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Enter: Gatekeeper…

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Greetings! I’m one of Zen Twist’s co-muckrakers, Gatekeeper. I maintain the site and I also contribute my thoughts and art to Zentwist.com.

I guess you could say I’m kind of like the “Robin” to Zen Twist’s “Batman” — though my choice of wardrobe is more like Batman’s whole “dressing in black” thing – except my costume definitely doesn’t have nipples built in to it. Façade nipples? I’ve always wondered about that choice for the movies. I guess Bruce Wayne likes to blast people his nips? No wonder he wears a mask!

I was watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” the other night, and the guest was Arianna Huffington. She was selling a book that she mostly didn’t write about how to become a successful blogger.

She said, “Rule nahmber one ees to blahhg about your pahhssions!”

That seems pretty obvious, but that is definitely what you can expect from me.

This year has been a wild one, that’s for sure. We’ve hit our worst economic streak since the 70’s – at least, and we’ve got thousands of jobs being lost every month. Our government has spent over a Trillion dollars on corporate bailouts, and the latest news is that all that money isn’t being tracked like it should be. Where is the accountability? How do the taxpayers get reimbursed for this, since we’re the ones paying for it? More importantly, when are people going to realize that we’ve been hoodwinked? Does anyone really believe that we taxpayers will see a dime for our “investment?”

How about bailing out families who’ve lost their homes that they‘ve been paying off for years? How about bailing out small businesses that have seen their profits dry up because of the downturn? — And I mean, businesses that have done honest work for years… why shouldn’t we help them stay in business when this recession isn‘t their fault, and they‘ve simply been squeezed out by circumstance?

These things seem only fair, since small businesses and homeowners pay much more than their fair share, as opposed to corporations who take advantage of offshore tax-shelters, outsourcing, etc?

How about, instead of bailing out a long-defunct auto industry, we bail out the workers and their families by providing job training so that the auto workers can find jobs in different sectors? How about the American auto companies ask Honda and Toyota to come in and revamp their operations and take a stake in the business? Just a couple ideas… these seem much more practical and realistic to me than paying billions of dollars every few months just to float an industry that loses money on every auto sale!

Do we hear much of anything about helping out “the little guy?” Not anymore, not since before the elections. All we hear is that there are more foreclosures and less jobs.

Time will tell if President Elect Obama will make good on his campaign promises – to give tax breaks for businesses who maintain and create jobs… to put a moratorium on foreclosures for families making a good-faith effort to pay… and Universal Healthcare?

I’m not one to criticize before it’s due, and I see too much of that already when it comes to Obama, so I’m going to take a “wait and see” approach with him. His first 100 days should prove interesting.

Is anyone else tired of the United States using its military might to solve its problems? I realize there’s a time for that, but, especially ever since after the World Trade Center attack, it seems that we’re far too trigger happy. It also seems to me that 9/11 provided all the excuses for pretty much everything the current administration wanted to do. Ever heard of “Project for a New American Century?” How about the decision to go into Afghanistan — even before 9/11? I will be covering these topics much more in depth as we go on this “Zen Twist.”

Rest assured, I have a lot to talk about, so stick around, and feel free to comment.

~Gatekeeper.

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Please allow me to introduce myself

Friday, December 5th, 2008

(Originally from Tuesday, January 22, 2008)

Being the first blog of this virgin site I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say first. I mean it seems almost an impossible task to try to reach everyone, so just whom would I be talking to and does it even matter? A long hard pause brings me to the conclusion that it doesn’t. So without further ado:

This world has become a prison, for the most part run by mindless, thoughtless people, who it would seem, even through their moving lips, care not for the state of the planet as a whole. Whether you believe we came from the earth or from the distant stars one thing remains constant: We are responsible for this beautiful place and we are not moving quickly enough. Waiting for a catastrophe to happen is what we usually do; why not change it before it is too late? If not, how late should we wait? Yes, I know you want to blame Bush and his cohorts, but let’s be practical. Although he has made some ghastly contributions on his own, this started way before he was born. More simply he and his people were just continuing the madness set into motion long ago.

I know I’ve trailed, but there’s just so much on my mind, so I want you to know this will happen from time to time. So where was I? Yes, what did I want to say? Well, first point, if you were more wrapped up about the new Xbox that was coming out this past Christmas and had not a thought about the environment or the war that we won that somehow we are still fighting that’s a start.How do you win if it isn’t over? That’s our government for you! Sort of like proclaiming the winner of the Super Bowl before it’s been played.

While we’re there, how do you like Marion Jones now serving six months in jail for lying to the federal government? That’s one big joke, because meanwhile, certain people within our own government perjured themselves more than once and won’t see one single day behind bars! There lies the truth and disgrace of this country. She hurt and embarrassed herself more than anyone else, while our own elected officials remain untouched, and what they do affects us all! Who’s ripping off whom? What a scam! The government does what it wants without the fear of consequences. That is not what our forefathers had in mind by checks and balances. Go figure!

Hey, want to stop steroids? Fine the freaking owners a million for each infraction and see how quickly it stops. That’s what they do in horse racing! Oh I forgot, those are just animals! There’s way more integrity in horse racing. Owners of baseball and football teams want all the rewards without the responsibilities. What is that? It’s just more of the same old crap. Hey, GMC finds out a car has a faulty part! Did you know that they don’t have to tell you or replace it for free until it hits that magic recall number, something like 60,000? The point? Glad you asked! The point is, somewhere down that glory road of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, people got lazy and stopped caring about getting it right. Quality went out of the window with greed and sloth. Winning at any cost became more important than good, even competition.

Speaking of competition: Damn the Yankees and Red Sox! Buy your way to the playoffs. Suck the best talent from what amounts to farm teams who can never afford to pay the salaries they offer from the rest of the league. Think I’m wrong? Just ask yourself: On those rare occasions when teams like Minnesota, San Diego, Oakland, Arizona, Houston or Florida went to the Series, it was special because they were home-grown, smaller cities, and it’s something more natural and real. Blame the players too! They only proved what was feared in the very beginning, in the early 1900’s, which was if you started paying players it would ruin the integrity of the game. Best player goes to the highest bidder. Tony Gwynn is my hero. I’m sure he would have had a couple of rings if he had chosen to leave the Padres. He gave that up and earned integrity and respect.

Now on a different note: Say I’m some guy or gal who’s working in a place that doesn’t care about quality, bottom line is all about the cheap, and in fact the only way I can produce the numbers they want is dependent on shoddy work. I don’t know about you, but why would I care much about my performance or how well I’m doing my job if they are paying me dirt crap. So enough with the blaming the Mexicans for your inadequacies, or more to the point the fact that it’s about the all-mighty dollar and one employer or another wants to save a few bucks extra so he can get some lap dances a couple of times a week or the extra pedicure or manicure he or she wants Quit being lazy welfare scooping bums! Get off your ass and get a job! Oh, I’m sorry, did I hurt your delicate sense of faltering egos? Gee, not good enough to pick veggies or fruit? Oh, what was it that farmer told me? “I tried to hire blacks and whites you know what happened? They come one day, eat half of what they pick and they don’t come back the next day!” Know why? Because it’s back breaking work and they don’t want to do it.

Hey America, wake up! Mexicans are the modern day slave labor, so digest that inconvenient truth! You want to pay three to five dollars for a head of lettuce? Keep voting for those racist laws, because if whites and blacks picked your food you can believe that it will cost a pretty penny more, you know how unions are?! Oh wait, I know your employers will give you that compensatory raise to equal things out, so hey, it won’t even affect you.

Another question I have is who is going to explain why organic food costs more? Shouldn’t we all have the right to healthy consumption? Should it not be mandatory that all farming be done in an organic fashion? Funny, but it sure seems that some are cashing in on others trying to live healthy. Having healthy food and water should be the norm, and our just due right, not something that we should have to fight for.

One must ask themselves just who is the FDA really protecting and fighting for, because I can tell you It’s certainly not you or I! I remember when I was a child that it took 3 to 5 years for certain drugs or food products to be tested before being made available to the public. Of course that obviously didn’t make any difference, so, public enemy number one: Pharmaceutical companies. Do you really believe they have your best interest at heart?

~Zen Twist.

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