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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:56 AM

I've Been Noticing - Nothing Is Getting Better......

How much pain are we supposed to endure? I almost hate getting up in the morning and putting on the news - it's almost all bad. The old saying - the hurrier I go the behinder I get - seems to be my theme song now. Prices are going up on everything while the volumes go down. My home is worth less today - but I'm paying more property taxes than ever. Gas is going through the roof her in Illinois. Nothing is fun anymore. Everything is a decision between to situations that are bad and the lesser of two evils isn't even a good option anymore. When is this all going to stop? When are things going to get better?

I guess I'm just feeling overwhelmed this a.m. I'm almost sure that more people than not feel the same way. How can we make it better?

105 replies, 6922 views

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Reply I've Been Noticing - Nothing Is Getting Better...... (Original post)
global1 Feb 2013 OP
el_bryanto Feb 2013 #1
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #2
Buzz Clik Feb 2013 #20
freshwest Feb 2013 #80
chervilant Feb 2013 #103
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #3
MynameisBlarney Feb 2013 #15
kickysnana Feb 2013 #25
MynameisBlarney Feb 2013 #29
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #58
840high Feb 2013 #67
MynameisBlarney Feb 2013 #69
awoke_in_2003 Feb 2013 #81
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #44
chervilant Feb 2013 #105
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #4
lunasun Feb 2013 #48
FSogol Feb 2013 #5
Raine1967 Feb 2013 #6
FSogol Feb 2013 #13
Raine1967 Feb 2013 #26
iandhr Feb 2013 #18
Raine1967 Feb 2013 #27
iandhr Feb 2013 #96
CharlieVicker Feb 2013 #7
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #31
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #50
xtraxritical Feb 2013 #57
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #8
loudsue Feb 2013 #72
earthside Feb 2013 #9
HereSince1628 Feb 2013 #10
SharonAnn Feb 2013 #30
Lint Head Feb 2013 #11
Mnemosyne Feb 2013 #12
leveymg Feb 2013 #14
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #34
leveymg Feb 2013 #51
MynameisBlarney Feb 2013 #16
AngryAmish Feb 2013 #17
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #37
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2013 #63
dminaz Feb 2013 #19
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #38
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2013 #21
slackmaster Feb 2013 #22
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #40
slackmaster Feb 2013 #47
siligut Feb 2013 #77
snooper2 Feb 2013 #23
alterfurz Feb 2013 #24
Lydia Leftcoast Feb 2013 #28
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #42
mn9driver Feb 2013 #52
Blue_Tires Feb 2013 #59
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #61
bvar22 Feb 2013 #85
raouldukelives Feb 2013 #99
RevStPatrick Feb 2013 #32
davidthegnome Feb 2013 #33
iiibbb Feb 2013 #35
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #36
OnyxCollie Feb 2013 #39
JEB Feb 2013 #41
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #45
marions ghost Feb 2013 #87
tledford Feb 2013 #43
marions ghost Feb 2013 #88
davsand Feb 2013 #46
Bradical79 Feb 2013 #49
cate94 Feb 2013 #53
roody Feb 2013 #62
cate94 Feb 2013 #82
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #54
roody Feb 2013 #68
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #71
roody Feb 2013 #55
midwest irish Feb 2013 #56
LittleGirl Feb 2013 #60
Smll_Ax3 Feb 2013 #64
treestar Feb 2013 #65
Scuba Feb 2013 #66
AndyTiedye Feb 2013 #100
peace13 Feb 2013 #70
grasswire Feb 2013 #73
taught_me_patience Feb 2013 #74
davidthegnome Feb 2013 #79
marions ghost Feb 2013 #90
DeSwiss Feb 2013 #75
zentrum Feb 2013 #76
marions ghost Feb 2013 #97
CTyankee Feb 2013 #78
Rider3 Feb 2013 #83
guardian Feb 2013 #84
jtuck004 Feb 2013 #86
Hotler Feb 2013 #89
RainDog Feb 2013 #91
just1voice Feb 2013 #92
AngryAmish Feb 2013 #93
midnight Feb 2013 #94
Orrex Feb 2013 #95
forestpath Feb 2013 #98
patrice Feb 2013 #101
sigmasix Feb 2013 #102
lonestarnot Feb 2013 #104

Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:58 AM

1. One option is to take a break from all this

I don't know what is going on in your personal life - possibly that is rough as well, but when I am down, particularly about politics, it's usually a good time to disengage for a little while and focus on a part of my life that I can make progress with and that I enjoy.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:00 AM

2. Great advice! n/t

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:35 AM

20. +1

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:05 PM

80. I agree. DU is a bubble of heads on fire at times. The things described as being bad, are not new.

I saw this going on in my own life more than one time and realized that it's just the cost of being alive, when all's said and done. Time passes and what we thought would appreciate in value and give us more in the future doesn't always do so, that's a myth. We have to maintain our energy in things we can truly effect and it may be a tiny slice of life, as compared to the almost infinite horizons of the internet. When we look through the lens of DU, we might think life is not worth living. Keeping it in perspective is essential and frees our hearts and energies.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #80)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:08 AM

103. HOWEVER,

for too many of us, the "negative" is a constant, relentless bedfellow.

I have been un- or under-employed for the last four years, going on five now.

I was wrongfully terminated (from the first REAL job I've had in the past four years) the day before Xmas break. This happened in a "Right to Work" state, which means that the spiteful, mendacious man who fired me will suffer NO repercussions, and will likely advance to the highest level of his incompetence.

If I don't have a job by the end of March, or get most of my art supplies sold online, I'll be homeless or dependent on some friend or family member.

Hell of a reality with which to contend on a daily basis...

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:02 AM

3. This is the new America.

 

It probably will not get better.

I agree a lot with El Bryanto about disengaging and focusing more on one's life; good advice.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:29 AM

15. That's a defeatist attitude.

It can and will happen if we make it happen.

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:55 AM

25. Its is ancient eastern philosphy for living in a world you cannot control.

It does not mean give up, it means people need some spiritual nourishment and peace every day even during the bad times and sometimes you have to make sure that that is happening in order to continue to effectively go on in bad times.

Not all people enjoy the fight, but all people need a break from the fight eventually.

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Response to kickysnana (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:04 AM

29. I meant

the part about it "probably won't get better".

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:07 PM

58. The truth is greatly overrated.

 

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:16 PM

67. What power do

we have to make it better?

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Response to 840high (Reply #67)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:20 PM

69. No idea

But as for me, I ain't just gonna give up.

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Response to MynameisBlarney (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:05 PM

81. It is reality...

Wall Street fat cats own and run this country. There is only one thing that will change that, and we don't have the same stomach our grandparents did when they demanded better pay and work conditions. We are soft, fat, and uniformed.

On edit: before I get pounced on, I am talking a workers revolution, not the French solution (which is, indeed, appealing)

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:24 AM

44. This is the new earth as well

To improve things materially requires resources, which requires energy, which creates greenhouse gasses, which leads to things not improving materially.

If you start, on the other hand, from the realization that we are living in the wealthiest, healthiest, and most comfortable era by far in all of human history, and that we live in one of the wealthiest and most prosperous nations on earth (in spite of its flaws), then its not so hard to relax a bit and stop demanding more. Our days are numbered in any case, and the next few generations are going to have some big hurdles to get over. Trying to be satisfied with less and enjoying what you can is, at least, considerate of other's needs, in a finite world.

I've looked sometimes at photo books and stories from some of the poorer countries - it strikes me sometimes that those who have nothing, and nothing at all to give, nevertheless often still give a smile and their kindness. That we should be able to do here, at least.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #44)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:14 AM

105. Some of us

are not "demanding more." Some of us would like to have ANY job, so we can have a place to live and food to eat.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:04 AM

4. One interesting thing about the property taxes is that if you look at the assessments,

 

you can find politically-connected people whose large, new and well-maintained, homes are assessed for amounts lower than the homes owned by the disfavored.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:40 AM

48. outrageously true fact!!!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:04 AM

5. Turn off the news. Seriously, when the global/national issues get to much to bear, focus on the

micro. I counted 35 different types of birds at my feeders last Sunday including 3 types of woodpeckers. I already have lettuce coming up in my hot box and the favorite mircobrewery is hitting it out of the park these days.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:09 AM

6. Did someone say Microbrewery?

Hubby and I (mostly him) are homebrewers -- we are BIG Micro brew fans. Which one?

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:26 AM

13. See below

I'm a big fan these days of:
http://www.portcitybrewing.com/
Especially their Scottish Ale

Also a fan of Flying Dog Pale Ale and Brawler Pugilist Style Ale from Yards Brewery.
We also have http://www.bluejacketdc.com/
opening soon.

You guys should try and go here:
http://novabrewfest.com/summer/2012/what-when-where-how/
Excellent summer fest with 60 breweries each with 2-3 beers to sample.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:58 AM

26. I love Port City!

They have an amazing Scottish Ale! I'm also a fan of the IPA. The owner is a good Dem and we have worked with them and Mad Fox for our Homebrew competition. For my Birthday we went to Flying Dog for a tour -- what a great place!

Have you had any beer from 3 Stars yet? DcBrau? The DMV area is quickly becoming a great craft brew area. Thanks for the link to the new brewery! I;m gonna post it to our homebrew club page.

So I guess we are neighbors! Cool! I volunteered for the Capital City Oktoberfest last year --




(sorry to have hijacked the thread!)

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:33 AM

18. For me its Switchback in Burlington, VT

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Response to iandhr (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:01 AM

27. Next time I'm up that way I'll check it out!

I love visiting breweries.

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Response to Raine1967 (Reply #27)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 04:01 PM

96. Its good stuff.

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Response to global1 (Original post)


Response to CharlieVicker (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:07 AM

31. Yep, I think about that often too when I'm down. Despite all of the stuff today, we are

far better off!


Welcome to DU!

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Response to CharlieVicker (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:43 AM

50. Yes, we are lucky compared to people in the past or the Third World, BUT...

there are those of us who can remember when things weren't this discouraging. The sense that this society is slipping backwards in comparison to other countries or even in comparison to itself thirty years ago is really depressing.

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Response to CharlieVicker (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:07 PM

57. Things have been a lot better when Democrats have a majority in both Houses of Congress.

 

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:12 AM

8. The private sector has run amok. Everyone is price-gouging while wages get crushed.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:36 PM

72. For starters....plus we keep having to pay for wars while our roads crumble

and we re-build roads in other countries, so the wealthiest among us can become wealthier, and then move to Dubai.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:16 AM

9. Acceptance.

I think we are slipping back into recession (not that I thought we ever really got out of it -- not with unemployment hovering around eight percent and working class wages stagnant, I mean that 'growth' is slowing and maybe contracting again).

But the thing is I have accepted that this non-growth, moribund economy is just going to be the reality for the foreseeable future and I am living daily and planning accordingly. I guess I make myself feel better by making decisions that track with that reality: smaller car; stop the newspaper; walking more; recycling more; going out less (but paying more to be able to watch movies at home); spending more time thinking and planning for retirement; etc.

For me, once I got my thinking more immersed into the new reality, I have found it easier to cope.

I have to say, however, that watching the Repuglicans and Teabaggers still trying to drive the country deeper into the ditch is rather frustrating -- I do tend to take a break now and then from paying attention to that stuff.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:20 AM

10. Take up a hobby say...golf

THEN get completely humiliated by your incapacity with a little white plastic coated rubber ball seemingly possessed of demons bent on mocking you.

Through that exercise you will be introduced to the real truth of existence. Something that in the old days every Midwesterner was introduced to by the age of eight by an aging grandson of a feudal Slavic, Swedish or Scots-Irish relative: life is about self-doubt and at best the dignified endurance of miserable suffering laid upon us by original sin of our mother of perpetual sorrow.

Existence is indeed a game rigged neither for your amusement or that of the Universe. The purpose of life is merely to reveal your insignificance and to instill within you a resolution that oblivious death is better than this.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:05 AM

30. Oh, I though the purpose of working with computers was to make one humble.

Early on, I learned that programming computers was a lesson in humility since they always did what I programmed them to do, not what I MEANT to program to do.

So, I figured they were invented in order to give us lessons in humility!

That's my line and I'm sticking to it!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:23 AM

11. There is an answer but it requires the painful removal of all things right wing.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:23 AM

12. It feels worse some days more than others, doesn't it? Sorry you are feeling overwhelmed this a.m.,



I have enough in savings to make it maybe one more year if I am insanely frugal, have little chance of ever finding a job again due to health issues and being almost 55. Still, I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst so as not to be blind-sided.

Something's got to give soon...

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:27 AM

14. It's been this way for a decade.

Middle Class America is being restructured into a large Third World country, and so long as we allow the U.S. and the world to be run by global bankers and multinational oil companies, it will just suck worse.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:09 AM

34. Yep, that's pretty much the bottom line of it all. And people vote into office the critters that

are making this happen.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:45 AM

51. Can't get those Sting lyrics, "There is no political solution" out of my head. The mainstream

parties offer no choices in this regard other than a narrow, centerbad-insanely bad continuum.

It would take a sweeping planetary bottoms-up revolution to change the global corporate status quo.

"Spirits in the Material World"

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:31 AM

16. I took a nice long break from the news

for about 2-3 years.
I have been back on the blogs for a year or so.
It definitely recharged my batteries.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:31 AM

17. Why do you expect it to get better?

We have built an America where unless you earn a lot or have substantial assets then you are screwed. Our free trade policies along with technological changes mean there is a race to the bottom - we don't make enough to support out lifestyle so we borrow the money. One day we will not be able to print enough money or borrow enough to pay our current benefits.

Historically, the wages of the 50s-80s were an anomaly. We burned Germany and Japan to the ground, of course we were going to have a leg up for a few generations. China is traditionally the most populous, most technologically advanced and richest country in the world. They have been wrecked by civil wars for a few hundred years and then tried socialism/communism to build their way up to their traditional place. And for their trouble got the Great Leap Forward and the CUltural Revolution. But in the last last thirtyish years China has followed a more fascistic policy and have seen great growth.

Bottom line: the US no longer stands alone. The great nations of the world have caught up and we have to compete. This depresses wages, especially on the low end. Widespread immigration has also lowered wages especially on the low end.

The US is not special. We voted ourselves a welfare state (hello Bush's drug benefit) but we refuse to pay for it.

Also this: who said humans have to have a nice life? For the majority of human history life has been hard. For most people on earth life is still hard. US has had it easy and now we are just regressing to the mean.

Cheers!

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:14 AM

37. Yep, well said ... especially about competition. Often the US reminds me of some of

the corporations I've worked for ... everything was sailing along smoothly 'till the competition started. For those years, as you said, the US really had no significant competition in many areas ... now that has, of course, all changed.

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Response to AngryAmish (Reply #17)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:12 PM

63. I really like the last part

This is not living, this is a nightmare, we are so far removed from real living, "human" living. It's gone from everything we do, every aspect from our personal relationships to our vocations, faiths, governance.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:33 AM

19. Try lookin at the news from this site:

 

http://happynews.com/
This is where I go when I need to remind myself that there is a lot of good going on in the world.

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Response to dminaz (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:17 AM

38. That looks like a great site. I've got it bookmarked. Often I think

dwelling on unhappiness and dissatisfaction breeds more of the same.

Welcome to DU!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:36 AM

21. Redirect your focus...

What helps me is not watching any TV! I like to see things in my life that I am grateful for - - my dog, my partner, hot coffee in the morning, hot water, etc. I focus on the beautiful sky and the trees. Little things like this help put it all in perspective There are good things happening out there, we just need to look for them.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:37 AM

22. The obvious solution is not to put on the news in the morning.

 

Seriously, it's designed to evoke emotional reactions.

The world goes on. Life hasn't really changed. It's just your perception being intentionally manipulated in order to make you buy shit.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #22)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:19 AM

40. Yep, well said ... all of the anxiety provoking stuff is presented to hold

ones attention while they slip in the buy buy buy ads ... and especially the ones that promote the answer to life's problems like more insurance, etc., etc.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #40)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:34 AM

47. ...And Low Testosterone.

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #47)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:57 PM

77. Low T?

Lose weight, better social life, SO has bigger boobs and whiter teeth and your golf game improves all with one little pill.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:41 AM

23. The have got Jupiter road shut down south of 14th street..

They are finally fixing the fucked up railroad crossing!


Things DO get better!


http://www.plano.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=94

City of Plano News
Posted on: February 18, 2013
Portions of Shiloh and Jupiter Roads Will Be Closed Feb. 19 & 20
Kansas City Southern Railway will close portions of Shiloh Road on Tuesday and Jupiter Road on Wednesday from approximately 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. to make repairs to the railroad crossings. Drivers should consider alternate routes to avoid delays.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:54 AM

24. "First Toil, Then the Grave"

--town motto of Puritan Springfield (Simpsons version)

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:03 AM

28. People in East Germany had a phrase "inner migration"

That is, after the Berlin Wall went up, they couldn't leave when things got too oppressive, so they ignored politics as much as possible and concentrated on their families, hobbies, nature, music, art, outdoor activities, whatever gave them pleasure. They knew that, for the time being, the state was too strong too allow individual or even group rebellion. They bided their time till there was a more lenient government in the Soviet Union and a critical mass of people who were fed up.

I no longer watch the TV news or political documentaries, not from the commercial stations, not from PBS, not from anybody, unless there's a blizzard or tornado threatening. They just get me upset about things that I can't change. There's something about TV that's more vivid and emotionally powerful than print, and the print and Internet media are upsetting enough. If I watch political stuff on TV, I can't sleep.

The Twin Cities have a lot of leftist people, but for some reason, they can't put on a decent demonstration. It may have something to do with the fact that they're so spread out and there is no one focal point that uninvolved people can't help noticing. Even though Portland is half the size of the Twin Cities, they used to regularly put on huge demonstrations (30,000 participants after the start of the Iraq invasion), and it was exhilarating to participate. Here, you get a couple of hundred people marching on an obscure route.

We need to change a lot of things in this country, but we are faced with a number of obstacles:

1) A right-wing propaganda apparatus that brainwashes low-information voters into--and I'm going to come right out and say it--a fascist (not Nazi, fascist, which is the proper term for right-wing militarism and racism closely allied with business interests; the Nazis were an extreme subset of fascism that existed in a particular time and place) mindset;

2) A mainstream media establishment that presents only Beltway conventional wisdom, false equivalencies, and false dilemmas (e.g. "Should we nuke Iran or bleed them dry with sanctions?" The option of not stirring up the hornets' nest is never presented), so that the less demented low-information voters (or the ones who think they're informed because they listen to NPR) never hear the full story;

3) Politicians in both parties who are more interested in serving their corporate contributors than the American people and who all share the same underlying assumptions about how the world is supposed to work, even if they're not in cloud cuckoo land like some of the Republicans. We KNOW that the Republicans don't have our interests at heart, but many of the Democrats are almost as bad if you look below the surface, so the idea that all we have to do is elect Democrats or that just being a Democrat is a sign of virtue is naive.

4) The marginalization of politicians who speak up against the status quo. The right-wing media are, of course, hostile, but the MSM ignore or ridicule them, too.

5) Fragmentation and an overly intellectual approach on the real Left. The real Left has accurately analyzed this country's problems, and there are more people with Leftist attitudes than you might think, but they tend to be isolated and may believe that they're the only one who feels that way. At the same time, many lack the common touch and come off as arrogant.

Given this situation, and given that I'm old enough so that I could draw Social Security if I wanted to, I have a hard time working up any enthusiasm for political action, especially since I see way too much parroting of conventional wisdom, even here on DU. I think I would feel better if we weren't so locked into the two-party system, if we had proportional representation or even ranked-choice voting.

In the meantime, for all of you who think that you're well-informed because you listen to NPR, I suggest reading five books, if you haven't already.

The first, of course, is Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. The prime eye-opener for people who THINK they know American history just because they passed the AP exam.

The second is Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine, which lays out the recurring patterns in U.S. foreign policy, as directed by global financial interests.

The next three are probably out of print, but essential if you want to know what's going on:

America: What Went Wrong by Barlett and Steele. Published in 1992, this shows what went wrong and, sadly, what is still going wrong in U.S. domestic policy.

The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence by Victor Marchetti, a former CIA agent. Written in 1976, this makes a great companion to The Shock Doctrine. It is interesting because it was subjected to pre-publication censorship by the CIA, and Marchetti was so pissed off about this that he insisted that the publisher show exactly where material had been removed.

Endless Enemies by Jonathan Kwitny. Written while Reagan was fighting popular revolutions in Central America, this is an indictment of American foreign policy that sadly, is still mostly true today.

So yeah, it's mighty discouraging to think that problems that people wrote about in 1976 are still with us. I'm getting mighty tired and discouraged and can't think about these things too much, or else I really get depressed. I hope some of you younger people can get informed and start doing something.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:22 AM

42. What a well thought out and informative reply! Extremely well said! Thanks!!!

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:59 AM

52. +1

Great post.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:10 PM

59. brilliant post...

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:11 PM

61. Thank you for that post.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:15 PM

85. THank You, Lydia Leftcoast.

Extremely Well Done!
(as usual)

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #28)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 06:12 PM

99. Hear, hear!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:07 AM

32. There are too many people on the planet...

 

...for the systems that we have built to support us all.

There are 2 solutions:

1- Change the systems we have (financial, political, energy, manufacturing, distribution, consumption, etc...) or

2- "get rid of" as many people as needed so that the systems work again.

While I vote for #1 and do my small part to make it happen, the people at the top who control those systems don't want to make the investments of capital and time and energy to change things. That's why they are pushing for #2.

I know this won't "cheer you up," but I believe that once one understands what the problem is, it makes it easier to deal. It will get worse before it gets better, but understanding the problem allows you to do whatever you are capable of to make it better. In your own small way.

Now get the hell off the internet, and treat yourself to something nice!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:09 AM

33. Good Question

How can we make it better?

In the grand scheme of things, for society, civilization, for our Country as a whole... I'm not nearly brilliant enough to try to answer that question. Knowing what the problems are is one thing - but knowing the solution? It boggles the greatest minds, and mine is by no means one of the greatest. Focusing on our own lives, as others have suggested, might be the best answer as to how to respond to the depression as individuals. My Father often tells me the same thing when I become depressed about everything that's going on.

One of the things that really helps me personally is yoga, it's good exercise, it helps calm me down - and as long as I'm exercising I find that I don't get as overwhelmingly depressed. Well, not until I start worrying about money again, anyway. The solution to that problem, well... I'm not sure there is a simple one. I'm going to school in the hopes that, by the time I graduate, the economy might be in somewhat better shape and I might be able to find a decent job. I'm tempted though, to save up instead and just move. There are many things about America that I love, but society overall, priorities, government, media, it's become so sick that I'm not sure we can fix it.

Taking a break from the issues of the world might be a good idea. Read a book, lose yourself in a fantasy for a while. Take a walk - appreciate the beauty of nature without thinking, as a human, about all of the things that are stressing you out or depressing you. Find moments in time when you can just "be". No matter how bad things become, there is always beauty in the world.

I've been feeling overwhelmed too, but these are things that have helped me.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:09 AM

35. let me help

 






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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:12 AM

36. First world problems, all.

You can make it better by going to the library today at lunch and checking out the book, "your money or your life".

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:18 AM

39. Stop noticing.

Pop a Soma, pick up your pom-poms and cheer, "YES, WE CAN! WHOOO!"

If that fails, start drinking heavily.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:22 AM

41. Servitude to the Corporate

bought government pretending to be a democracy. That is what most of us have for an existence.

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Response to JEB (Reply #41)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:25 AM

45. We were just saying similar here at home this AM. We clearly do not live in a democracy, but

rather a make believe democracy.

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Response to JEB (Reply #41)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:56 PM

87. Bring Democracy to America

this sham is not it.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:24 AM

43. It took 30 years to get to this point, it might well take 30 years to dig out...

ONCE WE START digging out, which hasn't happened yet.

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Response to tledford (Reply #43)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:58 PM

88. I hope not

30 more years of this could be too late.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:29 AM

46. If you have evidence your home is worth less file an assessment complaint.

A lot of people feel they are over taxed--you are not the exception.

What a lot of people in Illinois do NOT realize is they can challenge the assessed value on their property. Your tax bill is a product of two numbers. One of those two things is the assessed value. If you have had an appraisal on your property that shows it is worth less than the tax man says it is worth, you need to file an assessment complaint with your local Board of Review.

If you can't get them to reduce you based on that recent appraisal, do not let it slide--file with the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board.

Seriously. If you have questions about it, send me a PM and I'll be happy to explain it to you. I've been doing this here in Illinois for over a decade.



Laura

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 11:41 AM

49. Maybe try to focus on one or two issues

Find one or two things you can work on, either improving your personal situation or a greater issue, and come up with a plan to improve that situation. Like one person above mentioned actions you could possibly take in regards to your home being less. It's a project you could actually make progress on, rather than be overwhelmed by the many problems around you. Otherwise, you just become paralyzed with inaction and depression (something that happens to me often).

Also, if nothing is fun anymore, maybe you need a creative outlet or inexpensive hobby.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:00 PM

53. Turn off the TV

Lend a hand to someone else. Really. When life feels shitty, do something good for someone else and it almost always makes life feel better for you.

If you can't be around other people, you can always help an animal. Give an hour to a dog at a shelter and you will feel better. Or a cat. If you can't stand the thought of going to a shelter, help the birds right outside your door by getting birdseed or even making sure they have water.

Doing something nice to help someone else will make it better for you.

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Response to cate94 (Reply #53)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:12 PM

62. I am addicted to walking shelter

dogs. It makes me so happy to have given them a bit of joy.

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Response to roody (Reply #62)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:18 PM

82. Funny, isn't it?

Doing a decent thing feels great. We have so little control about what happens in life but we can control what we do. It makes it better for us when we help make things better for someone else.

Thanks for walking those doggies!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:02 PM

54. No, nothing is getting better, unless...

 

Nothing is getting better for many. For others things are looking GREAT. If you are one of those in the top 20%, you're gold. You're richer than every, and everyone else is poorer. It's like sitting in heaven and looking down on hell. You've got not one, but TWO political parties that care about no one but you.

If you are rich, the President just gave you a couple of huge permanent tax cuts -- even Bush didn't do that much for you. You got a tax cut, the poor got a tax HIKE. How awesome is that! If you are on the top, and there are a good number of you posting here on DU, congratulations. You win. Well done.


But if you are on the bottom things aren't so good. Scratch that, if you are on the bottom things are bad and getting worse. While Obama gives tax cuts to the wealthy, you get a nice tax hike and massive price inflation. And let's not forget Obamacare heading your way like the fucking grim reaper. Small businesses have no cash on hand, and the banks aren't lending. The "improvement" in the unemployment numbers wasn't people getting jobs, it was people falling off the cliff. And now it's getting so bad that even Walmart is seeing their sales collapse.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #54)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:16 PM

68. What tax hike? Social security?

My bank is begging me to borrow more. I refinanced my home at no cost to me and lowered my payment 300 per month.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #54)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:30 PM

71. Yes, a recession can often be the best of times for the wealthy and powerful. N/t.

 

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:04 PM

55. Turn it off! Life is short.

Enjoy it.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:07 PM

56. We are slidding back to

 

progressive era/gilded age times. Regulations and oversight are repealed or rendered toothless. Public works and public services are deemed wasteful or unnecessary. We are told that taxing the rich is immoral or wasteful. Our churches preach a doctrine of wealth as a sign of blessed and pure. This is very much what life was like in the gay 90s.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:11 PM

60. disconnect is my advice

We just moved and I had far too many things to do for the past month. I noticed I was happier and didn't have time for news. Once I sat down in the evening to reconnect with the news, I was dozing off and went to bed. Try by starting a project around the house that doesn't take a lot of money. Painting a room can be as cheap as a 30 dollar gallon of paint. Turn on the radio for your favorite music. Call a friend that makes you laugh. Just disconnect. It works. Good Luck.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:12 PM

64. I usually stop watching the news, or more accurately...

I AVOID it!
not forever, just long enough to get back to whats really important.
live your life.


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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:13 PM

65. You're depressed

Suffering from that condition is a terrible affliction. Whether things are good or bad it can hit.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:16 PM

66. Here's some advice I've found useful ....

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Response to Scuba (Reply #66)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:01 AM

100. If Trying to Sit Still Isn't Working For You

The exact opposite will work too.

Find some loud music and dance your @ss off.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:26 PM

70. Sit in a comfortable position in a quiet place.

Slowly inhale and exhale through your nose. Focus on the breath and the wave motion of your body. If thoughts or worries enter your mind think only of the breath. Relax you face, neck, body, arms and legs and continue to breath. Take a moment for yourself and give yourself a break from the thoughts and concerns. Do this whenever you feel overwhelmed.


Afterward think what is good in life at this moment. There is always something. A beautiful sky, a warm sweater, a smile from a passerby, a lick form a pet. No matter how small notice the positive. When a negative thought tries to creep in push it out even if it is just for the moment.

I am so sorry that your day is a challenge. I send you love and energy.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:40 PM

73. always look on the bright side of life

Mitt Romney is in obscurity. We dodged a bullet.

The demographics of the country are trending ever more to the left. That's better, much better!

And remember, too, that freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:46 PM

74. You should see a psycho therapist

Depression is a serious issue and should be taken care of by professionals.

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Response to taught_me_patience (Reply #74)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:00 PM

79. In a better world, maybe.

Unless you have really awesome health insurance, it is absurdly expensive to pay for psycho therapy. For instance, 45 minutes with a psychiatrist here in Northern Maine cost 300 - 350 dollars (without insurance, paid up front) - and that was seven or eight years ago. I don't know what it costs in other parts of the Nation, but even regular therapy with a social worker will cost at least 60 dollars an hour here.

You might feel a little better, until after you get the bill.

There are enormous problems within the profession as well. I spent many years of my life in psycho-therapy, it's not for everyone. For one thing, any diagnosis resembling mental illness will create a social taboo. You'll be accused of being lazy, stupid, weak, dangerous, paranoid, insane - and so on. You'll be blamed for most society's ills, your friends and family (if they're aware of your treatment) will very likely look at you differently.

No. Unless you are in truly desperate condition, I would not recommend psycho therapy. Most of what you can get from it a friend or family member will give you for free. If you feel you can't manage at all anymore, that would be the right time to take the plunge (and make the financial sacrifice) of psycho therapy.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #79)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:14 PM

90. Don't agree

you cannot get what you need from a friend or family member in terms of psychotherapy. REALLY bad idea.

And many times help can be had for cheaper and a shorter period of time. MSW counselors can be very good (and if you don't like one, switch).

Unless your problem is causing serious overt symptoms, chances are your associates are not going to stigmatize you. If your issues are with co-workers or family, they already know.

In the case of general depression--it is totally normal. In fact--it is getting to be abnormal NOT to be depressed about the America we are living in now IMO. I DO agree that other outlets can be just as effective as talk therapy in helping, but if advice is needed, go to a psychotherapist. It can be money well spent.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:48 PM

75. K&R

- ''Chaos must reign for the veils to fall down.''

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:49 PM

76. You're describing the emotional

....and psychological condition of a culture completely given over to unregulated Capitalism. Ordinary people feel owned and are alienated. Everything they see and interact with has been converted into private profit, even their relationships (the parenting industry, facebook, media etc.), and the air itself is polluted, both metaphorically and actually.

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Response to zentrum (Reply #76)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 05:09 PM

97. Yes --people don't trust the government any more

to be acting in their best interests.

Plenty of reasons to be depressed.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 12:58 PM

78. I think a lot of it is winter blues. I know I'm feeling it. For one thing, in the winter you are

often trapped in close quarters. I was for four days solid during the snowmageddon we had here in CT. It's cold and when I have the heat on I worry about the oil bill. I've cut my grocery expenses down significantly but I still can't make my budgeted weekly amount work. I've pretty much given up on some projects that I had a rosy outlook for back in early january. My skin's dry and my fingernails are peeling.

The only hope is to find people to comisserate with and talk about that early spring the groundhog predicted for this year. I am counting the days and making predictions about how early spring will be, how soon the snow mountains we have here will thaw (everybody has a theory on that, so you can place your bets).

I go back to my hobby a LOT, which is reading art history. My local library is a savior for me!

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:26 PM

83. I understand

I'm like that every day, myself. At least you know you are not alone.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:27 PM

84. I know how you feel. nt

 

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:54 PM

86. You must not own a bank.

Banks Reap Profits on Mortgages After QE3, here.


Bank profits from new mortgages have soared since the Federal Reserve began its third round of bond purchases two weeks ago, fuelling the debate over the fallout of the latest dose of quantitative easing.
...
The interest banks pay on mortgage bonds has dropped from 2.36 percent on September 12, the day before the Fed announced its program, to as low as 1.65 percent last week. It edged up to 1.85 percent on Monday.

That means the profit, or spread, banks earn from creating new mortgages for homeowners paying around 3.4 percent and selling the loans into the secondary market has risen to around 1.6 percent. That is higher than the 1.44 percent spread they pocketed before QE3 and significantly greater than the 0.5 percent they earned on average in the decade between 2000 and 2010.
...
Banks have been snapping up MBS backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in recent years because of the assetsí relatively higher yields compared with government securities and MBSís perceived liquidity. Banks that wait for higher prices from the Fed would also enjoy heftier profits from the quantitative easing program.


Instead of passing on the savings from the lower rates, banks are charging more and thus increasing their profits. Analysts have increased their expectations of bank earnings. These are the same banks that got the advantages of TARP and the other pogroms programs foisted on the people under the guise that it would "help" them, yet the banks publicly refused to do so while still taking hundreds of billions for their pockets. (The latest to detail some of that is in Barofsky's book "Bailout", but there are many others). It helped the banks a lot, but 5 million people have lost and tens of thousands are still being yanked from their homes each month, millions more lost their jobs or a third or more of their income (and some of those are STILL out of a job, burning through what assets and retirement they had), and while this is going on the number of people on food stamps and those living as "working poor" have increased.

Can you imagine how bad it would be if we didn't have a government that was on our side?

I remember there used to be a day when you had worked enough to pay your tax obligations, to pay for the things that make our life better. The rest of the year was "yours". Now it looks like the rest of the year, and the next, and the next, belongs to the financial sector.

But I digress. You asked "How can we make it better?"

History tells us that the only way that ever happened was when the oppressed learned to work together for themselves and quit working for the tyrant.

La Boetie wrote about this nearly 500 years ago. In disbelief... "...who could believe reports of what goes on every day among the inhabitants of some countries, who could really believe that one man alone may mistreat a hundred thousand and deprive them of their liberty?The people are responsible for their enslavement. Who would credit such a report if he merely heard it, without being present to witness the event? And if this condition occurred only in distant lands and were reported to us, which one among us would not assume the tale to be imagined or invented, and not really true? "

His answer? " Obviously there is no need of fighting to overcome this single tyrant, for he is automatically defeated if the country refuses consent to its own enslavement: it is not necessary to deprive him of anything, but simply to give him nothing; there is no need that the country make an effort to do anything for itself provided it does nothing against itself...I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces."

In practical terms, how is that accomplished? One example: in the last century, under a dictator and demonstrably less free than we are, a priest began to educate peasants in a technical college in Spain, but included cooperative principles of work along with engineering. After graduates failed in trying to foster cooperative principles inside jobs they took after graduation, they borrowed money from their neighbors and bought a small paraffin stove manufacturing facility. Today that is Mondragon cooperative in Spain, with revenue in 2011 of 14,832 million Ä and 83,869 worker/owners. (Among other things they build excellent refrigerators, btw). Despite Spain's current economic woes, they have not had to lay off a single worker because they adjusted hours and jobs, and the area has an unemployment rate half of what the rest of the country is experiencing. They have their own bank, hospitals, and college. Spain could go in the toilet and these people would still do better. (The United Steelworkers recently signed an agreement with them, so perhaps there are those who are seeking a learning).

In the U.S., the National Cooperative Business Association identifies over 29,000 cooperative businesses employing more than 2 million people and accounting for over $650 billion in annual revenue.(wiki). The resources are there, if we want to seek them out.

Maybe we can develop the strength and mental toughness we need to quit being led down the road we are traveling and find a new path. It might not bring "us" anything like the credit-fueled spree we have lived on for the past 40 years, just like the people who built this country didn't enjoy much of the benefit of the roads, electricity, and infrastructure they labored for and left for us. or the people who died to free us from the tyrants of old. But it might help future generations.

Maybe being poorer, but free, is better than being more comfortable in voluntary servitude, eh?

Good luck to us all.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:07 PM

89. I have no hope. I see no future. n/t

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:18 PM

91. No new legislation passed since 2010

I would like to say what I wish would happen to Republicans but I would get in trouble.

This is what it's like to live in a nation with shit-for-brains as legislators.

They spend their time trying to pass laws to insert instruments in women's vaginas and trying to make it okay to be stupid about science - as they are.

They make me wish for a hell because they would go there for being miserable stinking assholes.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:18 PM

92. I've been saying it for years, if we took a few war criminals to trial...

 

like Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, Gonzales, Yoo and Ridge, you'd see a much better America almost instantly. The reason: because it would show everyone that we are truly a democracy and not some version of a fascist country.

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Response to just1voice (Reply #92)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:31 PM

93. That would be nice but not does not increase wages for the middle class

Why do you think the average worker makes less than they used to? As it stands it is cheaper for a business owner to have a machine or a foreign national do many jobs. Many of the low skill jobs have been mechanized. There is no need for receptionists. Parking attendants. Bank tellers. Those jobs are gone and they are not coming back. And mechanization is climbing the job skill ladder. The reason there is a lawyer glut is because much of the lawyers grunt work has been outsourced or mechanized. Reading films will mostly be done by robots not radiologists. Heck, in a decade or two most vehicles can drive themselves.

As long as free trade is the order of the day for many manufacturing jobs it is easier to outsource to China.

These are world historical trends. A few show trials won't change that.

I believe that we need a larger social safety net. Many people are redundant. We need to feed and cloth them because we are a caring society and it would not do to have them starve. We also need to do something with their time so they don't get into mischief. Legalize marijuana and subsidize television.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:42 PM

94. global1 I'm just north of you in Wisconsin so we have similar weather... and gas prices...

I filled up my car a few days ago, and a good thing, because the price went up by about 30 cents... I have to wonder what happened in a few days... When Wisconsin Congressmen Kagen was in office he asked for what appeared to be price gouging to be looked into... He only lasted one cycle...

I listend to this years ago... The speech does seem like it is off track, but the basic request for what appears to be price gouging to be stopped was asked for.... Unfortunately this man would find strangers on his property bulling him in the last election...



The cost of living is sky rocketing via speculation, and those bankers are getting away with it, and no one can stop them because it is not illegal..


I like your question about how to make it better... I say the fact that you posted this is a good start.. Co-ops via food helped me buy in bulk for a while...

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 03:47 PM

95. I try to look forward to having more things to despair about

That way, I'm never disappointed, so I win even when I lose.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 05:28 PM

98. With a government that is bought and paid for no matter who is president...

 

and groups of have nots being pitted against each other - for example, furloughed government employees against SS and Medicare recipients - with nobody speaking up for, much less fighting for either or any other screwed over groups - things are just going to get worse and worse.

One thing I've done is stop watching MSNBC after watching it nightly for years. Not so much for the bad news but because of blowhard phonies like Ed Rendell who pretends to be a Democrat. I still look at a few online news sites, I don't keep my head in the sand, but only in small doses.

And, I've accepted the fact that the main goal of 99.99999999% of all politicians is to enrich themselves at our expense.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:49 AM

101. Do concrete things with real people. Make that work THE goal. All activists have to learn how

to back out of "the big picture" a bit, not focus so exclusively on stuff that's too big, take pieces of your vision and break them down into doable stuff with, anything from just one to several, like mind-hearted others. I recommend working around issues as your first priority, over politics.

If there's an Occupy around you find them.

If there's a Sierra Club around you find their legislative contact.

Quakers (The American Friends Service Committee) are ALWAYS doing social and economic justice work and education. They do very progressive youth projects and they are both completely non-political AND not at all religiously aggressive. http://afsc.org/ I have never once heard one say anything about God or Jesus.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:51 AM

102. it can be overwelming

I try to make sure that my little corner of the world contains people that I love and notions that make sense. You cannot fix the world- but you can make your little corner of it better. Being happy in your life, love and family is good revenge. and being charitable to your fellow man is something the teabaggers haven't been able to destroy, yet. I still believe in the goodness and wisdom of the American people- I just hope the teabaggers wake-up and change before they destroy the country beyond repair.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:10 AM

104. Debushing doesn't happen overnight.

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