Thursday, May 30, 2019

Read the Contract

In all relationships business or personal there is contract, be it written or implied.  When you are employed there are agreements and documents signed that detail the agreements made when you were hired, including salary, reviews, job parameters, benefits, etc.   Contract employees have also similar stipulations but rarely are they made directly with the company and usually through a third party who are compensated by the company directly and in turn are responsible for recruitment, employee compensation and reviews and assessments of the work done as dictated by the company who utilizes and hires them to perform this service.

Many people are familiar with Kelly Services (aka Girls), Manpower, Labor Force that hire and place people in many temporary jobs from Office to Construction and in turn employees agree to the terms set in place, are compensated usually weekly and have little to no job security as assignments can be cancelled with little to no notice, feedback if any is rarely given with regards to job performance and any complaints or issues are to be handled through this second party.   At times Company's do manage their own contracts but they are equally as restrictive and they make no promises.  But almost every temp gig I have ever done and that includes Substitute Teaching has often led to permanent job offers as they see your performance and in turn you are there in the front of the line when job openings happen enabling many to move into the permanent workforce.  That is becoming less so.

There are excellent networking sources that can be made during this time period and in turn skill set and resume building but you are still labeled with the "temp" title and this is no different for those with H1B1 Status as I would love to see the record of how many were actually converted to permanent Visa status and in this current climate I don't see how this will happen.  The reality is that began under the guise of the belief that there were few qualified to step into coding jobs and in turn they needed to hire those from the Asian countries who oddly given their own poverty and low skills were suddenly qualified but okay then and in turn brought here to do many jobs that local staff were qualified and capable to do but at a much higher price.  This is outsourcing labor by bringing it in house much in the same way we have done so in the manufacturing sector by simply outsourcing most of it.  Tech is no exception.

A large reason some of the push to STEM is to flood the workplace with in fact a larger labor pool and in turn provide the impetus to drop wages to under six figures which has been the threshold for current tech sector employees.  This is why in the hub cities you are seeing an almost large scale exodus of lower educated and skilled employees as they cannot afford to live in them as they are priced out.  We are now having wealth islands in America that bridge each coast and hence the push for larger immigration as people from other countries have lived with less and can adapt to situations that we Americans are not accustomed; this includes overcrowded inferior housing, long commutes, little benefits and low wages.  Indentured servitude is what we used to call it but modern times slavery is just that.

When the New York Times did a cover story on Google it was revealed that the largest components to their workforce was in fact contracted employees, they in fact outnumber permanent ones by a small margin in their entirety.   So much for not doing evil.


Google's Shadow Work Force: Temps Who Outnumber Full-Time Employees


By Daisuke Wakabayashi
The New York Times
May 28, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — Mindy Cruz had an offer for a full-time position at another big tech company when she accepted a temporary job as a recruiter at Google in 2017. The pay was less and the benefits were not as good, but it was one step closer to her dream of becoming a Google employee.

Ms. Cruz became one of Google’s many temps and contractors — a shadow work force that now outnumbers the company’s full-time employees. But she never made the jump to full time. She was swiftly fired after a Google manager, who she said had harassed her for months, told the temp agency that had hired her that he wanted her gone.

High-tech companies have long promoted the idea that they are egalitarian, idyllic workplaces. And Google, perhaps more than any other, has represented that image, with a reputation for enviable salaries and benefits and lavish perks.

But the company’s increasing reliance on temps and contractors has some Google employees wondering if management is undermining its carefully crafted culture. As of March, Google worked with roughly 121,000 temps and contractors around the world, compared with 102,000 full-time employees, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times.

Though they often work side by side with full-timers, Google temps are usually employed by outside agencies. They make less money, have different benefits plans and have no paid vacation time in the United States, according to more than a dozen current and former Google temp and contract workers, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements.

Better treatment for those workers was one of the demands made by organizers of a Google employee walkout last year to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment complaints.

“It’s time to end the two-tier system that treats some workers as expendable,” the walkout organizers wrote on Twitter in March.

When Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, did not respond to those demands, a group of anonymous contractors sent an open letter demanding equal pay and better opportunities for advancement. In April, hundreds of Google employees signed another letter protesting the dismissal of about 80 percent of a 43-person team of contingent workers working on the company’s artificial intelligence assistant.

In response, Google said it was changing a number of its policies to improve conditions for its temps and contractors.

The reliance on temporary help has generated more controversy inside Google than it has at other big tech outfits, but the practice is common in Silicon Valley. Contingent labor accounts for 40 to 50 percent of the workers at most technology firms, according to estimates by OnContracting, a site that helps people find tech contracting positions.

OnContracting estimates that a technology company can save $100,000 a year on average per American job by using a contractor instead of a full-time employee.

“It’s creating a caste system inside companies,” said Pradeep Chauhan, who runs OnContracting.

In statements to The Times, Google did not directly address concerns that it had created a two-tiered work force, but said it did not hire contractors simply to save money.

Eileen Naughton, Google’s vice president of people operations, said that if a contingent worker “is not having a good experience, we provide lots of ways to report complaints or express concerns.”

She added, “We investigate, we hold individuals to account and we work to make things right for any person impacted.”

‘Googlers Are Everything’

When Google became a public company in 2004, its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, wrote that they believed in rewarding employees with unusual benefits because “our employees, who have named themselves Googlers, are everything.”

But not everyone doing work for Google over the years has been a Googler. The company has been using temps and contractors since its early years in projects like scanning books for online search. According to one former Google employee, temps and contractors accounted for about a third of the work force about a decade ago, and that share has steadily climbed.
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Google’s contractors handle a range of jobs, from content moderation to software testing. Their hourly pay varies, from $16 per hour for an entry-level content reviewer to $125 per hour for a top-shelf software developer.

Google usually pays staffing companies, which find the workers and provide them with salaries and benefits as their employer.

But the current and former contract and temp workers, as well as four Google employees, said Google was the employer in all but name. It decides what jobs they do, dictates where and what hours they work, and often decides if and when to fire them.

Google’s contractors are barred from company events like holiday parties and all-hands meetings. They are not permitted to look at internal job postings or attend company job fairs.

In some instances, email messages about workplace security concerns that went out to full-time staff were not shared with contract workers even though they worked in the same offices, the contractors and temps told The Times.

In their letter to Mr. Pichai, the temp workers said the company sent security updates only to full-time employees during a shooting at YouTube’s offices last year, leaving contractors “defenseless in the line of fire.” They were also barred from a meeting the next day to discuss the attack.

Andrea Faville, a YouTube spokeswoman, said that the exclusion had been an oversight and that contractors had been invited to another companywide meeting later that week. She said all security updates went out to all staff, including contractors and temps, although two contractors working at YouTube said they had not received notices.

Temps for Training A.I.

Google has relied on temporary workers even when the work has become more permanent.

When the company started a research project code-named Pygmalion in 2014 to improve its speech-recognition technology, it hired temporary employees — many of whom had doctorates in linguistics — to help annotate and structure data so Google’s computers could better understand what people were saying, according to five people familiar with the project.

The team grew to about 250, and the majority were contractors. Some contractors worked two years on the project, which is Google’s limit, and took a six-month break before returning in a similar role.

As the project grew, Google managers pressed contractors to do more. In a complaint to the human resources department, one full-time employee said project leaders pressured contractors to work longer hours than stated in their contracts without reporting overtime. The project leaders made subtle promises of conversion to full-time status, two of the employees said.

Google said it had learned of a possible violation in February and immediately opened an investigation, which is still continuing, into unpaid overtime. The company said it instructed employees not to promise temps future employment.

“Our policy is clear that all temporary workers must be paid for any overtime worked,” Ms. Naughton said. “If we find that anyone isn’t properly paid, we make sure they are compensated appropriately and take action against any Google employee who violates this policy.”

States and the federal government are trying to define the distinction between contractors and employees more clearly. The difference usually depends on how much control the company exercises over the worker. That is based on certain criteria, like whether the company has the power to hire or fire the employee, or supervise and control work schedules or conditions of employment. As a result, companies keep contingent workers at arm’s length.

In response to the issues with its temp work force, Google is both trying to improve their treatment and distancing itself from their management.

Last month, Google said it would require staffing agencies to provide contract and temp workers with comprehensive health care, paid parental leave and an hourly minimum wage of $15.

Many contractors who reported to a Google employee are now being managed by another contractor, who is the only one permitted to speak to full-time employees, three of the workers said. And Google is moving groups of contractors out of some offices in the United States and into separate buildings owned by Google but mostly managed by outside contractors.

When Ms. Cruz, the temp recruiter, worked in a Google office in Mountain View, Calif., she sat with permanent recruiters and used a Google email address. Her manager, a Google employee, said he expected to convert her to full-time status after a year as long as she met her hiring quotas, which she did.

That’s why she didn’t say anything when her manager started asking her out. She repeatedly rebuffed him, she said, and his advances turned to harassment. He once invited her to a team outing at a winery that turned out to be just the two of them. That night, he tried to kiss her and put his hand up her dress.

“I had heard that a lot of times when you say something to your recruiting agency, they just take you out of the situation and put you somewhere else,” Ms. Cruz said. “And I didn’t want my job to go away.”

She said she had considered reporting a claim when she suspected her manager was looking for a way to fire her. But she was fired in February before she had a chance. Her account was detailed in legal documents seen by The Times. Ms. Cruz’s sister, Kristi Beck, said her sister had told her about the harassment while it had been going on.

Ms. Cruz’s agency, Search Wizards of Sarasota, Fla., told her that Google was dissatisfied with her work. She was told that the dismissal was unusual, but that there wasn’t much the agency could do because her manager wanted her gone.

Miranda Hinshaw, chief executive of Search Wizards, said the company did not “discuss past or present employees/contractors with any third party.”

Ms. Cruz filed a complaint to Google a month later. Google said it had fired the manager in April after it investigated.

Ms. Cruz agreed to a settlement in mediation after months of proceedings. (Google said the matter was now resolved.) But one part of the settlement still gnaws at her: She is not allowed to work for Google again.

“It feels so unfair,” she said. “They took away this very big opportunity.”




Sunday, May 26, 2019

Ending and Beginning

I have long tried to integrate myself in Nashville but that became more ingratiating as the time passed.  To experience an entire city undergoing gentrification and the desperation in seeking an identity in which to validate the methodology behind it has been utterly fascinating for about a hot minute.  That minute long passed.

I am not the only one who has commented on the bizarre strategies and failures to address the larger scale problems that literally plague the city like anal warts.

First it is the income issues. Followed by education as they go hand in hand.  How this place was designated the Athens of the South is beyond belief as I agree with the CEO of Waste Management that the Universities and Colleges are lacking.  Fisk is and getting its first new building in 20 years. Meanwhile Vanderbilt just continues to build all kinds of special things for their special snowflakes who seem ready to melt at the first sign of sun.  To say stupid is insufficient.  We could go on with the non-secular schools but we won't and the outlying ones, MSTU, Austin Peay, Knoxville, Sewanee are all fine and dandy if you want to pretend they are servicing students.    There are over 41 schools in the greater region and half of them I wouldn't send my dog to training as Tennessee has been consistently on the bottom of educational attainment for decades. Nuff said.  I want to point out that Oklahoma finally got busted for ginning the US News list for decades which goes to show you those lists are bullshit anyway.

After that we have infrastructure problems and now the transit in Nashville is gearing down, reducing and eliminating routes and raising fares.  Good timing to be leaving I just won't be on a bus.

The Government, be it municipal or state it is a fucked up hot mess like the chicken indigestible.   Sex scandals to budget issues this city could not manage its way out of a paper bag.  But then voting falls here at the bottom of the list along with Kentucky also near the bottom. Something I always suspected Mitch McConnell of being. 

And then we have the people.  Again see number one.  Moving on.

So when I read this flaming piece in the Nashville Scene I felt relieved that I was not losing my marbles  when it comes to sensing the bizarre notions of what defines idiocy here.  It is a money grab that has somehow made it acceptable to do so our of a sense of entitlement and history.  The same Scene documented the times Nashville was "it" and had always been just not to this level of insanity. I have equated it with addictive behavior - lying, cheating, bribery, desperation and fear.  Nashville I leave here in four months and oddly I am going to make the best of it to leave on a better note than the one I heard on arrival. That is truly music to my ears.




R.I.P. 'It City'

Six years ago, Nashville fell in love with a New York Times piece deeming us the nation’s ‘it city.’ The title no longer fits.

Steve Cavendish
Nashville Scene
May 23, 2019


I want to stay at the Joseph Hotel.

The pictures of the rooftop pool deck look spectacular. The building will tower 21 floors above the corner of Fourth Avenue South and Korean Veterans Boulevard, where I’m sitting as I look at a slideshow of renderings on my phone. Slender, beautiful people (apparently) will adorn lounge chairs and poolside cabanas looking off toward the Nashville skyline. Inside, works of art from the developer’s collection will hang alongside pieces by Tennessee artists. The Joseph will feature luxury, fine dining and all the best amenities.

But mostly I want to stay there because Nashville taxes are helping pay to construct it.

Yes, that’s right. A city that has more tourists than it can say grace over and not enough rooms to house them all is forking over $4.5 million in tax-increment financing to help the developer build what market forces apparently couldn’t: a 297-room hotel just steps away from an area that one month ago threw a three-day NFL party for a few hundred thousand people.

For about 10 minutes, I just stare at the construction site and one of the many cranes now visible as you approach the city’s center. In the past decade, Nashville has funded more than $200 million in development through tax-increment financing deals, mostly downtown. On the SoBro sidewalk where I’m standing, I am surrounded by an area reshaped from light industrial usage and small buildings to soaring high-rises that have altered the city’s skyline. Where once we had a dearth of downtown hotels, I now stand within a couple of blocks of thousands of current or soon-to-be-built rooms, including the massive 800-room Omni Hotel, which the city subsidized to the tune of $62 million.

But this isn’t a story about the economics of changing a city. We can’t undo the Metro Council’s 2010 decision to build the $623 million Music City Center, which drove so many later decisions by the city. We’re not just a nice place to visit — we’re now a capital-T Tourism-Based Economy, with all of the good and bad that comes with it. In 2018, 5 million more people visited than did in 2012, when a whopping 11.2 million visitors came through.

No, this is a story about who we are now, and about one very specific problem: It’s time to put a bullet in the phrase “It City.”

For the most part, I don’t visit the Honky-Tonk Industrial Complex unless I have to. I like going to see the Predators play, and there are a few downtown restaurants I enjoy. But by and large, I — like many longtime locals — avoid the two-block zone on either side of Lower Broadway like the plague. On this night, however, I decide to see what so many people come to the “It City” for.

At 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night just a bit south of Lower Broad, there’s a line out the door at Martin’s Bar-B-Que. It looks like a half-hour wait or more, so I walk around the block. I’d taken a $10 Lyft downtown to avoid parking — not to mention navigating a mélange of scooters, jaywalking tourists and pedal taverns, the first of which passes me festooned with drinking singers belting “Sweet Caroline” at the tops of their lungs. Pitmaster Pat Martin outfitted his multi-story Temple of Pig on Fourth Avenue South with many things, including a way to shortcut the masses and get a seat upstairs at the bar quickly. A lot of future Joseph customers will come here, but hopefully none of them will learn about the back door.

Waiting for my sandwich, I pull up the article that started all the “It City” bullshit. In January 2013, The New York Times’ Kim Severson wrote a story headlined “Nashville’s Latest Big Hit Could Be the City Itself.” As the Times’ then-Atlanta bureau chief, Severson spent a lot of time traveling around the South covering news and writing features, including exploring trends she saw. In our city, she noted, “It is hard to find a resident who does not break into the goofy grin of the newly popular when the subject of Nashville’s status comes up.”

It was true. Behind the network TV show Nashville (which launched in 2012, something else our tax dollars helped pay for) and a booming economy, it was hard not to argue that we were riding a wave of unprecedented popularity.

“Portland knows the feeling,” she wrote. “Austin had it once, too. So did Dallas. Even Las Vegas enjoyed a brief moment as the nation’s ‘it’ city. Now, it’s Nashville’s turn.”

And there it was — the nickname that launched a thousand press releases.

Cover1Patrons on BroadwayPhoto: Daniel MeigsI don’t think Severson had any idea of the wave of absurdly self-congratulatory behavior the moniker would set off. It’s not like she’d been endowed with any particular power to designate a place the nation’s “It City.” She was no pageant judge presenting a trophy or a reality-show star passing out a rose. The turn of phrase was just a way of noting something she saw in Nashville. But when you print “It” in The New York Times, “It” takes on a special power, an imprimatur of truth no matter what the guy in the White House says. All of our mayors (and our mayoral candidates, too) have unironically referred to us as the “It City” for years, as have Metro Council members and other elected officials, reporters, critics and commentators. A search reveals that The Tennessean has used the phrase 813 times — a little more than once every four days since Severson’s piece ran. What the phrase’s usage reveals is just how thirsty Nashville was for attention.

Severson wrestled with a lot of Nashville’s challenges in her story — challenges Nashville still faces, the things you don’t usually hear about when “It City” is invoked. To her eye, the city struggled with educating its children and housing its residents. She mentioned the tax breaks we’re so fond of using and quoted a critic of their use. And though she mentioned Lower Broadway and the surrounding area that attracts tourists, there’s no way she could have known what it would grow into.

Even on a Tuesday, both bars and all the tables upstairs at Martin’s are packed. This is now de rigueur for a weeknight in early summer. There are conventioneers and vacationers and even a midweek bachelorette party, a lower-key bunch than the packs of soon-to-be-weds who roam the area on weekends. (I see no penis whistles, no “getting shitty in Music City” shirts, no garish matching attire). Many diners, like me, are pregaming at Martin’s before heading into the maw.

You can hear the low roar of the Honky-Tonk Industrial Complex about two blocks away. By the time you get within half a block, the din is spilling out of every bar’s windows, although hardly any of the noise is what you might consider classic country music. Sheryl Crow’s “All I Wanna Do” is fighting for your attention against Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” which is straining against Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy.” Think of it as four solid blocks of Battle of the Cover Bands every night of the week. Many of these musicians may have come to Nashville with dreams of making their own music — and, sure, you’ll hear classic country issuing from spots like Robert’s and Layla’s — but it’s the hits of the ’80s and ’90s that largely pay the bills on Lower Broad.

The drunks are already out by 9 p.m. And the panhandlers, too. Steve Smith, owner of Tootsie’s and a few other spots, has been vocal lately about wanting to get the homeless off Lower Broad, arguing their presence ruins the experience for tourists who have come from far away to enjoy whatever it is we’re supposedly experiencing. The guys holding signs reading “Won’t Lie, Need Weed” can’t be affecting business that much, though, as Smith’s Honky Tonk Central cleared more than $20 million in revenue in 2017. Smith has been the most outspoken and right-wing of the downtown bar owners, plastering “Diane Black for Governor” signs in the windows of some of his places, so his stance on the homeless isn’t surprising. It’s his latest project, though, that seems to be garnering the most attention.

Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk and Rock ’n’ Roll Steakhouse made waves before it even opened. That’s because Smith tried to make Rock the grand marshal of Nashville’s Christmas parade back in December, part of a publicity stunt for the opening of Lower Broad’s new place. On a Fox & Friends segment televised live from the bar, native Michigander Rock (né Robert James Ritchie) called The View co-host Joy Behar a “bitch,” setting off a wave of recriminations that led to Mayor David Briley, District 19 Councilmember Freddie O’Connell and others boycotting the parade. Rock was removed, and Smith threatened to sue, even trotting out Bryan Lewis — the lawyer, best friend and traveling companion of disgraced judge Casey Moreland — for a press conference promising litigation. It never materialized, and Waffle House hero James Shaw stepped in to save whatever dignity remained.

Of course, none of that seems to concern the people lining up just inside the front door of Rock’s place on this Tuesday night: They’re getting pictures made next to a glass display case with a red pimp suit from the era of Devil Without a Cause, Rock’s 1998 breakthrough album. The female-led band breaks into a rendition of his “Bawitdaba,” and the crowd eats it up. Balding middle-aged men point at one another at the bar and bark out the nu-metal hit’s lyrics while a loosely moshing group of women throw their heads back and forth in front of the stage. A large eagle that looks like it’s made of pewter looms over the far end of the bar, emblazoned with the words “AMERICAN BAD ASS.”

“Where’s Tony at?” the singer yells at the end of the song. “Where’s Tony at? Tony is turning TWENTY-ONNNNNNNNNNEEEEE!” Security escorts a couple of the more unruly patrons out the front door and onto the sidewalk, while Tony and his friends raise glasses to a night that they may or may not remember tomorrow. Their table sits under two oversize replica shotguns that run the length of the room, the words “BORN FREE” emblazoned on them.

There are four floors dedicated to Rock’s cult of personality, with the top two branded as Motor City Wash Works. The paraphernalia tends to thin out the higher you go — how much can there be for a guy who’s only had one Top 10 single in the U.S.? But in case you needed reminding, a “Kid Rock for U.S. Senate” sign hangs over the third-floor bar, a vestige of the fake campaign/attention-grab he pulled back home in Michigan a couple of years ago.

I would like to blame Smith for elevating a washed-up, third-tier rock artist to name-on-neon-sign status on the most visible street in my hometown, but at some point maybe you just have to hand it to him for leaning into the trend. First Florida-Georgia Line opened a place. Then nearly every bro-country artist in the game raced to have a spot: Dierks Bentley jumped in, followed by Jason Aldean, John Rich, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. Inside, the bars all seem to steal from the same formula: TVs, aggressive amounts of barnwood, more TVs, roof decks for sipping on that “good stuff,” loud music that may or may not be country, more TVs, electric signs, street signs, beer signs and more TVs. Kid Rock’s place may be terrible, but at least it’s a little different.

Thank God for Robert’s Western World, maybe the last tiny bit of authenticity in the middle of this pulsing, booming, awful Times Square-on-the-Cumberland we’ve created. It’s an oasis. But when ESPN’s eye zoomed over the 200,000 or so people congregated in a neon canyon of Bud Light signs for the NFL Draft, the cameras weren’t there for the music at Robert’s or anywhere else — they were there to see the party.

That’s the thing most people don’t remember: Fonzie may have jumped a shark in Season 5 of Happy Days, but it was the biggest ratings in the series’ history.

In the process of creating all of this glitz, we’ve essentially built two Nashvilles. The one downtown drives much of our economy, both inside and outside the Honky-Tonk Industrial Complex. Corporate headquarters tower over the HTIC revelers below, and jobs continue to move toward the city center rather than away from it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But we’ve also erected a giant party district full of tractors pulling tourists around on flatbeds equipped with thumping subwoofers. Six years ago, did we really want such a huge “transportainment” industry? Is it really our preference to throw a giant drunken party every night? Is this what makes us “It City”?

Away from the tall buildings and bright lights is the other Nashville — the one that charmed Severson and others in the first place. It’s made up of diverse neighborhoods and dynamic food; it has a thriving health care industry and a music scene that is rich and diverse. On the night I was navigating multiple covers of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” Emmylou Harris and Vince Gill played a surprise show at a VFW in East Nashville with a $10 cover.

That’s why when some cherry trees were sacrificed to the NFL gods in April, it struck such a chord. The incident crystallized our concerns about the separation of Nashville into two pieces.

Which brings us back to the problem of being the “It City.” What exactly makes us “It”? Popularity? Culture? Economy? An indefinable combination of factors?

Ultimately “It” is a fleeting concept, never meant to be a perpetual title. We’ve got to stop using “It City,” because “It” is meaningless.

“People are too smug about how fortunate we are now,” late, great journalist and author John Egerton told Severson six years ago. He was right then, and his sentiment is even more right now. There is an air of exceptionalism that has crept into our city’s consciousness, a subtle belief that maybe we’re entitled to our good fortune, that we don’t have to earn it. That’s dangerous.

Even so, Egerton was hopeful about our future, and I find a lot of comfort in the way he saw us.

“I love the rhythm of this town and the pace of it and the tone of it,” he said. “I think Nashville is a big unfinished song.”

Death to It City. Long live Nashville.






Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The "In" Justice

I read the below editorial in The Washington Post and the points made are salient, appropriate and utterly correct.

I also agree that if you are giving a fetus personhood this means they have all the rights and entitlements of a full American Citizen.  This proposal is another one right on target.

And lastly if this is such a common procedure that the Right to Life fuckwits seem to believe it does not explain why many clinics cannot find providers willing and able to do said procedure. Due to some of the fanatics and their stalking and murdering Doctors doing so has already made this procedure challenging to say the least.  And this Doctor could not even get a lesson in how to preform one so again you would think we are just literally sucking babies out of wombs across the country for shits and giggles. 

So what is this about? Roe v Wade and naturally more oppression and denial of women's rights.  If you really want to help women be a man and stand up for your children conceived and born not ones that have been part of a personal private decision made by a woman who had to do for whatever reason she chooses.  SHE CHOOSES.

Men who impregnate women don’t face any consequences in the new abortion laws
That means more men like my father, who abandoned his family decades ago.

By Teri Carter
Teri Carter is a writer living in central Kentucky.

The Washington Post May 21 20119

I met my father at my mother’s funeral. I was 36 years old.

I was standing next to the open casket, greeting family and friends, when Aunt Mary grabbed my arm and pointed to a bearded man pacing back and forth behind a row of metal chairs. “Well, look who’s here,” she said. And when I failed to recognize the man she was pointing to, said, “Girl, that’s your dad!” and waved him over.

My father left my mother when I was a baby, before my first birthday. He was only 22, but his leaving marked both his second divorce and his second abandoned baby, providing no support, financial or otherwise. He simply disappeared.

So as Gov. Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) signed her state’s draconian antiabortion bill into law last week, I combed over the coverage with one specific angle in mind. I pored through the horrifying details about how doctors who performed an abortion could receive up to 99 years in prison, read there would be no exceptions for rape or incest, and learned that women and girls, no matter their age, would be required to carry a fetus to term. No exceptions.

But who’s missing in all of this? Men.

What I have yet to see in a single line in any of these new abortion bills — Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, Utah, Mississippi, Ohio, Arkansas — is accountability or penalties for the impregnators.

I was born and abandoned by my birth father in Cape Girardeau, Mo. When I was 6 years old, he signed away his parental rights — my stepfather wanted to adopt me — which had the added bonus of making him legally immune from both past and future child support.

Men like him in states like Missouri and Alabama don’t seem to be on anyone’s minds during this new rush to criminalize abortion. But they should be. A woman, after all, cannot get pregnant without a man’s sperm. This new definition of when life begins should be prompting a lot of questions about how the law really works when it comes to men’s moral and financial responsibility.

Where is the list of actions required, under penalty of law, for fathers? If life starts at conception, shouldn’t the father be required to pay for 50 percent of the medical bills incurred during pregnancy? If the father is not married to the mother, will she be allowed to use his health insurance plan? Can she claim the fetus on her taxes? Can she take out life insurance immediately and, if she miscarries, collect death benefits? Can the father? If the mother has a difficult pregnancy and cannot work or has to go on bed rest, will the father be required by law to support her financially? What will be the penalty for a father abandoning a fetus? How many years in prison? Will he have to pay a fine? If he has no money, will the state cover his child support payments? For how long?

After more than 35 years in absentia, my father finally showed up at the funeral home. I thought he looked familiar and vaguely recalled seeing him when I was about 17, but I couldn’t quite place him.

Standing next to my mother’s casket, we shook hands. He said, “Sorry about your mom.” And while I’m sure we both said more words, I no longer remember any of them. In the end, he pulled a business card from his wallet, wrote his number on the back in blue ballpoint ink and said, “Call us next time you’re in town.”

Who is us? I wondered.

I found out one day when I logged into Facebook and my father’s photo appeared under the words “People You May Know.” I clicked on his image and, with the magic that happens only in cyberspace, landed in my father’s life. There he was with his family: a wife, two sons, a daughter. I devoured his page. There were status updates on whether he’d be going to church that week, his inquiries about the health of friends, warnings of a coming thunderstorm (“a big one on it’s way!”) and some long banter with one of his sons about some inside joke.

I noted his birthday. My father has a birthday. How had I never known this? November 29. A Sagittarius. I typed the words “Sagittarius characteristics” into my browser and these traits appeared on my screen: magnanimous, honest, expansive, generous, reckless, extroverted, proud, larger than life, free.

Yes, free, I thought. Like so many men, he got off scot-free.

With these new antiabortion laws, we have prison time for doctors. We have humiliation and punishment for girls and women. What we don’t have are laws to address the impregnators, the abandoners, the shirkers of personal, social and financial responsibility.

My father was invisible for most of my life. Apparently, to the lawmakers in Alabama and Missouri and everywhere else who are so sure they know what’s best for women, that’s exactly how it should be.




Tuesday, May 21, 2019

So it goes



Much is made of the growth of the Southern states and what includes Texas with migration patterns of young millennial in search of affordable housing, well paying jobs and other work/life balance issues that seem to veer on tech access and nightlife.  Then they promptly live in an urban style suburban makeover until they realize that suburban life has yards, better schools and people just like them who cannot bar hop and trivia game anymore.   It is basically lather rinse repeat of their childhood.  There is one thing Millennial do better is re brand what already existed.  Taxi anyone? Whoops I mean Uber.

As I am ready to run for the door I laugh at the five units sold in my dump of an Apartment building, all millennial, all couples other than the one black man who should have asked about why it went condo in the first place.   But owning is one thing when taking money from anyone dumb enough to overpay for these units.

Millennial's  cannot be told no. They don't know that words existence and they want to erase any vocabulary or concepts that offend them. We have gender neutral pronouns, the elimination using adjectives and verbiage that could offend or upset anyone.  Wow how vanilla!   I really loathe talking to Millennial's and the nice thing is that the ones moving here are not smarter, better, brighter or any more liberal than their parents as most of them come from conservative religious homes.  Lather, rinse repeat.

Nashville is delusional like many Southern cities believing that people will come here and love it enough to overlook the batshit crazy laws and behaviors in the Legislature.  And yes they will if they are largely poorly educated underemployed and young. These are not active individuals engaged in the community.  Neither are working class families as they just want a decent school and an affordable open space concept home with a garage to put their SUV in.   Lather rinse repeat.

What they do is their version of activism that they started on college campuses, destroying professional lives and stifling free speech.  As the two Professors at Harvard just found out recently. The irony that they were the fist Black Professors ever to be hired on campus and next week the same students will have a diversity rally to hire more faces of color.  Meanwhile the culture of Harvard carries on.  Lather rinse repeat.

Meanwhile over at a sister Ivy League school, Yale, another Professor lost their gig over an email regarding Halloween costumes.   Then suddenly he is award winning.  Okay then I see that this is a priority clearly to the young privileged students. 

Or the odd Professor from Mizzou, which is where? Missouri home of the S&M Governor and now the fetal heartbeat law. Hey ya think the same Professor in the video is facing down the Legislature the same way she did with the reporter? 

And there are dozens of stories about Professors fired from their positions after ranting for or against some issue or another, using language in classrooms that for one is acceptable for another not so much.  I am sure we need to edit or burn Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Beloved, Gone with the Wind or well a lot of books.  I found this from 2011 and I agree in context it is a teachable moment unless you are a precious snowflake.


The Word ‘Nigger’ Is Part of Our Lexicon
Jill Nelson

Jill Nelson is the author of “Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience” and, most recently, “Finding Martha’s Vineyard: African Americans at Home on an Island.”

The New York Times January 6, 2011,

I live in a city where I probably hear the word “nigger” 50 times a day from people of all colors and ages, though primarily from young people on public transportation. It is a salutation, a term of affection, occasionally an epithet, but most often, I think, verbal filler, a younger generation’s equivalent of their elders use of “like” or “you know.”

Like it or not, and you know, that’s another conversation, the word is part of our public and private lexicon, and the notion that contemporary readers of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer are surprised or offended by the word seems questionable. Yet even if they are, one of the intentions of art is to provoke and unsettle. Surely Mark Twain did not intend the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” to have the equivalent effect on readers of Margaret Wise Brown’s lovely and lulling children’s classic, “Goodnight Moon.”

There are vast differences between calling a character “nigger” and calling them “slave.” They are not interchangeable. Writers choose their words thoughtfully. Our words create, color, layer and texture and contextalize the stories we tell. The notion that one can change one of those carefully chosen words -- much less 219 of them -- to suit their perception of contemporary mores and eliminate the possibility of hurt sensibilities is an abdication of a teacher’s responsibility to illuminate and guide students through an unfamiliar and perhaps difficult text. What’s next? Substituting orange for red in a painter’s work because some observers find red too aggressive?

Meanwhile these same adorable children will move to Austin, Houston, to Nashville, to Atlanta, to Charlotte, Charleston and other hip cool cities that the State Legislature is passing hate crime bills.  As in pro hate.

Texas just found the Transgendered woman who was beaten and spoke out about taking on haters has been found shot to death.    While simultaneously their State Legislature is passing the Chick-fil-A bill.  Good times for those who are not of the "norm." 

Meanwhile the spokesperson of the Millennial mindset, Mark Zuckerberg, is working to fix his source of hate and lies to be less so. Get right on that!

We cannot have a world where only people of color can say or write or draw people of color. That white people are only to be apologetic and liberal and vanilla.  We cannot have a world where we speak only one language, practice on faith and fuck the opposite sex who is the same color, class and genetic makeup as each other.  Saw how well that worked out on Game of Thrones now!

Change comes from those willing to fight it. No, Amazon will not do the heavy lifting for you.  You will not see the corporate leaders take a position on social issues that will ultimately affect its bottom line unless people are willing to really boycott, really stand up and advocate and what? Lather, rinse and repeat these arguments until real systemic change has been met.  I have never touched a Chick-fil-A food item, never eaten a Papa Johns pizza and I go out of my way to avoid paying sales tax on items to not fund anything beyond my basic needs - food and booze (I live here I need to drink).  I rent cars and rent a home.  I have made sure my footprint here is very light and I have no desire to extend my stay here beyond the day I am done.  The schools here I call a volunteer job with a per Diem.  I don't have one good thing to say about Nashville so I don't veil my loathing with such vague words as interesting, different or fascinating.  I go: I hate it here and this right wing religious shit being shoved down my throat is making me hate myself.   They don't even bother with the passive aggressive "Bless You're Heart" anymore as they know I don't give one fuck about their opinion.

So young folks what are you going to do about the hate, the oppression from sexual freedom to voting rights to women's choice?  Not a goddamn thing as it takes work and time and you have to post your shit on Facebook and Instagram to those who don't actually give a shit. I don't I care about the bigger issues in the bigger picture, yours is small like your attention center.









Monday, May 20, 2019

They Have Arrived

I

 have been very vocal about what it is like to live in Nashville and I can assure you I would never move to the South again for any reason as I do get it, I really do.

I laugh today about the Seattle "Process" and the Seattle "Freeze" as quaint excessive bizarre behavior of the native Northwesterner but in reality that is from outsiders who arrive to a new city full of hopes, dreams and bullshit.  The pursuit of money and to find a tribe dominate the culture of the city of Seattle and always has and in turn we had a shitload of serial killers so go figure.  The reality of social isolation and gloomy weather, living between two mountain ranges makes people loners as you do a lot of hiking and skiing which are not exactly group activities.   And in turn it explains the 13th Man of the Seahawks and the need to belong, to find a tribe.  Growing up an only child I am fairly comfortable on my own and I am a loner and just as passive aggressive as any Seattle resident, new or old, can ever wish to be.  But over time I just leap frogged past passive and went to snark and aggressive.  I figured doing it with humor was a much better way than suppressing anger and becoming a serial killer or mass murderer.

In Nashville they too have their process and freeze but it is called the "way" and that means that you are on the outside unless you join a church, marry someone from the tribe, have children, are a person who offers money or buys their way into the social scene.   Pass, pass, pass again and thought about it for a hot minute then took a pass.   This city smacks of a desperation to somehow become a major player in America's cities.  Well Cleveland was once, so was Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Detroit and well you get it.  Seattle is risen like Christ and in turn it shows with the destitute that clog the streets and the rising crime and endless tides of people moving in and out in search of the next best thing.  Nashville is taking a turn at the plate and swinging bats like crazy. True most of their hits are some runs but mostly foul balls as in reality the State Legislature overturns and overrules most of the cities attempts at self governance.   You don't find that in Washington, the competitive nature and weird "county" bullshit you have here. I have never referred to a town/city in Washington State by a County nor actually ever called myself a "Seattleite" or "Northwesterner" nor actually know any native that ever did.   Here I love that people raised here from infancy but not born here say that they are not "from" here although they have never lived anywhere else but for a hot minute so they cannot I guess by unwritten code claim they are a "native." This place redefines tribal and nativism in ways that transcend logic.

Which is why as I watch the news reporting on the South and the current slate of laws that are directed towards women I want to remind everyone that they have had endless laws directed at faces of color, faces largely if not exclusively black, over history and have manifested themselves in crime laws or as Michelle Alexander wrote in her book, The New Jim Crow.  Then we have massive laws that began in North Carolina directed toward the Gay Community and particularly Trans folks. These have been also replicated here in Tennessee and if anyone is unaware many of these laws about reproductive rights and sexuality also exist in the heartland of America or does anyone forget the reign of terror by Mike Pence in Indiana.

The next assault is public education and that is about money first and then the poor and in turn the myriad of the faces of color and disabilities that exist within the walls of public school houses.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Those are the words of Martin Niemoller who was one of the earliest Germans to talk publicly about broader complicity in the Holocaust and guilt for what had happened to the Jews.  Not pretty is it to think that many stood by and watched if not participated tangentially in the genocide of millions.

I live here and am leaving. I fucking hate every waking minute here.  I don't sleep much so a lot of time of that is running the movies in my head.  There is no New South just a rebranded version of the old one.

When I read The New York Times I read this column and thought this is another Millennial who has no clue about what activism is in the South:
Abortion and the Future of the New South
By Ginia Bellafante The New York Times May 16, 2019

Two years ago, I got a text from a cousin I love announcing that she had moved to New Orleans, leaving behind a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn and a job of millennial fever dreams. At 26, Tess was head of research and development for Christina Tosi and her baking empire, Milk Bar, the great 21st-century dessert disrupter.

At the age of 12, Tess was already selling her brownies to a gourmet market on Cape Cod; her ascent seemed the equivalent of an anointment at J.P. Morgan for the child who went to bed calculating short positions on foreign currencies.

Tess wanted her own kingdom, and New York — forbidding, impossible — wasn’t going to let her build it. The start-up costs for the baking and catering business she envisioned were going to be too high; the rent on her apartment in Bed-Stuy was increasing. When she moved in it was $1,800 a month; just a few years later, it was approaching $3,400.

This young woman was a citizen of the New South now. Her business, Tess Kitchen, was thriving. Her New Orleans apartment, at $1,900 a month, had three bathrooms.

I called Tess on the day that the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee backed legislation to prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat was detected. This came 24 hours after Alabama passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country, one that does not allow exceptions for rape or incest. That followed the passage of another restrictive abortion law in Georgia.

Living in a very liberal city in a very conservative state is a trick mirror. “You really forget that you are in the Deep South here,’’ she said. The news was an awakening. When she had moved to New Orleans she volunteered for Planned Parenthood. She knocked on doors to ask for donations, expecting at least some to be slammed in her face. But nearly everyone she met was already making contributions to Planned Parenthood.

“The New South’’ was a term conceived in the aftermath of the Civil War to suggest a set of aspirations of some southern elites who hoped to rebuild a backward and devastated place into a world better aligned with Northern urban values.

Over the many decades, it has acquired various layers of nuance, but today it tends to call to mind a string of cities from Charlotte, N.C., to Austin, Tex., that have essentially been Brooklynized by way of a progressive social culture and a tweaked fidelity to some of the South’s more marketable traditions.

In this iteration the New South has a powerful public relations arm in the magazine Garden & Gun, which really would require many more thousands of words to properly describe, but it is presented, in essence, as a lush-life destination where the mint-julep cups are always sterling, the leather is hand-sewn and the pastrami is made from duck you shot yourself.

It has been a successful formula. These revitalized cities have benefited from the system of afflictions that places like New York and San Francisco impose on their young. At the end of last year, LinkedIn, which regularly mines its database of 150 million worker profiles to analyze patterns in American employment and migration, reported that Atlanta had received more workers from New York City than any other place in the country during the preceding 12 months. That development has continued for most of this year.

In the last 15 years or so, I have made no fewer than 50 trips to Birmingham, Ala., where my husband’s family lives, each time marveling at how much more exquisitely it meets a particular set of consumerist and architectural fantasies — the book shops, the midcentury modern furniture stores, the retooled industrial spaces, the gyms that are indistinguishable from the ones in TriBeCa, the soaring leaded windows, the restaurants now nationally known and the new ones always coming up.

I once landed at the airport with a hypnotic determination to try the pizza of a young African-American chef who had returned home, by way of Cobble Hill and Per Se, to open a restaurant in an old Birmingham post office. Two years ago, in the lead-up to the special election that would find Doug Jones beating his Republican opponent Roy Moore for Jeff Sessions’s Senate seat, it was hard not to notice that nearly every political sign on a lawn in a Republican suburb a few minutes from downtown was a sign for Doug Jones.

I would return to New York and market these truths to skeptical friends whose experience of the South typically never extended past Arlington, Va.

It is this understanding of the modern Southern city — that you could nurture the addictions you had cultivated somewhere else — that has allowed places like Birmingham to grow into budding technology centers and to lure the bright and the driven.

A few years ago, Time Inc. set up a campus there. Shipt, the online same-day grocery delivery service, was started in Birmingham by a 32-year-old high-school dropout who sold the company to Target two years ago for $550 million.

How will these new abortion laws affect the redistribution of talent to places whose economies prosper from that talent? Under the current conditions, I wondered if women like Tess and her friends, many of whom moved from New York or Los Angeles, would have chosen to relocate to the Deep South. I asked some of them, and they told me that they were not sure.

One, Allison Gourlay, arrived in New Orleans a few years ago from a studio in Greenwich Village she could barely afford. At first she had a hard time finding work and questioned her decision.

“I was talking to a friend one day when I wasn’t sure and she said, ‘Stay, this place is about to blow up. It’s on the cusp of something big, can’t you feel it?’ This is cheesy, but I got goose bumps. New Orleans is really a place to establish work-life balance but I’m getting ready to start a family and it scares me,” she said.

“When you meet all these young people moving here who are so passionate and intelligent and changing the rules and making the city what it is, it is so inspiring. But it really worries me that it could no longer be that place.”

What she fails to mention is that New Orleans is literally sinking. It has never attained its pre-Katrina population and in turn it will be facing massive damage as the climate continues to change and evolve.  I have met a young couple who relocated there from New York and much for the reasons cited but the reality is that they are aware this is a short term plan for a long term problem.  That and the climate of politics has always been a corrupt backroom place and that will not change. But people do and they eventually pack up and move or just accept it as a fact of life and live theirs.  

But what I do find interesting is that the South has found a place to become such a magnet for young millennials.  Frankly I have been to Cleveland, to Pittsburgh, am going to St. Louis and there are few people in Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Nebraska, so why the South? The weather?  People its humid as shit here and equally as horrible as any of the others in the cold.  So it has to be the PR and the belief that Hotlanta is where its at. And true we have had a reverse migration of Black families, the reality is that up north they are courting Immigrants to replace the lost population which is why this Trump bullshit is another hit to saving smaller communities.  However these are not as political active so why young people are you moving like a Bird in winter?  It is about money and that seems to be the driving factor nothing more.

It is one thing to relocate it is another to actually change, to find purpose and balance in life/work in the South is a very different animal.  It means getting your ass to the Churches and integrating the coffee clatches and having the ladies who lunch talk about themselves and you just listen and you hear what they are saying.  These women are alone, desperate and afraid. They are poorly educated and the Church has stepped in and filled that void which explains why they are the strongest advocates for the pro life movement.  If anyone thinks this is a well organized and funded movement it is not it is happening in isolation and that is why it is happening.  People just want to be heard. And they in the South feel they are always being talked at and down to. Move here they have that type of speech down pat, its pulpit talk only with less multi syllabic vocabulary.

I don't have the patience and I am a Teacher go figure. But it is something much greater than I can cope or handle frankly and I just don't want to.  I am exhausted trying to rationalize and intellectualize a place that values neither.  Here it is God and Sports and Money and they see all those things as interconnected and essential to building community.  I have one out of three and I have been ripped off once and it took just once when the car was towed and the 200 bucks in cash to get it back. I learned quickly that they will fuck anyone over and the irony it was a rental with out of state plates and that was the reason it was towed.  I have seen many local plates in the same lot left alone so it doesn't take a great analysis to know the what to the what on that.   This is how they roll here. They are crooked like Lombard Street in San Francisco just not as charming.

And that comes from the lack of education and the role of the Church.  If you come to the South there is much more diversity than you would imagine but it is largely segregated and in turn a challenge to navigate.  These are the waters of the red sea and it is done intentionally and done so not with regards to the issue of race but the issue of money.   It is more class based and in turn that is why they have massive housing projects ringing the entrances of every city.  Go to Charleston, Savannah, Nashville you all enter the city by driving right through a housing project.  

This morning I read an excellent piece about Memphis and while I found the city amazing there are shared characteristics that are duly noted about the surface of the character of the city it would be a disservice to mention that the reality is the composition of it and again largely black faces are the majority of the population.  So it makes one wonder if this is some racial issue that somehow excuses or explains or am I over thinking again?   I quit using race and religion as an excuse a long time ago and the blanket explanation titled "The South" as a reason to dismiss the odd greed, the odd laziness and the simple lack of intellectual curiosity that falls across racial and class lines cannot be ignored.  It is one characteristic that defies the entire up by your bootstraps and work ethic so preached in the streets and the pews.  It is almost defiance and resistance that seems to encourage this and I found that too in the article which may explain a great deal of what I encounter on a day to day basis in Nashville.

Naturally my least favorite writer in Nashville who for whatever reason has been given a platform in the New York Times has once again done what they do best here, deny, obfuscate the truth and coat it in Sugar to make the bullshit taste sweeter.

But the reality is that the South is a complicated divided and divisive area by history, by race and by economics.  The few industries that came here in the post civil rights South were foreign. Nissan had no allegiance to North American history or culture so when they moved to Nashville followed by Bridgestone it enabled other foreign companies to do the same; from Electrolux, to Volkswagen they opened a door that allowed Boeing, Ford and GM to move operations south.  With that influx of money it seemed to give tacit permission for these legislative bodies to continue on course with their version of hate laws and oppressive acts that have been going on for hundreds of years. These people are enmeshed in history the point they are enable to break free of it.  Nothing will change this unless these supposed young creative's start becoming active and engaged with the residents and with their means of communication and that is via the Church.  As appalling as that sounds, pews to the polls is what brought about the Civil Rights Movement and we are at that point again.

What I am seeing is that from all aspects of equality, civil, gender, sexual, we have thought it was settled law of the land and what we have learned is that no it is not settled nor will it ever be apparently as one dies off another takes its place via heredity, via nativism, via education or lack thereof or through this thing we do value here - freedom of choice. Funny how that works out as that means your choice not everyone else's. That we seem to be confused about.









Sunday, May 19, 2019

A Beginner's Guide

Of late I have looked back on my sexual encounters, the bulk of which fell into short term ones and is one night stands and relationships with finite end dates in the months not years.  My marriage was certainly sexless as I repeated my parents down to the age difference between us (8 years he my junior) but short of separate rooms.  I did not not love my ex husband I just did not love him.  I can count on one had men I truly loved and in turn I am not even sure that I "loved" them but the idea of them and in my way of love that only I know and understand.  So even in love we define personally and individually as we do our sexuality.

I ended my interest, not desire in sex after the incident in 2012.  I had a couple of minor sexual encounters that fell short of full on intercourse and it was then I realized I was done for good.  Age, illness and simply being tired of the bullshit was enough for me to pack that kit and put it in the closet, right next to the bag of sex aids and toys I use to masturbate and self gratify frequently.  I often say a day without an orgasm is a bad day.   I have a rich fantasy life that enables me to find pleasure in scenarios and encounters that I would not pursue in my real life which is why its called fantasy.  I do not need pornography or erotica to stimulate me and I don't even use real life individuals, famous or otherwise.  I like my sex as nameless as it is private and personal for it is about me.

But living in Nashville I have laughed that in my 60 years on the planet I have never heard of more sexual scandals and incidents of assault and abuse then I have in fiction or non.  This the buckle of the belt are intensely obsessed with sex.  It may also explain the other stories that have abounded from all the surrounding Southern states with sex scandals and sagas as they attempt to stave it off by stopping abortion and soon I suspect birth control.  They are sure that is the FEAR they need to discourage any more of these behaviors.  Yeah sure, whatever.  I truly believe that is the primary reason the whole save the baby thing is secondary or why not have paid family leave, better education, medical care for all families? Oh wait its about fucking first and foremost.

When I read the below article in the Guardian I knew there was truth to this as most young people I know are marrying off at a fast clip and those not are obsessed with finding a partner.  They are afraid to be alone and few know how to have a fulfilling sex life without it being either/or.  And by that I mean sexual assault, exploitation or some type of commitment for life.  This is why we have a real problem, we have failed to provide healthy sex education and in turn communication with regards to sexual satisfaction and pleasure.  It also explains again the obsession with Homosexuality as without clear communication and understanding you have another set of laws and hate bills in the pipelines to discourage anyone from fucking anyone that may not be conventional in the American provincial concept of family.  We love families to be largely white, working class, with three children who go to Church and leave everyone else alone.

Fear baby fear rules Americans and their politics.  The decline in birth rates also means that there will be fewer white people and we cannot have that!

I miss fucking someone who is cognizant, aware of their sexuality, unafraid and willing to commit to a functional healthy partnership.  I have had few men willing if able to do so and when they did the timing was off or even I did not know how to handle such dynamic.  And funny now that I am it is off the table for me.   We are fucked and not in a good way.



The truth about sex: we are not getting enough
Sex and intimacy: a user's guide


In a world that seems so at ease with sex, you’d think we were having it all the time. Think again

Rose George
Guardian
Sat 18 May 2019

We owe a lot to the sex lives of Greeks. Ancient Greece gave us the origins of the names and concepts for homosexuality, homophobia and nymphomania, as well as narcissism and pederasty. The Romans talked freely to each other in toilets and were equally community-minded when it came to sex, with a reputation for lasciviousness and orgies. Georgians, we believe, were smutty, and Victorians were prudes and hypocrites. (All of these are partial truths.) We like to use sex as a mirror of an era, and to make judgments accordingly. What then, are we to make of us right now?

This is the most sex-positive age ever, right? We are liberal and comfortable with sex like no other people have ever been. Our magazines publish articles on how to get on better with your clitoris. Porn is freely available (and accessed by teenagers). Erotic books are bestsellers, however badly written. TV broadcasts shows in which the contestants are naked, or have sex in a box, or make a sex tape on camera. If sexual choice were a shop, it would be a hypermarket, with dizzyingly long aisles of every possibility: straight, gay, bi, trans, poly, fluid, each with its own culture and each widely accepted.

In this sex-positive version of reality, we have been unleashed from the bonds of church and religion, and suffocating family expectation; we are free, and we’re enjoying being easy. And society’s greater liberalism is matched by better scientific understanding of sex and the body parts that we use for it. This has been helped by the scientific gaze finally turning to the 51% of the population that it had mostly ignored, so that we know now that the clitoris, though smaller than the penis, has way more nerve endings. Despite what every Hollywood and TV scriptwriter believes, we may finally be accepting that more than 30% of women will not orgasm with penetration alone.

Millennials are having less sex than their parents; young people, we are told, are in a 'sex drought'

Sex and power have come together to positive effect elsewhere, with the last couple of years of the #MeToo movement. The use of power by men to get sex is as old as the Roman hills, and it is still endemic – along with appallingly low prosecution rates for rape – but something in that balance of power may have shifted, and for the good.

In the age of iPhones, people are equipped with cameras no matter where they go. They can capture the most picture perfect moment at any time. It also means ...

Except. A paper in a recent issue of the British Medical Journal summed up the findings of three huge national surveys into sexual attitudes, called Natsal, the latest of which was in 2012. Natsal is British in focus, but some of its findings are reflected globally: worldwide, we are having less sex less frequently and are more upset about it. In Britain, most of the decline in sexual frequency is in people aged over 25 and in long-term relationships. In the US, the over-50s reported the largest decline in how often they had sex, though Finnish middle-aged men reported they were getting sex more frequently. In Japan, the most sexual inactivity was in young single people. Millennials are having less sex than their parents; young people, we are told, are in a “sex drought”.

Some other disquieting facts: girls as young as nine are now having surgery to modify their vulvas, and rates of labiaplasty are increasing 45% year-on-year. There is now a labiaplasty known as the “Barbie”, which does what it says and reduces female genitalia to doll-like smooth uniformity. That must be because alongside all the sex positivity is another message: you are inadequate and wrong. Hairless, labia-free female bodies; porn-hard erections; dizzying sexual possibility. If you don’t want to eat guacamole off your bisexual lover while multiple-orgasming in at least three different positions, but only on a Thursday, what’s wrong with you?

Meanwhile, when the couples therapist Esther Perel did a Ted talk in 2013 on “the secret to desire in a long-term relationship”, it was watched 17m times on Ted and YouTube. All these numbers and facts point to a gap between the public, digital version of sex and the reality: that we are not getting enough of it and that when we do get it, it’s not satisfying.

Our sexual landscape may look like the promised land, but not everyone wants to travel there. This may be down to the way our relationships have changed. Marriage used to be more straightforward: an economic arrangement with clear, though not fair, expectations. For women, security, a home and children and the right not to be raped by the nearest powerful man, or at least a lesser probability of that happening. For men, succession. Now, Perel says: “We want our partner to still give us all these things, but in addition I want you to be my best friend and my trusted confidant and my passionate lover to boot, and we live twice as long.”

In the age of iPhones, people are equipped with cameras no matter where they go. They can capture the most picture perfect moment at any time. It also means ...

In their paper, the BMJ authors were careful to skewer expected conclusions. Pornography was too easy to blame, and in fact a US study showed that declines in sexual frequency were greatest among those who didn’t watch it. If we are in a state of anxious disconnect between public sex and our private activities, then it is to be expected: we’re knackered. Middle-aged women reported exhaustion as one of the main reasons they were having less sex. Having children later in life, as we now tend to do, leaves those in middle life with small children and ageing parents and full-time jobs, all at once. No wonder they see a bed and want only to sleep in it.

Some of these figures could be because now that sex is primetime and ubiquitous, we feel more able to be honest about how much – or how little – we’re actually getting. But the researchers also noted that rates began to drop in 2007 and 2008. In 2007, the iPhone was launched, and in 2008, the world collapsed into recession. Anxiety, stress and exhaustion have led millions of people to be prescribed antidepressants (one in six Britons in 2017) – which are designed to combat those things but also dull libido. It is a heady package. “Should frequency of sexual contact serve as a barometer for more general human connectedness,” wrote the BMJ authors, “then the decline might be signalling a disquieting trend.”

Many species appear to have purely reproductive sex. That we don’t, that we have an erotic life too, is a bonus and a blessing. But it is also the source of dismay, dissatisfaction, puzzlement, frustration, mystery, worry, delight and obsession.

There may be a clearer lens being pointed at our sexual workings and wants, but our worries, fears and wonder about sex will outlive us all.

Friday, May 17, 2019

For Fuck's Sake




I have of late used the blog as a place to rant and release my rage about living in Nashville.  I have often debated that I cannot tell what is being mad from madness living here given that almost every single exchange I have require me to break it apart, analyze, dissect, to determine if I am not clear in my method of communication and in turn am I going mad as a result of all this internal self analysis as a result of living here.

For those who watch Game of Thrones I think that question has been answered by Danerys Targeanrean whose full descent into madness was illustrated when she literally burned the house down last Sunday.  There is rage and there is that.  I am angry not at myself any longer I got what I came for and am leaving so fuck it, mic drop and I am out.  That said the healing that I needed did not happen and now I need to so as I move on I move forward with that and there is nothing here I am leaving behind.  May the bridges I burn light the way.  That is the extent of my fire breathing.

I admit I have never seen or experienced poverty in the way I have here. I have never seen/experienced or understood racism until I came here.  I never understood the South and now that I have been and lived and traveled I have a much better insight into it but understand no, not really.  And why? Because the reality is that these people cling to religion like the Titanic passengers clung to life rafts and we know how well that worked out don't we?

The country is moving away from a Christian identity and that is due to an influx of Immigrants, a move away by Millennial's from organized religion and the Churches themselves that have managed to alienate members thanks to raping parishioners, congregants and basically being fuckwit hypocrites.  If you have not seen or heard of the shoes of Pastors on Instagram it is a good little site that exposes the bullshit about these Gucci clad Preachers.   I also love the ones wearing dead baby animals.  Sure lead the minks to slaughter.  So much for preaching poverty is a blessing. They mean yours not theirs.

I live where not one public building does not have an acknowledgement of God as the leader of the world.  Here in Tennessee it is a law to actually have in a visible place when you walk into a school a sign that says: IN GOD WE TRUST.  Just hang a dollar bill it is the same.

This week a Teacher had a massive seizure and was admitted to the hospital and they came to clean up his room and remove his personal items which included his glasses and his not one but two Bibles and varying other religious paraphernalia.   So much for prayer on that one.

For the record it is in every classroom I have been in to the point I wish they had a Jesus Bobble head doll so I could put a crown of thorns on it and some fake blood to really bring it home.  Fuck this shit.

But then yesterday a new policy was issued and that is that any Student having sex in the building or on school property (you know those bleachers are fuck dens) will be expelled for 60 days no exceptions.  This is about consensual sex not assault nor applies to harassment of any kind regardless of position in the school, where the real problems are.  Okay fuck that then!

Which now brings me to the real issue that this post is about - Fucking.  I have never seen anything in my life with regards to the obsession about sex like I have here. And that includes the South in general as they would fuck a hole in a tree they are that degenerate.  And why?  Repression and religion.

Let me point to the recent anti abortion laws that are dominating the news of late. We have Missouri whose last Governor had to drop the mic after his sexual shit became exposed like his dick.   We have Alabama whose last Governor had to also put his dick back in his pants next to his Bible and makes Biden seem like an amateur groper.   And lastly Louisiana. 

Perhaps they actually believe the bullshit they spew such as consensual rape. Sure, for fuck's sake!

Lets point out that these are all Southern states with large minority populations, states with inadequate funding for health care, education and of course little industry that is located there that requires a higher educated and in turn income generating populace. Tennessee is desperately trying to attract that kind of workforce that for years were going to North Carolina but as we learned from again the "heartland" like Indiana this shit only goes so far but it has not shut these states down fully.  North Carolina is still a state with its own crazy ass shit but the wind is blowing change.  At least that is all its blowing right now.

But there are other states already there on the verge and have been quietly eroding away Women's reproductive rights and natch they are largely those states whose idea of faith is theirs, yours is not welcome unless you get on your knees and pray. And while down there suck the dick of the Pastor, kthnks!

At from all of this I take great comfort that in 5 really long months I will be gone and I can never come back here as I cannot have another conversation like the one I had yesterday who will win the doofus of the day award. I mean every day I do actually venture into a dialogue I immediately regret it but then ignorance is not bliss it is just ignorant.

I point to the morons quoted in the varying articles about these new laws that affect women and largely again they are by women. I have said  many times that I hate women  and this only confirms that once again my anger is not displaced.  Nope women are cunts here in the South. They are raised to be these docile Grandmothers.  Yes Grandmothers, as they are the only women that men acknowledge and admire and they are sexless beings another point I needed to make.   I have never heard a Southern man speak of his mother, offer to introduce me to her (funny however that a Barista from California could not wait to introduce me to his mother and spoke her praises before and after) nor even talk tangentially about their family and its dynamics. Is she in a box under the bed? This explains the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault rates in the South that top the nation:  Alaska topped the deadliest states’ list, as it did last year. It was followed by Louisiana, Nevada, Arkansas, Tennessee and then South Carolina.  The Bible made me do it!

And again the racial component cannot be ignored:  Black women represented a disproportionate number of those killed, making up nearly half of the death toll in a state where African Americans account for 27 percent of the population. (South Carolina in this case)   It may be why it is called the Bible Belt as it is better to beat you with.  I cannot comment on the racial component but I want to point out #MeToo began as a black woman's comment on sexual assault. 

I have never met a man here I did not like.  And I mean that I did not like them.  I have tried and tried again but the reality is that they are fucked up beyond belief and I am done.  I know I am a raging bitch but come on I loathe women and so it puts me in a situation that means beggars cannot be choosers and I choose being alone.  Again being mad is not madness but I see how that in GOT that once Danerys anchors were taken from her she had nothing to keep her from floating away into a place of rage.    It is my greatest fear that I will carry some of this with me when I go so I am going to move this time in a very different fashion in which to allow me some time for transition before trying to integrate into a community and in turn spend most of my hours raging against the idiots here. Nothing good comes from that.  Nor from the Bible either.






Monday, May 13, 2019

NASH TRASH



That is the name many of us give to the tourists who ride the pedal taverns, the dump trucks, four wheels, golf carts and varying other methods to literally drink and drive as they tour about 5 whole blocks of the Nashville city core.

This blog is my savior and my daily rant about those issues that lead me to cry, to rage, to think and to dream.  But here in this city of bullshit I rarely dream as I rarely sleep I have never been anywhere as horrific as this city is in my life.  So pardon the personal rant.

I call the schools dumpsters and the kids trash bags at that is what it is like walking into a school building that is run down, has cockroaches, vermin, lead drinking water, and my personal favorite - slop for food.   It is like a prison only without a warden as there is no control to this madness.

The city is on the rise if you call building massive towers with some to few occupants slated to move in with vaguely specified numbers of employees to eventually be placed inside over the next seven years and of course endless announcements about the food businesses that will provide varying versions of the same garbage they serve at the locations throughout Nashville.  Do you want Donuts? Pizza? Hot Chicken? Burgers?  They got em and they are proud of this as if this has never been done before in anywhere else in the world.  It is called a mall food court just without the low rent names.

Meanwhile the Legislature is living up to that name with the Glen Casada scandal extending into an investigation by the FBI if threats, bribes or intimidation was used to secure votes on the school voucher bill or what I call the death knell for the public schools in Nashville and Memphis, two districts that largely serve faces of color and the poor.

Meanwhile in trash town the greed and stupidity continue with endless out of state investments with them paying millions of dollars for property in areas of town that are dilapidated and run down but with visions of grandeur and tax abatement's who gives a shit if it does nothing for the area it makes a great write off.    At this point there was a question about some of them and like all things Nashville they decided to keep them in place as they are likely the reason any development is happening.  Really this is not the city of "it" and the city on the rise and people don't just want to be here without incentives?  No they don't and most of the investors don't either. Good luck next on the scheme/plan to bring Major League Baseball to the city. Natch that there is a plan in place to build a big stadium as the one built only a few years ago is home to the minor league so fuck that shit.   Money built with taxpayer dollars and actually rushed through over budget to meet the demands of the former Mayor Karl Dean who never saw a dollar he did not like in his hand.

The city is largely full of hospitality workers who work for minimum wage and many companies to even attract employees offer more which means that small business and owners of local businesses have to meet that or shut the fuck up and die.  It explains why many of the restaurants that were old school have closed but even larger funded businesses have found themselves on the other side of the rails and have closed one entity only to re brand reinvent and reopen in the same location.  Sure that works if at first you don't succeed try try again.  I love that the cheaper ramen restaurant is lined up around the block with the more expensive one empty but it was in its last version as well.  But hey at least this one has actual menus and table service, oh wait that costs more.

When you are not earning the money needed to have disposable income you tend to not spend it.  You have massive commute times as people are living further and further away due to the costs of housing which has escalated to beyond the average pay scale of the workers here, even those in middle class jobs.  This includes Teachers, Metro Workers and and other professions that are largely a part of the second largest employer in the area - medical.

But that too is under watch with CHS likely to go bankrupt in the next few years and in turn its spin off being delisted at the NYSE.  Okay then.  And the endless other medical companies under investigation for fraud  or pain med clinics closed and Doctors arrested. Sure this is the it city if it was as crooked as it is long.  It is why their private hospitals are the most expensive in the country.

As I watch the scandal unfold in the State Legislature I think back to the 1980s and short of shoulder pads I actually believe this is the era Nashville currently embraces. The years of Regan and his doddering zombie persona, the hookers, the blow, the passive racism and sexism shows that Nashville has progressed from the 1950s.  At the rate they are going it will be another 20 plus years before they move into the 21st Century but they will do so kicking and screaming.

This weekend in the delusional state of reality I call home as clearly I have to be delusional to call this place home, I found my new neighbor pounding on my former neighbor's door and in a state of rage that I was all too familiar.  In our side of the building there are only two of us that remain, myself and my direct neighbor a Nurse at Vanderbilt.  He was furious that his garbage that he left outside his door overnight had been ironically trashed and left as a mess he had to clean up.  A young man, a fit man who could have easily walked it to the dumpster with minimal effort left it his door a practice I have found here to be bizarre but in many of the apartments they have a service that picks it up directly. The lazier the better I say which may explain the cost of rent or the smell in the halls but whatever.  He believed that it had to be one of us as no one walks up that dead end which is across the tracks and as he said this a drunken homeless man crossed said track and walked up along side us.  So much for that theory.  I laughed and said I have lived here three years and what you have three months and I can assure you I have had every plant stolen, knocked over, any knick knack trashed or taken, packages stolen, a man tried to break into that very unit he was bashing the door on and it was 15 minutes before the Cops came.  There are endless hobos who beg for money when cars are stalled due to train crossing and yes people have crossed the tracks, broken into, stolen or vandalized the cars in the lot.  There have been men pissing in said dumpster area so if it was a woman or a person of a certain age I might understand why you failed to walk the 100 feet to the dumpster but leaving it out at night is an invitation of a sort to search for values or in fact alienate your neighbors who have in turn bought our very units we live in for hundreds of thousands of dollars only to walk out the door and see trash facing them. Either or Neither nor is not great but to pound on doors and demand what exactly?  What was to be accomplished with that?  He calmed down and said he had found a note on his garbage last week about this and I knew instantly it was one of the last tenants who to say the least is batshit crazy.  Like most of the people I have met it who are the most rude, demanding and delusional it is my fellow carpetbaggers who seem to take ownership of this little big town in ways the locals have not. They are equally territorial but once the check clears its all good as it is all for sale here if the price is right and the stupid are willing to pay for it.  This young man is no different for overpaying and buying a property that is ostensibly worthless as it will never rises in value given the location, a  now defined opportunity zone that has brought new money and more commercial build coming making residential in direct opposition to the neighborhood and community.  The place was a waste from the get go given the one way out and one way in and the train blocks the street crossing for hours at a time at worst so no it is not a great value.  He conceded that it was the only place he saw and could afford at under 200K but apparently his realtor neglected to actually look for him as across the park on 3rd is a townhouse for 187K, larger in size and secured parking.  But hey dude what a way to meet a neighbor and come pounding on doors accusing them of tossing your shit.  Really is that a good thing?  And while I did finally tell him whom I believed was the culprit I offered him the advice that he might try being more Southern aka passive aggressive and confront her by asking her if she had seen anyone during her dog walks and if so let him know.   He spent the better part of Sunday with his blinds open watching but it appears that it failed to bring resolution.  This girl is crazy and I see no point as she was the one recently knocking down plants at my house wanting said confrontation and I chose to fail to give her satisfaction.  But this is my building where again none of it makes sense and the units sold and shown seem to be selected by the Realtors for reasons unclear and why when there were others similar off the main street or behind the lot was he sold this unit... he had no answer but I could tell he was like many who end up being fleeced here, confused and angry.

And wait until he finds out or understands that the neighborhood has now been declared an opportunity zone. This means more money and more investment, less in residential but plenty commercial which will make it worse.   We are already seeing this with regards to housing and more will follow as some of my neighboring businesses are discovering. This is another scam to the plan of tax avoidance.

Because of this encounter the train came and I was late to my Barre3 class which I decided to not miss early Sunday morning and because of Mother's Day I knew it would not be crowded.  So I went and it was cool but I forgot my KEXP hoodie in the cabinet so I ran back to get it and found it gone. Now how it got mixed up with someone else in the cubbie I put it is unclear but I lost it emotionally  again and found myself awash with rage and tears that some woman decided that it was better suited for her and walked out with it.  Why in the fuck would someone do that?  But there is no way to apply rational thought her in Nashville as there are few that are rational. They lie and steal and cheat here all the things good Christians do on their way to Church to plead forgiveness.  It is the Nashville Way.  So I spent the better part of the day raging and ranting about more sins and observations that included two people openly gesticulating and talking about a Bus Driver who was clearly experimenting with style, perhaps even sexuality as he boarded to take us on our destination. My concern was less with his/her appearance and more with safety but these two could not stop.  If they were so offended, disturbed or whateverthefuck ever why not wait for the next or simply restrain yourselves to wait until you were out of sight and sound range?  No that is not the Nashville Way.

My former neighbor I ran into as well that day and I informed him of the door pounding spectacle of the day before and he laughed.  I said that once again this whole building thing is shady as shit and of all the vacant units the one he moved into had been barely vacant 24 hours and its former resident a young Gay white man was his better?  I don't know but the units where black people have lived have remained open and unsold?  Do they need a sage burning?   He was surprised that his had not been sold yet as he was told it would be.  Did he not remember the color of his last girlfriend.  The only offer had been the crazy bitch who dumps garbage for a hobby and where she got the money unclear but again lying is a sport here like horse racing in Kentucky.  But  race here is not something you run clearly.

As long as the check clears has long been my motto and then I came here and my checkbook has now closed for business.  After the last rip off the car being towed from a lot, told they only accept cash, the building the lot is in has been empty for over a year, they have no security nor tenants but someone knew to call the company on the sign and the car was towed, not booted not ticked but towed.  I got the cash got the car and called the company on Monday and no they take credit but you see I would have stopped the charge as I knew it was fake and that is why on a Saturday they did it as there was no way I could have.  Once again the crooks, liars and thieves here work around the clock to rip and rob and harm you.  I can say at least it was not a child as the kids here are deadly.

Nashville is trashville and as I countdown I cannot stress enough that watching Game of Thrones last night I realized the difference that being mad does not necessarily lead to madness. At least at this point I don't want to burn the city down but then again I am not the Mother of a Dragon.  But the isolation is a Catch 22.  Without it I could not cope as I don't have to have every encounter broken down, analyzed, dissected and debated if I was irrational, too direct/honest, too funny, not funny enough, was I unintelligible, did I talk too fast, did I, did I, did I.  After awhile it takes another toll on mental health so I think hibernation is a way of salvation. But on the other side it takes a toll on the endless loneliness, the feeling of seclusion that is by force not need and overall the lack of emotional contact makes one angrier and depressed in ways that I don't think you can easily walk away from. I find myself crying without warning and feeling alone when I am in a room full of people which I have never experienced before.  This is not good for anyone and even one such as myself a loner by nature.  So I wait and wait some more.  This is not life its stagnation.  I need to take out the trash.