Reader’s Forum–Natesha Oliver

Natesha Oliver

Natesha Oliver on Primary Day in Missouri

 

Ratf**ked by David Daley is a “in Your face” hard reality about a major aspect of our political process. Drawing district lines seems to be just as important as voting itself or should I say the understanding of and the careful watching of how district lines are drawn should be just as important as the discussion of how we vote.

When I first heard the term “redistricting” I was in Mississippi and naturally assumed the issue stemmed from stopping the African American vote. I don’t doubt there was a time when that was probably the case but now it looks pretty damn clear that it’s not about stopping a race of people, although it is still about maintaining political control for a small group of people.

Just because Republicans got more brazen in their “unethical, dont understand how its not criminal” strategizing doesn’t negate the fact that both parties play this type of “game”.

Reading this book is infuriating!!! And I’m not talking about the need to vent type of thing, I’m talking about how can our Government continue to operate with impunity when it come to holding these Parties/Elected officials fully accountable?

It’s a dead democracy when those entrusted to uphold the moral sanctity, if You will, of politics are the very ones breaking the freaking laws of democracy.  The parties keep “isms” afloat just enough to keep Americans targeting one another instead of them, the parties.

To hear it from people participating in the ratfucking process like it’s just business, blows My mind. What parties do and the money they spend to ensure they keep an upper hand is ridiculous, it’s like witnessing a bunch of undisciplined children with no regard of how their actions actually affect life and considering we live in a “better You then Me” type of culture, Americans have to take some responsibility in the decaying of our electoral process and our democracy.

Money may be a factor yet if there was no one to “buy off” then would money be an issue?

Parties are the demise of good government, maybe it hasn’t always been the case but there can be no argument that that is the case now, and Party supporters at some point have to reevaluate the role they play in this demise when they continue to allow their Party to operate without being checked.

America has got to be more than it’s Parties and Americans have got to be more than party pawns.

Natesha Oliver is the founder of MIST, Missouri Independents Stand Together. She lives in Kansas City.

Ratfucked book image

*Reminder*

Conference Call with David Daley

Author of RATF**KED

Sunday, June 4th at 7 pm EST

Call: 641-715-3605
Pass code: 767775#

Reader’s Forum–Natesha Oliver and Richard Ronner

NATESHA OLIVER

Natesha Oliver and June Hirsh (R)

Independent Voting activists Natesha Oliver and June Hirsh (r) at the National Conference of Independents, March 2015

One of the things that weighs heavily on Me about the struggle that Margaret Sanger endured to bring information to Women about and for Women is the way Men took such an offense to Women making decisions about their own bodies. If Men didn’t approve they could force conformity because they are essentially the “powers that be” and they enforced “laws” with no regard or consideration to the health, mental or otherwise, of Women. Yet these laws always negatively affect impoverished communities the most and are almost always never enforced on those with money.

It is mind-blowing how something as simple as WANTED birth control could create so much havoc. I personally do not know what it’s like to live in a time where Women had very little control over themselves and although Women still face gender challenges today, it’s nothing like it was. Margaret Sanger sacrificed a lot and admittedly there were times when Her sexual choices seemed out of character and shocking yet not really because She totally believed in freedom of choice as a Woman. She took up a cause that without a doubt is one of the most vital and important choices of being a Woman, the choice of procreation.

The way Ellen Feldman captured Her life coupled with the letters from others in Margaret’s life gave a broader view of Margaret as a Woman and a activist. Ellen Feldman gave a raw version of a real pioneer and that enhances the appreciation that I have for Margaret Sanger’s actions because although I came around many years later if Margaret had not picked up the cause I probably would not have had access to birth control measures because from the reading very few people cared about solving a problem versus medicating consequences.

Natesha Oliver is the founder of MIST, Missouri Independents Stand Together. She lives in Kansas City.

***

RICHARD RONNER

Photo on 9-24-15 at 12.03 AM

Medical Alert: Do not read this book if you have high blood pressure (or at least make sure you’re taking your BP medication as prescribed)! This book will make your blood boil, along with firing up your passion. The backwardness that Margaret Sanger encounters on every step of her journey – the mysogeny woven into the fabric of culture and life, the denial of women as full human beings – I’m left speechless. Women’s true and only function (maybe besides the sexual gratification of men) is to reproduce the human race. And to know and stay in their place. Sanger’s work on educating women and men about the possibility and methods of birth control was (a) the devil’s work; (b) illegal; (c) seditious and anti-American; and (d) against nature.

And Sanger, as revealed in this brilliant historical novel, is not only revolutionary and visionary, she is a passionate, flawed and sexual human being. It’s really thrilling to read of a time when, despite the deeply conservative and essentially religious superstructure of our society, the very activity of building and organizing progressive organizations, such as the Socialist Party, allowed people to live radical and progressive lives. Sanger and her contemporaries fought sexist double standards and challenged conservative and religiously-infused institutions such as marriage, fidelity, and women’s (and men’s) roles. It was, by turns, heady and punishing. It’s also a bit shocking to realize that for as long as we have been fighting these fights – and with all the cultural evolution, revolution and development that has taken place – we are still, a century later, fighting some of these same bugaboos! This is a book you cannot put down!

Richard Ronner is a nurse practitioner and a long time independent activist.

Politics for the People Conference Call

With Ellen Feldman

Sunday, January 22nd at 7 pm EST

Call In Number: 641 715-3605

Access code 767775#

Readers’ Forum–Harriet Hoffman and Natesha Oliver

Harriet Hoffman

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Harriet Hoffman (r) with Edith Bargoma (c) and June Hirsh at the Anti-Corruption Awards this month.

As I began reading Evicted my first thought was – Wow, I didn’t realize that evictions are part of a growing industry, that there is money to be made from evicting people from their homes.  I appreciated that the Matthew Desmond didn’t assign blame either to the families or the individual landlords or those who are paid to dump the belongings onto the sidewalks (who are in some cases evictees themselves), or those who operate the storage units (where there are exorbitant fees to be paid when someone wants to reclaim their belongings).  I was shocked to read that in Milwaukee the difference between the rent for a poorly maintained apartment in a low income neighborhood and the rent paid for a “nice” apartment in a middle class neighborhood, is only a couple of hundred dollars a month.  Except that the poor don’t have access to those nicer apartments.  And, I am in awe of the fortitude of the families depicted so compassionately in this book, who ask for so little, starting over again and again, moving from hope to hopelessness, from housing court to eviction, homeless shelter to apartment, and back around again.

I live in New York City where 64,464 people are now living in shelters, including 23,929 homeless children, and thousands more on the streets.  I live just steps away from a public housing complex where nearly 5,000 people live in 2,000 apartments in 17 buildings.  It is one of dozens of public housing sites in this city in which over half a million people have had a chance, for many years, to have stable homes.  But the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has begun selling its buildings, parking lots and playground spaces to private developers who will put up new buildings that the poor cannot afford to live in.  Evictions have already begun, and surely NYCHA’s callous “Next Generation” plan, if carried out, will eventually destroy public housing and will leave many more thousands of men, women and children stranded.

I am really angry about this.  I am a member of the Committee for Independent Political Action, which, under the leadership of Dr. Lenora Fulani, is organizing tenants and others to fight back.  The City doesn’t have to take this route, but, as in Milwaukee and elsewhere, there is little political will among the politicians to support decent housing for the poor.  As Matthew Desmond asserts in this wonderful book, it would be less expensive to provide a housing voucher for every low income family in America than it is to maintain homeless shelters and the apparatus that evicts people from their homes.

I know that most ordinary New Yorkers strongly oppose NYCHA’s plan.  And this is a stark example of what happens when we the people have no opportunity to impact public policy.  That’s why I have also worked for many years with the NYC Independence Clubs and IndependentVoting.org, which are fighting to restore a democratic decision-making process to our country.  At our popular Talkin’ Independence events, which I coordinate, people from every walk of life are talking about why it is so important for the people, not the political parties, to have the power to decide about housing and other critical issues.

Harriet Hoffman is a consultant specializing in grant writing and helping people maximize their Medicare and social security benefits.  She is the coordinator of the popular monthly independent volunteer gathering, Talkin’ Independence, a program of IndependentVoting.org and the New York City Independence Clubs

***

Natesha Oliver

Natesha Oliver (r) with Cathy Stewart and Politics for the People member, Cheryl White (l)

Natesha Oliver (l) with Cathy Stewart and Politics for the People member, Cheryl White (r) National Conference of Independents, NYC, March 2015

 

It is a challenge for Me to put in words My thoughts on Matthew Desmond’s book Evicted. I have a lot of things going through My mind, The attitudes of the Landlords and how they lived lavished lives while making money off the desperation of others. They may not have contributed to the onset of their tenants conditions yet they sure as hell didn’t do anything to alleviate their tenants’ condition even when it came to maintaining their property. And how they would knowingly watch the property deteriorate and still allow people to live in their squalor, and this is where I am most conflicted because could the Landlords have prevented the deterioration, I don’t know, this truly bothers Me the most.

What the children have to endure when living like that is nothing short of disturbing and when they act out evictions were cold and swift, another confliction because who wants to pay for damage caused by someone else’s child.

Knowing that these properties were purchased with the intent to house impoverished people for profit is truly disturbing.

For the sake of time and sanity I will end with this quote by Matthew Desmond:

“This degree of inequality, this withdrawal of opportunity, this cold denial of basic needs, this endorsement of pointless suffering—by no American value is this situation justified. No moral code or ethical principle, no piece of scripture or holy teaching, can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become”.

Natesha Oliver is the founder of MIST, Missouri Independents Stand Together. She lives in Kansas City.

***

Politics for the People Conference Call

With Matthew Desmond

Sunday, October 23rd at 7 pm EST

Call In Number: 641 715-3605

Access code 767775#

 

Reader’s Forum–Natesha Oliver

Natesha Oliver (r) with Cathy Stewart and Politics for the People member, Cheryl White (l)

Natesha Oliver, (l) with Cathy Stewart & Cheryl White @ the National Conference of Independents 2015

Chapter 17: The Skills Gap Myth: Importing IT Workers Costs Masses of U.S. Jobs

After reading Ch.17 of “Who Stole The American Dream” by Hedrick Smith, I say  the American people have been robbed of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” or should I say have been SOLD OUT. Liberty has been systematically altered in the negative, life has been pissed on by Congress and other elected officials trusted to ensure its progress and hell, most Americans can no longer afford to pursue happiness, when at one point they could. That breaks morale and THAT makes me wonder is that the intent of our current governing structure, to break the morale of Americans to the point we are easily controlled? We all know at our lowest point we don’t care about s**t and will accept damn near anything.

We are facing a new Administration next year and after reading portions of Hedrick Smith’s Who Stole The American Dream, I am more concerned than ever about My personal future.

Between flip floppers, mean and hate filled minded, scandal scarred, and  candidates that don’t even associate with people progressing politics, where is this country headed? Reading this book gives a good indication of where we can go back to if we don’t force a change in how we, Americans, check this government.”

Natesha Oliver is the founder of MIST, Missouri Independents Stand Together. She lives in Kansas City.

***

Reminder: Politics for the People

Conference Call With Hedrick Smith

Sunday, June 19th @ 7 pm EST

(641) 715-3605   Code 767775#

National Poetry Month-poems by Bernard Morrison and Natesha Oliver

Today we are featuring two poems written by P4P members.

 

******

An American and Her Politics

By Natesha Oliver from Missouri

Slave Laws

Civil Rights Laws

Laws that apply to everyone

but these are laws that

apply to who I can and cannot be

what I can and cannot achieve

These are laws that reawaken An American 

And

Reform Her Politics

 

******

Republicans are red,
Democrats are blue,
And neither one cares
a crap about you.

By Bernard Morrison from Georgia

 

Our celebration of National Poetry month continues throughout April with poems chosen or written by P4P members.  

Reader’s Forum: Steve Richardson and Natesha Oliver

boston 0614

STEVE RICHARDSON

Prior to reading Lisa McGirr’s The War on Alcohol, I thought Prohibition was, as the author described popular notions of the era, “an aberrant moment in the nation’s history, wrongheaded social policy waged by puritanical zealots of a bygone Victorian era, with few lasting consequences.”  I expected a connection with the War on Drugs; it was noted but not explored in any detail.  What surprised me is that the war on alcohol drove millions of voters into the arms of  the Democratic Party and gave FDR’s New Deal a populist, revolutionary energy beyond what may have been justified on economics alone.

I knew Lincoln was a Republican and wondered how the party lost black voters; now I know.  They merged church and state to enforce “good” behavior – a “perfect storm” of ill-conceived public policy that could only lead to punishment of defenseless citizens.  The sad part of this experience is that Republicans seem to have few regrets (else we would not have the ATF, DEA, etc.).  Apparently, they concluded the mistake was overreaching; outright prohibition created a hugely profitable black market.  Today, “sin taxes” regulate the supply of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, and marijuana – splitting profits between government and business.

Democrats are far from blameless in perpetuating these wars.  Evidently, they learned that being the Big Brother of oppressed minorities is a powerful negotiating tool.  Republicans have been remarkably successful in expanding federal police powers (including the recent example of DHS) because Democrats have found limitation more profitable than prevention.  As McGirr explained, law enforcement was a local matter before Prohibition, but it has been a subject of intense interest in Washington ever since.  The lesson of her book is that there were lasting consequences to the 18th Amendment – institutional components of a police state.”

Steve Richardson is a founding member of the Virginia Independent Voters Association and serves on IndependentVoting.org’s national Election Reform Committee.

 

Natesha Oliver and June Hirsh (R)

Independent Voting activists Natesha Oliver and June Hirsh (r) at the National Conference of Independents, March 2015

NATESHA OLIVER

Just finished reading “Citizen Warriors”, ch.5 of The War on Alcohol by Lisa McGirr.

To be honest, I really don’t know what to say so I will start by saying Lisa McGirr’s account of enforcement during Prohibition by ordinary citizens is eye-opening, it’s like Citizens went on a self aggrandizing mission to “clean up” what they considered problem people.                                                                                                   The reality that Prohibition was spearheaded by the church, more or less, isn’t shocking; Ththe fact that the church aligned their cause with the KKK to enforce the law is shocking…
I have not finished the book yet what I have read affirm my belief that racism still heavily exists in politics because politics was the platform people used to push their superiority agendas, be it the Church or otherwise…     WTH!!”

Natesha Oliver is the founder of MIST, Missouri Independents Stand Together. She lives in Kansas City.

Reminder: P4P Conference Call

with Lisa McGirr

Sunday, April 3rd at 7 pm EST

Call in number (641) 715-3605

Access code 767775#

From Kansas City, MO to Braddock, PA

A Review of The Notion Of Family 

by Natesha Oliver

The Notion of Family, LaToya Ruby Frazier, pg 53: Mom Relaxing My Hair, 2005

Brightest Blessings To All:
Out of all the books that bring me into the reality of the working class struggle within my own race of people, The Notion of Family is the most honest and transparent view of how Black America, specifically although not exclusively, has suffered indignities in a form of racism that has been to long overlooked and ignored by elected officials charged with ensuring a fair and just economic presence by corporations “investing” in the communities…

Latoya Frazier’s unapologetic photographic depiction of her life takes away ALL excuses that have allowed corporations AND governing bodies to hide the truth of their involvement in the demise of a promised and expected prosperity in African American communities and the generational destruction that it leaves on families trying to cope with the struggle of losing a solid financial foundation within a political culture that already makes it difficult to live beyond impoverished conditions set up by the same Institutions brought in to the community to help…

The fact that Braddock, PA is one of many communities that has had to suffer from a lost of viable economic support that is gained by working is a testament to why HOW we vote is becoming more important than who we vote for.  Whether we vote Democrat or Republican is irrelevant when both parties partake in the systemic corrosion that result in communities murdered…

Whether there is strength to endure or drugs to numb the self defeating results of poverty, there has to be a change in HOW Americans allow the officials we vote in to office to remain bias and short sighted… Not supporting Bill Cosby but what He says, in respect to The Notion Of Family, ” The proof is in the pudding”, or in this case the photo…

To Latoya Ruby Frazier, Stand Strong My Sister, Stand Strong!!!
In Love & Light

Natesha Oliver

Natesha Oliver is from Kansas City, MO and is the founder of Missouri Independents Stand Together (MIST).

 

Politics for the People Conference Call

With LaToya Ruby Frazier

Sunday, December 6th at 7 pm EST

 CALL IN NUMBER

641 715-3605

Code 767775#

Natesha & Margaret Meet

Reader’s Forum

By Natesha Oliver

Natesha Oliver (r) with Cathy Stewart and Politics for the People member, Cheryl White (l) National Conference of Independents, NYC, March 2015

Natesha Oliver (l) with Cathy Stewart and Politics for the People member, Cheryl White (r) National Conference of Independents, NYC, March 2015

Brightest Blessings To All:
First and most importantly BIG UPS to the author Megan Marshall for her ingenuity of insight in how she told the story of Margaret Fuller utilizing Margaret’s own words… That was AWESOME… And much thanks to Megan Marshall for this being a learning moment for me, I am not the dumbest tree in the forest yet with this book I had to up my comprehension skills quite a bit and THANK ALL THINGS HOLY for the dictionary…

The book itself was emotion evoking on a level that deeply resonates with me as a woman looking for the “highest grade” when it comes to intimate connections and as a woman “striving to discover and attain””everything she might be”… When women like Margaret Fuller comes along it is said “they are before their time”, which has always been a tad bit off because she was born then so it was her time then…

Margaret’s spiritual realizations were just as deeply personal for her and that is inspiring because she wasn’t one to conform to popular belief. Her ability to think in a “Man’s World” just tickles my fancy because it wasn’t the fact that she had the ability to speak among them as an equal mind, she had the ability to show them a thing or two and men in those days felt more intimated by a intellectual woman then than they do now… Although it is interesting that in certain circles of intellectual life women are still looked upon as the “softer sex”… I don’t know what is more offensive, that men still think that or that women still play the part… And I for one know that being the object of men’s affections are more dangerous than divine and that striving to be an intellectual equal is still a challenge… Margaret Fuller oddly enough did not see her actions as progress for women yet she saw herself as the voice to make the way for women coming behind her… Her own struggles with love and life were probably way more tumultuous than we could comprehend.  At least in these days women have some measure of law and civil consideration to expand, except in the financial department where men still make more money than women, WHAT”S UP WITH THAT!!!

I would like to say that Margaret leaving her son like that after being so torn in how others were leaves me to believe that she adopted men’s ways in a way that drove her to mirror their path for attaining success (this is my opinion men so don’t bite my head off).

In closing Margaret Fuller’s life and Megan Marshall telling of it shows the courage and dedication that women possess… MEN LOOK OUT YOU ACTUALLY DO HAVE TO SHARE THIS WORLD, EQUALLY!!!

“Man and woman, she asserted, were two halves of the “same thought”.  Neither “idea” could be fully realized as long as man failed to see that woman’s “interests were identical with his; and that, by law of common being, he could never reach his true proportions while she remained in any wise shorn of hers”.

Natesha Oliver is the founder of MIST, Missouri Independents Stand Together. She lives in Kansas City.

 

Politics for the People Conference Call

With Megan Marshall

Sunday, September 20th at 7 pm EST

NOTE NEW CALL IN NUMBER

641 715-3605, Code 767775#

 

 

Readers’ Forum

Two other Politics for the People readers share their thoughts today—

Josephine Coskie is a leader of the Queens Independence Club 

“When I heard that our next Politics for the People book selection would be I am Abraham and that it was historic fiction, I was so pleased! This is my favorite genre with A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens being my all time favorite book.

Josephine Coskie, NIcholas S. Johnson Independent Spirit Award 2013

Josephine Coskie

“I am Abraham” is an incredible achievement by author Jerome Charyn. It reads like a novel, appears to be Lincoln’s autobiography, and gives an historical account of the ways of life and events during the mid 1800s. The early chapters are a lot of fun and place the reader back in the days of the “Wild, Wild West”, introducing interesting characters and providing quite graphic descriptions of life at that time and place in history.

Never having read anything about Abraham Lincoln except what is generally known about him with limited facts taught years ago in school, this book was a revelation to me! It felt almost disrespectful at first to get a glimpse into his innermost thoughts, feelings, and desires. We have the opportunity to see Lincoln as a man in addition to being our president during the Civil War.

This month’s Politics for the People conference call with Mr. Charyn will be fascinating and I am so looking forward to it.

 

Natesha Oliver is the founder of Missouri Independents Stand Together (MIST)

Brightest Blessings To All:

Natesha Oliver

This was my first time reading Historical fiction and I have got to say I was touched, tickled, and, being African American, moved by the freeing of slaves yet kind of dismayed at why Lincoln did it… Although He seem to be torn about slavery, He could have went the other way and not freed us if that had won the war. But with that being said, Jerome Charyn’s first person depiction of Abraham Lincoln’s life was AMAZING… I Am Abraham was a very hard book to put down and when I had to put it down to “rest” my eyes or go to bed, I couldn’t wait to get back to it… I almost started re-reading it, and as long as the book was, it was like not that long at all, it had over 400 pages yet when it ended I was like,  NOOOOO…

Oh my everything, I do believe Mrs. President would have been the end of His presidential career in this day and age and by her antics one would think that would have been her intention… I was actually yelling while reading, had to put the book down and come back to it after I kind of calmed down… Lincoln’s life, disappointments and successes were inspiring, yet it is bothersome that when one’s political opponents cannot win they resort to assassination… I wonder what could have become of this country had He not been killed, His push and shaping of a united Union seems to be lost with time… People political desire for separation to control and conquer is still scary and still holding, I hope as we all seek a fairer democratic process that those Presidents who’s will were to unite us all beyond race and money find solid ground…  Thank You Politics 4 The People for the book club and thanks Jerome Charyn for the book itself.

 

P4P Conference Call

With Jerome Charyn

 Sunday, February 15th at 7 pm EST

A Reader Responds

Natesha Oliver is an independent activist from Missouri and the founder of MIST–Missouri Independents Stand Together.  She sent us this thought provoking comment after reading the Declaration of Independence and Danielle Allen’s book.

“It is eerily interesting and comically offensive that a society which secured its foundation for slavery through some of the most cruel and brutal acts justified its separation from British control by claiming, amongst other issues, “He (The King) has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Capture on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their hand”. Followed by ” He (The King) has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontier, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions”.

Natesha Oliver on Primary Day in Missouri

Natesha Oliver on Primary Day in Missouri

It is this formal acceptance of brutality that render aspects of our political system unable to fairly represent and or legislate in the way that secures every American citizen today the very rights that were petitioned and fought for to secure America’s Independence. Because those biases still exist today in our political culture the need to secure our rights as Americans through the Declaration Of Independence is the cornerstone to a more united and prosperous America.
Ms. Allen stated in the prologue that she “cannot bear to see the ideal of equality pass away before it has reached its full maturity” and she “hopes I am not alone”.
Ms. Allen You are not alone and I believe as long as we have no tolerance for inequality, well worded or not, we will achieve equality based on our individual maturity as a United America.”

 

REMINDER

Book Club Conference Call with Danielle Allen

Sunday, October 19th at 7 pm EST

 

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