Sam I Am Blog

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Photography Patrol – Pastrana Sari–Sari Store–Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

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Pastrana Sari-Sari Store

PASTRANA SARI SARI STORE_0744_resized

Pastrana Sari-Sari Store – Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.  Pastrana is pronounced “Pah-strah – nah.”  And the words, sari-sari, are pronounced, “Sorry – E, Sorry – E.”  A sari-sari store in the Philippines is like a General Store in rural America or a small convenience store in an American city.  This little store a customer can actually walk into and shop.  Some sari-sari stores are more like a bank teller’s window at the drive thru lane of a bank.  You tell the store operator what you want and they either give it to you for a certain amount of pesos or they tell you they don’t have the item.

A sari-sari store’s merchandise varies from store to store, but, they can have everything from double A batteries to detergent to candy to rice to Coca Cola, Pepsi, Merinda or Royal orange soda to San Miguel beer.  Americans love the term “small business.” but to truly appreciate how small a business can be and still make a living for a family, you have to shop at a Philippines’ Sari-Sari Store.  Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Fourth of July Empowerment Editorial – Jet Jockey Jam The Sorties Of Life

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Fourth of July Personal Empowerment Editorial

Jet Jockey Jam

The Sorties Of Life

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The sun is up.

We suit up.

In the cockpit, we taxi out on to the Active Runway Of Life.

We tromp the “pedal to the medal” and kick in the afterburners.

Rockin and rollin’ into the Wild Blue Yonder. Another day at school, another day at the office, another day on the farm – whatever our job – we have a few hours to work to earn the paycheck to put food on the table, a roof over our head, gas in the car and try to make it home in one piece.

We all do the “Jet Jockey Jam.”

We all fly “The Sorties Of Life,” each day.

Airborne, we soar through the clouds and think about the day’s “mission.” We know the day’s “objectives,” But, we also know we have to be ready for the “bandits and bogeys” that will drop out of the sun and “engage” us during the flight.

No day in Life – is truly “a routine flight.” We soar along until some challenge “flames” us – then, the “Jet Jockey Jam Joined,” – we respond – our guns blazing !

Pitch, roll, bank, climb, drop down, pop up, turn, burn, – drop down on the deck, and trim the tree tops.” “Locked and loaded” – we engage the bogey and bandits of our lives. The unpredictable events of life is like weather that comes out of know where to create the turbulence and stress in our lives. We ride out the lightning strikes of life and stay focused to try and fly through the zero visibility cloud cover of life.

We pray.

Sometimes in our Sortie Of Life, we are fortunate enough to have a “wingman” to watch our “six.”

We sit in the cockpit and fly our daily Sorties Of Life. We try to avoid the “flame outs.” We ride the rough air and take the flak and try not to “punch out” or “crash and burn.” At the day’s end, we line it up and try to glide in for an easy landing. At home, we take off our “poopy suits,” and chow down. Then, we debrief in front of the “boob tube” and realize again tomorrow we’ll do “The Jet Jockey Jam” and fly another “Sortie of Life.”

Like it or not, Life is combat – even in peacetime. We all face the “bandits” and “bogeys” and just try to make a few coins of the realm to put food on the table and a roof over our head.

What we forget is we are not alone.

Jet Jockey Jam Hand Of God - Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr. The F-4 Rhino military aircraft in the photo - obviously, is not real. This F-4 is a wooden replica carved and painted by a Filipino craftsman. At my Fairwell Party at Clark Air Base Republic of the Philippines, this unique artistic gift was presented to me. It fits on a black base, where the names of the people I served with are inscribed. Once I wrote my Jet Jockey Jam article, I treid to think of some clipart to go with the story. I glanced over at a dresser and the F-4 model grinned back at me. Story Behind The Photo - I looked at the F-4 model and thought of line art to support my editorial. Thus, the afternoon of June 28, 2011, I take the model, a camera and walk out the door to the pasture. I raised up the model against the sky and tried numerous shots. I selected a photo and opened it in an older version of JASC Paint Shop Pro, then, I opened the photo into a version of Corel Paint Shop Pro. I couldn't get the image I wanted. I ended up wasting more time trying to fix the photo by removing the black base arm that supported the model airplane, than it took for me to originally write the editorial. The words of the editorial flowed fairly easily, but, I went back and wordsmithed words and the overall flow of the article. I spent at least two hours writing and tweaking the article. The original photo I had selected to edit was beginning to require meticulous brain surgery that seem to require a pixel by pixel correction to try and eliminate the black base out of the photo. After several minutes of trying to paint out the black base, the portion closest to the model plane seemed too close to safely paint out of the photo. Thus, I discarded the original and selected this photo. I decided to leave the hand in the photo for a different view of an airborne aircraft, per se. Basically, all I had to do with this photo is to lighten the background to lighten up the sky. I believe the hand in the photo may cause readers to pause and look at the photo for a moment. The Hand Of God cutline will probably upset some religious people, but that is okay - I've spent most of my life annoying holy men and orthodox religions - and, I'm not going to change. After all, I've always believed God has a sense of humor - he did create humankind. Since there weren't any supermodels "handy," I became the hand model and the photographer. It's not to easy to balance a camera and click the shutter while holding something up at arm's length. Feel free to smile at the photo.

Society At Large has convinced us all that we are Atlas doomed to always carry the weigh of the world upon our shoulders. None of us should ever feel like Life is “A Suicide Mission.”

We all serve in Humankind’s Life Force. We all have our Headquarters Of Obligations. We all have our Numbered Forces of Responsibilities. But, we all have our Wings Of Colleagues. We all have our Groups Of Fellow Workers, Squadrons Of Friends and Flights Of Family.

Farmer, secretary, neurosurgeon or grade school student – we all settle into the cockpit alone. Each day, we taxi past our crew chiefs, who give us the “thumbs up” as we turn out on to the Active Runway Of Life.

In the thickest cloud cover, we sometimes forget to glance out the canopy and notice the other jets soaring alongside us. Above us and below us, we are “boxed in” by our fellow airmen of life, who are flying the Same Survival Sortie.

We need to remember besides our “God-given skills and intellect,” the love of our family is the “Whammo Ammo” of life. We can count on the Ordnance Of Life Of Family Love because it is the “missiles beneath our wings” that keeps us on course and on target.

We all have our days, when we take our hits and limp back to repair our battle damage.

Still, we don’t “punch out “ along the way.

We take the “flak.”

A Sudden Life and Death Crisis – sometimes forces us to “fly by the seat of our pants.”

We don’t always “hit the target,” but, we are always “on target.”

Until we fly our Final Flight, we do “The Jet Jockey Jam” each day of our lives. When we finally “cool our jets” and taxi in to “shut her down” for the last time, we need to climb down from the cockpit and stroll confidently down the flight line into the Sunset Of Infinity. We take the first step into the “Base Ops Of The Afterlife, with the conviction that we did our best.

We all fly our Sorties Of Life. We should retire from our Mission Of Life pleased with our efforts.

Our family and friends will have their own daily sorties to plan and fly. But, from time to time, they may recall or share some of our “war stories.” They will smile at our “wheels up,” “barrel rolls,” “wing waves,” and “barnstorming” aerobatics of our lives. They will bring people to the edge of their seats with the tales of our exploits of dropping “down on the deck,” and “afterburners blazing” to “pray, play, or pay” for those risky gambles in the Sorties Of Life.

Tomorrow, is another Jet Jockey Jam in the Sortie Of Life.

And, may our family members never forget the Day Of “Our Missing Man Formation.”

Sam

American Health Care Bullet – Your Name On It

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American Health Care Bullet – Your Name On It

A National Day

Of Civil Disobedience

for Health Care

Plan and Campaign

by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

The American Health Care Bullet has your name on it. An unexpected medical crisis or an accident and the bullet fires and destroys your lifetime of work, savings and accomplishments.   Copyright Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

There is a loaded gun at your head – American Health Care.

The finger on the trigger is the United States Government.

James Richard Verone dodged the bullet – He robbed a bank to go to prison to receive Health Care,

The loaded pistol of American Health Care remains at your head.

The American Health Care Pistol Is At Your Head waiting for an unexpected medical crisis or accident to strike you. The American Health Care Bullet with your name on it then fires and allows you to be blown into poverty. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

You In The Orange Jumpsuit.

Look in the mirror. You could be the next James Richard Verone.

Sooner or later, everyone gets ill. Sooner or later, everyone needs medical care. Without National Health Care, the finger on the trigger squeezes and in an instant your life is reduced to poverty. Everything you have ever worked for is now owned by a doctor, a hospital, an HMO, an insurance company or numerous creditors, who wait for the belching bureaucratic buzzards of the American Legal System to claw apart your financial carcass.

Look in the mirror – Your grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, sister, brother, your son, your daughter, or you . . . You could be the next James Richard Verone.

You might only be a single heartbeat away from wearing an orange jump suit.

The Bomb Vest Of Uncertainty

  For decades, Americans have screamed at The Deaf, Dumb And Blind Fools Of The Congress Of The United States Of America. For decades, Presidential Wannabes have “Promised” A Plan For National Health Care. Americans cannot continue to work with The Bomb Vest Of Uncertainty strapped to their chests as they go about trying to earn a living. A simple accident or incident triggers uncertainty and a diagnosis of cancer, hospitalization from a car wreck and suddenly a life ends up weighed against medical bills.

  Gas prices rise. Food prices rise. The U.S. Economy is a myth of vanishing smoke. And there is no net to even protect citizen’s health, which allows them to receive health care to keep working.

You have a job today; you might not have a job tomorrow. No job and your Health Care goes away.

  The United States Government does not flinch when the pistol fires. The American Health Care Bullet bores through the gray matter of your brain. The weapon’s recoil simply signals that another American is Dead from lack of affordable health care. Family and friends will grieve over your obituary and try hard to ignore that lack of health care is being written into their obituary.

James Richard Verone still wears his orange jump suit and sits ignored in the American Legal System. We have all read the story and moved on with our lives.

But, the American Gun Of Health Care remains wedged against our temples. The finger flexes on the trigger and beads of sweat emerge on our foreheads.

The American Health Care Pistol Stays Loaded And Ready To Fire. The constant threat of an unexpected medical crisis or accident forces Americans into bankruptcy and poverty. The White House and Congress seem unwilling to stand up to HMOs and insurance companies. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

Someday, pershaps, someday soon – you will need expensive, excessive health care. The American Health Care Bullet in the chamber has your name on it.

The uncertainty of Life always manages to spring unforeseen medical issues upon people.  An automobile accident, an

The American Health Care Pistol Stays Loaded And Ready To Fire. The constant threat of an unexpected medical crisis or accident forces Americans into bankruptcy and poverty. The White House and Congress seem unwilling to stand up to HMOs and insurance companies. Photo by Samuel E. Warren Jr.

unexpected heart attack, a sudden stroke or a diagnosis of cancer can be the pressure that squeezes the trigger and starts the explosive chain of events that can destroy a person’s lifetime of achievements and personal savings.

Will the hot metal shoot down the barrel, break through your skull and send gunpowder and metal fragments exploding into your brain because you don’t have Health Care coverage ?

Civil Disobedience

Throughout history there has only been one nonviolent way to force a government to listen to citizens – Civil Disobedience.

Civil Disobedience helped to end America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The problem was the sits ins and protests were sporadic and uncontrolled like lightning sparked brush fires and it took years before the United States Government finally had to listen to citizens.

National Day Of Civil Disobedience For Health Care

A National Day Of Civil Disobedience For Health Care will get political leaders attention. If people come together to agree upon a Day Not To Show Up For Work, then, Government will grind to a halt for a day.

For A National Day Of Civil Disobedience to be successful all participating Americans have to agree to basic ground rules.

No Violence

The Essential Requirement For Success is No Violence. The success of the student sit-ins of the 1960s were they did not destroy lives and personal property. Violence only mobilizes the American Legal System to pull out all the stops to maintain Public Order, which allows the Government the ability to use any and all means at it’s disposal to put down any suspected hint of an uprising.

Take The Day Off

A National Day Of Civil Disobedience where Americans agree not to show up for work is the one technique that Uncle Sam can not defend against. If people don’t show up for work, then, No Business gets done. It breaks no law for a business to simply “Take The Day Off.”

Common Sense Rules

The Uniformed Code Of Military Justice requires military personnel to perform their official duties, so they cannot legally participate in such a day, nor, should anyone in military uniform risk the threat of court martial.

Americans, who work in law enforcement and in life saving jobs, should not jeopardize their lives of themselves or fellow citizens by participation. Thus, guards at Federal and State prisons and local jails should not walk off the job or fail to show up for work. Naturally, paramedics, nurses and doctors should not just walk out of hospitals.

But, there are jobs in America, where Americans can simply stay home from work for a day.

The financial fallout should be sufficient enough to sober up Congress.

Red, White And Blue Flu

A National Day when Wall Street feels the national surgical strike of No Business, No Revenue For A Day.

Americans across the nation, simply come together with family and friends and agree to a day when they will “Take The Day Off.” Then, they pick up the telephone or cell phone and call their bosses to “Stay Home From Work With A Massive Case Of Red, White And Blue Flu.”

Small business might support the national sick day because they can’t afford to provide employees with health care and Congress has ignored small businesses as well as Americans on this issue.

Wake Up The White House, Sober Up Congress!

A single day would wake up the White House and Sober Up Congress – but, it will take more than one day for the White House, Congress and The Supreme Court Of The United States Of America to realize ALL Americans are united in a demand for an immediate and effective policy of national health care.

By 1973, the Italian Government had already had about 42 new governments since the end of World War II, based on my research. Italians felt their government wasn’t working and they walked away for a few days until a new government could be organized. The simple National Stirke – No Confidence Vote technique meant that leaders had to come up with a way to solve the immediate issue.

Congress Can Find The Money For National Health Care

America can afford National Health Care.

Congress found the money for the Space Race.

Congress found the money for the Arms Race during the Cold War.

Congress can find the money for National Health Care. They just have never wanted to. HMOs, insurance companies have lobbied Congress to go fishing and forget about health care.

Congress found the money to fight the War In Afghanistan.

Congress found the money to fight the War In Iraq.

Congress can look at the budget and divert funds from some programs into National Health Care until they pass legislation to set aside funds beginning in the next fiscal year.

Inalienable Right

A Non-Violent – National Day Of Civil Disobedience will fire the starting gun to make the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court realize that “Life, Liberty and The Pursuit Of Happiness” involves – a person’s health to be able to live that “inalienable right.”

We can all forget James Richard Verone and move on with our lives. When a major Health Care Crisis hits our life, we might remember that guy back in 2011 who robbed a bank to get health care. Then, we will wonder why we didn’t do something to try and convince American politicians to make National Health Care a matter of national law and policy.

National Health Care is not a political issue; it is a neglected, inalienable right of human dignity and citizenship.

Without health a citizen cannot work for a personal livelihood, nor, can he or she contribute to the local, state and national treasuries to ensure the social and political stability of public order at all levels.

National Volunteer Denial Of Service Campaign

While A National Day Of Civil Disobeidence would be the opening salvo in the battle for American Health Care there would probably have to be a strategic nonviolent escalation for the White and Congress to realize that Americans believe Health Care is a Freedom forgotten by the Founding Fathers.

The Second and Final Phase of National Disobedience would require the volunteer efforts of Americans and businesses in a National Denial Of Service Campaign. American businesses have always had the right to refuse service.

The Second Phase of the National Civil Disobedience Movement For Health Care simply requires businesses to deny personal and professional services to the president, the first family, the cabinent, members of their families, members of the Administration and their families, members of Congress and their families for a period of at least 30 days.

Basically, for at least 30 days, Washington D.C., policymakers and their families should be denied services for groceries, gasoline and access to medical care unless they are willing to pay excessive prices. The action would be a symbolic real world gesture to remind policymakers what it is like for an average American to be “denied basic services because of an inability to earn money to purchase products and services.”

Naturally, Washington D.C., policymakers would be ready to flock to Bethesda or Walter Reed for medical services, but the simple nuisance of lawmakers having to temporarily rearrange their schedules should be enough to remind them of the seriousness of not being able to expect an immediate response.

As for groceries and gasoline, American businesses should stand ready to treat national, state and local policymakers with the same lack of concern that average Americans face daily. Since there are no Price Controls for average Americans, then, there should not be any for policymakers. Wouldn’t it do your heart good to know a United States Senator from Missouri had to pay $10 for a carton of eggs?

Would you feel bad if a former president had to pay $20 a gallon for a tank of gas ?

The Denial Of Service Campaign to policymakers is to remind them what it is like to “Walk A Mile In An Average American’s Shoes” for a few days. The campaign should also remind them they were elected to do a job and accept the responsibility to find solutions.

The American Health Care Bullet with your name on it is in the gun . . .

Do We The People unload the gun or do we continue to allow the United States Government to repeatedly keep squeezing the trigger?

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