Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Current location: Here
Member since: Fri Jun 11, 2004, 11:37 AM
Number of posts: 41,907
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Current location: Here
Member since: Fri Jun 11, 2004, 11:37 AM
Number of posts: 41,907
I do stuff. And when I finish that stuff, I do other stuff.
first: leverage buy out. destroys a union shop (if it were one to begin with)
second: return with new owners with lower wages
three: those who stay in town (not being able to afford to leave) have to take the same job again at a lower wage but work more hours to make up the difference.
four: workers get burned out having to work additional hours to make ends meet so they turn to "help" to get them through the shifts
five: meth, crank or crack is that help.
six: the slow disintegration of what was a solid working class town.
seven: repukes blame the problem on unions "being too strong or unwilling to compromise"
eight: the middle class overall continues to vanish and is replace by low wages workers who have no power and are meant to feel thankful they have a job, all the while being mentally whipped into servitude.
Posted by Javaman | Tue Jul 9, 2013, 09:47 AM (3 replies)
I’m currently reading a book called Methland by Nick Reding. It depicts the rise of meth from the shady days of its birth to today’s wide spread use.
While the book focuses mainly on meth and its growth, the author alludes to and indirectly places blame of its growth on the leveraged buy outs by corporations during the era or Reagan’s deregulation. It never comes right out and talks about this elephant in the room.
While I’m still only part way through the book, the two towns that are the current focus of the book are Oelwein and Ottumwa, Iowa.
Oelwein; was once home to a union ham production factory. And Ottumwa: a transportation, factory hub to the west and strongly union.
Both suffered greatly under the “hostile take overs” of the early and mid-80’s when “greed was good”.
What happened next was a mass exodus to the coasts and the major cities as the now unemployed populations looked for work.
Those who remained saw their wages slashed from 15 plus dollars an hour middle class wage to $5.60 an hour minimum wage. Those folks now had to work at least 3 times as hard to maintain what they once had before.
These two formally strong union towns were destroyed and what replaced them was a depression. Not just in an economic sense, but also in a mental sense. Lives which once had a future and purpose were stripped of the dignity of good solid jobs, and now decayed into a drudgery of wage slaves with no benefits.
In steps Lori Arnold, half-sister of Tom Arnold. Living on the edge most of her life she found a purpose in the mass production and distribution of meth to not just these two towns but basically to all of the mid-west. She preyed upon a clientele eager to feel something other than destitution. However, even though she got out a year early of her 10 year sentence on a variety of federal drug related charges, she liked to model herself as someone who actually helped the people of Ottumwa. She cites the daycare she had built right next to the bar where she distributed meth to the moms and dads of those children in that same day care. She was a real icon of the community. She honestly believed that she was helping people.
Around this time, the mid to late ‘80’s, the Reagan administration via Nancy Reagan, started promoting the “Just Say No” antidrug propaganda, but their main focus was on coke and crack. Alarm bells were ringing in local governments regarding meth, but no one in the federal government level paid any attention to the “small time” drug.
The people in this nation were still under the belief that the “real” drug problem was in the cities. But anyone paying even the least bit of attention knew for a long time that drugs played a major role in small town America.
As each major employer in the small towns of America were leveraged out, closed down and social fabrics destroyed; meth moved in.
But the question needs to be asked, why meth? Why did it take such a hold and so quickly?
People, who were now desperate to make ends meet, worked double and triple shifts at low wage jobs. They used meth to get them through those extended shifts, at the few remaining jobs at the plants. The effects of meth allowed them to work longer, with less food and virtually no sleep.
When the plants, with the few remaining jobs, eventually closed down, the unemployment rate skyrocketed and so did meth use. As a result, in many a small town, the only soul source of income, was the dealing of meth.
The closing down of these plants in these small towns, were their ultimate goal of the likes of Bain Capital, Cargill and their ilk.
This effect is repeated itself throughout the U.S.
With the selection of corporate glad hander George W. Bush as president of the U.S., meth use went into high gear as the economy crashed leaving whole sections of the US with double digit unemployment and small town companies ripe for the picking.
While much as been done to stop the manufacture of meth; via the controlled sale of Sudafed, one of its main ingredients, clever chemists have found new and creative ways to continue to manufacture the drug.
And over the past few years, the major meth labs have been broken up, but much like hitting mercury with a hammer, it has spurred smaller labs and gave rise to the “shake and bake” method.
However, the root cause of meth use still has yet to be fixed; unemployment in the America. Sure we are seeing growth in the cities, but the towns and communities, which are part of the “flyover states”, still suffer enormously.
Until we as a people, wake from our daze of corporate propaganda and stop working against our own best interests, nothing will change and it will only get worse.
To quote from the movie Jaws, “what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine”, but what these corporate machines eat are people and their hopes and dreams. They care nothing for our future, but only for their own bottom line, golden parachutes and the next victim. And in their wake they leave a scared mental battle field to be exploited by those who seek out the desperate for profit at the hand of meth.
While I have long known of leveraged buyouts and the spread of meth throughout the nation, I never put the two together.
Until we as a nation stop sucking up to corporations and start putting the people first, nothing is going to change.
I have always been a strong union supporter, now I am more than ever.
I see rumblings of discontent and people taking chances to form unions, but until the corporate control of the small towns is finally broken, the big achievements that are made in the cities will only be a Pyrrhic victory when it is compared in the rest of the nation.
I haven’t written about the topic of unions and peoples rights in quite some time. I admit that I too had gotten so completely disenchanted with how this nation treats its workers and the basic rights of the people. This book, even though I’m only part way through it, has reawakened something in me.
I hope my small piece give you all food for thought.
Posted by Javaman | Wed May 29, 2013, 12:24 PM (35 replies)
we live in a nation with laws that, for the most part, people respect.
And contrary to much of what the right wing likes to spew on a daily basis, we do have a measurable level of the separation of church and state. (although it does seem as if it's eroding)
That said, let's see what is at play here.
Two nations Libya and Egypt have just experienced to massive upheavals in their respective nations.
And after most major national upheavals, lots of rumors swirl, lots of opportunists in the form of both political and religious try to fill the vacuum of fear with their own brand of fear and lastly, most of the people who had been displaced or thrown out of work are desperate.
So when you have a nation where the majority of the younger population is out of work, needing enough food, wanting clean water, and would like to be able to return to school but are unable to; what happens? Lots of unrest.
But then you also have various outside influences who see the opportunity to spread their bullshit to a desperate citizens. Citizens who want to vent misplaced anger, frustration and stress.
Given enough propaganda, enough agitating and enough influence, you invite the masses to fulfill a certain agenda.
In steps some right wing moron. Terry Jones and his half wit will partner film maker to purposely make an inflammatory film. We live in a universe apart from the people of Libya and Egypt and find it hard to believe that anyone would riot over any film, especially a poorly made pile of crap such as this one, desperate people who need to vent and have no other way to react, riot.
The US has always been the easy target for 3rd world nations whose. Granted, the US doesn't have the greatest record in history when dealing with 3rd world nations especially in the area of human rights, but it doesn't help us in the least, especially as of late, to have right wing morons pouring gas on a smoldering coals.
It is horrible that people have lost their lives in this situation, it is deplorable that the people of these two countries have been used as puppets by their religious extremists, but at the same time, it's disgusting that someone in this nation employs terrorist by proxy to do their dirty work as a means to an end.
And that end? To further divide the people of the world into their screwed up world view of those who are white and believe in jesus and those that don't.
As sad as it is that these people in the middle east are so desperate that they fall for the words of extremists within their own midst, it is equally sad that there are people in this nation whose sole purpose is to spread hate a lies under the guise of religion.
Posted by Javaman | Wed Sep 12, 2012, 09:39 AM (1 replies)
that's a hell of a choice.
we are the serfs of new America, made to feel as if we matter, but are continually forgotten.
We are blurbs, we are content for political pamphlets, we are the useful tools to be bandied about when political need arises, our hands are shook, promises are made to us by eyes that seem sympathetic, we are smiled at on queue, we are told truths that are only half true, we are the gullible masses who want something so bad that we are willing to take scraps and call it victory; we are the new surfs.
At the end of the day, what do we really want? A fair shake? A fully belly? A secure job? A roof over our heads? A good night sleep?
We all live on the edge of a cliff, praying daily we don't fall off. Once, there were nets to save us if we did. But those nets are either vanishing are in ill repair.
We try our best to look forward, but be have a hard time to keep from looking down into the abyss.
As we walk, the edge gets a little less secure. Bit and pieces falling into oblivion.
We look to the open land and we see armies approaching. Armies of the wealthy, the greedy and the willing tools to be sacrificed.
They run across green grasses of endless beauty. Their sky is always blue, their water is always clean and they never have to worry about the next bill, feeding themselves or health issues.
We are the serfs of New America.
Posted by Javaman | Thu Jun 14, 2012, 09:36 AM (0 replies)
by us being out spent 10-1.
It's the American voting process being sold to the highest bidder.
Who needs to tamper with electronic voting machines. That's such ugly dirty work suited best for the likes of rove and his ilk.
nope, this time the election was gamed by money.
You see, prior to citizens united, tampering with voting machines was the way to ensure your guy won.
Now, money took it's place.
Look at it this way, once upon a time, the mafia used to shake down local business owners for protection money, but then they learned it was easier just to control the industry.
And here we are.
Sure they won "fair and square", but they only did that once they changed the rules.
See how it works?
Posted by Javaman | Wed Jun 6, 2012, 12:43 PM (15 replies)
Moron: someone who does something wrong but doesn't know better.
idiot: someone who does something wrong but does know better
jerk: someone who does something wrong, knows better but enjoys it.
fucking jerk: someone who does something wrong, knows better, enjoys it then does it again.
mitten's qualifies for the last one.
Posted by Javaman | Mon May 14, 2012, 03:18 PM (0 replies)
No matter what mitten's says, what ever false or non-apology he gives, I will never believe him.
From the time I entered grade school to the time I left high school, I was bullied virtually every single day.
When I hear bullies apologize, I think of the old adage, "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission".
I then think of those who say, "the sign of being an adult is forgiving those who have wronged you".
I still have the scars, both mental and physical all these many many years later.
I chose to use my experience at the hands of bullies to be more empathetic and more understanding for those who experienced and experience the same treatment.
Do I forgive those who bullied me? No, instead I feel sorry for them. Do I feel sorry for mittens? No, I pity him and his pathetic life.
Bullies on the other hand learn to live with regret. But regret is a funny thing. What do they regret, they fact that they did what ever horrible thing they did to another person or regret they were found out?
It's only now that mitten's bullying comes out. So to me, it sounds as if he regrets being found out.
Am I such an adult that I can forgive someone for something they did to someone 40+ years ago? That's not me to answer but for the person who was bullied.
However, was mitten's the consummate upper class-man that singled out only underclassmen? or did he pick and choose his targets for scorn?
Frankly, I don't think it mattered to him. Bullies work from power. Power to control, power to manipulate, power to destroy and power to embarrass. All of which is rooted in ego.
You see, if mitten's was from some screwed up family that abused him, then it would be "shit rolls down hill" concept of passing the bullying he got from his parents onto some unsuspecting person just to vent his own anger.
But no. mitten's came from a well to do family. His "abuse" came in the form from parents who pumped up his ego and inflated the importance of his "station in life" and those who are "different" were beneath him.
I have long been saying that mitten's is a sociopath.
His non-apology apology confirms that. He just doesn't get it. He knows the words but he doesn't understand the actions.
I knew guys like him. He's the worst kind of bully. He's the kind who justifies his actions as being for the best for all, all the while having a smile on his face.
He will punch you in the face repeatedly, telling you the whole time, it's for your own good. And making you try to sympathize with him having to beat you up.
When in the end, the only person to "benefit" is mittens with his stroked ego by those who fawn around him and too afraid of him to tell him to fuck off. And those who were bullied, too bloodied to respond.
Posted by Javaman | Thu May 10, 2012, 01:06 PM (10 replies)
This is from a 13 year olds perspective at the classroom level and not a view on the systemic problems of the education system.
The problem of todays education system isn't teachers, it's the system which has now over arching corporate control, lack of funding, ever evolving education curriculum and treating national education as a political volley ball to be batted around at will to serve lobbyists, politicians and corporate interests.
The slow dismantling of various teachers unions, the firing of long time teachers and hiring "cheaper" new teachers with virtually no experience and with no mentoring programs is a deliberate effort to erode the system and allow it to be easily controlled by outside forces.
In conjunction: there are good teachers out there of all races. The problem teachers face isn't so much that they are bad teachers (although there are many), it's that the curriculum as been skewed so much toward teaching toward state and national mandated testing, that the art of real teaching is taking a backseat.
Once upon a time, teachers were able to go off curriculum to discuss topics at length. Now, they have to try and eek out the odd 5 to 15 minutes here and there to try and reach the students.
We have lost art, music and gym, we have lost civics, language programs and many after school activities in much of our grossly underfunded school system. Yet people still complain as to why kids don't get a proper education.
The working parents, couples and single, are at wits end to engage their child between struggling to maintain an income and a cohesive family. As a result, more pressure is put upon the teacher to try and "parent" kids. Yet parents get bent out of shape when their kid gets a poor report from school.
Teachers with no support from the parents and parents who perceive their child as doing no wrong or are unable or unwilling to be reasonable, is a failing cooperative endeavor.
The constant de-funding of schools, the rewarding of better schools and removal of funds from the "under performers", is destroying our kids education. Why punish an under performing school? Many times they are under performing because they don't have the funds to allow teachers to properly do their jobs.
While this student makes the comparison to slavery by equating white centric teachers as "masters" to the "slaves" of students of color, this students perspective is skewed to only her microcosm.
While I do understand the students perspective, I can only state that it's from a limited view, however, what I do hope happens is that it opens a debate on a wide range of topics concerning the problems with our public education system. One of which is funding.
Posted by Javaman | Tue May 8, 2012, 09:58 AM (0 replies)
Mrs. Romney's now odd remark about "struggling" is just so bizarre given her very very privileged life style.
But you know what? My mom was a stay at home mom.
My mom raised for kids while my dad worked.
But here is the difference.
My dad worked for the Dept of Sanitation for NYC. He was a mechanic.
He worked 40 hours a week + overtime.
He was in a Union. He was paid a living wage. He had complete and full benefits. He had a pension.
He was able to support a family of 6. He was able to put all us kids through college. He was able to save and eventually buy a small cabin in Canada for our summer vacations. He was able to leave my mom a nice sum of money so she wouldn't have to go without when he passed away. My mom received his pension and his SS on top of the money they saved together.
Did my mom struggle while raising us? Yes. Did she have to find new and creative ways at times to make ends meet at times? Damn straight.
But interestingly, once upon a time in this nation, the life that Mrs. Romney enjoys and has enjoyed for a life time, wasn't always just for the rich. I'm not talking about the 5 Cadillacs, or the dozens of homes. I'm referring to the ability of a parent, either male or female, to stay at home and raise their kids while the spouse worked. (granted in the 50's 60's and 70's when the kids in my family grew up, it was dominated by stay at home moms)
We were of modest means, but when you contrast what families, what women in general and what single mom's and dad's have to do today to make ends meet or just survive for that matter is actual hardcore struggling. Stay at home moms or dads is a virtual thing of the past.
It's a really sad thing to say, that in this day in age, people today look upon those past times, (I described above) as something so impossible, so incredible, that the comments by Mrs. Romney only puts a gigantic spotlight on 1) just how far we have fallen as a nation 2) how far we have fallen when it comes to workers rights 3) how far we have fallen in regards to women's rights and 4) how completely out of touch the GOP is in in regards to the income gap and the struggles of the poor.
This is the conversation we should be having but alas the right wing controlled media dictates how the words flow and just what the mouth breathing audience of American TV views should be angry about.
Posted by Javaman | Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:26 AM (2 replies)
but I can empathize.
No, I haven't had your experiences, but I can understand and relate from my own experiences.
When we seek to teach and end up dividing, we learn nothing and help no one.
While I haven't walked in you shoes, I have walked miles in my own and use that experience to try and seek out common ground to understand not just your plight, but all people who have suffered.
I have tasted the bitterness of poverty and have eaten from the golden apple of success. I have had to beg for food and I have had high dollar meals served at no cost to me. I have felt crushing defeat and the sweet beauty of victory. I have been judged and I have judged. I have had the hateful looks of scorn because of who I am and the embracing arms of acceptance.
I will never ever know what it's like to be a minority in this nation, I will not know how it feels to be looked upon, in some circles, as second class. I will not know what it's like to be passed over solely because of the color of my skin. I will never know these things.
However, it does not stop me from trying my best to empathize with the plight of a fellow human treated unfairly or killed because of the color of their skin.
Hate, ignorance and racism are exhausting. Acceptance, empathy and understanding is fulfilling.
We learn from positives and belittle ourselves as humans with negatives.
Posted by Javaman | Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:29 AM (3 replies)