Wisdom of Silver Eagle

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Location: Flat Creek, Alabama, United States

A dear friend of mine once said, "I've been around this rodeo enough, to enjoy life as it is dealt to me each day." It has given me an entirely new perspective on life. To describe myself, … I am an easygoing, very low maintenance, down to earth kind of person. Keywords are honesty, truth and integrity. What makes me tick? I guess you could say life. I am a spiritual, but not religious. I do not believe any one set of people, beliefs or teachings have the sole method of what is truth. I accept and respect all beliefs. I believe that is more important to walk your path, than it is to talk your path. Personally, I am more "aligned" with what can be called the "natural-way" or the Ancient and Olde Way.

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Monday, October 31, 2005

The Purpose & Meaning of Life

What is the purpose of life?
Everyone has a purpose in life. A unique gift or special talent to give to others. When we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstacy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.

" Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. Some of us can speak with wisdom, while other can speak with knowledge, but these come from the same Spirit. To others Spirit has given great faith, or the power to heal the sick, or the power to work mighty miracles. Some of us are prophets, and some of us recognize when God's Spirit is present. Others can speak in different languages, and still others can tell what these languages mean. But it is Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to us."

The above passage from the Christian Bible, the Apostle Paul's first letter to the church ar Corinth (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) identifies eight gifts of Spirit ... wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, speaking in tongues and understanding other languages. He also states that Spirit decides who receives what gift. Which can also be taken to mean that some may not receive a gift of Spirit. Here it is important to point out that there are other things ... talents ... that a person may possess that can be used in service to others.

At this point it would be interesting to review the etamology of the word used here as "service" and later in the Apostle Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus where in a similar context he uses the work "edifying". Both are the imparting of ones ability to another, however to edify is to build up. Where as service can be anything from an actor to zoologist, and everything in between.

As I have grown older, the teachings of Jesus of Nazereth "that unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven," has taken on new meaning. Look at a little child ... most of the time they have a big smile on their face and they're having fun with life. They are exploring the world about them. They are not affraid to play. They are affriad when they are hurt, when they are hungry, when some of their needs are not met, but they don't worry about the past, don't care about the future, and only live in the present moment.

Very young children are not affraid to express what they feel. They are so loving that if they perceive love, they melt into love. They are not affraid to love at all. That is the desciption of a normal human. As children we are nto affraid of they future or ashamed of the past. Our "normal human tendency is to enjoy life, to play, to explore, to be happy and to love." (Four Agreements of Toltec Wisdom)

So what is the purpose or meaning of life? In an ideal world the purpose or meaning of life would be to do that which you have a talent for, which likely means that you are happy doing it, and to do it in service or for the betterment of those around you ... to quote former President John F. Kennedy ...

... "And so my fellow Americans ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. And my brothers and sisters around the world, ask not what American can do for you, but what together we can do together for the betterment of mankind."

Mitakuye Oyasin,
A Guardian and Servant of Spirit,
Silver Eagle

Short History of Halloween

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). It is the time between Samhain (pronounced "SOW-in" in Ireland, SOW-een in Wales, "SAV-en" in Scotland or even "SAM-haine" in non Gaelic speaking countries) and Brigid's Day "the period of little sun." Thus, Samhain is often named the "Last Harvest" or "Summer's End". The Earth nods a sad farewell to the God.

We know that He will once again be reborn of the Goddess and the cycle will continue. This is the time of reflection, the time to honor the Ancients who have gone on before us and the time of 'Seeing" (divination). As we contemplate the Wheel of the Year, we come to recognize our own part in the eternal cycle of Life.

While almost all Celtic based traditions recognize this Holiday as the end of the "old" year, some groups do not celebrate the coming of the "new year" until Yule. Some consider the time between Samhain and Yule as a time which does not even exist on the Earthly plane. The "time which is no time" was considered in the "old days" to be both very magickal and very dangerous. So even today, we celebrate this Holiday with a mixture of joyous celebration and 'spine tingling" reverence.

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their New Year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. They believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to Earth.

In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.
By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands.

In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1st as 'All Saints' Day', a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday.

The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

In 1000 A.D., the church made November 2 'All Souls' Day', a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Interrelationship of Life

Something from the past ...

July 3, 2004

This morning while chatting with a few friends and others we had an interesting discussion on and about life, and some of the basic concepts about personal expectations and feelings. I thought they were rather profound and decided to try to share them with you ...

As we sat chatting, looking at the whole of life, the big circle of the Great Mystery, I am continually finding evidence of the interconnection and interrelationship of all life. For example how many spiritual principles are inter-related to how we respond to life when our self-esteem, our security, our ambitions, our personal and sexual relationships are interferred with or threatened.

How we realize that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick, and how if we give into their barbs, we are actually giving them some of our own precious personal power.

How we must stand firm in the precept to not take things personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

How can I be helpful to this person or how can I or will I allow God of my understanding to save me from being angry, resentful or even vindictive towards this person, place or institution.

How have my wants, desires, expectations potentially clouded or created an illusion of what is really there? The illusion of life as is seen through our socially conditioned eyes and thoughts. Then taking account and responsibility for where we have been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking or frightened.

How our own personal fears touch every aspect of our lives. Fear, the evil and corroding thread that through our conditioning over our years becomes woven into the very fabric of our human existence. A thread that if pulled, can set in motion circumstances which can bring us misfortune, and loss of personal power.

The pathways of personal power and personal freedom are both selfless and selfish. A paradox? Yes in many ways it is. For as we choose our battles and assess the circumstances and conditions of every battle with the utmost care, we are using our perosnal power along the path of least resistence. We use our gifts and talents in the service and betterment of others, which in turns comes full circle back to us in its own timing.

The catch here is that the use of our gifts and talents must be unconditional and impeccable, that is without expectation and with a clear Spirit. For we can not allow our personal power to be eroded. By that I meanwhat we do, we do, it's done, and let go of. We can not go or come back to say at a later date, "Look at what I did for you." For therein brings to light the true nature and motive for our actions ... and shows we did under the surface attach expectations to the outcome.

Many of Jesus' teachings taught the same about life and unconditional use of gifts, talents, and love. Paraphrasing a section pertaining to the giving of an offering at the temple, "Do not allow your left hand to know what your right hand is doing." This can only be done with a clear heart and clean Spirit. That is without personal motive, i.e., not recording it in some account ledger to manifest a balance for at some later date to extract payment for services rendered. It is unconditional, no strings attached period for all eternity.Best wishes and blessings for Today,

Mitakuye Oyasin,
A Guardian and Servant of Spirit,
Silver Eagle

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Celtic Shamanism: A Brief Introduction

When one thinks of Druids and the Celts, one generally brings to mind images of Merlin and Morganna, people in long flowing robes with extraordinary magical powers. Powers to harm or heal, powers to curse or cure. What few automatically bring to mind is their deeper, more personal mysteries. What gave the Druids their powers? With so many records and accounts destroyed or permanently altered by the Christian invaders, we can only guess based on what is actually known of the time. The solitary nature of the Druids, their affinity for nature and their seeming ability to speak to it lead to the logical conclusion that we are dealing with a form of European, and indeed, Celtic, Shamanism.

A Shaman is considered to be a person who acts as a mediator between the spiritual and material worlds. As such, shamanism can exist side by side with other spiritual beliefs without conflict. It is not, in and of itself, a religion. It does not require group participation. In fact, group participation can often be detrimental to the practice as it inhibits one from going as deep spirituality as they could.

Unlike many other religious leaders, Shamans understand that there are aspects of their lives that must be brought into balance before their abilities can be used to help others. It's a lifetime journey. One where the Shaman is constantly working to improve him/herself as well as helping others. Since all life springs first from the spiritual realm, that area must be tended to before those on the material plane can be healed. Dedication, discipline, control, patience and reflection are all required of the aspiring Shaman. A true Shaman tends to be a healer first, a prophet second. In fact, it's the healing traits that are in highest demand.

While in ancient times the training of an aspiring Shaman could be dangerous, even fatal, that is no longer the case. Shamanism, unlike so many other religious practices has grown and changed with society. It had no choice. By being static it would have become useless. Training today is as easy as reading a few books, meeting with a teacher or two, or even learning from valid internet sites.

What is different about Celtic Shamanism as opposed to the better known Native American Shamanism? In practice not much. Many of the exercises are similar and many of the ways in which people are helped are similar. The difference is in the heritage of the Shaman. The symbols that may be encountered and the paths that may be walked may have vastly different meanings depending on the heritage of the Shaman. Many of these symbols have come about because of the personal experiences of our ancestors. Over time the Shaman will learn these. In spiritual practices where you connect with yourself many times, as in past life healing, your own heritage and that of your past lives comes into play a great deal. These things must be taken into account on a continual basis. It is a lifetime journey and not something possible to accomplish overnight.

If this is a path you wish to examine further then I urge you to read everything you can on the subject. It's a fascinating study into the deepest workings of the human soul and the part we play in the universe.

Mitakuye Oyasin
Silver Eagle

A Meditation Guide

What is Meditation?
Meditation has been practiced around the world in every known religion, from Buddhism to Christianity. Many people have meditated for spiritual communication, personal fulfillment, as a form of worship or just to relax and relieve stress. During this century western societies have begun to recognize the benefits of meditation. The breathing and visualizations employed by traditional medicine help patience fight cancer, physical illnesses, relieve stress and so on.
Basically meditation is an altered state of consciousness achieved through controlled breathing and visualization. Webster's New World Dictionary defines meditation as a deep continued thought and solemn reflection on sacred matters as a devotional act. Both definitions are accurate, but meditation is so much more.

Meditation helps the physical conscious mind connect with the higher or divine consciousness we all have inside ourselves. Through practice and dedication, this bridging between our physical and divine selves, opens the doors to a new spiritual knowledge that has always existed, but that we may not have been able to tap into.

Side Effects
As you practice your mediation technique, you should begin noticing a few side effects. You should become a little calmer and more relaxed during your regular daily activities. You become better able to handle unexpected events or can think more clearly when dealing with a problem or trying to find a solution. Some of the stress and tension you experience should begin to subside each time you perform your chosen meditation technique. All in all, less stress and tension will lead to a healthier and happier you.

On a spiritual side, you may begin to notice an increased interest in your chosen religious path. A degree of self-discovery may also begin to happen. People who meditate on a regular basis report feeling the `need' to improve their attitudes or outlook on life. They feel as though there's more to life than this physical existence and they want to know and understand what that is. I believe this is a result of successfully bridging the conscious and sub-conscious spiritual minds together.

The How To's Of Meditation
There are numerous forms of meditation. Yoga, Ti-Chi, Mantras, Gazing and Freeform are the most common types practiced in the western world (see definitions below). No one way is better than another. What works for one person may not work for another. So it's best for a person to choose the type of meditation that feels the most comfortable for them. Then practice, practice, practice.

Yoga and Ti-Chi
These methods use physical movements or positions to focus the mind and body away from everyday happenings.

This vocal method uses a personal sound, like a hum or phrase, to focus and clear the mind.

Using an object, such as a crystal ball or candle, to help focus and find the meditative state.

This method is generally the most common type of meditation practiced in the U.S. today. Freeform is just that, it does not rely on sound, movement or visual stimuli to focus the mind and body. Rather it uses your own ability to concentrate on nothing. Soft relaxing music can accompany this form of meditation to help the mind block out background noises and distractions.

The best way to learn Yoga or Ti-Chi is to find an experienced teacher or master in your area. These methods require several physical movements that lead the mind down a relaxing path into a relaxed state of awareness. There are also many video tapes on the market for self / home study as well.

The Gazing method is much like the Freeform method, the only difference being one you do with your eyes closed, the other you stare at an object. Read the following instructions for the Freeform method and alter the procedure as needed for the Gazing method.

How to Meditate with the Freeform Method
Science has proven that thought is energy, thus what you think creates energy patterns. The visualizations employed in the Freeform method help your conscious mind create some of those energy patterns to physically relax and push out stress from your body. These visualizations are highlighted in the following steps, to help you gain the most benefit from your meditation practice. However, once you learn the basics, you should think about changing the visualization patterns to best suite your own needs and interests.

How to Start
Choose a piece of music that you find relaxing. Classical and some soft Jazz can be used, but the best form of music is New Age, much like that performed by Yanni or Ed Van Fleet. Many music stores are now carrying New Age music so these should be easy to find. Your meditation music should be totally orchestral (no vocals) and should act as sound barrier between you and the outside noises of the world.

Find a quiet place to sit and relax where you won't be disturbed for 20 to 30 minutes. Meditations have no time limit, but to really appreciate the event a minimum of 30 minutes is really all that's needed.

Sit comfortably, on the floor, in a chair ~ you shouldn't lay down; doing so might cause you to fall asleep instead of meditate. In stead find a comfortable upright position and keep your back straight. Your arms should be placed comfortably in your lap, or at your sides if your lying down. What ever is most comfortable for you. But remember, your going to be in this one position for at least 30 minutes.

Begin your meditation with a deep cleansing breath and close your eyes as you exhale.
With your eyes closed focus on your breathing. Slowly, take in 5 long, deep breaths through your nose filling your lungs to their fullest capacity. Then just as slowly, exhale though your mouth, allowing your lungs to collapse as much as is comfortable for you.

Visualize: As you exhale, imagine the events of the day or week being carried out through your mouth on a gray smoky cloud. Put these worries aside and begin to relax your entire body and mind.

Return to normal breathing and begin to relax each portion of your body, especially your muscles. Feel the tension in your muscles begin to subside. Visualize: With each inhale, imagine a Divine white light collecting inside your body around the solar plexus. With each breath you take in, this light grows stronger, more vibrant and soon begins to increase in size. Within a minute or two, the light grows so large that it encompasses the entire mid-section of your body. Now, begin by pushing the lower portion of the light down toward your toes slowly. Imagine the white light pushing all the stress and tension out of your muscles one at a time. Imagine this stressful energy like a gray smoke being pushed down your lower extremities until it's pushed out your toes. Now the lower half of you body is fully surrounded inside and out by this Divine white light. (This visualization should take approximately 1-2 minutes). Use the same technique to push the light from the solar plexus up your back, neck and head, pushing the `gray' stress out the top of your head. (The Solar Plexus is a network of nerves in the abdominal cavity behind the stomach and just below the position where your rib cage meets.)

This step takes a little practice, don't worry if you can't do this for any extended period of time, but at least give it a try. (It gets easier with practice, but even daily practitioners don't do this step during their entire meditation). Keep your eyes closed, but look up at the pineal gland (pronounced Pin-eel). This is a small gland located in the middle of your forehead, just above the brow. Try to keep your eyes focused on this point. The muscles around your eyes may become sore as you stretch them upward, so don't over do this at first. As you practice, this step will become easier and easier to do. For centuries, the Pineal gland has been considered by many to be the location of the third eye. This step then is a symbolic gesture to bridge the physical eyes with that of the Divine eye.

Now the hard part, clear your mind of the nitty gritty. Don't think about the work on your desk, don't make your grocery list, just think about being at peace. You are training your mind to shut down for several minutes and to do nothing. This is a state of mind foreign to most people But with practice you'll be able to do it. This step is the key to effective mediation. First timers may want to concentrate on their breathing instead. Keep it slow and relaxed.

Quieting the Mind? How do you do that?
Many people believe they have to see nothing, just blackness. This in fact is keeping your mind busy and active trying to force yourself to see darkness. So there is a difference between thinking of nothing and quieting the mind. It's not as simple as it sounds, but it can be done. Calming the mind is left up to you, not to some outside force or mantra. So how do you do it?
The easiest way is through a visualized process. Each time your brain makes a list of things for you to do, shut it down by imagining yourself walking down a road away from your cares and troubles or through a field or along an empty beach. One favorite visualization is to see a large ocean wave fall over the list and wash it away.

Sometimes it's hard for people to tell which images are from their conscious mind and which are from their higher self. If you begin to see strange images, like potted plants or a hand coming from no where to give you a dozen roses, let it happen. As long as the image is non-threatening and peaceful, don't force it away. Practically all people who meditate say they see images, like daydreams, drifting in and out of their mind.

This is normal. In fact, some psychologist believe these images can tell you a lot about yourself. They can help you resolve issues or problems you might be dealing with. Other people believe these images come from their God, Angels or deceased relatives. Their interpretation is strictly up to the individual and what their belief structure is. My favorite explanation of these images is actually a combination of these two. I think this is the way our higher conscious mind communicates with us. Through this symbology we may gain valuable insights or messages from not only your higher self, but perhaps from our spiritual teachers as well.
So quieting the mind doesn't mean turning the lights out, basically that's impossible.

Meditative Journeys
A meditative journey is much like a visualization, but with an specific purpose. You can visualize a specific set of images to get in touch with your higher consciousness, to travel to an island and meet your `animal guide', or to examine files in your Akashic records. The possibilities are endless and are bound only by the confines of your imagination.

Or if you have a specific meditative journey you'd like to take, record your own visualized tape. Just choose you're favorite music, write out what you want to see and record the two together. This can be a powerful tool for journeying, and can help the process along. Instead of imagining on the fly so to speak, your recording would guide you through a deliberate path to helping you reach your goal.

Within many religions there is a certain amount of ritual. Christians light white candles before each service begins, Native Americans burn sage and other incense to cleanse the environment for spiritual growth, Buddhists bang a small gong before beginning their prayers. Humans are sensory creatures, we rely on sights, smells and sounds to help us retain memories and understanding. So any combination of ritual can be performed before each meditation to heighten the experience.
In addition, do the same ritual can almost be like a pre-program that begins to prepare the conscious mind for relaxation. This pre-programming can help the meditator get into a relaxed state much quicker, leaving more time for the meditation itself.

Keeping A Record
Keep a record or diary of your meditation sessions. Write down the time, place and weather if you want. Keep track of the images that float into your mind. Record the differences in sensations you feel when visualizing the white light, or the relaxation of the muscles. Make notes on how your attitudes or viewpoints change. How you handle situations with people or at work. All this information is important for you to see how far you've grown over what will be a very short period of time. You'll be amazed at yourself in just 6 months. But you may not notice, if you don't write it down.

How Often Should You Meditate?
Well that's entirely up to you. Some people meditate twice a day, once in the morning, once in the evening. Some people meditate once a day or once a week. Once a week can still be beneficial for relieving stress and anxiety, but if you can't fit once a day into your schedule, at a minimum, you should try to meditate 3 times a week.

I hope this may help those interested who read it.

Silver Eagle

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Plymouth, MI - Today's blog is a Potpourri of observations, comments, etc.

Hurricane WILMA - Monday's south Florida crossing of Hurricane Wilma was south of the forecast track as well as well south of my sensed track between Ft. Myers and Melbourne. It is a good thing that Wilma took this southern track. Ironically as with any hurricane, forecasting thier track and intensity is not an exact "science", not to mention that aspect of "Mother Nature."

I must admit watching the news and Weather Channel from here in Michigan ... there was one city manager, that stated that they're preparations are geared for a storm of at least one Category above the forecast intensity. Well Done! Then there was some guy (resident) in or around Key West that said something like we've been through Category 1 and 2 before (the original forecast intensity), so unless she throws us a curve and becomes a Category 3 or greater we'll be okay. What was that old TV commercial ... You don't fool with Mother Nature!

Employment & Housing - After nearly thirty years of being away from Plymouth, MI I was kind of blown away at the cost of housing in the area I grew up in. Just like I mentioned previously pertaining to Florida, they are building $300,000.00 and up homes here too. In talking with a few individuals during the reunion, they said most of the old laborer jobs in the area are predominantly gone. Companies are "outsourcing" employment overseas and to Mexico because they can pay $2.00 per hour instead of even minimum wage for basic labor. The result is that unless you are working in a high-tech industry, or bio-technology, most likely you'll find yourself below the federal poverty level.

In addition that "blue-collar" work is disappearing, there is a move of individuals and families from the larger cities into the suburbs often resulting in over an hour's commute to and from work. I experienced this in California where people began leaving the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area for outer communities of Livermore, Fairfield, then going further out to Stockton and Vacavilled, and ultimately into even Sacramento. In Central Florida we are witnessing this too, as people are moving from the Tampa Bay metro area and the Orlando metro area into Polk County. The end result is that housing costs are being driven up as these folks move into the formerly rural areas.

The 30th Reunion - This was the basic reason for coming north to Michigan the past week, as well as visit with family that I haven't seen since about 1998 or so. In an overall situation it was or has been a rather enjoyable event .. the football game .. the get together after the football game .. and the reunion. A rather memorable series of events.

I came north with no preconceived ideas or expectations other than to meet up with some old "friends" and "acquaintenances". Interestingly not a lot had changed. Oh sure, some had that middle age midsection, a number of us guys were sporting gray hair, but I wonder how many were using Grecian Formula or have thier hair dyed. What was in my opinion kind of comical was that many of the "cliques" that existed during high school still seemed to exist. But then we are "human" and many people (in general) don't like to leave their comfort zones. So hanging out at the reunion with the "old gang" is understandable.

One thing that I really had to chuckle at, was just like at the old school dances, the guys stood around talking to each other, and a number of the women decided to dance together. Since I like to dance, it wasn't a problem finding someone to dance with. It was even funny that after dancing a couple songs, I could have ended up dancing the remainder of the night, since so many of the women wanted to dance.

It has been a good trip.

Silver Eagle

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hurricane Wilma - 10/23

Plymouth, MI - As I wrote yesterday, I really do not have a good feeling about the "forecast track" of Hurricane WILMA. The above image while small shows the Infrared satellite view with the forecasted positions of Sunday at 8:00 pm and Monday at 8:00 am. According to latest National Hurricane Center data the hurricane force winds extend out to 70 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend out to 200 miles. Also according to the NHC the wind field is offset of center on a three-fifths on the right of track and two-fifths on the left of track. This approximately equates to 45 miles left of track for hurricane force winds and 133 miles left of track for tropical storm force winds. The forecast landfall point around 8am Monday is 102.5 nautical miles almost due south of home (Winter Haven, FL). The forecast point for 8pm Monday is approximately 350 miles to the northeast of landfall, which means the closure distance as Hurricane WILMA tracks across Florida will reduce to less than the 102.5 miles.

Looking at the above graphic you'll notice that the current hurricane warning as of the 10PM CDT advisory of 10/22/05 extends around the Florida peninsula. Winter Haven is located about midway between Tampa Bay (where the red line ends on the Gulf of Mexico) and Kennedy Space Center (about the boundary between the yellow line and pink line on the Atlantic Coast).

I'm not "scheduled" to return to Florida until Wednesday afternoon at about 4:30pm. Which according to the NHC Five Day Graphic Wilma should be northeast of Maine. I'm a little concerned for Central Florida ... because as my previous post indicated ... my sensation is that this storm will come ashore between Venice and Ft. Myers and exit into the Atlantic between Melbourne and Kennedy Space Center. A great deal of the media attention seems to be focused on the Florida Keys north to Ft. Myers.

Based upon the 11pm EDT advisory the 8:00am Monday forecast position is 36 hours away. 36 hours isn't a lot of time to prepare or to evacuate. The distance between the 11pm advisory and the 36 hour forecast postion inland is about 400 nautical miles. Which means a forward speed of about 11 miles per hour.

Category 2 Wind Model Graphic Link

Silver Eagle

Friday, October 21, 2005

Hurricane Wilma

Plymouth, Michigan -- A few days ago while celebrating my 48th birthday with my mother and friend at home in Winter Haven, Florida, I told them that I saw Hurricane Wilma crossing the State of Florida on a Fort Meyers to Melbourne line, which appears to be about 30 miles to the north of the black line across the State of Florida on the above satellite image at 1:15pm on the 21st of October. Interestingly enough just four hours ago, the forecast was for Wilma to be crossing the south central part of Florida between 7pm Sunday and 7am Monday. Now just four hours later it is anticipated to cross Florida between 7am Monday and 7pm Monday.

Of course the longer the delay in Wilma's movement could also interrupt my return travel plans from Michigan and my 30th High School Reunion on Wednesday the 26th. According to the latest forecast information posted by the National Hurricane Center, Wilma "should" be off the Florida east coast near the Kennedy Space Center by 7pm Tuesday night.

Just a little distance information:
Winter Haven to Orlando International Airport --- approximately 40 miles, northeast
Winter Haven to Kennedy Space Center --- approximately 60 miles, east-northeast
Winter Haven to Fort Meyers --- approximately 60 miles, south-southwest
Hurricane Wilma's current eye diameter --- approximately 30 miles
Hurricane force winds (75mph or more) extend outward up to 85 miles
Tropical storm force winds (34mph or more) extend outward up to 200 miles

In retrospect the 2004 Hurricanes ... Charlie, Frances and Jeanie passed between 7 and 15 miles from Winter Haven. Charlie had an eye diameter of only 5 miles and Frances and Jeanie had eye diameters of 15 miles.

Hurricane Wilma at 7am Monday is forecasted to be a Category 2 hurricane and retain Hurricane status as it crosses Florida and be a Category 1 hurricane at 7am Tuesday in the Atlantic Ocean off shore the Kennedy Space Center.

Personally, I don't have a good feeling or reading of this storm and it's effects on Central Florida. The numbers definately do not look good, especially the fact that it retains hurricane status all the way across the state.

Silver Eagle

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Mission

Michigan - Today I set out with one mission in mind: to visit the grave site of my paternal grandfather, Michael Silaghi. Above is his grave marker, as it says he ways born in 1898 and passed away in 1959 when I was just two years old. I didn't know exactly where the cemetery was, though I did remember what road it was on. My grandmother thought that it was at 10 Mile Road and Inkster Road. Driving around on 10 Mile Road and found it where Beech Road dead-ends at the entrance to the cemetery.

I went into the office to get directions to "Pa's" grave site. The man in the office was most helpful and within minutes I was following the directions and map he provided me. As I followed the map, I passed the crypt of Frank Navins, founder of the Detroit Tigers. I knew from past experience that I wasn't far from Pa's grave site, when all my memories from the past began to flood my brain. Then as I passed this one tree, I saw it, four rows back from the road, just like recapturing a photo from the past, and my emotions just cut loose, tears began streaming down my cheeks uncontrollably. As I got out of the rental car, all the way to the grave site and for a good few minutes of being there at the grave the tears just continued to poor out.

There at the grave site, I had the most awesome and euphoric feeling come over me. I understand that only his physical remains have been there since 1959. Yet it was as if his spirit which has been around and with me for many years now, was intensified in this place. I cleared the leaves and pulled the overgrowing grass from the edges of the grave stone.

After cleaning up the marker, I sat below and to the left of the marker, lit an incense stick which I had brought with me. I went into one of my trance-like meditations and soon we were talking together in the spirit and again my tears of happiness flowed down my cheeks. His presence was surrounding me and it was like some 46-47 years ago when I used to sit upon his lap.

As I sat there I could here flocks upon flocks of Canadian Geese flying nearby. The trees of autumn in there changing colors were beautiful. The above photo of the Canadian geese was one of four small flocks of about 50 geese that were feeding on insects across the roadway from Pa's grave site. I was very happy that I went today. It was as if being rejuvenated in my spirit. Even though Pa was around for only two years of my life, I know and have experienced his presence regularly in the last few years.

I'm not sure what it was, but after my hour visit with Pa, I really couldn't leave. I don't know what it was but for almost another hour, I felt a need to stay there. Whether it was the peacefulness and serenity of the place; or that because I am a shaman and deathwalker that I truly have a connection to this place and able to walk in both worlds: physical and spiritual. I know this ... I was there because I was supposed to be there today. I am truly blessed today by the Great Spirit, by God and Goddess. It was a good day!

Silver Eagle

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

On Language

On Language

I think I should talk about words. Your language. It is another thing that bothers me, and I think I should take away the burdens of the things that bother me. That is what I heard from the old ones.

I grew up speaking the language of my people. It wasn't until school I had to learn English. What was important to Indian people was saying something the best way. In English you had to learn to say things a hundred ways. I still watch white people talk and I'm surprised at all the words. Sometimes they will say the same thing over and over and over in different ways. They are like a hunter who rushes all over the forest trying to bump into something instead of sitting quietly until he can capture it.

I don't mind this, mostly. But I don't like it when it is used to hurt us or other people. Now I'm going to tell you some of those things that hurt because of the way people say them.

The first one is about the battles. Whenever the white people won it was a victory. Whenever we won it was a massacre. What was the difference? There were bodies on the ground and children lost their parents, whether the bodies were Indian or white. But the whites used their language to make their killing good and our killing bad. They 'won'; we 'massacred'.

I don't even know what a massacre is, but it sounds like dead women and little babies with their throats cut. If that's right, it was the white people who massacred more than we did. But I hardly ever heard anyone talk about the white massacres.

Here's another one: uprising. You use that word to talk about anytime our people couldn't stand what was happening to them anymore and tried to get our rights. Then you should call your Revolutionary War an uprising. But you don't. Why not? There was a government taking freedom away from you and you stood up against it. But you called it a revolution, like maybe the earth was turning to something better. When we did it, it was called an uprising, like everything was peaceful and orderly until we 'rose up'.

What about 'warpath'? When you came out against us you 'formed an army'. When we came out to defend our families we 'went on the warpath'. I won't even talk about words like 'bloodthirsty' and 'savage'.

My little great grandson came home one day and told me they were studying the frontier in American history. I asked him what it was. He told me it was where civilization stopped. Just look at that! They were teaching him that civilization only existed up to where the white men had reached. Well, we were on the other side of that line. We had governments and laws, too. Our people were better behaved than the people that came into our lands. But here is my little great grandson talking about the frontier and civilization. It was like we didn't exist.

Every time you talk about the frontier you are telling us that we don't matter. You teach about the frontier. You talk about the wilderness and how empty the land was, even though to us the land was always full. You talk about civilization like we didn't have any, just because we didn't try to haul big chairs and wooden chests across the desert in a cart.

The way you teach it, America started from some ships that came to Massachusetts and Virginia. The people got off and had to push their way through some big empty land that was full of danger. It was like the place was empty and you filled it up, and history is the story of how you filled it up and what happened while you were filling it.

That's not the way it was to us. For us, this was a big land where people lived everywhere. Then some people came and landed on the shores in the east while others came up from the south. They started pushing us. Then some others came down the rivers from the north. All these people were fighting each other. They all wanted something from us —furs, land, gold. They either took it or made us sell it to them. They all had guns. They all killed us if we didn't believe that God was some man named Jesus who had lived in a desert across the sea.

Our land was taken from us from every direction. We can look at the same facts as you, and it is something completely different. But you build your history on words like 'frontier' and 'civilization', and those words are just your ideas put into little shapes that you can use in sentences. The big ideas behind them are weapons that take our past from us.

Without even knowing it, you made us who we are in your minds by the words you used. You are still doing that, and you don't even know it is happening. I hope you'll learn to be more careful with your words.

There was an old man who told me when I was a boy that I should look at words like beautiful stones. He said I should lift each one and look at it from all sides before I used it. Then I would respect it. You people have so many words that you don't respect them the way you should. There is always another one, so you just throw them out there without thinking. Those words are like stones. Even if they are beautiful, if you throw them out without thinking, they can hurt someone.

Silver Eagle

Monday, October 17, 2005

Two Years in Florida

Today, October 17, 2005, makes it two years that I have been back living in Central Florida after spending 24 years in Central California. It has been an interesting two years to say the least. So here's a little personal assessment.

Pro's of Central California
1. Had quite a few "friends" and "acquaintances" there.
2. Sacramento area is two-hours from Reno/Lake Tahoe, two to two and one-half hours from the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, three hours from the Pacific Ocean, four to six hours from the beautiful redwoods of the northern US-101 corridor.

Con's of Central California
1. It's E X P E N S I V E
2. A great many people are "plastic" and I don't mean "silicone". They're phony, smiling out of one side of their mouth and plotting to stab you in the back out of the other.
3. Cultural diversity ... last I checked California was still part of the United States, yet how many Californian's speak English as their first and primary language?
4. California state politics - the State Assembly where you can get legislation passed on sexual diversity and gender bias, but can't get legislation passed to post the photo's and address locations of the State's thousands of Registered Sex Offenders on the Internet, like 39 other states already have done.
5. Earthquakes, no notice shaking, rattling and rolling.

Pro's of Central Florida
1. I can wear shorts nearly all year round.
2. The cost of living is not expensive relative to average wages.
3. People say what they mean, i.e., being politically correct isn't the "in" thing to do. You actually know where you stand with people.
4. Gulf of Mexico is 90 minutes away, Atlantic Ocean is 90 minutes away and the water is generally warm in both places.
5. Hurricanes typically give you seven days advance notice before attempting to ruin your day, destroy your house and mess up your life.
6. See #1, bikini weather nearly all year round, lots of silicone revealed.
7. At least six Bald Eagle nests within a fifteen minute drive of home.

Con's of Central Florida
1. Haven't been here long enough to make some good "friends".
2. Have to go to Tampa (80 minutes) or Orlando (60 minutes) for any significant amount of "night-life" or "cultural events", this is kind of like John Denver's reference to Toledo, Ohio where they allegedly roll up the streets about 10:00 pm.
3. Being part of the "bible-belt" region, some areas are still back in the bronze or stone age.
4. This region of Central Florida is allegedly the "meth-capitol" of the world, ... I've seen better teeth on race horses than some of the men, women and children here.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


The shaman also assists the dying and those departed on their journey from this world.

Shamans are often identified in older or more primitive cultures as essential in aiding the process of fertility and birth. Very often, in modern society, we want to overlook another one of their fundamental tasks in serving their communities and that is to be there also at the end of life and assist the dying and those departed on their journeys from this world.

We have no issues when we look at primitive cultures in allowing for both those positions in a Shamanic culture, but in our own we have defied both in order to embrace what we like to think of as more culturally sophisticated and civilized behaviors. The modern shaman, however, still functions in those capacities within the communities they serve to a greater or lesser degree.

When we speak of roles in the shamanic, those talents and tasks that seem to act as specialized areas of the experience where people may find themselves drawn, or even innately attached, also include both of these positions. Today, without culturally morbid and fearful sense of death we don't like to associate the end of life with a particular practice or set of practices and those who are often drawn to that area of the work can suffer because people may think of them as just too weird even for the shamanic. Just as there are dreamers, seers, healers, power seekers and specialists of all sorts in the shamanic, the deathwalkers are still a part of any real tradition and represent an important element of the practice that all shamans need to understand and work with to some degree. The deathwalker is not a grim reaper, they are releasing that which is trapped, moving that which is beyond life, but not yet truly within the clutches of death, theirs is an important role in endings just as midwifery and fertility are for those that attend the beginning of the cycle of life.

Those who are naturally attracted to it as a role are not sad depressed people with beagle eyes and cynical outlooks. They are usually optimistic and find great satisfaction in that process of dissolution, acting as an intermediary, counselor and prod, to help that human energy which is trapped or refusing to let go. This is not Hollywood, the deathwalker perceives their task as part of the necessary cycle of life and one that they are particularly adept at through virtue of their own predilections. That energy, which may exist after death, or is becoming unbound during the process, may well seek them out, not through intellectual choice, but through an attraction to the affinity for sight and action which seems to lie in those who work this practice in particular.
While a person who has died or is dying may have written the poetry of their own existence they lack the final verse and with gentleness, kindness and compassion they are able to write the last words with the help of the deathwalker.

How does one know if they are a deathwalker?

The process usually begins in childhood, although it can start much later when you start to actually 'see' what you were seeing all along but denied. You will usually have spontaneous visitations, energies are drawn to you, emotions that strike you that don't fit, even memories that are not of your life. Pursuing those things leads you to understand that you stand apart from them and they are something different, human, yet undefined in totality, but insistent in existence. This is part of what all shamans do, some are blessed with an innate ability to deal with the dead, others work with it in more indirect ways, but it is something that all shamans are called upon to do as a part of their work. It’s just like hemorrhoids, we don't just work on the nice parts of people, we have to work on all of them and their problems aren't always pretty.
The deathwalker is called early and called upon often, if they lack training and it starts in childhood what you can end up with is a dreadfully fearful, neurotic individual. If they have just the right balance, they can survive that at least to a point they can begin to see it not as a threat, or terrifying, but something wonderful and intrinsically a part of life. If you don't find dead people in your car, then you probably are not a pure deathwalker, that doesn't mean that you do not work with the process, all shamans do, it’s in the job description. It is a very real form of energy, the energy of the void.

I can feel it standing by, when people are dying, it’s very palpable to me.

Yes, just like birth itself, the struggle to live, it is the struggle of death and dissolution. It’s not a bad thing, but it can make people very nervous.

I have learned to keep quiet about it.

The more you see; the less you can say.

Can this be why cemeteries can be so overwhelming for me?

Yes, you fall more closely to the category of the pure deathwalker. Tribes, (some shamanic traditions,) used to have specialist shamans who worked this way. Cemeteries can be very sad places, but they are above all repositories of history, energy that remains.

Seeing Energy Unravel

You mentioned before that what I see is based on the point they are at in the dissolution. Can I pinpoint this place in order to better help?

Yes, the way to pursue it is to watch the dying. Watch the process; 'see' it in its raw natural state.

I don't have much opportunity for that.

Everything dies; humans aren't special in that, the process is the process. Even the mountains are dying.

Oh I was thinking only of human energy because that seems to be what I deal with.
Yes, but you can learn from any energy. How it moves towards dissolution, the process of separation and how each individual strand of life become unbound.

But non-human would dissolve differently would it not because of the lack of attachments?
Yes, it does, but the process is the same. Once you understand the process you can begin to see where humans break away or get stuck in it by how far they have moved through it.

I thought perhaps I was seeing their energetic form.

In a way you are, and it can be quite lovely, but it's almost impossible for humans or anything to retain all of its energy at death, only certain parts will remain. They can even split off and end up in different places; the rules are no longer applicable. Some appear nearly perfectly human in form too. Watching someone die is hard, even someone you are not attached to in an emotional way. In the past death was in everything and humans died easily, so access was better.

Interesting in a strange way to actually see the energy come apart

Yes, it's a strange place to be cast in to that’s why I have always referred to it as becoming unbound. It’s not a breaking, or a purely dissolving thing; it really is more as though we become unbound. It’s a beautifully awesome thing to see... the tapestry of their life, unwove by an unseen hand. It is not an entirely sad thing to deal with, although I can see how people in this culture see it that way. I try to see it as a service, the same as healing, seeing, or anything else.

Identifying Deathwalker Energy

What are some of the early indications or experiences that might point us to identify deathwalker energy? If identified, how would you suggest working with it most effectively to help them? (Both children and adults)

When children come to you and speak of their invisible 'friend' or friends, don't dismiss it out of hand. I think most people wouldn't do that anymore, but then you are called upon to do more. Question them about the nature, description and things they talk about with those friends. (That is if it's that apparent to them.) If they are dealing with a less specific contact, in other words, they have some talent in that direction, but are not that drawn to it naturally, you need to work with them to discover the nature of their feelings. If it scares them, where do they feel it first, and so forth. Most people will feel the energy in one of two places, either the pit of the stomach or the nape of the neck, these are the two areas through with people start the process of unbinding and is usually where living humans will feel it when the energy touches their own.

Crossing Over

Can you walk us through the shamanic process of helping someone 'over'?

Yes. The key is to watch if you can. Let's speak of that process first, since there are essentially two. When someone dies, or begins that process, there is what you can think of as an event horizon, a point at which there is no return and beyond which things in this reality are of no more concern. If a person is dragging their own energy behind them in the sense of great guilt, or grief or fear, then you can have a process where energies can cling to the rim of that horizon and the process is broken, energy unbinds but does not leave the world completely. It is very crucial, as a shamanic practitioner and deathwalker to step into the process with them and walk a ways with them on their journey. You must recognize the essential energy, emotional almost always, that is causing them to attempt to recoil within their own energy. You must reach out and soothe, calm, and help point them on their way. You must create a space for them that allows them to let go, that nothing that bound them in the world is now important. Time is gone and their time is past, not as a sad thing, but as a change from one point of existence into many.

Some will fight this

Yes, some do and it is not our place to fight their process or control it, we can only walk with them as far as they can go, some won't go and have to be dealt with after the fact.
So, because we can walk further across the bridge, so to speak, we walk with them and help them make the passage to that point where we cannot go further ourselves?

Yes, which brings us to the second method. When you find yourself in contact with energy that has clung to this side of the world, you have to coax, push, even prod it to finish the process of letting go. There is a point at which you will cease to breathe, stop there. Some energies combine with other energies and create other problems, but that is really a subject for another night.

The place of white light

Yes, don't go there, that would be the big twinkie. It is the form of human expression both into and out of this world - the gateway. Don?t go through it.

I have a profound respect for the act of helping someone to die, and I know it's part of healing. A part of me knows it's necessary as the ultimate act of healing, but the healer in me doesn't know when that point is - 'heal and live dammit!'

Yes, why do we do this instead of insisting on healing - because we're not gods. One of the hardest things for any healer to deal with is the fact that you can't heal everyone and you can't cheat one of the fundamental processes of life itself, which is death. You can maneuver some, you can move things for people to a place where if it really isn't taking hold they can recover, but there is that place where it has stopped being a living process and has become a dying process. We as healers must be honest enough and detached enough to recognize that and allow what must be to be. I've brought people back from the brink, I've also watched young people die from things that didn't have to kill them except in their own perception that was what was expected of them. This is serious business, when you reach a point as a healer that people are willing to put their very lives in your hands there is no room for anything except absolute impeccability. To do less than your absolute best is failure. But once you have done your absolute best, you have done all you can do. People don't understand me, I've watched things die; people I loved immensely died, inch by inch, day in and day out, only to realize I could not be the commander of the process. I could only walk the path with them and offer my hand. We are wounded and we heal best from our deepest pain.

Letting Go

When I saw my friend the Tuesday before she was hospitalized, it felt like her energy was draining. I sensed she was going to die but tried to convince myself otherwise, even though I felt myself pulling away from her. When she was in the hospital, people were saying they thought she wasn't accepting her death and was fighting, in denial. I sat next to her, setting intent to heal her. Instead I took her hand, and wished her to let go. That everything she needed to do here was done. After that, she seemed to slip into a coma and only talked 3 more times the following days before she passed. I found myself not really mourning over her death or losing my best friend so much as, well crying over what I did. At the time I felt guilt for doing it, but I now see differently. I'm wondering if it's strange not really mourning over someone's death?

Yes, and you did the right thing with your friend, you offered her the serenity of a life completed and a future of new expansion. The energy of those that go on may linger, usually not more than a few months, but it tends to seek out those most familiar to it in terms of energy. Then there is the final movement of all their energy past the barriers of our perception. You did well not mourning. It was only because you let those attachments to her go so she could begin moving. It was a selfless act.

The longer someone has been dead is there less chance of connecting with their energy?
Not necessarily, energy that stays here can last a long, long time. It really depends on how intense the intent to hold on through those parts of themselves was. But over time even that will fade away. It could last centuries though.

If they were fairly enlightened?

Enlightenment is a process of mind, emotions rule our existence here, it really depends on their emotional energy. The mind is a construct of perception, human energy is so much bigger than that, if they were prepared to let go and were at peace with that, then the odds are that they went all at once.

You can talk to his energy any time, nothing is past except our perception of it. Everything exists now. Reach out for him; he is there.

So why do I include this in this entry?

Tonight while out and about for my "night on the town" ... lol ... I went to my "usual" hang-out for a couple of O'Douls and to sing some karaoke. I don't remember what time it was but a young man came in dressed in desert camo BDU's came in. I had a sense of feeling pride for this young man. That is until I shook his hand. The moment that I touched his hand, I felt "death" around him and within him. It was the very same feeling that I felt when former President Ronald Regan passed away.

I had to ask a good friend of mine if he felt anything from this individual? My friend told me this would be this young man's third tour to Afghanistan, but that he felt he wasn't coming back. I asked him (my friend) point blank, you mean as coming back in a body bag and he nodded yes.

The remainder of my evening basically sucked to the n'th degree. I pray that the feeilings and sensations that both I and my friend felt were wrong and this young man comes home to his family.

For all the men and women serving this country overseas . . . may "GOD" protect you and keep you safe to return home alive to your loved ones.

Silver Eagle

Since I'm ranting ...

Over the past twenty years I have observed or witnessed many things, events, and changes in the United States, the world and humanity in general. Some may consider my writings or rantings here on this blog or in The World of Silver Eagle to be rather negative or anti-American society. That is far from the case, at least in my opinion. Much of what I have written about is this present course that human events in America seem to be taking us towards. I still believe that the United States of America is still the best place in the world to live. But I am not an ostrich, and I'm not going to bury my head in the sand to not see, or admit, or acknowledge what is going on in this country or in the world for that matter either. You can take being "politically-correct" and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Does my opinion offend you? Guess what, that's why it's my opinion. If it offends you . . . hmm . . . does that mean what I've said or written must be cutting to the quick of your nature? Have I caused you to consider your personal accountability and personal responsibility to being a contributing member of this human society? Does it make you uneasy after reading to look in the mirror at the individual you are?

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you shine for the day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that face has to say.
For it isn't your father or mother or wife,
Who judgment upon you must pass;
The person's whole verdict counts most in your life,
Is the one staring back from the glass?
Some people may think you a straight-shootin' chum,
And you're always willing to try,
But that face in the glass says you're only a bum,
If you can't look it straight in the eye.
There's the one to please, never mind all the rest,
For it's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the one in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the one in the glass!

I wrote earlier on this BLOG about "Living Wages" and certain economic events or actions such as sports figures, corporate CEO's, making in excess of a million dollars a year, and I should add to that group the stage and film actors and actresses too!

In the 30 years since graduating from high school I have watched, read reports of, and heard reports of jobs leaving the country. Whole corporations moving part or all of their operation out of the United States. Why?

A number of reasons.
1) The American society has become law suit happy. . . the individual who sued McDonald's because the coffee was hot and she burned herself when she spilled it on her lap . . . the burgular who sued a homeowner for being shot in the thigh while robbing the homeowner's residence and being caught in the act.
2) Everyone seems to want something for nothing . . . laziness . . . to get paid for doing nothing . . . or the federal government paying farmers to NOT farm their fields.
3) The costs associated with running a business or corporation, . . . workman's compensation . . . environmental restrictions . . . liability insurance . . . malpractice insurance . . . unemployment insurance . . . taxes.
4) The lack of many individuals taking responsibility for their actions.

No where in the Constitution of the United States does it say the government owes an individual diddly-squat, yet over the years people have discovered that by voting in this congressperson or senator into office they'll get something free back. Damnit, social programs are not meant to be a way of living, but a way of getting a leg up to get on your own. Yet we've all, I'm sure read stories of certain parts of the country where there have been two or more generations of a family living on welfare! What ever happened to the addage about "Don't give a man a fish to eat for today, but teach him how to fish to feed himself for a lifetime?"

Years ago when I was in the military and the "Cold War" was still running strong, the rhetoric about nuclear weapons and bombing this or that country back into the stone age abounded. Now I have to wonder, is the or was the "simple-life" of the stone age better to this so-called technilogically advanced society of today? I mean is a automobile really worth one or two years salary? Is it really necessary to spend ten times the annual federal poverty level income of approximately $17,000.00 on purchasing a home? Or spending more than you make in one day for a pair of tennis shoes?

We've lost sight of the basics . . . food . . . shelter . . . clothing. We often joke about it when listening to today's elderly talking about when they went to school, and how they might have to walk five to ten miles in the snow to get to and from school. Yet I wonder, today how long is the average school bus ride?

Okay ... enough said for today.

Silver Eagle

My "Haven" ... aka Patio

The first stages ... those are 12 inch patio stones and the circular ones are 16 inch. The central pedestal is two layers of sand filled cinder blocks topped with four 16 inch square red patio stones.

Adding the tiki torches and cauldron

Night time ... added redwood bark, more white stones around perimeter of the red and 12 more 12-inch circular stones.

The privacy fencing goes up, 4' x 8' sheets of lattice work, two on each corner.

The finished product ...

Though now there are four large split leaf philadendron vines growing in each corner, a 52 inch wind chime hanging above the little guy with the urn in the picture at left, and a new 24-inch ceramic cauldron on the center pedestal. Also two 42-inch tall statues of a native american male and female that are standing on the circular stones to the left and right of the little guy with the urn.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

"Men since thebeginning of time have sought peace," but "military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn have failed, leaving the only path to be by the way of the crucible of war." Now "we have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be for the spirit if we are to save the flesh."
(General Douglas MacArthur, September 2, 1945, on the deck of the USS Missouri)

A few weeks ago, my dear friend "Mystical Me" dated September 19, 2005, on this blog server posted the following link on her blog, titled "The Forgotten Victims" of Hurricane Katrina.


And while I have previously posted some comments pertaining to the awesome post and assoicated web page, something within me still seems to be clawing about the situation and the apparent lack of "moral fiber" of our nation. As the first paragraph text above, taken from General Douglas MacArthur's speech upon the surrender of Japan in World War II so poignantly states, "The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be for the spirit if we are to save the flesh."

The "cultured humanists" of our day who repudiate any form of a spiritual life undoubtedly may lead morally respectable lives; but not all. A good number of them dislike the spiritual or religious overtones of society, namely because they insist on purity and chastity instead of doing what feels good. In our "technilogically-advanced" times we have seemed to forgotten a simple basic tenet of "Do what you will, but harm no one."

We wonder why third-world countries have distaste for Americans, American foreign policy and American government in general. The human race has become the most vicious of the entire Animal Kingdom. Even the most savage "wild-animals" do not destroy his own species to appease their hunger, yet mankind destroys our fellow man, woman and child for much less.

Ironically, just recently I read an interview on the Internet of comedian George Carlin pertaining to the pursuit of capital punishment, i.e., death penalty, for drug dealers. In which, paraphrasing here, Carlin says the death penalty doesn't phase the drug dealers because they know already that if their drugs don't kill them, that someone trying to get their turf will. Carlin continued, the death penalty should be pursued for those billion-dollar members of corporate society who are "laundering" billions of dollars into illegal off-shore enterprises that are supporting the various drug cartels and terrorist groups around the globe.

Advances in technology to where we can place men and women in a habitable environment on an orbitting international space station at a cost of billions of dollars in development and operation are wonderful. But what is that doing for those in third world countries around the globe, where thousands if not millions die each day from starvation?

A little over two and one-half years ago, the present Bush Administration launched Operation Iraqi Freedom with it's "Shock and Awe" campaign. The Administration says this will not be another Vietnam, to which I say "Bullshit" it already is in more ways than one. Just ask any Veteran about it.

Corporate America has become so greedy and money hungry. In 1971 my father bought a Ford Grand Torino automobile for about $3,500.00 (brand new). In 1995 I bought my first new car, a Dodge Intrepid, about the same size vehicle and similarly equipped, the difference is that I paid about $19,500.00 for that car. We're talking about nearly a 550 percent increase! Yet in 1975 the minimum wage was $2.00 an hour and today it's only $6.15 per hour (or a 307 percent increase)?

Here I must digress a little bit and revert back to a little American History of about 230 years ago.

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen ColoniesIn CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Something must change if we as not only an American People but a part of the entire human race are to survive. I'm sure "Corporate America" would defend the differences in the cost of an automobile, or building a new home, or that the "government" would defend is increase in taxes because of an increase in need for materials or provision of social services.

Again, "Bullshit!"

As a previous post of mine stated the present 2005 Federal poverty level is $17,028.00 per year or just over $8.18 per hour for 2080 hours worked. Presidential and Vice Presidential SalariesExclusive of Perquisites shows that the President in 2003 had an annual salary of $400,000.00. Now then explain to me why some corporate CEO's are making over a million dollars per year, or why some sports figures are also? According to the US Census the median income in the United States is $44,389.00. That figure if multiplied by 45 (from age 20 to age 65 is 45 years) is $1,997,505.00, or an approximated median income for a working lifetime.

In the case of a sports figure (athlete) their useful lifetime as an athlete is maybe let's say ten years. So for ten years of their life they are in the limelight, does that mean they are more productive to society than a doctor, police officer, grocery clerk? Should they make in one year what many will never make in a lifetime of working 45 years, five days a week, 52 weeks a year?

I could be wrong, I have been many times before, but if I recall correctly, in 1975 when the minimum wage was $2.00 per hour, the former Detroit Tiger Baseball great and player, Al Kaline was making $250,000.00 per year, or the annualized equivalent (2080 hours) of about $120.19 per hour, roughly 60 times the minimum wage. Today the minimum wage as I said is $6.15 per hour, and sixty time that is $369.00 per hour or annualized as $767,520.00. Which for a ten year career is still 3.8 times what the average/median worker will make in a lifetime.

Basically put ..... our priorities as a people, a nation are screwed up.

Silver Eagle

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Issue: The Living Wage ... A wake up in the real world.

Two years ago before leaving California and moving to Florida I had the opportunity to work with a friend of mine as a Legislative Advocate (Lobbyist). While there the issue were working on was the strengthening of California's version of Megan's Law.

On May 17, 1996, President Clinton signed Megan's Law . Megan's Law goals include:

1. Sex Offender Registration - Each state and the federal government are compelled to register individuals who have been convicted of sex crimes against children. Sex offender registration laws are necessary because: sex offenders pose a high risk of re-offending after release from custody; protecting the public from sex offenders is a primary governmental interest; the privacy interests of persons convicted of sex offenses are less important than the government’s interest in public safety, and release of certain information about sex offenders to public agencies and the general public will assist in protecting the public safety.

2. Community Notification - Each state and the federal government are compelled to make private and personal information on convicted sex offenders available to the public. Community notification is based on the presumption that: it will assist law enforcement in investigations; establish legal grounds to hold known offenders; deter sex offenders from committing new offenses, and offer citizens information they can use to protect children from victimization.

But Megan's Law is not the topic of this post. While participating in the legislative proceedings at the California State Capitol, I was also introduced to the topic of "The Living Wage". For the previous 25 years I had worked and comfortably compensated as a federal air traffic control specialist. I had an eye opening to what was really going on around me in the "private" sector.

By far the most realistic standard of what constitutes "real" poverty would ask what income would be required to survive at normal rents, food and transportation costs, etc., without any form of public or private "welfare" assistance. Such a standard has been compiled for Florida – it is known as the "self-sufficiency standard." The self-sufficiency standard was developed as a means to measure, based on family size, age of children where applicable, and location (counties or selected areas within counties), how much a family must earn to afford housing, transportation, food, child care, health care, and other essentials without the assistance of public or private entities. The standard assumes that children and adults do not share a bedroom and that there are no more than two children in one bedroom.

In most cases, the self-sufficiency standard for Florida is approximately twice that of the federal poverty thresholds for similar family types. For example, in 2004, the poverty threshold for a family consisting of two adults and two children under the age of 18 was $19,157; however, according to the self-sufficiency standard in 2004, the annual wage needed for a working family consisting of two adults, one infant, and one preschooler was $33,226 (close to double) in Jefferson County, Florida and $50,963 (more than 2 ½ times) in Broward County, Florida, respectively the lowest and highest self-sufficiency standards for this family type in Florida.

One of the typical ways to define what qualifies as "low-wage" is to choose the 20th percentile wage, which is the wage at which 20 percent of the working population makes less and 80 percent of the working population makes more. Analysis of the Current Population Study (CPS) indicates that the 20th percentile wage in Florida for 2004 was $8.23 per hour. Thus, the beginning definition for low-wage workers is those who make below the 20th percentile wage, or $8.23 per hour. (Note: The newly enacted Florida Minimum Wage is $6.15 per hour.)

So why do I bring this to my blog?

Well, after 25 years of government service and now working in the private sector as a Security Supervisor for a local retirement community, I am "seeing" first hand how the private sector functions. I am "experiencing" how nearly impossible it is to find quality and qualified individuals for a simple "security" position with a starting wage about one-half way between the Florida Minimum Wage of $6.15 and the 20th percentile wage of $8.23 per hour.

Ironically the other day I did a web search for security officer incomes/wages in Central Florida. I found that your typical "Security Attendant" (i.e., one who sits in a gate shack of a business or gated community has a starting/probationary wage of about $7.83 per hour and it increases to about $8.16 per hour after 90-days. Whereas a "Uniformed Security Officer" has an average starting wage of $12.73 per hour and it increases to an average of $13.30 per hour after probation. The Uniformed Security Supervisor, comperable to my present position starts at $14.36 per hour and increases to $14.99 per hour.

Suffice it to say that neither myself or the security department staff member with nearly 13 years of service are any where near making the $12.73 per hour starting average for a Uniformed Security Officer! Interestingly enough it is the "Security Department Staff" who are left to "manage" the facility operation during non-administrative hours, responding to resident assistance calls, medical aid calls, or maintenance items such as water leaks or even just unstopping a plugged toilet. Although not traditionally thought of as "first responders" security officers are often literally the first to respond to an emergency in the building. We are there to provide first aid and CPR until the EMS/Fire-Rescue personnel arrive.

With such wages, many in the security field must take a second jobs, because the security position often does not pay an annual salary of $17,028.00 ... the federal poverty level, which ironically is $8.16 per hour, or seven cents below the 2004 Florida 20th percentile wage. Case in point you either have individuals working security as a second job, or individuals working a second job besides their security position. The net result is the same, you have an employee that is often physically spent.

So much for "corporate" America, and the American Dream.