Monday, February 28, 2011

Excavating the Future

¡Hola! Everybody...
The alternative online magazine, Subversify, has published my reflections on Wisconsin (click here). Feel free to go there and comment. The following is somewhat of a follow-up to that article...

* * *

-=[ The Future is Now ]=-

A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it.

The CEO takes 11 cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, 'Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.'

I was raised to believe in the American Dream. I believed that if I worked hard enough, if I was smart enough, if I got good grades in school, went to a decent college, played by the rules, and worked really really hard, that I could grab at least a measure of that American dream. When I was a child, I was assured that the depth of American ingenuity and expertise would save us all and that we would become an enlightened society pursuing the further reaches of human nature with the increase of leisure time, as technology and human evolution converged to create a more noble model of society. A great society preoccupied with eradicating poverty, hunger, and disease.

I believed in an American future in which we would conquer space, where solutions for previously untreatable diseases were right around the corner. I was assured that the tension between technological innovation and the environmental havoc it sometimes caused would be resolved.

I believed in this dream because so many people were actually out there on the frontlines fighting to ensure such a society. Everywhere people were engaged in critically questioning the status quo. People of color, women, and people of different sexual orientation were fighting and challenging the oppressive institutionalized systems that kept us from becoming a greater whole. And in spite of all the conflict, there was the real sense of hope in that people were doing more than talking about it -- we were all somehow engaged in ensuring the American Dream for all people.

When I was a child, I was assured that we would develop viable alternative energy sources. Lies. A cure for cancer. Lies. I was told of a future wherein people -- for the first time in human history -- could commit the bulk of their lives for their intellectual, spiritual, and material benefit. Lies.

Welcome to the future, my friends. I live in a city where it is illegal to be black or brown. Here the color of your skin, not your grades, determination, or educational attainment, matters most. Today, being smart is considered elitist. Worst of all, today you work longer hours for less money -- if you’re fortunate enough to be working at all. You’re less likely to be able to have access to decent health care, if you have any health care options.

Welcome to the future, it is now -- a future of disappointment. And the only reason you haven’t noticed is because you’re too busy jerking off to the latest online celebrity sex tape or watching “reality” shows of “celebrities” whose talents apparently have more to do with sucking NBA cock than being able to actually sing or dance. Or perhaps you’re too busy watching American Idol or Snowdrift Snookie’s latest idiotic political pronouncements. Either way, we’re amusing ourselves to death.

For the past few weeks, regular, working-class people in Wisconsin have been staging mass protests in numbers that dwarf anything the Pee Farters -- with their access to billionaire dollars -- could only dream of. Sustained, mass protests fighting for the right to bargain collectively, arguably one of the main reasons we ever had a middle class of any worth in this country.

Sadly, the “libruhl” media (inexplicably owned by a handful of multinational corporations) has effectively ignored, misinterpreted, or downplayed this moment in history. God forbid some dimwit neocon Medicare recipient farts at a town hall meeting and the same quiescent media will stampede over itself to cover it, dissect its fragrance ad nauseum, and pontificate endlessly on its meaning.

The major economic theory of the past 30 years, the trickle down theory, is not just a cruel hoax, but most of the good industrial jobs have left the country, and the middle class has been disemboweled. There is no free time. You’re fortunate if you can get a job whose major requirement is knowing how to ask, “Want fries with that?”

Still, while you and I struggle to make ends meet, living lives of quiet desperation, the wealthiest Americans have quintupled their net worth, even in the midst of an economic disaster that only a fool would label a recession.

Here is the American Dream of the future today: no jobs, no prospects, no leverage, no short-term solutions, no long-term plans, no big ideas to save us. While the bottom four-fifths struggle to stay afloat, and the upper one-fifth cautiously tread water, the top 1 percent continue to accumulate wealth at a rate not seen since the Gilded Age.

In the future of today, CEOs earn monster salaries, corporations receive taxpayer welfare, and we have half the U.S. Congress boasting of being millionaires. Meanwhile, medical liabilities bankrupt the rest of us at record levels, one person in ten is out of work, and food stamp usage sets new records every month.

Even with near-record unemployment, the Department of Commerce reported in November 2010 that U.S. companies just had their best quarter... ever. Businesses recorded profits at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion in the third quarter of 2010, which is the highest rate (in non-inflation-adjusted figures) since the government began keeping records more than 60 years ago.

Shrinking incomes, fewer jobs... but bigger corporate profits. Not a good sign. Somehow, many of you have been convinced that the answer is doing more of the same: give more to the rich and we’ll all benefit from the resultant odiferous trickle down. What’s obvious is that the rich are not only dedicated to hanging on to what they have (duh!) but also committed to accumulating more, gets maybe a yawn from the dumb-down, apathetic American voter. In fact, our country's concentration of wealth is worse than Egypt.

This is nothing but class warfare and when you try to show, whether through charts and graphs or real-life examples, that the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful, you’re labeled as unpatriotic, a socialist and/ or communist. What often happens is that, instead of yelling back, “Hell, yes, we’re talking fucking class warfare!” liberals usually fell over themselves in apology, vehemently denying the accusation. They react as if talking about class warfare is tantamount to treason. Center-right politicians like Obama get spooked and fall in line, saying “Look, Eddie, we can’t do social engineering through the tax code. And there’s no reason to declare class warfare.” It’s pathetic.

The wealth gap has become so alarming that even billionaires like Warren Buffett acknowledge that the Bush-era tax cuts should be allowed to expire. In fact, Buffett contends, the wealthiest Americans should pay even more in taxes. The people in Wisconsin, representative of the majority of Americans, that bottom 4/5 who are barely keeping afloat, are now fighting this fight and it barely registers a yawn from many of you.

Someone suckered us along the way. The future we bought into was great until we fell asleep and woke up to find that at some points the future becomes the present, and the fact that it was once the future doesn’t mean it’s all fucked up once it arrives.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization...

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Friday Sex Blog [Sexual Ignorance]

¡Hola! Everybody…
Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, is on tape (as part of a prank) as stating that he was considering planting thugs in that state’s labor protests in order to foment violence (with the intent of undermining the public's First Amendment rights). I’m not that surprised a conservative would consider such an action or that he would rationalize it. After all, it’s part of the conservative authoritarian mindset. What I find obscene is that almost no one in the mainstream news considers this worthy of a sustained and prolonged investigation.

Later today, my reflections on Wisconsin in particular and US social policy in general will be posted at Subversify, the online magazine that actually has the cojones to publish anything I write and which offers an alternative and (yes) subversive, perspective from the corporate media.

The following entries are true…

* * *

-=[ They Actually Said That ]=-

When the subject is punishment, the predicate is religion

“I personally object to vaccinating children against a disease that 100% preventable with proper sexual behavior.” -- Leslie Unruh, director, National Abstinence Clearing House (link)

“If a woman wants to give birth to a healthy baby, Planned Parenthood kicks her out with a referral slip. After all, adoption is not where the money is.” -- Douglas Scott, president, Life Decisions International (link)

“The federal courts, and the Supreme Court in particular, have “systematically attacked Christianity.” -- Tony Perkins, president, Family Research Council (link)

“America must pursue a civil society that will democratically embrace its essential moral duties, including… caring for children born and unborn.” -- Proclamation of President George W. Bush, declaring January 18th “Sanctity of Life Day” (link)

“Course materials and instruction relating to sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases should include emphasis, provided in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense.” -- Texas Health and Safety Code 163.002 (link)

“The Parents Television Council does not censor. The First Amendment was instituted to guarantee precisely the type of activities pursued by the PTC: free speech and disseminating information.” -- Parents Television Council, which pressures the government to remove “objectionable” TV shows from the air (link)

“Hardcore pornography, or material depicting actual sex acts, promotes the idea that human beings can be sexually used and abused without consequences. If we tolerate pornographic material that encourages people to indulge their darkest sexual fantasies, we cannot act surprised when millions do so in real life as well.” -- Daniel Weiss, media analyst for Focus on the Family: “Porn Feeds Human Trafficking,” Denver Post, Op-Ed, January 27, 2006

“We need to yell it to the top of the rooftops that these condoms we’re sending down to you don’t protect you… [You] have a false sense of security. So I think we’re sending the wrong message when we use taxpayer dollars to give condoms out to these kids and we don’t tell them ‘By the way, you’ll probably be dead at age 24 by cervical cancer. But we’re giving you condoms, so go do your thing.’ To me, abstinence is the only way.” -- Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), at Congressional Hearing on Cervical Cancer and HPV (link)

“When two people of the same sex… adopt children… I think what you have in many respects is state-sanctioned child abuse.” -- Radio Host Janet Parshall, on CNN’S Larry King Live (link)

Porn users “giver lame justification for their behavior like: ‘It’s harmless,’ or ‘Everybody’s doing it’ By doing this they ignore the effect their problem is having on people around them. This behavior is not OK, it’s not even almost OK. This habit is a perverse and ridiculous intrusion into [a] relationship.” -- Dr. Phil McGraw (link)

“[Journalists and politicians like you] are in what we call the reality-based community, people who believe that solutions emerge from the judicious study of discernible reality. That’s not the way the real world works anymore.” -- Senior advisor to President Bush, in conversation with journalist David Susskind (link)

“I’m always a little irritated when I hear the criticism of abstinence, because abstinence is absolutely 100 percent effective in eradicating a sexually transmitted disease.” -- Former First Lady Laura Bush, apparently utterly clueless to the fact that abstinence fails in 88% of teens who pledge it (link)

If the public can be convinced that condoms offer certain -- or nearly certain -- protection from pregnancies and STDs, then the [proponents] can argue that the only thing holding people back from free sexual expression is outdated, irrelevant religious restrictions.” -- Focus on the Family, on why they must discourage trust in condoms (link)


“This is just a short note to express my heartfelt thanks to you and the entire staff of Focus on the Family fro your help and support during the past few challenging months. I would also greratly appreciate it if you would convey any appreciation to the good people from all parts of the country who wrote to tell me that they were praying for me and for my family during this period. As long as I serve on the Supreme Court I will keep in mind the trust that has been placed on me. I hope that we will have an opportunity to meet personally at some point in the future. In the meantime my entire family and I hope that you and the Focus on the Family staff know how much we appreciate all that you have done.” -- supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, to James Dobson after Alito had been confirmed to the Supreme Court (link)

* * *

Yes, these resourceful idiots actually did say all of the above.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Update: I've added a couple more quotes and I've added links (where possible) to all the quotes above so that readers can gauge for themselves whether the comments are properly contextualized.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Definitions for a Neo-Liberal Planet Gone Mad

¡Hola! Everybody...
Past few days, I’ve run across the following several times on the’net. Considering everything that’s happening, I thought I’d share...

* * *

-=[ New World Order Terms Glossary ]=-

by James Hannum

The economy = the corporate global economy.

Industrialization = corporate usurpation of production and destruction of the independent craftsman.

Economic development = replacement of small businesses and self-sufficient local economies with the corporate system.

Economic freedom = working for the corporations and buying from the corporations.

Growth = increased corporate profits.

Job creation =

1. (Global South) sweatshops, plantations, child labor.

2. (Global North) paper-shufflers.

Mobility of capital and ideas = rootlessness, unaccountability.

Competitive production costs = elimination of environmental, worker safety, & child labor laws.

Free trade = massive oil-burning transportation system that centralizes economic power in the corporations.

Privatization = corporate appropriation of public lands and resources.

The poor = people who live sustainably in true communities and diverse cultures, crafting their own homes, clothing, and utensils, and growing their own organic food, thus requiring little or no cash income. These millions are termed “poor” because industrial capitalism places no value on communities, culture, and the goods and services people provide for themselves.

Globalization = destruction of all cultures.

Stabilization = subjugation.

Shift to export economy = corporate agribusiness theft of peasants' land forcing migration into big city slums, sweatshops, and massive corporate mono-crop plantations.

Business-friendly environment = corporate puppet regime installed by U.S. military, CIA, Mossad, MI6, etc., and controlled by detailed and conditional World Bank loans.

European Union = elimination of local democracy and homogenization of Europe's diverse cultures.

Costs outsourcing = subsidies, bailouts, and tax breaks given to corporations in exchange for campaign contributions and cash payments.

Media = propaganda machine owned by corporations and funded by corporate advertising.

Industry consultant = corporate lobbyist.

Market creation = advertising and selling increasingly complex, costly, and unnecessary consumer products.

Automobile = an expensive, dangerous, stressful, and environmentally destructive personal isolation chamber which disrupts, disperses, and destroys compact pedestrian communities.

Infrastructure = subsidized freeway sprawl forcing reliance on the automobile.

Television = an addictive corporate advertising and “news” propaganda device, which wastes time formerly used for family, friends, community, and the reading of books.

Peace-keeping forces = occupying army.

Insurgent = local citizen resisting occupation.

Military/ industrial complex = $Trillions/year in obscene upper class profits made from thousands/year senseless lower class deaths.

American Dream = Corporate Dream.

“Fascism is the merger of state and corporation.” --Benito Mussolini

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.” -- Albert Einstein

My name is Eddie and I'm in recovery from civilization...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Real New York [Colossus]

¡Hola! Everybody…
It’s cold, windy, and it’s February. Regardless, I would rather live here than whatever Armpit, USA you call home. LOL!

* * *

-=[ I Love Manhattan ]=-

There can be no destination. No map. Who among them can complain. Live here long enough and you have a compass… Let it happen. These are the terms of the truce he has made with Broadway.

-- Colson Whitehead, The Colossus of New York

Aussie singer/ songwriter, Michael Ress, has written a new song and he wants you to help him pick the best version (click here). It’s called “I Love Manhattan” and it’s a fitting tribute to what is in actuality, The Center of the Known Universe. My favorite version is the one sung by the various tourists and New Yorkers:

I like the video, it captures the diversity, culture, and excitement that is a lure for so many people who come here to live from all over the world. There are two other versions, one for kids even. LOL!

As for the other boroughs, you ask (fuck Stranded Staten Island!)? Mr. Ress says he has more songs coming up…

Check out the Facebook page (click here).



Friday, February 18, 2011

The Friday Sex Blog [The Heart of the Truth]

¡Hola! Everybody...
First, I get shanghaied into dinner with a former supervisee. Actually, I suggested dinner, but I didn't count on it becoming an extended convo about my project and a drinking binge (his). By the time I convinced to go home it was late.

Drunk people are boring, BTW.

On my way home, I'm stoked because I have a fire in my belly about a post I have germinating -- inspired by the recent events in Wisconsin. But before I get to my place, I get a call from a former lover and she needs to talk. She's a dear friend, and she's always been there for me. Besides, she's like, one of the hawtest women I have ever known (I'm superficial, shoot me). Already long story shorter: By the time I get home, it's really late and that fire in my belly -- the story I had germinating for a few days -- it's gone...

It's Friday and that means it's all about sex...

* * *

-=[ Knowing, Feeling & Living ]=-

Go through the motions and look as if...

My father loved telling us to “go through the motions” and appear as if we knew what we were doing. I don’t think he meant it as a way of life, but as a way to adapt temporarily to a strange situation. I think what he meant was that sometimes taking your cue from keen observation was necessary before knowing the truth.

Everybody knows at least some truth. For example, most people know it’s unhealthy to overeat. Of those who know this truth, less feel the truth as they go through a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream. Fewer still are able to change their behavior based on knowing and feeling the truth.

The truth, as many of us know, is harder to live than to feel or know. Knowledge is easiest. The mind is more easily changed than emotions or the body, so the mind is quicker to change. Of course, political and religious fundamentalists are the exception. For the rest of us, you can hear something and almost immediately, you know the truth of it. You might feel inspired to run around and tell others this truth. You might even write or blog about it. You can create a whole way of life based on this truth. And still not much will have changed in your life. For example, you might now the truth that exercise improves your cardiovascular fitness and still sit on your butt.

After your mind has understood a truth, the next to change are your emotions. It often takes years of suffering before the truth of something sinks in deep enough for your tears to flow and enthusiasm to grow in response to a truth. Yet even your capacity to feel truth with great sensitivity -- your emotional intelligence -- is not enough for real transformation.

The last part of you to be touched by the truth is your body. Being more solid than your mind or emotions, your body changes last. You can know what you are supposed to do, and you can feel the truth of it, long before you are willing to live it with your body. You may know that you shouldn’t date that asshole, you may feel the truth sending you messages from the pit of your stomach, but you may not be ready to live that truth, so you go through the guilt-ridden motions for yet another bout of suffering.

Your body’s habits, the motions you go through, are the least open to accept truth and last to change.

Because your body is the densest part of your self-process, sex is often the last part of your life to be transformed by the truth. For example, you might know that love could be the foundation for sex. Eventually, you learn to feel your lover emotionally during the clinch of passion. Finally, you learn to live your motions as love during sex.

Even during the most intensely erotic, pleasurable, or painful sexual moments, you can learn to breathe as love, thrash as love, thrust as love, receive as love, and speak as love with your entire body. Sexually, and in every moment throughout the day, you can be love by opening up, feeling, breathing in the moment whether it be pain or pleasure, and exhaling love from the deepest part of your heart as you go through the motions as love. Sex can become the doing of love with your entire being.

You can train your body, like an athlete, to reach the farther reaches of love -- to go the distance as love. And when you feel you are about to collapse from exhaustion, you can give love through your breath and through your actions just a little bit more. Something as simple as the offer of a smile, the invitation of an open hand, or a caress, for just a moment more than your habit would allow you. What happens is that over time your life blossoms as love’s doing stretched -- again and again.

Today, and throughout your days, try to slow down and feel your heart beating. Go in and feel deeply the source of the stream of love flowing through you. Let you body open as love, soften your belly, and imagine breathing in and out through your heart. Offer that. Offer the deepest part of your heart and allow more love to move your body every conscious moment.

Ask yourself, "How would love walk down the street?" Walking, breathing love in and out of your heart, feeling the outer edge of your carnally fashioned form, how do your hips sway as you walk down the street?

How can you make a gift of the truth of your heart to your co-workers, even when you find them disagreeable? Should you smile, tell a joke, act kindly, touch, or walk away to give them space? Every day, practice opening as love as your body’s offering. From deep in your heart out to a moments infinite possibilities.

Knowing truth, of it self, is pretty much useless; feeling it is profound; but living it makes all the difference in the world.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why Not Socialism?

e¡Hola! Everybody...
The following is the result of reading several polls showing more Americans hold favorable views about socialism than those redneck Pee Farters... (see here and here)

In my estimation, nobody sells socialism better than the Republicans and the Teabaggers. For example, by labeling as “socialist” every policy that actually does people any good, they are actually making a convincing case for Americans that socialism must be a good thing.

Personally, I believe in mixed economies. The empirical proof demonstrates that the market is a miserable failure when it comes to health and education, for example. It’s also not good for long-term research and development. While I am no fan of the “market,” and also believe there’s no such thing as a “free” market, I’m also not going to throw it under the bus. but in my world, the market would be justly regulated and not seen as a cure all for social ills. This here is from the Democratic Socialists of America (click here)...

* * *

-=[ What is Democratic Socialism? ]=-

Questions and Answers from the Democratic Socialists of America

Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically -- to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.

Democracy and socialism go hand in hand. All over the world, wherever the idea of democracy has taken root, the vision of socialism has taken root as well—everywhere but in the United States. Because of this, many false ideas about socialism have developed in the US. With this pamphlet, we hope to answer some of your questions about socialism.

Q Doesn't socialism mean that the government will own and run everything?

Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy. But we do not want big corporate bureaucracies to control our society either. Rather, we believe that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect.

Today, corporate executives who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders make basic economic decisions affecting millions of people. Resources are used to make money for capitalists rather than to meet human needs. We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them.

Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives. Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned.

While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.

Q Hasn't socialism been discredited by the collapse of Communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe?

Socialists have been among the harshest critics of authoritarian Communist states. Just because their bureaucratic elites called them “socialist” did not make it so; they also called their regimes “democratic.” Democratic socialists always opposed the ruling party-states of those societies, just as we oppose the ruling classes of capitalist societies. We applaud the democratic revolutions that have transformed the former Communist bloc. However, the improvement of people’s lives requires real democracy without ethnic rivalries and/or new forms of authoritarianism. Democratic socialists will continue to play a key role in that struggle throughout the world.

Moreover, the fall of Communism should not blind us to injustices at home. We cannot allow all radicalism to be dismissed as “Communist.” That suppression of dissent and diversity undermines America’s ability to live up to its promise of equality of opportunity, not to mention the freedoms of speech and assembly.

Q Private corporations seem to be a permanent fixture in the US, so why work towards socialism?

In the short term we can’t eliminate private corporations, but we can bring them under greater democratic control. The government could use regulations and tax incentives to encourage companies to act in the public interest and outlaw destructive activities such as exporting jobs to low-wage countries and polluting our environment. Public pressure can also have a critical role to play in the struggle to hold corporations accountable. Most of all, socialists look to unions make private business more accountable.

Q Won't socialism be impractical because people will lose their incentive to work?

We don’t agree with the capitalist assumption that starvation or greed are the only reasons people work. People enjoy their work if it is meaningful and enhances their lives. They work out of a sense of responsibility to their community and society. Although a long-term goal of socialism is to eliminate all but the most enjoyable kinds of labor, we recognize that unappealing jobs will long remain. These tasks would be spread among as many people as possible rather than distributed on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, or gender, as they are under capitalism. And this undesirable work should be among the best, not the least, rewarded work within the economy. For now, the burden should be placed on the employer to make work desirable by raising wages, offering benefits and improving the work environment. In short, we believe that a combination of social, economic, and moral incentives will motivate people to work.

Q Why are there no models of democratic socialism?

Although no country has fully instituted democratic socialism, the socialist parties and labor movements of other countries have won many victories for their people. We can learn from the comprehensive welfare state maintained by the Swedes, from Canada’s national health care system, France’s nationwide childcare program, and Nicaragua’s literacy programs. Lastly, we can learn from efforts initiated right here in the US, such as the community health centers created by the government in the 1960s. They provided high quality family care, with community involvement in decision-making.

Q But hasn't the European Social Democratic experiment failed?

For over half a century, a number of nations in Western Europe and Scandinavia have enjoyed both tremendous prosperity and relative economic equality thanks to the policies pursued by social democratic parties. These nations used their relative wealth to insure a high standard of living for their citizens -- high wages, health care and subsidized education. Most importantly, social democratic parties supported strong labor movements that became central players in economic decision-making. But with the globalization of capitalism, the old social democratic model becomes ever harder to maintain. Stiff competition from low-wage labor markets in developing countries and the constant fear that industry will move to avoid taxes and strong labor regulations has diminished (but not eliminated) the ability of nations to launch ambitious economic reform on their own. Social democratic reform must now happen at the international level. Multinational corporations must be brought under democratic controls, and workers’ organizing efforts must reach across borders.

Now, more than ever, socialism is an international movement. As socialists have always known, the welfare of working people in Finland or California depends largely on standards in Italy or Indonesia. As a result, we must work towards reforms that can withstand the power of multinationals and global banks, and we must fight for a world order that is not controlled by bankers and bosses.

Q Aren't you a party that's in competition with the Democratic Party for votes and support?

No, we are not a separate party. Like our friends and allies in the feminist, labor, civil rights, religious, and community organizing movements, many of us have been active in the Democratic Party. We work with those movements to strengthen the party’s left wing, represented by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The process and structure of American elections seriously hurts third party efforts. Winner-take-all elections instead of proportional representation, rigorous party qualification requirements that vary from state to state, a presidential instead of a parliamentary system, and the two-party monopoly on political power have doomed third party efforts. We hope that at some point in the future, in coalition with our allies, an alternative national party will be viable. For now, we will continue to support progressives who have a real chance at winning elections, which usually means left-wing Democrats.

Q If I am going to devote time to politics, why shouldn't I focus on something more immediate?

Although capitalism will be with us for a long time, reforms we win now—raising the minimum wage, securing a national health plan, and demanding passage of right-to-strike legislation—can bring us closer to socialism. Many democratic socialists actively work in the single-issue organizations that advocate for those reforms. We are visible in the reproductive freedom movement, the fight for student aid, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered organizations, anti-racist groups, and the labor movement. It is precisely our socialist vision that informs and inspires our day-to-day activism for social justice. As socialists we bring a sense of the interdependence of all struggles for justice. No single-issue organization can truly challenge the capitalist system or adequately secure its particular demands. In fact, unless we are all collectively working to win a world without oppression, each fight for reforms will be disconnected, maybe even self-defeating.

Q What can young people do to move the US towards socialism?

Since the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s, young people have played a critical role in American politics. They have been a tremendous force for both political and cultural change in this country: in limiting the US’s options in the war in Vietnam, in forcing corporations to divest from the racist South African regime, in reforming universities, and in bringing issues of sexual orientation and gender discrimination to public attention. Though none of these struggles were fought by young people alone, they all featured youth as leaders in multi-generational progressive coalitions. Young people are needed in today’s struggles as well: for universal health care and stronger unions, against welfare cuts and predatory multinational corporations. Schools, colleges and universities are important to American political culture. They are the places where ideas are formulated and policy discussed and developed. Being an active part of that discussion is a critical job for young socialists. We have to work hard to change people’s misconceptions about socialism, to broaden political debate, and to overcome many students’ lack of interest in engaging in political action. Off-campus, too, in our daily cultural lives, young people can be turning the tide against racism, sexism and homophobia, as well as the conservative myth of the virtue of “free” markets.

Q If so many people misunderstand socialism, why continue to use the word?

First, we call ourselves socialists because we are proud of what we are. Second, no matter what we call ourselves, conservatives will use it against us. Anti-socialism has been repeatedly used to attack reforms that shift power to working class people and away from corporate capital. In 1993, national health insurance was attacked as “socialized medicine” and defeated. Liberals are routinely denounced as socialists in order to discredit reform. Until we face, and beat, the stigma attached to the “S word,” politics in America will continue to be stifled and our options limited. We also call ourselves socialists because we are proud of the traditions upon which we are based, of the heritage of the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, and of other struggles for change that have made America more democratic and just. Finally, we call ourselves socialists to remind everyone that we have a vision of a better world.

* * *

My name is Eddie and I’m recovery from civilization...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Sermon [The Three Questions]

¡Hola! Everybody,
Story time!

* * *

-=[ The Three Questions ]=-

It’s amazing how sometimes I’m reminded of something I’ve read or heard and might have forgotten. The following is adapted from a collection of short stories written by Leo (War and Peace) Tolstoy.

Back in the day, there lived an emperor who searched for a philosophy of life. He realized he needed wisdom to guide him and how he ruled. None of the religions and philosophies of the time satisfied him, so he searched for a philosophy that was rooted in the experience of life.

After much thought, he came to the realization that he required answers to only three basic questions. With the answers to those three questions, he concluded, he would have all the guidance he needed. The three questions were as follows:

When is the most important time?

Who is the most important person?

What is the most important thing to do?

His quest led to a long search which takes up most of the original story, but eventually he finds the three answers when he encounters a hermit. What do you think the answers are? Look at the questions again, and pause before you read on…

We all know the answer to the first question, but it’s so obvious that oftentimes we forget it all the time. The most important time is now, of course. It’s the only time we have. Even in love, the only time we have is now. Love in the past is a memory and love in the future is a mere fantasy. We can only love in the now. If you want to tell a loved one how much you really love them, you should do it now. Not tomorrow. Not in five minutes. Now. Five minutes may be too late. If you need to make amends, don’t start thinking about all the reasons why you shouldn’t, or dwell on self-righteousness, or concoct reasons why you shouldn’t. Just do it now. The opportunity may not come again and you’ll be whining about how you didn’t seize the moment when you had the chance.

The answer to the second question is a little harder and profound. Very few people get this one right. When I first read the answer, it blew me away. The answer rips through the question in a way I never understood or imagined. The answer is that the most important person is the one you’re with.

My work involves listening to people deeply. It entails me being present in a way that’s sometimes exhausting because I’m listening on levels hardly ever utilized. In order for me to be able to listen in this manner, I have to have complete unconditional regard for the person. Listening, believe it or not, is a powerful healing mechanism. Have you ever been with someone who gave you their total attention? Do you remember how that feels?

Communication and love can only be shared with the person you are with, no matter who they are. The person you are with is the most important person in the world. People can feel that kind of attention. They respond.

The most common complaint among married couples is that they feel their partner doesn’t really listen to them. In a way, what that means is that they feel that their partner doesn’t make them feel valued anymore. If people actually were present with their loved ones, divorce lawyers would become a dying breed.

Most of the time in your life, you are by yourself. Then, the most important person, the one you are with, is you!

The answer to the emperor’s last question, “What is the most important thing to do?” is care. To care means bringing together being careful and caring. What does it mean to care?

Well, for me to care means compassion. If compassion can be represented by a dove (as it often is), then the wings of the dove are wisdom. Without wisdom compassion cannot ever soar. I always find it funny that in the Buddhist tradition, they differentiate between compassion and stupid compassion. To illustrate, I’ll share another story I heard at a retreat once. A woman had spent three months a loving-kindness retreat. Metta, a form of loving-kindness mediation intended to opening the heart, is very intense and liberating. Well shortly after leaving the retreat, this woman was attacked by a man in a dark alleyway. Luckily, her screams were heard by passerby who came to her rescue.

The incident really shook her and she wondered about all that loving-kindness practice. She went to her teacher and related the incident to her, hoping to get some guidance. Her teacher asked her, “weren’t you carrying an umbrella?” (the incident occurred during the monsoon season). The woman responded that yes she was carrying an umbrella. Her teacher smiled and told her, “Then you should’ve taken your umbrella, and with all the compassion in your heart, hit your assailant over the head repeatedly.”

That’s wise compassion and maybe that’s what’s meant by saying that the most import thing to do, right now, this very moment, is to care.

When is the most important moment? Now

Who is the most important person? The person you are with.

What is the most important thing to do? To care.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What I Want

¡Hola! Everybody…
It’s been cold up here in El Norte in the land of the snow. The best thing about cold weather is snuggling. I’m very needy and clingy and yes (!) it’s okay to say that! So, what I usually do is secretly crack the window so that the room gets cold and my lover has to cling to me. Tricks of the trade kiddos!. *wink*

BTW, don't forget to check out my reflections on love over at Subversify (click here)

Which brings me to today’s rant…

* * *

You Ask What I want

You ask me what I want
and my answer to you is
that I want it all --

I want the Sun and the Sky
and that elusive and playful sprite
that lives beneath your lips.

I want the sigh of the wind
as it wends its way through your hair
and the soft caress of your hand
on my hot skin.

I want the fires and the fragrance
of your memory...

turned like fine wine.

Grace is you, flowing with the night,
like a barely perceived ripple of water...

unknown to me and unseen.

2007 ©

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Friday Sex Blog [Escape from Intimacy]

¡Hola! Everybody…
I think we need more stuff like this:


You know the drill: if it’s Friday, it’s all about sex…

* * *

-=[ Intimacy & Relationships ]=-

Ahhhhh… Intimacy, the brass ring of coupling.

I’m going to be confrontational today and say right off the bat that most people wouldn’t know true intimacy even if it bit them on the ass. In fact, most people don’t want genuine intimacy, they want their needs met; that’s a horse of a different color, folks.

And I say this fully aware that I am a man writing about intimacy in a sexual context and that many women would perceive that as an impossible situation. LOL! In addition, I don’t even own a cat and probably have no business pontificating about relationships in the first place.

However, I have found that what people term intimacy is in actuality a perverted (distorted?) notion of what genuine intimacy entails. Contrary to the stereotype, men have no monopoly on the fear of intimacy. Women also fear intimacy, though in different ways than men. The same goes for emotions. Contrary to popular belief, women aren’t more emotionally aware than men, they just [mis]handle it differently. Emotional indulgence, just as its opposite -- emotional aversion -- does not equal emotional intelligence.

I have been single by choice for about 8-9 years -- since my divorce. This is a conscious choice, not an accident. I am not “between relationships.” This is part of who I am -- I am single. Many people don’t get this. They see it as you’re-single-until-the-next-relationship kinda/ sorta thingee. After all, it isn’t normal to not be in a relationship. The whole reason for existence is to hook up, no?


I’ll tell you why I am single, or at least part of the reason why I’m single. I am single because I have yet to meet someone who’s willing to be truly intimate. Women tell me all the time they want intimacy but what they really mean is that they have needs and I have to fulfill those needs somehow and when I do fulfill those needs that means we’re “intimate.” Of course, they don’t phrase in that way, but that’s what they mean.

I know.

Most people don’t even have a relationship with themselves to begin with. The search for “The One” is scary in this context. Do you people even realize the amount of pressure you put on a relationship these days? It’s as if I have to fulfill this vast range of roles and make you happy to boot! Lover, husband, father, mentor, mentee, soul mate, financial advisor, therapist, and counselor -- the list goes on and on.

Is it no small surprise that many relationships crash and burn? I think the first thing we need to look at is realistic expectations -- what we call in psychology reality testing. I do not want to, nor can I, make you happy. If you’re not happy to begin with, I damn sure cannot take you there. Nor do I want that responsibility even if I could pull off that miracle. I don’t want to be your all, your everything, that shit is fucking crazy and scary. Just thinking about that takes away any motivation I have to become intimate with you. Please, go find Daddy somewhere else! I ain’t it. Unless, of course, if I’m pulling your hair and smacking your ass while you’re screaming my name, then I’m your daddy. LOL!

I'm kidding...

Which brings me back to intimacy in relationships. People are always crying about the loss of spontaneity and intimacy in relationships. I know I’m going to burst some bubbles here but I’m going to say flat out that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, Snow White was a fairy tale, and intimacy takes work.

I’m being honest here ladies, when I say that I don’t care how physically attractive you are, after 2-3 years of steady fucking, you will occasionally be considered a chore and not a pleasure. I will be sitting with a friend somewhere and he’ll ask me if I can go to the game with him and I’ll turn to him with a look resignation on my face and tell him, “I can’t man, I gotta go home and fuck the wife.” Any man who tells you different is a fucking liar.

Spontaneity and intimacy -- true intimacy -- takes work and risking all there is in that pretty heart of yours. It takes practice, lots of practice. If you think that I will find having sex with you an attractive prospect after watching you scream insanely at the children, or nagging me to fix the fucking fence, then you done lost your mind. Don’t’ get me wrong I’m sure you’re struggling just as hard with any attraction for me when my idea of funny is farting and putting you in a headlock.

So, intimacy is work. It’s about risking it all and being vulnerable in profoundly scary ways. By the way, intimate sex is not the only form of sex and can get very boring very quickly. Sometimes -- in fact, a lot of the time -- you have to fuck. In any case, healthy sexuality begins with understanding and accepting yourself, your body, and sensual and sexual aspects of yourself. There are two powerful negative teachings about sex we all internalize to some degree. The first is that sex is bad; exciting, but bad. Sex is good only in the context of marriage or an “intimate” relationship. The second is that sex is exclusively about intercourse.

We here in the [un]Common Sense blog believe that sex is a good thing in life and sexuality is an integral -- even spiritual -- part of being a person. Sexuality, at least for me, includes everything from the flirtatious glance to a gentle caress, from passionate, even violent, intercourse, to loving and tender afterplay.

The real psychologically healthy question then is how to express sexuality so that it enhances your self-esteem, deepens your ability to be genuinely intimate, and increases satisfaction in your intimate relationship.



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bedbugs At CPAC Host Hotel

¡Hola! Everybody...
My blogger compatriot, Joe.MY.God, passed along the following and I just had to re-post it!

-=[ Bedbugs At CPAC Host Hotel ]=-

The host hotel of this year's Republican CPAC convention has an extensive and documented record of complaints for bedbug infestation. Apparently the blood-suckers have attacked guests and apparently still there, waiting to pounce on Michelle "Bat Shit Crazy" Bachmann.

The three-legged stool of conservatism is strong and united at CPAC! Yes, as intelligent and alive as a small piece of furniture. However, the stool may not last long, as the hotel they chose, the Marriott Wardham Park, seems to currently be infested with bedbugs. Yes, we knew that, but are there blood-sucking insects there too? Har har har. “I woke up seeing the bed bugs on the bed, on my shirt and even on the bed that I am not using. Unbelievable!!! The hotel staff wasn’t surprised with what happened at all. I will never stay here again,” one visitor wrote recently.
I couldn't write fiction/ satire this good!I'm fuckin dying here, cracking up like a fool, getting strange looks from my co-workers... LMAOOO!

One visitor to the hotel reported:

I attended the AWP Conference from February 2-6 and found a bed bug in my suitcase upon returning home. Had to throw out my suitcase and am now dealing with cleaning everything else I took with me. Don’t stay here.

I found a bed bug in my suitcase upon arriving at home. Today, I found live bugs in my bedroom and laundry room where my suitcase had been.

As noted on the other post, the jokes just write themselves.


Bed Bug Registry

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Reagan Con, pt. II

¡Hola! Everybody...
I’ll admit to missing Keith Olbermann (KO). The man called it as he saw it and it was rare he got his facts wrong. Plus, I just loved his tweaking the noses of bullies like Beckerhead (Glenn Beck, who’s self-destructing as we speak), Bill-O-the-Clown (Bill O’Reilly), and Blimpie (Rush Limbaugh), among others. I swear, Reagan’s birthday wasn’t the same without KO blasting the truth about him. He’s back (click here), or will be very soon, and my mother and I and about 1 million other nightly viewers will be looking forward to it.

As promised, the truth on the demented imbecile, Ronnie Raygun...

* * *

-=[ The Reagan Con: Winter in America ]=-

We did not -- repeat, did not -- trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we.

-- Ronald Reagan to a Televised national audience

Hopefully, you have read some good posts (here and here) separating the man from the myth. What follows is my own documentation of the failures and most egregious crimes of Reagan. But before that, I want to contextualize the so-called “Reagan Era.” I was a young man when Reagan and the “new” right ascended into power, forever changing America for the worst. Some of the consequences of Reagan’s policies (such as the Savings and Loan debacle) still haunt us. Most of all, Reagan was the ultimate inheritor of the “southern strategy,” the strategy to bring together disaffected (mostly southern) whites who wanted to blame minorities and civil rights gains for what they perceived as their losses.

Reagan was good at using the newer, coded, but no less racist language that attracted whites in large numbers. For example, Reagan never mentioned race overtly, but his discredited bullshit story of the “Welfare Queen” who drove a Cadillac didn’t have to mention skin color -- his base filled in the blanks. Similarly, when Reagan was asked to speak at the site of murdered civil rights workers, he invoked the right-wing meme of “states rights.” Many saw this as support for segregationist sentiments (who to this day still use the same “states rights” racial code). In fact, Reagan is on record as describing the Voting Rights Act as, “humiliating to the South.”

Ultimately, the greatest harm committed by Reagan, was his validation of the redefinition of “freedom” as corporate freedom. Government was the enemy and Reagan and his henchmen wanted to shrink it enough to drown it in a bathtub. Our current economic fractures have their root in Reagan’s misguided policies. But as fucked and cruel and vacuous as he was (his mind was most likely corroded by disease for at least one third of his two-term administration), he’s soft compared to his current day descendants -- all of whom are now trying to rewrite Reagan’s legacy...

As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald Reagan informed on fellow actors to the FBI.

As with all chickenhawks, Reagan was essentially a scared bully. For example, Reagan conducted one of the most absurd invasions of American history, targeting the tiny island of Grenada.

The Reagan administration was one of the most corrupt in American history, including by one estimate 31 Reagan era convictions, including 14 because of Iran-Contra and 16 in the Department of Housing & Urban Development scandal. By comparison, 40 government officials were indicted or convicted in the wake of Watergate. 47 individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes with 33 of these occurring during the Clinton administration itself.

Using a looser standard that included resignations, David R. Simon and D. Stanley Eitzen in Elite Deviance (click here for sources), say that 138 appointees of the Reagan administration either resigned under an ethical cloud or were criminally indicted.

Four members of the Reagan cabinet came under criminal investigation, as compared with five in the Clinton cabinet.

During the Reagan administration the number of families living below the poverty line increased by one-third.

Reagan's policies led to the greatest financial scandal in American history: the Savings & Loan debacle which cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Julian Bond, president of the NAACP: “He was a polarizing figure in black America. He was hostile to the generally accepted remedies for discrimination. His appointments were of people as equally hostile. I can’t think of any Reagan policy that African Americans would embrace.” That was, however, before Barack Obama (who claims to admire the man and whose policies mirror Reagan’s) came along.

Reagan made major cuts in Medicaid, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and school lunch programs.

Reagan fired 13,000 air traffic controllers in a devastating blow to government union members from which the labor movement never recovered. While union jobs were slashed dramatically during Reagan’s terms, manufacturing was outsourced overseas, leading to large sectors of unemployed Americans.

The Washington Post (yes, that Washington Post) wrote: “Reagan, during his 1980 campaign, blamed trees for emitting 93 percent of the nation's nitrogen oxide pollution -- giving rise to jokes about ‘killer trees.’”

The national debt tripled under Reagan.

The AIDS crisis exploded (with 20,000 deaths) before Reagan could even bring himself to address the issue six years later. In his authorized biography, he is quoted as saying, “maybe the Lord brought down this plague,” because “illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments.”

Washington Post: “The administration in 1984 secretly sold arms to Iran -- which the United States considered a supporter of terrorism -- to raise cash for Nicaraguan contra rebels, despite a congressional ban on support for the Latin American insurgency. An independent investigation concluded that the arms sales to Iran operations “were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan [and] Vice President George Bush,” and that “large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials.” . . . Lawrence E. Walsh, the independent counsel who ran the inquiry, said there was “no credible evidence” that Reagan broke the law, but he set the stage for the illegal activities of others. Impeachment, Walsh said, “certainly should have been considered.”

On April 17, 1986, the Reagan Administration released a three page report acknowledging that there were some Contra-cocaine connections in 1984 and 1985, arguing that these connections occurred at a time when the rebels were “particularly hard pressed for financial support” because U.S. aid had been cut off. The report admitted that “We have evidence of a limited number of incidents in which known drug traffickers have tried to establish connections with Nicaraguan resistance groups.” The report tried to downplay the drug activity, claiming that it took place "without the authorization of resistance leaders.”(click here)

(U.S. Concedes Contras Linked to Drugs, But Denies Leadership Involved", Associated Press, 17 April 1986)

His administration was responsible for numerous brutal actions in Latin America, including massacres in El Salvador and the war against Nicaragua. In fact, Reagan had a major hard-on for Latin America and supported some of the most vicious groups of the era, accounting for tens of thousands of "disappeared" Latin@s brave enough to resist.

The claim that Reagan won the Cold War is pure rightwing propaganda. The Soviet Union had long been far weaker than many American leaders knew, or wished to acknowledge, thanks to CIA gross overestimates of its economy. The Soviet Union was brought down by a number of factors including the inherent weaknesses of dictatorship, the costly war in Afghanistan, and ethnic divides that eventually forced its breakup. Also, almost no due is given to the left-wing activists in the Eastern bloc for their role in setting themselves free from the USSR.

After a major tax cut, there was a long recession and unemployment that hit ten percent.

It was Reagan who first proposed a missile defense system -- immediately dubbed “Star Wars” by skeptical reporters -- in a March 23, 1983 speech from the Oval Office. However, as Frances Fitzgerald reveals in her brilliant history “Way Out There in the Blue,” Reagan didn't get his plan from the scientists or the generals. The Pentagon wasn't even notified of his speech ahead of time. Reagan stole Star Wars directly from -- yup, you guessed it -- the movies!

Finally, I came upon this revealing nugget of information: In 1966, Alfred Hitchcock released a Reagan favorite, “Torn Curtain,” in which an American agent played by Paul Newman works on developing an anti-missile missile. In words that must have made Ronnie tingle, Newman’s character says: “We will produce a defensive weapon that will make all nuclear weapons obsolete, and thereby abolish the terror of nuclear warfare.” Sound familiar? Reagan used almost the exact words in selling missile defense from the office, 17 years later.

As a young man during the ascendancy of the right, I saw the Reagan years not as Morning, but Winter in America...

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization...

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Reagan Con, pt. I

¡Hola! Everybody…
Congrats to the socialist/ commie/ non-profit entity otherwise known as the Green Bay Packers (click here) on their Super Bowl win. Nothing more ironic than having the “enemy” (ACORN was also a non-profit) as Super Bowl champs!

* * *

-=[ The Reagan Con, pt. I ]=-

I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.

-- Grover Norquist

No great democracy has ever existed without a strong middle class.


Conservatives have an irrational, almost religious belief that if economic and social policies are made by the market, we won’t need government -- thats you and me, the voice of the people. Let me repeat this point, because it’s important: you and I, and everyone else, we’re the government (“we the people”). Or at least we’re supposed to be...

The conservative mantra of “smaller government” has long become a dominant thought virus (meme) and for a long time most of you fell for it. Essentially, “smaller government” means less government oversight and regulation, thereby, the “theory” follows, allowing the “free” market to decide our policies. If you pay attention to Voodoo Economics devotees, they will tell you that a middle class will magically spring into being if we would just free corporate power (and greed) from government restrictions. The way to create jobs, the superstition goes, is to “free” the market. When the Wall St. fat cats are allowed to romp freely wealth is created, goes the belief, that wealth, they assure us, will trickle down to the rest of us, in that way creating a middle class.

This conservative ideology has been at the core of this country’s economic decisions since Reagan. Today, we the people (the middle class) work longer hours for less real money in jobs that are highly unstable. In addition, major sectors of our economy have been outsourced to “emerging markets” (a euphemism for poor, Third World nations), essentially putting you in competition with horribly oppressed workers who work for literally pennies a day.

Yeah, in case you didn’t get it, this very same voodoo has driven our economy to the ground.

This is what you have fallen for and what you continue to fall for today. Recently, Obama and other conservatives extended the Bush Wealthfare tax giveaways for the rich. In case you missed it, this is the same economic policy that got us to the mess we’re in today. The.very.same.

What we have today, contrary to allegations of socialism/ Marxism/ fascism is Obama’s Voodoo Economics on steroids. I actually believed that a vote for vote for Obama would’ve been a vote for an economics that shifts the tax burden away from the middle class and forcing the richest percentile of the population to share a fair burden. I was wrong. Today we have socialism for the corporations, capitalism for the working stiff. The simple, American idea that believed the solution is to build an economy from the ground up has been supplanted by that superstition in building the economy from the top-down (trickle down).

As I have written in the past, there is no such thing as a free market. Markets are the creation of government (we the people). While Obama is desperately trying to channel the spirit of Reagan, he’s throwing the most vulnerable under the bus.

During the most prosperous times for the middle class, taxes were viewed as investments in a civil society and were routinely embraced by the majority of the middle class. In that way, we invested in new schools, better roads, higher pay for police and firefighters, and a multitude of public works that resulted in extended periods of unprecedented wealth and stability for all economic classes.

Ronald Reagan and the corporate PR machine were successful in convincing an American electorate that taxes and government (we the people) were bad. Reagan did two things that dramatically changed our government. First, he changed laws like the Fairness Doctrine so that propagandists like Rush Limbaugh, backed by heavy corporate funding, could help convince the “Joe Six packs” of the world that the government was the enemy. In fact, Reagan ran for re-election as an outsider. My question is, how do you run for re-election as an outsider?!!

::blank stare::

In any case, Reagan’s second major act was to stop enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act, which had held corporate power at bay since 1881 (the law is still in the books, but rarely implemented). Subsequently, the media began forming huge monopolies resulting in fewer voices. Across America, two-three, and four-newspaper towns became one-newspaper towns, all shilling for the corporations that owned them. Today, about five corporations own almost all of the media. You can go literally for days getting your news from Time Warner, for example.

An entire generation has been indoctrinated into this trickle-down-smaller-government-is -better point of view. People began reacting positively to this viral thought-meme. Hoover-style conservative Clinton enacted global treaties (NAFTA, GATT) that further eroded the power of government (we the people) to regulate business and the media. The result was another explosion of mergers and takeovers (along with the downsizing that came with them), that has brought us to our current financial meltdown.

Today, the bottom line rules, it’s profits before people, and the working class be damned.

That’s what you will be deciding this coming election: more voodoo economics, or a vision of building the economy from the ground up.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization...


[un]Common Sense