Welcome Everyone!

Here you will find a fresh compendium of ideas, information & news you can use!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Government by, for, and, of the people?

From "Great Tales from English History" by Robert Lacey - Little Brown and Company c2006)
(page 11)
"By then, people were coming to see that Locke had put into words the essential values of the Glorious Revolution--and particularly in his Two Treatises on Civil Government that he published anonymously in 1690. Government, he wrote, may not 'levy taxes on the people' without 'the consent...of their representatives'. No government, he argued, could be considered legitimate unless grounded in the consent of the people--any ruler who attempted to exercise abitrary power 'is to be considered the Common enemy and Pest of mankind and is to be treated accordingly'."

The problem is our leadership.

I belive we had no right to go to a foreign country and kill innocents in the name of finding and bringing to justice certain "terrorists," e.g. those resonsible for 9-11 and other attacks around the world. The problem with war is that it doesn't discriminate between the real culprits and innocent bystanders. Finding those responsible should be conducted like a criminal investigation--not simply shooting idly into a crowd merely hoping you will hit the criminal element. For some reason, Kent State comes to mind. The military seems to have that kind of mentality: "Shoot first, ask questions later."

My Daughter's Reflection on Time

To my friends with whom I am greatful to share my time and those with whom I wish I had more time with:The most important thing I learned from attending my 2nd cousin's funeral, even as the pastor dropped the first letter of the word, even through all of my family's tears, even through the newly broken tension I had with my sister was how priceless Time is, or as the pastor said it -ime. It was easily deciphered because it makes so much sense. It really is the one thing in this life that we can't get back. Just be aware of how you spend this invaluable asset. Enjoy your time, do something everyday that makes you immensely happy. Spend as much of YOUR time with the people who make you feel good. Sometimes it is hard to explain who or what makes you happy but you know the feeling when you get it! I know it is easier said than done but please try not to waste your time, if not for you then for the people that you make happy. Take a moment to think about where you are; the space you are in, how far along you are in life, are you doing what you love? Is what you are doing making you happy? Do those who you give so much of your time to value you? Is what you are doing worth your time? Remember you can't get it back......However, you can cherish each moment starting now. Your time is what you make of it.With love,Lilly

Saturday, May 26, 2007


WAR is STUPID because:

1. War makes things worse.

2. War is impossible to undo.

3. War never solves anything.

4. War indicates a lack of imagination.

5. War indicates a lack of negotiating skills.

6. War is a negative and ignorant response to complex problems.

7. War is often motivated profit --e.g. sales of arms and munitions.

8. War takes a terrible toll on the innocent as well as the environment.

9. War stirs up terror, and retaliation, while destroying hope and harmony.

10. War only creates the desire for more war, creating a constant climate of fear.

Important quotes regarding war:

1. If you live by the sword you die by the sword. - Proverbs

2. Turn the other cheek. - Jesus

3. What if they had a war and nobody came? -'60's anti-war slogan.

4. There never was a good war, nor a bad peace. Benjamin Franklin.

5. War is not healthy for children and other living things. - '60's anti-war slogan

6. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Nelson Mandela

7. If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner. - Nelson Mandela

8. Peace on earth, good will toward men. - Holiday Greeting

9. Love your neighbor. - Jesus

10. Love your enemy. - Jesus

11. Love is patient, Love is kind, It does not envy, It does not boast, It is not proud, It is not rude, It is not self-seeking, It is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. L o v e N e v e r F a i l s. Corinthians 13 : 4 - 8

12. Pure religion and undefiled is that you care for the widows and the fatherless. - James

Monday, May 14, 2007


Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. - Nelson Mandela

So why are we failing?

Most everyone agrees that the U.S. public school system is antiquated, in a shambles, and produces "the poorest product for the greatest amount of money"--like the monopoly that it is. Yet, teachers are always asking for more money to throw at the problem. If you want to know who the next president is going to be ask any teacher who she/he is going to vote for. The teacher's union in America is one of the largest and strongest in the U.S. and whomever the union leaders select as "the education candidate" is most likely to get elected. Yet in most inner city schools (with some of the highest average teacher's salaries) frequently LESS THAN 50% of the students graduate from school at all, and many of the students who do graduate are not prepared for the world of work, much less college.

When I moved to Hawaii (Hawaii Island) in the 80's there was a saying: "If you hate your children, you will send them to public school." Suffice to say, it wasn't much better in Connecticut (urban schools), and everyday I am learning that too many public schools are not meeting the needs of our children.

How can we fix our education problem? The key is for parents (or students themselves) to take responsibilty of the eduction of their children.

One Unique School Idea --
A dozen parents pool their money, and hire a few teachers of their choice. For four hours a day, four days a week their children are taught by these hand-selected teachers/tutors - specialists in their fields of study. The learning venue can be anywhere--a home, a public library meeting room, a church basement or Sunday school room...really, anywhere. The fifth day of the school week parents take turns taking their children to either their workplace to "job shadow," or on a field trip --anywhere thast' interesting.

One of my favorite schools is the "Museum School" in NYC--four days a week students visit a different museum each day, all day long, then on Friday, they discuss what they have discovered and learned.

I will present more ideas in later blogs, but for now, I strongly recommend that parents start eductating themselves (students too!) about education and educational alternatives.
I suggest you start with any of these books and articles:

  • Any of the writings by John Taylor Gatto (twice New York City Teacher of the Year). Gatto's history of education in America is brilliant and an enormous eye-opener.
  • An article by Lewis Perelman entited "Schools Out--the End of Education" --see archives of "Wired Magazine" 0n-line, the premier issue.
  • "What Smart Students Know" by Adam Robinson --read the open letter to educators, parents, and students in the back of the book.
  • "The Teenage Liberation Handbook or How to Drop Out of School and Get a Real Education" by Grace Lewellyn; also her great follow-up book about kids who actually did drop out...their stories are impressive.
  • "Unschooled" (a book)
  • there are many books and information on homeschooling --but don't be too rigid or uncreative, or you will just be replacing the failures of public school.


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Nelson Mandela

Today's job market--

It isn't so much about where a person went to school or how many "A"s they received, but more "What do you know?" and "What skills do you have?"

A student in computer science knowledge said that her courses (taken two years ago) are now obsolete! and that newer computer science information is being deseminated weekly...soon it will be daily she said.

So much for thick, over-priced text books. And though technical information tends to change faster than, say, information about literature in the middle ages, many other courses of study are increasing new information at an exponential rate.

One of my daughters characterized high school as "day care" and therefore took a state test (like the GED but somewhat more difficult) allowing her to graduate from high school early. At 16 she enrolled at the local city college, but she soon left and got a job in management.

The best part of her career strategy is that she does not have a huge school loan debt to pay off! In contrast to my daughter, a friend of mine's college loan debt is $50,000 --even with a B.A. in Psychology, he can't find a job in his field (without more education)--he now says getting his degree was a waste of time--not to mention the money--unless he seeks a higher degree.

Speaking of debt, I just gave another daughter this book:

"Pay It Down" (review from Amazon)

Jean Chatzky has been working with viewers of NBC’s Today show for a yearlong series on how to get out of debt once and for all. Her method, both on TV and in this book, is simple yet powerful: the key is saving just $10 a day that you currently waste. It doesn’t sound like much—a movie ticket or lunch for two at McDonald’s— but $10 really can take you from debt to wealth in just a few years. And because it doesn’t feel like an impossible goal, people are more likely to stick with Chatzky’s plan than an extreme regimen of spending cutbacks.

Chatzky is focusing on debt because it’s the single biggest threat to our financial health. The average American family has sixteen credit cards and high-rate debt of more than $8000, not even counting car loans and mortgages. They pay more than $1000 a year in interest alone. Debt makes people feel depressed and overwhelmed, leaving them without enough money for the truly important things in life—education, retirement, owning a home, feeling secure.

Chatzky, one of America’s most popular personal finance experts, writes in down- to- earth, woman-next-door language about how to get started right away, without giving up the things that truly give you pleasure. She offers practical, accessible strategies to help readers find the money to pay off their bills, lower their interest rates, and improve their credit scores. Featuring real-life examples of people featured on her Today show series, Pay It Down can transform debtors into future millionaires. END

On getting a good paying job:

The fact is, there are many more "blue collar" jobs out there paying far more money than most white collar jobs requiring a BA. Many community colleges have great (and inexpensive) two year certification programs--from computer science, film production, interior decorating, nursing assistant, to culinary career training, etc.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Rape Occurs Every Minute~! in America

A dozen ways to avoid the most brutal of crimes:

1. Avoid going out ALONE with anyone you don't know well.
3. Don't go to someone's apartment whom you do not know.
2. Stay with group when you are out socializing (e.g. partying)
3. Don't walk anywhere alone at night.
4. Have a friend or co-worker escort you to your car.
5. Make sure you keep your eye on your drink at all times.
6. Get your drink directly from the bartender, not a stranger.
7. Don't drink or take drugs to the point you can't make rational decisions.
8. Do not depend on self-defense techniques --gives a false sense of security.
9. Avoid dressing too provocatively.
10. Insist a date be completely respectful of your wishes.
11. LISTEN to your inner instinct...if you get a bad feeling, leave immediately.
12. If someone starts to attact you, scream "FIRE!" as loud as you can - you are more likely to attract attention and get help--plus screaming "FIRE" may startle and confuse your attacker -the last thing he/she wants is public attention.

I read "The Gift of Fear" and discovered it is a great book to give the women (and men) in your life...it may save theirs & yours!)

The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin De Becker.

Amazon.com review of "The Gift of Fear" --Each hour, 75 women are raped in the United States, and every few seconds, a woman is beaten. Each day, 400 Americans suffer shooting injuries, and another 1,100 face criminals armed with guns. Author Gavin de Becker says victims of violent behavior usually feel a sense of fear before any threat or violence takes place. They may distrust the fear, or it may impel them to some action that saves their lives.

A leading expert on predicting violent behavior, de Becker believes we can all learn to recognize these signals of the "universal code of violence," and use them as tools to help us survive. The book teaches how to identify the warning signals of a potential attacker and recommends strategies for dealing with the problem before it becomes life threatening. The case studies are gripping and suspenseful, and include tactics for dealing with similar situations.

People don't just "snap" and become violent, says de Becker, whose clients include federal government agencies, celebrities, police departments, and shelters for battered women. "There is a process as observable, and often as predictable, as water coming to a boil." Learning to predict violence is the cornerstone to preventing it. De Becker is a master of the psychology of violence, and his advice may save your life. --Joan Price --

Friday, May 11, 2007

There's a hole in the bucket

There is an old song that goes: There's a hole in the bucket dear Liza dear Liza - Well, then FIX IT dear Henry, dear Henry--then FIX IT.

It is so easy to complain about anything...obviously, it takes more effort to fix things...maybe that's why more people complain than get things done... still, knowing what is wrong is valuable...the first step is to state the problem clearly, which will often even suggest a solution. Personally I believe there is a solution to EVERY problem if only you can find it-it might just come to you (mentally or through someone else) or through simple research or by some creative action (think MacGyver--80's t.v. show).

I am hereby announcing:

The World's Worst Problems Challenge

To paraphrase Martin Luther King ("A justice delayed is a justice denied") - A problem not solved in a timely manner, just gets worse... a good friend once told me "It's better to do something when you first think of it." This belief has saved her hours of grief and lots of money.
I have my own saying: CREATIVITY CONQUERS COST!

Here is an abbreviated list of The World's Worst Problems -please suggest what can be done to "fix" any one of these--then we can have some really great "Better World" news to share. Add to the list as you see fit.

1. War
2. Hunger
3. Slave trade (children stolen or sold into slavery)
4. Epidemic disease
5. Oil depletion /energy needs
6. Intolerance of other's religions

Monday, May 7, 2007

New things to beware of

Avoid artificial butter flavoring...in fact avoid any artificial colors and flavorings, which can contribute to a host of health problems.

Artificial Butter Flavor and "Popcorn Lung" Disease
(From http://www.feingold.org/articles/popcorn.html)

"Beginning in the 1990's, factory workers in four Midwestern states have contracted a (previously) rare lung disease as a result of exposure to artificial butter flavoring used in microwave popcorn. The Environmental Protection Agency is now conducting its first study of the chemicals emitted from bags of microwave popcorn.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has linked diacetyl, a chemical in the popcorn flavoring, to the respiratory illness found in workers who mix it. Investigators believe this chemical becomes dangerous when it is heated and there is repeated exposure to large quantities over an extended period.

The EPA study began last fall when popcorn workers became ill at the Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. plant in Missouri, a company that produces artificial butter flavoring. Eight employees developed a disease that causes irreversible lung damage, and four needed lung transplants. Twenty-one other employees apparently also suffered adverse health effects.
The study, which should be completed this year, only examines the type and amount of chemicals emitted from microwave popcorn. According to the EPA, further research will be needed to determine health effects.
We question why the effects of such synthetic chemical additives on both workers and consumers were not studied before being allowed for use in this popular snack food.
Many brands of microwave popcorn also contain tartrazine (FD&C Yellow No. 5), which has been linked to hyperactivity, asthma and other health problems. "

This excellent site explores food additive issues, especially as they effect children: http://www.feingold.org

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Where have all the honeybees gone?

The plight of the honeybee --
Are honeybees becoming an endangered species?
April 12, 2007 CBC News
(Robin Loznak/Daily Inter lake/Associated Press)

The once ubiquitous honeybee population has been declining drastically across North America, more so in the United States than in Canada. But how serious is the problem?

The latest phenomenon threatening honeybees is known as "colony collapse disorder," referred to as CCD by scientists, beekeepers and farmers. It has not yet been detected in Canada — perhaps because spring results are not yet in — but a Canadian authority on bees says CCD in the United States is "an absolute catastrophe."

Dr. Peter Kevan, an associate professor of environmental biology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, says the cause of CCD remains a mystery. It might be caused by parasitic mites, or long cold winters, or long wet springs, or pesticides, or genetically modified crops — or stress. Read more at http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/insects/index.html

SUGGESTION: Stop using toxic pesticides/herbicides--look for safe alternatives.

Friday, May 4, 2007

More Health Related Information

$$$ -Use your dollar as your vote--e.g don't buy anything you don't want more of! (like plastic bags, toxic pesticides, gas guzzling cars, etc.)
  • RE FABRIC SOFTENERS --"Fabric softeners are made to stay in your clothing for long periods of time. As such, chemicals are slowly released either into the air for you to inhale or onto your skin for you to absorb. Dryer sheets are particularly noxious because they are heated in the dryer and the chemicals are released through dryer vents and out into the environment. Health effects from being exposed to the chemicals in fabric softeners include: Central nervous system disorders Headaches Nausea Vomiting Dizziness Blood pressure reduction Irritation to skin, mucus membranes and respiratory tract Pancreatic cancer Don't wrap your family in chemical-coated fabric-softened towels! Simple baking soda will leave your laundry soft and your health intact." see "The Toxic Danger of Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets" at www.SixWise.com
  • RE CHLORINE: Chlorine is toxic and corrosive--breathing the fumes are hazardous to your health. Better to use borax or white vinegar in your laundry...chorline will deteriate your clothes by breaking down the cloth fibers and will continue to break down fibers (long after your washing) if not completely rinsed out of clothing. White vinegar is also great for household cleaning, especially on grout and tiles.
  • RE COSMETICS: Use non-toxic ingredients. Avoid mineral oil, petrolatum, DEA, EDTA and artificial colors. Best ingredient in lotions: "Allantoin relieves the skin irritation caused by soaps and detergents, acids, and alkalies in oral and skin care products. It is said to promote wound healing and tissue formation, but is not recognized for that by regulatory agencies." see http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/allantoin.html
  • RE TOOTHPASTE: Good to use baking soda or diluted hydrogen peroxide or a brand with all natural ingredients. If you can't brush right away rinse your teeth well after eating.
  • RE DEODORANTS: Avoid products containing aluminum. "According to Ms. Garland most commercial brands of antiperspirants and deodorants contain either aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium. These compounds are very soluble and are readily absorbed by the body. Once in the body, the aluminum portion of the molecule ionizes, forming free radical aluminum (Al+++) This passes freely across cell membranes and forms a physical plug, that when dissolved is selectively absorbed by the liver, kidney, brain, cartilage and bone marrow. It is this concentration of aluminum that has been the source for concern in the medical community, and has prompted the research being done on Alzheimer's disease and Breast Cancer victims. The human body has a few areas that it uses to purge toxins: Behind the knees, ears, groin area and armpits. The toxins are purged in the form of perspiration." (aluminum blocks perspiration). see http://www.newstarget.com/009969.html

Important Information on Health & Happiness)

  • RE HEALTH & HAPPINESS: According to Thomas Jefferson, "Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits." Helen Keller tells us that, "Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves." What is Secret of Happiness? - "Something to love, something to do, something to look forward to." (anon.)

  • RE HYDROGENATED FAT /TRANS FAT--"The New York City health department urged all city restaurants yesterday to stop serving food containing trans fats, chemically modified ingredients that health officials say significantly increase the risk of heart disease and should not be part of any healthy diet." [New York Times August 11, 2005] Read the ingredients of all your food products. Better yet don't eat processed food.

  • RE MICROWAVE COOKING: "Two researchers, Blanc and Hertel, confirmed that microwave cooking significantly changes food nutrients. Hertel previously worked as a food scientist for several years with one of the major Swiss food companies. He was fired from his job for questioning procedures in processing food because they denatured it. He got together with Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Biochemistry and the University Institute for Biochemistry." Studies in the former USSR lead to the banning of the use of microwave ovens because of their negatitive effects on health. http://www.relfe.com/microwave.html

  • RE VITAMINS & other supplements: --many people are depleted in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, so supplementation can be a wise thing...missing even a single trace mineral can compromise our health. Best sources for supplements are sprouted seeds (esp. sunflower), nutritional yeast, kelp, chlorella, and spirulina - see http://www.chlorellafactor.com/. Best to eat lots of fresh, raw, organically grown foods. The Mediterranean diet is arguably one of the best known diets--proven better than the American Heart Association diet.

  • RE EXERCISE: "Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very fast." Thomas. Jefferson. Best to exercise 40 minutes every day. Alternate weight training with aerobic excersise --allow 24 hours for muscles to rebuild)

  • RE MENTAL HEALTH: "B" vitamins especially B-6 & B-12 are especially important for good mental health. Mentally ill people frequently lack these vitamins and autopsies on suicide victims reveal they are severely reveal deficient in magnesium. The body requires "B" vitamins to metabolize sugar, so if you drink alcoholic beverages or eat a lot of sweets you'll need more B vitamins than if you didn't drink alcohol or eat a lot of sugar. This information is worth researching.

My Mom Says:

  • Bring a small flashlight with you to the movie theater so you can see where you are stepping and avoid a fall.
  • Don't drive after having your eyes dilated...you can misjudge distances and possibly cause an accident.