About My Blog

February 2017 Update

Wow! I haven’t updated my “About” page in over two years. There have been some changes. You’ll see that Aware & Fair is now simply JoAnnChateau.com (soon to change to .blog). Since I am expanding the scope of my writing, a personal blog seems a better way to organize a more multi-faceted collection of work and interests.

“Progressive” is part of my world view, however, so you’ll still find posts about progressive politics. Even my fiction and “Simple Pleasures” posts have a politically progressive angle. For instance, my favorite recipes are vegan (or at least vegetarian). Why? Because I’m thinking about animal welfare. If I blog about a film, it probably has a progressive social message. And my fictional character, Chester the Alpha Bichon, protects a pack of progressive creatives and activists–wouldn’t you know!

A fluffy, scruffy big-boy Bichon. A Chester look-alike.

A fluffy, scruffy big-boy Bichon; a Chester look-alike.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Peace, well-being, and democracy for all!

JoAnn Chateau, Author & Progressive


September 2014 Update

Aware and Fair is mainly about progressive political and grassroots action in the U.S. I try to focus on progressive movements that highlight how our country may once more rise up as a nation with a strong democracy of/by/for the people.

Without writing a lot of personal opinion, I post videos and links that reveal powerful actions that some amazing people are taking to restore balance to our nation. I find these works very inspiring and hopeful. If any readers agree, they are encouraged to share links to the original materials on YouTube and the websites of these Americans who are excreting blood, sweat, and tears (and money) to do something for this country. They are our present-day heroes.


By the way, I’ve only been following the real issues for little over a year. This is what I wrote last September when I began this blog. Maybe some of you will relate.

Asleep on the Issues

I’ve been asleep when it comes to politics. Involved in my own projects, I didn’t listen to TV or the radio like I used to. Anyway, who has the time to analyze and understand all the issues? Aren’t politics frustrating and depressing? Finally, our elected officials are experts on the issues; they will take care of things.

Personally, I had noticed less buying power every year, even though I received annual raises. Then I managed to grasp that corporations are enjoying all-time record profits. (It filtered in somehow.) Hmmm. So I began thinking.

System Dynamics

I’m no political wiz, but as a retired counselor, I know system dynamics. A system that does not allow all members to thrive, is out-of-balance. That is, the system is dysfunctional; it doesn’t work well; and is ultimately unsustainable.

And I remembered what a former boss once told me. “You can’t squeeze the lower classes, because it hurts the overall economy.” (By the way, he was a student of history.)

This led me to mentally visualize the U.S. economy as a pyramid. I wondered why the people at the top of the pyramid (the wealthiest) would allow the bottom of the pyramid to crumble away. Don’t they know they are… sinking?

The masses at the pyramid base represent millions of consumers. They use services and products that people in the middle of the pyramid create and produce…. If the base people crumble off the pyramid, and the people in the middle of the pyramid are thus slipping closer to the bottom because they are selling less…. I got it! Really got it, now. That’s the Disappearing Middle Class.

Citizens United Shocked Me

Truly embarrassed here. But I never heard of the Citizens United ruling until last year. (It was released in January 2010.) I was shocked. Corporations (and labor unions) are allowed to…

“Spend unlimited sums on ads and other political tools, calling for the election or defeat of individual candidates.”

Hmmm. Wouldn’t conflicts-of-interest arise? Would that not be like Big Business controlling U.S. elections? What about the concerns of individual citizens?

This seems very out-of-balance; undemocratic.

Thanks to The Colbert Report

Thanks to The Colbert Report, I actually became aware of Citizens United. You see, in 2012 Stephen Colbert regularly spoofed on Super PACs, an offshoot of Citizens United.

I also learned that paying attention to politics wasn’t that hard or depressing.

Keeping Up with Political Issues

After the shock of learning about Citizens United, I woke up. I began to learn more about pressing political issues. I went “on alert” for grass-roots organizations that are doing something to preserve the American Dream. I even learned of global organizations that care about personal rights and environmental issues for people around the world.

I now devote a little time each day to review the political scene. The most efficient way for me to stay informed is to listen to respected political analysts.

I like the MSnbc news analysts because they are progressive and  liberal-thinking, like myself. Still, one tries to be objective. So I go to NPR, which strives to be unbiased. For the most dispassionate reportage on U.S. news and politics, I turn to CBC (Canada) and BBC (Britain).

I always watch the latest Colbert Report and Daily News (with Jon Stewart). They help me detach from worry and keep me from feeling overwhelmed by powers outside of my control. Humor lightens serious issues to a tolerable level.

Meanwhile, I subscribe to RSS feeds from informative activist organizations. I sign petitions I want to support –  easily, online. And I share worthy resources on Facebook.

Finally, I started this blog. It allows me keep track of my findings, and writing always helps me clear my thinking.



58 replies »

    • Dear Tamara, congratulations on being tagged by “Cooks with a Smile.” Thank you very much for tagging my site for a similar honor. I’m going to take this seriously and pass it along (tag other foodie sites), just give me a day or two! Celebrate and have a great week! ❤


  1. It is a shame it seems we now live in an Angry Society that you can not “talk politics” without people fighting and arguing … WTF? Our Values that made “America The Beautiful” have l been long forgotten. That is why I shy away from talking about politics. But YOU are spot on that we need, as Bernie Sanders says: “We need to rise up and have a new Political Upheaval in this Country” and voters need to come from ALL walks of life. It is time to take our America back by Voters, not by reality stars, liars, and cheats.

    And why is it many GOP Senator’s say our climate is not changing? Becuase their pockets are being stuffed with $$$$$$$ from Big Oil, Coal, and Utility Companys that’s why … So that is my 2 cents worth, … now I’m Broke! LOL.

    Author & Columnist, Catherine Townsend-Lyon 🙂


  2. I know so little about US politics — and feel I should, given how huge an impact your nation has on the rest of the world — so I really appreciate your blog. Thanks for following ZimmerBitch BTW: much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we are all finally feeling and understanding the effect of Citizens United in our elections. I admit to not grasping the implications when first dedcided by the Supremes, but there is no denying its negative impact now.

    This is a great blog, btw and I am following. Thanks for stopping by mine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment. Laurie, and the follow. So many are working hard at overturning Citizens United, surely we will succeed. I like your research blog, your insight and objectivity – am following you back!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Your story is inspiring. It should be easy for many people to relate to and significantly raise awareness of what’s going on in the world today – if enough people read it. Thank you for caring enough to get involved. And, thanks for following my blog. I appreciate it.


    Liked by 2 people

  5. So good to meet you, and I love your passion as you woke up to the reality of Government and the Corporate World..
    I look forward to following you blog and learning new things you find as you unearth the corruption and injustices of this world..

    There might be lots of things wrong with the world.. But it really does my heart good to see more now awakening to the ‘Truth’ around them, and not blinding being dumbed down anymore…

    There are many now such people starting to open themselves up and see that the way we are going can not continue…
    Its also wonderful to know so many are reaching out via the ‘Web’ of life and finding each other..

    There is much good in this world.. But the media is used as a tool to spread only negativity into our homes, And is a branch of control..

    Many thanks for leaving me your comment and for following my own little world in Dreamwalkwer’s Sanctuary..
    Blessings Sue

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Sue. I appreciate being part of your blogging community!

      I wonder if the climate crisis isn’t the reason more people are waking up. Provided we survive it, it would be amazing if the threat of climate change served to usher in global cooperation, world peace, a new economic system, and shared abundance.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Before people usually pull together, we usually find they have to be catapulted into some sort of disaster.. So as far as see the world pulling together, it usually has to go through some sort of upheaval.. I just hope we wake up and start individually to realise there are many things we can do to help the climate change.. One us just by changing our consumer habits…
        Many Thanks for your reply JoAnn…. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey Hey there, thanks for stopping by my blog, checking my stuff out and dishing out a couple of likes in the process. I really like your site, your perspective and the writing voice with which you air it. Looking forward to more future communication on each others writings.

    Keep fightin’ the good fight!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Joann, thanks for visiting me. I’m so happy I found your blog. I don’t know much about American politics but am a keen advocate for social justice and grassroots action. I look forward to learning more. Also, I won’t mind reading your opinion pieces 🙂 Chrissy x

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That would be nice!

    Regarding WordPress… there are two of them…

    My site here is on .Com. It’s free (no hosting cost) and WordPress takes care of security, updates, and page speed. There are no plugins, and the themes are a bit limited. The BEST thing on .COM is the community. The WordPress.Com bloggers are generous in ‘Liking’ and ‘Following’ fellow bloggers.

    I have two sites hosted on WordPress.Org. There I pay for my own hosting, can use any free or premium theme, and can use any free or premium plugin to add functionality to my site (i.e., ecommerce, content sliders, newsletters, etc.) The BEST thing about .ORG is you can have a really beautiful and professional-looking site. But you must manage security, updates, and page speed issues.

    You might like to visit http://www.wpbeginner.com/ A lot of people find them helpful. 🙂


  9. It’s quite inspirational to hear that there are, in fact, people out there who take the step from uninterested to actively following political developments and discovering that it really isn’t that great of a burden.

    Similarly, I was inspired by daily show/colbert report, and now have enough news apps on my phone where, if I have down time, I just pull one up and see what’s going on in the world. Anyways, good on you for starting this blog and encouraging others to do the same!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’re doing a great job with this blog! Would you like to join the League of Bloggers? I’ve reblogged a few of your posts there. Please check it out and tell me what you think! If you don’t have much time to blog specifically for the League, I can reblog stuff for you, although I’m hoping you’ll get a chance at least once in awhile to blog on it. It’s at:



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