Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksphobia

Cartoon by Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star
Well, isn't this a switch. White people serving Thanksgiving turkey to immigrants.
There's been a big brouhaha over the Indianapolis Star's cartoon which started out when a dude with a mustache climbing through a window, then they edited out the offensive 'stash, then they removed it altogether.
The Indianapolis Star had to apologize for their racist cartoon.
I don't know where white people get the idea that we somehow just ended up here in America, even though few people I know ever identify themselves as American.We're either saying we're Italian or Irish or some of us just say we're Jews or Catholics. It's confusing. Adding to the confusion is the whitewashed (pun intended) history of a Happy Thanksgiving that just magically happened and the country it happened in wasn't already occupied by Native Americans, making Pilgrims the illegal immigrants. Which is why I call the coming holiday "Thankstaking"
There's nothing like a big disconnect and supreme panic over millions of undocumented immigrants hardly being helped by executive action, since this issue hasn't been revisited since the time of Reagan.
It's not lost on me that there have been times in the past that other immigrants have been the focus of racism.
I know Reagan didn't have much of a memory, however his great-grandfather and great-grandmother were  Irish immigrants you have to wonder what kind of effect this had on him? Was the amnesty he put into effect 30 years ago a result of his own heritage? According to one politician, Reagan's amnesty act is directly responsible for President Obama's election.
There's a history of anti-Italianism starting with mass lynchings in New Orleans to the tragic Sacco and Vanzetti trial and Italian-American internment camps during World War II. We weren't very nice to Germans either, and not just during World War II.

 Then there was the phrase "Yellow Peril" used in association with Chinese immigrants, which was transmitted to Japanese immigrants too. "mass immigration of Asians threatened white wages and standards of living, and the fear that they would eventually take over and destroy western civilization, replacing it with their ways of life and values."
Sound familiar? Doesn't any of this get old? 
Underneath all of this wierd outrage over undocumented workers is a history of Americans using immigrants as cheap labor or forcibly taking human beings and using them as slaves.
It's not lost on me that on our sacred national holiday of Thanksgiving, a day of feasting and giving thanks, millions of workers all over the country are being forced to work or get fired.
It's not that we aren't very nice to immigrants, we aren't very nice to our own people either. They seem to have one thing in common. They are working class. There's seems to be a lack of gratitude, to immigrants or ordinary American people who are working at Walmart, working jobs that barely sustain a person. If these people figure out that they have common ground, despite a language barrier or the color of their skin and decide to form a more perfect union, Then there really will be something to celebrate. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

There's Battle Lines Being Drawn, Ferguson.

There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear, there's a man with a gun over there.
  Before a judgement has even been handed down, a "State of Emergency" has been declared. When has that ever happened? The Rodney King beating comes to mind Los Angeles Riots Fast Facts - CNN.com
 "video shows King being struck by police batons more than 50 times" too bad for Michael Brown there was no video. 
The entire state of Missouri has been declared a state of emergency. Executive Order 14-14 | Governor Jay Nixon It looks like Barney Fife in Missouri will have back up and The National Guard will be pointing weapons at citizens, there will be nothing to see here, just move along. What could possibly go wrong? I am not sure how things in Ferguson could get any worse.
What I wonder is if someone already knows what the verdict is going to be? Since there is "widespread expectation that officer Wilson will not be charged" Ferguson: St Louis mayor predicts 'widespread civil disobedience' over verdict | US news | The Guardian
History will probably repeat itself and there will be a lot of unrest, due to the fact that people feel they aren't getting justice. Welcome to third world America, police corruption, police militarization, excessive force, and no recourse for the victims is what you see in the developing world. Combine that with a small rich plutocratic group controlling everything, and a large majority that is barely getting by. It looks like war is being declared on the people in Missouri. I hope they will be ready for pepper spray and tear gas and that may be the least of their worries.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

All's Well, That ENDS Well?

My friend calls them the "Kartrashians" so the trash bag Kim popped out of is apt. The entire ass controversy is so crazy to me, I think we have descended into another level of Dante's Inferno. Sex sells and nothing says profit like a giant ass.
Papers profits must be through the roof. 
This carefully constructed image tells me a lot. It's not about Kim's ass, or the pose, or feminism, or sexism. It's more about capitalism. Because no matter how stupid you are, if you work really, really hard and you do all the "right things," go to a good school, you will be successful. Seriously, isn't Keeping Up With The Kardashians what we all aspire to? Isn't it the American Dream? Thank God, Kim's parents didn't waste thousands of dollars sending her to college, since being besties with Paris Hilton and famous for making a sex tape, that's what being successful is all about!
If I look back in history, it wasn't that long ago when women tried to look exactly like Kim. 
Look familiar? Like a lot of our life in the year 2014, resembles something out of a Dickens novel, the American Empire is dying, and we exist in a state of ignorance. We aren't that different than Great Britain of that era, economically stressed and militarily extended. The sun may have set over the British Empire, but here in America, the moon is rising.
It's no wonder so many people are taking the Prozac, but back then the drug of choice was opium. Supposedly the "horrors of addiction weren't understood" I don't think for a minute we know exactly what Prozacs side effects are, because no one understands exactly how it works, sometimes you have to take even more than one antidepressent. That's got to be depressing. People are in despair
because they can't make ends meet, here in the "greatest nation on earth."
There's been a lot of blame going on in the recent election about how the democrats lost. What hasn't been addressed is that Americans have lost faith.
Even Prozac can't fix that. Americans know that they are living with economic inequality not seen in a century.
Bigger isn't necessarily better. 
Oversized corporations have coopted our government, the employees of these companies wages are so low they require food stamps to survive. Any power
workers had is gone now. There are few full time jobs, the industrial revolution is gone, now we have a tech revolution, no one really knows where a working class American is going to fit, things aren't looking good.
We have bigger banks, causing bigger problems and if they tank the economy they get a big bailout.
You know what else seems to never go out of style? Spying!
Sidney Reilly
Check out this dude, he was known as The Ace Of Spies. He doesn't look like Snowden, he spied for four countries and collected a lot of data and was the basis for James Bond. Those movies were a lot of fun, but the NSA is no joke. No one thinks it's funny to have their personal data collected.
Another thing we have in common with the Dickens era. PRISONS! Dear Lord they had a lot, debtors prisons, work houses. It used to be that Britain sent their prisoners here, when they couldn't do that anymore they got themselves a Prison Industrial Complex.
I don't think they can hold a candle to us, we do prisons BIG time. "7 million persons are under the supervision or control of correctional services in the United States"
That much incarceration can be a serious problem when trying to Keep Up With The Kardashians!
I guess in Victorian times that would be like trying to keep up with the Queen of England. 
But what really bit England in the ass? War, just like it's ruined our country. If anything we've created more instability. Our perpetual state of war has fatigued our citizens and drained our resources and our inept bureaucracy can't even take care of our veterans right.This doesn't bode well for average Americans whose extra large asses are never going to pay off for them, not like Kim's does for her. We all have to work till we drop as Social Security fades away and we return to a Dickensian hell that we worked so hard to escape from. We were a super power, but those days are over and we can all watch that giant greasy moon rise over the dark night of America's soul.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Stuck On Stupid

I watched the media frenzy of the past weeks elections, all the Chicken Little "the sky is falling" routine, because now the Republicans have all the power! Really? Exactly what will they do with it? Not holding my breath to find out.
There's some hysteria about McConnell (R-Ky) making a commitment to bring up a bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks. I am trying to work up some kind of panic over this. It's just the same thing over and over and here we go again with these dudes obsession over what women do with their bodies. Then the obsession with healthcare. Probably they will vote 50 more times to get rid of the evil "Obamacare" because, women aren't allowed to have access to birth control and reproductive healthcare and basically if you can't get affordable healthcare, just go broke trying to stay alive. Plus, it's the only thing President Obama came through with, even though he promised a single payer system.
This is just theater, what we have here, Wall Street and Big Oil. So we'll see what happens with the Keystone XL Pipeline. Because it's been suggested that the Democrats are gonna be filibustering just about everything Republicans try, but they are just as beholden to the corporations. So what exactly is going to happen once all these Republicans get into office?
Probably nothing.
Unless there's a vote for something corporations or the 1% want, nothing's going to get done. Maybe they'll shut down the government a few more times? I predict they will help big business get more tax breaks and there will be more money for the Military Industrial Complex. Two parties working for the same corporate interests means the sky will only fall on working class people.
 Americans are so distracted by Chicken Little politics here, I doubt they noticed over 100,000 people in Belgium took to the streets protesting austerity cuts to public services and raising retirement age. Things that have already happened here that just gets a big yawn. A few weeks ago there was a massive march for climate change in New York City, that did noting to stop fracking or change carbon output in America.
We really have a duopoly in this country, there are no alternatives, I think they should just call themselves the Republican Corporation and the Democrat Corporation, but that would require honesty.
Fundraisers won the day, here in the U.S. and to the victor corporations go the spoils, same as it ever was so don't worry, nothings going to change, because the 1% don't want anything to change, they like things just the way they are. Our political parties are paid to keep things that way.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Men argue. Nature acts.” Voltaire

There's a midterm election coming up Tuesday, and no, I don't know anyone who's going to vote in it. People just don't care and I can't say that I blame them. There's all kinds of leftover Halloween scary going on and you better vote Democrat or the Republicans will take over the Senate and really? Then what? This country has been paralyzed since 2010 and I don't see that changing any time soon. But something is changing;
Effects of climate change ‘irreversible,’ U.N. panel warns in report - The Washington Post I know that one of the biggest climate deniers Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), a senior member of the environmental committee, is up for reelection and he'll probably win thanks to all the bribes donations from the energy sector. I think back on President Obama and the Democratic Platform in 2008," to defeat the epochal, man-made threat to the planet: climate change" In 2013, in his Inaugural address, "urging that Congress take action on a market-based solution like the one Sens. John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on a few years ago" What he was talking about was the 2003 Climate Stewardship Act. A decade is hardly "a few years ago" also this legislation was defeated, it finally morphed into the 2007 Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act and was killed as surely as we are killing this planet. So yes, McCain and Lieberman worked on some "market-based approach" and it failed. The planet doesn't give a damn about "The Market" and climate change will take it's course. But I do like that there's always some "FREE Market" response that's supposed to save the day, because that's been just so effective especially when it comes to the economy. Why shouldn't it save the climate too?  It's just strange to me that it seems that almost everyone elected, either does not have to deal directly with the weather or gets paid off, so the wind is always at their back and there's no evidence that will convince them that things are changing, specifically the climate. Our planets existence is up against institutions with powerful ideologies, run by wealthy elite owners. They don't want anything to change and are willing to pay to do so. I'd like to believe that Democrats are different and they aren't as guilty of being allied with the oil industry, but that just isn't true. "King Coal" McConnell is up for re-election in Kentucky, his father in-laws boat got busted for cocaine, any publicity is good publicity.  Are we supposed to believe that if we vote for the right candidate, the fracking's going to stop? Corporations have all the power and government isn't going to do a thing about it." the oil-and-gas industry received a total of $446 billion in government subsidies" While the Arctic melts and we continue to spend $1 on renewable energy for every $80 a barrel on oil, things are going to get a whole lot warmer. What we are going to do is burn every last drop of oil to prop up the free market. Then when the "irreversible" situation gets out of hand, there won't be a free market or any market.

"We probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard, and too damned cheap." Kurt Vonnegut



 

 

 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

#Ebowla Is No Joke

A doctor came down with Ebola in New York City. This dude decided it was okay to ride the subway, go bowling and now authorities are trying to retrace his steps. Some people think he went to a bowling alley on purpose for all the twitter puns, #ebowling.
We were told that Dr. Spencer "acted appropriately and responsibly".  It doesn't sound like it to me and this dude writes that he's ok with being lied to and we should be ok with it too. Cuomo, de Blasio Lied About Craig Spencer's Ebola. That's OK. | New Republic Because we're all going to have terrible anxiety now and we're all going to rush to the emergency room if we get a damn cold. Seriously?
So, if they'll lie to us about this, who knows what the hell else politicians lie about?
What really surprised me is that Cuomo and Christie just  let loose with the whole, we're not following CDC guidelines because they clearly aren't working. "Cuomo said voluntary quarantine is not sufficient, and that it is "almost an oxymoron."
A big concern are civil liberties, but after the Patriot Act, it's a little late for that, anyway the ACLU wants a legal reason for Christie putting a healthcare worker under quarantine, I doubt he cares. Personally I wish he'd put Snooky under quarantine so she would stop procreating her brand of stupid. But I digress, or do I? Donald Trump (I wonder if he's related to Snooky?) tried to blame President Obama, some people tried to blame Obamacare,
"Ebola has been confirmed in N.Y.C., with officials frantically trying to find all of the people and things he had contact with.Obama's fault"
Read the Frightwing freakout here; Here are the craziest responses to New York’s first Ebola case - Salon.com
I am an hour and a half ride from NYC, I'm guessing that between the bowling alley that got cleaned up and this guys apartment, there's no trace of Ebola left. I wonder who has to pay for that clean up? I sure would like it if someone would clean my house for free, but my friend at work pointed out that there would probably be nothing left in your house and they'd throw everything away, so guess that's not a perk after all.
I am trying to find a silver lining in this situation, I can think of several politicians I would like to see quarantined. But none of them would be brave enough to go to a country with an Ebola outbreak and actually do something selfless.
Oh snap, did you see that picture of President Obama  hugging that nurse who had Ebola? Scandal!
Pic from time.com
That's not going to go over too well I guess. Unlike Ebola, there's no cure for republicans, it's a death sentence. I heard you could contract it from watching Fox News!
Check it out! Nothing like an epidemic to get a consumer to part with a buck. Don't you just love capitalism?
How about an Ebola party? As infection toll passes 10,000, websites cash in with 'sexy Ebola nurse' costumes and even Ebola PARTIES  | Daily Mail Online
 What a party pooper,  this woman says the #Ebowla jokes need to stop! The #Ebowla Jokes Need to Stop | TIME
 Because every person who's been treated for this virus, became infected because they helped others, fair enough. But you can't blame people for having a laugh.

I guess it's ok to bust on the Black Plague, but leave Ebola alone for a few centuries.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Double Bind

I heard about the new Ebola Czar Ron Klain, on the radio during  my morning commute to work. My first thought was oh, he's connected to some lobby and that turned out to be true. He lobbied for Fannie Mae. I guess that's the kind of experience we need in this country for coordinating a response to a complicated public health situation. No experience in medicine or healthcare, but plenty of experience in Washington D.C. It's at the point now where some of the people I talk to are convinced that our government and our inept healthcare system want an Ebola epidemic. True story. I don't want to give in to "hysteria or fear" but I am really afraid that the only thing we have to look forward to are a bunch of hacks running  the government, their only qualifications are going in and out of the revolving door where incumbents and lobbyists trade places. I don't even wonder anymore why nothing gets done except for an exceptional amount of bombing of other countries, there's always money for that, while everyday American's are on a downward spiral and no one cares.
Janet Yellen made a speech about rising inequality and she's awfully concerned about it. According to what I've read she actually has tools she could use to alleviate this situation but has failed to do so. She did work for Ben Bernanke and helped engineer the bailout, so I have no doubt as to who's side she's on and it isn't ours. To that end, Russell Brand says he's on our side by marching down to Wall Street and doing a bunch of talking about revolution and promoting his upcoming book. Johnny Rotten called him out because he's telling people to stop voting. Which I can't say as I blame him when all you are voting for are corporations. I think it's a little to convenient that some joke telling guy, with a messiah complex, is now running around, trying to be the next messiah. "The last time this country was taxed by an elite group that didn't represent them, there was a revolution and they threw those people out. That is what you should do on this occasion." Thanks for that Russell, maybe you could try that in your own country.
Meanwhile, in this country we have an election coming up and plenty of money is involved in our government sell out, only now we don't know where the money is coming from, maybe from big oil companies who don't want anything done about climate change. When court rulings favor big money it doesn't matter what party you vote for. In America, there is this illusion of "freedom" and the rugged individual against what has to be some of the most repressive times we've ever known. There is an ongoing situation in Ferguson, where, after  an unarmed man was shot by a cop, riots ensued and police in paramilitary gear showed up.
We are free, but we are not free.
Our government is bought and sold. If you vote you are screwed, if you don't vote you are screwed.

"Double binds are often utilized as a form of control without open coercion—the use of confusion makes them both difficult to respond to as well as to resist"
 Double bind - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia