Real Life is a Crazy Place to Live

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This was the first post made on the new blog for CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios but I’m moving it over to this blog instead because the new blog is going to have other kinds of information on it and this is more personal.

What I wrote a few days ago –

Real life is crazy – that is what is crazy. I’m sleeping on a neighbor’s living room floor. Nobody will take a Section 8 voucher which I have and is still good for about four more weeks and they probably wouldn’t rent to me anyway because I found out yesterday, my credit score is now 74 (since the fire.) Utilities continued charging me after the fire until the final fire incident report could be given to them that only came about a week and a half ago.

My daughters had a GoFundMe campaign which included only them after they lived in my house for nearly three years with my paying all the bills from my limited money and supported them and their children along with doing most of the housework and watching their children far too much of the time. The Senators office in Staten Island that was supposed to reimburse us for staying extra days in the hotel room after the fire while they were supposedly trying to get reasonable accommodation for me – didn’t reimburse us and didn’t get any reasonable accommodation for me from HPD either.

All the resources from HPD (Housing Preservation and Development) that should be available to me aren’t – because they won’t make any reasonable accommodation to me so that I can be where I know and am familiar with the physical space and people and environment. One neighbor put me out of her house after three weeks to keep from me having any rights as a “tenant” in housing court just in case that ever might be something I would do which meant I slept outside in the yard of the abandoned house next door to hers one night and half of the things donated to us are ruined still sitting there at that yard next door to her house.

Another neighbor up the hill is charging me $150 a month plus $20 for electric to sleep on her living room floor with some of my things lining one wall in tubs and crates (things people have donated or I’ve bought since the fire because nothing was recoverable from the fire. ArtLab gave me a scholarship to take a clay class plus sponsored a bag of clay for me to use and each Monday, I’ve been going there to create in clay and have made four pieces – three pretty good ones and one ugly one that probably needs to be thrown away.

My daughters have scattered and are not here “helping” me although I’m not sure how much help they would be anyway since things are so confusing and extremely expensive from bus fare to having to run all over the place and get things done including replacing IDs and trying to find a place to live and getting something to eat. And, getting the final fire incident report to all the utilities and cable service so they’ll stop charging us for a house that is burned down.

The problem is, that because of head injury and PTSD from domestic violence years ago, if I don’t stay where I already know, especially after this extreme traumatic event, I could very likely lose most or even, all of my ability to function. Being able to walk, talk, know my name, understand where I am, write, find my own ass with both hands, know to wipe it myself, understand what I’m hearing and seeing, know where I’m waking up and why I’m there – are freedoms I don’t want to lose on top of losing my home and everything I’ve worked on for the last 32 years that were destroyed by the fire.

It isn’t very likely that I will ever make lots of money because I never remember what all I know and what all I can do. That is a definite drawback of head injury. People around me will say how long they’ve been in business or been doing something – I know somewhere in my mind that it has been a very long time that I’ve been doing whatever it is – but unless I really sit down and take a couple hours to figure it out – I don’t know. I was doing it yesterday – so it has been a while. And, I had always thought that if I’m good at it, then it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been doing it – whether it is forty-five years or two. But, there isn’t a practical way for me to tell anyone as I’m standing there with them, that there are good reasons that I know what I’m doing in art or sculpture or the business of product design or inventing things or writing or computer stuff or anything.

CricketDiane 2016 Autumn Bowl sculpture art in clay

Clay pottery sculpture art called Autumn Bowl by CricketDiane Artist / Designer 2016

When one of my clay pieces that I sculpted was being brought from ArtLab to where I’m staying, I stopped off at a little book cafe where a lot of people know me. One of the men saw the piece and tapped it with his keys – an extraordinary clay pottery piece with beautiful glazes and sculpted with leaves on one side of it, a large bowl-like vase for a table centerpiece to hold fall and Christmas flowers. But no, it couldn’t be real art because he knows I’m homeless and has never seen my art. This is ridiculous to an extreme.

I travel up and down the hill of Benziger Ave. where my house burned down with a thirty-lb. plus backpack on my back pulling a small rolling suitcase with my computer in it and my purse slung across its top by the handle every day going to these places. For the past month and a half, every time I’m going out – that is how I look because I can’t leave the computer here and if I was going to use the internet, up until a few days ago, I had to go somewhere else to use it – the ferry terminal or the cafe book store.

The libraries would not let me in because of the rolling cart I had to begin with and then because of the rolling bag that has my computer in it because they decided not to let those things in the library to keep homeless people from coming into the library. Anyway, it has meant that I couldn’t use the internet at the library or the resources at the library during this entire time. About two weeks ago, I hid my computer in this living room space and walked the half-mile to the library without it so I could check out some videos. There was no way to stay the forty-five minutes that the library lets me use their laptops and get online because my computer couldn’t be safe that long where I stay so I had to go back with a few videos in hand to watch.

At the ferry terminal where there is free wifi, it requires spreading my computer and extra keyboard and file folders on the floor over by the windows to do it, because it has been too cold and windy to do it outside where there are seating areas to spread it out. I don’t think the ferry terminal was intended to be any real place to use the wifi they offer, it isn’t practical in any sense of using it except for a quick phone thing which is probably what they meant for it. But I did it anyway a few times, with my things spread across the floor by the windows out of the way of where people were waiting for or getting on the ferry. That was interesting.

I’ve also made a couple trips down to the HackManhattan makers space over the past couple months because the Makers Space in Staten Island charges $250 a month and refused to allow me to trade any time with my skills helping them for time in the makers space. They also weren’t interested in the list of classes that I said I could teach which could have been a bit of money to me for this time that has been so impossible financially and in every other way. The same was true for the nearby Temple of the Arts, where they let me stuff envelopes for a few dollars but have no interest in the classes that I could teach from sewing to piano to art to computer skills. As much as it would help people in these areas and in Staten Island to have what I know how to do available to them, it downright doesn’t matter because the resources that could make it possible are very closed to me by the people who have them.

Since the internet service finally got sorted out and they let me have it here, I’ve been able to create a few products over on Zazzle which are now the only remaining archive of my work since all the digital files, photographs of them, hard drives with the files of them and computers were destroyed by the fire. I’ve also worked on this new blog a little but it has been really hard to gather any thoughts about what to put on it and finally I have given up and put this for lack of a better idea. I really want to add the structural materials libraries that I love and things more in line with creating and inventing – but no, the confusing things around me are too much to get focused and there is no chance I’ll have a home out of all this or an office or a studio or in fact, have any money to do anything at all with from my efforts.

There are also six new video clips that I loaded onto my YouTube channels a couple days ago. They aren’t wonderful, but they are appropriate to the current situation. And, hopefully, I can add some content soon that isn’t about my personal difficulties butt is instead something about painting, creating, making, inventing, doing business online, materials, resourcing, or any number of other nifty things I know a lot about – including some great valuable content among all of it.

That’s it – I’m tired of talking about it now except for this – among the fifty million things that are wrong right now, I am thankful and have great admiration for the many, many people who have helped me, are helping me, have extended the hand of friendship to me, have let me lay my head in their homes, have given me a computer and shoes for my feet, sent me a bit of money to buy food, taken a moment to say hello and give me hugs. Despite everything that has happened, I can say I’ve survived it thus far because of these things and they have kept me going and kept me demanding of myself that I not quit even when things seem so terrible and they are. It is amazing to see that I can write after all this and as that is not something small in my world – for that I’m also very grateful.

  • cricketdiane, 11-27-16

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Welcome to the New Cricket House Studios / CricketDiane Blog

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A few days ago – maybe a month ago now, I created a new blog for CrricketDiane and Cricket House Studios. You can find it here –

CricketDiane / Cricket House Studios Blog

This is the first post for it which you can find there –

Since our home and studios, business office and 32 years worth of reference materials, supplies, equipment, business marketing tools, books, completed work and research burned to nothing on August 18, eight weeks ago, it has been hard to wrap my head around what to do next. All the things needed when a move is intentional are required at the same time all the things necessary to do after a disaster have needed doing too.

This new blog is the beginning of a new day in our business and in my life as a career inventor, writer, academic and artist. It should be interesting and our team at Cricket House Studios and especially me, are hoping you will enjoy coming along for the ride with us on this exciting victory dance of the Phoenix rising from the ashen wasteland of that fire. My wrath against all that mess is enough to make this dance a great one if not magnificent in its daring and passion.

So, welcome to a new day at our businesses including (but never limited to) – Cricket House Studios, Cricket Diane Art and Design, The America the Beautiful Show, The Inventors’ League and Mad Scientists Group. We look forward to an epic tale of the extraordinary kind as we move forward and each day glints a measure of that which we hope to share with all of you as you join us in creating this victory – together.

With love,

CricketDiane, 10,09,2016

Feeling a bit lost and confused but the art is interesting that I’ve been creating

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It is difficult to write now – more than ever. Today, I finished glazing a sculpture at the ArtLab which is the last clay class until Winter session starts.

cricketdiane-sculpture-warrior-1-2016-2

Warrior figure – CricketDiane 2016 clay sculpture made at ArtLab Staten Island, NYC (this was taken before the glaze which was put on today in opaque white gloss and no other colors.)

I AM ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT NOBODY CARES BUT > > > says everybody I know, but they should

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Would anyone care about those things in America as we fight for our freedom from poverty in a city whose basic and possibly legitimate desire is to price us out of existence, neglect us, or use our lives’ facts as a basis to derive their own employment income and profits while denying us services? Would they like knowing about it at all?

Would it be newsworthy that one of the families of those that lost everything in recent Staten Island 6-alarm fire on Aug. 18, 2016 (last Thursday) is made up of three women who were in the neighborhood less than a year? who were on a Section 8 Voucher and foodstamps and SSI, but working to build a business, one going to college, and one working to be a freelance photographer and journalist? And survivors of domestic violence, brain injury and PTSD, with a lot of homemade strategies and common sense tools to overcome those disabilities, many of which are now lost?

SI 6 Alarm Fire Victim Phillips Family is about to cost the city of New York about $9,000 a month plus services

NYC through ineptitude, irresponsible use of policies and resources, ignorance of the ADA and other disabilities rights laws and innapropriate application of policies and improper application of Congressional and State Legislature directives for handling homeless individuals, disabled persons and others of our most vulnerable populations is about to inadvertently cost themselves and other State resources over $9,000 a month in shelter costs plus other administrative costs, other services and specialized service costs plus all meals, and cash assistance to our family when it isn’t the ONLY wasy to do it? And is actually illegal to force us or even try to force us to try and do it against our best interests, against our basic welfare and against our basic human rights as American citizens? Did you know that? Did you know we could help NYC decision-makers by using our story as an example of how people in our city are being more defrauded by this agency ineptitude of policy making than all fraud of any kind across the entire state being perpetrated by poor people, people with disabilities, elderly or young single mothers with children who are often claimed as the scapegoats for America’s problems? Are you tired of hearing sad sack tales and would like to tell America something else that is interesting, elegant and wonderful and all so horrible all at the same time? Would they / and you, be interested?

08-24-16 2.46 am, Hilton Garden Hotel, Staten Island, NY, NY,

Author – CricketDiane 2016, Diane C. Phillips

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Writing to US Dept of Justice Today

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Today HPD (Housing Preservation & Development) in NYC demanded proof that I have disabilities. My house burned down to an unrecoverable state last Thursday. Red Cross gave me & my family a letter to give HPD about it. They were supposed to help us get permanent housing and our Senators here are helping to bring that about, Sen. Savino and Sen. Watson.

There were four families sent to HPD with us. We were all supposed to be expedited into permanent housing. I have SSI and NYCHA Section 8 from the house that burned down. HPD had been supposed to waive req. for id forms of usual because we had them in the house.

HPD (NYC) demanded the same forms of id as for any other situation – which we had gotten from the computer at the hotel for the SSI award letter and all the docs we could find online. HPD kept all of us waiting for over three hours with all our children in tow in a very small noisy waiting room, then told my family that we were to go to the family shelter, as they told the other four families whose homes burned next to ours.

I said that wouldn’t work for me because of my disabilities, brain injury and PTSD from domestic violence. I said that it was already too much overwhelming information, they had us come from Staten Island to the HPD office in person, wait with my daughters and grandchildren over 3 hrs, added more stress and difficulty already and I couldn’t afford to be in another place that I don’t know, don’t understand with so many people and things I would not be able to understand and that I didn’t want to end up like a retarded person drooling on myself because my brain would shut down with that much more stress.

He asked me if I had proof of my disability (insisted several times, not just once) and denied that he had proof despite the fact he had written down that I have SSI for my disability and a Section 8 Voucher to have a place to live because of these disabilities not allowing me to do better for myself yet.

I don’t understand, am I supposed to have a disability tattoo, a disability set of papers like a thoroughbred dog gets to prove l have rights to services and accommodation as a disabled person, even though SSI is obvious proof that I have a disability. HPD works with domestic violence survivors (often with children and young children) and people displaced by fire or flood for expedited fair housing appropriate to their unique and particularly specific needs. Is this how they are treating everyone in our most vulnerable populations when they are most stressed out, most emotionally distraught and while they are undergoing some of the most massive and unexpected difficulties in their lives – and in mine. I’ve lost everything.

My family has lost everything. The other families who came in about an hour after we did, but are our neighbors, lost everything, or very nearly everything. Why would this man who was supposed to be helping me, ask me for proof of a verified, way more than well certified disability and then deny me and my family any option of permanent housing of any kind PLUS demand I show proof of my disability as if it is required of me?

And I said he could look it up, that I was willing to give my permission for him to see my entire case file at SSI, if that would help him to decide whether I have disabilities or not and he said he couldn’t do that. Oh yes he can. I could’ve signed a form and he could’ve looked it up through SEction 8 which HPD is directly connected to or called SSI to confirm it, after I signed such a paper although getting SSI is a pretty good proof all by itself. I was shocked and hurt and offended and disgusted that he probably does this to all the disabled people, elderly & survivors of domestic violence he and the HPD ofc is supposed to be helping.

Please fix this. They can’t do this to people. I didn’t deserve it and they don’t either. We did not go to the shelter. I don’t want to be in a mental hospital because even one more drop of difficulty is added to this already impossible, emotionally devastating situation

08-23-2016 US Dept of Justice ADA Complaint Form – CricketDiane, Diane C. Phillips 2016.

House Burned to Ashes Racism Alive and Well in America

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Our rental house burned down yesterday. You can see it on the news. It was hard watching that standing on the street in front of our house with all of my artwork, references, research, inventions, writings, 3×5 cards of years of notes toward blog posts and prototypes, music making keyboards and music, sculptures, business paperwork, backup digital files, photographs, computers, laptops, printer, cameras, projector, art supplies, oil paints, watercolors – children’s toys, clothes, furniture – but most of all, my Legos – as it all burned down in the house.

That said, we were a white family living in a mixed, but predominantly black neighborhood of lower income means in Staten Island. And, as I sat on the sidewalk with three of my grandchildren, watching our house and over 30 yrs of work burn to the ground that I had brought to New York City from Georgia, I couldn’t help but notice that people we did not know, cared about us and that it didn’t matter to most of them that our skin is white.

We had left without any shoes, families from around the neighborhood gave some of their own children’s shoes, so our children could have shoes (and socks) to put on, with a lot of the sidewalks covered in glass – oh my god, I don’t even want to think about it. Someone brought us a cloth shopping bag with juice and cups and bottles of water. Someone else bought a pizza and some dinner for us, some yogurt, plates of rice and pasties. I don’t think we ever got to even thank anyone properly, but their generosity is beyond all words that I can express.

And yet, racism is alive and well in America every single day. My neighbors are pushed to think that way about me as a white person, and from a multitude of sources, my family and I are pushed to think that way about every race, and religion, and difference anyone might have from us.

It so happens, that I am disabled. Frankly, I’ll talk about it if I can’t get around doing it, but most of the time, I’d rather not talk about it. I do know what it is like when everyone, white black orange and in between discriminates against someone, because it has often been me that was the someone at the receiving end of that discrimination – and no one seems to think that it is not okay to be prejudiced and discriminate against a person with disabilities for some reason, but that has been my experience with it. In fact, it almost seems that everyone finds it “understandable” and agree with it being okay to be shitty or to do shitty things to anybody with any disability, when I’m being discriminated against or treated as less than because of my disabilities.

But last night, as I continued to sit on the sidewalk up the hill a ways from my house where the police told me to stay until the Fire Marshall cleared the scene and the Red Cross came, one of my daughters sent her sunglasses for me to wear because the fire trucks flashing lights had become strobes of danger that could case a seizure to me – AND NOBODY ASKED ME WHY I WANTED TO WEAR SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT! How about that. Isn’t that amazing? Nobody said any snide remarks about me trying to be a rock star or demanded that I explain why I needed to wear sunglasses at night to their satisfaction in order to receive the real freedom to wear them. Nobody asked me if there was something wrong.

People all day and all night came by and asked how we were doing and if we needed anything – which I wasn’t much help answering. Someone came that my daughter sent over to walk me to where someone else had agreed to keep the children in their house and watch them. The person helped me find my way, to step through and around and over to get to the block next over where there weren’t any flashing lights or watching the burning houses anymore or seeing the firemen sickened and overcome by the noxious fumes and heat of it all – which upset me more than words can describe.

I had been on twitter just before discovering the fire next door to us across only inches from the eaves of our house when I had to scream out, get out, get out now and grabbing the children to get out of the house and to the other side of the street because embers were raining down on us from next door and our roof had already begun its lapping tongues of fire.

I had been accused on twitter by a Trump supporter of being a racist against white people in response to something I said which was (paraphrased), it isn’t right to use my white race as an excuse for their racism, sexism, intolerance and bigotry. That is the truth. Bigotry was, at one time, tolerated – it still wasn’t right. And, it isn’t right now. People make a choice to be racist, bigoted, sexist, discriminatory, prejudiced.

It isn’t because a person is white that they are racist. It is because they have proclaimed the right to be racist and proudly made a choice to do so despite knowing it is wrong. It isn’t because a person doesn’t know any better in this day and age, they are making a choice to be racist, intolerant, sexist, or engage in whatever basis of intolerance they’ve decided they like for whatever reason they like. So, don’t tell me people are racist because they are white, or because they claim they are standing up for white people – because that is bullshit. “They” don’t speak for all white people. And the same thing is true for people who say all black people are racist against white people, or Mexican people, or foreigners, or Asians. That is bullshit too.

The other part of choice is responsibility and here is the part that is missing. When a person or group of people choose to be racist or sexist or excuse their intolerance of others using race or gender or religion as that excuse, the person choosing to be that way and act on it is responsible for it. And that kind of thinking has way too much cost and very little positive return to show for it.

Maybe everyone in our neighborhood where we had not lived an entire year when our home, our business and our studio burned down yesterday all in one fell swoop, saw us sometimes around the neighborhood going to the store or getting on the bus or sitting on the porch with neighbors talking.

And maybe they hated us and anyone else in a five block radius who was there and white at the same time – maybe. Maybe they thought we were privileged whites with whatever connotations that could bring with it. Maybe.

BUT the one thing our neighbors did that was different than that “narrative” which may have been thrust upon them by many, many things and many, many experiences – was to set it aside and meet us as human beings with the grace of God’s outstretched hand helping in a time of need beyond all measure of basic human compassion. AND, it was amazing!

When people can look me in the eyes and say, are you alright? – and it not just be the words you are supposed to say, but really genuine, I can hear it, you can year it, anyone can hear it. It is the truth, that in that one moment two human beings saw one another genuinely, spoke honestly, cared in a way beyond themselves, used common sense and shared human decency in a real way, and then there was a touch of LOVE that sparkled in that moment between them.

– cricketdiane
08-20-16
(Apologies if I didn’t say this right – but it is the best I can do with what I’m thinking right now about everything.)

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Massive Staten Island fire destroys three houses; 17 firefighters among the 21 injured

Massive Staten Island fire destroys three houses; 17 firefighters among …
New York Daily News · 18 hours ago

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/fdny-battles-fire-ripped-staten-island-houses-article-1.2757169

A raging fire tore through a crowded Staten Island block Thursday night, laying waste to three houses and damaging four more. Flaming debris poured …
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FDNY: Children Playing With Matches Cause Of Staten Island Fire

FDNY: Children Playing With Matches Cause Of Staten Island Fire
CBS New York · 2 hours ago

FDNY: Children Playing With Matches Cause Of Staten Island Fire

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A massive fire that destroyed several homes and left dozens homeless on Staten Island …
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Staten Island fire started by children playing with matches, FDNY says
Staten Island fire started by children playing with matches, FDNY says
am New York · 9 hours ago

http://www.onenewspage.com/video/20160819/5339028/Residents-Displaced-In-Staten-Island-Fire.htm

Children playing with matches sparked a six-alarm fire on Thursday that displaced 10 families and ravaged homes in the …

$400 Million Dollar Transfer to Iran was their money – How to find the real facts

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https://twitter.com/Letters4America” Steven Moore, Editor ‏@Letters4America 48m48 minutes ago
Who transported $400M? What were serial #’s to track? Was this a payment 2 ISIS?Did DNC take cut? Did Congress know? Did Treasury Sec know?”
– end quote from Twitter – @Letters4America

Among a long list of others along a similar line of thinking – a day AFTER, news media across the world showed the story’s facts to have been misleading as served up by right-wing media sources.

Google search using term – Iran negotiations

Negotiations leading to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Negotiations_leading_to_the_Joint_Comprehens…

Wikipedia
Negotiations on Iran nuclear deal framework, 26 March to 2 April 2015 … – This article discusses the negotiations between the P5+1 and …

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Comprehensive_Plan_of_Action

Wikipedia
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) known commonly as the Iran deal, is an … Formalnegotiations toward the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program began with the adoption of the Joint Plan of Action, an …

Iran nuclear deal framework – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_nuclear_deal_framework

Wikipedia
… Iran) presenting the framework agreement after the multilateral negotiations in Lausanne (2 April 2015). The Iran nuclear deal framework was a preliminary framework agreement reached in 2015 …

From CNN coverage –

“Details of the cash delivery drew fresh condemnation of the Iran deal from Republicans. They charged that the administration had empowered a major sponsor of terrorism because the nuclear agreement enables Tehran to re-enter the international economy and gives it access long-frozen funds.
http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/03/politics/us-sends-plane-iran-400-million-cash/”

And yet, when the deal was being made in 2015 and before as it was being negotiated, the funds that had been sequestered from Iranian assets in the US and abroad were part of the deal, including this $400 million to be returned to them in the manner they would find most useful (based on negotiated terms.)

These news articles from 2015 describe some of the components of the deal –

Iran negotiations: The women who made the Iran nuclear deal happen …

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33728879

BBC
Aug 6, 2015 – President Barack Obama continues to push for Congress to sign off on a nuclear deal with Iran. But the historic negotiation was brokered with …

AND

Deal Reached on Iran Nuclear Program; Limits on Fuel Would Lessen

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/…/iran-nuclear-deal-is-reached-after-long-negotiations.html
Six world powers agreed to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iranian … The deal culminates 20 months of negotiations on an agreement that …

AND

Iran nuclear talks: timeline | World news | The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com › World › Iran

The Guardian
Jul 14, 2015 – June 2013 Hassan Rouhani is elected president of Iran. He is considered more moderate, pragmatic and willing to negotiate than Ahmadinejad …
Then, making a Google search using this term – Vienna Iran

Yields more information about it –

Sanctions lifted after Iran found in compliance – CNN.com

http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/16/middleeast/vienna-iran-iaea-nuclear-deal/

CNN
Jan 16, 2016 – Iran’s foreign minister arrived in Vienna saying he was confident the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog would certify that his country was complying with …

Once they were known to be in compliance, other things in the agreements came into play including the return of assets including currencies that had been set into a trust from the point at which they were seized, sanctions put in place and sequestered.

Iran expects lifting of sanctions today, officials gather in Vienna – LA …

http://www.latimes.com/…/la-fg-iran-sanctions-vienna-20160116-story.h…

Los Angeles Times
Jan 16, 2016 – World powers signed off Saturday on a historic deal that curbs Iran’s nuclear weapons-building, eases economic sanctions that have long …

AND

there had been an early release of some specific resources that had been sanctioned or access denied to Iran as well that happened along through the negotiation sequence.
If I want to see what that was and when –

I use Google with search terms – Treasury Dept Iran assets release

Iran Sanctions – US Department of the Treasury

https://www.treasury.gov/resource…/iran.asp…

United States Department of the Treasury
As a result of Iran verifiably meeting its nuclear commitments, the United States is … the Departmentof the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued …. Licenses for Legal Fees and Costs – Guidance on the Release of Limited …

Treasury Sanctions Supporters of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program and

https://www.treasury.gov/…releases/…/jl0395…

United States Department of the Treasury
Mar 24, 2016 – Press ReleasesCurrently selected · Daily Guidance · Media Schedule … WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control … Specifically, OFAC designated two Iran-based entities directly …

JCPOA Implementation – US Department of the Treasury

https://www.treasury.gov/…/jcpoa_implemen…

United States Department of the Treasury
Jan 16, 2016 – As a result of Iran verifiably meeting its nuclear commitments, the United … In connection with reaching Implementation Day, today the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control … View All Press Releases …

AND

Lifting Sanctions Will Release $100 Billion To Iran. Then What? – NPR

http://www.npr.org/…/07/…/lifting-sanctions-will-release-100-billion-to-iran-then-what

NPR
Jul 16, 2015 – $100 billion: That’s roughly how much the U.S. Treasury Department says Iran stands to recover once sanctions are lifted under the new …

Related: Lew: Iran Not Getting the Full $100 Billion of Frozen Assets

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/…/Lew-Iran-Not-Getting-Full-100-Billion-F…

The Fiscal Times
Jul 26, 2015 – The U.S. in fact has already released billions of dollars to Iran, such as … The Treasury Department claims the economic sanctions have cost …

These articles will give more information about the full scope of funds and resources that have already been released or will be released when the negotiations are completed, if they get completed and compliance is made with the terms in the agreements on Iran’s side as they promised.

Then, if I want to track those sources I work from the news articles and using exact terms and dates for previous releases of funds, assets and resources, lifting of sanction components and policy discussions about it made in Congress, etc. and I google them or check for information in agency documents using their search engines specifically.

I noticed this one other thing on the current search terms that is interesting as a source of further info too before I make a new quick search –

U.S.-Iran Agreement – CQ Almanac Online Edition

https://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal81-1172160

CQ Press
Jump to Treasury Regulations – The Treasury Department issued regulations June 4 requiring domestic banks to transfer the Iranian assets to the Federal …

And then I make a quick search on google using the term – Congress Iran assets

which yields some interesting facts and info about the timeline of negotiations, release of assets and lifting of sanctions, qualifying compliance processes put in place, Congressional discussions and discourse about it both as the negotiations proceeded, before the negotiations started and history of the sanctions as well as the handover in January 2016 of the $400 million in foreign currency from the US to Iran.

Supreme Court rules against Iranian bank over frozen assets – LA Times

http://www.latimes.com/…/la-na-court-iran-assets-20160420-snap-story….

Los Angeles Times
Apr 20, 2016 – But Congress then adopted a special law, the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012, which said these assets “shall be …

AND

Iran Sanctions – Federation Of American Scientists

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS20871.pdf

Federation of American Scientists
May 18, 2016 – Some in Congress have proposed legislation to sanction Iran’s continued missile … Executive Order 13599 Impounding Iran-Owned Assets .

AND

U.S. sanctions against Iran – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._sanctions_against_Iran

Wikipedia
US sanctions against Iran refer to economic, trade, scientific and military sanctions against Iran, which have been imposed by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control, … In 1995, the United StatesCongress passed the Iran–Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA). Under ILSA, all foreign companies that provide investments over $20 …

AND

terrorist assets report – US Department of the Treasury

https://www.treasury.gov/…/tar2014.pdf

United States Department of the Treasury
Twenty-third Annual Report to the Congress on Assets in the United …. Table 2 contains figures for non-blocked funds relating to Iran and Syria as reported to …

AND

The Days After a Deal with Iran: Congress’s Role … – RAND Corporation

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/…/RAND_PE139.pdf

RAND Corporation
by IN CONGRESS’S ROLE – ‎Related articles
In practice, Congress’s ability to derail an Iran nuclear deal is quite limited. …… laundering concern, freezes all Iranian banks’ assets in the United States, and

THEN

If I still want to get more info and facts – I go to the Congressional record and make a search for more, including floor discussions of the relevant points in the deal.

This search, I would use the term Iran nuclear program (or programme) at the Congressional archives site to get a narrow field search results that is both current and historic records of the sanctions when they were added – and get those pieces of info all in the same results.

That’s probably because I’m lazy and don’t want to sift through the stuff for hours and really would rather spend my time scanning for the parts I’m wanting to know instead of spending time sorting through the search results to find which document pertains.

So, aside from these US based sources of information on the facts of the Iran deal and the $400 million in currency assets returned to Iran which was their money in January of this year, 2016 – take a look at the other places where information about it can be seen by anybody in the public –

Doing a Google search with these terms – UN Vienna Iran Accord

or this term – IAEA Iran Nuclear Assets

gives international sources of facts which include details sometimes not in other places or documents as obviously.

The other regulatory body concerned with the transfer of these funds and assets once the sanctions against Iran were lifted, would be the Treasuries of other nations who also sanctioned the assets, some of that info is also found on their websites as well as on the IMF and WorldBank sites, on the Central Bank of various regions websites, the UK one is pretty user friendly as arethe EU sites, and on the website for regulatory transparency who tracks them – that is at Interpol.

Enough for now. I wish people had read this information as it was coming out in the first place, then they wouldn’t have been misled so easily about the transfer of the assets back to Iran as some places presented it in the last day or two.

– cricketdiane, 08-04-16

by the way, there were sanctions lifted for business interests to interact with Iran as well from international oil companies to equipment suppliers of various types, science based equipment, drilling, etc.

It is worth looking up if you are interested and want to know when those sanctions were lifted, what it meant to Iran and the international community as well as what businesses have been involved with interacting with Iran, and how it’s going.

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Updated to correct grammatical and cosmetic issues – Cricket House Studios

Women have a history of change

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Women were not always allowed the opportunities we enjoy now, despite still being a long way from having equality. At one time women were no more than chattel or property of a man, whether her husband, her father, her brother or some other male relation.

It was illegal at one time in our country to teach a woman to read, do arithmetic or the sciences, both in the belief at the time that a woman had no capacity for learning these things and mistaken beliefs about her emotional capacity to properly use them.

Few things have changed in one sense. Women today are still not considered the same level and value of human being that any man enjoys within laws, within policy decisions, within social ideologies and religious ideologies, and within the contexts and valuations our society has given to women.

However, in light of our first major political party nomination of a woman candidate for President of the United States, I’ve been thinking about women in light of laws we’ve endured that were unfair, biased, misogynistic, propping up inequality, disrespect for women and their rights, slavery of women and laws that have kept it that way.

Many people know when women “got the vote” in 1919. But, when did women get the right to own property? And, how many states still did not allow women to own property well into the 2960’s and 70’s?

Certain aspects of coverture (mainly concerned with preventing a wife from unilaterally incurring major financial obligations for which her husband would be liable) survived as late as the 1960s in some states of the United States.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coverture

These laws said that married women were not allowed to own property on their own and reflected back to an earlier time, when the woman’s rights to enter into contracts, earn money, write a will, own property, sell property or have any say in it, were given to her husband upon marrying him.

From wikipedia –

The principle of coverture was described in William Blackstone‘s Commentaries on the Laws of England in the late 18th century:

By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law: that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection, and cover, she performs every thing; and is therefore called in our law-French a feme-covert; is said to be covert-baron, or under the protection and influence of her husband, her baron, or lord; and her condition during her marriage is called her coverture. Upon this principle, of a union of person in husband and wife, depend almost all the legal rights, duties, and disabilities, that either of them acquire by the marriage. I speak not at present of the rights of property, but of such as are merely personal. For this reason, a man cannot grant any thing to his wife, or enter into covenant with her: for the grant would be to suppose her separate existence; and to covenant with her, would be only to covenant with himself: and therefore it is also generally true, that all compacts made between husband and wife, when single, are voided by the intermarriage.[2]

A feme sole had the right to own property and make contracts in her own name, while a feme covert was not recognized as having legal rights and obligations distinct from those of her husband in most respects. Instead, through marriage a woman’s existence was incorporated into that of her husband, so that she had very few recognized individual rights of her own. As it has been pithily expressed, husband and wife were one person as far as the law was concerned, and that person was the husband.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coverture

Laws often change before society’s ideas generally change at times and remnants of this thinking is still found today in many places in the United States, from business policies to religious doctrines.

In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court said “the institution of coverture is … obsolete”[28] even while acknowledging coverture’s existence in 1–11 states.[28] In a separate opinion in the same case, Hugo Black and two others of the nine justices[i] said the “fiction that the husband and wife are one… in reality … mean[ing] that though the husband and wife are one, the one is the husband….[,] rested on … a … notion that a married woman, being a female, is without capacity to make her own contracts and do her own business”,[29] a notion that Black “had supposed is … completely discredited”.[29] Black described modern (as of 1966) coverture as an “archaic remnant of a primitive caste system”.[29][30][j]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coverture

So, although laws to allow women to own property had been changing since 1839 onward, with the Married Women’s Property Act, it still didn’t change these disparities until after the 1966 ruling by the Supreme Court within the laws of many states.

But how much did that matter, when women weren’t allowed by banks and in some states, by laws – to have her own bank account, her own money, her own decision-making capacity irespective of her family’s wishes (or husband’s)? A woman could not effectively enter into contracts and have a fair negotiating position as a man would. Some of that is still true today.

In July, the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rightsconvention, approved a “Declaration of Sentiments” authored by Elizabeth Cady Stanton that listed among the “injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman”:[9][10]

He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce, in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of the women—the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of a man, and giving all power into his hands.
The movement to expand the property rights of married women did not go unchallenged. Virginia debated and rejected such legislation in the 1840s.[8] In 1849, the Tennessee legislature stated, in one historian’s account, “that married women lack independent souls and thus should not be allowed to own property.”[11] New York expanded its statute in 1860,[12] with the Married Women’s Earnings Act.[6] It then repealed parts of its legislation in 1862, eliminating a married woman’s right to guardianship of her children and the right of a widow to manage her late husband’s estate.[8]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Married_Women%27s_Property_Acts_in_the_United_States

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This page on wikipedia has a lot of info too –
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_women%27s_legal_rights_(other_than_voting)
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Today, remnants of this thinking endures in religion, in right wing political views and in social ideologies that continue to demand a value of something less for any woman’s life, for her time, for her efforts, for her contributions, for her work, for her talents, for her ideas, for her individual power and decision making.

The antiquated and damaging belief systems that insist on inequality for women happens from every front and very nearly every influencing environment. These pressure anyone to believe women don’t have any right to equality and respect – from home and family reiterating those views, to church pulpits and church affiliated magazines and publications, to policy makers and politicians with party affiliations who still believe women should not be allowed to have the same rights and value as men, to extreme ideologies that are affecting everyone where any dialogue can occur from radio shows to newspaper articles and online presentations of them.

Any woman or girl who believes or have believed something else – that women are equal and deserve equal rights, have been treated to varying degrees of shunning, humiliation, discrediting, demeaning, private and public shaming, ridicule, cruel and vicious attacks, character attacks, family shunning, church and religious abandonment, emotional and physical abandonment by families and communities, public shaming and ridicule by churches, preachers, pundits and politicians alike, along with extraordinary disenfranchisement and exclusion from economic, financially empowering, community and social opportunities.

If the millions upon millions of dollars, hours of work, public information access time and efforts had been spent ON the women and girls of America instead of the above list of detrimental tactics from public humiliation and shaming to verbal abuse and exclusion (among other things), think of where our national gross domestic product and competitiveness in the world would be today. How many lives would’ve been made better rather than plunging so many women and children in America into a third world economic impoverishment and horrors.

  • cricketdiane, 07-30-2016

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Freedom?

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I’ve thought about it for two days now, since seeing a tweet from the DAV asking, What does freedom mean to you after so many have died protecting it? or something close to that.

Maybe my thinking is skewed by so much of the GOP garbage being spewed out right now, or the Brexit nightmare next door across the pond, but I retweeted that freedom to me means not being beat half to death every other day in my own home as has happened most of my adult life in America.

But isn’t that really the way it is? During my adult life, I’ve never lived in a prosperous America where equal opportunity awaited. I’ve not enjoyed the freedoms to purpose my life in some way that is given respect and opportunity with some accompanying success. It has not been like that.

And, maybe because all the best of the best men were sent to fight in wars throughout my teen to adult years, leaving behind a store unattended to be vilely ravaged by any pantywaist son of a bitch left behind, is why many women including me, have been at the negative end of human behaviors and men’s choices.

As Fourth of July approaches, and I’m thinking about those freedoms which I hold so dear that so many have fought and died to protect for me and for my family, I am grateful to them for doing that and grateful to their families for doing without them while they did that for us.

But, at the same time, I recognize that for the vast majority of my adult life, I’ve lived in a third world America and much of its riches and opportunities, prosperity and access to wealth, business “equality” and opportunities were as inaccessible as to the point they may have well not existed at all.

And, even though I did make every effort to act on those opportunities, had I been a man rather than a woman – resources would have been available to me that otherwise were not and still are not today.

So, on top of being vilified as the reason America’s downfall has occurred by every right wing extremist radio show host making $78 million a year or more to spew misogynistic, racist and bigoted views into the public’s mind, I’ve consistently heard that there is no reason to support any efforts I might make either. It is obscene.

I’ve watched as churches, politicians, extremists, violent right wing proponents, conservatives, radio show hosts, right wing tv news stations, right win pundits, Tea Party and GOP ultra conservatives have blamed me and women like me for everything wrong with this country short of the weather.

At the same time they were (and are) blaming us, it is while refusing to make good to me (or us) on any of the freedoms, diversity inclusions, equality, equal rights, equal opportunities, business opportunities, business funding, business resources, freedom of speech and thought, freedom of movement, freedom of religion or anything else they maintain for themselves and the corporations at my expense.

Unbelievably, I’ve never been in a position to deny contracts worth millions to an American industry as many GOP and right wing business people have. And to deny those contracts to American businesses literally cost their demise, denied them access to necessary sales to thrive and to survive.

And yet, supposedly their freedom to do that comes with no accountability at all because now the businessman running for President claims to be for supporting American businesses and people claim it must be true.

So, the perverse men running things at high levels of the right wing camp, as politicians, as political candidates, as political and economic policy makers and as CEOs of corporations, banks and oil companies, they get to lie, to vilify, to incite violence, to worship those like Gaddafi who were truly evil tyrants and give them the best of everything our country has to offer – but me, I’m considered the bad guy in their scheme of things.

Apparently, I am (and other women like me), the enemy they claim – not themselves, not their own habits and perverse diversions, not their sexual escapades, not their lack of compassion and empathy, not their choices, not their ideas and not their incapacity to know what is right. Yeah, freedom.Theirs, not mine.

And, I look at businesses that are hugely profitable making no efforts to restore or invest in the infrastructure in America that they used up, tore up, overused, misused, required for their business, didn’t make, didn’t secure, didn’t keep safe, didn’t make better, didn’t fix, didn’t maintain, didn’t design, didn’t invest in the first place and didn’t support the tax funding for any of us to do anything to keep it going or make it better either.

They were given that freedom, not me or others like me. We weren’t given the grants, tax breaks, tax schemes, resources, supports and teams of people that they had to make their profits and to make them profitable from the first step and at every place throughout the process – even after establishing good profitability.

Nope, I didn’t get any of that, nor will my daughters or sons or friends, or anyone I know, in fact. Why is that? It seems obvious that had I been given $4 million to work with, my business would look a lot different and be doing much better today than it is with nothing but my efforts and the couple hundred dollars a month I can put into it.

Obviously, I wasn’t given the freedoms that these other businesses had, from start to finish to cover every operating cost, salary, overhead, piece of equipment, materials, advertising, promotion and marketing, raw material, shipping costs and every other damn thing possible they could think of. Plus their attorney fees, land acquisitions, buildings, building funds for their new buildings, software and computers, machinery, automation, consultants, accountants and entire workforce costs.

And, then when profitable, these same corporations paid less taxes than any single or married individual in America pays while using up more of every single thing we have. Unbelievable. Is that supposed to be the freedom I have that veterans fought for? The freedom o watch as my nation has been raped, pillaged, plundered by marauding business leaders, junk bond raiders, bankers, Wall Street brokers, politicians and right wing extremists, fascists and neo-nazis?  And some of that time, I personally suffered at their hands even in my own home?

Is that the freedoms that were the result of those fights – to be saddled with student loans forever that are resold and resold and resold until I owe $30,000 for a $2300 loan, and never get to be employed nor employable, to never get to buy a house or own any successful business, to never be accepted or a part of the America I love? Is that it? Because that is not just my experience, but that of many, many women across this country – those freedoms that our nation’s soldiers have fought for have been hijacked to belong to only a few and those few are so perverse in so many ways, that it leaves my mind reeling to even try and understand any of it.

For nearly all of the thirty some odd years before President Obama took office, this nation has been run literally into the ground by Republicans from the Federal level to nearly every state government and by extreme right wing conservatives, by extremist conservatives and right wing religious viewpoints and their religions, by elitist economic policies, by inequality perpetrated by the wealthier few and their insistence that everyone in America must be the same, do the same, act the same, think the same, speak the same, look the same and live the same as them or be disenfranchised, excluded, isolated, demeaned, vilified, discredited, defunded, economically impoverished and restrained from economic opportunity, subjugated, devalued, demonized, criminalized, subjected to “mental health behavior modification” programs, disparaged, discouraged, suppressed, ruined, destroyed, decimated, and beaten nearly to death or literally beaten to death.

And, the GOP, the right wing proponents, the Republican Party politicians and pundits, the right wing propaganda machine with all its tentacles, the churches they’ve hijacked, the Tea Party grass roots movement they hijacked and every other social institution they’ve been running, have literally been given the freedoms to do whatever they damn well please to anybody for any reason at any time.

And they have so many reasons to hate, vilify and demean, that their freedoms allow them to perpetrate their decimating tactics across a broad swath of the American population – the reasons for them being hateful and destructive to individuals and various groups of people being the only real difference. I’ve dealt with it for over forty years now and frankly, I’m sick of it. Those right wing bastards are not “real” Americans, no matter what they say that makes a claim to that.

Nor are they right. Beating homeless people to death is not the freedoms that men and women have died to protect. Beating women in their own homes and excluding them from economic opportunities, raping, pillaging whatever she owns or giving her nothing for it rather than fair market value and destroying her household are not the freedoms our soldiers have died to protect. That isn’t it at all.

And those freedoms that the extreme right wing and its GOP political machine are claiming in order to act on hate and to incite violence based on their hate mongering ideologies, are not happening in an isolation that is without consequence, no matter what it seems to the people doing it and to those inciting others to do it..

The freedoms won by our US Constitution and Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence, as well as all the wars that have been fought defending them have managed to secure the freedoms that the extremists and extreme right wing proponents enjoy that allow them to do whatever they like to whomever they like, but for the rest of us? No, I would not call the shit, horrors and poverty I’ve experienced in America at the hands of “their freedoms” to have honored the freedom that was supposed to be mine.

But, I still love America. And, at least today – I can say something about it, so that is something that was worthy of the lives lost protecting my rights and freedom.

  • cricketdiane, 07-03-16