SoCS: Short

This post is for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. It’s Sunday as I write this, but the events I’m going to write about happened yesterday so I’m counting it. 😉 And I don’t think it’s going to be “short“, so consider it the opposite of short. 🙂

I went down to the beach  yesterday for the St Patricks Day parade. The weather was overcast with a light rain. I was late leaving home and thought I might get stuck in traffic, but because of the weather I made it in time for the judging without any trouble at all.

I got a few photos before it started raining hard and I had to run for cover. I headed to the Jetty Shack to dry off and watch the parade through the window.

I was sitting at the bar, enjoying a yummy Patty Melt (they make the best ones around) and listening to the surrounding conversations. I joined in (where maybe I shouldn’t have).

I can’t really remember how it started, but something to do with how young people don’t have any respect. It moved on to how society has encouraged people to do things that are illegal and cause harm.  Continue reading

A to Z: Reading

Today’s post for the A to Z Challenge is: reading.

I’ve always loved to read. When I was a kid, I used to read everything I could get my hands on. I read the entire children’s section of the local library (and plenty of the adults). I read the encyclopedia of animals I got for a present. I read my fathers magazines. I would even read the labels at the table if I had nothing else. 😉

My brother is the complete opposite. I don’t think he’s picked up a book in years. Last I heard he checked out a couple of comic books, but that’s about it. I can hardly believe how little he reads and how different we are in that respect. Our parents were both voracious readers. I don’t know how my brother feels, but I’m sure glad I followed in their footsteps. At least in that respect.

It constantly amazes me how few people like to actually read these days (not to mention real books). People love their electronic gadgets. They’re on the phone, iPod, computer, electronic games, etc, I see it all the time. I rarely see someone peacefully sitting and enjoying a good book anymore.

I always bring something to read with me anywhere I go. It helps a lot when standing in line, or put on hold, or waiting in the Drs office. Thank god for e-readers! I can bring more with me when I ship out to work now- maybe even enough to last the whole hitch without overloading my luggage allowance!

I’m so glad I can relax with a good book once I get off watch. I can go to my tiny little cabin and escape to some insanely wonderful adventure. I can travel back in time to the world of the dinosaurs. Or forward to live on Mars. I can become a spacefarer, or a zombie hunter, a vampire or an elf, a beautiful heiress, a swashbuckling pirate, an arctic explorer, or anything I can imagine.

I can escape reality for a while and let my mind play.

I wish more people were able to enjoy reading as much as I do. I almost feel sorry for people who don’t read, they’re missing out on so much. The books are out there, just waiting for readers. You can even get them for free! 🙂

Have you read any good books lately?

Do you prefer real books, or e-readers?

I’ve been rather distracted the last couple of weeks with all the time I’ve spent trying to deal with my computer issues (it’s still not fixed), but here’s what I’ve been reading in April…

Magazines: National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Lonely Planet, AFAR, Professional Mariner, Workboat, Seaways, Sea History, First, Woman’s Day, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Money, International Living, Fund Your Life Overseas and Reason.

Books: Adrift, Know Your Boat, Born Evil, Oil Painting Techniques, Sand In My Bra, Paint It, Promise of Paradise, Bluewater Handbook, NOS4A2, and still working on Years Best Science Fiction, Horror (the best of the year 2006) and Off the Tourist Trail. 🙂

I really do have a never-ending list!

NOS4A2

Today’s prompt for the Just Jot It January is: Mendaciloquent.

Oh hell yeah, I had to look that one up! Turns out, it’s not in the dictionary. So I have absolutely NO idea what it means. Sorry.

I’ll just have to write about something else.

Read any good books lately?

I have. I just finished NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. It’s a pretty fat one, at almost 700 pages. But it does a great job of keeping you interested. I had a hard time putting it down.

I’ve read a couple other books by Joe Hill. The Heart Shaped Box was the 1st one I read. I thought it was really good. I also read Horns, which I liked even better.

His writing reminds me a lot of Stephen King. Maybe because that’s his dad? I don’t know. But they both write long stories, even over 100’s of pages you can hardly put the book down. They both write a lot using kids and a lot of real, day to day, details that bring back what you were doing as a kid. Puts you right there in the scene.

They both have a sick sense of humor (weird maybe, but I like that). Here’s a story going along where everything’s perfectly normal, it could be taking place right next door. And then, all the sudden, everything’s really weird. That turns into totally fucked up pretty damn quick. 😉

I like how Joe writes a lot about how people get along (or not). A lot of psychology in his writing, maybe in the background, maybe not. His characters (the ones you’re rooting for) are all like-able, even if not ‘normal’. It’s easy to relate to them.

NOS4A2 is kind of a vampire story. It’s like a cross between Stephen King’s Christine, Dracula, and Dorian Grey. In this one, the super-duper special car sucks the life out of all the little kids it can catch and transfers it to the predator driver. Add in a rapist Renfield in a gas mask and a tribe of little monsters, and you’ll get what the hero’s up against.

They drive from reality to a fantasy land where it’s Christmas all the time. Til one little girl shows up and screws things up.

It’s a good story, it’s at the library. I don’t want to ruin it for you. Maybe they’ll make a movie out of it. It would make a good one. 🙂

Making a Living Without a Job…

“…Winning Ways for Creating Work that You Love”. That’s the full title of the book I picked up at the Fund Your Life Overseas conference put on by International Living.

I went to Phoenix in November for the conference. I had high hopes to find some way to finance my highly desired move overseas. I spent 3 days there, listening to the speakers, talking to other hopefuls, collecting literature, entering contests for prize give-a-ways, soaking up the information. 🙂

One of the speakers I got to meet was Barbara Winter. The one who wrote the book. I had actually read the 1st edition of her book years ago. I figured there would be updates (and there were), so I bought a new copy. I love her ideas of being “joyfully jobless” and would really, really love to join her fellow travelers, but I still haven’t found my way.

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I like Barbara’s ideas about having multiple sources of income. I’d actually been working on that before I ever read her book. I have (had) my job, rental properties, investing in the stock market, vending machines (not making any money), blog (still trying), writing (sold one article for $250), photography (sold 4 photos for a total of $2).

I’ve been reading “Making a Living…” off and on since I got home, working through some of the exercises, thinking hard about a lot of things. What are my goals? What do I really want to do? What do I really like to do? What do I need in my life? What can I do without? What are my skills? Could I learn some new skills?

Barbara talks a lot in this book about finding your passion. She asks questions like “What were the things you loved to do when you were a kid? What would you choose to do with your life if money was no object?” She helps you visualize. She helps motivate.

Then she talks about all the things that could be holding you back from pursuing those ideals (fears) and how you can get past those obstacles. She’s very motivating and inspiring. But a lot of the things she talks about just don’t seem to click for me, I don’t really want to work online, I’m not a computer geek and not really interested in becoming one.  I don’t want to start a business so I wind up working harder than I ever did at a job!

I want to RELAX. I want to spend my time doing things I enjoy: reading, writing, painting, making music, hanging out with interesting people, exploring new places, cooking, eating, sailing, hiking, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, beach combing, etc. I read the book, I still can’t figure out any way to make a living from one or any combination of those things. Maybe a beach bar? (If I had enough money, I could think seriously about that idea, but I’m broke!)

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. -Confucius

I totally believe that! My stepmother always used to tell me when I worried so much about something not working out “do what you love and the money will follow, the Universe is in divine order”.

Well, it always worked for her. It DID work for me when I was young and I LOVED working on those boats, before the accountants and insurance companies managed to screw it all up!

I wonder if there’s anywhere left at sea (or anywhere) where you can still just do your job, without all the extra pure bullshit they bury you in? Yeah, I’m still dreaming of that kind of life. The life of a seafarer 30-50 years ago. That would be perfect! 🙂

Another Just Jot It January post. 🙂

Heart of the Sea: 2

I’m not sure how long this blog is going to be here. I’ve having huge problems since I moved. Please check out my new blog www.captainjillsjourneys.com where you’ll see all of my stuff!

I took a little break and went to the movies yesterday. I’ve been wanting to see the movie “In the Heart of the Sea” since I first saw the commercials for it a couple of months ago.

I’d read the book (by Nathaniel Philbrick) a couple of years ago. I LOVED it. It’s a fantastic sea story (which I always love).The movie tells the story of the Nantucket whale ship “Essex”.

“In the Heart of the Sea” showcased adventure, suspense and even horror mixed in with the wonderful depictions of the sailing ship and life on the sea 100 years ago. Then there was the whole Moby Dick thing. The whaling and the incredible idea that there might be a whale out for vengeance!

I admit, I don’t remember much about the book ‘Moby Dick‘. Yeah, we all read it in high school. I had no idea it was based on a true story. I don’t remember being all that impressed with the book. I’m pretty sure the ending was not the same as in this movie, (if it had been I’m sure I would have remembered it better)! Like a lot of those ‘classics’ we had to read in high school, I remember thinking “what the hell’s so great about this book?”.

They did a good job with the film. It wasn’t as good as Philbricks’ book (movies almost never are). Still, it was good.

It started right off by following the Chief Mate, Owen Chase (played by Chris Hemsworth), leaving his pregnant wife behind and heading into town for his next assignment. He’d been promised a captains position on his next voyage and was pretty ticked off when he found out he got screwed out of it in a case of ‘office politics’. I hadn’t realized they were even doing that way back then. 😉

Captain Pollard (Benjamin Walker) gets the job instead, simply because he comes from an old time, respectable family.

This creates a situation on board between the Master and Mate where they are constantly butting heads and is NOT good for the ship (it never is)! The tension between the 2 characters is evident throughout the entire movie. They could have done more to show the interaction with the rest of the crew, but the focus was on these 2 men (and the whale).

The movie, directed by Ron Howard, uses the story device in which Herman Melville (working on his book Moby Dick) is interviewing Thomas Nickerson, who went to sea as a young boy on that disastrous voyage. Nickerson is ashamed by what he did to survive and has never spoken to anyone about it. It’s been eating him up inside. His wife finally convinces him to speak to Melville in exchange for much needed funds.

It works as a way to tell the story. You can still see the effects the incident had on Nickerson, even all these years later. It was well done, not disturbing the story too much with the returns to the scenes of the late night story telling over drinks.

I really enjoyed the movie. I loved all the scenes of the everyday work aboard the ship. I felt for the sea sick cabin boy. I yelled at the captain that he was an idiot to sail into the storm like he did. I was thrilled to see the whales and caught up in the chase when the boats were launched. I cried when the ship was lost. (I’m glad it was dark in the theater). 😉

I suppose todays environmentalists would be cheering for the whale the whole time, but I found myself wavering. Sometimes I felt like I imagined the whale felt. Angry at men for destroying so much innocent beauty. Coming to murder my family for money! Sometimes I felt like the men. Just out to make a living, to survive however they could. This was a survival story in the end. On both sides.

I’m glad we discovered petroleum oil, or we WOULD have wiped out all of the whales. OK, I have been working in the offshore oilfields the last few years (so maybe I’m prejudiced), but I wonder what would have happened if we had NOT found an alternative to whale oil. Would we still have been able to progress? Or would we have gone back to the ‘dark ages’ when everything stopped when the sun went down? Yeah, even tho we have a few oil spills, I’m still glad we have petroleum.  The whales are recovering now.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I’d like to See Turned Into Movies or TV Series

Reblogging this.
Let’s see what people come up with. It’s always interesting to see what other people like enough to really want to share it. My comments were posted on Part Time Monsters post.

Part Time Monster

Each week, The Broke and The Bookish holds Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly book-blogging meme. This week, we’re talking about books we’d like to see made into movies or TV shows. I have a few of both–some stories just seem to need a series (especially if they are a series of books), while others seem as though they’d make better movies.

They are:

moviesortvshows

American Gods: TV series
Good Omens: movie
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer: movie
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal: TV series
Anya’s Ghost: movie
Big Little Lies: movie
Sandman: TV series
Through the Woods: collection of short films
Uglies: movie
Zombies versus Unicorns: TV anthology series

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4 Things To Change Your Life in 10 Minutes

I’ve been reading this book lately. It’s called “The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth” by James Altucher. I really like his down to earth style and his sense of humor. I admire his ability to live his life the way HE chooses, and I am thankful that he decided to share his lessons in how he got to that point.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that individual liberty and personal freedom are very important to me too. I’m trying hard to find any possible way to get out of the rat race and find a way to live my life the way I want to instead of being stuck doing things the way everybody else thinks is best, only so I can stay out of jail!

I read his earlier book “Choose Yourself” a while ago and I thought he had a lot of good points. I still think so.

I have been working on his “Daily Practice” that he explains in “Choose Yourself“. He means to take care of your mental, spiritual, emotional and physical needs every day. Makes sense to me, but still hard for me to put into practice every single day.

Today, I read a chapter he calls “Four Things I Do That Can Change Your Life In The Next Ten Minutes”.

Someone asked him “what can I learn in the next 10 minutes that will be useful the rest of my life?”

I thought, what a great question! Here’s what James had to say as an answer…

“I can show you four insanely stupid things that will make the rest of your life better. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.”

Here are the 4 things:

  1. Use $2 bills
  2. Wear a doctors coat
  3. Use waiters pads
  4. Watch standup comedy

He does give a little explanation for why he does these 4 things and why they work for him. I’m kind-of interested in what you may think the reasons are. 😉

What do you think about those 4 things? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Would you do his? Why or why not? I think I’m going to give it a try, have to go find me some waiters pads and a Drs coat!

Songs of the Sea: Shark Attack

I thought this was about sharks, you know, the kind that swim in the sea. But actually, it’s about a different kind of shark. The kind that lives on land. The kind we REALLY need to worry about.

I never heard this group (Wailing Souls) before, but I love this song. I really love reggae music anyway, and this song has lyrics worth paying attention to. The video reminded me of a great book I read a few years ago.

It’s called Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. Anyone who’s interested in what’s going on in the world today will get a real education if they read it. I thought it was a great book and should be taught in all our schools (but of course that will NEVER happen!).

I know most of you absolutely HATE it when I start going off on politics and my philosophy of liberty and freedom for all. But I’m hoping it’s a short enough video you might just take a look.

Let me know what you think. Of the music. And the video (the political one- the one by Perkins!) 😉

Shark Attack- Wailing Soul

When you hear this ya one Wailing Soul you know fe true
yeah man
When you hear this ya one ya Wailing Soul you no fe joke (repeat)

Better stop this cultural diffusion
Spreading fear & confusion
Playing cloak & dagger wars
Losing what you fighting for

Back back, coming with a double attack
Step back, here comes the shark attack (x2)

What more do they want?
They have got all they need
Yet they turn their backs
On the hands that feeds them

Back back, coming with a double attack
Step back, here comes the shark attack (x2)

Wo wo wo wo yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah yeah
yeah yeah yeah

Yes it’s a new world order, oh yeah
Another new world order, oh yeah
A wicked world order, oh yeah
A new world order, oh yeah

Back back, coming with a double attack
Step back, here comes the shark attack (x2)

Better stop this cultural diffusion
Spreading fear & confusion
Playing cloak & dagger wars
Losing what you fighting for

Back back, coming with a double attack
Step back, here comes the shark attack (x2)

Wo wo wo wo yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah yeah
yeah yeah yeah

Yes it’s a new world order, oh yeah
Another new world order, oh yeah
A crucial world order, oh yeah
A wicked world order, oh yeah

Back back, coming with a double attack
Step back, here comes the shark attack (x2)

Wo wo wo wo yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah yeah
Wo wo wo wo yeah yeah
yeah yeah yeah

Yes it’s a new world order, oh yeah
Another new world order, oh yeah
A crucial world order, oh yeah
A wicked world order, oh yeah (repeat fade)

A Word A Week: Rainbow

This weeks Word a Week Challenge from the Word in Your Ear Blog is: Rainbow.

Here is one of my rainbow pictures. I took this one a couple of years ago, when I was working on the tuna boat. We sometimes went in to Tarawa (Kiribati/Gilbert Islands) to unload. We would tie up to a reefer ship in the anchorage off Betio (the main town on the atoll) and have a couple of days to get ashore there.

For such a small place, in the middle of nowhere, Tarawa had some interesting history. Some of the biggest battles of WWII were fought over these islands. There are still a lot of military ruins/wrecks/artifacts from when the Americans were fighting the Japanese there (Battle of Tarawa).

I’m not really into military history or how wars are fought, but I do understand the strategy of having those island ‘stepping stones’ for the US during WWII. The US still keeps an eye on things there. When I was there once, I met up with a US ship doing some ‘PR’ work throughout the Pacific Islands. A group of military people were cleaning up the war memorial and sent a medical team to help out the locals.

At this point in time, Tarawa has gone back to it’s sleepy small town ways. I really enjoyed myself there. The people were friendly and a lot of fun. A couple of years after I stopped working over there, I read a book “Sex Lives of Cannibals” by J. Maarten Troost. I highly recommend it. I laughed SO hard. Yes, it really IS like that there. 🙂

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.

One Word Photo Challenge: Rainbow

My entry to the photo challenge (rainbow). Here’s the link. 🙂

The first photo was taken while I was working as captain of a tuna purse seiner out of Tarawa, Kiribati. We usually got to port to unload our catch every couple of weeks and I took advantage of the chance to go ashore every time I could.

Tarawa is a small island and it reminds me of what I imagine life would have been like in the 50’s. I had some great times there with some beautiful people.

If you want a better idea of what it’s really like, try reading the book “Sex Lives of Cannibals” by J. Maarten Troost. It made me feel like I was back on the island. It’s hilarious! 😉

DSCN3460

The second one is from a trip I took down to Argentina with a friend in 2010. We went to Iguazu Falls (very impressive) and this picture was from the path around the top of the falls. I do have some much better pictures of the main falls, but they didn’t have any rainbows. 😦

The last one is one I took while I was at work last summer on the semisubmersible Ensco 8506. The supply boat “Chartres” was standing by and in the perfect spot to get these pictures. Too bad my camera was so fogged up from the AC inside, I could have got some even better shots. I had to wait til my lens cleared up but was still able to get a couple of decent shots. 🙂

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In Praise of Alcohol

I’ve been noticing a lot of poetry going on in my reader lately. Maybe I should join in the poetry slam. 😉

I can’t say I’m a big fan of poetry, but I do like some of it, sometimes. I especially like (dirty) limericks. 😉

As for ‘real’ poetry, one of my favorite poets has always been Robert W. Service.

He had an interesting life. Grew up in Scotland, moved to Canada. Then Alaska, where he became famous as the “Bard of the Yukon”.

He wrote about the people he met in his travels. He managed to get the most incredible characters to come to life in his poetry. His poems ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and the “Cremation of Sam McGee” are still considered classics.

I remember an old friend from Florida would dress up and recite some of these poems at parties I used to go to. KC was a character himself and did a great job of rousting us all up. I miss those days.

I like a lot of his poems. I have his book “Collected Poems of Robert Service”. I liked it a lot. Some of his poems are really great stories. Here’s a short one.

 

In Praise of Alcohol
Of vintage wine I am a lover;
To drink deep would be my delight;
If ’twere not for the bleak hangover
I’d get me loaded every night;
I’d whoop it up with song and laughter –
If ’twere not for the morning after.

For though to soberness I’m given
It is a thought I’ve often thunk:
The nearest that is Earth to Heaven
Is to get sublimely drunk;
Is to achieve divine elation
By means of generous libation.

Alas, the wine-cups claim their payment
And as the price if often pain,
if we could sense what morning grey meant
We never would get soused again;
Rather than buy a hob-nailed liver
I’m sure that we’d abstain for ever.

Yet how I love the glow of liquor,
As joyfully I drink it up!
hoping that unto life’s last flicker
With praise I’ll raise the ruby cup;
And let me like a jolly monk
Proceed to get sublimely drunk.

 

Author Notes

From Later Collected Verse by Robert W. Service (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1965), page 421.

Ike Warned Us About This Guy

Ike Warned Us About This Guy | Laissez-Faire Bookstore.

OK, I gave you guys a break, I’ve tried to lay off the politics for the holidays. 😉

I can’t hold back any longer. Here’s a good one from Douglas French at Laissez-Faire.

He starts out his article with a quote from H.L. Menken which I really like. I’m going to say it again right here since I think it’s so pertinent to what’s going on today. Here you go…

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” 

I wonder, just how many people REALLY believe all these scenarios we have been dealing with constantly since 9/11 are serious threats?

I can’t even begin to count how many ‘crisis’ we have had thrust into our consciousness by the mainstream media. How many times have we been told our only option was to panic and allow those who know better than us to step up to the plate and take over.

I hope it’s only an American thing. I hope the rest of the world has not fallen for the idea that they must give up their freedom in trade for a (false) sense of security. I hope the rest of the world has not chosen to live in fear like we have in America.

I say “chosen”, but should I really use that word? When most of the people here have just been lied to so much that they can’t even imagine the truth any more. Of course, the truth has been purposely concealed, just so it makes it harder for people to see that they’re being tricked.

So is it really a choice when you’ve been lied to, tricked, deceived? Or is it really a form of coercion (meaning manipulation and violence)?

I read ‘1984’ years ago. Written by George Orwell, it was/is such a powerful novel, it made me think then and it still resonates today. I see what is happening around me today and I think to myself, “1984 has been so far surpassed by our government today, our reality is far worse than Orwells’ worst nightmares”.

‘1984’ was supposed to be a warning, not a roadmap!

In my travels to various places around the world, I see a huge difference in reactions to the idea that we are all living under constant deadly threats. Some countries like the US and Great Britain take it to ridiculous extremes and insist we live in a national prison state, just so we can pretend that somehow now we are ‘safe’.

It makes the people FEEL better, so therefore it must be worth it.

The screws just keep on tightening. The water just keeps on getting warmer. One degree at a time. Our once free countries have turned into police states before our eyes and no one seems to notice (or care).

Other places, people just seem to take it all with a grain of salt and go on enjoying their lives as best they can without adding the misery of a police state on top of whatever problems they may already have.

I have been to plenty of places in the last few years where they do NOT insist on asking for “your papers please” everywhere you go. Plenty of places don’t insist on subjecting you to a virtual strip search before your flight to visit grandma. Plenty of places don’t think it’s so overwhelmingly important to spy on everything a person does, everywhere they go, everything they say or watch or buy or read, or visit, etc.

How many people REALLY think the things we are doing to ourselves in the USA are REALLY necessary to keep us safe? How many people really think there IS any such thing as perfect safety? How many people would REALLY like to live in a world where ‘our leaders’ are allowed to do whatever they think they need to make us safe?

For those who think they really WOULD like to live in a state like that, where everything is done to make us ‘safe’, take a look at any maximum security prison. There, everyone is spied on constantly, everyone is searched constantly, everyone is identified as belonging, and so everyone is ‘safe’. Riiiiiiigggght

How the Shipping Industry is the Secret Force Driving the World Economy

How the Shipping Industry is the Secret Force Driving the World Economy | Ideas & Innovations | Smithsonian Magazine.

I thought this was pretty good, despite the reservations I have from only seeing this article. It’s an interview with author Rose George about her latest book: Ninety Percent of Everything. She somehow arranged to spend some time sailing around on the container ship Maersk Kendal. I’m going to have to find a copy of this book to read. 🙂

a container ship underway

a container ship underway

She makes a lot of good points. That people who aren’t personally involved with shipping are totally unaware of the industry. That those of us living in ‘first world’ countries don’t know any seafarers personally any more. That the ports have been moved so far away from the cities that most people don’t have any awareness of them anymore. That people on the beach have absolutely no idea what it’s like to be a seafarer.

I do think she got a lot of that correct. She sees how isolating it is out here now. She mentions the lack of communication and that the ships don’t provide internet or phone access to their crews (because of the expense). I do agree that it is an expense. I do not agree that it is an ‘extra’ expense. I don’t think it’s very much to pay a couple of thousand dollars a month when that would be something like 1% of expenses on most ships (if that). Isn’t it worth that for such a HUGE increase in crew morale?

a tank ship underway

a tank ship underway

I don’t really know if she’s right in her assessment of how much or how little sailors have a ‘sense of romanticism’. She mentions that she thinks the captain has more of it then he lets on, that he still secretly loves the sea.

She seems to think that most sailors are only out here for the money. I might agree that most sailors from the poorer parts of the world go to sea for the money. They probably went to sea because it paid better than anything they could find at home.

I would agree that the great majority of seafarers are not in a great position at sea. Some of the conditions sailors work under are just horrible. A lot of shipowners do flag foreign just so they can cut expenses.

They all say that the cost of the crew is their largest expense so they cut it any way they can. They cut the crew size, they lengthen the hitch (2 YEARS or more), they skimp on groceries, they skimp on medical care, they refuse to pay for visas so the crew can’t leave the ship in port, etc.

That’s not even to start on the issue of crew abandonment. Rose George seems to think the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) will help. I’ve seen in the news there have already been 3 ships detained, but I have serious doubts it will actually help the crews.

In spite of conditions like that, I believe most seafarers do still enjoy sailing (at least sometimes). 😉

romanticism of life at sea

romanticism of life at sea

I know I still do. Most of the time. 😉

The Enchanting Sea Monsters on Medieval Maps

The Enchanting Sea Monsters on Medieval Maps | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

Another good one from the Smithsonian this morning. I always thought those old charts were so cool. I really loved the drawings.

Those people really had some great imaginations! 🙂

Our World Through Thomas Paine’s Eyes

Our World Through Thomas Paine’s Eyes | Laissez-Faire Bookstore.

Excellent article by Jeffrey Tucker! I guess I’ll have to re-read Common Sense again. I liked it the first time I read it. I liked it more the next time. I’m sure my attitude toward it hasn’t changed, since my love of individual liberty is stronger than ever!

I wonder what will it take for us Americans to stand up and take back our liberty again. We did it once back then when Thomas Paine’s essay managed to stir up the people. Do we have anyone now who could do that job? I know people are trying, the internet is a big help- but most people still aren’t interested in paying attention.

We are in a much worse off position then the colonists were then. Back then, they were fighting the most powerful empire in the world. So would we be. But they were a heck of a lot more evenly matched! The King didn’t have any drones, or NSA spy programs to watch your every move, or even nuclear weapons to threaten with…

Our only real advantage now is the fact that our IDEAS are the better ones. How many people can honestly support tyranny over freedom?

How has tyranny ever lifted the standard of living in a nation? Compared to systems with some freedom allowed? How has tyranny encouraged creativity? Compared to freedom?

Even with the limited freedom we started with here (re:slavery, women, etc), we STILL became the most productive country with the best standard of living on the planet.It’s only as we threw that freedom out the window that we started going downhill.

Get the truth out there to people and they will no longer support “our” government. It HAS in fact become a tyranny.

“Tyranny- arbitrary or unrestrained use of power- oppressive or unjustly severe government.”

 

As the founding fathers fought the American Revolution against King George for such trivial things like a tiny tax on a few items like tea, WE have a much larger tax on EVERYTHING. As they fought against no taxation without representation, WE have no representation either (or do you REALLY think your congressman does what YOU ask them to?).

As they fought against their treatment by the Kings soldiers, we put up with daily harassment by the TSA strip searchers, DEA and police theft/destruction of your property and  NSA collecting EVERYTHING you do or say! How much worse is that then the Kings men occasionally looking through your (snail) mail? And yet no one today protests. 😦

The government right now is in a ‘shut down’ which did not in fact shut down any of the things they use to oppress us (oh my wishful thinking that they would shut all that down!!). Things like the NSA, DEA, DHS, TSA, IRS are all still open for business (and NO, we do NOT need ANY of them!). They have only shut down the things that people actually ENJOY the use of from the government. Things like the National Parks and the WWII Monument.

They are ‘shut down’ in a fight over the budget and Obamacare. Obamacare is only one more HUGE violation of our rights and the budget is already TRILLIONS of dollars over what it should be! I just keep wondering: what in the HELL is it going to take for the main part of the American people to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’?

The Sharing Economy Just Got Real

Politics.

This is a link to an article on the Utne Reader site. Janelle Orsi is a ‘sharing lawyer’ from California and coauthored the book Policies for Shareable Cities.

I think the whole idea of sharing things we aren’t using all the time is a great idea. Rent my truck from me while I’m offshore and I can’t use it anyway. Or I’ll rent you a bedroom if I’m going to be home for a while. People are doing more and more of that sort of thing. Airbnb is just one example. Of course, the officials want to step in and ruin it before it even gets a chance to get started.

The problem Orsi seems to have with it is that the firms who are getting into this now are all just the usual types of business. She seems to be fixated on the issue of the corporations and their owners (shareholders) getting rich(er). I do get the idea of the rich getting richer, that is true- for sure! No argument. But why is it always assumed by the left (Utne Reader is definitely on that side of the aisle), that to get rich you MUST be raping the poor?

Yes, in this country, at this point, we DO help big business get bigger and stay that way. We DO use all kinds of tax dollars and incentives from the public (the poor financing the rich) to help a bigger business over a smaller one. That is WRONG and should not be allowed to go on! There is nothing in our Constitution that allows for that sort of thing and so it is illegal as well as just plain wrong. We are supposed to be for the FREE market, NOT helping some businesses at the expense of others!

The fact that we do those things is NOT an excuse for saying that any kind of business but a co-op, (or another kind that is owned by the employees and customers), is unacceptable. It is only a reason to go back to our founding principles and STOP providing welfare to big business! STOP picking the winners and losers in the business world and allow the process of creative destruction to function properly. Try allowing the free market to work for once (which of course does include co-ops).

I’m not sure that any kind of co-operative won’t eventually deteriorate into exactly the kind of thing that the left is always crying about. Read George Orwells’ Animal Farm. Somebody has to run the thing. Whoever is in power eventually gets corrupted. It seems to be an unchangeable part of human nature. 😦

I admit, I would need to do a whole lot more studying to try to figure out how something like what Orsi suggests would work in practice. The idea seems to be very much in line with the ideas of personal liberty and empowerment, voluntary actions, etc. I like that. Yes, co-ops can work. The ones I’ve seen have been on a pretty small scale. Fishermen co-ops in one small area. Farmers markets. All very small in scale. How would a large scale one work? One involving hundreds of thousands or millions of people?

The idea has some merit, I would just like to see some details of how to make it work in reality. I would like to see it work. I would like to see the sharing economy compete with the corporation based economy we have now. I just don’t see how it could be made to work in the real world with real people. Maybe she explains it in her book on shareable cities. I haven’t read it yet. One more for my list. 😉

Functional Medicine for Autoimmune Diseases

Functional Medicine for Autoimmune Diseases – Mind & Body – Utne Reader.

This is a book review from Utne Reader on the new book The Immune System Recovery Plan. Dr Susan Blum MD MPH recounts her own experience with immune disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) and how she has been able to cure herself and even repair her body using functional medicine rather than the usual type we get now a days. They sound like totally different fields of endeavor. 

I like how she describes the ‘new’ field of functional medicine as an approach that looks at the person as a whole, not as a collection of symptoms. I would really like to find a Dr that treated me like that. I’ve always had a hard time with that, most Drs I’ve had take one look at me and blame everything on my weight. My arm could be half chopped off, I’m spraying blood all over the place, and they would tell me I needed to go on a diet and that would fix it. 😉

Yes, it would be ideal to live in such a way that you stay healthy all the time, never get sick or come down with a disease. I just wonder how HARD will it be in reality to be able to do that? I do have to admit, I’m lazy. I don’t want to go on a strict diet. I don’t want to have to exercise for hours every day. I don’t want to take pills every day for the rest of my life either. So, is there any hope for people like me?

From reading just this article, it looks like there actually is. I have a couple of friends who swear their lives have been totally changed by ‘simple’ changes in their diets (and have lost a lot of weight). A couple of friends who’ve had their hormones adjusted and say they’ve been feeling SO much better. I remember my dad had such bad arthritis, but then he started using apple cider vinegar and it just went away. I guess I’ll have to try to find a copy of the book when I get off. 

Anarchy: The Basis for a Civilized Society, Part 2

Anarchy: The Basis for a Civilized Society, Part 2 | Laissez-Faire Bookstore.

Here’s the second part of the post I put up last night about Crispin Sartwell and his book Against the State.

The main part of the book is spent in destroying the classical arguments for the State, from thinkers like Hobbs, Locke, Hume, etc. Then he takes up the discussion of why anarchy?

There are plenty of reasons, not least of which, it has worked in the past and still works right now all over the world (example: bowling leagues, ‘invisible hand’ of the market, etc). That is the argument from utility. The other argument is from morality. 

Is it better to argue for anarchy from utility or from morality? I agree with him that the moral position is better.

I think its pretty basic that (non masochist) people don’t want to have violence used against them. People are naturally OK with the Golden Rule. I think that’s a pretty good starting place for society. In fact, I think that’s pretty much the ONLY rule we really need to live in any society. 

Sartwell talks about Lysander Spooner as a good person to refer to. Another writer/philosopher he talks about is Josiah Warren and his book The Practical Anarchist.

I would add Ayn Rand, her writing explained the reasons to value your self very simply. Try her book The Virtue of Selfishness. It’s very short. 😉 Self ownership is the basis for how I think humans should relate towards each other. Society is made up of individuals (duh). A strong, vibrant society is impossible without strong individuals who make it up. The only other alternative to self ownership is slavery and I will never agree with any form of slavery. 

I hope more people start thinking about things like this, instead of just swallowing whatever they’re told in school or on the TV. It’s pretty important. If we don’t have any kind of basis, any foundation, any principles, then how can we expect our society to last? Like a house with a damaged foundation, it will fall down sooner than one with a strong one. 

Our country was based on principles very close to anarchy. We had a VERY limited government, it was a minarchy. Now, we have a bloated beast of bureaucracy and it rules every tiny little detail of our lives.

I can’t count how many times people tell me that if I don’t like the government, I can move to Somalia where they don’t have one. OK, I’m not really up on the details of Somalia but I’ll give you my take anyway…

Somalia is only fighting over WHO is going to be in charge, not that there will or won’t be somebody in charge. So it’s not a stateless society at all, it’s a society with a competition of states. State is defined as the monopoly of the use of force. 

So, Somalia is not a place to go if I don’t like government, it has an overabundance of them and will have to wait for the dust to settle and somebody wins. There’s no place on Earth that I’m aware of that has NO government, if there was, I would absolutely take them up on that and go there asap! 

Anarchy: The Basis for a Civilized Society

Anarchy: The Basis for a Civilized Society | Laissez-Faire Bookstore.

In an interview with Crispin Sartwell discussing anarchy and his latest book Against the State, Chris Mayer digs into the questions of what’s really so wrong with anarchy?

I’d really like to know. I agree with them that the left-right paradigm is a big mistake (a scam). All it does is divide us into warring parties and allows the people who really run things free latitude to do whatever they want while we’re distracted.

The reason I posted the Worlds Smallest Political Quiz (https://captjillsjourneys.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/worlds-smallest-political-quiz/) as a sticky at the top of my blog was to get people to take the quiz and hopefully find out they might not really be what they’ve been labeled as. That there are other options out there other than just Democrat (left/liberal) and Republican (right/conservative).

It’s a real shame that our media has been taken over by the corporate world and so we never manage to get any real information about the choices we have during elections. Thank goodness for the internet. 🙂

We ALWAYS have more than just the Democrats and Republicans to choose from! We just have no way of finding that out until we see the other names on the ballot (if like most Americans, you get your information from the major media, TV, etc). By that time, it’s too late to make any kind of informed choice, so most people will vote for the same-old, same-old for no other reason than familiarity.

I’ve been a libertarian since I first heard of them. I’ve been fighting city hall since I was a kid. I believe in the principle of SELF ownership. I’ve always questioned authority and I find myself doing even more of that lately.

Who the hell says they’re authorities? Why?? How come the ‘authorities’ constantly screw things up yet still get treated as the best choice there is????  What makes them any better than the rest of us??? Why in the hell should somebody I’ve never even met who has NO idea what my life is like get to make ANY decisions about MY life????

OK, so maybe now I’m becoming an anarchist, even more than a libertarian. They are very close philosophically. I think its worth thinking about more. I definitely think the system we have now which is basically a corporatocracy (run by corporations)  is terribly wrong and we need to get rid of it asap!

I don’t really think any sort of democracy is much better. Look what’s happened to our country since we all started acting like it’s a democracy (it’s NOT, it’s a Constitutional republic!). Democracy is really just 2 wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. So who wants to be the sheep??

I don’t! Do you?