God knows that I am no fan of Obama. In my personal opinion, Barack Obama is simply another sleazy Chicago Machine politician, and his presidency is going to be as big a disaster for the country as eight long years of Baby-Doc Bush. This has everything to do with his policies and nothing to do with his funny name. When you stop and think about it, Obama’s name is common in Kenya. Here in the United States there is still an element that considers funny names to be frightening. Traditional British names such as Bush or Clinton are still considered to be “American” names. Once Irish names, like Reagan were considered to be foreign names. People forget that back in 1960 John F. Kennedy’s name was as scary as Barack Hussein Obama.
Kennedy was an Irish Catholic. Back in 1960 that was as scary as being a Muslim. There was a strong anti-Catholic element within the Democratic Party who opposed his nomination because they did not want the Pope ruling America through our president. Former President Harry S. Truman made a better assessment of a Kennedy presidency when he quipped “I’m not afraid of the Pope; I’m afraid of the Pop”. Truman was referring to the fact that Kennedy’s father was part of the very financial industry that is ruining this country today.
An honest assessment of the Kennedy presidency may never be written. He became a 20th Century martyr. Possibly because he was Catholic, and that revolting closet case, J. Edgar Hoover, was determined to hide his homosexuality by oppressing all minorities. We will not impartially study the Bay of Pigs outside of Kennedy’s Martyrdom, nor will we honestly asses his part in the Vietnam war. Conservatives certainly did blame Kennedy’s reluctant support of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement to the fact of Kennedy being part of a religious minority. The fact was that Kennedy had no choice in the face of a massive uprising of oppressed citizens. v Nixon would have done the same had he been president.
Giving the devil his due, Richard M. Nixon was the last president to campaign on the issues. Kennedy avoided the issues entirely and answered with slogans and vague promises for a bright future. I do think that Kennedy was the better president for the times. Regardless of his motivation, Kennedy did the right thing when he supported civil rights. At the same time he supported big business’s priorities in technological and industrial advancement. Despite that there were still conservatives who claimed that Kennedy won because he was better looking than Nixon. I even had some teachers who credited Kennedy’s success to women’s suffrage.
Today we are looking at a revival of the original Kennedy campaign. We have a dark-skinned candidate with an African name, and we have idiots claiming that he is a Muslim. He is being linked to black radicals and to washed up, wannabe terrorists from the Sixties. Those who claim that he’s a Muslim forget that he used to go to a Christian church whose pastor told an uncomfortable truth, that racism is alive and well in the United States today. This is proved by the fact that Obama’s name and skin color are issues. If the Republicans were really serious about winning this election, they could do it on race alone.
The fact is that the Republicans don’t want the election. The next twenty years are going to be spent trying to get America out of the hole that the Neocons dropped us into. It would be more profitable for the Neocons to step aside and to blame the Democrats for all the misery we are going to be seeing for the next two decades. This has been the Republican strategy since Carter was president. The Neocon strategy has been to own both parties. Bill Clinton was just as much a Neocon as Ronald Reagan. Look at the way Clinton tore the social safety net to pieces and set things up for Baby-Doc Bush to take over. Bush would have had a hard time if Clinton hadn’t paved the way by signing NAFTA and McCain’s financial reform bills.
The fact that Obama went to Rev. Wright’s church and associated with Sixties radicals is the only hope I have for the next four years. When you look at Obama’s actual policies, they are almost identical to McCain’s. Obama has maintained the illusion of being a liberal by abstaining from voting on key bills and laws. Obama’s health care reform is worse than McCain’s. McCain is pretty much going to leave things as they are, while Obama is giving a massive cash giveaway to the health corporations. Obama is even going to expand Faith-Based Initiatives. I have absolutely no hope that Obama is going to end the wars. The differences between McCain and Obama are purely cosmetic. Yet there are those who insist on making race the issue.
It’s astounding the lengths that the Democrats will go to in order to convince the rest of us that they are different from the Republicans. This is proved by the ridiculous health care reform plan that Obama is offering the voters. Needless to say, the Republican solution is simply bat shit crazy. The Republicans want to balance the budget by turning your insurance premiums into taxable income. Chevron will continue its free ride and the rest of us will have to pay for it by losing one of our remaining tax shelters.
Yet if you take a good look at what Obama is offering us, you see that he is not doing us any favors either. While the Republicans are simply giving the health insurance industry everything they want with a bag of chips, the Democrats are doing the same thing. The difference is that the Democrats are being sneaky about it. The Democrat’s plan will provide even more profits to the insurance companies with even less service to the consumers.
First of all, Obama’s health plan exploits the ignorance of the average voter. Few voters know that the government does not directly manage Medicare and Medicaid. They are managed by private health insurance companies as third party administrators. Medicare is managed by Blue Cross while Medicaid is administered by other health insurance companies on a state to state basis. So by expanding Medicaid, the Democrats are going to increase health insurance profits by billions of dollars. Another thing that voters do not realize is that Bill Clinton turned Medicaid over to the HMOs. This is the only thing remotely fair about the entire Democratic health care plan. The indigent poor will suffer as much as the working poor who will be required by law to give money to the HMOs. The poor can enjoy an equal amount of neglect by the for-profit health establishment.
The most obvious problem with the Democratic health plan is that it is totally unfair to everybody except the health care providers. It throws us a bone by eliminating pre-existing conditions. The health care providers can certainly spare that, considering all the money they will collect through federal subsidies. Otherwise there is no real benefit to the voters. The Democrats are not going to establish minimal standards of health care. They are not going to regulate the cost of health care. They are leaving that to the marketplace. We have all seen what that sort of non-regulation has brought us in the economy. Now the Democrats are doing the same damage to our health care.
The next thing you should notice is that the consumer is going to have to pay for his health care as well as taxes. Obama is going to create a mess of tax regulations to make the humblest of CPAs misty-eyed with gratitude for the extra work. Rather than simplifying an already impossible tax-code, Obama is going to make more work for tax-preparers and CPAs. That’s going to be more money out of the consumer’s pocket. It looks like everybody is getting something except for the voter. All the voter is asking for is to be able to get treated if he’s sick. Is this too much to ask for? Apparently Barack Obama thinks so.
All this can be avoided with a single payer health care system. Your insurance premiums are taken out of your taxes. As any insurance agent can tell you, the larger the pool you have, the more money you will take in and the less each person will have to pay. That means that by paying for health care on a national level, we will all get better health care for less. Being overseen by the government we can assure that everybody gets a minimum quality of health care. That means that a homeless person or Dick Cheney can come into any hospital and be assured of competent care for a hang-nail or for terminal cancer. Since Dick is rich he can pay for extra health care and get himself such luxuries as a private doctor or a private room. The important thing is that both get competently treated.
Health care providers will actually have to do something for their money aside from distributing it to their boards of directors. It will mean that health insurance companies will have to settle for multi-million rather than multi-billion profits and that CEOs might have to take a cut in pay. Poor babies, my heart bleeds for them. They should keep a stiff upper lip and remember that we, the voters, have sacrificed enough. Now it’s their turn.
This is still another reason that I am voting for Ralph Nader this election. I do not expect Ralph to win. I am not voting for the sake of winning, I am voting for the sake of making a point. If I cannot vote for a candidate who reflects my needs and values, I am voting to show my displeasure. I will be damned if I will vote for McCain and Palin, and the Democrats do not deserve my vote. I am voting for Nader because there is no other viable alternative.
Obama is campaigning and promising us change, but is change anything more than a campaign promise? Obama has not provided a time line for withdrawing our troops from the Middle East. He has not promised the end of Homeland (in)Security. So what sort of change can we reasonably expect from a candidate who is not promising to restore the SEC or the FTC, even though the economy is tanking all around him? What can we expect from a candidate who came into Washington through the Chicago machine? Chicago is home to one of the oldest and crookedest political machines in the nation.
Barack Obama has proven this by his promise to expand Bush’s Faith-Based Initiatives. I suppose that the biggest change that we can expect is that the bribe money will be going to Obama’s supporters rather than to Bush’s supporters. Looking at things from a deeper level, if Bush’s supporters want to keep their fat bribes, they can switch their alliances to Obama. Maybe this is why The Washington Times has become a little critical of Baby-Doc Bush of late. The Times is fully owned by Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, and the Moonies are the biggest recipients of Bush’s Faith-Based Initiatives. Maybe they are hoping that the gravy train will continue under Obama.
What gives? Barack Obama has promised change, but all I’m seeing is another corporate candidate who is going to continue the same failed policies that America has been following since 1980. The United States illegally invaded two countries and the Democratic Speaker of the House “took impeachment off the table”. Obama still has not presented us with a withdrawal plan. The cost of health care has become impossible, and Obama is presenting a health care plan that penalizes the poor while assuring massive profits for the health insurance industry. Now with the economy tanking and thousands homeless, Obama is going to take our tax money and give it to the churches just like Bush has been doing. Oh yes, he is going to make some changes, but we all know they are going to be cosmetic changes. Obama is simply going to reward churches for supporting his policies without doing anything to relieve the suffering of the people who are depending on him.
Stop and think about it. What is the actual difference between Barack Obama and John McCain? Everybody and his brother keeps telling me that McCain is insane. If McCain becomes president, the war will never end. Would somebody please tell me when Obama committed to ending the war(s)? If McCain is elected he will use the atomic bomb. What makes you think that Obama will not use the atomic bomb? If McCain wins the economic situation will get worse. What makes you think that Obama will do anything differently than McCain? Maybe if we are lucky, Obama will throw us a few crumbs. Maybe he will champion same sex marriages and make that a condition to qualify for the faith-based money giveaways. Maybe he will decriminalize marijuana. While both of these are important issues, there are other issues that have to be addressed. Obama is not addressing them any more than McCain is.
That is why I am voting for Nader this election. I do not like Nader and I am not sure in my mind that he is any more competent to be president than Bush. Nader has presented a time line for withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Nader supports a single payer health care system which is not welfare for the health agencies. Nader also supports the elimination of Homeland (in)Security and Faith-Based initiatives. He is also in favor of same sex unions and legalization. Since Nader is supporting what I believe in, I am voting for him. If McCain wins because I voted for Nader, too bad. I don’t think that the Democrats deserve to win. I don’t think we will be any worse off with McCain than we would be with Obama. The only hope that Obama represents is the hope that we project on him.
Congress is looking for a scapegoat for the current financial crisis. The Democrats are blaming the Republicans. The Republicans want the voters to think that it’s the Democrats fault. They want the voters to forget that the Democrats have only been a majority for two years. The Republicans are also blaming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are blaming Allen Greenspan for everything. This is fair. After all, Greenspan served Bush the Elder, Bill Clinton, and The Shrub.
If Alan Greenspan was police chief on New York City, he would be standing in front of a City Commission explaining why street mugging has reached the point where the muggers are driving Mercedes. Poor Greenspan would have to hem and haw and explain that he was partially wrong for deregulating the anti-theft laws. Greenspan would elucidate by explaining that he assumed that self-interest would make the muggers regulate themselves. He never imagined that the muggers would allow themselves to get out of control the way they had. Greenspan would have to admit that he should have enforced some of the mugging laws.
Now let’s take a look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Neither company actually makes the loans. A representative from the Mac family doesn’t come to the customer’s house and take the application and the supporting documents. Somebody who works for a broker does that, or, in the case of a subprime lender, somebody who works for a registered corporation.
People who work in subprime are under constant pressure to sell, sell, sell. I remember working for Aames Home Loans during the stock market crash of 2000. The corporate office had every satellite office in California calling Oakland because the property values had risen so high. Those poor people were getting a call from Aames every ten minutes. Salespeople would intimidate a customer into signing and then quit as soon as the commission check cleared. I had one manager who was caught with a complete fraud kit. She had letterhead from several banks, phony pay stubs; everything needed to send phony documents to the underwriters. Once the loan went through and the three days passed, it was a legal contract and Aames could not rescind the loan, although they prosecuted the manager.
The same mentality dominates the prime loan industry. The idea was to get the loan no matter what. I once got fired from a brokerage for trying to kill a bad loan when the customers were hiding credit cards. The loan went through anyway. When no laws are being enforced, how are the Macs supposed to tell a good loan from a bad one? Tarot cards? To give them credit, The Macs turned down their share of bad loans. Yet considering that your average mortgage officer has to submit 15-25 files a week, and needs to fund 3-5 of them, the Macs cannot be blamed if one out of the three to five is a bad loan.
There is also another fact that is not being considered, which is that not all mortgages are bad when they are sold. A refinance or a second mortgage could be sold with all the honesty and good will on earth and could go bad for any number of reasons. The first mortgage meltdown occurred in April of 2007 after GM sent one of their plants to Mexico and the laid off American workers could no longer pay their mortgages. That was the domino that started this whole collapse. More loans have gone bad from outsourcing and unemployment than any other reason.
Which leaves us with the Democrats and the Republicans pointing the finger of blame at each other. Who elected these people in the first place. What does this say about the voters who elected Nancy Pelosi? These people claim to be liberals, but their favorite girl habitually gives Bush everything he wants and a bag of chips. What does this say about voters who supported Bill Clinton as he signed NAFTA into law and then tore our social safety net to pieces? A lot of people who cheered Clinton on are now homeless.
Maybe we, the American voters, are responsible for this mess for listening to ideology rather our own best interests. Perhaps this is our fault for looking at the surface of the issues rather than the substance. We, the voters, have consistently confused personal liberty with the corporate license to steal. We swallowed Greenspan’s idiocy about deregulation hook, line and sinker. The American voter welcomed Reagan with open arms because he promised us that deregulation would make us all richer. As Will Rogers once said, “we don’t always get the government we want, but we always get the government we deserve”.
You want to get out of this mess, start voting smarter. The SEC does not threaten your personal freedoms. If you paid a little more in taxes, the SEC may have been able to save your retirement account. The social safety net may have allowed you to save your job. Speaking of jobs, maybe if the American voter supported the labor unions, the U.S might still have a labor base. That way our currency would not be exclusively based on petroleum production.
It’s time to start ignoring politicians and demanding what we want. We want a secure economy. A single payer health system. More than anything else, we want a government that listens to us instead of dim-weeds like Allan Greenspan.
On November 15, our lame turkey president is hosting a meeting of world leaders. Fear not, oh libertarians, your Shrubby champion will urge his fellow despots to support “Democratic Capitalism”. What the hell is “Democratic Capitalism”? Is that anything like National Socialism? Baby-Doc Bush states that it’s about free markets, free enterprise, and free trade. Note that the operative word here is free, as in Scot free; as in “you watch out for the cops while we mug the housing market”. The U.S government doesn’t even make a pretense to honesty anymore. America watched as our congress divided up a 750 billion dollar swag amongst the very crooks who ripped us off. Frankly, I don’t understand why they even bother outlawing street mugging anymore. Maybe it’s because Wall St. can’t stand the competition?
According to the Yahoo! article, the location of the meeting has not yet been announced. People speculate that it’s to foil protesters. I think it’s so there are no witnesses. This is the second time in 80 years that the U.S has caused a worldwide economic meltdown. I think that the location is a secret because the rest of the world’s leaders don’t want any witnesses. Rumor has it that Gordon Brown’s valet caught the Prime Minister packing a cosh into his briefcase. There are also whispers about secret meetings between Brown and Kevin Rudd at a Malaysian pub frequented by mercenaries. There are speculations that the PM of Japan was spotted at secret meetings with the Yakuza. Then again, this may all be baseless rumors and the world leaders are simply going to rat pack poor Dubya.
Our fearless leader’s spokesrat said that it was unlikely that they would come to an accord on the first meeting. Well, duh! Baby-Doc Bush only has two months left before his exit plan. Bush’s exit plan is to pack his bags and leave the mess for the next guy to deal with. The only question is whether he heads for South America like Bohrmann, or simply exiles himself in Florida like O.J. So really, what can we expect Dubya to do except do a holding action while Wall St. CEOs stuff money in duffel bags and high tail it West Palm Beach? You can’t send out of state subpoenas into Florida.
Seriously, what possible use can come out of a meeting with Baby-Doc Bush? The man is totally Wall St. He doesn’t hear anything he doesn’t want to hear. He ignores criticism and doesn’t care what his own constituents want. What makes the rest of the world think that he’s going to do anything positive about the situation he put the world into? It’s not as if Bush was actually in charge. He is the front man for the same team that was in office when Nixon was president. Nixon was too drunk most of the time to be effective. Reagan was senile. Bush is just simply too stupid to really understand what is going on. So unless the leaders of the world plan on rat packing George and kicking him to death, I cannot imagine what they hope to accomplish.
The real danger of this meeting is not that Bush will take it over. At this stage of the game, America has ceased to be a player in the world economy. The only thing we produce is oil, and that is a rapidly disappearing commodity. We do not grow our own crops any more. The lion’s share of our production was sent overseas. It looks like our leaders have screwed the pooch by outsourcing America to death. The biggest danger we face is being set aside and ignored. The rest of the world can fix their own economies and simply let the U.S stew in its own juices.
I can just imagine the libertarians are going to love that! . Oh, those rocket scientists would dance and sing and hug each other while toasting the return of small capitalism. Then they would realize that the price of small capitalism is a short and brutish life without the amenities they think are theirs by right. There won’t be time to post on the Internet when they have to go out and grow their own damned beans. There has never been a day when America was not a part of the world economy. Watch what happens to our currency once we are set adrift.
I hope the next president will have the brains god gave a rock. With good luck the SEC and the FTC will be restored. Maybe this free enterprise garbage will be reinterpreted. Free enterprise should not mean being able to steal anything not nailed down. Otherwise we can look forward to a very grim future.
Don’t worry, Christianoids, even if Prop 8 fails, there will still be a group of people you can discriminate against. Cheer up, Libertarians, there will remain an entire class of people whom you can still post hate speech against. Once homosexuals have the same rights as white people, you guys can always discriminate against autistic people. Christianoids can claim that autism is the devil’s mark, or some other god damned nonsense. Libertarians can post nasty discriminatory rants against autistic people and can claim it their constitutional right. Well, at least until Autistic people start suing. Then libertarians can add frivolous lawsuits to their long litany of complaints. Face it, autism is the new gay.
I noticed this when I was at a supermarket checkout stand and saw an article autism. In this article the father admitted to wanting to murder his autistic son. Holy psycho-killers, Batman! That was right out of an article from the same magazine from back in the Seventies. Only then the father wanted to kill his gay son. Jesus H. Christ on a Crutch? What would these bastards do if their kids were like mine, both gay and autistic? What a blood bath that would be.
But not to worry, there is no need for violence or bloodshed. The autistic child can be cured the same way that they used to cure gay kids in the Seventies. Aversive therapy. Yes, it’s against the law in many states. Yes it is cruel and unusual, and if you did it to an adult you could be sued. Still, if you do it to your kid, he will come out cured, and you will be spared the social stigma of having a child who is different. Isn’t that worth the money you spend and all the agony you cause the child?
Back in the Sixties and Seventies, a parent’s biggest fear was that little Johnny or Suzie would grow up to be gay. Can you imagine the social stigma? What would the neighbors think? They would avoid you at church. Father might not get that promotion. So it was Dr. Ivor Lovaas to the rescue! Is Johnny lisping? Is little Suzie wearing her hair too short? Then take your kid to Dr. Lovaas. He knew just how to cure homosexuality. Electric shocks! Pain! “Clinics” opened up all over the country that claimed to cure homosexuality. They took little Johnny and little Suzie and hooked them up to electric shock machines. Unacceptable behavior, such as looking at naked pictures of the same sex, is rewarded with electric shocks.
Of course the supermarket check out magazines were full of praise for the Lovaas method. The authors could not praise Lovaas and his clinical approach to a cure enough. This is not surprising since the authors of these magazine all work for public relations firms. Each and every article in the Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping is an advertisement. Companies pay to have their promotional articles carried in those magazines. Pay them enough, and Good Housekeeping would have carried articles praising genocide. So in the Seventies, we were treated to articles about parents in desperate straits due to the sexuality of their offspring rescued by the brilliant Dr. Lovaas.
Today Gays and Lesbians are on the verge of equal rights and social acceptance. There are even Gays and Lesbians in the financial industry and in government. Unless you happen to be a Christianoid whack-job, homosexuality is no big deal. All these “clinics” with their expensive electric shock machines were threatened with bankruptcy. Then, somebody got the bright idea of curing autism. It was almost as good a racket as “curing” homosexuality. Autism is not really understood by the general public, so it is scary. Autistic kids act weird, so they are a danger to mommy and daddy’s careers. Nobody is going to promote somebody with a weird kid. So mommy and daddy can send their little Johnnies and Suzies to a Lovaas clinic to learn how to behave normally.
The problem is that autism is caused by irregular brain development. Autism may be preventable some day in the near future, but once the brain begins to develop, there is no going back. The kid is autistic. All the quack cures and chelation therapy in the world is not going to make the brain undevelop and redevelop normally . All the Lovaas clinics are going to do is teach the kid stupid pet tricks like ‘smile on command.’ So when you see see Jenny McCarthy on the cover of Us Magazine telling the world that her child has been cured of autism, remember that she is being paid to tell that lie. Here are a few links for you. Remember, only education can conquer prejudice.
Dr. Lovaas Curing a Gay Teen
There is nothing more frightening to a fascist regime than education. When the Nazis took over Germany, it was intellectuals and not Jews who were the first to go to the camps. The Hitler Youth was quickly established to kill any spark of intellectual honesty that threatened to spring up in the German school system. Once the intellectuals were all busy learning about the joy that came from hard work and short rations, the road was clear to go after the Jews.
The American government has seen the dangers that come from a truly educated public. An educated public can raise their collective fists and swat a politician like a fly. Richard M. Nixon was an example of that happening. An educated youth is going to hear the war propaganda and tell the powers that be to go piss up a rope. That’s certainly what happened with the Viet Nam war. I would have to say that the American anti-Communist propaganda came around and bit them in the collective butts. Communist Russia was a poor and technologically backwards country that was presented as the enemy. Popular literature, TV and movies portrayed Russia as a technologically advanced super-power that could easily conquer the United States if we did not stay ahead of them. The U.S started a huge push for education. Our public schools improved the quality of education. Scholarships and grants were created to bring more people to college. America became the best educated country in the world.
This brought a plethora of technological wonders for American corporations to exploit. We created the computer, the VCR, and dozens of other toys that the American economy grew fat on. The fact that the public became educated was an unexpected side effect from the economic boost. Not all Americans became scientists working to make more profits for American corporations. Some became clergy, some philosophers, some social scientists, and still others were everyday workers who had been given the tools to use their own intelligence. The results were unexpected. European Americans could see the justice of Martin Luther King’s cause. The American public could judge Malcolm X’s arguments on their own merit. Mohammad Ali (who will always be “The Greatest” in my heart) was a college-educated boxer that appealed to an educated America. He popularized the anti-war movement and gave us our first slogan. Hell no, we won’t go. The American government found themselves with a crop of young people who refused to serve in Viet Nam and actually saw the reality of the war. It all culminated with Nixon, when the American people demanded his impeachment and got it.
The people behind Nixon had their butts kicked, but returned with Ronald Reagan as their front man. This time they came back smarter. They had a brand new philosophy of smaller government to hide behind. The first thing they did to demonstrate their dedication to smaller government was attack education. Not only did they eliminate millions of dollars in college grants and scholarships, but they began underfunding public schools. By the Nineties, public schools were being bought up by multinational corporations like Lockheed. By the Twenty first century, there were high school students who had no idea what the Second World War was all about.
Not content with destroying the American education system, the Neocons have continued to destroy any attempt at education through their support of the Christianoid right. The U.S Park Service hands out creationist propaganda rather than actual science. California was once the best educated state in the Union. Today it has Proposition 8 on the ballot. How far we have fallen from the days when the public rallied around Dr. King? It breaks my heart. Proposition 8 is the culmination of a 28 year attack on education.
Now that I have all the silliness out of my system, let’s take a serious look at the new trend in dorm rooms. The designer creations featured in the Time pictorial that I featured yesterday was by an outfit called American Campus Communities. From their website:
American Campus Communities is one of the nation’s largest developers, owners and managers of high-quality student housing communities. We led the industry to a new plateau in 2004 when we became the first publicly traded student housing REIT (NYSE: ACC). Since 1996, we’ve developed more than $1.5 billion in properties for our own account and our university clients, and we have acquired in excess of $2 billion in student housing assets. Also, we’ve become a national leader in third-party development and management of on-campus student housing, having been awarded the development of 46 on-campus projects (in addition to our 11 projects developed off campus). We have forged strong relationships through our on-campus developments: 11 of our college, university and system partners have called ACC back for 24 additional projects or phases after we completed their initial communities.
There we go folks; it’s a real estate scam. Universities get to increase their real estate values without having to manage the properties. Then they pass on the added expenses with their tuitions. University regents live in a make-believe world where they can raise tuition without limit. Rather than create an atmosphere where all students are equal, colleges are now enforcing the capitalist class system where wealthy students will be isolated from their less wealthy fellow students. This will certainly help to assure that what happened in the Sixties will never happen again. Different classes of people will never mix. The upper class kids will never be exposed to poverty, and never see that there is anything wrong in our society. So there is one class of students living in dorms with their own 7-11s and private gyms . Then there is another class of students who have to go to the food pantry to survive.
As above, so below, folks. This is a reflection of America today. As more and more Americans lose their homes and jobs, more and more Americans are eating from food pantries. At the same time, more and more Americans are living in luxury. So which America does the media focus on? Time Magazine does a a puff piece on American Campus Communities and present this as if all college students are living that lifestyle.
What amazes me is that people are actually going to believe this. They have their heads so far up their butts that they are going to start kvetching about how easy college kids have it these days. Of course they are going to ignore the kids who are eating out of food pantries. People have a tendency to see what they want to see. So while the world looks through its rose colored glasses, corporate America is busily stealing everything that’s not nailed down and returning with crowbars.
I think the next paragraph from their website brings a greater understanding of this idiocy:
Today’s sophisticated student consumers demand more and expect the modern conveniences they grew up with. Private bedrooms, private baths, Internet connectivity, fully equipped kitchens, spacious living areas and resort-style amenities are seen as necessities – and universities are catching on. They now know that to recruit and retain students, they must offer modern housing options that support their academic mission. With college enrollment at an all-time high, universities are turning to private developers to meet this rising demand for amenity-rich student housing both on and off campus.
Show of hands here. How many of us have grown up in this sort of atmosphere? Internet connectivity is no big deal. There are homeless shelters with WiFi for the residents who managed to hang on to their laptops. I grew up with a fully equipped kitchen and I used it, too. Nobody in their right minds would have let my mother anywhere near a frying pan. Really folks, how many of us grew up with resort style amenities? Show of hands. Whatever happened to the good old fashioned cafeteria? I got my first two years of college mad money washing dishes.
Education has become class-driven. We are no longer training our young people to become the best they can be. We gave up the space race. We surrendered the war on poverty. Colleges are no longer places of learning. They have devolved into places where kids go to make contact with people of their own class. Is it any wonder the very people who screwed the pooch and caused a world wide stock market crash simply don’t see that they have done the slightest thing wrong?
I do love the surreal. I love the surreal in literature and in poetry, and there is nothing that catches me more than surreality in cinema. Yet there is nothing more surreal than American culture. If there is a God, he is on vacation and he has left Salvador Dali in charge. What can be more surreal than what is happening in the United States today? Homeowners in Oakland who refinanced their homes for hundreds of thousands of dollars now find themselves with mortgages for more than their homes are worth today. Were they to sell their homes, they would have to do so at a loss. Congress has just given 700 billion in taxpayer money to a bunch of goniffs who are meeting at luxury spas. Meanwhile the homeless population swells beyond our pathetic social safety net’s ability to care for them.
Amidst all this, I get an email from my brother about college students having to resort to food pantries in order to survive. Tuitions have skyrocketed to the point where your average student cannot afford tuition, housing, gasoline, and food. Along with this article from my brother comes a link to a Time Magazine pictorial on College Dorms. Students are going to the food pantry to eat, and their colleges are paying millions of dollars for luxury dorms. I ask you, is that surreal or what? Rutgers University, my alma mater, spent 55 million dollars for a dorm with a state of the art gym, a Cold Stone Creamery, and a 7-11, and grocery delivery. Grocery delivery? Oy vey ist mir! In my day I had to get up and go all the way to the student center to get my munchies. Sometimes I was too stoned to go, and so I would have to go without. Today’s kids can have their munchies delivered straight to the door. There is something wrong about that. I always believed that the munchies were there to teach kids moderation. That’s not going to happen if they can have their munchies delivered straight to their rooms. I wonder if pot growers have a financial interest in college dorm building?
But stop and think about that dichotomy. On one hand college students can’t afford to eat. They have to get their food out of the pantries. On the other hand, there are students who are getting their food delivered to their rooms. The pictorial mentions a student who wanted the school to house his butler. What an image that brings to mind. It could be a new Hugh Laurie (House) vehicle. He can get back together with his partner, Stephen Frye, and make a Jeeves and Wooster Go to Rutgers, movie. I can see it now.
Wooster (Played by Hugh Laurie): I say, Jeeves, I’m feeling a bit peckish. Could I impose on you for one of your famous roast beef sandwiches?
Jeeves (Played by Stephen Frye): I am sorry sir, but the larder is a little bare at the moment.
Wooster: The larder is bare, you say? Haven’t you been going to the grocery store, Jeeves?
Jeeves: I’m afraid not, sir. I meant to mention this at a better time, but I’m afraid that your bank account has been overdrawn by roughly a hundred dollars.
Wooster: Overdrawn Jeeves?
Jeeves: By a hundred dollars, sir.
Wooster: Jeeves, how could you let that happen?
Jeeves: I’m afraid that tuition has gone up and your Aunt Agatha has refused to raise your allowance.
Wooster(Looking alarmed): Jeeves, what are we to do?
Jeeves: May I suggest the food pantry, sir? The University operates a very nice one in the health center. I’m sure they will provide whatever sustenance you require.
Wooster (Looking relieved): Very good, Jeeves. I knew you would find a solution. Do you think that you might pop down to the food pantry and pick up some viands?
Jeeves: Gladly sir, as soon as we take care of the little matter of my back wages…
I can just see that scene playing out in my mind, and only Frye and Laurie could pull it off. Who else could really show America to it’s best advantage? America is a country that gives 700 billion dollars to criminals while honest people go homeless. Students are eating out of food pantries while the universities build multi million dollar dorms. I tell you, this country is just nuts.
Those of you who, like myself, have a gay youngster living happily at home can skip this post. You are the good guys. You are the chorus I would be preaching to. Of course if you feel the need for a little bit of support and goodwill, please read on. This piece is written for the idiot Californians who have been supporting Proposition 8. Specifically, it is for those coprolite-brained idiots who objected to first graders attending their teacher’s wedding.
For those of you who do not live in this strange land called California, Proposition 8 is the final gasp of the Christianoid bigots who would ban gay marriage in California. These mewling velociraptors are not quietly surrendering to extinction. They are fighting it tooth and nail, and spitting their poison at any and all targets. You can read the entire story here, but to give you the short version: a lesbian first grade teacher got married to her same sex partner. The parents of her students are amongst the nicest people on earth. They brought their kids to their teacher’s wedding. Armed with pink rose petals and soap bubbles, the kiddies greeted their teacher and her new spouse as they left the mayor’s office.
Of course, if this was a heterosexual marriage, the Christianoid velociraptors would go all misty-eyed over the story. If the marriage was in an Assembly of God Church, I would have no doubt that the whole pack would dissolve into gooey puddles of Christianoid love. However, this was a gay wedding, so the Christianoids are having a hissy fit. Their reaction to this brings me back to 1967 when the New Jersey school system was first being integrated. You should have heard the Sussex County bigots scream! To believe them, all the innocent young white students would be indoctrinated by sinful Negroes. If you believed them, we would all grow up to be beret-wearing, fried-chicken-and-watermelon-eating, gun-toting radicals. Forty one years later, I am hearing similar inanities out of the opponents of gay marriage.
These morons must know that they are fighting for a doomed cause. Even if they do manage to pass Prop 8, the meteor of civil rights will not be stopped. In 1967, Jesus did not want African-Americans teaching in white schools. Well, screw Jesus, African-Americans are teaching white students anyway. Twenty years ago the Aryan Nation was sued out of existence for trying to reestablish segregation. Twenty years from now, the American Civil Liberties Union will be suing these Christianoid numbnuts for objecting to gay marriage. I hope I live to see the day. I would just enjoy that so much.
The kids who attended their teacher’s wedding learned a very important lesson; love is good and hate is bad. These kids are learning that equal rights means that everybody is equal. They are also learning that marriage is a happy thing. The parents who brought them to the wedding are to be applauded, praised, and cherished. They are the heroes who are making a better world. The hell of it is, I bet that most of those parents are just too modest to admit it. Maybe their parents raised them to be the good and decent people they are. The proponents of Prop. 8 are dinosaurs. Their true objection is that the world is changing. Gays and lesbians are simply an easy target for their fears. These Christianoids are heading for extinction. The kids attending their teacher’s wedding is proof of this. Gays are part of the real world, and there is nothing the Christianoids can do about it.
Let’s also face the fact that I am just a romantic at heart. There is something about moppets tossing rose pedals at weddings that makes me misty-eyed. If I am ever so blessed that the teacher, Erin Carder, ever reads this, I would like to wish her and her wife Kerri McCoy all the joy in the world. May you be as happy as my own wife and I have been for the last 26 years.