August 17, 2011

Cain, Gingrich, Santorum: The GOP Men in Space


August 16, 2011

China: Locust to the world?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 6:05 pm

For almost every problem, the current solution that America’s leaders employ tends to involve bombs and spies and force. Are resources or bank accounts running low? Then go bomb some country in Africa or the Middle East. Unhappy citizens at home? Then beef up Homeland Security.

On the other hand, China’s method of dealing with problems seems to be a bit different. While Americans appear to be constantly in Terminator mode, China tends to be more of a trader. Got a problem with a country or a person? Then sell ‘em stuff.

Unfortunately, America’s tool box is too limited — “When all you have is a hammer, all the world starts to look like a nail.”

But if you are merchant, peddler and trader to the world, you also have a big problem too — the stuff that you trade.

If you were to paddle up the Amazon River to the most isolated village that you could find and then look inside any one of its completely-outside-the-matrix grass huts, I almost guarantee that you will see at least one household item that had been made in China. Heck, I’ve even seen stuff in one of the farthest outposts in Antarctic stamped, “Made in China”. Even the Chinese use stuff made in China.

China appears to be a creator. America appears to be a destroyer.

But, ironically, both countries have ended up in the same place — destruction.

For every bomb dropped on Libya or Iraq or Gaza or wherever, something is destroyed. That much is obvious. But for every plastic doll or small appliance or disposable pen that China produces, something is also destroyed — material resources. That plastic doohickey that you recently picked up at the dollar store? It’s made out of something. It came from somewhere. And it’s gotta go somewhere too — if nowhere else than the landfill.

So China churns out stuff for the world and sends it all over the globe. Fine. That’s hecka lot better than spending over 50% of its income on spy planes, machine guns, tanks, drones and bombs. However, like Einstein or Newton or somebody once said, “You can’t make something out of nothing.”

So while America is busy carpet-bombing the world, China is busy vacuuming up the world’s carpet. And both countries eventually end up at the same place — destruction.

America may be the world’s Darth Vader. But China is the world’s swarm of locusts.

“So what’s your point here, Jane? That America is like that gloved hand in the Beatles movie, ‘The Yellow Submarine’? And that China is like that guy in ‘The Yellow Submarine’ with the big horn for a mouth that vacuums everything up?”

My point here is that if the human race is to survive through to the end of the 21st century, both America and China need to come up with a new paradigm for dealing with their economies — and stop being Blue Meanies!

PS: Prof. Michael Nagler, founder of U.C. Berkeley’s Peace and Conflict Studies program, has come up with a third alternative to these deadly bomb-or-vacuum economic policies, wherein we stop concentrating on what we don’t have and don’t need — and concentrate on what we do have and realistically need instead.

According to Nagler, Mahatma Gandhi “saw that our present economic system is being driven by a dangerous motive: the multiplication of wants. Because these wants are artificial — being that they created by advertising — and can never be satisfied, it creates what economist David Korten has called a “phantom economy” of fantastic financial manipulations that of course can never endure.

“The real purpose of an economic system is to guarantee to every person in its circle the fundamentals of physical existence (food, clothing, shelter) and the tools of meaningful work so that they can get on with the business of living together and working out our common destiny. This was Gandhi’s vision, among others’. We can no longer afford to ignore him in this sector any more than we can ignore his spectacular contributions to peace and security.

“We will never know real prosperity — where we acknowledge that we are much more than producer/consumers and can only be fulfilled when we discover a higher purpose — until we shift to another basis entirely, the fulfillment of needs.”

PPS: In our current world based on bomb-or-vacuum economics, there is yet another high price to pay, as author Gilad Atzmon has recently pointed out. As prices rise and resources dwindle, more and more people get left out of the economic bomb-or-vacuum consumerism cycle and then bad things start to happen — like, for instance, the recent riots in London.

According to Atzmon, “…as we move up the ladder of our consumer existence, more and more people are falling behind. As the more fortunate among us proceed upward, more and more youngsters are realizing that they will never even be able to join the game.

“On the one hand we are subject to a ‘dictatorship of commoditisation’; we are trained to identify with a set of gadgets and brands, and yet, on the other hand, an increasing number of the people around us are left out — they can barely afford to possess these objects of desire — and find themselves removed from the ‘identity game’. They become faceless, their existence denied, left to wander, ghost-like, wrapped in [running] suits in a society driven by ruthless hard capitalism and sheer greed.”

PPPS: Does anybody but me find it ironic that communist China is now the most important capitalist nation in the world, while capitalist America has lost its way and wandered off into the nightmare world of corporatism, a form of ideology that is potentially more harmful to us than even China’s former “Cultural Revolution” was to them.


BART PD vs Anonymous in S. F.

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:14 pm




When the BART Police Department faced a demonstration by folks from Anonymous, the World’s Laziest Journalist was among the throng of writers and photographers recording the event for posterity.

Rick Perry’s Texas Jobs Miracle Illustrated


August 15, 2011

Republican Vote Hackers of America Ad


Word of the Day

Filed under: Quote — Peregrin @ 4:32 am


The period in a male’s life, typically between age of 27-39 when he succumbs to republican ideology. Signs of repuberty include listening to talk radio, unprompted remarks about social programs such as welfare, professing a love for rich people and low taxes, ranking of other people’s patriotism levels.

He didn’t listen to Glenn Beck until he hit Repuberty.

Alfred suffered from early Repuberty after he was mugged.

Urban Dictionary: Repuberty.

August 14, 2011

Ed Rollins’ ‘Bride of Frankenbush’ Wins Iowa Straw Poll


August 12, 2011

“Corporations Are People” Gaffe Dooms Romney’s Presidential Bid

These days, Mitt Romney has the haunted look of a mountain climber who just heard half the strands of his lifeline snap while hanging only a few yards from the peak of Mt. Everest. He can’t turn back from his life-long quest to reach the peak, yet he knows there’s a good possibility the rope will break before he reaches his goal and he’ll go plummeting down the side. Along with the overstuffed carload of gobsmacking flip-flops on everything from women’s rights to income taxes to health care that Mitt carries with him like a mummy’s curse, his sure-thing Golden-Haired Boy 2012 GOP presidential nomination is now showing its dark roots, and it’s all the fault of Romney himself.

At the Iowa State Fair the other day, Romney attempted another of those tedious ‘Ask Mitt’ torture sessions where he is forced to extemporize to answer questions from the overly-corndogged locals. This is a dangerous zone for the Mittster, who has a hard enough time getting through his soporific stump speeches without sweating through his magic underwear. Romney no doubt figured he was on safe ground — it’s Iowa and Republican runs here like boiling grease through a deep fryer. But the rubes were having none of it — missiles of verbal pyrotechnics, along with derisive laughter, always deadly for a serious candidate, pierced the hot air as oldsters in the crowd fusilladed Romney about Social Security, Medicare, and raising taxes on corporations and his own top one-percent tax bracket to help pay for them. After taking the standard Norquist stupidity pledge never to raise taxes, which is akin to vowing never to move out of your house, even if it’s burning down around you, Mitt then exhibited the complacently haughty behavior that has appealed to his party’s Christopublican-Teabagger base by serenely patronizing his irate interrogators with “Corporations are people, my friend,” a phrase that will follow Romney like a dead skunk chained to his leg for the rest of his doomed quest for the Republican presidential nomination.

Consider that prior to this gaffe, Romney’s thin hold on the nomination was threefold: First, Wall Street reptiles with ice in their aortas and gin-embalmed country club Republicans embraced Mitt as a fellow-traveler — a man willing to make the hard decisions before lunch of how many American jobs to cut or send to foreign shores and live without guilt on the proceeds. Secondly, others in the party elite thought Romney was an agreeably vacillating vessel who could easily be packaged as a caring ‘moderate conservative’ with a chance of beating Obama in 2012. Third, he has a pile of his own money to sink in his campaign, always a relief and comfort to the political investment class.

But with his ad-lib proclamation on the personhood of corporations, which comes as close as Romney gets to a core principle, he tossed it all away. Mitt might as well have announced he’s a Communist who worships Joe Stalin. To most Americans, unschooled in the prevailing hallucinations of five members of the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruminants of global high finance, the silly supply-side economists of which there seems to be an endless supply, and the curdled cognoscenti of the Federalist Society, corporations are clearly nothing like flesh-and-blood human beings and should not enjoy the same rights. Aside from the obvious that corporations cannot vote, or be hauled into court, or put in jail, and can only be fined for their wrongdoing. (They could also be put out of business, but in corporate-beguiled Washington that happens about as often as Sarah Palin submitting to an interview outside of Fox News.) Unlike Shakespeare’s Shylock, the modern corporation never suffers from cold nor heat nor injury from wounds physical or emotional and represents a unique eternal legal construct — the front-office executives may change from death and retirement, but the corporation can go on forever. Ambrose Bierce aptly defined this swindle a century ago in “The Devil’s Dictionary”: “Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.” Adding to the legalized larceny, the multi-national corporations take advantage of tax loopholes that are not available to the average American citizen, nor even small businesses, which gives these artificial abstractions unequal and superior rights to real people.

Most Americans are only vaguely aware of any of this, but they do have the fed-up feeling, rightfully, that those at the top of the corporate pie are making out like bandits, and forcing them to work longer hours at less pay to keep their jobs, and they don’t appreciate that ugly pie smashed into their faces by a spoiled multi-millionaire who thinks he should be president. Uttering “Corporations are people” with the passive-aggressive condescension of “my friend” appended removed any chance of Romney reaching the summit as he publicly tried to flim-flam the Iowans into believing that having a mountain of reeking manure in your backyard is the same as owning a prize racehorse.

In another era, a bland and malleable aspirant such as Tim Pawlenty would have taken the top spot after Romney implodes, but this is not that era in GOP politics as the pathetic two-percenter Pawlenty bends over so far backwards trying to appeal to the Teabaggers he appears to be engaged in a bizarre perpetual circus trick and the Republican base rates his conservative sincerity barely above that of Mitt’s.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin’s presidential ambitions will be confined to wistful private moments inside her ridiculous tour bus; Ron Paul will, as usual, fade as quasi-libertarianism and oligarchic corporatism actually don’t mix well; and Gingrich, Cain, Santorum, Huntsman and the other GOP stragglers will depart with vanity-wall photos of their brief moment on the national stage.

Predictions at this early stage are foolish, but here’s one anyway: I don’t think Romney will last beyond the South Carolina primary, if that far. If Obama was counting on running against Mr. Corporate Personhood, he might want to recalculate — the vacuous but wingnut-popular Rick Perry is about to announce, and the Ed Rollins version of Michele Bachmann is taking it seriously now, and both are ready to genuflect to the Republican party establishment to get a crack at the White House.

Any progressive or liberal Democrat who takes either the Texas Governor or the Minnesota Congresswoman lightly does so at their peril. Remember the lesson of the 1970s when Ronald Reagan was dismissed as a buffoon too far right to be electable — we are still paying for that mistake.

Copyright 2011 RS Janes.

Small businesses benefit from tax breaks for the rich? “You’re joking, right?”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 1:06 pm

(Originally published in the Berkeley Daily Planet

Many years ago I used to own a Volvo. First I had inherited it from my parents, and then my son drove it after that. It was blue — and a really sweet ride. And whenever it needed mechanical surveillance, I always took it to the Model Garage on Shattuck Avenue near Ashby. But then I bought a 1990 Toyota and had to switch to Campus Auto on Shattuck and Delaware, the Toyota’s best friend.

However, when the Model Garage began making plans to celebrate its 30th birthday, they sent me an invitation to the event anyway — and I’m glad that I went. They had a band and lots of food and tons of happy Volvo owners there and everything. It was a great Berkeley party, celebrating a great occasion — a solid Berkeley business that had survived for the last 30 years. And, especially in this current economic climate, that’s particularly good news.

When I went to thank one of the owners of the Model Garage for throwing such a fabulous party, I also asked him a few questions. “After to the recent slump in the economy, is your business better or worse than it has been in past years?”

“At first, when we first started out,” he replied, “things were naturally rather slow — like what usually happens with every new start-up business. But then gradually we built up a strong customer base as our reputation for good service began to spread. But now things are slower than they were 15 years ago. But still we are not doing too bad, considering the current economic situation.” No surprise there. Nice mechanics, excellent quality service, good location — what’s not to like.

“One last question,” I asked him. “The Republicans are always going on and on about how their ‘tax breaks for the rich’ have had a very positive impact on small businesses. My question to you is this: Have any of the Bush-Obama tax-breaks-for-the-rich legislations helped your business at all?”

“You’ve got to be joking, right?” the owner replied. I took that as a no.

It was a wonderful experience to attend a party actually held in a working garage. The food, mostly catered by Roxie’s delicatessen, was marvelous. And a good time was had by all — especially me. Even though I no longer own a Volvo.

PS: Fortunately, the Bush-Obama recession doesn’t seem to have effected the Bay Area all that badly so far. So far, we’ve been lucky. But if things continue to get worse and worse nationally, perhaps we who live here in the Bay Area might want to secede — or at least form our own state. We could always call it “Greater Berkeley”. Yay!


Who hasn’t read “The Decline and Fall . . .”?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:23 pm

While the Democrats constantly hum the refrain in the Eagle’s song about a fellow who spends his whole life locked up in chains only to discover that he has had the key in his hands all the while, the Tea Baggers are desperately hoping that those folks don’t read Edward Gibbon’s magnum opus, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” because if the perpetually stymied Democrats do peruse that example of literature, they might suddenly have a solution to the riddle of how to finance a country’s essential services while fighting capricious and strategically unnecessary foreign wars.

When the Democrats eventually suggest not fighting optional wars, the Tea Baggers will quickly defuse (bellicose pun?) that argument by responding: “World Peace will be a ‘Jobs Killer!’”

Think of all the jobs that Peace would eliminate. Then think of the “Age of Aquarius” and how many jobs that spawned. Aren’t “Head shops” illegal in many states? Once folks have listened to the “Hair” album a hundred times, then what?

Recently when we learned that Willie Nelson was starting a new political group called “The Teapot Party,” we sent the link to the web site to a fellow who knows George Clayton Johnson (of Twilight Zone fame) and asked that the information be forwarded to Mr. “Kick the can.” Did that get us any new regular readers? No! Would Hunter S. Thompson endorse Willie’s political endeavor?

When we imitate Merle Haggard and make fun of the “hippies out in San Francisco,” the column gets twice as many hits; so (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) expect some more columns with more sarcastic references to “drug addled morons.”

Speaking of the Hippies out in San Francisco (Hey, stoners, have you heard: It’s just like the Jim Morrison song says; the Vietnam war is over!), they are just the kind of people to think that the recent “Kids for Cash” trial in North Eastern Pennsylvania is proof that the privatization of prisons was a bad idea.

Does the fact that a judge was convicted of doling out excessive jail sentences for minor drug offenses (in return for a “finder’s fee”?) provide conclusive proof that privatizing jails was a bad idea?

Speaking of getting children headed in the right direction, on Thursday, August 11, 2011, on his radio program, Mike Malloy had a story about how the corporate farms were providing berry picking jobs for kids. It was Malloy’s assertion that a seven year old kid had an entitlement to ten more years of public education rather than an opportunity to live out a “rags to riches” success story that is a basic ingredient of life in this “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” paradise for motivated citizens.

Apparently Malloy hasn’t seen “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” He seems to be stuck in the nostalgic sixties with the “kids still respect the college dean” philosophy that superseded the “flower power” image of sticking a daisy down the barrel of an M-1 rifle.

Which would be a better choice for seven year old kids: the lyrics of the Roy Orbison song “Workin’ for the Man,” that teach berry pickers that if they work hard, then someday they might own the farm, or the lyrics to “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”?

The kids in school are blasted out of their minds and mouthing the song segment about seeing a picture of themselves on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. (“Buy five copies for my mother.”) Wouldn’t it be better for them to be outdoors in the fresh air doing some hard work?

Has moving their headquarters out of San Francisco helped Rolling Stone magazine? The latest issue invites readers to jump to the conclusion that if (subjunctive mood) Rupert Murdoch used extortion to influence politics in Great Britain he might be doing the same thing in the United States of America. When Rolling Stone moved, did they lease some available office space in the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory?

In his essay, “Faking It,” Michael Sorkin wrote: “If any accident produces coherence, all coherence is artificial.” Thus if the Republicans can convince voters that their crazy quilt Party isn’t the medium but is the actual message, then the Democratic attempt to provide a coherent response will be perceived as artificial and doomed to fail.

When Sorkin referred to wrestling on TV, he stated: “It tightens the link between the representation of reality and the comparable validity of its infinite distortions.” Couldn’t the same be said of the Republican Party?

Isn’t the 2012 Presidential Election going to be a variation of TV wrestling? Won’t the Republicans (who always get to frame the issues) present the idea that the Republicans are the clean cut All American hero types doing their best to get the referee (The United States Supreme Court) to notice that the other fellow is cheating? The other fellow is always depicted as a slimy villain flip flopping out of the hero’s best move and then using an illegal punch to stun the hero?

Jack Armstong (AKA the all American boy) will be pitted against a villain (oil sheik, Apache warrior, a guy in a German WWI helmet, an illegal alien, or [worst of all?] a Frenchman [can you say “existentialist,” boys and girls?]) who will immediately incur the disdain (This train? This stain? Whatever!) of the patriotic red blooded Americans in the audience.

Would it help Jack Armstrong to validate his attempt to portray himself as “the next President,” if two members of his immediate family had previously worn the POTUS (President of the United States) crown?

At that point the staff at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory will roll out their effort to conflate confusion with conviction and assert that President Obama is a Republican mole and encourage prejudice via a vote for any other available candidate?

Isn’t that hypothetical future example of stealth racism just as absurd as the idiotic suggestion that Gorbachev was a CIA mole? Wasn’t Mata Hari the most famous example of a double agent (also known as “a mole”)?

What are they smoking during their breaks (at least 20 feet away from the doors) near the entrances to the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory?

Jack Kerouac may have been speaking a bit prematurely for the Democrats when he said: “We are a beaten generation.”

Now the disk jockey will play Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco [Be sure to wear a flower in your hair],” Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee,” and The Jefferson Airlane’s “White Rabbit.” We have to go see if we can get a ticket to see “the Fanatics.” Have a “Plastic fantastic” week.

August 11, 2011

The Koch Tea Party Choice: Perry-Bachmann in 2012


August 10, 2011

Welcome to Fitzwalkerstan — The Koch Bros. Wisconsin Nightmare Continues


August 7, 2011

Visions of Kesey

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 3:17 pm

When morning for Monday, August 8, 2011, arrives on America’s East Coast, the financiers will have already coped with their response to the Asian stock markets, the military will be replying to the weekend’s helicopter attack in Afghanistan, and the President will be meeting with his advisors to implement the Obama Administration response to the credit downgrade. Voters in the USA will be visiting various web sites to learn the political pundits explanation for and analysis of last week’s news and that will be one step behind the playing out of this week’s reality and so the curious citizens might just as well be reading a subjective response to one of the new movies that opened this past weekend and by a remarkable co-inky-dink that is what this column contains.

The film “Magic Trip” contains home movies made by novelist Ken Kesey of a cross country trip he and his acolytes made in 1964 to visit the New York World’s Fair. The 16 mm home movies, almost 50 years old, used to provide the bulk of the movie’s images, may provide an inadvertent and very accurate prediction of what the USA would be like in the summer of 2011.

Ostensibly the documentary provides a nostalgia laden look back at a more innocent time when the USA was poised to grow and prosper and provide workers with a consumer’s paradise full of mod clothes, exciting new music, and inexpensive travel opportunities. Unfortunately a closer look at the adventures of the Merry Pranksters may provide a metaphor for the dazed and confused America that is trying to figure out why their own government social services must be eliminated to provide a balanced budget that will permit the continuation of some capricious and perplexing military adventures in far away lands.

The film starts with the shot of a microphone which provides film aficionados with a visual pun that refers back to promotional material made for “Citizen Kane.”

Successful novelist Ken Kesey (who was enjoying success from “One Flew Over the Cookoos’ Nest” and “Sometimes a Great Notion”) spent some money in early 1964, to acquire a 1939 International Harvester bus that had been transformed into a rolling dormitory room. He envisioned using it to take his friends on a quest for an insightful movie about their journey. The group of road acolytes were accompanied by Neal Cassidy who had already achieved fame as Jack Kerouac’s on the road traveling buddy.

What the movie actually shows is a group of social misfits and fuck-ups lurching through a series of travel disasters, a string of social faux pas, several encounters with American Literary legends Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg, an anticlimactic visit to the World Fair, a bumbling inept visit to Timothy Leary’s estate, a series of numerous dispensations from their marriage vows, a return to the West Coast and coping with their leader’s jail term which was (magically?) truncated by a promise to denounce the use of the growing popularity of the experimental psychedelic drug called LSD.

Is the Tea Bag movement the political equivalent of LSD for conservatives?

The new century has seen the USA become embroiled in questionable examples of democracy in action, a series of unprovoked wars, an imitation of Hitler’s distain for the Geneva Convention rules of war, the principles America established at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials, and the standard American dream of a home surrounded by a white picket fence going into foreclosure.

Simultaneously, America has turned on Fox News, tuned into the Republican talking points and dropped out of being well informed about political issues.

When the USA bombs Libya constantly for more than four months to protect its citizens from their leader of forty years at the same time that the President turns his back on the Syrians who are being shot down like rabid dogs in the street, no responsible political pundit takes notice of the dichotomy.

Why should they? Aren’t they being paid to reassure the voters that the radioactive sites in Japan, the economic turmoil, the endless wars, the unexplainable election upsets, and the rapidly dwindling 401K accounts are no cause for alarm? Chill out, dude! You’re just having a bad trip.

After seeing “Magic Trip,” we went to the Berkeley Public Library and borrowed a copy of Tom Wolfe’s book, “The Elecgtric Cool-aid Acid Test,” which was about what happened to Kesey’s posse

The book is highly regarded as a pioneering example of gonzo journalism, which was the label given to the trend in journalism whereby the writers injected themselves into the story they were covering. From the vantage point of more than forty years later, the tone of the beginning of the book is more like a sales pitch at the entrance of a freak show. Wolfe provides the ordinary folk with an alter ego for a journey into the land of pathetic drug fiends.

Will he actually drop acid later in the book? Perhaps, as the long hot summer of 2011 continues to play out, we will have a chance to finish reading the Acid Test book and write a column on its efforts to be a valid example of gonzo journalism.

Wolfe’s newspaper article and subsequent book anointed the Merry Pranksters to a high level of fame and notoriety. Perhaps with some lucrative book deals some influential future historians will be able to depict the summer of 2011 as a time full of warm and fuzzy sentimentality when folks walked out of their recently foreclosed homes and went off in search of their inner Woody Guthrie?

Wasn’t the Great Depression chock full of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, Amos ‘n’ Andy radio shows, and Black Mask magazines that were just so much fun? Won’t the future look back at this summer with so much envy because they will have to settle for a vicarious participation in the antics?

CBS radio news’ hour long weekend recapitulation of the week when the debt crisis was settled and the USA’s credit rating was lowered is available on line at radio etc. The political pundits’ analysis of this week’s current events should be available next weekend.

According to a popular urban legend, Kesey’s bus was the subject for a request from the Smithsonian Institute that it be donated to them. In real life, it became a rusted out hulk on Kesey’s Oregon farm. Future historians will know if the suggestion that the bus was a metaphor for America’s Democratic process was valid or not. How does the binary choice of “Four more years!” vs. JEB, grab ya? In the “Magic Trip” movie, someone is heard dispensing the advice: “Enjoy the chaos!” Could there be a better epigram for capturing the zeitgeist for the summer of 2011?

Tom Wolfe wrote: “They get the feeling that Kesey was heading out on further, toward a fantasy they didn’t know if they wanted to explore.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Mellow Yellow,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and “Puff the Magic Dragon.” We have to check the current flower power level. Have a do svidaniya type week.

Chain Chain Chains: Or will America’s student-loan victims finally fight back?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 2:54 pm

“I have seen the best minds of my generation…” tied and bound like calves to the slaughter by America’s banksters and America’s Congress. And I have also watched, helpless, while trillions of precious American dollars have been wasted on futile and unnecessary wars during the last decades — blood money that has been brutally extracted from the very marrow and bones of the best and brightest of our youngest generations.

Chained down by loans that they can never escape from, America’s students — who should have been given an excellent education for free in order to keep America strong and democratic — groan under the heavy loads placed on their young backs after being forced to purchase their college degrees at too great a price.

But what if this whole generation of our best future leaders should suddenly decide to rebel and cry out, “Enough!” Enough of having our life-blood sucked dry by these blood-sucking stock-market-casino vampires and war-profiteer-Dracula wannabes who now own our Congress, our media, our ballot boxes and even our souls!”

Egged on by their billionaire keepers, Tea Party members have been whining constantly lately about how hard life has become for them. However. All of their complaints are but a drop in the ocean compared to real indignities now being suffered by America’s exploited and cannibalized youth — as the cream of our next generation now faces being constantly humiliated, pursued, spied upon and haunted night and day by insatiable debt collectors for the rest of their lives. And yet Tea Partiers loudly rebel against some small and vaguely-perceived injustices. But at least they don’t have repo-men phoning them and dunning them and flooding them with threatening letters night and day until they are afraid to open their mailboxes or answer their phones — or are forced to change their names, forsake their families and live underground.

So what will happen when the exploited youth of America finally wake up and also start to object to being treated like corporatists’ personal blood banks?

If I was a member of America’s current drained and bleeding young student generation, I would be out there freaking fighting right back! You betcha. If I had been forced to become a chained and bound victim of student-loan slavery, no one in Congress who voted for obscenely-large bank subsidies or for giving plane-loads of money to war profiteers instead of to universities or for this treasonous idea of eternal non-forgiveness of student loan debts? None of those blood-suckers would EVER get elected again. I’d make damn sure of that!

So perhaps it’s also time for these innocent victims of America’s student-loan machines’ voracious appetite for young blood to strike back. Hell, why not? With unemployment rates so high for this generation, they probably have nothing else to do with their time. So why not become their captors’ worst nightmare — a bright shaft of sunlight falling on these corporatist war-mongering bankster vampires’ pointy little white teeth.

PS: My friend Barbara just informed me that this is National Book Week. “To celebrate it, just grab the book closest to you, turn to page 56 and read the fifth sentence. And whatever it says will describe your status right now.”

Strangely enough, the book that happened to be lying on the floor next to my chair was “The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty,” by Kitty Kelley. And the fifth sentence read, “Bert admitted he had informed his board that the sales profit was going to W.A. Harriman and Company, but he neglected to tell them that the banking house was only a temporary receptacle for his own personal profit.”

Unfortunately, this sentence describes my current status exactly. I now live in the American Republic, and, like the Roman Republic before it, this Republic has been completely weakened and screwed over by corruption.

PPS: In a recent AlterNet article, clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine stated that one of the main reasons that young Americans currently don’t fight back against corporatist vampires and corruption is exactly because of their debts.

“Large debt — and the fear it creates — is a pacifying force,” stated Levine. “There was no tuition at the City University of New York when I attended one of its colleges in the 1970s, a time when tuition at many U.S. public universities was so affordable that it was easy to get a B.A. and even a graduate degree without accruing any student-loan debt.”

Yeah! My U.C, Berkeley tuition around then was $150 a quarter. In 1968, I was able to pay my entire room, board and tuition costs solely out of the money I made by working at my summer job in the Post Office.

“While those days are gone in the United States,” continued Levine, “public universities continue to be free in the Arab world and are either free or with very low fees in many countries throughout the world. The millions of young Iranians who risked getting shot to protest their disputed 2009 presidential election, the millions of young Egyptians who risked their lives earlier this year to eliminate Mubarak, and the millions of young Americans who demonstrated against the Vietnam War all had in common the absence of pacifying huge student-loan debt.

“Today in the United States, two-thirds of graduating seniors at four-year colleges have student-loan debt, including over 62 percent of public university graduates. While average undergraduate debt is close to $25,000, I increasingly talk to college graduates with closer to $100,000 in student-loan debt.

“During the time in one’s life when it should be easiest to resist authority because one does not yet have family responsibilities, many young people worry about the cost of bucking authority, losing their job, and being unable to pay an ever-increasing debt. In a vicious cycle, student debt has a subduing effect on activism, and political passivity makes it more likely that students will accept such debt as a natural part of life.”×1672817

What a tragic waste of America’s most valuable resource — its youth. Now in chains. But perhaps it’s not too late to change….


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August 6, 2011

Postcards from the GOP Edge 2: Republican Crap Baths


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