Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Your Wishes Can Change the World

This year, as we watch the world around us collapsing, we are learning that Christmas is not about money. Christmas is about loving each other, about gifts that have nothing to do with the green folding stuff, or even silver and gold.

Our money is melting down into worthless goo. Stores are closing; cameras are going up at intersections across the country. This morning I received a call from a friend in Florida who argued for twenty minutes at her bank where she has done business for twenty years. The problem? They wanted to photograph her eyes biometrically. She refused, but not many are as determined as she.

The things that really matter will endure. Gifts like compassion, empathy, humor, familial love and friendship, last a life time and cannot be devalued. This Christmas we need to hold on to those things.

Christmas is being family. It is coming together to create communities. It is being conscious of how our actions and lives touch through time.

For months, years, I have been writing about what was going to happen to our nation and to the people we love. Last year I predicted the end of the world as we know it. Every week I have hammered on the same subject and on what needs to be done so that we can change direction. I have been writing and thinking about the problems for what seems like a life time. What I write is generally politics, but this time I want you to see why I know that change is possible. I know what it is like to feel helpless and lost.

Christmas is loving each other as we are loved by One Who Loves Absolutely.

When you find the strength of love anything is possible. This past week I took a story I had originally written for my children and rewrote it for you. Is a story about a time when I was lost and desperate. Instead of giving up I found the Christmas that glows through the hard times, endures through hardships and seemingly insurmountable problems.

The Star for Christmas was my response to circumstances beyond my control in 1979. There is always strength to sustain us, if we reach beyond ourselves to That One Who Loves Absolutely. Today, we are all reaching. When we extend ourselves we grow spiritually, finding things more wonderful than we could possibly have imagined as long as we do not give up. One of the things we will find is each other.

In 1979 I experienced a time of terrible anguish but I still had small children who needed me, needed to feel the wonder of Christmas. I reached into my own past and found strength from the memories of someone who had taught me the importance of courage, of holding on to my dreams and wishes.

The Star for Christmas custom began that year, drawn from the memories of wishes I had shared with James Dean. In 2001 I began writing the book explaining the custom to my children soon after Thanksgiving Day. Ayn, my youngest daughter, had asked me a question as we sat around the table after dinner. It had been a perfect holiday filled with happy memories revisited and cooperative efforts over turkey and stuffing.

The year was sliding towards the upcoming holidays. We were remembering Christmas' past.

Ayn asked me one of those questions that you never anticipate being asked. That question lead to many insights and eventually to their book and then to this one. The question Ayn asked was about the star in which our family had traditionally placed our wishes for the year to come on Christmas Eve. “When and where did this custom begin?” Ayn asked. She assumed it to be an old New England custom. Although I told her this was not the case it occurred to me that I had not actually explained the custom's origin to my children. I did not share my pain of 1979 with them, feeling it would be inappropriate.

I promised to write the Star’s history for them.

Later, as I sat down to write, I revisited my thoughts that year the custom began. Seeking the Star’s origin became a quest into the dusty reaches of my mind and heart, then, via paper trails, to memories of people long gone. I had never revisited those events, simply sealing them off and moving on. Through this journey I found not just the Star but many more unasked questions. I also found answers to questions that I didn’t know needed asking.

My wishes of 1979 had been answered in ways I did not expect when I considered them. I had never understood the power of hope and the strength of my dreams until then. We need to look at the world, ourselves, and realize what really matters.

Our dreams and wishes can be transformational.

Let this Christmas become a time of renewal for all of us. Savor the love that extends your life into those around you. Bake cookies and let them melt in your mouth. Enjoy every bite. Then plan for a very different future than the one being planned for us. Your wishes can change the world.

A Star for Christmas benefits America Goes Home, a spiritual association dedicated to making tools available that you need to make your wishes reality. Go to Star for Christmas to read more and join our FaceBook group, Gifts From the Heart, to share your ideas for Christmas Gifting.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Growing Home

Perhaps you are too young to remember when childhood was safe; children played outside from the time they were small. We went trick or treating without thinking someone might hurt us. Doors were open in our neighborhoods; we accepted and trusted each other.

Children learned most of what mattered at home and in their neighborhoods before ever starting school and old people were sources of amazing stories.

I learned about the Pony Express from Mr. Black across the street who had, at 16, been a Pony Express Rider. His eyes lit up when he talked about it. At age 90 Mr. Black was the one in the family who fixed the antenna on the roof. I climbed up with him and no one thought I was in danger, but a help.

Along the street I visited with neighbors who were retired and had a lot to tell me about a world then gone. I experienced it through them. I learned I was capable and could think for myself.

I am old enough to remember staying up late during the summer to play with friends, climbing fences, and organizing complicated games that could go on for days. I remember helping with chores, feeling the pride of knowing my work mattered.

I am old enough to remember when we were not afraid to experiment with the chemicals from our chemistry sets. Our parents asked about what we had learned, and we learned a lot. It was painless. We were exploring the world around us with minimal oversight.

Kids knew chemistry and physics and electronics by doing.

My first job was ironing handkerchiefs and shirts for my married sister. I was six at the time and counted every penny. My first business was a lemonade stand that sold lemonade made from the lemons produced by our own tree. I also sold candy bars I bought, three for a dime, at the Sav-on store where you got that price break. I walked there alone and earned hundreds of dollars in this way.

I grew up in Los Angeles. It was a wonderful world.

That was the world I wanted for my kids and I was disappointed. By the 70s and 80s the world was changing for parents and children. It was not perfect when I was growing up, but in those days we still trusted each other; the frightening world was still 'out there.'

We grew up hearing at school about The Bomb, we practiced hiding under our desks from the unthinkable. But that was a small thing; it was not all around us but something we could forget about most of the time.

As I was raising my children I wanted them to have the neighborhood I had known and it had vanished.

In the world where I had grown up government had not yet oozed into our lives so much that there was nothing we could so without asking. Ronald Reagan had not yet converted California to the model for the federalized State. The logic of control was beginning to constrict the lives we lived in community but we did not yet see where that logic would take us.

Today the stock market continues to plunge; bailouts pay our hard-earned money into hands that spend it for lavish weekend binges. The retirement funds guaranteed by lifetimes of work are canceled in the blink of an eye. Homeland Security buys multi-million dollar finger print machines for small local police departments. Local law enforcement are told they make the law and that the Constitution is a myth meaning nothing. Those who disagree are 'domestic terrorists,' 'Constitutional Nuts.'

They, not us, are demented.

In school, children once studied the Constitution. In the 7th Grade all students received a copy of the Declaration of Independence. 8th Graders could pass tests on the Constitution that today flummox US Senators. Our family read the Declaration aloud on the 4th of July. We understood what the 4th of July meant.

When I was growing up the PTA raised the money needed for our school's special projects. Parents were in charge. No one looked to government, parents handled it.

Despite what you hear most Americans are still doing just that. In most towns and cities today, it is still community volunteers who raise the money and get it done. Homeless shelters, hospice care, help at the hospital, first aid training, search and rescue, these and more are carried out by volunteers.

From before the time of the Revolution communities handled their own problems. Fraternal orders came into being; women's clubs took on jobs, organizing either locally or nationally to ensure that their local community needs were met. Libraries were started, stocked with books; children were educated. Orphans were adopted by families. In 1853 The Children's Aid Society undertook to meet the need of children abandoned on city streets. People took action, using the tools available and raising the money.

If a tool is not working you should notice that and get the right tool. Government is a tool. It is not working.

Every county in the United States is bankrupt along with the states and, of course, the Federal government. Having spent us into debt those same people are looking at us as a source of more money to continue their life styles and fund their retirement; it is not them, they think, who will accept less pay, be laid off, lose those 'golden years.' Having never stayed within a budget they do not understand the concept.

There was a time when families sat down together to talk when Dad lost his job. Deferring purchases of clothing, eating more cheaply, canceling vacations, growing their own food; they did what was needed. Parents and children, aunts, uncles, cousins and others in the community pitched in where necessary, knowing they, in their turn, might need help. We can do the same.

“What do we really need?” is the first question to ask ourselves. The second is, “how do we provide those essentials for less money?”

When those employed by government give you their priorities you will understand why government does not work.

Most of the good things that happen in our lives take place in exactly the same way they did before the Revolution. People locally see the need and come together to ensure those needs are met. Look at your own community if you doubt this.

Get active in your community and relearn the lessons once common to a people who governed themselves.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Are Your Ready for Peace, Prosperity, and Good Will?

You CAN have it all.

My friend was choked with tears. Obama had won, she told me through tones filled with joy. It would be a new world, one where our hopes would give birth to renewed prosperity, peace, and good will. I just listened. Such outpourings of happiness are all too rare in life. In six months she will be filled with doubt and looking for excuses but at least she can enjoy these weeks.

Call me a cynic but no candidate elected to president, not even Ron Paul, could stem the meltdown that is destroying the world as we knew it.

America has now passed through the old and much misunderstood of ritual of the presidential election. Candidates offered themselves; the media did its best to ensure that the ones anointed by their employers received the nod from the two major parties; the voting machines where lined up; Rove decided that this time the spread was too great for even the last flurry of 'pulling even' announcements to work, even with the attractions of an attractive woman in the second slot, and the agony of the ritual drew record numbers to the polls.

Rituals build cultural cohesion, affirming beliefs be they ever so easily debunked. The world around us continues to melt; in California the governor quietly defunded programs that ensure the survival of the elderly and handicapped. California is bankrupted, asking for aid from a Federal government that is, itself so far underwater the printing presses should be using toilet paper as they clatter through the night.

Slightly more than one year ago, September of 2007, I wrote the following here in an article titled, “Blackstone, China, and the end of the world as we know it: Get Ready” The article began with, “America is now poised for an event that has happened elsewhere in the world but never, for living Americans, here on US soil. That event is a hyperinflation that will destroy our savings, milking Americans dry. Those who planned this event have been in charge of the monetary system, and in charge of every branch of government. While occupying those positions of trust they have profited mightily. Now, many of those who believed their were 'insiders' will face a reality that confronts them with the fact that they, too, have been had. Their employers have used them to immunize themselves as they prepared to move off shore, convert their stolen assets into Swiss Francs, hard money, and commodities, hunkering down to ride it out as they slurp champagne.”

Anyone ready for a pheasant hunting party with some friendly bankers? The article also included the insights from a man who had experienced the hyperinflation that took place in Russia in the 80s. It was bad, worse than Americans can possibly understand. The Great Depression was nothing in comparison and that event, as noted both my myself and Mr. Stan Mikhalsky, could pale beside the full global meltdown that has only begun.

The article ended with advice that included the following:

Pay off your mortgage if possible or find the means for at least lowering your exposure by moving to a fixed interest rate loan.” Now I advise you to take steps to cancel your mortgage; nearly all mortgage documents contain fraudulent terms and can be canceled if you understand the law. Canceling your mortgage keeps money out of the hands of foreign banks and with Americans.

Get ready to look for the investment opportunities that will soon be available to ordinary people for lower cost alternatives in energy, transportation, and other off-grid technologies.” This is still true. Do it.

Can you grow your own food? Look into starting a coop, bringing in locally grown farm food. Join with those around you; this will build a community of cooperation that will bring both security and provide the means for local control.” The resources for doing this on smaller spaces are now greatly increased. Liquid Probiotics is one of several products that can remineralize your soil and so provide food for you and your family that will actually improve your health.

Growing and eating locally will reduce your exposure to reliance on food that is shipped in from off shore, perhaps bringing in with it diseases or toxic substances, and also mean more security for you and those around you in a steady, clean, supply of food.” Truer every day and you need to take action.

Make sure you know what your children are learning. Schools now routinely turn out students who are functionally illiterate, suited only for the kinds of jobs they envision for our posterity. Dumbing down was part of their agenda.” How many children today can build their own radios? Our children need to know practical physics. How many can pass the routines tests on the Constitution given to kids in the early part of the 20th Century?

The best indicator for future success in life is how early you have your first job, not how many degrees you accumulate; education has become about symbols over substance. Tesla had no degrees and never attended college. This generation of children will be finding out what it means to work the hard way. Nothing about the policies that have extended childhood far into the twenties have been about protecting children; those policies are about control.”

At the same time you need to come together with others in your community to take back control. Use persuasion; true community is about including and caring for everyone voluntarily.” Coming together in community is essential of those now in danger are to survive. America began as people governing themselves from their own communities. It worked because the principles are true. People are careful with their own hard earned cash. People will do the right thing when they control their own time and wealth and are free to choose.

Look at your local police. You pay their salaries. If they are focused on a militarized agenda, converting you and other citizens into criminalized targets, ignoring your Constitutional rights under the coloration of 'gang control' you need to take action. The Constitution is for all of us.” More obviously true every single day.

We need to take back control of our courts. Understand the bait and switch that took place and study the common law that is America's real heritage for enacting justice and lowering the transaction costs of conflict and crime. A crime has not taken place if there is no victim.” Study the Constitution and the Common Law and teach your children.

The Sheriff in your County is the highest Constitutional law enforcement authority. If you can't trust him, remove him and elect someone who will be willing and able to tell the Feds to stay out. Expect them to move rapidly on their agenda to assert control over regional areas and state governments. Be ready to react accordingly.” Now, you need to be ready.

Lastly, start thinking about the many ways that same Corporate Elite has conned us, manipulated us continue their predatory behavior. Through the stock market, through the mortgage industry grab, through the continued rackets they run in every place they touch our lives.

Count up what they have cost you, when, where and who. Make a record. Gather together all of those accounts that show how they have stolen from you, done all within their power to suck you dry. .

There will be an accounting and you need to be ready.”

Nothing that happens from DC can help you. Visit America Goes Home, consider your options, and get active. America can go home to all of the things that matter.