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Transcendent

Gasland

What an astonishing documentary. I can picture a future where everyone drinks bottled water and migrates to safe zones because the rest of the world is wasteland. Bureaucracy has people so removed from the impact of their decisions. How can people willingly engage in activities they know are destroying people’s lives. The only rational explanation is they don’t value those lives. Personal profit trumps all. Power to subjugate is intoxicating. It seems hopeless that policy and attitudes of leadership will change enough to prevent a grim future. The people of the future will have to adapt.

Lost hope is what fuels a darker tomorrow. One must act as effectively as possible; and be open to realizing new possibilities. Everything is so tenuous. What can one do today to fulfill aspirations. Our fragile paradigm is malleable. Will one be ambitious or ineffective.

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Blue Drink

I had some people, a middle aged mother and her younger daughter, ask for a “blue drink”. We all played along when the pink drink  became popularized. After all, it much easier to just give people what they want and not  to confuse them with extraneous information like what it is they actually ordered. So now Instagram stars are creating the menu. I said I wasn’t familiar with the blue drink and asked if they knew the recipe. They did not. No problem; google knew what I was searching for two letters after I entered blue. Not really a meaningful interaction. I am more impressed with the power of social media. People will blindly imitate things they see in their news feed. Not a new phenomenon, but the fact that these people weren’t carefully selected and groomed to fulfill a particular purpose by a corporation is! How quickly can things change? Sure our every action online is recorded. Movements and ideas are monitored. Those that threaten the status quo are antagonized to horrific severity. Seriously look up Chelsea Manning. They released information proving US war crimes and crimes against humanity along with astonishing corruption and she is the one that goes to jail! One cannot expose human rights violations without being in contempt of national security. Imagined safety has become the greatest value. We make millions live in constant terror of drone strikes that are completely unforeseeable to the people that live in these areas. How does one sleep at night knowing their children could be instantly vaporized at any second. Civilian deaths are not unusual at all. The US has killed more civilians in our war on terror than they have killed soldiers of ours. Our lives matter more than theirs. They accidently blew up a Doctors Without Borders hospital. They had multiple warnings and were full aware of their actions. No big deal. No war crime. Blow up all the hospitals you want. What are we really doing. They attacked us long after we came into their countries. But, it is Independence Day this weekend. We can celebrate our freedom. We can watch fireworks, which ironically triggers PSTD in those that sacrificed the most for that freedom. We can be glad we don’t live in a dictatorship where people are killed without reason and those that speak out are silenced… We can go to work and earn money to buy things and live comfortable, healthy lives. Some of us at least.

Iraq Civilian Death Toll

Tourist Tax

Apparently,

3.5million tourists visit Duluth every year. This last year tourist tax brought in over 10 million dollars. This funds are used to turn Duluth from an abandoned industry town into a booming tourist destination. Beautiful town. Also hiking trails with complete nature running throughout the entire town. I wondered how it was possible that these trails existed; wouldn’t someone want to make money off this land? But nature is a commodity and it can be sold! I like it. Paying over 10% sales tax at any restaurant is annoying, but I believe this contributes to the mentality of the resident.

Cooking at home!

There is a least two well recognized high end kitchen supply companies in Duluth. When people cook at home they make healthier food. They weaken the chains of the food industry that insists they can cook for us, for less money. Neither of which is true. Home cooked food is typically healthier for physical and emotion health. It brings families together and brings attention to what people are actually eating. How often does someone ask what is in this dish at McDonald’s? No one wants to know the details of where their food came from when they know the answer is disturbing. “Don’t tell me that while I’m eating!”. When food is made by an individual ingredients are chosen individually. Nutrition is considered. A new schema for consumption is fostered.

Of course there are many factors besides tax in changing culture. But high tax on restaurants does make some people stop and think about going out, and thinking leads to change.

Does anyone else think we need change?

Daily Prompt

 

Bombs

Bombs in Istanbul airport. Not surprising to anyone. ISIS didn’t claim immediate responsibility. Even they know how to play politics. They just lost Fallujah, a major stronghold, but of course they will persist. Western politics are war tearing apart the area. It is finally coming back to us. Swarms of immigrants leaving countries that we destroyed instead of built up. So the UK votes to leave the European Union. The US favors a candidate that wants to ban Muslims and build a wall to stop immigration from Mexico. The fruits of greed are polluting our homes. Discontent begins to bubble and the true instigators of conflict become apparent… to some.

Prison

If you commit a crime you lose your rights. I didn’t know that the thirteenth amendment allowed for slavery as a form of punishment. Millions of addicts locked up, working for pennies an hour, for the profit of a private business. It costs $4.00 to make a phone call in some institutions. Of course those in jail chose to break the law… but most inmates haven’t committed violent crimes. Maybe they harmed their family and community? Surely locking them away with unreasonable costs associated with interaction is additionally harmful not helpful. Not all criminals are toxic people. There is no chance for redemption. Try finding a decent job with a criminal record. Find a nice apartment? Oh yeah their credit is probably awful too cause you can’t pay bills when you are locked up. And it costs $4.00 to make a phone call. The wealthy make the laws though, and these problems don’t affect them. The poor are hopeless or dream of winning the lottery or becoming famous. I wish I had “X”. If you want something take it. There is power in the masses. But everyone seems so limited and focused on their small circle of influence. Spread the good word. I found some things to believe in; perhaps many others can too.

Sick

You have to work. Part-time workers with no paid time off or other benefits are common and acceptable. Why do we work under these conditions? You have to work. Lack of choice. Convenience. We have acquiesced to our corporate overlords every whim. Any attempt to fight for better treatment is shut down. Of course companies give the minimum to their workers. They have margins and shareholders. Wealth must be accumulated! Whatever happened to greed being something to be abhorred? What can be done? Put values ahead of wealth. Such an old trite theme; it really is amazing how history continues to repeat itself.

Vatican ‘not bothered’ by bugging story

How is the church not concerned with secret surveillance. Surely this information is gathered for more than curiousity. Maybe they want an air of transparency. But why so much secrecy then. Trust that there won’t be a whistleblower exposing stark realities about the Vatican seems naïve even for men of faith. I call collusion.

First

Information is knowledge. It is not power necessarily, but being informed can incite change. The state of affairs in the United States has become increasingly apparent of late. Money is everything, but nothing. Overnight after the brexit vote led to the disappearance of billions of dollars. Money is created and destroyed at the whims of banks. It is nothing. The increased prevalence of electronic funds has made wealth even more abstract.

It is now commonly accepted that lobbyists have made it impossible to pass any form of gun control in congress. People claim the NRA has bought the Republican party and it is generally not disputed. How obvious then is it that all politicians that receive money from special interest groups must be beholden in some way. The wealth gap has increased disgustingly in past decades. The only thing that those with power fear is losing that power.

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