Saturday, January 30, 2010

UK Suspends Indian Student Visas Over Fraud and Abuse Concerns

BBC Breaking News

United Kingdom -- The UK is cracking down on student visa applications from northern India after a shocking jump in numbers. British officials are  particularly concerned that most of the cases "are not genuine."

In the last three months of last year, there were 13,500 applications from northern India alone, compared with 1,800 in the same period of 2008.  Unscrupulous offers of visas as a way of settling in the UK are not uncommon, nor are they uncommon in the United States. During these times of unprecedented, spiraling unemployment for UK and US citizens,  student and work visa suspensions are long overdue.  Read full article here.

-2Truthy

People...Corporations Who are People...Are the Lousiest People in the World



Corporate People
(Very Special Thanks to Barbra Streisand)


John Nolte at Big Hollywood dusts off Barbra Striesand's pipes for speaking out against the recent “SCOTUS FIVE” decision that prompted Maryland's Murray Hill, Inc. to run for Congress. Nolte's article includes some wailing against the Left's “intellectual dishonesty” while also raising an overlooked question about major media exemption to the ruling, as he asks:

Why should their precious HuffPo be exempt from the restrictions they want to place on other corporations? Why should a big, rich, venture-capital wealthy HuffPo be allowed to use unlimited resources to politick but not some local real estate office when it comes to a congressional race? For that matter, why should Fox News be exempt?”

While both monopolistic left and right media propaganda pits like HuffPo and Fox News shouldn't get a pass, we're with Babs on this one. Croon away, les chanteuses!

Corporate People
by 2Truthy

People,
Corporations who are people,
Are the lousiest people in the world
Non- persons, nasty fat non-persons
And looking for a place to hide
Hide all the loot inside
Acting more like non-persons than non-persons
Corporations are very special people
They're the lousiest people in the world
They're one person one very special person
A feeling deep in their soul
Says “I AM A BIG ASSHOLE”
You get hunger and thirst
But NOT corporations who are people
Corporations who are people
Are the lousiest people in the world.
They're one person one very special person
You get hunger and thirst
But NOT corporations who are people
Corporations who are people
Are the lousiest people in the world...

  -2Truthy

Friday, January 29, 2010

2Truthy's Happy Friday Hour with Dan Sheridan: "Big Money"



But they don't listen to my words, the words I've been singing. I'm just here to fill the void between cellphones ringing.”
-Dan Sheridan


The Non-Personhood Corporate Class Eliminates Jobs for Americans


Aspen – Singer song-writer Dan Sheridan thinks big money ruins everything.

As our splendid friends at Murray Hill, Inc. PR will attest, corporate America's non-personhood 'people' are looting the middle class. And like the forty-something American nurse's aid who has been unemployed since 2007 and millions of others like her who can't even get a job at the local grocery store, millions of unemployed and underemployed citizens are helplessly watching local jobs they need being given to imported workers under the grand lie of a US labor shortage. After this week's SOTU, Dennis Kucinich is now very concerned that we could lose our country if President Obama does not become “much bolder.” Leave it to Dennis, as always, to call it like it is. Now that our crumbling Empire is shamelessly and unconscionably manipulated by the ham-fisted, invisible hand of Corporate Personhood and the grandiose nosismists it rode in on, Kucinich implores Obama with the timely request to be 'bolder' or 'we could lose our country.' He said Obama's focus must be on “improving conditions” for the US middle class and cited the need to reverse the rising tide of unemployed Americans:

"A rising tide lifts all boats," he said, "and unfortunately at this point the rising tide of unemployment is swamping a lot of boats, and so we need to give the people some hope that they can stay afloat economically."

Well, Dennis, hope is for free, and Americans can't take hope to the bank. What to do? Stop the anti-American worker lobbyists! The only way to start getting Americans back to work again is for the US Congress and corporate America to finally stop selling our jobs to imported workers. This is something our Congress CAN do with the overwhelming support of the American people, which Obama has. Will the president get bold? Will the oh-so cowardly left who mindlessly attack those with racist hurls for wanting to keep their jobs finally remove their groupthinky head from the sand?

The corporate non-personhood class of elites and politicians are making “Big Money” from outsourcing American jobs, and this story of Aspen musician Dan Sheridan being fired for performing an “inappropriate” song entitled “Big Money” serves as the ultimate Neo-frat boy corporate state National Anthem that now defines the deep chasm of moral divide between the hubris drenched haves and have-not classes of America. Yes indeed, Dennis is right to be concerned that we could “lose our country” - if we haven't already.

Has big money ruined everything, yet?

Happy Friday, Loserettes!

-2Truthy

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Murray Hill, Inc. Plans Run for Congressional Seat



Eat Me, Corporate Personhood!

Washington -- Remember last week when those nuttier than a fruitcake  conservative "SCOTUS FIVE" panty hamsters ganged up against We the People to throw out a sixty-three year old ban on corporate money in federal elections that  puts our government and corporate contracts, infrastructures and, well the whole country up for sale to grifty, shifty foreign weasels and how the rest of the US citizenry really, really is not in the mood  to stand for such Soprano-ish thuggery from the nation's highest court?

PR firm Murray Hill Inc. has announced that it is planning to do a brilliant haha run for Congress in the upcoming Republican primary in Maryland’s 8th congressional district in protest of the Supreme Court’s diabolical decision. A press release on its website  explains that the company wants to eliminate the middle man and make a run for Congress directly, rather than influencing it with corporate dollars. In a statement, Murray Hill Inc. said:


“Until now, corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence peddling to achieve their goals in Washington. But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves.”
“The strength of America,” Murray Hill Inc. says, “is in the boardrooms, country clubs and Lear jets of America’s great corporations. We’re saying to Wal-Mart, AIG and Pfizer, if not you, who? If not now, when?” [...]


Now that's my kind of PR firm. Local  LWOH readers are encouraged to drop the savvy patriots over at Murray Hill, Inc. PR a tasty box of chocolates with a thank you note and a vote!


-2Truthy


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Gay Swami Times 2010 State of the Union Address


(Click on image to enlarge)


The Gay Swami Times 2010 State of the Union Address

Welcome back to the Gay Swami Times Vol. 2 Issue 1. Click here for previous issues.

Our virgin 2010 issue features an exclusive State of the Union Address by His Holiness, Himself, THE GAY SWAMI. What this means, exactly, is that the Venerable One had to do all the pre and post edit research, graphics, layout and design work himself since our former, horribly cheap H-1B visa holders in Philadelphia have now either upped their fees or have been turned away at the airports under a mushroom cloud of suspicion in their quest to steal jobs from the unemployed Americans.

Our exciting news begins with the anticipated 2010 SOTU address tonight by President “Hooverville” Barack Obama, where THE GAY SWAMI will be hosting a first time ever Mangotini Marathon shots bender. All participants need to do is hit the liquor cabinet, pour some Bombay Gin into a tumbler of ice and sprinkle two packets of Kool-Aid brand flavored “Mango High-life” and shake. Do NOT stir. Then, every time Obama tells a lie or wanders off into the weeds about Wall Street bankers pay that does NOT affect your miserable Main Street life when he should be exposing the hidden truths behind the steamy, lusty corporate Man Crush deals brokered by US politicians to STEAL YOUR JOBS and give them to our imported guest workers, take a big gulp. After that, take another. 

 Other 2010 exhilarating stories include:


- Warning: Cell Phones May be Hazardous to Your Health! So is Smoking! But The Gay Swami is Immune and has INFINITE Lifetimes of Pleasure Trysts to Explore!

- Bar Foreign Money from U.S. Politics? NEVER! Hell Hath No Fury Against Those Who Would Quash the Man Crush!

- Legal Outsourcers Now LEGALLY Stealing AMERICAN Lawyer Jobs, too! And Americans actually ALLOW it!

And More...

Eventually, the foolish and bamboozled Americans who swallowed our sob story and  "best and brightest" fibs will start getting tired of throwing things at the plasma screen. This is fine. Just as long as they don't start throwing them at ME. Ommmmmmm...

-THE GAY SWAMI

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Manchurian Candidate Football



Manchurian Candidate Football

"The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry, and they're frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years.” 
-Barack Obama 


The only thing worse than voting for a duopoly sponsored, Manchurian candidate is to witness its party's insufferable “follow the crowd” feather-brained flock of sycophants. This week, Republicans are reveling in U.S. Sen.-elect Scott Brown's victory, believing they have discovered the secret sauce for ALL GOP candidates to win in upcoming elections against the shifting balance of Congressional Democratic power and against its fading president. By focusing on opposition to the policies Obama was elected on, downplaying “overtly political Republican ties” and embracing bi-partisan voter anger with “populist appeals” to ride an ant-establishment wave, the lies and liars from BOTH parties have never enjoyed a better roll. While liberals - who have devolved into a useless lot-- claim to support the working middle class and mouth anti-war sentiments, they nonetheless throw their support behind candidates who smugly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the importation of cheap labor to take their jobs and those of their neighbors and their kids - and for more wars. In reality, BOTH parties serve the Neo-Frat boy corporate state, divided into two camps which vye for the electorate's exclusive, suckered seal of approval. The unspoken rule being, of course, that these duopoly candidates never be allowed to address and then deliver upon the real issues affecting the lives of our citizenry and to advocate for the greater good of our local communities.

And who exactly IS this new “representative of the people” of Massachusetts, Scott Brown? For that matter, who is Martha Coakley, who doesn't know from Curt Schilling? It doesn't matter.

Viewing the two-party duopoly (with all of its ignoramus infighting) in play is like watching firefighters pump gasoline from their hoses into a burning building. This deadly U.S. two-party duopoly is the ultimate plebeian sport, delivering its periodic bromide of “victory” with each election cycle. Seeking to identify with the “winner”, political, megaphone-clinging bleacher bums maraud about the media square. These bread and circus infotainment media clowns and wannabes along with their kissing first cousin, sports enthusiastas speak the very same dumbed down, agenda driven language, rumbling the same old, familiar mantras of “hope” and “progress” when all along, the rules of the game are pre-defined to benefit a select few.

Like Lucy and Charlie Brown playing football, where Lucy keeps moving the ball further and further away from Charlie Brown's kick, in our corporatist sponsored, two-party duopoly elections, Lucy is the Shadow Elite and Charlie Brown is the Manchurian Candidate. And the football? Yeah, baby. It's us.

In his article entitled Manchurian Candidates: Supreme Court allows China and others unlimited spending in US elections, Greg Palast breaks down the Manchurian Candidate phenomenon where this week's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission opens up the flood gates for other countries to FURTHER buy our elections and to outsource our own government, military and corporate jobs to third world workers. US candidates only make it to the ballots after they have passed the corporate sponsored Manchurian sniff test of greedy multi-national lobbies who MUST rule America. Congress, the White House, and as we have now witnessed this week, the federal judiciary are captive impotents in the Neo-Frat boy's deadly embrace of corporatist greed. There is no government of the people for the people by the people but only the rule of perverted, anti-citizen and inhumane private interests who seek to quash America's right to free speech along with their jobs.

The last, smart democratic president to hold office, Bill Clinton - who I voted for -- comes to mind. Although yours truly hasn't yet read anything about Bill and Hillary's thoughts about this week's Supreme Court decision that openly, transparently takes the gloves off the Neo-Frat boy corporate state's fight against America's educated middle class, their profiteering motives/collusion with the India lobby and support for the importation of cheap workers to take jobs from Americans is so disappointingly legend. Where is their apology and re-direction against their role in kicking America's middle class to the curb? If these two are down with it, what does this say about the soulless hole of this Democratic party? And given the fact that Obama's economic team is basically the same, former Clinton government now propped up by Paul Volcker as a fleurette on this rich cake called the Obama administration, I'm inclined to believe that this court ruling is yet another sanctioned outcome by the duopoly of Bush-Clinton. Which is not to say that the Obama administration's choice of Volcker this week isn't a very good one, but is it merely window dressing, or corpora-turfing?

OK, sports fans, don't get up. Back to watching the Manchurian Football game, where YOU, dear plebeian reader, get to STAR as the football in this perpetual game of “hope” vs. “The Neo-Frat boy corporate state.” But don't worry. Look at the bright side: The day Obama removes his Manchu mask and tells the insurance, pharma, military-industrial complex and the American jobs sucking India lobbies to ALL go to hell is the day, when, well, HELL freezes over.

-2Truthy

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy King Day: Jobless Men Keep Going



The purpose of the slum is to confine those who have no power and perpetuate their powerlessness. … The slum is little more than a domestic colony which leaves its inhabitants dominated politically, exploited economically, segregated and humiliated at every turn.” The chief problem is economic, King concluded, and the solution is to restructure the whole society.” 
  -Dr. Martin Luther King
Speech at the Chicago Freedom Festival

2010: Slum Life in America Includes Middle Class Americans – Black, White, Yellow and Red

As we celebrate the life and historic civil rights work of Dr. Martin Luther King today, it is important to never forget that King understood  the pursuit of happiness, life and liberty were all moot in an oppressive, unjust society that would deny its own citizens access to good paying jobs, education and decent health care with a population of cowardly citizens who would ignore doing the right thing.

In the last few months of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King began reminding his listeners that the ghetto was a “system of internal colonialism.”

In his essay entitled Turning King's Dream Into a Nightmare, Chris Hedges describes how King (along with Malcom X) would have “denounced the liberals who mouth platitudes about justice for the poor while supporting a party that slavishly serves the interests of the moneyed elite.” Fast-forward from his tragic death in 1968, and our society is still ignoring the institutional and economic racism perpetuated by anti-American labor policies against U.S. workers by the well-funded Neo Frat-boy corporate state. With name-calling media mouthpieces including a university worker who repeatedly attacks educated American citizens who want to keep their jobs by calling them “racist” and xenophobe” most recently here and here, when will Americans do the right thing to demand a stop to the wholesale sell out of American tech jobs to India under the Great Skilled Labor Shortage Myth lust for “guest workers” when there are not enough jobs for our own citizens? (h/t NoSlaves.)

Hedges also explains how King courageously spoke out on behalf of people with nothing left to compromise, channeling his vision for a just society to “do the right thing” into the source of his uncompromisable faith and strength:

On some positions, cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when a true follower of Jesus Christ must take a stand that’s neither safe nor politic nor popular but he must take that stand because it is right. Every now and then we sing about it, ‘If you are right, God will fight your battle.’ I’m going to stick by the best during these evil times.”

Ironic, that the first black president has not put an end to corporate America's wholesale sell-out of American jobs and has been the biggest proponent of this great lie of a health care reform bill, like a shiny car with great airbags – which is nothing but an insurance and tech mafia giveaway –- never mind the taxpayer funded tech lobby's mandated electronic health record fraud.


Today, in this war on America's middle class, the late, honorable MLK must be rolling in his grave over the moneyed elite's protection squad  within this Democratic, black White House. Would MLK say to American workers  "get over yourselves"?

Party on, plebes!

-2Truthy

It's NOT the Economy, Stupid. IT'S YOUR JOB.

Friday, January 15, 2010

First Mr. Gay China Pageant Cancelled


(Very Special Thanks to Bruce Vilanch)

The New York Times reports here that the first Mr. Gay China pageant was not meant to be. An hour before the show was set to begin on Friday night, eight police officers walked into a club where the venue was set to begin and shut it down, citing the organizers lack of “necessary permits.” There were eight men competing for the Mr. Gay China title, whereby the winner would have been the first Chinese entrant in the Worldwide Mr. Gay competition to be held next month in Oslo.

San Francisco's Prop 8 trial Day 4: Live coverage from the courtroom includes testimony that maintains gays and lesbians encounter “a disproportionate level of stress and mental health difficulties because of discrimination.” Although homosexuality in China is decriminalized and has become increasingly accepted socially, the report states that gay dating web sites are still blocked, and even if members of the gay community gather without fear of arrest, they rarely come out to their families and co-workers.

For gay rights advocates, the boundary between the permissible and the forbidden is always shifting. In 1997, China decriminalized gay sex. In 2001, homosexuality was removed from the official list of psychological disorders. During China’s first Gay Pride celebration last summer, the police in Shanghai forced the cancellation of several events, yet allowed others to take place.”

Happy Friday, Loserettes!

-2Truthy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help Haiti Now




Haiti Needs Your Help

PORT-AU-PRINCE -- With the death toll now approaching 50,000, planes from around the globe including the United States landed in Haiti carrying rescue teams with water, food, medicine and other supplies, as  the international Red Cross estimated 3 million people - a third of the population — may need emergency relief. Read more here.

If the devil is in the details, then writer Chris Floyd explains them all for you, as he offers the  finest analysis on the history of Haiti's poverty and oppression anywhere to be found in the media.

Read his excellent article entitled  The Unforgiven Country Cries Out which dispels the myths and propaganda behind Haiti's so-called "curse" and their "pact with the devil" that this creature, Pat Robertson cites as the reason for Haiti being stricken by this natural disaster. Not only does Robertson invoke the Devil, but he takes a swing at the French, too. Floyd explains:

"Scant hours after the earthquake hit, televangelist Pat Robertson was on the air, declaiming to his millions of viewers that the reason Haiti was stricken by this disaster -- and has been suffering grievously for 200 years -- is because the Haitians "swore a pact with the devil" in order to win their freedom from their French colonial overlords the early 1800s.

And while such vomitious expulsions are to be expected from this well-wadded, politically-wired, virulently extremist mullah (once aptly described in these pages as a "dictator-coddler, blood diamond merchant, Jew-hater and milkshake shiller") this time there is a very tiny grain of truth to be found in the splattered mass of Robertson's upchucking. The Haitians have indeed been cursed for 200 years, and the curse does indeed go back to their liberation. But pace Robertson, the source of this curse is not metaphysical.
"


Here is information on how to text your donation to help the people of Haiti if you can.

-2Truthy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is Google REALLY About Censoring Censorship?



 The Combat of the Giaour and Hassan, 1826
Eugène Delacroix  1798-1863


A Mel Toast GOOGLE Reactionary Retrospective on Religion



You have heard the old saw?

Good.
Fast.
Cheap.

Pick two.

Well, here’s the new political version of that clever epigram:

Islam.
A functioning democracy.
A vibrant free market.

Pick two.


If Christianity is “bullshit,” what is Islam?  Click HERE for youtube video on "Islam is"...

 
Well, you’ll have to ask Google about that. If you type in the phrase “Christianity is” in the search box you get back all manner of vulgarity.  But if you type in the phrase “Islam is” you get . . . well, nothing.


And, while equating Islam with nothing is quite OK in my book, that’s not EXACTLY what Google is doing.

Some at Google have explained it away as a “glitch” or a “bug.” Others prefer the more technically inscrutable  “algorithmic logic error in the embedded subroutine.”

But they are hiding behind their techno-babble, and we all know the truth. Google has become the world’s best index, and has also become the best in the world at—censorship.

The muslims have already handed over a king-of-Saudi Arabia’s-ransom to Google in order to help the Wahabists foist their viral scourge of a faith upon the planet. Now it’s time for proponents of other religions—and free-thinking atheists as well— to stand up and be heard.

This triumph of Islamo-fascistic censorship cannot be allowed to stand.

Charles Martel stopped them near the gates of Paris itself at the Battle of Tours in 721.  And again, in 1571, the Ottoman hordes were defeated by Don Juan of Austria in the Battle of Lepanto in the Ionian Sea near Greece.

And so it is today that we must destroy this most unholy alliance between Islam and Google, and keep the Saracens from their final invasion, not of territory, but of our minds.

Google is nothing more than the index to the Internet.  Let it not be allowed to set itself up as the judge, jury and executioner of objective inquiry by joining with the Mohammedan in crushing freedom of speech.

Islam + Google = Censorship.
Help invalidate this equation, before it is too late. 


Cordially,

Mel Toast





Choogle to Google: "Do No Hypocrisy"



Google vs. Choogle: Hypocrisy or High Road?


If Google's tag line is “Do No Evil”, Choogle's is “Do No Hypocrisy.”

Human rights and free speech are said to be at the core of Google's sudden, stunning announcement that it may withdraw its operations out of China over recent Gmail cybersyping attacks and censorship issues. As LWOH reported here, China has dismissed Google's threat to potentially withdraw it's operations as one of “hypocrisy.” Is China right?

What about legalized slave labor policies by U.S. corporations? U.S. corporations have for years openly exploited cheap human labor abroad in countries such as China and India within manufacturing and technology sectors, and have displaced millions of American workers by importing cheap labor under guest worker and student visa programs. Where is the collective outrage over such specific slave labor practices legally sanctioned by the same U.S. corporations expressing “outrage” over China's human rights practices? What about our own missing labor rights protections for American citizens? Jared Newman at PC World reports that while Google reacts to cyber-attacks on Chinese activists by strong-arming China into letting Google operate without censorship, human rights groups are now pressuring other tech companies to follow suit.

Newman reports that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Human Rights Watch both issued statements calling for broader changes in policy from companies that operate in China. “Too many of them have been willing to comply with Chinese demands that they check their values at the border,” wrote EFF International Outreach Coordinator Danny O'Brien. But what about corporate America's own values towards American citizens and workers' rights? 

The EFF, coincidentally, also issued this recent statement regarding the “deeply dangerous and wrong” action regarding a New Jersey judge's order issued two days before Christmas to shut down three anti-H-1B visa Web sites, which is drawing sharp criticism from an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation according to this Computerworld article by Patrick Thibodeau.

If Google truly wants to take the high road on human rights abuses, it could start with leading by example to put Americans first in their hiring practices both here and abroad. Isn't it time for America to start cleaning up its own corporate backyard for a change?

-2Truthy

Google Drops Bombshell on China over Censorship 'n Gmail Cyberhacking Breech



Beijing -- Analysts and human-rights activists applauded  Google Inc.'s  threat to China that the Internet behemoth may leave the country over  recent Gmail cybersyping attacks and censorship issues. Google said that e-mail accounts of Chinese human rights activists around the world were the primary target of the attack, which occurred in December.

But Chinese rival Baidu dismissed Google's move  as "hypocritical" and "financially  driven". In US trade on Wednesday, Baidu's shares were up 10%, and Google's down 1.5%.

Although it is unlikely that other U.S. corporations in China will follow suit, Google's move is certain to fuel debate over business relations with China.

-2Truthy

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frank Rich: The "Other Plot to Wreck America"


(Very special thanks to The Grateful Dead)

Frank Rich Ignores the “Other Plot to Wreck America” that is Job Outsourcing/Insourcing

**Note: Before reading any further, click on this link right here for an extremely educational and entertaining slide presentation of The Subprime mortgage Primer (h/t/ Businesspundit.com). After learning how we are number ONE in exporting crappy mortgages, remember this: It's a “Jobless Recovery”, baby! And you're NOT invited! Don't worry. The U.S. is number ONE at exporting white collar jobs, too! But you are NOT supposed to know about that, much less demand a stop to it.

Harvard alum and former movie critic Frank Rich discusses the other plot to wreck America in this weekend's NY Times Op-Ed column, explaining how most Americans need to be schooled about the skulduggery behind the “financial weapons of mass destruction” that wrecked our economy. “When it comes to synthetic C.D.O.’s and credit-default swaps”, Rich explains, this nation's citizenry needs to learn all about the financial terrorists on Wall Street in order to to prevent “another attack”:

What we don’t know will hurt us, and quite possibly on a more devastating scale than any Qaeda attack. Americans must be told the full story of how Wall Street gamed and inflated the housing bubble, made out like bandits, and then left millions of households in ruin. Without that reckoning, there will be no public clamor for serious reform of a financial system that was as cunningly breached as airline security at the Amsterdam airport. And without reform, another massive attack on our economic security is guaranteed. Now that it can count on government bailouts, Wall Street has more incentive than ever to pump up its risks — secure that it can keep the bonanzas while we get stuck with the losses.”

Great idea, Frank! Let's really, really understand the impossible scenarios of exotic derivatives and start to kick the gong around with all of those complicated, beastly investment vehicles that no one understands so that America's educated middle class will finally, finally get their jobs back and get back into the black. Brilliant solution. But schooling the growing millions of educated, unemployed  Americans about  sleazy and sociopathic investment bankers who created a crisis on Wall Street is like telling them there was a fire, here are the arsonists, now you know, now move along, while NOT offering them a hose  and pulling out the ladders to fight the fire on Main Street.



While he narrows his focus on the ills of Wall Street, Frank ignores how to instruct us to demand reforms to fix Main Street. He does not, for example, discuss the immediate remedy to get Americans back to work and to reverse the lower wages that have resulted due to labor arbitrage, championed by the likes of Alan Greenspan, who wants more H-1Bs so American workers are not “privileged elites.” While millions of Americans are now unemployed due to greedy and corrupt corporate hiring practices (enabled by coin-operated slot machines for politicians who sport “AMERICAN JOBS FOR SALE” on their backs) responsible for kicking college educated citizens to the curb in favor of cheap imported labor, the immediate place to start is to halt the guest worker visa and green card programs responsible. Back in 2007, Greenspan fervently recommended wiping out America's middle class. (h/t NoSlaves.) 
 
In this war on America's middle class, who exactly are the bad guys, again, Mr. Rich, and why are educated middle class Americans the enemy? (FYI: themessthatgreenspanmade.blogspot would serve as a handy primer for any serious journalist with a pair who cares to point the plebiscite in the right direction to better understand the causes behind the orchestrated collapse of jobs for Americans and how to fix this “disappearing jobs” problem and correct this “jobless recovery.”)

Meanwhile, Friday's jobless report includes unemployment statistics, while the underemployment rate in December rose to 17.3 percent, up from 17.2 percent in November. Keep in mind that even these estimates are conservative. As more and more people stop looking for jobs, they are no longer even counted among the unemployed – and this list is expanding rapidly. Despite this alarming unemployment and underemployment for Americans, lawmakers STILL want more H-1b visas (h/t Patrick Thibodeau at Computerworld) and other mechanisms to import foreign workers when there are clearly no longer enough jobs for our own citizens. Friday's jobs report also states that analysts had hoped to see the economy gained jobs for the first time in two years, but job openings remain far too few and will become worse if the government does not enact reforms to halt the corporate America's importation of cheap workers to take the jobs Americans can and must do. Surely, it is important to understand the causes and the culprits behind Wall Street's payday. But where, oh MSM and blah-gee-sphere know-somethings, art thou, when it comes to busting up the hubris soaked neo-frat boy toga party responsible for killing off jobs for America's middle class?


And the Obama administration? So far, it's more of the same old happy talk dressed up in gravitas. And the same old, same old music never stopped.

It's not the Economy, Stupid. It's YOUR JOB!

-2Truthy

Friday, January 8, 2010

Fast Times at Recruitment High: The 3 R's are Now 4 for War



The Old 3 R's Now Include a Hot 4th -  RECRUITMENT

Cannon Fodder News

CHICAGO  – Almost 10,500 of the Windy City's 203,000 sixth through twelfth-graders participate in some sort of military program on campus, according to this MOJO article entitled Fast Times at Recruitment High. Author Andy Kroll explains how Secretary of Education Arne Duncan invited the Pentagon into Chicago's schools and ponders the question:“Will he promote military schools nationwide?" Kroll writes:

Chicago may have the nation's biggest JROTC program, but it is no longer an anomaly. Due to increases in federal funding for JROTC programs, the military's presence in public schools is greater than ever before. More than a dozen academies partly funded by the Department of Defense have sprouted up from Philadelphia to Oakland, and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2009 passed last year will increase the number of JROTC units nationwide from 3,400 to 3,700 by 2020, at a cost of $170 million. (Peacework magazine obtained a list of schools that have requested JROTC programs.) The Marines are in discussions to open new JROTC academies in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and New Orleans, helping to expand a program that critics contend has blurred the line between education and recruitment.”

The accelerated push for military recruitment of middle schoolers coincides with the timely Democratic Party's push to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrant families from Mexico. Just in time to start training their kids to become sharpshooters? While the Pentagon has provided millions of dollars in funding to Chicago's military academies, the article also notes the role of another local, “loyal backer” of Chicago's military programs, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) who has secured $2.1 million for the Rickover Naval Academy and $5 million for the Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville. Incidentally, Sen. Durbin's DREAM ACT would grant undocumented youth conditional permanent residency if they meet a set of education or military service criteria and would also extend work study, financial aid and other in-state tuition incentives that would bring an estimated 65,000 American-raised youth out of the margins each year. (Senator Durbin, along with Charles Grassley [R-IA] are also pushing a necessary and vital bill that will crackdown on H-1B visa abuses. Last year, Grassley sent a letter to Microsoft, urging the company to terminate H-1B visa holders before laying off American computer programmers and IT professionals.)

Ever hear of the Chicago Renaissance 2010? In another fine article, Kroll defines the “corporatization” of public education where shuttering public schools in favor of military or private schools is specifically geared to further the corporate sponsored, elitist agenda of advancing a have and have not educational system (paid for, of course, by Joe Taxpayer) below:

 “Look no further than Chicago's divisive Renaissance 2010 reform model for evidence of why increased mayoral control is a poor idea. The centerpiece education reform for both Mayor Daley and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Duncan, Renaissance 2010 is a sweeping program that seeks to close underperforming schools or schools with low enrollment and replace them with multiple new, smaller, "entrepreneurial" schools. Many of these new Renaissance 2010 schools are "contract" or charter schools operated by independent nonprofit organizations which can - and mostly do - eliminate the teachers' union. What's more, these nonprofit organizations can, in turn, outsource management of their new schools to for-profit education management organizations, privatizing what used to be a public school.”

Other questions relating to the transformation of the nation's public schools into military recruitment centers abound. While the demise of the nation's public school students' academic performance coincides with public schools around the country dipping into the red, a sharp rise of charter school and private school enrollment is soaring. This essay, written back in 1997, explains the vital link between funding and academic performance:

Over the years, American public schools have been in debate due to racial inequalities and as the practical value of the high school diploma decreased. Public schools in the United States of America are usually funded by the local, state, and federal government. The local government provides the funds for a public school to function. Local governments usually receive funding from the property tax of the residents living in the vicinity of the school (Kozol, 54). Teachers' salaries, books, and transportation are just some of the expenses involved in running a school. This means children that live in rich neighborhoods will receive more funding, while children in poor neighborhoods will receive less funding (Kozol, 55). Cities also have the problem of higher police expenditures and fire department costs which use up the "limited tax revenues." (Kozol, 55) This situation creates a large gap between rich schools and poor schools.”


It used to be the exclusive domain of the GOP to bash those dreadful “social” gummint programs and promote the privatization of education, but now the Obama administration has jumped on the “socialist” bashing bandwagon. Fast forward to the new millennium, where we witness the growing divide between have and have not populations in our communities and schools. In addition to the growing number of military programs being offered to low income kids as the nation's public schools endure funding cuts, is it merely a coincidence that government officials would do the bidding of think tanks which would seek to discredit public schools via the increased promotion of voucher systems and other mechanisms to funnel tax dollars into corporatized education centers such as the Edison Schools which would advance the privatization agenda of this regime of think tanks?

And what will become of those middle-school aged, inner-city and amnesty kids? Certainly, not all students are cut out for college and some will welcome military training. A large number of them might even be grateful for the opportunity to take refuge in the nation's once democratic and strong, well-funded public school system where they now can learn to become patriotic cannon fodder to serve in corporate America's international wars. Maybe the bipartisan, feverish push for that compassionate amnesty bill is indeed just the ticket for a streamlined, military educational curriculum, courtesy Obama's Secretary of Education. Hope, change, snappy uniforms and all that, as the old 3 R's are now 4 for War.

-2Truthy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Godless Buses in Spain



"Every day I get in the queue, to get on the bus that takes me to you."
-The Who

BARCELONA — For a saucy country steeped in Catholic tradition, you might expect the vanity license plates to wildly scream "HE IS IN ME" or "JESUS CHRIST IS ON MY BUMPER" but for Spain, separation of church and state has hit a speed bump. This Chicago Tribune article by Christine Spolar explains that for many plastered buses in Spain, "GOD PROBABLY DOESN'T EXIST":

"This democracy is engaged in a bracing debate over God and state and deciding whether Catholic or secular visions should mold social policies and young minds.

A new citizenship course, introduced in secondary school in September, left politicians and church leaders tangling over what values should be formally taught. Laws passed in 2005 that essentially recognize gay marriage and ease divorce still rankle Catholic elders."


Why am I am reminded of Bill Maher's book "When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden"? Like meditation or yoga, many devout people from all different faiths claim that  regular religious worship not only gets them high but it also unites them. Speaking of meditation and yoga, unlike the local Catholic church which allows you to attend Mass for free, all of the yoga centers around here are strictly for-profit and charge you at least twelve bucks EACH session to painfully turn your body into a pretzel in an attempt to obtain nirvana - perhaps they'll roll out bus signs that read "THERE'S PROBABLY NO AFFORDABLE NIRVANA JOINTS ON THIS ROUTE. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR SHITTY LIFE."


Apparently, Spain isn't the first country to deploy the godless buses as Britain was the first. But why should the belief of atheism - that particular belief -- be marketed and branded like cheap laundry detergent? Our personal beliefs, now, must become cleansed through the Almighty Groupthink rinse cycle delivered to us, Oh non-existent Lord, by the Invisible Hand of One Big Godless Wiccan? How exciting!

I can't wait to see our local Muni buses plastered with signs that read "STOP WORRYING. DIG IT AND DIE LIKE DOGS."

-2Truthy

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

'Clueless' and 'Ignorant' US Spies in Afghanistan



(Photo credits/special thanks to Nick Fury Gallery)


Marvel's "Fury" from their MAX line may have been controversial, but Robertson's drawings of Fury were hands-down awesome, even awe-inspiring. Here's a great shot by Robertson of Nick with his trademark cigar - check out the cool lighter he's using with the US flag on it. One Nation under God..”
-Nick Fury Gallery

The Scene at the Forward Base in Khost, Afghanistan

CIA Agent #1:
Say, whaddya think ol’ Abdu wants us all in here for together? More o’ them A-rabic lessons, heh-heh?

Jordanian Double-Agent (Abdu):
Meester! Meester! have beeg new for you a-bout O-sama! You sit here. That’s it. All of you. That’s right. Close to the window . . . and the ammo boxes. .Good. Now, I tell you.

CIA Agent #1:
Yo! Abdu! Watcha got yer hand down yer pants again fer? Ya scratchin’ yer b . . . KABLOOIE!!!

“Clueless” and “ignorant” US spies in Afghanistan are “marginally relevant”, according to a top Nato intelligence official. The CIA suffered a deadly blow to its operations on Dec. 30 when a suicide bomber killed seven CIA employees along with a Jordanian double-agent intelligence officer inside Camp Chapman, a high security base in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan. (click on link for video.)

The people we had in there during the waterboarding days were ignorant enough. But now that our forces have actually been ordered to TRUST Muslims who don't want us over there, how can we not expect more of the same? Someone needs to show these guys The Battle of Algiers, as the people we are invading will stop at nothing to defend their turf and kill us. They don’t want us there. But their “leaders” will gladly take our taxpayer billions. With our “leaders” being stakeholders in profitable military industrial complex businesses, (h/t Chris Floyd) will these old-colonial wars ever stop?

-2Truthy

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fly Mo Air



(Click on image to enlarge)

Tolerance and Inclusion Viewed through an Economic Prism
-On the Danish Cartoonist and Burning Pantsman-

Happy New Year! To each of you, as one of my favorite entertainers Charo says, don't be mean and treat others the way you would want to be treated, coochie coochie.

The Swiss vote to ban further building of minarets in their country has heightened the debate over whether Islam is a religious or political system in Europe. I have long held that good politics (if not an impossible oxymoron) particularly at the local level, is only as good as the Good Samaritan ethics and morality of those who would elect local officials and those who hold office. Ideology, alone, (whether religious, political or both) only goes so far,  and  you can't take Ideology to the bank. In her recent article, Author Ayaan Hirsi takes a closer look at the politics of East/West ideology and asserts that the Swiss ban on minarets was a vote for tolerance and inclusion.
    
How could this be?

The answer lies in taking a closer look at the symbolism which blends religion with politics as viewed through what I refer to as an economic prism. The author cites two distinct groups that take into account the economic prism that people from two distinct economic classes of people from countries all across the globe now confront under the economic human exploitation banner of “globalization.”

Hirsi defines the two contrasting groups, one  as “working class” and the other  as power holders or “pragmatists”:

These two contrasting perspectives correspond to two quite distinct groups in Europe. The first are mainly the working class. The second are the classes that George Orwell described as "indeterminate." Cosmopolitan in outlook, they include diplomats, businesspeople, mainstream politicians, and journalists. They are well versed in globalization and tend to focus on the international image of their respective countries. With every conflict between Islam and the West, they emphasize the possible backlash from Muslim countries and how that will affect the image of their country.
By contrast, those who reject the ideas and practices of political Islam are in touch with Muslims on a local level. They have been asked to accept Muslim immigrants as neighbors, classmates, colleagues – they are what Americans would refer to as Main Street. Here is the great paradox of today's Europe: that the working class, who voted for generations for the left, now find themselves voting for right-wing parties because they feel that the social democratic parties are out of touch.”

Hirsi is correct in her assertion that  powerless, middle class mingling between peoples of differing cultural, religious and political views  naturally pose clear objections to (extremist) practices, such as attempted honor killings like the most recent attempt on the Danish cartoonist or the recently foiled jihad by Burning Pantsman demonstrate. Clearly, such extremism is NOT going to be welcome by the plebiscite – whether in Europe or the United States or Borneo. Yet, those who would identify with the pragmatists would still conclude that despite such inhumanity and extremism, tolerance is indeed the only - ONLY sane structure or glue to keep civility from becoming unhinged amidst this unleashed monster sold to the middle classes by flat-worldian pragmatists called globalization.

How then, precisely, are the European social democratic parties on the left out of touch? The author emphasizes that political ideas have symbols, and that cultural differences in values between the local population and “newcomers” who arrive with a sense of entitlement to replace local political order are bound to threaten the local working class whereas the “pragmatists” or power class are immune and, at best, oblivious:

The pragmatists, most of whom are power holders, are partially right when they insist that the integration of Muslims will take a very long time. Their calls for dialogue are sensible. But as long as they do not engage Muslims to make a choice between the values of the countries that they have come to and those of the countries they left, they will find themselves faced with more surprises. And this is what the Swiss vote shows us. This is a confrontation between local, working-class voters (and some middle-class feminists) and Muslim immigrant newcomers who feel that they are entitled, not only to practice their religion, but also to replace the local political order with that of their own.”

Although the author does not elaborate on any specific consequences on what sort of “surprises” the power holders or pragmatists would find, she does offer opposing views regarding what constitutes values defining local European order with those of the “newcomers” which would impose their political “Islamic supremacy” on the powerless middle class here:

If it is accurate, then Islam, as a political movement, should be rejected on the basis of its own bigotry. In this view, Muslims should not be rejected as residents or citizens. The objection is to practices that are justified in the name of Islam, like honor killings, jihad, the we-versus-they perspective, the self-segregation. In short, Islamist supremacy.”

But if politics is little more than sleaze, graft and corruption, then it would be (in the marvelous words of our very own pragmatist and culinary ex-con, Martha Stewart) a good thing for the middle class to finally get themselves some - power,
that is – starting at the local level. After all, tolerance of too much power trickling up and not down at the local level without middle class inclusion is surely proving to be a very, very bad thing.

Oh – and about that “inclusiveness” thing? As I said before, It's not the Economy, Stupid. It's YOUR JOB. And about that Us vs. Them business Hirsi mentioned...Europe aside, U.S. CEO's and Wall Street bankers keep slapping themselves on the, er, back over their greedy trickle up economics gained through imported slave labor practices (h/t No Slaves) while our own country's unemployment rate is in the double digits range, harming our own middle class citizenry. Would these corporate and political miscreants who exemplify the highest degree of UNWORTH change course and start leading by example?

For some, I suppose that greed and hate are acquired tastes that even occur naturally, with envy and enmity being close seconds, but there is obviously so much more that CEO's alone could do to improve civility and prosperity for the citizens in our local communities. In spite of this, in the Us vs. Them paradigm of their pragmatic Dark Looking Glass, not tolerating what should be tolerable is 'Up' and including oneself in the 'US' category is 'down' because it is, after all, all about THEM and there is no “we” in these United States anymore.

Party on, plebs!

-2Truthy