Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Friday, April 30, 2010

MOVIE: "Dark Matter"

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Except for the pathetic ending, this is an excellent movie. Until the protagonist resorted to his "solution," I was completely empathetic.

The "university" (aka assimilationist thought factory) did this to me. They did it because I, a person with behavioral health challenges, believed that class status and "disability" should not be reasons to exclude people from active participation in education.

When shaming me into silence didn't work, they tried isolation and finally had to resort to blatant lies, false accusations and attributions of motive to me that weren't mine.

The system of inhuman pressures people within the modern "academic" industrial complex must endure is making not only the individual participants sick, but has corroded the system to the point of uselessness, which is now destroying the larger culture.

The ending merely reinforces stereotypes about behavioral health challenges and is part of the problem. We are more afraid of you than you have any right to be afraid of us. You mask your prejudices behind carefully manipulated "statistics" to portray us as dangerous, untrustworthy and irrelevant.

I lived with humiliation, dismissal, shouts, threats, sabotage and actual physical violence from my so called "superiors" at the university. Given their behavior, I would have been completely justified in expressing anger, frustration and disappointment. But, because of my behavioral health challenges, I didn't dare express any of that; they would have used it as an excuse to pathologize me.

So, before we assume the sadistic ivory tower of academia will drive people "crazy" and assume to equate that with "violent," remember my story.

They broke my heart. They robbed me of my career. They shunned and ostracized me. But most important of all, they killed my ability to make a contribution to the larger society.

But I never harmed or threatened any of them. Thank you, Richard, Marcos, Tristan, Paul, Renee and Mary B., in particular.


MOVIE: "Wall-E"

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We don't have to sit passively, consuming what the big corporations tell us we need, letting our planet, our bodies, our kids and our lives disfigure and die.

We can stop allowing ourselves to be anesthetized and distracted by the BS images of B & L. We can look to each other, form community, plant new life and restore ourselves and the Earth.

This is the most subversive film ever out of Disney studios. It's anti Disney.

Stop sucking the garbage they want to feed us.

Plant something.


Monday, April 26, 2010

MOVIE: "Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School"

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I don't think I've ever seen a movie John Goodman's in that I don't like. It's not that he's a brilliant actor, it's just that he has such great taste in scripts.

Until now, that is. With this performance, I can say Goodman is a brilliant actor. I could FEEL him, every time he spoke. It hurt my belly to watch this.

As per the usual Goodman choices, this is not the same old boring formula writing. It's unique and off center and really interesting.

Hurt like the dickens to watch and so encouraging!


I walked away from the US Census job training

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I really tried. I REALLY TRIED!

I planned for that job for WEEKS!

I bought and cooked prepared foods to take for lunches, as I can't afford overpriced crap in that area. I froze small soda bottles of water, to keep my foods cold. I washed all my work clothes. I worked on my bicycle, so it would run its best. I bought food storage containers. I bought a Vasoline body lotion, because petrolium (jelly) is the best way to get oil (petrolium) drips off my legs before going in to work.

I bought the cats a 13 lb. sack of kibble, since I won't be cooking anything for me that they'll want to eat. I made sure there's big containers of water for them to drink and I made litter boxes, since they'd be locked inside all day.

I rigged my trailer as a house for Weasel, since he can't be locked in all day and is so small, he'd escape through the back yard fence and try to follow me if I didn't bring him with me.

I bought the goats a bale of grass hay, since they'd be locked up in the back yard all day, where nothing grows, where they couldn't browse fresh stuff. I bought fifty pounds of cracked corn. I lugged it all home either hitch hiking, with stuff piled on my baby stroller, or pulling it in the trailer I've hitched to my bicycle

I even made the goats a jungle gym out of 55 gallon drums, buckets, a teeter totter a guy was throwing away, etc., so they wouldn't be bored while I was gone 40 hrs. this week for training. I bought gold fish to eat the algae out of the swimming pool stock pond with swamp cooler pump I built in the yard for fresh, oxygenated water for everybody.

I EVEN bought me 3 new pair of socks and a cheap pair of shoes that don't have holes in them.

I extra soaked my garden yesterday, because I figured I'd be too tired for the next day or two to water.

I REALLY planned and prepared for this job!

I usually get up early, but made sure I was trained for 4:30am, so I could be awake (that takes 2 hours, with brain injury and can't be rushed, I've learned) and have chores done AND allow extra time in case something funny happens with gasoline bicycle.

They were COMPLETELY disorganized. I walked in and the room was already half full at 8, because some were told to be there then; I was told 8:30. Everybody was confused. They weren't even sure how many days, or hours per day, training was. Training is a regular 40 hr work week for a job that's evenings and weekends. I know some people fell through the cracks because they'd have conflicts with other employers. And that's just one example, but it's not why I left.

It was the loyalty oath. I just started reading it when I saw the first problem.

Remember: this is a very conservative area and almost everybody who isn't Roman Catholic is born again. I asked if I had to swear "so help me God." and the guy said they "have a form for that." Then, he singled me out and told me to wait 'til the others were sworn in. I said, "I won't be singled out for religious differences." So, I stood.

"All enemies, foreign and domestic:" I didn't verbalize that. I thought, I can do this; I'll just define for myself who is or is not an enemy.

But then, there was this statement that I affirm I am not being coerced to take this oath (which I was) and that it is not my intention to misrepresent myself (which I was).

I saw, immediately, Baghdad, lit up during Shock and Awe. I saw the first gulf war. I saw the amputations, mutilations, screaming, fires, crush injuries...

I saw every war since I've been alive.

I saw it all, Kate.

And then I thought about drones over Pakistan under Obama.

And then I thought about "don't ask; don't tell" and Obama's waffling on Queer rights.

And then I remembered the NPR story yesterday about how tens of thousands of military are returning home disabled. It wasn't the focus of the story; the story was about habitat restoration as employment for veterans. I remember standing at the kitchen sink, unable to breathe, thinking of what tens of thousands of wounded people would look like, and all the others without diagnoses who would never be the same again after war. And that was just US people.

And then, I remembered my trips to the VA hospital, when I worked for a veteran and when I did radio documentaries about veterans.

And then, I remembered how HARD my life has been with a brain injury and PTSD and the FLOODS of people with my diagnoses, returning to the states now, and we have NO infrastructure to welcome, debrief and rehabilitate them in this recession.

I remembered one snowy day after 9/11. I got on the bus, wearing a long skirt, coat and a long, wide scarf, wrapped over my head and around my face for warmth. Some boys on the bus had called me "towel head" and al quaida and started pushing and hitting me. The bus driver did nothing.

I am not an enemy of the state. I love the USA and I love her citizens and social history.

I'm also a committed pacifist and I mean "committed" as in willing to go to jail for it, as many, including the Mennonites, have in the past.

The only real threats I've experienced to the US Constitution (which I passionately support) are US politicians and military authorities. They're the ones who make the bone headed decisions that cause terrorism in the first place.

There's this movie, "Dakota Skye," about a girl who knows when people are lying. She's in history class. The teacher says, "oh, yes, Jefferson had a few slaves" and the caption for what she heard was "Jefferson had 200+ -- I can't remember the exact number" Then the teacher says, "Jefferson freed a lot of his slaves." And her caption said, "He freed exactly five slaves, and all of them were blood relatives"

I'm not naive. And I do support the US Constitution, which the average US citizen, when read excerpts from it, will often say must be part of some Communist document.

I didn't say a word. While everybody else was trying to fill out w2 forms without worksheets (it's the US Gov't., and they didn't include an IRS worksheet for deductions, etc.?), I gathered my things, got up, pushed past the woman seated beside me who had refused, twice before, to move her chair so I could pass without climbing all over her, and I left.

I heard a man who'd followed me outside say, "ma'am, ma'am" in a tone of voice that sounded like I'd be sent to the principal's office or a firing squad if I didn't respond. But I never stopped and I never looked back.

I went around the corner, to my bike and my dog, holding that damn loyalty oath. I greeted Weasel and let him off his leash.

I got out my cigarettes and lit one. I tore the loyalty oath in half and set it on fire with my cigarette lighter.

We went to a grassy place near a bank. My bike was in the sun to warm. I pulled out one of my mock frappucinos (Starbuck's makes them; they cost $2. I make them with generic --not Nestle's --Quick, a teaspoon of instant coffee and milk, shaken up in a 20 oz. plastic soda bottle) and sat in the grass with my dog, sipping my drink and smoking.

I was proud of myself for being ethical.

I was devastated that I wouldn't get the nearly $500 for a week's training, not to mention the job, itself, which I would have loved and would have paid a lot more money.

I thought about the $800 car down the street that I couldn't buy, the credit cards I couldn't pay off and or the savings toward getting a better place to live that I wouldn't have. I thought about my painful, rotten teeth, five of which I've extracted myself. I thought about how I can't afford shoes or a vacuum cleaner and how sore my feet are and how dirty my floor is.

I wanted to cry, I really did.

I wanted to talk to someone about it and KNEW nobody here would understand. Then, I remembered the Mennonites own a little store a block from where I was, so I went by, but they were closed. I don't know these Mennonites. They're white caps. The ones in Ft. Sumner are black caps and FAR more conservative. But the white caps are standoffish and very rigid about promoting their condemnation of such things as Halloween. Black caps are much more open, curious, funny, generous and nonjudmental. I only wave at a few white cap women who live up here as they walk or drive by. They're polite, but not friendly like the black caps were. So, I can't really talk to them, either. But they wouldn't have taken that oath, either.

So, I came home, took off my nice dress that I'd had to wear under sweats to keep bike grease off it, and let the goats out.

While I was sitting in the grass, I thought about telling you. But I wanted to wait 'til I wasn't so strongly, emotionally conflicted before I wrote.

And I worry that robots might be reading email and seeing some of the words in this one and I don't feel safe and I worry about compromising you by sending this.

Radio is my only way out of poverty, I'm pretty sure.

I'm sending a picture of my teeth. It was about four years ago. They're much worse now.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

MOVIE: "Go Further"

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"We take food stamps!" Oh, yeah? Well, you ain't takin' mine, dude. I get $90/month to live on. That's ONE trip to the politically correct, boutique food stores.

I live in the frontier. I'm five miles from a BAD grocery and there's no public transportation, so I have to hitch hike when the weather's too bad for my gasoline powered bicycle. Most of us can't afford biodiesel. Most of us can't afford all the meal prep.

This is a "revolution" for upper middle class and wealthy white, young, able bodied snobs who are pricing the rest of us out of healthy food. TWO people of color on the bus: the Asian yooga instructor and the BLACK BUS DRIVER! Please!

Last town I live in, half the meals were bought a the convenience store, since the nearest large grocery was 120 miles, round trip!

Notice you didn't see anybody disabled, low income? What's up with that?

Hemp oil? How would one acquire THAT? At least we could use French fry oil, if we could afford the fuel conversion kits!

Solar? How much do those panels cost and how much energy do they produce?

Stop smokin weed and get down here in the big box slums with the rest of us!

One star, for Ken Kesey.

Useless. I learned NOTHING!

Friday, April 23, 2010

MOVIE: "One Flew Over the Cucoo's Nest"

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This garbage is still going on in so called mental "health" facilities. Now days, they rely more heavily on drugs as chemical rather than physical restraints.

Also, thanks to big PhRMA, now everybody gets a diagnosis, so they can sell more drugs.

Abuse is rampant.

Mac is no antihero; he is a hero. He tried to comply. He was polite, calm and cheerful. But he thought for himself and showed compassion for the other inmates. That made him a complete threat to a brittle and nonfunctional system of abuse, control and repression. He had to be stopped.

If behavioral health were treated using dignity, actual listening, respect, encouraging a sense of accomplishment, honest sexuality and just plain fun, more people would have fulfilling, productive lives, rather than wandering the streets, jails and wards in hell on Earth.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

chicknes, garden, films, job

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Well, I've been on a serious film binge since I wrote you re: "Julie and Julia."

You can read my adventures in women's films here:

and on poor folks here:

On the last, you'll also see detailed research results on building a home made air conditioner. I have plenty of fans and buckets; I just need some flexible, metal tubing and I'll stay cool all summer. If I purchase a 12 v automobile fan and a solar battery charger, I can use no electricity! But that's down the road. Right now, I have to keep it cheap.

See, next week, I begin a 4 day, paid training to be a Census canvasser. The job will last apx. 11 weeks, apx. 30 hrs/week at $13+/hr. It should give me plenty of opportunity for meeting local residents, whom I may contact later for radio stories. There's plenty of walking, too. I should be carrying a hand held computer or specialized notebooks. I can drive my gasoline powered bicycle to the neighborhoods. So, I'm gorging on film stories, so I'll have images, memories and sounds of things I really enjoyed as I go out to people's homes. It will make me less fearful, less anxious, less defensive, less grumpy, less impatient with meeting new people at their homes.

You're torturing me with your adventures in NYC, you know. I get plenty of music online, yet I do know the power of a cathedral, acoustically designed for music and spoken word. I watched "Amedeus" again the other night. The wedding takes place in a cathedral with live music.

I work & sleep in a kid's bunk bed: double on bottom, for self and animals; twin on top, welded of metal tubing. I've hung baskets, clock, lamp, electric blanket control, modem, telephone and speakers from the top bunk's bars. My computer speakers are directly over my head and of radio production quality. While my hearing has diminished over the years, due to tinnitus, my brain is quite capable of filtering out the static of whistles, squeals, buzzes and I can hear ok. And the brain soon adjusts to the position of the speakers, relative to the monitor (which is to my left and apx. 3 feet away), so I hear what I'm watching in good stereo. The Mozart was wonderful!

We have a few, non indigenous trees that bloomed in private yards. Mostly, though, I'm still waiting for the prairie to look green from a distance. I see fresh growth everywhere, close up. I'm on a gently rolling hillscape, above the Rio Grande. I can see bottom land fields, mesas and the Sandia Mountains. The sky is heartbreakingly beautiful.

TINY flowers are blooming everywhere, but must be noticed to be seen. There's a miniature white daisy that I suspect is chamomile, but I won't pick any to smell it until it's past blooming. There's a bell shaped flower on stalks of something that looks like wild onion or chives or maybe a tiny lily. There are salmon flowers, the size of a nickel, that look like small wild rose or California poppy, but are not. Occasionally, I see wild, white lupin. Mustards are blooming. I see starts of thistle in my nearly-barren back yard; they'll grow four feet tall with outrageously purple blue flowers, like miniature artichokes.

My father used to call these desert flowers "belly plants," because you just about have to get down on your belly to really see them. He loved the desert and Mom and I scattered his remains at a primitive camp ground in Borrego Springs, among the hummingbirds (his most loved bird.) He actually held one once, when he was very sick. He was sitting at the kitchen table, looking at the garden, when two hummers started fighting for territory. One hummer flew right into our 8 foot redwood fence and felll into the flower bed. He grabbed his oxygen tube (200 feet long, so he could walk the yards with oxygen) and went to the bird. He rummaged in the plants 'til he found it and held it, on its back, in his palm. He gently stroked its chest, fearing it was dead. Soon, however, the bird revived. He said it was limp in his hand and, suddenly, it was just gone! It went so fast, he couldn't even see it fly away.

I get my love of primitive life, desert and animals from Dad. I also get my sense of humor from him. From Mom, I got love of the arts, including music, well done home crafts, including food and gardening. And I got learning and reading from both of them: he, nature and science; she: literature, poetry.

My little garden is struggling to sprout, despite almost nutrient free soil (thank to goats, I have lots of goat poop and my neighbors bring me yard waste for compost and mulch). I have no idea what will survive the struggle to live here. My tub gardens are sprouting mightily. They're cattle feed tubs, like these:

And I found two timpony, of all things, at the Fort Sumner landfill. They had no drum heads. I'm thinking they belonged to the high school. But they're great for planting and they look like copper, so they're quite impressive.

I'm TRYING to grow amaranth, purple beans, multicolored popcorn, several squash and melons, garlic, onions, carrots, broccoli, spinach, basil, poppies, marigolds, luffa sponge, a blend called "Rio Grande restoration" which includes native grasses and desert/prairie plants, birdhouse gourds, lemon cucumbers (which can be pickled), heirloom tomatoes, some old potatoes that went to sprout, clover, oats, and I can't remember what all else.

I've dug 2 trenches apx. 30 feet long beside the house and fenced it. I also scratched out an apx. 15x10 kidney-shaped bed in the "drive" on the other side, liked with firewood. I have some native cactus in there, too. That one's covered with plastic and metal laundry hampers, crates, animal cages and a small piece of fence, to keep chickens and goats away from sprouts 'til they're big enough to be unattractive. Of course, chickens and goats MUST jump on all that, but they can't get to the baby plants. Oh, I have sunflowers, too: Hopi black dye.

I bought a bunch of seed at http://www.nativeseeds.org/ and an online friend sent me a huge batch of other seed. We're having spring rains, so watering's not a big issue.

I should tell you about the rooster who walked at least half a mile, half dead, to get here. Nobody nearer has chickens. He was in the empty lot, across the road from my drive. I thought, at first, he was one of my hens (my eyes are bad), and approached him. I knew he was a rooster when he raised his hackles at me. He took off, running the opposite direction, so I left him be. Several hours later, there he stood, again. I ignored him, but threw out some feed. Soon, he was in my yard, so spent, he let me pick him up, but screamed about it. His entire comb, waddles and part of his beak were black with frost bite. His tail feathers were gone. He had poop on his vent feathers, which can be a dangerous sign of contagion. But I put him in my chicken/goat house. He was so weak, he had a hard time holding himself upright.

Next day, he was still where I'd put him. I took him out to my little fish/stock pond and set him down. He fell in the water twice. He drank and drank for most of the day.

The next day, he began, haltingly, to walk about the yard. The hens would attack if he came too close; they knew he was sick. For three days, it went like this. He never made a sound, except to scream if I had to pick him up.

Finally, in early afternoon of the next day, he crowed. I thought: he might make it.

He won't sleep with the others; he perches on a low branch of a sapling beside the north side of the house.

The hens adjusted to his presence and began permitting him to come ever closer to them as they hunted food in the yard. By now, he was crowing appropriately, mornings and evenings and , periodically, at other times, if a stray dog came near us.

By the time the hens were ignoring him as one of the flock, the best thing happened. I was out with the goats, across the road in the field, when I heard a hen squawk. I looked up to see the rooster dismount my best laying hen.

He's a gaming cock. I don't think he was fought; he looks old and his spurs are nubs. He doesn't have much time left on Earth: maybe a year or two.

But he's all over the yard now, healthy and happy. I don't know what will happen to the blackened flesh on his face. it may drop away and he'll look very strange.

He found me. Just like Fatty Watty Kitty Catty and Spanky, my part time dog.

I guess the word is out about me in the animal world. These days, there's a scruffy, hungry-looking black laborador circling the place apologetically. He doesn't seem interested in killing chickens, goats or cats, so we'll see what happens there.

I may buy some ducklings at the feed store this week; they're due on the 21st of April.

Very long message. sorry.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

TELEVISION: "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman"

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I think it's well past time for the Motion Picture Academy ("Oscars") to give Ms. Tyson a lIfetime Achievement Award.

When Halle Barry received the first Oscar for best leading actress, it was a profound moment, mostly because it had taken so long for the Academy to acknowledge the work of Black women in the arts.

All I could think was, "What about Ms. Tyson?"

Yes, she has had a profound and ample career as an actress who has consistently portrayed strong characters. She has lived just fine, thank you very much, without serious recognition by the Academy.

We have generations now, again, who do not know their history and the risk to life their grand parents took to get us here.

Few realize what an act of courage is portrayed by an old woman, drinking water. We take for granted that for which people risked their lives. And those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it.

Ms. Tyson took serious risks to her life and professional career, just by choosing the powerful roles she acted.

Ms. Tyson's body of work needs to be honored and respected, to shine a light on the history of struggle and dignity her portrayals have consistently represented.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

DIY Air Conditioners

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I'd rather freeze a few 2 liter soda bottles for the ice water. I can also use them when I take my ice chest to town for groceries.

Gravity fed requires no ice; heat is transferred into lower container's water.

A hybrid of both the car and house air conditioning systems could be built, so you'd have a fan powered by solar battery charger, using gravity fed water.

Here's a really radical alternative: your hybrid, using copper coils, could blow cold air INto an ice chest, for a portable refrigerator without household current!

This one requires a pump.

This one is gravity fed: no pump, but it won't work if you let the top bucket run dry! No ice required!

Here's one using 12v fans. It operates heat or cool. I'd use a Styrofoam ice chest, rather than the bag, for stability. The really cool part of this is that your electricity source can be a 12v solar battery charger. They're pretty cheap at online auctions. This would be heat or cooling for camping trips, vehicles, etc. where alternating current isn't available. Items can be heated or cooled using a car refrigerator, which operates on both settings, and can also be powered by the solar charger.

Homemade Air Conditioner - The most popular videos are a click away

Another 12v, using an ice chest. I'd use the frozen 2 liter bottles for this one: recycle the water.

12v Portable Air Conditioner Camping Tent - VidoEmo - Emotional Video Unity

MOVIE: "Miracle at St. Anna"

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I've always hated war movies.

Then, I saw "Glory."

"Miracle at St. Anna" is just as powerful.

This may be the best work Spike Lee has ever done, and I really respect his body of work.