Apr 172014
 

By Shari Foster and Sue Schumann, 99GetSmart

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As the country entered what the mainstream media termed the “Polar Vortex,” we entered into an emotional vortex of concern and dread. While running our errands, struggling with the frigid temperatures it struck us: What would we do if we couldn’t? What if the oil tanks in our homes were empty, what if we didn’t have access to transportation or use of a personal vehicle to purchase groceries? Volunteering with the local Food Not Bombs LI Chapter, we knew first hand that poverty and hunger are ever present in Long Island. The stereotypical version of what Eastern Long Island is – wealth and luxury, beachfront properties with driveways filled with fast and fancy cars – is far from accurate. As temperatures dipped we grew more alarmed, knowing that many houseless were facing the worst weather elements and survival would come at a high price.

Inspired by the work of #OpSafeWinter-NYC, we embarked on our two-woman journey. Since we recognized our limited finances we quickly became both frugal and inventive. SouperSistas started serving soup on January 7, 2014. We went to local grocery stores and scoured the reduced-produce racks for fresh produce and scoped out sales to prepare tasty and healthy food. We were aware of small houseless communities that gather cans and bottles that are redeemed for the five-cent deposit money. Once redeemed, resources are collectively shared in an effort to provide and care for each other. Every Tuesday and Thursday we choose to share our hot soup and fresh bread with these communities. We also served soup in the local Department of Social Services (DSS) parking, lot where we witnessed people with garbage bags and shopping carts filled with their belongings seeking emergency shelter. Recently we were escorted off of DSS property by two police cars that informed us we were on “private property.” We explained that our taxes pay for the parking lot; we decided to leave to avoid arrest. We are trying to decipher the bureaucratic process so we may return to DSS, but in the interim we continue to serve in areas that welcome us.

Marginalized populations face a bureaucratic system that is very complex, one that imposes too many requirements for people to fulfill. In the beginning we were often met with distrust, a certain “what’s in it for you?” reluctance, and deservedly so. When the system fails, contempt and distrust prevail. Over time we can honestly say that the barriers we faced initially have slowly dissipated. The newly formed friendships have been the ultimate gift that we continue to receive. Our respect for the community is overwhelming; the strength, the commitment to each other serve as a constant reminder to us that we must take care of each other. We can’t rely on a compassionless government who creates victims and then blames them for their circumstances. It’s such a simple, basic principle, one that we teach our children at a very young age: the importance of sharing. Sadly, certain cities in the US have made it illegal to share one’s food with homeless people. What kind of lessons are we teaching our young?

We are pleased that others, both on Long Island and in other states, have joined with SouperSistas and share food as well.

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You can follow us on Facebook at #SouperSistas and on twitter @SouperSistas.

Jan 142014
 

By Iddhis Bing, 99GetSmart

I’ve been writing and reading about European politics, and Greece in particular, for a while now. Long enough, in any case, to call myself reasonably informed. But Greece is a special case. We stay up on the news and know about the Shadow Cabinet in Westminister in great detail; about Angela Merkel’s telephone and her fall on the ski slopes; about François Hollande’s midnight rides on a scooter across Paris to visit his new girlfriend – and yet, apart from sites like 99GetSmart, there’s a kind of news blackout concerning Greece. Maybe people don’t want to know. They can’t bear it. They suspect they might be next.

But Greece really is an exception, isn’t it? So the argument runs. Its ancient culture, its oligarchs, its Mediterreanan dependence on agriculture, its subterreanean ties to the ancient cults in the Near East, all of these things added together… therein lies the contradiction at the heart of what I am going to propose to you: that Greece is different culturally, that many other European states were opposed to its entry into the Union and it only got in through with the help of some imaginative book-keeping, and yet its fate and ours are now inextricably linked. The only meaningful difference being that Greece is ahead of us on line to the scaffold.

And so I got the crazy idea that I would go to Greece and report what I saw. The proposed trip is now up on Indiegogo, the crowdfunding site. The goal is to write a book which gives us a sense of the human reality in a country trapped between the Scylla and Carybdis of the financiers and the politicos.

This idea is a reality because Linda Ross encouraged me, badgered me, supplied me with endless contacts in Greece – which resulted in articles here on 99 and elsewhere – and essentially wouldn’t give up until I said I was going.

I’ve been writing for 99 since it picked up one of my pieces. Actually, Linda lifted an article from another site and reposted it and I wrote her to ask her who the hell did she think she was. (Little did I know back then. I was a newbie.) I was lucky – theft is the sincerest form of flattery. And thus began a conversation that’s still chugging along fruitfully.

The economy of internet journalism is the pits. Everybody knows that. And if you’re not in the business of taking cheesy ads or innovating your way to the next time-saver app, it hurts on the publishing side as well. Nobody knows what’s coming next but Linda meanwhile plugs away and keeps a terrifically informative site currant. Hats off, says I.

You, the reader, can help out. You read 99GetSmart on a regular basis so you know better than most what’s going on in Greece and maybe you feel we should get the word out to a larger public, especially among the Anglos (as the world calls us when they aren’t inventing much kinder names). You can visit Greece and the Future of the European Union and chip in a few dollars or euros or whatever you have laying around. And you can spread the word, both about 99 and the crowdfunding project. Pass it around, post it, repost it, tweet it, let your friends know that a writer is going to Greece and will report back what he sees and hears.

Merci en avance, as they say in these parts.

Bing

Dec 192013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Dear 99GetSmart Readers: To protect our independence, we don’t run ads or take government / corporate funding. We have managed so far, but now we ask for your help. If everyone reading this blog donated $1., our fundraiser would be done within an hour and we could concentrate on providing you with news and information. We are an independent, non-profit blog with many wonderful content contributors. If 99GetSmart is useful to you, please help support our efforts.

Thank you and have a happy holiday season!

Donation link @ http://tinyurl.com/pbt6rzx

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Dec 032013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Source: BBC

Sundance award-winning documentary which tells the compelling story of how a group of young, feminist punk rockers known as Pussy Riot captured the world’s attention by protesting against Putin’s Russia. Through first-hand interviews with band members, their families and the defence team, and exclusive footage of the trial, it highlights the forces that transformed these women from playful political activists to modern-day icons.

In early 2012, members of the collective donned their colourful trademark balaclavas and participated in a 40-second ‘punk prayer protest’ on the altar of Moscow’s cathedral. Once arrested, Nadia, Masha and Katia were accused of religious hatred in a trial that triggered protests and arrests in Russia and caused uproar around the world. The film reveals the personal motives and courage of the women behind the balaclavas and exposes the state of Russian justice through the court’s final verdict.

VIDEO @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLmVwfuMEHY#t=103

Nov 102013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Chapter 12-14: 

Addendum:

In reading the exchange of long and fascinating letters between the author, an American writer, and his cousin a Russian economist, one can take a trip into reality; real America and the real Soviet Union (Russia) as they both were until 1996. It delves deeply into the Russian psyche and speaks to the future of both countries.

This is indeed a different kind of history book. Soon a new Russia will take shape. There is a consensus among many intellectuals in Moscow that the Russia of the future will be patterned more like the new China than the western concept of a capitalist society. Post Communist Russia has arrived in the midst of world wide economic chaos. ‘GENES’ is a contribution to the need that situation is creating for better understanding between Americans and Russians.

From the book. . .

“We found him and shot him and killed some of his troops before we pulled out. When we returned we found the Nazi reinforcements, that arrived too late to save the officer, burned all of the buildings and hanged ten people. They claimed there was an informer among them. When I looked up and saw the frozen bodies hanging there, I didn’t feel anything. I felt no pity or remorse for being responsible for their deaths. They were just more dead bodies. I had seen so many by then that it was just like looking at trees. I only grieved when one of our partisans died. I broke down when Sergius was killed.”

This is a different way of telling a story, but it works. Once again, the world is on fire. In the atmosphere created by the present chaos in Moscow, the Bombing of Belgrad and Kosovo, Russia, and all of Eastern Europe is preparing for major political changes. The Genes manuscript is an overture to the new scene about to be played.

AUDIO BOOK @ http://rubyreads.webs.com

Chapter 1 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff/

Chapter 2 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-2/

Chapter 3 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-3/

Chapter 4 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-4/

Chapter 5 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-5/

Chapter 6 @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOp9AR6v-5s&feature=youtu.be

Chapter 7 @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLlUt7PpscU&feature=youtu.be

Chapter 8 @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JSCr8wtaww&feature=youtu.be

Chapter 9 @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnYwdXUXxew&feature=youtu.be

Chapter 10http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYSSQu0Yp-c&feature=youtu.be

Chapter 11http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LfHAGVht7A&feature=youtu.be

Nov 092013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Chapter 7: 

Chapter 8:

Chapter 9:

Chapter 10:

Chapter 11: 

In reading the exchange of long and fascinating letters between the author, an American writer, and his cousin a Russian economist, one can take a trip into reality; real America and the real Soviet Union (Russia) as they both were until 1996. It delves deeply into the Russian psyche and speaks to the future of both countries.

This is indeed a different kind of history book. Soon a new Russia will take shape. There is a consensus among many intellectuals in Moscow that the Russia of the future will be patterned more like the new China than the western concept of a capitalist society. Post Communist Russia has arrived in the midst of world wide economic chaos. ‘GENES’ is a contribution to the need that situation is creating for better understanding between Americans and Russians.

From the book. . .

“We found him and shot him and killed some of his troops before we pulled out. When we returned we found the Nazi reinforcements, that arrived too late to save the officer, burned all of the buildings and hanged ten people. They claimed there was an informer among them. When I looked up and saw the frozen bodies hanging there, I didn’t feel anything. I felt no pity or remorse for being responsible for their deaths. They were just more dead bodies. I had seen so many by then that it was just like looking at trees. I only grieved when one of our partisans died. I broke down when Sergius was killed.”

This is a different way of telling a story, but it works. Once again, the world is on fire. In the atmosphere created by the present chaos in Moscow, the Bombing of Belgrad and Kosovo, Russia, and all of Eastern Europe is preparing for major political changes. The Genes manuscript is an overture to the new scene about to be played.

AUDIO BOOK @ http://rubyreads.webs.com

Chapter 1 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff/

Chapter 2 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-2/

Chapter 3 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-3/

Chapter 4 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-4/

Chapter 5 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-5/

Chapter 6 @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOp9AR6v-5s&feature=youtu.be

Nov 062013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

In reading the exchange of long and fascinating letters between the author, an American writer, and his cousin a Russian economist, one can take a trip into reality; real America and the real Soviet Union (Russia) as they both were until 1996. It delves deeply into the Russian psyche and speaks to the future of both countries.

This is indeed a different kind of history book. Soon a new Russia will take shape. There is a consensus among many intellectuals in Moscow that the Russia of the future will be patterned more like the new China than the western concept of a capitalist society. Post Communist Russia has arrived in the midst of world wide economic chaos. ‘GENES’ is a contribution to the need that situation is creating for better understanding between Americans and Russians.

From the book. . .

“We found him and shot him and killed some of his troops before we pulled out. When we returned we found the Nazi reinforcements, that arrived too late to save the officer, burned all of the buildings and hanged ten people. They claimed there was an informer among them. When I looked up and saw the frozen bodies hanging there, I didn’t feel anything. I felt no pity or remorse for being responsible for their deaths. They were just more dead bodies. I had seen so many by then that it was just like looking at trees. I only grieved when one of our partisans died. I broke down when Sergius was killed.”

This is a different way of telling a story, but it works. Once again, the world is on fire. In the atmosphere created by the present chaos in Moscow, the Bombing of Belgrad and Kosovo, Russia, and all of Eastern Europe is preparing for major political changes. The Genes manuscript is an overture to the new scene about to be played.

AUDIO BOOK @ http://rubyreads.webs.com

Chapter 1 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff/

Chapter 2 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-2/

Chapter 3 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-3/

Chapter 4 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-4/

Chapter 5 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-5/

Nov 052013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Chapter 5 – Part 1:

Chapter 5 – Part 2: 

In reading the exchange of long and fascinating letters between the author, an American writer, and his cousin a Russian economist, one can take a trip into reality; real America and the real Soviet Union (Russia) as they both were until 1996. It delves deeply into the Russian psyche and speaks to the future of both countries.

This is indeed a different kind of history book. Soon a new Russia will take shape. There is a consensus among many intellectuals in Moscow that the Russia of the future will be patterned more like the new China than the western concept of a capitalist society. Post Communist Russia has arrived in the midst of world wide economic chaos. ‘GENES’ is a contribution to the need that situation is creating for better understanding between Americans and Russians.

From the book. . .

“We found him and shot him and killed some of his troops before we pulled out. When we returned we found the Nazi reinforcements, that arrived too late to save the officer, burned all of the buildings and hanged ten people. They claimed there was an informer among them. When I looked up and saw the frozen bodies hanging there, I didn’t feel anything. I felt no pity or remorse for being responsible for their deaths. They were just more dead bodies. I had seen so many by then that it was just like looking at trees. I only grieved when one of our partisans died. I broke down when Sergius was killed.”

This is a different way of telling a story, but it works. Once again, the world is on fire. In the atmosphere created by the present chaos in Moscow, the Bombing of Belgrad and Kosovo, Russia, and all of Eastern Europe is preparing for major political changes. The Genes manuscript is an overture to the new scene about to be played.

AUDIO BOOK @ http://rubyreads.webs.com

Chapter 1 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff/

Chapter 2 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-2/

Chapter 3 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-3/

Chapter 4 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-4/

Nov 042013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

In reading the exchange of long and fascinating letters between the author, an American writer, and his cousin a Russian economist, one can take a trip into reality; real America and the real Soviet Union (Russia) as they both were until 1996. It delves deeply into the Russian psyche and speaks to the future of both countries.

This is indeed a different kind of history book. Soon a new Russia will take shape. There is a consensus among many intellectuals in Moscow that the Russia of the future will be patterned more like the new China than the western concept of a capitalist society. Post Communist Russia has arrived in the midst of world wide economic chaos. ‘GENES’ is a contribution to the need that situation is creating for better understanding between Americans and Russians.

From the book. . .

“We found him and shot him and killed some of his troops before we pulled out. When we returned we found the Nazi reinforcements, that arrived too late to save the officer, burned all of the buildings and hanged ten people. They claimed there was an informer among them. When I looked up and saw the frozen bodies hanging there, I didn’t feel anything. I felt no pity or remorse for being responsible for their deaths. They were just more dead bodies. I had seen so many by then that it was just like looking at trees. I only grieved when one of our partisans died. I broke down when Sergius was killed.”

This is a different way of telling a story, but it works. Once again, the world is on fire. In the atmosphere created by the present chaos in Moscow, the Bombing of Belgrad and Kosovo, Russia, and all of Eastern Europe is preparing for major political changes. The Genes manuscript is an overture to the new scene about to be played.

AUDIO BOOK @ http://rubyreads.webs.com

Chapter 1 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff/

Chapter 2 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-2/

Chapter 3 @ http://99getsmart.com/ruby-reads-the-genes-of-gregoria-by-david-truskoff-chapter-3/