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Learning to say “No”.

Many problems that arise in this constantly connected world of ours come from the lack of boundaries.  Whether it is a parent with a bratty child that he or she cannot seem to control long enough for a peaceful trip to the grocery store, or uncontrolled spending by bureaucrats who forget where the money comes from.  We as a nation need to learn to say “no” and mean it.

Say No To Media Intrusion

There are so many things that need to change, but it starts at home, just like everything else.  Our behavior needs to change, we need to use less, create more, and turn off the sound of the bleating media that surrounds us.  We need to form opinions on our own, rather than listen to the hype of CNN, FOX, CNBC, HLN, and all of the entertainment/reality BS that is regularly regurgitated as news. Put down your cell phone, actually turn it off occasionally, walk away from your computer, tablet, or e-reader, pick up a book, or take a walk.  You will find that the less connected you are, the more connected you will be.

Say No To Yourself

What?  You mean we have free will and the ability to choose?  The next time you need to make an excuse to do something, ask yourself if you REALLY deserve it.  Self-control is not self-denial.  We are far too indulgent a people.  We don’t have savings accounts, but we do have HD-DVR-LCD-Wide Format-3D-Blueray-Digital everything.  We have raised our standard of living, but not the standards by which we live.  Do you really need to spend $2000 on a TV or vacation?

Say No to Politicians

The next time you hear a campaign ad (which is often now that it’s election season). Think to yourself about how you are treated by the people who are asking for your vote.  These people (on a national level more than local level) are asking you to put them on the public salary, they are inviting themselves into your home to be your benevolent ruler, they are pandering to your emotions, they are in essence interviewing for a job that you have the right to give or deny them.  Are these men and women answering your questions?  Would you hire them if they didn’t? 

We need to think about it that way if we want to get anywhere, if we are their employer, if we are the people who review their performance and let them continue on the road to fame or infamy then we need to rigorously quiz and question their every motive.  We need to be sure that our best interest is at the heart of their quest for office.  Think about it, we the people are struggling to survive, businesses are closing, homes are being foreclosed upon, jobs are being lost, families are drowning in debt, and yet our government survives.  It not just survives, it thrives!  Doesn’t that make you angry, don’t you get steamed just thinking that our social security program is floundering, and we have no good options for health care, but your government officials don’t have to worry about it because they’re all taken care of by a different system? 

It’s time to say NO!!!  Stop letting everyone control you and your best interest.  Stop letting all of these things take advantage of your distracted attention. Stop and have a thought that is actually your own, quit repeating (ad nauseam) the talking points of political parties and pundits and find a stance that is all about you, think about what you say, then own it!

Say no, and then begin to reshape your world.

Jen

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To The Capitalists:

I have a question for conservative pundits regarding the theory that if we free up businesses by reducing their tax burden it will put more money in the economy by creating jobs and therefore putting more money out there for consumers to spend.

My question is:

If we were to do this, reduce taxes on businesses and reduce regulation of those businesses in America, would the corporations actually respond by creating those jobs and passing on the profits to the employees of their businesses or would they tighten their wallets and walk away fat and happy because they have more profit, and less tax liability?

I ask this because it seems to be the more likely scenerio.  Most major businesses take the worker and consumer for everything they have and invest the money in the important people at the top, not give the worker/consumer a break on their cost and invest the money in the folks at the bottom who work very hard to make the product that is sold for a generous profit.

As an American who has to make do with very little while paying off student loans and car loans and just barely paying my rising utility bills, mortgage, insurance, fuel for two cars, and the miscellaneous and sundry expenses that are required for survival, I feel as if I am being taken advantage of by all of the companies that I must pay money to for the things that I need.

I have cut my budget to the bare necessities, my husband and I don’t go out very often.  Our date night consists of a movie from Netflix and home-made pizza, a rare luxury because I have to remember to make the dough ahead of time.  We both wear clothes that have holes and I have to be cajoled into purchasing new bras and underwear due to the expense.  At one point last year I had to insist that my dear husband go to Old Navy and buy himself two new pairs of jeans, the first he’s bought since I met him in 2004, for the record that’s 7 years without a new pair.  I haven’t bought a new pair of shoes to replace my worn out ones in well over a year, and the first shoe purchase I plan on making is for a new pair of work shoes, because they are no longer slip resistant, and for my job I cannot emphasize enough how important that trait is.  I haven’t had a haircut in nearly a year, and I color my hair at home, Revlon being my colorist, I do so on a tight budget.  My dogs get their baths at home as well as their inoculations, the derision of the veterenarian as I shun them for everything but an emergency and they make me feel guilty for it.  I have not seen a doctor for anything except a nasty bout of bronchitis 2 years ago, for that I paid out-of-pocket because at the time I was not covered by insurance.

So capitalists, you owners of the companies that we all work for, you magnates and entrepreneurs, you venture capitalists that have money to invest, what I am looking for is a simple answer to a simple question.  If we small time tax payers, give you a break, will you pass it on?  Or will you pocket the return, continuing to send jobs overseas, continuing to take advantage of low-income workers by offering nothing in the way of benefits or full-time jobs?

Will you continue to subvert law by only hiring part-time labor so that you don’t have to offer meal breaks, vacation time, insurance benefits, or promotions?  Will you continue to lay off experienced workers so that you can hire younger employees because you can pay them less and offer them less as well?

Will you continue to require the work of two be done by one, asking salaried employees to work 10 extra hours a week because you don’t have to pay them that extra money in overtime?  Will you do all those nasty tricky little things to hard-working families who are already stretched thin, who are worried about their job security, who will work the extra hours for the assurance that they will continue to have a job, or will you continue to take advantage, and blackmail employees into compliance with the ever-changing rules of employment and compensation?

Because as long as you are given sway, given the legal wiggle room, I think you will continue to take advantage of those who toe the line and do just what you ask.  And the workers, they don’t have the opportunity to speak out much because our representitives are working for the big corporations as much as we are.  Everyone has a representitive in Washington except the people, a sad fact considering that we are supposed to be a Democratic Republic, of the people, by the people and for the people.  But now it seems that it is:  Of the career politicians, by the lobyists, for the corporations and banks.

Please corporate heads, and free market enthusiasts, let well enough alone and quit meddling in politics, quit adjusting and monitizing and once and for all give us a break.

Comments? Questions? Arguments? Let me know.

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Who Is Telling You How to Live Your Life?

I have become a cynical skeptic lately.  I used to want to believe that if I read it in the newspaper, or it was broadcast on the news that it was truth.  I was being a naive idealist, hoping that what I read and heard was truth instead of fiction.  I could easily dismiss a hidden truth as conspiracy or ignorance of the facts, while being ignorant of the facts myself, but the internet cured me of that immediately.  That is not to say that the internet spews truth from its invisible fountain, but it makes finding the facts much easier, it also makes choosing to listen to all sides of an argument easier.  For the same reason that I listen to conservative talk radio, I browse Fox News, “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.”

What do you believe you know?

I accidentally challenge myself almost every single day.  I say accidentally because I’m not some hard-core philosopher whose task it is to decode the DNA of the world’s mechanisms I will ask a question and if I don’t find an answer I punt.  I start guessing and measuring and pressing in on the who, where, what, when and why?  I want to get to the very root of a choice and right now my choice is to make you aware of who is making decisions for you whether you like it or not.

First off, for those of you who are of a Conservative bent, those who claim to believe that there is too much government and that we need to have more personal responsibility and freedom; my line on that is this:  You cannot have it both ways, either I make my own decisions on everything or someone else makes the decisions for me.  You cannot claim to make a law based upon that which is “for the public good” without also saying that then you believe I cannot make that decision myself.  For example:  Marriage equality.  Since when is telling a person who can or cannot marry whom any business of a government?  If you choose to preach personal responsibility and smaller government you must not make any exception because of a religious consideration.  Period.

Whether or not you are liberal or conservative, a hippie on a bike or a soccer mom in an SUV, a conservative Christian or a libertarian atheist, decisions have been being made for you since you were born and from the moment you woke up this morning.  These decisions were made for you by law makers from 100 years ago, and the ones of today.  Your liberty was compromised from the moment of conception, and you cannot refute the fact that this is true.

When you turn off your alarm clock in the morning between March 11, 2012 and November 4, 2012 you are the subject of Daylight Savings Time which is regulated by the USDOT (United States Department of Transportation).

As you fill your coffee maker with water you are subject to the safety regulations of your government especially if you do not have a well.  Your water has been treated with fluoride and chlorine, filtered and sent to your tap, a service which you pay for.  (These laws are for public safety are regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).  But there is no need for fluoride for public safety that is usually decided by a municipality.

As you add cream to your coffee you are subject to laws made by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) which require the pasteurization and homogenization of your milk, half & half, cream or any dairy product.  Even if you wanted to purchase raw milk products you may not be able to find it in your state, as selling unpasteurized milk might be a crime worthy of the confiscation of your farm.

Once again your water is controlled by the EPA as you shower or use the toilet, the flow of water through your taps has been regulated to make sure that no more than 2.5 gallons per minute pass through your shower head, and no more than 1.6 gallons per flush through your commode.

We’ll skip your personal care routine since there are an unlimited number of routines that you might go through and a number of warnings that you will come across as you dry your hair, or accidentally trip the GFCI outlet that is next to your sink.   All in the name of public safety, or your personal safety.

For your safety, you have given up many freedoms as you will see as you get into your car to drive to work

  1. You must pass a state required exam to be licensed to drive in the first place. The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) deals with this.
  2. You have to put on your seat belt or you will be ticketed. The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) makes the rules but your state Highway Patrol and local police department handle the ticketing.
  3. Your state requires you to purchase insurance if you intend on using their roads to get to work in my state this is the  NC DOI (North Carolina Department of Insurance).
  4. You must follow posted speed limits or you will be ticketed NC DOT made the rules.
  5. You will stop at a red light and slow down in preparation to stop at a yellow light, you will go at a green light or be ticketed (DOT).
  6. Your car now has a computer that is checked by the state that tells them whether your car is safe to drive, if it is not your inspection will not pass and you will lose your right to register your tag with the state which will, when expired, will result in a ticket NC DOT in collaboration with the EPA I’m sure.
  7. You must buckle your child into an approved safety seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 80 pounds this comes to us from the NHTSA.  In researching this I found that in some states it’s 66 pounds but for some reason the 8/80 thing sticks with me.  I feel for the skinny little second graders who are stuck in a car seat because they are too small to use the provided seat belt in the car.  Also they are stuck in the back seat whether they yelled shotgun or not.

Your workday is regulated by those your work for, if you work in a restaurant you are subject to the laws laid out for sanitation and care in cleaning a restaurant in preparation for serving food.  These laws are here for a reason, because at some point in history someone didn’t wash their hands before preparing or serving your food, so the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) made it a law. There are minimum temperatures at which all meats should be served and all other foods should be held.  The temperature of the water flowing from the tap is also regulated so is the way dishes are washed and plates at a buffet are used.  Yet I don’t see a state regulator standing there slapping away the hands of children who seek to dip from the chocolate fountain at Golden Corral.

If you are in construction there are federal, state, and county codes that you must adhere to in order for the building to pass inspection.  In my state this is handled by the North Carolina Building Code Council.

If you are an inspector it is your job to make sure that these codes are adhered to.

If you are a doctor or nurse you must pass licensure in your state in order to work these tests are overseen by the AMA and state medical associations.  Same goes for teachers and administrators, licensing handled by state Boards of Education.  There are also codes of conduct that must be followed because your work is of a very personal and sometimes confidential nature.  As a doctor you must also carry malpractice insurance so that you are protected from litigious patients.  (I have absolutely no objections to these regulations as a doctor must be at least minimally trained in order to operate and we need to insure that these persons are qualified before we allow them to practice upon us.  Teachers also should be required to prove that they are trained well enough to handle our entitled and unruly youth, as well as the parents of said youth).

If you are a Midwife, in some states you must also be a nurse to practice your craft.  (Once again I have no problems with this but some states are so restrictive as to not allow midwives at all, thereby offering little choice for mothers to be and the families who would rather not give birth in a hospital).

Okay, there are millions of regulations at work. . . I can’t list them all here, but almost every job you do is regulated in some way by a government; whether city, county, state or federal.  So let’s go home now, it’s 5:30 pm and you’re tired because your job dealing with the public/private sector is exhausting.  You backed up your e-mail onto the server just like you are supposed to because the US Courts require it in case of litigation.

At the grocery store you buy a pot roast and vegetables both USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) certified organic because it’s better for your family.  That “organic” label is there because the government said it could be.  The producers had to pass rigorous inspections in order for that label to be applied to the acorn squash you just bought. The dietary information label on that package of Chips Ahoy is also regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). And corn is in almost everything you buy, why?  Because the government pays farmers to grow it, not a regulation, I know but a subsidy and those are just as bad as regulations.

You get home and turn the A/C down to 74, summer in the south is draining.  Your air-conditioning unit is energy star compliant and no longer uses freon.  For that matter almost everything electric that you turn on in your house can have this certification your TV, water heater, dish washer, stove and oven have been approved by the government for your use.  More government regulation there, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the Department of Energy have come together to help you save money and be more “green”.

How about UL listing? Nope, they are an independent not for profit safety and testing company, there is no government here.

TV time, the food has been safely stored away in glass containers (No biphenyl-A in your house) you turn on and watch a re-run of the Soprano’s on A&E, scrubbed by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for your protections because the “F word” can cause permanent brain damage and bad morals (That’s not it? Then why should they care what words we can hear or not hear coming from our TV?).  Apparently so can seeing someone smoke on TV, and yet it seems like every show has some variety of alcohol consumption and/or drunken behavior written into it.

Finally you get to tuck your infant into their CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency) regulated flame resistant onesie  on their back as recommended by the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) in a crib that is approved of by the CPSC.  Let’s not forget to read them a book.  If your book was printed before 1985 the government thinks that they might be unsafe for your child because of lead based inks so make sure not to recycle those books from your childhood or your parents childhood, and whatever you do don’t let the kids eat the books!

Off to bed for you too, you have to wake up early the next morning, your mattress, pillows, blankets and sheets have all been approved by the US Government, read the tag sometime.  The materials have been certified as new materials (unless the pillow is made from feathers or down, I’ll bet the goose is upset that you are using his second-hand feathers).  The contents of your mattress are clearly described on the label as regulated by a law written in the early 1900’s.

So sleep well knowing that (even if you still don’t believe or understand it), the government of the United States of America has you well under control.  For those of you upset about the Affordable Healthcare Act, don’t worry too much, the US Government has your best interests at heart, and is well on its way to determining whether everything else in your life is regulated to their satisfaction as well.

As always I welcome your comments and corrections.

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Against. . .

North Carolina is being called to the polls for their primary today.  In a divisive attempt at fowling equality, a ban on any marriage that is not between a man and a woman is at the bottom of the ballot.  Vote Against, or risk having amendments tacked on that say if you are a single mother you are not entitled to any benefits whatsoever from your former spouse, your baby daddy, or your state.  Vote Against, or become a part of the burgeoning theocracy who believe that America is a Christian nation, and that none but Christians matter.  Vote Against, or give up your right to self determination and liberty that this republic was built upon.  Vote Against, or give up the right to the separation of church and state that is written into the constitution. VOTE AGAINST, and feel what it’s like to have your vote count for once.

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Elephants and The GOP

The elephant became the symbol of the Republican party not because of what an elephant is, but because of a political cartoon run by Harper’s Weekly in November of 1874, it was there also that the Democrat’s jackass was born as a symbol, all in the same cartoon.  Of course the drawing was a depiction of the political landscape at the time as seen by the artist (Thomas Nast), but now we see the symbols as inseparable from the parties themselves.  So why does any of this matter?  Well read on:

I was just sitting here thinking about the GOP and how its symbol, the elephant, doesn’t really represent it very well.  After all, elephants are very matriarchal; the cows lead the troop and stick together in tightly knit groups of individuals forming families.  They are very human that way.  However; given what is going on with the Republican party right now and the way that some of them seem to want to take away rights that women have earned in the last century, the image of a matriarchal creature is somewhat incongruous.  Perhaps there needs to be a reminder that all politicians have mothers and perhaps those same politicians should say thank you to those moms for deciding to reproduce in the first place.

But then in doing a bit of research I remembered, and realized that though elephants form families, they are made up of cows, not bulls.  When the males reach puberty they are forced out to find their own society with other bulls.  At the point of separation, the bulls and cows don’t come together again except for when it’s time to mate.  That seems to fit the symbol very well.  Though there are plenty of women in the GOP, it seems like the whole birth control controversy is born by men who are separated from women.  It is as though these men have never met or conversed with any woman since they moved out of their mothers home and into the frat house.

Can we learn something from this type of society?  I think so.  Men and Women have been forced into each others society for far too long.  Women in America have sought equal footing for themselves, we pride ourselves on the accomplishments of the Suffragettes of the last century, earning us, the woman of America today, the right to vote.  From there we earned many more rights, the right not to be beaten by the men with whom we keep company, the right to a job with equal pay for equal work and so much more.

In elephant society, the troops of cows are utterly independent from the troops of bulls.  They forage on their own, care for the young and come of age without a dependence on the bulls.  Women today are beginning to do this as well, though the religious right may see this as a moral failing, I think that perhaps some women are getting it right in a way.  It is a controversial thing, the thought that women are better off without men “helping” them make decisions about life, but women are wiser without men.

It’s just a thought that will never come to fruition, a fantasy.  Human females will always be in society with males, we have been brought up to believe that we will live in familial groups that include men whether they are our children, fathers, brothers, friends or mates;  and boys aren’t cast out into the wild at puberty, I mean can you imagine feral groups of teenage boys wandering the streets foraging for Cheetos and Mountain Dew holding gaming tournaments to determine leadership?  A chill just ran up my spine.

For now I will take a lesson from the elephants, they seem to have their acts together, and with the exception of the atrocities visited upon them by humans, are doing okay.  I can only hope that Americans won’t cannibalize themselves in the name of moral “right” and “wrong” and finally live together without turning on one another.

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Ubiquitous Misogyny

Misogyny:  Hatred of women. (As defined by Merriam-Webster:  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misogyny?show=0&t=1328715060 ).

I am here right now to stand up for Women.  We are being subjugated in ways that are down right primitive and medieval.  Our ability to direct our own lives has become political bait for those who believe they have a right to dictate which services are available to women. Women have nothing but our words to protect us, our ability to argue whether an outside force has the right to dictate what choices we have in regard to ideas as personal as childbearing, health screenings, choice of doctor and hospital, contraception, and surgery.

I am here to ask that this misogyny coming from both men and women end now.  The religious right is trying to take my rights from me.  They want to wear MY womb, the one that I was born with, the one which causes me daily trouble, as iron clad armor against ME and against you!

Nobody, again; NO ONE but I, or my husband, has any right to say what can or cannot be done to MY body.  I own it out and out, I have the RIGHT to do with it as I please.  I can tattoo it, scar it, fatten it up or slim it down AS I PLEASE.  I have the RIGHT to make it bear children or not.  I have the RIGHT to control when it bears children, and the RIGHT to not bear any children at all.  I have the RIGHT to medical services which protect my health and wellbeing.  I have the RIGHT to do whatever I choose to do.  However; there are some who believe they have the RIGHT to dictate what services are available for me to choose from. 

Until recently I was uninsured, there were only a few options for me when it came to my health care.  My insurance was staying healthy, not getting pregnant, and avoiding contagion when I could.  I went to Planned Parenthood for yearly exams, and birth control, by no means was it a complete health plan but because of their reasonable costs I had control over this one aspect of my health care.  Thank the stars they were there when I needed them, they should be there for further generations, the future of woman’s health care is bleak and they are a guiding light in the darkness for the millions of women who need their services.

For those who do not agree, I am not asking you to read this post.  I am not asking that you give your precious money to organizations that do not agree with your values or which you believe to be morally wrong.  If you don’t like Planned Parenthood do not use their services, if you believe that women have no right to make decisions about their own lives then that’s how you are, I cannot change you, I don’t want to, however you have NO right to make those same decisions for me.  Understand this:  You do not have any right to set the standards by which I guide MY life.

On that note, women everywhere need to understand that the choices that they make are now fodder for public scrutiny.  This is not right, but as a woman you must be responsible for the decisions that you make in regard to your health and well being.  You cannot stand firm against something without making the choice to be responsible for yourself.  Take care that you USE the birth control that is available to you, take care that you get the attention that you need to stay healthy.  Be responsible for yourself first and you will never need to worry about others opinions.

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I’m Done With You. . . A Message to The Senate and Congress of The U.S.

I’m Done.

I’ve had it with all of your bi-partisan bickering, childishness, and stubbornness.  If it were me determining what to do next, I would dole out punishment the way an angry mother would, you are all grounded until further notice.  No Holiday break, no dinners with lobbyists, no expensive golf games in Aruba, no phone calls or internet or gaming, until you are ready to apologize to the electorate and your fellow politicians (Yes, even the ones that you hate).

There will be no gifts under the tree, the Hanukkah candles will be lit without you, and your family will not get to see you until all of the bullshit is taken care of.  I am just plain tired of you getting away with holding America hostage to your unreasonable indetermination.  Well, Representatives and Senators, what do you have to say for yourselves?

You have lost all perspective on what your public needs and wants.  You listen to a few loud voices instead of the people’s mic.  While we shout for your help you ignore us, you put us under a pillow and hope to collectively smother us all.  I am so angry that my mind is screaming, Good Lord people WAKE UP!  You have kowtowed to the big money for so long that you don’t even realize that anyone else even exists, no wonder so many people are all screwed up, narcissism has become normal, you are a bunch of self-centered, egotistical, pig-headed, toads, and that’s even a bit defamatory to the toads.

I think that it’s time that we stop paying you until you do what we tell you to do, we are the boss.  Government for the people, by the people, right?  Your benefits should be suspended, your Town Car parked, and your security personnel revoked until you come to an understanding both with the people of this country and your fellow politicians, period.

No single one of you is better, more justified, or righteous than the other, you are ALL in the wrong here, finger-pointing and gesticulating at the other as being the problem ends now.

GET TO WORK SOLVING THIS PROBLEM OR YOU ARE ALL FIRED!

 

 

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