zinnamon_me


Mother.Leader.Me.

...onwards and upwards.


Going Green
zinnamon_me
Going Green...what does it mean?


Let's be honest? How many of us actually understand the concept? I did, on a very superficial level. However, after recycling for over ten years, I moved out to the country and discovered that their idea of recycling is separating the trash into bins and then dumping it all at the landfill anyway. Oy. I stopped and just threw stuff away, and waited for the folks in the sticks to catch up to the rest. I got lazy and then just did not care anymore, because with soon to be four kids and one full grown man in the house, not to mention myself, it really seemed to be more work than it was worth. It was unsightly, it was a pain to do, and in the end, I was using up my own gas and time and money to run things to the bins in a local town. Does that sound like green thinking? No, not really.


I am a strong supporter of recycling. Its important, it really is. Ever visited a landfill? I highly recommend it, if for no other reason than sheer perspective of what NOT recycling means. But, some folks really have no idea what is and is not recyclable. Well, on some level just about everything is. Recycling creates jobs (transportation, sorting, and processing the materials), saves our precious land for farming and other uses instead of HUGE areas of waste disposal and rot, and gives us options over continually using new products when recycled products will do.


However, it bears to mention that most things made with “recycled material” are actually very little of that. Governments around the world have yet to come down on Corporate World Affairs and make them pay attention to the global situation. There are no mandates for recyclable material other than a few lighthearted rules that really are more suggestions than rules since they are not enforced. Some countries do better than others (Belgium, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands to name a few), with the United States managing to recycle and otherwise sort through around 28% of their produced waste (with some products being recycled more than others like paper [42%], aluminum cans [55%], steel packaging [57%], plastic soft drink bottles [40%], and appliances [52%]). It does pay to mention that in other countries, putting out the trash costs A LOT of money, and in the areas of the United States where this is the case, recycling goes up drastically (huge shock I know, hit the American public in the pocket book and watch them react).


Corporate Global Mindset is also roughly this same way; hit them in the pocketbook and suddenly they are interested. The corporate waste production far outproduces the normal folks, so it pays to pay attention to how they dispose of their waste. However, most states in the United States are unwilling to treat the Corporate Monolith any differently than the local populace. Oddly, a simple incentive to the Corporate Machine has produced startling results in cities where waste is a huge issue. Why not play that card? Most states do not want to “upset” the large producer of jobs and tax revenue, and the lobby for the Corporations pay big money out in incentives and re-election funds to keep the government off their back in this particular issue. The same is said for the pollution that the Corporate Machine produces, but that's a whole different article.


So, the Corporate Monoliths aside, what can we do, as the normal citizen, to help our country and Mother Nature in general? Well, its not all that complicated in the general sense.


1. Recycle

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recycling


You can recycle easy or hard. Obviously its not that difficult to recycle the simple things: paper, plastic [milk jugs, disposables, water bottles, soda containers], glass [all kinds, broken down in color], aluminum [soda cans, tin foil], packaging stuffing like “peanuts” and such, cardboard [boxes, cereal boxes]. The more complicated things are able to be disposed of in special places (at certain locations: a call to your city manager will answer that question): batteries, paint, used oil [automotive oil(s), cooking oil], appliances [just about all of them], computer waste [monitors, computer parts], electronic waste [stereo components, televisions, radios, any form of electronic gadget]. All that is required is sorting at the time of disposal, and a trip to the recycling center now and then. In the countryside where I live, we tend to store up for some time, then load it into the van and drag it all at once. However, in the city one can make shorter trips and store things shorter times. Some centers require everything be cleaned out first, but most do not do this. However, its not difficult and keeps bugs and other nasties away, so its something recommended even within your own house. It's not all that difficult: rinse out when you remove the paper from the can, rinse before you toss into the bin at home.


The most complicated and lets be honest, irritating (and smelly) part of recycling is green waste, or compost. Food item waste and vegetation such as grass clippings etc. are put into a bin and mixed, and let to rot. You can buy powder to mix in and help with the process, but the bottom line its there. And most of us wrinkle our noses and shake our heads, however, its easy to do and better for the environment. You most likely know someone who gardens, and many city areas offer green waste composting for the whole city, making money from selling the stuff once its done. Win/win.


The next more complicated form of recycling is that which you -reuse- rather than throw away. Donating your used clothing, your items that still work but you do not use anymore, even some of the plastics that you might otherwise throw away. The concept is simple... if its not destroyed, don't throw it away. Cans can be reused as a holder for oils and other hot-at-the-time things [invest in a can opener that removes the top, rather than -cut- it off]. Plastic bottles such as what water was in (not soda or milk jugs), can be reused for filtered water, or even to free water in for camping trips or in replacement of ice packs. Glass jars can be cleaned, sterilized, and reused for anything your imagination can come up with. Crafters use them, as do cooks and other folks, such as those of us that make our own shampoo, soap, perfumes, and lotions [to come]. Avoid reusing items that have had toxic ingredients, or ingredients that spoil to toxic levels, but keep your eye open for anything else.



2. Green out your Life


What does this mean? Simply: avoid products and items made with non-reusable, non-replenishing (non-renewable) ingredients. What are those? Items made with petroleum, for starters. What's made from petroleum? Far more than you think. Petroleum jelly is in a lot of our cheaper items, such as shampoos, lotions, soaps to name a few. If making your own is not your cup of tea, buying products made ONLY with renewable resources (and/or recyclables) is a great way to accomplish this. While you might think using paper is bad, paper can be reused and recycled. The same goes for aluminum, which once recycled and processed cannot be distinguished from virgin aluminum (the same can be said about steel, by the way). Always spend your consumer money on items that are made with recyclables, or without ingredients that are non-renewable.


Wear cotton, linen, and wool blends, and avoid fabrics that are created, such as polyester. Wear silk instead of satin. The cost you spend up front will do one of several things: it will give you clothing that is top quality and will last over time; it will be easily donated for others since its far more durable and lasts conventional washing better than the “fake” fabrics; you are using real fabrics made by renewable resources rather than petroleum and other sources.


Green products are available mainstream these days, making it even easier: peroxide instead of bleach; non-toxic laundry detergent with low sudsing agents; cleaning products that you could drink, if you were so inclined, without suffering dire or fatal results (they make them these days and they work great) [avoid the hype and ask questions, test, talk to friends about what works best]; natural laundry softeners instead of sheets and other toxic and non-natural options; avoiding any body product containing poison or non-renewable resources [you put that on your SKIN folks, and it absorbs.. always.. think about that]; organic foods are grown without hormones or pesticides and far healthier for you overall [well worth the slightly elevated costs]. In essence, giving your time, money, and support to products made with the Mother Earth in mind, instead of making as much as possible in the shortest span as possible... and to hell with the long term costs to the human race and this planet we live on. You do not have to be some kind of extremist to support this planet and sensible living.



3. Automotive


Cars make more pollution on a grand scale than anything else in this world. We in the adult world know that cars are a necessity, particularly if you have kids, or live out in the middle of nowhere like I do. If I lived in the city where there were more serious options, I doubt I would drive much; simplicity be damned, we all need to walk more anyway, right? However, most of us know that cars are necessary and own one, even if it spends half its life in the driveway. I live an hour from anything worthwhile, including specialized doctors and decent chinese food. The closest grocery store is 10 minutes away, and if I want anything but mainstream I have to drive 30 minutes in the opposite direction. However, we work hard to keep our trips consolidated, so that all we need done gets done in one trip. Our trips to the main cities involve a lot of coordination to pull off, but we tend to get get a lot done at once. If we are going to spend the gas and time, we make sure its for good reasons.


There is a lot we can do to reduce our carbon footprint: park and walk; use the public transportation whenever possible; take a train, not the airplane or your car; walk, bike, and find alternative transportation; carpool; buy an electronic car or a hybrid; push your politicians to advance alternative fuels; make your life where you live instead of keeping a life far away [don't commute].


Yes, these are all grand ideas, and yes, I am aware how hard all them are. It's a pain in the ass [or the feet, if you are messed up as I am] to walk everywhere, and I think it would be sheer comedy to put my fat ass on a bike. However doing these things would go a long way to helping not only the planet, but my own health. Something to consider, mm?


4. Self-Sufficient


More and more people are working at home, or part of the time staying home and doing their work there. It saves money on childcare, gas, wear and tear on the car, and gives them more time with their families. Many employers are more open to this concept than they were 20 years ago, and its worth talking to your boss about the options, particularly if you work with a computer or on administrative things. Obviously if you work at a factory putting labels on shaving cream bottles, or building cars, working at home is not an option. However, its something to consider for some folks.


 

Personal Cleansing

Consider making your own soap, lotion, shampoo, and other home products. Its easy and less expensive, and much more environment friendly than buying the same thing in paper and plastic wrapping that you then must recycle. You can reuse various glass jars and bottles, and readily available renewable resources.


Link 1: http://www.happynews.com/living/haircare/make-shampoo.htm

Link 2: http://www.teachsoap.com/index.html


 

Booze

Make your own liquer and spirits. Its fun, and again, more economic than buying it from some other country. Its fun, and in most places, legal as long as you don't sell it. Be careful, follow the rules, and make sure you take your time. I heartily recommend the link below, even if you do not plan on making your own booze. Its a good read and quite amusing as well as amazingly informative.


Link: http://www.homedistiller.org/steps.htm


 

Clothing

Some people I know make all their own clothes, and are stunning at it. Me? I would probably stitch my fingers together and sew up my shirtsleeve in the process. I do not have the patience. However, I wish I did. It would be a fantastic savings for me and my whole family. If you have a knack for such things, consider it.


 

Cooking

It is a huge savings for most families to cook their own food. Its not a simple undertaking however, particularly if you have rather fancy tastes. If you are like me and mine, we like simple recipes that I excel at. Meat, potatoes, rice, vegetables, bread, biscuits, etc. Basic food. We save hundreds per month by simply cooking our own meals, buying in bulk for ingredients rather than processed foods. I have a family of five currently, with one more on the way (surprise! -.-), so food frugality is important. For those single or small families, cooking for your family or yourself can be rewarding financially as well as personally as you can take pride in your ability to produce restaurant quality food. There are far too many recipe sites to link, but needless to say google it and take a look. Its nowhere as hard as you may think. Most common foods take about a half hour of prep and anywhere from a half hour to an hour to cook at most. You get better quality, less chemicals, and less cost for the satisfaction of being self-sufficient. If you are like me and live in the middle of nowhere, use the internet to get your specialty items delivered to you directly for not much more than if you had to drive 2 hours to a grocery store that carries what you want.


If you are requiring a specialty diet, or you are in a diet in the first place, it is especially in your best interests to cook your own food. Being a celiac's person myself, with a housefull of people that cannot eat wheat either (1 out of 3 children cant eat it, neither can my hubby; so thats 3 against 2), I have had to up my normally skilled cooking abilities to a new higher notch, excelling in creativity and a lot of “oops” and “dammit” in the process.


For those who need or want lower fat or chemicals, invest in organically grown or locally grown meats. Ask questions, find out who raises their stock without hormones, drugs, and pesticides. The result will be far better meat than you can buy from your grocer, and the taste cannot be compared. The cost is usually less or equal, and well worth the work. We buy local chicken, turkey, eggs, and bison. Yes, bison. Its lower in cholesterol, fat, sugars/carbs, grass raised, clean of hormones and drugs, and higher in protein (read: you use less). While the prices seems higher than beef, you use less so you actually break even. Its worth a look. The taste is the same other than texture, which you quickly adjust to and come to prefer. Beef is over processed and full of hormones and fat. You can order it over the internet or usually (surprisingly) you can usually drive an hour or so from just about anywhere that carries it.


Link 1: http://busycooks.about.com/library/howtos/bllessonseries.htm

Link 2: http://www.bettycrocker.com/

Link 3: http://www.healthybuffalo.com/buffalo_meat.htm

Link 4: http://www.thefrugalshopper.com/tips/grshopping.shtml

Link 5: http://www.organicfoodinfo.net/

Link 6: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/

Link 7: http://www.glutenfreemall.com/


 

Gardening

Growing your own foods is really the way to go if you have anyway whatsoever to accomplish this. Anyone with a small yard can do this, using boxes instead of flat ground, and a small greenhouse. If you live in the country like I do, its even easier: plow, plant, and harvest. No, its not really that easy. It's hard work, and I mean hard work, but on the other side of things its hugely satisfying. You get food that you KNOW whats on it, and its far more tasty than what you buy in the store since you harvest when it's ripe instead of when its still green. If you spend your energy growing the things that you use the most (vegetables, canned or frozen), you can find yourself a very happy camper when you check that pocketbook. Yes, you can spend a small fortune gardening, but its also simple to do and doesn't take anything fancy to accomplish.


Link 1: http://www.backyardgardener.com/veg/

Link 2: http://www.thegardenhelper.com/gardenerindex.html

Link 3: http://www.plantcare.com/gardening-guides/square-foot-gardening/square-foot-garden-boxes.aspx



So there you have it. A beginners look at “Going Green” in this busy hectic world. Me? I am going to be actively working to these goals starting this year. How about you?


Take care, and think about it! :)


Jaz


Tea Party of Fools
zinnamon_me

Let's talk about the Tea Party. No, I do not mean sitting around and chatting over tea and crumpets, although perhaps they would all be better off if they did that. No, I am talking about the American Political Movement of activists, racists, general ignorant people who function at a 5th grade level, and rabid religious fools who want everyone to be -forced- to live and think like they do. Now, yes, this is my personal opinion about these fools in general, but to be fair, I went and did a little research into the Political Movement itself, and read the core values, the stated beliefs as a whole of this “organized” group of people. Here is what I found.


On one site, it stated below:


Tea Party Patriots, Inc. operates as a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.


Tea Party Patriots, Inc. ("TPP") is a non-partisan, non-profit social welfare organization dedicated to furthering the common good and general welfare of the people of the United States. TPP furthers this goal by educating the public and promoting the principles of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets. Tea Party Patriots has not endorsed candidates for public office.


TPP welcomes participation by all citizens of the United States in online groups or blogs made available through the TPP website. TPP online groups and blogs are offered for the exchange of ideas related to TPP's mission, and discussion in any TPP online group or blog should be limited to the stated subject matter of the group. Positions taken or statements made in such groups or blog posts, including the endorsement of political candidates, do not necessarily represent the positions of TPP, Inc. or its board members, officers or employees, and should not be attributed to TPP without the express written permission of a duly-appointed officer of TPP. Individuals posting on TPP online groups and blogs are expected to self-police, to conduct themselves in a civil and responsible manner, and to refrain from profanity, slander and personal attacks. TPP does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and it will not tolerate comments encouraging any kind of illegal activities. No advertising, commercials or solicitations should be placed on any TPP online group or blog.


http://www.teapartypatriots.org/



That doesnt sound so bad really, on its face. Right? I mean, really. However, that is not how it works, is it. NONE of these people that have forced their angry, puffy faces into the camera follow any of these goals, nor do they seem to fathom the reality of how government works. Want proof? Here's more.



 

Non-Negotiable Core Beliefs


Illegal Aliens Are Here illegally.

Pro-Domestic Employment Is Indispensable.

Stronger Military Is Essential.

Special Interests Eliminated.

Gun Ownership Is Sacred.

Government Must Be Downsized.

National Budget Must Be Balanced.

Deficit Spending Will End.

Bail-out And Stimulus Plans Are Illegal.

Reduce Personal Income Taxes A Must.

Reduce Business Income Taxes Is Mandatory.

Political Offices Available To Average Citizens.

Intrusive Government Stopped.

English As Core Language Is Required.

Traditional Family Values Are Encouraged.


Common Sense Constitutional Conservative Self-Governance is our mode of operation.


http://www.teaparty.org/



Ahh so now we are down to the knitty gritty. Core values. Now, lets take a close look at these core values.


Illegal Aliens Are Here illegally.”


Wow. Really... I had no idea. Damn. And here I thought illegal aliens were here legally. IT was just a turn of phrase. *bonk head* Consider me taught.


=.=


Ok.. news flash here. People who come into this country ARE here illegally.. idiots. And no one, NO ONE is saying otherwise. However, what is true... and not based in your illogical hatred of all things brown, is this:


It is NOT a criminal act to be in this country illegally. It is a civil matter and is handed by the civil courts and civil laws. Why? Because …. and I want you to read this carefully. Because I understand you are easily confused and I promise to use small words:


It is the basis of the origin of this country that we are a place of shelter for those who are being treated shamefully by those in power. That is why the poem was placed on Lady Liberty for those incoming immigrants. Oh yeah, what is an immigrant. That is an awfully big word, isn't it. Well, an immigrant is someone new to a country that was not BORN here. You know, like very single person in this country other than native american indians. I know, I know, its a bit hard to swallow but every single person in this country other than slaves (those oodles of brown people you really don't want to think about) and indiginous (oops there I go again with a big word. That means native, here first, or here before the land was founded into a country) people are immigrants.


Here's the poem since I highly doubt most of the “Tea Party” ever read or know other than maybe one teesy little line:


The New Colossus


Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

~Emma Lazarus, 1883


Wow. That says a lot doesn't it. And man oh man you start talking about this and they all squirm. Its rather fun to see. But lets move on. This is a topic I enjoy beating them with, and its hardly fair.


So, just to recap for you, before I move on: Our laws are constructed to keep our borders, within reason, marked and policed, while at the same time not denying to ANY member seeking refuge here, a chance to do just that. Success is here for the taking to anyone willing to work, and work hard. Now, its an oversimplification to say that we have fair immigration laws, because they would make most tea party people cry with the big words and complicated phrases of law, but needless to say that its done so that we are both protected and still a welcoming place for (oooo here's this big word again) Immigrants.


Moving on.



Pro-Domestic Employment Is Indispensable.”



There is a matter of point to be made here, other than the repetitive nature and cause of this new statement. Do we want to employ Americans as much as possible? Yes. However, Americans often feel they are worth far more than they are, demand to be paid far more than they are worth work-wise, and simply lack the knowledge or skill to do the work that is needed. It is not simply a fiscal choice to employ outside the United States, but this could quickly get very complicated and require me to use big words, so suffice to say I will simply agree with the statement on its face, and ignore the racist and ignorant hidden meanings. We -should- employ our own before we bring in other nationals. However... sometimes? It makes more sense to the bottom dollar to do otherwise and THAT is the fault of our Government, and its lack of participation and paying attention to the larger issues at a whole such as the base and sad condition of the education of our citizenry outside of fifth grade (otherwise known as “higher learning” in other countries), and competing world wide with other citizenry when it comes to that “higher” education. I know I used a lot of big words, but if you don't understand these, please just Google.


The main point? How many people do YOU know willing to work for 15 hours a day in the hot hot sun so that Mr. White Spoiled-Person can have his canned green beans for less than a buck a can? How many do you know that can spend 12 hours a day putting teensy tiny computer pieces onto a motherboard in a sealed sterile room? IF we used Americans for everything, that can of green beans would cost three bucks a can and that computer would cost over three grand instead of fifteen hundred. And you watch them scream NOW about the lowest taxes in the world? Imagine how loud they would scream then. Oy. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.


Moving on.



Stronger Military Is Essential.”


We have one of the strongest military IN THE WORLD. We also have the most expensive. Hands down, folks. We spend a HUGE portion of our budget on the DOD (department of defense), more than anything else COMBINED. We will spend on our military and related expenditures, over 1 TRILLION dollars THIS YEAR. That's over 19% of the budget and over 28% of tax income for this country. Is it really that hard to do the math? Really? Really. The US Military budget is almost MORE than the ENTIRE WORLD COUNTRIES spend on ALL their MILITARY –COMBINED--. Did you read that? Do I need to say it again? Let me, just to make the point and drive it home with a hammer. The United States of America spends MORE on its military and directly related expenses that if we took EVERY country WITH a military and ADDED them all together.


US Military = Canada Military + EVERY European Countries Military + EVERY Asian Military + Every MIDDLE EAST COUNTRY Military


The US military budget is almost 10 TIMES more than CHINA spends. CHINA! HELLO?


And just as a little side note, we spent (in 2003):


Social Security: 23%

Medicare: 12%

Medicaid: 7%

Other Means-tested entitlements: 6%

Mandatory payments (pensions, etc.): 6%


Welfare, which everyone loves to jump on, is just 3% of the budget. THREE PERCENT.


When these idiots are quoting that Welfare is 33% of the budget? Yeah... please remember they are including ALL of the above in that little number.


DO. THE. MATH. And then.. please... SHUT UP.


Moving on.



Special Interests Eliminated.”


This... amuses me. Because the Tea Party.. IS A SPECIAL INTEREST. ANYONE that offers to pay or otherwise influence how the government runs is a special interest. The Insurance Companies have a special interest group. Guess who pays the Republicans that are screaming the loudest about health care reform? Yep, you guessed it. Our politicians are bought and paid for by special interest groups who back their re-election campaigns and campaign contributions. And the Tea Party is no exception. And we'll cover that soon, when you see some of their other “core values”. Am I for removing the RIGHT to have special interests BRIBE our politicians? Yep. However, thats not what these guys want. They want the special interests that they don't LIKE to be removed, not the others. Oy. Moving on.



Gun Ownership Is Sacred.”


The Gun Manufacturers are a group of special interests backing the Republicans. They promote not gun safety or gun education... noooooo. Do you see big free posters where people donate their time and money in local colleges to teach people how to shoot guns and take care of guns and identify guns? No. Why? Because its not about those things. THEY DONT CARE. They just want their guns. So when they run around screaming about this? You remember who taught them this BS. The Gun Lobby. With big ole posters along the road in states like Louisiana and Montana.


“Guns don't kill people, people kill people.”


Mmhm. And people holding guns kill people. A LOT. Of course they also use knives, poison, blunt objects like hammers, etc. Its a pretty big problem since Cain killed Abel really. But wow, imagine if there were no instruments that delivered a projectile at 370 to 1220 feet per MILIsecond. Thats... really fast and really far. Go go gunpowder.


Before you freak out and scream at me, I am actually not against guns. I like guns. I grew up AROUND guns. I was taught HOW to shoot a gun, many kinds of guns between the ages of 13-20. Its a learning thing. I wanted to know. I am against guns being allowed to be freely available to every psycho in the population without any means of control or registration. I feel that all guns should not be registered/ given permit until their owner passes a stringent set of education. Where is the safety. Can you HIT the DAMN target. Point at the ground when moving. That sort of thing. I do not believe that the average citizen NEEDS an automatic rifle or handgun. Nope. IF you are that shitty a shot, go back to school. Any yahoo with a 3rd grade education can learn to shoot a deer at 100 paces with a rifle. IF you need a spray of bullets to accomplish that, you really are a moron and shouldn't hold a gun in the first place. But.. that's me. I'm picky. It goes to say however, that I have NO guns in my house with small children. Nor will I. Because thats just common sense. Someday, maybe I will get a rifle for my boys and take them hunting, teach them how its done. For now? No. Guns have a place. Why that is so hard to understand is beyond me. Guns are not necessary for a healthy society. Actually its exactly the opposite. However, they are a fact of life here. You want a gun, fine. Register it and shut up.


Moving on.



Government Must Be Downsized.”


Okay. Here is where I call foul. Because... they want big military, but small government. Um... huh? Sorry, you cannot have big military without big taxes (remember that 28% of the tax income part?) which in turn means big government. Yep. Sorry, you lose here. Logic -25%. You cannot have a big military or the controls you seem to WANT without big government. But you see, they want what they WANT and they dont care about the logic of it. Its not about sense, its about emotion. We'll be touching on this point several times as we move on, so keep this point in mind. They want smaller government. Yep... uh huh.


Moving on.



National Budget Must Be Balanced.”


What a novel idea. I agree 100%. Well, Republicans certain don't want a balanced budget, as we've seen what they do when they have control. Democrats dont really care about a balanced budget other than long term. Both are screwed in this department.


Well, take a good look at what the tea party people stand for. They want the war.... they want big military.. they want low taxes... and they want no social services. Hmmmmmm. I see a logic foul here. Do you? Me do. Me do a lot. Its called math, which isn't a strong point with these people. We'll be referencing this little gem as well farther down.


“We're walking... we're walking...”



Deficit Spending Will End.”


Um... well... if we have a balanced budget... duh? This is what we call a redundant point. Moving on.



Bail-out And Stimulus Plans Are Illegal.”


Interesting. While I also feel that bailing out wall street was counter productive and foolish, I doubt this is what they are talking about. Matter of fact, I am pretty sure they have no idea because it falls RIGHT smack dab on several issues that they like a whole lot. Like the government saving Chrysler. And the banks. And wall street. And a dozen other such “american” ideals over the past 100 years. Imagine what would have happened if the banks had simply failed. If wall street had fallen flat on its face. Gold standard anyone? What's that you ask? Well, it means that our WHOLE country would go back to what that dollar is actually worth. THINK about that. That job you have in that factory? Gone. Cause the bank that held the tab went belly up and so did their backing, and the factory closed. No line of credit means no pay for the employees. Are you going to work for free? I doubt it. OH! And that credit card you hold? Yeah, it would be gone. All credit would be gone. That house you hold a mortgage on? Yeah, poof. Because the loan is worthless and comes due. This was A HUGE issue. Multi-level and the LEVEL of disaster was HUGE. Do I understand why the banks were bailed out? Yes. I still think it was wrong, because what we should have done was rein in the credit card industry, wall street, and the banks 50 years ago when they started the shenanigans that caused this mess.


Now, before you get all confused, let me touch on “gold standard”. In essence that means that the gold we hold does not exceed the amount of printed money we circulate. We stopped doing this some time ago, and it allows for money to be printed and circulated as “needed” which results in inflation and loss of worth of our money in this country. I could fill up an entire entry on this. Needless to say, its not something we could do right now, or suffer complete financial ruin.


The point being, that bailing out and/or stimulus plans are in place to save us from ruin. And while they are, honestly, a HUGE mistake, so I agree with the premise? All these Tea Party fools would be homeless and jobless rather quickly, and I am pretty sure they would howl even louder about the unfairness of it all, and whine that the government didnt save them like it should have. Perspective, as they say, is a bitch.


IT goes also to point, to point out that corporate welfare in this country is HUGE and why so many of them are still in business. And why do we do it? So Joe Schmo still has a job. THINK about that. The bigger issue here is that these people cannot, or will not, see the bigger picture. And the multi-level COMPLICATED issues of micro and macro economics as a whole.


Moving on.



Reduce Personal Income Taxes A Must.

Reduce Business Income Taxes Is Mandatory.”


I put these together because they are, well, redundant separate. However, lets look at the wording for a moment. Personal income tax reduction is a must, but business income taxes are mandatory. NOTE if you will, they don't say SMALL business. Nope. Interesting, isn't it? Makes you realize just who is pulling the strings here. Big business. They hate taxes. Mind you, they want to be considered a person so they can influence candidates and work within this country as an individual. But they do not want to pay taxes like an individual. NOPE. They want tax breaks that are MANDATORY. IF that doesn't bug you? You really don't get it. DO THE MATH.


Now onto a larger point.


LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Income_Taxes_By_Country.svg


As you can see there, the United States personal taxes are some of the lowest anywhere. The ONLY countries with lower personal income tax are Korea and Mexico, New Zealand, Ireland, Japan, Austrailia and Iceland. Austrailia and Iceland are basically the same as ours or close to it. However, lets look at CORPORATE taxes. Hmm.. that's pretty high. Interesting isn't it. So maybe this has nothing to do with people, everyday people. Maybe, this is corporations yanking the “everyman” chain to get them to do their work for them. Maybe? Maybe.


Now.. take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures


Lets compare our previous chart to this one shall we? And remember which countries pay less taxes than we do? Let's take a look.


Korea... doesn't even register in the top 15. I'm not even sure New Zealand HAS a military. Australia spends 18.4 to our 607.0 (that's in billions folks). Ireland again, I do not believe even really HAS a military, although they do have a very large police force. Japan? They spend 46.3 to our 607.0. Iceland... do they have a military force? Its small if they have one. Mexico obviously has one, but its far far far less than anything registering on this little chart. Hmm... interesting. So.


Let's take this a step further and look at the welfare “state” of society within various countries in comparison to these other two charts, shall we?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_state


Here you get a very nicely worded explanation of the concepts. You also get a really informative little chart about halfway down, after a nice little charge on overall poverty. Let us take a peek at that for a quick moment.


Lets compare those that are below us in taxes, first. Korea (south)? They spend about 6% on social welfare (remember that little list? Include those.) compared to the US costs of 14.8%. And thats a percent from our Gross Domestic Product, or what we sell of our own stuff. Mexico spends 11.8% compared to our 14.8%. New Zealand? 18.5 to our 14.8, but again they spend almost nothing on their Military. Ireland? 13.8 to our 14.8 but again, no military. Japan? 16.9 to our 14.8 and spend a lot lot lot less on their military. Australia? 18.0 to our 14.8 but again, no military. And Iceland? A whopping 19.8 in comparison to our 14.8. Who are the highest? The top five are Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, and Belgium. I'll let you go peruse the other charts to see where THEY fall okay? I think you can handle that.


We pay really REALLY low taxes considering these facts, now don't we?


Mhmm.


Moving on.



Political Offices Available To Average Citizens.”


…... Are you really this stupid?


This really doesn't chalk up as worth my time, but I'll touch base here. ANYONE can run for political office. ANYONE. You just need backers and a WHOOOOLE lotta money. And as so many have proven, all you really have to do is talk like a hick, look like a cheerleader or a football coach, spew some hateful and ignorant words, and ask for donations. POOF you are a political candidate with a football helmet hairdo and a following of uneducated to rival the Beetles. Go go the American dream.


“We're walking... we're walking...”



Intrusive Government Stopped.”


…..

…....


So. They want... intrusive government stopped.


Does that include laws that govern who you can marry, or what you do with your body? Does that include telling people that they HAVE to speak a certain language? Or instituting laws that make children pray in school and learn about RELIGIOUS opinions like creationism and famous pastors? Yeahhhh I didn't think so. See, they WANT intrusive government that AGREES with them. But they have NO issue with intrusive government that infringes on the rights of those around them. I do not see them shouting, “Keep your laws off my body!” or “Keep the government out of who I fall in love with or who I want to marry!” Nope. They are screaming for the EXACT opposite. They WANT the government to regulate marriage, abortion, what language people speak (GOD forbid that Americans have to learn more than one language! *GASP*), what is and is not taught in schools, specifically about religion and why it MUST be taught to our children (never mind its the parent's job to teach their religious preferences, not a school). THOSE intrusive laws are fine. GOD says its okay. But otherwise, no, they don't want intrusive government. OH except for the Military spending.


I wonder how long it would take people to bitch about things if the roads fell to pieces (do you REALLY want me to quote how much of the taxpayers state and federal tax goes to road building and maintenance?), the schools were empty and falling down, entire small towns emptied, libraries fell silent, education as a whole ceased but for the wealthy, medical care disappeared for the poor in any sense, and disease ran rampant everywhere as a result? Yeah, you would hear them from space. Bitchbitchbitch. Next they would want to just kill the sick and elderly and poor. I mean, they are dirty worthless members anyway. Right? Right. Then they would find that the middle class became the new poor as cars fell apart because roads ceased to be maintained and we all went back to horses. I'm sure Mr. Hick Tea party wouldnt mind riding his tractor to work... but how about you? Mm? How comfy is that lawnmower of yours for longer travels.


Point made. Moving on.




English As Core Language Is Required.

Traditional Family Values Are Encouraged.”

I put these together because they segue so neatly from my previous point. BOTH of these two CORE VALUES will INCREASE intrusive government. BOTH of them. And I have to ask... really? Just whose traditional family values are you encouraging? Saudi Arabia has some very interesting family values. So does India. Ahhhh you mean AMERICAN family values. You mean those family values that thought slavery was a GRAND idea and having the local gay man stoned and hung on a fence as traditional family values. I see. My bad. I misunderstood.


They want intrusive government. BUT Only when it agrees with their twisted religious opinions. These opinons have NOTHING to do with human rights. Have NOTHING to do with the golden rule. What's that. Oh you know. That pesky thing Jesus said, about doing to others as you want them to do to you. Or Jaz's version. Which for obvious reasons I prefer:


“If you want people to be nice to you, don't be an asshat.”


Jesus also said, “Judge not, lest you also be judged by God.” Yeah, I know the bible. Real well. I was raised on it, steeped in it, and walked away from the SHEER HYPOCRISY of his followers by the time I was 20. Because these people don't READ the bible. They don't LISTEN to their god. NOPE. They pick and choose from what they WANT and ignore the rest.


If people LIVED like Christ asked us to live? The world would be a much nicer place. And we wouldn't have people screaming racial epitaths and slurs against the politicians who didn't vote the way they wanted. I think the hardest thing I have seen so far, is the people saying that this group isn't racist because they have black people. Um... so their shouting this garbage isn't racist? Really? Really.


It just goes to prove that ignorance is just part of how it works, because last time I checked, the words thrown at our legislators were racist/bigoted and out of line. And if you don't see that you are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The only way for us to grow as a society is to understand that you can dislike a law, you can want to change what's happening. But if you are screaming horrible things, you are just a monkey throwing poo at decent people, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Truly.



We are the American People. I feel we are headed to a civil war, that won't be civil. I am worried. I am disgusted by the ignorance that we flaunt so proudly. I shake my head at the sheer lunacy of this circus act that has come to stand for the Tea Party, and politics in general.


It's time to grow up. Kiddie pool time is over folks; the adults want to swim.


Jaz


Naked Bum... Srsly?
zinnamon_me

So. Tiger Woods: golfer, father, husband (most likely in that order, really). I remember when he first came on the scene, this young -black- man, with a golfing ability that apparently was next to none. Now, I do not see color. I do not care about color. But it struck me that no good would come of this: A young black man in a predominantly white sport, regaled by mostly white rich people, attended by mostly white people, who sit around and watch slightly overweight white men (a few women) wearing god-awful clothing choices, while they chase a small -white- ball around a grass covered course. See a pattern here? And yet here comes Tiger. And he blew them all away. He won over and over and over and I assure you, the white rage in the hearts of these wicked little two faced white old men was unparalleled. I would know. I have seen precious little worse racism than I have in “country club” golf courses in my days. These are not open minded people. I'm honestly surprised at some point someone didn't hand him the golf bag as he walked in, and pointed him to the other caddies. Yes, its that bad. Srsly.


On a side note, I will point you to this: http://projectnewera.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/racism-black-kids-denied-entry-to-pool/


and this: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/09/23/pennsylvania.swim.racism/index.html


if you need a refresher for that incident. These are pretty typical behaviors for these sorts of “clubs” which are the last bastion of the racists in America. Granted, it was more than likely both a race AND financial issue in my opinion, where these rich snobs did not want to rub elbows with the “unwashed” masses. But its fairly typical of the overall attitude of “clubs” of the rich and isolated.


I know from personal experience about Golf clubs. I have dated some very wealthy young males in my time. Being white (appearing as such anyway) gave me access into their world regardless to my lack of money growing up. I was well read, well spoken, and blended in easily with these people. The jokes you hear, the attitude you observe and experience among these people are eye-opening to the level of racism still alive in this country. I met quite a few golfers in my time as well, being dragged to these functions as a pretty young woman on the arm of some very handsome and wealthy young man.


I think what escapes most is that this is a social issue, plain and simple. Monogamy is for women in this world, not men, where whores and mistresses are commonplace, even IN THE SAME CLUB as the wife. As long as the mistresses know their place, the fur doesn't fly. More than once I had a conversation with my boyfriend at the time, “Is that X's wife?” to which he would quickly reply very softly, “Er.. no. That's his mistress. She golfs with him when his wife is otherwise occupied.”



Right. I remember being quite horrified at first, at the -level- of deception that I noted in these places, in this world, but after a while I realized just how commonplace it was. Even... -expected- behavior. Those that did not partake of such, never made it into the “inner” circle of power within these little organizations. Apparently you must be a lying, two faced, piece of trash dressed up in $1500 dollar mismatched outfits in order to “fit in” to their world.


So, with this knowledge in hand, the whole “Tiger Woods” debacle takes on a whole new light, does it not? If this, his attitude, is fairly commonplace, why the big kaboom? Several reasons.


  1. He's black, and hated, quietly, by MANY within his world, because he not only matched them, he was BETTER than any of them. BIIIIG nono. So they were more than happy to exploit and advertise his screwup.

  2. If this had been a black woman as his wife, this would not be on front page news. But not only is she -not- black, she's BLOND, rich, beautiful (really, just lovely), old money, educated, and connected. People have made light of the fact she was a nanny but I assure you, the rich and powerful DO NOT go to a nanny service like you read about. She was a rich man's daughter, working as a “nanny” to a rich white man's children. Something many young rich white girls often finds herself doing in the process of finding a “good” family circle to settle into, when they do not attend Yale or Harvard, or something along those lines to become rich in her own right. So Tiger betrayed one of the elite's little princesses that he was “lucky” to have been introduced to by another rich white man. THEY can screw anything that doesn't run fast enough. That's fine. Its understood. But he's black, and should be more appreciative of the things “given” to him by this elitist social structure.

  3. He was greedy, and careless. His white friends could be, and he forgot that when the doors shut and the curtains are closed, his “friends” in that circle see him as an interloper, and a black man who lost his way to his “place” behind them or next to them, not above them. Its also true that he is far too well known to be cavorting around like he did. He committed an act that seems it should be disallowed to those us in the real world: he got caught. And he gave them the tool they needed to beat the crap out of him; his own foolish lust.


Is he a cad? Yes. Is he any different than most of those in his world? No. But he's black, and he forgot that to them? He's just a black man who got lucky hitting a little white ball. And they might smile and shake his hand and share their world with him? But he should be grateful to them, for their generosity. Thats how they see it. He fell from grace, and gave them all they needed to remove him from their world. I feel for him because he learned something that most minorities know already:


You are not a doctor, or a lawyer, or a golfer, or a politician. You are a -black- doctor, a -black- lawyer, a -black- golfer, or a -black- politician. Its a mindset that is firmly implanted in the minds of those over 50s in this social structure, and they have spread that infection to their children and grandchildren. Its much the same for women, by the by. We are -female- doctors, -female- lawyers, -female- golfers, and -female- politicians. And for those that would say I'm being over-reactive? How many times do you ever hear people describe Jack Nicholson as a “white” golfer? Never. He's a professional golfer. Not... a -white- golfer. Why? Because its assumed. THINK about that. Tiger is and has always been, a professional -black- golfer to most who talk about him. “Who is Tiger Woods?” …. “Oh you know, that professional black golfer.” … “Oh yeah, him.”


He broke the rules. He got caught. And this has nothing to do with sex, or mistresses on a very deep scale. And that...


Is sad.


We have such a long way to go in this county when it comes to equal rights for all. But do not despair, we are making headway. Slowly. I no longer get “crazy” looks when I say:


There is no race but the human race. Color is only skin deep.”


Women can vote. Blacks and other minorities can vote (not so minority anymore, by the by). Blacks and whites can marry each other (cross-race marriage), legally. Other religions can practice openly without fear of suffering. Now, lets work on gender and gender preference rights. Once we cross that hurdle, we'll be well on our way to ending racism in and of itself. Why? Because its a slippery slope, and we have to change the minds and hearts, not laws. Time will accomplish it.


Time.


Patience.

Knowledge.


Hope.


Jaz


Silent Verdict
zinnamon_me

I have a friend, that does not vote. I actually have several. Young, in their early to mid 20s, these young people have become completely disillusioned with their government. And while I understand that, I also know what happens when we cease to take part in our own country. I am an avid historian, and have always made a point to not only keep up with current events, but the events of the past, the distant past, and even that which forged our civilized society at its core. Most if not all of those my age (40s) had little interest in “ancient” history, nor in their own histories. It did not improve in the generations to come, sadly. And it is, in my opinion, that which has led us to where we are.


The bulk of our young public are easily manipulated, misinformed, lacking even the basic historical data to throw the bullshit flag into the ring when it needs to be, beyond what they “feel” is true and right. And we have seen the result. Some of it is good; they can be rallied and manipulated with a savvy politician with music and speeches, into a fervor that can and has incited change. We have our first black president, and that's largely due to the voting force of the 18-30s. And this is what saddens me the most. That so many of our young cannot see, or will not see, that it is -them- that has moved this country and just about EVERY single one in history, to radical and sweeping changes to the social, socio-economic, and even moralistic centers and norms. The young, and their rage, their energy, their drive, their open-eyed passion for making things different and even, at times, radically better than they were for their parents and their parents before them, is what has created the future and -always- will.


There is also bad that can come from a public that is grossly misinformed, easily manipulated, and dare I say, horribly ignorant of even the basic concepts of science, history, and logic. A young and impassioned public creates a mob mentality that can be pointed to mass murders, destruction of truth and justice, loss of basic freedoms, and even blanket changes to negate or enslave an entire population out of fear, greed, or just simple ignorance. But then again, ignorance is rarely simple. It is usually pervasive, complicated, and at time, sweepingly frightening in its vastness.


Yet we have people, mass amounts of people, who do not vote, who do not understand even the basic ideals and structure of their own political system. It is not simply a United States of America issue either. It has struck, and pervades -every- civilized (democratic) country throughout the world. Why do people not care? HOW can they not care. The answer is not truly complicated.


They believe, they truly believe, that their opinion, their vote, their ideals, do not matter. They look at whats happening in this age of information and flooding of tweets and posts, and they are wholly overwhelmed by it all. How can something to vastly WRONG be fixed by someone who has yet to work a job more than 20 hours a week? They are overlooked and patronized by those older and “wiser”, ignored by the media and the politicians, even by advertisers. They are seen as frivolous and vain, without substance or core, and lacking in the basic ideals necessary to do anything but choose a nice perfume to soap their body up with, or pick that perfect shirt to go with those omg pants.


Is it true? To some degree. But we have relegated the younger generations to that place, by our own indifference and cynicism. Instead of working to fix things, we spend our time and energy slinging insults on comment pages, and calling anyone who disagrees with us “stupid” and “worthless” to anyone “sensible.” This is not how adults should behave or speak out, yet they see nothing but this in their instant online world. And it has colored everything for them, as they look out at the world.


When I was 13, there was nothing but the most basic concept of computers, some silly thing called Atari that everyone felt would die out as a fad in a few years, and color televisions were “new-fangled” technology. Cars were steel and and gas was less than a buck a gallon. There was rock-n-roll, heavy metal (something new and frightening to many), country music, christian and classical. The radio had a few music stations for music, and a lot of information shows. I grew up in farmland areas, so there was always a long line of commentary on farming reports. There were commercials between the shows that lasted a few minutes before you returned to your show. I did not own a color television until I was in my late teens. Big hair, big breasts, and blondes were what we saw in our magazines and on television. Star wars was the biggest phenomenon of the time. The only “instant” news was at 5:00 and 6:00pm every night after soaps and game shows. The radio was often faster with the “breaking” news. This was the world I was born into, and grew to adulthood in.


I remember the very first “live” music video -ever- on MTV (back when they did such things). I was at a friend's house who had “cable” … the newest fad for Television. We watched them all for quite some time while we played checkers. I was 14. Now, looking back on it all, and where things are now, its overwhelming for -me- and I lived it! For perspective, I remember being amazed when my Gram explained that when she was 13, there were no indoor toilets or even electricity in their home. She studied by candlelight. Everyone walked everywhere, rode in a wagon, or rode a horse. A car was almost unheard of and only for the very wealthy. She was born in 1907. She was 13 in 1920. At my 13th birthday she told me to look around, and -think- about how much her life had changed in that time, and then perhaps I would understand why she was so “reclusive” and odd. Now, tables are turned and I must look at -my- life, and wonder where I will be in 20 years in that regard. How much of this existence will overwhelm me?


Young people today are -flooded- with information. Most of not all of it is bias at best and out right fabrications at worst. Yet many of them, when asked, will tell you that the newscasters would not lie even when presented with point blank facts that they have. At the same time, they will tell you that they have no faith in the system, the government, or even in their own parents. They have a very jaded and cynical view of the world in many respects, while at the same time being extremely gullible when they should be questioning. Why is that?


I think we are able to look at the media for that. In the beginning of it, the media was often criticized for informing the public -too much- of what it “did not need to know” at the present time. The Nixon “Watergate” scandal springs to mind, not to mention the Vietnam (and Korean) war itself. However, great care and pride was taken by reporters to check and double check facts, so they could back themselves up when told “you made that up” by critics or the government itself. And in journalism training you were told to be “impartial” and tell both sides, even if you disagreed with one or the other. It was often distasteful for some of the better known, such as Walter Cronkite who said, openly, that his job was often terribly challenging because of his personal opinions but that he was proud he succeeded. We have no more journalists like this anymore, or so I feel.


Now all this meandering down the path of history has a point. And that is?


Effecting change, is not one person's job. Fifty years ago that was common knowledge. IF you wanted to change something, you knew it would cost you dearly, and those around you. You did it because you believed in it, strongly, and were willing to fight for it -as a group- rather than alone. It wasn't about you, after all. It was about what needed to change. And, it was understood that it would take time. That you might not see results in your lifetime, but the fight was still necessary and must be carried out and upon the world if change was ever to come.


In today's instant world, young people lack the patience to effect change outside of the scope of their planner for the month, let alone outside of their -lifetime- ahead of them. They want instant gratification for a fight that will most likely be finished by THEIR children when THEY are adults and have children of their own. So, rather than fighting the good fight, digging in for the long term and planning ahead for the long and arduous battle, they throw their hands in the air and say, “Screw it. I cant fix this, and I never will.”


I.


Not we.


I.


And the simple answer to them? No, YOU will never fix this. YOU cannot fix this that you see wrong. YOU will never effect a change in the government standing now. YOU will never effect a change to the way things are done, or in those that stand in power NOW. YOUR vote does not count, you are right. Its one vote in a bucket that will take millions to fill. And decades of hard work and planning and fighting in the trenches. It will be blood sweat and tears of millions of people, not just YOU. YOUR vote has no meaning. It is, alone, simply a tiny voice under a bush as a hurricane rages around you. You are absolutely correct.


However.


OUR vote matters. OUR voices will rise about the wail of storm and rage and effect change in a country that is ripe for it. It will not happen today. It will not happen in 20 years. But it WILL happen if we fight, and believe, and do not give up. Some very old and wise person said once: Change is not born in the eyes of the one that sees the problem. Change is born in the eyes, ears, mouth, and hands of the ones you birth, and raise, and they in turn do the same, until one day the tide shifts and it all falls into place. And the only way to effect change is to remember this, fight the good fight, and plan for the day when it will all come to pass.


Raise your children up in the way they should go, and they will shine, and build the world you dreamed of.” ~Leta Kahler


IF you do not vote, IF you do not try, IF you do not fight, then that tide will never flow. YOU cannot do it. I cannot do it. WE can, in time, if we work together for a common goal.


My Gram also said: “The pyramids were not built by a handful of slaves or a few intelligent men over a week, a month or even a year. The pyramids were built over a decades and some over a century, as those builders lived, died, and their children lived, and died, all for the same goal. And they still stand today, because of that labor and planning.”


She compared the building of the pyramids to equal rights for all, in our country. She told me, more than once, that it would not be in my lifetime. However, she reminded me, that if you believe, and your raise your children to believe, in such a thing, it will happen sooner than later.


She also told me that voting was the one act that could change the world. She reminded me that women suffered and died for the right to vote, as did blacks. She told me, under no uncertain terms, that the only people who could say honestly that voting was not something to cherish, were white men. Because all the others paid for the right with their life blood and passion. Why? Because it was the only way to change the world, to change the circumstances of all those within a country. It was why it was restricted in many, and why once everyone had the right TO vote, our world would change for the better. I told her, many people don't vote. She said;


Only a fool gives up the one thing that can change everything. You are right, little one, in that your vote doesn't matter. But when you add your vote, to the millions of others? It can change the entire existence of a society. It is a powerful thing. Never ever forget that.”


Am I naïve? No. Am I idealistic? Yes. Do I believe I can change the world? No. I believe I can -effect- change with my voice, my words, my actions, and my goals through voting, through gathering those around me to vote, and by effecting a nation to see the truth over time and generations. Yes, I honestly do believe that. I come from a time when young people swept the world and gave blacks the rights they deserved, simply by voting and rallying and fighting and chanting for change. We can do that again, for anything we set our minds to, if we just put a little passion back into the stagnant youth of today.


Stand with me. Believe with me. Look to the future, and see what I see. Look to the now, and see what I see. Look to the past and see what I see. Take my hand, and let's see what we can do with a few million friends.


Jaz



Homeschool Cult Mantra
zinnamon_me

I homeschool my two younger boys. They are 5 (Nathan) and 7 (Xander). Both have challenges, which is part of the reason for my having them homeschooled in the first place. Xander has ADHD and Nathan has ADD. Xander has a few other challenges, such as dyslexia (from Mommy) and bad vision (from Daddy). He has a wandering eye that we will probably have to get corrected by surgery, if and when I can get it taken care of. Nathan's primary challenge is his ADD, which is fairly profound. He definitely is the, “2x2 is 4, 3x3 is … oh look! A bug!” sort of kid. I feel badly for him. Xander's main challenge with the ADHD is simply sitting still and not flying into a rage at every rough spot or place where he has to do something over. It is my opinion that he is also O.D.D. (oppositional defiance disorder... or something like that). He is a challenge due to his behavior, while Nathan's is simply to -pay attention- to what he needs to do for more than 30 seconds without distractions.


Thats not to say that we have not come up with various tricks to handle things. Nathan sits and does his work with huge headphones over his ears, and classical piano music playing in them, to drown out the various other sounds to distract him. He sits with his back to everything, literally in a corner with his desk, so that the visual distractions are also at a minimum. Within those parameters, he does fairly well. However, obviously, public school would be a …... unpleasant challenge for him and his teachers, as well as for us having to fight for him constantly. I will not put him on Ritalin. Both boys take Gotu Kola which works wonders. But drugs only do so much good, and it falls to discipline and learning to deal with a lifelong challenge.


So, homeschooling. On its face, is a very good thing. I am proud that we are teaching my kids what they need to learn without the drama and trauma that being “odd” in the mainstream public system would cause both my boys. They attend homeschooling groups to get socialization, and my mother also does the church thing with them, to ensure they get more. And that, is where things begin to unravel for me. Church. Christian “teaching” and “training” up a child in “the way he should go” according to their dogma.


The homeschooling products used to teach my children border on brainwashing. Seriously. Its... nauseating and obvious. Of course, to kids, they do not know any better, but meh. As I sit and listen to my son “read” to me from his homework, the sheer audacity of this drivel is almost impossible to handle. I want to shut the book, and cross out every reference to Christ and God “says” … but there would be nothing else to read. Oy.


Now, that's not to say that I did not look for other options. I have. But when I went through this search a few years ago, I chanced across NONE but religious drivel and point blank nauseating bordering-on-brainwashing options. And that's not just Christian folks. It was every faith, even Atheists. Christian, Islam, Jewish, Pagan, Atheist... it was all just wow. They cost a lot less than the “pure teaching” options, like a lot less, and I can see why people make that choice. Still, I want other options than this religious or anti-religious dogma printed out in pamphlets to brainwash our younger generation as they learn reading, writing, and arithmetic. Seriously.


When did religion get to the point of “sales” calls. Really? Did I miss something? The saturation they strive for is a little scary. Are they that insecure? It really makes a person wonder, honestly, just what religion is coming to, (or non-religion), that they must point their focus on the children to brainwash them that early. I thought religion was about choice? No?


I am told this is not new. I suppose it isn't. But really, it should be stopped. No child should be subjected to this drivel. They should read and write according to simple fact. You can teach morals without all this brainwashing. Morals are not simply a religious thing, they are a logic thing. It bothers me on a very basic level. Of course, I am the same person who sits and argues against the railing wind about separation of church and state. I see the slippery slope started a long time ago, in the hearts and minds of our youth as they were LEARNING the basics to life. Oy. Just... oy.


So, I sit and think about how to fix things. And I have some idea. But we shall see mm? Time is a great thing and who knows what will happen in the decades to come. Still, I think caution is due. If we are so willing to brainwash our children into our faith, then we truly are insecure in that faith; faith should teach itself. That's what I believe. If you cannot win and keep followers based on your -actions- as a group, then you really are hypocrites and you are hiding from that. If the only fall-back you have, is the brainwashing early in life, you are not seeking knowledge OR truth. You are seeking mindless followers. And last I checked?


Not a single faith holds a god or prophet that asked for that. Interesting, mm?


Onward and upward. Till next time.


Jaz





Introduction: Everyone Must Do It
zinnamon_me

I have been contemplating a journal like this for some time. I write a personal journal on Open Diary, but I wanted a place to write, where my focus was writing, not my own ups and downs and roller-coaster life. Open Diary is a great community, but the software leaves something to be desired, other than cutesy things I don't use and the writing bits and pieces that half the time do not function because they are Microsoft Explorer dedicated. I use Firefox. So, often, I cannot change my fonts or anything else, other than simply to write. And I want to focus on my writing. Essays. Thoughts. Opinions.

This is a good place to do that. And so I shall.


I am 42 years old. A mother to three boys who are 5, 7, and 15. The fifteen year old is profoundly mentally handicapped, unable to speak or really communicate in any way any more. He has seizures, and they are slowly eating away at his life and what little of him is left. He sits in a wheelchair now, and I try to make his life as comfortable as possible for whatever time he has left. Quality... over quantity.


My 5 and 7 year old boys were surprises. I did not think I could have children. They blessed and changed my life in so many ways, above and beyond how the 15 year old has. He came into my life when he was 3, and was 10 when the last showed his head bloody and screaming. My life is in such a different place than I thought it would be. Not a bad thing, mind you, just a completely different direction than I sat and imagined myself when I was 13. But what do kids know, right? Heh.


I am a bisexual, polyamory, pagan-agnostic woman. I am a progressive-moderate-democrat. I am married to a wonderful man, and we have an “open” relationship. It has its ups and downs, but all in all it is the best thing I ever chose to do, and stick with, in my whole life. I am, obviously, a mother. I am a roleplayer. I am a student of life. I am a writer. I am a person who enjoys debate, politics, and the study of things science and logic. I have dedicated my life to learning, and always fighting to be the best I can be, even when it really would be easier not to. Why? Because life isn't easy, and if it were we'd all die of boredom by 40.


I spent my last 40 something years learning and unlearning, striving and fighting, struggling and arguing and hating myself. Somewhere around 35, right around the time I had my middle boy, I realized what a waste of time that was. The hating myself, not the struggle. I started trying to figure out how I got myself into the hole I was in, and began the -long- journey OUT of it. I am pleased to report that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've checked my feet. There are no train tracks. Thats not a train heading toward me. Thats truly... the next path.


So... here we are. And now it begins. Let's see what comes out of my brain and off my fingers as I tap away on these keys. This will be a place of expression, honesty, frustration, anger, and systematic logical thought. I hope you enjoy the ride. I know I will.


Jaz


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