Tired of all these Autism and ADHD brats!

Published August 15, 2014 by Dianne Wing

We are too quick to judge, too quick to criticize others when we don’t know their life, their problems, their blessings – which come in all sorts of packages.  Every child acts up at one time or another, every parent fails in their responsibility sometimes – we’re only human.  So lets not pretend to know what’s best for other people, especially other people’s children.  Read on..

Tired of all these Autism and ADHD brats!.

GARDENING FOR THE GREATER GOOD

Published July 19, 2014 by Dianne Wing

 A farmer’s market within an urban environment has the ability to transform the lives and landscapes around it and give access to fresh, nutritional produce within the local urban communities. The ATLANTA 3×3 Project serves as both a working market and organic training farm for participating veterans.

The purpose of the project is to create a community market available to the general public out of vacant lots and abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities. The core concept is based on the Victory Garden movement popularized during both WW I and WW II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort by encouraging citizens to plant local gardens.

Plants are started in small containers then finally transferred to the 3 X 3 garden boxes. In this case, milk crates were used as they are easy to acquire and move around. Don’t let limited outdoor space prevent you from trying out your green thumb.

What can you grow in a 3X3 container? Almost anything — vegetables, flowers, shrubs, even trees – can all be grown (or at least started) in a 3 X 3 Garden.

From tasty fruits and veggies to flowering plants, trees and shrubs, container gardening is the trick to growing it all in less space than you may think. Be creative – use old vases, small plastic swimming pools, buckets, baskets, old wheelbarrows even a child’s wagon. Anything you like that will hold soil can become a planter for your garden! Think recycle…

You can do this too. No matter what you prefer to plant you can plant some version of it in a container garden. Experiment and discover how to create colorful garden containers, from hanging baskets to planters and window boxes for every spot in your landscape. By learning more about container gardening, you’ll uncover how to bring color to shady spots as well as how to successfully grow tasty vegetables. There is a container garden that’s perfect for your specific sun, shade, climate, and more.

The Atlanta Veterans Farmer’s Market used reconfigured pallet boxes to line the property. These pallet boxes will serve as both a barrier and a planter with flowers and herbs – useful as well as beautiful.

But also think: Community Gardens. It’s amazing to what one green space in the middle of the city can do for the people that tend to it, or just live near it. The benefits of a community garden are endless. Whether they are used to grow flowers, plants or produce, this type of garden is a great place to interact with neighbors and friends as it provides an opportunity to educate gardeners of all ages. It also encourages a sustainable food system.

Here are a few tips on how to begin your own community garden project:

  • Pull together a small planning community. It needs to be a group effort from the very beginning.
  • Do the legwork. Organize meetings, settle on a site and put together an initial set of by-laws that make it possible for everyone to share one garden without conflict. For example, establish whether it’s okay to bring your dog to the garden, let friends pick from your plot, etc. Have a mechanism in place for giving a person’s plot to the next person on the waiting list if their plot looks bad or if they move.
  • Engage people who are social and like making phone calls. This will help recruit the needed volunteers.
  • Find a prime location. There are many senior centers that make spaces available. Faith-based properties like churches and synagogues are great, and they tend to have access to water, buildings and parking lots. Homeowners associations often have to negotiate a site, which can be challenging. But oftentimes parks are a great site, and sometimes they provide water for you.

A community garden can thrive in a variety of unexpected places like vacant lots, rooftops, schoolyards and even street medians. They also have a way of turning neighbors into friends and bringing people closer together in the spirit of healthy, sustainable living. “It’s about getting people engaged and excited about digging in the dirt, learning about plants, growing and sharing fresh organic produce and eating healthy food”.  It can also be about helping others…

The project will rejuvenate physically detracting locations by building aesthetically pleasing sites, which incorporate an inviting and sustainable atmosphere. This will bring into the downtown area an interest for further revitalization. The 3 X 3 Project Farmer’s Market invites artisans of all kinds to participate to celebrate the diversity of Atlanta.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there are 6,600 displaced veterans on Atlanta streets every night. Tragically, approximately three of these Veterans commit suicide daily. The 3 X 3 Project hopes incorporating veterans into this program and working with partner organizations to help place them in nearby housing will give them a fresh start in life.Successful completion of the program will earn participants an Organic Farming Certification, allowing them to apply their skills to large and small-scale farming operations.

 

Proceeds from the farm are reinvested in farm upkeep and utilized to assist the homeless and disabled veterans of Atlanta. A portion of the produce will also be used to supplement the food supply of local shelters.  And sometimes they can even give a new lease on life to our veterans.

No one should have to endure homelessness. But Veterans face living on the streets at an alarming rate. Help us with your gift so we can give our heroes the support they need. Go to our website to find out how. http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/

 

Key Highlight: “by intensifying agriculture on existing land, and protecting remaining forests, we can eliminate emissions from land-use change.”

 

Sources: http://the3x3project.org/active-projects/the-atlanta-veterans-farmers-market/

 

 

Harper Lee

Published July 17, 2014 by Dianne Wing

To Kill a Mockingbird was Harper Lee’s one and only novel and has been acclaimed as one of the most important in American Literature. Gleaned from her own childhood memories, she reveals the prejudice and injustice of Southern Society in the 1930’s. While she insists the book is not an autobiography, the many parallels between Scout, the narrator and main character of the book, and Harper are very similar. This has been confirmed by author Truman Capote who grew up next door to the Lee’s and became Harper’s best friend and confidant. They must have been an odd pair for that era – Truman too soft for the boys and Harper too tough for the girls. They forged a friendship that lasted a lifetime – but had its ups and downs…more about that later.

The role of Boo Radley was played by little known actor, Robert Duvall, in his first major role.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird begins at the end. The novel opens with the adult Jean Louise “Scout” Finch writing, “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” By the time Jem finally gets around to breaking his arm more than 250 pages later, most readers will have forgotten they were ever warned. This echoes the way the whole book unfolds-in no special hurry, with lifelike indirection…where nothing happens all by itself. The two different story lines: the trial of a black man unjustly accused of raping a white woman and the saga of Boo Radley the ‘boogey man’ who lives down the street, slowly unfolds along parallel tracks that finally come together at the end.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD depicts life in a small Southern town as seen through the eyes of “Scout,” a spirited six-year-old tomboy and carries us on an odyssey through the fires of prejudice and injustice in 1932 Alabama. The author of To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee grew up in Monroeville, a small rural Alabama town that was very much like Scout’s hometown of Maycomb.

To Kill a Mocking Bird

Scout’s hometown was like so many small rural Southern towns of that time…

Harper was the daughter of a progressive Southern lawyer, just like Atticus Finch, Scout’s father. Like Scout, she too, was a ‘spirited tomboy’, and like Scout, she grew up without her mother.

Scout, Atticus, and Jem

 

Truman Capote, was Harper’s next door neighbor as a child as well as her best friend. They must have been two odd ducks back then – Capote too soft for the boys, and Harper too tough for the girls. Her cussing was unconscious; she picked her clothes for their practicality; she had a quick wit and easy humor; Harper Lee did not seek other’s approval. “Her right to live as she pleased was not up for negotiation. It was nobody’s business.”

 

Harper Lee was not your typical southern girl. Like Scout, she was a tomboy. And like Scout’s father Atticus Finch, Harper’s own father encouraged his children to think for themselves and care about others. Born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, Harper Lee was the youngest of 4 girls. Her mother suffered from mental illness and was absent from Harper’s life most of the time. Scout also grew up without a mother. Harper grew up thinking she would follow her father and her older sister Alice as an attorney.

Harper at home. She seldom strayed far from her front porch…

But in high school she developed an interest in English literature that never left her. She was in her junior year at Oxford University before she realized that writing, not the law, was her true calling. In 1949, at the age of 23, she packed her bags and left for NYC to pursue her dream. It was there that she reunited with Capote who was now a literary rising star. He introduced her to Broadway composer Michael Martin Brown and his wife Joy who gave her a great gift – time. Recognizing her talent, they offered to support her for a year and allow her to write full-time on her manuscript that was later to be called “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Up to that point, she had worked several jobs, barely making ends meet, with little time for writing…she accepted.

After completing her manuscript she worked alongside Capote, travelling with him and serving as his research assistant while he worked on his novel: “In Cold Blood”. She was a great asset to Capote as Harper had a way of relating to small town life and the people who lived there that Capote did not. Her contributions to his work was invaluable and she gave him all her meticulous notes on the trial of the Cutter Family – the subject of his book.

By 1960 her book had been published and in 1961 it won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize among other literary awards. In 1962 Horton Foote wrote the film adaptation that went on to earn eight Academy Award nominations, winning four.


In 2003, Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch was deemed the greatest film hero of the Century by  the American Film Institute.


Capote was not amused by Harper’s fame…

This did not please her lifelong friend Truman Capote who was quite jealous. To get even, in spite of her contributions to his novel, Truman did not give her any credit for her work and dedicated his novel to his lover instead.

Harper was hurt but forgave him for his betrayal. And why not? Her legacy was just beginning…in 1966 Lyndon Johnson appointed her to the National Council of Arts. In 2007 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President G.W. Bush and in 2010 President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts. There were many other prestigious awards in between.

Today, the book is just as  powerful as it was when first published in the 60’s. We understand what Harper Lee was trying to say about civil rights, prejudice, tolerance and the courage it took to change society in the South during that time. We can appreciate the bravery, or maybe the audacity,  it took for her to say it in a time when women were just as suppressed as blacks.

To Kill a Mockingbird has sold more than thirty million copies in eighteen languages. According to biographer Charles J. Shields, Lee was unprepared for the amount of personal attention associated with writing a bestseller. Ever since, she has led a quiet and guardedly private life. As Sheriff Tate says of Boo Radley, “draggin’ him with his shy ways into the limelight-to me, that’s a sin.” So it would be with Harper Lee.

Harper Lee is now 86 still lives in Monroeville, Alabama. She never wrote another book. But for me, the one she did write was enough.

 

 

 

Take That, Bob Corker: VW Chattanooga Has UAW AND SUV

Published July 14, 2014 by Dianne Wing

Dianne Wing:

Today Volkswagen announced the Chattanooga plant will manufacture VW’s new SUV line, a move expected to bring some 1,350 jobs to Tennessee.

Suck on that, Bob Corker.

Originally posted on Southern Beale:

Oh, my! Major Tennessee Republican FAIL: On Friday, the United Auto Workers established a local union to represent workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Today Volkswagen announced the Chattanooga plant will manufacture VW’s new SUV line, a move expected to bring some 1,350 jobs to Tennessee.

Suck on that, Bob Corker.

(For more on this, read here, here and here.

View original

A Refugee Crisis, Not an Immigration Crisis – NYTimes.com

Published July 13, 2014 by Dianne Wing

A Refugee Crisis, Not an Immigration Crisis – NYTimes.com

By sending these children away, “you are handing them a death sentence,” says José Arnulfo Ochoa Ochoa, an expert in Honduras with World Vision International, a Christian humanitarian aid group. This abrogates international conventions we have signed and undermines our credibility as a humane country. It would be a disgrace if this wealthy nation turned its back on the 52,000 children who have arrived since October, many of them legitimate refugees.

This is not how a great nation treats children.  Read on…

 

 

via A Refugee Crisis, Not an Immigration Crisis – NYTimes.com.

Why can’t you ladyfolk be nicer when explaining feminism to us? [trigger warning]

Published July 13, 2014 by Dianne Wing

Every three minutes, a woman is raped. Every eighteen seconds, a woman is beaten. The number one cause of death to pregnant women is domestic partner violence (ponder that for a moment – how sick is that?). For men, the number one cause of death in the workplace is work-related accidents, while the number one cause of workplace death for women is when an abused woman tries to leave her abuser and he shows up at her workplace and kills her there. Studies find that men’s number one fear of women is that a woman will laugh at them, while women’s number one fear of men is that one will kill them.  Read on…

 

 

Why can’t you ladyfolk be nicer when explaining feminism to us? [trigger warning].

Conflagration Scotus

Published July 4, 2014 by Dianne Wing

I am a woman. I gave birth. It was painful. Excruciating. Agony. No one knows. I do.

My child knows no one other purview until it gulps air outside of me. Until it leaves my womb it belongs to me and no one else. No other body, governmental or even judicial matters at all to me.

Not as far as I’m concerned anyway.

I really don’t care what you have to say.

I cannot stand five catholic men in black robes who would decide anything for me or the child in my body. I loathe you for trying. Your ignorance. Your arrogance. Your hubris. When the day comes I want to relinquish control of my life, my child’s life, to the likes of you, I’ll let you know. It will have a big fancy seal. It will be on parchment. Sheepskin. You’ll know. Champagne and caviar.

Until then, shut the fuck up.

We all know you think it’s your religious privilege. We all know you think you’re somehow entitled to a voice here. A heavy legislative hand. A right. But you are wrong. You don’t. You can’t. You won’t. You can’t tell me what contraception to use anymore than you can tell me what to do with my womb. My body. You stand there, collecting your filthy lucre from the dirtier angels of our filthiest nature and presume to define sin for me.

Fuck you.

You took a stand on the side of a company that wears its hypocrisy on its goddamn face. They invest in and make money off of the manufacture of contraceptive products. They willingly paid for the objectionable products for their employees for years. Decades. What changed besides Obamacare? They say their mission is to prevent abortion but the only net gain from this will be more abortion.

By the way, they say the contraceptive products they won’t pay for kill babies. Wrong. Completely wrong. What they do is prevent fertilization. No beings. No babies. How did we get to a place where the Supreme Court is guilty of science denial while listening to and valuing the opinions of clerics and wizards?

Five Roman Catholic men who wear black robes to work.

In this process you would willingly consign me to a coat hanger.

I am a man and I do not accept this jurisprudence. It is the antithesis of jurisprudence.

But I am a woman too.

It’s like your whole reason is to make sure it’s born.

After that, it’s nobodies business but mine. Ironic how you grab responsibility before it’s born and surrender it completely the second after. How do adult white men entertain the notion that they somehow get to champion the fetus and forgo the child?

Jackasses.

They are the last people.

Then, some sonafabitching congressman comes along to make my last stand.

To pretend to speak for me and all the unborn.

I am a woman and I have given birth and if I begin to understand that delivery might mean my death, I get to decide what to do. If that child will be born inside out? My problem. If that child is born with whatever disability? My problem.

Not yours.

Fuck off.

The same goes for my contraception. Sometimes it’s to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. But 56% of the women in this country that avail themselves of contraceptive medication have it prescribed to them by doctors for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. Sometimes it’s to prevent my spending days in bed writhing in the kind of pain that makes botulism or ebola look Fischer Price. Sometimes it’s to reduce my risk of certain cancers. Viruses. You don’t know. You can’t you bastards. I am a woman and you are not.

I can not countenance five greasy old academic males deciding any of this shit. It’s none of their business.

None at all.

I am a woman.

I would make each of you pregnant tomorrow morning if I could.

Or, I would visit the menstrual cycle upon each of you if I could.

Then we would see who the women are.

That would be awesome.

Bitches.

I am a man speaking for women.

Drinks for my friends.

Reblogged from Brain Spank Author: Michael Douglass http://www.brainspank.org/2014/07/conflagration-scotus/

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