Humankind Lost?

a3f0bd97fb_98517_cueva-las-manos

 

We can no longer be sure who the heroes and villains are because they appear to inhabit the same space; coexisting as one entity to serve each other for personal gain and benefit. If good and evil have morphed into one, then what does that say about the future of humankind?

We’ve become a terminally destructive people who refuses to learn from past mistakes. We’re in a perpetual state of disruptive chaos and it appears that humankind is at its happiest when it devours the weak, destroys the helpless and decimates the human spirit. Why?

Are we simply genetically predisposed for mayhem or have we fallen victim to the constant indoctrination that tells us only the richest, strongest and most malevolent are fit to lead, because being kind and decent gets you nowhere? Has this way of thinking propelled humankind to create and lurch from one crisis or act of savage barbarity to another, in order for us to get some sick satisfaction with flexing our muscles and proceeding to destroy everything and everyone in our path?

It’s become abundantly clear that human beings apparently have no working on and off switch.  We don’t know how to maintain happiness, peace, calm and prosperity for very long. We say we want egalitarianism, yet our actions say otherwise. We say we hate war, yet will use any excuse to start one. We’ll tell anyone who’ll listen, that we want to save the planet, help the sick, the poor, the infirmed, the homeless, children and animals, but only if it’s convenient and we can benefit from our pseudo-humanitarianism and bourgeois charitable endeavors.

We look at good people either as those to fear, feel sorry for or take advantage of. We worship at the temple of money and excess, yet vilify the wealthy. We say we hate big government, yet we need everything that the government has to offer. We drone on and on about electing politicians that truly represent the people, but many will dismiss those who actually do and elect the ones who will do the most damage. We value our freedoms, yet will dictate to others about their personal choices and decisions.

So my question is quite simple: WHO ARE WE REALLY?

1407173386

 

 

I’m BAAAACK!!

syd's quote

I’ve been on a rather long hiatus from blogging because sometimes life takes you in some of the most unexpected directions. But now I’m back at it; more energized, more opinionated and even more in your face than ever! So let’s do this and do it BIG!

Raising the Minimum Wage…Why Not?

downloadwages

Today I was reading where Gov. Jerry Brown backed a plan to raise California’s minimum wage to $10.00 an hour by 2016. A number of Los Angeles-area business groups criticized the legislation, saying it would unfairly burden companies. And according to the article in The Huffington Post – Los Angeles, Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, called the hike “obscene” and said it’s unrealistic to increase wages 25 percent in two years.

Well isn’t that special and of course the requisite reasoning for these businesses objections is that the legislation is done by people who don’t understand business. And they would have to pass the costs along to their customers and clientele. HOGWASH!! or BULLSHIT!!!!, you choose. California’s minimum wage is $8.00 which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. However, states like Washington ($9.19) and Oregon ($8.95) are  higher.

Most of those who support this legislation says that the hike will add about $4000 annually to a worker’s paycheck thus with the extra money, they can infuse the local economy with much-needed revenue.  How bad can that be?

I feel the problem is not that employers aren’t able to pay employees a fair living wage, it’s that many of these multimillion dollar businesses simply don’t want to. Many of the owners are motivated by greed; they’re money-whores. They have been allowed to cruise for decades with hiring illegal immigrants, low-balling wages, paying no health insurance to many of their employees ( and this is done by keeping the employees below what would be considered full-time) and in some cases,  inciting an atmosphere of fear. Their stance, because of the over-saturation of unemployed people and illegal immigrants willing to work, is that all of their employees are expendable. If the employee puts up a fuss, then SEE YA! And the reality is that they will probably have that position filled within a few days, if that long.

983-Wages

I  saw a couple of months ago where the owner of the restaurant chain Mr. Chow, Michael Chow, sold his small mansion, and I’m gagging at the idea of a “small” mansion, and bought a behemoth. Michael Chow is apropos of many of these business owners and restaurateurs who are out there putting up a stink about minimum wage. And I use him as example because he comes from affluence. His father is a renown Chinese actor and his mother comes from a very wealthy family. This is why most of those business owners have no clue. They’ve never had to work for minimum wage, they’ve never had to travel for hours to and from work and they’ve never had to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. They don’t have to figure out how to pay for glasses, braces, clothing, food, shelter, school supplies and college. That’s a given for them.

Many hop into their Rolls Royce Phantoms, Bentley’s, Jags and what not,  leave work and pass by their employees standing at the bus stop, and don’t even see them because they’re invisible and go home to their mansions in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, the Hollywood Hills or wherever they decide to lay their expensive hats and handbags. Unfortunately, most couldn’t care less if they tried about their employees plight.  I have seen many domestic helpers coming out of the Hollywood Hills on foot, down perilous hills, around dangerous curves all the while their employers were luxuriating at their plush, palatial estates.  You would think that knowing their helper doesn’t have a car, they could at least take them to the bus stop. Oh Hell no, what was I thinking.

According to CNBC, California is number 9 on the list of where the wealthiest 5% in the nation lives.

Percentage of millionaire households in 2011: 6.01%
Millionaire households: 750,686
Total households: 12.49 million

To me this is obscene. I don’t begrudge anyone their hard-earned success, but a lot of the wealthiest people’s success comes from family wealth and connections. It puts a person WELL ahead of the game when you have everything in place to succeed. It’s the same with housing. We have an influx of new apartment complexes going up here in Los Angeles almost every few months, but the vast majority of working people can’t afford to live there. The rent is starting in most places, anywhere from $3000, $6000 to upwards of $13,000 a month. Who are these millionaire/billionaire developers building these complexes for if it’s not for their own ilk?

Even with a minimum wage increase to $10.00 an hour, most people still have to live in undesirable neighborhoods or way out in the Valley where the apartments are cheaper, but there’s stiff competition to rent the ones in better neighborhoods. Living in the city where it’s convenient to everything…within walking and short driving distances to supermarkets, pharmacies and shopping complexes, FORGET IT, unless you have stayed put in a rent stabilized apartment for years.

It saddens me to know that we are fast becoming a nation where fiction is now becoming fact. We are moving toward the Dystopian societies of the films Elysium and Soylent Green. The gap is widening between the rich and poor and the middle class is being slowly squeezed out of the equation entirely. So I ask again,  why not raise the minimum wage to something where people can live comfortably with some semblance of dignity and respect? Well I guess raising the minimum wage would mean the wealthy just couldn’t buy another expensive toy…and we can’t have THAT, now can we?

eyes29

HAPPY LABOR DAY TO ALL HARD-WORKING PEOPLE GLOBALLY!

happy_labor_day

To the global working community, have a peaceful and restful Labor Day! And remember this – people making up the “labor” have always been less valued than those individuals who are business owners, CEO’s, senior executives and various captains of industry. Without labor, life as we know it would have never come to fruition. It is time for the United States and any country who does not understand the concept of a “decent standard of living”, to step up to the plate and pay working class people a fair living wage. It is a RIGHT, not a present given only to a chosen few deemed worthy. Peace!

martin-luther-king-labor-day

african-american-worker-labor-day-16x9

Memorial Day

top-797867

Memorial day is a time to pause, reflect and remember those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedoms.

They are our true heroes and heroines – we will never forget you. And to our military personnel still serving, you are loved, cherished and respected. May your journey be safe and come home to us soon.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

memorial-day

We Salute Our Brave Men and Women In The Armed Forces!

Today is Armed Forces Day and as a person who knows many friends and family who have served, I can only say — I’m proud of your strength, courage, character, bravery and sense of duty. You’ve served your country well and to those still serving, stay safe, be well, know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and come home soon.

2013ArmedForcesDayHiRes

Arguing With Bloggers Who Are A Bit Twisted….Why?

arguing_cartoon

I had to say something about an exchange I had with a blogger on a hot-button topic about Women in Combat. Normally I’m an easy-going person and I rarely get pulled into a back and forth exchange, but this blogger was just way over the line. After peeking on said blogger’s site, I found that the entire idea for the blog is to piss people off. This blogger makes references about us “all being ignorant

Well, that was on the money because you are ignorant to allow ANYONE who is not out for the right thing to pull you into their angry, myopic world. Some people live to be insulting and nasty then hide behind they’re just being “real” and freedom of speech. Social media and blogs are in my opinion, here to inform, teach, entertain and to start INTELLIGENT dialogue about subjects that may be a bit controversial or difficult for people to discuss in personal settings.

Under no circumstances should anyone use a platform to spew hatred, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, homophobia or any other perceived “isms” that can be emotionally or physically damaging. Disagree with a person’s opinion, but to get personal is an entirely different story. I am guilty of it because my buttons were pushed….I said some things that I shouldn’t have, however there are some vitriolic people walking and “blogging” among us who brings out the absolute worst in you. It’s not an excuse but it is how I feel.

I wanted to start my blog to have fun and talk about subjects that I enjoy. I don’t have a narrow scope of the world we live in…it’s harsh, cruel, violent and dangerous. But it is also a world filled with good people, good intentions and great opportunities if you know where to look. The person who created that blog is a sad, probably lonely, isolated and angry person. I feel sorry for them to be filled with such disdain for the world and the people in it. When a person gets pleasure out of spreading and inciting negativity, that person is unfortunately, someone you just have to chalk up to a loss.

As one of my dear friends has said for years, we all must weed our social gardens, nourish the flowers that are there and then plant new ones. And after getting this off my chest….time to plant some flowers.