My Too Crazy Dream

Seriously. I watched the Nike ad. There’s nothing controversial or offensive about it. You can view it on YouTube.

How could people want to boycott Nike after watching the video?

Why are people who haven’t gone to a gym and haven’t exercised a day in their lives up in arms about the positive empowering message voiced in the video?

Now I can no longer hold the delusion that so-called normal people in America are actually sane.

Why are people affronted that Colin Kaepernick is using his voice to make a difference?

As usual, it’s the people whose faces are a whiter shade of pale that are in opposition anytime a courageous individual advocates for social justice.

Sales of Nike products rose 31 percent after the Kaepernick video was aired. I too intend to buy a second new pair of Nike training shoes.

Yes, I know of what I speak because I lift weights at the gym every week.

The Nike video is incredibly inspiring and uplifting to me of course because it reminds me of the time when I was told my dream wasn’t possible to achieve.

In 1988, I was told the best I could expect was to collect a government disability check for the rest of my life and live in public housing forever.

I didn’t buy that snow job for myself then. I don’t buy what people are still selling today about recovery being an impossible dream for others.

The Nike ad tells viewers not to want to be the greatest athlete on your team or the greatest in America.

You should be The Greatest Athlete Ever.

In this regard the goal for those of us living in recovery isn’t to have succeeded despite having schizophrenia.

My goal is to be The Greatest Christina Bruni Ever.

Your goal should be to be The Greatest ___________________(fill in your name) Ever.

The schizophrenia, whatever your illness is, has nothing to do with this.

To end this blog entry I’m going to quote Colin Kaepernick from the Nike video:

“Don’t ask if your dreams are crazy. Ask if they’re crazy enough.”

 

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Using Our Voices

You have a voice so use it.

You might feel that you’re different. You might feel that our president is a miracle worker doing the greatest good for our country.

Either way I stand by my assertion that each of us should use our voice to champion what we think is right.

Yes–I take such pride in knowing that a superstar like Ariana Grande tells it like it is. She’s not afraid to lose either fans or money by speaking her mind.

Grande’s fearlessness should instill in everyone the courage to make a difference.

I know that having read the Elle interview I was inspired to join the singer in taking a stand against how those in power use divide-and-conquer tactics to keep Americans from banding together to fight common injustices.

I was motivated to pick up Grande’s baton of bravado and pass it on to readers.

This after the interview revealed that the pop singer aligns with the Black Lives Matter voices.

One day after I wrote in here recently about Eric Garner a news report was published stating his family was still seeking justice four years later for his homicide.

I seem to do the opposite of what other people do.

In a New York Times article last week analyzing the composition of the electorate at the polls in 2016 it was stated that 53 percent of white women voted for the president.

Where did that statistic come from?

I’m convinced along with a friend that Mr. Toupee will win a second term.

For the truth about why his reign is disastrous I will refer you to the Democracy Now news articles.

To remain silent on the things that effect us is to be complicit in the erosion of the human rights and liberties of American citizens.

I’m still obsessed with the latest mascara wand. Yet there comes a time to talk about other things besides my current Diorshow haul.

My goal is to tell readers to join me and Ariana Grande–two proud Italians–in refusing to be silent about the things that matter to you.

It matters to me that real wages are still stagnant even with a booming economy. That workers aren’t getting their fair share of the billion-dollar profits of their employers.

That women are being denied the right to obtain and use birth control.

That Mr. Toupee and his ilk are rolling back efforts to curb climate change.

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 cop 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.

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.