Just for a moment...
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An Ozark E-Zine

Let us make a stand together, with reverence and respect, in homage to the battalions of every generation who have throughout the course of world events, with valor and heartfelt dedication, sown blood, sweat, tears, limb and life across battlefields wretched with sorrow, anguish, brutality and hate.

Let us stake a claim together, in hope with dignity and praise, for confidence that their sacrifice delivers all future generations to celebrate the ending of this need.

Let us, just for a moment, think quietly and earnestly of peace...

 

 

 

 

 

Back to blogging...
May 26 -- "The Dismantling of the American Dream"

I have, for several weeks, been a list member of a somewhat ad hoc activists group. I know not how I got on this list, but the conversation has been interesting. Recently, a list member responded (replying to something I wrote): No sensible parent would vote to democratize family decisions. Every "sensible" child would vote for it, to have more voice in family decisions.

I wrote back: So let me ask, what is wrong with children having a voice in family decisions? Especially those decisions which have a direct influence on the quality of the child's life?

Isn't this the way that all families (real democracy and all true friendships) are supposed to work? It's not supposed to be majority or minority "rule." It's supposed to be everybody having a voice, reasoning things out together, and arriving at some sort of common ground.

And of course, as a parent, I can conscience "laying down the law" from time to time. That is my job where minor children are involved. To be "where the buck stops" and "make the tough calls." But even this is a principle inherent to a truly "we the people" (democratic) society. That there is "somebody" who has the (elected) responsibility to a make specific decisions and be accountable to the consequences (good or bad) of same.

Ideally, however, the "somebody" has "earned" his/her position of respect by virtue of having made numerous "good" decisions (aka: decisions which proved out to be beneficial to all involved) over an extended period of time.

Still I agree with you, that "democratization" as we now know it "is the most efficient way to subvert the wisdom of the elders in the decision-making process" and that "What is certainly in short supply in our situation, however, is the ability of [a whole lot of supposedly grown-up folks] to recognize wisdom in the first place..."

Of course, if a person has never seen wisdom before, it might take 'em a while to figure out what it is... <ha-ha>!!! But seriously, if "democratization" is not a good thing... what is???

How do we fix what's wrong? We all seem to know that something is broken. So what do we do about it? How do we model our own behavior [see ITEM #1, below] in order for the world around us to reflect a desirable result?

May 21 -- Where does the time go? Anyway, here's some thinking that offers the opportunity to keep y'all busy for a couple of days, given (of course) your willingness to "do" something proactive with your brain...!!!

ITEM #1 -- The following is an edited excerpt from the Learning Communities discussion group which welcomes all interested participants.

Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 16:34:56 -0700 (Pacific Standard Time)
From: "marguerite hampton" <ecopilgrim@aabol.com>
Re: Is there a "between" that offers solutions?

At the beginning of our social evolution were *basic qualities* (community, natural living, vitality, equality, and belongingness). However as we evolved *emergent qualities* (such as technology, rational thinking and social organization) developed to give us greater power in the world.

At the expense of our health and wholeness, these emergent qualities tended to suppress the basic qualities. The result of this has been the pathology of dissociation which [has come back to haunt us as today's climate of terrorism].

What is necessary for us now is to take conscious charge of our future by integrating the basic qualities with the emergent qualities so that we evolve in a healthy manner.

ITEM #2 -- The following news is courtesy of Mike Kelley, editor/publisher of www.ArmchairHoodlum.com, from his base of operations in Nevada.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Kelley" <oliander@cox.net>
To: <bewise@hypertech.net>
Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2005 9:02 AM
Subject: Michael Kelley has sent you an article from The Washington Times.

-----------------------------------------------------------
NEVADA GROWER SET TO BRANCH OUT WITH POT SALES
By Steve Miller
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
-----------------------------------------------------------

LAS VEGAS
Pierre Werner is a capitalist, a felon and a groundbreaker. The  31-year-old sees a market need for medical marijuana here and plans on filling it.

"And if I have to sit in jail for six months in order to set a precedent case on compassionate care, I will," says Mr. Werner, who was convicted in 2001 of conspiracy to distribute marijuana in New Jersey.

Nevada voters in 2000 agreed that medical marijuana should be allowed, although the state legislature, charged with hammering out the details of such a plan, did not implement a method to distribute the herb, which federal officials still consider a crime to grow and sell.

This omission is intentional. "We didn't want to risk what has happened in California with the federal government raiding the cannabis clubs," said Chris Giunchigliani, a Nevada lawmaker who helped write the state's medical-marijuana law.

Other states - including Maryland and Oregon - have done the same thing, wary of a Justice Department that has aggressively arrested medical-pot providers in California.

"This legislation in Maryland is silent on distribution," says state Sen. David R. Brinkley, a Frederick County Republican who helped carry his state's medical bill. "We know that we can't stop the feds from doing anything they want to do."

A medical-pot patient here in Nevada can receive a registration card from the state by providing a written statement from a doctor that he or she has been diagnosed with a debilitating or chronic ailment, and that pot can provide relief.

Registered patients in Nevada are permitted under the law to grow seven plants. Other states vary on this, from California's 99 plants per patient to seven in Oregon.

There are other pot growers in the area who are cultivating marijuana in hopes of eventually being a provider. "I can see this becoming a real issue, obtaining medical pot, for some of these older, sick people," said one dealer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "I can grow it and make it safe for them to buy, rather than go to some seedy area."

And grow it he does.

In a spare bedroom in a small, cinder-block house near the center of the city, nearly 100 plants will be harvested by late July.

The brilliantly green plants, ready to bud, look like a High Times
centerfold and smell like a skunk, an endearing sign of potency among aficionados.

 "I take two hours with them a day," the grower says with pride,
 trimming an overflowing top.

Mr. Werner, who was arrested three years ago with 170 pounds, lives in a small house in a mostly-Hispanic neighborhood in North Las Vegas, his red Cavalier in the lean-to garage, a black cage of thick bars enclosing his entryway.

In July, he will have a simple ad in the Las Vegas Yellow Pages for his business: "Primary Caregivers and Consultants," complete with his services including registration of patients with the state, and house calls for invalid patients.

"Right now I have 25 patients, and those are the only people I will
sell to, as long as they have a doctor's statement," says Mr. Werner, who  has his own state-issued card for a bipolar disorder. "The state's voters have left the supply and distribution in my hands, and I am going to make sure every medicinal patients who needs pot can get it."
-----------------------------------------------------------
This article was emailed from The Washington Times
For more great articles, visit www.washingtontimes.com
Copyright (c) 2005 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

-------------------------

For those of you who may not yet know it, all joking aside, I take the issue of medical marijuana as one cornerstone of those issues specifically and significantly related to and incumbent upon each individual's capacity to exercise freely his/her own imbued human rights, individual freedoms and constitutionally guaranteed liberties.

In other words, if you only have time to work on ONE ISSUE... I strongly encourage you to choose to effect policy change in our national "War On Drugs." I encourage you to understand that policy change in this arena offers the most direct, beneficial, and wide-sweeping platform for the makeover of a vast array of related social issues, including the elimination of ineffective, costly and dangerous interdiction methodologies which have been redundantly proven to do horrendous damage to the very fabric of our shared social structure and -- if left unaddressed -- will cannibalize future generations to the point of extinction from the face of the earth.

For local (Arkansas) information, topical to this conversation, see www.ardpark.org, www.dpeg.org, www.arknormal.org

For additional resources, visit www.drugsense.org

And about all this, neo-cosmically speaking, there is an urging part of me that feels like "the workers are being called to the field..."

May 18 -- First, I must say something about this new SpamArrest service I've been using. In one month, on one of my two primary email accounts, this service delivered a total of 491 "Verified Emails" while blocking 5608 junk-email messages from ever getting near my Inbox.

And this fate was accomplished with very minimal grumbling from the natives (ie: the folks who regularly send emails to me) and equally trivial inconvenience to me as far as set-up and maintenance glitches or quirks. Thus if you are looking for ways to eliminate unsolicited clutter from your Inbox, I heartily encourage you to sign-up for the SpamArrest 30-day free trial and find out for yourself whether this service is right for you.

On other subjects, a little while ago I was looking up something on FreeDictionary.com and came upon the following, which I found entertaining and hope you will enjoy exploring the ideas, thoughts and related links, too...

CONCERNING THE PERFECT WOMAN, AND THEREFORE CONCERNING ALL FEMININE READERS
The Quest of the Golden Girl by le Gallienne, Richard   
View in context
In the next place, from reflecting on the circumstance that I doubted, and that consequently my being was not wholly perfect (for I clearly saw that it was a greater perfection to know than to doubt), I was led to inquire whence I had learned to think of something more perfect than myself; and I clearly recognized that I must hold this notion from some nature which in reality was more perfect.
Reason For Discourse by Descartes, Rene
View in context
When, however, he had already his arm out-stretched for that purpose, he felt still more inclined for something else--namely, to lie down beside the tree at the hour of perfect noontide and sleep.
Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book For All And None by Nietzsche, Friedrich
View in context

May 17 -- You know what they say about a vacation... It takes you 3-times longer to get caught-up once you get back than you were gone... <ha-ha>!!! Which, thankfully, has not proven to be the case with mine. Vacation, that is. And if you missed Part 1 of my pictorial on my trip to Vegas, click here.

If you perused these pics last month and have been waiting with baited breath for Part 2 -- well, all I can say is see the above paragraph and hang in there. It's coming.

As to the here and now, this is a neat website: The Naked Scientists. Lots of interesting, down to earth, science-talk going on there. I encourage you to stop in for a visit sometime.

Not a picnic...
Quote of the week from an article about the "Zero Point Field" which, according to physicists, is the invisible electromagnetic "web" that unifies the actions of (seemingly) independent packets of pulsating/creative energy (ie: "humans") throughout a vast (cosmic) sea of static/raw energy to make manifest those elements and activities understood as life: "Science is discovery, not invention."

(Afterthought: Seems to me that the same is true about religion... AND journalism....!!!!)

Yesterday (Mother's Day), a close friend gave thirteen hours of his life to washing dishes in a commercial kitchen, scrubbing silverware and gilt-edged plates for hordes of the hoity-toity. Yet the fact is that in exchange for his hours of toil, based strictly on the wages he earns from the establishment, he could not afford to host even the smallest of the multitude of "Mother's Day" parties which he and his co-workers cleaned-up after.

Sure, they'll get "overtime pay." But even at that inflated hourly rate, the wages paid grunt-workers comes no where near totaling to the annual income of the guests they serve.

Why?

Really... I mean it. Why?

What makes us, as a society, believe that one man's hour is worth less than another's?

This, of course, is a much more complex question than appears at face value, underpinned by the fact that if all "low wage" workers simply put a greater value on their own worth...

But that's tough to do when society has taught you -- via the dysfunctional school system, traumatic family life, and a world replete with social injustice -- that you are, essentially, worthless and should count yourself "blessed" to have ANY job, even if the wages you earn (working full time) are insufficient to provide for yourself the luxuries derived by others from your sweat.

This, of course, is what spawned the unionizing movements that swept this country decades ago. Suddenly (neo-cosmically speaking), factory workers and plumbers were earning wages in the same league as doctors and lawyers.

But then, over time, the ice-berg tilted again. Downsizing, corporate corruption, and outsourcing chipped away at the economic gains that "average workers" (typically called "the middle class") had made. Factories closed, pensions were lost, and far too many college grads found themselves filling managerial roles with fast-food chains.

Whether the "women's movement" (ie: the freeing of women from the superimposed bonds of tradition) was a response to this family-income downturn, or (at least in part and as an unintended side-effect) the provocateur of it, the reality is that precious few middle class women today enjoy the (luxurious by comparison) lifestyle my (full-time homemaker) mother lived.

Factually, neither do I.

Also factually, this rankles me... because I have, over many, many decades, worked hard, done my best, and put everything I had into "making a good life for my family."

In fact, I believe I've given my all to this task at least as much as has, for example, Bill Gates.

Or Donald Trump.

Or George W. Bush.

And I'm ashamed to NOT be naming women on the foregoing list... But tell me, is there anyone on the feminine side of the "got clout?" equation whose name reverberates with an equally potent resonance of "mainstream success."

Perhaps dear Martha qualifies... but then look how our system of jurist prudence took her down.

And of course she did do "something wrong" -- at least by the rules we (as a society) have presently invented for ourselves to play by. Yet did she receive "equal treatment under the law" as would have a male contemporary?

The fact that we beg this question tells more about the current climate of such social affairs than would any answer we might contrive. And the other fact is that until we (individually and collectively, as a society) examine our own personal definition of what constitutes "valuable work" there will be no end to the pervasive imbalance and thus, realistically, there can be no end to war. The connection is inextricable.

Back to a personal example...

I am, right now, teaching 3 children at home. I have chosen to do this because I am convinced that the education they are receiving from me is superior to the education they would receive in any form of conventional school. I have seen evidence that this theory is proving true. It comes in the form of compliments from respectable persons who have first hand experience of my children's behavior and competency. Thus I am satisfied that whatever it has "cost" me to make this investment in my children's education, it has been worth that and more.

Still, the fact remains that teachers in our public education system are paid an annual salary for doing this same job that I do and that not only do I not get paid for doing this, I get the privilege of paying out of pocket (with money earned elsewhere) for doing it.

Also right now I am the "head engineer" for our bathroom rehabilitation project. Fifteen years of "patching things together" had finally taken its toll. Wood was rotting beneath the tub and toilet and the sink and countertop on the bathroom cabinet were rusting and crumbling to dust. And this was just the short list of problems.

So with Adam (my eldest living son, now 18) and his siblings (Shawna, 11, Josh, 13, and Shalom 16) doing all the "grunt work" (scraping, fetching, toting, prying, sawing, sweeping, measuring, de-constructing, un-and-re-installing and fabricating), I am in charge of making sure they have ready access to the information and resource they need to get the job done.

As I have considerable hands-on experience with this type of household renovation, the knowledge I bring to this work is substantial. Still, supervising (and teaching) my crew takes time. In addition, I get to pay all costs for materials, supplies, fixtures, etc., however, I do not earn one dime for wearing this hat.

Which bring us to my third full-time job, being the primary breadwinner for myself and my three minor children, from which I earn (thanks to my gracious and patient clients) enough to keep the wolf from the door.

And then there is my primary full time job, which is that of mom and homemaker... which was the only job my mother (and her mother before her) did at all. 

And though she was busy from morning to night doing many of the same things I do, she did not have to be concerned with earning the money needed to drive all of it. And though our family was not wealthy, by the time I was the age of my now youngest child, we were definitely "upper middle class" and sweetly comfortable.

I, on the other hand, by virtue of the other hats I *must* wear in accord of the multitude of tasks I must tend, and my family are not nearly as "well off" as my mom and dad and I were back then. More succinctly speaking, we (like my dishwasher friend) cannot afford to indulge the lifestyle of the clients we serve.

And I ask myself, feeling perhaps a bit self-righteously victimized, how is this possible? How is it that I have worked so diligently and forthrightly to "do the right thing" by my family for so long to still be "struggling" to achieve level footing on the economic playing field?

Of course the simple answer here could be that I am a lousy manager of money... However such is not the case. Of course I, like most of us, did some stupid things when I was younger, but for the bulk of my adulthood, I've given my best to being financially responsible, even in the face of what seemed at times like overwhelming odds.

And I'm not grouching about having had to do this. Like they say, if it don't kill you, it makes you stronger. Even though the life I've had has not been the life I'd envisioned for myself (or would wish on anyone else), still it has been worthwhile. Rich with meaning, purpose and friendship. Wealthy in the truly finer things.

But still, I like "nice stuff" as much as the next gal -- or guy -- as the case may be. And I am grouching because I -- like far, far too many of us -- have done everything humanly possible to "earn" a decent living and have come to believe that by rights the energy I have invested should have, somehow, delivered this measure of comfort to me... and to all of us dishwashers, everywhere.

Wishing for each of us only and exactly what we have earned and deserve, and hoping this proves to be something we richly enjoy.

Christine Weiss
editor@gozarks.com

Hey! Come visit us at SassafrasWilds!!!

With Special Thanks & Much Appreciation to Our Website Development & Internet Marketing Clients, most especially for their toleration of our sometimes extraordinary and routinely unique editorial point of view... with which they may not always agree and yet, being true to the spirit of mutual respect, honor our differences amicably.

Photo: Exterior of the Van Buren County Child Care Center building.


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