Works in Progress

Bloomberg commits blooper: the real prison labor ethics complexity, notes for inquiry

Michael Bloomberg has been using prison labor for people to make his campaign calls.

Is it good that he’s helping to employ prisoners, to provide more opportunity for employment for incarcerated persons, since there isn’t so much? Is it easier/more interesting work than some other prison work, like the firefighters in CA, so therefore more humane? Or, was he just exploiting cheap prison labor? Are there laws stopping paying minimum wage to people who are incarcerated? Stay tuned, or let me know if you know.
And was he exploiting the fact that there’s no way for workers to stand up to bosses when response quotas–standard in push-poll calling–are improbably high and not meeting them send you home for the day or fires you?

I think I got one of these calls. I said I’m not interested because he’s too wealthy & not for the people. answered the candidate of choice question, Bernie Sanders; 2nd, Elizabeth Warren. I’m really glad I thanked the person for doing this work.

I’d also heard, however, that Bloomberg paid very well. So I told the campaign caller that I understood why people would work for Bloomberg, that I’m glad he pays campaign staff well.

If the folks incarcerated could choose a candidate they support–and vote for that person–maybe the ethics of forced proselytizing and the forced support inherent to that could be cleared up.

Are the prisoner-employees glad to get to participate in politics in ways they otherwise cannot, especially in a party primary?

Would volunteers have otherwise done the phone banking, of free will? Could Bloomberg and his campaign not find (enough) supporters to recruit as volunteers?

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Works in Progress

Green Roof, Glass Ceiling

Millennials buy houseplants instead of saving for houses, according to Money.

Can conservative Boomers math any longer?  A down payment of $10,000 in a poorer state/neighborhood up to $50,000-$100,000 in LA, plus thousands in fees to a realtor, then and only then the mortgage, albeit probably less than rent, and property taxes yearly, and paying for all your own fix-up, large repairs, and small repairs and maintenance…and only if you managed to have good enough credit by the time you have saved up this hefty down payment, otherwise your homeownership is probably a no-go and at best facing even more in fixer-upper move-in costs, MUCH higher mortgage loan interest percentage, and maybe a really long commute from wherever this house you could manage to get is…
= a lot more than a few thousand dollars.

 

Both example plant lovers in the article have dream jobs in fashion. Money magazine couldn’t find any bartenders or dog-walker/home health aides or tutor/data entry specialists who buy plants to report on how much they spend on green? Even if other anecdotal hopeful Leafbenders just didn’t make the word count cut, the two featured above the figurative fold should work occupations that differ more.

 

Also the Earth’s plant cycle and entire ecosystems are getting destroyed, in significant part by us hoomans cementing over it to build housing…? Millennials might even be aware that cultivating plants will skyrocket in value as a skill as the climate crisis grows.

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Works in Progress

No Soup for Whom?

One time, I accidentally left (free range!) chicken soup on the counter for 6 hours when I passed out asleep from exhaustion. I express this disappointment to my landlord with whom I live, because now the soup is very risky to eat. Older wealthy straight white man doesn’t understand why. I mention the I thought well-known recommendation of and restriction of not eating meat that’s sat out for over 20 minutes. The man responds, “Boy, you come up with more rules than….”

“Because the chicken soup maybe should not be eaten?”

“You just come up with all kinds of rules….”

Have you ever heard of OSHA? Ohhhh, that’s right, Mr. Land-Owning Parents Then Became Investment Broker **never had to work in a kitchen** for a job. Oh, and additionally, he’s hardly ever seriously cooked (parentis-in-loco in his frat in college; wives after that). But, of course, I couldn’t possibly have any knowledge, or sound ideas…. Can you  smell the aroma that for milennia has floated through kitchens and wafted through households and cafeterias, restaurants and business dinners and front lines, the applied default accusation of “hysterical woman”?

“It’s not my rule.” I explain the basic biological notion behind the 20 minutes that common food bacteria reproduce every 20 minutes, and the amount of or proportion of bacteria in the food will likely be too much for the gut to handle.

Now, ironically, from having spent most of my life through now extremely poor to definitely poor, I have a strong gut from having to eat old food, and from the privilege of my parent having breastfed and cared about her children’s health. I can’t afford to waste the food; I’m already sick, though! I’m already sick, anyway :-/ I will eat the 6-hours-left-out chicken soup. It’s not my gut I’m worried about; it’s consuming such chicken soup for the soul.

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Works in Progress

Fatique

Read this. Five Reasons Fatigue Isn’t Just Like Normal Tiredness Proving Most People Don’t Get It #DoYouGetItYet?

Tired of questioning looks thrown me on good days, interrupting my enjoying them. In fact, it’s a huge yay, a big treat and a relief to be able to get a lot done & even do a big thing for fun or self-improvement, like go running again, or go clubbing, aka perform or promote drag, the necessity, the epitome.

Not only do people not seem to understand the arc or schedule of fatigue, of these kinds of conditions and particular conditions, such as the unique metabolic cycle of hEDS…or the differing lifetime laxity/arthritic pattern from the norm (and) over time, but…
What most don’t realize is that it’s even more of a change for a poor queer*. It’s a flip, a 180. I bicycled for ABOUT 90% OF MY TRANSPORTATION EVERYWHERE AND ANYWHERE, from the time I was 12 to the time I was 33.  If I wasn’t, I was walking and taking the bus, or just walking, which included lots of jogging, while carrying heavy bags of whatever I needed, often a third of my body weight. Groceries, projects to school, moving on the subway. The bicycles almost never fit me correctly and often didn’t work right, so my knees and other joints did the work of the WD40 I couldn’t afford, and pushed through rusty chains, stretching across the ever too-big wrong-proportioned crossbar and downtube**.

I even rode the several miles to work after my seat was stolen, somehow, craftily, avoiding skewering from the direction from underneath. This means I was riding standing on the pedals the entire time. Luckily downhill, that commute, but the slope created more risk sans saddle, and at the end of the shift, an uphill charge.

That job gave me a split shift, so I often made that commute 4x per day. A portion of the job was pretty physical. I made less than $40 per day. And I even worked in TV.
*One who has ambition. I have the privilege of being raised to value education, of hoping to pursue intellect.
**Yes, downtube is a word, classist, ignorant, car-culture polluting Zuck autocorrect.

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Articles and Essays, Works in Progress

WELFARE REFORM WELFARE REHARM

Proponents of welfare reform in NPR’s “20 Years Since Welfare’s Overhaul, Results Are Mixed” missed some recent history through their nostalgic rose-colored glasses, and so did the reporting itself:
Clinton welfare reform penalized people including my family for not landing and attending 5 job interviews a day. The single parent who could not achieve this impossible feat had their share of welfare and food stamps and medicaid taken away. It was horrible. The caregivers struggling the most were punished for feeding themselves by taking away their food and necessities. No child care was provided when Clinton welfare reform was first put into place, for years. Single parents, mostly single mothers, were forced under threat of being thrown in jail to attend classes in “job training” that consisted of degrading them. These training classes and skills tests and meetings did not take into account the education of the person or the person’s and family’s particular life situation.
There was no welfare-to-work act. The jobs available to even a college-educated welfare recipient single mother at the time paid $4.25 per hour. Especially with no or little help to transition to working, a parent was “better” off on welfare than working; that is, a single mother did the math and made the right choice to feed her kids.
As soon as a person was working, she would lose low-income subsidized housing. So she also made the choice to keep a roof over her family’s head.
She would also lose any community assistance for people on welfare if there was any.
If you didn’t report some income or help received, you’d be legally punished. So trying to relieve the situation even a little was impossible under the threat of jail.
In the early and mid-90s, single mothers raising a family without a husband were still very much looked down upon and actively condescended to culturally and specifically, by shop owners and managers, by police officers, and especially by the social workers and department of human service officials whose job was to work with and “help” their families.
On top of that, DHS investigated a parent whose kids complained of hunger or whose kids were very stressed or whose kids did not have a father because she protected them from witnessing and experiencing (more) domestic abuse. She did this alone often without the support and help of police she might have called in incidents, but rather their blame on her. Then she was criminalized for protecting them and for the failings of welfare reform, police, courts, human services to understand or care what she and the children were forced to deal with; she and children were pro-actively punished and criminalized multi-fold for the agencies’ and programs’ failure to realistically respond or interact with realistic consideration or respectfully in the first place.
On top of that, DHS investigated a parent whose kids complained of hunger or whose kids were very stressed or whose kids did not have a father because she protected them from witnessing and experiencing (more) domestic abuse. She did this alone often without the support and help of police she might have called in incidents, but rather their blame on her. Then she was criminalized for protecting them and for the failings of welfare reform, police, courts, human services to understand or care what she and the children were forced to deal with. These agencies and programs of the law punished her and the family multi-fold in lieu of realistically responding or interacting with realistic consideration or respectfully in the first place.
This is how I grew up. Through this, despite this, my mother raised her family.

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Articles and Essays

Body slam by NYPD visible by body shaming naked statue

In the pics of the naked Trump statue in Union Square, NYC, you can see behind it the spot where I was beat up, sprayed in the eyes from 4 to 6 inches away, then also bent over, slamming me and smashing with my knees into jutting rocks while lodged up under several inches of a cement slab, the seat of the semi-circular bench behind the bronze  statue of the first mounted military American hero and president (George Washington), by 4 NYPD officers, all at least 150% of my weight and moreso of my strength, for sitting writing poetry in the park and despite my compliance and encouragement of compliance.
I limped for the following month, during the Towers falling and for several weeks after, when I stayed in the Square practically 24/7 because the trains uptown were cancelled, and helped create the Union Square Towers vigil and memorial walls along the fences. We set up donation boxes, and I limped to the corner stores that had managed to stay open or and soon as they were open again to buy candles and poster board, limped with one of the NYU students to the dorm for butcher paper to hang up and markers and tape for people to  post missing person signs.
The officers were part of a strange sudden increase in presence of officers and military personnel & the latter performing drills. This happened 5 days before the Towers fell.
I don’t know if the bench is still there, but my knee and shin deformation and pain is nearly daily.
And I still have a war-rant because I could not return to court after having no choice but to leave the City a couple of months after the Towers fell.  I tried to call in to court, sitting on hold. Many companies including national temp agencies will not hire me today because of it. I’ve never been able to pay my mother back for the long-distance charges those calls racked up.
If someone hands me a soda or beer while watching election season debates, I will press it gently on my right knee until it’s no longer cold instead of opening it.
#nakedTrump #Trumpstatue #policebrutality #doyougetityet #Drumpf #bigotry #NYPD #911 #TwinTowers #Iwasthere #TheEmporerHasNoBalls #Election2016 #bodyshaming #fatshaming #proudbody #chronicpain
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer on qz.com
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Articles and Essays, DIDY-do it ya damn self, Questions, Words & Works of Others

Why #FBBlackout just as #BlackLivesMatter movement picks up?

A blackout in the name of #BlackLivesMatter on the second anniversary of #TrayvonMartin’s senseless racist hate-crime murder is planned for tomorrow June 13th for an entire week away from Facebook.  But could it also be a way to divide and isolate the large network of connected people who are/care about Black lives, #BlackLivesMatter, and whose connection, consciousness of it, and simultaneity make a national movement?

The idea is Black people temporarily leaving Facebook en masse makes an impact on Facebook corporate advertisers with the sudden, collectively large cessation of ad viewership and revenue by African-Americans and allies. Did Facebook itself, Zuck and co., jump in with the #BLM banner on the building to get on the movement’s good side just in time? Not necessarily, but Zuck could have fired the racist employee. Could the Blackout cancel some of the power of the initiative that began on and in some ways relies on the social network, as do many collective conscious awakenings or improvements or movements? The point is to become involved IRL and connect in your/our own communities in face-to-face, physical, local or immediate presence. It is a way to counter the passivity of #Facebookactivism or #clicktivism of the #slacktivist.

Yet Alicia Garza and the #BlackLivesMatters founders used this social media to make the movement, to make change in their local communities and in national community, by getting people involved. Facebook is a tool for these achievements; online communication and connection has made possible or helped to make possible the power of individual connection, numbers, and solidarity since the early days of the internet for people who could access the internet, which has become more accessible–and actually accessed–even for disenfranchised people, though always less so than those better off socioeconomically, which of course means racially, by gender, cissex, ability, et al. So an #FBBlackout also allows people to put aside the digital divide.

Organizer Yefthak Dahn explains: Because Facebook Live was used for the first time in viral, immediate knowledge by the viewing of Diamond “Lavish” Reynold’s filming of fiance #PhilandoCastile getting shot by a white police officer at a short traffic pull over, Facebook and the police and possibly higher government should not have allowed a “technical glitch” to remove the post, nor left it unexplained except for the contradictory and vague information that the video of #Philando may have been taken down by human error or by decision because of its many flags as a violent post.  A blackout by Black people on/of Facebook by one of the richest and most powerful white men in the world demands a stronger position of inclusivity and support of Black people, especially in the face of this targeted fatal violence by leaders and the law that is one advocacy and allyship, since Facebook runs, and runs free, via advertisers. The cost is your information, privacy, exposure to brands and ads, networking and awareness according to Facebook and advertisers’ algorithms, and the value of your demographic and habits to marketers. The Blackout asks people to use other social media platforms.So get on Twitter; don’t sacrifice the momentum.

All people can show Facebook and the slew of companies and corporations advertising on it that #BlackLivesMatter and that we are all affected and are in community by joining. White allies should cause Hellman’s and Uggs and the CMAs to also become financially affected; that might help make a difference in the systemically racist ways our (corporatist) country is run. Make sure you have an alternative way to find out what is happening at protests around the country.  Be aware of the trackability or outside ease of access, besides the lag, of old-school networking communication. Be prepared to keep in contact, make contact more often, including in old-school ways of phone trees, and flash texting, while you are not part of the stream of information and network connecting that you are used to.

#FBBlackout also asks people to experience each other without screen mediation. Allies, especially white people, have a distinct responsibility to get in proximity to People of Color and specifically Black people as welcome and the problems people are facing to work on the racial disparity and end its violence, to work with people and community groups and efforts, to act in them for change in person, in concert, in community with Black people and #BlackLivesMatter.

What is your local criminal justice reform committee doing?  Proximity to and in-person work is necessary above all to stop systemic violence by holding people in the systems of power accountable and racially violent individuals accountable, including those who are upholding it (not just the physically murderous), examining yourself according to the minority voice, then very specifically putting into practice in your daily life changes to dismantle hegemonic white privilege, and by creating events and specifically, locally changing the status quo on opportunity and recognition in your community, in what you are good at and reaching to assist in new realms or work on the problems, where you are welcome, also even in spaces with just white people, and according to the minority voice, according to Black people personally affected.

So please only #FBBlackout to do these actions in person. Please stay networked, and only #FBBlackout if you already have your plans and solidarity down pat against racist pat-downs and stop-and-frisks of Black people, especially that become more violent and fatal, if you can find strength and feel assured personally, spiritually, politically by the knowledge beforehand that around the country people are gathering to make change. if people act, together, without Facebook during all of B/blackout time. Maintain your energy and action together, do not be dispelled and dispersed by lack of connection or communication on the social media site we all use and have relied on. #FBBlackout if you can be stronger without the tool than with it.

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