Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Redundancy Factor in History

Here it is: Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. I have, once again , relied on a quote in order describe the status quo. My immediate memory is of George HW Bush's statement, "Read my lips" and what followed was about taxes and was the broken promises that policians are well-known for making--namely, during their campaign. Since I am one of the few people who pay attention to what the candidates say, I notice an overwhelming number of them preaching "job creation" and this, in my opinion is a lie. If these candidates were truly concerned about America they would propose these ideas immediately in order to serve their patriotic duties and proudly show allegiance to thier country. That one would allow masses to suffer in order to partake in finger pointing is beyond me. I am reading "The four hour body " by Tim Ferriss. Ferriss is dedicated to working smarter and not harder. He has done quite well for himself and does not drill the belife that education is linked to success--even though, I believe, he received an Ivy League education. I will revisit his other book, too. He is very interesting and fills the voids with solutions that are fast and effective. I think Tim Ferriss should run for President

Monday, August 29, 2011

Breach of Contract

"Who will survive in America?"-- Gil Scott-Heron.

Kanye West included this speech at the end of his song, "Lost in The World" and that is the question that Americans should be asking due to the state of the economy. There is a rumor that the U.S. Military is even being downsized and that they are forcing those serving to take an early out or ending jobs--ironically, a lot of these jobs have gone to private contractors, which has always baffled me: construction that used to belong to Seabees.

From what I understand, those who are approaching their 20 year contract ending--which equals full retirement--have been the main target. Isn't this breach of contract? The military has been the one sector that emphasized job security and benefits. Now, they--and I am not even sure who they are--but I'm guessing they are not military are changing the agreement.

I can guess "they" are those that a lot of the conservative military types support: tea party and others who benefit from privatization of anything and everything. Due to the networks that military members form (high-ranking officials specifically) they are able to receive better paying jobs upon their exit or retirement. Isn't this a conflict of interest? Insider trading? I am too logical.

Teachers have always been paid horribly and lacked benefits but the military was--for the most part--well compensated for their work. If the traditional retirement were to end, it would be and should be treated as a breach of contract. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bachman vs IRS

I honestly do not understand what is going on in Libya and I am not going to pretend to. Political issues in the Middle East are very complex. One thing I do not understand is why there is always mention of oil prices raising or falling when reporting on the crises. These oil price fluctuations correlating to violence seem exclusive to that region of the world. Also, if Gaddafi was a dictator for 42 years, isn't this deposition overdue? Wasn't Gaddafi--aka the dictator, everyone's friend once? I am far too logical. It is beyond me and I hope for peace because diplomacy is the best strategy. 

Bachman used some horrible analogy to say that she worked at the IRS to utilize the loopholes. She infiltrated the system (big bad government) in order to legally beat it (pay the least amount in taxes). Wouldn't it have been simpler to hire a tax attorney. I do not understand that woman at all. I think that her and Palin split a very low IQ between them and I wonder who out there really believes in what she is saying. In fact, if you are a Bachman fan, I would appreciate a comment from you. Maybe something like, "Bachman 2012".

Too many thoughts today. The movie, "The Help" a great example of racism and of course it did well at the box office. I take issue with this because it is sublimates the struggles of African-Americans and gives credit to the one progressive Caucasian woman. This is a recurring theme that is self-serving to those in the book and movie industry. It is the same as when people credited Lady Gaga with repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy. It was not solely Lady Gaga, it was every person who is homosexual and those in favor of homosexuals' rights that repealed that policy. It cannot be narrowed to one hero. There are many heroes in these stories and they are all deserving of praise and credit for their achievements.'

Final thoughts: only Kim Kardashian can get married and make--emphasis on the word make--an estimated 17 million dollars. Who is paying her? It must be advertisers...This, in my opinion, is unfair. I am immune to advertisements but tweens are usually the target for such things and they should have the right to know if she is wearing it because she likes something or if she is getting paid to wear it or wearing it for free. Thanks to anyone who reads this. It is pretty much stream of consciousness but I have a project to finish and I will reveal it when I am finished--around October 20 something. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I was watching a news magazine show on The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and it reminded me of the saying: "out of sight, out of mind," because I had completely forgotten about those in dire need of food in America. I don't mean to sound as though I am on a pedestal. I am very thankful that I have food to eat but in a country where there are stores overflowing with food, countless food and restaurant chains and an obesity epidemic, I--thankfully--have enough food to eat and I always notice that people are eating.

There is no worse place to be poor than in Ameica. I grew up all over the world and I was completely ignorant of homelessness and people without enough to eat. Juxtapose myself to my father who grew up with only rice and bread to eat. My father would have been similar to the child on the television show that did not know that it was "common" to have three meals a day and that when asked the names of the three meals, instead named the foods that he ate. My father grew up in a neighborhood similar to where the story took place: Camden, New Jersey. These poor areas of the U.S. are so dangerous that one cannot walk down the street without having one's guard up and anticipating a crime to occur.

I guess my father didn't tell me a lot about being poor because it was painful and he wanted to protect me. However, ignorance hurt because I am someone who loves problem-solving. I do not understand why the foods that are unopened and about to expire shortly cannot be donated to the food banks or other charities. I do not know if this is happening but I would like to propose that idea to every business that sells foods and those members in Congress so that everyone will be fortunate enough to eat.

Life, for me, has always been about experiences over material things. In Europe, it is part of the culture to sit down and enjoy meals by savoring the flavors of the foods and wine, having good conversations, and having a festive atmosphere.

I will propose the idea about the expired food thing to the White House--they are probably sick of me having opinions about everything and other government officials as well as stores. I hope that some good will come out of it and the corporations may even be able to receive a tax break for their philanthropy.       

Blogging has gone to the dogs

After I post my blog, I often view the blogs after mine. They are randomly selected but the two main topics seem to be dogs and God. God versus gods because they are predominantly Christian blogs. I do not have a problem with either but I felt completely insulted after reading, "Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me" and the final chapter was "written" by her dog.

Chelsea does this as a deliberate insult to her audience. She often makes self-effacing comments about the popularity of her show and her books being on the New York Times' Bestsellers list. I believe the anthropomorphizing of dogs is commonplace in contemporary society and this--as well as--the befriending of our technology is eerie.

I cannot feign that I dislike technology but smartphones, Ipads and too many other gadgets hold our attention in the same manner as a completely dependent newborn requires. I heard on the news that adolescents are going to the doctor with something labeled "text neck" from looking down at their phones!

Dog blogs, God blogs, and phones that are entertaining make me wish for simplicity.     

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Paul M. Kramer's "Maggie Goes on a Diet"

Elections aside, this is a classic example of finger pointing: I was not surprised when author Paul M. Kramer's picture was displayed and it appeared as though he should go on the diet instead of Maggie. It would also be more age appropriate for him to diet than marketing the dieting industry to young girls.

On the book cover, I was disgusted by the image of what appeared as reverse anorexia: the cover shows Maggie as an overweight girl standing before a mirror with her skinny clothes placed in front of her body--what women usually do in the mirror of department stores to get an idea of how the clothing will look when worn-- and  the reflection (in the mirror) shows the slender version of Maggie. This goes without mentioning the uncanny resemblance of Maggie to Pipi Longstocking

The book is disturbing. If the author's weak argument is to target the obesity epidemic in America, include males too. It is the focus on the superficial exterior that is most bothersome. The visual message is that skinny is ideal, skinny is a goal and that skinny is healthy. What if Maggie fails at her goal, as so many on diets do? Weight loss has been described with metaphors such as "battle" and "struggle"; therefore, this is not what we need girls focusing on. Skinny is not always healthy. Those with eating disorders who appear at normal weights may be going to extremes to be skinny and ruining their health and some sacrifice their lives in the hopes of seeing what the reflection of Maggie in the mirror is seeing.

From what I have heard, after Maggie is skinny, she is the most popular girl and a star on the soccer team. That is even more disheartening because this is the mind set of too many starving artists in the entertainment and beauty industry. Jennifer Hudson's recent comment of being more proud of her weight loss than her Oscar demonstrates how difficult weight loss can be. Kramer's intentions may have been good but this controversy is valid and he should propose a better idea and cease from using an image that similar to Pipi Longstocking.    

You are a star as you are, Maggie, and the exterior may have changed but the interior is where the star quality is and will always remain. Now I sound like a true psycho speaking to a fictional character but I was a fat kid and I know from experience how superficial the world can be. As soon as I lost weight, people would compliment my looks and I was miserable. I lost weight due to very stressful circumstances and people constantly remarked how great I was looking. I went to talk to a shrink (psychologist) and even she didn't understand why I looked great to society but had such a terrible body image. That shows the power of advertising. Advertisers want society to believe that being skinny and attractive will grant you happiness and that is a lie. Hollywood train-wrecks are the best examples of that.

I had dieted since the age of 6. It was the stereotype of dance instructors and ballet teachers labeling kids as fat but I was a chubby kid, fat adolescent, and became an athletic adult. Even to this day, I would rather feel good than look good. We must focus less on looks because some people are willing to die to be skinny. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Book Review: Kardashian Konfidential

I take advantage of the library. I thank the library so much for having this book: "Kardashian Konfidential," because that is the only way that I would ever have read it. It is not because I dislike the Kardashians--I do not know them personally, but their portrayal on television is, in my opinion, deplorable. Nothing appears to be off limits.

I cannot understand how one exploits himself in order to achieve fame and fortune. I think of Emerson's saying, "My life is for itself and not for a spectacle." Granted, we are not seeing who they really are on television, but why would one not display their best image in the media? They look good--superficially, and maybe that is the public obsession with the family but I found the most redeeming quality in the Kardashians to be their unseen values and morals that were taught to them by their father Rob Kardashian, who is deceased. 

The late Rob Kardashian is mostly known for being O.J. Simpson's defense attorney, but I wish that he would have written a book on parenting and through the book: "Kardashian Konfidential," the reader has insight into what a good father he was to the very business savvy Kardashian women.

Rob Kardashian taught the girls the importance of being philanthropic and having a strong work ethic. Being that he was a lawyer, he would write up contracts for them to sign if they were to borrow money and drive responsibly. He had them earn their belongings and gave them the ultimatum of either continuing their education or working.

I think it is worth a read simply for that reason: Rob Kardashian. The remainder of the book reads like an endless advertisement. They name drop to the point where it is obvious that they are receiving money in exchange for publicity. However, the best thing about an autobiography is that it cannot be wrong. The book is written as they speak and regardless of what anyone says or thinks about them, they have won at the game of capitalism. Kim is capitalizing off her wedding tomorrow and that adds to the fairy tale lives they told of in their book.      

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Perry's 'Black Cloud'

What a racist statement! Perry was obviously speaking about Obama with that metaphor but I am more interested in hearing how he plans to change the weather. He is a prophet, after all. I want to his sunny days ahead plan because it is far too easy to mudsling and much harder to offer solutions. I think the entire Tea Party is strange for thinking it is a good idea to place themselves in the 18th century. If they want to travel back in time and regress so badly, they should focus on building a time machine to take them back to the time when slaves had both parents, women were submissive to men and Puritans would preach 16 hours a day. Bon voyage!

That being said, racism is very trendy. I would argue that Abercrombie and Fitch's statement adds credibility to them being racist. It is blatant discrimination against the cast. I do not agree with some of what they do on television and it is disturbing how misogynistic some of their viewpoints are but capitalism allows them to purchase that brand and America allows them the freedom to wear it on television. The Jersey Shore cast has the right to be tan and wear Abercrombie. Insert bad humor in that former statement but I seriously do think that the brand is racist and I think that the models in the ads are the only ones who should wear their clothing. In all honesty, the overpriced brands are manufactured in China and therefore, one is better off wearing the generic brand made in the same factory.

Speaking of labor, what ever happened to the movement to end child labor? Have the corporations strengthened to the extent that we no longer question if our shoes and other imports are fair trade? There are so many ways that we can help each other. I hope that we all give everything our best. Profit ssometimes costs lives. We must question everything. I have been reading "Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy," by Richard O'Connor and he mentions that Buddhism doesn't have a word for sin, but it has a word for ignorance. I don't try to proselytize but that statement is very powerful to what is being exploited by the Tea Party. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Negative Publicity

Welcome to the culture of negativity. If you do not believe me, I can make reference to reality television and so-called "celebrities" such as any "star" famous for sexual acts on tape and those who are rewarded for televised debauchery.

Congratualtions to Abercrombie and Fitch for their latest marketing scheme. It is probably complex for some to understand, but their public relations team has been working overtime in order to drop their name in the media, associate their brand with the most popular reality show on t.v.: The Jersey Shore and disguise that they are, in my theory, paying Mike "The Situation" and the other cast members to wear their clothes. I am speculating that they are trying to create negative press in order to garner attention to the brand.

Here is the short story: Abercrombie and Fitch stated that they would pay Mike and the other cast members of The Jersey Shore not-- and not is the operative word here-- to wear their brand. If I were Mike or the other cast members, I would sue Abercrombie for slander and tell them not to mention my name and try to ride on my coattail for attention and fame. Sorry about the idiomatic expression, I truly hate them but abuse them in my poor writing.

Basically, I think it is good PR on Abercrombie's part and that Mike and the cast are endorsing the brand. The luxury brand of champagne was interviewed and said it did not appreciate that rappers were including its name in their songs and they did not feel privileged to have any mention from people such as Jay Z, P. Diddy--or one of his other fifty names, et. cetera. Rappers have since boycotted the brand and have began having their own alcoholic brands or endorsing those who include them in commercials. Some of these artists are paid to mention the brand and the famous brand names are dropped in the song.

I would have never noticed that Mike or anyone else was wearing Abercrombie but they can pay me to not wear it, too. Actually I have never worn the brand and plan on never wearing it in the furture. Abercrombie has been cited as being racist: having the people of color work in the stockroom and other parts of the store where they aren't visible to customers. I am a consumer with a conscience and I find that more offensive than having a guy who resembles the models in one of their ads (the abs mostly) purchasing and wearing their clothing.

Two tragic stories that I would like to share. I saw these on GMA and Today, I believe. A girl wanted donations instead of presents for her birthday in order to help those in Africa without water. She received donations and her charity extended to her next birthday. She was killed in a car accident but the donations continued to come in after people heard her story and she has now contributed over a million to her charitable cause. The angel is gone too soon but left a beautiful legacy. If I ever have a kid, I hope that she will be like that young girl.

The last story is about a San Diego police officer that was fatally shot but minutes before had paid for a child's lunch and his last act of charity was recorded on the fast food restaurant's camera. May they both rest in peace. They remind me of how life should be.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tea "Party"

Certain times I feel extremely smart: when I was in attendance at my school--a small feat considering that I was the only person in the class that was not a pot head and took my studies seriously, and anytime that I turn on the television and see or hear something that the Tea "Party" advocates.

Seriously, America, we cannot allow anyone with such a simplistic ideology to run the country. George W. Bush was somewhat charismatic--or at least he was easy to tease, but these people are downright scary. A prophet? Really. Sounds worse than tin foil hat people to me. 72-hour hold would be more apropos than a run for the presidency.

I was watching the news--as usual--and a heckler approached President Obama. I didn't hear what she said, but she appeared very angry and I could tell that she was yelling. I know--without hearing a word--that she was weak-minded. People that yell--in my opinion--are not saying anything important, they are simply reiterating what has already been said in a higher volume. Those who yell are too immature to notice that yelling is ineffective.

In an election, make suggestions. Do not yell at the President or the candidates, offer what you believe will solve the problem. It is easy to yell and it is far harder to resolve the domestic and international issues involving the country.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

Save the Middle Class

I can only speculate upon issues that plague us: humanity, domestically and internationally. I have come across others who seem indifferent and are apathetic to such salient issues that are being debated by the candidates who will possibly hold the title of President of the U.S. in 2012. One thing remains certain to me and that is war is inhumane and diplomacy is what leaders of every country must strive for.

My condolences to anyone who has lost someone in such calamities. The news reports from Afghanistan are disheartening. I have a friend serving in that country and his communication sounds very dismal. Even those who are pro-peace must take into consideration that the military members have to do their job and a lot disagree with what is being done but cannot speak out against it. They will be reprimanded if they speak out against what they are doing. This culture of silence is a possible reason for mental illness and other issues that troops are facing during deployment and on their return home. It is a sad situation for everyone and I do not voice that opinion to downplay the civilians' struggles and casualties. I would help everyone if I had the means to do so.  

Unline Mitt Romney, who believes that unemployment benefits should be privatized. I was watching Democracy Now this morning (they do an excellent job of updating their website www.democracynow.org with videos and transcripts) and Mitt Romney suggested that genius idea. I nearly chocked on my coffee. It is so easy to stigmatized those less fortunate in this economy and his suggestion was not job creation, rather privatization of unemployment benefits. America, we need a President that will create jobs. If the Middle Class continues diminishing, we will have the total collapse of the so-called "American Dream".

"Save the Middle Class" is one of my slogans for the 2012 Presidential Election. We cannot allow any candidate to bypass the issues without offering a solution by diverting our attention to the problems. The problems must be solved starting at the root.

Has America chosen retrogression over progression?

Michele Bachman is proof of American ignorance. I cannot explain how idiotic her viewpoints are and she continues to gain popularity. Her views about homosexuals is truly disheartening, her ignorance about slavery is embarrassing, and her most recent comment about being submissive to her husband in order to be a good Christian is irrational.

Homosexuals are equals. I have said it before and I will reiterate it: we all know someone who is gay but some have not come out yet. It is sad that someone cannot live in a society where they can reveal their true self. I cannot fathom the mental struggles that closeted homosexuals have and I don't understand why Bachman or any other politician can debate such a complex issue that they are obviously completely ignorant of. The homosexual movement cannot be reduced solely to one's sexual orientation. Homosexuals have faced institutionalized and systematic discrimination. I am a heterosexual and I am waiting for the first homosexual president. A homosexual candidate is the only person who would have the authority to speak on the issue.

Slavery--according to Michele Bachman--was great for families because it maintained the two parent household. Her ignorance overlooked the fact that the child was born into slavery, the parents did not have the rights to marry and that slaves did not even have the right to their own name. Slavery is inhumane and for Bachman to insinuate that there was anything positive about living as a piece of property merits a mental evaluation and a history lesson. African-Americans were legally second-class citizens until the passing of the 15th Amendment in 1965. Slavery was race based in the U.S. Racism is systematic and institutionalized. She is clearly someone who has benefited from racism--having the privilege to perpetuate such ignorance and have the mindless follow her blindly.

African-Americans would chose to live in 2011 versus 1860 and women prefer our equal status. I don't understand why the so-called pious Christian women believe that submission will bring them closer to God. If a Wahabi Muslim woman is submissive, it is considered oppression. If an Asian woman is submissive, it is considered oppressive, too. I, too, would rationalize that her husband would be running the presidency if she had to kowtow every time there was a conflict of opinions. Who are these Americans supporting her? Bachman as president will place us in the same year as The Crusades and I used to think Sarah Palin was a bad candidate.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Is Flying Worth it?

As a military brat and a third culture kid, I have had a passport and flown since the age of five. However, I now feel as though I have to sublimate my convictions and abdicate my rights in order to fly. First of all, TSA has the right to see my private parts with their high tech x-ray machine; secondly, one cannot express anger in an airport or on an airplane and finally, if one tries to file a formal complaint, it is impossible to reach a human on the phone. Airfare rates continue to rise, but it is no longer worth the price. Flying, which I was once so familiar with, is now truly a luxury.

TSA could possibly be the envy of teenage boys everywhere. They use the most invasive technology in order to x-ray our bodies in the most anatomically correct way possible. It seems like a pervert machine. Our only escape: opt for the pat down. The pat down is simply a lesser evil because some TSA employees seem to touch and not pat. It is degrading and disgusting.

Anger should be expressed. The retention of anger is dangerous but one has no right to be angry in the airport and airport and airline employees take full advantage of this. I recently was ignored by an airport employee and when I got her attention, she rudely ripped the luggage tag from my bag and retained it in order to know my name. I have a rare name and she had no right to touch and seize my personal property. It is my fourth amendment right to maintain my privacy and this woman's name was listed on her employee badge.

I tried to file a formal complaint with the airline, but I was unable to reach a human! The stress and frustration of flying is not worth it, in my opinion. My only suggestion is boat or drive.