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Le Taz Hot

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Gender: Female
Hometown: CA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,632

Journal Archives

A Local, Grass-Roots Success Story

For those of us who are feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the NSA domestic spying story, not to mention the subsequent feeling of complete helplessness over the slow, methodical removal of our Civil Liberties, I wanted to share a small, local success story.

Recently, our right-wing mayor decided it would be a good idea to sell off our waste management facilities to a private company. Basically, selling off our garbage truck fleet for about 10 cents on the dollar, losing about 200 good, well-paying union jobs as well as our municipal autonomy over waste disposal. This was all in an effort to gain a one-time few million $ to balance our ever-so out-of-balance budget. She and our ditto-headed City Council basically just decided this one day and proceeded negotiations with a waste management firm.

In response, the unions, the Democrats (as well as, yes, some Republicans) and those of us who were against this sell-out mobilized. We had about 2 weeks to get enough signatures to get it on the ballot for a special election. We were able to get it through easily. Then HUNDREDS of people mobilized, literally, going door-to-door, making donations of $1, $5, $10, phone banking, tabling at various venues and events, it was truly an amazing thing in which to watch and/or participate.

When the votes were all counted, we won by 801 votes.

Every time I start getting down about the direction our nation is going in I try to remember things like this. Tangible things, things in which we can actually have a hand in determining an outcome. The thing is, there's examples of this all over the country. Look at what is happening in the Texas and North Carolina State Legislatures and the push-back they're experiencing from just everyday citizens who are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. THIS is Democracy. THIS is the America I celebrate.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone.

Back from my first trip to Washington.

I worked the ENTIRE time and spent most of my time just north of Seattle. I waved at the Space Needle as I flew in and flew out (sigh).

Here are my observations:

99.99999999999% of Washingtonians (is that right?) were VERY nice and cordial and helpful. You guys are SUCH courteous drivers. You don't regard using a turn signal as a sign of weakness (If you've ever driven in the Bay Area you know what I mean). You know how to drive a freeway, how to get on and off the onramps/offramps and your freeways are so clean! I LOVED the lush woods. And the BEST DAMNED HOTEL COFFEE EVER! Usually you stay at a hotel and the room coffee is barely drinkable. It's what you use to wake up enough to go get real coffee. The hotel room coffee was as good as I have at home and that's saying a lot AND it was available 24/7.

Apparently this last weekend was a large rock fest in Seattle and something called the Naked Bike Rally? Both events sounded great, but, alas, no time for fun.

The only thing you might think about working on? Authentic Mexican food. Maybe I just hit the wrong restaurant but it left a lot to be desired. But that's it! Otherwise I loved the visit.

Next time I go, though, I'm actually gonna get to do something fun!

So, here's to the great state of Washington and all it's terrific people!

The Gerrymander Issue

Through the referendum process, California was able to overcome their gerrymandering process by taking the redistricting out of the hands of the politicians and into the hands of a bi-partisan commission. The differences in Congressional Districting were astounding -- it basically gave us a Super Majority in the State Leg. Here's a breakdown of the process:


It looks like 23 states have some sort of ballot initiative process:


Why is it not possible for more states, those with an initiative process, to be able to do as California has done?

So, Texas,

What are the chances Wendy Davis will be running for higher office?

Will be visiting Seattle for the first time

for a week on biness and leaving today. I've never even been to Washington and am SO excited! I love new places. I won't have a lot of time but does anyone have any "must see" suggestions? Obviously, the Space Needle and the Farmer's Market (the one with people throwing fish) but are there any other MUST SEE's?


Free Exams and Tests for Low-Income Women:

(I posted this last year but thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to make this a yearly post.)

Every Woman Counts (EWC) provides free clinical breast exams, mammograms, pelvic exams, and Pap tests to California’s underserved women. The mission of the EWC is to save lives by preventing and reducing the devastating effects of cancer for Californians through education, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and integrated preventive services, with special emphasis on the underserved. EWC is part of the Department of Health Care Service's Cancer Detection and Treatment Branch (CDTB).


I Just Saw Something Really Sad. And Then I Got Angry.

Once a year our city has something called "Operation CleanUp." It's when you can put pretty much anything out on the curb for curbside pick up by our Waste Management Division (which our Republican Mayor is trying to privatize) and it's included in the cost of your monthly utility bill. People put out anything from tree trimmings to old refrigerators, old fence wood, stuff like that. Anyway, it's that time of year and this morning, I was driving home from the gym and saw something that just hit me like a ton of bricks. Someone had set out an old mattress for pick up. There on this discarded mattress was a homeless man, shopping cart nearby, sleeping.

For some reason it hit me like a ton of bricks and I almost had to pull over. Then I got angry. I got angry at the 1% who have stolen everything and are hoarding OUR wealth. Angry at the politicians, both R & D, who continue to fellate the 1% and have not only allowed this to happen but have ENABLED it to happen. They like to keep us, the proles, distracted by partisan politics insisting that "our" side is good and "their" side is bad when, in fact, BOTH sides are culpable and this is the result.

The richest nation in the world has an appalling record on helping/treating the poor, the sick, the elderly, the homeless, the mentally ill, children -- the least-powerful of our society. We can't afford social programs but we can always afford WMD. We can't afford to provide single-payer but every goddamned congressperson and their families sure as hell has full coverage.

It's a two-tiered system and we have allowed it to happen by getting distracted by partisan politics and whatever new shiny thing the MSM puts in front of our noses. Turn off the TV and go talk to some of those "repukes" and all those other people we've been taught to demonize. I'm guessing, no, I KNOW that most are just average, everyday people who have the same struggles we do. It's time We the People stand up and refuse to be divided not only by race, religion, culture, and whatever else (artificially) divides us but also by partisan politics. The only way we're going to change all this is by working TOGETHER. I know we can find common ground with one another because I've done it. If you think about it, most of us have done it either in small or large ways within our own lives.

Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That's what we're doing. We elect the same politicians, year in and year out, who do EXACTLY what the last guy/gal did -- represent the 1%. We need to demand better for ourselves and for this country or make no mistake, a whole lot more of us will be sleeping on discarded mattresses.

Visiting Idaho this summer for the first time.

We'll be traveling from California to the Grand Tetons but will be spending most of our time in Idaho. Neither my husband nor I have ever been through your lovely state and I'd like to ask if there are any really good campgrounds (tent camping) and/or anything special we should be seeing. Any recommendations for good restaurants (we're on a budget) or things to see? REALLY looking forward to coming to your state so any suggestions you might want to offer will be greatly appreciated.



P.S. I've bookmarked this thread. There looks like a WHOLE lot of possibilities for detours. Thanks so much for your responses and feel free to keep them coming.

Another Sequester Casualty: Meals on Wheels

My 91-year-old Great Aunt was informed by our local Meals on Wheels that, because of the sequester, they are running out of food and once they run out, there will be no more food deliveries.

In order to qualify for the program you cannot have the ability to obtain/prepare food on your own. Now, I can easily provide for my aunt and ensure she gets good, nutritional meals but I have to wonder about those without family/friends to care for them. The numbers could be in the millions. How can this NOT have tragic consequences?

How is it that there seems to be all kinds of programs that have managed to get themselves exempted from the sequester yet Meals on Wheels gets the axe? There is no justification for this.

Here's a link to a live local feed:


(Thanks to another DUer for the link -- can't remember who but you know who you are.)
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