Get A Job . . .

job

The importance of this little story is not to tell you why I am a carpenter. It goes far deeper then that.

If you are young and rebellious and discouraged as I was when I left the military and joined the work force, fear not. There is a place for you. All you need to do is not be afraid to search and find it.

When I was a young man I quit every job I had within a very short time. I never had a deep love for money and I hated to go to work because it interfered with my partying. I said, “the hell with that, “I’ll be a bum,” . . . and I pretty much was.

But I was also too proud to take handouts . . . so I reluctantly became a working bum. I worked odd jobs, took care of myself, never asked anybody for anything, but in my heart I didn’t have what it took to be a bum. I didn’t know what I wanted actually, and for the few years before and after 1970 I just existed.

Then one day after taking an odd job I discovered how much I loved pounding nails and building things. From that time on I was a carpenter. . . and proud of it.

I enjoyed getting up early in the morning and driving to the job site. I enjoyed the ruggedness, the camaraderie, the long hours in freezing temperatures or baking in the hot sun. . . it was me, it was mine. I had found my path.

They told me that in order to be to be a journeyman carpenter I had to join the union and become an apprentice for four years. I said, “the hell with that.”

I went to the library and spent one whole Alaskan winter studying the craft of carpentry. The following Spring when building picked up, I bull shitted my way onto a framing crew building houses and never looked back.

I worked hard, continued my studies, and after a lot of on-the-job training, I learned all the various phases of carpentry and became a home builder in my own right. I started my own company and built houses for many years . . . then I moved to furniture, music instruments, and various other things.

Today as a retired gentleman of leisure, I still enjoy building stuff and I swear one day I’m gonna go back in the woods and build myself a tree house. . . . may next Spring.

That’s just me. That’s what I did because it fit my personality, but that was my bliss . . . and believe me, following the money trail is a dead end street regardless of your portfolio’s size. Life is only worth the effort if you, like Joseph Campbell said, follow your bliss.

American Indian Religion . . .

indian

I am a firm believer that we can not tiptoe into the future while bearing the heavy burdens of our past . . . it just won’t work.

The theme of this blog is ‘change’ but I don’t believe change is even possible until we begin to face the reality of our belief systems. One of those most cherished is our religion, another is cultural superiority.

We are an arrogant bunch and it is often hard for us to see our failings, individually as well as corporately, so from time to time I will post things to try and jar us out of our superiority complex . . . this is one of them.

The question behind this post is: What if we would have listened and learned from the American Indian in the very beginning and decided to assimilate and co-exist instead of conquer? What kind of society would we have today had we done so? Continue reading “American Indian Religion . . .”

Mom And Pop . . .

momandpop

I got into a discussion with some people concerning their parents the other day, and beings that I had just gone through much of the same stuff with my own mother, I could feel their pain. I also heard them crying for a quick fix. This was my reply:

Much of this discussion I have played the devil’s advocate using myself as the goading force in a pretty deep subject: The elderly and their stubborn ways.

But really, how DO we deal with them?

They are too stubborn, they are selfish, they are causing us problems, we love them BUT they are driving us nuts!

We justify, we piss and moan, look for answers where there are none, and we tell our horror stories to the multi nods of a zillion kids with the same problem.

For the “me first” generation, it’s simple . . . there is no answer. Continue reading “Mom And Pop . . .”

The Piano . . .

slider-young-girl-playing

When I designed and built this cabin my wife and I now live in, I added onto it a 12×14 foot library. It has an arched entry from the main room, two walls of windows, and one wall full of books on shelves. Taking up most of the wall facing the interior of the cabin there sat a mahogany piano that we bought on a whim while shopping for furnishings.

The piano was old, but top of the line. It’s tone reminded one of Vaudeville and the glory days of a honky tonk saloon. It looked good, fit well into the informality of the room, but there was one thing wrong . . . it was a very sad piano.

Day after day she sat there along the back wall of the sunlit room, alone and forlorn, silently waiting for somebody to at least run their fingers across her keys . . . but nobody did. When I walked by on the way to a book I could feel her sadness, but as I was too busy doing other things, I ignored her anyway. Continue reading “The Piano . . .”

The Empire Is Crumbling . . .

crumble

The empire is crumbling. I don’t like to use those words, but they are, in my mind, far closer to the truth than any of the other stuff I am hearing these days. From the ‘everything’s fine’ spin I hear coming from the Trump administration, to the made up doomsday reports on youtube and in the blogs. (it’s really bad enough guys why make shit up?) . . . So what is it anyway? yeah or nay?

Personally? I sense there’s a bad moon rising . . . but who knows for sure? We all read and watch the same stuff and draw our conclusions from it, mostly according to our perceptions and fears. When it comes to crystal balling the fall of the House of America I gotta honestly say I don’t know . . . and I doubt few of the media’s talking heads do either.

So, given all that, what DO I know? And what is best for me and my family when it comes to living in this country at this particular time in it’s history. That’s all that counts in the long run. How am I going to cope with whatever happens?

I have already written in this blog about survival and how I intend on doing it, and am already in the position I think is best for me and mine. Now, for us, it’s just a matter of chilling out and waiting to see which way the wind blows. Continue reading “The Empire Is Crumbling . . .”

Marijuana . . . Devil or Angel?

weed

People around the world have been smoking marijuana forever, for medicinal purposes as well as just to feel good. The Chinese cultivated it as far back as 2000 years B.C. and used it in their practice of herbal medicine. It was brought into the United States sometime around the turn of the last century by Mexican immigrants looking for work in the American southwest and quickly spread across the country.

The white racist American who had no love for the brown skinned Mexicans, nor their social habits were always looking for excuses to prove their superiority over them. They now found a good one. Someone started the rumor that pot turned the Mexican who smoked weed into a sex crazed killer that could not be trusted. Soon laws were created against its usage as a way to control the Mexicans working in this country. From 1914 to 1937, twenty-seven states passed anti-pot laws.

Regardless of the fact that pot was now illegal in some states it grew in popularity and increased in usage, mainly among musicians and artists who found the herb helped them in their creative endeavors. The drug grew in popularity until the white majority took a moral as well as a financial stand against it . . . along came Harry Anslinger the perfect political puppet for the anti-hemp cotton cartel. Continue reading “Marijuana . . . Devil or Angel?”

Austerity

austerity

Now you guys might have thought I just wanted to show off when I put up those pictures of my little house, and yeah, I was a little bit, but I also had a broader vision in mind. I wanted to show first hand what a person can do with a small amount of cash and a boatload of initiative and effort. Basically my message is the same as always. . . . The times are changing, don’t fear them, but prepare yourselves to live through them.

I honestly think Obama  tried, but soon after taking the oath I believe he was summoned to a meeting where he learned he was merely the new figurehead of a silent coup that ended long before he entered office. His duty is to do what he is told and he has no chance at all of succeeding without ‘their’ approval. He talks, and that is in essence, the only job requirement left to the visible president of the United States of America. Continue reading “Austerity”

Be Careful What you Choose . . .

choices

I recently wrote this reply in reference to an article posted by a lovely young lady that I happen to follow here in Blogsville. The article referred to a female college student who had chosen to join the porn industry in order to pay for her tuition. I was concerned about the whole idea of a young girl doing such a thing while most others, dropping the moral issue entirely, thought it was her choice and a courageous one at that . . .

When questioned on my first reply this was my final answer:

That’s better, but still . . . sex is so powerful that you can slip deeper and deeper into depravity without even realizing it . . . (I know, define depravity :-)) depravity is when you do or get involved in, anything that knocks you off your life path and into a lower vibration. We are creators Jen, we create our tomorrows by the things we do today . . . sex itself is not the problem it’s all the baggage following . . . add money to the equation and it’s almost guaranteed to go bad. Continue reading “Be Careful What you Choose . . .”

My Dream

dream

I had a dream last night and I want to share it because well, most of my dreams vacillate between violent and very violent . . .  and this one was ‘Sound Of Music’ wonderful for me. . . . almost like a vision quest. . . damn, if I was an Indian I would know it was time to leave the mountain . . .

I wrote it all down in a couple minutes and only edited enough so my daughter could understand it. . . . . anyways Continue reading “My Dream”

What To Do?

back to the land

What do representatives of the largest corporations and governments in the world talk about when they sit around the conference table? Well, from what I’ve been hearing, these groups that operate outside the boundary of public scrutiny are actually the guys who create national and foreign policy for the country. All those guys you see daily on TV? . . .  including the president himself? . . . are merely front men.

Hillary Clinton, during a recent interview, was saying how happy she was to hear that the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR) had just opened a Washington office . . . “Now I won’t have to go to New York to find out what I am supposed to do.” she said and laughed.

Dumb me, here I thought the president was the guy who told her what to do. But then, if you think about it, he is only in office eight years max while these people have been around since the sixties. . .

Who are they? Check out their website and you’ll find a long ‘whose who’ list of the rich, famous, and powerful members that you will recognize. These guys operate quietly in the shadows, but don’t hide from the fact that they do so. They are the shadow government. Continue reading “What To Do?”

How Can We Fight The Corporation . . .

fight gmo

Most of us realize that because of their money, power and influence the corporation has taken over Washington politics by buying off pretty much all of the people we have sent there to be OUR spokesmen. We know on a basic level that the whole idea of this country being a constitutional republic is now a sham.  We know that the new United Corporate State Of America has replaced any semblance of a nation once touted as a country ‘of the people and by the people’.

Today in this country we people are enslaved to the monied interest as deeply as the young black working a plantation in 1816 was enslaved to his master. The difference is that we weren’t shanghaied into it like he was, we have been captured by our own greedy and corruptible natures.

Today, our massa teaches us the naturalist is a wacko and the wealthy people like the Koch brothers, are demi gods and we buy his bullshit. We honor them and their money so much that many go to bed at night praying to be just like them. In doing so we are just as sick as the asshole politician who sits in his hallowed office postulating upon the state of the union according to corporate doctrine. Continue reading “How Can We Fight The Corporation . . .”

The End Game . . .

end game

America has been staying afloat these last couple of decades by playing  a game called ‘kick the can on down the road’. This is basically how it goes . . . when the government comes up against a problem demanding immediate attention, they put the memo in an old soup can and kick it on down the road so somebody else will have to deal with it.

This game could also be called ‘pass the buck’ or ‘point the finger’ or a zillion other names, but one word you will never see in this game of slip and slides is responsibility. Nobody, from either side of the isle wants to take responsibility for anything.

The game began in earnest right after WWII when short term thinking and long term greed became the order of the day. Originally it was called Capitalism, but in reality our system has always been a mix consisting of Socialism as well as Capitalism. This system could have worked, but was flawed from the very beginning because of it’s over-the-top thirst for immediate profit. Continue reading “The End Game . . .”

Corporate State . . .

flag

About 45 years ago Rachel Carlson with her book ‘Silent Spring’ and Ralph Nader with his large following had the Corporation on the ropes. President Nixon signed into law the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and created the Environmental Protection Agency.  These environmental moves ate directly into the Corporate bottom line, cost them millions of dollars, and directly affected their profit margin. The Corporation fought back.

From Jimmy Carter forward, the Corporation, using the power of the lobbyist and the size of their bank accounts . . . bought Washington. Ronald Reagan reversed or weakened a lot of what the environmentalist had accomplished, and since the Eighties Washington has been owned, lock, stock and barrel by the Corporation. The leaders of this wolf pack are the oil baron Koch brothers.

The Koch’s financially back practically every guy/gal in congress. If you want to be elected to high office you better have Park Avenue backing or else you are guaranteed to become an also ran.. . . Continue reading “Corporate State . . .”

Vulnerability . . .

vulneable

As a kid growing up in the Projects to be vulnerable meant to be weak, and weakness did not fit our self image any more than a dress or a pair of high heeled shoes would have. Sissies were vulnerable, chicken shits were vulnerable. . . . tough guys like us were born into this world in a defensive position. We laughed at vulnerability.

I remember being on the playground with my friends one day watching my beloved Fritzy run into the highway and get hit by a car. I remember the whole thing, though it was 65 years ago, as if it were yesterday. I remember cursing the dog for being so stupid. I remember leaving my friends, walking back to the apartment, stepping into a closet, closing the door behind me . . . and crying my eyes out.

I loved that damn dog, but tears were not shed in the projects. I never cried in public . . . never. I still have a problem with the vulnerability of crying. I will run out of my fortress to save, to heal, to help, to even get injured or killed . . . but never to reveal my weakness. Continue reading “Vulnerability . . .”

The Hippies

hippies

Attempting to write about the hippies is akin to a young soldier hunkered down on Omaha Beach attempting to write about the battle surrounding him. He hears it, but all he sees is the sky above his head.

To give the battle proper perspective, every man taking part, including the enemy, would have to have his story told also because every guy had a different story and every story was just as viable as the next if the truth was to be unadulterated by personal bias.

To tell the whole and honest story about the counter culture would be just as difficult . . . and quite honestly I don’t have the talent to do it. I was there. I experienced it first hand, but like the soldier on Omaha Beach I can only tell my part of a story that is so big, so diverse, that for the whole thing to be written the reader would have a hard time carrying the book it was written in. Continue reading “The Hippies”

The Hippies (part 2)

acid

My first acid trip

Many things have been written about the late sixties, some say if you were really there you wouldn’t remember them, but I was there and I remember.

The decade between 1965 and 1975 was a pivotal point in the history of our nation. The horror of Vietnam, and getting caught red handed in one monumental lie after another had placed our government center stage on everybody’s shit list. By the Fall of 1973 when ‘tricky Dick’ Nixon spouted his now famous one liner on TV concerning Watergate, “I am not a crook.” nobody believed him. He WAS a crook, as well as a liar when he promised to end the war and instead broadened it into Cambodia. He was a dick all right . . . a dickHEAD.

Many of us young folks, after realizing we were being ripped off, broke ties with the establishment and dedicated ourselves to the Utopian dream of peace and love instead of war and hate. For some of us, this was heavy, happy stuff, tantamount to be being born again. Continue reading “The Hippies (part 2)”

Religion

Following is a rebuttal to a Q&A about Christianity:

You: Is evolution continually progressing forward as the unbeliever thinks . . . or is the entire universe actually devolving from order to chaos as the way things seem to be going?

Me: First of all we need to define evolution . . . Darwin’s physical evolution based upon survival of the species or spiritual evolution based upon individual spiritual growth of the human species. I choose the latter because the former speaks for itself, to a layman at least, and all moral, or religious codes fall back upon the spiritual acumen of the individual(s) involved.

So using spiritual evolution and putting it up against today’s reality I’d say, at least on this planet, we are not doing so well, Why? . . . well I think it’s because we, the human species, are creators in our own right, we create our tomorrows by the thoughts and actions we have taken today.  It’s not so difficult to see where greed, self aggrandizement, and self righteousness has gotten us. We are smack dab in the middle of a mess we have created . . . blaming anything other than that is a cop out.

If you are giving the Christian a free pass, I wouldn’t.  The Christian’s moral code is  just like the Constitution . . . it only works when one activates it. It sounds good, maybe even smells good, but it tastes bad. Today, Christians like to think that the world is going rotten in SPITE of their effort, but truth be known a lot of the stench is there BECAUSE of it.

You:  Since our society has moved away from the Christian Church and their moral ideals, we are seemingly going to Hell in a hand basket, right? Isn’t our very culture moving from order to chaos by ignoring the tenets of Christianity?

Me: From order to chaos? It certainly is chaotic, but when was there ever order in this society? When was it ever dominated by Christian morality and ideals? . . . Personally I don’t see much chaos taking place that we collectively (including the christian) haven’t caused on our own.

We have, in all our ignorance, since the very first white European set foot on this continent, created genocide on a scale beyond measure, polluted the oceans, ruined the land, food, water, and air, all for the fact that we are quite literally bat shit nuts in our greed for power and things. . . AND worse yet . . . have done it all in the name of Jesus. For sure, the old order is collapsing, but as we lament it’s death we sometimes forget that great things, from seed to civilization, are birthed out of chaos.

This is not a time to lament . . . this is a time to rejoice. These dark ages will soon pass as the age of enlightenment takes hold. The earth will heal, life will go on, and mankind, although still facing challenges of one kind or another will have stepped back from the brink of extinction.  This scenario has been prophesied many times by prophets throughout the ages. We are not facing doom, we are birthing the new age!

You: How do we stop this train to destruction the unbelieving are taking us on?

Me: Get out of the way if you can’t lend a hand for the times they are a-changinnnn . . . Dylan was ahead of his time. . . you’re behind time.

You: We must fight against the inroads of the unbeliever. The bible is the ultimate source of all knowledge and we must protect it against them.

Me: I don’t think you realize that there are very few of us reprobates who actually disbelieve the foundational principles of the gospel, as most viable religions are based upon those same principles. Many of which were being taught way before the time of Jesus of Nazareth.

What we reject, or at least what I reject is what so called Christianity has done with those teachings. You say Jesus was God in the flesh . . . I say that is true, but I also say that we are ALL potentially God in the flesh. Even Jesus himself said so . . . else why would he say that we will do greater things than he did. . . ( John 14:12)  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these (can we outdo God?)he will do; because I go to the Father.

It doesn’t take much of a reach to realize that Jesus was almost always talking about us taking on his ‘nature’ (the Christ nature; the anointed one) rather than worshiping him. He never asked for our worship. (Yet that’s pretty much all the true believer gives him.)

He promised us that if we heard his words and took them to heart and activated them in our lives we would be just like him . . . man and God, one and the same. We who you like to call unbelievers may just be better believers that those who live a self righteousness life filled with more moral judgements and accusations than the Pharisee of old.

You see that’s all gonna change once we realize we, christian or not, have no exclusive rights to any of this. We are all struggling, we are all breathing and hoping and longing for the same love, mercy and grace. We are all brothers of the same cloth.

That’s where you guys who hold exclusive rights to heaven missed the boat, that’s where Christianity takes a turn, that’s where the great separation took place . . . and that’s why the church is in such sad shape today. So sad that it is willing to stand behind those who are dedicated to and dead set upon destroying the environment even more . . . . I’m afraid the conservative Christian right is fast becoming a real problem to all of us, far more than the unbeliever.

You: Would you like to hear from famous theologians and writers in the faith?

Me: No. I get lost in experts and theologians and their opinions, as lost as I get when trying to discern between a zillion churches who all believe themselves to be the one and true oracle of God. I’m only interested in what my opponent has to say . . . if he/she calls in backup I know he is on shaky ground . . . we’re all friends here and everybody involved has as much right to their beliefs as I do so . . . . name dropping does no good as I know none of those guys personally and their having a pocket full of theology degrees doesn’t impress me one bit.

What impresses me most is a free and clear mind that can stand on its own . . . whether in agreement or not is secondary to that.

PS: My opponent chose to remain anonymous so I have scrambled his original writing and just answered a few of my own interpretations. The debate is not over though, you can add to it in any way you wish either pro or con.

There will be more mini debates or Q&A articles like this one so if interested in this kind of dialog stay tuned as they will always be left open to further discussion. That’s it for now though . . . JJ

The Perfect Lawn . . .

“Damn weeds! Johnny . . . go get me the Roundup, I’m gonna kill this yellow bastard!! I hate dandelions !!! Hate em!” . . . And the beat goes on in every middle class allotment in the country.

There are whole industries built up around killing the dandelion. Just what is it that these little fellows have done to garner such contempt?

From University of Maryland medical site:
Dandelion
While many people think of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)as a pesky weed, it’s chock full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. Dandelion leaves are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, and teas. The roots are used in some coffee substitutes, and the flowers are used to make wines.

In the past, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine, dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, it was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

So far, there have not been any good quality scientific studies on dandelion. Today, the roots are mainly used to stimulate the appetite, and for liver and gallbladder problems. Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to help the body get rid of too much fluid. Continue reading “The Perfect Lawn . . .”

Who Are These People . . .

homeless-vets-cartoon

Who are these homeless people anyways? Folks down on their luck who have just fallen through the cracks? Drunken bums? Drug addicts? Criminals? What does the rank and file in this empty faced army consist of? Do we even care? . . . or do we just want these losers to disappear from our streets so we don’t have to look at them.

As I see it the only difference between ‘us and them’ is that the homeless, for whatever reason, lost all their stuff. Therefore since we judge one anothers worth by the amount of stuff we possess, these people are deemed worthless.

This ‘haves and have nots’ attitude is so screwed up on so many levels that it is hard to even write about it. The changes it will take to actually create the society we love to brag about are almost insurmountable . . . but not quite. Continue reading “Who Are These People . . .”

War . . .

 

Battaglia-di-Gettysburg

We were sitting at the rented beach house one evening last week when my daughter, out of the blue, asks, “Dad, tell me about when you were in the military.”

“Ummm, no, how about I tell you about the hippie days, that was much more interesting.”

She kept pressing about the army. . . I kept himhawing around. My attempt to find a funny story or two fell short. I just wanted to change the subject.

At 72 I am so detached from the kid who loved the rush of jumping out of planes and blowing shit up that I find it all kinda embarrassing . . . and for a certainty I did nothing that I am particularly proud of. Continue reading “War . . .”