Category Archives: FEATURED

Understanding Fear

The Root of all Evil

Taken from Process Number Five on Fear, The Process, Church of the Final Judgment

Fear is at the Root of man s destruction of himself. Without Fear there is no blame.

Without blame, there is no conflict. Without blame, there is no destruction. But there is Fear; deep within the core of every human being, it lurks like a monster; dark and intangible. Its outward effects are unmistakable. Its source is hidden.

It can be seen on one level in furtive embarrassment, argumentative protest, social veneer and miserable isolation.  It can be seen on another level in the mammoth build-up of war machines in every corner of the world. It can be seen in the fantasy world of escapism known as entertainment. It can be seen in riot torn streets and campuses.  It can be seen in the squalor of ghettos and the pretentious elegance of civilized society.

It can be seen in the desperate rat race of commerce and industry, the sensational slandering by the press, the constant backbiting of the political arena and the lost world of the helpless junkie, who has passed beyond the point of no return. The tight-lipped suppression of the rigid moralist reflects it, as does the violent protest of the anarchist.

But more starkly and tragically than anywhere else, it manifests in the pale Grey shadow of the ordinary person, whose fear clamps down on all their instincts and traps him in the narrow confines of the socially accepted norm.

Afraid either to step down into darkness of their lower self or to rise up into the light of their higher self, we hang suspended in between, stultified or into an alien pattern of nothingness.

But to a greater or lesser degree, and manifesting one way or another, all human beings are afraid. And some of us are so afraid that we dare not show our fear. Sometimes we dare not even know our fear. For fear itself is a terrifying concept to behold.

We may confess to being afraid of violence and pain and even ghosts; and with such obvious terrors, pigeonhole our fear to our own satisfaction. But fear of people, fear of ourselves, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of our closest friends, fear of isolation, fear of contact, fear of loneliness, fear of involvement, fear of rejections, fear of commitment, fear of sickness, fear of deprivation, fear of inadequacy, fear of emotion, fear of GOD, fear of knowledge, fear of death, fear of responsibility, fear of sin, fear of virtue, fear of guilt, fear of punishment, fear of damnation, fear of consequences of our actions and fear of our own fear? How many of us recognize these fear presence in ourselves?

And if some of us recognize some of them, are we prepared to see the full extent of them? Do we know just how afraid we are? And do we know effect that our fear has on our lives? Do we know completely that, we are governed by our fear? And do we know the world is governed by the sum total of every human being’s fear, and ours is not excluded? Do we know the extent to which we are at odds with one another – despite some promising transparencies, simply through our fear of one another?

Do we know the extent to which we are at war with one another on every level from personal to world wide – because we are afraid? And do we know that wars and rumors of wars mount up in ascending spiral of violence and potential violence, as the fear in the hearts of men, intensifies?

Do we know that strife of every kind increases as hatred, resentment, jealousy and prejudice increase, and that all these stem from one thing only: Fear? And do we know that one thing only ensures the escalation of the spiral of violence and destruction, our unwillingness to recognize the full sum of our fear and its effects our fear of fear?

For each and everyone of us, as long as we or afraid, and unwilling to see with full clarity his fear and for what it is, contributes to the clipping conflict that has become the hallmark of this world of ours.

And as long as there is fear, together with unwillingness to see it clearly and completely, as long as human being are afraid and also fail to recognize the fact in their embarrassment, in their sense of failure, in their feeling of resentment and frustration, in their desire for revenge, in their guilt, in their confusion, in their uncertainty, in their disappointment, in their anxiety about the future and their wish to forget the pass, in their need to blame others and justify themselves, in their sense oh helplessness and despair, in their revulsion and disgust, in their need to be vicious and spiteful, in their failure to respond, in their sense of inadequacy, in their feeling of envy, in their futility, in their misery and in their scorn; as long as human being fail to see THEIR fear reflected in these and a hundred other manifestations of FEAR, then we will fail to see our part in the relentless tide of hatred and violence, destruction and devastation, that sweeps the earth. And the fear tide will not ebb until all is destroyed or faced, and understood by man.

It’s a Fact! Fear only Interferes with Sound Judgment, and is a Tool of Negativity

Sirron Kyles

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AIRLINE CAPTAIN: We have an H.R.

AIRLINE CAPTAIN:

Anonymous

He writes:

My lead flight attendant came to me and said, “We have an H.R. On this flight.” (H.R. Stands for

Human remains.) “Are they military?” I asked.

‘Yes’, she said.

‘Is there an escort?’ I asked.

‘Yes, I already assigned him a seat’.

Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck. You can board him early,” I said.

A short while later, a young army sergeant entered the flight deck. He was the image of the perfectly

Dressed soldier.

He introduced himself and I asked him about his soldier. The escorts, of these fallen soldiers talk about them

as if they are still alive and still with us.

‘My soldier is on his way back to Virginia,  he said.

He proceeded to answer my questions, but offered no words.

I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said no. I told him that he had the toughest job

In the military and that I appreciated the work that he does for the families of our fallen soldiers.

The first officer and I got up out of our seats to shake his hand. He left the flight deck to find his seat.

We completed our preflight checks, pushed back and performed an uneventful departure.

About 30 minutes into our flight I received a call from the lead flight attendant in the cabin.

‘I just found out the family of the soldier we are carrying, is on board’, she said. She then proceeded to tell me that the father, mother, wife and 2-year old daughter were escorting their son, husband, and father home. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that the soldier was in before we left. We were on our way to a major hub at which the family was going to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia …

The father of the soldier told the flight attendant that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment and being unable to see him was too much for him and the family to bear. He had asked the flight attendant if there was anything that could be done to allow them to see him upon our arrival. The family wanted to be outside by the cargo door to watch the soldier being taken off the airplane. I could hear the desperation in the flight attendants voice when she asked me if there was anything I could do. ‘I’m on it I said. I told her that I would get back to her.

Airborne communication with my company normally occurs in the form of e-mail like messages.

I decided to bypass this system and contact my flight dispatcher directly on a secondary radio.

There is a radio operator in the operations control center who connects you to the telephone of the dispatcher.

I was in direct contact with the dispatcher. I explained the situation I had on board with the

Family and what it was the family wanted.

He said he understood and that he would get back to me.

Two hours went by and I had not heard from the dispatcher. We were going to get busy soon and I needed to know

What to tell the family.

I sent a text message asking for an update. I saved the return message from the dispatcher and the following

Is the text, ‘Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now and I had to check on a few things.

Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft.

The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a

secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only.

 

When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the

remains being loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.’

I sent a message back telling flight control thanks for a good job. I printed out the message and gave it to the

lead flight attendant to pass on to the father. The lead flight attendant was very thankful and told me,  You have no idea how much this will mean to them.’

Things started getting busy for the descent, approach and landing. After landing, we cleared the runway and taxied to

the ramp area.

The ramp is huge with 15 gates on either side of the alleyway. It is always a busy area with aircraft maneuvering every which way to enter and exit.

When we entered the ramp and checked in with the ramp controller, we were told that all traffic was being held for us.

He did that and the ramp controller said, ‘Take your time.’

I stopped the aircraft and set the parking brake. I pushed the public address button and said, ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect.

His Name is Private XXXXXX, a soldier who recently lost his life. Private XXXXXX is under your feet in the cargo hold. Escorting him today is Army Sergeant XXXXXXX. Also, on board are his father, mother, wife, and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.’

We continued the turn to the gate, came to a S top and started our shutdown procedures.

A couple of minutes later I opened the cockpit door. I found the two forward flight attendants crying, something you just do not see.

I was told that after we came to a stop, every passenger on the aircraft stayed in their seats, waiting for the family to exit the aircraft.

When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap his hands. Moments later more passengers joined in and soon the entire aircraft were clapping.

Words of God Bless You’, I’m sorry, thank you, be proud, and other kind words were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one.

Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made.

They were just words, I told them, I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.

I respectfully ask that all of you reflect on this event and the sacrifices that millions of our men and women have made to ensure our freedom and safety in these United States of America …

Footnote:

As a Viet Nam Veteran I can only think of all the veterans including the ones that r o de below the deck on their way home and how they were treated.

When I read things like this I am proud that our country has not turned their backs on our soldiers returning

from the various war zones today and give them the respect they so deserve.

I know every one who has served their country who reads this will have tears in their eyes, including me.

Prayer chain for our Military… Don’t break it!

Please send this on after a short prayer for our service men and women.

Don’t break it!

They die for me and mine and you and yours and deserve our honor and respect.

May is the month to remember our fallen veterans.

Observe Memorial Day!

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THE GREEN THING

W. Lewis Jr.

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should
bring her own grocery bag because  plastic bags weren’t good for the
environment .

The woman apologized to him and explained,
“We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today.
The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.
Back then, they returned their  milk bottles,
soda bottles and  beer bottles to the store.

The store sent them back to the plant to be washed
and sterilized and refilled,
so it could use the same bottles over and over.
So they really were recycled.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.

In her day, they walked up stairs,
because they didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and
didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day

Back then, they washed the baby’s diapers
because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts –
wind and  solar power really did dry the clothes.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right, they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house –
not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief,
not a screen the size of the state of Montana .

In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because
they didn’t have electric machines to do everything for you.
When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail,
they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power
They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right, they didn’t have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty
instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time
they had a drink of water.

They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen,
and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus
and kids rode their bikes to school or walked
instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.
They had one electrical outlet in a room,
not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
And they didn’t need a computerized gadget
to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space
in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks
were just because they didn’t have the green thing back then?

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I Didn’t Know!

Paula Vallen –

You can Hypnotize Chickens

A chicken can be hypnotized, or put into a trance by holding its head down against the ground, and continuously drawing a line along the ground with a stick or a finger, starting at its beak and extending straight outward in front of the chicken. If the chicken is hypnotized in this manner, it will remain immobile for somewhere between 15 seconds to 30 minutes, continuing to stare at the line.

You can have an erection once dead

A death erection (sometimes referred to as “angel lust”) is a post-mortem erection which occurs when a male individual dies vertically or face-down the cadaver remaining in this position. During life, the pumping of blood by the heart ensures a relatively even distribution around the blood vessels of the human body. Once this mechanism has ended, only the force of gravity acts upon the blood. As with any mass, the blood settles at the lowest point of the body and causes edema or swelling to occur; the discoloration caused by this is called lividity. Sorry, no photo for this one!

Your hand can have a life of it’s own

Alien hand syndrome (or Dr. Strangelove syndrome) is an unusual neurological disorder in which one of the sufferer’s hands seems to take on a life of its own. AHS is best documented in cases where a person has had the two hemispheres of their brain surgically separated, a procedure sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of extreme cases of epilepsy. It also occurs in some cases after other brain surgery, strokes, or infections. The HAND is after you!

 

Don’t laugh too much, it can kill you

Fatal hilarity is death as a result of laughter. In the third century B.C. the Greek philosopher Chrysippus died of laughter after seeing a donkey eating figs (hey, it wasn’t THAT funny). On 24 March 1975 Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King’s Lynn, England, literally died laughing while watching an episode of The Goodies. According to his wife, who was a witness, Mitchell was unable to stop  laughing whilst watching a sketch in the episode “Kung Fu Kapers” in which Tim Brooke-Taylor, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a psychopathic black pudding in a demonstration of the Scottish martial art of “Hoots-Toot-ochaye”. After twenty-five minutes of continuous laughter Mitchell finally slumped on the sofa and expired from heart failure. His widow later sent the Goodies a letter thanking them for making Mitchell’s final moments so pleasant.

 

A weapon could make you Gay

Gay bomb is an informal name for a potential non-lethal chemical weapon, which a U.S. Air Force research laboratory speculated about producing. In one sentence of the document it was suggested that a strong aphrodisiac could be dropped on enemy troops, ideally one which would also cause “homosexual behaviour”. So that’s how they got Saddam!

 

It’s true, Men can breastfeed

The phenomenon of male lactation in humans has become more common in recent years due to the use of medications that stimulate a human male’s mammary glands. Male lactation is most commonly caused by hormonal treatments given to men suffering from prostate cancer. It is also possible for males (and females) to induce lactation through constant massage and simulated ‘sucking’ of the nipple over a long period of time (months).

A supernumerary nipple (also known as a third nipple) is an additional nipple occurring in mammals including humans. Often mistaken for moles, supernumerary nipples are diagnosed at a rate of 2% in females, less in males. The nipples appear along the two vertical “milk lines” which start in the armpit on each side, run down through the typical nipples and end at the groin. They are classified into eight levels of completeness from a simple patch of hair to a milk-bearing breast in miniature suggests that mucophagy may be a natural and even healthy activity, which exposes the digestive system to bacteria accumulated in the mucus, thereby helping to strengthen the immune system.

So what crazy science stuff do you know? Comment it!

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Cuba Today

Katherine Gordy

 

THE CUBAN REVOLUTION S 50th anniversary has sparked academic conferences, debates and articles assessing its past and future.(1) How and why has the revolution survived? What does the future hold for Cuba? Or, as it is often put, more crudely, what will happen when Fidel/Raul dies?

 

My responses to these questions have always been short. The Cuban revolution has survived much as any established system survives, through a combination of coercion and consent.(2) The future holds gradual change, again, much as in any system that has been successfully institutionalized.

 

The questions assume that without Fidel Castro, or his doppelganger brother, there would be no Cuban revolution. They also assume that nothing ever changes in Cuba until crisis forces it. The language of crisis pervades contemporary treatments of Cuba in the United States. Academic and journalistic analyses often argue that the Cuban state prefers this perpetual state of crisis, since it allows it to wield power.

 

Cuba, by these accounts, is in crisis because Raul has dismissed vice-president Carlos Lage and foreign minister Felipe Perez Roque. It was in crisis because Fidel Castro was ill, Raul had taken over, the Soviet trading block had disappeared, or the dollar had been legalized. Each crisis was supposed to be the beginning of the end. Each time that Cuba pulled through only bolstered Colin Powell s claim, issued after the 2003 arrest of 75 dissidents, that Cuba was an aberration in the West. (3)

But what makes Cuba unique is not, as Powell suggested, infringements on civil liberties or human rights (including the use of capital punishment, which the United States uses with abandon). What distinguishes Cuba from the United States is that in Cuba, ideology and pragmatism are constantly being held in tension. Ideology isn t a dirty word used to dismiss one s opponents. Pragmatism is always couched in ideological terms, and those ideological terms are rooted in history and in practice. The cycle of dream followed by disappointment is one that Cubans are used to.

Socio-economic equality, unified leadership and inclusive nationalism were fundamental aspirations in 19th century debates on annexation, slavery, independence and the nature of the Cuban Republic. The compromising of Cuban independence, most poignantly illustrated in the passing of the Platt Amendment (1902) following the Spanish-American war, was a shock to those who had long struggled for it.The term shock suggests a dramatically different interpretation of Cuban history. Shock recognizes important moments in Cuban history as times of re-evaluation rather than rejection of the past and an embrace of post-crisis normality. In Cuba as elsewhere, crisis may force dramatic change, but the history of the Cuban revolution is one of constant adjustment. The revolution is ready to outlast not just Fidel Castro, but Raul as well.

 

From Fidel s to Raul s Cuba Observers tend to see Raul as more pragmatic than Fidel, yet such distinctions between hardliners and reformers within the party are rarely useful. Both Castro brothers combine pragmatism and ideology. They would not have been so successful at staying in power were this not the case. within the party who are seeking reforms are motivated by pragmatic and ideological concerns, as are those opposing them. Raul is considered a hardliner, yet he is more concerned with the institutionalization process than Fidel, who tended to oppose in principle various market-oriented policies adopted in 1990s or treat them as temporary measures in light of exceptional circumstances.

If Raul is a hardliner, he is one who believes that new policies, and especially those that appear to mark a change in course, should be considered carefully and introduced with clear guidelines. Laws that are introduced as stopgap measures, as the experience of the 1990s has shown, are laws that few understand and few take seriously.

 

Raul s style of leadership involves more power sharing and consultation, both with other top party officials and with those below. He is not the only one running the show, although he is still at liberty to dismiss such important government officials as Carlos Lage and Perez-Roque, who were considered members of the Fidel camp and resistant to the institutionalization process.

Unless increased reliance on the market is accompanied by greater popular participation, some worry Cuba will wind up looking like China or Vietnam, with state-run market economies and little or no popular participation. In 2006, Cuban literary critic Desiderio Navarro voiced concern that neo-Stalinist elements might try to take over the power vacuum left by Fidel Castro.(4)

Critics on the left have also argued that pre-revolutionary class divisions in Cuba, obscured in the early years of the revolution, are re-emerging. Their argument shares a striking similarity with the argument that the radicalization of Cuban Revolution in the beginning of the 1960s was a betrayal of the popular reformist movement of middle-class professionals (July 26th Movement) that brought Castro to power.

Many of this movement s members left the country and this export of dissent has been an important element in the consolidation of the revolution. Many on the Cuban Left also departed. They felt betrayed, and still do, by the revolution s centralization of power and the narrowing of realms in which workers, black Cubans, farmers, and others whose interests the revolution claimed to defend could organize themselves.

 

These critics ignore the transformative nature of the revolutionary process. The revolution has created its own adherents from different classes in Cuban society through a variety of campaigns aimed either at bringing middle-class professionals into the fold (the literacy campaign, for instance) or improving the lot of the large number of people who did not share Cuba s prosperity in the first half of the 20th century. Middle-class converts became some of the strongest believers.

 

By the 1990s, Cuba s professionals had a variety of pre-revolutionary class backgrounds. The dollar economy created new class divisions that at times coincided with older divisions (people with pre-revolutionary middle-class backgrounds might be more likely to have family abroad from whom they could receive remittances, while black and mulatto Cubans were less likely to have those networks), and at times didn t (professionals, regardless of class background, were some of the hardest hit, were less likely to work in the dollar economy and are often supporters of the revolution).

 

Marketization: Who Benefits?

The class that does seem to be in the best position to benefit from the incipient market shock is the military, which is responsible for most of the foreign investment and joint ventures in Cuba.

Starting in the 1990s (long before Raul, a career military man, took over), the military became heavily involved in the market economy when the government cut military spending. It is the military s economic model of firm autonomy and hard budgets that is being introduced into the larger economy in the form of the Sistema Perfeccionamiento Empresarial (the System of Enterprise Improvement).

Raul admires the Chinese model, but is aware that Cubans would not tolerate the levels of inequality associated with this or the Vietnamese model. Such inequality would challenge the legitimacy of the revolutionary leadership, which has always attempted to balance growth with equity, and usually privileged the latter.

 

There is still reason for concern that increasing marketization of the Cuban economy may not be accompanied by greater political opening, so that those who are not among the new elites will remain marginalized.(5) However, this new elite is in part a creation of the revolution and not a class that was sitting in deep freeze for almost 50 years waiting for the right moment to make their move.

Many of these elites are advocating for more popular participation. For instance, Raul s daughter Mariela Castro Esp n is director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana and a LGBT activist. While not part of the Central Committee, she has pushed for a participatory socialism in Cuba, arguing that this is the most effective way to preserve the socialist achievements of the revolution in the 21st century.(6) Ironically, this was the position of many academics at the Center for the Study of the Americas, which was disbanded in 1995 and its members repremanded in a speech by Raul Castro. Yet critical intellectuals do not identify as dissidents, in spite of such characterizations from abroad and occasionally by the Cuban leadership, and instead insist upon their particular role in the Cuban revolution as organic intellectuals whose loyalty lies with the principles of Cuban socialism.

The dissident movement in Cuba is disorganized and easily discredited by links, both real and fabricated, with the United States. While dissident groups are not all allied with the United States and do not always support U.S. policy toward Cuba nor free market capitalism, their voices are shut out by the war of words between the U.S. and Cuban government.

 

New Demands

Challenges come from elsewhere, including from those who grew up with the revolution. They don t remember the days of Batista when Cuba was a country of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, but they do remember the 1980s when the Cuban standard of living was something to envy and when Cuba was an important international player. They expect more, and yet their values are shaped by revolutionary ideology.

 

Another important venue for critique is in the arts. Hip-hop and nueva trova serve as vehicles to raise issues of race and class in Cuba. Literature provides a view of the rough side of Cuban life.

Students have begun making demands. They want their education to mean something. Last year students at the University of Havana met with the president of the National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcon, and complained about inequality, the privileging of foreigners, the dual currency, and the low purchasing power of the Cuban peso.

 

It is true that there is great frustration in Cuba. After surviving the collapse of the Soviet Union and a period of extraordinary hardship in Cuba, things seemed to be getting better in the late 1990s and early 2000s, only to slip back again. Changes, such as last year s legalization of cell phone use and the lifting of laws that restricted Cuban access to tourist hotels, are ones that few Cubans can really take advantage of. Many young people, and particularly professionals, are leaving Cuba.

 

As a consequence, one of Cuba s major challenges is to make use of its highly educated population and avoid brain drain. One way to do that has been through medical missions, which allow Cuban doctors to work abroad and earn a much higher salary than they otherwise would at home.

In some cases, exchanges work in favor of Cuba s larger economy. For example, Venezuela sells oil to Cuba at discounted prices while Cuba sends doctors to Venezuela.

 

Other issues include: the construction of new housing, as a chronic housing shortage forces generations to live together; the re-evaluation of the Cuban peso to boost its purchasing power and diminish the gap between wage earners and those with access to remittances or the tourist industry; and pursuing ecotourism as a way to capture hard currency without the negative social and environmental effects associated with tourism in the Caribbean and in Cuba.

 

Finally, another major concern has been with increasing production, particularly in the agricultural sector. The country spends roughly $2 billion annually on food imports. One quarter of that is paid for in cash to U.S. agribusiness. Two-thirds of food production in Cuba comes from private farmers who control only a small fraction of the farmland.

 

The government has handed over fallow, but arable, land to small farmers and made other increases in material incentives in order to improve production.

 

Cuba has not always been able to balance growth with equity, but perhaps its greatest legacy is that it has always tried and never allowed itself to lose sight of the latter. Its other legacy may that the politicization of all spheres of Cuban life can feel burdensome to Cubans, but can also spill out beyond control in ways that cannot fit easily into categories of dissidence or party dogmatism.

 

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Fifth Grade Assignment

Wouldn’t this be great if it was taught in every school.

A fifth grade school teacher asked her class to look

At TV commercials and see if they could use them in 20 ways

To communicate ideas about God.

 

Here are some of the results: scroll down.

 

God is like.

BAYER ASPIRIN

He works miracles.

 

God is like.

A FORD

He’s got a better idea..

 

God is like.

COKE

He’s the real thing.

 

(This is great)

 

God is like.

HALLMARK CARDS

He cares enough to send His very best.

 

God is like.

TIDE

He gets the stains out others leave behind. ..

 

God is like.

GENERAL ELECTRIC

He brings good things to life.

 

God is like.

WAL-MART

He has everything.

 

God is like.

ALKA-SELTZER

Try Him, you’ll like Him

 

God is like.

SCOTCH TAPE

You can’t see Him, but you know He’s there.

 

God is like..

DELTA

He’s ready when you are.

 

God is like.

ALLSTATE

You’re in good hands with Him.

 

God is like.

VO-5 Hair Spray;He holds through all kinds of weather

 

God is like.

DIAL SOAP

Aren’t you glad you have Him? Don’t you wish everybody did?

(that one is my favorite)

 

 

 

 

God is like .

The U.S. POST OFFICE

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor ice will keep Him from

His appointed destination.

 

 

God is like.

Chevrolet. . . .the heart beat of America

 

God is like

Maxwell House. ….. .

Good to the very last drop

 

 

 

God is like.

B o u n t y . . . .

He is the quicker picker upper. . Can handle the tough jobs. ..

And He won’t fall apart on you

 

Peace, Love and Prosperity to all !

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Long Term Car Loan

If you’re going to take a long-term car loan, don’t buy a short-term car. — Spencer Johnson, Kenneth Blanchard

We’re in recovery for the long haul. We don’t expect to return to our old, destructive habits. One day at a time we hope to improve on yesterday until all our todays run out. So it’s not a temporary repair job we need, but a brand new vehicle. Putting a side our destructive behavior is only a start. Without the right spiritual fuel to keep us rolling, our recovery may be only short-term.

As we think about what has taken us farthest, what has consistently brought us peace and joy, we can agree on love. Our friends and sponsors love us selfless; they are interested not in our shortcomings but in our progress. And our Higher Power’s unconditional love has forgiven us of everything. In passing this on and seeing it multiply, we experience our happiest moments.

I will ensure a my long-term recovery by passing on the selfless love I’ve received.

 

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You Must First Love Yourself

Everyone has heard that you have to love yourself before someone else can love you. The reason for this is simple – our ideal partner is a reflection of us.

We attract people that are like us. Not just in terms of romantic, sexual/physical attraction. We attract them metaphysically – these people tend to turn up in our lives.

Each of us has a unique belief system, a way of seeing the world that is slightly different to everyone else’s. It’s almost like our ego has a fingerprint. What turns us on, what turns us off? What we feel is important.

Our political preferences, tastes in food and music, and so on, all arise out of this belief system. Our particular thoughts and feelings resonate with different aspects of the world around us. If your thoughts are dark, you like heavy metal. If your thoughts are happy, you like cheesy music. We like certain foods, like for example, coffee, because of the way they make us feel.

The types of people that come into our lives are affected by our beliefs. We meet people who have made the same sorts of choices we make. Where to live, which bar to go to, which supermarket to shop at. All these choices reflect our values and our way of being from day to day, minute to minute.

When you enter a seminar or lecture theatre, where do you sit? On the front row where you can ask questions or the back where you can fall asleep without being noticed? Our personality is reflected in the places we turn up… and so we end up being surrounded by people who are the same way.

Romantic compatibility has a lot to do with this. Why do we always ask our love interest what sort of music they like? We want to know they are on our wavelength. We want to know they are drawn to the same emotional experience, so we can trust that they will understand us.

It seems like this is easily faked. All you have to do is listen to someone talk passionately and agree with them. Find something from your own experience that is similar emotionally and share it. But this can be hard work. It’s much easier if your passions really are similar emotionally. That way, things just happen.

The problem comes when you are romantically attracted to people who are not on your wavelength. This means, people who are not right for you, but who have something that you respect, or admire, or just desire. You want to be with the other person to feel good about yourself, to fill some hole inside you or to change what other people think about you. These relationships are doomed to failure from the start, because of the amount of energy it takes to maintain them.

Do you like yourself? Would you be attracted to someone who was the opposite sex version of you? Are the people you are attracted to your mirror in terms of life philosophy, success, and social hierarchy?

The right person for you has similar political and religious views. Their life philosophy, work ethic, which matches yours perfectly. There are certain adjustments to make across the genders, for example power in men roughly equates to looks in women. But the stress in the relationship is directly proportional to your differences. A certain amount of stress is healthy and keeps things interesting, but only up to a certain breaking point.

When you think of the men or women who naturally come into your life, the ones who have the same interests and world view as you, are you attracted to them? The girls or guys who you know you could get, and just be with, just by turning round and saying you wanted them, and are they the sort of person you want? Are they the sort of person you want to be? If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll probably realize that the things you don’t like about them are the things you don’t like about yourself. So you reject that person and look for the qualities you want to see in yourself, in someone else.

If you like yourself, you will like the people you naturally meet, and they will like you. If you don’t like yourself, you will waste energy trying to get with people who aren’t like you, or you will settle for being with someone you don’t like.

There are two solutions to this. The first, and most important, is to learn to like you. The second is to turn yourself into the person that you want to be.

If you want to like yourself, one way to do it is to realize that you are the perfect you that anyone could be. No-one else can do the things you do quite like you. No-one sees the world quite the same way. No-one has precisely your talents, ambitions, or lack thereof. No-one screws things up the same way; no-one makes the same mistakes and faux pas’. At being you, for all your faults and weaknesses, you would get an A+. It’s ok to be the way you are – it must be, because the way you are IS the way you are.

Once you adopt this philosophy or one like it with regard to yourself, you will start seeing others the same way. The truth is, you probably are attracted to the opposite sex equivalent of you, it’s just you’re also turned off to them, for the same reasons you’re turned off from yourself. Accept yourself, and you will accept them.

Many people think that their drive to improve themselves stems from the things they don’t like about themselves. Feelings of inadequacy, dissatisfaction, or just dislike and hatred for yourself actually won’t change; no matter how much you improve yourself. It is the feeling that needs to be dealt with, not whichever reason you rationalize at the time for feeling it.

It’s actually easier to change and improve yourself once you accept yourself. The same negative feelings of self-non-acceptance lock us in to being those things that we want to change. Change the feeling first, and the specific details will sort themselves out.

Look at the sort of person you want to get together with. You can become the sort of person who they would want to be with, assuming that you’re not already. If the person they want to be with is the sort of person that you don’t like, then you’ll have to let go of those feelings, because those feelings keep you from being like them.

Take the school computer nerd, who wants to get with the cheerleader. But the cheerleader likes the football players. She’s physically active; she parties a lot, and is confident in herself. So she looks for guys who are physically active, party a lot, and are confident in themselves. It makes no sense that she would want to be with a guy who locks himself in his bedroom, is anti-social, and can’t look her in the eye when he speaks.

So to get the girl, the nerd must become the football player. He can still play to his strengths with computers, and he needn’t play football. But he needs to adopt their way of being in terms of inward qualities. If he is truly attracted to the cheerleader, then he wants those qualities for himself anyway, and he dislikes the contradicting qualities he already possesses.

The nerd that truly doesn’t want to become the football player doesn’t truly want the cheerleader. He wants the bookish girl who is already on his wavelength. Either way, the solution is rooted in self-acceptance. If he accepts himself, he will accept the bookish girl. If once he accepts himself, he finds that he wants to become a footballer, he can have the cheerleader too.

Once you accept yourself you will realize your true motives for wanting someone you can’t have. If you want to be with them to compensate for your own shortcomings, you will no longer want them. If you want them because you want to be like their ideal partner, then you will become that person. So there is never a need to change you for someone else.

Accept yourself, and you will like the potential partners you can get.

Improve yourself, and you will get the partner you want.

 

By: Harris Smothers

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Letting Go

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.

To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.

To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands

To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself

To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.

To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive

To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being

To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To “let go” is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality.

To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept

To “let go” is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To “Let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.

To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future

To “let go” is to fear less and love more

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Your Family History through DNA Testing

Taking a Look at the Genographic Project

Author: Pam Sheppard

According to American Demographics, 113 million Americans have begun to trace their family roots. In fact, tracing one’s genealogy is second to gardening when it comes to American’s best loved hobbies. Thanks to rapid advances in technology, the average person can now use DNA testing to trace his or her own family history. No longer are genealogist enthusiasts limited to church records, newspaper clippings, and government censuses.

Interest in human DNA has skyrocketed since scientists completed the map of the full human genome in 2003. According to a February 6, 2006, Newsweek article, tens of thousands of Americans have swabbed their cheeks and mailed in their DNA to companies nationwide for testing. The Genographic Project, sponsored by National Geographic and IBM, is one of many organizations that allow individuals to explore their own ancestral genetic journey using DNA testing. But this group isn’t your run-of-the-mill DNA testing services. Over the course of five years, this $40 million project seeks to find new knowledge about the history of human migration by collecting 100,000 samples from people around the world.

Your personal DNA analysis will show you how the mutations in your genes identify you as a member of a specific haplogroup or clan. You can even choose to anonymously contribute your genetic results to the Genographic Project’s database. Last July, the staff at a popular secular magazine, Vanity Fair, published each staff member’s haplogroup in the masthead of their special Africa issue after participating in the project.

How DNA Testing Works

While 99.9% of our genome is identical, it’s the variations found in the 0.1 percent that distinguish us from each other. Geneticists study the two parts of the genome that remain relatively unchanged as they are passed down: the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed from mother to children (but is only passed on through daughters), and Y-chromosome DNA, which is passed down from father to sons.

Occasionally, mutations (spelling mistakes in the language of DNA) occur in the mtDNA or the Y-chromosome as the DNA is copied and passed from one generation to the next. Beginning with an individual, these mutations serve as a marker, or genealogical road sign, and are passed down to that person’s descendants. Geneticists use these markers from people all over the world to put together one very large mtDNA or Y-chromosome DNA family tree. Trace the markers backward, and you can eventually trace back to the approximate geographic region where that person and his or her descendants first lived.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to tracing our roots back to our original ancestors, there is some disagreement between evolutionary scientists and creationists on the timescale and geography of when and where they lived. Consider the following quote from Spencer Wells, population geneticist and the director of the Genographic Project: “You got your DNA from your parents, who got it from theirs, and so on, for millions of generations to the very beginning of life on earth. If you go far enough back, your genome connects you with bacteria, butterflies, and barracuda—the great chain of being linked together through DNA” (“Out of Africa,” Vanity Fair, June 12, 2007).

Like many modern geneticists, Wells starts with the assumption that we all came out of Africa after humans branched off from their ape-ancestors approximately 5 million years ago. However, the Bible tells us that we were created in the image of God about 6,000 years ago and that the human population dispersed from Babel with many likely settling in Africa.

What’s Your Haplogroup?

According to many population geneticists, everyone belongs to a haplogroup or an ancestral clan. This branch of a family tree includes genetic markers that all have inherited from a single ancestor. These markers can be traced back to the group’s most recent common ancestor. Finding out your haplogroup helps you determine the geographic location from which your ancestors migrated.

For instance, according to geneticists with the Genographic Project, today around 20 percent of the lineage from eastern African mtDNA belong to haplogroup M1. Haplogroup B “likely arose on the high plains of Central Asia between the Caspian Sea and Lake Baikal.” This group makes up around 17 percent of people from Southeast Asia and around 20 percent of the entire Chinese gene pool.

I recently decided to have my DNA tested with the Genographic Project. For $99.95, I received a participant kit that included the following items: a DVD about the project, a map that showed ancient migratory paths, a consent form, and two cheek swabs and vials. The procedure for collecting my DNA was simple and painless. I just scraped the inside of both cheeks for 60 seconds and placed the swabs into separate vials that contained a unique identification number. This number was also used to track my test results. The only personal information I was asked to provide was my gender, which lets the laboratory know to check for mtDNA for women or Y-chromosome DNA for men.

About two weeks after mailing in the kit, I was able to track the progress of the DNA testing by entering my kit identification number on the Genographic Project’s website. About six weeks later, the final results were available on their website for viewing, downloading, and printing.

After receiving the results from your testing, you can also choose to add your information to the large database kept by Family Tree DNA, a company that helps families research their family roots through genetic genealogy. They can help you overcome dead ends in your genealogical research, find out more about your ancestor’s homeland, and find out if you are related to another family with the same surname.

When I received my results, I received a map that showed the supposed direction my maternal ancestors took as they left their homeland in East Africa and dispersed among the continents. While the interpretation of this migratory path (including dates and starting point of Africa) reveals many evolutionary assumptions, I did find the results and the testing process intriguing.

Starting with “Mitochondrial Eve” in Africa between 150,000 to 170,000 years ago, the map showed the path taken by various people groups in my ancestral line as they continued to branch off (including haplogroups Eve, L11/L0, L2, L3, N, R, pre-HV). The path then led up to my family branch on the tree, haplogroup H.

According to the Genographic Project’s interpretation of my ancestors, their migration began “about 15,000 years ago after the ice sheets had begun their retreat [and] humans moved north again and recolonized Western Europe. By far the most mitochondrial lineage carried by those expanding groups was haplogroup H. Because of the population growth that quickly followed this expansion, your haplogroup now dominates the European female landscape.” The results go on to say that today this haplogroup comprises 40 to 60 percent of the gene pool of most European populations.

My research of my own family had completed, confirms that my maternal ancestors had European roots, not surprising to me.

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Homelessness Can Happen!

Robert Guzman, Sirron Kyles

Understanding Homeless

Homelessness in the United States is a critical issue that requires everyone’s attention. Hundreds of thousands of Americans live on the streets or in shelters. It is estimated that there are between 900,000 and 2,000,000 homeless individuals in America on any giving night , and that between 3.5 million and 5.5 million Americans will experience being homeless during any given year. Over a five year period approximate 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. population, or 8 million people will be homeless for at least one night during any given year and about 10 percent of these will remain homeless (Harvard Mental Health Letter). Homelessness results from a number of factors some of which include an inability to pay for housing, loss of employment, and domestic violence. For many people being homeless may last a few days and for some a lifetime, some children are born into it, while others experience it at least once during their lifetime (Noll & Watkins).

Historically, homelessness has always been a problem in American society. Homeless people were known as “the wondering poor,” “sturdy beggars,” and as “vagrants”, but it was not until the late eighteenth century that homelessness became noticeable to society (Kusmer). According to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, homelessness has been an enduring problem in the U.S. since the great depression, and has become more prevalent and diverse since the 1980’s. Lack of affordable housing has been cited as one of the major contributors to the problem of people being homeless. Housing is a scarce and important commodity; people without homes are more susceptible to illnesses and death as a consequence of living on the streets (O’Connell).

Homeless people also have an average income of less than half as their domiciled households and can be considered the poorest of the poor (Anderson et al. as cited in Craig and Timms), and “[g]iven the evidence linking homelessness to poverty and social disadvantage, it is hardly surprising that homeless people report higher rates of psychiatric disorder relative to the general population” (Craig & Timms). Researchers have found that a relationship exist between substance abuse and homelessness. Alcohol and drug use are “disproportionately” high among the homeless, addiction also increases the possibilities of displacement (National Coalition for the Homeless).

Homeless people have higher risk of death than the general population and also face many medical problems, such as diabetes, chronic diseases, arthritis, pulmonary diseases to mention a few, all which require attention, but many times such health conditions go untreated because of the lack of resources.

Homeless people face barriers when accessing health care, primarily because of a lack of insurance (Hwang).

The issue of domestic violence is also prevalent among the homeless, especially against single mothers with children, which is considered the fastest growing homeless population (Davis) due in part because nearly 4.4 million women are physically abused (Tower). There are of course other factors that enhance the chances of becoming homeless. These factors include education, race and employment.

It is important to raise community awareness about the effects of homelessness and the factors that contribute to it because it is a prevalent and serious issue in America society. Three important issues need to be highlighted when trying to increase community awareness about homelessness. First, the community needs to know who the homeless population is. Second, an understanding needs to exist of the causes of homeless, and finally why the community needs to become aware of issues dealing with homelessness. The homeless population can be defined as having a “lack [of] a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence and…Has a primary night time residency” (Hersberger).

There are a variety of factors that causes homelessness. People become homeless when they lose their homes, their family disintegrates, or due to a natural disaster, etc. (Davis). Because of factors like these there is a need for the community to become involved in decreasing homelessness, but this requires that the community become aware that the issue exist. Awareness may result in the community taking an active stand to combat homelessness. Toro and Warren suggest that awareness brings about participation and the establishment of education, job training, emergency shelters, and soup kitchens, which are beneficial for the homeless.

In order to have community awareness, one must be able to understand what homelessness is all about. There are three issues that can help in explaining the issue of homelessness and thus bring about community awareness. The first issue of importance is to understand who the homeless are and second how and why they have become homeless and finally understanding why it is that the community needs to become aware of homelessness. Many of these issues will be discussed in the following pages.

Who are the homeless?

At the beginning of the decade the stereotypical homeless person was portrayed as a middle aged, White alcoholic male, from an urban neighborhood who wandered the country as a vagrant, tramp or hobo, who lived in isolated downtown areas known as skid rows (Hombs). In order to understand who the homeless are there is a need for a clear definition. Hombs explains that there is no single definition of homelessness and thus provides several definitions. For example in one definition hombs explains that a homeless person is “anyone who lacks adequate shelter, resources, and community ties” (pg. 3). Another definition of homeless offered by Hombs is one form the national coalition for the homeless:

“Homeless means more than not having a place to sleep. Being homeless means having no place to save the things that connect you to your past, losing all contact with friend and family, and uprooting your children from school. It means suffering the frustration and degradation of living hand to mouth, depending on generosity of strangers or efficiency of a government agency for your survival, for your children’s survival.”(Hombs).

In order to understand who the homeless are there is a need for a clear definition, but a clear definition can be hard to explain. For example, Toro and Warren explained two major points of contention in defining homelessness. First is the issue of what constitutes living arrangements. Second, what length of time must one live in such arrangements to constitute homelessness, does living on the streets or in a shelter constitute a living arrangement and what is the length of time one must live in such living arrangements? Does sleeping in a shelter one night constitute homelessness, or does sleeping 3 nights or 30 nights? As aforementioned homelessness can be difficult to define.

However, one definition worth stating comes to mind. “Homelessness is a condition of detachment from society characterized by the absence or attenuation of the affiliate bonds that link settled person to a network of interconnected social structures” (Caplow, Bahr, and Stenberg, As cited in Glasser). The condition of detachment can be explained as an insecure attachment experience in which a person will develop a working model for constructing a negative world of himself and the world around him or her (Tavecchio & Thomeer).

The other important word worth defining is the establishing of social bonds which can be explained in terms of ones social networks. Homeless people establish social networks with one another to generate social capital resources and protection from physical harm, but have limited contact with family members or parents (McCarthy, Hagan, & Martin). Many homeless individuals lack positive social networks required to avoid being homeless. For example many women become homeless when their marriage breaks up, thus, they must find a different place to stay or for that matter a shelter were her social network is confined to other homeless women in the shelter (Michell as cited in Glasser).

People who are homeless can be categorized as chronic, deinstitutionalized or temporary homeless. The chronic homeless are more or less persons who are permanently homeless without a fixed home, and the most visible of the homeless population in the streets and shelters (Fantasia & Isserman). Deinstitutionalization can be explained as the discharging of previously and long term “hospitalized patients” and the current brief stay of psychiatric patients; it can be viewed as a revolving door of health care and the implementation of policies that make admissions of the mentally ill more difficult (Glasser; Glasser8; Bachrach). “This phenomenon is viewed as one of the major factors contributing to the large number of homeless in the United States (Evans & Forsyth). The temporarily homeless are characterized as those who have set backs but who can rely on family or friends to take them in or lend them money after an eviction or a night on the street, and who are able to move off the streets in a short time and regain control of their lives (Davis).

How do they become homeless?

The homeless population can be separated into three categories: The chronic homeless, the deinstitutionalized, and the temporary homeless. An exploration of the most important issues in each category will be explained and how such issues bring light on how people become homeless. The chronic homeless are considered to be the most visible of the homeless population (Fantasia & Isserman). Chronic homeless is usually a chapter which begins during ones childhood (Harvard Mental Health Letter), and goes on for years. Chronic homelessness has been associated with issues of drugs and alcohol use, and is usually prevalent among early adulthood homeless (O’Toole et al.

As stated earlier deinstitutionalization can be explained as the discharging of previously and long term “hospitalized patients” and the current brief stay of psychiatric patients (Glasser). According to Hodulik; deinstitutionalization is where the large percentage of mentally ill homeless comes from. Prisoners also face homelessness once released from jail, due in part to the difficulties they face in finding a place to stay and stable employment (Kushel). People become homeless as a result of the discharge from military or who were in service in past years.

The issue of homeless veterans is very serious “VA estimates that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. And more than half a million experience homelessness over the course of a year” (National Coalition for Homeless Veterans). The same source states that many of the veterans have served in World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, and the Gulf War. The issue of Deinstitutionalization can be viewed as a revolving door for veterans, because when previously homeless attend a health facility, and are then released with no place to go (Glasser). For example, in a study of veterans who were hospitalized for mental illness it was found that about 18 percent were homeless at the time of admission (Folsom et al.), which means that most likely they will have no place to go.

The temporary homeless includes people who are able to move off the streets within a short period of time and are able to regain control of their lives (Davis). Temporary homeless also include those who lack social and monetary resources, and who can rely on the goodwill of friends or family members to provide shelter (Rog & Buckner). Many are homeless due to a natural disaster, which makes their homes uninhabitable such as, flood, fire, earthquake (Davis)

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Two other perspectives can also help us underline the issue of homelessness. On the one part you have the industrialized world and on the other you have the developing world. Homelessness in the industrial world is explained in terms of a lack of affordable housing, family disintegration, and drug and alcohol abuse, deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill. In the developing world homelessness was due in part by the explanation of urban and rural migration, severe unemployment, and large number of refugees and also victims of natural disasters (GlasserHowever this topic is too broad and it is beyond the scope of this paper to examine, but it is mentioned as an alternative explanation of why people become homeless.

Historical Perspectives

The issue of homelessness is not new to the US and can be traced back to the years when America was established. During the colonial period the effects of war were the main cause of homelessness. In the 1640’s “vagrant persons” were among the social outcast, but it was not until 1675 that there was an upsurge in the number of vagrancy in New England (Kusmer). Other issues that provoked a surge in homelessness were the French and India wars and the American Revolution of the 1756. The surge among the working class was also evident among indentured servants. In 1770 the majority of people sentenced in Philadelphia were run away servants, former slaves, escaped slaves as well as apprentices who had left their masters.

During the transitional period after the abolishment of slavery newly freed slaves in the north were disproportionately represented among the homeless. From 1823 to 1826 African American comprised 40 to 50 percent of all those in prison for vagrancy, and accounted for one-tenth of the general population. During this period vagrancy was identify with immigrants, particularly the Irish who in many cities comprised the majority of the homeless population. During the 1820’s authorities were assisted in their efforts with the passage of new vagrancy laws which punished beggars harshly.

In later years from 1850 to 1860 there were many unemployed workers, other peoples lives changed due the war, plagues or natural disasters, many others were just adventurers who wandered around. During the 1870’s hundreds of thousands of people wandered from place to place looking for employment, public assistance or any type of handout. Most of the homeless were unmarried young men their social disruption came about due to the war, a large amount of migration form Europe, and the economic depression of 1873, forced people to take life on the road (Fantasia & Isserma).

During a temporary economic boom at the end of the 1870’s some of the “tramps” or wandering men found permanent jobs and housing bringing about neighborhoods with a rapid growth around many cities, such as the Bowery District in New York. These types of neighborhoods were devoted to housing and providing services to these types of people. Neighborhoods such as this were composed as flophouses, pawnshops, cheap restaurants, used clothing stores and religious missions.

Areas such as these were known as “skid rows”, a name derived from the 19th century waterfront district of Seattle Washington, where timber was skidded down the river into the sawmills (Fantasia & Isserma). In the 1880’s the United States was in a moral panic which became know as the “tramp scare” or “tramp evil” because many lost their jobs and were displaced due to economic downturns, many of these men took to the road in search of better opportunities of work.

The “tramp scare” reached its peak from the 1880’s to 1890’s. Tramps were seen as pests and diseased. The word tramp was formulated in 1870 in America to describe the homeless or those who were moving constantly. Cresswell states that raw material, the increase economic downturns, and the national rail system were necessary in the creation of the tramp, which provided the motivation for mobility.

American Great depression

The onset of the American Great depression was an event that resulted in many people becoming homeless. The stock market crash of 1929 known as the worst economic issue to face America during that period brought about a surge in homelessness. Millions of Americans lost everything they owned; by 1933 one quarter of the workforce in America was unemployed. In 1932 sixty cities revealed that assistance, mostly through private charity was sheltering about 400,000 homeless (Fantasia & Isserma).

During this time the vast majority of homeless were sailors. In fact the first shelter was established in New York in 1933 which was thought to be a sailor’s shelter. During this time sources claimed that there were also about 30,000 women who were also homeless (Kustmer).

The word “homeless” became very well known in the 1980’s when a large increase of women, men and children became visible in the streets across the United States seeking a shelter or a place to sleep. For example in Los Angeles the homeless shelter capacity increased by three times between 1986 to 1996 from 3,495 to 10,800 beds. In Boston there was an increase of bed capacity of 246 percent between 1983 and 1995 and in Minnesota homeless shelters quadruple between 1985 and 1997 (Polakow & Guillean).

Wright and colleagues explained the issue of increase homelessness in the 1980’s as an emergent and significant social problem. Homelessness became an issue of discussion among mass media, scholars and policymakers and the public in general. To reinforce the statement above Burt and Cohenstate that in 1987 there were 194,000 homeless adults using soup kitchens and shelters. Due to much public interest in homelessness, congress introduced thirty-two separate bills addressing issues of homelessness, and considered a similar number in 1986

During the 1990’s homelessness was viewed as an issue which elicited apathy and anger in the general public. In New York for example, punitive tactics were brought about when dealing with the homeless. Mayor Rudolph Guiliani led the passage of the “quality-of-life” ordinance which allowed law enforcement officers to arrest any homeless person for any trivial misdemeanor, such as sleeping in the streets or sitting on sidewalks, by the end of the 90’s the National Law Center on Homeless reported that about 75 percent of 49 cities surveyed had such laws in their books (Kusmer). “In 1996 Urban Institute Survey estimate that in an average night 470,000 persons in the United States were sleeping in shelters, but a much larger number, close to 2 million, had experience homelessness at some point during the previous year” (Kusmer).

In the year 2008 millions of Americans lost their jobs, and many had increased economic insecurities. Hard times like this placed many demands on emergency social services, by 2009 over 25,000 people were sleeping in New York City shelters every night, and over 600,000 New Yorkers were using public shelters and soup kitchens every month. Public shelters in major cities across the United States faced overcrowding (Marcus).

Housing

During the past two decades before 2010 there has been an unprecedented increase in homelessness.

The lack of affordable housing and poverty has been one of the leading causes of homelessness (Duffield). Housing is viewed as an important solution in dealing with the homeless.

Since the mid-eighties the federal government has implemented national policy and new federal legislation to deal with the issue of homelessness which was seen as a national crisis, but regardless of government legislation about 12.5 million households are at risk of becoming homeless because of the high cost of housing and low paying jobs. In other words, there is not sufficient housing to accommodate those in need. For example in 2003 there was an 83 percent increase in requests for housing assistance, of the twenty-six US cities surveyed, 48 percent stopped accepting new applications (National Law Center on homelessness & Poverty).

In 1998 the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that 5.3 million households were unable to find affordable housing, of these households one-seventh including 4.5 million children lived on less than 50 percent of the median income (Markos & Lima).According to the institute of children and poverty) “[b]etween 1997 and 2000 rents nationwide increased [by] 14%, which is a rate 30% higher than the overall inflation” (p. 2). The average wait for applicants applying for public assistance is 20 months, and for those hoping to acquire section 8 vouchers, which allows an individual to rent public housing at reduced prices in the open market, can expect to wait longer. In some places the wait is up to 84 month such is the case in parts of New Jersey, or 60 months in Miami (Clarke).

Lack of affordable housing can cause vulnerability to diseases and illness associated with malnutrition or inadequate health care which can result in homelessness. Another important issue to consider is the amount of earned income that goes to paying for a place to stay. For example Freeman explains that “in 1989, 17% of renters paid more than 50% of their income for rent” (p. 710). The federal government does provide housing assistance for about 4.6 million households, however roughly 9.7 million low-income people receive no housing assistance).

Poverty

It should be no surprise that the lack of income is a significant contributing factor to homelessness. As aforementioned two trends are largely responsible for the increase in homelessness. First, the lack of affordable housing and second, the increased in poverty, it is obvious that people in poverty have a hard time or face challenges when paying for food, clothing, health care, child care and education. Over the years the number of poor people has increased in the U.S. In 2003 35.9 million people lived in poverty (National Coalition for the Homeless).

While many factors contribute to the increase in homelessness, two factors contribute to the increase in poverty, lack of work opportunities and a lack of public assistance. In a study of 777 homeless parents across 10 U.S. cities were surveyed, 78 percent of those were single mothers, while 19 percent were two parent families. The vast majority of those surveyed stated that a lack of child care and pregnancy were the two main reasons for their inability to find employment. Lack of child care or children being too young are cited as the main reason for unemployment in 7 out of 10 cities (Nunez & Fox).

Because of a lack of public assistance many low income house-holds and homeless people go hungry. In a study of 354 homeless women with children was conducted to understand whether respondents or their children had experienced hunger during that past year, it was found that 38 percent had a primarily adult hunger and 17 percent had both adult and child hunger (Wehler, Weinreb, Fletcher, Goldberg, Hungtinton, Scott, Hosmer, & Gunderson).

Mental illness

Mental ill homeless “represents one of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged segments of the society” (Folsom, Hawthorn, Lindamer, Gilmer, Bailey, Golshan, Garcia, Unutzer, Hough, & Jeste). Approximate four percent of the US population suffers from mental illness and about 20 to 25 percent of the homeless population suffers from some form of serious mental illness. The diagnoses include chronic depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorders and severe personality disorders (National Resources and Training Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness). Affective disorder can be characterized as “pertaining to feelings and emotions” (Okun). Wong) states that in previous years the homeless adult population documented as much as three quarters of diagnosable mental illnesses. The same author states that recently empirical evidence places this figure at one third of the homeless population as suffering form severe mental illness. Some of the homeless have had a life time diagnoses of mental illness. For example, in one study of 445 homeless it was found that 51 percent had a life time diagnoses of DSM-IV Axis 1 disorder.

The most common among these types of disorders was the affective disorder (Caton, Dominguez, Schanzer, Hasin, Shrout, Felix, McQuistion, Opler, and Hsu). In a study of 430 respondents of 18 years and older who had reside either in a shelter or some type of agency which provided meals to people in poverty, in order to qualify for this study individuals had to have stayed in an unconventional accommodation such as a temporary shelter, the streets, hotel or motel paid by vouchers, or in abandoned buildings, within the 30 days proceeding the interview of the study.

Of the 430 respondents about 20 percent had current diagnoses of severe mental illness and 77 percent had a major affective disorder. The majority 58 percent were diagnosed with schizophrenia and also a major affective disorder (Wong). In another study of 10,340 persons with mental illness, which was design to examine the prevalence and risk factors of treating the mentally ill over a one years period (1999-2000) it was found that the prevalence of homeless was 15 percent, from those, 20 percent suffer schizophrenia, 17 percent bipolar disorder and 9 percent depression (Folsom et al).

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is another important subject pertinent to homelessness. As mentioned earlier, homeless people use health care at a very high rate. However, much of this high rate has to do with substance abuse. Substance abuse is also linked with loss of housing and breakdown of social bonds. Substance use is extremely prevalent among the homeless population and it can be a major precipitant of homelessness (O’Toole, Gibbon, Hanusa, Freyder, Conde, & Fine). In a study by Kushel, Hann, Evans, Bangsberg, & Moss of 1325 homeless participant it was found that 60 percent reported using illegal drugs at least once over the past year, 50 percent of the participants reported using Crack cocaine, and 84.4 percent reported using some type of drug during their life time.

To support the relationship that exists between life time use of drugs and homelessness Caton et al., study of 445 homeless people found that 53 percent of participants had a lifetime diagnosis of substance use disorder, the most commonly used substances were cannabis, cocaine and alcohol, and 44 percent had received treatment for substance abuse. In another study of 531 adult homeless people from two major cities (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia) were interview to assess their substance use.

Overall, 78.3 percent of respondents met DSM-III-R criteria for substance abuse or for dependence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Chen, Tyler, Whitbeck, and Hoytstudy of 356 female homeless and runaway adolescent found that 64.9 percent used marijuana, 22.4 percent used amphetamines and about 19.6 percent used hallucinogens during the last year.

Alcoholism among homeless is very prevalent, In fact about 40 percent of homeless have problems with alcohol, and several studies demonstrate that homelessness and alcohol use go hand to hand. For example, in a study of 1325 homeless participants about one quarter or 23.9 percent reported having problems with alcohol during the last year, while 44 percent reported having alcohol problems during their lifetime (Kushel et al.,).

In a study of 186 homeless and runaway youth in Denver Colorado using a self administered questionnaire from the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), it was found that in the past 9 month of the date of the study 75 percent had used marijuana, 69 percent used alcohol, 30 percent used hallucinogen and 25 percent used ecstasy (Leeuwen, Hopfer, Hooks, white, Perertson, & Pirkopfm,).

Health care

The number of Americans who do not have health care continues to rise. In the year 2003 there were about 15.3 percent or 43.6 million Americans without health insurance and the number grew in 200 to 44 million (U.S. census, 2004). Homeless individuals have a high rate of health care use and are admitted to hospitals up to 5 times more that the general population. Homeless people suffer from a wide variety of medical issues. Homeless people in their 40’s or 50’s can develop diseases that are commonly seen in much older adults. Homeless who live on the streets have higher health issues than homeless who live in shelters. The most prevalent health issues facing the homeless population range from seizures, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, diabetes and respiratory tract infections, oral and dental health is also commonly poor among the homeless (Hwang,).

These illnesses in conjunction with inadequate health care, and poverty lead to high mortality rates among the homeless population. For example in Philadelphia the mortality rate for homeless adults was 3.5 times higher than the general population, and in a study of homeless using shelters in New York found that death rates of homeless were 2 to 3 times higher than that of the city’s general population (Cheung & Hwang). It is important to mention that homeless children face higher rates of health related problems when compared to children who have homes. In a study of 293 homeless and 334 low-income housed children between the ages of 3 months old to 17 years old, it was found that homeless children were more likely to report poor health that their housed counterparts (Weinreb et al.,).

Domestic Violence

It is estimated that about 60 percent of mothers have experience some form of domestic violence in their lives, making the connection between homelessness and domestic violence undeniable (Homes for the Homeless). In fact “domestic violence was named as the primary cause of homelessness in nine out of the twenty cities surveyed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2003” (National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty), about one in four mothers reported been homeless as a result of leaving their home to escape domestic violence and almost half of school age children who are homeless reported witnessing domestic violence). Many adolescents are also victims of abuse.

For example in a study of 361 female homeless and runaway adolescent it was found that 32 percent reported been sexually abused by an adult caretaker and about 23.7 percent reported that at some time a parent or caretaker requested sex, and about 22 percent of these youth reported been forced to have sexual intercourse (Chen, Tyler, Whitbeck & Hoyt). Domestic violence definitely plays a role in homelessness, due in part to the high increase in victimization of youth. It is estimated that 25 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys suffer some type of victimization before the age of 18 (Finkelhor, 1993 as cited in Chen et al., 2004). In fact, adolescents rank sexual abuse as the most important reason for running away from home (Chen et al.).

Other factors

There are other additional factors that increase the chances for people becoming homeless. These include educational, employment and race. All three factors contribute in one way or another to people becoming homeless, sometimes one individual factor is enough for one to become homeless, in other cases all factors are directly and indirectly tie to homelessness.

Education

Education traditionally has been regarded as a tool for social mobility. The homeless population however seems to be deprived of the benefits of school, especially young children, mainly because of their constant mobility to shelters, hotels or the constant movement on the streets (Fantasia & Isserma). Homelessness severely affects the health of children, especially issues of physical and mental problems which clearly impact the children’s ability to attend school. In addition to this, homeless students face problems with school attendance, residency requirements, lack of school supplies and a lack of transportation.

About 45 percent of homeless children do not attend school on a regular basis and 12 percent of school-aged homeless children are not enrolled in school while being homeless (Duffield). Children who are homeless, poverty stricken experience higher levels of learning disabilities than other children (Markos & Lima). Homeless student are also at a disadvantage when doing school work, mainly due to a lack of access to computers, libraries, and class materials (Vissing).

Employment

Homeless people face many barriers when seeking to gain employment; such barriers include a lack of child care, pregnancy, transportation, lack of permanent address, etc. In the United States about 79 percent of homeless parents are unemployed, and nearly 4 percent of homeless individuals have never worked, and about 12 percent have been unemployed for more than two years (Nunez & Fox). For those few that can work, jobs are usually part-time with low wages and no benefits, which leave little resources to pay rent, bills and essentials for the family (The Institute for Children and Family).

Race

In a study of homeless families African Americans were heavily over represented in the homeless population. Nationwide over 58 percent of homeless families are African American, followed by Whites who compose 22 percent of homeless families and finally Latinos who compose 22 percent of homeless families. The greatest proportion of African American homeless are in the Southern, Midwestern and Eastern cities, Latinos are the New York and southwest, and the highest proportion for whites is in the Northeast and smaller cities (Ralph & Cybelle, 1999).

In a study of 370,000 residents who had experience homelessness within the previous 5 years of the study in Los Angeles California during the spring and summer of 1997, it was found that while all ethnic and racial groups were prominent for becoming homeless, it was found that Latinos, Whites and African Americans represented the largest homeless population during this time. Latinos for example represented 43 percent; whites comprise 35 percent and African Americans 17 percent (Cousineau).

Facts on Who Are Homeless

The deinstitutionalized homeless are those who are released from hospital, prison with no place to go (Davis).

About 12.5 million households risk the possibility of becoming homeless because of the high cost of housing and very low paying jobs (National Law Center on homelessness & Poverty).

Many people leave their homes voluntarily or forcefully, for example, battered women, and runaway teens, (Davis).

Many people are homeless because of a natural disaster, which makes their homes uninhabitable for a long period of time (Davis).

Homeless who experience sexual abuse have higher rates of substance abuse (Chen et al.).

About 40 percent of homeless work part or full time during any given month according to the National Law Center on homelessness & Poverty.

Homeless people have a greatly increase risk of death (Hwang).

Children who are homeless on any given night ranges from 61,500 to 500,000 (Davey).

The majority of homeless populations are people of color (North & Smith).

Approximate 2 to 3 million people experience an episode of homelessness during a given year (Caton, et a.).

Single women with children represent one of the most rapidly growing groups of the homeless population (Zugazaga).

Facts on Why People Become Homeless

People who are released from hospital, prison, residential institution or leave the armed forces and have not place to live (Davis).

About 12.5 million households risk the possibility of becoming homeless because of the high cost of housing and very low paying jobs (National Law Center on homelessness & Poverty).

Many people leave their homes voluntarily or forcefully. For example, battered women, runaway teens (Davis).

Between 1997 and 2010 rents increase 14 percent nationwide (Institute for Children and Poverty).

There is not enough emergency shelter to meet the need (National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty).

In 2004, 17 percent of people renting a home paid more than 50 percent of their income to rent, in 2008, 20 percent did (Freeman).

Homelessness is the manifestation of lack housing and poverty (Duffield).

About 30 Percent of homeless have a form of mental illness (Davis).

Children who are homeless on any given night ranges from 61,500 to 500,000 (Davey).

About 12.5 million households are at risk of becoming homeless due to high housing cost and low-paying jobs (National Law Center on Homelessness & poverty).

About 30 percent of homeless are substance abusers (Davis).

Lack of care from a parent during a childhood increases the chances and likelihood of homelessness (Herman et a.).

Facts on Community Awareness

Most people confronted with homelessness, reach with a wanting to help (Foscarinis).

Providing supportive services to people in housing has proven to be good and affective in achieving residential stability and improving mental health (National Resources and training Center on Homelessness and Mental illness.

Polls found that 60 percent of those surveyed indicated a willingness to pay more taxes to help people who are homeless (Toro & Warren).

Many people see homelessness as a gross social injustice, and a good number volunteer, donate goods, contribute money, and some offer their professional services (Foscarinis).

A national surveyed found that 65 percent of Americans are willing to pay and extra more in taxes to help homeless people (Toro and Warren).

Integrated mental health and substance abuse treatment deliver by multidisciplinary mobile treatment can reduce symptomalogy and improve functioning of the community (National Resources and training Center on Homelessness and Mental illness).

Ending homelessness will required closing the gap between housing cost and earned income (National Coalition for the homeless).

The implementation of fundamental principles of human rights is critical (National Law Center on homelessness & poverty).

To prevent homelessness there must be enough low-income housing, income support, low health care services (National Coalition for the homeless, 2010).

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Buffalo Soldiers Facts

Rebecca Partington, Lucy Oppenheimer

A buffalo soldier was an African-American serving in one of the U.S. Army’s African-American regiments. The term buffalo soldier is derived from an Indian term that described the perceived resemblance between the soldiers’ hair and a buffalo’s head hair. It is unclear whether the term originated in the Cheyenne, Apache, or Kiowa tribe. It is still a matter of contention whether the Indians meant respect or disrespect by using this term.

The regiments in which the buffalo soldiers served were the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments and the 38th, 39th, 40th, and 41st Infantry Regiments. These regiments were created by a reorganization act in 1866, and were meant to recognize African-Americans’ contribution in the Civil War. Despite this, the commissioned officers in the buffalo soldier regiments were almost always white, although there were a few black officers such as Henry O. Flipper.

At first, the buffalo soldiers were posted mainly at isolated frontier forts. They were often illiterate due to being former slaves, and their difficulties were not eased by the army’s failure to provide them with proper supplies. In addition, they were subjected to much racial hostility and sometimes were even victims of violence from white civilians. In the early 1900s, they were assigned labor and service duties rather than combat duties, which might be interpreted as more discrimination against the buffalo soldier regiments.

They were stationed throughout the Southwestern and Great Plains regions of the United States. The buffalo soldiers were involved in conflicts with hostile Indians, Mexican border skirmishes, the Philippine War, and battles in Cuba, and distinguished themselves many times in battle. Six officers and thirteen of the enlisted soldiers earned the Medal of Honor during the Indian Wars. Five more buffalo soldiers earned the Medal of Honor during the Spanish-American War. The buffalo soldier regiments continued to serve until after the Korean War.

The buffalo soldier regiments also served in Yosemite and Sequoia, two of the oldest national parks. One notable buffalo soldier was Captain Charles Young, who was the third black man to graduate from West Point and who, in 1903, began to serve in the 9th Calvary Regiment in Sequoia National Park. In that year he also became the first black superintendent of any American national park.

Buffalo Soldier

During his tenure there, the 9th Calvary built the first trail to the top of Mr. Whitney and the first passable wagon road into the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park. They also constructed an arboretum, which was the first museum in any American national park. When Young died

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Purple Fingers and Purple Toes

A Drug Addict’s Story
R. T. Holt
I haven’t slept a wink. It’s 5 a.m. A vast quantity of cocaine circulates in my bloodstream. Birds chirp outside my window to wish me a good morning. I cover my ears. I have nothing to whistle about.

My party is over. I am toxic-liver drunk. I am parched-mouth dry. I am buggy-eyed paranoid. I am little-men-running-around-my-apartment delusional. I am hung over hard.

My friend dresses for work. She searches for her keys. She is sorry for leaving me.  She will be fired if she doesn’t go. I wonder how she can be responsible at a time like this.

How can she function? I am barreled over by the reality of her departure. Oh my
G-d, she is leaving me. What am I going to do? I am sick as a dog. Something is
very wrong with me.

Please, don’t leave me here alone, I beg. You’ll be fine. Get some sleep, she suggests.

I tell her I am not fine. I tell her I am scared. She promises to check up on
me.

She gives me a look of reassurance. She walks to the door and says goodbye
to me. She closes the door behind her. Oh my G-d! I am all alone! Oh my G-d! I
can’t catch my breath.

My heart drums against my ribcage. Marbles spill from my head on to the floor. I
am a drooling mental patient. I am a walking zombie bandaged in panic. Oh my
G-d, please help me! I am going to die.

I am drowning in Johnny Walker. I am sinking under a pile of cocaine. I am
dangling by my desperation. I scour the carpet for more cocaine. I reach for a
bucket of hope, I come up empty handed.

The hairs on my neck stand up like the fibers in the rug. My nose is pressed to
the shag like a hound chasing a fresh scent. Why am I looking for more drugs?
What the hell is wrong with me?

I wear a lunatic costume. I am only sane enough to comprehend my insanity.
What’s a nice girl like me doing in addiction like this? I cry from my
awareness. I am teetering on a brink. I am about to fall off the edge.

A monsoon of emotion hits me. I cover my eyes with my hands. I tell myself the
feeling of death will pass. I pace the floors from room to room. I scan for
something to distract me from my Goliath fear. Fierce dogs cower and retreat in
the face of such terror.

I can’t catch my breath! I can’t catch my breath! Less air fills my lungs than
fills a straw. A coffin shaped chariot arrives and awaits me. Oh, my G-d. I am
going to die. I imagine my lifeless body facing down on the rug.

Carpet strands hold my body up like nails, I am the human sacrifice. This is
not the happy ending my parents had in mind for me. This is not the way a parent
should find a child. This is not the way a child should find a parent.

I grab the phone and dial my friend for comfort. She hears the terror in my
voice. What’s going on? What are you doing? She asks.

I tell her every detail. Lines, liquor, cigarettes, trying to relax, can’t
calm down. Can’t catch my breath; I sob uncontrollably. I fall to my knees. My
body prays for help.

I look at my fingers. They are purple. What the hell? Am I imagining this? I
shift my attention to my feet. Holy Sh–! My toes look purple too! I stretch my
legs out in front of me. I need to get a better look. I squeeze my eyes shut
hoping to change the image in front of me. I am alarmed.

I try to get up but can’t. My arms and legs won’t move. I have no idea why I
am stuck. I suspect I am dying. Oh my G-d! Am I paralyzed? I never meant for
this to happen. I will never do drugs again! Please help me! I promise; I will
never do drugs again!

I rock back and forth on the ground to console myself. I choke as I gasp for
air. My friend hears me choking. She starts to cry. She begs me to call 911. Her
tone is serious. Her desperation frightens me. Hang up and call 911 now! She demands.
Can’t, there is cocaine all over the glass table. They will arrest me. Call 911 now! If you don’t, I will!

My pride prevents me from surrendering. If I call for help, people will know I
have a problem. I am unreasonable. I cling to my good girl image. A voice from
inside of me shouts: DO IT. DO IT NOW; MAKE THE CALL! IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE OR
DEATH.

The voice is firm. The voice is certain. The voice is not mine. Once more, it
commands me. DO IT, DO IT NOW! The presence shocks me into submission. I agree
to call 911.

A screaming siren alerts me of the paramedic€™s arrival A large man breaks
through my front door and lifts me up in his arms. I am totally out of control.
I am screaming louder than the siren. I believe my heart is under attack.

I do not care if the neighbors hear me; my pounding heart punctures a hole in
my chest. Thump, Thump, Thump Thump, Thump, Thump. Thump, Thump, Thump My
heart is aching My heart is breaking My heart is begging for help

Paramedics whisk me into the ER. It seems hours before a nurse injects me with
peace. What the hell took you so long?? My thumping heart slows down. My racing
thoughts cease to run. My tangled body untangles.

Thank you, G-d. Thank you. I am drained of all fight I am beaten beyond
recognition. I am empty of every excuse; there is nothing left to say and
nothing left to do. I am reduced to nothingness and I am ready to change.

Make the Choice! Make the Change for Livening.

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Purple Fingers and Purple Toes; A Drug Addict’s Story

Your browser may not support display of this image.
R. T. Holt

I haven’t slept a wink. It’s 5 a.m.  A vast quantity of cocaine circulates in my
bloodstream. Birds chirp outside my window to wish me a good morning. I cover
my ears. I have nothing to whistle about.

My party is over.  I am toxic-liver drunk. I am parched-mouth dry. I am
buggy-eyed paranoid.  I am little-men-running-around-my-apartment delusional. I
am hung over hard.

My friend dresses for work. She searches for her keys. She is sorry for leaving
me. She will be fired if she doesn’t go. I wonder how she can be responsible at
a time like this.

How can she function?  I am barreled over by the reality of her departure. Oh my
G-d, she is leaving me. What am I going to do? I am sick as a dog. Something is
very wrong with me.

Please, don’t leave me here alone, I beg.  You’ll be fine. Get some sleep, she suggests.

I tell her I am not fine. I tell her I am scared. She promises to check up on
me.

She gives me a look of reassurance. She walks to the door and says goodbye
to me. She closes the door behind her. Oh my G-d! I am all alone! Oh my G-d! I
can’t catch my breath.

My heart drums against my ribcage. Marbles spill from my head on to the floor. I
am a drooling mental patient.  I am a walking zombie bandaged in panic. Oh my
G-d, please help me! I am going to die.

I am drowning in Johnny Walker. I am sinking under a pile of cocaine. I am
dangling by my desperation. I scour the carpet for more cocaine. I reach for a
bucket of hope, I come up empty handed.

The hairs on my neck stand up like the fibers in the rug. My nose is pressed to
the shag like a hound chasing a fresh scent. Why am I looking for more drugs?
What the hell is wrong with me?

I wear a lunatic costume.  I am only sane enough to comprehend my insanity.
What’s a nice girl like me doing in addiction like this? I cry from my
awareness. I am teetering on a brink. I am about to fall off the edge.

A monsoon of emotion hits me. I cover my eyes with my hands. I tell myself the
feeling of death will pass. I pace the floors from room to room. I scan for
something to distract me from my Goliath fear. Fierce dogs cower and retreat in
the face of such terror.

I can’t catch my breath! I can’t catch my breath! Less air fills my lungs than
fills a straw. A coffin shaped chariot arrives and awaits me. Oh, my G-d. I am
going to die. I imagine my lifeless body facing down on the rug.

Carpet strands hold my body up like nails, I am the human sacrifice. This is
not the happy ending my parents had in mind for me. This is not the way a parent
should find a child. This is not the way a child should find a parent.

I grab the phone and dial my friend for comfort. She hears the terror in my
voice. What’s going on?  What are you doing? She asks.

I tell her every detail. Lines, liquor, cigarettes, trying to relax, can’t
calm down.  Can’t catch my breath; I sob uncontrollably. I fall to my knees. My
body prays for help.

I look at my fingers. They are purple. What the hell?  Am I imagining this? I
shift my attention to my feet. Holy Sh–! My toes look purple too! I stretch my
legs out in front of me. I need to get a better look. I squeeze my eyes shut
hoping to change the image in front of me. I am alarmed.

I try to get up but can’t. My arms and legs won’t move. I have no idea why I
am stuck. I suspect I am dying. Oh my G-d! Am I paralyzed?  I never meant for
this to happen. I will never do drugs again!  Please help me! I promise; I will
never do drugs again!

I rock back and forth on the ground to console myself. I choke as I gasp for
air. My friend hears me choking. She starts to cry. She begs me to call 911. Her
tone is serious. Her desperation frightens me. Hang up and call 911 now! She demands.
Can’t, there is cocaine all over the glass table. They will arrest me. Call 911 now! If you don’t, I will!

My pride prevents me from surrendering. If I call for help, people will know I
have a problem. I am unreasonable. I cling to my good girl image.  A voice from
inside of me shouts: DO IT. DO IT NOW; MAKE THE CALL! IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE OR
DEATH.

The voice is firm. The voice is certain. The voice is not mine. Once more, it
commands me. DO IT, DO IT NOW! The presence shocks me into submission.  I agree
to call 911.

A screaming siren alerts me of the paramedic€™s arrival A large man breaks
through my front door and lifts me up in his arms. I am totally out of control.
I am screaming louder than the siren. I believe my heart is under attack.

I do not care if the neighbors hear me; my pounding heart punctures a hole in
my chest. Thump, Thump, Thump Thump, Thump, Thump. Thump, Thump, Thump  My
heart is aching  My heart is breaking  My heart is begging for help

Paramedics whisk me into the ER. It seems hours before a nurse injects me with
peace. What the hell took you so long??  My thumping heart slows down. My racing
thoughts cease to run. My tangled body untangles.

Thank you, G-d. Thank you. I am drained of all fight I am beaten beyond
recognition. I am empty of every excuse; there is nothing left to say and
nothing left to do. I am reduced to nothingness and I am ready to change.

Make the Choice! Make the Change for Livening.

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Asparagus for Cancer

Asparagus for Cancer

My Mom had been taking the full-stalk canned style asparagus that she pureed and she took 4 tablespoons in the morning and 4 tablespoons later in the day. She did this for over a month. She is on chemo pills for Stage 3 lung cancer in the pleural area and her cancer cell count went from 386 down to 125 as of this past week. Her oncologist said she does not need to see him for 3 months. THE ARTICLE: Several years ago, I had a man seeking asparagus for a friend who had cancer. He gave me a photocopied copy of an article, entitled, Asparagus for cancer ‘printed in Cancer News Journal, December 1979.

I will share it here, just as it was shared with me: I am a biochemist, and have specialized in the relation of diet to health or over 50 years. Several years ago, I learned of the discovery of Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. that asparagus might cure cancer. Since then, I have worked with him on his project we have accumulated a number of favorable case histories. Here are a few examples: Case No. 1, A man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise. Case No. 2, a successful businessman 68 years old who suffered from cancer of the bladder for 16 years. After years of medical treatments, including radiation without improvement, he went on asparagus. Within 3 months, examinations revealed that his bladder tumor had disappeared and that his kidneys were normal.  Case No. 3, a man who had lung cancer. On March 5th 1971, he was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable.

The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the Asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared.. He is back at his regular business routine.  Case No. 4, a woman who was troubled for a number of years with skin cancer. She finally developed different skin cancers which were diagnosed by the acting specialist as advanced. Within 3 months after starting on asparagus, her skin specialist said that her skin looked fine and no more skin lesions. This woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her kidney disease, which started in 1949. She had over 10 operations for kidney stones, and was receiving government disability payments for an inoperable, terminal, kidney condition. She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus. I was not surprised at this result, as `The elements of materia medica’, edited in1854 by a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, stated that asparagus was used as a popular remedy for kidney stones. He even referred to experiments, in 1739, on the power of asparagus in dissolving stones. Note the dates! We would have other case histories but the medical establishment has interfered with our obtaining some of the records. I am therefore appealing to readers to spread this good news and help us to gather a large number of case histories that will overwhelm the medical skeptics about this unbelievably simple and natural remedy. For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using, and therefore canned asparagus is just as good as fresh. I have corresponded with the two leading canners of asparagus, Giant and Stokely, and I am satisfied that these brands contain no pesticides or preservatives.

Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree, and store in the refrigerator. Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening. Patients usually show some improvement in 2-4 weeks. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases. As a biochemist I am convinced of the old saying that `what cures can prevent.’ Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals. We take 2 tablespoons diluted in water to suit our taste with breakfast and with dinner. I take mine hot and my wife prefers hers cold. For years we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups. The last blood survey, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements in all categories over the last one, and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink. As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer, and all of the proposed cures. As a result, I am convinced that asparagus fits in better with the latest theories about cancer. Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called histones, which are believed to be active in controlling cell growth

For that reason, I believe asparagus can be said to contain a substance that I call cell growth normalize. That accounts for its action on cancer and in acting as a general body tonic. In any event, regardless of theory, asparagus used as we suggest, is a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you from using it and it may do you much good. It has been reported by the US National Cancer Institute, that asparagus is the highest tested food containing glutathione, which is considered one of the body’s most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants.

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