Archive for May, 2009

One More Crazy ECT

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Today, as I sat reading literature from women in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries—reading snippets of how our foremothers struggled before us—risking everything to find their voices—to free ours—to demand respect and equal rights—forging their way towards independence with a pen—some religious zealot, undoubtedly an Extreme Christian Terrorist, ECT, (aka conservative, Christian Anti-Choice Fanatic who believes violence is a necessary mean for whatever end their preacher or priest arbitrarily dictates is ordained by God) shot Dr. Tiller, an abortion provider, in his church in front of his family, friends and fellow church members.

I read this news and wept.

I am sad for his family, for his friends, for the poor people who were standing next to him. I am sad for the women who will be forced to continue a pregnancy they do not wish to continue. I am sad for those children who are thrust upon their mothers, shackled to their ankles like dead, unwanted weight. I am sad for the women who are imprisoned by their gender and by the male dominated society in which they are born. I am sad for the men who want to support women in their right to choose—who will now cower in fear of violence at the hands of some other ECT. I am sad for the women who still publish under male pseudonyms to gain equal recognition for their words and thoughts. I am sad for the women so lost in the land of men—they fail to see how their religion has tainted their minds against themselves, their bodies, their minds, their sisters, mothers and daughters.

I am outraged at the idiots who spew forth gleeful ignorant remarks chocked-full of misspellings and grammatical errors—using God as their shield—remarking how Dr. Tiller got what he deserved–filling up comment boards–raising ratings of hate-filled, idiotic talk show hosts like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. Are you really that ignorant—that intolerant of women’s rights? Can you not see the paradox of your own hateful thoughts—the same derisive, unhealthy thoughts that drove this lunatic ECT to shoot Dr. Tiller?

I am inundated with thoughts to share, choking in a sea of emotion over the bigger picture here. For now, I will leave you with a quote from LeRoy Carhart, an American physican who worked with and respected Dr. Tiller:

“Men have had unlimited availability to ‘abortion’ since the beginning of time. Men can walk away from unwanted pregnancies with virtually no response from government. I believe that, unless women are given an equal right to determine whether or not they remain pregnant, they will not be considered equal. I think that’s what the anti’s are most afraid of-women becoming equal.”

Beautiful breakfast…

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I love pancakes. I do. I do! =) I also love fruit of all kinds and peanut butter and so… imagine my delight when I saw what was for breakfast! This made me happy indeed. So happy…I felt I had to share some pictures of this beautiful breakfast with you.

breakfast

Pancakes and Fruit Medley (YUMMY!)

fruit

Fruit Medley (watermelon, strawberries, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe--all locally grown!)

As it happens…we found that Jif (our favorite peanut butter) has an all-natural kind of peanut butter…so we thought we’d try. I was a little worried it would be weird or yucky, but was pleasantly surprised. It is excellent and I feel good about eating it without all the strange additions. It tastes really good. Here, read about it at the Jif site.

I put it on my pancakes and YUMMY! It was really good. I couldn’t really taste the difference which is a bonus, right?

natural_jif

Ingredients MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS, SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF PALM OIL, SALT, MOLASSES.

Ingredients MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS, SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF PALM OIL, SALT, MOLASSES.

Ingredients MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS, SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF PALM OIL, SALT, MOLASSES.

I love love bottles!

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I received my Love Bottles today! That was very fast and they are so cute! They are bigger than I had expected which is a good thing since I like to drink plenty of water. The glass is sturdy so I am not afraid to drop them. As a matter of fact within minutes of unpacking them, I did drop one in my living room. Albeit it is carpeted but not with luxury soft fluffy carpet or anything. It survived without a scratch.

Love Bottle (Dream Big Wind Curls 1000 ml)

Love Bottle (Dream Big Wind Curls 1000 ml)

I ordered two bottles — both the Dream Big Wind Curls just two different sizes. I got the 1000 ml and the 500 ml sizes for my friend and myself. I also ordered the bottle brush and the funnel (for easier pouring). However, the funnel is not necessarily needed for me since we use a water filter jug in the fridge and it has a smaller spout that fits perfect with this bottle. The glass is thick, really thick. The mouthpiece is easy to use. The cap easy but sturdy.

Love Bottle (opening)

Love Bottle (opening)

Overall, I am super excited. This is better for the environment and better for my health! I will keep you informed on my thoughts as time passes…for now its all love…

One step removed…

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

“We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves.” — Orison Swett Marden

We are all just one step removed from that which we hate, that which we have no control over, that which we are afraid. It behooves us to pay attention to the way we treat people. Are we so willing to discard people because we feel we are discardable? Do we ignore the starving because we are afraid we might starve one day lest we avoid the poor? Do we believe they deserve such fate? Who amongst us would starve by choice? What drives us to ignore those in need? What drives us to abandon those we love? Are we so accustomed to a disposable lifestyle that we believe even people are so easily replaced?

I believe we are all just one step removed from poverty…from being a scoundrel…from being a hero…from being left behind…from leaving another behind. It is not just our actions–our good or bad deeds–that separates us but our thoughts and happenstance. It is our social constructs. It is so many things and we are capable of great good and great bad.

Which will you choose today? And tomorrow? Who can tell?

Think twice before you make hasty decisions. Think twice before you walk past a person starving, begging for your spare change. Think twice before watching a family go hungry. Think twice before firing 2,000 employees in lieu of trimming the salary of the top executives. Think twice before cheating on your lover–be honest with them, it may do you both good.

I once saw a group of people giving out hugs in the middle of a busy city street. They held up signs and offered to give random strangers hugs. I wish to do just this so often. How many of us really need a hug but don’t say it, or don’t even know it? We are all one step removed from loneliness, from isolation, from sadness, from happiness… from good…from bad… from everything.

The irony of money…

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Isn’t it ironic how money affects people? It can make your best friend or business partner plot your demise. It can provoke your spouse to slowly poison you for insurance money. It can make you suspicious of everyone around you. It can be a hereditary tool used to force you on a path you would otherwise avoid. It seems the more you have, the more you grow stingy with it.

People with very little money–give without hesitation to churches, to the beggar on the street corner, to charities, to the girl scouts selling cookies. They give thoughtful gifts and enjoy in festivities without financial concern because they know it is about enjoying life and the people you care about–not about the bottom line on your bank account. Give these same people more money and they ask to split the check and can’t find a spare dollar for the beggars…its just not in their budget to give this month…they have bills to pay. No mention to the bills they always had to pay before…

Give that person even more money and suddenly giving is a tax write-off and nothing more. They stop seeing the beggar altogether. They rarely, if ever, take notice of the girl scout or her cookies. They begin to think in terms of what they do not have rather than what they do have. They grow irritated at the thought of parting with their money at all. They do not want to eat out with their friends. They stop throwing parties. They think in terms of money lost and their vernacular reveals their monetary obsession.

Why in the town of Plenty in Wealthy Land do the paupers celebrate with nothing and give without thought–throwing parties for all to share their loaf of bread and water but the rich hold tight their purses begrudging even the beggar’s presence?

Oh, the Love Bottle…

Monday, May 11th, 2009

In my journey greenward I decided I could not continue drinking water from plastic water bottles–even if I reuse it for a few weeks each time. They are bad for the environment. They are bad for our health. They even say that using plastic water bottles over and over can cause the plastic to break down and plastic is linked to breast cancer and other nervous disorders. So, why take a chance? With my health and with the environment?

The next step was to figure out what to use instead. I don’t want to go plastic–even hard plastic. This eliminates many of the reusable water bottles. I don’t want to go stainless steel because I do not care for the metallic taste that goes along with it.

GLASS! That’s the ticket! I thought I would buy a glass drink and reuse the bottle but before I decided to do that–I thought I’d google “glass water bottle” and guess what?!?!

I found the perfect reusuable, earth-friendly, most adorable water bottles! The LOVE BOTTLE!

love-bottle

Not only are they eco-friendly…but they are sweet. They are feel good products. Here is what the website said about their bottles:

Love bottle is a reusable glass water bottle made partially from recycled glass. It has a ceramic swing top lid that creates a water-tight seal.

Words and pictures carry energy that affect water. Different words can create beautiful water crystals – I like to call it “supercharged” water. Every printed bottle has the word “love” on it, charging your water with the energy of love.

Now, I do not know if I believe words can change the properties of water but it can change a mood, an attitude, a thought. If I am having a bad moment and I get a drink and see “LOVE” on my water bottle…I am likely to smile and remember there are many worthwhile moments. =)

This is the perfect start to my new greener journey. I will let you know what I think about it when it arrives!

Heading North to Green…

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

I have always been conscientious about my affect on my surroundings–people, the environment, even in the simplest, everyday activities such as walking and sitting. I walk lightly. I recycle. If invited to dinner–I bring something and insist on cleaning up. When I visit people, I will offer to take out their trash–play with their children so they can do household chores or run errands. I have even been known to dust for them or rearrange books. I am the one who remembers birthdays–and reminds others. I plant trees and feed birds. I share my car. I upcycle and shut off the water when I brush my teeth. I share books through bookmooch. I buy greeting cards from the Arbor Day Foundation–each one ensures a tree is planted in the National Forests. I buy local organic produce.

I want to leave the earth with as little imprint as possible but I still have a ways to go.

I use paper towels a lot. I love bleach and cotton1. I drink iced tea from starbucks–served in plastic cups2. And I take long showers3 and wash my hands a lot with antibacterial soap–which is both a waste of water and introducing antibacterial stuff into our oceans, rivers and streams.4

I want to make some greener choices. I will start with the cotton I choose to buy. From now on I will try to purchase only responsibly made organic cotton products. I will use less bleach — I am not ready to give it up completely. I am also not at all prepared to give up my antibacterial hand soap. Hahaha… I will re-evaluate this at a later date. I also decided to try Marcal Small steps 100% recycled chlorine-free bleached, no dyes or fragrances paper towels. I had to order them from here because they are not sold in my area yet. I will let you know what I think once I receive and use them. There were other brands of recycled paper towels but they were the brown kind and those bug me for various reasons–also they do not come in select-a-size which I have come to appreciate.

Any ideas on the starbucks iced tea?

  1. http://www.organicconsumers.org/clothes/background.cfm []
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch []
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/17/water.crisis/ []
  4. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0510-07.htm []

The Georgia Guidestones

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

stumbled upon an unsolved mystery and thought I’d share it with you–the Georgia Guide Stones–America’s Stonehenge.

The Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones

The story of the Georgia Guidestones is shrouded in mystery. It is said that in 1979 a well-dressed, articulate mystery man, nom de plume R.C. Christian, visited with Joe H. Fendley Sr., President of the Elberton Granite Finishing Company and inquired about a special project. This project was very specific and not the company’s usual type of project. It was a complicated undertaking requiring stone and astronomy experts. Not entirely comfortable with the idea of taking on such a project without knowing this mystery man’s real identity, it is said that Mr. Fendley sent R.C. Christian to the local bank, the Granite City Bank, to meet with its President, Mr. Wyatt C. Martin. This is where the story differs a bit from source to source. Some sources say the identity of Mr. R.C. Christian was revealed to Mr. Wyatt C. Martin. Some sources say that both Wyatt C. Martin and Joe H. Fendley Sr. have taken lie detector tests proving they do not know the true identity of R.C. Christian or the anonymous group of financial sponsors for the Georgia Guidestones project.

R.C. Christian wanted a granite monument consisting of five 16 foot tall granite slabs forming a star-like pattern to serve as a message to the world and future generations.

There were to be four tablet-shaped slabs each weighing approximately 42,437 pounds–each were to be six foot, six inches wide and one foot, seven inches thick. Each of these four slabs were “to be oriented to the limits of the migration of the moon during the course of a year.”1 At the center of each tablet edge is a small circle, each containing a letter representing the appropriate compass direction (N, S, E, W).2 In the center a granite column referred to as the center “Gnomen” stone was to have “an eye-level, oblique hole drilled from the south to the north side…so that the North Star is always visible, symbolizing constancy and orientation with the forces of nature.”3. This center stone was also supposed to have a slot cut in the middle “to form a window which aligns with the positions of the rising sun at the Summer and Winter Solstices and at the Equinox so that the noon sun shines to indicate noon on a curved line.”4 According to a flyer distributed at the Granite Museum in Elberton, Georgia:

"The capstone includes a calendar of sorts where sunlight beams 
through a 7/8in. hole at noon and shines on the south face of 
the center stone. As the sun makes its travel cycle, the spot 
beamed through the hole can tell the day of the year at noon 
each day. Allowances are made because of variations between 
standard time and sun time to set the beam of sunlight at an 
equation of time."

To top this monument off there was to be a gargantuan 25,000 pound 6 feet long, 6 inch wide, 1 foot 7 inch thick square granite capstone placed on top. On each of its 4 sides was to be a message “Let these be Guidestones to age of reason.”

The primary message carved into all eight sides of the four tablet-shaped slabs–in eight different languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian was one that seems all too reasonable to me. Here are the ten pieces of advice given by the mystery man and his small group of American supporters advocating for the Age of Reason:

1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.
3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
4. Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason.
5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite.
10. Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature.

georgia_guidestones_english_full

You can imagine how this has infuriated many feeble-minded people over the years. Afterall, with a world population dangerously encroaching on 7 billion5 — we’d have to shave off a cool 6.2 billion people from our consensus TODAY to maintain the 500,000,000 recommended for keeping a balance with nature. I agree with these wayward bunch of mystery folk–we need population control but they don’t stop there. They advocate “guid[ing] reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.” This is dangerously reminiscent of the views that fueled Hitler in the Nazi movement. It doesn’t quite reach that level of malevolence as it does not say eliminate people who are not fit or diverse but rather future people as it were.

If I get to put my vote in on who stays and who goes–I’d like two provisions: Non-smokers and an intelligence test required. =) I know, I know… bad gyrl. I am mostly kidding, mostly.

I agree with the idea of a World Court. This is not to be confused with a World Government (i.e. New World Order–rich frakkers taking over the entire world instead of just individual countries). It would be a great idea to set up a World Court where international disputes could be resolved without the biased interference of a heavily-armed country with its own agenda.

Who can’t agree with #7–Avoid petty laws and useless officials–this would be perfect, if feasible. Laws should have a review period. So should U.S. Supreme Court judges. Some laws are simply ridiculous and time reveals just how ridiculous (you can see some dumb laws here.)

All-in-all there is no way of really knowing who Mr. R.C. Christian and his band of rogue sponsors were (or are) but their message seems relevant still some 30 years later and I imagine it will remain relevant for many, many, many years to come.  There are several theories from the Elberton Granite Finishing Company making up this elaborate story to the town of Elberton wanting to attract tourists to a secret order of pagans to the New World Order—all plausible for anyone with imagination.

Whoever the real culprit–the message they chose is a solid one of great interest. These 10 guidelines are as useful, if not more, than the Ten Commandments from the bible.

(more…)

  1. http://www.luckymojo.com/esoteric/interdisciplinary/architecture/vernacular/guidestones.html []
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones []
  3. http://www.luckymojo.com/esoteric/interdisciplinary/architecture/vernacular/guidestones.html []
  4. http://www.luckymojo.com/esoteric/interdisciplinary/architecture/vernacular/guidestones.html []
  5. http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html []

Human capacity for self-deception

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Oh, the web we weave…when lie, cheat and deceive…ourselves.

The gears in my mind are always turning–and I think I am incapable of having many empty thoughts. Each one is woven tight with many others so that each time I begin to unpack one, it leads to infinitely more. Lately, it is a question of who I once was, who I am and who I wish to be. I, like most people, am not impermeable to self-deception. I am quite capable of ignoring the writing on the wall–no matter how bold or large.

“There is no reality in the absence of observation.” — The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

I am a romantic at heart–wanting so much to believe the best in people. This is often too much work with little pay off. Like extracting water from the sand the way a beetle does–it is a lot of work for humans with very little water collected. I find when you place hope in people, you set yourself up for disappointment but that never stops me. It is more important that we not give up on others. It is more important that we believe in people despite the disappointment.

This will return us our humanity. We’ve lost so much or perhaps I’ve just grown older and wiser. Perhaps the world is as it has always been with problems that seem dire, people who care seemingly fast extinct… it is difficult to discern. What I do know is we cannot lose ourselves or each other in the process. It is in the smallest guestures our redemption can be found–giving to a charity, volunteering, smiling at people who walk by, helping someone who needs it, giving the $5 to that person so down-and-out in their luck that they are willing to beg on the street corner.

It will not be found in self-deception or placing your trust in someone who is not worthy of that trust–it is not found in the mangling of your own self-worth in order to ignore what is obvious in any given situation.

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” — Henri Bergson

We must be prepared to see the best in ourselves and be the steward of our own realities. We must not wait for Obama to do the right thing. We must not wait for conservatives to think like us. We must not wait for our worlds to disintegrate beneath us–losing all faith in others–to get out of bad situations. We must not allow one bad egg to spoil our view on humanity. And I know just how easy it is to do this.

I want not to lie to myself anymore. I want not to pretend I don’t see what I do. I want not to wait for outside hope but rather I wish to cultivate it within. I want to plant a seedling and nurture it till it grows strong the stalk within me; roots firmly planted in my walk. I want to walk the walk of hope knowing no one can take that from me–not George W. Bush, not Karl Rove, not even someone I consider a friend for it will be mine, grown through my own actions, my own behavior… sprouting seedlings for others to follow suit.

Where will you find your hope?

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. The outnumbered Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had not been defeated in almost 50 years.

Cinco de Mayo is not “an obligatory federal holiday” in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily.

    History

In 1861, Mexico ceased making interest payments to its main creditors. In response, in late 1861, France (and other European countries) attacked Mexico to try to force payment of this debt. France decided that it would try to take over and occupy Mexico. France was successful at first in its invasion; however, on May 5, 1862, at the city of Puebla, Mexican forces were able to defeat an attack by the larger French army. In the Battle of Puebla, the Mexicans were led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Although the Mexican army was victorious over the French at Puebla, the victory only delayed the French invasion of Mexico City; a year later, the French occupied Mexico. The French occupying forces placed Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico on the throne of Mexico. The French, under U.S. pressure, eventually withdrew in 1866-1867. Maximilian was executed by President Benito Juarez, five years after the Battle of Puebla.

    History of observance

Cinco de Mayo dancers greeted by president George W. Bush.

According to a paper published by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture about the origin of the observance of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, the modern American focus on the people of the world that day first started in California in the 1860s in response to the resistance to French rule in Mexico. The 2007 paper notes that “The holiday, which has been celebrated in California continuously since 1863, is virtually ignored in Mexico.”

    Observances

Mexico

The holiday of Cinco de Mayo is primarily a regional holiday in Mexico. There is some limited recognition of the holiday in other parts of the country. For the most part the celebrations combine food, music, and dancing.

In Mexico City, like the rest of the Mexican capitals, all the young men who serve the military services pledge allegiance to the Mexican national flag and the institutions that it represents.

    United States

Cinco de Mayo performers at the White House.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. The date is perhaps best recognized in the United States as a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry, much as St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest, and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate those of Irish, German, and Chinese ancestry respectively. Similar to those holidays, Cinco de Mayo is observed by many Americans regardless of ethnic origin. Celebrations tend to draw both from traditional Mexican symbols, such as the Virgen de Guadalupe, and from prominent figures of Mexican descent in the United States, including César Chávez. To celebrate, many display Cinco de Mayo banners while school districts hold special events to educate pupils about its historical significance. Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture, especially in its music and regional dancing. Examples include ballet folklórico and mariachi demonstrations held annually at the Plaza del Pueblo de Los Angeles, near Olvera Street. Commercial interests in the United States have capitalized on the celebration, advertising Mexican products and services, with an emphasis on beverages, foods, and music.

    Elsewhere

Cinco de Mayo celebration in St. Paul, Minnesota

Events tied to Cinco de Mayo also occur outside Mexico and the United States. For example, a sky-diving club near Vancouver in Canada holds a Cinco de Mayo skydiving event. In the Cayman Islands, in the Caribbean, there is an annual Cinco de Mayo air guitar competition. As far away as the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, revelers are encouraged to drink Mexican beer on May 5.

Source:  Wikipedia