Rant on Greed

Guest post by Frank Heiberger, author of The Feud

Mahatma Gandhi spoke one of the greatest truisms when he said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”

Absolute power corrupts absolutely as the love of wielding power overwhelms any prior altruism in a person. An allegory exists for wealth as the love of amassing riches overwhelms any prior sensibilities. People forget where they came from. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, the vices that extinguish the grace and charity within a person, for this very reason.

I fear that it has become deadly for our economy as well.

I believe it’s obvious to most people that “trickle down” economics is a farce. When a rich man’s cup overflows, he gets a larger cup. Picture a pyramid of champagne glasses four feet high. Pour a bottle of champagne into the top one and it will trickle down into those below it and further as the glasses fill. Yet, the bottom glasses will remain empty and dry as the bottle of champagne runs out, having filled only the first few tiers at the top.

Unless I am mistaken in remembering my history, the minimum wage was enacted to help keep people out of poverty and Social Security was to allow people to retire at an age when they could still enjoy life after having contributed their part to society. The intent was to value ordinary people for what they gave to our nation. Today it seems that this goal has been lost.

In some cases, we seem to have bought into it. When someone says fast food workers don’t deserve $15 an hour because EMTs and soldiers make less, what I’m hearing is someone saying, “You should accept your oppression, because I have accepted mine.” I want to ask them, “Why aren’t you fighting for $20 or $30 an hour? Why aren’t you fighting for what you deserve?”

Every last one of us who is working and contributing to make our economy work deserves to be able to afford the cost of living. They shouldn’t have to rely on handouts that come from other people’s taxes. In effect that’s paying each other to be able to afford life. We shouldn’t be doing that. Employers should be doing that. It’s the reason we get jobs after all.

You could say it’s a conspiracy by those in power fostering our infighting to keep us distracted from the real source of the problem; those in power. It seems that politics have been divide and conquer for ages now. I won’t debate that point here. I will say that we have been divided and are becoming a culture of hate, of pure loathing at anyone that is different from us.

This divisiveness is mind boggling to me. Is it just easier to fight amongst ourselves rather than join together and demand what we deserve? How can we say we are a proud people, when we won’t even stand up for ourselves?


Books by Frank Heiberger

The Feud ~ View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon

Hunger….A Truly Sad State of Affairs

Guest post by Nancy Pilling, author of With This In Mind

It is said that enough food is produced daily that the world’s population could be fed a few times over.

The statistics of how much food is actually thrown out daily in North America alone is staggering. I have been guilty of this as well. I’ll store food in my fridge then not get round to consuming it and find myself tossing it out.

I’ve also experienced being homeless many years ago as well as standing in line at a Food Bank.

These days I make a conscious effort and have cut my waste considerably.

Still I wonder what’s to be done? People should not be starving. Yet I walk outside and find people on the streets in dire straights all the time.

Typically I’ll purchase a sandwich and coffee for for the person in need.

And what of those whose lives have been disrupted and torn apart by war such as the Syrians who are now migrating in massive numbers wanting to try and rebuild their lives?

I am delighted the Canada is opening its arms to 25,000 as soon as possible. Many are concerned about the terrorists cells that have plagued us over the last decade or so.

I’m deeply saddened that there are those who’ve been so completely stripped of their humanity that suicide bombing is considered noble in their mindset.

I wish I had the answer for all that ails our world. I don’t.

I will, however, continue to move this world surrendering to the loving and forgiving heart that beats within.

I will strive to help those in my area of the world who are without and continue to pray that one day all of this will be but a memory.



Books by Nancy Pilling

With This In Mind ~ View on Bookshelves | Amazon link unavailable.

Making a Difference

Guest post by Victoria Randall, author of City of Hidden Children

My new hero is Manoj Bhargava, the founder of 5-Hour Energy, who has pledged to give 99 percent of his $4 billion net worth to charity. But he’s not just tossing money at the poor to help them. He has decided to make a huge difference, and he’s structured his company so that he can.

He has built a philanthropic invention shop, whose goal is to invent things that make a difference in the lives of people in poverty. He and his team have come up with a hybrid bicycle that creates 24 hours worth of electricity by peddling it for an hour. They’re working on cables that can pull energy out of the earth in a pollution-free manner.

These are splendid ideas that will help people worldwide.

I am neither rich nor wise enough to invent stuff like that. But I can do something small. Many of the people I went to college with have gone on to become leaders: orchestra leaders, heads of companies, influential politicians. I have stuck to hands-on stuff, being a nurse and foster mother. Nothing spectacular, but as the starfish legend tells us, it may make a difference to this starfish, this child, this patient.


Books by Victoria Randall

City of Hidden Children ~ View on Bookshelves | Amazon link unavailable.

Come on Home Children ~ View on Bookshelves | Amazon link unavailable.

Get on Board Little Children ~ View on Bookshelves | Amazon link unavailable.

Shadowcat: Tales from the Edge of Sleep ~ View on Bookshelves | Amazon link unavailable.

Hungry Parasites

Guest post by Jasbir S Jagdeo, author of The Shreds of Character

It has always been said that we are slaves to our stomachs. We do whatever we do, basically, to insure against hunger. No matter how much a man has, he needs more to keep his anxiety in control. The fear of that day when he would have nothing keeps him struggling for more. In our part of the world, and most likely everywhere else, common barely managing people wonder about business tycoons and filthy rich politicians and celebrities, their needs, their hunger. Hunger for more. Even with all the world or nation or state in their bellies, they seem hungry for more. It surely is the fear of sleeping on an empty stomach that keeps them expanding their empires, whatever kind they may be.

The other day I saw a farmer, which is a suicide tribe if you might ask what is a farmer and you might, sitting next to his tube well even as I approached it alighting from my car to wash hands. He was watching the fields being flooded by the water that the tube well was pumping out. Inspired by newspapers flooded with suicide reports by farmers across the country, I asked him if everything was going well for him in particular and his acquaintances in general. I asked him specifically about whether they had enough to eat. He ogled me for quite a while making me uncomfortable and then laughed like I had just cracked a joke he understood perfectly.

"You know even if I have one acre of land," he said, "I can grow enough on it to feed my entire family the whole year round. All we need is little grain and vegetables. Don’t need any fertilizers and pesticides to feed my family. But I have four acres of land and yet I find it difficult to sustain the kind of living I am told to follow."

"I don’t understand," I admitted.

"Of course, you won’t. Crop fills the stomachs and the parasites keep destroying them. But they never made pesticides for the real parasites."


Books by Jasbir S Jagdeo

The Shreds of Character ~ View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon

A Fine Poet ~ View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon

Broken News ~ View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon

Poverty in Other Times

Guest post by Angela Rosemary, author of Dating Calamity

Most of us have lived in times of excess. My parents did not, though life had changed dramatically by the time I came along, when my parents were in their 40’s.

My mother was quite young when her father took a job with Inter Mountain Coal and Lumber Company driving a train. He had previously worked for a railway company in Virginia. He first had to lay the track through the mountains so the train could bring out logs for the lumber mill. The family followed along as the tracks were lain.

My Mom’s family lived in some terrible places at first. Some were infested with bed bugs but not for long. They moved the bedsteads out and torched them, the frames being made of iron. They painted and filled any cracks that bugs could fit through. Eventually new rooms were brought in by train, and were linked together near a limestone spring. Everything was new but there wasn’t any electricity but oil lamps and wood burning stoves kept them cozy.

As the track moved along their little rooms moved with it from place to place until they finally settled near a town with a school. It was the first time my mother had been to school and she came down with some sort of fever that left her legs and knees swollen and sore. He mother would make a poultice of herbs to draw out the fluid that had collected in her knees. She still had to make the excruciating 3 mile walk to school each day and would then cry herself to sleep at night. They didn’t know much about treating it in those days and over time it led to a weak spot in her heart, causing leakage of blood from one part of her heart to the other. She later developed a tumor in one knee as well.

Despite the pain Mom went through she said life was pretty good there. They would take the train to another town and buy large sacks of pinto beans, potatoes and canned salmon for salmon cakes. A lady from a nearby farm would ride in on a horse, bringing chickens tied by their legs to her saddle. Her mother would buy a couple and fatten them up with grain. On Sundays they would eat fried chicken or chicken and dumplings and a cake of some sort, maybe blackberry jam cake with caramel icing or coconut cake with lemon filling and seafoam icing or velvet dark chocolate. Her father did his part rolling lemons and slicing them into a pitcher with sugar to make the best lemonade you could ever want.

My mother’s family then moved to yet another town and had a perfect little place by the river with rich soil where they could grow their own potatoes, corn, beans, peppers, anything they wanted to grow, even peanuts. My mother thought it funny to learn that they grew underground.

This new place was close to a 2 room school house and my mother began to read to her younger sister the Zane Grey novels that her mother had read to her. People in town would pass books between each and my mother would read all that she could get hold of. When she wasn’t reading she would make doll clothes from the scraps her mother had left over from making her dresses. My mother would later do the same for me, giving me the scraps to make clothes for my Barbie. I later learned to make chairs for them from tuna cans, with the lid still partially attached to form the back of the chair, covering them with cotton balls and cloth with lace for the edges. I enjoyed making my own toys and appreciated them more, I am sure, than a lot of kids appreciated their multitudes of store bought gifts.

Mom also enjoyed fishing with her brother. They would row across the river and climb the mountain and enjoy the view of town from up high, watching the cars down there or looking for shapes in the clouds above. She enjoyed all the simple things in life, knowing nothing of all the gadgets and advances that would come, that many of us think we can’t live without. It is time that we all think about what we really need and be grateful for what we have.


Books by Angela Rosemary

Dating Calamity ~ View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon

Alternate Energy Means More Milk for the Poor

Guest post by Charles Vrooman, author of The True Virus

You’ve seen the ads saying “Got Milk?” well cows can give us much more. How about “Got Watt?” yes we can get electricity from cow manure. Dairies are using methane digesters to collect gas from manure to produce electricity.

This means that dairies can cut the cost of getting electricity from power companies resulting in cheaper milk. This in turn will make milk more available to the poor. Plus, by using this alternate energy source we will reduce greenhouse gases like methane from being released into our atmosphere. So this is a “win-win” situation for the world.


Books by Charles Vrooman

The True Virus ~ View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon