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Friday, December 13, 2013

Effecting Change

"You can go to the moon, if you so choose", she said to the girl in the escalation department whom had just said to her, "Sorry, we can't go backward but we can go forward".

This wasn't the first call. It was more like the 20th.  And none of them short.

Sometime back she had thought she could lower her monthly expenses by giving up her long distance and use a calling card instead, or even try to get up to speed on Skype. The options were sorely limited and she was feeling strangled, controlled, manipulated, angered.

What options did she really have? Where was her power? Where was the respect even? "Sorry, we can't go backwards...during the time you were out of your original 5 year guaranteed plan, the rates went up."

"That's the whole point", she went on to say. "I would not have gotten out of my plan had one of your representatives or your forced-upon-us automatic technology prompted me to realize that it would not benefit me to let go of my long distance because of your bundling program."

"Yes, we appreciate your loyalty and we understand your issue, but we can't do that. That plan is no longer available. "

She doesn't always pick her battles wisely. This is a matter of a few dollars, but it could just as easily be hundreds or thousands. The fact that there is no competition, no way to leverage influence is what has her up in arms.

Not to mention the inflammation it causes her to hear "we can't", or "our policy is...".
Policy, schmolicy! 

This is an issue of the culture that exists because we let it.

An issue that is at the core of poverty, because it is a full time job to be poor just trying to make what little there is go as far as it can; so how can the poor escape to find better means (as if they were available) whereby they may not mind paying more, more, more...though very much they should, if hours upon hour must be eaten up searching for ways to keep from being gouged?

And isn't that the conspiracy, to wear us out so we will quit and they will continue to reap the benefits of their failed well-designed systems?

It is an issue because it is these very $5, 6, 7, 10 gouges that are what, (after millions and millions of transfers out of our pockets into their off shore, tax-evading accounts), make them ever and ever more rich and powerful and leave their underpaid employees saying, "I'm sorry, but that's the way it is."
Being a child in the 50's, she remembers not about having to pay exorbitant fees for telephone services. Albeit, long distance was expensive and personal computers didn't exist. Her mother and her mother's sister and family wrote letters back and forth and called only when essential. Or they traveled to visit and it was an awesome treat.  A land line was essential. For quite a period of her youth, they were party lines and you didn't even have privacy from whomever had the party to yours. In their case it was a neighbor they were friendly with and it served as useful from time to time. And if the phone got ripped out of the wall by your drunken father, the phone company came out and reinstalled it, and she doesn't recall her mother fretting about any fees she would be imposed upon to pay. Maybe there were fees, but the service was personal and you didn't get put on hold for eternity to finally speak to someone who would/could help you.

And she doubts that they might have said, "Sorry, but you're stuck with that, because that is our policy schmolicy."

How long are we going to stand for these giant companies financially depleting us of our hard earned resources? What do other countries pay for theirs? She tried to find out, and all she could get for her search engine results were hundreds of links to results for rate comparisons for services in the USA. She remembers seeing something where people of other countries gasped at how the USA is being gouged.

What do other/foreign/countries pay for phone service...

Do we think they have enough control yet?

They can go to the moon, if they so choose. But they can't put her back on her original plan because of a failure in their lacking service.

Were the 50's really that much better, or is that a faulty memory of hers?

It's time for a change, don't you think?
Have you had any trouble with Century Link? Are you tired of being gouged?

Let's have a discussion and occupy the phone system. Let's effect change. It won't be them that changes unless we make them. How do you think we can?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Fight For Truth

It's crazy how a day unfolds.

Because I have chosen to try to survive without depending on a large transnational corporation for my income, I usually wake in a slight panic.

To get grounded, I get up and feed my Little Red Haired Girl and then turn on Free Speech TV (dish 9415) to see if Democracy Now or Thom Hartman are on and get the latest for what people wanting a true democracy are having to say about the state of the world.

This morning, "Meet The Farmer" was on. It's Saturday. It's Fun Day. It's Farmer's Market Day.

The host was interviewing a young girl in VA who was doing a cooking demonstration with food she collected from the vendors around her at the Farmer's Market that day.
She's a cook and got this gig because she also writes for a local publication started over 10 years ago, before it was a trend to practice sustainable agriculture by buying/eating locally.

It always gives me hope to realize that many, many people are avoiding working for transnational corporations and even thwarting their efforts to take over the world.

That's what I want to be a part of.

Before long I was online looking for more information to encourage my efforts to bypass selling myself to slave labor. (Debt Bondage?)

Overall, fifty-one of the largest one-hundred economies in the world are corporations.

Scary, eh?

(To counter this trend, Dave Hartley has suggested “four wisdoms of de-globalization”: 
                        Think for Yourself
                        Question Authority
                        Globalize Consciousness
                        Localize Economies)

I am just amazed at how many people are out there fighting for the truth about what is really happening to our world around us.

Commercial TV seems to be no more than propaganda. There is no way to tell if what they are saying is a way to manipulate us or not.

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television argues that the technology of television is not a neutral or benign instrument or tool. The author argues that in varied technologies and institutions such as militaries, automobiles, nuclear power plants, mass production, and advertising, the basic form of the institution and the technology determines its interaction with the world, the way it will be used, the kind of people who use it, and to what ends.

Follow the money and you will know the truth of what their intentions really are.

Transnational corporations have been made into "people" by the Supreme Court who are operating with serious conflicts of interest, with little transparency and to no good for us as the world of real people.

What I can't understand, apart from knowing the Devil is in the details, is that there are real people behind those big industrial steamrolling ships of social movement. Do they not have any conscience about their own children and loved ones or do they assume Mars will be made habitable by the time they blow up Mother Earth!

Here are some of the things I found in my search for sanity...

Grit TV with Laura Flanders:
("The American people should see that corporations have abandoned them long ago," says scientist, environmentalist, and food justice activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, named one of the seven most influential women in the world by Forbes magazine.  "The people will have to rebuild democracy as a living democracy."
Dr. Shiva has been fighting corporate takeover in every area in her native India, combating a nuclear plant one week and patented, genetically modified seeds another. She joins Laura in studio to advise American activists how they can fight the merging of corporations and government here at home and around the world.)

One of the 7 most influential women in the world: 
Dr. Vandana Shiva

 click here for books by Dr. Vandana Shiva

"Soil Not Oil is a must-read for anyone who takes the future of the planet seriously. Soil Not Oil dares us to imagine a world where people matter more than profits.With Soil Not Oil, Vandana Shiva brilliantly reveals what connects humanity’s most urgent crises—food insecurity, peak oil, and climate change—and why any attempt to solve one without addressing the others will get us nowhere.Condemning industrial biofuels and agriculture as recipes for ecological and economic disaster, Shiva champions the small independent farm instead. With millions hungry and the earth’s future at peril, only sustainable, biologically diverse farms that are more resistant to disease, drought, and flood can both feed and safeguard the world for generations to come. Bold and visionary, Soil Not Oil calls for a return to sound agricultural principles—and a world based on self-organization, community, and environmental justice."
"Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, "wastes" become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions."

Stolen from several unnamed sources (meta-physical in nature) on the internet, but it sounds pretty useful..

“Our thoughts are prayers, and we are always praying.  Our thoughts are prayers, listen to what you’re saying.  Seek a higher consciousness, a place of righteousness.  And know that God is always there.  And every thought becomes a prayer.” ...

For food Freedom start here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Twist and Shout, The White Stays White White

Three little girls and a mom and dad took a trip to Canada in the 60's. The father had retired from the USAF and at that time, the Air Force would pay for the final move to a desired location. Another option was that they would pay for one half of the cost of a trip for pleasure. (Not sure if that is exactly how it was, but in effect that is what occurred.)

We had a huge, baby blue 1950's Buick with a continental kit.

We drove that car from Edgemont, CA to Boston, MA (where we stayed with my aunt a day or two) and then, with Aunt Helen along, took the Bluenose Ferry over the ocean to Nova Scotia, Canada for my mother to visit her family there. It would be the first time they all met my father.
Bluenose Ferry

It would be the first time we would all see snow. 
I can remember a row of little girls shoes lined up on the open door of an oven, cooking the wet out of them.

We were crazy about the Beatles at the time. We had learned to do the twist. At least my little sister and I had. My older sister didn't quite have the same interest or co-ordination.
But the family wanted to see us all perform and we were more than willing to soak in the applause.

The entire trip, people would get a kick out of three little girls all dressed alike. We were referred to as "twins and a half" by one observer.
If my mother bought one, she bought three. If she made us an outfit, she made three. Sometimes they would be different colors, but always the same print. And then we would proceed to hand down the dresses or tops or pants. She would start out making them too big for us, so we could grow into them. Then she would take in my older sister's outfits to fit me and then let them out again for my younger sister. (I was a "bag of bones" in those days). Poor little sister, she saw the same outfits forever.

Everyone thought it was wonderful that we had all these great, homemade outfits. I think it had additional impact because there were three in a row lined up on different "models". It was kind of our trademark. Today it would be referred to as a branding element.

She, Mom, would later let us each pick out fabrics or colors we wanted, but she would still create the outfits for us.
In our younger years it was a major event to get something store bought and boy did we look forward to those times.
The shirts we are wearing in this picture were red, white and blue. Mom bought them for us. She just loved them because, "the white stays white, white and the fabric never looses its shape". I remember her bragging about how she loved the White Stag label items. She probably found them, then, at the March Air Force Base Exchange. We endearingly called it the BX or from her long association with base life, the PX, Post Exchange. In those days, military personnel and their families were treated to very good quality items at deep discounts compared to regular department store prices. We thoroughly enjoyed that privilege.

That statement stuck with me for years. I remember when I first saw the label again as an adult at Wally World. I was initially excited. It was nostalgic. My mother was gone by then, but I could hear her words, "the white stays white, white and the fabric never looses its shape".
I gravitated right to the racks and started looking for what I could buy that was White Stag? The further along I got into inspecting the items, I would realize that they weren't the same quality.
Something was wrong.
I was already aware of the Wal-Mart history of forcing brands to compromise to meet their cost demands, but I didn't know what had actually happened to the White Stag label.
As it turns out, the original brand would be sold, resold and eventually fall victim to a hostile takeover, later to fall into bankruptcy. Wal-Mart would eventually buy the trademark in 2003 and put it on a brand of women's casual clothing, footwear, and basic jewelry.
It is not, I say, "It is not the same thing as when my mother said, 'the white stays white, white and the fabric never looses its shape' ".
How this ties into "Tipping Green" is that Wal-Mart, after the death of Sam Walton, changed its policy to meet the demands of competition that is the reality of any corporation. To continue to "grow", they had to become ever more and more profitable. They at least had to show as though they were profitable.
Because of their highly sophisticated technology, loading the floor with high profit items looks good on their quarterly earnings report. Even though it might not have been sold, according to the way they kept their records, it showed up as profit.
Sam Walton had a long history of supporting the USA. But after he died, other leaders put into action policies that would force even the manufacturers in the USA to have to go off shore to stay in business.
These practices aren't sustainable. They are nowhere near "Tipping Green". CEO Lee Scott has been quoted as having said, "Well, it's just the way it's got to be. This is a global economy now. We've got to do business with China. We have no other choice."
Selling more, doing more with less is their Modus operandi.

I don't think so.
Personally, I do not shop at Wal-Mart. If I have to buy it there, I don't need it.
There, I spoke my one truth for the day...

"In Twelve Steps to Political Revelation, Mosley outlines a guide to recovery from oppression. First we must identify the problems that surround us. Next we must actively work together to create a just, more holistic society. And finally, power must be returned to the embrace of the people.
Challenging and original, Recovery confronts both self-understanding and how we define ourselves in relation to others."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's Not All Black and White

There is a sharp contrast from this to how we see cows living today.
It appears that her baby is waiting for its turn for some milk. (you sure don't see babies with their mothers anymore! So sad. So unnatural. So cruel.)

Whole fresh milk, unpasteurized...
A Campaign for Real Milk at links to Weston A Price Foundation and says that,
"Back in the 20s, Americans could buy fresh raw whole milk, real clabber and buttermilk, luscious naturally yellow butter, fresh farm cheeses and cream in various colors and thicknesses. Today's milk is accused of causing everything from allergies to heart disease to cancer, but when Americans could buy Real Milk, these diseases were rare. In fact, a supply of high-quality dairy products was considered vital to American security and the economic well being of the nation. What's needed today is a return to humane, non-toxic, pasture-based dairying and small-scale traditional processing, in short..." 
It 's not all black and white. There are a lot of opinions. A Lot!
I say, "Follow the Money!" Better yet, I say, and I quote, "Look and listen for the welfare for the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations." It originated with the Iroquois - Great Law of the Iroquois - which holds appropriate to think seven generations ahead (a couple hundred years into the future) and decide whether the decisions they make today would benefit their children seven generations into the future.

"Iroquois clans were ruled by women, who made all the land and resource decisions for each clan."

There is a sharp contrast from this to how we function in our world today. Maybe we could take an example from their wisdom...