Posts Tagged ‘eat the rich’

SAME OLD STORY, SAME OLD SONG

April 25, 2011

True Progressives – CLICK IMAGE for the other side of the story.

True Story:

I shared this story before, but people couldn’t hear it. It seems preposterous. Things as they are, let’s try again.

In 1991, a senior assistant from President Bush Sr.’s office met National Association of Counties (NACo) President Michael Stewart (R – Salt Lake Co.) at a cocktail party at the Annual Conference in Salt Lake City. I overheard them discussing the “best” form of government, ever. They agreed that it was Medieval England around the time of King John. Its benefits?

  • The king is the sole authority, secures obedience, neutralizes all possible challengers; gains the monopoly of force; and, maintains law and order.
  • Patriotism is focused on the nation, not on the localities that comprise it, transferring identity from local to national level, at the disposal of the king.
  • The state dominates or controls the religious life of society with a single authoritarian religion to manage the mob for advantage.
  • The state controls economic life to facilitate circulation and exchange of goods, and grasps as much as possible of the national wealth for the king and his allies.

In the medieval model stability is created through divine hierarchy. The king rules all, the church facilitates obedience of the mass, the military protects the property of king and “state”, and the peasants work to feed everybody. It’s a simple model, which allowed it to last for several hundred incredibly stultifying and repressive years in which most of humanity subsisted on the level of cattle, or swine, and wars were fought at personal whim of a vainglorious, and occasionally religiously demented elite. Does this ring bells?

The important men at the 1991 cocktail party didn’t intend to install a king or a single church in America (at least right now), but in variation, updated and recycled form, favored state identification and alliance with a majority religion and a CEO working with a board of directors (perhaps preserving a hint of representative government – old habits, even bad ones such as participative management, die hard). Call king and court president and cabinet, or rose and garden, they envisioned a tyrant working with an oligarchy of the privileged elite that they believe is, of course, best suited to govern, operating above government and for the privileged elite. They think they’re nobility.

They were deadly serious and not amused when I asked if they had heard of Robin Hood or the Magna Carta. They looked at me as if I’d shit their shoes, then ignored me.

“Americans deserve the government they elect,” my father used to say, but we didn’t elect G.W. Bush, or the Koch brothers. Kings, as I recall, are divinely chosen – in our case, by fat cats and a corrupted Supreme Court. Kings and aristocracy represent the elite status quo, which presently resides in Wall Street. Wall Street wants to govern everything by itself, without any interference from the rest of us. Father knows best. Or, would that be “brothers?”

Koch Brothers Buy Their Way Into, Then Breezily Skew, Civic Discourse

Anti-American Terrorists

Anti-American Terrorists

Following a strategy of ignoring the facts and killing the messenger, the billionaire Koch Brothers have responded to the Center for Public Integrity’s report on Koch lobbying activities by mounting a smear campaign against the Center – complete with the real “Koch facts” – while refusing requests to speak with them. In the last elections, though, the Kochs did tell 50,000 employees who to vote for and what disasters would befall them if they didn’t. Citizens United rendered such corporate politicking marginally legal, though still, of course, supremely sleazy. -Abby Zimet More… 4-20-11 TruthDig.com

KINGS KOCH [The ultra rightwing Koch Brothers are – PUBLIC ENEMIES 1 and 2]

Poor Beleaguered Billionaires

The rich have created and retain dominance in an amoral, or consciously immoral world of corruption, thievery, and violence, instead of trying to eliminate or improve conditions that would remedy or heal it. They would leave us with a permanently dysfunctional, and therefore, easier to manage wingnut government. The dog-eat-dog social consequences are devastating to consider. The cynicism is appalling.

The rich don’t expect any retribution or punishment, for it is the culture. They are so highly placed that they expect to tiptoe through the tulips while the rest of us fry in the ozone hole. See also:   .

Corporate Coup d’état Coming Soon to a City Near You. Rania Khalek Wednesday, April 20, 2011 by CommonDreams.org

In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein demonstrates how wealthy elites often use crisis and chaos to impose unpopular policies that restructure economies and political systems to advance their interests. She calls these orchestrated raids, “disaster capitalism.” Disaster capitalism is on display around the country, as legislators use the debt crisis afflicting their states as an opportunity to hollow out the public sector.

This so-called financial emergency is really a democracy emergency. Local governments are NOT corporations. The true purpose of emergency financial management is to convert a democratically elected government into a hierarchal business entity through economic “shock therapy”, which would be impossible if workers, elected representatives, and residents had any say. If we allow what is taking place to continue, disaster capitalism will find its way to a city, town, or school district near you. READ MORE: Rania Khalek blog at http://raniakhalek.com.

All U.S. Prime

GOP Wave Reshapes Nation’s Agenda State by State. Ann Sanner and Calvin Woodward Monday, April 18, 2011 by Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio – State by state, Republicans are moving fast on a conservative agenda they had no hope of achieving before the big election gains of November. The dividends go beyond spending cuts. Republicans are restricting abortion, expanding gun rights, imposing polling-station photo ID laws and attacking public sector unions.

Democrats find themselves cowed or outmaneuvered, hoping that voters will see these actions as an overreach by the Republicans, an accidental revolution to be reversed.

It’s not all coming up tulips for rightwing extremists. New Mexico and Utah are among Republican-led states where governors are bypassing the GOP playbook; and the tea party movement is in tatters in Colorado and not much better off in Alaska. READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/04/18-2

Final words: Keep on keepin’ on. We, the people, need each other. We can win this fight against the self-styled elite. We outnumber them. Vote Progressive as if your life depends upon it – it probably does, and cliché or not, every election is the most important election since our Constitution was ratified. Best regards and good luck to us all, j

Advertisements

“DON’T ASK ME, I DON’T GIVE A DAMN”

March 18, 2011

 

 

Immigrants called to American duty.

WALDO IN REVERY (from Common Lives, a novel)

“I cannot say for certain what began my transformation,” Waldo said.  “I only know that it occurred sometime in mid-June, probably on a Wednesday, or possibly, a Tuesday, but it was June.  In the process, I suddenly saw everything in a new perspective, as if awakening from a very deep sleep.  I saw reality with fresh eyes.  Rip Van Winkle is real, you see?  And, what did I discover? Just this:

“I was born in America, in the City of San Francisco just before mid-century.  As I grew in that storied city, I was imbued with both the Spirit of Liberty and the Phoenix – that magic bird which resurrects itself again and again from the ashes of its own destruction.  I grew up believing in Superman, Manifest Destiny, Truth, Justice and the American Way.  I was the refugee child of refugee parents, themselves the children of refugees.  We looked for a better way on alien shores as aliens among aliens.  We took our place in the legion of strangers pushing and jostling for the top – hoping to look back on poverty and want, and to feel smugly and arrogantly removed from the incessant rhythmic fear, which had started all that long march.

“I grew up in suburbs, being numbered among the handful raised in blessed innocence, free from teeming, toiling city masses.  We learned the horror of crabgrass; we observed neighbors piling bricks up to build barbecues.  We found pleasure in the smallest things in a mundane world, taking solace in rigid normalcy, created by following rigid rules.  We aspired to concrete patios, toured on weekends through farmlands in noisy, fuel-inefficient machines which ultimately doomed the very orchards we’d come to see; or took slow rolls through upper class neighborhoods to see where we thought we were going.

“Those high neighborhoods were always sheltered by sculpted trees, surrounded by acres of immaculate lawn – no sign of crabgrass anywhere!  They had Japanese, or Mexican gardeners, bright flowerbeds, eagle-crested double car garages, and gated drives a city-street wide.  Those drives were stainless, absolutely unblemished.  I can only assume that they were scrubbed  daily by Irish washerwomen .

“To make a long story short, I was sent to college – the first of all my tribe.  Set on the course of upward mobility, professionalism, immaculate lawns and sanitized driveways,  I married and committed to a career.  Never well paid, always overworked, I eventually examined my circumstances and decided that I was part of a large system that demanded more expenditure of my time and attention than I usually made back from it.  Further, it demanded that I dedicate whole sections of my future to it, regardless of my personal motives or aspirations!  I was compelled socially, economically and culturally to serve that damned system as a blind, following member – no better than mindless serving ants plugging themselves genetically in and out of nests, mindlessly serving a queen, whose sole purpose is to mindlessly push out eggs to ensure continuation of that self-same mindless estate.  Well, to put it mildly, I was pissed!

“Glancing about, I noticed that a good two-thirds of the world was starving.  While those people were dying, I was being paid to help perpetuate an all-consuming ethos that dooms the majority of humankind to war, famine, pestilence, murder and screaming neglect.  I’m the son of refugees!  How can I eat well and consider the world well ordered with those millions of others – the mirrors of my own ancestral impetus – still awash in the chaos, which my forebears had so intelligently fled?  I could not.

“I, therefore, divested myself of every vestige of my former reality: wife, family, friends, career.  I ran off to find myself, wondering all the while why the price of that journey should be so painfully high.  I lost myself in drugs, booze, sex and cheap thrills.  I walked ocean beaches, hiked mountain trails, re-observed city streets, and wrote and wrote and wrote, trying through the recording of all those sights, sounds and experiences to find some common thread among them, and in me, so that I would not forever remain an outsider.  In this fashion, find my way back in some improbably acquiescent present, imagined in a perfect future, to my imperfect, misunderstood, but now clearly missed past.

‘You know you can come back in,’ The ex-wife said. ‘We’ve all wished for freedom and creative individuality. Your friends will understand why you failed and admire you for trying.’

“As I mentioned, on a Wednesday in mid-June, approximately three years into my odyssey, I suddenly saw everything in a new perspective.  The remnants of dream were washed from my mind, and I confronted stark reality.

“Until the moment when the mists cleared, I was as the others.  I walked, I talked, and I carried on the day’s business without hesitation.  I went home in the evenings, packed into cattle cars with my fellows.  I sank down onto my isolated bed at night, alone in my isolated cell, conserving energy for the effort of that forever approaching ‘Next Day.’  All remained the same when I awoke, but now I saw it clearly for what it was, and the questions came faster and with greater force.  Who am I?  Why am I here?  Where am I going?  What has come to pass?

“Each day, I observed crowds spilling out of vehicles and doorways into the early morning city air.  Each day, I watched them queue for bread, for work, for a drink, for love.  They eddied and swayed in great mass, afloat in the polluted ether of overcrowded, urban life, elbowing for position, shouting for attention, separate yet fixed within the same stream (as oil in water, a colloidal ambient suspension, a physical chemical reaction like any other).  What is this? I demanded to know.  What is happening?  Why is this all so?  Clearly these others among whom I accomplished my time were not all the same.  No two were alike as peas in a pod.  No one the mirror of another.  (Oh, yes, we behave in generally predictable fashion – the degree of response varies from individual to individual, but a tack in the shoe usually causes the wearer to react.  However, there are differences and they must be there for some reason, although we spend most of our time trying to deny or destroy them, for generally irrational cause).

“That common denominator I had been seeking seemed finally within reach.  I began to observe my fellows and fellowesses more closely.  Since we were all involved in the same great system into which we fed our energies – each of us without marked mental consideration – there must be something to it.  The alternative, which I’d most recently been pursuing, was a form of outlawry or exile.  Yet, outlaws and exiles depend in whole or in part on the system as well, if simply by preying upon it.  Even survivalists come down from the hills for a gallon of gas to make themselves ‘independent’ of the rest of us.  (Incidentally, if nothing cataclysmic happens, those survivalists are going to look pretty silly.  Still, the current state of the cosmos appears to be bearing them out).  In any event, the outlaws and the exiles are a minute fraction of the whole.  I hence turned my full attention upon the majority.

“You see, from channeling my interest on a narrower and narrower track, transmuting my initial preoccupation with the cosmic to contemplation of my own navel, I have at last looked up from that infinitesimal focus of anatomy to perceive my individual smallness in the scheme of things.  I see my relative impotence in the face of the world’s great consortiums of nations, corporations, religions and other power groupings.  Yet, I am not frustrated by my size.  I see the power of my personal vision.  Because it is so personal, it is overwhelmingly intense, and that is the precisely directed laser, I as the surgeon will use to help erode the deadly cancerous tumor, which presently corrupts the body, mind and spirit of humankind!”

“Not all at once, of course.

“Reality is the key,” Waldo continued, “not dream, not fantasy, not wanting, nor wishing.  Reality rules.  In order to live a proper, that is, a real life we must take what comes as it comes.  There is no formula, no magic spell, and no special prayer – which facts protect us from charlatans.  We are all lost at sea, and all coping – president, priest, or peasant.  That’s just the way it is.

“So, where do we go from here?  Wherever we want.  We are not bound to one reality, to one anything.  We make gods a dime a dozen.  We are the dreamers.  Ursula LeGuin is right (marvelous mind, great poet and story teller.  Don’t know her?  You probably should. In her classic Lathe of Heaven, sleep is not a respite, and dreams are tools ).”

 

VERY IMPORTANT – WORTH YOUR NOTICE:Now more than ever, Oregon teachers are digging into their own pockets for back to school supplies. When teachers can dig no deeper, students go without.

Join fellow citizens in America’s Back to School Challenge. Together, we can be a positive force not just for Oregon, but all of America’s public school children.

Vegetables for Victory!

2010 BLOG REPORT:

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 60 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 117 posts. There were 131 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 62mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 14th with 71 views. The most popular post that day was YOUR ENEMIES ARE UP.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were allhatnocattle.net, zazzle.com, mail.yahoo.com, statistics.bestproceed.com, and stumbleupon.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for it’s not fascism when we do it, iww, thomas paine, international workers of the world, and republican fascists.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1 YOUR ENEMIES ARE UP August 2010
2 REPUBLICAN INSURANCE NAZIS August 2009
3 EASTER ISLAND BLUES February 2010
4 DENIAL NO LONGER AN OPTION September 2010
5 “THINK MANCHURIAN CANDIDATES” January 2010

Critical Mass Wakes Up

David DeGraw, Alternet, writes:  “It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us. Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep. . . and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the US middle class.”

At the center of this group is the Business Roundtable, an organization representing Fortune 500 CEOs that is also interlocked with several lead elite organizations. Most Americans have never heard of the Business Roundtable. However, it is the most influential and powerful Economic Elite organization. READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/economy/145996/the_business_roundtable%3A_the_most_powerful_corporate_business_club_most_americans_have_never_heard_of

Corporatists declared war on the rest of us.  Time to fight back with full vigor and from every side, Let Freedom Ring!

Just say, “Yes!”  Baldhead of the Business Roundtable.

WHO EATS, WHO STARVES?

February 12, 2011

War

Please note – the History Channel, International History channel, Military Channel, Discovery, National Geographic, and other shows currently on television are all engineered to avoid American History from 1968 to the present.  Oh, yes, there are superficial exceptions: how the army rangers felt who parachuted into Grenada, for example, but no critique of why they were there policy-wise, or how it fed into the on-going Nixon-Republican orchestrated CIA destabilization program for “socialist,” or “democratic” countries that might resist U.S. commercial domination – read: “big multi-national corporations.” JFK’s death, RFK’s death, Dr. King’s and Malcolm’s deaths took the bright vision of America from us, and left the fear-mongering, greedy bastards who may have colluded to kill them in charge of our nation.  Conspiracy theorists are maligned, but there is truth in what they have to say.

I was in Washington D.C. when Nixon was inaugurated.  It was a glum, horrible, overcast day, cold and rainy, bleak, and that’s where he took the country – into a foggy frozen limbo.  Under Nixon, Allende was assassinated in Chile for advancing the democracy and social justice that drove up the cost of doing business for the usual profiteers.  We invaded Cambodia and Laos to cleanse the place of heathen anti-capitalist Vietnamese, whom we nearly bombed and napalmed into the Stone Age, in order to defend an exploitative ruling elite that served western economic and, therefore, our own geo-political economic interests.  Nixon bugged our loyal opposition party’s campaign headquarters, cheating and lying his way not only into election, but re-election.  He set the modern pattern for Oval Office cover-ups and executive stonewalling, and turned up the paranoid distrust and oppression of the American people by its corrupted leaders.

Reagan compounded it.  Reagan reinforced and made it somehow “acceptable,” made us “comfortable” with our subversion.  Whenever possible, Reagan legalized it.  Under Reagan, Cheney and Rumsfeldt began to plan for a “shadow government” to bypass Congress and the Supreme Court, corrupt the Justice Department, and seize power from the rightful, lawful government of the United States; that is, We, the People.  Their “shadow government” serves the interests of the rich, powerful, radical right, elitist leaders of the multi-national corporations, the possessors of the great fascist slave-based capitalist fortunes that have crushed people around the world for generations.  When will we put a full stop to their greedy madness?  It is clear that they know they have to stop us – cold.  They are ruthless, and we should defend ourselves to the death, for they will kill us directly, or indirectly, if we do not.  PUBLIC ENEMIES 1 and 2

Indirectly.  They have ruined our environment.

Directly: Stolen our money. Corrupted our government. Crippled our labor movement. Ruined our economy. Attacked the Middle Class. Forced us out of our homes.

The list of their offenses – crimes they have made legal by reason of seizing the law and twisting it to their tyranny and abuse – is long and despicable.

They are the great criminals of our age. They are today’s super pirates, slave traffickers, dope kings, cutthroats, robbers, tricksters, hoodlums, and villains.  They will finally rank as the monsters that destroyed a Golden Age.  We are living at the end of Camelot.  A Dark Age is about to fall, if we allow it to happen, and they – the neocon corporationist republicans – made it happen.  REPUBLICAN INSURANCE NAZIS

If there is a god of justice, if we do want to save ourselves from the horrors of the neocon fascist creation, there must be a reckoning.  Very soon.

"He was the biggest asshole at Goldman Sachs!"

SIX GENERATIONS

Six generations are required to forget the people,

deeds and glories of the past,

The great spaces, places, faces, and

traces of the first generation, are

Inheritance of the second,

Legacy of the third,

Plaything of the fourth,

Burden of the fifth,

Disinterest of the sixth;

Six generations shall pass

When all shall be gone but

Not forgotten nor forgiven

As descendents reinvent and

then eat their

Ancestors’ ancient sins.

Immigrants called to American duty.

WALDO IN REVERY (from Common Lives, a novel)

“I cannot say for certain what began my transformation,” Waldo said.  “I only know that it occurred sometime in mid-June, probably on a Wednesday, or possibly, a Tuesday, but it was June.  In the process, I suddenly saw everything in a new perspective, as if awakening from a very deep sleep.  I saw reality with fresh eyes.  Rip Van Winkle is real, you see?  And, what did I discover? Just this:

“I was born in America, in the City of San Francisco just before mid-century.  As I grew in that storied city, I was imbued with both the Spirit of Liberty and the Phoenix – that magic bird which resurrects itself again and again from the ashes of its own destruction.  I grew up believing in Superman, Manifest Destiny, Truth, Justice and the American Way.  I was the refugee child of refugee parents, themselves the children of refugees.  We looked for a better way on alien shores as aliens among aliens.  We took our place in the legion of strangers pushing and jostling for the top – hoping to look back on poverty and want, and to feel smugly and arrogantly removed from the incessant rhythmic fear, which had started all that long march.

“I grew up in suburbs, being numbered among the handful raised in blessed innocence, free from teeming, toiling city masses.  We learned the horror of crabgrass; we observed neighbors piling bricks up to build barbecues.  We found pleasure in the smallest things in a mundane world, taking solace in rigid normalcy, created by following rigid rules.  We aspired to concrete patios, toured on weekends through farmlands in noisy, fuel-inefficient machines which ultimately doomed the very orchards we’d come to see; or took slow rolls through upper class neighborhoods to see where we thought we were going.

“Those high neighborhoods were always sheltered by sculpted trees, surrounded by acres of immaculate lawn – no sign of crabgrass anywhere!  They had Japanese, or Mexican gardeners, bright flowerbeds, eagle-crested double car garages, and gated drives a city-street wide.  Those drives were stainless, absolutely unblemished.  I can only assume that they were scrubbed  daily by Irish washerwomen .

“To make a long story short, I was sent to college – the first of all my tribe.  Set on the course of upward mobility, professionalism, immaculate lawns and sanitized driveways,  I married and committed to a career.  Never well paid, always overworked, I eventually examined my circumstances and decided that I was part of a large system that demanded more expenditure of my time and attention than I usually made back from it.  Further, it demanded that I dedicate whole sections of my future to it, regardless of my personal motives or aspirations!  I was compelled socially, economically and culturally to serve that damned system as a blind, following member – no better than mindless serving ants plugging themselves genetically in and out of nests, mindlessly serving a queen, whose sole purpose is to mindlessly push out eggs to ensure continuation of that self-same mindless estate.  Well, to put it mildly, I was pissed!

“Glancing about, I noticed that a good two-thirds of the world was starving.  While those people were dying, I was being paid to help perpetuate an all-consuming ethos that dooms the majority of humankind to war, famine, pestilence, murder and screaming neglect.  I’m the son of refugees!  How can I eat well and consider the world well ordered with those millions of others – the mirrors of my own ancestral impetus – still awash in the chaos, which my forebears had so intelligently fled?  I could not.

“I, therefore, divested myself of every vestige of my former reality: wife, family, friends, career.  I ran off to find myself, wondering all the while why the price of that journey should be so painfully high.  I lost myself in drugs, booze, sex and cheap thrills.  I walked ocean beaches, hiked mountain trails, re-observed city streets, and wrote and wrote and wrote, trying through the recording of all those sights, sounds and experiences to find some common thread among them, and in me, so that I would not forever remain an outsider.  In this fashion, find my way back in some improbably acquiescent present, imagined in a perfect future, to my imperfect, misunderstood, but now clearly missed past.

‘You know you can come back in,’ The ex-wife said. ‘We’ve all wished for freedom and creative individuality. Your friends will understand why you failed and admire you for trying.’

“As I mentioned, on a Wednesday in mid-June, approximately three years into my odyssey, I suddenly saw everything in a new perspective.  The remnants of dream were washed from my mind, and I confronted stark reality.

“Until the moment when the mists cleared, I was as the others.  I walked, I talked, and I carried on the day’s business without hesitation.  I went home in the evenings, packed into cattle cars with my fellows.  I sank down onto my isolated bed at night, alone in my isolated cell, conserving energy for the effort of that forever approaching ‘Next Day.’  All remained the same when I awoke, but now I saw it clearly for what it was, and the questions came faster and with greater force.  Who am I?  Why am I here?  Where am I going?  What has come to pass?

“Each day, I observed crowds spilling out of vehicles and doorways into the early morning city air.  Each day, I watched them queue for bread, for work, for a drink, for love.  They eddied and swayed in great mass, afloat in the polluted ether of overcrowded, urban life, elbowing for position, shouting for attention, separate yet fixed within the same stream (as oil in water, a colloidal ambient suspension, a physical chemical reaction like any other).  What is this? I demanded to know.  What is happening?  Why is this all so?  Clearly these others among whom I accomplished my time were not all the same.  No two were alike as peas in a pod.  No one the mirror of another.  (Oh, yes, we behave in generally predictable fashion – the degree of response varies from individual to individual, but a tack in the shoe usually causes the wearer to react.  However, there are differences and they must be there for some reason, although we spend most of our time trying to deny or destroy them, for generally irrational cause).

“That common denominator I had been seeking seemed finally within reach.  I began to observe my fellows and fellowesses more closely.  Since we were all involved in the same great system into which we fed our energies – each of us without marked mental consideration – there must be something to it.  The alternative, which I’d most recently been pursuing, was a form of outlawry or exile.  Yet, outlaws and exiles depend in whole or in part on the system as well, if simply by preying upon it.  Even survivalists come down from the hills for a gallon of gas to make themselves ‘independent’ of the rest of us.  (Incidentally, if nothing cataclysmic happens, those survivalists are going to look pretty silly.  Still, the current state of the cosmos appears to be bearing them out).  In any event, the outlaws and the exiles are a minute fraction of the whole.  I hence turned my full attention upon the majority.

“You see, from channeling my interest on a narrower and narrower track, transmuting my initial preoccupation with the cosmic to contemplation of my own navel, I have at last looked up from that infinitesimal focus of anatomy to perceive my individual smallness in the scheme of things.  I see my relative impotence in the face of the world’s great consortiums of nations, corporations, religions and other power groupings.  Yet, I am not frustrated by my size.  I see the power of my personal vision.  Because it is so personal, it is overwhelmingly intense, and that is the precisely directed laser, I as the surgeon will use to help erode the deadly cancerous tumor, which presently corrupts the body, mind and spirit of humankind!”

“Not all at once, of course.

“Reality is the key,” Waldo continued, “not dream, not fantasy, not wanting, nor wishing.  Reality rules.  In order to live a proper, that is, a real life we must take what comes as it comes.  There is no formula, no magic spell, and no special prayer – which facts protect us from charlatans.  We are all lost at sea, and all coping – president, priest, or peasant.  That’s just the way it is.

“So, where do we go from here?  Wherever we want.  We are not bound to one reality, to one anything.  We make gods a dime a dozen.  We are the dreamers.  Ursula LeGuin is right (marvelous mind, great poet and story teller.  Don’t know her?  You probably should).”

Vegetables for Victory!

VERY IMPORTANT – WORTH YOUR NOTICE:

Now more than ever, Oregon teachers are digging into their own pockets for back to school supplies. When teachers can dig no deeper, students go without.

Join fellow citizens in America’s Back to School Challenge. Together, we can be a positive force not just for Oregon, but all of America’s public school children.

Just say, "Yes!"

REPUBLICORP

October 28, 2010

Pure Progress and Bold Hopes

Dear MoveOn members and friends at-large,

RepubliCorp. That’s our new name for the shadowy network of corporate front groups who’re spending millions to sway the election-and the Republican politicians they’re buying.

RepubliCorp prefers to operate in secrecy. So we decided to do a little public relations for them. We created this website, www.RepubliCorp.us, and this spiffy promotional video.   Check ’em out and pass ’em on.  Because the more light we can shed on the corporate interests trying to swing this election, the more we’ll help the republicorp, corporate interest corrupt election, progressives they’re targeting. And because during a dark time, a little humor never hurts.

www.RepubliCorp.us

Thanks for all you do. -Ilyse, Robin, Marika, Duncan, and the rest of the team. PS. Remember-next time you’re talking about all those secretive groups spending millions to buy Congress, they have a name: RepubliCorp.

Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 5 million members-no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

 

KOCHTOPUS

October 28, 2010

“Kochtopus” Matt Taibbi Joins Keith Olbermann, Thursday, October 21, 2010 by Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann

VIDEO:  http://www.commondreams.org/video/2010/10/21-0

Koch: Even More Powerful and Well-Connected Than You Thought

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch don’t just underwrite a huge right-wing infrastructure of front groups, think tanks and political campaigns, reports Think Progress; they also work with corporate “investors” who oppose health, energy, financial and other reforms. Details on their symbiotic relationship with moneyed interests from Glenn Beck and the Chamber to oil and insurance companies here; more on those connections from CounterPunch here. –Abby Zimet  More…

MEMO: Health Insurance, Banking, Oil Industries Met With Koch, Chamber, Glenn Beck To Plot 2010 Election

In 2006, Koch Industries owner Charles Koch revealed to the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore that he coordinates the funding of the conservative infrastructure of front groups, political campaigns, think tanks, media outlets and other anti-government efforts through a twice annual meeting of wealthy right-wing donors. He also confided to Moore, who is funded through several of Koch’s ventures, that his true goal is to strengthen the “culture of prosperity” by eliminating “90%” of all laws and government regulations. Although it is difficult to quantify the exact amount Koch alone has funneled to right-wing fronts, some studies have pointed toward $50 million he has given alone to anti-environmental groups. Recently, fronts funded by Charles and his brother David have received scrutiny because they have played a pivotal role in the organizing of the anti-Obama Tea Parties and the promotion of virulent far right lawmakers like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). (David Koch praised DeMint and gave him a “Washington Award” shortly after the senator promised to “break” Obama by making health reform his “Waterloo.”)

KOCH TEASERS

Right-wing brothers Charles and David Koch, each worth over $21 billion, don’t just underwrite a huge conservative infrastructure of front groups, think tanks and political campaigns, reports Think Progress; they also strengthen a “culture of prosperity” through meetings with like-minded corporate “investors” who oppose health, energy, financial and other reforms. Details on their symbiotic relationship with big moneyed interests from Glenn Beck and the Chamber of Commerce to oil, health insurance, Wall Street and real estate companies here; more on those connections from CounterPunch here.

KOCH CONNECTIONS

10 Reasons Not to Tax the Rich. And Why They’re All Bad by Paul Buchheit, Wednesday, October 20, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

We hear them all the time, the reasons for unrestricted capitalism, minimal government, lower taxes for the rich. But the facts reveal good reasons NOT to NOT tax the rich.

(1) The rich deserve what they earn because of hard work and initiative.  They use other people’s money to create assets that don’t exist and then bet on them to fail [in] the murky world of derivatives and credit default swaps. Those who make the most money avoid taxes by calling their income “carried interest” instead.  Others not directly involved in financial chicanery still make out well. The stock market has grown 7 times faster than America’s GDP since 1981, and two-thirds of the country’s stocks are owned by the wealthiest 1% of Americans. That’s not enough for some; many backdate their stock options to a time when the price was higher.

(2) It’s not fair to “soak the rich.” It’s been just the opposite for the past 30 years. In 1980 the richest 1% got one out of every fifteen income dollars. Thanks to tax cuts and deregulation, they now get THREE out of every fifteen dollars. Meanwhile, every U.S. taxpayer contributes about $600 a year to pay for the tax cuts that give $34,000 a year to each of the wealthiest 1% of Americans. And now a trillion dollars of public money is bailing out the failing banking system.

(3) “Spreading the wealth” and “redistribution” are other names for socialism. Not socialism, but social responsibility. Taxes support public infrastructure, including research and development for science and technology. Much of the tax burden disproportionately benefits the rich: laws protect private property and capital investment; trade pacts and national defense policies protect wealth. Bill Gates, Sr. explains, “The government…protects their business activities…that’s what creates capital and enables net worth to increase.”

(4) The great wealth of the rich stimulates the economy. Low-income earners have a higher “Marginal Propensity to Consume,” which means that they spend a greater percentage of their overall income on consumption. High-income earners save more; the very rich buy mansions, yachts, jewels, and art. [T]he Congressional Budget Service ranked 11 strategies to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Cutting taxes for the rich was lowest. The top 500 non-financial companies currently hold $2 trillion in cash that could be used to create jobs and stimulate new business.

(5) Large incomes provide incentive for success. Some hedge fund managers ‘earned’ enough money in one year to pay the salaries of every police officer, firefighter, and public school teacher in Chicago. A system that allows one man to divert the salaries of 50,000 public workers to his own pockets has gone well beyond “incentive-based.”

(6) The very rich pay it back through taxes. They pay less than 23% of their incomes in federal income tax. [T]he lowest-earning half of America pays 24% as much as the richest 1%. The top tax rate has gone from 90% in 1960, to 35% in 2008. But much of billionaires’ earnings is subject to only a 15% tax because of a loophole that allows hedge fund income not to be called income. Furthermore, about 500 people a year renounce their U.S. citizenship and repatriate themselves in Belize, the Cayman Islands, or elsewhere to avoid taxes entirely.

(7) The very rich lost massive parts of their fortunes in the recession. They lost no more money, percentage-wise, than average mid-level earners. Wealth data from the Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve show that the richest households have INCREASED their median incomes relative to other earners since 2006.

(8) “Income mobility” shows that the poor can get rich, and vice versa. This argument relies on a 2007 U.S. Treasury Department report that states “Among those with the very highest incomes in 1996 – the top 1/100 of 1 percent – only 25 percent remained in this group in 2005.” But nearly 9 out of 10 of those in the top 1% remained in the top quintile of earners over those ten years. They may have dropped out of the most elite 1% group, but they remained close. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

(9) The rich support worthwhile causes. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the wealthy “give their biggest donations” to colleges, hospitals, and cultural organizations and “rarely make large gifts to social-service groups, grass-roots organizations, or nonprofit groups that focus on the poor or minorities.” Hundreds of millions of dollars are flooding into congressional and state election races. Especially since the Supreme Court ruled against limits on corporate contributions.

(10) Inequality is necessary to sustain a healthy and productive society. This [is] the worst reason of all. Not only is it unnecessary, but dangerous: Numerous studies correlate inequality with shorter life expectancies, increased disease and health problems, and ever higher crime and murder rates. Rates of illness in an unequal society are higher at all levels of income, even for the very wealthy.

Paul Buchheit is a faculty member in the School for New Learning at DePaul University. READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/10/20-1

Say Goodbye!

davidbfraftr

After a two year loan to the United States, Michelangelo’s David is being returned to Italy.