We Can’t Make America Great Again — From Queen to Queens

Today has been difficult for me. Last night as I watched the midterm election results pour in, the hope and joy I felt of the possible restoration of America as I once knew it was quickly replaced by a deep sadness. I, like many people last night, expected a “blue wave” or the overwhelming election […]

via We Can’t Make America Great Again — From Queen to Queens

 

Every single word is right on point! I could not have said it better if I tried. Even though this stolen nation was never great, this young lady brings home her point.

And I will admit, I didn’t even bother voting. I had too much to do. I have not been blogging lately because I have been out in the trenches taking poor sick people to appointments, to grocery shop, to pick up their children from daycare and the list is endless because so many are living in ‘food deserts’ and public transportation is a joke that isn’t at all funny.

While those of you who were standing in line voting, hoping that whites would get their collective act together and disassociate themselves from who and what they are, there were those of us out there doing what we can with what we have because we know ‘whites’. We don’t want to, but we do. Those of us who are descendants of slaves have been on the receiving end of racism, bigotry, prejudice, hatred and violence since our ancestors were dragged here and only through the advent of technology has the world been made aware of our plight in Amerikkka, not that it’s done us any obvious good, nor will it. We have to help one another. No politician on the local, state or national level is going to do a damn thing about a damn thing besides line their pockets by continuing to sell us out since they are owned by corporations and we ALL know how corporations are treating their ‘workers’.

I have heard that women made inroads in the political field  and the LGBTQ community did likewise. Well now, ain’t that just something. Every other ‘group’ will always make headway but those of us who are descended from slaves, we best sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up because a white supremacist’s bullet has our name all over it and the murder of us by them is sanctioned by a government that will never truly be a representative government to us because if we have to be declared ‘citizens’ by amendments to the Constitution, then what does that tell you? I’ll give you a hint. Several prominent politicians and wannabe politicians have made statements in essence saying that “slavery was the best era in Amerikkkan history.” The sad fact of the matter is, what has changed? With three million Black men and women locked up in cages, slavery never went anywhere. It just morphed into the Prison Industrial Complex. Every person who is a descendant of slaves is on lockdown every goddamn day and don’t we ALL fucking know this. We’d better fucking make sure every goddamn light on our vehicles is in functioning order because if not, we are going to be pulled over and nine times out of ten, shot for “failing to comply with orders barked at us by a member of the Klan.”

Who the hell is going to do a damn thing about the school-to-prison pipeline? No member of congress is. We have got to go into our schools and mentor our children. Take those smartphones away from them and put a book into their hands. Who is going to open the prison doors and free our brothers and sisters? No member of congress is. We have got to become lawyers and defend our own in a system set up to send us straight to prison because many of us are too poor to afford a good attorney and so we end up with a public defender. Who in unholy hell thinks that a white parasite paid by the ‘state’ is going to do a damn thing to help a descendant of slaves stay out of jail over some bullshit ass charges? Are we even helping our elderly neighbor get to a doctor’s appointment or asking her if she needs to be taken to the grocery store or to run an errand? There is plenty that we can do. It does not have to be anything big. We don’t need a big, huge church building and a 501c exemption. Churches aren’t the answer. Religion isn’t the answer because if it was, would the shit that’s going down today, be going down if religion is the answer? Hell fucking no! The money that the Reverend, Bishop, Pastor, Rabbi and the like take from the blind, the stupid and the gullible all goes where? You see ANY evidence of church funds helping out the community? Oh, they’ll dole out some expired canned goods, but that’s about it. Why is homelessness so problematic when we have palaces of worship all across this godforsaken country doing fuck all about it? I wish to hell I thought I’d step foot inside one of those palaces of hypocrisy and sit up and listen to dog shit from a pedophile or another hypocrite who is preaching at me about sin and who is, after church service, fooling around on his wife with one or two of the ushers.

Black folks, despair is for those who have no hope. As long as there is someone in need in the ‘Black community’, there is someone who could come to their assistance. Why can’t that ‘someone’ be you? To sit somewhere and moan about the outcome of an election is foolish. You should have known that whatever the outcome, the same problems that existed before the election would continue to exist. Politicians don’t care about us. And you can see that whites are so damn stupid and filled with hatred that even after voting, they have no home to go back to or if they do, they don’t even have dental coverage or adequate health insurance, but that’s fine because according to those fools, ‘white supremacy’ is going to take care of ALL of their issues. Just ask those white folks down in Florida who are still reeling from Hurricane Michael. Many of them are homeless, fucked up and would still vote for Trump if only they could have gotten to a polling place because hate TRUMPS everything, including sickness, homelessness, joblessness and hunger.

So, Black folks, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and realize that if we don’t get our act together, we will never thrive. We should never look to a politician of ANY stripe to help us because since when have they ever??!!! Get real! What you need to do, you won’t do and if you continue down this path, expect despair, hopelessness and death. It need not be this way, but until we understand that looking out for one another is our only hope,  we will continue to be disappointed on ‘Election Day’ and every day thereafter.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a little poem I wrote for Election Day 2016. I titled it:

I Voted!

I voted……..in my sleep.
 Stood in line with the other sheep
as we were prodded, one by one.
Oh I voted, but I voted for none.
Yes, into that voting booth, I went,
made my mind up to some extent.
I threw my ballot on the dirty floor,
said I’d never vote for a war whore.
 And that no bigot would get my vote,
I’d rather drown in a goddamn moat.
The security guards escorted me out,
told me I was crazy, without a doubt.
 But that’s okay because I had my say
on the 6th of November; election day!
Don’t do as I did and vote in your sleep,
head out the door like good little sheep.
Cast your vote for your favorite clown,
and I’ll sit back and watch as you drown
in piles of shit that they fling your way,
because you voted on election day!

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2016 Shelby I. Courtland

So now you can say that you voted FOR the pile of shit that those politicians will heap on your plate. Not me, never that. Not again. I learned my lesson.

 

Thousands in GOP-led states lost Medicaid coverage this month

 

Trump supporters and those who vote for republicans are set to join their ranks.

Medicaid rolls set to be slashed under Trump-approved work rules

The thousands of people who lost Medicaid coverage this month in Arkansas for not following newly implemented work requirements may be a sign of what’s to come in other GOP-led states.

Indiana and New Hampshire are slated to implement their Medicaid work requirements next year, and a slew of other states are awaiting approval from the Trump administration.

Arkansas has served as a test case of sorts since it was the first state to implement work requirements, and this month it became the first state to kick off beneficiaries for not following them.

The state removed more than 4,000 people from the Medicaid rolls, with some estimates saying that number could climb to 50,000 when the requirements are fully implemented in 2019.

The article goes on to state that “Of those who lost coverage this month, about 95 percent didn’t file the necessary documents with the state. That led to their removal from Medicaid.”

So because those people were working and did not file the necessary paperwork, they were kicked off Medicaid? Or it could be that they had no internet access which is prevalent in rural areas where most people vote republican. Now, you and your children are without medical coverage even as you work minimum wage jobs that obviously qualify you for Medicaid but because Trump and the republicans don’t give a damn about you, AGAIN, you are now without medical coverage.

Tell me this. How is attending Trump rallies and railing against Black people helping you when you’re ill and cannot afford to head to the doctor? Trump stands somewhere, not even pretending to give a damn about you, but because he embodies everything you stand for as it pertains to racism, bigotry, prejudice and hatred, you will follow him to an illness for which you cannot receive treatment because Trump and his cronies have implemented new rules that require you to fill out paperwork before you can access Medicaid and if you don’t, then too bad, so sad and all you do is continue to laud Trump and the GOP as the second coming of ‘Christ’? You really are stupid and unfortunately, even with medical coverage, there seems to be no cure for stupid.

Trump and the GOP are doing everything possible to bring pain, suffering, misery and death to their supporters while their supporters are hanging on to Trump for dear life as if by doing so, that is going to keep them from needing to seek the attentions of a medical doctor because apparently, they are going to be cured by simply looking at Trump. Yeah! That’s going to work!

While Trump and the GOP led congress just handed over a windfall for the wealthiest in America, which certainly did not exclude shareholders of corporations who are to receive even bigger dividend checks, those who are the poor working stiff supporters of Trump got the shaft, again. Not to mention the fact that Trump lied when he said that he would not benefit from the tax plan, when in fact, he does which was the intent when this tax plan was crafted.

9 ways Trump’s tax plan is a gift to the rich, including himself

“No, I don’t benefit. I don’t benefit,” Trump said. “In fact, very, very strongly, as you see, I think there’s very little benefit for people of wealth.”

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), who was part of the team that worked with the White House to craft the tax-overhaul outline, was asked a similar question on Fox News. He, too, said this plan does little to help the rich.

“I think those who benefit most are middle-class families struggling to keep every dollar they earn,” Brady told Fox News.

But one look at this plan tells a very different story. It gives an outright tax cut to the wealthiest Americans and it preserves almost all of the most popular loopholes they use to reduce their tax bills.

As some of you can see, those  of you who don’t have their heads shoved up their ass or who cannot see beyond the foam emanating from their mouths thanks to rabid hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice, Trump has done more to feather his already well-feathered nest and has done nothing but cause his base to get into an uproar over immigration, border walls and draining the swamp, which of course was a distraction meant to distract his base from the pain he intended to inflict on them. And by the way, what swamp would that be, the one BEFORE Trump took office or the one Trump now needs to drain thanks to what he in turn, re-filled the swamp with? Trump’s swamp is no better than the one he claimed he was going to drain. What we have seen floating to the top of Trump’s swamp, trumps that of his predecessor and that’s saying something.

But by all accounts, dark days are here for everyone who is not ‘earning’ over $400,000 a year and so those supporters of Trump and the GOP who are not in that income bracket are now having to deal with no medical coverage, food stamp work requirements that mostly hurt children and the fact that Trump is only just getting started. Go ahead, continue showing up at Trump’s rallies, ignorant to what he is doing to you and your families until it is too late and you find yourself with your teeth falling out and too sick to make it in to work. And though you may think that the Emergency Room is going to take care of you because of a ‘no one is to be turned away’ policy, I wouldn’t count on that if I were you because I have known plenty who have been turned away from Emergency Rooms and who then died after the hospital called the police on them to escort their broke, sick ass out of there. No one came to their rescue and Trump and his GOP cronies damn sure are not coming to yours. He has reduced your food stamps that you need to help feed your families because Walmart’s and Amazon’s wages just don’t cut it and now he is cutting your Medicaid off because, as he so proudly stated, he wants to “Make AmeriKKKa Great Again!” That slogan is truly catching, isn’t it? I just hope you don’t ‘catch’ the flu this season. You’ve no medical coverage. Ain’t that great?

How you can help protect Medicare and Social Security — The Most Revolutionary Act

Originally posted on #Monetary Sovereignty – Mitchell: . It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed And the treachery of their leaders ============================================================================ You endlessly have been told that Medicare and Social Security Trust funds will, in the near future, run short of money unless benefits are decreased…

via How you can help protect Medicare and Social Security — The Most Revolutionary Act

My belief (which I have stated before) is that there is a new global economic realignment happening and the US is being left out – which is why the conditions of Americans’ lives are deteriorating so rapidly. The fact that the entire US infrastructure is computerized has left the country extremely vulnerable – which makes it extremely difficult to predict which system will collapse first – the energy or the telecommunications grid. – Dr. Stuart Bramhall

Wise words, indeed! And true! Quite frankly, I cannot wait for ALL grids to collapse. That is what is needed because the hypnotized Americans are not going to realize how fucked they are until their smartphones go dead and the lights go out. When they can no longer gas up the SUV, there will be hell to pay as well. They’ll wake the fuck up then. Donald Trump’s administration, just as all previous administrations that raided Social Security and threw in worthless IOUs that I couldn’t even use as decent toilet tissue, is also coming for Social Security.  Social Security and Medicare are not on the point of insolvency. The government prints money out of thin air and can just print more money. It has no problem printing money to throw at the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and yet, we are to believe that no monies can be found for Social Security and Medicare? Don’t believe this bullshit and don’t leave it up to the sick ass seniors to save your Social Security and Medicare because it is always left up to the old and infirm to hobble down the street with pitchforks in hand while clutching walkers and canes at the same time. This will impact US all if we allow Trump and the GOP to get away with lying that Social Security and Medicare are about to go belly up. That is simply not true.

And as the number of those living in poverty climbs, the last remaining safety net programs, such as they are, will be sorely needed especially seeing as how even the United Nations issued a shocking report, though not shocking to me, as to the extent of poverty in the United States which was quickly slammed by the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has taken umbrage at a new United Nations report that examines entrenched poverty in the United States and calls the number of children living in poverty “shockingly high.” She called the analysis a “misleading and politically motivated document.”

A Washington Post article said that the report, written by U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston, says the United States tops the developed world with the highest rates of youth poverty, infant mortality, incarceration, income inequality and obesity. He also said that the Trump administration’s policies will deepen poverty.

Let me repeat this part! “The Trump administration’s policies will deepen poverty,” which means that, like I’ve already stated, Trump and the GOP are coming for Social Security and Medicare which will only ‘deepen poverty’ and too many Americans are living in extreme poverty as it is. While congress enjoys designer health care coverage and a great pension for life, the biggest class growth is the ‘poverty class’ and America is fast becoming a 3rd World nation. The situation is so bad that hookworm has been discovered in America again.

The UN study also found 19 out of 55 people tested in Alabama had hookworm. It’s a disease typically found in developing countries, one that was thought to have been eradicated in the US in the 1980s. Hookworm is most common in developing nations in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.[2] Areas with poor sanitation, water treatment, and plumbing/sewage infrastructure are especially at risk.  And now, hookworm is also “typically found in the developing country called, ‘America’! For the love of !!!!

What in the world is hookworm? A parasitic nematode worm that inhabits the intestines of humans and other animals. It has hooked mouthparts with which it attaches itself to the wall of the gut, puncturing the blood vessels and feeding on the blood.

And yet Nikki Haley said,

“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America. In our country, the President, Members of Congress, Governors, Mayors, and City Council members actively engage on poverty issues every day. Compare that to the many countries around the world, whose governments knowingly abuse human rights and cause pain and suffering.”

Americans are walking around with hookworm that is ‘most commonly found in developing nations’ and so according to Nikki Haley, “it is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America?” That skank is a depraved, soulless monster as is anyone who works for the Trump Administration and who condones what Trump stands for. I have never seen the like in all my born days! What the hell is wrong with US when we will sit still for this?

None of you see the writing on the wall? Are you that dense? Are your smartphones and personal assistants that distracting that you can’t see what is right in front of your very eyes? First they came for the seniors and the disabled and then they will come for you! You’d better be understanding this! Your smartphone is not going to pay your rent when robots and automation have taken your jobs. Your personal assistant, Alexa, is not going to be able to house and feed you when you lose your income and Social Security is not there to at least, help out in some small way. Obamacare is on life support and so what are you going to do if Trump and the GOP get their way and destroy Medicare? Ask Siri what to do? Yeah! Get your prescription for hookworm from Siri! Your ass is just going to be dropping worms everywhere and don’t damn well come near me with that shit!

No one in the Trump administration gives a damn about any of us who are not multi-millionaires. The United States would rather pull out of the United Nations Council on Human Rights than listen to reports that gives a clear picture in that the United States is descending into 3rd World conditions. They are making excuses that other countries should be looked at for their human rights abuses and how dare anyone confirm what many of us know and that is that the United States has already descended into 3rd World conditions for too many people, including children. Millions of people are living in deep poverty here in the states. Does that have no meaning for you whatsoever? SIGH! I throw my hands up!

While We Are Being Distracted By British Inbred ‘Royal’ Pomp And Foolishness, Millions Of Americans Don’t Earn Enough To Pay For Basic Expenses!

Originally posted on © blogfactory: More than 50 million households in the United States don’t earn enough to pay for basic expenses, including housing, food, health care, transportation and a mobile phone, according to a new study. Combined, these 50.8 million households make up 43 percent of America’s 119 million households, according to the data released…

via Over 50 million US families can’t afford basics like rent and food — The Most Revolutionary Act

____________________________________________________________________________________

This article brings home the fact that there are over 50 million households in the United States that are having a time making ends meet enough to keep a roof over their family’s head while the mainstream media ‘feeds’ us bullshit about an already divorced half breed and her dysfunctional trailer trash family marrying into inbred ‘royals’ in England.

When will we get a clue that there is real suffering here in the States instead of pursuing entertainment that is meant as a distraction from what is really going down? With the Trump Administration proposing cuts to social programs left and right, the impact will be felt by America’s children. His entitled brat won’t ever have to worry about heading to his elite private school on an empty stomach, but millions of America’s children do just that!

I understand that Americans are ever ones for distractions, but there must come a time when we take off our rose-colored glasses and take a really good look around at what is happening and realize that all of us are headed in the direction of those who are already there; in deep, unrelenting poverty. How many of us can put together $500 for an emergency? A thousand? Why not? Because millions of Americans are working low wage jobs and with rents skyrocketing, how the hell can anyone save a dime? Millions more will soon be joining the ranks of those who have bottomed out.

And quite frankly, 50 million is not even close to what the true numbers are because the homeless were not included in this estimation, nor were squatters who live in abandoned, derelict buildings, nor were the people who live out of their cars or who live in RVs. Count them and the numbers are even more astounding!

But meanwhile, we’re somewhere looking teary-eyed at Meghan Markle’s stupid meaningless marriage ceremony since she’d already taken vows to love, honor and yada, yada, yada til death do her part with her first husband. If we are not distracted by fake African kingdoms, dumb ass amusement parks like Disney World, we are distracted by what inbred, redundant ‘monarchs’ are doing across the pond. Find some way to get tunnel vision so that you can focus on what will soon be impacting you!

 

Billionaire To Spend $10 Million On Trump’s Impeachment! Why?

 

Why, indeed?

Hedge fund manager turned environmental billionaire Tom Steyer is spending $10 million on a national ad campaign calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. A one-minute television ad, launched by Steyer last Friday, accuses Trump of raising the likelihood of nuclear war with North Korea, obstructing justice in his termination of former FBI director James Comey, and violating the Constitution by taking money from foreign governments and threatening to shut down press organizations.

First of all, why would one billionaire get so disturbed over Trump’s presidency that he would spend over $10 million on an ad campaign to in essence, do nothing? He can call for the impeachment of Donald Trump until he goes hoarse, but that won’t solve anything, nor will it lead to Trump’s impeachment. And who in the world would think that things could only get better if we had Mike Pence to deal with instead of Donald Trump? Seriously? It makes me wonder just what this billionaire’s agenda is because that $10 million could do wonders for poor people who will be affected by Donald Trump’s executive order that would end Obamacare subsidies that helped them pay for their health care.

Washington (CNN) — President Donald Trump plans to end a key set of Obamacare subsidies that helped lower-income enrollees pay for health care the White House said Thursday, a dramatic move that raises questions about the law’s future.

I have gone over this before here and it would seem that I must do so again. How the hell does this hedge fund manager, Tom Steyer, come off attempting to look any better than Trump enough to take on Trump to the point of spending millions advocating for his impeachment when they are two peas in a pod? Both have used ‘borrowed’ money to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Both are greedy bastards who have never known what it felt like to go to bed hungry at night or had to worry about health care costs or if there was enough food in the cupboard to feed their children.

And just what is a hedge fund? A limited partnership of investors that uses high risk methods, such as investing with borrowed money, in hopes of realizing large capital gains. So, that right there should give you a clue as to what these useless windbags have done to acquire their wealth.They have used ‘borrowed’ money to get rich because you see, when rich white men want something, it doesn’t even have to actually BE, it just BEcomes theirs, ‘virtually’.  Have you ever noticed that the banking of today is not like it was back in the day? Back in the day, you took your money to the bank along with your passbook and the bank’s teller stamped your passbook with the bank’s stamp and noted how much was in your account. When you wanted to buy a car, you saved for it and took your money to a car dealership, picked out your choice and paid the salesperson in cash. Nowadays, you take out a loan and you never even see a dime of that because it is ‘electronically’ transferred from one bank to another. Everything is financed and your interest rate depends on how great your credit score is and if your credit score is wonderful, you get a great deal, if not, you get to stepping and hope that some finance company that accepts high risk borrowers will help you out.

Now, Black-assed as I am, let me ‘borrow’ some money and get to investing it in high risk ventures and become a billionaire, why don’t I? Why CAN’T I? Well, because I’ve got to be ‘white’ because they write the rules. I’ve first got to be  rich and white-assed in order to ‘borrow’ some money so that I can then invest it and what  bank is going to ‘lend’ me money for the purpose I just stated? Not one and that’s for damn sure. So see, I’m one that’s got to make my money the hard way; I’ve got to get up and work two jobs to support my family. I don’t get to ‘borrow’ money for risky ventures and if it don’t pan out, I get to declare bankruptcy and start anew, just like Donald Trump. Just like this billionaire, Tom Steyer, if he fell on hard times. But hard times are not for the likes of them, hard times are for the likes of myself and those other poor people who are going to be lacking some form of health care in the near future thanks to another billionaire who insisted that he would “drain the swamp!” Well, apparently, the swamp he is actually draining is filled with poor people who needed those subsidies to help them pay for their health care, but is billionaire Tom Steyer offering to help shore up the gaping hole left by Trump’s executive order over Obamacare subsidies? Oh no! He is more interested in pretending that he gives a shit about Trump starting a nuclear war with North Korea, obstructing justice and violating the Constitution.

Also, the $10 million dollar TV ad campaign will be accompanied by a multi-million dollar digital advertising campaign that this billionaire, Tom Steyer, will soon get up and running to again, do what? There are already multiple groups gathering signatures for Trump’s impeachment and so one more is most definitely not necessary. Rich white folks continue to amaze me in that they will do absolutely nothing of consequence while shouting that they are attempting to do something of consequence. They will throw away millions to prove what? That they’ve got it like that? Because what else are they doing when they will not actually help people but will put their money to use where it does the least good; in an ad campaign to impeach Donald Trump while millions will be impacted by his executive action on health care subsidies?

Those millions that this billionaire is spending on calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump could feed starving children, house homeless families, pay for dental procedures for needy families, provide funding for community centers for ‘at risk’ children, help reduce daycare costs of single working mothers; the list is endless. But no! This billionaire, like all other billionaires is all bluster; lacking substance and humanity because since there are already multiple groups with multiple petitions calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump, another one is AGAIN, most definitely not necessary.

Many of us are most likely going to be adversely impacted by Donald Trump, whether we realize it or not. But until we figure out that we need to surely look out for one another and not look to billionaires for help, then we will continue to get our asses handed to us and then some. If we could only look past skin color, religious affiliation, race, creed and whatever else is hindering our ability to get along with our neighbor, we would not need to worry so much about what Donald Trump and his ilk are going to do to us. At one point in time, we bartered with one another for what we needed. We actually knew who our neighbor was and we gave a damn about them. We helped each other out. However, we grew away from sustainable community living and instead turned every aspect of our lives over to billionaires who do nothing but use ‘borrowed’ money to amass a fortune while putting people out of work and then thumbing their nose at said people by loudly proclaiming their right to take the high road in denouncing the actions of another billionaire.

Meanwhile, we all get screwed, turn on each other and those billionaires laugh all the way to the bank, banking on our continued hatred and vilifying of one another. While we are out in the streets hurling insults back and forth, billionaires are playing “Let’s pretend to hate Donald Trump,” when they are exactly like Donald Trump. Why don’t you wake up and realize that we are being played? And how!

Why Boycott Starbucks?

starbucks

 

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, in opposition to Donald Trump’s recent executive action regarding banning immigrants from certain countries for a few months, has decided to hire 10,000 refugees at Starbucks locations all across the globe. So according to this article, Trump’s supporters took to social media to ramp up a boycott against Starbucks because of the CEO’s stance even though it has also been stated that Starbucks pledged to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018.

People are boycotting Starbucks (SBUX) again, and this time it has nothing to do with its cups.

On Sunday, Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz disclosed that the coffee giant would be hiring 10,000 refugees worldwide over the next five years, a direct response to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring immigrants — including refugees — from seven countries from entering the U.S.

Now, let’s take a look at something. The average pay of a barista at Starbucks is between $7.63 and $10.63 per hour, and shift managers earn an average of $9.12 to $13.44 which still leaves the employee in poverty since it has been established that a person needs to make $48,788 a year to cover standard costs of living expenses and if I was to take an average of what a Starbucks shift manager earns which would be around $11.00 an hour, that employee would make $21,120 a year, well below what’s needed to live on. So, how is Starbucks doing any favors for veterans and their spouses or even immigrants since they will need social programs to live on and need to make use of food banks to supplement their Starbucks earnings because their take-home pay will not be $21,120 since taxes and other payroll deductions will come out of their pay? How is the CEO of Starbucks in any position to attempt to take the high road at all since this is also known by the Starbucks CEO? How is he even attempting to take the high road against Donald Trump by announcing his plan to hire 10,000 immigrants and pay them poverty wages while the CEO of Starbucks makes $9,200 an hour which makes him one of the biggest hypocrites to even attempt to take the high road?

Where is his concern for those who enable his sorry ass to rake in $9,200 an hour while Starbucks shift managers start out earning $9.12 an hour and the starting salary for a barista is only $7.63 to $10.63 an hour? Why was there never a call to boycott Starbucks in protest over the paltry wages paid to those who work there?  Or better yet, to make a noise over the pay of its CEO in comparison to that of the average Starbucks employee? Why not stand in solidarity with those who, once they finish their shift at Starbucks,  must then head out the door, change clothes and go to their second job; that’s the only way they’ll be able to afford more than a box underneath a bridge because I hear tell that boxes underneath bridges are at a premium these days. We will never make a difference because the only way to make a difference is to boycott every single business in every single country and turn our cities into communities where we help each other. But that will never catch on because we only boycott when something makes us mad and for only five minutes. What’s that going to do? Not a damn thing. So, no one is worried about your Starbucks boycott, especially not the one you’re hoping will be worried; its billionaire CEO, Howard Schultz.

Isn’t it nice when billionaires decide to take a stand to help the helpless? Isn’t it just wonderful to see one billionaire pit his empathy and selflessness against another? I mean, on the one hand, we have Donald Trump calling for a ban on immigrants from certain countries because ‘average’ Americans need to be kept safe from refugees who were made so by the very fact of this country shit stirring in theirs; bombing the hell out of their country and on the other hand, we have another billionaire who steps in and saves the day for the ‘average’ immigrant by throwing poverty wages at them if they can indeed, get past Donald Trump’s immigration ban. How this circus of horrors will play out is anyone’s guess. But we can be sure that things will only go from bad to worse at this point with billionaires telling us what’s best for us. When has a billionaire ever done anything but what was best for the billionaire? Both are bloated windbags with more money than brains and who have been using their silver spoons to sip from their bowls of wealth and privilege and who never knew what it actually meant to earn one honest dollar in their lives.

We have 10,000 veterans and spouses of veterans about to start earning poverty wages, and by the way, this must be how billionaires ‘thank them for their service’ and soon to be joining them in about three months time will be 10,000 immigrants and with both the House and the Senate hell bent on cutting social programs, we wonder why more and more homeless tent cities are popping up and why food banks are stretched to their limits and are running out of food? Ha! Keep wondering. Meanwhile, being the ever so helpful person that I am, I did a bit of research and found the cheapest apartment in America. It is located in Cleveland, OH and it’s only $350 a month. Sweet ain’t it? If you don’t mind living in Cleveland, then you’re all set. No need to thank me, that’s what I do, help the helpless and can you believe it, I’m not even a billionaire. I’m just a thoughtful, empathetic person who does indeed know what it feels like to live like a refugee in ones own supposed, ‘country’. I am one who has seen much suffering of those who are not deemed ‘refugees’ but who also live like refugees in their country of birth.

We don’t even take care of the least of us who were born in this country but we want to add to the burden of a system that is already bulging at the seams to the point where its ready to burst and deflate and what with these hypocritical Christian charities over here taking donations left and right and doing nothing that amounts to charity work, we need more people who have empathy and selflessness because we are the only ones who will attempt to step up to the plate when billionaires and Christian hypocrites add to our problems instead of resolving them.

I don’t need to boycott Starbucks because I have never stepped foot inside one. Of course it could be because caffeine disagrees with me but it also could mean that I loathe the very name ‘Starbucks’ because everyone is running through the doors of Starbucks as though it is the first and last name in coffee. We’re talking coffee folks, something that just should not be that important. If you were running through the doors of say, ‘Habitat for Humanity’ seeking to help build some poor person a much needed home, then I’d say, “Way ta go!” But that’s not what’s happening.  When was the last time you ran inside the doors of a homeless shelter because it was bandied about as being the most hip spot to go into and get your ‘help the poor’ fix? When was the last time you ran inside the door of a food bank or food shelf to help out because it was the most hip spot to go into and get your ‘help the hungry’ fix? When others hype up a place like a ridiculously named coffee joint to the point where that’s the only name you hear, I do just the opposite and that is exactly what I do, head in the opposite direction.

So, Cleveland it is then, eh?

Labor Day For The Unemployed!

striking workers in front of Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ

 

At the risk of repeating myself, I repeat myself.

“Happy Labor Day! Now Here’s Your Pink Slip!”

September 1, 2014

Revel starts shutdown Monday after just 2 years

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The most spectacular and costly failure in Atlantic City’s 36-year history of casino gambling begins to play out Monday when the $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel empties its hotel.

Revel is shutting down a little over two years after opening with high hopes of revitalizing Atlantic City’s struggling gambling market.

Revel will be the second of three Atlantic City casinos to close in a two-week span. The Showboat Casino Hotel closed its doors Sunday, and Trump Plaza is closing Sept. 16.

Now, as you can see, I posted this back in 2014 when Atlantic City casinos were shuttering their doors in unprecedented numbers and here we go again. In October, yet another ‘Trump’ casino will close its doors, putting thousands of Atlantic city residents out-of-work. So, I say, “Happy Labor Day! Now, here’s your pink slip!”

What a wonderful way to celebrate a tribute to workers; give them a pink slip and tell them to file for unemployment because even though this casino is no longer affiliated with Donald Trump, it still bears HIS name and so in essence, Trump is still playing the game, “You’re Fired!” America, have you no clue how ‘fired’ you are going to be if Trump descends to the presidency? This man has made billions by investing fake money into real estate schemes that bear his name and then when the business starts to go belly up, why he sucks everything out of it in bankruptcy proceedings, thus leaving the rank-and-file to pick up the pieces of their lives, the best way they can. Correct me if I am wrong, but how many of us could continuously get away with filing bankruptcy after bankruptcy and then proceed to amass fortune after fortune off just our name and abscond with the profits when the shit hits the fan and then off to another profitable venture, we go? Not a damn one of us and that’s for sure!

And Americans have the nerve to wonder why they are fucked up? Don’t wonder. Just look around at who continues to thumb their billions in your face while you land on your face after having worked your ass off for decades; only to be thrown out like yesterday’s stinking garbage.

Trump Taj Mahal closing would further darken A.C.’s South Inlet
The announced closing of Taj Mahal came shortly after one of Atlantic City’s biggest successes in the past two years — the reopening of Showboat in July.

Straub is still in the process of trying to get Revel reopened.

“It’s two steps forward, three steps backwards,” said Richard Perniciaro, director of the Center for Regional and Business Research at Atlantic Cape Community College.

Perniciaro said the proposed closing of the Taj combined with the pending referendum on casinos in North Jersey in November could discourage residential and commercial investment in the resort.

The Taj Mahal has gone through five(5) bankruptcy proceedings; that’s FIVE! And get this, the employees who had a stake in the success of this casino have lost their health benefits and their pension and so does anyone wonder why statistics state that Atlantic City, NJ has one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates? And yet, ‘white’ male vultures with loads of money are waiting in the wings to snatch up the property of the soon-to-be former workers of the Taj Mahal casino. And we don’t need a revolution? Where are these people going to live? Have you visited Atlantic City lately? I was there in 2013 and I can tellya, it was like nothing I had ever seen. People were coming up to me on the boardwalk, yelling in my face to, “Give me a dollar!” I had to produce my stun gun, pepper spray to send them running. When I was heading into a liquor store right off the boardwalk, women were standing in font of the liquor store, shoving their children up to strangers to get them to beg for money as they entered and exited the liquor store. The salesclerk stated that it is a huge problem, but what can they do because as soon as they shoo them away, they come right back. I can only imagine what it is like now, because that was before the recent shuttering of many casino doors. Crime has got to be off the charts. Homelessness, we know is off the charts because with foreclosure rates skyrocketing, where are those people who once had homes, living? Right! In a box.

This is what this country is descending into; a nation of abject poverty stricken people with no means, no jobs and no hope and here we have two candidates for president that are the epitome of hopelessness for the masses. We have a candidate that has filed bankruptcy more times than I can count and who deliberately goes about attempting to stir up racists and bigots while on the other hand, we have ‘Pantsuits Warmonger Killar E. Clinton’ who never saw a drone it didn’t like and is itching to be the commander-in-chief to continue to provoke the Russians and the Chinese into war.

But we are about to celebrate Labor Day? For real? Get the fuck outta here with that bullshit! And yet, I cannot help but think that the poem I wrote for Labor Day 2014 is just as relevant now as it was then. Enjoy!

The Atlantic City Labor Day Blues!

For 30 years, I’ve punched that clock
and now on Labor Day, I get to take stock
of a life of labor that could end any day
and the sad fact is, I can’t pay my own way.

In the unemployment line, here I stand.
I’ve joined the ranks of the sad, holding out my hand,
not for a hand-out, because I’ve paid my dues.
So don’t give me no lip, walk a mile in my shoes!

How long will it take me to get back on my feet
and fulfill my obligations, I’ve deadlines to meet?

I’m out to pound the pavement ’cause winter won’t wait.
The lights must stay on and the rent cannot be late.

What a Labor Day it is here in Atlantic City.
It’s not going well for me, Labor Day is kind of shitty!

©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

So yeah, Happy Labor Day!

“Man In The Mirror!”

Michael Jackson1

 

I would like to recognize and honor Michael Jackson with this post. That man could move me to tears every single time I heard him sing and every single time I saw him move. He cared so much about this planet and about the children and for that he was targeted. I don’t care how much he settled those erroneous lawsuits for and I don’t care what any media hounds printed about him. He was a victim of an abusive father and yet despite that and in defiance of that, he still went on to become the greatest living legend to have ever graced this planet.
That mess that we are forced to listen to on radios and IPods and other listening devices is not worth a farthing. What I wouldn’t give to be able to turn back the hands of time and change the circumstances under which Michael Jackson died. If only I could replay that day over, he would still be with us today, if I had anything to say about it.

I find myself going to YouTube and just watching and listening to the magic that IS Michael. I sit and shed tears whenever I hear “Man In The Mirror.” That song right there speaks volumes. What this world could look like if only each and every one of us looked in the mirror and if we did not like what we see, and most of us do not, confront the evilness in our hearts and fight against it, if we would confront the hatred and ugliness that consumes us and turn that into something positive, what a wonderful world this could be.

Can you just imagine what this world is going to look like in a mere five years from now if we continue down the road we are headed? There will be no bright future for our children and our grandchildren. That is a fact. What we lack is even the basics in humanity 101. We don’t even have the basics down pat to what it means to be ‘human’. How can we even look our children in the eye and say, “This world will be a better place for you when I am gone because I am going to see to it,” when we see to it that it gets more and more fucked up as each day passes. We are not only failing our children, we are failing ourselves. We moan and whine about some unseen forces that are in control of our lives and yet what do we do about things that are within our control? We do nothing but bellyache and complain and hope that some savior will come from who the hell knows where and do the hard part; carve a better future for us all. We are supposed to be doing that.

When was the last time you helped someone? Or saw someone in a store with not enough money to pay for their food and you stepped up and paid the difference? When was the last time you went to a shelter and handed out socks or personal hygiene items to those in need? When was the last time you passed by a homeless person and looked the other way? Consoled your conscience with the thought that, “Well, he probably is just scamming us?” It is so easy to tell ourselves that there is nothing that we can do about anything. For starters, you could visit a nursing home and brighten some sick and elderly person’s day. It does not have to always cost you money to do some good instead of just posting about how bad shit is. We all know this. Yeah, it’s bad, but what are we doing about it? How about we leave our keyboards, let them collect dust and help someone instead of bringing the stories of the downtrodden for us to scroll and peruse, and instead, blog about the fact that you got off your ass and took canned goods to a food shelf and said, “Pass it on! Play it forward!” Blogged about the fact that you ladled soup out at a homeless shelter, and said, “Pass it on! Play it forward!” Blogged about the fact that you cleaned out your closet, found winter coats that you couldn’t wear and donated them, “Now pass it on! Play it forward!” Blogged about the fact that you brightened a child’s day by tutoring him/her and again said, “Pass it on! Play it forward!” There are programs in every city in every state that need volunteers. If we really want to provide a better future for our children and grandchildren, then don’t bother looking to Bernie Sanders to get it done. Don’t bother looking to Hillary Clinton to get it done or Donald Trump. You be the change that makes a difference. No politician is going to ever get it done. We, the people have it within our power to help one person at a time. When will you write about what you have done to help someone as opposed to writing about what you hope some politician will do?

Stand and look in your mirror. You be the ‘man’ in the mirror. Not Bernie Sanders. Not Hillary Clinton. Not Donald Trump. Not Jeb Bush, but YOU! Change can start with YOU and ME! “Pass it on! Play it forward!” Make that change!

So What If The TPP Agreement Is NAFTA On Steroids?

 

 

 

no TPP

 

 

 

Just because American workers lost more than 700,000 jobs to Mexico thanks in part to NAFTA(North American Free Trade Agreement, a trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.), is no guarantee that we will see more of the like with this new trade agreement that has been shrouded in transparent secrecy. Our government would never sell us down the river. Oh Damn! My bad! Since they sold my ancestors down the river, it is a sure bet that the rest of you guys can rest assured that they’d sell you down the river just as fast. But not to worry! The descendants of the ‘Africa-to-America’ Slave Trade are doing great! Just look at the statistics of cities like Detroit, Baltimore, New Orleans, Chicago-South Side, North Philadelphia, Camden, NJ, Compton, CA and the list just goes on and on and those living in those cities can bring us up to speed on the ‘drug trade’. See! So many different ‘trade’ agreements and here, we want to have a hissy fit over this TPP trade agreement. And I have not forgotten this next group.Those made homeless by the loss of jobs to Mexico, AGAIN thanks in part to NAFTA are still homeless and are willing to teach the rest of us the ins and outs of homelessness. The ‘homeless trade’ where those that once had jobs and homes lost them both and entered into a new trade agreement between the streets, the jails and gentrification. Those people are traded by city hall and developers(hell bent on gentrification) from the streets into ‘for-profit’ prisons. There is that pesky ‘trade’ thing again folks. But hark! Never put the homeless down for it is always nice to have friends in ‘low’ places for ‘just in case’ scenarios.

Americans are in an unrighteous uproar because they see the TPP as a really, really bad thing when quite honestly, it is not!

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a free-trade pact being negotiated among 12 Pacific Rim countries. The TPP is an ambitious effort to shape a comprehensive agreement that would not only reduce tariffs and other barriers to open markets, but also establish leading-edge standards on a range of issues affecting trade and international competition. For instance, negotiators are working to set up rules on intellectual property rights, government procurement and the role of the state in private enterprise.

Free trade has been making the world go around since man first discovered that man could freely trade one country for another, could freely trade one country’s people for another, could trade one country’s resources for another. Although in all honesty, calling it ‘trade’ is quite a stretch when that trade involved trading the shores of the British Isles for a stolen ‘traded’ America. And then, we have the ‘slave trade’ which did not elicit much ire from those who prospered by it since most of the ‘founding fathers’ certainly did, not to mention, their progeny and as I look around, quite frankly, many people of a certain complexion are to this very day, prospering from the ‘slave trade’.

I wonder why it is such a bad thing when trade adversely affects a certain group as opposed to another. Hmmm…. Something else to ponder, I guess. It would seem to me that what comes around, goes around and it is not hardly enjoyed by those who were enjoying prosperity; not by their own sweat, blood and tears, but by that of others. When the shit comes home to roost, it is then time to get out the protest signs and protest the consequences of trade agreements only when those agreements could negatively impact me, myself and I. To hell with you! Now, this is about me and I denounce in every way, the vileness, the lack of transparency and the secrecy behind this new trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership because it is not in my best interest. No, not this particular trade agreement! To those of you who are products of the ‘slave trade’ “Too bad!” To the 45 or so Indians left in America, too bad, the English traded the shores of England for America and to those of you made homeless by NAFTA, too bad you are still homeless but now that this shit is about to be shoved up my ass, it is time to scream, protest and denounce THIS shit! We are SO selective in our outrage and so late to the party!

Welcome to the New World Order! “Obey your masters!,” said the slaveholder to his slaves and so it is written and so it shall be!

Would any American like to make a trade agreement with Iraq whereas you trade places with those who have been reduced to refugees thanks to America? Would any American like to make a trade agreement with Afghanistan whereas you trade places with those who have lost loved ones thanks in part to your sons killing theirs? Would any American like to make a trade agreement with Yemen whereas you trade places with those that cannot escape drone strikes paid for by American tax dollars and the people of Yemen can come here and drive your SUV to the mall while you dive for cover in Yemen? Would any American like to make a trade agreement with the people of Libya, a Libya that is on fire. Let them trade places with you so that they will know clear skies and have options and choices as opposed to bombs and militants and skirmishes and fires. Would you like to make a trade agreement with them, America? Go on over and ‘trade’ your lot for theirs! Where are your protest signs over the trade agreement of your tax dollars for bombs and drones to kill innocent people? But if there is about to come down the pike, a trade agreement that could ultimately impact your cushiony American lifestyle, why you, along with your protest sign is there! And don’t even pretend that it is not all about you and is in fact about how this will impact people of other countries because since when have you cared about them?

Baltimore Is The New Detroit!

water

Baltimore is the new Detroit!
Let the water games begin.
The poor will have no water.
And to the elite, another win.

Their rents are high, their income’s low.
But wait, there’s more to come.
Baltimore, you’re the new Detroit
that’s getting burned by elitist scum!

Twenty-five thousand residents
will have no water soon.
The cops are on their ass
and so is Mayor Coon!

Give a shout out for the Guard
when the water goes off for good.
Lock those goddamn folks up now.
Just go through every neighborhood!

Kick ‘em while they’re down.
They’ll never recover from this
Nor will they riot again.
There’ll be no flush for when they piss.

Those of you who are not Black
what if this were happening to you?
Would you take it up the ass
and just decide that it’s your due?

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2015 Shelby I. Courtland

Crackdown on unpaid water bills will involve 600 shutoffs a week

Turn-offs of delinquent water accounts began on Monday and will center on geographic zones. A call for a moratorium until the billing system is audited.

Baltimore officials plan to disconnect water service to about 600 customers a week as they work through a backlog of 25,000 delinquent accounts.

Starting on Monday, meter technicians began turning off accounts that are at least six months in arrears and $250 past due, said Jeffrey Raymond, spokesman for the Department of Public Works. The average overdue bill, he said, is estimated to be between $500 and $600.

The city plans a regimen of 150 turn-offs a day, Monday through Thursday, or 600 accounts a week.

As if what is going on in Baltimore isn’t bad enough, their problems are about to get worse AND how! SIGH! Here we go! Move over Detroit, it’s now Baltimore’s turn!

To the children of Baltimore, I am so very sorry that your parents are poor and that you are unable at the age of 6 to find a job to pay the water bill. But I am quite sure that pretty soon, child labor laws will become a thing of the past and you can uh…work at…well..uh..I’m sorry, never mind. The jobs are gone!