Always Called, Never a Juror

As I took my seat in the packed courtroom, the defendant and his attorney surveyed the pool of jurors. Were they looking for a sympathetic face? They scanned us like someone desperate to make a friend. I averted my gaze lest they think I was too friendly, or too likely to sympathize. Surely this young man with shoulder-length dirty blonde hair with streaks of white was the defendant. Once his name was read I was certain. With a name like Mr. White Trash Insect, he was doomed. Ms. Christmas, representing the people, would make sure Justice was served.

Two young women in headscarves sat at the front of the room. They seemed very serious. They were not part of the jury.

The judge was passionate about justice. She spent nearly an hour explaining the process to us. Her idealism moved me to tears. Her voice carried the strength and resolve of the institution she represented. Yes, ma’m, I would feel honored to serve our country on a jury.

Thoughts

We create systems that are like ourselves. Our advanced executive function (ability to think/communicate about many many different things and say yes/no/yes/no/yes/no) is reflected in the polarity of our politics. We constantly structure things as to get a yes/no decision. We think action is the consequence of a yes/no decision.

Ideas, Nonsense

Most large corporations have philanthropic divisions. But is there an equivalent of the stock market to influence American values/interests within corporations? Money talks, and since government continues to erode its monetary influence over corporations (forget judicial–which still works in some cases but not in others–PG&E comes to mind), what if corporations were paid by shareholders to uphold certain values? You would think this would be the job of the person buying the goods, but the power differential is too vast there to be of influence anymore.

Abortion Questions

Questions for pro-birth activists:

Do you believe a woman has agency over her own body and over what lives or dies inside of it? If not, who else should get to decide what lives or dies inside a woman’s body?

Do you believe that all humans naturally and always reproduce in ways that are responsible and will benefit their society and their families?

Should there be a punishment for those who do not?

Do you believe a woman should be forced to carry to term any life growing inside of her, regardless of the degree of deformity or decay of said life?

Do you believe that a fetus growing inside of a woman should be treated as an independent being even though it is completely dependent on the woman for its birthing? That is, should the woman have no say over the birth process of that being? What other rights should that being have? And at what stages?

Should the government dictate how many children a woman should give birth to or how many children a woman should not give birth to?

Poverty & the Environment

It’s easy and tempting to judge others from the outside based on their actions, without considering their environment or circumstance. My study of environmental chemical engineering gave me good instincts about cause and effect. I used this as a coach, always considering what might be causing an athlete to take an action, rather than just focusing on changing the action itself. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it did not. The best coaches don’t just change what you’re doing and they also know why you’re doing it, because they want to prevent it from happening again.

Getting to the root cause is also something that I learned in Engineering. In studying how failure happens, we learned that there are usually multiple contributing factors.

Perhaps this is why I cringe when I hear comments about how simple it is for someone to pull themselves out of poverty.

Capitalism Dream

I’m out of shape. I’m sick. And it’s making me really angry/upset tonight.

I’m mad that I have a well-paying job that is minimally physically demanding.

What, are you some kind of ungrateful idiot?

I get it. But hear me out.

Until I graduated from college, I thrived on at least 3 hours of exercise a day. My high-paying oil company job greatly decreased my capacity for that much exercise, and I got fatter.

I quit my job for the more healthy career of a massage therapist, followed by a track and field coach. Riding my bicycle to work and then coaching 4-8 hours/day was perfect for me. I hiked and valeted cars. I ran after buses and walked everywhere. I was very active and in shape.

I slowly ran out of money and time in the day to make more of it. I took a high-paying job in the suburbs, and not-that-slowly started getting fat again. And it continues.

I’m angry because I couldn’t make my life work financially doing what I loved and what kept me healthy.

I’m angry that so many of my friends seem to be in financial lack. I’m angry that the only thing “working” for so many of my Facebook friends is network marketing.

I’m angry that I’m too sick or tired to exercise.

Why can’t moms just be moms? Why do they have to become someone else’s marketer? I’m worried for them. I’m worried they’re just starving themselves and patting each other on the back.

I’m worried about a country who thinks the rational response to a health crisis is a liquid diet rather than fundamentally changing the way we live and work.

Or, just as unhealthy, the manic-depression of the desk worker/weekend warrior or cross-fitter.
Why can’t athletic coaches get paid a liveable salary? Why is being a mother of no value except to a (hopefully) bread-winning husband or a couple looking to buy eggs?

Why are so many people being forced to work more and more years of their life before starting a family?

How is any of this GOOD for us???

I’m angry that a politician who refuses to take money from special interests is considered RADICAL.

All this together is really shaking my love of country.

I hate that we are so poor (as the 99%) that we’d prefer JOBS/OIL over CLEAN AIR.

That we’d rather get high than fight for change or think about our problems.

That we consider the sharing economy revolutionary, and not just a symptom of our collective decreasing spending power. Our acquiescence to become forever tenants and never landlords. We don’t even buy music anymore. We don’t own things. It’s all subscription. “Convenience.” Groupon is a household term because we can’t afford normal prices. It’s a race to the bottom.

I’m mad that we accept academically that the “new economy” means stitching together several poorly-paying jobs and being as mobile as possible for our employers.

I hate what this is doing to families, especially children.

I hate people telling me to just think more positively.

I’m angry that so many people in their desperation have fallen prey to gurus who offer financial freedom if only we could all just become more authentic and higher vibrational. Personal growth will save us all! After all, if you’re down and out, most certainly it’s YOUR fault and shortcoming somehow for not living up to your God-given potential. Just become a better person with a better attitude, then you’ll never want again! More #hastags should do the trick!

Meanwhile, the list of things my friends will never accomplish due to not having money is like a punch to the gut.

Were we poor stewards of the money we had? Did we take on too much debt? Or did we really have a choice? Surely we should just blame ourselves for not living the Capitalism Dream…

Scammers & Spammers

In this blog post, I will be listing email addresses that have spammed/phished me. Any spammer who wishes to contact me and apologize will have its name removed from this list:

leah_jensen@tourvoice.website and yournishedlopez@gmail.com

VIA craigslist ad, using the guise of:

eFreeScore

340 S Lemon St #8881

Walnut, CA 91789

Humans of New York

An article tonight about a dog walker in NYC had me thinking about my priorities tonight.

When I don’t get enough sleep, I have a hard time achieving my goals.

I need to be physically active every day. I need to advance my education and skills daily. If I only have enough energy for my 9-5, I start to hate my life. So, off to bed now, for tonight.

Reflecting on the Weird

It’s possible that it’s not healthy to ponder one’s existence.
But when life gets weird, it’s sort of comforting to know life IS ultimately weird and unexplainable.
Marinating in the weird.

We are wired to action.
We are wired to growth.
We invented capitalism and yoga.
We are a parasite.

Knowing that right actions yield right results. Spotting the inauthenticity.

We have cravings, desires, needs, fears.

Did we ever live in balance with nature? An idle mind is the devil’s playground, and a lot of us have too much leisure.