drown out the truth?

November 1st, 2012

So, are you tired of being yelled at?

I prefer the gently assertive, formal,  exchange of thoughtful information that doesn’t seem possible anymore.  What is with that?  Why is everyone yelling?  All this yelling and no one is listening.

There is also the fear of the unknown that is driven into our minds by the media, which is paid by speculators and gamblers.  I won’t even get in to the religious zealots that feed their line of garbage that plays on faith.  They are yelling, because if they yell loud enough people can’t hear the truth.

Meantime, 19 year olds are aiming bullets at each others heads in some sandy venue in the name of religious zealots, media hype, speculators, gamblers and that coveted Kardashian lifestyle.

Step away from the yellers and reflect in silence.  Listen to your heart and mind and seek truth.

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Rush to judgement

March 5th, 2012

Ronald Reagan quoted movies and he loved his wife.  GOP/ Religious right folks love quotes and the appearance of monogamy.  No one really cares if you love your wife or if you are faithful.  Many men who say grace before dinner have or at least intend to have sex with a women who is not their wife.












Women are sluts if they have sex and don’t intend to have children.  I guess we should just get used to the word because almost every woman I know has used birth control in order to have sex without the desire to have children.  I’m so grateful to live in modern times.  Women can give birth without intense pain thanks to epidurals.  Women can decide not to get pregnant by taking birth control.  What a wonderful world!  I’m guessing most men agree.


















It is disingenuously misleading for the Catholic Exchange to claim that Obama’s Healthcare package mandates birth control for all women.  What it does state is that all insurance companies and employers need to allow birth control for women who want it.  This is “Huge Caroline”.












A huge difference that is.  The GOP is so opposed to our president they are shooting themselves in the foot with this one.

If the catholic church or any church for that matter wants to instill the doctrine of the church within the laws of the United States, doesn’t that go against the constitution?  Shouldn’t they pay taxes if they are so involved in healthcare law and its policies?  Isn’t the provision of birth control for women who want it a good thing for America?

I wonder if Nancy used birth control?

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Wars of the Waters

December 15th, 2010

There are about 18 million Florida residents who directly or indirectly make their living from the visits of the 50 million tourists who come here every year.  Why do you think they come here?  This place is beautiful and  magical–  the critters, the flowers, the waters, the Everglades, the history it is all absolutely enchanting.  What is disenchanting is the runaway sprawl and the devastation to our swamp and it’s water quality and the resultant effects on lives.

The  coastal areas of Florida are beige on a satellite view.  When you zoom in a bit more you’ll see the ant-like cars moving slowly in traffic.  Within these beige areas along the coasts there are towns that can be redone, rebuilt, restored.  Prosperity and development can live on without devouring any more of the everglades and its endowments to us.  We just need to insist.  


In the middle of Florida just south of Lake Okeechobee is a huge dike that stops the flow of water that created the Everglades.  This area is beige on a satellite view as well.  This dike was built and canals were dug to enhance development and sugar plantations and cattle ranching.  The run off and phosphorus is killing the Everglades.  Why should we care?  The river of grass, the  panthers, the wild orchids, and the fact that its slow flow into the estuaries of the tip of Florida serves as fish nurseries and it sits on top of the aquifer that gives us drinking water and there is no other place on earth like it and if we can’t save it then it is a message to the world that we failed.

Well–other than that you must at least care about the otters.  The happy resourceful otters are disappearing.  Otters play just for the sake of playing. (like us)  What is bad for them is bad for us.  So while your crawling along in traffic think about the otters.  When is the last time you saw one?

The enormous growth of metropolitan Atlanta, and the resulting increase in water withdrawals from the Chattahoochee river have an effect on the oysters in the Apalachicola Bay in Northern Florida.  The oysters depend on the brackish water mixture of river and ocean water.  “Water transfers” also occur prior to reaching Apalachicola Bay.  Water is withdrawn from the Chattahoochee, then discharged as treated sewage water into another river, such as the Oconee River, which flows to the Atlantic Seaboard. The Congress of the United States has been asked to intervene in the fight between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama over rights to the river water. The lawsuit is now in court, and that may take quite a few years to resolve.

Why should you care?  You don’t like oysters? You may be interested to know that each oyster individually filters 50 gallons of water per day.  Oysters are to bays and estuaries as our kidneys are to us, we die without them.

James Cain, Apalachicola Bay Oyster-man

Florida has a strong and powerful nature conservancy, Audubon Society and Ocean Conservancy. It also has powerful developers, ranchers and plantation owners who employ the masses (as well as immigrants).  A constant war is ongoing.  A war that has never been won by either side, but, much has been lost.  I look at the empty concrete strip malls that have been a result of too much too fast and the swamp land that was filled between dredged canals.  Another CVS replaces the eagle nest, a banyan tree that ended its 50 year life to a blockbuster store that is now defunct, another mangrove island (fish nursery) losing its life to another development.  I think some just love the fight no matter the devastation.










  • Apalachicola Bay is one of the most productive estuarine systems in the Northern hemisphere as a result of the overall good water quality.
  • Apalachicola Bay is an exceptionally important nursery area for the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Over 95% of all species harvested commercially and 85% of all species harvested recreationally in the open Gulf have to spend a portion of their life in estuarine waters. Blue crabs, for example, migrate as much as 300 miles to spawn in Apalachicola Bay.
  • Apalachicola Bay is a major forage area for such offshore fish species as gag grouper and gray snapper.
  • The area is a major forage area for migratory birds, in particular for trans-gulf migrants in the spring.




0 Comments - Latest by:
    jabmyeyes Thank you Sharon Anonymous That's what I was afraid of, that it is supplemental programs that are being eliminated. It is absolutely shameful… jabmyeyes Florida legislators are rejecting the Federal Clean Water Act, they are rejecting the money set aside for Everglades restoration, and… Anonymous Hi Jo, If it makes you feel any better. Federal law prevents a state from setting… tonybordonaro great post Jo....hope Rick Scott reads jabmyeyes...
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    jabmyeyes Thank you Sharon Anonymous That's what I was afraid of, that it is supplemental programs that are being eliminated. It is absolutely shameful…

Food sovereignty vs Monsanto

May 22nd, 2010
If we’re not careful our water will be made by Monsanto


Did you know that Monsanto (the same company that brought us agent orange) together with Syngenta, Dupont and Bayer controls almost all agriculture in the World?  They are like drug suppliers except they are in the seed business.  Ever wonder why the fruits and vegetables at grocery stores are so big and plump and colorful compared to the fruits and veggies at farmers markets?  Monsanto adds stuff, pesticides and they have created hybrid seeds that the farmers have to buy.  They have a contract. Small farmers have been successfully sued by Monsanto when they violate any terms of the contract.  Drug suppliers send out heavies that break your arms and Monsanto sends out heavies in the form of lawyers that break your family.

Independently owned farms are actually corporate farms as long as they use Monsanto seeds.  This is a fact of life in the US and we have grown accustomed to our giant red and yellow produce.  Many Americans are wising up and going to farmers markets and food co-ops to avoid the pesticides and antibiotics and fungicides like Thiram that are added to Monsanto seeds to make stuff look better.

Monsanto has donated  hybrid corn seeds to third world countries.  These seeds are treated with the fungicide Maxim XO, and the calypso tomato seeds are treated with thiram.  Thiram belongs to a highly toxic class of chemicals called ethylene bisdithiocarbamates (EBDCs).  Results of tests of EBDCs on mice and rats caused concern to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which then ordered a special review. The EPA determined that EBDC-treated plants are so dangerous to agricultural workers that they must wear special protective clothing when handling them. The EPA also ruled that pesticides containing thiram must contain a special warning label. The EPA also barred marketing of the chemicals for many home garden products, based on the assumption that most gardeners do not have adequately protective clothing”. Dress like a Nigerian doctor to do your gardening?


do you eat these











“The concern of social movements is not just about chemical dangers and the possibility of future GMO imports. The future of  local production with local seeds for local consumption—otherwise known as food sovereignty” is threatened.

Vía Campesina, “the world’s largest confederation of farmers with member organizations in more than 60 countries, has called Monsanto one of the “principal enemies of peasant sustainable agriculture and food sovereignty for all peoples.” They claim that as Monsanto and other multinationals control an ever larger share of land and agriculture, they force small farmers out of their land and jobs”.

In the United States –>”The Center for Food Safety led a four-year legal challenge against Monsanto that made it to the U.S. Supreme Court.   After successful litigation against Monsanto and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for illegal promotion of Roundup Ready Alfalfa, the court heard the Center for Food Safety’s case on April 27 2010.    The Supreme Court lifted a nationwide ban on the planting of genetically engineered alfalfa seeds, despite claims they might harm the environment”.    The United States Supreme Court continues to back Monsanto rather than the American people.

Go to


and this entry by Jr Deputy Accountant where I stole this picture from


watch this long and very informative video — http://youtu.be/87qrTXZaXkk

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    Fred Jo, It is encouraging to see that people are becoming aware of the food monopolies, and doing something about it.… JJ Hi Jo! Thanks for the interesting (and frightening) update on Monsanto. I was aware of much of it but…
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    Fred Jo, It is encouraging to see that people are becoming aware of the food monopolies, and doing something about it.… JJ Hi Jo! Thanks for the interesting (and frightening) update on Monsanto. I was aware of much of it but…


April 21st, 2010




Do you think otherworldly influences try to message us?   Earthquakes, Tsunami’s, Hurricanes and volcanoes.  Remember the Iceland Volcano that caused flights all over the world to stop.    Religious extremists said that bad things were happening because of our heathen ways. 

Scientists disagree about the causes of these anomalies according to what corporation is paying them to say what. 

George Carlin said the earth is going to shake us off like a bad case of fleas. 

I look at this photo of the Iceland Volcano that disrupted air traffic for weeks and think maybe the message is  —   we need to stop —  for awhile and hang out on cots and talk about stuff with strangers in large rooms.












 While millions lamented their misfortune a few military families were able to keep Dad home a few more days because of the volcanic ash and flight cancellations.






   It can be a wonderfully mysterious world eh?
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October 19th, 2009

dinosaur extinction finally explained

The thoughts of this person are worth sharing.  There is a book called The Case for God by Karen Armstrong.  Ms Armstrong spent seven years as a nun in a Roman Catholic order.  The italicized commentary is from a person known as “Johannes”.

Johannes says:

October 6, 2009

There’s a tendency to disparage people who believe in God as weak, groveling sheep. Kindness is often equated to weakness. It’s easy to debunk evangelical Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Quakers, Gnostic tradition or Episcopalians. But let us not forget that Western mathematicians Goedel, Newton, Gauss or scholars like Emerson, Kierkegaard, and more had their own particular way of discovering what God meant to them. Kierkegaard was an affluent depressed Danish philosopher who wrote some very interesting papers on faith. He loved his woman so much that he didn’t marry her.  He didn’t want her to have to deal with his depression.  He wrote that faith can only exist where there is doubt. You don’t have to have faith in a table because you can see it and feel it and put stuff on it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson lost his memory in later years and it embarrassed him.  I once read that fish have no memory and that is why it is OK for them to live in a bowl.  Every time they swim to the other side of the bowl there is a whole fascinating and undiscovered world.  I had a betta fish in a bowl on my desk here. I was so sad when he died.  I used to put a mirror next to his bowl sometimes and he would try to fight his reflection.  No one taught him to fight it was just innately in him to do so.  I think some people are like that.

I’m getting off track.

 Christianity is more complex and God was often viewed as aphotic (dark, nebulous, somber)  than  as a paternal deliverer of goodness to your prayers.   One of her main points indeed is that both logic and myth have their place in thought, just as reason and emotion have their place in humanity. otherwise we’d be conformist robots.  We’d run around killing and pillaging those who don’t think like us. I think they call that religious wars.

If you ever studied advanced mathematics (beyond the standard calculus or linear algebra), there are places where “logic” becomes less insightful — Russell’s paradox is an example or invoking Zorn’s lemma just to create something as basic as counting (natural) numbers. What does it mean to the mind that there are different sizes of “infinity”? Yet Cantor, who formalized set theoretic foundations of all modern mathematics, proved that indeed we do have different orders of infinity. when you look up Bertrand Russell, Max Zorn, and Georg Cantor you read some pretty heady stuff.  Brilliance and depression seemed to hang out together.   Most of us can be glad we’re not that brilliant.

Blanket rejection of faith in such a smug, strident attitude is rather sad and unappreciative of the beauty of a free mind engaging in something fully outside the limited realms of “self.” I think Johannes is trying to tell us to “step outside our own box”;  But, do we then step into the box of someone else?

Yes, there is doubt, but faith without doubt is mere credulity as Kierkegaard posits. Faith is not to simply overcome doubt, but it, like love, transcends rationality. Religion ought to be more than just a set of logical beliefs, as music is more than just notes on a page and dry theory or mere vibrations or life is more than books, theories, and philosophers. The theory came after the experience, to explain and justify and to share. I love what Johannes says here. Love is something you can’t see or prove, the color yellow is something you can’t describe to a blind person, yet they exist.

Religion is embodied in practice, in action, in process with something greater than yourself. The existence of God is not so much a falsifiable hypothesis, and the semantics of language obfuscate much communication. Religious zealots, the oil industry and the GMO industry hire lobbyists who do an incredible job of obfuscation. Show me where “love” exists. Show me where “music” exists. Show me where “beauty” is. There are many things outside the faculty of logic and language. Be humble and grateful that there is more. I am


I’m glad there are scientists and philosophers busy trying to find out why a pear smells like a pear or why the beautiful colors represented in this photograph happen.  I guess it all fits in the periodic table somewhere.

My point is Faith should not be mocked because it is based on doubt.  Faith is the driver for scientists and activists and incredible discoveries that people have made through all the recorded eras.  Faith and prayer saved my son.  I believe in the incredible power of faith.


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Why is it against the law to say what Monsanto does?

April 10th, 2016

Shouldn’t we be allowed to say out loud that Monsanto is creating plants that don’t self germinate without fear of being sued? These plants are resistant to the herbicides and bug killers (poisons) also made by Monsanto that kill other plants and critters; known by some as organically grown crops and bees.


When we don’t want their plants why would we be sued?

did you know 3


Monsanto has actually sued Farmers because their seeds are blowing on to the farms of farmers that haven’t bought Monsanto seeds.  The farmer doesn’t want the seeds but gets sued when they grow.


God, Nature, the planet, (whatever you believe in) made plants that germinate.  If you study germination it is an absolute marvel of nature that Monsanto has fucked with.  Sorry I just can’t find a better word to describe what they do.

did you know 2

The difference is germination is free for everyone, and Monsanto’s non-germinating plants are for profit.

did you know 4

How can “non germinating plants for profit” be good for the planet and it’s people?

do you eat these

Why is Monsanto allowed to sue people, the media, states and even countries for saying out loud what they do?

did you know

Did you know Michael R. Taylor was named deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)?  This position was created in 2009 and he is the first individual to hold the position.  Mr. Taylor has a law degree from the University of Virginia and a B.A. degree in political science from Davidson College.  Somehow that qualified him to work with the FDA …” to make the changes necessary to ensure the safety of America’s food supply from farm to table.  Positions held by Mr. Taylor include senior fellow, Resources for the Future; professor, School of Medicine, University of Maryland; partner, King & Spalding law firm; and vice president for public policy, Monsanto Company.”  I don’t understand why President Obama wanted him to oversee the food safety of our nation?


Monsanto isn’t the only bad guy –>  Corrective or preventive measures of some kind are needed worldwide, because increasing corporate control of the seed industry and the associated decline of seed saving isn’t restricted to Canada and the United States. The worldwide commercial seed market is $23 billion, says Hope Shand of ETC Group, a Canadian NGO. It’s mostly concentrated in North America and Europe, and prospects for further growth there are limited. But in the global South, home to the vast majority of the 1.4 billion people who depend on farm-saved seed, the market could be worth another $20 billion or more. No wonder seed giant Syngenta applied for a multi-genome patent in 115 countries that would give it monopoly power over the flowering sequences of some 40 plants.  You can’t convince me that this will make the planet better.  Corporate control of food and water and someday our air is just plain scary.  

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Bread and Azodicarbonamide

November 1st, 2015

So I’ve been doing a bit of reading about Azodicarbonamide.  It is illegal in many other countries but the USA seems to embrace it.  Bread makers like it because it speeds up the rising process therefore enhancing production and profits.  It is also used as a blowing agent in plastics.  I find that disturbing


drowning in styrofoam

drowning in Azodicarbonamide but only in America where profit comes before health

Azodicarbonamide is manufactured by the reaction of dihydrazine sulfate and urea under high temperature and pressure. Why would we want that in our bread? 

When the effects of long-term exposure to azodicarbonamide were studied on dogs –>Most dogs died. Necropsy revealed massive, multiple renal calculi, bladder calculi, and chronic pyelonephritis.


Azodicarbonamide is a popular dough conditioner. It also bleaches the flour (makes it whiter). It’s considered safe in the US at up to 45 parts per million, but is banned from use in Europe because studies showed it could cause asthma or allergic reactions.  http://www.fooducate.com/product/Holsum%20Cotton%20s%20Large%20Bread/A0BBB30A-043A-11E2-83D2-1231381BA074  Fooducate is a great website that shares best choices when buying at the grocery store.

… “Currently there are eight crops on the market produced with food biotechnology: corn (think high fructose corn syrup), soybeans (are in almost everything vegans eat), sugar beets, canola (have you ever seen a canola plant?), alfalfa (cows eat this), Hawaiian squash and papaya (so I’ll buy them from Mexico). Cotton is as well, but we don’t eat that.”

do you eat these


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January 2nd, 2015

How did you spend 2014?  What did you learn and how did you make yourself a better person?


Ellen Degeneres took a selfie with Meryl Streep and other very famous and successful actors.  They are just like us, sometimes a bit self-centered, sometimes a bit silly, and sometimes just feeling in the moment.  Perhaps this tweet could teach us to lighten up, be silly, impress yourself sometimes and enjoy the moment.


Ellen selfie with celebs







The fight for net neutrality — why should we care and why should we vote for those who care?

“the company that connects you to the internet
does not get to control what you do on the internet.”  

— Public Knowledge

 It doesn’t take much research to understand the importance of speaking loud and often to help our elected politicians understand the need to keep the internet open for innovation and out of the hands of the cable companies and monopolies who might use it for the public bad and the corporate good.
Is the media at fault because we love drama, or are we?
Police vs young black men, dismantling Obamacare, beheadings, unfound planes, Robin Williams suicide, and Ebola. 
Surely remarkable and intellectual things were happening while we were blasted with a constant barrage of dark and bad news.  The sinister is much too easy to find on TV while we must research the profound and delightful that is all around.
So much news the rest of the world found to be exciting — why not us?
The Scots voted to stay with the UK rather than to become independent. 
Rosetta landed on a comet. 
Pope Francis — what a cool guy he is! 
Mom and Maven went to Mars. 
Matteo Renzi became the Prime Minister of Italy. 
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. reported more than $9 billion in sales on November 11, 2014 (one day).
“Should Scotland be an independent country? –>  UK Prime Minister David Cameron reacted elatedly with the following words “it would have broken my heart to see our United Kingdom come to an end and I know that this sentiment was shared not just by people across our country but also around the world.”  (Here in America we were interested in Kim’s baby bump)
 scotlandgotta love Scotland
“In the nail-biting months before the landing, the team awakens Rosetta from three years of power-saving hibernation, manually navigates the craft through unexplored areas of the solar system, catches up to Comet 67P in a delicate cat-and-mouse orbiting dance, and releases a washing-machine-sized lander (named Philae) onto the comet’s surface.”  Rosetta got its stone –> ha, I crack myself up.  http://www.space.com/27690-landing-on-a-comet-is-extremely-difficult-video.html
rosetta comet 67p
This persuasive pope has sparked new enthusiasm around the world for the Catholic church and has flexed his political muscles internationally.  He complements the new relationship between the United States and Cuba, speaks out against income inequality,  legitimizes climate change, and slams “trickle-down” economics.
Pope Francis Quote
India and US are orbiting Mars with the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mom) and Nasa’s  Maven (stands for something about the atmosphere and volatile Mission), so anyway, –> “The two different spacecraft entered the Martian territory with the sole motive to study the planet and look for possible signs of life”.  We are no longer the only game in town, perhaps it is time to stop shooting each other.
mom and maven
“Matteo Renzi has been nicknamed “II Rottamatore” (the scrapper), owing to his decision to amend the entire political system of Italy that is widely inflicted with corruption”–>(Lets watch and see).
Matteo Renzi
That Alibaba record is just scarey –> “This illustrates the growing buying power of the Chinese consumers along with the prowess of E-commerce giant in the online space”.   Care about the world, buy locally grown and produced and stop feeding the corporate business model.
jack ma
How about the planet?  How did the planet fare in 2014?
microplastics that you can’t see are in our oceans, lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water.  Tiny specks of plastic that are purposefully used in toothpaste and face wash are accumulating in our water supply and they will never go away.   The good news is smart people are bringing it to our attention and so big companies like Proctor and Gamble and Johnson and Johnson are taking them out of their products.  The other good news is more and more towns and states are banning Styrofoam and plastic bags.  http://www.envirosense.com/plastic-pollution/
U.N. official Anthony Banbury told reporters we will see the number of Ebola cases brought to zero by the end of 2015.  Boy I hope that’s true.  http://thegrio.com/2014/10/07/ebola-ignorance-africa 
The panic was not productive and the misinformation disgraced and vilified the fine people who were working tirelessly to save lives. 


and Joe Cocker left this world…
joe cocker
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A list

May 15th, 2014

A listSo I was reading Non Sequitur (my most favorite comic strip) and this reminded me of my recent flight experience. 

The industry of air travel is working fast and furious to separate us into the haves and the have-nots.  Why don’t they load the back of the plane first? Load the front of the plane last? Everyone can just calmly wait their turn.

  As it is now, there is an aggregate of common people (all of us piling on planes are common people otherwise we’d have our own plane) with over sized carry-ons pushing their way onto the plane, presumably to have room in the over head bins for their stuff.  This, of course, happens after those that have paid more for priority seating get on the plane.  You squeeze by them to get to the back of the plane and sit in your B seat between an overweight woman who wants the window seat and her overweight husband who wants the aisle. 

You struggle for a place to put your bag — which winds up two or three rows from where you are sitting — you didn’t want to join the cattle call — or prolong the agony of sitting for hours between two large people — by getting on the plane first.

You can, of course, avoid all of this undignified struggle if you pay much more.  Than you can sit comfortably in front while you watch the strugglers labor on past to their seat in the back of the plane. 

I wish someone would give us back our dignity and allow the back of the plane to be seated first.  I’m not thinking it will cost the airline any losses and may enhance the boarding process.

bottle waterAnother thing I never quite understood


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Good planets are hard to find

April 4th, 2014

Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy led a 5-4 majority to decide in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. Why does this piss me off? Because of this ruling individuals can give up to $5.9 million to political campaigns. (It was about $123,000)

trickle trends

Why do I care? Environmental damage is quite often caused by corporations.  US citizens become responsible for cleaning it up. Democracy is our only way of having a voice; of saying you made the mess you clean it up. Those 5 justices have shoved another sock in our mouths.

So who is McCutcheon? Shaun McCutcheon sells equipment to coal extractors. Americans are starting to realize that coal is not good. McCutcheon knows that and needs to control how elections go to continue to plague us. Other large corporations are doing a happy dance today.










Hopefully their black choking cloud of joy won’t shut us up or shut us down.



the Navy is deploying advanced biofuels to power ships, planes and vehicles to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and strengthen its energy security. – See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/video-library/us-navys-dennis-mcginn-on-advanced-biofuels-85899540773#sthash.ukxhLr6q.dpuf
the Navy is deploying advanced biofuels to power ships, planes and vehicles to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and strengthen its energy security. – See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/video-library/us-navys-dennis-mcginn-on-advanced-biofuels-85899540773#sthash.ukxhLr6q.dpuf
the Navy is deploying advanced biofuels to power ships, planes and vehicles to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and strengthen its energy security. – See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/video-library/us-navys-dennis-mcginn-on-advanced-biofuels-85899540773#sthash.ukxhLr6q.dpuf
the Navy is deploying advanced biofuels to power ships, planes and vehicles to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and strengthen its energy security. – See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/video-library/us-navys-dennis-mcginn-on-advanced-biofuels-85899540773#sthash.ukxhLr6q.dpuf
the Navy is deploying advanced biofuels to power ships, planes and vehicles to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and strengthen its energy security. – See more at: http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/video-library/us-navys-dennis-mcginn-on-advanced-biofuels-85899540773#sthash.ukxhLr6q.dpuf


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March 27th, 2014

What comes first to your mind when you think of 2013?








Mario Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis.  He is the first Jesuit pope.  Why is that meaningful you might ask?   To sum it up as briefly as possible –>Jesuits were developed to rally Catholics during the reformation around the middle 1500’s.   They were quite successful and subsequently went in to China and introduced science and astronomy.  The Jesuit doctrine is “to conquer oneself and to regulate one’s life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment.”   (inordinate attachment = extortionate connection=corrupt association)  Ah,  words and their subtleties.   There are probably some corrupt associations that aren’t so crazy about the power this guy wields from his message of love and acceptance.


USA gay marriage







A good thing for the United States is –>The rapid progression of our society.  Boggled as some may be, the Supreme Court reckoned same sex marriage as a “basic matter of equality”. Us inhabitants of the new world have family members,  friends, co-workers, dance partners, cable gals and hairdressers who are gay.  It is on the far side of compassion for any value system that doesn’t accept love and commitment.  We need to notice these tipping points where the good guys win








It snowed in Cairo, and who can forget Miles Scott? the kid with leukemia.  The make a wish foundation and the city of San Francisco joined to make his dream come true of being bat kid and saving Gotham City.



Bad happenings of hate –> bombs at the Boston Marathon, Kenyan shopping Mall attack,  Syrian civil war,

Bad happenings of nature –>Philippine typhoon, A meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk,  Flash floods and land slides in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, tornado hit Moore Oklahoma,

Bad happenings as a result of bad policies –> Africa’s Western Back Rhino became officially extinct in 2013
















senseless mass shootings –> Washington Navy Yard, Hialeah, Albuquerque, Santa Monica and more.

more than 30 school shootings in the US in 2013

school shootings in  2013



















Nelson Mandela died after a very long and eventful life

1990 South Africa

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Vulcano Blu is very very Blue

September 21st, 2013

From Cefalu we took the train to Milazzo and then a taxi brought us to the Ferry Port.  It was about 10 or 15 Euros for the taxi to the port and the driver explained to use Siramar.  “Go to  Siramar, not Ustica”.  We appreciated the hint.  With Ustica you pay more to get on the same ferry as was later explained to us by Francesco De Pasquale at Vulcano Blu Residence, where we stayed for 2 nights. 

The train (Trenitalia) is very easy to use.  At first we always waited in line to have a person help us buy the right ticket for the right train to the right destination.  There are machines that are actually very easy to use and they give you the English option.  If there are people waiting in line behind you to use the ticket machine (biglietteria automatica) you want to know what you are doing or they will snatch your credito carte and put it in properly.  A bit unnerving but you learn.

The train from Cefalu to Milazzo took about an hour with lots of stops in between.  I was amazed at the amount of solar panels, not only on roof tops but also they are used to cover huge green houses full of produce.  These greens apparently  need to be protected from the relentless Sicilian sun in summer and kept warm in winter;  all the while collecting energy — ingenious really.  The homes are stunning with gates, flowers and tiled carports.  The towns have futbol fields and plantations of fruits and vegetables.  The sea can be glimpsed often as the train rides along the northern coast of Sicily from town to town.  I slowly but surely started to fall in love with Sicily on that train.

while taking the train to Milazzo to grab the ferry for Vulcano, There were many gorgeous sea side homes like this one.

while taking the train to Milazzo to grab the ferry for Vulcano, There were many gorgeous sea side homes like this one.














I was happy to find out Vulcano was the first island stop.  I’ve decided I don’t like ferries.  I didn’t like ferrying around Lake Como and I wasn’t too fond of this ferry either.  I much prefer trains, taxis, horseback, burros, scooters  and cars.  Airline travel is my least favorite form of transportation, but, I like the speed. 

I promised Tony that we would rest for one full day while in Vulcano.  We would shop and eat and swim.  He was very happy to hear that after walking from one end of Palermo to the other and up to La Rocca in Cefalu.  Shortly after arrival to Vulcano we found out you could go up to the rim of  the crater and peer in to it.  It hadn’t blown since the 1800’s so it must be safe.  A bucket list item that just couldn’t be missed.  It would take a good 12 hours to convince Tony to climb up the Volcano with me.  The best mealyet at Vincenzinos helped as did a delicious sleep, and a homemade breakfast of strong (albeit instant) coffee, fresh fruit, yogurt with granola for Tony and Granola with milk for me.  By mid morning we were trekking up the side of the Volcano.  My shoes were exceptionally inappropriate.  (I came down barefoot)


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So, so very glad we made the climb and carried on to the rim.  It was imposing, gave you that “empress of the universe” feeling once you got there.   We enjoyed some fresh squeezed orange juice near the bottom where a lady sold us water before the climb and looked at my shoes and shook her head then pointed to some walking sticks stating “necessario per voi, gratis”  meaning –> necessary for you, free.  I was really really glad I had those sticks.  She was a smart lady and me — not so smart.  I wish only smart people were rich.  If I become rich I will find that lady and give her lots of money.

We walked back in to town and had a wonderful salad and brushetta at a tiny pizzeria.  There was one other young couple, obviously in love enjoying their gigantic sandwiches.  So much love everywhere we go, how can you not be enchanted in such a place?  Then we wandered past the hot mud.  Tony wanted to go in but I wanted nothing to do with it.  It smelled of sulfur and as Francesco explained on the way in to town.  Thousands of people for hundreds of years have been sitting in that mud, the idea is just unsanitary.  We did go to the sea and find some fumaroles.  They are areas in the sea where the Vulcano’s bubbling hot water escapes in to the sea.  The water is crystal clear and the island is very proud of its water and its purity.   Some of the mud bathers would rinse off in the sea which is frowned upon. 

Vulcano Blu Residence

Vulcano Blu Residence

German ship

Giant ship slipping in to port while we swam











I was trying to find a place for a manicure and pedicure, but the place I found was booked up, as was the next place before we knew it we were almost back to Vulcano Blu.  We just walked and found our ambrosial pool and watched the giant ship come in from some far away place.  Francesco explained that the ship companies have to pay and wait their turn to come to the Vulcano port.  Not all ships are allowed due to the stringent rules that maintain the purity of the waters around the Aeolian islands.  The water is strikingly clear;  a teal blue with areas of azure blue.  Inconceivably beautiful water as we found out the next day while kayaking.



We kayaked

We kayaked











Eugenio we found while wandering the grounds of Vulcano Blu.  He made you feel like you just ran in to a long lost relative.  He was warm and delightful and gave us an intense but short class on kayaking in the sea.  he owns the Sea Kayaking outpost on Vulcano and belongs to the Sports Association Canoe and Kayak Club of the Aeolian Islands based in Messina.  He recently had surgery on his lumbar spine and the doctor told him to stay out of the water for a month.  So his very capable friend Rosario who didn’t speak a word of English took us out for our 4 hour kayak around the base of the Island of Volcano.  They gave us appropriate water shoes to wear and loaned me a surfer shirt so I wouldn’t burn.  What a fabulous day!  So glad we didn’t miss this opportunity before catching our ferry back to Milazzo and looking for our rental car.  Let the photos speak for themselves…




Grotto Blu -- wonder how it got it's name?

Grotto Blu — wonder how it got it’s name?

just can't capture

just can’t capture the beauty and clarity of this water with a camera

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September 21st, 2013
another view of Cefalu's beach town

Cefalu’s beach town

Cefalu beach

Cefalu beach





leg massage on Cefalu beach

leg massage on Cefalu beach
















After Palermo, we hopped a train to Cefalu.  What an enchanting town with a cool history and fabulous location.  Italians love to come here for beach vacations and warmth.  Cefalu (pronounced Chafe a loo) is full of young couples in love and has a lively night life with shopping and dining.  Very touristy especially in comparison to Palermo, but, not so touristy that you want to run screaming from the town.  It is charming and it’s history is interesting.  Of course the towns people of 300 BC, who were reportedly of Greek origin, had to scramble up the mountain to escape the barbarous activities of the Romans and the heavy taxes they burdened the people with. 

So the Greeks moved up to the top (La Rocca) and built their community, and churches, and cisterns and raised their livestock and planted vegetables.  It wasn’t easy to climb up there,  but after you were there you could feel how safe they must have felt.


this is why

Alessandra said “it’s easy”.  It wasn’t easy.

I see why the ancients loved being up here keeping an eye on the barbarians below

I see why the ancients loved being up here keeping an eye on the barbarians below


 We went to a place in town where the ancients used to wash their clothes in a laundry mat (if you will)  The cold clean water streamed down from La Rocca.  they fashioned sinks in the rocks.  It was fun because there were a bunch of urban oriental yuppies down there as well and a guy playing Italian music on an accordion.  I didn’t see any goats in Cefalu, but, I’m sure they are there.  Sicily has goats everywhere.

Climb up to La Rocca, worth the climb

Climb up to La Rocca, worth the climb

La Rocca in Cefalu

La Rocca in Cefalu

View from la Rocca.  Wish you feel the breeze, smell the sea air, and hear the futbol game going on in the town below.

View from la Rocca.  I wish you could feel the breeze, smell the sea air, and hear the futbol game going on in the town below.

lovely Alessandra

lovely Alessandra preparing our breakfast.  This town and Alessandra and her Scirocco B&B is good place for peace, exhilaration, and calming your soul.

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My advice for Palermo

September 19th, 2013

We recently (September of 2013)  took a two week trip to Sicily.  We had a marvelous time and I would highly recommend the island to all ages and all interests.  There is something for everyone.  Adventure lovers, peaceful beach walkers, history buffs, cliff climbers, horse riders, and fabulous vista viewers.  If you are a fashionista you may be bored; I fit right in. 

I read some books prior to going and they helped to prepare me for what I was in for.  One was called Sicily is not Quite Tuscany by a fellow named Shamus Sillar.  The other was The Leopard a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.   If you go to Sicily The Leopard is a must read so you understand the names of streets and the history of the country.  The other is a fun and witty read that made me look for some of the same places the author Sillar sought while his wife worked.  I have to go back because I never got to eat Milza in Palermo.



Vincenzo picked us up at the airport.  It was wonderful to see him and his tall handsome self and smiling face carrying a sign saying Bordonaro.    He explained his love of Palermo during our drive and how all the young people are leaving it, but, he hopes to stay and continue to be a part of the city he loves becoming prosperous.  He asked us what we thought of Obama and told us that most Sicilians like our President Obama.  He had visited Miami and California and liked them both.

lunch in Palermo at Ferro di Cavallo

lunch in Palermo at Ferro di Cavallo

We met Luca the owner of Ai Vicere B&B where we stayed.  It was a suitable location but I wouldn’t recommend it for luxury or large showers.  They did serve eggs at breakfast and they did pick us up from the airport as promised and free Wifi in the rooms is not available at most places but it worked well here.  Luca is earning a Doctorate in History and is a bit preoccupied with that endeavor I would imagine.  The B&B helps to pay for his schooling.  His family is in the Historical painting and artifact business.  He recommended this little restaurant on a typical Palermo street.  The food was good, the service was lousy, the people watching was excellent.

market in Palermo

market in Palermo

This is a typical market street in Palermo.  I called it the Sicilian Walmart.  Wish we could have bought things but our flight on Easy Jet only allowed one carry on unless you paid $40 euros for baggage.   Kind of a problem for the vendors here.  Also wanted to buy some of the fresh fish and vegetables and fruit and have someone cook it up for us.  At night there were restaurants all over the streets that cooked out doors and you sat in the street at small tables.  It was fun to watch and wander.  Other than the very first night, we felt safe and comfortable.  See my review of Ai Vicere to get a feel of our first night in Palermo.


I was sad the whole while because of news of my friend Andrea’s death.  My stomach was in knots and I cried a lot.  Wish I could go again and enjoy this flavorful town with a happier mood.  I think some jet lag also played a part.  Tony was a gem as usual but he didn’t feel any sense of belonging while wandering Palermo which is where his grandfather was from.

these little Mother Mary shrines

these little Mother Mary shrines could be found everywhere




bombed building

This building was bombed in WWII.  Never rebuilt it is a reminder of how dumb war is.











Taxi to Tonnara Bordonaro

Taxi to Tonnara Bordonaro from downtown Palermo cost 20 euros.  Talked him down from 40 euros.  Never except the original price of anything in Sicily



Sea glass beach

Sea glass beach near Tonnara Bordonaro on Via Bordonaro, next to Piazza Bordonaro and a great restaurant called La Mattanza.












So we strolled Via Vittorio Emanuele, We found the Quattro Canti, we found Vino and Co in Piazza Marina where you can fill a 5 liter jug with wine from their wine vats.  Didn’t eat Milza from a street vendor which I read is a must to experience in Palermo.  We toured the Palazzo Reale with its mix of Norman, Gothic, Spanish, and Napolitan styles, not interested in seeing the catacombs, couldn’t find the puppet theater, and our B&B was right next to the Teatro Massimo (a gorgeous building). 


If I were to give advice to Palermo, it would be for the Carabinieri to come out of their immaculate buildings, and get in with the people to help them clean up the trash, scrub off the graffiti, enforce traffic codes and pedestrian crossings to make the city safer and join the young people who love their city in making it prosperous and attractive to tourism.

popped in for a shave at Mario Cardinale's barber shop.  A total man facial for 5 euros.

popped in for a shave at Mario Cardinale’s barber shop. A total man facial for 5 euros.

vegetable oil collection site on via Bordonaro

vegetable oil collection site on via Bordonaro.  Just thought it was interesting

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Theology vs Science

May 28th, 2013

within one generationThis is a legitimate theory in my mind because no Buddhist has ever started a war.   TJ and the gang had written some stuff about God, religion, and spirituality that I’ve been collecting.  Here are a few…













“Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”  (<– I love that line) and “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”
-Thomas Jefferson 
I refer to him as “TJ”


We have already compared the benefits of theology and science.  When the theologian governed the world, it was covered with huts and hovels for the many, palaces and cathedrals for the few.  To nearly all the children of men, reading and writing were unknown arts.  The poor were clad in rags and skins — they devoured crusts, and gnawed bones.  The day of Science dawned, and the luxuries of a century ago are the necessities of today.  Men in the middle ranks of life have more of the conveniences and elegances than the princes and kings of the theological times.  Above and over all this, is the development of the mind.  There is more value in the brain of an average man of today — of a master-mechanic, of a chemist, of a naturalist, of an inventor, than there was in the brain of the world four hundred years ago.  These blessings did not fall from the skies.  These benefits did not drop from the outstretched hands of priests.  They were not found in cathedrals or behind altars —  neither were they searched for with holy candles.  They were not discovered by the closed eyes of prayer, nor did they come in answer to superstitious supplication.  They are the children of freedom, the gifts of reason, observation and experience — and for them all, man is indebted to man.

Robert Green Ingersoll, “God In The Constitution


Churches are becoming political organizations…     It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon theological questions; and when that day comes, if there are not liberals enough to hold the balance of power, this Government will be destroyed.  The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave.  All laws for the purpose of making man worship God, are born of the same spirit that kindled the fires of the auto da fe, and lovingly built the dungeons of the inquisition.  All laws defining and punishing blasphemy — making it a crime to give your honest ideas about the Bible, or to laugh at the ignorance of the  ancient Jews, or to enjoy yourself on the Sabbath, or to give your opinion of Jehovah, were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men.  An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures.    Robert Green Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses, Section III, “The Politicians,” in Works, Dresden Edition, Volume 2

Our civilization is not Christian.  It does not come from the skies.  It is not a result of “inspiration.”  it is the child of invention, of discovery, of applied knowledge — that is to say, of science.  When man becomes great and grand enough to admit that all have equal rights; when thought is untrammeled; when worship shall consist in doing useful things; when religion means the discharge of obligations to our fellow-men, then, and not until then, will the world be civilized.

Robert Green Ingersoll, “Reply To The Indianapolis Clergy” The Iconoclast, Indianapolis, Indiana (1882)

human experience

“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as some day, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”
J. D. Salinger 

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.  A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

not a bad life











I’m not thinking I’m going to meet my spiritual master until I leave this life.  I listen to the theories and observe the actions of others while I’m here.  The power of a strong faith or good karma seem to be as useful and real and tangent as scientific theories.   Jo

your beliefs



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