Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
In my own endeavors to find employment since being laid-off last August, I am going to ship out as it were, from the more pristine waters of my current home of 33 years in the Pacific Northwest, to return to former stomping grounds of my teenage years and early twenties on the Gulf Coast. I was last down south in 2006 and over the ensuing years have only been there very episodically throughout the birth and earliest growing up years of my daughter.
As an asset in the world of art, I am the "sort" who has insisted on following my passions in art all of my adult life. For the past ten years there has been very little to any creative output, as I have seen that my daughter got through high school successfully and off to a good college, from which she has just recently graduated in music. The past decades have also seen me struggle to piece together inner peace and clarity about long-held myths of family support that have never truly existed for me. Not ever existed the way I needed, let alone ever expected.
I parented my child full-time on my own, in the life-long commitment I had always made to myself from early childhood, to work hard in order to always endeavor to grow more consciously aware, in order to understand clearly, the historical psychological and emotional familial chaos I had come from. Endeavor in order to identify with clarity, so as to to turn early deeply negative impacts around for the better for myself. Yet as those solo parenting years have turned out, to date, I may have only provided the benefit of all guided work accomplished through therapy and yoga, only for my daughter's gain. Admittedly, I am not certain I can or will ever accept the possibility that life may ultimately only work this way.
Concurrent with the preceding twenty-two years, even after earning my own college degree in the apparently remote disciplines of art and cultural research, prior to my daughter entering high school, I have yet to make a go of steady paid work I can identify qualifying for, even in a parallel definition of more traditional, professional employment. Even in an incredibly small local market economy, I know good steady work with benefits, is out there even for me! In the ceaseless interim searching, I continue to still be quite vulnerable to the whims of temporary employment opportunities, wherever they pop up quite literally. Therefore, on the positive heels of having very recently earned, acceptance into a local cultural institutional setting, as a volunteer EI-in-training for the next twelve months, I will precede my newly earned unpaid career investment, by at least a couple of months exposure to paid work assisting in the clean up, of the still oozing toxic goo that is the reckless proposition of runaway oil drilling, off our nation's southern shore. Know that I will also ever more actively, vote for all policies and their development to absolutely change the environmental safety standards in this industry. Yes! I do support intelligent, stewardship-centered choices to our current energy consumption history. Choices that from now on may make us money, and also do not leave our precious planet behind.
In anticipation of my pending new paid employment, I can't escape the inner image of everyone there, neck-deep in all that humidity of high summer temperatures hovering around an ever-growing shiny black primal soup, that was once the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, with no more than teaspoons in our hands.
From my minuscule reading & research on the Gulf Oil Spill thus far, apparently BP has a very poor standard for this exact environmental degradation, wherever it drills. And has for quite some time now as evidenced on the African continent, off the coast of Nigeria.
It sickens me to realize what I am volunteering myself to be exposed to, for even the basic needs that drive earning an income. Yet, I am also one of the voices in America to say aloud what too many compromise their very lives to tolerate: conditions in which to earn a dignified income that are unacceptable! I do not voluntarily want to be exposed to chemical carcinogenic and organic pollutants, to mercury and other metals harmful to the human liver, skin or lungs; to harsh ingredients that are toxic to human bones and marrow!
What have I built my life for? Ultimately only corporate exploitation? I say NO! This tragic environmental disaster has happened yes. Because corporations are unscrupulous, and habitually in bed with the partnerships of national policies that define the extraction of natural resources only in terms of making the most money, and within the most crude of perceptions, the human species has yet to collectively and proactively recognize_ as intolerable! To take from this planet what we will, all else be damned_ must end!
The rest of this story about how we make our money, is about all of us collectively! Willing to remain dis-empowered for all manner of noble reasons, having to do with our responsibilities to one another! And somewhere now, we have got to unite together in conscious recognition and appreciation of our combined power as a human family. To stand up to this constant compromise to the cost of our lives, our families, our own soil across this entire world_ to take a stand. No more of this way of doing business! No more lying, no more dangerously cutting corners, no more cutting costs to the benefit of only the few that is due to a historically out-of-control vicious nature of competition! These are the things about us that we can change for the better, all of the time. This fundamental level of human madness, of unconsciousness, of not wanting to face our primal selfishness, is over! We all are alive in a time of more real awareness for how we are the effectors of our reality as a species. We are more broadly aware that we do have choices for the benefit of all, no matter what the situation. We are more aware of what outcomes are immediate when we take right action to first do no harm in ALL that we do.
In three and a half weeks time, if I am ultimately to go, I will attend to my assigned duties responsibly with my eyes open. When I am finished with my assigned tasks by the deadline to return home for my other commitments, I will report all that I experience directly in word and in my art. This too is my job and my commitment to the quality of my one valuable life, to my own family and to my larger human family. I will not be victimized, I will tell the truth according to my own experiences and in context with all accessible information. Making information generally accessible, I will participate in assuring for all who want to know the truth of BP practices, and the real impact to our nation's environments, and our fellow citizen's livelihoods.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
It is extremely important to inform you about an issue that could negatively impact the members of credit unions across the country.
There is pending federal legislation that could affect the system that processes credit and debit card payments.
Each time you use your (particular local credit union) Visa® debit or credit card, a merchant is paid immediately and your credit union receives what is described as “interchange” through the card payment processing system. This complex interchange system reflects a merchant’s fair share of the costs (usually pennies on the dollar) of this convenient and beneficial payment system. It provides you with the ease of a credit or debit card and enables the merchant to instantly receive payment for your purchase without having to handle cash or wait for a check to clear.
At your particular credit union, it is likely they receive one-third of the interchange fee paid by the merchant, and each credit union may use this to:
* Help keep those cards free of, or with low, annual fees
* Pay for the cost of fraud and instantly issuing your particular credit union replacement card in the event of card breaches.
The U.S. Senate recently passed S. 3217, Restoring American Financial Stability Act, and the entire Congress is now considering the bill. Current amendments to the bill would be harmful to credit unions and consumers alike. While we recognize the need and we support financial reform, this specific provision – which has nothing to do with financial reform and has had no hearings, no debate, and no input – would reduce the amount of interchange fees paid by retailers and threaten our ability to offer debit and credit cards. This amendment is not good for consumers in the end.
The current bill and its concerning amendment is in front of the legislature now and slated for a possible vote soon. We encourage you to send a message today to your Congressional Representatives and Senators urging them to make this important issue more transparent with hearings and needed debate. Ask them to oppose any legislative changes to the interchange system which would affect debit and credit card-issuing credit unions and the card payment system until such hearings and debate can take place.
To simplify voicing your opinion, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has provided an online tool that helps you send a message to your federal legislators in a matter of a few minutes. Click here to send a message to your federal legislators today.