19 June 2004

From .::Common Dreams::. A History Lesson

Far too frequently, unthinking neo-conservatives extoll the virtues of the free market, believing that they will somehow reach the financial heights of the duplicitous priests of privatization they consider their elected representatives. They seek privatization of everything from public schools to social security. What the neo-con congregation doesn't know, mainly because they're too stupid to think, is that the free market they yearn for is neither free, nor the ladder to financial success.
A totally "free" market where corporations reign supreme, just like the oppressive governments of old, Jefferson said could transform America "...until the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man."

As Jefferson realized, with no government "interference" by setting the rules of the game of business and fair taxation, there will be no middle class.

Although this may come as a sudden realization to many, we've really known it all our lives.

For example, every year, millions of Americans revisit Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" about Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob (and Tiny Tim) Cratchit. Yet somehow Americans fail to realize the subtext of the story (and so many of Dickens' other works). That subtext is that the middle class is not a normal thing: exploited workers are the norm. In fact, in the six-thousand-year history of the "civilized" world, a middle class emerging in any nation has been such a rarity as to be historically invisible.
Beginning with the Interstate Commerce Commission Act of 1887 —the first federal law regulating the abuse of monopoly power— the mythical free market, that created such desirable American institutions like sweatshops filled with minor children working from sun-up to sundown, has had to be regulated. Without the dreaded "interference" of the government, there would be no eight-hour workdays, nor would there be the concept of a "weekend" for that matter. The soldiers returning home from war would not have been able to attend college on the GI Bill (and thereby better their chances of climbing the corporate ladder) or buy a home with VA loans.

...to be continued

18 June 2004

Wow! What an Economy!
May marked the nation's third straight month of job growth ...The strongest service-sector bets are in education, health care, and state and local government. The single best choice may be to join the ranks of registered nurses (623,000 new jobs).

But here's the depressing news: Of the top 10 occupations with the rosiest projections, seven are by and large poorly paid McJobs: retail (596,000 new jobs by 2012), customer service (460,000), food preparation (454,000), cashiers (454,000), janitors (414,000), waiters and waitresses (367,000), and nursing aides (343,000). And the .::BLS::. [Bureau of Labor Statistics] admits its numbers don't distinguish between full-time jobs with benefits and part-time or temp work. In other words, there will be plenty of jobs, but far fewer careers.

...the gist trickles down through the media and career counselors, and through the anecdotes of friends and relatives. The result? A rapid drop in enrollment at Web, tech-related, and manufacturing programs, and a stampede into programs for accounting, education, and especially nursing. Some of the cheaper nursing programs, at technical schools, already have one- to two-year waiting lists, and programs elsewhere can cost $60,000.

.::read the rest::.

But wait a minute, the GOP-ites all say that the economy is doing so swell under their free-market driven guidance, that the outsourcing they think so much of will leave the privileged citizens of this country with the highly technical, high paying jobs. With the dubious exception of nursing aides, there isn't a single job category that could be considered highly-skilled in any of those named by the BLS. What gives? Surely the repugnant... uh, rethuglicans aren't lying to their faithful free market minions? Surely the government's own agency is having a bit of fun at our expense...

16 June 2004

Best Interests

Just a quick thought on the constant debate among white Democrats about why poor white folks vote against their best interests:

It's nothing new! Don't they remember the Civil War? As many non-blacks love to point out, most white people in the South didn't own slaves, but those poor ass crackaz came out in droves to support the rights of slave owners to keep their darkies in shackles. Why? Well, for gawwd's sake, because what feels more satisfying than being BETTER THAN someone else and having them be the scapegoat for all your problems?!!

If they were thinking in their best interests, they would have seen that economically it would have been better to support abolition, like most in the North did, so that the plantation owners (and the companies that hired slaves from them) would have to pay someone a decent wage for work that needed to be done.

As my friend likes to say: white folks will be white folks! If there is someone to look down on, then by golly that IS in their best interest.

13 June 2004

Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change

Still more experienced ex-officials feel compelled to weigh in on Chimpy's total incompetence.
26 former diplomats and military officials, including many who served in Republican administrations, have a signed a statement calling for the defeat of President Bush in November. Their names and some of the posts they have held are:

Avis T. Bohlen — assistant secretary of State for arms control, 1999-2002; deputy assistant secretary of State for European affairs 1989-1991.

Retired Adm. William J. Crowe Jr. — chairman, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Committee, 1993-94; ambassador to Britain, 1993-97; chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1985-89.

Jeffrey S. Davidow — ambassador to Mexico, 1998-2002; assistant secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, 1996

William A. DePree — ambassador to Bangladesh, 1987-1990.

Donald B. Easum — ambassador to Nigeria, 1975-79.

Charles W. Freeman Jr. — assistant secretary of Defense, International Security Affairs, 1993-94; ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 1989-1992.

William C. Harrop — ambassador to Israel, 1991-93; ambassador to Zaire, 1987-1991.

Arthur A. Hartman — ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1981-87; ambassador to France, 1977-1981.

Retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar — commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, overseeing forces in the Middle East, 1991-94; deputy chief of staff, Marine Corps, 1990-94.

H. Allen Holmes — assistant secretary of Defense for special operations, 1993-99; assistant secretary of State for politico-military affairs, 1986-89.

Robert V. Keeley — ambassador to Greece, 1985-89; ambassador to Zimbabwe, 1980-84.

Samuel W. Lewis — director of State Department policy and planning, 1993-94; ambassador to Israel, 1977-1985.

Princeton N. Lyman — assistant secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, 1995-98; ambassador to South Africa, 1992-95.

Jack F. Matlock Jr. — ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1987-1991; director for European and Soviet Affairs, National Security Council, 1983-86; ambassador to Czechoslovakia, 1981-83.

Donald F. McHenry — ambassador to the United Nations, 1979-1981.

Retired Air Force Gen. Merrill A. McPeak — chief of staff, U.S. Air Force, 1990-94.

George E. Moose — assistant secretary of State for African affairs, 1993-97; ambassador to Senegal, 1988-91.

David D. Newsom — acting secretary of State, 1980; undersecretary of State for political affairs, 1978-1981; ambassador to Indonesia, 1973-77

Phyllis E. Oakley — assistant secretary of State for intelligence and research, 1997-99.

James Daniel Phillips — ambassador to the Republic of Congo, 1990-93; ambassador to Burundi, 1986-1990.

John E. Reinhardt — professor of political science, University of Vermont, 1987-91; ambassador to Nigeria, 1971-75.

Retired Air Force Gen. William Y. Smith — deputy commander in chief, U.S. European Command, 1981-83.

Ronald I. Spiers — undersecretary-general of the United Nations for Political Affairs, 1989-1992; ambassador to Pakistan, 1981-83.

Michael Sterner — deputy assistant secretary of State for Near East affairs, 1977-1981; ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, 1974-76.

Retired Adm. Stansfield Turner — director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1977-1981.

Alexander F. Watson — assistant secretary of State for Inter-American affairs, 1993-96; deputy permanent representative to the U.N., 1989-1993.

.::LA Times Article::.
.::National Press Club::.

It becomes less deniable everyday, he is running this country into the ground and has made morons feel comfortable espousing their ignorance. Chimpy isn't stupid, even if he is only semi-literate, he's just evil, and he makes others of his kind (and the weak-minded) quite happy.

The predictable response from the knuckle-dragging neo-conservative contingency will be that the signatories are all a bunch of commie, pinko, leftist, marxist, fascist liberals who hate America. Awww...