19 Oct 2017 Revisiting the subject of Zero Population Growth (ZPG) via Dan Brown’s book Inferno

Hello to you.  It’s Thursday evening here as I write to you.  I spent a lot of today sleeping, just haven’t been feeling very well.  I limited the time I spent outside today.  I was out there trying to get some Vitamin D and  I found I didn’t like the taste of the air on my lips.  I got an upset stomach too.  They have been flying over my house quite a bit the past few days, spraying whatever it is they are spraying down on everyone.  Sometimes I wonder if it’s drugs lol.  Sometimes I will see flashes of light afterwards….wonder if that is the silver in their sky cocktail floating down.  Sometimes I will find shiny silver drops on the leaves of the trees and plants in our yard after such operations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_modification.   I’ve resigned to myself that there is little to anything I can do about it short of building a air-tight bio-dome over our house and never going anywhere beyond it!

This picture is from 8 June 2016 but it could have been taken today. Same thing going on.

I decided to get my cake fix today and baked my Mom’s Red Devil Chocolate Cake recipe.  It’s one of my absolute favorites and doesn’t require any eggs to make.  Here’s the recipe if you would like to try it!

Mom’s Easy Red Devils Food Cake

3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar (can adjust), 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 2 tsp soda, 1 tsp salt.  Mix and then add:

2 cups cold water, 1 cup oil, 2 TBSP white vinegar, 2 tsp vanilla extract.  Mix and put in 9 x13 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Cupcakes: 15-20 minutes.

(I now realize the irony of the two books – one is for children and the other is exploring a world with a lot less of them!)

The books I picked up yesterday at Half Price Book in Burleson TX

19 Oct 2017 – drawing out what I’m reading in Dan Brown’s Inferno book. The goal of the books antagonist? To reduce the world population to a mere 4 billion….

Source: Internet
Diagram from Dan Brown’s book Inferno about population growth and tasking of this growth on the Earth’s resources

As I mentioned a couple of blogs ago, I purchased Dan Brown’s Inferno to read and am slowly working through it.  One of the subjects in this book, a very sobering one,  is a subject that I used to be quite passionate about some years ago, zero population growth (zpg).

When I was on active duty, we had something called the Air Assistance Fund which was an annual fundraiser for charity (http://afassistancefund.org/).   Once a year we could take a look at available charities and choose the ones we wanted to send part of our paycheck to.   One of the organizations I often chose to donate to was an organization called Zero Population Growth which is now known as Population Connection: http://www.populationconnection.org/ –

America’s Voice for Population Stabilization

Since 1968, Population Connection (formerly Zero Population Growth or ZPG) has been America’s voice for population stabilization. We are the largest grassroots population organization in the United States—we have over 500,000 members, supporters, and participating educators!

Population Connection works to ensure that every woman around the world who wants to delay or end childbearing has access to the health services and contraceptive supplies she needs in order to do so.

So what does it mean to have zero population growth?

  1. Zeropopulationgrowth, sometimes abbreviated ZPG (also called the replacement level of fertility), is a condition of demographic balance where the number of people in a specified population neither grows nor declines, considered as a social aim by some.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_population_growth

I understood back then and I am recently reminded while reading Dan’s book, that population growth cannot continue at an unchecked rate. We and the other creatures who share this earth with us are already beginning to feel the strain of what a booming human population does to any corner of earth it settles on.

I also understand that it is not entirely population growth that we need to be concerned with.

It is paramount to properly manage any and all of our natural resources which we have not….which we currently do not….at least not with sort of consistency the world over.  We live in a world of planned obsolescence whether it be a human being or a plastic toy.  We are now living in a world where our oceans, drinking water, air and food sources are made up of more plastic particles than anything else.  It is a world sewn together by leadership devoid of sensible priorities or any sort of long-term vision.   Sadly those who are responsible for the lion’s share of creating this dysfunctional world model, and I hate to break it to you, that includes you and me for drinking the slick advertisers Kool-aid,  aren’t going to be around to truly suffer the punishment they have imposed on all those who will remain.

There have been times I wish I had brought a child or two into this world.  This always becomes a fleeting regret.  All I have to do is look at what I have lived through and what it’s like even as we are here in 2017!  It’s different faces and places but pretty much the same crap we’ve been dealing with since the 13th century and before!  The big difference now, there are even more of us to be at the business of it!  I am glad for my hypothetical children that I chose not to bring them here.

Couple of interesting quotes from Dan’s book:

“Ozone depletion, lack of water, and pollution are not the disease—they are the symptoms. The disease is overpopulation. And unless we face world population head-on, we are doing nothing more than sticking a Band-Aid on a fast-growing cancerous tumor.”
Dan Brown, Inferno https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/overpopulation

The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. – Bertrand Zobrist”
Read more at http://www.metriber.com/books/best-quotes-from-dan-browns-inferno/#O8Tlvg3zFtqP1hel.99

 

 

 

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15 Oct 2017 My Grandparents, being a Polar Bear (dreams) and The Two Bears (poem by Carolyn Wells)

Hello to you.  How are you this morning?  It’s morning here as I write.  We had rain last night so the pictures I drew yesterday have been lifted up to fly with the gray ships and on the wings of the large swirl of birds that greeted the dogs and I when we went out this morning.

14 Oct 2017 – woman I drew last night before calling it a day. She kind of looks like actress Gillian Anderson to me (X-files)

It’s cooler and feels like fall.  Kyle and I are talking about going to see if Half Price Books can help me with my craving for interesting words telling stories printed on pages and bound…aka a book…you remember what those are right?!  (wink).  Unfortunately, most of the books on my wish list are expensive and not for entertainment, of the non-fictional nature.  I will have to see what happens….see who finds me seeking them in the world of print.

So I have been sleeping really well the past couple of nights and am so grateful.  The cooler weather definitely helps.  With this rest has come almost a non-stop stream of dream.  There were two that stuck with me from last nights travels.

The first one was about being someone, I think my Grandma Schmidt or may be me much older.  Whoever I was talked about  not believing she was 80 years old, she didn’t feel like she was.  She showed me where they lived and it was a dump lol.  A building being held together with strips of white cloth and tape (kind of like how it feels our house is being held together sometimes lol).  I remember walking and talking with a man who looked like my Grandpa Elias Schmidt as a young man.  I remember singing karaoke.  I couldn’t remember all the words but sang really well!

http://hdm.wikia.com/wiki/Iorek_Byrnison
Iorek Byrnison – was a panserbjørn and the king of Svalbard. He was a great friend and comrade to both Lyra Silvertongue and Lee Scoresby.

The other dream was about being part of a polar bear family….actually being a polar bear.  We were traveling on sheets of ice over water and down streams.  A lot of running and sliding!  It was snowy white every where but lots of sun.  It was very liberating to travel this way.  What’s funny is before I drifted off to sleep, I heard a man’s voice say, “remember, I can be anything or anyone.”   Why not a polar bear?!  God is in all creation.

To close…time to get breakfast on and enjoy the remaining time we have before work begins again.  I found this poem and it made me smile, so fanciful, playful and silly!  I really enjoyed it.  I hope you do too.

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-two-bears/

The Two Bears – Poem by Carolyn Wells

Prince Curlilocks remarked one day
To Princess Dimplecheek,
‘I haven’t had a real good play
For more than ‘most a week.’

Said Princess Dimplecheek, ‘My dear,
Your majesty forgets–
This morning we played grenadier
With grandpa’s epaulets.

‘And yesterday we sailed to Spain–
We both were pirates bold,
And braved the wild and raging main
To seek for hidden gold.’

‘True,’ said the prince; ‘I mind me well–
Right hardily we fought,
And stormed a massive citadel
To gain the prize we sought.

‘But if your ladyship agrees,
Methinks we’ll go upstairs
And build a waste of arctic seas,
And we’ll be polar bears.’

‘Yes, if you’ll promise not to bite,’
Fair Dimplecheek replied,
Already half-way up the flight,
His highness by her side.

‘Princess, on that far window-seat,
Go, sit thee down and wait,
While I ask nursie for a sheet,
Or maybe six or eight.’

A pile of sheets his highness brought.
‘Dear princess, pray take these;
Although our path with danger’s fraught,
We’ll reach the polar seas.’

Two furry rugs his lordship bore,
Two pairs of mittens white;
He threw them on the nursery floor
And shouted with delight.

He spread those sheets–the funny boy–
O’er table, floor, and chair.
‘Princess,’ said he, ‘don’t you enjoy
This frosty, bracing air?

‘These snowy sheets are fields of ice,
This is an iceberg grim.’
‘Yes, dear, I think it’s very nice,’
She said, and smiled at him.

And then they donned the rugs of fur,
The mittens, too, they wore;
And Curlilocks remarked to her,
‘Now you must roar and roar.’

Dimplecheek looked out from the cowl
Formed by her furry rug.
‘I’m ‘fraid of bears that only growl–
I like the kind that hug.’

 

14 Oct 2017 Blue butterflies, Sky Dog (drawings) and Blue Butterfly Day (Robert Frost poem)

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May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.
~Irish blessing

 

https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/blue-butterfly-day-2/

Blue-Butterfly Day – Poem by Robert Frost

It is blue-butterfly day here in spring,
And with these sky-flakes down in flurry on flurry
There is more unmixed color on the wing
Than flowers will show for days unless they hurry.

But these are flowers that fly and all but sing:
And now from having ridden out desire
They lie closed over in the wind and cling
Where wheels have freshly sliced the April mire.

*Hope your having a wonderful day wherever and whenever you are.

12 Oct 2017 Remember why you are here (today’s drawings and message)

Hello to you.  Just a quick note with the chalk drawings I did out back today.  The weather is still very nice here.  My thoughts are with the folks in California and any corner of this globe needing help…some glimmer of hope today.   Lots of folks are having hard times.   I hope you are doing your best to shine your light wherever you can.  Keep your lamplights burning!

*the featured drawing is based on a dream I had once about flying around a huge tree with two other men.  Then we were standing on a geometric shaped building made of glass and I left the other two by flying away.

9 Oct 2017 In the moment, Poem (California on fire again) and revisiting the past (can be painful!)

9 Oct 2017 – drawing I did today…The Amnesiac’s. I was thinking about how it seems like we keep forgetting things that are important.

Hello to you.  It’s Monday evening as I start to write to you.  How was the day you just lived today?  How are you doing in this moment?  What is everything in your “now?”  For me it’s drinking coffee that is a tad bitter but I’ll keep drinking it because I don’t want to waste it.  Link and Spot are on edge because I was just outside and rang the doorbell like an asshole after walking Kyle out and looking for gecko’s….only found one.  Ever since we put up the new siding…less gecko’s.  May is meowling again about who knows what and it drives me crazy….sounds like a baby crying.  Almost impossible for me to ignore her even if I try.  I am in no physical pain, comfortable temperature and there is an annoying smudge on my glasses again.  I hear the random pinging of raindrops on our metal siding which is a good thing.  I’m grateful for this moment I am in and grateful to have this cyber place in which to express my random “stuff.”  I’m grateful for whoever you are reading this, for your taking a moment from your busy world to visit me.

I have some quiet time to myself so this is going to be long lol.  I’ve finally resolved to myself that brevity is never going to be my thing lol!  If you don’t have time right now, please come back when you can.  There is something for you here. 

Yeah…..so I wrote this little poem today.  It’s not positive, complicated or even very eloquent….just one of those poems that started to come in while I was doing something else and I jotted it down.  Then I saw on the news later that California is burning even more so than normal…..sigh.  (http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/09/us/california-fires/index.htmlFast-moving wildfires kill 10, spur evacuations in Northern California By Ralph Ellis, Joe Sterling, Paul P. Murphy and Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Updated 7:48 PM ET, Mon October 9, 2017)

9 Oct 2017 – Jackie Wygant poem

I hate you

You hate me

I hate me

So it goes

Through our family tree

Barren seed in fallow soil

A life

Of blood, sweat and toil

Where is the love we once knew?

Is it only ember and ash now

Against the darkening red, white and blue?

It’s weird sometimes the random things that I will pick up and they end up in poems, writings and my art.  Guess that’s the way it’s always worked for me.

Today I found something out about myself.  It’s now not an easy thing for me to look at pictures from the past….just as bad as reading my old journals.

Kyle was sleeping and the internet was off so I decided to take a trip down memory lane and look at some old photos from 2009 when we still lived in Newark DE and some since we’ve been here.  This turned me into a mass of sobbing wet tears.  What happened that really set me off was I saw video I had taken of our kitty Amber when she was still here and our Spot during one of the visits from the squirrel.  The furniture in our house was different.  We still had the pergola which the squirrel has sorely missed since its removal.  We still had our old back fence!  In just a short little video I saw how much time had gone by and all that was changed….missing.

5-march-2015-my-sunbeam-kitty-amber-alvarado-tx

Part of my current resentment at our remaining cat May is May has never loved me like Amber did and she’s still alive and Amber isn’t!  It’s so hard for me to get over that!  Amber was the kind of cat that was more like a dog than a cat in her personality and behavior.  She got that way after we got our cocker spaniel Sam.  She was smart enough to figure out that if she was going to get any time with me she had to become more like a dog.  So she did!  Amber was a big part of my heart.  I used to hold her when she’d come visit me on the toilet and just hold her and start crying I loved her so much.

Yeah…..but I think Amber has found her ways, through perhaps the ashes we spread about the yard, to find her way back to me.  Whether it be a positive or negative insect interaction…..sometimes it seems very personal lol.  Like a fragment of Amber making herself known to me whether it be a fire ant bite or a butterfly randomly flittering through my hair.  Amber isn’t the Amber I knew….she’s much more and that comforts me some.  It’s just when I go back looking for what she was and isn’t anymore that hurts so bad.

What happened to me today reminds me that we must be careful going back for what we have lost.  We can be reminded how much it hurts that we can never get any of it back.  Even if we can get something back from our past,  it can never be exactly as it was.  Kind of like it was for me after joining the military and going home to visit.  I wasn’t the same person even if the people and places I left behind were much the same.  Going backwards on anything can sometimes open wounds that had finally closed.  I am reminded of this today.  Sometimes I go back to things better left in the past.

I don’t want to forget the past ever happened.  I don’t want to forget the people, animals, places and things that made me the me I am now.  I just really had it hit me today looking at those old pictures and videos that I don’t want to emotionally torture myself in my present with facts  and parts of history that are fixed….set….unchangeable.

There will never be another cat exactly like Amber in my life.  There will never be the exact version of any other person, animal, place or thing that I loved after they have left this physical world or been destroyed.  For as long as I live and can retain my memory, they will exist in my mind, heart and even my soul.  Even fragments of their existence, rejoined with the energy God of my understanding, will remain in the air, the water, the food, my sleeping and waking world …but they will never be them again.  They are part of my past and I cannot get them back again!

This was taken during a visit to the San Francisco CA Zoo in *cough* Nov 1987! The note on the wall behind me, “This bench is reserved for primates only” is appropriate lol!

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/William_Beebe – the first time I saw this was when I visited the San Francisco Zoo:

The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living beings breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.

  • The Bird (1906)

I feel like my little blurp here could be a bit of a cautionary tale of the direction I see us going in this country….in this world.  I see a fading mass of people trying to take those newer on the scene kicking and screaming back to the caves by the hair without Wi-Fi.  Why?  I think, speaking as someone who can be averse to change, because it’s comfortable, it’s safe, it’s familiar, it makes them feel like they have control over something and it means not having to change.  This world is changing so fast!

This is an ironic observation as I live in a world of people who seem to thrive on change and new external stimulation!  Kyle and I notice this especially with video games and how the industry seems to have such a hard time “feeding” gamers with new content.  As soon as new content is released, people eat through it like a bag of chocolate and get pissed and act like addicts going through withdrawal waiting for their next “hit.”

We want change but we want to control the how, where, when, why and what of it happening.   For many, and this is the case for myself, not having any sort of input or control over changes like those coming from our government,  that affect me and those I love,  has left me feeling quite powerless and angry.

I  cannot really get to mad at my parents, teachers and other role models in my life for all the dirty secrets I’ve found out about my country and the world since my growing up years.  I’m finding out from personal experience that history is a contextual thing.  It’s also a matter of perception…your experiences, your background, your family, your education shape your perception of the world and how you live in it.

Depending on where you are in time and what you know at that time, determines how you live in that segment of history.  What was acceptable behavior for white people in the context of history going on during the time of slavery isn’t what should be going on in our current times in the context of modern history….why? Because we know better!  My parents and all the teachers through my life probably didn’t know or realize half the things that have come to light in our current times.  Now we do know what was and is still yet going on.  Are we as a world going to just keep revisiting and repeating the past or finally let go, let God and move the fuck on?!!

I think we have a lot of people in this world who feel powerless in our times.  So they are clinging on to whatever they can to give them some sense of stability…certainty.  Many are choosing to hold on to history, be it positive or negative, to have some sort of certainty, identity, purpose and meaning .  I am living in a country that makes it seem like you have to go on America’s Got Talent or something to be worth a shit…to have value.  If you have ever watched that show, you have seen the lengths people will go to be worth something.  They will nearly kill themselves!  It feels like you have to “be something, someone or connected to something or someone” in order to have any sort of self-esteem.

People are still not being taught how to light their own fire inside.  They are still being taught in every conceivable way that they must seek their value and worth outside of themselves – other people, places and especially things.  It’s a lie perpetuated all the way back to the first real fire I think!

Anyhew….

Kyle and I watched this tonight and I thought John did a really good job on this very sensitive subject in our country – confederate monuments.  I didn’t know that a large majority of monuments in our country that depict Confederate themes were erected decades after the Civil War was over, meant to be the middle finger of sorts towards minorities and many were dedicated by members of the KKK!  I think these statues should be put preserved, as John suggests here.  I think they should definitely be put in museums with background information and historical context provided.  I think destroying the statues would be not much better than what everyone has gotten upset about ISIS doing.  It isn’t a good idea to erase history…especially history we really shouldn’t repeat!  I feel like people should be able to choose to go to a museum and view them versus not having a choice about being subjected to them in sometimes unavoidable public places.

Confederacy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

 

We can only go forward and through….that’s the only way to survive the callous master that is Time.

 

5 Oct 2017 A skim over the headlines and what it shows me

Hello to you.  It’s Thursday morning yet as I finish compiling all of these articles.  I did it because I had to find some healthy way to channel the energy in the generally shitty attitude I have about this world right now!  My neighbor asked me how I was doing yesterday after she brought us half of a delicious cake she had made and I was honest with her.  I said tearfully, “Not very good, I am just pissed at the world right now!”  I know I’m not alone in how I’m feeling.  I got a letter from one of my pen pals yesterday and she even said that she and her family have tossed around the idea of moving to Canada, anywhere but here,  until this bullshit is over.  It doesn’t matter where you go now though really.  Look at what happened in Germany’s recent elections!  

http://www.turkishny.com/taha-meli-arvas/160-taha-meli-arvas/253745-germany-elects-nazi-sympathizers-while-the-krg-wants-a-better-deal

Germany Elects Nazi Sympathizers, While the KRG Wants a Better Deal

On Sunday, German voters gave Chancellor Angela Merkel a resounding vote of no-confidence. Nearly 66 percent of Germans voted against Merkel and her Christian Democrats Union, their worst showing in nearly 70 years. Despite losing a quarter of her supporters, Germany’s arcane electoral system will allow Merkel to become chancellor for a fourth term. The remaining votes were split between several smaller parties, including the “Alternative for Germany” party, or AfD. The far-right AfD is known for being a party that has morphed into one of Nazi sympathizers and radical xenophobes from its humble anti- “common currency” beginnings.

The powers that be have been massaging this game for quite some time and with few bumps to impede their progress, are putting all the pieces in place we swore would never happen again after WWII.  They have got plenty of desperate and ignorant fools to help them do it too!  

So anyways. 

I was curious to see what was going on with regards to things besides the rising gun debate, which I’m happy to see this morning that there is sensible stuff going on – the Democrats and Republicans at least agreeing we don’t need bump stocks being added to guns to make them more deadly to shoot. 

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/05/republican-proposes-ban-of-bump-stocks-used-in-las-vegas-shooting/

 Republican proposes ban of “bump stocks” used in Las Vegas shooting

“A question that I have started asking around here is, ‘Why are these bump stocks legal?’'”

Matthew Rozsa10.05.2017•8:33 AM

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida announced that he would support a ban on “bump stocks,” devices that allow semiautomatic guns to fire more rapidly. The Las Vegas mass shooter reportedly had two bump stocks in his Mandalay Bay hotel room.

“I definitely think we need to revisit the issue of gun safety. A question that I have started asking around here is, ‘Why are these bump stocks legal?’” Curbelo told WLRN, Miami’s NPR affiliate. After noting that bump stocks are “a blatant circumvention of the law” banning automatic weapons, Curbelo argued that “I believe this presents an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to finally come together to build consensus around common-sense gun policies.”

He added, “Right now the best candidate for a common denominator is to focus on these bump stock devices, which are so deadly and so potent.”

Curbelo has advocated gun control policies in the past, such as a bill he filed in 2016 that would have banned people from owning guns, who were also prohibited from flying. The difference here, though, is that there are other Republican congressmen who feel the way he does about bump stocks.

“I think they should be banned. There’s no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semi-automatic to something that behaves like an automatic,” said Rep. Bill Flores of Texas to The Hill.

With just a skim over the internet looking at key issues going on in this country, I can see where President Trump and the GOP is focused and where they are not.

I have not put the entirety of the articles here, please use the provided links to read the articles if you wish to read them in their entirety.

Overall, what I see is President Trump, his cabinet and the GOP seem to think it’s more important to fund building walls and the war machine than it is on the people and the programs the people of this country desperately need.   It would appear as long as you are in line with the Fuhrer’s in Chief’s *cough Trump’s agenda, have corporate/lobby funding, are championing corporate interests and don’t get caught hitching rides with oil barons you are gtg…..these people have sold their souls and our country and seem to have absolutely no remorse for doing so. 

As Jimmy Kimmel said the other night after the Vegas shootings , “It’s like somebody has opened a window to hell!” Yeah Jimmy, they have. 

4 Oct 2017 Jackie Wygant outdoor chalk drawing Jimmy Kimmel’s Window to Hell Alvarado TX

These are just a fraction of the headlines I could have listed here…..there are just so many:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/2017/09/28/59533ed8-a4b8-11e7-ade1-76d061d56efa_story.html?utm_term=.7fb38933e5b6

Zinke took $12,000 charter flight home in oil executive’s plane, documents show

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke chartered a flight from Las Vegas to near his home in Montana this summer aboard a plane owned by oil-and-gas executives, internal documents show.

The flight, along with private flights during a trip to the Virgin Islands, could propel Zinke into the growing debate over the costs of travel by Cabinet secretaries, some of whom have chosen expensive charter jets and military planes at high expense to taxpayers over the cheaper option of flying commercial.

https://hotair.com/archives/2017/10/03/pence-chief-staff-hey-whos-purge-gop/

Pence chief of staff: Hey, who’s up for a purge in the GOP?

Old and busted: Ambassador Mike Pence. New hotness: Inquisitor Mike Pence? Politico got its hands on an audio recording of the vice president’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, meeting with big-ticket GOP donors to plan for the midterms. Rather than follow Pence’s public signals for intra-party unity between Trump loyalists and everyone else, Ayers told donors that they needed to conduct a purge that will eject any Republicans with insufficient loyalty to the president:

But Ayers reserved his harshest criticism for congressional leaders and members who have not offered full-throated support for the president.

“Just imagine the possibilities of what can happen if our entire party unifies behind him? If — and this sounds crass — we can purge the handful of people who continue to work to defeat him,” Ayers said, according to an audio recording of the remarks obtained by POLITICO.

Did that sound crass? Not as crass as what followed:

One attendee later asked how the donors could “rally the congressional delegation that does support the president and vice president, and rally them and push them to change the current leadership in both the Senate and the House.”

“I’m not speaking on behalf of the president or vice president when I say this,” Ayers responded. “But if I were you, I would not only stop donating, I would form a coalition of all the other major donors, and just say two things. We’re definitely not giving to you, number one. And number two, if you don’t have this done by Dec. 31, we’re going out, we’re recruiting opponents, we’re maxing out to their campaigns, and we’re funding super PACs to defeat all of you.”

http://federal-budget.insidegov.com/l/120/2017-Estimate

2017 United States Budget Estimate

GDP: $17T

Total Receipts: $3.21T

Total Outlays: $3.65T

Total Surplus or Deficit as Percentage of GDP: -2.6%

* Note: Budget estimates are based on projections from the Obama Administration. To the extent feasible, the data have been adjusted using chained 2009 GDP to provide consistency with the 2015 Budget and to provide comparability over time.

2017 Key Facts

The U.S. government is estimated to collect $3.21T in tax revenues and spend a total of $3.65T in its 2017 budget, resulting in a deficit of $443B. The deficit is expected to be 2.6% of its total estimated GDP of $17T that year.

All numbers are adjusted for inflation.

total revenues

$3.21

trillion

total spending

$3.65

trillion

total surplus/deficit

$-443

billion

total surplus/deficit as % of GDP

-2.6%

GDP

$16,985,900,000,000

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/house-panel-approves-dollar10b-for-border-wall/ar-AAsUDwd

House panel approves $10B for border wall

The House Homeland Security Committee approved Wednesday a border security bill that includes $10 billion for a border wall.

The Border Security for America Act, proposed by committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), was passed along party lines, 18-12.

The bill now heads to the House floor amid debate over whether border security provisions should be attached to potential legislation to protect recipients of the rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/us/politics/senate-pentagon-spending-bill.html

WASHINGTON — In a rare act of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, the Senate passed a $700 billion defense policy bill on Monday that sets forth a muscular vision of America as a global power, with a Pentagon budget that far exceeds what President Trump has asked for.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/03/555166767/lapse-in-federal-funding-imperils-children-s-health-coverage

Congress finally seems ready to take action on the Children’s Health Insurance Program after funding lapsed Sept. 30.

Before the deadline, lawmakers were busy grappling with the failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

CHIP covers 9 million children nationwide. But until Congress renews CHIP, states are cut off from additional federal funding that helps lower- and middle-income families.

CHIP, which has enjoyed broad bipartisan support, helps lower- and middle-income families that otherwise earn too much to be eligible for Medicaid. Besides children, it covers 370,000 pregnant women a year. Like Medicaid, CHIP is traditionally paid for by state and federal funding, but the federal government covers most of the cost.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee posted its bill just before midnight Monday. It mirrors the Senate Finance plan by extending funding for CHIP for five years and gradually phasing down the 23 percentage point funding increase provided under Affordable Care Act over the next two years.

http://educationvotes.nea.org/2017/10/04/public-service-loan-forgiveness-thrust-peril-trump-devos-budget/

Public Service Loan Forgiveness thrust into peril by Trump-DeVos budget

Greg Cechak is a 31-year-old sixth-grade teacher in Pennsylvania, who owes about $80,000 for his state university education. He and his wife, another public school teacher, also are the parents of two small children, who he worries he’ll never be able to send to college because he’ll still be paying off his own student loans.

The light on the horizon for the Cechak family—and more than 600,000 additional teachers, firefighters, and public-service employees—is the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which hopefully will erase the majority of his federal student loan debt after Cechak has paid 120 on-time monthly loan payments.

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of PSLF, but the program recently has been thrust into peril by the Trump-DeVos proposed budget, which would eliminate PSLF. In response, a congressional caucus dedicated to protecting PSLF was formed this fall by two Pennsylvania Republicans—U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle and U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, and thousands of NEA members have called on Congress to protect PSLF.

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/articles/2017-05-23/donald-trump-and-betsy-devos-budget-would-destroy-public-schools

President Donald Trump released his administration’s first full budget Tuesday, and the reactions from Capitol Hill make it look like it’s dead on arrival. That might be true, but it shouldn’t make those of us who work to improve outcomes for students any less concerned. As former Education Secretary Arne Duncan said whenever he talked about President Barack Obama’s budget proposals, budgets reflect our values. And when it comes to education, the values of Trump and his education secretary Betsy DeVos couldn’t be clearer – private schools deserve money, and public schools and vulnerable students don’t.

At a high level, the outlines of Trump and DeVos’ education priorities became clear in March with the release of the administration’s so-called “skinny budget.” As a result, much of what is in today’s full budget isn’t surprising. The proposal would cut the Education Department’s funding by more than 13 percent and slash overall funding by almost $11 billion, including eliminating $2.1 billion in funding for teacher professional development and support, which could pay the salaries of more than 35,000 teachers, and $1.2 billion for after-school programs, which support working families and serve 1.6 million students.

At the same time, Trump and DeVos would push over $1 billion of new money for private school voucher schemes and other school choice programs. In essence, states and districts will have to enact DeVos’ preferred school choice policies in order to recover some of the cuts to longstanding programs.

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/353905-dems-release-own-infrastructure-principles-in-absence-of-trump-plan

Dems release own infrastructure principles in absence of Trump plan

A group of House Democrats released their own set of infrastructure principles Wednesday, as the White House has yet to unveil more details about Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure package.

The New Democrat Coalition laid out three major steps Congress should take to revitalize the nation’s infrastructure: fund it, fix it and foster it.

The group prefers to use the revenue from repatriation, or taxing corporate earnings stashed overseas when it returns to the U.S., to upgrade U.S. infrastructure. They also want to see robust, long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2017/10/04/trump-administration-denies-endangered-species-protection-pacific-walrus-and-two-dozen-oth-25-specie/732704001/

From walruses to turtles and woodpeckers to toads, the Trump administration Wednesday declined to list 25 species as endangered, noting that extra protection “is not warranted at this time.”

Of particular concern to environmental groups is the Pacific walrus, which had been considered a candidate for the list due to the dramatic loss of its Arctic sea ice habitat.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which determines which species can be classified as endangered, reported that it can’t say with certainty that the Pacific walrus is likely to become endangered, despite an extensive loss of Arctic Sea ice due to global warming.

“This is a truly dark day for America’s imperiled wildlife,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “You couldn’t ask for a clearer sign that the Trump administration puts corporate profits ahead of protecting endangered species.”

Ahhhh some sense?!!  Whew!

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/03/gop-leader-shelves-nra-backed-silencer-bill/

GOP leader shelves NRA-backed silencer bill

WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders called for unity and prayer Tuesday after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, but offered no new legislation to tighten gun laws and said a bill to ease regulations on gun silencers would be shelved indefinitely.

“We are all reeling from this horror in Las Vegas,” Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference. “This is just awful.”

Ryan said there’s no plan for the House to act soon on a National Rifle Association-backed bill to ease regulations on gun silencers. A House panel had backed the bill last month and lawmakers were expected to move ahead on the measure.

The bill is “not scheduled right now. I don’t know when it will be scheduled,” Ryan said.

 

 

 

1 Oct 2017 Are we like ADHD medication for God?

Good evening.  It’s 7:17 pm and our day is about to wind down….head to bed and get ready for the “ass a.m.” wake-up alarm lol!  How has your weekend been?  The weather here today was absolutely lovely and I was able to spend a lot of time outside unpestered.   I did several chalk drawings and had a message come through to me strong enough that I felt I had to jot it down in my pink spirit book.  As I pulled down the backdoor blinds to the fulling moon,  I realize that is probably where this burst of creativity and inspiration is coming from today….it usually does.  The rest of it comes via dreams.

What I’m sharing is not original,  is not fact…. just a variation of theory I read via Philip K. Dick (http://www.tekgnostics.com/PDK.HTM#.WdGH6ORe6M8 – pretty wild stuff here if you are interested) and any number of other smart people through the years.  It just came together so strong and clear today as I sat outside listening to music and taking in everything around me.  I wonder, if we are in a way like ADHD medication for God?!  When God is within us, God can finally focus?!  What I envision is the God of my understanding is all the energy behind all the countless little dots that makes each of us and everything in our reality solid…..alive.   Without us to think and feel, those dots just keep on swirling in the dark matter….chaos….no form or structure assigned to it.

I have told Kyle that from my past couple of episodes, it came to me that it is like all life forms are different manifestations of God. God looks at us through the eyes of each and every living being on this planet.  It is through each of the life forms existing on this planet God feels and experiences what it is like to have senses and be alive in a way no one human being possibly can.  A God capable of empathy beyond our understanding because they know first hand what it is like to be inside and experience any and all ways of life on this planet.  How else to be omnipresent?!  We along with all other living beings are like hosts for a fragment….a seed of God.  Without us, there is only a fragmented (pixilated) existence and it is meaningless.

Pink spirit book message:

“How many random particles does it take to make a single tree?”

“We give structure to God.”  The God of my understanding is the energy that makes everything be “real”….take form.  It is our thoughts, words and deeds that give God energy a blueprint for order in the chaotic swarm that is energy – molecules, photons, particles….dots of light…the pixils.  Without this blueprint, the order in our thoughts, words and deeds there is just swirling chaos.  Philip K Dick came up with this and I see it too.)  “God is the energy we need to give structure and meaning to what would just (otherwise) be meaningless chaos.”

I don’t know if any of what I’m saying here will make sense or resonate with anyone besides me lol but hey, that’s what blogs are for.  We express ourselves and even if we are the only ones to read and understand….well it’s not totally pointless.  At least all those thoughts aren’t trapped and left ruminating inside LOL!

 

 

29 Sept 2017 Unicorn hunter (chalk drawing) and humor about battling fireants

29 Sept 2017 – It was cool, I was armed with a spray bottle….mosquitos and ants be damned I’m doin a drawing today! LOL!

So last post for the next couple of days.  As  I say in the caption, I wanted to drawn on our patio and said fuck it, I’m drawing on the patio ants, mosquitos, crazy looking bees…whatever!!!  I’m calling this “unicorn hunter.”  I know weird, just what came to me after drawing it.   Kyle said at first glance it reminded him of an abstract version of a Final Fantasy 10 summon named Anima.  Wow!  I looked up Anima and pretty scary!  Not my intention when I drew this lol!

(http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Anima_(summon):

Anima also made several cameo appearances in other spin-off Final Fantasy titles

To give you a laugh before I close. 

So today we, in our desperation in the heat of our battle with fire ants who want to invade our house, I mixed cinnamon and Splenda together as a aw fuck it maneuver.  What did they do?  Well at first they were really pissed and swarmed the mixture and then, again acting so much like humans do in similar circumstances, just started making a new path around the obstruction!  Acting like human beings encountering a wreck on the interstate LOL!  Just get pissed and find a way around.  It’s kind of scary how damn smart I’m finding out these bugs are while we are going through this!

Interesting info about this kind of warfare between humans and fire ants:

http://www.fireant.net/Control/ – excerpt from site, good info here for those who might be fighting similar battle!

The War on Fire Ants

Fireant control can be time consuming and costly. But, hey, this is war!

There are several methods to kill fire ants, some take a few hours, others a few weeks or months. The most important thing to remember when dealing with fireants is to be patient. And make sure you treat or remove all the mounds because if you miss even one young mound, they’ll win. Re-infestation will occur in less than a year.

If you have one mound, chances are good that there are others in the area. They have tunneled underground and popped up where you see them. This makes it difficult to get rid of them because you must kill the queen. Getting to the queen can be hard.

Although we want to kill the fire ants as quickly as possible, it is better to be patient and use a product without a lot of poison in it. Remember, you must kill the queen. Fire ants pass along bits of chewed up food to each other until it reaches the queen. If they detect anything unusual in the food, they will not pass it along and it will never get to the queen. If you try to poison them quickly, it will look like you’ve been successful, but you’ve only put a temporary dent in the population unless the queen is gone.

29 Sept 2017 Maria (heroine in Puerto Rico nursing home), Bugs scent tracking me in my dreams and Painted Rocks of Kindness

Hello there….how are you doing in your time and place as you visit me here? I hope you are well. I honestly don’t know how I’m doing these days but trying to get back to a hostility-free heart center! It’s hard for me these days! I am comforted to see some of my recent, very loud, prayers kind of being answered. For example, I mean kind of answered by seeing reports that our government is actually more aggressively trying to help Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately,  the stuff is just sitting on the tarmac in containers and not getting to those in need now! Hopefully the General our President has sent to deal with it can get some stuff moving.  This story from ABC News was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.  It was of nursing home worker Maria doing everything she can to take care of people in her care after the storm, ironically bearing her name:

Nursing home worker not giving up on her patients :

So apparently my recent and on-going battle with the ants trying to take over our house has seeped into my sub-conscious…dreams.  Yeah, the diametrious earth project didn’t work as well as we hoped after all!  Doesn’t seem to work on ants as well as other insects it seems.  I’m about to give up chalking on the patio because of ants and mosquitos biting me! I have to wonder, is this God’s answer to my prayer about what to do with my art?! May be the God of my understanding has a fucked up sense of humor too!

Yesterday we had the blessing of rain.  I had to wait for the patio to dry out before I could go out and draw. Well when I did, the ants just started coming for the house again. I saw a bunch of them even start gathering behind me when I wasn’t looking! When they attacked the laundry basket, they primarily went after my clothes. Am I being scent tracked by these bastards lol?! Is it the Lithium or something else? Do we have an ant version of the movie Mimic in the process ?! ZOMG! I don’t wanna be an ant queen lol!

Mimic: The Director’s Cut – Trailer

Anyhew….I had a couple pretty vivid and creepy dreams about this!

The first dream started out pleasant. I was in some beautiful nature spot with my Mom Dianne. From what I remember we were on a beach with white sand. All the sudden we heard explosion sounds and saw white plumes of smoke in the sky. The second time, when we looked in the clear blue sky, the smoke was in the shape of the fruit of life and then there was dust blowing in our eyes.  (the other day I broke apart the fruit of life I had made with dirt balls and kicked it into the yard in anger….hmmmm…almost forgot I did that but apparently my subconscious didn’t!)

30 Aug 2017 Jackie Wygant Fruit of Life from grass mud and water Alvarado TX

There was a brief dream about worm and or larvae type creatures with mouths a lot like creatures you might see in an Aliens movie chasing me! Gross! (this is from me going to empty our bio waste bucket and finding two small larval worms in it!)

The one I remember the most, just before waking, was of going into a Veterinary type clinic. There was an aquarium with two cats floating in it, alive, getting some sort of wierd treatment. Then I was talking to a man at this place and for some reason I had brought one of my pillowcases with me and it was laying on the counter. All the sudden these bugs started going into the pillowcase and when I tried to shake them out, it got swarmed by a bunch more! I threw the pillowcase on the floor in fear and when I did, a bunch of all sorts of insects started to attack the pillowcase. I took off running outside. I was able to put my flying/floating dream skills to work and floated off of the ground….afraid to touch anything for fear of more attacks like with the pillowcase. People in cars were looking at me in shock as I floated above the ground past them.  (This is obviously from the laundry basket invasion experience!  I’ve had other waking experience with insects swarming the house since we’ve been here and when I was growing up in South Dakota.  One day we had an invasion of army caterpillars that took over the yard and started climbing all over our house!)

12 Sept 2017 – to include the side of the house and the ants found the small gap where we missed with the baking soda

1 Oct 2016 – this is a walnut caterpillar and the reason I have black poop pellets all over, a stripped and very sick pecan tree

Changing gears……Sorry about that, but blogging is part of my therapy, remember that! Read with caution lol! 

My friend and pen pal Lesley wrote to us yesterday….thank you so much! Her letters and those I get from my Mom are so precious to me for many reasons. A reason that occurred to me most recently is the knowing that after Les and my Mom are no longer here on this earth, I probably won’t get “real” letters anymore! Sad but true in our current times!

So in this letter, Les included a newspaper story about a new craze that is going on that I didn’t know about. As an act of random kindness, people painting rocks and hiding them in plain sight for others to find – kind of like the letters only more resilient of course.

The ironic thing about this suggestion? Is other people have also suggested I do this sort of thing through the years! They have encouraged me to put my art on rocks but I haven’t done it for several reasons. Financial reasons, my intimidation of paints and not having the rocks and supplies. I’m going to have to give this some more thought….there are few coincidences in such things!

Source: Internet – this is definitely what I want to see every morning when I wake up. We have a long way to go, but I can at least try to work on peace in myself and in my own home…the places I walk in my little circle of this world.

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/communities/northeast/article/Painted-rocks-fad-meant-to-bring-happiness-12207358.php

In the mid-’70s, Americans bought into the pet rock fad, which disappeared about as quickly as it arrived.

A different kind of rock is creating a buzz, and hundreds of Metrocom residents are part of a new rock craze: painting rocks and leaving them in various public places.

Nearly 700 members of the Rocks-Cibolo, Schertz, UC, Marion, LO Texas Facebook group paint designs on the rocks and then place them out in public for others to find. The painted rocks range in designs from a simple red circle to sports team logos and popular movie themes. Rainbows, flowers and more intricate designs have also been used.

Leslie White and her son Toby, 6, were at the Schertz Public Library late last month, hiding a handful of rocks she had recently painted. While placing their rocks in various spots in the library courtyard, Toby found one that someone else had left, making the day a special outing for them.

White said she’s relatively new to the art form, having painted about a dozen since getting involved this summer.

“I paint anything that looks beautiful. I love color, so whatever makes me smile is what I think someone else would like,” said White, who started painting rocks after joining a community Rock page on Facebook.

“It’s a stress reliever,” she said. “It gives families something to do. It’s getting people moving, spending time painting rocks with their families.

“There’s so much negativity and hate going on right now, and it may seem like just a ‘stupid rock’ to some people. But maybe someone had a bad day and they go pick up this rock and … it brightens their day. It puts a smile on someone’s face.”

White and her son have designed and hidden almost a dozen rocks, which she said take anywhere from an hour to two hours to design and paint.

“On the rock group (Facebook page), we actually give hints to where we post,” she said. “We put clues. I usually take a close-up of where it’s at, and Toby likes to pose next to the rock. It’s a lot of fun for the kids.”

White said they share the excitement when someone posts a photo on the page of a rock they painted and hid, although most rocks are placed in plain sight, so they can be found and hidden again.

“Yes, we do get excited when someone finds a rock we painted. And I will post, ‘Hey, that was one I painted,’” White said, laughing.

jflinn@express-news.net

http://thekindnessrocksproject.com/home

What is The Kindness Rocks Project….

Goal #1: Inspire others through randomly placed rocks along the way…

Goal #2: Recruit every person who stumbles upon it to join in the pursuit of inspiring others through random acts of kindness

21 Sept 2017 Enjoying time together – Slow Down

Hello to you.  It’s 12:17 pm on this…Thursday?!  Is it really Thursday again?!  Where does the time go?!  One place….away lol.  Kyle is going to be starting work again in a couple of days and we are both experiencing that panicky sort of feeling.  It’s the feeling of being excited about his working because we really need the money and the feeling of sadness that we will be apart so much while he is working.  So we are making the best of the time we have, like we try to do every day, before it all starts.  Today it was doing something simple together in FFXIV, fishing!  I have fished in “real life” and a part of me misses that experience but I probably won’t take it up again.   I would say the most beautiful place I ever fished was on top of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs!

It’s important to take the time, to MAKE the time, for the most important people and beings in your life like for me, Kyle, our Link, Spot and May.  It’s not about doing big and elaborate things together either – just truly “being” together.  It feels like the world has got itself up into such a hurry!  Whenever I think of the world’s pace, I think back to this sad scene from The Shawshank Redemption movie (1994) about the prisoner Brooks who is released from prison as a very elderly man and how hard it is for him to adjust to the fast paced world he is thrust into:

One of the cruelest things I think there is to be born a human is that moment when you find out you aren’t immortal in the physical sense.  I think it’s this “knowing” that pushes people to try and cram as much as they can into whatever time they are allowed….to make their mark in this world.   What are the quality of those experiences?  How meaningful are those moments?  What I’ve learned is rushing through life makes you tired and takes away from the overall enjoyment of experiences.

I would ask you to make the conscious effort to stop and smell the roses…….be mindful of “now.”

You have to stop and smell the roses sometimes!

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/slow-down

“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest.”
Nanette Mathews

My prayers, as always, go out to all those who are suffering in any way today – especially the recent natural disasters!

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