35 Mind-Blowing Facts About Inequality

appletonavenue:

This did indeed blow my mind. You can do your own fact checking.

Originally posted on Tales from Genie and Lou:

35 Mind-Blowing Facts About Inequality | Alternet.

Bernie Sanders realizes that runaway inequality is a critical issue. How come the other candidates don’t?
July 13, 2015

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

While Hillary Clinton occasionally gives some lip service to the problem of extreme inequality, Bernie Sanders is the only candidate really hammering away at it. He has even blasted the orthodoxy of economic growth for its own sake, saying according to Monday’s Washington Post that unless economic spoils can be redistributed to make more Americans’ lives better, all the growth will go to the top 1% anyway, so who needs it? Sanders might know his history, but the rest of the candidates could use a little primer.

The United States was not always the most powerful nation on Earth. It was only with the end of World War II, with the rest of the developed world in…

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Technology and Photos

We’re scanning all our photos into the computer, putting them in folders labeled ‘Grandma’s Birthday’ or ‘Summer 77’.  And don’t forget to back those up on a flash drive.  And then what?  I have a dozen flash drives full of photos.  Why not keep the physical photos as back up?  Takes up too much space.  Maybe you have too many photos?  I know we do.  futureHusband being an amateur photographer and all, there are boxes of photos he wants me to scan.  (He can’t do it because it’s too confusing for him.  It’s a lousy excuse, but I wrote out the instructions, and still had to walk him through the steps.  I figured it was just easier if I did it myself.  But I drag my feet, because even after I’ve scanned, labeled, and shared boxes of photos…he won’t throw out the originals.  It will take more than a generation to delete paper from our lives, but it is coming.  Kids just email their homework to their teachers.  Everything will be done on iPads.  In time, even the musty smell of old book stores will dissipate.

The pace at which our technology is expanding is both awe inspiring and frightening.  I’m old enough to remember carbon paper and manual typewriters. It’s so long ago and I feel it was ‘better back then’, just like all old people do.  Today at Starbucks I saw little round disks with a hole in the middle, and a USB port.  They were wi-fi chargers.  You place them on the table and plug in your device and it charges.  I’m blown away by the technology.  But then I thought, aren’t radio waves sort of like wi-fi?  Does wi-fi use radio waves, or something else?  And then my brain begins to hurt and I stop thinking about it.

Glow-in-the-dark puppy created by Korean Scientists (2011)

Glow-in-the-dark puppy created by Korean Scientists (2011)

Things are changing in my world that I do not want changed.  Why do we need such technology?  You know, if ISIS or Russia, or China wanted to take over the US, all they’d have to do is sabotage our electricity.  No bombs required, and we’d be hostages.  Just because we have the capability to do something doesn’t mean we should.  We now know how to clone sheep and make puppies and fish glow in the dark.  Maybe in some obscure way this knowledge will help us learn something else.  But really; glow-in-the-dark puppies?

I must admit that use this technology too.  I have a Facebook page, my blog, my online store.  There’s even a MySpace page and some short stories floating around the World Wide Web. I love the fact that I have so much information at my fingertips.  The problem is it’s all the same information, often word for word, regardless of the subject from Aborigines to Zoology.  Google something.  Then check the first 3-5 sites.  See if the information varies much.  Granted, the information may be accurate.  But it may not be all the information.  I still trust books.  Especially encyclopedias, always an excellent unbiased source for information.  But they don’t update them anymore, and so much has been learned just in my lifetime they are quite obsolete.

hell-in-a-handbasketWhat are the dangers of people living online?  Kids glued to their phones and pads.  My grandson never puts his down.  It’s been months since I’ve seen his face.  Sociologically speaking we are doomed to live our lives in the dystopia of Demolition Man.  Everything will be purchased at Wal-mart and Amazon, from prescriptions to kinky sex toys.  There will be no grocery stores or kitchens in homes, everyone eats out.  I see it coming (as do a lot of old people), the end of the world, glad I won’t see it.  Thinking exactly like my Grandma did at the turn of the 20th century, and her father, and  his mother.  And so the world will go on as it always did.  The next generation dooming all of mankind ever since man learned he was different from the other animals.

Are we doomed?  Yes, of course we are.  Just like the Romans who killed themselves off with lead goblets, the Mayans who didn’t make it through years of drought, the First Nations of the Americas who couldn’t beat the modern weapons of the 15th Century White men.  Each great country or empire will come to an end.  And most didn’t disappear so much as they were absorbed by other cultures/countries.  It happened to the Great Soviet Union and Germany in my lifetime.  It can happen to the US.

Grammar

If you are on the internet at all, you know the English language (and I’m sure others as well) is going through some rapid changes.  New words, unrecognizable abbreviations, and so many old rules seem to have been thrown out.

I’m no Grammar Nazi, but I do believe it is important.  If you are going to post something on Facebook, your webpage, or a Yahoo News story, grammar is required to properly convey your message.  I know there are people online who are not native English speakers, and so I can forgive them their inaccuracies. But others seem to be native English speakers and have no idea how to accurately convey their thoughts.   I’ve read so many comments where there is almost no capitalization.  Many people can only use commas, or worse, ellipses, between their thoughts.  They look like this:

BREAKING NEWS.i think Donald trump is the best leader to take over the american empire in 2017. Donald trump is a douche bag no doubt but hes openly a douche bag like rob ford and thats a good thing.trump is the only person on that dam ballot that isint a coward.he is the only candidate that is willing to put the cowers back into forgin powers.hes not churchill and never will be but i see elements of him that make him a man not to be pushed around.

Or this:

I think any and all religious leaders thatthat manipulate the weak minded should be thrown in the pit with lions even though after that we wouldn’t be able to have line meet because if the USDA inspected it well we all know what would happen then

People need to understand grammar is what allows our written words to be understood by others.  If you are going to bother making a post, it might as well be understandable, right?  But who am I to judge?  ‘Their’, ‘They’re’, ‘there’.  Maybe I’ll get which they mean out of context.  Still, it’s just Facebook, so what’s the big deal.

But the news stories?  Shouldn’t proper spelling and the proper use of punctuation be a requirement?  Words should be spelled correctly, and proper grammar is expected. It should be accurate, understandable, and generally make sense.  Unlike this article about a man that died playing with fireworks on the 4th of July.  It is the first article I pulled up off Yahoo News just yesterday.  If it was written on paper, I’d expect it to be in crayon and look like this:  kids writing

Who writes these articles, 3rd graders?

Gonna Have a Bonfire!

piles_of_paperworkI just sent the last documents to the realtor to get the house sold.  She said she needed the information by the 22nd or the deal would fall through.  I’m assuming that it means it will definitely go through as long as she’s got it. I had to scan and email my entire 2014 taxes, because the taxes we filed were done electronically and so don’t have an actual signature, which the bank requires.  So I had to take and scan all 35 pages of last year’s taxes as separate documents and had to email them in sets of 5, 7 emails of 5 docs each, since I couldn’t send all of them at once.  It took me more than two hours to finally get it all done.

I am so ready to be done with this house!  I will never buy another house as long as I live!  It’s easier to buy one than sell it these days. The cool part is the bank is no longer sending me requests, but sending everything through the realtor.    Poor thing, she’s bore the brunt of my frustration at the numerous requests from the bank for the same info over and over and over and over and…one more time.  They have sent us the same letters via regular mail (for some reason, three at a time) as well as making me go to the post office three times a week to sign for letters I already received.  And all the paperwork still mentions how the bank is happy to help me work on modifying my mortgage, despite the fact that all the ‘new’ paperwork the past year has been regarding the sale of the house.

fireI must’ve sent the bank an entire ream of paper in taxes and bank statements over the last three years.  And in turn I must’ve received three times that from the bank in letters I didn’t read,in duplicate and triplicate.  Add that to the ream I have from the initial purchase of the house, and I feel responsible for at least a few trees.  When the house is finally no longer mine we’re going to burn all the paperwork in the firepit!  Man I would love it to be tonight!

CRAP.  Realtor just called, she’s missing some paperwork.  It’s usually not clear what, but i checked my email and see where she said she received only 11 pages of the 35.  I checked my sent emails and see all of them went through on this end and told her to check her email for the other 5 emails.  It would help if the realtor was a little less freaked out by technology.  Cross your fingers she finds she has all she needs.  I’d just send the emails again, but she’s certain to end up with duplicates of some pages and missing others.  I know the end is near, but I have my doubts.  Christ, will this ever end?

A New Phase

My new neurologist doesn’t think I have MS!  Most of the tests run on me don’t indicate MS, and I agree with the dr., based solely on test results, it doesn’t look definitively like MS.  She is so unsure about the diagnosis, she took me off the new MS drug I started when I began seeing her, and wants to talk to my previous doctors and see what it is she may be missing.  She knows I was receiving care from UCLA and their level of expertise, so she hasn’t been rash enough to do more than run a whole battery of new tests and question the diagnosis.  But she admits she can’t see empirical evidence of disease.

She’s run nerve conduction tests and she doesn’t see any disease.  She’s tested for ocular nerve damage, and sees none.  She sees nothing significant in the MRIs done of my head and neck.  She doesn’t believe the ‘lesions’ in my brain are caused by MS, not big enough or bright enough for her expertise.  She even ordered an MRI of my lower back, which has never been done.  Just to see if there is a spinal issue that might explain my leg weakness.  She is convinced that the hand pain and weakness in my arms is due to the disc damage and stenosis in my neck.

What I can’t figure out is if she doesn’t think it’s MS, what is the problem?  Simply age-related spinal damage?  No one in my family ever suffered from spinal issues.  And I’ve had the other MS-like symptoms: the trouble walking, the pain in my head and neck, dizzy spells.  The overwhelming fatigue?  I see her the end of the month to discuss the latest MRI and what she decided after talking with my previous neurologist.  I’m pretty curious to see what she’s decided.

I’ve recently joined that select group of people who are in daily pain.  I seem to have developed chronic back pain.  For the last few months my back has often been in spasm, and it’s only getting worse.  For the past couple of weeks the pain begins to hurt as soon as I get up in the morning and the only relief I get is when I lie down.  This is really stopping me from doing things, like riding in a car, walking on the beach.  I can still do most things, but for much shorter periods of time. I am trying to keep up with yoga but so far, not much serious relief from the back ache.  I’m hopeful.

The biggest issue with the chronic pain, is trying to cope with Husband’s decreasing mobility caused by arthritis in his knees.  They haven’t been too bad in the few years since he was told about it.  He was getting steroids injected every six months or so, but can only delay the inevitable surgery.  I don’t have arthritis (that I know of), but I know it is very painful, and between my back and his knee, we’ve barely been getting out of the house.  Though we got a little stir crazy this week, and worked in the garden the past two days.  Husband sees the doc next week and discuss the first step in having knee replacement surgery.  Of course, the big concern is mobility afterward.  We live on the second floor and there is no elevator.  I don’t know how difficult those will be, or if stairs will be completely off limits for a period of time.  It’d be tough for him to just get upstairs and not be able to leave the house for 6 months.  We are not looking forward to it.

I’ve said it before, getting old is a bitch, but it beats the alternative.

Busy

I’ve been trying to work on my novel, but I was interrupted by Son starting an online business and I’ve spent the last

cats claw

cats claw

couple weeks setting up a website for him.  In just two months he has gone from one or two sales a day, to up to 20!  He is doing it through Facebook, though which was causing a lot of issues.  He spends hours explaining what he does and how and what a tincture is.  Many of his ‘friends’ have had some tough breaks, and many are trying to get off legal and illegal drugs.  He has sent some people with particularly honest-sounding stories free bottles of his products.  Unfortunately, there will always the people who give you a sob story every day, and of course, he can’t send free bottles to everyone who feels they might be worthy.  They only cost $20, but many of his followers are disabled and really have to stretch their income.

yellow passionflower

yellow passion flower

He has run into issues with some people who give him a sob story that didn’t ring true so they did not receive any freebies they were seeking.  Unfortunately more than one of these has then gone on to try to sabotage his business, causing his FB page to be closed for various periods of time.  Those people make him so angry, since they are being childish, and destructive to what he hopes will be a lucrative business.  That’s when I told him he absolutely needs a webpage.  And now it’s almost all done.  Just review and some editing.

He feels good to be so productive and proud of what he is doing.  He is good and chemistry and botany and is very knowledgeable about the herbs he uses in his tincture.  He has to be so careful about what he says about how to take the tincture, and how to tincture bottleword things on his website, because herbs are not regulated (for the most part) by the FDA.  He has to be very careful to not make any claims for cures or even indicate what the herbs uses are or their effect on a person.  That’s been the toughest thing to do.  So much information is already out there on how lavender and chamomile acts on the body, and has been pretty well tested and documented.  However, there are many herbs labeled “considered to be safe” but I don’t think it’s the FDA that puts that label on them.  Obviously, we need to do more research, but I enjoy that and don’t mind helping S with it.

fda logoAll these precautions are so ridiculous though, since the FDA has no problem with tobacco companies making “vapor cigarettes” (which they are finding have very high metal concentrates), not to mention, they still allow the production and sale of cigarettes when it is so well-documented that they are harmful.  So it’s regulations regarding herbs seems a bit of twisted logic.  Especially since most herbs have a well-documented (if unverified) history often spanning eons.

For now, though, I think I can go back to working on my novel and play catch-up with all of you wonderful people!  I look forward to checking in on all of you!

I Enjoy Being a Girl

You know that insipid song was written by men, right?

Poster for the Flower Drum Song

Poster for the Flower Drum Song

I’ve never enjoyed being female.  My life since puberty has been spent waiting in eager anticipation of menopause.  I have always suffered from PMS.  Even before PMS was a term, I had it.  The moodiness, crying jags, migraine and depression for up to three weeks of each month.  But generally, no cramps.  That was about the only PMS issue I didn’t suffer from. It just never seemed really fair to me that some women had PMS and others didn’t.  Girls used to tell me they were jealous because I rarely had cramps.  I’d take three or four days of cramps in exchange for all my emotional pain, but of course, that wasn’t an option.  To me it just seemed so easy to take a pill for cramps, when there was no relief for my symptoms.  No one was handing out Prozac at the OB-gyn in those years.

I have been in the throes of peri-menopause for 15 years, (That’s right, 15.) while friends of mine simply turned around one day and discovered they were menopausal; without hot flashes, night sweats, blinding migraines, mood swings, depression, PLUS thinning hair, memory problems, sinus problems, and crippling nausea, for a week at a time.  It’s that old saying, that if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.  Meanwhile, I just keep waiting for the symptoms to end.  Hoping each year will be the last year I have to suffer hormonal turmoil.

menopause sxThe end is near, I’m sure, because my symptoms have ratcheted up these past two years.  I’ve missed my period for up to five months at a time, my night sweats have me changing out of my soaking pajamas several times a month, and the morning-sickness-like nausea hits me for 10 days a month.  Of course the absence of menses isn’t necessarily the end of my ordeal, since symptoms can continue well past actual menopause.  So I have that to look forward to.

Still I am hopeful that by year’s end I will have finally reached the end of puberty and all the attendant joys of being female.

I can’t wait.  It will be like Chanukah, Christmas, and summer vacation all wrapped up in one big ribbon.  It will be nice to be able to eat again.

Absent

Took a trip to Monterey last week, got sick and now I have mostly recovered, but I am struggling to write.  Instead, here

are some of the photos I took.  Aren’t you glad you stopped by?

Sea lion.

Sea lion.

This was a rocky island with a large brick building, several outbuildings and a lighthouse.  You could only reach it during low tide.

This was a rocky island with a large brick building, several outbuildings and a lighthouse. You could only reach it during low tide.

Waves on the rocky coast.

Waves on the rocky coast.

DSC02150 DSC02288 DSC02317

One of several bridges on Pacific Coast Hwy.

One of several bridges on Pacific Coast Hwy.

Ocean through the branches of a dead tree.

Ocean through the branches of a dead tree.

DSC02226

An artsy shot through the cypres.s trees at the ocean below

An artsy shot through the cypress trees at the ocean below

Monterey Cypress trees along the famous 17-mile ride around the peninsula

Cypress trees along the famous 17-mile ride around the Monterey peninsula

A Question of Morality

I think too much about war and how stupid it is. It’s always the government, political leaders, religious zealots, mad men, who take us to war.  So much destruction on both sides.  Why do armies destroy everything, killing cattle, burning fields and houses, killing civilians?  Why is it farmers’ sons march off to war?  The civilians starve, the prisoners starve, the soldiers starve.  In the end millions have died.  And why?  Because President A wants the land Prime Minister B has, or King W burns the ships of King Z, because he felt King Z was a threat.

Why can’t we just go in and take out the crazy politicians who take us to war–and before you scream, “how do you know which ones are crazy”–they’ll be the ones dragging their country, deluded and disillusioned, into war over which church you should attend.  Why should so many people have to die in WWII just to de-rail Hitler?  Sure there were assassination attempts, but none succeeded.  They gave up.  All the Germans did. Give in to the Nazis or die. Not much of a choice.  And Japan?  We knew of their atrocities against the Chinese prior to WWII, and did nothing.

soldiersI believe we could put an end to war if we just put out the word that assassination was back on the board.  Elite special forces would be trained in all the latest in assassination products and protocol.  But the world would be in anarchy, you say.  But would it?  Would the world have been a better place without Stalin, or Hitler, or Putin, or  Kim Jong Un?  If it came to it and there was war in Korea, how many would die?  How many are dying now because of him?  What prevents us from creating a special international group of assassins.  Something people would have to volunteer for, and I’m guessing there are plenty of volunteers to be found.

I really don’t condone violence and I would easily settle for some sort of international group of kidnappers.  We’d kidnap the crazies.  By “we” I mean the sane part of the world.  Sort of a branch of the UN.  We could kidnap the loons, and put them on trial for the crimes they are committing.  What to do with them afterward I guess is up to this special group, or perhaps it could have an international vote.(Wikipedia)

Most of us can get along just fine.  Gay, straight.  Black, White, Brown, Red, Green or Blue with red stripes. Inked or not.  Muslim, Christian, Jew.  Most of us don’t care which church you chose to attend, as long as you don’t demand I join it, and I won’t discuss Atheism with you.  All anyone wants is to be treated with kindness and respect.  Treat me kindly and I will do the same.

If the world must be protected by armies from the lunatics in charge.  Let’s do it with the least amount of blood spilled.

Yoga and Other Stuff

This is the fourth time I’ve typed up this post.  It’s been lost three times.  Let’s hope this one takes.  I really don’t have the energy to do it again.

It only took one trip to the shrink and one chat with the counselor and I’m back on track (for the moment).  I’m writing again (I’ve been up late a couple nights).  I’m on WP more. I’m doing more.  Getting outside again.  I’m still looking for a tai chi class. How is it I have to force myself to just go take a walk, or play with the dog.  I always enjoy it so much when I do it, why would I prefer to stay in the house and play on Facebook?  A physical reality seems better to me than a virtual reality.  So I’m trying to participate more in the world.  I guess I’ll see the counselor again.

I joined a Meetup group doing yoga on the beach in the mornings.  The weather was great. The instructor was sort of the stereotyped yoga teacher, with feathers in her hair, and wearing a tiny bikini and a tarzan-style skirt.  She might’ve been 5’5″ and 100 pounds!  She used all the expected terms, and spoke in an airy voice.  I wondered if she spoke like this all the time.  beach yoga I’ve only made it to one session, and enjoyed it for the most part.  The instructor held the poses for a long time, and I really struggled.  She may have been a bit beyond my ability, but I made it through.  Then spent the next hour trying to get into my locked car.  So much for the relaxation aspect of yoga.  I planned to go today, but GS had a baseball game and we promised not to miss it.  Luckily, they are there every day at the same time.  I’ll go again tomorrow, and plan to go three times a week.  I might even get to know some of the other ‘yoginis’.

We had an impromptu barbeque last night and invited GS’s playmates over for S’mores.  There were 6 kids running around and four dogs (two are ours, the others belonged to our neighbor) and I get an idea of what my mother’s life might’ve looked like.  I can imagine the constant state of chaos and wonder that she didn’t go crazy at a much younger age.

One of Husband’s friends brought his beautiful 26 year old daughter and her kids along.  She has blonde dreads, and a rocking body.  She seemed to hit it off nicely with son.  Oh, I hope, I hope!  At least let them date!  Son needs to socialize, and she is getting through her divorce from her abusive husband across the country.  She has just moved back to California and is living with her dad.  Dad’s good with that for now, but I’m sure he hopes she will quickly get on her feet with a job, and friends, and her own apartment.  An apartment for a single mom making $10 (or even $15) an hour is going to be hard.  However, if two people shared an apartment, their money would go farther.sleepy pug

Well, my posts are very short lately, but I’m spending all my energy on my book and sleeping less.  It’s very hard to write with a house full of activity, and staying up after everyone else has gone to bed has been great for my creativity, but tough on my body.  I’m only getting 7 hours of sleep a night, and not getting my nap regularly.  I really loved my two hour nap I got this afternoon!  My sore muscles from yoga feel better and most of my pain is better.