Tag Archives: america
Nightcap 04/19/12

Nightcap 04/19/12

Snake Man died last week. I just heard the news. He was torn apart by a pack of dogs out behind the plastic fingernail factory. The dogs had wised up since their last encounter with Snake Man. They knew to corner him, with dogs on three sides, and never let him get near a sewer grate. Then they took bite after bite, pulling loose bundles of snakes that constituted Snake Man’s arms and legs, neck and torso. The snakes melted into black smoke in the dogs’ mouths, as was appropriate for a creature made up of the devil’s tentacles. Even so, the dogs bit down harder and harder, bloodying their gums and lower lips. They had no taste for Snake Man’s leather jacket and knotty pants. One of his boots was found in place of the Mayor’s infant son, but that and other curse-related effects were expected and prepared for. (The Mayor moved forward, accepting the classification of “Unfit to Father” to clear the way for his State House run later this year.) What I’ll miss most about Snake Man was his sincerity. He was genuinely interested in what you had to say, in what you had going on. You looked into the two coiled, midnight-black Hertzel Snakes that formed his eyeballs and you knew: He cared. Nevertheless I intend to deliver the speech at the dogs’ honorarium later this month. They will receive Civic Commendation Medals for destroying another of the Jungian shadow figures that plague our community, thus increasing property values.

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POLITICAL THEATRE

POLITICAL THEATRE

From Dennis Kucinich: War takes the money from the American people and puts it into the hands of arms manufacturers, war profiteers, and private armies. The war in Iraq, based on lies: $3 trillion will be the cost of that war. The war in Afghanistan; based on a misreading of history; half a trillion dollars in expenses already. The war against Libya will be $1 billion by September. Fifty percent of our discretionary spending goes for the Pentagon. A massive transfer of wealth into the hands of a few while the American people lack sufficient jobs, health care, housing, retirement security. There is a massive transfer of wealth from the American people to the hands of a few and it’s going on right now as America’s eyes are misdirected to the political theater of these histrionic debt negotiations, threats to shut down the government, and willingness to make the most Americans pay dearly for debts they did not create. These are symptoms of a government which has lost its way, and they are a challenge to the legitimacy of the two-party system. SOURCE Thanks to J-Walk Blog

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BIGGEST MISTAKE, FIRST MISTAKE

BIGGEST MISTAKE, FIRST MISTAKE

My first great miscalculation was switching over the entire office to those triangular, three-color highlighter markers. The promotional kind, with Real Estate Agency logos on the side. I did so without telling anyone my plans and had the switch carried out by a foreign work crew brought in overnight. I thought it would increase efficiency. Three colors opens up a lot more options. You can rank different passages. You can draw things besides bananas. The triangle shape is (somehow) related to the pyramids, which, I was told (by the sales guy), are powerful symbols of immortality. I also thought we’d able to connect all the highlighters and build our own pyramid. The backlash from staff and clientele was harsh and immediate. Documents were ruined, wrists sprained, customers alarmed at the appearance of pink highlighting in their bibles. A few staffers began spontaneously speaking Portuguese and have yet to recover. The bulk of our business is (was) highlighting passages in books and magazines that do not belong to the clients that bring them in. They steal them from doctor’s offices and neighbor’s mailboxes and fully intend to return them, with seemingly random words and phrases highlighted, whose true meaning is only revealed once a reader gathers them from the length of the book, writes them down in reverse and solves the resulting riddle. Foolproof! (I bought a franchise out of a back of a Professional Sitters magazine and it just took off. We now control the highlighting business of three counties.) Well I guess I am the fool. I’ve spent the last two days issuing letters of apology and offering refunds and discounts. I don’t know. Sometimes I just wish I had taken Dad’s advice and become a cardboard box after college.

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THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

[W]e have passed through the looking glass. Large-scale, speculative risk, undertaken by already grossly overcompensated bankers, is now officially part of the framework, in the form of too-big-to-fail guarantees made, implicitly and explicitly, by the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, the “libertarian” right moves to take the risks of unemployment, disease, and, yes, accidents of birth, and devolve them entirely onto the responsibility of the individual. It is not just sad; it is repugnant. Stephen Metcalf on why the philosophical father of Libertarianism gave up on the movement he inspired.

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From Robert Reich

From Robert Reich

The only way back toward sustained growth and prosperity in the United States is to remake the basic bargain linking pay to productivity. This would give the American middle class the purchasing power they need to keep the economy going. Part of the answer is, as in Germany, stronger labor unions — unions strong enough to demand a fair share of the gains from productivity growth. The current Republican assault on workers’ rights continues a thirty-year war on American workers’ wages. That long-term war has finally taken its toll on the American economy. It’s time to fight back. SOURCE

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A COOKIE TRAY-BASED ECONOMY

A COOKIE TRAY-BASED ECONOMY

Bush Sr. told us a Cookie Tray-Based economy was sound. He lied.

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PROGRESSIVE SUMMER JOBS TOUR

PROGRESSIVE SUMMER JOBS TOUR

Earlier this year, the CPC put forward their own federal budget proposal that raises taxes on the rich and corporations (as well as ends the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) and plows the increased revenues into new education, health care and other middle class-focused domestic spending. That’s the kind of government Americans want, Grijalva said. The stops will feature members of the CPC sitting down with workers to hear about the employment situation and how it can be improved. Some events will be town halls, some will be rallies, some will be hearings and all will be open to the public. The caucus has been planning the tour in secret for months, and say that it could help shift the focus back to job creation and away from the federal bottom line. SOURCE

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Old Question

Old Question

It is an old question, isn’t it — whether individual citizens can be blamed for their apathy and ignorance, or whether they really are simply products of a deeply corrupted and dysfunctional system? How could a corrupt and dysfunctional system create something as wonderful as the Steak-Based Credit Card? (That’s the credit card only for buying steaks, paying for them with steaks, comes as part of a kit with steaks and smells like steak.) (And is made of steak.)

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