I have a dog named Mackie. The reason that I mention him is that Mackie, like most dogs that are only half-trained to walk on a leash, never moves in a straight direction. That’s why my wife and I measure his walks in “Mackie-miles”.
It seems like the American people like to get to their destination not by the shortest route; instead they too, walk in “Mackie-miles”. It seems that we meander and circle about, a railroad car that has no tracks, going to and fro as the circumstances dictate. We don’t act, we react. I’m not talking about the American government; I’m talking about the American people. The American government has no problem acting on its biggest wet dreams. Install more troops in Afghanistan, bring more mercenaries to Iraq and Afghanistan, provoke Russia and keep the military industrial complex humming are just a few of their goals.
A year after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008, questions still swirl around its collapse. Lawrence MacDonald, whose book A Colossal Failure of Common Sense came out in July 2009, maintains that the bank was not in substantially worse shape than other major Wall Street banks. He says Lehman was just “put to sleep. They put the pillow over the face of Lehman Brothers and they put her to sleep.” The question is, why?
The Lehman bankruptcy is widely considered to be the watershed event that changed the rules of the game for those Wall Street banks considered “too big to fail.” The bankruptcy option was ruled out once and for all. The taxpayers would have to keep throwing money at the banks, no matter how corrupt, ill-managed or undeserving. As Dean Baker noted in April 2009: Continue reading →
It’s Labor Day, and that means millions of Americans are celebrating. Most Americans have no idea what Labor Day is, other than self-serving political speeches, hot dogs, burgers, a pool party, and the last day of a three-day holiday. Few even know that Labor Day exists to allow people to remember and honor the struggles for respect, dignity, and acceptable wages and working conditions for the rank-and-file employees.
The Looney-Tunes Right Wing is all bent up that our President is planning to tell kids to do their homework in a broadcast to schools set for Tuesday. They’re panicked he’s going to “sell socialism,” says one, and apparently, encourage kiddies to join the military to marry someone of their own sex.
But the teacher does have a serious question for the President: Barack, why haven’t you done your homework?
They take away your overtime, your 40-hour week, your regulatory protection against corporate marauders, your right to courtroom justice, your protection against unfair trade, even the right to get your ballot counted. But there’s always hope. Hope is the last thing to go. And your hope is your kids, that they’ll have an opportunity you didn’t have. On January 21, 2004, the President told you they’d have to take that away too. On that night, deep into his State of the Union sermon to Congress, when sensible adults had turned off the tube or kicked in the screen, our President opened a new front in the class war. And like the one in Iraq, it began with a lie. “By passing the No Child Left Behind Act,” our President told us, “We are regularly testing every child…and making sure they have better options when schools are not performing.”
“And at Daddy’s Polo Club, the Waiter Is Called A…”
Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe and destined for collapse as our financial system. If we continue to allow corporations to determine what we eat, as well as how food is harvested and distributed, then we will become captive to rising prices and shortages and increasingly dependent on cheap, mass-produced food filled with sugar and fat. Food, along with energy, will be the most pressing issue of our age. And if we do not build alternative food networks soon, the social and political ramifications of shortages and hunger will be devastating.