Election Day

Tomorrow November 3, is an election day in San Francisco….It is basically a city, or municipal election, but it has a lot of local ballot propositions included besides the choices for Mayor, Sheriff, City Attorney, District Attorney, Treasurer,and the Community College Board…All in all, it is not a very sexy ballot, it is not like the elections for the primaries or like voting for the President or the Governor, but I feel an obligation to vote anyway…

The ballot propositions are especially crucial, because this is where they speak a lot of double talk and misleading political gibberish that can easily confuse most voters, including me….But these are as crucial or more than the Mayor’s race etc, because it is here that they try to sneak past unwary voters issues that affect the very quality of life in the city, such as Short Term Residential Rentals (read AirBNB, or short term rentals)) or Defining Clean, Green and Renewable Energy….Some of these are slam dunk issues, but many are cleverly worded and they make it sound like a Yes vote is the obvious choice, but actually a No vote is our best interests…

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 4: People vote inside the



I have been a little discouraged lately about the sheer amount of voter apathy that is prevalent in my neighborhood alone, which I am afraid is a pretty fair cross section of the city of San Francisco as a whole…I have talked to young people and older people, and the amount of cynicism and apathy about voting seems to me to be reaching record highs…

There are a million excuse for not voting, like I don’t have the time, I’m too tired, this is not a major election, but the primary reason for voter indifference to me is that people feel it doesn’t matter HOW they vote, that the system will ignore them and lurch and grind on to it’s own self serving interests anyway, no matter what they do…This is only partly true….

I make it a point to vote in every election, even the more boring ones like tomorrow’s, because if I don’t I will have a guilty conscience when something I could have voted against gets passed into law and I am left out in the cold, stuck with a law that I would surely have voted against…There are too many laws anyway, and it is getting harder and harder to decipher the code words, catch phrases and tag lines that the big commercial interests always sneak onto every ballot….



Members of the Westboro Baptist Church hold anti-gay signs at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Because make no mistake about it, the more sinister, cold blooded and commercial a ballot initiative may be, there is a hard core of dedicated capitalists that WILL make the effort, that WILL muster support, that WILL make sure they sneak by a confused, apathetic public something inimical to most of us but very good, and usually this means very profitable, for themselves….

I am especially worried about this next Presidential election in 2016, because the super wealthy elite and cut throat un-American fascist 1% are poised to hijack America with their use of unlimited donations through the Super Pacs, which are virtually unlimited financial campaign contributions to the candidate of their choice,and they cater to the haters…….


A protester makes her opinion known at an NAACP rally after the Supreme Court held that part of the Voting Rights Act was unconstitutional.


According to my Google sources Super Pacs are defined like this:
“Super PACs are independent political committees that support a candidate with unlimited, often anonymous, donations from companies, unions, or individuals. The groups can’t contribute directly to a candidate, but they can run favorable ads about a candidate—or negative ones about their favored candidate’s opponent. Most of the ads sponsored by super PACs are negative and take considerable liberties. The people running the PACs are typically closely connected to the candidate the PAC supports.

The PACs are required to release the names of donors, however, a technicality in the disclosure rules allows donors to remain anonymous for months. Disclosure can be completely circumvented by PACs that create affiliated nonprofit 501(c)(4) organizations, which are not required to release the names of donors.

A relatively new phenomenon, super PACS proliferated following the January 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision that said the government cannot restrict the spending of corporations, unions, and other groups for political campaigns, maintaining that it’s their First Amendment Right right to support candidates as they choose.

The Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for unlimited amounts of money to be poured into political campaigns. It also dismantled the McCain–Feingold campaign-finance law that banned issue ads and soft money (funds contributed to the Republican and Democratic National Committees, and to the party committees in each state) in political campaigns.In the majority decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy said, “We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

This is hogwash, lies and blasphemy of the highest order….Through a technicality, the Supreme Court inadvertently opened a door that the fascist 1% have kicked in with their jackboots…The 1% are contributing billions of dollars from their corrupt robber baron family riches to promote, elect and buy the politicians that will continue to support their fascist causes…

In most cases, these are usually hard core Republican fanatics like Senator Rubio from Florida, or Senator Cruz from Texas, who are already so far to the right that they are obvious toadies to the 1% and probably owe their present offices to them….. They are already bought and paid for, so expect more of the same racist, anti immigrant, anti gay rights comments to drip out of their poisoned, corrupted campaign speeches…This includes of course the infamous Republican “war on women’, where the Republicans seem to be blindly trying to move the country back a 100 years with their anti abortion and freedom of choice legislation…



Thank goodness that another true fascist like Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin has already been forced out of the super crowded Republican pack of nominees by a lack of campaign funding….Although he blamed Donald Trump’s outrageous blabber mouth, shoot from the hip, elitist billionaire attention seeker comments for his withdrawal….

Mr. Walker’s pointed rebuke of Mr. Trump gave powerful voice to the private fears of many Republicans that the party risked alienating large parts of the electorate — Hispanics, women, immigrants, veterans, and most recently, Muslims — if Mr. Trump continued vilifying or mocking them as part of his overtures to angry and disaffected voters…..Even the Republicans know Trump is a dangerous, big mouth clown….

Make no mistake about it….Through their cynical manipulation of the Supreme Court rulings, the 1% are making a concerted power grab to seize the country and turn it on it’s ear, to remake America as a country of the wealthy, for the wealthy, by the wealthy…This is a clear and present danger to the democratic system as we know it, as the Founding Father’s meant it to be, one vote for one person, equality and justice for all….

The 1% are fascists, the same as Hitler, the same as Stalin, the same as any third world dictator, and with the current funding campaign contributions available to them, they are buying up every right wing politician they can to support their evil, elitist oligarchy….



voters16womenvoters13king greatlast

The only way to defeat their rancid, sick fascist viewpoints is an alliance between the young people, the immigrant rights supporters, and all the minorities, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Gays and Woman’s right’s advocates….Their old style, old white man penchant for authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism and preserved class hierarchy are right out of the fascist bible….

Don’t let them get away with it! Exercise your hard won franchise to VOTE and make your opinion heard…If you do not, we are all doomed, and it will be too late…Take ACTION, not APATHY as your freedom of choice allows and encourages you to do, and vote down these right wing fascists, upset their evil intentions, block their transparent power grab! Let’s take back our country while we still can! Together, we can do it!
For more information about Super Pacs, see http://www.infoplease.com/us/government/super-pacs.html

For more blogs by John Whye, click on http://www.johnwhye.com

Halloween 2015

Well today is Saturday, October 31st, 2015 and its Halloween in America…The spirit of Halloween is celebrated in many countries, I was surprised to learn, I thought it was mostly an American custom…Here in America, it has traditionally become a night for the kids, especially the little kids, 12 and under, for them to dress up and go out trick or treating and return home with bags full of candy…The little kids look really cute in their various costumes, a lot of them dressed as familiar and popular current TV show characters each year, with the ever present staple of princesses, ghosts, witches and scary monsters….They are so innocent and trusting, and they get very amped up from the excitement even before the inevitable sugar rush hits them….

The adults shepherd them around the various neighborhoods very carefully, looking for houses with carved pumpkins or scary Halloween themes to indicate the residents are into the holidays…This used to be such an innocent, care free night, but ever since some sick psychos started sticking razor blades in apples or drugs in the candy, I think this BS started back in the 1980’s, many parents dump out the whole bag of trick or treat presents into the trash when they get home, and instead give their kids candy they have either bought themselves or been given to by a close friend or neighbor they trust….Better safe than sorry….But don’t let that dampen the mood, enjoy!




In Mexico, Halloween is known as “Las Dias de Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” although despite the sinister sounding translation, they party too…It is a celebration for the dearly departed who have never (and will never) really left our lives, they live on in our memories of them…It is a centuries old tradition, for thousands of years, that the early Spanish conquistadors thought was a mocking of the dead, but in reality was an affirmation of life and living…The holiday in Mexico is ultimately about gathering with friends and family to honor the love and lives of those who have passed on…..

halloweenmexican2halloweenmexican dancers4



It’s all about fun these day, although the origins of Halloween are a lot more sobering …. A brief review of the origins of Halloween celebrations from channel 7 ABC in San Francisco includes the recent following information:

United States and Canada

“Those living in the United States and Canada go all out celebrating Halloween each year, with people dressing up in costume, carving jack-o’-lanterns, and throwing parties to commemorate the holiday. But these U.S. and Canadian celebrations actually have their roots in Samhain, the Gaelic festival marking the end of of the harvest celebrated in Celtic countries like Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Dressing up in costume for Halloween became a custom in Ireland in the late 19th century, and it was adopted by the U.S. in the early 20th century. Trick-or-treating dates back to when young people in Ireland and Scotland would dress up in costume and visit homes. During these visits, people would perform some sort of “trick” like singing a song, reciting a poem or telling a joke, which would then be rewarded by a “treat” like food, nuts or coins. Jack-o’-lanterns are also believed to be a Halloween tradition started by the Irish and Scottish in the 19th century, with some believing the lanterns served as a way to protect their homes from the dead.

In France and the U.K., people partake in Halloween traditions similar to the U.S., with costumes, parties, and houses decorated for the holiday.” (Personally, I love the way some people go all out to decorate their houses, to let everyone know they are sharing and participating in the Halloween tradition to the max! Especially right here in the USA!”



“When Halloween approaches each year, Austrians will typically leave bread and water next to a lamp that stays on during the night. This is done to welcome the dead souls so that they could come back to earth. This holiday, known as All Souls’, is celebrated between October 30 and November 8.

If you’re spending Halloween in Germany, you may notice a lack of knives around homes. This is because Germans hide their knives on Halloween night in order not to injure returning spirits.

One thing that unites many European countries though for Halloween celebrations is All Saints’ Day on November 1I…

When Halloween approaches each year, Austrians will typically leave bread and water next to a lamp that stays on during the night. This is done to welcome the dead souls so that they could come back to earth. This holiday, known as All Souls’, is celebrated between October 30 and November 8.”

A lot of older, well at least 20 and 30 somethings grown people attend Halloween parties, especially here in San Francisco, where they skip the candy and get right down to the socializing part, and this can be fun too if that is your cup of tea….There are also a wide variety of official tours of haunted houses, pub crawls like on Union street, Valencia street, Van Ness avenue and all over the SOMA district….Many of these are family oriented, and all of them are scary, or spooktacular, as it were….



I was unaware of the darker meaning of Halloween until I read a blog on Ed Mooney Photography about the Celtic Irish origins of Halloween, including the scary story of the Dullaheen, or Headless Horseman, like in the Washington Irving classic tale….They are dark faeries or ghosts that serve no master but death, and who if they recite your name, you are a goner…

Or the Irish legend of the Puca, the horse with red eyes that “One common description tells of them appearing in the form of a wild black colt with heavy chains around their neck, they were said to do harm to unwary travelers.” For some stunning photographs of Irish ruins and recounting in depth of Celtic/Irish legends, I would strongly recommend Ed Mooney Photography… (see credits)…



But as an average American, I still will always think of Halloween as a relatively benign holiday, about and for the kids mostly…It is just one of our great American traditions that has endured for years, and it is a fun and joyful day for most, no matter the murky, shrouded past it came from….For me, the enduring image of Halloween will be the innocent, joyful faces of the children as they parade around their home towns trick and treating in their various scary, delightful costumes…Halloween in America today is all about the kids, as it should be….And oh, don’t let them (or you) over do the candy and refreshments…





So parents, be careful, safe and sane and I sincerely hope you and Your kids have or already have enjoyed a great traditional Halloween celebration!….

For more information on Celtic Irish legends and stunning photography, see edmooneyphotography at: https://edmooneyphoto.wordpress.com/category/legends/

For more information on Halloween Celebrations and Similar traditions just Google abc7news.com‎

For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com

Fast Food Workers

We are a nation on the run, and in this busy hectic modern day American society a lot of us rely on fast food for nourishment instead of cooking a whole meal that we do not have time to prepare anyway…This is an established fact, and fast food has a lot of detractors because some fast foods are just not healthy… But what about those workers in the fast food industry, those smiling faces behind the counter that we take for granted, who  have to stand up all day, face a relentless, constant stream of customers, be fast, efficient and smart enough to get the order straight while still maintaining a friendly attitude all day long?

What about them? They certainly work harder than most Americans, (did you ever have to work standing up all day, every day?) often have management breathing down their necks to work split shits and are required to work on the weekends and late at night while most of us are home snuggled on the couch in front of the TV set….




And until recently, they worked for the California minimum wage of $9/hr….OMG! Talk about unfair! Can you imagine trying to pay rent and buy groceries on such a pittance? And the current Federal minimum wage is only $7.25/hr! In fairness, if the state minimum wage is higher, like in California, the workers are paid that…In San Francisco, mainly because of the exorbitant cost of rent, the minimum wage as of May 1, 2015 is $12.25/hr, and that takes precedence over the California minimum wage…In San Francisco, where I live, this minimum wage would be bumped to $13/hr in 2016. $14/hr in 2017, and $15/hr in 2018….

This pay increase was voted in by San Francisco voters in the 2014 elections, and was an attempt to close the gap between the average worker in the Bay area and the fast food workers toiling away at the minimum wage….In fact, according to my Google statistics: “Workers in the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City Metropolitan Division had an average (mean) hourly wage of $33.34 in May 2014, about 47 percent above the nationwide average of $22.71, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in all of the 22 major occupational groups.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; business and financial operations; and management. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production; healthcare practitioners and technical; and transportation and material moving.”

Fat cat big mouth racist politicians like Donald Trump, for example, would not last one day working in any fast food place, he would collapse in exhaustion, and yet this big mouth jerk blasts immigrants as if HE was a Native American instead of being descended from immigrants himself while sitting on his fat ass reminiscing about how his father loaned him “just a million” to get started…He has no concept of how hard the average American has to work to make enough money to survive, and I am glad to hear that more socially conscious politicians have passed laws raising the minimum wage for fast food workers recently, a move long overdue and an injustice being corrected….




This pay raise was voted into effect by San Francisco voters and when it reaches $18/hr that comes out to approximately $31,000 a year….That is not bad, I never made over $30,000 a year in my long 45 year history in work world, working a series of dead end, low paying jobs including being a low end corporate worker,  and I am very happy to see that other cities are jumping on the San Francisco bandwagon…Los Angeles and Seattle have already passed legislation guaranteeing a $15/hr minimum wage….New York voted to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15/hr, all to be phased in by 2018, and voters in Washington DC will also soon be voting on this long overdue financial reform…

This whole issue of raising the minimum wage is an effort to salvage the fast disappearing middle class in America……It is an attempt to close the gap between the super wealthy and the poorest economic groups….America is on the brink of losing it’s middle class almost entirely, and becoming a nation of have and have not’s which is the norm in most third world countries…..

This is NOT what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote the Constitution: “ We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The American middle class is not only being squeezed out of existence, it is being betrayed by the very system it once firmly believed in, according to an NBC News report Middle-Class Betrayal? Why Working Hard Is No Longer Enough in America from a story in March, 2015….

“The unemployment and underemployment rate for young workers is always higher than it is for older workers — that was true before, during, and after the recession. And many (younger workers) are carrying tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

But even with more education, working 18-to-34 year old adults are earning less than they did 15 years ago. Since 2000, real wages for people in that age group have fallen by a full 10 percent, according to Census data. Lower pay is not just a by-product of the most recent economic downturn. As corporate profits and productivity have increased in recent decades, wages for most workers have not kept pace. That means a shift in what kind of life workers can afford.

So the gap between the richest and poorest Americans continues to widen, and the middle class is being squeezed out of existence… This effort to reward fast food workers, some of the hardest working, economically abused Americans in the labor force, is not only a giant step in the right direction, but also it is an essential component of what is needed to rescue the American middle class from oblivion….Meanwhile, the 1% cackle in their mansions and count their ill gotten gains while the poor, the minorities, and the elderly suffer because of their unfair, greedy, racist policies…



to go with story in French by Anne-Pascale REBOUL et Sophie DEVILLER



America cannot survive as a country without a strong, viable middle class…It is what we were designed to be by the Founding Fathers, and it is the danger we face now with the widening disparity in income between the rich and the poor….Giving fast food workers at least a shot at economic survival is long overdue….It is, in all fairness, the least that we can do….

It is only a link in the chain, but anything that cuts into the obscene profits of the 1% is to be welcomed as a necessary reform.. .The gains in economic equality for fast food workers is long overdue; they are on the cutting edge of perhaps a return to the principles that make America the greatest country in the world!

As it states so eloquently in the Declaration of Independence, the document that the fascist 1% would like to repeal,as evidenced by their own actions and statements: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

For more information on the betrayal of the middle class see: http://www.nbcnews.com/…/middle-class-betrayal-why-workin…NBCNews.com

For more information on San Francisco Bay area average earnings, see: http://www.bls.gov/…/occupationalemploymentandw…Bureau of Labor Statistics

For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com

House Painters

“Excuse me if I’m dreaming, please wake me if I’m dead”.…That is a line from one of my original songs, but it applies to me once again because that is exactly how I feel today…I am semi retired and I usually don’t get up till around 10-10:30 am these days….. I don’t want to sound too whiny but I was JOLTED awake this morning at 8 am sharp by house painters vigorously scraping away the paint from the bedroom windows of my apartment, a scant 5 feet away from my bed….OMG! Talk about a rude awakening!

I know, I know, most of you are jolted awake every day by your alarm clocks and are off on your way to work or school, I put in 45 years in work world doing the exact same thing….But I am off that particular treadmill, that road to nowhere, that highway to hell and have been deservedly sleeping in for the last 2 plus years…..

I gleefully threw away my alarm clock when I retired and was shocked to be so rudely awakened today….Oh yeah, I had gotten some vague notice from my apartment complex management a few days ago that painters were coming by, but like most people I had conveniently filed this information in the “I will deal with it when it happens part of my brain.” So I had stayed up till 130 am, as I always do, last night, and now I am dazed and confused…



House painters have a rough job, and I don’t envy them their task….They have extremely hard labor physical jobs, repetitious, boring and messy, they have to deal with irate residents like me, they have to clamber up ladders high above the ground, where a fall would surely break their necks, and it is a constant, ceaseless round of job after job after job…They also have to inhale those noxious paint fumes all day long, both from the spray guns and from the actual paint brushes and rollers that are the tools of their trade….

I know that in San Francisco, certified union journeyman painters can make, counting in their total benefits, over $62/hr, and that is great money! But the reality is that most house painters are not in the union and are paid by the job, not the hour, so it becomes a lot less great when you look at it that way…My guess is that most house painters get paid more like $15/hour for their labors, if they are employed by a non union company….

In addition, there are a lot of free lance painters who scavenge for jobs and will accept a lot less money for a certain job….These are the ones who put up fliers on the telephone poles advertising they will paint 1 room in your house for $99….Of course if you have painters actually come INTO your home, you are responsible for clearing away all obstructions such as televisions, all the furniture like chairs and couches, wall hangings, tapestries, paintings etc they must all be pulled away from the wall so the cut rate painter can jump right in and start spreading his tarp and using his roller…Or you can do it yourself!




For outside painters, like what is going on in my apartment complex right now, they have to chip and scrape away all the old paint before they can even start…If it is nice weather, like today, sunny and dry, (but too hot for me,) maybe mid 70’s, they have relatively easy work conditions…But if it rains, they can’t paint at all, and if there is a series of rain storms they have to sit it out and don’t get paid at all….So they are at the mercy of the weather in a way office workers in a corporate job will never comprehend….

Despite my grousing and the inconvenience these painters cause me, they do a great job under adverse circumstances…Of course, I will not lie and say I am sorry to see them go, in fact I will be very glad when the job is over, and I have to admit, the apartment complex does look better when it is all spruced up with a fresh coat of paint and I know this new paint job will last for at least 2-3 more years ….

There are many “dirty” jobs like this in our society, not fulfilling or mind enriching or pleasant at all, but rather mind numbing and thankless tasks and services that must be provided….I used to work as a truck driver, and unfortunately never was able to land a union job, so I know first hand how low paid and under appreciated people like painters and truck drivers really are, and the tremendous amount of back breaking, repetitious hard labor these kinds of jobs entail….



So I will stagger and stumble through the next week or so, who knows, maybe even adjust by going to bed earlier, I am half dazed and sleepy right now but am one of those people cursed by the inability to grab a cat nap…Once I am up and awake, no matter how tired I am, I will not be able to sleep until night time rolls around…

I will have to alter my schedule and pray for no rain the next week so that these house painters can do their job and be gone, off to their next task, or risk another day like today, where the fatigue robs me of all creativity and joy of living… My eyeballs feel like they are being sandblasted from the inside out, and I am guzzling aspartame free diet Pepsi for it’s caffeine content just to stay upright in my chair…

(I am unfortunately allergic to coffee) and you could not pay me to take any of those so called rip off “energy drinks” like the 5 hour energy drink or the Red Bull type energizer drinks, because I learned a long time ago Sir Issac Newton was right….What goes up, MUST come down!

I know intellectually this newly imposed early morning reality will soon fade away, to be replaced by another reality, hopefully my normal routine…In the meantime, I am regaining a new respect for people like these house painters who perform, dangerous, uncomfortable, tedious and boring jobs for low wages because let’s face it…#1 They need the money and #2 Somebody has to do it….

I am just glad I am not one of them…Anymore….But as the Stones sang in “Salt of the Earth” :
“Let’s drink to the hard working people
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth
Let’s drink to the two thousand million
Let’s think of the humble of birth”




We can’t all be high rollers and white collar executives after all, and the blue collar workers do all the dirty work in our society, so let’s at least make sure they get a living wage for themselves and their families, and that we appreciate the necessary work that they do…And if they inadvertently inconvenience cranky people like me right now, that’s OK, because they will be gone soon, and my life can return to normal, but this IS their normal life...

I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.That’s what life is all about anyway….

For more information on SF Union Painters Wage Scales, see:www.dc16iupat.org/wage-schedules.aspx?zone=Wage%20Schedules

For more blogs by John Whye, click on http://www.johnwhye.com

Animals Are People Too!

Sometimes I get so angry at people who abuse their animals, their pets, who take out their frustrations on their pets, while these pets literally live and die for them, especially dogs…Although I am primarily a cat lover, and am still grieving over the loss of my constant cat companion of the last 16 years, my daughter has 2 dogs and I also love them dearly, either taking them for a walk or just feeding them or hanging out with them, lounging around the house, watching TV etc….

Dogs especially are fiercely loyal and protective and enjoy the attention and love given them by their owners…If you give a dog or cat love and affection, they will reciprocate endlessly….They are defenseless against human abuse, and will just take it and cry….It is senseless, mindless violence….A dog can serve as the best burglar alarm ever, most burglars will move on to another victim if they hear dogs barking loudly as they skulk around looking for more opportune targets….



Dogs are loyal onto death and will defend their owners fearlessly with their own lives without a seconds hesitation….Dogs and cats have a consciousness, an empathy, a mental bond with their owners that cannot ever be shaken or broken…Just because they cannot speak does not mean they can’t think, have emotions, or communicate…They do all of these things, with each other and with their owners, which is why I don’t get the casual abuse or mistreatment of animals by their owners…After all, animals are people too!

I feel very strongly about this; so much so that often I prefer the company of animals to people….Animals are always loyal and do not want to rob you to steal your money or your car, terrorize you and make you feel miserable like some bosses at work do, start endless senseless arguments over nothing, or start fights and get even with you for some imagined slights….They do not do drive by revenge shootings, carjackings, kidnappings, muggings or burglaries or want to kill you over a romantic rival…Animals are not liars, they either like you or they don’t, and it all depends on how you treat them…




If you treat an animal, a pet in your home the right way, they will reward you in a thousand different ways, every day of their lives…They will respond in kind, and be eager to see you when you get home, and openly display their love and affection for you…They love to be fed and petted and cared for by you, they will respond to the level of affection you give them…Being kind to animals makes you feel good, and is a good example for children on how to treat other beings, because animals are people too!

They provide an oasis of calm in a world gone mad, they are anchors of emotional stability when you are going through grief stricken times, they keep you company in those lonely times when you are alone and adrift, they will sleep with you in your bed at night and trust you not to roll over on top of them, and if you do they will just move away….They are kind, gentle and noble, and they never cheat or lie to you, which automatically makes them more moral than many people…

chinesdogcutecollie15chinesedogcutewith cat6





So feeling as strongly as I do about animals, I was especially shocked and horrified to hear a report from Peta about a new industry in China, where mostly dogs and some cats as well, are now being slaughtered and skinned for their fur, to make them into gloves for fashionable ladies and work gloves for men to wear!

OMG! After all the strides we have made against making fur coats unfashionable and their wearers objects of shame and ridicule, now we have a new industry devoted to the wholesale slaughter of dogs for their skins! According to my Google sources:

“Dogs are skinned alive, bludgeoned and tortured for China’s flourishing leather trade, an animal rights group has claimed. Up to 200  dogs a day are killed in factories in the most inhumane ways imaginable, according to animal welfare charity PETA.

And the leather goods the dog hides are used for may have found their way to the British high street due to the fact that China exports en masse all over the world, the group has also warned. The PETA investigation has looked at the province of Jiangsu, which now has a burgeoning dog leather trade. PETA has obtained footage showing workers grabbing terrified dogs with a metal noose, clubbing them then slitting their throats. The animals’ skin is then cut off, and PETA’s Asian investigator claims to have seen workers peel the skin off dogs who were still alive.

PETA claims that dog skin was turned into women’s fashion gloves, men’s work gloves and other products that are exported globally. Although the dog-meat industry in China is well known, this is the first time that the production of Chinese dog leather has been captured on camera.

PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk said: “Now that so many mass-market retailers are importing cheap leather from China, who can tell if that trim or those leather gloves or wallets are made out of dog skin or not?”

“PETA is calling on shoppers worldwide to remember the terror that dogs and other animals endure at and make the safe, vegan choice in clothing and accessories for the holidays and every day. “When there are so many cruelty-free, environmentally friendly fabrics available, from high-street to high-end, there is no reason for dogs, cats, cows, sheep, pigs, goats or other animals to suffer for the sake of fashion.”

I must warn you, if you are squeamish, or have small impressionable children around,please skip this next batch of pictures of dogs being slaughtered in China for their skins to make gloves, as it is not pretty…




We have long ago evolved from the cave man days when animal skins were necessary for survival…This dog massacre in China can be easily stopped by refusing to buy gloves or wallets made in China…. A simple boycott, a general spread of this new trend, a raising of people’s consciousness and awareness of this cruel, inhumane and totally unnecessary industry of death and the laws of supply and demand will take over…When people stop buying these dog skin gloves or wallets from China, the market will dry up and the slaughter will stop…

I am a conservative, not a knee jerk liberal bleeding heart, but some things are just beyond the pale…I am not a vegetarian because I believe people are naturally omnivorous, and that nature made us that way for a reason….I understand some animals are raised solely as food for human consumption, and I am OK with that…

But I strongly oppose the sickening, totally unnecessary slaughter of innocent dogs just for the sake of the fashion industry when there are so many synthetic materials around…It is a crime, a shame, and a disgrace, and it must be stopped, just like the trend of wearing fur coats has been stopped…

Dogs and cats are special, and they have traits that dumb farm animals do not have….I guess I consider dogs (and cats too) to be of a higher order of animal than cows or chickens or sheep, to be praised and loved as pets for the qualities of love, loyalty and devotion they posses over all the other animals in the world….There is no need for this inhumane treatment of dogs in China, it should and must be stopped as soon as possible….

Just remember, in their own special unique way, animals are people too!

For more information about Dogs Bludgeoned and Killed in Leather Industry, see:investigations.peta.org/china…

For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com

Flower Power

It was the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967, and we who were here remember it all like it was yesterday….It was the era of Flower Power, and I was graphically reminded of it yesterday when I saw a stunning Facebook collection of photos from that actual time and place, now sealed away forever in our memories and our hearts where it remains forever young, fresh and vibrant…To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….The best of times because of the hope and promise and vitality of a whole generation of youth, the worst of times because of the constant nightmare of war in some far away place called Vietnam that our American government was pursuing for all the wrong reasons….

I have used many of these pictures from Face book to illustrate the life we lived and what it actually looked like at that particular intersection of space and time…. If only I had owned a cell phone camera (which of course hadn’t even been invented yet), or even a Brownie Hawk eye, to take snapshots of all the faces, all the places, to remember better all the traces of a time now long gone, sealed away in a time capsule of memories, of the way we were….But the important thing is, we WERE there, and we did make a huge difference!


Looking back on those days from the present perspective of 2015, we were quite technologically primitive actually….To the best of my knowledge, there was not even cable tv, not that anybody hip watched television anyway, no we all listened to underground FM radio, which was itself new, radical and ground breaking at the time, and besides all the cool music it gave us just enough news of the world to make us realize how lucky we were to not be involved in it anymore…

There were certainly no cell phones, computers, I pads, Kindles, tablets etc. because nobody had ever even thought of the internet as a concept back then…No it was all about a simpler place and time, and there was that war raging somewhere in far off Asia in a place called Vietnam, none of us had ever even heard of this place before, which we protested against, some of us more active politically in marches and sit ins, most of us more passively by by just dropping out, turning on, and tuning in….

We dropped out of the mainstream of America in the 1960’s as the proxy wars like Korea (before our time, in the 1950’s) and Vietnam raged on….Vietnam was a real personal item, because the deluded government was actually trying to draft young men and ship them overseas to a country nobody had ever heard of in defense of democracy…Or at least their twisted idea of democracy, which although the government architects of the Vietnam war like Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara later belatedly admitted was an outright mistake, were hot and heavy at the time about drafting every young man they could to fight this absurd, politically motivated war…



How do you convince somebody who just dropped 500 mikes of Owsley acid and then went to a concert at the Fillmore and saw Janis Joplin or Grace Slick or Jerry Garcia that it was a good idea to give it all that up for a long ride to a short life in the middle of a steaming hot tropical jungle, put in a position of kill or be killed? To say goodbye to your old lady, maybe kids, all your friends and give up all those foggy summer days and chilly summer nights in the Summer of Love in 1967 where every minute of every day was alive and vibrant and infused with the reckless vitality, the hope and promise and strength of youth…

It made absolutely no sense at all, so we turned to Flower Power as our way of expressing our feelings and beliefs, our resentment at being considered so stupid, our response to this attempt at forced government manipulation of our private lives, this was considered kidnapping by the government, and the rallying cry at all the protest movements was “Hell no, we won’t go”…..It wasn’t going to happen, the old “my government right or wrong” mentality was being phased out….As cultural icon Muhammad Ali said when they tried to draft him “I ain’t got no quarrel with the Viet Cong”

Muhammad Aliflowerpowermcnamara

But most of us were not activists, we were a remarkably apolitical mass of young people, and we just wanted to be left alone to live our lives….Sex, drugs and rock and roll were our credo, these elements comprised our value system and got us through the difficult times, and we believed that love was the only drug that really mattered….The music we listened to had a huge, major impact on our lives, and all of the bands were anti-war…The peace sign was being flashed a hundred times a day, it was a greeting, a farewell, and an affirmation of our way of life…




Being actively peaceful was reflected in our daily lives, we met and mingled and shared and cared about each other, we panhandled tourists and straights, we sold each other drugs on the street to keep ourselves going, we shopped at the Digger’s Free Store on Waller street or ate free food at the Digger’s once a day mass feedings in the Panhandle right off Haight street and in Washington Square in North Beach…. North Beach itself had once been the cultural center of the beatniks, the hippie forerunners and spiritual mentors who first planted the seeds of rebellion and questioning the ultimate authority of the government back in the 1950’s…For some of us, it was the only meal of the day…

But back as early as 1966 the mass migration from North Beach to the quiet, peaceful working class neighborhood of the Haight Ashbury, snuggled right up next to the beautiful Golden Gate park, was already happening…The Gathering of the Tribes in January of 1967 marked a turning point that once put into motion could never be reversed….As per my Google sources:

Announced on the cover of the first edition of the counter-culture zine San Francisco Oracle, the “Gathering of the Tribes” or “Human Be-In” as it came to be known, was the prototype of all 1960’s counter culture celebrations. The Human Be-In precipitated the legendary Summer of Love, and made San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury the epicenter of the burgeoning hippie movement.

Many of the Haight’s best musical acts also performed, including the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service. It was at the Human Be-In that Timothy Leary coined his famous phrase, “Tune in, Turn on, Drop Out”. LSD was provided en mass by the legendary chemist Stanley “Bear” Owsley.

The Diggers provided free food to the crowds, which were estimated in excess of 30,000. It was this huge number of spontaneously gathered celebrants that attracted national media attention to the psychedelic Haight-Ashbury community, and made everyone involved realize that a profound new movement in American culture was being born.

The ethos of this new movement was a fundamental questioning of authority, a focus on individuality, decentralization, ecological awareness, and consciousness expansion through cultural openness and the use of psychedelic drugs. These ideas transfixed mainstream culture, and the phenomenon of the “hippie” burst full force into the public consciousness, transforming a generation.”

This was where it all really began, and this was the beginning of the end for the old style government, the antiquated “America, Love it or Leave it” mentality…Leave it? Hell No! This was OUR country and it had strayed off course, and like the original rebellious colonists who fought the harsh British colonial government policies, we hippies decided to fight back with Flower Power….Peace, love and non-violence were the new order, and we embraced these concepts fully and completely…

flowerpower17gathering ofthetribesflowerpower31bandbein


Now, almost 50 years later, we can see that the quiet revolution we started back then in the Summer of Love has changed main stream America in so many ways from what it was back then to what it is now….There is still a lot of fixing to be done, to be sure, but our generation was the first to stand up and be counted, to say NO to blind obedience to misguided government policies, and through our collective efforts we changed an entire society….

I LOVE America, and always will, this is MY country, (and yours) but I also will never forget my roots and Flower Power in the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967, and how we transformed an entire country and it’s thought processes through the power of love…. To paraphrase Dickens again, “It was the worst of times, it was the best of times…. “Peace and love!

For more information on the Human Be-in see: magicbussf.com/january-14-1967-the-human-be-in-aka-gathering-of-the

For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com

Scuba Diving

I have always loved scuba diving, but life is strange, filled with twists, turns and obstacles of various types, and so I have never really had a chance to actually go scuba diving…Oh of course when I was a kid, I had a snorkel, a mask and some fins, because I was entranced by the concept of underwater swimming… But I never had the opportunity to don the tanks and do some real scuba diving, like in Hawaii or off the coast of California…Just the experience of snorkeling, or diving beneath the surface of the water and observing the fish and plants on their level that I have done was very exciting, fun, and pleasurable to me, and the fins enabled an unbelievable amount of extra propulsion you would have to experience to believe…

Swimming underwater is a sensation exactly like flying to me, but without that sickening feeling of falling…. When I dive under the water, I can propel myself effortlessly across the underwater terrain….I can swoop down to the bottom easily, without any friction or drag just by using my arms in an easy sweeping motion and moving my legs in a lazy, controlled up and down kick, especially if I have fins on, and since I am “flying” I can easily examine some plant that catches my eye, or swim toward a small school of fish and view them on their own terms, in their own natural environment, and there is none of the inherent friction and contradiction that surface swimmers deal with, half in and half out of the water….


Traditional swimmers are always contradicted by definition because they are always half in the water and half in the air, and they are struggling to propel themselves with their strong arms and legs just to stay afloat and keep their heads above water, but they are always fighting the inherent drag of gravity; it is not natural to be half in and half out of the water, fighting to stay afloat by constant motion…..It is like they are fighting the water, while when you are underwater swimming you are a part of the aquatic environment, in harmony with the watery element….

Scientists say we all evolved from the ocean millions of years ago, except for perhaps the smarter species like the dolphins and whales, who chose to stay…They are both air breathing mammals who since they have no gills like fish, must surface to breathe the air they need to live; have live babies and don’t lay eggs like fish and care for their young, exactly like mammals on land…

Studies have shown a very complex, interdependent society and hierarchy amongst dolphins and whales; they have the capacity to somehow communicate with each other, to recognize individual members of each group, and they also band together to fight against a common enemy like great white sharks, the assassins of the ocean…And don’t forget, as graphically seen from outer space and measured here on the ground, the earth is ¾ water and only ¼ land anyway! Dolphins and whales are no threat to humans, and in fact often enjoy their company, following boats around and frolicking and leaping out of the water for fun…



But I have no desire to hang out underwater with these rightful owners of the aquatic domain…I would just like to have once in my life taken a few classes and actually experienced life under the ocean waters as a natural part of the environment, instead of fighting to avoid drowning like surface swimmers always seem to be doing….I always wanted to explore some of the beautiful underwater coral reefs, observed some of the beautiful natural underwater rock formations and perhaps even check out some shipwrecks….




Well it is too late for me, but if you have the urge to merge with the creatures of the sea on their own terms, as a visitor to their world, there are many well established scuba schools and trainers available to help you achieve your quest….If you go to Yelp.com there are 9 schools located right here in the Bay Area…For example, according to my Google sources, you can contact the Harbor Dive Center in Sausalito and learn to scuba dive and get one day lessons and rent scuba equipment:

One-Day Classes — Streamlined classroom sessions offer more pool time for students to perfect their skills and to have MORE FUN, while completing their academics and confined water sessions in one day!This is yet another way Harbor Dive Center strives to make learning to scuba dive fun!One-day classes•Limited shore entries, diving from a boat….Rental gear delivery for all open water dives available at an additional cost•

Large, well-equipped, 660,000 gallon training facility with varying depths in sixteen 25-yard lanes, forming a contour that closely simulates the real environment! Harbor Dive Center is your first step into the underwater world through the wonders of diving!”

Another school rated highly on Yelp, which is a good resource in and of itself for this topic is : San Francisco Scuba Schools, with 42 comments…If you are interested in at least exploring the possibilities, I would start with the Yelp.com list of certification and training schools listed under the “Best scuba diving certification in San Francisco-Yelp” in Google….




Now if you are really, really into scuba diving, you can become a professionally certified diver, again according to my Google sources, you can contact D.I.T or Divers Institute of Technology, just by calling 888-926-3138…Here is what they have to say: “There are many skills you’ll need to master to make a career in commercial diving. In 7 months, we’ll teach you physics, dive medicine, topside and underwater welding, cutting, and burning, rigging, salvage, deep water & open water diving and more.

Wow! Way too heavy for me, but somebody out there will no doubt be interested in pursuing a career as a professional diver, and this school seems like a good way to start! Like I said, life is strange, and you never know…I have actually had people tell me that they would never go swimming underwater like a scuba diver does for fear of being gobbled up by a great white shark or giant squid, but c’mon people, you face more danger just driving to work each day!…Well, different strokes for different folks, as they say…

But one thing I do know is that time flies, and although it is already too late for me, it may be something you may have thought about but never really checked out…Give it a try, what do you have to lose? And I also know this: I will never forget the unbelievably exciting feeling of just swimming underwater, it made me feel like Superman, like I was flying, with none of the common fear reflexes of falling sensations inherent to flying….

Remember,you are supported at all times by the gravity of the water, and in a very profound and emotional way you feel deep inside like you have returned home, to your natural environment, if just for a short time…And in a way, you have..

For more information on scuba diving training and certification in general and a list and site rankings see:www.yelp.com/search?…scuba+diving+certificationSan+Francisco

For more information on the Harbor Dive school in Sausalito, see: scwww.harbordive.com/

For more information on San Francisco Scuba Schools in Pacifica, they are located at 541 Oceana Blvd
Pacifica, CA 94044 Phone number (415) 662-3483

For more information on commercial diving, see www.diversinstitute.edu/

For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com

Hang Gliding

I have always been fascinated by hang gliding, and the brave men and women who are hang gliders….I watch them soar and sail overhead, wafted about, riding the air currents like birds as they bank and swoop far overhead, their bodies extended in a flying position, their wings spread out above them as they fly out over the ocean or glide over the beach or the land below until they decide to guide themselves down….

I have talked to many hang gliders and they all say it is a such a peaceful, quiet feeling, and of course a totally different perspective, than being land bound…I will admit it, I have a fear of heights, like many people; this is an understatement in my case, I am just a big chicken at the thought of flying in these flimsy looking devices, they look so fragile and have no motor or mechanical means of support, I don’t know how they ever thought up this sport, the thought of being air bound like that terrifies me! And yet, it is so beautiful to even watch them!



Actually I do know, the concept of flying like a bird has been with us humans for aeons…If you go back in Greek mythology, you can find and read about the legend of Icarus….He was a mortal man who aspired to greatness, and his goal was to fly to the sun to prove he could….According to the legend, he and his father constructed two great sets of wings from giant bird feathers and leapt off the top of some high mountain….

And the wings worked! He was able to fly like a bird, but Icarus had a fatal flaw, and that was his pride, because he flew too close to the sun and the heat of the sun melted the wax holding the wings together and he plunged to his death which led to his downfall…Perhaps this pride, or hubris as the Greeks called it, was the moral of the story, that man should not aspire to be something that he is not, that a man is a man and will never be a bird…


It is like the old saying “Make sure your reach does not exceed your grasp.” But then again, if you don’t try, you will never know, and most of the great inventions conceived and constructed by man, like the airplane by the Wright brothers or the automobile or even the train were all dangerous, and at one time they were all denounced as foolhardy and bound to failure by the more conservative, less inventive, less creative, less visionary type of people….

The myth of Icarus goes like this, according to my Google sources, and it is based on both historical and mythological premises, there are several versions: “While in Crete Daedalus (the father of Icarus) created the plan for the Minoan Palace of Knossos, one of the most important archaeological sites in Crete and Greece today.” Basically after constructing this amazing labyrinth, a sort of maze, meant to hold prisoners (who would wander endlessly in this maze) and eventually die from being killed by the legendary Minotaur monster who lived there, there was a big falling out between Daedalus and the king, who imprisoned him in his own labyrinth! One of the more official legends goes like this:

“Icarus was the young son of Daedalus and one of King Minos’ servants. Daedalus was way too smart and inventive, thus, he started thinking how he and Icarus would escape the Labyrinth. Knowing that his architectural creation was too complicated, he figured out that they could not come out on foot. He also knew that the shores of Crete were perfectly guarded, thus, they would not be able to escape by sea either.

The only way left was the air. Daedalus managed to create gigantic wings, using branches of osier and connected them with wax. He taught Icarus how to fly, but told him to keep away from the sun because the heat would make the wax melt, destroying the wings. Daedalus and Icarus managed to escape the Labyrinth and flew to the sky, free. The flight of Daedalus and Icarus was the first time that man managed to fight the laws of nature and beat gravity.

Although he was warned, Icarus was too young and too enthusiastic about flying. He got excited by the thrill of flying and carried away by the amazing feeling of freedom and started flying high to salute the sun, diving low to the sea, and then up high again….Icarus fell into the sea and drowned. The Icarian Sea, where he fell, was named after him and there is also a nearby small island called Icaria.”

Another version or amplification of this legend goes like this: “Back in the day, the gods did not like it when humans tried to act like them by overcoming their mortal limits. In ancient Greek culture, acting like a god was called “hubris”, and it was often severely punished. Flying through the air definitely constituted hubris, since flight was supposed to be a strictly gods-only activity.

Of course, Daedalus and Icarus pay a price for overstepping their humanly bounds. Icarus dies and Daedalus loses a child—lose-lose. It’s an important lesson in humility, and the wisdom of living within your limits. The myth seems to be saying that instead of wanting something extraordinary (such as flying, or in Icarus’ case, flying really high), we should learn to be happy with what we already have.”


So like I said, even though I am terrified of hang gliders they also fascinate me…I live in San Francisco, and there is a well known hang gliding spot just a few miles from my house, at Ft. Funston, all you have to do is drive south on the Great Highway until it turns into Skyline Blvd, and there is a turnoff for the Ft. Funston hang gliding area…It is totally free to observe, and there is a large parking lot  and a hiking trail down to the beach far below…Dogs often run freely there too…

I have gone alone often and also taken my daughter, granddaughter and many friends over the years out to this vantage point where you can watch them take off, they have even recently built a bleacher like reviewing stand to watch the hang gliders swoop and sail far overhead…




What I really love is the transition from man to bird they seem to make so effortlessly…I watch them lay out their gear very precisely and then strap on their wings and walk to the very edge of the cliff and wait for an updraft and then POOF! They are carried aloft by a surging up current of air, and they are no longer ordinary people, they are birds! Once they launch themselves, only they decide when to come back down to the ground, to revert back from air bound birds to earth bound humans…


icarus21funstoncoupleonground icarus12ftfunstonlanding

icarus20funstonflyingicarus22funstontaking off

They are like a modern day Icarus, whose flaw was perhaps not so much in the concept of attempting to fly but his mad, doomed decision to fly to the sun to prove his immortality, or just because he thought he could…You can fly like Icarus with only a few lessons and a modest investment in equipment, and without the deadly ending!

Legends, however they are interpreted, are a lesson to us all, but then again, nothing ventured, nothing gained!

For more information on Icarus, see: http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/myth-of-daedalus-and-icarus
OR:www.shmoop.com › Mythology › Daedalus and Icarus › Themes

For more blogs by John Whye, see http://www.johnwhye.com

Astrology 101

I am not a professional astrologer, but find the topic endlessly fascinating…I remember very well back in the Summer of Love in 1967 the hippie movement embraced astrology with a profound intensity that bordered on almost a religious fervor…Relationships and friendships were made and broken on the strength of astrological compatibility, life decisions made and journeys planned around favorable astrological dates…

People back then earnestly researched this ancient art and learned how to make charts of all the astrological components of a person’s personality…Almost everybody, even scoffers and non believers at least know their birth, or sun sign, and it is the sun sign that is always presented in the newspaper every day….But the sun sign is only part of the astrological complexity of the personality….In fact, even the most superficial knowledge of astrology would reveal that a person’s personality is comprised of 3 main components ….

astology2hippiesggparkastology3georgein ha




There is the rising sign, which is how the outer world perceives us, there is the sun sign, which is our true conscious inner nature, and there is the moon sign, which is our dark subconscious dream side…It is the interplay and the juxtaposition of these 3 signs which largely determine our personality, our life styles and our dreams, ambitions, and accomplishments…A favorable balance of these 3 signs within one person almost guarantees success, while a conflicted or diametrically opposed set of signs often lead to heartbreak, disappointments and failures in life and love, business and personal undertakings and what we do with our lives…….

Right about now we are preparing to leave the love/harmony/peace equilibrium of Libra and enter into the sign of Scorpio, the 8th sign of the zodiac, it runs from October 24-November 22…. It is no surprise if you are of an astrological bent that you take this sign quite seriously, as they take themselves quite seriously….Scorpios represent both the highest and the lowest of human nature; they can soar like an eagle, high above earth bound cares and worries, or they can burrow deep under your skin and sting you like a scorpion.

According to my Google sources: “Those born under this sign are dead serious in their mission to learn about others. There’s no fluff or chatter for Scorpios, either; these folks will zero in on the essential questions, gleaning the secrets that lie within. Scorpios concern themselves with beginnings and endings, and are unafraid of either; they also travel in a world that is black and white and has little use for gray. The curiosity of Scorpios is immeasurable, which may be why they are such adept investigators. These folks love to probe and know how to get to the bottom of things. The fact that they have a keen sense of intuition certainly helps.




Fearless Scorpios rarely lose; they just keep on going, since they are stubborn and determined to succeed (this Scorpio trait is in keeping with the Fixed Quality assigned to this sign). Scorpios work as hard as they do so they can someday sit back and feel satisfied with themselves. These folks are intense, passionate and filled with desire. They’re also complex and secretive, so don’t expect to get much out of them, lest they become suspicious and exit stage left. It’s best not to bet against Scorpios, either, since these folks are surprisingly resourceful.

The Scorpion symbolizes Scorpio, and that is no accident. Much like the Scorpion would rather kill itself than be killed, those born under this sign are in ultimate control of their destiny. It is life on the Scorpion’s terms, too, since these folks promote their agenda (they are quite the executives) and see to it that things go forward. Others may find this overbearing (it can be) and even self-destructive, but that’s the beauty of the Scorpio: they have tremendous regenerative powers, much like the literal Scorpion can lose its tail and promptly grow a new one.

There are also 4 main groups of astrological signs, derived in ancient times from the basic elements of the earth…Water, Fire, Earth and Air with certain qualities associated with each group…The astrology signs are broken down into 4 groups of 3 each, together they make a perfect circle, or astrological wheel of 12 harmonious signs, each with it’s attractions, each with it’s opposite…..

The water signs (considered emotional) are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces; the fire signs (considered action oriented and outgoing) are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, the earth signs (considered practical and conservative) are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, and the air signs (considered intelligent) are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius…

In addition, each group of signs are assigned qualities named Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable….Cardinal signs are considered enterprising, or starting points…The Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn… The Fixed signs, considered securely placed and unchangeable, thus stable, firm and dependable, are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius….The Mutable signs, considered subject to change, or adaptable, are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces….

So you can see that just reading your 3-4 line horoscope in the daily media just describes your sun sign, and is woefully inadequate to delve into the complicated inter connected balance of types of signs; this is probably why so many astrology scoffers exist….Just knowing your 3 main signs, sun, moon and rising signs is very important for even a rudimentary grasp of the science of astrology….

Astrology is an old and noble science, and for thousands of years before and up through the medieval times all the kings and rulers had trusted astrologers in their court retinue to interpret the signs of the universe and give them advice on which actions they should take or not take, and when the most advantageous time to do so would be most favorable for a successful outcome to launch a political war of conquest or for more personal matters of the heart….





Modern science has tried to debunk astrology as a pseudo science, because by their rigid definitions it is not a provable system of facts and figures…But astrology is a belief system, and no less a scientist than the esteemed psychiatrist Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology and a friend, contemporary and successor to Sigmund Freud, was a firm believer in astrology and used it to determine treatment for his patients…

I have really just skimmed the surface here, sort of like Astrology 101, because you can get way more into astrology by drawing up peoples charts, predicting their love or relationship compatibility, or analyzing their signs by houses, aspects, conjunctions, squares, trines, degrees etc. it can all get quite complicated….

If you just want to have some fun with it around the office water cooler, there are many free astrological compatibility sites out there, like“Love Compatibility by Horoscope.com,” or “Free Astrology Compatibility and Romance Reports” or “Free Instant Love Compatibility Index Calculator” to name just a few I randomly just Googled…

You can believe it or trust it or scoff at it, but astrology is an intriguing topic, and in my life, while not a true believer, I have personally found astrological clues, tips and tendencies to be true more often than not….

As William Shakespeare once mused in Hamlet: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than dreamt of in your philosophy.”

For more information on Scorpio, see:www.astrology.com/article/zodiac-signs-scorpio-sun-sign.html
For more information on astrology see:www.trans4mind.com/…/astrology/LearningAstrology/quadruplicities ht

For more blogs by John Whye,click on http://www.johnwhye.com

Baseball Playoffs 2015

This is late fall, the time of year when baseball fans are glued to their TVs, anxiously watching the slow but inexorable progress of the playoff teams as they grind their way to the Holy Grail of baseball, the World Series!..As an avid SF Giant’s fan, I have taken this roller coaster, thrill packed ride and been rewarded 3 times in the last 5 years with the ultimate goal, the World Series victory that signifies that we are the best team in baseball!

The crisp autumn weather and the sight of colorful falling leaves is a last gasp chance to hold onto the thrill of watching the boys of summer as the seasons march on…It is a bitter sweet feeling as one after another team is knocked out of the running, and as you get closer to the ultimate baseball challenge, the World Series, you realize baseball is a metaphor for life…Wintertime is coming, football is already here, and basketball is about to start up…




My Giants only seem to win in even numbered years for some inexplicable reason, but we won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014…. Mostly because of a horrendous rash of injuries to my team this year, we are all watching the survivors from the other teams play on…The playoff format itself is relatively new, they have 2 wild cards eligible to play now plus all the division winters…In the old days, as recently as 1969, there were no playoffs, they instituted a one round playoff series that year due to baseball expansion… Before then, just the pennant winner of the AL vs the pennant winner of the NL played for all the marbles…..

Of course, the pennant winners still play, but first they have to wade through the treacherous terrain of the new playoff system, which in 1994 through 2011 expanded to include TWO rounds of playoffs, plus a wild card, making it a 3 tiered playoff format, and in 2012 they added a 2nd wild card, a one game, winner takes all who advances to the best 3 out of 5 series….Of course, it is infinitely more exciting, nerve wracking and ecstatic when it i is YOUR team in the playoffs, but I will still honor the tradition…

We are currently in the last round of the playoffs, the best of 7 format, with the AL KC Royals, who lost to the Giants in the 7th game of the World series last year in one of the most dramatic games ever, currently holding a 2-1 edge over the Toronto Blue Jays…In the NL, the surprising Mets hold a 2-0 advantage over the fan and media favorites, the lovable but forever seemingly doomed and cursed Chicago Cubs, who last appeared (and lost) in a World Series in 1945; the Cubs have not WON a World Series since 1908!

But hope springs eternal in the heart of the true fan, and on the north side of Chicago the Cubs are getting ready to play in their venerable ballpark, inside the ivy covered walls of Wrigley Field, 101 years old, built in 1914, the oldest park in the NL…Only Boston’s Fenway park in Boston is older, by a scant 2 years…

Imagine all the hallowed greats of baseball having played in these exact same parks, from Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle to Hack Wilson and Ernie Banks….And today the current crop of new, exciting young Cubs players are playing with the ghosts of all these former players sharing the exact same park! But that is the beauty of baseball, the passing of the torch, the handing down of the tradition of all the glory and glamour of years gone by…




In the end, only one team will remain standing, and they will be the reigning World Series Champions, a role the Giants still retain but will have to relegate to the new winner very shortly…Baseball is the quintessential American game, it is the only sport where they do not have a clock to regulate the game action, you just keep playing on until one team or another wins the game, no matter if it is the regulation 9 innings or 20 some innings….One minor league game lasted 33 innings!

I remember my father taking me to my very first baseball game, it was the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park and my home town, south side team the White Sox beating the Detroit Tigers 2-1….Although it was many, many years ago, I still vividly remember the excitement of the game, the utter thrill and awesome wonder of walking inside from the dark Chicago night to the brilliantly lit up, lights blazing brighter than daylight Comiskey Park….

I was hooked! Baseball fever was in my blood from that moment on, and it has never really left…I went to several White Sox games by myself or with friends after that growing up as a teenager on the south side of Chicago, back then we hated the rival Cubs from the north side and never went to any of their games, but now since I have lived in San Francisco so long and am a Giants fan, I am rooting for the Cubs to go all the way this year….

I have continued the baseball tradition with my own family, taking my wife and young child to many games at windy, cold blustery Candlestick Park….When my daughter was a small girl she delighted in running up and down the steps of the upper deck in Candlestick while the game played on, and of course we watched every game we could on TV….


San Francisco Giants fans Janice Meyer, left, and Alison Lyon, both of San Francisco, hold a sign declaring their loyalty to Candlestick Park as the Giants take the field for the last time against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the final game to be played at 3COM Park at Candlestick Point Thursday, Sept. 30, 1999, in San Francisco. After 40 years, the former Candlestick Park is closing down to Giants baseball, in favor of a newly built, smaller stadium in downtown San Francisco, designed specifically for baseball. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


Now the Giants have a new home, a priceless gem, a palace of a ballpark, AT & T Park at 3rd and King. It is officially designated as 24 Willie Mays Plaza, after the greatest Giant of them all…We have our own history, with McCovey Cove as the designated area for sailing craft to snuggle up to the park and crazy kayakers who dive into the water to retrieve a home run hit over the wall into the frigid waters of the bay, called a splash hit….

And we have continued the family tradition, me, my daughter and my grand daughter have gone to several baseball games, and we are all still amazed, enthralled and addicted to baseball….We all try to watch every single game on TV all summer long, no matter where we live and make at least one annual pilgrimage to our beautiful ballpark….



Baseball is a true family game, and that is the beauty of it…It is timeless, it is historical, it is modern all at the same time, and it never grows old…I have played out much of my life with baseball in the background, if I could not watch it on TV I would listen to it on the radio, and I remember milestones in my life as demarcated by the Giants success on the field…

Football may draw more TV viewers, basketball is an international sport, and I love my 49ers and World Champion Warriors as well, but there is nothing to compare to the visceral attachment, the recognition of tradition and the historical continuity of baseball…

Baseball is truly the American game, the American pastime…Long may it reign!

For more blogs by John Whye, click on http://www.johnwhye.com