Washington D.C. ~ 9 July 2013~ Rally for Tibet. Bring your very best Karma. “This is a public service annoucement.”

120 Tibetans have self-immolated as a means of protest.  http://www.savetibet.org/  The International Campaign for Tibet.

***

This is a public service announcement.

*

~Really?

*

Yes, it is.

*

~Why do you post these items?

*

Because I’m too damn far away to do anything else. This is my half cent.

*

~Oh. Are you preaching to the choir?

*

Nawwww. I’m not hearing enough singing for that except via youtube, 90.1 fm  www.kkfi.org , and the cd player in the tired car.

*

~Why don’t you quit already?

*

~OCD–need I say more?

~~~Whose ready for another helping of “Breakfast Special”? No, that is not a rhetorical question.

Could you survive on $250 a month? What if it suddenly disappeared? Welcome to the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, USA where the BIA is on the job–or are they?

What would you do if you were totally dependent upon a single monthly check of $250 to cover all your living expenses from rent, heat, electricity to food and then your check suddenly ceased arriving in your mail box without any explanation? What if you live on a reservation where there is 80-85% unemployment and your tribe is $60 million in debt? Add to the context the highest rates per population of child suicide in the world. Now imagine what goes through your mind when your single source of income becomes “invisible” and you already know you don’t have the gas to drive off the reservation to search for employment, you have no funds to find housing off the reservation, and you are the sole adult caretaker for your grandchildren.  What is now going through your mind at this point?

The following information is directly from Anne Fields who has been in direct contact with people on Pine Ridge Reservation who are currently in precisely the situation presented above.

Anne Fields:

There is a new situation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota (and presumably on other reservations) that is very dire and perhaps life threatening.

I am a white grandmother who has spent a total of 18 months on the reservation, including four months teaching in the Early Head Start program.  I have friends who are directly affected by the problem and who are growing more desperate each day.  So far my efforts to find information or help for them have been unsuccessful.

Each month the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been providing General Assistance grants (see below) to many residents who are desperately needy.  On Pine Ridge approximately 940 people receive monthly checks of up to $250.  These checks are often their only source of income and their lifeline.

In December 2012 no checks came.  I spent several hours on the phone with officials at the local, regional, and national levels trying to find out what had happened.  Eventually I ended up at the BIA Division of Human Services in Washington where I spoke with Bevette Hern at 202-513-7608.  She told me that there had been new software which had a glitch that was holding things up. She said it was now fixed and that the Treasury would get a file transfer shortly and that the Agencies should have the money by the end of that week.  This did indeed happen.

But then in March 2013 again no checks ever came and there were no notifications to the recipients.  The Post Offices were besieged by people looking for their money.  No checks have arrived for April 2013 and folks are seriously cold and hungry.  They do not know if the money will ever come again. They have had no information from the BIA.

In an effort to try to get some information regarding these crucial funds, I tried to call Bevette to see if this is a permanent situation, only to find that she is no longer working there (even though her answering machine still uses her name).  I spoke with someone who would only give her name as “Roberta” and who said that she knew nothing about the details, only that the money available for “Welfare” has been cut back.  She told me that I needed to talk to the BIA Great Plains Social Services in Aberdeen, SD.  I called them at 605-226-7351 and spoke with “Patti.”  She told me that Central Office has not received any funds so they have nothing to give out.  She recommended that I talk to the folks in Washington–the same people who directed me to call her office.

I have written to South Dakota Congresswoman Noem and Senators Johnson and Thune for clarification, but as of now I have heard nothing back from any of them.

BIA Human Services handles 6 components of Financial Assistance, which consist of:

1. General Assistance

a) An applicant must meet the criteria contained in 25 CFR 20.300 (Who qualifies for Direct Assistance)
b) Apply concurrently for financial assistance from other state, tribal, county, local, or other federal agency programs for which he/she is eligible;
c) Not receive any comparable public assistance, and
d) Develop and sign an employment strategy in the ISP with the assistance of the social service

worker to meet the goal of employment through specific action steps including job readiness and job search activities.

source: http://www.bia.gov/WhoWeAre/RegionalOffices/GreatPlains

So, what should Anne Fields and these 940 people on Pine Ridge Reservation DO to get some information from the BIA and/or the Federal Government?  Any suggestions? Even if you have no notions about how to deal with this continuing situation, please take a moment to send this information via your favorite internet social network sharing options.

Namaste.

Get a view of Tar Sands Keystone XL Pipeline Action–complete with the plastic pipe handlers.

The following videos offer video information of the Tar Sands Action at the White House on November 6, the Ottawa action (video just recently posted on YouTube) and an older segment from Democracy Now! which offers an introduction to the issue and the ongoing Indigenous struggle.  Approximately 12,000 people surrounded the White House three lines deep–and other buildings to express disapproval of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline which President Obama can veto all by himself.  If you saw live coverage of this protest on your television please post a comment stating which station, where, and when.

 

Much appreciation to the Livestreams of Occupy Oakland and Global for sharing the LIVE Tar Sands Actions video feed with their viewers as soon as they learned of the protest. Thanks to the Occupy DC KSt media team for expanding LIVE coverage of the protest by going mobile with their own equipment.  The combined efforts brought the Tar Sands Action viewership to approximately 3,000 people online via the Livestream media.

We are all connected.

 

 

 

A Pink post, of all things. Go figure.

The NEWS has put me in a very very black mood.  I was having some trouble venting in a manner that is socially acceptable.  My word choices were not suitable for general reading audiences.  Then I came across Pink’s so on target song, “Dear Mr. President,” and my problem was solved for the moment.  It’s so easy to interchange faces, names and images and still have the song relate its point. I wonder, how do any politicians, oil executives, lobbyists, corporate greed hogs, sleep ever. Apparently they all DO sleep very well in their warm comfy beds. That’s the difference between “them” and those of us who wonder about their callous disregard for anything except MONEY–and power-control.  

If you’ve been to Washington D.C. then you’ve encountered the homeless people who live there everywhere. Well, not in the park directly across from the White House. Oh no. No homeless folk allowed to sleep under those wonderful old trees  in full view of the President’s abode.

Now Haiti’s ongoing chaos reveals another side of the political Janus Faces that play at governing. Need I write more than one word? Cholera.  Let’s consider New Orleans’ ongoing issues and how that disaster has been and continues to be handled.  Does anyone have anything positive to relate about Government ‘help’ in regard to Katrina? Hmm?

The people beat the Feds to the punchline  regarding the ice storm power outage disaster on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.  Oh and how cold does it get in South Dakota on a sunny winter day? So cold you can not breathe. People freeze to death inside their homes. 

Yes, it was the American people at large who responded before the Federal Government could even find Cherry Creek on a map. It’s people who are concerned about other people, our environment, our future–NOT our so called “leaders” who are led by the nose by the military industrial complex, big business, and Wall Street.  My point being–if we want a non-polluted Earth, clean energy, excellent education, quality health care for everyone,  meaningful employment for everyone–we need to create it ourselves. Those rich politicians feeding from the corporate trough have proven they have no interest in anything that does not benefit them and their  cronies.  Our problem is that they may succeed in making Earth too toxic for humans before we get our acts together.  What a future for the children of the world.

Cancun for everyone–but who cares? Not US.

Lures of DC

Randomness is rampant in moi’s mind this day cycle of no sleep–and my latest posts tell only a small piece of the tale—lucky for you. Much thanks to dave, the lazy photographer trolling Toronto for whatever trips his camera snaps, for inspiring this post about DC.   http://lazyphotog.wordpress.com/

These days one HAS to wonder what goes in Washington, DC besides lobbyists going  mad. Well, corrupt politics aside, here are a few things that DC has to offer:

Teaism–Not all for the love of tea –there are wonderfully good  yum yums for your tum tum. Do NOT pass on the cookies or green tea ice cream. 

http://www.teaism.com/Restaurant/PennQuarter.aspx?SubModuleID=7

Way affordable lodging for those willing to share bunks, bathrooms, kitchens and one funky pooltable—-every hostel is unique and this is no exception.

http://hiwashingtondc.org/

Hankering to play history detective? Oh the National Archives are loaded to the max with all sorts of secrets.

http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/washington/

Great Thai food that won’t break your budget can be had at Haad Thai.

http://www.haadthairestaurant.com/

Feasts for your eyes at the Freer Gallery–oh for the loves of Whistler don’t miss it.

http://www.asia.si.edu/

Oh and yes, there is PUBLIC transportation in DC–the metro runs runs runs–and sometimes there’s live music too–but it’s affordable and reliable and if it’s crowded another train will be along soon—wake up the rest of America and get one of these systems.

http://www.wmata.com/

1:37 am sleepless

 

mourning sight from my upper bunk

DC women working quiet night

long legs criss crossing 11th and K

curving along

yellow cabs catching, departing

hard working

drifting sleep I count them

five corner keeping time

two corners

one smoking hot waves

shifting all night

even when dawn church  covers

last calls 7:30 am

hard heels holding down corner grounds

hurt hard eyes streetward we greet each other passing

sisters surviving

wishing fresh boiling hot coffee for sharing

relief shifts end

Leslie White has been kind enough to provide her painting inspired by my poem. It is much more colorful than the images of my memory yet it portrays a certain essence of the poem as felt by Leslie.

"five on corner" by Leslie White

For more of what Leslie Paints –and her very candid commentary regarding her creative process regarding this particular painting, please visit:

  http://lesliepaints.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/five-on-the-corner/#comment-2436

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