Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Real Enemy of the State

I've come to the conclusion that the biggest "enemy of the state" today is the American Legislative Exchange Council, otherwise known as ALEC. These people are truly BAD NEWS to the people of America, and ultimately the world. They are behind almost every scheme and shady deal going on in 2012. I hope that shedding some light on them will be helpful to my readers.

Since 1975, ALEC has been working overtime to create the corruption we see in state government. They claim that they are the largest “membership association of state legislators,” when the truth is that over 98% of their revenue comes from sources other than legislative dues, mainly from corporations and corporate foundations. Lying is not beyond the scope of what these people believe to be important. And do you wonder who it was that pushed through the idea that "corporations are people"? That idea is now, LAW!

They have members in the legislatures of all 50 states. In fact, in my state there are at least 19 Representatives and 3 Senators who contribute to, or benefit from ALEC's secretive ways.
The Reps. are:

Rep. Katerina Brewer (R-29), Rep. Jason Conger (R-54), Rep. Sal Esquivel (R-6), Rep. Tim Freeman (R-2), Rep. Bruce Hanna, Rep. Wally Hicks (R-3), Rep. John Huffman (R-59), Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River), Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-39), Rep. Shawn Lindsay (R-30), Rep. Michael R. McLane (R-55), Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point), Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio), Rep. Kim Thatcher (R-25), Rep. Jim Thompson (R-Dallas), Rep. Matthew Wand (R-49), Rep. Matt Wingard (R-26),
and Rep.Gene Whisnet (R53). Representative Whisnet has the (dubious) distinction of being ALEC's "Legislator of the Year" in 2011!

The Senators who cozy up to ALEC are:
Sen. Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day), Sen. Larry George (R-Sherwood), and Sen. Fred Girod (R-Stayton). Although I'm a little bit out of touch with the Oregon State Legislature these days, several of the names listed here are all too familiar to me.

Nothing wrong with that, right? AL claims to be a membership club for legislators! But....some of the CORPORATIONS who have ties with AL include Anheuser-Busch, AOL,, Bank of America, American Express, Bayer Corporation, and Best Buy. The list goes on ad-nauseum! Sound like a  “membership association of state legislators” to you? Me either.

Some of AL's activities include promoting the use of Atrazine (a weed killer that has caused serious health problems for the people who have come in contact with it), promoting the break up of the Wisconsin Protests last fall, protecting corporations who produce sewage sludge, which is "the growing and continuous mountain of hazardous waste produced daily by wastewater treatment plants.", and spending MILLIONS on the upcoming elections to keep Republicans in office. A-L-L  D-O-N-E  I-N  S-E-C-R-E-T!!

I could (and will) go on more about ALEC in the future, but I just wanted to show you what The People are up against right now!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Jury Duty

I understand that it's my duty

To sit in hard chairs on my tender booty

Waiting until my name is called

To enter a court room down the hall

Where I would listen to testimony

Guilt or innocent, real or phoney

To hear the story and see the gun

That murdered the unlucky one.

But I always feel like it's me in jail

Sentenced to the Jury Room without bail

Sitting around there, doing my time

Although I never committed a crime

Well, four strikes I'm done, they wore me out

No longer to sit in this room of doubt

Lock my ass up or better yet, shoot me

I've served my time in Jury Duty!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Not an Anniversary! It's a Birthday!

Happy Birthday OWS! It took off one year ago today. All the grumblings and disgust came to a head in New York City! We (though I wasn't there, I consider myself part of the movement) took to the streets, and went from grumbling to roaring. It was beautiful!

No longer will we be satisfied to watch the raping of America by the elites! This is the country of the common man, not the few who call the shots. Change IS coming. Not the kind of wishy-washy change we've seen in the past 4 years, but REAL change, where even the least of us can be leaders, and we All have a voice!

There is little room for the optimist in this movement. By that I mean those who sit idly by, telling themselves "It will all turn out alright. Me and mine have ours." Nor is there much of a place for the pessimist who says "You'll never get anywhere. It's too late." What we have instead are people who are realists. Those willing to stand up and ask "If not now, then when?" And at the same time answer "With each of us, we can!"

We make no apologies for caring for our fellow man. We make no excuses for the words we use in this struggle. You can't evict an idea whose time has come! We will never stop until justice is served, and ALL people are treated with dignity!

So Happy Birthday Occupy Wall Street! WE ARE THE 99%!!

Monday, September 03, 2012

What the Census Says About Disability

I created and began writing on this blog over 5 years ago. I saw the need to shine more light on the challenges and discrimination faced by people with disabilities, primarily in America, but in other countries as well. It's given me a lot of purpose, and I LOVE using it when I have other ideas too.

Well, here it is, Labor Day 2012. I think today is an appropriate time for me to share some important information on disability that I found in the US Census of 2010 this morning. Perhaps you'll be able to see (as I have) how much danger lies around the corner for this underserved segment of our population, and at least begin to talk about it! Of course it has direct ties to disability, and I hope the reader (you) will gain some insight into "The Numbers".

Population Distribution...
57 million people with a disability were living in the United States in 2010. They represent 19% of the civilian noninstitutionalized population.

By age...
•8 percent of children under 15 have disabilities.
•21 percent of people 15 and older have disabilities.
•17 percent of people 21 to 64 have disabilities.
•50 percent of adults 65 and older have disabilities.

By gender... 
•Females with a disability, 20%, compared with 17% of males. (When adjusted for the aging of the population, the disability rate was 18 percent for both males and females).

Specific Disabilities...
•8 million... Number of people 15 and older who have a hearing difficulty.
•Among people 65 and older, 4 million have difficulty hearing.
•8 million... Number of people 15 and older with a vision difficulty.
•31 million... Number of people 15 and older who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
•4 million... Number of people who used a wheelchair to assist with mobility. This compares with 12 million people who used a cane, crutches or walker.

On the Job...
•41%... Percentage of people 21 to 64 with a disability who were employed.
•28%... Percentage of people 21 to 64 with severe disabilities who were employed. This compares with 71% of individuals with nonsevere disabilities who were employed.

Income and Poverty...
•$1,961... Median monthly earnings for people 21 to 64 with a disability, compared with $2,724 for those with no disability.
•$1,577... Median monthly earnings for people 21 to 64 with severe disabilities, while those with nonsevere disabilities had median monthly earnings of $2,402.
•$2,838... Median monthly earnings for people 21 to 64 with disabilities associated only with communication, including blindness or difficulty seeing, deafness or difficulty hearing, and difficulty having speech understood.
•29%... Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who were in poverty, while 18% with nonsevere disabilities were in poverty.

Program Participation...
•59%... Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who receive public assistance.
•33% receive social security benefits. This compares with 9% of adults 15 to 64 with nonsevere disabilities that receive Social Security benefits.
•28%... Percentage of adults with severe disabilities who receive food stamp benefits, compared with 8 percent for those with no disability.
•11%... Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who receive public housing assistance. This compares with 9 percent of people 65 and older with severe disabilities.

Health Insurance...
•48%... Percentage of adults 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who receive government health coverage.
•40%... Percentage of adults 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who have private health insurance coverage.
•23%... Percentage of people with severe disabilities who receive Medicare coverage.
•35%... Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who receive Medicaid, while 9 percent have dual coverage, receiving Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
•21%... Percentage of people 15 to 64 with severe disabilities who were uninsured, not statistically different from the 21% of those with nonsevere disabilities.