Attention WalMart Shoppers

1 fast food

The book in the photo is an eye-opener.

I don’t like the right-wing nationalist fervor that Mr. Toupee galvanized to win the election.

I knew he would become our president. No one believed me.

Yet the damage had already been done in the NAFTA agreement prior to Mr. Toupee’s reign.

In my life I stopped eating rice for dinner over 10 years ago. I haven’t bought bananas in years.

To read We Are All Fast Food Workers Now is to understand the threat to humanity posed by industrial agribusinesses.

The governments in other countries do the bidding of American transnational companies.

Indigenous people’s farmland is taken over by private companies to be used as sugar, rubber, and palm oil plantations.

That’s one good reason to stop or limit our sugar intake.

And I have long known of the ethical dilemma inherent in buying food products made with palm oil.

Just that word: food products should ring alarm bells in buyer’s ears.

If food doesn’t come from God’s Green Earth in a natural pesticide-free way, I say: limit your intake of that “food.”

I’m not perfect in my buying habits either.

Yet living in menopause I’ve started to examine my life and my choices.

Post-50 years old we are everyone faced with this caterpillar-to-butterfly slogan:

Change or Die.

The cost of Xenophobia in America is too high.

The cost to humanity of cheap food and other cheap products is high too.

Reading We Are All Fast Food Workers Now I understand that change might come slowly.

On the cusp of 55 I find myself at a fork in the road: which path do I want to take?

One person doing one thing at one time can change the dynamic like a butterfly flapping it’s wings.

Yet sometimes it’s not that easy.

You also have to be true to yourself and how your life is. To accept that you have limits. To do whatever you can whenever you can.

I’m learning that sometimes it’s not that easy to make a decision.

More in a coming blog entry about a remodeling project I’ve taken on in menopause.

It started with food and exercise. Are you a woman? Perhaps you can relate to the theme of food and exercise.

 

 

 

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My Mid-Life Clothing Revelation

As I get older, like any woman in her fifties, I’m examining my life: what to discard, what to keep as I move towards another birthday.

On the cusp of 54 your priorities could change. The things you value could change.

I’ve been reading a book that is a revelation.

The book We Are All Fast Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages is an eye-opener.

Around the globe people labor at McJobs. The definition of a McJob is one that is soul-crushing and leads nowhere for those individuals trapped working there.

Thus my reference in the title of the last blog entry to McFashion. This is what I call the shoddy fast fashion that garment workers sew in unsafe working conditions in countries where the government is in cahoots with U.S. transnational corporations.

Echoes of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire here were repeated in the Rana Plaza collapse where over 1,000 garment workers were killed a few years ago.

I don’t know what’s worse: that the governments in other countries allow these deplorable conditions at the hands of American business. Or whether U.S. companies should shoulder the blame totally.

A pair of Zara pants I bought were poorly constructed and didn’t ever fit right. As a rule, I don’t shop in fast fashion stores or go shopping every week as a hobby.

In two books the authors stated that the average person buys 63 items of clothing every year. How can that be?

I’m no fan of the nationalist fervor in the U.S. We must think of people living in other countries. How U.S. companies are ravaging their lands, harming people’s health, and polluting the earth.

I will always be a purveyor of fashion as therapy. Yet it’s a privilege that so few women living in other countries have: the right to parade down their streets in finery, free of violence and sexual abuse, able to exert their power in the face of oppression.

Garment workers paid barely $77 per month make a pair of Nike shoes that cost $150 here.

I’d like to offer alternatives to help redress the perils of runaway fashion.

Is it possible to “have your cape, and wear it too?”

There’s a better way. I’ll talk in coming blog entries about books that offer solutions. Plus I’ll give my own strategies.

I call this ethic Conscious Chic.

I have ideas for how to manage your wardrobe to help improve your health.

I’m all for making your life easier when you’re a woman going through “the change.”

 

McFashion Follies

In this blog last December I reported on a package that the USPS supposedly delivered that had gone missing.

While I waited on line to talk to a rep from the USPS about where the package was a recorded announcement told me that shipping holiday packages via USPS is a great way to send them.

In a curious twist five weeks ago a strange package I hadn’t ordered showed up on my doorstep.

The package was beat-up yet the contents were in perfect condition:

The Uniqlo sweater and two tee shirts that were supposed to have arrived via USPS in December 2017.

Was the package sitting in a warehouse all this time?

The moral of this story is that it’s too easy to keep buying clothes over and over.

Where exactly would I be able to store the sweater in a drawer bursting out to the dovetail joints?

I stuffed the sweater on top of a pile of sweaters on a shelf.

There’s a better way to go than “fast fashion.” We shouldn’t be complicit in fleecing others by buying and wearing a fleece jacket.

After the mysterious arrival of the package over a year later I decided: “Basta! Enough!”

I’m reading a great new book: We Are All Fast Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages.

Reading this book has been shocking.

Pay Americans better wages and salaries and we could afford a $100 shirt created in a factory where garment workers toil in safe conditions with a livable wage, health insurance, and other perks.

The rise of globalization has benefited only U.S. transnational companies. The book I’m reading is a deep dive into the Truth.

I’m going to talk in coming blog entries more about the Fast Food Workers book.

After the arrival of the missing package I was forced to confront that I don’t need to buy a ton of clothes over and over.

There’s a better approach.

I stand in solidarity with the garment workers barely making minimum wage with hazardous conditions in Cambodia and elsewhere. I’m going to report on a sane tactic for managing your wardrobe.

While I couldn’t edit the contents of my closet and drawers down to 33 items like one blogger wrote about I’m convinced that having an endless parade of packages coming into your apartment isn’t the way to go either.

The blogger who edited her wardrobe to 33 items apparently did so to help herself manage her health better. She had a medical condition.

In a future blog entry I’m going to list my own solutions for over-consumption.

There’s no room at my inn for another item of clothing. My goal is to not buy any clothes for at least two years.

Making myself richer instead of million-dollar companies in the process.

Winning

In an upset victory Max Rose beat out Dan Donovan for Congress for the the Staten Island/Brooklyn seat in Washington.

I was quite surprised by this win. Yet under Dan Donovan’s DA rule the cop who killed Eric Garner in a choke hold was acquitted.

The district that covers Staten Island/Brooklyn (Bay Ridge Brooklyn) has been Republican for decades.

Max Rose’s victory is a stunner to me. I hadn’t expected he would win.

Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez won her Congress bid elsewhere in New York City.

In the U.S. we have elected 2 Muslim American women to Congress as well.

We have elected a Native American woman too.

From the New York Times:

“Women shattered records and precedents. One-third of the female nominees for the House were women of color, the highest ever. A record number of women faced off against other women, from Arizona to New York. Ms. Pressley in Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York were among women who defeated long-serving white male incumbents in party primaries and won tonight.”

In the same New York Times article:

“Despite being more than half the population and the voters, women were still less than a third of all candidates for Congress, the governors’ offices and other statewide executive seats.”

We have a way to go. Yet we can be proud of these gains.

One day I’m confident we will elect a woman president.

Ladies, start your engines.

Rock the Vote

MTV decades ago had the slogan: Rock the Vote.

Years ago a mental health advocate started the “I Vote – I Count” drive to register people with mental illnesses to vote.

Does it really matter if you vote?

I say: go out and vote for the candidate that you think best represents you.

Really, I don’t see myself reflected in government or even in media like entertainment. Except maybe for Arianna Grande who I profiled in here a couple of months ago.

I would go so far as to say it’s a Democrap versus Republicon choice.

Neither of those two parties I think has ordinary Americans’ best interests at heart.

In reality I align with the Green Party.

Dan Donovan is running for Congress on Staten Island, where the cop killed Eric Garner in a choke hold.

People on Staten Island only vote Republicon.

The last Congressman there was convicted of fraud.

The long-term Congressman before him was caught driving home drunk from his mistress, who he fathered a child with.

Who’s kidding who about Hillary Clinton being unethical?

As usual, it’s the woman who’s vilified while men with the right plumbing down below get to do whatever they want.

I kept telling people over and over that Mr. Toupee would win the election.

No one believed me. They thought I was out of my mind to say that. Who’s sorry now.

My contention is that if you want to change things you should run for office.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez coasted to victory in the primary against a long-time incumbent.

I’ll end here with this: hate has overtaken our country.

Fighting against each other just means we have no energy to fight against those in power who are taking away our rights as we speak.

Do you want your rights taken away?

Go out and vote for the person you think is best qualified to represent your needs.

I didn’t think a guy who called Mexicans rapists was fit to run this country.

Yet I knew he would win.

Citizenship and Recovery

In 1983 I turned 18. Ever since then I’ve been voting in an election. That’s 35 years of pulling the flapjack or insert the paper in the ballot machine.

Though I have zero faith in our elected officials I’ll vote in the coming election and continue to vote in those in the future.

In the early 2000s an advocate started the “I Vote I Count” campaign to register to vote people with mental illnesses.

We cannot allow ourselves to be “mushrooms”–kept in the dark and fed a lot of bull.

By not reading newspapers or watching TV news and using our critical minds to analyze what’s being told/sold we won’t get anywhere.

It’s often that change happens at the speed of the old Pony Express: it takes years for our elected officials to be wrestled to the mat to take action.

Yet putting on our Everlast boxing gloves might actually be the best way to show that we’re not going to remain silent on the things that matter to us.

The victory of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in a recent New York City election is a testament to how a scrappy underdog fighter could win out over a longtime establishment government official.

It’s called the “blue wave” if I remember right.

The next step is to call and write our representatives to make our voices heard.

Years ago at HealthCentral I wrote about Citizenship and Recovery. Back then I was only one of a couple people who detailed the benefit of participating in our democracy when you have schizophrenia or another mental illness.

I still say: if you want to vote Republican that’s your choice. If you want to vote for a Democrat that’s fine too.

I’m making the case–as I wrote in the blog before –that a band of committed citizen activists can make a difference.

Alas, people without economic equity in American society might think it’s not worth voting. In this regard we’ve ceded power to people with the money to write laws whose very word-for-word language is written by corporations and given to elected officials.

Also, laws are being enacted at the State level that prevent or make it harder for people to vote in elections.

It can seem like things are rigged against ordinary citizens.

That’s why it’s imperative that the disadvantaged among us don’t give up the fight for economic equity.

No one anywhere in traditional media (I read a lot of it) has used the actual word oppression or even repression to describe what the denial of rights constitutes.

Yet in effect laws being enacted serve to keep people from having equity of any kind in America.

These laws take away our right to decide what’s best for us and put it in the hands of the government.

Big Brother anyone? Remember the book 1984?

This trend of oppression will only continue unless ordinary citizens speak out.

We need to make our voices heard.

Obtaining Sexual Equity

I’m compelled to write about hot topics in the news. To filter what’s happening through my critical eyes and offer insight to spark debate.

At fifty-three years old I’ve become a Rebel – Feminist.

You’re told to “stay in your lane” and not offend readers. My lane appears to be on the Left. This impacts what I have to say.

One news article in the Atlantic online yesterday stressed that we cannot abandon due process in trying in the courtroom men accused of sexual abuse.

“Innocent until proven guilty” is the tenet of justice that we’re supposed to adhere to in the U.S. legal system.

The Atlantic writer claims we cannot rush to take the side of the alleged victim.

The female author of the Atlantic article wrote about how college and university administrations have responded to women students who claim they were raped.

In response, it appears that male students have been told to ask permission at every step of the way in order to advance to “third base” and then consummate the act of having sex.

Innocent until proven guilty should be the legal standard with due process adhered to.

This is irrefutable in terms of justice.

What I err on the side of [as a woman] is not accusing women of making up stories.

Everything about this current scenario in the news reinforces the need and right and duty of women to have sexual equity–ownership–of their bodies not just sexual equality in society.

If sexual equality means we appoint a female version of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is that really an improvement?

Women need to be taught to speak up and speak out immediately.

We shouldn’t be afraid to be assertive in the bedroom and in the boardroom and out on the street and in public.

The Republican woman who published the 2018 book excoriating female students who report rape on campus also attacked women who demand sexual equality with men.

I forget the title of this book or the author’s name. It was on the new books shelf at the library two weeks ago.

Inexplicably, the author blamed female students for reporting rape on campus. She claimed the so-called “sexual revolution” only caused harm because it loosened the morals of women. Again, blaming women for how men treat us.

If you really don’t want to have sex with a man, tell him no. This should ideally happen before your skirt is taken off. It can also be stated when you’re naked.

A lot of women write news articles about the supposedly “gray-area” nature of exactly when and how a woman is supposed to tell a man to stop and not go any farther.

These women writers claim that matters of reporting rape are simply not true. That the woman decided after the fact that she shouldn’t have had sex or that the sex was bad.

Totally negating the responsibility of the man to do the right thing. Offloading the responsibility to women.

Only women are taught to “go along” with what other people tell us we’re supposed to do.

Women have been told that our bodies don’t belong to us–that we don’t own our bodies. That we exist to please men and cater to their needs only.

Republican men and women–are they on a mission from their God or why else would they do this–now get to decide how other women live our lives.

We no longer have the choice to use birth control or to decide not to have kids.

Our daughters and nieces will be growing up and coming of age in a world where white men on the Supreme Court mandate that a woman’s role in life is to be barefoot and pregnant.

People claim Brett Kavanaugh won’t repeal Roe v. Wade. Only I’m confident he will. This whole situation in the news has been unfortunate.

Yet in my estimation the underlying good is that women are coming forward. Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford took lie detector tests that proved they were telling the truth. Women are speaking out and demanding that things change.

We cannot remain silent on the things that matter to us.

My lane is on the Left. That’s just how it is.