Tuesday, July 5, 2011

As the desert grows...

Greetings good citizen,

As the (economic) desert grows, the ‘infrastructure’ that makes modern life possible continues to crumble under the strain of budget cuts and neglect.

It is the Anti-Tax madness of the Tea Partiers that explains why this movement only has 33,000 members…which is a tiny percentage of our 300 million strong nation!

Yet ‘the media’ (there it is again) insists we are all in touch with our inner ‘tax rebel’, that the thirty thousand members of the Tea Party comprise the ‘tip of the spear!’ (or, again, so the corporate owned media would like us to believe…)

While we are told that this swing towards ‘austerity’ is ‘unavoidable’ in truth it is precisely what you think it is, ‘mismanagement’ compounded by malfeasance.

This is the kind of government you get when criminals are in charge.

I do not excerpt this first article because it fails to make the connection between ‘cause and effect’. You are left to imagine the differences between these school systems are legislative rather than the result of economics.

Garbage in = garbage out…if you can’t (afford to) retain ‘qualified’ teachers, your kids are unlikely to ‘test’ well.

And at the heart of ‘No child left behind’ is ‘teach to the test’, to hell with the facts or the learning process!

Considering the kind of future the elite have planned, the dumber they are, the better!

So what’s the ‘surprise’ in this article? The surprise is that (in the economic desert) marginally ‘better’ districts ‘tested’ about the same as their more destitute counterparts.

We used to be number one in education around the world but there’s no point in raising a ‘smart’ populace if all of the jobs are going to be off-shored to the cheaper there!

As the model our civilization is based on becomes ‘unviable’ those who control commerce on this planet have moved to greener pastures…but not out of ‘harm’s way’.

Once again we need to question what are ‘progressive values’ when those who profess to speak for progressives fall down as they have in these first two articles…

Car ownership, it's becoming clear, simply isn't a sustainable way of life. But with an ongoing budget and revenue crisis on the federal, state and local levels, with conservative governors rejecting stimulus money for high-speed rail, it may be a while before we see the investment in public transit that it will take to fully break from the automobile.

Into the gap have stepped a number of innovative car-sharing companies and programs, allowing licensed drivers to pay fees less than traditional rental car companies and often access vehicles conveniently parked in their neighborhood. Each shared car, it's estimated, keeps an average of 15 cars off the road, allowing drivers to access a car only when it's specifically needed.

As you can see the tone is set and the rest of this article devolves into an insipid advertisement for ZipCar…nothing to see here, move along now.

Chances are good citizen your future will be ‘vehicleless’ not because ‘car sharing’ is an idea whose time has come but because vehicle ownership will be cost prohibitive!

Many states are implementing legislation that will, er, ‘discourage’ vehicle ownership.

And like the ‘make yourself useful’ conundrum, it is not the politician’s problem if you can’t get to work! (You can add this insult to the ‘if you can’t live on what they pay you it’s not their problem, it’s YOURS!)

Which is to ask is it any wonder this stinking, corrupt mess is collapsing?

Let’s have a look at an actual example of the comedy that is local government , complete with a ‘money quote’ from a ‘typical’ politician…

When Engine 5 pulled up to a burning house on Woodlawn Avenue early on March 19, the firefighters were told that a man might be trapped in the back left bedroom. As two firemen trained a hose toward that corner, Capt. Don Ragavage crawled through smoke and flames to search for the missing resident.

It was an inopportune moment for the water pressure to plummet. But that is what happened when Engine 5’s motor, strained to the limit by 16 years and more than 100,000 miles of hard service, abruptly sputtered and died.

Only a month earlier, the fire chief, Buddy Martinette, had lobbied the City Council to replace the cantankerous engine at a session devoted to the latest of Wilmington’s six consecutive budget gaps.

“The mechanics really don’t think it will make it,” the chief warned at the time.

“You need another mechanic*,” shot back Charlie Rivenbark, the Council’s foremost fiscal curmudgeon.

Mr. Rivenbark was not smiling, and once the scattered snickers quieted, none of his colleagues took issue. The fire truck fell off the table for the fifth year in a row.

(* denotes money quote from a typical politician.)

As the story tells us, the unit did indeed ‘fail’…not that the municipality (or its overseers) will be held accountable for their recklessness.

Their defense is ‘they don’t have the money’ (which is pretty damn lame when you consider that money is meaningless!)

This sort of shit SHOULDN’T BE HAPPENING, and the people who let it happen ARE CRIMINALS!

It is funny (but not the least bit amusing) that we keep circling back to the ‘purpose of commerce’ issue.

Does society exist to enrich the owners of commerce (and if we were to go by outward appearances, this is exactly ‘why’ we exist in large, hungry [and largely helpless] groups.) Or does commerce exist to meet the needs of society?

There is very little evidence to support this second idea…although/despite it being the reason behind the ‘corporate charter’.

Well, good citizen, I offer this final article as a ‘counterpoint’ to the preceeding three

A preliminary examination of executive pay in 2010, based on data available as of April 1, found that the paychecks for top American executives were growing again, after shrinking during the 2008-9 recession.

But that study, conducted for The New York Times by Equilar, an executive compensation data firm based in Redwood City, Calif., was just an early snapshot, and there were even more riches to come. Some big companies had not yet disclosed their executive compensation.

So Sunday Business asked Equilar to run the numbers again.

Brace yourself.

The final figures show that the median pay for top executives at 200 big companies last year was $10.8 million. That works out to a 23 percent gain from 2009. The earlier study had put the median pay at a none-too-shabby $9.6 million, up 12 percent. [snip]

Resurgent executive pay has some corporate watchdogs worried that companies have already forgotten the lessons of the bust. Boards have promised to tie executive pay to company success, but by some measures pay is rising faster than performance. The median pay raise for chief executives last year — 23 percent — was roughly in line with the increase in net corporate profits. But it far exceeded the median gain in shareholders’ total return, which was 16 percent, as well as the median gain in revenue, which was 7 percent.

FOR the moment, shareholders aren’t storming executive suites. And while they received a say on pay under new federal rules last year, their votes are nonbinding. In other words, boards can still do as they please.

So I ask (again) are we not being led by criminals? Criminals bent on plundering our nation for their own personal benefit, justifying that plunder by accusing the rest of us being just as greedy and short-sighted as they are?

Sadly, we can no longer tolerate being ‘ruled’ by people who have no appreciation of the ‘consequences of their actions’.

People who wholeheartedly subscribe to the theory ‘it’s not my problem, it’s theirs!’

I know you are tired of hearing it but the destruction of our civilization proceeds apace.

Worse, it is ‘unavoidable’

We MUST start the dialog about ‘what comes next’ or we will find ourselves the victims of the same ruthless scoundrels that corrupted and destroyed the old civilization.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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