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Ginger Marin, Bionic Lady, Journalist, Actor, Author

With a Little Something to Say

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EDITORIALS

Coronavirus: Time to Hit the Reset Button

With much of the world at a standstill, it’s really time to hit the reset button. Globally. Now is the time to fix the broken, stop the environmental destruction, oust the lobbyists whose orchestrated efforts have destroyed our lives on so many levels. Will it happen? Of course not. While people and the economy are fast dying, the special interests are alive and feverishly (no, not from the virus) planning their next attack.

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Donald Trump and his minions are continuing to roll back environmental regulations, allowing the fossil fuel industry to continue to plunder and pollute with gleeful abandon and he’s rolling back automobile fuel standards put in place by the Obama administration in 2012. And those are just a few of the things he’s done in the past few months.

Trump was responsible for dismantling our country’s pandemic preparedness department (also put in place under Obama). In California, under its previous Governor Jerry Brown, the state’s massive stockpile of medical equipment and supplies was never maintained and was eventually decimated. The shortsightedness of these idiots in power is astonishing, which is precisely why America has never maintained its infrastructure.

A pandemic is ravaging us. Millions have no health insurance. Trump has refused to reopen the health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act so people can try to buy insurance during this time. Of course the Affordable Care Act was an Obama accomplishment and Trump has vowed to destroy everything Obama did, whether it worked or not, was good for the country or not, saved peoples lives or not. If ever there was a time for universal health care, it is now. Now … when millions need to be tested and countless others will need acute care in the ICU of hospitals that currently have unregulated billing systems and you could end up being charged many thousands of dollars that could cause you to go bankrupt.

So much is wrong with our social systems in this country, a country that prizes corporate interests over people. We have no safety nets or certainly inadequate ones. The proof is all around you. Nearly four million people have applied for unemployment insurance this past month. How much higher will that number go? What then?

Now is the time to hit the reset button. Cancel all debt for those earning under $100,000 a year. Maybe small business debt has to be higher, I don’t know. Let the economists figure that one out. Institute universal health care. Make education affordable. Give people a living wage. Income equality now. Tax fairness now. Get the homeless off the street. Give people who most need it a stimulus that actually means something. A one-time $1,200 payment isn’t going to cut it. Grow a backbone and the political will to do what needs to be done. Make people whole again. Make our environment whole again. Heal the planet before this pandemic increases in intensity much as our fires and floods have.

It’s great that states are saying landlords should stop evicting people for the time being. But how do you pay back rent/mortgage when you’ve earned nothing for weeks/months at a time? Hit the pause and reset. Do it now. But more important is to fix the things in our society that are broken. The list is miles long. Get rid of the special interest lobbyists in federal and state governments.

Shortsightedness is death. Now is the time. Hit the reset button. We know what to do. Hard work, yeah. Necessary work, definitely. But now is the time.

NONHUMAN RIGHTS, IT’S ABOUT TIME

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported a horrible tragedy that took place at Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park. At least 11 elephants died after plunging over the Haew Narok Waterfall in a vain attempt to save a calf. The very short report said the death toll had risen since earlier in the week when officials first found six of the elephants that had died trying to prevent the three month old from drowning.

Courtesy Los Angeles Times

Elephants are herd animals with strong social bonds in tight families. They will rally around to protect each other, especially the young. I’ve certainly seen enough wildlife shows to verify this action.

Last week, I also read an article that discussed the concept of “pointing” in apes. The idea was that animals could be considered more sentient if they understood that pointing meant a direction or that it was a directive and could perform the act themselves. It discussed a theory that went back several decades. I read with amazement as I thought, are they kidding? A monkey once told me exactly how to deliver the peanut he wanted by pointing to his prehensile tail. I was offering up the nut as he ran atop a grid above me at some kind of monkey zoo in Florida I visited many years ago. I couldn’t reach his hand so he pointed directly to his tail that swung down through the grid. Finally, this stupid human got what he was telling me. I put the peanut at the tip of his tail and he grabbed it and brought it up to his hand and ate the nut. Back then, I really was amazed. I had a successful communication with a monkey. That was in the early-mid 1970s!

Scientists, ethicists and the courts today are still debating whether or not animals should have rights. They debate their emotions, their needs and all sorts of things that are so self evident, you want to throw up your hands and punch them all in the face.

THE NONHUMAN RIGHTS PROJECTS (NhRP)

It starts with the premise that animals are sentient beings. They think. They feel. They are not simply property for us to do with as we please. There must be consideration. There must be empathy . There must be rights afforded to them.

Not someday. But today.

That’s where The Nonhuman Rights Project comes in. They advertise themselves as the only civil rights organization in the United States dedicated solely to securing rights for nonhuman animals through litigation, legislation, and education. Their main objection is defined thus: “To change the common law status of great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “legal persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily liberty and bodily integrity.” Their work is to be applauded.

Right now, among other cases, they are battling it out with New York’s Bronx Zoo that wants to keep a lone elephant in captivity. NhRP would like to see the elephant named “Happy”, of all implausible things, released to a sanctuary. Keeping any kind of herd animal alone in captivity is abuse in and of itself. The Bronx Zoo defends its action by using a Bronx County Supreme Court ruling from 2014 which asserted that to be a legal person with even a single legal right you have to be able to bear duties and responsibilities.

Happy the Elephant
Happy at Bronx Zoo, New York. Photo: Gigi Glendinning

Patently absurd. A human baby cannot bear duties and responsibilities and yet it very clearly is a legal person under our laws. A person deemed legally insane cannot bear duties and responsibilities; nor can any number of other incapacitated individuals. And yet no one has suggested they can be easily deprived of any rights whatsoever.

Why are certain venues adamant in opposing legal rights for animals? Greed. They operate for profit and they are willing to torture a single animal for the pleasure of their continued profits. The Bronx Zoo’s lone elephant “Happy”, who against all common sense standards, is relegated to a solitary existence and is most likely being driven insane. Yet, the Bronx Zoo resists all efforts by NhRP to get Happy transferred to a sanctuary. Would Happy’s absence from the Zoo really create a terrible hardship to them? NO. But of course it might set a precedent against their never-ending profit scheme to keep elephants or any other species in captivity. Not just the Bronx Zoo, of course, but many more that operate just like it. A sanctuary, on the other hand, would afford animals the right to form their own families and bonds and allow them space to interact with their own kind and breed with whom they choose.

We humans have done great injustices to other species for so long, it’s high time for us to do the right thing. The Nonhuman Rights Projects is their salvation. It has taken basic animal rights a step farther. Now if only the courts will do the right thing and secure animal rights on the level they deserve.

To read more about NhRP’s client Happy the elephant and to see a timeline of events, go to https://www.nonhumanrights.org/client-happy/ What is particularly sad is that the timeline shows that Happy will probably be dead by the time U.S. courts defend common sense principles.

An interesting discussion on the subject can be found here https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/can-elephants-be-persons

Ginger Marin Interviewed for Authority Magazine

Recently, I was interviewed by Yitzi Weiner for Authority Magazine on Medium and Thrive Global.  I appreciated the opportunity and found the questions thought-provoking on many levels.  The topics ranged from career moments to discussions about how I viewed the world.

Mr. Weiner is a journalist, author, and the founder Authority Magazine, and CEO of Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator, which guides leaders to become prolific content creators.  In 2017, he created the popular, “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” series that highlights the empowering lessons learned from the experiences of high-profile entrepreneurs and public figures.

View at Medium.com

Rising Star Ginger Marin: “It is the responsibility of every human to care for the planet; It is, after all, our only home.”

I believe wholeheartedly that it is the responsibility of every human to care for the planet. It is, after all, our only home. That means to care for each other and every other species in existence along with our natural resources. To abuse our world the way humans have done for so long is insane. […]

America’s Fake Outrage

Last week, the Syrian government used chemical weapons, sarin gas specifically, that took the lives of 70 of its citizens, children among them, “beautiful babies” as Trump called them.  America was OUTRAGED.

Big agri-chemical companies poison American citizens on a daily basis.  Our bodies are filled with harmful chemicals from pesticides, lead, mercury and on and on that affect our immune systems, endocrine systems, brain, liver, kidneys, etc.  America is NOT outraged.

As many as 29 million Americans, about one in 10, lack health insurance according to a May 2016 article by thefiscaltimes.com, causing many to go without any kind of health care which can lead to debilitating diseases and death.  America is NOT outraged.

The United States still, after all these years, does not have universal health care.  America is NOT outraged.

Before the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies did not have to cover pre-existing conditions. Many people including “beautiful babies” died slow horrible deaths from their horribly debilitating preexisting conditions.  America was NOT outraged.

The big pharmaceutical companies get away with charging obscene amounts of money for their cache of drugs, some of which are so expensive that health insurance companies won’t pay for them and people cannot afford to buy them which leads many people, including “beautiful babies”, to die slow painful deaths,.  America is NOT outraged.

In January 2014, the number of homeless veterans was cited at 49,933. They get no health care, no food; they’re becoming sick, dying from suicide, illness, hunger, exposure to heat and cold.  America is NOT outraged.

According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 564,708 people in January 2015 were homeless on a given night in the United States. Of that number, 206,286 were people in families and 358,422 were individuals. About 15 % of the homeless population, 83,170, are considered “chronically homeless” individuals.  They die just like the homeless veterans from the very same reasons, including from violence committed against them.  America is NOT outraged.

Factory farming’s bad practices encourages nonstop use of antibiotics in non-sick animals causing antibiotic resistance in humans which leads to severe illnesses not being treatable. People suffer; people die.  America is NOT outraged.

Los Angeles, as just one example, allows the construction of homes within feet of freeways, deliberately exposing citizens to high levels of known toxic chemicals which wreak havoc on their health, shortening their life spans and yet, America is NOT outraged.

Our governments ignore infrastructure. Bridges collapse and people in cars careen to their deaths; freeway overpasses collapse and people get crushed to death. People are killed just walking on our crumbled, overlapping sidewalks; pipes burst from age, people get sick from toxic emissions, some get cancer; railroad tracks are outdated and trains derail causing death and injury.  America is NOT outraged.

How are we all NOT outraged by the supreme hypocrisy of our governments and by our own obliviousness?

The Amazing Hacksaw Ridge and Andrew Garfield

hacksaw-ridgeHere it is February 2017 and it’s time for the Academy Awards to be broadcast this Sunday.  The awards’ season opened with people jumping up and down over La La Land for who knows what reason. The movie sucks. I guess people forgot what really good musicals are like. It wasn’t that long ago when “Chicago” hit the screen. Now that was a great musical.

In any case, I could not let this season go by without commenting on the Mel Gibson directed film “Hacksaw Ridge” starring Andrew Garfield. It’s spectacular from start to finish. It tells the story of WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, a true conscientious objector who refused to kill people and became the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. He saved the lives of 75 soldiers single handedly in a feat of determination, strength and undying faith.  This is what a real hero looks like.

Andrew Garfield’s performance demands more than just an Oscar nomination. He deserves the win. He physically and emotionally embodies Doss and when he talks of faith and why he cannot pick up a gun, you believe every word and truly understand the motivation.

Garfield is surrounded by excellent acting from his fellow cast members including Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington. Exceptional are Hugo Weaving and Rachel Griffiths as Doss’ parents. There is one scene that takes place in the Doss kitchen between Desmond and his parents that is stunning and heartbreaking as the father’s pain is horribly exposed.  It is what turns Desmond into the direction of conscientious objector and becomes the very thing that causes his father to step up and commit to his son’s decision to fight the enemy in his own way, as a medic, working to save the lives of his fellow soldiers.

The film is absolutely gruesome in displaying the horrors of war; body parts blown off, intestines exposed; heads blasted; rats feasting on the remains. Yes, it’s sickening but it’s real. This movie deserves much credit this Oscar season. Garfield’s performance deserves the award for best actor.  Hacksaw Ridge is nominated for best film and Mel Gibson for best director but they’ve got some stiff competition, unfortunately also from the aforementioned La La Land.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.

New Book Release From Ginger Marin

“Adventures in Avalon: An Offbeat & Quirky Adult Bedtime Story” by Ginger Marin was published in paperback on June 24, 2016. The book is also available in Kindle Format and it can be read for free via KindleUnlimited. Click the link to go straight to the Amazon sales page.

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Description:  Intrepid reporter Ginger Marin discovers a lost civilization of cartoon people living in Middle America, in a town called Avalon in the County of Ligature-Upon-Avon … one of those quaint little communities that is somewhat lost in American space, neither here nor there but definitely somewhere.

Her dispatches from the front lines will thrill and excite you as she describes all the crazy things cartoon people do when they think no one’s watching. You’ll read the fascinating, slightly raunchy, true tales of the Avalon Defense Department (a.k.a. police department) where rock star police detective General Schnitzkof, a former British officer, and his trusted assistant, rookie cop WingWing, a rotund little dumpling of a “lad”, solve some of the town’s most absurd crimes such as these: “The Case of the Missing Member or How John Sir Gwaine Bobolini Lost One of His Family Jewels and How He Recovered It … Well Sort Of”, “The Case of the Missing Haunted Mobile Home” and last, but certainly not least, “The Cream Puff Caper”, where you’ll meet some of Avalon’s worst offenders like that pervert Mr. Parabolikos and murderous old lady Wiggins.

Ginger Marin is an actor-writer living in Los Angeles. For information about her acting credits, please visit Ginger’s IMDB Page.  Also follow Ginger Marin on Goodreads.

2016 Oscars Telecast Sucked

Emmy®-winning live television producer David Hill and Oscar®-nominated producer-director Reginald Hudlin produced the 88th Oscars telecast on Feb. 28, 2016. It was absolutely the worst Academy Awards show in history, from host Chris Rock’s endless “OscarsSoWhite” rants to his hawking Girl Scout Cookies to Vice President Biden showing up to talk about campus rape to the corrupted Best Picture video clips and all the way to the inappropriate orchestral music selections. Hill and Hudlin should be permanently barred from ever producing another show.

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Chris Rock

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs had said earlier that she hoped Chris Rock would simply acknowledge the “elephant in the room” and then move on. Instead, Rock rode the elephant in, made it do a song and dance, twirl on its trunk, take a huge dump, throw rotten peanuts at the audience and then finally spout hundreds of gallons of regurgitated bile at them. Not only was this entertainment show not entertaining, it was disgraceful and insulting to all the nominees of every category. And unless they’re all masochists, the attendees, whether members of the Academy or not or job hirers or not, had to sit there smiling and applauding, lest they be perceived as racist.

The only political message that was welcome was winner Leonardo DiCaprio’s pro environment stance. Why? Because if we don’t act now to save the planet and all of its valuable resources, none of us will be around to watch another crappy, vile and insulting Oscar telecast hosted by Chris Rock or anyone else.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.  Ginger Marin is also on Google+

Meaning of Christmas

Christmas. I never could figure out how celebrating someone else’s birthday equates to buying ourselves presents.

We are but an overpopulated world full of super consumers using every excuse to reward ourselves for no particular reason.

But this picture is very pretty, don’t you think?

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Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.

The Film “99 Homes” Dramatizes America’s Big Banks’ Mortgage/Foreclosure Fraud

99HomesRemember when the Occupy Wall Street movement went global? And when we were constantly being bombarded by stories about the institutionalized fraud and scams perpetrated by the big bank mortgage/foreclosure industry and their independent contractor cronies?

How is that the ire of “the 99%” amounted to nothing?

When Senator Bernie Sanders said Wall Street controls Congress, he was right on the money.

The film “99 Homes” effectively dramatizes the foreclosure market at the height of big bank’s greed, circa 2008. I believe it should be required viewing by all members of Congress and the White House.  Because, frankly, our  lawmakers need a reminder about what the 99% are still facing without proper banking regulations in place.

Starring Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield, “99 Homes”, released this month, explores how a father (Garfield) struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real estate broker (Shannon) who’s the source of his frustration.

It’s a tightly directed film by Ramin Bahrani, who also wrote the screenplay with Amir Naderi. Laura Dern and Tim Guinee co-star with measured and heart wrenching performances.

My blood boiled as I watched it. Anyone who’s read my Big Bully Bank Case  posts will understand. Having been intimately aware of the subject matter, as a result of my extensive research for my case, I could feel my blood pressure skyrocket as I was once again subjected to the devastating truth of how pathetic our banking system is. The film touches on every aspect of the corrupt system.

Garfield’s character, Dennis Nash, loses his home after being told by his mortgage company to miss payments before they will consider refinancing. In the biz, it was called dual tracking, where one department tells the homeowner to deliberately miss payments while a different department is actively on track foreclosing on the homeowner. The bank then goes to court and, with the help of uninformed/corrupt judges, has the poor slug evicted, naming him a trespasser, in the process. In this case it’s Nash. He, along with his son, Connor, effectively played by Noah Lomax, and his mother Lynn (Laura Dern) are forced to move into a nearby motel that’s filled with other similarly affected families. On top of that, with the poor economy, Nash can’t find work in the construction business.

Without getting into too many spoilers, Nash has reason to again bump into realtor Rick Carver (Michael Shannon) who represented the bank during his eviction and he gets slowly sucked into the world of mortgage/foreclosure scams and fraud that is so deeply entrenched in the American banking system.

I was torn apart by the riveting performances of Garfield and Tim Guinee (also a displaced homeowner) as much as I was appreciative of Shannon’s nuanced take on his character of the real estate broker.

Director Ramin Bahrani has made an intensely dramatic film with undertones of a documentary about corruption so systemic and harmful that I would urge everyone to see it and once again rise up and make that Occupy Movement a thing that changes our country for the better.

More information HERE.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.

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