's YOU", I don't know what is. So if your car suddenly doesn't run as well after you were forced to put E10 into it, it's probably YOUR fault, not ours.]."

Basically, the Oregon Department of Agriculture isn't going to own up to the problems being caused by Ethanol. They aren't going to be taking any responsiblity in the matter. While I really didn't expect anything to the contrary when I was informed Ms. Gesler would be speaking with the D of A, I don't like the blatant dismissal of my evidence.

Drop Ms. Gelser an e-mail and share your experience with Ethanol. Then tell her you support the use of Hemp and other environmentally friendly, sustainable means of powering our vehicles (and lives). Tell her you're aware of the blockages put forward by Big Oil and Big Energy. Tell her you're aware that we could already be living such a life now. Today. And tell her no more of the finger pointing by Big Biz and Big Government. The shoe of accountability is on their foot.

Bill To Decriminalize A Plant

Whether you love it, hate it, are neutral about it... Whether you've smoked it (or smoked it without inhaling), whether you've never smoked it, whether you smoke it today... Doesn't it make sense to decriminalize mary jane and focus on other things that are actually, oh, I don't know, toxic and deadly?

Uh huh. It's called H.R. 5843.

As picked up on my blog strollin' earlier today...

"Here's a photo of MPP's Rob Kampia and Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) at a news conference yesterday, where we announced the growing support for his bill to decriminalize marijuana possession on the federal level.

The event was covered by CNN, The Politico, The San Francisco Chronicle, Roll Call, Reason, Denver Daily News, and many other news outlets. You can see some of the coverage here, and you can see our video of the event here.

We haven't even made a push for co-sponsors yet, but members of Congress keep coming forward to attach their names to the bill:

Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.)
Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)
William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)
Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)
Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.)
Jim McDermott (D-Wash.)
Ron Paul (R-Texas)

Imagine what would happen if everyone reading this e-mail alert were to send a letter to his or her U.S. House member asking him or her to co-sponsor the bill too. You can send that letter in about 60 seconds right here.

The “Personal Use of Marijuana By Responsible Adults Act” would eliminate all federal penalties for possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana and the not-for-profit transfer of 1 ounce or less."

Please visit MPP's online action center today and ask your U.S. House member to co-sponsor this legislation.