November 18, 2012


Today, I found an interesting news article my mother had saved from November 18, 1988 in a school manual I was researching. It was a 10 year anniversary memorial on the Jonestown Massacre, and because it's coincidentally the anniversary of the incident, I feel I should do a post on the subject. 

The Jonestown Massacre,  November 18, 1978
Historical Importance of the Jonestown Massacre: It was the most deadly non-natural disaster in U.S. history until September 11, 2001 and has a death toll of 918.

Founded in 1956 by Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple was a racially integrated church that practiced "apostolic socialism”. Jones originally established the Peoples Temple in Indianapolis and then moved it to Redwood Valley, California in 1966. He later found a remote location in the South American country of Guyana, where he leased some land to build his utopian society.  In 1977, the Jonestown compound in Guyana had several hundred members.

Jonestown was meant to be a utopia, however, many of the members ended up wanting out. Unfortunately, because the compound was surrounded by miles of jungle and armed guards, no one could leave without Jones’s permission. And Jones didn’t want anyone to leave.

Eventually, U.S. Representative Leo Ryan from San Mateo, California hears reports of physical and psychological torture from Jonestown residents’ relatives and decides to go to Jonestown to  find out for himself what was going on. He takes his adviser, an NBC film crew, and a group of concerned relatives of Peoples Temple members.

At first, everything looks fine to Ryan and his group, but he later receives a note that some of the people are being held against their will.

The following day, November 18, 1978, Ryan offers to take anyone who wishes to leave Jonestown back with him to the United States.

Ryan’s group, on board a truck with the few dissenters, makes it to the airport. However, as they’re waiting for the planes to get ready to leave, some Peoples Temple members show up and start shooting.

Five people were killed on the tarmac, including Congressman Ryan, and many were severely wounded. A few escaped into the jungle.

Back in Jonestown, Jones spoke to his congregation and said that it was time for them to go through with their  “revolutionary suicide.” Jones claimed his supports would go down in history by saying they chose their own way to go and that they refused capitalism in support of socialism.

Large kettles filled with grape flavored Flavor-Aid (not Kool-Aid) and poison were placed in the pavilion.

On that day, November 18, 1978, 912 people died from drinking the poison--the majority of them doing this WILLINGLY. 276 were children. Jones died from a self-inflicted single gunshot wound to the head.

Only a handful or so people survived, either by escaping into the jungle or hiding somewhere in the compound.

People want to believe that those people were crazy and ‘it couldn’t possibly happen to me.’ But it could happen to almost everyone... Those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it. 

Never forget that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

November 16, 2012

Express Yourself

It's Express Yourself time!

This week's subject... 
post a pic of your work area, writing, cubicle, craft, etc. Then explain what it is that you do.

  This is my writing workspace. I like to sit cross legged on the cushions or I'll lean against the arm rests with my legs sprawled toward the corner. I change positions about every hour and the cat moves to wherever the laptop was sitting last. 

I spend the reset of my time at our yogurt store. My various activities revolve around making phone calls, coordinating networking events, graphic design for our Facebook page, and a very little bit of "sampling" the yogurts.  

November 12, 2012

The Cat in the Attic

My cat has been acting NUTS over the last three days. Crying at the ceiling and scratching at the walls and doors. Running rampant from one end of the house to the other.

I went through the usual checklist to find out what was wrong:

-food in his dish
-water in the spare bathtub
-clean litterbox
-window blinds in the second bedroom up 12"
-vacuum cleaner put away in the closet

Nothing out of the ordinary, so I started squirting him with water whenever he was being noisy to discipline him, or shutting him in the bathroom for a "time-out."

... I have since apologized to my cat with treats, catnip, and cat grass--because he was apparently trying to tell me that the neighbor's cat was stuck in our attic.

There must be a spot on our roof gable where the ventilation siding is movable--like an office ceiling tile grid. The cat got on the roof and pushed his way up into the attic, but then couldn't get back out when the panel dropped behind it.(We have access to the attic through the garage, but I haven't used it in months.)

Just glad that after fifteen minutes of crawling through the attic framework and insulation --it really was a cat and not this guy:

Do roofers get some sort of discount for using excessively long nails?