Good News Travel Comrades: We’re (Almost) Free to Fly Unmolested

My first post of 2013, and it is on the perfect subject.

As Nysee mentioned a few posts back: this is the time to get back on track, or continue with our goals. Travel is a big part of that! I feel deprived not being able to leave for domestic and international destinations because of all the idiocy at the airports.

Although I still want the TSA a.k.a. “Those Stupid A$$h@!#s” and HS a.k.a. “Homeland (In)security” to be disbanded and eliminated sometime in the immediate future, this bit of *Rape-i-scan news will have to do. For now. The fight to bring society back to an unbowed and non-sheep-like existence, along with the eradication of this police state atmosphere, or totalitarian regime, is a lifetime affair.

And, no, I don’t believe I’m exaggerating. There’s a real limit as to how many stupefying hassles, inconveniences and degradations I’m required to endure just to get on a damn airplane. None of that security theater nonsense ever had, or ever will, make me feel “safe” and “secure”. We got the message years ago: if someone acts up on a plane, everybody will beat him into submission and duct tape his ass to a seat.

Finally, The Good News

According to the BBC:

“The US aviation security agency will stop screening travellers with scanners that show travellers’ naked images, amid widespread privacy complaints.”

“Separately to the privacy concerns, some health officials feared the *Rape-i-scan 1000SP scanner, which uses low-level X-rays to generate the image viewed by screeners, might expose passengers to unsafe levels of radiation.”

“The *Rape-i-scan machines will be replaced by scanners that use radio waves to detect suspicious objects hidden underneath clothes. Those display warnings on an avatar rather than show a naked image of the passenger.”

Our Congress made them stop.

Let us not forget that those people in government, every single one of them, work for us: we are not their subjects, servants, slaves or sheep.

And they could give two s#!&s about health risks. These people were worried about liability: the increasing possibility of someone, or a group of people in a class action, winning a massively huge! huge! lawsuit. Regardless of the BS you hear when you buy an airline ticket, that does not entitle this government to try and (slowly) kill you in order to get from point A to point B in the name of “We No Longer Call It The War on Terror”.

You get enough exposure to radiation from flying alone.

On the other hand, this might lead to an increase in the number of TSA stealing from, fondling and sexually abusing vulnerable passengers, since so many criminal-minded authoritarian control freaks and sexual perverts are attracted to the job (especially those at the top of these agencies).

Money always talks.

While I believe complaints from consumers reached the ears of our dimwitted representatives, and lent some weight to the removal of the *Rape-i-scan, I don’t think that’s the whole story. We need to remember that some of the most powerful lobbyists down in Washington, D.C. belong to the airlines.

So, I bet they ran the numbers and realized that a lot of people, like myself, were not FLYING because of those machines and government employee nut jobs. If you multiply that by a few hundred thousand Americans, especially business people who usually pay the full “weight” or fare, and other international flyers, the TSA was – and is – strangling the travel industry.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if they are also single-handedly responsible for the sluggish condition of the global economy. It’s a domino affect. If we aren’t travelling domestically or overseas spending our money – that’s a big loss. That well oiled machine is seizing up.

The government would like to think that the removal of the *Rape-i-scan is a lasting sole solution, or a sufficient move to appease folks, but to me – it’s just the beginning….

Note: *Yes, I deliberately misspelled the name of that despicable product. I apologize for the profanity, but this topic leaves me heated.

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Update: This may be the only recourse. Everyday a passenger should sue the TSA.

Wired.com: Man With 4th Amendment Written on Chest Wins Trial Over Airport Arrest

 

 

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Goals Reset: Where Has the Time Gone? It’s May Already!!!!

Oh my goodness! This is crazy. I mean we are almost at the half point of this year already!

Where did the time go? I’m scared I will look around and it’ll be Christmas again.

Time for me to start my New Year’s Resolutions all over again.

Gym Rat / Weight Loss

I’ve been at the gym 5 days out of 7. My body can’t handle the daily grind as I initially thought, but at least the aches and pains are gone. Boy, do I love weight lifting. I do that every time I go, and I alternate the treadmill and bike riding. Based on my body type, which is Mesomorphic / Mesomorph. I’ve lost 10 lbs since April 1, not bad. Usually, I can only drop 2 lbs a month, but I think my updated routine has made it easier to lose.

Why Me, Lord?

Why does everything necessitate talking to people who don’t like me,  and I don’t like them? Seriously, I’m not talking blog land. I mean out in the “real world.” No one ever leaves intermediate or high school. It’s the same people over and over again.

Nice People

It’s interesting to hear about people you’ve met only once or twice inquiring after you. I don’t know, I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling from it. Well, I’m always asking after them. Good vibrations go both ways.

It’s Too Warm To Hide

It’s like when the personal trainer and I were talking and he asked, “So why now?” Dude! Because by June, you will have nowhere to hide. The clothes wont cover the butt or hips. Part of what makes me look really big is my chest. Some women don’t like losing weight there: I look forward to it! I’ve got enough bosom to spare. I can barely run because of it. Ugh.

I Love the Summer, I Hate the Summer

I actually find it more boring than the winter. I like mild weather, like how it is now in the Northeast. But when it gets hotter. I dunno. I don’t like festivals, street parties or outdoor events. I loved them as a child. Man, those were the greatest years of my life. Today, the only thing I truly find interesting is traveling to different countries. That takes time and money. My goals is to get going by September. Again.

Money

I love what it can do for you. I don’t have this mindset that it is the “root of all evil.” Its purpose is to be used like the TOOL (in a positive meaning) that it is. I think people get confused with what money does. If you don’t have money, remember that BARTERING is what existed before coinage came about. Always remember that favors / good advice are basically priceless, in essence, especially coming from the right people.

I Gotta Hurry Up

The only thing that irritates me about myself is the inability to rush things. I’m not an efficient multitasking type of person. I’m an old fashioned needle-style record player: one track at a time. I need things to be just right. Although I am aware that a perfectionist streak is a good mask for hiding fear of failure. I take too long. My goal is get it done. I will fix is as I go along, but things must get done. Otherwise, we stagnate, right?

Breaking the Introvert Habits

I remember being more outgoing as a kid. I took a class that said Introverts become more “closed” as they get older. Hey, for people like me, the daily exercise is to talk to someone (in the real world) everyday. Even if it is to ask the time. Co-workers don’t count. People I already know don’t count.

That’s the one constant I have to maintain: talking to people!

Feedback

As always is welcome, if you have any goals, spell ’em out. I like cheering people on. Have a good one.

Cheers everybody.

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As a Child

I used to decapitate my dolls.

I used to set things on fire.

Today, I’d take the shortcut and set my dolls on fire.

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Black Women: My Pursuit of Happiness

I love myself. I am relaxed about it. I am mostly cheerful, generous, vain, conceited, selfish, don’t suffer pangs of guilt, and I like women who are this way too. In men, this is a no-no.

I love being a woman. If I could be reincarnated, I wouldn’t hesitate with my choice: same person, same looks, same everything.

I love my family. I love them. I never went around wishing for other folks to be related to.

I love my friends. I love them and their ways. I adore quirky people.

I love to travel. Oh, if I had the money to fly, drive, cruise, sail, and go wherever and whenever I want. If I could travel freely, I would be away from home 6 out of 12 months a year.

I love sunny beaches. Why am I not living in Hawaii, Florida or California? I don’t know. New Jersey has beaches, I suppose that’s good enough.

I love fresh snow, until the next day and the next day and the next day. Cabin fever is getting to me!

I love babies, kittens, puppies and new born things. So adorable….

I love a brand new day. I get another start. I get to start anew. Each day is a gift.

I love to anticipate the good.

I love to think positive.

I love being an optimist.

I love rooting for the underdog.

I love America. I do. No matter where I travel to, I’m overwhelmingly happy to come home. This country is my home. I could easily learn to would love living anywhere else, since I am not an absolutist, but I’m happy here. For now.

Happiness is a deliberate emotion. Happiness is a decision you make each and every day.

I love men. Okay, I love most of them. I don’t blog about the ones I have no interest in. Doesn’t make sense to.

I love self-confident people. I love people who are attractive in spirit and that has nothing to do with perfect features or their external appearance.

I love learning.

I love my curiosity.

I have to remind myself that what I love is much more than what I could possibly hate. I don’t hate that many things, and for those things that I do, it is a very short list. My list of annoyances can be very, very, very long though.

I love life.

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Project Cheerful: Search for Happiness, Black Women!

I enjoy browsing the Internet for topics that interest me. I have many links to business, technology, science and a bit of political news. I set up a YouTube, Google, and Technorati search / blog / news / link pages, plus my own searches, to offer up information regarding black women’s lives, and our natural hair. With great dismay, I’ve come to realize that 99% of the content is negative.

Why is that?

Complexity: Woman and Black

I continue to search, yet very few sites exist which convey even a semblance of joy in being a woman, who happens to be black in America. There are black women whose mindset is black first, foremost, and nothing else. I don’t know when and where their concept of womanhood comes into play.

I wonder: Does it ever? How does that kind of self-alienation make sense?

Apparently, life as a black woman is all sorts of hell, damnation, and brimstone. We are forever the victim. Although no one recognizes us as a victim, since there is an oppression index, and we are at the bottom of that one as well. You know, there’s a “true” beauty hierarchy and we are at the bottom. There is a racial victim hierarchy and we are at the bottom. There’s a sexism hierarchy, but we don’t even get the benefit of being included, since so many of us have decided to be “black” first, foremost, and above all.

We can’t be both, ’cause it might confuse the one-dimensional thinking people.

I honestly wonder if some black people think black women are direct descendants of Eve. Or is it Ham? We are doomed unequivocally and forever to hard labor – as punishment for being curious and disobedient.

I remember reading, and hearing, more than one black person express the belief that blacks are cursed. Does the majority think that way?

This morbid fixation on our most sorry state isn’t only coming from web sites devoted to celebrity gossip, quite a few purportedly newsworthy, intellectual and academic sources are just as rancid. Everything is about the shortened, diseased, pathological, abused, and totally miserable lives of black women.

Our Lives Have Priority – To Us

Reading this content from an objective and emotional distance, one has to conclude that being a black woman is the worst thing in the world. Yet the information does not carry with it an imperative push critical enough to require any government, nonprofits, feminists, or black organizations to actually make our lives priority.

This has happened because we’ve allowed ourselves and others to decide our lives aren’t important. Black women are ghosts. People might believe we exist, but no one could swear they’ve seen or was influenced by one. Our power to sway opinion, and induce viable action is negligible. Even animals have PETA for support.

However, when we can and should take credit, or power, we swallow our wills, pretend to be modest, humble, and step back to let others (in those race, sex, victim and beauty hierarchies) take our place! Hard labor for someone else – the almost always ungrateful – is an unenforced error, self-punishment, and an unnecessary, futile exercise.

Plain Talk

Black women, against your giving generous, nurturing, me-last nature, you will have to politely and gently usurp, or just drop kick, black men + white women, or whomever, from their sex, race, victim, and beauty pedestals. Teach them all to put you first. It will be hard in the beginning, but support is a busy superhighway. Stop giving unconditionally. It is not helping you. You are roadkill.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

This constant focus of “How miserable are we? Can we be any more pathetic?” makes me avoid reading a lot of (black / black women) web sites. Times are bad. Yet, times have been worse.

Can we have a little sunshine and happiness please? Let’s learn to focus on the bright side. If we are in a dark tunnel without light, how about we think about ways to get out of the tunnel? How about focusing on getting something, or even someone, to show us the way out? Staring into space, thinking about how dark it is, is unproductive.

Even the miserable smile on occasion. I remember growing up laughing with family and friends over lots of things. I still do. Life is funny – it has to be. I know I grew up sheltered and protected. Eventually I was exposed to some of the evil this world has to offer, but I learned to put it in perspective: stuff happens.

I have my share of empathy and compassion for people. However, this modern day onslaught of relentless and negative (dis)information is not healthy.

There is nothing conducive to a person’s healthy sense of well being to view every situation relating to one’s race, sex and age as a dead end street. Frankly, I’m a bit miffed and offended at people who relate, with such grim joy and satisfaction, this constant citing of stats as to how bad it is to a black woman in America (or the world).

I Am What I Am

I’m sure they mean well, but I’d also like to tell them: kiss my ass. I love being me. I love being a woman. I love being a black woman. There is no curse on my gender, or “race.”

Got that?

Now lemme go hunt down whatever good news and cheerful stuff exists on the Internet….

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Black Women: Look Out for Number One

Black Women, please put yourself first.

I think it’s great that there are many resources (online, library, books, tapes, etc.) available for the betterment of black women. However, I always have a beef with those that clamor for black women to make changes. These proposals often ask: what can a black woman do to benefit others, but not what the black woman can do for herself.

I make no bones about looking out for myself.

Like a passenger on a plane, black women must put the oxygen mask on herself first. You cannot help others if you aren’t breathing. You cannot help others if your financial house is not in order. You cannot help others if your priorities are messed up. You cannot fix others, if you are still broken.

I have a fantastic family. I love the way I was brought up. No one in my family, especially my Mother and Father ever made me think my well being had to be sacrificed to please anyone. You get my drift? My stuff belonged to me. My well being came first – as well as my siblings. I wasn’t raised to be second to anyone.

So I’m often perplexed when I read, see, or know of black women who feel guilty if they aren’t throwing themselves under the bus for people. I realize that they might not even be aware of it. But no woman should be a sacrificial lamb.

Be a sistah to yourself first.

Learn to be selfish. It’s a good thing. Be loyal to yourself. So next time someone says, “You’re so selfish.” Reply with, “Yes, I am, that’s why I’m living well.”

Give vanity a try! Looking great makes you feel great! It’s good for your overall emotional and physical health!

Guilt is a wasteful emotion. Don’t ever let anyone use this on you.

Giving your time is just as precious as giving your life. Don’t be so caviler about it.

Get into the habit of saying, “No.” Don’t hem and haw.

If people want you to ride or die for them, let them ride or die for you first.

Agreeing with someone doesn’t make you a follower, doormat, or groupie. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make you an enemy, even if you enjoy playing Devil’s Advocate. Intelligent people appreciate well thought-out criticism.

Don’t feel obligated to anyone. They could be using you. You know the deal: they do you one favor and the next thing you know, you are repaying that one favor over a lifetime.

People are clumsy at self-expression, not everyone is glib and verbally gifted. Cut the inarticulate, and possibly the ignorant, some slack. Not everyone is aiming for your jugular.

Last, but not least, you are not a bank, a charity, or a non-profit organization. Don’t be afraid to ask for your money. Don’t be afraid to charge for your time and effort.

Don’t get in the habit of purchasing affection. Life gets rough when you run out of money.

Not everybody is going to like you, but they should, at least, respect you.

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Self-Worth: That Voice in Your Head

Do you have an inner or outer critic that won’t shut up?

Does the inner critic sound familiar, like a mother, father or other relative that wouldn’t let up on how terrible they want you to think you are?

I used to wonder how people ended up not speaking to their relatives for years even decades. It is easy to give up on these complicated relationships. I am always conflicted, because with the good comes the bad, but sometimes cutting the cord is a necessary evil.

It doesn’t have to be a total elimination of these people from your life, but some relatives are, well, toxic. Like a frog in slowly warming water, one’s self-worth and self-esteem will erode under a constantly rising temperature of methodical, mendacious criticism.

I am open to different opinions. I am open to words of advice. Yet, there is a point when that family member has to STFU.

It is a crude point to make, yet insanity is the act of doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result.

As for me, I can’t take it anymore. I have had enough. Constant second guessing of myself, constant criticism of even the smallest deeds, the relentless assertion of not “being a nice person” – I can’t take it anymore. I have had enough. It is life long, long term child / adult abuse. It is a sneaky, shadowy form, but the message is always clear: there’s something wrong with you, you are not a good person.

When I constantly get this message, I begin to wonder: how am I supposed to change? What can I do to be a better person? Am I really a bad person? Am I mean? How come I am not nice? How come no one likes me? Is that why so-and-so doesn’t like me? And so on…

Yet, to make sure that my reality isn’t skewed I check with people I know. I ask, am I that bad? The responses I receive are: you are a nice person, you are good, you are kind, you are sweet, you are compassionate.

That’s when it occurs to me as to why I get mad. I know it’s not my imagination. I know when I’ve heard nasty little comments, little digs, malicious insults, negative pessimistic stories that just happen to match my personal situations, and the constant attempt to chip away at my self-worth and self-esteem.

I understand that it’s not the real deal type of abuse, but do I even need to hear it? This kind of language is programming. Programming which leaves me to second guess myself too often, to leave me preoccupied with things that – while they matter – take up too much effort and energy. I am forced to act under a false doctrine: I am not worthy. I get angry, because I don’t want the inner critic to take over and make me live a life less worthy of living.

I am content with myself, with the way I am. I can do little to change it. I am the way I am. I try to be respectful of everyone; I can do no more or less.

Yet, for my mental health and well being, there are some family members that I need to pull up anchor and drift away from.

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