1.31.2008

Signs Of The Times: Proof Positive The System Is FUBR

That would be "fucked up beyond recognition" for those who aren't familiar with the acronym.

Just today, here's what I have encountered:

**A friend of ours, who has been looking for work up and down the valley for the past 3 years, who also happens to have a Business/Finance degree, very bright, excellent work and volunteer experience, has finally landed a job. In what field? Real estate. Yikes. She could come directly out of the book I just read, Bait and Switch, about today's displaced white collar professional who often ends up in real estate because they are unable to find anything else. I haven't had the heart to tell her the facts about real estate: that nearly 3/4 end up leaving the field and only 20% or so end up making a decent living. And need I mention the current real estate market?

**I was looking for counseling services for a neighbor of mine who doesn't have a computer and doesn't speak fluent english. I found a local agency that provides counseling services to members of the community on a sliding scale fee and was flabbergasted to read, in order to qualify for services, you must subject yourself to a urinalysis, which is absolutely outrageous in and of itself, whereby they want you to prove you are not only drug free but alcohol free as well. My neighbor, who enjoys a glass of wine with dinner, told me to tell these people to "fuck off", in her native tongue I might add.

**In my phone calls and networking, I have discovered 6 local acquaintances are also looking for work. Can I scream "fuck" loud enough?

**And hey, the Fed lowered the interest rate again yesterday. And we's gots those rebate checks comin' in the mail before the summer solstice. Yep, that will do's the economy real good, eh.

**Speaking of the economy: There are people bitching online about local businesses leaving town because people refuse to patron them, refuse to buy local. Newsflash: it ain't that simple. Buying local is often more expensive than buying from the big stores and places that sell imported items. Need I remind these folks that not all of us make a living wage, that some of us are actually living in poverty right here in Mayfuckingberry, US of A? Some of us can't afford that $3.70 container of locally produced sour cream, especially when there's one for $1.29 sitting right next to it. So newsflash for local businesses: if you want our patronage, reduce your prices or, at the very least, become politically active and speak up about the GROSS WAGE AMOUNT LOCAL EMPLOYER'S ARE PAYING THEIR WORKERS. Honest to the universe I am fed the fuck up with this issue NOT BEING DISCUSSED. It's one of THE most important crises of our current economic times. That being said, one of the big contributing factors businesses leave is the expense of doing biz here locally. I have worked for two small local employers who both told me they have never lived in a city that makes it so flippin' difficult and expensive in which to do business in.

FUBR. There ya go.

Music Healing for People and Pets Alike

Music moves us to the very core of our being. It can bring about feelings of sadness, happiness, anger. It's one of our common connections, a need for and love of music of some style. Certain notes and rhythms can have quite the profound healing effect. So then it comes as no surprise that animals show a similar need and appreciation for music.

I know my own little pooch is usually found lying at my feet when I'm playing the piano.

Pathetic Attempt At Comedy: Kip Schoning Video

Oh so sad.

The only differences between our local elitist and the rest of these ethical, moral bottom feeders is that our local boy has no scruples and keeps his greed public (not to mention his uh, wardrobe choices) while the rest keep themselves hidden. And have a modicum of intelligence/tact.

1.30.2008

Update: Kucinich Says Submittal of Impeachment Papers On Hold

Read this for details.

New Chantix Ad

I found this rather interesting, an ad I saw today, from the makers of Chantix. Now they are suggesting you may want to stay on the drug (if you are using it to quit smoking that is) past the 12 week recommendation. You may want to stay on it an additional 12 weeks.

Uh huh. This is marketing (lying) lingo for "What we don't want to tell you is that after the initial 12 weeks, once you stop the medication, you have a fairly high chance of returning to that cigarette." Their answer? Stay on the drug.

According to the hits I get on this blog, there are people around the globe who are having obvious concerns about this drug. Anyone still in doubt, google "chantix problems". Educate yourself before making a final decision.

1.29.2008

One: A Plea To The World

I was listening to "One", the beautiful ballad written during the 90's by U2. Next to John Lennon's "Imagine", it is one of my favorites in terms of depth, beauty and the simple message of Love. I've never been able to listen to this song without crying. Today was no exception.

As I listened, the words gripped my heart. "We're one but we're not the same. We've got to carry each other, carry each other." When Bono sings the word "carry" he sings it in such a way that I can only describe as gently and succinctly careful. The word is pronounced unlike any of the other words. It's very apropros for how that word plays out in the line. The only way to care for one another is to carry each other carefully. With care.

Brothers, sisters. We're all connected. Anyone who listens to this song or any similar tune knows this. Feels it in the heart.

People of the world, we've forgotten this. And this is why, this is the main reason why we fear each other. The main reason why our leaders are as they are, why the System is as it is, why fighting and battles play out, and why we continue to follow along, even when kicking and screaming. Violence feeds violence. Period. Love may be resisted, and it indeed is for it is unfamiliar that is certain, or at the very least uncomfortable and unfamiliar most especially outside of privacy of our homes, but it is the only way, the only only only way to peace.

We think when we end a relationship with someone, all ties are severed. But that is an illusion. How can you sever something that is eternal? Physical absense does not equate emotional absense. We carry one another in our hearts within, regardless of whether we're together, regardless of whether we've even met. To care for someone is to love that someone. And once that flame is lit, it can never be extinguished. Whenever you think of someone from your past with whom you are no longer in contact you are remembering that relationship is still alive in your heart. Try not to think about them. It's impossible, isn't it? That energy used in thinking about them is best used when you think of them in Love instead of fear or anger. This doesn't mean you need to have them in your life in the physical sense. Love doesn't mean being a doormat to harm or abuse. Nor does it mean ignoring lingering pain or hurt. It's all about the overall attention we give to our internal experience. Even the worst abuser is still a part of us all, still equally as worthy as everyone else.

It's my wish for the people, myself certainly included, to remember all of this. To remember how precious we all are. How worthy, magical, beautiful we all are. It is my wish that when we look at one another we remember this. For it is indeed an impossibility to ever harm that person in front of you through words or physical action when you see them for who they really are. When you see yourself mirrored in their eyes. When you see and feel that connection. It's unlike any feeling, any experience. It melts away all of the preconceived notions, stereotypes, opinions, societal expectations, beliefs.

We're one. We're not the same. And that's ok. Let's just carry each other, ok?

State Of The Union: "Peace Is War"

At 12 minutes into the speech, I decided to give it a visit. As I turned on the television, the first three words I heard were "peace and war". Those of us who speak Orwellian know what that really means is "peace is war".

Interesting way to dive into a speech as a listener.

Next, I observed Cheney and Pelosi. Pelosi seemed to be leaning to her right, which put her almost directly behind Bush at times. Was she doing this to hide from her likely pissed-off constituents, pissed-off because of the lack of balls and tits she and the Democrats have shown the past year?

Then there was Cheney, looking bored and aloof as usual, likely thinking, "Sigh...ok so we retire WHEN again? Damn. Can't wait to live off of my billions earned as a result of the war. Hmmm. Thankfully this is the last damn speech I have to write and approve before this twithead leaves."

Here are some highlights, along with my commentary.

"Wages are up."

Yes, these words were spoken and in and of themselves, they aren't altogether a lie. Wages are indeed up. For the highest income earners. For the rest, wages have stagnated. And for those who have seen increases in the middle and lower incomes, well, does 1% really count for much? Technically speaking, wages are up. But one must define what "up" means. If "up" means "pathetic amount for most", then yes, wages are indeed up.

"151 wasteful programs will be cut."

Can't wait to see which programs these are. We know it won't be any program that stops these tax cuts and handouts for the corporations or wealthiest.

"American families have to balance their budgets and so should the federal government."

One of the most laughable statements said all night. He received a wealth of applause on that one as well. Apparently none give serious attention to the balance sheet on this war on "terror".

When it was announced that "health care needs to be made more affordable", the cameras zeroed right in on Hillary, who was clapping.

Of course she was. Her plan will require us to buy into a plan, making it like auto insurance. If you opt out and she finds out, she will show up on your door personally and present you with a ticket.

We must get rid of these "junk medical lawsuits."

Ah yes. Too damn many of us have been victims of a failing health care system and when we choose to sue for damages, our suits are called "junk". God forbid we actually regulate the industry instead so that doctors can cut off those shackles as put there by the insurance industry.


It is now 10 minutes into the speech. May I have a drink now? Or access to the puke bucket? Nope, I'm cookin' dinner and need to stay straight. Throwing up is not a pleasant option either. Onward and upward...

"Clean energy. Coal plants which capture carbon emissions. Nuclear plants which are emission free. Renewable fuels and batteries."

Ugh. Coal, nuclear, same ole' same 'ole. Dirty no matter what you do to these facilities. And these renewable fuels are proving to be a disaster considering we are turning much-needed food crops into crops for fuel. BAD IDEA. What about solar? Wind? Ocean water? Oh, how silly of me to have forgotten. Bush and Company and Congress aren't invested in these folks. Perhaps we need a new slogan. Instead of saying "it's all about the benjamins", let's instead say "it's all about the oil".

"We need judges who know that the constitution means what it says."

Number two on the most laughable statement of the evening. I think what he really meant by that was, "Judges who know what the constitution means so that they can ignore it." Kinda like the statement, "Know what the rules are so that when the time comes to break them, you know what you're getting into."

"Value all human life."

Said in terms of stem cell research. What he means is value all human life unless taking that life will allow us to invade country number 27. And on and on and on...

***
The speech finally came to an end, whereby Mr. Bush walked through the aisles, signing autographs for members of both parties. I wasn't paying too much attention at this point, well ok, I stopped paying attention about 15 minutes into the speech, but something one of the people on the left said to Bush as they shook hands, who according to PBS, the left was the democrat side, well, perked up my listening ears. "We'll try and reign Hillary in."

I don't know what that meant. I don't know the intention. I am and was too tired to even try and figure it out, so I will leave it up to you.

1.28.2008

Those In Poverty Still Suffering From Last Recession

Well, apparently the poor are still struggling from the last recession.

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters)--"Many of the poorest people in the United States are still struggling to recover from the effects of a recession that ended six years ago, making them very vulnerable as the country stands on the brink of a new downturn."

What else is there to say about that other than DUH.

I could add that the middle income earners are struggling every bit as much too, but why bother? The entire economy and economic factors are controlled and manipulated, with the rosy picture mentality always exagerrated. Who really is doing better economically than they were 6 years ago? Uh huh. The elite. Frankly, I don't believe we ever recovered from the last recession. And I'm pretty sure the average American worker would concur with that opinion.

Is Kucinich Growin' Soft Now That He's Dropped Out?

He had stated articles of impeachment would be presented before tonight's State of the Union. However, this just in states that this has been put on hold.

Sounds a bit like DeFazio, who once supported impeachment when the Republicans had the majority and used that as a reason not to pursue the issue. However, once the Democrats gained the majority, he changed his tune.

Come on. These folks are supposed to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution. What gives Kucinich? It isn't some 7 year itch, is it?

1.27.2008

My Letter To The Ladies of PBS's "To The Contrary"

I watched this roundtable discussion today and I gotta say, I was almost embarassed to call myself female. Where do they get these ladies? Corporate boardrooms? It was like listening to the white male conservative whose tie is so tight, it has cut off circulation to his heart (thought I was gonna say brain, didn't ya?). Sigh. Anyway, given I'm Nina, given I'm Irish and a mix of other hot-blooded, feisty ethnicities, and given I'm, well, me, I had to respond. The topic was on The Flexibility for Low Income Workers, corporations who are providing flexibility for low income workers. Never mind I think it's a grave grave sin (for lack of a better word) for a society to even HAVE that term, "low wage worker", I was also fired up and thus vocally opining (at first to the television and Mr. Nina until I got my butt in front of the computer and put down my thoughts and emotions into e-mail) when I saw the complete aloofness, the complete lack of awareness of the real problems plaguing today's low income worker (not to mention workers in general) and the ugly side of blaming the victim.

Read and comment if you so desire. I will post if/when I receive a response.

***
Hello ladies~

I watched the show today. First let me begin by stating that it is indeed wonderful to see women engage in political and social dialogue. It inspires me. Most particularly of interest to me was the piece on Flexibility for Low Income Workers. Most disturbing and thus frustrating to me was the comment made that, in short, blamed the victim by stating, to paraphrase, "One must make better choices. For example, if one cannot afford children, do not have them."

I have many things to say to that point. But let me start by saying that it is my vision that one day we see commentary that states: "Let us create a System where there is no low income worker. Let us create a System whereby every worker is paid a living wage." For indeed, it is my belief, a belief I believe we can all embrace, especially as women, that every person has the right to housing, clothing, food, running water, education and health care and that income have no bearing on any of these. I realize that goes contrary to our out-of-control capitalistic, rugged individualistic, white bread Protestant psyches. However, that can be changed when one tunes inward and focuses on love. On fairness. On freedom. On peace. All of those things which, when put to the average American, would be greatly supported.

Apparently, some of you do not recall the days, when retail and office clerks, which are classified as today's low wage earners, received an income whereby they could afford to buy a home, afford to have a family and often support the family on that one income, and whereby employers of said jobs provided full benefits. To give you an example of what I mean, my father was an office clerk during the 1960's and 70's. His income allowed my mother to stay home with my brother and myself. Money was tight, but we always had what we needed. He received full benefits, including health care for the four of us. His income enabled he and my mother to own their own home and we were never short of two fairly news cars parked in our driveway. My spouses father was a retail sales clerk for a major department store during this same time. His income was enough to support a family as well, this time a family of 6. Benefits? Yes. Home ownership? Yes. My uncle, also a retail sales clerk during this time, whose income also supported a family of 5.

Today's picture is much bleaker and completely different. My previous employment was doing essentially the same sort of office work that my father did, only I had the additional responsibilities of customer service and sales. However, my employer provided no health care benefits because of the expense. My income also did not allow me the privilege of buying a home. Supporting a family was out of the picture entirely, as was buying a new car. Two cars, even used? Completely out of the picture of economic reality.

Would you then look at me and put the full brunt of the responsibility for my economic situation on me and my choices alone?

Putting the focus on the low income earner by stating they need to make better choices, when just 30 years ago that same worker would be making enough to afford home ownership and family, not to mention receive health care benefits, is nothing short of blaming the victim. And when it was mentioned that we have a society where people have confused needs versus wants, what was implied was that people consume too much, buy too many gadgets and that is a big part of the problem of low income workers and life affordability factors. While I admit that our personal consumption's are a bit ridiculous and we have a problem confusing needs and wants, this problem is mostly played out in the middle and higher income earners. Low wage workers simply do not have the income to give into those "wants" and instead, are focused on basic living expenses, basic needs.

And what kind of a society do we really want? A society that says only certain people get to enjoy those little fun frills modern life has to offer while others don't? I certainly don't support something like that and I would be surprised to see anyone who really truly supports such a system when they think about it, especially the religious who purport to honor the teachings of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, etc., for such a system goes utterly contrary to their real teachings.

Listening to some of you speak today, I was reminded of the decades long disease of white male conservative elitist, who is completely out of touch with not only his/her own heart and soul, but with the average American, with needless suffering and struggle. Due to government deregulation, which has been the Corporate Type's best friend while quickly becoming the worker's worst enemy, we have seen growing numbers of people living in poverty, many of them working (check with social service offices in any city to see the real stats on people in need), we have seen a declining middle class, we have seen the cost of living, in particular health care and housing, skyrocket, becoming more of a luxury than the right they need be, and to top off that scene, we have seen wages either stagnate or decline for millions of Americans. Wages that have certainly not kept up with the cost of living.

And again, people need make better choices? Perhaps it is the Government and Corporations who need make better choices?

If you are still not buying into what I am saying, read Barbara Ehrenreich's books, "Nickel and Dimed" and "Bait and Switch". These books will give you a first hand account of life for not only the low income workers but for the growing number of displaced white collar workers. As she candidly points out, for example, there was a time when Corporation's would cut back on CEO's salaries and bonuses before laying off an employee. For further reading, I would like to suggest David K. Johnson's, "Free Lunch." Both of these authors have been featured on a variety of PBS shows, so you may be familiar with their work(s).

Bottom line is, the people are getting screwed and it isn't simply due to their choices, ladies. There are social, political and economic factors influencing and in many ways, limiting choices. That is a truth that must be included in discussions such as the one you engaged in in today's show.

I certainly hope my words were read carefully. If so, I thank you deeply and sincerely for reading. It is most appreciated. It is my hope that some new ways of thinking will be inspired as a result of reading my words.

Nina

Imagine If There Were No Savior...Or God

John Lennon was on to something when he sang "Imagine there's no heaven..." "No hell below us..." "And no religion, too."

What would the world look like if we didn't worship a savior, or a god for that matter. How would we live? How would we interact with one another?

The past many years have been interesting to me, in terms of religion and church. Having escaped what I call to be the confines of the church, I have given myself the time and freedom to look within and discover what I believe, think, feel. While I grew comfortable with the idea that Jesus was either a myth or was simply a human like you and I, who mirrored a new potential, our true potential, who was a John Lennon of his time, promoting peace and love and all of the concepts and behaviors that fall under that umbrella, and like so many other like-minded souls, was killed for his beliefs, but then someone(s) got the idea to form a business around his model, put him on a pedestal (which he never wanted), then set out to control the masses by labeling him "Savior" and therefore, scaring people into coming to their business on a regular basis with fears of hell and damnation...asking (through guilt tactics and other forms of coercion) for money....while that rolled around in my mind and I grew to become at peace with it, I next began playing around with the idea that there is no separate, individual entity called "god", but instead, there is just you and I and all other life forms, all connected in an eternal way, all part of Life Eternal. The Creative Force, that Force which makes up the sum of the parts. (One day, a couple of years ago, as I meditated on the concept of god, and if there was this separate entity, the phrase "the sum of the parts" came to me and it simply felt right.) And to worship that, to honor that, is to worship and honor one another. And any guidance we felt we receive or experience and label it divine, is really just coming from within, manifesting on the without, with help now and then from other life forms, both here in physical reality and not.

It's an interesting concept, you must admit. Scary too in a way, for it means the responsibility of life falls into our individual laps, meaning self-responsibility AND responsibility for one another. In thinking this way, we can't blame God anymore. We can't walk away from someone in need and say "God will take care of it."

Imagine if this were true. Wouldn't we be more apt to treat one another better? Wouldn't we become more outspoken, more active in creating social change? If we knew it was just us, wouldn't we be less resistant to change, especially change that lifted us out of fear and into love? And probably most importantly, wouldn't we treat ourselves better, talk to ourselves with respect and love and kindness? After all, true change, true evolvement into Love comes from within first so that we can share that Love in its purest form with the world.

I realize such thoughts would have many, if not most, labeling me as a, at the very least, blasphemer, at most, the by-product of satan. But as I once told a very religious family member, when my body gives out, I would rather spend my "time" with other soul forms who believe as I do than to spend eternity with ANY soul form who supports the basic fearful, dogmatic, judgmental tenets of modern religion.

1.25.2008

Thanks Anyway, Dennis Kucinich

Most may have heard already that Kucinich has announced he will be dropping out of the presidential race. We were certainly disappointed with his decision. In the last election, he hung in there until the end.

That being said, I can say I understand his decision. His message was anything but respected, let alone heard. The Media made him appear as though he is a little dwarf of a man with little brain power. Insignificant, is what they made him out to be. And if that isn't bad enough, so many of these supposed "wake up america" websites, such as rense, alex jones, david icke and out there tv didn't do squat to shine any light on this insightful man. Their focus has been solely on Ron Paul, the pro-life nut. (Anyone see him speak at the March for Life Rally earlier this week? Yikes. His abortion viewpoint is indeed militant. Doesn't matter if you've been raped. You's a gonna keep that fetus through to the end no matter what. He claims to want the States making this decision, but his real agenda comes through loud and clear during such speeches. He wants abortion ended, period. End of story). How ridiculous of these sites to be so narrow minded. How dare they fail to see what Dennis has worked so hard for, what he stands for. How dare they ignore his message just like the MSM has done. Here these folks spout words like "impeachment". Here these sites spout off endlessly about the crimes (they say were) committed by Bush, Cheney et al, and yet Kucinich is and was the ONLY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT who not only supported impeachment, he introduced legislation to look into the matter.

And so now, those of us who believe in freedom, who believe in peace, who believe in possibility, who believe in a government that works for the people, who believe Nafta and the WTO has been a nightmare, who see the banking industry for what it really is, who believe deregulation has been the corporate world's best friend while becoming a true enemy of the worker, who believe learning skills such as conflict resolution is a good thing, who believe if two adults wish to marry, they have that right to do so, who believe all people have the fundamental right to housing, health care, education, food and water and that income should have absolutely no bearing on any of this........basically those of us who have a growing understanding of what love in action really looks like are now without a voice once again.

What a sad day this is.

Friday Musies and Observies

one of the many beautiful sunsets we were given


The Mr. and I are back from a much needed mini winter escape to the coast. With each visit to our beautiful coast, I leave with a longing to return permanently. There is something about the ocean that calms and centers me like nothing else. And need I say sleeping with the gentle roar of the ocean in the background? Amazing slumber.

I did find out some rather sad news. A very good friend of mine from high school and college days mother died earlier in the month. I spent a lot of time at their home and yet, after reading her obituary, I realized I knew little about my friend's mom. I wonder if this lack of a desire as kids to know about the adults in our lives is something that is hard-wired into it. Or perhaps it's societal. Maybe a bit of both. I tend to believe it's more of a nurture instead of a nature issue. Anyway, it put me into a very reflective mood where I just desired to spend some time alone, thinking about a variety of things, but mostly reflecting on my friend's mom's life. The memories I have of her. And this need to apologize for being a teenager.

While I normally don't like to discuss the weather, I will say DAMN it was cold over there. Certainly when that east wind blew. It made for quick walks on the beach, where bundling up took on new meaning. The sunsets were spectacular and I mean that in every sense of the word. Two mornings we were up (briefly) around 4:30ish am in order to catch the moon setting over the ocean. The reflection of the light coming from the moon created ripples of light dancing over the sea that seemed, well, alive. I have never seen anything like this... Wow. Hauling my slumbering sleepy self out of bed at this hour was certainly worth it.

As I typically do when I gaze out at the ocean, I felt a sense of safety, security wrapped up in awe. I didn't feel that dread, that chaos that I often feel in daily life. Is it a false illusion of security that the ocean seems to provide? I don't know. All I know is when I look out at the sea, out into that seemingly never-ending vastness, I have a very difficult time thinking there is so much darkness happening in the world. How can that be with so much beauty right in front of me? With so much magic and mystery? Our ocean. An entire world, most of it unknown. I like to imagine what's out there. Who is out there. What life forms exist, at what level of awareness. Are they aware of us? If so do they hate us? Ignore us? Love us?

People say we are killing the ocean. Yes, we are certainly destroying so many of the life forms that rely on the ocean for survival. A grave sin, indeed. And yet, the ocean will consume us far before we humans would ever consume her.

This time around, as I did my gazing, I felt a sadness that I haven't felt before. Was it for me? Or was it for the world? Was it because this visit, I have acquired more experience, more insight. And as such, I believe I am stronger and more confident in my visions for a different world. And the sadness, likely, comes from this difficulty in grasping why there seems to be resistance to change of any kind.

And yet, all I have to do is remember how humans are. Change is something we resist until we can resist it no more. And who in their right mind wants to dive into the mess that the System has created? Who wants to swim down that hole? At least those are the questions the mind asks. The heart knows of a different answer. And it's getting to that space that is what is needed before a new vision can appear. I heard one such man on the radio this morning that I can only hope will aquire some of that new vision before he departs.

The topic was the constitution, the bill of rights, government spying and the 2007 homeland security/homegrown terrorist (I cannot recall the full name), which is still awaiting passage. A very dangerous piece of legislation in that it can prosecute and label someone a terrorist for even talking about creating social change. In other words, Martin Luther King, Jr. could have been arrested and prosecuted for his agenda. (Of course, instead, he was shot and killed for them, but I digress.)

Anyway, this caller, this man, phoned in and was accusing the hosts of whining and fearing over nothing. Here are some of the snapshots of this man's opinions.

"If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear."

"When has the government spied on you?"

"If you're part of the lazy, worthless rabble that doesn't work, you don't have the right to vote." (When questioned if those who can't work due to disabilities, etc. should not have the right to vote either, he hesistated and said, rather defensively, "Yes!" I'd like to see him state that opinion at a Veteran's Rally.)

"I want the government to have the right to spy, but I don't want to pay for it." (When asked if he thought the NSA, etc. should be a volunteer agency, he had no response.)

"Corporations haven't negatively impacted my life."

And this one, which sums up his way of thinking. When asked if he thought Senator McCarthy was a good man, he didn't hesitate to say "Yep, I do."

I wonder if this man ever looks out at the ocean in reflection. I wonder if he can quiet his mind chatter long enough to listen to the words of his heart. To remember what we all long for. Love. Peace. While those words became just that during the 1960's, simply words used by hippies and people with long hair and joints in their hands, it is my wish they take on new meaning today by inviting people to remember what they really truly deeply mean, from the place that matters most. The heart.

1.18.2008

Friendly Reminder Concerning The Local Turn-Arounds

I believe that's what they're called. Those four-way intersections with the island in the middle, no stop signs. We only have a couple here in town. Today I was almost hit by a driver who apparently has yet to learn how these things work.

Let me remind local drivers that these intersections require each of us to yield to one another. That means whoever gets there first, goes first. Second, second. Etc. Etc.

This means if you are last to arrive, you do not get to drive through ahead of everyone else. It also means you will be required to actually turn your head and slow down while determining the action of other cars around you. Just because there is not a stop sign or signal light does not mean you get a free "go without stopping/slowing down/looking" pass.

Think of it as yellow light. Slow down. Yield. Please.

Of course the local government could just rip out the damn islands and install stop signs, but that would make too much sense. They're under the illusion that this is Europe.

Another Oprah Show. Another Airing Of Out-Of-Touch Corporate Mediadome.

Oprah had on her financial guru (FICO ass kisser), Suz Ormann. The show highlighted people who were in financial crisis. I thought "Oh good, maybe they'll show how difficult it is for millions of people these days just to pay the basic expenses."

Wrong.

This show highlighted folks who are irresponsible and don't deserve any media attention for their stupidity. Totally aloof as to how reality is for millions of others in this country, these people were the types who were spending like there was no tomorrow. Luxury homes, extra cars, nail salon treatments, clothes spending sprees, etc. etc. Crying while on camera, "Please help me I have a problem."

You're damn right you do. You're clueless. And you don't deserve that money you are sitting on, wasting. Let someone else have it who can appreciate the blessing of financial abundance. Someone who truly needs it.

Where were the families who truly fall into the category "financial crisis"? Where were the people who were paid the shitty slave wages, unable to afford health insurance, having to pay for food or rent with credit cards? Where were those folks who were facing bankruptcy due to health crisis and unemployment/underemployment? What the fuck is wrong with the Oprah empire? Are these people embarassed to highlight this issue?

And who does this Suz Ormann think she is by saying every single one of us, regardless of our financial situation, can get out of that huge credit debt. Yep. Every single one of us. I guess she plans on waving her magic fairy dust over those parts of the country where unemployment is close to 20%, over those folks who have no health insurance and have been hit with illness, over those folks who are trying to support a family on $7.50/hour, all while utility, food, health care and energy costs skyrocket and their income remains stagnate.

Catch a clue, Suz. Not everyone lives the life you and your minion Oprah portrayed today. In fact, the majority do not. But then again, to highlight THAT reality would disrupt you and others who support The System, considering The System happens to work for you and not against you.

I realize I'm sounding abrasive and harsh, but damnit, I have absolutely no tolerance or patience left in me when it comes to this issue of poverty, slave wages and the working poor and towards those who deny its existance or scope. None. Zero. Nada.

Shit. Someone give me a fucking microphone already!

1.17.2008

FDA Data On AntiDepressants Not Forthcoming

Woops.

BOSTON (Jan. 17) - Nearly a third of antidepressant drug studies are never published in the medical literature and nearly all happen to show that the drug being tested did not work, researchers reported on Wednesday.

Now there's a shocker. The FDA shelving reports showing the real lack of positive results with these drugs.

In some of the studies that are published, unfavorable results have been recast to make the medicine appear more effective than it really is, said the research team led by Erick Turner of the Oregon Health & Science University.

That's criminal.

I've known several people who have been on anti-depressants, each of them undergoing a variety of such drugs to find just the right balance. Not one were satisfied with the results. All but one are no longer on them. (The one remaining stays on it only to help her sleep due to other health conditions. It does nothing for her depression issues.)

So much of our depression issues are based on what we tell ourselves, plus the type of support we have in our lives, as well as environmental and societal factors. Key though is the old fashioned positive self-talk, done through self-discipline and finding ways that help bypass the conscious mind and change those subconscious thoughts. Simply put, this is really the best, most empowering way to lead most out of depression. It all starts with what we think about ourselves. Not to sound like Tom Cruise, who is too fanatic and one-sided for my taste when it comes to this issue, but he is on to something with this concept. He just fails to include we need to also change how we live and interact with one another. The System helps contribute to people experiencing depression, for certain.

If you feel you may need medication to help with depression, get your neurotransmitter's tested (neuroscience is one such company). This will show definitively which neurotransmitter(s) needs to be balanced. A typical panel costs around $200 and if you're lucky enough to have insurance, most will cover it, if your doctor codes it correctly. They offer formulas of herbal and amino acid remedies to help balance things out, such formulas being MUCH cheaper than anti-depressants and offering far fewer side effects.

It's almost malpractice to me to randomly assign drugs that are supposed to effect brain chemistry without knowing exactly what is going on to begin with. Antidepressants do have their place with some individuals. But my god, they're handed out like candy anymore by well-meaning but ill-informed physicians who rely way too much on pharmaceutical companies and the information, often misleading and flat out wrong as this article shows, they provide.

Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

As originally discovered at this fellow blogger's site. And I thought Dennis was my main guy.

99% Mike Gravel
94% Dennis Kucinich
78% John Edwards
74% Bill Richardson
73% Chris Dodd
71% Barack Obama
69% Joe Biden
68% Hillary Clinton
32% Ron Paul
26% Rudy Giuliani
21% John McCain
19% Mike Huckabee
18% Tom Tancredo
15% Mitt Romney
11% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

More Help Wanted Ad Insanity

I realize I'm not scoring brownie points with these employers, but that's ok, considering I'm not the least bit interested in working for them. And besides, I require $15/hour and a casual, friendly, progressive environment, none of which is offered at these slave camps. And so, without further ado, here's more blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda...

Minimum 1 year verifiable as a store manager. Excellent customer service skills, strong leadership ability, experience managing volunteer workers. Computer literate in MS Word, Excel and e-mail software. Valid Driver's License (travel for company business). High School Diploma/GED. Must have good math skills. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Pass pre-employment background check.
JOB DUTIES: Responsible for daily store operations, including supervision and scheduling of staff and volunteers. Oversee the receipt of donated materials and develop effective store sales area. Will do personnel selection, training, supervision and recognition.


The hours on the above position are quite nice. Reliable and consistent, especially for retail. Don't know about the pay, it's one of those DOE things, which usually mean the poverty wage. My beef is the fact that they want you to run the ship and are only willing to provide sick leave and vacation as benefits. No medical benefits. No retirement package. I have to wonder "uh people, what in the fuck are you thinking?"

Onto the next ad:

DUTIES: Stock products to shelves. Face shelves. Rotate merchandise. Use pallet jack/stationary forklift/trash compactor and cardboard bailer. Assist customers and operate cash register as needed.

PAY: $8.15 per hour.

HOURS: 20-40 hours per week. 12am until 8:30am. Must be available any shift, weekends and holidays.


Another utterly absolutely positively crappy slave environment. We'll work you around the clock, any shift, anywhere from 20-40 hours a week. That means we may only need you part time, but you won't be able to hold down any other job given we may decide to up those hours at any time.

Talk about poor management.

I remember speaking with a young college student while shopping at a local 24 hour grocery store. He looked exhausted. I asked him if he was ok. He said he had worked the night before until 11pm and had to come back in at 7am the following morning. I was rather taken aback and said, "That means you weren't even able to get a full 8 hours of sleep". He nodded and said, "yep, that's what they do here."

One last ad for your enjoyment:

REQUIRES: Experience working with children and families in a child care setting. Female to work in all female facility. Effective communication skills. NO nicotine or caffeine use at work. Pass criminal background & drug screens.

HOURS: Part time -graveyard shift working weekends 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.with the opportunity to pick up extra shifts. Also part time day shift available - exact days/hours to be arranged


Now this is one of my favorites. They run it every 3 months or so, which likely says that's about as long as an employee lasts. Given they want you to work graveyard and won't allow caffeine consumption while at work, plus the drug screenS (plural), well, need I say more... I'm not normally a regular caffeine user, but put me to work on the graveyard shift, which goes against the body's natural chemistry, and I'm gonna need caffeine to stay awake.

I applied to one of these postings in the past and didn't hear back, likely because I lack experience in the social service field. And given what I've come to know, unless you can prove you have experience in the social services field, forget it.

Maybe I should have said I am a caffeine virgin and I thrive working straight through the night.

1.16.2008

Signs Of The Times

Food, up another 5% (eggs alone, up 36%).

Energy, up 17%.

Gas/oil, up.

Health care, up another 6-7%.

Interest rates, to be slashed again in the upcoming weeks.

Unemployment, up to 5% now. (Remember what Nina has said about these numbers, boys and girls. This number does not include those working full-time at low-wage jobs, after having been forced to take such a job because other living wage jobs were not to be acquired nor does it include the once full-time workers having to work part-time. And this number also fails to include those who have fallen off the unemployment benefit radar.)

Incomes, uh....hmm. Yeah. But wait! See the following for more information...

The Repubs and Dems to put together some sort of emergency financial assistance bill for the people by the end of the month.

All MSM channels now (finally) using the word "recession".

On the environmental front, the Navy was given the go-ahead to use their sonar equipment out at sea, even though this is a supposed threat to whales. They may use the equipment whenever they deem necessary, making them immune to environmental laws.

A UFO mass sighting over Texas yesterday. I'm waiting for them to drop gold coins, food and water.

Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit Of The American Dream. A Novel To Open Your Eyes

This is a must read for the "the economy is fine" crowd. The author, Barbara Ehrenreich, a Freelance Journalist/Writer, undertook quite a task: to set out to join the white collar, corporate world. Her focus was on Public Relations for a time before resorting to any type of work inside of corporate america, including office clerk type employment. In short, after a year of networking, job fairs, job coaching, wardrobe, make-up and interview tips, and hundreds of e-mailed, faxed and mailed resumes, much to her surprise, she ended the year without a job. Her only offers came from AFLAC as an independent sales contractor and, get this, Mary Kay, towards the end of her search.

Also of interest was the fact that she kept in touch with several people with whom she met during her job search. And while some did find employment, NONE found employment in their chosen fields. Most were working in the low-end service jobs. There were stories of huge credit debt, stories where grown adults, once highly successful in the business world, were having to live with mom and dad, stories of people on food stamps, stories of stress-related health issues.

It was absolutely heartbreaking to read. And all too familiar.

I also learned that for those who opt to go into Real Estate (as many folks do after giving up on the traditional "white collar" job search), the vast majority never make more than around $24,000/year. It's one of those industries where a few are swimming at the top and the majority, at the bottom.

Sounds like a pretty typical scenario these days, doesn't it?

Employers Using "Creative" Word Manipulation: We Make Anything Sound Good

I could not pass by on this one without posting it. I won't name the employer, but I will quote a portion of their online job posting. It's a 24/7 hour(which the employer deems as "high stress") call center operation (yes, we still have some of those left here in ChinIndiMexiAmerica) where employees must be willing to work any of those 24/7 hours, including long hours and overtime when necessary. All for a whopping ten bucks an hour. Woohoo!

"...our employees are empowered to do whatever it takes to deliver world-class service..."

Let's speak Nina-speak for a moment, shall we. Empowered? How about enslaved to do as we say or else.

I don't know about you, but no amount of "empowering" could encourage me to work those kinds of hours, and at such a low pay to boot.

As I read this, I could only imagine IV lines hooked up to espresso machines then into the arms of employees.

They also claim people, including employees, matter most.

Do I really need to even address that one?

Nah. Didn't think so.

It's All About The Benjamin's, Baby

That needs to be the title of a movie. Perhaps a documentary. Something to show that when you have money or when people think you have money, you are treated differently. We have recently encountered this on a couple of occasions.

While our income hovers near the poverty radar, we have been able to make some investments. One of those businesses, a bank, in which we opened up a new account, actually called us to thank us for our business, asked if there was anything they could do to help us (uh, double the interest rate??).

I've had bank accounts since I was 16. Not once has any bank phoned to thank me. For anything. As I told Mr. Nina, it has to be because of the dollar amount.

We also signed up for one of those big box store accounts. God knows why. You don't save that much and shopping inside of these places, no matter what time of the day or night it is, is a bit of a neurotransmitter overloader. But whatever, we opted to go for the higher end membership. On our first visit, we were overcharged and didn't notice it until we arrived home. When I called to inform them of their error, I was told the store's policy for such a situation is for the customer to return whereby you are given cash. When I explained the inconvenience, not to mention the gas of driving 30 plus miles to do just that, I asked if they could just mail a check. I was told "Nope. That is not store policy. We are unable to do that."

However, when I mentioned the kind of membership we had, I was passed off to a supervisor who asked for our address and said the check would be in the mail. (And yes, it really did arrive.)

As I told Mr. Nina, "only a million more to go before we will be treated like royalty". Throw in some star status privy to the Oprah's of the world and "we will be given anything we want."

Pretty damn sad.

1.15.2008

Solar Activity To Cause The Next Major Climate Change

Not to downplay for one second the crap we're pumping into the atmosphere, but this is one interesting piece. Many others like it on the internet, too.

As one person put it, "Natural activity. The sun. CO2. Whatever is causing climate change, we have dirty air and we need to clean it up." Of course if the Sun is truly the primary catalyst behind our changing climate, there really isn't a thing to do about it other than to ride it out.

The Effects of Coke On The Mind and Body

What happens during the first hour of drinking a coke.

Hint: it ain't pretty.

1.14.2008

Status Quo

I read something today about changing ones behavior and how most of us struggle to give up certain behaviors, mind-sets, etc., and how doing so is simply going along with our own status quo.

Kind of humbled me a few notches considering how I tend to blast the societal status quo, most especially the corporate status quo.

I guess I, too, am not immune to following a status quo, even if it is my own.

1.13.2008

Chantix Hits

I've noticed my blog has received several on-going hits from viewers who are googling "chantix". Most seem to be looking for information to use it to help them quit smoking. I wanted to share a few other stories I've heard of people using this drug.

A friend shared with me the story she read in USA Today (I believe that's the publication). A man used the drug to help him quit his smoking habit. According to the article, he started acting very aggressively and erratic, scaring his fiance. In time, he left the house and proceeded to go to a nearby neighbor's home where he began pounding on their door. He wouldn't let up. The neighbor did not know who he was or obviously, why he was pounding on the door, so the neighbor shot the guy, killing him.

This same friend told me her sister is on the drug and it is making her feel very sick and fatigued. She also told me about her former boyfriend who was taking it. She said it made him very unstable mentally/emotionally.

As I've said, Mr. Nina is on the path to quitting his smoking habit. He contacted the Quit For Life folks and they call every couple of weeks to see how he's doing. Mr. Nina already determined he was not going to go the Chantix route after what he had heard about its REAL effectiveness in helping people quit, the side-effects, plus hearing the FDA has put the drug on a watch list. The last phone call from this group was quite interesting. The guy kept telling Mr. Nina that there was no proof Chantix causes suicidal behavior and that, even though the FDA has put it on a watch list, it hasn't yet pulled it.

During this phone call I was in the background saying "ask this guy if they receive funding from the pharmaceutical's". While Mr. Nina didn't ask the question, given the pressure to reconsider Chantix as a viable quitting aid and this guy's defensive posturing, I'd say we already know the answer to that question. They're funded through the Insurance Industry. To me, that's one and the same.

Instead of using a damn drug that messes with your mind, try some form of hypnosis or suggestive phrases. And not just one time. Hypnosis-like methods CAN work if done on a daily, on-going basis. That's key. A one-time trip into the subconscious ain't gonna cut it. Change that inner programming you have about cigs and you can quit this habit. Google "Think Right Now". They have, amongst other self-help tapes, a quit smoking now program. It's guaranteed to work or your money back (you can use any of the tapes up to 6 months risk-free). I've picked up a few of their tapes and I notice when I actually use them consistently, I feel better. They're backed by years of scientific study into how the subconscious is best accessed, how people best learn new things. I don't work for them nor am I affiliated with them in any way. I just believe these folks are on to something quite powerful and effective.

One last note, a rather interesting one. I had already wondered when I would see something like this. There is now a television commercial put out by some law firm seeking people who have loved ones who used Chantix and committed suicide.

The class action law suits have already begun.

1.12.2008

Sick Of Being Told To Conserve, Change Our Consumption Methods

That realization hit me today. Having recently applied for energy assistance, we were given a long list of suggestions for ways to cut our energy consumption, reduce our carbon footprint, most of which we already follow. The most ridiculous was to keep the thermostat set at no higher than 65 and wear a sweater or jacket.

I realized that I was still falling under the "it's your fault/responsibility you can be doing more" mantra while the responsibility of corporate america and the elite goes untouched.

What about the businesses who keep their lights on around the clock? What about those businesses who run their heat around the clock, setting it to levels that are much higher than 65. (Anyone been to bi-mart when it feels like a damn sauna in the middle of winter?) I once read that businesses account for over 60% of energy consumption on this planet alone. And they are notoriously the most wasteful. What about these 4000 plus square foot mansions? Those stupid fucking security lights that stay lit all night?

What about the outrageous costs of electricity? It's risen by approximately 40% in the past 7 years.

Has our income kept up?

What about this green technology? It's ridiculously expensive. I am soooooo tired of hearing these progressive liberal types spouting its wonders, encouraging people to go green while completely and utterly (like most who aren't at or near the bottom of the income scales) failing to address the EXPENSE issue.

As I spouted off to these idiots at the agency, if we could afford it, we would have a wood burning stove, we would have solar panels on our house. We would have our own land where we would grow most of our own food. Our home would be very well insulated. We would go green up the ass and back and be as self-sufficient as possible.

Being that isn't our current reality, I'd like to tell such folks to STFU with their suggestions. Go preach to those who are truly wasteful. The poor are victimized enough as it is.

1.10.2008

U.S. Ranks Last In Health Care

Yet another study shows how deplorable our health care system is. Amongst 19 industrialized nations, the U.S. ranks last in providing timely and effective health care to it's citizens. This should shut up the supporters of those political candidates who were proclaiming in last weekend's debate that while we spend more than other nations, we have the best health care system in the world.

Hockey buzzer going off loudly on that statement.

Who ranks first? France. And our neighbors up north rank 4th. That should also shut up those folks who proclaim: "We don't want a health care system like Canada!" Sure. Let's just keep the good 'ole american LAST PLACE system in place, shall we? Let's just keep our heads in the sand and pretend and pretend some more.

And while we're at it, let's pretend the economy is strong, jobs are abundant, the dollar is really quite fine, poverty is really a non-issue and is really just due to laziness, UFO's don't exist, it's perfectly ok to pay $200,000 for four walls and a roof, the voting process is clean and clear, freedom still reigns, there's plenty of food and water for everyone, clean coal and nuclear power are the way to go, corporate welfare is a GOOD thing, aaaauuuuuuuuggggggghhhhh

blah blah blah etc. etc. etc...

Economy Is In The Toilet

And we're all nothing but a growing bunch of sewer rats.

No links in this post. Look it up for yourself. If you're still on the bandwagon of "the economy is growing", you're suffering from a massive case of delusion. A visit to the doctor, or the local welfare office, is in immediate order. Oh yeah, and a permanent vacation away from the MSM.

I once had an employment department tell me that when government's release the unemployment numbers, we are to, at least, double those figures. In today's world, we have a new term to add to the equation, the under-employed. That's where a large percentage of workers are today. Underpaid. Overworked. Benefits, largely a thing of the past. Working for the man/the woman whose only objective is to obtain as much money as quickly as possible while violating the moral code(s) of respect.

We all know about NAFTA and how that has encouraged companies to do biz overseas, leaving american's empty-handed, alone in the dark, scrambling to find ANY job that doesn't require one to ask "want fries with that?"

We all know about the credit and mortgage disaster being played out in front of us. This shouldn't surprise anyone. No one can spend more than they bring in for the long term. That is unless you're a member of the Government. The "urge for more NOW" has been a disease plaguing our culture for decades. We're seeing the ramifications of that today.

What's that term? Nothing lasts forever...in the physical world that is. I say let's let it fall. Let's not panic. Let's come up with new ways of living. Of being. Of doing. Whether what is happening is some planned agenda or whether it's a result of the american way of life, or perhaps a bit of both, it is as it is. Let's try and look at this from a higher perspective. We can use this time to think anew.

I'm sick of feeling like a victim. Worn out from thinking that I have no control. Tired of thinking inside of the box that is The System.

Aren't you?

1.08.2008

Paper Sings Praises Of Local Racist, Abusive Employer

Monday's edition of the gazette times profiles a local verbally and mentally abusive, racist employer. This paper is notorious for profiling this man as a community loving individual.

Yeah, he loves ya allright, in so long as you don't happen to be an employee he, for whatever reason, chooses to abuse, and so long as you are white. I know two individuals who have worked for this man, both of whom were subjected to months of verbal and mental abuse. Other employees saw the abuse first hand, reporting it directly to me considering my relationship with one employee in particular, and simply chose not to say anything, likely out of fear they would lose their jobs. As one employee told me "x works harder than any other employee and yet he (the owner) bullies x so much. I don't understand it."

I visited the store several times when these individuals worked there, and so I spoke with and knew the owner on a first name basis. On more than one occasion I was privy to one of his racist jokes and heard him refer to hispanics and blacks as "them darkies". This pig, who verbally abused one employee so much, she began having physical symptoms and would visit us at times in tears, not knowing how much longer she could take his treatment, is put on this undeserving pedestal by this city and it's time to shine the light of truth on his darker side. And yep, i'm just the person to do just that.

So pick up or check out online yesterday's gazette times and find the article that highlights a local man. I believe it is in the living section. You can't miss him--the article is complete with pictures, both current and past.

As far as his employees that i mention above, they are now former employees. Both were fired... for no valid reason, also backed up by the employment department. His employment ads, which have been frequent over the past few years, mention the person must have a good work ethic.

That's abuser speak for "must be willing to suck it up and take my cruelty".

MedFICO: Another Way To Discriminate Against the Poor and Uninsured

Corporate America has found another way to target the poor. The newly forming medFICO, which has the credit industry giant Fair Isaac Corporation (aka FICO) behind it, will be coming as soon as summer to a hospital near you.

The theory behind this crap goes something like this. Hospitals claim they need to determine a patient's ability to pay his or her bill, in order to "plan ahead" for such things as investing in new projects or determining expenses against revenue. I can see the logic behind that of course, but can we trust the intentions of the hospital's who elect to implement this plan? And is the answer to this situation to establish (yet another) credit score for the people?

According to statistics, nearly 3/4 of patients who fall into the inability-to-pay category due so because they cannot afford the bill, largely because they are (duh) uninsured or because their deductibles are so high. I would also add to that equation, in additional to ridiculously high deductibles, the out-of-pocket expenses insurance plans demand from the consumer as well before that 100% coverage begins. Consumer advocates are rightly concerned. Will this lead to the poor and uninsured receiving lower quality medical care? Will hospitals look at the patient's score prior to receiving medical care?

According to Stephen Farber, chairman of Healthcare Analytics, hospitals will only check the score after the patient has been discharged.

This begs the question: What protection is in place for patients to ensure this? Given the growing discrimination against the poor and the uninsured and the gross amount of blaming-the-individual that goes on from both political parties as well as in our society, can we really feel safe in knowing that, even though a patient may lack the funds to pay for a treatment, they will receive the same quality of care as their insured and wealthier counterparts?

Time will tell.

1.07.2008

I Said Yeth I Will Take Thith

Being under the influence of novocane is a strange experience. Having had the start of a root canal a few weeks ago, after being away from the dentist's chair for a few years, I was reintroduced to novocane. I was lucky during that visit in that I was barely numb--by the time I left the office the drug had worn off. However, today is a different story. I returned to finish up the root canal and this time, I was numbed from here to eternity and back.

"Wow!" I said, after a few minutes, rubbing my cheek, checking my eye and lips to make sure both were still in place. "I'm weally numb!"

"You were numb last visit too," the hygienist reminded.

"Nod lith thith time!" I announced laughing, whereby I quickly stopped after realizing that with that laugh came a stream of drool running down my chin.

An hour or so later, as Dr. Drill was finishing up (he really is an amazingly gentle dentist--very good for phobic patient's like myself), I asked him if he had ever seen the Bill Cosby act on dental visits. It's hysterical.

Yes, yes, yes, he had seen it, quickly placing a tool in my mouth.

Apparently asking a dentist if he's seen that tape is like asking a minister, priest or rabbi if they have heard any of the "priest rabbi minister" jokes.

I wonder if dentists and their staff are required to numb themselves on a monthly basis or so, to remember what it's like to sit still in a chair, feeling as though your face is swollen up like a balloon, having to have trust that indeed it is not swollen, trusting that your facial parts are still in place and that any drool coming out of your mouth will be sucked up by that thing lay people call "that sucky thing". And lastly, remembering what it's like to be a numbed up patient and have to respond to questions. Dental speak, I call it. That is the language we speak when we're numbed from here to eternity and back. The more numb we are, we add in the drool factor to the dental speak. We sound like Elmer Fudd and spit like Daffy Duck.

Hey. I think I just realized where the creator of these cartoon figures found his inspiration. In the dental chair. I return soon for the crown. Maybe I, too, can find some inspiration amidst the experience.

The China Effect

I already knew about China and the pollution factor and the top producers of fireworks, amongst other things, but button suppliers? For the full effect, read here.

Who Do You Think You Are?

An interesting little snippet from David Icke's weekly newsletter. Oh how I wish I had a mentor like him growing up, especially during those times as I grew older when I was asked my religious affiliation, my political party.... I always wanted to say "I don't know--I just AM/I just Believe". It felt smothering to have to define myself. And oh those times when some authority figure demanded, "just who do you think you are?!" Uh, ME?

Often I could see something beneficial in all sides. I would watch people argue, debate, my mind going back and forth absorbing it all while somewhere deep within I could see each person's perspective. Ten years ago, one of the most common things I was labeled was a "fence sitter" and I realize I have become less of one today. I find this bothersome and have realized that I need to embrace more that state of mind I once had.

We know that the System puts immense pressure on us to define ourselves with terms, labels, words. While I think it's rather silly to deny our humanness (since "i am human" is indeed part of our experience) and to reject the concept of a self-identity (since it is indeed possible to embrace the connection of all life and still hold personal truths), it is refreshing at times to just simply say "I Just Am" or "It Just Is". Gives the mind a break, the heart a chance to open up and peace room to grow.

This theme of ‘residual self image’ and the ‘mental projection of your digital self’ operates on many levels and represents the most powerful form of self-delusion and, thus, self-enslavement. It is the illusory state that I call ‘self-identity’ – the reality filter that controls the lives of billions because they don’t realise that the biggest manipulator of their reality is themselves.

I once wrote that anyone who could put a name to what they believe is in a box because everything just is; we all just are. We are not Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists or atheists. These are just the labels of a bewildered mind. You cannot label the force with no name. It just is and we just are.

I will go further. Anyone with a self-identity is in a state of self-delusion and self-denial – the denial of who and what they really are. Self image immediately transfers our point of observation from the all to the small. It is the box-builder, the guard at the door to infinity. And by self-image I mean any self-image – I am a man; I am a woman; I am white; I am black; I am a Muslim; I am a Jew; I am good; I am bad; I am lucky; I am unlucky; I am rich; I am poor; I am loving; I am hateful. Even ‘I am human’ is a self-identity because ‘human’ is a software program – a manifestation of what I call ‘body consciousness’.

We are not human – our vehicle is. All of these fake identities are the fault lines that fracture infinity into illusory ‘parts’. And they fracture people and peoples across the world.



1.05.2008

A Multitude of Rants

Hey local employers: NEWSFLASH. This isn't Mexico. This is an english speaking country and this english speaking AMERICAN is fucking tired of your bilingual bullshit requirements. Quit kissing the ass of people who are too damn fucking lazy to learn the language of the country that has allowed them to enter and remember those folks who were HERE FIRST and who NEED employment as well.

ABC/Disney: Hey fucktards. Who in the fuck do you think you are banning Dennis Kucinich from the debates? He really must scare you that much, eh? Fucking piss ant cowards that you are. He challenges the status quo. He's the only real candidate who is for the people. Who relates to the people. Who challenges the stranglehold you have over our news and information. Why can't you get your dicks and tits in line and stop cowering behind your mcmansion's and your mclimo's in fear and GET REAL. Let the guy debate. You obviously don't understand the term "debate" for if you did, you would KNOW that OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS make up a debate. All you're doing is pandering to the pitiful puppets who, aside from their skin color and genitals and hairstyle, sound pretty much the same. You're only serving to make yourself look all the more foolish and pathetic. Of course I guess when you're a scum sucking lying greedy elitist thief, you simply are no longer capable of caring. That's ok. Karma applies to us all. You can hide from the people, but you can't hide from You Know Who.

Hey Mike Moore: Dude, where's your brain?! Come on, Mike. You write this awesome letter and then e-mail it out to us all, describing your thoughts on the presidential race, your apathy. You then go on to talk about Kucinich and how he is the only candidate with whom you most resonate. Yahoo! I'm cheering you on, dude. I'm cheering you on. But then I read your follow up statement about how Kucinich simply doesn't have a chance of being elected. What the fuck prompted you to say that? Don't you know that millions of people actually look TO you to see for whom to vote? Yeah, kind of a scary, sad thought, isn't it? I don't happen to be one of them, but then, not everyone is like me. Wise and very insightful and perceptive into human behavior, intention and motivation. (If only I would have been paid for my insights over the years, I would have alloted quite the amount of wealth. But I digress...) You reach a lot of people on a regular basis. Why not encourage people to vote for whom they want instead of who you believe to be the most electable? Of course, I have to remember that you like Hillary and think she's one hot rockin' feminist (which tells me you haven't a clue as to what a real feminist is--Hillary is anything but a feminist--she's a global elitist who doesn't give a crap about anything but power). And need I remind you that she recently accounced that once she is Mz. Prez, she's gonna ship Billary and Bush overseas to do a little PR work, help clean up our tainted image. That's kind of like trying to put out a fire with gasoline, don'tcha think?

Onto my next rant...

Tires. Don't expect to find any made here in American anymore. In fact, according to the folks at Les Schwab, there are only 2 plants here in the states remaining and one is getting in line to go overseas as well. (The one remaining plant ships most of their tires overseas). Tires are all now made and imported from the other America. China, of course. ChinAmerica. Ain't it great? Ain't it a beautiful picture this corporate globalization is painting? All allowed because of the ongoing process of deregulation, whereby Uncle Sam thinks they can trust corporations, give them carte blanche freedom and lots of welfare checks whilst they can't trust any of us to board a plane, buy a house, apply for a job, order a pizza, etc. etc. without asking for some sort of identification, blood or urine sample, finger prints, retina scan, anal probe, etc. etc. Yeah, let's trust the boardroom executive to lay off employees, cut salaries and benefits, ship job overseas whilst hiring needy individuals, working them 15 hours a day for a buck a day, all while he continues to pad his portfolio...but let's put cookie-baking, anti-war demonstrator granny on a watch list. Let's NOT trust her.

Makes perfect sense to me! Onto the next rant...

Scardy cat parents. You know who you are. You are part of this new generation of parents who are afraid of your children. You let them run wild whilst you watch them from a distance, saying repeatedly over and over and over and over and over again "johnny, mommy said no." Question: How's this workin' for ya?? You wanna know what Johnny is thinking during this little situation? "Mommy says no no no no no no no no no". That's it. There's no follow up. The word "No" is as ineffective as saying something like, oh, "tree" or "badda bing" because there is no consequence attached if the "no" is not respected. Oh sure, there's the occasional threat or hint of consequences, but never any follow up. While I believe in encouraging children to be free thinking, acting, doing individuals, my god, they need SOME limitations to their actions. Especially when they're in a public place and your utter lack of parental authority is allowing your little one to throw goldfish crackers at my feet while running around banging on tire rims squealing at the top of his lungs..........

My last one. An ongoing rant, issue, with yours truly. Businesses utter lack of concern over the price of items. I've become sick and tired of paying the same damn price for, well, anything and everything as some elitist, wealthy fucktard. Got that? I finally addressed this today with a local business. I did so very politely. And yet I received a look unlike any other I've been given. And trust me, with the ideas I have, I've been given a lot of looks. This one though topped the cake. The reply was brief and kind of lingered in the air... "Uh, hmmm, well we don't offer that sort of thing."

Well you should. In fact, if those people I addressed in my above rants would at least consider my thoughts, just some of them, even one or two, we may just be onto something quite positive.

1.04.2008

National Weather Service Issues Weather Warning for Oregon and Washington

This is the advisory warnings for the Willamette Valley and SW Washington only. FMI check out this link. This is quite an impressive storm, being compared to the Columbus Day Storm of the early 1960's. One of the meteorologists out of Portland said, last night, that this storm had a mb rating of over 900. Right now it's fairly sunny and calm, although we keep getting hit with clouds rain and pretty strong wind gusts of around 40mph, the reason explained below. According to this Portland news site, the Corvallis Airport already logged gusts at 47 mph. Behind this storm is a cold front that will drop snow levels, bringing us a chance of snow over the weekend.

Be safe, ya'all.

Subject
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
Type High Wind Alerts
Expires
1/4/2008 10:00:00 PM
Updated
1/4/2008 8:07:06 AM
First Received
1/4/2008 3:42:06 AM
Severity: Advisory

Counties
Lower Columbia (Oregon), Greater Portland Metro Area (Oregon), Central Willamette Valley (Oregon), South Willamette Valley (Oregon), Lower Columbia, I5 Corridor (Washington), Greater Vancouver Area (Washington)

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGENATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PORTLAND OR803 AM PST FRI JAN 4 2008 ORZ005>008-WAZ022-039-050015-/O.CON.KPQR.WI.Y.0001.080104T1800Z-080105T0600Z/
LOWER COLUMBIA-GREATER PORTLAND METRO AREA-CENTRAL WILLAMETTE VALLEY-SOUTH WILLAMETTE VALLEY-I-5 CORRIDOR IN COWLITZ COUNTY-GREATER VANCOUVER AREA-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...
ST. HELENS...CLATSKANIE...HILLSBORO...PORTLAND...OREGON CITY...GRESHAM...SALEM...MCMINNVILLE...DALLAS...EUGENE...CORVALLIS...ALBANY...
LONGVIEW...KELSO...CASTLE ROCK...VANCOUVER...BATTLE GROUND...WASHOUGAL
803 AM PST FRI JAN 4 2008...WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM PST THIS EVENINGFOR THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND THE LOWER I-5 CORRIDOR IN SOUTHWESTWASHINGTON...A WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM PST THIS EVENING.A VERY STRONG LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL APPROACH VANCOUVER ISLAND TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING AND IS EXPECTED TO BRING GUSTY SOUTH WINDS TO THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND THE LOWER I-5 CORRIDOR IN SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON. SOUTH WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH WILL DEVELOP LATER THIS MORNING AND THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS THE SOUTHERN WILLAMETTE VALLEY AND SPREAD NORTH WITH GUSTS 40 TO 50 MPH. AFTERNOON AND EVENING WIND GUSTS COULD REACH 45 TO 55 MPH. THERE WILL BE SEVERAL PERIODS OF INCREASING THEN DECREASING WINDS AS FEATURES MOVING AROUND THE LOW PRESSURE CENTER ROTATE INLAND. WINDGUSTS WILL SUBSIDE SOME BY THIS EVENING. THESE WINDS COULD EASILY BE STRONG ENOUGH TO CAUSE SOME VULNERABLE TREES TO FALL IN THEWILLAMETTE VALLEY. A WIND ADVISORY IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BE 31 TO 39 MPH OR GUSTS WILL RANGE BETWEEN 45 AND 57 MPH. WINDS OF THESE MAGNITUDES MAY CAUSE MINOR PROPERTY DAMAGE WITHOUT EXTRAPRECAUTIONS. MOTORISTS IN HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES SHOULD USE CAUTION UNTIL THE WINDS SUBSIDE.

1.03.2008

2008 In America Ain't So Great

I did something I should have done years ago. I shredded my voter's registration card. That's right. I'm done with the whole election process, the fraud, the lies. Whoever wins has already been selected, although I have a feeling the powers that be have in mind 2-4 candidates who would continue the agenda in place. Hint: whoever the MSM ignores is who YOU NEED to pay attention to and cast your vote for. But I know people aren't going to do that. At least not the majority.

So I throw in the towel. I'm done trying to convince people to vote for who they WANT instead of who they think is electable. It's futile and pointless.

I've also shredded my thoughts on the illusion of the american dream, at least in terms of that scenario being the key to happiness and that without it, you will live a life of crappy despair and jealousy. It was never created to make room for everyone to obtain it. Hence that is why I love to tell those who preach "everyone can be rich!" "think this planet could sustain the lifestyle of 6 plus billion oprah's/bill gates/clinton's/edwards?" No? Well don't you think we each have the right to live in such a way? If that answer is no, you need to ask yourself why, ask yourself why you think some are more deserving than others. In that, right there, you will find the crux of our social ills.

Other nations, where the people are actually (more) the priority of elected officials, where corporate policies haven't raped the land and the well-being of the average worker, continue to become much more attractive to me.

The local energy assistance federal program is out of money already. The state program has had no funds at all. Interesting note on the state program, which is funded solely on donations--the middle income sector is where the vast majority of donations come from. Interesting it is to me that the elite obviously aren't stepping up to the plate and sending in an extra few dollars with their electric payments given, as Mr. Nina said, "the middle income persons are now in our boat". Ok, interesting isn't the word I'm looking for. Disgusting to a level my mind cannot wrap itself around is more like it. These greedy cocksuckers need to be prepared for the time when those without and who continue to go without may just start taking some of that wealth back. Who in the fuck are they to say they are more worthy? Who in the fuck are they to say those without do not work every bit as hard?

People toss around the word "civil war" and have it aimed at the political scene. I'd say a more likely scenario would be aimed at the rich. People can only be pushed around for so long. People can only be told "sorry, no" for so long. As for myself, the thought of war for any reason repels me and despite my online vents and rants, in my heart I am much more inclined to support conflict resolution and mediation for such things. That being said, I do understand the intentions, at times, behind such actions.

And try and get any sort of credit these days. Next to impossible unless you have a living wage paying job and a home and that perfect credit score. And god forbid you have a blemish on your credit report, for whatever reason, great or small. Those fucking reports are so biased. Your credit rating drops when you pay off that statement every month or when you make much more than the minimum payment (which is what we do). I had a discussion with some idiot with our credit card company, after being on hold for 25 fucking minutes. A discussion on home ownership. She asked if we owned or rented. At first I asked why she needed to know that information.

"We just do, ma'am."

I said "No one owns a home until and unless they have the deed. Until then, you're merely a renter, paying the bank every month to live in your home while making that bank ultra rich by paying ridiculous amounts of interest on top of the payment. And they have the right to toss you out or demand payment in full."

Ma'am, I merely asked if you owned or rented.

I know. I just thought I'd give you a little reality check is all.

Speaking of the banks....I noticed some interesting conditions with our savings account. They can hold the money for any reason, they can close the account for any reason, they can require us to give them 7 days notice if we decide to withdraw any amount, they may enact fees whenever they wish. I had never read the disclosure manifesto's before with any other bank and decided to with this one. Naturally I told them I did not like some of their conditions and asked them to explain some of them, which of course they couldn't.

It is as it is.

I want to know this: when will it be "it is as it is" for me?

Isn't it funny how our society dismisses those who question? Isn't it unfortunate we try and quiet or insult those who question the System, who wish for something else? What is wrong with having a variety of ways in which to live? Needs are a very personal, individual thing. Don't you think we each have the inherent right to live a life in a way that works for who we are and that meets our needs?

Of course we do. And here it is, 2008, and we have yet to "get" that.