Monday, December 19, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
1. We need more true progressives in office—more MoveOn members!--and fewer career politicians.2. This is exactly how the tea party took power in 2010—running grassroots candidates in as many districts as they could.3. With a wave of at least 2,012 American Dream candidates running up and down the ballot, we can start to defeat corporate Republicans and disappointing Democrats, and not just for one or two election cycles but for a generation.
–Adam R., Elena, Tate, Kat, and the rest of the team
Friday, December 9, 2011
It is being waged every second, every minute, every time you turn on your TV. It has been going on since the beginning of the last century. And it gets worse every year.
The conservative media will tell you that it is being waged by the PC fascists of the left. The Liberals laugh it off as they should. They are not the ones waging the war.
For a holiday that is meant to celebrate Jesus Christ, the only thing that is promoted is greed and consumption. We have people pepper spraying other shoppers to get gifts. We have incessant advertising. The all mighty dollar rules from Black Friday till Christmas Eve.
All in the name of a holiday that is supposedly celebrates the birth of a man who overthrew the money changers to preserve the sanctity of the temple of god (Mathew 21:12) and whose followers shared all things in common (Acts 2:44).
I may be off track, but it seems those who are waging a war on Christmas are the corporations and vendors attempting to ring every dollar they possibly can out of this misguided celebration.
I leave you with Bill Maher's thoughts on the matter.
This is the kind of shirt that happens when we are not allowed to keep a close I on what is going on.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
I don't take the happenings on Facebook to be too serious but I was blown away by the reaction of someone I had previously thought to be intelligent and whose views I regarded as valid due to their ability to aptly analyse a situation, regardless that their views often contradicted my own. I always felt they could defend them in a way that demonstrated some thought. I guess more than anything else I took the video posted as a shallow view on what I have believed since my immersion in third world life in 2000.
The video made by one Bill Whittle (I had no idea who this douche bag was, I had to Google him) looks at the OWS movement and accuses the protesters of being rich, spoiled brats. I don't know about any of you, but the rich, spoiled brats that I know are too apathetic to actually sleep on the cement or go out of their way to question injustice and inequality.
This is where I felt my personal beliefs were attacked. The idea that Mr. Whittle was promoting was the idea that if each protester had to live 3.5 days providing for themselves without the aid of papa or any corporations they would come out the other side changed and thankful that they could bow down and purchase the bull shit products that are jammed down our throats.
Well kids, I lived in third world country for almost five years. During that time, I learned the depth of hunger and the look of a beggar and thinking about grabbing that meal sitting on the counter that I couldn't pay for. I watched my father-in-law ride his bike to work at 5 am every morning that work was available, work 12 hours only to see his "plata" disappear the first time any food was bought. I watched him suffer as he was unable to work due to illness and surgery (thank god for social welfare). I learned the meaning of capitalism and the effects that it has as it "trickles down."
I've never been wealthy. I learned at an early age how to work. Hell, I started when I was 13. I heat my home with wood that I have extracted from public lands. I try to get to work under my own power every day that I can. I understand what it means to live pay check to pay check. I know what it means to have the people in a restaurant stare at you as you sit down with your "brown" bride.
I don't expect any one to take care of me, because I am doing fine. I have a job, a degree, health insurance. But I will raise my fist in defiance, in solidarity every chance I get. And I will do everything I can to help take care of you. I don't see you all as a bunch of spoiled, rich brats. I see you as individuals with stories, with struggles, with the knowledge and power to move and act. I see you all as sovereign individuals.
I am the 99%. We are the 99%. Together we stand.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
This is a good article, in that it brings up the question of "What's next?" The occupy movement has brought to the forefront what many of us have been thinking and discussing for years, but how do we take that next step to discussing and obtaining?
Vote for you!
Friday, October 14, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I remember the summer of 2008 vividly. I was working at a small bike shop in Northern Utah. Gas prices had gone through the roof and for the first time in all my years in the cycling industry, I saw middle class folk buying bikes to ride to work. There was a lot of talk about the economy being in trouble and how gas prices were effecting the average person. Seeing that food prices had dramatically increased due to the cost of transportation, etc.
And then the gas prices dropped.
And the economy came to a complete stand still. There were rumors. There were lies. And then there was the bailout.
Our sales at the bike shop went from record breaking to non-existent. I watched as the many people in the community who frequented the shop told the stories of the lost money, lost jobs. The lost houses were yet to come.
We were all told that the bailout was absolutely necessary to save the economy. Then we watched as people were paraded in front of Congress to beg for money. We watched as the corporations who had made poor financial decisions were, one by one, saved by the U.S. people.
And ever since we have watched as jobs have not grown but continue to be unavailable to the American people.
They told us that this was all due to a failure in the regulatory process to keep up with the advancements in financial products. So they gave us the Dodd-Frank Act. This huge act of legislation was supposed to guarantee that what had happened would never happen again. It was written in the hopes of giving us a safety net.
Now we get those same politicians toting the idea that the Dodd-Frank Act is impeding businesses from hiring employees because the regulation has impeded them from being able to grow.
Does anyone remember?
It's infuriating to watch people get excited about reverting back to early 20th century conditions. We had a time when the Dodd-Frank Act did not exist, what did we get? economic depression. We have had a time when the minimum wage didn't exist, when child labor laws, the eight hour day, safety regulations, environmental regulations have all not existed. We can look back and see what we will get if these safety nets are not in place.
If we were to really look back and study the rise and fall in economy, we would learn what every economics student learns in the first semester. The capitalist system always grows and retracts, aka crashes. It is unstable and the only people who are insulated from these booms/crashes are the wealthy, the rest of us are screwed.
If only we could remember... Maybe we would vote for us, instead of them.
"The long memory is the most radical idea in the country." - U. Utah Philips
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
As seen on Facebook...
"SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT ... If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 yrs. hard labor. If you cross the Afghanistan border illegally, you get shot. Two Americans just got eight years for crossing the Iranian border. If you cross the U. S. border illegally, you get a job, a drivers license, food stamps, a place to live, health care, housing & child benefits, education, & a tax free business for 7 yrs ...No wonder we are a country in debt. Re-post if you agree"
No, let me get this straight. You think that we should have a country that is more like North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran? Good luck getting any kind of fresh vegetables when all those immigrants are gone, at least at a good price. And let me guess you think we should deregulate the market. Yup? Yes then you really are that stupid. Did you ever stop to think that labor was a commodity and if you deregulated the market, there wouldn't be any illegal immigrants to complain about because the market would allow labor (ie immigrants) to flow freely to where ever they are needed. Do you see the disconnect? Nope? Didn't think so..
The article hypothesizes that Americans don't protest because we suffer from learned helplessness. However, the article also points to Wisconsin. I guess that shows we're only helpless if we think we are.
I don't know about the rest of you, but as a graduate student with an enormous amount of debt (which, thanks to Congress, is all unsubsidized) and facing the prospect of not having a job because a few greedy morons decided they wanted to make lots of money now and, you know, screw the rest of us, I feel like maybe it's time to stop thinking we're helpless.
There are lots of ways to stop feeling helpless: email your congressperson, call the White House, organize a protest, spread the word, shop locally, be an activist shareholder (if you own stock or have money to buy stock). Pick one. Or make up your own.
The point is, we're not helpless. It's time to join the rest of the planet in their protests and tell The Metaphorical Man: We're here, we're not going away, and we're sick of your bullshit. So move over Man; it's our turn.
Here's another interesting article published in the EconoMonitor. Definitely worth a read.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Someone please explain to me why people cheer at these damn things? In my limited information from the blog, it seemed to me that only two or three questions were even answered. There is a technique that every lawyer (and by extension, every politician) knows: Framing. It's also something writers know because it's a way to tell a story. When a politician says to you "We shouldn't tax the rich. Why do you want to punish people for being successful?" That's framing. It's also bullshit. How about "Why shouldn't rich people have to pay their fair share?" That's a framing you'll never hear a Republican say. Although, Buddy Roemer did say it, and he's a Republican, but he was not invited to the debate.
In short, almost everything said at that debate was totally meaningless insofar as any substantive issue goes. They didn't answer your questions; they didn't answer mine. They just framed the issues that polls tell them the populace care about in a way that those same polls tell them will make people vote for them. It is, for the most part, idiotic rhetoric that is designed to cause you to become emotionally attached to their campaign even though what they're saying to you is at best loosely based on fact and, more commonly, complete bullshit.
Just because a politician says 'socialism' or 'freedom' or 'American way' or 'family values' or any number of other terms does not mean you have to agree with them. First of all, have you noticed they hardly ever use terms correctly? I am starting to believe no one in this country knows the difference between capitalism, socialism, and communism. Second, when you watch these debates or read about the politicians in the paper, I implore you to use logic or some manner of rational thinking to decide if what you're hearing/reading is worth hearing/reading. Do not let some fraudulently obtained emotional attachment gear you into thinking someone will help you when, if you actually look at what they're saying, you will realize you have no idea what this person will do because they haven't actually said anything! For the record, I do not think Republicans are the only guilty party in this whole framing business.
While it is on occasion my knee-jerk reaction to think of some of these politicians as morons, they are not. They are very intelligent. They know that the easiest way to get your vote is to create an emotional attachment, even if it's not based in reality or any kind of fact. Don't let them do that to you. Don't let them lie. They are playing the American people for a bunch of fools. Show them that they're wrong.
Whether you take Vote for You literally or metaphorically is, for this particular post, irrelevant. Do it.
Monday, September 5, 2011
I found this via this http://maddogmedia.wordpress.com/.
I hope you didn't work today...
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Update: it reads, "You can fix lot of things. But you can't fix STUPID. However, you can vote it out."
Monday, August 15, 2011
Michelle Bachmann. Yup the crazy right winger came away strong taking the stage and the win.
Mother Jones covered her history well in their recent article, a must read if Bachmann seems scarier than any devil you saw in Sunday school.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
The fun never ends, Indiana state Rep. Phillip Hinkle (R) -- responding to a local posting on Craigslist -- offered a young man $80 plus tip to spend time with him Saturday night at a local hotel, with a tip of up to $50 or $60 "for a really good time."
Now I have never slept with a prostitute, and so, am not familiar with tipping etiquette but I"d say that the only constant between this guys private life and public Platform (voting down equality legislation) is unwillingness to pay a living wage/leave a decent tip.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
This is means that it is time for us to put our collective nothingness to good work and do some campaigning.
I've checked the local campaign sign codes and as long as we are campaigning for something, any political sign is legal this time of year.
So lets make some signs...
I'll let you know when and where.
Monday, July 25, 2011
I was quite moved by a piece about Michelle Bachman's district and how there has been a wave of suicides, 9 in the past 2 years.
For the article, go here http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/michele-bachmann-teen-suicide?page=2.
And then spend some more time perusing their content. If you don't know who Mother Jones was, you may want to start with the About Us page.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
I am running for president. I will vote for me. You should run for president as well. You should vote for you. Cause realistically there isn't anyone else who can do it better, cheaper or more equally than me/you.
Welcome to the revolution.
Vote for You!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I am shocked that someone who is educated could be so misinformed. Though, I do try to keep myself informed, so maybe it's that I'm informed but uneducated. Maybe it's both. At any rate, today I was informed, or educated, about how I don't know shit. It was simultaneously the most interesting and most depressing class of my life.
A professor from the University I am currently studying with gave a lecture on the Franco regime in Spain and the transitional period from 1975-1981. I, of course, know who Franco was, but that's about it. As I listened to the lecture, I was shocked at my own lack of information on the subject. And it's an important subject. Many commentators and intellectuals consider the transitional period from Franco's regime to a republic to be an example of how it's done, more or less. It was done peacefully, with only a few bumps in the road. In fact, the one coup d'etat after Franco's death, in 1981, lasted about 18 hours with no casualties of any kind. Not to shabby for a transition.
The professor talked about the creation of a new Constitution and some of the compromises that had to be made, like the Amnesty Act of 1977. It was fascinating to hear how a dictatorship was shed and replaced with democracy. After Franco's death, his regime was sort of de facto over, even though there was the Law of Succession to the Head of State of 1947 and Franco had handpicked Juan Carlos to be the King of Spain.
Anyway, Spanish history isn't the point. The point is that I didn't know any of that, and it's important. Currently, the situations in Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt are looking to the Spanish transition to help transition their governments to one of a more democratic shade. Yemen and Syria are also following in Tunisia's footsteps and possibly Spain's. Being informed about these kinds of happenings in the world and what it means for the future is absolutely imperative. Not only are we an international community, but it's important to be appraised of the political atmosphere in other countries to be aware of how it might affect our country and, in some cases, how we might want to effect the same kind of change ourselves. If we aren't aware of these kinds of things, not only are we uninformed but we are missing an opportunity to learn. How can we ever make anything better if we never take the opportunity to learn from a situation, a place, a person, or ideology that's different from our own?
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
"I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage." That's because there isn't one.
Well said Senator Grisanti. And well done New York! It's about damn time.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Apparently the Republican presidential candidates are competing to prove which is the most anti-abortion. I'm not sure how abortion becomes the top story and issue for an entire presidential race, but it has. This amidst a dropping employment growth rate in the midst of the worst depression since the great one. Let's argue about whether the government has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Really? How far back are we going to let these people take us?
I know there is nothing worst than listening to the news in the morning, you can't change what has happened.