Ramona's picture

    The Flint Water Crisis: It's All Obama's Fault

     

    Jake May—The Flint Journal-MLive.com/AP

     

    Nearly every day I'm hearing from people who are just now paying attention to what's been going on in Michigan  Their reactions to the latest and the worst insult--the water poisoning in Flint--are many and varied, but tend to follow the same theme:  WTF??

    I'm not here to judge, but it's not as if our bleating protestations haven't been wafting through the air for years. (They have been--even before 2011, when the GOP gerrymandered their way into absolute power and Rick Snyder took the oath he pretended he didn't hear.)

    Ramona's picture

    Dear Free Press: That Water Situation in Flint is Partly Your Doing

    Dear Freep: I'll get right to it. I used to be such a fan. Remember how you used to be the blue-collar paper in Detroit and the News--that rag!--was the paper of the Republicans?  Good times.

    Ramona's picture

    There's a Poison In Michigan And It's Not Just In The Water

    You've probably heard that the water supply in Flint, Michigan is loaded with lead and has been poisoning the city's children, along with everyone else.  So far, there are 200 confirmed cases of lead poisoning among children under six, with some 9000 more believed to be at risk.  That's just the kids.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Raising The Minimum Wage Treats The Symptom Not Our Illness

    In theory, raising the minimum wage would pull millions out of the hell called poverty. There are, however, unintended consequences that come with doing this: a portion of the very people such legislation is designed to help would be hurt; some jobs would be eliminated through automation, and the productivity requirements for those fortunate enough to have a job could exceed their physical capabilities. We could, inadvertently, speed up the economic Darwinism many workers are currently facing. There's enough Prima facie evidence for us to admit that low wages are now a structural part of global capitalism. In order to properly address the growing wealth gap we have to be wiling to admit that there are industries that depend on a supply of unskilled low wage laborers.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    I support The Oregon Militia. . .

    I support the Oregon Militia and the dozens of interlopers who've joined their ranks. I think mandatory minimums are unjust. I've helped inmates in the Commonwealth of Virginia fight Draconian sentences handed down by judges with reputations for, "laying brothers down". I support the idea of civil disobedience.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Don't Ever Call the Cops: The Tamir Rice Story

    The Tamir Rice story, and the irresponsible decision not to prosecute his killers, is breaking my heart. And while the worst sufferers are Tamir's family, I have found myself thinking, ever since he died, about the poor soul who called 911. That person was just trying to do the right thing, but the positive, neighborly gesture led to disaster. Calling 911 brought the Cleveland Police, and because the police came a child died. Everything would have better if the police had not come.

    Ramona's picture

    Peace Is A Wish Our Hearts Make

    As someone who wallows in politics, in opining, in making fun of those who, if I were the violent type, would be subject to ear pulls and nose-tweaking, I'm still surprised when, like clockwork, these are my thoughts at Christmas time:

    Ramona's picture

    The Murders at Planned Parenthood And The Unbelievable GOP Response

    Yesterday on Morning Joe, Joseph McQuaid, the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, was asked why his newspaper was endorsing Chris Christie for president.  Mika Brzezinski asked what successes in Christie's record would stand out as something he could accomplish on a grand scale. Without even blinking, McQuaid rattled off three things.  The first two, apparently in order of importance, were these: Christie is pro-life and has vetoed several pro-abortion bills.  He has defunded a block funding for Planned Parenthood.  (The third one--because there were three--was about Christie keeping taxes in check.)

    Ramona's picture

    What If The Second Amendment Didn't Exist?

    Once upon a time, long before The National Rifle Association stopped being a reasonable, responsible hunter's association and became the NRA, the Second Amendment was looked on, if at all, as a remnant of the olden days, when the writers of the Constitution saw fit to assuage the fears of the states by assuring them they could form their own state militias in case the federal government got too bossy, thinking they owned the place.

    These days, even though nothing about it has changed, the Second Amendment is the one and only part of the Constitution actually seen as constitutional by the Right Wing. (Causing certain politicians who don't know what's going on to keep repeating the magic words, "Second Amendment". It gets them votes, so what the hell?)

    Read more at Crooks & Liars.

    Ramona's picture

    Obama Says He'll Politicize Guns. NRA, Fox, GOP Say No Way, That's Our Job.

    . . .And, of course, what’s also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, Obama politicized this issue.  Well, this is something we should politicize.  It is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic.
    Ramona's picture

    Okay Meanies, You Can Come Out Now. The Pope Is Gone.

    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how quiet the resident meanies were while the Pope was here? Even Donald Trump gave it a rest for a few days.  Or am I wrong?  Did I just not notice because, to their credit (and my relief), the press took to covering the Pope every day in every way and kept it nice?
     

    Ramona's picture

    The Hopelessness of Homelessness - A Guest Post

    The post below was written by my internet friend and fellow writer, syrbal-labrys.  She posted it on her own blog, Experiential Pagan, about a month ago but I only just discovered it last week.  I asked her if I could re-post it here and she graciously agreed.  

    We talk about the homeless a lot, but most often as distant observers who can only imagine what it must be like.  This is a story of an encounter and a rescue, with an ending as elusive as the reasons why:

    Ramona's picture

    Labor Day, Brought to You By Unions Everywhere

    This year I joined the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO (NWU).  I advocate for unions all the time, and this just puts the icing on the cake for me, but more than that, more than how it makes me feel, union membership joins us, arms linked, as we struggle to give our labor force the respect it deserves.  (Yes, even those workers who rail against unions.  We fight for them, too.  Because who else will?)

    As I do every Labor Day, I went looking for Labor Day mentions, and the first thing I found was a list of Labor Day quotes to use on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  Hey!  Great!  But after reading a few of them I noticed a pattern:  They were all about the rewards of hard work, the joys of labor, the shame of idleness.  Nothing about unions AT ALL.  On Labor Day. 

    Ramona's picture

    Goodness and Mercy and The Charleston Massacre

    On Wednesday evening, June 17, a 21-year-old White Supremacist sat for an hour in a prayer meeting with the good people of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston and, when the hour was up, opened fire with his .45 caliber Glock.  He slaughtered nine innocent church members for no other reason than that he held such a deep, abiding hatred for blacks he wanted to be the one to kill them.  His goal was to start a race war.


    Later, after he was caught, he admitted to the police that the parishioners were so nice to him he almost didn't do it.  It was the twist of the knife for those of us already grieving over his murder victims.  One single second of conscience, one deviant drop of human kindness, and the people who welcomed him into their fold might have been saved.

    Ramona's picture

    No Excuses: Angry Thugs and Looters are Still Thugs and Looters

     

    I know you might hate this, but I'm going to do it anyway.  I'm going to write this as a mother, as a grandmother, as a card-carrying citizen of the United States, as a goddamned human being.

    I'm white, but if you dare hold that against me you're no better than those who hold color against anyone.  We're going to talk about those stupid vandals who rampaged through their own Baltimore neighborhood the night before last, looting, burning, destroying nearly everything in sight.  They were black kids and they used the funeral of a young black man as an excuse to raise so much hell we'll be adding Baltimore once again to the list of the worst riots in the U.S.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    National Adjunct Walkout Day (and Why It Matters to You)

    Today, February 25, is National Adjunct Walkout Day. The majority of college teachers in America today are not full-time instructors with salaries, benefits, or job security, but allegedly "part time" adjunct faculty members paid a few thousand dollars per course. Today, across our country, those adjunct faculty members will be walking out of their classes and holding events to raise awareness.

    Ramona's picture

    The Things We Leave Undone While We Sweat The Small Stuff

     

    In this country millions of children are going hungry.  There are as many reasons as there are hungry children, but not a single one of them is the fault of the child.

    This year's count puts the homeless at nearly 600,000. Many of them are our veterans, come home from wars with wounds that won't heal.  Nearly a third of them live on the streets.  Some cities work diligently to keep them off the streets, not by sheltering them but by making their attempts to sleep outdoors more difficult.

    Ramona's picture

    Vandals, I Don't Get You. Can We Talk?

    van·dal

     
    noun: vandal; plural noun: vandals
    1. 1.
      a person who deliberately destroys or damages public or private property.
      "the rear window of the car was smashed by vandals"
      synonyms:hoodlum, barbarian, thug, hooligan, delinquent, despoiler, desecrator, saboteur
      "vandals defaced the front steps of the church"
    2. 2.
      a member of a Germanic people that ravaged Gaul, Spain, and North Africa in the 4th–5th centuries and sacked Rome in AD 455.
    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Police, Danger, and the Social Contract

    I was blogging about the police tonight, and about the responses to protests of police brutality. Then I heard about the shooting of two police officers in New York City,  so the rest of that post (and some of the others I have been working on) will have to wait.

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