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ProfessorPlum's Journal
ProfessorPlum's Journal
April 28, 2016

When are we ever, as a people, going to start to _try_ to make this country less miserable

and a happier place to live?

We slave away, with little to no vacation, we pay the equivalent of the cost of a very expensive new car for every kids' education (or the cost of a house, depending on where they go), our economic lives are ruined if we get sick, our rich commit crimes with no consequence, and our corporations write the rules that govern our daily existence.

Meanwhile, in France, Germany, Scandinavia, and many other places, people are much more free to pursue their happiness, raise their families, have excellent educations, and simply _exist_ without having to go begging to their corporate overlords at every turn.

The slavery mindset that is this country's original sin has never left our bloodstream, from the desire for cheap/free/forced labor that fires every employer's imagination, to the servile mentality of our workers.

Cmon, let's stand up on our hind legs and demand better. The humans and the pigs are getting harder and harder to tell apart.

April 25, 2016

Lending money to someone is an aggressive, dangerous act

When we think about loans, we often think about how we've all needed more money in the past, and how we were relieved to be able to get a loan to finance our plans - money for education, a mortgage for our home, money to start a business. And in that sense, having money available to invest in our future - the availability of credit - is a palpable good in society.

But when lenders are allowed to set their own terms on interest and repayment, the act of lending money becomes an aggressive, destructive force.

Imagine if someone walked up to you and handed you $100 and then said, "you now owe me $500 at the end of the month", because they get to set the terms of the loan and the repayment. What they are essentially doing is stealing $400 from you by loaning you the money.

You probably see where I'm going with this - the dangers of loan sharks, the dangers of the big banks controlling their (wildly climbing) interest rates for credit cards, the dangers of sub-prime home loans, the dangers of usury, which were recognized and condemned even in biblical times.

Without tight controls on interest rates for loans, for payday lenders and loan shark-like industries (read banking), providing credit just becomes theft - and theft from the very people who are desperate for money.

It's evil, it's destructive, and it is why Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's support for the payday banking industry is so terrible for the party.

April 21, 2016

Has Hillary Clinton EVER made a convincing argument for economic justice?

I've listened to her a lot, but I have never known her to talk about poor and working class people getting the shaft, and how that should change.

Can a Clinton supporter here point me to a speech or moment from a debate when she actually took up the cause of economic inequality and wealth distribution and spoke about it as if she gave a damn?

Because I'm worried that those concerns are about to be swept into the memory hole - creating a pressure cooker of unrest.

April 21, 2016

Bernie staying in is a service to everyone in this country who believes in economic justice

As this process has gone on, and it has become clear that the corruption of the system (DWS in the bag for Hillary, the superdelegates bought by Hillary's money-laundering scheme, the media that is the receiver of all of the corporate cash for elections treating Sanders as a joke) would stifle his candidacy, I began to think that Bernie might end his campaign, save himself the humiliation of going all the way to the end, only to fall short.

Even if he wins the pledged delegates, which seems unlikely at this point, his path to victory involves superdelegates supporting him and voting for him at the convention. The process has become too corrupt for that to happen even if he does win pledged delegates. The powers-that-be were happy to allow Obama to stop the inevitable Hillary in 2008 (I wonder how they knew it wouldn't be a problem for them?), but no such lenience will be afforded to Sanders, who actually wants to make people's economic lives better.

But then I thought about what Sanders represented. The poor, the dispossessed, the working class. The hopes of everyone in this country that it could provide a good life even if you weren't blessed with a 6-figure bank account and a 7-figure salary. And I thought that all of the people who have worked for that, who have shared that vision with him and pounded the pavement and knocked on doors and made phone calls . . . that he _owed_ them that. Not to fold, not to quit, not to save some dignity for himself. Because the needs of those people, both economically and in terms of just hope for the future, will not vanish once Bernie is out of the race. But they will disappear from the conversation.

And Sanders is keeping those needs visible, keeping the conversation about economic injustice alive, keeping some focus on the big banks and the economic royalists. And for that we should all be grateful to him.

Run, Bernie, run. And thank you for paying back the people who support you by taking it to the end, no matter how bitter, before this corrupt cesspool of a system shuts us down.

April 13, 2016

Hillary, progressive, or is it centrist, was proud of her conservatism and conservative roots


SCOTT SIMON: I mean, did you ever back in the ’60s, between when — I believe you were a Goldwater girl —
HILLARY CLINTON: That’s right.
SCOTT SIMON: — and whenever you became politically –
HILLARY CLINTON: That’s right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don’t recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl.

Look, everyone can have changes as time goes on, I get it, but it just isn't obvious that much has changed with her.
April 8, 2016

All this talk about whose supporters are more polite, who has more vitriol,

who said who was more unqualified . . .

misses the fucking point.

Our country is now run like a giant mafia - there are no laws for the people inside, and they all help and protect each other while picking everyone else's pockets. The rest of us are commodities, chum, fertilizer, labor units, disposable . . . to be picked clean of our labor and wealth and health and thrown away at the first sign that we might cost one of them a dollar in care.

What the hell is the Democratic party going to do about it? Nothing, since we are led by members of that mafia.

God, wake the hell up! This country needs a new FDR yesterday, and we watch the ritual slaughter of Sanders by all of the powers that be, the sneering, bought media and the DNC, as if it is some game.

I never expected Sanders to win, I never even expected it to be close, but as long as it is, his ideas and the power of his vision for our society deserve to be treated with the utmost respect - because they reflect the respect that we should have for ourselves and our fellow citizens - that we aren't just robots to be fed and clothed the minimum amount that will get our enormously productive labor out of us. Sanders represents the idea that being a human being matters more than what they contribute to some bottom line somewhere - and that makes it a stand of humanity against the giant, soulless, corporate machines that we have built and keep letting run our lives as if they have some magical answer for our civilization. It's just greed!

Let Hillary have her coronation, but for god's sake, don't forget what Bernie has tried to keep alight - the ideas of human dignity in the face of corporate rapaciousness.

April 8, 2016

This primary is about asking the megarich for pretty please a little help versus

saying that we deserve some help, and we have the power to take that help from our society's superpredators to make all of our lives better.

It is about making friends with the rich, and trying to get them to share the power of the organized crime syndicate that now runs this country and our government, versus stemming the corruption just a bit.

It is about corporate media, the friends and lackeys of the rich, versus social media where the rest of us know what is real.

when Hillary wins, we will get what we usually get - the scraps from the table the rich deem to trickle down on us.

But never forget that we had the chance to fight the corruption and instead deliberately threw ourselves upon the mercy of the very rich. . . with predictable results.

April 8, 2016

Hillary is right: Superpredators must be brought to heel


TD Bank
Capital One
US Bankcorp
Wells Fargo
Bank of America
JP Morgan Chase

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