Sunday, December 25, 2011

What the Frack?

"No one has the right to use America's rivers and America's Waterways that belong to all the people as a sewer. The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one State, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people."—President Lyndon B. Johnson, signing the 1965 Clean Water Act

There's been a lot in the news lately about something called “fracking.” The natural gas industry and their customers benefit from it. But environmentalists and people who drink well water are fighting it. To understand why people love or hate it, let’s take a moment to explain just what it is.

Fracking is a slang term for hydro-fracturing, a process where water, sand and chemicals are injected into the earth at high pressure to fracture rock formations deep underground. This allows access to natural gas deposits that are playing hard to get.

Traditional drilling methods, used for over a century, brought gas to the surface simply by drilling vertically, with minimal environmental impact. (See "A," below.) However, most gas no longer resides in easily accessible reservoirs. Instead, it lies trapped within small fissures of rock. (See "B.") To extract the gas, vast amounts of water (with various chemicals added) are injected deep underground at extremely high pressure, thereby fracturing the rock (hence the term "fracking") and allowing the gas to escape. Sand injected along with the water helps to prop open the newly-created fissures (see "C.") and the gas can then rise to the surface through the fracking fluid.
Illustrations are from from "Hancock and the Marcellus Shale: Gas Extraction Along the Upper Delaware" by The Earth Institute Columbia University Urban Design Lab.
"One effect of benefit-cost analysis is to give any respectable engineer or economist a means for justifying almost any kind of project the national government wants to justify… Exclusive reliance on benefit-cost analysis has been one of the greatest threats to wise decisions in water development."—Gilbert F. White, unpublished paper, Columbia University, March 21, 1971

What are the advantages of fracking?
  • An AARP Public Policy Institute analysis of heating costs for seniors found natural gas customers will average $542 to heat their homes this winter, fuel oil customers will average $2,675 and electric heat customers will average around $468, according to an article in the December 18, 2011 Star Ledger. (While oil prices rose in recent years, electric prices are tied to gas because of gas-fired power plants.) The increased supply—and therefore lower cost—of natural gas has come from fracking shale deposits in nearby states such as Pennsylvania
  • The federal government projects that by 2035, 47 percent of gas produced in the U.S. will come from shale sources. That increased production is especially beneficial to New Jersey residents: 76 percent of New Jersey homes heat with gas, compared with 12 percent using fuel oil and kerosene and 11 percent that use electricity, according to Census Bureau data. (I, unfortunately, belong to the oil-poor group)
"Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans."—Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) 

What are the disadvantages of fracking?

As opposed to traditional drilling, fracking requires:
  • Vast amounts of water
  • Various chemical lubricants, many of which are toxic. (Chemicals used in fracking are considered proprietary, and are therefore secret, ie, you're being poisoned on a need-to-know basis)
So why is the above important?
  • The water used in fracking poses a major disposal problem. It ends up in reservoirs that can leak into groundwater
  • There have been over a thousand instances of groundwater contamination in areas near fracking sites. Read all about it!
  • Fracking has never been subject to an independent assessment of its environmental impact. (Although a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] is currently being conducted in Washington, amid the objections from the oil and gas industries)
  • Fracking isn't subject to federal regulation. (This was accomplished via an EPA exemption pushed through Congress by then Vice-President Dick Cheney in 2005)
  • The full long-term environmental impact of fracking is unknown. (What better reason to go full-speed ahead!)
“We believe the natural gas industry should be subject to the same regulations as any other industry in the US. The natural gas in the ground isn't going anywhere. It's been there for millions of years and will remain there until disturbed. Groundwater, on the other hand, can take generations to recover once it's been contaminated. Once the damage is done, it cannot be undone. The safety of our groundwater supply is at risk.”

What is the stance of our altruistic Congress?
  • In a hearing on Capitol Hill last May, Republican members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee struggled to make the case against an investigation by the EPA into fracking. The agency is already midway into its multi-year study
  • Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) recently protested that the agency should not even be conducting the study. During the hearing, he seemed to suggest that the EPA study wasn’t needed because not enough people have died to warrant an investigation, according to So does that mean the Congressman from California is admitting that some people have died as a result of fracking’s impact on the environmentbut not enough of them?
  • Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) forced the Republicans’ star witness Michael J. Economides to admit that the oil and gas industry pays him about $1 million a year to testify on their behalf. So do you think he’d show up if the job were pro bono?
  • A week before the May hearing, Duke University researchers unveiled a peer-reviewed study for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that finds high methane levels in groundwater near where fracking has occurred. France’s conservative-controlled lower house of parliament took the first legislative step toward approving a nationwide ban on fracking. (So those pesky academics—and the French—are spoiling the fracking party due to some bothersome things called facts)
"You don't miss your drinking water until your well runs dry."—old country proverb

Is fracking being done in New Jersey?

Fracking has not yet been approved in New Jersey. It is currently being considered in Trenton, pending additional hearings. Environmentalists fighting the introduction of fracking into our small state have pointed to findings earlier this month by the EPA that fracking could cause groundwater pollution. The Delaware River Basin Commission is also looking into setting rules for fracking to safeguard the Delaware watershed.

State ratepayer advocate Stefanie Brand, describes cheap natural gas as a wonderful thing for ratepayers—but she wants savings to come with safety. "We have to see better (environmental) practices," Brand said in the Star Ledger, "Because we’re not solving any problem if the end result is contaminating our water supply."

Everything in life comes at a price. Are you willing to decrease the cost of your heating bills at the risk of contaminating your drinking water? If you go onto YouTube, you can see videos of people in other states lighting the water coming out of their faucets with a match. Not a pretty sight. This is a small state with a limited aquifer for drinking water. The question is: Are you feeling lucky?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tenacious G Plays the Good Samaritan

One reality of having an elderly parent is that you end up sitting in the emergency room from time to time. For instance, a few years ago, my mother decided to leap onto her single bed and landed on the opposite-side floor. This resulted in a broken toe—and a six-hour wait in the emergency room with my mother profusely complaining about the bad service. In a preventive measure, I purchased a double bed for her so that the next time she leapt, she would not overshoot and break something else.

Last night, my mother’s assisted living facility called to say that she had hit her head while trying to help another resident with a motorized wheelchair off an elevator. Apparently, her friend hit the accelerator at the wrong time and sent her flying against the wall. File that one under Geriatric Hijinks.

Tenacious G's assisted living crib: Victoria Mews.
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”—Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., not anticipating Tenacious G.

The phone rang around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday night. The Victoria Mews nurse asked that I ferry Mom to the local hospital to ensure the lump on her head was not serious. Bear in mind, that Saturday night is typically the time of week when you are competing with the aftermath of drunk driving, bar fights and whatever else sends people to the hospital during their leisure pursuits.

Little did the nurse appreciate just how hard my mother’s skull truly is. I drove out there and found my mother sitting in the nurse’s office with an icepack on her head, looking like a wayward student in the principal’s office.

“This is nonsense,” she protested. Just the same, the emergency room visit was necessary, so we hopped into my car and drove to the hospital. The nurse there had a great sense of humor. I handed her the stack of papers the facility had given me and she had all the documentation she needed. She ushered us into a curtained stall to await the doctor. Mom occupied a gurney that allowed her to sit up. I had packed a bunch of holiday catalogs for her to read so she wouldn’t complain loudly about the service.

“Love makes the world go round and so does a bump in the head.”—Bill Ekstrand

Not a patient: Tenacious G's friend is a Halloween mummy.
A nice doctor came in to ask her what happened. He laughed and encouraged her to continue helping her fellow residents, despite the scolding she had received from her assisted living nurses. He felt a CAT scan was in order, so she was wheeled out for that. An hour later, she received a clean bill of health and the admiration of the staff on her 85-year-old, tough-as-nails constitution. I told the nurse that I expected that some day she would be taking care of me.

We got back into my car and she immediately assumed the captaincy of the vehicle, directing my driving, from how to back out of the parking space to the proper position my hands should assume on the steering wheel. There was a lot of “Watch out!” and “Look both ways!” that was reminiscent of my younger days.

When we got back to her facility, I walked her up to the nurse’s office to share the discharge papers. “I figured there was nothing wrong with her,” the nurse admitted, “But we had to check it out and make sure.” I agreed.

Mom sped off in her unsteady gate toward her room, grumbling about what nonsense it had all been and such a waste of time. “See you tomorrow!” I said to her back as she trundled off. It was time to return home for a very late dinner.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Aging With My Pedal to the Metal

I've spent most of my life not giving much thought to old age. When I was young it seemed irrelevant, and when I was middle-aged I was too busy. Now that the kids are grown and I have time to reflect, I see old age as a car speeding toward a precipice. Someday, I will go over the edge and plunge to my doom, but until then I'm hoping I can continue to keep my foot pressed down to the floor on the accelerator.

“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” — Kurt Vonnegut

My earliest memories of old people involve living a block away from the Firemen's Home in Boonton, New Jersey. Firemen who had no place to live when they got old stayed there. The elderly firemen used to stroll up and down our street for exercise and fresh air. They walked very slowly and smiled at us kids as we ran up and down the street playing noisily. We said hi to them; they said hi back. It never occurred to me to try to talk to them. They were odd-looking creatures—and after all, they were strangers.

Great Aunt Allie in the nursing home circa the 1960s.
I also spent a good part of my childhood visiting nursing homes to call on my grandmother's sister, Aunt Allie. These homes were smelly and filled with people who looked sad or scared. I have images from my childhood of the elderly staring into space as if they had been deserted on a street corner. I suppose, in a sense, they had.

What I didn't appreciate when I was a child was that while the elderly look old, inside they feel the same as anyone else. My 85-year-old mother tells me that sometimes when she looks in the mirror, she's surprised to see someone old staring back. "I feel the same way I did when I was 18," she says.

“It takes a long time to become young.”—Pablo Picasso

We seem to be living in a culture that de-valuates old age. People are always trying to look younger and erase wrinkles. Ironically, some cultures celebrate those wrinkles. According to Chinese face reading, every wrinkle on your face represents a lesson learned. To erase wrinkles is to erase the wisdom that's been gained. Nice thought. I'm tired of seeing commercials on how to erase my aging, as if it were a disease. I'm getting old. Deal with it. If my appearance is too hideous, then avert your eyes.

Cultures around the world have diverse ways of viewing old age, according to, Pulitzer prize-winning author Professor Jared Diamond and a few other sources:
Tenacious G (Grandma) feeling as young as ever.
  • American Indians: They regard their elderly as knowledgeable and their older women as powerful. The grandmother is the heart of the family, and as she ages, the family cares for her in return for her years of devotion.
  • Japan: Age is synonymous with wisdom and authority. Older people are the family advisers. The basic unit of Japanese society is the family, and the welfare of the family as a whole is placed above individual members. Elders are the nucleus around which families are built. They are seen as wise, respected, and most importantly, contributing members of society. Children take care of their parents long into their advanced years and consider it an honor.
  • East Asia: Cultures steeped in a Confucian tradition place a high value on filial piety, obedience and respect. It is considered utterly despicable not to take care of your elderly parents.
  • India: The elderly hold authority, with the right to control the wealth of the family. Matriarchs often run the household. As a sign of respect, Indians have a custom of touching the feet of an older person when they meet. They bow down their heads in front of the elderly as a sign of offering themselves as a vessel of service for the older individual.
  • Latin America: The elderly are highly regarded because of their wisdom and inner strength. They are shown a high degree of respect and are cared for by the younger generation when they are no longer able to take care of themselves. This is usually done in the home as opposed to in a facility. Taking care of their elderly is a matter of honor and pride.
  • Germany: They see dependence as a very negative quality and invest a lot of time and energy to keep themselves young and healthy. Some studies suggest that Americans consider themselves old at a much younger age than Germans and most of their European counterparts.
  • Traditional nomadic tribes: They often abandon their elderly during their travel out of necessity. The healthy and young cannot carry the old and infirm on their backs—along with children, weapons and necessities—through perilous territory. 
  • Paraguay’s Aché Indians: They assign certain young men the task of killing old people with an ax or spear, or burying them alive. They often experience famine so food can be scarce. 
Old age ain't no box of chocolates!
“Old age is an excellent time for outrage. My goal is to say or do at least one outrageous thing every week.” —Louis Kronenberger

So there are cultures that revere the elderly and consider caring for them an honor; cultures like the United States that consider the elderly unproductive and senile, and shove them away in nursing homes; and cultures that are too poor in food and resources to keep their elderly alive. I guess that puts the future American elderly like me in the mediocre middle. We aren't revered or respected, but we're not being whacked by a family member either.

My ambition at this point is to be one of those crazy old ladies who wears a red hat, protests for social justice as a member of the Raging Grannies, and keeps a small posse of cats for company. Like most people, I hope to live life to the fullest until I go over the cliff. In the meantime, I intend to keep my foot firmly pressed on the accelerator—and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Queen for a Day

A woman savors the glory of being crowned Queen for a Day.
When I was a young child, there was a television show called Queen for a Day. Clutching my sippie cup, I would watch as housewives in horn-rimmed glasses and aprons competed like nobody's business to be crowned Queen for a Day so they could win new kitchen appliances. They competed by telling the most heart-rending tale of woe about their lives that they could muster. The most pathetic storyteller would win. It always ended with a crying matron being crowned, robed and handed a bouquet of roses—the women off to the side trying not to look too bitter. I guess you could call this the precursor to reality television. Needless to say, this show would probably be a tad politically incorrect these days. But my mother's generation enjoyed watching it. We, after all, are a nation of competitors, whether housewives, business people or athletes.

Then, there's another form of competition....

Nothing says Halloween like a freak blizzard.
My mother lives in an assisted living facility. Every year they have a Halloween party where the residents—ages 80 to 100-plus—compete with the ferocity of the Olympics to win prizes for the best costumes. This year, my mother chose to be Cleopatra. We bought a size large sequenced gown along with a very impressive black wig, cut with the distinctive Cleopatra bangs. Even at 85, Mom is still a party girl at heart and knows how to have a good time.

I took the day off from work so I could help her dress for the event, and due to an unseasonal blizzard a few days before, which knocked out electricity where my husband works, he came along as well. I had been too busy that day to dress in costume, but Steve donned his batman outfit, figuring he could blend in with the residents. They were quite pleased to see a "young man" come dressed in costume. He posed for several pictures with his bat wings outstretched, enjoying the attention.

Tenacious G rules the Nile at Victoria Mews assisted living.
Mom had actually gotten most of her costume on by the time we had arrived. She just needed help with the velcro in the back. Also, I tucked back some wisps of telltale gray hair that were trying to assert themselves out from under her black wig.

The festivities began with the residents walking or riding their motorized wheelchairs along the hallways to show off their Halloween personas. They ranged from a pirate brandishing his sword as he trundled along in his wheelchair to a hippie grandma on a walker donning long blond hair and psychedelic clothing. Then everyone sat in an upstairs meeting room for hot cider, crudites and candy.

An elderly gentlemen dressed in bright red long underwear offered live music with songs he belted out on his saxophone.  He played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to a green witch and a number of classic tunes from the 1940s.

Free, live sax from an old Italian man.
The recreational director was snapping photos of everyone. When she was done, she projected them on a large screen so everyone could see themselves and their fellow residents on the Big Screen. I also took a few choice photos, which I share with you here.

Pat, owner of VM, told dirty jokes, poodle in hand.
The judges walked around the room thoughtfully reviewing this year's entries. Finally, it was time to announce the winners. A green witch in a motorized wheelchair won for the scariest costume. Her daughter had come earlier in the day to dress her and paint her face green with dark circles under the eyes. A woman wearing a mask of an old man with a cigar in his mouth won for the funniest costume. And finally—and I saw my mother, lips pursed, waiting expectantly with hopes of glory—the most original costume was awarded to the resident who had dressed like Cleopatra. Mom jumped up and grasped a $5 gift certificate to the facility's on-site general store.

Then the owner of Victoria Mews—a senior citizen himself—began telling dirty jokes that surprised even Steve and me. None of the grandmothers or grandfathers celebrating the day seemed to mind. Some of them looked like they might be dozing off anyway.

Mom clutched her certificate, satisfied, that this year she had captured the prize for her costume. Cleopatra had achieved the status of Queen for a Day.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Experiencing the Braco Effect

Last August, a friend of mine sent me some information on a man from Croatia named Braco (pronounced brot'-so). He apparently heals people just by looking at them or at a photo. Yes, I know, you have a bridge to sell me.

I watched a couple of YouTube testimonials from people in Europe and the United States. Supposedly, there is medical documentation to show that people who had terminal diseases and many other physical or emotional maladies had experienced spontaneous cures after a gazing session with Braco. I found that intriguing.

Over 250,000 people have seen Braco.
Braco is 43 years old, married and has a young son. He has long hair, which makes me feel nostalgic for the late sixties. He never sought to be a healer, so the story goes. He had a Master’s degree in economics and had worked previously in the business world.

One day, his mother wanted to see a well-known Croatian healer, Ivica Prokic. Braco thought the man might be a charlatan, so he went with his mother to check the man out. He was so impressed, he quit his day job to work with this healer. Prokic became his mentor and felt that Braco had a natural talent for healing. When Prokic drowned in 1995, people began asking Braco for help. At first, he declined, but the sick kept coming anyway. Through word of mouth only, his following grew. He apparently does not do television or newspaper interviews.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."—Thomas Edison, Inventor

I looked up Braco’s website and found that he was appearing at the Sheraton Hotel in East Rutherford, New Jersey in early October. I bought a full-day pass for myself and my husband, Steve, as well as a one-session pass the next day for Steve, myself and our two daughters (who know—eyes rolling—that Mom is into new and interesting experiences).

One thing that impressed me about Braco was how inexpensive his sessions were. At a cost of $8 per session, anyone can afford to see him. In one session, Steve and I sat next to two Roman Catholic nuns dressed in full habits. People came from as far as California, Florida, Puerto Rico and Europe to attend these sessions in New Jersey.

Braco was born in Zagreb, the capitol of Croatia.
I decided that the best way to get my money’s worth was to bring photos of every member of my family, plus my personal trainer (who’s having some health issues) and a young man I used to work with who is suffering from an invasive brain tumor. I did not tell him I was doing this. People who are seriously ill can get offended if they think you are trying to be “helpful.” But he has a wife and two young children, so I decided there was no harm in taking his photo and not telling him.

I’m not sure what I expected. My husband is very good at sensing energy, while I am energy-deaf, so to speak.

"The art of healing comes from nature and not from the physician. Therefore, the physician must start from nature with an open mind."—Paracelsus

So we sat in the first session. Steve saw an aura of white around Braco and was overpowered by the energy surging out of him. Not much happened for me. The second session, Steve had another dramatic episode; every cell in his body was tingling. Not much happened for me.

Then I told Steve for the next session, I would close my eyes. I know you’re supposed to look into Braco’s eyes, but that just wasn’t working for me. With my eyes open, I’m too easily distracted. There were, after all, shiny objects in the room. So on the third session, Steve again experienced heat, vibrations and mind-blowing energy waves. With my eyes closed, I felt a warm surge of contentment, maybe even a mild floating sensation. It was a beginning. We had four more sessions. Steve was almost levitating after one of them. My reactions were more low-key. One thing I did notice—and I hope it remains. My legs and one hand have been swollen for quite some time. By the end of the evening, most of the swelling was gone.

It’s said that many of the effects of a session with Braco take weeks to manifest. So now, I needed to sit back and see if anything would change for either one of us or the people whose pictures we’d held during the sessions.

The day after the session, I visited my mother, as I do every Sunday. I asked her how she was feeling, as I always do. She said she felt better than she had in a long time; that her health had gone up a level. Normally, she just smiles at me and says, "I'm fine." I never told my mother about Braco as she would most likely laugh at me and shake her head.

I can't speak for my daughters. They both think that energy healers are crap.

"Quantum physics has found that there is no empty space in the human cell, but it is a teeming, electric-magnetic field of possibility or potential.”—Dr. Deepak Chopra

Steve has not taken his fibromyalgia medication since the session—which at this point is almost a month ago. (He has had fibromyalgia for 11 years and has depended on that medication to function.) He also has not experienced any migraines since the session; usually a daily occurrence for him. And I can touch him on the shoulders and back, normally a no-no for someone who has fibro-sensitive nerve endings. As for myself, the more noticeable swelling has not come back, although my ankles are still a bit puffy.

Is Braco a gifted healer or a con artist? That's hard to say. But at $8 a session, who cares? It can't hurt.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tenacious G: The Last Leaf

When I was in secondary school, I read a story by O Henry called The Last Leaf. The gist of the story was this (and forgive me if I get any details wrong; I read it more than 40 years ago):

A sickly young woman and an old painter lived in the same building. The old painter felt discouraged because his life was coming to an end and he had never painted a masterpiece. The young woman was discouraged because she didn't seem to be getting over her sickness. One day, she told the old painter that she was convinced that she would die when the last leaf fell off of the vine on the wall across from her bedroom window. The winter came and went, but the last leaf on the vine never fell. She took it as a divine sign that she would get well, and eventually she did. She wanted to share the good news with her friend, the painter. She asked someone in her building where he was. She was told that he had caught pneumonia painting a leaf on the wall across from her window and died. She realized he had finally painted his masterpiece—for her.

Tenacious G: The Last Leaf
The "last leaf," today, often refers to the last person of a generation who has not died. My mother, aka, Tenacious G, was lamenting to me the other day that everyone she talks about these days seems to be dead. I know that makes her feel sad, as it would anyone.

The day after she made that remark, I received a phone call from the son-in-law of the man she resided with for over ten years after my father passed away. They were very fond of each other, but when Michael fell ill, they had to split. He rejoined his family in Atlanta and Mom stayed up here with us. Michael called her every day for three years, until he became too ill to call her anymore.

The phone call from his son-in-law, Bill, was to tell me that he had passed away. Michael was 93, had lived a long life, but bone cancer finally took him. Bill said he had been on a morphine drip and passed peacefully. The family in Atlanta felt it was more appropriate for me to tell Mom.

I was going to see Mom the following day, so I wondered how to break it to her and how she would react. She asked me to take her to the Halloween Store so she could buy a wig for a costume she had recently purchased, then I suggested we visit a park in the area to enjoy the lovely day. We sat down on a bench, both of us watching a beautiful pair of swans on the lake—and I told her.

"Oh," she replied. "I knew he was very sick. At least he isn't suffering anymore." I thought there might be tears, but instead she was philosophical about it. I was surprised but relieved. I guess at this point in her life, she is accustomed to loss. And she and Michael had been separated for several years, so perhaps she had already grieved the passing of the relationship. "I've lost them both," she added, referring to my Dad and her boyfriend. And that was it.

One of the swans that failed to capture my mother's interest.
We sat there for a while and then she said, "The swans aren't doing anything at all. I'm bored. Let's go. I want to get back and try on my wig."

"Okay," I replied.

Mom was never one for sitting around. Nor has she ever been the type who indulged in feeling sorry for herself. Impatient, she was already on her feet and heading in an unstable gait toward the car. It was time to move on to the business of living.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

A friend called me this past week to ask if I'd like to go into NYC and give the Occupy Wall Street folks some support. I said, yes! I was delighted to have the opportunity.

When we got there, I made a point of thanking everyone I met. They were a great crowd of people—all ages, ethnicities and educational levels. Basically, the 99% were there.

The news media—and many people I know—whine that the people involved in this civil disobedience have no polished agenda or demands. Nothing can possibly come of it. 

Relax. Eventually, a unified message will emerge.

The important point now is that people across the U.S. and the world sense that something is terribly wrong and are tired of feeling powerless. They are taking to the streets to gain a sense of empowerment through numbers. Walking among a large crowd of people who are just as frustrated and outraged as you are is validating.

It is obvious that there is a gross inequity of wealth distribution in this country and elsewhere.  We have all witnessed that those in Washington have little intention of doing anything about it. There is a sense that legislation is up for auction, and the highest bidder—corporations and the rich—will always win under our present system. Even the Supreme Court awarded campaign funding and disclosure to the highest bidders by ruling that corporations can be considered persons and are therefore entitled to donate to the candidate of their choice with no limit or identification.

Patience. The Civil Rights movement did not move full tilt the day Rosa Parks decided she was too tired to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. These things build. This is a grassroots movement. Give it time. Give it time.