I know most people are feeling horrible, angry, sad, terrified, etc about the United States just electing Donald Trump. I’m trying to find a silver lining.
After the primary the democrats “tried” to unite us behind Hillary Clinton. However a lot of us progressives refused to unite behind the corrupt democratic party and its chosen candidate due to all the shit they did in the primaries against Bernie Sanders. And I’ve blogged before how the DNC treated Berners at the convention and all the road blocks they threw up to choose Hillary instead of Bernie. Myself and a lot of other progressives I know could no longer stand being a democrat.
But now we have something that draws us together; stopping everything Donald Trump wants to do. Democrats can finally own up and change their positions on the failed right-wing policies the Clinton’s and their donors got them into supporting. They can now stand up against the TPP, against war, against DAPL, against deregulation, against mass surveillance etc. These are all things the democratic AND republican parties were for (hence why progressives had to fight democrats).
Now that Donald Trump is elected, the neoliberal stances that the democrats adopted can now be discarded. Democrats no longer have to support (or pretend to support) something so God awful like the TPP just because Obama was for it. Hopefully this election woke people up.
I have my allies back! We can join together to protest everything bad Trump tries to do. We can protest if he tries to get us into war. (Something told me that if Hillary wanted to start a war, not many of my liberal friends would be by my side in trying to stop it.) We will be against everything bad that Trump wants to do.
And who knows? We may even be surprised what power we can hold now we have a common enemy. Richard Nixon ended the war in Vietnam, started the EPA, introduced health care, etc… all liberal ideas.
It needed to reach a boiling point. With Trump we might have that boiling point.
But now is the time to organize and plan and protest and get involved. Now is the time to rebuild the democratic party to what it was originally for: the working class. Let’s do this!
Over the weekend we went to Rehobeth Beach with a friend who has a house there. We decided to watch the Minimalists documentary. It’s about downsizing and owning less and buying less “stuff” to simplify your life and make you happier.
We had a discussion afterward and here were my thoughts:
- The need to buy stuff I believe goes back to our caveman days when we used to hunt. We no longer hunt as a species since we go to work and come home. We no longer need to hunt or gather our food. Buying “stuff” and getting deals I think fuels that need that we still have to hunt… a need that’s built into us.
- Games like Pokemon Go may help with this need to hunt. Instead of hunting out good deals and obtaining “stuff”, we can hunt Pokemon through the game.
- Technology reduces our need for “stuff.” Look at e-readers and Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, etc. We have no need for a library full of books or a shelf full of DVDs. Our books, movies, and music are on our mobile devices and can be played anytime.
For years now I’ve felt like I have too much “stuff.” My Uncle George says the word “stuff” all the time referring to things we don’t need but we have anyway.
The documentary was good and worth a watch. However I think they missed the entire point. They identified the problem of not being happy and having “stuff” that makes you temporarily happy. Then that feeling goes away and items that used to make you happy no longer do their job.
The documentary goes through several people and their stories of how they minimized their lives by living in smaller spaces and letting go of a lot of their belongings… thus making their lives happier.
The problem with these stories is that they’ve all had a life changing event… they retired or chose to do something else. Most of these people quit their jobs, became minimalists, and wrote books about their minimalist lives. Notice anything? They quit their 40+ hour a week jobs to do something else.
They never mentioned the core issue here which is that unhappiness can come from us working way too much. They mentioned climbing the corporate ladder. When they stopped climbing and when they downsized and was able to have money to do what they really wanted to do, they were happier.
I’m pretty happy in my life but I know I could be a lot more happy if I were to quit my job or go part time. I’m looking forward to being “quazi-retired” and working part time so I’d have more time.
It’s a very well known fact that us Americans do not get enough time off. Every other industrialized country on Earth gets like 6 weeks paid vacation a year. What do they do? They go on trips. Since us Americans do not get time off, we buy stuff with our access money. Possessions to us Americans are the vacations to those in other countries.
Anyway, those are my thoughts.
Here’s some stuff I can alleviate from my life to live more simple:
- Do that 333 thing. 33 items of clothing for 3 months. Get rid of some of my hats and clothes I don’t wear.
- Get rid of the two TVs we don’t use. I have this old RCA TV from when I was a kid. It still works but I don’t use it.
- Get rid of a lot of my dad’s stuff that I kept. It just sits around. Someone else might get more use out of it than me. It doesn’t bring me joy; it’s just “stuff.”
The United Nations put a price on solving our global food crisis (world hunger). The price is around $34 billion a year (in 2008 it was $30 billion a year).
Put that number in prospective… in 2015 the military budget was $598.5 billion which is almost 20x more than it would cost to provide food for all the food insecure people on the planet.
Even if we weren’t to cut anything from our military or any other budget, we could still cure this problem and be a hero to all the world. (Just imagine how much respect we’d get if WE helped that many people.)
The population of the United States was 318.9 million in 2014. Assuming about half the population pays taxes that’s 159,450,000 who pay taxes. If we were to raise taxes to fund the necessary $34 billion a year to cure world hunger, we’re looking at a tax increase of $213.24 a year. That’s roughly $0.59 a day!
I think solving food insecurity in the world is worth another 59 cents a day I have to pay in taxes.
No doubt that everyone has heard in the news recently about Hillary Clinton’s pay-to-play stories while she was Secretary Of State.
But is this news? I’ve been keeping a file of news articles of Hillary’s corruption now for quite a few months. Anything that’s shady I learn of Hillary Clinton I write down along with the URL of the mainstream media (or other trusted media) source.
I’ve known about Hillary’s pay-to-play for a long time now. It was reported in 2015 that shady stuff was going on while Hillary was Madam Secretary. Why is it just fully coming to light now?
Brian brought up a good point last night. The media wanted to release it now. The media had it for months, if not years, but they chose now to release it. Maybe because it’s a slow news cycle. During the primary there was always something to report about Trump. He totally dominated the news.
But why not push this story out when it mattered; during the primary? Cause they never needed to “sell papers” or generate clicks on stories. There was always something else going on. So we’re thinking the media sat on it until it was a slow news cycle.
Of course I’ve known about the pay-to-play for months now. I’ve been screaming about the blatant corruption of the Clinton’s. So have other progressives.
Recently Chris Hayes and Joan Walsh finally realized Hillary is a warmongerer and her being president would be dangerous. We’ve been saying that the whole damn time! But they dismissed us; everyone did; during the primary. Now they finally realize Hillary is dangerous.
Makes me wonder what else they’ll be parading out later about Hillary. Her ties to the big banks, ties to Monsanto, Wal-Mart director where she did nothing to help unions, her son-in-law’s ties to Goldman Sachs, ties to Russia with the uranium purchase; the list goes on. Hell maybe they have the transcripts of Hillary’s speeches they’re sitting on.
Hillary supporters should get ready cause if Hillary becomes president, be prepared to defend all these scandals and many more.
I decided to go to Philly to protest the DNC and the horrible choice of Hillary Clinton. I’ve been putting my heart and soul into Bernie Sanders’ campaign since he announced. I donated time and money for over a year. I saw it through to the end when he conceded at the DNC in Philadelpia. I cannot possibly try to describe the once-in-a-lifetime feeling I had being there around people like me. Everyone was so awesome. Everyone talked. It’s like we were all friends. I even got to see and meet some of my progressive heroes like Lee Camp, Debbie the Sane Progressive, Greg Palast, and Jimmy Dore.
Here is the diary of what my experiences were. If you ever get a chance to be a part of something bigger than yourself, please do it and see it all the way through. I need to keep harping on these feelings since I may never feel this way again. That’s how much this experience meant to me.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
- Woke up & finished packing; texted Heidi
- Went over Heidi’s house & helped decorate her car with Bernie writing
- On the way up to Philly we saw another Bernie car decorated; we honked & waved
- We also saw Black Men For Bernie bus; they later honked at us
- Got to the hotel in New Jersey and checked in
- Went to nearest PATCO station; Heidi & Ken got the Bernie Sanders banner; I got my Jill Stein quote sign
- There were other Berners on the platform; talked to them while waiting for the train
- Some guy accidently fell; when he got up, he said, “Hillary for prison!”
- Did an interview with a news station with Heidi & Ken on the platform
- Talked with other Berners on where to go; decided to go to the Climate Rally
- Started marching with the Climate Rally that ended at Independence National Historic Park
- Chilled at Independence National Historic Park; Ken got us lunch
- Decided to go to the March For Bernie at 3; saw Josh Fox speak as we were leaving; gave the rest of our lunch to a homeless man
- Went to Philly City Hall to start the March For Bernie
- Marched to FDR Park; fire hydrants were open so we took turns going through them to cool off; march was around 4-5 miles
- Chilled at FDR Park for a few minutes
- Decided to head over to the Fire early for Lee Camp
- Walked a few blocks since traffic was blocked off to get an Uber (only Uber we took the whole time)
- Chilled at The Fire; Heidi got pizza; drank until the show
- It was really hot in the room; Lee Camp and company were late coming out
- During the show Ken made a chair joke; there were a few chairs at the front; Ken said “one less chair today” referring to DWS; I was also the only one who “wooed” for agnostics
- Left the show early since it was so hot
- Got directions from fire fighters; caught the Philly subway (SEPTA) to PATCO
- Went back to the hotel
Monday, July 25, 2016
- Got up & had breakfast; they had waffles; took picture & sent it to Bri
- Got ready & left the room
- Had a problem finding parking; parked at a Bernie campaign headquarters a few blocks away
- Met more Berners on the platform waiting for the train
- Went to Philly City Hall for the Press Conference which turned out to be a rally
- It was a huge rally; got separated from Heidi & Ken several times
- Saw Nina Turner speak
- Met up with Mel & gang
- Heidi wanted to eat so we decided to do the 3:00 march instead of the 1:00 march
- Walked across the street to a ritzy place; had a crabcake sandwich & beer; talked to two college kids who were Berners
- Jimmy Dore walked in as we were leaving!
- Said hi to Jimmy Dore and that I was a huge fan while walking out… didn’t want to bother him while he was eating
- Ken left for home
- Marched to FDR Park
- Banged on wall & protested outside the wall
- Found a spot on the lawn for the Jill Stein Power To The People Rally
- Heard others & later Jill Stein speak
- Afterward banged on fence during the rain
- Hundreds of Berners seeked shelter under an overpass walking back; some of them wanted to block up traffic; tried to stop them since it wasn’t helping anything
- Headed back to the hotel; got a shower
- Went to Wegman’s for sushi & fruit
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
- Got up & had breakfast
- Ran into Hillary supporter at breakfast; asked me where I was going today; tried to tell me Bernie will be a huge part of Hillary’s campaign & platform moving forward; doubted it heavily
- Got to the train; went to Thomas Paine Plaza for the Bernie or Bust rally
- Debbie the Sane Progressive spoke; Lee Camp spoke; YahNe Ndgo spoke
- Heidi stalked Jimmy Dore & when he was free called me over to get my picture taken with him! I told him I had a crush on him & he kissed me!!!
- Jill Stein spoke
- Got on Philly metro (SEPTA) to take it to FDR Park
- Had to exit one stop before since we weren’t allowed at the last stop (since that was for the delegates); when we got off the train people were chanting “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie”; amazing moment
- Saw the DNC put up another wall to stop us; protested at the wall; yelled to Hillary delegate that she just voted to send her children to war; cried for my cousin and my friends who are in the military
- Watched a bit of the convention in FDR Park (they had a stage & huge screens)
- More protesting at the walls
- Headed back & ran into Jill Stein walking to FDR Park; I was like two feet away from her; she spoke briefly; people swarmed around her
- Headed back to the hotel & had a shower
- Went out to dinner and ran into some Berners; had dinner with them!
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
- Got up & had breakfast
- Ran into Bernie supporters on the platform; an older guy named Dan (who looked like Robert Reich) and his trip mate, Patricia; lots of Berners did carpools and traveled together even if they didn’t know each other
- Heidi & Dan did an interview with HBO
- Black Men For Bernie Rally; a few Hillary supporters showed up; someone took one of their signs & then gave it back (hey they did it to us inside the convention); we later all hugged the Hillary supporters
- Heidi got up on stage & spoke
- Ran into Mel who got up on stage & spoke later
- Kshama Sawant spoke
- Had milkshakes at McDonald’s; spoke to a woman who didn’t know who Bernie is; spoke to a Hispanic young guy who would have been deported thanks to the crime bill but he fought it
- Listened to Jill Stein speak again :)
- They took a picture of everybody
- Headed down to FDR Park
- Heidi met LBJ’s daughter on the train
- Got stuck on the hoity toity delegate train since we couldn’t get off; had to ride it back a stop
- Banged on wall
- Listened to delegates speak at the stage
- Greg Palast spoke
- Watched Greg Palast’s new movie
- Met him & got my picture with him!
- He sat on one of our posters for a bit while we all watched his movie
- Rumor started about Bernie so they stopped the movie to address it
- Did the death of the DNC march with candles & a coffin
- A helicopter started to fly really low since hundreds of us were protesting around the wall & they got scared we were going to do something crazy
- Peace and love thing started again
- A Bernie delegate was being interviewed; told stories about how the delegates were told to remove one sign, then another, then another; if they didn’t do so they’d be kicked out; if they got up to go to the bathroom or get a snack a Hillary supporter would take their place; the whole convention was staged to make it seem like the democratic party is united when IT IS NOT
- Headed back to hotel; had debate with Hillary supporter on the way back
Thursday, July 28, 2016
- Got up & had breakfast
- Packed up & checked out of the hotel
- Headed down to Philly; no Berners on the platform since we just missed the train
- Dance party at Thomas Paine Plaza
- Saw Debbie again
- Listened to various speakers; Hillary supporters there & they spoke & BM4B debated them
- One of the BM4B guys got an email from a Hillary supporter who worked for the Pennsylvania government; read the email; horrible horrible email
- Left for home
- Stopped at Burger King along the way for food
- Ran into traffic; didn’t get home until around 7
- Sad days ahead
Pictures I’m In
Searching through the internet, pictures of the DNC and protest around it; I’ll keep track of photos I find myself in here:
I posted on Monday that I have officially changed my party affiliation to Unaffiliated (Independent). I am through with the Democratic Party.
In fact I’m pretty much through with the whole concept of political parties. Why should we label ourselves and put ourselves into boxes? We all do not think alike.
That’s why I really don’t understand the “Vote Blue No Matter Who” movement that some democrats are trying to push. If that’s the case, why should the primaries matter at all? Why vote in them if all candidates representing the Democratic party are equal?
They are NOT equal. For example, Hillary and Bernie are WAYYYYYYYY different. They both have radically different views on a lot of issues. In fact, a lot of Hillary’s views don’t align with the Democratic party at all (ex. she favors trade deals, offshore drilling, fracking, taking money from big interests, war, government surveillance, etc; all of which and more go against who Democrats are supposed to be).
The Democratic party and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz have been completely unfair to Bernie throughout this entire primary. From limiting the number of debates, lining up Super Delegates before a single vote has been cast, sharing campaign offices, joint fundraisers, etc. Hillary has been given every advantage.
I will not just fall in line and vote for Hillary. My vote needs to be earned and she’s no where close to earning mine. In fact Trump is a lot closer. And from what it sounds like, she’s not interested in mine or any other Bernie supporters’ vote. She’s busy sucking up to Bush donors. Democrats compromise everything they stand for in support of Hillary. So many good progressives in the media have lost their credibility by trying to defend her. I don’t get it.
I’m happy that I’ve chosen to leave the DNC corruption. Democrats are in bed with corporations and with friends like that, who needs Republicans? The Democratic Party no longer represents me. I haven’t changed my views. As Reagan once said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Party left me.”
I never claimed to be a good writer but here it goes…
For the past week I have been flyering around one of the Montgomery County Maryland early voting centers. I did the one at the Silver Spring Civic Center. I was there all this week after work while early voting was happening.
The first day I did it, Monday, I met a really cool older woman who was flyering for Jamie Raskin. She was a very pro Bernie person as well. In fact, she had flyered for him earlier that day. After I was done flyering, I ran home to get my car (I had scootered to work that day). I then went to the Bernie Rockville office to pick up some swag and any materials they had since we were running low. That was a long day. I left for work around 7:30 AM and I didn’t get home until 8:30 PM.
David Throne, Jamie Raskin, Chris van Hollen always had a presence the days I was there. There was even a Trump guy on Wednesday but he didn’t stay very long and he said he was a Democrat. There was always a Hillary supporter there, too except for a few hours on Wednesday when there wasn’t.
Will Jawando’s wife was always there and she was always breaking the rules. They set up lines which us canvassers cannot cross. She was always crossing the line to talk to voters and no one called her out on it. She struck me as very disingenuous. I had met Will Jawando before at one of our MoCo for Bernie meetups. One of our members did his homework and it turned out Will Jawando is a huge Hillary supporter having even gotten money from Hillary. Our member called him out on it but he said he returned the money or some crap which turned out to be false. Anyway, the Jawando’s were bad. They were breaking the rules. His wife kept saying hi to me which was nice and she tried to sway me to vote for him but then I saw the Hillary sticker on her bag. I can’t vote in that election anyway since I’m in district 6.
Yesterday (Thursday) I tried to look up a phone number to call since a lot of the canvassers (including Jawando’s wife) was crossing the line big time but I couldn’t find a number to report it.
The worst day was Tuesday. The DNC guy that was there was very like toolish, if that makes sense. He was all calling me buddy one minute then asking me to do stuff the next minute. He was very pro Hillary. When a few supporters approached, I asked them if they needed any Bernie literature and they said they were very pro Hillary and started to yell at me their reasoning. I couldn’t rebut because the DNC guy was saying “that’s right, I agree, blah blah blah.” So I just had to walk away before I could say my rebuttle which was, “Bernie won’t sacrifice what we want and he won’t start out a compromise with a compromise like Obama does and Hillary will.” The DNC dude even made me take a picture with him, Jamie Raskin, a few other people and the Hillary supporter. Not cool. He was also there yesterday campaigning for Jamie Raskin. I tried to avoid him the best I could.
All week I ran into a good amount of Bernie supporters. I gave them buttons and bumper stickers. They loved them and I loved talking Bernie to the supporters who stopped to talk with me. There were even two people who wanted to volunteer. I gave them a flyer with volunteer information.
Probably my highlight was talking to a woman who told me to give me one good reason why she should vote for Bernie and I said, “he’s anti war, anti TPP, anti free trade, anti Keystone pipeline…” She stopped me there and said, “you had me at anti war.”
The whole week the people flyering around me were heavily Bernie supporters. It was really nice to know I was among like minded individuals.
I was quite nervous the first two days but then New York happened. I had contemplated not going anymore but I know Bernie still needs me and as long as he has a small chance, I’ll be there. On Wednesday and Thursday I got more aggressive and stepped up my game. I approached a lot more people and always smiled and always handed out Bernie info. I wish I was more like the one guy for Jamie Raskin on Tuesday. He would walk up to people, shake their hand, ask them how they were and launch into a whole speech about Jamie Raskin. He was also a Bernie supporter.
Yesterday (Thursday) I had a lot of help. There were like 5 other Bernie supporters there who were flyering with me. They even set up a table. It was very productive. There were a few at the Silver Spring metro, one on the corner, and three of us just walking around.
My favorite part of the day was swapping stories with Brian after we got home. He flyered around two early voting places this week as well.
After working all week doing my full time job and handing out flyers for 2-3 hours each day I’m exhausted. I honestly don’t know how people can have two jobs. But it’s so sad that people have to have two or three jobs just to survive. Another reason why I’m Bernie all the way.
Here’s a list of some of the awesome things I was able to compile about my favorite (and only) candidate, Bernie Sanders.
- Longest serving Independent in Congress in history.
- He calls himself a Democratic Socialist.
- He knows his facts. He backs up his arguments with facts.
- He will NOT run as an Independent if he loses the Democratic nomination.
- He uses Uber, flies coach and is willing to sit in the middle seat, sleeps in cheap Motels across the country.
- He got 71% of the vote the last time he ran for Congress.
- He is treated as a fringe figure but he truly is the only serious presidential candidate in the race. He’s the only one with a decent vision for the country and his record indicates he would follow through if elected.
- He’s never run a negative campaign ad in his life.
- He voted against DOMA, NAFTA, the Patriot Act, the war in Iraq, the Bush Tax Cuts, and a lot of other bills that were passed that turned out to be huge mistakes proving his judgement and instinct can be trusted and he’s not afraid to fight.
- He’s for a living wage. If you work 40 hours a week you should not live in poverty.
- 99% of Sanders campaign contributes have come from small donors. (Less than half of one percent of his donors have given the maximum. Three quarters of his donors give less than $200.)
- He has a positive favorability rating.
You can’t say those things about anyone else who’s running; including Hillary Clinton.
Here are some of the awesome things Bernie Sanders has tweeted:
- I’m not running for president because it’s my turn, but because it’s everyone’s turn to live in a nation of hope and opportunity for all. – February 7, 2016
- I want our country to have the distinction of having the best educated population on earth. – Sept 21, 2015
- In my view, some of the real heroines in our country today are single moms. – Sept 20, 2015
- Congress bailed out Wall St. because it was too big to fail. In my view, if a bank is too big to fail, it’s too big to exist. Break ’em up. – Sept 18, 2015
- It’s time to break up the banks. Their casino-style gambling has helped divert 99 percent of all new income to the top one percent. – Sept 16, 2015
- Virtually every campaign for president has a super PAC funded by millionaires or billionaires. Not me. – Sept 15, 2015
- You can’t have it all. You cannot continue to get tax breaks when people across this nation are going hungry. – Sept 12, 2015
- When Roosevelt ran for reelection, he welcomed the hatred of what he called “the economic royalists.” I’m prepared to do that as well. – July 8, 2015
Here are some awesome YouTube videos for Bernie:
Here’s a bonus article:
Sanders Against The Corporate Media http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/08/18/bernie-sanders-is-running-as-much-against-the-corporate-media-as-he-is-against-hillary-clinton/
Here’s a diary of all the things we did on our trip to Panama. I wanted to write this to keep track of the days.
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Got up really early and caught an Uber to Jeff’s place in Silver Spring. Picked Jeff up and took the same Uber to Dulles airport. The plane ride was one of the worst I’ve ever had. We had tv’s on the backs of our seats which was awesome however the dude in front of me kept putting his hand on the back of his seat (on my screen) which obstructed my view of the movies I was watching. Also the kid who sat in the back of my seat kept kicking my seat. We did have a meal on the plane (I got eggs). Once in Panama City, we took a taxi to our hotel. We checked in and walked across the street for sushi for dinner and drinks. Awesome drinks! Walked around to explore. We had drinks and watched some of the playoffs at this cool bar that had great drinks. The lady at our hotel marked the wrong place as our hotel so we were getting drunk walking around (being careful where we walked) and got lost trying to find our hotel.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Got up really early again to get the Jeep ride to San Blas. The Jeep ride was very crowded and the driver didn’t speak English. Had a great conversation with a French woman while traveling in the Jeep though. The Jeep ride was rough as we were all squished and the roads were very rugged in parts. Our Jeep sucked. Once we got to the place they dropped us off and we waited around for our boat. We got a water taxi to our catamaran. We kept on the table like waiting. Captain Franco told us what to do, showed us our stay rooms, etc. Then we traveled to a place where there was great snorkeling. Bri and I learned how to snorkel. Bri’s snorkel wasn’t good so he held his breath to do it. It was great snorkeling in the reefs. Afterward, we were all starving since we didn’t eat all day, we had lunch. Then we sailed to Jose’s island and docked there for the night. Had an awesome dinner with wine (I think lobster). Played cards and drank the rum we brought.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Had breakfast. Snorkeled at the island where we stayed. Took boat to the island where we met local people and met “crab dog.” Walked along the beach with “crab dog” following. Awesome food for lunch and dinner. Went to another island and kayaked around the other island. Explored it a bit. Another awesome dinner, drinks, and cards in the night.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Awoke to the engines rumbling. We were leaving the island to go back to the other island since the water was rough. Didn’t get much sleep. We should have left this day however we did snorkeling and visited the beach for lunch (a real dead fish for lunch with salad and rice). Excellent food. Swam and snorkeled. We headed to another island when I realized that it was Tuesday and we needed to be in Panama City to go to Bocas the next day. Scrambled around, trying to contact airline to reschedule since we couldn’t make it. Turned on my phone and used data. Went to the island and had a good dinner and a beer. Cool island place. Captain Franco made arrangements for us to be picked up in the morning. Couldn’t sleep that night. Tried to sleep in the hamack, got rained on. Boat was rocking and it was hot. My lip swelled. It was an awful night.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Got some pictures of the sun raise since I was up all night anyway. Waited for everyone else to awake and get ready. Got ready. Waited for water taxi. Had bowl of cereal. Water taxi came, loaded our stuff and we went back to San Blas reserve. Once there we waited a long time for another Jeep to take us back to Panama City. The driver kept drinking water and stopping to go to the bathroom. We arrived at the Panama City domestic airport and talked to AirPanama. They weren’t that helpful but we were able to get on standby for our plane. They also informed us since we missed our earlier flight, they canceled our flight back to Panama City a few days later. The airport had WiFi and we stayed there around 3 hours. All three of us were able to get on the plane to Bocas del Toro. Sat next to a dude who owned a dive shop there. Once there, got our luggage and a crowded van to the hotel. Got checked in. Very nice rooms! Washed my hair like three times. Went to a nice restaurant and had wine with dinner. Drank at some bars but I wasn’t feeling well so I called it an early night. Bri and Jeff stayed out.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Had lunch/breakfast at a Chinese place. Good food. All the restaurants we ate were on the water. Walked around and got information about activities to do. Got a taxi to Starfish beach. Walked to Starfish beach. Were worried about people and the path so someone was always watching our stuff. Saw lots of starfish and swam around. Afterward we did a beer crawl through the various beer stands located around the place and walked back for our taxi. We had a few drinks at a bar near where our taxi picked us up. There was a lizard in the bathroom. When we got back to the hotel we took showers and did dinner at a sushi place. The sushi was pretty expensive and not that good but we had a good time. Jeff and Bri wanted to do a snorkeling/beach tour the next day so we had to get up early for that.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Got up early and walked to a breakfast place. The breakfast sandwiches Bri and I got weren’t that good. Walked back to the hotel and got ready for the trip. Met up with some other folks in our hotel doing the same tour. There was this dude there trying to use his credit card when it was cash only. Also we put down phony passport numbers and faked our ages on their sign in sheet. When the tour was underway in the water taxi, we first went to Dolphin Bay where we were supposed to see some dolphins. We saw a few. I tried to get a picture but they were too fast. We then went to this restaurant/dock place to place our orders for lunch. We then went to a beach. It was crazy getting there as the boat wasn’t doing so well landing on the beach. Walked like a half a mile to a nice but dirty beach. The beach had a lot of debris. Snorkeling wasn’t happening as the water was very cloudy. We stayed there way past the time when we wanted to leave as there wasn’t much to do. We swam and skipped stones. The boat tried to pick us up there but the tide was too rough. Bri hopped on the boat though and then the boat went back to the original place where we docked. Jeff and I helped people and walked back to the boat. After the boat we we dropped people off to eat and went snorkeling. The snorkeling wasn’t great and the current was pretty harsh. After snorkeling we ate and met an awesome girl backpacking from Ireleand. We kinda hit it off with her. Her name is Ann Marie. After lunch we went to a few islands via the water taxi. The islands weren’t that good. Sloth Island we didn’t see any sloths. But we did see starfish by a place we stopped by. We also went to Bird Island but didn’t see any birds. When the trip was over we invited Ann Marie to dinner with us at 7. We took showers and met downstairs at our hotel at 7 and walked to a nice seafood restaurant. After dinner we had drinks. It was really hot but the drinks cooled us down. Bri and I decided to go back to the hotel since we had to get up early to leave to go back to Panama City the next morning.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
We got up early and met Jeff downstairs. We took a taxi ($2 a person!) to the AirPanama airport. Bri and Jeff were able to get on the same flight as me. Their scanning machine was broken so they were checking all the bags by hand. We had to wait a long time and our flight was probably late. When we got back to Panama City we checked into the hotel. Our room wasn’t ready but we put our stuff in Jeff’s room which was ready. We ate breakfast at this nice restaurant that had an “American” breakfast. After breakfast we walked around looking for souvenirs. Jeff couldn’t find a Panama t-shirt he liked. We then went to the pool since it was really hot. After the pool, we played cards and Jeff got a notification that our flight had been cancelled. We rushed to our rooms to call Copa Airlines. A half hour later we got through. They told us to go to their place at some mall the next day. I was sooo ready to go home and kinda freaking out about the whole thing. We got some booze and drank and watched CNN’s coverage of the blizzard hitting DC.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
We got up kinda early and walked to the Panama City metro. The thing only took bills smaller than $10 so I had to go and seek change. The Subway and McDonald’s claimed not to have change. I bought a McMuffin and all of a sudden they gave me change back! Took that back to the metro. Bought our tickets and went to the “mall”. The “mall” wasn’t open yet so we had to wait around. When it did open we asked a few people where the Copa Airlines was. We chilled out in the food court until they opened and tried to find them. Once we found them we rescheduled our flights for Thursday, the earliest we could fly out. I wanted to see about Planes, Trains, And Automobiling it back but it would have been extra cost and I wouldn’t be sure when I could get back. We decided to stay in Panama until Thursday. We all got ice cream at one of their food courts and walked around. We walked around Panama City some more then went back to the hotel. Bri and I tried to find a place to do our laundry so we tried to pull it up on google maps. We tried to walk there but got lost since we didn’t have WiFi except at the hotel. The hotel wanted to charge $5 a shirt for our laundry. Later we had dinner at the place we went drinking our night in Panama a week earlier. We decided to tour the Panama Canal the next day. Probably drinks and cards and pool (billiards).
Monday, January 25, 2016
Bri tried to venture out again to do laundry and find a place. No one knew of one around there. We were desperate so we did our laundry in the shower with shampoo and soap. We met up with Jeff later and got a ride to the canal. Our driver was also with us. We toured the Panama Canal’s museum first, looked at the history. I was pretty underwhelmed with the museum. They had a few interesting things there but nothing about the real history. We did get to see a simulation of what a ship sees when going through the canal which was pretty cool. We then got to see an actual ship pass through one of the locks. Afterward we saw both the Spanish and English version of their Panama Canal movie. They are very proud that they acquired the canal from the United States. After the canal we probably did the pool. We also arranged what we’d do the next day. I think we ate at the pizza place up the street. Jeff was thinking about doing some of the Panama late night. Bri wasn’t feeling well so we played some cards, drank some rum and he went to bed. Jeff and I went across the street for a few drinks.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
We got up early and got a ride to the ferry to go to Tobago Island. There were a bunch of seagulls that followed the ferry all the way to the island. There we got breakfast at a nice little place. I got pancakes. We then walked to the beach. The water was pretty cold and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving our stuff alone. We rented an umbrella for $5 for the whole day. Bri and Jeff mostly got in the water. There wasn’t much to do. The other beach on the other side was very dirty and no one was over there. There were a lot of rocks. Bri and Jeff had a little adventure while I watched the stuff and took a nap on the beach. Once they were back, I got in the water again with Bri. After that we decided to find drinks. I also had to cancel the maids for the next day so I needed WiFi in order to send an email to Bri’s parents. We found a little place and I was able to use Jeff’s phone to send an email. The place was nice (a bit hot though). We had many drinks and ice cream there. The fish kite they had kept smacking Jeff in the face. We also played some hearts until it was time to catch the ferry back to Panama City. Our driver was there almost when we arrived back. When we got back we went out to dinner at one of the places up a ways from the hotel. We ate at a place that made their own beer. They gave us a free flight. We stayed out pretty late doing a mini bar crawl.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
We asked the hotel where good breakfast was and they pointed us to a cafe. Once there, we weren’t impressed since it was a cafeteria kind of cafe. We decided to go to the good breakfast place on another street where we ordered the American’s before. The waitress was nice and showed us what they were having for lunch. We contemplated going back for lunch. We then went to the Old Panama. They had a museum. We went through the museum… there wasn’t much there but it was interesting to learn the history of the first Panama City. My camera started to run out of memory so I had to go through pictures and delete them. We then took their golf cart thing to the actual ruins. We walked up the old church, learned roughly how it looked like back then. It was pretty fascinating. Captain Henry Morgan destroyed their city in 1671. Pirates would come by and steal their stuff including rocks. We walked around the ruins and walked midway back and took their golfcart the rest of the way. Our driver was waiting for us. We then did the pool at the hotel. We got dinner later at a place up the street. Jeff’s food wasn’t sufficient due to his allergies so we went to another place afterward and got drinks and Jeff got better food. After drinks Bri and I decided to call it an early night and pack and watch the democratic debate we missed from Monday.
We caught the flight home the next morning. An uneventful flight (just the way I like them). We got home to a lot of snow! We got Bri’s car out and I picked up Wiki.
Pictures can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/niles38/albums/72157663972045221
It was an awesome trip!
If you know me, you know I Feel The Bern and am a Bernie Sanders supporter to the very end (even going so far as to write his name in if he’s not the Democratic nominee come November). And I know it’s not Bernie’s style to go on the attack as he’s never run a negative campaign ad in his life. But since Hillary is going on the attack against Bernie, I thought it well to attack her a bit.
So here’s a list of stuff I compiled that do not paint Hillary Clinton in a good light. I believe she’s very corrupt, wrong for our country, and here is proof.
She was a Republican in her younger years. She campaigned for Republican candidate Barry Goldwater (who voted against the Civil Rights Act).
Bernie Sanders, however, organized effective resistance to segregation and civil rights violations in Chicago. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in his “I Have A Dream” speech.
On the debate on November 14, 2015 she invoked the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 to defend herself against the charge that she is too close to Wall Street with taking millions in campaign donations. Nobody in history has defended their campaign donations with a terrorist attack.
She was a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors from 1986-1992. During this time she remained silent while Wal-Mart waged a major campaign against labor unions.
Many of Hillary’s top campaign donors are big banks. How can she possibly want to regulate them when they have helped her get into power?
After the economic crash of 2008, the Clinton’s made $26M from banks, insurance companies, etc.
List of Hillary Clinton Super PACs: Madam Hillary 2016, Balance of Power PAC, HillaryFTW, Hillary 2016, Faith Voters, BillForFirstLady2016, Arriba Con Hillary, America’s Teachers, African Americans for Hillary, Priorities USA Action
Hillary has accepted money from Monsanto and is on their side when it comes to GMOs.
She could face ethics charges. Her son-in-law, a hedge fund manager, asked for a special favor when she was Secretary of State. Not to mention her email server which the FBI is currently investigating.
When she was Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from foreign governments.
When she was Secretary of State, Clinton Foundation donors got weapons deals from the State Department. Here’s a list of some countries and the amount of money they gave:
- Saudi Arabia $10M-$25M
- United Arib Emirates $1-5M
- Qatar $1-5M
- Algeria $250k-500k
- Bahrain $50-100k
- Kuwait $5-10M
- Oman $1-5M
- Morocco $1-5M
She received a lot of money from Donald Trump and has been personally close to him; even attending his wedding in 2005.
She committed yet another flip flop. She was against some of the Executive orders Obama recently enacted. She was against taking federal action on guns in the past.
A lot of her top advisers lobbied against Obamacare and Dodd-Frank.
She made millions of dollars in paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, etc. As Secretary of State she helped UBS settle a lawsuit with the IRS. Afterward Bill Clinton received $1.5 million from speeches and UBS started giving to the Clinton Foundation.
During the Clinton years in Arkansas, Tyson leaked sewage into a Arkansas river, polluting water for many people. Bill Clinton acted after 17 months of initially being informed. Yet Hillary criticized Governor Snyder for inaction in Flint, Michigan. Both Bill Clinton and Rick Snyder deserve scrutiny for their inactions.
I wanted to do a quick blog post about pizza delivery fees. As some of you know, I used to do pizza delivery for Domino’s back in college. Fun times. Lots of stories.
Anyway, pizza drivers are making less today than what I made when I did it due to delivery fees that pizza and other delivery places put onto the price of the order.
The summer I delivered pizza, it used to be $15.75 for the 555 deal from Domino’s. People would usually be nice and give the full $20 for tip; so we’d get $4.75 tip. I come into work one day, first order is a 555, go to the dude’s house and notice that it’s now $16.75… I thought he might have ordered an extra topping or something… Nope, it was the new $1 delivery fee. All of a sudden I was getting less money with the 555’s. Not only that, a lot of people stopped tipping as much since they were under the false assumption that the extra $1 went to the driver when it did not. It went to corporate profits.
The Huffington Post did a good article on it.
So just to set the record straight: a delivery fee DOES NOT go to the driver. Please tip these guys. It’s hard for them. It’s their wear and tear on their cars. They live off minimum wage and tips and whatever minuscule money they get per run (when I did it it was 85 cents a run).
The second Democratic debate happened last Saturday night. The night before, Paris experienced a horrible terrorist attack which had killed 129 people and wounded many more. My thoughts go out to them.
Bernie Sanders was asked specifically if he thought climate change was still our biggest threat and he said YES.
Bernie’s answer is absolutely right. Climate change is still our biggest threat. Obama even got blasted for saying that climate change impacts more people than terrorism. And there’s data to prove it.
Bernie’s plan to combat ISIS is to create a global coalition and let the other countries in the region take care of it; like Iran. Iran is ISIS’ enemy. We have allies in the area that have millions of troops.
The other candidates (including Hillary) have no real plan. In fact Huckabee’s plan is to tear up the Iran nuclear deal. Is he stupid? Iran and ISIS are enemies.
It is very sad what has happened in Paris. And my thoughts do go out to them. But when you tally up deaths from guns in this country (which 129+ people die in four days due to guns in this country) and deaths due to climate change; it’s clear what OUR biggest threats are and they’re not terrorism.
Oh and by the way, if you’re not informed on what is happening in Syria, here’s a cartoon that can explain things to you.
Thought I’d blog about Hillary Clinton’s not-so-great moments in the first Democratic debate of the 2016 presidential election. The debate took place on October 13, 2015.
- When discussing banks that are too big to fail, Bernie Sanders said his plan was to break up the big banks. Anderson Cooper then asked Hillary Clinton how her plan was better. She said:
…The plan that I have put forward would actually empower regulators to break up big banks if we thought they posed a risk.
If they posed a risk? How about now? The largest five banks control 45% of the industry’s total assets!
- After Bernie Sanders brought up the deregulation that happened under the Clinton administration and how we need to break the big banks up, Anderson Cooper asked Hillary Clinton to respond. She responded by saying:
I represented Wall Street, as a senator from New York, and I went to Wall Street in December of 2007 — before the big crash that we had — and I basically said, “cut it out! Quit foreclosing on homes! Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors.”
Clearly that worked.
- When Anderson Cooper asked how would a Hillary Clinton administration not be a third term from President Obama, Hillary Clinton responded by saying:
Well, I think that’s pretty obvious. I think being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we’ve had up until this point, including President Obama.
Wow, that is new!
- Anderson Cooper asked if Hillary Clinton regretted her vote on the Patriot Act of 2001 (you know, the one that took away liberties such as habeas corpus, Hillary Clinton said this:
No, I don’t. I think it was necessary to make sure that we were able after 9/11 to put in place the security that we needed.
Aww, come on, really?
- When talking about the DREAM act and instate tuition for undocumented immigrants, Anderson Cooper asked where Hillary Clinton stood on providing it since both Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are in for it. She said this:
My plan would support any state that takes that position, and would work with those states and encourage more states to do the same thing.
Anderson Cooper then interjected and asked if she believed undocument immigrants should get instate college tuition, she replied:
…If their states agree, then we want more states to do the same thing.
So she’s for STATES RIGHTS? WTF?
- Anderson Cooper said Hillary Clinton plead guilty to being kind of moderate and center and asked her if she changed her identity depending on who she was talking to. She replied:
No. I think that, like most people that I know, I have a range of views, but they are rooted in my values and my experience.
A “range of views?” Clearly, yes, her views are whatever is politically popular at the time. She helped negotiate the TPP and is now against it. She also switched her position on the Keystone XL Pipeline, free college tuition, gay marriage… the list goes on.
- When Martin O’Malley said Hillary Clinton was against Glass-Steagall, Hillary Clinton responded with this:
Well, you know, everybody on this stage has changed a position or two.
How original. And that came from a real presidential candidate!
The full transcript can be found at the Washington Post’s website. Please note that it is subject to change since big media has been changing things all over the internet since the debate. Their online polling said Bernie Sanders won, focus groups said Bernie Sanders won, he got the most google searches, the most followers on social media; yet all the news outlets claim Hillary Clinton won.
Special United States! Look at how tiny the scroll bar is on the School Shootings in the US page! And that page is just tables! It’s not even any descriptions! We’re so special we get our own page when it comes to school shootings.
Anyway, so I’m on twitter today looking at some of the #UCCShooting tweets since yet ANOTHER school shooting happened. Here are some good tweets:
And two of my favorites from twitter (that have been said in may different ways):
- How come baking a cake is participating in gay marriage but selling a gun to someone ISN’T participating in murder?
- One Mexican kills someone = DEPORT THEM ALL; Twenty angry white dudes commit mass shootings = LET’S NOT RUSH TO JUDGEMENT.
I have these pages bookmarked on my phone just in case I get into a debate with a right wing nut job over guns:
I have to wonder what a poor guy in a rural area (let’s call him Bob) and a rich business man have in common… they both vote Republican. But why? Why does the poor guy seem to think that voting the same as the business man will benefit him or be in his best self interest?
I think people need to think about which political party really aligns with their beliefs. I can’t see many people like Bob actually having the same interests as the Koch brothers. Think about some of the things the Koch brothers stand for:
- No taxes on the rich
- No government regulations
- No protections for the “commons” like the environment
- No protections for workers
- Unlimited money in our elections
- No free education
- No social safety net
- No guaranteed health care coverage
- Free market that isn’t regulated
- No tariffs
How can any of these views match what a working person like Bob believes?
Sure I guess in some distant universe far, far away Bob could lift himself up by his bootstraps and become rich and have the same ideals. It does happen but probably not to Bob or the millions of low-wage workers…
So why want no taxes on the rich? Why wouldn’t Bob want government to regulate what companies can and cannot do? It’s his planet, too. Doesn’t Bob want to be protected from his boss demanding him to work 70 hours a week with little pay, no benefits; or else get fired? Bob doesn’t have millions of dollars to spend on our political process so why would he want the Koch brothers to be able to do it? Maybe Bob wants to better himself or send his kids to college so why wouldn’t Bob want affordable or free education? If Bob gets sick or if he has to stay home with his sick wife, wouldn’t Bob want some safety net since he most likely doesn’t have savings since his wage is so low anyway? Wouldn’t he want to be sure he has health coverage no matter what? Wouldn’t Bob want regulations on Wall Street so they don’t fuck all of us over again like in 2008? Doesn’t Bob want to make sure his job stays in the United States and not go over seas where someone can do the same thing for pennies on the dollar to what Bob makes?
The only thing I can honestly see Bob and the likes of the Koch brothers having in common is guns. But this issue is negligible since the Democrats haven’t done anything on gun control. They’re too afraid of the NRA to do something as simple as expanded background checks (which could have prevented mass shootings).
I don’t understand how people like Bob would want to vote for the same interests as the Koch brothers. They’re clearly on two sides of the political spectrum.
I am really getting sick of people attacking Planned Parenthood. People seem to think all Planned Parenthood is out to do is destroy fetus’. They’re for family planning. They’re for helping people. Like 3% of what they do is abortions and yet that’s all they get flack for. They never get any good press. Get the facts.
If they do ANYTHING wrong, it’s like open season. They get flack from Congress, the Republicans, and basically anyone who is pro-life.
Planned Parenthood is one of the only places where women can go and get help and not be judged. (Besides by those idiot protesters who stand out front of the Planned Parenthood offices holding up stupid signs of dead babies; cause that’s effective.)
Women who are poor, women who are in college, any woman can go to Planned Parenthood and get their yearly examinations and mammograms for free; without insurance. It’s one of the only places that does this. They can even get birth control for free.
I know; I did it for years. I didn’t have health insurance for ten years of my life (through high school and college). Planned Parenthood was there for me.
I take offense to anyone who wants to smear them and tear them down. They’re doing good things. Why can’t people and the press see that? They’re helping people.
When I was in college my husband (then boyfriend) and I worked this minimum wage job up in western Maryland just so we could be together. We worked 30-40 hours a week so pretty much full time. We earned the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.
I remember getting my paycheck and it instantly going to food and rent and that was it. I didn’t have any left over. In fact I may have owed money.
Maryland is awesome and liberal so since then the minimum wage in our state has risen to $8.00 an hour (soon to be $8.25 July 1st 2015, $8.75 July 1st 2016, $9.25 July 1st 2017, and $10.10 July 1st 2018). I wrote my congressmen a lot of letters regarding the minimum wage in our state.
Using an inflation calculator, if I were a college student working minimum wage now, I’d be earning around $7 an hour in circa 2005 dollars. That could have afforded me a lot better life. I might have actually gotten by without borrowing money that summer.
Well that’s this blog post’s story. Vote Bernie Sanders and vote for a higher minimum wage!
Isn’t it bull s**t that we have to pay “surcharges.” They’re getting to be ridiculous. These “surcharges” cost me $13 a month. My Verizon bill is almost $200 for two phone lines, 700 minutes, unlimited text, and 6 GB of data on one phone and unlimited on the other.
But these “surcharges” go up every month it seems.
Verizon Wireless Surcharges – Includes charges to recover or help defray costs of taxes and of governmental charges and fees imposed on us by the government. Other Charges and Credits – includes charges for products and services, and credits owing.
So it’s the governments fault? I see. The government charges too much in taxes so they need to pass that onto their consumer. Makes sense.
But wait. It turns out they don’t pay taxes! What the f**k? They actually make a s**t ton of profit and still pay no taxes. They even get money back from the government!
At least they create jobs right? Nope. Turns out, their tax breaks don’t even create jobs.
It’s such bull s**t. I think I’m going to start to complain. Why should I pay more to pad their bottom line even more than it is now when they pay nothing in taxes? I pay taxes! You pay taxes! Why should we pay more of “their taxes?”
I’m fed up with this country sometimes. It’s bull s**t.
Spread the word.
Bri and I were talking the other night about the stuff we still have from college. I thought I’d blog about it since I’m a bit bored and would like to update my blog more. So here’s a list of stuff that I still have since college (and some before):
- Coffee table (acquired in college, was my Mom’s or her dad’s)
- Can opener (acquired in college, we actually took it from our apartment in Frostburg)
- Microwave (acquired in college, we bought it for $40 at Walmart)
- My bathroom tote (acquired in high school, Ricky and I were shopping for his college when I got it for my college for a year later)
- My pink laundry bag (acquired in high school)
- My TV (acquired when I was a kid, I’ve had this RCA 12 inch boom tube since I was born basically)
- size_t (acquired in college, he’s still good although he has diabetes… and yes he’s a pet not an inanimate object)
- Most our pots & pans (acquired throughout college, we still use the same forks, plates, spatculas, etc)
- My comforters (acquired in college, my Aunt Ruth bought them for me)
- Chair (acquired in high school from my mom, the only stable chair we have that we can stand on)
- Computer Chairs (acquired in college, both mine and Bri’s, we also acquired another one from Seth)
- Boxes & bins (acquired in college, still are used to store shit in)
- My messenger bag (acquired in high school, bought from Old Navy, used in high school & college, I’ll have it forever)
- Spare bed (acquired in college, for Bri and my first apartment in Frostburg)
- Junk bins (acquired in high school, storage for pens, tape, cords, etc)
- High school & college papers (acquired throughout high school & college, I saved all my papers & notes from classes I took)
- Stuffed animals (acquired throughout life)
- Computer monitor (acquired in high school, was my first, now is Bri’s second monitor for his PC)
This list doesn’t include DVDs and items of the sort. Maybe I’ll update this later if I can think of more stuff I’ve had since college. Pretty cool I still have the same stuff.