*edit, July 19, 2015 – I’ve tidied this up a bit. The top of post image had burst it’s boundaries, a problem I run into a lot. I don’t know whether the issue is my theme or WP. Someone suggested that somewhere, in one of my posts, I applied characters that caused this problem to occur here and there. I’ve tried to eradicate all of the ‘lesser than’ and ‘greater than’ characters I used to use as enclosing marks that I can, because I was told that they can do that. Maybe I’ve missed some. But I’m never in the mood to go through hundreds of my early posts to find any that may lurk. I had occasion to review this post, when someone read it, and found it needed tidying up a bit. Also, coincidentally, I came across mention of a book today that so much deals with something I said in this post that I’ve decide to link to it. The link will take the reader to Paul Street’s book, titled “They Rule: The 1% vs Democracy.”
The Progressive Economics Forum » What Hangs on Bedrooms? -by Andrew Jackson
from the above linked-to article:
The Conservatives apparently think that it is deeply intrusive for the state to count your bedrooms through the mandatory long form census.
Asked to explain why this matters to the core Conservative constituency, one senior Tory strategist said, on background: “It’s all about the nanny state. Why is it mandatory to tell the government how many bedrooms are in your house?”
Actually, there is a pretty good reason. Housing is a key aspect of well being and, as noted on the Human Resources and Skills Development web site “Housing that is too costly, in need of repair, or overcrowded can be a large drain on the resources and health of its occupants.” While having multiple bedrooms may be a lifestyle choice for the affluent, many Canadians (especially Aboriginal Canadians and larger low income families with children) can’t afford suitable housing as defined by the number of bedrooms.
The resource-rich Right has power and freedom and an interest in keeping all of that and no interest in pulling together with the rest of us to make a system that works for all. The results are ugly. What makes all of this even scarier is that a great deal of the majority goes along with it.
Ken Silverstein, in his recent Harper’s piece titled “Tea party in the Sonora: For the future of G.O.P. governance, look to Arizona,” looks at the absolutely frightening meltdown of the Arizona political class into straight-up fascism and points out that something like 9 other states are moving in the same direction! The people are the enemy, but if they are willing to believe that they are the fascist ruling class’s best friends, then the elite will be more than happy to let them think that way and perhaps nudge them along that hallucinatory path.
Ken Silverstein is interviewed by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez on Democracy NOW! They provide a link to his Harper’s piece but you won’t be able to read the entire article unless you pay up. The quotes, by Ken, that I provide below are taken from the online transcript of his conversation with Amy and Juan, linked to at the bottom of this post. Consider:
“Well, I looked at Arizona in a much broader way than merely the immigration issue, because immigration is sort of—it illustrates what’s going on in Arizona, but the problem there, the dysfunction, is far broader. I mean, you have the sort of radical right in control in Arizona. You’ve got every component of the sort of extreme right wing running around, whether it’s the Minutemen, you know, guarding the borders, or the anti-tax crowd, the religious conservatives. They’re all very, very active and vibrant in Arizona.
“And I really looked at the economic situation there, because Arizona—I mean, everybody’s focusing on immigration, but you’ve got this economic crisis there that is quite stunning, resembling California in many ways, where the state is just completely bankrupt. It has huge deficits, which they’re addressing by cutting social spending in an extraordinary way, where, you know, they’re doing away with all-day kindergarten, and they’re kicking kids off of healthcare programs, taking very, very dramatic steps in order to control the budget deficit…
“You know, there’s just all sorts of action in terms of these peripheral issues that don’t make any difference to the people of the state but are pet projects of various Republican lawmakers.”
If 10 states are brutalizing, to various degrees, their own people and getting away with it, How can it be possible that all of the free and strong American people support this? (And don’t forget, We are dealing with this crap here in Canada as well, as the link at the top of this post shows.) One thing’s for sure. As you would expect in a criminal organization, There’s a hierarchy and a system of brutality that instills fear in everyone and helps to ensure that the whole structure, and those with the most power at the top, is safe from those who would seek to dismantle it, as Paul Street explains in his book (which I haven’t yet read) titled “They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy.” (Here’s a review of Paul’s book by Kim Scipes.) So you get, for example, a segment of the population who I call the comfortable people (I also call them the blue pill crowd, a la The Matrix.), who have those few jobs that pay well and therefore they have what money allows anyone in this money system to possess, namely life. Yes, They may also work hard and sacrifice (and what else?) to get that life , but it’s just not right. Your neighbors are suffering horribly and you want congrats on a job well done?! I’ll give you comfortable people those congrats – if you help us rock the boat.
But the comfortable blue pill crowd will even look upon their less fortunate neighbors as being the enemy – which they often know is not the case – just because to see them as they truly are, namely as victims of neoliberal capitalism, would make them responsible and that would require action. And that could mean (in their frightened minds) the loss of precious privileges, as long as those with real power like things just as they are. There’s that and the simple fear, also possessed by elites, of the unknown. If you have control or feel you have control, in a monstrous system that eats any who can’t run fast enough (possess enough resources to live) to get away from it, then you may selfishly or instinctively conclude that being in a position to guarantee outcomes means you can look after you and yours.
That main hierarchy/fear mechanism operates throughout the entire society and within all segments, which is where propaganda comes in. If you didn’t have ‘their’ reasons for being a crappy human being, you’d have to dream up your own, a bit more work but manageable I suppose. As things stand, the current dark system works fairly well. GM workers here in Canada, who received, and receive, so much as a result of the existence of their union, the CAW, actually voted for the number one enemy of the people, Mike Harris, back when, just because he offered them a tiny tax cut that would put an extra case of beer in their fridge each month or something. Did those yahoos stop to think about what that tax cut cost?, because tax cuts, as Ken Silverstein reminds us, aren’t free. They lead to deficits that are the excuse that privatization-friendly capitalist politicians use to tell the people that investments that went into services they enjoyed will now be reduced (austerity) because there’s no money. They won’t be terribly forthcoming about why there’s no money and the fact that, public assets that get privatized now means more expensive services, if any, since investment will now be minus profits in the pockets of private owners. And then you get user fees. Enjoy that beer boys and girls, but you had the family. Now look after it!
And the most frightened of us are those of us in the minority within the majority who watch all of this, while we are suffering in many instances, and are quite aware of what’s going on and helpless to get enough people to care and to want a better religion than capitalism.
Most workers have no real protection in ‘developed’ countries, let alone developing countries, and there is no pressure on bosses to pull their weight, pay decent wages and in that way help improve the economy. I can certainly attest that. As I write this, I am out of work for 2 weeks plus, without pay because it’s okay for there to be a system in which you get notices via snail mail about your security guard licence renewal. We are now licenced directly by the ministry and so it’s up to individual guards to keep track of the expiry dates of their guard licences, which is not altogether unfair. But you’d think that if they could send you a letter in the mail, then they could call a live guard and let him or her know about that critical date. People do move. I did (in order to save money) and I missed that letter and not only am I out of work, but the knives came out while I was gone from my low wage job. I can’t go back to the same site I worked at because certain tenants complained about comments I made to them that made them uneasy.
I don’t know the details. I have been there for a long time (since 2001) and tend to let my guard down among them, mainly because I am friends with most of them. But you never know. I made comments to a number of tenants (my bad) having to do with my own crappy love life, but I also make political statements. I just don’t know exactly what words offended who and no one’s going to tell me because no one has to. There’s no being off work ‘with’ pay, in situations like this, for little people, let alone offshore tax havens etc.. And no bonuses will be forthcoming for services rendered, however well.
As for those tenants, What a joke! They get the absolutely worst service from the REIT that owns the building. Instead, They get this sort of easy, cheap, fake service. Instead of fixing their air conditioning or whatever, or fixing it in a timely fashion and without grumbling about it, It’s much easier to listen to a complaint about a low wage-earning, unprotected security guard and to then snap their fingers and tell his security company to move him. Those sorts of decisions tend to come from the head office of this REIT and do not involve any effort to investigate, at least not unless it’s deemed absolutely necessary.
I have wanted to get out of this crappy biz for a long time, but I left it too long and now I’m paying for that inaction as I find myself stuck in this horrible industry. If I just quit and went to work for Starbucks or something like that, I’d also lose benefits, such as my dental. And there’s no dental care for the destitute in our rich, Canadian paradise.
The powerful Right, which, let’s remember, includes not only Conservatives – a side discussion that isn’t happening, probably because the official Right is indeed getting nuttier and standing out more – is used to talking nonsense. “What are you going to do about it?” If that, and a willingness to do or say anything to protect and extend neoliberal capitalism, is the sole requirement for a person to hold public office, then Where’s the motivation for people to look for quality candidates and where’s the motivation for those seeking public office to really know anything? And knowing is caring.
And so the Right, which is also quite macho, speaks nonsense to people, telling them that the things that will hurt them will help them, just because those things will help those on the Right! One looney Arizona senator claimed that trees were stealing water from her thirsty state!
Check out Ken’s review of wacko politics in Arizona. The text of the conversation sits below the video “Tea Party In Sonora,” which can also be watched.