Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roasted Whole Bean - Detailed item view - Cafe de la Esperanza

Roasted Whole Bean - Detailed item view - Cafe de la Esperanza


Christmas used to be a very nice holiday or at least I thought it was when I was a child.  It was a lot of fun getting toys from everyone.  As I got older, I started to enjoy how nice everything looked during Christmas.  Everything had lights and streamers on them.  People were more polite and when the snow covered everything, it was a great time to be outdoors.

Recently, it seems that everyone is all twisted up on the word"Christmas".  All of a sudden, no one is allowed to say the word.  It's been replaced by the world "holiday".  And it's because everyone is a afraid that if the "word" is uttered, wars will start, people will start crying and the world will end.

What happened?  No one is forced to celebrate or observe Christmas, but everyone wants a day off from work, get gifts, eat a lot of food and sleep late.  Most holidays should not be observed with sloth and debauchery, rather they should be spent remembering the signficance of the day. 

It is true that the 25th day of December is not the actual birthday of Jesus Christ and that the basis of this winter holiday was based on some pagan ritual where naked druids danced around a tree.  Many elements of the modern observance of Christmas are not related in the Biblical account of the birth of the Christ, such as a Christmas tree, a big jolly man in a fur trimmed red suit, reindeer, crafty elves, nor the exchange of gifts.  Does it make it any less Christmas?

I think this whole "war on Christmas" is just payback by the heathen, pagans and aetheists to take Christmas away from the Christians.  After all, it was the Christians who had absconded their winter solistice observance.  And now, everyone is so uptight about who owns the observance.  For those who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas.  For those who do not, well, Merry Christmas to you also.  Kindness is kindness, just accept it.  If you get a stack of money in an envelope as a present, but it's all wrapped up in "Christmas" decorations, are you going to go and burn it?  So, don't be so uptight.

For those that do celebrate Christmas, remember it is a time to be nice to everyone.  Be sensitive that not everyone wants to see your ugly sweater and if someone says 'Happy Holidays', do not reprimand them or accuse them for waging a war on Christmas.  They are also trying to be nice. 

Let's just all try to get along.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dear John

Public bathrooms are very difficult to find.  In NYC,  there is a program to install self-cleaning public bathrooms.  So far, only three have been installed because it is very difficult to find locations where plumbing is esaily accessible to install these public toilets.  Even then, the program plans to install 20 in 20 years.  That is not going to help anyone. So what do people do when they need to "go" and they are not at home.  They go to the nearest establishment where there is a toilet and it is usually a privately owned establishement that provides tolilets for their customers.  Places such as hotels or restaurants. 

So the private establishments have to pick up where the public sector cannot even provide for the basic needs for their citizens to relieve themselves.  The owners of private establishments must then maintain the very public use of these toilets and with very little thanks from the government.  Instead, the government then goes into these places and rate them on their cleanliness.  A good deed never goes unpunished. 

Private establishments are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  They bear the scorn of the general public when they do not allow non-paying customers to use their toilets, but if they do, they have to spend the time and money to maintain the facilities that the government cannot provide for its own public.  One of  the few injustices that business owners must bear...but do they really have to?

The Bill of Rights has turned us in to a country of whiners.

I like the Bill of Rights, I do not have anything against it.  I enjoy exercising my first amendment rights and also my second amendment rights.  The third and the fourth are pretty cool.  Always nice to acknowledge the fifth.  Sixth, seventh and eighth are quite useful.  Ninth and tenth are nice catchalls.  So, how have we become a country of whiners because we have this Bill of Rights?

In a previous post, I had pointed out that the protesters involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement had compared the Mayor of NYC to various world leaders who have violently suppressed the rights of his people.  By violent, I mean they have shot and killed their own people.  Also some protestors have likened bankers and other members of the 1% to that of the Nazis in Germany or even Adolf Hitler.  I had called for more thorough research before public figures are inappropriately compared to violent despots (or even semi-benevolent despots).  It would really do a lot for the freedom of speech that all of us cherish.

Recently in the news, some students had at a university had formed a human chain by interlocking their arms and kneeling on the ground to block access to a part of the university.  A video shows that a police officer used pepper spray on these students who were protesting peacefully.  The majority of the viewers expressed outrage at this action by the police officer.  I do not know the circumstances surrounding the incident, but as it appears on the video on the internet, it does not bode well for the police.

When interviewed on television, a well-known documentary film maker compared this incident to that of Tiananmen Square.  Although I have not subjected to pepper spray (other than biting into a vicious habenero and having its juices squirt on the the back of my hand), I am pretty sure the being run over by a military tank or armored personnel carrier is probably much more painful (and probably fatal) then being hit with pepper spray.  Can we stop with comparisons of the events of truly tragic outcomes of protests in other parts of the world with those of the Occupy Wall Street movement?

So far, the rapes, attempted rapes, grand larceny, the majority of the assaults and some deaths that have occurred at these protests were not a result of "military action".  Most, if not all, of these incidents have been inflicted on the protesters by OTHER protestors.  Sure, during a march the police have swung a baton or two, they have tear gassed, pepper sprayed, or even treated some of the protestors a bit roughly.  How many were run over by tanks?  Did the police open fire on any of the crowds?

To compare the rough treatment of these protestors to the even at Tiananmen Square truly insults all Chinese people and those who have really sacrificed for the cause of freedom in their countries under violent, repressive and despotic regimes.  How many protestors in Tahir Square, Tiananmen Square, in Libya, or Syria, received free organic food prepared by a Michelin starred chef?  How many had the protection of the police when they occupied a public square?  They do not even have the Bill of Rights in those countries.

Please avoid comparing the OWS movement and the treatment of them by the police to those in other countries where the military has killed their own people.  In fact, if the police had treated OWS as the military had treated protesters in Tiananmen Square, this whole movement would have ended at 7pm on September 17th. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

I need to find a place where...

Since protesters started to occupy Zucotti Park (aka Liberty Plaza), open spaces managed by private companies have started to be more wary of how these spaces can be used.  Recently, the managers of the open space in front of World Trade Center 7 posted some rules on park usage. 

Most of these rules make sense to retain the "quality of life" in the open space.  Prohibiting littering, stunts off the benches and noise seem to make sense.  No one wants to sit in a dirty, noisy park and run the risk of being slammed by a skateboarder or a stunt bicyclist.

The one rule that seems to be a bit strange is the prohibition of "using illegal drugs or alcohol".   First, publicly drinking alcohol from an open container is against the law in NYC.  Aside, from food service establishments with sidewalk tables, it makes sense to prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages in this public space.  Why would the use of illegal drugs be prohibited in THIS park?  Is there a park in NYC where the use of illegal drugs is allowed?  I cannot think of any.  If anyone knows of any park in NYC where the use of illegal drugs is NOT prohibited, please let me know.

I think that listing rules on park usage is a good idea, because some areas of the law are not clear.  I think littering is pretty clear, but it's re-emphasized her in these rules.  This park does have a fountain where kids like to run into during the summer months, so that rule makes sense.  Soliciting / panhandling is a quality of life issue and should be spelled out in this case.  Some things are just clearly against the law, like the use of ILLEGAL drugs.  Would a person who sits in a park and smokes marrjuna be surprised to be approached by law enforcement officers?  What would he say?  "I didn't know that smoking ILLEGAL drugs was prohibited in this park.  If I had known that this kind of behavior was frowned upon... "

Clearly, this is not over-legislation or over-regulation.  I do not know if there is even a word (or set of words) that would describe this case.  Maybe "overly cautious" comes to mind.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

We are the World (Really, we are)

Towards the evening after the "eviction" (aka the enforcement of the rule of law) of those who had occupied Zucotti Park, I found one of the protesters standing near the park with a piece of cardboard that read:
You are next for violating the rights of free speech.

Or something like that, but the main point was the two recent world leaders in juxtaposition to the mayor of New York City.
It's a good thing that the Mr. Bloomberg has thick skin, because no one wants to be compared to two recent world leaders who were violently removed from office.  I'm surprised the protestor did not list Idi Amin and Pol Pot as well, but maybe it was the lack of space on the back of the pizza box that kept the number to two world leaders. 

If the mayor did feel insulted by these comparisons, I would encourage him to look at the brighter side of things.  It is nice that New York City can be compared to two COUNTRIES in the world and that the mayor of New York has that status of a world leader.  If we extend the comparison, this would make commissioner Ray Kelly the Minister of Defense.  The police force would be the army.  City Hall would be Tripoli or Cairo.  Gracie Mansion would be the palace and Bloomberg's Fifth Avenue home would be the winter palace or the summer retreat.  Maybe I have carried this a bit too far, but it's Occupy Wall Street, there are no limits to the hyperbole when bankers, politicians and businessmen are compared to ruthless dictators who wantonly run tanks over their own people, commit genocide or eat their opposition. 

With all of the so called college educated protestors (especially the ones that majored in any type of history) could they be more creative than comparing people to Mr. Murbark, Mr. Khadafy, or Adolf Hitler.  Why can't they find some obscure figures like Idi Amin, Pol Pot, King John of England, or even Mr. Montgomery Burns of Springfield?  Is it because the protesters are not as educated as they seem.  If that is the case,then they should blame the universities or other schools that they have attended for failing in their tasks to give them a proper education.  It is those institutions that have failed them.  Those Ivory Towers that are too big to fail.

Yes, Occupy Wall Street, the world is watching, so be a bit more creative in making signs and stop making the USA look like a bunch idiots to the rest of the world with completely inappropriate comparisons of world leaders to the mayor of New York City. 

Gross Things at the Office

R. licking the knife between each slice of cake is pretty gross.  So is that fact that people stick their hands into the ice maker after coming out of the bathroom, but this one will top them all.
You know that we get breakfast everyday and long with the communal tray of bagel-muffins and fruit salad is a bottle of orange juice.  People open the juice, pour some and depending on whether they are considerate or inconsiderate people, the cap is reapplied to the bottle. 
One day as I entered the kitchen, there was a "debate" as to whether the orange juice is "good".  Not quite understanding the "hidden" meaning, I said, "yeah, why not, it's not like it's spoiled."  Then I was quickly and quietly informed that someone caught O. driniking directly from the bottle and he put it back down on the counter one day.  I asked when this was, and was told that it was a month ago.  I was a bit angry, not just because O. had drank out of the bottle and put it back down, but because I was not informed of this earlier.  So, all of us looked at the bottle on the table.  Then I started to take all of the other half-finished bottles out of the drawer fridge and place them on the counter.  The others were horrified thinking that I was going to play some kind of shell game or musical chairs with the OJ bottles.  Although the thought of torturing people did cross my mind, I started to open each of the unfinished bottles and empty the contents down the sink to everyone's relief.  If we can not ascertain the purity of any of the partially finished bottles, then we have to get rid of it all.
Did you know that O. drinks out of the bottle and places it back on the counter?  If you did and you did not tell anyone, then just about the whole office has kissed O.!!!!!  If you did not know, and you have had the juice in the middle of the day, then you have kissed O.!!!!!!
Yep, kind of sickening.

On Cults

Mind control.  Yes, now you're thinking "Kevin has really gone off the deep end and will never come back."  Perhaps you are right, but just consider this for a moment.  Why do people say that religion and cults are for the weak-minded?  That is because for the most part it may be true.  Any type of organization that preys on people who are lonely (away from home), isolated (away from home), starving (away from home) and extremely tired (lack of sleep). 

Most people who are socially secure, not in want and generally well rested make rational decisions.  They don't have to be told what to wear, when to eat or what to think.  This is why child-rearing is so important.  When you take away that kind of support from a person, they tend to make really bad decisions about a lot of things and when they are extremely tired, they begin to give in mentally and just go with whatever is there so that they can survive.  That is very much like a drug addict who will do anything for the next fix.  In this case the next fix is to be included in the immediate community.

If you study why cults are so successful, it is because they isolate people, break down their self-esteem and then tire them out by depriving them of sleep.  Then they have the inductees recite mantras until they take root and in a few weeks, you have a bonafide cult member.  So how is this similar to the occupy wall street movement, college and torture. 

In the OWS movement, you have people who are living in a park that is not designed for living.  They spend practically 24 hours a day together, listening to the misguided drivel that comes out of anyone's mouth.  Although they have food, they have to stand for hours on end or sit on hard surfaces and then hear more of the "money is evil" mantra.  They are quite isolated.  You may argue that they get a lot of support, but that support doesn't come in socializing with different people, it comes from being together with people of the same mindset (like that of a cult).  So, here you have relatively young people who have been indoctrinated in the public eye and no one says a thing.  Why?  Because it's acceptable. 

How is college the same?  Again, you have similar conditions except with younger people who are looking for acceptance, away from home and sleep-deprived.  The universities are filled with teachers with a very liberal bias, and so, they are also indoctrinated in whatever their god-like professor tells them.  Again, the indoctrination of young people in the public eye..and it's PAID FOR.  Why?  Because it's acceptable.

Torture.  Everyone will agree that torture is bad.  Prisoners of War are in this same set of circumstances, although more extreme.  They are often pressured to give up information or even to say bad things about their own country.  We're not even talking about waterboarding or having them experience extreme pain.  Just simply depriving them of sleep, isolating them and starving them and they will say whatever they are told to say.

So, these so-called movements are nothing more than the indoctrination of young people who cannot think for themselves.  They present themselves as educated and intelligent people, but when you dig down, they just repeat the mantras that they have been imbued with.  Isn't it sad?

Protests and Signs

Since the protests began, there have been a number of messages that are displayed in the park.  Messages range from "End the Fed" to "9/11 was a government conspiracy" to "Free Puerto Rico"  And then there are just the crazy people who like to hang out in the park and bang on drums all day and wave anarchist type flags. 

So, the other day I was telling you about the "Nazi Bankers" sign and how that was historically not correct.  Last night as I was leaving with A.S, we saw a large sign from a group that read "Jews for Racial and Economic Justice".  What does that really mean?  Does that imply that there are Jews who are not for racial and economic justice?  Because if there were, I would like to know where that group was gathering.

On another note about the protests, it seems that if you put the verb "occupy" before any type of noun, you would have some kind of event.  Occupy Wall Street is the start, and then you had Occupy Boston, Occupy Seattle,  Occupy Des Moines.  Occupy Des Moines?!?!?!?  I think it should be changed to Evacuate Des Moines, no one wants to be there!!!!!

Occupy Wall Street has been trying to get organized, so they have a daily agenda of things to do, such as 7 AM General Meeting, 10AM Education committee meeting, in fact Friday and Saturday nights this week, they are doing a Family sleepover night, they have snacks and a play area for children.  This may seem outrageous to some, but I find it amusing. The funniest thing on the schedule is the proximity of certain events on the agenda.  As I mentioned before, if you place "occupy" in front of any noun, you would have an event.  Today, they plan to OccupyTimesSquare during the afternoon.  Then at 6:30pm, they plan to occupySubway, which I can only assume that they mean the mass transit system and not the sandwich stores.  Then at 7pm, they have General Assembly down at Zucotti Park (Liberty Plaza).  If OccupySubway is going to do what I think they want to do, then everyone will be very late for the General Assembly meeting downtown at 7pm.

They should really have a reality show on this protest called OccupyRealityShow.