Gangs, Forced Labor, and Slavery in America

There are an estimated 33,000 violent street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs criminally active in the U.S. today. Most of these Gangs feed the prison system with new or repeating inmates.

Afraid your child may be falling under gang influence? Check out the parents guide to gangs. Once gang members and other criminals are behind bars, they are eligible to become forced labor, or Legal Slaves. Some may work for a tuppence which is minimal.

There are about 2,220,300 inmates in state and federal prisons. Many of these inmates, survive just like the prison movies…Forced labor in all weather conditions, and armed Watchers ensuring no one escapes alive.

While an argument may be tabled that some of these inmates are paid for their work, it isn’t the same as a real job. These jobs are jobs are not jobs anyone not in the prison system would want to do. Hours are long, and pay is short or not at all. Average pay is a couple of dollars a day, with no benefits. Hardly an amount anyone would willingly work for.

Then there are the chain gangs. Dangerous work using the forced labor of about 870.000 inmates. With little or no pay, basically Convicts are America’s Legal Slaves. Many of these inmates are in chain gangs. Just like the movies…forced labor, all weather conditions, and armed Watchers ensuring no one escapes.

As out of sight,  is human trafficking, or Slavery in America. Hard to believe, but the United States is far from the bottom of the list of countries with a Slave population.

The Federal Government does appropriate monies to combat slavery, but with forced inmate labor, and other issues, the monies are little more than a splash in the bucket.

From the Office on Trafficking Persons, yes there is such a place, we have a budget:

Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States 2013-2017.

Fiscal Year     Programs for Foreign National Victims   Programs for Domestic Victims  Total

2018              $17,000,000                                         $6,755,000                  $23,755,000

So, does forced labor start with Gang Members and other Criminals feeding the system, or is forced labor inherent in America, being a part of the American System as long as America has been around?

Do Your Employees Stink?

Every business that meets face to face with it’s customers needs to concern itself with how its employees smell. The matter of basic hygiene where you probably expect your employees adhere to normal standards. At issue is each persons definition of normal hygiene standards.

Employee smell may be more involved than having taken a bath and using deodorant. Many people, and this is a more common trait in women, are especially sensitive to smells. For these people, a scent or fragrance that goes unnoticed by most of us, is noticed by these people.

Small business can not afford to lose customers because of an offensive smelling employee. If a new customer visits your business, and is turned off by the way the employee smells, you have lost a sale and a repeat customer. Customers are the most valuable asset a company has.

Depending on where your business is located, employee hygiene changes. However, it is not unreasonable to put in place general guidelines for your employees. Requesting how employees smell while at work is not unreasonable. With a little creativity, smell or lack of  could become part of your companies culture.

Customers prefer to smell food and not your employee!

Common smells that will turn off some first time and repeat customers are:

Body odor. Acceptable body odor varies from area to area, and country to country. No matter what the standard is, some people manage to go beyond what is acceptable.

Bad breath. Bad breath is a turn off for most people. If an employee is in a customer’s personal space and they haven’t brushed their teeth in a few days, or have eaten strong food such as garlic, the customer is not going to appreciate it.

Smoking, whether using tobacco products or electronic cigarettes leaves an odor on employees many customers can do without. You probably can not deem that your employees do not smoke or use electronic cigarettes, but you should be able to prohibit use of these products in and around the workplace. This is not an assault on people using tobacco products or electronic cigarettes, but creates an awareness for employees who work in close contact with their customer.

Laundry detergent, fabric softener and scented dryer sheets. Some of the individual scents each brings to our clothes may be okay. Mixed together these strong scents are sometimes too much.

Personal body soap, bar soap and shampoo are often contribute to how we smell to others. This is especially true for some shampoos targeted at women, though men are now being targeted too. Shampoo that has a strong exotic flower scent, or a trademark scent is great for a night out on the town, but may be a turnoff in the work environment.

Perfume and cologne can be a real problem too. An employee using either product, especially if they are younger or older, may not have a sense of the correct amount to use. Add a little warm air, and a strong scent becomes overpowering.

No one wants to see their food being prepared by someone whose hands look like they were cleaning engine parts earlier, gloves or not. No one wants to helped by someone whose personal smell makes them want to vomit.

Personal hygiene and cleanliness contribute to the success or failure of a customer oriented business. Your lost customer won’t bother telling you they won’t return because one your employees who assisted them stinks literally – to the customer.

There is no one size fits all standard for employee cleanliness. Each business is different and its needs are varied. However, business owners, managers and employees need to be aware of the effect their cleanliness habits or lack thereof have on the repeat customer base.

As uncomfortable as it may be, these situations are manageable during the interview process. Put your expectations out there for prospective employees to hear. Let them know before being hired what your employee hygiene expectations are. This way no one is surprised in a future moment.

Fear Monger No More

I think sharing a smile with a stranger is something most of us have been conditioned out of doing.

When we are little we had to watch out for the Man offering us candy.

As we grew older, we learned to be scared of looking at a stranger because they were probably crazy, a molester, a rapist, or a general purpose maniac.

As we get even older, we see robbers and murderers in every other person, even our neighbors.

We have been conditioned to fear strangers almost since we were old enough to talk.

Our world would be a much friendlier place, if we realize we do not need to live a fear based life.

Once each day smile at a stranger like you mean it, and say, “Good day”. You might even save someone with your smile. More has been done with less.

Smiles are free and make the world a warmer place to be

Smiles are free and make the world a warmer place to be


FTD Rainbow Cup and LBGT Community

What I thought as a surprising comment was made to me, and I am not sure what my reaction should be to the comment, if any. It all surrounds a coffee cup. Actually two coffee cups. Some years ago, the flower people, FTD came out with a rainbow cup. It is a white cup with a rainbow on each side of the cup.

This cup has become a symbol for the LBGT community

This cup has become a symbol for the LBGT community

My Mother purchased one of these cups and flowers(?) for her older sister. Her older sister reciprocated and bought one of the same cups for my Mother. These coffee cups were very special, and took Sister Bonding to the highest level ever. No idea why, but these cups did.

They would call each other, and in the conversation, one would either be drinking from their rainbow cup, or tell the other sister, they had used their earlier in the day. Each had several coffee cups and mugs in the cupboard, but their rainbow cups were very special to them.

Bottom of FTD Rainbow Cup

Bottom of FTD Rainbow Cup

My Mother died some years back, and I inherited her FTD Rainbow cup. Some years later, my Aunt died, and I was fortunate enough to also inherit her FTD Rainbow cup. I use one of them, and the other is put away. It brings them back in my memory, thinking warm and happy thoughts of them.

I was drinking a cup of tea the other day using one of the rainbow cups, when someone visiting observed, “You know that is an LGBT cup don’t you?” Someone else is going to see you drinking from it and assume you are Gay.” “Huh? Was my response.” I didn’t expect that one.

I become confused with ideas like this. Okay, I understand that Rainbows have been adopted as a symbol for the LBGT community. Good for them I suppose. Rainbows have been adopted by many people and groups over the years.

The oldest adopted Rainbow I am aware of is the sign of the new covenant in Christianity. The newest Rainbow I am aware of was the bond between my Mother and her Sister. Until in the conversation when I learned it is a LGBT symbol.

For me, the FTD Rainbow cups represents happy memories of times passed between my family members. I think this is the most important meaning for the two cups for me. Any thoughts one way or the other about the cups and the comment?

Want a Job, Willing to Travel? Rumor Control

This post should be considered Rumor Control and not factual – in fact what may be classified as fantasy follows.  I have been told this by people I normally trust, but it may not be true. This information is unverified and may not be true, so take it for what it is worth.

If you haven’t heard, a few places in the country (USA) are having an oil boom, and they need workers. If you are willing to work, and can put up with less than stellar living conditions, you can make a lot of money at one of these two places.

I have been told by a person from Minot, North Dakota, that McDonald’s is so desperate, they are willing to pay $18.00 an hour, and give you $2000.00 to work in Minot. That is over $37,000.00 a year! You have to sign a contract of course. Minot, North Dakota is not all that for most people.

I have been told this by people I normally trust, but it may not be true. This information is unverified and may no longer be true by the time you read this, so take it for what it is worth.

Midland Texas, is so desperate for workers, a 53 year old man with no work record found a job paying over $50.000 a year within three days of showing up in Midland. Midland, Texas is not all that for most people.

This is what I was told, and it may not be true. Take it for what it’s worth. Which is worth about what you hear walking down the street. I am not responsible for any action you take or do not take from reading this post.

If you are seriously considering what I wrote is true, search the net, make some phone calls, ask your family and friends, think before you act.

Caterpillar Stands Tall, bad news BSA

This is the best news I have read in some time! I am glad Caterpillar inc has taken a public stand. Until Boy Scouts of America changes their thinking they will be operating without any financial help from one company which is not afraid to take a stand.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. is no longer giving money to the Boy Scouts because the organization discriminates against homosexuals, a spokeswoman for the Illinois-based heavy equipment manufacturer confirmed Thursday.

Thanks David Mercer, Associated Press, for getting this story out!

I can hardly wait for other companies to follow in these footsteps. It is well past the time we grow up. It is time the Boy Scouts of America and other discriminating organizations like them grow up too.

As a former Boy Scout myself, I find this otherwise excellent organization  lacking and concerned about issues that are not theirs to be concerned about. Does anyone really believe that until now, every  young man that joined Boy Scouts of America and prospered in the organization was a  ‘Straight’ All American Boy? We do live in the real world.

Every one has at least one family member or friend who is Gay. I am tired of seeing people who are different being treated as someone less than, when it makes no difference except between the ears of the person doing the perceiving what that difference is.

Homophobia is a baseless phobia based in fear. BSA and other groups should grow up and understand most differences between people are not contagious. Unless that is, this feared behavior is already present in the person doing the perceiving, hidden away from the reality of their everyday life.

Good call Cat!

Caterpillar no longer supports Boy Scouts of America

Caterpillar takes a social stand

Mentally Ill Murder Machines

If you have lived on this earth for about forty years or longer you probably have noticed this. If you have talked to someone over fifty, you have probably heard them complain about this. I remember hearing it when I was a kid, and I thought it was the leaps and bounds in technology that were the real cause. Seems like the older people, even back then, were talking about something different. It is all the same thing only the 2010 plus version.

Once America rolled past the1880’s, life started improving for everyone. Life style and quality of life was getting better every year. When life gets better, more people can afford more, and more people have more babies. Those babies grow into adults of course, and they too have babies. Some of those babies were not very stable and as adults, they did some horrible things to their fellow human beings.

The older people would talk about this perceived change in people. How things were getting busier, and people were forgetting their manners, and some were downright crazy. They were killing people for no reason, and hurting people. I heard this from old people ever since I was a kid. I imagine you have too.

What has changed in the last century is our population density. There were one or two people per some number of people each decade who went off the deep end, and went on a killing spree or some other heinous act. I am guessing that number has not changed over the decades as a ratio of the population. What has changed is our population density.

Now instead of maybe one or two people losing reality and committing horrible acts there are ten times that many people because overall there are ten times the number of people alive in America. Now whether ten times the people is accurate or not, I can not say, but you get the idea. there are more people, so there are more crazy people out there.

We went through it with serial killers in the eighties, when a number of them were caught in a short period of time. Today we  accept there may be as many as a few hundred active serial killers in America who may never be found and arrested, because we are such a mobile society traveling effortlessly across the country and back.

So it is with these people who are grabbing the headlines. Instant access to media, and media over hype has not helped the situation. Sort of like Teen Suicide. If one Teenager in a school commits suicide, it sets off a chain reaction if intervention is not swiftly introduced in the school. These days with instant media, when someone who has violent thoughts sees a news story about another person who committed a violent act, their thought becomes action. For a few, they can not resist the urge, and they carry out violent acts themselves, often not even realizing what they are doing.

Adding more fuel to the fire, the state of war has changed our Men and Woman who have served. Up until the Viet Nam war, each side was easily identified. Each army had uniforms that made them stand out from the general population. War was clean, you killed people in uniform, and people in uniform tried to kill you. There were no civilians, women, and children acting as snipers and human bombs. Since the era of Viet Nam war, the person you just helped may be the person who tries to kill you later in the day. That is the reality of modern war.

What this means is our American War Veterans are effected differently by what they experienced than any War Veterans before Viet Nam War. Our Viet Nam Vet’s saw terrible violence committed by Vietnamese people against Vietnamese people, against American Doctors and Nurses, Corpsman, and Soldiers who tried to do the right for people in need of so much. That has to twist the thinking processes of some people. Once they get home, a little more twisting and reality slips out the window. Pretty soon, a few of our Veterans in their minds, return to the wars they fought in. Only the clothing and look of the enemy has changed.

Back when Ronald Reagan was President, people who were mentally ill were kept safe at the public’s expense. In an effort to save the monies being spent to house, feed and medicate them, our constitutional rights were invoked. They had the right to be free to live there life unless it was clear they were a danger to society.

It is unknown how many mentally ill people were released to the streets, but when that occurred, the homeless population exploded. The definition of danger to society has slipped to a new low as budgets have become tighter over the decades since this change occurred. It has become all to easy to decide that a mentally ill person probably is not a real threat to the general public and they are released to their family, or the streets. Then they go over the edge, and people die as a result.

Our psyche is incredible. We are capable of so much. We are also fragile, and it is all to easy to lose that little something that makes us human. Lose that little something that separates reality from what is happening inside our head and twisted violence is all too often the result. Our brain doesn’t know the difference between what is real, and what is right or what is wrong, and what is not true. Reality or fantasy, it s all the same between our ears.

We have the option of paying more taxes and having the mentally ill with possible dangerous tendencies to be cared for in an institution. or we can leave them to their families, or leave them to their own devices. Leaving them the potentially dangerous mentally ill out on the streets means we need to accept the fact that the killing won’t stop any time soon. It always about the money.

Flatten, Fix, Clean, and Polish, Like New

Having the Internet only a few clicks away anyone with even rudimentary searching skills can become enough of an expert on any subject within an hour, so there should be no need to be taken in by expensive health, ‘Fixes’

A great example is a certain berry that swept the country a few years ago. It was a weight loss and health reviving miracle according to the stories that were out there. People were losing weight without trying. They were feeling better than they ever had in their life. The powers contained in this one little berry were almost unfathomable. It was a hidden secret only recently discovered by mankind after tens of thousands of years of foraging for food. What a well kept secret this berry was.

All the hype and  claims made me curious one day. I checked the nutrient properties of this wonder berry and read its major health changing ingredient was magnesium. In fact that was the berries whole claim to fame. The berry contained high amounts of magnesium per volume.

Clicking over to a local pharmacy website, I found that I could buy a huge bottle of magnesium in 250 mg pills that could be chopped and quartered for about five dollars a bottle. Clicking a few more times, I found magnesium is needed in small doses for good health. In amounts a little larger, magnesium calms muscle spasms. In larger amounts, for me, the 250 mg pill size, it ensured I would never be constipated no matter what I ate.

Wow, buy the berry product for $30.00 or more dollars per bottle of 100, plus shipping, or buy magnesium pills from a pharmacy for about $5.00 for a bottle of 250, or about a three year supply for me. That was a no brainer decision.

Every week on the infomercials there is a new fat burning, muscle building machine or program that sells for somewhere over $100.00 and peaks out in the new car price range if you need the best available. All of them do what they claim to some extent. Some do it in a slow gently manner, and others quickly have you fit beyond for Special Forces school – If you can stick with them, that is.

All most of us need to get fit is to get off the couch and away from the kitchen for an hour a day. We could go walking, jogging, running, to the gym, hiking, climbing, try riding our almost brand new bicycles in the garage. That is all we really need to do.

There are some things we should not do on the Internet when it comes to us. Finding that perfect person comes to mind, but hopefully by now, we all know they do not exist outside of us. We should not be on the Internet diagnosing our most recent ailment. Self prescribing medicines or trying to buy prescription medicines online from overseas. What we can do however is be realistic and climb out of our head when evaluating health products, and think about our desire to make change in our life.

Owning a $5000.00 tread mill that lets you feel like you are running through the Swiss Alps, or strolling across a beach in Greece does not do a thing for us unless we are actually using it. If the cost does not meet the desire factor, it is not a good investment. If the cost meets the desire, there are cheaper alternatives that will provide the same end result for a lot less. Exercise and good health does not happen without personal involvement.

If you find yourself watching infomercials, or stumble across some neat item that makes promises bigger than is reasonable, click on to another page. If you can’t get the idea of owning whatever is out of your thoughts, do some research. What is really being said about it away from the website. What reviews are out there on it? Are they real reviews or planted reviews?

Finally, if you are not really willing to do whatever you are looking at buying can do for you, save your money. One other good thing to remember is nothing works as advertised for everybody. Most reasonable items work for many people, but that does not mean it is a good fit for you. Be realistic before spending your hard earned money.