Living Frugal #1

Monica, I remember a conversation we had last year. You said that you were aiming for a “uniform,” clothing you could just wear and not stress out about. I have been keeping this thought in mind as I adapt my wardrobe for maximum comfort and at least a bit of style. I have mobility disabilities and three upcoming surgeries.

I have not been able to work outside the home since 2009. I did not know what was wrong with me, and neither did my doctors. I learned in early 2014 that I had lumbar stenosis with severe neurogenic claudication. Silly me. I was calling it “thing that hurt like a sumbeach.” I had never even heard of the condition until my MRI results came in.

On December 20, 2013 I went to ER with bone-grinding body-wide relentless pain that had been coming on with ever more frequency and intensity over the past several years. From that visit I was diagnosed with LS, but not a severely degenerated left hip. It is a textbook example of a deeply deteriorated function. The pain is immense and constant punctuated by jarring shocks from my movements. Sometimes I worry that the ball or socket will just give away one day because there’s nothing left to hold them together.

I need to limit physical and emotional stress due to non-essential tasks. I am learning to delegate, now that I have some In Home Health Care support.

Freya helped me get rid of 3/4 of my wardrobe before my move to Richmond. I love looking in my closet now. I see more items that I can release.

Now it seems to me that I was keeping all those clothes just because I liked a certain aspect of the item.  Perhaps the color, perhaps the cut, or the ruffle. Turns out I wasn’t as attached to them as I thought. And for the ADD person, simplicity is necessary.

Posted in Disability, They'd Rather We Just Die | Leave a comment

Google: why don’t I see the movie “Black Orpheus” in your suggested sites?

Google, you have rushed right past mediocre and on into evil. When I began to type black o nothing came up. I had to type in the EXACT WORDS Black Orpheus to get to a website with normal info. WHY?

If you haven’t seen Black Orpheus, invite your responsible teenagers into the room and pop a bunch of popcorn. Several tissue boxes should be ready-to-hand. It is a cultural landmark on the level of Porgy and Bess, yet invisible on the big bad Google.

This story, a retelling of the ancient Greek drama Orpheus and Eurydice, charms and engages us.

I went on a research binge after I saw it. I watched the director’s cut. What a delightful week’s worth of entertainment.

Posted in Art & Life, Can't make this stuff up, Classism Racism Sexism, Everything We Know is Total BS, GOP Dirty Tricks, Letters to Obama, Torture and Other Government Programs, Ubuntu, Uncategorized | Comments Off

The people of Israel are out on the street!

OMG. Look at this. The people of Israel are out on the street! This is horrifying.

What will Netanyahu do next with his power? Set off those nukes toward Iran? You know he’s dying to do it.

Netanyahu is psycho. Who allows him to remain in power? Gee, I don’t know. What do you think? Could it be the American taxpayer? Could he be close buddies with John Kerry?

Tell Washington that their Israeli friends are no longer welcome to our money.

If we stop this blood and treasure relationship, we could fix our roads and hire more teachers. Why? Because we could stop paying Egypt too. As you know, Egypt receives the second highest foreign aid package in the world.

If Israel got $3 billion, Egypt got $2,000,000,000. That’s ten figures. How many figures do you make per year? I had to type it out the long way so I could remember just how much money a billion was. I am becoming numb to this billion figure, which kind of shocks me.

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, 1percent, Authoritarianism, Classism Racism Sexism, Evil Capitalism101, Fascism, Fascism, Fascist America, Free Market Paradigm, Geopolitics, military industrial complex, nuclear fallout, Patriarchy, This is bad. | Comments Off

Oakland Studio Sublet

It’s PINK. It has TURRETS.

See it here at Google Maps. See photos below.

Take a close look at this flexible long-term sublet that includes semi-sheltered parking at the same level as the unit.

$1,200 per month, includes parking. Plus PGE (average $60 per month).

Deposit $1,000.

Large studio with sophisticated charm in a 1927 building claimed to be one of architect Julia Morgan’s designs.

I have a king-size bed, a small loveseat, office furniture, bookshelves, two small dressers, and a large round dining table in the living area. (Unit offered UNfurnished.)

NO DOGS. NO CATS. I have allergies. Birds OK.

Includes very close parking, less than 100 ft. to my door.

  • Elevator. I am on the third story. I can walk out the door on this level to get to my very close parking place behind the building.
  • Kitchen is spacious and has enough room for a small table and chairs.
  • Lovely rooftop seating area ideal for viewing scores of fireworks displays.
  • The rooftop has Oakland and San Francisco views.
  • 9ft. ceilings
  • Old World charm with ceiling and floor tiled entry and fancy woodwork.
  • Laundry in building.
  • Will be mostly unfurnished.
  • Quiet neighborhood, good building neighbors, homes show pride of ownership in this area.
  • Just over the hill from Lake Merritt and Grand/Lake Village.
  • Bus stop 150 feet from front door.
  • It’s a sweet spot. What else can I say?
  • deborahlake at
  • (415) 806-1903


C-indoor entry C_mainapt C-entry to kitchen C_mainapt C_kitchen

IKBTICDSC00033C-outdoor entrykitchen4kitchen1

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10 good examples of the ways bad logic leads to bad conclusions

Here’s another poor example of bad propaganda about cannabis. This author has an addicitive personality and she got addicted to marijuana. She could just as well become addicted to any other substance she took, including sugar and chocolate. Therefore everyone with an addictive personality is going to get addicted to cannabis, in her view. That’s the trouble with this article: it is her view only from her particular addiction.

I feel very badly for her. I wish that she had not suffered so. However, her reaction to the medicine was far outside the ordinary.

Cannabis may show up to be an addictive substance in the psychological sense. It makes us feel better, with fewer side effects, than most other pain relievers. Cannabis is not an addictive substance in the same way that opioids such as heroin and speed-drugs such as meth are addictive. There is no physical withdrawal, for most users. Most users can take it or leave it. Many of us discover lifesaving properties in the medicine. Then one might say that life is addictive.

People get addicted to all sorts of strange things. Yes, by that I mean such awful things as Rice Krispie Treats. Ewwww!

When people read a bad article like this they have one of two reactions: they compare it against other information they have and make a new decision, or they use it to justify an erroneously-held view.

Among the many examples of defective reasoning include:

If you take marijuana, you will end up wanting to wear a beard and an ugly stocking cap, like the guy in the masthead.

Another breathlessly dreadful passage:

The strength of pot varies, and it’s impossible to predict its effect. How you react to marijuana depends on your size, what you’ve eaten, the medications you take. As I tapered off, one hit from a pipe or bong could leave me reeling, as if I’d had five drinks.

Wrong. The effect of cannabis is within one statistical variation from the norm. In a modern innovation which will shock the non-scientific part of the audience, people are able to purchase cannibis based on not only visual and aroma cues, but also for Indica/Sativa level and THC and THCA quantities. These are tested in labs just like your drug company uses.

So for now, this is two of the ten bad examples. Stay tuned for more! It’s just me here, ya know, and it’s slow going.

Posted in Can't make this stuff up, Coping for disabled and underemployed people, Drug War, Evil Capitalism101 | Comments Off

“Wow, the hits just keep on comin!” inspired by Five Studies Show How Wealth Warps Your Soul

What is a market? What is capitalism? Why regulation?

(I wrote in response to a conversation between Kir Politicoid and Ann Watson at the comments section of Alternet.) Maybe we are having a failure to communicate across the disciplines?

A market is not a word that means capitalism. Every economic system creates a market. Its the nature of the market and its common currency that varies.

There are laissez-faire capitalist markets in low-regulation countries and better-regulated capitalist markets in civilized society. (Yes, I know i am using laoaded terms. I do it for a good reason.) Laws enacted during the last century saved us from the worst effects of the ruinous pollution all around us. Laws protect normal hardworking families from corporate crimes.

Regulations have the opposite effect: they allow companies to pollute the land and sea and leave the rest of us to die poor, in horrible pain from the diseases their activities create. Marco Rubio HATES that we want to punish these evildoers. I think that Marco Rubio is Satan.

Big corporations will try to kid you that they have perfectly good reasons for dumping X into our drinking water and then refusing to pay court-ordered damages to the community injured by their bad acts.

Big corporations love regulation for yet another reason: the penalties for avoiding a regulation are much cheaper to pay, avoid, or pursue in court than defending the violation of an actual LAW.


There are socialistic markets in tribal and band cultures. The chief makes sure that everyone gets enough of what they need so that no rivalries based on wealth occur. I like that idea. We all help take care of each other.

Anthropologists say that a cultural band of about 150 people is the optimally-functional size. My experience attests to that low maximum. Our 4,000-student high schools are factories of alienation and anonymity.

Inspired by Five Studies Show How Wealth Warps Your Soul 

Posted in 14 signs of fascism, 1percent, Classism Racism Sexism, Corporate Crimes | Comments Off

More on 2 cheers for the Endangered Species Act

by Olivia LaRosa, December 31, 2014

I wrote “2 cheers for the Endangered Species Act” round about 2010. My point then is the same as my point now.

The Act was intended to help us gauge the habitability of an area by keeping track of the easily-trackable species.

All the time, I hear people tell me how silly it is to try to save a species, when they don’t understand that the species “we libs” want to save is our own. If a small plant or animal cannot survive in a tainted environment, it’s just a matter of time before the poisons work their way up the food chain.

I think that this is the reason we have so much cancer now. The poisons are killing people at ever growing rates. My granddaughter, one of those killed.


(A link to some fun Oakland doings.

Posted in 99%, Culture of Death, Decline and Fall, Evil Capitalism101, Health Policy | Comments Off

Study to Examine Effects of Artificial Intelligence: NYT & Comments




Posted in Art & Life, Corporate Crimes, Cultural Economics, Culture of Death, Humor Satire Parody, Job Creation, Labor Law and Policy | Comments Off

Infanticide as a tactic to increase dominant males’ opportunity for sex

by Olivia LaRosa, November 20, 2014

“The study confirms that infanticide isn’t some curious thing caused by humans encroaching on animal territory, it is a male tactic to improve their mating opportunities,” said Kit Opie, from the University College London.

If the female is involved in caring for an infant, the male baboon feels neglected. The ownership of the infant lies with the mother.

It also appears that the females of these species have come up with a strategy to prevent the males from killing their young and this involves mating with as many males as they can in a short time. This strategic promiscuity makes it difficult to discern the infant’s paternity and the males stop killing the young if there is the possibility that the offspring is their own.

Strategic promiscuity stops male baboons from asserting an ownership interest in an infant, and therefore the right to murder it.

“Infanticide primarily evolves in social mammals in which reproduction is monopolized by a minority of males,” the researchers wrote in their study, which was published in the journal Science on Nov. 14. “It has not promoted social counterstrategies such as female gregariousness, pair living, or changes in group size and sex ratio, but is successfully prevented by female sexual promiscuity, a paternity dilution strategy.”

Having lived in a nuclear family situation for most of my life, I can’t say I recommend it. The ideal family unit is the mother and her children. Men can drop in, but they are not to be relied upon for support. Mother and children receive sufficient income to raise children that can explore their potential to contribute to society.

Posted in Authoritarianism, Classism Racism Sexism, Elephants in the Room, Let's Talk About: The Man, Patriarchy, Public Health, sexism the idea that men are smarter than women | Comments Off

Another Billionaire “Dropout” Story

Elizabeth Holmes is a dropout and she’s a billionaire at 30. Her company’s technology will be in every Walgreen’s store in the nation.

Another “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” story of someone who worked rilly rilly hard to get ahead.

She was born in a hovel in a coal-mining town. Yes, the headline begs you to infer how unimportant a college education is, or ignores any advantages gained by having old-money-rich or talented parents. Class makes the difference in 92%  of these cases.

So I lied. She went to Stanford on the money her parents saved up for her to go to college. I promise you that 92% of Americans could not save enough money to send their children to Stanford. (Let’s stick with 92% becuz it is my favorite number to illustrate a statistic on the high end that I don’t want to look up.)

If she was really all that smart, she would have had a full-ride academic scholarship to Stanford.

Bill Gates famously dropped out of college to found Microsoft. People forget to note that he dropped out of Harvard and that his father was a fabulously rich attorney who was the creme de la creme of Seattle society.

George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, Donald Trump, and hundreds more of our opinion-makers and idols are the children of the rich. Born on third base and thinking they hit a homer, far too many of these entitled pompous “leaders” lack empathy and compassion for their fellow human beings.

“Mark Zuckerberg is the son of dentist Edward Zuckerberg and psychiatrist Karen Kempner.

“At Ardsley High School, Zuckerberg excelled in classics. He transferred to Phillips Exeter Academy in his junior year, where he won prizes in science (math, astronomy and physics) and classical studies.”

Nothing helps a kid succeed in life more than a rich parent.

Posted in 1percent, Civil Society, Education | Comments Off