I Dreamt of You

negative man

I dreamt that you and I had always been connected, that throughout every lifetime, we would be together in some fashion, often growing up together, but something would prevent us from being together as we got older, like I would move or you would die young, or I would die before we had married, or you would go insane before I had met you.
I love you, and I hope in this lifetime we can make it right.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Chicago Snow Story List

Creation
This is posted expressly for the purpose of gathering my various posts to Runaway Tales into one place so people can follow the general continuity. Most stories are PG-13, I will note if they are R or NC-17 here. List of prompts below cut.

Prologue: You.
1: A Typical Night On The Town
2: Running Jackal
3: Not Quite Legolas
4: Surveillance
5: Strange Bedfellows (NC-17)
Read more...Collapse )

Carpal Tunnel

negative man
So, I have carpal tunnel due to a terrible workplace. As such, I haven't updated this in a while, despite the fact that I have tons of free time now. I love writing, believe me, more than I have in a while, but it has become so difficult to sit at a computer and writing that I can't do it for more than a few minutes at a time.

The most I can do right now is share the ideas I've been having for stories and an epiphany I had recently.

Read more...Collapse )

Regardless, hope you are all enjoying your individual lives. Let me know what you think, or what's going on with you. I'll try to respond when I can. Now off to relax my wrists.

Hooray! Another history post!

Oral Fixation
This is an assignment that was supposed to be 325 words, and turned out to be 790. Guess you could say I enjoyed this reading?

This section of Kegley and Raymond’s text is primarily on cyclical nature of war and peace throughout “modern” world history. I put modern in quotation marks because this chapter begins with Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power at the dawn of the 19th century. His despotic aims may have been thwarted, but constructed in his place were layers of treaties, which gave rise to the power systems we know today. To some historians, this is indicative of a cycle of power, called long-cycle theory.
This chapter first lays out the causes and consequences of World War I, in order to understand how global politics today have come about. Most history students know the basic, individual cause: the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. However, it is actually the series of alliances forged and the rash decisions made by political leaders, not to mention their consistently nationalistic aims that created this firestorm of war. At the end of it, the empires of Russia, the Ottomans, and Austria-Hungary collapsed, the states of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were all created, and Russia became the first socialist state, calling itself the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. These changes would have reverberations for decades to come, and still affect world politics today. Liberal politics became the order of the day, with leaders like President Wilson forming the League of Nations designed to strengthen the independence and territorial claims of all nations. However, not all nations were satisfied with the arrangements. The Treaty of Versailles left Germany crippled and assigned responsibility for the war, and charged with paying for reparations.
These reparations and punitive restrictions were humiliating for the German peoples, who felt, in general, that the Treaty was unfair and they supported some sort of revolutionary movement, the most popular of which was the National Socialist German Workers party, or the Nazi party. The economic collapse of 1929 and ensuing depression of the 1930s propelled the country towards extremes. Soon the Nazi party gained supremacy, suspending the constitution of the Weimar Republic and granting Hitler dictatorial powers. A campaign of conquest to unite separated ethnic Germans began, but it became clear after the appeasement of the Sudeten lands that it would not be enough to quench the Nazi thirst for vengeance. Germany’s allies, Italy and Japan, shared this desire for power and territory, and propelled the conflict across the world. The punitive measures enacted at the end of World War I began this conflict by humiliating the German people. The result of this war was the division of Germany between the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union, which also gained dominion over most of Eastern Europe to as far west as Germany and Yugoslavia, and as far south as Albania. The Soviet Union emerged as a major power, far more so than the rest of Europe, which was still in ruins after the long campaigns of World War II. The United States, however, fared very well, with greatly increased economic potential and superior military firepower.
It was with the emergence of these two great powers, and dwindling of the exhausted European powers, that what became known as the Cold War began. This led to indirect wars justified using the strategy of containment that was essential to the Truman Doctrine and the American (and capitalist) defense against the threat of the Soviet Union. The two sides understood the delicate nature of the conflict, and Khrushchev (the Soviet leader after Stalin) enacted a policy of peaceful coexistence, while much later, Kissinger under Nixon enacted détente, which emphasized arms control to restrain the expensive arms race. These negotiations deteriorated under the Carter and Reagan administrations during and after the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet forces. At the end of the Soviet rule, America emerged as a source of enormous soft power and the unipolar power in the world.
This power has not lasted, however, with scandalous economic policies and an increasing dependence on foreign interests for oil and money, not to mention their individualistic tone to their foreign policy until Obama’s election in 2008. America is currently falling prey to imperial overstretch, wherein they have neglected interests at home (the economy, infrastructure, health care, stark divisions in ideals) in favor of those abroad (investments from China, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars). The economic crisis in recent years has only exacerbated this problem, furthering the descent of America from the unipolar power it once was, and creating a multipolar system with several major powers at the head, and for the first time, countries from Asia are making up even more of those major powers. China is projected to be the leading power in the world in the coming years...if they can avoid America’s mistakes.

Tea Partiers can GFT.

BangBang
Okay, so. Listening to clips of Sarah Palin's speech in Nashville, wondering exactly how little Tea Partiers actually understand what their government does for them.

They call for small government, for it to get out of their lives by not giving them free health care. Oh dear. Okay then. So for all of you who call yourselves part of this abomination called the "Tea Party", you no longer get MediCare or MedicAid. You will no longer have water pumped into your house through the main sewer lines, and we'll close them off as they're heading outside, too. Your trash will no longer be picked up, and you cannot drop off your recycling anywhere. Your electricity and gas will be cut off, hope you've already bought your sweaters! Your children can no longer go to public school, and can't receive grants or loans for college. You will buy food off the back of a farmer's wagon, if he's kind enough to stop, with no labels to tell you how fresh something is, or whether that's prime steak or better off as dog food. You will no longer get mail, and your driveway will be blocked off, as you should no longer drive on the government's roads. If you can manage to get to town, you will not be allowed to visit any business that receives subsidies or assistance from the government, so make sure to check your provided list. Regrettably, it is very short, but that's all right, as you can't withdraw your money from the bank because the government bailed them out. You cannot visit any museum, library, park, forest, or beach (national, state, or city). But that's all right, they're so far away, and you can't use your car on the roads, highways, etc., and can't use any sort of public transportation such as trains, buses, subways, or airlines. And don't even think about using your boat, that waterway is the property of the United States government. You would have no way to defend your property, as the military cannot defend you, and you cannot buy a gun without a background check, but you're not in any database anymore. So you are stuck at home, no fireman will hose your house down when it's burning, no cop will come running if it's robbed, no paramedic to resuscitate you when your heart stops, and there is no hospital to go to anyway.

There. Is your government small enough now? You're completely alone in the world, with no support net whatsoever. Seems unfair? Seems awful? Now you know how people feel when they don't have insurance, either because they can't afford it, can't get coverage because of their condition, or a slew of other reasons. They have lost their safety net, and gone bankrupt because of it. I ask you, just as Senator Al Franken asked "Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the right-wing Hudson Institute", and I quote:

FRANKEN: I want to ask you, how many medical bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number in front of me, but I can find out and get back to you.

FRANKEN: I can tell you how many it was. It’s zero. Do you know how many medical bankruptcies there were last year in France?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: I don’t have that number, but I can get back to you if you like.

FRANKEN: Yeah, the number is zero. Do you know how many were in Germany?

FURCHTGOTT-ROTT: From the trend of your questions, I’m assuming the number is zero. But I don’t know the precise number and would have to get back to you.

FRANKEN: Well, you’re very good. Very fast. The point is, I think we need to go in that direction, not the opposite direction. Thank you.

(Quoted from McLaughlin, Ted. "Franken Exposes Health Care Lies," Best of the Blogs. October 22, 2009. http://bestoftheblogs.com/Home/21812.)

Smaller update this morning

A Plague!
So, I still haven't seen any movement towards mass-scale protests, but we're seeing ever-growing numbers of petitions. This newest one comes from Common Cause, a great watchdog organization all about ethics in government. It's a petition for fair elections now, and as this group is actually taken seriously by news media (the link also includes another link to a video of the CEO on Keith Olbermann's Countdown), we might be seeing a surge in awareness of this issue.

Who knows?

...

Just got an email from the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) to renew my membership (I don't have one) to somehow fight against the Citizens United decision. Pardon me whilst I call bullshit.

More when I'm not sleep-depped and grumpy. Eight o'clock classes shall be the death of me.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

A Plague!
So we're coming to the close of the week that saw one of the most devastating blows to democracy since McCarthy. And it seems as though the issue of corporate personhood is being swept under the rug.(1) We shouldn't be surprised really, after all, it's corporations who do the news-making now, and anything that's going to challenge their bottom line shouldn't be publicized too much.
Before, during the Bush regime, I swore that if it got any worse that I'd look into leaving the country, like many did during his oppressive reign. I was a teenager at the time, just entering my twenties and going to college like so many lazy young people do. Well, I've had time to think about things now. I've had time to see the horrors that a Republican president can wreak, and now I've seen what a Supreme Court can do to tear down the edifices of democracy.
And don't get me wrong, I'm sure some Republican somewhere has done something of worth to the average American. I just can't remember when. Republicans may consider themselves the party of Lincoln, the party of the common conservative man, but they have more to do with those who sit at the top of glass buildings and judge the fate of cities and nations by whether they put their factories. The little man, thinking that any Republican has his best interest at heart, is truly delusional. But, to quote a film I watched recently which I believe sums up the conservative sentiment well: "Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor."(2)

1) However, a petition to impeach the five Supreme Court justices that voted in favor of the Citizens United decision has been making the rounds. You can find it here.
2) John Dickinson, "1776". Now on Instant Watch on Netflix if you're of that persuasion.

Day 2: Outrage Begins [Updated: 3pm]

BangBang
Second update at 3pm:

We've got another two! online petitions, but I absolutely have to point out that online petitions can only do so much. I'm still looking out for organized protests, but every little bit helps...a little.
This one's from Public Citizen, calling for free speech to only apply to actual human beings (y'know, with bodies and minds and blood running through their veins).
And this new petition is from Public Campaign Action Fund, this time calling for a Fair Elections Act.

Updated mere moments after posting:

There's another petition floating around, this time from MoveOn.org.
A Facebook group if you're into that sort of thing: Abolish Corporate Personhood, with several articles linked off of it, most notably being a history of corporate personhood and what you can do about it.

---

So if you're wondering where to start making noise about this sort of thing, it's online petitions. Just don't become complacent and think that it's the only way to solve things right now.

More posts over the course of the next few days as I find appropriate materials.

Articles:


If you have suggestions for articles, please comment below with a link.

Rant #2: What Democracy is left?

A Plague!
So, I wasn't going to post this until I'd had some time to think about it. After all, the decision was just handed down today. Certainly I will need more time to consider all the ramifications of such a monumental decision. Certainly I will need more time to decide exactly how this will impact the democracy we have grown up with and think that we understand.

Mr. Smith can indeed get to Washington, but he will only do so on Wal-Mart's dime.

I am of course responding to the decision handed down by the Supreme Court that enables corporations to give an unlimited amount to political campaigns, effectively "buying" candidates. And what changed my mind? Keith Olbermann's Special Comment tonight. I cried. Several times. I haven't done that since his comment on health care. Because all the fears and all the worries that I've had for so long have now been crystallized and presented to me on a platter. What will I do, Keith? I'll do this.

My capstone, which originally was to be about drug and alcohol abuse among suburbanites during the 1950s and early 1960s, is now about revolution. Not just any revolution, because it's easy to write about something that occurred hundreds of years ago. No, I will be writing about this revolution. The populist revolution that I want to join and start and shape. I will lay out the historical precedent for such ideas, the reasons why this absolutely must take place, and why I would lay down my life to protect the freedoms we pretend to hold so dear.
This kind of judgment could not occur in a country that truly holds the precepts of freedom dear. It could only happen in a country so blinded by its own bloat, its own willful ignorance, its own preoccupation with "reality" television and video games and any other diversion it can create to distract itself from the horrors that are occurring around us every day -- that it is willing to sacrifice all common sense and decency to the highest bidder.

I have read a great deal about the changes that are taking place, some slow and insidious, some quicker than we can perceive, but always, always heading in a slow downward spiral as though we as a country are circling some great moral drain. Now more than ever, we need to be involved. Not just in the election of anti-corporate individuals, but in real, physical protests. Not worthless online petitions -- those don't make headlines. We need marching in the streets. We need activism like never before, because this doesn't just affect Democrats, it affects Republicans. To save our country from being the Land of Free, Inc., we need an uprising. Mass protests not seen since the Johnson administration. We need our civil rights movement, our war protest, our monumental upheaval that isn't just liberals or conservatives, but both united as one in a fist to bust these corporations who have swelled from the repealing of years of anti-trust acts and monopoly restrictions.

In the coming weeks and months, I will try to post ways that you can make a difference, and how we can shape this coming populist movement. I will try to post the research I do as a part of my capstone, now exclusively about populist rebellion and how to incite it, because I am more passionate about this than any other part of my life right now. And if I can make a difference, if I can let my and other voices be heard, so be it.

My uncle died protesting the war in Iraq. He would want to see protests in the streets over a decision such as this. I can only hope I do his memory justice.

I Heard You, Malachi.
Squik
So this rant is borne out of several sources, starting with Fast Food Nation (the movie), which I watched many years ago and also within the last six months. My boyfriend is interested in food, and I'm interested in hidden elements of social/political/economic structure, especially when it comes to food, so we ended up watching Food, Inc. and The Future of Food, among others. Now I've also read Fast Food Nation, and I'm currently working my way through (quite quickly considering how much I've been online as well) Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma.
Recently I read an article about how many vegetarians are switching to eating "humane meat", or rather, meat that has been allowed to live its natural life in a non-factory setting. The article writer clearly saw this as scandalous, and that no one should be allowed to eat meat, ever. (I'm not really exaggerating, either.)
Now, I hate factory farming, and all that the phrase entails, from field to feedlot to processing plants. I think it's cruel and dangerous to animals, hazardous for the monocultures we create on factory-like fields with genetically modified commodities like corn and soybeans, and terrifying on a level not seen since Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Sure, Sinclair was talking about human right violations on a scale not seen in this country for some time (but seen at the factories that produce our goods), and I do believe that animals have some measurable amount of rights, given that I think humans have not been given the right to take advantage of animals for their own scheming purposes (and yes, I do mean scheming).
However, I do think that we are omnivores, and as such should eat some portion of meat on a semi-regular basis. This does not mean eating meat at every meal, or even every day. No, I find that eating humane meat (some call it kosher or halal, as Judaism and Islam require better treatment of their animals) perhaps only a few times a week, and always with reverence and respect for the animal, is best. You have to understand where your meat comes from, and must treat it as something precious, because that's what it is.
Meat didn't used to be so common. It used to be expensive and harder to come by, especially beef. Of course, with the advent of the industrial food complex, this was all turned on its head. I don't need to go into the history here, or explain how corn and soybeans came to dominate farmland throughout the Midwest, or how Monsanto created genetically modified seeds. You can watch the documentaries I've linked from this post or find out more for yourself. And I truly encourage you to do so. If you feel the need or desire to challenge me on this, please do so, because I'd love to hear different viewpoints on this subject. Alternatively, pass this by and continue to eat your feedlot beef burgers... Just know that there is shit in your meat.

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