Friday, July 27, 2012

You Can Fool Some of The People…


You remember how that goes. About some of the time all of the time… etc...

I guess this was perhaps more applicable to a “before the Ethernet” times. Today, most anyone savvy enough to get unto, and manipulate, the social networking scene can actually fool most of the people most of the time. Or for a long enough time to suit his/her purposes.

This year is a prime example of these handlings. Of course… it is an election year. And this election has sort of become an important one for both parts; for the one side, already in power, they must show their standard bearer was not a total fluke or failure.

For the other side, it has become a crusade geared to show exactly that: the current White House occupant should have never been elected to begin with.  Regardless of which concept attracts your like button and, I suppose, your upcoming November vote, you will get these on a daily basis from now until Nov 4th.

There isn’t a moment when I open any one of a number of social networks, that I am not bombarded with the ubiquitous requests to like or dislike this or that. To let someone know –who will then have my computer address for further, more direct bombardments- whether I am or not in agreement with this or that super important issue… usually the most outrageous one that could be found and exaggerated to the max… With me, their time and effort is wasted. I have a rule of thumb which forbids my answering any of these nuisances.

But then, after we come one rung down from the White House… what gives? Recently, Charlie Reese, a long time (49 years qualify?) op-ed writer for the Orlando Sentinel in Florida, decided it was time to hang up the keyboard and retire. He wrote one last piece which he titled: “545 vs. 300,000,000 People”.

The gist of his column is that these 545 elected and/or appointed (as in the Supremes - the Court, that is) servants control the destiny and the daily lives of the other 300,000,000. They do not, once elected, necessarily continue to represent the interests of these constituents; my take is that those interests only come to be acknowledged during election years. Then they go on the shelves. Mr. Reese asks some questions which I will take the liberty to paraphrase and repeat here:

  • If both Dems and Reps are against inflation, high taxes and deficits… how come we have an increasing surplus of each of these?
  • We don’t propose or approve the Federal Budget; The President proposes and the House/Senate approves appropriations.
  • We don’t get to set fiscal policy or write the tax code; the Congress does.
  • The Federal Reserve controls monetary policy and I am sure that, often times, you and I are convinced we can do better.
  • Special interests and lobbyists don’t have legal authority or the ability to coerce. They may offer money but the elected officials have the power to accept or reject this. I guess this does not account for moral and ethical guidelines.
  • Both Dems and Reps Congress People spend a lot of money, energy and time to convince us that nothing is their fault; this is one of the very few true bipartisan endeavors that go on all the time. 
Mr. Reese, after expounding on these sad, but very true issues, goes on to say that he does not see one single domestic problem that cannot be traced directly back to these 545 people. They stand convicted as guilty of sheer ineptitude, incompetence and irresponsibility. What we have and live with is what they wish us to have and live with. They must be held accountable for the state of the Union because they are responsible for this. And of our declining lifestyles. While theirs improves in all aspects, including a special retirement program which will give them more that you or I will ever see; guaranteed.

I will pose this question to you: If you owned a business, and a group of employees were constantly underperforming, what would you, as manager/owner, do?  I know what I would do… Fire the lot!!

Well, these 545 elected characters (including the top guy) ARE our employees. We put them there; we can take them right out, assuming we have the courage to do so.

Up to you… This is an election year, remember?

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Full Speed… Ahem?


Must be a scary feeling… especially when the waters are a bit rough, as life’s waters are wont to be every so often.

Every morning we are up at a certain time –depending on the day’s doings- and, as we begin to go through a set of non-thinking established motions, our minds become preoccupied with the events we hope will unfold during the course of the morning and afternoon hours. And I guess the key word in this reverie is “hope”.

This is like watching a little “screen shorts tag” of events to come in our own little preview; and that screen is basically our mind’s eye. We know (truer: “we think we know”) what a certain meeting will produce, what those events programmed should develop, and what are the results that should be seen by the end of the day; whether on the personal or the professional plane.

I think of every new day as uncharted sailing. Yes, I know… not much new usually brightens our moments but the possibility is always there for it to indeed happen. And when it does, it will often wreak havoc with the established order we thought we had. My somewhat lackadaisical point of view is not shared by many and especially not, by the person with whom I share my life.

I was speaking with a young friend (well… anyone under the age of 45 is, to me at least, a “young” friend) a couple of days ago. She seemed to be under a lot of pressure at work as well as at home (sounds familiar?) and needed to vent off… for a while she did and I listened. Then I went ahead and, because she requested this, gave her some advice.

Now, I do not consider myself to be Uncle Blabby the Confessor; however, after seeing what advice –if these diatribes can be called so- is given out to unsuspecting people in many "reality" shows, I figure I would do no worse. It is impossible. No you gossip mongers, I will not go into the details because they are not mine to share, but we did talk quite a bit and this individual seemed to be not the worse for wear; in fact, the first smile of the afternoon actually came through and lit up her face, just before she thanked me for the time given, just before we parted company.

Most people in my position might have shunned this particular exchange, for most people don’t want to hear about problems that belong to others. You probably read this and are saying to yourself… “yeah, right!” But I guess I am not most people (for which little bit of individuality that may yet remain, I am grateful) and, by taking this time and diverting it to this purpose, much more was accomplished for the short and the medium run.  Is this what might be called “going with it?” If it is, then “going with it” has some value going for it. A bit of difference was made, perhaps more for the other person than for me; no matter. A tired, angry face was made to smile and that, in of itself, is a definite gain.

Indeed, as already expounded in a few of these entries, we often make the mistake of barreling ahead, of simply gathering steam and allowing our “boat” to pick up speed without taking the time to enjoy the ride and often without taking the time to make sure the all important rudder is still attached. In stopping to listen to others, that “virtual” rudder often gets strengthened or even reattached to the end of our own tiller’s ropes, and many of our life issues become a little easier to navigate.

Don’t be afraid to invest in listening and in enjoying time spent with others. The happiest people I have met along the way have been those who are open and willing to share themselves with others; allowing those others to share their own in return. They who are not afraid to “waste” their time in enjoying the road being traveled, even when this may not have taken them to exactly where they might have preferred to be.

Take care and do enjoy your day… allow it to, once in a while, take you where it may… and enjoy the surprise!!

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

From Wally’s Pond… with Cheíto…


It had been a while since my friend Cheito called me…

-“Oye chico…” …”Juat’s dis Gually Pond ju talk about?”

-“Hi Cheito…”  “Had not heard from you in a long time…” “What’s going on?”

Cheito, for those of you who may not know, is a dear, dear friend –more like family- who lives in Hialeah with his wife, his princesa and his mother in law. He came from Cuba some years ago and has tried very hard to get into the mainstream of the American life, albeit within the confines of his Spanish milieu. It is almost a different world over there; a mosaic of people from several Latin American countries, predominantly Cuban, who have created their own Latin-USA lifestyle. For those of us who have lived in the US for some time and who are, I guess, more from here than from there, it is like stepping into a time and space capsule every time we visit this little piece of country.

And this is where Cheito and his family have chosen to live. For the older members of the family, it is an easier entry process into a very different life and culture. Their changeover is cushioned by being able to continue to live within a very similar cultural ambiance to the one from which they came; for the children, it is an easier stepping stone into the new world. If we look closely, we will find evidence of this in many cities… the “Little Italies”… the Chinatowns, Germantowns, the Irish neighborhoods, the Indian Neighborhoods… and so on. Each migrant society tries desperately to hang on to their historical and cultural values while adapting to the new ones. And from these small neighborhoods have come great minds who have truly added to our society’s values and growth.

So, when Cheito came to these shores, it was almost natural that he would end up in Hialeah, the heart-city of the working class Cuban community and close to Miami, where the rest of the “with it” Latin migration has come to roost.  

-“Yea man”…  “ so juat is Gually Pond?... “I din’t knoe ju had a contri  jaus”

-“Well, Cheito… Wally’s Pond is not a real place… It’s a mind place where I can go and think”

-“Juat ju mean?” … “We caint com and visit?” … “Ju holdin’ out?”

I knew it wouldn’t be easy to explain to Cheito…

-“Well, actually… It’s not a real place Cheito…”… -“you know that wherever I am you and Cachita and princesa are more than welcome!!”

This mollified him somewhat, and I proceeded to try and explain how sometimes the stress of everyday life became heavy and how I had come up with this virtual place to go to and relax, to think and to dream… Told him just what an important personal place it had become…

-“Lemme see if I unn’erstan” he said… 

after a few seconds of reflection, he came back to me and said:

-“ Ju get tierd and wanna get away… sooo, you mentally giv’ up reelity an’ jus’ go crazy man… jus give up your min’ and go to this plays that not a plays reely and make up a worl’ that not a worl’ reely?”

What could I say to that simple logic?

–“You got it Cheito…”…  “That’s about it”

-“WOW!!!... Thas a trip man!!” “An’ ju can make it up anytaim?”

-“Yes, I can”

He was silent for a while, like trying to encompass this thought of going “out of my mind” in order to be able to sustain its functionality.

-“Ju knoe… mebbe ju ken tiich me sometime hao to do dis my fren’… I dunno… la calle está dura por acá (literally: The streets are harsh over here) an’ I’n goin’ crazy with Felicita an’ Cachita and my suegra… sumtimes I’n no sure I can pay all the bills, ju knoe… an I dunno what to do” … “mebbe I hav a plays to me only… but I hav to call it the orillas of Canal Hialeah (The Shores of Hialeah Canal) cuz thas all I knoe over heer... and if I sit to close mebbe the gators will get to me…”

As Cheito was mumbling on about having his own place to get away, I wondered just how he would manage to do this, in the middle of a world that was so basically different than mine; a world that perhaps would not allow for something like this to be done.  I felt bad for him; he works hard at any possibility of making some money to feed his family… He needs some relief and I don’t know how to help him get it.

Sometimes I don’t really know how to give it to myself… even at Wally’s Pond…

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Can’t Believe You Were the Fastest…!


We humans are an amalgam of characters… some might even say we represent the “flotsam and Jetsam” of the unknown zygotic universe.

Harsh thought? Maybe… then again, maybe not. Perhaps today I am being influenced by a bad flu aftermath; my head not wanting to accept much in the way of explanations or of softening elements to what I see and feel.

Earlier today, still feeling a bit sorry for myself and my own personal health state, I was lying down (seems I have done a lot of this lately) and watching one of my favorite channels: Discovery Channel. The show was about some of the tribal civilizations which still inhabit the Nile River Valley, as well as other parts of the desert in Egypt. My attention was fixed totally on this story. Customs and habits which form a culture that has withstood the test of time and which still, other than the occasional motor vehicle, goes on as it has for millennia.  Truly fascinating viewing and learning.

As one sees this unfold, albeit in a documentary, there are moments of sheer lack of understanding… Oh My God! They are still living in the 7th century… how poor!... how miserable must they be!... imagine… no cars, no air conditioned comfort, no supermarkets, no FaceBook, no Twitter, no…. whatever… Then, little by little, it begins to dawn on this viewer that they don’t miss any of these wonders of modern living. They go on in their universe, living, eating, working and, in general, carrying on with a lot less stress than we carry on within our own universe.

I started to mentally compare the lifestyles of each universe. On the one hand, the one I have come to know and –at times- grudgingly accept. On the other hand, a universe lacking in the aforementioned comforts and modern conveniences, but which provides its denizens with a reliable day to day living, low stress factor, and where family life still is the center of each nuclear grouping.  Who gives up more?

We give up a degree of individuality and privacy; we give up the ability to survive without the constant humming of the electric power grids, the sounds of the car engines which announce they are ready to carry us from here to there and back. We become used to ingesting chemicals which are needed to have the food we buy look good after too long a time since harvest or gathering or, in the case of animals, their butchering. And in doing this, we harbor new and ever more impacting illnesses.

We give up part of our inner core of who we are, so that this can be shared –whether we wish it to be or not- with others within that other universe of our creation, the virtual one. Along with these, we may also be giving up the right to shape our future, since decisions which are incumbent to this are often taken by others and we get to know them after the fact(s).

On the other hand… what do these folk and other groups around the world who have managed to hold on to their ways and who go on with their traditional lifestyle give up? … Well… all of the above complications. Yes, they give up some creature comforts and being part of an ever faster universe of changing cultures but, have you considered that they may not want to be a part of these changes? That their way of life just suits them fine and that “our” way would just not make it with them?

We, as “good Samaritans” insist their ways are long gone and obsolete. That they will not hold up to the new world… that we should do our utmost to bring them into –albeit kicking and complaining- our way of life. Sometimes I wonder if this is a desire born of true good “samaritanism” or of plain envy when we see them go on with their simple lives without the need for all those accoutrements of our modern world like attorneys, cell phones, computer tablets, psychiatrists, and the like… I say let them be and let us try to fix our own issues, without dumping them unto others who are doing just fine, thank you.

As an almost Non-Sequitur… We have enough problems with which to deal right in our own backyard. In our society, we come across some members whose existence’s value could come into question. I know, we are all part of this human kaleidoscope but, every once in a while we are put face to face with some examples which bring to the fore a deep questioning of the concept of human evolution. Yes, these specimens are also people and I guess needed in the overall scheme (for some yet unfathomable reason) but these extreme examples truly do not add much to society at large, except an additional load which the rest of us have to share. And no, I do not refer to those who are physically handicapped or have proven learning disabilities. These last two groups, when given a chance, often perform well beyond expectations.

Are these misfits the result of a society which has little time for those who do not conform to its core beliefs or structures? Perhaps… Are they the result of an unplanned detour by a better spermatozoid, allowing a not so good “cousin” to get ahead in the race to fertilization? Maybe…

The point is, when I come face to face with one such fellow human, the obligated question is… “are you sure your ‘zoid was the fastest one, or did it cheat?”

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In The Midst of Plenty…


There is always the unquenchable thirst for more…

As it is wont to be, the title above is but a mere suggestion of what can eventually, possibly, find its way to this post. Or not. That’s right… one more time when, as I sit at the computer, the mind goes blank and the spirit sags a bit.

In more than one past entry, the concept of the paranormal –in one way or another- has been touched on. You know by now that I was brought up within the concept of spiritualism which, as far as we knew back then and in that world, went hand in hand with Catholicism. Well… doesn’t it?... You say no to this?? Then you have not been brought up in an island in the middle of the Caribbean, surrounded by folk who are umpteenth generation Africans, Spaniards, etc… all very susceptible to these airs. And very much proponents of the spiritual realm… on this earthly plane, of course!

Last night I went to bed, as I usually do, after 11pm. Despite the fact that today my get up time was 6am. Usually, my sleep time lasts for some 5-6 hours, interrupted once or twice by the need to visit the cabin in the backyard. Normally, I am able to sleep soundly and get back to those awaiting Morphean (Morpheusian?) arms but last night, try as I may, getting back to sleep was not an easy task. It was downright difficult. Furthermore, whenever I was able to actually snatch a stretch of sleep, there was a dream with a recurrent theme: my son.

My nights and sleeps are not given to dreaming interludes or sequences. Rarely do I remember a dream other than those which are impacting enough to be vividly reviewed, as if being projected on a screen hanging right in front of my forehead. These few and vivid dreams are not usually pleasant in content or development. Yet, this morning I could only think of my son and about the dream sequences which crowded my sleep last night. All pleasant, all featuring an Eric who was enjoying whatever it was he was doing at the time and sharing it with those around him, myself included.

As I was trying to figure out what this might mean (no, not looking at the cards for this…) in a somewhat logical manner, I happened to glance at the phone face and then it hit me… today is the anniversary of his death. There is a picture of him on my night dresser, next to my head. Often I will say good night and/or good morning and I love you to his likeness and perhaps hoping this will be heard somewhere, somewhen… wherever he may be… wherever his spirit is pursuing what it is spirits do pursue, once they are free of their corporeal cages.

I have to say that all that my grandfather taught me regarding the spiritual world came back in a hurry… there had been no reason for the dreams, the uneasiness, the almost anxious feelings that held me throughout the night. Was there a message somewhere in this? I don’t know. Perhaps.  Perhaps the images of a happy Eric are a feeding of my own thoughts about him; perhaps the smiling and the sharing of this happiness that came through, almost as a conceptual construct, are just trying to say “I’m OK” “and I want you to know”…

Too much? ... Who is to say so?

We pass on as our bodies wither and die. Often, against the natural order of things, much too early… much too soon… as certainly was the case with Eric. Those of us who are left behind will have the choice of acceptance or of belligerent reaction. If we believe in a Higher being, then we will accept and even rejoice in the fact that what was a tormented spirit here on earth, may well be OK and at peace now.  That, in itself, is a welcome idea. To think or want the contrary would only be an expression of selfishness… “I want you to be here regardless of how you fare…” If we truly love, we can’t do this; can’t think this way.

Enjoy your loved ones, time moves faster than you may think and takes its own toll and payment whenever and wherever it may wish to do so. It doesn’t usually hang a banner to let us know that our allotment is coming to an end. Enjoy the road while you try and get to the desired goals; but always love, cherish and enjoy those who walk along these roads with you.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.

Friday, July 13, 2012

More from the Shores of Wally’s Pond…


It’s really quiet here, sitting among the trees and flowers that surround this tranquil oasis; the water clear and fresh lapping at my feet and… in doing so, helping to clear my mind.

Yes, I know; that very mind which is being cleansed and refreshed is the creator of this beautiful spot… perhaps a sign of these troubled times when we have little access to peace and to privacy. We have to retreat to our inner spaces in order to be able to deal with the outer spaces. In this behavior, the oriental cultures have it over us. For many generations their training, in the cultural as well as in the spiritual planes, have taught them to create these serene spots inside, for those outside are full of the many negative influences found all around us.

For some reason, ever since I can remember, I have truly admired this particular trait or characteristic; this ability to remain calm (at least on the surface) in the face of adversities. Some years ago, as the result of my work related travel, the opportunity to visit and spend time in some of these far eastern countries presented itself and, when visiting and sharing off work time with several folk over there, my beliefs were more strengthened than weakened.

In many conversations over tea, coffee, sake, beer or whisky (depending on where, when and with whom) were such things as culture, beliefs and ideas talked about and discussed. It was never an “us vs. them” issue but, rather, an exploration into each other’s worlds. Fascinating stuff!! I came to find that, in the end, we are all truly the same under all our differences and veneers; human beings have one item in common which, when allowed to do its thing, will become the catalyst to understanding and acceptance: the mind.


If you are a reader of these blogs, you will know that I was basically raised by my grandfather; an avowed life long mason functioning in a decidedly catholic environment. In fact, I came to find out later in life that the one condition my great-grandfather (whom I never met) placed on the table in order to allow his daughter (my blessed grandmother!) to marry this “heathen”, was that all future generations and/or genealogical iterations would have to be raised within the catholic religion. He agreed, for he loved that young, beautiful lady. And to the end, he was true to his word; his three daughters were so raised and so were all the grandchildren, starting with yours truly, the oldest.

Yet, because I was living in his household, I was also the recipient of his own ideas, his questions, his thoughts and his outlook in and on life. Due to this exposure a subtle, yet enduring process of acceptance and questioning (yes, these can go together) became a part of my life. While I learned to question all around me, I also learned to respect differences and to understand that we all have the same right to be wrong. As an old friend used to say “your rights end where mine begin… and vice-versa” …

How True!!... And also true how often this reality tends to be ignored.

As we get older, we tend to entrench into our set ways; I cannot say my own mind is free of this unnerving trait. This is a constant struggle that must be maintained: the  one triggered by a message from myself, that what I know is but a smidgeon of what might be and that there is only one unavoidable truth, at least for me: the older I get and the more I get to know, the more I get to realize how little I really know.

It is at these moments when my mind goes on a short sabbatical and hides in places like the shores of Wally’s Pond… there to think, to try to absorb and understand whatever it is that so irritated, motivated or piqued it; can’t say the results are always pleasant, but at least the process helps in having a slightly better understanding of my own foibles and potential strengths.

This then allows me to share of myself a little more or a little better; sometimes this sharing is misunderstood by others because it expresses itself as a perceived distancing. A temporal distancing which is meant to allow the other party(ies) the space to reflect and come to his/her/their own conclusions about the issue(s) at hand and its or their impact on each one. All I can then do is hope these conclusions will direct them into a general area which will allow then a closer relationship. Doesn’t always work…

The mind is unique and it will reveal much to each of us, if given a chance to honestly do so. Take care and develop it as much as you can; it is the only weapon in your personal arsenal which will stand by you to the end…

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Celebration.


Two days ago-on the Fourth of July- we celebrated one more anniversary of the birth of a nation; in this case, it happened to be the United States of America.

Each nation represents, in principle, the aggregate lifestyle of the people who inhabit it. It also represents the wishes of those who created the original charter,  their previsions, thoughts and, often, their dreams for a better future.

Fifty years ago, when I first came to this country, I was introduced to many of those dreams, the ones which talk about liberty and the pursuit of happiness; about being able to  think, to hope, to look forward to the future. To have the right to think and to then be able to express those thoughts without fearing any reprisal, from any quarter.

Having then just arrived from a country where all those concepts had been eradicated by a very dictatorial government, and where I had lived already for some time under the threat of punishments (in fact, as a 14 year old I was jailed for such an implied charge)for speaking out on any subject not of the liking of said controlling entity, the idea of once again being free to think and to speak out, to express those thoughts loudly and to pursue whatever I chose to pursue was, well… incredibly welcome.

It took, as it usually does for anyone coming to live here from a not so free country, some time to get mentally reacquainted with this grand idea… “Hey… look at me… I AM!!” what’s more… “Listen to me… I can think and I can talk!!” For many who come here as adults, the change and the adaptation are not so easy. It is not the same to accept a new culture and a new way of life as a child or as a young adult, as it is for an adult to do so. For the adult, a lifetime of cultural baggage has to be re-examined, sorted out and those that no longer fit the new profile, have to be eliminated. This can be a long and not so painless process.

If a person comes from a traditional environment, he or she will find that society and rules of family here are more relaxed than in the old country. Young are (as well they should be) taught and encouraged to think and to express themselves. Not so in many of the older, more traditional societal structures. There, young people are taught to listen quietly, to speak only when spoken to and to do as they are told. This is only of the areas where the new and the old will cause familial chasms… there are many others.

This nation was founded by a group of free thinkers, who themselves were somewhat different from the rest of the pack. Were they free of sin? Of course not. We had some greedy landowners, some slave masters and others who would probably not be considered to be paragons of personal virtue. Yet, when together, they created a beautiful dream, something which the then modern world had not quite witnessed since the times of classical Greece… a nation built on the hopes of the people and for the people.  A budding democracy, where the rule of King had held sway.

Along with this concept comes an incredible responsibility. We, The People, are responsible for the well being of this system; we are the stewards of the dream. Regardless of what my thoughts and inclinations are, it is my responsibility to defend the system, to uphold what it stands for and to make sure that those who would destroy it, cannot attain their goal.

A nation grows on a notion… a notion that tells us we all have to stand alike on its behalf. Regardless of creed, race or origin or sex. If we have chosen to live here and to partake of the bounty this country gives us (yes, even in needy times, this bounty is greater than that which most other countries may afford to offer) then use it, but don’t abuse it. Take advantage of what is available without forgetting there are others who also need of the same goods. To learn to take what we need, not what we want. Then contribute to the overall wealth through the fruits of your labor.

Indeed, let’s celebrate the anniversary of the birth of a country which continues to grow. Which continues to amaze those who often foretold of its doom to failure… mistakes have been made and will be made but we have come to understand that it is the system which is important. The system which allows us to continue to grow, to continue to dream, to continue to hope that our children and grandchildren will have a safe and secure place in which to grow.

Love it; learn to understand it, learn to defend what it stands for, even when there may not be total agreement with circumstances. When we can learn to do this, then we will have earned the right to be here.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.

Monday, July 2, 2012

On Wally's Pond... continued


I get "chain" mails, like most of you do, in a nauseating amount... Sometimes, however, one comes along which makes me wonder if we are all looking the other way while the rug is being pulled from under us. Most of the content of this post is one such mail, slightly edited to make it reasonably "clean"... the comments at the end are yours truly... 

Wal-Mart vs. The Fools (no… not those... the OTHER, the official fools…) 
 -Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
 -Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) of any given year  than Target sells all year.
-Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
-Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private employer, and most do speak English.
-Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
-Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.
-During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
-Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
-Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.
-This year 7.2 billion different purchasing transactions will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
-12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.

You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the run down economy of our country. 

This must be read and understood by all Americans… Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!! It is not an issue of partisan allegiance as usual; it is a matter of the people’s well being… you, me and especially... our children...

To the White House’s Current Occupant and to all 535 members of the Legislature:   
It is now official that the absolute majority of you have (or have had) no idea as to how to run a business (AND GOVERNMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYONE MAY SAY TO THE CONTRARY, IS A BUSINESS):
a.. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775.  You have had 237 years to get it right and it is broke.
b.. Social Security was established in 1935.  You have had 77 years to get it right and it is broke. 
c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
d.. War on Poverty started in 1964. 
 You have had 48 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor"... they only want more, and their numbers grow...
e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. 
 You have had 47 years to get it right and they are both broke; few doctors want to honor them… they don’t trust you to pay the right amount or on time.
f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970.
 You have had 42 years to get it right and it is broke.
g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.
 It has ballooned, under the current “CZAR” to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before.  You had 35 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.

AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED
WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM?? 

What’s more…
·        We have lost our minds to "Political Correctness", whatever that may be. Far too many folks can't seem to structure a sentence without apologizing in advance because it might offend someone's particular perceptions...
·        Someone please tell me what in the world is wrong with all the people that run this country!!!!  We are "broke" & can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless, sick citizens, etc…
·        In the course of a few months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey among others.  And now Pakistan … previous home of Bin Laden; literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!
·        Our retired seniors living on a low 'fixed income' receive no aid nor do they get any breaks… other than the 5% discounts on Thursdays, in some of the larger supermarket and restaurants chains…

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: a First World Nation where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, many elderly and incapacitated people going without 'needed' meds, and mentally ill without treatment – and the list grows…

Imagine if “our” GOVERNMENT gave 'US' the same support they give to other countries… Sad isn't it?

Comments (editorial, I guess...)
We often make fun, or complaint, about Wal-Mart and their gargantuan appetite for business and for running the competition into the ground. While this is all too true, we have to also accept that they know their market(s) to a "T", show a constant profit and can organize what needs to be structured in order to do so.

Think about it… contrary to what many may say, running the government is akin to running the largest business center of any given country. At least some of the basic business rules should apply, including the one which states that: “if you cannot do your job… I’ll (we, the voters, in this case) get someone else who can do so.”

Along with this, we should, as paying citizens, demand that all elected officials be subject to the very same laws and rules EVERY CITIZEN has to observe and obey… Serving in an elected capacity should not entitle someone to circumvent those laws the rest of us must abide by. Including reasonable retirement vesting (not immediate), legal immunity, and the payment of income taxes.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar. 

Veterans Day

The working title for a space that should’ve been filled some time ago was “The Power of Words”. Although that “some time” seemed to be cont...