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    • Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – July 3, 2022
      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – July 3, 2022 by Tony Wikrent   Strategic Political Economy “America Is Sliding Into the Long Pandemic Defeat” Ed Yong [The Atlantic, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 6-28-2022] “In 2018, while reporting on pandemic preparedness in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I heard many people joking about the fictional 15th articl […]
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Bangladesh, Philadelphia. Who cares? What’s really important are those totalitarian cyclists.

I’m kind of surprised the building collapse in Philadelphia yesterday that killed 6 people isn’t getting more attention.  One of the buildings that collapsed was scheduled for demolition and appears to have been improperly assessed for safety and structural risks before the demolition was given the green light.  The building took down part of the Salvation Army thrift store next door.

Color me unsurprised.  I’ve driven through neighborhoods in Philadelphia where whole streets full of row houses look like  they are on the verge of collapse and I am not exaggerating.  But this catastrophe happened in Center City which you would think is a bit more upscale.

Anyway, 6 people dead is more than the number of dead in the Boston Marathon bombing, although, presumably, there are fewer lost limbs.  But still, you would think that this event, which foreshadows more tragedies from neglect and underfunding of services, would get round-the-clock coverage and the kind of hysteria only terrorism can generate.  Oh sure, it’s front page news but where’s The Lede?

Our infrastructure, transportation system, civil service and buildings are getting to be third world quality.  But to the extraordinarily wealthy and powerful, we might as well all be living in Bangladesh.  Does this kind of tragedy even merit a “Oh, those poor people!” from them anymore or are they so wrapped up in their psychotic anger over rental bikes and rail/tunnel expansions that they are becoming self-parodies?  Are they so determined to keep things comfortable for themselves that the rest of us are forbidden from moving forward?

What’s wrong with rich people these days?  Are they so full of their might and power that the rest of us are no longer have free will or are human?  Aren’t slaves unable to protest their conditions or change their lives?

This site supports teachers and their unions

Lord knows I have had my issues with teachers.  They can be pedantic, rigid, overly sensitive, autocratic and, occasionally, disrespectful to parents.  I assume this has something to do with having to spend all their day with developing human beings who need a firm hand and that they sometimes don’t know when to stop.

BUT

I could never do what they do.  I don’t have the patience or organizational skills.  I don’t have the passion or mysterious magical ingredient that would make me want to spend all of my working day in a classroom herding cats.

So, when I read about what Philadelphia is planning for negotiations with their teachers’ union, my blood boiled.

These are working people who earn a living.  Taking a 13% cut in pay is not an option.  In fact, reducing the power and wages of the teachers’ unions comes back to bite all of us in the ass.  We shouldn’t be pointing our fingers at them asking why their lives and wages are secure.  We should be asking ourselves how we can get what they have.  Not only that but the school systems of our nation should not be just another source for exploitative profit mining* for the well-connected.

It doesn’t serve American ingenuity or our future to have everyone stressed out to the max about where their next meal is coming from or how we’re going to pay hospital bills without go ing deeply into debt.  And when we start inflicting that kind of stress on our teachers, it’s going to affect performance in the classroom.  They’re human beings, not saints.

Honestly, I don’t know what’s up with Philadelphia’s finances.  Maybe this is all just a giant scare tactic to illustrate what’s going to happen if we fail to fund our governments and go through with sequesters.  But I’ve driven through parts of North Philadelphia and am shocked by the condition of the place.  Houses are falling apart and trash is strewn everywhere.  People LIVE there and it’s like a third world country.  Do we want to add to that destitution by depriving people of their ability to free their minds?  It’s disgraceful.  What’s next?  School fees like the kind they have in Africa where families have to decide which kid gets an education?

So, count me among the supporters of Philly’s teachers and teachers everywhere.

*Exploitative Profit Mining- the practice of seeking new profit streams from the exploitation of unprotected working people either through non-transparent financial transactions or privatization of public services.  Add it to your lexicon.

 

Friday- Two Weekends to GO!

Yes, sportsfans, it’s that time of day again. This is your daily reminder that there are only 2 more weekends to go before the big PA primary. The big EN-CHEE-LA-DA. The mother of all primaries. The seismic shift that the person who kidnapped Josh Marshall refers to. And YOU can be a part of it. Pennsylvania is tres lovely in the spring. All of the trees are blooming. The food is great too. You can have halushka and pierogies in Pittsburgh, chicken-corn soup with dumplings in Harrisburg and all the cheese steaks (with Velveeta) that you can stand in Philadelphia. Come see The Point where three rivers meet, the Liberty Bell, the battlefield at Gettysburg (where my Dad dragged me to every frickin’ monument when I was 14), the Amish teenagers driving buggies with Led Zeppelin blaring out of their portable radios.

People are nice there too. They’re as nice as they are in Denver.

So, if you’ve ever been itchin’ to see the lush rolling hills of PA, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the home of the Nittany Lions (gag!), yins better get your butts over to this site to volunteer. Pennsylvania for Hillary

In other news:

  • At The Caucus (NYTimes), Early Word: Keystone State Divide continues to propagate the conventional wisdom. Yes, once again, the old stupid people live in Pittsburgh where all of the Clintonistas are; the young, smart and groovy AA’s are in Philadelphia and are voting for Obama. *sigh* You’d think the media would be tired of this shtick by now. Not only is it old and untrue but I need to point out that the Steelers have won 5, yes, FIVE, Superbowl rings and how many have the Eagles won? Anyone want to take a guess? 0, zilch, nada. Or as Myron Cope used to say in Pittsburgh, ZEE-row. Well, that just goes to show you that we might be smaller and a bit less affluent but we are tough and we can whoop Philly’s ass in this primary too.
  • A Clinton campaign office in Terre Haute, Indiana was destroyed by fire. The Obama campaign has not taken responsibility for the cause of the fire. (What?! I didn’t say his campaign did it. I’m just saying they haven’t denied it yet. Chill!)
  • Obama continues to thumb his nose at the workers by purging some of his hard working but less well connected supporters from his delegate pool. Maybe they still shop at JCPenney’s for their clothes or they never got their teeth straightened or maybe they actually use their hands to make a living (ewww!). Or, maybe they are a little bit too insistent about ending the war. Anyway, there’s an image problem. They just don’t fit in with the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models with PhDs in Architecture or the well-t0-do and their eye candy girlfriends who know how to bundle (if you know what I mean 😉 ) They are the weakest links. Good-bye!  Actually, I’m on a roll now about the “creative class” meme.  Let’s take a look at how stoopid this is: The creative class are drawn to metropolitan areas where there is a higher concentration of cultural activities, universities and industries that do creative type stuff, like biotech research, high tech and finance.  Places like, oh, I don’t know, CA, NY, NJ, MA, PA, AZ, FL.  And how many of these creative class behemoths did Obama win, exactly?  Oh, yeah, none.  He won MD, VA, CT, WA (but scored big in the caucus.  Besides we’re talking Microsoft territory.  Hardly creative).  And how is it that the vast majority of creative class people that I know in NJ are voting for Clinton?  All my asian buds, the professional class, many of the Princeton types.  Did they suddenly become senile overnight?  I suppose we have been moved into a different demographic.  I wish I knew what it is that sets OUR creativity apart from the SI Swimsuit model PhDs in Architecture for Obama.  There’s got to be *something* besides Madison Avenue advertising and marketing.  No, no, don’t tell me.  I’m sure it will come to me…
  • Donna Brazile does her best “Clinton has racist Weapons of Mass Destruction” thing in this exchange with Masslib (Also cross-posted at Hillarysbloggers). She never comes right out and says what their duplicity is. She never directly accuses them of anything. She just assumes that we too will be duped into thinking there’s a THERE there even though playing the race card could never be a winning hand for Clinton. I’m sure that after the primaries, we’ll see that it was all a set up but by then it will be too late. WE, on the other hand, have ample *proof* that Ms. Brazile was prepared and all too willing to plunge the knife into the heart of the hapless voters of Florida. Have you no sense of decency, Ms. Brazile? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

.