1st & 4th Ammendment + Flying

The 4th ammendment to the US Constitution states:

 “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probably cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”

I cannot understand how randomly selecting airline passengers to either be virtually stripped or molested for our perceived security is not a violation of our 4th ammendment rights and in some cases our 1st ammendment rights. I for one believe that no one should know the shape of my body but my husband, least of all a complete stranger.

As someone who works in the risk management field, I can tell you this control does little to deter a terrorist. A control is only as good as your ability to enforce it which is why the TSA “enhanced” their pat downs to include groping, molesting and even sticking their hands in people’s pants. This is government bullying plain and simple. They enhanced the pat downs and made them more intrusive in order to force people to prefer to go through the stripping machines.

First of all a terrorist with an underwear bomb would have to be selected in order to go through the extra screening in the first place. Secondly, if he were selected for extra screening, he would just decline both the body scan and the “enhanced pat down” just like that John Tyner guy did. Do you really think a threat of a $10,000 fine would be a deterrent for a terroist? No, it would not. And so far in this country you cannot be illegally detained. Not wanting to be virtually stripped or molested is not probable cause to detain someone so they have to let them go.

 I would like to see the stats on your chances of being a victim of a terrorist attack compared to being struck by lightening. If your chances of being struck by lightening is higher should you dress in all rubber every time you leave your house? I would also like to compare the stats of being a victim of a terrorist attack to the chances of being a victim of sexual assualt.  I guarantee your chances of being sexually assualted is higher if you are a frequent flyer.

There is no way I am going to let a stranger feel me up, stick their hands in my pants OR see me naked. It is not going to happen and it shouldn’t. If you have to question whether an activity is appropriate for a child, then it probably is not appropriate for anyone! Buying a plane ticket is not reasonable cause to violate your 4th ammendment rights.

When innocent Americans are being stripped and molested in the name of security, the terrorists have won!  What amazes me most about this is that some people are ok with waiving their right to privacy and modesty. To those people, I ask you this: If you are willing to give up privacy and modesty for perceived security, what do you have left?

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I’ve been having trouble with a certain boy and truthfulness.  I think I will require him to memorize this poem as I did when I was a child.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

An Aesop fable adapted by Louis Untermeyer

A boy employed to guard the sheep
Despised his work. He liked to sleep.
And when a lamb was lost he’d shout
“Wolf! Wolf! The wolves are all about.”

The neighbors searched from noon ‘til nine
But of the beast there was no sign
Yet “Wolf!” cried the boy the next morning when
The villagers came out again.

One Evening around 6 o’ clock,
A real wolf fell upon the flock.
“Wolf!” cried the boy.” A wolf indeed.”
But no one paid him any heed.

Although he screamed to wake the dead,
“He’s fooled us every time.” They said.
And let the hungry wolf enjoy
His feast of mutton, lamb and boy.

The moral is this:
A man who is wise,
Does not defend himself with lies.
Liars are not believed forsooth,
Even when liars tell the truth.

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Education in America

A friend sent me a link to this speech and I think this young lady expresses with great wisdom in her Valedictorian speech, what we all feel about the education system in America.

Here I Stand
Erica Goldson

There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, “If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, “Ten years . .” 
The student then said, “But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast — How long then?” Replied the Master, “Well, twenty years.” “But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?” asked the student. “Thirty years,” replied the Master. “But, I do not understand,” said the disappointed student. “At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?” 
Replied the Master, “When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path.”

This is the dilemma I’ve faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn’t you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.

I am now accomplishing that goal. I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave. I did what I was told to the extreme. While others sat in class and doodled to later become great artists, I sat in class to take notes and become a great test-taker. While others would come to class without their homework done because they were reading about an interest of theirs, I never missed an assignment. While others were creating music and writing lyrics, I decided to do extra credit, even though I never needed it. So, I wonder, why did I even want this position? Sure, I earned it, but what will come of it? When I leave educational institutionalism, will I be successful or forever lost? I have no clue about what I want to do with my life; I have no interests because I saw every subject of study as work, and I excelled at every subject just for the purpose of excelling, not learning. And quite frankly, now I’m scared.

John Taylor Gatto, a retired school teacher and activist critical of compulsory schooling, asserts, “We could encourage the best qualities of youthfulness – curiosity, adventure, resilience, the capacity for surprising insight simply by being more flexible about time, texts, and tests, by introducing kids into truly competent adults, and by giving each student what autonomy he or she needs in order to take a risk every now and then. But we don’t do that.” Between these cinderblock walls, we are all expected to be the same. We are trained to ace every standardized test, and those who deviate and see light through a different lens are worthless to the scheme of public education, and therefore viewed with contempt.

H. L. Mencken wrote in The American Mercury for April 1924 that the aim of public education is not

    • to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. … Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim … is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States. (Gatto)

To illustrate this idea, doesn’t it perturb you to learn about the idea of “critical thinking.” Is there really such a thing as “uncritically thinking?” To think is to process information in order to form an opinion. But if we are not critical when processing this information, are we really thinking? Or are we mindlessly accepting other opinions as truth?

This was happening to me, and if it wasn’t for the rare occurrence of an avant-garde tenth grade English teacher, Donna Bryan, who allowed me to open my mind and ask questions before accepting textbook doctrine, I would have been doomed. I am now enlightened, but my mind still feels disabled. I must retrain myself and constantly remember how insane this ostensibly sane place really is.

And now here I am in a world guided by fear, a world suppressing the uniqueness that lies inside each of us, a world where we can either acquiesce to the inhuman nonsense of corporatism and materialism or insist on change. We are not enlivened by an educational system that clandestinely sets us up for jobs that could be automated, for work that need not be done, for enslavement without fervency for meaningful achievement. We have no choices in life when money is our motivational force. Our motivational force ought to be passion, but this is lost from the moment we step into a system that trains us, rather than inspires us.

We are more than robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school. We are all very special, every human on this planet is so special, so aren’t we all deserving of something better, of using our minds for innovation, rather than memorization, for creativity, rather than futile activity, for rumination rather than stagnation? We are not here to get a degree, to then get a job, so we can consume industry-approved placation after placation. There is more, and more still.

The saddest part is that the majority of students don’t have the opportunity to reflect as I did. The majority of students are put through the same brainwashing techniques in order to create a complacent labor force working in the interests of large corporations and secretive government, and worst of all, they are completely unaware of it. I will never be able to turn back these 18 years. I can’t run away to another country with an education system meant to enlighten rather than condition. This part of my life is over, and I want to make sure that no other child will have his or her potential suppressed by powers meant to exploit and control. We are human beings. We are thinkers, dreamers, explorers, artists, writers, engineers. We are anything we want to be – but only if we have an educational system that supports us rather than holds us down. A tree can grow, but only if its roots are given a healthy foundation.

For those of you out there that must continue to sit in desks and yield to the authoritarian ideologies of instructors, do not be disheartened. You still have the opportunity to stand up, ask questions, be critical, and create your own perspective. Demand a setting that will provide you with intellectual capabilities that allow you to expand your mind instead of directing it. Demand that you be interested in class. Demand that the excuse, “You have to learn this for the test” is not good enough for you. Education is an excellent tool, if used properly, but focus more on learning rather than getting good grades.

For those of you that work within the system that I am condemning, I do not mean to insult; I intend to motivate. You have the power to change the incompetencies of this system. I know that you did not become a teacher or administrator to see your students bored. You cannot accept the authority of the governing bodies that tell you what to teach, how to teach it, and that you will be punished if you do not comply. Our potential is at stake.

For those of you that are now leaving this establishment, I say, do not forget what went on in these classrooms. Do not abandon those that come after you. We are the new future and we are not going to let tradition stand. We will break down the walls of corruption to let a garden of knowledge grow throughout America. Once educated properly, we will have the power to do anything, and best of all, we will only use that power for good, for we will be cultivated and wise. We will not accept anything at face value. We will ask questions, and we will demand truth.

So, here I stand. I am not standing here as valedictorian by myself. I was molded by my environment, by all of my peers who are sitting here watching me. I couldn’t have accomplished this without all of you. It was all of you who truly made me the person I am today. It was all of you who were my competition, yet my backbone. In that way, we are all valedictorians.

I am now supposed to say farewell to this institution, those who maintain it, and those who stand with me and behind me, but I hope this farewell is more of a “see you later” when we are all working together to rear a pedagogic movement. But first, let’s go get those pieces of paper that tell us that we’re smart enough to do so!

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Turn of Events…

*warning this is a rant*

Why is it that the harder you try to have a relationship with difficult members of the family, the more frustrated you become. I know all families have their black sheep but I am beginning to think my entire family is just odd, or maybe I am the odd one for wanting to have a relationship with them. Either way this past week has been one of the  most difficult of my life. A year ago tomorrow someone very important to me died. It was actually at this time I realized I could not depend on my family members for any kind of emotional support. Death of a loved one certainly does not bring out the best in people. Yes, I realize we were all grieving, but do you have to take that as an opportunity to flaunt your dislike for certain family members? Although, I was not directly impacted by other people’s immaturity, I was hurt to see others treat each other badly. I decided at that point I needed to step back and reassess the situation.

In the past year, I have removed myself completely from the extended family. It has become apparent over this past week I have not removed myself far enough. There really is only one person in my family that has always been there for me no matter what, and she died last year.

Where does this leave me? dazed and confused. I know I should love others where they are, not where I want them to be but right now it really feels impossible. What can I do? Nothing, except pray for them. Pray for them to wake up some day from their insanity because until then I cannot see me having a relationship with any of them at all.

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More on RL

Since I know at least a couple of people are still reading this blog, I thought I would post an update. My last post was not that long ago so there is not much new to add. We are currently looking to join a camping club not too far from where we live. If we do, we will likely be camping nearly every weekend  until it starts getting cold again.  Obviously, our plans for the upcoming holiday involves camping and maybe a talent show contest. Most importantly lots of swimming.

On to a more serious topic…I was recently asked why I did not feel serving God was compatible with SL or BDSM. First to address SL, it is not that I feel SL is evil, but it certainly can be a huge waste of time. I do not feel socializing via whatever means is wrong but for me it was a matter of balancing SL and RL. I failed miserably. I tired many times to make it work, to try to restrict my online time. It just never worked. In addition to giving up SL, I have pretty much quit watching TV as well. There are some good programs but for the most part it just numbs the brain. I don’t want to have a numb brain. I want to experience life…real life to it’s fullest.

The next topic is BDSM and God. I have to be 100% honest here. I am still working through this in my own mind. This paragraph as it is written now may or may not make sense or still be true one month from now so bear with me if I flip now and flop later.  I believe you are either of the world or a servant of God. There is no luke warm.  You cannot love the things of the world AND be separated out to serve God. For me I cannot reconcile serving someone of this earth AND serving God. It cannot be done. Even my husband and child must come after service to God. I am not saying that is always true of me because to be quite honest I fail most of the time. I am human. I can only be restored through the grace of God. The only thing that can erase what I have done is the blood of Jesus Christ. I hope I do not sound preachy or self-righteous because believe me when I say, I am the last one who would tell anyone else what they should or should not do. I am just trying to explain what I believe and why. I will end this with what God says in Mathew 6 verse 24. It is actually talking about serving God or money but it can be applied to other relationships as well. “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Where you spend your time and your money is where your heart lies.

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Update on RL

 In case anyone is still following this blog, I thought I should write an update. Time has flown since I last posted anything here. A lot of things have changed in a short period of time and I am far happier than I even thought possible. I am enjoying spending time with my family and look forward to spending even more time with them. We recently made a large purchase that will help us get away from the rest of the world and just spend time together (at least on weekends). You guessed it. We bought a motor home. We are super excited about taking it out and I will post more about our adventures later.

School is out now…well has been for a few weeks, and my son had his piano recital. He did awesome as I knew he would. (Yes, I am going to brag). He played Rondo Alla Turca by Mozart.  To give you some idea of the difficulty level of this piece, the instructor places the students in order in the recital based upon the difficulty of the pieces they are playing.  He had three adults in front of him and one behind him. I doubt there were any parents prouder than me.

Last but not least, I have been growing spiritually but do not feel I have seen the spiritual growth that I have desired. There is still something holding me back. I am not sure what it is, but when I figure it out I am certain I will blog about it.

Thanks for reading my blog. Hopefully, I will have more to post soon! XOXOXOXO

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Enter as strangers, leave as friends.

For all that my true friends have given me I felt it only proper to say thank you. You are so much more than “just SL friends.”

 DZ and Alex – I met you two when we were all noobs at the old Stonehaven and my SL was never the same after. DZ: my little gender-confused little buddy *wink.* Alex: my friend and anal retentive boss. I still can’t believe you FIRED me! Anyway, you both proved what true friendship is all about. I fear I failed to be as good of a friend to you two as you were to me. I aspire to be the kind of friend you are! Thank you so much for your friendship and 100% honesty at all times even when the truth was painful to hear. I will never forget you and I do hope you keep in touch. You both have my email address. XOXOXO

 Kendra/Juju – My dear sisters. I love you more than words can say. I honestly feel like you are my sisters and I hope it always remains that way. I miss you more than words can say. Juju: you are an honest sensitive soul and I love that about you even when we fought like..well..sisters. Kenny: I can’t even begin to tell you how much you mean to me. For reasons unknown to me you put yourself out there 100% and never held back even when I was a pain in the backside. I wish my RL sisters and me were as close as I feel you two are to me. I love you, forever My Sisters!

 Dei/Aimee/Becca – although I did not have the opportunity to get to know you guys better due to dreaded TZs, from what I do know of you, you are each unique and special and I know why Tania chose you. Dei, you are a puzzle that I loved trying to figure out. In the beginning I feared you would never let your wall down enough for me to get to know you, but you did. Thank you so much for trusting me and letting me get to know you better. The pleasure truly was mine. I love your playful spirit. And as much as it annoys you: I LOVE YOU DEI!!!

 Shae/Ang –  what can I say about the two best friends anyone could ever ask for. I will never forget the time in your garden, it was that day that our friendship was sealed. You couldn’t get rid of me if you tried. I know you two will keep in touch. You have been faithful friends always. I hope I can live up to your standard of friendship. You two truly are the best.

 Alexx – you sexy thing.  What can I say? I wish we had more time to get to know each other but alas it was not meant to be. You are one of the most stubborn yet intuitive, frustrating yet lovable, cunning and clever people I know. I will miss you dearly. I appreciate so much how you knew me from the beginning even before I kidnapped you. You listened when I didn’t think anyone could hear me. Thank you Alexx..er…Your Grace! I do wish you the best!

 Dio/Jen – You are two of my most loyal friends. Why I became so close to you, I will never truly understand. You guys are just wonderful and you make people want to be with you because you are always having fun.  Most importantly, you two bring peace because you live above the drama of SL.

 Joye – My RL friend turned SL friend. What can I say, we have plenty of years of friendship ahead of us. I wish we lived closer but alas. Sigh. We still have MSN. Just think I will have more time for MSN IM and Facebook now. Wink. See you there!

 JC/Nic – I cannot believe how much our friendship evolved and changed. I love your loyalty to one another. I love even more the way you stand up for what you think is right. Cling to each other tightly and never let go. I love you both very much. JC spank Nic daily for me, please! MUUUAHHHH!!!!

Tania/Yar/Yasmin – There really is nothing more that I can say than has already been said. I think  you all know what you mean to me. You have each touched my life in a special and different way. The things I have learned through my relationship with you, I will take into my real life (both the good and the bad).  I know that I will not take any friendships or relationships for granted ever again. Yar,  the things I have learned from my relationship with you, I will apply to my RL relationship with my spouse. Yasmin, the things I have learned from you I will apply to my RL family members who sometimes drive me nuts. 😉 Tania – you and I have had many discussions about submission and loyalty and complete and total power exchange.  I certainly would never put you on the same level as God but you taught me the true meaning of submission. Most importantly, you taught me about forgiveness and restoration.  I think you know why I cannot be there and here. It may be hard to accept, but know this, as much as you may hate the choice I have made, as much as it may hurt, deep down you know it is what is best for me and because you love me you want what is best for me. I honestly wish that what was best wasn’t always so painful or hard to accept.  Just know that I love you and will always hold you dear to my heart. No chance of me forgetting you, even if you don’t stay in touch. I love you, Your Softness!

***Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but you always know they are there.***

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