Tag Archives: The Last Man

Romney supporter tries to kill husband for not voting…thank you, Talk Radio

I am new to doing talk radio, but not in listening to it, and certainly not to the arc of inciteful rhetoric, most especially on the Right. It has grown to an out of  control conflagration of hate since Obama’s election. below is an excerpt from a Reuters article by d:

PHOENIX – An Arizona woman, in despair at the re-election of Democratic President Barack Obama, ran down her husband with the family car in suburban Phoenix on Saturday because he failed to vote in the election, police said on Monday.Holly Solomon, 28, was arrested after running over husband Daniel Solomon following a wild chase that left him pinned underneath the vehicle. Daniel Solomon, 36, was in critical condition at a local hospital, but is expected to survive, Gilbert police spokesman Sergeant Jesse Sanger said. Police said Daniel Solomon told them his wife became angry over his “lack of voter participation” in last Tuesday’s presidential election and believed her family would face hardship as a result of Obama winning another term.

 In the months, weeks and days leading up to the election, Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, Hannity and others pressed listeners to believe their lives, their children’s lives, the nation and Christianity were under direct threat if Obama was re-elected. Lies and innuendo covered the spectrum from Obama being a communist, not  an American citizen, a racist, to having a gay relationship.

When accused or confronted they claim it is all entertainment, confuse to obscure their guilt or outright lie. They know full well they are driving a culture among self-interested and gullible people, or people robbed by corporate media consolidation of balanced information(note: FOX’s Fair and Balanced refers to their perception of fair, and balances truth and facts with their  agenda) based solely upon greed-the greed of the 1%. 

Most of us understand this perversion, and understand that to sell the theft of the economy and government by a few they must swathe that in alarmist rhetoric about job stealing immigrants, collapsing home values caused by irresponsible blacks and a pretend moral degradation of the society. Some, like the misguided woman above, and working class people who voted for the likes of Mitt Romney- a true corporate oligarch took it hook line and sinker. Their hate speech is not political discourse, it isn’t entertainment, it is irresponsible speech.

The airwaves are public, not the private domain of these hosts. To borrow their line, there is nothing in the constitution guaranteeing their right to those public airwaves. They are free to express their views, but not to squat on the air to the exclusion of other viewpoints. The airwaves are publically licensed, and each station’s license can be directly challenged to the FCC by any person.

I am new to talk radio-progressive talk radio. I would not exclude other viewpoints, and I welcome challenges and arguments to my own. I would not prefer a nation in which only progressive ideas predominate on the air and in the media.  Media consolidation has done exactly that. 90% of all news media, television, print and talk radio are now owned by 3 companies.3 companies. THREE COMPANIES. All of them either skew Right or are blatantly Right. Goebbels and the Nazis could have only dreamed of that sort of media control… 

Agree? Disagree? Call in Sunday 8-9am CST to WCPT am820 during the Revolution and Beer segment, or friend us at “rev’n beer” and join the conversation…or the fight

With Chris and Wiggler on the picket line in Chicago

I stopped by a grade school this morning in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago to ask the pocket of energized red-shirted teachers to listen and call in to my radio show this Saturday at 10am on WCPT am820. I’m doing an Occupy anniversary show, but promised to give the teachers as much time as I could.

I snapped a couple of shots, engaged in a bit of good-natured back and forth when a guy pushed through the group and asked pointedly, “Do you support the Teachers?”

“Damn right!” I replied. “I grew up in a union home, and was union myself for the better part of a decade. Yeah, I support.”

He came out and met me at the curb, looking like a hip teach from a WB drama, with a neatly trimmed beard and long wavy blond hair. He introduced himself as Chris. Another, slightly more conservative fellow joined us there, calling himself, Wiggler. Not sure where the name came from. Seemed unimportant to ask. Not sure I needed to know, exactly.

I’d been listening to talk show hosts on the very Rightwing station WLS impune and attack the teachers, as if they were some sort of street scum, or deadbeats that needed to be taken to task. For the WLS talking heads it was all about the money, and of course their ultimate angle is to deride and denigrate anything union.

“It isn’t about the money,” Chris said. “It’s about the evaluation process and making it fair.”

WLS and their comrades over on WMAQ did in fact mention the review process, while conveniently omitting key parts of that argument. According to Chris and Wiggler, it isn’t simply about a review process, but about realities in inner city schools, particularly in challenged neighborhoods that at the very least complicates any review process to the point of damaging the records of otherwise gifted and excellent educators.

“It’s really common in CPS,” said Wiggler, who’d taught in some of the city’s toughest schools in the Engelwood neighborhood.

Both men pointed out that gifted students often migrate away from classes to better schools under various programs. The children that remain are often those with learning disabilities, or from homes and neighborhoods burdened with significant challenges from stifling poverty to physical abuse, malnutrition, gang violence and substance abuse. Wiggler pointed out that he’d  seen these sorts of migrations  suck away up to 60% of the best students from a classroom.

But this shouldn’t really even be about evaluations either. Both men, with the others in boisterous agreement lamented the attrition of supplies, resources and programs from schools, classrooms and students. More and more teachers are forced to buy supplies and media necessary to teach children as budgets are cut and programs like arts education, music, P.E. and more are cut. Students are crowded into classrooms with fewer and fewer teachers. And here’s why.

The tactic is a cynical and very purposeful one, fought carefully and incrementally over decades by the Right, and by complicit dupes on the Left as well. Starve the system until it becomes non-functional or marginally functional and then point to the disfunction as the cause of the problem, with the obvious solution being chater schools, vouchers, breaking up the teacher’s union, all of which only accelerate the first part of the strategy.

Education use to be about helping a person to gain critical thinking skills that could be applied to life and building a better tomorrow for themselves and their community. The attack on teacher’s unions, charter schools, home schooling, vouchers and dishonest review programs instead are intended to maintain a lower class beholden and enslaved to a wealthy and powerful 1%, unburdened by critical thought and trained rather than educated. They will be the perfect consumers of sugary crap not at all healthy or enlivening to their souls or bodies. and if there is one singularly critical battle line between what the Right wants and the freedom this nation supposedly promises for all, it may well be this fight.

A lovely Garden

Young boys turn to young girls

To whittle away the time,

Young men turn towards war.

Comes a day when but a few young men remain.

In the bars and parks they congregate,

And polish their pain to badges of honor

With  stories so bold.

Comes a time when the stories all sound the same.

And then as old men,

Dog-eared stories put away

They turn towards god…

And perhaps a very lovely garden.


It was a week to the day…

…since I dropped her off. She wasn’t, well,  she just wasn’t herself. That much was certain. The signs were there a few days before. I ignored it until the symptoms were undeniable. I thought it would be a quick and simple procedure. I imagined she might be in overnight, so it came as quite a shock when overnight turned into a week. That excrutiating week seemed like forever.

I think the train ride into work and home each day was the hardest, at least for me, languishing in that long empty hour each way, every day. I missed my old feiend. Life wouldn’t be the same until she was home again. I’d trail off in thought, growing jittery, feeling the tension rise, along with the anticupation as our reunion neared. How I longed for her sleek athletic form, her speed and stamina,  and the longing realization that she was always there for me[ ready and willing.

I got the call late Friday. The procedure had gone as well as expected. Not that it was terribly serious.  It was quite routine. Tthe voice at the other end of the phone assured me that she had come through well enough. Neither of us would know she’d had any troubles at all. Recovery was complete.

She couldn’t be released until 9am. Have to say I was growing more anxious by the minute. It wasn’t far from the house, but the trip seemed endless. I waited outside, and then precisely at 9am, pushed through the door. The man behind the desk looked up smartly and gave a knowing smile.

“You’re here for…”

“I am!” I blurted, too excited, feeling a rush of warm blood into my cheeks. I was tingling and electric.

“Everything went fine,” he said, stepping from behind the desk. “I’ll go get her.”

“Um,” I interrupted him a moment, “can I ask, what was the…”

“Ten bucks,” he said simply.

“That’s it?” I replied, taken by surprise.

“Just a nut,” he nodded before disappearing the back.

It wasn’t a moment later when he led her out as beautiful as the day I’d first laid eyes on her. And with all the care wrought by years of this, he gently dropped her kickstand and tore the tag from her handlebars.

I  rushed to her, sweeping her into my  arms in the biggest hug ever, chuckling  as stuck into my side, smacking her seat playfully, and remarking, “You scamp!”

We were one all the way home. At the light I ran my fingers lovingly over her A-frame and promised her we’d never be apart again. My mountain bike. Oh, how I missed her so…

Biden’s “Y’all back in Chain’ Gaff didn’t seem to offend the mostly Black audience, but white people on the Right like Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh will tell them, as they always do what and when to be offended. Save the manufactured outrage. Biden said nothing that the 99% haven’t been railing about over Wallstreet, Bank and Corporate abuse and corruption, which men like Romney and Ryan champion. Back in chains, indeed! Not just for our Black fellow countrymen and women, but for Hispanic, White and all others feeling the lopsided influence and access enjoyed by Corporations and banks, while the 99% have lost access and influence among their elected leaders. Vice president Biden was spot on. Don’t retreat. This is the moral position. Biden stands firmly with the 99%. A bit more from the President is still needed, but still far more than we would get from the opposition.

Full Circle: Romney VP choice is attack on the 99%

So we’ve come full, well…sort of. The Tea Party was begun to distract attention from the wholesale looting of the federal government, an effort only nominally  curtailed by resistance to so-called Social Security reform, and the Supreme Court’s upholding key provisions of the Healthcare Act. The Right, representing a menu of greedy banking, corporate and individual interests, the 1%, if you will have spent decades shrinking and narrowing the accessibility to unfiltered, non-politicized information and news, promoted a fiction that the federal government should be managed like a household checkbook. Folksy wisdom indeed. Reality it is not.

It was hardly out of some suddenly awakened national consciousness that the Bermuda shorts-Sandal and black socked and varicose veined Tea Party decried the burgeoning national debt. That might have made them believable, and even comprehensible. It might have deflected charges of partisan-ism, and even racism had they also risen against the unfunded debt-creating catastrophe of our trillion-dollar, trillion-dollar, the trillion dollar catastrophe of the Iraq debacle and Afghan War. Indeed, the cost of those wars  are estimated to be many times the price of the actual conflicts, as we now must care for tens of thousands of mentally and physically wounded veterans. The Veterans Administration and hospitals are taxpayer-funded.

But there was no such outcry from the Tea Party or the Right. Quite the opposite. Dissent against the wars, first on a moral basis and second, economically was assailed as partisan and unpatriotic. And so the creation of the Tea Party was a ruse. The creators spun innocent Americans against their own interests, and ultimately, against the interests of their nation.

The Occupy movement exposed the fakery of the Tea Party pretense. The true national argument wasn’t about the national debt. Most of that debt is owned by the government, and that debt can sink depending upon favorable trade conditions, which is what is happening now. No, the real issue was the economic devastation wrought by de-regulated banks and financial entities, a perversely bloated defense budget which primarily benefits industry and two unfunded wars. It wasn’t risky home loans going to “people who should never have gotten loans to begin with,” early 21st century code for Blacks. It was financial firms bundling those mortgages and selling their potential risk, then bundling the bundles of mortgages and selling that risk, then bundling the risk and selling the risk on the risk on the real…get the idea? And all of it ravaged the poor and middle class in this country. How did Romney put it at a press conference during the Republican primaries? “I’m not concerned about the very rich. They’re doing just fine.”

Within weeks the Occupy Movement fully discredited and overwhelmed the Tea Party fiction. Only the Right’s near absolute dominance-the status quo networks tacitly support the Right-in the media and their need to conceal continuing efforts to corrupt and loot the nation via populism has maintained that fraudulent message.

It isn’t about debt. It never was about debt or your children or grandchildren’s futures. The kids and grandkids of the wealthy and corrupt who use the Tea Party for cover already have the means to secure their future; to attend universities unsullied  by the poor and unwashed masses, to have exclusive healthcare access, to fast-track executive careers, homes and comfortable retirements to live their American dream. If there was truly an interest in solving the debt issue, there would be action towards encouraging trade reform, removing corporate incentives to play nations against each other for sub-standard wages and conditions to workers, and removing or limiting their organizational influence on government. Perhaps then we might allow the American people to decide what is in their best economic interest, and that if a company closes a factory here to set up sweatshops in Asia or Africa or Central America that they would be considered criminal enterprises and closed down.

And consumers, if they truly cared about reform, would be willing to pay a little higher for some goods. For example, it costs roughly 80 cents- that’s 80 cents for Nike to produce a $120 Dollar pair of shoes in the Vietnam factory. Call them. They’ll tell you. In April 2010 the monthly wage there was 4000 Dong, or 21 Dollars a month, a  severely sub-standard wage. By doubling, or tripling their pay, spread across the production quotas and output of that factory, that would have added another 80 cents to a doller sixty to that $120 dollar pair of shoes. The Right, of course would tell you that it would double or triple the retail value of the shoes, as they tried to argue with me on WLS radio some years back.

The point is, the Ryan choice  for VP is an effort to resurrect the Tea Party mantra, and make it the centerpiece of the Romney/Ryan campaign. They’ve said as much. This from men who accuse Obama of not having any business experience. But their plan, using their own folksy example about household debt and a balanced checkbook(apples and oranges really), would have them cutting out the kid’s schoolbooks, shutting off heat or  air conditioning in any room their not occupying and other austere cuts while they continue driving around in the gas guzzling limousine and taking fabulous 10 year-long vacations in faraway lands on their kid’s credit cards.

Full circle. Let’s see now if the American people will fall for it a second time. The answer comes this November.

Romney picks boy Sarah Palin as VP choice

Gosh, he sure is pretty. Thank you P-90X.

Mitt Romney has announced former Delta(House) Tau Delta frat boy Paul Ryan as his vice-Presidential running mate in some odd Rightwing hybrid between father-figure issues and gay porn. Over the top? How about a cross between a 1980’s J. Crew catalog and a Viagra commercial? I know. kind of the same thing.

But Paul Ryan (R) Wisconsin, has been cruelly demonized by the Left over his so-called gutting of medicare, in which he would give checks to seniors and allow them to purchase their own insurance. You know, the free market solution. See, so the brilliance of that is not to free up federal money that would go directly to insurance companies through their senior citizen middle men. No, the magic of Ryan’s plan is that seniors, now currently covered under medicare, the ones in extremely high risk groups, with a lifetime of existing conditions, and more than likely current ones, would have no trouble finding affordable and comprehensive insurance with their windfall Social Security income. Tthe SSI Ryan would gut, eliminate or privatize.

But funneling money directly to insurance companies who lobby and contribute mightily to Rebulican politicians would be a crime. Sending vouchers for seniors then give it to insurance companies, that’s not a crime, that’s the Ryan Plan. Because, see, that’s all you could use the vouchers for, without granny and grampie going to jail for, what’s the word? Oh yeah, fraud.

Of course, which Paul Ryan are we talking about? Is it the Ryan who wants to cut medicare, because big government is socialist, and the Ayn Rand-ian free market is always superior (Adelphia, Exxon, Haliburton, AIG, etcetera, ectera…) but would increase defense spending benefitting large defense contractors(seeing a pattern here?), or the Paul Ryan that cast the deciding vote to massively expand the controversial Mediacre Part D prescription plan, which, not surprisingly, massively benefitted the pharmaceutical industry!

Jeez, one would be an aw shucks sort of deal. Two? Well maybe that’s a coincidence. But three? Funny, but I’m not seeing alot of consideration in any of that for anyone but big business.  

To be fair, politics is about contrasts; Republican and Democrat, Left and Right, good and evil. My sense is that McCain picked Palin because she made him look less hypocritical by contrast. By contrast, Ryan actually makes Romney look moral.

Great pick Mittens. Thank you, from every true liberal, progressive and democrat. We couldn’t have picked better ourselves.

Unspoken Truths: Bain, Romney and the latest Obama Campaign Ad

Don’t bitch. If you backed away from the Occupy movement and threw money  at Democrats ahead of the presidential election out of some pragmatic retreat to make  sure Obama got re-elected, or because it was time to “face reality,” believing that if one side has super PACs then we have to fight fire with fire, or if you threw in the towel about campaign finance reform and the repeal of Citizen’s United, you’ve got nothing to bitch about. If you are a Republican, you can shut up as well. The hyperbolic vitriol that has become and that is the campaign on both sides is exactly what you get when you concede perverse nonsense such as money equals free speech.

This week a super PAC supporting the Obama campaign, Priorities USA Action released an ad placing blame against Romney for the cancer death of a woman who lost her health insurance after Bain, Romney’s company, closed the company where her husband worked. The Kansas City based GST Steel declared bankruptcy and closed in 2001. Romney claims he was not in control of the company at the time, but FCC filings offer a different perspective, clearly showing that he was in control of the company.

In the ad, Joe Soptic, who worked at GST when Bain took control says, “When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care and my family lost their health care. And a short time after that, my wife became ill. “I don’t know how long she was sick, and I think maybe she didn’t say anything because she knew that we couldn’t afford the insurance. And then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia, and that’s when they found the cancer, and by then it was stage four. It was – there was nothing they could do for her. And she passed away in 22 days.”

The Right reacted with predictable outrage, calling the ad despicable. Rush Limbaugh mocked Soptic on his radio show today. No doubt in the coming days they will attack every aspect of the story, the man and his family. But the argument is a thin one, particularly in light of the veiled re-hashing of the birther issue in the anti-Obama film heavily promoted on  Right-wing radio called “Obama’s America 2016” is little more than a pro-Romney ad parading as journalism by former Reagan Whitehouse functionary and zealot Dinesh D’Souza.

But the ad speaks to a deeper truth, one that the Occupy movement championed and working-class and the poor have known only too painfully. While politics and big business  are a game to the rich and powerful, the true effects of that game, hidden by a complicit or gleefully dumb media are too often written in the lives lost to those policies.

So a factory is closed. Too often it barely merits a mention on the nightly news. If it does, the cold facts report ten, thousand laid off, or twenty thousand jobs outsourced overseas. Missing are the lives of men and women who may not have the capacity, who may be too old, to whom resources  aren’t easily accessible, or  are unable to tear up lifetimes invested in a home. all too often it is the elderly, those of limited means, perhaps invested and over=extended to provide an education for children, or at the age of retirement when their insurance and the pension they worked for their whole lives is suddenly and legally taken from them.

These  are the people, many tens od millions of Americans for whom the loss of a job or insurance is a devastating event that may take years to recover from, may lead to bankruptcy, foreclosure, and choosing a meal over a needed medical checkup, the electric bill over a meal as despair becomes a cruel indignity to honest hardworking people who lost their jobs and livelihoods not to normal or unforseen economic cycles and calamities, but by strategic takeovers, manipulations of the law, greed and uncaring financial gamesmanship.  

When I visited Sarajevo at the height of the Serbian siege, thousands had died of sniper and artillery attacks. Unreported and uncounted were the elderly who froze to death, starved to death in their homes. Untold children died of malnutrition. Hundreds, perhaps thousands died during those 4 long years of disease.  They were not shot or killed by an overt act of war, but were dead just as surely. 

Is there any difference when a company like Bain takes over a factory with the express purpose of carving it up purely for the financial gain of a few. And when a town is decimated by that closing, when someone like Joe Soptic’s wife dies for what amounts fully to greed, who is responsible for that death? If a couple must choose between heat and food because their retirement has been stolen and they succumb to pneumonia or the effects of cold or malnutrition, who is responsible for that, when the act of ending their retirement was a fully unnecessary and wholly self-serving act? If a mother and  child cannot properly afford pre or post-natal care because her healthcare was discontinued so that a few  stockholders could afford a bigger house, a fancier car or another European vacation, and the child dies, or suffers, who is responsible for that?

Interestingly, and sadly, there will be American’s who are unsympathetic to the pain of men like Joe Soptic, and maybe America needs to confront that darker side of itself to understand the stakes, and those who would lead us down a wholly inhumane and unrighteous path. Perhaps that’s the tactic; to draw out the extremist Right and push Romney into the corner with them, clinging to nakedly cruel, short-sighted and unAmerican positions from which they cannot escape to hide behind the lies, confusion and innuendo they have cloaked themselves in up to now.

Police are describing the White-supremecist gunman at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin as a “frustrated neo-Nazi,” as if there are content and well-adjusted neo-Nazis. There is and will be an attempt in the media to marginalize the race of this terrorist. Call them out. The pro-gun apologists in the media, those who encourage and facilitate this sort of racial, ethnic and gender hatred are as responsible for this terrible tragedy as the man who pulled the trigger. They created the environment and culture that inspired and empowered this person. That media has sickened our culture, politics and national discourse. TAKE BACK YOUR MEDIA AMERICA! OCCUPY YOUR AIRWAVES.

The tears have not dried, nor fully begun in the wake of the Wisconsin murders of 6 Sikh brothers and sisters and already the NRA surrogates like Alan Gottleib of the Second Amendment Foundation at SAF.org openly defended the “right” to own 100 round clips, and has already begun politicizing the butchery of these innocent people on WLS and the reprehensible and anti-American Bill Cunningham show and advocating for more guns. In a perfect world not held and beholden to corporate interests with already far too much blood on their hands already SAF, WLS and Cunningham would be shut down and put out because by their hate and their division and there manipulation of truth, the blood is thick upon their hands and their souls. Shame. The time for politics is not now, not when the family and friends of those innocents are suffering. For some years now WLS not acted in the public interest, as their FCC license requires. They spew hate, racism, sexism, anti-muslim hatred, bald insensitivity and denegration of minorities. Their FCC license is now up for review. Call the FCC and tell them not to renew their license. After 911 WLS hosts demanded Muslims repudiate those very small numbers who perpetrated violence. Will they do the same for white Christian extremists as well?

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