October 27, 2018

Commuter nightmare: Three (3) torturous hours stuck in gridlock!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 10:49 am

“Someone just gave me two free tickets to a photography class at one of those huge computer mega-campuses in Silicon Valley tomorrow,” said a friend. “Wanna come along and be my plus-one?”

At Google? Apple? FaceBook? Sounds intriguing. “Sure!”

The campus was huge and beautiful and chic. I got some great photography advice. End of story? I wish. I still had to drive back home to Berkeley in rush-hour traffic.

It took me three (3) freaking hours to drive merely 40 miles — all that distance and yet never getting out of second gear even once? Hell, I hardly ever got out of first gear. Three (3) nightmare hours of my life that I will never get back. My knees still ache from all that clutch and brake activity, and my poor sweet 1990 Toyota Tercel may never be the same.

A nice cop in San Francisco even let me cut into line at the Bay Bridge entrance ramp because I was crying so hard.

I will never ever ever get stuck in urban rush-hour traffic ever again!

And yet for far-too-many of my fellow Americans, being stuck in three (3) horrid hours of gridlock urban rush-hour traffic twice a day, day in and day out, has become an actual way of life for them. All these thousands of cars on the road at rush-hour every weekday don’t come from nowhere.

And what is even worse is that Big Oil has screwed our environment for life and slaughtered over a million civilians in the Middle East just so American commuters can continue to have the phony privilege of wasting six hours of their lives five days a week — six hours a day that they will never get back. Really? Can’t anybody out there think up a better way to spend our time and money? Apparently not.

Right now, the U.S. stock market is rocketing downward at the rate of 500 points a day — but perhaps the one good thing that might come out of this looming disaster might be that urban Americans would no long be able to afford so many freaking cars.

But still.

You won’t ever again catch me anywhere near any kind of urban freeway between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm on a weekday. Never ever again. Once was more than enough. Thank goodness for public transit!

Halloween comes only once a year for most of us — but apparently urban commuters are being forced by economic reality to re-live this singular Halloween commuter trick (with no treat) at least twice a day, five days a week. What kind of a life is that?

PS: I almost didn’t get home in time to watch “Survivor” — a program that, after my recent nightmarish experience with gridlock, almost makes living on a primitive (car-less) tropical island start to look good.

October 23, 2018

An election reminder: Bad things happen on the Republicans’ watch…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 3:48 pm

Holy sheep dookie! 8000 angry Hondurans are currently marching toward America’s borders with torches and pitchforks! This is something that could only happen on the Republicans’ watch. The White House, Congress and the Supreme Court are all currently dominated by Republicans — and yet DC is gonna blame these marching Hondurans on Bernie Sanders or perhaps even the ghost of FDR? Yeah right.

9-11 happened on the Republicans’ watch. We are currently 21 trillion dollars in debt due to the bloody and insane Repub “wars” on Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, etc. And even the Great Depression of 1929 occurred with Republicans in charge — not to mention that 2008 housing-bubble disaster that sent so many of us Americans off to the poorhouse.

No one in the Green Party is currently trying to steal our civil rights, our MediCare, our voting rights and our Social Security. That’s a Republican thing.

The nuclear Doomsday Clock is currently getting scary-close to Midnight. Reagan’s trickle-down theory refused to trickle down — and his policies in Central America only created death squads and unhappy campers who are now trying to camp out up here instead of down there. And as for the climate catastrophe coming our way? The whole human race may be eliminated on the Republicans’ watch — could be their biggest triumph yet!

Plus we have had to put up with Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Richard “I’m not a crook” Nixon and Stormy Daniels too. Yuck!

PS: Sometimes the Democrats suck eggs as well. Remember Pearl Harbor? Hiroshima? Libya, Syria, Korea and Vietnam? Hell, both of these money-grubbing parties are all in bed together — and yet we’re the ones who end up getting bedbugs. When both Republicans and Democrats turn out their lights at night, they both seem to dream only of “war” profiteering — and how to get us gullible peons to pay for it.

And even worse is when we think that we are voting for Democratic candidates who will protect and support the interests of America’s salt-of-the-earth working class — and then Boom! We get stuck with Repub wannabes like Johnson, Clinton and Obama. Jokers and Penguins cleverly disguised as Batman. Humph.

For instance, right here in my own California assembly district? Buffy Wicks is running on a platform of affordable housing and all that liberal stuff — but is actually funded by a Republican PAC looking for another Brett Kavanaugh.–Becky-O-Malley

And then there are all those neo-con Israelis and dictatorial Saudis. No one, either Democrat or Republican, ever goes to Washington these days without Bibi Netanyahu or Prince What’s His Name packed away in his or her suitcase.


Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you’re at it, please buy my books.

October 21, 2018

Money Money Money: Only rich people can afford to report on America’s “wars”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 3:26 pm

Thank goodness for FaceBook. If it weren’t for Mr. Zukerman’s reluctant invention, we would never have any idea at all regarding what is actually going on in the world right now, even in “war” zones. Thanks to FB, however, we have easy access to over a billion on-the-scene eye witnesses located in almost every nook and cranny on the globe.

Or at least we used to.

But please be aware that things are run a hecka lot differently in the mainstream media. There’s never any local citizens on FB covering the news for the MSM in all those trumped-up war zones that Washington and Lockheed-Martin seem to love so much. Only reporters hired by rich people can afford to report stuff on mainstream media news feeds from there. And because only rich people can afford to hire MSM war correspondents, we only get rich people’s accounts of what’s going on in these so-called “wars”. Nobody else can afford it.

Take me for example. I would immediately run off to such hot-spots and/or hell-holes as Libya, Afghanistan, Honduras or Yemen and report nothing but the truth back to you — but to do that, I would have to win the lottery first.

And not just any lottery either. It’s gotta be the mega-million-dollar PowerBall SuperLotto jackpot if I am ever going to have even a tiny chance of reporting back to you from Benghazi or Gaza. You simply can’t get an accurate news-feed from Aleppo or Kabul for free these days.

For instance, when I was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2007, I was totally stuck in the so-called Green Zone of Baghdad — where absolutely nothing was going on and there weren’t even any Iraqis to talk to. “But I want to go out and report on the rest of Baghdad too,” I complained to my official US Army minder there.

“Of course you can go out into the Red Zone,” my babysitter replied, “but you’ll be dead within 15 minutes of crossing that bridge over the Tigris — unless you can afford eight thousands dollars to hire a platoon of mercenaries and a tank.” Er, no.

Being a “war” correspondent is simply too expensive for me.

And another thing that I would just love to report on? What the freak is going on with the Saudis? Why have they suddenly dropped their alliance with America and ISIS and become BFFs with the Russians instead? Could it possibly be that they are starting to think that America might be planning to do unto them what America has already done to Libya, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Indonesia and Afghanistan? To most of the world’s oil-bearing nations? And is hoping to do to Iran, Russia and Venezuela too? Is there a pattern here or what?

And it’s not too hard to imagine that, at this rate, Big Oil will eventually gain a monopoly on every single drop of oil currently left in the world. But then what happens? Do you honestly think that the price of gas in America will suddenly start to drop after that? With a Big Oil monopoly firmly in place? Yeah right.

And as for that Washington Post journalist who just got hacked to death by the Saudis? Face it, guys. It’s been decades since America has ever given a shite about freedom of speech or even the lives of any journalists — or even about Saudi terrorism in Yemen or at the World Trade Center either. You can just bet that Money Money Money is somehow involved here too.

And if I win the lottery, I’m gonna go to Saudi Arabia (again) and find out just what.

PS: There are also lots of places closer to home, right here in the belly of the Beast itself, that I can afford to go report on. For instance, there’s that “war on drugs” zone in El Paso/Juarez. Or I could report on that war zone in Washington DC where Congress is fighting hard to steal our Social Security. Or the war zone in Georgia where Black people, even after 400 years, are still fighting for their right to vote. Or the war zone in South Dakota where Native Americans are fighting for the right to have drinkable water. Or ditto that war zone in Flint.

Or I could even report on that war zone right here in Berkeley where we are desperately fighting for affordable housing and the prevention of climate catastrophe — and also fighting for our right to not have the corporate-owned White House, Congress and Supreme Court continuously stomp on our dreams.


Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you’re at it, please buy my books.

October 16, 2018

Immigrants: Indians are finally taking back America?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 4:28 pm

Well, what do you know? The buffalo are gone from the Great Plains, 100 million Native Americans are dead, Lakota lands are now being stolen by oil companies, most A.I.M. leaders are either murdered or wrongfully in jail, and Chief Joseph will fight no more forever. The Indian Wars are truly over.

Or are they?

There appears to be a new breed of Native American that has started the Indian Wars all over again — reluctant warriors.

Was it Sitting Bull who traveled to Washington DC, saw how many White men there were back there and said, “Holy cow! These white-eyes are everywhere! We’re never going to get our lands back!” And although Sitting Bull defended his Lakota family with all his heart and soul, it was no use. There were just too many White men grabbing up his homeland.

But now the tide appears to have turned — as a whole new group of Native Americans are currently pouring into the USA in great numbers, thousands a day, coming up from the south to reclaim Native lands.

“Who me?” say the immigrants. “I’m only just looking for a job here. Whatda ya got?” Stoop labor? Meat packing? Trench diggers and roofers? Nannies and maids? “Count me in.”

Who knew that our red-skinned brothers from the south would come here to right a great wrong, to take back stolen lands?

“Not me,” say the immigrants. And yet the thing speaks for itself. So what’s the story here? Do unto others as you would have others do unto you? Nope. “What goes around comes around.”

But it really doesn’t have to be like this — all this “us versus them” bull dookie, yet another unnecessary repeat of America’s infamous genocidal policy modeled after George Armstrong Custer and Hitler’s rantings in Mein Kampf.

There is a better way.

We can all learn from each other.

It has been scientifically proven that wherever cultures and races interact nicely, we can always see new talents, insights, solutions and ideas being born. To quote one of America’s greatest philosophers, “Please won’t you be my neighbor….”

PS: I’ll be going to El Paso in early November to work on the Beto O’Rourke campaign (who in their right mind would even consider voting for sleazy Ted Cruz?) And does anyone know the location of any I.C.E. slave-labor camps down there that I can picket while I’m in El Paso? In the spirit of Crazy Horse?

I know that there is a grossly-huge tent-city concentration camp for young Native American children at Tormillo but don’t know how to get down there. Would Uber give me a Lyft? These camps are truly horrid — but the good news is that all those useless white tents that were left over surplus from the “war” on Iraq can now be happily sold to us gullible taxpayers (again).

I also plan to visit Juarez while I’m down there. Any hot tips on the best taco places to visit in Juarez? And does Juarez have a Yelp site these days?

October 8, 2018

Wasteland: How our Good Ole Boy network is taking America down

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 11:05 am

Hey, you! Yes, you. The person in front of me right now — sitting at your computer or punching buttons on your SmartPhone. Are you happy with your life as it currently is? “Sure.”

But what will you think about it ten years from now? After ten more grim and static years of endless “war,” corrupt judges, climate catastrophe, job outsourcing, growing homelessness and allowing the Good Ole Boy network to run our country?

What chance for a happy life will you have then? Frankly? It will suck to be you.

The wealthy old farts who run America now? They have no vision. For them it is only and always just “grab and go”. How long, exactly, do you think that will last? How long before they grab and run with your own life as well, mess with it, steal all the nutrients out of it, suck it dry — until you will be lucky to score even some low-life job at the Walmart or be cannon fodder in some bug-infested jungle somewhere? Or be pole-dancing at some exclusive hunting lodge in Texas? Or eating cat food out of a jar? Or….

Are you getting my point here yet? That America’s good ole boy network, with its Super PACs and its lobbyists in the White House and Congress and its power over our judicial system? These good ole boys simply do not know how to create. They only know how to destroy. And just exactly how long do you honestly think that America (and you) will survive with these misanthropes and cavemen at the helm, slashing and burning like the pirates they are?

Seriously? Would you really want to be alive ten years from now? In a world where creativity is the enemy, where freedom is frowned upon and where dirty old men hold the future of our world in their small-minded, greedy, uncalloused and blood-stained hands? Where America has become a non-productive wasteland?

We outsiders, we millennials, we women and Blacks and immigrants and children and grandmothers? We have been burned in the past. We are being burned right now. But are we truly going to stand by and get burned in the future as well?

October 6, 2018

R-E-S-P-C-T: No one’s gonna take the Supreme Court seriously any more

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 5:51 pm

Sadly, Aretha Franklin is dead. And, sadly, the Supreme Court’s reputation is gonna be dead too — when Brett Kavanaugh becomes one of its justices. There’s only so many times that the Supremes can viciously “sock it to” American democracy and still even pretend to be a respected and venerable organization.

To paraphrase the Queen of Soul herself, several Supreme Court justices have already become “no-good heart breakers, liars and cheats” after illegally handing over the White House to George W. Bush in 2000 and then handing America over to carpetbaggers after the “Citizens United” decision. Not to mention the Clarence Thomas scandal. Nah, let’s go ahead and mention it! Anita Hill was right.

Allowing someone like visibly-unhinged Brett Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court is only going be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Here is a man who not only went ballistic in full public view but, in just one short paragraph of his speech before the Senate judicial committee, used the I-word nine different times. As they say, the word T-E-A-M has no “I” in it — and neither does the word R-E-S-P-E-C-T. We’re screwed.

To quote the immortal Aretha again, “I get tired, keep on tryin’ — you’re runnin’ out of foolin’ and I ain’t lyin’.” Kavanagh lied to us under oath? This perjurer is gonna make the perfect next link in that “Chain of Fools” already on the Supreme Court.

America needs to “Think” about what, exactly, it expects from our highest court — and then demand only “Do-right-all-night” judges. Otherwise there “Ain’t no way” that our Supreme Court will ever get any respect from decent Americans again — and that’s just sad.

PS: I also got no respect for elected representatives who take big bucks from lobbyists, government heads of state who lie through their teeth (Bibi Netanyahu immediately comes to mind — but who else?), FBI agents who lied about Leonard Peltier, propagandists who try to make us hate Syria/Russia/Yemen/immigrant children/Black people for fun and profit, any man who doesn’t “make me feel like a natural woman” — and all of those greedy bastards in Washington. I’ve “Never loved a man” who put greed above morality.

Isn’t it time for us to stop tolerating all these lies and corruption, demand some core virtues from our leaders and take the “Freeway of Love” instead?

PPS: The USA has just spent hundreds of billions of dollars on an airplane that doesn’t even work? Wow, just wow. How many thousands of squandered dollars per US taxpayer is that? Math is not my strong point — but even I can figure out that it has been money totally wasted. They shoulda spent some of that money on vetting future Supreme Court justices instead.

And America’s closest ally in the Arab world is currently in danger of becoming a failed state due to its own legendary corruption. Ultimately, no human being anywhere has any R-E-S-P-E-C-T for corruption in government — either at home or abroad. “Every chain has got a weak link.” And with all its own moral corruption, America itself could possibly become the next failed state.

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