Author Archives: awakenedaquarius

About awakenedaquarius

Artist, musician, writer, social activist, tree hugging dirt worshiper... You get the idea. I'm using this space to encourage respectable discourse concerning the issues we face today.
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So Sanders won Indiana this week. Go Sanders! Yet I keep hearing Hillary supporters calling for him to drop out of the race. In all fairness, Sanders supporters are telling Hillary the same thing because of the national polls showing that she no longer is a viable candidate against even Trump, who now has the GOP nomination thanks to Cruz dropping out. The difference here is that Sanders is winning in the polls and shows every possibility of being able to beat Trump and secure not only the presidency but by driving voter turnout, he could very well cinch the House and the Senate as becoming majority Democrats and progressives.

So why is it, even with all these good things about Sanders like his policy, his electability, his experience, do Hillary supporters keep trying to say that he’s not qualified? Why do I keep getting into arguments where they’re always pushing against the idea of progressive change that would benefit them? It’s that night protesting with the Occupy supporters all over again for me.

To clarify that last phrase: When the Occupy movement was here in Milwaukee I did a couple of videos about the movement, why it existed and what happened to it at the end when it broke apart. During filming I stayed at the camp of the local chapter and talked with the people who lived there, protested with them during the time and everything. One gentleman and I were discussing what Occupy meant and how the media was skewing their reports against it when someone drove by and flicked us off. My protesting buddy made mention of how he had to explain to his son when things like that happened before that the person who was just rude to us was technically on our side because we really were fighting on his behalf, whether he knew it or not. This whole thing feels like that. I’m fighting on behalf of people who like to tell me how stupid I am for doing so.

See, Hillary supporters have become blind to everything in front of them. They’re scared. I understand that. I’m terrified of a Trump presidency as well. I just am also equally terrified of a Hillary presidency. Both are going to mean bad things for this country – very bad things. One one hand, you have a divisive, outspoken and rude sociopath name Trump. This man is well-known for his views on race, economics, gender inequality, etc. He’s a bigot, plain and simple. Not only do his views have a core in hatred, but he relishes in being in the spotlight and watching others fight about it. He has enjoyed, based on the look on his face when it happens, every confrontation at his rallies. Not to mention he encourages that kind of violence. There are videos all over the internet if you don’t believe me.

On the other hand, you have Hillary. She is a war hawk having been pro war for pretty much her entire political career including voting for the Iraq war, which was one of the larger mistakes this country has ever made. She keeps saying things that are not politically correct in such ways as to truly be offensive to the very groups she’s pandering to. She’s for things like NAFTA and the TPP which have been poison to our economy. She wants to continue a health program that only provides insurance but doesn’t provide usable insurance or decreases in health care costs for the citizens. She can’t even seem to properly apologize for the crime bill that her husband passed, with her spoken support, that caused the mass incarceration of the African-American community.

Yet her supporters won’t see the mistakes, or they somehow think she’s above that. Just like they seem to think she’s above bowing to her corporate masters when the time comes to pay them back with policy favors since they contributed so much to her campaign. It’s like they want a woman president so much they’re willing to look past all the bad things she’s done over the years just to get her in office.

Her attitude of she’s entitled to this isn’t helping any either to be honest. I keep seeing this smug look on her face like she knows she has this in the bag. Ever see that when you watch her speak? Just really look at her. It’s something that bugged me back in ’08 too when she thought she had that election. It bugs me now even more, though, because this time she seems to have not only the DNC in her pocket, but all of the mainstream “news” sources out there, particularly CNN. So much so that CNN is now being referenced as the “Clinton News Network” and other such labels that connect the two. People don’t seem to want to see that the reason this is going on is because of money in politics. For example: CNN is owned by Time Warner and Time Warner has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton campaign. This isn’t a donation though; this is an investment. These companies, Time Warner included, are expecting things back for this money. That’s how this works. So what you would then see is something she passes later on that will help Time Warner get even more profits, but hurt the common people and in some way keep them in line with what the corporations want. So something like internet speeds for loading websites being determined by how much money the person who owns the site pays for the access. Remember that bill that they tried to pass not that terribly long ago? I do. I hated that bill. Time Warner, who not only owns TV stations and such but provides internet service, would probably make bank on that kind of bill. Look for things like that from Hillary if she gets the office.

If you have any idea, any positives as to why we should vote for Hillary Clinton, please comment below. I would really like to know what real good she’s done, something positive. I don’t want this to be a “Well if you don’t vote for her you’ll get Trump” because honestly that doesn’t work for me. I’m no longer settling for the lesser of two evils. I can’t, with the knowledge I have currently, vote Hillary. Want to convince me, then give me things about her specifically that are good and worthy of my time, energy, and vote.

Why Hillary?

Climate: The political kind

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I haven’t written in quite some time. I think technically I haven’t written here in years. You might be wondering, for those few that read this, what changed? The answer? Everything.

So today we’re going to talk about the current political climate and what’s going on. I feel the need to do this because everything I’m seeing right now points to the fact that as a country, really as a world community, we’re facing a pivotal point in our history. We have the choice right now between the current establishment and actual change. The thing is, most people are going to translate that as Hillary versus Bernie or something along those lines. However, I’m looking at the big picture beyond just two candidates, or two parties, or even beyond the United States.

The most obvious example of this in our own country is the current bid for President. On the republican side you have one insane narcissist, one evangelical, and an almost moderate republican that represents your standard conservative. On the other side you have a bought and paid for neo-liberalist versus a grassroots progressive.  So this is what the public sees. This is the common information. However, the actual issues behind what we’re looking at run much deeper.

Now most of us look at the Republican side of things and rather dismiss the whole thing because seriously who is going to vote Trump as president? Also, most of the issues on that side are so blatantly obvious that I’m not even going to really spend much time there. It’s the Democratic side that seems to be really showing us the actual stage that has been set through decades of bad policies and public apathy.

Hillary Clinton’s history has shown her to be friends with the corporate CEOs and lobbyists ranging from her work as a Goldwater Girl, the only woman member of the board at Walmart when she was there, her support of her husband’s policies when he was in office including NAFTA and the repeal of Glass Steagall, to her more recent support of the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). This relationship to the corporations, CEOs, and banks is a huge deal because it really does define her actions and explains much of what’s going on if you look at it. The trick about politics, no matter what side you’re on, is to follow the money. When a bank is willing to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to someone it’s never for charitable reasons, even if it is to a charity. It’s really an investment. The idea is to put money into something where they can get something out of it. Charitable donations give good PR, giving money to politicians on the other hand give them something even more valuable- policies written and enacted in their favor. So keep this in mind as we delve into the complex subject of American Politics.

Keeping in mind that Clinton has received insane amounts of money from corporate special interests over the decades, it’s no wonder that she has been portraying herself as a pragmatist instead of a progressive, choosing small incremental changes over actual sweeping ones. This is because the changes the people want, the corporations don’t want. Need examples? No problem! Let’s start with true universal, single payer healthcare. For us to have this a few things need to happen. One of these things is that insurance companies will have to find another way to make a living because health insurance would become a thing of the past. This is why Republicans gutted the Affordable Healthcare Act so badly. They’re all bought by the insurance companies, big pharma, etc. These companies, these special interests can’t survive without our entire healthcare system being based on treating symptoms instead of illness, relying heavily on the insurance system to provide healthcare coverage, and the ever persistent push of pharmaceuticals to every human possible. So they give money to the politicians and their campaigns, expecting in return to be protected from the concept of single payer. This is just one example of how money in politics directly affects the policies. Frequently the lobbyists who are campaigning on behalf of these special interests write the bills themselves.

And now we’re seeing in the current primaries several instances in various states of voter fraud, media blackout, and other shady practices that are trying to influence the election directly, overtly, and blatantly. It’s so obvious to many of us that it’s become frustrating to watch others just step into line with the DNC, the establishment. I say “No more.” I say we need to change this in order to make our country, our world better. However, we have to be willing to work for it, to fight for it, to be arrested, maced, possibly even beaten if they get violent. It’s time for us to stand up for our right to be heard, our right to be served by the very government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and most of all FOR the people.

Shaking My Head

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I guess I had been gone too long for people to read my last post. That’s ok, I don’t mind. Even if no one reads these at least I can get out what I’m thinking and feeling in some way.

Vice presidential debates aren’t usually something that gets a lot of attention. Normally they don’t even affect polls or anything like that substantially. Yet this one caused a stir it seems and has had about as mixed feedback as you can get.

In my humble opinion Biden won. I don’t say this because of interruptions, or anything like that. I say it because I listened to what the candidates were saying. Everything that Ryan had out there Biden was able to correct and get on with the debate. However, though this is in some ways a victory for the Democrats, it’s not without its own losses.

First off, you have the entire right wing screaming at Biden’s behavior. They are unnerved by him laughing at subjects or his hand gestures. They are angry about how he kept interrupting Ryan. I’d like to point out to them that Romney did the same exact thing to Obama last week, but was seen as being a hero for it. Also, I’d like to point out that Biden wasn’t laughing about the issues- he was actually laughing at Ryan. I’m not surprised in the least and I don’t condone unprofessional behavior like that. I think he could have been a little more reserved and had a better impact on the audience for being so. We just need to keep in mind, this is Biden after all and he’s known to be like that.

Fact check: I’m concerned that the fact checking on both sides were equally riddled with lies from both candidates. I mean this sincerely. Even though I’m against the whole Republican platform I’m able to see the fact that both of them last night twisted numbers and statistics at the very least with both of them outright lying about certain issues. To me that really causes the whole thing to be more of a game than anything serious. If it was serious then real facts that would be accurate would be brought to the table. I’m big on the truth and neither of these guys really stood up for the truth in a way that I would have appreciated.

Responses: For some reason the responses I’ve seen from the public are less apathetic towards these two than they were towards the Presidential debate last week. I have no idea why other than it was infinitely more entertaining in a way to watch these guys go at it. The problem here is that this isn’t entertainment, this is supposed to be a tool to use in order to better choose the right candidates for the job at hand. We’ll see how this whole thing gets reflected in the polls probably more early next week.

Overall, I’m still sadened by the lack of clear direction for the Left, the information twisting of both sides and the mud-slinging of all involved before and after such a debate. The only thing I can really say that’s positive was that even the moderator tried to get actual details from Ryan about his plan for the country and was unable to. Though that was a big thing, it’s going to be hidden most likely in the media’s reporting of the debate by Biden’s attitude.

Are you *******ing kidding me?????

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I know I’ve been gone for a bit, for that I apologize. Life has been busy- school and other things you know.

So tonight was the first presidential debate in the United States. To say I was disappointed and frustrated with it would be a rather large understatement on my part.

At first glance, Romney won hands down. This bothers me for many reasons. Of course, the first one is that I really can’t stand the guy. Everything he’s done up to this point has been steadfastly against everything I stand for pretty much. He has blatantly stated he’s against all the major social issues I find important- women’s health choices, women’s equality in pretty much any way possible, gay marriage, social safety nets, etc. He’s also been very much on the opposite side of the spectrum of my beliefs in what needs to be done to help this country get back on its feet without us becoming anything like Greece or Spain. I have found his flip-flopping on issues to be annoying at best, and just plain sad. The odd thing was that tonight, on national stage he has flipped on all the major issues again or at the very least has twisted his original positions to resemble something closer to Obama’s platform. The whole while that Romney is doing this Obama is just sitting there looking defensive and quite uncomfortable with the debate in general. (And don’t even get me started on how both of them were exceptionally rude, Romney especially, to the moderator. I mean, really, aren’t we supposed to be professional here?)

Now the reason I have a problem with this is because of the idea that I know that this country sometimes has a really short memory as a whole. In case someone reading this isn’t aware of this phenomenon, I’m referring to the idea that somehow the public at large tends to forget recent history as we move along in time and in the process of going about things. Because of this issue, I’m concerned that the public won’t realize and won’t fact check the idea that Romney is going against what he’s been campaigning as his platform for at least the past few months if not longer. They won’t remember that half of what he’s saying has already been fact checked as being inaccurate anyway when he’s throwing around numbers against Obama’s administration. They’re going to think that Romeny did a good job. Maybe they’ll even think that he’s a better candidate.

The other problem here I’m having was Obama’s response. I can’t leave him blameless for this loss. He just stood there, shaking his head during most of it. Even when I closed my eyes to listen instead of watching (something that helps to see who is really winning in the debate based on what their saying not what you’re seeing) I found that Obama just repeated the same few things as if he had been caught off guard whereas Romney sadly had a series of varied answers ready at his disposal. Obama was just awkward, defensive, and quite frankly weak. This isn’t the same Obama as an orator that I remember supporting. This sort of perception is going to be remembered. After all, as Americans, we tend to remember the negative better than we remember the positive.

The other thing that bothers me is the people who haven’t watched and won’t watch the debate at all. What they’re going to see is a ton of headlines in the morning declaring Romney as the winner. What effect this will have on the polls and public opinion I’m not sure, but I’m fairly certain it’s not going to be good for Obama. The thing is that these people who rely on these headlines won’t even look up what was really said and how during the debate. They won’t know that Romney flipped on most of his issues, that Obama looked just plain annoyed with the whole thing or that the poor moderator was walked all over by both parties involved as if he wasn’t there half the time. What’s more important is that they won’t have any idea at how many lies were thrown around by either candidate and they won’t be interested in checking anywhere for that information either.

Now one thing I would like to mention is this: I wouldn’t be up after midnight writing this if the content of the debate was the only thing bothering me right now. No, there are other issues at hand concerning this that caught my attention tonight.

See, I like debate, I like paying attention to what goes on in this country and then discussing it with other people to see how they think, how they feel, and how they see things. It helps to get a better grip on what’s going on. What I got tonight though from people wasn’t good at all. It’s not that I found tons of people supporting Romney after all this, though that would have been bad it’s not as bad as what I found.

Apathy.

Yes, I found lots, and LOTS of apathy. It’s a disease of the public, this lack of caring. It causes people to just shrug and say “well, it doesn’t matter” or “My vote won’t change anything.”

This is the most frightening thing of all because it means that people aren’t paying attention. They don’t realize that this presidential election is going to be responsible for a good number of supreme court justices being appointed. It’s going to decide where our country moves to in the next 4 years and how. It’s going to decide the future for us, our children and even possibly our children’s children.

Right now our country, our world, stands on the brink of something large. It’s bigger than any one of us and it’s going to affect ALL of us. Climate change is upon us, economic shifting is happening, in some countries we’re one step away from violent wars, in others that’s already happening. In Europe and in the Arab Nations there is revolution happening at an alarming rate. People there want change now- they’re seeing the need for it and they’re reaching out for it in unison against their governments and against the status quo. Where is that movement here? We started one, if you recall, about a year ago. It was huge, this Occupy Wallstreet movement. Where is it now? They, the government and local law enforcement teams, have learned how to handle it and so have quieted the whole thing. I know because I’ve been documenting it here in my own town and have found records and reports all over the country about similar issues occurring with it. It has caused a new wave of apathy to wash over the youth, the middle-aged and everyone here in this country. Our movement failed, horribly. Sure there are still pockets trying, and I give them kudos for doing so, but overall it’s done and gone I think.

So what now?

I don’t know, but I’m honestly scared shitless right now. My apologies for the foul language, but it’s true and it’s probably one of the only ways I know how to express that sentiment adequately for what I’m feeling. I’m still trying in my own way to get people organized and get them to be more aware and willing to participate in their own government. Voting and protesting are the ways to go for this. I plan on doing both whenever I can. In the meantime, I’m screaming inside with frustration, fear and a sense of hopelessness tinted with hope. Contradictory? Perhaps, but it’s what I have right now.

Great… Just great…

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So I try really hard not to write about personal stuffs on here. I don’t like putting my personal life out there. However, I don’t have anyone to talk to and the one person I would talk to I would rather just not add to his stress level right now. So here it goes. And my apologies ahead of time.

A little history on the issue: I’m currently in college. As a 31-year old woman I should have had this all done and over with years ago but back then I was young and quite stupid about life. I didn’t know what I would be good at, and honestly didn’t think any so-called talent of mine was worth the investment of money and time that college entails. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I met a very kind, gentle, loving young man who was completely fascinated by my artwork. Turns out he’s the man of my dreams and became my husband. Before that happy bit happened though, he threw me (practically literally) into college. The idea was to go to school for art and do something with it.

So I’ve spent my time, money and energy creating art, learning art, eating, breathing and even dreaming art. After getting my associate’s degree, and really right before completing it, I decided that an associate’s wasn’t enough. It wouldn’t get me a job or anything that would make such an investment worthwhile. This is where I started thinking about what I could do instead. I ended up going for animation, transferring to a true art school (as opposed to the community college that I started at) and have been working on that since. I’m going to be a Senior next year, working on my thesis and finishing my B.F.A. However, there has been one major thing missing- internships. To truly end up successful in this kind of a field one needs to have internships on their resume. Without it, no company will take a recent graduate artist seriously when applying for a job. Since I have no experience with 3-D animation yet, or even digital animation of a 2-D nature I had to find a place that would work with traditional, hand-drawn projects. I found one and only one. The excitement built in my heart for over a semester at the idea of having everything fall into place…

Well, instead of falling into place, it has started falling apart. The internship that I need so desperately in order to compete more effectively in a job market being strangled by budget cuts wasn’t posted until the last week of classes this semester. As a summer internship it should have been posted before summer school registration was done. In fact, everyone at the school was trying to get this guy to do exactly that so the students could schedule their classes around it. Now I had to schedule summer classes without knowing what his hours would be- I really had no other choice. Since he finally posted his job offer, it has been announced that he requires the students to work 9-5 which will be hard for any of them to do while balancing summer courses. This is especially true since his studio is about 45 minutes away from where our school is, not to mention where any of us live. The other students probably have other options available and aren’t stressing about this so much. However, I don’t have that luxury. I can’t just drop the classes I have registered for- One is a class that has never been offered there and would bee far too useful and the other is a required course that I just don’t see being able to balance along with 5 other classes and thesis at the same time. (It’s a community service learning course that requires additional time outside of class working with different charities.) I can’t bring myself to even apply to this intern position because I simply can’t meet the scheduling requirement for the job. It would be a waste of my time and of the man who posted the position if I did, thus making me seem that much more unprofessional in the process.

I know this must sound like I’m whining and all, but it concerns me a great deal. My husband is now looking to me to be the successful one since his career as a music teacher was cut short thanks to budget cuts in schools. This whole thing just makes it that much more difficult to do this.

Also please understand it’s not like I haven’t tried for other places in the area. It’s just that the other places are all 3-D based and as such have turned me down. I’m simply at a loss…

So, if anyone knows of a place that is around the Milwaukee area that does animation and would be willing to have a part time, 2-D specialist as an intern, please let me know. I’m a fair hand at video and sound editing- just in case that helps.

Thanks for listening/reading. Sorry for whining.

Friends

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On a personal note for this one… 

Have you ever wondered if you have real friends?

I often do. 

Some people I’m friends with seem to only hang out with me because I have something to offer them. A ride, food, or tutoring at school. They don’t call just to say hi, they don’t come over ever unless I have something they want. 

The others that I would like to call friend seem to stay at a distance from me. I don’t know why really. Maybe it’s that I have an overbearing demeanor that is outspoken to a fault, or maybe it’s because I’m older by quite a bit than most of them and so put them off that way by being the perceived “adult” amongst them. 

Odd, but sometimes I feel closer to the people I talk to online than the ones I talk to in person on a daily basis. Even still, there seems to be something missing from these interactions that causes me concern. 

If I examine the emotions that go with this too closely I probably won’t like what I see. Nor will I enjoy it if I look too closely at what the answer really is of why people stay so far away from me all the time. 

Now I’m not the kind of person to go all emo on everyone all the time. In fact, normally I’m a fun-loving, laughing, light up the room kind of individual. Even the vast majority of posts I put up everywhere are based on either this or something I feel passionately about. 

I’ve tried to talk to a few friends of mine about this. The few that I have just tell me to cheer up and leave it at that. They don’t really want to dig into it either. What does that say about it/me? Tried that recently actually and was basically dismissed in this manner. I wanted to delve into the Steffy, as I put it, and they just wanted to go off somewhere else. So I let it drop and haven’t brought it up with them again. For that matter, one of the “closer” ones in particular said something along the lines of my emotions aren’t logical. Um…. Yeah… they’re emotions… I don’t think logic would have anything to do with emotions. Just saying. 

So why write here about it? 

Well, my husband doesn’t read these posts. I don’t think he even knows I have this little blog thing going to be honest- even though I have told him about it. My physically existent friends don’t read this either-for that matter only one of them even knows about it. And since no one else has listened I figured I could write about it at the very least. Also with no one physically near me being able or willing to read this I’m safe from their judgement as being too emotional, emo, blah blah. But the self-doubts need to be expressed in as much as to allow me to release the feelings if nothing else. It’s these things that seem to be holding me back in my work. I try to draw and as I listen to my classmates I feel left out. I can’t just jump in all the time. It seems awkward to do so when they’re across the room from me. The few times I’ve tried it has been as awkward as I think it would be and so I sit and listen and wish that someone would talk to me and accept me in all my quirky glory. It’s like high school all over again for crying out loud. I’m not teased, but I’m not accepted either. 

And overall I’m just not the hermit that sometimes I pretend to be in order to make people think I’m all right. 

So, sorry for the emotional mess. You don’t have to read this either if you don’t want to. I understand. It’s not a world-shaking important post about politics or anything that would affect other people. It’s just something I had to write for a minute. 

Back to your regularly scheduled joyful lives. 

=^.^=

~Steffy~

Huh?

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So this week a person who is very near and dear to me was attacked in broad daylight for being white.

Yes I know. That makes me sound rather racist.

However, there was nothing taken from this person, so it’s not a robbery. Also the attacker screamed some very obscene and racists comments including the term “Whitey” while attacking.

Though the person who was attacked is fine, relatively speaking, and the attacker arrested, I sincerely feel the need to discuss this with someone who isn’t involved. I’m sorry, this means you fellow bloggers.

After all, I thought we were too old for bullying. Basically that’s what this is, in an extreme fashion. On person picking on a perceived weaker person to establish their own perceived superiority. Weren’t we all taught as kids that bullying is bad, and starting a fight is bad, and hurting a person is bad and all that? I was. Where was this guy during that lesson? I don’t know. Really, I don’t.

And how does this racist thing work anyway? I mean, as far as I’m concerned, you could be passion-pink with purple polka-dots and I wouldn’t care. If you’re a good person, then you’re a good person. If you’re not, then you’re not. Your skin color has nothing really to do with it. Your choices on the other hand do.

This dear person who was attacked, I would like to point out, is in truth one of the most accepting, kind-hearted, hard-working individuals I have had the honor to know. If the attacker (who, by the way, is much larger than my friend by a great deal) had simply known this individual he was attacking he probably would have been very remorseful about the whole incident.

So several questions come to mind in this:

Why would anyone commit random acts of violence on someone they’ve never met?

What was there to be gained by this person for acting in this manner?

Do they feel remorse for this?

How can we keep things like this from happening again?

My first reaction was to be angry- honestly I’m sure that would have been most people’s reaction. A part of me still is angry, though no longer at the individual but rather at the concept of random violence and hatred being acted upon in this fashion, or any for that matter. My concern now is for the person who did the attack (not saying I’m not still concerned for my friend mind you). I’m worried that there is something deeply unbalanced here that may be missed based on the punishments doled out for the crime committed. This could be something that needs to be healed. How is that healing going to occur for this soul that is so obviously filled with hate? What hurt him in such a way that this is the response?

So many questions…

I don’t even know what the guy looks like… or his name…

I just hope that these things can be healed, that they don’t happen again and that my friend stays being all right.