Sue Dreamwalker is on a roll. Every one of her recent posts has been an inspiration to look at our lives and change. Simplicity, food, environmental awareness. — John

Dreamwalker's Sanctuary

The Planet is in our Hands

So, where do we go from here?

Quiet simply the world is in our hands.. Its all about our choices, not our neighbours or our governments, Its about the choices We make which make a difference.

My own thoughts are that we have to start and embrace a simpler way of living, we have to stop ‘Wanting’ all the time.. We Want what is ‘best for our children’, We want the ‘best Money can Buy’ We Want the ‘Best Education’ We Want the ‘Best Health Care’.. We Want ‘Peace’ We Want ‘Better Lifestyles’  We Want ‘our Freedom’! We want! Want! and Want! .And yet none of these are relevant if we haven’t the Planet on which to live and enjoy these Wants..  

I don’t propose we go back to primitive lifestyles, But we need to look at all the waste  products we create, What we buy, how…

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Sustainable Living, All It Takes Is Work

Video

Couldn’t resist posting one more video. A most energetic and inspiring older couple. I guess local food and organic food is possible. All you need is dirt and work.

Thinking About Retirement (What To Do With The Rest Of My Life)

retirement

(Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

The Super Bowl has come and gone, and Groundhog Day as well. And what do I have to show for the winter?

It’s been, first of all, a lazy winter. That would be an objective report.

However, I prefer to look at it as a winter of reading, thinking, planning. I haven’t done as much blogging as I’d like. On the other hand, I’ve finally joined Twitter, and  I’m even beginning to see its usefulness. Feel  free to follow along on Twitter @BJohnHayden.

I’ve  joined the local gym, and I’m showing up on a regular basis. That’s important, because I’m now beyond denial. I recognize that if I want to do any useful work in the years I have remaining, it’s imperative that I exercise and conserve my health.

Mostly, I’ve been thinking about and preparing for retirement,  Continue reading

“Freshly Pressed” Insider’s Report

Being “Freshly Pressed” is the best thing that can happen to a blogger, short of going viral. (But it doesn’t put you in a class with Adrianna Huffington or Matt Drudge.) Human beings thrive on recognition and affirmation.

Freshly Pressed  focused my attention. It prompted some overdue housekeeping around the blog, clean-up and improvements that are hopefully invisible to the reader.

It also reminded me of the largeness of the digital world. One little blog is like a star in a galaxy, or sand on a beach. Though insignificant in the grand scheme of things, one blog can shine light in the darkness, or  — like a grain of sand — irritate the complacent and powerful.

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Truth And Lies About Business And Jobs

Let’s expose a few lies that Americans hold dear.

“Small businesses create most of the jobs.”

TRUTH:  Small businesses are what? SMALL. By definition, small businesses have few employees.

“Small businesses fuel economic growth.”

TRUTH:  Most small businesses FAIL within the first five years. Often within the first year. When they close their doors, they create unemployment.

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Mitt Romney’s Economic Divide, Part 2. Lash Yourself to An Oar.

We used to have the upper class, middle class, lower class, working class. Most of us in America pretended that class wasn’t an issue.

Retired folks living on Social Security and pensions were in a separate category. As elders and retired, they were deemed “entitled” (gasp) to the Social Security and pensions they received. They had, after all, worked long and hard to earn those Social Security and pension checks.   Continue reading

Mitt Romney Clarifies the Economic Divide in America

Mitt Romney is to be commended for finally bringing into focus the economic divide emerging in America.

Mitt Romney Steve Pearce event 057

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Winner’s Camp are people who own and control the wealth. It starts with the very richest, a tiny sliver at the top, less than one percent.  This camp also includes the affluent classes, the bankers, accountants, lawyers, executives, innovators and politicians who preside over the modern economy. They provide the brainpower to monitor, preserve, and increase the wealth.

You also find in the Winner’s Camp a large number of people who are crucial for the operation of the economy.

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Factory Girls and Boys

This post, “Factory Girls and Boys,” documents child labor in the early years of the 20th century. The photos make me extremely angry. Not long ago, I wrote a post titled, “Austerity, The New Slavery.”  More and more, I become convinced that modern capitalism depends for its existence on the exploitation of cheap labor.    “Business ethics” really is an oxymoron. In America alone, we had widespread slavery and child labor, out in the open, in broad daylight! And not in the distant past. American industry has always supported immigration for a steady supply of cheap, expendable labor. The White House and the Capitol were built by slaves, the railroads were built by immigrants, and the industrial sweatshops were operated by women and children. After slavery and child labor were abolished, unions gained a toehold. Minimum wage laws and occupational safety laws were enacted over the objections of business. Not surprising that in the second half of the 20th century, industrialists began to move American factories to any faraway land where labor is cheap, plentiful, and unregulated. Thanks to historian and blogger Donna Seger and photographer Lewis Wickes Hine for opening my eyes.

— John Hayden

streetsofsalem

I always feel a bit sorry for myself on Labor Day weekend, as it’s back-to-school time and usually I am engaged in a mad dash to get my course syllabi done.  Of course this is ridiculous, as I have the cushiest job ever and most of the summer I’ve been free to do as I liked.  It’s good to remind myself what labor really is, and nothing does that better than the photographs of Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940), who transitioned from educator to social activist, all the while armed with a camera.  In 1908 Hine became the official photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) and began his life’s work:  documenting child labor across the United States. This was a time when one in six children between the ages of five and ten worked outside the home in “gainful occupation”, and the percentage increases dramatically for children over the…

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Raise the Social Security Retirement Age? Huh?

English: Demonstration in Barcelona on January...

Demonstration in Barcelona on January 22 against raising the retirement age (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People are living longer, therefore the U.S. needs to raise the Social Security retirement age.

The above statement fills me with despair. It can be spoken with a straight face only by a young person or a rich person who doesn’t understand:  a) What it feels like to be sixty-something in the 21st century, and b) The place of the American worker in the market for human labor,  given the new-normal, flat-world economy.

Full disclosure: I come at this retirement age question from a Baby Boomer point of view. I celebrated (?) a 64th birthday in June. For which I’m grateful. It means I’m one of the survivors. I am now enjoying my 65th summer on the planet Earth, which is one of my favorite planets.

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