Stealing is No Good: Taking Something is Not Right

Stealing is No Good…

Words that sound alike but do not look alike are called homophones, and include steel and steal.

When someone thinks of steel, the typical thought is of a very strong metal of a grayish or bluish color, used for industrial purposes such as building construction. Steel takes a great deal of energy to produce and use.

People often use “steel” for the idea of getting ready to do something, “steeling up” for a job, for instance.

The word STEAL however can be discussed in different ways. Some people try to put a positive spin on the word by using a commercial phrase, “Steal of a deal.” This means that a potential purchase seems like a good value, being of good quality but at a relatively low price diverging from what the item typically might sell for. A car that is half its usual price might be a steal of a deal if in good shape; a piece of crystal might be a steal of a deal if it is reduced in price and is not broken, chipped, or otherwise damaged.

You can, in a sense, “steal time” and “steal away”, as in making time for yourself apart from those around whom you daily work, or taking a vacation far away from anything familiar, finding a peaceful beach or garden in a secluded place away from the hectic, noisy pace of the office.

Normally the word “steal” is taken in a more serious manner. When people steal something, they take something that is not theirs. The word can go under other names such as theft, robbery, and even murder.

That’s right, to steal is to take something that does not belong to you, plain and simple.

The item on the store shelf does not belong to you until you pay for it. Then you may take it home. The item in another person’s house does not belong to you, but to the owner of that home

But what about when a life is stolen? Lives are taken every day, and that is called murder when one person kills another. That is STEALNG A LIFE. The murderer has taken something that does not belong to them. In the process they may have taken other things from the victim, such as money, jewelry, a car, a spouse, but in the end when they have taken that life they still have committed the crime of murder.

In Chicago lives are stolen just about every day. Those who steal lives have many issues plaguing them. They may have been injured by the person they kill, or as happened today in a building in the Loop they may have been demoted by a boss. The man today who shot the other man was angry, in danger of losing a job, and not reasoning properly to consider other ways of handling his situation. Now according to police this man is dead and the CEO is gravely wounded.

Other people are hurt when something or a life is stolen. When an inanimate thing is stolen (money, car, jewels, papers, books, clothes), the business is hurt by the loss of merchandise and the invasion of the security of store personnel and the comfort of customers. The items cannot speak and tell someone where they are.

But the dead cannot speak either. When a life is taken, only those left behind can speak for the deceased. The family of the murdered will speak but with sadness and grief; they will talk about the dead. The employees of a boss or co -worker who is killed will speak of the dead in many ways, but hopefully those ways will be kind… but the dead cannot speak. They leave behind those inanimate things that perhaps their killer was after, but what good are those things if they cannot be enjoyed?

What will the things benefit the killer when they are in prison and cannot have but few possessions unto themselves? What will the things belonging to others benefit the assailant when all they are allowed is a prison uniform, when what they eat from and drink from and wear is not even theirs? What they stole will not be theirs; those things belong to someone else.

What good is stealing, then?

No good at all.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.

Gangs Go Away and Leave Chicago Alone… for Good.

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Look, folks, the ATF and FBI and Chicago Police and First Responders can’t do all the work of prevention… so it is time for citizens to step up, speak up, and speak out, and do so every day, with as much force as it takes to counter what has been going on ever since the weather started to warm up around here.

OK, people, time to take back the streets that are YOUR streets, in YOUR communities! These are the places you bought and built to raise your families in, to plant your gardens in, and to have a place to sit down to dinner or on your porch after work and enjoy the privileges of working hard, paying taxes, and living in America.

Time to show those gang people and gun and drug runners that, simply put and stated, THEY ARE NOT WELCOME!

You have to show that forcefully and physically when necessary. Do you know of someone with illegal guns or sources of them? TURN THEM IN! Know someone running drugs? TURN THEM IN! SNITCH ALREADY!

And quit calling it “snitching”- that’s so negative and so  childish. These are not video games where people get a second chance to come back. Once someone is shot, THEY ARE SHOT, and they are in pain and wounded and could be dead. This is not some pixelated stuff someone puts on a screen; these are real people in the line of fire and in harm’s way.

And they are innocent children who are in some sort of area labeled “gang turf”. What? WHAT KIND OF SILLINESS IS THAT? GANG TURF? Indeed! Blame the media for continually talking about our communities in this manner. The more we allow the media to talk about “gang turf” or “gang violence” or “gang related” or “shootings” every day the more power they are giving to the gangs. Just talking about the problems is not going to do anything; there must be action. And right now.

That turf, that land, was the land of law -abiding American citizens before some idiots who are part of a gang decided to bring their unwelcome crop of drugs, guns, prostitution and other crimes into the area and begin to terrorize people with guns, graffiti and threats. YOU DARE THREATEN? Well then the people who have to endure your stuff can fight back.

There is strength in numbers; we can fight back. Use Biblical methods if necessary – come at the interlopers with sticks and stones, beat them out of the neighborhood. Ostracize them as though they have some kind of contagious disease. Tell them their drugs are not needed or wanted around there, and to move on. GET OUT OF HERE! Shout it right in their ear if need be, and come at them and drive them off the corners with your two -by -fours drawn and ready to beat the life out of them.

“That’s good riddance for all you have done in this area, you nasty gang banger! Get off my street and leave the kids alone! GO AWAY and DON’T COME BACK! EVER!”

Do whatever you must to show them that they are nothing but flies that can easily be swatted away and sprayed with bug killer. The killer is the lack of interest you can show for what they are offering.

Conquer your needs for drugs and violence! You can do better if you are depending on the drugs and the means of escape that are so violent and useless; you don’t need to encounter others and life in those ways. Drugs do no good for you- they can be deadly, they can cause you to hallucinate, to lose sleep, to lose appetite, to become very sick, and to become abusive. Violence is not necessary, either against yourself (needles, drugs, alcoholism, fighting) or against others (abuse, fighting, shouting, terrorism, prostitution), so turn the heat on those who have seen fit to turn the heat up in your communities.

When those who have suffered realize who has been fueling their suffering, they will wake up and realize, “Hey, I can do something about this. I can choose other ways and methods and means of feeling better, of taking daily life, of living with my family and of being a productive citizen. I don’t have to be treated like a loser… and those drug people are seeing me as vulnerable, a target. I CAN TAKE CHARGE! And I don’t need those drugs anymore!”

Once you understand that the drugs only offer short -term effects and are terribly expensive, and illegal, and can get you into deep trouble, you will no longer turn to the gangs. You can free yourself from their grip, and you can help free someone else from their poisons and toxins. You can turn away, and that’s the best approach of all. You can show them, “I don’ t need you, and our families don’t need you either, so get out and get lost!”

Besides, gang people are nothing but cowards. Who else would engage in drive -by shootings, wear dark clothes or masks, make silent signs, and deal stealthily on street corners? They are cowards, I say again, and cowards do not deserve anything but to be driven out of the community and consigned to solitary confinement and wandering in the deserts of their own dementia and troubles, as punishment for the troubles they have inflicted on others.

Gangs, go away. We are tired of you! Let me emphasize, along with the Mayor, with the police department, and with the families, with all the first responders who have to see the tragedies and who are put in danger every day, and with all of us who are tired of the “if it bleeds it leads” headlines, WE ARE TIRED OF YOU GANG PEOPLE! Keep your junk and your online arguments and your other behavioral problems to yourselves already.

The Mayor is fed up and who can blame him – who wants to have to talk with families when their children are caught in the crossfire of gangs who feel the need to take their junk out to the streets and terrorize others? And since this can plainly be called terrorism- that’s right, gangs promote TERRORISM and don’t forget that – now the Feds have to step in and see what they can do to reduce the violence. The gang people need to be rounded up, arrested, and thrown into jail with the key thrown away. The time for talking with them is done, the time for patiently waiting for them to reform is over, long over. We are sick of them, we are tired of them, we are fed up with them and we want them out.

Far as I am concerned, the mayor and the governor need to call out the National Guard, SWAT, and whomever else can help solve the problems, to take control and bring order to the streets again and be there till the gang people realize that they are not going to get any more ground and that their efforts are wasted, their battles are lost, their resources are not going to match up, and that they may as well dry up and blow away like chaff in the winds of change.

Gangs, get lost and stay lost!

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.

Horse and Carriage for Chicago? Burke Thinks Not… and Is He Right?

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Alderman Ed Burke Takes a Stand Against Nuisance Carriages in Chicago

A large brown horse is chasing a small horse in a pasture.

The Wonderful, Beautiful Horse.

Every time I see one of those horse and carriage contraptions moseying up the streets of downtown Chicago, I want to yell out, “ANIMAL CRUELTY!” and wish them out of my sight. I do not like the sight of them and think we have enough “horsepower” on our streets that is overwhelming the carriage horses.

In this issue I must take a stand with the opinion of Alderman Burke to ban the horses and carriages from Chicago streets, and the reasons are valid and numerous.

First of all, the horses are real animals that should not be subject to the dangers presented on Chicago’s busy streets. This is cruel to them. They are not mechanical menials or slaves to our whims. They have dignity and feel and breathe and they should not be subjected to these conditions.

A mounted man in a blue uniform on a dark brown horse

Yes there are police horses and yes there are horses used in dressage, in sports, in parades and other ceremonies in the United States and around the world, but the situation in Chicago is different, the use and idea are different. The carriage drivers are shuttling people around in heavy traffic, they hold up and stall traffic, they get around the busses, around large vehicles such as trucks and limousines, and they leave more than just the slow traffic. They leave irritated drivers who already have enough on their minds without the thought of injuring a horse, damaging a hundred-year-old carriage or injuring carriage patrons.

And another thing about horses: they leave messes and smells, but to the messes.

How many of you know that many drivers dump the “loads” that end up in those large bags behind the horse? What they eat and drink has to come out somewhere, after all. The evidence of the crap (literally) is clear at the corner/intersection of Chestnut and Dearborn streets in the Gold Coast. I have seen them actually flush the bags and dump the contents at those corners. The waste runs off and it is plain that it comes from the horses. Imagine what happens when that dries? You step in in it and you definitely smell it. Imagine that getting into the water supply?

When you are at the bus stops that are along the area of Chestnut, Dearborn and Delaware, you can certainly see and smell the “evidence” and when you are waiting twenty minutes for a bus and you are thinking of going out to eat, well, it tends to just about make you lose your appetite. Animal waste is waste after all, it is toxic and full of germs and it attracts rats. Chicago is trying to get rid of the rats; we are told to clean up after the dogs because the waste attracts rats so why are the carriage drivers allowed to dump the horse waste at night when they are off shift? Do they not think about the problem of the rats or the fact that people live and work around where they dump the waste loads?

YEEECCCHHHHH.

I do not think that this is safe or sanitary, not in the least. These carriages are around homes, restaurants, and schools, hotels, churches, places where people congregate, where they walk, and where they eat. Horses have an odor just as any animal does, and when a horse has been outside doing that much work they are going to be irritable, smelly, accumulating waste in the behind bag, and be tired. That is a dangerous combination.

It is not that people have not been injured or property damaged or anything like that. It is the health problem these animals can cause in the matter of the dumping of the waste. It is not whether or not we “beat” New York City to the finish of the deed of banning the carriages and the hazards. We just need to do it.

The kids enjoy being around the police horses as well. The horse officers serve a real duty; they are not for the satisfaction of the tourist trade or the idea of nostalgia. They have a job to do like the security dogs you see in train stations. The horse and carriage belong in the farm community, where their role of the working animal has real meaning, or on the ranches, or at best they should roam the wild lands free and clear of being burdened by breathing in carbon monoxide, being blown at by the horns of impatient drivers, being blasted by the wake of large trucks and busses and being potentially endangered by weather and road conditions that could cause them harm.

The loss of a few carriages is not going to hurt the tourist industry here. We have much more to offer… like the zoo for instance, where animals are cared for and are not promoted as beasts of burden. I think an animal in a natural or as natural a setting as possible is so much better to see and experience than the situation we see with the horse and carriage trade.

Two horses in a pasture, one is standing beside the other that is laying down.

Horses relaxing and keeping watch in a natural and traffic-free setting.

Please save the horses. Let the kids know that there are better ways to treat the animals, that life is precious and that we must treat all life with respect.

Divi Logan. Chicago, 2014.

RESOURCES

1. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/02/05/alderman-ed-burke-proposes-ban-on-horse-drawn-carriages/

2. Wikipedia contributors. “Horse.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Feb. 2014. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

3. https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/About%20CPD/Specialized%20Units/Mounted%20Unit

Order Emerges From Chaos: Finding Identity. Finding Yourself.

Remember the movie “Excalibur” from 1981? There is a line from it that stands out for me, during the sequence wherein Perceval meets head -on with the pure and purifying Presence of the Holy Grail. Those familiar with legends in Christianity (in which Sir Galahad is the one who takes the highest honors) and the Arthurian romances know the symbolism of the Holy Grail. The “Presence” asks Sir Perceval an essential question to which the knight replies, “Yes… You and the land are one.” Do you recall what happens right after that reply?

 ¹

The Grail appears in Perceval’s hands and he presents it to the ailing King Arthur who is in the midst of a disturbed and dying land and a broken Round Table. Arthur drinks from the chalice and feels revived and rides out to begin reclaiming the realm. The land turns green and flourishes as the company rides out on this mission.

You and the land are one…

Golden royal crown ²

What is the symbolism of a crown?

Don’t we all at some point in our lives want to feel a sense of being whole, of being at peace and finding our identity? We hear so much from others about finding “your real self” or “just being yourself” or “being the real you”, but what is that? What does that mean and how is that attained? In order to hear yourself think – YOUR SELF THINK – it is rather as turning off the radio, the TV, and the cell phone, shutting off the electronic links to the world outside of our individual body and mind, closing our self away from others and being silent.

We wait for the still, small voice of our pure self, our real self with which we were born and which lives in us waiting to bloom and shine and display its gifts and talents. We want to achieve the highest and the best we can be, what in the language of the chakras (wheels of energy circulating in our body) is known as the crown chakra, and we want to share what we learn and are with others. But we must first learn ourselves. We must then do this…

Shut off the static of “the world”…

Some might think that something is wrong with focusing on our real self, just on our self and improving our one self, but think of this: if you do not focus on and improve and strengthen your self first, you will not have energy or knowledge with which to help others and work in the setting of “the world”. Self -knowledge is vital as is having an open mind and cosmic consciousness – you work on and improve yourself but with a mission. You want to be as strong and as knowledgeable as possible in order to deal with the others around you, the things and people and situations faced every day.

In such times as when we seek “self”, the universe can teach us a great many things and valuable lessons. When we want to have ordered lives, we go off alone and consider how to get that sort of life. Remember that our origins are chaotic, full of lull and explosion, of hot and cold, of dust and gas and molecules, atoms and elements. Our origins physically spring from the very Big Bang itself, when the universe was beginning to form order out of chaos, when the bubbling matter and energy began to form galaxies, when stellar explosions seeded that expanse with atoms that would…

… become us.

 Classic photo of a newborn star, this phenomena is known as a Herbig -Haro Object.

Our journey began when there was space and then the “Big Bang” that started the formation of “the universe” we see and study today. We began before there was “time”, when there was just space populated by roiling, boiling matter. It should not matter to us then what “age” we are- chronological age is merely a way of trying to understand ourselves in relation to others around us, to other issues concerning the human body and being or well -being, and relative to the universe. We came up with the idea of “time” in order to understand that universe and our place in it- thus age, time pieces, schedules and calendars and the like, with which we attempt to bring and keep order in our “daily” lives. But we are as old as the first seconds of the universe and as new as the newest -born star just emerging from the cold clouds of gas and dust that nurtured it or as new as the most recent supernova that seeds the universe with elements that will sustain future human generations.

We are in a sense galaxies, in ourselves as powerful and energetic as the stars that light our skies. We are as individual as galaxies, as special and as wonderful, and we are made of many parts but are unique beings. Humans are made of cells, systems, muscles, bones, vessels, skin, but all that combines to make a person, a special being with a brain capable of designing rockets and going to the planets.

Ever seen an amoeba try to do that? Ever seen a bear try to design a jet that can measure the weather or a rocket that can go to the moon?

File:Distant galaxy in Hubble Frontier Field Abell 2744.jpg

Distant galaxy in a gravitational lens, from the very early universe.³

Order emerges from chaos, and in that midst there are we, seeking our real identity. We can go about this meditatively; my new mantra is, “Do everything meditatively.” In other words, slow down and then slow down even more. Settle down your body and your mind, letting the chakra energy from the lower realms of the chakras (the base or root, the sacral, the solar plexus) be pulled up to the crown and worked through there as gold being purified and water being filtered to get rid of impurities. After all, the brain and the higher chakras of the third eye and the crown are where the work is done to get the rest of the body -being going, inspiring and pressing to action. Silently and slowly consider yourself. Let there be a grand silence.

Turn off the television, shut off the radio, unplug the phone, turn off the cell phone and the devices and the computers and the DVD players. Close off the static and shut off the clamoring, chatterbox, clacking – wild and fragmented world.

Hear. Listen. Quiet your mind. What do you feel and see and think?

Meditative. Order. Balance. Discipline. Emerging… metamorphosis… the butterfly comes out of the cocoon…

We must ask, with all that is out there in our grand universe to study and learn about, why are we stuck with the ancient and useless patterns that plague us and that we hear about each day in the news? We are so special, so unique and wonderful and blessed and timeless, ageless; we are magnificent and splendid and stellar. We are so much more than the tangible, sensible bodies we carry around every day. We are so much more than work, money, cars, homes, occupations, dining out, showing off our jewelry, collecting gold and coins and being pack rats.

We have space. We have time. We are space. We are timeless.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2014.

RESOURCES

1.  Idyllic Landscape Photograph from Wikipedia contributors. “Landscape.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.

2.Image of golden royal crown from http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-golden-royal-crown-image24448232.

3. Distant Galaxy. Source: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo1417a/. Author: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, and the HFF Team (STScI), and N. Laporte (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias). Original Source: Wikipedia contributors. “Galaxy.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.

4. Wikipedia contributors. “Herbig–Haro object.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Nov. 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.

POLITICIANS WASTING YOUR TIME AND MONEY

POLITICIANS WASTING YOUR TIME AND MONEY… RIGHT NOW.

Well, shall we all stand up and say it together, nice and loud? Let’s do that: GO HOME CONGRESS! PLEASE GO HOME!

And when you do, senators, take arrogant and foolish people like Chris Christie with you, eh?

Come on now, citizens of what should be the richest, finest, strongest nation on earth, have you seen enough? 2014 isn’t starting out on the best of footing politically, now is it? All ready we have New Jersey Governor Chris Christie hot in the spotlight because of total arrogance and foolishness from his staff and which will no doubt shoot his campaign bid straight down the drain with the people responsible for the chemical spill that has tainted the water supply of over 300,000 people in the Charleston, West Virginia area.

Governor Christie has made a terrible mistake, and not in the claim that he knew nothing about the problems for the mayor of Fort Lee and people along the George Washington Bridge- sure he knew what was going on. And the report is that a lady died waiting for emergency assistance because of that foul up. What did the First Responders have to say about that incident?

Their job is to save lives and how can they do that when politicians who do not know what those few precious seconds can mean to the saving of life and property, get in the way with their blind eyes and their foolish attitudes? You can’t exactly take a fire engine or ambulance across a traffic jam on some bridge. Politics involved- party lines involved… you better believe it, and for what? When will these idiots we call our representatives learn to agree?

Now Governor Christie has wasted 25 million dollars on an ad campaign. Well, you can read enough about that sad issue. What arrogance. What foolishness. What was wrong with the other bid?

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/08/politics/christie-bridge-ems-delays/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/08/fort-lee-mayor-questions-christies-involvement-in-venomous-bridge-closures/?hpt=hp_t1

And now to the poor folks in West Virginia. Three hundred thousand people without potable water for drinking, water which turns a strange shade of blue and has an odor that makes it unsuitable for cooking or bathing, and which is appropriate for only flushing one’s toilets. Is this just another example of official arrogance in the name of the chemical companies that we know are producing products that are known to cause cancer (carcinogens), to foul the natural environment and get into the groundwater and the watersheds so valuable to the preservation of our wildlife and ourselves too? Sure it is. Just listen closely to what the news people say (and do not say).

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/13/hundreds-report-exposure-symptoms-in-w-va-after-crippling-chemical-spill/

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/13/262185930/mysteries-persist-surrounding-west-virginia-chemical-spill

http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/wvpn/files/201401/MSDS-MCHM_I140109214955.pdf

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20140111/NEWS08/301110031/300-000-W-Va-told-not-use-water

The chemical that spilled into the water is 4-methyl-cyclohexane-methanol, or MCHM. This is something we need to know more about. Plainly we do not even know enough about who is building factories and plants or supplying these industries in our states. They are just allowed to bulldoze through their policies and get billions of dollars in tax breaks and other corporate privileges.

No such thing then as “clean coal”- how very hazardous and terrible for those poor citizens. How very unfortunate and sad.

How far deep into this mucky mire is the governor of West Virginia? What has his support of the chemical industry cost his constituents, and in more than clean water and the ability to enjoy their homes and businesses and schools and houses of worship? What will happen in the next gubernatorial election in West VA? Would YOU trust this man with your resources?

Perhaps these officials, who have betrayed the trust we put to them with our votes, and our time and money in supporting them, need to have some gratitude for their homes and their jobs, need to take time to see what they eat and wear and who makes it and where it comes from. Who takes care of them and their houses and their offices? The people who take care of them cannot do so if bridges close and there is no fresh water to drink or homes to go to in safety and confidence. The officials cannot expect the best from their people when they do not give their best.

Do you have clean water, a home to go to, a meal on the table? Are your children home safe from school; do you have a stable household and a loving family? Is your home warm and cozy with a television, maybe a gaming system, a stereo, a den with a nice computer and good books to read?

How blessed do you feel right now? Consider those blessings next time you go to the polling places. Vote for those who will have care about others besides themselves. So the question is this:

How blessed and grateful do you feel right now?

Divi Logan. Chicago, 2014.

Chakra Meditations and Learning a Key to Peaceful Living

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These days, amid the hectic and herd mentality turmoil of this modern and present and all -too -present world and worldliness mind we are in, we need to seek and find and make time for ourselves.

This picture depicts the seven major Chakras w...

This picture depicts the seven major Chakras with descriptions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We who devote many hours of the week to helping others in what we call our careers and occupations, need to have time and space to ourselves, to explore, to find our inner selves and our creative juices and learn and work with them, far away from the noise and bickering of the madding crowd.

I have found learning about and reading about and meditations on the chakras most beneficial even though I am a beginner at this learning process. The chakras are our energy centers, along the spine and running thus throughout our body. We can have them in balance or they can be out of balance and cause all kinds of problems.

Preferably, why not be at peace, balance, harmony and joy, allowing your creative and special energy to flow out and energize everyone to inspire them to be people of active goodwill (love) and grace and civility and all that is good about us being human.

DEDICATIONS AND RESOURCES

http://coloringmandalas.blogspot.com/search/label/Ajna

Adresse: Oliver Tölge, Mendener Weg 10, 53229 Bonn, kontakt@mandala-4free.de

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Negative Congress: Please Go Home Until You Can Agree on Getting Work Done!

Congress’s Approval Rating Negatively Secured!

Waste, bickering, filibustering, arguing, scandals and excessive spending are just about all we seem to get from our so –illustrious and so –compensated and so-spoiled national legislative body that now our approval (or disapproval) rating of that august gathering of elected officials has reached an all- time low. Yes, Monsieur and Madame Congress -person we do not like you and if we could we would recall and replace every single one of you because of waste and malfeasance and laziness and acting like spoiled brats when you don’t get your way.

One issue plagues many people, and that is so much talk of “national security” especially in the wake of the WIKIPEDIA leaks by a member of our military and the Edward Snowden/ NSA (National Security Administration) cases. As far as many are concerned there is too much of this security stuff going on, and 9/11 is no excuse for waste, excess, attempts at justification, and so much snooping on and hindrances on law -abiding citizens who do no wrong and who have no ambitions to do anything amiss.

What are these organizations that plague us every day and make us listen to such notices as you hear on commuter train lines, those notices about seeing something and saying something, about suspicious people and activities, and about “making us all more secure”? Do we really need them all and how much is all this costing us?

The NSA and some group called the CSS (and we aren’t talking Cascading Style Sheets)

Well, let’s get on with this necessary dirty work of exposure of the deep spooky reaching hands of our government, starting with the organization most in the news today, the NSA, or National Security Administration. According to their webpage their core missions are to protect U.S. national security systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information. WHAT? Here it is straight from their link:

“The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) leads the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services, and enables Computer Network Operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.”

The arm of the NSA is known as the CSS, and here is its statement from its NSA page link:

Central Security Service (CSS)

“The Central Security Service (CSS) provides timely and accurate cryptologic support, knowledge, and assistance to the military cryptologic community.

It promotes full partnership between the NSA and the cryptologic elements of the Armed Forces, and teams with senior military and civilian leaders to address and act on critical military-related issues in support of national and tactical intelligence objectives. CSS coordinates and develops policy and guidance on the Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance missions of NSA/CSS to ensure military integration.

The CSS was established by presidential directive in 1972 to promote full partnership between NSA and the Service Cryptologic Components of the U.S. Armed Forces. This new command created a more unified cryptologic effort by combining NSA and CSS. The Director of NSA is dual-hatted as the Chief of CSS.”

Put the mission and values together and you get:

Our Vision

Global Cryptologic Dominance through Responsive Presence and Network Advantage.

Our Values

We will protect national security interests by adhering to the highest standards of behavior.

Dominance and advantage – is that all they want? Why do we need so much of this arrogance and ambition?

The CIA or Central Intelligence Agency

Wasteful spenders take two: tackling the CIA’s mission. What is the Central Intelligence Agency and what are they about? They are an independent U.S. government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers.

SENIOR U.S. policymakers around here are about as useful as bricks in a junkyard: they just sit there, take up space, and waste resources because someone has to guard them, clean their area, and secure their space. Policymakers, indeed… and the worst thing we can call them is “law makers” because they tend more to get in scandals and break laws, but they sure know how to impose them on American citizens and not lift a finger to help us out without going through a lot of red tape, huffing and puffing and condescending.

Well now, the CIA… what is its mission? Straight from the horse’s mouth it is:

Vision

One Agency. One Community. An Agency unmatched in its core capabilities, functioning as one team, fully integrated into the Intelligence Community.

Mission

We are the nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go. We carry out our mission by:

  • Collecting information that reveals the plans, intentions and capabilities of our adversaries and provides the basis for decision and action.
  • Producing timely analysis that provides insight, warning and opportunity to the President and decision -makers charged with protecting and advancing America’s interests.
  • Conducting covert action at the direction of the President to preempt threats or achieve US policy objectives.

The FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation

Talk about having to make hide and hair of what our government throws at us every day, now we need to take apart the corporate lingo of the FBI, or Federal Bureau of Investigation. Another “bureau”…swell. Just what are they around for anyhow?Here is something from their “About US” link:

(The FBI is) “an intel – driven national security and law enforcement agency, providing leadership and making a difference for more than a century.

Our mission is to help protect you, your children, your communities, and your businesses from the most dangerous threats facing our nation—from international and domestic terrorists to spies on U.S. soil…from cyber villains to corrupt government officials…from mobsters to violent street gangs…from child predators to serial killers. Along the way, we help defend and uphold our nation’s economy, physical and electronic infrastructure, and democracy.”

Supposedly this organization has so many “intelligent” people working and they cannot even spell out “intel –driven”?

Let’s match up their mission and priorities and see how this information we are gleaning is coming together. Here it is from the FBI’s link:

“Our Mission

As an intelligence-driven and a threat-focused national security organization with both intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities, the mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.

Our Priorities

The FBI focuses on threats that challenge the foundations of American society or involve dangers too large or complex for any local or state authority to handle alone. In executing the following priorities, the FBI—as both a national security and law enforcement organization—will produce and use intelligence to protect the nation from threats and to bring to justice those who violate the law.

  1. Protect the United States from terrorist attack
  2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage
  3. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes
  4. Combat public corruption at all levels
  5. Protect civil rights
  6. Combat transnational/national criminal organizations and enterprises
  7. Combat major white-collar crime
  8. Combat significant violent crime
  9. Support federal, state, local and international partners
  10. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI’s mission”

It seems that this mucky gibberish is their way of saying, “Gosh, we’re paranoid and we want you to be, too. And we want you to waste time and money supporting our paranoia veiled under the language of “patriotism” and ‘protecting national security’.”

One thing is sure: until we pare down the Census Bureau (to be discussed) we will not make progress on “civil rights” or “race relations” How ridiculous does that sound? And it is your government that is making all this lack of progress and all the trouble and stress possible. Just remember, there are people terrorizing this country every day from the inside; child abusers and molesters and pornographic suppliers, sex offenders, spouse abusers, serial killers, abusive teachers, bullies in the schools, parents who don’t pay child support, racial profilers, stalkers, and drug runners and pimps and gang –bangers. Who needs talk of all this “overseas” gibberish when we have enough problems to solve RIGHT HERE in our own borders?

The DHS or Department of “Homeland Security”

“The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cyber -security analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear – keeping America safe.”

Talk about government linking and lingo and deep layering: enough will be known by looking at the following very involved and very complex and detailed links to the DHS and its policies: http://www.dhs.gov/dhs-rulemaking and http://www.dhs.gov/mission.

Oh boy already… how much more of this can we take?

Had enough? Well don’t go yet- there is more!

The TSA or Transportation Security Administration

Do we need this extra layering of the TSA AND “Homeland Security?” Honestly I’ve felt safe in air travel since the 1970’s, when the Vietnam War was still going on and the United States was involved around the world. 9/11/2001 was a sad day for everyone and it served a need for an increase in security but not, in the view of many, for the creation of an entirely new organization, when there has been some kind of security over our nation’s airports and cargo transport zones for decades now.

Travel now is slower (and they think it is expedited) for passengers than ever before. We now have to remove our shoes, have bags inspected down to their zippers, remove our belts, be pelted with rays and signals, and be identified until we think we can say our social security numbers backwards while standing on our heads in the security screener. When was there a time when bags were not screened, or a time when there was not ample security in the airports? Think the CIA or FBI or the National Guard could handle that without this extra layer of the TSA wasting our time and money?

Here is what the TSA overview says they are doing for you:

“Protecting Transportation

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce. Within a year, TSA assumed responsibility for security at the nation’s airports and deployed a federal workforce to screen all commercial airline passengers and baggage.

TSA now vets 100 percent of all passengers into, out of, and within the United States through TSA’s Secure Flight program. We use the latest technology to stay ahead of evolving threats, and continuing our efforts to screen 100 percent of cargo, regardless of where or how it is moving.

I will clarify the word “vets” since the writers of the web page were not kind enough to elaborate despite their cumulative intelligence. What is the meaning of “vets”?

When you “vet” something you:

a : subject to usually expert appraisal or correction <vet a manuscript>

b : evaluate for possible approval or acceptance <vet the candidates for a position>

So the TSA and every “security layer” we have in this country knows more about you when you get on that flight than you do about yourself… now is that something to be concerned about… or isn’t it? Below is more about the TSA.

*           *           *           *           *           *

Improving Security Through Layered, Risk Based Approach

TSA employs a layered, risk-based approach to secure U.S. transportation systems, working closely with stakeholders in aviation, rail, transit, highway, and pipeline sectors, as well as the partners in the law enforcement and intelligence community. The agency continuously sets the standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, processes, technologies and use of intelligence to drive operations.

We use layers of security to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation’s transportation system. Because of their visibility to the public, we are most associated with the airport checkpoints that our Transportation Security Officers operate.

These checkpoints, however, constitute only one security layer of the many in place to protect aviation. More security measures both visible and invisible to the public include:

  • Intelligence gathering and analysis
  • Checking passenger manifests against watch lists
  • Random canine team searches at airports
  • Federal air marshals
  • Federal flight deck officers” (Italics mine for emphasis).

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

So far what is the common ground of these “Security” organizations? Let’s review.

Purpose/Mission NSA/CSS CIA FBI DHS/TSA
Cryptology
Gathering   Signals
Computer   Spying/Networking
Dominance   of Intelligence Gathering or Providing Intelligence
Covert   Actions or Military Support
Securing   Infrastructure

Couldn’t we make do with just one that can take care of everything? Why not- the resources are spread out now and we have enough trouble understanding why all the waste, the specialty symbols and uniforms and scanning devices and the excess and the problems, including inappropriate or poor behavior by security staffers. Seems that just one “Central Intelligence and Security Association” would be more than enough, combining resources, paring down, recycling paper and plastics and “going green” and saving enough money to reduce the deficits and reduce citizens’ anger at the scandalous intrusions of government waste.

And anyhow, are you tired of this talk of “improved security” and “national security” and secrets and other wasteful chatter that hints of the “Cold War” and having to keep information from others and holding up the veil of “national interest” and this idea that the US has to be dominant and controlling in every part of the world? Considering that our nation is still in its infancy, does it make sense that we should dictate to nations a lot older and more civilized than ours? We need to do more listening and studying than dictating and patrolling and militarizing, and perhaps then we would be cured of arrogance, waste, pride, envy, greed and all those other bad behaviors we do not want to “own up” to displaying every day. Our government needs that dose of humble pie, and perhaps a few dozen humble pies before the facts are clear: WE DO NOT APPROVE OF THE (LACK OF) JOB YOU ARE DOING, SO GET WITH IT!

We have to every day at our work, so why aren’t you people in Washington doing the same?

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Our National Guard should be just THAT, OURS!

No more foreign involvement for our National Guards –people! Saying they are protecting our interests when they are 10,000 miles away from the United States is like saying you are watching your cake bake in your own kitchen oven while traveling in another state. It is an attempt at telling you that your tax dollars are being properly spent in guarding our “national interests” when the people on whom those dollars are spent are nowhere near guarding OUR nation but are watching over the rebuilding of and defending of other nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places where it is plain that those people do not like the presence of Americans in the first place and are doing all they can to let us know that.

Our National Guards ought to be HERE, within OUR borders, protecting people until rough neighborhoods are restored to order, helping out in natural disasters, and providing defense against so-called homegrown terrorism. You don’t have to go halfway around the world to find terrorists and troublemakers; they are right here within our borders.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

I say to Congress, if you cannot do good work, GO HOME and quit wasting money running the Capitol. EARN your salaries for goodness’ sakes and stop the whining, the bickering, the arguing and the filibustering and the racism and the demographic junk that is ruining our nation. You certainly do not have our approval now, so just get out of Washington. Eventually we will vote you out anyway so why continue to waste resources? Just get out and give everybody some peace and quiet so we don’t have to hear about what you are (not) doing every day.

RESOURCES

  1. http://www.nsa.gov/. 25 July 2013
  2. http://www.nsa.gov/about/central_security_service/index.shtml
  3. https://www.cia.gov/index.html
  4. https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/cia-vision-mission-values. Posted: Apr 04, 2007 03:54 PM. Last Updated: Jan 10, 2013 08:19 AM
  5. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us
  6. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/quick-facts
  7. http://www.dhs.gov/about-dhs
  8. http://www.dhs.gov/dhs-rulemaking
  9. http://www.dhs.gov/transportation-security-overview
  10. “Vet”. Merriam-Webster.com. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com (27 July 2013).
  11. “Help”. Merriam-Webster.com. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com/help/citing.htm (27 July 2013).

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

CPSC Ad Racially Motivated and Inappropriate: Race Has Nothing to do With Learning to Swim

VERY DISTURBING AD HEARD ON CHICAGO‘S NEWS RADIO 780 WBBM

English: A five-year-old girl listens as her t...
English: A five-year-old girl listens as her teacher explains how to keep arms up when swimming face-down. Foam board and swim toys are visible in the foreground and group classes are visible in the water far left and right background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the news this morning was an article in one of the features provided on that radio station, which talked about pool safety, and this issue turns up every spring and summer when public pools begin to open for business.

Well, the smug sounding demographically -inclined lady speaker for the Consumer Products Safety Commission comes on sounding so sure and so “right” of herself and said that African -American children are more likely to drown.

WHY do they think that, and whom did they study or talk to in order to get this information?

Certainly it was not MY family. I know how to swim and learned how to very early in life.

Every child needs to learn to swim, and the resources are out there. Especially if you live around a lake or around people who boat and fish and have swimming pools in their yards or bring out any kind of pool during good weather, you NEED TO LEARN TO SWIM.

It is vital to know water safety because one day you might end up out on the lake or with someone who is doing recreational water sports. What if someone gets in trouble or is missing a life jacket? Would you be able to save them?

Using race in this manner was highly inappropriate and irrelevant and very insulting. What do they think, that African -American kids do not have the resources to learn how to swim, or they are all poor and cannot afford swimming lessons or a bathing suit? The demographers are so full of bologna and they make it appear they are doing something good for the rest of he country. B.S!

The census bureau demographers do nothing but divide this nation and pit people against each other. They keep the Civil War going, nothing less. They keep people inferior and vulnerable and wary and leery and protective and paranoid. They make me sick.

English: A Private Swimming Pool
English: A Private Swimming Pool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a link to a related article:

https://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2013/Pool-Safely-Call-to-Action/

Related articles

Stress Less: Crossing the Bridges of Daily Life

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CROSSING THE BRIDGES

We have been taught, very much programmed, to think on the run, to be rushed and hurried, to anticipate and to expect… and somehow, to stress out.

Then there are the methods people have come up with to reduce the stress that we seem to expect from daily life. There are spiritual practices, which for Buddhists are part of daily life, and there are drugs, and there is yoga, and there are massages, and there are exercises, and there are those who say “tune it out and just get on with things”.

What else is there? Answer the question: What causes “stress” in the first place for many people? Stress seems to be the result of what happens when expectations do not measure up with results; then our minds spend hours analyzing, thinking, chewing on what went wrong (more often than what went right), and losing sleep and losing our appetites because we expected or anticipated one result and another one showed up.

What can we do then that might reduce our dependence on short -term coping methods such as drugs by the expensive dose –load, or massages that temporarily flush our bodies of pain and suffering and lactic acid?

We can learn to take life naturally, and not place such a high, “set in stone” priority on expecting or anticipating. For daily life can be seen rather as a baseball game.

In baseball, every at bat is different, every inning and every game will be different. Your team can play the same team three days in a row and the results will be attained in different ways. You might have the same line –ups, but the pitchers will not be the same and the weather conditions will not be the same. The ball will carry differently depending on the winds; the turf will be different, the plays will be fielded differently.

The managers can “expect” a play to go a certain way but what if it does not? What happens then – stress. The pitcher wanted a strike called but the umpire called the pitch a ball; so much for the strikeout. A batter wants to launch a home run but instead gets under the ball and hits a long out. Well, the hit might advance a runner or it might be the third out of the inning.

As is baseball, so is life. We might go to the same bus stop we do each weekday for our trip in to the shop. We might get there about the same time each day but the bus might be late by a few minutes due to construction, a fire, or a crash that causes a reroute. When we get to work we might expect some colleague to show up but perhaps they do not, so part of the day’s plan might not be done, or lunches might be cut short because the staff has fewer people.

Some people say it is not good to lower expectations, but considering the effects stress has on the body, not setting so much on expecting something might be the best thing we can do save for treat ourselves when we have done something good at the office or had a very successful week or done some kind of community service. It is useless to anticipate what will happen; anticipation is the companion of worry, and worry does no good.

We can also learn to “mind less”. When we mind too much, we continue thinking about every little thing that happens, every person that comes and goes, every gesture, everything, and getting the small stuff too much in our minds causes just as much worry as anticipation and expectation. We can indeed have “too much on our minds”. In this age of too much information, we have to learn to do more than merely “tune out” what is not relevant or important. We have to change our thinking on not only how much information we need and is necessary, but on those who say we need to pay so much attention to the information provided. Thank goodness for the mute button and the OFF switch.

Each day presents opportunities to be fresh and new regarding what will happen. You have heard the idea of “open mind”; that is basically another way of saying “Be natural”. Let things happen as they will; if the bus comes a couple minutes late, it comes a couple minutes late. If someone does not show up on time or at all, arrange lunches with the staff members that show up. It is polite, if you happen to be late because of a transit situation, to tell someone why you were late or what happened, and get to your position as soon as possible so the day can carry on.

Do not let your job run you; YOU control your work and your interactions with customers. You say who is next and attend to the person you are assisting. Patience on all sides is a virtue, but you have the hand when in a sales situation. You might expect something to happen but if it does not, that energy is wasted in the anticipation of selling something, seeing someone, hearing something or experiencing something. Here is where the idea of the open mind is useful. Once you are at the workplace, ascertain things when you arrive. Do not anticipate ANYTHING; plans can change on a moment’s notice and situations can pop up.

There could be a storm, a building evacuation, a car crashing into the building, a fire or a swarm of bees that lands on the bridge near where you work. The boss could be in a great mood or he could be in a foul mood. The vice –president could be ready with her plan or she might put it off because there has been an event in her family that requires her attention away from the company. Though you cannot anticipate happenings such as those above or know what to do in such cases until someone else informs you, there can be some kind of “Plan B” at the firm for when someone cannot follow through with what is supposed to be on the day’s agenda.

You can find something else to do- there is always work to be done at many businesses. You can find ways to be helpful or find something to learn. Or if things just aren’t going to go as the day’s schedule mandated, you might just go back home. Who knows? If that swarm of bees hangs around you might just have to “telecommute”!

Anticipation, expectation, and worry are three little demons that afflict many people around the world and are major sources of “stress”. But each day brings chances to start with a clean slate, to meet the day free of thoughts of “what might happen”. Each day brings the bridges, but you will not know how to cross the bridges till you come to them.

You come up to the bridge and look at the situation. What is going on? Is the bridge intact and thus can be walked across with ease on sturdy supports? Is there a flood that has washed out the bridge so that it cannot be passed? What are the conditions? You cannot know until you see the situation and find out how then to deal with it.

Cross the bridges when you come to them.

Divi Logan, Chicago, ©2013.

Total Transformation Programs? Start with Your “Adult” Selves

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A CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR DOES NOT BEGIN WITH THE “BABIES”………….

Hearing these ads for some behavior changing program called the “Total Transformation” makes me wonder about the people who are putting the ad or service or program out and who might be sponsoring them, sponsors you are not hearing about over the ad spot.

Changing the behavior of the child is like trying to change the behavior of the puppy while you are showing it examples of being bad, ugly, rude, hypocritical, and otherwise sinful and undisciplined. After all, the child does not start out being “bad” or “evil”; adults (so-called grown-ups) are the ones who are being the bad examples and displaying the behaviors they do not want the kids to have.

YET THERE THEY ARE OUT THERE EVERY DAY DISPLAYING BAD BEHAVIOR! Right where the kids can see it, can emulate it, can judge it and can do it- the guns, the drugs, the smoking and drinking, the prostitution, the sex games, the lying at work, the cheating at work, the gossip, the shady business deals, the domestic abuse, the hypocrisy, the cheating on spouses, the lack of child support payments…

AND THE ADULTS WANT THE KIDS TO CHANGE THEIR WAYS?

Please, folks. Who is setting the bad example here? It isn’t the kid. A puppy can be trained to be a good dog or a bad dog, a docile “good citizen” dog or an attack dog that is good only for guarding Fort Knox. The child is born with the same potential- the new young citizen can be trained to be a good child, a great citizen and a productive, contributing member of society, or brought up in an atmosphere of abuse, drugs and smoking, lying and cheating and dropouts and inmates, and carry these behaviors through life. Without encouragement to the better behaviors that make a good citizen, that is exactly what will happen to that child that those adults want to be good and honest and right.

THAT IS, UNLESS THOSE ADULTS DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE CHILD AT ALL… but let them go about their ways, growing undisciplined, bad, wild, stern, diffused, and unnatural, letting them be spoiled, or just “get by” on their schoolwork, or hang out on the streets, smoking and popping pills and driving fast and being around gangs and pimps. If the adults (or dolts) do not care, then they are the ones who need that “total transformation” program.

DON’T BLAME THE KIDS.

Divi Logan, Chicago, ©2013

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