questionable decisions made this week

Poor people supposedly have poor decision making skills. I might be demonstrating that well.

Like going back to college. Poor people are told that they need to get themselves educated, so this seems like a brilliant idea. I did indeed apply. I’m already “educated” and have a paper degree that says I learned some things but that’s beside the point. I decided I needed to go get another degree after seeing countless jobs I wanted to apply for recently that I didn’t have the right degree or qualifications for. Funny though…I usually had enough experience, although most of it is unpaid & volunteer work.

So, I’m going back to college, even though I’m poor AF and can’t even help my daughter pay her monstrous tuition (she goes to one of the most expensive colleges in the country and does get a massive fin aid & scholarship package but STILL….ugh) . I also can’t get a loan, so that should be interesting. Maybe those annoying people who tell us poor people that “If there’s a will,there’s a way!” are right and I’ll figure it all out by sheer will.

In September I will be here asking for math help and crying about what a horrible idea it was to even think I could do it. You’ll see.

I also cancelled my life insurance policy this week because I needed the cash surrender amount for pay bills and the last 2 months, that insurance payment has caused my bank account to be overdrawn and cost me $50 in bank fees that I didn’t have.
This means I can’t ever die now, which would be fine with me but if I’m going to live forever, I’d like to not be poor. How do vampires live such opulent lifestyles?

But really, I knocked on wood which should keep me safe from death and anyway, all I want is to be cremated in a cardboard box . Frugal to the end.

On a lighter note, I’m currently on duckling and gosling watch here on our rented homestead. No signs yet. Grown up geese and ducks have been quieter than usual, so maybe that’s the calm before the fluff?
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They’re nesting on the island in the middle of the pond (or lake,if you ask the neighbors)

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My coffee drinking, waterfowl watching bench . This is the extent of my good decision making lately.

All photos courtesy of my daughter and stolen from her instagram.


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I’m this cat.

[contents: segregation in education, transgender women living in poverty & violence in Detroit,gentrification in Washington DC & San Francisco, evictions,housing ]

 

Me today but with these links.

99-year-old woman facing eviction from her Western Addition apartment – 90-effing-9 years old and bastards served her an eviction notice. The woman has lived in the apartment since the 50’s and was granted a lifetime lease. The building owners claim she isn’t living there but her family insists otherwise.


 

Wealthy Virginia county plans to redistrict high poverty,mostly Hispanic families into separate schools – economic and racial segregation in schools isn’t new but it’s usually more subtle and not so blatantly planned. The board’s argument for the plan is that resources can be focused on these “high need” schools but history and experience contradicts that this will actually happen. Schools with low income students may get more for meals programs but they tend to have less money for quality programming and curriculum


How Detroit is becoming a flashpoint of violence against trans women – I’m tired of people asking me why I talk about transgender people on a blog that’s “supposed to be about poverty”. If you really need a deep explanation, this piece is excellent at explaining how transgender people are kept in a cycle of poverty and subjected to violence.


Mice, bedbugs, broken heaters: What it takes for D.C. to sue a landlord for neglect – The Washington Post – gentrification, ffs.

Giving poor people houses,food,and jobs!

My week was so much ughhhhhhhh so this link round up is fluffy or good news.

 

Homeless people in Atlanta are growing organic food for shelter residents

The garden is on the rooftop of a shelter and the goal was to make it so residents could eat something green every day. The garden is also providing work and skills training for homeless folks.

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Eco-friendly home built free of charge for Six Nations woman –  Flower is just one of many people living in inadequate housing on a reservation and she’s now fortunate enough to have that change. Earthship Biotecture is building her a house for free. The houses are amazing, offering space to grow food year round ,efficient heat,and sustainable water & sewage system. ♥


Youth Learning Center Turns to Urban Farming for Education, Neighborhood Revitalization – In Fort Wayne, they put an urban farm with a commercial kitchen and educational center in the middle of a food desert. Bazinga.


This food truck is doing an amazing thing to help ex-prison inmates – they are ONLY employing formerly imprisoned individuals (sorry…I know it’s longer than “ex-con” but that term bothers me)


 

 

 

Arrow’s Stephen Amell is crowdfunding a superpowered class drama – oooooooohh.
Well, actually it’s not just Stephen. Robbie Amell (Ronnie/Firestorm/Deathstorm in The Flash) is working on this,too. The premise of Code 8 is that 4% of the world is born with superpowers but forced to live in poverty. I hope this gets to be a thing. The film would be an expansion of this short film by Jeff Chan.


 

[contents: fast food,food accessibility,race,class,veterans,elderly,Boston,income inequality,housing inequality, Angela Davis,Planned Parenthood, birth control,low income women, child poverty,Texas, criminal justice system, foster care system]

    1. McDouble is ‘cheapest and most nutritious food in human history’ –   “The double cheeseburger provides 390 calories, 23 grams of protein – half a daily serving – seven per cent of daily fibre, 19 grams of fat and 20 per cent of daily calcium, all for between $1 and $2”.
      I’m just leaving it at that.


    2. Why Food Belongs in Our Discussions of Race | Civil Eats – I believe I shared this months ago but it showed up on my twitter tl this week and it’s always worth a reshare. I may have to stash it somewhere I can get to it easily for one of those times people ask me why I address racial issues.

    3. After Texas stopped funding Planned Parenthood, low-income women had more babies –  Planned Parenthood gives low income women access to birth control. Birth control prevents pregnancy. How WEIRD that Planned Parenthood losing funds that enabled them to provide birth control didn’t keep women from getting pregnant! I’m shocked.

    4. Progressive Struggles against Insidious Capitalist Individualism: An Interview with Angela Davis… – everything Angela Davis says is worth sharing here

    5. Dolores Westfall, 79: ‘I’m Too Poor To Retire, Too Young To Die’ – I’m not supposed to swear here but this is getting fucking ridiculous

    6. Why Therapists Should Talk Politics -The personal is political. It makes no sense to not include that as therapy.

    7. Poor white kids are less likely to go to prison than rich black kids – STFU if you try to say “it’s not a race issue, it’s a class issue”

    8. Report Finds Sharp Increase in Veterans Denied V.A. Benefits – This is based on 70 years of data.

    9. Boston’s struggle with income segregation – The Boston Globe– “In 1970, just 8 percent of families in Boston and the surrounding cities and towns lived in the poorest neighborhoods. Now, the figure is more than twice as high — 20 percent. Over the same period, the proportion of families living in the wealthiest neighborhoods has nearly tripled, from 6 percent to 16 percent.

      The surge in affluence in some areas and poverty in others has wiped out scores of mixed-income neighborhoods. In 1970, 7 in 10 families lived in these places. Now it’s just 4 in 10.”


       

    10. Majority of US Public School Students Are In Poverty – for the first time in 50 years, the majority of kids in public school nationwide are considered low income with the highest concentration being in the southern and western states

    11. Broken foster care system may be  contributing to homeless crisis in San Francisco – I’m done. I cant even make it to twelve today

 

Yes, you can still own a car in Alabama if you get food stamps

Today’s daily dozen… 12 things related to SNAP.

  1. Are There Enough SNAP Shoppers in My Community? – This discusses why farmers’ markets may not find it worthwhile to accept EBT. The small town where we used to live had a certain prestige and we were the only family who used SNAP there.


  2. Alabama isn’t going to take cars away from food stamps recipients – Last week it was widely reported that Alabama Republicans introduced a bill that would prohibit people from owning a car if they get SNAP.  I’m not sure why it was reported the way it was but basically, this bill is like Maine’s asset test reinstatement from last fall. Asset test for assistance is a federal policy that most states waive. This reverses that waiver.

  3. The budget from the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), a.k.a. “the people’s budget.” is everything we need – “The CPC budget bulks up funding for food stamps, child nutrition programs, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance, along with housing assistance for low-income families. It indexes Social Security to a more generous cost-of-living measure, so benefits increase more over time. It expands both the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit, which top-off the paychecks for poorer Americans with extra cash. And it appropriates federal funding to create either national-level or state-level programs for paid sick leave and paid family leave.

    Along with replenishing these preexisting welfare programs, it would push non-defense discretionary spending back up to its historical average of 3.5 percent of the economy by 2021, down from the historic lows of 2.3 to 2.4 percent it’s at now. “In the long run [the CPC budget] spends a lot on needed public investments to push back against slowing productivity growth,” Blair said.

    But the CPC budget also contains some genuinely new additions: a public option for ObamaCare’s exchanges, funding to provide preschool for all families, a new program to refinance student debt, and a change to the law to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with providers. But arguably the biggest addition — in terms of economic impact — is the $1.2 trillion in new infrastructure spending the CPC budget would deploy in its first decade. There’s widespread agreement that at least that much is needed to repair the country’s seaports, roads, bridges, railways and such. And there’s hundreds of billions more needed to update the national infrastructure to make it more green friendly and environmentally sustainable.”


  4. ‘Congrats on Your College Degrees. Here Are Your Food Stamps.’– ugh. Just ugh.

  5. Senators uphold Nebraska food stamp ban for drug felons – Of all the policies that restrict people from getting food stamps, this one always makes me so angry. Felony convictions up the odds of living in poverty after release and then we take away the safety net. It’s ridiculous. I hope Sen Morfeld reintroduces the proposal.

  6. 9000+ Arkansans Losing SNAP at End of Month, Pantries Prepare to Serve More – this is the result of Arkansas reinstating work requirements

  7. Arkansas is looking at restricting certain foods from being purchased– That link goes to a misleading headline that makes it sound like a study was done that shows SNAP recipients buy junk food and “luxury” foods. What’s actually happening is an interim study was requested to look at how people spend SNAP money.

  8. House Agriculture Committee Questions USDA over Proposed SNAP Rule – Basically, those new proposed rules I talked about last week is what they’re asking questions about. Are these new requirements going to deter retailers from accepting SNAP?

  9. Tampons Shouldn’t Be Tax Free. They Should Be Covered by Food Stamps and Medicaid. – yes. yes, yes.

  10. Thousands of Unemployed Missouri Residents Will Soon Lose Their Food Stamp Benefits – same story as Arkansas

  11. Rules for SNAP benefits tightening in Maryland – same. Changes start April 1

  12. Proven at last: Want to raise a sneer? Buy organic while poor. – Oh,hell yes.

Daily Dozen: Flint Water Crisis

      [contents: racial discrimination,class warfare, politicians who should be in prison, Indigenous issues, settler colonialism,good people donating water]

Media preview

  1. Just so we’re clear on this…. Report: Rick Snyder knew that Flint’s new water source was poisoned with lead
  2. Annnnnnd …. Confirmed: Snyder’s 501c5 fund is footing teh bill for PR firms in Flint crisis detne.ws/1Vp2McU
  3. The Poisoning of Flint Was Not an Accident – It Was a Crime
  4. A Question of Environmental Racism in Flint nyti.ms/1P9rfmd – Environmental racism is the disproportionate exposure of racial minorities(not only Black) to polluted air,water,soil. While class warfare is at work here, the overlapping of racial factors cannot be ignored. Labeling the crisis as a class issue doesn’t cover it.
  5. via Justice for All 
  6. Aretha Franklin Donates Hotel Rooms and Meals to Victims of Flint Water Crisis -she’s just one celeb who has stepped up to contribute
  7. Undocumented immigrants in #Flint shouldn’t be denied free water ow.ly/XwcwQ – they’re being asked for ID (which of course they might not even have and if they do, it wouldn’t be “valid” ).
  8. Flint schoolkids will get 6.5 million bottles of water from Coca-Cola and Pepsi mashable.com/2016/01/26/coc…

  9. And via Mitch Albom: ” Many thanks to @absopure who is donating another semi truck of water to Flint Food Bank in partnership with @mitchalbomshow by Friday”
  10. But Flint isn’t the only city showing high concentrations of lead… BridgeInteractive map: Places with higher lead rates than Flint – Bridge Michigan
  11. The #FlintWaterCrisis is Not just a Black Issue it is also an Indigenous Issue wp.me/p22r55-iB …to be honest,this is a must read. Flint is occupied land technically. Settler colonialism and it’s far reaching impact makes it even harder to make Flint a Black issue as opposed to a class issue. Solidarity depends on realizing that multiple groups can be oppressed at once by the same system.
  12. EPA sent Navajos poisoned water after Animas gold mine river spill | the narcosphere  this is old but it explains the Gold King Mine incident from last summer.

 

Daily Dozen: Links galore.Well, 12 to be exact.

 

Trying something new here. I always have soooo many links to share that I get overwhelmed when I try to do it just once a week. And honestly, I can imagine when it’s a ton of links at once, it’s a lot to take in. So, I’ll try this. I’ll share 12 links every day. I’ll probably do some on topic (like food/recipes, SNAP,current events,gardening,budgeting,etc).

[content: parenting while poor,doulas for low income women,homelessness,transgender homeless people,homeless shelters,nice rappers doing good things for poor families and homeless people, teachers don’t get paid enough,wealth inequality,food insecurity]


 

 

  1. How it feels to be a poor mother living without heat during a blizzard – short answer: fucking miserable
  2. The Myth of Low Cost Doula Support – this was a heated discussion over at the FB page one day after I said I wanted to become a doula just to provide services to low income women. I understand in some areas, low cost doulas are totally a thing but it’s not the norm. Also, some people don’t seem to get that some low income women need it to be “no cost”
  3.  In North Carolina, Teachers Work Second Jobs to Make Ends Meet [via Raise Up]- “…16 percent of teachers nationwide are forced to work a second job outside the school system. In North Carolina, however, that number is closer to 25 percent — third-highest in the entire country. When you include teachers who take second jobs within the school system, more than half of North Carolina educators — a full 52 percent — work second jobs to supplement their salaries.”
  4. Travesty: It Is Now Illegal To Feed The Homeless In Thirty-Three Cities – ugh
  5. Chris Hedges: If You’re Poor, Justice in America Doesn’t Look the Same-nope
  6. Chance the Rapper Raised 100k to Make Coats for Chicago’s Homeless– they double as sleeping bags
  7. 2 Chainz Gives Family of 11 Facing Eviction a New Home – this guy❤
  8. Study: Low wages drive up government costs– makes sense. You dont pay people a living wage, they will need to rely on government assistance
  9. Police: Homeless Woman Smashed Window to Escape Cold – she wanted to go to jail so she didn’t have to freeze
  10. Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession -yup
  11. via TalkPoverty: “I can’t afford to fill up my freezer, but I’m denied food stamps” –Kim bit.ly/22oqUBM
  12. Tll HUD to house trans people in shelters according to gender identity – This is a big deal. The number of trans people on the street has gone up and it’s harder for them to find shelters that accept them. (this does not address SAFE shelters for trans people,though)