Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The real world or a distraction?

For the last month, when it gets around to writing this blog, I find myself in the middle of the week with no idea what subject. So much of what's going on in my life is either not interesting, involves my books, or is into political stuff that I haven't really wanted to discuss here. I have liked keeping this blog about life in general and not into the negatives and yet... Sometimes it is all I really am thinking about. So ahead is a little stream of consciousness about what goes through my mind in a typical day-- that is some of it.

Obama vetoed the Keystone XL, even though Democrats wanted it built. Yes, I read that. It was a lie. Most Democrats would have been ready to impeach him had he signed it. Environmentally there are plenty of concerns even if climate change isn't thrown into the mix. Considering it is going over the Ogallala Aquifer, even though it's been rerouted to not directly go over the Sandhills in Nebraska, it will be an issue because that aquifer has a surprisingly high water table. Anybody who says the technology is so good that they don't need to worry about spills, hasn't been listening to anybody but Fox news and right wing pundits.

The fear talk that is being spread by the right is amazing. One woman expressed her belief that gasoline would double for her if it's not built. Well, it should double eventually anyway as currently there is a glut of oil due to fracking. Anybody figure that will last forever? But the main thing with the Keystone XL is that its oil is intended for export. I have read, due to pressure, they were trying to get the companies to keep some of it here. Since we are already shipping our fracking oil overseas from ports along the West Coast, seriously who believes it won't go where they can get the most money for it. Fear talk from Foxies is behind the right who are so enraged Obama got out his pen and said no.

Regarding this pipeline, I read something that really upset me. There were ranchers and farmers who did not want to sell a right-away to TransCanada. The foreign corporation was planning to file eminent domain against them. Imagine this, a foreign company can file to say we need your land because we have a higher use for it than you do. And it's legal????  

If you didn't like that, and a lot of lefties and righties actually would not, try this on for size. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, that is worrying so many of us, the treaty that Obama negotiated and supports, evidently widens this right of foreign companies to use eminent domain when they want land, and they can make more $$$$s from it than you. Eminent domain has seemed unfair to me for a long time even when it was utilized by our government or our corporations (like the people who owned beachfront property and had it taken from them because a resort said it was worth more to them-- i.e. property taxes). That was bad enough, but foreign corporations could do it too? What kind of treaty is that for the good of Americans, and it's not the only problem regarding that treaty.

Is there anybody in the government who is on our side, the side of ordinary Americans? It doesn't appear that way.  

This week Obama did an interesting Town Hall on immigration where many of the questions came from Dreamers (brought to this country as children with no experience in the land from which they came if they were to be deported) or those angry he is not doing enough about saving their family members from deportation. He tried to explain to them that his powers only go so far. 
He made the point-- get out and vote for those who will make an immigration bill a priority. He suggested they ask any candidate who says they don't like what he's doing-- would you deport all 11 million here without papers? If they did, the economies of many regions in the US would collapse. Get realistic. Do something that addresses the reality not pipe dreams. 

I know there are those on the right, who want them all deported, would they really do it when they learn who these people are as individuals? Those angry at Obama don't know what he actually did on immigration, which doesn't remotely grant amnesty, and how he has to walk a narrow line to stay within the Constitution and still deal with a humanitarian issue. 

He was great on the Town Hall by the way. He knows his stuff and he doesn't back down-- on either side. In two years, we'll have a different president. However, if you want to see this resolved, vote next time! In 2014, only 30% of those qualified to vote did... And that is not 30% of all Americans, just those registered to vote. It's a disgrace.

And speaking of 2016. Who should I support? Someone who wants war around the globe but no taxes to support it? Someone who thinks trickle down works? Someone who wants to regulate our bodies but not our financial institutions? What about Net Neutrality? I thought at first it meant one thing, keeping the Internet as it is. Then I began hearing other things.  

Or not. Remember how clean air meant less control on pollution? Don't assume this is any different. Do some research. If you value the Internet as an open forum, take a look at what's going on-- or is it too late?

On that subject, check out CitizenFour, which is on HBO, but I would guess will be on Netflix and probably available as a DVD. I highly recommend it. It is about spying and how much right the government should have to get into our private lives. Yes, it is about Edward Snowden but more than just him-- the issue of invasion of our personal lives-- okay or not?

This has been the week for CPAC. I keep trying to find out how many people actually attend this convention, but so far I've had no luck. It seems less than 10,000, but it permeates our news whether we watch right or left leaning channels. The kinds, of options the right appears to be offering, are making me wonder what went wrong with the Republican party. 

Once again Trump is out there suggesting Obama himself said he was born in Kenya-- a lie but then he doesn't bother to check what he says, does he? That man is all hair, ego and ignorance. 

Or how about Rick Perry and his securing the border which happens to not be true! 

There has been some humor though--like Scott Walker, who some of the right feel is their hope.

Come on, we have to laugh at some of it, don't we? ISIS is not funny, of course, but this guy is if he thinks what he faced in Wisconsin with peaceful protestors relates at all to what the Islamic State is about. Clueless fits.

One thing is making this all better for me. I write. I highly recommend it for anyone who is following any of these issues. Sign petitions, write your Congressmen, but then let it go and write something. Write whatever comes to you, and don't worry if it's good. It will take you out of your world and into someone else's where you have more control.

I spent some time this week making bookmarks that I am giving away to those who want one. If anyone in that category reads this blog, email me with your mailing address (my email is alongside in my profile). 

Making bookmarks is fun for me as they come out of my books or my life philosophy. They are colorful, simple; and when I do them, I go into another space. It's a nice space in which to be! I do have to come back, of course, but I'm in a better mood when I do.

Above are three-- the mind behind the books, the philosophy behind them, and one taken from a cover for the book that is coming out March 21. We took them to Staples to get the pages printed on paper sturdy enough ($1.09 a page, with 5 to the page. That was cheaper than buying paper and doing it at home-- not to mention our difficulty in printing paper that heavy). 

If you have art or other things you'd like to share with others through a bookmark, it's fun, crafty, and definitely a distraction from everything else going on.


Linda Kay said...

Rain Treaux, can I just say I do not agree with your praise of Obama, who wants to bypass all kinds of laws for his own agenda...and not always in sync with the majority of people. Immigration issues are more real for those of us in Texas.

Rain Trueax said...

Of course, you can say that. We can all see things otherwise. It's why we vote and when '16 comes a president will be elected who might see it otherwise. What Obama asked in that town hall, that was definitely not that friendly to him, was ask your candidates what they will do with the 11 million here without papers. They come from around the world. Many were like the young man in the town hall who had come from Haiti to go to school and now faced the inability to stay when he got his education. Many came on visas to work and didn't go home. So his statement was what I would ask anyone who does not want immigration reform of some sort, what do you do with the 11 million? Can you really deport them all? What would be its cost? And what would it do to the economy of NYC, California, and many other places that depend on immigrant labor? I think it's worth people asking their candidates as Obama won't be here much longer.

As for reality, I suppose you don't know much about oregon but we have many of them here based on agriculture, the college and a friendly environment that allows them to not be arrested without cause. I also live in Tucson where Arizona has many naturally born here Hispanics and is a very diverse place culturally.

I was talking about what he said in one Town Hall, not how I like what he's done about say the new Trans Pacific Partnership or other things. This was a place to ask real questions and believe me the questions weren't friendly. They were people like the soldier who had been to Afghanistan and war only to come home to find his mother, who didn't have papers had been set up to be deported. Most of the ones there weren't pleased that he hadn't done more for their communities. He said he has to stay within the law and he believes he has by using discretion on who he deports. He did not grant amnesty. He just can't deport all 11 million and prioritized it not to be that soldier's mother but rather someone who had broken the law. But with the order he used on hold while the courts decide if it was illegal, that mother is going to be deported.

I am not a bleeding heart liberal but I am practical and if people are going to hire contractors or gardening firms who hire illegals, if they want their food cheap from fields where illegals, paid less than others, gather it, then there is a problem. No jobs and no illegals will want to come but many people who say they don't want them, actually are paying others who use them. Fines of the ones who hire illegals might put an end to future jobs. BUT it won't resolve the ones already here. The candidates for President should say what they will do-- with real plans, not rhetoric

Rain Trueax said...

Incidentally, I have changed comment procedure here. I had gone to ID required to eliminate so much spam. That helped but it also eliminated some who wanted to comment. So what i am going to do is put it on open, anybody can comment when it relates to the subject, no captcha either, but then a few days after a new post, I'll go to moderation. That's a hassle but it also cuts down to zero spam in my spam box. So I'll see how this goes but if you want to comment, it will not require you to agree with me or have an ID-- for awhile. I'll see how that goes. Some of my other blogs are growing in spammers. I can't believe they get much for doing it but they sure do fill up the spam boxes and the Internet with their garbage.

robin andrea said...

I pay attention to the headlines, read what I think is absolutely important, and disregard the rest. I never watch tv news or listen to the radio. I do watch Jon Stewart, so you know I'm totally bummed that he is leaving. There's too much filtering of news through interests and opinions that are bought and paid for. I studied journalism and was an adviser to students who published the campus newspapers. They were absolutely committed to best of what journalism once was. Nowadays, I hardly recognize it.

Rain Trueax said...

I agree, Robin. Like that a dress where lighting changed its colors became a big story even on the cable news. That was totally nuts when so much is going on that matters. A few feel good stories might be okay if they cover the major ones first-- like not paying Homeland Security employees their salaries, which they temporarily averted. I think whenever Congress does that, like during their last government shutdown, there should be a law that they don't get paid. I mean they make a lot more than the Border Patrolmen, who many live from paycheck to paycheck. Let them not get a salary if they think that's okay-- until they resolve the situation and get the money flowing to our employees, who have to work in the case of the Border Patrolmen anyway-- just without pay.

robin andrea said...

I love that idea, rain.

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Stories like a dress that photographs differently in different lights is basically a story about point of view and how differently our perception of reality can be altered by view point. A basic of critical thinking know how. I think it is important but should not eclipse other issues in the news.

Rain Trueax said...

My problem with that one on the dress is I don't think it actually was perception. If you saw the one of the woman at the wedding wearing the dress, nobody would say it was anything but black and blue. With photo work and lighting, colors can be changed and people were often looking at two different photos when they said it was a different color. I've seen three of them, all different looking due to camera work. It was a trick and it did get interest but if two people, using the same computer, looked at the picture and said black and blue or gold and white, then I'd believe it meant something. But every computer/monitor can be different for how it perceives color. That's not about us

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

Writing it down does make it better... or more manageable... or more interesting when I see what my fingers have figured out my brain is thinking.

Love your even-handedness... and totally agree that Congress should live under the same rules the rest of us suffer under.