Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Don't trust anyone over 30.....

I remember well that saying when I was in my late teens/twenties. It was a very popular sentiment back in the wild, crazy sixties and seventies. In those times, it seemed to us hippy dippys that only people our age knew anything about anything. Everyone over 30 was "over the hill" and then some. Besides, everything we thought was cool they hated with a passion. Drugs, sex and rock and roll represented everything bad to those over 30 back then. Those things were the only things that mattered to those under 30. It clearly was like the sixties generation and the fifties generation were from different worlds.

I know that to this day, the youth doesn't understand how very much they owe all their taken for granted social freedoms to the whole hippie dippy movement. The sheer amount of change that happened during this generational changeover was probably the largest between any period that ever happened before. It really was a sexual, financial, social and political revolution "happening" then and those realities still permeate life as we know it today. Now admittedly as with all new generations and their new ideas, a lot of the changes were great new ideas and some were idiot changes just for change sake.

Lets see now...........In the fifties, boys had to tuck their shirts into their pants at all times. Girls were not allowed to wear pants of any kind. The great side of this rule was us boys could see their bare legs and might look up their dresses, heaven forbid. Girls wore enough hair spray to hold a battleship together in the high seas. Boys wore enough grease in their hair to take care of all the lubrication needs of the battleship. Above all else sex was a completely forbiden subject in all settings. Sex education was simple. Don't do it! It's BAD!!!

Then one day these wild and crazy guys from England invaded our consciousness and as with a lot of things of those times, completely changed the entire musical landscape for the youth. We all saw them on the Ed Sullivan Hour. Holy shit, how I miss that show. The fifties youth got their first look at Elvis Presley on that show. Along with the Beatles great new musical stylings, they had this super long hair compared to what we were wearing at the time. Looking back at pictures of them now, we realize it wasn't really very long at all but compared to the styles from the fifties, it was outrageous in the extreme to everyone "over thirty".

Those "over thirties" pretty much thought the end of the world was upon us now that boys wanted to look like girls. I knew of families completely torn apart over just the issue of boys wanting to wear their hair long. I used to ask the parents who were completely torn apart by this issue how their children were doing in school. When they said they were doing fine, I would tell them to not worry about the hair thing then as it will pass like most new fads. Of course they didn't, so it lasted just this side of forever. Hell, some of the old hippies (knowing grin, insert here) still to this day have rather longish hair.

Of course the rather innocent beginnings of the drug experimentation started long about then, so the changes became more and more severe. People of that generation honestly can not believe that something that started so innocent and mellow could ever turn out so violent and insane as it has for those with dependent personalities through the years. The vast majority from the sixties smoked a little pot, played with LSD a few times and eventually outgrew the whole thing when they reached adulthood and started families.

At this point I feel compelled and find it tremendously interesting to note something about all this though. I've seen and personaly know about a few of those people who have decided after all these years of "doing the right thing" in quitting to have a change of heart about it. They say after retiring from successful lifelong careers, responsibly raising their children to adulthood with great care and love, it's time for them to have some fun again. So they decided to partake of pot once in a while once again and are now doing that with complete success and enjoyment. I would be willing to bet that it would shock most people to learn just how many folks have made this decision right about now.



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Friday, June 25, 2010

Our Forefathers. Heroes or Monsters?

Every time I read a true story about our long ago forefathers and I mean long ago, I get a very disappointing and sometimes drastic view of what they were really like way back then. I've suspected for years that the histories we have been taught have been cleaned up to show them as brave, honest, hardworking, driven souls we should emulate in the present time. When one gets a clear view as far back as the Roman days for instance, the leaders were generally cold blooded killers, torturers, rapist and treated the common man and women as slaves, sometimes worse than dogs in the street.

A great example we can all relate to would be our own "cowboy days". We were all raised on "cowboy's and injuns" Television shows. These showed the good guy in the white hat taking on all the bad guys in the black hats. White and Black. Good versus Bad. Reading real accounts of those days tells us about a lot of gray areas. The "good" guys often times just shot people on sight without any proof whatsoever that they were guilty. Let's don't even consider how the "nice" folks of those times treated the local American native Indians. Just that subject alone would make us sick to our stomachs.

I found this piece about the "supposed" discoverer of America, Christopher Columbus. If even a tiny bit of this is true, HOLY SHIT! The histories we have been fed all our lives about our past heroes are pretty much flat out lies.

This piece is mostly quoted from another source I found, not written by me but I thought it was tremendously interesting, shocking and telling about the lies and missinformation we have been fed all throughout our history about our past "heroes".

To mark Columbus Day In 2004, the Medieval and Renaissance Center in UCLA published the final volume of a compendium of Columbus-era documents. Its general editor, Geoffrey Symcox, leaves little room for ambivalence when he says, "This is not your grandfather's Columbus.... While giving the brilliant mariner his due, the collection portrays Columbus as an unrelenting social climber and self-promoter who stopped at nothing - not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting biblical scripture -to advance his ambitions.... Many of the unflattering documents have been known for the last century or more, but nobody paid much attention to them until recently. The fact that Columbus brought slavery, enormous exploitation or devastating diseases to the Americas used to be seen as a minor detail - if it was recognized at all - in light of his role as the great bringer of white man's civilization to the benighted idolatrous American continent. But to historians today this information is very important. It changes our whole view of the enterprise."

"They ... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells," Christopher Columbus wrote in his logbook in 1495. "They willingly traded everything they owned.... They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane.... They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold."

Catholic priest Bartolome de las Casas, in the multi-volume "History of the Indies" published in 1875, wrote, "... Slaves were the primary source of income for the Admiral (Columbus) with that income he intended to repay the money the Kings were spending in support of Spaniards on the Island. They provide profit and income to the Kings. (The Spaniards were driven by) insatiable greed ... killing, terrorizing, afflicting, and torturing the native peoples ... with the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty."

This systematic violence was aimed at preventing "Indians from daring to think of themselves as human beings. (The Spaniards) thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades.... My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write."

In 1892, the National Council of Churches, the largest ecumenical body in the United States, is known to have exhorted Christians to refrain from celebrating the Columbus quincentennial, saying, "What represented newness of freedom, hope, and opportunity for some was the occasion for oppression, degradation and genocide for others."

Yet America continues to celebrate "Columbus Day".

The one word key to that is: Myths. The explanation is that the myths the United States is built upon have paved the way for the perpetuation of all manner of violations.

Among the first of these is that of Christopher Columbus. In school we were taught of his bravery, courage and perseverance. In a speech in 1989, George H.W. Bush proclaimed: "Christopher Columbus not only opened the door to a New World, but also set an example for us all by showing what monumental feats can be accomplished through perseverance and faith."

Never mind that the monumental feats mainly comprised part butchery, part exploitation and the largest part betrayal of host populations of the "New World."
On their second arrival in Hispaniola, Haiti, Columbus's crew took captive roughly two thousand local villagers who had arrived to greet them. Miguel Cuneo, a literate crew member, wrote, "When our caravels ... were to leave for Spain, we gathered ... one thousand six hundred male and female persons of those Indians, and these we embarked in our caravels on February 17, 1495.... For those who remained, we let it be known (to the Spaniards who manned the island's fort) in the vicinity that anyone who wanted to take some of them could do so, to the amount desired, which was done."
In 1500, Columbus wrote to a friend, "A hundred castellanoes (a Spanish coin) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in demand."

Such original "monumental feats" as were accomplished by our nation's heroes and role models were somewhat primitive. Local inhabitants who resisted Columbus and his crew had their ears or nose cut off, were attacked by dogs, skewered with pikes and shot. Reprisals were so severe that many of the natives committed mass suicide and women began practicing abortions in order not to leave children enslaved. The population of Haiti at the time of Columbus's arrival was between 1.5 million and 3 million. Sixty years later, every single native had been murdered.

In "A People's History of the United States," celebrated historian Howard Zinn describes how Arawak men and women emerged from their villages to greet their guests with food, water and gifts when Columbus landed at the Bahamas. But Columbus wanted something else. "Gold is most excellent; gold constitutes treasure; and he who has it does all he wants in the world, and can even lift souls up to Paradise," he wrote to the king and queen of Spain in 1503.

Rather than gold, however, Columbus only found slaves when he arrived on his second visit with seventeen ships and over 1,200 men. Ravaging various Caribbean islands, Columbus took natives as captives as he sailed. Of these he picked 500 of the best specimens and shipped them back to Spain. Two hundred of these died en route, while the survivors were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town where they landed.

Columbus needed more than mere slaves to sell, and Zinn's account informs us, "... desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, (he) had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.

"The Indians had been given an impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed." As a younger priest, the aforementioned De las Casas had participated in the conquest of Cuba and owned a plantation where natives worked as slaves before he found his conscience and gave it up. His first-person accounts reveal that the Spaniards "thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades. They forced their way into native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords as though they were sheep herded into a pen. They even laid wagers on whether they could manage to slice a man in two at a stroke, or cut an individual's head from his body, or disembowel him with a single blow of their axes. They grabbed suckling infants by the feet and, ripping them from their mothers' breasts, dashed them headlong against the rocks. Others, laughing and joking all the while, threw them over their shoulders into a river, shouting: 'Wriggle, you litle perisher.' They slaughtered anyone on their path ..."

Like I said above "If even a tiny bit of this is true, HOLY SHIT! The histories we have been fed all our lives about our past heroes are pretty much flat out lies."

This piece is about just ONE of our cherished heroes of the past. How many more lies were told to us about the people of the past we were told wore white hats and were the "good guys" in the world of times long past?


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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Observations about political extremist.

In my business I get to hear people's personal opinions on lots of subjects in depth. Of course in the last few years, politics is the driving force (sometimes the reason for living) for the extremist type of folks. Personally, I see this as a waste of time and a shame for those folks and anyone who has to spend time with them.

It doesn't matter which side they're on with their extremism. To me they're both just people with no real lives. Instead of having normal productive, loving, caring lives, nothing else matters to them. The only things that seem to matter to them is whatever is being fed to them by whichever radio, television program or philosophy they roboticly believe in. Everything has a political spin or slant to them. If you were to ask them about the weather, they would talk about it being the "Liberals" or "Conservatives" fault somehow. Some kind of conspiracy to destroy America by secretly controlling the weather.

Here's the weird dichotomy in this whole thing I've noticed though. Each of these folks are basically pretty normal down deep. I used to think that they were just plain stupid or ignorant for having all these wild, unusual, out there thoughts and ideas. What I've found though is everyone of these folks on both sides of the crazy political fence we have right now are actually as intelligent as the average American, hiding under all the crazy crap they obsess over. They're also decent, caring people when you can get them to shut the hell up about their political obsessions. They're the type of folks who would help you out if they knew you needed help.

So that brings up some mighty strange and wonderful conclusions about us humans. A lot of things we hold dear and claim as our own deeply held truths have nothing whatsoever to do with intelligence. Nothing to do with how kind, caring or worthwhile we are as human beings either. I've seen this over and over in life. I know people right now that are complete nut cases if you get them rolling down that slippery slope we call politics. They come unglued and start yelling, screaming and demanding heads in the process from whoever they disagree with. Anyone who doesn't automatically believe in their ideas are just plain idiots. Me and all their friends I'm sure, do everything they can to not get them started.

Now before that nut case faucit got turned on and after they calm down and start talking about normal concerns in life, they are just fine. They go back to talking normally, in a normal tone of voice, without spitting and drolling and actually smile often and well. Without politics they actually have great senses of humor even.

How can this be? How can people you think of as normal turn completely inside out when the subject of Politics rears it's ugly head? I flat out don't understand this at all. A person I know and deal with all the time is someone I would consider a person with extreme views when it comes to the political arena. Starting years ago, every time we would see each other after some time went by, he would start going off about all that. One day I set him down and told him I wanted to remain good friends but didn't care one iota about all that nonsense he continually wanted to talk about. Now him being a great, noble friend immediately said "OK, subject done". To this day we talk about those kinds of things only infrequently if at all and are still great friends with tons of interests in common.

I just plain don't get it......

Do you know? Is this your experience also? Do you know people who are fine until politics rears it's ugly head and they turn into the proverbial dragon slaying nut case, ready to search and destroy on a moments notice?

Jeez, us humans are just plain wierd creatures, now aren't we?


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Friday, June 18, 2010

Life is what happens between cigarettes

I was a life time smoker. Like most smokers, I quit dozens of times until the nicotine devil laughed at me as it grabbed me by the throat once more. Years ago, I quit for 5 solid years until one night setting with a smoking friend listening to music and relaxing. I asked him if I might have just one puff for old times sake and BOOM. Went straight to the store first thing in the morning and bought a pack of those delicious, scrumptious, satisfying to the soul darlings and down the yellow (teeth?) brick road we went again.

Well, after all these years and dozens of tries it finally happened. I'll talk about how later but I finally was able to quit for good. After just a few days or weeks, I was amazed at how much time I had without having to stop and smoke about once an hour. That's when this wild thought came into my feeble brain.


Let me prove that fact for all of you reading this right now. OK, I want to go shopping down at the mall or Trader Joe's or wherever on a Sunday. Wake up in the morning and it's time to have a smoke, take a shower and get dressed and it's time to have a smoke. Have breakfast and it's time to have a smoke. The drive to go shopping is going to take about a half hour at least so right before I leave, it's time to have a smoke. Then when I arrive at the store, I'll be shopping for a while so now I'm out in the damn hot parking lot standing under this little bitty tree panting like a banshee having a smoke. In the store to shop for a while and now back to the parking lot under that little puny tree having another smoke, sweating like a pig. Guess I'll have lunch on the way home, so drive there and guess what folks? Before I go in, again standing out in the parking lot like a damn idiot having a smoke I am. After eating is one of the best cigs of all, so it's time for another smoke. Of course as soon as I get home, it's time to have another smoke now isn't it?

So, lets go back over what I did that day just up to the point of getting back home from a simple shopping trip BETWEEN CIGARETTES. I got up, took a shower, ate breakfast, drove down to the store, went shopping, drove to the lunch place, and drove back home. Lets count the cigarettes. How about 10 just up to that point and it's only about 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon.


Now each cigarette takes about 10 minutes out of ones time, so that's about 120 minutes out of the total shopping trip up to the point of arriving back home. Man that's a pretty good chunk of wasted time out of my life, now isn't it? After quiting, I could not believe how much more time I had in each day. The time factor is kind of misleading though because even other than actually smoking, your mind is always close to working out the details of the next cigarette.

What finally happened to make me quit was a potential health issue that came up in a medical exam in our family. That scared me beyond belief. All of the sudden the idea of actually dying over the stupid things became a real reality instead of just a far away thought. So that did it. I finally totally decided to quit. That's probably the most important and useful thing to happen to someone wanting to quit. To finally make the decision and mean it.

Now a few negative realities about quiting. Did I gain weight? Yup, no doubt. Probably something in the neighborhood of at least 20 pounds, which I am still struggling with after around 5 years have gone by. The fact is one's sense of taste comes back big time after quiting which makes food taste sooooooooo much better. This is a great thing and a crappy thing at the same time huh?

Do I feel better? Not really.....I guess I can breath a little better now and also don't have that little smokers cough I used to make excuses for. By the way, that little noisy, gurgling thing in my lungs that caused me to clear my throat every night several times when I first laid down in bed before sleep went completely away after only about a week. I was making excuses for that also. Oh.......I'm just clearing my throat...

Lets talk about the money.........HOLY CRAP!!! Do you realize that the damn things cost about $6.00 a pack now or around $60.00 a carton. When a couple both smoke around a carton or so a week EACH, that is about $5700.00 A YEAR!!!! What could most of us do with that kind of extra money just setting around?

OK, now my learned advice............DO NOT USE GUM or anything like lozenges, where you just pop one in your mouth every time you feel the need. I know a guy who has been hooked on gum now for FIFTEEN YEARS!!!!! The only thing I would recommend that worked for me and lots of other folks is the patch. One each morning, starting with the "Step #1 patch" for a few months, then stepping down to "Step #2 patch" which has less nicotine, then finally "Step 3 patch", which has very little nicotine.

OK, I'm done with my tirade about smoking now. One final note though. I thought for sure that I would die with a cigarette in my hand. There was no doubt in my mind. The only thing that saved me was that one important medical scare and my making up my mind to choose life over that fat obnoxious idiot, the nicotine devil himself.

I'm sure you've heard this lots of times but here goes again.



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Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Student becomes the Master

Life sure is funny most times now isn't it? We start out alone, eventually if we're lucky, we find our mates. Then we have that magic moment of becoming parents. That's when the hard work, effort and sacrifice becomes a reality. Our whole life changes with that little demanding bundle of joy, noise and smelliness. We just thought life could be kind of tough, unfair and difficult up to that point. Oh boy!.....nothing compares to the abrupt changes one goes through when children enter the picture.

Everything changes. We go from carefree, happy lovers of life with backpacking, camping, long leisurely hikes, candlelight and wine dinners with our mates. Loving moments that seem to last forever into the night to...........WHOA!..........what happened dear? Sleep....What's that? Quietude.....What's that?....Loving moments?....What's that?

So........for the next dozen or so years, our whole lives are caught up in teaching the little punks how to not kill themselves with every innocent thing in the house and yard. Everything is a danger just waiting to take them out and it's up to us to teach them all the facts of life. The funny part is we just barely grew up ourselves and all this teaching comes without any handbook, manual or "parenting for Dummies" book to tell us how to do that. So we just stumble along doing the best we can.

If we're lucky our own parents can at least advise us on what not to do. You see, the only things they learned in the process of raising us is what didn't work so well, using how we turned out as examples. They tell us that the whippings they got as children didn't seem to hurt them too much but why don't you try something else since the law tends looks down of that method of instruction nowadays? So we go with the "quiet time" routine for better or worse.

Then the lessons start. Dance, music, sports, gun safety....oh wait!.... Not nowadays, unfortunately. We deliver and pick them up several times a week for years on end. We spend a fortune on costumes and uniforms. For what purpose? To teach them responsibility, sticking to the task at hand, working with others... All of this because we love them and want them to do the best they can in life.

Then without warning the dreaded teenage hood rears it's weird convoluted head. All of the sudden us parents don't know anything. We are no longer their special friends, we are their secret enemies. The ones who refuse to let them do everything they think they need to do. "All the kids are doing this" they say about some of the most idiotic things they think they have to do. "All the cool people have tattoos and rings through their noses" they assure us, when explaining the monster standing at the door waiting to take her out on the first date.

HOLY CRAP!!!! Now it's time to learn to drive a car. Look out world, now we have our little darling barreling down the road in a machine that weighs thousands of pounds heading straight for our neighbors and family out on the roads. "I can not and refuse to drive that ugly Honda civic. I need at least a corvette to be cool". In high school years, to be cool is EVERYTHING, you see.

After all the schooling is done, now it's time for them to find a mate. Maybe get married, or more likely just live together in sin for 13 or so years. "I don't know what went wrong Grandma, we thought we taught him/her better than that". Their mate has a good job and seems to wear clean underware so we just except their lack of morals and let it go at that.

OK, now is when that bum father time puts his interfering nose into our reality and of all the dumb things turns our hair white. What could possibly be the logical reason for that turn of events? Then comes all the aches and pains that appear out of nowhere. Add to that we have all these weird, rude noises our bodies make when we first get out of bed or simply stand up from a chair. HOLY CRAP!!! What happened to our youth, energy and stamina? When and how did that faucet get turned off? We find ourselves saying time and again. "Is this fair"?

The great thing about this time of life though is it's our turn! Now we get paid back for unpinning and removing that dirty diaper, cleaning unmentionable places on their bodies and replacing their clean diapers. Cleaning blood off of cuts and applying bandages so they won't get infections and have limbs fall off. Wash up and clean the vomit off of them and everywhere around them they so pleasantly leave laying around special for us to attend to when they're sick.

If we haven't completely blown our relationship with our children up to this point, they do appreciate all the hard work, effort and sacrifices we made through the years for them and help us in our later years. If we're lucky enough to have them close by in their adulthood, they help us physically. If they live far away, those hour long phone calls with emotional and physic help are unimaginably important and vital for us.

So after a lifetime of doing our best to teach them how to live a good productive life, it all comes back full circle.......right?

The Student becomes the Master......


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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Soul food..........

Ah........Gardening. When I was a small boy growing up on a small working farm, my Mother always had a garden. Out of that garden, she canned everything we needed for an entire year. In those wonderful days, buying a can or jar of anything was a novel and weird thing to do. Everyone canned their own supplies from their gardens. We also had cows for milk. My Mom would squirt fresh, warm milk straight from the cows teet into a metal cup for me to drink. From the cows came the ingredients for my Mom to make cheese. Ah....I remember the cheese balls hanging from the rafters of our dark, cool, damp cellar when I was sent down for another jar of canned vegetables or fruit.

So, vegetables from the ground and fruit and nuts from the trees. All in their own season and all put away with loving care with skills passed down through the generations of my family and the families of most people of those times. The only food type items that one bought from the store were salt, sugar, flower and maybe spices. She even made most of our clothes with material she bought. One pair of Levy's and one pair of shoes each year right about the time of the county fair and beginning of school. The rest my family was basically self sufficient with using things we grew or raised. Chickens were for meat and eggs. BY the way, real fresh laid eggs are supposed to have a dark orange yolk, not the pail yellow crap you get at McDennys or at most stores. Pigs, chickens and butcher cows were our meat supply.

To this day, what's for dinner usually revolves around what's in season, ripe and ready to go out in the garden and what we bought and store in the freezer from the local butcher shop. Lets get something perfectly clear here. There is no comparison between ANYTHING one buys at the store to what you grow yourself and pick fresh straight from the ground. Also none of the butcher departments of the major grocery stores has anything to compare with finding a local butcher store, with the whole carcase hanging right there in plain sight for you to see. Real butchers know exactly where the cow was raised, slaughtered and how and what it was raised on.

Our daughter when young asked one day in the middle of winter why I bought those "so called" tomatoes. She said they were nothing more than pale yellow cardboard things and we should not buy them from a store ever. Also one time at a Denny's (probably one of the last times we have ever eaten there, thank the goddesses above!) we were just served out breakfast and was starting to dig in when we noticed her just setting there staring at her plate. We asked her what was the matter. She said "What are those"? Pointing at the eggs. "Eggs", we said. "no they're not, eggs are orange, these are pale yellow". You see, she was raised her whole life with fresh eggs straight from the chickens butt and had hardly ever even seen a store or restaurant egg until then.

OK, back to gardening......

It's actually quite simple really. Just add something organic back to the soil every year in the winter to make up for what your plants that year took out to grow and your good to go. As everyone knows by now, the only way to go is with raised beds. That way whatever you put in your beds stays there. Also, the weeds tend to be less and easier to deal with.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that it's just easier and cheaper to buy everything at the store. Money has nothing to do with the subject of great, freshly picked and eaten food. What you grow yourself comes with unbelievable taste and soul and you're not going to come close to that with store bought anything.

One more cool thing. Even if your children are not required to work in the garden, they will see how important it is to you and see you doing it. They will also learn how great the food that their parents grew tasted. That will stay with them for the rest of their lives and they too will have gardens when they're adults. Then their children will get to experience it also. So pass it on for the next generations of your family...

To this day, our daughter has these tubs she bought at the hardware store, along with pay dirt and plants and has a little garden in the backyard of her condo.


As we all know, there are lots of city kids who think eggs, vegetables and meat come from the cabinets at the supermarket. They have no idea they too can do this in the backyard or patio of their apartments.

and to me, that's a pretty sad thing indeed..........


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Monday, June 7, 2010

The big rip off in America

The news just made this amazing pronouncement that should be nothing but a miracle for millions of people all over the world.

Two novel anti-cancer therapies -- one that targets a type of lung cancer, the other a drug that trains the body's immune system to fight off melanoma -- created a stir at a major cancer meeting this weekend. Both therapies are still in their experimental phases; however, physicians at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 's annual conference in Chicago were hopeful that the different approaches could change the way doctors treat cancer.

For one thing, he said, the study demonstrates the speed with which discoveries can be translated to clinical testing. The protein that the therapy targets was first reported in 2007, and that finding is now starting to show results in clinical trials.

"In just three short years we've gone from a description of [a cancer gene] to a therapy," he said.

He also said that patients with the mutation that leads to the protein "can expect a dramatic benefit."

Indeed, in the study of 82 patients with advanced disease, Bang and colleagues found that the patients had a 72 percent probability of halting the progress of cancer at six months after starting the therapy. The majority of these patients saw their tumors shrink by more than 30 percent, he said, and some saw their cancers disappear.

Now all this is clearly the most important and wonderful news perhaps in my lifetime for those poor souls suffering from these cancers plaguing humans all this time.

At the end of the announcement, they threw the proverbial rock into the glass wall. The same rock that always ruins everything to do with our pharmaceutical system here in America. That would be the cost. I just heard them say on the news that these wonderful new miracle drugs could and probably will save countless lives very soon BUT the damn thing at this point will cost "hundreds of thousands of dollars PER PILL".

WHAT THE HELL!!!!! What are they made out of, pure gold and diamond dust?

How in the hell could that be? I'll tell you what I and others think. The same thing that drives almost everything humans can't live without. GREED! Our financial system has these cool words for this. "Whatever the market will bear". "Supply and Demand". So lets get this straight. These idiots will set their prices not by how much each little pill cost them to make but the highest possible price the most amount of money people can scrounge up. Also if they keep the supply very low and the demand is huge, which of course they will, they can charge whatever the hell they feel like.

Okay okay, I know they tell us it costs a lot of money to do the "Research and Development" stuff. I'm sure it does but that's what they're in business to do, isn't it? How about instead of trying to make all their research money back in just a year or two, they make the damn things affordable to the masses and get their return in however long it takes under those logical and humane conditions?

Another aspect we should look carefully at is how much money does the owners and management of these zillion dollar companies personally make on the backs of the masses? Millions and millions? Do they drive Rolls Royce's and live in mansions? Do they have personal jets to travel? If the answer to these questions puts them anywhere near super rich, then they can just live closer to the normal people they are claiming to care about. Isn't that the ultimate, real reason for these pharmaceutical companies to exist? Or are they in business to become super rich and the hell with everyone else?

I also see on the box ads for drugs to help us with the cancer drugs. They say "Our new drug makes cancer a much more comfortable problem". I ALWAYS say "Yea, if your rich! Otherwise suffer and die fool".

One more thing. We've all heard that the cost of meds in Canada and Mexico is pennies on the dollar. I know people who go to these countries once or twice a year and get all their prescriptions for incredibly low and reasonable prices. For prices that normal working stiffs can handle without going without food.

What should this tell us about the pharmaceutical companies operating in America?

Indeed what?


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Come on.......DO IT!