Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Fourth Amendment

I'm going to preface this post with the US Constitutional Amendment 4
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
I am all about safety and I don't want another Sept. 11. But how far is too far?

         I had to go through TSA security in order to fly to Denmark. A bit apprehensive because of all the negative issues I had been hearing previously on the news. I went through the usual- put everything on the conveyer and get it scanned, take off your shoes, jackets, and walk on through.  I  was leaving the  US though, not coming into it. It might have been different if that was the case. I didn't bother to just wear a bikini.

Are the whole body scanners actually beneficial?  They can find about as much as the previous usual detection machines. And if someone really wants to sneak something dangerous in- hello folks, this is the 21st century. If they want to, they will find a way. And it's fact that the body scanners can't detect everything. They cost over $100,000 US dollars too.

In addition, there's enough news stories circulating so I won't go into how the full body scanners are misused by those operating them...

So what are your options if you want to not subject yourself to walking through the "naked scanner?"

a. Accept a fine of a substantial amount of $$$$
b. Subject yourself to an intrusive pat down

Option A:
Well, not everyone has 10,000+ US dollars floating around, so that might be a problem.
Option B:
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has received more than 900 complaints over the "pat down" procedures used by the TSA. I think we should say TSA loosely because they are the ones performing the action. Our Government is in charge of the TSA though, so these procedures are accepted and 'required' by our Government. And on a side note, the government is supposed to be for the people. So in essence, the pat down procedures are something we the people have accepted as ok unless we all come together and say "no."

If you want to see excerpts of complaints and what the people think of their personal  "pat downs" check out this link.  It's disturbing. Prisonplanet is an excellent source of news.

One particular complaint that I find highly disturbing is a woman who complied with the body scanner and was then pulled aside because she was wearing a panty liner and they needed a female TSA agent to insure that's what it was. So from the age a young woman starts menstruating she's in danger of some perv sticking their hands down her pants to make sure it's really a panty liner when going through security. That is what I call an unreasonable search. And that is just one of the complaints. 

And we all know, that random 14 year old American girl is carrying a bomb in her pants.

And the TSA does not appear to sensor who they hire much- it doesn't matter if you have a record of stalking and harassment, you'll still find a job with the TSA. Ew.

Besides that, let's talk about the health aspects of these "pat downs." Apparently the TSA don't change their gloves. Germs love things like that. So from one person to the next, to the next, to the next, TSA is spreading all the love. How nice.

Newsflash: the government is supposed to work for us. Not us for them. We vote these people in office and we vote them out. Having an incredibly invasive pat down because the TSA agents ultimately want you to find the experience uncomfortable so you'll subject yourself to the humiliating body scanners really finds the bad guys. Yes, that 6 year old kid is a terrorist. Go ahead and feel him up.

When our persons are being unreasonably searched and we are supposed to sit back and say it's ok, it has gone too far.  And please don't forget, silence is a form of acceptance.

And that's Emily reporting to your from Denmark

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks

     This last week has been spent adjusting to my new life in Denmark. In the spirit of Thanksgiving wich has passed- I am going to share a few things I am thankful for this Holiday Season. 

  • My Mother

This Thanksgiving I had the pleasure of showing what Thanksgiving is like in the United States. I made the whole traditional meal from start to finish for 15 people in all. I now believe in myself. I will never do that again though- next time  Thanksgiving rolls around I'm going to go out and buy a pie and maybe a bottle of wine. Cheers!

I have no idea how people, in the past, prepared Thanksgiving dinner without Mother's or Google. I would have died. I was on skype regularly asking my mom about how to cook a turkey and all the little details like timing... So thank you Mother!!!

As for Google - I had to be converting recipes from cups to grams and MLs... and Farenheit to Celcius. Stressful? Slightly. Just glad I know how to cook!

And let's talk about Pumpkin. It has not come to Denmark yet.... and so 6 hours later and about 10 stores we managed to find 3 little decorating like pumpkins. I now appreciate pumpkin sold in a can.

  •  My new family

I am in Denmark working as an au pair... and before I began my trip I wasn't sure what to expect with the people I would be staying with. They are all fantastic though. I feel comfortable and right at home, so that is nice! The kids are lovely and even though they don't speak much English, I am starting to learn danish words! I have a terrible memory so learning day to day danish words and practicing daily makes it easier to recall later.

  • The freedom we have in America

I love my country. - Growing up in the US you don't always truly appreciate what you have because it's just normal! But it truly is uniqe! And other countries are not like the US. It is sad that we want to become more like other countries and lose what was fought so hard for... The US is kinda like the Ugly Duckling, right? One day we will wake up and realize the Swan that's been in front of us the whole time.

I could go on and on because once I start counting the things I'm thankful for, I find there is always more. And more.

So Happy Thanksgiving a day late- but remember, it's never to late to give thanks. :)

I have been to one hospital in Denmark and the thing I found the most interesting was the footware worn by the Dr's and Nurses. I'm a girl and I love shoes so it's not totally weird to pick that one out! They were sandals and crocs. With socks. Haven't seen that in the US! Sandals and socks are a fashion faux pas! Would you not agree??

Last - bathroom light switches are on the outside of the bathroom door.

And that's Emily reporting to you live from Denmark

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

in transit

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the responses to my last post! They were insightful- so thanks for sharing your opinions! I'll get back to them as soon as I can!!

I'm in the process of moving to Europe, so the next time I post I'll be reporting to you live from Denmark! Packing and preparation have left me quite busy! Let's just say sleep sounds wonderful and people should not be allowed to leave packing to the last minute! Staying up late and leaving early in the morning is a lot of fun.

I also haven't been reading blogs lately but I am sure that will change when life settles a bit.

Stay warm and safe!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reality is

             I didn’t major in economics I majored in accounting. I don’t really understand exactly how the economy works but I do know this, if you don’t work you don’t eat. I know that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It’s as simple as that- unless it’s complicated. Complicated is when governments give handouts and people begin to feel as though they are entitled them. Complicated is when people begin to think that they should still eat even if they don’t work.  

I don’t think that welfare in general is very beneficial to society as a whole- it usually turns into a mooching system. And when you’re getting something for nothing, why would you want to work or want to better yourself? I won’t deny that people genuinely need help at times but I don’t think free government handouts without restrictions are the answer. I don’t even think free government handouts with restrictions are the answer.

Let’s talk about where the money is coming from- there’s nothing free so someone must be paying for it. Right? Let’s try a multiple choice for this one.

A.   It grows on trees behind the White House
B.   The government has their own private Genie that grants all money requests  
C.   um…. Money? It’s just there!
D.   It comes from the people out there working jobs.

If you answered A, B, or C you’re living in an alternate reality and I want in! If you answered D you might actually be doing alright.

Yes, the money that the government hands out is our money. In my last post I mentioned how the government funded the ghost billboard. I concluded that I liked beauty and if it weren’t for the governments in our world funding art projects, we would sadly be lacking in some beautiful landmarks. However, perhaps the government should work on the trillion dollar debt we have first???? Here’s a link to a the National Debt Counter

Let’s turn our attention to fixing a bit of the welfare problem. Let’s look at what the British Government is doing.
Cameron: "We're doing more than any other Government to help people get back to work. That's our part of the deal. Now those on benefit need to do their bit. The message is clear. If you can work, then a life of benefits will no longer be an option."
Should it ever have been an option?

Why would one ever let a system of handing out money get to the point where one is blindly handing out money to people who really don’t need it? If your sister asked you for money once you might oblige. Twice, well let’s see… what is she spending her money on? More than once or twice- depends on how much you like handing your money out. It might come to a point where it is uneconomical to keep handing out your money. Well governments are handing out your money. And they aren’t worried about economics. Perhaps they are becoming worried. The British Government is now implementing a new unemployment benefits system.

If you are unemployed and you refuse to apply for appropriate jobs or neglect to go to mandatory community work, you lose your job seekers allowance for

  • Three months for a first offense
  • Six months for a second offense
  • Three Years for a third offense

Hello! And welcome to my world. If you don’t work you don’t eat. And if you’re sitting at home when you are perfectly capable of applying for a job somewhere- perhaps you need to wake up to choice D and stop living in your own alternate reality.

Cause at some point- someone’s going to ask where the money is and you won’t know. Truth: it’s not there.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Secret

I have something amazing to share with you all. I am a coffee drinker and I drink a lot of coffee. But at some point, I think everyone who drinks coffee eventually comes to a point in their day where they have had enough coffee! It could be the caffeine, it could be the taste, it could be that you are just tired of it! 

A die-hard coffee drinking fan like me has a hard time admitting that. And sometimes you still want something to drink! Well- I usually will go for a chai tea drink! I love chai tea lattes, chai tea, and chai tea. At Starbucks a chai tea latte is about 4 US $ ++ if you order a grande. It almost makes you choke to have to hand that over. 

Enough of that- 
Go up to your barista
Ask for a chai tea (just a plain regular chai tea bag in hot water)
Ask for 4 pumps of Vanilla Syrup
Ask for 1/2 inch of soy milk

I spent $2.11 on my drink tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was sweet, delicious, and warm! And not overly sweet either. The perfect comfort drink if you are out and about. 

Hope you enjoy! It's cheaper than a latte and only a bit more expensive than just ordering regular tea. <3 <3

I spent my weekend with friends in Seattle and had a fantastic time! Because I'm getting ready to head out on my European adventure, I think I held this event as extra special. Good friends are hard to come by. <3 <3

Monday, November 1, 2010

Please, Get Over Yourself

Happy November 

Just yesterday I was in Southern California swimming in the ocean and  now it’s time for the winter clothes, hot drinks, and boots! Lately, I’ve been feeling quite out of the news loop. I really do hate when that happens. That being said, there are some interesting things going on and I wanted to share a little bit.

#1. Boston’s own “Mary had a little lamb who followed her to school”

Dan brought his horse to school in honor of Spirit Week and even went so far as to dress up like a medieval character. Big mistake. Bringing ones horse to school is as bad as showing up to school with a gun. Maybe if he had concealed his horse he could have gotten not just suspended, but also arrested. We should be deathly afraid of horses. They may want to eat us, someone else could have gotten to them first causing them become zombie horses. Run.

#2. Bucket List item 1

The Ghost Billboard. It’s made out metal and nothing and it looks awesome. I do hope to see it one day and I’m thinking when I get back from Europe, it shall be one of my road trips. I would definitely try to see it in the Fall or Winter time. So yes, my tax dollars went there. That being said, I'm not too upset. If the government didn't commission some art projects, we would not have the Golden Gate Bridge.

#3. Oh please, get over yourself. 

Woman in Michigan advertised for a roommate at her church. She asked that the room mate be a Christian. One civil rights complaint later, I’m sure she wished she hadn’t put the “Christian” into her ad. Really?? Really?? A person is not allowed to specify what they want from a future roommate? All those non-Christians feeling left out, please, do get over yourself. If she had specified that she wanted a female would all the males be feeling left out? If I want an freakin’ Christian roommate I should be able to ask for one. That’s my right and if you can’t handle it, I’m sure there’s a bridge close by.

#4.  If you live in the US

Don’t forget to vote! We need your votes more than ever right now. I dreamed about  President Obama last night and I couldn’t decide if it was a nightmare or just a bad dream. And if you don’t have convictions to vote you don’t have license to complain. Again, get over yourself.

#5.  The Times

Life’s looking pretty bleak right now for a lot of people. Friend’s of mine are sending out application after application after application for your basic jobs and they aren’t having much luck. I’m thankful I don’t have to worry about jobs and job searching for the next year but I do sympathize! It is going to be an interesting next two years.

And that’s Emily reporting to you live from Sk- Washington.

Current Music Addiction: Slash: if you like Rock n’ Roll you’ll be right at home