At the writing of this blog, 39 states out of the 50 U.S. states have passed legislation to prevent women from having the right to make choices concerning their bodies. Thirty-nine states have passed laws to not allow women the freedom to choose their destinies or just to be. Those laws block a woman’s right to make decisions that only women who will be responsible for the results of those choices can and should be able to make. THE OVA NETWORK believes that when we know about something but do nothing about it, we are giving silent consent to the offense. We are therefore calling for the signing of a petition to protest the passing of these laws.
THE OVA NETWORK is a Facebook online support group created for women. The following is its description: “The Ova Network is dedicated to and for women everywhere. Its purpose is to provide a place and voice for women, and the men who care about and respect them, to connect, share and celebrate womanhood. Questions and answers and stories of triumphs and defeats, victories and losses are welcome to help each other grow and change.”
Members of THE OVA NETWORK, in representing all women, understand the seriousness and harm created in the making of laws to control the rights of women to choose. As women, they know how it feels to make decisions concerning protection or elimination of parts of their bodies in their own best interest. They know the stress of desiring sex, but not wanting to get pregnant, the abasement of having a pelvic exam or an ultrasound or an abortion and also their relief. Some have endured rape, familial sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancy, rape by strangers and loved ones, or just the mistake of a night of fun and pleasure.
Regardless of the circumstances, or socio-economic status, we believe it should only be the choice and decision of the women involved, and not that of any legislator, male or female. We, therefore, protest these laws which restrict any’s woman’s right to choose and ask that you support the efforts of our protest through the process of this petition.
March 22, 2012 No Comments
As we continue to support the challenge against states using voter I.D. laws as a way to disenfranchise the poor and minorities, we submit this update. Admittedly, the need for citizens to identify themselves serves many purposes beyond voting. But when the need to identify oneself in order to vote causes a hardship, or the necessary papers are unobtainable, requiring them in order to vote takes on another connotation, one of discrimination and injustice.
One vote for one person is the most obvious in needing I.D., but I.D. also displays one’s address, legality of citizenship, and eligible voting age. The problem with requiring I.D. for poor and minority voters is their not having the money and/or the information of how and where to obtain the I.D. in the first place.
If a state-certified I.D. is required, many difficult and costly stumbling blocks stand in the way. If the voter has to have a birth certificate, it costs to obtain. If the voter has a name different from the one on the birth certificate, the voter has to have a marriage license or divorce papers, which costs to obtain. If the voter does not or cannot produce a birth certificate, there are many facts that must be proven of when and where they were born, which may or may not be obtainable due to the inability to read, loss of proof, or the inability to find someone who can provide the proof. If the voter is adopted, born in another country, or English is not their first language, the obstacles can be insurmountable.
The opportunity to vote should be the right of all eligible citizens of the U.S. Adding The Right to Vote Amendment to the Constitution is fast and obviously becoming the only solution to this national problem. In the meantime, we hope the data contained below is helpful in obtaining I.D. no matter the purpose.
February 26, 2012 No Comments
OCCUPY POVERTY (OP) joins together with Del Paso Heights residents upset with what they are calling “unfair treatment” in the predominately black, low income neighborhood in Sacramento, California. And those residents have decided to organize and fight back. The Del Paso Heights Community Association consists primarily of parents who are standing up for their security against the campus police department, and for the education of their children by the Twin Rivers Unified School District.
The impetus for this activity began when a school district police officer went off campus to make a traffic stop against Tyrone Smith. The officer and Smith engaged in a foot race and Smith was subsequently charged with shooting the officer during the chase. The officer is expected to recover from his wounds, but Smith died a short while later in police custody.
Smith’s death initiated an investigation into the jurisdictions and parameters of campus police. It was during this investigation that a tee shirt designed and sold by the Twin Rivers Police Department was discovered. The tee shirt depicts a child behind bars with the message: “You raise them. We cage them.” This obviously contemptuous message has offended and infuriated parents and spurred them into action.
Organizers of the Del Paso Heights Community Association are therefore registering voters to remove the current school board because parents are upset about the failure of their children in Twin Rivers Schools. According to data reportedly provided by Superintendent Frank Porter, it will take black children “twenty years to close the achievement gap.”
OCCUPY POVERTY stands in support of the parents and their determination to bring better safety and education to their community for the benefit of their children.
November 12, 2011 No Comments
For most Americans, it is hard to understand how it feels to be homeless. To not be able to turn the key and walk into their warm, cozy, personal environment is beyond their imagination. But to thousands of Americans, not having a place to call home is their daily reality.
In 1983, I was homeless for almost a year. I lived in a hotel for homeless families. It was a converted 5-story transient hotel converted into a shelter, located in the dreaded Tenderloin of San Francisco. I moved into my “home”, a single room with a bath, for me and my two young sons.
The circumstances of our becoming homeless is very long and too complicated for this submission, but suffice it to say, my life was in turmoil. As was the other 49 families in the hotel.
For the first couple of months, we were required every two weeks to pack all our belongings, move to another hotel down the street for a couple of nights, then return to our hotel where we were given a different room. The purpose of this musical relocation was for us not to establish residency. Some of the more lucid residents were able after a few months, however, to find lawyers willing to fight to have this situation revoked and we were able to remain in one room for the duration of our stay.
Although that was a long time ago, the situation of homelessness exists for many Americans families, and for many more, the crises of limited income, home foreclosures, and unemployment brings the threat of becoming homeless closer and closer.
The demands of OCCUPY WALL STREET and OCCUPY POVERTY is for our government and the powers-that-be to take the plight of the homeless into consideration when funds are dispensed and bills and laws enacted. Protesters are experiencing the nightly cruelty of the homeless by being forcefully removed from our parks, but the homeless are subjected to this victimization on a consistent basis.
We are grateful for those protesters willing to stand up, so that one day others maybe able to lie down in safety and comfort.
November 10, 2011 No Comments
In solidarity with the OCCUPY WALL STREET movement, OCCUPY POVERTY’s mission is to expose those activities against the most vulnerable of our citizens: the poor. One segment of the poor that is being continuously victimized are the parents and children involved in child abuse cases. In a recent investigation by the California State Auditor, it was discovered that nearly 600 homes out of 1000 private foster family homes where children had been placed were also the addresses of registered sex offenders.
Cited for this problem was the lack of funds, although the use of private foster family agencies has increased in the last 10 years with an additional $327 million in payments, because private foster homes are paid at a higher rate than those operated by the state or county. In the meantime, entitlement payments and wages for families of those children have decreased tremendously in the last 10 years. In addition, one of the primary reasons to uphold a case of child abuse against parents, and place children in out-of-home placement or foster care, is poverty.
Since the enactment of the War on Drugs in the 80s, this government attack on families has wreaked havoc with the destruction of thousands of families and children being repeatedly moved from home to home while growing up in foster care. In the past, children were removed based on hear-say and suspicion, but policies now include some measure of prevention, although it is still limited in its scope. Nevertheless, it is the duty of the Department of Social Services to provide protection for the children they find cause to remove from their homes.
The report continues to state that, “The counties we visited admit to placing children with these agencies out of convenience rather than for elevated treatment needs as originally intended.” Therefore, these placements were not due to advanced care for the children, but out of neglect, risk taking, and error by Child Protective Services. These are the same charges most often levied against parents when children are removed from their care.
OCCUPY POVERTY believes that children of primarily poor people are subjected to further abuse and harm by being placed in the homes of registered sex offenders. The possibilities of children being exposed to illicit and immoral treatment and activities are increased at the hands of these convicted criminals as opposed to their parents who may only lack the education, training, and ability to appropriately parent their children.
October 28, 2011 No Comments
I OCCUPY POVERTY, and I’m not alone. There are millions of Americans who have been or are becoming improvised because of the greed, arrogance, corruption and lack of compassion of both our government, and people with big money and power.
As far as the upper 1% of Americans are concerned, I am a non-entity except when it comes to utilizing me as an example, a scapegoat, or a victim to cut back on entitlements and government spending. Then my fixed income suddenly becomes un-fixed and is cut down to shore up mismanaged spending.
And because there was no voice crying out about the injustice to which I am subjected, there was no one to assist me in fighting this iniquity … until now. OCCUPY WALL STREET arrived and the entire picture of my condition and that of millions around the world has changed.
Now there are faces of outrage and demanding voices to speak for those who have been silently waiting; and there are tens of thousands to represent the file folders or case numbers to which we have been relegated. There are determined human beings insistent on obtaining equity, compassion and respect.
Although I OCCUPY POVERTY, I am not, nor have I been lazy or trifling. I have worked, paid into the system, gotten an education and training, never been arrested, been a home owner, tried to become self-sufficient, did volunteer work, voted in every election, and performed my civic duties to the best of my ability. I take full responsibility for my life.
But try though I might, I like so many others, have not been able to advance from my position. Some may say that it is our own fault, and we must take responsibility for the choices we made in life, and to an extent that’s true. However, the disadvantage of one’s origin of birth, color, sexual preference, class, status, age, health, sex, or beliefs should not be a reason to punish or penalize. Our humanity should be enough to qualify for equality.
October 24, 2011 No Comments
Any parent or caretaker will tell you that one of the most frustrating situations in child rearing is when your precious little one learns to say “no.” Even at their young age, the child recognizes the power behind the word or the back and forth shake of their tousled heads.
No matter the question or the extended offer, a swift “no” is the response, and from that stubborn position bargaining must begin to try to get cooperation. Saying no is not something we are born knowing. We are taught the word and the power is transferred to us from the adults or older siblings in our lives.
The natural curiosity of a child is the usual vehicle which starts the ride into the land of no. Picking up, tying to fondle, and touching objects, the wrong foods, anything on the floor, pets, or small objects too imperceptible for anyone over 5 becomes irresistible and carries with their handling a swift “no.” Sometimes the word is accompanied with a smack on the hand or bottom for reinforcement.
Who wouldn’t learn very early on that this word has great power, and why shouldn’t I use it for myself? But what happens to that attitude as we get older? Going through life we learn that “no” is often too powerful. Particularly if we will get a smack for saying it. So we learn to shake our heads, roll our eyes, or start to cry. As we get older, we use terms like “maybe,” “I don’t care,” “I’ll think about it,” “I’ll let you know,” “I’ll get back to you on that,” and other phrases that put off the inevitable until later. But the hint is we’re really saying “no.”
Why can’t we say “no”? Is it a polite way not to show rejection? Are we trying to avoid confrontation, or have we been conditioned not to express our true feelings about something and have been too socially intimidated to take the chance of offending someone?
But who do we really offend when we don’t say “no”? We offend ourselves in not saying an infinitive no because it reduces our principles little by little. One of the greatest powers we possess is our personal authority to believe and think for our own well being. Saying no is a powerful way of being our authentic selves. It is not taking as much from the other as it is keeping much for ourselves.
A dichotomy of parenting is how the word we use to protect our babies becomes a weapon to lessen their sense of worth later in life. For reducing self-esteem is clearly not the intent of catching Little Johnnie or Susie just before they touch the hot stove or run into the street. There is power in the word no, but having the strength to wield it becomes the issue later in life.
February 12, 2011 1 Comment
Along with being outside in a natural setting, one of my favorite places for meditation and inspiration is in the shower. When I am in the shower, I feel the most vulnerable but also the most secure. There I feel closer to God than almost anywhere else.
The fall of the hot water cascading over my skin makes me feel united with one of the most powerful forces in creation while giving me feelings of authority and humbleness. In the shower is where I often go to cry, to celebrate, to mourn, to laugh, to be a child again…if only for those precious minutes.
Water has always fascinated me as a symbol and manifestation of God’s spirit and supremacy. Even in its destructive wake of flood and crashing waves, there is a sense of dominion without limitations. And that power fortifies my own desire for freedom and control when it and I meld as one in the shower. The greatness of the water is both within and without me.
Showering has become something more than an expected and routine behavior or a daily ritual to me. It often takes on a sacred overtone. In its deluge I am touched, cleansed, baptized, blessed, refreshed and renewed. My tears add to its volume, my soul is stirred, and I am cuddled like a child by its embrace. The spirit of God is present in its unrivaled perfection and that lets me know I’m not alone.
Each magnificent drop of water is a world unto itself and a part of the whole. The joy of showers remind me that I am also as one with creation’s beauty and a receiver of its wonderful blessings.
January 25, 2011 1 Comment
This is a subject I wish I did not have to address, but I am receiving too many comments that are repetitions of the same thing, in other words…SPAM! I truly appreciate the attention I am receiving for my work, but trying to weed through all the spam is really distracting from continuing with providing articles. I try to read each comment and personally respond to quite a few, but the task has become quite tedious of late.
I know there are many who use translators and perhaps it is easier to make one good comment and use it throughout, but I also use translators to respond and it doesn’t take that long to do. For many of the articles, lively discussion has become impossible because of the number of comments that are not relevant to the topic of the post.
This plea is not to stop or reduce the number of wonderful comments I receive, but offered in the interest of other readers who are making comments about the number of redundant comments. So I am asking that you please continue to let me hear from you, but reduce your self-promotion and advertising, and as of 1/21/2011, any repeated comments and those which do not address a specific subject will be marked as spam and deleted.
Please help me make this site a beneficial one for everyone who reads it.
Thank you, Paris
January 20, 2011 1 Comment
From a very young age I didn’t think I was different, but I did feel set apart. There seemed to be some familial dissimilarity between me and my siblings who are an older sister and brother and a younger sister, born 4 years later on my birthday. Even with our shared birthdays, there still seemed to be a block between us.
I spent most of my inquisitive time with my father because my mother seemed to find fault with everything I did or said, including the dissenting mumblings under my breath for which I would often get a smack in the mouth. So I grew up under strained circumstances that made me aware of being in conflict with most of the people in my life.
Besides feeling separated from my family, my extreme thinness and gawkiness had an effect on friendships which limited my associations with my peers of both sexes. I was too quiet and introverted for the girls, and felt too unattractive and shy for the boys. As a result, I married the first man who came along when I was 19 just to escape my mother’s overbearing ways.
The marriage turned into a disaster with my husband’s infidelity, which coincided with my turning 21 and the happening days of the 60s. So for the next 13 years I lived a life of experimentation with drugs and sex, with people who had different slants, beliefs and attitudes unlike those with which I had been brought up.
My life continued its spiraling into the world of strong-willed activity until 1978 when I relocated to another state and sought a different spiritual path from the one I had been traveling. Although I found a deeper relationship with my concept of “God,” life wasn’t quite finished with me, and my period of metamorphosis was yet to come.
I met my “soul mate,” fell in love and added 2 more children to the 4 I already had with my husband. This man and I ended our violent and dysfunctional relationship involved in the throes of a civil child abuse case in 1988, and that was when my life took a turn and my period of greater enlightenment began.
Sitting in court during the trial, and feeling completely anguished and sorry for myself, a voice spoke to my spirit and told me to “Pay attention.” These two simple words changed the perception of who and why I exist until today. I began to look outside myself at my life and the people in it to realize that I was not the only one “going through” something. The first victims I recognized were my sons and all the other children in their current situation of foster care or out-of-home placement.
There were many other parents, children and families just like me who were or had been alone, lonely, rejected, ignored and abandoned. But the voice made me realize that regardless of our circumstances, guilt or innocent, we are never alone. There is a supreme compassionate spirit, and my prayers which my mother said only went to the ceiling had not been rejected, were not being ignored, nor had I been abandoned. I might have felt lonely at times, but there was a power within me and in all of creation which had compassion for me and cared about my well-being.
The realization of the need to know that source of compassion struck me to the core, and from that time on I have felt it is my responsibility to give awareness of that source to others. So I blog about it and talk about it not only to those like me, but to everyone in which I came in contact, and I have become an advocate for those on the fringe, those considered “different.”
My understanding of the need to know about compassion goes deep into my moral fiber. I believe my experiences through life have groomed me for the mission I accept each day. If I am able to add value to just one life through the sharing of my experiences, I feel I have been able to extend the consideration that was shown to me. We are all human beings. One with the spirit of creation; and worthy of forgiveness, understanding, tolerance, and acceptance. But most of all, we are worthy of compassion.
January 16, 2011 2 Comments