the power of zucchini

The power of zucchini

Somehow, I ended up with 10 zucchini’s, which is good, because I like zucchini. But it’s bad because half of the population here is not a fan. And now, I’m faced with multiple challenges. I hate wasting food, and I’ve got a load of fresh vegetables here. Now normally, I just fix it, they sneak it to the dogs or shove it under the couch, or simply refuse. There are those amongst us that actually like zucchini and squash in all of its forms. So I am faced with deny some or disappoint others. This is a complication, at a time where I’m trying to increase vegetative matter and decrease meat, (except for bacon, that’s going to take a lot more effort).

If I reached out to my friends and asked what to do with excess zucchini, some would tell me to make zucchini bread and others would tell me that they don’t know me and won’t recognize me until that zucchini is gone. I truly believe that there’s more to life than zucchini bread. And this, this is how my life goes, every decision, every opportunity, every little thing has an obstacle before it can be put in to motion. Everybody has an opinion, every option comes with 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, assuming that you chose the right option.

So, tonight, I thought I would make an attempt at hiding the zucchini which is of course different than hiding the sausage. So here’s what I did, I made zucchini latkes. Don’t ask me if their kosher, I have no clue, but they are tasty. The rest of dinner consists of “steak” sandwiches and potato chips. But because I’m an ass, I also added pickle spears to the plate, you know pickles formerly known as cucumbers, a member of that big squash family that nobody likes.

You know, sometimes life is like that. We have to be creative to get people to go along with the program, to hide what they don’t like and present it in a new form. A form they find acceptable and can endorse. A form that briefly hides their discontent, while giving them the opportunity to appreciate the rearranged version, the alternative to the truth that they have come to know. An opportunity to quietly acquiesce to change. In our lives and in our society as we know it today, change is coming. Change is mandated, acceptance is what is in question. Making the change palatable is what is necessary. Understanding that change is natural, it is a part of our progress, our journey is critical.

For those of you who follow my rants, yes, that’s a zucchini in my pocket and I’m indeed happy to see you. I’m so happy, I invite you to join me, to make the changes and adapt the recipes of our future.

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buy local, screw the oligarchy

Buy local, screw the oligarchy

Sometimes, I ask myself, what have we done? This is usually followed up with why did we do it? And then, why did we do it to ourselves? Are we truly masochists or just short sighted? Or possibly so indifferent to what’s happening in our community that we don’t care, especially because we’ve been shown how convenient it is and how much money we’re saving. But it’s an illusion, it’s truly a conspiracy and all controlled by the group behind the curtain, they are definitely not beneficial wizards, and in most cases I would simply refer to them as having questionable parentage, uncertain dates of conception and even at times some perverted incestuous relationships.

At some point, somebody thought it would be a good idea to help you save money by offering you a wide variety of goods, at great prices. A variety of your basic needs all in one building. What a concept. You need some screws or a new faucet, you go to one store, while you’re there you might as well pick up dinner, and don’t you need some new shoes? How about a new hunting rifle to go along with your new socks and underwear? Not into hunting how about a bicycle and some guppies? Of course if you’re a true couch potato, you can get the couch, the TV, the little refrigerator to hold your beer, which is over in aisle 8, by the pharmacy and the land of the dead and dying where you can get a great deal on a dead plant. Of course, if you lived in an outpost in Alaska, this store would be a blessing. If you live in a well populated urban or suburban area, this store is really questionable, but you don’t ask the questions, after all you just got a new bathroom faucet for $9.95 and you saved three cents on a pound of bananas.

Such convenience, you don’t have to go anywhere else, they even have an optometrist and a bank. And now, you don’t even need to go to the store, they’ll deliver it to you since they acquired Jet, just like Amazon or in conjunction with Amazon. So while the jesters behind the curtain are giving you great pricing, convenience, mediocre quality and limited selection what they don’t advertise is the true and total cost. It is a cost and an impact that nobody wants to see or hear about. It’s a cost that all of us have to share in, whether or not we shop at that store. It is a dynamic economic destruction of our communities, a surrender of standards of quality and ultimately it’s an enslavement to a norm designed by those in power, financial power along with the purchased political power. A norm that makes the consumer nothing more than hamster on the exercise wheel. Run a little get a reward as determined by those who give out the rewards and keep you in the hamster cage. Running and running on that little wheel with no escape.

For the opportunity to buy cheap crap, and the convenience of buying it all in one shot, you are paying way more than what you would have paid at your local store. If you had supported the local store, you wouldn’t be paying for “Buy Local” campaigns. If the local store were still in business, you would be able to buy what you want, now, you buy what is offered. You buy it in pre-packaged quantities that somebody you don’t know or will ever see decided is what you needed. If you need something different, you’re wrong. If you needed less or more, buy the number of packets to meet your needs and throw the rest away.

And that is just the beginning of the control. As the small stores and business struggle, they lose their leases, and the landlords can’t find tenants who can compete against the juggernauts systematically destroying each category of retail business, category killers, eating away at the heart of the commercial core of your community like Godzilla eating Tokyo. When the landlords can’t make the profits they need, especially in the older communities, they sell the real estate. The new owners see better profit potential by razing the property and building new high rise offices, and residential units, with some retail for the major chains to occupy. Of course the residential properties are touted as low cost affordable alternatives, and they never are. The new cost is low compared to the new cost of other residential units being built at the same time, but all are built at today’s prices, which simply aren’t affordable. They certainly aren’t affordable when all of the jobs are controlled by massive companies who pay low salaries and no taxes. In addition to that, these larger buildings have a higher demand on services than the original buildings, to meet that demand, taxes go up. But hey, that plastic widget was so cheap you can afford to throw it away, pretty much the same way you helped throw away your communities. Right now, we’re still in the calm before the storm. But the storm clouds are showing. One of the latest tricks is for the box stores to buy up their suppliers, which means they are eliminating the supply chain that also feeds the smaller businesses, putting yet another choke hold on free enterprise, but being able to buy plastic clothes and Chinese canned green beans all at the same time is important.

Many years ago, there was a company in the trash business, that would move into a territory and offer pricing at half or less than anyone else in the area. People switched, the companies that had been servicing them for years, the small local companies, most family owned and operated, could not compete. They were broken, and then they were consumed by the bandits holding the big guns and all of the leverage. One by one they fell and once they were all gone, the prices in the area doubled, and everybody grumbled and complained and paid the bill, they paid the price, they paid the ransom and embraced their captors.

This pattern will continue and slowly but surely, we will watch capitalism reduce us all to the proletariat and they the proletariat will become the true ruling class as they have planned all along. Steadily chipping away at our abilities to make choices, our abilities to come up and above our roots. With their strength growing constantly they ultimately will also become the “Politburo”, ruling every aspect of our lives, how decisions are made, who makes the decisions. The growth of the Mega Corporation, like the Mega shark requires continuous feeding to the point where ultimately it will consume the very concept that spawned it and become what it always feared.

Buy local is not just a slogan, it’s a battle cry. It’s a call to protect ourselves and our communities, it’s a call to maintain our independence and to preserve our abilities to grow as an independent society where all can participate, where all can enjoy life as they choose, not as a minion but as a master of their own future.

the parchment chads of history

The parchment chads of history

I’ve been reading recently that there has been an additional discovery of scrolls in the Dead Sea region’s caves. This of course is on top of all of those fragments from earlier discoveries that are still being preserved and recorded and deciphered. Of course the biblical scholars are all atwitter and some are actually on Twitter, the antiquities folks are excited, because these are indeed ancient writings that may shed light on many different things. It is of course possible that it’s nothing more than Jezebel’s shopping list or a reminder that the chariot warranty is about to expire. I actually have no idea what is on those fragments, and likely will never know. The process is a tedious and slow one, it will take years to put all of those minuscule pieces together again. Once they are together, they have to start the next step, filling in the missing pieces, interpretation, determining who the author was, and presenting all of the findings for peer review and further discussion. Now the real question is who controls the process, will it be done in accordance with tradition? Will it first be translated to Greek and then to Roman and ultimately English? Will the Holy Roman Empire maintain editing rights or censorship rights as they have in the past? Will the way we’ve always done it override any quest for truth? Will the need to control the truth override the needs of the people?

I really can’t answer those questions. But what I see is a retrofit that may not fit, or may not fit the needs and desires of the end users. Because any change in the story might interrupt or interfere with the ideas and promises, the comfort provided by business as usual. Back in the olden days, transcription and copying required the services of a scribe working from sun up to sun down, meticulously copying the texts provided by another scribe, all of which needed to be true to the original, never allowing for human error or the possibility of a hangover. And as such our beliefs are based on interpretation upon interpretation and revision and editing and censorship and then more translation and then, the final blow is the selective quotation, that selfish, self righteous selection of those sections that satisfy the individual claim while ignoring all of the others, or ignoring half the passage because only the other half validates a personal agenda.

It is most likely that none of these pieces will alter or interfere with the final commandment, none of these fragments are likely to tell us not to love one another. None of these will change the concept of servant master, none will tell you not to wash the feet of another. Me personally, I ain’t touching your feet and mine aren’t available for any such nonsense. But, most certainly I have no problems with humbling myself to be of service to you. I have no issue with the fact that we are all brethren, no issues with the concept that we should love one another, without any qualifiers. I truly doubt that those little slivers, those chads will change the outcome.

Balancing act

Balancing act

I’ve been seeing a lot of things like memes and actual articles talking about “life balance”. At first I thought that the term referred to the death defying act of me putting on my socks and underwear in the morning. When I start that procedure, the dog hauls ass out of the room, fearful that I could topple over and kill both of us. Apparently I misunderstood the concept. Me misunderstanding a concept is truly not that unusual. Sometimes, I just stand there and I have a blank stare on my face while I try and understand what’s happening or what’s being said.

I was in the grocery store today and I was looking at the pre-packs, the heat and eat kind of side dishes like macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes, or mashed potatoes. Yes, I included macaroni and cheese as a side dish, it really is nothing more than that and should never have been given the exalted status as a dinner. You know, like when Kraft refers to their over priced product as a Macaroni and cheese dinner . This really is nothing more than the bourgeoisie way of saying “you’re not good enough to have the cake”. Sorry, lost my mental balance there, back to the mashed potatoes. I was looking at these packs of “loaded potatoes”, with some bacon and onions and sour cream and chives, oh my. What really made me feel good is that Mr. Evans and his staff assured me that the potatoes used to make this product were indeed real potatoes. I stood there, and stared at the package, trying to remember if I had ever encountered an artificial potato. I know that there was for a period of time in my youth when there was this plastic potato head thingy that we don’t talk about anymore because there are some issues with the accuracy of the parts.

But getting back to “life balance”. The idea being that we should balance our lives between work and home, so that we can be more than what we do to earn a living and so that the effort to earn a living doesn’t overshadow the benefits of having a life. That’s pretty cool. But some of us, are retired or sort of retired. Some of us look at the balance in a different way. A balance of trying to enjoy our lives while still trying to maintain our place in society, a place that will not accept or allow silence or acquiescence. In carrying out our duty to our society, we also have to maintain our own personal strengths so that we are all that we can be.

For me, this really means that I can’t spend all of my time bitching, I can’t always be on the attack, I have to acknowledge that there is fun in life, there is beauty, there is hope. All of these are necessary, but they also all must be measured and distributed in appropriate doses. So, taking a cue from Facebook, I will now be using a algorithm to determine my commentaries. Sort of a grading system, determining my need to respond. The first part of this will require the exchange of HP, horse power as a unit of measurement with the new HA, or horse’s ass. This unit of measurement will be used to determine an appropriate proportional response. However, it is understood that some who score high on the HA scale are frequent offenders and are generally ignored by society as having no significant impact on reality. The second part of the equation deals with the BS factor. BS of course is beneficial if spread among the crops in the field, however run off from the spread of BS may pollute other areas of our society, and can be considered intrusive. This is specifically important when BS is mixed with significant quantities of hot air. The measurements of both the hot air and the quantities of BS are compiled and compared to interpret the need for commentary. This calibration is somewhat delicate given that I live between Annapolis and Washington DC. With regional differential adjustments allowing for excess hot air, BS is generally ignored as it is too commonplace in this region. If it occurs that the heated BS exceeds the threshold of commonly accepted norms, then commentary and discussion will follow.

On those days where the HA and BS factors are low in the equation, I will be writing poetry and prose about the glories of life, the pursuit of happiness and whether unicorns fart in technicolor. As I see it now, the “life balance” for me means that I’ve just used up one of those positive days, and it may be a few more days or weeks before I can bring another smile to your face.

Peas in a can don’t rattle

Peas in a can don’t rattle

There are times when I’m lacking in things to write about, and truly I should be grateful for those times. But today, unfortunately I do have something to write about, and I wish I didn’t. I would have preferred to make up some fluff or some sappy sentimental story, but I can’t because today, I have to deal with some harsh realities.

Earlier today, I posted some pictures of various canned foods, all with brand names most of us don’t recognize. And then, I posted some more pictures of canned goods and again we don’t recognize the names. They are private labels of some sort, but the sort and the intent is the real question here. This story can’t be told without some background, a background that I’ve been hiding, a story that I’ve been sitting on because I felt that the story once told would do more harm than good., and I’m not inclined to do harm, but at some point the need to tell the truth overwhelms all other considerations.

The pictures accompanying this post are all products that are included in what is a #5 USDA food box, a Farmers to family box. These are the boxes that are passed out in conjunction with various pantries, non-profits, food banks, and assistance programs. These come via various contractors that USDA has approved to deliver food assistance during this pandemic. Most of these boxes actually contain the letter from the previous guy. I would share that letter with you but all of those ended up in the recycling bin which is where they could actually do some good. If you know me, then you know that I cruise the streets and alleys, I check dumpsters and other dump sites. On an average, I pick up 6 boxes of food per week. Boxes of #5 USDA approved supplemental food that are dropped next to dumpsters, sometimes in dumpsters, but most commonly dropped adjacent to clothing collection bins.

I bring these home, we sort and process, we find them new homes through our channels. And we wonder why. Why are these here, while at the same time assuming the duty and responsibility for moving them along to where they are needed, removing them from harms way as caused by the weather and moving them on to do what they were intended to do. This is the part of the story I didn’t want to tell. I don’t know why these boxes are sitting waiting for me, I didn’t want to cast a shadow on a program that feeds our people, I chose to remain silent. I come home with food we activate our own contact system and we send out the food. The balance of it sits on our shelves or in our refrigerators waiting on someone in need. Our shelves are actually collapsing under the weight of the canned goods, but I’ve reinforced them along with reinforcing our resolve.

Honestly, when I need some canned goods from the pantry, I go downstairs and get what I need. There is no shame in the fact that we have more food than what has been claimed. So the other day, I needed some peas to add to some dinner slop that I was making. I got some peas, drained them and noticed that the peas actually rattled when the can was shaken. These peas were dried peas that were canned. I went through several cans and found none, even the ones labeled as cooked peas that qualified as standard peas in a can, not mushy peas that the Brits would like, peas that only ruminants could eat is what I found. Then I found a can of pinto beans that seemed to be a little light in their weight, because there was no water in the can. And now, I’ve been triggered. These canned goods, sucked.

What I found was that these canned goods that are included in the boxes labeled as “Farm to Families” are actually inferior. What’s more, after lining them up, the farms that USDA is supporting with this program are in China, Thailand, Italy, and Turkey. Only one of the cans said that it contained vegetables processed in the U.S., it didn’t say what the source of the raw ingredient was.

One can after the other, I found that there were multiple labels for products some with the same parent organization, none of which meet the concept of what we would envision as farm to family. What I do see is an organized effort to take dollars that were intended to support American agriculture while supporting our families in need as a result of a Pandemic. What I see is the standard opportunistic approach to extracting dollars from the pain of our people. What I see is various private labels created solely for the purpose of meeting the USDA purchasing needs. What I don’t see is a requirement for those foods that are purchased to meet the “Buy American” requirements. What I see is a pathway to satisfy corporate greed with the aid of Federal collusion and indifference to the needs of the citizens.

Peas don’t rattle in the can, opportunity never escapes capture by the usurpers of intent, and labeling is like putting lipstick on a pig, at the end of the day, you still have a pig. And as I view what I’m seeing, I’m simply trying to figure out, just how many pigs do we have.

I’m sorry dave, I can’t do that, there are rules you know

I’m sorry Dave, I can’t do that, there are rules you know

There are rules, everywhere you go, for every thing you do, every aspect of our lives are controlled by rules, our society is maintained by rules and regulations and laws and processes and procedures and protocol or doctrine, some but not all of our most basic rights and needs are defined within this structure, and some are excluded as well. For a society to exist and function, this is a necessity. For a society to thrive and prosper with its members in pursuit of happiness and quiet enjoyment, these rules must also be equitable. There are people who specialize in making sure that the rules are equitable and there are people who specialize in showing you how to get around the rules, once you know the rules, you know how to push the limits or evade. In both cases, we call them lawyers.

There is a need for rules, there is a need to maintain a structure in society or it can not function. The rules are there to protect us. There’s a constant yammer about government regulations and how they should be abolished. Those regulations came about because without them, that mass powers that we commonly refer to as “industry or corporations” would feel free to do as they will in the best interest of their shareholders, not necessarily in the best interest of the consumer or the citizens whose communities host these entities. Those rules that are in place to control the commercial entities and prevent them from doing harm while preserving their own bottom lines are the regulations most protested. They come in the form of worker safety, environmental protection, food safety, medical standards, automotive safety standards, construction standards, insurance and banking regulations, fraud prevention, and in even more subtle forms such as ADA compliance, non-discrimination policies, professional licensing standards, weights and measures, employee compensation, fair labor standards, minimum wage, and voting rights. These are the ones that are challenged the most, because each and every one of them has a dollar amount affixed to them. These are the regulations that prevent the wholesale abuses by those for profit entities.

Curiously enough, there are regulations that the “industry” “corporations” “1%” or whatever you want to call the cabal that rules our world as a sanctum for their own devious and perverse pleasures, honoring golden idols and praying to the greenbacks. There are far more rules that control our lives, we the minions, then those that control the haves. These rules must absolutely be kept in place. These are the ones that keep us in check, that control our entire system of governance. These are the critical rules. The rules mentioned in the previous paragraph go directly to the bottom line, but of course if those rules are maintained, the cost is added to the cost of goods and services and we pay them anyway. But these other rules, the strangleholds that keep us indentured are the critical ones. The first set is simply lines drawn in the sand, the second set is the electrified barbed wire fence that keeps the herd where they are destined to be.

These are the rules of religion imposed on the followers, the norms of society determined by the caste, color and gender of the rulers, these are the rules of procedures used to control our legislative bodies, these are the rules that determine what are children learn, the rules of what will be included in history, they algorithms of our lives that decide whether or not you can buy a house, the rules of degrees of separation, the rules that determine your privilege and to what extent even you the privileged one can use those rules, here we find the golden rule defined as those that have the gold make the rules, here we see the admonition of the squeaky wheel getting the grease until it becomes too annoying and must be replaced. These, the subliminal rules that determine what an elected official can say and do.

What we see now, is those who we have empowered with our voice have become silent when we question them. They can’t answer without first checking the rule book. They find it easier and more convenient to hide behind the power of technology, using voice mail as their screen. They don’t respond to written communications because they have a staff to filter the questions and to match them up with appropriate pat answers. We have created a group that is the maker of the rules on our behalf, that ignores our requests for review and changes to those rules. They have created a set of guidelines of their own, much the way HAL 9000 did for Dave. I truly believe that it’s time to unplug HAL, recycle (because I do believe in recycling) the parts and build a newer better system. A system that is responsive to the needs of those who are the integral components, the ones that empower the system, the ones whose efforts and labors make it work, the ones who support and maintain it, the ones who are the single most crucial components of the entire system, without which it would not work and serve no purpose. We need to ctrl/alt/del all of that which does not benefit us. We need to do a serious look at our feng shui, our collective shakra, we need to do a serious purge and cleansing of all that which no longer pleases us or benefits us.

Let me introduce my son

Let me introduce my son

I had a conversation with my son today, my other son, the one that looks more like his mother than me. For years now, I’ve been having these conversations with him. The conversations are sporadic because, we have to use the internet and messenger, which in Ghana, access isn’t always great. In these many years, I have been guiding him on issues of sustainability, recycling, and his ministry. I know that some of you are rolling on the floor laughing (ROTFLMAO). Yes, I helped him with his ministry, offering guidance and thought, but he did it all on his own. Stop laughing.

One of the areas where I did fail him was such a simple thing, but I couldn’t pull it off. I couldn’t convince evangelicals to step up and follow through. My boy asked for bibles to pass out to his parishioners. You know, additional copies of that book that was used to control his countrymen, given out during the indoctrination, until such a time that the supporting economic powers could secure the resources of the country. Once that was done, there were no more books to be had, the usurpers got the gold, and the indigenous population got a kiss and a promise.

For years, we’ve had conversations about religion, about philosophies, about life in general. Never were there any conversations about politics, about racial divides, about misery, always there was a focus on the positive, a focus on his part to better the lives of his people, not just his parishioners but the people of his community in Ghana. He has of course grown up now to be a man, not just in the physical attributes, but in his understanding of the role and position that he must take to be a leader for his people.

We’ve all seen those late night infomercials giving us the opportunity to rent to own a very special child in the wilds of Africa for a mere 50 cents a day, or whatever the going rate is now. For your continued payment you will get progress reports and pictures, most likely sent out by some aging village elder or impersonator thereof. Maybe your sponsored kid gets fed, maybe is dependent on how many others fall for his/her pathetic picture, and how much revenue that picture brings in. Luckily, I got mine for free, I don’t have to send money, but if I’m to accept him as my honorary son, then I have a duty to him, to be a role model, to be a sounding board, to be an advocate for him.

Our latest conversation was one that I guess is commonplace between elder and males and younger males. It seems that the meddling imp flying around shooting people with arrows and calling it an encouragement towards love has struck again. It turns out that my son has feelings for a rather special young lady. I guess it was only a matter of time before this would happen, I mean really he is a rather handsome specimen, takes after me in that regard. He’s personable and intelligent, again just like me. Of course, just like me, he couldn’t have it be straightforward and simple. It seems that the issue he needed to talk about was that although he had strong feelings for her, she had strong feelings for her current suitor, not him. He was somewhat distressed over all of this, and unsure how to proceed.

Experience is one hell of a teacher, and luckily for him, I had already gone through the same scenario. And luckily for me, my patience paid off, my faith paid off and I was blessed with the most glorious results. I explained all of my circumstance to him and told him that he must have faith, he must believe that those things that he desires, if they are truly right for him, they will come along. Patience and faith are the keys, and within all of that, is the foundation for prayer. Forget lighting candles, upon up and let the universe know your needs and wants, and then follow the wisdom of the universe as it puts before you the answer they think is the right one. It worked for me, and I pray that it works for him.

Rather than spending money on late night infomercials, let’s spend time and effort on those who are working to lead, to lead their community forward, to help their neighbors, to help their communities. Let’s all of us open up our hearts and talk to those who share our beliefs, who honor that last commandment. Let’s make sure they have the tools and the guidance they need to continue teaching, and let’s work with them to help their neighbors. Let us stand in place of those who came before us and promised the word while taking the land. Let us be the ones that carry out those duties of care, that advocate for love, that show our commitment to the word by proving it with action.

Joseph is real, and if you want or need an introduction, I can assist with that, let me know. Until then, let’s show him how real we are, let’s step up and carry out the promises of those before us.

James 2:14-26 New King James Version Faith Without Works Is Dead What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Paying the bills–Part 1 of my proposed insurrection

Paying the bills—Part 1 of my proposed insurrection

Who do these people work for, they work for us, each and everyone of us, citizens with a vote. We pay the taxes and foot the bills. And some would argue that corporations pay the bills, they make things happen, they are the source of the funding for all of these government entities. The corporations and the 1% should decide how things happen, not the peons. There are so many fallacies that are spread around as a part of a campaign to maintain control, it’s almost like using a selectively quoted religious documents to maintain power of the minions, while stealing everything they can out of the collection plate.

Whether it’s General Motors or General Electric, they do everything in their power to minimize taxes that they have to pay, so that they can maximize the return to the shareholders. Those taxes that they do have to pay, are incorporated in to the price of the product that you are purchasing, you the minion is actually helping them pay their fair share, a share that really isn’t fair. You are even having to pay for them to lobby your government to change the rules to allow them to operate at will and whim, with no regard to their impact on our environment or our society.

I’ve heard comments that say that renters or tenants shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they don’t pay real estate taxes. Another load of crap, there is no requirement to pay taxes of any kind in order to be able to vote. The real truth is that the tenants do pay real estate taxes, it’s included in their rent as a part of the total cost of doing business. And then, the landlord reduces their income and tax liability by writing off the real estate tax payments as a cost of doing business, along with claiming the depreciation on the real estate, which does not give any benefit to the tenant.

When a merchant hands you their bill, included in that bill is the cost of goods, the cost of labor and overhead, the cost of waste, the cost of the real estate, the cost of utilities. And all of this is multiplied starting at the point of manufacture which has similar costs, then you add transportation, as well as all of the aforementioned costs incurred by the retailer. Who’s paying that combined and multiplied tab, you got it, you are, you the minion, the serf. They are not going to eat any of those costs, they don’t have to, all they have to do is pass them on to you.

There are some out there who would indeed attempt to preserve their own existence, their financial security, their presumed roles of overlords by spreading tales of untruths. There are those who would do anything, finance anything, agree to anything, stand by behind anything and encourage all of these things solely for the purpose of their own preservation, instead of using all of their power for a common good that would benefit them even more than maintaining this archaic system of business as usual.

In their arrogance, these who would usurp every opportunity, who would decry any attempt to hold them responsible for any part of the dilemmas in the world, those who would hide behind all of the various scenarios that they paid so much to put in place to protect themselves. Those are the ones that would stand before us and profess that they indeed are holier than thou, that they are the chosen ones based on the votes of all of the dead presidents and statesmen in their control.

It is time that we move forward as the ultimate payers of all of the bills. It is time that we proceed to educate all of the citizens in the procedures and the protocols of protest. Beyond what is taught in our schools, which are of course controlled for the benefit of the usurpers. It is time that we look at organizations like Emerge Maryland and others working on future leaders, and it is time that we ask these organizations to create not just training for leaders, but training for those who have to make decisions, who have to vote. Train leaders, train followers, train advocates, train voters, train those who foot the bill. Train a future that says we’re in charge. And train that future to seize that which belongs to the people and to preserve and protect the dominion of the commons, all of us, who foot the bills.

The sin of non-dairy toppings

The sin of non-dairy toppings

Scientists tell us that at some point in the next few million years or possibly billion years that the earth will be: A. sucked in to the sun, that will certainly take care of the issues caused by plastic waste, B. a big rock floating around the universe will collide with our planet and rend it asunder which will certainly cause problems in the real estate market, or C. we could be swallowed by a black hole which may cause the financial markets to collapse. Other scientists and number crunchers along with the fabled and never seen underwriters will tell you that according to the actuarial tables they created, that we need not worry about any of those events.

All of that puts yesterday and today in a different perspective. Yesterday and tomorrow, are in the here and now, where we all have to live. Yesterday, was a bad day, for me personally. I got into an argument with a supplier who I truly do admire and want their products, but I ended up canceling the order, because of their own internal conflicts. I did what I had to do to protect our interests and the rest is on them. Time to move on. There’s a plethora of products and other things that I can look at and deal with. And so, we move on.

Tonight, I was dealing with the usual quandary of “what’s for dinner?” My usual answer to that is “Food, you’re having food for dinner, now go away and stop bothering me”. Tonight, pizza was on sale. Pizza is a universal food that all children will eat, all adults will eat and the dog’s love the rejected pieces of crust. I got the pizzas, because they deserve the occasional treat. But I hate serving pizza all by itself, it will certainly fill the hole, but there really needs to be more. More, today consisted of 4 pounds of strawberries, a pound of banana and 2 pounds of mango going together to become a fruit salad. Sounds great doesn’t it? All mixed together with 2 buckets of generic non-dairy whipped topping. This is a kids delight. I will confess, I love the taste of the plastic whipped topping, and so do they, and they will eat every bit of that fruit salad tonight, and I will be thrown out of the Royal Culinary society. There are times, when better living through chemistry can be fun. There are times when we want to thumb our noses at the judgmental ones and simply be a little naughty. Simply revel in the opportunity to have fun and enjoy life. Tomorrow, we’ll go back to the regiment of what’s good for us and how important diet is and all of that stuff, but that’s tomorrow.

In the here and now, we need to enjoy ourselves, we need to enjoy our lives, we need to have fun occasionally, and maybe every day. If it doesn’t bring us joy and happiness we probably should just ignore it. There’s lots of generations to come, that can worry about rocks and holes, but they too should enjoy what we were given. The future is not ours to see, and not ours to control. We are only charged with the world as we see it, in front of us, today and tomorrow, one day at a time. And we should make the most of what we have, while we have it. And we should continue to take care of what we have, passing along the best to those who are our progeny. We should give them the gift of opportunities without bounds. And that is today, and tomorrow.

For those who come after us, who are our future, we should give them a clean slate to work with, a clean home and planet. They have to face that future, and theirs will have to act accordingly. Let us give them the tools and the experience, the model for the future, the goals that need to be achieved, looking at humanities home as the learning ground to build a future, honoring the past and building on it. Let them learn from us and those that followed us, and let them all learn the joy of strawberries with a non-dairy topping.

Defining Fame

Defining Fame

There’s this silly meme/questionnaire that is circulating on Facebook that asks you to name 5 famous people that you have met or been within 5 feet of. Obviously it’s old because for the last year six feet has been the minimum distance. As a part of this nonsensical game, you are supposed to include one individual in that list which is not true, so you only list 4 people that you have met, and one untruth, a lie. Your friends then are supposed to guess which one is the lie. What a great way to get to know people, boasting and lying. I know that at this point some of you are thinking that this curmudgeon is really losing it. But the whole idea of building a relationship that is based in part in lies, really doesn’t work for me. But more so, there’s a whole bunch of other issues that go along with this nonsensical attempt at diversion and humor.

Here’s some of my problems with this. What defines someone famous? Some are obvious, like Presidents and Statesmen (persons), scientific leaders, writers, artists, people who play children’s games and get paid a fortune, inventors and financial wizards, leaders of societal change. And on the flip side because of our twisted societal views and the continued existence of Fox News, Jeffrey Dahmer is famous, Epstein is famous and was so before he didn’t kill himself. The basic requirement of the term “famous” is that the individual be known to many. There is no qualifier here, it allows for notoriety, it doesn’t distinguish between good or bad, just that they have had the minimum of 15 seconds of the spotlight, for whatever they did or did not do.

How much fame is necessary to qualify someone for this contest? Is being a Member of Congress sufficient, how about a County Executive, what about a member of the General Assembly or a small town mayor? How large an audience does “known to many” need to be? I can certainly state that with this broader view that I’ve met many “famous” people, from entertainers and Generals, to Presidents of this country and others, sports figures and Governors, Members of Congress and small town mayors, Executives and Commissioners. As one famous woman once said “What difference does it make?” Yes, there was a brief vicarious thrill and honestly some more than others. But at the end of the day, there was nothing, only that simple understanding that they all put on their drawers the same way I do. Beyond that, there really was nothing more than an empty feeling, shaking hands, getting an autograph, or merely being relegated to standing in the audience truly wasn’t substantial.

When we look at why they’re famous or infamous, we have to really start looking at what difference they made. What impact did they have on our lives and what did they contribute to the well being of our society. It’s a question of what’s really important in our lives. It’s a question of what truly matters. A question of who is worthy of the exalted status of “famous”, and in the case of those that worship the famous as heroes, who’s really worthy of that? Do we really need golden idols or are we better served by those who don’t seek fame and fortune, by those who do what is necessary as a benefit for all. Should we be more enthralled with those that are known to many, thus making them famous, but use their status and their access to the many that know them to rally forces for good?

Aren’t we better served by lesser famous, the local heroes, the ones that care about us and serve us, the ones that include us as a part of their mystical aura of fame, the ones that we can actually reach out and touch, talk to and have them listen, the ones that understand that we are the reason for their fame.