Color Your World: 30 Gold

Today’s color for Jennifer’s Color Your World challenge is: gold! At least I know what that looks like. 😉

Here’s a photo of a golden idol I took a while back at the Buddha’s Tooth Temple in Singapore. I sure miss those days of traveling around while working on the ship. We used to stay for quite a while in the shipyard there. I’m not really sure who or what it’s supposed to be since I’m not really up on the Buddhist (or any other) religion. They did have an awful lot of these statues in their temple, this was one of the larger ones.

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Songs of the Sea: Oceans

Here’s a good song for a Sunday. Another one of my Songs of the Sea series. I’m an atheist, so I don’t go along with all the religious stuff in this song. I’ll start believing in god if/when I see some real evidence. I don’t have faith, will never have faith, I want PROOF. Personally I think religion is one of the worst things people have ever invented and we’d all be a lot better off without it. But the music and the singing is very beautiful anyway.

Religion  can ‘inspire’ a lot of people.

Just like so many churches are stunningly beautiful. They took the best efforts of thousands of men over decades to build. They cost millions of dollars.

All for nothing really. An invisible, (almost certainly imaginary), being.  All that artwork is still beautiful, even if it was done for nothing but hope and a promise.

Personally, I think it’s really sad. That so much effort is spent on such things, when it could have been used to make things so much better for real people, right here and now. People spend so much effort fixing things for ‘the next life’ instead of fixing THIS one. I think it’s sad.

Even so, I still do appreciate the beauty that’s created.

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

[6x]
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

And this is also another post in the Just Jot It January challenge.

Walk the Line- Live and Let Live

 

Today’s prompt from the Daily Post…

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

I don’t usually think too deep about that kind of thing. But after I thought about it again, in response to the prompt today, I realize that yes, I really DO have a code I live by.

That code is simple:

LIVE AND LET LIVE

I’ve always thought that philosophy would make the world a MUCH better place if more people would live that way.

I thought when I was growing up I was alone in my thought processes. For so long, it seemed that everyone else around always thought for some strange reason that someone else (god, family, state, etc.) had some sort of ‘right’ to dictate how others should live their lives.

It was very encouraging for me to learn a few years ago that there are actually a lot of other people who think the way I do. Who believe in the philosophy of liberty and value freedom for all (actually, Americas’ founding fathers thought the same way and tried hard to form a government that would protect our rights to live this way- too bad their vision has been totally destroyed in only 200 years).

I only found out about the libertarians when my local Texas congressman Ron Paul was running for President as a Libertarian. It was SO nice to find that there were other people I could talk to who actually agreed with me. 🙂

(On most things- or at least the basic principles. Of course, if you’ve ever been in a room full of libertarians, you’d never believe that since we can argue for hours over the minute details of some proposal.)

But, the BASIC principals are not really an issue.

Self ownership: YOU own your life! No one else!

Everything else comes out of that most basic principle. Things like personal responsibility, honesty and respect for others. Everything comes together in a very sensible, ethical way for people in society to live. Each person is free to chose how to live their own lives in the best way possible for them (live according to their own values), taking into consideration their personal circumstances, and remember that they’re free to do whatever they choose as long as they don’t hurt anyone else while doing it (and, that they’re responsible for their own choices/actions!). That brings up a biggie.

There is also the non-aggression principle. Here is a good explanation of that by Dr. Mary Ruwart…

QUESTION: What is the libertarian “non-aggression principle” (or “non-aggression axiom”)?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Libertarianism is based on a single ideal, the non-aggression principle, so libertarian rhetoric tends to be remarkably consistent.

Libertarians oppose the initiation of force to achieve social or political goals. They reject “first-strike” force, fraud or theft against others; they only use force in self-defense. Those who violate this “non-aggression principle” are expected to make their victims whole as much as possible.

This “Good Neighbor Policy” is what most of us were taught as children. We were told not to lie, cheat, steal, not to strike our playmates unless they hit us first. If we broke a friend’s toy, we were expected to replace it.

Most of us still practice what we learned as children with other individuals, but we have grown accustomed to letting government aggress against others when we think we benefit. Consequently, our world is full of poverty and strife, instead of the harmony and abundance that freedom (i.e., freedom from aggression) brings.

Simply put, libertarians take the non-aggression principle that most people implicitly follow in their interactions with other individuals, and apply it to group actions, including government actions, as well.

You might have heard the Libertarian Party (LP) referred to as the “Party of Principle.” This is because the LP bases its programs and policy positions on the non-aggression principle.

Yeah, I really DO believe in these principles and yes, I do live by them.

If I haven’t gone too far off the deep end for you, and you’re interested in learning more, try taking the quiz (that’s why I keep it as a sticky first post on my blog). Check out the links in this post, or try the Advocates for Self-Government or the International Society for Individual Liberty, they’re both full of good information and more links to other resources for the liberty movement around the world.

Have you ever heard of libertarians before? Do you agree with these principles? If you don’t mind me asking, why or why not?

(Yes, I am hoping to start a discussion here). 🙂

 

Freedom of Speech – Remember Charlie

I really don’t know what I would do if I was seriously threatened. Would I censor myself? Would I stop doing something I loved? I can only HOPE not. I admire those people who can and do stand firm for the rest of us.
I am amazed that these nutjobs (religious fanatics) are allowed to roam free around the world today. They have proven over and over that they can NOT act in any kind of civilized manner. IMHO they should all be locked in a cage and FORCED to live out their year 600 fantasies they want to impose on the rest of us! A bunch of sick bastards should NOT be allowed to run the rest of the world, should NOT be influencing it in ANY way and absolutetly shoud NOT be forcing the rest of us to restrict our liberties or our lives in ANY way!

15 CARTOONS FROM ARTISTS RESPONDING TO PARIS SHOOTING

Good for them! If I was a cartoonist I would be up in arms too! I’m not a cartoonist but I’m pissed as hell at these so-called muslim fanatics. I wish I could do something to put a stop to their insanity. It’s just amazing to me that so many people in so many places have put up with their ridiculous use of ‘religious freedom’ to take advantage of others.

tomfernandez28's Blog

By Kit Daniels

Cartoonists from around the world are publicly denouncing Islamic extremism after militants killed as many as 12 people in Paris yesterday, including several Charlie Hebdo artists.

Attacks on free speech will only encourage us to speak louder.

    Cartoonists from all over the world denounce Islamic extremism

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    “Unstoppable Charlie Hebdo.”

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    “No Freedom without freedom of press.”

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    “Grab your weapons mates.”

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    “Ducks [slang for newspaper] will always fly higher than guns.”

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    “Today, I am a press cartoonist. Today, I am a journalist. Today, I draw for Charlie Hebdo.”

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    “My heart is with Charlie Hebdo.”

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Let’s Talk Justice

To follow up on yesterdays post, can anybody justify this situation?

I would really like to hear from people. Please give me your reasons for why you think women should be treated as worth less than men are.

Why are they still denied a full education in so much of the world? Why are they still considered as property of some man in so many places? Why are they still not allowed to make basic decisions about their own lives in so many cultures?

I’m especially interested to hear from people with Muslim influences. Just because it seems to me that the Muslims are the worst offenders at this point in time. If you don’t think they are, can you please explain why you don’t think so, who’s worse?

I would also love to hear from people of all religions as to how they reconcile their ideas of justice and basic fairness with a god who supposedly says they should treat some people with less respect than others.

If you do worship a god who you think says that kind of thing, WHY do you continue to worship it?

Just thinking it’s past time we (the entire world) start to discuss this situation and CHANGE it. I think first we need to get to the bottom of the reasons people claim it needs to be this way in the first place.

I don’t think it’s justified, at all. For any reason.

Now, who’s up for a good argument??? 🙂

Women Rallied Behind Beautiful, Wartless Witches

Women of the Early 1900s Rallied Behind Beautiful, Wartless Witches | History | Smithsonian.

Check out these cool Halloween cards. I thought the history mentioned in the article was pretty interesting.

It’s hard for me to imagine how different life must have been for women in the past. Of course, for most women in the world things are still very different than they are here in the USA (not that we’re perfect yet).

Women in many countries around the world are still treated like second class citizens. They’re still denied the opportunities and options that men have, simply because of their gender.

As an American, growing up as an American girl, I can hardly imagine what it must be like. How does a girl from somewhere like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, or even India or Africa or South America manage enjoy life, or even to get through it all without the options we have here?

I imagine they must only be able to bear it when they don’t know about any other options. Maybe they just don’t think they can live any other way. I don’t really know. It amazes (and disgusts and infuriates) me that in this day and age we STILL have not managed to create a society where women can live their lives as THEY choose.

It’s hard for me to imagine how I would be able to stand a life like that. That I would not have any choices. I wouldn’t be able to go to school. I wouldn’t be able to LEARN about so many things. I wouldn’t be able to decide what kind of work I would like to do. To choose who I would want to marry or IF I would want to marry at all. To be able to choose when I want to have sex, or with who, or IF I want to have sex at all. To be able to choose to have children, or not to have any.

SO many choices taken away from me, just because I happen to be female. What must that be like?

I read a book- Infidel- by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It really opened my eyes. I have to say I admire her strength and courage to do what she did. She grew up in Somalia, was raised a Muslim, and then grew disillusioned with the life she had. She moved to the Netherlands as a refugee, eventually became a member of Parliament there. Her story is really encouraging. I hope more people (especially young girls) will read it and take hope.

I can see from the Smithsonian article (and even from my own life), that we have made some progress in the USA.

I remember when I was young and I chose to work at sea. I had to fight so hard for every job I ever got. It was ALWAYS a struggle to get hired. Yes, just because I was a woman. No one wanted to have a woman on board. 😦

Now, (30-40 years later), it is not nearly as much as a problem (tho, yes, it IS still a problem). I see more and more women working at sea. I even see other women in positions of authority. They are no longer delegated to the stewards department, they can work at other jobs and be more than just cooks and room stewards!

I happen to be the only woman on board this ship, (1 out of 178) but on my last one there were women working as geologists, mud engineers, fluid engineers, etc. I’ve seen quite a few other women DPOs lately and even a couple of other captains. 🙂

I hope to see more women from other countries able to take advantage of all the opportunities the world offers. I was very encouraged to hear about the Italian livestock carrier who had female master and chief mates.

Hopefully sometime soon women from all over the world will have the same rights and opportunities that men have always had. It would be wonderful if everyone everywhere had the chance to live their lives the way THEY choose to.

Thought For the Day

root of all evil

root of all evil

Constitution Day: Celebrate it by Learning to Enforce It

Constitution Day: Celebrate it by Learning to Enforce It | Tenth Amendment Center

Constitution Day, September 17, 2013. Today is the day to celebrate the document which we hold responsible for ‘giving us our freedom’. If I was home, I would probably be trying to have some sort of party with my friends from our local Campaign for Liberty meetup group ( http://www.meetup.com/ronpaul-773/).

I’d like to be able to celebrate, but I find it hard now to find any reasons to celebrate. I feel a wake is more in order…

We have NOTHING left of the 4th amendment. Even before Edward Snowdens’ breaking the news of ‘our’ governments’ all encompassing spy programs, we had to put up with the DEA, TSA, IRS, FBI, etc. “Our” government has not paid the slightest attention to the 4th amendment for decades.

The 5th amendment has been totally trashed since we started using the ridiculous idea that ‘property’ is guilty and so can be stolen without even any charges being filed against the owner of said property. The government has been stealing BILLIONS of dollars worth of cash and real property using the tactic of ‘civil asset forfeiture’ for years-(check out the Institute for Justice on some of these cases www.ij.org). The (illegal, unconstitutional) drug war has done in the 5th amendment.

The 9th and 10th amendments were also victims of the war on (some) drugs. If anyone had ever paid any attention to either of those (9th- rights retained by the people)(10th- rights retained by the states), then there never could have been any drug war to begin with.

The 6th, 7th and 8th amendments were also victims of the war on (some) drugs. Because of the HUGE amount of people being arrested with no real crime committed, the justice system in this country has been completely corrupted and destroyed. Some ‘free’ country we are with more people in prison than anywhere else in the world by far! 😦

The 2nd amendment is on the way out. With all the restrictions we have already on a RIGHT that “shall not be infringed”, it’s getting to be almost impossible for a law abiding citizen to “keep and bear arms”. The media works the public into a frenzy every time some nut job gets a hold of a gun and goes on a rampage. Hey, why not try to stop the crazies and not the rest of us??? Why not let the rest of us take out said nut job if he does manage to get hold of a gun??? These guys aren’t crazy enough to try their shit anyplace they might run into ARMED citizens! Who the hell said we have to get a permit to exercise a RIGHT??? A right NEVER needs any kind of permit in order to exercise it! Period!

When I get going on this stuff people always bring up the 1st amendment. Yeah, OK, we still have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Yeah, I guess as long as you’re not a Rastafarian, or a Mormon, or OMG a Satanist!!! 😉 Of course the religious right says their rights are being infringed on too (by the atheists)- yep, that’s what they say. So, the freedom of religion is being eroded pretty badly too. You can still speak freely, except at work, or on a college campus, or unless you want to criticize the TSA for their bullshit NAZI tactics in the airport. It’s NOT freedom if you have to censor yourself!  

Almost forgot about the 1st amendments guarantee of freedom of the press. Yeah, that mention of censorship reminded me. Freedom of the press, yeah right- they’re now all owned by the same big corporations and do NOT work in any way for our freedom. Sure, you have freedom of the press- if you have enough money to buy a major newspaper or TV station. Sure, that’s real freedom for the people. 

So out of the first 10 amendments- our Bill of RIGHTS (which were NOT given to us by anyone- including any government!)- we can honestly say we have ONE left (the 3rd). I’m not aware of any soldiers being quartered in anyones’ houses (yet). One out of 10!

One out of 10??!! And no one seems to care. 😦 I agree with the linked article, we need to do all we can right now, before it goes any further, and put a stop to this constant violation of our rights.

It is not going to happen in the ballot box (yes, if you can vote for a libertarian, then do- the rest of them aren’t worth the bother!). I hope it doesn’t have to happen through the cartridge box! Who wants that to happen??? We would be outgunned in a NY minute! We need to EDUCATE, we need to individually stand up and do whatever we can. NULLIFY!

I want the government people to get the hell out of my life, and yours.  And the only way that’s going to happen is if we work together to nullify all of them into oblivion….Murry Rothbard

With this post, I feel like I’ve done what I can to help today. Make an effort… check out a couple of websites for groups that support the ideals of the Constitution. Here are a few to get started…

www.theadvocates.org The Advocates for Self Government

www.downsizedc.org Downsize DC

www.ij.org Institute for Justice

www.isil.org International Society for Individual Liberty

www.lp.org Libertarian Party

 

Why Americans Can’t Die With Dignity

Why Americans Can’t Die With Dignity | Mother Jones.

I thought this was a really good interview with Katy Butler. Author of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death”. I think its a very important issue that we just keep on avoiding. Even with all the talk about ‘death panels’ in Obamacare, we still don’t really get to the point. We need to have the discussion. We need to really do some deep thinking about how we want to deal with a major injury/sickness and death.

I’ve already been through the ordeal of losing both my parents. I was the one who had to make the decisions at the end for both of them. I do totally agree with Katy that we in America spend WAY too many resources on people who are in the last stage of life. Resources that could be much better spent on helping the quality of life rather than the quantity.

I myself would prefer to die before they put me on the machines, before I don’t know who I am anymore, or recognize my best friends. I don’t even consider that as LIFE! I hope I’m strong enough to just get it over with and off myself if I ever get to that point. I would hate to have to put someone else at risk of going to prison for helping me end my life with some dignity. Yeah, I say that now…

Reading the interview I was reminded of how my father changed his outlook once he found out he had cancer. The doctors at the VA hospital only gave him a few months to live. He had a rare form of cancer and so with a lot of help from friends was able to get treatment at MD Anderson hospital instead. It’s one of the best cancer treatment centers in the world. They did everything they could for him. It added probably a few more months to his life.

But he was sick as hell from the treatments. He was in pain most of the time. He was dying and he knew it but he was also determined to fight til the very end. He did. He died anyway (like we all will).

We were able to get some help for him at the end but it was too little, too late. I was trying to help deal with a lot of medical issues I wasn’t really prepared for (even tho I do have medical PIC- it’s harder to deal with someone you know and love).

Near the end, my father had no idea who I was. It would have been nice if he could have been helped by hospice at home, where he was comfortable and had his friends around. We were finally lucky to be able to put him in a hospice facility in Houston, he died there in only a couple of days.

I have no real idea of what all that cost. I just know it was a LOT and there was no way he could afford it. (And yes, I’m pretty sure those costs were passed on to the general public). No way anybody could afford all that! If he didn’t have that rare form of cancer, I’m sure he would have been ‘allowed’ to die a lot sooner. The hospital thought it was worth keeping him around so they could learn from his case. Hopefully they learned something to help someone else down the road.

I really should have had a discussion with my dad before he got sick. I would have felt better knowing what he really wanted. Not a decision made under that kind of stress. Some states have passed a Death with Dignity Act. I don’t think Texas is one of them. I would support it.

Sexual Jihad And Spreading Crabs In The Name Of Muhammad : Personal Liberty™

Sexual Jihad And Spreading Crabs In The Name Of Muhammad : Personal Liberty™.

WOW! And you thought the Jihadists were crazy before? I just read this article and now just trying to digest these new interpretations of the Islamic religion. I never liked it, I never liked ANY religion, but I especially don’t like Islam because of the way they treat women. OK, they always explained their despicable treatment of women as “respect” of women, protection of their dignity and chastity (I always thought “why punish the women when it’s the MEN who can’t control themselves and are doing wrong,NOT the women”)… So now, they are asking women to prostitute themselves and give up those very things, all in the name of promoting Islam. WTF???!! They’re also into protecting head lice (that live in their beards), and frogs, so who’s to say which is the more crazy idiot that came up with this stuff? How the hell can anybody justify this crap???

A Last-Second Surge of Brain Activity Could Explain Near-Death Experiences | Surprising Science

A Last-Second Surge of Brain Activity Could Explain Near-Death Experiences | Surprising Science.

Interesting article 😉

The Scientific Buddha – Mind & Body – Utne Reader

The Scientific Buddha – Mind & Body – Utne Reader.

Interesting article. I’m not religious at all but I do think its interesting to learn about different belief systems.