Overseas Charities????

Why do we send money to charities overseas?

If you are one of those that feel sorry for the downtrodden of other countries, I understand.  You see the poor hungry children posted up on the TV, starving to the point of emaciation and think “Oh that poor child!” Then they blast you with the “It only takes a few cents a day, no more than it would cost for a cup of coffee, to help this child.” I understand that it can be difficult to look at that and not want to help. Really, I do understand.

But, if you send money overseas, you have absolutely no guarantees that it will be used the way they promise. Even if the charity does use it for food, fresh water, etc., they have no way of stopping the government of that particular country from stealing the food/equipment at gunpoint for its own needs. You also take the risk of your money being sent to help fund terrorist groups in a completely different country.

What I don’t understand is why you don’t feel sorry for the downtrodden right in your own neighborhood, city, county, state or country? What is so hard about looking for those that are in need near where you live?

It’s not like there aren’t enough charities here in the USA that could use the help. Shoot, if we just put the same money into our domestic charities then I seriously doubt that we would have hungry/homeless children, hungry/homeless military vets, etc.

At least here in the US you can check up on where your money went, who benefitted from it and when it was used. If you find out that your money was being abused, then you have legal recourse to punish the person(s) responsible.

Also, it wouldn’t cost you any more than the same amount of money and you could make the donation either anonymously or in person (saving the cost of the stamp/transfer fee). You could meet the people that you are helping and learn about them and their situation. You could even meet other people that are busting their butts to help in a more direct way, such as running the soup kitchens/food banks. Shoot, you could always spend that money on yarn or cloth and make hats, scarves, or other clothing for direct donations. This would actually last longer than just cash or food. And, the person that received the item you made would know that you take your donation seriously enough to spend your hard earned free time on making something just for them, instead of just feeling sorry enough to make a monetary donation.

You could even take the time to teach someone something that you are very good at doing. Taking the time to show a person how to sew, crochet, cook, budget money, woodwork, beadwork, jewelry making, typing, reading, organizing, painting (fine art/household), drawing (fine art/architectural), leatherworking, metalworking, welding, or anything else that you know how to do, will actually help that person create a job niche for themselves. Not only do you feel good, but you help raise that person’s self esteem and take one more person off the needy list. And it wouldn’t be a handout. It would actually be a hand up. This is actually what most people want.

Granted, there are people out there that just want someone else to feed, house and clothe them without having to do anything for themselves. These people are obvious, but cannot (at this time, with our current social beliefs) be left out. Telling them that they are not living the life that they could be is not going to work. They are living the way they want to right now. That could change later on, but in most cases it takes a major crisis for them to decide differently. Usually they are addicts or victims of abuse that have just plain given up because life has become too difficult for them to deal with.

Also granted is that there are people out there that abuse their positions of authority in the charity. This can be overcome. All it takes is one person that is willing to step up and report their activities/crimes. We do not have enough people in this day and age that are willing and able to do this. No one wants to get involved. Or they don’t want to look like the bad person “trying to pull down the program”. Or they are afraid that the program/charity will be shut down.

Buck up! If some over-achiever politician shuts it down because of one person’s screw up, then get with the others and start up your own program/charity. Yes, this could take time to get going, but at least you will know that you are doing your best to help those who could really use the program.

It basically comes down to this:



Legalizing Drugs – Yes or No?

This blog was inspired by John Raymond. (Thanks John!)


What would happen if the U.S. legalized drugs?

Well, there would definitely be a meteoric rise in drug use (duh), theft, unemployment, more theft, increased number of emergency calls, more theft, higher insurance rates (both business and individual), more car wrecks, more domestic violence, more rape, etc, etc, etc.

Obviously this would not be a good thing.

However, is there a way to legalize drugs AND minimize the afore-mentioned issues? Let’s take a look, shall we?

For the sake of argument, we will be legalizing all of them. Otherwise this blog would get way too long to read in one sitting. So, all drugs are legal. Great! Now what?

There would have to be special companies that manufactured these drugs. Some companies would be general, manufacturing a wide range of drugs. Other companies would be specialists, dealing only with one or two types of drugs. Of course they would be the ones to determine how much product per individual unit would be salable. Similar to how cigarettes are packaged. Granted, this would only work for drugs like pot or other leaf-type drugs. I am sure that making individual packets and then grouping them in larger packages could work for the other drugs, but I am not going to get all that specific since I am not an expert in this field. These companies would also be the ones to set the price of the drugs. Obviously this would be based on the cost of growing, chemicals needed, machinery, taxes, special licensing, special employee certification, insurance, security and man-hours. This could get pricey.

Then there would have to be the distribution system. Again, this would involve machinery, insurance, taxes, special licensing, special employee certification, security and man-hours. Fortunately, there are already companies that are set up for distribution in general. Again, this could get pricey.

On top of the previous two points, there would need to be wholesale and retail outlets. I mean, c’mon, you can’t just make a drop at the local grocery store or set up a vending machine outside the library. Get real. You would once again have to have wholesale agents and retail stores that had the proper machinery, special licensing, special employee certifications, insurance, taxes, security and man-hours. Once again, this could get pricey.

So, now we move over to federal, state, county and city government involvement. Since everything else is regulated to a fare-thee-well, then drugs would be no different. As we saw in the previous paragraphs, this entire industry would require special licensing, employee certification, insurance and, oh happy days, taxing. Based on previous history, each level of government is going to want their own piece of the pie. The biggest question to be answered is….”how high can we set the fees and taxes, but still get companies and people to pay?” I will let you decide what you think would be a fair tax.

Another form of regulation is most definitely an age limit. I mean, if you’re willing to tell our kids that they’re not old enough to drink, but they’re old enough to kill for our country, then you might as well tick them off with drugs, also. Say, make the age limit the same as for alcohol.

Now, if we add everything up, we have lots of new companies (in addition to the pharmaceutical companies), lots of new jobs, and lots of new taxes and fees. Sounds great, right? Not quite.

Remember all the regulation, certifications, etc? How would you go about deciding who is a legitimate company? You don’t want just any Tom, Dick or Harry starting up a pot field or even a hydroponic pot farm in their basement or the nearest abandoned warehouse. And you definitely don’t want some unscrupulous gangster that is going to “boost” sales by dosing a slower addictive drug with a faster addicting drug. Not to mention making sure that the employees are protected from the same unscrupulous companies or gangsters that would intentionally get their employees addicted and make them work for their next “hit”. In addition, you would have to set up some type of guideline (adjustable per company) to protect these budding entrepreneurs from their own employees. This would definitely be some form of weeding (forgive the pun) out those job seekers who are addicts trying to get hired just for access to the drugs.  And then there is the insurance. Woe to the company that doesn’t have protection from natural disasters, theft, medical (yikes!) or lawsuits from unhappy family members of the addict. Hoo boy, there’s a whole ‘nother zebra. Better put that in with the government regulation section. Definitely need to put that under the common sense laws that are supposed to be in existence. Otherwise, the legal costs would skyrocket. And all of that lovely tax money would go down the drain.

So there are just a few of the pros and cons of legalizing drugs. I have my own opinion on how to do this. As if you didn’t know that.

First, the government would run everything from manufacturing to distributing to sales. Anyone that worked in this field would be a government employee, with all of the benefits and detriments involved. That way, full federal regulation would be involved and enforced. This would include how much and how often a person could purchase their “fix”.

Second, anyone that decided that they were going to get on the drug band wagon would have to be part of a government study that involved full medical check-ups on a regular basis (say every two weeks), could only get the drugs from a government facility and if it required injections, then they would have to go to a government medical officer to receive the injection. They would also have to sign a waiver of liability, accepting responsibility for their own safety up to and including death.

Third, anyone entering into the addiction world would have to get a divorce, give up any children in their custody and be sterilized to prevent future pregnancies due to poor judgment. This includes men. If said person does not have any known children, then they would have to donate sperm or eggs prior to beginning their addiction. This way, if they decide later on that they want to get off the drugs, they will still be able to have a child. Also, said addict will be given condoms to prevent the spreading of STD.

Fourth, each “client” would have to show a current paystub each time they came in for their “fix”. In other words, they would still have to be a productive citizen. Now don’t get me wrong. I know that addicts are not the world’s greatest workers, but they are capable of doing all of the “shit” jobs that no one else wants to do. Unfortunately, this would most likely push out the migratory crop workers (usually seasonal and usually from other countries) and other similar workers, but it would most likely reduce the number of people wanting to get hooked.

Fifth, the “client” would have to live in a segregated community with other “clients”. These communities could range from individual military style housing to studio apartments, depending on what would be most cost-effective. The important thing is separation from the rest of the town or city, as well as separation from each other (privacy and security). This way if they feel the need to commit a crime, then they can perpetrate their crimes on each other. I do not recommend a separation of the sexes. My main reason for this is if you choose to become addicted under this system, then you are choosing to live the life of an addict. No one has forced you to become addicted. You cannot blame your childhood, parents, etc. My second reason is that men and women are supposed to be equal in this country. So stand up and be equal in the bad as well as in the good.

So…..these are just a few of the different directions that our country can go when it comes to legalizing drugs. I am sure that there are many other ways of looking at it, but I am only one human being. Please feel free to expound upon your own ideas in the comment box. Or shoot me an email and I will see if I can post it as an addendum to this blog. Heck, you might even inspire a whole new blog just for you!

One thing I do know about this subject is that we, U.S. citizens and government, are woefully unprepared for legalized drugs, not only as a country, but as a culture in general. At this time in our history, there are way too many debates over moral issues between religious groups and secular groups. Just remember what happened after Roe vs. Wade. I’m sure you get my drift.

My Progress With Online Employment So Far


The last time you all heard from me, I was looking for work. I was focusing mainly on the internet, but was starting to look at outside work as well. Guess what? No luck in either direction. Gee, go figure.

Jobs that were open for outside of the home do not fit my skills, education level or disability limitations. Jobs on the internet are either non-legitimate, do not fit my skills, education level or disability limitations. On top of all that, those online that I could accept require a PayPal account. No big deal, right? NOT!! My bank account does not allow linkage with PayPal. And, those internet jobs don’t pay in other formats.

What does all of this mean? I am screwed!!! I have looked into doing surveys, focus groups and other “make work”, only to run into the above mentioned issues. In addition, the majority of surveys & focus groups that I have “pre-qualified” & “qualified” for end up shutting me down because my answers within the survey itself did not fit the demographics they were looking for. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that they were looking for OPINIONS! I am a very opinionated person. Just because I don’t work for a certain company, have thousands of dollars as income or read certain magazines does not invalidate my opinion about their services or products. I am an intelligent person capable of making up my mind about a multitude of services, products, political issues, social issues, etc. You would think that survey companies would set up their agent databases to rank each person into specific demographics and then send surveys that are specific to that demographic only.

In my opinion, companies that are looking for opinions should accept all demographics and then order the results in a manner that shows which demographic is more interested or least interested in their service or product. This way, they would get the most statistic bang for their buck.

As for all of these survey companies that only offer drawing entries, reward points, or other non-cash payouts, I only have one thing to say – fooey on you. Minimum wage in this country is now $7.25 per hour. Why should I spend 39 minutes of my time filling out a survey for companies that don’t want to pay me what my time is worth according to the United States government. Same goes for the companies that do pay cash, but you only get $.01 to $.10 per survey. WTF!!! When did slavery become legal in this country again???

Speakin of slavery, have any of you looked into Mturk or other micro-tasking websites? I mean really! Why are American citizens allowing this kind of slave wage employment to continue? Added to this insult are websites like Odesk. Why should I have to bid for work, let alone bid against people from other countries that bid so low no one from a higher income country can ever win the bid?

So, how do we end this downward spiral of pay? There are a few ways that I can see.

A.  Companies like Odesk, Mturk, etc. should start dividing their websites by country. If your company is in Australia, then you can only accept bids from Australian citizens. Ditto for other countries. End this excessive rush for outsourcing. I understand that compaines have a bottom line, and kudos for those that think they are helping underpriviledged countries get a better income level for their people, but outsourcing has one particular pitfall that I feel is being ignored, overlooked or misunderstood. What happens to the people in their own countries that are unemployed because of all the outsourcing? If the people that you are aiming your services and products at don’t have an income, then THEY CAN’T PURCHASE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE!!!!!!!!!! It doesn’t take a genious like Steven Hawkins to figure this out. And yet, there is a massive movement within the business AND political environment to promote outsourcing.

B. Survey companies in general should only be allowed to pay cash that is compensitory with the minimum wage of the country that the agent lives in. This means, that if I (an American) take a survey that lasts 10 minutes, then I should be paid $1.20 for my time and effort. If the survey lasts 39 minutes, then I should get $4.71. If it only lasts 1 minute, then I should get $0.12. If you divide your country’s minumum wage by 60, then you will get your per minute amount. You can then multiply that by however many minutes each survey takes to get what you should have been paid for that particular survey. They get paid multi-millions of dollars every year to provide this service to every company out there that utilizes them. Why shouldn’t we get our fair share for taking the time out of our lives to provide them with the information that they need?

C. All companies, whether via internet or physical presence, should have to have alternate forms of payout. Not all countries allow PayPal or other types of Internet Payment Accounts.  I should have the option of accepting direct deposit, prepaid credit or gift cards or check by mail no matter what company I accept work from. This includes payouts via third party companies like Mturk or survey sites. I should also be able to get this type of payout FREE. Why should I pay part of my hard earned income just because your company is too money hungry to accept my payment preference. It’s not like they can’t deduct the cost of supplies from their taxes or something. Sheesh, get a clue.

These are just some of the changes that I feel should be made in today’s employment practices. I know that there are multitudes of other changes that could or should be made, but can’t bring them to mind right at this moment.

Please feel free to add your insights and comments to the list. Hell, maybe if I get enough suggestions, I might just send a petiton to the government requiring those changes. Of course, even if I do, the government would take so long debating the issue that we would all be dead and dust before anything got done. Don’t laugh, this is most likely true.

I hope that you have enjoyed, understood and sympathized with this blog. Let me know how things are going for you.

Hurry up and wait….

Minor emergencies do not cause harm to large groups of people, property or finances. They do cause enough harm to individuals to interfere with general health and daily productivity. Apparently, the general health and productivity of an individual is not serious enough of an emergency in medical or financial terms to warrant the immediate assistance of doctors, financial institutions or government programs.

Over the years, I have had multiple small emergencies, or what I deemed emergencies, that I felt justified in asking for help. This includes long-term unemployment, homelessness, mental & emotional distress, medical need and, most recently, dental anguish. At no time has the bureaucracy of the town or city that I was living in moved faster than the proverbial snail’s pace. The idea that an individual of society needs this assistance within the week or even within the same day is anathema to bureaucrats.

When you go to the emergency room, this usually indicates that something is bad enough that you are not able to wait for your regular doctor. What happens? You have to stop and fill out so many forms that it takes more time to complete them than it does for the doctor to actually examine you. After you have filled out the forms, you wait. It doesn’t matter that you are in agony, or are spilling your guts every few minutes. Since you aren’t bleeding copiously, you can wait.   And wait, and wait. Do they give you a cover for your mouth if you came in sick? No, because you are still up walking around, therefore you must not be too bad off. Never mind that what you have is usually contagious and you have now infected everyone else in the waiting room. If you are in severe pain, they ask you to rate it on a scale of one to ten. Then they take your answer with a grain of salt, because “everyone rates their pain higher than it is”. After the nurse takes your blood pressure, oxygen level and heart rate, you are politely asked to wait in the waiting room for a doctor to become available. This can take only a few minutes or as long as several hours. By this time, whatever your reason for coming in to the emergency room, you are becoming emotional distressed as well. Hence, tempers begin to flare and words begin to be spoken in a loud and obnoxious manner. Why do the staff always look and act so surprised?

Suppose you have reached a point in your life that your mental and/or emotional limits have not only been reached, but shattered beyond your personal capabilities to put them back together again. Your work doesn’t pay enough to go to a shrink, so you try the local clinic. Once again, they hand you a stack of papers, with requisite documentation and set an appointment that is so far down the road that you will most likely be in jail from assaulting the next moron that pushed your button. You are now stretched to the point that your work is suffering so bad your boss is breathing down your neck, which adds to the stress levels. You are beginning to worry that you won’t have a job within 24 hours let alone by the time your appointment comes around. This makes you even pissier at home, which ticks everyone else off, leading to a lovely little cycle of repeating and escalating emotional upheaval. You then bring all that built up stress back to work and start the cycle all over again. This cycle generally leads to unemployment. Your temper flares and you begin to say words in a loud and obnoxious manner. Why do people always look and act so surprised?

Should you be unemployed for more than a few weeks, you begin to feel stress, worry and panic. How am I going to make the rent? How will I pay the bills? How will I get food? Why won’t anyone hire me??? So you finally break down and go to the local Family Services to ask for help. They calmly hand you a stack of papers, usually 10 pages or more, explain what all documentation you will need; rental agreement, last 3 bank statements (explain any “unusual” spending. Never mind that you bought unnecessary stuff because you weren’t expecting to be unemployed), last 3 check stubs with YTD, all currently unpaid bills, Kelly Blue Book value of your vehicle(s), as well as the same information for every adult in your home (even though you are not related and/or they are not benefiting from the program) and have you set up an appointment. Then you read the date on the appointment and realize that it is the middle of the next month. Since you are low on money, you won’t be able to pay the rent. You are so panicky that you will be homeless by the time of your appointment that you begin to lose your temper and words are spoken in a loud and obnoxious manner. Why do the staff always look and act so surprised?

If you have been unemployed long enough and delayed asking for help, then there is a strong chance that you have become homeless. Depending on where you live and how helpful your friends & family are, this is not quite as devastating as it could be. If you don’t have the friends/family option, then you need to find a shelter. Once you have located the shelter, you stand in line and wait. If you didn’t get there early enough in the morning, then you will most likely be sleeping on the sidewalk that night. But don’t think you can sleep in front of the shelter…that is not allowed. If you were lucky enough to actually get signed up, then they hand you a stack of papers to fill out, detailing pretty much the same as family services. The only difference is that they don’t expect the documentation to go along with the forms. Then you wait some more. You wait for the shower, you wait in line for minimal amounts of food, you wait for the laundry room…..you wait for someone to rob you. During all of this waiting, you have to figure out how to look your best so that you can look for work. By now you are so desperate that you are willing to take anything as work. And I do mean ANYTHING. As a man, this isn’t quite so dangerous. As a female, all that I can say is good luck. You are also under a time limit on how long you can be in the shelter. No options by the time that limit is reached(?), then you are back on the streets. Since employers won’t hire someone without a permanent residence, you haven’t been given any call backs, because they have nowhere to call. Your temper flares and words are spoken in a loud and obnoxious manner. Why do the staff always look and act so surprised?

In my current situation, I am unemployed, have massive amounts of bills to pay, have both mental & emotional disabilities (which my state doesn’t accept for their programs) and am in need of having my teeth pulled. First, I went to seek help from a program I have worked with before, but they weren’t open that day. Just my luck. Then I contacted Family services for help. They don’t have dental assistance for adults over 18. But, they gave me the number for the county free clinic. It is not free and they only do dental one day a week. Won’t be able to get me in till the 3rd week of November. Finally broke down and went to the emergency room. Followed the procedure that I laid out in the e-room paragraph, only to be asked, asked! Mind you, “Do you think the pain is being caused by the bad tooth?” In order to get something for the pain and infection, I tearily agreed without saying a word (not trusting myself to be civil). I was then given an antibiotic and some “strong” painkillers to use until the infection was brought under control. I was finally able to get a hold of the program director that I have worked with before, and have been given permission to seek out a dentist. So I called the last dentist I used, explained to the chirpy receptionist what was going on and was given an appointment on the 9th of October. For a consultation. Not for any actual work to be done. Just x-rays and an explanation of what the dentist thinks I should do. Then the next available opening is not until the 24th of November. And that is only if the dentist is willing to do what I want. If I am lucky, I will be toothless by the end of the month. If not, then I will be at least minus a partial tooth and trying to figure out how to get the rest of them removed against dental advice. If you have ever felt this amount of tooth pain, then you know that I may end up making the staff practice their surprised looks and act sometime in the near future.

For now I hurry up and wait.