Quote of the day:
by: Peter of Lone Tree
A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.
- Aldous Huxley
Gone by the Wayside
by: Lisa Ranger
One day we're gonna wake up
And the ghetto's all around
All over my friend
Have you ever seen a man break down?
--Feel No Pain, Sade
~~I'm afraid it's no use.
The boat won't come until Monday.
~~No boat will ever come.
We're here forever.
--And Then there Were None,
Many niceties of our civil society are going by the wayside due to fiscal insolvency. In the past two weeks, National Parks and Public Broadcasting have taken the ax.
It takes passion, devotion and insight to build something great and good, and momentum to keep it going. Once gone, that good thing is unlikely to return, and certainly not in its former guise. That is why we shouldn't give the heave-ho to civilizing institutions in the name of pragmatic privatization. When things become private rather than shared matters, the money usually follows the drift line of vested interests vs. the general welfare.
In The Sunshine State (not), Governor Rick Scott has vetoed Florida’s nearly $4.8 million appropriation for public broadcasting. The last-minute budget had already trimmed a third from the PBS budget; now, there is nothing. The station I grew up on -- WMFE -- is going dark.
Public broadcasting began in 1970, forged from private educational stations. One of its primary functions has been to provide educational programming for young people, and generations learned the basics of grammar, reasoning and citizenship on that network. It was a "free" counterpart to the hustle of the commercial networks, producing thoughtful programming and financed by private contributions and matching state funds. Its day is drawing nigh.
Now, state parks across the nation are being forced to close; 70 of 278 in California alone. For those that remain, the bargain with the devil is to allow drilling, raise entrance fees, eliminate provisions and/or cut employees in favor of hoped for volunteers. Timothy Egan calls it "the death of American life by a thousand cuts," and that about sums it up.
Compassionate conservatism under George W. Bush hacked away at the AmeriCorps program, Bill Clinton's initiative to unify a stateside version of the Peace Corps, another worthy initiative which could have helped fill in the gaps. Though John McCain made a gesture to support national service, that program was eviscerated years ago.
There's always money for the dirty, pretty things, the things that elicit a rise, or more lately, a shrug from people falling into lassitude. But the generous and decent things that speak of a nation's drive to uplift itself, those things are being frozen in amber.
As with Ozymandias, there will remain a plaque somewhere to note the spot.
[For links, see cross-posting @ RangerAgainstWar
Urgent News About Bad Trade Deals - Please Take Action Now!
by: Anna Van Z
Right now the GOP is attempting to ram through some really bad "free trade" deals before summer break on behalf of a variety of corporate trade lobbyists, including Sprawlmart. By bad deals, I mean bad for the American worker - yet, as you'd expect from anything involving repugs, deals that enhance the profit margins for Wall Street and the investor class. These trade deals will cost even more American jobs; valuable manufacturing jobs that pay well. Needless to say, we can't afford to lose any more jobs, let alone decent jobs - especially in light of an economy that's continuing to stagnate.
Todd Lipscomb, founder of Made in USA Forever
, explains that these are one-sided trade deals. He says, "Working in Asia really opened my eyes to the truth about these deals. I saw firsthand how in spite of all the talk of free trade, there is really no such thing as goods only flow to the USA, plus how difficult it is for us to export to Asian nations. It is no surprise they have other priorities, such as taking care of their own. They know that manufacturing is vital to economic growth and prosperity.
"Additionally, they have complex legal and cultural barriers beyond just direct tariffs. For example, Korea protects its automotive industry not so much through direct tariffs that even our politicians could comprehend, but through more subtle barriers – the Korean IRS very, very often audits the taxes of those Koreans that dare to buy American or other foreign cars.
"That is why the Korean Free Trade deal is such a fiasco for the USA. It deals with direct tariffs, while completely ignoring the deeper factors that keep our products out. The Economic Policy Institute estimates we will actually have a net loss 160,000 jobs in the USA if this goes through. Plus, the jobs lost would be good manufacturing jobs, while the jobs gained here would be lower paying agricultural harvesting, etc. meaning wages would drop there too."
Todd reports that Walmart lobbyists, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, visited all 100 senators last week "in an effort to ram through the so-called “free trade” agreements with Korea, Panama, and Columbia." He added that a Chamber leader was quoted in a WSJ article, saying that "We're fighting like hell because if the vote doesn't happen by the recess, we risk it not happening in the fall."
Let's be lobbyists on our OWN behalf (like anyone else is gonna do it!) and let our legislative creatures
hear loud and clear that we want no more
of these "free trade" deals that only line the pockets of the super-wealthy, while gutting income opportunities for the rest of us. We might also remind the beltway bubble people that we see how these "free trade" deals worked out for this country last time around, even if most of THEM choose to ignore it. Those of us out here in reality land see the disastrous outcomes - every day.
HERE it is:
by: Peter of Lone TreeWAR IS A RACKET
Written by Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient
Major General Smedley D. Butler