November 2011

Mommy Snubbery

 

I am coming to terms with the fact that I’ve been snubbed by a fellow homeschooling mom. I’m not sure why, but it hurts a bit because I thought we connected and that our kids would play together really well. My daughter really enjoyed playing with her children, and she is so knowledgeable and experienced that I was hoping to learn a lot from her.

We are both unschoolers, so that was really exciting; most other homeschoolers that you meet follow a set curriculum, and many think you’re weird if you don’t. This mom told me, “What’s the point of homeschooling if you’re just going to do exactly what the schools do at home?” and I was like, “Right on!” She also sort of homesteads, something I am really interested in, and I don’t really know anyone else who does that, either.

Why Is Energy Self Sufficiency Important?

 

People often wonder why I am such a proponent of energy self-sufficiency. They ask me why I am so against the importation of oil and other resources from Middle Eastern countries. All I have to do is look at my children and that's all the reason I need.

We live in a world of escalation and uncertainty. Gasoline and natural gas prices go up and down every month. One minute gas is hovering around $3 and the next it's nearly $4. Do we forget that it was only a few years ago when no on thought gas would ever reach $2. We could get half a tank of gas for $10.

What happened to cause such a giant leap in prices? OPEC happened. Oil prices reached unheard of heights and even after the price per barrel decreased the price of gasoline was forever changed. OPEC is gaining more every year and already hold major superpowers hostage when they threaten to cut oil production.

Don’t Feed the Anti-Gay Santas

Back in 2008 when I was laid off from my nonprofit job, I briefly considered bell ringing for the Salvation Army. I really needed to support my family and was searching for anything that would let me stay at home with my daughter—as my previous job had allowed me to do—and work compatible hours with my husband’s schedule. But when I started looking into the Salvation Army, I came across some pretty disturbing information about the organization that not only gave me pause—but also led me to stop supporting them altogether.

FDR Combats Black Tuesday

to save his America

Black Tuesday, not to be confused with Black Thursday, though the frenzy and pains could be similar was a key point in the Great Depression. It happened October 29, 1929 and is considered by mainly as the main start of the Great Depression. The Stock Market fell to an unprecedented low. Several people immediately lost their employment, People became fearful and disparate as they strived to keep their homes and to feed their families.

Should churches be used as polling locations?

"More polling locations are in churches than anywhere else in America, and many people are unhappy with this"

In theory, a polling location should add no bias to a voter’s decision. However, this is not one hundred percent true anywhere. A polling location in a poorly funded school might raise a voter’s awareness to problems in the education field and lead them to vote for the candidate which supports education more strongly.

Patriotic Millionaires For Wealthy Surtax Vs. Grover Norquist And Limited Government

Spoiler Alert: Norquist took an asinine position and the millionaires didn't know what to do with it.

Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength, a group of super-wealthy Americans that was formed a year ago in opposition to the Bush Era Tax Cuts, went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to make their agenda known. In addition to speaking with legislators and lobbyists about wanting to raise their taxes and allow the Bush tax cuts to expire next year, they took their argument to Grover Norquist himself. Norquist, the President of Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative foundation dedicated to lowering Americans’ taxes, is largely targeted for his conservative tax pledge, a document that became a Republican and Tea Party sticking point during the summer debt ceiling negotiations. Patriotic and Norquist engaged in a kind of philosophical debate that ended with the startlingly inane conclusion; “the United States is less sucky than other places."

Big Tobacco Lawsuit Holds Up Obama Anti-Smoking Campaign

It might sound a little hypocritical, but the Obama White House is waging an aggressive campaign to place graphic pictures on cigarette packaging.

Cigarettes can kill people, and there’s no denying that. According to the NIH, cigarette smoking, an activity still enjoyed by 46 million people in this country, is the leading cause of premature deaths. A recent effort by the Obama administration to ramp up the impact of warnings on cigarette packs has recently come under fire, and not just by Big Tobacco, who has been aggressively lobbying against the effort. The White House wants to place graphic images depicting smoke-blackened lungs, individuals smoking through a tracheotomy hole in their neck, and people on respirators directly on the cigarette packs with the surgeon general’s warning. The FDA the move in June of this year, but a U.S. Court has blocked the move for judicial review.

The Passing of Free Speech

In recent weeks we have watched as the Occupy Wall Street Movement established their protest and exercised their right of free speech. We have watched as the movement spread with supporters organizing protests in cities across the nation and eventually around the world. The people are tired of the oblivion of those at the top. People are tired of the presumption that since hardship is not affecting those at the top of the food chain it must not be happening. This is why there are people in the streets and why OWS exists.

Kleptocracy

I briefly talked about this in my previous post called “Crony Capitalism” if you look at the last paragraph. I’d like to talk more about this great deviation of the free market and bring to light some of the billionaire politicians in the developing countries who usually were removed from their position due to a scandal. The interesting thing about this type of government rule is that the rulers will try to raise their personal wealth and the political power of the officials without any act of honest public service.

It really is a form of economic rent. Siphoning off the resources is not that hard due to this as the income does not go do down. Usually, at the beginning some elites who have a special term for them called tenderpreneurs try to get hold of the resources for their personal gain. Anyway, lets look at some examples of rulers that have seriously abused their power. I picked two of these three because it was interesting to see how they also grew up in humble circumstances but amassed fortunes in the billions of dollars at the expense of their country’s population.

Former Indonesian President Suharto: According to Transparency International, an anti-corruption German-based NGO, he is the most self-enriching leader having allegedly stolen anywhere from $15 billion - $35 billion. His parents were of the peasant class and a lot of the attempts to prosecute him were made after his presidency.

Mental Health Practitioners Are Abusing the SSDI Program

a trend that needs to be investigated

Shortly after I moved into this area, a neighbor popped out of her apartment as I was on my way out for the day.  When she asked where I was going, I replied I was going to put in some job applications.  Acting like she had never heard of such a thing, she asked "Why do you want to work?  Can't you get disability?"  I, in turn, had never heard of such a thing, and replied that I did not have any disabilities.  Stunned by that answer, she went on to ask "You mean you're not on any meds?  Not anything?"  I thought her questions and viewpoints were very unusual until I boarded a bus and was on the receiving-end of the same from another local person.  

 

I have been in this city for more than nine years.  I have not met anyone over age thirty-five who is not carrying at least one dx (diagnosis), usually multiple diagnoses;  and many in the younger age groups as well.  While I noticed a similar trend in a city where I lived before, I have been in this particular area long enough to see there is something very, very wrong.

 

City Gardens with any Space Restrictions

Many varieties can be grown indoors or out.

Have you ever longed for the benefits of open space yet knew you would never have it, simply due to your own love of city life? I know exactly how you feel. I love the city, the coffee shops, the lights dancing off the lake, I even love the ongoing traffic sounds. In fact I would probably be lost without them. I also love the idea of my own fresh vegies and my own hands digging in fresh soil and now I can have both and so can you.

None of the Above

"Everything our founding fathers fought for and believed in has been whittled down to the highest bidder."

I have looked at the potential presidential candidates. I have listened to what they have been saying and so far I’m not impressed. I hear all of the lip service but none of it offers any kind of sincerity. I usually vote for the lesser of evils. The problem is, there is no lesser evil; they all rank about the same. I cannot find one smidgen of true desire to help the country get back to where it needs to be.

GOP Debate announced for Atlanta Georgia

"The fundamentals of a debate that can make or break a candidate cover several realms within a debate. "

Political debate comes to Atlanta Georgia, it’ll be available to watch on CNN so make sure that you set aside some time so that you don’t miss the excitement of this debate. This debate is hosted in part by the Georgia Republican party and will be running during the weeks prior to Tuesday march 6, 2012. The Georgia GOP is hoping that this debate can help push candidates into the primaries.

Rub Some Chemicals on Your Baby Once a Day ...What?

"I could look at this with simple dismissal, after all It doesn’t seem to have caused any one any harm."

And we just found out now…why?

Parents across America should be outraged. Johnson and Johnson are only now trying to remove toxic chemicals out of their popular “no more tears baby shampoo”. Sorry Johnson and Johnson, I’m afraid I may have a few tears.

 

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Do you remember this shampoo? I believe babies and small children have used their special no more tears formula for decades upon decades. In fact I currently have their baby oil in my bathroom, which will be in my trashcan very shortly.

Worker-Owned Companies: Mondragon

"Mondragon is able to weather economic storms without sacrificing anybody"

Mondragon is one of the largest and most successful of the world's worker-owned cooperative companies. Its ongoing long-term success gives the lie to the idea that companies owned by the employees cannot be profitable. Mondragon is also an excellent example of how such a company can handle economic decisions in a more responsible and human way, without turning to massive layoffs or outsourcing jobs.

 

Mondragon workers handle economic difficulties by taking turns stepping back. Instead of just laying off thousands of workers forever, workers are selected by lottery to step back temporarily, receiving partial pay. If things get better within a year, they return to work with everyone else. If the situation has not improved, they go to back to full-time at the end of the year and another set of workers steps back.

Worker-Owned Companies

A Way To Fair Trade

The basic goal of the fair trade movement is to ensure that all workers receive a living wage and are treated with dignity and humanity. What better way to achieve this goal than through giving them ownership of the companies they work for?

 

Partial ownership is basically symbolic, and will not achieve the core goals of economic justice and sustainability. Companies need to be owned 100% by the people who work for them, and managed through the most democratic and horizontal process possible, such as the General Assembly consensus-based approach.

Nuclear Accidents and Disasters - Chalk River, 1952

The First Of Many

If you ask any random person about nuclear accidents and disasters, you will probably hear just three place names: Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. This could easily give the impression that these have been the only nuclear accidents, and I have even seen that used as an argument for the safety and environmental sustainability of nuclear energy, but that is far from being the case.

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