Bernie Won Brooklyn

Bernie won the debate tonight, and I don’t care what the mainstream media has to say.

Hillary Clinton is supposed to have experience and judgment, yes?

Then why is she battling one mistake after another, and trying to deflect answers?

Three times, THREE TIMES, Dana Bash asked why she won’t release her speech transcripts. No one asked about her server, or the fact that the Clinton Foundation accepted money from various groups overseas only to have those same groups overseas gain contracts later through the State Dept. That never came up.

But she still lost, even without those things that hound her on a daily basis. Why? Because she will never win the trust, nor the votes, of those voters that she needs. The youth, the independents, the disaffected Republicans, the women under 65, the people of color from all over the States who have seen their loved ones incarcerated for life for three strikes, you’re out, when all you had was a dime bag in your possession. All Hillary Clinton has behind her is the Dem vote over 65.

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Some thoughts on Race, Privilege, Class…and the Banks

Pyramid of The Capitalist System – flickr

And yes they are all tied together. Fist off and interview with Peggy McIntosh of race and privilege. More specifically White Privilege. From the web site Beyond Whiteness.

White Privilege:

1. a. A right, advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by white persons beyond the common advantage of all others; an exemption in many particular cases from certain burdens or liabilities. b. A special advantage or benefit of white persons; with reference to divine dispensations, natural advantages, gifts of fortune, genetic endowments, social relations, etc.
Peggy goes into how white people when they think about or talk about race they are either consciously or subconsciously referring to those who are not white. That there are white people – normal – and non whites – not normal. She makes a point of saying that this is a system that is as old as the hills. Hundreds perhaps thousands of years old but not to take blame but to own it and from there do what ever has to be done to change it. She also gives some very goo examples of this privilege that we as whites take for granted but do not think about. Like how being white can give you a pass in situations that being non white would get you in trouble. Continue reading “Some thoughts on Race, Privilege, Class…and the Banks”

Pushed to the edge and really pissed off …

Hunger March – flickr/wikimedia commons

My old education institution in Florida – The Univ. Of Central Florida that was originally called Florida Technological Univ. – has had it’s own brush with a plot for mass violence. The person who was plotting this however committed suicide before carrying it out. Thought he did have the required implements of destruction.

UCF police said they received a fire alarm call around 12:20 a.m. As they responded to that call, police then received a 911 call reporting a man with a gun.

When police arrived, they found a student with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They also found a bag of improvised explosive devices, along with a handgun and an assault weapon. – Central Florida News 13

We may never really know the motivations behind this individual or his actions and proposed actions but it’s safe bet is was some personal problem or agenda that drove him to it.

There a those who like to see such situations as some idealistic political and/or religious or some other kind of plot. In most cases those who are involved are just people who feel they have been pushed too far and are generally just really pissed off and desperate. Desperation can drive people to do things and behave in a manner they would not under other circumstances.

If one looks at the history to most political and/or economic upheavals, they were generally started by people who had “Had enough” and were desperate. Even the Russian revolution caught Lenin by surprise when it began even though he and others had plotted the over throw of the Tzar, it was a spontaneous event by desperate people that initiated it. The same for the French revolution and nearly all other such situations.

And now with the current situation in Europe and the EU ministers decision on the Cyprus bank bail outs, they are sowing and fertilizing the seeds of another upheaval.

There’s been a great deal of discussion of how the deal came about, with a particularly detailed account at the Wall Street Journal. The new stance at the creditor nations and the ECB is that there will be “private sector participation” which is bureaucrat-speak for haircuts to the people who funded the banks. And in the fracas over renegotiating the pact so as to make it less unpalatable to the locals, the Eurozone officials have made clear they don’t care how Anastasiades skins this particular cat as long as he comes up with €5.8 billion from local deposits. Banks were due to be closed Monday on Cyprus for a holiday; officials are now considering imposing a bank holiday on Tuesday. Funds have been frozen in the meantime, producing what is likely to be the emblematic photo of this crisis, of a man trying to break into his bank branch:

. . . . .

Now the EU officials could easily calm nervous depositors by announcing an ECB-backstopped deposit guarantee, instead of the current national system which depends on not-exactly-credible central banks. Germany and its fellow surplus countries have hesitated about proceeding with the necessary steps to further economic integration (notice how the plan to implement eurozone wide bank supervision, which Germany insisted was a precondition to Eurozone-level deposit guarantees, has languished?). Germany is trying to maintain policies that are contradictory: it wants to continue to have large trade surpluses, yet not fund its trade partners; its wants debtors to meet their obligations, yet refuses to allow either enough in the way of fiscal deficits or monetary easing to keep debtor countries from falling into deflationary spirals, which assure default. Germany’s failure to relent on any of these conditions means that what breaks will be the financial system. – Naked Capitalism

It took FDR meeting with the heads of the unions and communists and socialist parties to convince him that this country was very close to another revolution in the 1930s. It was this sort of situation that brought Hitler to power and also brought down a number of leaders in other countries. People are not stupid and when they see that they are being sacrificed for the good of those in the upper crust..when they feel they have no say or recourse…when they feel desperate, they will eventually take matters into their own hands.

The PTB need to realize and be aware that it’s groups of highly desperate and pissed of people that will force a change in the current situation for good or bad. Not some high minded organized plot by some subversive element. Though these elements will often take credit for it, they generally are not the instigators.

The Attack of The Blob – Wall Street’s invasion of Washington

Citizens United – DonkeyHotey flickr

This is a review of Jeff Connaughton’s book Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins by Matt Stoller. An in-depth review of a look inside Washington and to a large extent, a take down of more than a few democratic Senators — most notably Joe Biden. By reading this review one would get the impression of it being the work of a disgruntled ex-employee, the author seems to think that it’s is deeper than that. I really cannot do this justice and I am sure Matt Stoller has left out some of the juicier parts. Continue reading “The Attack of The Blob – Wall Street’s invasion of Washington”

In Cleveland Public Transportation is for Black People

Cleveland Trolly 1947 – flickr

Cleveland’s public transportation began like nearly all of the urban areas in this country. First with horse drawn cars and then a few cable cars and then electrified with electric trolly cars. Cleveland had electric trolleys up until the 1940s when they began to replace them with electric buses – so called trackless trolleys. Cleveland had trackless trolleys up until the last line was converted to diesel buses in 1962. The Lorain Av. Line on the west side of town. Contrary to popular belief, the city’s decision to got the diesel bus route was because of the the new heavy rail system that was to be expanded to the airport. The first in the country to do so. It was feared that the city could not provide enough electric power for both the electric buses and the heavy rail. Continue reading “In Cleveland Public Transportation is for Black People”

The Earth vs The American Dream. At least one of them must go.

The End of The American Dream

My current vehicle has hit the end of the line. The clutch and throw out bearing expired in a puff of foul smoke. This is the 5th time I have had this happen. It’s a 1998 Subaru and needs other work as well. It served me will taking me up and down I95 and around central Fl. but it’s time to let it go. The replacement will be of a similar sort. Newer but not new. I do not require a brand new car as I do not drive that much, but do need to on occasion.

As the saying goes we are living in interesting times. What Morris Berman calls the Waning of the Modern Ages. Like The Waning of the Middle Ages described by Dutch historian Johan Huizinga and the collapse of the Roman Empire as explained by Joseph Tainter in his “The Collapse of Complex Societies” our modern capitalistic society is coming apart. And as Morris Berman says

….like our own age, not much fun to live through. One reason for this is that the world is literally perched over an abyss. What lies ahead is largely unknown, and to have to hover over an abyss for a long time is, to put it colloquially, a bit of a drag. The same thing was true at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire as well, on the ruins of which the feudal system slowly arose.

The right knows this. The right knows that by admitting that our current free market capitalistic system is the direct cause of climate change and global warming is the death kneel of this system.

But the Right is not fooled: it sees Green as a Trojan horse for Red, the attempt “to abolish capitalism and replace it with some kind of eco-socialism.” It believes—correctly—that the politics of global warming is inevitably an attack on the American Dream, on the whole capitalist structure. Thus Larry Bell, in Climate of Corruption, argues that environmental politics is essentially about “transforming the American way of life in the interests of global wealth distribution”; and British writer James Delinpole notes that “Modern environmentalism successfully advances many of the causes dear to the left: redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, greater government intervention, [and] regulation.” Continue reading “The Earth vs The American Dream. At least one of them must go.”

Detoxing from the Market based Economy and why it’s Advisable

Money syringe – flickr

OK here we are. The FED is once again trying to get people to indulge themselves in more needless spending so as to keep the severely damaged heart of the economy from going into cardiac arrest. This time the stimulant is call QE3. And as Ives Smith says, forgetabtoutit.

But the elephant in the room is what, if anything, these measures will achieve in terms of real economy impact. “Let them eat stocks and housing” has not been terribly successful. Even with super low rates, it has also taken massive sequestering of inventories for the housing market to have the appearance of stabilizing. We have low household formation due to young adults facing high unemployment, low paying jobs with generally short job tenures, and heavy student debt burdens. On top of that, we have generational headwinds as boomers hit retirement age and want or need to downsize. Keeping money on sale is not going to induce banks to lend more if they can’t find enough qualified borrowers. And the consumer deleveraging story is not as positive as the statistics would lead you to believe. A lot of it is involuntary, meaning driven by foreclosures. In addition, retirees also curtail their spending thanks to the fall in interest income they’ve suffered under ZIRP.

. . . . .

And where does the Fed go if a financial crisis or other shock occurs?

The Fed failed to see the crisis coming, failed to push for restructuring of consumer, particularly mortgage, debt, and is now in full bore “if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” mode. And in the crisis, the Fed was slow to act and then overdid when it finally roused itself (remember “75 is the new 25″?) it looks as if the Bernanke Fed is incapable of looking at its own history. Continue reading “Detoxing from the Market based Economy and why it’s Advisable”