New Years 2019, New Not Improved

A New Year is once again here. Without trying, we start to stress and worry about the changes we are going to inflict upon ourselves. In the end, we will end up a year form now, fairly close to where we are in the moment. Unless of course we really make an effort to go through the investment of creating a new and improved model of us. Not an easy undertaking, as the most of the world does not want us to change and improve.

This year instead of regurgitating some words that are pretty much what I have felt over time about the New Year, I provided four links to what I have written in the past.

In the interim, my best for you and your journey through the New Year. I hope you make the changes you think you want to make, and you are pleased with the result. If I may make a small suggestion, decide to make changes that make you a better you, not a changed you. These changes tend to be more permanent and pleasing.

New Years Coming

Improving the New Year You

What New Years Resolutions

New Years Worthwhile Resolutions

Of course, you can just search, “new years”, or “resolutions” on my blog search.

Happy New Year!

Flow with, don’t fight the New Year

Guide to a Better Life

I heard and read about a book, mentioned now and again, “A Course in Miracles”. I never read a lot about it, passing references. A few years ago, I found, “A Course in Miracles”, in a local bookstore (yes, we still have a few here), but it was way more than I wanted to pay for a [unknown] book. Especially a book that was more merely mentioned than written about. So I forgot about it as other ideas and things caught my interest.

As one of the laws of, “The Secret”, made itself apparent, I found, A Course in Miracles”, this week, in its original plastic wrapping for a whopping $3.49! Needless to say, I decided I could spend that little on the book, and if I didn’t like it, I would not feel bad about it. I found a surprise inside, it is the latest edition, lucky me. I must be ready for the information it holds.

A Course in Miracles, is a hidden gem of a book. Recommended reading if you want to improve your life.

The book is divided into three parts, Text, Workbook for Students, and Manual for Teachers. I started reading the Text portion, intending to follow up with , “Workbook for Students” section. After a few days reading the Text, I was hooked and decided I can read the, “Text” portion and complete the, “Workbook for Students”, section at the same time.

I have read some of the Text and completed the first two lessons. The, “Workbook for Students”, at least the first two lessons, which is all I have done so far, are intended to hit you in the forehead with a baseball bat. Anyone who has not gone through this process in a different setting, will be thrust into a challenging, new and exciting mindset, about the world in which we live.

Each lesson takes two one minute periods per day. I can’t speak to the rest of the lessons yet, but each objective in the first two lessons is straight forward, simple to understand, and simple to do. There is a warning or disclaimer before the first lesson, that some of the lessons may be something your disagree with and other warnings along this line. You are asked just to do the lessons as written, without agreeing with them or liking them. No one else is needed as I understand, so the lessons should be easy to complete, two minutes a day for a year, or longer if you like.

In short, the lessons are not to be a drain on your time, but may rock your world, so to speak. The first two lessons have rocked mine, already. I am already familiar with the first two lessons, so I thought they would be more an affirmation or reminder for me. Yet I found myself having new, almost foreign understandings of some past life events. I am not sure where this paradigm shift came from, as the first two lessons are not new for me, and are general, but they made radical changes in my seeing certain past and present life events all the same.

I am not sure my description of , Text, in, “A Course in Miracles” does the book justice, but I will give it a shot. I have only read a part of the Text so far, so my comments are only from that small part. The text, if read slowly and with thought, is very enlightening. I have learned in a few days reading the full circle of some of the things I am able to accomplish, which I won’t bore you with as they belong in a different setting.

Up until now, I was aware I accomplished these things, but lacked the understanding of why. Probably a poor analogy, but think of ‘discovering’ you are a natural athlete in a sport, but you never tried before. I feel like this in some areas of my life from past events that improved my life. Through some unknown process changes happened, but I could only a guess as to why, and the structure behind them.

In just a few short paragraphs during my browsing, the process is explained and those loose ends which I could only guess at, I now understand more fully, though not completely. Subjects are blocked out, and stay on subject with little sidelining. Much better than a talk I never made it though on, How Judges Think.

As of this post, after only two lessons, I recommend, if you find an affordable copy of this book, “A Course in Miracles”, and start reading and doing the lessons, your life change in ways you never imagined.

Homeless Economics

In the post, below, is a picture is a Homeless Person (questionable) standing under a sign which was placed explicitly for homeless people to get help through various city programs. The program is intended to get Homeless People off the street and connect them to needed services. Unfortunately Homelessness has become a job in itself.

Begging pays better than working for many people.

On the Albuquerque, New Mexico, 311 website are listed the top ten reasons people are calling 311. Being homeless and asking for help is not one of the top ten.Albuquerque BioPark and Bicycling are numbers one and two.

Here are the Homeless Services offered on the city of Albuquerque 311 Web Page:

There’s a Better Way

 

View information about the program “There’s a Better Way.”

Want to Help?

Donations to the program help the issue of panhandling in Albuquerque.

The There’s a Better Way campaign gives panhandlers a chance at a change in life and provides caring members of our community with a better way to donate their money.

About ‘There’s a Better Way’

Begun in 2015, Albuquerque’s innovative “There’s a Better

Way” program addresses four main needs:

1. Give people dignity in work
2. Connect individuals with services
3. Collective Impact to end panhandling
4. Help the Community to understand “There’s a Better Way”

The plan is robust, and is of course intended to get Homeless People off the street and connect them to needed services. Interestingly enough, the BioPark, and Animal Noise Complaints are the most requested services from the 311 program.

The 311 program has a major economic fault that plagues state Welfare Services across the country. Homeless People are making more money standing on the street corner with a sign than they would working. This same problem applies to Welfare Services of many states. It is easier and more profitable to remain on Welfare than it is to get a job.

The sad economic reality is, many of the homeless people standing on the street corners, are not starving, stuck, or needy. For many, standing on the corner begging, pays better than joining the community and becoming a productive member of the community. Giving through charity is commendable. Giving money to people on the street corner who have no interest in becoming a working member of the community is something else completely.

Homelessness, Land of Uneven Surfaces

Sir, can you spare some change?

No, but I will buy you something to eat if you are hungry.

Three minutes of trying to get her act together, finally entering the Fast Food Place where they were standing six feet from the door.

Semi dirty hair, dirty hands, face, and skin areas, clothing and bags dirty.

“I just got out of an abusive relationship…referring to meth scabs maybe?

My Daughter is with a sitter today. Okay…

It’s my day off from work today…..

I stay in a hotel, it’s forty-two dollars a night.

I’m getting section eight housing in one week ten days…eighty-five dollars a month, I can swing that.”

I place my order, less than $3.00. Their food bill adds up to $9.86!?

She suggested, “Let’s sit here?” Okay.

I sit down, she leaves to fill soda from machine. Minutes click by. I wonder if she forgot what she was doing. Her number is called, called again, called a third time.

She comes back to the table. I say, “You order is ready, they called your number.”

She gets her food, three large drinks and a sausage biscuit and sits down.

Easy slide to the bottom when you are homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Some Woman told an employee, they can’t believe they let people like me in here. Then she tells Me, ‘I am filthy and I stink’. Why do people think they can talk to me like that, like I’m a piece of trash, and not human?”

I am thinking to myself, well the filthy comment fits, I’m in agreement with the woman about the comments. However, there is no excuse for people talking like that to anyone like that, true or not.

She takes large drink of one large shake, then another, and nods off.

“You okay?” She wakes up, starts spreading jelly on her biscuit and her hands….Nods off again. Drooling this time.

Hello?

Opens her eyes, repeats section eight housing story. Nods off again. Opens eyes, “I’m so tired.”

I say, “It appears to me, whatever you have doing isn’t working to well for you, have you heard of “shelter name”.

I won’t go there! I won’t go to any shelter. They get into your business, and I don’t want that. I have been waiting two years for cheap housing, and I’m not going to blow it. I have to wait a week, and three days, and I’m in. Nods off again.

I wonder to myself if she has a week and three days left. I think it may be a coin flip.

I suggest (because she was nodding again), “Why don’t you use a different name? It would give you a chance to clean up, eat and get some real sleep.”

“Have you ever been in one of those places? You don’t know what they are like! (hmmm) How can you sit there and tell me what to do? I don’t want CYFD (Child Welfare) in my business. Why does everyone who gives me money or buys me food think they have the right to tell me what to do?

Maybe they care about you and your condition?, I’m thinking, if I were someone else, I may have paid you for other things, if I didn’t care about my health and well being….

“Are you from here, where did you grow up?”

“I was born in the xxx area, and grew up in the xxxxxxx area.” I’m getting housing in one week and three days, $85.00 a month. My own place. A bed for my daughter.” Nods off…

Opens eyes, “Did you hear a thing I said?

I repeat back what she told me, only one iteration though. “Are you sure about not getting some help, you look like you could use some good sleep.”

“I’m so tired….Why do you think you have the right to tell me what to do? I’m sick of people like you telling me what to do! Who do you think you are?” (I am thinking, ‘someone who is concerned about you doesn’t count I suppose’.)

I’ve had about enough at this point. This woman either hasn’t hit rock bottom, or she does not realize she has already crash landed, and they only place left to fall is to die. Frustration overrides my concern. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. In her case, I’m not even sure, if she knows what is going on.

“Do you have some money you could give me? Anything will help.”

“I do not have any money to give you. I spent almost ten dollars on your food. That was a lot of money for me to spend on you.“

“I only need like twenty more dollars to get a hotel room for the night…for my daughter and me. I have almost half of it.”

“I do not have any money to give you.”

She starts falling asleep again.

“I have to go now, I have somewhere to be. I truly hope the next time I see you, you have your apartment, your daughter, and you are doing well. I hope I do not see you as you are now. Good Luck, and my best for you.”

No response, or perhaps that was the response. As I drive, the conversation slowly fades away, forgotten.

Today, I am getting ready to meet someone, when crashing into my thoughts is the woman I left at the table yesterday. Almost overwhelming thoughts of her. It’s not apparent to me why she has taken over my thoughts, and what these thoughts mean. Twelve hours later, and they still haunt me, coming in lingering waves spacing farther apart, and smaller with each arrival.

Perhaps it is because she isn’t the run of the mill homeless person I am used to seeing. Most homeless people are obviously homeless, but getting along somehow, semi clean and looking like they eat enough.

This woman was skinny as a rail, no fat on her. Dirty, and nothing worth anything on her person, worn out cloths and flip flops. She had a half pack of cigarettes, and a container of bright pink lipstick she wore above and below each lip. She like her clothes looked worn out. The one bag she had her possessions stuffed into was in worse condition.

I say more than a few short prayers today for this woman. If anyone ever needed at least praying for it is her. I know she is beyond anything I can do for her. I doubt she even remembers yesterday, the meal and halting angry conversation.

Tariffs and Embargoes, Oh My

Now that we are into the Tariff Trade Game, let’s take a minute and see what it really means. From the U.S. side, the cost of a new home on the northwest coast has seen an average of $7,000 increase due to the increased cost of lumber due to the imposed tariff.

Those not buying a new home, really aren’t effected, or are they? For whatever reason home sales are now a tight market. Prices for used homes have outpaced wages. It really doesn’t matter, what happens to the price of new homes from this perspective, in the short term anyway.

In the Midwest, Farmers are feeling the brunt of losing their largest export consumer of soybeans. Almost one-third of the soybean crop is exported and now faces a Chinese tariff. So far the U.S. Government has put up eleven twelve billion dollars to offset those losses. The American Taxpayer will foot that eleven million dollar bill. Unfortunately there will be fallout among the Farmers who for whatever reason will not see a dime of the these monies for one reason or another. More small farms will cease to exist.

Coca-Cola has announced it is feeling the rise in the price of aluminum for cans. Of course this will only effect Coca-Cola in the short term. These increased costs will quickly be passed on to the consumer. The downside of this price adjustment for the added cost of aluminum is the American Taxpayer is also the consumer.

General Motors and one of the Home Appliance manufacturers announced the rise in the price of steel has arrived at their door. Some of this steel was ordered months past. Once again, American Taxpayers will foot the bill as this cost is passed on.

Tariffs are not effective, and never have been.

Passing on the cost is what big business does. Generally these costs increased are in excess of what the additional or new cost of aluminum and steel will be. If challenged big business will claim they are adjusting prices according to projected future costs. To get a better idea of this, think of how gas prices at the pumps increase well before the holidays, or summer. The upward price rise is much quicker than any downward price adjustment. Why reduce profit if the customer is already willing to pay a higher price….

The Soybean Tariff reminds me of the Russian Grain Embargo of years past. The U.S. placed an embargo of grain sales to Russia. The grain market was in dismay, as they like to export wheat, but enterprising business started raising wheat fed chickens for export to Russia, informally reducing or eliminating the effect of the famous grain embargo.

In the moment, America will experience a temporary soybean glut. This will last until the excess soy is converted to a food China wants that is not subject to a tariff. Business creativity is the work around of Tariffs, Sanctions and Embargoes. Perhaps U.S farmers will start exporting soy fed beef and chicken to China offsetting or bypassing the soybean surplus and tariff.

America may shift production into soy based housing material, soda and food containers, cars and home appliances made of a soy product instead of metal. Let’s not forget more soy meals instead of beef, chicken, and fish, and perhaps soy based gasoline.

This alternate soy fantasy would cost billions in investment dollars. Of course the American taxpayer is more than happy to foot the bill. Generally the common man suffers the biggest burden when these unworkable policies are put in place, paying more for living day to day, and seeing a bigger tax bill which like the increase in production cost prices, will not be reduced when no longer needed. Tariffs have not worked as planned since they were first tried.

Of course following the current fake news line, ‘If you see it, and you hear about it, don’t believe it, it’s not true’. You can take that thought to the bank….

Possible Link Between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease

There is a possible link between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease. From what I read, the Herpes virus that causes cold sores which goes dormant appears to eventually move into the brain, and create what we know as Alzheimer’s Disease.

We all have a blood-brain barrier that stops almost all virus’ from entering the brain itself, but as we know, there are some brain issues that show some virus’ are able to make it through the brain-blood barrier and cause brain infections.

Here is a link from the most comprehensive article I stumbled across. There was another article commenting on this study, but I could not retrieve the link.

Possible Link Between Cold Sores and Alzheimer’s Disease

Personally, I hope this link proves to be false….

Veiled Racism in Advertising

If you watch network television or other media using general family advertising, it is likely you are unknowingly being sublimely influenced by well Veiled Racism. This current approach is so subtle, that unless you are doing the almost unheard of – thinking while watching – you do not even realize what is going on.

There are only a few of these commercials showing in the moment, but more are likely on the way. These few commercials are getting a lot of air time. These commercials are, “Family” scenario commercials, in that they take place using a basic family unit for the commercial. The family unit consists of a White Father, Black Mother, and a Black Child, a girl of course.

On the surface these commercials seem perfectly harmless. On the surface they are Family oriented commercials with a story wrapped around the selling of a product. We sit and watch these commercials, brain off, waiting for the show to resume. Turn your brain back on, and give these commercials some thought and you should become angry over what you are seeing!

Are your thoughts on Racism and the Family Unit being manipulated?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or perhaps and more to the point, angry about what you are not seeing. The family unit in each of these commercials is a White Father, Black Mother, and Black girl. Get it? Of course the White Father is the role model of all Fathers. The Black Woman and Child are of course, the perfect compliment to the perfect White Father.

In one commercial, the White Father is suffering some intestinal disease. The Black Mother and Black Child look on with dismay and concern as the White ignorant Father struggles with his dilemma. Really? Is this how it is in the real world?

I didn’t really ‘see’ what I have been watching in these commercials until today when something triggered how well Veiled Racism is alive and well, buried in these disturbing commercials. If these marketers are trying to break down racial barriers and further promote interracial relations while promoting their product, they are doing a rather poor job. If they are trying to reflect current reality, they are doing a worse job. That only leaves on other option, and it is ugly.

Why don’t we see a Family Unit commercials consisting of a Black Father and a White Mother, with a White Child who is also a girl? Are we only accepting of the idea of White Men and Black Women with a Child who may or may not be theirs together?

Do we see in our everyday day life any semblance of what we see in these commercials? I don’t. How about a commercial with a Hispanic Father and a White Mother and White Child, also a girl? How about an Asian Father and a White Mother and White Child, also a girl? Perhaps Marketers see this scenario in the same light they see a Black Father with a White woman and White child?

This idea of one acceptable racial family unit may or may not be influenced by the current President and his politics. However, we need to think about this and express the right and need to vote with our pocketbooks. Let these racially biased advertisers and the product they represent know without a doubt that making selectively, “approved” commercials needs to expand to other family units, and quick. Either advertise using mixed race combination of family units across all markets, or stop these types of commercials completely.

Every Race has outstanding Fathers, Mothers, and Children. Almost every community enjoys mixed race family units as part of their population. Except for some very shortsighted people, we do not think twice seeing a mixed race family unit during our daily activities. We must not be willing to allow advertising to reshape our view of what is acceptable, and what is not for a family unit?

Mixed Race Family Units is reality. Selectively using, “approved” mixed race families in advertising is just plain wrong. Take a moment, when you see one of these very slick, focused, White Father, Black Mother and Black girl family unit commercials, and let the the product manufacturer know you live in the real world, and they either need to get with the program, or you may prefer to purchase a competitor’s product, which may be better than their product.

Movie Worth Watching – Black Panther

If you can, Black Panther is well worth your time. One of the best thought out movies of its genre in a long while. Story flows, and you are sold on the story line in the first ten minutes.

If you have heard negatives about Black Panther, they are probably wrong. I know Conservative Radio claims the movie, Black Panther, “Aggrandizes Black Women”, like there is something inherently wrong with that thought. In my opinion, it is a small thought put out there for small minds,

Let me know if you enjoyed Black Panther. I am sure you will.