Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Catch Up

    It has been quite a while since my last blog post on Gut Check and I think I have finally figured out why.  I think sometimes reading truthful articles and searching for a little bit more clarity in life can overwhelm the searcher.  I had been reading a lot of heavy material regarding schooling, the Non-profit industrial complex, global labor issues, among other things and I think it was just overload.  I had hit a wall concerning my creative thinking and posting abilities, and felt down right deflated.
    New Years eve came and went, and to some people this is a trivial event, but I like to look at the Holiday as an opportunity.  Not to make inappropriate resolutions that won't stick, but an opportunity to look back and reassess where you have been, where you are heading, and most importantly how these factors fit into your distant view of where you might like to be heading.
    This all being said, I think I found that my motivation to maintain a healthy body and mind should be slightly more at the forefront of my concern.  Of course I do not mean this in a selfish light that diminishes the importance of national and international issues.  Rather, I think it is such an integral part of the construction of a better world.  The sooner everyone can search for a bettering of their mind, soul, and body, even in terms of physical fitness, the faster answers will develop for larger and much more pressing social welfare issues.
    GUT CHECK is back on track, if it truly had a track to begin with.  If anyone reads this, look forward to more posts concerning training and fitness using bodyweight exercises and creative at home/outdoors movements.  Also, more to come in terms of a healthy vegan diet, supplement recommendations and bewares, and easy ways to jump start your own progression of body and mind.
    Check your gut and you'll better check everything else in your life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Multitude of Factors: Education Sinking

    My first day back as a substitute teacher at the same middle school I attended when I was twelve, and I never thought that I would feel the way I do now when I attended classes then.  There are so many reasons that contribute to our current state of complete educational frailty, facing collapse.  It is utterly painful to be a part of the system and sit back and try to be okay with the current state of education, and the children being brought up in such a way.
    Firstly, and most importantly, the decline in education has been an intentional accomplishment pushed forth after World War II, moving the education of American kids into a state of thoughtless standardization.  I have spoken about this before, but I think its so important to understand that this current system has become what it is now, because administrators have been slowly and gradually making changes to create a place of complete boredom.  No thinking happens in school.  Thats not the point now.  And the few places that may allow for individual thought, such as literature classes and the arts are ALWAYS the first to get cut.  Our government is not trying to produce intelligent and intellectual citizens.  That only creates more possible opposition to their plans, such as increasing wage and income taxes, stripping basic rights and freedoms, among hundreds of other offenses.  John Taylor Gatto is always a credible author on this subject area, and his books can be located all across the internet.
    Secondly, the situation of Special Education has been a difficult area of discussion for me, becuase most of my post college work has involved children with special needs.  Two years in a special needs pre-school working with beautiful children that are held back because of the neurological function they lack.  There are a variety of theories on this increase, such as the explosion of Autism and other prevalent mental conditions.  I whole heatedly believe that it is a large array of factors that are environmental and industrial in nature, along with a food system completely and intentionally void of proper human nutrition.
    In terms of the environment I speak of are again a variety of different factors that I believe lead to this complacency of the current educational frailty.  Environments have been proven throughout social and psychological theorists throughout history to have an ever lasting impact upon a persons life.  In this case I am hammering down on the lack of respect that I believe the parents of the current generation are teaching their children.  Is it completely their faults, no, I think not.  They are aided in their inability to develop a solid moral groundwork with their children, particularly respect, by the disgusting excuse for media entertainment their children are consumed with and by.  Mentally dumbing television, militarily minded video games to build a weak bodied army of trigger-happy youth, and other forms of advertising propaganda to inundate children with technology contribute to how youth learn, or rather don't learn to be respectful and socially conscious citizens.
    Beyond this area of moral development, lies an environment of artificial living.  Pause and look around you, and spend a few moments analyzing the sources of a few things you use on a regular basis.  Computers, toothbrushes, deodorants and perfumes, cell phones, electronic devices of all kinds, laundry detergents, plastics of all kinds, wall paints and stains, multiple types of bedding and clothing fabric, etc.....all very synthetic.  Made utilizing many modern processing techniques, forming something completely unintended by the natural world.  We surround ourselves with these items becuase we have been told they are harmless and absolutely safe to use and live with, but what true research has been done to show that these items are in fact harmless?  How much time does it truly demand to study the effects of recent technological and "better-living" commodities on our health?  Our childrens' health?
    In the same realm, I'll conclude with the overwhelmingly artificial food system we have been herded into living by.  Many food documentaries and reports have come out independently and have exposed ample amounts of terrifying and even life-threatening effects of the foods we consistently ingest.  GMO (genetically modified organism) crops, tomatoes spliced with fish genes to ripen slower and create a more durable skin and flesh, herbicides, pesticides, rBGH ( recombinant bovine growth hormone) lay-den meat and dairy items, heavily processed foods containing multiple corn and/or soy-based stabilizers, preservative and sweeteners...the list unfortunately never ends.  Shrouded in lies, these foods remain unaffected by price increases the way that organic whole foods are, because of the corrupt subsidizing that occurs with the main food items: corn, soy, wheat, chicken and other meat and dairy products.  When only a few companies operate the majority of the food market in a country, the money that they have available for lobbying and bill passing is tremendous and you are joking yourself if you don't think government officials are accept dirty money to pass legislature.  Farmers of these agricultural sectors are tempted with a pretty delicious sounding deal of profit making, due to the government subsidizing.  But companies like Monsanto have made it impossible to make any gain becuase of the costs of required machinery and seed upgrades, that have been designed to keep the contracted farmers in a constant state of sinking.  
    Finally, in the area of environment, I think it is increasingly more important to point out the alarming rate at which the pharmacological field is developing and prescribing psychoactive drugs.  The implementation of these types of drugs began many years ago.  The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is an excellent website for a historical analysis of the introduction of psychotropic drugging. ( www.cchr.org. )   Essentially, with the advent of the DSM Psychiatric Manual in the post WWII era, symptoms are agreed upon by a group of psychiatrists.  With a show of hands, these powerful professionals agree upon what disorder a selected set of symptoms will include, and what matching drug will be most effective in "treating" the condition.  These drugs cause irreparable damage to the physical neurology of the human mind, and once in the daily rotation long enough, the create a withdrawal effect when the usage is stopped.  Psychoactive drugging has also create a nation of people with less chance for creative and willful thinking, especially considering the number of children being carelessly prescribed these drugs.
     The education system faces so many uphill battles from a good-willing active public perspective, that it nearly seems impossible to direct the system into a state of progression.  If more citizens take a closer examination of the place which they send their children everyday, and who and what is being sold to them as factual history, and how the government is not funding their developing brains the way they should be...maybe at that point it will become a possibility to rally together and forge a plan to produce thoughtful children.  Steering away from the short-sighted and consuming culture we have been led to believe is how to survive, we can become a stronger and more productive society.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Food for Thought

    I spent about an hour sitting in my car yesterday because I didn't want to miss a word of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech during the UN Conference in New York City, September 23.  The Iranian President has a reputation for absurd beliefs, the media vultures proclaim.  Do I believe that he is correct in his assessment of the Holocaust not actually occurring?  No.  However, is there a possibility that what we have been told as American Grade-A sheep is incomplete, or there are facts that have been either omitted or edited to suit the corporate elite interests...yes, absolutely.
   In line with this topic falls the Iranian President's speech at the UN Conference yesterday.  I listened to it live, because I undoubtedly knew that his words would be rearranged and manipulated to meet the desires and wills of those that choose.  The largest example of this is what has made news headlines for the last 24 hours, the proclamation that Ahmadenijad stated that the United States was behind the 9-11 events in order to save their failing economy.   This is an inaccurate account of his speech.  He in fact suggested three perspectives available and possible to explain the events leading up to 9-11, one of which was the USA being behind the outcome.  His largest attack however, was that the United States should have spent more time investigating and delving into the circumstances surrounding the events before declaring a full blown war on a nation, leading directly to another nation based on the belief that terrorist organizations responsible for 9-11 were hiding there.  This is a completely logical and respectable announcement, and I absolutely agree that this is the biggest "mistake" the United States made involving this situation.  How can the "largest diplomatic nation" in the world declare war without proper investigation?  It just exposes one of the large loop-holes in the 9-11 USA cover up.  Many more lay unattended too, and I am sure I will discuss these on future posts, or upon request.
    The fact that so much remains unstated by the United States and avoided concerning the events of Sept. 11, is absurdly wild.  The anti-Muslim and anti-middle eastern propaganda machines have done an exceptional job of creating mindless American drones, reading to go against anything the media tells them to go against.  Be it Muslims, be assured people will slash throats as in a recent NYC cab incident.  Or perhaps the widely talked about Koran book burning on Sept. 11, 2010 by Christian leaders in Gainesville, Florida.  How can people of this country be so dumbed down that they accept whatever explanation is dealt to them?  It has a lot to do with the intentionally standardized and anti-intellectualized educational systems in place since World War II.  If you care to find the truth about this intentional academia dumbing, read anything written by John Taylor Gatto, an exceptional ex-NYC school teacher who now devotes his time to exploring the design of the system to be a boring and dull environment.

     However, the issue I am mainly struggling with at this particular moment is the willingness of the American general public to take the mainstream corporate media stories that they are given.  The speech of Ahmadenijad had been sliced apart in order to create the desired affect, the continued hatred for Iran.  It is clear that the United States left the UN conference, not out of protest or being offended, I truly believe they feared exposing such classified information in such a setting.  They did not want the confrontation that may have resulted, or they were unsure how to handle the situation diplomatically, and so had to retire from the meeting.  I think this speech should hopefully ignite something within the public, not that I hope everyone agrees with the perspectives Ahmadenijad describes, but I hope it elicits some sort of thought process from the public.  Why did we invade Afghanistan, Iraq?  Why do we decide these nations need Democratic, American-ideal lives?  Why do most people believe the stories fed to them from main media sponsors ?  Why are 95% of the worlds heroin factories held within Afghanistan, known to US special forces, still allowed to create the drug and export it to US citizens?  3,000 innocent US civilians equals HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of innocent Middle eastern civilians, in the name of disarming terrorism?  So many questions, with so few being answered by our government.

Watch, think for yourself.

    Ahmudenijad's speech

Monday, September 20, 2010

Black Listed

   I just completed the 2006 documentary which exams civil rights issues surrounding voting in the United States, entitled AMERICAN BLACKOUT.  This demonstration of the disenfranchisement of American voters is troubling.  Its not that any of this information is particularly ground-breaking at this point, not to say that it may not be for some people who are not exposed to such  things often, its just the sheer facts presented.  Even after the rigged, and puppeted electoral travesty that occurred in Florida that led to the win for G.W. Bush, situations resembling this one continue to arise.  In Columbus Ohio, the impoverished areas where voter registration had increased, in some cases by 28%, mysteriously the number of voting machines present in these local levels had decreased.  Furthermore, in some suburban and primarily middle-upper class republican areas, the number of machines unnecessarily increased.  This type of action is a deliberate attempt to limit the number of minority, particularly black, votes. 
    These voters along with the votes of young progressive thinking people are always avoided by the elite corporate interests of the government.  These voters provide them with more work to secure their choice candidate in an election. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

What happened?

  I have spent the last few years spending some time thinking about how exactly we have come to this point.  The point in which I am referring to is being human.  Thats right.  Sound a bit overwhelming?  Startling?  Well, honestly, it is just that.
  What exactly am I talking about?  Knowing how and what to eat, and how to spend our time...wisely, to be precise.  It has been a topic that has me wondering for too many hours to count.  Just how and when did people forget how to eat, and what kind of food is supposed to go into your mouth.  The large food and snack companies would lead you to believe that Food A is more beneficial for your body because it is "packed with antioxidants", or it "contains a essential vitamin energy complex", or simply because "it makes you feel focused and pumped."  What?  I mean I understand that food science, nutrition academia, and dietetic fields of study have grown exponentially in their depth, and people are always looking for ways to stay more cutting edge or on top of their game.  However, it baffles me that people literally survive on energy drinks and concoctions, and strange new packaged foods or items that don't even come close the actually being the food they claim to be.  Avocado.  This little emerald is packed with great saturated fats, that actually give you more calories of energy per gram of food than carbohydrates and proteins, which food media propaganda would constantly lead you to not believe.
  Furthermore, if you spend any time in a developed nation, more specifically a dense city, give yourself a minute to reflect on how people are moving around.  Train, subway, taxi, car, among other vehicles.  What about our feet?  Sure, I'm not blind and I will acknowledge the number of people using their bipedal mobility on city sidewalks.  But I feel that this is somewhat of a last resort if a subway cannot being you close enough to where you are looking to end up.  Your feet will take you the last 4 or 5 blocks, but no one would imagine walking 40 blocks.  There is simply no time in this fast paced, technology laden environment.  Even still, people will find themselves wondering why Americans, or people in developed or developing areas are ending up tipping the scale and looking at pounds on them that they never saw before.
  I think it is time to reassess  what we are putting between our teeth and how we are using our bodies.  Look at your lunch next time.  If you cant identify an ingredient in your packaged sandwich or don't know just what something is you're about to munch on, think again.  Grab something fresh and soon your body will thank you.  If you spend enough time away from white starches and white refined sugary foods, your taste buds will readjust and begin to crave the good stuff.
  And the next time you jump in a cab to save 10 minutes, save your money and put your body to work getting you there on foot.  Those ten minutes you save now will never be able to compare to the ten years you add to your life by exercising more frequently.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day One

    Well, here it is.  My first post on this little guy.  I have been meaning to get this together for a while.  Essentially, this blog began as a way for me to express some of my thoughts on veganism and exercise from a punk rock DIY mindset.  Utilizing the three year experience I gained from a local Health Food store on Long Island as a worker in the Nutrition and Supplements department, I knew I needed to get my nerdy studied knowledge out somehow.  I also took a few course on Personal Training and such while I was studying Sociology and Psychology at a state college in upstate New York.  Especially coming from the background of a typically American-dieted suburban kid, complete with body image insecurities stemming from our perfectly obsessed media society, I knew I had to get this down on paper...or screen.  I thought this might come of some use to anyone searching for tips on healthy vegan dieting, exercise training advice, or the likes of such.
    However, shortly after throwing the blog template up, I began to do a little more soul searching and decided to include some other concerns and festering thoughts I had.  These thoughts, relating to social consciousness issues and other concerns among the domestic and global political spectrum, I began to dwell on early in my college days.  I spent months doing research on topics such as Fair Trade policies, and the controversial Genetically Modified foods we all undoubtedly are eating.
    Mostly, I just want to stress that this is a broad range blog that will sporadically touch different topics, depending on what mood I am in, or what I might feel like resonating from world politics and developments.  
This is all rooted, I believe, in a punk rock DIY ideology which I have always felt is a basic guideline for how to question the ways in which you are raised, and always be searching for a clearer and more honest way to be human.  Maintaining a punk rock mindset doesn't ALWAYS mean drinking piss beer and staying up till 5 am (though often those are the best aspects, sometimes they are never present).  I think its also a balanced view of taking good care of your body so you will be around a few more days to practice good ethics and promote good communities.  Enough soapbox clowning for now.

Bottom line, this is intended to be conversation.  Please feel free to ask questions, or respond how you'd like.