Osama Bin Laden Dead.

Osama Bin Laden Dead.

Wow.  Who cares.

‎”If we can’t create like gods, we can at least destroy like one.”                  – Howard Good

50,000 troops still in Afghanistan, Taliban rages on, and everyone I know is struggling to make ends meat & keep their houses from foreclosing (if they have one) or paying rent (if they don’t).  We live in a country where anything is possible.  Yes, with absolutely no help from the state or federal government.

Education, Healthcare, Social Welfare programs are all festering in the national porter potty toilet.  We, as a country and people, are being governed — manhandled actually — by politicians that make up the top 1% of rich folk in the US.  They do not directly relate in experience to our “common & everyday” problems, therefore they do not empathize with us or care about helping us out of this bog.  They have created a system in which American companies capitalize on outsourcing our jobs to 3rd world countries — where those employed are exploited by these corporatized sweatshop/slave labor gigs because they have no other means of surviving their dismal circumstances.  Our elected officials have cut our unions!!!  and bailed out The Banks with our hard earned tax dollars — Banks that continue to implement excessive fees & refuse to issue us loans a.k.a invest in our business start ups or home purchases. They raise our taxes, charging us astronomical fines (ex: $70 parking tickets) to pay for the deficit.

Yet, they have enough money to prolong our violent military involvement a.k.a colonization of the middle east.  Not enough money, of course, to offer our sacrificial lambs — The Returning Veterans — proper reconstructive medical care (both mentally & bodily).  In my opinion, The VA (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs) embodies America’s raped spirit and maps out all the ways the government is NOT helping us recover.

See the new California taxes below:

(copy & pasted from an email sent to me)
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES HAS AN ARTICLE ON THE SUBJECT: “FLOORING IT ON CAR FINES”.

HUGE California Traffic Tickets Fines Effective 01/06/2011
Please be extremely careful in your driving and car registration & insurance matters.  State of California is broke and they are trying hard to squeeze all of us hard to collect money.  Effective immediately, if you do not stop at the red light, be ready to pay $436 in fines or if you pass a school bus with flashing red signals, you will be charged $616.  The state of California is going for blood, so be extra careful in driving, You cannot afford messing with them.  I have been hearing that Highway Patrols are under pressure to issue a lot more tickets than last year with at least 30% increase in fines over 2009, so beware of radar guns, highway and traffic cameras installed everywhere and the tougher enforcement of parking rules.
.
Just for your info, the next time you park in the handicapped zone, even for a minute, you will be looking at almost $ 1000 in parking tickets, so it’d better be worth it.
.
California needs money, so pay close attention to the rules of the road!
Traffic Ticket Fines (Effective 01/06/2011)
VC 12814.6    $214:     Failure to obey license provisions.
VC 14600(A)   $214:   Failure to notify DMV of address change within 10 days.
VC 16028(A)     $796:  Failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility (insurance)
VC 21453(A)     $436:    Failure to stop at a red signal.
VC 22349          $214:       Unsafe speed,  1 to 15 miles over the limit.
VC 22350           $328:        Unsafe speed, 16 to 25 miles over the limit.
VC 22450           $214:         Failure to stop at a stop sign.
VC 22454(A)      $616:      Passing a school bus w/ flashing red signals.
VC 23123(A)      $148:      Driving while using a wireless phone not hands free, first offense .
VC 23123(B)      $256:     Driving while using a wireless phone not hands free, each subsequent offense.
VC 23123.5        $148:     Driving while using a wireless device to send, read or write text.
VC 23124            $148:    Minor driving while using a wireless phone.
VC 22500            $976:   Parking in a bus loading area.
VC 22507(A)       $976:   Violation of disabled parking provisions, first offense.
VC 22507(B)     $1876:   Violation of disabled parking provisions, second offense.
VC 26708            $178:    Unlawful material on vehicle windows.
VC 27150            $178:      Adequate muffler required.
VC 27315            $148:      Mandatory use of seat belts.
VC 27360            $436:     Mandatory use of passenger child restraints.
Note: This fine may be reduced by completing a court authorized child seat diversion program .
VC 27400            $178:     Headsets or Earplugs covering both ears.
VC 27803            $178:     Violation of motorcycle safety helmet. requirements.
VC 34506            $616:        Commercial Driver – Log book violation.
VC 4000              $256:        No evidence of current registration.
VC 4159              $178:        Notify DMV of change of address within 10 days.
VC 5200             $178         Proper display of license plates.
VC 9400             $178         Commercial weight fees due.
Note: A couple of the fines may be reduced with valid proof of correction.
.
What I’m trying to say, kids, is that daddy’s a money -laundering, warring, elitist drunk and we’re on our own.  Completely.  If we want to climb out of the economic & spiritual depravity / heartbreak we’re in — we can not look to our politicians or their next term resolutions to fix us.  We middle-class and lower middle-class folk must look to each other.  Support each other.  Help each other.  Regardless of ethnic background and religious beliefs.

Our present government has his eye set on turning us into a well-oiled Caste system, into China and/or India Part Deux.  A controlled mass of repressed, overworked, & undervalued workerbees who slave away to feed the overstuffed bellies of elected murderers & exploiters — those white collar criminals we like to revere as our governors, military chiefs, & presidents.

There is hope though, I think.  Great hope.  Times like these prove perfect for taking Destiny into our own hands.  When there’s nothing left to lose, best to risk it all.

Time to educate ourselves, start our own businesses, employ each other — and within these burgeoning communities implement a socially conscious standard of ethical & fair treatment in work, play, & love.  I think we have the power to set in motion a precedence for neighborly & professional behavior through one American business at a time.

“Let them eat cake”, Obama says with a charming smirk.

Obviously, I think it important that we continue voting for the policies and politicians we believe in (whether we feel they have a real chance of winning or not) in order to honor the sprinkle of influence the everyday Juan still has over this country.  Still, we can’t wait for national change to trickle down onto us from the upper echelons while we suck our thumbs & pout.  It must come from within us, spread around us, and rise upward.

At this point, we need nothing from our government.  We can confidently take the reigns of our own lives.  I believe that by consequence, over time, the government will eventually twist their arm to our commoner wiles.

I think it important that we try not to steady the unbridled chariot from a place of fear & anger, however, but from a place of self-realized power & faith.  That will most likely avoid, I hope, the birth of more groups like The Nazi Party aka The Tea Party. Nope, my fellow Americans, Latino immigrants are not the cause of the current economic strife just like the jews weren’t for Germany.  The rich politicians you elected to office are responsible.  Let’s please stop misdirecting our angst?

Here are some perception shifting, deeply inspiring posts from out-of-the-box thinker Seth Godin:

The realization is now

New polling out this week shows that Americans are frustrated with the world and pessimistic about the future. They’re losing patience with the economy, with their prospects, with their leaders (of both parties).

What’s actually happening is this: we’re realizing that the industrial revolution is fading. The 80 year long run that brought ever-increasing productivity (and along with it, well-paying jobs for an ever-expanding middle class) is ending.

It’s one thing to read about the changes the internet brought, it’s another to experience them. People who thought they had a valuable skill or degree have discovered that being an anonymous middleman doesn’t guarantee job security. Individuals who were trained to comply and follow instructions have discovered that the deal is over… and it isn’t their fault, because they’ve always done what they were told.

This isn’t fair of course. It’s not fair to train for years, to pay your dues, to invest in a house or a career and then suddenly see it fade.

For a while, politicians and organizations promised that things would get back to normal. Those promises aren’t enough, though, and it’s clear to many that this might be the new normal. In fact, it is the new normal.

I regularly hear from people who say, “enough with this conceptual stuff, tell me how to get my factory moving, my day job replaced, my consistent paycheck restored…” There’s an idea that somehow, if we just do things with more effort or skill, we can go back to the Brady Bunch and mass markets and mediocre products that pay off for years. It’s not an idea, though, it’s a myth.

Some people insist that if we focus on “business fundamentals” and get “back to basics,” all will return. Not so. The promise that you can get paid really well to do precisely what your boss instructs you to do is now a dream, no longer a reality.

It takes a long time for a generation to come around to significant revolutionary change. The newspaper business, the steel business, law firms, the car business, the record business, even computers… one by one, our industries are being turned upside down, and so quickly that it requires us to change faster than we’d like.

It’s unpleasant, it’s not fair, but it’s all we’ve got. The sooner we realize that the world has changed, the sooner we can accept it and make something of what we’ve got. Whining isn’t a scalable solution.

The opportunity is here

At the same time that our economic engines are faltering, something else is happening. Like all revolutions, it happens in fits and starts, without perfection, but it’s clearly happening.

The mass market is being replaced by multiple micro markets and the long tail of choice.

Google is connecting buyers and sellers over vaster distances, more efficiently and more cheaply than ever before.

Manufacturing is more of a conceptual hurdle than a practical one.

The exchange of information creates ever more value, while commodity products are ever cheaper. It takes fewer employees to generate more value, make more noise and impact more people.

Most of all is this: every individual, self-employed or with a boss, is now more in charge of her destiny than ever before. The notion of a company town or a stagnant industry with little choice is fading fast.

Right before your eyes, a fundamentally different economy, with different players and different ways to add value is being built. What used to be an essential asset (for a person or for a company) is worth far less, while new attributes are both scarce and valuable.

Are there dislocations? There’s no doubt about it. Pain and uncertainty and risk, for sure.

The opportunity, though, is the biggest of our generation (or the last one, for that matter). The opportunity is there for anyone (with or without a job) smart enough to take it–to develop a best in class skill, to tell a story, to spread the word, to be in demand, to satisfy real needs, to run from the mediocre middle and to change everything.

¡Note! Like all revolutions, this is an opportunity, not a solution, not a guarantee. It’s an opportunity to poke and experiment and fail and discover dead ends on the way to making a difference. The old economy offered a guarantee–time plus education plus obedience = stability. The new one, not so much. The new one offers a chance for you to take a chance and make an impact.

¡Note! If you’re looking for ‘how’, if you’re looking for a map, for a way to industrialize the new era, you’ve totally missed the point and you will end up disappointed. The nature of the last era was that repetition and management of results increased profits. The nature of this one is the opposite: if someone can tell you precisely what to do, it’s too late. Art and novelty and innovation cannot be reliably and successfully industrialized.

In 1924, Walt Disney wrote a letter to Ub Iwerks. Walt was already in Hollywood and he wanted his old friend Ubbe to leave Kansas City and come join him to build an animation studio. The last line of the letter said “PS I wouldn’t live in KC now if you gave me the place—yep—you bet—Hooray for Hollywood.” And, just above, in larger letters, he scrawled, “Don’t hesitate—Do it now.”

It’s not 1924, and this isn’t Hollywood, but it is a revolution, and there’s a spot for you (and your boss if you push) if you realize you’re capable of making a difference. Or you could be frustrated. Up to you.

Dreams, princesses & the Disney-industrial complex

“Like a dream come true”

Choose your dreams carefully.

Everyone is entitled to a dream. It gives us hope, focuses our energy, makes us human.

Sometimes, though, we get sold a dream instead of creating our own.

Is it really every girl’s dream to become a princess, to be chosen by someone of royal birth and to have a $34 million wedding? Or is that the Disney-industrial complex betraying you, selling you short?

I just read that the folks who brought us the Mall of America are going to redo the troubled Xanadu shopping complex in New Jersey and rename it The American Dream. Is this the best we can do? Shop?

Dreams are too important to sell cheap, to give over to some organization trying to make a buck.

Catherine Casey chose a different dream–to move to Accra on her own to build an outpost of the Acumen Fund. It’s a dream that scales, that pays dividends, and most of all, that she can make come true.

It’s so easy to be sold on the combination of compliance, consumption and approval by the powers that be. Of course, you’re entitled to any dream you like, but I hope you will choose a bigger one.

Hard work vs. Long work

Long work is what the lawyer who bills 14 hours a day filling in forms does.

Hard work is what the insightful litigator does when she synthesizes four disparate ideas and comes up with an argument that wins the case–in less than five minutes.

Long work has a storied history. Farmers, hunters, factory workers… Always there was long work required to succeed. For generations, there was a huge benefit that came to those with the stamina and fortitude to do long work.

Hard work is frightening. We shy away from hard work because inherent in hard work is risk. Hard work is hard because you might fail. You can’t fail at long work, you merely show up. You fail at hard work when you don’t make an emotional connection, or when you don’t solve the problem or when you hesitate.

I think it’s worth noting that long work often sets the stage for hard work. If you show up enough and practice enough and learn enough, it’s more likely you will find yourself in a position to do hard work.

It seems, though that no matter how much long work you do, you won’t produce the benefits of hard work unless you are willing to leap.

Advertisements

About vanessalibertadgarcia

Vanessa Libertad Garcia is a Cuban – American writer & filmmaker who grew up between the burbs’ and hoods of Los Angeles. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, she’s completed a myriad of successful projects that tackle both the film and literary worlds. Ms. Garcia has worked in various capacities as writer, director, and producer on fiction films such as the HSF/McNamara Arts Grant recipient “A Two Woman One Act” and documentaries such as “Maid in America,” which debuted on PBS’ Independent Lens. Two films out of the many, which have screened at top festivals such as The Los Angeles Film Fest, The Habana Film Fest, Cinequest, and Outfest to name a few. Ms. Garcia has had writings published by venerated literary staple Lambda Literary and the up-and-coming Amor Fati. Her first book “The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive” is drawing laudable reviews. It’s available for purchase at amazon.com, barnes&noble.com, and many other sites. She presently has a feature film titled “Dear Dios” based on the books’ characters and a second book — the collection of poetry “Bloody Fucking Hell” — in development. View all posts by vanessalibertadgarcia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s