Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

“The quest for riches darkens the sense of right and wrong.”
Antiphanes

I believe the greatest evil to come from man is greed. It destroys everything and everyone it touches. When we thirst for money, power, and respect we will bend what we consider to be right or wrong in order to justify the actions we have to do to achieve these ends. I think greed changes a man just as greed has completely destroyed our country. If broken down to the basics it can be said that greed has become more destructive than war. If we think about it war would not be possible if there was not greed behind it. I think everything dirty and wrong with man is rooted in greed. This very thing was responsible for the downfall of every great empire, and we have paved a road of gold leading to our downfall.

I know this to be true in my own experience. Prior to taking a job as a collector at Universal Acceptance Corp, I was a laid back Zen type of person. I had semi-strong morals and ethics. I was against greed, and against corporate America. I took the job as a collector and to be honest I had no expectations on what would become of me at this next stop. I had zero aspirations to achieve a higher status than a collector. I was in school during this time so I looked at this job as a pit stop. I figured I would work there for a year or two; then when I finished my degree I would be out. I didn’t end up moving on because my degree was in philosophy so it’s not like this opened a ton of new doors for me. I really do not know what I was thinking about there.

I had about nine years of management under my belt prior to taking this job. The person who interviewed me told me there was possibility of advancement, but I really wasn’t feeling it. After all these years I was sort of burned out from management. I wanted a job I could just go to then leave work at work; you know nothing really serious. I was not looking forward to doing collections because it was; well collections. This required a cold hearted person with a certain tact which I lacked. I am a very timid and shy, so I was not looking forward to having to be assertive. To my surprise I was very good at what I did. I managed to put some humanity into my position which worked better than the hard collect. I thoroughly enjoyed the bonuses, and when I saw how fast this company was expanding I set my eyes onto a management role. I worked my ass off until I was finally promoted. I started as a soft collector but over time turned to a pure dick collector because I understood my advancement depended upon it.

I stepped on friends and became cutthroat when it came time for the company to choose those who were to enter into the management training program. I remember there were six of us and only two spots. I was eventually promoted.  Now that I was managing my own team I learned about this company’s concept of the bottom line, and the things needed of me to achieve this. I of course excelled at my position and embraced this company’s philosophy and culture. The longer I worked for this company and the more I learned about how they did things the more I realized how evil this company was. They were predators feeding off those in dire straights. I went along with this and kept bending and changing my morals and ethics all in the name of advancement and bigger paychecks. Because of the years of bending and twisting my core values at work, I began to bend and twist my core values as a human being.

I did this all in the name of greed. I wanted more money so I could buy more stuff to fill my life with accomplishments and possessions. I can tell you by experience wealth and status is not that important. I contributed to the destruction of countless amounts of people, and I did this so my paycheck would be larger. We all contribute to this culture of greed. We bathe in it, and become intoxicated with filling our ego. This is not the way to live. This is not the way to treat your fellow man. We need to replace greed with charity and compassion. This is the only way we can right this ship off the path of destruction. Sadly in our current economic structure this will never be possible.

“The greatest power is not money power, but political power.”
Walter Annenberg

Personally I do not agree this statement to be true. The power today is in who has the most money, and who is paying our politicians. It is the money infiltrating our elected officials which fuels the machine we call democracy. I wrote a piece months back asking the question if we are Plutocracy. I believe we are. I think when Annenberg first took over his fathers publishing business in 1942 this may have been a true statement. In today’s world money supersedes political power. I would guess most if not all of our politicians are in the pockets of corporations and special interest groups. This my friends is a sad state of affairs. I feel sick to my stomach knowing decisions are being made not in the people’s best interests, but in the best interests of those who possess the most money. I feel appalled that the people of this country have just sat back and allowed this monstrosity to occur. 

I have no idea when this trend changed. I know the change occurred prior to my birth in 1979. If I were to make a guess I would say things started to change and the rich started to seize our country during Nixon’s presidency. I have no concrete proof of this it is just a hunch. If you look at Annenberg’s bio you will see in 1966 he used his media business to sabotage a political campaign. If it were not for his media outlets reporting untrue negative things about Milton Shapp he most likely would have won the election. The reasons Annenberg started this early example of a smear campaign was because Shapp was opposing the merger between Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central. His reasons were not known until after his death when it was revealed that Annenberg was the biggest individual stockholder in Pennsylvania Railroad.

I think this example shows how powerful media outlets are, and who owns our media outlets? Corporations do. During election time we are bombarded with positive and negative things about the candidates many of which are not true on either side. I remember during the healthcare deal. The media (probably paid by insurance companies) aired many commercials against Obama’s healthcare reform bill. These smear commercials greatly affected how the people felt about this bill. I think the meer mention of socialism really killed the momentum Obama built during his campaign. Then you look at those who cast the votes and you can be guaranteed they are making decisions based off of who is paying them the most money; sadly it isn’t the people. The heartbreaking part is people do not take the time to try to find the truth they just believe what they are told by their televisions. We missed out on something that would have help millions upon millions of struggling Americans get affordable healthcare. Now it looks like the current bill may actually cause problems, instead of correcting them, unfortunately these problems favor the insurance companies not the American people. Isn’t it amazing what money can do?   

Walter Hubert Annenberg (March 13, 1908 – October 1, 2002) was an American publisher, philanthropist, and diplomat. He owned several publications such as TV Guide, Seventeen, The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 1966, Annenberg used the pages of The Inquirer to cast doubt on the candidacy of Democrat Milton Shapp, for governor of Pennsylvania. Shapp was highly critical of the proposed merger of the Pennsylvania Railroad with the New York Central and was pushing the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission to stop it. Walter Annenberg, who according to his New York Times obituary, was the biggest individual stockholder of the Pennsylvania Railroad, wanted to see the merger go through and was frustrated with Shapp’s opposition. During a press conference, an Inquirer reporter asked Shapp if he had ever been a patient in a mental hospital. Having never been in one, Shapp simply said “no”. The next day, a five-column front page Inquirer headline read, “Shapp Denies Mental Institution Stay.” Shapp and others have attributed his loss of the election to Annenberg’s newspaper.

“The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other – instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.
Edward Abbey

How true is this statement? It is so easy for our leaders to make decisions on war when it is not their lives or their children’s lives on the line. If we were to create a law stating any representative who votes to either continue the war in Afghanistan or whether to enter into a new war would be required by law to serve in said war. I wonder how many of them would vote to continue this current war we are in. I wonder how they would address this current crisis in North Korea. Can you honestly think Obama would continue the war in Afghanistan if he knew he would have to suit up and head off to war? I can guarantee you we would see zero votes regarding continuing or beginning any kind of war. This is an issue for me because we have leaders who only discuss such things in a heavily guarded palace far away from any dangers. It is easy to use human pawns in the name of democracy, when you are safe at home.

I would love to ask our elected officials if they are ready to be sent off to South Korea where they would need to face the fourth largest standing army in the world. I would love to see what their votes would be if they had army gear waiting for them at the air port. I wonder if the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-il would continue to be a crazy fucker if he had to personally lead the troops into the south. Knowing how unstable he is I am sure he would be game for such things.

I just think our leaders need to stop using our children as toys to achieve an agenda which honestly makes no sense. There is no way we will win this war in Afghanistan. It is sad to know that each day another young man dies. It is sad to know that we as a country are creating widows and fatherless children all in the name of what? I understand we are trying to defeat the terrorist, but in reality that will never happen. You can kill one leader and immediately another one surfaces. Our presence in the Middle East is only throwing more fuel on the fire. We are actually creating more enemies with real motives to hate America. If we were to just get out of the Middle East 100% and let them work it out for themselves then the terrorists would lose reasons to attack us.

I believe we need to pull all of our troops out of the countries we are currently in. I think there is something like 30k troops in Germany. Why is this necessary? I think if we brought these troops home, and used them to protect our borders we would be safe, and over time our popularity with other countries would improve because we would no longer be playing the daddy role over the world. I do not think North Korea would hate us so much if we did not have so many troops in the south. I think we need to realize that there are countries out there that if they wanted to could squash us like a bug.

I do not believe our representatives would vote for war if they and their families would be required to serve. This statement is a powerful one if you think about it. They can vote for death and destruction as long as they and their families are safe. I think this shows they are not that for the war. Why is it okay for the sons and daughters of Americans to die in battle when they are not willing to die themselves? In the sixties and seventies there were millions of people who stood up against the war in Vietnam. I really do not understand why this is not happening today. We have been over in the Middle East for years and have spent trillions of dollars to keep this pointless unwinnable war going. Where are the protesters? If our leaders choose to keep this and any future war going then they need to suit the fuck up, or stop voting to kill our troops.

“I don’t really trust a sane person.”
Lyle Alzado

Which is worse a man in the midst of insanity or the man who is under control and sane? I love this quote because it asks us to examine this question. At first you might say to yourself that the insane man is by far more dangerous, but is this true? Yes I think society has taught us to fear the insane, and trust the sane. I know full well the psyche of the insane; because I live it everyday. I do think however the more dangerous of the two is a man who is sane. I am not condemning the sane; I am simply saying they are harder to trust. At least you know what you are getting with someone who is a little wacky. If you understand the illness you will come to understand the behaviors. These behaviors become predictable and routine cycles. Sane people on the other hand are extremely unpredictable. They are able to plot diabolical schemes capable of harming millions of people.

I will use President Bush as an example. He may be simple minded, but he is not insane, even the evil overseer of Mr. Bush Dick Cheney by all definitions would be considered sane. These two men along with all their “sane” republican friends were responsible for immeasurable amounts of crazy shit. The war in Iraq was perpetrated by lies in order to gain support to start a war. They enacted such laws as the Patriot Act which in essence caused a piece of our freedom to be striped away from us. Because of this they are able to invade our privacy at the drop of a hat. Because of the war we have wasted trillions of dollars and caused the deaths of thousands of American troops and uncountable amounts of death to our enemies. Because of “sane” men and women our economy has completely crumbled, and our leaders actually passed a bill to bailout the very banks that were responsible for our downfall. These same “sane” leaders have allowed our government to be taken over by big business.

At least for those of us who are clinically insane we can take medicine to manage our symptoms. This same thing can not be said about the sane. There is nothing that can be done for those who lets say are so consumed with greed they would come up with a ponzi scheme to take billions of dollars away from unsuspecting people. An insane man could simply not come up with such an elaborate and organized scheme. I will not deny there are those who are criminally insane, and yes I could not see myself trusting them, but at least I can tell who they are. I am sure if I met Charles Manson on the street I would know I am up against a crazy fucker and should stay far away from him. The same can not be said about meeting Dick Cheney. If I were to just meet him on the street I would think he is some normal great guy, completely unaware of the evil inside of him.

Because of this uncertainty I just can’t bring myself to trust a sane person. They can easily hide their evil side, and their hidden agendas. There is no medication to take away their greed and corruption. I even believe many of the murderers out there would be considered by all medical definitions sane. I think as a society we need to label these individuals as “insane” to make us feel safe and more in control of our lives. The downfall of our society is not by the hands of the loonies walking the streets, but the “normal” men and woman perpetrating evil inside our government.

Lyle Alzado was an NFL defensive lineman. He was famous for his intense and intimidating style of play. He played 15 seasons, splitting his time between the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and most famously the Los Angeles Raiders, with whom he won a championship in Super Bowl XVIII. Alzado was one of the first major athletes to admit to using steroids. He died after a battle with brain cancer in 1992 at the age of 43. He retired in 1985 so I was not old enough to remember watching him play. He was one of the players of his era who defined the role of a defensive lineman.

American exceptionalism is an American theory that the United States occupies a special role among the nations of the world in terms of its national ethos, political and religious institutions, and it’s being built by immigrants. Even though its origins date back to the 1600’s the concept still lives on today. This mode of thinking is what has damaged our reputation throughout the world. The concept that we are better than all other nations because as Alexis de Tocqueville, argued; the United States held a special place among nations because it was the first working representative democracy. We may have been the first but we were not the last. I am sure there are some out there who could have a valid argument how a later form of democracy trumps ours. Belief in American exceptionalism is more characteristic of conservatives than liberals. Which being liberal to me makes the idea seem even worse.

Parts of American exceptionalism can be traced to American puritan roots who believed in divine providence. They believed God had made a covenant with their people and had chosen them to lead the other nations of the world. The scary thing is; there are those republicans out there who still believe such a thing.  If we take a look at the Latin phrase on the back of the great seal and our one dollar bill it reads “novus ordo seclorum” which translates as “New Order of the Ages.” I think our republican leaders at that time and still to today would want nothing more than to spread their form of “order” to the entire world, and become the nation God has chosen to lead the world.  

Proponents of American exceptionalism argue that the United States is exceptional in that it was founded on a set of republican ideals, rather than on a common heritage, ethnicity, or ruling elite. In the formulation of President Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, America is a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. In this view, America is inextricably connected with liberty and equality. We may be connected with liberty (although this may be up for debate) and equality (also up for debate.) The notion of republican ideals against the ruling elite? Isn’t that a bit oxymoronic?

The United States’ policies have been characterized since their inception by a system of federalism and checks and balances, which were designed to prevent any person, faction, region, or government organ from becoming too powerful. Some Proponents of the theory of American exceptionalism argue that this system and the accompanying distrust of concentrated power prevent the United States from suffering a “tyranny of the majority.” What I find interesting is we are protected from the “tyranny” of the majority, but we do nothing to protect us from the “tyranny” of the minority.

All countries probably believe they are exceptional in their own right. Britain at the height of the British Empire, Nazi Germany, as well as the communist state Russia, and France in the wake of the French revolution all demonstrated exceptionalism in terms of systematically engaging in what they considered benevolent enterprises. I believe although broken America is one of the greatest nations in the world. Do I believe we should feel superior over all other nations because we are what we are? No. We are not the judges and jury’s to the world. The belief and ideals we have are fantastic, but are these ideals better than say Norway’s? We could look at Norway or Iceland and say they are exceptional over us because of their low crime rates and penchant for staying away from wars. Does this make them better than us? In my eyes it does, but I cannot speak for a nation of people, nor should anybody else. It is fantastic to have pride in your country, but this pride should not stir up supremacism. I have always believed America should keep to herself. Trying to find nations we believe should be a democracy then enforce said beliefs by military force is wrong anyway you look at it. This concept that America is exceptional above all other nations is the exact way of thinking that caused other nations to hate us.

“Civilization is a youth with a molotov cocktail in his hand. Culture is the Soviet tank or L.A. cop that guns him down.”
Edward Abbey

The great thing about quotes is you are not always there to bare witness to what exactly was going on when these things were said, or for that matter in what context the quote is being used. What I love about doing these pieces on the philosophy of quotes is it allows me to find a quote that speaks to me and add my own philosophical spin on it. I am a fan of many things Abbey has said, but I like this quote, because the question is “what did Abbey mean by this?” Edward Abbey was an author, and primarily known as an environmentalist activist; many of his quotes resonate on a deeper political landscape.

In many of his writings and quotes you can tell Abbey was opposed to any form of government. In his opinion the only just government is no government at all. He once said Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” Abbey had very little faith in man to do the right thing. His claim is if we are not even able to take care of ourselves and be responsible enough to make the right decisions; then what does that say about man’s ability to rule a nation. This sentiment was repeated in many of his famous quotes. I wonder what Abbey would think about our society now, with the discovery of global warming and the oil spill. I can only imagine he is rolling in his desert grave.

Describing civilization as a youth, and one with a primitive weapon in hand; says to me that in anarchy there may be violence, but this violence is minor, yet necessary to right the ship of society. The description of culture being a tank or L.A. cop gunning this youth down represents how quickly and swiftly our culture can break us down. He is saying the violence and destruction this youth will bring is nothing compared to the level of violence and oppression our current government shells out.

In one of Abbeys quotes he says; Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” The youth’s purpose in an anarchy run society is to stir the stew, keeping us from being overrun with the greedy, but because of our culture the powers that be prevent this from happening; hence why our society has slowly fallen a part. We have no youths standing up and demanding change. We do not have this, because we know it isn’t possible. We have no recourse but to submit to our masters. 

I often think about what our society would look like if it was over run and anarchy reined supreme. I think the concept of anarchy sounds great, but just like socialism it is corrupted by mans hand. I think you look at any government system and on paper it sounds great, but somehow we end up screwing the pooch. If we were just to switch to no government it would not stop the corporations from taking over. They already hold to much power in this country imagine what it would be like if they were able to take the politician gloves off and truly have at us. As a society we could still have our Molotov cocktails, but the corporations would have the tanks and machine guns. There would still need to be some sort of hierarchy. There would still be the few who held all the power, and the many who don’t. Abbey once said this about power Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.”

I go back and forth on whether big government is a good or bad thing. I suppose like most Americans I am all for big government when it benefits me (universal healthcare) and against it when it doesn’t (bank bailout.) I think if we had honest people in office who legitimately cared about the country and the well being of the people, the more favorably the public would perceive our government to be. Our elected officials have been letting us down for the last thirty plus years. Instead of standing up and protesting for change and holding our officials accountable we have just grown to accept this as status quo.

We have all grown tired over things remaining the same and we are always skeptical when the government legitimately tries to do something good for us. Take the healthcare reform bill. The democrats were finally able to make a push towards universal healthcare. Everyone was positive about it until the special interests killed it with the negative ads regarding the change. People starting freaking out thinking we would become socialist if we accepted this change. The majority of people wanted reform, but as soon as that magical picture box started saying negative things, is when people started to believe this was bad. Its amazing how much power that little box has; isn’t it?   

I think our government in its current form is as destructive as they come. This is true whether you are talking about republicans or democrats. Abbey had this to say about our conservative leaders our ‘neoconservatives’ are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.” And this to say about democrats One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.” His sentiments and complete lack of faith in our system is harrowing. The sad part is during his time; he would have been in the minority for thinking this way. I think today he would most definitely be in the majority. I look and wonder where are our Edward Abbeys to try and stir the pot? Where are our youths holding their molotov cocktails? I can easily answer these questions. We are indoctrinating our youth to become blind followers of the establishment.

We have accepted things as they are without questioning them, or partake on any real quest at changing them. We have been so hypnotized by money, media and possessions that we have been blind over the hijacking of this country. Big business has infiltrated our government, and we have just sat here and allowed it to happen. We have not stirred our society up enough by questioning our leaders and challenging their policies. The end result is we have let ourselves get overtaken by the scum of the earth. Our elected officials are demons in suits, selling lies to the gullible.

My wife had to have surgery on her mouth to fix two impacted wisdom teeth. Her teeth were not going straight up they were growing sideways pushing at her molars. The dentist told her she had to get this surgery done otherwise she would have severe problems down the line. We have duel dental insurance and at that time health insurance. Between these three the procedure was extremely cheap. The place she had the procedure royally botched the operation and caused a whole new set of problems. She was sent to another dentist, when he saw how badly his colleague screwed up he offered to have all visits with him for free. It was because of this shitty dentistry my wife had to go have a serious surgery because the infection was eating away at her jawbone. After the surgery she had to take hardcore antibiotics through an in-home IV. The whole thing was a complete nightmare, but we did not realize there were other issues to come about. This time it was not her mouth it was the insurance companies screwing up.

When my wife received the first bill she noticed the insurance company did not cover everything they were supposed to. When she called the insurance company she had to jump through all these hoops, talk to many different representatives, and really press the issue until she found out the insurance company miscoded many of the services to the tune of over one thousand dollars. The representative she spoke to said she would make notes in her account and said she would fix it. We also received bills from the dentist’s office after he said all services would be covered. My wife continued to fight this as well. We had to go to some out of network providers specifically for the in home IV antibiotics. We received a referral and before my wife accepted she contacted the insurance company to ensure it would be covered and they gave the okay. Sure enough it was coded as no approval out of network.

She has been dealing with this for months. Every time she calls she has to jump through the same hoops as the time before; only to hear “oh yea we miscoded. We will fix right away.” My wife has been in pain for over two years and she still has nerve damage in her mouth. On top of this she still has to deal with the insurance company which has now sent us to a heavy duty collection company. This has gotten so frustrating for her it will bring her to tears. I wish I had better knowledge of how this all works so I can call and help.

I wonder how many people have to deal with “miscoding?” I wonder how many people just pay their bill unaware they are getting screwed. In the film “Sicko” by Michael Moore it addresses how insurance company employees are trained to miscode varies procedures which would normally be covered. It is no secret insurance companies are crooked. They try to find anyway to get out of covering our healthcare needs. This is no secret yet nothing really gets done to hold these bastards accountable for their crimes against the people. We all pay high premiums month in and month out. For many of us we also have such high deductibles to pay before coverage even sets in.

During the healthcare debate there were a lot of lies, rhetoric and fear mongering going on to try and turn the people against Obama. Some of these same people were the ones who voted for him because of his healthcare reform. I remember seeing rallies were people were freaking out and shouting at people for this reform. I remember people spitting on a sick man holding a sign saying he was dying and has no coverage. I am sure these protesters were either well to do and had cheap coverage, or they were ignorant and had no idea what Obama was actually trying to do. Either way the healthcare bill as it stands sounds like it will do very little to stop insurance companies from bending us over and giving us the high hard one. I am amazed with how crooked people know they are and how much these insurance companies are screwing us; we have yet to rally together and demand change. This is further proof how we are indoctrinated into a frame of mind allowing us to be taken advantage of and just accept it and go about our days. I think we not only owe it to ourselves, but also our children the chance to live in a just and fair society. Don’t you?

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
Karl Marx

I was doing some reading on various government structures and came across oligarchy, and I was shocked on how closely America resembles this type of governmental structure. As I did some more reading I came across a form of government called corporatocracy which actually defined our structure better. Many Americans think they live within a Liberal Democracy which favors the freedom of the citizens of the state. Every 2-4 years we have the freedom to elect new officials whose purpose it is to serve their constituents. These elected officials do not serve us they serve the corporations lining their pockets more than the people. I would like everyone to sit back and ponder this. Do you feel you live in such a nation?

An oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, or military control. These states are often controlled by politically powerful families whose children are heavily conditioned and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy. In this country we do not have royalty, but we do have great wealth that controls most of this country. I am sure the children of these wealthy people are groomed to take over when they pass. I wonder if the ruling rich can be considered royalty. Who ever controls the country controls the military. The military fights for our safety and well being, but at the same time guarantees there is no possible way the people can revolt.

Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. The corporations controlling this country would not have the means to operate without the people. In the movie “Capitalism a Love Story” by Michael Moore he shows a letter from I believe US Bank sent out to their “Elite” customers stating the only thing standing in their way of a complete “plutocracy” is the American people’s right to vote. A Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy or power provided by wealth. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy.

Robert Michels believed that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. He called this the “iron law of oligarchy.” According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered as oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians’ careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is only one political party, the incumbent party.

Corporate oligarchy (Corporatocracy) is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative.

One of Satan’s greatest deception was tricking the people he does not exist. I wonder if the greatest deception our government has done is tricking us into believing we are truly free.

A while ago I wrote a post about my current projects. Since then a few things have been finished and a few of my projects have been altered, because I am a shameful promoter I would like to give an update on my progress. Things have been progressing nicely although there are some tedious things causing me to dread the process. Feedback is always needed.

Dylan Thomas: This is a children’s book series written in poetry form. The goal is to create stories which appeal to ages 2-10. I want the rhyming and lush drawings to not only draw the kids in, but also make the stories enjoyable for the parents as well. I have completed the first story “Dylan Thomas: Finds His Courage.” Currently it is in the illustration phase and will be released the end of September. I hope to have the next installment “Dylan Thomas: Bedtime Songs” I hope to have this available for sale by February 2011 or sooner.

This series is probably the only way I will make any money from my writing, and hopefully this series will help me land a literary agent. The stories will follow the same flow as far as the rhyming poetry, but the illustrations will change. I think this is exciting because it will keep things fresh. The illustrator Jeff Chia has one more page to complete, and my sister Cailee is doing the editing. I hope to have everything but together by September 1st. This will allow me a month to ensure everything looks good on the actual book. I am a quarter done with the next installment.

Yin; A poetry chapbook chronicling my dark side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010.

This is completed with all poems in my journal. I just need to type and edit. I hope to have this out by November. I will either sell “Yin” and “Yang” separately or combine them into one book. If I were to combine them into one I would set it up where “Yin” is on one side and “Yang” on the other. I am planning on setting them up as pocket books.

Yang; A poetry chapbook chronicling my light side. I have already finished this book, and should be released before November 2010

Politico; Working Title This poetry chapbook focuses on my political and theological perspectives. This book is also finished with an expected release date before November 2010.

This book will contain my political, philosophical, and theological points of view. There is a website called Politico, so I am unsure if the name is copyrighted or not. If it is I will have to get their blessings to use their names. There were plenty political poems in “My Descent into Madness,” and seemed to be well received.

The Mind of a Madman: (working title) this is a novel written in poetry form describing the inner workings of a psychopath in the making, and his journey into madness, starting from the time of conception up until… the rest will be a surprise. This has been a difficult book to work on, the places these poems take me is very dark. If I spend too much time there I may become a product of my words.

I have been all over the place in writing this one. I am jumping around to different phases of the main characters’ life. I am planning on telling this story strictly in poetry form or if I should add some narrative to it. This is taking longer than I expected, because I can only stay a short time in this mans mind.

The Philosophy of Me: The life and mind of no one special: This will be a book based off 365 days of my blogging entries. This will appeal to my fans wanting all my entries in print, and introduce the site to new readers. I will also use this as part of my portfolio.

I received an e-mail from a reader saying she would purchase this even though it is just an edited version of my blog. I suppose if one person would enjoy it than others may as well.

My Journey Through Taoism; This will include every verse from the Tao Te Ching along with my quest into understanding and living the Tao. Many books are written by experts. I hope to relate to readers who are new to Taoism by explaining my journey seeking understanding. At the end of each chapter I will be including a poem based off the verse. I do not want to rush this; so I am unaware of a release date 

This will be written in real time chronicling my quest into understanding Taoism. This book is the reason I stopped adding verses in my blog. I don’t want too many books to cross pollinate. I am enjoying this project because I can spend a few weeks working on each verse which will really bring me closer to the Way. In writing this in the perspective of someone seeking the Way it may help others understand it better and assist them on their journey. 

The Humor In Theology; I was originally going to write a descriptive timeline and the evolution of religion. I realized this book would only appeal to a certain audience. I was becoming overwhelmed with the mighty scope of this project. I decided to stick with the theology aspect but instead write it in a humorous way. I think this will be informative as well as funny.

I changed this from a serious educational book into a comedy. I will look into religions of the past and current beliefs and point out the goofiness of what people believe. There is a religion in Africa which believed their God vomited up the entire universe. This is just one of the silly beliefs people hold onto. It is amazing how people completely abandon logic in the name of faith.

The Philosophy of Quotes: Everyone loves quotes, and it seems each person may walk away with different perspectives on the meaning of these quotes. This book explains my philosophical view on the meaning of quotes. I hope to turn this into multiple volumes; each volume will be broken down by letters of the alphabet. I am excited to take a deeper look at my favorite quotes. 

I thought I would enjoy this one, but I have been running into a little bit of frustrations. My mind will not shift into this mode, which is holding this bad boy up.

Deceived: (working title.) This book examines how the Christian religion has allowed itself to be destroyed by the word of man. I have read the Bible a number of times; once because of faith, once as a theologian, and once as a skeptic. You would be amazed how much the bible has been changed to not only create copyrights, but to change the original meaning of the “Word of God” to fit mans needs. This book will be written entirely on a non-biased theological way looking strictly at the Word.

If I want to properly do this one I will need to focus 100% of my attention on it. I will need to simultaneously read three to four separate versions of the Bible. I started this awhile back and read the first couple chapters of Genesis, and it made my head hurt. I really think this project has potential, but with the amount of time I have to work on my writing it would take a year or two and I am not sure if I want to make that type of commitment on something which may not reap what I sowed.

On a side note I have thought of releasing my poetry books with commentary as far as what I was feeling and the meaning. I tend to write in abstract ways and I have had people tell me they get lost in finding the true meaning. I just wonder if this is sacrilegious with poetry because poetry is meant to be subjective to the reader. I am worried my poems may lose some of its luster if I add commentary. On the flip side some of my dedicated readers may care enough to know the story behind the poem.

What are your thoughts? Do you think I may be wasting my time with some of these books? I am starting my quest today to find an agent and I wonder if they want to see complete projects or is a concept enough to wet their whistle.

Why do we toss aside our elderly? Have we forgotten they have sacrificed their lives for our wellbeing? It seems once they stop paying taxes and start collecting Social Security and using Medicaid the government turns their backs on them. The government does this by budget cuts which heavily impact the nursing homes our loved ones are in. We as sons and daughters turn our backs on the very people who sacrificed their lives to raise us by sending them to said facilities suffering from these same budget cuts. Is this a product of a lapse in our ethics, or a product of the society we have created? Why do we value our elderly the least of all demographics? I think the answer is a bit of both.

In our society the value we place on money rules supreme, once you can no longer contribute to the machine you are forgotten. Fewer and fewer companies offer pensions, which most of our elderly counted on along with social security to survive. We have shifted to retirement funds to provide this cushion, but not everyone is able to maintain such a retirement fund. The money involved in caring for an elderly parent is crippling to a son or daughter. Their only financial option is sending them to a nursing home.

The other thing we place a high value on is time; because we work more than we relax our time is like gold. To care for a parent who can no longer care for themselves is not only expensive, but it is also time consuming. For many people to properly care for them it would require them to make a choice between their career and their responsibility to their parents. Many people cannot sacrifice their career, so the best option is to throw them into a nursing home. This time commitment begins to reflect in the number of visits residents receive. I would imagine at first the visits would be aplenty, but as time passes the visits become less and less. There are residents here who never receive visits from their loved ones.

My out look and concern over this problem has changed, since I started to work here. What I see here is heartbreaking, and I fear my parents may be sent to such a place. Prior to being employed here I gave very little thought into what kind of quality of life our elderly have. I was unaware of the promised money to facilities by our government only to be the first victim of budget cuts. I had very little concept of the level of care they were receiving. I gave very little thought into how our culture views our elderly, or what happened when they could no longer care for themselves. I never thought what my decision would be if my wife or parents could no longer care for themselves. I do know that the option to send them to a nursing home would be the last one explored.

This is why “The Bucket List Foundation” is so important. We are able to provide residents with the necessary level of human interaction by providing volunteers who are willing to visit at least once a week to truly give them basic human needs. We also would be able to provide the means for them to make a life long wish come true. In fulfilling their “bucket lists” they may be able to pass on with less regrets. Finally we will ensure no one dies alone. I would imagine the dying process is a trying time in our lives, sometimes the hardest thing we can endure. Nobody no matter how many bridges they have burned deserves to go through this process lying in an empty room. Perhaps if there was an elderly daycare center perhaps this would allow us to still work and care for our loved ones. There may already be such a program; if not perhaps the foundation will look into such an option.

I am not saying this issue is as cut and dry. I am sure there are facilities that provide the best care they can within their means. I am sure there are people out there who choose their parents over their own personal wants and needs. I imagine these examples are not the norm.

I do know this is a passion of mine. I think people need to take the time to contemplate the various things in our society. If this was done with this and many other issues perhaps these social maladies could be cured. We are often to busy and to self-absorbed to look at the issues perpetrated on our fellow man. I hope in my lifetime I am able to see a shift in this mode of thinking.