Google Search
Custom Search


Please Kill Me 


Election 2010: Progressives in a Pickle

No matter what you think of them, the Big Oil and Big Corporation funded Tea Party has managed to make the Republican Party take a sharp turn to the right. But that's not the half of it.

This shame movement of nearly all white reactionaries has also managed to swerve the Democratic Party to the right and leave it in the mucky putrid swamp of the middle where they will be easily gunned down. As Sarah says, “Reload.” That they will.

Will the Democrats ever learn? No. The right scares Big D politicians to death. It's a combination of absurd conventional wisdom that America has been, is still and forever will be a Christian nation along with the possibility of losing political funding should they turn their backs on Big Business.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Tea Party claims the mantle of the anti-establishment, anti-federal authority and pro-liberty trifecta sucking the disgruntled, non-unionized, unemployed and still struggling, under the perceived torturous 18 months of Obama, into believing Big Conservatism has their best interest at heart.

Does this stink or what? And, it gets worse.

Progressives have a Sophie's choice come November.

Drag yourself to the polls to vote for a milk-toast Democrat, or stay at home and watch the congress go bye-bye to the now extreme right party of no.

Vote for the Democrats and validate their ineffective leadership and half measures that have put the party in the dumper. 


Don't vote and watch as an overwhelming wealth and income disparity precipitates a downpour of families falling into peonage. Remember the eight years of damage done by W? Just wait.

Obviously, please, put this all in perspective and get out and vote.

But don't fail to also keep speaking truth to authority. Tell those you are voting for what you are voting for, but don't stop there.

We need to take actions against the Corporatocracy that has us in this pickle. Punish, punish, punish in the market place. Money is power. You may not have much money, but you've go some and how you spend it is a vote every day.

Here's your daily choice:

Keep spending your money at the businesses owned by Big Corporations, or spend your money locally.

Keep feeding the machine that is oppressing the progressive agenda, or starve it.

Keep using your credit and debit cards, keep driving miles to the Big Box stores, don't conserve gas and energy, invest your money in the stock market, bank with Big Banking, shop at stores and buy the goods and services of corporations that support right-wing candidates with now unlimited political contributions and you are feeding your enemy.

Is it inconvenient to change your how you vote with your pocketbook? Yes, sir and madam. But what if you don't?

Is it impossible to not buy from Big Greed. Yes. There are things they sell you need, but you can deprive them of more and more.

At the same time, we need to let them know we will continue to vote every day with our dollars. We have a choice. Use your market power. Remember: Ever dollar is a vote and suddenly you start to make choices that are in your favor.


The New Normal: A Lot Like Now Only Worse

The "New Normal" is code for the continuing race to bottom that will marginalize what was the American middle class to a lower caste subservient population.

The promotion of the New Normal concept can be seen the current socioeconomic situation and the matter-of-fact statements about coming social trends.

The New Normal Robber Barons by

If you haven't heard these platitudes, meant to condition you to your "New Normal" life, you haven't been paying attention. Since you probably have, I beg you to take just a moment to reflect on them and their meaning:

"We are experiencing our second jobless recovery...

"Germany is succeeding now due to wage concessions made by their workers...

"There's a disconnect between economic recovery and job creation...

"The recovery from this recession will be very slow with many ups and downs...

"The new normal may include higher levels of unemployment than in the past...

"America needs to learn how to produce and export more...

"Corporations are cash rich but are afraid to hire as they are unsure about the rules of the game...

"Unemployment benefits stop workers from looking for a job...

"Workers may not see low unemployment and wage gains for ten to twenty years...

"We will not be able to replace the 8 million jobs we lost overnight. It's going to take some time.

"Employers are less likely to hire someone who is unemployed...

Do you find these messages irritating? You should. They're telling you to lower your expectations. You will be hearing more and more of them, until you relent, become numb and tune them out.

At that point you are finished. You have accepted the New Normal. Less hope for your future. Less opportunity for your children.

Lots of good work perfecting the scenery to come. by Town of College Park, MD

It started in the 1980's but it's picking up steam now. From 1947 to 1979, top earners' share of income was stable. But from 1979 to 2006 it doubled, from 7.3% to 13.6%. It doesn't sound like much but by 2004 the top 1% wealthiest households controlled more wealth that all the wealth in the hands of the bottom 90%.

Between 1962 and 2004, wealth held by the bottom 80% of Americans slipped from 19% to nearly 15%. In 2008, 30% of American households had a net worth of under $10,000, and 17% had a zero or negative net worth. During the same period studies showed upward class/financial mobility in America was nothing but a myth. You were more likely to get ahead in any of a number of more rigid societies including Germany and Denmark. (The State of Working America 2008/09 -Economic Policy Institute).

Clearly, the days of the magic wand, the days of what would you do if you had your druthers; follow your dreams and the money will come; get a good education, work hard and you'll be alright have ended for nine out of ten Americans.

Many of us are all ready there

Sixteen percent of Americans now say they are living in poverty. That realization is backed up by private studies that question the official definition of poverty. Just a decade earlier only 8% would admit to a pollster that they were poor.Nearly 40 million Americans still do not have health insurance.

Real unemployment is at 16 to 25%, depending on what source you believe and how you count the discouraged and under-employed.

Just to keep up with population growth, high school and college graduates entering the work force, we need to create 150,000 new jobs per month. So, even though we are now creating jobs instead of losing them, unemployment will continue to raise.

How bad, how disenfranchised, how weird will the New Normal America be?

In Greece, large numbers of those twenty to thirty years old remain unemployed and living at home. They are not lazy know nothings. Many have not one, but two or three advanced degrees, including multiple PhDs. With sharp minds, and no jobs, they live in a purgatory of higher education. No jobs to be had they repeatedly return to college for yet another degree.

Don't say it couldn't happen here

Ask anyone who works in Information Technology (IT) how many times they have retrained, learned a new computer language, raced to get up to speed for a different industry, and where all that effort has gotten them.

Many IT workers remain unemployed as jobs have been shipped offshore. Others grab at 1099 contractor work with no benefits. They become second class freelancers fixing the problems found in the re-imported products they formerly developed here.

The future New Normal is not so difficult to divine. I believe it will be the same as now, and both worse and different. Here how:

Politicians will need to show progress putting people back to work. So, unemployment will decease slowly over the next five years down to about 6%. I base this on the fact that it took an unprecedented four years to recovery the job loses of the 2001 recession.

But even this relatively low unemployment, compared to where we are now, will continue to depress wages for the bottom 90% and drive up income for the top 10%.

The income and wealth disparity we have today, nearly what it was in the 1920's, will grow larger as the top tier of income and wealth consolidate and protect their assets, while the middle class slides into marginal poverty.

Fortunately or unfortunately, you will not need to be a sustenance farmer if you don't choose to.

More likely our children will lower their sights and work in some of the most dangerous jobs in the world: retail sales clerk (think armed robbery) and construction (falling is the major hazard here), and one not so dangerous: police and security work.

Nothing wrong with any of the jobs that will be abundant. Honest work is just that, but the wages they pay will not reflect their worth only their lowly status. The median pay for these jobs now is between: $29,150 to $44,500. Expect these number to fall and fall fast as people accept any job as better than no job. (

Don't be fooled when the top economic story is "a increase in real hourly wages." These statistics include all the money that's levitating to the top 10%. The average wages of the bottom 90% may well be falling.

The New Normal will put America back to work and that work will be doing lots of things that the top 10% of our new two caste society wants...

The Three P's: Pampering, Perfecting and Protecting

The upper 10% will want to be well cared for. Think a house full of servants at Second World prices, labor deeply discounted to the point where everything can be had 24/7 without a thought as to the cost for the top dogs.

Pampering: Lots of personal services. Put personal in front of each of these: assistants, shoppers, physicians, coiffures, chefs, nannies, teachers, coaches, therapists, trainers, gardeners nay master gardeners and a full staff, et cetera.

To the wealthy the world should be a reflection of themselves, therefore, they shall be surrounded with as much perfection as possible with, again, decreased wages making it feasible.

Perfecting: Lots of maintenance and sprucing up. Manicured boulevards and golf courses, utilities moved underground, picture perfect towns and villages; ultra chic hotels, restaurants, night clubs, cafes, resorts, county clubs, etc.

Safety and security will, of course be necessary.

Beijing's Olympic Forces Drive Segways - New Normal Security by Alex Pasternack, New York, NY

Protecting: Lots of men and women with guns. Put gated in front of each of these and then add guards: communities, properties, resorts. Private and mercenary police forces to put down any unrest. Intelligence gathering to head off any unrest. Laws to keep the "have nots" at bay. People to bust unions or prevent organizing.

I know what you're thinking, all this has already happened. Yes, now think more of it, much more, and bigger and stronger.

We Can Fight this Battle in the Marketplace Everyday

That sucking sound you hear is your money, your hard work being vacuumed up to those who are in power, the uber-wealthy, Big Greed.

They have convinced you that their corporate way is the better, cheaper, faster, and the only way to live. You have been lulled into semi-consciousness and made unaware of how they can and do suck every last penny out of you and your life.

Here's the short list: Equity investments (stocks, mutual funds, et cetera through fees, programmed trading, market manipulation, out right fraud); banking and credit cards (interest, fees, charges, expensive and worthless rewards, et cetera), imported goods (decimation of the American economy made possible by subsidize oil), corporate influence (tax structures, barriers to business entry/less competition, job exporting, job importing H1B visas, government subsidies, et cetera), category killer big box stores (predatory pricing eliminating smaller competition, impulse buying, unnecessary volume packaging, cost of driving vs. local purchase, et cetera).

Abundant 3 P's Jobs: Pampering, Perfecting, Protecting by Buena Vida Active Adult Community

Basically, all the supposed "convenience" and illusory "low prices" the Big Greed corporations dangle are just a ruse. You pay for it all, sooner or later, and the price will eventually be bigger and bigger loses in opportunity and wages.

Considering all this, the high-priced alternatives, the mom and pops, are cheap, fair and a real value.

The farmers' market prices, probably higher than warehouse clubs, are a steal. Using cash isn't so difficult when you think of the billions of dollars credit and debit cards generate for the banks that are hanging you out to dry. The local hardware store is not gauging you, it's convenient and life saving. Saving accounts paying next to nothing are better than a 9% return that turns into a 25% loss due to an unforeseen "market turn." Shunning a corporation's products and services because they are "dabbling" in election politics is easy.

Start voting with your feet and your money. Things won't be getting any better unless you do. We can do this.

Author's Bio: Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration caused the greatest tragedy of the space age based on Richard C. Cook's book "Challenger Revealed." He is a former Director of Public Information for Planned Parenthood of NYC. His website is:


Small Investors Backlash with a Vengeance

It's a not so fond farewell to Wall Street's yellow brick road.

Today the New York Times reported that small investors pulled the plug on Wall Street. (In Striking Move, Small Investors Flee Stock Market)

Individual investors sold an amazing $33 billion dollars in equity invested U.S. mutual funds in just the past seven months.

Credit Suisse said small investors are losing their appetite for risk. Nice spin.

Dorothy Pulls the Curtain on the Wizard by Warner Brothers Entertainment

But how can that be? Corporate profits are through the roof.

I said the market will have a serious fall once the Fed jerks the interest rates up.

Richard C. Cook,a writer for Global Research with 20 years of experience at U.S. Department of Treasury, took me to task for this statement. He reminded me that the Fed is committed to not raise interest rates for the foreseeable future. True enough.

So, the cheap money has and will continue to flow. The logic is infallible. If money costs little to nothing, why not invest it in equities of cash rich corporations with a fantastic up side when the economy recovers?

Is the small investor so dumb he and she doesn't get this?

No, it's not that individual investors are risk adverse. There's something else. What could it be?

The curtain that hid the Wall Street fraud has fallen with a $33 billion thud.

Those of us trying to save for college or retirement are afraid of theft. Past stealing, present stealing and future stealing.

Small investors have finally woken up and smelled the putrid coffee that's been simmering for decades. Long term investing fail to yield anything but loses. But we've been told over and over again that you cannot time the market.

What's been going on? Why does Wall Street have all the money? What do these people do that they deserve more than single digit revenues from the GDP? Who was looking out for us?

The answer came back. It was short and sweet. Nobody.

You're the mark in this con game and the fix was in big time. Not only did they take your investment money, they destroyed the economy, took your job, and whacked you once more with a taxpayer funded bail out.

Forget the fact that some of that money is being repaid with interest, your job, your life are in ruins. Let these crooks keep your hard earned money? We may be a little slow, but we're not crazy.

The Corporatoracy did nothing in the recent financial reform legislation to fix the problems: unchecked fees, computer trading, spread manipulation, corporate accounting transparency, exorbitant executive compensation, high speed trading, insider trading, et cetera. It's all the same thing, stealing and fraud.

Bernie Madoff's scam was peanuts in comparison, yet we have not seen one perp walk for the criminals responsible.

In November of 2009 I wrote Six Reasons to Screw Wall Street Now. I'll say it again. You've got no business in the stock market as an individual investor with out connections to the criminal network that runs the joint.

Author's Bio: Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration caused the greatest tragedy of the space age based on Richard C. Cook's book "Challenger Revealed." He is a former Director of Public Information for Planned Parenthood of NYC. His website is:


How to Fight Against the "New Normal"

Many writers and commentators continue to put forth excellent political fixes and solutions to set our country back on the right course and mend the devastation of income and wealth disparity.

You are probably among them if you are reading this.

We are involved, we are thinking and we know that by ending certain corrupt practices, by enforcing the current law, by writing some new laws for a new world, and by common sense, we need not endure the current hardships much longer and we can set a path for a sustainable tomorrow.

We have no lack of good ideas, but we have an overwhelming lack of political will on the part of our representatives in government because we lack sufficient political power.

We can argue all night about which of our ideas is best, which won't work and why, but such a discussion is purely academic without political power. The train to the "new normal" is picking up speed, we are simply throwing eggs at the passengers, if that.

Political power has little to do with electing your man or woman. As we have seen, campaign promises and visions of hope soon slam into the iron wall of political reality.

Today, political power train is not driven by the electorate. The Big Money of Big Greed is in charge, the Corporatocracy is deeply entrenched.

There is nothing normal or new about the "new normal."

The "new normal" is Reaganomics on steroids. Trickle down is not normal, it's a fantasy.

The "new normal" is NAFTA in orbit. There's nothing fair about free trade so long as the other countries are not playing by the same rules.

The "new normal" is the Ponzi scheme as a legitimate business plan. A Ponzi scheme creates no economic value, it is stealing pure and simple. Derivative trading backed-up by too-big-to -fail is a Ponzi scheme.

The "new normal" is code for domination and oppression. You'll accept what's now normal. As they foreclose on your home after you lose your next job just remember, this is the new normal. You and you alone are responsible for your life. Oh, and don't forget, happiness comes from within.

The assumption, the myth you are being sold, is you have no options. You cannot fight back. But for your own sanity and dignity you must fight back.

The "new normal" is the massacre of American workers and the American middle class and the foreshadowing of poverty for the next generation. This is not an issue of race, religion or foreign threat. It is the imposition of a two tiered caste system: Upper Tier The Privileged Uber-wealthy. Lower Tier: Grateful Obedient Servants.

We the people are not dead yet, but we have been seriously injured and Big Greed smells our blood.

It has lead the politically powerful (by this I do not mean politicians, I mean those with the money to buy them) to an opportunity they have not had in American since the Robber Barons: The possibility of total oppression of 90% of the American population.

I am not proposing that this juncture was a result of some conspiracy. To the contrary, the previous strategy of keeping the status quo by maintaining a solid middle class was adhered to until the bitter end. So much so that devious means were used market bubbles to keep the stability of middle America.

But, now that the pool is full and we find ourselves treading water in the deep-end, it appears easier to push us under until we cry uncle or drown.

The situation is a lot like prices at the gas pump. Create a rationale for a market that runs gas up to $8.00 a gallon. Suddenly, $5.50 a gallon looks cheap. That we ever paid $2.49 is forgotten. (By the way, without the government subsides, and with taking into account the "externalities" of petroleum production, gas should cost $10 - $15 per gallon, but that's a discussion for another day.)

So you had a $75,000 job. Now, you have none. An IT worker in Bengaluru has your job. How does a $35,000 job look after a year or eighteen months of unemployment? Pretty damn good.

The new middle class housing standard has gone from a three bedroom colonial to a double wide trailer. But, you were almost living in your car. Be grateful.

The sky was the limit after you earned both a degree in engineering and an MBA. Education was the ticket to financial success. You had respect. Now, all those degrees buy is job as a bank teller. Your attitude of self-assured confidence has morphed into humility and subservience, at least in front of your new boss.

So what do we do now? The apparent avenues to change are not just blocked, the perimeter is quickly closing, the trip wires are going down, the gun towers raising.

You're not going to like this, but if we want any amount of political power we have to shun the ease and convenience of the American corporate world.

Perhaps you can only deprive them of $100 per year, and I can only deny them $200, but together thousands and millions of us can snatch billions of dollars that will otherwise be spent by the Fortune 500 to seal our demise.

Start by paying cash. Just image a billionaire bankster at every check-out taking 3.5% of every dollar you are spending. Using a rewards card? He's taking even more and giving you a little back. Credit card rewards are blood money shipping the next job offshore.

Use less energy any way you can. Slow down. Drive less. Install solar panels. Shut off lights. Lower the thermostat. Yes, it hurts, but your father was right.

Shop local. Boycott stores and the products and services of corporations that make political campaign contributions. Don't buy the tomatoes from Holland, they're shipped with the blood money of big oil. Ditto all kinds of imported goods and food. Go to the farmers' market. Stop eating fast food. Go to the local deli.

Get out of the stock market. Move to a community bank or credit union. Stay away from chain stores, big box stores, and restaurant franchises.

In short, find every dollar that you would otherwise give to the Corporatocracy and spend it locally. Keep as much profit as close to home as possible until they hear us, until they begin to respect the power we do have.


America - An "Undeveloping" Country?

The realization that America is in a slide, on a trajectory of decrease, "undeveloping" if you will, is dawning on Americans and it's a rude awakening. I agree with the statement "I want my country back," but not with the sentiment that it has been lost because Barack Obama is president. So, who did take it?

Those in the 20% highest income bracket, the rich and the obscenely wealthy, see a bright future: a simple two caste system of "haves" and "have nots." A return to the 1920's, a time to which we now have similar disparity in wealth.

To people on the right side of the wealth skew a financially segregated society, with money and power consolidated among a few, is comforting. Lose of their current high position seems impossible and the problem of finding "good help" is ameliorated. They have only one issue, maintaining the imbalance of power.

To this end they are deploying both tangible and intangible defenses: the gated and exclusive community; the security system and body guards; the Ivy League education; the clout of the lobbyist; the financial corruption of the election system; nepotism and connections; the punitive wages paid to the masses; monetary and regulatory barriers to business entry; a marketplace strangle hold against under-capitalized up-start competition, and nearly total authority to write the rules of the game.

The duplicitous "conservatives" would have American "have nots" believe that illegals took our jobs, unregulated globalization is the final beneficial manifest destiny of the free market, our current president is a fascist and a socialist at the same time, all people of the Islamic faiths are our enemies, all our enemies are foreigners, too much personal freedom is a bad thing, and totally free (unregulated) markets are our salvation.

It's easy to see the above statements as prima facie contradictory and/or convoluted. Not to mention that they are the facade for a catastrophic amount of fraud perpetrated against the American people.

It's much more difficult to determine the actual causes of our current descent. At the same time, uncertainty, dread and the failure of recent actions to correct the situation make it nearly impossible to remain calm, weigh our options and take positive actions.

Didn't we elect representation and leadership that promised change? Didn't we, in large numbers, give small donations that added up to a big campaign war chest to help those that promised change gain office? Didn't we plug up a failing financial apparatus? Didn't we make a huge investment to save industries in temporary trouble? Didn't we send our politicians the message that corporate tax dodges and tax advantages for exporting American jobs are horrendous? Didn't we, the taxpayers, ante up all we could and aren't we the ones who continue to hold the bag for deregulated market failure?

Yes, all that and more, and yet the "undeveloping" continues as Wall Street rallies. What in heaven's name is going on? I do want my country back, but to get it back I've got to know who really took it and how.

According to MBG Information Services, cited in Bob Herbert's The Horror Show (New York Times, August 10, 2010), "there are now 3.4 million fewer private-sector jobs in the U.S. than there were a decade ago." Thirty million Americans that want to work are out of work, while we need to create an additional 150,000 to 200,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.

Obama says the government can do little to help create private-sector jobs. by anti-union.blogspot

Even though the Obama Administration's effort toward health care and financial reform both lacked teeth and a moveable jaw, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce intends to spend $75 million to fight democrats in the coming election. (Time Magazine, August 16, 2010)

Now, the President as dropped his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA and he has launched a $22 million dollar program to train 3,000 offshore information technology workers. (Information Week, August 3, 2010)

So, generally, this is how our government, and more to the point, our society works:

We elect representation based on what they say during the election campaign.

What candidates say is based on slicing and dicing various interest groups, religious and moral beliefs, and issue positions to obtain a winning number of people who will vote for them.

The money to pay for the research to identify, pars and create the messages to these voters, and the money to reach them with the correct messages, is donated by people, organizations and businesses that want policy and regulatory concessions in return. You and I with our small internet donations included.

Once the elected official is in office he or she answers to two groups: those who will provide campaign financing for reelection and those who vow to spend money against their reelection.

Hence, your vote and mine are worth little except on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Ditto your small donation.

Notice, I did not say this is how our democracy works, as what I am describing is not a working democracy, it is a Corporatocracy.

There is currently no difference between the balance of power and the population wealth disparity: 20% of the people hold 93% of the wealth/income, while 80% of the people have 7% of the wealth/income.

Your voice, your vote is only worth about 1/20 of someone in the top 20th percentile of American wealth. See:Wealth, Income, and Power by G. William Domhoff (September 2005, updated July 2010).

Depressing? Yes. That's why I'm calling the continuing economic slump, that started in December 2007, soon to be three years old, the Second Depression.

Hopeless? No.

Unfortunately, President Obama has stated his belief that there is little government can do to encourage private-sector job growth. To this I say, Mr. President, you lie! There is plenty it can do, it just doesn't want to do it because of how our Corporatocracy works.

A State of Florida Food Stamp call center was off-shored by JPMorgan Chase by

Here are some things you will not see the government do until the pressure is unbearable:

1. End offshore corporate and personal tax loopholes

2. Enforce existing laws against offshore tax shelters

3. End tax incentives for offshore job creation

4. Institute tax incentives for American job creation

5. Make a major investment in renewable energy infrastructure manufactured in the U.S.

6. Renegotiate trade agreements for parity in external costs - pollution control, working conditions, child labor exploitation, workers injury compensation, etc.

7. End the subsidy of fossil fuels by charging for external pollution costs

8. Enforce product safety laws on imported goods

9. Enforce U.S. food safety laws on imported food

10. Regulate Wall Street, re-institute Glass-Steagall

11. Meaningful health care reform

12. End oil industry subsidies

Much of the above is simply saying if you're subject to the law here, your products are subject to the same laws when they are imported.

If you benefit from being here in the U.S. you pay tax in the U.S.

If you are benefiting from abusing the planet or people that cost must be paid, that inequity must be addressed.

Parity, period.

Watch the jobs, watch the industries, watch the technology, come home.

Globalization must either be regulated so it's fair, or call me an isolationist.

We shouldn't be growing any bananas in New Jersey and, therefore, we shouldn't be importing fresh tomatoes via air cargo from Israel and the Netherlands.

Did anyone believe we could import dry wall from China, which weighs a ton, cheaper than we could make it in Stoney Point, New York? If you didn't hear, it was full of poison. Facts easily indicate when somebody is cheating.

If the political systems has not be responsive to our wishes, how do we turn up the heat to get some or all of the above done? The answer is in the market place. The system only understand one currency: money.

We must use the market and vote with our feet. How? Here are some ideas:

Eliminate or decrease your investments in corporate stock.

Cut down on purchases at corporate retailers and big box stores, use local independent retailers more.

Cut down on your use of fossil fuels.

Insist on speaking to customer service people in the U.S.

Boycott the products and services of companies that are exporting jobs.

Cut your use the expensive corporate alternative method of payment: credit and debit cards, use more cash.

Buy American made products even if they cost a more. (They're probably worth it.)

Bank with a local bank or, better, credit union.

Unionize your work place.

Boycott businesses that support right-wing candidates.

Let other people know you're doing these things and encourage them to do same.