31 January 2009

You Can't Say that I Didn't Warn You!


You may recall that I told you earlier that the shoe hurling incident in Baghdad was likely to be the start of something big (and if you don't, please go back and catch up with the rest of the class). Well, I didn't exactly mean quantitatively big, but someone must have taken that a little too literally. The above link will point your servers in the direction of ABC News, which reported the unveiling of a sculpture of the Iraqi reporter's shoe. I'm a little concerned about the fact that this sculpture was unveiled in the hometown of the late Saddam Hussein, the fallen Iraqi ruler.

According to the ABC News report, the sculpture is the size of a sofa. Oddly enough, there is a tree sticking out of the opening of the shoe. A tree? Okay, so that's got to be symbolic of something, but I'm not sure what. So while I ponder that, click on the link and watch the video, but make sure you read the whole article from ABC News since it gives some background on the Arabic concept of throwing your shoes at someone in contempt, as well as some other links to reactions around the world to the shoe-throwing reporter.

Thoughts on the tree...From this one act of rebellion (shoe-throwing as a seed) grows a tree that symbolizes what? Iraqi freedom? I don't know. What do you think? If it is a date palm, then it all makes sense (see link below), but I can't tell what kind of tree it is from the ABC News video. It certainly doesn't appear to be a date palm. What is the meaning of the tree-growing shoe of the shoe-throwing reporter?


30 January 2009

Can You Bamboo?

I am already drooling over my next laptop purchase. I generally end up buying a new laptop every 2-3 years just because I use them constantly running a business or six at home. I reach the limits of how much it can do and still keep up with my programs and needs. But don't worry, I always pass on any old ones that are no longer being used to a friend or family member. Never, never, never do they just get dumped. People who aren't running such big memory-devouring programs end up being able to use them for many more years after I'm done with them.

While I'm totally loving my current one (at least once I figured out how to turn off the weird touchpad tricks Toshiba puts in their proprietary software), I am actually dreaming of my next laptop. I don't usually do that. For me, it's figuring out when I absolutely have to upgrade and waiting as long as I can to find the best deal out there. I never buy cutting edge technology because you pay too much for it and then have to suffer through manufacturers working out the bugs in the new stuff. I wait 6 months to a year and buy cutting edge technology once it's no longer cutting edge, but still will do what I need it to do to keep up with the workload I require of it.

But now I've seen the wave of the future and it is bamboo. I'm so ready to replace yesterday's plastic casings with the warm tones of bamboo. Maybe it's all those past lives I spent in China, or maybe it's because I really love stuff made from natural materials. Whatever it is, I've found my next love, even if I have to be patient for a year or two while I wait for them to test it out on the market and give it time until the innovative becomes commonplace. In the meantime, I've included a link so you can check out the forthcoming ASUS bamboo laptop.


25 January 2009

Seen Dancing

(Reprinted from another one of my blogs, published originally on October 19, 2008 at http://MysticAngelHealing.org, now at http://MysticAngelHealing.blogspot.com)

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." --Friedrich Nietzsche

I love this quote by Nietzsche because it speaks to me of levels of perception. If your mind is closed to the possibility that something is going on out there beyond the world of your five senses, then you will miss so much of what is happening in the spiritual realm. I write and talk about concepts that I'm sure some people think are idiotic and perhaps psychotic. Sometimes my only explanation for those who don't "have eyes to see or ears to hear" is that I don't believe in angels just because I like the theory of their existence. I believe in them because I have interacted with them, and yes, even seen them with my own eyes. I believe in reincarnation not because I studied it and thought it was a cool subject. I studied it because I began remembering information about former lives. While my convictions about angels, reincarnation, and other spiritual concepts have been informed and shaped by my experiences, it is my openness to the possibility of the world of Spirit that has allowed me to have those experiences, i.e., experiences from the dimension of Spirit.

I never ask anyone to believe what I say because I say it or believe in it, but it is a good idea to set aside your judging mind when you read spiritual writings, much as you would have to suspend your preconceived notions of how the world works in order to watch the Star Wars movies. How else could you could enjoy the amazing power of "The Force?" When you read about angels or miracles or magic, allow yourself the same suspension of judgment accorded to works of fantasy and science fiction. If you can allow yourself, even for a short while, to believe in the existence of a Dark Lord (be it Darth Vader or Sauron from the Lord of the Rings), then you can also allow yourself to believe in angels. Shut off your judging mind just long enough to allow angels and the world of Spirit to make a positive impact in your life.

Just because you don't hear the music, don't judge those of us who are out here on the dance floor of life dancing with joy. Close your eyes for a moment and pretend that you do hear music. Begin to dance to the music you hear inside your head. That sends the message to your body and soul that you want to hear the music. Before long you'll be dancing because listening for the music has required you to unstop your ears and open your mind to what is beyond the physical world.

Namaste! Let's dance!

24 January 2009

The Year of the Earth Ox

When I think of oxen, I picture slow, plodding, hard-working animals, whose strength and accomplishments consistently exceed that of many humans. On Monday, January 26th, we begin the Year of the Earth Ox in Chinese astrology. If you're one of those people, like me, who thinks of life in symbolic terms, you'll appreciate the deep significance of this. The Year of the Earth Ox symbolizes health and prosperity that comes as a result of fortitude and hard work. As we begin a new political era under a new President, we are also beginning a new age of greater social responsibility, hard work, and a positive can-do (make that, "Yes, we can!") attitude. That "yes, we can" attitude is exactly what is meant by the term fortitude. The online dictionary I consulted defines it thus: "mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously:"

In the coming days, weeks, and months ahead, we all need a good dose of fortitude, a good dose of Ox Medicine. We have much to do to rebuild our nation, and our world, since we are all connected, but it can be done. We have to be patient, focused, and diligent in our work. President Obama can't do everything all at once, and he can't do most of it by himself. He will need each of our elected officials to work with him, sharing their views, their wisdom, and even their dissent at times, in order for this nation to come back from the dark places it has experienced since September 11, 2001.

From a global perspective, we have to work to strengthen old standards and set new ones. It's time to build a new earth, each of us in our own nations, some of us in other nations. Whoever we are, wherever we are, we have to begin right now. The celebrations have ended, and President Obama started from the first day to forge a new way. We have to yoke ourselves to the plow to rebuild our own lives, and yoke ourselves together for the bigger projects of bettering our communities. Once we plow the soil, we have to begin to plant new seeds. Not just seeds of hope, but seeds of goodwill and right actions. Those seeds, if nurtured and tended, will yield bountiful crops of prosperity and good health.

President Obama is off to good start in his administration, and I have already read some accounts of him being a little bit stubborn and strong-willed. He is, after all, a man of fortitude, and no wonder since he was born August 4, 1961 during the year of the Metal Ox. Is it a coincidence that an ox is leading our nation into the New Year of the Earth Ox? I don't think so. I'd call it synchronicity.

For more about Chinese Astrology and characteristics of people born in the Year of the Ox, I refer you to the links below:




22 January 2009

A New Day is Indeed Dawning in this Country

Newly-elected President Obama has issued directives to shut down Guantanamo within a year. I have to admit that for nearly a decade, I have not felt at all proud to be an American. Guantanamo was a large part of that reason. I know that I wasn't personally responsible for what was going on in the government and had not cast my votes in the direction to set that tone in our country. Indeed I cast as many votes in the opposite direction at every opportunity. I regularly contacted the wonderful senators and legislators in my part of this state (Washington) to inform them of my views, only to find that they already shared them. We were all on the side of human rights, yet still our nation moved towards the shameful actions that were taken in Guantanamo and elsewhere, secreted behind closed prison doors, away from reach of the voting public, cut off from the balancing powers of a government operating under the guidance of its own Constitution.

I supported the actions of Amnesty International and any other organization that called for the closure of these secret prisons, and while things toned down slightly in this area, still our nation continued to drift away from our longheld ideals and support of human rights. It felt to me as though many of us (myself included) had given up hope and were just biding our time until it was over, one way or another.

Ever since the Presidential elections of 2000, I have been, in turn, shocked, confused, appalled, and horrified at what our nation was coming to signify in the world. No, the United States has not always been loved by everyone around the world. We, as a people, have on occasion showed our ugly side as unruly guests in other people's countries. We have definitely showed our self-seeking side as the chief overconsumers of the world's resources. But never in nearly fifty years of my life have I been so saddened by the actions of our government, never been utterly embarrassed to call myself an American. That is no longer true.

I sit here writing this blog with tears streaming down my face because it has only been since November 4, 2008, that I have become proud of my country once again. I didn't realize how deeply the shame of this nation's actions had settled inside of my heart until now as I release those feelings. Yes, I've been angry. I've taken action where my voice and my vote could make a difference. But the shame of Guantanamo and the torture that was done with the consent of the United States of America was beyond reconciling in my mind.

But a new day has indeed dawned. It began with a man with a deep-seated hope that this country could be changed for the better, could be turned back from this nightmarish detour we had so recently taken, largely without our consent. This man managed to bring millions of people along with him on this journey of hope, and now in the fledgling days of his presidency, President Obama has shown us that he meant what he said about bringing change to this country. Do terrorists need to be captured and brought to justice? Of course they do, but justice is not found in the hands of those who view torture as an acceptable method of interrogation. It is not found in secret prisons and the chambers of Guantanamo. If it is to be found anywhere, it will be in a court of law in the light of day.

Yes, our existing judicial system sometimes fails to live up to our own standards of right and wrong. Sometimes it gets mired in the limited mindset of the majority of people in a given moment of time. It has denied people of African heritage the right to sit wherever they wanted to on a bus or in a restaurant. It has denied couples of mixed racial heritage the right to marry. But those laws were changed by the people of this country. As our consciousness becomes more enlightened, so do our laws.

The laws of this land still deny same-sex couples the equal right of marriage in all but one state, but those laws will change as well. They have to, because they are a denial of equal civil rights to millions of American citizens. Somewhere down the line, enough of us will realize that we cannot all truly be free until we all have equal (not separate) rights. Separate marriage rights are no more equal than separate schools, separate restrooms, and separate drinking fountains were equal for the African-Americans living in the southern portion of the United States of America sixty years ago. Those injustices began to change when enough people stood up and said, "Stop! This is not right!"

I grew up in the South during a lot of the upheaval that brought about the changes that were needed there. As an ten-old-girl, I was bussed fifteen miles from my white neighborhood to one of the "Black" schools, so we could begin to become an integrated society. I stood in a classroom filled with faces I had never seen before, most of which were black. I had never been around more than one "token" black student at a time. Suddenly I felt more like the token. Was it uncomfortable at first? You bet it was. Was I afraid? Oh, yes, I was afraid, because I didn't know what to expect from all those black students and my black homeroom teacher. They were not only strangers, they also looked different to me. But with some help from my mother and a sweet, loving smile from my first black teacher, I was able to choose hope over fear. In doing so, that school year became one of my most memorable ones, and that African-American homeroom teacher, Mrs. Scott, became one of my favorite teachers.

Changes in our way of thinking usually comes through experience, positively or negatively. For me, the change came through getting to know African-American students and teachers, one person, one smile, one friendship at a time. In those early years of de-segregation, I learned a powerful lesson. People are just people. No matter what their culture, heritage, religion, ability, IQ, social status, or, yes, sexual orientation. Those first years of change in the South were definitely ones of "de-segregation." It took a little time for it to become "integration," but it did finally.

I have the same hope for laws and attitudes surrounding same-sex marriage. I currently do not have a partner in my life, but that doesn't mean that I don't want the law to stand behind me and millions of other gays and lesbians in this country. We pay equal taxes. We should enjoy equal rights. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Maybe it does. Does your personal discomfort make it right to deny some of the citizens of this country equal rights? No, it does not. You too must choose hope over fear. It is only your fear that stops you from seeing the members of the LGBT community as equally entitled to the rights you enjoy so freely. Maybe you should try standing in a sea of faces in the LGBT community some time. Then make the choice to embrace hope rather than fear, to begin making friends one person at a time. Embrace the dawning of this new day and know that it dawns on all of us, whatever the color of our skin, the shape of our face, or the gender of our beloved.

Never to Too Old Call "Do Over!"

Reprinted with permission (smirk) from my blog "All Good News All Day Long" at http://allgoodnewsalldaylong.blogspot.com.

I had to laugh when I read that the Chief Justice led President Obama in Round Two of the Presidential Oath today. According to the New York Times article I read, the second oath took place this evening in the Map Room of the White House and took less than a half a minute. Well worth the small time investment to head off any accusations that President Obama isn't just an "almost" President.

Yesterday the two men stumbled over the placement of the word faithfully and already the political machinations were spinning an argument about the validity of an oath where a word is omitted and then reinserted in a different place. It was a case of better safe than sorry. There were, of course, witnesses present at this second attempt to get the wording of the Presidential Oath correct.

It was noted that Judge John G. Roberts, Jr. said, “Are you ready to take the oath?” To which President Obama replied, “I am. And we’re going to do it very slowly.”

You gotta love it. When at first you don't succeed... Do over! Just like when we were kids.

Link below for the original New York Times article:


--Editor of AGNADL

President Obama Takes Presidential Oath (sort of)

Reprinted with permission (smirk) from my blog "All Good News All Day Long" at http://allgoodnewsalldaylong.blogspot.com.

What better way to start a "good news" blog than with the swearing in of a US President, who ran under a campaign of change and hope for a better future? What we, as a nation, can accomplish now with President Obama at the helm of the government is virtually unlimited. He can't do it alone. He is only human after all. Heck, he couldn't even make it through the oath without tripping over his tongue and getting twisted up in the incorrect ordering of the words fed to him by the Chief Justice, who was supposed to be leading him in the oath. Maybe it was embarrassing to him, but it showed the world that he is not infallible, nor is the Chief Justice. But the President seems to have an open heart and a clear vision that we can turn our country around and make it a great nation once again, a respected nation, a leader among leaders in a world that is hungry for change. There is a greater sense of accountability than ever before. Under our last administration we entered a war under a shadow of fear. Those fears, we found out later, were in large part unfounded. President Obama, in his inaugural address states clearly and pointedly, "We have chosen hope over fear."

By far, my favorite sentence of his inaugural speech was this: "To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you build, not what you destroy." So we begin here to build a website of good news only.

20 January 2009

Need I Say "I Told You So?"


A Los Angeles Times' headline captures the new trend I was expecting to surface: "Throw a shoe, sing for peace: Protesters gather in D.C." I knew that shoe-throwing Iraqi reporter was on to something big when I first read about the silly stunt of hurling his shoe at President Bush last month at a Baghdad press conference. Apparently throwing a shoe at an inflatable effegy of W has a bit of a cathartic effect on the thrower. According to the article, "Everyone who threw shoes smiled and giggled in spite of themselves." It's hard for me not to giggle just thinking about it.

Maybe this is a good thing. Not throwing shoes at real, live (heavily guarded) people, no matter what your opinion of them, but the release of the anger and frustration of the past eight years of political upheaval, government gaffs, and economic exploitations. Or anything else that annoys you. Go outside, kick off a shoe and hurl it at a pillow, if you don't have a blow-up doll handy. If you do have a blow-up doll lying around, perhaps you should seek more serious therapy OR set up a place for the whole neighborhood to hurl shoes at things/people that enrage/annoy/perturb or generally make them feel crazy inside. What a great way to meet people, make friends, and let off steam without breaking any laws or causing anyone bodily harm. They could be block shoe-hurling parties.

Of course, I'll have to offer the normal disclaimers lest someone come after me later waving litigation papers in my face, so here goes: Don't engage in any physical activity without first consulting your medical doctor (he may want to join you anyway). And you know, do it on private property and make sure no one gets hurt.

As for the karmic repercussions of shoe hurling? I'd say you're on your own there. But you might want to consider throwing that shoe in love. You are throwing something out there to the universe, so beware that it might throw something back. Forewarned is forearmed, and you may not be as good at ducking as Bush has proven himself to be.

14 January 2009

Movie Warning: Some Same-sex Comments

I was shocked to see a ratings warning on a DVD I recently rented. It states that the movie is rated PG-13 because of "some same-sex comments." Apparently the censors think it's hazardous to the minds of children under thirteen to talk about being gay. Never mind the all the simulated sex that was going on in the movie between dancing heterosexual couples or the female character who dons a fake red penis to simulate sex acts. This movie attributes its rating to one scene where a character comes out to himself. No gay sex involved. Not even simulated gay sex in a dance. I don't even recall if he kissed his newly found boyfriend. I don't think so, but if he did it was a quick, closed-mouth job with absolutely no sizzle to it. It was all so tame and as far as I'm concerned, completely unnecessary.

These days a lot of films are tossing bones to the gay and lesbian communities by having a minor character in their otherwise mainstream movie either be gay or come out during the film. It's to the point of what I'd call "gratuitous gayness." What is truly gay (as in gay male, not lesbian) about the film is that it is: 1)a musical, 2)rife with flamboyant costumes, 3)full of half-clad dancing men, 4)centered around the dance hits of the band ABBA. Other than having real gay content, it can't get much more superficially gay than that.

But I'm a little disturbed that the movie industry is using coming-out scenes to give out PG-13 ratings. I can't imagine that if you removed this one little scene that the movie would suddenly be acceptable for all audiences, including children. It is so not a "family" or "children's" movie at all. It's all about love, marriage, and SEX, 98.6% of it heterosexual. It's clearly a movie for adults because, face it, not too many adolescents, who would be allowed to watch because they're over thirteen, would watch it because it is: 1)a musical, 2)rife with flamboyant costumes, 3)full of half-clad dancing men, 4)centered around the dance hits of the band ABBA ("Who's ABBA?"). Unless of course the adolescent is a gay male teen. In which case, he'd feel right at home.

Now I'm not saying that I didn't like the movie because I did. It's funny and campy. Watching extremely famous and talented actors pretending to be ABBA is worth the price of admission alone. The movie, which is based on the international hit musical is Mamma Mia! It stars Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan SkarsgÄrd, and Christine Baranski. So if you love watching actors get paid a bunch of money to have a blast and make fools of themselves, it's definitely worth watching at least once. If you're a gay male, you'll probably enjoy it because of the reasons listed above. For me, watching Meryl Streep acting as though her character is still the young starlet she used to be is worth it all. The lady is amazing and still in darn good shape, I'd say. Make sure you keep watching as the credits rolls and the hits continue to play. The final show is the best part of the movie, I'd say.

But for goodness sake, people, lose the stupid ratings warning about "same-sex comments." Otherwise every contemporary film should have it, and be warned that the gay and lesbian community is not amused by what is definitely an insult. Hello? You have to warn viewers when you're going to TALK about being gay? That is so lame and so bigoted. Maybe my blog should have a ratings disclaimer: "PG-13 rating due to comments about half-clad men dancing to fabulous disco music and flamboyant costumes. Sheesh. I am so ready for a post-Bush world.

11 January 2009

Same-sex Marriage Not Okay; Animal Sex Okay?

I just learned today that although it is not legal in the state of Washington for same-sex couples to marry, until 2006, it was legal to have sex with your goat or your horse or your pig or even your cat and dog. In what universe does this make sense? Certainly not in mine. I've always been puzzled as to why anti-gay heterosexuals often oppose gay marriage based on the argument that it will somehow lead to bestiality. While this stance may tellingly indicate where their proclivities lie, it is an argument that has no basis in logic. On one side is a legally-recognized union that would allow adult, same-sex human couples access to federal and state tax and legal benefits that are equal to those of married heterosexual couples. It would also entitle the partner of an injured or ill lover access to the bedside of their beloved during times when hospitals restrict visitors to "family only." On the other side is the abuse of a being, who is not able to voice consent or dissent in a way that could be understood in a court of law, to a sexual act perpetrated on it by a human who has control over it, one way or another.

It doesn't even matter if the apples-to-oranges comparison isn't logical because the argument is backwards at best. Shouldn't they be worried that legalized bestiality will lead to...gasp... same-sex marriage? Shouldn't they be putting all that ecclesiastical weight behind banning a practice that is already widespread and legal in far too many places around the world? A practice that doesn't involve two consenting adults? According to the article I read, which dates back to 2005, it is legal in seventeen states (this has changed, but I'm not sure what the exact tally is now) to have sex with animals. And the tally for states that have legalized same-sex marriage? Only one state (Go,
Massachusetts!) grants same-sex marriages that include ALL the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a heterosexual marriage. Several more offer varying degrees of rights through legalized same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships, but only one has a law that offers true equality in the marriage arena. Yet in a dozen or more states in the United States of America, it is perfectly legal to go boink your pets or livestock, unless you do it to a degree that clearly indicates cruelty or abuse, or, as is the case in Texas, you do it in public. In Texas, you're welcome to have animal sex behind closed doors. What happens behind closed doors is your business, after all. Unless of course you're having same-sex relations. Even though the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to make it illegal to commit same-sex acts, Texas has retained the law against it on their books, even though it's now indefensible. Hmm.

Just how do they determine that animal sex is not inflicting any damage on the animal, since an animal can't talk in a way that could be understood in a court of law? Do you have to have a physical wound in order for it to be constituted abuse? What message does that send to perpetrators of date rape or incest? Haven't we clearly established that emotional and psychological damage is present in a victim of incest, even if bodily harm is absent?

Supporters of animal sex say that it is no more cruel to have sex with an animal than it is to grind them into meat and eat them. As a vegetarian, I have to admit that I do see the logic behind that argument. That is a significant difference between the way our children are treated and the way animals are treated in our society. So, as a nation, we protect our children with legislation, but animals are on their own--in at least a dozen states and many countries around the world.

Curious as to which states allow such outrageous abuse of animals? I did a Google search to find out, and let me tell you, it is no easy task to find all that information in one place. After posting this blog, I discovered that legislation was launched immediately to outlaw animal sex in
Washington after a man died from having sex with a horse in 2005, but I still can't find information regarding the status of these laws in all 50 states. It appears that about a dozen still allow it.

All of that to say...why not same-sex marriage? Why do we not understand the concept of relationships between consenting adults? Obviously as a nation we do not. What do you say that we all start lobbying AGAINST animal sex in all states and FOR same-sex marriage? It doesn't make any sense to restrict the civil rights of millions of gay and lesbian citizens, while allowing people to have sex with their animals. It boils down to this: In my state, the state of
Washington, until it was outlawed in 2006, people having sex with animals had the right to do so, while I still don't have the right to an equal marriage under law with a same-sex partner. I repeat. In what universe does this make sense? Why aren't more of us outraged by this?

I've included a link below for anyone who would like to join the Human Rights Campaign, and me, in signing a petition in favor of same-sex marriage. It only makes sense.


I would love to offer a link where you could go to voice your outrage over animal sex in your state, but I don't know of such a place. If anyone has further information on animal laws in your state, please leave a comment for me here. I'll be glad to do a follow-up posting providing links to support legislation for criminalizing animal sex.

09 January 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Pelicans

Just when I thought the headlines couldn't get much stranger, I come across an article in the Seattle Times that reads, "Pelicans fall out of sky from Mexico to Ore." Apparently something is making the pelicans on the west coast sicken and die. They have fallen from the skies onto cars and boats. They are huddling together in people's yards and in parking lots, as much as five miles inland. The birds that venture too close to the road in their disorientation are getting struck by cars.

A major bird rescue operation is underway, but rescuers don't really know what they are dealing with at this time. They don't know if it's a virus or if birds are being poisoned from an unknown source. Some cite possible poisoning from contaminants that washed into the ocean after the latest round of wildfires. But nobody really knows for sure. Some of the birds have swollen feet. There are clues, but so far they aren't adding up to any obvious conclusions.

So far the state of Washington and the northern part of Oregon hasn't been affected, or maybe we have but we've had our hands so full with rogue snow storms and widespread flooding that we haven't yet noticed the plague of pelicans that has beleagured our neighbors to the south of us. I've never heard of a plague of pelicans before, but it is both widespread and statistically significant. Hundreds of dead or already sickened birds have been rescued or recovered. Hopefully someone will figure out what is happening so we can help them. Pelicans falling from the sky is a noticeable call to action.

The whole thing would be terribly funny if it weren't so tragic. They're asking for help. They may even be acting as canaries to warn us of toxins in the sea that will affect all of us somewhere down the line. Whatever is happening, they've gotten my attention, and now, hopefully, they've gotten yours as well.

Lest you doubt my sanity, I've included a link to the original article.