Saturday, September 21, 2019

Attendant Parking

"When I used to drive a truck for Sagebrush Interiors, which was located on the far opposite corner from here and where Iconoclast set down for a decade after that, there was a line of parking adjacent to the Community Library where you could legally parallel park ALL NIGHT, even in winter, because it was actually private property which extended into the road.

Anyhow, parking the work-truck there would upset some seasonal high-end condo owner who lived in the complex in the top portion of this photo. Twice he walked out angrily and asked / demanded we find a different spot for the truck because seeing it there tainted his view.

It's hard to say actually what the true cause of his peculiar anger was, but my work colleagues speculated it was because he had invested a large sum of money in his condo, and eventually had it dawn on himself that it was overvalued. And now he was desperately projecting this by nit-picking visual details.

The artwork painted on the truck-side, visible from his window view was a stand-out photo of a cowgirl amidst lasso action, and meticulously painted by local esteemed artist Katherine Sheldon. Ironically, when Sagebrush closed and sold that same truck to the Open Room, a fight ensued over the highly valued painting when another artisan removed it for the new logo.

But beholden in the eyes of the penthouse owner, the truck featuring this same Wild West themed masterpiece was so distasteful to his view that he ended up letting it bug him to the point that he became confrontational about it."

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Let's make certain to utilize the futuristic safety tools we already have

Final Draft:

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: JB
Date: Wed, Sep 18, 2019 at 6:22 PM
Subject: Opinion / Letter of Public Interest / Re-submission /  Let's make certain we're utilizing the futuristic safety tools we already have
To: <letters@pennlive.com>


Hello Editor,

I received a call from your office this afternoon to confirm this letter and I believe this new draft will show more strength and understanding. You have my permission to edit this as you see fit. Thank you for your consideration of publishing this. I will try to call your office in a short while to confirm this letter as well.
Best regards,
JB.

Let’s make certain to utilize the futuristic safety tools we already have

Dear Editor,
I’ve been living in Central PA for two years now, after relocating here from Idaho. Out West, I worked driving large trucks for 20 years, and also focused on aircraft safety at Horizon Air for six. In addition, I’ve been a frequent newspaper opinion contributor, sometimes writing with a strong emphasis on transportation safety issues. 


Now, as a disabled person, I’ve been working at a Work Skills Program since 2018, and am grateful for this type of productive work. From my house, I catch the bus to and from work, and though I’ve been impressed with every parameter of their excellent, efficient and friendly service for thousands of miles, a handful of times I’ve sensed danger that we can avoid better. 


The majority of my fellow bus passengers are also disabled and some don’t have much of a voice there, since their guardians or advocates are seldom aboard. Some may not have enough experience or the ability to notice every hazard, so I try to speak up for them and their equal rights for harmless environments.
 
My top concern for now is this:
 
While riding in a crowded Public bus in spring of 2018, the driver hit a long undivided two lane straightaway and sped up. Soon she was exceeding 80 mph in a posted 55 zone, and continued this rate steadily over our next 5 to 6 miles. I wish that my camera then would have been of enough high quality to zoom in to show this clearly.

A Mobile Logic Unit being assembled

Months later I experienced a synchronicity when work management trained me for a new task of assembling “Mobile Logic Units” for bus fleets. When I asked our bus drivers about the inner workings of these black-box-like devices, they told me that these recorders transpose and save tremendous amounts of data. For instance, in areas where commercial motorists exceed speed limits, the variegated maps are programmed to mark these spots, and indicate them with red flags.


I’m curious though if busy bus managers make time to address these warnings about bending or breaking speed laws. Because by many standards operating a commercial vehicle at 25 mph over the posted limit is consider reckless driving – and with a bus full of nearly voiceless disabled people to boot!  


Coupled with some previous driver-distracting concerns, to which bus management inadequately responded*, my intuition niggles at me rigorously that perhaps they do not. And if PennDOT has authority to conduct audits for such vital bus information, I suggest they investigate bus and other transportation services to detect if there’s a pattern of missed warning flags, After all, why would our tremendous public bus services invest in such expensive cutting-edge safety features if managers might be too busy to notice them, or even worse: willfully ignoring these?
Indeed, endangering already disabled passengers like my colleagues should be held as an uppermost consideration to be avoided at all costs. 

 Note to Editor: Last week I sent this suggestion to PennDOT in a similar message.  

Thank you,
JB

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Let's be certain to utilize the futuristic safety tools we already have



1st working draft





Dear Editor,



I have been living in Central Pennsylvania for two years now, after relocating here from Idaho.  Out West, I worked driving large trucks for 20 years, and also focused on aircraft safety at a busy Airline for six. In addition, I’ve been a frequent newspaper opinion contributor, sometimes writing with a strong emphasis on highway safety issues. 



Now, as a disabled person, I’ve been working at a Work Skills Program since 2018, and am grateful for this type of productive work. From my house, I catch the bus to and from work most days and have made some noteworthy observations along the way.  



The majority of my fellow bus passengers are also disabled and some don’t have much of a voice there, since their guardians or advocates are seldom aboard. I have noted some safety concerns, which fellow work colleagues rarely address (or perhaps simply don’t notice,) so I try to speak up for them and their equal rights for harmless environments. 


A top concern is this:  

One spring afternoon in 2018, while riding aboard a nearly-loaded public 12-passenger bus, the driver hit a long valley straightaway and sped up. Soon, on this undivided two-lane she started exceeding 80 mph in a posted 55 zone, and continued this rate steadily over our next 5 to 6 miles. I wish that my camera then would have been of enough high quality to zoom in to show this clearly. 

 Mobile Logic Unit assembly


Months later I experienced an interesting synchronicity when work management trained me for a new task of assembling “Mobile Logic Units” for bus fleets. When I asked our bus drivers about some of the inner workings of these black-box-like devices, they told me that these recorders transpose and save tremendous amounts of data. For instance, in areas where motorists exceed speed limits, the variegated maps are programmed to mark these spots, and indicate them with red flags.


I’m curious though if bus managers actually address any of these warnings about bending or breaking speed laws. Because by many standards operating a commercial vehicle at 25 mph over the posted limit is consider reckless driving – and with a bus full of nearly voiceless disabled people to boot! 


Coupled with previous bus experiences, my intuition niggles at me rigorously that perhaps they do not. And if PennDOT has authority to conduct audits for such vital bus information, I suggest this is something they consider investigating deeper, if they do not already do so. After all, why would our tremendous public bus services invest in expensive cutting-edge safety features if the management sometimes overlooks these, or perhaps willfully ignores them?



Indeed, endangering already disabled passengers like my work colleagues should be held as an uppermost consideration to be avoided at all costs. 



Thank you,
JB

Psychology, Recovery and Mental Health - revised useful links

Psychology, Recovery and Mental Health

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell - Harpers Magazine, October 1932

Article — From the October 1932 issue

In Praise of Idleness

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LIKE most of my generation, I was brought up on the saying “Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.” Being a highly virtuous child, I believed all that I was told and acquired a conscience which has kept me working hard down to the present moment. But although my conscience has controlled my actions, my opinions have undergone a revolution. I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached. Every one knows the story of the traveler in Naples who saw twelve beggars lying in the sun (it was before the days of Mussolini), and offered a lira to the laziest of them. Eleven of them jumped up to claim it, so he gave it to the twelfth. This traveler was on the right lines. But in countries which do not enjoy Mediterranean sunshine idleness is more difficult, and a great public propaganda will be required to inaugurate it. I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.


Before advancing my own arguments for laziness, I must dispose of one which I cannot accept. Whenever a person who already has enough to live on proposes to engage in some everyday kind of job, such as school-teaching or typing, he or she is told that such conduct takes the bread out of other people’s mouths, and is, therefore, wicked. If this argument were valid, it would only be necessary for us all to be idle in order that we should all have our mouths full of bread. What people who say such things forget is that what a man earns he usually spends, and in spending he gives employment. As long as a man spends his income he puts just as much bread into people’s mouths in spending as he takes out of other people’s mouths in earning. The real villain, from this point of view, is the man who saves. If he merely puts his savings in a stocking, like the proverbial French peasant, it is obvious that they do not give employment. If he invests his savings the matter is less obvious, and different cases arise.


One of the commonest things to do with savings is to lend them to some government. In view of the fact that the bulk of the expenditure of most civilized governments consists in payments for past wars and preparation for future wars, the man who lends his money to a government is in the same position as the bad men in Shakespeare who hire murderers. The net result of the man’s economical habits is to increase the armed forces of the State to which he lends his savings. Obviously it would be better if he spent the money, even if he spent it on drink or gambling.

Article continues... https://harpers.org/archive/1932/10/in-praise-of-idleness/?single=1

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Labor Day


Labor Day in the United States of America is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the power of collective action by laborers,[1] who are essential for the workings of society. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday.

Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor. "Labor Day" was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty states in the United States officially celebrated Labor Day.

Sacrifices in the Ludlow strike and massacre, the valiant participation of iconic figures like Mother Mary Jones and Louis Tikas, the deaths of some 60 combatants are all worthy of the attention of the Ludlow Centennary commemoration. It was, however, the courage and persistence of the average immigrant coal miner in Lafyette at the Columbine Mine north of Denver, as well as at Ludlow, that wrested murderous power from the likes of John Rockefeller.

The shirtwaist makers, as young as age 15, worked seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a half-hour lunch break. During the busy season, the work was nearly non-stop. They were paid about $6 per week. In some cases, they were required to use their own needles, thread, irons and occasionally their own sewing machines. The factories also were unsanitary, or as a young striker explained, “unsanitary—that’s the word that is generally used, but there ought to be a worse one used.” At the Triangle factory, women had to leave the building to use the bathroom, so management began locking the steel exit doors to prevent the “interruption of work” and only the foreman had the key.

The “shirtwaist”—a woman’s blouse—was one of the country’s first fashion statements that crossed class lines. The booming ready-made clothing industry made the stylish shirtwaist affordable even for working women. Worn with an ankle-length skirt, the shirtwaist was appropriate for any occasion—from work to play—and was more comfortable and practical than fashion that preceded it, like corsets and hoops.

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”
— Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim

Oppenheim’s 1911 poem parallels the radiance of the sun with the voices of the workers who demand “Bread and Roses.” Like the workers in Oppenheim’s poem of the same name, the 1912 Lawrence Textile Strike or “Bread and Roses” strike, as it is sometimes called, became a lightning rod for workers amidst the darkness of intense exploitation. The strike was a fight for decent wages, dignity and equality. It was a historic strike as mostly immigrant, mostly women workers overcame numerous obstacles to wrest a significant victory from the manufacturing industry owners.

The strike, which lasted nine weeks, began on a wintry day in a textile mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts. But its roots grew in the inhumane conditions of the mill factories where workers, the majority immigrant women and children, labored for 60-plus hours a week in danger and squalor. Workers entered the mills not knowing whether they would make it out in one piece, as frequent accidents on the job killed and maimed many. Hours of mill work meant losing years off your life, as life expectancy for textile workers was far less than that of the population as a whole. Workers not killed in accidents were exposed to toxic fibers and dust that often led to death.

On top of all this, workers were paid a meager wage, placing mill workers in a never-ending cycle of poverty. They lived under abominable conditions characterized by unsanitary drinking water, overcrowded apartments and rampant food insecurity. Children were robbed of any semblance of a childhood, as many had to enter the workforce to help their families survive. Amidst the exploitation and oppression, the workers, mostly women, began to organize themselves.

On Jan. 11, 1912, Polish women at the Everett Cotton Mill walked off the job after learning that employer had cut wages to maneuver their way around the reduced work-hour law. On Jan. 12, workers at the Washington Mill learned the same and also walked out. By Jan. 15, 15,000 workers were on strike and out on the picket line. Eventually, 25,000 people joined the lines and shut down the mills.

The strike was sparked by a single event that induced an angry fervor, but it was not spontaneous. Its seed was planted in the kitchens and hallways of tenement buildings. The bosses believed that women as ethnically diverse as those working in the mills of Lawrence were too different to relate to each other. Yet, the women formed close social bonds as they looked after each other’s kids and tended to each other’s illnesses. These relationships would carry them through the nine weeks of strike.

Many women had been exposed to labor organizing in their home countries, setting the stage for alliances to be formed with worker unions such as the Italian Socialist Federation and the Industrial Workers of the World. These alliances allowed for the seeds of solidarity that were planted among them to grow into fruition.

Women became the true leaders of this strike. It was women who placed themselves at the front of the marches in an attempt to curtail the violence. It was women who led the way throughout the city of Lawrence as they marched. It was the women who injected their vitality, fight and passion into this strike as they sang songs that maintained the high revolutionary spirit.

Additionally, it was women who made decisions about how to best protect their families during the strike. The women sent their children to live with relatives in New York City and other cities, making sure they were well cared for while they engaged in necessary militant action and withstood the brutality of the state. The decision to send their children to nearby cities went beyond necessity—it was very much about strategy and about increasing the strikers’ visibility. This decision also garnered media attention when police brutally halted the practice on Feb. 24.

The bosses and the authorities, in collusion, initially dismissed the strikers, since they were unskilled immigrant workers. The workers’ effective organization and militancy proved the bosses wrong. Instead of diminishing, the strike’s power grew as time progressed.

The bosses and the state collaborated and violently attacked the strikers. There were mass beatings of women and children —mothers were savagely grabbed by their hair and dragged in front of their children. Yet, the workers remained steadfast. Day after day, they took their place on the picket line. They continued to chant for dignified wages and living conditions. On the picket lines, unity and optimism empowered the striking workers to overcome the bitter hunger, cold and police bullets.

The public’s eye settled on the women and children; their stories of exploitation in juxtaposition to their resistance swayed public opinion in their favor.

The strikers went from being a force to be reckoned with in Lawrence to being a threatening body to the capitalist forces in the region. The strike became the largest manufacturing strike at that time. After nine difficult weeks of striking, the workers won their demands. They received a 15-percent wage hike and an increase in overtime compensation.

The victory was not handed to them; it was hard-earned. The women, men and children who stood on the picket lines fought for the entire working class. They showed that only through unity in struggle can workers win important reforms.

As women, as workers, it is our duty to advance the cause for the revolution by actively fighting for it. Women workers are part of a long tradition of labor struggle that has fought for workers’ rights. We stand up for what we believe. We mobilize against the systems that oppress us. We strategize to find the most effective tactics in order to win. We must continue to be at the forefront of all struggles against poverty and for the economic liberation of all workers. The least we can do is stand on the shoulders of those giants from the Bread and Roses strike and continue their fight for the liberation of all workers.


http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=41814

Monday, September 02, 2019

A Prayer

The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888


 
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil.  Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil.  Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with  the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven.  That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels.  Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage.  Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory.  That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.  These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered.  Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory.  They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude.  Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church.  Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations.  Amen. 



Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.

Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David. 

Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord. 

Response: As we have hoped in Thee
.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.

Response: And let my cry come unto Thee. 

Verse: Let us pray.  O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.  

Response:  Amen. 

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