It’s time to Roll up our Sleeves & make a Phonecall to the President – that is, if you care about Gun Control

First thing I did this morning after making myself an oatmeal and a cup of tea, was make a phonecall to the Presidential switchboard  201-456-1111, which is the Whitehouse comments line.  I urged President Obama to take Executive Action on gun control.  I was simply participating in an all-day call-in campaign initiated by Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded by Sandy Clements in 2012.  Her mother, a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary, was a witness to the bloodshed that occurred that day, where 6 of her colleagues and 20 first graders were gunned down in Newtown Connecticut.  And the Congress has repeatedly ignored the will of the people, because their pockets are lined with NRA $s.    So besides, chipping away at gun-control state by state, the only way Americans will get our way as a nation, concerning gun control, is by urging the President to take Executive Action, before we risk having a Trump in the Whitehouse promising to hand out guns to everyone who voted for him.

Lives lost since Sandyhook

Making this phone call is easier than calling in an order of Chinese food – and I will make it even simpler for you –

  1. Text OBAMA to 644-33  (If you call another day : just dial 201-456-1111
  2. Wait for a volunteer operator to answer – I waited about 2 minutes.
  3. Take a deep breath and speak calmly and slowly so they can type in the information-
    State your name, and which state you are registered to vote.
    EX: Hi , I am Bozo the Clown, and I am registered to vote in Florida. (Where else would he be registered? – FYI, if you aren’t registered to vote – get on that, will you.  Voting is the LEAST you can do as a democratic citizen)
  4. Then  – I am calling to urge President Obama to take Executive Action addressing gun control.
  5. Then state your reason for wanting gun control –  Sure this is a no-brainer, but unfortunately, no-brains are controlling our government these days, so we need to UP the intelligence ante in government.
  6. Then thank them, Say goodbye and get on with your life : )

If you can’t make the call today, do it tomorrow, or the next … just please do it.

Make a promise to the thousands of Americans that could be killed by guns in the wrong hands in the future, that you will do your very best to save their lives.  It is just 5 minutes out of your day.

I Took a Hiatus on Hating on the U.S. – How to Balance the Personal and Political?

For most of my life, up until very recently I, like all “decent” Americans, generally avoided involving myself in politics in any significant way.  Why?  Not because I didn’t care, but rather, because involvement in politics is generally seen by many Americans as pointless/futile and/or soul-corrupting.  I am not religious, but I have enough of a semblance of morality to have experienced this dark welling of hate and fury  when faced with the sordid banquet of American political life past and present.  It is so easy to drum up hate in oneself against others who are so immersed in fear that they are lashing out at anyone or thing that seems to threaten their identities or lifestyle.

For years, I kept up on the issues, but only selectively participated in large marches or demonstrations, or the signing of petitions.  I had a cynical and passive view of political life and action.  This was all before internet, started to open up the conversation and participation in politics.  I am not saying that the internet is a panacea, but it does challenge the media mogul monopolization of information.  And if anything I am a glutton for the closest version of truth that I can get.

As I saw the national political conversation expand beyond mind-numbing soundbites, I became intrigued as to the political possibilities of activism.  One thing that has always bothered me is this artificial divide between the personal and political in American life.  It was as if only the “experts” in political science, economics and law were qualified to weigh in on political matters.  Never mind that the linguistic root of politics is the latin polis – which means people, PEOPLE!  And while things were “good” in America, regular Americans were glad to shirk off their democratic responsibility to the experts.

But these days, we as Americans, don’t really have the luxury to “sit out” politics and still expect to – have clean water and air to breathe; have non-toxic food on our tables; have jobs; have a future free of life-sucking debt both personally and nationally; have affordable health care; have a planet; have our taxes go toward domestic economic stability rather than international military chaos.  And those who would wish that the American public remain in our political paralysis of apathy, ignorance and cynicism – are the very people who are the LEAST likely to govern well.

housedivided

We Americans, have let too many foxes sneak into the hen house, a.k.a.  too many scoundrels into congress.  And now that we have access to all the information we want to really see CLEARLY the type of craven characters these mostly men are … we really don’t have an excuse not to be pissed and demand better.   But the system, the system hangs us up every time, or most times.  So systems need to be changed, but they won’t be fixed or replaced – in this sinister status quo.

No one said this life was easy.  And the whole “fair” thing is a fairytale that was handed to us as toddlers to convince us to share our toys.  But those who control our government aren’t interested in fairness or sharing power.  And it is up to us, those who believe in an “ideal” of fairness and justice to wrangle back the power.

And this is where I come back to my earlier reticence in becoming politically active.  I have always been most attracted to non-violent movements, and have been fascinated by their success even when facing  military dominant aggression of the state.  And I believe ultimately, whatever revolutions will come in the future, for them to be truly successful, they NEED to transcend the brutal tools of violence.  We cannot work together in harmony, mend fences, exercise restraint, attempt forgiveness when we are all armed with metallic weapons rather than weapons of wisdom, practical action, and compassion.

A little over a month ago, I started questioning my written voice – as I have expressed it in this blog. Early on, I wanted to forcefully express my discontent, backing it up with media references to support my frustration, and also offer solutions, via petitions addressing the issues of each blog entry.  And while at times, perhaps my angry voice may have been amusing or cathartic for some – I started to wonder – Do I really want to continue to buy into the idea that my fellow Americans who take different political positions than I do are my enemies?

How politically expedient is that?

Don’t get me wrong – I still believe that one can be passionate about politics.  But is there a way that we as Americans start looking for common ground?  Seriously, the politicians would LOVE us to continue to scrabble around about divisive and personal issues such as gay marriage and abortion, rather than focusing upon our shared desire to be gainfully employed, well educated and well housed, among many other domestic issues.

But if I allow myself to BUY into the idea that Americans that are whipped up into a fear frenzy by insincere politicians are my enemies – how are we as a Nation ever going to move beyond this political impasse and start showing our government who is the REAL boss?  We the PEOPLE are … but only united with common purpose.  The politicians have been using the oldest trick in the book of “Divide and Conquer,” because divided we are less powerful than the corporations that bankroll their elections.

So … I have been taking a break … just considering … what sort of passionate dialogue do I engage in that allows me to connect rather than disconnect with fellow Americans. We are in this together, and being divided against each other is a luxury of animosity we can no longer afford.

The Truth about Trump – Relax, he doesn’t ACTUALLY Hate Mexicans!

I just answered this question on Quora, and thought I would share it with those of you who enjoy reading my Rips, Rants, and Roars: )  And for being such devoted followers, of course I added special extras for you : )  Graphics and additionally juicy/controversial commentary.  – Love Liza!

What does Donald Trump think about the US crumbling infrastructure?

(You can get the original post here, without RipRoarinRant  – Extras)

I would imagine, him being the product of a Real Estate Dynasty and carrying on the family business, that his whole vision for the presidency, is merely a massive BUSINESS opportunity for chums in the biz.  So CERTAINLY being a savvy business man, he is quite knowledgeable about the crumbling infrastructure.  And if he was a smart politician he would play to his strengths.

What is ludicrous, is his racism against Mexicans in particular, because there is NO DOUBT that his firms or firms of close business associates have hired massive amounts of illegal aliens over the years.

Idiot Americans do NOT connect the dots of this simple premise – Mexicans are flooding the borders BECAUSE there are jobs here. NOT legal jobs, but under-the-table jobs, primarily in Restaurants;  with poorly regulated factory labor; agriculture; and Trump’s own industry – construction, as well as hospitality (housekeeping, janitorial – the jobs many Americans think they are too good for – or at least expect minimum wage or more for – by they way they DEFINITELY SHOULD)

I am an interior designer, and I work with general contractors and developers, and if you don’t speak Spanish,  you are NOT going to get the best job done.  WHY because the primary laborers, including skilled labor are often Mexican, who often respect people more if they speak Spanish as well as English _ even if the workers are fully conversant in English. This is true, especially in the west, including Las Vegas, where Trump has built Las Vegas Hotels on the Strip. (Hospitality AND Construction – brought to you by the people of Mexico.  We should be thanking them, for giving us an opportunity to throw away our hard earned money on swanky suites and gambling!  How DARE they use their slave wages to feed their families, when we Americans NEED MORE to throw down the toilet!)

Now, I am not making the slur against the construction workers, that ALL of them are illegal aliens, because they aren’t.  But I will say, that you drive by many Lowe’s or Home Depots with a  vacant lot or field next to it, early morning 6 am to 8 am (Monday through Saturday)- you will see men dressed to work a long hard hot day of less-than-minimum wage  construction labor or at best, less than union wage (white people’s pay).

And it is rare that you will see a black or white face.  And it is rare that you will hear English being spoken.  Perhaps they are all from Spain?  Or Argentina? Or from another planet?

Do you want to be sure?  Start walking up to them with a clipboard of papers and a pen in your hand, as if you are ready to take a census.  Start asking them to fill out a government survey, and see how long they continue to hang out at that spot.

So … back to the question about Trump – HELL yeah, he knows about construction, but he is LYING about his hatred of Mexicans – Mexicans are the reason he and his family are wealthy beyond measure.  And do you want to elect yet ANOTHER Liar to the Whitehouse?

It is too bad he has had TERRIBLE political advice, because if he were smart – as I said he would play to his strengths – hiring hard working people to create personal wealth.  Sure, he has exploited people, but Jeez, hasn’t that been the American way since forever?  I mean how would the  Robber Barons have built the trans-continental railway, or turn-of-the-century (late 19th to early 20th Industrialist boom) construction was done?  Not with well-paid ANYBODY for sure!

We are already Embroiled in 3 Wars and the Republicans want to drag U.S. in a Fourth?! – WHY?! – Because Diplomacy is BAD for Business!

Okay, folks … time to wake up!

After months of earnest hard-working political efforts by OUR government, working shoulder to shoulder with friendly nations and Iran – we can breathe a sigh of relief that Iran will not become another nuclear state.  Nuclear BOMB that is.  Or can we?

Not if the Republicans have their way with the media.

The Republicans have millions of dollars from Sheldon Adelson and company for TV ads to throw mud on the deal. Republicans used their millions to smear the Affordable Care Act which gave millions of people access to health insurance; the Obama economic stimulus which kept U.S. unemployment from rising to Greek levels after the 2008 Wall Street collapse; and the military heroism of John Kerry, who got two decorations for bravery and three purple hearts. If Republicans could accomplish these smears with their millions, they think, why couldn’t they do the same with the Iran deal? Huffington Post – Can Republican’s Swiftboat the Iran Nuclear Deal?

You see, the Republicans’ mentality has NOT evolved since the 1950’s when WAR = Everything that is good and just in the world.  Subtext – War made them a shite-load of money.

Consider this historical lesson –

Once upon a time our country was GREAT, let’s say in the 1950’s through the early 1960’s – fat and happy from the spoils of WORLD WAR II. (The war that is most oft-described in mainstream media as the “good war.”)  It is an obvious, but little-discussed fact that the U.S. economy due to the wealth derived from colossal military contracts reaped great profits from WW II.  Read below – and you will see how the U.S. Secretary of War clearly tied the interests of business with war mobilization.

“If you are going to try to go to war, or to prepare for war, in a capitalist country, you have got to let business make money out of the process or business won’t work.” Secretary of War Henry Stimson made this comment in 1940 as preparations for World War II (1939–1945) gained momentum (quoted in Koistinen, p. 580). The global war would pit Allied forces, eventually composed primarily of the United States, Britain, China, and the Soviet Union, against the Axis powers consisting primarily of Germany, Japan, and Italy. U.S. businesses would play a key role in the mobilization efforts for war and the New Deal policies and programs would be largely curtailed. Funded by large military contracts, industry provided millions of new jobs and higher incomes than had been available through the Great Depression when millions of workers had lost their jobs or faced pay cuts. The mobilization effort focused on industry producing massive amounts of war goods including ships, tanks, arms, ammunition, and warplanes. Due to the strong U.S. public mood against international alliances, however, it took Roosevelt almost six years of lobbying with Congress, industry, and the public to begin earnest mobilization efforts.  Read more WW II Mobilization

Notice my highlight?  Do you see a recurring theme here – of MORE MONEY FOR WAR and LESS MONEY FOR PEOPLE at home?

Undoubtedly there were moral reasons to enter WWII, but those moral reasons weren’t compelling enough for the U.S. to enter until we were bombed in Pearl Harbor, and until millions of Jews had already been imprisoned in concentration camps and/or murdered.  We dragged our feet for years, but it seems that the business community had ALWAYS been chomping on the bit to enter the war, not for reasons of morality, though.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the Americans have learned ANYTHING from history.  Why?  Because Americans care NOTHING about history.  We are the ones that SEE the future, always forward-facing, chasing the better, the newer and improved versions of freedom-fighting. We never seem to learn from our mistakes.

For instance, how is it the Republicans whine and holler about the debt, when it is THEIR effing wars that are sucking our economy dry?Dollars that could be spent on rebuilding America are poured into destroying nations.

How much do these wars contribute to our debt? This is a NOT-HOT topic in the media because the most informative article I found was written nearly a year ago in Fiscal Times:

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters (in September 2014) that the projected annual cost of $2.5 billion to $3.65 billion to conduct the new air strikes against ISIS hardly compares to the $77.7 billion spent during fiscal 2013 for Operation Enduring Freedom, most of which went for fighting in Afghanistan.  War Against ISIS will EXPLODE the U.S. Debt  (Read the whole article with your hands pressed to your skull or your head might explode as well)

We  can only imagine what our anti-ISIS efforts, launched practically a year ago have cost U.S. since that point.

Here is a handy little graphic to give you just a taste of what your tax dollars have been going to every day!

annual_costs_of_war_fy5015_with_isis_and_slush_large

This is why Republicans don’t want to give you health care, or help students pay for college, or why they REALLY want to dip deep into Social Security, or why they want to CUT every government program allotted for educating, beautifying, conserving, feeding, Americans and America.  Because they have THEIR priorities and that is to pay for their WARS, that makes THEM and their Corporate constituents PLENTY of MONEY.  Don’t get me started on why they are so delusional that they value money over the quality of life of millions, if not billions of people, if you want to get global about it and the quality of life on this planet.  Another rant for another day!

 

If you are sick and tired of giving the government permission (via your silence) to flush your money down the toilet, as well as kill people and destroy nations, and cheat you and your children and children’s children (ad infinitum) of a better life here in America … consider signing the following petitions.

Defend the Iran Deal – Just Foreign Policy

Republican’s seek to Torpedo Iran Deal – MoveOn

Guns and Racism and Madness – In White Folks’ Homes

I remember, when I was 15 my father handing me a semi-automatic.  We stood in the humid cool of his house’s basement  in Detroit, the only place to escape the stifling summer heat.  We both were and still are white.

My father had been promising me a surprise all afternoon, and when it happened to be my first shooting practice, I was less than enthused. In fact, I was annoyed with him and his glee. What sort of solution was this gun to any problem?  Why was destroying his basement with bullet fire any better than him punching holes into the walls upstairs?  His wife at the time would disguise the evidence of his drunk/drugged rages  by covering them with framed pictures.

At the point, that I held the heavy metal thing in my sweaty hands, it was already in the 80’s as the Crack-crime epidemic wore away at a city already violated by a decade of governmental corruption and mismanagement. Since the race riots in 1967, Detroit had hemorrhaged wealth and white people into the suburbs.   Detroit local news relentlessly lead with what bled, one murder, one rape, one assault, one violent mugging after another.  Gramma would moan,

Time Mag - Race Riot in Detroit

” Detroit used to be such a “lovely” city, and “they” have done nothing but ruin it!” I knew who “they” was. Even without the scrawled negroid features on the targets that my father had drawn on the wall in front of me, I knew who my father expected me to “have to” shoot some day.  Before handing me the gun, he talked me through the operations and warned me of the backfire.  I took hold of the pistol, and struck a triangular stance and fired at a human outline, unadorned by facial features, black or white.  What I remember most was this sense of brutality, the kickback jarring my hands and arms, the explosion still buzzing in my ears.  My father complimented my aim since I managed to shoot near the heart of the target.  He asked me if I wanted to give it another go.  I said  simply “No, I don’t like it” and climbed upstairs.

Breaking down the Barriers

My best friend at the time and since the age of 4 was Della*, her Mom was hillbilly white, and her father was a taciturn black man.  They lived two houses down from my grandparents on my father’s side. Della’s family treated me like family.  Every summer I returned to see them, their voices called out my name in a celebratory chorus. Their home was always open to me.  But my grandparents were squeamish about me having Della over for any extended amount of time, and wouldn’t even think of  letting me invite her little sisters over as well.  If something in the house had been misplaced, my Grandmother would grill me as to whether Della or her sisters had been in the house.  I remember the anxiety of both hiding and shielding Della from  discovering my families’ racisms.  I feared of losing her friendship, thinking she would lump me in with their hatred.  I didn’t realize yet, that Della and her sisters, being the first children of a mixed race couple in the neighborhood had been dealing with a racism from every angle since always.

It was understood that guns were a necessity in every Detroit household, whether it was black or white or mixed.  Guns came out for Halloween/hell night and New Year’s Eve.  Thousands of guns blasting skyward, never minding where the bullets fell.  The only thing that made sense to me was to hide under the bed.

I remember coming across my grandparents’ revolver in their bedroom dresser nestled in one of Gramma’s silk nightdresses. Della and I squealed with the discovery, but we left it alone.  Even though we were both tomboys, guns held no fascination for us.  We knew they were serious business and not toys.  Once a week, Della would relay to me in  thrilled-hushed tones how Burton*, the one-man security force of our neighborhood, had scared somebody or other away with his shotgun, sometimes shooting away in their direction.

Burton and his wife Felicia* were black.  And they supposedly were my grandparents’ best friends.  On sticky summer evenings, Grampa would sit on the front porch with Burton and smoke cigars and drink beers while Gramma would drink pop and chat with Felicia enjoying the chill of the Livingroom AC.

From a very young age, I learned that racism was never cut and dry.  The only person I personally ever knew to use the word “nigger” was Burton, directly and quoted by my Grandmother.  She would flash a devious smile and tell me – “Burton says, there are two kinds of blacks – the decent folks and the ones’ that are trashy niggers.”

The only black people that my father had any social relationship with was Burton.  He counted on him to watch my grandparents’ old house when he was out town.  This was the little white clapboard house that Burton had expected Gramma would leave him and Felicia, after 6 months of Felicia nursing her as pancreatic cancer rubbed away her life.

Unlike my grandparents, my father, who chose to live as a mathematical minority as a white man in Detroit, somehow managed to avoid forging friendships with anybody but whites.  But in spite of the fact that he and I would get into throat-scorching arguments about politics, economy, culture – I never let his beliefs interfere with my life choices.  After college, I went to live with him full time, and within a year I was dating Randy* a blues guitar player, whose mother was South Indian, and whose father, then deceased, was black.  His parents had both been professors at Wayne State University. He intentionally  struck a style somewhere between Jimi Hendrix and Prince.  My Gramma and I went to see him play in a Jazz club, and when he walked up to me like the gentleman he was, she gave me a wink of approval.  My Dad and he got along fine.  Every time I worried that my family would embarrass me or hurt my friends with some off-color remark or behavior, they surprised me by their civility.

Fuck Racism

The Many Shades of Racism in America

Since I was four, I spent all my days, except the summers in Detroit, and a handful of Christmas’s with my mother. Till grade five I was living in Virginia, then the San Francisco Bay Area, California.
She and I lived primarily in white majority middle-class enclaves.  I remember when  Alex Haley’s Roots came out on tv, that it was the talk of the schoolyard.  Inwardly I squirmed as white kids discussed the show revealing their racist preconceptions for the first time.  I realized then, t hat the silence about blacks as a source of corruption, crime, or target of hate, wasn’t a sign of being more tolerant or enlightened.  White people in middle-class California didn’t talk about black people in America because their (the blacks) existence in America didn’t matter to the whites.  It was the privileged ignorance ideology of – What I don’t see doesn’t hurt me, nor does it concern me.

And in adulthood, I always wondered at the conversations of the white middle class, when it came to crime.  And how they claimed a gun would give them a sense of ease and comfort, believing that its iconic presence in the home guaranteed safety for their home and family.  And generally, it was  always understood, that those who committed crimes were more often than not black. But this was only “hinted” at rather than stated outright.  What I never got, was – why were they so scared, these white people, living in a quiet and crime-free community, where people often neglected to lock their doors?  In a Northern Michigan kitchen, with the crickets creaking outside in the high grasses stretched out for miles, I asked one friend’s father  –

What  is the advantage to shooting someone dead over simply filing an insurance claim for stolen goods? 
Besides most break-ins happen when families aren’t home, anyway.

His eyes glassed over and he pinched his lips – silent.  My friend stifled a giggle, as we excused ourselves from the table to go to bed.

My oldest male cousin grew up in Grosse Ile, an upper middle class island of white privilege in the Detroit River, about 20 miles south of the urban border. And, I remember him at times  rant on race and crime and corruption in Detroit. Had they been in the same room, my father and he would be humming in agreement like a fine-tuned engine.  The family irony was, even though they despised each other, all the elders of the family thought Lewis’s personality was a mirror image of my father’s. Both were hotheads.  And both used drugs or alcohol for years to self-medicate their demons, what I later surmised to be undiagnosed mental imbalance.  And both were brilliant – with minds that could explain to you the intricacies of a combustion engine, and turn an everyday event into a riveting tale or sidesplitting comedic episode.

In both of these men was this strange concoction of daredevil dreams, intellectual (without the pretension) curiousity, sensitivity toward women and this bottled rage that came out in republican/racist soundbites.  My relationship with my cousin, once we emerged from the pre-adolescent years had never been antagonistic.  He was the closest thing I had to a big brother.  But as we got older our lives diverged.  I travelled the world, while he crossed the bridge with his first wife and her kids to live off the island.  He never was academic.  It wasn’t a matter of a lack of intelligence, but a matter of a hatred of authority.  He knew and he was often right that he was smarter than most of the bosses, and that he was damned if he would follow the rules of a fool.  I got it, because I was the same way, cause I took after my Dad. We were all rebels, who could be too smart and too smart-mouthed for our own good. We got it originally from Grampa, from whom we also inherited the curse and power of explosive rages.

Thing is – from what I could see, we weren’t so weird compared to other families I met.  Every family seems to have its secrets that it hides from society as a whole.  The last day I saw my cousin, a horror’s chest of secrets came pouring out. We hadn’t seen each other for most of our adulthood, (politics and lifestyle separated us.)   He told me of his unfortunate ability to remember way back into babyhood, and how he remembered his mentally ill mother trying to smother him as a baby.  His Aunt, her sister, told him that she told her that she had successfully smothered the baby sister before him.  I started to finally understood why he had turned into the type of man who would keep an arsenal in his house; who had dealt drugs for years; who never could pull it together,  2 time divorcee, while still being brilliant.  He told with eyes set straight on me, that if he was ever to get a “terminal diagnosis” of any kind, that he would take the opportunity to take some people out.  God knows he had the munitions to do so.

Ten days later, he was dead of a heart attack.

But I can’t help wondering after reading one massacre after another, carried out by some crazy white dude ….

There but for the Grace of God Goes my Family Member

I know about my family, and have been acquainted with many other white people’s families – and there are MANY troubled White men in our country.  It really isn’t that abnormal a thing. And I also have met many families of ALL colors who are comfortable spouting racist things, especially against Blacks … even Blacks against Blacks (which is a special topic that I am not really qualified to cover).  A discussion of this in an earlier blog – Silence is NOT Always Golden

Black and White Couch

It’s not that I am an apologist for anybody that kills innocent people.  I am not.  I am just saying, that it is RIDICULOUS for so many white people to keep pretending that the following have never been issues in their lives, or in the lives of other white people they know –

  1. Mental Imbalance/Illness in the Menfolk
  2. Racism
  3. Recklessness with Guns
  4. Substance Abuse

And that sometimes these issues are inextricably related.

It is time for us White folks to start pulling our heads out of the sand or our A**s and start addressing these issues at home and in society.  It doesn’t help anybody, let alone our aching hearts, by playing the game that Hollywood has taught us and “acting” as if everything is okay.

* Names were changed to protect the privacy of those referred to in this post.

What I want to BE when I grow UP … But what if I Don’t want to Grow UP? – Finding the Work you LOVE

In the last month, I have been engaged in Counter-revolutionary activity … that is working against my own self.  If there is anything I know about myself, is that I am EXTREMELY stubborn.  And if I don’t want to do a thing, or it is against my nature, I will, on purpose, do it badly.  I told myself, about a month ago, that perhaps the best thing for me would be to seek temp work in an office environment so that I could make a steadier paycheck.  And the reality of the situation – I don’t FIT into that world.  I am not heavily tattooed, nor do I have a need to declare my freak-flag ways with a sequined or feathered or desnudo apparel … I just don’t fit into the HIRE me – I AM a fabulous worker-be – paradigm.  Truthfully, I could give a Mousie’s derriere about many work situations.  Oddly, enough, though, once a business has taken me on in the past, via a temp agency, they want to hire me.  So even though I have too weird a resume to be appealing initially, IF I get past their choke-factor, I am appreciated for the hard-working, quality-minded, and supportive personality I have to offer every workplace I find myself working within.

NOTE to SELF – never share this blog with potential employer … sigh.

Anyway, because of my counter-revolutionary activities against myself, I have been feeling creatively out-of-sorts.   And the writing on my two blogs has gone by the wayyyyyside.  Not good.  So, in my attempts to rev myself back up to regular submissions – I offer a link to the blog I just completed addressing – breaking free from the job you hate to love … if that is something that is interesting to you – have at it!

https://survivaltipsfor21stcentury.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/escaping-the-job-you-love-to-hate-part-2/

And, of course, you can read part one – here –

https://survivaltipsfor21stcentury.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/you-are-successful-and-a-have-a-good-job-but-you-hate-your-life-what-then/

 

For this blog … upcoming I have an amusing post planned that addresses sexism and the accordion.  Fer-reals!

 

 

WayWard Water – California Style

If you think the benefits of Fracking in particular, and Domestic Oil Drilling, in general – lowered gas prices, and maybe in the distant future less reliance on oil from the Middle East – outweigh the risks – consider what you put in your mouth these days.  Don’t worry, I am only talking about Food and Bottled Water ….

Blowjobs won't be directly affected.

Back on Track  to a Tangled Tale

California is in the midst of the third worst drought in recorded history.  Check out the California Drought Monitor (http://www.cadrought.com/drought-monitor/) and you will see that 50 per cent of the state is in “Exceptional Drought Condition” meaning, exceptionally BAD!

CA-drought6

And California supplies close to fifty per cent of the nation’s vegetables, fruits and nuts, as well as being the home for numerous water bottling plants.

So what, YOU say?  You haven’t heard about any reductions in the food supply, due to the drought.

And you are right – California farmers are still cranking out the produce, in spite of their dry water resevoirs.  How? Because they are relying on alternate water sources.They are now pumping ground water to irrigate their fields.  (For More Deets on the Drought’s impact on CA ag – http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10978)

But GUESS WHAT?

The Californian State Government has been working hand in hand with the Oil Industries to poison the state water supply unbeknownst to the public.  And as of April 20th, this once “illegal” dumping of toxic waste into 2500 wells has been codified into California law as an acceptable practice until February 2017, because, according to DOGGR (Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources) it is too “inconvenient” for the oil companies to discontinue their illegal practices.  So why not make them temporarily legal, until it is more “convenient” for them?  Never mind the fact that it might just be “inconvenient” at best and lethal at worst for Californians to drink water poisoned with toxic waste.

CA-drought3

People  – Can I hear our beloved Corporate Mantra – PRIVATIZE PROFIT and SOCIALIZE COST?  

A lawsuit by Earth Justice – Alameda County, CA, on behalf of Sierra Club and Center of Biological Diversity is being waged against the California State Government to overturn the emergency ruling allowing the poisoning of the California water supply!  ( For more details refer to (http://www.smartenergyuniverse.com/category-blog/oil-and-gas/item/19483-lawsuit-seeks-to-halt-illegal-dumping-of-toxic-oil-waste-into-california-s-water-supplies )

Here is a Youtube Video related to the kind of Workshops the Industry had to seek exemptions to EPA’s safewater regulation, and a Fracktivist intervention.

Governor Jerry Brown the Environmentalist – cough, cough

Nice little hypocrisy here – on April 2,  2 weeks prior to the California State Government granting this little favor to the Oil Industry, Jerry Brown, called upon California residents to reduce their water usage by  25 per cent.

CA-drought5

I suppose, if Californians, just stopped DRINKING the water, then at least 25 per cent of our use would be reduced. See  http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/01/us/california-water-restrictions-drought/

Well that would be GREAT news for Nestle and Coca Cola which are the leading bottled water producers in California are allowed to plunder Californian groundwater supply for THEIR profit and our LOSS. But wait, how can it be legal for two corporations to sell  water out from under Californians, while the state is in a drought?  (Read Mother Jones’ article on how the majority of bottled water comes from Drought stricken areas in the U.S. – http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/08/bottled-water-california-drought   It is a heart-warming tale of why CAPITALISM is GREAT for EVERYBODY!!!!!)  Could there be a connection to states having droughts, and them being major bottle water producers? Not a weather connection, but certainly an ANTI-SUSTAINABILITY and STUPIDITY connection, for profit OF COURSE!

CA-drought4

Check out What Nestle’s SWISS CEO says about the Water/Human Rights connection starting at 2:07.

He states that – Basically considering water as a human right is an “extreme”  position.  According to him water should always have a market value.  He admits earlier, that water is THE most valuable resource in the world. So obviously it follows that he would prefer the “less extreme” position of it having a market value.  Does it bother anybody except me, that this creepy Swiss guy has so much control over the American Water supply for profit?  When is Nestle going to start bottling air?

 Should POISON WATER have a Market Value too?

But WAIT – The water bottling industry in California could ultimately be getting their bottled water from the groundwater supply that is being poisoned by the Oil Companies!!!   So I guess drinking bottled water is out as well! Bye-bye to Arrowhead and Crystal Geyser which are drained from the groundwater.  While Aquafina and Dasani are from the Californian Municipal Water Supply.  Just imagine, if you lived in California, you would be getting Aquafina and Dasani for nearly FREE by just turning on your faucet! BUT, if Californian water resevoirs are drying up – where is our Municipal water supply coming from?  Could we be coming full circle to the groundwater supply, again?

Gosh, there doesn’t seem to be any escaping those pesky toxic chemicals that our Oil Buddies are sharing with us!

And if that wasn’t enough — Besides dropping your Bottled water habit, you might just rethink eating fruit and vegetables altogether.

In a California state agency publication for farmers, it illuminates how IMPORTANT water is to agriculture –

The lettuce we buy each week at the grocery store is actually
composed of over 90% water, and the same goes for tomatoes, strawberries,
cucumbers, and many of our favorite fruits and vegetables.
  http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/drought/docs/Water&CalFarmer2014.pdf

Message to the Defenders of All Things Fossil Fuel

To those of YOU, who say – HEY, those Oil Companies claim to say that they are only polluting water that isn’t a source of drinking water.  (See above video, where Head jackass oil-guy explains to his  jackass compatriots how to get away with poisoning California Water – Oh those pesky, pesky regulations!)

But in DROUGHT conditions, water for drinking and water for irrigation will be always be the most easily accessible water ANYWHERE in the state.  So when one source dries up, you go elsewhere , even if that wasn’t previously a main water supply, correct? But what if the OTHER sources are poisoned, what then? Well, you can always pay for the use of  unregulated “filtered” oil-waste water, like some desperate farmers – See (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-drought-oil-water-20150503-story.html#page=1).

Wow, aren’t those Oil Companies clever profiteers?! FIRST they poison the water, and then they “filter” it, and SELL it to farmers.  WHAT will they sell us next – the cure for the cancers that Americans get from drinking the bottled water and food they have poisoned?

But I am getting sidetracked from all the Delightfully Creative Evil-doing of Oil companies ….

Whether the water that the Oil Companies are poisoning NOW is a main water source for drinking or irrigation is IMMATERIAL – Who can say WHERE those water supplies will be as the drought continues?  If there is ANYTHING an Oil Company Flunky/Apologist should understand is that when a VALUABLE resource grows dry in one area, you pick up and go seeking it elsewhere – no matter HOW far you have to go.  And if you are willing to go to the ARCTIC for the less valuable resource of oil, how is it ILLOGICAL for farmers, water departments, regular people to go drilling a county or two over for access to fresh WATER – NECESSARY FOR LIFE when your original resource was dry?  It isn’t!

It certainly didn’t stop Switzerland based NESTLE to come ALL the way to California to drill for American Water and sell it back to U.S.  Nestle must think we are chumps for paying a Swiss Company $1.50 a bottle for water we could get for nearly free from our own taps.  And they would be right!  God bless the Creeprocrats and the American Nation that keeps them happily employed!

To those Whose Souls haven’t been Sucked Dry by Fossil Fuel Interests

Here are some petitions addressing several of the issues states above.
Please visit these links –

Earth Justice Petition to Demand the OVERTURN legislation allowing poisoning of CA Water till 2017
https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=
1707&_ga=1.75420565.649615880.1431066916

MoveOn Petition to Ban Fracking
http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-fracking-in-califoria?source=c.em&r_by=2081239

 Petition to DEMAND to the right to know what the Proprietary Poisons are in Fracking Wastewater
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/547/560/632/?z00m=22856612&redirectID=1649830906

CA-drought2

 And if you would LOVE to Hate on Nestle and their lizard-eyed CEO Peter Brabeck sign this petition against water bottling in CA
http://petitions.moveon.org/couragecampaign/sign/demand-nestle-immediately

I posted a visual-free version of this on Daily Kos – My first Diary – so if you have a moment please visit
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/05/17/1385365/-Fracking-up-the-NATIONAL-Food-and-Water-Supply-Do-you-Give-a-F-k

And give it some love and attention – or even some controversy.  Hell on the internet, any attention is worth something.

Republic vs. Democracy – 6th of 10 Commandments for the Reluctant Democrat

Understanding the Importance of Exercising one’s “Democratic” Rights in the US Republic.

My political observations are based more upon the observation of history and society at large, than upon theory – so I won’t indulge in the debate of what is a better form of government, a Republic or a Democracy.  But what is interesting, is that from the very beginning of the drafting of the American Constitution there were some problems – mainly that the first three words upon which our nation is based – “We the people” would only represent an elite class of white men for over a century.   (One could argue by looking at who in the U.S.A.  represents the government and dominant economy – that while more Americans participate percentage wise,  the allotment of the American Pie slices really hasn’t changed all that much.)

And since then the Constitution has had to be amended twice to allow African Americans, and women to vote.  In 1869, the 15th Amendment gave African American men the right to vote, but African American women would have to wait until 20 years into the next century with the rest of the women to be granted voting rights by the 19th Amendment.

What's another couple of years after over a hundred years waiting - anyway?

What’s another couple of years after over a hundred years waiting – anyway?

Even now, women in this country have had less than a hundred years of voting, while white men have had over 200, and black men have had nearly a century and a half of voting rights.  To be sure, racist policies across the nation have have severely limited African Americans from easy access to voting, but “in theory”, men have been significantly ahead in achieving their full civil rights in this country than women.

Ever wonder why Education is often one of the lowest priorities on the politicians' budget? Even without illegal obstruction - the less educated one is, the less likely they are to vote. Never trust a politician that has a problem with

Ever wonder why Education is often one of the lowest priorities on the politicians’ budget? Even without illegal obstruction – the less educated one is, the less likely they are to vote. Never trust a politician that has a problem with “intellectuals.”

Now this is just an “example” of two fundamental problems with a Republic – 1) It can only be as strong as the Constitution it is based upon; 2) Even if the Constitution upholds the best ideals a Nation can aspire to – If those who serve and protect it lack the same enlightened consciousness of the Constitution; i.e. – forefathers leaving out the majority of the Nation’s populous OUT of the discussion of governance, while still proclaiming _ WE the people … Well truly, how can we, the true people, win?

The ONLY counterbalance, to the intransigence of a Republic toward change of any kind, IS the Democratic voice of the people.  Without the full participation, of the great popular diversity of our nation, we are stuck in the straightjacket of a government/constitution make-up that no longer serves the Nation as a whole.  If we want to KEEP the stability of our government, we need to make our voices heard so that certain constitutional amendments can be made in our lifetimes.  Generations upon generations of American Women and African Americans lived in this country as 2nd or less class citizens, due to the lack of an ability to vote.

These must have been the Great-great-great grammas to our beloved

These must have been the Great-great-great grammas to our beloved “FemiNazis” – Shaming women for demanding their human rights never seems to get old.

One of the most crucial of these Constitutional discussions of late, is how to address the last few Supreme Court hearings that have struck down the campaign finance laws, which were meant to keep corruption at bay in the elections process.

It was the 14th amendment that granted corporations “personhood” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood  and this is the reason the Supreme Court ruled in favor of McCutcheon.  Because the majority of the Justices saw that putting limits on a corporations campaign contributions violated the rights of “personhood” that it was granted in the 14th amendment.

So … you see, with our present Republic, only the most powerful voices – whether they are energized by money or quantity of people can make a difference when it comes to challenging serious problems concerning our constitution.

If you want to be part of the Democratic OUTCRY demanding that our Constitution be reformed to prioritize the rights of PEOPLE versus the abstract personhood of corporations, please visit the links to the following petitions which seek to change the currently corrupt campaign finance system.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/president-obama-can-do

http://www.democracyisforpeople.org/

Would the Democratic Party Please CHANGE its Scratched Record? : The Ten Commandments for the Reluctant Democrat

So I am wondering if we should just come clean with ourselves America.  AMERICA – HELLO ARE YUUUUUU LISTENING!  Do we ACTUALLY want the responsibility of being a Democracy or do we just want to sit back as we become the befuddled masses ruled by a Monarchy of one of two families – the Bushes or the Clintons?  This is a question only YOU can answer — starting Thinking on it!

Conservative Chat

For more of Drew Sheneman’s comedic brilliance check out his page on Go Comics.

I know that I am only preaching to the converted – to anyone following this, but if you would please share this post with your people … we need some Waking UP to do, of this Country AND its Politicians and its People.

Here the First 5 of 10 Commandments for Reluctant Democrats –

Because a Government is like anything else, you get what you put into it – Garbage in and Garbage Out – Although in the case of Washington D.C. – Too many voters forget to take OUT the garbage!

Unfair advantage of Reps vs Dems - voting

1) VOTE in ALL Elections –  All elections.  You think the Presidential race is the most important?  Sorry, wrong answer.  The most important is EVERY election.  Why? Because remember, the fewer A-holes in Federal  or  your State Congress, the better the nation or your state runs. Currently, our Federal Congress has more A-holes in it than a year of busy-days in a proctologists clinic.  So GET busy People – and start voting those jerks out! And voting decent folks in – make them EARN their money, instead of pimping you for yours!

Voter Apathy

And voting means figuring out the following AHEAD OF TIME

* How to get time off from work – F.Y.I. – It is illegal for an employer to refuse you time off to vote.
* How to get there.  Around election time, many non-profit organizations offer free transportation to your polls.  But in
order to take advantage of this, you need to sign up in advance.

And if you are UN-LUCKY enough to live in one of those Voter suppression states, (if you don’t know – Ask yourself is it a Red – Republican or Blue Democrat run – Chances are if there are primarily Republicans running the politics of your state, and have been for a while – Get ready to jump through some voter suppression hoops – like signing away your first born.  All kidding aside, you will need to do your homework NOW – get registered correctly ASAP, and check with your elections board to make sure you have ALL the information at least a month ahead of time … and check a week beforehand for any wiley changes of polling spots, etc.  Half the reason, Republicans get in is by pure trickery come election time.  They are counting on catching you unawares with your Panties or Jocks down by changing the election rules last minute.  Be PREPARED !

Unfair advantage of Reps vs Dems - voting2

2) BE INFORMED before you vote – This means reading. If someone tells you something on tv, don’t just believe what they say BECAUSE they are on tv.  Remember people on tv are often PAID to lie, so there is no incentive, besides their conscience (if they didn’t sell it already), to do otherwise.   And if it is in a political ad, all the more reason to check their facts, if any magically appear in the ad.  Check it out on the internet, google several sources, not just your favorite propaganda.  Does something sound fishy about the story/issue – Start actively wondering and wandering through the media to see what you can see.  We do have access to a LOT of truth, we just can’t count on the mainstream media – TV/Radio/Newspapers to consistently provide it to us – Why should they – They are supported by corporate interests, for the most part.  And irregardless what those red-faced fools on Faux TV say, these corporate interests are ANYTHING BUT, liberal.

Media Garbage IN -

Some Media Sources that are reliable and not the typical mainstream I check regularly.

http://www.motherjones.com/

http://www.theguardian.com/us

http://www.dailykos.com/

http://america.aljazeera.com/

3) KNOW your Politicians!  Know them BEFORE you vote them in, and WHILE they are doing their job.  They all have websites with that information –  Here is a good place to start finding out what they are up to ….

http://act.commoncause.org/site/PageServer?pagename=sunlight_advocacy_list_page

This link is for your Federal Representatives.  Your Homework is to find out who your state Representatives are.

WARNING – Before you heed my advice on the following – I suggest you make a separate email account JUST for email associated with the following.  This is easy, you can have multiple free gmail, hotmail, etc accounts.  I have an account set up just for correspondence to and from the following organizations.  And I would suggest NOT to sign up to the Democratic National Committee – They will send you  fundraising emails, EVERY DAY with horrible scare tactic headlines – Like … IT’s ALL OVER!! or WE ARE DOOMED!!!   As far as I am concerned the Democrats have ENOUGH money of mine to waste every year, until they start getting their priorities straight they are not seeing any $$$$ from me!  Better to send money to political action groups that SPECIFICALLY address/support your Issue.  Send it to the Dems and they take the money and run without a concern about fighting for what is important to you.

4)  SPEAK OUT effectively.  If you don’t have the time to call or write your Representatives,  I think you can manage the push-button democracy of signing a petition via any of these sites below.  On most of these sites you can search for the cause(s) you care about, and you don’t need to go through all the petitions.  If you get on their mailing lists, they will send you popular petitions that are making headway politically.  Petition-signing is one of the easiest AND most effective tools of democracy.  When a politician gets a petition addressed to him/her, they KNOW that their constituents are PAYING attention to their votes on that issue, and that their votes could be deal-breakers or makers for their constituents.  With the internet, the public has FULL access to a politician’s voting record, as well as the types of legislation they draft.  Politicians are like cockroaches – they do their dirty business in the dark, and the Internet is a BIG shining light on them.  Sign a petition heading for your representatives and see them run for cover if they are voting the wrong way.  Currently on the MoveOn site there are lots of petitions directed toward Republican politicians to allow their states access to Federal Monies from the Affordable Health Care Act.  I have seen responses from a number of State Representatives who agree that the citizens from their state, such as Missouri shouldn’t be given the short end of the stick, because their Republican politicians are rabidly dogmatic, and would rather see their constituents sick and/or dead than accept money from the Federal government, thanks to “Obamacare.” Here’s hoping their cheating their popular constituency of health care is the ideological rope that strangles their future in politics.

Check these petition sites out and feel how good it is to exercise your Muscles of Democracy!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/

http://www.commoncause.org/

http://front.moveon.org/

https://www.change.org/

For international petitions check out –  http://www.avaaz.org/en/

5)  BE ACTIVE – Once you get a “taste” of Democratic power, you may get hungry for more. These days with the internet you can get active by simply joining an organization that addresses your issue and seeing how you can support their work, through volunteering, money, rallies, a huge number of ways.

Some of the few organizations  that seem to be on the sensible side of some hot-button issues –

Gun Control –

Moms Demand Action  – http://momsdemandaction.org/   and their story … just regular Moms becoming activists and forcing change in gun laws  http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/moms-demand-action-guns-madd-shannon-watts-nra

Social Security –    http://www.socialsecurityworks.org/

Americans for Financial Reform – addresses Campaign Finance Reform –   http://ourfinancialsecurity.org/

Environment and its Relation to Public Health:  Food and Water Watch –    http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

Racism in America : Color of Change – I had trouble accessing the website but you can see what they are doing via  twitter  which will take you to their website – https://twitter.com/colorofchange

Environment and Climate Change/Chaos: http://www.sierraclub.org/

So that should keep you folks busy! Enjoy your newly strengthened Muscles of Democracy!

Gun Laws ala Americana – When Government Goes VERY wrong

It seems there are three types of Americans – Pro-Gun-Nuts; Anti-Gun-nuts; and those who seem to think there is a middle ground between the two.  I am proudly in the camp Anti-Gun-nut.  There’s nothing that makes me more irrational and hotted up than reading the latest legislation to promote All-American gun-idiocy.  (And considering how crazy-mad I get about this issue – the Gun Nuts should be counting their lucky bullets that I despise the idea of using a gun to prove a point.)

For some reason, the one’s who scream the loudest about maintaining their “state’s rights” … you know the right to opt out of affordable health care; or the right to discriminate against the LGBTQ community; these same folks are silent when it comes to states maintaining their hard-won right to maintain their newly enacted gun control laws.

Currently there is a legislation being considered in Congress that would federally mandate that ALL states honor other states’ conceal and carry laws, no matter how bassackwards those states are when it comes to gun control.

Just from North Carolina and Florida alone, there are 3,800 ex-cons holding concealed-carry gun licenses, and the government wants them to carry their guns unhindered by the laws of states with reasonable gun controls.  Everybody knows the saying – What they can’t see, can’t hurt them – and this is the  governmental logic that will forever prioritize the rights of gun owners over the safety of communities across the country.

If this steams you as much as it does me – please sign this MoveON.com petition created by MomsRising.org

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/dont-force-states-to

Just this past November 2014, Washington state passed gun legislation that removed the gun-show and online loophole, which allowed just any-old body to buy weapons without going through a pesky background check.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/05/washington-state-background-checks_n_6103282.htmlGun NUT 3

For more of Tom the Dancing Bug – check out on Go comics

Up until I-594 was passed, Gun-shows and online sales were equal opportunity for convicts, domestic abusers, mentally ill, underage, and other folks who refuse to have their background checked to carry a lethal weapon.  This particular legislation is special, the majority of the country continues to allow everybody to buy a gun online or at a gun show without a background check. This is not surprising since most pro-gun laws throw reason to the wind.

See ( http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/10/america-gun-licences-blind-people#comments)

Over 5 million was spent to promote this legislation, and for once, money was spent to do the RIGHT thing.  So how many dollars will be spent by the NRA, and pro-NRA folks to UNDO the Washington law, and over-ride our states’ rights to deny criminals EASY access to weapons in our state?   Well, time will tell …. but give your Representatives a piece of your mind before we start living in a country – where anybody, and most likely the craziest and most criminal, will be carrying a concealed weapon, courtesy of the Federal law of the land.

I wish somebody, other than law enforcement, could answer me the question, rationally, why they feel they need to carry a hidden weapons on their person wherever they go?

Anti-social or paranoid, much?

 

References –
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/us/more-concealed-guns-and-some-are-in-the-wrong-hands.html?_r=0

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/12/the-law-that-will-make-a-million-george-zimmermans.html