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    • A World Without Poor People (Sort of)
      Because the last time it was done, it was not forbidden,  because good jobs cluster in only a few regions now and because of vast influxes of foreign money, we have charts like this: So, almost a 100% increase in five and a half years. (People living in Vancouver wish housing prices had only risen […]
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“Have peace now”

Said Goldberry to the hobbits:

“Have peace now,’ she said, ‘until the morning! Heed no nightly noises! For nothing passes door & window here save moonlight & starlight & the wind off the hilltop. Good night!’ She passed out of the room with a glimmer & a rustle. the sound of her footsteps was like a stream falling gently away downhill over cool stones in the quiet of night.

As you may recall, they finished their quest.

Velvet Shoes

Let us walk in the white snow

In a soundless space;

With footsteps quiet and slow,

At a tranquil pace,

Under veils of white lace.

I shall go shod in silk,

And you in wool,

White as white cow’s milk,

More beautiful

Than the breast of a gull.

We shall walk through the still town

In a windless peace;

We shall step upon white down,

Upon silver fleece,

Upon softer than these.

We shall walk in velvet shoes:

Wherever we go

Silence will fall like dews

On white silence below.

We shall walk in the snow.

Elinor Wylie

How the Nouveau Riche Live: A Rambling, Angry Post by a Bitter Holdout

angry

For the past week, the media has been awash in stories about the incoming POTUS’ expensive tastes. We know he likes waffles, argugula, and $100 a pound ham, and that he shops at Whole Foods Markets, but that’s not the half of it. His obscenely expensive Inauguration celebration is going to cost about $170-$180 million.

What is Obama spending all that money on? According to ABC News,

The actual swearing-in ceremony will cost $1.24 million, according to Carole Florman, spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

It’s the security, parties and countless Porta-a-Potty rentals that really run up the bill.

The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $49 million on the inaugural weekend. Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have requested another $75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services.

And then there is the party bill.

“We have a budget of roughly $45 million, maybe a little bit more,” said Linda Douglass, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee.

Some of the biggest expenses were a Bruce Springsteen concert (cost unknown) and $700,000 to keep the Smithsonian open late, God only knows why. And who is going to pay for all this extravagant partying? With the U.S. in an economic crisis that may turn out to be worse than the Great Depression, Obama has seen fit not only to spend stunning amounts of money on a party for himself, but also to collect that money from wealthy donors, most of whom contributed $50,000 each. Continue reading

Escape Inauguration Mania With Activism: Just Say No to Caroline!

Caroline Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy

Governor Paterson of New York has just a few more days to decide who will be appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. Reports are flying through the New York press – some say the Governor is dead set on appointing Caroline, whereas others say he is giving other candidates a second look, including the redoubtable and incredibly worthy Representative Carolyn Maloney.

We still have a chance to make a difference. Call, write, email or fax the Governor’s office, and disseminate the open letter below as far and wide as possible.

Governor Paterson’s Contact Information:

To Write To The Governor:
David A. Paterson
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Call: 518-474-8390

Fax: 518-474-1513

To Email The Governor:
Click here to email the Governor.

———————————————————————————————————–

An Open Letter to Governor David Paterson:

Dear Governor Paterson,

The person whom you appoint to Senator Clinton’s seat should have two qualities:

1) She should be a woman; and

2) Like Hillary, she should be ready and qualified on Day One.

Satisfying the first requirement should be quite simple. However, it is the need to satisfy both requirements that seems to be escaping your attention.

To a certain extent, we need gender affirmative action in government. As a group that makes up 51% of the country’s population, women are severely under-represented in Congress, at an abysmal 17%. When Senator Clinton becomes Secretary of State, that already inadequate percentage will dip to 16%.

But in the case of the next New York Senator, there is no need to appoint a person who has literally no Congressional experience whatsoever; a person who has apathetically declined to vote in several New York primaries; a person who, with her fawning, disingenuous attempts to pretend Barack Obama was “a President like her father,” was instrumental in making sure that the highest, hardest glass ceiling was not shattered for women this year.

Yet that is what you may end up doing with Caroline Kennedy. And according to the Post story today, it is for no other reason than the Kennedy-Bloomberg money and connections she is promising you.

May I ask how this is ANY different than what Rod Blagojevich was arrested for doing? If you are unconcerned with the fate of your state, and only looking out for your own political future, then I say you are simply selling the Senate seat that Hillary Clinton worked so hard to earn, to the people with the deepest pockets and the most political influence. For shame, Governor Paterson!

Two outstanding Congresswomen, Carolyn Maloney and Kirsten Gillibrand, are more than ready and qualified on Day One. Should one of them be appointed, Ms. Kennedy could easily step into one of their seats and EARN her stripes as a New York Congresswoman before running for the Senate seat in 2010. Interestingly, Carolyn Maloney’s district is the same as Ms. Kennedy’s. It would be a seamless transition for both women, should you choose this path.

Honor the New Yorkers at whose pleasure you serve. Do not choose Caroline Kennedy as the next Senator from New York. Below are just a few of the many blog posts and articles stating that Caroline Kennedy would not be a good choice.

 Say It Ain’t So, Governor Paterson

Caroline Kennedy is Not Being Palinized

Say Good Night, Caroline

Caroline Kennedy No Whiz With Words

Caroline Kennedy Botches Debut

PUMAs Growl at Caroline Betrayal

Caroline Kennedy Lets Her Interest Be Known

Caroline Kennedy and The Bloomberg Connection

Bloomberg Maneuvers To Crown A Kennedy

Roundup of Caroline News

New Yorkers Saying No, NO, NO to Caroline Kennedy

Is Caroline Ready? No.

She’s No Jack Kennedy

Caroline Kennedy No More Qualified Than J. Lo

Caroline Kennedy Dismayed By Own Voting Record

Caroline Kennedy’s “you knows” Turn Into “You? No.”

In addition, here is a link to an online petition that has more than 100 signatures in support of saying no to Caroline and yes to Carolyn or Kirsten.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/qualifiedwoman/index.html

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

(add your name here)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Deep in my heart

I remember Martin Luther King Jr.  He was one of my first TV memories, along with The Flintstones and Walter Cronkite.  Everytime he was on TV, you could be sure to find me and my mom watching him.  On one occasion, I can’t remember which, the crowd sang We Shall Overcome for what seemed like hours.

In my lifetime, the fight against racism preceded the fight against sexism.  I was aware of race before I was aware of gender.  Gender didn’t affect me much at all until middle school.  The year I was supposed to take Home Ec was the year they did away with that requirement for girls.  We had been able to wear pants to school for several years.  So, I was spared the conditioning that the generation before me was subjected to.  For me, the sky was the limit.  It was available to me because of the work of Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem and others.  I didn’t experience what it was like before certain areas of the school were off limits to girls.  There were still controversies over same sex schools that wouldn’t admit girls but I figured they would all succumb eventually. And they did.   And sure, in college, the guys in my classes got most of the attention but I always figured that eventually people would change when they saw how smart we were. That didn’t always happen and still doesn’t.  But I still keep trying.

But race was something different altogether.  When the legal barriers came down, the social and cultural barriers remained.  How would we ever overcome that?

Sometimes, evolution doesn’t occur gradually.  Sometimes, it is rapid.  Last year at this time, I never would have considered Barack Obama a Change!™ agent in the mold of Martin Luther King Jr.  After all, this was the man who skipped the Black State of the Union in New Orleans after he manipulated the emotions of black voters in South Carolina.  Once he introduced racism back into the election, he didn’t need to suck up to African Americans again.  But Hillary went.  Maybe that is one of the many reasons why the King Center honored her on Saturday.  Maybe it was a way of restoring her reputation and to praise her for “working tirelessly throughout her career to advance racial justice, child welfare, health security for all Americans and human rights worldwide.“

Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that someday we will all be judged by “content of our character”.  That should be the only yardstick by which we are measured.  Not the color of our skin, the configuration of our bodies, the nature of our love or the source of our morality.  Martin’s dream has been fulfilled in part, but the dreamers were the American people, not Barack Obama.  We were ready after decades of work by people like Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young, Lyndon B. Johnson and, yes, Hillary and Bill Clinton.  Now it is time to wake the nation to see the rest of the dream realized.   It may not happen today, or tomorrow, but with vision and hard work, we too will find the awakening accelerated for the rest of us.  With the right preparation, creative use of technology and charismatic voices, the pace of change can be swift.  It is trite to say that we are the ones we have been waiting for.  That doesn’t require any effort.  It is a Hallmark greeting.  And whether Michele Obama believes it or not, the hard work that is required of us does not extend simply to the cult of Obama.  Change is going to come but it is not here yet.  But we can do this because it is in the best interests of all of us.  The country is in dire need of help and it can’t afford to be picky in the form of who can give it.  We will overcome.

Deep in my heart, I do believe.

Arthur Silber Speaks

straitjacket_new11

From Power of Narrative Blogspot:

I post this brief message only to let those few of you who have not lost your fucking minds know that you are not alone. Some of us, perhaps three or four hundred, still retain some connection to reality. But it frays and is under lethal attack. Whether the connection will survive the next day or two is an open question. Recourse to alcohol (and/or other substances of your choosing), sex and other diversions might be the wisest choice, until midweek at the earliest. Let’s play safely: make it until the weekend. Hell, through the weekend.

Read the rest- he’s simply the best.

To Achieve Political Remedy

The Women’s Movement 

I have no degree in Women’s Studies. I have learned mostly through my own life experiences.  So please take what you want and leave the rest.  But recognize what you leave may be what keeps women from fully recognizing the power we hold but never wielded.  The reason for our failure to wield power is the subjugation of women in this country, which takes many forms.  All of them man made.   

But, the main reason for the subjugation of women is the failure that results when women seek a political remedy through the political process.  Women as members in the political process today have attempted to make life better for women in this country, and it has failed miserably.  Not because of the individual woman, but because of the political process.  To be a member in the political process you must take a side or have a viewpoint that is contrary to another woman’s viewpoint.  The power structure, the man made power structure, thrives on this division to suppress the one commonality.  As long as women are busy telling other women how to live their lives, we cannot be free to live our own. 

To achieve a political remedy the political submission of women in our political system must end.  Women must focus on the commonality.  The participation in the political process leads women down a road of division.  Until women fully reject the political process to achieve a political remedy, we will remain divided.  We must build our own political process.  A process, like men, where there is respect for difference of opinion and a respect of one another because of their one commonality, which is they were born male.  Women need a process that does not depend on the men and subjugated women who have defined what our roles should be.  We need to define our own roles. We know what has kept women in their place.  We know the political process seeks to divide and suppress the woman’s voice.   

This is not a call of revolution, or it might be in someone’s opinion, it is more a call for women to see things differently.  We need a political remedy, yes, but traveling down the avenue through the political process leads to a dead end street.  Of course women can hold their own views on a multitude of issues, but one should not lose sight of the one common thread, which is we were born female.

Supermullet

For Madamab

(music starts around 1:00)