Friday, December 02, 2016

"Blessed are the me..."

As I drove to get my car serviced last week I noticed something that had not been present the last time I drove that route.  The underpass of the 405 and Roscoe Blvd. is packed with a massive homeless encampment.  Shopping carts with blankets and tarps spread between serve as the residence of so many people I couldn't count them all.  There is no more sidewalk under the concrete bridge, just a sub development of the forgotten. They were male, female, white, black, Latino, Asian and some too dirty to profile.

I have become accustomed to the homeless encampment among the trees on Burbank between Hayvenhurst /Balboa and Woodley. It seems to be a more organized tent city.  If this was not Southern California I would mistake it for a refugee camp. The more fortunate of the marginalized live in ancient motor homes parked on the cross street of the Sepulveda flood plain.  Although most people just drive through the area  perhaps stopping at the golf course located across the street, it is not more than a 15 minute walk from my front door.  Like it or not these people are basically my neighbors.

Since you need an address of some kind for voter registration and a way to get to the polls much less some way to find out where the proper polling places are located, I doubt that any of them voted.  They may not even know there was an election nor who won. Their struggle is far more serious than to be concerned about which billionaire was appointed Treasury Secretary.  The trickle down from the "job creators" stopped long before they could feel any effect.  They are not gaming the system, nor in on some food stamp fraud nor are they raising their fists saying "Hail" at a fancy dinner in an expensive hotel.   They are just Americans struggling to find a meal and a place to sleep before they search for another.  If the signs they hold asking for money are any indication some are veterans.  Sandi and I have taken to keeping loose change and dollar bills in the console of the car to give to some we see regularly at a stop light.

The latest demographic to these homeless cities are people in their late 50's.  For some reason they have lost their job and are trying to hang on until they are old enough to get social security. They are too old begin again in the job market.  See it's not government money they want, they want the money they paid (willingly) into a system that would hold it for them until they needed it.  It's their money, earned through their jobs when they had one. They are unaware that their money is now being held in political escrow as a governmental poker chip in a high stakes game of partisanship.

Before anyone says "Thanks Obama" and starts into a rant about who's watch this happened on let me cut to the chase: They don't give a shit. They can't contribute to campaigns or attend a rally or do anything that might get a government representative to pay attention.  The only reason they would burn a flag is for the heat, and they are probably too weak from hunger to stand during a national anthem.  Building a wall on the border won't give them a place to live and deporting a bunch of immigrants won't restore their jobs. If the new administration throws Hillary in jail, she will have better accommodations  than they do now.

How do you explain to the man gathering soda cans to pay for a meal that the country he lives in, paid taxes to and in some cases enlisted to help protect, is spending a million and a half dollars A DAY to protect a building in New York City so a spoiled, rich, entitled white man can safely take a dump in a bathroom of gold fixtures?  Does that flag wave for him too? From his point of view that flag is just a potential wall for his shopping cart tent.

I haven't watched the "news" in a week.  I don't know what the Executive Branch is doing to  "Make America Great Again."  I don't care about this cluster fuck of trust funder cabinet members nor what they are proposing. We can spout all the Patriotic jingoism popular at the time, we can argue if these are the people to get it done. But, America will never be GREAT (ever) until I can walk the sidewalk to the over pass of Roscoe Blvd again and not see forgotten Americans living in shopping carts.

As you were,
Jay

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Word

Words are important. How one uses words is how one communes with others. The written word is most important because it can be more permeate than words tossed out in the emotion of conversation. In older days to spread the Word one had to hand scribe a  text multiple times, or own a printing press or some kind of type setting machine. Today a tweet, post, comment or blog can be instantly published to millions in the time it takes to tap a key.
To counteract the sea of "bad" words and stinging comments that currently can contaminate your attitude, I offer a modern day solution. Below is a YouTube video of the written words from thinkers from all over the globe.  Just words of hope, encouragement and Truth that shine like the light on a hill to guide us through our journey. 
Over the years when I have found a word or a paragraph that lightens my heart I have reprinted, or taken a clipping of that phrase to stick on my office wall. These words surround me when I write, reminding me that what one says is very important. How easy it is to become so blind in your own office that you do not see the truth all around. 
It only takes a minute to relax and watch the video. It is accompanied by a touching Irish melody. Let the words sweep your mind clear of the clutter and even if some are not as easily read as others. Like a literate humidifier, let the mere exposure to it improve the way you perceive the rest of you day.
As you were, 
Jay







Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Okie Dokie

We all believe we can make a difference, and I was always told to speak out.  I was also told I had a gift for gab and I should use it with responsibility.  I will continue to live up to that admonition as long as I believe it is not causing more hatred in response.  I will continue to monitor that balance.
But for now...
I am shocked that people I thought I knew can post things that I can not balance with the person I thought them to be.
I am dismayed that some very intelligent people I know are willing to follow ignorance and intolerance over the cliff. Until I can figure out "what is going on" (the last quote I ever plan to use from the Pres. elect) I will continue to be very careful.
As you were,
Jay

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

History Repeats Itself

 It has only been a week since the election. That is not enough time to gain a perspective on what is to come... Or is it?

I hear people say and read posts to the affect that we must, "Wait and see, Give the new Prez a chance, We don't know what he will do yet."  To those who think time is on our side I say, Really?  What I think is: If it talks like Fascism, appoints people who are Fascist, is embraced by Racists and makes promises to a disappointed working class that can't possibly be kept, it must be Fascism. I personally have had more than 18 months of this new Leader's rhetoric and lies.  When I hear a duck quack I don't wait to see if it is actually a chicken in the pond.

Yesterday was my worst day.  By the end I was so depressed I went to bed early almost hoping that I wouldn't wake up.  That may sound overly dramatic but for a CD (clinical depressive) like me that can be par for the course, particularly when things seem to be out of my control.

My day started off with rage. So many posts on Facebook from people who have been very laid back about a Trump Presidency are now Trumpeteers with a "na na na- we won and you didn't- na na na" attitude.  I even found myself drawn into a "troll fight" on FB with people whom I will never ever meet. I decided to get off the media feed and see if the world was still turning outside.  It didn't help, that rage continued and I realized I was just aching for a fight. I was waiting for someone to cut me off with a car so I could scream and give them the finger.  I was very irritated that a guy in front of me at the Hardware store check out did not have his check card ready fast enough for me. I felt myself just hoping someone would say something that I could take the wrong way and read their beads.  I know it was all my own interpretation of normal events based on this thick fog that hangs over the nation right now.  

So, I am going to limit my time on all social media and this blog, and turn all my attentions to the book I am writing, which is anything but political. I will also say this to anyone who cares to have a open mind.  After Goebbels was appointed advisor to the Fuhrer in 1930's Germany,  there was no more real news, no truth, only the propaganda and lies that the regime allowed.  Yesterday Sean Hannity suggested that CNN, MSNBC and several other "news" outlets have their Whitehouse press credentials pulled because they didn't support Trump. The Trump himself asked President Obama to "Stop talking to the world... their mine now". And so it goes and the new Goebbels has not even officially taken office.
  
I see the America train heading for the edge of a deep canyon and unfortunately I can't get off.  I get marginalized if I try to warn the conductor, and this causes my depression to rise.  Not heeding the lessons of History condemns us to repeat it.  With the educational level of this country at an all time low it is now possible to fool most of the people all of the time.  
I am white, college educated and live in an affluent neighborhood with a healthy amount of retirement cash stashed away.  If I feel this hopelessness, how must those who have none of these advantages be feeling today with a propaganda guy like Bannon helping run the country?  
Over and out,
Jay



Monday, November 14, 2016

Next Up: Full Disclosure

 
The very haters who elected Trump are now calling for unity and togetherness.  The very candidate that said "throw them out" and "lock her up" and "Beat the hell out of them, I'll take care of your legal fees" and "throw them outside...its cold so no coats...not coats" today told his supporters to "Stop harassing Muslims, Latinos and minorities".  Are you Fuckin' Kidding me? Mr. President Elect... this is your doing you should be very proud of them not scolding them. Those same haters are dismissing civil disobedience and peaceful protests as sour grapes on the part of the progressives and liberals.  The thousands in the street are not exercising the right they were given under the first amendment of the Constitution, they are whiny losers who didn't get their way.  Even those who did not support Trump are saying the protests are "disruptive" and for no purpose. I've seen posts that say, "All they are doing it disrupting traffic and making it harder for real people to get home from work."  They agree with the right to protest, but believe (sincerely) that they should wait till "Something happens to protest about".  Basically they are saying wait till Trump does something to get mad about  THEN go to the street. 

I would like to address these two points one by one. First, "All they are doing is disrupting traffic and making it harder for real people to get home from work." That's the very point.  If Americans can still go about their lives as if nothing happened last Tuesday, we might as well all get fitted for brown shirts and learn to goose step.  The 1930's German people who were not members of the Nazi party, nor Jews, Gypsys, Political enemies, and not homosexuals, nor handicapped went about their lives without disruption while a race was slaughtered, Poland was conquered, Austria annexed, and France invaded.  To make a change the sacrifice has to be shared by the entire country.  The whole of America suffered and sacrificed during World War II. Gas was rationed, food was in short supply and everyone had some close relative involved in the War.  Women had to take factory jobs to make the tanks to send to their husbands who were liberating the conquered. America's involvement in that war lasted 3 years because everyone in the Nation was negatively affected. War is not just a lead story on the evening news, although that is the way war has been waged for the last 50 years in America.

Secondly, Let's wait until Trump does something to get mad about and THEN go to the street. Let me count the ways the President elect  has done something to get us mad. How about:  Mexicans are rapist, Muslims are terrorists, women are objects, homosexuals are deviants, accusers are lairs, competitors are criminals and the system is made to game.  If having a President elect that stands for all those things is not enough to get mad and protest about in the street... I'm not sure what is.  Perhaps it is true that he could shoot someone on Fifth-Avenue and not lose any supporters.  If his own words, temperment and juvenile response to serious matters is not enough to send people to the street what is the galvanizing issue?

The Alt.Right has taken over the Government. They hold the Executive, the Legislative and soon will control the Judicial branches.  The three branches were designed by the founders of the Constitution to act as a check and balance to each other.  There is no check, and no balance if one party controls the government.  Single party rule is called Fascism. The last and final check we as Americans have is protest. Since the last check and balance on this reactionary ideology that has taken over our country is mass protests in the street... let us exercise that right until that ideaology falls.  

The very people who are complaining about the anti-Trump protests are the same ones who praised the Arab Spring protesters three years ago.  We were so glad that the Arab people were taking to the streets to protest the oppression of a corrupt and senseless government.  That is exactly what Americans in the streets are doing now.   We don't have to wait to see it this a bad deal for America... we already know.  The problem is that soon the very supporters who believed this President was the right choice, will find that he is incapable of true leadership, and is only a puppet of a single party government. We did elect and outsider who is not part of the establishment. A wolf is definitely an outsider to the herd of sheep, but putting him is charge is not a good idea.  That is why we protest. He enters the presidency with the highest negative approval rating in the history of America. Now that he has the job where the buck stops, his negatives will only get worse.  All I can say is soon all of us will be in the street protesting this repressive, regime as one people and that ..... is when America will be great again. If not, well, for those of you who elected him enjoy the ride. I chose not to accept the lift. 
Keep protesting, keep marching, keep shouting and keep being Americans.

As you were
Jay
 

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

A Path, and the guide.

Thank you to friend Jon-Erik Jordan for posting this video.  It is a creative call to everyone who can think and write. The next step of Fascism is to marginalize and stop any reminder of what Freedom really is. We will see the rise of a very misguided electorate who believe their stupidity is true patriotism.  It is a big challenge for creative artists of all genres to hold a mirror to the nostril of hatred to make sure it stops breathing.
It is said much better here:

As you were,
Jay

President Trump

 I am writing this at 12:12 and Trump has just given his acceptance speech.  I am shocked and surprised that America has elected a complete amateur. I do not know how to process this improvable event. 
It will take me a long time to accept this result.  I'm sure that I will have more to say later, but I am for the first time in my life speechless. 
America you elected him you deal with him. 
God help us all,
Jay

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What is that Feeling?

 


I feel it. Most of my friends feel it. The whole country seems to be  suffering from it as well.  Some just think that it is election fatigue, I think it is something more. In fact I printed out my opinion of what it is and attached it to the refrigerator.  The note to self reads, "It's Depression Stupid".
There is still so much misinformation about depression most civilians can't really identify it for what it is.  For some, depression is just something you get over.  A momentary sadness that will get better in time as one learns to cope with an unhappy situation.  Their depression is gone before it can even be identified.
No so with us "clinicals".  For us it is not just a situation that has made us depressed, it is a chemical imbalance that keeps us from moving past that "unhappy feeling".  Eventually it becomes a chicken or the egg situation.  Initially we think  we are depressed because of some situation that is happening or has happened in our lives. Everyone has times that are not as productive, happy or satisfying as they could be and it is normal to have darker feelings about those times or events.  The death of a family member of close friend is the most obvious trigger for depression.  Depression is something that all people struggle with at one time or another.   Clinicals don't get past it, a clinical eventually realizes that it is not just the situation causing the depression, but depression is shaping the situation.  It becomes a death spiral. The depression makes a situation unbearable which leads to another situation that is no better than the first. Soon the entire world is a giant pity party requiring more pity and  depression as it begins to feed on itself.  This leads to hopelessness and helplessness as a person's life becomes so off track and out of control it is not worth living that pain anymore. 
Although depression can mask itself as various physical symptoms it is caused by a mental stew of feeling worthless, inability to affect your own happiness or future  and the idea that no choice before you brings any chance of change from sadness, which pretty much sums up this current Presidential election drama being played out.
There are so many conflicting ideas being touted as the truth, and so much hostility from both sides of the issue that even a non- Clinical feels helpless. As we can see an end to this cycle on Nov. 8th, it should be the light at the end of the tunnel and relief around the corner. For a clinical depressive like myself all I see is a new chapter of more hostility that will never end.   John McCain said he will not allow ANY Hillary Clinton Supreme court nominee to be seated at the Supreme Court if she is elected.  Ted Cruz said the same thing in the Senate chambers yesterday. And so my feeling of helplessness and hopelessness seems to just be beginning anew. 
The GOP spouts the idea that this election is about change.  The change they are talking about is a "change" from a Democratic President to a Republican President.  That is not where we need the change. While blocking nominations, killing bills, holding budgets hostage, with their majority in both houses of congress Republicans have done nothing for the last 8 years. In fact they have not just been idle they have made a massive attempt to squelch any legislation at all.  They suppress the way governing is supposed to happen, bully their rivals,  prosecute those they disagree with while their Presidential Nominee says elections are rigged.  If the democrats could rig elections don't you think they would give themselves the majority in congress?
The only change that will be effective is to rid Congress of the Republican strangle hold. Get rid of the Good Ole Boys who have become fat with power. Otherwise the election of the President is just a matter of PR.  
It's Depression Stupid. That feeling of hopelessness. The feeling that I can not change the situation I am in.  The feeling it is going to be bad no matter what I try to do and there is nothing I can do to really affect  my own future.  This is not just a sad time for a clinical depressive it is a sad time for everyone but while some of us may be able to cope with the madness,  there are those of us who will struggle no matter what happens.  
I plan to vote mainly because Prop 64 is on the California ballot.  That is the Pot Prop, and Pot is a well known effective anti-depressant.  No matter what happens on Nov 8th.... we are going to need some safe and helpful ways to deal with it. 
I thought writing about it would help me feel better..... It did not.  Rome wasn't built in a day, but it came crashing down very quickly. 
As you were,
Jay