Monday, November 21, 2011

UC Davis - an unlikely site for a revolt.

The outrage at the University of California, Davis is a microcosm of the situation in the world today and more specifically to the United States; the futility of the majority of the people, maybe not 99 percent and maybe not victimized by just 1 percent.  Remarkably this has happened at perhaps the most unlikely sites of all the previous demonstrations, the UCD campus. Far more threatening situations, far more inconvenient situations and far more volatile situations have occurred over the last month or so.  It would appear that this is the product of conspiratorial communication between elements of government on how to put a stop to it. Inadequate planning and over eagerness landed their plan an unbelievable setting.  Were it not for the health hazards to the victims, it would seem like keystone cop comedy.

I know the University of California at Davis.  I lived near the campus for ten years.  My son and my son-in-law are graduates of UCD.  My wife retired from the staff of UCD.  My best friend was the chief of the UCD police department in the 80's. The UCD campus is not and never was a dangerous campus.  The police chief who let this happen should be fired.  The Chancellor who let this happen should be fired. The university police department is well trained and certified by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and training.  They were taking orders.  They were led by a management level cop, Lt. Pike. For the movement, this was a godsend.  It will give it at least another month of life. For a former cop and a former Bureau Chief of the Commission of POST, I am embarrassed and saddened.  California cops are better than this.

This is a delicate situation for the police and responsible agents of government, particularly local government.  Of course, the first Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech and the right to assemble and redress grievances to government, wasn't intended to permit unlimited access to public parks for an unlimited time and to build temporary cities on public property.  Unfortunately, this is the only way we have of doing it.  We used to be able to do it at the ballot box but we only get one vote each and the corporations now are permitted as many as they can afford and are given the right to openly buy elected and appointed officials.

It's sad that these people, intelligent people, many of whom are now victims of the unemployment situation and many more who will be if government doesn't do something quickly to correct the imbalance of purchasing power, have no other way of getting the ear of their government. The middle class is disappearing and many of the ex-members of it are on the streets demanding action.  This is their lobby and Washington better open their doors and ears to this lobby before it's too late.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Corporate owned media needs to talk about important qualifications of candidates.

Who cares about Herman's sexual harassment accusations?  Does it really have any bearing on whether he is qualified to be president?  What ever happened to public service media?  What they should be covering is his inane 999 tax program.  Instead of a sensational he said/she said story, we should be some numbers and social implications on the one thing that made him a temporary right wing political darling.

Instead of talking about whether Mitt Romney's religion would make him un-electable, they should be talking about how he made his millions with Bain Capital capital bled  American Pad and Paper Company (Ampad)
dry leaving hundreds of workers out of work, stockholders holding worthless shares; about how creditors and vendors were paid less than 50 cents on the dollar; about how, while exploiting the company, Romney's firm charged Ampad

Over the next several years Romney's firm bled the company dry. Hundreds of workers lost their jobs. Stockholders were left with worthless shares. Creditors and vendors were paid less than 50 cents on the dollar. While they were exploiting the company, Romney's firm charged Ampad millions of dollars in so called "management fees." All in all Romney and his investors reaped more than $100 dollars from the deal with an initial leveraged buyout cost of $5 million. 

The media should be talking about his dedication to the 1% and disdain for the 1% and the vanishing middle class and his promise of repealing the health care act and privatizing social security.

Instead of hearing about Perry appearing in New Hampshire under the influence of pain killer medication, we should be reading about the truth of the Texas economy and the dearth of health care coverage; about how the jobs he created were by making Texas the equivalent of a third world country by providing near slave labor to attract business from states with a minimum labor law.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The 99 per centers - what it's all about!

While there are a variety of bases for dissatisfaction driving the Occupy Wall Street movement, a movement that has spread over the country and even in some other countries, the nexus is income distribution and the run-away concentration of wealth at the very top.

There are a number of concomitant factors and/or manifestations of this.
1. Unemployment.  The official unemployment rate is just over 9 percent. If underemployment and forced part time employment is considered, it is likely close to 15%.  Many of the demonstrators are most likely included in this group.  Those workers who have been unemployed but found new jobs, there wages are on the average 17% lower than before.

2. Fear of losing the New Deal programs and the shifting of the tax burden to the middle and lower class.  Paul Ryan's proposed budget epitomizes how far right the Republican party has gone.  If it were to become law, People now under 55 would be required to pay at least $6,400 more for health care when they qualified for Medicare.  Food stamps would be cut by 20 percent. This means that more people in America would starve to death.  Fully two thirds of his $4.3 in budget cuts would come from low income programs. 

3.  The banking regulations like the Glass - Steagall Act which prevented bank failures and loss of savings, like we saw in 1929, until slowly dismantled by Reagan's Supply side economics and the crash of 2008, are still under attack.

A. The failure of congress to address the problem of unemployment and wealth distribution; choosing to make partisan politics by making their number one priority to make sure Obama isn't reelected. 
B. The commitment to ensuring that the wealth distributions continues to direct wealth to the top.
C. Their support of Corporate control over government.

The 99 per centers realize that the focus of the problem is on Wall Street and mega international corporations who have found a fountain of wealth in near slave labor in third world companies, stifling American manufacturing and blue collar well paying unionized jobs. Another, less recognized victim to this pool of cheap labor is manufacturing technology.  Why invent a better machine when you can get the same or more savings from starving people. 

This last few months when Obama has been trying to shame the Greed Oriented Party (GOP) to act on his proposals, they have been preoccupied with crucial legislation ensuring that our motto In God We Trust is not changed!  Ironically they want to trust God but not obey him.  Most of them make a point of claiming that we are a Christian nation but have no idea what real Christian commandments include such as articulated very clearly in The New Testament in Acts 4: 30-37.

The 99 per centers may well be the last chance to avoid a transition of American truly free enterprise capitalism,  not the corrupted "market system" we see today, back to a feudal system as described by Marc Bloch.

The bottom line is, "If all the purchasing power is concentrated in the hands of people who have everything, there will be no one to purchase the fruits of their production. It's not just a moral problem it's a commerce problem!