Monday, May 30, 2011

                                                                  US 491 in the Navajo Nation 25 miles north of Gallup, NM

 Getting What We Deserve

An article in the Austrian newspaper die Presse, by Erich Vogt, entitled "Has The American Dream Faded Away," contains some interesting statistics about what has occurred in the United States since the 2008 economic crisis. The translation is provided by the web site Watching America:

"Eighteen months after the onset of the crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported a 5.2 percent increase in productivity while workers’ income rose only 0.3 percent. This means that only six percent of the productivity gains were passed on to the labor force.

The remaining 94 percent, with a book value of $2 trillion, was divided up between business owners, management and stockholders, as well as put into large-scale stock buy-back actions."

I rest my case. 


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another Week In Palestine

A number of Palestinian evacuate Ramadan al-Daghma who was wounded by Israeli force during a peaceful demonstration in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, 20 May 2011

 The Palestinian Center For Human Rights issues weekly reports on Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied territories, i.e., the West Bank and Gaza, which is the portion of Palestine that Israel hasn't already stolen and ethnically cleansed of native Palestinians to make part of the Zionist state of Israel, that is, less than 20 percent of historic Palestine. Although this tiny portion of the original Palestine is where everyone wants Palestine to form their independent state, Israel has taken the most fertile land and almost all the water resources in the region and poisoned much of what is left as part of its ongoing effort to ethnically cleanse even what remains of Palestine, while at the same time -- in order that the theft of land and ethnic cleansing can continue unabated -- intentionally delaying the so-called peace process for the past 45 years and blaming the delays on the Palestinians, with the complicity of the US government and the US media.

You won't learn from the US media, for example, that there were 38 "incursions" by the Israeli military into Palestinian towns last week. These are where the Israeli army, whenever it feels like it, rolls into a town in full force and disrupts life, often in the middle of the night, often breaking down doors, searching entire houses, leaving the contents of drawers and cupboard on the floors. Palestinians have no recourse to this. And they are the ones who are called terrorists. This goes on week after week, year after year.

Reading through these reports give a small sense of the hell Palestinians have been living under since 1948 when the US and its European allies unleashed Zionism on the Palestinian people. The Zionist project, which was always to obliterate the Palestinians, to erase them, continues, and any effort at resistance the Palestinians have made has been labeled as terrorism. If you want to know what terrorism really is, read just one of these reports. Under "Publications" in the bar at the top of the page you will find the weekly, and annual, reports.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Poor Farm

It looked like other farms, but it didn't look like them. The big, wood frame, hip roofed farmhouse sat in the middle of a big lawn and there were huge, old trees all around and the lawn was neatly mowed. There was the barn, with the big loft.

But there wasn't a car or pickup truck or tractor in the driveway, no machinery anywhere, no dog, not cats, no chickens. The shades were always drawn and the windows were dark. When we passed it on our way to visit my aunts and uncles,  either my older brother or sister would chirp up and say, "That's the poor farm." I almost got the feeling I was seeing something a little bit forbidden.

Poor Farms, as Wikipedia puts it, "were county or town-run residences where paupers (mainly elderly and disabled people) were supported at public expense. They were common in the United States beginning in the middle of the 19th century and declined in use after the Social Security Act took effect in 1935 with most disappearing completely by about 1950." And in the Puritan strain of Christianity brought over from the old country, "poverty was seen as a dishonorable state caused by a lack of the moral virtue of industriousness."

And I remember one time when my aunts and uncles were discussing someone they had known when they were younger, a distant relative, and I remember my Uncle Roy, whose every word I hung on, saying, "I guess he's living at the poor farm."

There was silence for a moment. Uncle Roy's tone of voice was not as loud and boisterous as it always was. It was less confident, and soft, and my aunts and uncles and adult cousins all paused and stared, at nothing in particular, for a few seconds, until someone finally changed the subject.

And now I hear that a Democrat, a Cathy Hochul, has won an upset victory in a Republican congressional district special election in rural New York state, and that the issue was the Republicans' plan to do away with the senior citizens' health care program, Medicare.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

While Rome Burns:

 Update: Since I wrote the post below we are informed that there is a meltdown in not just one but three reactors -- the fuel rods in three of them have at least partially and possibly completely melted down. As I say below, we have been and will be lied to about this disaster. And where are those who, based on the lies we were told immediately after the tsunami, were spouting off about how little danger, after all, nuclear radiation posed. More bad news is yet to come, guaranteed.

A Nuclear Slumpdown

At least one of the nuclear reactors has already melted down at Fukishima Dai-ichi nuclear complex in Japan damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. The situation  is much more serious than we have been led to believe, and is deteriorating. The release of nuclear radiation has been massive and continues.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Voodoo You Can Believe In:
The Obama domination of the news cycle

After the seemingly spontaneous, billionaire organized, billionaire funded, nominally working class tea bagger movement gave us a congress November past in which, according to conventional wisdom, 32 percent of its members owe their offices to tea bagger support, Republicans for months controlled the news headlines and the agenda in Washington, and John Boehner, the new and newly empowered House Speaker, became a household word.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Asked For It

Proof that my housekeeper died and was buried at sea.