May 21 2009
Five months ago after five hours of excruciating pain, a pain I never felt and couldn’t actually pinpoint the source of, I broke down and told my wife, fuck it, I gotta go to the emergency room. Now I’m a pretty tough cookie, over the years I have set and splinted numerous broken fingers on my own without ever seeing a doctor. I’ve used gauze and duct tape on cuts that should have had a dozen stitches, reset my own dislocated shoulder with the helpful cheering on of an old drinking buddy, and over the last 30 years have kept on working with dozens of different injuries that would have sidelined most people for weeks. I don’t say this as a form of self adulation to bask in some machismo bullshit, only to make the point that I can tolerate a lot of pain. It’s not like I had some wacky need to become this way, it’s just that when you are a single father of two kids for ten years like I was, doing a job that often results in injuries, you sometimes get hurt. And when the job conditions are such that if you don’t work, you don’t get paid, or collect benefits unless you are off for two or more weeks from that injury, you get up and work. Period.
So when I tell my wife that I have decided to go the the hospital, she knows I’m serious.
More after the jump….
Dec 26 2008
Cross posted at The Big Orange
I was reading the diary by Kestrel9000 a minute ago and was reminded again of the tragic realities that much of humanity is suffering through. We continue to survive under the system of worldwide corporate oppression where human beings are regarded only as variables of their profit equations, and if your place on their spreadsheets is determined to be of no value to them, you are allowed to be starved, ignored, exploited for political gain, and blamed for your own condition. Your lands and resources will be stolen, at best you can look forward to a life of abject poverty and isolation from your cultural history, subjugated to your corporate overlords profit margins, and cast away like a worn out shoe when they have exacted every penny they can from you and your people. Perhaps people will wake up and see that the line between Corporations and Governments no longer exists in any meaningful way. They are one and the same.
Perhaps a look at the wisdom of the elders is in order.
When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
Dec 20 2008
I started earning my own money in the first grade. Me and my little buddy David, my best bud back then, decided we could get rich shoveling driveways and sidewalks. By springtime David and I were starting to like having a little money so we expanded our operations to mowing yards. My dad said that as long as we kept oil and gas in the mower we were welcome to use it. It felt like we had been given the keys to the financial kingdom of our dreams. I liked David because he was a quiet kid who laughed like crazy at every one of my stupid jokes and he never stole anything from me. David liked me because I didn’t make fun of him and didn’t let other kids beat him up when I was around.
Jun 08 2008
Also available in Orange
I remember when my first child was born. It was a Sunday evening in October, and because the staff that night was short handed there were only two nurses on the floor, and one doctor on call. For the sake of brevity I’ll spare you all but one of the details of that night. My repeated requests for somebody to come to our room and help were ignored because the “professionals” knew that it just couldn’t be happening so quickly. Even a childbirth noob like me knew what a head popping out of that magical place meant, time for action!
I ended up catching my own daughter as she launched herself into this new place of being and straight into my heart. The nurses showed up several minutes later with bemused looks, and I remember one said loudly, “Holy Shit! You weren’t kidding!” The usual frenzy of delivery room antics followed, and once completed I spent every minute of the next 24 hours either holding or staring at this amazing new perfect little person as I was so immediately and completely in love. I knew instantly that I would do anything for her. No matter the cost, no matter the risks, I was going to give her a good life. I was going to protect her. I’m sure these are the thoughts of all new Fathers, and those of us blessed to have been born in developed countries have a damn good shot at making those dreams a reality. But suppose your child isn’t born “perfect”, and that “imperfection” will lead to a lifetime of isolation and cultural shame for your child unless corrected. You have no resources, none.
May 26 2008
Crossposted Sunday May 25 at Big Orange
On December 12, 2000 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Florida Supreme Court’s plan for recounting Florida’s ballots was unacceptable, and that no constitutionally valid recount could timely be completed by the December 12 deadline. This decision ended the recounts, and effectively installed the loser of the popular vote as President of the United States of America. The vote was certified according to Florida state election law by Katherine Harris, the Republican Secretary of State who had been the Florida co-chair of Bush’s campaign. Bush’s younger brother, Jeb Bush, was the governor of Florida. Though it was obvious to all that Harris and Jeb Bush had manipulated the election to favor the governor’s brother, it was too little, too late. Gore was eventually found to have won Florida by 543,895 more popular votes than Bush.
Below the fold is a graphic account of the tragedy and legacy of the worst president in history.
Apr 27 2008
What do you do when the greed fueled madness of the few becomes the stark deadly reality for many, and the blatant lies of the killers become the truth that is ejected day after day from the plastic reality box , where shiny bright vultures of the ruling class, with perfect teeth and perfect hair, proclaim and affirm that what you see isn’t what you get, that your eyes and ears are lying, that war is peace and hate is love and all is righteous and good in God fearing America. What do you do when our soldiers, bound by oath to fulfill their duty, are lied to, abused, sent to fight ill equipped, under manned, without competent leadership, stop lossed, numbed with medication, re deployed, over and over, then are dumped into our cities and streets, forgotten and left to fend for themselves. What do you do.
Apr 01 2008
Here is the first paragraph from the official Overview of Homelessness page from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs.
About one-third of the adult homeless population have served their country in the Armed Services. Current population estimates suggest that about 154,000 veterans (male and female) are homeless on any given night and perhaps twice as many experience homelessness at some point during the course of a year. Many other veterans are considered near homeless or at risk because of their poverty, lack of support from family and friends, and dismal living conditions in cheap hotels or in overcrowded or substandard housing.
Estimates from other sources vary but the general consensus is between 150,000 and 250,000.
I have noticed that in the last year under the Bush administration they have steadily lowered the official number. Go figure.
Mar 30 2008
Crossposted at The Big Orange.
There is no glory in the violence we choose to inflict upon other human beings.
There is no justice for the victims of our collective hate. There is only the suffering of the many made possible by the decisions of a few. Do not come to me with open arms or begging bowl when the alliance you seek is one of kinship or dispensation for your brutality. I am not your brother or your keeper.
There are children standing here,
Arms outstretched into the sky,
Tears drying on their face.
He has been here.
Brothers lie in shallow graves.
Fathers lost without a trace.
A nation blind to their disgrace,
Since he’s been here.
Mar 19 2008
My nineteen year old son and I just finished listening to Obama’s speech from today. To say I was moved would be an understatement. I can’t recall being brought to tears by a political speech before today, though I’m not so sure you could really call this speech political at its core. What I heard from Barack today was a plea to humanity to pause for a moment, to reflect on the reality of the divided culture we have created, and to see through our anger, resentment and suspicions, that the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would seek to tear us apart. If there were any lingering doubt about this mans authenticity, his incredible will or his warrior spirit, they were certainly laid to rest today.
Please join me below for my personal thoughts and my own families journey with racism.
Mar 08 2008
I would like to pull your attention away from the volcanic candidate fiasco, global warming and Brittney, if just for a moment, and bring to you the plight of a little girl who needs a home. She didn’t have much luck at her first home and is now looking for some new parents that will give her the love and care that she needs.
Her name is Ellie, and I hope that by meeting her one of you kind folks would find it in your heart to make her dream a reality.
Mar 05 2008
Hello fellow Dharmaniacs, just wanted to share a story that happned to me today at work.
Cross posted at the Big Orange Menace
I live in a bright red district in a overall blue state. Racism is alive and well in this city. There is a clear line dividing the west side made up of mostly African Americans, the east side made up of whites, and the old down town middle district, which is mostly Latino. You don’t even have to live here to know the divide, just drive across town east to west and see who’s about, it’s that clear. It’s still possible here to go for years without contact with person of color, and many do just that.
I work with a guy who for all the 20 years I’ve know him has been the prototypical Limbaugh, O’Reilly loving wingnut.
I have a short story about this man and how he will vote in this election, and WHY.
Sep 22 2007
What do you dream about? Many of us here dream about a day when the neocons are but a distant memory, and war isn’t an option. When health care is a right for every human being, not a privilege, and those uncounted millions who are working three jobs just to keep a roof over their heads, are able to make a living wage, and still have time to raise their children. A day when racism and ignorance is no longer tolerated, and those who support and inflame those ideas are banished to the outskirts of society in shame, not elected to national offices. Some folks have other dreams, very simple ones that don’t require massive cultural change or revolutionary ideas to achieve. Some people dream only of having a friend, one that will look after them and help keep them safe. In the last three weeks I have written several stories, both here and at another blog, about a brave young man who needed a little help making his dream come true. His name is James, and all he needed was a little help from folks like you, in making his miracle happen. Today thanks to some special people like yourselves, he is very close to making that dream a reality.