Wednesday, September 23, 2015

For English press one; para Espanol marque dos

On September 15, 2015 there was a letter to the editor of the Daily Rocket-Miner, in Rock Springs, Wyoming, which truly spoke to the bigotry which has been blatant in the current political scene.  The author, Jose Valdez, went to extraordinary lengths to explain his take on his ethnicity, with such heart felt candor, it compelled me to see if a wider audience could be able to read it.  I posted it to Google+, but readers who were not subscribers were unable to access it.  Through the editor, I was able to get in contact with the author and was granted permission to put it into my blog in total so a wider audience could be reached.

Just so you know, when he speaks of Chente, he is referencing the most popular singer in Mexico today, Vicente "Chente" Fernandez Gomez, who has a voice that would melt the heart of even the staunchest Republican (I hope!) and if you get a chance, google him and listen to some of his melodious renditions, such heart!  So, without further ado, here is the letter:

For English press one; para Espanol marque dos
To: Editor
From: Jose Valdez, Rock Springs

Escribo lo que se ha dicho para aquellos que arriesgar todo; arriesgan sus vidas para hacer un sue-oen realidad.  Escribo para los que escuchan a Chente, llorando por sus seres queridos, dejado atras.  Hablo para los que han sufrido en silencio, para que los que siguen despues, no tengan que sufrir en vena.

I would like to believe that I am sorry for speaking/writing in Spanish.  However, I am not.  I will translate and explain myself a bit more.  That is, if you have not stopped reading this altogether because of the first paragraph....I write what has been said for those risking their all; risking their lives to turn a dream into reality.  I write for those listening to Chente, and crying for their loved ones, they have left behind.  I speak up for those who have suffered in silence so that those who follow do not have to suffer in vain.

Google defines anchor baby as: a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country which has birthright citizenship.  Especially when viewed as providing an advantage to family members seeking to secure citizenship or legal residency.  This statement has been thrown around harshly in these recent Presidential debates, and televised interviews.

As: unpolitical, incorrect, disrespectful, and racist as it sounds.  It has forced me to look within myself.  To answer all those who have asked, why do what I do?  In specific, why I throw my 2 cents on issues that don't pertain to me, yet they do.  Day after night, it feels as if I carry the atomic mass of two nations I love upon my back.  I love the country I live in (nature), yet, I also love where I came from (nurture).

For those who took the time to read past the first paragraph.  Is this really what we want to teach our youth; judge others because of how they look, where they came from?  That treating others as we would want to be treated solely depends on how wealthy or famous we are?  Or, show younger generations that history must not, and will not repeat itself?

I do not have to imagine how "anchor babies" must feel, or if the word is offensive.  It is only a small fraction of why I do what I do.  Why I waste time, whether it be with poetry, or these articles?  Because it is the only way I know how to let go of the quantitative protons and neutrons carried on a daily basis.  Accumulating with attempts to consume my all, choke out the love I have for both nature and nurture.

The U.S. is what it is, especially this city of 56 different nationalities, because of the influx of all different type of immigrants.  Those who scream "anchor babies" with hate must realize that we are all anchor babies in one form or another.  The only difference is that their ancestors just happen to be the founding fathers, the anchor babies of fathers who crossed bodies of water to arrive upon these lands.

I cannot change minds with argumental words amongst heated discussions and harsh tones.  However, words can have everlasting imprints, and provoke subconscious self-evaluations.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mediocrity Doesn't Cut The Mustard Anymore!

Let me pose a hypothetical question to you.  There's a terrific bakery in your home town that makes the best bread ever...crisp crust, delicious down to the last crumb!  After a few months, each time you purchase a loaf, it continually loses a little bit of its original quality, then each loaf has traces of mold or bits of foreign material embedded in it.  Do you keep going back to buy a loaf every time you need bread, or do you find a new bakery?  That's what I thought, a new bakery it is!

Then, why is it, in our political life as voting citizens, we keep voting for the same old ideas, the same old faces, the same tired party lines, even when we know they are not working?  We have known for some time now, that what our politicians say on the campaign trail and what they do once elected are entirely two different things!  We also have known for quite some time now, that they are beholden to their corporate campaign contributors and frankly, don't give a shit what you need once they are elected!  Lesson learned...no matter whether they say they are a Democrat or a Republican, they are solely interested in your vote, not in doing anything practical that will make your daily life easier!  Their campaign motto should be, vote for me, I need your vote, but do NOT expect me to perform my duty!

Watching them for the many years that I have been able to vote has not been an easy task!  The philosophies of both political parties have gotten so far from their original intent, they are no longer even recognizable!  I knew, in my political heart of hearts, that the election on November 4, 2014, would come out exactly the way it did!  Money corrupts not just believers in a republic, but also believers in democracy and turn their original beliefs to so much dust!  This piece is not directed at any one person, nor any one elected official, but rather at the two party system (?) we now have in place.  Partisanship has turned into a fine art of fund raising and actual truth has taken a back seat to the almighty dollar!  We vote for the lesser of two evils, instead of rooting out that evil and replacing it with something that might work better.  I personally think that all future ballots should have a space for marking: None of the above!  Couldn't be any worse than voting for liars and thieves!

So what's a citizen to do?  Start at the local level, learn everything you can about any candidate, hell, run yourself if you are up to the challenge, but don't give your vote to someone just because of the letter in parentheses behind their name!  Do this same process at the state and federal level...check out each statement made by them and then, if you are convinced of their integrity, do your best to promote them and encourage others to do the same.  Our current political situation was way too many years in the making to change overnight, so it looks like we are in this mess for a while, but if each of us are the citizens we proclaim to be, then eventually we will get the money out of the equation and be able to take pride in our nation again!

My own personal life is littered with several ex-husbands who didn't meet my personal expectations, so having my political life littered with greedy, lying politicians who I voted for in the past doesn't bother me at all!  We live and learn from our mistakes, but for the sake of all that is holy, don't keep making the same mistake over and over, and over and expect a different outcome!  Now, get to cracking and get rid of all the moldy bread and corrupt politicians we can, one election at a time!

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Few Thoughts On Independence On This July Fourth

In almost every town, village, city, county, state and of course, the United States of America, there will be fireworks and many other displays of patriotism and love of country expressed.  Our independence from the British Empire, which was the entity which occupied this land and slaughtered the original occupants to steal their land, has a spotty history.  Which, I believe, is why this country, born out of violence against others, has finally come to be known as the epitome of violence world-wide!  We declared our independence, but at the same time, foisted the very same violence on peoples and countries all over the world....that is our legacy.  The importation of African slaves to do the dirty work of the original foreign occupiers continued the brutal violence with which our country was born.

We have muddled through more than two centuries, suffering growing pains and subjugating those who, being born naked, never got to progress much beyond a few rags to cover their nakedness.  From the day of the Declaration of Independence, it was meant to be a land which belonged to the upper class and was built by the labor of the underclass.  What a legacy, which being replayed multiple times in our history, brings us to the present day....not a very pleasing sight!

In our current days, the upper class still owns almost everything, but the lower classes are no longer necessary for the upper class to maintain their status, so there has been a concerted effort to starve them out and send their jobs to countries where even less advantaged people do the dirty work for the upper class. This is what they call globalization...which can be defined as greed gone wild, exploiting the poor populace to benefit the flourishing lifestyle of, you guessed it, the upper class.

Can this be remedied?  I believe it can, and lately, reading about how folks have formed cooperatives to grow organic vegetables, build windows, build bicycles, and many other forms or cooperative living are proving that the status quo does not have to be!  More and more, people have decided that they no longer want to be pawns of the upper class and they are breaking the bonds that have kept them enslaved.  My personal opinion is that the time has finally come for independence from the upper class (which includes our vaunted political class who have corruption coming out of their ears along with their campaign contributions!) and from this day forward, the lower class will figure out how to live life for themselves and keep their own rewards for labor well done!

Like all the problems which face us as humans today, it will not come easy or quickly, but come it will!  When humans unite and cooperate with each other there is no limit to what can be achieved!  We just need to prove to ourselves that we can be independent of our chains and think for ourselves!  Yeah, I am a bit of a Pollyanna, but I have a lot of faith in my fellow human beings and have seen how much love we have for one another when we struggle together.  So let's tell the big banks, Wall Street, corrupt politicians, and (feel free to insert any number of oppressors here!) declare our total independence of controlling mechanisms...we have each other!  With a lot of love and hard work we can be truly say this is our Independence Day!    

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Meandering In My Mind

So many things running through my mind today...so many things and so little mind!  Have you ever become so tired of hearing what passes for news these days, that you seem to lose the ability to give a shit anymore? That's me today,  cynically looking at each article I read and wondering why I bother to share them with others...does anyone else feel the same ennui, or do I occasionally reach someone who cares?  It certainly isn't done for the +'s, even though I must admit that when I get them, it does make me feel like it's helpful...at least to a few people!

I basically think that some days are just more overwhelming than others, today, for example, my sensitivity to planetary changes is causing me to feel weak.  Weakness is not a feeling I embrace, instead, I prefer to act tough even beyond my current strength.  I read on the weather channel that an earthquake in China had killed and injured many...I told the old man this morning that the earth was in spasm somewhere, I could feel it in my bones, that twisting, tight, uncomfortable sense that all was not right.  I wonder if the the people in China can feel my sympathy the same way that my empathetic body can feel their suffering?  I hope so, because at times like these everyone needs someone to care!

Not just the earthquake in China, but horrible things happening all across the world, the suffering, some people creating even more havoc than normal, a fetish with guns, rich watching poor die without concern, governments taken over by unprincipled corporations, politicians who are there only to benefit themselves...makes me feel so weak!  Would I could morph into a knight in shining armor and save them all, but alas, I am just one old woman, with just my words and my sympathy...noble weapons I have none, but only words to fight this battle.

So, even feeling weak, I push myself to express my sorrow and my wishes that the world would do better by its people, in posts that some read and plus...all the time knowing that those who need to read and digest them the most never will.  No matter, if even one person takes heed, my job is done!  Never give up, even when you are feeling weak!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What Does An Atheist Celebrate On Palm Sunday?

   In our current cultural milieu, everyone is practically expected to shout their religious affiliation from the rooftops!  Since I was born into a family that was Roman Catholic, I was destined to be involved in that very same church.  Going to church wasn't enough apparently, I also had to attend parochial school, so I only had the privilege of public education for the 1st grade in grade school and the last two years of high school...3 years out of 12 of my life bound to a church that I never believed in!

   Reason and intellect poked their ugly heads up quite early in my childhood, I was 7 years old when I rejected the religious teachings of that Roman Catholic Church and became an atheist.  The only reason that I say the "ugly heads" of reason and intellect, is because that is how I was treated by my elders whenever I questioned the control the church beliefs had over them!  One is not supposed to question, one is just supposed to have "faith"!  Not this girl, that never satisfied me, I wanted total freedom to choose and  investigate what my beliefs would be...my Mama just didn't understand!  Thankfully, my Papa wasn't extremely religious, so at least he was an ally!  Mama, on the other hand, tried, oh so hard, to make be a good girl!    When I think back it makes me giggle a little...how could I be "bad" if I didn't feel guilty?  It took me many years, until the very last summer of my Mother's life to hear her tell me that she was proud to have me as her daughter.  I think now, if she were still alive, and could see what a debacle the church has turned into, she might even convert to my side!  She certainly wouldn't have approved of what priests have done to innocent children worldwide...not my Mama, who had a soft spot for children and a desire for justice and equality for all.

   So, to answer my question asked at the beginning of this rambling post, what does an atheist celebrate on Palm Sunday...freedom!  Freedom to investigate prior to contempt!  Freedom from fear of an unearthly being who, let's face it, seems pretty uncaring when those who do believe in him do horrible things!  Freedom to love my fellow human beings just like one of my own family!  Freedom to face a certain death without fear of an avenging god punishing or rewarding me for earthly transgressions or good deeds!  Freedom to live my life and my beliefs, honoring my parents, loving my child, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren, my life partner and everyone else in my life who accepts me for who I am!  That's what I celebrate, freedom to be an atheist, me!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Where Have The Months Gone?

I decided to checkout my blog today and found that I've posted absolutely nothing since January of this year!   My last post was after the State of the Union address by President Obama, then nothing!  What's been going on?  Our national political scene has gone to hell in a hand basket, the Republicans are fighting against any and all things that might possibly help the working class and the Democrats are asleep at the wheel...par for the course!

There is some good news on the home front, however, I have been doing a lot of posting over on Google+ and doing my damnedest to get folks to pay attention to just how badly we are being screwed by both political parties and their corporate sponsors!  All of them have never been handed a dollar that they didn't immediately pocket to the detriment of what we laughingly call, We, the people!  Sure there's a bright spot now and then, Senator Bernie Sanders, for instance, still appears to be an honest man, something unheard of in the American political scene, but for the most part it appears that every other politician is busily attracting the attention of their corporate donors and then repeatedly kissing their behinds!  Millions of Americans are jobless, homeless and without prospect of ever getting ahead in life.  Does this bother our Washington, D.C. denizens?  Not one little bit, the only jobs they care about are their own!

Surprisingly, most of the citizens STILL don't even seem mad enough to do anything about it...have we lost our sense of courage along with our dignity?  Occupy Wall Street has done many good things to help folks get informed about what should be done by our politicians, but the inaction of the masses is deafening!  My guess is that people have become so forlorn about their country and their living and working prospects, that they have virtually given up...or just maybe, they realize that those who are elected to represent them, have instead abandoned their needs in pursuit of their own.  Whatever the cause of this complacency is, nothing will ever change until every single person is out in the streets shouting "ENOUGH"!

I can understand the fear of police in riot gear (by the hundreds) whenever a protest takes place, but at some point we need to forget that fear and force the powers that be to pay attention to our demands or die trying! I made  a comment to a dear friend of mine yesterday that says it for me...I'd rather be shot to death than die by starvation!  Those who have nothing, have nothing to lose!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ruminations About The SOTU Address

As I watched the State of the Union address last evening, it quickly became evident to me that there were a lot of things about it which would require more than just a few minutes thoughtful examination.  The tone was quite good, as were the points made about our domestic agenda.  The other tone, while speaking about our militaristic endeavors was almost nerve wracking, at least to me, so I may have to re-read it a few more times to jell the whole speech properly!

That being said, I was impressed that President Obama was bringing the game to the right-wing regressives, rather than waiting for them to attack first.  Mostly it was good, but stewing over it for a bit will be required for my own peace of mind!  As soon as this old cow chews the cud and ruminates, I will post my further thoughts. Until then, don't take anything at face value until you thoroughly investigate it for yourself!