Marching On

The founder of MomsRising wrote a book Marching On about how to be effective in lobbying for change. Everything she talks about is right.

This will be the last political communique for now. I want to move on.

For today I want to add my own thoughts to the author’s.

In July 1999 I fled Staten Island for Brooklyn.

The Verrazano Bridge was known as the Guinea Gangplank because Italians moved to Staten Island from Brooklyn.

I drove over the bridge in the opposite direction long before it was popular to live in Brooklyn.

For years I had a taste of Conservatism in my own family. I couldn’t abide the Republican mentality on Staten Island.

I had a preview of what was to come: about five years ago a copy killed with his bare hands Eric Garner in a choke hold on Bay Street.

The guy’s only crime was selling loose cigarettes.

Five white guys assaulted a guy I know in a bar down on Bay Street. And none of them were arrested even though one was identified in a police lineup.

They lived; Eric Garner died.

I simply can’t–okay–understand the defenses other people give to justify that cops kill mostly unarmed People of Color.

I try to understand these arguments and can’t.

Here’s the real deal: if you’re a cop who is strong enough to kill a guy with your bare hands then you don’t need to shoot a person to remain safe.

If you’re not strong enough to subdue a person without a gun should you really be a cop?

This is what I think. Years later I’m still thinking of Eric Garner.

I won’t join a protest in the streets. This is because I take medication. If I were arrested and sent to jail I’d deteriorate without treatment.

Since I can’t protest in the streets I will use this blog to speak out when I’m able to.

The cost of silence is too high for any of us.

I used to live on Staten Island. I used to walk on Bay Street. I fled that outer borough as soon as I could.

I can’t breathe thinking of what happened to Eric Garner.

This is all I wanted to write about before returning to my “regularly scheduled programming.”

Yet be aware I will most likely return to political commentating in the future.

I urge American readers to buy and read the book Marching On.

Change is possible. It starts when each of us has the courage to speak out.

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Making a Difference

In the early 1990s I lived in public housing and collected a government disability check.

I lived below the poverty line in America.

On the approval letter the SSDI interviewer had written words to this effect:

“Signs and symptoms do not totally indicate schizophrenia. Yet inability to work at a job renders her eligible for benefits.”

At the time I also collected Medicaid. Living below the poverty line is no joke.

Today in Kentucky the government is set to pass a law requiring Medicaid recipients to work at a job.

The last I heard a lot of people with mental illnesses who are still actively symptomatic might not be able to work at a job if what’s going on in their head interferes with their rational thinking.

My vision of Recovery for Everyone starts with the clock running today.

My goal is to help people recover.

My focus is on what is possible when people get the right treatment at the right time.

In retrospect I can see there was some kind of benefit when I was just starting out in having been in “the system.”

People with mental health issues who receive benefits like Medicaid are doing the best we can when our illness is severe.

At this time we might require government money in the form of checks and healthcare.

To mandate that a person like you or me has to work at a job to receive Medicaid isn’t right.

It’s not right if we’re not in the right mind to be able to hold a job and do well at a job.

Yet this is the trend in government coming to where you live soon:

Denial of the benefits people require to get their lives back on track.

Those who can are writing into law the denial of benefits leaving every citizen to fend for ourselves.

Making a difference doesn’t cost a dime.

Those of us doing well have the duty to help make things better for those less fortunate.

Call or write your elected officials to tell them what you think. Join a protest if that’s more your style.

The time is now to speak out.

The View from Flyover Country

Today I find myself veering into writing about topics I hadn’t wanted to cover.

The stakes are higher for one thing. To remain silent on things that matter is something I cannot do for another.

I installed on my iPad The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from a Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior.

I recommend that everyone reads this book whether in print or electronic form. You can check it out of the library should you not be able to buy it.

It’s sad that I’ve given up on our government officials as being agents of change.

Now I only hope that others will join me in reading books like Flyover Country.

I hope that readers will write to your elected representatives on issues that matter to you.

In my own life I won’t take part in a protest in the streets. This is because I have a medical condition. Sent to jail I wouldn’t have access to medication that would keep me healthy.

Instead throughout the years I have used this blog on and off to talk about what goes on. A couple of years ago I stole from a newspaper and listed here the names of over 30 people cops have killed.

Here too I also wrote that when one of our rights is taken away (like access to birth control) the dominoes of other rights will fall down one after the other.

How I wish I didn’t have psychic ability.

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled against unions, thus weakening their power to advocate for the rights of their workers. Now employees will not have to pay union dues even though they’re members of a union.

Recently Mr. Toupee has also said that migrants shouldn’t be given due process under the law. In case you don’t remember the U.S. constitution guarantees due process to all people within the U.S.

For the life of me I don’t understand how the rights of so-called “unborn babies” are deemed greater than the rights of those already living. Thus causing people to vote into power a person who is taking away the rights of you and me every day.

The View from Flyover Country tells the unvarnished truth.

I’ve decided to write in here about these topics because I’m interested in getting the word out to people who might not ordinarily think about these things.

I had predicted that Mr. Toupee would win the election and nobody believed me. How could they not see what I saw?

Sarah Kendzior in Flyover Country predicted his rise long before I did in the book essays that were originally written from 2012-2014.

As ordinary citizens, we cannot blame each other for our misfortunes. The root cause is the decades-long deprivation of rights by our elected officials.

At a time when adjunct professors as well as service workers are sinking into poverty–as documented in Flyover no one is immune from earning cheap wages–it’s time to get real and take action.

I’ll end here with this: you know something’s not right when Kendzior writes in her book that U.S. veterans aren’t paid living salaries when they return from war.

They wind up on food stamps.

Think Globally Act Locally

The slogan think globally act locally was popular years ago.

In all truth I align with the Green Party.

I urged readers to vote Democratic as the lesser of two evils simply because of the human rights crisis in America going on with the children at the detention centers.

Yet the truth is no one in power held the Republicans accountable for their actions while we had a Democrat for president in those last eight years.

If you ask me there should’ve been a path to citizenship given for people already here illegally. A solution should have been enacted that prevented new people from entering illegally.

As the expression goes: “The horse is out of the barn.” There’s no closing the door now.

Instead of a human response and a reasoned and reasonable response we have Mr. Toupee or #45 awarding contracts to businesses to create detention centers where children are caged and injected with drugs.

In America the government can’t get away with killing thousands of people like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia.

Yet today our government is getting away with human rights violations.

More locally, there’s no mental health treatment given for Americans who actually need psychiatric drugs to function in society.

Whether you’re a child in a cage–or an adult trapped in disability because your illness is allowed to worsen–each of these events is a human rights abuse.

We need to frame the lack of mental healthcare and the dismal care found when it’s given as a human rights violation.

Today we see images of children being caged.

What we’re not seeing I guarantee you is happening: the congress house of representatives and president are taking action to sign into law policies that take away more of our rights and pad the pockets of big business.

Trust me I’m no fan of the Democrats at this point either.

As a person who has the freedom to come and go as she pleases I’m not willing to remain silent on things that matter.

I realize the Green Party isn’t popular in America–yet it’s the only political party I can endorse at this time.

Democracy Now Tells the Truth

Today I have lost my tolerance for “One Nation, Under God” because there is NOT “liberty and justice for all.”

I urge everyone who is eligible to vote in any kind of election to vote for the Democratic candidate in your district.

You can read the latest unbiased news reporting of the human rights violations occurring in the USA here:

Immigrant Children Injected With Psychiatric Drugs

In other news an unarmed 17-year old teenager who was running away from cops after a car was stopped – was shot dead.

A local news report indicated a crime had happened just before the car was stopped.

I remember listening to the Bruce Springsteen song “41 Shots” years ago every time a friend and I drove through New Jersey on a road trip.

Springsteen’s lyrics are from the point of a view of a mother who tells her son to be polite to cops and not act shifty interacting with them.

Listening to “41 Shots” gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. “41 Shots” is a chilling song.

Preventing crime should involve increasing social service programs to address the systemic and structural causes of violence.

I don’t like what my country America has become.

Everyone should listen to the song “41 Shots” and heed what Springsteen sings about in the lyrics.

There’s no purpose in running away because if you haven’t committed a crime even Bruce Springsteen tells you to be polite.

Yet in numerous pockets of American society where young people live it’s too easy to get caught up with gangs and others who commit crimes.

Your natural instinct would be to run away rather than get caught even if you’re innocent.

No–we cannot argue that jail time is better than winding up in a coffin just before you’re set to graduate high school. That’s comparing apples and oranges.

We CAN argue that 155 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed that NOBODY in America is truly free – not even white people.

We CAN argue that injecting children full of psychiatric drugs at detention centers ISN’T acceptable under any circumstances.

We CAN argue that under the current government NOBODY wins.