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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reject The Salvation Army!

Reject The Salvation Army!
The Salvation Army has greatly expanded its power base. This has largely been enabled by the federal government's privatisation of the Job Network. By decentralising the sections that oversee and police those reliant on social security the government has both divested itself of responsibility and also provided a massive financial grant to their friends in the conservative charities.

The largest private operator in the Job Network, the Salvation Army has proven itself no more able to find people jobs than the old system was. With eight job seekers for every job this is hardly surprising. What the Army has excelled at though is the harassment of the unemployed. With an openly discriminatory hiring policy the Army only employs Christians in their Job Network franchises.

The government's investment in conservative charities has paid off in two ways. Not only have they got the charities doing their dirty work, they have also bought their silence. Saint Vincent De Paul, one of the few charities not on the government's Job Network payroll, complained that Centrelink were forcing many people off the dole and onto their emergency services. Not a peep was heard from the Salvation Army.

The Army's refusal to criticise the government probably stems from the fact that they are partly responsible for the situation. Many of the people forced to seek emergency help were doing so because their payments had been breached due to Job Network incompetence. Each year sees tens of thousands of people successfully appeal against these breaches. While someone is making plenty of mistakes, the only people paying for them are the unemployed.

Saint Vincent De Paul also opposed being made a wing of the government's welfare apparatus. This has been happening quietly but steadily due to Centrelink and the Job Network's habit of referring people to charities instead of giving them government assistance. Again it is unsurprising that the Salvation Army didn't join in these criticisms, as their long standing goal is to corner all sections of the welfare market for themselves! For the sake of those unemployed people who aren't non-drinking, gay bashing, right wing Christians we hope that they fail.

More recently the Army has said nothing about the fact that people who go through 'work for the dole' are no more likely to find work than people who don't. Tony Abbott, the Minister for Employment, flatly admitted that the point of the schemes was not to find people work, but to teach them discipline. Discipline for what though? To sit quietly and not complain about the lack of real work available or teach them to cop any old job, no matter how casual or dangerous? Why would the Salvation Army complain about conscripting the unemployed, when they are making a profit out of them?

The government's funding has also seen the Army's backward ideas on religion and morality step further out of the shadows. Whilst in the past the organisation has tended to promote itself mainly as a charity, its status as a religion is coming to the fore. As noted before their new found wealth has seen them blatantly break anti-discrimination laws with a "Christians only" policy in hiring Job Network staff.

They have also become more open in their evangelical activities. Most notably they have invested their Job Network profits in a total makeover of their paper the War Cry. Gone are the stories advocating psychological reprogramming of gays and lesbians and the burning of heavy metal. Gone are the blurry photos of grannies playing tubas. In their place is a glossy full colour magazine with a Christian rock star or actor on every cover. The stories now contain non-controversial topics and are more slickly written. Positive tales of the transforming power of Christ are in, negative attitudes towards other peoples' behaviour are out. Overall they have transformed the War Cry from an internal bulletin to an outward looking recruitment tool. One that can be increasingly pushed on to those they come into contact with through their charity shops and other ventures.

Lastly it is worth nothing that the group's newfound confidence has also allowed them to increase their influence over the population at large. They have stepped up their lobbying efforts in relation to gambling, sexuality and drug use and with social conservatives ruling both the ALP and Coalition they have scored a number of victories in issues like stopping safe injecting rooms. At the same time the politicians have increased the level of censorship and passed a number of laws restricting civil rights. For the Salvation Army all this has been a bonus, for the rest of us a disaster.

So now more than ever remember to take the twelve steps and just say no to the Salvation Army!

libcom.org

Anonymous

Anonymous logo
Anonymous (used as a mass noun) is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities. A website nominally associated with the group describes it as "an Internet gathering" with "a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives". The group became known for a series of well-publicized publicity stunts and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites.

Anonymous originated in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, representing the concept of many online and offline community users simultaneously existing as an anarchic, digitized global brain. Anonymous members (known as "Anons") can be distinguished in public by the wearing of stylised Guy Fawkes masks.

In its early form, the concept was adopted by a decentralized online community acting anonymously in a coordinated manner, usually toward a loosely self-agreed goal, and primarily focused on entertainment, or "lulz". Beginning with 2008's Project Chanology—a series of protests, pranks, and hacks targeting the Church of Scientology—the Anonymous collective became increasingly associated with collaborative hacktivism on a number of issues internationally. Individuals claiming to align themselves with Anonymous undertook protests and other actions (including direct action) in retaliation against anti-digital piracy campaigns by motion picture and recording industry trade associations. Later targets of Anonymous hacktivism included government agencies of the US, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda, and others; ISIS; child pornography sites; copyright protection agencies; the Westboro Baptist Church; and corporations such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and Sony. Anons have publicly supported WikiLeaks and the Occupy movement. Related groups LulzSec and Operation AntiSec carried out cyberattacks on US government agencies, media, video game companies, military contractors, military personnel, and police officers, resulting in the attention of law enforcement to the groups' activities. Some actions by the group have been described as being anti-Zionist. It has threatened to erase Israel from the Internet and engaged in the "#OpIsrael" cyber-attacks of Israeli websites on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) in 2013.
members of Anonymous

Dozens of people have been arrested for involvement in Anonymous cyberattacks, in countries including the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey. Evaluations of the group's actions and effectiveness vary widely. Supporters have called the group "freedom fighters" and digital Robin Hoods while critics have described them as "a cyber lynch-mob" or "cyber terrorists". In 2012, Time called Anonymous one of the "100 most influential people" in the world.

Anonymous has no strictly defined philosophy, and internal dissent is a regular feature of the group. A website associated with the group describes it as "an Internet gathering" with "a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives". Gabriella Coleman writes of the group, "In some ways, it may be impossible to gauge the intent and motive of thousands of participants, many of who don't even bother to leave a trace of their thoughts, motivations, and reactions. Among those that do, opinions vary considerably."

Broadly speaking, Anons oppose internet censorship and control, and the majority of their actions target governments, organizations, and corporations that they accuse of censorship. Anons were early supporters of the global Occupy movement and the Arab Spring. Since 2008, a frequent subject of disagreement within Anonymous is whether members should focus on pranking and entertainment or more serious (and in some cases political) activism.

“We [Anonymous] just happen to be a group of people on the Internet who need—just kind of an outlet to do as we wish, that we wouldn't be able to do in regular society. ...That's more or less the point of it. Do as you wish. ... There's a common phrase: 'we are doing it for the lulz.'

more at wikipedia
The time for change is now.
CNN Money ran a series on hackers recently, one which had all the usual mainstream biases. There was the assumption that all hackers working for corporations were “good hackers”… the assumption that encrypted communication protects terrorists… and the assumption that there are easily-identifiable “good guys” and “bad guys” to begin with… with the government and the NSA being the good guys of course.

Part of the series, CNN Money tracked down and interviewed an alleged Anonymous hacker. Surprisingly, the mainstream outlet covered the story in a fair manner, asking reasonable questions. It also explained that members of Anonymous hackers often disagree on potential targets, and that they hack for differing reasons and ideologies- avoiding the mainstream assumption that Anonymous behaves as a conventional organisation does with leaders and a singular ideology.

Below is the transcript of the interview:

CNNMoney: Why do you hack?

Anonymous: There are many answers for this question. But for Anonymous, hacking is a practical way to show we can change things. We hack because we can. [The government] needs to know it is not in total control. And people need to know that too. Control is an illusion, and it must be broken.

CNNMoney: Anonymous is sometimes categorized as a “hacktivist” group — what kind activism interests you?

Anonymous: Anonymous is about giving voice to the silenced. There’s no particular kind of activism we give priority to. We are interested in giving power back to people. Besides, we want the Internet to be a common asset. Its infrastructure must be rebuilt so no government or corporation can control it. Universal encryption should be a security tool for every citizen to keep their personal information safe.

CNNMoney: How do you choose your causes?

Anonymous: Usually in brainstorms. But some things just happen organically. It’s a little chaotic. You have an idea, you show your idea. If it’s good, more people will help you. And it can become global. Every once in a while someone tries to use operations to call attention for their work, their careers, their private interests. But it just won’t work.

CNNMoney: What do you say to those who say Anonymous breaks the law?

Anonymous: If change comes through breaking laws, I think the laws must be broken.

CNNMoney: Is there a line you guys won’t cross?

Anonymous: Hard to say. Depends on the situation, the urgency, the seriousness. We can’t answer for everyone, you know? But we would say the “personal interest” line — if we take something from anyone, it’s going to be given to someone who needs. Or it’s gonna be public. Like information.

CNNMoney: Could you explain your code of ethics?

Anonymous: There’s no rigid code. We fight for freedom, so I can’t just throw my rules on you.

CNNMoney: Is there a unifying principle?

Anonymous:Freedom. If there’s something that easily bring us together, it’s the struggle for freedom. If you lock up any of us, you’ll have trouble with every one of us. If you silence one of us, all the others will be yelling.

We desire the reconstruction of the Internet’s infrastructure, in a way that it can be a public good. The universal encryption as a tool for data security was a decision that we as hackers could take. We think that a hacker’s role is to give support to a new society, to provoke thoughts of a better future to everyone.

This Article (Anonymous Hacker Interview) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author(CoNN) and AnonHQ.com.

Faith, a very cool dog

This is 'Faith'

Faith
This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which need to be amputated. He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

Faith
His first owner also did not think that he would survive. Therefore, he was thinking of 'putting him to sleep'.

Faith
By this time, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him. She was determined to teach and train this dog to walk by himself. Therefore she named him 'Faith'.

Faith
In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfing board to let him feel the movements. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him to stand up and jump around. Even the other dog at home also helped to encourage him to walk.
Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his 2 hind legs and jumped to move forward.. After further training in the snow, he now can walk like a human being.

Faith
Faith loves to walk around now. No matter where he goes, he just attracts all the people around him.

Faith
He is now becoming famous on the international scene. He has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows.

Faith
There is even one book entitled 'With a little faith' being published about him.

Faith
His present owner Jude Stringfellow has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to teach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul'.

Faith
In life there are always undesirable things. Perhaps one will feel better if one changes the point of view from another direction.

Faith

Faith

I hope this message will bring fresh & new ways of thinking to everyone and that everyone can appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day that follows.

Faith is the continual demonstration of the Strength of Life.

Wicca - The Old Religion

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

As I Get Older...

As I Get Older...

Little Ears.........

Here's an oldie, but a heart-warming oldie!

Here's a truly heartwarming story about the bond formed between a little 5-year-old girl and some construction workers that will make you believe that we all can make a difference when we give a child the gift of our time.

A young family moved into a house, next to a vacant lot. One day, a Construction crew turned up to start building a house on the empty lot.

The young family's 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and spent much of each day observing the workers.

Eventually the construction crew, all of them "gems-in-the-rough," more or less, adopted her as a kind of project mascot. They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had coffee and lunch breaks, and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important.

At the end of the first week, they even presented her with a pay envelope containing ten dollars. The little girl took this home to her mother who suggested that she take her ten dollars "pay" she'd received to the bank the next day to start a savings account.

When the girl and her mom got to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own pay check at such a young age.

The little girl proudly replied, "I worked last week with a real construction crew building the new house next door to us."

Oh my goodness gracious," said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week, too?"

The little girl replied, "I will, if those assholes at Home Depot ever deliver the f#ckin' sheet rock..."

Kind of brings a tear to the eye - doesn't it?

1 guy/ seven parts/ Michael Jackson medley

Cool Facts

Tongue prints are as unique as fingerprints!

In 1948, there were only 325 television sets in Canada. This number would rise dramatically in 1952 with the arrival of CBC Television and revised credit practices that enabled consumers to purchase a television set without an initial cash deposit.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) began television broadcasting in Canada in September 1952. The first broadcast was on September 6, 1952 from its Montreal, Quebec station and the premiere broadcast was bilingual, spoken in English and French.

The first home video recorders were marketed in 1965 by Sony, Ampex and RCA and were priced at just under US $1,000. These were followed by the VHS and Betamax devices, which battled for sales in what has become known as the original and definitive format war. In the early 2000s, DVD players gradually overtook VHS as the most popular consumer format for playback of pre-recorded video.

In June, 1946, NBC and Gillette staged what is now referred to as the first "television sports extravaganza" - the Joe Louis versus Billy Conn heavyweight fight at Yankee Stadium. The fight was a viewing success with an estimated audience of 150,000 viewers. For every TV set tuned into the fight, there were on average 30 people watching - many of whom were seeing an event on television for the first time.

On April 3, 1962, the U.S. Air Force announced it had successfully completed the first satellite TV broadcast and on July 10, 1962 the first commercial satellite was launched with one TV channel and 600 voice channels.

The first use of "canned laughter", better known as a laugh track, was in 1950 on NBC's, The Hank McCune Show, one of the first American sitcoms.

The cheapest of the pre-World War II factory-made American television sets, a 1938 image-only model, cost US$125- the equivalent of approx US$1,863.

PS: Watch what you lick!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Insurance Claims

The following are actual statements found on insurance forms where car drivers attempted to summarize the details of an accident in the fewest possible words. The instances of faulty writing serve to confirm that even incompetent writing can be highly entertaining.

"Coming home, I drove into the wrong driveway and collided with a tree I don't have."

"The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention."

"I thought my window was down, but I found out it was up when I put my head through it."

"I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way."

"A truck backed through my windshield into my wife's face."

"The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him."

"I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment."

"In an attempt to kill a fly I drove into a telephone pole."

"I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car."

"I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident."

"I was on the way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident."

"As I approached an intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident."

"To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck a pedestrian."

"My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle."

"An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished."

"I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him."

"The pedestrian had no idea which way to run as I ran over him."

"I saw a slow moving, sad faced old gentleman as he bounced off the roof of my car."

"The indirect cause of the accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth."

"I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows."

"The telephone pole was approaching. I was attempting to swerve out of the way when I struck the front end."

"I noticed smoke rising from under the bonnet. Realizing the car was on fire, I pulled over, took out my dog, and smothered it with a blanket."

"The driver in front of me hit a pedestrian. He got up from where he lay, so I hit him again."

PASSAGE OF TIME LEAVES OUT NO ONE OUT !!!

I thought it happened only to me, but was consoled and encouraged after receiving this e-mail. So I thought I would post it to make YOU Feel better!

Brendan FraserBrendan Fraser

Mickey RourkeMickey Rourke

Russell CroweRussell Crowe

Alec BaldwinAlec Baldwin

Val KilmerVal Kilmer

Rod StewartRod Stewart

Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood

Pierce BrosnanPierce Brosnan

Arnold SchwartzeneggerArnold Schwarzenegger

Richard GereRichard Gere

ARE YOU FEELING BETTER TOO???

DUCT TAPE USE #317

I have to tell you that I have never seen a better use for duct tape in my life.


DUCT TAPE USE #317
Makes you want to require everyone to carry a roll for emergencies.

What Pixar Taught Me

What Pixar Taught Me

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Puzzles and Trick Questions

What is a brain teaser that is very short and extremely hard for adults?
Which way is this school bus facing?
Which way is the school bus facing

Click here for the answer.

A Story and a Half

You will need a Kleenex but a must read...

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket.

Their father was gone.

The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two.

Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.

Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.

He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.


The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town.

No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.

Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop.

It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.

She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.

She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.

I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people.

I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.

She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep

This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage.

The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires!

There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.

Had angels taken up residence in Indiana ? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station.

In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office.

I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.

Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids.

I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.

Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe.
Truck stop

A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine.

The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.

I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.

Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box.

Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10!

I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.

Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes.

There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items.

And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude.

And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....

Reflections from the Shaman's Hut

by Trent Deerhorn, Deerhorn Shamanic Services

The Round Table
 
Over the many years of my practice in Shamanism I have Hutencountered a plethora of opinions and attitudes about who is and is not allowed to practice. The term "Cultural Appropriation" has been tossed around numerous times since it became a popular thing to accuse people of committing. The common idea that a person must be of a certain colour has been flung around for years. The attitude that anything magical cannot be trusted in the hands of males has been thrown at me from the time I was born an exceptionally gifted child.

The Round table
But despite all of this nonsense (and nonsense it is), Spirit still saw fit to assign me this role in our world. Yes, sometimes it is scaryto put myself out there, looking as male and as white as I look, and do the work. But not one individual amongst the naysayers has been able to even once show anyone that there is any valid reason for me to not do this work. The reason for that is because I am exceptionally good at it. I was born for this. And I am passionate about it. Even if it were illegal for me to practice what I do, I would still be finding ways in which to do it because I believe in it so strongly and because it helps so many people.

What folks need to realize is that Spirituality is a Round Table. NO ONE gets to sit at the head of it. There is no head. Like everything else, it is a circle and that circle is never-ending and all-enduring. Everyone at the table is equal and everyone brings to the table something that can contribute to the entire feast of paths and choices that we all have on our spiritual journeys.

What I find most funny is that it seems to be the most insecure amongst us who will point fingers at others and claim some spiritual path as theirs and theirs alone. They do not even realize that the term "shaman" is a European term from hundreds of years ago. The etymology of the word would indicate that the practice originated in that area as well. But seriously, it really doesn't matter, because shamanism is a world-wide universal practice that has existed for thousands of years in every culture and in every country on every continent around the planet. So to have anyone say that so-and-so has no "birthright" to practice this is ignorant at best and racist at worst. Shamanism is the birthright of every single person who walks the face of the earth. No one owns it. No one could.

For more articles from the Shaman's Hut, visit Trent's blog at www.deerhornshamanic.com

SOLITUDE

By Gail Fulkerson, Saskatoon SK
published in Flight: A Living, Breathing Document of Consciousness
solitude
photo from the internet
The oasis deep within;
Where you go to
Sit at the edge a quiet pool
Filled with the purest water;Not a ripple disturbs it.
The place of undisturbed solitude.

Gazing into the translucent water below,
Random thoughts
Begin to skim the placid surface,
Shaped like tiny fairies who
Smile and wave
As they pass by or
Butterfly shapes fluttering past
On wings made of impossibly delicate elements,
Sent aloft upon currents of air
Scented with the subtlest of
Remembrances from so very long ago.

Childhood; when everything was
Magical, and nothing could dampen
Your spirit, joy or laughter;
Those long ago days when the entire world
Revolved around you,
The centre of the universe.

Then, something happened.
Your light was gone,
It was snatched from you,
And you couldn’t understand why.
Darkness descended.
Joy and laughter was replaced by
Fear, sadness, and loneliness.
Your spirit was deeply wounded.

Nothing was ever the same after that.

Looking back was excruciating.
Try as you might,
You never discovered what you had done
To suffer such punishing anguish.

The years go by.
There are no answers forthcoming.
Emotions are shunted away,
Stuffed into a vast underground chamber,
Where they accumulated, year after year,
Behind walls as thick as mountain ranges.

Then, something happened again;
And your “indestructible fortress”
Lies in ruins at your feet.
The immense pressure
Of a lifetime of unexpressed emotions,
Relegated to a prison they were
Never supposed to populate;
The walls could hold them back no longer.

From inside your body, tremors commence,
The ones that set you dizzy and reeling,
No level pavement in evidence to stand upon.
The earsplitting sounds of rock
Splitting deep within the once solid walls.
Destruction is imminent, but you
Couldn’t read the signs:
Pitch blackness had already descended,
Leaving you blind.

You feel as though you will die,
And begin to ponder ways
To bring it all to a quick end.
No one should have to endure such
Unrelenting loss, grief,
Pain, and heartache that will not cease.

Then, one day, you awaken to
Sunshine and hopefulness
Streaming through your windows.
Things don’t seem so bad right now.
The light within you
Grows larger,
Casting a wider circle.
Warmth and softness is beginning to return.
“Spring thaw” has arrived.
You allow your gaze to fall upon brighter things.
You begin to believe that the end of the darkness
Is in sight.

New life is growing silently below the surface,
Under the ashes,
Breaking through the dark, in triumph.
It will instinctively search for the light
To keep it alive, nourished and strong:

And that light is you.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Spectacular Landing - WoW!

I've made mistakes in my life...

I've made mistakes in my life...

Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence

From The Belle Jar
Girl
1.

I am six. My babysitter’s son, who is five but a whole head taller than me, likes to show me his p****. He does it when his mother isn’t looking. One time when I tell him not to, he holds me down and puts p**** on my arm. I bite his shoulder, hard. He starts crying, pulls up his pants and runs upstairs to tell his mother that I bit him. I’m too embarrassed to tell anyone about the p**** part, so they all just think I bit him for no reason.

I get in trouble first at the babysitter’s house, then later at home.

The next time the babysitter’s son tries to show me his p****, I don’t fight back because I don’t want to get in trouble.

One day I tell the babysitter what her son does, she tells me that he’s just a little boy, he doesn’t know any better. I can tell that she’s angry at me, and I don’t know why. Later that day, when my mother comes to pick me up, the babysitter hugs me too hard and says how jealous she is because she only has sons and she wishes she had a daughter as sweet as me.

One day when we’re playing in the backyard he tells me very seriously that he might kill me one day and I believe him.

2.

I am in the second grade and our classroom has a weird open-concept thing going on, and the fourth wall is actually the hallway to the gym. All day long, we surreptitiously watch the other grades file past on the way to and from the gym. We are supposed to ignore most of them. The only class we are not supposed to ignore is Monsieur Pierre’s grade six class.

Every time Monsieur Pierre walks by, we are supposed to chorus “Bonjour, Monsieur Sexiste.” We are instructed to do this by our impossibly beautiful teacher, Madame Lemieux. She tells us that Monsieur Pierre, a dapper man with grey hair and a moustache, is sexist because he won’t let the girls in his class play hockey. She is the first person I have ever heard use the word sexist.

The word sounds very serious when she says it. She looks around the class to make sure everyone is paying attention and her voice gets intense and sort of tight.

“Girls can play hockey. Girls can do anything that boys do,” she tells us.

We don’t really believe her. For one thing, girls don’t play hockey. Everyone in the NHL – including our hero Mario Lemieux, who we sometimes whisper might be our teacher’s brother or cousin or even husband – is a boy. But we accept that maybe sixth grade girls can play hockey in gym class, so we do what she asks.

Mostly what I remember is the smile that spreads across Monsieur Pierre’s face whenever we call him a sexist. It is not the smile of someone who is ashamed; it is the smile of someone who finds us adorable in our outrage.

3.

Later that same year a man walks into Montreal’s École Polytechnique and kills fourteen women. He kills them because he hates feminists. He kills them because they are going to be engineers, because they go to school, because they take up space. He kills them because he thinks they have stolen something that is rightfully his. He kills them because they were women.

Everything about the day is grey: the sky, the rain, the street, the concrete side of the École Polytechnique, the pictures of the fourteen girls that they print in the newspaper. My mother’s face is grey. It’s winter, and the air tastes like water drunk from a tin cup.

Madame Lemieux doesn’t tell us to call Monsieur Pierre a sexist anymore. Maybe he lets the girls play hockey now. Or maybe she is afraid.

Girls can do anything that boys do but it turns out that sometimes they get killed for it.

4.

I am fourteen and my classmate’s mother is killed by her boyfriend. He stabs her to death. In the newspaper they call it a crime of passion. When she comes back to school, she doesn’t talk about it. When she does mention her mother it’s always in the present tense – “my mom says” or “my mom thinks” – as if she is still alive. She transfers schools the next year because her father lives across town in a different school district.

Passion. As if murder is the same thing as spreading rose petals on your bed or eating dinner by candlelight or kissing through the credits of a movie.

5.

Men start to say things to me on the street, sometimes loudly enough that everyone around us can hear, but not always. Sometimes they mutter quietly, so that I’m the only one who knows. So that if I react, I’ll seem like I’m blowing things out of proportion or flat-out making them up. These whispers make me feel complicit in something, although I don’t quite know what.

I feel like I deserve it. I feel like I am asking for it. I feel dirty and ashamed.

I want to stand up for myself and tell these men off, but I am afraid. I am angry that I’m such a baby about it. I feel like if I were braver, they wouldn’t be able to get away with it. Eventually I screw up enough courage and tell a man to leave me alone; I deliberately keep my voice steady and unemotional, trying to make it sound more like a command than a request. He grabs my wrist and calls me a fucking bitch.

After that I don’t talk back anymore. Instead I just smile weakly; sometimes I duck my head and whisper thank you. I quicken my steps and hurry away until one time a man yells don’t you fucking run away and starts to follow me.

After that I always try to keep my pace even, my breath slow. Like how they tell you that if you ever see a bear you shouldn’t run, you should just slowly back away until he can’t see you.

I think that these men, like dogs, can smell my fear.

6.

On my eighteenth birthday my cousin takes me out clubbing. While we’re dancing, a man comes up behind me and starts fiddling with the straps on my flouncy black dress. But he’s sort of dancing with me and this is my first time ever at a club and I want to play it cool, so I don’t say anything. Then he pulls the straps all the way down and everyone laughs as I scramble to cover my chest.

At a concert a man comes up behind me and slides his hand around me and starts playing with my nipple while he kisses my neck. By the time I’ve got enough wiggle room to turn around, he’s gone.

At my friend’s birthday party a gay man grabs my breasts and tells everyone that he’s allowed to do it because he’s not into girls. I laugh because everyone else laughs because what else are you supposed to do?

Men press up against me on the subway, on the bus, once even in a crowd at a protest. Their hands dangle casually, sometimes brushing up against my crotch or my ass. One time it’s so bad that I complain to the bus driver and he makes the man get off the bus but then he tells me that if I don’t like the attention maybe I shouldn’t wear such short skirts.

7.

I get a job as a patient-sitter, someone who sits with hospital patients who are in danger of pulling out their IVs or hurting themselves or even running away. The shifts are twelve hours and there is no real training, but the pay is good.

Lots of male patients masturbate in front of me. Some of them are obvious, which is actually kind of better because then I can call a nurse. Some of them are less obvious, and then the nurses don’t really care. When that happens, I just bury my head in a book and pretend I don’t know what they’re doing.

One time an elderly man asks me to fix his pillow and when I bend over him to do that he grabs my hand and puts it on his dick.

When I call my supervisor to complain she says that I shouldn’t be upset because he didn’t know what he was doing.

8.

A man walks into an Amish school, tells all the little girls to line up against the chalkboard, and starts shooting.

A man walks into a sorority house and starts shooting.

A man walks into a theatre because the movie was written by a feminist and starts shooting.

A man walks into Planned Parenthood and starts shooting.

A man walks into.

9.

I start writing about feminism on the internet, and within a few months I start getting angry comments from men. Not death threats, exactly, but still scary. Scary because of how huge and real their rage is. Scary because they swear they don’t hate women, they just think women like me need to be put in their place.

I get to a point where the comments – and even the occasional violent threat – become routine. I joke about them. I think of them as a strange badge of honour, like I’m in some kind of club. The club for women who get threats from men.

It’s not really funny.

10.

Someone makes a death threat against my son.

I don’t tell anyone right away because I feel like it is my fault – my fault for being too loud, too outspoken, too obviously a parent.

When I do finally start telling people, most of them are sympathetic. But a few women say stuff like “this is why I don’t share anything about my children online,” or “this is why I don’t post any pictures of my child.”

Even when a man makes a choice to threaten a small child it is still, somehow, a woman’s fault.

11.

I try not to be afraid.

I am still afraid.

Anti Depression Kit

Anti Depression Kit

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Just one more click

Meanwhile in Canada

Meanwhile in Canada

"The Buzzard, Bat, and Bumblee"

THE BUZZARD:

If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

THE BAT:

The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

THE BUMBLEBEE:

A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

PEOPLE:

In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee.. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up! That's the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem! Just look up.

Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, But faith looks up!

Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and trust in our Creator who loves us.

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."

Should You Trust That Doctor?

Should You Trust That Doctor?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How far will a condom stretch

Don't forget your party hats boys & girls...

Don't eat turkey sandwiches, no matter what!

A little boy and a little girl attended the same school and became friends. Every day they would sit together to eat their lunch. They discovered that they both brought turkey sandwiches every day! This went on all through the fourth and fifth grades, until one day he noticed that her sandwich wasn't a turkey sandwich.

He said, 'Hey, how come you're not eating turkey, don't you like it anymore?'
She said 'I love it but I have to stop eating it.'

'Why?' he asked.
She pointed to her lap and said 'Cause I'm starting to grow little feathers down there!'

'Let me see' he said.
'Okay' and she showed him. He looked and said, 'That's right. You are! Better not eat any more turkey.'

He kept eating his turkey sandwiches until one day he brought a peanut butter sandwich instead. He said to the little girl, 'I have to stop eating turkey sandwiches, I'm starti ng to get feathers down there too!' She asked if she could look, so he showed her!

She said, 'Oh, my God, it's too late for you! You've already got the NECK and Giblets!!!!!!

Answers to Questions you didn't ask!

Answers - Next Exit
Q: Why are many coin banks shaped like pigs?

A: Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense orange clay called 'pygg'. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as 'pygg banks.' When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a bank that resembled a pig and it caught on.

Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches, while pennies and nickels do not?

A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.

Q: Why do men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left?

A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right! Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left and that's where women's buttons have remained since.

Q: Why do X's at the end of a letter signify kisses?

A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

Q: Why is shifting responsibility to someone else called 'passing the buck'?

A: In card games, it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility, he would 'pass the buck' to the next player.

Q: Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast?

A: It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would then just touch or clink the host's glass with his own.

Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be 'in the limelight'?

A: Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and stage lighting by burning a cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, performers on stage 'in the limelight' were seen by the audience to be the centre of attention.

Q: Why do ships and aircraft in trouble use 'mayday' as their call for help?

A: This comes from the French word m'aidez -meaning 'help me' -- and is pronounced 'mayday'.

Q: Why is someone who is feeling great 'on cloud nine'?

A: Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called 'love'?

A: In France , where tennis first became popular, a big, round zero on scoreboard looked like an egg and was called 'l'oeuf,' which is French for 'egg.' When tennis was introduced in the U.S., Americans pronounced it 'love.'

Q: In golf, where did the term 'Caddie' come from?

A. When Mary, later Queen of Scots, went to France as a young girl (for education & survival), Louis, King of France, learned that she loved the Scot game 'golf.' So he had the first golf course outside of Scotland built for her enjoyment. To make sure she was properly chaperoned (and guarded) while she played, Louis hired cadets from a military school to accompany her. Mary liked this a lot and when she returned to Scotland (not a very good idea in the long run), she took the practice with her. In French, the word cadet is pronounced 'ca-day' and the Scots changed it into 'caddie.'

Ways to keep a healthy level of insanity in the workplace

Insanity
1. Page yourself over the intercom. (Don't disguise your voice.)

2. Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits.

Always wear them one day after your boss does. (This is especially effective if your boss is a different gender than you are.)

3. While sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in "Palmolive."

4. Put up mosquito netting around your cubicle.

5. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask them if they want fries with that.

6. Put your garbage can on your desk. Label it "IN."

7. Determine how many cups of coffee are "too many."

8. Put decaf in the coffeemaker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

9. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for sexual favors."

10. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.

11. When driving colleagues around insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep 'em tuned up."

12. Reply to everything someone says with "that's what YOU think?"

13. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a Parakeet.

14. Sit in the parking lot at lunchtime pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.

15. Ask your co-workers mysterious questions and then scribble their answers in a notebook. Mutter something about "psychological profiles".

What? You mean you don't already do this?