America's White Underclass By JOE BAGEANT.
Not to pick on Joe in particular but some thoughts came to me when reading this piece of his mind. Joe talks about the usual "code" words and attempts to give definition to the words "underclass" and "middle class."
Joe: "For instance, for all practical purposes and to most Americans, regardless of race, the term "middle class" means "white." Plain and simple. We all know that, even members of the "black middle class."
Until now I personally had not thought of "middle class" as having a color, but just simply an income level, or the class of Mr. and Mrs. Keeping Up With The Jones. I missed that coding I guess and fell into the making assumptions people. According to the "left", I should have known middle class meant white folk.
According to Joe : "But this comes down to describing human beings solely in terms of their jobs in the capitalist labor marketplace, and assumptions about income and whether one takes their daily shower before they go to work or after they come home. By that definition, anyone of working age who doesn’t have a steady job of the right type, for whatever reason, is in some sort of “economic underclass.” In other words, they are the people that middle class folks feel should damned well be working, if they are over age 18 and have a pulse. (“If I gotta do time in this meaningless workhouse of a nation, you do too!”) This underclass includes any people of color seen on the street at midday during the week, single mothers, and paraplegics too, now that the middle class is paying taxes for handicap parking spaces and wheelchair access to the public shitters."
Again, personally I never gave much thought as to whether a person takes their shower before going to work or after coming home from work. However, husband and self have held jobs where we did the shower before and some after - never worried about the job being the "right type" as long as said job kept our boats afloat at the time.
I guess Joe's rant is about those pesky "bourgeois" folks who he thinks are looking down at everyone else as the "underclass." Does the "middle class" concern itself with why people of color are on the street midday? Single mothers, paraplegics? Although you know, most of those handicap spaces are not taken by paraplegics but by puffing 350+ pound younger people, usually in a new van or SUV, who manage to walk into the store to plop in one of those motorized carts at Wal-mart.
Joe goes on describing this hearty brand of "underclass": "Non-mainstreamers," in socio-demographic speak. Many of these are men who say, "Screw it, I ain’t gonna even bother to work my ass off and be treated like dirt for six bucks an hour. I’d rather shoot pool."
Yep, shoot pool and let the State support those 3 or 4 babies he's got. Maybe the guy can draw a check for that bad back sustained from leaning over the pool table so much. Is shooting pool now code for what real "men" do today?
And Joe goes on to rant about income disparity, his first-hand experience with being a member of the underclass, and the unfairness of the American system, blah blah blah. Boiling it down to his success came because he has real balls. Does that mean successful folks have real balls and the underclass has pool balls?
What struck me in this piece though is: "When it comes to the underclass, there is no arguing that some people are members because they are so damned uneducated they cannot count their toes or read well enough to fill out a job app, the causes of which are too deep and tangled to go into at the moment. Others just don’t care to do the smiling grammatically correct wimp assed customer service zombie thing. They prefer swinging a bigger hammer than that – doing real work, like America used to do."
A bigger hammer. Hmmm. Not too many years ago I remember when the so-called "left" or folks like Joe, were writing rants on that bigger hammer, those "real work" jobs. We were told by guys like Joe that those manufacturing jobs, mining jobs, shower-after-work jobs, although they paid well, were merely slave labor, physically destroying your mind and body, making zombies out of you with repetitive monotonous tedious and sometimes dangerous labor; sapping your soul and strength. They asked you, why should anyone have to put a widget in a widget on an assembly line all day? It's demeaning.
Well, the PTB heard the Joes and have rid the "underclass" or "middle class" of most of those big hammer jobs. And when men and women are offered "bigger hammer" jobs today, the jobs are too roughneck or too destructive to the green folks, or some group will complain and remind you that you should question why these jobs are of any use whatsoever - you could be playing pool or dealing drugs, getting a government check, or doing something easier all day.
And of course, Joe does the usual comparison to some foreign country that has it so much better. In this case Australia where he says a maid told him she makes $19/hour and was going to school with an assortment of public assistance programs. (I guess this means Aussie welfare is better than US welfare.)
According to Joe, if you're an old farty Wal-mart greeter or a Hooters waitress you are a member of the "humiliated and socially oppressed people." You might be a greeter for extra money to play bingo and that short hooter skirt doesn't compare to the sexting pics you send around - you're still mostly humiliated and oppressed by capitalism and the man.
I remember when it would have been humiliating to not work, regardless whether it was six dollars an hour or not. I remember when speaking good English didn't make you a "wimp assed" zombie but someone who was more employable. I remember when people were respected for working any job, period, not given excuses to hang around the pool hall and bitch about life instead of living it.
Guys like Joe, pretending to care while denigrating, and encouraging the ignorance and victimhood of all the "underclass" folks who should have everything and pay little to nothing for it instead of doing "time in this meaningless workhouse nation". Oh woe is us.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
America's White Underclass By JOE BAGEANT.
Monday, December 14, 2009
There is really nothing of importance to write about.
Tiger Woods skirt-chasing to fill his emotional pit with plastic skanks when he has a good woman at home? Didn't mama warn you about guys like this? Few ever "settle down" and then only because they can't get it up, but now with Viagra ... the old guy in the bar picking up whatever is left at closing time.
How about reaming Obamabush a new one for his peace prizing Afghanistan surge? Or praising him for finally doing something with the issue other than deliberating it.
Could write about the old man Berlusconi's smack in the face with an overpriced religious souvenir.
How about the ever present global cooling, warming, no wait... it's climate change now. It's been proven - it's colder, it's warmer, yep, it's climate change.
How about Governor Patterson's cutting money to schools and municipal funding? It's described as a "fiscal bind" and "budget gaps." When regular folks are in the same situation it's called not having a pot to piss in or a window to throw it from.
There's always the WSWS to pick on. "US firms lose out in bidding for Iraq oil fields." In a clear signal of the declining influence of American capitalism, even in a country conquered and occupied by the US military, companies from China, Russia, Malaysia and Angola, along with several European oil giants, won most of the rights for exploration and development of Iraq’s oil fields. The most aggressive bidder was the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), while Lukoil and Gazprom of Russia, and European firms like Royal Dutch Shell, ENI (Italy), British Petroleum, Statoil (Norway) and Total (France) all won bids. Petronas, the state-owned Malaysian oil company, won the most bids, three, while the Angolan state oil company Sonangol won two.
Duh. I told you 5 years ago - the US is just the muscle, the brains are elsewhere, although apparently some Americans had enough sense to know a good deal for selling out the US when they saw it. It's a clear signal for sure - of the influence of global capitalism mixed with feel-good fuzzy socialism.
But what the hay, we can always sing:
It's a world of laughter,
A world of tears.
It's a world of hopes,
And a world of fears.
There's so much that we share,
That it's time we're aware,
It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small world after all.
It's a small, small world.
(Repeat ad nauseam until you have permanent white matter atrophy.)
Ho hum. I'm going to go out on a limb here and be politically incorrect: Merry Christmas, merry Christmas. Hohoho - for all the old guys, and gals, in the bar. May your pits be filled.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:27 AM
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sometimes I shake my head at the ragbag of "folk heroes" that US liberals/radicals polish up for followers. Most recent I've read include Joe Hill and Lynne Stewart. I spent a few hours researching Hill and his brief IWW career, and court case, to conclude he was most likely guilty as accused, but made into a much needed martyr of the IWW. According to wiki: IWW today it is actively organizing and numbers about 2,000 members worldwide, of whom fewer than half (approximately 900) are in good standing that is, have paid their dues for the prior two months. Gotta wonder, when a club has been around 100 years and isn't doing any better than that ...
Supporters of Hill believe it was by coincidence that Joe was shot the same time as a local grocer and son were murdered in a robbery attempt, with another son wounding one of the 2 perps. Joe's friend and traveling buddy also coincidentally disappeared from sight the night of the attempted robbery and killings. Joe decided he would rather hang from the gallows than give up the name of his alleged alibi, a married lady he was in bed with at the time of the shooting. The insinuation is her hubby caught them and shot Joe. Joe refused to name her as in 1914 it would have ruined her reputation. Apparently, the feelings were not reciprocal as the lady never came forward to save his neck. If her hubby caught them I guess he too decided to protect his wife's reputation by keeping quiet. Or - maybe Joe was lying about his alibi, a good one - one that portrayed him as chivalrous. Then, as now, a famous politician and social celeb called for mercy on Joe, but he was hanged, or "murdered by the capitalist class" if you prefer it that way.
Lynne Stewart was the attorney for the blind Sheikh of the 1993 WTC bombing and convicted of, among other things, conspiracy to defraud the United States, providing and concealing material support, and making false statements; she was passing messages from her client terrorist to his terrorist friends. She could have received 20-30 years but was given 28 months. Stewart states she came to view the Sheikh as a "fighter for national liberation of oppressed people." Stewart is a self-proclaimed political radical who told the jury she has advocated a violent "revolution of the people that overthrows institutions." Unbeknownst to the people, the replacement institutions will be far worse than anything they have now - but don't let reality get in the way of rhetoric. And of course what "institutions" does she speak of ? The IRS? The institution of marriage? Or the prison she is heading to for a few months?
The liberal/radical seem to have various types of heroes and/or martyrs. One type, like Joe Hill, is lowborn, from the pool of the "oppressed and poor" folks - elevated to icon status. Their careers are usually short-lived as they meet an untimely end, never through any fault of their own but as a direct result of "standing up to the evil ruling class", or so it is told by the makers of common folk history.
Another type of "radical" or progressive hero is a member of the affluent/ruling class or so close to it they can taste it, e.g. Daniel Elsberg, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Tom Hayden, Jane Fonda, or more recent Michael Moore, Sibel Edmunds, Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, even Obama for some. And the up and comings like Cindy Sheehan, etc. A few imported icons, Che, Chavez, Fidel.
(On a side note, the World Socialist Web Site last week published a verbose 2-part article in defense of pedophile Roman Polanski, more or less declaring the poor man is an artiste and victim of a vindictive witch hunt. Talk about polishing a turd... And people wonder why our children are prematurely adult and our adults permanently childish?)
Note that today's "radicals" do not come close to martyrdom. These folks are safe - whether their chatter is subtle or radical - they are window dressing, so common folk think they have a few higher-ups on their side. These progressive/radical icons work against the lower classes while appearing to advocate for them - some so dense they may not realize what they're doing. In reality, they exploit the lower classes by encouraging their impulsivity and anti-social behavior. Such folks advocate the belief that government should provide all things and solve all problems. From the other side of their mouth they rant about government oppression and "institutions."
And rather than inform their followers with truth, that the underclass in the US are not victims of oppression, they encourage them to become willing barbarians in destroying what they do have. I guess to make way for their new and improved government institutions.
If affluent/ruling class "heroes" are assassinated, they, like the poor folk hero Joe Hill - are victims of the ruling class, or so it seems as told by the tellers of folk history, e.g. JFK, RFK, or Wellstoned ... Remember, if you have the slightest political profile and/or lean a tad to the left - your death is conspiracy fodder - your car, train, plane, boat was sabotaged, your heart attack or cancer was injected via a CIA needle, you were "suicided," or that lone nut shooter was really backed up by several hundred or thousand agencies, departments, professionals, and lay people who at best were willing participants or coerced into keeping quiet, and/or at worst became part of the ruling class body count, a body count that mysteriously never has any proof - conjecture is not evidence. For instance, if you were anywhere near Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, and you eventually died - you were murdered because you knew or saw something.
As with JFK and RFK, the conspiracies surrounding MX and MLK assassination no longer work for me. Why would the American ruling class feel threatened by either of these men? What demands were these men making that the ruling class was not already in the process of doing? If any part of the ruling class backed these murders it was that faction who feared MX and MLK would have fought against the Handout & Dumbdown Slave Plantation that liberalism created.
Do I have heroes? Sure. My family and friends over the years. Decent, hardworking, honest, fun loving, fair-minded, self-sacrificing, loving and loyal people. And all the nameless who stood up to me or for me, to do or say the right thing when it needed to be said or done - the random acts of good people.
Heroes don't have to be perfect, they need to be genuine - not created by press releases and image handlers or self-serving organizations. Most of our "heroes" shine only because they've been wrapped in a lot of tinfoil.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:23 AM
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Former U.S. official, wife admit to 30 years of spying for Cuba. A former State Dept official and his wife admitted in federal court Friday that they spied for Cuba over the past three decades, receiving coded instructions over a shortwave radio and passing along information to intelligence operatives in "dead drops" and "hand-to-hand" passes.
Walter K. Myers, 72, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit espionage and wire fraud. His wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, 71, pleaded guilty to conspiring to gather and transmit national defense information.
Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Michael Harvey said in court that Walter Myers was working in the State Department's Foreign Service Institute in 1978 when he went on a two-week trip to Cuba. He had been invited by a Cuban government official, an intelligence operative, who wanted to assess whether Myers would make a good spy, Harvey said. In a diary of the trip, court papers show, Myers called Cuban leader Fidel Castro "brilliant and charismatic."
Under the plea deal, the couple agreed to forfeit $1.7 million, the total of Myers's salary over the years, in cash and property to the U.S. government. That includes a prized 37-foot Malo sailboat. Sounds like a good plea deal for the Myers.
I guess none dare call it treason anymore, it's wire fraud.
According to court documents, Myers had been put on a watch list by his State Department boss in 1995, meaning he was under suspicion. The FBI investigation didn't start until 2006, after his boss raised fresh suspicions when he returned from a trip to China. ... One key question to be answered will be whether the Cubans were using Myers to produce information for other countries, such as Russia, Venezuela, Iran or China. I wonder how much Fidel received reselling the information ...
Prosecutors said in the year prior to his 2007 retirement, Myers downloaded the crown jewels on Cuba - 200 "sensitive or classified intelligence reports." "He had access to everything on the computers," the flabbergasted U.S. official told the Daily News, adding that the scope of what he passed to Cuba's spy service is unknown." ... Myers boasted to an FBI operative posing as a new Cuban handler that he had gotten "lots of medals" from the Communist regime."
Your tax dollars at work, and now federal pension dollars. Somewhere in Hollywood a wannabe artist must be scripting a sympathetic docudrama as we speak. Maybe Michael Moore can show how the Myers helped the "cause" of freedom and justice everywhere.
Some say the bulk of information Myers passed to Cuba was US classified economic data. Apparently someone somewhere made good use of that ...
The Myers spent a lifetime enjoying the benefits of American capitalism - money, luxuries, prestige - yet their loyalty is for "lots of medals" from a despotic island dictator where the majority are unemployed/underemployed and living in shanties. Those freedom and justice folks won't be satisified until the whole world is wearing their sandals ... although you know, with the right ribbon and a couple of grommets ... I might be able to make a buck ...
Posted by Kate-A at 12:17 PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It's that time again, more book peddling on JFK tinfoil for the 46th anniversary.
This guy, Abraham Bolden, The Echo from Dealey Plaza, published 2008, is an account of Bolden's time as a member of the White House Secret Service. (All 3 months of his WH duty.) His name caught my eye today while prowling around at BAR. I guess Bolden falls into the usual "Mafia" and government did it theory.
But first let me get this silly comment out of the way - BAR : "The American Mafia owes its very existence to the CIA, which protected and promoted the illegal drug trafficking responsible for so much loss of life and destruction of entire communities."
Oh my, someone is spinning - blame the Italians. The Mafia, costa nostra, syndicate, outfit, the mob - was around and doing well looooong before the CIA was established in 1947. ... hahaha "its very existence" .... (Factoid: White folks at one time called Italians/Sicilians "spaghetti niggers.")
Isn't that in opposition to the "left" argument that the Mafia owes its very existence to bootlegging, which is also their argument for why we should legalize drugs? The same drugs that are responsible for loss of life and destruction of entire communities?
Bolden seemed like a decent fellow. He graduated cum laude from Lincoln University, spent a year working for Pinkerton, then became an Illinois State Trooper, a job he held for four years. His record was exemplary and Ike Eisenhower appointed Bolden to the Secret Service in 1959, where he was assigned to investigate Chicago counterfeiting rings.
In 1961, JFK offered Bolden a job in the White House security detail. He accepted, and became the first black Secret Service agent. After 3 months on the job Bolden became disillusioned because white agents used the "n" word and because he was housed separately when the agents traveled through southern states. He complained to his supervisor about those issues and about the unprofessional attitude of other agents who often drank heavily. He was transferred back to Chicago where he returned to counterfeiting cases, until he was convicted of soliciting a bribe from a counterfeiter in 1964.
(I know a retired SS agent who served from 1958 to 1978, protecting presidents, heads of state, foreign dignitaries, etc. He too had stories of the agents drinking and carousing, off duty of course, of the kinky appetites of the men they protected, and that most of them were definitely not worth taking a bullet for, but he convinced me it was an extreme stress job and taken seriously at all times.)
Here's where the tinfoil thickens: The left-wingers are pushing the scenario that Bolden "had heard" of a JFK assassination plot scheduled for November 2 by Cuban nationals in Chicago. But the files for this incident were "lost," conveniently, for Bolden. Famous book selling "investigative" journalist Edwin Black says 2 Cuban men were arrested but later released. Arrested but released, doesn't that sound like the dancing Israelis? Get some new material people. Famous journalists saying something doesn't make it fact, well ... unless your tin is too tight. When Bolden attempted to tell the Warren Commission about what he had "heard" - he was arrested, "framed." You really think the Warren Commission would have taken Bolden's hearsay assertions as a reason to declare anything differently about the JFK assassination?
Here's my favorite "spin" the Left has put on Bolden, which he too has adopted 45 years later: Joseph Spagnoli, the gangster who pointed the finger at Bolden .... drum roll ... "later confessed he lied to the jury to convict Bolden at the request, allegedly, of Prosecutor Richard Sikes."
Whew! And I thought the spin was going to be a new angle - not the same old "recanted" or confessed to lying mantra.
All you need do is read a few boringly official transcripts - isn't the internet great? This is just one, there are others.
First what was defendant Bolden accused of and later convicted of: "On the morning of May 11, the defendant went to the home of Frank Jones. Jones was then under indictment for counterfeiting and had twice been arrested by the defendant. Agent Bolden told Jones a number of facts about the Spagnoli case, including the whereabouts of Sandra Hafford. Hafford, an erstwhile friend of Spagnoli, she had testified against Spag before the grand jury, and was being held in protective custody by the Secret Service in a downtown Chicago hotel. The defendant (Bolden) produced several onionskin papers stapled together and a small, typewritten piece of paper containing an excerpt from the summary report of the Spagnoli investigation. He asked Jones to go to Spagnoli's home, give Spagnoli the piece of paper, and tell him that he could have the entire file for $50,000. The defendant said that the money would be split between Jones and him." ($50,000 is $344,000 in 2008 dollars, not bad for some onionskin.)
But, let's take a peek at this one and see what ol' Spagnoli's confessed lies were.
"At his own trial, Spagnoli testified that he had committed perjury in certain respects as a Government witness in the defendant's (Bolden) trial. He testified that his livelihood was gambling and that he had falsely testified during the defendant's trial that his mother supported him. He stated that this perjury was suborned by Government counsel in order to make him look better in the eyes of the jury. Spagnoli also testified that he had lied during the defendant's trial in reference to the date on which his call to Agent Martineau was placed, and possibly with reference to other dates. Spagnoli was thereafter found guilty and received a fifteen year sentence."
Oh, the liar, the liar. He preferred the jury think his mama supported him rather than his gambling, and on further reading, his dates may have been off by a day, the 12th instead of the 11th - what a liar. That's it folks. The tinfoil's spinning of "confessed he lied to the jury" is so you will assume he lied about Bolden soliciting a bribe.
My questions : Bolden claims the SS did not take guarding JFK seriously. You really believe Bobby and others didn't vet their men any better than that? After the Kennedy boys had just had Diem assassinated - you think they weren't worried about the loyalty of their own detail? As MX said, chickens come home to roost ... but the roosters were not Kennedy's secret service.
If there was a documented plot against JFK in Chicago that November, so what? We know there was supposedly one in Miami that year. There were and are numerous plots against presidents - most by misfits looking for a name, Squeaky Fromm, John Hinckley, or loudmouth barflies - sometimes they succeed.
Why would the government bother to frame a low level still "newbie" agent like Bolden? Because he was allegedly going to tell the Warren Commission about his hearsay of a Chicago plot for which there was no record? What threat did Bolden pose to the mob or the government? None.
Was Bolden just another corrupt petty official in Chi-town - or our latest unsung hero? There must be 344,000 ways to package that distraction.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:50 PM
Sarah Palin: Newsweek running shorts cover is sexist. Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate, has denounced as "sexist " and "degrading" a Newsweek cover that depicts her in a coquettish pose in gym kit.
Mrs Palin, who is making front pages across the United States this week as she promotes her blockbuster memoir "Going Rogue", told more than one million supporters on Facebook that the image and the treatment of her were depressingly predictable.
David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network commented that the cover was "biased and sexist at the same time", contrasting Mrs Palin's treatment with the favourable Newsweek portrayal of Hillary Clinton when she was first lady. "Conservative women are portrayed as nuts and dopey," he concluded. "Liberal women are heroes for the next generation."
----- I really have to wonder about the mindset of those more concerned with image than substance. Michelle Obama has had a couple of not so flattering images on the front of Newsweek, as have many other folks. Who cares. But, when your reading audience is the checkout line at Wal-mart ...
Palin is so disappointing. She seems to be a 24/7 down-home folksy chirper who either cannot or does not know when to sound grownup. Is this Sarah or are her current advisers telling her to complain about the cover, and she thinks the complaint is a winner? Here's a clue Sarah - it's not about sexism - it's about sex. Sex sells everything, even pols, at least in the lower 48. You know you're sexy and trim on that cover (a MILF for those young republicans). You're like the pretty girl who laments how awful she looks, just so her friends will tell her how stunning she looks. High school.
All that energy, ability, and charisma and Palin can't come off as anything more than someone qualified to be a bubbly bright office receptionist, filing nails, chewing gum, checking the mirror. Here's another clue Sarah - don't pose in a coquettish gym kit, or make the cover contractually your choice.
Before the end of her short McCain campaign I had grown weary with her chirping chatter. She reminds me of a canary - tweet tweet tweet, even if she is squawking about serious subjects, she still tweets. Any good sense she has is lost in the tinnitus.
If we lived in an adults-in-charge world I'd say Palin has no political future but since we don't, the little coquette does.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:03 PM
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The news is horrific these days, especially for women and children. Some cases more disturbing than others, for instance the little girl Shaniya sold for sex by her mother. It disturbs me more, some stories do, as she physically reminds me of my own granddaughters ages 5 and 7.
Of course, such depravity is not new to man, but when did America's current slide into depravity begin, and how? We know where the talking heads and experts point their fingers. Medical/pharma profession say it is depression/mental health, liberals claim it is poverty/capitalism, religion says it is the turning from God/tithing, educational system says it is education, family service departments claim it's lack of sufficient funds and resources. Throw more money, throw more money - into the abyss of going nowhere and correcting nothing. And the media - which creates celebrities from the dumbest among us, give a subtle okay nod for the weak-minded to be addicts, freaks, fools - it might bring fame and fortune, even your own series, a book, or a movie detailing another wasted life.
Tracking back to the beginning of the most recent cultural slide it began with removing individual responsibility while at the same time promoting individual hedonism. A bad philosophical mix; not the first time in history and probably not the last, but it always ends in collapse.
Enter the governments willing to contribute funds to sustain the hedonistic orgy, as they always have historically, under the mantle of compassion and fairness, etc., and the result is what we have today: A nation ruled for and by vultures, perverts, deadbeats, incompetents, cowards, and their powerful apologists and excuse-makers.
American society today gives new meaning to what used to be the 7 deadly sins. Sloth, envy, pride, gluttony, greed, wrath, lust - gussied up today as leisure time, self-love, self-esteem, righteous indignation, and the all-time favorite - sexual liberation. Aren't we modern?
Despite the effort of a few good people - most American women, children, and minorities today are emotionally, psychologically, and economically worse off than ever, save those few of us who escaped the 1960s unscathed by progressive ideology set in concrete. All the "movements" of the '60s have been twisted, quite easily, to convince the masses to enslave themselves to self-defeating ideals and choices. Remember, the best slave thinks he's free. And yes, I think it's been engineered by the PTB - but it would not have worked had the people not gotten onboard.
Descriptions and reasons for America's demise has been said better by others, and in lengthy detail, from both a liberal and conservative perspective. But basically, both "sides" have been taking the country in the same direction for 50 years. The PTB have diluted the culture with an overabundance of immigration that demands accommodation rather than assimilation, overcrowded the workplace with disposable labor; offshored and outsourced your future; polluted the American spirit with a mishmash of anything goes "diversity"; educated the nation's children with violence, sex, drugs, and sleaze - and made you accept it all like the meek sheep you are - convinced that tolerating it makes you generous, caring, a good person. A culture without real values, and loyalty to those values, is readily controlled - catering to a corrupt mind is easy.
Fifty years ago the lives of miserable people would only have been viewed in dusty textbooks on aberrant lifestyles, or sold under the counter in plain brown wrappers - today such lives are mainstream news and entertainment, emmy winning drama. Years ago, where folks would turn away in horror and guard their children from exposure - they now want every salacious detail, prime time, kids in the room or not. What used to be life in the gutter is now a potential money-maker, often prefaced with "only human" or "terrible childhood."
To a more or lesser degree, America has become a nation of Charlie Mansons. Crude, cruel, doped and dumbed, promiscuous, irresponsible, dysfunctional, murderous - walking dead pretending to be a "family." Some folks murder the body, some murder the mind.
The higher up the food chain you go the more respectable you can make your 7 sins appear. We've had more physician/pharma diagnosing designer "diseases" in the last 50 years than throughout history - for the sole purpose of putting lipstick on the personal failures of the middle and upper classes - as they stampeded to join the predominantly social dysfunction of the lower classes, who appeared to be having more fun and not paying the piper. The "redistribution" and egalitarian society my friends had nothing to do with uplifting the poor - it has everything to do with lowering the middle classes, who also willingly got onboard with the engineering.
The mother of Shaniya is pregnant with her 4th child. We know her lifestyle, her choices; we know who and what funds her leisure time and excesses. Her counterparts could be Susan Smith, Casey Anthony, Andrea Yates, or even Nadya Octomom. These are people whose feelings are about #1 and nothing else. And there are no familial or social boundaries to thwart them. Unfortunately, they are out breeding us. They are not mentally ill - they are sociopaths and psychopaths. They are not victims of society, they prey on society. They have no values and are of no value. Taxpayer funds should not have to sustain them for even a day. Cold, I know, but it's reality.
As much as I resist giving voice to it - there truly are a lot of useless feeders in the US. Whether they murder their children or not - their children are doomed 99% of the time, and we do not as a society intervene because the idea of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness has been perverted to the notion that people have "rights" to do whatever they feel like doing. What they often feel like doing is illegal and immoral. And when we must punish, for most of them, they are sent to the first "home" they have ever known, where there is a clean bed, regular meals, rules, discipline, structure, which is why so many, especially males, return "home" to prison, again and again.
Not long ago the maintenance of dysfunctional feeders who avoided legal problems, was left to the family, the church community - which kept their numbers few and far between. Today, with the new age politically correct view, no one has a say-so regarding anyone's lifestyle or choices - but we are all responsible for the outcome and cleanup. In the new age religion of Love & Other Free Stuff - I have no right to prevent you from destroying your mind, your body, your children, your community, or me - yet I am financially, morally, and physically obligated for the mess and/or horror your choices dump on the trail. And the trail is knee deep.
Nancy Grace referred to the mother and cohort of the Davis girl as "animals" on her newscast yesterday, but she's wrong. Animals have more reason and heart.
Our family pets are all "rescue" animals. Last year I rescued a pair of Quaker parrots, they squawk more than I like but it gets my attention. These birds, like so many others in the bird family, mate for life. If one dies the other grieves for months and may or may not eventually bond with another bird. They share in everything. They mate and raise their hatchlings, equally. They are diligent, caring, responsible, courageous, loyal, dutiful, faithful, brave, resilient, sharing, and dedicated. That's called a value system, a value system builds character. Many humans, especially pols, use the "values" phrase occasionally but can't seem to practice it because they don't understand the concept and/or they can't muster the energy to live it - values/character require hard work. America has become a nation where folks tweak their values to justify their efforts and vice versa, resulting as expected in few values and little effort.
The scope and growth and size of this segment of society is both intensely sad and so unnecessary, if we honestly cared about one another. The new minority in America is not based on color, creed, gender, or religion - the new minority are those folks who want a society with rules and values, and yes "personal responsibility." But they need to squawk louder, as the human vultures have overrun the nest - and time is running short.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:01 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Eleven Americans were on their way to Colonel Mouammar Kadhafi’s “house,” actually a large walled military compound not far from the city center. Headed by former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, the U.S. delegates were among 400 guests of the Universal Association of Green Book Supporters, holding their First World Congress in late October. Colonel Khadafi, leader of Libya since the revolution of 1969 and chief promulgator of the Green Book, had agreed to speak to us.
McKinney had addressed the Green Book World Congress the night before. "Colonel Khadafi should be highly commended," said the Green Party’s 2008 presidential candidate, "for honoring our ancestors - the framers of true democracy - by reaching out from Africa to the entire world. We would like to thank him for this opportunity to discuss his thoughts as presented in the Green Book."
-------- My instinctual dislike and distrust of McKinney continues to hold true.
The Green Book (Arabic الكتاب الأخضر) is a book written by Muammar al-Khadafi (known as "the leader"), first published in 1975, outlining his views on democracy and his political philosophy. Socialism Khadafi style.
The green book is the usual rant about the evils of capitalism and white people, who of course own everything. Supposedly ... "Libyans who have been phased into the redistribution program begin with a "portfolio" worth about $20,000 and receive about $1,000 in revenue a month." Libya's wealth is mainly from oil revenues. I have found nothing that says this portfolio has occurred, but that "the leader" proposed the redistribution February 2009 to congress, who have yet to decide on it. In January of this year Khadafi mentioned nationalizing the oil companies. That's right folks, although the leader nationalized a few way back when, about one-half or more of oil production is still pretty much owned and operated by evil capitalist corporations.
In exchange for this redistribution portfolio, if it exists, you cannot criticize Islam or the government. Homosexuality is illegal. Most women are still second class citizens. Travel visas are restricted. Many Libyans seem to carry a big shoulder chip (40 years of listening to the leader's b.s.). There is no nightlife, a few restaurants with poor service, lots of pickpockets and thieves, filthy streets, few beaches worth visiting, no architecture, no theatre or musical exhibitions, no venturing out in the evening, no place for women or children - unless you join one of the expat circles (usually employees of an evil corporation working to upgrade the country). You may have to wait a year for high speed internet - but ... it's a "developing country" and Khadafi, with his little green book, is working on those problems. However, if you are a Westerner with a little money and the appropriate attitude, Libyan life can be more accommodating.
Khadafi, after 40 years of "democratic" rule, has appointed his son, heir-in-waiting Sayf al-Islam, as "General Coordinator" with expanded powers that give him the authority to oversee the government and the parliament - to modernize the country. Though the son denies there is any plan of succession. (But after 40 years of dad squandering the national wealth from his walled military compound, gotta keep squander in the family.)
Here is the transcript of McKinney's Libyan speech. "We hold that the Green Book principles of popular sovereignty are eminently suited to the task of halting and rolling back the impoverishment of the U.S. state ... In economics, we hold that the wage system is bondage that should be replaced by shared responsibilities and rewards - true partnership and equal distribution... We see and confirm that the "multi-party" systems instituted and spread by western governments have indeed become a means to plunder and usurp the people's autonomy and authority."
Correct me Bubba, but are they now saying a dictatorship is really a "popular sovereignty"? Oh America, welcome to the new world coming at you. I could write a book on why Western women have intellectual love affairs with dictators. Maybe, when I am out of US bondage and get my equal distribution portfolio, I'll have more leisure time to write ...
Posted by Kate-A at 9:32 AM
Saturday, November 07, 2009
"Experts" are yapping left and right trying to explain and/or find a "motive" or reason for Nidal Hasan's massacre at Ft. Hood, or the Florida shooting, and others. Stress, fatigue, mental illness, victim of racism, etc. etc.
The liberals/left rush to blame the usual suspects (after a cursory censure of the perp) - it's the military, the government, capitalism, the system, the war, etc.
And the oft heard excuse "they slipped through the cracks." Always of course the cracks in "the system." Family and friends never have a clue or any responsibility, never suspect they've spent years looking in the eyes of a sociopath. Family seems to be the first crack they slip through, but family is rarely accountable. Just once, I'd like to hear a family member state .. yea, he was always a creep and made the hair on my neck stand up.
A couple of weeks ago I was reading an article by the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine shooters. I approached the piece trying to be sympathetic, she might offer some insight. It was a lengthy article that revealed nothing but her own self-pitying excuses. She said her son was depressed, angry, suicidal, but he gave no indications - disconnect much lady? Any clues she might have on the making of a sociopath she kept safely hidden within her own dysfunction.
On DU yesterday I read comments about Hasan stating that Hasan "may be a hero, and this is the first domestic act of armed aggression against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." I'm convinced beyond a doubt now that liberals are a scourge across the land, more dangerous than bible thumpers or rednecks could ever be.
There is no mystery here. Hasan, and those like him, are botched human beings. Self-centered, narcissistic, cowards without conscience, basically evil. Botched human beings have a sense of grandiosity, glibness, contempt, lack of empathy, and feel superior. They believe the world should cater to them. Anyone or anything which is not accommodating will be accused of racism, bigotry, harassment, bullying, persecution - and in our politically correct culture it works in their favor. The motive is simply the extreme results of a lifelong selfishness - the excessive and exclusive concern with self.
Botched beings do not "snap" - they just reach a point where twisting their environment to suit themselves is no longer working. The truly insane rarely harm others - botched people usually do, on a small or grand scale. Botched people are not born, they are made, and they are made from the cradle. Botched cannot be fixed, cannot be medicated or talked into a healthier state of mind.
Personally, I think Hasan's was an act of terrorism - when the government was no longer accommodative Hasan twisted religion to accommodate his narcissism and sense of superiority, and the coward did not want to die alone. He should face a military firing squad.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:56 AM
Thursday, November 05, 2009
More than 3/4 of the nation’s 17-24 y/o couldn’t serve in the military, even if they wanted to. They’re too fat, too sickly, too dumb, have too many kids, or have copped to using illegal drugs.
The armed services are willing to grant waivers for some of those conditions - asthma, or a little bit of weed. But the military’s biggest concern is how big and how weak its potential recruits have become.
“The major component of this is obesity,” Curt Gilroy, the Pentagon’s director of accessions, tells Army Times‘ William McMichael. “Kids are just not able to do push-ups… And they can’t do pull-ups. And they can’t run.” Twenty-three percent of 18- to 34-year-old are now obese, up from just six percent in 1987.
---- Khrushchev clarified his "bury you" comment in 1963, "I once said we will bury you and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you."
Apparently, Nik meant buried under our own weight. Literally. And not particularly the working class, but the dependent class.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:58 AM
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
BEDFORD, Pa. (AP) -- In exchange for no jail time, a woman and her adult daughter have agreed to stand outside a Pennsylvania courthouse holding signs saying they stole a gift card from a 9-year-old girl on her birthday.
Fifty-six-year-old Evelyn Border and 35-year-old Tina Griekspoor stood outside the court for 4 1/2 hours Tuesday. They held signs that read: "I stole from a 9-year-old girl on her birthday! Don't steal or this could happen to you!"
Because the women agreed to hold the signs, Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins says he'll ask for probation instead of jail when they plead guilty to the theft. Higgins says they swiped a gift card that the girl set on a shelf while a Walmart employee helped her.
---- My daughter and I were discussing public punishment recently. With jails overloaded and people who cannot or will not pay fines for petty crimes ... maybe embarrassment is a viable option. Probably won't make a difference ... as some folks have no shame. These ladies are likely laughing and cutting out the newspaper pics of themselves. Reminds me of the Puritan days, stocks and pillory. Part of that evolutionary regression maybe?
Posted by Kate-A at 7:19 AM
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Someone posted this at PI, and over at Democratic Underground, a piece by Ms. Norberg-Hodge, or her book I believe, Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, or humans are not greedy by nature.
Helena Norberg-Hodge, another one of those cultural gurus/ecovillagers who flit around the globe and report back to followers that there is a better way. "The Better Way" is typically a remote culture where half the citizens are illiterate and usually blood related - and often dependent on government subsidies and tourism. Affectionately known as cloth or basket weaving village folk, the go-to dark skin cultures where white gurus mingle at outdoor markets and let the natives touch their blond hair.
I stumble upon such pabulum every day, and don't have the heart or stomach to read all the comments anymore, they are maudlin reruns anyway, or inflammatory rhetoric, even if PI is more left/socialist and DU are Democrat party apologists, they all have fashionable warm fuzzies and rose eyeglasses. But here are a couple of comments, one from PI and one from DU:
Commenter: "Hurt and distressed people can be greedy. But I don't think that humans are inherently selfish and greedy. I believe that we are born to love and connect with each other in wonderful and caring ways." --Hmmm ... so, according to this logic, and the Left believes the super rich are greedy, then the rich are in a lot of pain and distress?
Commenter: "If anything, humans are cooperative and charitable by nature, or the human species would never have survived."
Born to love and connect, yes. But what the immediate village (family) teaches can be something else. Man is not cooperative and charitable by nature - it's nurture, example. Do progressive/socialists not have children? Of course they do, some of the most dangerously manipulative children I've met are parented by progressives. Some children are more easy going by nature - but all are greedy and self-centered to a degree.
Crediting the survival of the species on an innate cooperative, charitable nature is silliness. Does he/she not understand survival of the fittest? That one tribe survived over another by wit and strength? Or perhaps you're more comfortable calling it culture or community rather than tribal. The "community" or culture, establishes desired behavior for individuals and enforces it. Everyone has their role to benefit and ensure survival of the tribe/community/culture.
Some roles earn more respect and rewards, the best of food, animal hides, and spot by the fire, an early form of capitalism? Some roles require more self-sacrifice - an unworthy trait in certain scoffing circles today. Community members who fall outside established behavior rules are punished, usually severely - well, not so much today because we have been given a huge list of excuses to choose from when we behave badly. Divergent behavior from community norm is now called "diversity." Some bad behavior today, or divergence, is a "disease" and some is just "human nature." Depends on which community has it and which excuse you give preference, and since survival of the species is not threatened as a whole - you can diverge all you want.
For hundreds of thousands of years it has also been community against community for survival - for the best caves, hunting grounds, land, etc. Life was brutal, short, and not all that "loving." Not much different than it is for millions today - although today, ideologues are more eloquent in who or what to blame, i.e. capitalism. Personally, capitalism today seems more a socialist perversion of capital.
Millions of years of self-determination and honed survival instincts embedded in our DNA assured existence of the species - and now socialist dogma claims greed and self-preservation is not in our nature. We should all join hands in one big loving world commune, even if half the commune indulges in behavior you find abhorrent and ghastly - just cooperate, keep your eyes down and follow "The Better Way" herd.
What socialist dogma has accomplished in the last couple of hundred years is to replace the fleetest and smartest with the weakest and dumbest. The founding fathers, even with all their faults and wrongs they could think and reason, have now been replaced with the weakest and lamest links in the chain.
Socialism itself is a disease, replacing the behavioral rules of evolution where man learned to live within his culture to one of man destroying his culture. The irony is, had socialists left well enough alone, man would evolve to the community they envision. Trying to rush nature, they have only created weaker physical and mental mutants. We are witnessing the results - evolutionary degeneration. Survival of the dumbest. If you ask politely, I bet the better way leaders will let you touch their hair.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:51 AM
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
They have physiques for hard labor, a fondness for steak and a home away from home called a Man Camp. They are roughnecks, and they are bringing a new dimension to the region's demographic as drilling crews migrate from places like Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana to pursue the gas-rich Marcellus Shale under the Twin Tiers.
In Athens Township, Pa., Chesapeake Energy and Nomac Drilling are planning a 180-bed gated compound to house their crews when they're not pulling 12-hours shifts, seven days a week, on derricks being erected throughout the countryside. Many are expected to show up in Broome County next year, after New York finalizes a regulatory overhaul to accommodate the intensive type of horizontal drilling used to tap the Marcellus.
The name roughneck, which crews tend to embrace as a badge of honor, reflects the demanding and sometimes risky work that sustains them, as well as the cowboy mystique they bring from their hometowns in the South and West. Nomac, a principal contractor for Chesapeake, is one of many companies relocating manpower and equipment to the Northeast to develop the Marcellus, the largest natural gas reserve in the country, running from Broome County through Pennsylvania to parts of West Virginia and Ohio.
Unlike other firms, however, Nomac and Chesapeake won't leave crews to house and feed themselves. They are proposing to build a secured modular-home park in Athens, modeled after one in Searcy, Ark. Commonly referred to as a "Man Camp" by everyone outside the corporate world, it's indigenous to the landscape and drilling culture out there, yet it's a new and foreign presence to the blue-collar worker here.
It has a mess hall, recreation room and laundry. Workers, manning opposing 12-hour shifts, share dorm-style rooms. Around the perimeter will be a security fence, and "facility managers" will track residents who are required to sign in and sign out. Visitors won't be welcome. Not surprisingly, it has raised plenty of questions. First and foremost: What's the fence for?
--------- I wonder if there's anything that would satisfy the so-called progressive/left in this country, all their caterwauling about jobs, poverty, needy people ... and they complain about man camps, claiming the camps raise crime rates and degrade the idyllic surroundings.
Particularly dumb and predictable is the article's "What's the fence for?" Meant to sound ominous and evil - could the fence be for public safety, protecting equipment, theft, etc.? "Track residents," sign in and out, visitors not welcomed... it's a heavy-duty work environment people, not a sing-a-long at Camp Casey.
One poster, on the second link above, stated: "I find it depressing that this community is so against drilling (despite using enormous quantities of natural gas) that our local paper feels comfortable dehumanizing the workers. Imagine an article describing migrant farm workers this way. This is a sad situation - ignorance turning to prejudice so quickly."
Yep, no crime around migrant labor camps, no environmental degradation.
When "progressives" are not dehumanizing the people making an honest living, they're screeching about the environmental impact, which believe me is much more regulated and managed today.
Long ago, during the first "economic crisis" we lived through, DH's company downsized, and to make a long story short, he took a roughneck position in Prudoe Bay. The income was amazing but it should be as not a lot of folks rush, particularly smoothneck "progressives," to work 12-15 hour days in a camp, under risky and extreme conditions, and away from family.
Indeed. "Man camps" predominantly employ skilled and/or educated folks and are unpopular with the left, they prefer migrant labor camps - I suppose more recruits for their anti-something or save everything movements.
I know I know Bubba - it's the big evil corporations that someday the "left" will topple and replace with a kinder and gentler and more egalitarian tyranny.
A progressive poster at PI says "The local communities should demand permanent economic improvements instead of temporary work camps." Lol. These people think that sort of rhetoric makes sense. A mindset that happens when you fiddle with your bootstraps and wait for someone to deliver you a life. By the way, these camps have employees for decades, maybe you can fill a need there somewhere and improve your own economics - or you can just piddle around making demands and let the immigrants beat you to it.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:41 AM
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Certain folks with an agenda are again hyping the news of "soaring" numbers of birth deformities and cancers in Iraq - due to depleted uranium, or more specifically, another crime against humanity perpetrated by the US. This "news" exposes viewers and readers to graphic images of children, dead, dying, deformed, allegedly the effects of depleted uranium.
According to Al-Jazeera : "Doctors in Iraq are recording a sharp rise in the number of cancer victims south of Baghdad. Sufferers in the province of Babil have risen almost tenfold in just three years. Locals blame depleted uranium from US military equipment used in the 2003 invasion. Some 500 cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2004 alone. That figure rose to almost 1,000 two years later. In 2008, the number of cases increased sevenfold to 7,000 diagnoses. This year, there have so far been more than 9,000 new cases, and the number is rising."
A short while back the same claims were coming from Basra, then Fallujah, and before that it was Kirkuk, still further back, Kosovo.
Look to the source of the reports - all coming from biased groups or individuals with an agenda. When someone says "research has emerged" ... what they mean is, they have juggled information to fit their own preconceived viewpoint, that of the US being a genocidal ogre.
It goes without saying that chemicals and weapons are bad for the health. But where can objective facts be found ... there does not seem to be reliable information for comparison from the Saddam era. Although Iraq's Cancer Registry was established in 1976 it's accuracy is uncertain. What is known is that healthcare was meager or nonexistent outside the major metro areas. Saddam opened more medical schools but faculty and facilities were lacking in everything. Blame that on Bush 1 and/or Clinton, or blame Saddam as his palaces and Babylon theme park took precedence.
The folks at Depleted Cranium have made an attempt to track down some of the disturbing infant and child images making the rounds. Some are photos from a Russian museum, from textbooks, thalidomide babies, etc.
Let's remember a couple of things. Uranium is found everywhere in nature - rocks, soil, water, air, plants, animals, humans. DU is weakly radioactive - depleted. There is no evidence that DU is widely used in any weapons other than armor-piercing ammo fired by some tanks and aircraft.
Hundreds of studies have been done on DU in the last 2 decades - none have proven much. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in 2003 that, "based on credible scientific evidence, there is no proven link between DU exposure and increases in human cancers or other significant health or environmental impacts," although "Like other heavy metals, DU is potentially poisonous. In sufficient amounts, if DU is ingested or inhaled it can be harmful because of its chemical toxicity. High concentration could cause kidney damage." The IAEA concluded that while depleted uranium is a potential carcinogen, there is no evidence that it has been carcinogenic in humans."
Not that I completely trust them, but WHO has conducted studies, Sandia Laboratories conducted studies, the UN studies, and others - and while DU is not good - there seems to be no long-term consequence and certainly no horrific defects like those making the rounds today, many of those images were used in the 1990s when Western friends of Saddam were making the same exact claims. It reminds me of the rightwing "incubator babies" but these deformed babies are from the leftwing.
As I have not found any objective data regarding the above cancer/DU claims, I don't believe them. Even if there is a spike in cancer rates it could be due to the simple fact that there is more access now to healthcare/prenatal care. Cancer and birth defect rates were studied for years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki - one would think the rates would have been horrific and long-term, but apparently not. The aftermath of Chernobyl is not as deadly as one would expect. The ability of the human species to persevere and correct itself is amazing.
How much of this issue, among so many, is founded on nothing more than wanting private and government funds to study it? What sort of mind is willing to falsify information and use photos of the unfortunate to make a name for themselves and/or demonize the US? Who are these Iraqi doctors collaborating with questionable news agencies - former Baathists who once cut off ears to prove their loyalty to Saddam?
I wonder - why hasn't Earth Father Al Gore taken on the DU issue? I wonder too, are the same assclowns selling their DVDs and building careers on anti-depleted uranium hype, also supporting the idea that cells phones will give everyone brain tumors and reduce sperm counts?
I am not defending war, or death and destruction, or depleted uranium - don't even go there. Ban DU (not a nuclear weapon) - along with all WMD, but until that happens, stop swallowing unsupported information from wannabe-famous folks who are only grinding their own axe - they are as self-serving as the liars who took us into this war.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:27 AM
Monday, October 19, 2009
Scott Horton interviews Cindy "Peace Mom" Sheehan. Peace activist Cindy Sheehan discusses plans for continuous civil disobedience in Washington D.C. until the Iraq and Afghanistan wars end, lessons learned from the Pittsburgh G-20 protests, how Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded soon after he refused to meet with peace groups and why much of the Left can’t wrap their heads around a pro-war Democratic Party.
---- I can barely listen through such interviews anymore, in fact, I rarely get to the end. Yawn. I'm still trying to determine who anoints the mouthpieces for the "Left."
Originally, Cindy appeared to be chosen as peace mom by multi-funded organizations, such as Code Pink's Medea Benjamin. Now that Benjamin has been "rethinking" the war ... well ... I guess Cindy is the "new left" or one of those "dissident" voices that has yet to reach the tax bracket that embraces capitalism while publicly espousing a redistribution of other people's brackets.
Anyhoo, listening to the above interview, my first thought was Cindy has been using a voice coach - but then, within 30 seconds or so, I heard that slight whine slipping back into her voice.
Horton and Sheehan discussed Sheehan's upcoming planned occupation of D.C. Until the Iraq/Afghanistan wars end, this action, going by the name of A Peace of the Action, will be continuous - hmmm ... sounds serious ... just as she continuously occupied Crawford, Texas, and the hunger strike that lasted 3 days, her political skit/run against political lifer Nancy Pelosi ...
Sheehan and friends' "demands" are: troops out, mercs out, reparations paid to Iraq - and this will be accomplished by "sustained direct action" i.e. having their peace personnel at 10 different locations every day to shut down intersections, buildings, etc. until their demands are met. I don't believe anyone mentioned BushCo war crimes trial, guess that one has been crossed off the dissident to-do list.
Cindy's "coalition" of peace groups will include World Can't Wait, After Downing Street, etc. The bigger groups, she says, won't be there as they have been co-opted (must be talking about used-to-be-best backer Medea of Code Slink). Rut-ro, Cindy says they will not start their action until they have 5000 peace warriors willing to sign on for this sustained offensive. Not to be callous but how about we call her Colonel Mom?
Horton says he thinks shutting down D.C. would be a blast. Hahahahahaha. I can hear 300 million folks applauding as their government is toppled and replaced with ... what? gotta name for it, if we can keep it?
Sheehan will be moving to Washington, D.C. to direct her end of this continuous action. Ever wonder how these folks who are "one of us" can financially afford to travel the world, relocate multiple times, turn intermittent continuous action into a career, all on low-end speaking fees and donations? Have you looked at the Additional Contributors on Antiwar.com?
If that isn't a list of overpaid do-littles for a lifetime I don't know what is. Hey, you patrons of airhead spokespersons - pick me pick me - I want a piece of the action too. I can be more dreary and predictable than those clowns! Hahaha, just kidding - I always fly low on the radar. Maybe that's why I have a hard time understanding how anyone can waste their energy demanding a product they don't use themselves. In this case I guess the product would be common sense.
Being "anti-war" does not automatically endow one with common sense.
The interview made me wonder though, other than anti-war/nonintervention - what do libertarians, like Horton/Antiwar.com, have in common with "leftists" like Cindy? I have been accused a couple of times myself of being libertarian because of my stand on welfare, taxation, gun rights, immigration - but I disagree with several of their stances on other issues.
I agree with nonintervention - but once we've committed time, money, and lives, there has to be a different approach other than pulling out, letting the place fall to the best armed barbarians, and then pumping in the same amount of money disguised as reparations or rebuilding.
I disagree with the insane libertarian idea that we can make our streets safe again by ending "drug prohibition." If legalized, coke head, meth head, crack heads, and pot heads, will have affordable drugs and apparently no reason to commit crime, hence our prisons will not be overcrowded with nonviolent drug offenders, and there will be room for really violent guys, for "serious" criminals.
According to libertarians, ".... it is estimated that every drug offender imprisoned results in the release of one violent criminal, who then commits an average of 40 robberies, 7 assaults, 110 burglaries and 25 auto thefts."
Obviously, libertarians are not looking at the same guys I am. Where I live, the drug offenders are usually the ones committing robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and sometimes murder. But go ahead, convince me that it's okay for Bubba to cook up meth because he's a nonviolent offender.
Tell me it's okay for that young boy to sell a few rocks, as long as he's not violent, except the other night when Pookie went to make a sale and ended up shooting the potential buyer in the butt because he wanted to keep his drugs and the money too (true story). And it's okay for Puff because she's not hurting anyone but herself when she spends her days walking up and down the street looking for another rock, she shouldn't be in jail because she's nonviolent - it was her boyfriend, another crackhead, who was violent, stuffed his socks in crying baby girl's mouth and then smashed her head in. (True story.)
Tell me nonviolent drug offenders are not a problem. Convince me low-level dealers and users are noooooooooooo threat. But, when (not if) they become violent, we'll have room for them. Go ahead, convince me it's okay for the pilot, the surgeon, the cop, the judge, the lawyer, the clerks entering all your information anywhere, and my favorite goofball Carl Sagan, to be stoned or jonesing because they're nonviolent. Yep, not gonna hurt a soul. Let's all sing Rainy Day Women, but I would not feel so all alone .... everybody must get stoned. Legalization is the solution, genius?
Libertarians use the example of alcohol prohibition as proof that prohibition doesn't work. Of course, legalizing liquor did not end crime, did not reduce the price, did not end bootlegging, and did not reduce the number of drunks. Don't get me wrong - alcohol should be legal. But anyone who spins prohibition to defend legalization of drugs has used too much of one or both products.
Libertarians ask you to "Consider the historical evidence: America's murder rate rose nearly 70% during alcohol prohibition, but returned to its previous levels after prohibition ended. Now, since the War on Drugs began, America's murder rates have doubled. The cause/effect relationship is clear. Prohibition is putting innocent lives at risk."
Oh my, look at all the stupid in that "evidence." Murders rates during prohibition were related to turf wars/mafia wars. The doubling of today's murder rates are related to many ills, usually connected with the drug culture - violent home lives, broken homes, dysfunctional homes, pornoviolence entertainment glamorizing the drug culture, craving instant wealth, and an adult population that protects it young from nothing because easy assess to whatever we want is "liberty." Free to be me, me, me, me.
Liberty yes - problem is too many folks do not want the responsibility that comes with it.
Can't you just see the US signing trade deals with the Drug Cartels. If you think Oil and Pharma are big business, just wait till you see the profit from legal dope - we can have malls with opium dens, meth parlors, pot pubs, cocaine, heroin hangouts, step right in, you want the opulent brand, perhaps a high altitude blend of China and Columbia's finest, or will some cheap stuff do you? Yep, that should solve a lot of our crime and drug issues, create jobs, increase tax revenue. Will big manufacturers of "recreational" drugs have the right to require naked workers? ...wouldn't want employee theft cutting into profits. The ACLU can sue if that question comes up.
I suppose my biggest difference with libertarianism is I believe many people are "law-abiding" citizens, and do not engage in activities that are illegal - but! make something legal and too many of them will be first in line to use it, have it, sell it, buy it - that's why the ruling class call us sheep.
I also agree, maybe 90%, with the libertarian view on "the failed welfare state" which is : "... eliminate the entire social welfare system. This includes eliminating AFDC, food stamps, subsidized housing, and all the rest. Individuals who are unable to fully support themselves and their families through the job market must, once again, learn to rely on supportive family, church, community, or private charity to bridge the gap."
The 10% of disagreement is that initially this would create chaos and more crime, for the simple fact is we are now going into the 3rd generation of individuals unable to support themselves and turning to family is not an option as mom and grandma, are also unable to provide for themselves and family. Reagan and Clinton both cut back welfare - but people caught on to that real quick and a new brand of welfare arose - "disability." Usually after a back injury from a motor vehicle accident, and other forms of creative crippling for folks who don't want to work.
Secondly, we have entered an era where church membership is haphazard; where many churches are fleecing the flock rather than providing materially for them. And, lest we forget, the US has become more anti-religion with more folks viewing religion as an intrusion rather than a support base. For decades, "community" has been waiting for BigDaddy Government to step in and provide assistance. Imagine the number of government employees who, upon ending the welfare state, would themselves be turning to family, church, community. Private charity, no matter how generous, does not have the capacity to support the numbers today, and those to come, who receive some form of "assistance."
Millions would need to be weaned from welfare, food stamps, subsidized housing, AFDC, and "all the rest." Reminds me of breast-feeding. All of my children gradually weaned at about 13 months of age, encouraged by offering them food and sippy cups, until one day they didn't nurse at all. Alas, I think you'll find a lot of feeders who, suckling for years on the system, will have violent tantrums if they lose their teat.
So, while I agree we need to end welfare as we know it - can they be a bit more honest about the fallout when what the government giveth it comes to taketh away? Sheehan claims we live in a police state now - girl, you gotta lot to learn about police states. That kind of ignorant hyperbole makes me want to use the "f" word.
I used to wonder why libertarians and/or the left failed to attract greater numbers. Now I know - they can't wrap their heads around anything. They're political wannabes, as rudderless as any of the self-serving pols we have now. I mean come on folks - shut D.C. down?
Maybe what libertarians and leftists have in common is - they think it would be a blast to just shut the system down and then their particular brand of liberty/freedom will rise up and cure all ills. When 98% of us are handed our "social equality" because the "left" has placed us all on the same footing and the "right" will make sure we stay there. Bipartisanship, finally.
Do these heenesque balloon heads have a clue to the ramifications of shutting down the government, or are they just pulling words out of their rear-ends, that seems to be where their heads are stuck. Far be it for any of them to get off their phony soapboxes and shill for something that might make a tad bit of difference, they could begin with term limits ... and they could stop interviewing one another year after year, swapping praise for the same old failed left/right ideologies.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:23 AM
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Last week the NYT published an article on Michelle Obama's ancestry, prompting me to do some Obama digging myself, being an amateur genealogist. The piece focused on the line of Melvina Shields, born about 1844, died 1938, and her son Dolphus. For me the piece raised more questions than it answered and left out some interesting details I won't go into here.
The NYT, with genealogist expert Megan Smolenyak, says Melvina's "... 1938 death certificate, signed by a relative, had “don’t know” in the space for the names of her parents, suggesting that Melvinia, then in her 90s, may never have known herself."
Gasp, how horrible.
Even I, an amateur genealogist know that "don't know" for parentage on death certificates from this era is very very common, whether black or white, slave or free. Particularly if the deceased outlived those who might know the answer. I have sifted through thousands of death certificates of ancestors born in the 1800s, black and white, and sadly many had "don't know" for the parents. Often the "informant" was a grandchild or great grandchild or great niece, nephew, etc. Even had Melvina known the identity of her parents, and very likely she did as a young woman, there is nothing unusual about family members in 1938 not knowing the information.
The article also says that in the 1870 census, three of Melvinia’s four children, including Dolphus, were listed on the census as mulatto. Yes, they were, as I checked on FamilySearch. What the Times does not say is that 2 of those children were listed as 1 y/o twins, Alice and Talley, male and female, with Talley listed as black and Alice as mulatto. What this could mean is one twin was lighter skin - which doesn't necessarily mean daddy was white. Or it could mean both were mulatto but Talley was darker and listed as black, which means the census taker was making a judgement on skin pigment rather than fact.
In the 1870 census Melvina, age 26, is in household #363, and #362 is Charles Shields, age 31, with his wife and daughter. Charles was the son of Melvina's previous owner. Either or neither could have been the father of her children. It is also possible not all of the 4 children were Melvina's children as the 1870 census did not list relationships to head of household, and after the war many people, black and white, raised orphaned children. Most likely, with Melvina living next door to Charles, she was mistress and the children were his. Believe me, the public records for average white folks from this era is little better. Sometimes genealogy is little more than educated guessing while hunting the proof to confirm.
Slave owners kept detailed records of slaves, their pairing and offspring - after all, slaves were property, and owners nearly always knew who was impregnating their property, usually assigning certain men to certain women, sometimes allowing slaves to live as a couple with their children. Not so much out of kindness - but because they believed it good business sense; they knew the lineage of their livestock and slaves were valuable livestock. Melvina's original owner's will read: "Mr. Patterson asked that his slave families "be kept together as far as possible." Such a request was not unusual. I have spent years going through old plantation ledgers and you might be surprised at the details of most - in my own family the owner listed each day's activity for each slave - he listed when a slave was ill, when one gave birth and the father, who worked in what field, etc. Sometimes the information is infuriating, sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, and sometimes opposite of conventional thinking. You develop a close feeling to the long dead, not angry, not bitter, just finding yourself connected to branches that at times seem more a bramble bush than a tree.
Local, state, and federal governments have a huge amount of recorded documentation from the 1800s - the problem is sorting, indexing, and putting it online - it's in the process but slow, genealogy is not an area of political pork begging for funding. If you're fortunate enough to have time and money you can physically go to the sources and search through the records.
The Times article used a good deal of trite prose. For instance, when Melvina returned to Alabama to reunite with former slaves from her childhood, "A community that had been ripped apart was somehow pulling itself back together." But freed men and women searching for family members was the norm for years after the Civil War. It means many former slaves knew who to look for, who their family members were. I have traced family members who traveled from Virginia to Mississippi, after the war, to find children, parents, siblings.
I also found in the 1840-50s more than one Irish/Scotchman married to free black women; I assumed interracial marriage was illegal, but they married. I found whites raising black children and blacks raising white children and the relationships endured until death. I found 1880 court documents where black men won judgements against white men, usually over land or livestock disputes, and one for stealing clothes off the clothesline. I found black politicians and lawmen. I found an ancestor Fredrick X. registering to vote in 1867. The worst of Jim Crow laws seemed to begin in the 1890s. It was also around this time that whites stopped differentiating black/mulatto. Between 1890 and 1910 southern states passed laws to disenfranchise blacks and thousands of poor whites.
Yes, we all have a horror story from long ago - just let me know who's collective pot/kettle to punish today for it.
From my research, it seems to me, regardless the conditions after the Civil War, most people went about living their lives, regardless what corrupt politicians were doing or more important, perhaps in spite of.
Like I said though, I wasn't going to blog on this because I found the NYT piece rather pointless fluff with the usual cliches to the abuses of slavery, phrases like every day rape, the little slave girl, no shortage of work on the big plantation, white slave owners lingering in the bloodline etc., "sentimental mush."
But then today I read Kimberley's piece over at BAR. The piece goes on and on about the "oppressed and despised group" who even when they rise to power are disrespected (although apparently BAR doesn't like Obama either); how the black condition in the 21st century is only investigated as an opportunity to "condemn and to blame black Americans as the source of any and all problems." Or: "To add further insult, Dolphus Shields’ life was rendered into nothing more than a simplistic “pull up by the bootstraps” story which usually does nothing more than let white people off the hook."
Ummm... in a bit of a diatribe are we? condemn/blame, the black condition in the 21st century. Hmmm, I see something ... I see ... some people are never gonna let white folk off the hook.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:30 AM
Monday, October 12, 2009
A few days ago there was the article on "don't be a snitch." Right, let the thugs, slugs, dopers, thieves, vandals and worse take over your neighborhood because if you snitch you ain't cool. So I was wondering, according to some on the Left drugs are brought into the country by the wealthy, the government/CIA, so, since we the people cannot stop the rich CIA government kingpins and cartels, what if ALL the nickel and dime pushers stopped dealing dope, they're not getting rich and only going to jail anyway - would that help? Or would rich folks be on the corner selling the drugs they bring into the country? Would you snitch on the rich?
Then what greeted me yesterday? Barbara Ehrenreich's latest book, her 20th book I think, in Alternut: Brightsided: The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Sample reviewers : " Ehrenreich at her provocative best—poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage." "Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes—like mortgage defaults—contributed directly to the current economic crisis."
Ehrenreich, with a PhD in biology, is one of those successful writing activists covering the usual topics of healthcare, women's issues, worker issues, social equality; marched with ACORN, passed out some leaflets, etc. A socialist who has written Dancing In The Street, which she describes as a scholarly work, on how the ruling class suppress our "festivities and ecstatic rituals."
Basically, we are inhibited and melancholic because elites suppressed our community bump and grind festivals.
With the help of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) she is founder and director of United Professionals. It must be a sign of achievement when one can found and direct a "nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization." (It could mean that success needs another tax shelter, but one could practice Naderism frugality or Gore-ism, where you donate most of your "scholarly" income to your own nonprofit organizations and businesses.)
Barbara produces the type of writing that on the surface appears to have merit, if you're a member of the shallow club. To members it will make sense, mean something, have a point. Actually, even on the surface it's nonsense; the writer has a catchy title for a trendy topic and writes a book, and the only point is the pointy head of anyone who can read meaning into the idea that "they" continue to oppress you and your rituals, that positive thinking has undermined America, that you have been baited and switched in your futile pursuit of the American dream (the dream is only greedy white capitalist folks anyway). Fortunately, no one would accuse activists of positive thinking.
Ehrenreich connects unhappiness and even the current economic crisis to the culture of self-help books, evangelical preachers, pop psychologists, and the ideology of "positive thinking." Hmmm, wouldn't evangelicals be practitioners of the ecstatic rituals she claims have been suppressed?
Her own political preachy psychobabble brand of activism, as many of her genre today, often begin a spiel with the economic effects on black folks, and as white activists usually do, insert vague hints of rightwing white boys with sheets ready to blame the Negro.
Have you noticed, since the Civil Rights era, when richer-than-you white radicals/bourgeois need a really dumb audience they appeal to black folk fears? I mean ... it's almost as if blacks have to remain downtrodden so's disgruntled white activists have a poster boy of oppression when they need one.
Although writers/activists of Ehrenreich's sort pontificate on how our lives are totally controlled by the wealthy elite, because the elite own everything - politics, the media, finance, business - for some inexplicable reason these wealthy owners allow the oppressed classes to have icons, icons who explain how the system continually exploits them. Left leaning writer activists and their publishers of course would never exploit their followers ... oh wait a minute, is that positive thinking? ... no Bubba, I believe that's an ecstatic ritual all the way to the bank...
Posted by Kate-A at 10:37 AM
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Some folks believe the "Community Reinvestment Act", or the perversion of said act, helped create the mortgage/lending/housing/banking crisis - others say the CRA had nothing to do with it. As always, just depends on if you lean right or left as to who you want to blame.
Although the big boys, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Meridian, etc. received "outstanding" ratings for their participation with the CRA - they claim they had nothing to do with making loans to high risk customers. No sirreeee. And the activist superheroes who push the CRA also had nothing to do with any crisis either - they seek only to do good for the huddled masses.
Community redevelopment is a noble profession, and it pays well, skims well. What exactly does community reinvestment mean, have you seen such a thing in your neighborhood? Shouldn't America by now be filled with shiny renewed communities after 3 decades of reinvesting billions in them?
Here's what I have witnessed in our 'hood. The city rulers, all white with the one educated black man, receive funds from the feds, sometimes trickled funds from the state who received them from the feds and trickles them to the county who trickles them to the town level, sometimes "grants" via feds, state, county, town trickles - or any order thereof, there's so much trickling and tickling and granting and agencies and acts - it's headachey trying to keep track of who is doing who.
Anyhoo, the city fathers partner with a black community nonprofit nongovernmental group to set up office to help low-income blacks attain the American Dream here in Pofunk Heights. There was no such community black group so the city council with the one educated black man scour the 'hood to find a couple or three who can open an office - name it with something that includes "Institute" in the title. The word 'institute' can sound high-minded as in Carnegie Institute, or crazy as in the County Institute for the Criminally Insane.
Part of the community reinvestment monies will go into office space, equipment, overhead, and salaries for a Director, a secretary, etc., for the Institute, hired from the more stable members of the minority community who aren't busy, i.e. don't have a life. A board of directors will be found - 6 of them, 2 old scammers from the 'hood, 2 educated black women who live on the white side of town, and 2 guys who I swear were dragged in from the corner craps game.
The local "Institute" is/was run by Mr. R., a married Vietnam vet receiving a lifetime PTSD disability check while also working full time and retiring from the local utility plant with pension; he's also a part-time preacher with his hand in the collection plate and his pants on the bedpost of the deacon's wife. He hired his daughter Nina as secretary. She never questioned the Institute's credit card bills with his charges for a Harley motorcycle and 6 laptops. They were gonna do good deeds - put black folk in their own homes. Pat their own backs, what's a little harmless cycle on the side ... hehehehe jokes Mr. R. fat belly heaving, puffing on a cigar.
Mr. R. and Nina. Between the 2 of them they embezzled close to a million. Hehehehe. Mr. R. built a new home, not on the minority side of town, but over with the white folks - and now drives a new Hummer and his wife a new Explorer. He also now owns 3 rental properties on the minority side of town. Yes, community reinvestment worked well for Mr. R. Not so well for Nina - she bought lots of clothes and took trips but when the Institute began to go broke and rumors of an audit circulated, she left town. Mr. R. washed his hands of the situation - he didn't do nuttin' wrong, ain't gonna blame him for this mess.
But I digress. Next - buy the 20 unit abandoned housing project on the minority side of town - it's structurally sound, brick. Refurbish and resell to minority or low income homeowner wannabees.
Hire contractors - all local white boys because the two black contractors are not licensed or really competent; they have made a good income working for the local slum lords (black and white slum lords here) - you don't have to know what you're doing to fix things for slumlords. The city and the bank holding the funds of course get their percentage in administrative fees, permits, etc. etc. Who owned the abandoned projects? Well, the bank, and who are members of the banking community here - yep, the city council (except the one black man). And who were the project managers, you get the idea.
The "Institute" opens the door and holds "credit classes." Sifting through the wrecked credit history of every black man, woman, and child over 18 in the 'hood. Pickings are slim, very slim. Most potential home buyers are female as most grown black men are in prison, on parole, out on bail, still living with mama, or terminally unemployed.
Many of the women are disqualified as they're too old raising too many grandbabies and have transient family members who occasionally need a place to flop - the homes will only have 2-3 bedrooms and the city will be enforcing zoning laws about how many can live in a single family dwelling - the city won't really enforce anything because we have a lady down the street in a 2 bedroom house with a dozen or more people running in and out - but the city will initially pretend it's going to abide by the law - besides, just put down on paper it's you and a couple of others, and the rest can move in when you do.
Damn hard to find young working minority couples here, and those stable minority couples with jobs are not going to live in that section of homes on that side of town.
Damn hard to find low-income minorities here who even want to own a home. I mean, the self-appointed do-good "left and progressive" benefactors have been telling you for decades that the American Dream is nothing more than greedy white folks capitalist b.s. ... now they want you to buy a piece of the b.s. in one of their programs?
Okay, so the "Institute" and city fathers will put single working mom in these homes (and her new boyfriend). Just have to counsel them on cleaning up the credit scores. Pay off those old phone bills, heating bills, low-limit credit card bills, etc. And after those are settled, pay off or deal with the really old ones that mama made when you were 10 and put her phone and utility bills in your name.
So now we are down to maybe a dozen who could eventually qualify for a home loan - and that's stretching and bending the qualifications to fit just about anyone who can show up at the closing to sign. After all, these homes will sell for maybe $20k and with the new and lax rules of no down payment, low credit scores, and limited work history and enough fudge - voile, the community will have reinvested in the American Dream. Jaqueeta and Shaniqua are homeowners. As are born-again "Track" and the couple from out of town who are unaware of what they've bought into. The "Institute" even managed to slide in a couple of grandmothers and their gang of descendants.
Although a home in the new named "Pine Oak" section is valued at a mere $20k I'm certain when the trickling and activism at every level is accounted for - each one is a million dollar home.
Oops, forgot to tell the homeowners there's such a thing as regular home maintenance, general repairs, yard work, new landscape rules to live by (dead washing machines and parked cars in the yard are not allowed). Insurance, taxes, 'fraid so. And when the city wants to pave the alley, do you know who has to pay your portion? Yep, cough it up.
For sale - must see, refurbished project suitable for single family dwellings, priced to sell. Great income investment opportunity. Won't last. Contact First Frivolous Bank or R.U. Insane Community Institute.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:19 PM