We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.







Friday, September 30, 2011

Have You Ever Read The Preamble?

Let me refresh your memory.

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our prosterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States."

This was an introductory phrase written to outline the Constitution's guiding principles. Just think of the Preamble as a 'The DUMMIES GUIDE: To The U.S. Constitution.'   Does the average American take these words to heart?  My wager is to that question is, 'No.' If one was to take the preamble and breaks it down into parts just what does it mean?  Well for me the following are my core principals as a human being, citizen, defender of freedom, and most importantly as a parent. 

"WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, We are to come together as a nation. To work together as one, to reach across the aisle and compromise for the common good of man.  Has anyone seen this lately?

"Establish Justice,"  We have built a system of local, state, and federal laws. However, Lady Justice has been hog-tied. Justice has become unbalanced to give those with monetary means the ability to by pass common sense and decency through loop holes.  We need to put her blinders back on and take lawyers' fingers off the scales.  (Sorry waxing poetic there.)

"Insure domestic tranquility," We could not have 50 unique states trading and using 50 monetary systems -- trade is crucial to a 'union.'  We had to come together to have a single focus for roads, laws, immigration standards, language, and lay the framework to keep peace. It also means we (individual states) have equal representation in Congress based not only upon state population -- the House of Representatives but; representation not based upon size -- the Senate.   This also includes the role of the Supreme Court to insure no laws are unjust under the Constitution.

"Provide for the common Defense,"  this is our five branches of military, national guard, para-military, and public education (police, fire, and to me education because an educated UNION is more apt to be secure.) We had to have a 'common defense' to secure our national borders.  We have to have a 'common defense' to fight diease.  We have to have a 'common defense' to assist citizens during natural or man-made disasters.  We have to have a 'common defense' because we are humans who need the security of knowing we (the U.S.) will be here (collectively) tomorrow. 

"Promote general welfare,"  Now many folks have issue with the term welfare but, the actual term was originally used as such.

World English Dictionary  welfare (ˈwɛlˌfɛə) — n, 1. health, happiness, prosperity, and well-being in general http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/welfare

Only later did this word come to mean government assistance.  The general welfare in my opinion can be simply summed up as:  "I am my brother's keeper."  I have the responsibility as a citizen to assist those who need a hand up.  I have no issue helping those out of work keep their homes, feed their family, educate their children, and have access to medical care through paying taxes or contributing to charity. Because until the last head in our country has a safe place to lay his/her head; we have failed to protect ourselves.

The final part is: "and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our prosterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States."  This is me simply outlines national goals of being a union; free to speak, become educated, seek medical assistance, congregate, build homes, set aside for our future & our childrens' future, find redress of concerns, worship, live, work, dream, hope, move about the country; etc.  Our Constitution is what we make it. 

Without folks actually learning what is in the document; we can never be truly free.

Steps off soapbox, heads into the classroom...............

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT)

This weekend Directv has a free promo weekend allowing us to view HBO programming.  I stumbled on a documentary called 'The Strange History of: Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This is a great documentary for outlining the historical policies / discussions behind the decision to allow 'gays' to serve in the military.

(Shakes head here --- because they have been and will always be a part of humanity and not just seeking admittance to a single group.) 

Now you are probably wondering why I am writing about this topic? Right.....

Simple, I served from March 1986 until April 2006 in the United States Air Force.  My first job was in the intelligence field.  We had to attain, maintain, and retain a top secret clearance to just be able to work.  No problem right for most service members however, there is a caveat for serving honestly (honor code) and keeping no secrets -- to inform on other service members of their unlawful behavior to include what was then thought to be sexual misconduct. 

My first room mate was a lesbian and when I moved into our then room; she informed me at great peril to her career.  Personally, I did not care about her personal behavior and did not see homosexuality as a problem.  One reason for my acceptance of her and to not inform my superiors was simple.  I knew of a couple of family members who were also lesbians (though closeted) and knew homosexuality did not keep them from living honorable lives.  They had families, jobs, hopes and dreams.  I decided to love my friend more than myself and honor her disclosure even though I could have lost my career by staying silent.

Later in 1993, when DADT was passed I never understood the big deal because American soliders for the most part had already been living with that standard.  What chapped my arse was the DISHONESTY of DADT; the military was advising its members to stay silent.  To me the double standard was humiliating and dishonorable because to lie by omission is still a lie.  Why did I not 'TELL' was quiet a simple rationalization in my thinking process and I used a 4 Star's quote to cement my silence in uniform.   

"Integrity is what you do when no on is looking,' RET Gen M. McPeak. 

I still choose to support the gay community to have the same laws to include marriage recognition as a man/woman has the right.  When 'we the government' deny one group its inalienable rights to pursue their lives in the manner of their choosing then; the next step of the community is to limit others. 

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/09/17/dont-ask-dont-tell-hbo-doc-clip/

The marriage arugment is a kicker because it was once a form of property laws awarded to a man.  Marriage bound a woman to a man and all she brought with her into the marriage became the property of her husband.  And if one was to research even further to say 'rape,' this was also a property law because women either were the property of their fathers or husbands. Meaning if a woman was raped it was a crime committed against her father or her husband.  (sobering thought eh?)

Nowadays,  marriage definitions have changed THANK GOODNESS.  This is just my humble opinion; if a person wants to marry is it not my business to say if they are awarded that right as long as both parties are adults.  If a person is gay; it is not my business what life choices they make as long as he / she is an adult. 

ENOUGH SAID ALREADY!

Keep government out of our bedrooms, homes, and careers!

Have a great day in your slices of heaven.
Mal

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So What Will Be the Next Bubble?

Our economy has seen the credit (banking) market basically dry up and the housing market is barely limping along.  Lately, I have been wondering what will be the next market to take a direct hit and in my opinion there are three for profit markets that are next to be hit:  Education, Food, and Fuel.  

In our family, we have felt the affects of going to college (trade school) and upon graduation with honors two of two have not been able to find jobs in their given fields for over 1 year.  In the mean time, both had to pay for their education by taking a job outside their ideal career path.  Given, eventually both found work to support their families. 

Yet, what each did not foresee was the need to keep educating themselves because in this day and age;

it is not only what you know today but, what you need to know tomorrow along with -- who you know right now to get a job. 

Today's college graduates are not really looking at the market to see which areas are really growing or need fresh graduates.  Nope, instead for profits schools are pimping pipe-dreams (gathering profits) say in Journalism, Business Administration, basket weaving instead of; equipping students with real knowledge about expanding markets for those with heavy backgrounds in: economics, financial, and engineering. 

Secondly, as America's manufacturing jobs moved overseas because of the high cost of US wage earners.  Big Corps did not foresee foreign markets not only killing the American work force but, concurrently losing their employees' innovation to improve their processes and technology.  Meaning, Big Corps shot themselves in the foot now that wages are rising 20 to 40% per year for a foreign work force. Big Corps did not count on the volatility of the foreign market place. (I guess they did not pay attention to what happened to American economy growth in the 50 and 60s?) 

So Big Corps are left with moving back to the US to keep themselves flush and their hold on innovation because the wages in America hold pretty darn steady.  The sad but true fact is Americans earn less now than say in the 90s.  Here is the final straw, as Big Corps move back manufacturing on American soil; will they find a work force that will be willing to kow tow and build widget even though the worker has a degree in say: Journalism, Business Admin, or basket weaving?  Just think of how much training those workers will need; who no longer have a background in assembly line work. It will be a sharp learning curve for both Big Corps and the American work force. 

Food prices are going to continue to soar as the effects of Mother Nature come into play with floods, droughts, fires, and other over the top events.  So what should we do?  We have agumented with small garden beds and stock piling non-perisishables (only when on sale and with coupon) to build up our larder. I am so against Monsanto and its GMO grains which requires the pesticide Round Up to grow.  Any time for pro-fit starts messing with DNA and Bio-Diversity to wage war on small farmers; those who will be buying the end product so take heed.  Because not only are products on the market today; the consumer may be eating food that is not truly a food as nature intended.  Just saying.........

Fuel, If you have been following the news around the world then you should be noticing a pattern.  This is one of the last areas the "Haves" (big oil companies) are digging in deep.  Yes there is a lot of growth in Texas right now for building pipelines and fracking for natural gas, oil, and coal seam gas. What surprises me is folks who have gotten paid by these companies have no compunction for their neighbors or even their property's future --- folks are just so desparate to get paid they are basically signing away their birth rights.  What chaps my hide is:  we have only 5 acres so if neurotic neighbor man next door decides to lease to an Oil Company near our property line?  Well he can and there is nothing we can do about ground water contamination, chemical accumulation, or the noise. 

So get this America ---

not only do you work for THE MAN for lower wages, you buy His Cars on loan, use and over spend on His credit cards & bank loans, eat His genectically engineered grain, accquire mercer or give birth in for-profit hospitals, burn His fuel to get to work/live but, you also live in the houses He owns.  Now given my cynicism -- just push my horrible outlook over to the side; what are we going to do as the serfs around this horrible kingdom of Oz?

PS.  I am also sick of the American Media. LOL go figure.

PPS.  You can lead a horse to water but, you can not make him think. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So I Took A Break

I don't know about ya'll sometimes life just gets in the way of things like posting blogs.  I needed a break and took one.  This has not stopped me from however, watching world events and shaking my head. 


Watching the news on Hurricanes Irene and Lee; I have decided people will always be vulnerable since, they do not believe in the power of science to forecast such events accurately.  I saw on group of men partying in WV on the day the bands from IRENE were going though; one of them MOONED the cameraman of the Weather Channel. 


Is it shocking; yes because common sense has been replaced by out right stupidity.  Please Weather Channel, stop giving a Category before said storm makes landfall.  I believe people are so arrogant to believe a Cat 1 is not so bad.  Sadly those in the North East now know much better.


Next, the economy is still a mess and think it will be for a LONG time after watching the Republican and TEA party debates.  Why does the  GOP believe they know what is good for Americans who; 1 in 6 live in poverty?  Our leaders are so far removed from the reality of daily life they believe tax breaks for corporations will bring forth more jobs. To me this is just silly.  I have a hard time believing Mr. Obama caved but, he did to bring forth Obamacare.  I don't know what the answer is yet, feel spending billions overseas is not putting food on the table for those who barely squeak by or living in homes about to be foreclosed.


I have also taken to watching more of my news on Link and Currentv because I am basically tired of the commericalization of the American press.  Not counting all the control big corporations have over what Americans are being spoonfed by MSNBC, NBC, ABC, FOX and Headline news.  So, I have discussions with Saenz all the time about questioning what he sees on television and to think out side the proverbial media box.


The month since Banjo was killed has been rough one on me.  I have not gone outside much because him not being there just breaks my heart. I constantly look for him outside and miss him biting my fingers or trying to snatch the mail from my hands. Soon, we will be given two pups from his mother.  Banjo was such a wonderful pet; I hope the new arrivals get here; yesterday. 


The week of 9/11; I spent on reflection thinking about my country and the loss of all those souls.  Such pain and sorrow, one day I hope we can afford to make the trip back to New York to pay our respects as we did in 2005. 


Farm news, we have been drawing down on the amount of animals we house here.  Because frankly, the cost of keeping them is just not sustainable and the drought makes it impossible to grow any support feed.  We can not water as much as a garden or grain will require to produce.  The temperatures have been over 100 (40c) since mid-March with only 4 slightly rainy days leaving us with a water fall deficit over 16 inches for the year. 


I am happy to be home schooling our boys.  Saenz and Zephyr love being at home and we cover almost every subject under the sun but, have a daily emphasis on math, science, social studies, reading, and whatever their hearts' desire to learn.  What is the best; knowing their school day is not 12 hours or more with a bus ride to include homework. 


Tomorrow makes the day; I made one of the best decisions of my life by marrying.  Fifteen years ago, we tied the knot at the court house in Poth, Texas.  So happy anniversary to the hardest working man I know. 


Much love my Bean and thanks for giving me:
A home,
A life,
Reasons to live,
and for our
'Red Bean' and 'White Jalapeno.'


Peace to the world; in your little slices of heaven.
Mal