Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Anybody Listening?

This is the video you've heard about, by the students of Academy High School in Pomona, California. President Obama mentioned them in his speech on education, and later visited Pomona to meet with them. (I could say something cynical about his visit, but I won't.) The stories they tell will soon be the stories many young people all over the country -- and all over the world -- will also be living, as this so-called "recession" wreaks havoc everywhere.

Obama's stimulus package may help some, at least for a time, though from the sound of their stories it looks as though the money trickling down to their families will amount to too little and come too late.

I'm still thinking about that 1.2 trillion dollars Ben Bernanke managed to conjure out of nothing and I'm thinking about how far that amount of money could go if it weren't already committed to the fool's task of "reviving the economy." If our leaders had the guts to defy people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and a host of other conservative hypocrites, seeking to profit from Obama's impossible situation by crying "socialism" (as if they had any idea of what socialism actually is), then every failing business in this country could be nationalized, at least temporarily, and revived, putting people back to work, so they could afford to renegotiate their mortgages and get back into their homes. If certain businesses were no longer viable then the money could be used to start up new businesses aimed at what is needed now, such as, for example, home restoration businesses, plumbing and heating businesses, auto, truck, bus and rail maintenance businesses. If there weren't enough trained workers to man these businesses, on the job training programs could be implemented. A great deal could be done with money now being used basically to protect the fortunes of millionaires and billionaires who gambled their fortunes and lost. It's essential to remember that those fortunes have already been lost. But these people are too "important" to fail, so trillions of US dollars are basically being handed over to them for no good reason beyond the fact that they are and always have been the ones running the country all along: the oligarch/plutocrats. The "plutigarchs."

Aside from Bill Moyers, God bless him, no one in the media is daring to talk about class in any meaningful way, about the class warfare the moneyed elite has been waging against middle class, working class and just plain poor people for so many years, and how their efforts have been sanctioned by a government bought and sold by them through every form of corruption one can think of, from outsized campaign contributions to gifts and perks, lobbying efforts, job offers, and in some cases, no doubt, outright bribes. The Democrats as well as the Republicans have been tainted (I hesitate to say "corrupted") by the same process, which is undoubtedly why the same old Henry Paulson-type financial "experts" are still runnng the Washington show. Moyers interviewed a real live "socialist" this evening, a guy named Mike Davis, who had a lot of very interesting and illuminating things to say about the history of this country -- and its future. If there is any hope for the world, it's with people like Moyers and Davis.
It is the way of the Tao to act without acting, to conduct affairs without trouble, to taste without discerning flavor, to consider what is small to be great, and to consider a few as many, and to recompense injury with kindness.
The master of the Tao anticipates things that are difficult while they are easy, and does things that would become great while they are small. All difficult things in the world are sure to arise from a previous state in which they were easy, and all great things from one in which they were small. Therefore, the sage, while he never does what is great, is able on that account to accomplish the greatest things. . . .
Lao Tsu


  1. Regarding the so called war on drugs, the war is actually on any ideology that would reduce the profit on the creation, sale, and use of so called illegal drugs. Illegal drugs are a multi billion dollar industry in Amerikkka and the profiteer is ultimately the US Government. While purporting to show a to wish to stem the flow of drugs into this country the powers that be know full well that illegal drugs support huge sectors of our economy. Why do we so seldom hear of a huge cargo ship carrying thousands of pounds of drugs or planes whose holds are filled with illegal substances being intercepted -- while for years we have watched on the nightly news the sensational stories of the huge bust of a drug pusher arrested in our local area with a few pounds of cocaine. Drugs are one of Amerikkkas largest industries and employ millions of folks who do not what to wind up on the unemployment line --from the judges who preside over hundreds of thousands of drug cases daily to the DA and attorneys who represent the accused . In short, the lions share of our judicial system is supported by the illegal importation of drugs into this country.
    Consider also, that under US seizure rules, all profit from the ill gotten gains of the drug seller become the profit of the government. Whether he be the high roller at the end of my block or the Columbian cartel seller unlucky enough to be arrested in the US, ultimately the cars, boats ,houses, and cash wind up in the pockets of US government officials. (At that that point the hapless dealer must import still greater amounts of money into the US while the local boy who has had all his cash seized must borrow form relatives to pay attorney fees and court costs)
    Lets move on to the prison industry and the numerous towns that are supported by nothing but the prisons where the majority of drug users and sellers are housed. The food supply industry, laundry service even the telephone monopoly which must be used to phone an inmate. Every one of them no bid contracts to rival Halliburton in Iraq. Not to mention the daily ongoing building and construction of new prisons all over this country (which are not suffering a slowdown in spite of the recession) as well as the maintanece of the existing ones and hiring of correctional officers and staff all down the line. Among industrialized countries the US has the largest prison population and most of them are drug users not hedge fund managers or serial killers and most of the prison industry is supported by the incarceration of drug users who in reality should be in rehabs. Unfortunately there are few publically supported rehabs which would offer actual help to addicts as there is conveniently little money left over for that purpose. In addition the end user, the teen ager or 1st time offender will spend a year, or years on probation paying into the system on a monthly basis while receiving little or no treatment.
    Were drugs legalized and the profit motive for selling and promoting drug use removed, entire sectors of our economy would crumble. The powers that be are not stupid and they know which side their bread is buttered on. ashevillekat

  2. Well, Ashvillekat, huge sectors of our economy are already crumbling. One more reason to simply let it all go. When the monetary system is gone, then the incentive for big time drug dealing will also be gone. And, sure, legalize it. We don't have to wait for Armageddon, legalize it now. But with government controls. And the recognition of drug addiction as a disease, as is the policy in many European countries. It's all about jobs in any case, an underground economy that exists because many people on the margins have no other choice. So give them a choice, offer them decent (and I repeat, DECENT) jobs. The social cost of drug addiction is huge so instead put the money into something positive.


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