Pizza Is a Vegetable
When I read Sister Occupy’s “Community Dialogue: Ask the Occupy Sister” article in the April 2012 issue of the Community Alliance, I became an instant fan! I love her candid, explanatory solutions for all that is sour about corporate duping and subjugation of the “99%ers” in this country. Sister Occupy’s suggestions to the right-wing, nut-case base on how to salvage what’s left of their party are mirthfully prudent, but oh-so true.
“Burp up the Tea Party and get on with fixing themselves,” said Sister Occupy. “At this moment, however, there are many
Republicans just waiting it out until some saner set of reasonable folk take the reins,” exclaimed the good sister. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that expectation though.
Sister Occupy said the day Congress declared “pizza a vegetable,” she declared herself a nun. When people ask her if she is a real nun, she says, “Yes…just as corporations are real people and pizza is a real vegetable, I am a real nun.”
Sister Occupy and I have something in common. The day the California Department of Corrections added the word “Rehabilitation” to its official logo, I declared myself a “real pawn.” I say, “Yes…but unlike the CDCR not being a real rehabilitation institution, I am a real pawn.” Bless you, Sister Occupy.
Brother Occupy (aka Boston Woodard)
Is Ray Appleton on KMJ a Bully?
In 2006, my son, Cole Escovedo, was paralyzed from the waist down and told he would never walk again. He not only walked but also became a cage fighter again and on May 28, 2011, was debuting in the UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship]. This meant everything to us.
On May 25, 2011, Cole was scheduled to do an interview on Ray Appleton’s morning show. Cole was excited to do this as he is a former WEC [World Extreme Cagefighting] featherweight champ and has a large following in the local community. Unfortunately, Cole was unable to talk with Ray. Ray became enraged. Ray and his “Facebook friends” “blasted” Cole for days.
I was very confused by the way Cole was being treated. Ray had stained one of the greatest days of Cole’s life.
On March 21, 2012, Ray did a show at a local restaurant. I went there and waited until Ray had a break. I introduced myself and asked him why he had been so mean-spirited to Cole. Ray said he did not know who Cole was. I left disappointed, still not knowing what we had done to deserve such treatment.
Subsequent to this, I called Ray’s show with a question relating to the subject. He did not allow me to finish my question and turned off the mike so I could no longer be heard. I messaged him about the incident. He messaged me back, calling me a bitch.
I faxed his response to [General Manager] Patty Hixson at KMJ. She said she was appalled. I also told her about the harsh words toward my son generated by Ray and his friends.
I heard nothing from Ray or KMJ for two weeks. Then [recently], two Fresno Police Department officers approached me and said Ray had filed a complaint against me. The allegations are false. I feel that this is Ray’s blatant effort to intimidate me under the color of law because I went to Ray’s superiors with my complaints.
The Power of Words
Growing up, I always found it hilarious that my father was considered an “alien” according to his Green Card. It was just sort of a joke until recently when I started opening my eyes to the reality of labels and their effect on society.
Labeling has many negative consequences affecting a person’s social, political and economic well-being, as well as many other aspects. Besides a person’s immigration status, labels such as mental and physical disabilities, socioeconomic status and race or ethnicity can all be forms of discrimination that should not be used to define someone.
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis states that the language we use, such as these labels, shapes our way of thinking, such as the perception that certain people are inferior to others. This branding reduces a person’s humanity while making others believe that they are more worthy and important. This is preposterous! In dehumanizing others, we ourselves become less than human. Even worse than our own implicating labels is what they make the oppressed do to themselves. After years of being told one is worthless, he or she begins to believe it and live it out in an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Many of these stigmas are ingrained in our society, and it is no easy task to change the institution of language and thus a society’s cognitive function. What we can do is be aware of our biases and realize that they can in fact cause a great deal of harm even unintentionally.
Save Jesse Morrow Mountain
Located on California Highway 180 East, Jesse Morrow Mountain lays paving the way for the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Right before the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, Jesse Morrow sits, hypnotizing nearby travelers, longtime Native Americans and generations to come. However, a mining corporation named CEMEX is trying to reach the resource-rich center and increase profits for business. CEMEX, with no regard for cultural, historical, biological, water and visual beauty, is trying to bypass local residents and the local government.
A Native American friend of mine told me about this corporate push for profit, and I was intrigued instantly. The Choinumni, a band of Native Americans, hold this mountain with sacred hands, beliefs and traditions. It is essentially a part of their culture, past and future. However, since the tribe is not a recognized tribe because they have not filed the necessary paperwork, the site cannot be designated as a historical site.
I am currently taking a sociology of terrorism and genocide class at California State University, Fresno. Within the class, we discuss the different definitions of genocide, and one example is cultural genocide. I believe the acts of CEMEX and it not considering Jesse Morrow Mountain a cultural and historical site to the Choinumni is a form of cultural genocide. Cultural genocide can be defined as any authority group destroying another smaller group.
To gather more information on the movement to stop the mining of Jesse Morrow Mountain, go to jessemorrowmountain.com.
Another Reason Why Everyone Loves Big Banks
Recently, I received some very disturbing news. Much to my shock, the judge of my small claims case against Citibank did not rule in my favor. I find it interesting that everyone I’ve told my story to (including some Citibank employees!) felt that what Citibank did to my mother was nothing short of “financial elder abuse”—immoral and unethical.
Even the small claims advisors told me it was “a good thing” I was taking Citibank to court to make them accountable for what they did (booking an 85-year-old woman with documented dementia into a 30-year loan with a three-year prepayment penalty for $10,000, which she didn’t need). I have no idea what was going on in that judge’s mind when she said that “Citibank and Frannie White don’t owe Debra Goodman any money.”
At this point in time, it is not about the money but the principle of it. I can scrape together $10,000 to pay off the bad debt, but I cannot let go of the fact that Citibank “got away with it.” After dealing with employees at Citibank who screeched at me, lied to me and lied about me, I feel that they must be exposed. I may have lost in a court of law, but it is the “court of public opinion” that really counts. Therefore, I have decided to write a book, a screenplay and a magazine article telling of my most unfortunate experiences with Citibank.
This is a hot topic of the moment, and I’m sure a lot of people will be interested in my story. I will not be kind, nor will I hold back on my descriptions of the most unsavory characters I’ve had to deal with involving my issue. From the so-called Ops Guy, who has the smart-aleck attitude of a juvenile delinquent, to the snappy, rude banker who defamed my character in court, to the clueless manager whom some have referred to as an “airhead.”
Perhaps this is what it took to kick my butt into gear to write my first book. Had I won my case against Citibank, I probably would have just “gone away.” But now, Citibank has opened up a Pandora’s box for themselves. I would love to be known as the woman who “singlehandedly brought Citibank to its demise.” Yes, the pen is mightier than the sword. I think I may have a bestseller on my hands.