Thursday, August 25, 2011

Information Gathering In A Crazy World

"Whoever controls the media, controls the mind"
Jim Morrison
Now days the mainstream media is a lot like the mobsters of old, with their strong arm twisting of the facts. They remind one of the stories we hear of the CIA with their truth covering and twisting. Some people believe EVERYTHING they read, some think it is all bunk, and some have learned to read and weigh until the truth is found.

The alternate media are becoming important and viable alternatives to playing live. Records, videos, that kind of thing. They're going to start to count for something. Because there's only a limited amount of us-time available to us.
Jerry Garcia 

Where do you get your information? How do gather your facts? Who do you trust? In our world, at least here in America, we have the opportunity to examine a lot of information to come up with our answers, but with that power comes the need to be very careful. The internet, t.v., and all of the other technologies are great for on the spot information but you have to know how to find reliable information among the scraps of sensationalism and the intentional misdirections.

If you want the truth about any given subject I have some thoughts for you. If you want to feel safe in a cocoon of bull, simply stick to the local evening news, stay off of social networks, and avoid blogs that cover anything but cooking recipes and gossip about the stars.

-Avoid Wikipedia for true truth. You can use it for a jumping off point only. People write it and change it and fiddle with it and other wise spin it to suit. Not all that different from every other source you will use except too many people remember encyclopedias and think that the information in Wiki is like that. 

Summer of 2011, Ms. Sarah Palin was talking like she likes to and said some stuff about Paul Revere. Her information was not entirely true so folks on all sides jumped to prove or disprove her words. As If There Was Nothing More Important Going On! So Fox got their experts to say she wasn't wrong. And Wikipedia gets content added to make her seem right. And of course the other side had to have a say. It gets down right stupid though at times it is comical to watch.

-Use social networking sites to follow the news before it hits your TV. Not too long after BP spill in the Gulf, I started following a group of "coastal warriors"  to keep up to date on the street side stories. I live in Michigan which also had an oil spill. It was scary how I knew about it two full days before it hit my local news. It was announced in hours from the Florida based watch group and it took days to reach the airways. 

Your best bet is to make friends with as many different types of folks as you can and then shut up.  Watch and listen. You learn the most that way. I break this rule when it comes to certain subjects, like children, because sometimes people are just too stupid and rude to keep quiet around. Over all if you listen to all sides you know who is heading into a good place, who is going to cause war, and who is a serial killer in the making. It is easier to fight enemies if you know what they are thinking with out them knowing you know, ya' know? 

-Watch the comment section on every interesting news story, blog, and thinking YouTube video you deal with. You will find they are more informative as to the state of your Union then the article it's self. You will see a lot of that same extreme thinking that come from the posts of private blogs, on social walls and the like. A lot to be learned there if you pay attention.

- READ THE BLOGS!!!! And not just the ones with 100 million readers. Small time blogs have more at stake and more desire to do well because they need the viewers they have to stay loyal. Here is a great place to see a right wing view at Zilla's blog. She points out why folks should support their bloggers, the reporters that don't have someone's false view to push.

And like I said read the comments! Follow the links. Research. But above all else use your own common sense and knowledge from your life to find the truth. Put together as much of the facts that make sense and you will be a lot closer to the truth then anything you can find in a lone TV news show.

I trust you to look beyond the front face of any story.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A View: 187 Murder Death Kill and Other Detroit Specialties (pg-13)

You are the one who needs to stand for something, for change, for whatever you think is important. YOU make the difference. Read this.

In a 24 hour period, more then 16 people were hurt from violence in the city of Detroit. At least seven people died. In 24 hours.

Are you kidding me? What is more disturbing is how people think that every person living in the city is a criminal, a waste of resources, and the cause of their own demise.

And if you think beyond this city, you find that others are going through equally violent trends. How is Chicago doing? How is New Orleans fairing after it saw its own dramatic drop in population, much like Detroit but for some different reasons? Are those cities with their bad crime rates a waste of resources and full of no good nothings? How do things get this way? Why, just Why? Because everyone gave up, blamed others, and stopped caring even about their own.

People say to pray that the devil lets go of his hold on this city and all will be returned to it's formal glory. I say bull! Pray, cast spells, or hope.... none of that means crap if people are doing JUST that. You can pray till the cows come home, cast a hundred spells, and hope with all your heart to win the lottery but it is guaranteed NOT to work if you don't buy a ticket. In this case the simple fact that many people people are praying that someone else fixes the problem... Good luck with that.

This is YOUR piece of the American dream. This messed up town or city, state or country is yours. Not just Detroit but all over. The extremes aren't working. Ignorance isn't working. If you are relying on the mainstream media and the current government (all sides) then STOP IT! They are full of self-suiting, spun crap. It is up to you to protect yourself, those you love, what you hold important, and the country you want to see.

I am not the brightest bulb in the drawer but I can shine when its my turn. Here's what I have come to know - 

1. You get your best information from other folks who are living the life on an everyday level. If you lean Right there are folks for you that see things from street level. Check them out through here at Zilla's blog. If you are a Leftist, then go Here.   

I don't care what side of the road you are on... just don't take anyone's word for it without looking long and hard at the situation. THINK before you act, or even react. It's important. Freedom and our right to it should not be given away so easily.

2. "Not all of any group is the same as their worst example or as good as their best member." This applies to almost every group you can think of. Don't write off a whole class of people because a few are cheats. Don't write off a politician because they sit on the wrong side of your daddy's party, which probably isn't anything like it was when your daddy first signed up. Race, class, and sexual orientation really shouldn't be an issue when we have much bigger worries.

3. The war is coming. Prepare now. Get your basement ready. Buy rice, fuel, water, and all that good stuff because war is coming. I'm not sure what will finally tip the scales - unemployment and loss of social benefits, political warfare, enemies from other countries, Mother Nature finally realizing we are her biggest parasite???? Someone, Something is going to piss off someone enough. Or maybe we will just finally realize that we were all right and the government as a whole is full of scary folks who are taking our freedoms away without our OK. 

If you want to save your piece of the American dream, then act first, pray later.

YOU are the change you keep asking for. Don't like the garbage on your street? Get a bag and clean it up. Don't like the guy driving your schools into the ground while driving a $40,000 car? Tell folks about it until someone listens. And for the sake of all that is good in the world Help Each Other Out! If we could count on each other why would we need so much government aid (that they are cutting to the bone anyway)? 

And while you are busy helping each other, stop worrying about what goes on in other people's bedrooms between consenting adults, what I'm eating that may be bad for me and if I give my kid a toy with his nuggets and apple dippers. Worry about the drug dealers on your block and report them. Call on that man who is beating his wife and kid. Mow that overgrown lot that is right next to your lot. 

Stop regulating the stupid crap and pay attention to the important stuff. It's all smoke and mirrors.... they distract you with trans-fat and breastfeeding in public, while they pass a bill closing the local film market's credits that have brought your city jobs. Pay attention and stand up. 

What if I ask real nice? Please? Pretty Please with Sugar on Top?

Oh and one more thing.... if there was work, jobs, then there would be less folks with nothing better to do then cause problems, dull the pain with drugs, or try to make it legally, fail and then find an illegal way to feed his family. And before you say you know that the poor are poor because they want to be.... Read this. 

☮ ♥ Know you are not alone, we are all in this together.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Special Manners 101 - Its Not As Easy As It Seems But...

~ he saw me lost and he saw me found
and I said "I don't know what I've
been lookin for, maybe me" ~
Twin Rocks, Oregon by Shawn Mullins
Special Manner #105: Even the most together of caregivers, the ones who are on completely stable ground, have moments that make them want to call it off, throw in the chips, and walk away from it all. Typical parents of typical children get tired, lonely, and over whelmed. Why would it be any easier for those people who have to deal with life, and then the extraordinary extras of being a caregiver? Awww BUT there are rewards that make it worth fighting through.

I read a great article about how frustrating it is to try and get people to understand why we fight so hard for our kids, to listen to the needs and reasons of those we care for, and why some of us give up. A few parents have taken both their own life and that of their child and some of us understand the feeling behind it. We don't condone it, could never do it, but boy, do we understand the hopeless lonely feelings that are part of that road. 

Some nights you get no rest. Night terrors aren't just for the child since you must be there to see them through. They might not remember them but the image of your little angel screaming like death is standing over her kind of sticks with you. So do the bruises from the kicks and the bite marks on your shoulder that makes your in-laws think you get a chance to be wild with your husband. Yeah, sure!

Awww But.... there are also quiet nights that have no pain, no fear, no unexpected crisis to keep you up. Now you can't sleep because you are used to not sleeping so you sit on the porch, head leaned back, listening to something you rarely get to - quiet. Pure Heaven.

Doctors, therapists, schools, family, friends, house chores, bills, work, fun, dinner and breathing all have to be juggled and dealt with. Not just your own but you have to maintain it all for every person in your home. Your full time job is 24 hours long with few breaks and a paycheck that isn't always as big as you deserve. You try to keep it all straight. You write it on the calender, keep files, and hope you don't forget this or that. You figure out what HAS to be done and what can be put off and hope you guess right.

Awww But.... There is the fights to get everything your family needs and they leave you worn and sore - inside and out. Then it gets dark and sad and a smiling little girl walks up to you and signs "I love you" and the light starts to come through. Your little guy says a word that you have never heard before and suddenly the hours on the phone trying to find a speech therapist, getting funding, scraping up the money to pay for it when there is no funding, it all is worth it.

It would be so much easier to never go to the store, never fight the crowds, never go to the playground, or anywhere outside our safe little home filled with its toys bought with therapy in mind, scribbled on walls, and the known dangers. It would be so much easier to pretend the knowing looks aren't judgments but support. It would be great if he could use a potty instead of diapers so people wouldn't talk about how lazy he and his parents are. Its a battle to leave, it is a necessary evil, it will help them in the long run. Still we are tempted to lock the door, lay down, and forget the world turns out there.

Awww But... Then you are in the therapy waiting room and parents start comparing the journey to find shoes that will work with the braces. It takes days, miles, and money. When you hear that you aren't alone, it makes the journey a little easier. When you go to that store and get the looks because your crying kid doesn't understand that you can't afford his favorite juice this trip, but as you are leaving an older couple has checked out and slips the juice into your basket, you can't help but know that you may be all right when the day is done. 

The Manner: Understand that you can't know what is going on inside the caregiver or the person fighting to make it in our world. I don't care what you've read, what celebrity has cured their kid, or what the latest scientist says caused what, nothing compares to living it day in and day out. 

So don't judge. As simple as that and you can make a difference.  

If the house is a mess, ignore it. Be supportive where you can. Offer to take the other children for a while when its therapy time. It isn't hard to find away to ease the burden of your friend or family member. A casserole, a video time out for the kids while you let mom take a shower, or just an ear to hear about the latest B.S. from the insurance company.

Awww But... don't ever think that our child isn't wonderful just as they are. For all the heavy we carry there is the rewards of being this special person's parent. They give love in ways that are different but in some ways much deeper then what we can get anywhere else. They find ways to make us smile when we don't really feel like it and they don't even have to work at it.

Having a special needs child isn't a curse even if it isn't a cruise. We may be forever changed, it may be horribly hard some times, and there are times when we want to see it change for the simpler - awww but really we grow for the better, we learn how to be stronger, and we learn that the little things are to be treasured. Life is good even if it is rough. I wouldn't trade my kids... typically functioning or not... for anything, any reason. 

The only wish I would want is that they know happiness, health and love for who they are, as they are.  

☮ & ♥ Know you are not alone, we are all in this together.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A View: The Poor Side Of The Hood.

I recently remarked to a friend that there is an awful lot of work that goes into being poor. That got me thinking, which in turn got me blogging, which hopefully gets you reading and sharing the link around. And if you really like my stuff and you have a few extra pennies, there is a tip jar over there on the right. Please feel free to drop a coin in from time to time.

I live in an area that my mayor describes as "Distressed" though I'm sure there are worse areas and I know there are better ones. Before I get into the work of being poor, I'm going to tell you about my 'hood.

The crime rate is high for a city of sinking population. Detroit showed a drop of over 25% in its population over more then 10 years, though honestly I think it may be more. So who is left here? Most folks think it's just the evil or waste of society. They are wrong... to a point.

Evil does hide in this city. It hides in abandoned homes turned into dens of prostitution and drugs. It murders children and burns their bodies in those empty, forgotten homes. It abuses the school system, taking money from children who are already hurting. It makes governmental choices on who to save and who to forget. (click here for a story on that- It is an article from the local news that doesn't want to link right. that)

But there is good here too. There are folks who are trying to make things better. There are folks who take the time to help a neighbor, mow an abandoned lot, plant a tree, watch to make sure other peoples kids are safe outside on the block. There are people trying to use the empty space to provide food to those without.

A lot of us are here because we have little choice. Our house is paid for, there is no where else for us to go, no jobs, or we are just old and wanting to finish out our lives where we have been for more years then we can remember.  

And some folks are here because this is our piece of the American apple pie. We earned it. We paid for it. We work for it. We deserve to be able to live and survive on our land. We don't want some kid or some governmental type to force us out because they want control over our land.

There is trash here. Abandoned properties sit with grass that is chest high on a man.Buildings that are dangerous breeding grounds for animals of all types, including the human variety. But there is also hope here. There are people who want it to be better. They want to survive and reach a better place. There are even people that other folks think are set up for failure, that over come and best the doubters. And they help each other get through.

If you are poor in America then you aren't worth much. 

Never mind how many of us weren't poor until the recession hit. ~ And on a side note: It isn't over and I don't know what kind of drugs the folks who say it is, are on but they must be heavy duty.~ Never mind those of us who had jobs that just aren't coming back, like the tool and dye guys who worked for the small companies that made parts for the big companies. Those big companies got help to survive but those little guys were crushed like worker ants.

Never mind that if you haven't worked because there are no jobs, the companies will not hire you if:
     A. Your credit is bad. Because everyone knows you can still pay all your bills when your income suddenly stops.
     B. You haven't worked in the last few months. They really don't care about the fact that not even the fast food places have jobs open in your area.
     C. If you worked for 28 years in one industry and it died, so you try something different that 500 better qualified folks are trying for as well.

Those who have never been poor seem to have a few misguided views that I would like to address.

Those lazy folks who milk or cheat the system and give everyone else a bad name are not the norm. The rules to protect the system are stiffer, stronger, and not as full of loopholes. The people you really should watch out for are the ones running the system. They cheat, lie, steal, and blame the poor.

The programs like welfare are not designed for long term help anymore. Michigan had a limit of 48 months even before the Governor made a big show  putting a 4 year limit on it. ~how dumb was that?~ Medical help is cut to bare bones. There is a year wait for a child to get a wheel chair. Or Longer. You have to attend classes (called Work First) in order to get assistance. If you get child support while getting any type of assistance then the state gets most of it. The time of a "free ride" is long dead.

Some folks do drugs, most do not. Some spend their money on nail jobs and fancy cars, others spend it on their kids school books and take the bus. Some people lie, cheat, and steal, but most are just trying to do the right things by their families. And other people's crap is just unwanted, undeserved crap by people who have never known hunger so their child could eat.
Oh yeah... and for the folks who say don't have kids if you can't afford them... suck my big toe. You are the same people who think it's bad to give birth control to people who can't afford it.

It's a lot of work being poor.

To be poor or even lower middle class, you have to have some type of driving force. Mostly it is to avoid hunger, cold, or other life draining disadvantages that are a daily threat. That gets you moving each day to find a way to survive.

Your first thought in the morning is "What has to be done today to make it through" Do I need to bring in wood for the fire? How can I get the extra cash for the shoes my son needs for the braces he is getting this week? What bills HAVE to be paid and which can I cut so I can get a few groceries? What can I feed my kids and will there be enough for me to eat too tonight? How many days before the next paycheck comes in?

And that's just before your feet hit the floor.

You don't live paycheck to paycheck. Your paycheck is usually gone before it hits your hand and never makes it to your pocket. You live day to day. If the car breaks down your get by plan is shot. If an extra bill comes in, someone gets sick, or the DOW drops it can screw up the whole life of the family. It is very easy to fall on hard times. It really isn't that far of a fall. BUT that climb back up is hard and long and painful. For some it is near on impossible. And getting kicked while you are down happens more often then not.

Some people have no clue about anything outside their own misconceptions. 

My friend Zilla is a fellow blogger and she recently wrote about a few folks who know what it is like. Please take a look here.

Modest Needs is a wonderful place to hear the true stories of need as well as refreshing stories of those who have overcome some of those mountains.

How did cities get the way they are? Some folks say it is the governments doing. Here is a view on how it got to be so bad and on how it's about color and class. ~keep in mind that I, myself, am poor WHITE trash living as a minority in my city... that is another blog topic that I'm sure I'll get to at some point~

If people would stop pointing fingers and start looking out for each other, the world would be a much nicer place. It isn't all about you, about them, but about us as a whole.

 ♥ Know you are not alone, we are all in this together.