Thursday, December 22, 2011

You Gotta Fight the Powers That Be: For $40

It was the ultimate freestyle battle in The Shelter aka Washington D.C.

Papa Doc aka John Boehner came hard with his rendition of "I Got 99 Problems But $40 Ain't One." B-Rabbit aka Barack Obama, came back even harder with his "Hashtag This $40 Muthafucka."

The crowd went wild. Every day Americans chimed in with B-Rabbit causing Boehner and his Republican crew to choke. B-Rabbit walked back across 8-Mile, safe, if only for this one night.

This shit is gettin real dawg. I know. I don't normally talk to ya'll like this but some shizz is just too deep for proper grammar.

We already know: Ain't no such thing as halfway crooks and the Republicans are all in. Think I'm lying? Dig this: We just fought the Republicans for $40 dollars, man. $40! Like a pimp trying to to get that last bit of cash out his bottom ho's shoe - the $40 she was probably saving up to buy his punk ass a Christmas gift so she could spend one day without getting pimp-slapped anyhow.

Republicans are determined to wring that "average $40" out of our hands because to them $40 just isn't much money. They have no idea that for the Real Americans they're always talking about, in the economy climate THEY have destroyed, $40 can be the difference between eating, making it to work, taking your kids to the doctor or just plain having a tiny bit of extra cash on hand.

The American People - we give and we give and our government takes and takes. Hell, we aren't even asking for much. And the little bit we do want, the Republicans don't want us to have. Somewhere, somebody on Wall Street is laughing at the idea that $40 can mean so much to so many.

We are being pimped by the 1%. This shows they will fight us for every nickel and dime out of our paychecks. NO amount is to small for them to take - any amount is too much for them to give.

When they take it, it's taxes or bailouts. But when we need foodstamps or college loans or hell, even unemployment that WE EFFING PAY FOR - it's a handout.

They try to embarass us and make us feel small for just existing, being human, and expecting to get back any of what we pay out in taxes - income taxes, payroll taxes or otherwise.

A great man once said - Don't Believe The Hype. I believe he had a clock around his neck when he said it. A sharp reminder that we should all know what time it is by now. It's time we fought back for our $40 and then some.

It's time we realized what is at stake and stop believing that the Republican Party is anything but a bunch of grasping liars who have two goals. To see Barack Obama fail as President and to grab as much of our money as they can.

They will go down swinging for that last $40. Will we?

If Barack Obama is the President he promised he would be, it'll be a fight we can jump in and help him out with so he'll remember who's ass to kick.

Because the flip side of this is that Barack Obama can't pretend now that he doesn't have a way to connect with every day American People. He has proven that through social media, he can hear what we have to say - and it shouldn't just be when he needs us to have his back.

He should listen when we need him to have ours. He could have been listening the last three years when people were telling him that the Republican Party was making good on their promise to be "The Party of 'No'." He could have been listening when we asked him to weigh in Occupy Wall Street. He should be listening to the voices that look at him askance for persecuting Bradley Manning and becoming the first president to sign indefinite detention into law.

Yeah man, this shit is real dawg. And it's not going away. Even this tax relief extension is only for two more months. We will be having this battle again, real soon

Having finally pushed the Republicans into a corner and made them back down, President Obama needs to continue this push - so that people believe that it's not only Candidate Obama who will talk about fighting for them, but that President Obama will actually do it.


***

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You're Welcome George Stephanopolous


George Stephanopolous is replacing Christiane Amanpour on ABC's This Week.I swear, someone at ABC is reading DebLite.

Insane I know, but dig this:

It was only yesterday, nearly 24 hours ago to this minute, that I wrote a post that was born out of my reluctant pity for George Stephanopolous. I'm not a fan, but it was hard to watch a man who used to be a White House Press Secretary shilling tripe on ABC's Good Morning America like "Do Celebrity Men Have a Type".

It was degrading, disheartening and to me, a sign of the media times. If they can take this august personage and make them dance like a monkey on a string, then how bad are things really in this country? If the morning "news" isn't news and even the likes of George Stephanopolous are reduced to "Do Celebrity Men Have a Type" type garbage then our media is so beyond redemption that yesterday, I'd lost all hope.

Again, someone must be reading DebLite or someone else, just like I did, saw that glimmer of pain in George's eyes. Has this been coming for a while, or did someone finally decide they'd made George dance on the end of the stick long enough?

My mother's comments: "You can tell he hasn't been happy for a while. And [GMA] used to sneak some news in now and then but it's really just become a dog and pony show. He deserves better."

I emailed yesterday's article to a couple of people, who I know, in their turn, may have forwarded it to some other people. I can't help but wonder if this minor bit of moving isn't my Pelican Brief moment minus getting hunted down by the FBI. If I'm right, this one should come with a thank you basket. Yes, I know, delusions of grandeur . . . but it is a hell of a coincidence that this should come the day after I wrote that post and emailed it to some folks that I know could pass it on.

You're welcome Mr. Stephanopolous. I'm not much for caviar, but an exotic fruit basket would do nicely.


***
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Morning News, Morning Skunkcabbage

If you haven't seen Morning Glory, I recommend it.
It's a feel-good movie and nice watch if only because it partly
explains why tv sucks, espeically morning "news" shows.




I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.
-Anne, Anne of Green Gables

Watching the morning news shows will make you stupid. I spent 20 minutes watching GMA this morning and I feel like I may have lost a couple of IQ points. All that work reading Plato's Republic for the past two years? Gone. I have to start over from scratch. God help those who watch TMZ all day.

I've never been a big fan of George Stephanopolous, but it was heart-rending to watch him have to lead in a bit entitled "Do Celebrity Men Have a Type." It was a bunch of long-winded tripe that pointed out how several celebrity males who had broken up with celebrity females went on to have rebound flings with women who looked like the celebrity female they'd just broken up with. They even interviewed a therapist named Bethany for this one. I suppose to give the story more credibility.

I kid you not, this was a real story this morning on GMA complete with a blonde, buxom therapist. It was given serious minutes of attention, , that you will never see dedicated to lightweight topics like anything to do with our President or Congress or thousands of protestors across this country, Russia or whatever's happning in the rest of the world.

Again, I'm not a George Stephanopolous fan but once upon a time, before his transfer to GMA, you could count this guy as a "serious journalist". Watching him shill crap like this I just want to ask him: Was it worth it? For the mere chance at filling Diane Sawyer's shoes once she retires or evenetually shuffles off this mortal coil? Because Sawyer, thank God, is not a Katie Couric and she will be doing that job for the long haul, regardless of how much ABC wants to have a man in that seat now that they've gotten over the thrill of trying to have women in the big seats at the big three. Only Diane Sawyer remains in a big chair after this experiment tanked at NBC and which CBS ignored, never even giving it a try. And let's face it: even though Robin Roberts deserves better than GMA it will be her glass ceiling, unless and until they find her some specialty show.

Is it worth it George? Women always seem to get the short end of the stick in this sort of thing and we all watched Diane Sawyer suck up her pride for decades, doing what she had to do, knowing she was better and deserving of that #1 spot. But you George? I just don't understand it. Honestly, I'd almost rather see you slinging the psuedo-conservative bull you had to on "This Week" than selling your soul for garbage like "Do Celebrity Men Have a Type."

George does his best to hide it, but today, like any other time I've seen him introduce nonsense like this, I saw a bit of pain behind his eyes, silently begging the question, "Do I really have to do this again? Not again, God. Not again!"

That was hard to watch man.

At least ABC seems to have a plan and they're working the plan. Even Kelly without Regis is beating whatever CBS is doing with their mornings; (I know CBS has a morning show but does anyone watch it?) and even CBS is looking like a well-run, if not fairly anonymous machine, compared to what must be the fiasco that is morning, noon or night over at NBC.

Long past the days of "Must See TV", NBC trashed their late-night line up in a brouhaha that was covered so much it came in only second to coverage of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake at the the time. What NBC has on during the day or in the evening, heaven only knows - I sure don't because I watch other channels or I'm online.

Then there's the Today Show. It would have been kinder to both Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira to just let Matt Lauer have the evening news. Really. Just let him have it. It would have saved us trying to believe that Katie Couric was a "serious journalist," and it would have saved us watching Matt blindside Meredith Vieria on air for years on end. Only when he was sure that she was leaving and that she wasn't replacing Katie Couric did Lauer tearfully admit that he did poke fun at Vieria sometimes.

Katie Couric (impossible to say her first name with the last, isn't it?) learned to take Matt in stride, and somehow he never seemed to really penetrate her bubble after awhile. Katie Couric also had a way of getting Matt back sometimes. But Meredith is a class act, and it was a nasty business to watch Matt Lauer bully her publicly, from day one, morning after morning. Honestly, it got bad enough to make me watch GMA. Not putting Meredith in the big chair was an opportunity missed for NBC. It would have been brilliant; it would have provided a kick right to Matt's deserving balls and it would have proved that a woman could handle the evening gig at NBC, it just takes the right woman.

Well, now that Lauer has been allowed to run off both Couric and Vieria, Lauer is also leaving the Today Show. Say what?! You mean the last person on the island and this year's survivor is Ann Curry? I tell you, it's the person you never expect who's always the last person on the island. She needs to quit speaking so softly, develop some badass attitude and start getting her angle in for the big chair now.

I think it's a testament to how little NBC must care about the Today Show anymore that the man rumored for Matt Lauer's replacement is....*drumroll*....

Ryan Seacrest.

Yep, Mr. I am Famous Because I am The Most Blandly Gorgeous Man Alive and Will Host Anything For Food.

Ryan Seacrest.

Mind you I like Ryan Seacrest. I really do. Don't you? Who doesn't? Disliking Ryan Seacrest is like disliking a pack of puppies for chewing your slippers. In the end, the cuteness is all that matters. It's like Drew Carey being made the host of The Price Is Right. We all came to realize that despite all his years in standup comedy and having a couple of successful tv shows (come to think of it, one of which was as game-show like as possible without actually having to have a budget) and despite whatever else he has done with his life, Drew Carey was born to replace Bob Barker. No one else would do.

Except now I'm thinking they made a mistake. Ryan Seacrest should be the host of The Price Is Right and Drew Carey should be the host of the Today Show.

If I ran the world, this would happen. Immediately. In reality it should happen but it won't because no one wants to give Drew Carey another heart attack and then he and Wayne Brady wouldn't have a matching set of vintage game shows to host. For every yin, there's a yang. Maybe it's all for the best after all. Or maybe we can take this guy's suggestions. I really think he's on the right track.

Ok. I have digressed into the absurd. Honestly, it's no more absurd than the morning "news" shows and I use that term "news" lightly. More like morning drivel. It's pathetic that they can spend all of three hours every morning telling us nothing except who's the latest missing pretty white woman and who shot Michael Jackson and the latest updates on whatever show Ryan Seacrest is hosting.

Just because they call it a news show, doesn't make what they're peddling news. They call it news, but I call it call it skunk cabbage. It all smells the same.

Hey, just an idea. Maybe they should grab Nick Cannon for the Today Show. After all, he does a great job on America's Got Talent. Makes as much sense as Seacrest anway.

Deblite...out.


***
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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Chris Bortz's Parting Shot

Man, oh man, oh man.

So, I'm no longer an intern at Landor Associates, which is the coolest place I've ever worked, despite the usual idiocy and self-esteem wreckage that comes with being one of a very few black people in a workplace so white that, when they give a rare talk about diversity, you can only shake your head and laugh bitterly. It's like "The Office" only not as funny because you're living it.

I'm now a part-time employee for a music store but, in keeping with DebLite policy, I never name who I'm currently employed with, only previous employers and then usually when they piss me off enough to name names *cough*PowerNetGlobal*cough*.

So, since I'm working part time and don't have to be at work until the delicious hour of 12 Noon - I was flipping channels late into the morning news shows when I flipped past Chris Bortz on the local FOX broadcast.

I was particularly amused because they introduced him as "Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Bortz" which he would only be for another 24 hours. The little round mustached interviewer announced his guest in a tone that was a combination of respect and regret that made me giggle. If he's going to miss Chris Bortz, more power to him, but I sure won't.

So in a fit of, "Hell, I've got to hear this," I parked it in my mom's recliner and sat back to hear what Shortzy Bortzy had to say on his way out the door.

Little did I expect to be whooping in agreeance, raising my fist in the air "Whoop that Trick" style. Even so, what Chris Bortz had to say at this 11th hour and 59 minutes was too much, too little, too pathetically late.

Little mustached interviewer guy started talking about Chiquita leaving which they were only too glad to do as soon as they could be assure that Carl Lindner was dead buried and cold in the ground.

History Lesson: Chiquita benefitted from Linder's protection through one of the worst "we committed mass murder but rich guy's so waaaay gonna cover for us" scandals to hit America in a long time and it all happened right here in little old Cincinnati, Ohio.

The fallout from that scandal ruined the Cincinnati Enquirer and turned it from a decent, if not blatantly conservative, newspaper into the mostly advertisement-disguised-as-news rag that it is today because of some agreement that the Enquirer was never to disparage Linder or his "business associates" again. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad, but with a guy like Linder, the only people who weren't his "business associates" were people who weren't in business at all. And what's a newspaper if it can't report the bad things people do?

Keeping that bit of history in mind it's no wonder that, with Linder gone, Chiquita wants to high-tail it out of town. The Enquirer, having swung so far to one side of the pendulum and dropped back to the bottom so fast it hurt, it's just the law of physics that they can only be on the upswing lately even if they have Gannet's thumb impeding their progress. There has to be an old score to settle there, but now that I think about it, they'll probably let sleeping dogs lie because the Enquirer really only has a chance of ever being a better paper with both Linder and Chiquita gone.

Which brings me back to Chris Bortz.

Americans have become bitterly used to the fact that large corporations hop from city to city, state to state and now contintent to continent based on whichever governement dazzles them them with the best "package" or "incentives" to move some business to their locale. Trying to make a living in America is like perpetually replaying that one scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" where George Bialey talks his friend into moving his up and coming plastics factory to their old hometown. Another company had pulled up stakes and that left a lot of people in Bedford Falls out of work. Thanks to the luck of George's chance conversation with his old school chum, those people will have a chance at decent jobs again. Of course this doesn't hurt George any either, because over half of those same people have mortgages with his bank.

So with Chiquita leaving, Cincinnati is gonna be left scrambling to find a business big enough to fill those shoes. Little mustached guy mentioned that Sears may be considering a move here which is great for us, but damn, what about Chicago and the workers there? Have we reached a point where we're canibalizing jobs in America? That in order for one area to have a chance at a few hundred jobs we have to put another areas workers out of work? I guess this just underscores what we already know with millions out of work: there are simply not enough jobs to go around.

But Chris Bortz stated that Chiquita had been offered the best "package" we could come up with to keep them here. Unfortunately the truth of the matter was that not only could they get a better deal elsewhere but it was a fact that Chiquita had advised Cincinnati years ago that Cincinnati is not a welcoming enviornment for Spanish speaking people.

Needless to say I was floored.

Chris Bortz of all people pointing out the obvious. Mr. "I Never Met an Occupy Protestor I Didn't Hate". He's walking out the door, putting on his coat and he stops and tosses back over his shoulder: By the way, Cincinnati is a pretty racist place.

And then he keeps on stepping.

Classic. And it would be funny if it weren't so true, espeically considering the source. So I'm not only going to co-sign Chris, I'm going to state something else: This is a problem that cannot be laid squarely at the feet of white people.

Don't get me wrong. Cincinnati is a great city to be white in. But I have heard other black people talk about Latinos in disparaging terms and even spout the old racist bs that "they need to learn to speak English."

We need to do some serious racial education in Cincinnati and not just the classic black versus white talks either. As The Joker once said: This town needs an enema.

It's long past time we cleaned out the festering, rancid bullshit that is the racist core of this town. Black folks and white folks need to quit pretending that Latinos don't exist unless we can't understand them in a checkout line. It's time white folks realized that white privilege is a crumbling pedestal and black folks realized that we're not the only oppressed people in the room.

Maybe, just maybe, if we're lucky, Chris Bortz's parting shot will hit home. It remains to be seen that with a new Cincinnati City Council that is majority black, if they will be able to make room in their hearts and minds for everyone to have a seat at the table- and the wisdom to let everyone have their voices heard.

Cincinnati is at a crossroads. The future of the city and the decisions about who we are as a part of human society are going to made in the next decade.

If we're lucky, this city will learn to welcome ideas and people that we haven't before. Otherwise we'll be left behind as a city that could have been something great if we hadn't held onto racist sentiments in a modern age.


Update: Here's the article from the local FOX Channel on the same interview I'm talkign about with VIDEO! Man....if only he'd said it sooner. I might have gotten some folks to vote for him.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thanksgiving Prayer

A family will be without their son for Thanksgiving due to a "hazing incident" which is college speak for we let some other beat the crap out of your kid until he died.

I went to Jackson State University and, unlike at some white schools where student in band are considered geeks, in black schools, being in the band is a place of honor and the drum majors are campus gods. To have marched with the Sonic Boom still gives me props in a few places and, to this day, my closest friends from college are those I spent my freshman year with more than 20 years ago.

We were hazed. We had to do stupid things. We were worked hard and long hours. Up at 4am and didn't get to bed until well after 10 pm. Learning to march, practicing the more complicated music that put my high school sheet music to shame.

We were hazed. Most of it was psychological. Never did anyone hit me. Never did anyone deny me water or food or make me do anything more embarassing than chanting in line with a bunch of other people, doing pushups, silly pranks.

We also knew that our band directors kept an eye on things and never let things get out of hand.

The experience I had was tough but fair and fun. When I hear about people taking hazing incidents to the level of violence or forced drinking or dangerous pranks that end up costing someone their life, I get angry. How do we let this happen to our children again and again? And make no mistake, this a hazardous issue that crosses color and class lines.

I know they are young. I know they are foolish. But there is simply no excuse for taking hazing this far. In the realm of sensless deaths, this is as sensless as it gets: Death as the result of someone else's fun and sport.

Dear God: Give solace to the family of this young man.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

God Damn America

I will not vote for Barack Obama.
I will not vote for anyone.
America deserves a GOP President.

We deserve whatever we get when we do not support the voices of dissent.

NYPD clears park of Occupy Wall Street protesters

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

The disconnect between the media and the people - and also the people and politicians - has never been so plain.

Case in point: Cincinnati City Council.

Christopher Smitherman
If you're happy with the new look of Cincinnati City Council after Tuesday's election, the credit goes to Christopher Smitherman.

He took his message to local cable access TV. Not a message of how he should be on council. A message that explained how Cincinnati seems to ends up with Council members they really don't want. His "vote for less than 9" message drew a few raised eyebrows. His cable mini-rants about 3CDC and our cities water, illustrated mainly by a whiteboard and Smitherman holding up a bowl of water...

But it turns out a lot more people were listening and paying attention than anyone thought possible. We are a nation of channel flippers and Smitherman played the odds. Discussions with a few people I know went from, "Did you see Smitherman last night?" to my actually getting phone calls when he was on. "Girl....he's on tv again...is he crazy?"

Crazy like a fox it seems. He got the exposure he needed, but he also made a lot of sense. He may have seemed a little strident and impassioned about his topic...but it made people pay attention. And the local media's insinuations, even my boy Dean over at the Cincinnati Beacon, that Smitherman was just nuts, couldn't really hold up to the reality that what he was saying had merit.

The result is that Smitherman's "vote less than 9" message woke Cincinnati up did the city a big favor - He got Leslie Ghiz and Chris Bortz off Council, and honestly, this blogger couldn't be happier. Smitherman has changed Cincinnati History. For the first time, in a city that is becoming increasingly Black due to white flight, Cincinnati has a Black majority on City Council

And every local headline and local news show is proclaiming "The Big Shakeup" and how amazed they are they Bortz and Ghiz, along with the patently ineffective go-alongs Lippert and Murray, were given the boot. They media is bewildered and just can't imagine "how this happened". They can't help but point out that the council is now a majority "African American". Oh laws a mercy.

Not a single one of them will bother to mention what everyone in Cincinnati knows, and what Lincoln Ware is already crowing about on the WDBZ (Da Buzz 1230 AM). That the local media will not acknowledge what "everyone" already knows to be true is disheartening and honestly, makes me sick. That they can sit there, much like their 24/7 big network counterparts, and grin at everybody every day, 3 times a day, and not be honest or just plain create lies of omission is something that somebody needs to point out. So I am.


We are Ohio
The unsung heroes of "We Are Ohio"... just wow. They really did the damned thing. These comments really say it best:

*****
“From the day we were locked out of the statehouse to the day we turned in 1.3 million signatures, we have felt the support of Ohioans. Tonight we thank you and all Ohio voters for your historic and overwhelming support of collective bargaining rights for Ohio’s everyday heroes.” - We Are Ohio statement
But this entire nation owes We Are Ohio a big thank you. People from all across this state pulled together. Before #Occupy was thought of, these folks camped out at the statehouse and when they were turned away went on to deliver a message to the likes of John Kasich, Scott Walker and Rick Scott.
*****
Ohioans from all backgrounds and political parties rejected the crazy notion that the 99 percent — nurses, bridge inspectors, firefighters,and social workers — caused the economic collapse, rather than Wall Street. -AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
And that is true. The local "We are Ohio" group cheering on Issue 2's defeat and partying downtown at "The Holy Grail" were a happy and diverse bunch as far as Cincinnti goes which means mostly white with enough black folks thrown in that you could notice they were there and not have to search for them.

People were mingling, talking, cheering every time Issue 2 was mentioned on a tv screen. The overall mood was celebratory but you could already see the wheels spinning. There was a slightly subdued feeling born of victory but also of anticipation...What can we do next?

I don't think we've heard the last of "We Are Ohio". And I know we haven't heard the last of Christopher Smitherman.

He's only just begun.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

OccupyCincinnati Under Attack: The rich rule us all

9 Spineless Cowardly Assholes minus the Chief Asshole, Mayor Mallory




























In less than 9 days, Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig went from stating publicly that Cincinnati Policer were not to arrest Occupy Cincinnati Protestors to saying 'they could possibly be arrested' to the protestors being arrested this morning and their tents thrown away by city workers.

So either the police chief said one thing publicly and another privately - or City Council rules Cincinnato for the wealthy white citizens of Cincinnati only. If you are poor or middle class and live in a neighboorhood that doesn't count with them (you know, the kind that have blacks and Latinos living there) the people of that neighborhood don't count.



Thanks Cincinnati City Council. You all suck.


It is a fact that 3CDC is the corporate arm of Cincinnati City Council. They do the dirty work that Cincinnati City Council officially can't do. They now own Fountain Square, although they will tell you that the people still own Fountain Square (we don't) and that they merely "administrate it". However the fact that you have to get permission and permits from 3CDC to hold an event there, makes them a defacto owner and public entity.

Piatt Park, like many others, is "administrated" by the Cincinnati Park Board, supposedly on behalf of the people of Cincinnati. However just like every other government entity from Congress on down, what starts out as, "we will take care of the administrative work of maintaining a park," turns into a mini-dicatatorship over a piece of land. They tell you who can be there, when they can be there and what you can and cannot do when you get there."

And the Occupy Cincinnati Protestors moved their protest from the obscure outskirts of Lytle Park to Piatt Park - which only makes sense - what's a protest if it can't be seen?

These young white kids found out fast that CPD does not give a fuck about them. Being white is no longer enough protection to keep you from getting arrested in this city or in this country. If you stand with the poor, middle class or minorities, expect to get treated with the same disrespect - expect to be treated, at best, like a second class citizen and at worst, a criminal.

I wholeheartedly support Occupy Cincinnati and the OccupyTogether movement. I think Cincinnati, as much or more than anywhere else, needs this movement. Cincinnati is purposefully segregated and the rich are aligned against the poor to the point where any space that is Occupied by the poor is currently under renovation by 3cDC and they are pushed out.

Just like the protestors.

I wish I could drop my life and go protest with them. Even in the cold and rain. I have a mother with MS and an internship that will probably let me go any day now. If and when that happens, Occupy Cincinnati will have another protestor. In the meantime, I will go join the march today at 2 and see if there is anything I can donate to their cause.

Oh - and a special note to Roxanne Qualls. Shut up already. Or just get on the Bortz/ Ghiz train and support your own upper class already. But no one needs your platitudes about oh how sad it is the protestors got arrested while saying nothing else could be done. It's just the law.

All of you on City Council make me sick and I despise all of you today more than ever before. You are all a bunch of spineless cowards who have no business on Council whatsoever. You've proven, by allowing the OccupyCincinnati protestors to be arrested, that you have no interest in anyone who would speak up for the the leaset of those in the city you claim to serve.

You disgust me and when you look in the mirror, you all should be ashamed.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Information

PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY: If you are arrested at an Occupy Event, call the National Lawyers Guild:

New York City: (212) 679-6018
Los Angeles: (323) 696-2299
Washington, DC: (202) 957 2445
... Chicago: (773) 309-1198
San Francisco: (415) 285-1011
New Orleans: (504) 875-0019
Baltimore: (410) 205-2850
Minnesota: (612) 656-9108
Michigan: (313) 963-0843
Portland: (503) 902-5340
Boston: (617) 227-7335
Pennsylvania & Delaware: (267) 702-4654
Idaho: (208) 991-4324

Be very sure to write the applicable phone number in PERMANENT marker somewhere concealed on your body, protected from the elements. Do NOT assume you will be able to retrieve the number from a phone or a notebook. It is very likely you will be stripped of all your belongings.

(Reposted from the Occupy Wall St. Facebook Page)

What Occupy Wall Street Wants

Economic justice for all - to not be oppressed by a wealthy 1% who's wealth surpasses that of the rest of the 99% of us collectively. That means that 1% of people own more than all the rest of the people in this country put together. Everything we own. All of us.


Occupy Wall Street List of Grievances

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one's skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.

They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.

They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard!

*These grievances are not all-inclusive.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Occupy Cincinnati

By now you should have heard of Occupy Wall Street - it's only the biggest populist peaceful uprising to take place in America in decades.

And the rest of the country is taking notice. So now there's Occupy Boston, Occupy Seattle, Occupy Chicago....you get the idea.

And you best believe the establishement is fighting back and fighting dirty.

That hasn't stopped some folks from organizing Occupy Cincinnati.

I promised myself that I wouldn't take part in any protests until I officially graduated with my Associates Degree. I'm breaking that promise for this protest. I'm taking my neighbor's borrowed tent, my sleeping bag and some supplies and I'm going to camp out with occupy Cincinnati this weekend.

And if we get arrested...damn. Just damn. But oh well. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

And what the hell have I been blogging for six years for if I can't even put my money where my mouth is?

So this post will be for updates on what's happening with Occupy Cincinnati.

Here are some links:

OccupyCincy.org

Occup Cincinnati Site Moved to Lytle Park

Occupy Cincinnati on Facebook

Occupy Cincinnati on Twitter

Monday, October 03, 2011

Annual October Scavenger Hunt

Hey. Last year I threw a party and no one came. So, here I go again.

There is a scavenger hunt on this blog. Find the original hunt (Hint: it's an "annual" scavenger hunt now). Follow the rules. Send the answers via the blog. Any questions - ask me here.

1st prize - $50 gift certificate and a DebLite T-shirt (Gift certificate will be to either Amazon.com or Walmart.com - your choice - and delivered via email)
...
2nd prize - $20 gift certificate and a DebLite T-Shirt

3rd prize - DebLite T-Shirt.
http://deblite.blogspot.com/

If you won last year, sorry, you're not eligible this year.
Winners will be announced after November 1, 2011.

F@!* you Yahoo!

I, like so many others, aboslutely posifuckingtively hate the new Yahoo mail. Worst, I hate being denied access to my mail until I click their fucking upgrade button. And even worse I hate Gmail.

So now wtf?

I am pissed.

It's not about hating change. I embrace change, I embrace tech. But Yahoo's mail went from having a clean, functional stellar interface to being ad-ridden, clunky, slow, hideous tabbed email (again WTF) clustefuck of fucktivity.

Did I mention that I hate Yahoo's new fucking mail so much that I damn near damaged my laptop in hatred. If Yahoo had a building anywhere near me I would be fucking picketing in front of it.

Yahoo, you fucking suck. For changing a perfectly useful email into garbage you fucking suck. For forcing me to use Gmail in absolutely hatred of Yahoo now, you suck.

Yahoo, you simply fucking suck and as soon as humanly possible I will migrate everything off your punk ass servers and never use your search, never click on your ads, never be bothered with anything that has to do with Yahoo again.

Fuck you Yahoo.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Huntington Bank: I declare war












UPDATE: So, after I wrote the original blog post below, I posted a link to it on Facebook and I emailed it to my DebLite bloglist and also the list of media folks at Huntington.

Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles - half an hour later I got a call from my mother.

"I don't know what you did but someone from Huntington just called and asked me to have you call them." I told her what I did and she laughed. She knows when I go on the warparth, I mean business.

I was at work, so when I had a sec I called Huntington but the lady who called me wasn't in. I left a message and she called me back. The lady who called me was friendly in that almost-genuine corporate manner that I, too, am guilty of in the course of a day's work.

She informed me that they had, "expedited" fixing CollegeArabella's account, reversing the check and the overdraft fee.

They also took a look at my account and reversed my last overdraft fee that had just missed their 24/hour grace cutoff. Nice touch - seems they took the hint from my post and also from my mother who had tried to explain my issue as well, but I took it a step further.

And, what do you plan on offering my daughter for wrecking her account?

So, they gave her a $25 gift check which was the cost of the overdraft fee and although I think that's what she should have gotten for each day that she could not access her account, that lady's voice was changing from "friendly-corporate" to "keep-it-up-if you dare". I should know. I use that tone myself.

I kinda liked that part actually and that she pushed back. I'm sure dealing with this wasn't a pleasant part of her day. Even if I took this post down, and I'm not gonna, they'll have to be happy with an update, Google cache lasts a good long while. Another reason I'll never take it down is because I had to ask for the additional compensation, it wasn't just offered. And they didn't ask me either, but had they, I might have considered it. Oh well.

I also think I should leave it up because, overall, this incident is a micro-event in the world of what's happening with financial institutions today. It speaks to how banks feel that their customers are barely worth their notice and then only if they really raise a stink. And the result is less than spectacular, just some decent customer service and a Scooby Doo goodbye: We would have got away with it if it wasn't for that rascally blog.

I hope it was just a machine that made a mistake and not a person. The lady who called blamed it on an automated reader and I hope that's the case, because I was honestly worried that my complaint might get someone fired and I would never want that to happen. And the customer service person who took my original complaint was just doing her job and following Huntington's policy. But I do think that a bank as big as Huntington shouldn't be able to do what they did to my daughter and think that fixing it 3 days from whenever is ok.That they did not empower their customer rep, or her supervisor who she originally asked for help, to do more speaks to the type of company they are, not their employees.

On a day like today, when people are literally Occupying Wall Street to get the financial institutions of this country to pay attention to the little guy, my story isn't even really a drop in the bucket. But it is a tiny part of what that fight is all about.


*****Original Post*****

Huntington Bank made a mistake and posted a check to my daughter's account with a similar account number. The check did not belong to either my daughter or me. I called them, expecting this obvious mistake to be easily rectified. They opened a "dispute ticket" saying it can take 3 or more days to rectify.

If I overdraft by so much as a dollar, they would give me 24 hrs to correct it or charge me over $35. Yet, they can take their time fixing a mistake that is costing me hundreds of dollars as well as leave my daughter stranded at college with no money for 3 days or longer and not have to recompense her a dime.

How is this fair?

I set up the account with Huntington because reviews of their online banking were good. You see transactions promptly and they made it easy to transfer funds between accounts.

This is why people go to CheckSmart, Wal-Mart or any other place they can EXCEPT banks to take care of every day financial transactions. Banks, despite their claims otherwise, are meant to take care of corporations or businesses. They have no interest in helping or taking care of the needs of every day people like you and me.

So now, I am going to open a Wal-Mart Money account for my daughter as a backup to ensure that she always has cash for when her bank fails her. If it works well, then I will do the same for my personal account and all but my busines accounts. Those, I will transfer them elsewhere as soon as humanly possible if Huntington does not make this right.

I'm sure they think "making this right" entails merely putting the account back the way it was. But if they deserve $35 for an overdraft of $1, then what should they owe for overdrafting my daughter's account to over $200 and days of inconvenience?

***
Related Articles
DebLite- PNC Bank Should Start Shaking In Their Soulless Evil Corporate Boots About Right Now
Good Business- It's Official: We Don't Trust Big Banks
New York Times- Bank of America Plans to End Overdraft Fees

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Experiment in Liberty is Over - It Failed

Just where, in this land, are we truly free?

Employers can demand your urine, your credit report and background checks that dig far deeper into your life than simply checking your job history.

We are on the verge of punishing people for the crime of being poor. We already punish the homeless. We have made it illegal to sleep, in public, during the day. We put armrests in the middle of park benches to discourage homeless people from reminding us that we are better off.

We demand that poor people prove that they are "deserving". That they are not drug users or that they are "really poor" not simply just "temporarily poor". We are on the verge of telling record numbers of unemployed people that the benefits they paid into are only available if they pull down their pants, pee and prove that they do not use drugs.

Employers, sports stadiums, amusement parks, and all government buildings have the right to subject you to a search of your person and for women, their purses.

Police officers have carte blanche to arrest, to maim, to kill - only their most egregious and lethal pursuits are investigated - usually with the officer getting off, being reassigned, or hired elsewhere. Police can stop you at anytime for any reason and demand that you prove you are a citizen of this country.

And the income desparity between rich and poor is becoming more and more pronounced. To the point where we believe that there is truly a "class war" in this country.

We are becoming conditioned to believe that to be "poor" is to be "lower class" and that to be "rich" is to be higher class.

In the country I grew up in, we were a nation of equals. Your income, gender, religion, color or nationality of origin did not matter.

And yet, we are perfectly willing to let the media convince us that there are "winners" and "losers" in a class war that doesn't exist.

There is simply what is fair and what is not fair. Either we take care of each other or we don't. Either we are pefectly willing to let some die and other live based on their ability to pay or we aren't. Either we believe that some children have a right to an education and others don't because they are from "lower class" families or we don't. We either believe that some people deserve special rights because they are white and rich or we don't.

There are ideals that move us closer to slavery or closer to freedom. There are ideals that move us closer to equality or closer to inequality.

The Experiment in Liberty has failed. We are no longer free. The question is whether we will do what it takes to regain our liberty.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creating Businesses AND Jobs

One way to help with the jobs crisis:

Fully fund every Small Business Administration in this country and help Americans start businesses for themselves

First: Hire more people to run and administrate the expanded SBA.These people should be trained tor recognize or already know how to select business ideas that have potential. However all ideas should be considered. Any idea that comes down the pike from home businesses to ideas that can become brick and mortar businesses.

Undeveloped ideas can be sent through development classes that last one year, maybe longer. Ideas that are closer to "shovel ready" can be fast tracked for funding (grants NOT loans). These businesses can be mentored through the SBA for six months to create a business plan.

After that, give these folks the seed money to start their business and get other people hired! Provide them with mentors from startup to creation and even on through the first one to five years until they're ready to stand on their own two feet.

THAT's how you put America back to work. But begging coprorations for jobs they have no intention of creating while there's a black man in the White House is just plain dumbs.

Creating Businesses Jobs

One way to help with the jobs crisis:

Fully fund every Small Business Administration in this country and help Americans start businesses for themselves

First: Hire more people to run and administrate the expanded SBA.These people should be trained tor recognize or already know how to select business ideas that have potential. However all ideas should be considered. Any idea that comes down the pike from home businesses to ideas that can become brick and mortar businesses.

Undeveloped ideas can be sent through development classes that last one year, maybe longer. Ideas that are closer to "shovel ready" can be fast tracked for funding (grants NOT loans). These businesses can be mentored through the SBA for six months to create a business plan.

After that, give these folks the seed money to start their business and get other people hired! Provide them with mentors from startup to creation and even on through the first one to five years until they're ready to stand on their own two feet.

THAT's how you put America back to work. But begging coprorations for jobs they have no intention of creating while there's a black man in the White House is just plain dumbs.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

American Slavery 2011



A lot of people seem to be having raptures of cute kittens, rainbows and orgasms over President Obamas "Jobs Plan" bill proposal speech.

Me? Not so much.

It's just too much too little too late. I'm tired of the Republicans playing Lucy with the football over every single thing the President has expected to accomplish. For three years we've watched this.
President Obama: Tell me your ideas (Hey, let's play nicely together)
Republicans: Here are our ideas. (Come kick this football.)
President Obama: OK. Let's do that and let me add...
Republicans: No, you can't add anything. (Hurry up, we're holding the football.)
President Obama: That's ok. I'm gonna kick the football. Don't pull it away or anything.
Republicans: We won't. We promise. We don't even care that you're black. We swear.
President Obama: AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!
Republicans: Next time we won't pull it away.
President Obama: OK. Tell me your ideas.


And the President, I'm pretty sure like the rest of us, is infinitely sick of this crap. Because while the Republicans are making him fight every single tiny battle over things that should be routine, lots of things are being ignored. Like say, Jobs, Education, Healthcare and the Infrastructure.

Oh, we can attend to War like a mofo, but everything else? Eh, too much effort.

So now, everyone's acting like Obama has done some masterful planning and backed the Republicans into some ideological corner where they have NO CHOICE but to hold onto the damned football.

The problem is, the Republicans have no ideology that doesn't end in them holding all the power, money and resources and everyone else who is not in their monied, well-connected crowd as either useful pawns or outright slaves.

We're born. We live. We die. This is a fact.

How you do this and how well, how comfortably, how much you learn, live, grow and your circumstances when you shuffle off this mortal coil are all things Republicans want to control.

Every minute, every day of your life.

Mind you, they'd prefer you remained ignorant, under their control and that they have the very power of your life and death.

How you have sex. Who you have sex with. When you have sex. Who you marry. Whether you are forced to bear children.

How you raise your children. Making sure they are taught lies and given just enough education to make them "productive citizens" (read useful slaves) but not enough to give them true autonomny or challenge their masters.

Denying access to Civil Liberties, Jobs and Healthcare if you don't have enough money to pay for the "right" to these necessities. Your access to them all is based on your ability to cough up cash or knowing the right people.

How you live once you are too old to work. How you can give your time, effort, energy and entire life to being a "productive citizen" and be tossed aside like so much garbage when you are too old to produce for the Republican machine.

We're going backwards not forwards. We're moving towards slavery not away from it.

White people, you are right to be afraid. But not of the blacks and foreigners you are trained to fear. You need to look at the Boehners and Becks, Roves and Romneys, Perry's and Palins. You need to stop trusting their smiles and their lies. You will not be left out of the slavery pool this time around.

Think I'm fearmongering or prone to hyperbole? Think I'm fearmongering. Then think of this:

America has a history of allowing rich whites to kill with impunity though. No wonder we hear the words "states rights" pop up again and again.

Republicans keep harping on the word "Deregulation" again and again. "Deregulation is necessary for jobs because enforcing rules somehow forces employers to take jobs overseas. And after all, most of the regulations are just some liberal notion that makes it harder for businesses to operate.

The only thing "Deregulation" does is make it easier for corporations to kill you.

When Republicans argue for "deregulation" of course they are actually arguing for rules that make it ok for corporations - which are supposed to be people - to be able to commit murder and suffer no consequences. By that logic, anyone can make themselves a corporation, then kill whoever they wanted. Except if I killed 40 people, you'd call me a serial killer.

Repbulicans are making the case that deaths of 11 people who were killed by BP's negligence were justified. The 29 men who died in the Massey Mine collapse? Just the cost of doing business. It was necessary. There should be no question of anyone who owns or runs these companies being punished? Talk about death panels.

But hey, at least the news isn't all bad. In return for the right to kill, pollute, and demand unfailing obesiance from "productive citizens", they will make sure that some of their wealth "trickles down" to us. And if we're really lucky, they'll sprinkle a few jobs back in the Homeland.

And that brings us back to President Obama's Job Plan.

Sure guys, bring out the football.

No problem. I'm sure there's no way they can kick it away.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Republicans Against Refrigeration for the Poor

I've figured it out. Republicans are upset because far too many poor people have refrigerators. Check out these videos where Jon Stewart explains (snark) how poor people "are living like they just won a Showcase Showdown".

After the videos, check out this article where Scott Walter, the only American governor of a state dumber than John Kasich (OH) and Rick Scott (FL) who suggests that schools, namely teachers, don't need refrigerators at schools and that providing them is a luxury:

Longer Skirts and No Coffeemakers: How Gov. Scott Walker Wants WI School Boards to Save Money






So all that being said...

I think we can all agree that refrigerators are toys that "the poor" can do without. The poorer classes should never try to ape their betters, let alone attempt to pretend at moving beyond their station by having a refrigerator. This type of modern technology should be for those who can afford to buy a refrigerator outright and maybe not even then.

Refrigeration is the key way to tell if someone is either rich or living far beyond their means.The poorer classes should not be allowed to purchase a refrigerator on a payment plan or, heaven forbid, with a credit card. All refrigerators (and any other modern appliances or electronics such as coffee makers, television, VCR's, DVD players, computers, gaming systems, etc) should be removed from public housing, homeless shelters, halfway houses or foster homes, schools and any places where people are employed by the government immediately.

The poorer classes serve one purpose and one purpose only: To work for the rich. Molly-coddling poor people with modern technology, particularly refrigeration, is a waste of time and money and should be discouraged, if not forbidden, at every opportunity.

Republicans Against Refrigeration for the Poor

ThatDeborahGirl — 8/30/11 5:01pm

Friday, August 12, 2011

Note to Rick Scott: That was the polite version of what I really wanted to say



I am obviously more accustomed to public writing than I am to public speaking. In my defense, I was shaking with anger and doing my best to stay calm and make some sense, not knowing how much time I would have before the infamous C-SPAN disconnect button would cut me off.

I got to say a lot more than I thought I would. I wasn't as articulate as I would have liked to have been. The people who came after me did a lot better.

The upshot is that after the initial call patting him on the back (you can see the beginning of his interview here), Governor Rick Scott (R) of Florida got his ass handed to him this morning by everyday people like you and me.

And like any politician, he seemed to take it all in stride for the calls I listened to, never quite offering a true rebuttal to the callers, but simply falling back on the nearest handy talking point. We're just gnats to him. Our opinions, our words, don't matter to him at all. He is, if nothing else, a man of his convictions. Too bad he deserves simply to be convicted.

It takes my good blog pal DrugMonkey to explain why Rick Scott deserves your ire and mine - why he deserves to be in a jail cell rather than the governor's mansion.

I was vain enough to edit the start of the video above with my call in this morning as "Mary, from North College Hill, Ohio." I had a lucky day with C-SPAN today and I'd already gotten through once as "Deborah, from Cincinnati, Ohio". I was afraid they wouldn't let me back on again if I gave the same name and location, so I used my mom's name and my current hometown to identify myself.

Getting to tell Rick Scott off first thing this morning was worth being a little late to work for. It was worth watching the small reaction I saw in his eyes that I got by telling him that he was "the epitome of everything that is wrong with American politics today."

Too bad it won't make a bit of difference

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Recipe for taking one step closer to the revolution



Take One Part Woody Guthrie and a happy sounding folk song with a deeper meaning than most people give it credit for

Take One Part Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, mix with Woody Guthrie's lyrics, a funk track and some soul singing

Mix and Bake

This Land Is Your Land
by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I've roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."
But on the other side it didn't say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dear Tim Ryan: You are part of the problem

Again, I was watching C-Span this morning. I caught tail end of Mike Pompeo and after yesterdays diatribes from a Republican and a 'Blue Dog' Democratguy on deck is Representative Tim Ryan from my own home state of Ohio. Again, I was angered, but I decided to wait until I calmed down a bit to type to see if my anger still held.

It has.

I liked a lot of what Tim Ryan had to say - up to the point where he said, "John Boehner is a reasonable man," and I could have gone batshit trying to call in and only getting a busy signal of course.

In that moment I realized what's wrong with people like Tim Ryan. He doesn't have a dog in this fight because he has too much money. He's a reasonable man but to him, and the other Democrats like him, this is all just an intellectual debate. It's a shame but Tim Ryan and the rest of the Dems have NO IDEA how bad things are in the America you and I live in and we already know that the Republicans don't care. He went on to say that he finds the Republican's position on the debt ceiling "disgusting" but then went on to say that John Boehner is a "good guy".

He reminded me of President Obama in the beginning of his term in office. The President really thought he could present reason to Republicans and that they would actually listen. Mr. President said, "Let's bring the troops home," and Republicans said, "Muslim dictator communist Kenyan." Mr. President said, "Let's help Americans with healthcare," and Republicans said, "Obamacare witch doctor muslim dictator communist Kenyan." Mr. President said let's work on the economy and Republicans said, "Touch me and my rich corporate donors tax breaks and we'll fuck up the entire world economy, just watch us work."

People like Tim Ryan and Barack Obama think that people like Boehner are good people with ideological differences. I went to hear Joe Biden speak this past June and he said something along the lines that Republicans really believe they're doing what's best for the country, they just have bad judgement. I wanted to stand up and ask him was he fucking serious? Democrats seem to not know or not care that Republicans know EXACTLY what they are doing and the Dems seem to have no clue that Boehner and the other rich conservatives are playing this power grab For Keeps.

As long as the Democrats take the Ryan and Obama path and stay this clueless and keep trying to deal with the devil, to reason with the unreasonable, then we can continue to say goodbye to anything that Liberals and Progressives try to protect as American values.

And we can say goodbye to the last remnants of our country as we know it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Shared Sacrifice - The New Buzzwod That Means We've Been Had

So I was watching C-SPAN this morning and I was left angry by the words of two of our Represenatives - a Republican and so-called a 'Blue Dog' Democrat.

It seems the new buzzword that means everyone in America is about to get screwed is "Shared Sacrifice". That loudmouth Republican Representative Joe Walsh (IL) said it this morning and so did the less loud but just as doltish Representative Mike Ross (AR) who came on after him.

Hell, even Barack Obama said it in his pitch the other day on the debt ceiling, only he used the words "Equal Sacrifice."

Hell, more like "Separate but Equal."

I am ANGRY. The money that gets taken out of my paycheck and yours; the money that you pay in taxes for the house you live in and the land it's on; the money that gets paid in sales tax for every little thing we buy - we are held accountable for every little penny of every percentage the government says is our debt to pay.

And so what are we supposed to get in exchange for our money? Streets, roads, bridges, parks, clean water, clean air. Scientific and medical research. We pay for the administration of our country.

Somewhere along the way people fought to use part of OUR money to educate our children and help the old when they have given their all and their best to society, and time has claimed their energy and they can no longer work.

As medicine has progressed, we give Medical care to those who are old to make their lives more comfortable and to those who's labor does not pay enough for them to afford medical care on their own.

We ask for so damned little. And what do we get in return? A war against people we don't know and don't understand for the same reasons that we've always gone to war against people we don't know and don't understand: because we don't know them and we don't understand them and we fear and hate what we don't know and what we don't understand.

We invest more in a single bomb than my school district has seen in my lifetime. We spend far more to kill than we do to live.

We have killed millions and what has it gained us? A broken economy and politicians who want more of our money, more of livelihoods and more subservience from us. They don't need us anymore and really could care less what we think. They want our money and our silence. That is all.

Corporations take their vast wealth and do they invest in their workforce? No. They use their money to influence politicians to relax or eliminate rules that keep us all safe. It is easier, not cheaper, but easier, to line the pockets of a few politicians than use their money to help their employees.

BP has killed 11 people. Massey Mines killed 29 people. If I went out and killed 40 people right now, I'm pretty sure I'd be in jail.

No one has been held accountable for the negligence that murdered these workers. These men who had families who loved them. We didn't even have the guts to continue to boycott BP and run them out of business for fear of hurting the "franchisees" instead of the "franchisers."

When bridges collapse, and mines cave in and oil rigs drilled too deep explode and people get ill and die from tainted water supplies, we can only sit by and wonder how it all happened because we are admonished that it is tantamount to treason to suspect that deregulation, corruption and collusion between our representatives and our corporate masters have any part to play.

A country that is often quoted as the "richest country in the world" is still participating in the barbaric and immoral practice of making it's people beg for crumbs of medical care, and sometimes, just plain die for lack of care.

Our children lag behind the rest of the world in education, despite how much pressure we put on teachers who can only do so much in over-crowded classrooms and on salary's that do not compensate them enough for the responsibility entrusted to them: the shaping and educating of our future. We punish teachers for having the audacity to teach. We make them jump through hoops and starve through training all in the name of making sure they're "qualified". Meanwhile the teaching profession is suffering - not from those who are unable, but those who are unwilling to endure the undeserved slings and arrows.

Our "representatives" ended our Space Program. A symbol to every American of our commitment to progress, innovation and exploration. And our representatives have killed it. With the the last shuttle flight, we officially ended our era as "Those who Produce" and solidified our status as "Those Who Consume". After all, we can hitch a ride with Russia to the space station for a few billion dollars. It's not like we could use that money for anything else.

We, the American people have sacrificed a third of their paychecks to fund their needless and expensive wars. We sacrifice our men and women to fight those wars. We have sacrificed our lives to corporations who find us expendable. Baby boomers have sacrificed their retirement plans for second careers and to give their adult children and grandchildren a home; those same adult children who reached for the American dream and have been smacked down through job losses and foreclosures. We have all sacrificed our retirements and savings to corrupt companies like Enron and World Com, Lehman Brothers and Citi Corp.

We have sacrificed any faith that we ever had that the people we elect to represent us want to do anything more than bankrupt us and make us subservient to them. And now the little bit of help we can get when we're too old to work, our "representatives" are trying to convince us we can't afford.

How dare they ask us to sacrifice Medicare and Social Security?

How dare they ask us to give a little more of our paychecks and to pay more in property taxes?

How dare they ask us to shut down our most noble effort, the Space Program, to quash and stifle progress, innovation and our audacity to dream and hope among the stars.

How dare they tell us we can afford more war but we cannot afford healthcare, education and safety. Not against terrorists, but against the corporations who employ us.

No. We, the American People, have sacrificed enough. It's time for the people we elect to either move forward with this ridiculous debate or step aside and begin again.

If it isn't time for the Revolution now, when will it ever be?

Saturday, July 09, 2011

SMH

There's nothing like having black people trying to convince you that racism isn't a big deal anymore.

What is this tendency in human beings...when we get to a point where something is less of a problem for US we tend to think it isn't a problem for ANYONE?

So I'm going to refer you and my friend to this Jane Elliott interview - if for no other reason than to recognize that the bullshit I go through on a daily basis not only isn't just in my imagination, but it's bullshit that white people are well aware of as well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident....

This is the way I understand America:

Each individual is a free and independent citizen and we are created equal under the eyes of the law and our Creator.

We do not have a system of royal powers. Our President is not a King. Our Senators and Congresspeople are not our betters. In fact, the roles are reversed and they are to represent the will of the people and they are our public servants.

We have certain rights, namely the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to travel in our neighborhoods, cities and homes without being questioned as to why we do so. We have the right to improve our personal situations as best we can through education and hard work.

I'm writing this to remind myself that this is the way it should be but I also feel that each of these, particularly in the past month, have either been seriously curtailed or flat out denied to me by our government. I feel that some have been denied to me or others solely because of the color of our skin or gender.

And each time this has happened, there has been truly no recourse or contention I, or they, could make without the threat of being detained further or futher punished or questioned simply for "making a fuss."

What is the good of rights if they can't be spoken up for or enforced? Frankly I'm tired of being treated as a potential criminal or terrorist "for my own safety" or "for my own good."

Are we free or not?

*****

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dinner with Joe Biden

So I got this lovely invitation, ok, auto sent email, asking if I'd like to go to the Ohio Democratic Party State Dinner, where Joe Biden is going to be the speaker. And I thought, hey, why not? Maybe I should go. After all I am an Ohio Blogger. And what girl doesn't like to glam it up now and then. I can dig up a dress, get my hair done, spend a nice day at the spa, toss in a mani-pedi and I'm off to formal dinnersville.

But who would I go with? Alas, ye Olde Matey has to work (Congragutlations to Ye Olde Matey on his new job!) and Mum and College Arabella are going on a trip together that weekend.

So...I've got until May 31 at 12midnight (sounds so Cinderella-ish) to get two tickets for the low, low price of 199.99.

Anyone wanna come with?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Putting Lipstick on a Pig


I'm home today because I feel like hell and I have a mountain of laundry to do and my daughter has a dentist appointment (she's home from college for the summer) which I was going to take her to, but I will probably ask my mom to take her. Did I mention I feel awful, cuz I do, which means I'll more than likely be washing just enough clothes to get me through the rest of this week and the devil take hindmost.


So that's why I was home and flipping past the local FOX News Channel and stopped long enough to hear about Laure Quinlivan's efforts to improve Cincinnati's Brand Image.

And all I could think was: are you fucking serious?

Because I've been looking for an apartment in Cincinnati and I've come to the conclusion that the entire city is a ghetto. There are places that are livable but affordable housing is a laugh and the people of Cincinnati deserve better than an another lipstick on a pig project that improves the very heart of the downtown corridor but doesn't do shit to help any of the neighborhoods.

Everywhere I go that looks plausible, the rent is just a little out of reach of my 12 bucks an hour with no benefits, especially with gas at well over $3.50 a gallon. I know it's a cardinal sin to tell how much you make but it is what it is. I'm not rich and never have been. Truth to tell, I'm fairly poor, live with my mom and neither me or my daughter would be in school without student loans. So now you know.

And, like many people, I'm trying to move closer into the city, but finding a place is...difficult.

So I'm working at this wonderful internship and compared to work study slave-a-wage at 8.00 bucks an hour, maximum 20 hours a week unless you're one of the favored few who luck up on an "exception" position, 12 bucks an hour was hell yea, please sir, I want some more wages.

And what's even better, I absolutely love where I work, which honestly, makes almost any amount of money cool. But...

...I've been trying to find a place to live and every financial advice website I've read recommends that your rent should NEVER be more than 1/3 of what you make. Mind you while most apartments, when reviewing your income to see if you "qualify" to live there, will take your gross salary to do that, which is the only way they could possibly have tenants.

At any rate, if I follow the advice of the financial gurus, I can afford rent of up to a maximum of $466 a month.

I actually found a place on Main, which was really the low end of McMicken, for $400 bucks a month. It was an enormous two-bedroom townhouse, with a large living room, dining area and kitchen. Hell, that's a place to live that will fit all my stuff with $66 left over.

But I have a dog and they don't accept pets. And I'm scared to live as a single woman without a dog in a part of town where, when I went to talk to one of the neighbors, he said things are not so bad now that "Task Force" patrols regularly.

Hurray for Cincinnati Law Enforcement but damn. You are actually making your citizens feel safer. But damn. Just damn. I just don't know if I can do it.

So even with Task Force protecting my potential castle, that still doesn't solve the problem of my dog. Now why do I have a dog if I can barely afford to take care of myself? Well the dog is a remnant from my old life where my salary was well more than $12 bucks and hour and included health insurance. From the days where I never envisioned walking up to my office and the doors being locked and never hearing from my bosses again.

So I have a dog. And I either have to find her another home, which would break her heart and mine, so I can have an affordable place to live on my own, in a neighborhood I'm not so sure of, or maybe dig into my budget a little deeper.

Which brings me to the two-bedroom place I found in Elmwood for $580 a month. It's actually a nice place, painted in a dusky lavender with crisp white trim; carpeted downstairs and hardwood floors upstairs that were varnished and polished to a mirror shine. The outside dumpster was fairly contained except for two mattresses haphazardly tossed against it. The neighbors I spoke to were politely curious as to whether I was really moving in. The neighborhood was pretty much the same I've seen everywhere, struggling to fill the business district and a little worse for the wear. The street, a side street bordered by railroad tracks, was fairly quiet but the apartment was not.

I visited the place 3 times, and each of the three times, the neighbors next door were blaring music loud enough that the lyrics were clear through the walls and the bass vibrated under my feet. The best I can say is that they share my taste in music - if I were 20 years younger - and if I listened to music at top volume all day long.

I talked to the landlord about it but he said they were "good tenants" who paid their rent on time which quite literally meant: They can play music at any volume they want as long as they pay their rent and he couldn't care less.

So the affordable place won't take my dog (and I'm kinda scared to live there, sorry but it's true), the barely affordable place will take my dog but has neighbors that seemed nice enough but are either deaf or just loud because they can be, and every place in between was decidedly undesirable.

However, I spent some time wishing on a star and looking at places that were decidedly out of my league just to see how the other half lived. Places that were as much as 650 or even 700 dollars. Woah.

And even there, it wasn't all that hot, just slightly better kept than the affordable and barely affordable places. Sidewalk cracks are choked with weeds and potholes abound on the roads. Several streets have street repair going on, but it's all very haphazard, as if someone just pointed at a map and said let's fix this street this month.

And even where I work, which is for a global company with over 100 offices in over 40 countries, the surroundings immediately outside the building are best described as crappy. And they have a fairly posh address for Downtown Cincinnati. Yet and still, the nearby parking garage is scary, leaky and a co-worker recently found that lime is eating the painting off her car. The elevator is best avoided and frequently smells of urine despite the fact that I've seen the people who work there mop it several times a day.

The walk to work or even to grab a quick bite for lunch is over chipped, cracked pavements and views of rust streaked walls. Looking up at the buildings shows ravaged skywalks to nowhere and lots of abandoned store fronts, many of which have the look of a business that tried to make it there and failed or, hopefully, moved on.

Just thinking about my recent apartment search and my daily treks to work, I can't help but wonder why we neglect the true core of our city- the neighborhoods- and how anyone can think it's ok to spend all our time (and money) trying to improve the image of Cincinnati without doing the work of actually improving Cincinnati.

Yes, the City of Cincinnati has a lot going for it, but it could have a lot more if people didn't have to live in barely habitable conditions rather than neighborhoods that are not only safe from crime, but don't attract it in the first place by looking like the perfect set for an episode of Law and Order SVU.

Until we put more effort into actually improving Cincinnati instead of merely improving the "image" of Cincinnati, we're only putting lipstick on a pig.

Could someone go to Laure Quinlivan's forum today at 12Noon and tell her that? Because honestly, I feel too lousy to go.


Updated: I really felt awful earlier and there were more typos in this than I've ever been known to produce so I've updated it a bit for clarity and to correct earlier spelling which was, frankly, atrocious.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Justifying the Bush Years

So Obama is the man right now. 2012 is in the bag and the GOP can cancel Christmas. The mainstream media is going absolutely batshit over the death of Osama bin Laden. They're dong what they do and for the first time in so long it seems right. It's like all the time they spent on the minutiae of Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen and the Royal Wedding of Kate and William was merely practice for something this huge and it's paid off.

The re-enactments. Who said what to who and when. The burial at sea. Who gets the 25 million dollar bounty? What kind of helicopters were used. Was bin Laden's wife there and did she really get shot as well? Questions that we shrug off and mock when it comes to the usual celebrity nonsense are of interest to any and everyone and even I find myself getting drawn in to the extensively detailed coverage.

And of course every blog, every news site and web magazine is chiming in. Earlier today I was reading an Associated Press article on Yahoo today on the final lead and chance phone call that led to finding out where bin Laden was living. And because the press is so prone to getting every single detail and quote they can, they unearthed this little gem:

Phone call by Kuwaiti courier led to bin Laden
By ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO
Associated Press Adam Goldman And Matt Apuzzo
Associated Press – Tue May 3, 7:57 am ET


...in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida's operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden's personal courier.

"Hassan Ghul was the linchpin," a U.S. official said.

Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier. But he made up a name for the courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti, a denial that was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation that he and Mohammed were protecting the courier. It only reinforced the idea that al-Kuwaiti was very important to al-Qaida.

If they could find the man known as al-Kuwaiti, they'd find bin Laden.

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA's so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

"We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day," said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

So they found Osama bin Laden by listening in on communications and torture. Things Americans worry about as we see our country slowly detaching ourselves from the principles of innocent until proven guilty to guilty until the government clears you and maybe not even then.

Conservatives who support FOX Network have been quick to attribute the death of Osama bin Laden to the man who started it all. And while I want the cheers that followed bin Laden's death to continue- not in some erie celebration of yet more killing- but cheers of celebration that the dark days are over and that maybe what George Bush put us through was justified and we can move on from bombing anyone who may have been harboring bin Laden.

So now, the question is: When will it end?

I want to know if we'll ever be free of the Patriot Act. I want to know if gas prices will go down or if wages will go up. I want to know that the loss of life on 9/11 and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan were worth the deprivation that we've suffered in our economy and that we did not sacrifice in vain.

I want to know what happens now that the man we've been looking for, for over 10 years is dead? If we continue on the same path of war and destruction then we know that the overall goal was not to defeat terrorism but to defeat the American spirit of liberty.

Will sanctioned torture and the complete elimination of communications privacy in America be the result of all this?