We Need to Band Together

Fighting the tea party, fighting other religions or non-religions, fighting anyone who doesn’t agree with our views just keeps us all form pointing to the real causes of our collective global crises.  Follow the money, and in every case you’ll end up at the big bankers, who seek global domination.  They are succeeding and we help them when we are polarized against each other.

Get informed, speak up, and connect with others.

Bank locally.

Buy and invest responsibly and locally.

Audit the federal reserve.

Keep the internet fair and open.

Support independent media.

Support organic, non GMO farming.

Require election and campaign finance reform.

Advocate for renewable and free energy.

Bring integrity and healing to our current condition.  Limit government control to the protection of individual rights and the commons.  Live solely by voluntary cooperation: Rules, but no rulers.

Progressives Must Change

This was published on Huffington Post.  If you like it, repost or buzz it up.  Thank you.

It can be seen here.

Progressives Must Change

Ah, elections. Of course the mainstream media presumes that the House takeover is evidence of a sea change. I disagree. Things really haven’t changed as much as everyone would like to think. The Democratic majority wasn’t accomplishing much; a Republican House isn’t going to cause anything much different. If progressives don’t want President Boehner and Vice-President Palin in 2012, we are going to have to do something very different. Preaching to the choir isn’t helping — we get it. What really needs altering is that Progressives have got to reach the other side’s voters.

The voters on the other side are angry and want someone to blame. They have lost their jobs. They have had their unemployment benefits cut and their homes foreclosed upon. They have seen costs skyrocket. The right fans the flames by focusing the blame on liberals, immigrants, and gays. Yet Progressives either ignore these voters, or keep trying to reach them in the wrong way by telling people how stupid they are for believing these lies, and shoving reason-based evidence in their face to prove it.

This does not work.

The voters who elected Tea Party and Republican candidates listen to the drumbeat of FOX News and the mainstream media because no one else is giving them answers that make sense. Trying to reach them from a reason- and evidence-based place while simultaneously telling them how stupid they are is not going to work. The right has capitalized on their fear and lack of knowledge. If we want these voters, we have got to help them understand just how much worse the right will be (and has been) for them.

Such education may take going to go door to door, informing people without arguing, asking them questions like, “What does small government mean to you and why do you think it will help?” I suspect the answer would be that these people do not want to pay as many taxes because they are already broke and can’t make ends meet, not that they want their unemployment benefits cut or their home to foreclose because the banking industry has no regulations. If we get them to understand the progressive side is theirs too, rather than telling them how stupid they are and why they should listen to us, the results might be different in 2012.

Right now, these voters aren’t getting answers from us and the media will not help. We have to reach them some other way because they distrust knowledge and reason. This education has to come from an emotional place, from compassion rather than pity or self-righteousness. We have to get them to trust the progressive movement, and see that the Republicans vote against their economic interests every time. If we can show them that Republican decisions that allow corporations to put the dollar above them are what cause their problems, and that unfettered capitalism will only make their lives worse, perhaps we can turn things around.

If not, the president elected in 2012 will be someone worse than George W. Bush. I guarantee it.

My QuickPress

Lately I feel like nothing I say will be different from the worldwide cacophony already out there. Everything is such a mess. I don’t know if a simple administrative change can undo so much of what has been done. The US and the world are in a shambles. Obama might want change, but unless the rest of Congress gets on board, it is not going to happen, and it seems like mostly they want to continue with business as usual.

Latimer/Kilston Letter to Everyone

I received this letter in my email inbox today.  Because I agree with the letter writers, I have decided to post the letter here in an effort to disseminate the information.  After I posted this, I received a comment about it.  I have responded to that comment here, if you’re interested…

Friends —

We are writing to you because of the fury and dread we have felt since the announcement of Sarah Palin as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. We believe that this terrible decision has surpassed mere partisanship, and that it is a dangerous farce on the part of a pandering and rudderless Presidential candidate that has a real possibility of becoming fact.

Perhaps like us, as American women, you share the fear of what Ms. Palin and her professed beliefs and proven record could lead to for ourselves and for our present or future daughters. To date, she is against sex education, birth control, the pro-choice platform, environmental protection, alternative energy development, freedom of speech (as mayor she wanted to ban books and attempted to fire the librarian who stood against her), gun control, the separation of church and state, and polar bears. To say nothing of her complete lack of real preparation to become the second-most-powerful person on the planet.

We want to clarify that we are not against Sarah Palin as a woman, a mother, or, for that matter, a parent of a pregnant teenager, but solely as a rash, incompetent, and all together devastating choice for Vice-President.

Ms. Palin’s political views are in every way a slap in the face to the accomplishments that our mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers so fiercely fought for, and that we’ve so demonstrably benefited from.

First and foremost, Ms. Palin does not represent us. She does not demonstrate or uphold our interests as American women. It is presumed that the inclusion of a woman on the Republican ticket could win over women voters. We want to disagree, publicly.

Therefore, we invite you to reply here with a short, succinct message about why you, as a woman or man living in this country, do not support this candidate as second-in-command for our nation.

Please include your name (last initial is fine), age, and place of residence.

We will post your responses on a blog called “Women Against Sarah Palin,” which we intend to publicize as widely as possible. Please send us your reply at your earliest convenience.

The greater the volume of responses we receive, the stronger our message will be.

Thank you for your time and action.

VIVA!

Sincerely,

Quinn Latimer and Lyra Kilston
New York, NY
womensaynopalin@gmail.com

**PLEASE FORWARD**  If you send this to 20 women in the next hour, you could be blessed with a country that takes your concerns seriously.  Stranger things have happened.

Not Mine Anymore

I had to go over to my old neighborhood and pick up a prescription.  One of the benefits of being on the Oregon Health Plan is that they assume every move you make is intended to defraud them, so they take steps like only allowing you to get your prescriptions from one place.  If you want to change to another place, you have to expect hassles, paperwork, and delays.  It’s all fun.  Because of this, I needed to drive out to Milwaukie to get my Tamoxifen.  Since I was already over there, I drove over to the old house to say hi to my previous neighbor and also to see if there was a ceramic sun I forgot and left at my house.

I could see an immediate difference upon driving up.  There used to be a giant Camelia bush by the front walk.  It provided shade and lovely flowers in the spring.  Gone.  An azalea had been completely removed from near the front porch.  I could see into the house when the new owner came to the door and the built in bookshelves I had painstakingly built into the living room wall were gone.  And the backyard….wow.  My neighbor let me peek through her kitchen window to see.  Nothing left.  All the plantlife in the back was gone.  Part of the charm of the yard for me was the abundant plantlife.  It kept the yard and house shaded and floral.  Nothing like cutting everything down in the middle of summer to ensure it doesn’t grow back, huh?  On top of it all, they had thrown away the ceramic sun.  Good times.

Oh well.  The house isn’t mine anymore.  It’s decorated in SE Portland antique store chic.  It looks like a Martha Stewart magazine from 10 years ago.  It’s annoying.  Seeing the house that way, I knew nothing of it was mine anymore.  Guess it’s more evidence it is time for me to move on.

You Know It

Okay, gag and gross. The nasty sores on my elbow and chin/lip are staph infections. How disgusting is that? What is really weird is that one of the elbows began spontaneously healing. The other one turned gooey like the chin/lip. Yuck. I’m a mess. I got some more antibiotics though, different from the ones for my bladder, so we’ll knock out these bacteria too, and all the good bacteria in my colon, and then I’ll get another yeast infection and that will cause another bladder infection and on and on ad nauseum until time immemorial. I love it.

On a separate note, McCain calls himself an agent of change. I laughed out loud when I saw the headline. An agent of change? Yep, back to 1943, or hell, even 1929. We don’t need no dang new deal! We’ll all pretend we’re in the roaring twenties. Women will still be in the home making dozens of babies (high falutin hussies). Black people will still be in their place and segregated as God meant things to be. Mexicans will hopefully be in Mexico. Poor people will be out of sight where they belong. White men will rule. Corporations will be allowed the unfettered ability to polute as they see fit. It will be AWESOME! You go, McCain; change things back! We love ya!

Would You Like Fries With Your News?

I do not read or watch the news.  I know there are those out there who would consider this irresponsible, and perhaps for them this is true.  But I know most of it is designed to keep my heart rate elevated and probably also to make me shop, two things I have no desire to experience on a regular basis, so for over a decade I have engaged in a “news fast.”

Ironically enough, this has not kept me from being aware of what is going on in the world around me, although I did not know who Laci Peterson was, the pregnant lady who was murdered, until her husband was on trial (and in fact I had to google Lacy and pregnant to get her name for this, such is my lack of knowledge on the subject).  I like to peruse the Living section in the paper and get the little entertainment blurbs.  I also like the Metro section and when I’m at Starbucks or see it somewhere, I’ll read a lot of it.  This is the section on Portland and surrounding areas, so often the information is useful.  I will occasionally glance at the opinions section, and I like to check out the obituaries to see if anyone young died.  Weird, I know.  All of this is only when I’m at Starbucks or another coffee place that has papers and I’m sitting alone and forgot to bring a book or desire something a little more fluffy than whatever I happen to be reading at the moment.

I never watch television news.  Ever.  I absolutely hate it.  When I last watched news, the stories were less like music videos than they are now.  When I catch a glimpse of the news at someone else’s house or in a store where its blaring, it blows my mind how far it seems from anything desiring to impart information.  It’s constant noise and visual effects and seriously, it looks like music videos.  I hate it.

I am on a few political listserves, MoveOn and People United for Change.  I get emails from them and I read through them.  I unsubscribed from most of them because when I was getting too much, I never read any of it.  At least by limiting the number I can absorb some of the information, but I limit what I take in because there is just so much to get angry about, and I do not want to spend my life pissed off.  I know someone once said that if you aren’t mad, you aren’t paying attention, but I can’t spend every minute of every day being angry.  I can make choices that hopefully contribute to change, but being angry all the time isn’t going to help anything and will likely make me sick, so my choice is to limit the sheer volume of information, especially about the current administration.  Yes, they are power hungry.  Yes, they are liars.  Yes, they’ve created multiple disasters that will take years to sort out.  Okay.  I get it, but I’m not spending my time on this planet pissed off every minute of every day.

There is a point to this.  I have a yahoo email account.  I use it for things like ebay or Craigslist ads, stuff I don’t want in my personal email.  When you login to yahoo, the front page is one liner news.  I have been following the Heath Ledger stuff.  I liked him as an actor.  A lot.  I thought he was brilliant in Brokeback Mountain, but he was a standout even in his early stuff like 10 Things I Hate About You.  And I loved A Knight’s Tale.  Plus lately it seems like I keep hearing about people dying from prescription drugs.  A friend of mine died last spring from the drugs she was taking for eczema.  In December, two friends of mine each had a friend who died in their sleep from taking prescription drugs, and I read it was a possibility Brad Renfro died from prescription drug interactions, possibly with illegal drugs or alcohol.  (See my post from 1-22-2008.  It’s a bit tongue in cheek, but I noticed all these people dying from prescription drugs.) So I have been following the Heath Ledger story out of interest from that angle as well.  I’ll be curious what the autopsy report shows.

Anyway, as I logged in to my yahoo account each day, I saw the stories on Heath and I actually clicked on them and read them.  Mostly the yahoo stories seemed to add a new paragraph to the top of the same story while the bottom paragraphs stayed the same.  Then the other morning, I went to Starbucks and decided to hang out for a while.  I went to the used paper bin and started pulling out the sections I like to read.  The front page had a story on Heath, so I grabbed it.  Back at my table, I started reading the story and maybe there are those out there who will not be surprised by this, but the story was one hundred percent, word-for-word identical to the stories on yahoo.

Okay.  I’m not naive.  I know that media is consolidated.  But really, do we get one story every time we read the news?  Does some person out there get to write it, then that is the story that is copied here, there, and everywhere?  For the next several days, whenever I went into a Starbucks, I pulled out the paper and there was the same Heath info straight off yahoo news.  It was the same whether the paper was the Oregonian or the NY Times.  How boring is that?

I KNOW how publicist’s work. I KNOW that if someone wants something to be the official story, get all the news orgs to pick it up and that will be what’s reported.  I KNOW the vagaries of the media conglomorate system.  But does that still mean we have to have one story written by one writer that’s put out into the system of what we get to read?  That is so boring!  And these stories don’t have a byline. They are just bland.

I find this disappointing.  Are we all so used to this now that I shouldn’t be surprised?  No wonder people often don’t believe what is in the news.  You get one story over and over, it’s easy to believe we’re being fed what someone wants us to believe.  Reporters are supposed to report what they observe, the truth as they see it.  And there are those who believe there is one truth, one thing that factually occurred.  But we all know that we each see things differently according to our own conditioning.  If we get five accounts of the same event, we can put those together and perhaps get a more flavorful account of something we were not there to experience.  When we get one sanitized, flavorless, boring version of what supposedly is, it’s hard not to wonder if there is more to the story.  I think we’re all less likely to trust what we’re given when it’s force fed, canned blandness.  Or perhaps we’re less likely to question.  Don’t question it and don’t believe it.  It’s like the television news with its music video visual bombardment, all hype and no substance.  There’s nothing there.  We’re not being told anything.  Here we have the internet and this theoretical access to the entire world, but we’re all being fed the same thing.  We have this opportunity for imagination and creativity to flourish, and instead the entire world gets the same thing. Assembly-line news.  News like Starbucks.  And Target.  And Walmart.  And Sears.  And on and on and on.  Even politicians have turned into mass market products to appeal to everyone and no one.  Yuck.  What a sad state of affairs we’ve gotten ourselves into.

We need a change.  I have been sitting here mulling over the sheer enormity of the bland mass marketing of every single thing.  I guess people will have to want it to change in order for it to happen.  The number of various levels on which change would have to happen to actually succeed is staggering.  As such, it’s easy to see why anyone would look at that magnitude, feel powerless, and so do nothing.  But that doesn’t work.  Each person has to change what they can if they want things to be different.  If each one of us does that, anything is possible.