As RT reported in April, the first-ever scientific study that analyzes whether the US is a democracy, rather than an oligarchy, found the majority of the American public has a “minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy” compared to the wealthy.
While “Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association,” the authors said the data implicate “the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
And I’m talking about privilege in the sense of my own, personal privilege, and not in the sense of I’m-taking-offense-to-things-on-behalf-of-other-people-when-I-actually-have-no-fucking-idea-how-things-actually-work-but-I’m-going-to-complain-about-them-anyway-because-they-are-probably-unfair-and-people-need-to-check-their-privilege.
My purse was stolen last week on Wednesday. I canceled all of my financial things immediately, put out all of the fraud alerts, notified all of the peoples, did all of the things.
That was 8 days ago. Let’s talk about what I’ve replaced since then.
My new Target Red Card came in the mail. My replacement health insurance card came in the mail. Today, I opened the envelope with the new Starbucks gift certificate.
So we’re ending the 8th day without my debit and credit cards. Oh, but I could go to Target. If I wanted to use the gas to get there.
Let’s bring my privilege into this.
1. I know who to call to take care of these things. I have a reliable financial institution where I keep my money. I know to call/fill out a form online for Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion to notify them to put out a Fraud Alert so no one tries to open a credit card or cell phone in my name. I learned all these things.
2. I’ve gone 8 days without access to my funds. This means I have a way to get by in the meantime. I have supports. In my case, my purse was stolen the day before I was supposed to get on a plane to go see my mom for a few days. I happened to have a passport, an alternate form of identification, at home, so I could still get on the airplane. I had a ride waiting for me. I had a place to stay. I had transportation while I was there. My boyfriend gave me some cash. I didn’t have to drive/spend money on gas.
3. Tomorrow will be my 9th day without access to my funds. Unfortunately, my car is not going to make it the 45 minutes to work and 45 minute back home with the amount of gas left in the tank. Fortunately, I have other options. I could go to Target and buy one thing and get cash back at the register. I could borrow money from the boyfriend again, but I’m just going to carpool with him instead. Fortunately, there’s nothing on my schedule tomorrow that interferes with us riding in the same car to and from work. If a card of some sort doesn’t arrive by tomorrow or Saturday, I’ll weigh my options again for Monday.
I’m not going anywhere with this. There is no big lesson here. I do recognize and am grateful for what I have in my life.
Does that make it OK that someone took my purse? No. It is never OK to be so full of yourself that you feel entitled to something that doesn’t belong to you. I don’t care how much the person has or how much you don’t have or how much you don’t think they’ll miss it or how unfair you think it is. If it isn’t yours, you don’t take it. Don’t steal. It’s a simple rule to live by. Isn’t it?
Anyway, a high school Police resource officer called me today. Some kid was on the bus today and found my wallet and turned it in to him. So I at least have my wallet back. I at least know no one is going to try to take my insurance card to make medical claims or use my drivers license to do whatever it is people do with drivers licenses. I got my nursing license and my CPR/AED card back. I have all my other cards to shred. I kind of wish that kid had found and turned my wallet in yesterday, before I went to the DMV and paid for a new drivers license and got a new shitty picture taken… but, I’ll take it. I love that old, red wallet. I’m happy to have it back.
In defiance of this authoritarian government, a rebellion known as the Independent Faction (Browncoats) fought to maintain autonomy and resist Government control over the world. This resulted in a war that raged for several years, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides, until the Government emerged victorious. An armistice was signed between the Government and the Independent Faction, ending the war, and securing Government control over the entire wor—oh wait. That’s Firefly.
Stephen Beizer passed away on September 10, 2014, after months of suffering caused by pancreatic cancer.
Stephen’s wife, Helene, and son, Jaret, are left on their own, with no financial resources. Helene made a conscious decision long ago to take care of her severely intellectually and physically disabled son full-time, so she hasn’t been in the workforce for decades.
Stephen’s tragic death has left the remaining members of his family out of time and out of luck. In his final years, the family was living off Stephen and Helene’s Social Security checks and what little their immediate family and close friends could contribute. That was how they could even keep a roof over their heads. Now Helene and Jaret are completely broke, with no money to pay the rent or keep on the lights. And the worst financial legacy of Stephen’s cancer is nearly a quarter million dollars in unpaid medical bills because Medicare only covered 85 percent of his ultimately unsuccessful treatment.
If you can’t afford to donate or don’t feel comfortable doing so, please share this family’s situation in hope of finding a solution soon. Advice and thoughtful words are always appreciated in this difficult time. This family lives in Scottsdale, AZ, and any assistance with finding local resources would be fantastic.
Walking the dog, talking about something. I quoted "Ella Enchanted".
Me:It has music. You wouldn't like it.
Tom:I hate music.
Me:The cast of the movie is singing the music and it's not like "The Producers".
Tom:The only musical I will ever like.
Me:The musical as a movie based off the Broadway performance based on the movie.
Me:I don't think "Young Frankenstein" made it to the movie stage yet, but the Broadway version was amazing... I saw the Kevin Kostner Robin Hood after I saw "Men in Tights" and then "Men in Tights" just got even better.
Tom:That one is already kind of a musical.
Tom:"Waterworld" should be a musical.
Me:♫ I have a tomato plant; I water it with my pee! ♫
My grandpa was a surgeon. In the Navy. He went to Marquette University for medical school and did his residency at what is now Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Five years ago, my grandpa was completely independent. Driving, talking, walking, sort of emailing, hand cutting and polishing agates to make jewelry and bolo ties.
ALS took up residence, almost unnoticeable.
Starting with his speech. His words were a little slurred. Not all of them. Just a few. Weeks went by and a few more words sounded a little off. More weeks went by, and he started using a cane. Then he stopped being able to drive, to walk without a hand supporting him, to go from sitting to standing without someone helping to lift him.
Today, he can’t get out of bed. He can barely lift his arms to hold a bottle of water. To lift a spoon or fork. Swallowing is getting more difficult and coughing is hard. Forming words is almost impossible.
My mom, my aunt, my uncle, and a team of home health care workers and therapists provide him with 24 hour support so he can at least stay in his own home. The bathroom has been remodeled to allow for the lift to fit. Look up at the ceiling, and you’ll see a track leading from his bed to the bathroom. That used to hold the sling that the therapist used to help him walk from his bed to the bathroom, now it’s used for transport so he can be bathed somewhere other than his bed.
I’m not really sure what this has to do with buckets of ice water being dumped on heads, but I guess if it’s inspiring people to donate money to find a cure, then have at it. I will not be partaking in this new awareness raising campaign, but I will let you all know that ALS is maybe the worst disease imaginable. To lose all control of your body, with your mind completely intact. To be completely aware of everything. I would never wish this on anyone. So, if people want to go out and do crazy stunts to find a cure, I’m not gonna complain about it.
“Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.”—Cicero, 106 BC - 43 BC (via lazyyogi)
Fourteen prominent faith leaders — including some of President Obama’s closest advisers — want the White House to create a religious exemption from his planned executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gays and lesbians in hiring.
It’s been over 10 years since the first same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States, and no one has tried to marry their dog or coffee table since then.
It’s been 1 day since SCOTUS decided corporations can hold religious views, and corporations already want exemption from Federal statutes prohibiting employment discrimination.
It would be a shame if all the people crying slippery slope wolf suffered irreparable damage secondary to head injury after slipping down their own slope.
Driving back to the office today, parked at a red light. A white truck pulls up to my left. He rolls the window down...
Him:Excuse me, I just want to tell you that you're a very pretty lady.
Me:Well thank you!
Him:That's it. You have a nice day!
Me:Yeah, you too!
You see that guys? No need to yell out the window of your slow rolling car, no "Yo baby lemme get yo digits!", no "Dayyuumm girl!", no "Mmmmm. Mmm.", no variety of other degrading comments. No fucking blaring your horn.
It's not that hard to be a goddamn respectful gentleman.
A for-profit corporation can exercise religious beliefs. Excellent.
First step, win a lawsuit and become immune from providing coverage that includes contraceptives based on religious beliefs.
Second step, use that as a precedent for future lawsuits so you can potentially deny coverage for vaccines and hospice care and blood transfusions and psychiatric medications and healthcare in general because prayer is better than doctors, based on religious beliefs.
Eventually, let’s just let corporations deny employment based on religious beliefs. Because a woman’s place is at home popping out babies and why should companies be forced to hire and pay those abominable Gays?
Regardless of whether or not you believe the Government overstepped its authority by mandating health coverage, it is an existing law. As of right now, the Government has a responsibility to protect my rights. My rights include not being discriminated against in my workplace based on my gender and religious beliefs.
As a female employee who does not hold to the belief that contraception is evil, under the health care law, it is illegal for an employee to deny me coverage based on differing religious views.
Until now. When the SCOTUS sides with corporations over real people once again. In case anyone wonders why I don’t trust our Government and Judicial System.
Anyway, I work for a non-profit, faith-based organization that will cover my lack of morality and desire to have babies. So Hobby Lobby, claiming they need to follow their Christian values while paying their employees minimum wage and importing products from Chinese sweatshops, can go fuck themselves.
The alarm went off early this morning, as it does most most mornings. I wasn’t ready for it this morning, as I’m not ready for it most mornings. I opened one eye, absently scrolling through various social media notifications, hoping to wake my brain enough to get at least one foot over the edge of the bed. I can’t hit snooze. Once you go into snooze, there’s no coming back.
Over time, I dragged myself to the bathroom. Blinding myself with the lightswitch, I stumbled 6 feet to the shower, pulled back the curtain, and, there it was. A giant spider. Sitting in the tub.
My first instinct was to turn the water on and watch the little creeper go down the drain. I almost did it. I turned the water on, and watched it panic, skittering away from the advancing puddle. And then I felt bad. I turned the water off. No one should die drowning, not even this trespassing spider. Also, I can’t kill a spider without thinking of the Navaho taboo about spiders. Don’t kill a spider unless you draw a circle around it and say “you have no relatives” or it’s family will come and bite you. Spiders have big families. Thanks, Sean. I’m pretty sure that spider wouldn’t have died right away. It would have drowned further into the pipe maze, who knows where, and no way could I have made an accurate circle placement.
So I decided to follow the path of the Buddha. I considered using a cup and a sheet of paper to relocate this reborn soul, but that seemed like a lot of effort at 5:48am. So I did the next best thing. I grabbed a 10-foot pole (empty toothpaste box) and moved the little guy out of the tub and into the safety of the ledge, where I could see him, and make sure he wasn’t going to try to eat me while I was scrubbing a shoulder or something. Namaste.
He didn’t try to eat me. He didn’t attack. He sat in peace, for a while.
And then he jumped. I watched that little fucker jump into the rushing water. He didn’t even struggle to survive as his tiny little body washed down the drain.
"You tell your goddamn relatives I didn’t do it!" I yelled at that asshole.
This entire bill is a waste of everyone’s time and resources, brought about for the sake of fighting anything with the name “Obama” attached to it. The School Lunch Program is a Government Program. It has always been a Government program. Nutritional needs have changed since it was established. Changing requirements for lunches is changing an existing program, not the Government forcing itself into your kids’ schools. No one is forcing anyone to eat the lunch provided by the school.
But, pretending this isn’t a pathetic power play…
The Agriculture Department pays around $1 billion a year for foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, chickens, and turkeys. Schools get this food for free. From this point, schools could prepare the food on site. About 25%, however, pay to send food they receive at no cost to processors (Aramark, Sodexo, etc.), who turn fresh foods into chicken nuggets, fries, and fruit pastries loaded with sodium and sugar and lacking in actual nutrition.
Mandating fresh fruits and vegetables and a lower calorie count could be viewed as government overstep, or it could be viewed as a way to discourage outsourcing children’s nutritional needs to the Food Industry.
If people want to send their kids to school with subpar nutrition and have it negatively impact their health and learning, fine. Go for it. That crap can be sent from home from households that insist on eating whatever they want to prove… Something. I don’t know what. But go ahead. Stick it to the man. But if my tax dollars are going toward a program aimed at providing nutrition, I’d prefer that program actually focus on nutrition. Maybe focus on supporting local farmers and employing local residents to cook and manage a kitchen, rather than lining the pockets of corporate assholes with money that could have been invested in future generations.
This week’s column is about the spate of anti-homeless and anti-charity laws popping up in cities nationwide. (I posted about this briefly the other day, but this is a much more in-depth look.)
It’s a common practice of the media to declare any disagreement in politics a “War on X.” But as much as that phrase might be overused—there really is a war on the homeless.
Take last week’s story from Daytona Beach, Florida. A local couple have spent more than a year providing food to the homeless in a city park. Once a week, they set up shop, feed about 40 people, and then head home.
Each week, Debbie and Chico Jimenez, who spearhead the project, make sure to clean up after themselves when they leave the park: “When we leave, there isn’t a scrap of paper on the ground, nothing. Within an hour and a half, they’re done and gone.”
Delivering these meals is only a start for the Jimenezs. Debbie and Chico run “a ministry that helps in ways beyond meals. They’ve used donations to help pay for hotel rooms, power bills, backpacks and bicycles.” Though their operation is small, it can be life-sustaining or even life-changing for those it helps.
This is a win-win for all involved, right? People are being helped, relationships are being built and no one’s getting hurt.
And then the government has to get involved.
In its efforts to centralize government control programs designed to help the homeless, the City of Daytona has begun to fine voluntary efforts to feed or aid the needy. Yes you heard that right—good Samaritans who are trying to help the less fortunate are getting ticketed by the police for doing so.
Conveniently, these fines also happen to ensure extra funding for city social programs.
When confronted with the injustice of the situation, local Police Chief Mike Chitwood said he’s just enforcing the law: “The ordinance is there, so if we catch you, we’re going to cite you.”
He added that he’s completely fine with helping people, as long as the government coordinates the effort: “If you want to feed people, and you want to do a good, Christian act, we encourage you to coordinate with the social service agencies.”
This lunacy in Daytona is far from an isolated incident.
How does anyone think this is acceptable? And the statement made by the group home saying how appalled they are is bullshit. Most abusers have a history of abuse. I find it hard to believe 4 abusers with no reported history all happened to be hired at the same facility.
Sloppy background checking and a lack of oversight in the home are probably a contributing factor. This is why we have outside agencies conduct face to face visits.
How did case management miss signs of abuse? Did day programs fail to report any observed injuries? Did staff other than the 4 charged not see any signs of something wrong? Did the group home not provide staff with adequate training on client rights, recognizing signs of abuse, reporting suspected violations of rights, etc.?
These clients seem to have been failed by their supports across the board.