Posts Tagged With: newsletter

MEET AGITATOR, JIM HIGHTOWER.

DSC07631 (Copy)Jim Hightower writes the Hightower Lowdown, a national newsletter that exposes injustice in America, only he calls it exposing bushwackers, bullshitters, gooberheads, plasticized morons, moon howling…well, the adjectives, some invented by him, are numerous and humorous. He says he is an agitator…”the center post of the washing machine that gets out all the dirt.” And, right now, he doesn’t like the hucksters running a Democracy where 4 people, all of them hedge fund managers, each earned 10 Billion dollars last year, where 108 Kindergarten teachers split 1 million. The hedge fund managers pay taxes at a rate of 15% and the teachers pay at a rate of 35%. Democracy works best from the bottom up and includes everybody. That’s you and me folks. Its revolution time for people tired of being the fire hydrants for all of those top dogs. And, the chorus sang, Hallelujah.

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They did, but it wasn’t quite in that order. First, the Mother Lode Martin Luther King Jr. Chapter, active in our area for 23 years, drew over 500 people to hear Hightower speak. Amazing because this is a very white, rural community.

The program began with Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech on a movie screen. I had forgotten what a powerful and passionate speaker he was. It was an emotional moment to turn back the pages of time and remember, the women who died in a baptist church, Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of the bus, little girls being escorted to all white schools by the National Guard in the fight for equal rights for black Americans;  a fight that is on going to this day, 48 years after his death.  Hightower reminded us that Katie Stanton, and the jailed and punished suffragettes didn’t get the right to vote that they fought for either, but WE got it because of them.

And, that my friends is his point. Money now flows upward and the rich have so much money they can air condition hell while the poor and middle class struggles to make ends meet.

“We don’t want charity, we want economic justice. And Congress, the House and the President is stealing from us with a fountain pen.” He pointed to the current NAFTA agreement where 500 corporations and that included the Koch Brothers, met in secret, and hammered out an agreement and stuffed it down our throats without one member of a Union or anyone from the middle class and small business sitting at the table.

Hightower believes that people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who don’t accept money from the big super pacs can overcome the moneyed elites who have corrupted our politics and rigged our economy to squeeze the life out of the middle class.

Bernie’s average donation is $23. Hightower says, you can’t buy a presidency with $23. His campaign is about We The People. Hightower convinced me that, with Bernie, its time to rock the boat.

No one addresses him as Senator Sanders, he is just Bernie, and one of the poorest Senators in the pack. He hasn’t parlayed his position to great wealth like most national office holders have.

He came from a low-income working class family in Brooklyn. He first worked as a carpenter, then film maker, writer and agitator. An agitator in college during the 60’s, he moved to Vermont and began exposing Burlington money boys who ran the town for their own fun and profit. Then he stunned everyone by winning an election for Mayor in Burlington. Bernie has never abandoned his working class roots. I’ve changed my position to clearly stand with the candidate who says: “I can’t do this, but WE can.”

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The program ended with everyone singing the song:  We Shall Overcome. Hightower was available to talk to people at a reception after the program.

wecanpetition.moveon.org.

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ON THE WAY TO SLAB CITY.

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Our friend, Randy Vining was parked, along with us, at the Quechan Casino parking lot. I love his blog, that often includes his friends Wayne and Glen. I finally got to meet them. Glenn is a full timer at 44 years old, and produces music with his computer for Hollywood TV movies. Wayne writes a spiritual blog. These guys engaged in some serious philosophical discussions while here. We didn’t see much of Randy, but he came to wish us farewell. DSC02883 (Copy)

Headed for the Slabs, which I hadn’t visited since 2008 or 9, we crossed a long stretch of desert. New, on the roadside, what looked like saw horses tied together, are barriers to protect ATV riders from accidentally jumping up onto the roadside and injuring themselves.

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Pretty dunes mark our route on highway 8 West, and then later highway 115 West. We passed through the biggest town around here, Brawley, and then the smaller town of Calapatria, population about 7,000 if you include the 4,000 inmates in their prison.

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Calapatria has a flagpole 184 feet tall. Their claim to fame, so to speak. The city is 180 feet  below sea level, so their flag will always fly above sea level. We tend to think of them being out in the middle of nowhere. But, high school girls were happily chatting about boys and school and seem very content with their place. Who are we to judge?

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Just before you get to the slabs, or Slab City, is the famous Salvation Mountain built by Leonard Knight, who if I’m not mistaken, can no longer attend his mountain. The place is famous all over the world. Movies, books and television programs have been made about his place, but Leonard never changes. He was bullied in school and didn’t get much education. His car broke down at this spot and he considered it a message from God and began building his message of love of God. Interesting guy. Couldn’t find my pictures of him.

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The last time we visited, Leonard was having trouble with vandals stealing his meager funds from him. He was sleeping, then, in one of his vehicles. He built a warren for himself since then.DSC02892 (Copy)

He would paint over the same areas, over and over again because the desert sun fades the paint. The mountain can be walked on and is solid. The construction to the right was in the beginning phase on our last visit. Love IS universal, he has that right. He is a kind and gentle soul. The place was done with donated paint, much of it lead paint.

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And, then, Slab City. This is an old military guard station at the entrance to the city, since it was once a military base. I was trying to explain Slab City to my brother on the phone. He has never been, nor heard about it. He is in a rest home because one of the side affects of open heart surgery is blindness. His vision is impaired; he can’t read or even see television clearly. He is suffering from gout and can’t go home. Misery city for him, but I can read to him about Slab City on the phone later today.  DSC02897 (Copy)

The information kiosk is nearby. Randy loves the slabs, and speculates, “Can a random group of people organize themselves into a form of government?”  The answer is yes. They have rules, they live together and work together but do not trammel on another person’s rights. An interesting experiment. Randy has found, in his travels, other places that work that way, none quite as big as the slabs.

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The kiosk has a message board, and gives you the identification for their radio station.

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Under plastic permanent announcements.

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Travel N Pals have a sign. I wanted to buy a newspaper, now called a newsletter. It was once a one-pager for ten cents. Linda, the editor wasn’t home, but I bought one from her neighbor, Sandi Andrews. A three-pager for $3. Maps, the zip code, where services are located, events at the slabs, dates and times, and the hot news, a guy bit by a rattle snake made it. A well done little paper.

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You can hardly read this message from Linda, but live music under the stars at the Range, which is what you might call a night-club.  No music on Mondays, but the stars last night, with no light pollution?  Magnificent diamonds envelope you,  an experience you only get in places like this. Gorgeous.

We were supposed to meet Jim’s friend, Leo Perth, but he was MIA. Jim called his cell and his home in Oregon and did not get an answer. Hopefully we will find out he is okay. More on the slabs tomorrow.

 

 

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RV Newsletter Celebrates 10th Anniversary

If you want to know what;s going on in the wonderful world of RVing…this newsletter is for you.

http://rvnewsservice.com/?p=564

In other news…

This morning finds us still at Thousand Trails RV Resort in Chehalis, Washington. We were going to leave yesterday…but it turned out to be a windy and rainy day…so we changed our minds and stayed another day. Today we will continue on our southerly migration.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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I Visit “THE” Information Man Of…

the RVing World! If it has to do with RVing…Chuck Woodbury knows about it.

Yesterday I drove the one hour drive from my current camping spot in Monroe to meet Chuck Woodbury at his office in Edmunds, Washington. Chuck and I have chatted via email a few times in the last couple of years…but had not previously had a chance for a face-to-face meeting. Both of us have been RVing for many years…but have not managed to cross paths in all that time.

Chuck Woodbury is the editor of this, now electronic, weekly RVing newsletter which he has been writing for nearly ten years. In addition, Chuch writes several other RVing Blogs and runs the RV Bookstore…specializing, naturally, in books about the RVing lifestyle.

Here’s Chuck’s biography as taken from his newsletter…

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About the RVtravel.com editor
Chuck Woodbury has explored America by RV for nearly three decades. In the ’90s he published the quirky travel newspaper Out West about his adventures, and he was an “on the road” writer for the New York Times Syndicate. Nowadays, he lives near Seattle where he drinks massive amounts of coffee and travels often in his motorhome and sometimes by plane when vast expanses of saltwater would turn his RV into a leaky submarine. He is the host of the Better Business Bureau DVD “Buying a Recreational Vehicle,” the definitive guide to purchasing an RV the right way.

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We had a very enjoyable 2.5 hour visit comparing our RVing lifestyle experiences.

In the past I had queried Chuck about having my books in his RV bookstore and he was truthful…telling me my books were concerned with such a very small niche market…that he couldn’t handle them. I had absolutely no problems and understood fully.

So…while during my visit with him…I was greatly surprised when he suggested that we do a video interview and that he would use portions of it to promote my books in his weekly newsletter.

Here are some photos I took during my visit…

His “office” is in a warehouse in a nice business complex…

Here is the office…video studio and a portion of his storeroom…

Looking from the back of the storeroom towards the front door…

Finally, Chuch setting up the video camera for my interview…

Chuck told me that he has 21,000 regular subscribers to his newsletter and that it receives about 60,000 page hits a week!

If you are an RVer and are not reading his weekly newletter…you should be! If you are not an RVer…but have RVing friends…you need to tell them about Chuck and his weekly newsletter. Better yet send them a link so that can see and read it for themselves.

Here’s the link to Chuck’s latest newsletter…

http://rvtravel.com/issue490.shtml

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://lulu.com/panamaorbust

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