Friday, December 28, 2012

Gun Control on My Homeworld

11/52 Consolation (Snowflakes for Sandy Hook)
11/52 Consolation (Snowflakes for Sandy Hook) (Photo credit: Nica Wolf)
Those affected by recent tragedies have my sincere condolences.

First off, my father worked on my planet's equivalent of guns and my planet has paid hunters. I know of other planets where lethal weapons are completely nonexistent except for historical texts and those are very strange places to me. My perspective on gun control is one of both realities and possibilities.

I've known many people who were/are enthusiastic about target shooting, hunting, and collecting and maintaining historical guns (my father fell in the last category). These are intelligent people who treat guns responsibly and teach those under their care to do the same. Unfortunately, I know all too well that these are not the only people, especially in the United States, who have guns. The issue is not intentional violence by legal gun owners. In fact, almost no one commits a violent crime with a registered gun they legally own. The problem is carelessness because guns are so easily accessible by anyone in any circumstance.

What am I talking about? I call your attention to this story:
Man arrested for hunting on school property 

No harm done. It was an innocent mistake. Still, it is a story of an out of place gun that could have easily harmed innocent people. In the face of a tragedy such as what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, everyone from the President to the stay-at-home mom is asking what we should do. Those gun owners who feel nothing should be done might consider opening their hearts to all those who are suffering because of an out of place gun. True, it wasn't the gun's fault, but it is undeniable that in each tragedy someone should not have had a gun.

On my home planet, guns are not kept in the home. It's just always been that way. People are free to own or rent guns that are stored in a monitored facility. To check out a gun, you speak to a security officer. If you are angry, upset, or your ID shows you have a record of violence, you don't get a gun. Obviously, that isn't something most people on Earth are ready for, but it certainly limited violence on my planet. Many would say such a system is too harsh. In the current social/political climate in the United States, such a system is almost unimaginable, and there are so many illegal and unregistered guns it is unworkable. So what can be done?

One meaningful action would be to lend a helping hand to those in need. When people are desperate or sick, they are more likely to become dangerous. No one should be suffering so intensely because basic needs aren't met, including the need for mental health treatment/intervention. My perspective on mental illness is simple. No one person should ever be left to care for a mentally ill person alone. Community support is the only way to ensure an out of control person doesn't do harm. Help should be readily available whether it's an out of control child or adult. No judgements. No question of what health insurance will cover.

The second more difficult consideration is how to keep guns in their place. Right now, there is so much bitterness between those who support gun rights and those who support gun control that it is difficult to have a meaningful dialogue. Keep in mind everyone wants to feel safe and that may mean different things to different people, but everyone wants personal freedom and a peaceful existence. We all have the power to create and share peace. If you are a gun enthusiast please keep an eye out within your community for issues, such as unsafe gun storage, mental instability in a home with guns, or hunting in inappropriate areas. Do not be afraid to report problem gun owners to the police. It is terrible that so many people live in fear of having their guns taken away. It is also terrible that so many people live in fear of violence involving guns.   

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Season's Wishes!

English: Christmas Tree recycling bin in Place...
English: Christmas Tree recycling bin in Place des Vosges (Paris, France). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I've been celebrating with friends. Even they don't know I'm from someplace other than Earth. This isn't my first winter on Earth, but it still feels like it sometimes. I pretend to understand your many traditions. The most baffling is the killing of trees for brief decoration. I can deal with the silly plastic replicas, but I wanted to cry when I saw the pile of $10 cut trees. But this is the season of joy, so I took a large trimmed branch from a friend's tree, red and green mardi gras beads, and a used gold bow to make a "christmas tree" and tied it to the ramp of an elderly person I care about. Is that not what the season is about or am I missing something?

Here's to a happy holiday season (or a nice break for those done celebrating or not celebrating)! I still believe in peace on Earth.
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

In Honor of Coming Out Day!

National Coming Out Day logo, designed by arti...
National Coming Out Day logo, designed by artist Keith Haring. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 I am....

attracted to other intelligent sexual beings. I may have experimented with unintelligent people in college, but it wasn't for me. Science has more than proven that most sexual activity takes place in the mind so I want my special someone to have a large brain.

Do I have physical preferences? I'm from another planet, not an alternate dimension. Every sexually capable being has preferences, and some preferences seem to be more acceptable than others, which is silly if you really think about it. Everyone has their preferences. They are innate parts of our being. Sexual orientation is just part of who a person is. It is one element of our life experience. For some people it runs quietly in the background, and others have their whole lives defined by living their truth. 

I'm definitely not into assumptions. We are all wonderful, amazing individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression, but it is still painful to hide. If today is the day that you tell someone about your sexual orientation, that's great! Now is the perfect time to free yourself from assumptions, especially about sexuality.
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The "V" word

"VDAY in New Orleans 2008" event. Sm...
"VDAY in New Orleans 2008" event. Smiling woman with "I (Heart symbol) My Vagina" shirt. Photo by Jes Richardson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So is it free speech or vulgarity for a high school student to wear the word proudly?

Brianna Demato, Bisexual Queens High School Student, Sent Home For Wearing 'I Enjoy Vagina' T-Shirt

To be fair, it's more appropriate for an adult woman to proudly proclaim "I love my vagina" on her shirt than for a teenage girl to wear a shirt saying "I enjoy vagina," but either way, a word is a word.

Are you in need of a no-no word for every letter of the alphabet? I've always been one to make friends with words so I find it curious when news reports multiple issues with the same word (please see this previous post). So the word again today is "vagina." Let's everybody say it together "va-gin-a." Whether or not you happen to have one, get comfortable with the word. This is supposed to be the less connotatively-charged word, but still people get offended.

The interesting part of the article is, of course, the comments. So this is an issue of adolescent sexuality and sexual orientation and, apparently, just the fact that this girl owns such a shirt makes her mother bad??? Hmm... Is that true? Does the shirt say "I enjoy having indiscriminate sex with girls and my mother encourages me to do so?" Because that is how people are reading "I enjoy vagina," it is, without question, too distracting a shirt for the school environment.

Having gone through adolescence, I can say without hesitation that sex is not for adolescents, and that the hallmark of adolescence is ignoring the most sage advice. But, that is not really the issue here.

What is the problem with the word "vagina?" The word represents a part of a whole being. A whole being sometimes enjoys expressing what it means to be a sexual being. That may include sexual activity, but it might be just wearing a shirt that makes people laugh. To be more realistic, if I owned a sexually expressive t-shirt it would say "I enjoy minds." Would you be offended by that?

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Please point and laugh at Chik-Fil-A

Yay!!!!!!!!!! At least a few of you are laughing. That's good. When you can laugh at yourself, you're in a much better place to laugh at the rest of this crazy universe.

Make no mistake, trillions of people on hundreds of different planets are pointing and laughing right now. A company that serves unhealthy food is denouncing love? Taking a stand on the unholy union between two people of the same gender?

Love is the one thing that will save you from everything you do to the Earth and to your own bodies. Attraction between two people is just one small aspect of the universal love that's out there, and not a bad one if I do say so myself.

Look at the stars at night. They are where they are because of attractions between them. Stare for a while and try to pass judgement on some of them. Yeah, a pointless exercise. A person is made up of the same stuff as stars. They may look masculine or feminine, but it's all an illusion. If masculine and feminine aren't cut and dried, why would you expect attractions between them to be cut and dried?

So love out loud. If you live near a Chik-Fil-A and are so inclined, Friday is Same Sex Kiss at Chik-Fil-A Day.

Monday, July 16, 2012

2nd Chances and Loving Out Loud

So, can anyone find the love in this picture?
UNIQUE PICTURE: Earth as seen from the outer S...

   (Hint: look everywhere)
UNIQUE PICTURE: Earth as seen from the outer Solar System (Photo credit: Icarus Kuwait)  

Today I was inspired by another blogger/writer Suzie Carr - Enjoying Life. I love that thanks to the internet I get to connect with so many people who "get it." There have been days that I've felt like I was alone on Earth. I was an invisible dreamer. I'm happy to report that I haven't felt alone or invisible in years. I'm here to tell you that it is possible.

Years ago, before I came to Earth, I was ill and came a little too close to dying. Physically, I was treated and cured with no further problems. But, something deeper than my body had to heal. That bright, shining fire of creativity and passion had dimmed. I came to Earth with every intention of bettering myself, but I had no clue how I was going to do it. The universe took over and did what I couldn't even dream of. One day, someone I knew invited me to her choir. Then, I mentioned the writing I had set aside (on a back burner with no flame underneath) to someone I didn't yet know, and got invited to a writer's group. Everything turned around. The impossible became possible. For the first time in my life, I was complemented on my smile. I brought to my writing a sense of humor that I didn't think I had.

What happened? Love. I had read The Universe is a Green Dragon by Brian Swimme, but I didn't get it so I tried again. The force of gravity (yes the thing that made an apple fall on Newton's head) is love. Huh? What people usually think of as "love" is only a very small piece of what's out there. Everything in the universe, from the largest star to the smallest subatomic particle, moves together and apart in this amazingly intricate dance that science just barely understands. I was always connected to everything and everyone else; I just didn't realize it.

Now, I love everyone and everything. Doesn't that sound so weird and impossible? Sure, I still get pissed off at the traffic jams of life, but I don't wave my fist at the person who cut me off. I see strangers as friends I haven't yet met, even if they turn out to be total a$$hats. As much as I would like to always be right and have the last word, I usually don't waste much energy on that. I gave the love I always wanted to others and realized I already have all the love I ever needed. I may still want someone to act a certain way, but I let go of the expectation that they will. Oh yes, I can still be hurt and even shed tears, but I never completely lose sight of the good that still surrounds me.

Loving out loud exposes you to a lot of unknowns, but not knowing is actually not such a bad thing. I have insufficient data to declare my dreams impossible; therefore, my only reasonable option is to follow my passions and then decide what I want to do with them. I have no idea where the universe ends, so I guess that means the possibilities are endless.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

How do we treat our elders?

I think this applies to friends as well. 

I was at the library and I met a homeless man. He was there to hide out from the 100+ degree heat. How was he supposed to even read properly when one of his eyes was clouded over by cataracts (very easily treatable)? My heart was broken. Is this how you treat your elders? Really?

I wasn't up to blogging about it until a facebook friend shared this picture and poem with me today:
Cranky Old Man.....
What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Oftentimes, we don't see past the current physical body. We forget that every wrinkle is earned. 

Remember to look for the soul inside.

Namaste (The soul in me acknowledges the soul in you)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Freiya's day in pictures

Zucchini picked in the morning will go in stir fry for dinner. 
Fairytale eggplant in the afternoon

Writing muse asleep in the hay with the guinea pigs.

At my desk

Under my desk

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Socialism: addendum

What is true in your world about the way resources are distributed? Previously, I talked about limiting beliefs. So, there is enough to go around, and people will still work even if their basic needs are always met. Why are those statements so hard to believe?

There is also a prevailing belief that nothing is free, therefore "hard work" is the inheritance of every human being. What if we change that to: Everyone has something to give therefore abundance is the inheritance of every human being. Why wouldn't you believe this?

I don't say that you need to take from the rich and give to the poor, but should a very small portion of the population control an overwhelming majority of the resources? Has any one family truly earned that much over another based on "hard work?" How about CEOs who make lots and lots of money when their company is failing? Upper level managers who get bonuses just because it's in their contract? Why would a society keep giving fortunes to such people?

Advancement of knowledge (technological, artistic, ecological...) is sustainable. Economic growth is not. If you measure progress by money, you leave out what you really want. Take health for example: When you're spending lots of money on doctor visits and medication, that's great for the economy. You're demanding goods and services and many hard working people are supplying them. Hey, wait a minute, you're sick!

What do you really want? A higher paid job where you work more hours or time with family and friends? The highest sales record in your company or the opportunity to explore creative pursuits?

Which do you think is a happier occasion? A company dinner at a fancy restaurant or a recently homeless family cooking a meal together in their new home.

Money is not bad. Earning large amounts of money doesn't make a person evil. Feeling stuck in a job you hate is bad. Killing an innocent cashier over a few dollars in a cash drawer is evil.

Decide what you really want and create it. Everything was once just an idea in someone's mind.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Abortion debate: All the wrong questions

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 23: Pro-life activists us...
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 23: Pro-life activists use a bullhorn to interupt a vigil held by the National Organization For Women outside the U.S. Supreme Court on January 23, 2012 in Washington, DC. The vigil was held to mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Now that we've hopefully calmed down a bit over the recent incident where an abortion debate led to a legislator being silenced for using the word "vagina." I'd like to offer some prospective on the topic.

When you make laws regarding abortion, you're coming up with all the wrong answers because you're asking all the wrong questions. The real question and the real answers start to come when you take a compassionate look at the desperation and pain leading to abortions.

Ensure that those who can't afford birth control can get it. Compared to previous times, birth control access in the most developed nations on Earth is pretty good, but it could be much better. 

Keep working on your nonprescription birth control options rather than just putting the same synthetic hormones in different forms.

Protect women and children from domestic violence. No woman should fear for herself or potential children. 

Empower women during pregnancy and childbirth. Doctor and hospital protocol mean nothing when compared with a woman's instincts. There is so much fear surrounding one of life's greatest miracles, and there shouldn't be.

Make motherhood sacred. All mothers, birth mothers and adoptive mothers, are special, just as every child is special. Whatever circumstances brought a woman to motherhood, there is no shame, only love. If you want to make laws, then make open adoption legally enforceable so that agreements to share a child's life are honored.

Create socioeconomic opportunity for every potential mother. Give every woman the education and career resources to meet her full potential. Make sure child care and emotional support are available to all mothers. Don't ever leave a woman to consider the terrifying prospect of raising a child alone. No one should ever feel they have nowhere to turn. 

Compassion doesn't make moral judgements or claim its rights above anybody else's. The point is to create better options instead of trying to limit them.
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day to those without fathers

Like many of you, I've lost father figures in my life. If you have lost a father due to death or other circumstances, I want you to know you are not alone. Regardless of your age or family situation, you have been someone's child. Someone loved you, and you loved them (maybe a mother, grandmother, or other person stood strong and supported your dreams and that's just as valid). I know that those we love are never really gone, but it's still normal to feel a little emotional and want them to still be physically around you. It's okay to have mixed emotions (You are a complex life form, after all.) Allow yourself to feel the joy of those in your life who are celebrating (friends, partners, children...)

To those who are standing strong and supporting a child's dream, I celebrate you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How do you treat transgender people?

English: From the female and male symbols. Int...
English: From the female and male symbols. Intersexual or transgender. ⚥ Unicode U+26A5 Male and female sign; hermaphrodite Русский: Композиция из женского и мужского символов. Символ транссекусализма. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being female has always felt right to me. I am comfortable with the gender I was born into. Not everyone can say that. How are you supposed to act around people who don't feel right living the gender they were born into?

I heard about the recent incident on Cake Boss where Carmen Carrera, a former contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race, was promised to be called "she" out of respect for her transition into female life. That's not what happened, and she came away from the show feeling disrespected. This is very important to her because she wishes to be a role model for those like her.  There has been an apology, but not before a tweet referring to Carmen as "it." (Cake Boss’ Star Apologizes To Carmen Carrera) I say "her" and "she" when referring to guinea pigs as does my friend when referring to her hens. A human being deserves at least that much respect. (To clarify, whatever a person's biological gender, it is most appropriate to refer to the gender the person is expressing.)

On Earth, I see so much disrespect for people who don't conform to gender norms. I'm really at a loss to understand the obsession with maintaining such rigid gender norms. Gender is not a black and white concept (if anything really is.) If you truly believe that humans were created that way, consider that a small, but significant, number of babies are born with the physical characteristics of both genders. (Most doctors believe in immediate surgical alteration in such cases, but such decisions should probably be left with the person who will ultimately be living a lifetime with the consequences.)

People here on Earth tend to feel very uncomfortable with the idea of a transgender person flirting with them. Men in particular don't like the idea of being "tricked." First, it's always a bad idea to worry about what's in the pants (or under the skirt) when you first meet someone. Second, everyone (regardless of gender or sexual orientation) has had someone they are totally incompatible with or just not interested in flirt with them. There's no reason to take anything like that so seriously.

On my home world, people almost never feel the need to surgically alter themselves or take high doses of synthetic hormones in order to be the gender where they feel they belong. Gender identity is not entirely based on physical characteristics so it is very possible to be a gender other than the one you were born into without permanently changing your body. Everyone simply accepts people being who they are. Not every world makes it so easy on people who don't physically "pass" as the gender they are living.

On other worlds, people go through very dramatic alterations to change genders, sometimes more than once in a lifetime. (But most people do ultimately feel drawn to one gender.) I do feel strongly that everyone should be able to look into a mirror and love what they see, but it always has to start within.

Anyway, diversity is beautiful and nobody deserves disrespect. You have a saying that goes "Don't judge a book by its cover." It's way past time to live it.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Is anybody out there? Maybe God?

Universe (Photo credit: Loulair Harton)

There's a time on every planet where people think that they're alone in the world, and people on Earth are moving beyond that time. Space is so vast it's hard to believe there's nobody out there.
However, you're probably more inclined to believe that I'm a whack job giving bad advice than to actually believe that I'm an alien from another planet. Why is that?

A vocal bunch of people believe humanity is being or will be punished by God. Others believe there is no God. Most people fall somewhere in between. Most people wonder about God. Some people are even wondering if humanity invented God.

How do I know you wonder? Yeah, I watch Morgan FreemanThrough the Wormhole” too. I think people misunderstand what he meant.

So what you all really want is if there's something “out there” beyond yourselves. I've already given you some of that answer, not expecting you to believe someone could come to your planet from somewhere else and walk among you unnoticed. I'll give you a little more of the answer.

If you're looking for a God to punish all perceived wrongdoing, I think you already know it isn't there. What if all those things you want God to punish people for are just aspects of God? Consider that everything might be an expression of God. I like to say it's all part of the landscape, whether I want to see it or not. 
I wish I could answer all your questions and definitively prove the answers, but I can't. Even if I've experienced other planets and other sentient beings I can't know it all. The universe is so vast that there must be more (maybe even other universes). All I can tell you for sure is that anything ever created is a reflection of its creator. So in all of creation, there must be something of our Creator.

You are the total antithesis of alone in the universe because you are a part of absolutely everything. You were once stardust. You were once living elsewhere as something else in the ever changing universe. Now, you have the incredible ability to look at the rest of the universe and reflect on it. You are capable of deciding what plants will grow in your garden (or indoor pot or multi-acre field ...) You can create earthquakes or blast off mountaintops (or build wind turbines and solar panels.) In that sense, you are god. What else could you create? Who do you want God to be?

All the answers are within you.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What's the fracking big deal about earthquakes?

See Gasland: The Movie for more information
See Gasland: The Movie for more information (Photo credit: ltmayers)
Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") is a process used to tap into natural gas or oil deposits. The process involves injecting so much water and chemicals (acids, propellants....) deep underground that it causes fractures in the rock. Then, some of the fluid flows back towards the surface and is disposed of (frequently in open pits), and the rest remains underground to hold the fractures open.

Obviously, the water use for this type of operation is unthinkable, and the chemical contamination is horrendous Much progress has been made in disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking. See EARTHWORKS | Hydraulic Fracturing 101. Far less is known about the geologic stress fracking causes. Ohio and Oklahoma have both seen unexpected seismic activity that some scientists believe is related to fracking. That's right. Man-made earthquakes. For more details, see Quakes in the New York Times. Thus far, earthquakes have been 4.0 on the Richter scale or lower, but what happens if you continue on this technological path? Think about it. Just seriously think about it.

I know it seems necessary right now to do whatever it takes to get cheap energy into the economy. It isn't. Put your energy elsewhere. On my planet, there never was so much fossil fuel to dig for in the first place. We relied on biofuels, solar, wind, and tidal energy to fuel our industrial and technological growth. (Yes, even space travel is possible on biofuel.) I know a planet that mastered nuclear fusion centuries ago, and they have no roads or parking lots. It sounds far fetched, but it's not. It's all about what you put your energy into.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Animal Friends: Squeakers

Squeakers is the hoppiest little guinea pig I know. She was found at a shelter hiding under the newspaper in the cage. Most shelters don't adopt out small friends, but you can go to Petfinder small and furry to find a new friend.

 See the hair standing all over the place? That's the mark of the Abyssinian breed guinea pig. (I had to look that up when I met her) They're show quality if they have a particular number of whirls in their fur. Squeakers has a mohawk on her tail end too.

According to the paper from the shelter (filled out by her first family who had too many little guinea pigs), she has always hopped like a little bunny when excited. In the cavy (the proper term for a not pig and not guinea) communities it's called "popcorning." It's not a very high hop, but it is cute. Any guinea pig given sufficient space and fruit, hay, or something really exciting like wheatgrass will hop. (Squiggles does hop occasionally, but she's a little chubby and doesn't go real high.)

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Animal Friends: Squiggles

This chubby little guinea pig was found on Craigslist. She and her cage mate were stuffed into a tiny cracked aquarium, and her name wasn't given when she was picked up. She was scared and not very socialized. Very sadly, her cage mate died two days after being rescued, most likely due to vitamin C deficiency. Fresh vegetables and fruit are essential for guinea pigs because unlike other animals they are incapable of producing their own vitamin C (same as human beings). Pellets are only a supplement and lose vitamin C content very quickly so they can't be relied on exclusively. Grass hay is also essential for health.

The night after her loss, Squiggles let out an almost human scream. Guinea pigs are very social animals. The following day, the people who love her called the nearest shelter that had guinea pigs and found her a new friend. She immediately started snuggling and mothering her new little friend. After a while, she started snuggling with people too. She has a new cage, and wow can she run. Once, somebody left a granola bar still in its wrapper within reach when Squiggles was out for supervised floor time. Squiggles ran like a furry streak of lightning, ripped the wrapper open, and started chewing before anybody could take it away. (She got in a couple nibbles, but guinea pigs shouldn't eat grain.)

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fear of socialism

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 09:  Job seekers ...
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 09: Job seekers fill out applications for employment during a job fair for San Francisco Bay Area grocery store chain Mollie Stone's Market on February 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Hundreds of job seekers lined up to apply for jobs at San Francisco Bay Area grocery store chain Mollie Stone's that is hiring up to 35 people for a new store that they are opening in San Francisco. The U.S. unemployment rate slightly dropped to 9 percent in January, the lowest level in nearly two years and 0.4 percentage points lower than December 2010. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
I don't consider myself the political type, but I do want to promote open dialogue about what is good and right for all life on Earth. I've been hearing some serious faulty thinking that can only hold you back as a species.

What could possibly be wrong with the idea that every person has the right to food, shelter, and basic medical care? There is a very pervasive lie that says "There isn't enough." You know that is a lie when you see empty houses. Only a few of you have ever really thought about the billions of pounds of food grocery stores throw away every day. See the documentary Dive! (free on netflix or at many libraries) for more info.

Another lie is that if everyone had free food and shelter, nobody would work. The reality is that there are not enough jobs that provide a living wage. Humans actually do have an inherent desire to contribute to something. When it doesn't require 40++ hours a week to ensure that basic needs are met, there is time to figure out where each person can best contribute. People love to create, whether it's art, literature, computer programs, or the goods of everyday life. Given a plot of land (and it requires less than you may think), most sentient beings like growing their own food. (I do!) When every product is built to last, there is no need to manufacture what will quickly become trash in landfills.

Can you look straight into the eyes of each of the millions upon millions of men, women, and children who are unemployed/underemployed/disabled/too young/too old and say "You aren't worthy."?

I can only point out the obvious. It is up to you to have a better vision of the world and make it happen!

The following video is long, but it is worth expanding your vision of economics and human life.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I am a __________

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14:  A teenager who colle...
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: A teenager who collects bottles and cans and lives in a city shelter walks near Times Square on April 14, 2011 in New York City. Homelessness in New York is at an all-time high according to newly-released statistics by the Coalition for the Homeless, which blames the increase on the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the recent recession. A record 113,553 different people, including 42,888 children, slept in homeless shelters in fiscal year 2010, up nine percent from the previous year. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

How do you fill in the blank? I am a blogger. Who are you? You might answer any number of ways: I am a homeless person. I am a CEO....

I was listening to A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. He said that he congratulates people who say they don't know who they are. People inevitably ask if he wants them to be confused. He explains that there is a big difference between not knowing who you are and confusion. Confusion means you should know or need to know who you are. Simply not knowing is a place where you can create who you are.

Now, does it help to have a job description? Absolutely. It does no good to call a plumber only to be told, "I don't know who I am. Call back when I'm done creating." The skills you've already created and any job you have are certainly an important part of who you are, but they are not what defines you. If you lost your job or became unable to do what you do now, you would still be you.  

Unfortunately, on all but the most advanced planets you have to worry about food and shelter first and creating yourself second. This is sad because it allows amazing people to become caught up in illness, addictions, and despair because the people with the resources don't see that they are connected to the people without resources. (much like a landowner who clearcuts acres of forest doesn't feel his connection to the forest) To tell a homeless/hungry/unemployed/sick/overwhelmed sentient being to "pick yourself up by your bootstraps" (or whatever phrase you use to deny help to someone in need) is to say that he/she currently has no value (maybe if he/she cures addiction/illness without treatment he/she will be worthy, but no guarantees). All that gets is frustration and too many times the death of a worthy individual who just doesn't know his/her worth.

Even with adequate food and shelter, it is way too easy to get caught up in maintaining or advancing a material standard of living. There is absolutely nothing wrong with money or material comforts, but they are only part of what you can create for yourself.

I am love. I am compassion. I am a being who makes the world a better place.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Is it the toast or the bacon? Extraterrestrial diet wisdom

Carrot diversity
Carrot diversity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It's the most hated and controversial word on Earth: Diet.

Almost any vegetarian will tell you how bad meat production is for the environment. The most intelligent meat eaters will remind you how unsustainable corn, wheat, and soybean production has become. Both would be absolutely right.

On my planet, we had paid hunters as well as farmers (not that everyone ate meat). There was little need for heavily processed food because everybody wanted to shop for fresh groceries and socialize nearly every day. On other planets, meat is considered primitive and wasteful. Even their carnivorous pets eat legume based foods (which works, but it requires a processing technology Earth doesn't have).

None of the advanced planets I know of genetically modify their food. Without going into a big genetics lesson, you can't modify one trait without affecting something else. Plants and sometimes animals are bred for certain traits, but it is always considered important to keep food diverse and minimally altered because of the risk of food allergies, food borne infections, and loss of nutritional value.

The drinking of another animal's milk, particularly when skimmed of all or most of its natural fat, is unheard of on other planets. Most planets make some versions of cheese and yogurt, and emergency infant formulas are sometimes based on animal milk (When possible, breastfeeding is always better for babies regardless of species), but it was just really surprising to find so many people on Earth drinking animal's milk.
 So, what should you eat?

Once, during adolescence, I had an infection that tends to get worse on a high carbohydrate diet. My mom took me off of all fruit and grain for a short time. Well, it happened to be a holiday time, and much like on Earth everyone had a great dinner, except me. I tried something similar again as an adult and quickly got moody, tired, and extremely hungry. I constantly thought of every sweet baked good and fried root vegetable I'd ever eaten.

On the flip side, when I wanted to lose a little extra weight, I tried to eat fat free. Nothing I ate really tasted like anything (except fresh juices). I was beyond tired, a little moody, and extremely hungry. I thought about meat all the time, even though at the time I hadn't eaten meat in a few years.

The moral of the story is what you already inherently knew. Everything in balance. There is no one right answer for everyone (other than staying away from highly processed food). Some need less carbs. Some need less fat than others. If you're at a healthy weight and feel energetic and happy most of the time, keep doing what you're doing. If not, don't give up on yourself or feel self hatred. You are what you eat, but you are not a single donut or even a whole large pizza. Nourish yourself so you can nourish others.

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