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It’s no secret, Bernie Sanders has my vote and the reasons go beyond what many seem to think is simply a desire to glean free stuff. It’s more complicated than that. There are many points of Sanders’ which resonate with me, along with many others who “feel the Bern.” It’s about more. It’s about taking our country back before it slips away.
Bernie Sanders has all along called out Free Trade as a raw deal on the American people, unlike Hillary Clinton. Our country didn’t get into this pickle overnight, we strayed decades ago. Since Bill Clinton enacted NAFTA in 1996, the consequences have resulted in more than five million, decent paying manufacturing jobs lost to Americans; but, Clinton didn’t stop selling out the American people there, he also enacted the WTO agreement. Other consequences aside from an ailing economy are falling like dominoes before our eyes, the decline of living wage jobs has impacted funding to carry out other needed programs such as Social Security, alarmingly we’ve seen the retirement age begin to raise and it will gradually increase. It comes as no surprise to think that corporations such as Walmart that pay slave wages have shipped jobs to sweat shops overseas, and people in America have sacrificed mom and pop shops for the almighty dollar. Due to low, unfair wages, shopping elsewhere is no longer a choice for many and big box stores such as Walmart are taking over. Fair trade has been anything but fair.

Another thing that interests me about Bernie Sanders is he’s willing to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, unlike his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. I agree with Sanders’ view that Glass-Steagall Act needs to be reinstated due to the predatory and abusive practices of banks and Wall Street. I also support the need to close the loopholes.
Bernie Sanders wants to address the infrastructure and stop the tax breaks which are siphoning wealth from all of America to the top 1/10 of 1%. It has been proven that “Trickle Down Theory” and tax breaks for the wealthy doesn’t work. The wealthy have chosen to store their money in tax free havens such as the Cayman Islands rather than step up to their obligation to the American people by giving back to the country in which they’ve found so much success. I support the implementation of tax upon the wealthy, the disappearing middle class can’t carry this country forever.
Like Bernie Sanders, I was also against the Iraq War and felt helpless as a citizen to oppose what seemed to be inevitable at the time. Back then, it didn’t make any sense to me as to why we would invade Iraq when it was Saudis who hijacked the planes and crashed them into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers. In hindsight, I think Bush was paranoid because of the Iran-Contra affair of the Reagan Administration; however, that doesn’t change the fact that it was Saudis who hijacked the planes. Ultimately, the invasion of Iraq did result in the uprising of the ISIL and turned out to be a stain in the history of the United States. Back then Bernie Sanders demonstrated the judgement of a leader and foresaw future challenges while the rest of us were afraid and on the defense. I strongly feel that Bush exploited the situation as an excuse to invade Iraq, with Hillary Clinton behind him.
Additionally, it makes no sense why George W. Bush granted tax breaks to the wealthy during a time of war.
Sanders has long fought for those who have sacrificed and paid the price of war more than anyone else, the Veterans.
Bernie Sanders wants Single Payer healthcare, Hillary Clinton wants to build upon the flawed Affordable Healthcare Act. There are good things about the ACA such as eliminating exclusions to healthcare due to preexisting conditions; however, many employers have reduced hours to below the 30 hour mandate in order to avoid paying fees or offering healthcare to their employees. Of course this has “created” more part time jobs as the employer still has labor slots which need to be filled. So the increase of jobs in the economy since the ACA was mandated is actually an illusion. It isn’t uncommon for the employees who’ve had their hours drastically cut to seek out second jobs and to work approximately 60 hour weeks without overtime pay. Also, the ACA isn’t affordable to everyone, some Americans are too poor to afford Obamacare. Additionally, the ACA doesn’t address price gouging which is common of the pharmaceutical companies.
Unlike Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders is also open to legalizing Marijuana, which is clearly an emerging industry now. In states such as Colorado where Marijuana is legalized, jobs have been created and tax revenue is generated to fund education. Decriminalizing Marijuana also keeps ordinary citizens who aren’t hurting anyone out of prison or jail. Like Sanders, I’m against privatized prisons. I think it’s wrong to create a demand in which we’re encouraged to imprison Americans for profit, which is a practice that began with Reagan’s War on Drugs.
I agree with Bernie Sanders’ idea that we should care for our environment, Sanders is not for big oil or fracking, he’s open to fostering the change we need in order to preserve our surroundings by seeking out alternatives to fossil fuels, biofuels such as hemp are great alternatives as well as solar panels and wind energy.
All along, Bernie Sanders has been for LGBTQ rights and has been fighting for equality for decades. Hillary Clinton has played a key role in the opposition of those rights up until 2013. She supported the “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy, which was enacted by her husband in 1994, and in 1996 she supported her husband in enacting the DOMA, which prohibited same sex couples from enjoying the same rights as married couples.
Hillary Clinton also claims to care for women and children; however, during 1990s she supported PRWORA, which was welfare reform her husband Bill enacted that forced single mothers into low paying jobs where they couldn’t even support their families and also took school lunches from children, then freed up tax dollars to provide assistance to wealthy corporations like McDonald’s to conduct business overseas.

During the 1960s, Bernie Sanders marched with Martin Luther King and was arrested for standing up to segregation, he has long fought for what he believed is right. It is clear to me that Black Lives DO Matter! And Bernie stands for that!

Bernie’s vision of diversity is something that resonates with me deeply. America is about diversity and freedom. We the People have been sold out for decades, we deserve more. It’s time for living wages and to put an end to misemployment. It’s time to have a healthy, educated nation. All will pay into it with our sweat and earned dollars. We need to take our country and the promise of opportunity it is known for back for ourselves, and our future!
So, you see? These are many reasons to “feel the Bern” and there many more. If you’re curious about Bernie Sanders, check out s website at http://www.berniesanders.com!

 

 

Hello, friends. This is my friend Mel. Mel does a lot of good for our community and we’re hoping you would take some time to pay it forward with a vote for her Upcycling and Thrift Boutique. She has entered a video into this contest and we need as many votes as we possibly can get, so pretty please follow the link, vote for Mel’s Thrift, and share this. You will be doing a great service to the people Mel helps. Thank you.

https://wellsfargoworks.com/project?x=us-en_viewentriesandvote_1110_1

mels

 

 

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First off, I want to make it known that I don’t claim to be a hardcore vegan or vegetarian. I realize that this may anger many vegans and vegetarians alike; however, this particular journal entry isn’t meant to demand others to have a complete lifestyle overhaul. This journal entry is about respecting what many perceive as food sources, expanding our diets, and incorporating alternative proteins when our budgets will only allow for limited acceptable meat choices.
What is a limited acceptable meat choice? For myself, meat deriving from a free range, steroid, antibiotic and disease free organic farm is completely ideal. Such meats are expensive and can be found at natural and organic markets across the country. Why is it a good idea to reconsider your meat source? Since 2000, the FDA has changed what is considered to be an acceptable meat source to keep the supply up with the demand. Some of the things which are currently considered to be acceptable for human consumption by the FDA are as follows:

Considering the listed ailments from above and many of our grocery budgets, perhaps the best course of action is to reduce the need for the demand by reducing the need for supply of meat. Aside from what goes on with the resource origin, when it comes to meat, we must also consider what occurs during the processing of the meat; for example, there has been 1.8 million pounds of Ground Beef recalled for possible e.coli. That’s the weight equivalent of roughly 1,125 cows!
Here is a general vegan recipe guideline for alternative protein patties to give you and your loved ones a healthier alternative for all involved in the food chain. Please keep in mind that if you have any sensitivities or allergies to any of the following ingredients, don’t give up! There are other plant based protein resources to consider! Here is a different recipe! Bon Appetit!

Meatless Vegan Patties

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, *blend:

DRY INGREDIENTS: 3/4 C. Gluten Flour

*It’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to blend all dry ingredient together before you add the liquid mixture!

LIQUIDS.
This is what will give your protein flavor, so make it good! Be creative! Here is what I like to make;
In your blender, add

  • 1 C. Vegetable Broth
  • 1 T. Olive or Peanut Oil
  • 3 T. Soy Sauce
  • 3 T. Vinegar (Balsamic, Apple cider, Red Wine, whatever!)
  • 1 t. Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Small can of Tomato Paste
  • 2 t. Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1/2 A medium onion

Once the liquid mixture is smooth, mix into the BLENDED dry ingredients. Oil your 9′ by 13″ baking pan well, then transfer your protein dough into it.  Smash the protein mixture as flat as it will go with a fork and then bake it for 45 Minutes. You can also slather Barbecue sauce over the top of your protein 35 minutes into baking and the bake it for an additional 20 minutes.

YUM!

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addiction

addiction (Photo credit: Alan Cleaver)

I’m currently in addiction therapy attempting to manage my bipolar disorder. Whether a person’s doing meth, popping pills, smoking crack, shooting heroin, snorting coke, enjoying a beer, drinking coffee, eating paint chips, or sniffing sharpies, addiction is addiction. What is an addiction? A habit that is difficult to stop doing because it’s amplified by cravings.  People go into treatment for addiction because some of the substances they crave lead to self-destruction. With bipolar disorder, I want to avoid addiction and need all of the help I can get.

First Salad of the Season

First Salad of the Season (Photo credit: Chiot’s Run)

When one goes to treatment, what is it that person is expected to do? Forget about the sharpies and accept aroma therapy as an alternative. Using meth? Time for regular urine analysis! Like pills? Try meditation! Want some crack? Come to excessive meetings to discuss addiction instead! Need heroin? How about learning some breathing techniques? Wipe that powder off your nose and pursue an interest! Stop drinking that coffee, opt for Green Tea or decaf and don’t even think about that beer or those tasty paint chips, choose to eat a salad instead. In other words, it’s a trade-off because the addiction is still there; it just takes on a different form. I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around the thought of a person dealing with a situation that makes him or her angry and emotional, then ending up furiously chewing a salad in order to stave off some sort of a craving. Don’t get me wrong, this is a nice thought; but, is it realistic?

A depressed man sitting on a bench

A depressed man sitting on a bench (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have to say that I’m doing the best I can to participate in the group therapy adequately; however, I’m saddened to report that going to group therapy has proven to be a trigger which makes me want to drink. This last session, it was a lot of work to get the gist of the information offered to me while experiencing skyrocketing anxiety levels. The topic of the discussion was the expectation of flexibility in exchange for NO COMPROMISE. After a 90 minute lecture presented in an “it’s my way or the highway” format, I came home from group therapy feeling quite teary and depressed, so I withered away into my bedroom.

Another reason why addiction is so difficult to beat is because when one is an addict, finding a substance to abuse is fairly easy. If an addict has a substance within his or her possession, then it’s simply a matter of using it. In many cases, the substance conforms to the user and is far more convenient than attending a regularly scheduled group to conform to. To put an addict in treatment is to require that person’s “presence” and participation. Often times, an addict will relapse following treatment because once treatment is finished, then the structure is gone. Why? Because the user is no longer required to be “present” and his or her problems still exist; therefore, this leaves the addict with a doorway of escape.

This is where continuing individual therapy picks up the slack. Personally, I do much better with individual therapy depending on the therapist. Individual therapy goes beyond the over simplified “what’s in the box, what’s not in the box” exercises in group therapy; however, I have a tendency to see both sides of most situations. My therapist told me to once a day, at least be aware of my presence. Yesterday, I sat on my back patio admiring the plants I have in containers and counting my son’s tomatoes. Then, I looked at my hands and noticed how my middle-aged skin is wrinkling up. I became aware that where I’m living doesn’t belong to me and the patio isn’t mine, either—even if this place did belong to me, it’s something that can be taken away. In fact, everything in my life can disappear. I felt extremely vulnerable and began to swallow a large lump I felt welled up within my throat. Then death began to speak and said that if I could die in this moment, I could be content. This is “what’s in the box” right now.

Grim Reaper (advertisement)

Grim Reaper (advertisement) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What isn’t in the box anymore is my life prior to 2007. I was in a marriage I didn’t feel valued in no matter how I tried; but, the lights of my life have always been my family members. I grew very tired of the situation and decided to attend college as an alternative to feeling worthless. My then husband didn’t support my decision to better myself and the marriage ended. I think perhaps he was fearful of the student loans I would amass and he had no faith in my ability to achieve a degree while suffering from a mental illness. He greatly underestimated my intelligence and what he didn’t realize is that I needed an alternative to depression.

I witnessed how treatment for my bipolar disorder added up to a very large sum over the course of just one year. I walked away from a ten-thousand dollar, three-day hospital stay with a costly prescription, a recommendation for ongoing therapy and a diagnosis for an expensive, permanent disease in which I was left to manage with no education and no budget to do so.

Becker College Class of 2011

Becker College Class of 2011 (Photo credit: Office of Governor Patrick)

Although the structure of college classes was also costly, it was useful therapy as it added up to a degree and I walked away with something; however, graduating is as if I dropped out of therapy and now that structure I came to depend on is all gone. Currently, I find myself no better off with a degree than without it. On a positive note, I would likely find myself in this exact same predicament had I chosen the medical route instead of a degree. I feel I made the right choice; however, I find I’m able to score employment within low paying, highly stressful environments filled with conflicts in which I have no capability of handling or provide input to help control –and I didn’t even need a degree to be hired. What’s worse? I’ve concluded that my wages are likely going to be low anyway, so I’m willing to let go of some stress for an even lesser wage; however, those are positions in which I’m over qualified.

Overqualified (novel)

Overqualified (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What I neglected to think about when I enrolled in college is that having a degree in no way offers any means to manage real-world anxiety better. I’m not sure that drugs or ongoing therapy will either, as I’ve attempted these routes with little success.

Fortunately, my individual therapist isn’t a big advocate for medication and I feel there should always be alternative treatments. My perspective is that in medicine, a patient walks away with an expense in exchange for a chance of “feeling better” while a practitioner walks away with his mortgage payment. My entire motive for getting an education was to contribute to society rather than sucking away from it one prescription at a time. My perspective is that I have a responsibility to accept the fact that I have a permanent condition known as bipolar disorder and attempt to work with it because there is no drug in the world that can change it. Not everyone who has bipolar disorder is unmotivated. What one may see as delusions, another may perceive as hopeful inspiration or creativity.  What one may be viewing “inside the box” are solid items, whereas another observer may notice a distinct relationship between the very same items. Just because there appears to be empty space between the items doesn’t mean the space itself doesn’t exist.

Pie

Pie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think perhaps I need a different type of group therapy; although I’m not sure what. I do know that I’m tired and my resources are limited. I very much dislike someone else dictating to me what is and what isn’t in order to prove a point; for example, having someone point out that everything I see in the box is actually a trigger; yet, for the sake of convenience and correctness, not all places that sell alcohol are triggers. A gas station that sells beer is not the same kind of trigger as a liquor store because it sells gas, snacks and other things; therefore, it isn’t in the box and not a trigger. On the other hand, a person who eats paint chips and a meth user are both addicts and it’s one in the same. All addicts are addicts, so a trigger is a trigger! How is telling a struggling addict an opinionated idea of what is and is not a trigger helpful? It isn’t. A pie is a pie, no matter what flavor it is or how you slice it.

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English: An Indian call center

English: An Indian call center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some corporations have questionable strategies of funneling their tax dollars by influencing each employee’s need for assistance. Wal-Mart is known for such practices; but, keep in mind that there are some other major corporations which are more talented at covering their tracks by contracting other companies to pick up the workload and save face. On the other hand, some of these contracted companies which are hired by reputable corporations have operations overseas. Do you want to know why it is that when you call into a customer service agent, you aren’t likely going to be transferred? You’re being placed on hold for long periods of time and you’ll continue to speak to the same agent because that he or she is discussing your account and issues with an “internal department” while acting as an interpreter. In many cases, the agent you’re speaking with isn’t paid a living wage. Additionally, the internal department which is located on foreign soil likely has access to all of the personal information you provided upon opening your account. Why is this bad?

“There is no statutory obligation or cybercrime law which hinders or prohibits law enforcement assistance or prosecution for callers or the offshoring company (See more at here at this link).”

I guess that’s one way of getting out of being responsible for your employees without the government frowning on it too much, after all, in order for one to qualify for any government assistance, one would have to be a U.S. citizen!  Such “reputable” corporations are free from providing a living wage and can still maintain an offshore operation through a patsy call center. Who pays for it in the long-run? The customer who mysteriously has his identity stolen due to such practices is only the tip of the ice burg.

Español: Un Wal-Mart remodelado en la Ciudad d...

Español: Un Wal-Mart remodelado en la Ciudad de México,México. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wal-Mart is taking a lot of heat for not providing responsibly for its workers. Why? Because of the corporation’s direct method of contact with its consumers and onshore employment practices; therefore, it’s among the easiest type of corporation to catch (see more here). Additionally, more call centers have confidentiality requirements, so good luck finding out who contracts call centers that offshore (see an example here). Wal-Mart isn’t the only “poverty job” in the U.S. today. Here is a list of poverty guidelines in 2013:

2013 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR THE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES
AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Persons in family/household Poverty guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,020 for each additional person.
1 $11,490
2 15,510
3 19,530
4 23,550
5 27,570
6 31,590
7 35,610
8 39,630
2013 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR ALASKA
Persons in family/household Poverty guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $5,030 for each additional person.
1 $14,350
2 19,380
3 24,410
4 29,440
5 34,470
6 39,500
7 44,530
8 49,560
2013 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR HAWAII
Persons in family/household Poverty guideline
For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,620 for each additional person.
1 $13,230
2 17,850
3 22,470
4 27,090
5 31,710
6 36,330
7 40,950
8 45,570

SOURCE:  Federal Register, Vol. 78, No. 16, January 24, 2013, pp. 5182-5183

Any employer who doesn’t pay its employees a wage higher than these standards can be considered a “welfare corporation.” All employees who fall within the above guidelines will qualify for some sort of government assistance; but, is it their fault if their employers refuse to pay a living wage, refuse to schedule the employee enough hours  and pay enough for employees to qualify for health insurance? Is it an employee’s fault if the employer refuses to compromise an employee’s schedule if he or she is attending college or working a second job? If the employee opts to work two part-time jobs to equal full-time hours, how likely is it that he or she will have access to any health insurance? Not likely.
English: A little girl leaning against a sofa.

English: A little girl leaning against a sofa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s invent the realistic scenario of “Jane”. Jane is the single mother of Aiden who is two years old. Jane needs to pay $350 a month in order to afford suitable childcare for her daughter. After a two year relationship, Aiden‘s father is difficult to find and has no interest in his child. Aiden’s father plans to sign away parental rights in order to avoid responsibility to his daughter as soon as Jane remarries.

Jane scores a job that pays $7.25 an hour because she wants more for her daughter and needs to buy clothing and other things. Due to the Obamacare mandate, the corporation that Jane works for will only schedule her for 29 hours per week. The problem is, Jane can only leave her daughter in childcare for up to 40 hours per week and it’s closed on Sundays; therefore, Jane’s unable to find another job that will hire her for only 11 hours.
Jane qualifies for housing, which will help her with 1/3 of her rent portion of $700 per month. Jane lives in apartments specifically built by a corporation to house low income families. For $700 a month, Jane and Aiden will live in a basic two bedroom apartment that doesn’t have washer/dryer hook-ups or a dishwasher. They live in an area where air conditioners aren’t required, so they don’t have one of those, either.
Food Stamps

Food Stamps (Photo credit: NCReedplayer)

Jane will receive $367 in food stamp benefits, she will receive a grant for her childcare, and an additional supplement of $399 per month. Jane won’t need to pay for her daycare unless Aiden gets sick. The childcare grant will not cover for days Aiden is not there; however,  the daycare requires the slot in the daycare to be paid for no matter what. If Aiden gets sick (which in daycare it happens a lot), Jane does qualify for medicaid for her daughter which will pay for all of her doctor’s visits and medications.

Presuming Jane doesn’t miss any work hours and has a support system to care for Aiden when she’s sick, Jane will gross $10,092 in earned income. Jane will receive a tax refund of  $5318.

All of the benefits Jane will receive for the year from the taxpayers will make her earned and unearned income add up to $24.938 + medical for Aiden. This figure doesn’t include the rent grant.
In other words, the corporation that receives Jane as an asset contributed $10,092 and the government contributed an excess of $14,846 that year.
Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporati...

Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

Let’s presume that Jane scored a better job that paid her $12 per hour and worked her 34 hours per week. Jane won’t receive supplemental cash or food because she makes too much. Jane pays the full $700 in rent, too. Fortunately, Jane is within the corporate guidelines to qualify for their insurance policy; however, she’s required to pay $120 a month for her health insurance and has a $2000 deductible before it kicks in to pay a portion of her services. There is one catch though, the insurance policy only allows for up to 5 office visits and will not cover maternity costs. Jane paid $1500 out of pocket for medical care for the year and she only saw the doctor once.

Jane’s gross earned income is $19,584 for the year. She received $4200 in childcare grants and will receive a tax refund of $4942. The total combined benefits add up to $28,796. Keep in mind that in this scenario, Jane is able to pay her own bills with the exception of childcare and Aiden’s medical expenses, which are covered through Medicaid.
Is that enough math for you? If corporations paid citizens enough money to pay their bills, that would help with the availability of Social Security to the people who are disabled and elderly who have ALSO paid into it. We know how Mitt Romney feels about them:

Obviously, when corporations will opt to offshore jobs in pursuit of profits, it results in less employment opportunities on American soil; however, these corporations won’t dip into assistance programs through their employees directly, they will do it through whomever they contract as an American facade and through many complicated loopholes in which their clients do not see.

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The Tom's of Maine Logo

The Tom’s of Maine Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was early in the spring of 1999 when I realized my Tom’s of Maine deodorant wasn’t only expensive; but, it also wasn’t working very well. That was a time in my life when I began to understand the importance of making environmentally friendly decisions as well as have a better consciousnesses of whatever I chose to slather on my body.
In my exploration of better deodorant  products that would last longer as well as have antibacterial properties, I ran across a generic salt crystal in which I paid about $8.
Excited to try my newly acquired product, I rushed home and had a shower. I shaved my underarms as I normally would do, unscrewed the lid to the salt crystal, and proceeded to rub my pit in the same manner as I had done with other products in the past. Of course, I screamed at the dry salt crystal on my tender, raw skin and thought to myself “Is the salt crystal supposed to hurt THIS bad?”

Crystal Stick

Crystal Stick (Photo credit: greggoconnell)

Unfortunately, the packaging for the salt crystal didn’t have any instructions, it just touted how wonderful and responsible it was to use it!
A few days had passed and I was disappointed; however, I’m not one to give up easily. I thought I’d just have to get used to it while I winced at every application. I consulted my best friend and through her snickers and chuckles, she informed me that I was supposed to WET the salt crystal then apply it instead! I felt like such an idiot! Wetting the salt crystal helped a lot. I don’t use the salt crystal anymore; however, I was very relieved when Tom’s of Maine began to market their products with baking soda, it works so much better! Needless to say, I won’t likely buy a salt crystal for my underarms in the future. My point in posting this story is to hopefully encourage others to try using the salt crystal as a deodorant. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

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Steve Stones, artist in Ogden Utah

Steve Stones relaxes in front of Ogden High School. Stones is a native of Ogden, Utah, and has been known to buck the dominant local mores on several occasions.

If the community was a parent and Steve Stones it’s child, Stones would be the black lamb of the family who everyone wants to keep quiet about. Stones has graced the pages of the local newspaper on numerous occasions due to some of his shocking content. His latest censorship occurred two summers ago in the very conservative community of North Ogden, and consequently he made the front page of the Ogden Standard Examiner over the word, “Sex.” Despite his Latter Day Saint upbringing, Stones is openly a critic of religion to the point of Atheism. Stones states the reason for this perspective is “I’ve seen how religion chokes people’s perception of life; if people are ideologically entrenched in their beliefs,  it causes them to look at the world from a very narrow perspective. Gay marriage and women’s right to contraception are examples of how religion is a way of controlling thoughts and behaviors. Religion doesn’t coincide with creativity.” “Our previous president [George W. Bush] stated ‘God told him to go to war,’ look at what this has led to. He put both wars on a credit card and it has changed our whole capitalistic system because now the American People are having to pay off that debt and had caused companies to lay people off.” Stones continues,” Think about it, if there’s a God, would God really want people to go to war? If we’re all Children of God, then would God really want one child to kill the other? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Crucifixion of The Hamburger Messiah [Ronald McDonald] y Steve Stones

“Crucifixion of The Hamburger Messiah” was painted in 1998 by Ogden Artist Steve Stones. Stones deconstructs iconic symbols to get viewers to reconsider their meaning and what these icons communicate.

Also a critic of capitalistic culture, Stones’ perspective is seen in his artworks as well; for example, although it seems funny to some, here’s one of his coveted pieces entitled, “Crucifixion of the Hamburger Messiah.” “We are a culture obsessed with symbols,  when you see symbols used in contemporary culture they typically have nothing to do with the products they represent. It’s just an eye-catching way of getting the consumer to pay attention to the product.  Symbols become iconic, just like religious symbols” Stones says. English: Enlargement of the 20-dollar bill. En... Although I have a better tolerance level for religion, many people including myself tend to agree with Stones. It’s no accident that “In God We Trust,” is the motto printed upon the American Currency, or that McDonalds ranks #1 in the American Food Industry, despite exposure of questionable ethics and the potential consequences of its global popularity.

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