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.

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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.

 

My Choice Not to Have Kids

Let’s face it: doesn’t every woman out there have hard-luck romance stories under our Hermes-H or other belt?

One of the psychics I went to told me: “Love’s been up and down and all around for you. It’s been to the dogs.”

This waterfront fortune teller told me I’d meet a lot of turkeys along the way. Yes, she used the word turkeys to talk about the guys I’d meet.

Taken in this context I haven’t been so quick to drop my skirt to get into bed with just any guy that walked on by in my life.

As a women with a mental health diagnosis I didn’t want to get married and raise a family either.

I’ve known without a doubt since I was easily only 15 or 16 that I didn’t want to have kids–not even one kid.

This stance of mine doesn’t fit into the white middle-class heterosexual norm that prevails in American society.

It’s this world that I was born into that I so intuitively rejected as not being the right lifestyle for me to live.

Leading yet again to how I championed everything Left of the Dial in my memoir.

I still haven’t found Mr. Right. Nor have I found Mr. Almost Right either.

And I definitely haven’t found Mr. Not-Right-Yet-I’ll-Take-Him-Anyway.

In this dry climate with no prospects does it make sense to risk getting pregnant by having sex just to prove you’re a normal woman?

This is the double-bind or double-standard women are in or held to:

If we’re not having sex we’re viewed as being screwed-up and that there’s something wrong with us.

If we’re having sex and heaven help us too much sex we’re viewed as having a lack of morals.

What do you say:

Isn’t it time to give the boot to restrictive regressive political policies that make it harder and harder for women to remain child-free by choice?

Isn’t it time to stop judging women for the choices we make?

Isn’t it time to accept the multitude of expressions of what constitutes normal in society?

It’s time.

I for one have failed at living a mainstream life.

I have failed to please the people who stand in judgment of me even though they haven’t met me.

I have failed to see the logic most of all in overpopulating the planet.

Reproductive Health Choice Statistics

Here I’ll give statistics from Trust Women about women’s reproductive health choices:

91.6 percent of abortions happen in the first trimester.

73 percent of women indicate they could not afford to have a baby at that point in their lives.

74 percent cited interference with their education or job/career or responsibility for existing children or other dependents.

49 percent of women who had abortions in 2014 were living below the federal poverty line.

95 percent of women terminating pregnancies think it was the right decision for them.

Between 50 and 60 percent of women who have abortions were using some form of contraception the month they got pregnant.

60 percent of women who have abortions already have children.

I’ll end here with this according to Peters:

“Women also face a host of barriers when trying to obtain birth control: cost and lack of insurance..difficulty accessing a pharmacy…challenges in getting prescription contraception..in scheduling appointments and getting to a clinic or doctor’s office.”

These barriers were greater for women living below 200 percent of the poverty line.

I recommend that readers go out and buy and read this Rebecca Todd Peters book.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk about my own life as a women with a diagnosis and how my own health narrative has informed my choices.

 

New Reproductive Justice Book

As a Lefty, I want to talk about a new 2018 book Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice by Rebecca Todd Peters.

This will be a 3-part blog carnival. To start here I’ll tell readers that I have always understood and aligned with people viewed as The Other.

My own life narrative is atypical. A woman I hired told me my story was “unusual.”

I don’t think and act like a lot of people of my race and gender do. I’ve always gone Left when everyone else goes Right.

First I’ll give an overview of this minister-author’s rationale. Then I’ll quote statistics. Lastly, I’ll talk about my own life.

I quote from Trust Women to encourage readers to go out and buy the book.

Rebecca Todd Peters asserts:

“The public rhetoric that insists women must justify their abortions represents a thinly veiled racial and class bias that does two things: It attempts to impose white, middle-class values about marriage, sexual activity, and childbearing on everyone. And it focuses on individual women’s behavior while effectively obfuscating the complexity of their day-to-day lives and the viability of their various choices.”

Instead the Christian minister proposes:

“Public policy ought to focus on addressing systemic social problems rather than attempting to police and control the behavior of women and their bodies.”

In her view the real issue is that women who have abortions are told they need to take responsibility. The truth is that “difficult real-life moral decisions stand in contrast” with the prevailing white, middle-class politicians and anti-choice crusaders perception that women who terminate pregnancies need to take responsibility.

In the next blog entry I’m going to quote statistics that reveal the real issues facing ordinary women tasked with deciding whether or not to give birth.

People Have the Power

“People Have the Power” is my favorite Patti Smith song.

Yes I believe it’s true people in America have the power to change the the direction our country has been going in.

This starts when we challenge the hateful rhetoric in the media. It continues when we speak out against the drastic policies being enacted. The dialog can’t end it can only change its focus.

Why just fight for our rights? Why not figure out new rights we haven’t had that we can champion for everyone?

Instead of merely reacting to what goes on. We can be proactive in helping each other. We can treat each other with dignity.

Responding to hate with hate solves nothing. To love bomb the haters is the solution.

I read somewhere that if America wanted to convert other nations to our democratic ideals we shouldn’t bomb them. We should drop TVs on them.

I doubt anyone who needs to read what I’m writing will chance upon this blog. Yet here goes for those of you aren’t loyal readers. Here goes too for the ones who tune in every week. Here goes for everyone:

See who a person is not who you think they are. Labeling other people and judging them and stereotyping them is not the way to go.

I’ve listed in here the names of the over 30 people cops killed as well as written about Kate Spade.

Having been bullied early in life and having a diagnosis I’m no stranger to being viewed as the Other.

Yet it seems that before a person meets me or you or someone else that person sees fit to judge us and stereotype us and label us with a name.

Those of us with this kind of psychic ability to figure out a person’s life story just by looking at them: should set up a table on Venice Beach telling fortunes.

This aim might not be accurate so then again that would be a lousy way to make money.

Only our elected officials are making hundreds of thousands of dollars by daring to judge the needs of ordinary Americans as subservient to corporate greed.

Our elected officials are daring to think that the lives of ordinary Americans–lost to poverty, disability, lack of education, imprisonment, etc.–aren’t worth saving.

Sadly, I have given up on our government as being an agent of change.

The latest measure I’ve heard coming from Mr. Toupee is to stop funding public libraries.

No kidding.

Bombs away? I think not.

Let’s band together to treat each other with the respect, dignity, and compassion that seems to be lacking in media editorials and congressional fiats.

This blog will always be a hate-free and stigma-free forum.