April 19, 2010 archive

I Remember the Okc Bombing

I helped clean up the Regency Tower Apartments for employment after April 19, 1995 at 9:02 A.M. Funny how it never occurred to me as a foolish young man, that I could have been one of the victims at the time. I lived close enough to hear and feel my garage apartment shake. Denial is a powerful human defense mechanism, indeed.

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The apartments had shattered glass and debris that covered the floors, beds, dressers, and kitchen cabinets. I never quite knew if I was in a survivor’s apartment or not. I assumed that I was not, overall.

Kickin it Old School: Teach-in

On April 28, 2010, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation is sponsoring a “Fiscal Summit” in Washington DC.  This sham summit will discuss among other things how to destroy Social Security, how to destroy medicare and how to use fiscal policy (government spending and taxing) to further increase income inequality in U.S.  

But in old school fashion letsgetitdone proposed a teach-in – a counter-conference.  The purpose of the teach-in or counter-conference is to add a progressive voice to the debate of fiscal sustainability and to expose people to a new economic paradigm of Modern Monetary Theory and its implications for fiscal policy, Full Employment and fiscal sustainability.  Let me just say mainstream economics and Wall Street hate it.  

The Fiscal Sustainability Teach-in will be held on April 28, 2010 in DC at The George Washington University from 8:30am to 5:00pm.  This is a FREE event and open to the public.  Right on!

For further updates please go here – the event’s homepage.

I know things are tough and many people are short on cash but if you can spare a few, and think this is a worthy effort and since its hard to get grant funding on such short notice – there is a funding request.

For more information on Modern Monetary Theory I strongly encourage people to read the following blogs:

billy blog

New Economic Perspective from Kansas City and Beyond

The Case For Tax Reform

The United States Income Tax Code is an incomprehensible 400,000 pages in length. But beyond just being astoundingly complex, and an abusively inefficient waste of personal time and human life, it is also a horribly intrusive and unnecessarily invasive way of trying to raise revenue.  

There are simply other means, and other alternative methods for raising revenue that would be so much better than this Income Tax, and that would greatly, greatly simplify all of our lives (and therefore improve them).

In addition, all the Income Tax system does is create a counter-reaction, by the rich, of trying to devise tricks for escaping the payment of the taxes (loopholes).  So this type of a system inevitably drifts towards corruption and inequity to begin with.  The rich will use lawyers, tax shelters, and other tricks and gimmicks to bypass the system, while the middle-class gets stuck with the bills.

Below is an argument made for Tax Reform:

From the Left

From the Right

To Walk In Harmony

One wishes to walk the earth in harmony. To sit beneath the trees, to walk near the speaking waters as they dance to the sea, to gaze from high mountain tops at the wholeness of creation. One wishes to grow old and watch ones children grow old under the bright blue sky having lived a life of peace in harmony with the planet and all living things. To spend the gift of life in contemplation and perfection of one’s inner self, moving one step closer to harmony with each stride down the path of one’s life.

But one is beset on all sides by flaming assholes.

Dystopia 19: Capture


“The state  calls its own violence law, & that of the individual, crime.”- Max Stirner

Open Parrish…..w RATM!


Piss on the Planet …

This ad comes via Canada. GreenCalgary is running an idle-free campaign with, we could say, a bit of a different twist.

The negative health and environmental impacts of idling have been known for over a decade. Yet, all over the city of Calgary we are leaving our cars running while not in use for an average of 5-10 minutes per car per day. Idling is unnecessary. It wastes fuel, produces more harmful emissions than normal driving, damages engines, and contributes to climate change

The Longest Bridge

A man on his Harley was riding along a California beach when suddenly the sky clouded above his head and, in a booming voice, God said to him: ‘Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.’

The biker pulled over and said: ‘Build me a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want.’

God replied: ‘Your request is materialistic. Think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking. The supports required reaching the bottom of the Pacific and the concrete and steel it would take!’

‘I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help mankind.’

The biker thought about it for a long time. Finally, he said: ‘God, I wish that I, and all men, could understand women.’

‘I want to know how she feels inside, what she’s thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing’s wrong, why she snaps and complains when I try to help, and how I can make a woman truly happy.’

Slouching Toward Renaissance


Rebellion and Revolution are so yesterday. No sense to rebel and revolt today. Those strategies of yesteryear are doomed to fail in the present day. Power is greater and people are as dumb as ever. Trust in Big Daddy. Bear hugs and poontang. Shiny and happy. Better safe than sorry. Where is democracy in the modern age? Politicians do the opposite of what voters want. People clamor for change because things aren’t so hot right now. Politicians sell change like celebrities sell soap. They don’t even use the stuff. It’s all show biz. Kabuki-square-dance-mambo-tap. Ignore the footwork but enjoy the big smile.  

Rebellion and Revolution fail today because State Power, which, contrary to propaganda, is not demotic, public power, but private, corporate/military power, has gone quantum. Exponential. People get focus groups, free-speech zones, opinion polls and Tupperware parties. Think G.I. Joe versus Mr. Whipple.

The only way out of our indentured servitude of consumer debt and ambivalent obedience is not through revolution, but renaissance. Revival. Reboot. Re-imagine. The freedom to dream and create.

WOT: War On Thinking

Congress will soon vote on whether to spend another $33 billion of our money to escalate a war in Afghanistan that makes us less safe, violates the basic rule of law, kills innocent people, puts our children in debt, empowers the oil industry, and protects the heroin industry. The only decent, legal, or humane thing a member of Congress could do would be to publicly and privately whip his/her colleagues to vote No and defeat the bill. No caucus is engaged in that effort. As far as I know, Congressman Dennis Kucinich is the only one making any gestures in that direction. But a block of congress members is working to propose an amendment to the bill that will allow them to support it while (1) appearing to oppose wars, and (2) making the bill even worse. And even Kucinich supports this counterproductive campaign, as do many peace activists.


The Beginning of the Age of the Individual

Last week I read a brief blurb in Politico, in which a scholar expressed his opinion as to why labor union membership was in sharp decline.  The scholar stated that, in his opinion, the decrease was a result of the fact that people are now inclined to think more individually than communally.  He added that this trend will become more, not less pronounced with time.  Backing up this claim, he noted how, these days, people get jobs by packing their resumes full of exhaustively long lists of individual accomplishments.  Americans have always been resistant to thinking as a group and placing group priorities above individual gain, but with the death of labor, one of the most notable exceptions to the rule, expect more problems to manifest themselves that have their nexus due to a hyper-individualist attitude.

Harvard and Yale


Obama v. Roberts: The Struggle to Come

By PETER BAKER, The New York Times

Published: April 16, 2010

Much more so than last year, when he made his first nomination to the court, Mr. Obama has Chief Justice Roberts on his mind as he mulls his second, according to Democrats close to the White House. For an activist president, the chief justice has emerged clearly in recent months as a potentially formidable obstacle, and Mr. Obama has signaled that he plans to use the political arena and his appointment power to counter the direction of the Roberts court.

“He’s very concerned about the activism of the court in recent terms,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, ticking off a series of cases that angered liberals, most notably allowing corporations to spend freely in election campaigns. “He wants to make sure he puts somebody on there who is not going to take radical steps like that.”

The urgency is greater this year since the Citizens United decision in January, in which the Roberts court threw out precedents to rule that corporations have First Amendment rights to spend money in election campaigns. Advisers said the ruling crystallized for Mr. Obama just how sweeping the chief justice was willing to be. Indeed, some around the president suspect that Chief Justice Roberts, after moving incrementally in his first few years on the bench, has taken a more assertive approach since Mr. Obama took office.

“Obama’s view of the court is by far the more prevalent view at Harvard Law School, or at least it was when we were there,” said Bradford A. Berenson, who studied with Mr. Obama and served as a White House lawyer under President George W. Bush. Mr. Roberts, he added, held the opposite view, even though it was “very much in the minority” on campus.

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