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Define Necessity

There are some new pictures floating around the internet entitled “Define Necessity”. They  compare the dire poverty seen in parts of the world with the abundance of presents in shopping carts or surrounding a well decorated Christmas tree.

I don’t think there are children in America who are quite that skeletal…yet. The way the safety nets are being pulled out from under unemployed parents, it might come to that yet.

What is a “necessity’? Take a look at the definition:

ne·ces·si·ty

something necessary  or indispensable: food, shelter, and other necessities of life.
We have always had on this planet people who lack even the necessities of life. There will always be, barring the end of the world in 2012, the starving homeless among us. That’s not any news to us.
What is so bothersome to me are those at the other end of the spectrum and the attitudes of disdain which are being so openly expressed towards those in need.
A friend of mine posted a snide remark about one of the Republican candidates running for national office. An obvious supporter of his fired back a scathing message.
Any of the GOP candidates are a hellova lot smarter than the idiot in the White house now! Tax the rich their fair share? What’s fair? We pay six figures in taxes, work our asses off to give it to lazy welfare people? Well find a way to hide it, don’t worry, then the middle class will pay it! Obummer is Jimmy Carter on steroids, when he left, taxes were 75% for upper income, that’s fair! You liberals make me furious”.
Because she was a friend of a friend , I had access to her web page. It shows several pictures of a very well groomed woman, a couple of her friends and her husband at a casino, spa, black tie charity event at a luxury hotel, and a group picture of obviously well nourished healthy children and grandchildren. Her jewelry can probably be guaranteed to be real and abundant. She’s leading the good life. There’s no doubt about that.
It is my prayer that this friend of a friend never has to experience welfare. There are multi-thousands of Americans who were at one time comfortably middle class who are having first hand experience. In their wildest dreams, they probably never envisioned being jobless, homeless, broke and on welfare. If that friend was more aware, she herself is only one divorce away from the possibility of that position herself. Of course she’s probably in a position to have a smart lawyer.
Why is it that the adjective lazy automatically modifies the condition of people being on welfare? Such people love to shout out “Get a job!” They have no knowledge of what brought about such a condition.
This is the right time of year to bring out the Scrooge in a lot of the very wealthy. This woman is confident enough in her money income and investments to brag about hiding assets and making the middle class pay more. She complains of six figure income taxes yet she still obviously has enough left to live a very high style life. Maybe she was the one, or one of her friends, who recently paid $203,000 for a Hermes bag. It looks as if she could handle it.
Life is not fair. It never has been. Life is a roll of the dice. This woman was fortunate. Her Prince Charming came with the potential to win mega-wads of cash. With the hard work she says “we” (probably meaning her husband and herself) do, she is able to stay trim by working her ass off. She feels everyone else should do the same. I agree. But first they need a job.
There are no longer workhouses for the Scrooges of the world to send the homeless debtors to until they can pay their debts. There are just the streets, and if they are lucky, food pantries to provide the necessities to keep them alive. But then perhaps it is better to let these lazy welfare people die and decrease the surplus population while they are at it.
Namaste. Attic Annie
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An Anglo/Chinese Wedding Part 3

The day of the wedding finally arrived. The four of us went down to breakfast again and my son joined us at to our hotel (it was a five minute walk) around 9:00 a.m. It was the same strange serving as the day before. The restaurant was all set up for another wedding but they were allowing people to eat breakfast. We waited for the photographer and videographer and then returned to the room. When they arrived,  they proceeded to get all the pre-wedding pictures that are usually taken. We noticed that the air in Becky and Bob’s room was not on either. We opened the window but there was little circulation.

My son was already dressed for the day, but he had to undress for the pictures. They couldn’t take the pictures at the apartment because that was where Julie and her bridesmaids were preparing for the day. So…make believe time.

Nathan took off his shirt and tie and pretended to be putting on his undershirt. Then Bob helped him tie his tie. I think he took off and put on his socks and shoes as well, but I’ll have to wait  until I see the pictures. All this time both of the camera guys were shooting pictures of everything else that was going on in the room. It was really a crowded place.

Nathan had brought a bouquet (the first one) to the room with him because that was part of the tradition that he present flowers to his loved one. With all the people passing it around, it started to wilt rather quickly. Nathan called and was told things were not ready yet so we just waited around. Finally, we were given permission to go over to the apartment.

When we arrived, the place was filled with relatives. We could hardly walk around. Julie was in her first dress of the day. There were pictures of honoring grandmother and then me (it was the first time she was supposed to call me Mom.) After Julie bowed to us, we handed her red envelopes with money inside.

A young male cousin jumped on the bed, her parents prepared a basket of personal items to be taken to the groom’s home, a male cousin nailed up a red curtain for which I paid him. Nathan was barred from Julie’s room by the bridesmaids and then had to “fight” his way in to his love. He had to find her shoe and put it on her foot. He knelt beside the bed and presented the bouquet (further wilting had taken place). One of the maids and Bob (one of the groomsmen) sat with Nathan and Julie and ate dumplings and then all tried to feed him a dumpling at the same time. Her mother and aunts had spent hours preparing 400 dumplings for the day to feed the family. We all stood around and watched the proceedings. I later asked Julie what some of these traditions meant and she said she had no idea. It was just something they did.

Although the hotel had moved my friend and me by that time to another room, it was obvious that the room next door did not have air conditioning either. Becky and Bob were upset that they didn’t have a king size bed. There were not quite double beds instead. It was decided that as soon as the picture taking session was over we were moving to a different hotel. The Howard Johnson Hotel was about a block away from where the wedding was taking place. It was much nicer. The first hotel would have been acceptable if the A/C had worked. Now we were in a hotel, it turned out, that the A/C worked too well. Later that night, we got up around 2 a.m. and turned the A/C off!

That afternoon the entire wedding party traveled to the park for outdoor pictures of the entire group…all the bridesmaids and groomsmen, bride and groom. I don’t know if her parents went with them or not but by that time I was really losing steam. I opted to take a nap instead. As a result, I realized when the wedding was over that there were no pictures of me posed with my son and his new wife by ourselves. Oh well!

Thankfully there was enough time to recharge our energy and get dressed for the wedding. It had been warm and humid all day. By the time of the wedding, the weather seemed perfect.

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A Marriage in Dalian

Yesterday was my only child’s marriage thirteen hours ahead and half the world away. While I was in bed trying to sleep, he and his fiance were at the marriage hall signing papers in Dalian, China. A friend of mine calls her adult offspring her chadults. This was my chadult. He has waited almost thirty five years of his life to “take a wife”.

He has had several serious relationships in the past seventeen years or so but nothing ever really clicked. I never heard who broke  up with whom with those girls.

He left this country to become a world citizen while he was still in his twenties. The amount of time we have spent together since then can be measured in days, not years. It’s hard to find out about his life in that kind of situation. so many sons don’t share those kinds of feelings anyway .

I’m glad that he decided to marry. I’m hoping that means he is wanting to have a child. I don’t know how long he plans to stay in China but there will be only one if they stay there, although China  makes exceptions if neither parent has siblings or for foreigners.

I’m old fashioned enough to believe that a child needs both a father and a mother. Sometimes that idea is not realistic if one parent or the other is a poor role model.

I grew up without a mother and I did not want my son to grow up without a father. I never would have left him, even though our marriage was rocky from the start and became rockier when my son was born. In many ways, I was relieved when his father left our home. I tried to find healthier role models for him as he grew older. My son was and still is very closed about how our divorce affected him. I hope he didn’t take his father’s actions as lessons into his own marriage.

I don’t know if my son will follow in his father’s footsteps or will consciously choose to take another path. I’m hoping everything that was negative in his life he will use in a positive way in his marriage. If it had not been for the fact that I desire to have a grandchild, I think I might have tried to convince him to just continue to live with her rather than marry her. That lifestyle has become more acceptable now.

I think a man behaves better when he realizes that she can walk out at a moment’s notice without any strings attached. That idea keeps him behaving much better towards her. I’ve seen too many men take their wives for granted and treat them with contempt once the wedding is over.

I see so much good in my son and know he is capable of being a wonderful husband. I have never talked with my new daughter-in-law to know anything at all about her. I just wish the best for them and a long road of happiness ahead of them. I wish them both my best wishes. Namaste Attic Annie

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God was with them with no fires with the fireworks

It is the 4th of July…another day to celebrate our independence. Our freedom. Our desire to do as we please and let everyone else be damned. A day to assert once again that we know what we are doing and we’ll do it regardless of the consequences…so help us God!

Our village has a parade every year. It only lasts about ten minutes but it’s good clean fun. The boy scouts lead with the American flag. The fire trucks roll, the mayor sits in the back of a convertible wearing an oversized Uncle Sam hat. The citizens on patrol volunteers wear their uniforms and drive by in cars with the magnetic COP signs attached to their doors. Then there is an assortment of kids on bikes, kids in wagons, senior citizens on bikes, and, if we are lucky, the county sheriff’s mounted patrol…this is Texas after all. This is the first year where somebody actually thought about the gifts that horses often bring and decided to make the patrol the last entry in the parade instead of the first. It saves those that follow from breaking ranks and weaving around the piles looking like they started the celebrating a little early.

This day is the one day there is a possibility to actually talk to some of the neighbors. We all gather on the street to watch the parade go by. I wish I hadn’t had that opportunity today. It makes it a challenge for me to befriend this one family.

I asked the mother if they were going to watch the fireworks tonight. “Oh, we already had our fireworks. We have friends down in Joshua who have a house out in the country. We always go down there and set off a whole bunch for our kids.”

If you live outside the city limits in unincorporated areas there is no one to stop you. Now before you think what’s wrong with that…almost the entire state of Texas is under a burn ban. Except for a handful of East Texas counties, the whole of Texas is one big haystack waiting for that one match to set off unstoppable conflagration. We’ve already proved that to the west of us around Possum Kingdom.

She went on to explain that they had garden hoses to put out any fires and said the boys stomped out several of them before she even realized there were any lit. She sounded so proud that her boys knew how to handle fires.

What makes me upset is that the father of this crew is a very rigid Literalist Religion professor. He has home schooled his children and made certain they live to follow the rules of God more often found in the Old Testament with its rules and regulations with sinners and hell than in the New Testament love one another variety. He honestly believes that the world would be a much better place if everyone believed and acted just the way he does.

So what does he do? He defies the burn ban and actually teaches his children by example that following the letter of the law in the Bible does not include using common sense and following the laws of man.

Had the wind been blowing one or two miles per hour heavier last night, or had one of the rockets landed just outside the radius of the garden hoses there would have been much different results.

But then they knew God would take care of them. He always does. Namaste. Attic Annie

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SC and Video “Games” Shame on You!

OK. I have a burning question. How much longer before the venerable Supreme Court in our land strikes down the laws banning the sale of alcohol and tobacco to our underage children?

It seems that there is no reason to have these laws on the books any more. They only poison the lungs and the livers of their users. It is obvious we have no care about the poisoning of the  minds of our young anymore so why care about the bodies?

I’m very concerned about the recent ruling of the Supreme Court on striking down the California  ban on violent video games being sold to children.

The ban was lifted under the guise of “Free Speech” .

According to one definition from Wikipedia

“Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on “hate speech“.”

I contend that delaying the time that a child can be exposed to such horrendous violence is not censorship of free speech. It’s the promotion of common sense.

As much as I dislike some of the things being said today, I support the right of anyone to say anything at anytime without being censored. I don’t have to listen. I can walk away or change channels. But I am an adult. I am not an impressionable child. Children must be protected until old enough to think for themselves.

I was in college in the 1960s when I first was introduced to the topic of children and violence. At that time it was noted that children (preschoolers) who watched cartoons portraying violence were themselves more violent when allowed to play with the boxing clown toy.

We are so far beyond the violence of the Road Runner and the Coyote anymore. We are at the point where the children can control the violence being perpetrated on their victims. How much longer before the video gamers introduce snuff actions into their games like the underground snuff films being sold?  The kids aren’t allowed into theaters but the games are allowed to be brought right into their homes!

The military uses violent simulation games in preparing their soldiers to become killers. They call that “training”. My question: What are we training our children to do when they play the same types of games and worse in the guise of “entertainment”?

We can have the support of the law to help keep alcohol and tobacco out of teenager’s hands but we can’t have their support to keep violence out of their minds.  SHAME on you, SC! The video gaming industry is making more and more “games” intentionally targeted for children yet you ignore that and let their money from their aggressive, influential lobbyists influence your decisions.

One argument is that it is up to the lazy parents to get up off their butts and monitor their children. With parents needing to be out of the house working to support the children, there are too many hours when they can’t be there. There are times when the older children play these games right in front of younger brothers and sisters. All while the parent cannot be in the home.

There is the argument that children can’t buy these games without their parents providing transportation for them to the store. Evidently those arguers have never heard of malls  where dozens of stores await the money of their children. They’ve never seen the children on public transportation.

Yes, parents buy children the equipment for playing the games. That does not mean they intend to expose their children to such violence as found in these games. Teenagers have many ways to earn their own money for such things. They swap games back and forth among friends. One parent may prohibit such games but that doesn’t stop the child from playing it at a friend’s house.

One Supreme Court justice defended peddling violence to kids by stating that there has always been violence in the lives of children. He then cited the Grimm Brother’s story of Snow White. Come on, now! He sees no difference between Snow White and modern day video games? To me that’s like comparing vinegar to hydrochloric acid. Both can do damage but the hydrochloric acid does it much more rapidly!

To me this law reversal is one more in the path the Supreme Court is following. I strongly feel they are allowing the huge corporations to control their decisions. These are dangerous times. I cry for the children and all the others whose rights are being ignored in the interest of big money!

Namaste. Attic Annie

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Mizpah

A friend of mine posted the following item on his FB page this morning.

“Thank you God for the opportunity to spend time with family. As always, it is tough to leave but keep them in our hearts while we are away and be with us as we continue our journey through life. I love all of you and am eternally grateful to have the honor to be poppapete in your lives. AMEN”

I replied “Mizpah Genesis 31:49”.

It seemed an appropriate reminder to him of the prayer asking God to watch over us while we are absent from one another.

It originally referred to the story of Laban and Jacob. They made a covenant with each other that neither of them would cross the place where they had set up  a heap of stones and a pillar.

“This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me.”

Over the years it came to symbolize an emotional bond between two people who want God to watch over each other while they have to be apart.

I’ve been thinking about forty-three years ago when I bought a coin and necklace like the picture above to share with my friend who was leaving for Viet Nam. He was no longer my fiance. That engagement was broken before I went out to Washington, D.C. to spend time with him before he shipped out. He had broken the engagement with me saying he didn’t want to leave me a war widow in the event he never came back. He claimed he couldn’t say he didn’t still love me.

Before he left I gave him half the coin to wear with his dog tags. I wanted him to come back to me.

I didn’t see him again until he returned from serving his time in the Marines and finally came home from Nam . He came by himself to the wedding of friends of ours. I set up his best friend with my best friend. I had asked someone else to go to the wedding with me but he backed out at the last minute leaving me to go by myself as well.

After the service I asked him if he would give me a ride to the reception. Before we went inside I gave him some of the things he had given me, including the other half of the coin. It was obvious by that time that we were not going to get together.

I’ll skip the part about the reception and the ice cream social at the church we both were members of. Needless to say there were some very uncomfortable moments since my best friend had fixed him up with one of her bridesmaids who kept him company all the time he was home on leave. He sat at the bride’s table with her. My “friend”, the bride, paid no attention at all to me.

He left again and a month or so later I received a letter from him apologizing for the way he behaved.He asked me to forgive him.  I had been told he was gone or I wouldn’t have gone to the social only to watch him with the other girl. It was not a pretty sight.

I wrote back to him since I was still not ready to give up and told him all was forgiven. Then I talked with him, thinking I would fly to see him, and found out in the meantime he had met someone else. They had a very brief relationship before he married her.

Turns out his wife and I became friends. For one year we lived within easy driving distance from each other. She had a baby and seven months later I had my son. The friendship was not to last long since my ex was transferred again to my current home.

About three years later I was in Chicago with my son. I was still in contact with her. She invited us to visit. We spent the day at the museum and then spent the night at her house with her, her husband, and her two sons. Her husband was supposed to come home to take us all out to dinner. He was late. When he did come home, he was drunk. We both drank while we dated. He seemed to have stepped it up somewhat. He drove but I was very uncomfortable with the situation.

The next morning he went to work. His wife and I were sitting at the table and she suddenly asked me what Mizpah meant. I was taken aback. I asked her why. She said that her husband had the coin in his drawer. He had never gotten rid of it.

They drove me to our home town where my son and I continued our visit with other relatives. I was out at the car while her husband unloaded our suitcases. Before we left, he hugged me good bye.

That was the last time in thirty years that I saw him. His boys grew up and stayed in Illinois. He and his wife moved out to California. Once in a while I make a game out of trying to find old friends through the internet. I finally found him on Linked-In. He has done exceedingly well for himself. He is still listed with his wife. I have no intention of re-establishing any contact. I’d hate to be thought of as a stalker even though his wife and I became very close that year we spent in the same area.

I don’t know how their married life has been. They are still together so I guess things are good enough between the two of them. When I found out about the coin, he had been married for seven years or more. I often wonder if he ever tossed the coin or if it is still in his drawer. I never did toss out the college pin he gave me on Valentine’s Day or the earrings he gave me for my birthday. I just can’t let myself do it. I sometimes wonder if he ever feels the same way. I wonder if God is still watching over us while we are absent one from another. Namaste Attic Annie

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How can I get rid of spam?

I have seriously cut back on the number of blogs I have been writing lately but that has not discouraged spammers from adding comments to my web site. It seems my “about me” is stuck somewhere in the ethers on a site that promotes prescription drugs of all kinds. It is also posted somewhere in the eastern European Poland area. I get these very mixed up hardly intelligible comments all posted on “about me”. None of them follow any individual blog. Even if they are legitimate, I have no idea to which blog they are referring. All I do when I visit my own site is to delete the spam. Sometimes there are three, sometimes there are more than thirty.

I had one poor soul tell me that s/he marked “advise of comments” or some such remark so that other comments could be read. The same spam messages are going to that person. It is a pain.

I’m wondering if out there in blog land there are other bloggers who have had similar problems. I’m wondering if my only resort is to start a brand new blog with a different title. Is there anything I can do short of that? I have several subscribers to my site but I guess I could notify them of the new site. What if one of the subscribers is one of the sites sending out all the spam? That would defeat the purpose.

I wish I were more fluent in computer. Then I would have some idea of where to start. I know how to blog, play games, reply in FB, and check my email. Oh, I can also search the web for interesting articles to write about. That is the extent of my technical knowledge about computers. Oh, I can add a movie to my instant queue on Netflix and pay some bills. As far as diagnosing any problems or even figuring out where to go to start to solve my problems, I don’t have a clue.

If anyone is still reading me, if you have any suggestions for eliminating the spam, please let me know. I once was engaged to a young man whose mother taught him how to make spamburgers, but that’s the ONLY kind of spam I enjoy. That kind of spam I can handle. Fry the Spam, add lettuce, Miracle Whip, and a pineapple ring (or tomato slice) and place on a whole wheat bun. That I can do.

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