Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Editor's Corner

October 2013

“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not? The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” --DeMarcus Ware

That gets the column off to a hopeful beginning. Hope is the element that we need to keep illuminated in our lives. This issue brings a mixture of those who write about having Hope, and others who seem to have lost Hope. May your own life be filled with plenty of Hope.

Adding focus to your life is one way to increase your quality of Hope. Your editor is planning to do that. A hint as to what that means is shown in the picture at the bottom of the page.

Two poems from John I. Blair, "Barred Owl" and "Summer on My Mind." Phillip Hennessy's submissions are: "I Tried, I Tried Not to Love You," "I'm So Busy in Your Head," "Who Will?," and "You Can't Kill Me." Bruce Clifford's four are: "Breaking the Faith," "So You Think," "Spending Time with You," and "Why We Live On in Song." Bud Lemire sent "Choices," and Jeremiah Raber shows us his new song lyrics, "Country Boys Do."

"Irish Eyes" by Mattie Lennon, isn't as upbeat as usual but includes some interesting poetic excerpts. John I. Blair gives us some highlights from the life of Whitney Young in his column, "Always Looking: People Who Made A Difference XI." Peg Jones, whose column is "Angel Whispers," stays busy with her daily radio show, teaching classes, attending book signings (her book), but still finds time to add to our content here. Thanks, Peg.

Thomas F. O'Neill ("Introspective") discusses the one child policy of China. Judy Kroll, "On Trek" shares some links and book titles to help spiritual understanding.

Michael John Fierro discusses "October 2013 – A Universal 7 Month" in his "By The Numbers" column. Then following that info, he sets out the details to determine your own Life Path, and the major significance for it in your future.

Kay Roy Jones, returns with one of her meditation visions "Journey to The Heart." You will find it in the Story section of the Table of Contents.

Once more this editor wants to say, "Thank you, Mike. Only you know how much this ezine means."

Hope everyone has a safe month mixed with a little fun and trick or treating when Halloween rolls around!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.Pictured below is "Majestic" aka "Jessie" of Illinois, soon to be of Texas.


Irish Eyes

“The Village Where I Went To School”

The village life, and every care that reigns
O'er youthful peasants and declining swains;
What labour yields, and what, that labour past,
Age, in its hour of languor, finds at last;
What form the real picture of the poor,
Demand a song — The Muse can give no more.
(George Crabb.)
For most of the twentieth century the village of Lacken, in west Wicklow, would conjure up images so vividly portrayed by many poets.
“Behan’s Bush” across from the shop was a meeting place where pitch-and-toss was played and information exchanged.
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made!
How often have I bless’d the coming day,
When toil, remitting, lent its turn to play,
And all the village train, from labour free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree!
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old survey’d;

The forge, where generations of Tippers worked as blacksmiths in the family business is now deserted. Johnny Tipper who died more than forty years ago was the last one of the family to practice the craft there. No doubt it was a similar establishment that inspired this poem:
The Forge All I know is a door into the dark.
Outside, old axles and iron hoops rusting;
Inside, the hammered anvil’s short-pitched ring,
The unpredictable fantail of sparks
Or hiss when a new shoe toughens in water.
The anvil must be somewhere in the centre,
Horned as a unicorn, at one end and square,
Set there immoveable: an altar
Where he expends himself in shape and music.
Sometimes, leather-aproned, hairs in his nose,
He leans out on the jamb, recalls a clatter
Of hoofs where traffic is flashing in rows;
Then grunts and goes in, with a slam and flick
To beat real iron out, to work the bellows.
(Seamus Heaney.)
On each Bank-holiday evening the schoolhouse, let by a Tilly-lamp, would become a Ballroom of romance where,
The dancing pair that simply sought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down;
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter titter’d round the place;
The bashful virgin’s side-long looks of love;
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of th’ inclement clime;
The first “public” phone in our area was installed in the early fifties in the Post Office in Lacken where most of the calls were to the Priest, the Guards, the Doctor, the Vet or The A.I. man (or “the collar-and-tie-bull” as he was known.) Not quite the stuff of Charles Bukowski’s poem:
The telephone
will bring you people
with its ring,
people who do not know what to do with
their time
and they will ache to
infect you with
from a distance
(although they would prefer
to actually be in the same room
to better project their nullity upon
The telephone is needed for
emergency purposes only.

The Post Office was also a shop which opened late so nocturnal communications pertaining to illicit relationships could sometimes be conducted, albeit in whispered tones. (Or so I’m told.)

Lacken eventually got a Phone-Box and conversations could be carried out in a stentorian voice without fear of “ear-wigging.” Some “coins” used were not Legal Tender (or even legal.) Washers of a certain diameter and “push-outs” from galvanised junction-boxes, used by electricians, would suffice. (Or so I’m told.)

By “tapping out” the numbers on the top of the cradle (1,9 and 0 were free) one could get through to any number. (Or so I’m told.)

Another favourite trick was to block the return-chute with a piece of rolled up twine and to return for the proceeds when a number of people had pressed “Button B” without getting any refund. (Or so I’m told.)

At times in rural Ireland the Phone-box was often utilised for erotic pelvic activity while parallel with the perpendicular. (Or so I’m told.)

When a not-too-well-liked person would be retiring it would be said, “They’re holding his retirement do in a phone-box”.

On one occasion, a female, from a neighbouring parish, who was presumed to have contracted a “social disease” used the phone and civic-minded local woman immersed it (the phone, not the female caller) in a bucket of Jeye’s Fluid. This caused a malfunction which the P&T engineer couldn’t find a cause for.

The Post Office was moved to a private residence in 1970 and eventually thanks to the powers in Dublin it eventually “fell to progress.” Like many another village in Ireland Lacken was now without a Post Office.
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
E’en now the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
The Lacken Schoolhouse   
Lacken Schoolhouse was built by Lady Smith of Baltyboys House in the eighteen eighties. In the initial application to the Commission of National Education for aid towards Lacken School, as we know it, on 12th June 1868, it was stated, “Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, widow, owner of the property at Lacken, purchased by her in the Landed Estate court, will give a lease for sixty years, and vest the site in the Commissioner of National Education, attendance of children expected between sixty and seventy at present area school room considered sufficient.”

On 16th November 1916 Lacken School was “sold” to the people of Lacken and the precincts thereof, for the nominal purchase price of £5, by Elizabeth Graydon Stannus, granddaughter of Mrs. Smith and mother of Edris Stannus who was destined to become the world-famous Dame Ninette de Valois.

A new school was built in 2010 and the old schoolhouse, no longer houses the moulding of the minds of the young and is now a community centre but,
The cloakroom pegs are empty now,
And locked the classroom door.
(Philip Larkin.) 
Richardson's Shop
In October 2012 Tommy and Maureen Richardson turned the key in the door of their shop for the last time. This was the shop where, in the early days of Telefis Eireann we would assemble at night to watch The Virginian, Batt Masterson and The Avengers.
And now we are at the mercy of:
Shopping malls where
people gather,
shop, then go

(James Foulk.)
We can’t stand in the way of progress and tomorrow is just as important as today. But when the fibre of a community is rent asunder what is to be done?

The members of the Lacken Community Development Association are doing their best to ensure that Lacken doesn’t become a deserted village. They need all the help they can get.

Their email is: lackencomdev@gmail.com

Billy Keane's new book
Billy Keane's latest novel is a must-read. I won't say any more about it; Google it. Billy is a columnist with the Irish Independent. The son of John B. Keane, he runs the world-famous John B. Keane’s pub in Listowel in his native County Kerry. His previous books include the novel The Last of the Heroes and Rucks, Mauls and Gaelic Football, which he co-wrote with Moss Keane.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

On Trek

Where do we go when we pass from physical to spirit?

How many times have we pondered over what happens to us right after we die..

What is it like on the other side? What preparations are made for re-incarnation?

What happens to people that were evil in their treatment towards others?

Are there evil spirits? and on and on and on. I am going to give you an URL, of an author with books that explain it all. How did he do it? He did it thru hypnotherapy. He actually discovered this ability to find out lives between lives by accident.

I would recommend reading Journey of souls, his first book, and destiny of souls.. He has written a few. His name is Michael Newton.

You will no longer be left in the dark about death. It is truly an inspiration that takes the fear out of the unknown, because it isn't unknown anymore.

Here are the highly recommend books...You can find them anywhere.

I did find Destiny of souls online for free. Here is the URL:
http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/17906145/1946392449/name/Destiny of Souls.pdf

Also, Michael Newton Institute is a great place to read up on both books, and other enlightening material. http://newtoninstitute.org/
Judith, aka Featherwind

Click on Judith Kroll for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

By The Numbers

October 2013 - A Universal 7 Month

With the 7 vibration being the over-riding energy of October, this will be a month in which reflections on self and life play a big part in what happens. October is a single-digit 7 month which indicates that the pure energy of the 7 will be strongly in force. This is a time during which people, and the world, should take a deep breath and slow down a bit. Collectively, we should all be taking a step back to reflect on what has happened and what can happen, while analyzing that which has, and is taking place.

October can be a month in which work is undertaken that will improve and perfect plans already in force. Using mental processes and discipline, we will be able to move forward in a more thoughtful and insightful way. The areas of self-improvement, nature, conservation, science, inventions, learning, religions and the spiritual journey are all areas that may be highlighted during the month. Many will receive inspiration through their dreams, visions and the use of intuition. With its emphasis on the inner-self this can be a time during which people can become more receptive and in-tune with their surroundings and their lives while taking steps to improve the conditions of their lives (and by extension, the lives of the greater collective). 
The 7 is also a representation of a greater mental and emotional energy being in play. This could result in a greater tendency to giving increased thought and feeling into decisions that impact the greatest number of people. Greater emphasis and thought may also be exercised in the realms of nature and conservation. It is possible that the topic of climate change will be moved a bit more into the limelight as people become increasingly aware of the ongoing changes and the adverse effect they are having on the lives of so many people.

In the world of money and finance, October is a month that calls for some restraint with finances although conditions will continue to move towards an overall improvement and a trend towards greater prosperity and financial stability. Businesses may also find they have a greater liquidity factor that can help with the overall improvement (especially if money is put back into business as opposed to being used to benefit business owners). The 7 energy is a good time for studying, planning, researching and inventing and October can be a fertile ground for the sprouting of new ideas and thought patterns that again, work towards improving the greater good.

On the seventh day, god rested, and so it is during a period of 7 energy. This is a time for resting and paying attention to issues surrounding health and well-being. Caution needs to be exercised in the world of health and healthcare as some new, and previously unknown malady may be found moving to center stage. This condition may be discovered as a result of increased research and analysis of existing data. Conditions are quite supportive of research and analysis playing a big part in increasing knowledge of things of a scientific and medical nature. Because of the 'rest aspect' of the 7, October would be a good time for the world to take a collective deep breath while simultaneously working towards finding solutions to existing conditions and problems.

On the negative side of the 7 month, we may see an increase in the lack of co-operation between opposing sides in many different facets of politics, government and ideologies. Because of the secretive and deceptive side of the 7, instances of fraud, irresponsibility, and lying may be displayed and/or uncovered. Caution is to be taken in all affairs as there may be hidden details that are brought into play. People must also be on the look-out for mischief making and interference in the affairs of others. It is incumbent upon all to not take things at face value but instead to actively question leaders and people in power about their motivations and reasons for doing things.

The important part of the 7 month is that everyone takes the time to rest and reflect on their lives and their part as a piece of the greater collective. Study, research, analyze and consider your feelings and thoughts on all things and take whatever steps you, as an individual, can take to make improvements in your own, personal world and by extension, the entire world. For what one does affects everyone. Within the context of the current 6 Universal Year, greater responsibility must be taken to insure that the greater good is considered in all activities and actions. Beneficial service to others and the planet is essential in creating a world that provides for everyone.

Blessings of Love & Light


The Birth Path/Life Force number is your field of experience in this lifetime. It is the opportunities, environment and conditions you have chosen (through your date of birth) in which you have specifically chosen to exercise your manifest self. This is the road in life that you must travel. You can never change, or get off this road, since you cannot change your birth date. It is the culmination and accumulation of the Universal force/energy field which your Soul has chosen to use as a propellant on its journey back to GOD. This is the sum of the experience of living and being in this lifetime and it is what happens to you. It represents all the opportunities and events in your existence and is the field of experience or environment in which you get to exercise who you are based upon your name. Each Life Path explains the path you are on and each Life Path has a major life lesson that needs to be learned so, it is also a representation of your biggest fear...this is what you must learn!

To determine your Life Path you must add the month, day and year of your birth by reducing each component to a single digit (except in the cases where the number is, or reduces to an 11, 22, or 33). For example, October is a 10 which reduces to a 1; November is the 11th month and must be calculated using the 11; December is the 12th month and must be reduced to a 3. In calculating the year, it must be written out in its complete form e.g. 1950 (not '50). You must then add each digit to determine the single digit (1+9+5+0=15=6). If you were born in 1939, 1948, 1957, 1966, 1975, 1984, or 1993 you were born in a 22 Universal Year and the calculation must be made using the 22.

Here are the particular Life Path Lessons for each Life Path number:
    1 – Learn To Be A Motivated Leader.
    2 - Learn To Serve Others While Learning The Intricacies Of Partnership.
    3 – Learn To Express Your Self-Creativity And Emotions.
    4 – Learn To Create Order And Structure With Responsibility.
    5 – Learn To Embrace Change While Maintaining Balance. Learn And Experience The Value Of Freedom While Exercising Self-Control.
    6 – Learn To Understand And Embrace Responsibility.
    7 – Learn To Understand Yourself And Use Your Knowledge, Wisdom And Intuition For Yourself And Others.
    8 – Learn About Money And The Energy Of Money.
    9 – Learn Your Humanitarian Purpose And Share It.
    11 – Learn The Depths Of Your Gifts And How To Positively Use Them While Learning To Give In Order To Receive.
    22 – Learn To Direct Your Energy Outward In Large Projects And Organizations With The Goal Of Creating Good For All. Your Rewards Will Follow.
    33 – Learn The Power Of Healing Yourself And Others. Do Not Be Egotistical In Working With Others.
    44 – Learn The Judicious And Selfless Use Of Power.
    55 – Learn The Power Of Change And Transition And How To Apply That Information.
Once you have understood and learned your Life Path Lesson it is important that you incorporate that lesson into all you do. Overcome the fear associated with each lesson and work to become a fully-realized and actualized human being, doing your part in contributing the advancement and improvement of the world.
I wish you blessings of love and light on your journey.
Michael John Fierro
Michael John Fierro is a Numerologist, Life Coach, and Author of YOU KNOW YOUR NAME...LOOK UP YOUR NUMBERS. He has been working with numerology since 1984 and is available for private sessions, lectures, and more. You may contact him at numerologist.michaelfierro@gmail.com or www.michaeljohnfierro.com

Click on  Michael John Fierro for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Angel Whispers

Today is the feast of Archangel Michael. He is one of my favorite Archangels and he one of the Archangels, I work very closely with. He is the one I always ask to accompany me on a trip in the car, along with Archangels Gabriel, AA Raphael and Archangel Ariel. I always make sure AA Michael is in the front passenger seat next me, as I am driving to my destination.

Sometimes they speak to me and sometimes they don’t speak to me but I know they are with me in the car. It is a feeling of safety and protection when they all accompany me. I look for the synchronicity in the time I spend driving and the messages I will receive in all that I see on my journey. It's really quite amazing what I see.

Tonight I was doing some research on the feast day and found out it was also Archangel Gabriel’s and Archangel Raphael's feast day too. Michelmas is what the feast day is called. The feast day is acknowledged in most Christian religions on this date. Other religions acknowledge Michael on other dates during the Fall.

Archangel Michael is known is all the major religions: Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Greek and Russian Orthodox religions too. He is celebrated on this date because of his fight with standing up to Lucifer in a war in heaven. There are many versions to what the feast of Michaelmas was and still is.

In the past few years I have noted the day in offering an Archangel Michael meditation circle or messages from Archangel Michael.So I have asked Archangel Michael, what his message is to us tonight on the state of what is happening in our world today and the next few days.
This is what was shared with me tonight:
Children, I am here tonight and assuring you that your safety is of apparent concern to all of us, in all realms of heaven and the universe. We ask you to be at peace and know we are here for your protection too. The negative forces that may be on the earth plane are something we are taking care of and that we are helping to keep all to stay safe at all times. The negative forces will not win for the negative is not as big as they think they are. The light will always prevail in all areas of the world, even when it seems not to be there.. Yes, there is suffering, but the light is beginning to shine on these places too… So please believe that we are here helping this to truly be more noticeable as time goes on. So many see the light .. You see the light, the people reading, or hearing this message, see the light. Share this light with all you know and meet. Peace and love start in the home and with yourselves.. See the light that you are and all that is precious to you, right in this moment in time. The people you work with, the people you play with, the people who are closest to you. And of course yourself too.
I am Michael and you are all precious to me. The light, shining tonight is bright and the beams of light that you send out in the different points of where you are situated, right this moment, shine brightly to all. And they will feel this light as you now feel this light, tonight. I hear the pleas of all who ask for guidance and protection. The Source of all does too. No matter the background or belief or no belief, I hear you and I say to you in this very moment to just ask for the help you need, and I will be there for you. Then feel this peace shown to you and know that I am here with you.
Also look for the synchronicity in your lives and know that I am helping you to know of my presence and of the other angels who can help you too. We are of love and you are too and know that the love has always been there. And soon it will be there for all to truly feel all that this love entails. And now I say to you, go in love and service to all you know. Smile to all you see and when they smile back you will know they see your light as bright as the sun. I am Michael and I thank you for the light that shines bright, when I see you in all your different locations on the earth plane..
Thank you, AA Michael, for this message today and I wish you a happy feast day and thank you for all you have done for all reading this today.Michael is our Angel of protection of safety and protection and justice. His name means “like God”. He is the highest and closest Archangel to God.

What stories do you have in asking AA Michael for guidance or help? I would love to hear your experiences, if you have any to share. Be safe this next month and know that AA Michael is always close by.. You just have to ask him for help…

I have just had a book published a few months ago. It is a book of angel messages for the day and a journal exercise too. I would like to share today's message with all of you:
September 28
What message do you have for us today?
Focus on what is right for you at this time. Be an individual in this matter and do what is good for you. Today so many people only focus on the accepted way to approach a situation. It is okay to hear a different drummer. It seems to us, your angels, that we can help you with this. It’s time to be who you really are, not just who you think you are. Ask us for help with this. By focusing on the positive you will always succeed.
Journal exercise:
Are you having difficulty deciding on the right way to solve a particular issue? Do you want to walk on the path that everyone perceives as being the right way to solve it or do you have your own opinion which is different from what others may think? Think about it and journal about it.

I am on Amazon and the book is in paperback and also Kindle version too. Here is the link to the author page and when you click on the paperback icon it will bring you to the book page and you will see the reviews written too. The name of my book is, Living in the Heart Place With Your Angels: Daily Angelical Whispers Throughout The Year.

Click on Peg Jones  for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Always Looking: People Who Made A Difference XI

Meet Whitney Young

I grew up with a basic belief in the inherent decency of human beings. — Whitney Young
Whitney Moore Young, Jr., Executive Director of the National Urban League for the critical decade of the 1960s, was born in Kentucky in 1921 into a family of educators. After college in 1944, Young joined the Army and found himself in an all-black regiment with a white captain. Often he mediated between the captain and the troops, defusing racial tension and cultivating his eventually legendary skill as a "powerbroker" between whites and blacks. He later said "It was my Army experience that decided me on getting into the race relations field. Not just because I saw the problems, but because I saw the potentials, too."

While studying social work at the University of Minnesota, Young was introduced to the Urban League. Accepting a position as executive secretary of the Omaha Urban League, he taught at the University of Nebraska and Creighton University. The opportunity to become directly involved on the civil rights battlegrounds of the South arrived when he became dean of the Atlanta University School of Social Work. Young enlarged the faculty and the budget, created additional training programs, and reshuffled the leadership.

In 1960 Young received a Rockefeller grant at Harvard University; in 1961 he accepted the presidency of the National Urban League. He revolutionized the League’s inner workings, tapping funding sources like the Rockefellers. The League’s budget increased tenfold, the staff quadrupled, and the number of regional offices increased 50%. In 1963 when the League was asked to support the March on Washington, the League's board members perceived the March as radical; but Young convinced them the League's influence would actually serve to neutralize the radical elements. The League emerged successfully at the leading edge of the civil rights movement.

In a New York Times magazine article, Young pointed out that the average white family earned more than twice as much as the average black family and observed, "For more than 300 years the white American has received special consideration or 'preferential treatment'... over the Negro. What we ask now is that for a brief period there be a deliberate and massive effort to include the Negro citizen in the mainstream of American life." As Executive Director of the Urban League, Young devised the Domestic Marshall Plan, which provided the conceptual basis for many of the Johnson Administration's anti-poverty programs. In 1969 he was awarded the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.

Young wrote two books: To Be Equal and Beyond Racism, in which he developed his vision of an open society. He envisioned a pluralistic society, not simply an integrated one, that would thrive on ethnic and cultural diversity, and ensure economic and racial justice.

When the Youngs moved to Atlanta, they were the first black people to join the Unitarian Universalist Church there. Young asked the minister, Ed Cahill, to help him on the Greater Atlanta Council of Human Relations. The two of them, with the rest of the Council, brought about the desegregation of the airport, the public library and eventually the public schools.

After Young was chosen to be National Director of the Urban League and the Youngs moved to Rye, NY, they joined the White Plains Unitarian Church. In March 1971, while attending a conference in Lagos, Nigeria, Young died of a heart attack while ocean swimming. His funeral was held in New York’s Riverside Church and attended by an estimated 4,500 mourners, with hundreds more standing outside. Afterwards the White Plains Church held a memorial service, which Ed Cahill came to conduct, along with Bob West, then President of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

See picture below: Whitney Young.

Adapted from: harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/young.html; highstreetchurch.org/Sermon%20Archive/Stamp%20Collecting%20for%20UUs.pdf 

Compilation by John I. Blair

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China’s one child policy has become an interesting topic of discussion in my Cultural Diversity classes here in Suzhou, China.
Most people in America know about China’s one child policy and the fine that is issued against those who violate that policy. Most Americans would disagree with China’s policy calling it a human rights atrocity.

 I would have to disagree with that assessment though. It’s mostly due to my living in China and witnessing the huge economic growth that China is progressing through.

I was surprised to learn that many of my students at the Suzhou International Foreign Language School, in Suzhou, China have a brother or sister. Their parents paid the fine for having more than one child and for them the fine was like an additional tax.

Couples, in China, who have more than one child, have to pay ‘a social support fee’ - approximately $3,200 USD. Nineteen provincial governments collected approximately 2.7 Billion dollars in fines last year. The ‘social support fees’ as they are called is a substantial source of revenue for provincial governments in the poor parts of China.

One major problem with China’s one child policy is the economic growth rate is beginning to slow because its pool of cheap, young workers is dwindling as the population ages. The aging population is going to have major economic repercussions due to China’s inability to properly care for its growing elderly population.

The one child policy went into effect in 1979 stipulating that every couple may have just one child (or two for ethnic minorities and for rural couples whose first child is a girl). The rich, however, circumvent the law by having as many children as they want creating animosity among the poor.

The rich, in China, can easily pay the “social compensation fee” — a fine of 3 to 10 times the average household’s annual income - the fee is set by each province’s family planning bureau. Some wealthy Chinese couples travel to Hong Kong, Singapore, or even America to give birth. This angers many poor Chinese who believe they need more than one child in order to be properly supported in their old age. Many of the poor, who live in the countryside, need the extra hands to help in the fields. They also have a deeply entrenched patriarchal desire for a male heir.

The poor have a strong resistance to the population control measures set by China’s provincial governments. If a woman gets pregnant without permission in a rural area and is unable to pay the ‘social compensation fee’ or I should say ‘fine’ for violating the one child policy. She risks being subjected to having the child placed up for adoption.

Some of the poor households in those rural areas of China have sold their infant daughters for approximately $3000 USD to foreigners seeking to adopt Chinese babies. These types of adoptions are considered illegal in China and many of those adoptions were made with the help of corrupt officials and forged documents.

The mounting criticism among the poor will not change the one child policy in China. The government hard-liners will not willingly abandon their population control measure that has provided its nation with an estimated two trillion Yuan in revenue from fines.

Many economists have also stated publicly that the one child policy in China is working. Since the policy went into effect in 1979 hundreds of millions of Chinese have risen out of poverty and China’s standard of education has also risen.

China’s students have the highest global assessment scores than any other nation in the world even outpacing America who ranked 17th globally. The one child policy has also helped China’s overall economy resulting in China becoming the second strongest economy in the world.

The standard of living is continuing to rise in China, substantially, especially in the cities. Many Chinese are now migrating to the cities from the rural areas for higher paying Jobs and to establish a higher standard of living for their school age child. Not to mention providing better educational opportunities for their child that only a City can offer. It seems to be a dark contrast to the inner-city problems that are plaguing the American education system.

There are many that have voiced opposition to China’s one child policy, especially, the various Christian fundamentalist churches throughout China. They use various social media outlets attacking the Chinese Government with unverifiable stories of human rights atrocities. Their fictionalized stories are always posted online in Chinese with the hope of stirring emotional outrage among the readers. Ending China’s one child policy has become their moral imperative.

Many of their online postings state that China’s one child policy is a human rights atrocity. They also claim the last three decades since the one child policy went into effect ranks among the worst crimes against humanity of the last century. “The stains [it] - (the one child policy) - has left on China may never be erased,” one poster wrote in Chinese.

Many economists, however, see China’s one child policy in a different more positive light - the policy on the most part is benefiting China. As I mentioned before, it is lifting a greater number of people out of a life of poverty. It is also providing China’s youth with greater educational opportunities.

For the Chinese Government the ultimate goal is to stabilize the population growth so that all citizens in China can benefit from a more prosperous society.

I personally have not witnessed any human rights atrocities that many are claiming is taking place here in China.

I do understand where China was decades ago in terms of poverty and lack of educational opportunities for its youth. What the country has achieved though over the past 30 years is quite astonishing.

What China has accomplished in terms of economic growth and raising its standard of living to the level it has in just three short decades is quite remarkable to say the least.

On the other hand I’m sure there have been human rights violations over the past 30 years since the one child policy went into effect. There are probably human rights violations taking place now in China. Any human right violation needs to be addressed and dealt with responsibly through the Chinese court system. I was surprised to learn just how fair the Chinese Judges can be when hearing the people’s grievances.

As a foreigner here in China it is understandable that I have fewer rights than a Chinese citizen. That being said though I never felt my rights being trampled upon by the Chinese Government. I was also surprised to learn that a foreigner like me has the same legal rights within the court system as a Chinese citizen. The Chinese citizens and foreign nationals can have their grievances addressed through the Chinese legal system. I never had a grievance before the Chinese judicial system though because the whole time I've been here in China I've never been mistreated. The one child policy may seem like an infringement upon the rights of the Chinese people but it seems to be a necessity.

I was raised Catholic and although I may not be a practicing Catholic now I still believe in God and in the sanctity of all life and every child to me is a precious gift.

Everyone who knows me knows how much I love children but I believe if a couple is incapable of raising a child properly. They should place that child up for adoption so that the child can have a better quality of life.

I do believe in God as I said before but I'm not a religious person and I find it quite irresponsible for religious organizations to post fictionalized accounts of atrocities that have never taken place in China in order to achieve their religious agenda. The majority of the Chinese support the one child policy because they understand the overall benefits it’s having on their country.

My students have stated that the one child policy has provided them with boundless educational opportunities that were once out of reach for their grandparents. They understand also why the policy was put in place because the Chinese Government wants an educated citizenry. One way of achieving that goal is to raise the standard of living through economic and educational means for all its citizens.
It is understandable why the one child policy may have major problems with its implementation but the benefits outweigh the policy’s deficits.

Will China ever do away with their policies on how many children its citizens can have?
Hopefully, that will come about someday and the sooner the better but only time will tell…….. In 2015 China may lift the one child policy allowing couples to have two children.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    U.S. voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Email: introspective7@hotmail.com
    Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:

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Barred Owl

Last night while looking for the moon
I turned to view the sky above my chimney
And saw an outline, dark against the haze,
Perched high atop the corner of the brick.

It was clear that something there
Was looking back at me.

Wrapped in the gloom we traded stares,
Equally surprised no doubt;
And then the shadow blinked,
Took silent flight, and flapped away.

Later, in the house, I scanned my books,
Seeking a name by which to call my prize.

Likeliest surmise: a barred owl
(Known by many other names as well),
Commonest of urban owls of size,
Secretive enough that few will spy them.

I prefer to pick a name some give it by mistake:
Bard owl. The poet’s owl.

©2013 John I. Blair

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Who Will?

If you don't let me know you,
who will?
If you won't let me show you,
who will?
When all is said, and done,
Will you let me, be The One?
If I don't get to know you,
Who will?

 Who will understand you,
When you need to cry?
Who will come, and stand by you,
yet be prepared, to die?
Who will make you smile,
just by being near?
Who would never let you fall
Who will calm your fear?
©2012 Phillip Hennessy

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Summer on My Mind

I stepped onto my patio last night
And found the darkness was inhabited,
Possessed by summer singers.

 Crickets, katydids, locusts, cicadas,
Filled my head with music and delight.

But after sixty summers my old ears
Have grown so used to summer sounds
I hear them all year round.

Insect choruses seem to sing for me
Even in December’s cold

And I can find the music of a summer night
Whenever I just close my eyes
And listen to my mind.
©2002 John I. Blair

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Listen to your spirit that guides you every day
The soul inside you that will guide you on your way
When choosing exactly what to do
Listen to the voice inside of you

If the choice rings true
You'll know what to do
For all will feel exactly right
You'll be able to sleep at night

If the choice seems wrong
And choosing takes too long
Then doubt is around there
It's time to be aware

All should resonate within
Then answers won't spin
You'll know clearly your choice
You'll reply with a loud voice

You must be true to you
In everything that you do
So the choices that you make
Are the things that you can take
©Sept 27, 2013 Bud Lemire
Remember to always take time to think your choices over.
Weigh the good points for each, and how it makes you feel.
The one that makes you feel better, is the choice you should choose.

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Breaking The Faith

Don't mind me if I can't get this right
Don't mind me if I can't figure this out
Don't mind me If I want to live under the radar 
Don't mind me if I scream or I shout

I never loved anyone enough
No one will understand me

I'm breaking the faith
I'm getting out
There's a whole new world out there waiting
I need to stop from hesitating 

I'm breaking the faith
Come show me how
There's a brand new nation calling
I need to stop this perpetual falling
I'm breaking the faith

I took my chances on empty prayers
No one would listen
Nobody cares

I'm breaking the faith
I'm getting out
There's a whole new world out there waiting
Time to stop this hesitating

I'm breaking the faith
Come show me how
There's a brand new nation calling
I need to stop this perpetual falling
I'm breaking the faith
I'm breaking the faith

Don't mind me if I can't get this right

©10/1/13  Bruce Clifford

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I Tried, I Tried Not to Love You

I tried, I tried not to love you
I thought maybe
we could be friends
because friends last longer
than lovers,
and I'm wanting this
to last long, long, long.
Forever and a day,
and all the nights after that.
To wake in the morning and smile
Smile into your sleeping eyes,
and see your dreams,
and for those dreams to come alive,
in the light of day,
and for your nightmares
to become as old photographs
that you could pick or choose
in black and white,
then replay at random as memories
from a past life,
laughing at your release
from Servitude,
crying at your mistakes
and smiling softly,
knowing that love is for Now,
as well as After.

 I tried not to love you,
Though I didn't try very hard.
©Summer 2012 Phillip Hennessy

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Why We Live On In Song

I wish you got to know me
You really have no idea
I wish you could have saved me
All I've faced are my darkest fears

I Wish you could have seen me
Before I fell within myself
I wish you could have known me
Before I woke up in this burring hell

You don't what I've lived through
So many years trying to find you
You don't know where I've been
Not long ago you woke me up, but now I'm falling back in

I wish you could have believe in me
You really don't know what's gone wrong
I wish you could have remembered just once
Why we live on in song

©9/27/13 Bruce Clifford

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Country Boys Do

Tonight we’re taking the truck
We’re going out to the backwoods
Going and maybe get stuck
Go and act like the boys should
Sit on the tailgate and have some fun
Watching the stars an talk about girls
Open the cooler an grab another cold one
Sit and talk and drink till the world twirls
Then go home and sleep it away
Having dreams of the night
Then wake up to a brand new day
Knowing everything is alright
Go to work, watch the time
After four, the night's all mine
Because that’s how us country boys do

Country boys know how to get it done
Jacked up trucks and tailgates down
Bottles in the air, sitting around the fire
'Cause country boys know how to have fun

Cruising down the gravel roads
Driving slow enjoying the night
Watching out for turtles and toads
Go fishing and hope for a bite
Sit by the fire with all the boys
Call the girls and get them to come out
Then hop in the trucks since they’re our toys
Then tear into the night with a shout
Hit the gravel roads with the girls
Hold the girls in our arms
Drive around 'til somebody hurls
Laughing as we drive past the farms
Not caring what people say
We’re drinking the night away
'Cause country boys know how to have fun

Country boys know how to get it done
Jacked up trucks and tailgates down
Bottles in the air, sitting around the fire
'Cause country boys know how to have fun.

Tonight we’re taking the truck
We’re going out to the backwoods
Going and maybe get stuck
Go and act like the boys should
Sit on the tailgate and have some fun
Watching the stars an' talk about girls
Open the cooler an' grab another cold one
Sit and talk and drink 'til the world twirls
Country boys know how to get it done
Jacked up trucks and tailgates down
Bottles in the air, sitting around the fire
'Cause country boys know how to have fun

©August 30, 2013 Jeremiah Raber

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I'm So Busy in Your Head

I'm so busy in your head,
I'm out of Mine.
I'm thinking instead
I'm into your mind
I smile with your face
I think with your eyes
I see where you look
So sad, yet so wise

The two that's inside you
Will fight till they bleed
And the winner is always
The one that you feed
I've seen you speak with demons
I've seen you fight with them
I've seen you win,
and seen you lose
I've seen your sin,
I've seen you choose.

Demons seek loving,
Just like you do
So don't you deny,
When they speak to you
For when it's all over,
And there's time for reflection
Those demons inside
Are as strong as addiction

The power they have
Over you, is strong
They'll kill you one day,
They don't belong.
Outside your body
And inside your mind
For they cannot see,
Without your eyes,
They are blind.

©August 8, 2013 Phillip Hennessy

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So You Think

So you think I'm little off center
You never really took the time to know me
So you think I'm a little less human
After everything you should have known me

If you took the time to see
If you took a good long hard look at me
If you saw behind my mask
Rainy days and tons of laughs
I will miss you more now that
I'm just scattered ashes out at sea

So you think I'm a little more crazy
You never tried to believe in my heart
So you think I'm here for the taking
After everything we faced
That's the last place you should start

If you took the time to see
If you took a good long hard look at me
If you saw behind my mask
Rainy days and tons of laughs
I will miss you more now that
I'm just scattered ashes out at sea

So you think
So you think I'm the enemy
So you think
So you think I'm a lost cause
So you think

©9/18/13 Bruce Clifford

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You Can't Kill Me

You can't kill me
I'm already dead
And you can't tell me
Cause it's all been said

The programme was over
Before we got started
And no one's the wiser
Cuz then, we done parted

And when it was ended
with all said and done
Something was missing,
along with the fun.

It's getting too deep,
and it's too hard to cope
When your living on lies,
and your choking on Hope.

It all seemed so easy,
When you seen it before
When you're simple to please,
and there's always more

No justifications.
No considerations,
are on the menu
for this generation

for it's all gone,
and there's nothin' left.
There's too little to share,
and not enough bread

The talking's all done.
there's nothin' to say.
The walking's begun,
....It's a different day.

There's nowhere to go.
There's nowhere to hide.
There's nothing to show,
or enough to divide

The party's all over,
but no one's gone home.
There's too many Romans,
and not enough Rome.

The slaves are eating
The whole lion's share
The lion is hungry, and
there's only fresh air.

but You can't kill me.
I'm already dead.
You can't tell me.
.........It's all been said

©2012 Phillip Hennessy

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Spending Time With You

Spending time with you
It's all that really matters
You broke my heart in two
My whole world is shattered

Spending time with you
The best moments of my life
Still trying so hard to break through
Maybe one day we'll get this right

I wish you could see me for who I am
Not what you think I've become
What's become of me
Look into my eyes, Baby you'll see

Spending time with you
No one else could make me feel this way
Can't get myself over you
I love you more each and every day

©9/3/13  Bruce Clifford

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Journey to The Heart

As I settle into my meditation I am greeted by my Spirit Guide, Teacher, tour guide and friend, Guardian.  Guardian is a massive jet black dragon with the enormous fangs, claws, and spikes.   This is the story of one of many travels we experienced together.

“Come, Child, get on,” Guardian said to me.

“Guardian, where are we headed to today?” 

Almost ignoring my question Guardian said….“Climb on, child, we have much to see……come on, child, climb on.”

As I climbed on and settled into place on Guardian’s back….we took off into the clouds.  We had flown together many times before but this was different….it was not the slow steady rhythm of his wings that could almost lull you to sleep..…this time the beat and pace was faster each stroke of his massive wings was saying there was urgency…. “Why are you in such a hurry, Guardian?” I asked.

“Hang on child, rough air ahead,”  he replied.  

All at once the sky turned dark…I could hear thunder and see lightning all around us.  I was hanging on to Guardian’s neck for dear life. Afraid I was going to come off….wondering to myself what happens to you if you die in a meditation? Do you die in real life?

Guardian sensed my fright and said “Child, you worry much, I would never let you fall…never.”  

“I know, Guardian, but why so fast?”  Everything around is a blur …normally we travel slowly at a peaceful pace…allowing me to see… “Where we are going?” What is the rush, Guardian?” I asked again….

“Child, answers will be revealed in due time, in due time” Guardian replied.

We continued our flight traveling high above the clouds.  Over lands so foreign to me.  There was winter snow below, then it changed to spring rains, to the heat of the summer sun, and then the smell of autumn….

“The four seasons?”  hmmmm  I wonder what this is about….thinking more to myself.  

Reading my mind again, Guardian replied ”All in good time, we are almost here.”

“Wonderful! I will finally understand why you were in such a hurry to get here” I replied.

Ahead of us was an opening in the clouds and we started out descent…down through the clouds.  You could see nothing, the clouds totally surrounded us.
“Guardian, how can you see? We might crash,” I asked.

“I know this land…every mountain, tree, flower, stream, and valley… I have been with it through its creation” Guardian replied.

Suddenly the clouds cleared, I could see the lush green rocky mountains ahead.  As Guardian circled so that we could land, I saw this was an island….each side of the island was a different season.

Ever so carefully Guardian slowed down... stopping at the opening of a cave. 
Guardian stopped and allowed me to climb down and stretch my legs…as I was stretching, looking around… The beauty of the area was overwhelming…. I was mesmerized by the peace and tranquility. You could hear birds, the roar of the animal’s, see all the plants and flowers. Each area had plants, trees, and animals that were specific to that place, time and area. I would walk to each section in total awe and wonderment of the sight that was before me.

“Child, come on….we still have a long was to go, stay close” Guardian said. Carefully he put one of his massive wings around me and pulled me in closer to his body…”Stay close,” he said again.  

We headed into the mouth of the cave, walking side by side.  The steps of the cave were well lighted making the travel Down(?) easy.
“Guardian, why are we going down? What lies below?” I asked…

“All will unfold, you will understand soon, Child,” he replied.

“Guardian, you do know that I am not a child, I have a name….Why do you always call me child?” I asked

“My time on earth compared to your time on earth…you are a child” he said.

“Ok, that’s true, Guardian.”

Continuing our descent into the earth I saw roots of life on both sides of the path.  Some of the roots were strong and healthy others looked black and dying.  Tears were forming in my eyes….I could see the roots had a pulse….very faint.  I reach out to touch the dying roots…as I touched them their pulse strengthed….so I went to another area and touched the sick roots….again the pulse of the roots strengthened.

I turned to Guardian to ask him why….but once again he knew what I was asking and said…“Love, child, it is your love. Let’s continue,” he said.
The steps were still going deeper into the earth….but as we journey on ….the surrounding changed…..there were windows in the earth on both sides of the path.  Each window contained a scene from the world far above us now.  On one side the scenes in the windows were healthy, lush but on the other side the same scene was unhealthy and sick…

We continued on ….as we rounded the corner I saw glowing, vibrating tubes of glass that was attached to the scenes in the walls. Each tube contained a beautiful white light.  Then I turned to see the other scenes had the same tubes attached but, the tubes hardly had the light flowing through them. Tears were streaming down my cheeks….so much loss and sadness. Whole areas were dead nothing remained alive.  But there was a small trickle in the tube….some hope still remained.

I turned to Guardian “What is this place  you have brought me to…Why?”

His reply “Child, you will see, you will see”.

Down the stairs we went, following the glass tubes to the center of their origin.  Finally, we reached the last step and ahead of me I saw a massive red pulsing red Heart.  All the tubes were attached to this very heart.  The Heart center was the very core of Mother Earth.  She has been keeping this all alive for time and eternity. 

The beating sound coming from the heart was extremely loud, almost to the point of deafening. But, it reminded me the first time I heard the heartbeat of my children that, thump, thump…thump, thump. 

As I walked around the heart to view the different area scenes, I saw there were scenes everywhere.  Every inch of space had a scene portrayed.  Some of the scenes were strong and healthy, while others were weak and dying. Where the scenes were healthy there was a strong pulse of energy going through the tubes and the area of the heart was strong, but the areas with the death and sickness…that area hardly had a pulse and the heart was darkened….but, there was an ever so slight pulse…She was still trying to give the hope for life. 

When I stood close to the areas that were healthy and strong…I could feel her love flowing easily from her heart through all the tubes…pure love, a mother’s love. Then standing close to the areas where there was death, and loss I could feel the depth of her pain and sorrow, a mother’s grief with the loss of her child. She was working so hard to supply some life energy for her children before they died completely.  Some Hope…. 

I turned to Guardian and asked “What am I to do, Guardian? I am but one person….how can I help?”

Guardian turned and said “Remember when you touched the roots that were sick and dying?  What happened?”

“They started pulsing stronger” I replied, “But, Guardian, we are talking the world here.  There are many areas that hardly have any life energy flowing through the tubes.  How can I affect all this in time to save the darken areas of the heart, at once?”

"You call upon others as we are calling upon you now. Each person you touch, tell them. Then in return they can tell others.  Pretty soon we will have people all over the world helping to heal Mother Nature’s Heart.  It starts with one.  It’s like casting the stone into the clear still water…" Guardian explained.

Overwhelmed by the sight and enormity, tears started flowing harder. But the problem with crying is, no tissue. Great now what, looking down I realized I did have sleeves.  But I was taught better than to wipe my nose and tears on my clothing. But, I’m sorry Mom! 

Regaining my composure now I looked around the room and for the first time I noticed four pathways. So I picked the closest to me and started down the path. The paths had scenes on both sides of the walkway. Again one side there were strong, lush healthy scenes, and on the other side the scenes were in different stages of drought, devastation, and stripping away at the earth’s surface causing death slowly but certainly dying. Taking my time I slowly walked down each of the four paths, then back to the heart where guardian was waiting.
As I approached Guardian I asked … "May I have some more time to walk in one of the seasons?”

"Yes, my child, go walk," he replied. 

I picked the season with the brightest sun light.  And as I came out of the cave I had to cover my eyes for several minutes to adjust to the light.  The sound of the ocean and sun on my face…are two of my favorite things.  Climbing over the rocks along the ocean front I came across a small patch of beach, took off my shoes and waded into the cold blue water. This is paradise I thought. Allow the sun to warm and heal my body, heart and soul from everything I had learned here today. Felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. 

Suddenly I felt Guardian standing there in the surf with me, holding me with both his protective wings around me.  We stood there what felt like eternity, then he turned me to face him and said, “Child, the weight is not yours alone to bear, send out into the universe your love. The universe will answer with more love.  And so it begins…..the healing.”

©2013 Kay Roy Jones

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